What happened to our sense of right or wrong?

What happened to the saying, tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are?

If you seriously think that Gibo Teodoro is the least evil of all presidentiables, then go for him.

But you might want to consider these:

Won't your vote for him at vote to acquit GMA of her crimes?

Do you think Lakas-Kampi's endorsement comes with NO STRINGS ATTACHED?

Do you want your next president to support charter change to have a parliamentary system with NO TERM LIMITS?

Do you want your next president to break the law (premature campaigning) and claim there is nothing wrong with it?

Do you want your next president to spend the people's money to promote himself, and claim there is nothing wrong with appointed officials using public funds for personal gain?

Do you want your next president who saw nothing wrong with the corrupt GMA, and thus continue serving her? Isn't his stay in her cabinet an endorsement of her policies? Would you want the same policies to continue for the next 6 years, and beyond?

How can you expect someone who is part of a gang (who we call the administration) guilty of making people disappear(remember Karen ans Sherryl of UP?) not commit the same crimes on his term? At the very least, he turned a blind eye on this issue as DnD Sec.

If you can be proud of voting for him (by telling the whole world about it), then go for it.

If not, then I guess you would know better.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Recent news reports quoted some bishops saying they will not support Noynoy Aquino because of his stand on the Reproductive Health Bill.

What can you expect?

These are the same bishops who received envelopes full of cash when there were efforts to impeach the [fake] President.

These are the same bishops who turned a blind eye to all the evil deeds of the [fake] President.

These are the same bishops who turned a blind eye as their priest abuse young boys and girls.

So what does that tell you?

These bishops would rather have a president who stole the vote, who is the most corrupt, who is an evil bitch than someone who isn’t tainted but is in favor of giving people the information and the freedom to choose what is best for themselves and their family.

These bishops would rather have a liar for a president than someone who is honest.

Why? When GMA was asked how is her sex life, she answered “Plenty!” So why isn’t she pregnant? It’s the reverse of Immaculate Conception (Satanic maybe? Or was it post menopausal sex?).

If ever she got pregnant, it would be interesting to see whether the child would look like Mike or Nani Perez, or one of the PSG Guards. But thank God, wala ng kasunod. Can you imagine a world with another Mikey?

Doble Vidal, that NBI agent in the Hello Garci mess, should really be ashamed of his last name.

In fact, this isn’t a good time to be part of church that is nothing but houses of stones governed by people who are nothing but bigots and hypocrites.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Below is the list of congressmen who signed HR 1109 or the Con Ass resolution. Let your representatives know what you feel. Shame on these "rape-resentatives" who sold their soul, raped the constitution and betrayed the Filipino people for 20 million more in "pork" funds.

