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Showing posts from March, 2016

Ilala & Cotabato's Drought Of A Thousand Days

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MANILA: Farmers occupying Main Street and not letting any vehicle pass is not news anymore.


But here they are, at least 6,000 of them occupying the entire road in front of the National Food Authority warehouse in Kidapawan City. Never mind the placards: "Thousands of farmers, Lumad paralyze Cotabato-Davao highway to demand drought relief" – ANN (author not named, 30 March 2016, interaksyon.com). "(They) demand immediate government relief from the six-month drought that has devastated their crops."

Now, now, boys and girls, you are being unreasonable. Considering government on one side, considering you on the other side. There are always at least 2 sides to a controversy.

Side 1, your local government: If your Governor Emmylou Mendoza will desire to provide instant relief, if there are 5,000 farm families in your province and she gives each family P5,000, a measly sum of course, where will she get an instant gargantuan sum of P25 million?!

Side 2, you local farmers:…

Google's Genius & Mine

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MANILA: Tom Hale has written a challenge: "How Many Of Google's Banned Interview Questions Can You Answer?" (29 March 2016, IFL Science, iflscience.com). Tom says, "Google has a fabled history of asking some ridiculously out-(of)-the-box questions and brain teasers at their interviews. In fact, as reported back in 2011, some of the questions were so tough that they were banned by the company." 

So I Frank A Hilario have challenged myself and took time out, about 10 minutes, no cheating, to answer the following questions (below). I know that Google is genius in many ways, but not always. For instance, Google's PageRank is not genius to me – it's a cheat. As I have written before, "PageRank over-counts the occurrences of keywords – and knowing that, to get to the top of a Google's search list of webpages, people over-types those keywords in their articles in what they call "search engine optimization" (SEO), a beautiful term for an ug…

What Federalism? Precisely, That Is The Question!

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MANILA: I am for Federalism and Rodrigo Duterte is for federalism and Mar Roxas is against it, but I'm voting for Roxas as President anyway. Roxas for his Vision. (For more on my endorsement, see my essay "Considering Mar Roxas," 12 March 2016, A Magazine Called Love, blogspot.com.)

Bongbong Marcos agrees with Duterte's proposal for federalism; no, I'm not endorsing such Federalism, but I'm voting for him as Vice President anyway. Marcos for his Leadership. (See my essay, "Bongbong Marcos: The Son Has Risen," 28 March 2016, same blog, blogspot.com.)

But Duterte and Roxas and Marcos are all wrong on Federalism or, rather, they all have a narrow view of it. Clue: Why shouldn't we invent our own Federalism, one that is popular, dictated by the people, not the Central Government?

"Roxas says Duterte-backed federalism would result in higher taxes" – Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez (28 March 2016, GMA Network, gmanetwork.com). He is correct, if …

Bongbong Marcos: The Son Has Risen.

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MANILA: Yes and No. 

Certainly I disagree with Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr when he says, "Love, not gender, defines marriage" (Ron Lopez & Justine Dizon, Inquirer.net, lifestyle.inquirer.net). I'm a Roman Catholic. Like is not love; the Bible limits marriage to between man and woman and considers same-sex relationships as an abomination, intensely to be loathed, disgusting. The Catholic Church recognizes male-female marriage as a Sacrament, "a rite believed to be a means of or visible form of grace" (American Heritage Dictionary). It is God-given; otherwise, it is Devil-given. I say: No to same-sex unions!

Certainly I agree with Bongbong when he speaks of the position of Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao on same-sex unions (Ron Gagalac, 15 February 2016 news.abs-cbn.com). Manny says (almost), "No!" Referring to that, Bongbong says, "Everybody is entitled to (one's) opinion, Iyon ang kanyang paniniwala. May karapatan ang b…

The ISIS Question Is The Muslim Question Is The Question

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MANILA: Today is Easter Sunday. But it isn't Happy Easter to everyone! The richest countries of the world are terrified with the virtual and actual violence brought to their lands by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

2015 December 09 – "Paris attacks: What happened on the night" – ANN (author not named, BBC News, bbc.com). "On the night of Friday, 13 November, gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously – and left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded."

2016 January 25 – "Dozens dead in Cameroon suicide bomb attack" – ANN, The Guardian, theguardian.com). "Four suicide bombers have killed at least 35 people in a village in Cameroon's Far North Region, the most deadly in a string of recent attacks in an area beset by violence connected to Boko Haram."

2016 February 27 – "Suicide bombings in Afghanistan kill at least 26" – Mujib Mashal & Jawad Sukhanyar …

Frank H's Landscape Agriculture: Can you see the water?

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MANILA: On Facebook, I have just seen what is clearly landscape agriculture: the faces of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards defined in a ricefield; the link is to "AlDub-inspired rice paddy kindles youth's interest in agriculture" (ANN, 24 March 2016, gmanetwork.com). The news doesn't say exactly where it's at, except that it is in the FutureRice farm of PhilRice, which is based in the village of Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija. We are told the paddy art is now a popular tourist destination. Maine Mendoza herself has tweeted on it: "Wow this is super cool! Galing!!!" (Clever). Worth a visit if you ask me.


Although FutureRice Program Leader Roger Barroga doesn't refer to it as such, it is landscape agriculture. I have a different kind. Roger's kind emphasizes the view from the top; my kind emphasizes the view from the top to the bottom, which is the subject of this essay. Look at the photo above and you'll have an idea.

I'…

Here's What We Can Do At Once To Fight Climate Change

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MANILA: The heat is on!

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has noted temperatures rising as the summer kicks in this March (Dona Z Pazzibugan, 23 March 2016, "Temps rising to danger level – Pagasa, newsinfo.inquirer.net)." The heat index, or the temperature actually felt by the (human) body, came close to extremely dangerous levels last Monday in Pangasinan," that is, at 48.4°C measured at its weather station in Dagupan City, Pagasa says. Last 18 March, the heat index in that same place was 46.5°, a rise of almost 2°. The danger is real.

Pagasa didn't say what we could do, so here are some pieces of advice from me, an agriculturist, a writer and an original thinker:

My 1st Advice:
We must stop giving too much importance to the carbon footprint of every individual and institution, every country and citizen of the world.

My 2nd Advice:
To do something positive to counteract climate change, we must stop mourning…

I Have A Dream

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MANILA: I am writing this with apologies to Martin Luther King who delivered his earth-shaking speech, "I Have A Dream," on 28 August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC ("Top 100 Speeches," undated, American Rhetoric, americanrhetoric.com). King is an authentic hero who wanted his people liberated from their individual and social slavery – 50 years later, it's still a dream.

And I? I have a dream, and then another. One is an authentic dream to liberate my people from their presidential myopia that they don't realize they have. Two is to liberate my people from their Internet slavery!

"Slow PH Internet hurts businesses," says CNN (Cecille Lardizabal & Pia Bonalos, 26 November 2015, cnnphilippines.com). "House panel blames gov't for slow Internet speed" (Ryan Ponce Pacpaco, 10 January 2016, journal.com.ph). "I feel slow Internet pain, too, says Roxas" (Marlon Ramos, 07 March 2016, investphilippines.info).

Any…