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3 Cost Effective Ways to Solve Metro Manila's Traffic Problem

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The Facebook page of ANC 24/7 is asking for its reader's suggestion on how to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem.


This got me thinking, "what is the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem?" It's easy to make suggestions, what's hard is the implementation and the cost of implementation. So what is the the best way to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem and the most cost effective solution?

Punitive Fines
First of all, any implementation will definitely cost money, a lot of money. The cause of the traffic mess is the people themselves so it's only right that those causing the traffic problem should be fined and the fine should hurt. That way, the fines will pay for the cost of enforcing the law.
The fines should start at P500 and goes up every week if you don't pay it within 15 days. To enforce this and prevent people from ignoring the fine. It will be tied to their driver's license or car registration. They cannot renew their d…

If I was the President of the Philippines

Reading all these stories about GMA just infuriates me. She has totally no delicadeza and she is so thick skinned that nothing gets to her anymore. After "Hello Garci" and surviving it, she and all the other politicians just got more brazen in what they do that they don't even care to hide what corruptions they do anymore.

I'm sure if and that's the big IF GMA were to step down after 2010, the next President would be no different.

So it made me think, what would I do if I was the President of the Philippines? What programs and changes would I implement to fix the country? Here is what I think (obviously these will be implemented if I had no opposition to the programs I want to implement).

Let's start with the most basic problem, graft and corruption.

1. I will set up an anti-graft task force consisting of former police officers, NBI agents and supreme court judges (trustworthy of course). Who after rigorous interviews and background checks would will investigate …

Teaching

I've been thinking about school a lot lately. Mostly because my son is already in school and partly thinking how I can make his school experience better and instill in him the love for learning.

I borrow books from the library every week and we make sure to read to him every night. Because of this routine we did since he was old enough to listen to stories, around 2 or 2 and a half years old, he now has the habit that he has to be read something every night before he will go to bed.

So how does this relate to why I'm thinking about school? Partly it's because of my experience with teachers while I was in school. I never really had any good teachers I can think of except for the two I had in my 3rd year of high school. One is Mr. Tumambing who was our Chemistry teacher and the other is Ms. Go who was our Geometry teacher.

I would say that both of them inspired me to do very well in their subjects. Mind you, I'm not an A student, most of my grades were just above passing, a…

Room to Read

As I was checking out a book in our local library, I happen to see a book titled "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World" by John Wood. It's funny because I had no intention of borrowing any other book that day other than what I had already reserve since I still have around 10 books I had previously borrowed that I haven't read. But something made me pick up the book and look at the cover flaps. Upon reading it, I found out about how the author quit his high level job at Microsoft to establish libraries in Nepal.

It's kind of one of those moments when things happen because you were thinking about it often enough. Like hearing a music on the radio that you were just thinking about.

Even since I was in college, I had thought about how I can give back to the world. And it always ends up to helping young children have a better opportunities in life. Either through scholarships or as simple as giving some cash or clothes to street children in the Philippines.

As I got old…

Universal Library

There is a new online library that has been developed by Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, Zhejiang University in China, the Indian Institute of Science in India and the Library at Alexandria in Egypt.

They digitized more than 1.5 million books, and they are now available online.

It's called the Universal Digital Library with a million book collection. Now anyone who has an Internet connection can have access to a collection of books the size of a University Library.

The subjects ranges from Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Education, Economics, Engineering, Geography, Health, History, Law, Mathematics, Music, Religion.

Books are also available in different languages like Chinese, English, Arabic, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, Marathi, Urdu.

Isn't the Internet great? If we had this when I was in college, it would have made it a whole lot easier for me to do research.

Craigslist Meets Wallstreet

THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LISTWhat am I doing wrong?Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York . I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?Here are my questions specifically:- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me…

Chinese Factory Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans

I came upon this article about how Chinese factory workers are expressing their disbeliefs on the sheer amount of junks Americans will buy.

They pretty much buy anything that they think will make their lives easier, but they'll only use it once or twice. It's no wonder Americans are in so much debts.

Here's the link.

GMA's Idol

I read this article on BBC today about Hugo Chavez getting his parliament to reform their constitution to eliminate term limits for President. If approve, it can essentially make him president for life.

I think Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will have a new model president to follow.

Here's the complete article.

Profiles of a scam

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Here's a website I saw after doing some research on Francswiss. The company is called Swiss Cash, the website is

http://frankyswiss.50webs.com/serene/index.html

I don't know if this website or company is legit, it looks like it's based in Singapore. But it looks fishy to me. Now first if all, to be fair, this website is probably the website of the recruiter because there is a referral ID. But here is why I think it's fishy.