ABLAN, ROQUE R. JR, Ilocos Norte, 1st District
AGBAYANI, VICTOR AGUEDO E. Pangasinan, 2nd District
AGYAO, MANUEL, S Kalinga Province
ALBANO (III), RODOLFO T. Isabela, 1st District
ALFELOR, FELIX R. JR. 4th District, Camarines Sur
ALMARIO, THELMA Z. Davao Oriental, 2nd District
ALVAREZ, ANTONIO C. Palawan 1st District
ALVAREZ, GENARO RAFAEL M. JR. Negros Occidental, 6th District
AMANTE, EDELMIRO A. Agusan Del Norte, 2nd District
AMATONG, ROMMEL C. Compostela Valley, 2nd District
ANGPING, MARIA ZENAIDA B. Manila, 3rd District
ANTONINO, RODOLFO W. Nueva Ecija, 4th District
APOSTOL, TRINIDAD G. Leyte, 2nd District
AQUINO, JOSE S. (II) 1st District Agusan del Norte
ARAGO, MARIA EVITA R. 3rd district, Laguna
ARBISON, A MUNIR M. Sulu 2nd District
ARENAS, MA. RACHEL J. Pangasinan, 3rd District
ARROYO, DIOSDADO M. Camarines Sur, 1st District
ARROYO, IGNACIO T. 5th district Negros Occidental
ARROYO, JUAN MIGUEL M. 2nd District of Pampanga
BAGATSING, AMADO S. Manila 5th district
BALINDONG, PANGALIAN M. Lanao del Sur, 2nd District
BARZAGA, ELPIDIO F. JR. Cavite, 2nd District
BAUTISTA, FRANKLIN P. Davao Del Sur, 2nd District
BELMONTE, VICENTE F. JR. Lanao del Norte, 1st District
BICHARA, AL FRANCIS C. Albay, 2nd District
BIRON, FERJENEL G. Iloilo, 4th District
BONDOC, ANNA YORK P. Pampanga 4th District
BONOAN-DAVID, MA. THERESA B. Manila, 4th District
BRAVO, NARCISO R. JR. Masbate, 1st District
BUHAIN, EILEEN ERMITA Batangas, 1st District
BULUT, ELIAS C. JR. Apayao Lone District
CAGAS (IV), MARC DOUGLAS C. Davao Del Sur, 1st District
CAJAYON, MARY MITZI L. Caloocan, 2nd District
CAJES, ROBERTO C. Bohol, 2nd District
CARI, CARMEN L. Leyte, 5th District
CASTRO, FREDENIL H. Capiz, 2nd District
CELESTE, ARTHUR F. Pangasinan, 1st District
CERILLES, ANTONIO H. Zamboanga Del Sur, 2nd District
CHATTO, EDGARDO M. Bohol, 1st District
CHONG, GLENN A. Biliran, Lone District
CHUNG-LAO, SOLOMON R. Ifugao, Lone District
CLARETE, MARINA C. Misamis Occidental, 1st District
CODILLA, EUFROCINO M. SR. Leyte, 4th District
COJUANCO, MARK O. Pangasinan, 5th District
COQUILA, TEODULO M. Eastern Samar, Lone District
CRISOLOGO, VINCENT P. Quezon City, 1st District
CUA, JUNIE E. Quirino, Lone District
CUENCO, ANTONIO V. Cebu City, 2nd District
DANGWA, SAMUEL M. Benguet, Lone District
DATUMANONG, SIMEON A. Maguindanao, Lone District
Dayanghirang, Nelson L. Davao Oriental, 1st District
DAZA, NANETTE C. Quezon City, 4th District
DAZA, PAUL R. Northern Samar, 1st District
DE GUZMAN, DEL R. Marikina City, 2nd District
DEFENSOR, ARTHUR D. SR. Iloilo, 3rd District
DEFENSOR, MATIAS V. JR. Quezon City, 3rd District
DEL MAR, RAUL V. Cebu City, 1st District
DIASNES, CARLO OLIVER D. (MD) Batanes, Lone District
DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH D. Lanao Del Norte, 2nd District
DOMOGAN, MAURICIO G. Baguio, Lone District
DUAVIT, MICHAEL JOHN R. Rizal, 1st District
DUENAS, HENRY M. JR. Taguig, 2nd District (2nd Councilor District)
DUMARPA, FAYSAH MRP. Lanao del Sur, 1st District
DUMPIT, THOMAS L. JR. La Union, 2nd District
DURANO (IV), RAMON H. 5th District, Cebu
ECLEO, GLENDA B. Dinagat Islands, Lone District
EMANO, YEVGENY VICENTE B. Misamis Oriental, 2nd District
ENVERGA, WILFRIDO MARK M. Quezon, 1st District
ESTRELLA, CONRADO M. (III) Pangasinan, 6th District
FERRER, JEFFREY P. Negros Occidental, 4th District
GARAY, FLORENCIO C. Surigao Del Sur, 2nd District
GARCIA, ALBERT S. Bataan, 2nd District.
GARCIA, PABLO JOHN F. Cebu, 3rd District
GARCIA, PABLO P. Cebu, 2nd District
GARCIA, VINCENT J. Davao City, 2nd District
GARIN, JANETTE L. Iloilo, 1st District
GATCHALIAN, REXLON T. Valenzuela City, 1st District
GATLABAYAN, ANGELITO C. Antipolo City, 2nd District
