Monthly Archives: January, 2016

Almost good news

The following letters only mean (which I received just this morning) that Mr. Robert Bondad Jr., a Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. representative, lied to me when he said during the council hearing (19 January 2016) that they have ECC for the proposed cell site in a private subdivision called Amityville (and to our misfortune, just near our house!).  Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utility, even seconded Mr. Bondad that they (DPI BellTel) submitted complete requirements.

The “Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order” for the ongoing cell site construction is only temporary.  So I still went on filing a letter of complaint (today, 25 January, which means I was absent again from work) regarding cell site issue involving officials of Amityville Homeowners Association at the House and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) and filing a letter of complaint regarding cell site issue involving Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. Inc. at the Department of Health.  I hope that this planting of seeds in concerned government agencies bears fruit.  Anyway, below are copy of letters from the Municipality of Rodriguez, Rizal in response to our petition/ protest against the cell site.

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Bad smells of corruption


A Dominer Pointe, Inc. in partnership with Bell Telecommunication’s cell site owned by Dante Ang will be erected in 2nd Mt. Samat Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal. My family and I live in Mt. Samat and our house is about 17 meters away from the proposed cell site—a cell site that’s just between our house and the house of the Camba family. And this proposed cell site was approved by the following politicians of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal:

  1. Mayor Cecilio C. Hernandez
  2. Vice Mayor Jonas J. Cruz
  3. Councilor Rommel C. Ayuson
  4. Councilor Glenn S. Evangelista
  5. Councilor Katrina Ramos-Leyva
  6. Councilor Mark Anthony C. Marcelo
  7. Councilor Arman Leo H. Angeles
  8. Councilor Mario Roderick C. Lazarte
  9. Councilor Roger N. Frias
  10. Councilor Richard M. Buizon

From 5 December 2015 to present year 2016, we’ve been complaining and demanding from the accountable officials of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA), from the officials of the Municipality of Rodriguez/Montalban through mayor Cecilio Hernandez to stop the cell site installation. Six days ago, 19 January 2016, a council hearing on our petition letter signed by 70 homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision against the proposed cell site was held at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall. It was attended by Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utility; Robert Bondad Jr., Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils. representative; Edilberto Braganza and Louie Rosario, president and board of director respectively of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Engr. Josefino Amado of MPDC; and homeowners/residents of Amityville, Mr. Doyle Camba, son of Mr. Fernando Camba (a new homeowner of barely 6 months), Atty. Celestino Alcantara (one of the first ten homeowners/residents of Amityville Subdivision), and yours truly (resident of 7 years). Not present but included in the Notice of Meeting were Coun. Glenn Evangelista, vice chairman of the Committee on Public Utility; and Coun. Rommel C. Ayuson, member of the Committee on Public Utility.

The said council hearing was open-ended. When we asked Mr. Bondad of DPI BellTel if the cell site construction would still continue despite our complaint, he said yes. Coun. Angeles, however, said that a committee hearing will be scheduled to deliberate on what have been discussed. The final judgment is still so far away and we’re afraid that it would be too late before they call on a committee hearing and the future is uncertain if the decision will favor us.

On behalf of my family and Camba family, I stand firm in my demand to stop the cell site installation because of three reasons:

  1. The cell site doesn’t have consent from the homeowners of Amityville, particularly us, who are really close to the proposed cell site. Have we known, we would strongly object it. A cell site is not just any ordinary structure. It produces radiation which can be hazardous to our health.
  2. There was a failure from the part of the officers and board of directors of AHA to organize a General Assembly of homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision that would inform us about the plan for a cell site, that would explain where the money would go and how much is the rental payment, and that would give us a venue to vote or not to vote for it. (When we were doing the house-to-house to get signatures, majority of the homeowners and residents got no idea that there was going to be a cellular tower to be installed in Amityville.)
  3. Mr. Bondad, DPI BellTel representative, argued that they conducted a survey with the families living near the cell site before they did the digging. The people who signed the survey that was shown to me, who gave their approval to the cell site, are some of the officers and board of directors of AHA, informal settlers, and construction workers. In Mt. Samat, there are three houses nearest to the proposed cell site.  I asked them why, of all people, we’re the only ones (the bonafide homeowners and residents) who were skipped. Mr. Braganza, president of AHA, argued it’s because I wasn’t around when they conducted the survey. Mr. Braganza even declared that my father approved the cell site. I made a rebuttal and asked, “If that’s true, why does my father’s name and signature not there in the survey.” Mr. Braganza did not respond to my question.

Update: We received a rumor that the lot where the cell site will be erected is owned by Governor Ynares’ relative who doesn’t live in Amityville.



Council Hearing on our Petition Letter Against Cell Site Installation in Amityville Subd. (An Update)

A glimpse of the council hearing (19 January 2016) on our petition letter signed by 70 homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision—96% of whom I only met for the first time—against the cell site installation in Mt. Samat.

