My real sighting of a ghost came years later when I was just about ten or eleven years old. I could remember some particulars as I relate...

My real sighting of a ghost came years later when I was just about ten or eleven years old. I could remember some particulars as I relate this to you now. It was near midnight, on one weekend, when most of the members of our household stayed wide awake to watch a television special; it was a late night movie if I am not mistaken.

Usually when the night comes, I had felt dutiful always to check the back door if they were safely locked and shut tightly. That night, before I sat to watch the show, I reconnoitered the kitchen and locked the door after reassuring that every chore in the kitchen has been done. As the show started, I felt a strong urge to relieve myself that I headed for the comfort room, situated just to the left of the kitchen. As I turned towards the direction of the kitchen, I saw a figure of a woman in white gown, with her hair down to her knees, walked pass the hall leading to the kitchen.

" Is someone still in the kitchen?" I asked.

"Everyone is here. Why?" quipped my Aunt Coney.

"I just saw a woman in white walked by in the kitchen hall!" I exclaimed.

"Do not kid us like that." She warned.

"Really. I did saw a woman"

We all stared at each other and after a moment, we all scurried for the main bedroom. Every one was blaming me for playing some wicked game on them and I kept on denying them.

"It must be your imagination." they all indicted me.

Half an hour later, we were back in front of the television while I was feeling so sick already from fear. I had no choice but to join them in the living room otherwise I would be alone in the room.

While the television was glaring, a sudden wind blew forcefully from the window and rain poured instantaneously as rumbling thunder shook the house. It was just another bad weather, as we disregarded the weather's tumult and stay stuck to the television show. Perhaps the wind was so whipping that small bits of stones were thrown at our direction, entering thru the window.

"Damn it. Someone is throwing stones at us," Coney said and we all peered into the window to investigate the malefactor and we find exactly nobody outside as more bits of stone came at us. The sound of thunder became extremely forceful that the lights went out. By this time, I could already feel the fear that had enveloped not only me, but also the rest of them; fear has a smell I realized that moment. In the middle of the living room, a small whirlwind was lifting the small stones towards the ceiling in a circular motion and while the stones circled above ground, the wind suddenly stopped and the bits of stone fell simultaneously to the ground. We all screamed and run to the bedroom.

It was strange that the day after, no matter how patently strange the experience we had the night before, everyone was merely jesting about it while Hadja Saniya simply dismissed it as the playful imagination of our minds, us who were still tender in the head. She was deep in slumber when the strange happenstance occurred. Even those who were present in that strange occurrence simply forgot about it, never mentioning it again. My Aunt Coney just did not talk about it. My brothers Nasrullah and Akmad and my sister Rimaisa just went to the yards and play the usual games, as if nothing happened. If I remember well, my cousin Nimfa and Mernisa was present then and similarly, they never took it so seriously despite the common terror we had felt that night. Where in contrast, that unusual night were etched forever in my mind.

The eldest who was there was Aunt Coney. I had expected her to convince the others that some spirits really played fun on us but she acted as if the strange night was merely a usual occurrence, and did go on with the ordinary chores, as if nothing happened, as if she was expecting such things to happen ordinarily. After that night in fact, she had slowly gained isolation from the rest of us, at least it was how I have observed her to be. She would walk along and would give me that iniquitous stare that I felt somehow uncomfortable that she had suddenly become so mindful of my presence that she would shout at me easily if for example I happened to touch the expensive jar in the living room.

I reckoned that she had blamed me for that strange occurrence in that one strange night.

From my upcoming novel/semi-autobiography "A Prophet's Life".

FINAL SCORE: Golden State Warriors 133 – Dallas Mavericks 103 It’s a familiar story. Shoot well from outside and clear the lanes for insid...

FINAL SCORE: Golden State Warriors 133 – Dallas Mavericks 103

It’s a familiar story. Shoot well from outside and clear the lanes for inside plays. It’s a classic strategy that the Golden State Warrior’s held on to nail their second win in four outings. They just rained from the rainbow territory in the first half of the game allowing their big men to feel at ease inside the key area and blasted the ageing/rebuilding Dallas Mavericks 133 to 103.

Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr has some straight directive – shoot well from outside and everything comes out easy. I wonder if this will make them predictable all season like, “how to beat the warriors” manta, is by taking away their three’s and allowing their inside games. We’ll see from now on.

FINAL SCORE : New Orleans Pelicans 119 - LA Lakers 112. While hoping Lonzo Ball would make further affirmation with another Laker’s win, t...

FINAL SCORE : New Orleans Pelicans 119 - LA Lakers 112.

While hoping Lonzo Ball would make further affirmation with another Laker’s win, the NBA live stream have shown how the Showtime team boasts of offensive strengths in Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball, along with Brandon Ingram, BUT shows apparent lack of defense, or a very weak defensive focus that allows easy baskets from the Pelicans in today’s game.

Coach Luke Walton should better look up to this weakness as it could be like a chronic disease that would lead their season to woeful downswings.

At times in the game, you could just see a Pelican just swoosh through towards the hoop while a Laker is just standing by and staring at the points made.

For more in details and information, please download the info-material "What Are Illegal Water Service Connections?" on this LINK....

For more in details and information, please download the info-material "What Are Illegal Water Service Connections?" on this LINK. DOWNLOAD.

A Speech By Caloy T. Bandaying on Bonifacio Day c. 2016 As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu! Friends, companions, my fellow...

A Speech By Caloy T. Bandaying on Bonifacio Day c. 2016

As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu!

Friends, companions, my fellow citizens of Zamboanga, honoured guests and dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen, Buenas Dias con el todo!

This day, we mark the celebration of Bonifacio Day, the natal day of one of our bravest and most courageous national hero, Gat Andres Bonifacio, a true leader who had symbolized nationalism and liberty with so much fervor and intensity that in our history, no other personage had lived such blazing life as he had lived. He is one great hero that always remind us that the road towards peace and freedom is often the most daunting and perilous, as Bonifacio himself had lost his life, in the most brutal of manner, towards the cause of his Filipino brethren, for freedom and honor of Motherland.

It is but a consolation to say, as a Filipino bereft of any foreign control and subjugation - we all can say that Bonifacio’s death had not gone to naught after all.

Today also, in this very moment and time, we stand upon this ground that have been thrown into the whirlwind of confusion, into the bitter hands of conflict and chaos; Firstly, due to one woeful memory that had occurred just merely three years past, where in 2013, the Siege of Zamboanga was said to have been staged from this very island from where we all stand now, among several other outlying areas, within this island of Simariki, where armed MNLF combatants have first staged their insidious plan of attack, which in the days after, had proven to be tremendously destructive, ultimately disparaging and long-suffering; that on that one fateful dawn, when the sky was not yet kissed by the morning sun, the city had awaken to the rudest of all awakening, of what was seemingly the coming of a peaceful morning, had turned into the precursor of hellish troubles as blasting sound of gunfire swooshed into the early morning sky and the most terrible panic shook the hearts of the city’s citizen.

And yet, in this land of us, in the southern tip of the nation, the land of Mindanao continues to struggle for freedom, from violence and misunderstanding and disunity.

In a time of greatest communication, of advancement in space and Internet, we have belabored and had hoped to the fullest that peace and understanding could be attained finally, that we have finally reached our destination.

And yet the Siege of Zamboanga still had to happen; despite these arduous efforts towards the pursuit for lasting peace among men of different tribes and creed in our Island of Mindanao – this seemingly endless pursuit for peace and unity.