GO, ARNULFO F. Sultan Kudarat, 2nd District
GONZALES, AURELIO D. JR. Pampanga 3rd District
GULLAS, EDUARDO R. Cebu, 1st District
GUNIGUNDO, MAGTANGGOL T. Valenzuela City 2nd District
HOFER, DULCE ANN K. Zamboanga Sibugay, 2nd District
JAAFAR, NUR G. Tawi-Tawi, Lone District
JALA, ADAM RELSON L. Bohol, 3rd District
JALOSJOS, CESAR G. Zamboanga del Norte, 3rd District
JALOSJOS-CARREON, CECILIA G. Zamboanga del Norte, 1st District
JIKIRI, YUSOP H. Sulu, 1st District
KHO, ANTONIO T. Masbate, 2nd District
LABADLABAD, ROSENDO S. Zamboanga del Norte, 2nd District
LACSON, JOSE CARLOS V. Negros Occidental, 3rd District
LAGDAMEO, ANTONIO F. JR. Davao del Norte, 2nd District
LAPUS, JECI A. Tarlac, 3rd District
LAZATIN, CARMELO F. Pampanga, 1st District
LIM, RENO G. Albay, 3rd District
LOPEZ, JAIME C. Manila, 2nd District
MADRONA, ELEANORA JESUS F. Romblon, Lone District
MAGSAYSAY, MARIA MILAGROS H. Zambales, 1st District
MALAPITAN, OSCAR G. Caloocan, 1st District
MAMBA, MANUEL N. Cagayan, 3rd District
MARANON, ALFREDO D. III Negros Occidental, 2nd District
MATUGAS, FRANCISCO T. Surigao del Norte, 1st District
MENDOZA, MARK LEANDRO L. Batangas, 4th District
MERCADO, ROGER G. Southern Leyte, Lone District
NAVA, JOAQUIN CARLOS RAHMAN A. (MD) Guimaras, Lone District
NICOLAS, REYLINA G. Bulacan, 4th District
NOGRALES, PROSPERO C. Davao City, 1st District
OLAñO, ARREL R. Davao Del Norte, 1st District
ONG, EMIL L. Northern Samar, 2nd District
ORTEGA, VICTOR FRANCISCO C. La Union, 1st District
PANCHO, PEDRO M. Bulacan, 2nd District
PANCRUDO, CANDIDO P. JR. Bukidnon, 1st District
PICHAY, PHILIP A. Surigao Del Sur, 1st District
PIñOL, BERNARDO F. JR. North Cotabato, 2nd District
PUNO, ROBERTO V. Antipolo City, 1st District
RAMIRO, HERMINIA M. Misamis Occidental, 2nd District
REMULLA, JESUS CRISPIN C. Cavite, 3rd District
REYES, CARMELITA O. Marinduque, Lone District
REYES, VICTORIA H. Batangas, 3rd District
ROBES, ARTURO G. San Jose Del Monte City, Lone District
Rodriguez-Zaldarriaga, Adelina Rizal, 2nd District
ROMAN, HERMINIA B. Bataan, 1st District
ROMARATE, GUILLERMO A. JR. Surigao del Norte, 2nd District
ROMUALDO, PEDRO Camiguin, Lone District
ROMULO, ROMAN T. Pasig City, Lone District
SALIMBANGON, BENHUR L. Cebu, 4th District
SALVACION JR., ANDRES D. Leyte, 3rd District
SAN LUIS, EDGAR S. Laguna, 4th District
SANDOVAL, ALVIN S. Malabon-Navotas, Lone District
SANTIAGO, JOSEPH A. Catanduanes, Lone District
SEACHON-LANETE, RIZALINA L. 3rd district of Masbate
SEARES-LUNA, CECILIA M. Abra, Lone District
SILVERIO, LORNA C. Bulacan, 3rd District
SINGSON, ERIC D. Ilocos Sur, 2nd District
SINGSON, RONALD V. Ilocos Sur, 1st District
SOLIS, JOSE G. Sorsogon, 2nd District
SUAREZ, DANILO E. Quezon, 3rd District
SUSANO, MARY ANN L. Quezon City, 2nd District
SY-ALVARADO, MA. VICTORIA R. Bulacan, 1st District
SYJUCO, JUDY J. 2nd Dsitrict, Iloilo
TALINO-MENDOZA, EMMYLOU J. North Cotabato, 1st District
TAN, SHAREE ANN T. Samar, 2nd District
TEODORO, MARCELINO R. Marikina City, 1st District
TEVES, PRYDE HENRY A. Negros Oriental, 3rd District
TUPAS, NEIL C. JR. Iloilo, 5th District
UNGAB, ISIDRO T. Davao City, 3rd District
UY, EDWIN C. Isabela, 2nd District
UY, REYNALDO S. Samar, 1st District
UY, ROLANDO A. Cagayan De Oro City, Lone District
VALENCIA, RODOLFO G. Oriental Mindoro, 1st District
VARGAS, FLORENCIO L. Cagayan, 2nd District
VILLAFUERTE, LUIS R. Camarines Sur, 2nd District
VILLAROSA, MA. AMELITA C. Occidental Mindoro, Lone District
VIOLAGO, JOSEPH GILBERT F. Nueva Ecija, 2nd District
YAP, JOSE V. Tarlac, 2nd District
YU, VICTOR J. Zamboanga Del Sur, 1st District
ZAMORA, MANUEL E. 1st District, Compostela Valley
ZIALCITA, EDUARDO C. Parañaque, 1st District

