On Bitcoin, Crypto and the other Blog

In my last post I mentioned that I will write more about bitcoin and cryptocurrency here at menardconnect.com.

But I also want to write on my Tech and infosec focused blog more often so I placed all my thoughts on the plan of Salon.com to offer cryptomining instead of the usual subscription model and freemium/Google AdSense model.

Post is available at AVSecurityProductManager.com.

If there will be PH focused insights related to that post, I will add it here in Menardconnect.com. But for now just a link/connected post.

Happy 9th Year Anniversary to Menardconnect.com!!!

Happy 9th to menardconnect.com  🙂

My blog turned 9 several weeks ago! Was too busy with lotso stuff so its just now I’m posting the traditional blog happy anniversary post. Wow time flies so fast, here the links to the 1st post and the first full post. Enjoy 🙂

I would like to thank God for all the blessings this year! Next I would like to thank my family and friends for being there with me in this challenging year. Last but not the least, my thanks to the readers and supporters of menardconnect.com. I will do my best to make this blog better and better for all of you next year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Happy 6th Year Anniversary to Menardconnect.com!!!

Menardconnect.com turned 6 several weeks ago!!! Yes six, just like the free six series 🙂

This is the traditional Blog Happy Anniv post and here the links to the 1st post and the first full post (non-hello world 😉 ). as well as links to the anniversary blog posts for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd4th and 5th year.


Happy 6th to Menardconnect.com

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons, Cary Bass de Morburre

After 600 posts, and a lot more of stats that is hard to keep track of 😀 I am happy that menardconnect.com is still alive and kicking!!!
The only challenge this year was I was so busy with a lot of things and I forgot about my domain reg so my blog was pawned on the anniv date.

Anniversary posts are great opportunity to give thanks and some shout outs  so without further ado here are some thank you notes:

First of all, I would like to thank God for all the blessings He has given me and my family!

Next I would like to thank my family, they are my inspiration for this blog and all of my blogs!

Next my thanks goes out to my friends (IRL and online ) for all the support they have given me and my blog! Special thanks to my webhost admins (Melvin and Daryl) at web.com.ph for their timely assistance to me during my blog anniv snafu.

Last but not the least, my thanks to the readers and supporters of menardconnect.com.
I will do my best to make menardconnect.com better and better for all you readers out there.

Watch out for my other blogs soon (to be launched here at Menardconnect.com)…

Pacquiao vs Marquez, PLDT MyDSL WatchPad and the Lucky 20

Remember the Free Pacquiao vs Marquez PLDT MyDSL WatchPad contest by Jehzlau Concepts several days ago?

I’m happy to announce that I’m one of the lucky winners!!! Again! Yehey!!! 🙂

We will attend the winner’ treat: Pacquiao vs Marquez Live tomorrow, November 13, 2011, at Yellow Cab, People Support, Makati City. Thanks to Jehzlau Concepts, PLDT MyDSL WatchPad and Nuffnang.

Congratulations to all the lucky winners!!!

For more boxing action, kindly visit my Pacquiao vs Marquez post.

Max’s Chicken All You Can Eat 2011 Version

Max’s Restaurant is doing the great Chicken All You Can Eat promo this 2011.

Yes, its ALL the sarap-to-the-bones fried chicken you can eat plus a glass of Pepsi drink for only 199 pesos. You can go bottomless softdrink too just add 28 pesos.

This promo is from 6PM to 10PM daily at all Max’s Restaurant branches nationwide. Hurry promo starts today June 10, 2011 and will end July 10, 2011.

Image Credits: Max Restaurant Facebook Page

We really love Max’s as me, Raven, Spiderham, Baroye, Magne and Cian feasted on their Max Chicken All You Can Eat last year and we really enjoyed it a lot. We love other Max’s dishes too, proof is here.

Quoting Max Resto FB Page:

Sarap-to-the-bones fried chicken goes full-throttle this June as Max’s Restaurant announces the much-awaited Chicken-All-You-Can Promotion 2011. It’s time to work up the biggest appetite and make a beeline once again to the nearest Max’s Restaurant for an unlimited serving of the Filipino’s favorite home-cooked fried chicken, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm daily.

