Friday, April 28, 2006

Filipino table etiquette punished at local school

Got this article from an e-mail. Acording to the story, a boy of Filipino descent was regularly punished by his school's lunch program monitor for eating differently from his schoolmates. When his mother complained to the principal, the principal answered her:
"‘Madame, you are in Canada. Here in Canada you should eat the way Canadians eat.’"
The comments section of the paper contained a lot of negative comments directed at the school, the lunch monitor and the principal. I too was appalled when I read the story but on further reflection I want to withold comments until i know the full story.

There are indications that this may have been a misunderstanding. When the paper interviewed the principal he said
"... it was Luc’s eating technique combined with his behaviour at the table that was inappropriate that day, which is why he was moved. “Luc can be turbulent,” he said yesterday. “Like other children, he is frequently in situations where we have to intervene. It’s normal, he’s a child. He is in a period of learning.”"
Now, this can be true, or this can be a rationalization for the punishments. We just don't know. The school board is conducting its own investigation and
"will not comment — due to confidentiality procedures — until Gallardo’s complaint is filed and she makes a public statement."
What we need to do is to monitor this story so that the truth can come out.

I visited the schools website but it's in French so I can't read it. The paper who broke this story has written a follow-up story.

But even if this event turns out to be a mis-understanding, that should not diminish our esteem for Ms. Maria Gallardo Cagadoc, the mother of the boy who complained. It is her prompt action that has led to the investigation.

Her action illustrates that the personal is political. Our personal complaints, when acted upon can make a difference, can enable change in the society we live in.

Update (May 3, 2006)

*I misunderstood the follow up article, Ms. Cagadoc will file a Human Rights complaint against the School Board (Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys), not the School (Ecole Lalande). I am sorry, my only excuse is that I am not familiar with the Canadian system. I updated the sentences below to reflect my new understanding.

The Chronicle has a second update on this story. It seems Ms. Maria Gallardo Cagadoc will file a complaint against the School Board . According to the update
"The boy’s mother, Maria Theresa Gallardo, said the Centre for Research Action and Race Relationship (CRARR) of Montreal is guiding the family in making a human rights complaint against Ecole Lalande’s school board, Commission scolaire Marguerite Bourgeoys."
We don't know the reason she is taking her complaint to a higher level but it can be inferred from the article, especially the sentence
"School officials maintain the punishments were disciplinary and have nothing to do with the student’s background."
that the school board has concluded their investigation and found that their principal was not acting out of any prejudice.

Of course, the above is just speculation on my part. I tried visiting the school's website but it's down.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

E.O. 464 (Partly) Illegal

I started this post when the's report on the Supreme Court decision on E.O. 464 was on its 2nd update. It's now on it's 6th update and substantially new information is presented that my previous posts are almost worthless. I will still leave them here so people can follow the development of this story.

So according to INQ7
"THE Supreme Court has upheld the right of Congress to compel executive officials to appear before inquiries “in aid of legislation” as it struck down portions of an executive order by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo."

"The Court also upheld the right of the president to ask for a closed-door session if the "security of the state or the public interest so requires."

"The court said it was "impermissible" for officials to hide behind the President's order to avoid appearing in congressional hearings and for the President to evade requests for information without explaining why to Congress."
I will crow about this however, if the INQ7's 6th update is final, the Supreme Court's decision mirrored my opinion on this matter, and I quote myself.
"This new EO by the President will test the limits of Presidential power. I can see the logic of the President reviewing with the summoned Cabinet members what he/she can discuss in Congressional hearings. I can see how members of the executive branch can be forbidden to testify on matters of national security unless the hearings are in closed session. I just cannot see how the President can forbid Cabinet members from appearing in congressional hearings without just cause."
Yes, I know that next time, I will probably be wrong, but let me be wallow in my smugness at this time. :)

(First post - after INQ7's 2nd update on this story) reports that the Supreme Court declared EO 464 illegal.

The executive branch or government tried to exercise powers beyond its authority and was smacked down by the Supreme Court.

Checks and balance at work.

Additional comments:

I think this is the place to point out Domingo's proposal that the Philippine Congress should adopt the US practice where their
"Congress has practically abandoned its original practice of utilizing the coercive sanction of contempt proceedings at the bar of the House"
"The Congress has instead invoked the aid of the federal judicial system in protecting itself against contumacious conduct. It has become customary to refer these matters to the United States Attorneys for prosecution under criminal law."
Because they are prosecuted under criminal law, they are accorded "every right which is guaranteed to defendants in all other criminal cases.".

