Welcome to my blog. The most wonderful thing that you can do in life is to widen your horizon. Learn from the experiences of others.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Manny Pacquiao rules!

This is the latest addition of my collection of Manny's pictures. I just find this recent Avatar pic of him so funny. Manny is really everywhere. I've got pictures of him already as Obama and even as Emilio Aguinaldo in the five-peso bill. You're really my idol, Manny. :-)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Villar -- same old story?

Looks like Villar will just follow GMA's footsteps. As far as I can deduce from his plans, and platform of governance, it would seem that he is not really serious in fighting graft and corruption which is a plague that is slowly killing the country. He himself is guilty of graft and corruption, of enriching himself so much that in a span of close to two decades he accumulated an estimated wealth of 46 billion pesos. (Please read this article http://www.noynoy.ph/blog/2010/02/19/sorting-through-criminal-billions)

I'm just wondering why the so-called "progressives" would rather link their asses to that of Villar's where in fact, if these people are really serious in making reforms in the country, they should have just mobilized their members without Villar's help to make their candidates a sure win in the elections, and should have just used their "skills in protesting" to attract more volunteers to bring their dream into reality. They are not consistent of their principles.

Going back to Villar, I can sense that he will also tolerate his allies in stealing money from the government coffers which is already bleeding dry.

While Noynoy has still the Luisita Hacienda issue hanging over his head, I would still prefer him over other choices that we have now. He is more of a lesser evil than Villar. Perlas could have been one but he possesses a messianic complex. Villanueva is hallucinating. Gibo is intelligent, but is also a same old story. Erap? A very old story and should have been serving his dying times in jail.

While GMA has ZTE, Villar has the potential ROI (return-of-investment) syndrome. I'm pretty sure, once he becomes President, he will find ways to recoup his election expenses. It could be either in the form of increased values of his properties and those that his companies are selling (tsk, tsk, obviously a hidden agenda) or he will order infrastructure projects on or near where his company's interests are. He will also be a walking salesman of his companies.

In short, I don't think his presidency will result to a good governance which we have been dreaming of. It is just the same old story. Poor Philippines, another six years of rehashed presidency.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The great unwashed

I want to refer to the common people of Madagascar. There are just too many things to say about them, but I just want to dwell on the very basic one. Don't get me wrong with what I'm going to write about them. It's just short and sweet. I just want to express what I think and what I "smell".

Yes, my friend, there is simply a striking difference between our great unwashed and the great unwashed of Madagascar. Do you want know what it is? It's the body odor. I just can't help but express my sentiment about it. To tell you frankly, they don't use deodorant and probably seldom take a bath. Mind you, I am not the only Filipino who has this observation, but a lot. Remember, we are a one-thousand strong OFW's here. And this is really the most talked about subject here -- in the town proper, in the office, in the camp's mess hall, among others.

Back home our great unwashed seldom stink like that. We have a "tawas" which is very cheap and readily accessible. But here, it's a different matter. I just can't understand why most of the common people here don't consider this as a basic hygiene (or if this word is really in their vocabulary). Well, we just have to respect the smell, bow.

If I can only put into the bottle what I smell here, and send it back home for others to describe it in my behalf, I would have done so. Oh, great unwashed of Madagascar, your smell is so terrific and indescribable. :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Things are getting brighter

With the imminent victory of Noynoy Aquino and Manuel Roxas (Yes, I believe they will win), I can sense the beginning of a brighter future for our country, that is, if both of these politicians are true to their word to stamp out corruption and not be corrupt themselves. Sometime ago, I opined that it would take centuries or decades before we could sense a bright future ahead for our country. That was before Noynoy came into picture and before Mar opted out of presidential contest. But now, it could be shortened, for the seeds will start to be planted come June 2010 when they take the reins of government.

Assuming Noynoy wins, I can sense that he will start a crackdown on corrupt officials from BIR to customs to LTO. Together with potential cabinet members of his party like Florencio Abad, Cesar Purisima, Dinky Soliman and other honest former government officials, an honest government is in the offing. A leadership by example will guide the whole of government to righteousness. No matter how endemic the corruption is, the beginning of its cure is forthcoming.

A study conducted by World bank and several entities pointed out that the Philippines is losing an estimated 200B pesos every year due to corruption. Come to think of it, assuming the 1 million government employees alone pocketed 10,000 pesos a year in any form of "raket", that will translate to 10B-peso loss already. Assuming each of the 250 congressmen pocketed his/her 20% of the 70-million-peso pork barrel, that will translate to 3.5B-peso loss. Assuming each of our beloved 24 senators pocketed 30% of his/her pork barrel of 200M pesos, that will translate to 1.44B pesos. The total of these alone is already 50B pesos, not to mention yet that my figures are conservative, the stolen IRA allocations of each local government units (Remember Ampatuan?), the jacking up of prices for government projects, the tax evasion, the lost income due to smuggling, the wasteful spending of excess budget, and many others. Overall, this could reach to an amount the World Bank has been saying all along. The 200B pesos lost due to corruption every year is already enough to wipe out our budget deficit that Noynoy presidency will inherit from GMA's. Such amount every year is enough to bring our infrastructure at par with the other tiger economies in the world.

One program that Noynoy and his team is going to implement is an honest-to-goodness crackdown on corrupt government people, tax evaders, and smugglers. Hopefully, they will walk the talk.

