Saturday, March 21, 2015

Remembering the Old Cebu Downtown

When we speak of Old Cebu, we always associate it with Colon being the oldest street, along with Juan Luna Street, Plaridel, Manalili, Magallanes, Legaspi, Pelaez, Sanciangko, Junquera, etcetera For us baby boomers, these parts of Cebu will always be dear to our hearts as they form a fabric of our yesteryear, when we were the young and the restless, the indefatigable batch of fresh faces, replete with so much vim, vigor and vitality in the so-called "Yeah Yeah Vonnel generation."

Downtown of the Old Cebu was the place where I would run to for my shopping needs, from school supplies to wearables, toiletries, gifts, toys, and other items. You name it, the stores have it there. I remember it was in White Gold (located then in Juan Luna Street now Osmeña Boulevard.) where I went and shopped for just about anything I needed.

Downtown of the Old Cebu was the center for business and entertainment. It was where the movie houses were: Victor, Vision, Eden, President, Premier, Majestic, Mever, Oriente, Rizal, Seven Arts, Ultravistarama, Best, Omega, Diamond, among many others. It was Southern Flame at the revolving Skyvue Diamond Tower for our nightclubbing or disco sessions. Other times, I would find myself either eating my favorite chicken mami and siopao at Fuji Teahouse located in what is now Gaisano Metro, or shopped along Fairmart, Best Buy, Gaisano Colon, Gaw Fashion Square, Rosita's Colon, Cinderella, Chekito Bazar, Sen Hiap Hing, Paulino's, Atin's Supermarket, Felcris, etcetera.

I also vividly remember the other places located in downtown Cebu of the olden times, like: La Suerte Bar & Restaurant, El Tesoro, State Fair, Visayan Restaurant, Manila Restaurant, International Rice House, Cebu Majestic Restaurant, Snow Sheen, Swank Cafe, Ding How, La Fortuna, Happy Mart, Lao Eng Chong, Gazini Plaza, Ever Shoes Emporium, Shanghai Bazar, Gilmore Tailoring, Stag Clothier, Happy Emporium, Biema, Umerco, Fair Deal Electrical Supply, Tagalog Hotel, Apollo Hotel, Pine Hurst and many, many more.

In the '90s when the mall trend hit Cebu, with the establishment of Ayala Business Center and SM City Cebu, and the other gigantic malls that followed, the Old Cebu downtown has never been the same again. It has taken on a different stand. Gone are the movie houses, the restaurants, our favorite hang-outs, department stores, supermarkets, etcetera. Nowadays, the Old Cebu downtown is no longer the place where we run to whenever we need something. But in my moments of solitude, when life takes on a standstill, I still long for the Old Cebu downtown because it was where lots of beautiful memories were built and created together with the many significant people who have been part of my young life, in a world that was simpler, more peaceful, devoid of so much pollution, trash and traffic, trivialities and all.

I look forward to the recreation or renovation or reinvention or whatever we may call it... if only to bring back the glory that was the Old Cebu. In His Time.

Written by Henry L. Yu M.D.
Source: The Freeman Publications

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Open Letter for the President

Dear Mr. President,

In your inaugural address, you said to me, “You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders…” Well, Mr. President, I am ordering you now to listen to me.

Forty-four of your men were killed in pursuit of international terrorists. Tactical mistakes were made in the battlefield and for that, the commander of the Special Action Force (SAF) Gen. Getulio Napeñas has accepted full responsibility.

No words, though, can adequately describe how I feel when you say, “Why should I take all the blame?” Have we installed a grown man into office or have we installed a schoolboy? No one is asking you to take ALL the blame, Mr. President. But we are asking you to take responsibility for the incident. You are, after all, Commander-in-Chief.

In an attempt to rescue 52 American diplomats in Tehran on April 24, 1980, eight US service members were killed. In the aftermath of the failed rescue attempt, US President Jimmy Carter issued the following statements.

“…I knew that the operation was certain to be difficult and it was certain to be dangerous…To the families of those who died and who were wounded, I want to express the admiration I feel for the courage of their loved ones and the sorrow that I feel personally for their sacrifice…It was my decision to attempt the rescue operation. It was my decision to cancel it when problems developed…The responsibility is fully my own.”

This is how a president and commander-in-chief speaks.

You, however, have chosen to take a different tone. Your latest tirade, in fact, leaves me reeling and seriously doubting your emotional maturity as well as mental fitness to stand as leader and commander-in-chief.

