Same Sex Marriage: Should We or Shouldn’t We?

Barack Obama became the first sitting United States President to publicly state his support for same sex marriage, a pronouncement with very historic implications.

I’m writing about it because it’s an issue I’m interested in. I am because it’s about human rights. I’ve long believed in upholding human rights and improving rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and now people with different perspectives on sexuality.

On one hand my Catholic faith tells me that a marriage should only be between a man and a woman. On the other hand my mind tells me that people have basic human rights and that one of them should be the ability to choose whom he/she lives with and forms a partnership with.

Continue reading

Religion Is A Tricky Thing

Religion is a tricky thing. It’s probably one of the most divisive topics known to man. Wars have been fought because of religion. Contrary to what it’s supposed to be. At the core of most religions is love. Yet this is not the end result sometimes.

Let me be clear, I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ, his son. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in Mother Mary. I think by those beliefs I fall under the Catholic religion. I was born into this religion. Raised a Catholic. My entire immediate family is Catholic.

However, lately I’ve been having problems with the Catholic Church. I don’t agree with some of their ideas.

At the core of my belief is this

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” [Matt22:37-40]

I compare everything against this two. If the church tells me one thing, before I blindly follow, I compare it to the above commandments. If it passes both then I can accept it as such. If it doesn’t then I really have to think about it more or discard it altogether.

I read “the post”:http://chuvaness.com/5946/thoughts/watch-and-listen/ of Cecile from her Chuvaness blog. She outlines her reasons on why she stopped going to mass/church. I respect her thoughts. I agree with some, others no but at the end of the day it’s her personal decision and her relationship with God. I will respect it.

I have to admit I haven’t been able to go to church a lot this past year. It’s not because I totally don’t want to. It’s for several reasons actually. A part of it is because I really have difficulty going out sometimes. Given also it’s a Sunday, it’s harder for me to go out, no one to drive for me. So it’s either I catch the mass that’s held nearby so I can “walk” but the problem is that it’s only one mass and it’s at 11 a.m. The thing is, because of my work, my time is reversed. I follow US time and so I’m up at night and asleep most of the daytime. But this is not the main reason and I digress.

One of the main reasons is that I simply am not connecting to the Church as much as I should. Part of it is because of differing beliefs with some matters, part of it is because I’m at a stage wherein I’m having great internal conflict.

At the surface everything is fine but I’m having a crisis of sorts within myself. It’s hard to explain here but my faith in religion is wavering. Take note, I said faith in RELGION. Not faith in God. Religion in my opinion is man made. Sure one can argue that in the case of the Catholic Church it came from God and was built from the foundation that Jesus gave St. Peter. Right now man governs it. Some will say that the leaders of the Church were anointed by God and they are a representation of him here on Earth. But right now I’m having a hard time believing it is so.

When I see how some priests are acting, it doesn’t make me believe that God sent them.

I believe that God loves all men. Religion should not discriminate against sex, race, age, disability, etc. So if you’re gay, a bastard, someone who is a single parent, etc, the church should not ban you from practicing your faith. Sure the Church has beliefs, etc but it should not discriminate. It should not judge.

Faith is very personal to me. If someone is gay, I will not judge him for that. Even if the Church says God is not for it, I will leave it to God and that person. I do not want or do I want to be judged. Live and let live, so to speak.

There’s this video going around, entitled “Why I hate religion, but love Jesus”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY. It’s been going around Facebook and Cecile also posted it in the same entry. It makes a lot of sense.

When a religion punishes someone through no fault of his own, then I find it hard to believe in that religion. An example of this would be a child going to a Catholic school and being told that his/her parents are sinners because they’re not married by the Catholic Church, then that’s just wrong. It scars the child, it’s judging other people.

My God is a loving God. I believe it to be so because he sent his only son to die for our sins. Sacrificing his son in order to save all of us. All those who believe. He didn’t say, save only those who believe but are straight or only those who believe but have no sins. God wanted to save all those who believed.

I would rather live my life based on the two most important commandments of God. Rather than go to church for an hour each week and forget the commandments once I step out. Ideally it should be both.

