Monthly Archives: March, 2016

A questionable decision (Cell site in Amityville)

I almost got a heart attack this morning when I discovered these documents on my working table that nobody at home told me about, or forgot to tell me.  Didn’t notice it last night for it was beneath a notebook used as paper weight. And I have other papers also on the table, all cell site-related, so I thought they’re just my old stuff.  Those documents are copy of the letters from the Office of the Mayor and Office of Municipal Engineer of Rodriguez, Rizal that arrived in the afternoon of 30 March 2016, Wednesday, according to my younger brother.  Here are those letters.

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Had to be absent from work so I could attend to this and go to the municipal hall to verify these documents.  Documents that tell us they’re lifting the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order for the construction of Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site near our house.  Got a chance to talk with Engr. Almario and he said he was just following order from the mayor.  I am not a lawyer but I asked him where is the resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan, where are the attachments that indeed both the contractor and subcontractor complied with all the requirements when obviously they are not (IT GOT NO CONSENT FROM US, THE BONAFIDE HOMEOWNERS AND RESIDENTS OF AMITYVILLE.  We sent a position paper with evidences, did he read it?  He said no, he didn’t see the document, I said didn’t he look for our position paper with Coun. Angeles, he said he did, he said they based their decision on their legal counsel’s recommendation and upon the mayor’s order.   He said if I need copies of those documents that weren’t attached I should submit a formal letter.

To be continued.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)

200px-QuietBookCoverAt least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams.  Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so.  This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

— Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

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Being an introvert, or quiet, was one of my biggest insecurities when I was a teenager ’til I reached my twenties.  In elementary, I remember I would sit so behaved with my bag on my lap and just listened to teachers.  One teacher commended my behavior that she asked me to stand up in front of the class, gave me a stick, and instructed me to hit my male classmate with it who was misbehaving.  What I did was I just made a light touch to his head with the long stick I was holding.  That’s all I could remember.  I am saying this because while my being quiet in elementary was accepted by my teacher, or by my classmates because I did not experience hostility at all, it was in high school to college and then when I work in an office did I meet some people who are antagonistic towards my quiet behavior, throwing negative remarks my way as if that would encourage me to change my ways.  It did not.  It encouraged me more to hide under my shell.  There were times that I cried in my private moment.  I  pitied myself, that maybe there really was something wrong with me.  And because of this, I came to envy those who are gregarious, talkative, loud, and flamboyant.  Why can’t I be like them, I asked myself.

I don’t know what happened but after working in so many companies, meeting different kinds of people and bosses, after going through hell and back, I’ve learned to become assertive.  I now initiate conversation with a stranger.  I still consider myself an introvert because I get anxiety attack when I’m in a party.  But I no longer cry in my private moment just because I am an introvert and somebody has a problem with it.  Because you know what, I’ve realized that those “gregarious, talkative, loud, and flamboyant” people that I envied before are also annoying people.  In this life, it’s just a matter of choosing the right people to surround yourself with, it’s just a matter of choosing the people who will accept you for who you are. From being passive and quiet, I don’t know what happened but during  certain “events,” I can be confrontational and combative as opposed to my younger self where I would cry privately because of self-pity.  I’ve learned that confronting your enemy is the only way out.

That is why I got so interested when I saw this book by Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, from the package that my older brother sent from abroad.  Though I strongly believe that introverts are talented and gifted just as extroverts are audacious and expressive, I got curious with the other details.

In this book, I met Mike Wei, an Asian-American studying in Stanford University.

“My dorm has four Asians in it, out of fifty kids. So I feel more comfortable around them. There’s this one guy called Brian, and he’s pretty quiet. I can tell he has that Asian quality where you’re kind of shy, and I feel comfortable around him for that reason. I feel like I can be myself around him. I don’t have to do something just to look cool, whereas around a big group of people that aren’t Asian or are just really loud, I feel like I have to play a role.”

Susan Cain has this to share: “Mike told me about a freshman icebreaking event he’d participated in, a scavenger hunt in San Francisco that was supposed to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones. Mike was the only Asian assigned to a rowdy group, some of whom streaked naked down a San Francisco street and cross-dressed in a local department store during the hunt. One girl went to a Victoria’s Secret display and stripped down to her underwear. As Mike recounted these details, I thought he was going to tell me that his group had been over the top, inappropriate. But he wasn’t critical of the other students. He was critical of himself.”

“When people do things like that, there’s a moment where I feel uncomfortable with it. It shows my own limits. Sometimes I feel like they’re better than I am,” confesses Mike.