In a time of artful technology, the potentialities of human skill,  of what the human mind could achieve, humankind had indeed achieve so many things, more than what was expected even by the most intelligent of men in decades past. Now we communicate through gadgets so small we hold it in our palms, converse even through the farthest lands, across the widest oceans. We have built satellites and voyagers that reached the farthest planets. We are even close to creating humans out of the cloned roots of a sheep.

Yet, in these times of advancement – have we achieve what every gadgetry and what every human wealth could not? Despite the advancement in human skills and abilities – have we achieved peace and understanding amongst us, amongst peoples, amongst different tribes and amongst different religion?

This is the longing question that asked and longed for an answer for so long now. I am not one to berate anyone else, or any other for these dissensions; in fact, I myself could be attributed how peace and conflicts still remains within our midst.

Yet, we do not choose to fail; we do not choose to retreat, for no matter how long is the path to peace, I believe that we should hold still, that no amount of armed conflict could dissuade us from reaching our destination, our ultimate goal of peace in our Fatherland.

Like a sailboat amidst gorging wind in a stormy weather, we will hold our sail down if we need to hold it down, and we will just let it fly again, and let sail if the rain and storm had stopped and calmed, and with the sunny weather, we will keep on sailing, and voyaging until we reach our promised land.

This long quest for peace reminds me of the journeys of my forefathers, the tribe of Samal-Banguingui, who had journeyed long distances throughout the seas of Southeast Asia, that had brought so many of us, including me, to these shores that we all live now.

If it would not be so much of a disturbance to you, let me narrate the humble beginnings and the ardous journeys that had been taken by my forefathers.

Simariki is also close to me and my family, and among the Samal banguingui tribesmen, as this is one of the known point of arrivals for the Banguingui tribesmen, coming from a journey of a thousand miles and a thousand waves, of a wave of emigration that began in the farthest part of Southeast Asia, from the Riau Islands of Indonesia, towards historically known localities that had served as land bridges that had finally brought us here in the flower city of Zamboanga, from Buan and Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi, to Talipao and Tongkil islands in Sulu, towards here, and then even to a well-known island at the south of  Mindanao, named after the tribe, the Samal island in Davao del Norte.

In fact, one of my forefathers, Baharaim Bandaying was buried here and holds great remembrance for me and members of my clan.

Our tribe, the Samal- Banguingui, is known to be peace-loving and civilized tribe that it is so infrequent that any of us might be heard to have created chaos or disturbance in the community. Humility and respect to others are traits that we hold dear in our hearts, learned from our elders, who scold us with bitterest and vilest of words if we happen to disrespect any of our fellowmen.

Yet, despite of these claims, which could be self-serving the most, and may you excuse me for my excesses if there would be – our tribe have also been embroiled in ancient conflicts and turmoil, the most memorable of which was the involvement of the Sultanate of Sulu in the civil war that had enveloped the Sultanate of Sulu in 1660, where in order to aid the besieged Sultan of Brunei Sultan Muhyiddin,  then Sultan of Sulu Sultan Salahud-Din Bakhtiar had ordered his naval forces to come to the aid of the Bruneian sultan and according to historical narrative, it was this military aid that had become the key to turn the civil war into the side of the Bruneian sultanate, quelling rebellion and challenge to his throne that thereon, as a sign of greatest gratitude, the Sultan Muhyiddin had ceded the entire state of Sabah, one of its tributary, to the Sultan Bakhtiar.

The Samal-Banguingui were fervent voyager of the sea, zealous and comfortable with the sea wind that throughout the ancient histories of our lands, they have thrive as seafarers and sea traders, and had even been embroiled in not a few times, in the perilous occupation of sea pirates, creating havoc and chaos in the old seas of Southeast Asis, invoking fear and terror to navigators and shippers that had plied the routes within those seas.

During Spanish colonization, whence the Spanish military had repeatedly and incessantly attempted to take hold of the territories in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the Sultan of Sulu had depended on his navy, the Samal-Banguinguis to quell these invasions, staging countermoves towards the shoes of Zamboanga and even as far away as Luzon up north.

And yet, this is not to unduly shore up our tribe my dear fellows, but it is with humility that I relay to you the struggles and challenges that had been faced by my forefathers, just in order to reach a destination of a thousand miles, of a thousand tears, of a thousand longings and sufferings -  of a journey of the Samal-Banguingui tribe, that had begun hundreds of years ago in the Indonesian islands of Rhiu, per account by expert historians, towards the shore of Sabah, then in Buan island in Tawi-tawi, through the strongholds in Tongkil, then Basilan, and then here in Zamboanga, who along with the Subanens, we have been the original dwellers of these lands.

A journey that had led some of us towards Olutanga and then in Samal Island off the coast of Davao.

My friends and companions, it is my hope that our quest for peace, our aim for understanding amongst different tribe, race and religion, will find its long-sought destination, no matter how long and arduous the path may be, no matter if the seas connotes storms and hurricanes that bring our sails down, for in every storm, there would be calm and windy weather to come, and our voyage towards peace shall continue once again. Thank you very much to one and all!

A Speech by Amilpasa T. Bandaying As old as existence itself, Time is even defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence...

A Speech by Amilpasa T. Bandaying

As old as existence itself, Time is even defined as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future”.

Ladies and gentlemen, honored guests and visitors, speaking of time is quite a challenging task, since no one could ever be expert on this matter, as we have not studied time like we study many scientific issues and daily existence, and no one had invented time, that we realize that time is ultimately of divine reality. So often we ask ourselves, do we have a grasp time?

I am now reminded about what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had once said about time, as narrated by Ibn Abbas, that “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari 8/421)

That indeed time is God-given, for us to to utilize wisely, for our own benefit and health, that if we misuse time, it becomes our own perdition instead.

It is but a very good timing that I speak of time as the world today is on a threshold of so many radical and monumental changes, of advancement in technology, the great changes about how the way we live, and thereon the way we make our living.

Time is a free force. It does not wait for any one. It is commonly said that time and tide waits for no man. Time is money. A minute not usefully spent is an eternal loss. You can never get back the lost minute. One has to strike the iron when it is hot. The time flies and never returns. If you waste time, it wastes you.

In this hurried modern life, time becomes the most vital and important, that if we waste time just for a single minute, we lost great profits and also opportunities.

In Islam, we are instructed to use time wisely, using our time in doing beneficial things especially those that make us closer to Allah and earn His Mercy. in our own hands, and use it for own advantages.

We must plan time carefully and use it as guidance for us for a better future. It is not for us to waste time, that even in our free time, we must use it for the benefits of ourselves and perhaps, of others.

This thought is of great importance to you since you are very youthful and have the feeling of vigor and dynamism, which would incline you to go out there in the world, in your professional and personal lives, like a raging bull, out to conquer the world.

This is a natural thing, and yet, if we will not stop for a while and make this realization about time, any haste would merely end us up in great waste, even in harm and negativity.

That it is of great advice that we seek the hands of time like a brother, a companion, most importantly, as a guidance that will see us through in our future successes.

We must plan time – not merely by the hour or by the day, even by the months and by the years.
Like for example, by next year, I have planned in time, to have a good job, in five years, I planned to earn a law degree, two years hence, I am going to get married and have a house and perhaps a car. And so on and so forth.

Do not be swayed innocently by unplanned time, just to float and swing by the hands of time and tide, like a paper in the wind. Time and tide waits for no man. If you will get behind, that will be you own fault. Take hold of time. Be the master of your own faith

Here's how the new Jeepneys would look like: Under the government's Jeepney Modernization Program, old jeepneys will have to b...

