All posts by: Kristian Cruz

I am the Next President of the Philippines (Campaign Poster: Kung may Ganda, may Ginhawa)

As the Next President of the Philippines, here’s my Vision for the country.

1) First, may official motto tayo: “Kung may ganda, may ginhawa.”
* Thank you, Francis, for this Filipino translation.
* During interviews with CNN, the motto will be my original motto: “Beauty heals.”

2) Next, official color ng bansa… black.
* All citizens are encouraged to wear black during official public ceremonies and events.
* Why? Because… mas cute ang mga tao pag all black. Very chic. If you doubt me, look at the box-office success of Twilight

3) In line with the official black color, the official photographers of the Office of the President of the Philippines will ALL be fashion photographers.
* Bawal na ang mga firing squad pose sabay “cheese” smile.
* Everything should be styled and shot as if it is a Vogue editorial.
* Kahit sa mga outreach programs to distressed areas, everything should be styled chic.
* During visits to the farms, pati mga kalabaw (and cows), may make-over and make-up. And during post-production, via Photoshop, ALL kalabaws will be made more black and will be given a shiny effect, to make them more chic.
* Just because we have a high percentage of poverty does not mean we need to look ugly. Poverty is not an excuse for poor self-esteem.

4) Judy Ann Santos will be declared a National Hero
* Bec she is a good example of what Filipinos should be: a crying soap opera star who learned how to fight back.
* Aminin, kahit si Juday, natutong lumaban.

5) Within the 1st 12 months of being elected, ALL major government offices should have ‘green roofs’.
* What is a green roof? A green roof is a roof covered with plants or in some cases, an actual farm to grow herbs and vegetables. It helps purify the air of pollution, beautify the sky scape, absorb rain water to lessen the flooding in city streets below and to absorb sunlight lessening the load on air-conditioning during the summer months.

6) In line with the green roof campaign, ALL commercial buildings (those meeting certain energy consumption guidelines) will be mandated by law to have a green roof.
* At least 50% of their roofs should be covered with air-purifying plants (an official list of which plants purify the air the best, that is natural available in the country, will be released by the Dept of Science and Technology and DENR… together with a list of sources per province).
* All commercial buildings (those meeting a set of requirements…mostly immense in size and use huge amounts of energy)… should abide within the 1st 18 months of my presidency.
* A report on how much the air has improved will be released a year after implementation via the Office of the President’s official Facebook page.
* If the air has improved overall in the country, there will be a YouTube concert, free for all Filipinos to see online. Top performer will be Charice singing Breathe Again by Toni Braxton. In the background will be a gigantic gas mask displaying the official air quality results.

7) Still in line with the green roof campaign, ALL major national highways will be lined with air-purifying plants.
* Bawal ang decorative plants and flowers kung hindi rin sufficient ang air-purifying capabilities.

Here is a sample of my Vision per department:

On the Health front

– Since we have an over-saturation and excess supply of nursing students… these students will be mandated to log in a set number of hours, as part of their internship, to volunteer at government hospitals (prioritizing the far-flung provinces).
* The Dept of Health will oversee this program
* While these nursing students are volunteering in the provinces (in much need of medical access)… they can upload their travel pics to  the Dept of Tourism’s separate website of travel photos (categorized by province)..
* Chosen photos posted on the site will receive a 10% discount on their next flight or boat ride

For the Dept of Tourism

– Bawal na ang Tarsier sa ANY marketing poster or ad.
* Why? Simply bec I am sick of it. AND, bad feng shui yan… small animal equals small progress sa country.

– In line with the Tourism changes… the new national animal of the Philippines will be the Whale Shark.
* Why? Good feng shui… big animal equals to big progress
* Para rin lumaki ang self-esteem ng Filipinos
* AND, I will mandate that whenever the national anthem is played anywhere in the country, dapat i-play muna ang Official Presidential Recording ng Whale Shark sounds (for at least 15 seconds)…

– All celebrity performers who visit the country will be required by law to post their positive impressions of the country sa Dept of Tourism’s Facebook page.
* Come on, what’s more effective marketing… a video of a tarsier with the big eyes or the Twilight eyes of Robert Pattinson?

