Saturday, November 5, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I casually asked the staff who would give the go signal for her to start selling tickets and she replied that the ones in-charge of each cinema will be telling her if they were ready. I thought this was a lame excuse for a policy (if ever that was a policy) given again that they could have simply blocked the entrance to the theater if they weren't ready to allow people to get in. That was the logical thing to do rather than advise people to wait for the time when they could buy tickets while the staff stood idle at the box office. In fact, when they did start selling tickets a few minutes before the screening time of the earliest film to be shown, the staff couldn't handle the queue quite efficiently because they also took time processing transactions made by the senior citizens in the line. For the uninformed, senior citizens in the Philippines are given discounts provided they present their IDs and sign forms to avail of the discounts.
A word of advice to the different malls' managements - sell the tickets as soon as you have your staff manning the box office ready. There's no sense at all not to do so early considering people get to choose the screening schedules and it takes time to process purchases especially when seats are selected or when senior citizens are involved. You have staff assigned at the respective cinema entrances. They have and should do their jobs of letting people in according to the schedules on their tickets. Unless of course your cinema box offices still employ primitive ticketing where it may be difficult to determine the time when a customer is supposed to enter the theater. In that case, it's time you realize that you need to modernize your ticketing. It will be good for business.
Monday, August 1, 2011
a) Those who continue to use their cell phones or other electronic gadgets even when the plane is about to take off or land;
b) Those who put down their trays or window shades during take-offs and landings;
c) Those who stand up and attempt to open the overhead hatches to get their luggage immediately upon landing or while the plane is taxiing; and
d) Those who race towards the exit as if they will be left off the plane if they didn't do so or maybe they thought they were very important people.
Add to this list under the said category are people who have already been advised not to take photos while walking at the tarmac of the airport. Such instructions are regularly given prior to landing at Changi with the staff citing high volume of activities at the airport (which is true) and Singapore airport security policies. Almost always, only a few listen and heed such instructions giving way to the common observation and perception that Filipinos are hard-headed and don't know how to follow simple instructions.
Perhaps for some this is an expression of their freedom. I would like to correct this claim and tag it more appropriately as stubbornness and something that is unnecessary even for the neophyte traveler. Is this how we make statements of our freedoms? Or is this how we show others that we don't care and that we aren't at all sophisticated in the sense that we cannot even follow simple rules even when security and efficiency are legitimate concerns.
So it is that a guilty pleasure of mine is when I see these people being admonished by airline staff, by the ground crew or, best of all, by Changi security people, for doing what they were told not to do in the first place. Still, I see a lot of people continuing to do so as if their vacations won't be complete without taking photos without concern about airport operations and security. They continue to be an embarrassment to those who do follow the rules and those who have learned to become more civilized and more disciplined. Believe me, it doesn't hurt and it does one more good than bad to listen and follow instructions.
Friday, June 17, 2011
One thing I will miss about summers is the relatively light traffic along Katipunan Avenue, which is where I pass through almost everyday between my home and workplace. There is still some congestion during the mid-day and the afternoons but these are typically due to truck traffic as Circumferential Road 5 (C5) is a truck route. During the rest of the year, however, with the exception of most weekends and holidays, severe congestion is experienced along Katipunan during the peak periods, particularly in the mornings between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM. This is due primarily to the traffic generated by schools along Katipunan Avenue, most notably the Ateneo De Manila University and Miriam College. The following photos show typical traffic conditions along C5 during the peak periods.
Traffic along the southbound service road leads to a U-turn slot under the overpass where many vehicles turn, heading in the general direction of Ateneo. Most turn here in order to enter the university via its Gate 1, which is the main access to the Grade School. On most times, congestion is caused by these vehicles turning right at Gate 1 as they effectively occupy the two lanes of the northbound service road and block all other traffic. This is shown in the following photo where it is clear that vehicles bound for Ateneo and turning at Gate 1 are the main cause of congestion. Beyond Gate 1, the traffic lanes are practically free of congestion.
The afternoon peak is exacerbated by traffic generated by these schools that lead to longer periods of congestion as the number of private vehicle traffic dramatically increases when there are classes between June and April. Meanwhile, there is a noticeable decrease in traffic during the weekends and holidays. Such phenomenon is mostly attributable to the trip generation characteristics of schools, and especially those that tend towards the generation of much private vehicles. Ateneo and Miriam along Katipunan are just two examples. The traffic they generate and the consequential congestion is replicated in other places as well, giving headaches to motorists and commuters passing along major roads affected by these schools. Ortigas Avenue, for example, is usually congested during the weekdays because of traffic generated by LaSalle Greenhills, and ADB Avenue at the Ortigas Center is usually congested due to traffic attributed to Poveda.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
In my case, I was engrossed with chess and its players during my younger days. This hobby led me to an honest effort to determine the correct pronunciations for Russian and Eastern European names. Simply, I found that "v's" were pronounced as "f''s" such that Kasparov would be Kasparoff and Sokolov would be Sokoloff. The use of "j" would be similar to "y" and names ending in "c" were pronounced as "ch." Thus, Ljubojevic is pronounced "lyuboyevich." I think French names are also quite challenging to pronounce particularly due to the their tongue twisting or unconventional characteristics.
The problem is when names are not along the lines of the above examples. It is not uncommon for me to receive letters that incorrectly spells my first and last names despite my staff providing such correctly and these appearing in official websites. Even during roll calls in occasions such as seminars and workshops, I often hear my name savaged into something else. Misspelled or mispronounced names in such cases show me that the person or agency in-charge does not care or cares less about whoever he or she is communicating to.
