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Old client made me “cry” today

Are you an average guy and wants to be extraordinary? Act like a real man.

(A quick break from technopreneur related posts)

I’m not supposed to comment due to professional reasons. But because of my other role as one of the leaders of a church in Makati, I’ve been asked to comment on this issue.

The host of this online video channel program admits that the reason why they go around, shooting and kissing random girls in clubs is because they want to show to the world that an average man like him can also do what supposedly only a hunk man can do.

Am I against this? My honest, personal answer is no. I’m not. Why?

Maybe we all have our own standards and our own morals. And, as the boss of this website said, who are we to impose our morals on them? They have their own sets of standards and morals so, as long as they’re not breaking any laws — which I don’t think they do — let them be.

But one of the main reasons why I’m not against this is because I don’t want to be known for what I’m against. I want to be known for what I am for.

I’m mentoring some men and will be mentoring other young men in the future. And what I’m going to tell them is exactly what I am for.

I am for treating women with respect. I am for treating women not as a commodity but as individuals created in the image of God. I am for honoring all women that I meet. I am for young men to act like grown ups and not as boys trapped in men’s bodies.

So, you are an average guy who want to stand out and be extraordinary? Act like how real grown up men would.

You’ve seen other videos, here’s a couple of other videos you should watch. It’ll be worth your 5 minutes.

How does our society view women these days?

How should we treat women?

Watch the entire message here. Click on Part #2.

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The evil of politics and SMS spams

Imagine this: you’re in-the-zone, working. Or in the middle of an important meeting. Or in the gym doing your sets. Your phone rings with an incoming SMS message. You leave what you’re doing, grabbed the phone thinking someone has a very important message for you.

And then you receive this.

Twice a day.

I can live with email spam. It’s easy to detect and flag it. It has headers to help you analyze. You can even know where in the world it came from. You can filter it out. Or even block the sender from entering your email box.

But for SMS?

You wouldn’t know who and where they’re sending the messages from. I’m sure these are coming from mass SMS sending software available in the market today. They use different phone numbers every time.

Now tell me, how can I prevent this from entering my cellphone?

Report to NTC? Forget it. You’ll waste your time.

Every time I receive this RH Bill SMS, I always imagine grabbing the operator’s collar threatening to tickle him to death if he won’t get rid of my cellphone number in their spam list. (No, I’m not thinking of tickling him. I’m thinking of something else). I mean, seriously, this is annoyingly frustrating.

And I feel helpless.

Go bug the congressmen and senators, please. I’m just just trying to concentrate and make a living.

Should Pinoy freelancers be taxed?

Here’s an interesting article from Tech Blogger J Angelo Racoma (@jangelo) about the current state of freelancing here in the Philippines. I thought that this freelancing phenomenon among Pinoy freelancers are already existing even before the dot com crash in the early 2000. I started as a freelancer myself. But I guess the accessibility of tools and platforms (oDesk, Freelancer.com, etc) has made it wider in scope and is not only contained in coding/programming.

But this subtopic caught my attention: taxation. As BIR becomes agressive in taxing online businesses, J Angelo asked:

Bangladesh has already declared online income to be tax-free. The Philippine government does not tax income by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). As independent online contractors bring in — and spend — dollars in the country, shouldn’t they be also subject to the same exemptions?

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Joining black Tuesday? Here are some requests…

Joining Black Tuesday Oct. 9th?

Are you planning to join the online protest against the Anti-Cybercrime Law and ‘black out’ your profile pictures again on Tuesday, October 9th? As someone who’s going to see your black out pictures as I go online on that day, here are some of my personal suggestions as you join this online protest:

1. Please, don’t glorify and glamorize internet hackers (crackers, actually). They might attack government websites again as a sign of their “protest”. Please, please, don’t hail them as heroes. Don’t encourage them. What they are doing, whatever the issues are at hand, are not ethical, more so, legal.

2. Don’t just join the bandwagon. Read the law yourself. I’m not saying you didn’t, but I know a lot of my friends who “blacked out” their profile pictures because it was the ‘cool’ thing that day. However, they haven’t really read the law themselves. You owe it to yourself. We may not be lawyers, but if you’re against something, maybe you need to know more before you join a movement.

3. Most of the protests are coming from the perspective of the possible offenders, ie. us saying bad things against the government. We don’t want our freedom of speech to be taken out from us. Who would want to? But if you’re not an outspoken political blogger or Twitter user, this fear will rarely apply to you. So, my suggestion is to flip the sides. Try to come from the perspective of the possible offendee.  What if someone maligned your person online? Posted false accusations against you. Spread false rumors about you.  Destroyed your reputation. In school, in your church, in your community, in your work place. What if someone posted a private photo or video of you without your consent? Ask yourself, will I be able to effectively defend myself? Will I still “black out my profile picture” on Tuesday?

I’m for decriminalizing libel. Sure, the law needs some revisions. But as you protest online, I hope you’ll ponder upon these 3 items. Its just a personal request from someone who’s  part of your online community.

How will Facebook Promote change the game?

Months ago, Facebook launched their “Promote this post” revenue stream on Page.