For the Dept of Sports (is there such a thing as Dept of Sports???)

– I will mandate that the budget be tied to performance
* More budget will be given to sports that produce winners. In short, salamat to Manny Pacquiao, more budget will be given to our boxing athletes… and to the boxing program.
* Of course, may budget pa rin ang other sports, significantly less lang nga. Unless they produce a medal, then… that’s the time we increase the budget.

– I will also mandate that new sports programs and budget be allocated to help other less-known but more high-profile sport-like events.
* Such as: those who compete in international Hip Hop dance competitions, international bartending competitions… and for the first time, Singing will be declared as a sport.
* Why? Para lang magkaroon ng success ang Dept of Sports

For the Dept of Arts and Culture

– Within 6 months of my presidency, they will be tasked to come up with a YouTube channel highlighting the performances of our great established and emerging artists.
* This website will be displayed in ALL of the country’s airport’s… together with a link to contact each artist

– The Cinemalaya will be given more budget bec they have successfully churned out more internationally-recognized films more than any other agency.

– ALL artists traveling abroad to compete in an internationally-recognized high-profile festival… will be given a free flight by Philippine Airlines…
* Or, if PAL does not travel to that country, their airfare will be covered.
* This perk only covers high-profile high-caliber international artistic competions
* They will also be given a free Flip video camera to record their high-profile experience (and award) and will be asked to upload to the official Dept of Arts Facebook page

For the Police

– Within 1 month of my presidency… they will be trained by the US police on how to respond to hostage situations.
* so as to minimize the repeat of that Hong Kong hostage tragedy
* ALL snipers in the Police will be tested. If they pass again, they will be given a 100% increase in salary… to encourage their accuracy in shooting a hostage taker
* there will also be an emergency fund, for the police, to immediately offer to all would-be hostage takers. Just enough to buy us time for the snipers to shoot to kill

– Still for the Police… bawal ang blue outfit. It will be changed to ALL black with glow in the dark details.
* Repairing the respect for cops begins with resuscitating their outfits. Chic people get respected more, plain and simple.

– We will implement a 911 system. Simple phone number to log in police requests.

– To prevent crime, a mandatory drug test will be enforced on all Filipino citizens, ONCE a year.

* This will be done randomly, so as to catch the illegal drug traces in the body, by surprise.
* All people positive with drug traces in their bodies, will be forced to name who supplied it to them, to lessen their jail sentence by 30%
* On top of that, all those who test positive of illegal drugs, will be asked to volunteer at a far-flung provincial government hospital or clinic, to lessen their jail sentence for another 30%
* To further lessen their jail sentence another 30%, they will be encouraged to choose another government department to serve at

– To also prevent the incidence of crime, ALL Filipino citizens will be forced by law to undergo a psychological evaluation, ONCE a year
* Also done randomly.
* This will be done to weed out those who hear dead people, those with a tendency for crimes of passion as well as those possessed by mental demons instructing them to create havoc
* All those testing positive for mental problems that have a high chance of committing violence will be immediately given medical attention
* If a person is tested positive as having a high chance of committing rape, if it’s a guy… the guy will be forced by law to be milked of all his sperm at a Magnolia dairy farm pump once a month
* For those displaying schizophrenia, they will be committed to further psych tests and a mandatory exorcism session (just to be sure)

– Each Feb 14, to reduce the risks of suicide in the country, as well as crimes of passion, a free YouTube concert will be screened for the whole country, featuring all the top sexy male and female celebrities.

Dept of Psychic Affairs

– All credible psychics will be pooled together to form a focus group
* They will be tasked to predict upcoming disasters PER Department
* All their individual and group findings will be emailed to each appropriate department

– All psychics will be tested first if they are truly psychic by testing their accuracy via predictions concerning the Philippine Stock Exchange.