For only PhP 199, customers can bite into their favorite Max’s fried chicken, matched with an ice-cold glass of any Pepsi softdrink that can be upgraded to bottomless drink for only PhP28. Diners can also watch out for a show-stopping promo activation performance by Max’s employees every 6:00 pm daily to signal the start of the promo.

For more details visit Batangas Today and Max’ Resto official site.

Have you tried Max’s Chicken All You Can Eat promo too?
Feel free to leave your comments here 🙂

EDSA Buendia Bus Explosion (Updates and Photo)

Some updates on the EDSA Buendia Bus Explosion. An explosion rocked a passenger bus in Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) near the MRT Buendia Station around 2PM (GMT+8) today January 25, 2011. As of writing this post, news reports confirmed that 4 lives were lost and 14 other people were hurt. The passenger bus is a Newman Goldliner with license plate number TXJ-710.

Authorities have closed the northbound lane of EDSA and are advising travelers to use alternate routes.

It’s really sad that this unfortunate incident happened in the Philippines. I hope the authorities will be do their best effort to get to the bottom of this case.

Below are some photos of the affected Newman Goldliner bus courtesy of MMDA Twitter account and Twitpic.com



For more details on this EDSA Buendia Bus Explosion incident, kindly visit Batangas Today posts.

Lee Ying Chuen and the The First-Person Account Of A Manila Hostage Survivor

Below is the translated text of Lee Ying Chuen essay. Lee Ying Chuen is a survivor of the recent hostage taking incident in Manila last month. It is a first person account of the incident and what transpired days after it.

Credits to original poster/source after the blockquoted text.

The First-Person Account Of A Manila Hostage Survivor

(Ming Pao via InMediaHK) Lee Ying Chuen: Give justice to the victims, Not direct anger at the weak. August 29, 2010.

[in translation]

On Wednesday evening, the government charter airplane landed at the Hong Kong International Airport. My mother who had been so terrified went in the company of family members to wait in the vehicle arranged by the government. I stood along with other family members of deceased victims to quietly attend the farewell ceremony. The bagpipe played . It was very solemn, and also very sad. I read the names of the fellow travelers written on the white cloth on the coffins. Tears came touring out of my eyes. Who could have imagined before that this tour group would return to Hong Kong in this fashion?

I watched Mrs. Fu and her two children bid farewell to her husband. Her 4-year-old daughter affectedly asked her mother: “Mom, why is dad going back to Hong Kong but not coming home? Mom, why do I see Dad when I shut my eyes?” These innocent childish remarks broke the hearts of listeners. But the admirable Mrs. Fu was quite strong. She addressed her daughter in her normal parental tone and said that Dad has gone to heaven. She asked her daughter to bid farewell to Dad. After a while, she began to cry. There was also the dull look in little sister Wong’s eyes, looking as if all her feelings have been drained. After getting off the plane, I approached the mother of our tour guide Masa. I held her hands, but I did not know what I should say. I was only able to say that I wanted to thank Masa because he took care of us right until the very last moment.

On the way home, I looked at the moon through the car window. It was so round that it was heart-breaking. I don’t know if this is July 15 or 16 in the Lunar Calendar. The moon was so bright, yet so cold.

I have reviewed the incident in my mind many times over the past several days. I am extreme angry and sad. I also have an indescribable regret. I kept thinking, Why didn’t we take action to save ourselves? Why did hand our fates over to an incompetent government during the long waiting process and quietly wait for the help that never came?

Some of us actually did think about taking action to subdue the gunman. So why did we waver? Because we were afraid, because we thought that the gunman did not really want to kill anyone, because we thought that the matter would be peacefully resolved and, of course, our biggest mistake was to over-estimate the capabilities of the local police.

The gunman got on the bus around 10am. We were about to leave the ancient fortress that commemorates the founding father of the Philippines. He got on the bus and said a long string of words in local dialect. He also used some simple English. Through the interpretation of our local guide, we learned that he was a policeman who had been dismissed unfairly. He was originally scheduled to retire in January next year. He wanted the government to re-open his case, give him his job back and restore his 1 million peso pension payment.