I want to go back to Church regularly but I need to find my faith again in it first. I need to know that when I go there I agree wholeheartedly on what it stands for.

On My 34th Birthday

It’s been 4 years since the proverbial end of the line. When I was first diagnosed, doctors told me I probably would not see my 30th birthday. I just turned 34 today. It’s been 4 years worth of extras so to speak.

My parents, brother and his wife threw me a birthday party. It was different though this year. It turned out to be a children’s party. Most of my friends now have children of their own. I could not have a party and not expect them to bring their kids. So instead of having a grown-up party we decide to just have one that the kids will enjoy too. Turns out, I enjoyed it more.

It was nice to see the kids of my friends. Some of them are my God children. In our country, it’s customary to have several God parents per child. So no, the children are not in danger of getting stuck with me if something happens to their parents.

Time has certainly flown by. Even if I don’t have a family of my own, my friends and their children have become a second family to me.

I did not receive anything grand this birthday. No outrageous present. When I was a kid that was the one thing I looked forward to, a wonderful toy from either my parents or my grand parents. Yet in all my years of celebrating birthdays, this year was a joy unlike no other.

I realized that despite my challenges, my everyday trials, the reality of being in my situation, I am quite lucky. I have a wonderful family that supports me and is always there for me. I have friends who care enough to spend their Sunday with me. I am quite blessed.

I thank God for blessing me with all that I have. I thank him for my parents, Vic and Cyn, who never gave up on me, even when people will understand if they did. I thank him for my brother and my new sister-in-law who also showed me so much love. I thank God for my friends, some of which are like brothers and sisters to me. I thank God for giving my friends children, who I know bring them joy but it also brings me great joy to see them with my friends. I thank God for all the things he has blessed me, material or otherwise. I thank God for the other people who make my life possible, my aides, helpers, drivers, etc. In 34 years God has never failed to bless my life.

Thank you for a wonderful 34 years. Thank you for all the people who have walked into my life. I am blessed because I have them in my life. My only wish is that God gives me more years to come so I can spend it with the people I love.

Good Enough For Another Person

Very few things make me really sad. One of those is things is the fact that my parents have to deal with certain things related to me.

Case in point. My mom and I were talking the other night. She was telling me about the mini-reunion she had with former college classmates. One topic of their conversation was their children who aren’t married yet. Of course this topic is common to all parents who have adult children who are still single.

Their conversation found its way to the moms asking each other if they could pair up their children. So my mom narrated that one by one each parent who had a child that was still single spoke up and said that she’d like to volunteer her son/daughter.

Naturally, my mom told them that she still had a son who was single. That was none other than I. My brother had recently gotten married this year. I definitely know how proud my mom is of me. If there was one person who believes in me it’s her.

I feel bad though. I guess it’s one of my biggest insecurities. I always think that no sane mom would like her daughter to marry someone like me. That’s just a fact of life that I have to deal with. But I know that not all people are like that.

I had a girlfriend before when I was in my early twenties. I remember the day I told my dad that I had a new girlfriend. He sat down with me and told me “you know that she has parents and that they most likely will object, I just want you to be prepared for that”.

True enough, at first when my girlfriend back then told her mom that she was dating me her mother objected. She told her mom that she should get to know me first, if by that time she still thinks I should be with her daughter then they could talk about it then.

In time her mom warmed up to me. To her family’s credit, they all treated me with respect and I never felt that I was not welcome in their home. They were very civil and in fact I am still good friends with her siblings. I still talk to her mom from time to time until now.

It’s not easy to have a son like me. I’m pretty sure my parents would want me to have everything that their other son has. I’m sure that they would eventually want to see me get married and be accepted into another family. I feel bad thinking I might not be able to give that to them.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t look at my situation and pity myself. In fact I use it as motivation to do better, to make something of myself so that what I lack in physical abilities I can make up for in other ways. Hopefully that will be enough to counter act my shortcomings and make other people see that I am good enough for their daughter too.

I don’t know if it will come true. I’m not sure I’ll find someone who will fight hard enough for me and make her family see me the way she does. My ex-girlfriend did that once. Too bad it didn’t work out. But I will be forever grateful to her and her family for treating me well.

