Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Merry Christmas Wish from Our Family to Yours

Chico, my late brother's grandchild, from Toril, Davao, Philippines

Josh, another brother's grandson, from San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines
Chin Chin, Josh's cousin , another grandchild of bro, from Philadelphia, U.S.
Me, the Babe, Pao and Auntie G, Babe and Pao from Northern California, both me and sis from TO.
Sis J, the Bibz, sis M and Hubby M, sis J from N.Y., sis M and family from northern California. pix taken in California.

The Family at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Chin with Lolas (too many?) dad and me. Mom is the the Photographer.

A Merry Christmas to all...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Shall we do the Cha-Cha.

I’m not a constitutional lawyer, nor have any expertise in law or anything at all, but I have been around quite a while, and have what we can call a real experience thru observations and life learning.

I can only talk of something that affect our society, but society, especially the one patterned to the so-called Democratic system have a lot of similarities.

Canada which is now my country for more than 30 years, is a constitutional democracy, based on British Model with a little bit of French mix, (civil law in Quebec is the Napoleonic code). It was created by the British North America Act of l867 and that was the basis of Her existence since that time, from the Nation of Three Provinces to now composed of Federation of Ten Provinces and Three Territories . The act which is the basis of all laws and structure of the Nation was amended as we go along developing a Nation. But the amendments were done in the British Parliament, until the Act was repatriated in l982 and the Constitution Act of l982 (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) was passed as amendment.

The process of Amendment was not as painless and not without controversies, but in the end except for the Province of Quebec who withhold her consent on conditions, the house under the Leadership of PM Pierre Elliot Trudeau passed the made in Canada Constitutions, which so many Critiques during the time stated that was not worth the paper it was written on. (All of 17 pages).

The critiques specifically mentioned Section 1 (numero uno) that states: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

And another contentious issue that convinced the provinces approval that was met with skeptical criticism is section 33 to wit:

33. (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.

Twenty Four Years had come and gone and so far the critiques had proven not right after all.

Section 1 which give the Parliament and the Provinces Legislatures the right to pass laws to limit the rights set out in the Charter, except otherwise stated, not only enhanced our Rights and Freedoms, but make us so much responsible in exercising such rights, that limitations deemed unreasonable were challenged and most were declared unconstitutional and if not, the courts usually clarify the issue and why they should stand.

Section 33 better known as “The Notwithstanding Clause” is the Exemption given to the Parliament or the Provincial Legislature to declare an Act of each exempted from Judicial Review for a specified period of time. So far only the Province of Quebec used the “clause’ when her legislature passed the language law that give French the preference in signs (business signage). And a few other instances in provincial legislatures, that were never an issue at all. The Parliament has not used the “clause”. Take note: The “clause” specifies which sections are subject to exemption.

So my take, no Charter or Constitution is perfect, but whatever deficiencies there are, we can mitigate them by not taking advantage and abuse them. Had any government take advantage and abuse Section 1 and Section 33 of our Charter, then the voters, instead of the government may demand a Cha-Cha, but the only cha-cha we do here is on the ballroom and it’s a beautiful dance, though I prefer the rumba and the waltz..

Sunday, December 17, 2006

407 ETR (Express Toll Route)

ETR 407 (Express Toll Route)

Yesterday, was the first time I drove the Toll Route (one and only toll roadway in Ontario) and it is a nice and smooth roadway. The toll route was constructed more than a decade ago parallel to Macdonald-Cartier Highway or Highway 401 to ease up the congestion of one of the busiest highways in the World.. Highway 401 stretch from the border of Quebec to the Border of Michigan, 8l5 km. Of freeways, but on top of Toronto Area it is always congested during rush hour, or during maintenance operations so the idea if building a Toll roadway parallel north.

ETR 407 was then “auction” to private company to run its operation and its maintenance on a long term basis. A Spanish consortium is running the day to day and the maintenance and the additional extension of the toll express as the need arise.

This is quite different than most U.S. toll roadways that collection booths are the norm. ETR 407 has none. Motorists get in and out of the toll express unhindered by stops for picking up a ticket or paying the tolls. Fees are collected electronically and sent to the users just like telephone or any household bills. Regular users may opt for an electronic gadget called “TRANSPONDER”that records all data as you get in and out of the Toll Express. For those without the gadget, cameras will record the vehicle’s license plate and bill the plate’s registered owner. Rates vary according to the hours of use. Rush hours is a little higher than slow hours. Most users of the toll route are business people where the fees can be claimed as business expense and employees and workers whose place of works and residences have close proximity to the Express or occasional users who have a flight to catch with not much time to gamble on the always not too sure traffic movement in a Free expressways. The only drawback is out of province motorists will be able to get away without getting billed as the management may have no access to other province or states vehicular records. Enforcement of payments is quite effective by the Ministry of Transport’s denying renewal of license plate, the same as failure to pay traffic fines.

It is only a stretch of 108 kilometers at present (some extension in the future, maybe) but it help ease up congestion on most Highways during rush hours. Traffic enforcement is still done by the Provincial Police on paid duty (extra) by the 407 ETR . Just like most freeways, it has multiple lanes on top of the city and start to narrow into four to three lanes out of the city. Just posted this out of curiosity. I have driven miles and miles of Toll roadways in the U.S. and it is a hassle because you have to pay or stop every time you get in and out, unless you have that EZ pass where usage is also billed. Well, I don’t think anymore toll roadway will be added to this one and only we have here in Ontario. Voters just don’t like the idea of paying enormous taxes on gasoline and other motor vehicles fuel and also pay tolls for the use of roads built by taxpayers.

Actually the succeeding government attempted to take back the ETR 407 from its current owner- management, but the contract between the previous Government and the ETR people is iron- clad and the government decided that the monies to compensate or pay for breaking the contract is not worth it. So far the ETR is run much, much safer, faster and the roadways are all well-maintained. In short it is run like a business, because it is a business...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

How Low Can They Get?

How Low Can They Get??

Some Comic Events happened in some Press Conference held by the Philippines Politicians, where a Citizen who rose among the groups of Media People and said his Piece towards the Speaker of the House and his Group of Representatives, and was immediately mobbed by the crowd, hustled out of the conference room, poured water by one of the country’s leading Newspaper Writers and was vilified for interrupting the “news conference”.

This was not a surprising event in the Philippines, where Politics is a Dirty Word. Where Politicians are accused of corruptions, unbridled corruptions and they are playing the Lords of the country. Majority of the 80 millions of the county’s Citizens suffering in Silence of abject poverty, not because the country is poor - it has a very rich natural resources, a well-educated young professionals and trades people that are in demand in most other parts of the world, other than their own, but because of the mismanagement, the concentration of wealth to the very few Oligarch that use the convenience of Politics to maintain and hold their interest and the wealth of Nation. And these Oligarch also known as the Ruling Class or the Elites can just about afford to pay their ways and that’s is including influencing what we have known here in this part of our world, as the guardian of the Truth and the ultimate check, the Media. Going that low, we can only hope that there is no other way to go... but up..

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Nation Within a Nation...Quebec Is..

A Nation Within A Nation... Quebec Is.

"Our position is clear. Do the Québécois form a nation within Canada? The answer is yes. Do the Québécois form an independent nation? The answer is no and the answer will always be no," Harper told the House on Wednesday.

Harper's motion — which states that "this House recognizes that Québécois form a nation within a united Canada — was prompted to defuse a Bloc Québécois motion to be debated Thursday. The Bloc motion calls for Quebec to be recognized as a nation but does not include the words "in Canada."

With this announcement, the government introduced a Motion to the effect to defuse the Bloc Quebecois (Federal separatist party, representing the interest of the counterpart provincial Parti Quebecois) which plans to introduce the same motion without including the “Nation Within” which could led for many to believe that Quebec is a Nation State, separate from Canada, when in Fact is not.

This issue better left for the people of Quebec to eventually decide, but as PM Harper further said, and I quote: “The Bloc Québécois has asked us to define this, and perhaps that's a good thing because it reminds us that all Canadians have a say in the future of this country”. Unquote..