Susan Cain adds: “Mike was getting similar messages from his professors. A few weeks after the orientation event, his freshman adviser—a professor at Stanford’s medical school—invited a group of students to her house. Mike hoped to make a good impression, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. The other students seemed to have no problem joking around and asking intelligent questions. ‘Mike you were so loud today,’ the professor teased him when finally he said good-bye. ‘You just blew me away.’ He left her house feeling bad about himself. ‘People who don’t talk are seen as weak or lacking,’ he concluded ruefully.”

But Jon Berghoff, an introvert but a successful sales manager thinks otherwise: “A lot of people believe that selling requires being a fast talker, or knowing how to use charisma to persuade. Those things do require an extroverted way of communicating. But in sales there’s a truism that ‘we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionately.’ I believe that what makes someone really good at selling or consulting—the number one thing is they’ve got to really listen well. When I look at the top salespeople in my organization, none of those extroverted qualities are the key to their success.”

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking took five years for the author to finish. Thank you Ms. Susan Cain.  I love your chapter on “When Should You Act More Extroverted Than You Really Are.” That’s chapter 9.

Susan Cain shares: “You might wonder how a strong introvert like Professor Little manages to speak in public so effectively. The answer, he says, is simple, and it has to do with a new field of psychology that he created almost singlehandedly, called Free Trait Theory. Little believes that fixed traits and free traits coexist. According to a Free Trait Theory, we are born and culturally endowed with certain personality traits—introversion, for example—but we can and do act out of our character in the service of ‘core personal projects.’

“In other words, introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly. Free Trait Theory explains why an introvert might throw his extroverted wife a surprise party or join the PTA at his daughter’s school. It explains how it’s possible for an extroverted scientist to behave with reserve in her laboratory, for an agreeable person to act hard-nosed during a business negotiation, and for a cantankerous uncle to treat his niece tenderly when he takes her out for ice cream. As these examples suggest, Free Trait Theory applies in many different contexts, but it’s especially relevant for introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal.”

Be positive

“It’s not your position in life; it’s the disposition you have which will change your position.” –Dr. David McKinley

Tagubilin at Habilin (a poem)

I discovered this poem through Bianca Gonzalez’s blog years ago.  Since then, this poem became one of my guideposts in coping with life’s difficulties and in moving forward despite fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Tagubilin at Habilin

NI JOSE F. LACABA

Mabuhay ka, kaibigan!
Mabuhay ka!
Iyan ang una’t huli kong
Tagubilin at habilin:
Mabuhay ka!

Sa edad kong ito, marami akong maibibigay na payo.
Mayaman ako sa payo.

Maghugas ka ng kamay bago kumain.
Maghugas ka ng kamay pagkatapos kumain.
Pero huwag kang maghuhugas ng kamay para lang makaiwas sa sisi.
Huwag kang maghuhugas ng kamay kung may inaapi
Na kaya mong tulungan.

Paupuin sa bus ang matatanda at ang mga may kalong na sanggol.
Magpasalamat sa nagmamagandang-loob.
Matuto sa karanasan ng matatanda
Pero huwag magpatali sa kaisipang makaluma.

Huwag piliting matulog kung ayaw kang dalawin ng antok.
Huwag pag-aksayahan ng panahon ang walang utang na loob.
Huwag makipagtalo sa bobo at baka ka mapagkamalang bobo.
Huwag bubulong-bulong sa mga panahong kailangang sumigaw.

Huwag kang manalig sa bulung-bulungan.
Huwag kang papatay-patay sa ilalim ng pabitin.
Huwag kang tutulog-tulog sa pansitan.

Umawit ka kung nag-iisa sa banyo.
Umawit ka sa piling ng barkada.
Umawit ka kung nalulungkot.
Umawit ka kung masaya.

Ingat lang.

Huwag kang aawit ng “My Way” sa videoke bar at baka ka mabaril.
Huwag kang magsindi ng sigarilyo sa gasolinahan.
Dahan-dahan sa matatarik na landas.
Dahan-dahan sa malulubak na daan.

Higit sa lahat, inuulit ko:

Mabuhay ka, kaibigan!
Mabuhay ka!
Iyan ang una’t huli kong
Tagubilin at habilin:
Mabuhay ka!

Maraming bagay sa mundo na nakakadismaya.
Mabuhay ka.
Maraming problema ang mundo na wala na yatang lunas.
Mabuhay ka.

