Always check your passport’s expiry date if you plan to travel.

It could cause you to miss your wedding.

(6:39 a.m.)

Peter, Pieter

SoAfrican Ambassador

The South African ambassador to the Philippines reacts to my welcome greetings to him and his wife. He said “Oh you have a very good name!”

His own name: Pieter!

His excellency is Pieter Andries Vermeulen. He is visiting Davao with his wife Chrisna. Acting City Mayor Sara Duterte hosted a welcome dinner for the couple Wednesday night. With us also was Patmei Ruivivar, Chief of Staff of Mayor Rody Duterte.

Thanks to Bing Gonzales (of Mindanao Daily Mirror and Inquirer) for this nice shot. (5:54 a.m.)

Bad news

Bad news for the BPO industry which our city is trying to promote.

The country’s ranking as BPO investment destination has slipped to 8th place from 3rd after India and China.

Now, it is outranked by Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. If we wont shape up, Bulgaria, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam are closely at our tail.

The 6th Mindanao ICT Summit should take this matter seriously in its October meeting here.

The reasons for the downgrade – political instability, infrastructure weaknesses and low IT maturity.

(5:22 a.m.)

Posted in ICT. 6 Comments »

Hello Garci, Hi Citizen Etta!

Citizen Etta Rosales, three-term representative of Akbayan, and a tireless human rights advocate has written her analysis of the recent May 2007 election.

She batted anew for electoral reforms in the light of “unsettled and unsettling issues.”

One of this is the scandal “Hello Garci” regarding the massive cheating that denied Fernando Poe, Jr. the presidency in 2004.

The ink on Etta’s paper has hardly dried out when the Senate called for the re-opening of the Garci tapes investigation after a witness has finally spilled the rotten beans.

Etta’s write up will be featured in the September issue of the Human Rights Forum and should be a good reference material for this Senate probe. (5:29 a.m.)

50 million tourists?

When former Manila mayor Lito Atienza was recently appointed as environment secretary, it drew flak from various sectors, particularly environmentalists.

Now, he is drawing flak from the tourism industry.

PhilStar has this report today:

Atienza said he is confident that ecotourism will be a “very, very big attraction” in the country.

The DOT is targeting three million international tourists this year, but “at some point in time,” Atienza said, it is “possible” this will reach 50 million.”

50 Million? My foot!

Atienza is not only dreaming while wide awake. He is hallucinating.

We know for a fact that there is simply no way to bring in 50 million tourists with our lack of air seat capacity. With a protected local airline industry, this goal is simply unreachable.

Also, we know for a fact that when he was mayor of the country’s capital, Atienza’s brand of ecotourism is to litter the Manila Baywalk with eateries of his cronies, including tax dodgers, and converting parks into parking spaces!

(6:30 a.m.)

Tourist stats

Tourism arrivals in the Philippines increased by 7.6 percent during the first semester.

On the other hand, Macau’s visitor arrivals from southeast Asia alone have leaped 68.92 percent.

Visitors in the Philippines reached 1.5 million during the first six months.

Macau, which has less tourist attractions than the Philippines, has more than 12 million!

That’s more than 2 million a month!

Key reason – more flights to the Chinese enclave.

Here, government would rather protect local air carriers than open the skies for more foreign airlines. Thus, the marked difference in our tourist traffic. Our whole year’s goal of 3 million tourists can be achieved by Macau in less than two months.

(4:50 a.m.)

Josie San Pedro

Josie San Pedro will be laid to rest this morning.

She finally succumbed to the Big C which she courageously fought for several years now.

A contemporary of my father (who died also of cancer 20 years earlier), Tita Josie was a real inspiration to many Davaoeños.

English teacher, journalist, civic leader, government servant, and publisher. For her outstanding service, she was given the Datu Bago Awards many years ago. It is the highest honor for citizens of Davao City.

Goodbye Tita Josie!

(8:09 a.m.)