The Motion was and overwhelmingly approved with l6 voting against and 2l6 voting for and all parties supporting it. One Government Cabinet Minister resigned his post (Michael Chong, Minister of Sports and In-charge of Unity File) on matter of principles. But he stated that he is not leaving the Party and still support the PM on all matters. The Federal Liberal Party whose Provincial Counterpart is the government of the day in the Quebec, the New Democrats and even the Bloc Quebecois, who rejected the Government motion at first also supported it.

Quebec as well as the other Nine Provinces and the Three Territories that are the sum total of Confederation and is the Nation of Canada are each an autonomous entity. Each in own way is a Nation within a Nation, but Quebec as one of the founding fathers of Canada as recognized in our Dual Languages, her distinct Cultures, and Her History as a Distinct Society. To give her Such Recognition as a Nation within a United Canada, as most of our Leaders and perhaps the Majority of Canadians (this, we are not sure yet), but certainly a majority of Quebecois, hope, will only make us much more united than before and still make Quebec Unique and Proud of Her History and Rightful Place in Canada.. Vive Le Quebec-une nation dans une nation.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Will it Work??

A reader of Ms Tordesillas Blogsite based in the Philippines has suggested a Grand Jury System introduced as an integral part of the Philippines Justice System and I believe it is admirable and very interesting subject but the Big Question is: Will it Work? Or put it Bluntly, will our Political Masters let it Work?

My Comments to his Suggestion that I also posted at Ellen’s Blogsite is the following:

Grand Jury System as summarized by Marlowe Camelo, will work in any First World country, or any developing country where the political condition is somewhat Mature and no intervening personal Interest among its political players is Involved. In The Philippines everything were tried. The special body created to investigate Corruptions and Wrongdoings of Public Officials, the Office of the Ombudsman is Corrupted. The Special Court established to deal with the known and already indictable offense, and specifically the Marcosses Lots has not resolved that single case or maybe even another place where politics and politicians extend their playing ground.

For the Meantime I suggest, until the political climate can get rid of its disease of Corrupting even a Court System, to reform the Justice System as it Stands now. Trial Judges, should be assured of their independence by extending to them the Security of Tenure, Security of remuneration and a no-nonsense enforcement of Ethical Code of Conduct among Practitioners and that Include All Public Prosecutors and even Defence Lawyers. Jury Systems, both the Grand Jury and trial by Jury could later be integrated into the system in stages and gradually either by province to province or region by region.

Right now, there is no Magic Formula that can cure the ailing Justice system. We should start with the Personalities first. Streamline the process, speed up the disposition of cases by not allowing the Antics and Technical manuevering by counsels. And lastly, Remind all the Politicians that in this Part of the World even talking to or writing to the Court Personnel regarding any case in the Process is a NO NO.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Santa Claus is Coming to Toronto...

Santa Claus Parade which signals the start of the Holiday season will be happening today (it is happening now as I'm typing this post), as it does every year for the last 102 years, the Tradition that was started by Timothy Eaton in 1905, the founder of Eaton's Dept. Strores and still being carried today albeit by different sponsors. As most Canadian are aware Timothy Eaton's no longer in business for quite sometime, and since 1977 , the parade is sponsored by n0n-profit organization funded by businesses.

This year's parade will showcase 20 new clowns in addition to the already 120 that will accompany the Children and sponsoring Floats along the 6 kilometers route. It will be participated by 1500 volunteers starting in ages from 8 to 80 years old and be watched by half a million spectators of all ages along the streets of Toronto. It will be broadcast in most US cities in its entirety from now 'til Christmas. Canada Post Employees will be on hand to collect letters for Santa. So children have your letters ready and addressed to:
North Pole
Ho Ho Ho

And don't you worry if you missed handing your letter today. Drop them at any mail box, anytime time 'til Christmas and the good guys and gals at the Post will deliver them in time. Or just email it to Santa, but the old fella still wants it the old fashion way..ho ho ho..

Monday, November 13, 2006

And the Winners ARE:

The Signs say it all. The dis-advantage of having a house right at the Major intersections and being nice to have everyone post their signs and banners of every size and style and trying to re-arrange them myself to give each a view to motorists that are mostly non-resident of the Ward for the Candidates for councillors, and only one candidate for Mayor of the whole city bother to post a sign (out of 33 candidates, but a contest between Two).

At 10 AM today Polls will open until 9 PM tonight. Ontarians will Elect their town and city mayor and councillors and school board trustees for a term of three (3) years. Candidates are open to all Citizens of legal age, the reason why in every position, there are so many candidates contesting. The Process is simple; simply go to your designated polling place, present your notice of registration plus one photo ID or two IDs if no registration Notice (yes, you still can vote if you had registered before even without today's notice, or even voting for the first time, just bring an ID with your address and your date of birth and citizenship.) and mark your choice. It's Done.

Remember, everyone who's working today will be allowed a three hours window to vote. Just remind your Employers about it if you intend to vote, It's the law.


Sunday, November 05, 2006


On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month . . . We Remember..

In Flanders fields the poppies blows
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Au champ d'honneur, les coquelicots
Sont parsemés de lot en lot
Auprès des croix; et dans l'espace
Les alouettes devenues lasses
Mêlent leurs chants au sifflement
Des obusiers.

Nous sommes morts,
Nous qui songions la veille encor'
À nos parents, à nos amis,
C'est nous qui ici,
Au champ d'honneur.

À vous jeunes désabusés,
À vous de porter l'oriflamme
Et de garder au fond de l'âme
Le goût de vivre en liberté.
Acceptez le défi, sinon
Les coquelicots se fanerontAu champ d'honneur
Au champ d'honneur.


In Flanders Fields-a poem by Lt.-Col. John McCrae-Canadian Medical Corp (1915)
French Translation -Au chanp d'honneur - Jean Pareseau

links: for remembrance music:
for symbol of remembrance:
for bio of Lt.-Col. John McCrae:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

San Francisco where the Babe, Mom, Pao and Aunties this weekend.

Received these pixs emailed from northern california by the point and click photographer Pao. Mom, Auntie J (mom's twin) and auntie N visiting from new york and toronto and sightseeing the City by the Bay.
Pao towering over mom and aunties..
The Bibs, may like the mcdoo, and all those fast food junks and put more pounders than the months she's been in america.. hehehe, bibs diet naman...trying to catch up with auntie?Don't worry..lots of time.
The Twins "kapid" or "kambal" by the golden bridge.
and in the center and always the center of everything is the one and only Bibs, Babe,or Iya. Take your pick, she may respond to anyone, but only at her pleasure. No, just kidding, she's a very good daughter and a very sweet niece.. love you babe..bye for now..

Reminder: Municipal election for the Province of Ontario is fast approaching. Monday, November 13 is the day. Check your Election Notice ID's for Advance Polls or Instructions for voting-on-line. By all means go out and vote..It's you're town and city, participate...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No Speed Limits?

OHIP billings escape scrutiny.
Today’s big headline by one of the dailies here regarding the absence of audit of Ontario Physicians and other medical practitioners of their billlings. According to the STAR " .The annual billings increased from $5 billions to $5.7.

The billings audit was frozen two years ago by the Liberal Government of Premier Mcquinty, after the old system was scrapped and supposed to be replaced by the one submitted by former supreme Court Justice Peter Cory who gave the province a highly touted road map for a new physician audit program — hailed by Ontario doctors for its fairness — the McGuinty government has yet to implement what Cory insists is needed to guard the "public trust."

The old auditing system came under fire with the suicide of one of the doctors, upon being audited and ordered to re-imburse the province for extra-billings. The physician’s family blamed the billing system as too complicated, that most doctors have no time of taking much attention to understand its complexities. The Minister of health then asked former Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory to review the billings and audit systems and submit a road map. And the Liberal government is sitting on the Road Map while doctors are billing the taxpayers without any scrutiny at all.

And what are the oppositions doing in the house, that it took the Star to let the public know about this issue? Critics say medical practices in Ontario are operating like a road with no traffic cop.

"You have to have speed limits. If you never enforce speed limits, people will speed," says Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro, chairman of the Ontario Medical Association Section on Pediatrics.

Well, maybe if this new Audit will find its way to the book, we can look forward for the next government (provincial election due next fall) dropping the $25. Monthly premium in our OHIP- again. What do you say?. Well, will never know who’s going to be the Premier by next fall.

