7/25/2009

Animation Vs. Animator

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"You, dear citizen, have the power to effect change on what you don’t like and replicate the good that you see and do." - BMPM

They say that democracy is "the rule of the ruled." Yet in some democratic countries like our own country, when the people (the ruled ruler) are in search for the best qualified citizen to be the administrator of the nation, rather than their voice dictating the criteria of the game, it is the pushy politicians' subtle schemes that are instead coming into play.

The politicians' clever and unethical circumvention of election laws (such as this TV ad, and this TV ad, and also this TV ad, and few others -- which are being aired every now and then on some major national TV networks even if the election campaign period has not yet started) which connives with the willingness of many of the gain-driven commercial media outlets is rendering the true collective will of the people victim to their manipulative will. (Like that stick human figure animation shown above who struggles with its animator.)

As a result, the simple sacred exercise of electing good leaders is desecrated and deteriorates into a cumbersome psycho-political game run by a money-fueled machinery of a corrupted system of political parties.

How long will we tolerate this type of darkness in our midst? Let the light come that will enlighten the people's minds and expose more glaringly the unethicality of the practice of politicians and of their willing media outlets.

What kind of integrity there is in being part of an advocacy on a change that ought to begin with our own individual selves when the very media we are using to promote our advocacy are at the same time willing mediums of this unethical practice of some politicians?

Between the relatively few awakened sectors of the citizenry with their resourcefulness, and the materially abundant politicians with their power, let the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people should be with integrity.

7/15/2009

CBCS condemns the spate of bombings in Mindanao

By CBCS

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent spate of bombings in Mindanao and makes the following calls and clarifications:

• That a thorough investigation by a credible independent body be conducted on all incidents of bombing (July 4 in Datu Piang, Maguindanao; July 5 in Cotabato City; July 6 in Lanao del Norte; and July 7 in Jolo and Iligan City) to unmask the truth behind them (who perpetrated/masterminded them, for what motives/reasons, are they related to one another) and bring the culprits to justice;

• That responsible reporting be observed always by the media. The people of Mindanao cannot afford the Christian-Muslim killings of the 1970’s to resurface. After the Cotabato City blast, news reports have spread that give the impression that it was the cathedral that was bombed. To make it clear, the blast took place in a stall selling lechon across the cathedral compound. It totally wrecked the stall and also damaged a portion of a certain beerhouse. Nevertheless, this makes no excuse to bomb the place;

• That places of worship be spared from any form of violence and/or desecration. The blast in Jolo also happened near a church. We denounce the bombings in the same manner that we condemn acts by men in uniform who occupied mosques, urinated in them and/or desecrated them;

• That the immediate acts of finger-pointing be stopped to prevent further escalation of the conflict and to contain any possible public panic to pave the way for sobriety, as well as thoughts and actions that are reasonable and not solely driven by biases, emotions and preconceived notions that may be wrong;

• That all people should be accorded their human rights, including both victims and suspects. The incremental number of victims of human rights violations has long been alarming. No one should be another victim of human rights violation in pursuit of justice. Due process should always be observed in dealing with suspects to the bombing: one is innocent until proven guilty, not one is guilty until proven innocent;

• That groups of all faiths here in Mindanao be more vigilant and strengthen their unity and solidarity in the face of these bleak incidents. This is NOT a Muslim-Christian conflict. Let us clear our minds and fortify our greatest resolve not to allow these dastardly acts to successfully sow suspicion and animosity that could lead to conflict; and,

• That the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front return to the negotiating table to solve the age-old Mindanao conflict. The problem of the Bangsamoro as an indigenous people is highly political that it can only be resolved through genuine political means and not through military operations. Quelling rebellion and bringing peace are two different things. The peace talks are the highest form of dialogue between the two parties. A final agreement between them could spell sustainable peace and development in the Bangsamoro homeland.

We join in consoling and comforting the families of the victims of the blasts, the more than half a million internally displaced persons who have also been further agonized by indiscriminate bombings in the very sites of evacuation, and other people who are victims of injustices.

Our prayers for the attainment of genuine peace and development.


Read also: NUCP statement on series of bombings in Mindanao

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Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
KFI Compound, Doña Pilar Street, Poblacion IV
9600 Cotabato City, Philippines
Telefax No.: +63 (064) 421-5420
E-mails: cbcs_04@yahoo.com, secretariat@cbcsi.org
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Website: http://www.cbcsi.org
Blog: http://cbcsi.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bangsamoronews
E-Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bangsamoro-pulse

7/13/2009

May The Experience Strengthen Mr. Vagni Instead


Militants in Philippines Release Red Cross Worker

By The Associated Press
The New York Times

Islamic militants in the southern Philippines who are linked to Al Qaeda released an ailing Italian Red Cross worker on Sunday from six months of captivity in the jungle, officials said.

The worker, Eugenio Vagni, appeared to be in good health as his captors, from the group Abu Sayyaf, handed him over to a provincial vice governor on southern Jolo Island, said the head of the Philippine Red Cross, Senator Richard Gordon.

“I am happy. At least he is safe, and we can return him back to his family,” Mr. Gordon said.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of Italy said in an interview with Italian state television that no ransom had been paid for Mr. Vagni’s release.

