30 July 2008


Let me just digress again by saying that Mrs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a lying shithead.
In her State of the Nation Address two days ago, she said: "Texting is a way of life. I asked the telecoms to cut the cost of messages between networks. They responded. It is now down to 50 centavos."

The people
believed her and rejoiced--I did, too--only to realize after that what our president told us wasn't true. 

We all thought that the price cut was for good and for real (she made it sound that way), and wasn't just some three-month promo of the telecommunications companies.

We all thought that
despite the "undernourishing effects" of 12% E-VAT on our favorite instant pancit canton, pandesal, and Jollibee products, we somehow had a reason to be thankful to our economist-president and to her administration.

Unfortunately for us, a text message still costs P1.00, unless we'd register with our respective network providers to avail of the promo--a very important information that Mrs Arroyo
deliberately omitted from her report.

As with her many previous boo-boos, she again just made an ass of herself and her administration with that bogus declaration, which (I think) could have stemmed from the fact that she had a very short list of more realistic, more honest accomplishments to brag about, which was why she pathetically included the supposed price cut on text messages that never happened. 

Mrs Arroyo has once again proven to us that "lying is a way of (her) life" and she indeed is one shameless liar, who couldn't quit issuing false promises and declarations just to make her administration appear pro-poor and graft-free and results-oriented.
Well, Mrs Arroyo, I hope you'd get to read this while you're eating polvoron: I won't mind if your next SONA would just be a five-minuter as long as every thing in it is true. I don't want another 57 minutes (the length of your recent SONA) of embellished "facts," more than half of which the people don't and can't see or feel in their everyday lives.

You might as well just shove that thick report up your tiny ass.

28 July 2008


A friend from Midsayap, North Cotabato in Mindanao sent me a message through Friendster today, jokingly saying that it's like early New Year's celebration in his town these days because of staccato bursts and sporadic yet earth-shaking explosions.
Nobody uses firecrackers in North Cotabato. (I think.)
What actually happened was, hundreds of Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels launched sneak attacks on local electrical installations in the area as well as on detachments of the Philippine Army and of the local militia. Many have died already from said attacks, which, according to recent reports, still seem to be happening up to this day. 

This is sad news because Midsayap, together with the towns of Aleosan, Pigcawayan, Libungan, and Alamada--after many years of winnerless bloodshed against the rebels--have started to develop through concerted hard work of the local officials, the national government, and the various international development organizations.
I was able to visit these five municipalities in November of 2007 while doing documentation and advocacy work for a foreign-funded capacity-building project being implemented by a government agency under MalacaƱang.
Hiligaynon is widely spoken in these areas--particularly in Midsayap and Aleosan--and the disparity in accent and vocabulary from "Iloilo-style" Hiligaynon is very, very minimal. The people are very nice, friendly, and generous (and seem to exude an aura of peaceful fortitude--maybe as a result of their "regular" exposure to atrocities committed by the rebels, in my opinion).

I also remember the first (and hopefully not the last) time I experienced Midsayap's local delicacy called pastil, a ready-to-eat, banana leaf-wrapped treat of tasty, adobo-ish chicken flakes topped on rice that's popular among Christians in the area.
The interesting thing about it is--as I was told--this modern-day delicacy used to be a food ration during battles in the 1970s between Christian settlers and North Cotabato natives, who wanted to reclaim their ancestral homelands. 

Pastil was said to have an important role during those prolonged armed encounters.

To support their fighters on the field, Christian women and children in the community would work together and cook
pastil to be delivered in the trenches. The Christian militiamen thus didn't go hungry, while their Moro counterparts--who came down all the way from the mountains, where they left their families--fought with empty stomachs.
According to stories, Christian militiamen would almost always find copra (dried coconut meat) inside the pockets of dead Moro fighters. All they had was copra for sustenance, while the Christians munched on hot, freshly-cooked pastil.

I know that the reasons for this decades-old conflict are deep, but I just wish that the day will come when all the fighting would stop, and both Christians and Moros in North Cotabato would, among other things, just share and serve delicious

27 July 2008


I know a lot of "more normal" people (myself included sometimes) who are genuinely interested in martial arts/combat sports, but are shying away from actual training because of too many excuses--like they're fat or too thin or not very flexible or old or clumsy or with low pain tolerance or not athletic or sickly or just plain lazy.

