Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: A Year of the Ts


My only son Raul and I are two lucky Pinoy-guys living in an equal opportunity environment. This is because throughout our lives (entirety for Raul and entire married life for me), we have been surrounded and guarded by three Angels or what is called in Greek mythodology as “Furies”. I describe them as the Triple “T” or Tina (my wife), Tanya (oldest) and Traci (second or middle).  They provide the strongest foundational support and shield against all tests and challenges befalling us mortal male beings.

2014 was a year that I would also call a Multi- “T“ season. As reflected in my columns and blogs, it was a year of Tragedy, Tributes, Troubles, Tribulations, Travails, Trials, Technologies, Tear-jerking Thoughts of the past, Triumphs, and Thanksgiving.


Five people who were very close to our hearts joined our Lord in 2014. In my Tributes, I called AVELINO HALAGAO a “Jolly Good Fellow”; MILA MAYNIGO DENTON GOLDBERG, my youngest sister, I distinguished as “An Amazing Woman With Structured Dreams”; ELLEN CARAG, I depicted as “A Loving Wife, A Superior Mother, A Community Leader; An Excellent Counselor; and A Freedom Fighter”; RAUL GOCO, I remembered His Excellency with great memories both professionally and personally; and ANABEL VELASQUEZ ALEJANDRINO, I described as uniquely “Beautiful Anabel” – who was the “envy of Angels”.

My Tribute to my youngest sister, MILA MAYNIGO DENTON GOLDBERG was one of the most widely read Tributes.  The only two that generated more were those of Raul S. Manglapus and Conrado F. Estrella.  The former was a Philippine Senator and Secretary of Foreign Affairs while the latter was Governor and Secretary of Agrarian Reform.


My articles on the Senate investigations of alleged over-pricing and bid rigging of the construction of the Makati Parking Building and other structures during Binay’s term as Mayor, plus the alleged ownership by him of a 350 hectare Hacienda in Batangas generated an unusual number of readers. The responses were comparable to my series of articles on the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani and Fake Medals/Fake Hero on Marcos; and those of my Columns and Blogs on the Senate Impeachment Trial of Ex-Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The troubles, tribulations, and travails that Binay faced from the relentless attacks brought by his former allies and current political foes led by Senator Trillanes generated media attention and caused Binay a substantial decline in his performance and satisfaction ratings. My writings on them also attracted substantial increase in my readership.

My analysis showing too many uncertainties on the Tiu Purchase Agreement was a hit. The document was supposed to prove that Tiu was not Binay’s dummy but I showed that it tended to bear out the opposite instead. The article generated one of the most accesses, likes, and shares among my blogs in the online editions of Asian Journal, BlogSpot, Facebook, and GMA News Online.


In one of my articles, I coined GPS as Grand Prosecution of the Sleazy or Guiding Path to be Straight. It is my way of reinforcing the Tuwid Na Daan program of PNoy.

Several articles were written on the Justice Secretary and Ombudsman’s efforts to go after the perpetrators of the Pork Barrel Scams.  Preliminary and bail trials put into detention some celebrities led by Senators Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla. It was historical and unprecedented.  

“Let Them Furies Be Furies” was to give all out support to the women who are aggressively prosecuting criminals and pushing for judicial reforms.

In some of my columns, I was able to express my legal views.  On DAP, for example, I opined that the Supreme Court should make clarifications amounting to a modification of their decision.


2014 was also about technologies.  I wrote about attending the International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. I described “The Winning Mobile Apps” and “The Best of Innovations at CES 2014. I also met the CEO and had him demonstrate what I discussed in my column, “Social Radar: Revolution at the Planet of the Apps.”

I informed my readers about CAPTI Narrator – an Amazing App; the software “WhatsApp” that processed 64 Billion Messages in 24 hours; Internet Governance as a Leadership Challenge; and the growing strength of People Power in Cyberspace.


Writing and paying Tributes to a deceased loved one is something else but joining the surviving relatives and friends grieve and mourn is another. Listening to the Eulogies, conversing with relatives that you have not seen in ages, indeed elicited tear-jerking sad and happy thoughts of the past. 