The gunman apologized to us many times. He said that he did not really want this to happen to us. He only needed us to help him force the government to pay attention to his case. He emphasized repeatedly that he would not harm anyone as long as we cooperate with him. He then asked the tour guide to confiscate our mobile phones. But he did not really seriously check whether we did hand over our mobile phones (I was really sorry afterwards that I actually handed over my mobile phone). He emphasized that he did not want our mobile phones, but he was only temporarily holding them.

He said that he did not want our money. He let the elderly Mr. Lee get off the bus, because Lee suffered from diabetes. Everything made us think that he had some minimal humanitarian concern to look after the young, the old and the sick and therefore he was not a vicious thug. Right before he opened fire, he never even pointed the gun at any of us. He never threatened us. When we said “toilet” to him, he would wave his hand to let us go into the small room in the rear of the bus to relieve ourselves using a plastic bag.

During the first few hours, the gunman was calm when he spoke on the phone. Often times he smiled. He kept saying, “Ok, ok.” This reassured us. Periodically he would emphasize again that he would not hurt us. He let people from the outside bring food for us twice. Right before dusk, while we were still worried and afraid, it was still relatively calm in side the bus. I read my palm several times. I thought that I have a long lifeline. Didn’t the palmists tell me that several times before? I told myself that this was just a farce that would end satisfactorily.

At first, we thought that the demands of the gunman were simple enough to be resolved within an hour or two. By noon, we were getting impatient. We whispered to each other about acting together to subdue the gunman. The gunman was alone. Although some of us are children, elders and women, we had about ten able men, youngsters and adult women who could act. The tight space on the bus would make it hard for him to escape from us. If we act together, we could subdue him. But we were scattered all over the bus as ordered by the gunman, one person per row on each side of the aisle. The bus was also long. If we cannot hold a discussion together, it would be hard to coordinate our actions. I spoke several times with the team mates in the rear. But because it was still relatively peaceful, we did not take action because we thought that the matter would be peacefully resolved and, if we took action, it would rile the gunman.

At some time past 1pm, the gunman used simple English to tell us that he would let us go at 3pm. I thought he said 8pm. But Mr. Leung who sat on the same row on the other side of the aisle corrected me and said that it was 3pm. Mr. Leung asked the gunman whether it was 3pm. The gunman said, Yes. Mr. Leung replied, Good. We were relieved. I don’t carry a watch and my mobile phone had been taken away. So I kept asking Mr. Leung for the time. When Mr. Leung told me that it was 230pm, I got worried again: Why did the government seem to be doing nothing? Why didn’t they meet the gunman’s demands? I began to think whether we should negotiate with the gunman ourselves? But the gunman seemed to understand only minimal English …

Several times the gunman opened the front door of the bus and stood on the steps. I really wanted to race up behind him and kick him out. I rehearsed the move many times in my mind. But I was afraid that I could not communicate with the driver and I was worried that he would not be alert enough to close the door and drive away immediately, leaving the time for the gunman to counter-attack … I thought about many possibilities. In the end, I took no action. This may just be an excuse for my fear and cowardice.

Time dragged on without any sign of resolution. The team mates at the rear of the bus discussed several times about subduing the gunman. We noticed that he always carried his weapons on him. We determined the best spot to attack him. We looked for objects around us to use as weapons. I said that although I am short and weak, if the guys can hold him down, I can grab his gun and hold his hand down so that the people in front of the bus can escape. Mr. Leung also instructed his children to assist during our assault. But in the end, we wavered and did not do anything, all because the gunman kept moving the stated deadline back and back while waiting for a government response.

We felt that he really did not want to kill anyone until the moment when he actually opened fire on the team mates in the front rows. By the time Mr. Leung rushed over to save his family, it was too late. Afterwards I spoke to Mrs. Leung and she said that she was ready to join us in our attack on the gunman. She planned to use some strings in her handbag to tie around the gunman’s neck. If we had all been braver, if we had gotten our act together earlier and if we took decisive action instead of waiting for the police rescue, the outcome might have been different. Unfortunately, history does not have any “maybe’s”.

