Wednesday, July 30, 2008


How Corruption Is Reported In Brunei

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 8:32 AM
Comments: 0


Here's a local news from Brunei lifted from Borneo Bulletin Online.

"Flying letters" tops list of how corruption is reported

by Achong Tanjong
The source of complaints and how individuals make reports to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) were among the topics highlighted by its Acting Director Hj Abd Raub at a presentation during a recent visit by Brunei IV's religious teachers to ACB.

He said that "flying letters" tops the list of corruption tips (sources) received by the bureau from individuals who complain about suspicious activities.

This is followed by telephone calls, official letters from individuals, e-mails, SMS, newspapers, officials letters from ministries and sources from individuals working in the department or those who come to the ACB office.

He said that individuals wishing to make reports on corruption can come forward to ACB or its officers could meet them at other places.

The name of the complainer would be kept top secret, he said, emphasising that it will not be revealed to anyone.

He added that corruption does not just entail money but also any illegal course of action.

The bureau, under the Prime Minister's Office and through it Community Relation and Support Service Section, will continue to conduct educational campaigns by holding talks, forums, seminars and road shows.

It has also published promotional programmes, brochures and other related educational publications towards eradicating corruption in the country.

According to Hj Abd Raub, Brunei is one of the advanced nations that have introduced corruption prevention education at grassroots up to university level.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I Always Wanted To Be A Filipino

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 6:07 AM
Comments: 0


To my parents' disappointment, I am still here in the Philippines! Now, work global-think local justifies the steady exodus of 3,000 Filipinos to seek greener pasture of overseas jobs. Then, they were called OCW, later OFW, and transformed to Global Filipino. This is our country, and I think work local-think local adds value to all of us as Filipinos.

A Filipino, in the Philippines, I remain.


By Henrylito D. Tacio


After digging to a depth of 100 meters last year, Japanese scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1,000 years, and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network ten decades ago.

In the weeks that followed, American scientists dug 200 meters and headlines in the American papers read: "US scientists have found traces of 2000 year old optical fibers, and have concluded that their ancestors already had advanced high-tech digital telephone 1000 years earlier than the Japanese."

One week later, a Filipino newspaper reported the following: "After digging as deep as 500 meters, Filipino scientists have found absolutely nothing. They have concluded that 5,000 years ago, their ancestors were already using wireless technology."

Ah, Filipinos, a different kind of breed, indeed. "Filipinos are worth dying for!" declared the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino. And they are scattered all over the globe. Wherever I go – whether Australia, Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom, or United States – I usually meet them. Their usual greeting when I see one is "Kabayan, kumusta ka?"

"Are you happy to be here?" a Filipino reporter asked some Filipinos working in Italy. The reply was a sounding "Yes." As follow-up question, the interviewer inquired, "Would you like to go back to the Philippines?" The answer was a big "No." When asked for the reason, they chorused: "We are treated fairly and people really admire us, our way of doing things."

"In Florence," reports Alan C. Robles, a Filipino journalist who travels in and out of Europe, every now and then, "the McDonald's concessionaire wants only Filipinos to staff all the outlets." No wonder, then, why Oscar winner Roberto Benigni said that Italy without Filipinos would be like Italy without spaghetti.

Even in Saudi Arabia, Filipinos are well appreciated. In an e-mail, I got this information: "Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home."

This was what the owner said, "When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite." So, he decided to fly to Manila to look for two other Filipino workers to replace the ones who had left. When asked why he didn't hire any other nationalities, he replied, "There is no comparison between Filipinos and others."

Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Filipino workers — 1,019,577 — outside the Philippines. In 2006 alone, the Kingdom recruited more than 223,000 workers from the Philippines and their numbers are still increasing.
Even health professionals are joining the bandwagon. Every year, about 2,000 doctors leave the country for good. "The figures came as a shock to me," said Dr. Willie T. Ong, who urged newly graduate doctors to stay and serve the country. He is so concerned that the exodus of doctors -- and nurses, too! -- would leave the country's millions of poor with no one to turn to for medical treatment.

Filipinos, particularly those who are professionals and skilled, who left the country and find job elsewhere is a big "brain drain," to quote the words of experts. The British Royal Society minted the "brain drain" tag in the early 1950s. That described the cascade of highly skilled workers into the United States and Canada.

"Our first overseas Filipino workers left in the early 1970s," reports veteran journalist Juan Mercado. "That torrent continues today. This has whittled down our stock of seamen and health care personnel, from pediatricians to obstetricians and oncologists." And in a recent Baguio meeting, it was noted that the country is now shortage of geologists, pilots, computer specialists, accountants, and air controllers, among others.

All told, 3,000 or so Filipinos migrate to other counties every day. "Educated Filipinos tend to leave the country to serve foreigners at their country's expense," deplored 2004 Chemistry Nobel laureate Aaron Ciechanover.