Well, I've stumbled on a very inspiring blog that could probably change everybody else's perspective, as it did mine.

This blog features differently-abled individuals who have been actively involved in martial arts/combat sports despite their imperfections caused by accidents or illnesses or congenital malformations.

One very good example is Canadian kickboxer Baxter Humby--known as "The One Armed Bandit"--because he has no right hand. It was amputated at birth, just below his elbow, after becoming entangled with the umbilical cord.

Also dubbed as the only man in the world to win world titles with only one hand, Humby is the current International Muay Thai Council world super welterweight champion, and has a fight record of 53-10-1.

He holds a number of other titles, including IMTC World middleweight champion, International Karate and Kickboxing Council United States champion, and International Kickboxing Association champion.

On a sidenote, he also took part in the filming of Spider-Man 3, where he served as Tobey Maguire's double in doing a fight scene between Spider-Man and Sandman. Humby was the one who punched and made a hole through Sandman's chest.

Self-actualized albeit differently-abled individuals like Humby symbolize the virtue of an indomitable spirit. If he and the others like him could succeed in the field of martial arts/combat sports despite their obvious disadvantages and limitations, it's not unlikely that they'd succeed in other areas and aspects of life as well.

This very admirable mindset should what some of us "more normal" people learn to have and learn to apply in both our monumental and even petty endeavors.

Now visit this blog and start telling yourself "No more excuses!"

23 July 2008


What started to be a noble legacy may now end up as an auction piece.

University of Iloilo--founded by brothers Don Eugenio and Don Fernando Lopez in 1947 with the altruistic intentions of making college education affordable for poor and middle-class Ilonggo families--is now ready to be handed over to its new owner this year.

"UI isn't just for sale; it's actually sold
already," said one school employee who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The "winning bidder" is reportedly a group of companies based in
Metro Manila.

"It's not
Lucio Tan," the UI employee clarified, discounting earlier rumors of an impending takeover by the Tan Group of Companies under the Chinese-Filipino tycoon, who also owns the University of the East.

"We heard though that he was indeed interested at first, but later changed his mind," she said. "It might be that the Lopezes were asking too much for UI."

The true reasons behind the buyout still remain a mystery, however.

According to insider sources, while UI
hardly rakes in profits from school fees (it being one of the lesser expensive private schools in Iloilo City), it is very far from bankruptcy, even up to this writing.

With the change of management, a major revamp is naturally expected to affect the incumbent top officials of UI, from the university president down to the college deans and department heads.

Still, the students are the ones who will receive the much bigger impact of the takeover, whether positive or otherwise.

"We still hope it will benefit the students," said the school employee, who hinted that the new management would "import" lecturers from top Metro Manila universities to assist the local faculty by handling some subjects.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear whether or not the school will retain its 40-year-old name (Iloilo City Colleges became University of Iloilo on 17 December 1968), its official logo (which was reportedly designed by Don Eugenio and Don Fernando Lopez themselves), its course offerings, and its current admission requirements, among others.

Whatever the new-generation Lopezes' reasons are for letting an old family legacy go, both employees and students of UI hope they are well-mea
ning enough and not just because they needed moolah to splurge for trips abroad, parties, wheels, and bling-bling.

UPDATE: The University of Iloilo now has a new owner. Read more about it here.

21 July 2008


Let me share with you a very nice article written by Mr Perry Gil S Mallari published in The Manila Times on 12 June 2008.
It says that Philippine national hero Dr Jose Rizal had cross-trained in many different martial arts during his time, such as Arnis, Rapier Fencing, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, and even Practical Shooting (it's still a martial art after all, isn't it?). He was also into weightlifting, bodybuilding (no wonder he was a hit among babes), and duels.
I stumbled on the article in the Filipino Martial Arts Forum (where I usually just lurk) only recently and decided to feature it here as I couldn't have said it much better than its original author.
Mr Mallari is a reporter/columnist for The Manila Times (where his column, Martial Talk, appears every Wednesday), a writer for the Rapid Journal (the only martial arts magazine from the Philippines), and a fellow martial arts/combat sports practitioner (check him out at Malayang Anyo), among others.


