Monday, May 28, 2007

technology and the many splendored things

You know the song Unchained Melody?

It has this line: “And time goes by so slowly, and time can do so much…”


A few blogs ago, I was only celebrating the arrival of summer. Now it is almost over.

I haven’t even been to the beach.

Haven't worn that blue bikini except when I tried it on at the boutique.

Haven't lazed on a hammock while sipping my all time favorite coconut-mango shake.

And it has started to rain.

And I haven't been getting enough sleep again because of the thunder and lightning at night.


In the many nights that I cannot sleep, I just sit up on my bed and listen to the pouring rain. As I wait for the rain and the thunder and lightning to go away, I realize that most of my troubles begin with a yes.

Yes, I will do that for you.

Yes, I like you, here's my heart and soul-- grind it into hamburger--enjoy!

Yes, I think I can handle a course in Open U.

And then I get something like this:

The approval of my appointment as senior lecturer at the Open U.

Wait, for those of you who are wondering what this Open U yadi yadi business is about, please read below:

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) was established on 23 February 1995 as the fifth constituent university of the University of the Philippines System.

Its mandate is to provide education opportunities to individuals aspiring for higher education and improved qualifications but who are unable to take advantage of traditional modes of education.

Specifically, the UPOU provides quality higher and continuing education to Filipinos through distance education. Its mission is to give its students formal qualification, as well as to develop in them the discipline and capability to become lifelong learners who are at home in today's knowledge society.

The goals of the UPOU are to:

Offer through open and distance learning degree and non-degree programs that are responsive to the needs of learners and of the society of which they are a part;

Develop a system of continuing education to sustain professional growth and promote lifelong learning;

Develop and adapt delivery systems appropriate to distance learners;

Provide leadership in the development of open learning and distance education expertise in the country and in the appropriate use of information and communication technologies of education; and

Make instructional packages accessible to various publics through collaborative arrangements, institutional agreements, and other appropriate mechanisms.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has declared the UPOU theNational Center of Excellence in Open Learning and Distance Education in recognition of its achievements in this field and its vital role in pushing the frontiers of learning in service to the Filipino nation.

(For more info, please log on to

The fact that my appointment was signed by the Chancellor and that UPOU has been declared by CHED as a National Center for Excellence in Open Learning and Distance Education jolted me to take my teaching stint seriously.

Err...well, except the salary. That-- that is a joke.

Last Friday, I attended the workshop for Faculty. (Side story: At the workshop, one of the experts happened to be a family friend. I went up to him and introduced myself. And he said: "Ikaw pala yung G.H. Ambat. Bata ka lang dati ah. When did you finish journ? Two years ago?" Hehe. I still look 22 and I'm still the undisputed teenage dirtbag. )

This year, Open U is introducing the MOODLE learning system. They've used IVLE in the past. This learning system is way astig pare. Like, galing. I wish I could explain how it works, but my brain cells (numbering two and a half at the moment) have other problems to think of.

Actually, just one problem.

After my initial survey of available literature for Public Management 241-- Introduction to Public Policy and Program Administration, I forgot about the course entirely.

I wasted the summer weeks pity partying because bohoo-- I still can't find that new job that would give me 35K a month (but I know it will come soon! not in Iraq I hope!) and swimming in the filthy sea of Philippine elections and politics and show business.

The last two weeks, I spent studying the 2008 budget and dining and hanging out at the newly opened Trinoma. (More about this new haven soon).

The bosses at Open U said that my class site should be up and running by the end of May because my unsuspecting students will be logging on by June 2.

I, together with the winning candidates all said: " So help me God."

Welcome to learning in the 21st century. Classrooms have no walls, desks and blackboards. Readings come in kilobytes, not pages. And a post teeanage dirtbag with serious difficulty in time management is faculty in charge for management and development studies.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

the value of x if you have y & z & a & b & c & d with you

Let me do this:

P 46. 04—exchange rate of peso to $US 1 as of May 23
P 1.26 Trillion--- ceiling of expenditure for 2008
P 1.26 Trillion --- projected revenues for 2008
P 0 ---- target deficit by 2008
P 33 million --- amount spent weekly by Pichay for his TV ads
P 55 --- price of sausage mc muffin breakfast at McDonald’s
P 70 --- the amount I pay for my pedicure at the UP Shopping Center
500 --- number of songs a two 2GB ipod nano can contain
10 --- number of days it took before I got to watch Annabelle Rama’s interview on Showbiz Central

While I was slipping into nervous breakdown from analyzing the macroeconomic assumptions of the Development Budget Coordinating Council for 2008 (remember, I only have three brain cells), the rest of the 84 million Filipinos are buzzing with talks of the Ruffa-Ylmaz separation. The remaining one million pinoys are glued to either NBA, or the election tally, or are anticipating the announcement of Ogie Alcasid in June.

