Thursday, August 28, 2003


Happy 102nd Founders Day to the school that changed my life - Silliman University. As a loyal Sillimanian, I won't miss this day without greeting all my fellow Sillimanians worldwide a Happy Founders Day.

Promise, I will be writing about Silliman and how the school changed my life.

Loyal we'll we be to Silliman.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


It is alright, you have not access a wrong window. This is my blog, yes the blog of Eric Samuel P. Joven.

Why change? Becasue I feel that the former web design that I had for my blog is not really me. Those "cutie-cutie" dogs paws in the background is not and the whole concept of the web design is not refecltive of my personality.

I am comfortable with this new lay out. I hope you are to. Please don't forget to drop a line or two, if you agree. if you don't - - bahala ka sa buhay mo! hehehehehe

Tuesday, August 26, 2003


And there lies started to crumble.

Remember July 27, 2003? That day when these Magdalo soldiers held our country in hostage? On that day they accused Sec. Angelo Reyes of ordering the bombings in Davao.

Well, in the questioning during the Senate Inquiry, Lt. SG Antonio Trillianes (yes, him, that arrogant bastard!) said this, "For the record, based on our evidence, we have no direct link. The Davao bombings have no direct link to Secretary Reyes."

Imagine, you have the tenacity to place bombs around the country's central business district with the sole reason that you are showing your disgust to the corruption in the military. Then, then to prove your point you accused no less than the Defense Secretary of ordering the bombings in Davao, and yet, you don't have enough evidence! how foolish can you be?

How foolish Trillianes can be? And this is the guy whom a lot of girls (and gays) have been hero-worshiping?! My gad! I never liked that guy the first time I saw his face on TV that early morning of July 27, now I can prove to myself that indeed I wasn't wrong in not liking him. ( I also don't like Sec. Angelo Reyes, but that is another story)

Here's the story from today's edition of thePhilippine Daily Inquirer:

Trillanes: No direct link of
defense chief to bombings
Posted: 2:22 AM (Manila Time) | Aug. 26, 2003
Inquirer News Service

THE SPOKESPERSON of the Magdalo group of mutinous soldiers has admitted having no direct knowledge of Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes' involvement in bombings in Davao City earlier this year.

Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV said during questioning at a Senate hearing on the mutiny that he was not personally aware of Reyes' involvement in the bombings in March and April that killed more than 40 people in Davao City.

"For the record, based on our evidence, we have no direct link. The Davao bombings have no direct link to Secretary Reyes," Trillanes said during questioning by Senator Loren Legarda-Leviste.

He said he and his fellow mutineers came up with the conclusion that ranking armed forces and defense officials were behind the Davao bomb attacks based only on the testimony given by Army Captain Milo Maestrecampo that a superior officer had ordered Maestrecampo to hurl a grenade at a mosque in Davao City.

Transcripts of the Senate hearing showed Trillanes also said his group linked top defense and military officials to the bombings because of documents on "Oplan Green Base" which they believed had the signature of Eduardo Ermita, presidential adviser on the peace process.

The documents also bolstered the mutineers' suspicion that ranking government and military officials were behind the Davao bombings, Trillanes told the Senate.

"We used that as some sort of propaganda material," Trillanes' testimony went.

Ermita has denied signing such a documents. Defense and military officials say the documents were bogus.

Trillanes insisted that the explosives used for the bombings came from government arsenal. "Whether the airport bombing was the [work] of the MILF [the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front], the point was that the ammunition and the explosives used there came from the government arsenal," his testimony at the Senate went.

Thursday, August 21, 2003


It really irritates me, no, it makes me angry, no, it annoys me, when someone thinks that they did the country a great favor when they expose alleged corruption in the government, when they themselves does not come in clean hands. This reminds me of the Bible adage, "he who never sins be the first one to cast the stone."

It annoys me further when these people made their exposé in the floors of the Senate or of the House of Representative where they are basking from their parliamentary immunity. Because this won't set the level of playing field on even grounds. There basically are no legal remedies available for the victims of these exposés since they can not sue the one who uttered it is because he is cloaked with that immunity.

( Parliamentary immunity means that a Senator or a Representative can not be sued for anything he says during the sessions of the Senate or of the House, on committee hearings or any other venue where he speaks/acts in his official capacity.)

The problem actually is, no matter how true your exposé might be, it automatically becomes unbelievable since people would question your motives.

That is the trouble with Ernesto Maceda, Mr. Expose himself but who was once called "so young but so corrupt" by a Manila official. The same trouble with Congressman Mark Jimenez and now with Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson.