Sa hirap ng panahon, sa harap ng kabiguan,
Kung minsan ay gusto mo nang mamatay.
Gusto mong maglaslas ng pulso kung sawi sa pag-ibig.
Gusto mong uminom ng lason kung wala nang makain.
Gusto mong magbigti kung napakabigat ng mga pasanin.
Gusto mong pasabugin ang bungo mo kung maraming gumugulo sa utak.

Huwag kang patatalo. Huwag kang susuko.

Narinig mo ang sinasabi ng awitin:
”Gising at magbangon sa pagkagupiling,
Sa pagkakatulog na lubhang mahimbing.”
Gumising ka kung hinaharana ka ng pag-ibig.
Bumangon ka kung nananawagan ang kapuspalad.

Ang sabi ng iba: “Ang matapang ay walang-takot lumaban.”
Ang sabi ko naman: Ang tunay na matapang ay lumalaban
Kahit natatakot.

Lumaban ka kung inginungodngod ang nguso mo sa putik.
Bumalikwas ka kung tinatapak-tapakan ka.
Buong-tapang mong ipaglaban ang iyong mga prinsipyo
Kahit hindi ka sigurado na agad-agad kang mananalo.

Mabuhay ka, kaibigan!
Mabuhay ka!
Iyan ang una’t huli kong
Tagubilin at habilin:
Mabuhay ka!

 

Cell site and the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal

Despite obvious evidences, petition letters, and position paper that we presented in our fight against the proposed Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site in Block 11 Lot 1 Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal, and after 53 days of temporary cease and desist order issued by mayor Cecilio Hernandez, today (Saturday) just when only 2 and a half working days are remaining before the Holy Week, at around 3:50 in the afternoon, I received a 3-page document (filled with misspelled names) from the local government of Rodriguez, Rizal signed by Atty. Pascual R. De Guzman recommending “that the order suspending the construction of cell site be LIFTED and infom Dominier Point Inc. to resume construction activities.”

Below is a copy of the said document:

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This is the position paper to remove the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site that I submitted on 29 February 2016, 3 working days after the public hearing, to the office of Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of Committee on Public Utility:

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Now, let’s review:

5 December 2015- Woke up one morning to see an excavation happening near our house.  When I approached one of the construction workers, a foreman named Randy Francisco told me that a cell site will be installed on the lot.  Immediately, I filed a complaint at the barangay hall/office against the cell site and against the officials of Amityville Homeowners Association.  This was then followed by face-to-face meetings on the 12th, 13th, and 20th of December 2015 with Mr. Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, president of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Mr. Louie Rosario, director of AHA; and Mr. Chris Rosario, ex-officer of AHA.  When I asked them about the legality of the proposed cell site, if it has clearances and permit, if it has approval from the homeowners, they could not show me anything.  And it took them sometime to come up with the documents I requested but incomplete.

21 December 2015 (Monday)– Directly complained to Engr. Alexander Almario, municipal engineer/building official of Rodriguez, Rizal, about the proposed cell site in our subdivision and near our house.  I complained that it does not have consent from us and we knew nothing about it.  We weren’t informed. And that we are deeply concerned about our health because a cell site produces radiation.  He showed me a folder that the contractor submitted complete requirements.  I checked and was looking for an ECC and there was none.  He advised me to submit a petition letter signed by homeowners and residents and attach studies that would support my claim.  He also advised me to introduce myself as coming from the Commission on Human Rights so that our petition letter would be noticed.

22 December 2015 (Tuesday)- Submitted a petition letter signed by 20 homeowners and residents against the proposed cell site to the Office of the Mayor.

28 December 2015 (Monday)– Followed up with the Office of the Mayor our petition letter against the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site.  The secretary informed me and my neighbor, Mr. Doyle Camba, that the letter was still to be read by the mayor.  So I requested for an appointment and it was set on 6 January 2016.

6 January 2016 (Wednesday)– After almost 3 hours of waiting, me and my neighbor met with the mayor.  Councilor Roger Frias was there, too.  We were told that our concern will be part of the agenda on Monday, 11 January.

15 January 2016 (Friday)- I received this notice of council hearing regarding our complaint.

Council Hearing

19 January 2016 (Tuesday)– A council hearing took place.  Also, I submitted our second petition letter of additional signatures signed by 50 homeowners and residents of Amityville Subdivision.  Among the councilors who were invited and 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 were Coun. Rommel Ayuson and Coun. Glenn Evangelista. Coun. Angeles said they’re busy.