Here's how the new Jeepneys would look like:

Under the government's Jeepney Modernization Program, old jeepneys will have to be replaced with low-emission and Euro 4-compliant units, with the units themselves being provided for by the government, possibly under easy payment schemes for Filipino drivers. Majorly, this program seem to be more focused on environmental improvement and compliance.

But transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operaytor Nationwike (Piston) immediately frowns on this and launches nationwide strike. So no class tomorrow.

What happens to the old jeepneys? They'd be scrapped of course. Including culture and tradition...I bet.

Read more on this link for a more comprehensive discussion on the Jeepney Modernization Program of the government.

By Caloy T. Bandaying When we think of Indigenous Peoples or IPs as commonly stated in general language, we see the peoples of the moun...

By Caloy T. Bandaying

When we think of Indigenous Peoples or IPs as commonly stated in general language, we see the
peoples of the mountains, of the hinterlands, of the waving seas, of the lush forests and teeming valleys and hills. We see the man in nearly bare garments, wearing the hunter’s wardrobe and the near naked women and children they aim to feed and protect.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and visitors, honored guests, we must admit that the native life of the Indigenous peoples (IPs) have become farthest from our minds of lately, even though in our younger years, we have heard about them in many myths and legends, and even had venerated their cunning ways – as we say, with bows and arrows, the hunter within us lives like an eternal spirit.

However, today, while we embroiled ourselves in our steep modernity, Somehow, it is inevitable that we dispel their ordinary ways as we embrace the convenient modern life with many tools of innovative communication, entertainment and utility. How else can we surpass this gargantuan indifference when we ourselves are belabored by many questions of technology – whether we have electronic loads, or power banks or internet fees?

This is the main struggle of the IPs and the IPRA law, or Republic Act 8371, otherwise known as “The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997”, enacted in a time when our nation was in great strife hurdling armed struggles from rightists, leftists and the usual separatists entities from the South, as well as the specter of fragile politics and governance that was heavily embattled by a crippling national power crisis that had seen our homes and workplaces covered in extended darkness.

Almost a couple of decades hence, we have not seen the full fruition of this law, as if we have met a great dead end, a towering blank wall that is almost impossible to overcome.

My companions in aim and aspiration, the IPRA law was born in the most sacred of circumstances, anchored even under the most fundamental law of our land, the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which had prescribed the promotion and protection of the rights of the IPs, the framers of our most supreme law, having then of right mind for justice, fairness and gratitude to the natives, to the peoples that reminds us of our past, of our ancient ways, of where we have comes from, of our roots, of how we, as Filipinos, have been as valiant and sturdy as these hunters and warriors from the mountains, those cunning Tbolis, the brave Manobos, the cultured Igorots, the Badjaos whose astuteness at sea is unparralled, the land-dwelling samals, and many others who make us not forget of our ancient hunting ways, us who were feared by foreign intruders and whose courage and fighting ways were told about throughout the world as the fiercest kind.

Under Article XII, National Economy and Patrimony of our Constitution, it is clearly provided that:

“SECTION 5. The State, subject to the provisions of this Constitution and national development policies and programs, shall protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social, and cultural well-being.”

Being a constitutional provision, this a clear mandate, by the people, from the people, that indeed, we should pursue this ultimately benevolent mission and undertaking, to see the day, that the rights of the IPs are pursued to the end, and see its final fruition.

According to the words of Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ, as he was then submitting a position paper on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, “the IPRA itself is a peace agreement”.

I agree to this completely, for IPRA is an innovation of law and social justice that has the potential of becoming a tool for social transformation, a model to a nation that is continually beset by armed struggles, an economic introduction that could heal the wounds of many sectors in the society, to mend conflicting egos, and contrasting persuasions.

If in the end, IPRA could build a road towards social transformation of the IPs, then it can show us a light towards unending peace and harmony, a road map that we could pattern up to.

That the success of IPRA, its full implementation and execution, now becomes more and more a must and of great complement, in a time that the present government gropes in darkness for the key towards lasting peace in our nation.

The Indigenous person hopes not the sky or the heavens, but merely the humble desire to be in harmony with the mainstream society as well as participation in governance. These two main aims is the battle cry of the natives, who have long been suffering great indifference and alienation from the society.

It is but unbelievable my friends, that we sometimes help foreign refugees, while our tribes languish in poverty and fear, of lack of education and livelihood, killed like chickens by mining giants, as if fed to the lions alive.

It is but time for us to move forward, that the society and the government should look from within and without, to finally work to the fullest of efforts, to give the IPs their dues, their ancestral domains, their participation in government. For I believe, that leaving them in the jungles and disentanglements becomes a national guilt that brings us further from the peace and harmony that we aim to seek, and the national economic progress that our nation is starting to experience although seemingly still a fragile reality – a fragile economic gains since our society is still like this, in the time of serfdom, feudalism and patriarchy, where the gains is only amongst the rich and not shared or distributed to the people.

The story of the IPs is the story of the Filipino people. In so long as the IPRA law does not become a main reality, the IPs will continue to languish in scarcity and darkness.

My brethrens in ambition, the success of IPRA becomes now the success of our nation, the victory of peace and the success of social harmony amongst us.

Thank you very much.

By Yusop B. Masdal The devil in his black robes and black cape, with his black teeth that gnash into the darkness with unseen ferocity...

By Yusop B. Masdal

The devil in his black robes and black cape, with his black teeth that gnash into the darkness with unseen ferocity. Those rangy eyes that slit to the sides like cats on the prowl. I have not seen him before except in the fertile ground of my mind, in my pregnant imagination and the intricacies in which it is capable of inventing. The lengthy tongue of fires billowed here and there like giant waves in the high seas, swallowing hapless fishing boats caught in the midst of a raging storm, within a Pacific Ocean caught in one of its hellish moods. That is inferno that I never knew could exist in this mortal world, however briefly they may have come to me, interfering with the cinema of my mind without any regard or consideration for the permanent stain that it might cast over my mental health. And yet, the most fearful episode is still about to happen. I fear most the devil when he appears suddenly in front of the doorway of my dingy room upstairs, hovering in midair, neither his serpentine feet nor his massive head touching any sides of the wooden entrance.

While all the lights are out and the sound of crickets lay very still in the thickness of the dawn. And then in those unholy hours, my eyelids appeared to open forcibly by some unknown persuasion that even while I am gasping for air, s struggling from it. It was useless to think of running away for the source of terror lies there, in the only passage out escape my mouth, much less a verifiable holler. To make matters worst, sleep completely leaves me from that very moment of terror, that I have become a terrified victim of darkness, a tortured soul of the night.

Sometimes the devil merely speaks to me without transgressing my sight, in a voice that whispers like leeches poring into my skin and into my veins. At first, the conversation we had was directionless, discouraged by the crippling fear that had enveloped my whole being as every limb an nodes trembled steadily almost crackling my whole being like a crisp biscuit pounded into bits of flour. How could you ever spew discerning words when you are cold like polar ice? How could one ever speak to a devil? Is there any precedence that could guide my notions and insinuations? How do I confer with someone, rather with an entity, whose existence is at most mythical, highly unverifiable and definitely not within the bounds of reality as the word outsides this room knows? And yet the devil talk to me, of what subject I never moment of such luciferic pronouncements, I always had to run away, at times into the earliest at most up and down, to and fro, inside the house that my mother never hesitated to declare me a mental case my sister Leda, and so did the neighbors, and later on my friends and everyday acquaintances. I got tired of running out, sweating profusely like a swine put on its death row, with the eyes of the word piercing my soul, accusing, and convicting: all at the same time Somehow, somewhat we all get to used to everything, however strange things may have became in this world that is continually challenging the bounds of morality, customs cordiality, ordinary notions and knowledge-the bounds of reality.