Granting that what Ping Lacson said about First Gentleman Mike Arroyo about is true, should I start to clap my hand and stand up an applaud him? Should I praise him for his desire to expose this corruption? On the first place, is it really his desire to expose these acts so that once and for all we could get rid of all corrupt officials in the government? Or this is just a vendetta on his part? A Political Propaganda? Judging from the premises of his privilege speech last Monday, this is purely a political vendetta and an early campaign for 2004. (have you seen the Lacson's ads that come out on TV a day after he delivered that speech? It speaks the same problem and portraying Lacson as the one who can solve it)

You see, the battle against corruption is already lost on first base because you failed to convince the people of its truth because you as the source and your motives in doing it is questionable. Good for people like us who can appreciate evidence, but what about the people who does not? What about the people who already had had this bias against you? How would you convince them when you yourself are tainted?

Secondly, I can not bring my self to praise Lacson for what he did. I can not appreciate a person who does a seemingly good deed but hidden is the sinister intention. Lacson already declared his intention to run for President. Obviously, by destroying the President's husband, she have also destroyed the President Arroyo, Lacson's contender in the 2004 race (we are not sure that GMA will run or not in 2004). I also agree with Amado Doronila's analysis that because of what Lacson did, debate on economic and social issues in the 2004 election will be push aside and mudslinging will once again take center stage. That is always the problem with exposés like that.

Third, I can not applaud Lacson's speech. A serious study of his speech reveals that while he alleged the First Gentleman and the so called "Toh Triad" in having millions pesos in their bank statements, it never showed that those money came from government coffers. How sure is he that the Tohs doesn't have any other business. What Lacson did last Monday was to insinuate but never prove that indeed that money in Tohs' account came from illegal deals. So what if Arroyo kept the bigger portion of her solicited campaign funds in 1998 if she knew that the real fight was not in 1998 when she run for Vice President but in 2004 when she was, then, planning to for President? Remember that she was already a sure winner in the Vice Presidential race (and she indeed won with a very wide margin). Wouldn't it be wise for you to keep your money for the real fight? There is no law in our country that prohibits that.

Fourth, what was Lacson's purpose in dragging the name of Mon Tulfo, Alex Magno and Jarius Bondoc and his wife Marissa? ( I never like Mon Tulfo, but that is another story). They were arch critics of Lacson. And so what if they were seen in LTA Building in Makati? Does that mean they did something fishy. Again this is Lacson's insinuation. Too bad, these people he mentioned can't go after him because he is cloaked with immunity.

Fifth, I agree with Rina Jimenez David that Lacson's speech was just a copycat to Joker Arroyo's opening statement in the impeachment trial. And by using the Incredible Hulk as a comparison to the tall, big First Gentleman, Lacson's intention was to gain media mileage, more than anything else.

Lacson may feel that what he did is heroic. By exposing the alleged corruption at the highest level, he might do a Chavit Singson act. But before we can proclaim him as hero, there are still big shadows that follow him. These are the Kuratong Baleleng Case and the issue on Narcopolitics. Just this, made me doubt Lacson's sincere objective.

Talking of heroes, there is another one person who feel that he did the country a great favor with what he and his classmates did last July 27. His name is Lt. SG Antonio Trillianes IV.

Trillianes for me is one arrogant fool. He feels that we should thank him for what they did? He feels that we should thank him for exposing the corruption in the military as if we don't know that? Well thanks to him. Thanks to him our economy sink further. Thanks to him we one again lost investor's confidence. Thanks to him for holding the whole nation in hostage. Thanks to him for further aggravating the devaluation of our peso.

So they have complaints against the government. So they want to air their grievances. We all want that. But plant bombs and threatens to explode it? That is something else. There are a lot of ways you can air your grievance? You can go hunger strike, you can go to the media, but come in with fully armed with all the high tech weapons and a threat to violence? That is totally distasteful.

Now, Trillianes would want us to believe that what they did was spontaneous. Spontaneous my Ass! Three hundred men coming from Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas coming in together and you are going to tell us that it was not planned? Coming with armband that you just can't buy in any stores because the design was obviously a combination of the KKK's symbols?

Again, these people did not come clean. They want us to believe that they were not supported by any private citizen. But we won't be fooled. They claimed to be lowly paid, yet one of them was able to check in at Oakwood four days before July 27. Oakwood is not just any hotel, a stay in Oakwood cost seven thousand pesos per night. Moreover, their arm bands alone already cost 54 thousand pesos, how much more their high tech gadget? Where did they get the money? Who financed them? These they failed to answer.

