The usual suspects

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Congrats to the organizers of the very successful Summit, The Usual Suspects

Mindanao Bloggers’ Summit

I arrived shortly before 8 a.m. at the NCCC Mall for this big day. It’s the 1st Mindanao Bloggers’ Summit.

First to arrive at the conference site was Paul, a student blogger from Ateneo de Davao, then I followed. It took another ten minutes before our emcee Migs arrived. Charles came in next.

Here’s the day’s program. Tonight we unwind with a Bloggers’ party at Habana Compound.

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11% not sure

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I have no doubt that this Yehey poll reflects what most Filipinos believe about “cash gifts” being given to politicians by the Malacanang occupant.

What concerns me is the 11 percent who seemed to be in Enchanted Kingdom and not rooted in Pinas realpolitik.

Hoy gising!

(7:44 a.m.)

More than 3 times

The city-state of Singapore is so small that it can be just one of the islands in archipelagic Philippines. It has little natural wonders. Davao City is even 3-and-a-half larger than it and boasts of a number of natural attractions.

While the Philippines is happy in meeting its tourist arrival target of 3 million, Singapore has a record more than 3 times this number. And yet it is still striving hard to improve its services as a premier tourist destination.

More facilities are being built, thousands of workers being trained, and several signature events being lined up including the first night time Formula 1 race next year.


Whew! What’s wrong with Philippine tourism?

ICT Week

It’s a busy ICT Week in Davao City.

The 6th Mindanao ICT Conference opened yesterday at the NCCC Mall. I’m joining one track today as panelist on new media and information exchange.

The week started last Sunday with the e-lympic internet games at SM Mall hosted by the Internet Cafe Association of Davao. It would end on Saturday with the 1st Mindanao Bloggers Summit.

The week-long activities also include the 1st BIMP-EAGA ICT Conference which coincides with the Senior Ministers Conference of this ASEAN sub-region comprising Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Also in town are trade delegations from Darwin, Australia and Taiwan, who are likewise participating at the Davao Trade Expo (DATE 2007), the city’s biggest trade exhibit.

Kudos to the organizers led by ICT Davao Inc. and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Last year, I led the Davao City delegation at the 5th Mindanao ICT Conference at Cagayan de Oro to bid in hosting this year’s event.


Oh, oh. Where’s my post on Moral Leadership? I wrote it early this morning.

I had it posted at and davao blogspace picked it up too, but it’s nowhere to be found on my blog. please help.

Moral leadership?

Moneyed communists

My hats off to the pragmatism of this political party that has transformed the world’s most populous nation from poverty to prosperity.

The formula of the Communist Party of China is both contradictory and opportunist and yet it works: communist in politics, capitalist in economics and baptized it as socialism with Chinese characteristics!

In its ranks today of over 73 million cadres, are about 3 million entrepreneurs, who were shunned from membership in the past as “class enemies.” The Chinese elite have in their pockets today, red books and fat checks.

(5:20 a.m.)

No junket

Many councilors from all over the country are currently in the city to attend seminars on leadership and skills training organized by the Philippine Councilors League.

I am helping three groups arrange side events to maximize their stay in the city. They are from Olongapo City, Mindoro Occidental and Valencia City, Bukidnon.

I witnessed the latter group discuss their city government’s Supplemental Budget while waiting for the opening of the PCL seminar. Proof that their trip here is no junket. Kudos to the councilors from Valencia City.

(7:25 a.m.)

Peaceful Davao del Sur

I was in Davao del Sur yesterday for the birthday of my wife’s nephew in Digos City, 55 km south of Davao City.

After lunch, we proceeded to my in-laws farm in Sta. Maria, another 35 km south, where we witnessed the death of a young tarsier found by farm hands.

Other than that tragic loss, the province was a complete serene greenery of mango, coconut and sugar plantations. No troubles at all.

That is why I fully agree with its governor, Dodo Cagas, that the recent travel advisory of the Canadian Government was baseless.

I am certain that those bureaucrats in Ottawa have not been to this peaceful place. And yet they decide the fate of not just travelers but the whole province.

(5:42 a.m.)

Biggest change

The internet will go multilingual in registering domain names from the current English-centric to 11 new languages, mostly Asian like Hindi, Tamil, Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

This is seen as the biggest change in the internet since its creation.

Internet authorities say this is meant not for the current users of dot coms, dot orgs, dot nets, dot govs, but for the “next billion users.”

Campaign kitty

It is now certain that the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections would push through on October 29.

Congress is now on break and cannot pass a new law to postpone it, and here is the best proof – Malacanang has started to give out campaign funds to its loyalists, members of congress and local officials alike.

So, if you are running in the polls, better hurry to get your share of the campaign kitty from your favorite politico, never mind if the laws says the barangay elections are non-partisan.

This government, after all, does not respect our election laws.

First Malay in outer space

Godspeed to Sheikh Muszaphar Sukhor, the first Malaysian, and from the Malay race, and first Muslim to fly in outer space during this closing days of the Ramadan.

He joined a team from Russia which blasted into outer space late last night towards the International Space Station.

The 35-year old physician will do experiments on board the space station. He will also set a record of sort when he hosts a Hari Raya party on board the space station to mark the closing of the fasting month for Muslims.

(5:24 a.m.)

Money Pacquiao

What the city government of General Santos earns in one whole year, its local boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao, earned a third of it in less than one hour.

Tale of the tape:

Income – General Santos (P881 Million, 2006); Money Pacquiao (P308 Million, Oct 7)

(4:29 a.m.)

Air agreements

It has been four years since the new Davao (Bangoy) International Airport opened. And yet during this whole period no new foreign airlines entered the Davao skies.

I wonder what the national government is doing to promote this new airport, which cost us more than P4 billion.

Our own proposal for a pocket open skies for Davao to lure foreign air carriers has been gathering dust at Malacanang Palace since 2003.

There had been plenty of air talks held during the same period but I can only recall one where Davao was discussed. This was the air talks with South Korea which was held in the city.

Other than that, Davao is not being promoted by our air negotiating panel. It has also been four years ago when I proposed that Davao be represented in these air talks but again, this fell on deaf ears in Malacanang.

Clark on the other hand has been under an open skies regime, and represented in various air talks. The most recent of these are the renegotiation of air agreements with Singapore and Macau, and the new air talks with New Zealand.

We are being left out in the cold. Mga Davaoeno, Hoy Gising!