First, clicking on the link below the lady's picture should take you to http://www.swisscash.biz/ where you can put in the referral ID. But the link doesn't work.
Second, if you click the payout plan, it goes to a link that shows you how the financial adviser makes money. It looks a lot like a pyramid/multi-level networking business. That's fine, there's a lot of legitimate multi-level marketing business like Usana, Nu Skin, etc. But that is not that gives me a warning sign.

If you look at the page, the top most page tells you how Swiss…

Pyramid Scam in the Philippines...again!

Another scam has been unveiled in the Philippines. This time it's trading "futures derivatives". The company is called FrancSwiss (wow...what a unique name, they just reversed Swiss Francs) and were offering people with a 12% annual return. Their minimum is $40,000 to invest, but if you don't have the $40,000, they encourage you to partner with someone to come up with the minimum. It was estimated that investors lose between $120 to $250 million in investments.

A friend was telling me about this where he knows someone who told him to invest in this company just last week. When my friend told me that they were offering 4.5% per day return, I told him that was a scam.

Good thing he listened to me and didn't invest any money. Yesterday, the news came out of the Inquirer saying the money in the bank accounts were all gone. Taken by the owner and most probably have left the Philippines.

Seriously, haven't they heard of Multi-Tel? Tibayan? G. Cosmos? If these ponzi s…

Atienza as new Environment Head

What's this I read? Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza is the new DENR Secretary? Mayor Atienza who tore down Arroceros Park? Atienza who removed all the grass and put tiles on Plaza Binondo? Atienza who put tiles on Baywalk and practically removed all the trees and grass so he can put up stalls for foods? Atienza who concretized Manila?

What a perfect choice to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He will definitely have a great effect on the Philippine Environment and Natural Resources.

Tropical Paradise

We went to Puerto Galera this weekend to spend some time at the beach. I've been to several beaches and resorts in the Philippines before but I must say this is the first time I truly enjoyed it.

The previous times I been to some Philippine resort like Mt. Makiling, Matabungkay, Hidden Valley, Monte Mar, etc. I've never truly enjoyed them since there's either too many people or the beaches are not that great. Since most of the resorts I've been to is too commercialized, people have been throwing their trash around and spoiled the beauty of the area. This time it's different.

Puerto Galera is located in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. To get to Puerto Galera, you take South Luzon Expressway all the way to Batangas. It's about a 2 to 2 and a half hour drive from Manila depending on the traffic. You go to Port of Batangas and leave your car at the covered parking. It cost about P200 a day to park. Then you take about an hour boat ride to Sabang which is the main dock…

Philippine Economy

Today is May 16, 2007 and I'm in the Philippines right now for a vacation. I was looking around about the real estate market and the general economy and here are some of my observations. As you may or may not know, the real estate market is booming. A lot of new developments are coming up and it looks like 1986 again.

I was talking to a banker friend of mine and she said that the economy is doing very well because of the E-VAT. The budget is at a surplus, lending by the government is down so the new bond issues are at a lower interest rate. Hence, the increasing bond prices which made the UITF go up in value a lot. Now that it has stabilized, the UITFs are not returning as much anymore.

Prime lending rate is at around 8% so it is pretty low since I recall about 3 to 5 years ago that rates are above 12%. Since lending rates is so low, this will help spur lending to buy homes and cars.

Interest rates for savings is at around 3% and since the stock market is doing better. More investors…

The Heat is On!

Just read this on the Inquirer today. UP studies shows that Manila is getting hotter. Here's the article.

The article shows that the average temperatures of Manila has risen 2.96 degrees Celsius for the month of May. UP says that this is due to lack of vegetation, converting natural land to asphalt and concrete. Other man-made factors are use of motorized vehicles, airconditioners and other power generation equipments.

Now you don't need a study by UP to know that Manila is getting hotter. You can definitely feel it if you've lived in Manila long enough. I used to remember where we can play outside during the summer under the sun and enjoy a cool breeze in the night. But not anymore.

With so many hi-rise buildings, almost no spacing for homes, traffic, pollution and the city government turning everything into concrete. It's no surprise Manila is getting hotter.

What's with the clean and green when your definition of green is to pave the sidewalk and paint the walls gre…

Real Estate Roller Coaster

Saw something interesting today. With the run up in real estate prices in the last few years in the US. Someone plotted the US home prices adjusted for inflation as a roller coaster ride.

Here's the video.

Hostage crisis or political ploy?

Yesterday, March 27, 2007, a man held 26 people hostage in a bus at the Manila City Hall. The hostage taker, Armando Ducat Jr. took his own students hostage on the way to a field trip to Tagaytay they said. Although he released his hostages after 10 hours. It made me think, is this really a hostage crisis or just a political ploy to get more mileage out of the coming election?