Trillianes is an example of an intelligent persons who think that they are so intelligent that they alone could save the country from destruction. They are kind of people who think that they can get away with their stupidity.

Lacson and Trillianes are two examples of persons who thought they are heroes. Trouble is, it is only them (and those they fooled) who think that they a re indeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


Got this from Ian's page, and being a concern citizen that I am, I'm posting it also in my blog to spread the information. Here it is:

You have until November 14, 2003 to register with the COMELEC if you are a first time registrant or revalidate if you are already a registered voter.

Let it not be said that, when the opportunity came for you to save your country by being actively involved, YOU NEVER LIFTED A FINGER.

Please PASS ON to every netizen in your address book.


From your friends at the WHITE FORUM and Youth Alliance Philippines

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Even if you have registered before you need to validate your registration!

Here are the dates for Comelec Registration - August 4 - November 14, 2003.

Go to your local Comelec office in your City Hall or Municipal Hall and submit the following:

A. A 1x1 or 2x2 ID Picture

B. Age 22 and above (at least 2 of the following)
1. Driver's License
2. NBI Clearance
3. School ID
4. Company ID
5. Passport
6. Proof of Billing (Meralco, MWSS, PLDT etc.)
7. Police Clearance
8. Postal ID

C. Age 18-21
1. Birth Certificate
2. Any ID listed in B.

All ID's should indicate Present Address.



I already installed BlogSpeak in my Blog. This would mean that if you like to comment on the things that I wrote or you just feel like writing to me without the need of opening your email, you can now do it. Just click on the word "comment" at the end of every comment. Go ahead, try it. A warning though, other people can read your comment since this is open to the public.

Now, if you really would want to send me a private mail and you don't know my address, at the lower left portion of this page, you can see the word "contact", click on the phrase "Tell Me" that would direct you to my email address.

Over the weekend, I had a very nice conversation with two smart women. And honestly, I was attracted to one of them.

I know KK (and some of you) is raising here eyebrows now, but what the heck, I was honestly smitten (dami kung "honestly", mukhang defensive).

Rochie arrived last Saturday from Doha. She had two nights layover in Manila before she will fly back to Qatar. Early Sunday morning she called me informing me that we will be joining the 8:45 service of the Union Church of Manila and will be bringing with her two of her fellow flight attendants from Qatar Airways.

I met Marilou of Argentina and Malina of India. Marilou looks like a typical Latina. Curly hair, some freckles on her face and an aquiline nose that betrays her Spanish ancestry. Marilou speaks English with a Latin accent. Malina, on the other hand, is a statuesque dark beauty with deep-seated eyes and a soulful look on her face. She is grace and beauty personified. A goddess. (Now, you know who I was attracted to) Malina speaks English the way an educated Indian does.

We are very comfortable with each other that over some Egg McMuffin and Egg Omelet at Mc Donalds right after the service and only minutes after we are introduced to each other, our discussions were already as profound as the poverty of our respective countries and as personal as the choices that we made in life.

Prior to that, while we were walking towards Mc Donalds, I asked them if they watched "View from the Top", a film about flight attendants starring Gwyneth Paltrow. They all answered "yes". When I asked them what was their reaction to the film, Marilou declared, "we are not that stupid." She said the film was a stereotypical presentation of a Flight Attendant.

I realized that life of a flight attendant is never that easy. Sure you've got to travel to the beautiful cities in the world for free plus a reasonable allowance (200 US Dollars for every long flight) and free first class hotel accommodation. But you also have to sacrifice something. First, you've got to be separated from your family. Marilou confided that she lost her father two months ago and she felt bad that she wasn't there when her father was struggling for life. Secondly, while the work demands that you appear sweet, caring and charming, the same job demands presence of mind and alertness and the ability to handle difficult customers with finesse. Now, you may want to dismiss this by saying, "well it's not something unusual, in our job we ordinarily handle demanding clients", but try handling a difficult client while your body is tired because for most of the duration of the flight (that is ten hours for Doha-Manila) you have been standing and handling over food trays, coffee and other beverages while trying to maintain your balance as the plane moves. Most importantly, a flight attendant is there not just as your "dignified waitress" but they are also there to keep you secure (in every sense of the word) in your flights. The pilots are there only to make certain that the plane takes of, fly and land safely. The rest are in the hands of the cabin crews whose responsibilities include, among others, handling a panic-stricken passenger, a racist passenger (Rochie told me one time that once a British passenger declared right on her face that "you Filipinos are nothing but worth five dollars") and on the extreme, possible terrorist attacks.