I bumped into Richard Gutierrez at my new playground on election day. I could’ve asked him how his sister was. But I tried putting myself into his shoes. And I thought, if I were in his shoes and a stranger suddenly asked if my sister and her husband have bid each other adieu, I would’ve called the guards and ordered them to drag the stranger away from me.

That would’ve been the ideal end of my two recent encounters with some people.

Encounter #1: at the buffet table during lunch at a conference
Stranger: Hi, you are G.H. right?
G.H. the charming politican: Yeah. (Smile) Have we met before?
Stranger: I know you because you used to be _______’s girlfriend di ba?
G.H. the losing candidate: (Pinaka plastic na smile) Umm.. if you excuse me, you just triggered my vomit reflex (throws up).

Encounter #2: at the mall
Acquaintance: G.H. hello! Haven’t seen you in while. Kasama mo ba si ________ ?
G.H. the cornered prey: Hi. Umm.. Hindi ko siya kasama.
Acquaintance: Kamusta na siya? When are you two getting married?
G.H. the half dead prey: Ummm.. I don’t know…. I’m no longer with him eh….
Acquaintance: Ah really? What happened? Kelan pa?
G.H. the prey fighting till her last breath: Matagal na…
Acquaintance: Naku, I’m sure you'll get back together. You two are just meant for each other, I know it.
G.H. the vindicated prey: (messes acquaintance’s pink havaianas with burgundy colored vomit )

Jeeeez. When people ask me how I manage my weight, I tell them--- I have bulimia. My bulimia is the kind that is triggered by persons who can’t get over their fascination for some mistake that I’ve made in the past and have made it their personal mission to keep reminding me about it. Puh-leeez! Even the best fall down sometimes, you know.

Anyway, back to Ruffa. I wasn’t really interested in her recent issue. That is until Maui re-enacted Annabelle Rama’s interview while we were having dinner last Saturday. After watching the interview on youtube, I realized, I have one thing in common with Ruffa: we both have super hero moms.

For those who missed it, here it is.

Ooops... I'm having trouble embedding youtube clips on my blogger. So here are some pictures na lang (yeah, yeah, I'm very barok):

It must be difficult. Being a celebrity. I mean, strangers would be prying into your personal life, poking and prodding you to admit on national TV that your husband beats you up.

And the most you can do is cry and look stunning while at it.

No vomiting allowed.

Parting shot:

I was laughing out loud when I found this conversation from the script of SATC. It was the exact same conversation I had with a friend last week.

Samantha: Well, let's just say it: you won.

Carrie: Was there a contest?

Samantha: Oh please! There's always a contest with an ex. It's called "who will die miserable."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

me and my still indelible ink-stained finger

Two days after the elections….

On election day, votes are pegged from as low as P50 to as high as P1,500.

I was waiting for someone to approach me as I was on my way to my polling place last Monday. You know, like offer me unlimited access to all the services of Profiles salon in Katipunan for free. Or a new pair of Seven jeans. Or a cocktail ring from Firma. In exchange for my vote.

Fat chance.

It was only the guard at the gate of Bel-air village who stopped me to ask where I was going. I told him I was going to vote. He asked for my voter’s ID. I didn’t have the ID yet at that time. I showed him my UP ID instead. He let me in! (No, I didn’t show him my biceps.)

Oh yeah, I am a registered voter in Makati. In my past life, I was a 22 year old bureaucrat, who lived in a 32nd floor condo at Salcedo Village with friends and whose blood is 90% Starbucks coffee.

My voting precinct is at the very posh Bel-Air village basketball court. Where everyone who voted was dropped off by a Jaguar/ BMW/ Land Rover/ Expedition and looked and smelled good.

Except me. My Roxy slippers got me there before lunch and I looked like a flying voter from Tondo and I smelled of sweat.