In most cases, we are gracious and kind enough to correct these mistakes even going to the extent of calling the attention of the offender. In some cases, like when the offense has been repeated once too many, we don't respond to the letter or to the call; even stating that there is no one in the office by the name they wrote or stated. In the latter case, it is a tough way to respond (or snub) if only to teach a lesson that is probably not learned or taken well enough. This is especially true for people who do not care or are insensitive about these things. And that is the tragedy in this situation.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I am not really writing about our new DSL connection nor the journey towards having the service in the first place. I am actually writing about a pet peeve, and one that is so pervasive in our society that I just had to write about it while it was still a fresh experience. The technician, you see, unabashedly offered to double the speed of my DSL service. This offer came up when I was asking whether the speed of the service I was getting was according to my request - up to 1Mbps. His reply was somewhat indirect, resorting to telling me about the range I would typically get with this subscription and also saying that during peak periods, I might not get the top speeds as listed by his employer. It was kind of funny considering I was quite knowledgeable in these things being previously the head of our office's computer division and having similar services at my parents' home in Cainta, my in-laws in Novaliches and our home in Singapore.
My initial reaction was disgust but I managed to hide any reaction and proceeded with the business at hand until the technician finally left, unsuccessful with his attempt to cash in. I can only wonder how many offers he had made that day and how many took the offer to be able to get high speed internet service at a price lower than what they had to pay. Certainly the service provider loses a lot from these kinds of activities by their employees. And though I also believe that the service can be cheaper, I couldn't put myself in a position where I would have to contend with my principles and my conscience.
I'm sure there will be other temptations like this, maybe when I pursue again cable TV service some time in the future. But I am sure that I will have the same response and that I will maintain my integrity and my principles intact. I will continue to sustain this effort against the very basic things I abhor and those are the very things pervasive in our society that continue to erode whatever good we attempt to establish.
Corruption is clearly in our midst. It is everywhere and can be found at different levels and different aspects. We encounter it everyday and experience its impact on our lives. I believe we should make a stand in whatever way we could. For it could very well be our last stand and we should treat it that way.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I do salute public servants I know who are doing their darn best to improving traffic and transport and seem to have too little time to do their thing. Many of them remain nameless even after assuming positions of influence. But there are a few who have made a name for themselves for being mavericks in their own ways. Sadly, these people might be out of their jobs once a new administration is elected this May. I do hope they remain in their offices and am crossing my fingers that we do not have abusive people replacing them.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Katipunan Avenue was again clogged and it took me an hour and a half to cover 2 kilometers. What can be more frustrating than burning liters of fuel while sitting in a traffic jam when there should be none at all? The culprit? We can all blame (yes, there is no other word more appropriate) it on the MMDA. I'm not even sure if orders came from the Chair himself, knowing that most of his people are actually spineless beings unable to make their own decisions. Wait, maybe they've evolved into creatures with little spines and a little brains (I trust the dinosaurs had larger ones.) because they just f*$#ed up Katipunan traffic.
Traffic along Katipunan has alwasy been predictable, before and after the U-turn scheme was implemented. The peak periods are easily associated with the school schedules. Katipunan after all, is shared by three major institutions in University of the Philippines Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, and Miriam College. Elementary trip generation will tell you (and most people using Katipunan know this), for example, that the critical hour in the morning is 6:30 - 7:30 AM. Before that and after that, Katipunan is manageable if not free flowing. But even during that period, traffic is and has always been tolerable, unless of course you happen to be one who doesn't plan your trips and blame everyone else for the traffic but yourself. But that's another story.
Experimenting with the U-turns in Katipunan the way its been done by the MMDA will always cause undeserved inconvenience, stress and fuel consumption to users of that road. There is actually nothing wrong with the traffic and congestion is a normal thing. Any attempts to fix something that isn't broken will only make matters worse. Another lesson learned from the awful experience today but only for us who actually care or give a damn in learning and improving. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to the folks at the MMDA.
Monday, July 14, 2008
What triggered today's post was a sticker I saw while riding a jeepney to work. The Clairvoyant dropped me off on the way to her office as I didn't have my car and I had to take two jeepneys to my office. In the second jeepney, I happened to sit behind the driver and couldn't help but see the back of an LTFRB sticker where, as usual, one person's name indicated what could have been his most prized accomplishment - Gen (ret). Thus, he probably couldn't really resist including his title to his name. The other two persons' names were printed quite simply - without even a Mr or a Ms to them. Yet I know them to be an Engr and an Atty.
It suddenly reminded me of what my calculus teacher told us back in college. We were sophomores then and we called our instructor's attention to the fact that he had a PhD and yet didn't bother putting Dr before his Romeo Manlapaz. He quickly joked that he wasn't insecure like those other people who revelled in appending those titles like they really mattered if the person is mediocre in reality.
What's in a title? I remember an uncle telling us that in the time of our grandparents the only titles that mattered were Fr. and Dr. The exception was the military and police who had various ranks and it was relevant to state the rank with the person. My uncle, a Korean War vet was quick to add that it was acceptable for professionals to add titles and rattled off a few the more commonly used titles - Atty, Arch and Engr.
Well, I guess this was okay as long as there is some consistency in the statement of names and if the names are indicated in signs, letters, or whatever material or instrument that made it a necessary thing. I would appreciate the specialty indicated after a medical doctor's name like the FACC, FPCC (indicating affiliation in cardiology) or FPOGS (indicating affiliation in OB-Gynecology). I also would understand that in the academe, people indicate PhD or MA or DrEng. In the corporate world, acceptable would be an MBA or CPA. In legal circles, Atty or Esq would be the norm. But appending all of BS, MS and PhD to your name would really be OA. After all, wouldn't this be mistaken for "Bull Shit," "More Shit," and "Piled higher and Deeper"?