There were my family reunions and there was my Huntington Beach High School Class ’64 50th or Golden Anniversary Reunion. Most of them were nostalgic as I recounted in my articles “my dreams, my early hopes, my youth, and my ambitions.” Traveling to the West and “California Dreaming”, I reunited with relatives and friends in Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco under sad and happy times.


2014 was actually a year of triumphs as well if my articles were to be read. Filipino Boxing Champion Pacquiao continued his winning ways. My basketball idol Laker Kobe Bryant surpassed the greatest player of all time Michael Jordan in total career points.  

The initial successes of PNoy’s GPS (Grand Prosecution of the Sleazy) with the detention of some seemingly “untouchables” and the improvement of the economy should be added to “AYEs”.

“Recognizing, Recording, Reporting, Repairing, and Righting a Wrong” as I have written in discussing the law that provides for Reparation and Recognition of the victims of Marcos’ Martial Law, would come down as a great victory in the fight for democracy and freedom.


The article, “ My Lettered Thanksgiving: Gifts of ‘L’ and ‘F’ “ says it all.  It showed my appreciation to the LORD for the Gifts of Life, Liberty, Love, Luck, Logic, Laughter, Learning, Language, Literature, Law, Logarithm, Leadership, Luxury, Land, and Liquidity.

My greatest thanks should also go to the GOD Almighty  for the Gifts of Family, Friends, Folks, Followers, Fans, and the whole Flock.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recognizing, Recording, Reporting, Repairing, and Righting a Wrong

RA 10368 is known as the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act 2013. This is the law that gives the victims of Marcos’ dictatorial regime recognition and compensation for damages that they suffered.

The IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) of RA 10368 allows victims until November 10, 2014 to file their claims. In a sponsorship speech of Senator Pimentel, he said, "The Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) has encountered an unprecedented number of claims from human rights victims. Due to the sheer number of the applications, compounded by the board's undermanned staff, the Board may not be able to accomplish its duties within the period prescribed by law,"

There are 29,000 victims who have filed so far. HRVCB expects to process between 55,000 to 90,000 more applications. Hence – the joint resolution passed by both the Senate and House extending the deadline for filing to May 15, 2015. 

I understand that PNoy has not signed, vetoed or in any way acted upon the joint resolution. If that’s the case within 30 days, the resolution automatically becomes a law. “Since PNoy and some of his relatives themselves are victims and have not filed, signing it could pose a conflict of interest”, my barber says. So, he may just allow it to lapse into law.

Take it from my barber! J

Among others, I am also one of those qualified victims who have not filed. I was initially ignoring it because I thought that it was like adding insult to an irreparable injury. Then, I reflected on it for quite a while and drew the following conclusion – everybody who qualifies to file should do it.

Reason? Recognizing, Recording, Reporting, Repairing, and Righting a Wrong! Rearing the children of tomorrow and “Raising Up the Next Generation” require ‘Riting about the atrocities under dictatorship; Reading about them; and doing the ‘Rithmetic not just on the number of victims but also the amount of compensation they deserve as well as the amount of money that Marcos and his cronies plundered.

The claims would show official recognition that Marcos’ martial law really violated the human rights of tens of thousands of Filipinos. Described in specific details in their affidavits, the victims’ claims are recorded not just judicially but also for history and for posterity. Their stories would be written in history books and read in schools and libraries both online and offline.

Reports would be written and published about the atrocities and sad stories befalling the victims, and the world would know in ugly details what happened to many Filipinos in the darkest hours of martial law under Marcos.

Reparation is the government’s way of compensating and easing the pain endured by victims and their families. It is a way of quantifying in monetary terms the damages and injuries for which compensatory justice should be made.

Most importantly, it is about RIGHTING a WRONG. Every human being is born with inherent and inalienable rights. Every Filipino under any regime should enjoy among others the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Marcos and his regime deprived many Filipinos of these inherent rights. It was WRONG then, it is WRONG now, and it will be WRONG tomorrow!