But what the heck. I wasn’t there to party. Or to date. (Although it wouldn’t hurt if I get the chance to have dinner with any of the taglish speaking, havaianas wearing, ipod toting hotties who voted the same time I did!) I was there to exercise my right to choose. I was there to fulfill my obligation as a citizen of this country. (yeah, yeah half citizen.)


I had seven senators on my list, and as far the quick counts are concerned, five of them are on the top six. And of course, the Binays are still on top of the heap in my city. (yahoo!)

As I was going thru yesterday’s news though, I came up with some thoughts/comments/brain farts:

On Garci conceding to defeat in Bukidnon
I’ve always wondered why he would even come down from his pedestal and run as congressman. I mean, being kingmaker, Garci is like god who is worshipped and lavished with offerings by GMA. And now he says he is losing. My guess is, it’s all a ploy to show that, hey, if Garci, the so-called grand operator can’t win as district rep, how the heck was he able manipulate the 2004 elections?

On Palace protest on the media quickcounts
Gabby Claudio whined that the quick counts are pointed towards trending and mind conditioning. Is it because the candidates of GO are doing well in these quick counts?

On the decline of number of registered voters in Metro Manila
I haven’t checked the latest population growth as well as the migration rate in NCR. But it is surprising. Is it because Manila residents are too jaded to vote since they were duped in 2004? I mean, except for Las Pinas, da King is president in all of NCR. Or is this another effort of the current regime to understate voting population in areas favoring the Opposition?

Yeah, yeah, me and my assertions from out of nowhere. What do they call that? Political instincts? Me being stupid? Whatevs.

I did a survey of friends and about half of us voted, while one fourth didn’t get to register and one fourth just couldn’t care less.

Well I wouldn’t blame those who didn’t get to register since registering is a nightmare. I remember when Sarah and I lined up at the Makati Comelec at 4AM to register. The place was hot, dark and has actually become a living thing with all the people breathing and sweating inside. We finished by lunch time. I’m posting my voter’s ID to show how I looked by the time we finished. DON’T LAUGH.

one. happy. voter.

I also understand why the others didn’t bother voting. Someone would cheat anyway. Someone would steal anyway. Someone would lie anyway. As proven in the Hello Garci scandal.

For many of those struggling to keep their body and soul together, the election process is irrelevant as the reforms and favors promised to them are forgotten soon after the candidate finishes the line “so help me God” in his oath taking.

Sad but true.

Last week, a friend who is very much aware that I am for the Opposition asked if I was going to vote. I said yes. He then said I shouldn’t bother voting because I have already pre-judged the credibility of this election by writing about my paranoia of the possible cheating. Moreso, I wouldn’t believe naman daw the results pag natalo ang GO.

I was stunned for a second. No not stunned, annoyed. Extremely annoyed. I wanted to shove my pink sliver down his throat, but if I did, I would be violating his right to freedom of self expression. (Yeah, remind me to declare martial law and suspend the writ of habeas corpus when I become president.)

My emotions clouded my thoughts then, I could only declare a cold war. Two days after I voted, I now have an answer to his questions:

As what my idol, Ninoy Aquino said nga, "How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies, by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always and in the final act, by determination and faith."

Yes, I do not trust the COMELEC. I do not trust the current regime to keeps its hands off the elections. I am not even sure what will become of my chosen candidates if and when they get elected because power corrupts.

But my exercising of my right to choose leaders is my way of showing determination. Determination to fight for better government-- a government that does not abuse its powers, that spends funds wisely and legally, that upholds rather than violates the rights of our people.

My casting of vote is my act of faith. Faith in God, in this country and faith that there is a better life out there for every Pinoy.

I just hope I don't get too tired.

Friday, May 11, 2007

clock ticking loudly in their heads.

three days before the elections...

(because tomorrow is the last day of campaign)

what else can i say..

elections is on May 14, 2007, monday. voting is until 3pm at wherever it is you are registered.

please bring an ID, pen and your list of senators and city officials.

i'm not sure if cellphones or cameras are allowed in polling precints. just be very careful if they request you to surrender your gadgets.