Other attendees: Robert Bondad Jr., DPI BellTel representative; Edilberto “Butch” Braganza and Louie Rosario, president and director respectively of Amityville Homeowners Association (AHA); Engr. Josefino Amado of MPDC; and Doyle Camba, homeowner and whose house is just right in front of the proposed cell site.

25 January 2016 (Monday)– I received this temporary Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order issued by the mayor on the proposed cell site that we complained about.

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4 February 2016 (Thursday)– Despite the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order issued by the mayor of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal, the contractor Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. still delivered materials for the cellular tower around noontime while I was away and at work.  My neighbor, Mang Fernando Camba, texted me the bad news.  I shooed them (the truck and the men) away in the wee hours of the morning of 4 February but returned at noontime.

5 February 2016 (Friday)– Went to the office of Dominer Pointe Inc. in Prestige Tower in Ortigas Center to directly complain about their wrongdoing (I drafted a formal complaint letter) only to find out that the address that they specified in their building permit does not have a tenant.  It’s vacant. Unoccupied. And padlocked.  And the telephone numbers are not theirs, too.  It’s from another building.

18 February 2016 (Thursday)- I received this notice of the public hearing on our complaint against the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site.

public hearing

23 February 2016 (Tuesday)- The public hearing took place.  We were ten homeowners who attended (all of my companions are retired, except my brother and I).

On the other side: Dominer Pointe Inc.’s Robert Bondad Jr., BACDDC’s Nathaniel Cadiao, and another guy. Also, officials of Amityville Homeowners Association represented by Edilberto “Butch” Braganza, president; Louie Rosario, director; Nick Braganza, director; and Jonathan Agravante, informal settler.

Members of the panel: Councilor Arman Leo Angeles, Coun. Mario Roderick Lazarte, and Atty. De Guzman (legal counsel under Office of the Mayor). Coun. Rommel Ayuson’s name was on the table but he did not join us in the hearing. But before the hearing I saw Coun. Ayuson going inside the Vice Mayor’s office just beside the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall. We were eyeball to eyeball. He was the first to look away. (He doesn’t know me, by the way.)

Guests: Ms. Agnette Peralta, Director at the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology, Department of Health (she was accompanied by four student physicists). And a representative from the Provincial Government of Rizal (Assessor’s Office).

The hearing became violent towards the end because one of my neighbors, a lawyer/retired, had a heated argument with Atty. De Guzman, who was introduced to us as a lawyer from the mayor’s office and during the hearing was upfront in defending the other side.  Coun. Angeles then demanded from us to submit a position paper.

29 February 2016 (Monday)- I submitted my position paper to the office of Coun. Arman Leo Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Public Utility, to stop the Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site construction in Mt. Samat St., Amityville Subdivision, Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

3 March 2016 (Thursday)– Another violation.  Despite the cease and desist order, I found men working on the proposed cell site.  They immediately got so self-conscious when they noticed I was taking pictures of them, caught in the act.  One of the workers (not in the picture) handed to me a cellphone and the foreman, Randy Francisco, was on the line.  He said there was an order that the construction will continue.  To verify, I immediately went to the municipal hall, at the engineering office and complained to Mr. Santos (the building official was not around).  I was told that they would check the place.  In the next few days, a violation was committed again.  There were men working.  I saw Mr. Santos and was contacting the contractor because they knew (the engineering department) nothing of an order to continue the construction.

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19 March 2016 (Saturday)- I received the document signed by Atty. De Guzman recommending the continuation of cell site construction but it does not have attachments that would support all its claims.  So receiving the said document, before I signed my name, I wrote this:  “Show to us that this was approved by the homeowners.  Show to us the clearances and permits!”

Note: Have sent letters regarding our complaint/concern against the cell site to the Commission on Human Rights through Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz last 21 January (he endorsed it to our NCR office where an initial investigation was already conducted), to the Department of Health last 25 January (Dir. Agnette Peralta of DOH appeared during the 23 February 2016 public hearing but she favored the other side), and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board last 25 January (will send a follow-up letter or an update to our first letter), and to the Office of the Governor last 2 February  (a representative from the Assessor’s office attended the 23 February 2016 public hearing, will send a follow-up letter or an update to our first letter) and I was making a series of follow-ups.  Will be making an appeal with the Office of the Mayor on Monday since I am the Attorney-in-Fact.