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

I Will Not Vote For:
Villar, Roxas, Teodoro, Bayani, Binay, de Castro, Legarda, Syjuco, Genuino

I May Not Vote For:
Panlilio, Padaca

I Will Vote For:

For most of them, I will not vote for them because they have no respect for the law. They are circumventing the law on premature campaigning. And not to mention the stupidity of their commercials.

Of course, they can say they used their own funds for the TV campaign,  but in the end, how will they recover these expenses? Is this an investment with hopes of high returns?

This alone shows their character. Why vote for someone who can not respect the laws of the land?

On Villar
It's so simple, if he's innocent, why don't he face the charges on double insertion? Can he honestly say that his companies never benefited from his position?
If he has the integrity, why did he not avoid funding projects that will benefit his companies? I think we call that delicadeza in this country.

And Mr. OFW, you might want to help Dondon Lanuza who is currently on death row for self defense (someone tried to rape him).

On Roxas
How pathetic can you be? Marrying someone just to get some points in the survey? Who on earth would announce an engagement in Wowowee if you are serious about someone? And his commercials are just as pathetic. "Anak, ako na?" - yeah right! So trapo!

On Binay, Teodoro, Syjuco, & Genuino
What do you call people who use their position to advance their personal agenda? Suckers! Trapo at its best!

On Bayani
Can you imagine a country of pink fences? Of course, Marikina is touted to be a model city. But model on what? Cleanliness? It is only clean because they dump their waste somewhere else. And oh yeah, they are also the couple who advised people to flush their kitchen waste in the toilet bowl since it is biodegradable anyway! Nice!

And what about what he did on the trees along Katipunan? Cut them in the middle of the night! Traidor! Of course, there's no wonder the man who claimed trees in the cities are causing floods would do it!

On Legarda
Will you vote for a political prostitute? She claims to be for the environment, but what has she done? She sold the Philippines to Japan with the JPEPA. She failed the green groups, and she failed me.

On de Castro
Oh well, too much political baggage? Personal interest? Interest of former employers? Have you noticed the sponsors of Trip na Trip - the very late night show of Kat de Castro? Almost all are government agencies and GCC's!

And did he ever make a stand on all the important issues of our time? NO, he played safe! The making of a lame duck president!

On Panlilio
A leader must learn to listen. A leader must learn to sacrifice. A leader must unite. Unless Panlilio shows he has these traits, then maybe I will vote for him. Maybe. Your loyalty must be to your province and to your constituents, not to your provincial administrator. If she is causing most of the problems, I'm sure Pampangga has a lot more who are equally if not more qualified.

And of course, you must make the supreme sacrifice. Resign from priesthood, even just for formality (as they say, once a priest, always a priest). Then, maybe. Just maybe.

On Padaca
Yes, she was able to defeat a political dynasty. But, I fear she has the making of another dictator. Have you heard her talk? "My task force; my projects; my, my, my..." The way she delivered it just sent chills to my spine (and yes, it's not just me. I discussed it after with the others in the audience). Political will is one thing, hard headedness and self centeredness is another. She still has a lot of time to prove herself. Then maybe I will vote for her. Just maybe. (But please don't run as Pres or VP).

I will vote for Gov. Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao. He is an example of a leader who has vision, the political will and the integrity that we need. Most important, he has the humility to stay grounded despite his success/ power. It is a must.

(Just because someone's name is not here, it DOES NOT mean I will vote for them. Watch out for Part 2!)

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

My Dearest Friends, 

I hope this email finds you well.  

I will be celebrating my birthday soon, and I have decided to spare you the trouble of worrying what to give me.  

Last April, when I went home to Guimaras, I was approached by a Principal of a public elementary school. She told me of their effort to build a library and a computer center. She laments how her students graduate without ever seeing a single computer, or being inside a library. For their assignments, the students have to make do with their text books, but given the state of our public school system, there are just not enough books to share. And of course, given the quality of books approved (as evidenced by the scandals and hundred of factual errors, not to mention the grammatical errors, found on the books approved by DepEd), it is sad to know that these students are deprived of the opportunity to develop their full potential.  

Seeing the sincerity and the determination of the Principal, I personally agreed to help them realize their dream of a library and a computer center. They said they’ll be happy with just computer, but given that this will serve the entire school population, from Grades 1 to 6, (she will send the profile of the school within this week), I am thinking of working for at least 5 computers, if possible.  

In return, they promised to take care of this library. They already have the structure ready, it will be repainted and fixed by the bayanihan effort of the parents. They will also shoulder the electrical and other maintenance cost. And most importantly, the Principal agreed to make the library open to out of school youths and even students from other schools (almost all public elementary schools in Guimaras are without their own functioning library). This would mean that this library will not only benefit the entire school population and it’s future students, but the entire community as well.  

In this regard, I would like to appeal to your kind hearts for possible book donations. I know how hard it is for some of us to let go of our books as I am giving away 100 of my own books. But I just think of it this way, my loss is the gain of thousands of other kids, now and in the future. Eventually, it will benefit our country.  