By Perry Gil S Mallari

The Manila Times
12 June 2008

He was a doctor, a novelist, a poet, a sculptor, a painter and a lothario. He was also a swordsman, deadly with both rapier and arnis sticks; a highly regarded pistol marksman; a body builder with experience in wrestling and judo; a freedom fighter and a wanted man. Our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, hailed, as “The Pride of the Malay Race” was a Renaissance man. Yes, Rizal honed his brawn and his blade as much as he did his wit and his word.

Rizal did not become a superb physical specimen overnight. He was frail and sickly as a child. This probably prompted him to study the art of buno (wrestling) from his uncle Manuel to strengthen his body. This skill he once used to defeat a bully in class. Rizal’s love for the combative arts stayed with him until he became an adult.

At 18-year-old, in a letter to Enrique Lete, dated November 27, 1879, he says, “My hands are shaking because I have just had a fencing bout; you know I want to be a swordsman.”

As a student in Madrid, he practiced fencing and pistol shooting with the Paterno brothers namely Pedro, Maximino and Antonio. Rizal was a pretty good shot as indicated by his correspondence to Antonio Luna that narrates, “Speaking of shooting, I am sending you a target containing 10 bullet holes; it was seven and a half meters from me. At twenty-five meters I can put all my shots into a twenty-centimeter target.”

Rizal had also dedicated himself to weightlifting and bodybuilding. While he was in Germany, Dr. Maximo Viola recalled Rizal lifting great weights under an unaccustomed diet in an effort to defeat the best weightlifter of one gymnasium. Unorthodox his approach maybe, Rizal succeeded in the said goal.

In his brief sojourn in Japan in 1888, he witnessed and learned the art of judo—newly created at that time by martial arts master and educator Dr. Jigoro Kano. Rizal later taught judo to the members of the Kidlat [Lightning] Club, which he founded in Paris. In London, Rizal trained in boxing with the sons of his friend Dr. Reinhold Rost.

Rizal’s patriotism was evident even in his study of martial arts. While being adept in Western swordsmanship and pistol shooting, he made sure that he was also an expert in arnis, the indigenous fighting art of his Motherland. Arnis, which uses weaponry training as a primary mode of instruction was among the subjects Rizal taught to the boys of Dapitan during his last days.

Rizal nearly fought three real duels in his lifetime. The first was when he challenged Antonio Luna for uttering unsavory remarks against his love interest Nellie Boustead. The second was when he challenged his bitter enemy of the pen, the Spanish scholar Wenceslao E. Retana for writing a malicious article stating that his family was ejected from their lands in Calamba for not paying the rent. The third was when he challenged the Frenchman Juan Lardet for accusing him of cheating in a business deal in Dapitan.

His duel with Luna was aborted when the latter apologized and through the intervention of his compatriots in Madrid. Retana, however, simply backed off after learning of Rizal’s fighting prowess. The Spaniard later became an avid biographer of the national hero. Like Retana, Lardet retracted his allegation and declined the challenge after being advised by Captain Ricardo Carcinero, the Spanish commandant of Dapitan, who knew well of Rizal’s fighting abilities.

It was perhaps Rizal’s deep knowledge of the martial arts that prompted him to exercise extreme prudence in plotting the steps of the Philippine Revolution. This was evident in his dialogue with Dr. Pio Valenzuela, an envoy of Andres Bonifacio’s Katipunan that says, “I will never lead a disorderly revolution and one which has no probability of success because I do not want to burden my conscience with an imprudent and useless spilling of blood; but whoever leads a revolution in the Philippines will have me at his side.”

Jose Rizal was indeed the personification of the term “brain and brawn,” a fighting, thinking man. 

Photo Sources: Historical Text Archive Website
Info Sources:
Perry Gil S Mallari's Article in The Manila Times Website, The Filipino Martial Arts Forum

20 July 2008


The Filipino Martial Arts Festival--now on its fourth run this 2008--kicks off today in the beautiful tropical island of Boracay in Aklan province.

Organized by the
International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines, the five-day event includes a training camp on Modern Arnis and other FMA styles, a seminar on the many different weapons used in FMA, a workshop on Sports Arnis officiating, a Sports Arnis tournament, and a quick tour in the island of Panay including Iloilo City.
The 4th FMA Festival will showcase top instructors from IMAFP and other FMA styles that are particularly indigenous to the island of Panay, such as Abaniko Palis, Abaniko Tres Puntas, Tersia, Espada y Daga, and Dumog.

