Skip to main content

Lost Voices - What are you doing Philippines?

I am never going to live in Vietnam.  Not even if you pay me a million.  Not even if its the last country on earth.
Just recently, Vietnam has jailed three (3) bloggers for what they call “anti-state propaganda".  These bloggers wrote and posted articles denouncing corruption and injustice while criticizing Hanoi's foreign policy.

According to a court statement, these bloggers “abused the popularity of the Internet to post articles which undermined and blackened (Vietnam's) leaders, criticizing the (Communist) party (and) destroying people's trust in the state."
If convicted, the three can face up to 20 years in prison.

I may be slow, but I know that posting against corruption and injustice does not warrant imprisonment.
More so if it is the truth and the government is indeed corrupt and unjust.

In a very distressing twist, the mother of one of these bloggers died by setting herself on fire in an effort to denounce her daughter’s charges.  See related article here.

According to Reporters Without Borders,  Vietnam is ranked 172 out of 179 countries in its 2011-2012 press freedom index and is identified as an "Enemy of the Internet" because of systematic use of cyber-censorship.

Btw, Philippines is no. 140.  But with the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, it is on its way to the top.

Ooops, that's all I'm gonna say about it.  I'm not very fond of jail.

Note:  Image from


Popular posts from this blog

The English Patient

There are movie lines...

And then, there are "the movie lines"

The English Patient is one of my all time favorite movie.  It stars the oh-so-mysterious Ralph Fiennes as Count Almasy (who incidentally is also a real person).

It is based on a novel of the same title by Michael Ondaatje (which is also one of my fave writers).

Michael's writing can be described as "imaginative and whimsical."  He likes to write stories about the ravages of war and the interesting people living it.

He also writes about relationships and betrayal.
 "Betrayals in war are childlike compared with our betrayals during peace. New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire." And of course, love.

This movie has "the movie lines" to die for.

Almasy to Katherine:  "Swoon, I'll catch you"
If only this statement can be trusted. If only guys are all like this in real life.


Singapore is so much like Makati -- tall buildings, fast people & talkative Filipino yuppies. Not so much sights but then again, we were there to overspend on pasalubongs and go retail shopping. I don't want to brag, but between here and Manila, Manila wins hands down (on my own standards). :-)

Our hotel was located at Orchard Rd. and it has (thankfully) Starbucks at the groundfloor. We went down one night only to realize that coffee (as with cigarrettes) is so much more pricey there.

Athough, I must say, the air is worth breathing and the streets are super clean. Thank God for countries who respect the rights of non smokers to nice, clean air.

Lingerie, baby steps and women's liberation

If you ever heard the saying "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" then you can relate to this post.

In Saudi, a 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been implemented due to various conservative groups who are opposed to the idea of women working in common areas visited by men and women, like malls.

Finally, the government has decided to enforce this law effective this month after long standing protests by Saudi women.

Strict Saudi law prohibits mingling of unrelated men and women.

Which kind of makes it awkward for women to be accompanied by male relatives in buying their intimate wear from men behind the counter.

"I and many other women like me were always embarrassed to walk into lingerie shops because men were selling the goods," said Saudi shopper Samar Mohammed.

She said that in the past she often bought the wrong underwear "because I was sensitive about explaining what I wanted to a man."
Saudi w…