Of course, you might do this as a birthday gift to me, or if you don’t like me that much (hehe), as a gift to the Filipino youth instead.  

Thankfully, Add Up! Volunteers decided to adopt this project as well. And Mother Earth Foundation agreed to allow our office in Katipunan to be used as drop off point. Cash and computer PLEDGES are most welcome now, but please hold on to your cash at this point. There are other ways that you can help, if you are willing. You can ask your own friends for their book donations. You can email me possible people that I can write (for computer and book donations, freight sponsorships, etc). You can volunteer your office to be a drop off point. Just email me and we’ll work it out.  

In return, you will have my utmost appreciation. All donations will be acknowledged in my blogs, and the school also proposed to have the list of donors posted at the library.  

For those in the Katipunan area, you may drop your books at Mother Earth Foundation, 59 C. Salvador St. Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Please look for Zen or Tin, Tel No. 9253829. Please remember to sign the record book. I will post regular updates and other drop off points soon in my blog, http://nobystanders.blogspot.com.  

Thank you very much for reading this long letter of mine, and thank you in advance for your support.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Filipino jokes I can't laugh about.

JOKE Number 1:
Why did GMA pardon Erap, the Aquino-Galman killers, Jalosjos and soon, Daniel Smith? Because Danny Lim, Antonio Trillanes, and hundreds of juvenile delinquents are in prison.

JOKE Number 2:
Why is Gaite the new SEC Commissioner? Because Jun Lozada is still protected by the La Salle Brothers.


What kind of government pardons plunderers, killers, and rapist and yet imprisons those who call for change, and ignore the plight of children who are imprisoned?

What kind of government rewards those who lie and plot to kill a witness, but at the same time harass those who stood up for the truth?

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Pagod ka na ba magbasa at makinig sa mga balita?

Pagod ka na ba sumama sa mga rally at people power?

Pagod ka na ba mag rehistro at bomoto sa eleksyon?

Pagod ka na ba sa mga political statements sa Multiply, Facebook at sa blogs?

Pagod ka na ba pag usapan ang pulitika at ang ating gobyerno?

Pagod ka na ba makialam, makimasid at makibahagi?

Seguro nga pagod ka na. At alam nila yun. Kaya malakas ang loob nila na patuloy tayong gaguhin, lokohin, babuyin, pagnakawan, pagsamantalahan at lahat lahat na.

Pero isipin mo, saan na lang kayo tayo ngayon kung sila napagod din?

Paano na lang kaya kung napagod si Rizal magsulat ng mga nobela. Kung napagod si Ninoy bumalik sa Pilipinas. Kung napagod si Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, Silang, Jacinto, Melchora Aquino, at lahat ng mga katipunero at Pilipinong lumaban para sa ating kalayaan?

Paano na lang kaya kung lahat ng guro ay mapagod din sa kakaturo, kung ang nakikita lang din naman ng mga kabataan ay puro kasinungalingan at pagnanakaw?

Paano kaya kung mapagod ang lahat ng mga sundalo (di kasama ang mga kurakot na heneral) na ipaglaban ang kapayapaan, kung sila'y gagamitin lamang para mapanatili ang isang pekeng pinuno?

Saan kaya tayo ngayon?

Pagod ka na ba?

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

- Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech as 44th President of the U.S.

When Obama made this comment in his speech, many Filipinos believed he was referring (one of, at least) to the Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo. This was further fueled by the fact that GMA tried to meet with Obama, to no avail. Even Secretary of State Clinton did not include the Philippines in her first visit to Asia.

I personally admired Obama for this. At least, he doesn't want to be used by someone who is indeed clinging to power through corruption and deceit. That's why it came as a surprise to read on the news that it was Obama himself who called Arroyo early this week. What could have prompted the US president to call someone he snubbed repeatedly even while he was still running for president?

Ah. Of course, you just have to read the news and make the connection.

People are calling for the transfer of Daniel Smith, who was found guilty of raping a Filipina and the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which many sectors believed to be one sided in the favor of the US. The case of Smith was proof to this.

So, Obama called GMA to affirm his country's commitment to the VFA. Commitment to the VFA? The US Congress did not even ratify the treaty! They would have the guts to cite it's provisions when it it convenient for them and it supports their cause.

This is the kind of change that Obama promised? Is this the foreign policy that he wish to pursue? The kind that disrespects the laws of other countries? The kind that treats other nations not as equals but as partners of convenience?

People say the Philippines needs an Obama. I say, no thanks! We have enough of people like him already.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

If you are a Filipino, and someone tries to rape you in the middle east, and you tried to protect your self, you will suffer the death penalty. And your government will not do anything.

