Monthly Archives: April 2007

look for the green band

Pending at Congress right now is the Renewable Energy Bill, which provides incentives and mechanisms to promote the development of renewable (and cleaner!) sources of energy in the country (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, etc.), lessening the country’s dependence on traditonal fossil fuel sources. The bill has been passed at third reading at the House, and at the Senate, it’s been approved at the committee level but still awaiting plenary sponsorship.

The earliest version being filed in 1989. After almost two decades, Congress still hasn’t gotten around to actually passing the thing, and this is the closest that it’s ever come. With the May elections looming, there are only 4 session days remaining (June 4 to 8, unless they call a special session) before the 13th Congress comes to a close, and then it’s back to square one for the RE Bill when the new Congress convenes sometime July.

Things aren’t looking very good for RE Bill advocates right now, but with 4 days, technically it’s still possible. At the EarthDay Jam concert at Tomas Morato Strip last Friday, renewable energy baller IDs were given out in efforts to help popularize the campaign for the bill. It’s apple green, and says “Renewables NOW!” and I’m wearing one right now.

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So who else was wearing one that night?

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Ms Philippines-Earth with RE campaigners Shivah and Ross

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callalily

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kitchie nadal

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itchyworms

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jet pangan

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brownman revival – nah, this was at another earth day concert the next day. but i’m sure they would have worn the band, he he.

Slideshow. I love this new feature 🙂

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be the change

Okay, who wants to spend hours working under potentially chaotic conditions, poring over smudged columns of numbers, doing shifts at odd hours, and all without pay?

Apparently, I do.

7 PM last night saw me and Don trooping to Ateneo de Manila in answer to an open call for volunteers for the Namfrel Operation Quick Count for this coming election. The full page ad said: “We are looking for 1 million people who will fight for this country.” And, seriously, sappy as it may sound, that’s the exact sort of stuff that I find hard to resist. I’m actually an anti-social person by personality, but I’m a sucker for patriotism.

The Namfrel quick count is just one of the suite of activities one can volunteer for, but one can also do stuff related to voters education, campaign monitoring, canvass watching, or poll watching, among other things. I’ve been thinking of doing some election-related volunteer work this May and was just looking for the opportunity, and this one seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.

Looking at the group that filled Escaler Hall to overflowing that night, I suddenly felt so old. Right. The fact that the group maintains a Multiply site should have given me a clue on its major demographic. Majority appeared to be students, save for a few nuns and some middle-aged people sitting at the back row. I was thankful that I didn’t have a client meeting that day and was able to wear jeans to the office, or I would have looked quite odd sitting on the floor listening to the presentations. Sitting on the floor was no problem, of course, it’s a skill honed by years of hanging out at AS Hall corridors, Main Library nooks, and the various available flat surfaces at Mass Comm.

The turn out was apparently a pleasant surprise to the organizers, who ran out of sign up sheets and had to adjust the process of signing up to accommodate everybody as fast as possible. Still, the Quezon City Namfrel chapter needs 2,736 volunteers to serve 4-hour shifts during the nonstop tabulation of results starting on May 14 and ending on May 20. We signed up for the first shift, 8 PM on May 14. After that, well, let’s see how it goes.

One of the speakers said that contrary to popular notion, the problem afflicting the citizenry is not so much apathy but rather a sense of disempowerment. It’s not that they don’t care what’s happening to this country, they do, it’s just that they don’t think that there’s anything they can that will make any difference. Well, I care about what’s happening to this country, and I’m not willing to just take it sitting down, and nothing will change if nobody’s even willing to make any effort.

As the old quote and Namfrel slogan goes, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” I know I’m lighting quite a tiny candle with this endeavor, but the point is, I AM lighting that candle.

Interested would-be volunteers can check out the Volunteers for Clean Elections site at http://vforce.multiply.com/ for the latest updates and volunteer opportunities.

buhay-baboy

My apologies to Catholics who shun meat on Lent but there really is no better way to describe what I am about to indulge in these next few days. I go home to Bulacan tonight to start my vacation (instead of flying off to Bohol last Saturday as originally planned, but that’s another story). Buhay-baboy usually sets in within the first five minutes of my stepping through the door, when I hug my mother and ask her what’s for dinner (and she tells me that I’m getting so fat already, but that’s yet another story, another rant). The rest of my stay home will consist of a cycle of reading, sleeping, eating, watching tv – usually in that order. Oh I have some well-intentioned tasks lined up: go with my mother to her doctor’s check up, go swimming, try out a pasta recipe, practice my driving, but so far it’s just that. A list of good intentions. And we all know where that road leads.

Buhay-baboy is a pretty beloved concept. A few months ago, our new HR manager was asked to give a presentation to all employees on her plans and projects for HR. Everyone listened politely while she walked us through her slides on job diagnostic surveys, training needs assessments, hiring processes, but it wasn’t until she got to the summer R & R part that people’s interest were really awakened. She presented this concept of the summer outing involving team-building and other activities. Re-living fond memories of the previous Boracay summer outing, somebody piped up, “Ganon, hindi na tayo buhay-baboy?” The HR manager diplomatically explained, “well, team-building exercises are really useful and we need to yada-yada.” A short silence followed her spiel, and then there was this chorus of protesting noises, “Hindi, buhay-baboy pa rin,” “Gusto ko buhay-baboy,” “Anong team building-team building?”

The HR manager left the company after a couple months. That’s probably another story, but I’m just saying. Never mess with people’s buhay-baboy plans.

 

(Of course, while I’m writing this, my more benevolent side is nagging at me, telling me, shame on you, it’s the Holy Week, you should spend it in prayers, in reflection, in worship. I will do those things, and you should too. Seriously. But I’d be lying to myself if there won’t be huge chunks of buhay-baboy involved too).