How does it work?

Due to volume of contents posted, apparently, your posts will not always land in your friends’ own stream. Facebook filters it. Technically, you compete with other posts for your friend’s eyeballs. On Facebook Page, you can post AND promote by paying Facebook a fee  you determine. Facebook will then push it more than the other posts. In effect, you’ll get more eyeballs than the usual.

Today, Facebook launched it to personal accounts. You can now pay and promote anything you post on Facebook.

How will this affect your Facebook stream?

1. Expect to see more product sellers be pushed on your stream.

2. Expect more event invites.

3. Expect to see people with unusual amount of vanity posed with their bikini bodies or their newly purchased iPhone 5′s — Yes, I think they’ll pay to be seen ;)

Any other cool uses you have in mind for the new Facebook Promote?

How to talk an MMDA apprehending officer out in giving you ticket if you think he’s only after the bribe

A few thoughts before I start:

1. Do this only if you certainly believe, 100%, that you are right, and the officer is only after something else.
2. What I did may not be correct. I may be wrong, and for that, I am sorry, MMDA.

Obviously, Jayson’s not the guy. ;)

The recent Fabros-Carabuena incident taught us two things: 1) that everyone deserves respect, more so, any guy in official uniform, and 2) that contrary to general public perception, not all MMDA officers are crooked. Most, I certainly hope, are still doing their jobs as best and as clean as they can.

I hope you guys heard me correctly right there. (Because I’m going to drop the bomb, called the “obvious” in a while). I think the leadership at MMDA, including by one of their directors, Atty. Yves Gonzales, is doing a great job in cleaning the system. I salute you, sirs, for the passion you guys have placed into the system. Let me say it clear, whatever bad things that any crooked MMDA officer  do, it will not erase the efforts these passionate leaders we have here have started and are continuously doing.

But you, my reader, are not here, because of these. You are intrigued by the title of this blog, and I’m not about to bait-and-switch you. So, here’s the bomb — and it’s obvious — the system isn’t perfect yet. While it is true that NOT all MMDA officers are crooked, the same is true: there are still a lot roaming around the streets of Metro Manila that are waiting on you like a roaring lion, ready to devour you, dear motorist, with any little vulnerability you might have.

I mean, let’s be honest, MMDA officers are known to ‘apprehend’ motorists for the kotong. Why do we know this? Because it’s true. It’s happening. It is based on my experience. On hundred and thousands of motorists’ experience. And if you’re weak, you can be the very next victim. If you are a Metro Manila motorist, you know what I’m talking about. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been apprehended because I did something wrong. I’ve been apprehended for not doing anything wrong. And, yes I admit of giving in to what they want — what else, the bribe, P100, P200 even P500 — sometimes if not most of the times.

You know the drill. They will apprehend you. Tell you about your supposed violation. “Sir, P1500 to pag binayaran nyo.” They’ll grab their tickets and will ask “Ano ang gusto nyo, sir?” That’s your queue. Offer anything. Start with 100 or 200. If they’re in the mood, they won’t accept that until you shell out P500.

But what if you think you were apprehended for no apparent good reason? Maybe you’re on your way to a meeting. Or you’re 10 minutes late from office. Will you still argue? Or just hand over the moonee? Or just receive the ticket? Do you plan to just pay for it? Or contest it?

I’ve done it all. I bribed. I paid a ticket. I’ve gone through the long and time consuming process of contesting it.

But recently, I’ve promised myself not to give bribe any more. If something has to change, it has to change from me. From within. My conscience couldn’t take it anymore if my mere 100 peson will go to a crooked public officer. No bribing, not anymore. It’s either I’m going to pay for my ticket — if what I did is indeed wrong. Or contest it, to give the officer a lesson.

But. Contesting it through the MMDA office is tedious for a busy dude like me. If I’ll loose half of my day, I’ll loose a lot. More so if it’s the whole day.

So, without further ado, here’s what I did to talk out an MMDA officer in giving me ticket when I thought he’s only after the bribe.

* * *

Today, in one of the busy streets of Metro Manila (Sorry, I’m not saying where), I got apprehended by an MMDA officer. I believe I wasn’t doing anything wrong. But because I knew the drill, I stopped, he talked. You know, the usual line.

I explained. I didn’t do anything wrong. I knew he was going to the bribe part — because I know the drill.

But instead of offering a bribe, I alighted my vehicle — which, by the way, shouldn’t be done. Sorry.

I tried to explain why I think he is wrong. He argued — I didn’t, I was just trying to explain. He asked for my license — you know, the drill. Then, mentioned about the fees. But he knew I wasn’t about to give in.

Instead, here’s what I said: Sir, I’d be willing to receive the ticket. But I will contest this. So, in order for me to have proof how both our reasoning went today, I will need to document our conversation.

Then I grabbed my cellphone, asked my wife to start rolling.

He started covering his face. I know a cellphone camera will be very intimidating. Remember, I’m not really sure if what I did was right. But my only purpose is to have a document with me if ever we’re going the distance at the MMDA office.