– To further increase the economic growth of the Philippines, this group will compile their collective best bet for the lucky colors and lucky numbers for the country to use, each year.
* Pag sinabi nilang lucky color ang green for that year… all the backgrounds of political speeches and announcements will reflect that color
* Pag sinabing lucky number 22… all important economic meetings will only be conducted during the 22nd of each month

– This Department will also be consulted during the selection process of government officials, to fill in vacant posts.
* They will also be used to monitor ALL current government officials for ANY bad vibes of graft and corruption.

For the COMELEC

– To increase accuracy, inside the voting booth, will be a camera.
* ALL those who vote will be mandated by law to ALSO, aside from writing their vote, to verbally state their vote on camera. Then uploaded to a private YouTube account
* In case their is a suspicion of fraud, all YouTube votes will be reviewed and tallied

For Dept of Energy

– They have 10 months, to make sure all Dept of Energy-oriented gov’t buildings have solar cells on their buildings, enough to generate electricity for at least 25% of their building’s needs
* On the 2nd year of my presidency, they have another 12 months to make sure all government buildings, all over the country, have solar cells to generate at least 25% of each of those building’s electricity needs

For Dept of Science and Technology

– The DOST will also be tasked to finance promising web start-up ideas from the country’s web entrepreneurs or computer science students.
* In exchange for funding these web start-ups, the Phil. government will own 25% of that company and its profits
* All Filipinos will be encouraged to create the next Google, the next Groupon, the next Facebook or Twitter

– All research at all universities will be assessed… within 12 months of my presidency, to check if there is research out there (biochemical, engineering, agricultural, etc.) with commercial possibilities
* That university as well as the student who came up with the idea will be awarded financially… and their venture funded
* The gov’t then owns 25% of that company and all profits from this venture once commercially successful

For the Dept of Transportation

– Within 12 months of my office… for Manila… the number of trains will be doubled to ease the MRT congestion

– The train systems, throughout the country, will be updated

– Bus stops will be legally enforced… all express bus lanes and bus stops will be monitored by a camera

– Increased infrastructure between the islands – more high tech boats (with solar powered roofs) to travel between islands

Dept of Public Works and Highways

– All major national highways will be assessed for repair within 6 months of my presidency
* there will be a National Road Repair Text Number – to report holes in highways or streets
* if a major highway need repair, we’ll take that opportunity to install electric cells underneath the highway, that generate free electricity whenever cars pass through these roads
* the electricity will be used to power all street lights of that highway

– All streetlights, of ALL major national highways, within 12 months should be outfitted with a solar cell, to power the streetlight at night

– Just like New York and London, all national highways will have an Express bus lane… only  public buses can go there… to expedite public transportation to other provinces

For the Dept of Agriculture

– They have within the 1st 12 months of my Presidency, ALL Dept of Agriculture-releated gov’t buildings, throughout the nation, MUST each have a ‘green roof farm’. It must prove that it can grow vegetables on their roofs.

– Each capital city of each province, within 12 months, must either convert an abandoned building or purchase  a cheap one… and convert it into a multi-floor urban building farm (consult with Singapore on how to do this).
* The roof of which will be filled with highly-efficient solar cells, to help power the hydroponic indoor farming processes.
* This single farm building may not yield enough to feed the whole population of that capital city… but whatever it can produce, can be given, in alternate turns, to the local police, Dept of Agriculture workers or other government workers.
* The point is to serve as a perk for everyone serving the public good
* If the results are positive, more buildings will be converted by the gov’t to act as urban vegetable gardens… to supply food in congested urban areas. The goal is to reduce the gasoline transportation costs connected with transporting vegetables from provinces to major cities

– ALL abandoned lands, or undeveloped for more than 5 years, will be converted by the government into a vegetable farms. From all vegetables sold.. .the profits will be split between the government and the owner of the land.

Dept of Education

– A list of high-demand careers for the next 5 years will be posted on the official site… and will be shared with all Junior high school students… to give them an idea which careers are over-saturated (like nurses) and which ones will be in high-demand and higher-paying (like accounting).