For the complete schedule of activities and contact details, please click

Photo Source: Guardian Martial Arts Website
Info Source:
International Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines Website

18 July 2008


I didn't expect that our exam in Anatomy and Physiology (Biological Science 2) would be that hard.

I know I'll pass, but I also have a strong ugly feeling that I won't be happy with my score.

As for my two other subjects, I think I did okay.

Results will be out either mid or late next week, unless the teachers will sleep on them again--like they always do to our lab manuals and some of our long quizzes.

I miss an ice-cold beer
and a full night's sleep.

17 July 2008


I'm a big fan of Manny Pacquiao, and I'm glad and thankful that he remembered Iloilo City during its downest moments by donating P1.5 million from his humongous fight purse (Was it $5 million or $3 million?) to help the Ilonggo flood victims, but I won't be amused or remain nonchalant if ever he'd mess up my own (future) church wedding by turning up there unexpectedly and uninvited--like what he did this morning today at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral.
According to radio reports, the nuptial mass stopped for like half an hour when people (including the couple's relatives and guests) left the pews and--as if forgetting they were in the middle of the holy mass--screamed and cheered for Pacquiao, who, together with his wife, dropped by the church to supposedly hear mass before distributing relief goods to the flood victims.

Despite the
disruption of their wedding, the couple was reportedly amused--even flattered--that Pacquiao made their already-memorable day even more unforgettable. (To make it much, much more unforgettable, they might as well name their first-born "Manny" or "Emmanuel" if it's a boy or--God forbid--"Emmanuela" if it's a girl, and invite Pacquiao later to become the kid's godfather or ninong. Manny as ninong could mean lots of money for the kid during birthdays and Christmas.)

Me, I won't be amused or flattered or starstruck. I won't even allow it to happen in the first place--especially now that I realized it's not
really impossible to happen (that is, that some big shot would barge into my wedding, steal all my guests' attention, compel the priest to suspend the mass for half an hour, and just ruin all our preparations--unintentionally or otherwise.

Weddings are usually planned several months--even years--ahead (unless it's shotgun), and some couples (especially those from well-to-do families) fork out thousands of pesos for professional wedding planners just to ensure that the whole thing will be perfect and also to spare themselves from all the stress brought by the preparations.

I don't think I could afford a professional wedding planner now (unless he/she is a friend who's willing to do it for free), but a celebrity gate-crasher is definitely the last thing I'd want.

14 July 2008


Today is the start of our prelim exams week.
Out of my five subjects this semester, only three of them will be having prelim exams. They are:
1. Anatomy and Physiology (Biological Science 2);
2. Health Care 1 with Related Learning Experience (Health 1N); and
3. Health Economics with Taxation and Land Reform (Economics 2).
The other two subjects are Strategies in Health Education (Health 3) and Art Appreciation with Environmental Beautification and Sanitation (Humanities 1).

My classmates in these two subjects almost jumped for joy after our teachers announced that they won't be giving exams
for now because they wanted us focus on our "more challenging subjects."

What I think is--knowing some of the teachers in school--they were probably just too lazy to prepare the test items.

Thanks anyway. At least I'd have extra time to surf and blog and chat a little during the week.

03 July 2008


I've been seeing streamers all over the city that say July is the Blood Donors' Month.

A small red cross usually appears on the left side of each of the streamers so I'd assume
the Philippine National Red Cross is spearheading the event. (I really haven't been able to take a closer look as I'm always on a speeding jeepney every time I see these streamers.)

he streamers say likewise that this year's theme is "Once is not enough! Donate blood regularly!" which sounds either too happy or as if trying to force someone.
I also think it's funny because the theme neither applies to me nor addresses non-donors like me.
I have never donated blood, not even once--although I seriously want to try it some time.

Photo Source: Gems Sty's Blog

01 July 2008


I hope the comparative list I've presented in the subsequent entries would prove useful especially to those who wish to return to school as "second coursers" in nursing (like myself) or to others who'll soon graduate in high school and, as early as now, are in the process of deciding as to which school they should enroll, in Iloilo City.