I hid underneath my seat and avoided the volley. At that instance, I could hardly believe that this scene from some movie was really happening to me. I saw that my mother hid herself under her seat in another row and was also alive. I felt better. After the first volley, it became quiet inside the bus. There was the sounds of thunderclaps outside. Then the rain fell down hard on the bus top which made the inside of the bus even more eerily quiet. It was very dark inside the bus. When the gunman found someone still alive, he fired more shots with flames coming out the barrel. I saw that blue fire entered the bodies of the team mates who became immobile and silent. After a while, there came many more loud gunshots. The bus was also being struck hard on all sides, reminding the survivors that they could be dead within the next second.

Looking at the immobile bodies in front of me, I automatically began to say the Buddhist chant ?????,????,?????,?????? so that the dead ones can reach the opposite shore quickly. This was my long-time custom whenever someone passes away. I wondered without reflection, Are they really dead? Several minutes ago, they were still alive. Are their souls still wandering around inside the bus? I kept repeating the Heart Prayer slowly, one word at a time … I thought about all the things that I still cannot bear to leave behind. I thought about all the things that I still wanted to do. I thought about my beloved family and friends. Of course, it would be better not to die. But I was no longer as scared as I was initially. I was most concerned about my mother who was coughing from the two tear gas assaults and might be detected by the gunman.

The gun battle went on for a very long time, as if it would never end. I felt that my hair and body were covered in blood, all coming from others. But the next second it could be my blood. For several days afterwards, I could still feel the smell of blood.

Inside the ambulance, we asked the emergency workers to stop the bleeding on Mr. Chan’s hands. The emergency workers said that they had no equipment. My mother was still suffering from the effects of the tear gas and wanted some water to drink. The emergency workers said that they had no water. I looked in the cabinet inside the ambulance. There was nothing inside. I had to smile bitterly.

We arrived at the government hospital, where the facilities were also sparing. We were then moved to a better hospital. Various government officials, emergency department people and consulate representatives kept asking us why the gunman suddenly went crazy and opened fire. I got mad and I cursed them out, Did they really want to rescue us? How could it take so long to rescue people? Why didn’t the police seize the opportunity to attack the gunman when he showed himself in public? Why didn’t they meet the gunman’s demands and free the hostages first? … Mr. Chan kept trying to find information about his girlfriend Ms. Yee. But there was no way because it was chaos at the hospital. Mrs. Leung tried to find her children. It was heart-breaking to see her tear-covered eyes. She looked ready to collapse any moment. I took care of my crying, terrified mother on one side while holding Mrs. Leung’s hand in my other hand. She and I repeatedly asked the government officials present to take her to see her children. But these incompetent government said that they had no idea which hospital her children were at …

I was at the hospital. I let my mother settle down. It was almost 5am in the morning. I took off my blood-soaked clothes. My hair was rigid after the blood had curdled. I washed myself for a long time. The thick smell of the blood made me want to vomit. I came back out and sat on the sofa. I watched the steady rhythm of the breathing of my mother sleeping in her bed. I was afraid that she might become motionless suddenly. I watched for I don’t know how long. Then I became certain. Yes, we are safe, we are alive. I took a deep breath. I became calm inside slowly. I watched the dawn come, as if I just emerged into a new life. I closed my eyes. But the sound of gun shots rang out — “pow, pow” — my calm was disrupted. Hereafter, every time I closed my eyes, I heard gunshots and saw the bodies of my team mates writhing. I didn’t know if they are on the way to Heaven. I could not close my eyes.

The world saw how ridiculously and incompetently the Philippines government and police handled the matter. There is no need for me to say more. While at the hospital, I watched the local news. I learned what their President did and said. I heard that the police excused their own incompetence by blaming the media. They said that there should be news blackout during emergencies. I had to curse out aloud in the room. During my two days in the hospital, I was visited by many Philippines government officials and other persons. The younger sister of the President visited me on behalf of her brother. I stated my anger directly. I demanded a thorough investigation, accountability and an explanation to the families of the victims. The medical workers at the hospital did their best to take care of us. I am very grateful to them. I realize that they are trying to make good for the mistakes of their nation.

Before returning to Hong Kong, I went to see Mrs. Leung. I wanted to tell her that we were returning to Hong Kong before her. I also wanted to give her some support. Mrs. Leung was awesome. She was very calm, and she comforted me. She believed that God has given her a lot of spiritual support. But when we spoke about the final moments inside the bus that day, both of us began crying. Dear God, although I am not a believer in you, please take care of her heaven-bound loved ones as well as give your infinite love and blessing for her son who is still struggling between life and death.