  1. Among the councilors who are part of the Committee on Public Utility, only the chairman, Coun. Arman Leo Angeles attended and at the same time presided over the meeting. Not present but included in the Notice of Meeting were Coun. Rommel Ayuson and Coun. Glenn Evangelista. Coun. Angeles said they’re busy.
  1. Other attendees: Robert Bondad Jr., DPI BellTel representative; Edilberto Braganza and Louie Rosario, president and board of director respectively of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Engr. Josefino Amado of MPDC; and Doyle Camba, son of Mr. Fernando Camba.
  1. Before the meeting started, I gave them a copy of our second petition letter of additional signatures of support from other homeowners and residents from Mt. Isarog, Mt. Canlaon, Mt. Apo, Mt. Malindang, Mt. Data, Mt. Arayat, Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Sierra Madre, and T. Reyes Ave. and attached to it was our first petition letter signed by homeowners and residents from Mt. Samat or near Mt. Samat.  It was impossible to knock on the door of every house in Amityville but at least we got a lot.
  1. It was two against five: Me and Doyle vs. five men including the presiding officer, Coun. Angeles. I told Coun. Angeles that he should not address us as if we’re the only ones who were having a conflict, getting into trouble arguing over the cell site. He is involved, too, I said to him. For he, vice mayor Jonas Cruz, Coun. Rommel C. Ayuson, Coun. Glenn S. Evangelista, Coun. Katrina Ramos-Leyva, Coun. Mark Anthony C. Marcelo, Coun. Mario Roderick C. Lazarte, Coun. Roger N. Frias, Coun. Richard M. Buizon, and mayor Cecilio C. Hernandez approved this proposed cell site installation in Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal. I read their names one by one so it can be recorded.
  1. Bondad of BellTel said they conducted a survey with the residents of Amityville Subd. particularly those who are living within its 50 meters radius. Bondad said only those within the 50 meters radius of the cell site would be affected. Braganza gave me a copy of their survey mentioned by Bondad, a list of residents giving their consent to the cell site. The survey that gives favor to the cell site installation was signed by officers and some of the board of directors of AHA and by informal settlers.
  1. In the middle of the meeting, Atty. Alcantara arrived. He was one of the homeowners and residents of Amityville Subd. who signed our petition letter against the cell site. It was a relief that Atty. Alcantara came by even for a short while to help argue with me. Atty. Alcantara is one of the first ten homeowners of Amityville Subdivision since 1975.
  1. But Coun. Angeles got irritated with the arguments. He set a rule. He ordered us that we will only be allowed to speak one person at a time. Which means I have to ask permission if I want to react to the statements of my opponent.
  1. When it was my turn to speak, I said four things why the cell site should be stopped:
  • The cell site doesn’t have consent from the homeowners of Amityville, particularly us, who are really close to the proposed cell site.
  • The people who signed the survey that approved the cell site are informal settlers and construction workers.
  • The cell site did not go through the right process for there was no ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate). Bondad said there was an ECC but he did not show it during the council hearing.
  • There was a failure from the part of the officers and board of directors of AHA to organize a General Assembly of homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision that would inform us about the plan for a cell site, that would explain where the money would go and how much is the rental payment, and that would give us a venue to vote or not to vote for it. (When we were doing the house-to-house to get signatures, majority of the homeowners and residents got no idea that there was going to be a cellular tower to be installed in Amityville.)
  1. Braganza, president of AHA, in response to my claim that we did not receive a copy of the survey, gave me this excuse: it was because I wasn’t always around. He said to me, “Your work is from Monday to Saturday.” I said no, it’s Monday to Friday.
  1. Coun. Angeles was doubting our complaint. He said why only now that we’re complaining just when the project has just begun. (Can’t he get it? Because we didn’t know!) He also claimed that BellTel submitted “complete” requirements.
  1. Bondad of BellTel was giving me a litany on why the cell site is not dangerous. I was just looking at him but not listening. Sometimes looking away then looking at the window.
  1. I said there was no ECC. Bondad said my concern was only the issue on health (cancer etc.). Coun. Angeles supported his statement. I corrected Coun. Angeles. I pointed to him at the second paragraph of our petition letter the other issue and read it out loud, not just loud but I scream out the words. Coun. Angeles told me to cool down.  I said he should give me the freedom to express my rage.  (My anger got activated again.)
  1. Doyle asked if they will continue with the construction of the cell site. They said yes for they complied with the requirements. But there will be another committee hearing, seconded Coun. Angeles, since other councilors were absent.
  1. After the meeting, Coun. Angeles reached out to me to shake hands. I refused. Bondad of BellTel also reached out to shake hands, I rejected him.
  1. After the meeting, I had our second petition letter of additional signatures with attachment of the first petition letter photocopied. In the afternoon, we distributed it to every household who signed in our petition. We didn’t get to finish the distribution because some of the homeowners/residents would like to strike up a conversation asking what happened, saying other things that they know about eating much of our time (but we don’t mind). I couldn’t help conversing with them either. Accidentally, in the store where I had the letters photocopied, I met the wife of Coun. Ayuson. The wife of Coun. Ayuson turned out to be the owner/manager of the printing store. Taking advantage of the situation, I talked to the wife about the council hearing and about Coun. Ayuson not showing up. Mrs. Ayuson quickly called her husband’s secretary. Anyway, Mrs. Ayuson just told me that the secretary did not receive the notice of the meeting.

An Update (20 January 2016):

Went to Department of Environment and Natural Resources, at the Environment Management Bureau/ Environment Impact Assessment.  Here I was told that the ECC under a presidential decree no longer covers telecommunication project of all types due to a memorandum circular from 2014.  Cell sites now are under the jurisdiction of LGUs.



from human to dust

Be Humble


Stop the cell site in Amityville Subd.

For what it’s worth, I am posting this article regarding my family and my neighbor’s fight against cell site installation in Amityville Subd., Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.  I had my first post on this issue last December

This is an update.

When I was young, with still a single digit age, I’ve been hearing about “Amityville” from my parents’ intermittent talks about this lot they bought in Montalban. That was back in the ’80s.  I was quite aware then that Amityville, Montalban was going to be our new address once we leave our house in UP Campus upon my father’s retirement. Amityville. I felt disgusted just by its name because it’s the same name of a famous horror movie I’ve watched. Montalban. Where is that? Didn’t like the sound of it either. More than 20 years later (the first 30 years of my simple life was spent in Pook Amorsolo, UP), we moved to Amityville Subdivision, two years after my father’s retirement.

The Amityville Subdivision in Montalban/Rodriguez, Rizal is composed of homeowners who are retired UP and government employees. My father is a retired UP employee from the College of Engineering.

It was in 2008 when our house was built on Mt. Samat St. in Amityville Subdivision. I moved from our UP residence to Rodriguez, Rizal in January 2009 and on my first two months, I saw so many problems: informal settlers, the rough road in our street, open burning of garbages because the garbage truck only picks up garbage only once a week, no street lights at night particularly in our street, and again, so many informal settlers. Disturbed, I brought my concerns to the attention of concerned officials, from the then president of AHA, to the barangay captain, to the governor of Rizal. There was an action, particularly on the garbage issue, but only temporarily.

Fast forward to December 2015 to present year January 2016, my family and I are faced with another challenge, our own horror story: cell site in Mt. Samat. A cell site that is said to be owned by BellTel Philippines, a subsidiary of San Miguel. This proposed cell site is just between our house and the house of the Camba family and according to law, or the Magna Carta of Homeowners Association, all business matters should be consulted first with the homeowners which the officers and board of directors of Amityville Homeowners Association did not do when they approved this proposed cell site in Mt. Samat, Amityville Subd..

Below is a diary of events in our fight against this cell site installation in Mt. Samat, Amityville Subd.