For now, I just hope that what I lack in that department I make up for in other things so that I can make my parents proud. I may not be a son that they can “push” to their friends as an option for their unmarried children but hopefully I can make up for it in other ways.

Of Life and Death

There are times in life where you reflect on mortality. Be it your own or in general. The past two weeks was one of those times for me.

Such is the circle of life that birth and death is constant, we all are born, we will all die. That’s a sure thing.

In the span of two weeks, I know two people who passed away (another one I have not met personally but I know the son). I also know two friends who gave birth to two new babies.

Ella is a friend that I’ve known for years. We were not that close but her husband was one of my first friends at Singles For Christ. Ella’s sister-in-law is also one of my dearest friends.

Ella was taken too soon from this world. She battled a brain tumor for the past 10 or so years eventually losing to it a couple of weeks ago. She was a loving wife to Carlo and a doting mother to Carlitos and Vino. She was 37 years old.

Dr. Hermogenes Tantoco or “Tito Mon” as I know him died last Friday night. He had been battling lung cancer for a year or so. He had known about it for that time but never told anyone until it became severe. From the stories I’ve heard, he had wished to spare his family the grief and burden of trying to treat it. He said that he was ready to die and that he had lived a full life.

Tito Mon from what I’ve heard and how I know him was a very fine example of a husband, father and grandfather. He had a life that probably many of us would be envious to have. He was a doctor, businessman but more than that a good husband, father and grandfather. He had a sense of dignity about him that gives the impression that he was not just an important person but also a fine gentleman.

Friends and their respective families will surely miss both Ella and Tito Mon.

Life goes in circles and as two lives go back to their creator, two new lives are also born.

My very good friend Cris, gave birth to Dominque Marie or Nikki. She is the second child of Cris and her husband Rommel.

I also found out that Angela, the sister of a good friend of mine also gave birth early this morning. The tragic thing about it was that it is a bittersweet time for their family. The birth of a baby came at the time where they also lost the father of Angela’s husband.

With each new baby, the circle of life begins anew. I wish these two new babies that were born to friends of mine, a life that is lived as well as the two people I know who passed away sans the disease they suffered.

I wish them both the strength and courage Ella, possessed. She faced her condition head on and lived her life to the fullest despite the challenges. I wish them the life Tito Mon had. He had lived a life that by any measure was well lived. He was married to the love of his life for 50 something years, had great kids, great grandchildren. He left this world with a lot more than what he started with. That’s how most people should live. I’m not talking about wealth but by people we’ve touched, things we’ve done and a difference we made to people around us.

I often think about mortality. Given my condition, it’s a great possibility that I will not live as long as most people should. They said I would not live past 30 and I’m already pushing 34 this year.
I’m honestly scared about death but not because life will end but mostly because I don’t think I’ve live life to the fullest yet. I don’t think I can say I’ve done all that I can and that I’m satisfied with what I’ve done in this world.

I still have things to do, places to see, people to meet but most especially, I still need to do more good in the world before I can honestly say I can leave it with more than what I’ve started with.

I guess at the end of the day, life and death really come hand in hand. Not because it’s natural that life begins and ends but probably because we should all learn to live life to the fullest in order to make death meaningful.

Hooray for Hannah!

With the Cordoviz Family

I’ve always believed that children should always be happy and carefree. In a perfect world no child should be sick. However, we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s sad to see sick children. especially if the condition is so rare and life threatening.
Hannah is a 4 year old girl who suffers from a condition called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome or CCHS. This excerpt from the CCHS Network explains it best.

bq. CCHS is a multisystem disorder of the central nervous system where, most dramatically, the automatic control of breathing is absent or impaired. A CCHS patient’s respiratory response to low blood oxygen saturation (hypoxia) or to CO2 retention (hypercapnia) is sluggish during awake hours and absent to varying degrees during sleep, serious illness, and/or stress.

Hannah is the daughter of Carlo and Joan Cordoviz. I met Carlo almost 2 years ago through Facebook. He looked me up because I belong to a non-profit organization called the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders, our non-profit aims to help people, especially children with rare diseases.