Note: The $25.00 monthly premium is assessed and calculated and paid with the Tax returns. It accounts less than 5% of the total budget and exemptions to those of low income and social assitance recipients, children and seniors are applied.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Coroner's Inquest on Shooting Death of Filipino Youth Wrapped UP:

The Jeffrey Reodica Coroner’s Inquest Wrapped Up with the Issuance of Verdict and Recommendations to the Coroner of Remedial Rules that maybe needed to introduce and adapted into the Police Services Act to avoid the same Tragic Event that happened to the Youth in a Day of May 2004.

Background: According to the 47 witnesses heard during the Inquest, a summary of which are now being published by several Dailies, Jeffrey Reodica was shot and wounded by an officer and died three days later of his wounds. The events started, days before when a group of "white youths" walked by a group of Filipino youths playing basketball and one of the white boys took and walked away with the basketball and some remarks were exchanged between the groups and the fight ensued. The next day a group of about twenty (20) Filipino Youths returned to the same school yard and waited for the same white boys to return. But seeing they were outnumbered the white boys fled and Jeffrey who was not with the original group at the schoolyard, but stopped at a friend's house joined the chase. Emergency received numerous calls, some coming from the fleeing white boys. Two undercover drug officers, were the first on the scene and according to witnesses, passed by some of the participants and told them to drop their weapons and they complied. As they were approaching Jeffrey, according to their own testimony, they identified themselves and ordered the youth to drop the rock he was holding. Jeffrey complied. But as they were struggling to handcuff a 5' 4" youth, they said he was able to set himself free and swung at the officer with a knife in his left hand. That was when the officer fired three shots in the Back of the Young Jeffrey.

The SIU, (Special Investigation Unit, a civilian agency in charge of investigating actions of police officers resulting in injuries or fatalities), after their own investigation came to the conclusion that the officer was justified in his action. And the Police Officers of another jurisdiction invited to conduct a parallel investigation also concluded that the officers identified themselves. Jeffrey’s friend testified that the knife was owned by Jeffrey, but there was no prints on the knife. There were witnesses who testified that Jeffrey worn baseball batting gloves that day.
Among the key recommendations of the Jury are the fol.:

1. A study to determine whether outfitting unmarked cars with sirens, cherry lights, a PA system and/or officers with police jackets or armbands would help identify plainclothes officers when required.

2. Re-introducing training in the use of the baton in Police College.

3. Requiring that all officers carry with them all use of force options including peppers spray, stun guns and baton when working as uniformed officers.

The lawyers for the officers contend that the recommendations even in place at the time would have not changed the outcome, while the family of the victim considers the whole exercise a waste of time, effort and taxpayers' money because the Inquest did not address the conduct of the SIU investigation.

The Reodica’s family lawyer, and the Community Alliance for Social Justice, an umbrella organization founded in the wake of Jeffrey Death, are both considering asking the Provincial Ombudsman to investigate the conduct of investigation by the SIU.. Meanwhile the Family Lawyer said that the $5.4 million civil case filed against the Officers, the Police Sevices Board and the Chief of Police at the time, will continue. We are not seeing the end of this yet.

Caveat: The Coroner Inquest was called not to find any Criminal or Civil Liabilities, but to find out what actually happened leading to the tragic event and find the ways to avoid such event to ever happening again. This, we all hope so.

Also the officer involved can no longer be charged criminally, but could be subject to civil liabilities and further for internal discipline, if and when any future inquiry or investigation will find evidence to support such sanctions.

For more details go the and search for "jeffrey reodica's inquest".

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Now back to the favourite subject:

Two proud colours flying over the Queenston Bridge Crossing; U.S. - Canada Border. Picture taken from inside the car by Pao on the way to Buffalo International via New York City to drop auntie (chaperone and guide) on flight back to their home in California.
Getting ready for a long drive and a long flight. The two vacationers saying goodbye to our city and a good summer and first tour out of the new country since arrival in December '05. (Take note of the carry bag by bibs feet, her very own laptop, a b-day gift from "dear uncle".)
The Bibz celebrating her l6th along with auntie and few townmates whose birthdays on the same week or days with each other in our backyard. A good excuse to get together with "kasimanwas" for a day of fun and laughter and news, trivial and not-so-trivial. (the young tall fella' in the picture is not among the birthday celebrants; his, is still in February, get out of the pix, Pao).
The beautiful people of Alimodian, cousins, townmates and friends. Three generations of Alimodiananons. Together everywhere. The Man sitting, fourth from left is the President (life termer) of our Association Canadian Chapter. He's as good looking as 'Erap'. Me, at extreme right sitting, always with a shiny "hair style".
Baby Manuel at one month old. Pix scanned from prints mom's sent from Toril, Davao. Growing fast..
At two months old..beautiful just beautiful...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Canadian Thanksgiving - A short history and origin:

Canadian Thanksgiving - a Short Origin and History:

Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday of October, a month earlier than the U.S. simply for the reason that being farther north the harvest season falls earlier than in the south. It was on January 31, 1957, a proclamation was sanctioned by the Parliament and the day of Canadian Thanksgiving was fixed permanently on the second Monday in the month of October. The declaration stated "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been be observed on the 2nd Monday in October."

The tradition started in the 16th century when a British Explorer by the name of Martin Frobisher reached North America while trying to make it to the Orient by Northern Passage. Being grateful to have survived the long and dreadful journey, he organized an elaborate feast with all the "trimmings" at a place where he was brought by his GPS, Newfoundland, thus the tradition begun.

Not to be outdone, French Explorer Samuel de Champlain, who also took a circuitous route to reach the southern part of Nova Scotia, he too being grateful for overcoming such lack of direct routing, organized the same feast. But realizing that to endure the harsh reality of Canadian Winter, the settlers need to improve their diet, thus he established the ‘Order of good Cheer’ and invited the Mi’kmaqs (native tribe) to join the "order"
, with their chief seating at the head of the table. According to many, the native people being familiar with the locality did much of the hunting for wild games such as turkey, moose, caribou and lots of other wild games. Smart those French.

Today, thanksgivings is celebrated among friends and dear ones, with foods and Turkey as the mean menu. Many may not be aware of how we come to celebrate this occasion, but the day meant to thanks for every little things that we are lucky to have, the bountiful harvest that this land yield, the freedoms abound, that many has taken for granted.

To one and all..Happy THANKSGIVING DAY....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Babe and Pao in New York

Dig in to my pics file and decided to
post these e-mailed pics of my dearest
niece and nephew photo-ops during
their summer holiday.

Above picture backgound is the
The World Trade Center post 9/11

Is that a Mac or a Windows?
Babe and Pao with their tourist guide
(mom's twins).

Barely eight months in their new country, but showing the love for the
the Stars and Stripes.

That Lady is "huge" and much

more popular than me.

Now, back to school for both of you and take care always. See you soon. Popping in anytime.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Alimodian Town Fiesta as Celebrated In the Greater Toronto

Welcome to our Town Fiesta as
celebrated our way in our new land.

Weather co-operated for an outdoor photo-0ps of our townsmates, friends and guest in our little get-together of fun, food, drinks and lot of yak-yaks plus karaoke numbers and impromptu shomanship on the dance floor.
The young Alimodiananons.
What is fiesta without the above?
The boys of Alsacan(alimodiananon sa canada)
The 'girls' of Alsacan. Always outnumber the boys.

