30 April 2010

The Battle of the Social Networking Sites

These are  recently the top 6 social networking sites based on the number of users:
6. Orkut - 100M users; owned by Google; named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Buyukkokten; Popular in India and Brazil; blocked in Iran and Saudi Arabia due to the countries' censorship drive

5. Twitter - 105M users; sometimes described as the SMS of social networking because of the 140-character-only way of updating status or communicating with friends, known in twitter as followers.

4. Friendster - 115M users; founded by Jack Dorsey in 2006; more popular in Southeast Asia; the top subscribers are from the Philippines

3. 51 - 120M users(in China alone); the audience is a nation: China; (facebook and twitter are both banned in China so they have their own)

2. MySpace - 185M users; a sort of virtual audition stage to debut new tracks, share information or arrange special shows for fans of unsigned bands or musicians

1. Facebook - 400M users; founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students; The idea for Facebook came from his days at Phillips Exeter Academy which, like most colleges and prep schools, had a long-standing tradition of publishing an annual student directory with headshot photos of all students, faculty and staff known as the "Facebook"; it just started as a Harvard thing and became popular in othe universities and colleges; because of Facebook, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (born May 14, 1984) has now a networth of $4 billion.
           A book based on the founding of Facebook has been published, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. This book has now been adapted into a movie, The Social Network, which will be released in October 2010, starring Jesse Eisenberg (as Mark Zuckerberg) and Justin Timberlake.
 Mark Zuckerberg

funny animated short story about social network war:

sources: wikipedia.org, onlinemarketingblog.com, news.discovery.com, imdb.com

Choosing Your Government Leaders

Now is the time to vote responsibly. Filipinos need a good leader now more than ever. Here is a guide to all the things the voters should know and some information about our presidential candidates published by the Philippine Online Chronicles website:
  • Know your beliefs. It's about time we all stand up for something. If you don't have an opinion on some of the critical issues that we face, get the facts through research. Being informed is always the start of our political maturity.
  • Know our candidates well – their complete profile, their political history, their business dealings, etc. How they achieve their present status can show us how competently they will be able to perform as our national leader.
  • Know their platform of government. This will be a tool to help our economy grow. Don't be swayed by surveys, by their celebrity supporters, or by their promises alone.
  • Know that you are the focus of negative campaigning: the undecided, the critical, the careful and deliberate voter. You are the one intended to be manipulated.  They just want you not to show up at all on election day. If you stay away, their dirty tricks would have worked. Don’t give them the satisfaction. It’s up to us to break the shackles of ignorance and apathy by educating ourselves and finding out the real score regarding the people we want to vote into office. It won’t be easy but if we persevere, the truth will reveal itself in the end.
  • Know that surveys do not provide  information on platforms. Surveys just say that one candidate is popular at the particular time that a survey is conducted. Let’s not waste our vote by basing it on trending and survey-driven analysis. The real results arrive on election day.
The top 5(according to survey and not in order) candidates and their platforms: 

Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III
Noynoy Aquino’s platform is about transformational leadership. An example of which is from a President who tolerates corruption to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption. He asserts good governance, transparency and prudent budgeting, education and social welfare, and economic reforms as his primary thrust if the nation will elect him as President in the coming 2010 Elections.

Jose Marcelo “Erap”  Ejercito
Estrada adheres to the political, economic and social platforms of his political party. For its political platform, emphasis is given to the pursuit of an independent foreign policy; reconciliation with insurgents who take up arms against the government; making the judiciary fair, impartial and efficient; and local autonomy. For its economic platform, emphasis is on  the development of the national economy and the countryside; privatization, deregulation and debt reduction for the benefit of the masses; limiting of foreign debt servicing to a certain percentage of our export earnings; comprehensive agrarian reform program for food and production security; implementation of programs that allow Filipinos to own and/or control big business enterprises critical to the national economy; improved tax collection, and requiring Government corporations to pay taxes. For its social platform, emphasis goes to the equitable distribution of wealth, environmental protection, and education.

Richard “Dick” Gordon
The primary platforms of Dick Gordon are best encapsulated in the document entitled “Manifesto for Change” of his party, Bagumbayan.  In the manifesto, he identified the problems besetting the country and the group’s guiding principles geared towards the alleviation of the country’s woes.  He begins with a focus on the individuals as having primary responsibility for themselves and their fellow Filipinos in the task of transformation. He wants an educated Philippines.

Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo "Gibo" Cojuangco Teodoro, Jr
Teodoro identified basic education reform, health care, agriculture and long-term infrastructure planning as the priority concerns of any administration that he will head. The most important urgent economic issues that would need to be addressed by a new President are infrastructure development and lowering power costs. He said he was also for independent monetary policy, developing power from sustainable energy sources and improving investor confidence in the country. Because of the potential economic benefits of the new Tourism Act, he will also be focusing on the tourism sector. Teodoro pushes for academic excellence and a better curriculum, because he thinks that the current curriculum does not place enough focus on technical skills, mathematics, and English. Teodoro hopes to enable the poorest of the poor to finish college by encouraging them to loan from government. He also intends to increase farm productivity through modernizing our agricultural and agri-industrial sectors.

