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We all want absolute certainty that things will go as planned. And when it doesn't  ( as is usually the case ) , we blame ever...

(The following is a press release from the NUJP - National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Iloilo Chapter, release yesterday, March 11, 2016)

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP-Iloilo Chapter), strongly condemns the harassment of reporter Aldrin Soqueña of RMN-Iloilo by Barangay Captain Angelo Joseph Areño and the barangay tanods of San Jose, Jaro, Iloilo City on March 10, 2016. 

Mr. Soqueña was merely doing his job as a reporter by following up a story on World War II vintage mortar bombs found at a construction site in the village. But Barangay Captain Areño and his tanods threatened Mr. Soqueña, took his Press ID, cellphone, pen, and notebook. They also hurled insulting words at Mr. Soqueña. If reports are true that Barangay Captain Areño and his tanods were drunk when they harassed Mr. Soqueña, this is tantamount to a mafia-style of leadership in the village. 

The NUJP-Iloilo Chapter also condemns the laxity of the Jaro Philippine National Police in responding to the incident. Police officers did not immediately arrest Barangay Captain Areño and even had the gall to say to Mr. Soqueña that they will just “escort” the village chief to the police station. 

We also join the call that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC-Iloilo City) discipline or sanction Barangay Captain Areño. We also call on the Iloilo City Police Office to uphold its mandate in protecting victims instead of siding with erring local officials.

For Reference:
- Glenda Sologastoa, President
- Tara Yap, Secretary

It's all over the web. 

The Philippine Supreme Court yesterday allowed Senator Grace Poe to run for president --- coinciding with the International Women's Day at that. (Makes you wonder the court must be keeping an editorial calendar too.)  

Some pundits say this development should put the 47 year old senator at the forefront of the race from now on. After all, she has managed to stay strong despite the uncertainty to her candidacy. Now that everything is clear and sunny, how else could she not win?

But things have changed a lot since before Poe's "fall from grace", in the ratings game. 

For one, voters got see how Poe deal with real adversities. When shit hits the fan, the lady senator has not actually managed to retain her brand of intelligent lady boss confidence she used to display at the Senate hearings when she would grill unwitting "big fishes" to her well-oiled cooking pan. To some voters, Poe actually lost some of her confident "poise" midway in the heat of defense --- giving off a different impression  --- one that some voters may have found to be less than ideal for a president of a country besieged with so much bigger problems than her little crisis of candidacy.    

The second effect of Poe's partial eclipse was that it gave opportunity for other candidates to shine brighter. Okay, actually, it was Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who clearly benefited most. From bottom dweller, he is now second in the surveys. 

Duterte's numbers are trending up while Poe's were struggling to maintain hold of the top post. If recent presidential election history is to serve as basis, it's tough being at the top. Ramos upended Miriam's monolithic dominance by a slight margin. And even the very popular Erap sustained a significant downturn in popularity towards the end of his campaign..  

Entrepreneurs, business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as students of business and entrepreneurship are expected to swarm the 2nd Entrepreneur Success Summit (ESS) on March 11, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Megatrade Function Room B, SM Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Event organizer MEDIACOM Solutions Inc. said the summit is a comprehensive series of talks every enterprising Filipino should not miss. MEDIACOM CEO and ESS Founder, David Abrenilla noted that in the last 5 years the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) accounted for 99.6% of all registered companies in the Philippines but they contribute only a little over 30% to the country’s GDP. “With this in mind,"  Arbenilla said, "our vision is to fuel even more the spirit of entrepreneurship with the help of our roster of successful international and local speakers." 


  • The Power of a Successful Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Successful Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
  • How to successfully turn your Business into a Franchise
  • Secrets of Becoming a Powerful Sales Champion
  • Building Competitive Edge by Developing Quality Customer Service


  • Mr. Raymond Lim, CEO of RB Global Holdings
  • Mr. Jay Mclean, Founder and CEO of Business Evolution
  • Mr. Rudolf Kotik, Founder of RK Franchise Consultancy
  • Mr. Jonathan Petalver CEO and President of Petalver Management Consultancy Services
  • Ms. Florlynn Dela Peña, President of BASIC Inc.