See you guys at the Christmas Party and be ready with more fun and stories to swap...

by vic sept. 24, '06

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tommy Douglas - Greatest Canadian of All Time

When he was a child, he suffered an infection that necessitate amputation of his leg, had his doctor not found him a good ‘subject’ for his class. That was when Tommy Douglas started thinking that Medical care should be available to all, regardless of his/her financial condition.
He is the son of a Scottish Immigrants, born in Scotland grew up and educated in Canada. Became a Baptist Minister and later Joined politics.
He has a degree in Sociology and completed his Master Degree (MA) with his Thesis entitled the ‘Problem of Subnormal Family’ (and was in Eugenics) - and suggested sterilization for mentally and physically handicapped Canadians and send them to camps. Five years later he completely rejected his theory after a visit to Nazi Germany in 1938.
He was first elected to Parliament in 1935 as a member of Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (later known as New Democrats), a socialist party. Rejected on his application to join the Military at the outbreak of World II because of the discovery of his foot ailment, he was elected leader of the Provincial CCF party of Saskatchewan and in 1944 won an election and lead the govt., the first ever Socialist government in Canada and North America. He Held that Position from l941-l960 and during the period he was able to implement his vision of social economy that was anathema of the time. He was able to implement a program of Government insurance for automobile in Saskatchewan that until today exist. But his vision for Canada or in particular for his province of Universally funded health care was his most cherished dream even from his childhood. And it was a hard Struggle. He was met with Doctors’ strike and unsympathetic disregard from other governments for such an ambitious plan. But Douglas proved its feasability that by careful financial planning, the health care profession can accept government supervision with enough money to finance it. It paves the way to the adaption of the system all over Canada.. Although it was the succeeding CCF government lead by another leader who finally introduced the Bill, when TC Douglas resigned, it was his brainchild and he later became the leader of the Federal New Democratic Party in l961-71 and was very active in Politics until his retirement in l979.
The Man who we will be remembered as the father of Medicare passed away in l986 at age 81. He was married to Irma Dempsey, and parents of Actress Shirley Douglas, adopted daughter Joan, and the Grandfather of Kiefer Sutherland.
In 2004, He was voted as the Greatest Canadian of all time in a nationally televised contest organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Nothing beats that honour, though he was also awarded the Order of Canada ( the highest honour vestowed civilians)

Moral: You don’t need to be on top or the most powerful person of the land to do the most good for your fellow countrymen and women.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shooting in Montreal, one slain, 19 injured.

A lone gunman, Identified as Kimveer Gill by the Montreal police (in picture), wearing a black trenchcoat, carrying an assault rifle, stalked and started firing at Students of Dawson college in Montreal, Quebec yesterday at around lunch time and when it was over one woman was dead, 19 others wounded, several critically and the gunman shot dead by the partrolling police officer. This sad incident in Montreal brings back memories of almost seventeen years ago, when Marc Lepine, another psychotic who blamed women for all his troubles, gunned down 14 women and wounded scores at Montreal 's Ecole Polytechnique before turning his weapon to himself.
Now, we will again ask ourselves: why? There will be debates, inquiries and new laws that will follow. But for now, we are not sure of what really happened yet, but if the gunman was stopped by an officer then, we can thank the officer for the quick action that may have save more lives. It's is not time to speculate the motives, the reasons and the quest for answers yet, but to pause and grieve the lone victim and even the gunman, and to pray all the injured a speedy recovery.

In his online blog entries Gill made some reference of his hatred and anger toward society and authorities. But no one has suspected that it will come to this end.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Brothers' Grandsons

Grandpa and Josh in tha backyard somewhere in San Pedro, Laguna in his portable swimming pool. Kids and water and grandparents are inseparable.
New born baby Josh. Made my Brother and his Wife world back to normally happy when their first and only grand-daughter and family left for the U.S. (previous blog).

Baby Manuel was born just recently to my niece in the beautiful city of Toril, Davao, a few months after my elder brother and my best friend passed away suddenly of heart attack. A Grandson, his first, he had never seen. Rest assured my dear Brother, he will be in good hands. Another child born, your very own grandson to carry on. Peace be with you ever more.

At peace with himself, few days after birth. A split image of Grandpa and ears like mine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Francine-My Brother's Grand-daughter...

Her name is Francine (from dad's Francis). My brother's first grandchild (another one from a daughter since). And she's wondering why she has too many grandmas. Picture above was taken upon mom and child arrival in U.S. to follow Dad who was ahead for about eight months as nurse immigrant to seek what most nursing graduates nowadays look forward as a chance to get a fair and decent pays for one of the noblest professions. And they deserve them, for the services rendered. Both parents are nurses.

cooling off at pleasant beach, N.J. with mom.

Fashion show..

Halloween fairy...

A dedication for chin chin - from another "lolo".. too many grandpas?

Friday, September 01, 2006

AIDS Stay - Behinds

About 150 delegates of last month International Aids Conference Stayed in Toronto and filed Refugee Claims according to The Toronto Sun headline today.

Most of the Claimants are Aids sufferers, including an activist from Eritrea who has to dash away from two state agents assigned to keep an eye at him, at the Airport before departure.

Some claimants claim discrimination in their own country for being an AIDS sufferer and that is a valid reason for refugee claim. Some I believe would just want to take advantage of our Taxpayers’ paid medical care that all Canadian Citizens and Legal Residents enjoy, that maybe suffecient ground for refusal, but for humanitarian reason that could be taken into consideration. Most of this delegates are from African countries selected among the sufferers with strict conditions from their government to come back with their delegation. But for the desperate few, especially the activists that may have spoken against their government during the conference, coming back would be just a fastest way to their demise. And for the poor, who cannot afford the expensive medication for controlling the ravages of the HIV, Canada’s Health Care system is the only way to prolong their lives or at least living and dying in dignity. Immigration Canada said it might take at least a year to process all the applicants. This matter won’t raise much eyebrows among the public except for the few issues which I would like to touch in this blog.

>>Most of these Claimants may not be aware that knowingly spreading the virus, or not informing their sexual partners of their infection is a Criminal Offense in Canada. That before granting Refugee status to any deserving claimant, each should be made aware and be trained and schooled for safe sex and fully made to understand the consequence of unsafe sex. That if an infection result to death of a future partner(s) that they are subject to a Charge of Intentional Homicide and be Punished accordingly, regardless of their disease.

>>That if they are incapable of working for a living that the Taxpayers’ social assistance provided will be used solely for them and not for the purpose of helping their kins and extended family members. Otherwise, if they are independently able to avail themselves of gainful employment or engagement in lawful business, then they have the rights like any other citizens and legal residents.

>> That during the filing to the time of resolution of their case, that they all are entitled to the Health Benefits and Social benefits, either in detention (usually at a holiday inn or minimum security center) or if granted freedom from detention that they be monitored strictly and make sure that they do not spread the virus that they as delegates to the Conference had come together in our City to find ways and solutions to stop the spread of our modern day plague.

Not much to ask for those who ask our understanding and our generosity...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Birds of the same feathers in love with each other..

This is what really happened why the civil marriage act opposite-sex requirement is no longer in force - the rulings by lower courts in eight jurisdictions in Canada that were not challenged by the Federal Government.
Courts in eight jurisdictions have recognized that the right to equality without discrimination requires that couples of the same sex have equal access to civil marriage. And thousands of same-sex couples are already legally married.

The case varied from a same-sex couple survivor applying for benefits and denied and decision reversed on appeal. This is the precedent case in Ontario. And the Provincial Attorney General decided not to appeal the reversal. Note that a man and a woman living common-law for at least three consecutive years is under our law, legally married. Now applicable to same-sex couple.

Before the dissolution of the last Parliament, the Govt. Of Prime Minister Paul Martin, was tabling the new Civil Marriage Act and already referred the questions to the Supreme Courts as to the constitutionality of the bill. But that Bill died in the house, because of Non-Confidence vote and the defeat of the government in subsequent election.

The Supreme Court of Canada has said – and the Government agrees – that it is preferable that Parliament create uniformity of law across the country. Federal legislation is the best way to provide a clear, Canada-wide approach.

The bill also recognizes that freedom of religion is already fully protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in its recent decision. That is why its title speaks of civil marriage. Religions will continue to make their own decisions about this question.

The bill will give same-sex partners who decide to marry, the same civil legal recognition of their commitment as other married couples while respecting religious freedom.


On June 17, 2003, the Government of Canada announced that it would not appeal the decisions of the courts of appeal in British Columbia and Ontario on the definition of marriage, but would instead draft a bill extending access to civil marriage to same-sex couples while also affirming the freedom of religious belief, and refer that bill to the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure its constitutionality. On July 17, 2003, the Government referred the draft bill to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Reference asked three questions concerning the draft bill:

1) Is the draft bill within the exclusive legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada?

2) Does the draft bill conform to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

3) Does the Charter protect religious officials from performing marriages between two persons of the same sex if it is contrary to their religious beliefs?

On January 28, 2004, the Minister of Justice announced that the Government had filed a new question with the Supreme Court of Canada, asking whether the opposite-sex requirement for marriage was constitutional. The fourth question was added in order to ensure that Parliament had full information on the legal framework before they were asked to debate this important issue.