5 December 2015 (Saturday)

An excavation was happening outside our house, about 17 meters away, on what used to be a vacant lot filled with tall grasses. Last week, I saw that same spot being burned. I thought our new neighbor was responsible for that burning of tall grasses for cleanliness sake, I guess. Seeing not just an excavation but also a huge truck doing the digging, I went outside and approached one of the laborers (who turned out to be the foreman) and asked what was going on. The foreman told me a cell site would be installed on the lot. He mentioned it’s an Ericsson cellular tower. A cellular tower? I asked myself. I did not imagine having a house of our own with a cell site beside us. This means war.

Panicking inside, I copied the details from the tarpaulin (details that were written only by pentel pen) hanging near the site:

Building Permit: 15-11-556
Date Issued: 26 October 2015
Cell Site Owner: Dominer Pointe Inc.
Architect/ Engineer: Engr. Frederick L. Cruz

Shortly after, I went to the Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA) office. Incidentally, the president of AHA, Mr. Edilberto Braganza, dropped by seconds after I arrived there at its front gate. I was upset asking him how did the cell site got into our place. While I was really upset, he was as cool as ice, like a robot with no feelings, as he was saying words like: “Na-approve na ‘yan ni mayor” or “Hindi naman siguro masama epekto ng cell site.” He invited me inside the AHA office. I was still upset and asked if that lot got a title or something. Does it have permits, like the ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate)? Like a robot, Mr. Braganza answered yes, and he asked me to wait for the engineer who would be arriving soon. Mr. Braganza asked me to sign in the office logbook.

Quickly realizing that I am the most vulnerable—I was alone doing the complaining and I would be talking to two men that I do not trust even if I haven’t seen the engineer (not to mention, I was also emotional)—I said I would come back some other day with a companion.

Initially, I was thinking of not going back there to that AHA office ever again because I discerned that Mr. Braganza is already close-minded. And I have a feeling of revulsion towards Mr. Braganza which is not a good sign. It was obvious that he is in support to this installation of cell site near our home, in a residential area, due to his nonchalance. So I filed for a complaint at the Barangay Hall located in Cristineville where an old man, Mr. Condrado Siwa, is on duty. He is the commanding officer of the Barangay Hall.

But to my dismay, Mr. Siwa knew Mr. Braganza and he seemed to be defending him, contradicting me to trivialize my deep concerns by saying good words about Mr. Braganza. So instead of finding refuge in a neutral ground called the Barangay Hall that was being manned by Mr. Siwa, I experienced discomfort and we even had a debate over the cell site. I was raising my voice for him to understand me. Where are the ladies who are also staff here, I asked him. He said they’re not around for he’s the one on duty.

Good thing he was already old so he got tired debating with me. So he asked what is it that I want. I said I want to have a face-to-face meeting with the president of AHA at the Barangay Hall and present documents that the cell site got permits. For my family and I want the cell site to be stopped.

Mr. Siwa told me the meeting would be tentatively scheduled next weekend. I asked if it would be possible for the meeting to be held tomorrow (Sunday). He said he would try, if Mr. Braganza would be available.

6 December 2015 (Sunday)

Did not receive a call from the Barangay Hall. No meeting happened.

12 December 2015 (Saturday)

Finding an ally with my new neighbor, the Camba family, I invited Mr. Fernando Camba, a 70 year-old retired UP employee, to be my partner in complaining about the cell site to the AHA office. There we met at the front gate a man wearing an AHA polo T-shirt, on a bike, who asked us what was our concern. The cell site, we replied. He was just smiling and joked “Ano, patigil na natin?” He advised us to get inside for somebody would assist us there. Then he left.

We were confronted by Mr. Louie Rosario, one of the board of directors of AHA. Present also was this man who is also one of the board of directors. He looked like Mr. Braganza and indeed, he is the brother of Mr. Braganza when Mr. Rosario confirmed my guess.

I demanded for a copy of permits that led to that cell site project. He, too, could not show me any papers. He said the documents were with Mr. Braganza. I asked for the history that led to that cell site project, who owns the lot, and Mr. Louie Rosario replied that the lot was originally owned by his relative, an aunt, who decided to sell the lot. I did not hold back, I put on the table all the things that I wanted him to hear, with my neighbor Mr. Fernando Camba and this brother of Mr. Braganza as witnesses. Since they could not produce us anything, I requested for the following documents:

Deed of sale, original and photocopy (for presentation purpose only)
Title of land
Minutes of the Meeting re: Cell Site in Mt. Samat, Amityville
List of residents who gave consent to this cell site project
Clearances from DENR, DOH
Contractor contact details (BellTel Corp, Dominer Pointe)
Meeting with all the officers and board of directors of AHA

After visiting AHA office, Mr. Fernando Camba and I were supposed to go to the Barangay Hall in Cristineville to make a follow up about that meeting I requested. But along the way, I saw a senior citizen friend of mine, also a homeowner, walking with her husband so I called out her name. I shared with her our predicament regarding the cell site. Her husband advised us to go to the Barangay Hall at the center town (Bayan) and give our complaint there also. So we went to the Barangay Hall at the center town. Since it was Saturday, the desk officers advised us to go to this house of a certain Edgar Manuel. They said Edgar Manuel works at the Municipal of Montalban and is actually in-charge of stopping construction without permits. The desk officers instructed us how to go to this house of Edgar Manuel.

Arriving at the front of Edgar Manuel’s house, we were met by his wife. The wife said he’s sleeping but she still asked what was our concern. So we stated our case. Thankfully, the wife said to just wait and went back inside the house. Seconds later, we met Edgar Manuel.

With Edgar Manuel, we aired out our grievances and concerns over this cell site that is going to be installed near our homes. We sought out his help. Edgar Manuel said he’d see what he could do about our concern then he asked for our contact numbers.

13 December 2015 (Sunday)

Early in the morning, together with Doyle Camba, son of my neighbor Mr. Fernando Camba, I got the opportunity to talk with Engr. Lagmay in-charge of the excavation and building of foundation for us to complain about the cell site and ask about permits. He couldn’t show me anything. He said he was just hired to do job and he could not do anything with our grievances. Feeling angry, I threatened him that I could blog about him that he is involved in this “illegal” project and he begged me not to. He said it is hard to get a license, that he’s just there to work. I asked for his complete name, he gave me his ID, and I wrote it down in my notebook. I noticed in his ID that he was born in 1988. The engineer is ten years younger than I am. Still a newbie. Then I had our picture taken as proof that we interviewed him. (But I deleted that later on. He’s not a suspect.) So it is better to leave him alone. It really is the officers and board of directors of AHA who are ACCOUNTABLE for this cell site installation with no permission from us, the homeowners. If we knew, this excavation wouldn’t have happened.