Finally, in the evening that the first moon of July finally appeared, I have resolved to make the necessary clarifications as to the purpose of the devil. Dr. Felisberto did not speak for nearly a minute, massaging his forehead with his lengthened fingers. He sat back to his executive chair, a certain desperation was written in his face. “Peter, you should go home now. Have some good sleep, force yourself to sleep, count the sheep, drink a lot milk, and think, just think hardly that the devil, or whatever it is that appears or talk to you is definitely unreal. Then come back tomorrow or the day after, I am sure you’ll be just fine. I recommend that you see Dr. Marquez, he is a good friend, you could trust him.” “Hey , I am not crazy just as yet, I don’t need no psychiatrist. I just better leave.” “Call me tomorrow Peter.” The point is this strange occurrence is all for me to keep Leda and Harvey must have been the only person in this world that I could talk to about those experiences but both proved useless bottled fluids hanging over my head and some oversized fat idiot forcing us to do seat-ups, feeding us rice cereals with no bit of chicken in it. I cannot talk about this to just anybody. Of most things I hate is being implicated as a mental case, that’s the worst of it. It really drives anyone paranoid. Nothing matters to me anymore but to escape this predicament. My law subjects do not matter anymore, the food I eat, the kung-fu movies, the latest Grisham thriller, Pearl Jam’s new release.

Everything in my life had turned into a turn still, upside down, downside up. Every second and every minute my mind is invaded by the devil and his soldiers of fear, his warriors of the dark and there is a battle that seems to be intractable, not to be won by a side so dilapidated and untrained in the art of war, what more a war against the unknown and the unexplainable. My room has become so disarranged for lack of attention. I only go up there during the day, when I have no other mind but to sleep, lug around and sleep. I even oversleep one night that woke up when the evening was still early. The lights were out and the moment I woke up, the panic was so sudden that I virtually could feel it running through my veins, from my feet towards my feet. Again, I lifted myself immediately, jerking my body from my bed and run as fast as my legs could afford. I took my supper alone, as always and tried to calm down the racing heartbeat. The phone rating when I was about to finish up my meal and Leda was gracious enough to sacrifice some second of her attention from the television to answer the call. “Peter, its Dr. Felisberto”. I never expected the call that I wanted to make further clarification with Leda. “It’s really for you. Why do you have to still have to argue?” “Peter, its Harley, I was worried about you. I think we need to talk this evening. Come to my house in an hour. I’ll be home by that time.” Harley’s house was about ten kilometers away from so I borrowed the car from my Mom. The weather averaged to windy, to rainy, to stormy for almost a week now. The night was unusually dark, the sky no stars or moon above.

At about nine o’clock, I arrived at the suburb residence of Harley and he was on the front porch with Mrs. Felisberto. “Good Evening, Peter”, Mrs. Felisberto greeted me as I took my seat on a steel chair. “Please have a seat. Have some cookies and coffee.” “No, no coffee for Peter for the meantime. What you need now is a good pint of rum.” Harley said to Mrs. Felisberto and to myself while she was about to enter the house. “Executing me, Peter,” she said, “I need to sleep early. I hope you could tend for yourself.” “Thank you Ma’am, do not worry about me”, I said as Harley poured some rum-coke into a small glass. “Sit down, Peter,” Harley started as he sipped his liquor, “There is something that I am going to tell you and you have to listen carefully. When you came to me that day, I couldn’t help but conclude that you are again wallowing in drugs for what else could be wrong with you. All through your childhood you were healthy as a horse on the desert, expect for some occasional bronchitis and bouts with the sinusitis. Aside from these weaknesses of your respiratory system, you were definitely a healthy child, at least one that you could not call sickly. I told you to call me immediately because I need to stay in contact with you. I was so worried about you. I received the immediately because I need to stay in contact with you. I received the blood examination result that you sent through your maid and you were right, you could not have been taking drugs for almost a year now. I checked your records in the Sinai Hospital where you were detoxified and there were general conclusion that your paranoia had not in fact lapsed into hallucination meaning to say, you have not yet experienced visual or sonar miscalculation of things at that time and it is unlikely that you developed such. Still, insanity may still come from other sources aside from drugs, or that in your you may have been affected too much by the drug overdose that eventually now your mental environment already. Or you may have been gravely affected by Trisha, you know, you told me that she was not really worth it, but who can tell, I cannot tell.” “Trishia, well, there’s really nothing to it, no big deal…. I just feel uncomfortable not to be seeing her again. Wanting to see her, when there’s that glimmer to hope but not enough resolved to kneel down and apologized. But it never really mattered when I am without her. I am just alright with or without her? “Uh huh. Let me continue.” Harley cleared his throat and gobbled down another shot of rum.” The point is you could most probably be already experiencing the very stages of insanity. However, I could tell you that I know a crazy person when I see one. Just by the way he looks, much more by the way he talks.” “Come on Harley, you called me here just to tell me in my face that I am crazy?” “No, no, no…. let me continue, what I am saying is that, for all the experiences you have had. You are not crazy peter. Believe me. I know you ever since you are a child. I have not gained expert knowledge on psychiatry…. Or whatever it is they call that… that’s why I made you note that there is probability that you may be going crazy in the head. Anyone could become crazy; no one is exempted. Rich, poor gay person, white people, black people…. even dogs could go haywire in the head. But I know you. I believe you when you when you said that you are not crazy. Pardon me if I had insinuated otherwise.” “Well…. Thanks Harley’’, for a while almost could not speak. I felt I could cry from this rare affirmation, which I really needed at this time.” Well, what can I say Harley? But it still does not solve my problem. I am terrified and wouldn’t be too soon till myself would announce to the entire world that I am really a goner in the head. Come handcuff me and throw me to the Lion. “Calm down peter what are saying. Please let me continue” “Okay…. Go on…. “Another thing is that I believe you when you said devil had talk to you.” “Are you serious? Do not make fun of me especially in my present condition, Harley.” “No, Listen. I believe you because let us just say that I know someone who had similar experience, about voices and apparitions. It was long ago. So long ago peter that I thought I have already forgotten it until you come to me that day.” Harley Look the bottle of the liquor and drank whatever left of it without using the glass. Something in his face was unusual, a face, that tells me of a Harley that I didn’t know. There was a thin layer of sweat all over his face, which was red and Harley suddenly looked feverish that I stated to worry about him. “Are you alright, Harley Am I bothering you already. “No again, listen to me and please do not interrupt me, okay