If you are American and you rape a Filipina, your (American) president will call the Philippine president and the victim will recant.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Consider these events leading to this sad news:

1. Despite the public humiliation, Nicole stood by her accusation - she was raped by Daniel Smith.

2. The court finds Smith guilty of raping Nicole.

3. Smith was transferred to the US embassy, clearly violating the terms of the VFA.

4. The Supreme Court ordered the transfer of Smith to Philippine custody.

5. People started calling for the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

6. Obama called GMA, in support of the VFA.

7. The Chinese sent patrol ships to Spratly's. Certain politicians said we should invoke our Mutual Defense Treaty with the US.

8. Nicole went to the US. The US!!!!

9. Nicole recants.

Wow! This country is fucked up. We've been colonized before, our forest and our women raped, and why would we allow these things to happen now?

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

I will be starting a new section soon, called Taxi Talk. Every time I ride a taxi, I do try to have a conversation with the drivers.

One, I feel they would have second thoughts if ever they have any bad plans if they feel a certain connection with me. Second, and most important, being men of the streets, these Taxi Drivers are able to provide a different perspective on various issues and topics.

And in this section of teh blog, I hope to chronicle these meaningful conversations. Please watch out,  and you'll be surprised!

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa galing ng Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

On my way home after lunch today, I was surprised with the number of students gathered around the gate of Southwestern University. What's more surprising is the multitude of ROTC uniformed students lining in formation. Obviously, someone "big" is expected to come.

Then, as if by on cue, all the girls started to shout (or more appropriately, shriek) on top of their lungs. That's when I realized, today is the day that the university is awarding an honorary doctorate in human kinetics to Manny Pacquiao.

Of course, the decision of the university is not without objection. Some professors are questioning the conferment. "Dr. Aparicio Mequi, dean of the graduate school of Foundation University and a former chair of the Philippine Sports Commission, said on Friday that while Pacquiao had brought honor to the country through his victories in boxing, the planned conferment on him of a doctorate in human kinetics (honoris causa) might be a violation of a policy of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd)," an Inquirer.net report said. (Click here to read the entire report)

I will leave it up to the CHED to determine the validity of that honorary doctorate. My only question is, what's next, Congressman Pacquiao?

When Pacman decided to run as congressman before, he enrolled in a college course (after passing the equivalency test of DepEd for high school), taking up political science. That was before the election, probably to show that he is doing something to counter his critics that he is not built for politics. After he lost by a large margin, it was not pursued anymore (unless the school excused him for months when he was training for his de la Hoya fight).

Now, with the doctorate, there is no need for him  to pretend to enroll in a univeristy. If you have  a drop out (Erap) for a president (and another one, an evil corrupt alien calling herself as president), why can't you have a doctor, albeit an honorary doctorate on human kinetics, run for congress?

Or maybe Manny doestn't need the title anymore. He previously registered as a resident on a remote (at least compared to Gen Santos City) area, a move that critics believe is in preparation for his second try at politics. Why the transfer? He has a house in Gen San, he is frequently in Manila and in the US for his trainings and fights, so why register to vote in a remote area?

We can only guess, of course. Maybe there is no Darlene Custodio-like opponent who would beat him to humiliation again; or maybe money talks more in that area (as compared to Gen San again, as money talks everywhere in the Philippines, especially during elections, and especially in the halls of Malacanang and Congress)? It's not so hard to imagine.

You are considered a national traitor if you wished that de la Hoya would win last time (like I did), but maybe a humbled Pacman will realize that just because he is a great boxer, it doesn't mean he can win all his fights. I hope this time Hatton shows him that.

If Manny really wants to help his country, as he claims to be the reason why he is running, there are a lot of other ways that he could do so. He can get inspiration from other super stars, with the like of Jet Li and his One Foundation or many other Hollywood stars (we are sadly lacking examples of stars in the Philippines).

If he is bent on running, his kind of friends already showed us the kind of politician he will be. Mike Arroyo, Chavit Singson, and Lito Atienza? God bless this country!

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

After a short break from blogging, I have decided to transform this blog into something that would represent my true reasons in having this blog in the first place. Thus the birth of NO BYSTANDERS.

I felt that the original site was a bit self centered, first with the URL "everythingfroi;" and second with the site name "A Glimpse of Poy's Crazy World," when in fact this site is not about me but rather of my thought, views and advocacies. Things that are bigger than me.


I got the inspiration from reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. In the book, the concept of Bystander Effect was discussed, and basically what it says is that people tend to help or to act less when they know there are other people who might do it (I will try to discuss the two concepts later and in succeeding posts).