Back in mid-2007, when I was already planning to move back to my hometown
(I was still working in Metro Manila then) to become a full-time nursing student, I started googling for possible detailed lists of local nursing schools in Iloilo City.

What I just found, however, were a few articles mentioning these schools, their respective histories, and their passing percentage in the Philippine Nurse Licensure Exams.

Neither blogs and even the schools' websites themselves were of help. There wasn't any "second-courser-friendly" information at all for some of the commonest questions like: (1) whether or not this or that nursing school has a program for second coursers; (2) whether or not they have night classes for those who wish to hold down their day jobs; and (3) how much should one expect to fork out for school fees per semester.

In fact, because the schools' websites didn't really provide anything that I needed that time--plus the fact that most of them didn't bother to reply to my emails--I had to ask some friends who were already based in Iloilo City to phone these nursing schools for me (long-distance calls aren't cheap) and to ask particularly about their programs for second coursers, admission requirements, and the like.

Anyway, when I checked again recently, there's
still no such list available online. That's why I'm building one myself to spare you guys from all the hassles that I went through.

I've included
such information as the schools' complete addresses, contact numbers, email addresses, website URLs, own base hospitals, availability of second courser program, availability of night classes for second coursers, availability of master's degree program, school fees per semester, overall PNLE performance, and a few trivias.
So here it is, the comparative (and hopefully much better) list of the more established nursing schools in Iloilo City, for both would-be college students and "second coursers":

1. Central Philippine University
2. Iloilo Doctors' College
3. Saint Pauls' University of Iloilo
4. University of Iloilo
5. University of San Agustin
6. West Visayas State University

Photo Source: Central Philippine University Website


Type: Private

Lopez-Jaena Street, Jaro, Iloilo City, Western Visayas, Philippines 5000

Phone Number/s:
+63 (33) 329-1971 to 79

registrar@cpu.edu.ph, info@cpu.edu.ph


Own Hospital:
Iloilo Mission Hospital

Second Courser Program:
Yes, but with age limit (not more than 25 years old)

Night Class for Second Coursers:

Master's Degree Program:
(thesis and non-thesis)

School Fees per Semester: First Year - P18,000 to P20,000; Second Year - P28,000 to P30,000; Third Year - P35,000 to P37,000; Fourth Year - P33,000 - P35,000.

PNLE Performance:
CPU's College of Nursing is known for its rigid training standards and its impressive overall performance in the PNLE. 

Trivia: While CPU has the most beautifully-landscaped campus among schools in Iloilo City, it's also the most flood-prone. A sister school of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, it was founded in 1905 by missionaries of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society.

  • Part 3 - Iloilo Doctors' College
  • Part 4 - Saint Paul's University of Iloilo
  • Part 5 - University of Iloilo
  • Part 6 - University of San Agustin
  • Part 7 - West Visayas State University


Type: Private

West Avenue, Molo, Iloilo City, Western Visayas, Philippines 5000

Phone Number/s:
+63 (33) 337-2921 / 337-0034



Own Hospital:
Iloilo Doctors' Hospital

Second Courser Program: Yes, but with age limit (not more than 30 years old). Unlike the second-courser programs of University of San Agustin, Saint Paul's University of Iloilo, University of Iloilo, and Central Philippine University, IDC's program breaks up second-courser nursing students into two groups: (1) graduates of medical courses (e.g., physical therapy, medical technology, dentistry, medicine) and (2) graduates of non-medical courses (e.g., education, engineering, mass communications, political science). Besides this "segregation scheme," second-coursers from both groups also don't mix with "regular" students (that is, those who haven't obtained a previous degree); they have separate sections.
Night Class for Second Coursers: None

Master's Degree Program:

School Fees per Semester:
First Year - P20,000 to P22,000; Second Year - P26,000 to P28,000; Third Year - P36,000 to P38,000; Fourth Year - P40,000 to P42,000.  

PNLE Performance: Average. In recent years, the overall performance of IDC's College of Nursing in the PNLE has been slightly lackluster.

  • Part 4 - Saint Paul's University of Iloilo
  • Part 5 - University of Iloilo
  • Part 6 - University of San Agustin
  • Part 7 - West Visayas State University