He wouldn’t allow us to shoot him up close so I asked my wife to stop recording. I stopped talking. Some more arguing from him, he ran out of words. He knew I will never give in.

So, a slowly grabbed him in the shoulder, a little friendly, honoring tap at the back. I said, “Sir, pasensya na kung na intimidate kayo sa camera. Wala po ako balak I-post yan sa YouTube. Gusto ko lang talaga ma record ang usapan natin para may document ako. Kasi po, alam nyo naman, may mga tiwali talaga na kasama kayo. Hindi ko sinasabi na ganon ka. Mukha naman po hindi kayo ganon (Chos!). Pero talaga naman meron na ibang tiwali, di ba? Sa tingin ko naman, sir, ginagawa nyo lang ang tungkulin nyo. Pero kailangan ko lang rin naman protektahan ang rights ko.”

He was actually agreeing with me the whole time. And while I wasn’t really very honest in everything I said — I thought wasn’t any different — a little reverse psychology, appreciation and respect does work.

He gave me back my license, asked me where I’m going — you know, the tail end of the drill. We’ve completed the drill. Only, I didn’t give a bribe.

* * *

If you think you’re absolutely in the correct side of the discussion, here are some tips on handling discussions with an MMDA officer — and I’m an authority on this as I don’t know how many times I’ve had discussions with them on the road through the years.

1. Respect them. Don’t do a Carabuena. In one instance, I was disrespectful. I didn’t “punch” the officer. I didn’t shout. But I did say some bad words that I regret. I ended up with another violation — arrogance. Ouch!

2. Discuss, don’t argue. In my experience, MMDA officers are threatened when you discuss with them. They would think you’re already challenging their authority. You’d be drawn into a shouting match. Don’t go there. Just state your case calmly.

3. If stating your case does not work, you have 2 options: 1) Get the ticket and file a complaint. Or 2) If you have more time, stand your ground and not sign the ticket. I know, I know, this might be wrong. In fact, I have not tried this yet. But I think you have the right to not sign a document you don’t believe as valid. Besides, what’s the worse thing they will do? Put you in jail? If that happens, I don’t know, maybe I’ll be willing to have it for standing for what I believe is right. Over a traffic violation. Man, that’s life changing. ;)

4. Please, don’t bribe. If nobody bribes, MMDA officers will stop asking for it. If they will stop asking for it, irregular apprehensions will be lessen or be totally gone. Everybody wins.

Again, I’m not saying this to downplay the things that our awesome leaders at MMDA are doing. I’m just stating a fact, as a citizen, as a motorist. You can agree with me, or disagree with what I have done. But, being a constant figure in our streets, this is close to my heart. And I’m standing by this.

PS: These tips do not apply to MMDA only. This also applies to the city based traffic personnel — who, I will argue, are even far worse that some MMDA officers. In my experience, Makati’s MAPSA are the worse. Pinaka mga buwaya yan. Mas brutal yan sa paghingi. Second honorable mention, QC traffic personnel. The most friendly and professional are those from Mandaluyong Traffic — though, I have encountered one or two instance where they asked for something. Di talaga mawala sa sistema.

RescuePH preparing for “war” while at “peace time”

Note: I’m copy/pasting, word for word Ka Edong’s blog post regarding our meeting last night. Yes, I’m plagiarizing him. Sorry. :D Needless to say, the highlight of the meeting is the photo op with Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. LOL!

Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera and members of the RescuePH team (L-R): Lawrence Villegas, Ariel Roda, a Miko dela Paz look-alike, Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Arnold Gamboa and Edwin Ka Edong Soriano

A couple of us #RescuePH Volunteers met-up last night to discuss the #RescuePH platform, system, protocol etc.
We had in our meeting:

  • Arnold Gamboa – lead programmer of www.rescueph.com
  • Ariel Roda – our relief operations consultant from Angel Brigade
  • Lawrence Villegas and Edwin Ka Edong Soriano – Innovations and Strategy consultants from Team Planu .

The essence of our discussion: “How can we improve online and offline rescue and relief operations?” 

Here’s one thing we wanted to do at this time of “peace” or “calm”. Let’s prepare ourselves. We’ve got a lot of relief operations knowledge via Ariel which we want to convert to Infographics.

Help Needed: Calling graphics artists, illustrators, animators etc., pls help convert the knowledge from these videos into infographics that can be shared to prepare us for our time of trial.

Here’s a sample Infographic based on Video #1: Basic Food Pack

Sample RescuePH Infographic: Basic Foodpack

 

#RescuePH System Planning by members of the RescuePH team (L-R): Arnold Gamboa (lead programmer of www.rescueph.com ), Lawrence Villegas (Team Planu), Ariel Roda (Angel Brigade), Edwin Ka Edong Soriano (Team Planu)

 

RescuePH.com, you can help in rescue efforts

In collaboration with a bunch of good hearted people in Pinoy interworld, I made a quick website to help locate people who needs rescuing and consolidate rescue efforts – RescuePH.com.

We’re still migrating the data from our old Google Spreadsheet, but you can start participating now by trying to fill out the form if you know of someone who needs rescuing or search around the database and see if you can help rescue people around your area.