I kept thinking about what turned a former excellent policeman into a cold-blooded killer? Didn’t he have any reservations? Didn’t he worry about his own family? What drove him to such desperate straits? Why did he have to choose to take hostages in order to force the government to review his case? Is there no way of making an appeal in that country?

I realized finally that even though I had some colleagues from the Philippines, I and most Hong Kong people know almost nothing about that country. There are more than one hundred thousand Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong and they live with our families. But we have never cared about this country and its people who provide us with a large number of cheap laborers. We know that the Philippines is poor and that is why they export domestic workers all over the world. But how poor? I checked and I found out that one-third of its people live below the poverty line. Killings and kidnapping occur on a daily basis. Under such circumstances, why kind of life do the people have? I remembered that two days before the hijacking, our schedule included a visit to a flower car factory. There we smelled a foul odor. The tour guide pointed to the outside of the factory wall. There was a mountain of garbage out there. Many young children were picking through the garbage to make their living. This made us sad and speechless.

After returning to Hong Kong, I learned that there had been quite a bit of anti-Philippines talk in Hong Kong over the past several days. On the Internet, someone proposed revenge by sending all Filipina domestic helpers home so that their country would plunge into economic hardship. I learned that Filipina domestic helpers were insulted in the streets, with the Philippines being referred to as the “nation of slaves” and the “nation of servants.” I can understand that the citizens are incredibly angry with the Philippines government and police. I feel the same way myself. But what has this got to do with the people of the Philippines?

Have we forgotten what it feels like to be discriminated against? Hong Kong was a colonized society for a long time, with the Chinese being discriminated against by the so-called “masters” within the system and their daily lives. But now some Hong Kong people turn around to speak like slave-owners that “We hired so many Filipinas so we are their bosses” and “it was an act of benevolence to hire you so how dare you offend your superiors” against the Filipina domestic helpers who had nothing whatsoever to do with the Manila hostage incident itself. This is just appalling.

The Filipina domestic helpers are the victims of their incompetent government, which was unable to provide a decent living for its people. That is why so many Filipinas have to leave their families. They work to take care of other’s children while leaving their own children behind. So why should the Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong serve as the scapegoats of their incompetent government? Why are some Hong Kong people angry but also being racist?

Even more incomprehensibly, the Hong Kong government has just announced at this time that the wages of all domestic helpers (including Filipinas) will continue to be frozen. This means that the foreign domestic helpers cannot share the fruits of the economic recovery. Is our government exploiting the situation? Would the government care to tell us about their standards and system for determining wage levels for foreign domestic helpers? Their actions right now carry the impression that the government wants to punish the foreign domestic helpers. This is no help towards relieving anti-Philippines sentiments. A friend quoted the words of Lu Xun: When the brave become angry, they draw their knives at those even stronger; when the meek become angry, they draw their knives at those even weaker. Do the people of Hong Kong only know to draw their knives against the weak?

Over the past several days, Hong Kong has been both angry and sad over this Manila hostage incident. Although I have not discussed with other team members, I am sure that we are grateful for the concern and support of the citizens. But the way to comfort the souls of the dead is not to blame the innocent Filipina domestic helpers and the people of the Philippines. Our focus should be clearly on the Philippines government and its police. We want a fair and proper investigation. We want to an account of the responsibility in the incident. We want to provide for the future of the injured persons as well as the families of the deceased. This is how we show our concern for the casualties in this incident.

In the long run, we should support the people of the Philippines to build a more trustworthy government and a more just society. This is how Hong Kong truly becomes a member of the international community and a cosmopolitan city with humanitarian concerns.

Dear team members, we have finally returned home to Hong Kong. Dear departed team mates, may your trip be smooth; please pray for your family members still with us. Those team mates who have suffered mental and physical injuries, please be strong and recover well. The road ahead is still long. May we all have a good life. Please take care of yourselves.

Credits to EastSouthWestNorth blog. I got the whole english text from them. Link also goes to Ming Pao and Inmediahk.net, I believe the untranslated text in chinese can be found on inmediahk site.

