January 12-18

The Root of The Dysfunctional Philippine Justice System

I sent this story to the op-ed sections of five different national broadsheets on the last week of November 20012. Some things came up and I wasn't able to check if they published it or not

The Philippine justice system still remains dysfunctional at its root, despite motherhood statements for political mileage. I personally witnessed this when I accompanied a friend of mine, victimized by theft and still in shock, to file a complaint. My friend has just put all his life savings for a small Internet shop in Malate, most of the equipments still on loan, and the new houseboy vanished with all 10 computers and that day's earnings. The suspect had applied for the job but he took his documents along with the loot. Following a hunch and armed only with the name, I found a photo of him on Facebook

We went first to the barangay hall at the street at the back of Shoppes@Victoria around 7 in the evening of Nov. 25, 2012, Sunday. It was empty. We waited for half an hour. Later, the barangay secretary points us to the police outpost in Pedro Gil diagonally across Robinson's Place 

An officer named Gacayan refuses to help, saying we had to go to the Theft and Robbery  He, like the barangay secretary, keeps asking the wrong questions, like "What are we planning to do?" He refuses to help, saying we had to go to the Theft and Robbery Section in the WPD station on U.N. Ave., because the stolen items are worth more than a hundred thousand Pesos 

At the WPD, a tall officer wearing a checkered polo shirt who didn't give out his name, also refuses to help, saying there's a new memo that they would handle only crimes that involve two hundred thousand. He says we had to go, instead, to the precint at the back of Manila Zoo at the city outskirts 

When we got there, a young man in handcuffs is being jailed; an elderly policeman, before pushing him into the cramped cell, delivers such a strong punch into his stomach

The desk officer named Lauriaga, to his credit, actually takes the time to explain where we stand. Since it was the 25th and the crime happened on thd 12th, according to the rules of the Philippine National Police, an arrest warrant cannot be issued anymore. What my friend, the victim, needs to do is to file a case at the city hall, with the suspect's complete name (with middle name) and complete address for a judge to issue a subpoena. If the suspect doesn't appear at the hearing, then the judge may issue a warrant for contempt Apparently, Malate is handled by precints 5 and 9. Lauriaga, who was in 9, is helpful: he calls the precint 5 in Pedro Gil (the one we been to earlier and the nearest precint to the crime scene), and tells them that our case is within their jurisdiction 

Back at the Pedro Gil precint 5, Gacayan adamantly still refuses to help, saying we should go instead to the precint in Arquiza street a half dozen blocks away, without even the courtesy of a phone call to them

The police, with their reputation of incompetence and abuse of authority, also has the parochial mentality of refusing to do what they are actually being to paid to do: to serve and protect the people. nstead, they treat civilians like the rotten apples associated with their image, throwing them to their neighbor's yard 

In a single crime, a citizen gets victimized twice: by the act itself, and the police's bureaucratic adherence to rules that defy common sense and basic human compassion

Huggybear’s Virtual Vocal Coach 

Singing is more than meets the ear. Proper breathing, in singing as in yoga, is the key. The vocal chords are muscles, says Eric Arceneaux, voice coach, recording artist and founder of the ArceneauxApproach voice training method. Like all muscles, it gets stronger with exercise, and gets weaker with lack of it -- and can be damaged with the wrong ones. So you really need to warm up, he says, and you can't do that just by singing. Here are some of his warm-up exercises. First, hiss out loud, as if telling someone to shut up -- ssshhhh! -- until your breath is gone. Then do the lip roll, vocalizing, letting your lips vibrate. Just free your voice, let it go down, then up

At all times, you have to be relaxed, no straining because that's counter-productive. Always be aware of where your voice is going. Crucial reason why people have difficulty singing is the lack of warm ups and daily exercises. Athletes know this: warm-ups will push you to be at your very best. Do these everyday and before long, you'll notice tthat your voice is stronger, deeper and fuller. I should know

Jabidah Massacre

I was talking with the former provincial administrator of Jolo (or so he says), around the third week of May. Apparently, Sabah belongs to the Philippines. It was leased by the Sultanate of Sulu to the British North Borneo Timber Corp in the 19th century. After World War 2, Sabah was lumped with the Federation of Malaysia, from which Singapore and Brunei broke away to become solo nations. So Sabah was left with Malaysia. It turns out that Marcos' Operation Jabidah, the secret recruitment and training of Sulu's fearsome Samal Bangenge tribal warriors in Corregidor, was meant to be a coup to reclaim Sabah. It was also known as the Jabidah Massacre, because the food-denied troops staged a mutiny and they were all killed

You know, like, Hamlet?

The Jabidah Massacre inspired the Cinemalaya movie Rekrut

The Four Personality Temperaments

All my life I have avoided self-labels. I came across Relasyon, a radio show on 92.3 NewsFM which gives free legal advice, hosted by Luchi Cruz Valdez and Mel Santa Maria, around lunchtime while trying to sleep for work tonight. The guest is a doctor who is discussing the four personality temperaments. I don't believe in putting myself in a box. I like to be in the limelight sometimes but I'm not strictly sanguine. I can be organized but I don't label myself as melancholic. I have displayed leadership qualities at various times but I don't label myself as choleric. I like peace and quiet but I won't label myself as phlegmatic because I'm not, never was or never will be submissive. Meaning: I am all of them but I am none of them

I simply cannot imagine that the infinite variety of personalities in the world can fit in just four categories. In my own temperamental-defying opinion, I find it absurd.

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

January 6, 2013,
5:58 a.m., Sunday

I love the absolute silence of early dawn. I feel more connected to The Force across the universe. I'm more in touch with myself, more introspective, and hopefully, more open to my spirit guides. I'm sitting on my desk, with broiling-hot lobster crackers, reading about the breath patterns and transitional moves between asanas for hatha yoga. There is a way between simplicity (Less Is More) and living life to the fullest ("What A Feeling!"). I just have to find out how to blend work with working out, writing, yoga, meeting my financial responsibilities while saving for my future, and of course, traveling, into one perfect harmony, like a master conductor of a symphony orchestra. Some call it time management, but I like my imagery better. Somewhere in between is (kilig) lovelife, hahaha! Cheesybear!!! 

What A Feeling:


From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

January 4, 2013
7:46 a.m., Friday

I meditate. I do yoga. I believe in reincarnation. I talk to plants. I can be telepathic sometimes. I bond instantly with decent and broadminded people. On the other hand, back-fighters and power-trippers hate me. I'm happy even in solitude. I don't feel the need for other people's approval to validate my worth. I measure a person only by his character, never his resume. I know a good man when I see one. I can let go and move on. I'm not afraid to say goodbye. I'm not afraid to be different. I never pretended to be "normal." But I'll be damned if I apologize for being who I am

Tony Robbins - Financial Freedom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbadeGD85Ac