Here’s something to SMILE about

With all the hassles and poor customer service (not to mention headache) that Cebu Pacific is giving its passengers lately (delayed and cancelled flights, getting bumped off, etc.),  here’s something good about this airline that Filipinos can really be proud of.

CNN Go, CNN’s travel guide website, recently released its World’s 12 best airline magazines and our very own Cebu Pacific‘s in-flight magazine SMILE bagged the seventh spot.

Now that’s something that to SMILE about, don’t you think? ^_^


7. Smile (Cebu Pacific, Philippines)

If only we looked this fresh a week into our Vietnam trip.

Basics: What? Who? We didn’t see this chipper little underdog coming either, but Smile’s youthful (and authentically Filipino) charm won us over.

Perfect reader: A fresh-faced backpacker as excited about checking out Kalibo by tricycle as s/he is about navigating the markets of Saigon.

Words: No great prose, but zest for adventure prevails. In a recent issue, a phrase-based Vietnam guide, a two-woman Southeast Asia travelogue and an alluring snapshot of Cebuano cuisine all had us reaching for our passports.

Look: Nothing special, but frequent portraits of ordinary people having a good time echo the magazine’s spontaneous, low-key voice.

Gold star: Capsule guides to every city on the airline’s network include slang and breakfast tips from locals.

Black mark: The layout smacks of a U.S. teen magazine.

Final verdict: Smile proves in-flights don’t need to pretend to be Esquire or The Economist — just to capture the spirit of the places they serve.


Read the complete list of the World’s 12 best airline magazines



A look back on “Untouched, Unspoiled Batanes”

This post by Filomeno St. Ana III on Vicky Abad Kerblat’s book, Jawid sawen nu Vatan!, brings me back to one of my best Philippine holidays ever, in the practically untouched yet progressive province called Batanes. Allow me to share with you this retro post, published exactly a year ago, about the group of islands that I believe every Filipino should visit at least once in their lifetime. Read more

Reaction to Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.: Why we need law

ProPinoy received the following email from Frando Sarmiento, an OFW based in Dubai. We are publishing this with his permission.


(A reaction on the link)

Mr. Locsin is indeed right in vigorously defending the law to the letter. For all intents and purposes, the defense is commendable.

However, I believe we should take the situation not just in its strict interpretation which, arguably applies in ordinary times. Say, a strong culture of democracy such as those of the Scandinavians, the Aussies and the Canadians. But everyone knows and feels, this moment, our moment, fall under extraordinary times. We as a people have been bounded in the shackles of tyranny, oppression, impunity and bottomless amounts of plunder of our resources for so long a time, that now the public manifests more courageously the personal and moral sense to say that enough is enough. That feeling is palpable from the moment the yellow army re-emerged from nowhere to catapult a symbol in Noynoy to the presidency. If this close to miraculous turn out of event doesn’t speak volume of the people’s cry for a sense of justice and longing for the straight and narrow path, then I don’t know what is. This event preceded the Arab Spring by several months so we can definitely say that this road to self-determination was not influenced by global events, but rather became a precursor to the power of social media for other people to follow. Perhaps as much as a template of the 1986 people power revolution which was a sample of what’s to come in the collapse of the iron curtain.

The premise is that we live under extraordinary times. If Mr. Locsin will accept this, then it would be reasonable to suggest that extraordinary events may be essential requirements for necessary changes to prosper. The Martial Law years is an extraordinary time where the Supreme Court became the puppet of the dictator, and for which, if you strictly acknowledge the promulgations and decisions by the courts favoring Marcos, do we really believe that without People Power, our country could have peacefully returned to democracy and not in the hands of someone like Gen. Ver ad infinitum? When one’s kind of government and rule of law is so perverted and damaged, it is also logical to suggest that if this perversion is allowed to persist, say in a scenario where a midnight appointed Chief Justice (or cabal of inJustices) is perceived to have lost the most basic core of decency, then isn’t it also obvious that the whole country will eventually fall into chaos in much the same way that defenders say that the co-equal parts of government seen to be clashing will lead to crisis? Isn’t it more worth the sacrifice and risk to fight this injustice straight to its face using common sense and the collective support from the citizenry, than solely relying on the wheels of the supposed justice system to take its course? When the great majority feels this deep sense of injustice wrecked by the machinations of the awoken little girl, is it not also true that the people writes and decides its history, and that a constitution is a dynamic edict that is open to revision according to the signs of the times? Otherwise, most other nations and governments would not have rewritten their constitutions. Otherwise, black Americans will continue to be marginalized in a benighted land.

The voice of the people is the voice of God. Cliché as it is to say vox populi, vox dei, but how it rings more in this situation. Yes, public perception is not always necessarily right to be used as a gauge in determining justice, thus the need for the strict observance of the rule of law, but then again, we’re living under extraordinary times.

Everyone has experienced at least once in their lives that feeling that there is something palpably wrong although you ca not pinpoint a hundred per cent the culprit. We then use past actions, events, experiences, observation and a combination of all these to come to a conclusion. Sans the absence of concrete evidence, we rely on our perception, but it is important to note that we are using our judgement based on the combination as mentioned. Now, summarize the nine year rule of the inGloria’s basta*d! Will it not reek of foul, suffocating smell if we let the hands of justice be perverted by a midnight appointee, one that by the Constitution alone was not supposed to have been appointed in such an ungodly hour and whose history of kinship and political favors to the powers that be is skewered, be allowed to apply their machinations just because scholastic interpretations say this branch should be followed to the letter and respected as a co-equal branch of government? If a president can be criticized, toppled and replaced, then who the friggin hell is a Supreme Court Justice who is not even elected by the people?

Common sense dictates it shouldn’t be so. The lack of common in the senses of the supposed constitutionalists, lawyers and paid interpreters do not do justice in the practice of law in a grand manner.