Mr. Gordon said that the vice governor of Sulu, Lady Ann Sahidulla, had been asked by the militants to escort Mr. Vagni to safety and that she had “donated” 50,000 pesos — slightly more than $1,0000 — to an intermediary, but he stressed that it was not a ransom.

A spokesman for the Philippines Marines, Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, said Mr. Vagni had been released to the vice governor, who also heads the Red Cross chapter on Jolo, around 12:30 a.m. Sunday outside Maimbung township and had been brought to a hospital in a marine camp for a medical examination.

Mr. Vagni was to be flown later Sunday to the southern port city of Zamboanga, where Filipino officials were to turn him over to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Colonel Arevalo said. He attributed Mr. Vagni’s release to “skillful negotiations and incessant pressure by relentless operations by members of the security forces.” [...]

Click here to read full text.

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When the three ICRC workers were kidnapped, particularly Mr. Vagni looked unhealthy. Yet after almost six months in captivity in the jungles of Mindanao, he appeared physically fit -- and [maybe] spiritually stronger!

To the kidnapped ICRC workers, it is their unique kind of a badge of honor that no other achievement can compare.

The ICRC's selfless sacrificial work throughout the world is very honorable.

7/09/2009

A New Extreme/Eco Adventure Tour in the Philippines

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Suislide
is the local version for zipline, a sky ride or a slide for life. Sui-slide is coined from the word, “Suis“ (the sound of the cable ride once you get to slide) and “slide”. It could also mean for some who is so much petrified with heights to be a suicidal slide. It traverses about half a kilometer from one mountain to another, taking you to less than a minute of exhilarating ride.


Co-owned, co-managed by the Local Government of Danao and its various Peoples Organizations recipient of the recently concluded Department of Tourism Grassroots Entreprenuers for Ecotourism (GREET) Competition in 2006. Eco-extreme adventure tourism at its best.

Activities Offered:

* Sky Ride
* Plunge
* Suislide
* River Trekking
* River Tubing
* River Kayaking
* Wall Climbing
* Organic Farm Visitation
* Camping
* Rappelling
* Root Climbing
* Caving

For detailed information visit: E.A.T. Danao Official Website

Related Links:

Rediscover Bohol: E.A.T. Danao
E.A.T. Danao: Bohol's New Adventure Destination
E.A.T. Danao (@Multiply.com)
Ted & Lyka In Danao Bohol
Ryan's Danao Trip
Danao, Bohol (YouTube Videos)
Danao Bohol Adventure (FilesTube Videos)

7/04/2009

System Inadequacy May Hint of Other Problems Overlooked


Open Dumps To Sustainable Landfills

By Dr. Kurian Joseph, Dr. R. Nagendran, Dr. K. Palanivelu
Centre for Environmental Studies
Anna University, Chennai, India

video

The management of solid waste is an area of universal concern for both the developed and developing world. It is imperative that efficient, technically sound, and cost effective solid waste management solutions are developed in the near term – for the benefit of the burgeoning populations in the world’s cities and the natural environments that must sustain them.

Historically, countries dealt with solid waste by burying it in the ground, covering it up, and forgetting about it. Another approach was the uncontrolled burning of waste to reduce volume. The subsequent ash was then buried in the same manner as waste.

A recent study of World Bank over 50 landfills in Asia, Africa and Latin America has identified current practices, emerging features and necessary improvements in the land disposal of solid wastes (Johannessen and Boyer, 1999).The landfills visited in the Africa Region ranged from open dumps to sanitary landfills. While decision makers in the region were aware that their countries had to upgrade open dumps to sanitary landfills, this was not regarded as a priority.

An Open Dump site is a land disposal site at which solid wastes are disposed of in a manner that does not protect the environment, is susceptible to open burning, and is exposed to the elements, disease vectors and scavengers. These unplanned heaps of uncovered wastes, often burning and surrounded by pools of stagnated polluted water, rat and fly infestations with domestic animals roaming freely and families of scavengers picking through the wastes is not only an eyesore but a great environmental hazard.

As a default strategy for municipal solid waste management, open dumps involve indiscriminate disposal of waste and limited measures to control operations, including those related to the environmental impacts of landfills. Very often, open dumping sites are swamp lands or low-lying areas with the wastes being used for reclamation. Liners are rarely used and little consideration is given to the water table and groundwater pollution and/or gas migration. Problems of shortage of cover, lack of leachate collection and treatment, inadequate compaction, poor site design, and many ragpickers working at the site are common.

The high percentage of organics, combined with much plastic, which forms layers when compacted, contributes to the build-up of methane gases at dumps. Fires often break out and workers are made ill by the gases. In cities where plastic shopping bags are used to put out wastes for collection, waste pickers sometimes set refuse on fire in order to recover valuable inorganic items. Spontaneous fires also break out in dumps. This greatly adds to the air pollution from dumps. The roads leading to dumps and those on dumps themselves are often elementary, becoming impassable in the wet season.

Since most large dumps have hundreds of extra workers in the form of waste pickers, and the municipal workers are not provided with protective gloves, the health risks at dumps are much higher than in sanitary landfills in industrialized countries. These workers are exposed to risks from human feces, slaughterhouse wastes, landfill gases, toxic dust, infectious biomedical wastes, snakes, scorpions, broken glass, and explosions. Thus, these dump sites are essentially uncontrolled, creating considerable health, safety, and environmental problems. [...]

Click here to read more.