Imbak para sa Enero, 2009

Why did the Philippines not attend the World’s Happiest Party?

The annual Hong Kong Chinese New Year Parade was held on the 26th of January 2009 at Tsim Sha Tsui. Sponsored by Cathay Pacific, the spectacle was dubbed as the “World’s Happiest Party.”worldshappiestpartyThere were local floats and performers but there were foreign participants as well. I saw representatives from Macau, mainland China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Russia, Latin America and even Africa! However, I was disappointed not to see one from the Philippines. I thought, since the Philippines is in the proximity of Hong Kong, someone from the Department of Tourism (DOT) or the Philippine Consulate would have thought of joining this internationally renowned parade. I bet it’s a good way to promote our country since tourists from all over the world, like the sweet Italian couple to my left, the pretty South Korean ladies to my right, the hyperactive German kids on my front, and the elderly Swiss tour group behind me, witness this parade every year. It is also a chance to somehow change the sterotypical domestic helper image of the Filipino in Hong Kong—not that there is something wrong about being a DH, but not all Filipinos who go here are domestic helpers.

I don’t know the politics and bureaucracy involved in enlisting for this parade and I am not sure if the Philippines has sent representatives in the past but we sure are passing a good opportunity by not ‘partying at the World’s Happiest’.


Here are some of the pictures I took during the parade.





A new hide for this cow

I found my way to the blogosphere exactly a year ago on 24 January 2008. Being a new Overseas Filipino Worker then, I was so irked by Memorandum Circular No. 4 (MC No. 4) issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that I had to vent out lest suffer a heart attack. Having very few friends in Hong Kong that time, I decided to publish my frustrations on this issue via WordPress. After a few more posts on the same topic and a dozen or so comments from Filipinos who are scattered around the world, I discovered the therapeutic effects of blogging. Posting my thoughts on WordPress has kept me sane in this foreign land for the past one year. I hope other OFWs would discover this delight as well. Working far and away from your loved ones is really difficult if you don’t know how to deal with it.

Initially, I thought blogging would just be another one of those ningas cogon ventures I am notorious at taking. Ningas cogon is a Filipino figure of speech that roughly translates to “good at the start, but cannot follow through or finish.” But here I am with my 1st year anniversary post. This cash cow is still alive and mooing! Not so bad for an inexperienced writer huh?

…So to mark this humble achievement of mine, I have changed the theme and header of Milking the Cash Cow. I hope you like the alteration. Thus, I bid goodbye to the old format:


Chinese delicadeza and justice

Here is an example of delicadeza, in the Filipino sense of the word: Yesterday, former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian’s son, Chen Chih-chung, daughter-in-law, Huang Jui-ching, and brother-in-law, Wu Ching-mao, pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering.They were obviously full of remorse.

…and here is an example of proper justice: Today, culprits behind the China melamine scandal were sentenced at the Intermediate People’s Court in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern Hebei Province. Sanlu ex-chairwoman, Tian Wenhua, was sentenced to life imprisonment for producing or selling fake or substandard products. Two other defendants were given the death penalty! Other persons involved in the case were also slapped with jail terms.

A similar sense of delicadeza is absent in the Philippines. Swift justice is also a myth in our country. Erap and his plunder case for example took about 6 years to resolve. He was found guilty but until now he claims he is innocent and that he was just a victim of political manipulation. My blood boils whenever I hear him with his blah blahs. Why was he given executive pardon in the first place?.. another story of lack of delicadeza huh?

I really envy the Chinese!


San Agustin visited

I included Intramuros in my itinerary when I went home for the holidays last December. I am an admirer of grand old Philippine churches. One of my favorites is the San Agustin Church located inside the former walled city. I remember last year when my wife’s friend got married in this baroque church—that in a small chapel near the main altar, I got my first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the founder of Manila. It was slightly surreal for me. In the chapel were the remains of an important figure in Philippine history.

The UNESCO marker on the left side of the church front yard states:

One of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines inscribed in 1993 on the World Heritage List pursuant to the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

The Church of San Agustin possesses exceptional universal value that deserves protection for the benefit of humanity.


However, there was something new to me. The church facade was painted… is that peach? Is that normal? Is that the original color? Is that part of heritage conservation? Honestly, I prefer the walls without any cosmetic.


I bet my friend Nold would have some inkling about this interesting front wall color; or if you know what’s happening would you please tell me?


Here are some references about San Agustin:


...sapagkat ang gobyerno natin ay may "cash cow mentality" pagdating sa mga Overseas Filipino Workers.

(Read On "Milking the Cash Cow")

...sapagkat ako ay isa ring OFW; may mithiin, marunong magisip at nagnanais marinig... Makabagong bayani daw... Sa totoo'y tampok na gatasan ng pamahalaan. (English)

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