Carlo and I hit it off and we became friends. We had a common bond. A rare disease has touched both our lives. He had a daughter with a rare disease and I was suffering from one. We could understand what each one was going through.
As time went by our friendship became stronger and I got to know more about Hannah. Carlo would update me about her condition and I would also look at her pictures on Facebook.

About a week ago, I found out that Hannah was celebrating her 4th birthday. I asked Carlo’s wife Joan what their plans were. She said that they didn’t have any plans. Due to the enormous strain that Hannah’s condition puts on their finances they didn’t even have any extra left for a small birthday party or even a special gift for Hannah.

I felt really bad when I found out. I felt bad for several reasons. One like I said, children should always be happy. I don’t like it when I see children sad. Two, people like Carlo and Joan who work hard, love their child and try to be the best parents they can be don’t deserve this much hardship. I believe that people who work hard should be rewarded and deserve to have blessings thrown their way.
What I felt was not a sense of pity. I just felt that it was an injustice that good people can’t be happy on a special day in their lives.

It was barely six days away and it was not a lot of time. I didn’t have a lot of resources on my hands but I said to myself, I wasn’t going to let Hannah’s birthday pass by without doing something for her, for their family. It was unacceptable to do so. I also found out from Joan that Hannah liked learning stuff. She also was fond of her speech therapist’s iPod Touch.

I said to myself, Hannah deserves an iPad or at the very least an iPod Touch. I’m an Apple person. I love their technologies and from experience I know that the iPad and iPod Touch are both great learning tools that can be loaded with apps to help a 4 year old child who can’t speak because of her trache, communicate and also learn more with this tool.

It’s settled! Hannah will get an iPad or iPod Touch for her birthday. Oh wait! Damn! I have some expenses I needed to pay off. But I didn’t want that to curtail her gift.

In the middle of the night while browsing through FaceBook, I chanced upon my friend Charles who also happens to be my Apple supplier and is the owner of one of the country’s premier Authorized Apple stores. I asked Charles if he had any iPad’s in stock. He said he wasn’t sure as they really were hard to come by. The only model that would fit in my budget was a 16GB one.

Charles asked me why I needed an iPad. I told her about Hannah and her family’s story. He was so touched and moved by it that he thought for a minute and said. Look, I think I have a display unit of the iPad 1 left. They changed displays at the store because of the new models and they usually sell those display units off.

He told me that it was display unit but it was in very very good condition. Instead of selling it, Charles said, “it’s yours! Give it to Hannah.” I’ll even throw in a free case and screen protector. Have it picked up at the store.

I protested and told Charles that I would be happy to pay. He would have none of it. He simply said that he has been blessed so much and this is just a very small way of giving back. Ok, then. I can’t argue with that. I’ll take it!

Birthday gift, check! But wait! We can’t have a birthday without cake! The next day I promptly put in a call to my cousin “Peachy”:http://peachyjuban.com/ who happens to be one of the country’s top cake designers. I asked her, how much is a birthday cake? She asked me why I needed a birthday cake. My birthday wasn’t for months. I told her about Hannah. She said, “Ok, ok, you got me already. Hannah will get a cake on me.” Not much convincing needed there!

So now we have an iPad and a birthday cake. What else do we need? Oh shoot! I forgot. The iPad is only as strong or useful as the apps on it. Hannah needs some iTunes GCs to load stuff on her iPad.

This time, Twitter comes to the rescue. I sent out a tweet asking where I can get some iTunes GCs. Two friends reply. One of them only wants to be identified as “Tito Pogi”. He asked me why I needed it, I narrate Hannah’s story once again, he says I have an extra iTunes Gift Card here. It’s Hannah’s! I’ll it to you.

Another friend sends me a message. Ms. Chuvaness herself tells me I could get some from DataBlitz in Shangrila. But when she finds out why I needed to buy it, she said, I have an iTunes Gift Card here. Please give it to Hannah.

Hooray! I know have an iPad, iTunes GCs and a cake to bring to Hannah! I was so excited for it to be Sunday.