The Entrepreneur Success Summit is a partner event of the 3rd Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo Philippines. To learn the secrets to success, register at or call +63.2.509.4792,  +63.927.395.1575 or email Elvis at

What if you have the power to change the world.. or even just make it a little better? Would you deny the world this gift?

This question may sound nice and naive and idealistic. But I am neither of the three.. or at least not anymore. Not after what life put me through. Not after what people pulled me through. I was ready to give up. And maybe I had. In a big way.

I was determined to just live for myself. Have it my way. Just focus on what I can do. For me. Just me. I will be kind to myself. For once. And forget about everyone else's opinions. I will forgive myself of my own mistakes. Give myself unlimited chances. To try again. And make more mistakes. And care not at all for what other people may think and say. Whoever the fuck they may be.

I never asked to be who I am. I never even asked to be born. What do I owe anyone?

I am me. And I would never apologize for being me. I am never gonna be a prisoner of anybody's expectations. No one will ever again dictate me on how to be.

I am me. Still just a frail, ageing and humbled human. Yet I am free.

I may not have much. But my God-given freedom is more than enough to dignify and give meaning to my existence. Therefore, never trust anyone who only has contempt for your freedom.

But freedom is useless.. If you won't use it.

You have to use it to help yourself. To be better. But don't try to be better by becoming someone you are not. Instead, be better at being yourself. Yes. Be better at being yourself. And that will lead you to become the best version of yourself. And don't be surprised one day when you look in the mirror, you'll see this amazing human being staring right back at you, saying "congratulations, you did your bit in building a better world!"
If you have any real sense of moral responsibility at all, let it be about achieving your own human potential. Let it be about taking care of your personal growth. Let it be about becoming a gift to yourself, and after that (by default), you shall have become a gift to the world. (Not that everyone will admire, agree or even acknowledge. You're not doing this for them, remember?)

Building a better world begins with building a better you, for you, by you. And contrary to what you might like to expect, it stops there. Never impose your gospel on others.  This is not a social movement nor a religion but a call to a "personal revolution". It has to come organically from within, or else where is the efficacy in that?

Never impose on others your values and your visions -- your truths. People are smart. They will get it. Your good intentions are NOT moral justification for your dictatorial stance. If you really have good intentions, then all the more should you respect other people's process of growth. (Don't even compare your own growth). The process is NEVER the same for everyone. You are not helping if you are getting in the way of their process in any way. You're just delaying their growth. The most you can do is inspire them, in silence. Just be a shining beacon in your own humble corner.. where those of us in the dark can never miss your light. One more thing, just focus on your own continuing growth, because you still need it, (we all do) and so do the world.

BUT BEWARE...! Unfortunately, not all people will leave you alone. There are smart, talented and influential people out there who will actually trick you into investing your total dependence on them. Your frail and pavlovian human nature is no match for the force of their personality and sheer sense of superiority.

It's not enough to focus on self-improvement and allowing other's the same space. You have to arm yourself against the tricksters and manipulators, who consciously preys upon your kindness and trust --- and eat your very soul. Life is too short to waste on blood suckers. And never think it's any of your responsibility to "cure" them. As soon as they assume that responsibility for themselves, they will find cure.

So, if you still haven't got a clue, let me spell it for you.

  • + One person has what it takes to build a better world. 
  • + And that person is You.
  • + Good news, is if you are up for the challenge.
  • - But if you aren't yet tired of your excuses, that's bad news.

We all want absolute certainty that things will go as planned. And when it doesn't (as is usually the case), we blame everyone and everything. Our belief in the possibility of "perfection" is strong. Warriors and fighters, on the other hand, have developed a secret winning strategy that works 99% of the time. It is called, "being realistic". Apparently, having to put their lives on the line everyday - as part of doing their job - has opened their eyes to a drastically different way of seeing things. We should try that once in a while.

War strategist Carl von Clausewitz used the word "friction" to represent the difference between our plan and what actually happens The bigger the deviation from the plan, the bigger the "friction".

