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Showing posts from December, 2007


Yesterday, I went to attend a family reunion. It was fun seeing cousins, aunts, families and kids after few years. Some of my male cousins are now sporting white hairs or receding hairlines, while my female cousins gained extra pounds. Reunion even once in a year is worthwhile, for it nurtures closer family ties even in adult life when everyone has its own priorities.

The Runaway Philippine Peso

Surge of OFW's (Overseas Filipino Worker) remittance to the Philippines has brought significant appreciation in the Philippine peso coupled with the structural weakening of the mighty US dollar. Many question pops-up in one's mind. Will the continued appreciation be good or bad for our economy? What will be the short and long term impact to us. In my layman's point of view, short term impact would be in the export oriented SMEs. Chances for this enterprises to survive is to downsize its staff to lower cost and to make it more competitive. On one hand OFW's dilemma would be if to continue working overseas or opt to stay and be unemployed. The good thing about stronger peso would be a suplus in the 2008 national budget from foreign debt servicing. Gains from the forex adjustment could be realigned to basic services particularly in the development of agricultural infrastructure and post harvest facilities to bring down the cost of food. Likewise, to make farmers minimi…

Evening With Friends

Early evening conversation with friends and relatives starts over with a bottle of cheap local brandy or a bottle of gin. Without shopping malls or movie houses to spend a day, people turn to drinking as pastime. In fact, we have the highest per capita consumption of gin in the whole country and perhaps still unsurpassed to this day. Occasional drinking is alright, because we would often have a grilled tuna, pork or a boiled native chicken in lemon grass with plenty of green papayas to absorb and wash down the alcohol in our system. On one hand there are habitual drinkers would just settle for a pinch of table salt or lemon to neutralize the liquor's after taste. Alcohol related deaths and diseases is prevalent island wide, yet no significant decline among the heavy drinkers. After a couple of shots, discussion would start from mundane to the senseless topic, like local politics, gossips and at times ends-up with a shouting match or worse a bare fist match. But there are loc…

Rainy Days

I spent my day today staring at my laptop, I can't think of anything worthwhile to wile my time away. Its been raining here for two weeks now and my frontyard is turning green with algae making it slippery and difficult to walk on. My food supply is already getting depleted, what remains are dried fish, canned tuna and sardines. Dried fish during rainy days is my favorite especially dipped in local vinegar with a dash of bird's eye seed or sili labuyo. Tinapa, sap sap or toyoare the only stuff people survived here during wet season so it is not unusual for locals to suffer hypertension or arthritis during these months. I hope that later today, I find time conversing with my two cousins a few blocks away to ease our boredom.

Life In The Swamps