Here are the reasons why I think this way.

First, they got Senator Bong Revilla, Jr. to be the hostage negotiator. What the hell? What does he know about being a hostage negotiator? Don't you need to be trained in psychology and police work to be an effective negotiator?

Second, Bong Revilla claims to have close ties with Ducat. What!?! You're friends with a hostage taker/terrorist?

Third, Chavit Singson also went to the scene and was shown on television boarding the bus. I mean, who in their right mind would go inside a bus with a guy threatening to blow up the bus with his grenade? Well, I know Chavit is n…

RRSP Season is over

RRSP season is finally over. If you're Canadian, you probably know or have heard what an RRSP is and knows that RRSP season runs from January 1 to March 1 every year.

What is an RRSP? An RRSP is basically a self-funded retirement plan similar to a 401K in the US. The money you put in to an RRSP eligible investment can be used to deduct your income from your taxes. That way, your taxable income can be lowered.

Depending on how much taxes is taken from your paycheque, you may be able to get some tax refund after you file your taxes. The deadline for filing taxes is April 30.

It has been a hectic two months and I haven't had time to sit and think on what to write. I'm only able to write this because I am in the office on a Saturday and it's pretty slllooooowwww...

It has been a slow two weeks for the office which is unusual. Anyway, this is all I can think of writing for now.

I Don't Get It

I don't get it, what makes someone who is popular in the Philippines suddenly get the "calling" to run for politics? Just because you're the "Kamao nang Bayan" doesn't mean you are the saviour of the people.

And what's this with Cesar Montano running for the senate? What on earth is up with that? I read on the news that he is even taking a crash course in public service to learn how to become a public official.

WTF?!? How do you learn how to draft a law in a few months? Lawyers takes at least 6 years plus a bar exam to even understand the law. But a few months and you want to run for the senate? Holy Guacamoli!

And he even said that he stands to lose P100 Million in endorsement for running for the senate. I would just take the endorsement, all I have to do is smile and look good for the camera. Why even get the headache of running the country? Oh I know, he got paid a lot more than P100M to run for the administration.

Guess who's money that came fro…

The Ultimate Throne

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Are you guy who loves his throne? Who wish he could drink beer, watch football/basketball/baseball and wish you didn't have to get up to go to the bathroom and miss that spectacular play?

Do you wish you can have a beer on tap while you're in the john?
Wish no more! You could win the ultimate john!




















It has an XBox 360, a 20" LCD TV, a 15" laptop, an 30Gb iPod with iCarta Bathroom tissue dock, a refrigirator with a beer tap, a USB powered cup cooler/warmer, a dual sided magnification mirror, a DVD player and a Tivo! It even has a megaphone if you need more toilet paper.

Here's what takes the cake, it has a resistive pedal exerciser! I guess you can't make the excuse that you can't exercise because you're in the crapper.

A man's ultimate dream machine!

Name that tune

Tell me if this is you.

1. You heard a tune that you really like but you just can't figure out what the title of the song is.
2. You know a part of the lyrics of the song, but you can't remember what the title is or how the song goes.
3. You can hum the tune, but don't know the lyrics or the name of the song.

If that is you, good news! There's a new site that helps you exactly find that tune!

The site is called Midomi. You can hum, sing or type a part of the song and it will search its 2 million database of songs and match what you're looking for.

If you're an aspiring American Idol or Pinoy Idol star. They also have a place for you to register and record your own songs. Your performance might even be the top result!

Check out the site at htpt://www.midomi.com.

History of Game Consoles

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Ever wondered how the home game consoles evolved over time?

I found a website that shows the history of game consoles from 1970 to the present.

Remember this?














The Atari PONG released in 1975

How about this?















The Atari 2600 released in 1977. I still remember owning this. Man, those joyticks really break easily.
My favorite was this Intellivision released in 1980.















Too bad I didn't have a lot of games available at that time. But the graphics was great and putting in different cards on the keypad to have different controls was great.

The the biggest hit that really revolutionized the game console was this Nintendo Entertainment System released in 1985.














With Super Mario Bros., the game truly changed the landscape of home consoles and paved the way for the Playstation and Xbox of today.
And now of course, we have the Wii.














For the full list, visit this website.

Designer Toaster

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I'm always amazed at how imaginative people can be. I'm especially impressed by industrial designers who are able to take ordinary objects, inject a new twist in design and make them more usable and attractive.

