Archive for September, 2008

Lower by Piso

Posted: September 19, 2008 in The Road (and Everything On It)
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Effective 12:01 AM today the prices of petroleum products are cheaper by 1 peso. The Caltex station in the NHA-Kauswagan area seem to be less enthusiatic about this. A few meters away the Shell station have already adjusted and updated their pricelist. (Photos taken today, at 7:15 AM.)

Commuters are now praying for a fare rollback. The Commuters Association of the Philippines will submit a petition today for a PhP 2.50 fare reduction although this will be met by reistance by transport group PISTON on the grounds that diesel still costs above PhP 50.00. And of course there’s red tape – the LTFRB may start reviewing this proposal after 2- 3 weeks, by the first or second week of October.



Posted: September 18, 2008 in Bisag Unsa / Random Rants
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After I earned my undergraduate degree and it became inevitable that I would pursue further studies one of the many things that suffered was my love for reading. Of course I still has to read textbooks and journals and manuals, but my passion for everything nontechnical waned. Upon it befell the fate of a loyal and devoted but forgotten and neglected lover. I deemed it less necessary to my survival, shoved to the back seat (the trunk actually) by the lame excuse “I don’t have enough time!” The weekly book sadly became the yearly book.

How many of us have suffered from this deadly affliction?

How much of the world does not read, whether by choice or by circumstance?

Remember the Queenie Lee-Chua article that came out on the Inquirer last year which revealed a decline in reading among Filipinos? Don’t panic, the trend is worldwide. The local study was based on a survey by the Social Weather Stations, as commissioned by the National Book Development Board to determine the state of Filipino readership, reading habits, and preferences.

I know we Filipinos love to read but are sadly limited by other factors such as the cost and availability of books: only if the average Pinoy could afford them, only if they were available in the first place. Ask the next guy in the jeepney stop, the kid hawking cigarettes and sweets in traffic, or kids forced into evacuation centers by the hostilities in Mindanao. Reading has simply become a privilege instead of a birthright.

To those of us fortunate enough not to be hindered to read, I wonder when will we realize that distractions such as television, video games, and other activities which make us feel we don’t have enough time, are so trivial? That if we want to do something, and if that something was important enough we will always find time for it? (Like most things, like exercise. But that’s another story.)

So I am going to challenge myself: ONE BOOK A WEEK.

That means 16 books until the end of the year.

I have dust on an entire bookshelf of unread books waiting to be disturbed. On top of that I have accumulated nearly a gig of fiction ebooks.

Reading is on the decline but those of us who can change the numbers should do something.

Let’s start with ourselves.

(The book/s I am currently reading will be posted under Literally Speaking, while read  books for the challenge under Recent Reads.)

Knocking on 90

Posted: September 17, 2008 in The Road (and Everything On It)
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Oil prices fell to a seven-month low yesterday, at USD 91.15 per barrel, before climbing by 3%, to USD 94.32 today. Decrease in demand and global financial worries spurned by brothers of the Lehman kind going bad contributed to cutting our celebration short.

But I want to maintain my optimism in everything that is good in this planet. The graph below, from Crude Oil Price Forecast, shows a promising trend for us common citizens of the world:


First, the good news:


The PhP 54.47 unleaded juice that I feed my machine now costs PhP 2.00 less, effective 12:01 AM today. There is also a corresponding reduction in the pump prices of premium gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. However, it is feared that this decline is only temporary as oil cartels like OPEC plan to cut production. Apparently, they don’t like making too many people happy. Kill joy.

I still have nightmares where the number 60.47 figure prominently.

Now the bad:


SunStar has previously released two stories on gas stations with defective pumps in the CDO area. The first article named 5 stations while the second, posted on July 25, added 13 more. Regardless the economic conditions, shortchanging the very customers who keep your businesses alive, intentionally or not, is unacceptable.

Here is the combined list, with the location of each station and its registered owner:

  1. Caltex; A. Velez Street; Adlai Elizaga
  2. Caltex; Barangay Gusa; Harley Yu
  3. Jetti; Calamansi Drive, Barangay Carmen; Wilhelm Valencia
  4. Jetti; Zone 6, Bulua Highway; Isen Ting
  5. Petron; Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen; Gorgonia Buaquina
  6. Petron; Ilaya, Barangay Carmen; Roger Tan
  7. Petron; Vamenta Boulevard, Barangay Carmen; Miami Chan
  8. Petron; Vamenta Boulevard, Barangay Carmen; Maria Lourdes Jane Pepito
  9. Petron; 8th Nazareth-Hayes Street; Ariel Tan
  10. Petron; C.M. Recto-Osmeña Streets; Edsel Salvana
  11. Petron; Barangay Macasandig; Roger Tan
  12. Shell; Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen; Vic Pizarro
  13. Shell; Vamenta Boulevard, Barangay Carmen; Antonio Almirante, Jr.
  14. Shell; C.M. Recto Avenue-Licuan Street; Roy Tancinco
  15. Shell; Gusa Highway; Claudio Puertas
  16. Shell; Claro M. Recto Avenue; Edna Puertas
  17. Shell; East Bound Terminal, San Pedro, Barangay Gusa; James Giam
  18. Shell; Yacapin-Osmeña Streets; Alfonso Goking

An updated list is highly anticipated. I am hoping for a shorter list. A blank one would be even better.

Incidentally the photo, taken by The Accomplice nearly 2 weeks ago, is the price list from one of these stations. Guess which one?

Just when we thought of it as a teenager’s birthright this truck comes along:

Cruising along the CDO-Bukidnon highway, around the vicinity of Alae, Manolo Fortich, this truck-for-hire was spotted sporting two plates on the rear (spare tire? check! spare plate? check!). Further along the road were highway patrolmen who were having their usual field day checking and/or arresting the drivers of these hefty machines. Like elusive Mr./Ms. Right, this one got away.

Teenage truck angst.

Wet & Dry

Posted: September 9, 2008 in The Road (and Everything On It)
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This is one particular corner in the Capitol Compound fronting NMMC that never lies about the weather.

You know it hasn’t rained when it looks like this:

And you know it’s been a wet day when you have to wade through this:

As to why this ‘weather bureau’ remains after years of unauthorized existence never fails to baffle me (and other pedestrians/motorists). Perhaps government officials in this area find the water, er, calming?

(First photo by The Accomplice.)

After bemoaning the long roadwork on Velez St, one of the main thoroughfares cutting through the city’s business district, we are now enjoying a less bumpy ride in this 4-lane street (expandable to 6, believe me).

Maybe Mr. Taxi Driver was just over-joyed with the experience of cruising along the newly rebuilt road or maybe he thought he had rights to an exclusive lane. Problem was this lane was for the opposite traffic. OOPS!

Never mind that the green light just flashed. Driving in the wrong lane is still driving in wrong lane, right KVM495?

(Photo provided by The Accomplice.)