And upon reflecting on the concepts of "the tipping point" and "bystander effect," I came to realize that these concepts aptly explains some of the basic social problems that we have. Take for example GMA's stay in power. Why is it that after so many scandals, she is still in power. People power fatigue maybe? Maybe we have not reache the tipping point? Or is it the Bystander Effect at work?

Same goes for all our environmental problems. I believe people are not acting because they believe somene will do it anyway.

To explain futher the concept of Bystander Effect, below is an excerpt fro Wikipedia:

"The bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders.

The bystander effect was first demonstrated in the laboratory by John Darley and Bibb Latane in 1968.[2] These researchers launched a series of experiments that resulted in one of the strongest and most replicable effects in social psychology. In a typical experiment, the participant is either alone or among a group of other participants or confederates. An emergency situation is then staged — examples include smoke pouring from a vent in the room, a woman falling and becoming injured, a student having an epileptic seizure, etc. The researchers then measure how long it takes the participants to act, and whether or not they intervene at all. These experiments virtually always find that the presence of others inhibits helping, often by a large margin.

There are many reasons why bystanders in groups fail to act in emergency situations, but social psychologists have focused most of their attention on two major factors. According to a basic principle of social influence, bystanders monitor the reactions of other people in an emergency situation to see if others think that it is necessary to intervene. Since everyone is doing exactly the same thing (nothing), they all conclude from the inaction of others that help is not needed. This is an example of pluralistic ignorance or social proof. The other major obstacle to intervention is known as diffusion of responsibility. This occurs when observers all assume that someone else is going to intervene and so each individual feels less responsible and refrains from doing anything.

There are other reasons why people may not help. They may assume that other bystanders are more qualified to help, such as doctors or police officers, and that their intervention would be unneeded. People may also experience evaluation apprehension and fear losing face in front of the other bystanders. They may also be afraid of being superseded by a superior helper, offering unwanted assistance, or facing the legal consequences of offering inferior and possibly dangerous assistance."

So in writing this blog, I proclaim to the entire world:

I refuse to be a bystander!

And I will make it my life's mission to be an example to the world, or at least to my circle of influence, that they too can choose to be not a bystander. Then, probably, we might see a better world someday.

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

From the Ecowaste Egroup:

This Action Alert came from Ann Leonard (co-founder of GAIA) who helped the EcoWaste Coalition a lot in terms of introducing us to grantmakers in US who are into public health and environmental justice issues. The Time Magazine in its 6 Oct 2008 issue cited Ann as one of the "heroes of the environment" for her work on Zero Waste and, of course, "The Story of Stuff." Thanks in advance for your support. Manny C. Calonzo

Dear Friends,

You all know that U.S. consumption rates are out of control and driving much of the ecological devastation on the planet. With 5% of the world's population, the U.S. uses 30% of the world's resources and creates 30% of the world's waste.

I created the film The Story of Stuff to inspire people in the U.S. to think about the hidden environmental and social impacts of our out of control consumption patterns here. I have been delighted that many teachers have adopted it for use in classrooms in the U.S. and around the world.

Recently though, a high school teacher in Missoula, Montana showed he Story of Stuff to her high school biology class. An irate parent complained to the school board, which late last month voted that showing the video violated district policy-in effect banning the film.

You can read about this growing controversy here:
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/02/11/news/local/news03.txt and we will post updates to our blog at www.storyofstuff.com

This is a dangerous precedent.

At a time when every reputable scientist and organization agrees that the future of the planet is at risk, educators need to help students to think critically about the causes and consequences of environmental degradation, especially climate change. School textbooks and mainstream media have failed to adequately address the environmental crises we face, and teachers like Kathleen Kennedy in Missoula should be commended for seeking out alternative materials like The Story of Stuff to encourage critical thinking and action for sustainability.

Fortunately students, parents, and teachers in Missoula and elsewhere are organizing to demand the school board revere its decision. Please join them!

Please take a minute to send an email to the Missoula school board to ask that they reconsider their vote. I've pasted a sample letter below or you can write your own comment.

Email the school board at publiccomment@mcps.k12.mt.us and send a copy to the local newspaper, the Missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com. Please blind cc me at ann_leonard@sbcglobal.net

Stay tuned and thank you for helping!


Annie Leonard
The Story of Stuff

Patuloy na umiibig sa Pilipinas,
At naniniwala sa Pilipino,

Froilan Grate | GreenMinds

Why just now? And I wonder if this applies to the Air Force too. Hmmm... Maybe it's  not too late for me.


RP military welcomes shorter soldiers

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 12:13:00 02/14/2009

Filed Under: Military

MANILA, Philippines -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines has lowered its height requirement in order to attract more recruits with technical skills, the military said on Saturday.

The minimum height has been reduced to five feet (1.52 meters) for both genders from five feet, four inches for men and five feet, two inches for women, it said in a statement.