I was a little bit surprised on the sudden abruptness in the speech of Harley. Definitely, I have never seen him in such condition even when I have known him for almost all my life. “Yes see, Peter” Harley continued as he opened another bottle of, liquor, it was a scotch whisky this time,” It happened when I was about a child of ten, again do not interrupt me, just listen. I guess it was about the year 1967 or 1969, I am not sure anymore, back in our town in Mercedes. One afternoon, while we were playing games with my friends at the backyard of our old house, the house at the house that I told about which was built during the Spanish time by our great grand parents, my grandpa shrieked and shouted for help. The neighbors heard he cry of my grandpa that many came running towards our house. I run as fast as I could to see what the commotion was all about. The earth seemed to move as I pass the hallway that I almost fell on the stairway, grabbing the handles before I completely lose my footing, and then I saw blood on the floor of the room of my grandpa. There were huge amount of fresh blood on the floor that it seemingly flowed like a river. Before I could see what was really happening, the men who answered the call for help rushed my grandpa out of the bedroom and I later on learned that grandma was rushed to the hospital in the City area, unconscious and bleeding profusely. “That afternoon, just as the sun was about to set down on the horizon, most of the my relatives and some neighbors gathered in our house. The Sala was so spacious that even if the people who gathered around numbered to almost twenty, you could still feel empty spaces all around. They were waiting for father and grandpa to arrive from the municipal hall and until that time, nobody seemed to know to speak. It was some sort of unusual, Uncle Bert, the fat and clown of an uncle of mine would surely have monopolized the conversation and let the conversation explode with laughter and merriment were it not for what had happened to grandma. The silence was augmented by the yellow luminescence coming from the lamps that filled the corners of the Sala and the hidden shadows it had built. We did not have electricity in our place at that time and ventilation was attained by the windows so wide that you could mistake it for doors if you were not careful enough.” “My father has gone straight to the municipal hall from the general hospital per invitation of the police. No, there was no wrong suspicion of the murder indicated by the authorities, against grandpa or any against member of the house; no one was made to answer for highly interrogative inquiries that are usual in similar situation. Corporal San Diego has sent some of his men to make. Routinely police work, inspecting the passage ways for any sign of forcible entry, scanning for finger and foot print, taking away some pieces of clothing and belongings that were not really of great consequence to us, the bed sheet, the blanket, some hankies. That was all. We saw the police asking our maid, Delia, a question or two, after that, the police took their leave. In the police station, Corporal Son Diego apologized for the inconvenience and informed my father that he needs to make some sort of statement for records purposes and that’s all and there was a promise of a speedy resolution to this unfortunate event.” “The maids serve coffees and a biscuit for there was no time anymore to prepare food for such a short time. My fathers arrive about seven o’ clock in the evening. With red stains still his shirts. It was clear that he tried to wash it off with water for the color of blood on his, shirt has appeared muddled and diluted. Everyone was tense and worried. It was never spoken but I could tell the general expectation is that grandma would not make it, what with huge amount of blood that had been loss from her, Cousin Betty, the oldest cousin that I knew of it was already inconsolable while uncle Berto scolded her that she was already counting grandma dead even even if news has not yet arrive from the hospital.’ Let us wait for Daniel’ uncle Berto reminded everyone,’ I sure Mama would be all right. Now calm down Betty. You there Harley, go to the front gate and wait there for your father and stop playing with your toy car. This is no time for playing, gaddemet ’ I seemed to have isolated myself from entire happening, looking in from the outside, seemingly oblivious to the graveness of the situation and unfeeling to the heavy emotion that seemed to have enveloped the surrounding of our house.

Despite my relative detachment from it all, I have sort of become witnessed the entire experience, not only from within but also from without. I may have not seen most of the physical sequences but somehow, inside my head I was aware that something not ordinary was happening even before the elders has come to the open about it. Aside from my mother and father, It was only Uncle Bert and Manang Lita , our Yaya that had knowledge about the things that was about to come open in this hastily scheduled meeting although most of us in the household already was aware of the unusual sickness of grandma, There nights when our sleep were disturb by the sudden shrieking and crying of the grandma, right in the middle of dawn. Every time grandma was attacked by that “sickness”, she become uncomfortable and her face assumed a distraught look that she seems to look like somebody else. Manong Godo, my ninong, his brother Nito and wife Melinda were allowed to hear the testimonies for they were nearly our relatives, leaving so close to us and having been in very good relations with our family,”

Zamboanga City and its residents is once-again geared up for month-long celebration of the 2017 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. Here are th...

Zamboanga City and its residents is once-again geared up for month-long celebration of the 2017 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

Here are the schedule of activities:

The traditional merry-making parade
in the barangays of Zamboanga City
Inter-Barangay Fiesta Arco Competition
September 23, 2017, Barangays

Pre-fiesta Extravaganza District 1
September 23, 6PM, Saturday
Ayala Gymnasium

Pre-fiesta Extravaganza District 2
September 24, 6PM Sunday
Boalan Elementary School Covered Court

The Dog Walk
September 28, 6:30AM, Thursday
Pasonanca Park

Zambassadors School Tour
September 25-27, Monday-Wednesday
Various Schools

Zambassadors Mall Tour and Original Chavacano Video Music Festival 2017 Launching
September 28, 6PM, Thursday
CityMall Tetuan

Zambassadors Mall Tour
KCC Mall de Zamboanga GF Activity Area
September 29, 6PM, Friday

Smoke Out Zamboanga – Grilled Food Fiesta
September 30-October 11, 2017, Friday-Wednesday
R.T. Lim Boulevard

Zamboanga Grand Midnight Sale
September 30-October 11, 2017, Friday
Wednesday-R.T. Lim Boulevard

Copa de Paz Pre-Hermosa Festival Golf Tournament
Sept 30, Friday, Zamboanga Golf Course & Country Club

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Opening Salvo
ft. Inter-Barangay Bandoreal Competition and Pink Parade
October 1, 2017, 3PM, Sunday
Tetuan Central School to Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum

2017 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Chess Tournament
October 1, 2017, Sunday CityMall Tetuan

22nd Little Princess Zamboanga 2017
October 1, 2017, 4PM, Sunday
Astoria Plaza Ballroom, Grand Astoria Hotel

See Zamboanga through the masterpieces
of our featured young artists!
Cosechas de Zamboanga
October 1-15, 2017, Sunday
Plaza Pershing

Zamboanga Art Exhibit
October 2-8, 2017, Monday-Sunday
City Mall Tetuan

Hermosa Heritage Zone Walking Tour
October 2-11, 2017, Monday-Wednesday
City Tourism Office, Paseo del Mar

Teen and Kid Trends ZC of the Year
October 2, 2017, 6PM, Monday
CityMall Tetuan

Novena Masses
October 3-11, Tuesday-Wednesday
Procession - 5AM, Cathedral to Shrine
Holy Mass - 6AM, 7:30PM, 6:30PM
Novena Mass - 5PM

4th Conferencia de Cultura y Artes de Zamboanga
October 3-4, 2017, 8AM-5PM, Tuesday-Wednesday
Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar

Pet Parade and Blessing
October 4, 2017, 8AM, Wednesday
Jardin de Maria Clara Lobregat, Pasonanca

IIEE-ZAMBASULTA 5th Western Mindanao Regional Conference
October 5-7, Thursday-Saturday
Garden Orchid Convention Center

World Teachers Day
October 5, Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum

1st Asao Lechon de Zamboanga Festival
October 5, 2017, 5PM, Thursday
Paseo del Mar

Miss Zamboanga 2017
October 5, 2017, 7PM, Thursday
Astoria Regency Convention Center, Pasonanca

1st Open Invitational La Hermosa Volleyball Tournament
October 6-8, 2017, 1PM, Friday-Saturday
Sta. Maria Covered Court

Zamboanga Open Invitational Bowling Tournament
October 6-8, 2017, Friday
Tebi and Sean Recreational Center

1st Zamboanga Construction Exposition (ZAMCONEX)
October 6-8, 2017, Friday
Ground floor, Event Area, KCC Mall de Zamboanga

2nd Hermosa Koi Show and 1st ABA Zamboanga National Show
October 6-8, 2017, Friday-Sunday, CityMall Tetuan