– Entrepreneurship subjects/classes will be mandatory across all public and private schools, injected into the curriculum of the following: Grade 7 and for every grade of High School and the 1st year of college

– Another subject to be added to the Curriculum will be Career assessment class. To be added to 3rd Year High School. That year-long subject will involve a battery of psych tests, consultations, meetings with potential practitioners of desired fields.
* The goal is help high school students understand themselves more, to be more in touch with what really fulfills them… to minimize the mistakes done while choosing what to major in, during College

Dept of Foreign Affairs

– All consuls and ambassadors will be forced to take a luxury-reduction in their lifestyle
* There will be an apartment rental limit imposed on them
* The gov’t will only pay a modest amount for the apartments of heads of foreign consuls/embassies
* If they choose to adopt a more modest lifestyle and apartment, they will have to pay the extra costs, from their own salaries

– Within 12 months, they are tasked to compile a list of all Filipino citizens in their assigned countries… and ask each one if they are ok in the foreign country they are residing in… and provide the necessary legal help if necessary

– All foreign embassies will have an in-house group of voluntary lawyers… to help with the legal questions (no matter how big or small) of all Filipino citizens residing overseas

– Within 12 months, this Dept must create and test an effective evacuation plan, in case of an emergency similar to crises in Egypt and Libya

Dept of Justice

– The top 10 law firms in the Philippines will be mandated to use 10% of their time to take on cold cases in the Philippines (priority given to the poorest of the poor)

– All cases of all detained political prisoners will be re-opened and reviewed

– A free one-hour consultation will be afforded to ALL citizens… from a large pool of private lawyers volunteering their time to give free initial legal advice. The poor can text their questions.

Dept of Social Welfare

– within 2 months of the start of my presidency, ALL soap operas will have one commercial quickly promoting 3 gov’t public services freely available to everyone (especially the poor)
* at the same time, all governors will be required to educate their constituency about the top 10 free gov’t services/programs available to its citizens

– within 6 months of my presidency… a Domestic Abuse day will be declared… with back to back commercials promoting a text cellphone # reporting domestic abuse

– within 6 months of my presidency… a Child Abuse day will also be declared… as well as a well-promoted phone # to text to report child abuse

– both abuses above… once a text is received… the local police is required to make a visit in less than 12 hours

Finally, the Office of the President, my Office

– Will be an open office. You can Facebook me anytime.
* I will have a team of volunteers to screen each FB message… and categorize them into suggestions and problems… then forward them to the right Department

– I will visit EACH province during my term.

– Every month, one province will be selected… and from that province, one person will be randomly selected by lottery… to spend the whole day with me. And, to have dinner with me at the Presidential Palace. The whole process will of course be documented by a fashion photographer and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Then, posted on YouTube immediately.

– AND THEN, for overseas trips, a chance to join will also be raffled. The goal is for everyday people to be able to enjoy the perks of overseas travel junkets.

Will I end up accomplishing world peace? No. But I’ll definitely make the Philippines (and Phil. politics) more interesting. BTW, some of my suggestions do make sense and will actually improve things. And, I will forever go down the annals of history as the President who defined what a 31st Century Filipino should be: genre-busting, paradigm-challenging and Gattaca-fashion-chic at the same time.

Our politicians are a joke anyway. So, might as well run and be a more amusing (and effective) joke. Kaya, to my people, VOTE for me, ha. Paki-remind lang ako on Facebook kung kailan ang deadline to apply.

Philippines Re-Designed: The Cherry Gil Moment

The Batanes-Tibetan look from my women's fashion called Fable. (Photo by: heyazi.tumblr.com)

(Philippines Re-Designed is my collection of Facebook notes / thoughts about how to improve the Philippines’ tourism and design scene).

Philippines Re-Designed:
The Cherry Gil Moment
(You are nothing but a second-rate trying hard, copy cat!)
by Kristian Cruz

The grumblings are now more audible from an increasing number of my ‘creative’ friends: Why is there no discernible Filipino fashion style?

