Monthly Archives: June 2008

We all live on Avenue Q

Grown-up “Sesame Street.” “Rent” minus the AIDS. “Friends” with puppets. These are some of the things that have been used to describe Avenue Q, and they’re all true.  What nobody ever fails to point out, however, is that the show is very, very fun to watch. Any show that comes with a parental advisory “Full Puppet Nudity” is bound to be fun.

The characters are twenty-something to early thirties college graduates trying to make their way in the adult world. Almost everyone can find something to respond to in the themes that the show tackles: relationships, careers, the search for purpose, the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Who hasn’t felt as Kate Monster did, as she sang oh-so-heart-breakingly,

I guess if someone doesn’t love you back
it isn’t such a crime
But there’s a fine, fine line
between love,
and a waste of your time

And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore
For my own sanity I’ve got to close the door
And walk away

Who hasn’t wallowed in self-pity and chose to mope around and hide from the world like Princeton did, when everything in his career and personal life seemed to be going wrong? All of us should have friends who would get us off our asses, telling us,

“There is life outside your apartment,
but you’ve got to open the door!”

Who wouldn’t laugh out loud at Trekkie Monster, ruining Kate’s song by blurting out,

“The internet is for porn. Porn, porn, porn!”

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cozy, coffee, and me

I have to say, I love the Starbucks Diliman-Matalino branch. The newest friendly neighborhood café of the UP Diliman/Teachers’ Village crowd who, for the longest time, had to hie over to Katipunan or Timog to get to a Starbucks. It’s got that cozy student feel to it, with one corner looking like a library with its table big enough for six which comes complete with two study lamps. For laptop-toting folks, there are electric outlets everywhere, even outside in the smoking area. Wifi connection, however, is still through Globequest (why can’t they all be free, like what they did at the Araneta Center?)

People walk in with their laptops and books and nod at those already settled inside, as if they belong to the same class, or maybe part of the coffee shop’s regulars. I wonder if I’m sitting on someone’s table right now, getting seriously in the way of a review for a remedial law exam. I don’t care. I’m all settled here with my mocha and my laptop, and after posting this one, I have an article to write. It’s all good 🙂

House passes RE Bill!

With a vote of 192-yes, 3-no, and 0 abstentions, the House of Representatives approved the Renewable Energy Bill on third reading this afternoon, on the last day of the current session.

Over at the Senate, it was decided to continue deliberations on the bill when Congress resumes session in late July.

So now, the mission is clear: pester the Senate!

mixed feelings

At close to midnight yesterday, June 10 – that is, a couple of hours ago as I type this, the House of Representatives approved the Renewable Energy Bill on second reading. They’re targeting third reading approval by today, June 11. Yey, yey, yey! (Forgive me for not being more articulate. It’s half-past-one in the morning and I’ve just spent most of the day hanging out at Congress).

It was certainly the most action-packed Congress session I’ve ever witnessed. And no, it was not because of the RE Bill, but because of the bill on the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). It’s also a very frustrating time for the agrarian reform campaign, because the CARP expires June 10 and Congress hasn’t passed an extension yet, let alone a replacement/improved program. At some point, bedlam ensued at one side of the gallery, with the farmers’ groups suddenly erupting in protest, some jumping the gallery barriers in an attempt to penetrate the session floor. Session was hastily suspended while the gallery was cleared, but the farmers were clearly very emotional at that point and there was a lot of shouting and arguing for a few minutes. I watched the proceedings with mixed feelings; one part of me fearing that this would delay the RE Bill, another part realizing that the plight of the farmers is also a very valid and urgent concern. I’ve been feeling frustrated at the erratic progress of the RE Bill, but I cannot even begin to imagine the level of the farmers’ frustration.

Exhibit day yesterday and D-Day today

Scenes from yesterday’s opening of the three-day World Environment Day Exhibit at Greenbelt 3 Concierge Area, where the Renewable Energy Coalition is one of the exhibitors. I just have to say that our booth was the most fun, because of the give-away “Renewables Now!” toy pinwheels and and baller bands. The freedom board asking people to sign to show their support for renewables was also filled up in no time.

Trivia: Throughout the day I was idly hoping for a celebrity or two to walk by so we can snap their photo with a pinwheel or baller band or while signing the freedom board. No such thing happened, but apparently, when we left the booth later in the afternoon to go to the cocktails/opening ceremonies at the other end of the hall, Bianca Araneta-Elizalde passed by and spent a good five or so minutes reading the posters and the freedom board while holding her baby. After a while her husband came, and she handed the kid to him and proceeded to write a big “Pass the bill – Bianca Elizalde” on the poster. All this time, the guy at the next booth kept fretting and looking around and wondering where we were because it was such a Kodak moment. He went to the cocktails and told me all about it, and while he was talking I saw Bianca herself making beso-beso with someone at the cocktails before going off to her car. She was wearing this pretty flowing green dress too, match pa sa booth colors namin. Sayang.

This afternoon the team will split up and go off to the House of Representatives and the Senate to monitor developments, because the Renewable Energy Bill is on the agenda for plenary discussions in both congresses. Today’s news reports quote Sen. Angara and House Speaker Prospero Nograles saying that the RE Bill is one of two bills likely to be passed before Congress breaks for recess (the other one is the Personal Equity Retirement Account or PERA Bill). They have until tomorrow, the last day of session, to do it. I hope it happens today.

Renewables Now!

During Earth Day last year, I and some friends at the Renewable Energy Coalition joined the celebrations at the EarthDay Jam street party in T. Morato, Quezon City giving out these babies:

The “Renewables Now!” baller ID calls for a more aggressive development of the country’s renewable energy resources in order to promote energy security and a cleaner environment. Specifically, it symbolizes the call for Congress to pass the Renewable Energy Bill, which would provide incentives and mechanisms needed to speed up renewable energy development.

One year later, we’re still waiting.

A couple of decades later, actually. The earliest form of the Renewable Energy Bill, then called the bill on “non-conventional” energy, was filed around 19 years ago. So this thing has been nineteen years in the making now. Seriously.

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