Note: I checked the official list of hostage victims and confirmed that Lee Ying Chuen is one of the survivors. I cannot vouch for the veracity of the translation, but you can view the source article and translate it.

Comments are closed.

If you have concerns on this post, kindly drop a note via my contact page.

Bang Lu Min and the Postcripts To A BloodBath

Update 2010.08.24 11:01PM GMT+8

Upon checking the official list of hostage victims from Hongkong’s Government Information site there is _NO_ Bang Lu Min among the victims.


Update 2010.08.24 7:20PM GMT+8

The source blog/sites have updated their posts. Saranggola mentioned that the media have confirmed that there is _NO_ survivor named Bang Lu Min, and Supersawsaw have removed the text/story from his/her site.


Yesterday was really a sad day. I am _NOT_ blaming any group for what happened but I’m exploring all angles of the incident. I also hope that we all (yup including the authorities) learn from the incident.

I am sharing this blog post content that is related to yesterday’s hostage crisis and to one Bang Lu Min, who claims to be one of the survivors of the hostage incident. I got it via twitter and blog hopping but I heard from my office-mates that this is making rounds in social networking sites (re: Facebook) already. I will credit the post to the blog/s where I found it first. I am in the process of verifying/ researching it so read my disclaimer first OK. I will try to update this post as soon as I have.


The text/story below is UNVERIFIED. Believe it at your own risk.

Postcripts To A BloodBath

Mr. Mendoza was already upset even before he saw on television what the policemen did to his brother. The other tourists who remained inside the bus were complaining. Wei Ji Jiang wanted to go to the bathroom. Dao Chi Yu was hungry and the rest were just groaning and whining like they have forgotten that our lives rest in Mr. Mendoza’s hands.

The hostage taker, as you know him was really nice. He treated us okay and even let the elders and the children leave the bus. He said your policemen treated him unfairly. He was a policeman too and was accused of doing something he had no knowledge of. But your government didn’t listen so he used us to get everyone’s attention.

Things would have never turned for the worst if he didn’t see how his family was dragged out of their house and taken into custody. He was watching the news all the time as we huddled around each other behind the bus. He shouted some words in your language then started shooting in the air. A girl about my age started screaming. Mr. Mendoza demanded her to stop but she didn’t understand English. God, he had to slash her neck with a knife just to put her to rest. Her boyfriend who tried to hit him was shot in the head.

Tension was rising. You can see in his face how scared and confused he was. The bus driver ran away leaving him alone with strangers from a distant land. I can see him walking across the aisle, sometimes pointing his machine gun to one of the tourists. But he tried his best not to hurt us, especially those who really cooperate.

I guess its in your nature not to inflict pain on others unless it was necessary. I remember him saying that he will free us before sundown and implored us to forget everything when we return home. But his words don’t matter now. The policemen were trying to force their way in, while we all lied down to shield ourselves from bullets. Mister Mendoza blindly shoots at his enemies which I think kept them from rescuing us. I hear sobs under the chairs. Some were even shouting the names of their loved ones even when the air merely eat their words. Kevin Tang tried to escape when the glass door was was shattered, but one shot and he slumped on the floor with blood gushing from his mouth.

Heavy rain pitter-pattered on the rooftop. In old Chinese saying, it means an end to a struggle. Finally, somebody was able to open the escape hatch at the back of the bus. Freedom. But I knew Mister Mendoza was still alive. I knew he was just waiting for a chance to strike back at his enemies. So I told those around me not to escape. Let the authorities come for us instead. Then there was gunfire. He was firing at his enemies with a machine gun. Those who were at the escape hatch fled abandoning us once again. It’s like a nightmare with no end and to wake up means a certain death. Then somebody from outside the bus threw a canister. It forced out a black smoke that is so painful to the eyes and putrid smelling to the nose. People started screaming. We cannot breathe. Some ran in front of the bus but Mister Mendoza warned them of stray bullets. It was too late. One was hit on the head, the other was hit on the shoulders. Bullets were now flying. Its like the authorities thought we were all dead. Mister Mendoza finally admits his mistake and said sorry to everyone, dead or alive. He then ran towards the front of the bus where he would meet his maker. As he passed by my chair with bullets whistling overhead, I clutched my hand on the velvet curtain and wrapped it around my face. All I could think of was to stay alive – for my child who is waiting for me back in Xinjang.