While I was putting this all together, I was also speaking to a friend who also knows and in fact very close to Carlo and Joan. Pam is also a mother to a special needs child with a rare disease. Pam and Joan had become close friends as well. I told Pam that we should go and visit the Cordoviz family and spend Hannah’s birthday with them. She agreed immediately and made arrangements on her end.

Having a special needs child is never easy. So I know it’s also a sacrifice for Pam to go to the Cordoviz’s house, especially on a Sunday. She made the sacrfice and even brought her daughter Julia, who suffers from Retts Syndrome and Janna, Julia’s younger sister.

Sunday came and I made the trip to Las Piñas. Before going to Hannah’s house though, I went to Shortcrust, Peachy’s shop to pick up a cake. It was such a beautiful cake with fondant frosting and sugar lollipops on top. There was also fondant lettering that spelled out Hannah’s name. It was a marvelous cake from one of Manila’s premier cake designers. It wasn’t just any ordinary cake.

I also passed by KFC to pick up food to bring. KFC is one of my comfort food and it’s not a party without KFC.

I arrived slight past 4 pm in the afternoon. Pam was already there. She brought some gifts and food too. Julia was watching TV and Janna was already upstairs playing with Hannah.

Carlo met us at the driveway. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Carlo and his face showed the signs of weariness from a combination of working nights and still being up in the mornings to help care for his daughter. Despite that he had a smile on his face, happy to see a friend who he has not seen for a long time.

I could sense that seeing friends was definitely a treat for them. They don’t often get a chance to go out and socialize with people because of the round the clock care that Hannah needs. So every chance to see friends is a welcome one.

It was also the first time that I would be meeting Hannah and Joan in person. The time’s I’ve seen Carlo, it was always he who would drop by our house. Up till then, I have not had the chance to make a trip to their house. Mainly because it’s not really easy for me to travel plus a lot of things got in the way.

I was so excited to meet Joan and Hannah! When I got inside the house, Carlo told me that Hannah was still upstairs. She mostly stays in her room, where it’s clean and sterile. They try to keep Hannah away from germs because any little infection can lead to something serious for Hannah.

Hannah came down after awhile. I was so happy to finally meet her in person and even if she could not utter a word, she had her own sign language to communicate with people.

We presented Hannah with the gifts and birthday cake. Although she could not blow her birthday candle, it did not take away from the joy that she felt.

It's an iPad!

Hannah’s dada and mama, helped her open her gifts. The whole family was shocked when they opened the package and saw that it was an iPad! Extremely grateful for the blessing that came their way.

Carlo would narrate later on that he really wanted to give Hannah a used iPod Touch since he could not afford a new one. However Hannah’s birthday came and he still did not have the money to get one. So it was definitely a blessing to get an iPad.

Gifts were opened, food was eaten, stories were shared. In that small living room of a very hardworking and loving family, I was reminded once again that making people happy is a surefire way to make you happy as well. I wasn’t sure who was happier, Hannah and family or I.

I’ve been fortunate enough in life that even though I’ve had to battle a rare disease such as Pompe Disease, I’ve been blessed to have been born into a family with moderate resources. I grew up never lacking in love and happiness. I was able to celebrate birthdays when I was a kid, open lots of presents and share precious moments with my family.

Some people are not as lucky. Not for lack of trying but simply because life throws them challenges that would make most people crumble. Yet, there are people like Carlo, Joan and Hannah, who despite the hardships they face, forge on.

I admire Carlo for being the man that he is. He never abandoned his family despite the enormous challenge they are facing. Joan is equally admirable for being the loving and caring mother to Hannah and a wonderful partner to Carlo. Their family is a great example of how parents should care for their kids.

From the brief time I met Hannah that day, I could see that she’s a wonderful kid, happy, smart, active and sweet. She has been battling with a condition for years and yet her demeanor does not show any negativity at all. I guess deep down inside her, she knows that the people around her love her immensely.

As night came and it was time to go home. I left with a so much joy in my heart that at least on this day, I together with my friends, made a little girl and her family happy. That’s one of the greatest feelings on earth.

I didn’t write this to tell the world of what we did. I wrote this to share with you a story of a 4 year old girl and her family. They’re going through so much yet strive hard to persevere. They deserve to be happy. They deserve to have people do good things for them. They deserve to be blessed. I am writing this in hopes that I inspire people to find deserving people in their lives and do some good for them.

