TEN – The Evening News

I love going after the niche. In business. In doing church. Being small gives you the luxury of  focusing on a certain group of people that you can care for and bring specific focus on what actually excites them. The niche is never going to be the majority, but that’s a good thing in a lot of ways.

When it comes to targeting a niche market, TEN – The Evening News on TV5 does it good. Stars Jove Francisco, Martin Andanar and Cherry Mercado, TEN is a unique blend of news, humor, light commentary and internet updates and reviews. They have a huge cult-like following among the tech savvy, young population.

Being a 3rd placer in the network war, making TV5’s newscast different is a good move. The trio do not try to be Ces Drillon or Arnold Clavio and the rest of their counterparts in the other huge networks. They tried to be different and successful in doing so.

If you’re a TEN fanatic, here’s the sad news, though: there’s a rumor circulating on the internet that Manny Pangilinan, PLDT’s big boss who bought TV5 recently, is planning to sack TEN for a traditional newscast (some say for an RPN9 type of newscast). And of course, if you’re like me, you’ll disagree that it’s a bad move. TV5 will loose it’s niche and will just be “one of them”.

My “insider” claims, though, that it’s not yet too late. If we can bug Manny Pangilinan enough, maybe he’ll change his mind. So, if you’re a TEN supporter, post a comment here. Let’s try to keep TEN alive. :D

Mayweather v Pacquiao: It’s the RICE, Floyd

The Mayweathers
The Mayweathers

This blog, Resurgence 2.0, is subtitled “Theology. Technology. Politics. Whatever”. “Whatever” means sports, actually. So here’s my open letter to Mr. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. with regards to the recent controversy with Manny Pacquaio not giving in to his demand for random blood testing.

* * *

Dear Mr. Floyd Mayweather,

Greetings from here in the Philippines.

The moment I heard about your dad’s accusations last September of Manny Paquiao using Performance Enhancement Drugs (PEDs) or steroids, I laughed because I know he’s missing the main reason behind Manny’s great strength. Then you followed through, and your uncle, the Golden Boy and then the rest of the sports media. You are all making me laugh really hard!

You’re all amazed. You thought it’s not natural to have extra human strength as this. So, as what a typical American will conclude, it must be some type of drug that does this.

Floyd, it’s not the PED, it’s the RICE!

You have to understand this. You see, I grew up in a province north of Manila, Nueva Ecija, considered as the rice capital of the Philippines. I have a first-hand knowledge of this. When I was a kid, I have some classmates who have extra-human strength. They run faster, jump higher. They would always win track and field events, or win huge amount of money bets on street basketball. Our elders would ask, “Anong bigas ba ang kinakain ng batang ‘yan?!” (What kind of rice does that kid eat?!) So you see, there’s different kinds of rice, and there are some types of rice that makes one acquire extra-human abilities. It is well known in our town that the darker the rice is, the better it is to provide strength. Floyd, it’s in the rice.

If only you’ll see the workers we call “kargador” or “pahinante”. These people, at an average height of 5″3′ to 5″5’ can carry 2 to 3 sacks of rice on their backs all at the same time. The meanest can carry 4 sacks! That’s around 150 to 200 kilos — super human strength. What you do not know is that the same rice that they carry gives them super strength!

We also have here in Los Banos, Laguna, in a university south of Manila, a laboratory that invents different kinds of rice breeds. You know what, they keep improving our rice! It makes our people stronger by the day.

So I can’t understand why you keep on accusing Manny Pacquiao of using PED when it’s actually the RICE that makes him strong. Stronger than fighters, including you sir, who are bigger than himself. In fact, it is typical here in the Philippines for smaller guys to beat up bigger guy. Anyone who’s well trained in the farms and eat plenty of our rice can beat up any bigger guys in school.

Instead of pointing to PEDs, I suggest you ask GBP to include in the contract a way to test our rice. Maybe the kind of breeding process our rice undergo is not normal, or against international practices and standards. Because it’s in the rice, sir! It’s in the rice.

Or better yet, start eating rice — FILIPINO RICE, so you and Manny can have a level field if ever you guys will still meet in the ring.

Oh, by the way, aside from FILIPINO RICE, it’s the FILIPINO PRIDE that makes Manny stick to what he believes is right. In my opinion, our pride as a nation is bigger than $40M. Some sports columnists couldn’t believe why Manny would let go of the biggest paycheck for that silly little blood test. You don’t get it — because you’re not a Filipino. For you it’s just all about the money.

Please read these 2 great articles written by an American writer married to a Filipina about Manny Pacquiao and the Filipino Pride — here and here.

I hope this letter reaches you. I know you guys won’t anymore meet come March 13. In any case, I hope you’ll try our RICE for your next fight.

Sincerely,

Arnold “The Sinandomeng Eater” Gamboa

Let’s talk about corruption: My theory

Here’s my first theory: corruption is caused by poor government service systems.