 

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ERRATUM: In the first paragraph of this post, I implied based on the document I received which was signed by Atty. De Guzman informing us about his recommendation for the continuation of the cell site construction as equivalent to an order, to a final decision which almost made me weak.  Because before I received the document, on Friday afternoon (18 March) , I received a text from an unknown number advising me that the result on the cell site has arrived based on the position papers that were submitted. I confirmed if she’s Marie, secretary of Coun. Angeles, and asked if I need to pick it up.  When the number replied, it did not correct me if he/she is another person but only told me that a messenger will deliver the document to our house.  That is why when I finally received on a Saturday afternoon the “result,” as relayed to me by an unknown number, I was really dumbfounded for it favors the contractor.  On Sunday, I consulted a lawyer.  He corrected me that what I was given was just a position paper.  It was quite a relief! That perfectly explains why the texts are not written in a letterhead, or not signed by the mayor himself but by his legal counsel.  My neighbor (lawyer/retired) advised me to wait for the Sangguniang Bayan’s decision and not from the mayor.  Our fight against the cell site continues… –Jezzamine Andaquig, 23 March 2016

theuntouchableone.wordpress.com

I call myself “theuntouchableone” here in WordPress. My username (what I use whenever I log in to WordPress) is actually based on the 1998 song, “Untouchable Ones,” by a local band called Barbie’s Cradle.  It is one of the songs in the album that became my instant fave.

One more time we sail across our unionBarbie's Cradle
We’re gonna have to lie because we’re tied up someplace else
When we end how we pretend that it’s true
But everytime I disappear, I disappear with you
Thank you for your little bit of concern
You are oxygen and I won’t breathe otherwise
I wonder how long I won’t be sleeping over this
Some strange sobriety gets us so high
As we breathe the energy that fills the night
We’re untouchable ones
Throwing dangerous stares
We’re untouchable ones
Making love through the air
Oh no please don’t tell me I should get on
And insist that you are not the one
How we’d cheat if we would discontinue what we’ve begun

Facebook user

At the start of this year, for a change, I joined Facebook.

For millions of years I abhorred and avoided joining Facebook.  I wasn’t into increasing my network.  I wasn’t into people “liking” my posts.  I just like to write. And if somebody stumbled upon my work and liked it, that feels great, thank you so much for that.  That’s why since I’ve used the social media as my emotional outlet, it’s just the blog sites that I used:  Friendster (which became extinct because of the popularity of Facebook), Multiply (which also became extinct because of the popularity of, again, the Facebook), then now, WordPress (hope this site will last for a long time like Facebook).

WordPress is now my new place of refuge where I release my demons or anything that I’m thinking about. Been writing here since August 2012 (thank you, WordPress).  I also write my experiences here, good and bad.  And it’s thrilling when somebody takes a visit of what I’m writing about whoever they are or wherever they are.  I also received pleasant surprises when the subject of my article gets to reply to my posts like Ney Dimaculangan, former lead vocalist of 6Cyclemind, and Dr. Raymund Narag, a former UP fratman and former detainee who was wrongly accused of murder and jailed for 7 years.  Budjette Tan, one of the creators of Trese comics, dropped a message to my blog twice but that was in Multiply and the remembrance of it is gone.  But thank you for making the effort to reply.  I mean, there are millions of netizens out there who are, just like me, posting and writing a lot of stuff on the Internet.  And to be the “chosen one,”  I mean they don’t even know me personally, it’s really amazing. Including this one stranger who dropped a message to my blog and said, “Glad I came here.”  I felt happy.  You never know how it made me happy because I wasn’t expecting anything.  It’s very quite rewarding in itself to write online, in cyberspace, and you’re not expecting to see how many people have “liked” your post.  It’s also a bonus that I have 39 followers, most of them I never met.  To them, thanks for clicking the “follow” button and showing interest.

You know what, after joining Facebook, it has been a wonderful experience, too, to the point that I’ve become addicted to it.  It’s more interactive and I get to see a glimpse of other people’s lives.  And it’s thrilling, too, to see my contacts “liking” my posts especially when they are pictures, even if it’s an ugly picture, I noticed that people like to click on the “like” button.  Facebook is funny that way.  Though I’ve joined Facebook, I’m still not that type of person who is into increasing my contacts to thousands of people.  I still limit it to people I know.  What made me decide to join Facebook, you ask?  Well I like checking my sister’s friends FB page using her account since I don’t have one.  I would also make comments there using my sister’s account (she’s an older sister) and I’d just introduce myself as my older sister’s sister. My older sister would tease me to create my own account.  For a long time, I didn’t want to.  I hate receiving “friend request” from people, especially from men whom I know.  And I don’t wanna hurt their feelings at the same time for rejecting them by not accepting them as my “friend” if I do have one.  Well, I did have one (when I had a new boyfriend and I wanted to monitor him–bad I know!) but I deleted that after 4 days because it became so addicting and I just wanna concentrate on one account to save my time to other more worthwhile activities.