Malina said that she loves flying, but she does not look at it as a lifetime career. She used to fly with KLM Air before KLM's base in Bombay, India closed. She said after working for more than two years in the airline, your body will start to show some signs of fatigue and you would grow tired.

It is really a pleasant thing having nice intelligent conversation with women. You know, ladies, we men (no matter what our sexuality are) can sometimes be tired with all your whines about men and your chatters about who is cute or not. I am always genuinely interested with women who can talk to me about other things, other than men or other people's lives. While the stereotypes of women flights attendants are vain persons who are only concerned with how they look, these two ladies broke that stereotype. Marilou and Malina went to the church with no make up at all and wearing casual clothes. Both admitted that they only wear make up when they are boarded on the plain (which made me wonder, how beautiful could Malina be when is totally made up). And most importantly, they are not detached from the reality. Both are concerned with the poverty of their respective countries and have a wide grasp of knowledge on the culprit of that problem. Both are thankful that they were educated and even if they don't approve of any practice (Rochie was telling us how people in Munich would just lie in the park naked, and some were even groping), they have an open mind and respect other people's lifestyle.

I am thankful that I met these women. Meeting beautiful and smart women and having good conversation with them is indeed a treat.

Now, now, now, I know my lady friends would surely react upon reading this piece. Don't worry ladies, to quote the last line of the new KFC commercial, "don't worry, you're smart naman eh." Hehehehehehe.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Over the weekend, I met a very very good friend whom I missed terribly. Thanks to the gathering of Gen-X Sillimanians, after nearly five years I met Dinah Baseleres nee Ladia. It was indeed a great fun talking to Dinah and having those animated conversation about the good ole days. And yes, an added bonus, Ritchie Teves was also there.

What can I say about Dinah? Just read her livejournal to know more about here. All I can say, it is nice to have friends who are excellent, no, superb writers.

By the way, congratulations to Ian Casocot for winning his second Palanca. Check Ian's blog, he has a link to his winning entry.

Ian dear, we are so proud of you? Ano ba? Is collecting Palanca becoming your hobby already?

Friday, August 01, 2003


Finally, someone brought us back to our senses. DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said it best from this news article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Lt. SG Antonio TRillianes and the rest of the Magdalo group were never heroes and they never will because of what they did last Sunday. I am on the process of writing an article entitled "The Hero He Never Was", for the meantime, here's the news article:
Social welfare chief: Rebels
anarchists, not idealists

Posted: 0:56 AM (Manila Time) | Aug. 01, 2003
By Volt Contreras
Inquirer News Service

SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman is bitter at the mutinous Magdalo group.

"Even the vendors of isaw (barbecued innards) whom we provided with seed capital can now lose their market," she said Thursday, and warned the public from regarding the mutineers as "idealists" or "heroes."

Soliman, who is directly tasked with helping the poorest of the poor, said she felt "not just frustration but [also] anger" over the economic consequences of Sunday's failed uprising.

"I'm passionate about this because whatever hope we [in the Department of Social Welfare and Department] have generated by helping a significant number of people in a concrete manner is now backsliding," she said in a phone interview wherein she made a rare display of resentment.

She said that the mutiny leaders had a "political agenda" and that she was worried they would be "hero-worshipped."

"I'm not saying there is no graft and corruption in the government for indeed there is [graft] even in the private sector. I'm concerned about the model it presents to the young people-a romantic notion of how problems can be solved at the barrel of the gun and by threatening lives," she said, adding:

"Excuse me, but you just pushed us back two to three steps behind."

Soliman also said the mutiny leaders were "not honest enough" to tell their recruits about their motives and financiers.

She said the mutiny had political backing, supposedly primarily indicated by the rebels' very demands, foremost of which was the resignation of President Macapagal-Arroyo.

"When you ask for the President's resignation, you cannot not know who's going to be the replacement," she said. "Otherwise you're just an anarchist."

She said the mutineers' allegations, like the sale of ammunition to Moro separatists, "only serve the interest of political players if they are unsubstantiated."

She wondered aloud how the mutineers managed to get satellite phones, velcro pads on their armbands, and flags made of relatively expensive material when they were griping about the military's insufficient funds.

"I think part of their agenda was to erode the economy and government authority even if they don't succeed in grabbing power," she said.

Soliman said she was particularly concerned about the people the DSWD had tried to help become self-employed under its "micro-financing" program.

She said the DSWD had released some 143 million pesos as seed capital for close to 30,000 families nationwide so they could put up small businesses like sari-sari stores.

"What [the mutineers] did was hurt the poor ... and in fact lends more to corruption because more people will now be pushed deeper into poverty," she said.