On October 6 and 7, 2004, the Supreme Court heard arguments from the Government of Canada and 28 interveners.

On December 9, 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision on the marriage Reference. The Court agreed with the position of the Attorney General of Canada on the constitutionality of the draft bill, holding that the draft bill was not only consistent with the Charter but flowed from its protections. The Court declined to answer the fourth question on the constitutionality of the opposite-sex requirement for marriage, with the result that the lower court decisions in eight provinces and territories holding that the opposite-sex requirement is unconstitutional stand. The Court gave as its reason for not answering the fourth question that many Canadians had already acted in reliance on the lower court decisions and married. The Court also indicated that other approaches, such as giving same-sex unions legal recognition by another name, such as civil union, were less than equal and so would not be consistent with the Charter, requiring the use of the notwithstanding clause. The Court found that the Charter already fully protects religious officials from being forced to perform marriages that would be against their religious beliefs, although they also found that the one clause in the bill on religious freedom was not entirely within federal jurisdiction, and that any additional protections that might be desired would have to be made within provincial and territorial laws.

The Bill was not re-introduced in the house this current session of Parliament and may not until after the next election that could take place as early as next summer or fall.

Prime minister Stephen Harper has been promising the country a "free vote" on this bill if and when it will come to that. Meaning each member can vote according to his/her conscience or the wishes of the majority of the member's contituents. But meantime, same-sex marriage is legally binding and has the status and benefits of any other marriage, as per decision by lower courts and affirmed by the SC that all lower courts decisions stand. Chances that any government that will bring this bill into law in the near future will stick to the proposed draft as it was already been affirmed by the SC as to its conformity with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms- which is the basis by which any law will be challenged.

Reference: Justice Department, Canada..

Saturday, August 19, 2006

To the Eyes of those who are there, he would not really amount to anything.

Rep Locsin maybe partly right, that to the eyes of those who are here, we amount to nothing. Really? And what would we amount had we stayed and become the victims of Political Assassinations? Unemployment? If we get sick and can't afford the treatment, because we could even hardly afford our daily sustenance? That the representatives we voted to represent us, our interest, instead once in power, more too often are the ones who betray our trust. That the the government who swear to uphold the law and the constitution is the same that is accused of corrupting its own subject. He was talking to the Ateneans, mostly, the very rich and wealthy among the society. But unknowing to the Honorable Representative there are a Lot of us who amount to something in the eyes of our neighbors, our employers, our leaders, our new country, to our fellow citizens who for reasons of their own, left their own native land and homeland and never look back.

Some of us may go back home and see our last days in the arms of our beloved Philippines. Some for the reason that we left a few or many family members we want to spend the twilight years of our lives. Some for the reason, that with the pension in dollars and the benefits we can carry all over the world, it is much, much cheaper to live there than in our adopted country. Some for the reason, that Rep. Locsin himself, has beautifully articulated in his speech.

And then for our children, who other than the color of their skin, can no longer consider themselves the nationality of their parents, but of the land they were born. That someday they will grow up and come to realize that they are equal to men and women of all colors, race, original nationalities and opportunities in life. Then and maybe then, we will amount to something wherever we are...

This piece is in response to Rep. Locsin Jr. speech delivered at the 40 anniversary commencement of School of Business, Ateneo de Manila, 6 August 2006. For complete text of the speech here is the site:
And here the particular quote which my thoughts and response is addressed to:

"To those back home, a man might seem to have amounted to something abroad; but he will never really amount to anything in the eyes of those out there. That is why we all come home all from rebellious youth and wanderlust all back to our original faith and native country; to die in their arms at last; but, before then and better yet, to amount to something as only we can in the estimation of our own kind."

Monday, August 14, 2006

To be Gay or not to be:

A certain Isagani Cruz is now a centre piece of so much controversy in the Philippines for the the piece he wrote for Philippine Daily Inquirer which to some was interpreted as biased against one of the most visible groups in the country; the Gay community. My take on the issue, which I also posted (as comment) on some of the "country blogsite" is reprinted here:

Sexual orientation is now one among the groups (others are race, colour, sex, physical and mental disability, and age), that are included in tha Anti-Hate Law of Canada.

The Law (Criminal Code) states that discussion, publication, and broadcasting of material or writing in any forms (movie, literature, novel) that promote hatred toward or among the groups is a criminal offense. Exemption maybe applied to if done in private, or in context of religious discussion. So if you’re in Canada, before speaking or writing your thoughts and views and opinions put them to test first.

By the way, same sex marriage has now been recognized legally and accorded the same legal status and benefits as traditional marriage, which is between a man and a woman. And also the issue of sexual orientation is no longer an issue in this country. It was a divisive one, but we were able put it to rest and in the end, One Great Canadian once said “The government has no business in the nation’s bedrooms." And with that a pleasant day to all..

And here is one more:

Opinions are opinions, but there are times that some of our opinions are better keep for ourselves. There is one simple test, especially for those whose opinion is widely dissiminated, to pass before considering going along and share them with others. It is going to create hatred toward or among the intended group? Is the benefits of opinion proportional with the harm or lesser than it might cause? We must remember that many tragic events had resulted because of some peoples’ opinion that could have been better left where it started, in the head of its creator.

I would like to make it clear that I, being a card-carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada, supoorted the stand of my Party which is against same-sex marriage. But the Court through its ruling on a case brought before it decided that the law which states that marriage is only legal between a man and woman of legal age is in violation of the Rights to Equality. The court has decided and to that we all must abide. For the sake of Unity and the Common good of our Society, we have to tolerate and accept our diversity in every aspects of our life including our cultures, lifestyle and way of life. This True North will be forever Strong and Free...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Philippines' Association of Colleges and Universities Annual Picnic

Today, I was downloading pictures taken by my niece Bibs and nephew Pao during their Toronto holiday last month and some of the pictures were taken during the Annual Philippine Colleges and Universities annual Picnic.
For the past several years now, the Philippine Colleges and Universities Alumni Association of Greater Toronto Area hold an annual Picnic at Centennial Park in the City of Mississauga. A very prosperous and progressive city Bordering south of Toronto, lead by Mayor "Hurricane" Hazel Mccalllion, the ageless (in her 80's) unchallenged, uncontested, beloved mayor of one of Canada’s foremost city for more than three decades. As if Hazel needs my plug here.

The annual event is your typical reunion of alumni, faculty and staff and families of most educational institutions represented by few and some by many. From Centro Escolar, to Central Philippine University of Iloilo, U.P. and U.E., Ateneo and La Salle, for one day in one summer’s weekend get together and just have fun, fun in the sun. With lots of beer and the Cops just look the other way around. Guys, just don’t drive drunk.. For one day in summer, no politics, no war, no terrorism, just fun in the sun!!..You just wish.. it’s the same the day after...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Limit: Election Expense Limit

Posted August 9, 2006: Now The Election Expenditures and the Limit.
In previous posting, I summarized the source of ‘election financing’, which a candidate, the registered party and association can raise for the purpose of political spending related to Election expenditures. For the purpose of this subject discussion, all contributions to and expenses of registered political parties and party associations are considered "political financing" by law, because the continuing entities are recognized to exist only for Political purpose. But individual candidate is not and is covered strictly by the guidelines which and which is not an election Expense.

For Individual Candidate :

Based on the number of voters to be published by the Chief Electoral Officer in the official Canada Gazette, the expense limit is based on riding to riding (district) case by the following formula. The preliminary list is published per riding not later than 31 days before the date of election and the revised not later than 7 days and the number that the expense limit will be based on the greater of the two figures. Below is the graduation of the limit:
$2.07 for each of the first 15,000 electors
$1.04 for each of the next 10,000 electors
$0.52 for each elector over 25,000
Depending on the area of the riding, the limit is adjusted to higher amount for large riding with less voter on a square miles basis.

For Registered parties:

The maximum amount that is allowed for the election expenses of a registered party for an election is calculated in two steps:

Step 1: Multiply $0.70 by the number of names on the preliminary lists of electors for electoral districts in which the registered party has endorsed a candidate or by the number of names on the revised lists of electors for those electoral districts, whichever is greater.