So it was time for my triennial renewal of driver’s license. Admittedly, I screwed up a lot of times in those 3 years. So my LTO renewal process was cut off, I had to go to MMDA to settle my differences with their traffic personnel — well, basically to pay violation fees.

My dad and I went to MMDA. (Why my dad was there is another story. Let’s just say, I miss my dad. I acted like a freshman college student who needs their parents with the enrollment).

Let’s cut to the chase: we spent 4 hours just to pay for 2 tickets — one of which is legit, another is an error they made. 4 hours. If you’re a busy man, or even if you’re not, 4 hours is just too much.

Why is this inefficiency causing corruption? Let me tell you two things why:

1. The day before, we saw the huge number of people lined up. A guy outside, apparently a fixer, told us that it will take 4 hours for us to finish the job. (He was accurate, we later found out). So, he offered “help”. He said he knew people from the inside that can work on our papers and bypass the process. For a “fee” of P1300, we’ll get our papers done in 30 mins. and we’ll go home happy. Ah, there were employees INSIDE the office that works this way, eh?

If the process inside this office is efficient, do you think fixers will exist? Do you think this crooked MMDA employees will have their way into corruption?

There’s Window #2, the process where they will check your name on the computer for your violations. It took us the whole 2 hours to wait for that. Within the first 30 minutes, the people waiting for the result swelled to a hundred — enough to start a worship service for traffic violators.

Can this part of the process be improved? I think so. If they know the volume of people that needs checking of papers, why will them employ just a couple of people on that station? (To think that these same guys are the same people that deal with fixers! Oh yeah! We saw it ourselves how they accept the papers from the “outside”.) In my assessment, if the process is efficient, you can have your papers done in less than 30 mins! No fixers, no corruption inside this office — Bayani Fernando’s former office, the same guy who says he has the political will to stop corruption. That’s another story.

2. Corruption starts on the streets too! I know this first hand — I’ve rejected it a lot of times, and honestly, sometimes I got sucked into it, too. If the apprehension is valid, the driver is tempted to bribe the apprehending officer. Sometimes, if not most of the times, though, the apprehending officer is just cocky and will apprehend motorist for the sake of the bribe. Both ways, bribing happens. Why? Because the driver knows the hustle of lining up and paying for your violation fees. The more convenient way is to bribe. And everyone, and I mean everyone inside this organization wants bribe.

If the process is simple and efficient, the motorist will just pay the violation honestly. No bribing the officers. No officers will receive the bribe. No apprehensions just for the sake of bribes. (Don’t say the Metrobank payment process is efficient. I have a 2007 ticket paid at Metrobank, and still their records show I haven’t paid it. Of course I lost the receipt already — no choice but to pay again. Imagine the hustle when you renew your LTO license and be redirected to MMDA because of their inefficient payment system?)

This office reflects most of the government offices. Imagine if every government offices will be efficient in their services? Could we say that we can eradicate corruption, at least on the ground? Let see if the new president starting 2010 can fix that.

All said and done, I’m going to LOOVVE my driver’s license from now on. I’m NOT going to give it to any cocky MMDA officers especially if I know they’re just in for the bribe. I’m always going to bring camera phones to scare them off. :D

MMDA.jpeg

Tips on filling up your gas tank

Disclaimer: I’m not sure how true these are. I honestly just ripped this off other blogs (and a pretty common information circulating in emails). But since gasoline prices are at all time high, we can desperately try anything that can save us gas. So, Here are some tricks to help you get your money’s worth.

1. Fill up your car or truck in the morning when the temperature is still cool.

2. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground; and the colder the ground, the denser the gasoline. When it gets warmer gasoline expands, so if you’re filling up in the afternoon or in the evening, what should be a gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and temperature of the fuel (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products) are significant.

Every truckload that we load is temperature- compensated so that the indicated gallonage is actually the amount pumped.

A one-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for businesses, but service stations don’t
have temperature compensation at their pumps.

If a tanker truck is filling the station’s tank at the time you want to buy gas, do not fill up; most likely dirt and sludge in the tank is being stirred up when gas is being delivered, and you might be transferring that dirt from the bottom of their tank into your car’s tank.

3. Fill up when your gas tank is half-full (or half-empty), because the more gas you have in your tank the less air there is and gasoline evaporates rapidly, especially when it’s warm. (Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating ‘roof’ membrane to act as a barrier between the gas and the atmosphere, thereby minimizing evaporation. )

4. If you look at the trigger you’ll see that it has three delivery settings: slow, medium and high. When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to the high setting. You should be pumping at the slow setting, thereby minimizing vapors created while you are pumping. Hoses at the pump are corrugated; the corrugations act as a return path for vapor
recovery from gas that already has been metered. If you are pumping at the high setting, the agitated gasoline contains more vapor, which is being sucked back into the underground tank, so you’re getting less gas for your money.