Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Repeal VAT now!!!

Seems there is a serious battle over VAT these days. Even our bishops have joined the fray-- these days they seem to know what's best not only regarding reproductive health but also for the economy. That fuchsia cap must really have some power, being able to transform DDs into MDs and PhDs. But I digress.

Economically, removing VAT is like getting genital warts after a one-night stand: a quick relief you'll end up paying for for a very long time. So maybe we'll save P6/litre on gasoline overnight. Then Israel attacks Iran and the Strait of Hormuz is mined. Then Nigerian pipelines are blown up. Then another Katrina hits the Gulf of Mexico. Then China and India grow another 10%. And we're back to where we began, but this time with less revenues, a limping financial market, and a noncredible fiscal environment. Actually, those who stand to gain the most from this measure would be the dollar earners (i.e., exporters, expats, consultants, and OFWs) and those with substantial non-peso assets (i.e., those who diversified their portfolio away from the peso, probably expecting stupid shit to happen in this country again). So go ahead, make some people richer.

Strategically, though, calling for VAT's removal is brilliant. It's grandmaster-level chess. In game theoretic language, it strictly dominates alternative strategies. People like Roxas and Escudero must be thanking the high heavens that they have been given the opportunity to try this move. If they don't succeed, they'll still come out as pro-poor, compassionate, and, therefore, popular. If they do succeed and everything turns out rosy, they can claim all of the credit. If they do succeed and the economy goes to the dogs, they can always blame the President. You just can't lose with this move.

It's great to be a senator. All this power but responsible for next to nothing. Think about it-- they have no real constituency so they can't be blamed for anything, but they have national coverage so they can claim credit for everything they lay their hands on. Must be the best job out there. But I digress.

Therefore, since I don't want to lose, I say repeal VAT now! Then vote for me for senator. And do more one-night stands, but don't use condoms because they're evil as the bishops say. Yeah, a prescription for success.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Manila, T minus 9 days

I'm going to Singapore next week to attend the National Day Parade, which commemorates the city-state's separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965. There is nothing better than to stand proud with other Singaporeans on this auspicious day, singing Majulah Singapura and giving my thanks to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's effective leadership.

It just so happens that Singapore is where my very good friends dr.sbdink and mixmendoza are currently staying, as well as a few other high school friends who I've barely seen since graduation. It just so happens that Singapore is the epicentre of Nyonya cuisine and a gourmet's heaven for Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisines. It just so happens that Singapore is the home (conceptual or corporate) of some of my favourite food franchises: Kopi Roti (which is an all-Filipino company), Bread Talk, Roti Mum, and Old Chang Kee (and its illegitimate Filipino child, Old Yang Kee). And it just so happens that Singapore is where I'll be spending my birthday this year.

But, really, it's National Day all the way.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Boom De Ah Dah!

I Love the Whole World...

... and its longer, live version too...

... boom de ah dah, boom de ah dah!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sex, Schism, and Excommunication

Seems religions are exceptionally prominent in the news these days. The Pope in Australia, the Anglican Church in the brink of a schism, Islamophobia in America and Europe.

Today was expecially abuzz with these news. Here are three articles on sex, schism and excommunication that range from the disturbing to the absurd:

Abortion: don't even think about it.

Gay bishop: to beat it or not to beat it?

Outside the white shirt and black necktie there is no salvation.