Step 2: Multiply the result of step 1 by the inflation adjustment factor that is in effect on the day of the issue of the writs for the election.
Other expense like volunteer labour is not counted and so is non-monetary contribution use for election purposes as long as the person contributing is not in the business of providing such property or services and the value is less than $200. Otherwise the value is the lowest at the time for the same property and services..

And for the kids:

Yes, Elections Canada offers two election simulation kits for schools. They provide a realistic experience of voting, based on actual federal election procedures.

The kit 'Canada at the Polls' is intended for Grades 5 and up. 'Choising your mascot' for younger children, kindergarten to Grade 4. Both are available by contacting Election Canada or going to its Web Site.

Elections Canada also offers an interactive CD-ROM, Exploring Canada's electoral system. It gives a virtual tour of the system and it features a game for one to three players.

The Earlier the Children learn their democratic rights and responsibilities, the brighter and stonger the futures holds.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Political Financing: how much?

Perhaps one of the most important issue that involves the Electoral Process is the "Financing" of Election; from the nomination of Candidates to the campaign during the "period" and also to electing Leadership of the Political Party. And here should the Law pertaining to contributions, process of recording of contributions and donation to Candidates, political party and to political association should be clearly defined and enforcement should also be emphasized.

For Canada at Present Electoral Financing Comes from Three sources: (I will note as I go along the part that is in the plan to be scrapped or reformed).

1.. Individual Citizen-Every citizen is encouraged to contribute and participate in the process. Contribution for individual as of present, is limited to $5400 for a registered party, candidate or association. As an incentive to encourage contributions by individuals, a 75 percent tax credit, for donation of $400 and a maximum of $650 Tax Credit for $1250 or more. Although most party member or individual may contribute less, the maximum limit will assure the voting public that no individual, no matter how rich he or she maybe can influence the outcome of the election by unlimited contributions. Any fraud involves in this matter is under the Criminal code and will be enforced by the police upon the advice of Election Canada.

2..Corporation and Labour Union-Maximum contributions allowed of $1000. This one is subject to debate at the moment and some quarters wanted it scrapped altogether. Since to my understanding, there is still no limit to how many candidates and parties and political association both the corporation and the union can contribute. And the biggest loophole so far and it is being addressed at the moment is that the Officers and Families of two entities can avoid the limitation by going the route of Individual Donation. This come to light at present as the Liberal Party is now in the process of electing its Leader. One of the leadership candidate was exposed to have received donation from the whole family members of Corporate "biggie" to the individual Maximum and was forced to return the money. Corporation can also go around this, by using their employees to contribute to the favoured party or candidates at the company’s cost. This is one reason why our Chief Electoral Officer wanted a detailed list of all contributors and the amount contributed and the records should be kept for at least two years and subject to audit by Election Canada and Revenue Canada.

3..Government..The Government will pay $l.75 (dollar seventy five cents) per vote received by the party in the previous general election, provided the party has received in the last election either the 2% of the valid votes nationally or 5 % of the votes in the ridings where the party ran a candidate. Also the Government will reimburse 50% of the Registered Parties Election expense as well as 50% of Individual candidate expense provided he or she received at least a 10% vote cast in the riding..Caveat: For those who want to run for office, anyone over 18 is qualified, no minimum qualification required, but a deposit of some amount is also required and will be forfeited is such candidate can not get enough vote as per guideline for "nuisance candidates". This one is for people, who want their names in the ballot but won’t even go out and vote for themselves. You abuse the system you pay for it, in money or in time. Have your choice..

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Alimodiananon, We Still Are, We Still Will Be, No matter where we are..

Alimodiananon, We Still Are:
Twenty Summers ago, two dozen town mates, with families in tow and with two special guests, one a dear cousin of mine Father Antonio Anino and our Guest for his first trip out of the country ( he was not in a good term with the Marcos Regime) and the other Father Gil Alinsangan a visiting town mate from Rome, gathered at our town mates Dr. & Dra. Guangco Estate at Connecticut, USA for a welcome treat to our two Special Guests. For three days (some stayed longer) we reminisced about the good old Alimodian and how we all miss the town we all grew up, played hooky, experienced our first love; the first pain of so many after we enjoyed the town surrounded by natural mountains, which the strong winds and typhoons just passed over our heads blocked by hills and mountains on all sides. Yes that is our town..
One night after the usual Mass and Thanksgiving, we sat and drank and ate, the two priests suggested to us to Organize Ourselves so we can coordinate whatever project and gathering and can easily contact each other for news and updates regarding the town and our town mates.
We did, and for starter, we decided to call ourselves Alimodianon sa Amerika (ALSA). The acronym is apropos since it means "to lift." That was before the advent of PC and Internet and I remember Dr. Gemma car cell phone as big as a "knapsack" and it got to be plugged into to car battery. Thinking about it now, was funny. Click "about us" and you may even find out my full name. That’s ok, got nothing to hide except my "pocket rocket" or I may not be able to blog no more. Or do it in the "dog house".
A few years later as our number grew in Toronto Area and in Canada, we decided to open our separate chapter as our East Coast Association, our mother Organization. Same thing with Alimodianon in the West Coast. Ours we named it ALSACAN (Alimodiananon sa Canada) and our West Coast town mates named theirs AAA (Alimodiananon Association of America).
As we go along, we are as modern as any associations now. We have our own website, chat, even our own blog. , but we remain true to our original aim and purpose-to raise funds to help our town and our town mates, especially the children of Alimodian. If you take a peek at our homepage, you will see right away how one of our townmates, single handedly awaken the awareness of the state of Connecticut and its residence and they flooded our association with donation of books of all kinds. Our younger town mates now are very active in the internet. We even have "answer on demand", where students from home can post and ask for answers on their school works on a one to one basis with our volunteer"professionals" or reference to their specific works. At the moment we are also gathering books for school use and for reference at all fields of knowledge.
Aside from the intangibles, the education and the knowledge, we also raise funds for the ‘tangible projects," like the improvement of our parish church, schools and more.
But most of all, we look after our town mates who also need some help Right HERE. Most of them are the new arrivals, who may not know the way around in the new world; who may need some immediate needs inside the new place or for some, that may need some financial help to start (very rare, but it’s good to know). We also celebrate our "town fiesta" at the nearest weekend to the actual date. With the same menus on the table. We gather and celebrate together our Christmas. And once in while we celebrate milestone with our sisters’ associations(the mother) in the East Coast. In April 24, 2006, the whole Association celebrated our 20th Anniversary in New Jersey (I was in the Philippines for Emergency) and that was one big party, so I’d heard. Click the Gallery...
So, in closing, I and my hundreds of town mates, maybe half the world away from our dear Alimodian, may be some of us decided to make where we are now, our final home. Maybe some of us will split our time between our two homes during our retirement years (if health allows). And may be a few of us has completely forgotten the town (unlikely). For us who were born in the town, we will be forever an "alimodiananon" and for those, the next generation and the next one after, we are trying our very best, through this association and its activities to pass it upon their bloodline and to encourage them to perpetuate what we have started Twenty years ago for the sake of those who are still in our town and for those who chose to stay. Wherever we are, We are Alimodiananon, Always will Be True and Faithful..

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dual Citizenship..Time for Revisit..
Canada has been allowing its new citizens a choice to keep their citizen of entry and Canadian citizen to become citizen of other countries without giving up their citizenship, unless otherwise required to renounce as pre-requisite of the process.
Lately, during the crisis in Lebanon, an angry debate among the Canadians at home, regarding the complaints and criticism leveled at our government for the rescue effort that some (a lot) said is not fast and comfortable enough, forgetting that in a war zone, they were lucky to have been rescued and out in just a matter of days. The debate is about the wisdom of dual citizenship and how, so many people use them just for convenience and a "free ride" in time such as this..
O’ how easy it is to become a Canadian, get a passport, get back to the old country and still enjoy the right and privileges accorded to all Canadians, irregardless if you pay a cent in Taxes or Not. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen Canada in the last twenty years or so, just send your children up Here and when it’s time bombs and shells are falling from the skies and if it’s time no longer safe to stay around, flash your passport and Canada is going to rescue you just like the rest.
But please don’t scream and swear at our Public Servants; complaints about our half hearted efforts, and criticize our government for not doing enough just because you don’t get a "first class" accommodation and treatment during the rescue. Yes, we did everything possible under the circumstances. The PM even gone to the Region himself to pick some of our fellow Canadians; the country mourns for the Seven Members of a Canadian Family who were the innocent victims of the conflict and we want every one out of the country before another one falls victim to the cruel reality of war.
We can not dwell on the merit and the abuse of our Dual Citizenship at the Moment. But when time is back to normal, we will revisit the issue...