Manuel “Manny” Villar, Jr.  
 Manny Villar does not make promises alone. Although he has made poverty alleviation a top priority, he knows this is something that everyone, including the poor themselves, must strive for and work towards. Entrepreneurial revolution and a competitive environment will be the centerpiece of Manny Villar’s program if he is elected to the presidency. Manny Villar stressed that in his first hundred days in office, he will approve on national television all the contracts that need to get done in his six years in office, all above board. Villar believes that this impact will encourage investment, will encourage belief in his government to work. It appears from his many interviews that he thinks it is easy for a candidate to hire speechwriters and consultants to draft platforms and mission-visions on paper. What mattered, according to him, is how an aspirant can validate any claim to a platform with past experiences and records. His plans, he claimed, are backed up by his own past actions, and are not mere promises to deliver.

via: www.thepoc.net
a lot more about all the presidential candidates here!
their detailed platforms here.

27 April 2010

The Party-List System

It's barely 2 weeks until the National elections. I already have a president and vice president and I am also already decided on 6 out of 12 senators but what about the Party List? What about it? Not a lot of people, myself included, have complete knowledge about this Party-list system. The last time I was able to vote was in 1998 and I don't even remember if I had to vote for these sectoral parties at that time. So here's what it's about....
Let's start with the Congress
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of:
1. the Senate (upper chamber)
              -composed of 24 senators (half of which are elected every 3 years)
2. the House of Representatives (lower chamber)
             -composed of a maximum of 250 congressmen
                         2 types of Congressmen:
                                 a. the district representative (1 or 2 from each province and city)
                                 b. sectoral representatives (represents the minority sectors of the population)

          The sectoral representatives are also known as 'the party-list representatives'. They represent labor unions, rights groups, and other organizations. This enables the minority groups to be represented in the Congress. Since 1998, each voter votes for a single party-list organization. Organizations that garner at least 2% of the total number of votes are awarded one representative for every 2% up to a maximum of three representatives in the House of Representatives.
         On the 10th of May, each voter will have to choose 1 out of 187 Party-list Groups. To be honest, even with the information I now have regarding the party-list, I still don't have ideas anyway about most of the group candidates. A few comes to mind though because they are very active and you'd often hear about them on news. There's GABRIELA(for women's rights)- represented by Liza Maza; BAYAN MUNA - represented by Satur C. Ocampo; and KABATAAN -represented by Raymond Palatino

Sources: wikipedia.org , senate.gov.ph, comelec.gov.ph
Know more about the House of Representatives by clicking here.
 This is a sample/template of the official Ballot. This is available to the public and was downloaded from comelec.gov.ph 
Click the image to enlarge.

23 April 2010

Yesterday, CNN came up with this report about the possibility of an earthquake(a strong one) hitting Manila next. The government is saying that Manila is not ready for it.
From GMANews.tv: "The Metro Manila Impact Reduction Study conducted in 2004 by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) found that the capital is vulnerable to a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that may be generated by the Marikina Fault. The study assessed Metro Manila’s preparedness and estimated that there could be 35,000 fatalities, 500 simultaneous fires in up to 98,000 buildings, and 170,000 structures may collapse in the event of strong temblors."
In the above CNN report, they are saying that there can be as much as 50,000 fatalities.
The Philippines is not new to earthquakes, we've had quite a few that we barely felt but I can still remember the strongest earthquake I have ever experienced 2 decades ago. I was 12, school probably just ended as it happened a little past 4pm. I was already riding my bicycle around our village and I was in the area very close to the grade school I was attending. That happened July 16, 1990. The magnitude: 7.8, but even with that high a magnitude, the death toll was 1,620.

Makes you wonder why the number of fatalities are so extreme even if the earthquake magnitudes that occur in different places are close in range.

Haiti(January 12, 2010) - 7.0 magnitude - 230,000 fatalities
Chile(February 27, 2010) - 8.8 magnitude - 486 fatalities + 70+missing
China(April 13, 2010) - 7.1 magnitude - 2,064 fatalities(not final)

How can a country be ready for an earthquake anyway?

05 April 2010


I spotted these at SM Department store a few weeks ago. It did catch my attention but not enough to stop me from walking to check out the product. I saw a print ad yesterday and in the ad it said "Enjoy the freshness and convenience of homemade soda and protect the environment at the same time." Pretty cool... I want... So I'll be blogging about more of it within the next few weeks.

03 April 2010

The Palm, The Passion and the Roman Catholic Traditions...

Holy Week - last week of the Lent; the week before Easter; starts on Palm Sunday; ends Easter Sunday. In the Philippines, which is dominated by Catholics, Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday with a mass which include the blessing of palm leaves. It then goes on to a Monday to Wednesday remembrance of the events that occurred between Jesus' entrance to Jerusalem and the Last Supper. There is also the Maundy Thursday(Last Supper), Good Friday(The Passion of Christ), and Black Saturday(silence and prayer which commemorates the Christ in the tomb). These are the days when most Roman Catholics participate in street processions and plays or street re-enactment of The Passion, but of course to some, it's just a start of a very long weekend since Holy Thursday is the beginning of a 3-day National Holiday. To others, it also means a time to head out-of-town to relax and bond with family since malls are all closed and national TV and radio programmes are suspended for 3 days from Thursday. The procession is one tradition that I never get tired of, I watch it almost every year.