Just like the iPod and how it redesigned an MP3 player where the design focuses on ease of use, simplicity and clean lines. Here is another product that engages the user to have a more experience in eating breakfast.

A new design of the ordinary toaster.

You just slip the bread on the ceramic loop and the bread rolls out to the catch completely toasted.

It's an innovative design of an ordinary household item that one usually relegates to the kitchen corner.

This would make a nice piece in any kitchen.


Here are more photos on how it works.

Here's the link to the designer's website.



This crazy weather

We've been having crazy weather in Vancouver these past few months. In my 9 years in Canada, I've never experienced weather like this. Windstorm, snowstorm, negative temperatures. I do live in Canada and cold weather is expected, but not it's not usually this cold in Vancouver.

In December, we've had two snowstorms within a week of each other. The first one dropped like 4 inches of snow and the second one more than 6 inches. It may not be surprising to those who live anywhere else in Canada, but in Vancouver, that's unusual weather. We normally get less than 3 inches of snow a year if ever.

In December again we had a windstorm with winds of over 80km/h. This knocked out our power for almost 24 hours. I'm sure for people in the Philippines, this is nothing and yes, I was in the Philippines when Cory was the President and it was normal to have blackouts every day. But for a city with a power company who's power supply reliability is over 95%, even a short power…

Presenting the iPhone! The real iPhone

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It's finally here, the much anticipated new products from Apple.

At MacWorld Exp0 2007, Steve Jobs who normally presents several products did something unexpected. He only presented two products. The first product was the Apple TV or what he called the iTV last year.

The Apple TV is a media hub for your digital life, it connects to your TV via HDMI or Component Video and can stream photos, movies and songs from your Mac or PC. It includes a 40Gb HD so you can store content on it as well. It syncs with iTunes so you can view your TV shows, movies and music and play it on your big screen TV. It has a 10/100Base-T ethernet port for wired connectivity as well as a 802.11 wireless capability. By the way, did I mention it's an 802.11n?

Here's a photo of the device. Here's the link from Apple.











Of course, what would MacWorld be without a new and exciting product. What else would be more exciting than the much anticipated iPhone? Steve Jobs doesn't disappoint! Let's see wha…

Another heroic deed

Three year old boy Timothy Addo, crawled out of a window when his sitter briefly took her eyes off him. He was dangling for dear life on the fire escape when two men heard screams for help from the building for help as the boy was losing his grip.

The two men, Julio Gonzalez and Pedro Nevarez positioned themselves under the fire escape to catch the boy. The boy fell and hit Navarez in the chest so hard that he knocked him off balanced, but bounced into Gonzalez' arms.

Timothy was treated at the hospital for a cut on his forehead. His mother, Katrina Cosme was working at the time of the accident said "He's fine, he's happy and he's smiling."

The rescue came two days after a Wesley Autrey (see previous blog) saves a teenager who fell on a subway track and a day after, three police officers delivered baby on a Brooklyn subway platform.

"This is the week of heroes in New York," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Click here for the full story.

Subway Superman

I read an amazing article on Reuters today.

Wesley Autrey jumped onto an oncoming NYC subway train to cover a teenager, Cameron Hollopeter, who suffered a seizure and fell on the tracks. He covered the teenager and the train was passing just a few centimers over them.

Wesley, a construction worker went to work as normal after the incident. His boss didn't believe his excuse for being late for work until he saw on the Internet what he had done. "You see somebody in distress, you help out", Autrey said with his knitted cap brushed with grease and dirt from the train passing overhead.

For his heroics, he was awarded a Bronze Medallion -- for exceptional citizenship and outstanding achievement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Donald Trump also awarded him with $10,000 and he also got two other cheques from undisclosed donors. The Walt Disney Co. gave him and his family a one-week fully paid trip to Disney World and tickets to the Broadway musical "The Lion King".

The New Yo…

Wii!!!

First of all, a Happy New Year to all! Now get back to work! :)

Well, we are all back from a well deserved holiday break and I must say that 2006 has been a good year. Meeting new friends, spending time with families and friends and lots and lots of cool new toys. I think 2007 will be even better.

So did I do in the New Year? Well, on New Year's eve, we spent the night at a friends house for dinner. Surprisingly, he got the new Nintendo Wii the night before. I must say, I am amazed by that game console. I've never had that much fun with a game console since the Family Computer came out.

Sure, I've tried the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in the stores. The graphics is amazing in those machines, which is not the case in the Nintendo Wii. We have PS2 and Xbox at home too and the graphics there is comparable or beats the Nintendo Wii. But what the Wii has that those other consoles don't have is the Wiimote and nunchuck.

These innovative controllers lets you move your whole body natural…