I know I will survive,

I will come home.

Bang Lu Min
Survivor, Quirino Bloodbath

Credits to Saranggola’s Tumblr and SuperSawSaw blog , the sites where I first found the text/story.

STATEMENT ON MILO MARATHON: Milo Philippines Facebook page

To share the other side of the Milo Marathon story, I am posting below the statement posted on Milo Philippines Facebook page:


We are deeply saddened by the passing away of Mr. Remus Fuentes, a participant of the July 4, 2010 MILO Marathon held in Luneta, Manila.
We reached out to Remus’ family as soon as we were informed. Our deepest sympathy is with his family during this most difficult time.
We assure participants that all the internationally recognized precautions had been taken by the organizer for the Manila leg of the MILO Marathon, specifically:

  • On hydration stations, according to the International Association of Athletics Federation (lAAF), the rule is, for a race longer than 10 km, refreshment stations shall be provided at approximately every 5 km along the race route. For mass races in a tropical country like the Philippines, the same IAAF rule recommends to have water stations every 2.5 km, The Manila leg of the MILO Marathon had water stations installed every 2 km along the race path, and in between each water station, there were Gatorade stations to ensure every runner had the opportunity to hydrate as necessary. On average, there was a hydration station around every 1 km of the 21K race path. In total, there were 13 water stations, 10 Gatorade stations, 2 sponging stations, and 1 banana station strategically Iocated throughout the 13.5 km race loop.
  • On first aid, all MILO Marathons are fully equipped with first aid teams to attend to runners needing assistance. In the Manila race, for instance, there were 7 roving ambulances plying the 13.5 km race loop, 15 medical stations, 5 teams of first aiders on bicycles, and nearly 500 marshals – policemen, traffic aids, and radio communicators – manning various points of the race path. These marshals were equipped to immediately contact first aid stations and ambulances with trained crew and rescue facilities.

Like any vigorous sport, the marathon involves a certain amount of risk, especially for those who participate in longer distance events such as the 21K and the 42k. We would like to remind all runners who plan to participate in the forthcoming MILO Marathons to adequately prepare before the race, ensuring that they are properly conditioned mentally and physically. This includes undergoing the necessary training. getting enough rest, properly hydrating, and eating the right food.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Remus Fuentes at this very difficult time.

Credits to Pinoyfitness and to the Milo Philippines Facebook page

This Milo Marathon incident was also picked up by Philippine Daily Inquirer/ inquirer.net.

The concerns raised by Mr. Rudy Fuentes on his open letter were not addressed point per point. I am not a PR person but I guess this is a difficult time for both the Fuentes family and the Milo Marathon PR Team. If you are interested to know more details, kindly visit the Milo Philippines Facebook page link above (and read the diverse views of the people in Facebook on this incident).

Inaugural Speech of President Noynoy Aquino

This might be a late post already but I learned from the one blog conference that I attended (iBlog6) that blogs can serve as a memory, an official record of the past (borrowing the lines from Marocharim), so I decided to post the text of the speech delivered by President Benigno C. Aquino III and some personal comments to it in menardconnect.com.

The full text of the Inaugural Speech:

His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktaturya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na kami ng dugo at handang gawin itong muli kung kinakailangan.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa—nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din—talaga bang hindi na mababago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito—dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagayan, na sa bawat taon pabawas ng pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago—isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago—isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster—ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrasya.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

• dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;

• serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;

• tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan sa sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga na tunay para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin si papasok na Kalihim Alcala na magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA, OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating mga overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proseso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin, at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong mauulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatang ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan, WALANG MAIIWAN.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtatalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawang-gawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito—ang ating mga volunteers—matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabibilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa—nasa inyo ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng laban na ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

Full text courtesy from Inquirer.net and tonyocruz.com.

I like the way Pres. Noynoy delivered his speech. Most of it are in Filipino language and can be understood by the masa. I wish President Noynoy Aquino and Vice President Jojo Binay all the best!