Vote wisely.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

killing time in a warm place

four days before the elections...

i intended to finish my preceding post with elan. really.

you know, like try to finally put some sense to the entire post at the end. but... hmm... let me first think of an excuse.
yeah, umm... five days before elections, i was having a bad hair day. okay, okay. i never had a bad hair day. just bad hair. period.
i had a haircut last sunday at david's in SM clark. i told the guy to just do a few snips at the ends.
but what he did was create short layers and those short layers have declared coup'd'etat on me and i now look like (fill in the blank with the most repulsive looking person you know) ______________ on a bad day.

and then, my eyebrows. the girl at the beauty counter did something to them and they're now too thin. worse, my left eye brow has a missing patch. you have to see me to believe that it's really horrible having a broken brow.

could it be that the (in)justice secretary, thru the hacking of ISAFP found out that i am using my blogger as a pulpit to preach my anti-arroyo sentiments? and could it be, that upon the orders of the soon to be pampanga governor, beauty salons/ counters in the whole of pampanga are to cast their wands at me and turn me into Atilla the Hun.

okay, okay... so those were reasons why i am dodging certain people... err... men. not why i didn't finish the previous entry.

going back to "mercury rising," i realy wanted to finish it today. come up with a profound rejoinder on what ninoy said like "having earned two diplomas from the university of the philippines, i feel indebted to the filipino people. to the teachers, laborers, farmers, whose taxes sent me to school while they can't even send their own children to college. i feel that it is incumbent upon me to serve these very people, be with them in the struggle against those who dare to even think of violating their rights as humans....." yadi yadi, that kind.

shocks, i would have to reword that. i don't want to sound like a windy populist or some people i know. plus, that is so inconsistent with my image of someone who is notoriously known to as a self-absorbed brat who focuses too much on her petty bourgeoise dilemma.

back to "mercury rising." one of the issues that i raised there is the perversion of the partylist system. the partylist, is supposed to be the voice in congress of the marginalized sector. when a group has the backing of the palace, it ceases to be marginalized right?

ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may i present to you exhibit A:

an accident insurance bearing the name of the pary list and the signatures of GMA and JDV. hmmm.... Article XXII Sec. 261 of the Omnibus Election code states that:


Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts. - The following shall be guilty of an election offense:

(a) Vote-buying and vote-selling. -

(1) Any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office or employment, franchise or grant, public or private, or makes or offers to make an expenditure, directly or indirectly, or cause an expenditure to be made to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community in order to induce anyone or the public in general to vote for or against any candidate or withhold his vote in the election, or to vote for or against any aspirant for the nomination or choice of a candidate in a convention or similar selection process of a political party. "

is giving accident insurance policy during campaign season an election offense? let's analyze in the next posts.

our airconditioner just broke down. maintenance said it will be back and running tomorrow. hopefully.

ha! finally a valid reason why i'm not finishing my "mercury rising" post.

seriously, it is sooooo hot, my brain juice is evaporating in the humid May air.

ah, elections. my cup of tea really.

is it starting to be obvious that i am stalling the end of this post, because once again, i have no idea how to finish it with elan? haha.

here's a photo na lang of me with COMELEC Commissioner Resurreccion Borra taken at the SWS presentation of governance baseline survey that the UNDP governance portfolio commissioned. (yeah, yeah.. these boring things that i am into.)

hello, rexie!

(we. don't. look. alike. DON'T LAUGH.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

mercury rising

Five days before the elections…

One of the things that make my weekend is the time I spend with my sister’s three kids. Ages three to 10, they are at their most adorable and… ummm… most infuriating.

Aside from their current fascination with the national geographic channel (Side story: my mom was able to unhinge their attention from the cartoon network by convincing them that if they want to become scientists and doctors, the national geographic is the channel to watch. See, moms are superheroes really), my nephews and niece are so caught up in the upcoming elections and have actually been singing/ re-enacting the senatorial candidates’ campaign jingles/ ads while eating or taking a bath or playing.

Just this weekend, they were insisting that I vote for that pathetic excuse for a presidential chief of staff and that cabbage head who fills up the entire TV screen with this prominent jaw and pompadour. I said, “no, I’m sticking to my six senators.” For a moment, I thought the conversation was over. Until my nephews, between spoonfuls of lasagna, asked why I am supporting the Opposition and if GMA really cheated in 2004.

I wanted to swallow my fork. I mean, for a second, I was elated that at such a young age, the kids actually know the government officials and are aware of some issues. But on second thought, it worried me that the kids, thru mass media have become witnesses to how power corrupts in this country.