ZAMPEX 2017 (Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition 2017)
October 6-10, 2017, Friday-Tuesday
Madrid Hall, Palacio del Sur

ZamPen iCon (Zamboanga Peninsula Investment Conference)
October 6, 2017, Friday
Theater, Garden Orchid Hotel

Asia's Latin City hosts the most anticipated
Dancesport Competition
Zamboanga Dancesport Competition
October 6, 2017, 1PM, Friday
City Coliseum

FDAZ Fashion Show: TEJIDO
October 6, 7PM, 2017, Friday
Astoria Regency Convention Center, Pasonanca

Copa del Alcalde Golf Tournament
October 7-8, 2017, Saturday-Sunday
Zamboanga Golf and Country Club

2nd Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Sepak Takraw Regu Men & Women Competition
October 7-8, 2017, Saturday-Sunday
UZ IHK Veterans Campus

3rd Zamboanga Mountain Ultramarathon 2017
October 7-8, 2017, Saturday-Sunday
Hacienda de Palmeras

This year's Chavacano song
compositions are Anthem Music.
Hermosa Cheerleading Competition
October 7, 2017, 1PM, Saturday
Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum

La Grand Procesion de la Santas Imagenes
October 7, 2017, 6PM, Saturday
Ateneo de Zamboanga University Grounds to Fort Pilar

Original Chavacano Video Music Festival 2017
October 7, 2017, 7PM, Saturday
Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar

Regional Eliminations 12th Philippine Sudoku Super Challenge
October 7, Saturday, KCC Mall de Zamboanga

2017 Zamboanga's Top Model Search, The Mannequin
October 7, 2107, 7PM, Saturday
Royce Convention Center, Grand Astoria Hotel

2017 Zamboanga Hermosa Open Weightlifting Championships
October 8-9, 2017, Sunday-Monday
UZ IHK Veterans Campus

Color Blast Fun Run and Zumba
October 8, 2017, 4:30AM, Sunday
KCC Mall de Zamboanga Centor Pastoral Parking Area

Regatta de Zamboanga 2017
October 8, 2017, 7AM, Sunday, R.T. Lim Boulevard

Wow Sardinas Grand Boodle Fight
October 8, 2017, 11AM, Sunday, R.T. Lim Boulevard

Inauguration of the Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Gym
October 8, 2PM, Sunday, Mampang

Golpe de ZamboangueƱo 2017
October 8, 2017, 4PM, Sunday
Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum

Miss Southway Square 2017
October 8, 7PM, Sunday, Astoria Plaza Ballroom

Watch this haute couture showdown
with this year's theme "Brilliantes"
KLive 2: The Reboot
October 8, 2017, 1-7PM, Sunday
Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar

Mascota de Zamboanga Competition 2017
October 8, 2017, 7PM, Sunday
Garden Orchid Hotel Theater

Mi Ciudad Limpio y Floriao
Ocotber 9, 2017, 4PM, Monday, Paseo del Mar

Zumba Dance Party
October 9, 2017, 6PM, Monday
Paseo del Mar Open Stage

Slingshot Halal Philippines
Oct 9, Garden Orchid Hotel Theater

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival Queen 2017
October 9, 2017, 7PM, Monday
Astoria Plaza, Grand Astoria Hotel

Parade of Lights (Float Competition)
October 10, 2017, 6PM, Tuesday, NuƱez Extension to City Hall Grounds

Don't miss this spectacular lights show
on October 10!
Concierto na Ayuntamiento
October 10, 2017, 7PM, City Hall Grounds

Regional Consumer Conference (RECCON 2017)
October 10, 6PM, Tuesday, Garden Orchid Hotel Theater

Balik Zamboanga Night
October 10, 2017, 7PM, Wednesday, Patio Palmeras

Zamboanga Hermosa Streetdance Competition
and Fiesta Main Program
October 11, 2017, 1PM, Wednesday
City Fire Station to Paseo del Mar

For the first time, the Streetdance Competition
is Open to all cities, provinces, and
municipalities in the region!
Feast of Our Lady Of The Pillar
October 12, 2017, Thursday, Fort Pilar Shrine

2017 Regional Inter-school Taekwondo Championships
October 12-14, 2017, Thursday-Saturday
KCC Mall de Zamboanga

28th Hot Sands Ceremonials
October 12-14, 2017, Thursday-Saturday
Lutong Pinoy Resort

2017 Regional Inter-school Taekwondo Championships
October 12-14, 2017, Thursday-Saturday
KCC Mall de Zamboanga

1st Zamboanga Hermosa Invitational Judo Tournament (The Mayor's Cup)
October 13-14, 2017, 1PM, Friday-Saturday
WMSU Gymnasium

National Darts Tournament
October 14-15, Saturday-Sunday, Tebi & Sean Sports Complex

2nd Hermosa Climb
October 14-15, 2017, 7PM, Saturday-Sunday
Tabu-Tabu Peak, Binalabag, Upper La Paz

Submit up to three photos taken during
the festival. The theme for this year
is "Zamboanga en Movimiento"
or "Zamboanga in Motion"
Danza La Vida (Street Party)
October 14, 2017, 7PM, Saturday, Yubenco Tetuan

Fiesta Hermosa Job Fair CSWDO-PESO
October 20, 2017, 8AM Friday
Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar

Hermosa Photography Competition
October 20, 5PM, Friday – Deadline of Submission
October 22, 11AM, Sunday – Exhibit
October 29, 11AM, Sunday – Awarding

Silingan Seni (Artistic Neighbor) Visual Arts Festival
October 24-25, 2017, Tuesday-Wednesday
Ateneo de Zamboanga University

Fiesta Pilar National Flowerhorn Competition
October 26-29, Thursday-Saturday, LB Supermarket Covered Parking Lot

National Youth Day 2017
November 6-10, 2017, Monday-Friday, Zamboanga City

Dia de Mayor Cesar C Climaco
 November 14, 2017, Tuesday, Climaco Freedom Park, Pasonanca

You can download a copy of the "Schematic Diagram for Proper Installation of Booster Pumps" at this link. DOWNLOAD LINK. ...

You can download a copy of the "Schematic Diagram for Proper Installation of Booster Pumps" at this link. DOWNLOAD LINK.

A. Laws on the Proper Use of Booster Pump The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004/Sanitation Code of the Philippines Per standard r...

A. Laws on the Proper Use of Booster Pump

The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004/Sanitation Code of the Philippines

Per standard regulation, the use of booster pump is actually an allowed practice for water service concessionaires in instances when it is installed in the proper manner. However, existing laws and policies have strictly prohibited the improper use thereof, wherein it is installed in such a way that it siphons off water directly from the water meter.  

Booster pumps that directly draws water from the pipelines (after the water meter) poses great health hazards to the community as the forceful flow of water could introduce harmful elements to the water supply system. The extremely vigorous flow of water often damage water meter mechanisms and in times of low water pressure, illegal use of booster pumps precludes other water concessionaires from obtaining adequate water flow from the distribution lines.

 As provided under Section 27 (0) of R.A. 9275, otherwise known as the “Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004” “Directly using booster pumps in the distribution system or tampering with the water supply in such a way as to alter or impair the water quality” is a prohibited act.

Moreover, Section 13 (e) of Presidential Decree No. 856, otherwise known as the “Code of Sanitation in the Philippines” provides that “the installation of booster pump to boost water direct from the water distribution line of a water supply system, where low-water pressure prevails is prohibited.”