I don’t know if it’s just the New Year effect, without even thinking, I just created my own account then started reaching out to former colleagues and classmates, former neighbors, and relatives.  I also have this crusade against a Dominer Pointe Inc./BellTel Phils. cell site which I want to spread around through Facebook, for what it’s worth.

This year also, I joined Twitter.  I have a few posts already and most of the time I’m checking the posts of celebrities and reporters.  In Twitter, you’re limited to writing texts under or exactly 140 characters.  So it’s really quite a challenge to me who is used to writing in paragraphs.  Twitter can be a good training for writing concisely.

Since Facebook and Twitter are new to me, and anything new brings delight to a new user like me, there are things that I’ve taken for granted which I feel is not right.  I miss reading the newspaper, my books.  There is a book that remains unfinished because of my constant engagement with Facebook and Twitter.

 

Ode to Bea and Douglas

I’m a dog parent to these two dogs. The brown one is Douglas and the other is Bea. They’re both one year old, only three months apart when their respective dog moms gave birth to them. Having them in my life is such an amazing gift, I cannot ask for anything more. For more than 30 years I grew up not having a dog in our house. I never imagined I’d be blessed with them. Now, I cannot imagine my life without them.

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Jan 2016- Tatay and Douglas

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1 Jan 2016e

 

Road home

Night shot of Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Photo taken last night while I was waiting for my jeepney ride.

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Caught in the act

3 March 2016, Thursday, 11:00a.m.

I was already late but seconds after leaving the house to go to work, I was so surprised to discover that there were men working on the proposed cell site owned by Dominer Pointe Inc./ BellTel Phils.  Instinctively, without anymore thinking, I admonished the people to stop because there’s a suspension order.  I know the faces of those people because they’re informal settlers living near the site.  Then I overheard the right-hand man of the foreman speaking to somebody on his cellphone, mentioning my name that I was admonishing the people to stop.  Then the man with the cellphone approached me, he said the foreman would like to speak with me.  Talking with the foreman, I reminded him about the mayor’s order.  The foreman said he got instruction from Engr. Mel that the operation shall continue so anyway I just told him I don’t know who this Mel is, there are so many different names I keep hearing, I said I’d just go to the Municipal of Rodriguez, Rizal to verify and to complain.  Leaving, I heard the men continue their work.

At the Engineering Department of the Municipal Hall of Rodriguez, Rizal, I was accommodated by Mr. Santos because the municipal engineer/building official, Engr. Alex Almario, wasn’t around.  I reported to Mr. Santos what I saw.  Mr. Santos in reply shared that he once overheard Engr. Almario while he was being interviewed by the investigators of the Commission on Human Rights that should the contractor violated again the cease and desist order, he (Engr. Almario) wouldn’t think twice of cancelling the contractor’s building permit.  So I asked, “If the building permit will be cancelled, does it mean the cell site would be permanently removed?”

He refused to answer.  He said it’s up to the municipal engineer.  He’s just getting instructions from the municipal engineer who was not around when I dropped by.  Since the municipal engineer was not around, I poured out my grievances to Mr. Santos.  I said thank you afterwards, that I hope he would understand my situation.

Then I went upstairs to go to the third floor supposedly to complain to Coun. Arman Leo Angeles.  Upon reaching the second floor, I quickly saw Coun. Lazarte and Coun. Angeles.  Instinctively, without anymore thinking, I approached the two and complained that there were men working on the site despite the order.  The two looked at each other.  Coun. Lazarte said somebody would just visit the site.  Coun. Angeles, on the other hand, said the one in-charge of that was the Engineering office. When I asked when can we get the result after submitting our position paper last 29 February 2016, he said it would be decided upon by the whole council, not just him.  He said they’re just waiting for the DOH’s paper.  I said my goodbye, thanked the two, then left.  Coun. Angeles was going downstairs also and aware that I was just behind him, he turned to me and asked if I went to the Engineering office already.  I answered, “Opo.”

Despite the Notice of Suspension with Cease and Desist Order, these men were found working on the proposed cell site.  Using my smartphone, I took a picture of the men before going to the Municipal Hall of Rodriguez, Rizal to complain.  These are the pictures that I submitted to the office of municipal engineer:

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When they noticed that I was taking a picture of them, some men who I caught standing and digging the soil sat down.