This rule should limit our Congress' boorishness towards witnesses they deem uncooperative.

Update (this is after INQ7's 4th of 5th update on this story) has updated their story and it seems that the Supreme Court has only deemed some of EO 464's provisions as illegal
"Voting 14-0, the high court declared as valid Sections 1 and 2 of EO 464 but nullified Section 2(b) and Section 3."


I've been thinking of writing something about GMA commuting the death row convicts sentence from death to life impisonment when i read Alejandro Roces.
"The death penalty is undoubtedly a deterrent to crime. No criminal who was executed ever committed another crime. Whether it deters other criminals from committing crimes is a separate question."
I love this quote.

I'm worth more in pesos

via pharyngula

I am worth $1,336,010 on

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Colasisi" in Camiguin

Crossposting this YahooNews item from greenjournal. It concerns the discovery of two new species of animal in Camiguin. According to the article
"A brightly plumaged parrot and a long-tailed forest mouse unique to the Philippines have been discovered in the vanishing rainforest of a tiny tropical island"
The parrot and the mouse were discovered in the Philippine island of Camiguin, an island known here as a tourist destination. The discovery was surprising because forest cover in the island has been reduced to 18 percent.

It was doubly surprising because the discovered
"new species of parrot was known to locals because of its value in the pet trade. The bird's throat and thighs are bright blue and the top of its head and tail are brilliant scarlet-orange."
The parrot is known among locals as "Colasisi." I would not have believed that a speices, wildly known in a local setting can be "unknown" in a world-wide setting that it becomes news when the "world" hears aboout it.

The other new species discovered was a

"mouse, discovered high on the steep slopes of one of the island's volcanoes, was new to locals.

The rusty-brown rodent, known as Apomys camiguinensis, has large eyes and ears and feeds mostly on insects and seeds"
This news, also stressed by the news story, highlights the significance of our islands and our forests in sheltering endemic, one of a kind species.

A note of warning for foreigners, "Colasisi" or Kulasisi, may be the local name of the bird, but it is also a term for "mistress". So be careful when talking to Filipinos, do not indiscriminately ask to see a kulasisi, you might just get one. :)


This story was also carried today by the PDI.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Fantasy NBA Playoff

Finished first in my Yahoo Fantasy Head to Head League and is now in the playoffs. I am leading 8-1 so I am ecstatic. But I am afraid this will be the zenith of my teams achievements so I am posting this now while I am ahead. The scores are very close and I may lose at any moment.

Image hosting by Photobucket
As you can see of the 9 categories, 5 ( 3pts made, pts made, rebounds, assists, and TO) are very closely contested. I have a comfortable lead in steals but my lead in Blks, FT% and FG% can still be overcome.

My present team consists of

J. Nelson (Orl - PG)
B. Wells (Sac - SG)
G. Arenas (Was - PG)
A. Harrington (Atl - SF,PF)
Ke. Thomas (Sac - PF)
J. Childress (Atl - SG,SF)
J. Foster (Ind - PF,C)
S. Dalembert (Phi - C)
G. Wallace (Cha - SG,SF)
C. Anthony (Den - SF)
J. Terry (Dal - PG)
D. Nowitzki (Dal - PF)
S. Battier (Mem - SF)

While his team is composed of

S. Parker (LAL - PG,SG)
M. Peterson (Tor - SG,SF)
J. Johnson (Atl - PG,SG,SF)
D. Granger (Ind - SF,PF)
A. McDyess (Det - PF)
R. Gomes (Bos - SF,PF)
A. Bogut (Mil - PF,C)
J. Przybilla (Por - C)
S. Nash (Pho - PG)
L. Hughes (Cle - SG)
J. Tinsley (Ind - PG)
B. Diaw (Pho - SG,SF,PF,C)
L. Wright (Mem - C)

If my team does pull through, this will be another surprise in a very surprising season. For most of the year, I did not pay attention to this team because I was busy with my roto team. I was pleasantly surprised that this team finished first, and the credit goes mostly to lady luck.

I did not prepare for the draft and Yahoo auto-drafted for me. I must get credit though for getting Wallace, Nelson, Dalembert and others from the Free Agent pool but the real keys to the winning season are Arenas, Nowitzki and Anthony.

Hope I get as lucky next year.

Update (April 11, 2006)

Won my Playoff match 7-1 and is now starting the championship match.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by roychoco.

This is a test if I configured flickr correctly.