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Timesman | “Bulok”

THE suggestion of Sen. Bato dela Rosa to arm with water cannon the ships of the Philippine Coast Guard following the two harassment incidents by Chinese militia vessels of Philippine boats carrying “Christmas Convoy” at the West Philippine Sea last week is opposite in nature to an ancient piece of popular wisdom “Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo naman ng tinapay.”

But since this is not the first time the Chinese abuse our sovereignty in our own territory, I might agree with the Senator and let his idea be looked into with consideration.

Nawiwili na ang mga intsik na ito! Makipagbasaan na din tayo. My only fear is, what if after we retaliated with water cannons and the Chinese will respond with real bullets, is Senator Bato willing to be collateral damage? Siguro, o puede rin hindi. Sabi nga ni AFP Chief Romeo Brawner Jr. “Hindi natin kayang labanan ang Tsina.”

Pero mali yata ang pag-amin ni General! Sumusuko na siya kahit wala pa ang kalaban!
Bato-bato sa langit huwag sana magalit sina Bato sa akin!


The controversial statement uttered in the dialect by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte “Bulok ang ating kongreso ngayon” might be the reason why Congress withdrew the intelligence funds in the office of Vice President Sara Z. Duterte and in the Education Department she also headed as Secretary. House Speaker Martin Romualdez vehemently denied this suspicion while the Vice President, herself, admitted that President Bongbong Marcos has nothing to do with the spy fund issue. Everybody seems to be washing their hands.

At any rate, the former President after all might be correct in calling “bulok” many elected officials in the Marcos administration.

Take note of this news: “A number of mayors and governors have been victimized (in hundreds of pesos) by a fraudster pretending to be Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr.

“Arrested during an entrapment operation in Lingayen, Pangasinan province on Dec. 7 was Edison Montealto, 27, who had introduced himself as “Larry Abalos” and his supposed chief of staff.

“According to the victims, they received phone calls from someone who sounded like him, with Abalos noting that the con man was “able to imitate my voice on the phone. “Abalos denied that Montealto worked for him and stressed that he would never ask for money from anyone…”

Yan ang problema sa maraming politico ngayon – nagmamarunong pero tatanga tanga naman! Now, how can you expect these public servants kono in the government to work for the betterment of the people if they themselves can easily fall prey to “fake” Abalos?


I sympathize with jeepney drivers and operators that opposed the Dec. 31 deadline for the modernization of public utility vehicles and consolidation of PUJ vehicle operators by the government for a simple reason that I’m also an operator-driver before.

In my time as a PUJ driver, the minimum jeepney fare was P0.75 compared to P12 today. From 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. of driving, I already earned from P150 to P200 after deducting gasoline expense for 3-hour on the road. The cost of gasoline was P5 or P8/liter then, if I’m not mistaken. My driver took over from me the wheel and drove from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. After 12 hours of driving, his take home collection usually from P500 to P800 after deducting the rental fee for my vehicle. Masaya na mga tsuper noon sa ganitong kita. To date, many PUJ drivers are lucky to earn P500/day for themselves because of the skyrocketing prices of gasoline and diesel, plus boundary fee for operators. I gave up being a PUJ operator after almost 10 years in the business because lahat ng kita ko sa loob nang isang buwan ay napupunta lang sa maintenance ng sasakyan dahil sa mahal ng piyesa. Now, can you blame our PUJ drivers and operators for not cooperating with the government plan with the transport industry knowing that at the end of the day their families will be the ones to suffer for not having foods on the table?


We canceled our scheduled Christmas ’23 and New Year’s Manila trip planned since August with round-trip plane tickets and hotel accommodation for 10 days already paid in advance because of the recent development in the COVID cases in the country, particularly in Metro Manila. Our fear of getting the virus once we push through spending the holidays in the premier city was also mix up with the recent reported clusters of such cases in China (nanaman!), including the Mycoplasma pneumonia, dubbed the “walking pneumonia” that also drew international concern and prompting the DOH to review
its surveillance on this pathogen.

I need not to worry for myself. At this age, when I will be 83 next January, my only concern is my 23-year old son who was supposed to join me on the trip. Merry Christmas, readers!


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