Special thanks go out to Charles Paw of “Digitalhub”:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Digital-Hub-Apple-Premium-Store-Philippines/153969503979, “Peachy Juban”:http://peachyjuban.com/ of “ShortCrust Cake Shop”:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shortcrust-Cake-Shop-by-PEACHY-JUBAN/125411620449, Cecile Van Straten of the famous “chuvaness.com”:http://www.chuvaness.com blog , Tito Pogi, (who refuses to be named but you know who you are), Pam, Julia and Janna. Thank you for making Hannah’s birthday possible.

If you want to make Hannah happy, drop me a message and I’ll get you in touch with them. You can also visit “Hannah’s multiply site”:http://hannahysabelle.multiply.com/.

Stop This Train

bq. “Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But honestly won’t someone stop this train”

That’s a verse of John Mayer’s “Stop This Train”, currently my favorite song. I like it not just because it has good melody but I simply love the lyrics of this song. The lyrics capture what I’ve been feeling lately.

The song is about life going by quickly and the fear of getting older, the fear of losing your parents and going through life on your own.

John and I are roughly the same age and so I am able to relate to his songs a lot. I’m at the stage of my life wherein I’m not young but I’m not old as well. However due to my circumstances I feel as if I’m older than I am.

At this point in my life, conventional wisdom says that I should have some success at work, married and starting a family. I have none of those. I have a good job but not the kind of success that I pictured I would have. I don’t have children nor am I married.

In fact if I don’t look in the mirror, I feel and sometimes act like I’m just in my mid twenties. Not a care in the world. I don’t have any major responsibilities save for myself. my life is my own, I do as I please.

Sounds fun doesn’t it? But it honestly made me think about life. My parents are getting older, I’m getting older, time is running out. What have I done with my life?

In a blink of an eye, I suddenly find myself at the mid-point of my life. I try looking back at my life. I’ve had a good childhood. In fact I miss those times. Life was much more simple.

I’m struggling to find meaning. I’m struggling to find direction. Where do I head to, knowing that my life is not like most people. What will I do when my parents are not around? I spend a lot of time with them. Lately it’s just been the three of us. My brother just got married and starting his own family.

Life is just going by so fast. Like what the song says, I want to stop it and go back to the beginning.

However the song also says that a person should be happy where he is at whatever particular point he is in life. Life has different stages, each with its own perks. We’re at the right point in our lives at the right time. It might not seem evident at times but it’s true.

Even if I say that I want to go back to the beginning, I say that only because I don’t want to lose the people around me. I do not however want to go back to being a teenager. I like where I am right now and I think age and time has a way of doing that to us.

We can’t stop this train. We can’t stop time and life from happening. We just need to embrace it as such and try to make the most out of it, even if we have to take different tracks in life.

Life is indeed going by quickly. We just need to keep up.

Why I don’t Think There’s Was Poll Fraud

It’s sad to say that we’re once again giving the impression that in the Philippines no one loses an election. Everyone is cheated out of winning. The news was abuzz yesterday about the surfacing of one whistle blower saying that the 2010 elections were rigged and that the he was part of the group of people that was rigging the elections.

This tall tale sounds like pure bitterness hatched by people who lost in the elections. Let me express my opinions as to why I don’t think that this particular whistle blower is telling the truth as well as my opinion that at the very least the national elections were not rigged.

The automated election is a whole different monster than the elections of past. To cheat in the automated elections you actually have to do it very high up in the structure or at the very grass roots. Let me explain this. In order to cheat the elections you need to get someone high up from Smartmatic to give you access to the source code, the mechanics of the elections, the machines, etc.. That would mean bribing somebody way up. Even then there is also a check and balance from Comelec so you’d have to bribe those people as well. Granted that Comelec doesn’t have the most sterling of reputations it doesn’t change the fact that you should be bribing the high level officers. Even after doing so it’s one thing to have access to those information and it’s another to have the capability to do something about it.