More "friction" translates to more "heat" --- more aptly known as "stress". And "stress" can warp our sense of proportion and wreaks havoc on our propensity for complexity --- which can then feed into itself, until you get overwhelmed, burned out, or break down.

"Friction" is unavoidable because nothing in life is ever the same. No amount of thinking in advance can prepare you for the infinite possibilities of the present moment. Possibilities which you may take advantage of or fall victim to.

What would you give to become immune to friction? 

Indeed, what would you give for the ability to feed on "friction" and convert stress into capacity for excellent performance? Of being able to be attuned to the FORCE of circumstances and master of the moment?

Being master of the moment is what I call being "dangerously awesome".

More than just being fully alive, being dangerously awesome means being fully awake. It means having tremendous fluency and fluidity in adapting to the unexpected. It means having the speed of mind to quickly see and use the potentialities of the unexpected as if you were counting on it to happen because you planned it that way.

At the root of this seemingly tremendous adaptive capacity is our basic set, standard issue, "human survival drive". We are familiar with this kind of strength, we hear inspiring stories and tall tales about it all the time. We admire people who seem to have it, even fictitious characters. But we don't know we have it within us until huge problems force us to be strong.

Philosophers and legendary warriors of old talk openly about this but they can't help but sound vague and mystical. How can they not? Wisdom gained in the face of death in the heat of the battlefield. Wisdom gained over a lifetime of meditations and discourses. They all speak of the same paradoxes to achieving personal excellence.

There are five core principles [and seven powerful ideas for unleashing them.]    

When you realize their life-changing potential, you will understand why I call them dangerous.


Maintain a constant "grasp" of the moment. Be at peace with chaos. Embrace uncertainty. Romance the unexpected. It takes a lot of will power to be always realistic and alert to the changing landscape. But REALITY does not really offer you any alternative. You have no choice in the matter. Surrender to the moment. But make the surrender, your choice. A decision you own. A realization that you are actually "connected" to the universe, so it's less a surrender and more of coming back home. Accept this moment. Love it. The chaos within and the chaos without is one and the same chaos that permeates the universe. Embrace the moment like there is no other reality, cause there really is none.

Seize the moment. Instead of getting overwhelmed, use it's energy as incentive to be fully engaged with reality. Ride life's momentum. Life is a "happening", an event, a constant stream, a cosmic phenomenon.  If you don't ride life's momentum, you'll get run over and over. And over.

Life is a closed door. If you don't open it and get inside, it will forever be an enigma to you. Action is the key to getting inside. And when you act, act generously, not half-hearted. Give. Give back to life. Especially when it seems you have no more to give. Keep giving. Give generously of your self in whatever you are doing now. Invest yourself in the moment completely. If it's not worth doing well, its not worth doing at all. To be aimless is to be dead. Stop waiting for opportunities. Instead, just do something, practically anything of value. That will "attract" opportunities. Especially, do something that you love. Action invites opportunities.

Believe in your success. Especially when it's hard to believe. Keep believing. Hold on to your vision. Keep in mind that strategic vision is more important than specific strategies. That with a powerful vision, everything will fall into place. Focus on the vision and believe.

The power is within you. It's irrelevant to think whether you earned it, or deserving of it. You just happen to have the power by virtue of being alive. That's what you need to understand, believe and be thankful for.  Your next concern is how to unleash it.  And that's the topic for a sequel post.



MANILA, Philippines—United Nationalist Alliance Vice Presidential candidate Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II hits the campaign trail today with the battle cry “Patas ang Laban,” and armed with almost 40 years of experience both as part of the military and as a member of the Philippine Senate.

His platform of government complements UNA standard-bearer VP Jejomar Binay’s “Gaganda ang Buhay” that when combined means EQUALITY leads to BETTER LIVES.

Senator Honasan is an advocate Pro-Poor Governance & Ideology by integrating poverty reduction, respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms to allow people to live with dignity.