The move was part of "an effort to accommodate soldier-applicants who are not blessed with height but are skilled and qualified (in) carpentry, masonry, computer technicians/programmers, electricians, mechanics, heavy equipment specialists, etc.," it said.

Philippine troops are battling communist guerrillas in the hinterlands of the country and various Muslim armed groups in the south.

From Inquirer.net

A very powerful video.

Lost Generation

I am part of the lost generation
and I refuse to believe
that I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
Happiness comes from within
is a lie, and
Money will make me happy.
So in 30 years I will tell my children
They are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era.
This is a quick fix society;
Experts tell me
30 years from now I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce.
I do not concede that
I will live in the country of my own making
In the future.
Environmental destruction will be the norm.
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth.
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.

Just wanna share an experience tonight when I called my credit card's customer hotline:

Me: Hi. I would like to know what will be your dollar conversion rate if I purchase online tonight?

CSR: Sorry Sir but we do not have that information.
Me: What do you mean? Is there no way for you to check it?
CSR: Sorry Sir, but it changes often. We will only know once your transaction is posted.
Me: How can that be? I don't want to be surprised when I receive your billing and I will see you forex at $1=P60.
CSR: It's usually within the published rates sir.
Me: Like how much? I need a number. Can you guarantee?
CSR: No Sir. I can't give you a number.
Me: Let me talk to your supervisor.
CSR: My Supervisor will tell you the same thing Sir.
Me: I don't care. I want to hear it from your Supervisor.
CSR: Hold on Sir.

After 20 seconds...

Supervisor: Good evening. This is _____. I was informed you are asking about our forex rate?
Me: Yes.
Supervisor: Sorry Sir but we don't ahve that data. You can check it after your transaction is posted.
Me: How can that be? If your charge me $1=P60, can I complain after that?
Supervisor: NO SIR.
Me: Exactly. As customers, we have the right to those information to enable us to make the right choices, don't you think?
Supervisor: Yes Sir. What you can do is you may call us before you make that purchase to inquire about the conversion rate.
Me: That's what I am exactly doing now. I am about to make a purchase and I am calling you to inquire on the rate.
Supervisor: Sir, can I get your land line? I will just clarify and I will call you in 15 minutes once I have the rate.
Me: Sure. It's _______.

After 5 minutes...

Supervisor: Sorry Sir, but we can't give you an exact amount. But right now it should be within 46.92 Sir.
Me: But will it reach 50?
Supervisor: No Sir, if any, the difference should be in centavos.
Me: Ok. Thank you. That will do.
Supervisor: Sorry again Sir if we can't guarantee the exact amount.
Me: It's ok. At least you made an effort. I just don't like it when your agent tells me there's nothing you can do without trying. Thanks again for the effort.
Supervisor: Sorry again Sir. Thank you for calling.


Moral of the story? I don't know (hehehe). Maybe never give up on your right? I'm maybe hard headed, but only when I know it's my right. When things go wrong, never be afraid or be shy in asking for the Supervisor or the Manager.

When there was a problem with my order in Chowking, I asked for the manager, he apologized and gave us complimentary food. Same with Pizza Hut.

When I was in Cebu, I ate at Mang Inasal. Supposedly, it's unlimited rice. But I have to wait for 30 minutes for my extra rice. Malamig na ang sabaw ko. Worst, I see the kitchen staff playing with dishwashing liquid in the kitchen, spraying it against another staff, including the food being served. Also, the same people who handle the food also handle the money and clean the table. A big no-no in food business. I called for the manager, she recognized the problem and offered to refund my food. But I know it will be charged to the staff so I refused, but I told her to fix the problems or else I will report them to their Head Office. The next day, I went there again, everything was how I asked them and I was treated like a king.

I called Bayantel to complain about my bill. The agent was arrogant and when I asked to talk to another agent, he dropped the line. I called again and asked for the supervisor. She apologized and promised to investigate and asked for my initial concern. Right there and then, she waived the items in my bill that I object to.

I have thousands more of these stories. Maybe I'm hard headed, maybe "walang hiya." But for me, there's only one reason for this: I refuse to accept what is not right and is not just. 

I will never say, "Hayaan mo na, para walang gulo..." when I know I am right. But also, I will not hesitate to say sorry if I know it's my fault (some of my friends will object to this haha!).

So, I leave you with these quotes:

Evil flourish simply because good people choose to do nothing.

Failure to condemn translates to stamp of approval.

Silence to apathy is betrayal.

Thanks for reading. Good night!

GMA's gift to the Filipino nation. Watch this excellent video.

God, 12 scandals are not enough? When will we say enough is enough?


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