Escaping from the Marcos dictatorship, I was disguised as a Muslim barter trader named Abdul Julkanain and traveled with my wife, Tina Manglapus Maynigo, and then 2-year old daughter Tanya Maynigo, via kumpit or pump boat. From the southernmost small island of Sitangkay, we braved the rain and the chasing pirates in the high seas who were driven back by our Muslim soldier escorts possessing sub-machine guns. We eventually reached Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia riding without a compass relying on the natural skills of a Badjao (Filipino seaman) who was looking at the stars and the sun for directional navigation.

Taken care of initially by the Tawau Catholic Church, then by the Malaysian Government, and later on by the Malaysian Red Crescent, we lived in Sabah for more than 4 months until paroled into the United States under the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees. We were subsequently granted political asylum.

I was an active part of the Student Revolution in the ‘70s.  The Press at that time distinguished the student activists as Radicals or Extremists and the Moderates. Lumped as leaders of the Moderate wings was Ed Jopson who was president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Chito Sto. Romana, a student leader of De la Salle University, and me, who was Secretary-General of the YCSP, youth arm of Manglapus’ Christian Social Movement. We called the young followers of Marcos “provocateurs”.

When martial law was declared, Ed Jopson decided to join the rebels and escaped to the mountains to fight the Marcos regime. Chito Sto. Romana, went to China. I stayed behind to become a lawyer helping the underground until my escape.

Shown at the Bantayog Ng Mga Bayani, are pictures and articles about the three of us during the Student Revolution or the First Quarter Storm. The Special Branch of the Malaysian Home Ministry also showed some of the pictures during my debriefing in Tawau when we escaped.

Many of the details relating to our escape came out in WikiLeaks. I will most likely publish them in the near future. The Nixon-Ford-Kissinger regime was sympathetic to the Marcos dictatorship. This explains its rejection to our application for political asylum. We had to wait for Carter to become President. His human rights policies got us to eventually come to the United States.

Many of the student radicals went to the mountains as soon as the soldiers were rounding up activists to detain them. The soldiers were detaining all activists - not distinguishing who were radicals and who were moderates. Since the radicals went to the hills, the moderates stayed behind. Naturally, many of the latter that actually belonged to our movement were detained for a certain period of time.

So, I am encouraging all who feel aggrieved during martial law, especially those who belonged to our movement to file their claims.  Just by doing it would make you part of history. 

May 15, 2015 is the deadline. Feel free to contact me for more info and assistance:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

KOBE BRYANT: His Quest for Basketball Immortality

Basketball was and still is a big part of my life – my youth, my early hopes, and my dreams. Not only did I follow and watch the games of the best players both in the Philippines, and the United States, I actually grew up playing and loving it.

Having “carried the ball” for my high school team in Rosales, Pangasinan, Philippines as its team captain, I also made the Pangasinan Provincial Team that competed and won the then Central Luzon Athletic Association (CLAA) Regional Basketball Championships.

When I came to the United States as an AFS International Scholar, I was recruited to try out for the Huntington Beach High School Varsity Team in California. Then Coach Elmer Combs told me that I made the team but I had to attend all the practices including the entire Christmas holidays.

Excited to be the smallest (5’8”) but fastest player in the Varsity team, I discussed my situation with my foster parents and the AFS Committee who were hosting my stay in America. Unfortunately, plans had already been made for me during the holidays, and that I had responsibilities to fulfill as “Ambassador of Goodwill”.

My first exposure to NBA Basketball was attending a Lakers game that featured Jerry West as the star. From then on until today, I continued to root, cheer, and even bet for the Lakers.

Watching Larry Bird’s Indiana team battle Magic Johnson’s Michigan in the NCAA Finals that the latter won, I was happiest to find out later that Magic was joining the Lakers and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.  The “Showtime” Era began and continued for many years as Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics renew their battles against Magic and the Lakers. The recruitment of James Worthy by the Lakers reinforced the Lakers’ dominance during the period. 