Based on what we’ve seen time and again during Philippine Fashion Week, what we are reduced to are copies of what the European fashion shows are doing. A year ago, I would have been upset by this. Maybe it’s just the freshness of 2011, but I am less bothered by it. Why? Because, I am slowly realizing that we can never find a definitive Filipino fashion style because we can never find a definitive Filipino broader cultural national identity in the first place. Ouch, right?

Let’s break this down. I don’t think we’ll ever find a Filipino national identity because of two things (which are not new propositions):

1) Because of our mix of colonial influences, can we ever untangle the knots?
2) Because of 7,000 plus islands, can we really expect a single land mass identity?

So, instead of trying to unearth what’s truly Filipino fashion, either by digging from the past (think, aboriginal) or by overly exotic-izing a perceived tribal-ness (think, use of exotic materials), can we, for one second, think that perhaps we already have one, that’s right under our noses?

Who? What? Where? How? Why?

Well… I am proposing that maybe we are too stuck on some sort of cultural nostalgia, fantasizing about a cultural past that either does not exist or is too far away, like the time of the Malay ‘balangays’ (tribal boats). Filipino Fashion Style exists. But to find it, we have to zoom in on the Present, instead of the Past. Zoom in even closer, Filipino Fashion exists at the town level, in cities that still project a certain cultural visual distinctness. If we follow this logic, we come to the conclusion that we actually have several present-time Filipino Fashion Identities, each represented by a different city.

There will never be a SINGLE Filipino fashion identity. Because, that will mean choosing one over another and if we do that, we disrespect the 2 reasons I mentioned above. It will disrespect our mixed history and our varied geography.

Before I give examples of its present-day incarnations, let’s disregard the major modern city street examples: the jeans + shirt look, the Korean hair look, the designer-label socialite look, etc. Every global city has this (maybe not the Korean hair). These modern day urban global-local incarnations are not unique to the Philippines. What I am trying to look for are town-city styles that have enough visual distinctness AND are actually worn in day-to-day real life… just like the hip boleros, capes and bowler hats worn by the Peruvians (super chic !!!). So, here’s my rough incomplete list:

1) Sagada
– the mixed wool knit hats, candy-colored.
– worn with severely distressed soiled motorcycle jackets,
– the use of pink sweaters by men combined with another pastel color, such as a blue distressed blazer
– on women, the draping of dresses, on top of another dress, then another to carry the baby on a sling

2) certain towns in Mindanao
– not the stereotypical Muslim folk dance attire, but the use of tunics by men and women, on their everyday dealings
– the use of a looser pant on men

3) Batanes
– the use of fur-like dried grass hats, to shield them from the rain
– the use of shirt collages (shirts sewn from different shirts)

4) Masbate
– the Filipino cowboy-look (yes, there are cowboys in Masbate)

The next question is: Now that we know that a Filipino Fashion Identity exists (albeit fractured and varied), what now? What’s the benefit?

Well, for designers, they can perhaps use these as springboards for inspiration (so they can stop copying from the Japanese and have the gullible Philippine press celebrate blindly celebrate them as avant-garde). For the normal 9-5 person, the straw hats may not work but maybe the Sagada use of pink sweaters under a manly blazer can work. Or maybe, it doesn’t really have a pragmatic aspect to it and that’s ok. I guess all of this is just for argument: That, we do have a Filipino Fashion Identity. It’s just not in the cities, but in our provinces.

If you want to look for it in the major cities like Bulacan, Cebu or Manila, forget about it. If you really want to force the issue, I will go look for it in Quiapo or Tondo. Last year, I saw a tricycle driver wearing a jacket, primitively cut short up to the elbow area, to reveal a long sleeved shirt underneath, then having motorcyle gloves with the finger areas cut to expose the skin. It was one of the chic-est things I’ve seen in Manila.

Chic-er than the socialite Manila guy wearing a white shirt with suspenders, cropped brown shorts with black leather boots while holding a designer bag, wearing a Mad Men hat, then blog about it and call it ‘a look that I created.’ To say you created it is quite a stretch my friend, just check out the H&M catalog a few years ago. Dude, all I can tell you is: Google the word ‘hubris.’ The Ifugaos in Sagada have 300x more style than you. Why? Because they know the difference between having style vs. buying style.