“Ngayon, sana ho pwede kong masabing tatanga-tanga si Napeñas, hindi niya alam yung lugar.” Did you just call the former SAF chief, “stupid?” I am shocked at your choice of words in reference to the former chief of the elite police forces of the country.

You say you cannot be blamed because Napeñas fed you lies. You say you were given wrong information. You say you were misled. You say you were fooled. E sino ba ngayon ang tatanga-tanga?

You insist that had Napeñas followed your orders to coordinate with the military, the carnage would not have occurred. Was this not sufficiently explained by Napeñas to the entire nation? That your friend, then suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Alan Purisima, after stepping out of a meeting with you, told him that he (Purisima) would take care of this and as such, Napeñas deferred to him?

You harp at Napeñas defying your order yet you conspicuously stay silent on WHY you put suspended PNP chief Gen. Alan Purisima at the helm of the operation. Mr. President, hindi rin kami tatanga-tanga. You cannot keep using Napeñas as your whipping boy. We already know the sins of Napeñas. It’s time you confessed to yours.

I was one of those who put you into office. You owe me, Mr. President. Or was that an empty promise you made five years ago? At the very least, you owe me a straight face, a truthful explanation and a sincere apology. And that is an order.

-Your Boss-

Melanie Lim
Taken from the Sunstar Network
Image from

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nganong Di Man ka Makigdebate Nancy Binay?

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(Gigama ni Jaime)

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As a Filipino Voter, i just can't seem to get the logic why a female senatoriable in the name of Nancy B., as in Binay doesn't want a public debate or media forums in discussing platforms and to defend her stand in some of the hottest issues concerning our beloved Philippines. Why and why? di man kini Fliptop intawon na dapat pinaspasay mo ug sulti ug dapat medyo in rhyme ang imo istorya na mura ka'g niapil ug battle league na murag kag nag-rap while talking things you want to say. Yo!..right? Hindi nga ito Fliptop na dapat lagi kang nasa top, mga forums ito para sa iyong pag-angat, sa yong pagtanggi at sa di mo paglahad, isa lang ibig yong mga kalaban takot kang humarap. (hahaha...naka-rap na noon ko da)

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Sa pulong-pulong namo na magkabarkada, nidako dyod ang question mark sa amoa mga huna-huna ug nakaingon dyod mi, na kung di siya makigpadebate, usa ray buot pasabot ana, wa siyay salig sa iya kaugalingon na matubag niya ang mga pangutana o di kaha dili kongkreto ang iya mga baruganan kay di man siya moatake sa giyera sa diskusyon. Di pareho sa uban ba na kuwang gani ang usa ka oras para nila kung interview-hon sila, ug moana pa gani, " o ano may tanong pa ba? sasagutin ko lahat ".

Sa giingon pa sa kampo ni Nancy, gusto daw niya na makapwesto una siya sa Senado bag-o siya mo entertain ug mga balitaktakan sa kinsa man ganahan makigtabi niya, (hala no? naay ing-ana?) ha ha ha..unya kung palpak ang unod sa iya diskurso unsaon man kuno na nakapwesto naman siya, o ang ending ana ang naminaw niya na wa ganahi pero nakabotar niya unsa man iingon? magmahay nganong giboto siya, di ba?

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Pero di ba dapat, while wala pa ka sa pwesto karun ka na dapat manghinambog unsay mga plano nimo sa katawhan? unsay mga balaod na imo bandayon na makaayo sa kadaghanan? Nancy oi..we wanna hear you do the talking and talking bisan di ka mokanta hehehe. Ang imoha raba mga kontra no kay banggiitan na ang uban, bisan tuod kusog ang imo makinarya sa kampanya kay tatak Binay lagi ka, you have to accept the challenge of a mind game, dinhi nato masuta pila ka gig imo memory o di ba kaha unsa ka paspas ang processor sa imo utok heheehe...

Kung mo-hire tag maid atoa man interview-hon kung tukma ba ang iya abilidad pagserbisyo kanato, kung mo-hire tag karpentero atoa man istoryahon o debatihon kung di mao ang iya plano sa atoa gipabuhat di ba? Mao sad ni, magbutang gud ta ug senador dapat we must know the person ug iyang plano di ba? Kung wala tay alamat sa iya plataporma, will we risk our vote? tsk tsk tsk...hmmmm?