NBA Basketball became a major attraction as television rights proved to be very profitable for all parties – the owners, the players, the networks, and even advertisers. Fans enjoyed and grew exponentially.

It also brought about the successful internationalization of the sport as the NBA’s “Dream Team” led by Magic, Bird, and Jordan competed for The US at the International Olympics. As expected, the team won the Gold Medal. More importantly, the players also won the hearts and minds of the international community.

Most of the basketball world considers Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever! That’s why when Laker Kobe Bryant surpassed him in the All-Time NBA Scoring List a few days ago, one cannot help but admire the amazing feat of Kobe. Indeed, for him to have made more points than the greatest player is greatness in itself.

But Kobe is not just about beating Michael Jordan as a scorer like when he scored 81 points which Jordan never did. He also established (or tied) NBA records that remain unbroken today.  Among them are:***

    Most All-Star Game MVP awards won, career: 4 (tied with Bob Pettit)
    Most All-Star Game points scored, career: 271
    Most All-Star Game field goals made, career: 111
    Most offensive rebounds in an All-Star Game: 10
    Most All-NBA Total Selections won, career: 16
    Most All-NBA First Team honors won, career: 11 (tied with Karl Malone)
    Most All-Defensive First Team honors won, career: 9 (tied with Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, and Kevin Garnett)
    Only player in NBA history with more than 30,000 points and 6,000 assists; and
    Most three-point field goals made, one game: 12

He was the youngest player to score: 24,000 points: (31 years, 76 days); 25,000 points: (31 years, 151 days); 26,000 points: (32 years, 80 days); 27,000 points: (32 years, 160 days); 28,000 points: (33 years, 131 days); 29,000 points: (33 years, 199 days); 30,000 points: (34 years, 104 days); 31,000 points: (34 years, 185 days); and 32,000 points: (36 years, 87 days).

He was also the youngest player: to be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team: (1996–97); to be named to the NBA All-Defensive Team: (1999–00); to start a game: (18 years, 158 days);; to win the NBA Slam Dunk Championship: (18 years, 169 days); and to start an All-Star game: (19 years, 169 days).

Of course, NBA Records show that Kobe Bryant is more known for the following:

    5-time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010
    7 NBA Finals appearances: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010[
    2-time NBA Finals MVP: 2009, 2010
    NBA Most Valuable Player: 2008
    2-time scoring champion: 2006, 2007
    16-time NBA All-Star: 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    15 consecutive selections, 13 consecutive appearances (No All-Star game in 1999 due to a league-wide lockout)
    Missing the 2010 and 2014 games due to injury
    4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011 (shared the 2009 award with Shaquille O'Neal)
    15-time All-NBA Team selection:
    First team: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
    Second team: 2000, 2001
    Third team: 1999, 2005
    12-time All-Defensive Team selection:
    First team: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
    Second team: 2001, 2002, 2012
    NBA All-Rookie Team selection:
    Second team: 1997
    NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion: 1997
    17-time Player of the Month: December 2000, November 2001, January 2003, March 2004, January 2006, April 2006, December 2006, March 2007, April 2007, February 2008, April 2008, December 2008, January 2009, December 2009, March 2011, December/January 2012, February 2013

Basketball is a team sport. It takes effective and efficient management and coaching to get several playing egos to work as a team. It takes strategy and tactics to plan and execute the plays. It takes resources and organization to recruit the right talents to create a winning team. Indeed, it is a sport that requires both physical and mental toughness!

Credit the LA Laker Team for having developed a successful franchise. But it is also lucky to have recruited, helped develop, and maintained a player with exceptional talents like Kobe Bryant who thrived and rose above all else.

If Kobe gets to play 2-3 years more, based on his record and barring no injuries, he could most likely catch up to and surpass Karl Malone's and possibly Kareem Abdul Jabbar's records.
For this year, winning the scoring title is a doable goal. Regardless, his quest for basketball immortality is already achieved.

***(Data from References of Wikipedia)