Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beauty Internationale

The still unbearably cold spring (honestly, I still can't feel the difference against winter), somehow got warmed up Sunday, where the Search for Ms. International (foreigner) Japan was held.

As the title clarifies, the pageant features gaijins or foreigners in Japan - mostly Asian and of Japanese descent. The ladies for this year's batch came from Thailand, Philippines, India, Bangladesh , Vietnam and Kazakhstan.

It was no different from the beauty contests we all are familiar with - only that this time, there was one candidate that stood-out from everyone else. Ms. Kazakhstan (pics above) was the only caucasian in the group and the most poised. Most beautiful? I don't want to be accused of having a colonial perspective so I'd rather that the pictures be the judge.

But if the crowd reception was to be used as the gauge, she really was the overwhelming favorite to win the crown. She did.

Below were my other bets, at least for the runner-up slots, he he.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will Your Money Grow Here?

Money must indeed be ailing these days. Want to resuscitate it? Let this Bank handle the job. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hold Your Horses, Folks!

Was it a staged summary execution? Apparently not. No one has yet questioned the claim that the policemen chased the suspects before they reached that Q.C. area where the encounter happened. Note that the shooting occured in a busy street, with thousands of spectators and possible witnesses.

But was it an overkill? Did the policemen kill the then immobilized suspects? Or was there still apparent threat on the lives of the policemen forcing them to neutralize the source of the threat? Given what media is showing, everything is hazy. An independent probe is therefore necessary.

As a lawyer, I am sworn and I am committed to upholding every man’s right to life. No one, premised on prevailing laws, has the right to exact justice on his own volition. Every alleged transgressor of the law must be presumed innocent until the requisite processes are observed and the courts of law declare him otherwise.

But then again, in the case of the now-controversial incident, the same presumption must be applied to the accused trigger-happy policemen. What’s happening now, is that media, particularly ABS-CBN which prides itself of having taken an exclusive footage of the shootout, rams down the public’s throat, its own version of what happened. ABS-CBN now takes it as its own crusade to lead the viewers to the conclusion it has reached. And we all know how influential media is in shaping public opinion. Regardless of what transpires in the investigations, the guilt of the policemen are already ingrained in the public mind.

Disappointingly, on the same boat was the head of the Commission on Human Rights which has yet to conduct an investigation but has already displayed melodramatic reactions on-cam. True, the mandate of the CHR is to ensure utmost respect for human rights, but it doesn’t command partiality to the dead or the complainant.

The public deserves to know the truth on this matter. Let the formal investigations begin and let’s draw our conclusions only when all the facts have been laid out.

* * *

I have to admit I am an interested party to this case. As a lawyer, I do push for the observance of the due process of law regardless of the circumstances. But as a victim of carnapping, I too would be relieved to know if indeed those killed were part of the syndicates operating in Quezon City and that somehow there are now less of them prowling our streets.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reflections of a DOVE

All too suddenly, winter seems gone in Tokyo.

While yesterday was still as cold as usual, temperatures this morning hovered in the 20s.

If this was to happen some other day, I would have surely celebrated. But I just can't help thinking that nature is taunting me. Why right in time for Valentine's Day? Could it be that the collective passion of mankind has caused global warming?

Alright, I admit I am whining. With all the hoopla that's going around for days, I have yet to figure out where to place myself in the scheme of things.

All I am quite certain of is that at this very moment, I am....

cold ...
grey ...

and downright envious ..

Yup, I have just been elected as Chairman of DOVEs, Intl. (Dateless On Valentine's Eve). Recruitment is still open until 11:59 tonight.

(The pics were taken during our snow trip last Sunday to Minakami, Gunma-ken)


Happy Valentine's Day, folks!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Young Husband

He sauntered to the public faucet with a playful smile. Many eyes were on him, mostly teasing.

He then took a confident squat and examined the task in front him as if confronting a school science project. True, it was quite a challenge - cleaning his firstborn's soiled diapers.

But not like any "fear factor" episode, he proceeded like a natural . He brushed off the remnants of the baby explosions and washed the linens amidst the friendly neighborhood heckling.

In no time, the mission was accomplished.

Just another day of fatherhood....

Meantime, one of those in the sidelines captured the scene as a human interest photo. Initially.

But later, as he looked at himself, it became a poignant reminder of the few things he failed to experience as of yet and would now love trading anything for. Strangely, he wishes to be on the very spot where the young man was and be just as proud of his communion with the world's future generation.

For days hence, the scene flashed incessantly in the photographer's mind and brought him to asking - did he pursue the wrong priorities early in life?

Until today, the wondering continues ... and hopefully, it will end as Valentine's Day passes.

(The pic is of Andrew, a neighbor, taken during my "istambay" moments in our town last December).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ukay-Ukay: Japanese Style

Known for their affluence, it is hard to imagine the Japanese being practical - or frugal. They may not all be filthy rich, but their average incomes are much higher than many other nationalities. That they have always been among the top targets for expensive branded merchandise simply confirms the thickness of their wallets.

It is thus interesting to find flea markets in some areas here. I'm not sure if the recession has in some ways contributed to their proliferation, but as I was told, this scene has been going on for some time. There were many "shoppers", i tell you. And while some sellers are regular businessmen, many seem to be there just to clear their closets.

Last Sunday, I was brought by a friend to Sendagaya and was immersed in a sea of second-hand goods. Some were actually still pricey, but if one's patient enough to search around, he could actually get some astonishing bargains. My friend snatched two original Levi's jeans (still in good condition) for Yen 500 or about Php 250.00. I saw a pair of Armanis worth Yen 800, only that they were a little too small for my post vacation waistline.

Some items however could make one smile as they are already cousins to garbage. But then again, "buyers beware" remains as a primary market principle, so it really is up to the market players to decide whether an item get sold or thrown to the recycling shops.

Note: "ukay-ukay" is Filipino slang for second-hand merchandize (disaster relief items actually) being sold in specialty stores.