At past 10 in the morning, while I was cooking, my younger brother received a phone call from Mr. Braganza. My brother said Mr. Braganza was on his way to the Barangay Hall for the face-to-face meeting. Surprised that I did not receive any call from the Barangay Hall and the notice came from the subject of my complaint, I quickly dialed Mr. Braganza’s phone number which my father gave me. A girl answered my call. I left her a message if she could inform her father (that is after asking about the identity of the girl I’m talking with) that I’d be arriving to the Barangay Hall at 11:30. I told the daughter that if her father wanted a cell site, please, he should not put it beside our house. He should put it beside his house, I told the daughter. Then I said thank you to the daughter.

With my neighbor/homeowner Mr. Doyle Camba (son of Mr. Fernando Camba), we arrived at the Barangay Hall at 11:30. We saw Mr. Conrado Siwa, the commanding officer, and this lady staff. Mr. Braganza was nowhere in sight so we inquired with Mr. Siwa about the meeting. To my surprise, Mr. Siwa was upset with me. He was asking why I did not show up on time. I said I did not receive any notice. If I did, I would not hesitate showing up. He said I knew that there would be a meeting. I said that I waited for a call or text from him, I left my cellphone and landline number I did not receive a notice. I reminded him what he told me last week: that he would still check if Mr. Braganza would be available for a meeting. I did not receive a call or text from him. He said he doesn’t have a load. The lady staff intervened. She introduced herself as Malou, the desk officer on duty. She asked Mr. Siwa to step aside for she was the one on duty. She ordered the tanod to fetch Mr. Braganza and his companion. We waited. A few minutes later, they arrived: Mr. Braganza with companion, Mr. Chris Rosario (brother of Mr. Louie Rosario, one of the board of directors of AHA).

I asked questions as calmly as I could. I asked about permits, documents that I requested from them through Mr. Louie Rosario. Mr. Braganza did not bring anything. He said some of the documents were with the vice president Mr. Padama (who turned out to be the guy we met at the front gate of AHA, on his bike and who referred us to somebody else, to Mr. Louie Rosario). What he brought instead was this proposal letter from Dominer Pointe and a crampled sheet of paper containing DOH article denying that cell site is harmful. I asked questions. I asked thoroughly. Ms. Malou, the desk officer was listening. I knew that the Barangay Hall was the proper venue to air out our grievances for there were witnesses. And I noticed how Mr. Braganza and Mr. Chris Rosario behaved so well and answered our questions like humans. I got really astonished by their answers. Mr. Chris Rosario said there is no danger in cell site. He said even ordinary cellphones got radiation, even television. Then my companion, Mr. Doyle, who was quietly listening, spoke: “Pero di sya kapareho ng cell site na malakas ang radiation.”

I told Mr. Braganza that if the cell site was really safe, he should put it near his house. (For your information, the houses of Mr. Braganza and Mr. Rosario are far from the cell site.)

To cut the long story short, as an agreement, we requested (again) through Mr. Braganza the following documents:

Deed of sale, original and photocopy (for presentation purpose only)
Title of land
Minutes of the Meeting re: Cell Site in Mt. Samat, Amityville
List of residents who gave consent to this cell site project
Clearances from DENR, DOH
Contractor contact details (BellTel Corp, Dominer Pointe)
Meeting with all the officers and board of directors of AHA

Mr. Chris said that if they could not produce all that we requested, they would stop the operation of the proposed cell site. We shook hands. Mr. Chris offered us a ride which I politely refused.

18 December 2015 (Friday)

Took a half day from work so I could go to the National Telecommunications Commission. I brought my complaint there and talked with an engineer there. However, the engineer told me that it is not under their (NTC) jurisdiction to handle complaints against cell sites. It is, the engineer said, under the jurisdiction of an LGU.

19 December 2015 (Saturday)

Followed up with the Barangay Hall in Cristineville regarding our request for a meeting with president of AHA and the presentation of requirements we’re asking them which they agreed to show within or after a week. The meeting was tentatively set at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

To get a lead, Mr. Fernando Camba and I went to the house of Edgar Manuel to follow up if the cell site got permits. There are permits, a resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan, said Edgar Manuel but alas instead of giving the copy to us Edgar Manuel gave it to Mr. Braganza. Both of them are working in the Municipal of Montalban.

20 December 2015 (Sunday)

Early in the morning, I was told by my father that somebody called from the Barangay Hall. My father said that the documents we’re requesting regarding the cell site were ready for pickup at the AHA office. My 74 year-old father said also he just could not go out of the house and get it because it was raining hard.

In that same early morning, with my 70 year-old neighbor Mr. Fernando Camba, I went to the AHA office to get the documents. Mr. Louie Rosario gave us the documents. We had it photocopied for our copy. The documents weren’t complete so I asked about the others. Mr. Louie said that’s all that was given to him.

THE CELL SITE GOT BUILDING PERMIT BUT IT WAS ONLY SIGNED AND APPROVED BY MR. ALEXANDER ALMARIO, THE BUILDING OFFICIAL OF MONTALBAN, ON 17 DECEMBER 2015, only two days ago. Just as we suspected, the excavation that began last week of November 2015, got no business permit. It is only now after we complained.

So Mr. Fernando Camba and I proceeded to the Barangay Hall to follow up what we requested from Mr. Braganza. The officer on duty was Mr. Conrado Siwa, the commanding officer. Mr. Siwa again looked upset with me. He said he called our house and left a message with my family member that the documents we’re requesting were ready for pickup at the AHA office. He said he saw the documents and that they (the officers of AHA) got complete documents. Astonished, I asked him why was he defending Mr. Braganza. Is Mr. Braganza his boss, I asked him sternly. It should be us who are his boss for we are the complainants, I told him sternly. I asked why we’re always the last to know and why was he getting instruction from Mr. Braganza and following it. I was questioning him nonstop and Mr. Siwa was already quiet ‘til he said: “Ayoko na pong magsalita.” Mr. Fernando Camba, my neighbor, gestured at me to stop also. So I stopped and requested if we could speak face-to-face with Mr. Braganza. Mr. Siwa said he would not be able to contact Mr. Braganza for all the tanods are practicing for the Christmas party later for the night. I asked for Ms. Malou’s whereabouts so I could talk with her instead. He said Malou would be arriving at 11. Considering that the time was ticking, I asked for the address of Mr. Braganza so we’d be the ones to fetch him.