“The key to progress is to adopt economic and social policies that are responsive to the people’s needs, while holding decision makers accountable to the people and make them adhere to the rule of Law,” he said of his platform of government.
“We need to harness our natural resources to ensure sustainable development, maximize the potential of an empowered citizenry, and the economic impact of the business sector, to attain the liberalization of the less fortunate citizens from poverty and unconscionable inequality,” Senator Honasan added.

Senator Honasan has fought for a lot of different causes throughout his life—17 years as a soldier, 7 years as a rebel and 21 years as a Senator, but the one thing that has remained constant is his guiding principle for God, Country and Family.

As a solider, Senator Honasan  gallantly fought for democracy earning him a number of medals, awards, decorations and commendations for gallantry in action including three Distinguished Conduct Stars, Gold Cross medals and Wounded Personnel Medals sustained in combat. In 1985, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men given by the Philippine Jaycees.

In 1986, Honasan was one of the young leaders who broke away from the martial law government and led his troops to ignite the EDSA revolution.  

In 1995, Senator Honasan ran for office as the first truly independent candidate in Philippine political history to win a Senate seat.  He was re-elected in 2001, 2007 and recently in 2013.

Achievements And Accomplishments

He is principal author and co-author of, among others, the Clean Air Act of 1999, Clean Water Act, the National Security Policy, Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2009, the Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms Law (CARPER). He is shepherding the Freedom of Information Act which he now refers to as the POGI Bill – People’s Ownership of Government Information Act, the National Mapping and Resource Authority Law and the Land Use Act.

Senator Honasan has proposed a Mini-Marshall Plan for Mindanao to help jumpstart economic development, peace and order, and political unity. The proposal will also help end centuries of armed

To date, he has sponsored over 200 Medical-Dental-Surgical Missions in depressed areas of the country, serving at least 20,000 indigent patients.

He is a prime mover of the National Security Strategy Framework which seeks to define the country’s national security and strategy in the light of internal and external security threats and the consequent National Peace Policy.

Sponsored the computer education scholarship of 3,000 students thru the Sulong Dunong sa Kaunlaran program and the college scholarship of 106 out-of-school youths.

Under the Gregorio B. Honasan Peace and Development Foundation, he regularly distributes relief assistance to calamity-hit areas in the country.

Served thousands of constituents requesting for claims for PVAO, SSS and AFP/PNP claims and refund of teachers’ loans through his Public Service Program aired over RMN-DZXL and DZRH-Radyo Natin and Gringo Honasan Reports aired over RPN-9 and PTV-4.

“This election is not about me. It is about you, your future and the future of the country. This may be the last time I will stand on a national platform to speak to the Filipino people. And my message to those who were born during that time and those who were not yet born, is this: ‘When the Filipino people get together with their soldiers under moral leadership, change is possible, that the systemic changes and the re-engineering of our society and our government that is required for real reforms can actually happen—we did it 30 years ago, I believe we can do it again. All we need to do is to make rational, intelligent, informed decisions based on facts, not on popularity or perception before we cast our vote.’”

“I have dedicated most of my life to my country, yet for a few times, history has placed me as an enemy of the government and the people I have sworn to protect. History may be written by the victors, but it is up to us to carve out our own legacy, and my accomplishments are proof of what I have done for our country.”

“I have stood in the grounds of Malacanang Palace three times in my life in full combat gear without an invitation except the invitation from my conscience, but after 42 years, now, I know exactly what to do.”

Gringo Honasan – for Equality, for Progress, for Vice President.
conflict and terrorism.

Shortly after the previous presidential election, I became increasingly disillusioned about politics in general and President Benigno Aquino III, in particular. I became so disillusioned that I eventually decided to refrain from writing about public affairs. Lately, I have come to see politics in a fresh new light. Perhaps a fermenting of my pessimism into political maturity ---  or just a natural sign of ageing. Whichever it may be, I believe it's high time to weigh in on the game again. 