Furthermore, there could be another reason for us Filipinos to be optimistic this year: global economic recovery, remittances keep on increasing which might reach US$17B, BPO revenues which could reach US$13B, tourism receipts which could reach substantial revenues from an expected 4 million foreign arrivals, and revenues generated from responsible mining. Although these seem to be unsustainable, at least in the time being while our own labor-intensive factories are still weak, we can still have some blessings to count on, and be grateful that money is still coming into our shores to bail us out at least from the onset of financial crisis. There is still no substitute however for a very strong manufacturing sector in order for us to be truly progressive. We are a 90-million-strong Filipinos and it only takes a very honest leadership to empower us and mobilize our energies in stamping out corruption. With the use of Internet, we can embarrass and expose the crooks to the world.

Ooppps, it's time to go back to reality now and stop dreaming. :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Close to five months in Madagascar

I arrived here in Madagascar last Sept. 2, 2009. In the next few days, it will be my fifth month of living and working here. Madagascar has a less-developed economy when compared to ours. It was a former French colony, hence, French is its second language. The national language is Malagasy.

I came here to work as a Database Administrator under Sherritt International, a Canadian firm which is into partnership with Sumitomo, Kores and SNC-Lavalin to put up the so-called A m b a t o v y P r o j e c t (sorry I have to put more spaces in between because I don't want that people in this project will be able to search my blog when they start Googling that word). The project is to be touted as the largest nickel mining venture in the world with a pricetag of US$4B. Currently, the project is still in the construction phase and will start production come January 2011. There are three project sites: the head office which is in the capital, the mine site which is four-hour drive from the capital, and the refinery (where I work now) which is a ten-hour drive from the capital (or a 45-minute travel via chartered plane). Yes, the project has its own chartered plane. Luckily, when I came, I didn't have to travel by land. That's part of the contract where I will be transported by air to and from the refinery site, where I am now. By the way, it's not only me that work in this project, but a thousand Filipinos as well, most of whom are in construction.

I work here as a consultant or a contractor whichever you may want to call it. My contract is two years, and after such duration will it be my option or the company's option to extend my term. But I don't think, I would like to extend (but I'm not totally closing my doors of course). I'm sure after my contract here I can go somewhere else since my occupation is in demand wherever.

I live in a camp where everything is provided. The room assigned to me is just fine although the internet connection sucks bigtime. Nevertheless, I still appreciate it when comparing with some fellow Filipino workers who have to contend sharing one big room with the others. Well, it depends on the function and position actually. Managers and above are allocated single room.

Outside the camp, life is pretty much simple. I may say it's boring for me - no cinemas, no malls, no SPA's, and most of all no excitement. That's how I perceive this place to be. Other Filipinos love it though. It is very much similar to our remote provinces back home. I don't think I can live with such place, but not when I am retiring because of old age.

Anyway, I'm not here to savor every place in Madagascar. I'm here to work and be expert with my chosen career. Here I am coming from a telecommunications industry and now working in a heavy industry. This is the beauty of working in IT particulary Oracle database administration. You can be part of any industry. My next goal is to work in a banking industry, specifically any global bank.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Leaving NSN

Yesterday, I finally said goodbye to NSN (Nokia Siemens Networks). I felt mixed emotions. I was sad because I had to leave the company which I spent ten years of my life with, and at the same time happy that I'll be fulfilling the career that I really want with another company abroad.

Below was my farewell message I sent through email to everybody in NSN.


After ten long years, I never thought that it would be my turn to say goodbye to a very great company, colleagues and excellent working environment. I never thought that I would be one of those people who come and go. Never did I think that I'll be in this situation. But I chose to venture into new challenges. I have to follow what my heart says so. It is true that when passion hits you, the only thing that will make you sane is to give in to it. I will be immersing myself into the world of databases, from development to production. This is something that I have been yearning to do, but only realized now. For several years, I have been so mesmerized with IN and OSS technologies. I have been so religiously doing my best as OSS Team Lead. But recently, after giving it a long thought, I decided to do a career shift (if you may call it as such).

I say thank you to my former Globe IN colleagues for the trust and confidence in me, most especially during database crashes :-) I will never forget the sleepless nights that we had counted just to make sure prepaid subscribers would always be able to top up credits and inquire balances.

I say thank you to Rex, my line manager, for being supportive of me, for trusting my technical and leadership capability. You are such an excellent leader who brings out the best in each one of us. You know how to act quickly in times of need and you care for your people. Keep it up.

I say thank you to Smart OBS/SA colleagues for being a team not to be bored with, for tirelessly doing what is best and what is right, for proving that OBS/SA team can reach greater heights.

Finally, I say thank you to NSN and its management. Thanks for being part of my life, for honing my technical and non-technical skills. The experiences and memories with you are truly worth treasuring. The culture is beyond compare.

Now, it is with heavy heart that I shall utter a phrase in French, Au revoir! (Goodbye!). May NSN continue giving Ericsson a run for their money, so that the goal of being number one will finally be achieved. I believe that with guts and determination NSN can do it. When that time comes people in NSN will be the greatest achievers who've ever lived on Earth.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Goodbye, OSS; Hello, Database Administration

Yesterday, I tendered my resignation letter to NSN as an OSS Team Lead. This is the start of a more fruitful career for me. It's a shift from being a telecoms guy to a pure IT freak, particularly on the area of Database Administration, a career choice which has been burning inside me. It's only now that I give full attention to it. It's a dream come true. However, it's not P a p u a N e w G u i n e a where I'm heading to. I dropped my interest to work in that country as the employment contract still hangs. I can't wait forever.

My last day in NSN is Aug. 21, the day when the world opens the door for me towards a better and more promising career in terms of global opportunities. Database Administrator is my new position in a new employer abroad. I'll be handling Oracle databases.