Standing at the front gate of his house, Mr. Braganza told us that we already got what we wanted. I said the documents were not complete. Where are the other papers we’re requesting, I asked. He requested us to meet him at the AHA office.

At the AHA office, we again complained about the cell site. We reiterated our concerns, no holds barred. You know what losers would do when they don’t want to admit about their wrongdoing, they would do a moral attack that got nothing to do with the problem. Mr. Braganza made a comeback, asking me: “Bakit naman kayo nagsasalita ng di maganda sa kapwa nyo. May pinag-aralan pa man din kayo.” And I said, “Ano naman po koneksyon ng may pinag-aralan. Galit kasi kami sa inyo dahil walang konsultasyon ang cell site na yan! ” Something to that effect. (In times like this, you really need to raise your voice.)

There are no witnesses. It’s just me and my 70 year-old neighbor. And on the other side, it’s just Mr. Louie and Mr. Braganza. Since there are no witnesses, Mr. Braganza would always answer us in abstract reasoning (pilosopo sumagot). I reminded him about our agreement that if they could not produce all the documents we requested, they would stop the operation.

Perfunctorily, Mr. Braganza instructed Mr. Louie to call the engineer on the site. When Mr. Louie returned, he brought the foreman. Mr. Braganza then told the foreman to tell the engineer that the operation would be stopped because of our complaint. The foreman then called the engineer through his cellphone for proper coordination. When the foreman got the engineer on the phone, he gave it to Mr. Braganza. Same script as he spoke to a certain Engr. Cudiao. However, after their phone conversation, Mr. Braganza told us that the operation would continue for Engr. Cudiao would bring the other documents we were requesting.

Talking with the president of AHA was useless. He is, after all, one of the culprits why this impending cell site installation came about in our subdivision, right beside our house and Camba family’s house. I texted my OIC that I would be absent on Monday because of homeowners’ complaint that I still need to coordinate and would be reporting back to office on Tuesday. My supervisor replied back telling me that I could not be absent because there was going to be a meeting on work plans. I texted back: “Sa Tuesday na po ako makakabalik sa office.” With that, she finally understood and allowed me to take a leave of absence on Monday.

21 December 2015 (Monday)

Went alone to the Municipal of Montalban/Rodriguez, Rizal and met with the building official, Engr. Alex Almario. I complained to him about this cell site in our street, right beside our house and Camba family’s house, and asked if the people involved in the project submitted complete documents and if there was an engineer hired to test the soil quality because I told him that when it rains, the soil erosion is so strong that stones underneath would come out and turn into a mini-ravine erasing what used to be a road or a pathway. Engr. Almario answered in the affirmative and even showed me a folder compiling the documents submitted, documents that I noticed weren’t complete for there was no ECC.

Engr. Almario then advised me to send a petition letter addressed to the mayor about our concern and attached a study or supporting documents that a cell site in a residential area is dangerous. He also advised me to introduce myself in the letter as somebody who works from Commission on Human Rights so that our petition letter would not be taken for granted. He said if you’re just an ordinary person and the only one complaining, it would be hard to get an action from the higher ups.

So I went home. I researched for decent articles supporting our case then prepared the letter. I finished late in the afternoon. In the evening, with the help of my neighbor/homeowner Mr. Fernando Camba, we went house to house asking signatures for our petition letter. As we went around, all of them except for one knew nothing about the cell site. There was really no consultation with the homeowners, particularly with us, who are so close to the proposed cell site.

22 December 2015 (Tuesday)

Doyle Camba submitted our petition letter opposing cell site installation in Amityville Subdivision to the Office of the Mayor of Montalban.

28 December 2015 (Monday)

Followed up our petition letter. The secretary, ms. Lou, told us that our petition letter has not been read by the mayor. So we requested for an appointment with the mayor. Ms. Lou scheduled us on 6 January 2016, next year.

6 January 2016 (Wednesday)

With Doyle Camba, I had a meeting with the councilor Roger Frias and mayor Cecilio Hernandez. Without hesitation, I put on the table our deepest concerns about the proposed cell site in Amityville that is going to be placed near our homes. We waited for hours to be accommodated and what felt like a 3-minute dialogue, Coun. Frias advised us that they would call on a meeting/agenda on Monday and that they would invite us for a meeting (Sangguniang Bayan) with the contractor and other people involved by formal invitation.

8 January 2016 (Friday)

Consulted a CHR lawyer about my problem. He advised me to take a legal action already and not wait anymore for the formal invitation. He said we could even sue them for falsification of documents, that they also violated the rules and regulations of the House and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). However, though he’s willing to take my case, CHR lawyers are ordered to not take legal counseling at the moment because of reorganization. I may, however, try to send a letter to the higher ups about my concern.

11 January 2016 (Monday)

Deciding against the advice of a CHR lawyer (considering his advice as last resort), I texted councilor Roger Frias to follow up regarding our cell site complaint:

Me: Konsehal Frias, Jezzamine Andaquig here of Amityville Subdivision. Would like to ask kung gaano katagal namin makukuha yung formal invitation after the agenda today? We fear na baka na-install na cell site bago pa namin ma-receive imbitasyon. Kaming homeowners sa Mt. Samat ang most vulnerable. Please help us stop the cell site installation in Mt. Samat.

Coun. Frias: Within this week, ma’am. Or you can sit in today or meet our vice mayor to expedite the process. If you’re not available, I will talk to our vice mayor or the committee in-charge.

Me: Ano pong oras sya?

Coun. Frias: Usually 10am. Baka may delay ng unti kasi dadating si vice mayor Isko Moreno.

Me: Ok po. We’ll go. I’ll be with Mr. Camba, since both our houses are located at the foot of the cell site (dapat po kasi ang distance should be at least more than 400 meters). Absent na lang ako today from work. See you later po.

Coun. Frias: If you want para hindi masayang work mo ako na lang mag-update sa ‘yo.

Me: Okay lang po, we’d still proceed. I think we should be there also para kung may questions si vice mayor masagot namin agad. I wanna see how the process would go coz our rights as homeowners have been violated. And sobrang importante po sa amin na ma-solusyunan ito.

Coun. Frias: Okay, no problem.