Bibz and Pao Visit..

And who said Human is smarter than the Ape?
Nature's way of Delicing...

Me and the Bibs taking a shower by the falls

Mist.. Niagara Falls.. July 11, 2006..

Big Brother Pao (Popularly known as Jinggoy)

and Baby Iya ( Name Jinggoy calls Her- from Day One)

Both were back now back to their "home" in Northern California to enjoy the rest of the Summer. They also have a large family in California, on the Father side. Both grandparents, in the 80 s now and still in good shape and the kids and gradparents enjoy each others company.

Also Babe have to catch up on some summer reading assignment. Transferring from one school system to another, is a lot of adjustment on three of them, and the eldest who had already completed a two years college education has to take a year community college to qualify for university..that is to compensate the difference between our " grade 10" pre-college and the "grade 12" in most states and in Canada. Well, my say-- why rush? You only are an undergraduate once and postgraduate forever.. Take your time, I'd rather be an undergraduate forever...Working is hard and makes you age fast everytime finding out nothing to show after every hard day's work...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Babe is Here

The Babe is Here..

Who is Babe and who cares? Well, Babe is just your own average l6 years old, all Filipino Girl who just immigrated to the U.S. of A., December 2005 with her Mom, Dad, Elder Brothers Mik and Pao. But Babe or Bibs or Bibz is not your average l6 years old, she’s my niece, my Baby sister’s baby daughter and the darling of my four other sisters who happened to have no daughter of their own, but have plenty of love for a few daughters of someone and even sons.

Well, it’s school break and kids are restless just staying home. Though Babe’s parents can’t yet afford to send them anywhere, except some nearby dept. stores for maybe some window shopping, the Babe and his brother Pao deserve a nice leisurely trek during the break and see lots of places America can offer. So July 2nd they both landed at JFK to spend a little over a week with Auntie and Uncle (Mom’s twins) and watch for the first time a stage musical (the Phantom of the Opera) and tour most of Manhattan, Queens and Philadelphia to see cousins and other relatives. Altogether it was a memorable tour of the East.

July 11th bound to Toronto via Buffallo Airport. Why Buffallo? Much, much cheaper to fly within the U.S, border than to fly directly to any Canadian destinations, then just travel overland to the final destination..Money is hard to come by nowadays, you know.. I have to Pick them up at the Airport and it took me almost three hours drive for the usual two hours trip, because of the delay at U.S. crossing. What with all the securities concern and cross border smuggling of elicit drugs and the recent “terrorists” arrest in Toronto area.. Next time better bring in some portables with us..It’s kind of hard to line up for an hour with a full bladder.

It was also a very convenient flight plan since Niagara Falls, a “must see” for any tourist within the area is on the way to Toronto. What to do in Niagara? Plenty..Picture taking is number one. Then there is a tour of the Queen of the Mist as close as possible to the ‘falls’. Museums to visit and for the Gamblers in you, The Niagara Casino. Even Superman came to visit.
Babe and brother Pao enjoyed an afternoon at Niagara Falls.

In Toronto, they climbed to the top of CN tower not by ladder but by elevator, the world’s tallest free standing structure. The Lion Safari where they met most animals of every corners of the world in their man made “natural”habitat. And Babe together with Auntie and few town mates with birthdays within days celebrate hers in a “grand” our own way of Celebration (with Lechon, arroz con caldo, pancit, siopao, bitso bitso, and many more Manilenos like both of them had not even tasted during their growing up years in P.I.). For Birthday gifts, I give her one of her lists I spied on her “space” that she not aware of, 15.4 inches lcd screen all singing, whistling, and dancing “laptop” so she can post on her space without anyone trying to take a sideway look at their Desk P.C.. ,especially mom and dad. And Babe being Bibs, she just took it without even showing any emotion or excitement. Just like your average teenagers, very typical, sensitive, not wanting to be bothered, but bothers everyone at their convenience.. But we love her and her brothers and she is not your Average teenager, she’s my Niece and her name is Bibs, Bibz, Iya,Baby Iya,Ria and you can call her any of those, chances are she’ll ignore you anyway, just like she ignores me..but that's the way our Babe is, and we just Love Her the way she is..

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Land Reform. Was it worth the Effort?

My own brother worked for the DAR, and during all the years he had been harassed, threatened, and been in legal limbo, for being charged civilly and administratively by some very wealthy land owners, that years back I have to supply him with 9mm parabellum for his protection. The stress and the frustrations of dealing with both the Land Owners and the Beneficiaries, finally did him in recently from a massive heart attack. Against our advice of retiring early, he told us his legal problems with some landowners that has been dragging for several years prevented him from doing so.
1. And here are my observations during my two weeks of stay during my brother's wake and funeral in Davao.
I talked to several land owners, and one of them agreed to the principles and aims of land reform and told me that the funds he got from selling most of his land holdings are now successfully invested in insurance business. But he told me who's stopping the Beneficiaries of selling back the land to him after the period of I believe it's seven years that the title legally becomes theirs?
I also had a talk with a local mayor and he bragged at me that he usually assigned police bodyguards for my brother, but he was abducted by the rebels quite a few times and released after "interviewing" on some of his decisions. But my brother dismissed all these personal threats as just part of the job. He was a marksman just like me. But luckily not fired at anyone in anger, not like the killers that are roaming the streets and mountains and murdering their victims only cowards and low life will do.
I also talked to many beneficiaries of the Land Reform, met their leaders. the conversation was in the context of mostly tribute to the Man we're grieving, but you can feel and see for yourself, the plights and the hardships this group has to endure to finally own a small piece of land, they can call their own. Most of them are Muslims, and I have no problem or being comfortable with anyone of different faith, religion or belief, for I have been dealing the same every day in this multi cultures, tolerant society we have here.
For my brother, he to the last day of his life, believed in his works.

Today, in the pages of blog is the peril of those who work with the implementations and enforcing the spirits of Land Reform, and the NGOs workers who had been hurt or murdered as they acted as watchdogs against the abuses and corruption within the System, and for advancing the interest of those whose ideals and purpose of the Land Reform should have benefited.

This is my own personal take on the subject, which for all intents and purposes have reached "home" for me; which I will forever remember the sacrifice and dedication of the man I always hold dear in my heart, in life and in death.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Root of it all..the Democracy that is the Philippines.

Here is an instant recall from my file and I believe also published in Talking Points section of the INQ 7 in which I cited the “real” problem that seems to have been overlooked because of the crisis after crisis that are the resultant effects of the root cause, that is being ignored since the very people that ruled the country ever since belong to the Elites or if not want to become one at the expense of the ‘masses’ and I quote from my own.
“The biggest problem that besiege the country is not the current crisis that hunts the government of the day, but the same one that has been there from the start. It is the economic inequity between the majority — the masses — and the very few in the “ruling class” who control just about every aspect of the economy and thereby control the political landscape.

The government keeps changing hands among limited groups in the “ruling class.” These are the only ones who can contest the positions and, hence, maintain the status quo. And so the problem continues. While the population (thanks to the “church”) has doubled or tripled, the same “rule makers” control most of the agricultural land, the mega-businesses and the political parties to protect their interests.

Tackle this “crisis” and everything will just fall into place.”….

What name shall we call 'ye'?

Is that your child? Question often asked by curious onlookers to mothers of "mixed breed" children. Experts are telling us that in the next generation, major cities of Canada, Toronto in Particular, will be populated by a majority of mixed race citizens that until now has no "label" yet on how to call themselves, when asked: what's your race? or what's your nationality?

In 17th century many offspring were born as the result of mingling by the European Fur traders and the Native Indian Women. Their children are called "metis" and is now officially recognized as one of Canada's three aboriginal "people". The Eskimo or Inuit, The Canadian Indian or the Natives, the other two.