You can posses the source code but given the complexity of programming, not everyone can do it. You need highly specialized people to alter and write a new set of program to cheat for you. There are not a lot of people that can do that. After that you need to be able to place that program back to the machines in order to cheat. The notion that was said by the whistle blower that they intercepted signals and sent their own is hogwash. First, it’s not that simple. Sure you can jam a signal but intercepting it and sending your own is quite difficult. The transmission is encrypted and by my understanding it’s 128 bit key and that’s not an easy thing to crack. It’s not impossible but I don’t the likes of the whistle blower can do it.

_Edited_

As my friend “Carlo”:http://www.nargalzius.com pointed out, if you want to hack the automated elections you’d probably have to do it through the server level and not the PCOS machines themselves. This would be a more plausible route. Less manpower and easier to keep a secret. Again for this to be possible you’d need to buy people at the higher levels and not the level the purported whistle blower said.

The other way to cheat the elections and a more plausible way of doing so is buy actually buying the votes. There was a news report that said people would take voters aside and pay them actually not to vote. Thus allowing only the supporters of a particular candidate to vote therefore assuring that the candidate won. Now this would be more possible and doable. Unfortunately this only lends itself well to local elections and not national. The sheer amount of votes you need to buy make it impossible to do it via this method for the national elections.

But my biggest argument as to why I think that the national elections were not rigged is the plain and simple fact that the results are consistent. The tally of the votes are consistent with the surveys and exit polls conducted by SWS, Pulse Asia, ABS-CBN, GMA, PPCRV and other organizations. The only difference would be the degree of margin of victory. In all the surveys the result pretty much said that Aquino would win, Erap would be second, Villar third and so on and so forth.

Now people are saying that there was a conspiracy among all of these organizations to put Aquino as President. C’mon people. You can cheat, buy, steal some of the time but you can’t do it all of the time and with everyone. A conspiracy among all these organizations means you need to buy ABS, GMA, SWS, Pulse Asia, PPCRV, etc. That’s not an easy task nor a cheap one.

But what pisses me off the most is that by implying the above statement it means that you’re questioning the integrity of the various people behind these organizations. Especially the journalists who work their asses off to give you the news. It means that Princeton educated and CNN trained Maria Resa was part of this conspiracy as well. She being the head of the news deptartment means that she must have knowledge that they’re reporting erronoeus data. Seriosuly? It means that the reporters, researchers and other people working in the media department were also bought off? Coz I have not heard a single accusation from them. At least nothing of this magnitude.

The main reason why all of this is coming out now is the plain and simple fact that our politicians can’t stand to lose. For all of Villar’s flaws I at least admired him for admitting defeat. Until he changes his stand on that I will respect him. To a certain extend Gibo also. As for the rest stop whinning, take it like a man, so to speak and move on.

Don’t get me started on congress wanting to investigate poll fraud. A lot of them lost in the elections and now they want to investigate why? That’s not fair you can’t have a participant of the election investigate a contest he just participated in. That’s biased. Have an independent body do so.

I sincerely believe that if any cheating was done during the past election it was probably done at the local level and not at the way that is being mentioned. I believe there was still coercion, vote buying and bullying in the provinces or the remote areas of the country but at the national level I believe that the results are fair and valid. Believe me some of the results I wish were not true.

Some question why Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada topped the elections. There’s a plain and simple explanation for this. People vote for who they know. Especially since most of our populations is undeducated or under educated, they don’t choose based on qualifications. They vote because they know this person and to a certain extend they feel that they can relate to them.

Let me tell you a story. I’ve been going to PGH for the past 4 years. I know this orderly who helps me whenever I’m there. I asked him who he was voting for and why. He mentioned Erap, Jinggoy and Bong. I asked how come? He said despite what people say the three of those have actually made a difference to the poor patients in PGH. During Erap’s time a CT Scan machine broke. This machine was being used by charity patients. Within a short time frame a new one was sent by Erap. Bong and Jinggoy also have letters of guarantee on standby in PGH to guarantee assistance for patients who can’t afford to pay. To those people it actually makes a difference.

Do I want the three of them in office? No. I didn’t vote for them. why? Because I believe their approach to the problems of society is wrong. However that’s my opinion and some people think otherwise. I just need to respect that.