I didn’t want to answer my nephews’ questions because I didn’t want them to be disillusioned. I didn’t want them to know how some people have bastardized their future. I didn’t want to burden them with the challenge to clean up the mess left by those older than they are. I didn’t want them to be fearful. I didn’t want them to be frustrated.

Just like I am now.

I have yet to find a solution to my career woes when I found out the attack at the Villanueva compound at dawn last Friday. My friend Jake, immediately came to my mind. I texted him to ask if they were okay. Each minute that I waited for a reply, made me sicker in the gut with worry. When my phone finally beeped, I was sort of relieved. As it is, the military under the orders of the Cheat Executive is doing special operations against the Villanuevas and the CIBAC party list.

I am not surprised by the stunt. I mean, hey, in 2004, the camp of Mrs. Arroyo ordered the kidnapping of the family of their election operator who turned against them. So what is a little spraying of bullets at one of the vocal critics of GMA, right?

The brazenness for which this administration is known for is not new to me. What is new to me is the thought that, this time the bullets are aimed at the family of someone whom I just had dinner with last month. The fact that I have two other friends—people whom I have coffee with from time to time—running under the Opposition makes me scared shitless. I don’t think I can handle having a friend die over politics.

That Friday evening too, my mayor, Jojo Binay was handed another preventive suspension order by the DILG. Jojo Binay is not my friend, it’s his son, Jun-Jun who is. But even if I had not met Jun-Jun, having been a Makati resident for close to three years, I hold the Mayor in high esteem. I mean, in Makati, I actually feel that there is a government functioning the way governments are supposed to. I didn’t mind paying the city tax because I see where it is being used. And at the rate Makati, under Binay’s leadership is investing on human development, it is one of the few LGUs which can and will achieve the MDGs even before 2015.

The fact that Mayor BInay is my idol, the way FPJ is Chiz’s idol, is notable considering that I do not like local government executives at all. Of course this overwhelming disgusto for local executives stems from way back home in Pampanga where development is translated as merely having shopping malls and where our very street remains unpaved to this day.

With the ongoing harassment of those who dare go against this freaking Arroyo regime, I momentarily forget about the turbulence that I am going thru in my career. Indeed, there are things worse than my life not going as I had planned.

As enumerated in my previous post, “First, there were CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 – all intended to suppress the truth, muzzling any legitimate inquiry into the Garci scandal and fertilizer scam. Then, there were the GMA-funded People's initiative and the shameless ConAss attempt by GMA lackeys in Congress. This time, the goal was to pre-empt any further impeachment and entrench themselves (GMA and her allies) in power by amending the charter.”

Then, over the weekend, I discovered how Mrs. Arroyo has perverted the partylist system. As it is, GMA is planting party list groups in the coming Congress to avert any impeachment attempt. And boy, with the public funds at their disposal, these Malacanang party-ers are a lucky bunch. I mean hey, they have so much money, they are bribing voters with accident insurance and what-have-you.

Add the several acts of human rights violation and extra judicial killings and you have Sodom and Gomorrah.

I wring my hands and pace in my little blue room wondering when redemption will come upon this nation.

I was reminded by what my favorite hero, Ninoy Aquino said,

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms; by truth when it is attacked by lies, by democratic faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always in the final act, by determination and faith.”

(to be continued….. )

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pinoys! Gising!

How and Why You Should Be Involved in the May Elections?

Some people tell us, "Why don't you just let GMA finish her term? Instead of advocating impeachment, which is very disruptive, why don't you just prepare for 2010 and field a candidate who will support your agenda?"

On the surface, this looks like a sober and reasonable request coming from people who are not necessarily rabid GMA fans.

How quickly we forget. Only a few months ago, the GMA administration – using the resources of the DILG, launched a very expensive people's initiative to revise the charter. And when the Supreme Court declared the exercise a bogus, GMA marshalled her allies in Congress to push for a constituent assembly (ConAss).

Had they succeeded in either mode of charter change, we will not have an election this May, the Senate will be abolished, the current Congress will be transformed into a rubber-stamp parliament not much different from the Batasang Pambansa of Marcos during the martial law years, and the charter will be amended to allow GMA to rule beyond 2010 either as president or prime minister.