Latest statistic shows that of Toronto and Area approximately 3 and half million residents, close to half million are in mixed race relationships, married and common-law. Not only that they are in mixed relationship from one single identifiable race, but from already mixed race, making the offspring with a mixtures of several races. That is not a problem to deal with in a country, now at the time when multiculturalism is alive and well, and the Equality Rights are guarded by each and everyone as one among the greatest virtues of being a Canadian, but unlike the Metis which can easily be identified by their parentage, the question that could be for now be a guessing game, what shall we call our super-breed, mixed- race Canadians that will surely inhabit this Strong North Strong and Free in the Future??

Saturday, July 08, 2006

On Inquest and Enquiry:y july 8,2006

Enquiry for the purpose of this discussion is defined as Formal Investigation to determine the facts of why things have gone wrong.

Inquest is defined as an investigation of the facts of a situation, particularly one that had an undesired outcome ( literary ). ; An official enquiry in front of magistrate, coroner, or jury into the facts of a case such as a sudden unexpected death.

Both processes have been the norm every time there is such on occurrences or events that criminal investigation may have been initiated and launched on entirely different angle. Or most often after the conclusion of the criminal investigation to further answer the questions that were not brought out or not relevant to the criminal case.

In most cases an Enquiry or Inquest is called not to find blame or fault but to find out how things gone wrong so corrective measures will be figured out, guidelines and preventive measures will be put in place or Laws be passed to avoid the same from ever happening again in the same situation, and situation if possible, be altered to the point that the event will not happen at all... again.

Sometimes, but only rarely, it is called to find out who are responsible for the wrongdoing so punitive action can be pursued from evidence gathered.

How's the process launched and conducted: Either an Inquest or Enquiry is initiated by any authorities directly responsible and under which jurisdiction the investigation be conducted. For local municipal matter, a municipal council can order such, for provincial, the Premier or the Provincial Parliament, for Federal, the PM or the House.

Who composes such Body: For Judicial Enquiry, it is headed by a judge. Before the start of an Enquiry a mandate which defines the power, limitation, and duration (estimated) is handed down by the passing of appropriate bill or law calling for such. Then, the Head, will set up the venues, the conduct, and will issue summonses, and
notices to all legal participants and consider those with legal standing and then set up the starting date and scheduling of witnesses. And the hearing begins. After the conclusion of the hearing, granted it was not called off or suspended for any reason, the Head of the Enquiry will prepare a report as to Enquiry findings and submit it to the Authority who called an Inquest or to the Public at Large. And if mandated to recommend corrective measures, or actions to be taken, then the Inquiry will also submit reports to the effect following the "findings".

For Inquest- usually is undertaken by coroner for cases of sudden and unexpected death as a result of: Police Officer(s) action; Public Safety (water supply, hydro accidents, recreational facilities failures, medical institutions unexplained or misdiagnosed cases, etc). The process of calling it is about the same and the conduct and manner is also similar. But the inquest usually concern of the findings the faults and causes resulting to the tragedy rather than the person or persons involved. But blames and faults as a results of the inquest are often unavoidable. Sometimes, the whole exercise can only point to the negligence or criminal intent of a single party or limited number of person.

Both Processes, done in the context of law, and proper procedures, are two greatest tools in correcting the mistakes and wrongdoings that could sometimes crop in the business of Government and people interacting with each other. Some of these mistakes are innocents, committed without malicious intents, some are criminal negligence, some are downright criminal. Relying on the Present set up of our justice system alone can not cover and see all these activities in our ever complex and evolving society

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Canada's Parliamentary System As I see It

Posted july 25 10:28 am

Canada form of Government is the Parliamentary System patterned to that of the British P{arliament, but with slight modification to reflect realities that are unique in Canada.
Canada is a Democratic Country, Fully Independent, and the power of the Government emanates from Her citizens.

The structure of Government:
Head of Canada---Queen Elizbeth II ...Represented by the Governor General Appointed to the post by the PM to the term of five years..Any citizen may qualify.

Head of Government---The Prime Minister...The Leader of the Political Party who was declared a winner in the last election and sworn in by the Governor General to Form a Government.

The Prime Minister will form a Cabinet to head various ministries of the government with the title of "cabinet minister" and will be assisted by deputy cabinet minister which is usually a civil servant, to adminster and run each ministry and implement the programs, policy, and enforce the law.

The Parliament---The Parliament is both the Executive and Legislative branch of the Government.. It compose of the House of Common and the House of Senate.

House of Common---This is the seat of all the elected members that represent the Total of 308 ridings comprising the 10 provinces of Canada and 3 territories.

The Senate ---Members are appointed by the PM of the Day to the term of up to retirement age as speified by the law. The senate function are mostly perfunctuary, so it ist not very relevant to the overall governance. (There is a plan that get floated once in a while to abolish it entirely as it becomes the favourite patronage retirement employment for those has-been politicians who could no longer win an election). and I agree.

Political Parties ---Canada's political parties so strong that no personality is above the party. A charismatic and smart leader may help propel the party to lead a government, but never in her history that a party was taken over by personality.
Any citizen or group of citizen can form a political party for the purpose of contesting an election. There are currently numerous parties like the Communist Party, Socialist, Green, but the most remarkable Protest Party (now disbanded) was the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. Now instead, a Protest vote can be done by just crossing your ballot accross without checking a particular candidate. And it is tallied like any other vote.

Currently there are Four (4) major Political Parties that represent all 308 seats.

Conservative Party-governing Minority
Liberal Party --official opposition..
Bloc Quibecois--only represent the province of Quebec and don't run candidate anywhere else.
New Democrats-- A socialist party always the last but has the same rate of hardcore supporters. (a little up and down according to the promise of its compaign)

A STRONG party system of electing a "government" is based on the premise that the voters as a whole is sending a political party to lead a government based on the party's principles, ideologies, programs of government, and promises laid down during the set time period of campaign. And a charismatic, powerful communicator of a leader may help the party sometimes despite of all the premises. But not for a long term gain.
An individual voter choice ---Individually a voter has a few options of electing the candidate to represent him or her in the House.
1. vote for the party--according to the voter own's ideologies and views, thoughts and principles. a party member not only vote for a party candidate, but usually campaign for the whole party (this blogger is a card-carrying member of Conservative Party)
2. vote for the best among the candidates.. according to your judgement (may not agree with your partner or neighbor).
3. vote for the party whom you believe the LEADER isthe best to be the Prime Minister.
4. vote for the one who first knocked on your door and told you your lawn is the greenest in the neighborhood or vot for his/her opponents if you believe and you can see the grass is greener on the other side.

Campaign and Source of FUNDS:

Political party funds for elections campaign and all other expense can legally come from only these three (3) sources.

1. Citizen--Every citizen is allowed to contribute to any party or candidate up to a maximum fo $5 thousand of which the ffirst $5hundred is tax deductible up to 70% up to the maximum of $650. This amount is going to be reduced under the new Accountability Law the currrent govt. is introducing.
2. Corporation and Labor Unions- -Maximum of $1 thousand. Big loophole on this one. Corporation and Union can over ride the limit by using the citizens (or persons) to do the contributions. Proposal under the above Accountabilty law will elliminate entirely corporate and union donation and a quideline to make sure that person under the employ or families of business owner may not abuse the citizens privilage by requiring politcal parties and candidates to submit all the names and amount of political contributions to Election Canada for Audit. And That Man we Call our Chief Electoral Officer is a very serious man. He has been around for a while and not a single issue had been said about him except that he is the Best there is. You can check this Brag yourself and come back to me..
3. Government (Taxpayer) For every cast vote to a Political Party Candidate or an independent candidate, the government will pay $1.75 (one dollar and seventy five cents). Note: Every candidate must put up a "nuisance" deposit that will be forfeited if said candidate cast less than the minimum as specified by the Eelction Officer according to the accepted formula. This measure is to discourage a lineup of candidates, since there is no minimum qualification for elected office. none whatsover..exept that you are a qualified voter, not serving a prison sentence (tha's obvious) and is not im bankruptcy proceedings (not being discharge) and not an officer of Election Canada (same as comelec).

Enough for now.. kind of hard to blog all from memory..this is all written without the aid of research or search engine but just by simple re-call from all the observations and experiences any one can accumulate as we go along the daily business of living.. thanks and I'll try to refresh sometime when this heat and humidity somehow cool down..