(With Doyle Camba, I went to the office of Coun. Frias. We met his secretary, ms. Michelle, and Sangguniang Bayan personnel, ms. Benilda. We were informed that the agenda was finished already, it was short, and all the councilors were out to prepare for the motorcade or something. However, they showed us a folder containing all the agenda that was discussed. Indeed, in black and white, I saw the cell site in Amityville. Mali nga lang ibang detalye. Nakasulat doon na Board of Directors ng Amityville Homeowners Association ang nagrequest ng pagpapatigil ng cell site. I corrected them that it is us, the homeowners, not the board of directors of Amityville Homeowners Association or AHA. I said it is the officers and board of directors of AHA who are prime suspects of the proposed cell site. I showed them a copy of our petition letter.)

An hour later, I texted Coun. Frias:

Me: Konsehal Frias, we went to your office past ten in the morning and we’re informed na tapos na yung agenda. So I left my contact numbers with ms. Michelle, your secretary, upon her request.

Coun. Frias: We already turned over to committee on public utility c/o Kon. Arman Angeles 0939-____. Please contact him to expedite the process.

Texting Coun. Angeles:

Me: Konsehal Angeles, this is Jezzamine Andaquig, a resident of Amityville Subd. I got your number from Konsehal Frias. I am texting in behalf of my family and the rest of homeowners in Mt. Samat who are all against this cell site installation in Mt. Samat, Amityville Subd. I would like to follow up when can we get your action on the petition letter that we submitted and discussed with Kon. Frias and Mayor Hernandez?

Hours later:

Coun. Angeles: Good afternoon po, kanina lang po nailipat sa komite ko ang usapin sa cell site, inform ko po agad kayo pagpapatawag ko sa in-charge ng construction but tomorrow ng umaga I will visit the site personally.

Me: Maraming salamat, Konsehal Angeles.

Coun. Angeles: Ok po. Inform ko po agad kayo.

Me: Konsehal Angeles, I will be in the office, though. I’d text you na lang po to follow up. (The cell site does not have permission from us. If we knew, we would not allow it for we did not imagine having our own house with a cell site emitting radiation beside us!)

13 January 2016 (Wednesday)

At 11:37 a.m., I received this text from an unknown number:

0948____: Good day. Ma’am Jezzamine inform ko lang po schedule of meeting regarding sa complaint letter nyo sa cell site sa subdivision. I already prepared ng invitation nyo para sa meeting. Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 10 o’clock @ Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall 3rd Floor. Ipa-received na lang po. Marie ito, secretary ni councilor Arman Angeles ng Public Utility.

Me: Hello, this is Jezzamine Andaquig of Amityville Subd. Thank you for the info, ms. Marie. See you on Tues, 10 a.m.

0948____: Welcome ma’am.

At 6:21 p.m., I received this text from my neighbor, Doyle Camba:

Doyle: Hi good evening. Nagbigay ng petition letter ang AHA kanina regarding sa pagpapatayo/magtatayo ng cell site para daw gumanda ang signal at kalye natin at di naman daw cancerous. Ang mga pumirma mga informal settlers hahaha.

Me: O talaga? Did you get my text re SB on Tues? Punta ako house nyo mamaya. Hanggang anong oras kayo gising? Paano mo nalamang informal settlers pumirma?

Doyle: Nakita ko may 2 ng pumirma eh, trabahador nila.

Me: Bakit ngayon lang yang petition letter nila? May laban tayo.

15 January 2016 (Friday)

I was still at home around 9:30 a.m. preparing to go to work when somebody called out from outside. I went out to check then saw a man. “Ano po yun?” I asked. “Si Jezzamine?” I quickly guessed correctly that it’s already the notice of a council hearing on Tuesday concerning our complaint against cell site installation in our subdivision. The man tasked to deliver the notice was Mr. Ricky Guillermo, one of the staff of councilor Arman Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utility.

This is it.

Council Hearing


my bebe love: #kiligpamore (a belated post)

My_Bebe_LoveJoined the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival and among the films that were shown, my sister and I picked Eat Bulaga’s loveteam phenomenon/ Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza starrer, My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore at Robinsons Galleria. We just watched to see Alden and Maine together in a movie and as a non-Aldub fan (while my older sister does!), I could say that I had a pleasant and comfortable trip watching the movie. Maine, who was discovered by the longest noontime show in the Philippines Eat Bulaga through her hilarious dubsmashing in YouTube, is a newcomer in acting and in fairness, she did not disappoint.

The story begins with a conflict between Cora Talatala (a spinster) and Vito Carillo (a widower), owners of competing event management firms, having a feud over a single venue that they’re fighting tooth and nail to get their way for the sake of their respective clients’ requests. And as each of them is preoccupied doing things to outdo, outsmart, and outlast the other, Cora’s nephew Dondi Talatala (Alden Richards) and Vito’s daughter Anna Carillo (Maine Mendoza) cross paths. Then they look at each other as if they’re gazing into a lover’s eyes. Is this love at first sight? Aware of their predicament, Dondi courts Anna secretly. And this is where we, the audience, got what we came there for: #kiligmoments.

I liked it that the dialogues between Dondi and Anna were realistic, dialogues that a guy would say in real life when he is courting a girl he’s attracted to and I liked it that Maine delivered her acting naturally, I actually did not see Maine. I only saw Anna who was this stubborn and rebellious daughter of Vic Sotto’s character.

So when Cora and Vito discover Dondi and Anna’s secret relationship, spending time somewhere, all hell breaks loose forcing Cora and Vito to team up and look for Dondi and Anna. But this team up leads to a twist in the story: while they are taking a rest somewhere in the middle of the road and in the middle of the night talking about their “young ones” and also, talking about their personal lives over bottles of beer, they kiss. Well, you know what happens next.

What happens next is that it is now Dondi and Anna’s turn to search for their respective “loved ones.” There will be confusion. Vito will now avoid Cora everytime they see each other because of what happened between them. But Cora is sad about this. Vito will feel sad, too, confused about his feelings. Dondi and Anna, to make up for their mistake, will go in-between to reunite them.

My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore is comfortable to watch especially when you just want to sit back and relax and simply remember what it feels to be kilig again.

Help!!! Ayoko Na Sa Syota Ko! Sapagkat ang nambe-break may feelings din (Ramon Bautista)

Help Ayoko Na Sa Syota koTanggapin na natin, bago ka pa pumasok sa isang relasyon, alam mo na ang mga puwedeng kahihinatnan nito. “If you’re not ready to get hurt, you’re not ready to fall in love,” ika nga. Sa sobrang kilig, madalas nakakalimutan na natin ang lagim na maari nating sapitin kung sakaling hindi happy ending ang dulo ng love story. Tandaan, hindi pelikula o romance novel ang buhay mo.