B. ZCWD Policy, Rules & Regulation

Board Resolution No. 171, Series of 2004

ZCWD Board Resolution No. 171, Series of 2004 had made it clear and explicit to prohibit the use or operation of booster pumps that draw directly from the water meter. 

Further, B.R. No. 171 mandates that water service accounts found to be illegally operating or using booster pumps shall be disconnected immediately without further notice.


The following penalties are imposed for the illegal use of booster pumps (based on IRR of RA  8041):

         Classification of Account                                                        Amount

         Residential/Domestic/Government                           Php        6,350.00
         Semi-Commercial                                                                        8,850.00
         Commercial                                                                                 11,350.00


The use of booster pump may be allowed in instances where its installation is in conformity with the proper guidelines as set by existing laws and ZCWD policies, rules & regulation.

      Steps and Necessary  Equipment in the Proper Installation of Booster Pump:

       The use of booster pump should be in accord with the following guidelines:

  1. The booster pump should be installed after the water meter of the water service connection provided that a sump tank should be positioned before the booster pump.
  2. After the sump tank, an overhead tank is installed to act as reservoir of the water that is siphoned by the booster pump from the said sump tank. (Please see Schematic Diagram and/or illustrated guide in the proper installation of booster pumps pumps.) 
  3. The booster pump may also draw water from the sump tank towards lower level distribution system within the household or commercial establishment.

I was walking the downtown streets some days ago, feeling a little bit restless for reasons unknown to me specifically, at least to the o...

I was walking the downtown streets some days ago, feeling a little bit restless for reasons unknown to
me specifically, at least to the one or those that I could not pinpoint to with reasonable certainty. Perhaps this is one sort of a malady that I have read about once before in some old decrepit medical book stacked in my mother-in-laws deteriorating wooden cabinets, those that were partly eaten by termites, looking so fragile that a simple disturbance on it would let spew a handful of mashed-up and grounded wooden particles—which I find to be so repulsive knowing that they were the end results of some crawlers’ eating frenzy.

This malady is sometimes called depression or anxiety problems (they go by many names depending on the author of the medical book I read) and once in a while I retreat into this state and like water, I just have to let  go of it for I could not rein it in my hands—no matter what.

I passed by the new barbershop just in front of the old Ever theater—one that had seen better days—and I thought I might get my hair done. I stared at a glass partition from a nearby store and had an inkling that my hair wasn’t as disheveled as I thought it was. I even saw it to be fitting to me despite the general rugged look and I had thought then that moviestars have lengthy hairs even if they were males, having that blown away look. I was a little worried that if one sports a blown away and rugged crown of hair and at the same time not being a moviestar, one might be easily taken for a madman walking the streets at high noon. But that sidewalk mirror was good to me and I felt that my uncut hair would be fit for a star. Some mirrors are good to me ; mostly they are not—especially those in my bedroom.

So I passed with having a quick haircut that day and hoped that the blown away look would be fitting enough for me for quite a number of days more. I then strolled farther down the city sidewalks and came towards a crevice full of DVD stalls and I felt a little blown away after seeing so many titles available and on a dirt cheap prices at that, considering that for 80 bucks, one can get a DVD disc that contains 8 to 12 movies in it, and most of them were blockbusters and of very recent release. Some of them were not even shown yet here in local theaters. That’s how tempting it was for movie aficionados like me. I could not say now that I haven’t had scored myself some pirated items before (I had been smoking a brand of cigarette smuggled from Hongkong when I was in college) and of course, it would be unthinkable for me to not have seen a pirated movie before. I had of course.

But while I was glancing on stacks and stacks of DVD disks, my mind was swinging between the forthrightness of not buying a pirated item and having a devilish pleasure on filling my hunger for movies at throwaway prices. I could always remember that video clip that goes with every movie I rent from video stores and the loud, thundering reminder that says: “You Don’t Steal A Car! You Don’t Steal A House! You Don’t Steal A Movie!”, and somehow my inner conscience is disturbed by such that whenever that clip goes in every movie I rent, I wanted to shout at whoever that guy behind the thundering voice and belch, “Stop It! I Heard You. You Don’t Have To Remind Me That All The Time. You’re Not My Mother!”

My inner conscience had gotten the better of me that time so I just slowly walk away from stacks and stacks of salacious movies and guilty pleasures. I then remember that a new Video City branch had opened just a block away and I headed immediately towards it. The moment I had gazed through the available movie titles, I felt an immediate surge of gleefulness inside me since I hadn’t expected that the new video store could offer such voluminous number of titles, especially of recent ones. The video store where I usually get my dose of movies is so miserably lacking in inventory that I guess I won’t be visiting it from now on, except perhaps in some momentary lapse of reason in the future.

I felt like a child lost in a sea of movie titles and I almost picked up every disk that had caught my eye, until I reached the “Drama” section and there in front of me was a copy of Wong Kar Wai’s “2046” and I was excited to high heavens. It had been much talked about in the net world about how good it was and for a long time, I was trying to get my hand on a copy of it, and for a while there I thought I wouldn’t be able to see it for it would be unthinkable that it’d be exhibited in local theaters considering that it was released about three years ago. And I haven’t had seen any trace of it in every video rental store I went before.

I had anticipated this movie ever since I have grown a special fondness for oriental art films, especially those of the legendary filmmaker Zhang Zimou, whose film “Farewell To My Concubine” was so wonderfully entertaining and had primarily introduced me to other notable movies from China or Hongkong. Before that, ever since I was in high school, I had been delighted by the magic of Akira Kurosawa’s masterpieces like “Ran” and “Dreams”.

And so “2046” was about a writer who had become so engrossed about his own written piece that he saw himself being dragged into it, and feeling the pains and longings of the characters he had made himself. “2046” was a work about a train that once in a while travels towards the year “2046” and no one who goes there ever came back, except for one, the male protagonists. It is said that those who journey towards this strange destination are those who are longing for love, perhaps a kind that could not be found here at present, for how come they have to travel towards a point of no return just looking for it? What love is there out there that some have risk even their own mortal existence just to gain it? It was written by the writer that nobody actually knows how long for one to get to “2046”, for some it would be faster, but sometimes, to those unlucky travelers, it might take so long that they would start to lose their senses and sanity while inside the rain, having nothing to do except sit down and wait for the arrival time, one that is not definite and without any sign of coming. The main male protagonist in the novel had such kind of journey, one that was so lenthgy and seemingly unending that he fell in love with an android, an artificial human being stewarding the train.

The writer had his own life in the movie “2046”, a life lived sometime in the 1960’s where according to him “he just found himself to be in”. He earn his meals by writing columns and kung-fu stories for local dailies and billeted himself in a room with a door number that states “2046”. That was where he had sourced the title for his novel, a number which in his own mind had taken his fancy and unusual interest.

Along the way, he met a wife of another man named Bai Ling, who had runned away from her husband for having another woman and had rented a room just across his own. They slowly fell for each other and started a torrid affair filled with nights of passion and unhindered bliss. Until one day the woman asked him if ever he wanted to stick it out with him. But the writer wouldn’t agree to be exclusive to one single woman and stressed that he was seeing other women while he was having an affair with her. Bai Ling was furious and ended their relationship with tears flooding from her eyes and agitation painted all over her face.

They both started seeing other people and whenever they passed each other in public gatherings, they both pretend not to know each other and according to the writer, it was difficult to pretend and not notice her. It was clear that it was more difficult for Bai Ling to pretend and it showed so much in the utter sadness that found harbor in her teary eyes.