People vote for who they know. That’s the same reason Noynoy is posied to win. It was his name, the legacy that his parents left that pushed him towards victory. It was unfortunate for other candidates that circumstances happened that propeled Aquino on his way to victory. I believe it was just really his destiny to win. That’s what the other candidates are finding hard to grasp. I understand their point of view. Some have prepared a long time for the elections and here comes a man who didn’t want it in the first place and he ends up as the possible victor. It’s hard to accept. But…. they have to.

To Aquino and his team’s credit they were able to sustain the momentum by not screwing up the campaign too much. Well except with the Mar faux paux who is all but certain to lose the VP race. I asked people about why they chose to vote for Binay and not Mar, the consensous was they didn’t want to see Korina in power. Sad but true. Mar is a good guy in my opinion. He would make a good VP. Alas it was not meant to be.

So to sum this up. Do I think that the allegations of that whistle blower is true? No! Was there cheating? Maybe but in isolated cases at the local level. For the most part was the elections clean? Yes I think so. The results are consistent with the surveys and exit polls.

To those who say that SWS, Pulse Asia, PPCRV, ABS, GMA were all conspiring to rig the elections, shame on you. You’re maligning the intergrity of people who work tirelessly to give you information that you want. You must remember after all is said and done these people go back to normal lives. SWS and Pulse Asia will do survey work for companies and other entities, if they risk their reputation they risk their livelihood and their standing not only here but internationally. What to these people have to gain by rigging the elections?

My Vote Is Cast

Votes Are In

For those who know me, you understand that it’s not that easy for me to make the trek to the voting precinct or any where for that matter. However it is my civic duty as a Filipino citizen to cast my ballot and make my voice heard as to who I want to lead our country.

This election is very important. It’s the first time that our nation will have automated elections. It’s an untested system being administered by a government institution who’s credibility is extremely low. That has a lot of people worried. More than that, we’ve been under GMA for the past 9 years. While her allies say we’ve made progress a lot of us Filipinos feel like we’ve been going backwards.

So I made the trek to my polling precinct. I was lucky that I went around 4 in the afternoon. The lines were non-existent and only the heat made it difficult to vote.

The actual filling up of the ballot took all of 5 mins, while the whole experience was around 20 mins. All in all it was a good experience for me. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the country but a lot of reports of failed counting machines, vote buying and election violence reminds us that while we live in a democracy it’s still severely lacking.

I cast my vote not only for myself. I cast my vote for the millions of Filipinos who have no access to adequate health care and education. Those two are the most important issues for me. I voted for candidates who in my opinion will make progress towards a Philippines wherein you don’t have to go bankrupt because you’re sick or because you sent your children to school.

Experience

Tomorrow will be a big day for our country. We’ll get to choose our leaders for the next 6 years. It’s an even bigger day because of the situation that we’re in. As a country we’ve dug ourselves in such a deep hole that I truly fear if we don’t choose the right leaders this time around, we’ll get to a point wherein we won’t be able to dig ourselves out of the situation we’re in.

During the campaign season, experience is a word I’ve heard a lot. Candidates have listed a whole slew of degrees and whatnots on their resume. This is touted as a measure of his/her experience to lead the country.

But what about experiences that can not be measured by degress or positions? Does that not count as well?

Some people have been so focused on just the academic or work experiences of candidates that they’ve failed to see their life experiences. What they’ve gone through provides a unique insight that’s individual to them. Sometimes this can be more powerful than any academic or professional experience.

I should know. If you look at my resume, while it’s ok it’s modest compared to some of my peers. Yet, I’ve gone through experiences in my life which others have not and this has provided me a unique insight or perspective on life. This in turn has allowed me to be wiser than other people my age and older. The challenges I faced over the years have taught me a lot of things that I can never learn from school or work.

So when we look at the choices we make we shouldn’t just focus on academic or professional measurements of the candidates but also their life experiences. What they’ve gone through, what they’ve done after going through those experiences and how they’ve matured because of it.

Life is a great teacher, however sometimes the lessons you learn just can’t be placed in your resume because there’s no way to quantify them.