Andok’s Chicken, the new National Bird of the Philippines

Andok's chicken, pray for us.

(Philippines Re-designed: is my collection of Facebook notes / thoughts about how to improve the Philippines)

Andok’s Lechon: The New National Bird of the Philippines
(Andok’s Lechon, please pray for us.)
by Kristian Cruz

———-
What’s up with the Philippine Eagle, as the national bird of the Philippines? Hip pa ba siya? Am not sure about you, but it’s starting to feel like a sad icon.

For one, it’s becoming extinct. I mean, extinct na ba ang Philippines? May hope pa kaya tayo, hello? Second, it eats monkeys (allegedly). That’s not good publicity, kasi it’s super violent. And after all that beheading stuff widely reported by CNN in the past, we need to portray a more positive global identity. Third, it somehow feels irrelevant, unfortunately.

What we need is a new national bird reflective of the times we are in. One that is reflective of the realities, hopes and challenges that confront the majority of Filipinos. That is why I propose that the new National Bird of the Philippines be: ANDOK’S CHICKEN.

As a symbol, it is Realistic. One, Filipinos eat a lot of chicken. Second, we see it in our daily reality. I mean, when was the last time you saw a Philippine monkey-eating eagle flying in your neighborhood? If you spotted one recently, good luck, you need more vitamins. Hallucination siya, my friend. And even on TV, hindi na siya ‘In’. When was the last time you saw this bird interviewed by the Tulfo brothers? Third, it is within the Filipino grasp. It is a part of our daily lives. Parang texting. Parang jejemon.

As a symbol, it represents our Challenges. It reminds us of the bottom line, that many Filipinos are still poor. We can print all the campaign slogans that we want asking people to Vote Wisely. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to Food. And many people continue to battle for something as basic as this. We keep on criticizing the masses for taking the bait of dumb charismatic quasi-politician-celebrities. Well, it works because they say things in a bottom-line manner. Unfortunately, the Intellects of our time think the battlefield is an Ideological one. Wrong. The true battle is Food. It is a question of Who can provide its citizens with the opportunities to earn beyond basic survival. And please, enough of the Chicken or the Egg debates. Like, are we poor because we elect poor government or did we elect a poor government because we are poor? Sobrang confusing !!! Sumasakit ang ulo ko. Bottom line: Let’s make sure Pinoys are successful with the basic requirements of life first (food and water. deadma sa clothing). Then, let’s talk Ideology, Philosophy and the topic of Enlightened Voters. How then do we make this change? Well, I’ve given up on government. Just like Andok’s story, it is up to us to pursue our own success. Because by being successful, we are in a position to generate jobs and support other local businesses / suppliers that are connected to your industry. Hello? Super rich na siguro ng charcoal supplier ng Andok’s. At ang supplier ng chicken – OMG while LOL !!!

As a symbol, it clearly offers Hope. How? Well, it is a story of success and the Philippines is in desperate need of one. I mean, all our saint statues are crying. How depressing is that? Tapos, ang dami pang sampaguita sa church. Too fragrant and perfume-y ang smell, so much so na pati na rin ako, cry na rin. Hindi naman ako sinner. Meanwhile, the Andok’s story is super inspirational. From one small outlet at Baler Street corner West Avenue in Quezon City, it has grown to more than 300 stores around the country. It is proudly Filipino and owned by Filipinos. Amidst all the negative self-talk of our culture, here is a company that took matters into their own hands and built a business empire out of it. Yes, there is such a thing as the sweet smell of success. I am telling you, it smells like Andok’s Chicken.

So to you, Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle, thank you, on behalf of the country, for all your services as the National Bird of the Philippines for the past decades. Salamat. Please, it’s ok… move on.

And to you, Andok’s Chicken… welcome. May you inspire us. Heal us. And pray for us.

Nagmamahal,

Kristian

* Photo Credit: Litson Manok image borrowed from Andoks Corp.’s website.