Six years later, the writer was in a relationship with a woman that had a similar name to a woman he had an affair so many years ago. It wasn’t Bai Ling, but another one who had resembled Bai Ling’s general appearance, a circumstance that had led me to ponder whether or not Bai Ling and Su Lizhen was one and the same person. The new woman eventually left the writer for some undeclared reason for she said, “she just have to go away”.

And inside a car—drunken and weary—the writer finally realized that he is starting to lose ‘the meaning of life’. He was thinking to himself and thought that six years ago, he had a chance to find the meaning of life when the beautiful Bai Ling offered herself to be his long time partner. But he had other ideas and now regretted it.

He met Bai Ling for one more time but the feeling was never the same again and it had seemed that in the end, he had entirely lose grasp on what in his mind was “the meaning of life”.

The movie “2046” eventually ignited in me the question about life and its meaning. I try to see myself in the writer’s own predicaments and evaluate if I had what he call as “the meaning of life”. Have I lost it? Or I am living it? Or perhaps, the meaning is just not clear at all.

One way or another, we all are trapped within the world we now dwell, sometimes embroiled in raucous routine everyday conducts, sometimes just swaying to where the wind blows, and often forgetting that at the end of the day, we might not be able to entirely grasp the so-called “meaning of life”. What’s in store for me when I grow old? Where am I heading? Am I happy or am I miserable?

Am I that sort of individual who would jump into a train and head to “2046”?

These are just questions and I hope that this momentary bout with depression would vanish like thin air. And then I’ll have in my full grasp the so-called “meaning of life” by then. Whatever that means.

In 1995, the Ramos government passed the National Water Crisis Act of 1995 (RA 8041) to respond to an impending nationwide water crisis. ...

In 1995, the Ramos government passed the National Water Crisis Act of 1995 (RA 8041) to respond to an impending nationwide water crisis. This law states the need for water utility in the the government to adopt urgent and effective measures to address the nationwide water crisis which adversely affects the health and well-being of the population, food production and industrialization process.

The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD), as a government water utility, is presently involved in a massive campaign to put a stop and eradicate all forms of illegalities relating to water service connections. Under Republic Act No. 8041, otherwise known as the “National Water Crisis Act of 1995”, several acts relating to water service connection are considered illegal acts that are punishable by fines and imprisonment.

These acts mainly involve direct tapping to water mains and tampering of water meters to include several other specific violations. Section 8 of R.A. 8041 provides that the following acts are considered illegal water service connections, to wit:

  1. DIRECT TAPPING OF PIPELINE/UNAUTHORIZED REOPENING OF CLOSED/ABANDONED WATER SERVICE CONNECTION - is the tapping at ZCWD pipeline without its consent or the unauthorized reopening of closed water service brought about by the non-payment of water bill/bills. This is often done by inserting garden hoses or pipes between the ZCWD main source and the customer’s distribution pipe in order to illegally draw water.
  2. DOUBLE TAPPING - refers to two or more service connections of a single dwelling/building separately tapped to ZCWD main source, one or all of which is not connected to the water meter.

  3. BYPASS CONNECTION - refers to two or more service connections of a single dwelling/building separately tapped to water mains of the water/sewer utility concerned, one or all of which is not connected to the water meter.
  4. TAMPERING OF WATER METER - refers to the insertion of wire, stick, coconut midrib, etc, or attachment of magnet to the water meter, shortening of vane wheel and the detachment of the water meter registry dials/mechanisms and meter seals in order to suppress/slow down the rotation of the meter vane or any other intentional act which may result to under registration or stoppage of the meter.
  5. REVERSED WATER METER - is the deliberate reversing of the water meter in order to alter and reduce the registration of the water consumption.
  6. ILLEGAL DISMOUNTING OF WATER METER – is the deliberate removal of water meter from the angle meter valve in order to draw water directly from the water service connection.
  7. ILLEGAL USE OF BOOSTER PUMP - is the use of pump that draws water directly from the water meter (without passing through sump tank) thus affecting the water pressure as well as the quality of water.  Illegal use of booster pump usually contaminates ZCWD water.

By Benjamin A. Buenaflor & Yusop B. Masdal, ZCWD Legal Department Campaign Against Illegal Water Service Connections The Zamboanga ...

By Benjamin A. Buenaflor & Yusop B. Masdal, ZCWD Legal Department

Campaign Against Illegal Water Service Connections

The Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) is presently involved in a massive campaign to put a stop and eradicate all forms of illegalities relating to water service connections. Under Republic Act No. 8041, otherwise known as the “National Water Crisis Act of 1995”, several acts relating to water service connection are considered illegal acts that are punishable by fines and imprisonment.

These acts mainly involve direct tapping to water mains and tampering of water meters to include specific violations termed as:

1) Unauthorized Re-Opening of Closed/Abandoned Water Service Connection
2) Direct Tapping
3) By Pass Connections
4) Tampering of Water Meter
5) Reversing of Water Meter
6) Illegal Dismounting of Water Meter
7) Illegal Use of Booster Pump

Illegal water service connections contribute to non-revenue water (NRW), water that is wasted away thru unrepaired leakages in the distribution lines as well as thru the pilfering of water meters.

In these circumstances, the viability of ZCWD is highly jeopardized, which in the end, would seriously affect the service that we provide our concessionaires and the public in general.

Furthermore, illegal water connections jeopardies water supply in general and bring great inconvenience to the community, where their prevalence resulting to low water pressure immediate vicinities. Also, these illegal connections pose health hazards in the form of contamination in the supply of water.

Considering the foregoing, the ZCWD is seeking the support of Barangays throughout the city, to be vigilant against illegal water connections and to report such incidence to our Office.  With the help of the community and the public in general, our drive against the widespread problem of illegal water connection may be successfully accomplished. B. Forms of Illegal Water Service Connections

For your information, instances of illegal water connections are the following:

  1. Direct Tapping of Pipeline or the Unauthorized Re-Opening of Closed/Abandoned Water Service Connection is the tapping at ZCWD pipeline without its consent or the unauthorized reopening of a closed water service connection brought about by the non-payment of water bills.
  2. Tampering of Water Meter is a form of illegal connection wherein the perpetrators tampers their water meter in order to reduce its registration of their consumption.
  3. By-Pass Connection is a form of illegal connection that is usually done to draw water in a way that the water meter is bypassed.
  4. Reversed Water Meter is the deliberate reversing of water meter in order to alter and reduce registration of water consumption.
  5. Illegal Dismounting of Water Meter is the deliberate removal of water meter from the angle meter valve in order to draw water directly from the water service connection; and
  6. Illegal Use of Booster Pump is the use of pump that draws water directly from the water meter (without sump tank) thus affecting the water pressure as well as the quality of water.  Illegal use of booster pump usually contaminates ZCWD water.

Republic Act No. 8041 provides that all forms of illegal water connections are punishable by imprisonment from six (6) months to two (2) years with a fine not exceeding double the amount of the value of water stolen or the value of the damaged facilities.

Moreover, it is also the policy of the ZCWD to collect from customers the value of broken or lost water meter; hence customers are advised to help the District address this form of pilferages by installing protective grills/boxes at their water meters or by checking out its condition every now and then.

Presently, the ZCWD allows compromise settlement of illegal connection cases by allowing the violators to pay the corresponding penalties as well as other administrative charges, without reaching the courts of law.

The penalties range from Php 1,000.00 to as high as Php 1,000,000.00 depending on type, extent and duration of the violation, the computation of which are based on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of R.A. 8041.