We cannot blame them for leaving the country. The standard of living here is very low. There are no jobs available. The political situation is unstable. The economy is not doing well. "Until 1972, peso had kept its value of P8 to the one dollar until I finished college," someone observed.
Most Filipinos are poor. "Without land, they cannot build homes or produce food," pointed out Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Antonio Meloto. "Without decent homes, they have no dreams. Without dreams, they have no desire to study or work. It is terribly un-Christian for Filipinos to be squatters in a country where there is so much land in the possession of a few."

So, don't wonder if today the Philippines is famous as the "housemaid" capital of the world. It ranks very high as the "cheapest labor" capital of the world, too. In an e-mail, the letter sender wrote, "We have maids in Hong Kong, laborers in Saudi Arabia, dancers in Japan, migrants and TNTs (for tago ng tago) in Australia and the United States, and all sorts of other 'tricky' jobs in other parts of the globe."

Quo Vadis, Pinoy?"
For comments, write me at

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


A Decade Long Drought in Australia

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 11:22 AM
Comments: 0


As I was searching the internet today on climate change, I came upon this piece of news from MNSBC. The government and private sector must now act to plan how to mitigate of a similar impact of climate change in our country.

updated 5:39 a.m. ET July 10, 2008

CANBERRA, Australia - A decade-long drought in Australia’s most important crop-growing region is worsening and there is little hope for relief from either saving rains or a new government conservation plan, officials said Thursday.

The Murray-Darling river system, which produces 40 percent of Australia’s fruit, vegetables and grain, is facing an economic and ecological crisis because of a decade of below-average rainfall.

The Murray-Darling Basin Commission, which monitors water flows in the river catchment, said in a report Thursday that hopes of the cooler months bringing drought-breaking rains had faded.


Thursday, July 3, 2008


Portrait Of A Thief

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 8:30 AM
Comments: 0


Here's an excerpt from a article "VENGEANCE IS NOT OURS" written by Henrylito D. Tacio

Looks familiar, I believe.

Revenge or vengeance consists of retaliation against a person in response to perceived wrongdoing. Although many aspects of revenge resemble or echo the concept of making things equal, revenge usually has a more injurious than constructive goal. The vengeful wish to make the other side go through what they went through or make sure they'll never be able to do what they did again.

Actually, revenge is a deceiver – it looks sweet but is most often bitter. Now, let me share you a true story that happened to Hungarian artist Arpad Sebesy. At one time, Elmer Kelen came to his studio and when he saw the portrait, he was very angry. Before leaving, Elmer told Arpad: "That's a rotten portrait and I refuse to pay for it!"

The artist was crushed. He had spent weeks on this painting, and now the 500 pengos (Hungarian currency) that he was going to lose on the deal flashed through his mind. Bitterly, he recalled that the millionaire had only posed three times so that the painting had to be done virtually from memory. Still, he didn't think it was such a bad likeness.

Before the millionaire left his studio, the artist called out, "One minute. Will you sign this letter saying you refused the portrait because it didn't resemble you?" Glad to get off the hook so easily, Kelen agreed.

A few months later, the Society of Hungarian Artists opened its exhibition at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Budapest. Soon afterwards, Kelen's phone began to ring. Within half an hour, he appeared at the art gallery and headed for the wing where a Sebesy painting was on display. It was the one he had rejected.

He glanced at the title and his face turned purple. Storming into the office of the gallery manager, he demanded that the portrait be removed at once. The manager explained quietly that all of the paintings were under contract to remain in the gallery the full six weeks of the exhibit.

Kelen raged. "But it will make me the laughing stock of Budapest. It's libelous! I'll sue!" The manager turned to his desk, drew out the letter Kelen had written at Sebesy's request, and said, "Just a moment. Since you yourself admit that the painting does not resemble you, you have no jurisdiction over its fate."

In desperation, Kelen offered to buy the painting, only to find the price was now ten times that of the original figure. With this reputation at stake, Kelen immediately wrote out a check for 5,000 pengos.

Not only did the artist sell the rejected portrait to the man who had originally commissioned it, he also received ten times the first price and achieved his revenge by exhibiting it with the title: "Portrait of a Thief."

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  • "MaSci to GSI" is a compendium of experiences from childhood to present. M2G shares my insights and knowledge on education, hard work, integrity, honesty, creativity, transparency, and aspiration of a Filipino. M2G maps my journeys and adventures as a boy, student, dreamer and entrepreneur.
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Location: Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Efren, President/CEO of GSI, is an experienced public speaker and an avid tennis player, photographer, a beginner classical guitarist. He was the former Chairman of Philippine Geomatics Association (PhilGeo) and is an active member of other IT associations. He has a diploma in Strategic Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific, units in MS Remote Sensing in UP Diliman, BS Geodetic Engineering at UP Diliman and an alumni of Manila Science High School.







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