Now, what makes you think they have abandoned their plans? Should they get enough seats in the next Congress, you can be sure that twiddling with the charter will be high on the agenda. Already, they are looking at October 2007 as the target date of transforming to a unicameral-presiden tial government. And that's only the start.

The pattern is clear. First, there were CPR, EO 464, and PP 1017 – all intended to suppress the truth, muzzling any legitimate inquiry into the Garci scandal and fertilizer scam. Then, there were the GMA-funded People's initiative and the shameless ConAss attempt by GMA lackeys in Congress. This time, the goal was to pre-empt any further impeachment and entrench themselves (GMA and her allies) in power by amending the charter.

Except for ConAss - which was withdrawn before it could be challenged, all of these were subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

I'm sure GMA has enough advisers to point out the glaring legal infirmities of her Executive Orders and charter change initiatives. She proceeded just the same, asserting validity of her orders until rebuffed by the Supreme Court. It exposed GMA's dictatorial bent and true character. She will do anything, including making a mockery of the law, just to stay in power.

The lack of outrage from a jaded and cynical citizenry has emboldened the GMA regime to be more brazen and punitive in dealing with political dissenters.

FG Mike Arroyo filed over 40 libel cases against critics and journalists – one for the record books. Meanwhile, decades-old charges are resurrected and used as basis to arrest party list representatives linked with militant groups. In the countryside, human rights are routinely violated – curfew is imposed, citizens without cedulas accosted and even arrested, residences are searched without warrants, and some people would simply disappear without any trace. More recently, army contingents were deployed in densely populated urban poor areas to "dissuade" residents from voting for militant party list groups. And GMA would even publicly commend the officers of these units for a "job well done."

Not since the dark years of martial law have we seen militarization and a reign of terror and intimidation of such scale. And you still wonder why over 800 incidents of extrajudicial killings and disappearances remain unsolved?

And, where there is growing political tyranny, crony capitalism is not very far behind. Large government contracts, smuggling, and gambling operations – legal or otherwise, are becoming the exclusive domain of people close to the palace. Do you still wonder why we are now the most corrupt economy in Asia today?

It's déjà vu – the 70s all over again. The scripts are eerily similar. Only the terminologies have changed – from New Society to Strong Republic, from communists to terrorists, from KBL to Kampi. Marcos, at least, had the decency to declare martial law. GMA does not even bother.

Is there hope for our country? More importantly, is there anything we can do to change the situation?

Fortunately, there is one window of opportunity left for us to derail the GMA blueprint to stay beyond 2010: the May 2007 elections.

We need to elect to the next Congress at least 79 men and women of moral courage who will block the anticipated self-serving charter change of GMA. These same men and women can exact accountability from GMA for the unabated corruption and extrajudicial killings through congressional inquiries and initiation of an impeachment complaint. This will also put closure to longstanding issues like the Garci scandal and the fertilizer scam which have haunted this administration. Maybe then, we can all move forward.

It's not easy. And we need to get organized.

The Black and White Movement launched its Black List-White List campaign for this purpose. We selected 100 Congressional Districts and party list groups where we will vote and actively campaign FOR candidates in the White List and campaign AGAINST those in the Black List. It also includes annotations why candidates were included in the list.

The details are published at www.BlacknWhite- Movement. com.

How can you be involved?

1. Help us promote this campaign. Forward this email to friends, relatives, and colleagues. Post it in your favorite blogs and egroups.

2. Vote for the whitelisted candidate in your district, if there is one.

3. Campaign for whitelisted candidates, and against blacklisted ones within your sphere of influence. If you're reading this via email, you're probably much better off than the average Filipino, and you have influence over people in your workplace, at home (relatives, house help, and their families), and in your community. Create your own sample ballot and distribute to people you can influence. You'd be surprised how many people are just waiting for endorsements and instructions from people they trust and respect.

4. Be involved in the poll watch. There will be cheating, true. But vigilance from more people can certainly reduce its effect.

Each of us will have to do our share. Sitting idly by is no longer an option.

Remember - this election is not a choice between the status quo and a destabilizing impeachment espoused by the opposition, as GMA would like you to believe. It is a choice between perpetuating the GMA regime on the one hand, and the restoration and rehabilitation of our democratic institutions on the other.

Together, we may yet secure a better future for our children.

(This was fowarded by Enteng Romano of the Black and White Movement. Several points were raised and I am posting this message here on my blog in agreement. )