Totohanan ‘yan.

Gustuhin man nating lahat na mauwi sa happily ever after, may malaking chance na sumablay ang mga bagay.

Sa pagkakasawi, mas umaangat mapansin, maramdaman at mas obvious ang kapangitan o kawasakan ng damdamin. Parang pa-consuelo ang mga sinasabi ng mga kaibigan natin kapag ang mga katagang binibitawan nila ay nagsisimula sa “ang isipin mo na lang…”

Ang isipin mo na lang, hindi ka na maga-gago pa.
Ang isipin mo na lang, puwede ka nang lumandi uli.
Ang isipin mo na lang, makakatipid ka sa regalo.
Ang isipin mo na lang, panget naman siya.
Ang isipin mo na lang, magkakaroon ka ng mas bago, mas magandang buhay pagbangon mo.

Valid ang mga ‘yon. Ayaw mo lang pakinggan kasi minsan masarap lang mag-dwell sa drama dahil wala namang ibang nangyayari sa buhay mo na exciting. Ine-enjoy mo ang mga sitwasyong minsan lang dumarating sa buhay mo. Sana makinig ka sa mga friends mo. At tingnan mo kung gaano ka-beautiful ang pakikipag-break.

–Ramon Bautista


Hindi naman ito ang bibilhin ko na libro talaga. Bibilhin ko dapat yung Trese 4 na ibibigay ko sana sa pinsan kong si Stacy na nagbabakasyon sa Pilipinas. Isa kasi syang fine arts graduate na nag-major sa animation so gusto ko sana syang bigyan ng kopya ng komiks na gawang Pilipino, na parang Anime. Kaya lang yung dating malaking National Bookstore sa Robinsons Galleria lumiit na dahil diumano sa sobrang pagtaas ng renta. Kaya kumonti ang tinitinda nilang libro.

Gaya ng kutob ko, wala ng issue ng Trese 4. Hanggang sa naisip kong bumili ng kahit anong libro ni Ramon Bautista. Eto na nga yung HELP!!! AYOKO NA SA SYOTA KO! Sapagkat ang nambe-break… May feelings din.

Sa isang araw natapos ko na ito basahin, itong libro ni Ramon. Madali syang basahin kasi madaling intindihin. Madaling intindihin kasi naranasan ko ang break-up. Sa ngayon eh parang malayo na silang alaala pero basta ang naalala ko lang, right after a break-up, umiiyak ako, nagse-self pity, asking God kung may magmamahal pa ba sa akin. Kadiri pero ganun ako noon.

Ngayon, natatawa na lang ako ‘pag naaalala ko moments na ganun. Ganun yata talaga, pagdating sa pag-ibig, dito nagiging mahina ang lahat ng tao. Dito lumalabas ang insecurities na kung minsan ay walang basehan. Ngayon na wala akong issue about lovelife because I have none anyway, ang masasabi ko lang ay ito: having a man beside me is not an integral part of my being a girl. Di porket wala akong ka-holding hands na lalaki ay may kulang na sa buhay ko. Ako bilang babae ay kumpleto na. Bonus na lang kung ma-inlab ako at magkaroon ng katuwang sa buhay. At parang ito ang isa sa gustong mensaheng iparating ng awtor.

Hindi na ako magpapaligoy-ligoy. Ibabahagi ko na lang ang ilan sa mga love advice ni Ramon Bautista galing sa kanyang libro. Si Ramon Bautista ay isa ring sawi katulad ng marami sa atin kaya malalim ang kanyang pinaghuhugutan, hehe:

Q: Pag babae ka, bawal kang maging mas matalino, mas nakakatawa, mas yumaman, maging mas malandi, maging mas successful, mas malakas, at mas tumanda sa lalake. Bawal din manligaw tsaka umihi sa poste sa talahiban. Ang puwede ka lang, maging mas maganda at seksi. Pakshet ano?

Ramon: Parang disadvantaged na tuloy ang pagkakaroon ng matalas na utak sa larangan ng paghanap ng boyfriend. Minsan, maraming babae ang nagbo-bobo-bobohan o nag do-downgrade ng bilis ng brain para lang maging compatible sa boyfriend na less superior ang intelligence.

Ang masasabi ko lang, huwag ganyan mga ate, madam, at bhe. Kung nai-intimidate sila sa talino niyo, di bale na lang. Hindi sila worth it. Wag panghinaan ng loob at i-improve ang mga sarili ninyo.

Then again, sabi nga nila, maski sino, babae man o lalake, walang mata-matalino kapag in-love.

Q: Sir Ramon, nalaman ko po na may ibang GF ang BF ko ta’s buntis pa ‘yung girl. Ano na po ang gagawin ko? Help:( Mahal na mahal ko siya:(

Ramon: Sayang kasi hindi ka niya mahal na mahal. Hindi ka nga niya mahal at all eh.

Q: Ano ang dapat kong sabihin sa kaibigan ko na gustong balikan ‘yung ex niya na maraming beses na siyang niloko para sa ibang babae at pinagsinungalingan?

Ramon: “Ang tanga-tanga mo naman!!!”

Q: Sir RB, tatanggapin ko po ba ang sorry ng boyfriend ko? Sabi niya kasi hindi niya na ako bubugbugin eh.

Ramon: Huwag na, gago pala siya e. Liligaw-ligawan ka sabay ganyan? Ang deserve mo eh ‘yung magmamahal, gagalang, at mag-aalaga sa ‘yo. Ipa-pulis mo!

Q: Sir Ramon, umamin ‘yung girlfriend ko na na-fall na siya sa classmate niya na sobrang pinagseselosan ko. Mahal pa rin naman daw niya ako kahit ganu’n. Ano bang gagawin ko? Ang sakit.:(

Ramon: Hindi nakakagalit o nakakalungkot. Nakakadiri. Iwanan mo na ‘yan. Wag ka ma-depress dahil d’yan ok? Andito lang kami.

Q: Sir Ramon! I need your advice! Hanggang kailan po ba dapat ‘yung time before I should give up on a person na mahal ko? Kasi parang one sided na eh. Hihi

Ramon: Mga ngayon na.

