Soya and sperm

This is one scientific study that I cannot simply agree with.

Soya reduces sperm count.

Ha ha ha! Many of the world’s most populous countries are bean curd-eating nations in Asia.

This clearly disproves that Oriental males are less fertile.

8:44 a.m.

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Paking Rabat

At the City Council this morning, I learned from media colleagues that former basketball star and veteran politician Francisco “Paking” Rabat of Mati, Davao Oriental passed away last weekend. He was 74.

The Davao Region lost one of its most colorful leaders. He served as Vice Governor and Governor of the Davao Oriental Province during the martial law period. After the people power revolt that threw away his close friend Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, he became mayor of the capital town. Mati bacame a city last year just in time for Paking to retire from politics to give way to his daughter Michele, the new city mayor.

Paking and his wife, the ex-beauty queen Edith Napkil Rabat, were so close to the Marcoses that the dictator built an airport in Mati during martial law. The airport was one of the vanity projects of the military regime that was never ever used for any commercial operation. It is idle to this day.

Paking rose to prominence during his younger days as a tall and handsome basketball player at the Ateneo de Manila. He became a member of the famous 1954 Philippine basketball team that won the bronze medal at the World Basketball Championship held in Brazil. It was the highest award ever reached by a Filipino basketball squad. He proved to be an outstanding rebounder during the games.

One of the wealthiest men in the Davao Region with vast coconut plantations and other businesses in Davao Oriental, Paking was known to be easy going, friendly and a man of the masses. At his prime, his cars were said to have more room for beer than any guest rider. Mati is about three hours ride from Davao City and he reportedly sips his favorite beer from end to end.

I last met the illustrious governor in Mati last year when his province hosted the Davao Region Business Conference. His son Louie, also a former basketball star at Ateneo, heads the province’s Chamber of C ommerce. He was already sickly at the time. In fact, he did not deliver the welcome remarks during the conference due to sore throat. It was Mati Councilor Alan Andrada who welcomed us. I taught Alan how to blog but I lost touch with him thereafter.

Although he was considered as the political king of the province, he did make political enemies in his long political life. After a failed gubernatorial comeback, Paking’s province saw a string of three lady governors. Whether friends or foes, I am sure many in the province and the whole of Mindanao would surely miss Paking, the “Rajah of Rebounds” when there was no Shaq or Yao Ming yet.

5:02 p.m.

Hand signs

Oh, um . . . Am I in trouble here?!!

I just clapped my hands and gave a thumbs up for the Chief Justice and took my hats off for Angelo Que in my previous posts. Did I do something wrong?

Well, we need to be careful with our hand signs. Some people might misinterpret them and we might end up like pro athletes who are being fined or watched for hand signals used by gangs.

I wonder if fist bumps are consider as gang signs …!

America may be the land of the free. But they can’t seem to use their hands there creatively.

7:30 a.m.

American Idol Season 8

The search for the next American Idol has commenced.

Because the first of the series of auditions was held at the Cow Palace in Daly City, “the Philippine City” in San Francisco, many Filipino-Americans made it with their entry wristbands, and hoping to pass the first round.

With many talented Fil-Ams trying their luck in this popular TV show, I would not be surprised if one day we will have an American Idol with Pinoy lineage.

In the last season, Ramiele Malubay was at the Top 9.

12:51 p.m.

Miss Universe 2008

Don’t miss the Miss Universe 2008 pageant this morning in Vietnam (prime time Sunday night in the US east coast).

Our bet is Binibining Pilipinas titleholder Jennifer Barrientos from San Mateo, Rizal.

The Philippines holds two Miss Universe titles – Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Davao-based Margie Moran in 1973. The first Miss Universe in 1952 – Armi Kuusela from Finland married a Filipino and for sometime was based in Manila.

Which countries have the most beautiful women in the world? The Philippines ranked only 20th. Disappointed? Me too! Check the list.

7:18 a.m.

Update:

Sorry folks, the Philippines did not even make it to the Top 15.

Miss USA trips again.

The eventual winner is Miss Venezuela. Congratulations!

Fourth of July

The Association of Descendants of American and Filipino Veterans and Masons in Davao City will mark tomorrow, July 4, the Filipino-American Friendship Day with a memorial at the Davao American and Masonic Cemetery at Father Selga St.

I received an invitation from its chair, Anthony Lutz, who wrote that this wil be the first time that they will pay tribute and honor the veterans on this historic occasion.

There are over 250 American citizens, veterans and masons buried at the cemetery just beside the city’s Catholic cemetery. A former Davao City Mayor, Pantaleon Pelayo, Sr. (served in 1940-41) and three City Councilors, Federico Opada (1938-41), Tiburcio Cervantes (1948-51) and Desiderio Dalisay, Sr. (1950-54) were buried in this cemetery.

The US marks July 4 as its independence day although the American Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 2.

The Philippines used to celebrate it own independence day on July 4 but changed it to June 12. Hence the fourth of July is now celebrated as Filipino-American Friendship Day.

5:45 a.m.

Pro bono

I am 101 percent agreeable to the proposal for lawyers to render more pro bono legal services to the poor. This is to advance the adage that those “with less in life should have more in law” in the dispensation of justice.

If there are millions of Filipinos who have not been served by doctors, there certainly are equally millions too who have not been assisted by legal counsels. They have a common reason – no money to afford such services.

The proposal for the free legal services discussed at the Supreme Court forum is indeed most welcome.

But I believe that such pro bono service should not be given for those persons who feigned ignorance of the law.

Like this particular person who owns Queensland Motel in Davao.

The Queensland controversy had been with us for more than two years now. To claim that he does not know the law is pure alibi and seeks to win support by picturing himself as an underdog.

Sorry sir, your antics would not work to skirt the law. You have to answer for your folly of illegally reclaiming land that is not yours, and undertaking a construction project without the necessary permits from both the city government and the Philippine Reclamation Authority.

And in spite of repeated cease-and-desist orders, you openly flaunted your arrogance by continuing your construction.

I do not support proposals for government to confiscate his property. I concur with the PRA to compel the Queensland owner to restore to the original state portions of Times Beach which he reclaimed.

6:04 a.m.