The mudslinging has been on for some time now but it's only today that it is officially in full swing.
And here are the official presidential contestants (in no particular order):

  1. Vice President Jejomar Binay
  2. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago 
  3. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte 
  4. Senator Grace Poe 
  5. Administration bet Mar Roxas


Despite meeting people who are die hard fanatics of each candidate, the overwhelming sentiment I get these days is precisely that Filipino voters seem underwhelmed by the choices for president. No one seems just good enough.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey generally reflects this scenario:

  1. Poe regains the top rank at the survey with 30 percent 
  2. Jejomar Binay ranked second with 23 percent
  3. Roxas and Duterte each scored 20 percent
  4. Defensor-Santiago has 4 percent voter preference

Any which way you look at it, these numbers are weak, if not pathetic. These numbers imply that any candidate who can muster the genius or the luck to capture the popular imagination even late in the game can play wild card and dominate the polls.

Here are a few random thoughts thin slicing inside my head:

Poe has her citizenship case dangling over her head up to now -- and I bet this will be so up to the last minutes prior to elections, if only because it would be to all her opponent's collective advantage. That's the penalty for being an early topper. Her citizenship, as well as the way she handles her citizenship crisis, have eroded her credibility and perceived desirability.

Binay has been known to pull out last minute, under the rug surprises (remember the Noy-Bi phenomenon?) 

Duterte may be tied with Roxas now, but his unique brand and strong unapologetic message could prove deadly for his opponents. He also happens to enjoy the "new kid in town" advantage.

Roxas has been a bottom dweller, consistently shooting himself in the foot. It would take, I dunno, no less than a catastrophic miracle for him to land a victory. He has a huge image problem that I would love to see him fix whether or not he wins.   

Defensor-Santiago is, as far as numbers go, a non-player. For sure, she should have won a long time ago. But now she's but a faint echo of a thunder long gone.


The final stretch will be a duel between Binay and Duterte.

I believe the underwhelmed majority will eventually warm up to the rivalry of the two.

Poe will be a strong third player, until her natural momentum get sucked by Binay vs Duterte narrative. Naturally, if Poe can win her citizenship case with finality much sooner than later, that would offset the general landscape.

[Posted in JOURNEYIST]

"We associate the willingness to risk great failure – and the ability to climb back from catastrope – with courage. But in this we are wrong. That is the lesson of Nassim Taleb."
-- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

An epistemologist of randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb was once described as "the hottest thinker in the world". Born in 1960, he is a Lebanese American essayist whose work focuses on problems of randomness and probability.

His book "The Black Swan" was described in a review by Sunday Times as one of the most influential books since World War 2. In it, he advocates for a society that can withstand "black swans" or difficult-to-predict events --- what he calls a "black swan robust" society. Taleb favors "stochastic tinkering" as a method of scientific discovery, by which he means experimentation and fact-collecting instead of top-down directed research.

According to Taleb, "we humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen, the unknown, resolve the tension by scueezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas".. This, he said, makes us victims to the Ludic Fallacy, or the misuse of games and dice to model real-life randomness.   


Taleb detests the error of comparing real-world randomness with "structured randomness" in quantim physics /where probabilities are remarkably computable/ and games of chance like casinos where probabilities are artificially built.
He said, predicitive models /such as those based on Plato's Theory of Forms/, gravitate towards mathematical purity, thus fail to take some key ideas into account; such as:

1.That it is impossibile to possess all relevant information
2.That small unknown variations in the data can have a huge impact
3.That theories or models based on empirical data are flawed because they fail to account for events that have not yet taken place but could have taken place.

He claimed that the foundations of qualitative economics are faulty and highly self-referential. He states that statistics is fundamentally incomplete as a field as it cannot predict the risk of rare events.

TALEB'S CHALLENGE is how to live and act in a world we do not understand and build robustness to black swan events.

An application of his most effective, or least fragile, risk management approach is one in favor of linear combination of extremes. In other words, Taleb advocates a dualistic approach -- to be both hyper-conservative and hyper-aggressive at the same time, as these two extremes are more robust to estimation errors. This approach of avoiding the middle option is also known as The Barbell Strategy.

For example, an investor might put 80 to 90 percent of his money in extremely safe instruments, such as treasury bills, with the remainder going in to highly risky and diversified speculative bets.    

Taleb believes The Barbell Strategy is applicable across all domains, from politics to economics and to one's personal life.


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