Q: Paano mo ipapaliwanag sa hot chick na hindi mo siya gusto nang hindi siya malulungkot? Ewan ko ba kung bakit nangyayari sa ‘kin to, ‘di naman ako gwapo 😛

Ramon: Nakanaman! Pa-seminar ka naman.

Q: Na-friendzone ako. Grabe. Kumuha pa siya ng props na manliligaw “kuno” para patayin ang pag-asa ko sa kanya.

Ramon: Napaka-creative niya. Kung chicks ako, gagawin ko ‘yang technique na ‘yan.

Q: Sir, paano po ba makipag-break sa boyfriend?:( ‘Yung “pinakamadali.”

Ramon: Ang pinakamadali eh ‘yung pinakatama. Ang pagiging honest. Not necessarily pinaka-hindi-masakit pero pinakadabest.

Q: Bakit kadalasan kung sino ‘yung gusto mo siyang ayaw sa ‘yo at ‘yung ayaw mo siyang may gusto sa ‘yo? Bakit ganu’n?

Ramon: Para may challenge ang life. Kung parang t-shirt lang na madali makuha ang love eh di parang t-shirt din na araw-araw tayo nagpapalit ng love.

Q: Sir RB, ‘yung GF ko niloko ako, naghanap ng iba. Pero di niya pa din ako binibitawan at nilagay ako sa friendzone. Hindi niya daw ako kaya mawala kasi ako lang daw nakakaintindi at nakakaunawa sa kanya. Ano gagawin ko?

Ramon: Malandi ‘yang GF mo at makapal mukha niya ginagawa ka pa niyang reserba. Anong gagawin mo? Do whatever makes you less tanga… isip!

Q: Gusto ko nang makipag-break pero hindi ko kayang ma-lonely. Tulungan mo ako, sir RB. Ikaw lang ang makakasagot nito!

Ramon: Lumo-lonely ka kasi hindi mo kayang mag-generate ng sarili mong fun. Inaasa mo sa boypren. Pag inunahan ka i-break niyang syota mo, e di iiyak ka na naman. Learn to be awesome on your own.

Q: Hi sir! I broke up with my ex who cheated on me and now has a kid (nabuntis niya ex niya while we were together). I know I did the right thing but why do I feel as if what I did was the wrong move?

Ramon: No, you did the right move. You don’t need guys like that. Cheating na, irresponsible pa. Ngayon, the baby needs him.

Q: Sir Ramon, ano pong gamot sa insecurity?

Ramon: Galingan mo sa life at mag-excel sa, at least, isang bagay para mayroon kang mapapagyabang.

Q: Sir RB, what’s the quickest way to move on from a horrible past?:( I’ve been stuck with it for quite some time now and am already getting tired. Help pls.😦

Ramon: Go get some wonderful future and have a superb present.

Q: How would you know if a married guy is serious about you?


How Life Works (Andrew Matthews)

How_Life_WorksThis book is about why GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE ARE FEELING GOOD, why BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN ARE FEELING BAD—and how to feel better so that more good things happen.

In the process you may get some insight into:

-why bad things sometimes happen to good people
-why placebos work and diets don’t
-why rich people make money—even by accident
-why June now has boyfriends coming out of her ears.

Whether you get the job of your dreams, whether you stay healthy, or whether you find your perfect life partner depends on how you FEEL.

How Life Works may confirm what logic told you is impossible, but a part of you always knew.

Your life is not a lottery. It never has been.

— Andrew Matthews

Someone I know would always tell me these words “It’s now what you know but who you know” whenever he remembers it and complains about his job (a job that I think is better than what I had when I was his age). He’s in his mid-20s and when you’re in mid-20s it’s a very critical period, it’s the confusing stage where you think about where you wanna go, what you wanna be. I know this because I’ve been there that’s why when I was in my 20s, I was hopping from one job to another like as if I was looking for this Yamashita treasure (perfect job) that doesn’t really exists. But there is one gem of a lesson that I’ve learned: That wherever you go, whatever job you choose, you will never be contented. You will always see the bad side of things. And it’s really up to you to look at the bright side.

Is it true, that to be truly successful “It’s not what you know but who you know” ?

I don’t think so. Maybe sometimes but not all the time. I don’t think success has a fixed formula, that you have to suck it up with a boss to be promoted, that you have to know someone with a high stature to get that big break. Life on this earth moves in mysterious ways although it’s hard for me to tell that to my friend. And I was too tired to explain it. If I did, he would just keep on defending his belief. So I thought it would be better to just allow him vent out his grievances without me contradicting him.

That’s why when I was at the bookstore and checked out Andrew Matthews books and saw what seemed to be his complete collection of books there, I grabbed hold of his book How Life Works then looked at the back cover. At the bottom part, it said:

How Life Works explains why:

  • It’s not WHAT you know
  • It’s not WHO you know

“It’s all about how you FEEL.”

I instantly remembered that friend of mine. Hehe. So I bought this book. For my own sake.

As part of Andrew Matthews books tradition, How Life Works is filled with funny-because- they’re-so-true anecdotes and illustrations making this book light, fun, but still inspiring to read. The author did a painstaking work to do research and even sacrificed sharing his personal experiences (even how he met his wife!) and present them wonderfully that’s easy to understand in this 144-page book.  Everything written here you probably read already in other books, in other sources, and that is exactly the role of a writer like Andrew Matthews. The role of a writer is to give reminder of things that we know but often forget about.

Here are excerpts from the book which I think summarizes everything:

Page 66: It’s Not about THEM

Many people never get it. They spend a lifetime blaming other people—but it’s not about OTHER PEOPLE

  • If you feel that you deserve to be paid nothing, you will find a boss who pays you nothing.
  • If you ignore your feelings, you will get a job where people ignore your feelings. Maybe you’ll join the army where people shout at you! It’s not about THEM; it’s about your relationship with YOU.
  • If you hate your big backside, you will find a boyfriend who laughs at your big butt. When you accept your backside you will likely a) change boyfriends or b) discover that your old boyfriend has a new attitude. It was never about your boyfriend. It was always about your attitude toward you.
  • If your boss demands better results, if your wife wants more from you, it is usually because in your heart, you want more from you.
  • Even racial prejudice and religious prejudice isn’t about THEM. When you accept you, people accept you.

If you love yourself, people will love you.

In a Nutshell: You create your world. You don’t have to convince anybody else. You just have to feel different.

how life works illustration

“The harmony you seek is not with other people; it is with yourself.” –Andrew Matthews