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Sa imo pagdili na moapil ka sa unsa mang debate o diskusyon sa panahon sa pangampanya (mao bitaw wa ka hikit-i sa tv senatorial debates), daghang pangutana ang nitumar kung unsa ba dyod imong mga plano. Bisan tuod pasok ka sa surveys, ambot kinsa sad tong mga tawhana na ok sad nila bisan wa sila kadungog sa imo diskusyon, dili kana rason aron manahimik ka og magsalig, kay kung naa naka sa senado unya palpak ang imomg mga aksyon..ambot nalang nimo. Taas-taas pa baya ug ambisyon ang imoha amahan sa pulitika, basin ikaw ray makaguba. Hinaot dili kay ang imong amahan maabilidad raba ug dako na'g track record sa pulitika.

(Images from memecrunch, and


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ThunderBird Photo, Tinood ni or Dili?

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Niadto daw April, 1890 sa Arizona Desert, duol sa lugar na gitawag ug Tombstone, naay grupo sa mga sundalo nga nagkabayo ang nakakita ug creature na naay halapad na pako na ang ulo pareha sa sa alligator. Ila daw gisundan ang mao na creature, handtod na-corner nila kini ug nagkabangga-bangga sa mga kakahuyan, ug ila kini giduol dayon gipusil nila kini hantud na namatay. Basi sa na-report atong panahona. Ang kalaparon daw sa pakpak ani na creature kay 160 feet ug ang lawas may kalaparon na 92 feet. Wala daw kini balahibo na murag pareha sa bat ang pamanit.

Na-report kini sa mga mantalaan niadtong tuiga sa maong dapit. Ug nausban pa kini sa laing mga cases niadtong 1930's ug 1940's ug naay gihapoy picture na pareha aning hitsura sa creature. Naay say mga witnesses ang ni-admit na nakakita aning klasehang creature ug tinood daw kini.

Pag-abot na sa 1960's naa mga writer's ang interesado ani na mga reports ug ila gipapangita ang mga original pictures ani, pati ang mga newspaper files na ni-report ani, pero naglisod sila'g trace-up sa kakuwang sa resources ug sa kadugay na sa panahon na niagi. Naa sad silay nahinabi na nakarember dyod kung unsa ang newspaper ang ni-front page sa usa ka picture na pareha aning hitsura ani na creature. Pero sa imbestigasyon, gipapangita dyod ang mga back issues atong newspapers pero wa daw silay nakita. Dili sad sila makaconclude kung ang sauna na staff nakarelease ba dyod ato na report kay daghan mang mga issue ang di na nila hikit-an.

Niadtong 1990's pud naay ni-lauch ug "The search for the Thunderbird Photo" pero wa gihapoy resulta.

So unsa man kaha? Tinood ni or di? hehehe

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Friendship On Call

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(Gigama ni Jaime)

I can’t imagine myself living without friends. I do consider them as treasures, like special stars in the milky way hhhmmm…you know, they make you laugh, they make you angry, they make you think, realize, and sometimes they make you look like a fool hehehe. They’re always on the number one list of people who always disturb us, but for one touching reason-and that is because they simply care. That’s why even though I’m so busy with the business of humanity sometimes, if someone from my circle of friends calls me with Dolby Surround voice “Jaiiimeeeeee....." I run to them in lightning speed. Zooommm...( Hhhmm…Superman again? ) I didn’t say that! hehehe! I take every call a like a hostage crisis, feeling like the man of steel. I’ll run for someone who needs me.

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You see, I’m a typical male who wants to save the day, to be a lift for someone who loses faith in life. I want to help whatever I can to make them feel they’re not alone, and life doesn’t end by just one complicated problem. I want to add them to my prayers or simply being there when those tears are falling in someone eyes like rain. Hey…don’t laugh at me; I’m just trying to be a Christian here. To help and to advertise my tarpaulin print service hehehe just kidding!

True friends sometimes are like magic. They do understand us by just looking in our eyes. Our silence, smiles, or our chuckles has meaning to them. Sometimes, we need not to say a word but they feel what’s deep inside us. Ohhh…I find that exquisitely sweet. It’s really hard to find friends who have superpowers to understand our craziness and foolishness. They stick in us even if sometimes we do hurt their feelings. Truly, they are blessings worth thanking for.

I’ve already made a promise to myself years ago, and that is to be always there when my friends need me, as long as my time allows it or my heavy duty heart still has the energy to bring me to that call. All for free, in the name of friendship, in the spirit of care and noble affection.

May God always give me the bursting energy to help a friend who calls my name.