When two national holidays overlapped

Yesterday’s proclamation of Eid Al-Adha, a Muslim holiday, shocked employees who hoped that this Wednesday, August 22, as their expected date was bluffed out by  officially celebrating it on Tuesday, August 21. But Tuesday is already a holiday — Ninoy Aquino Day.

In fact, Ninoy Aquino Day began observance since 2004 while Eid Al-Adha began since 2010.

It ended up with varying emotions from confusing for the payroll department on whether it should apply a special rate (130% of daily salary) or regular rate (200%), insulting as President Rodrigo Duterte diverted the commemoration of the slain senator who is a father of his immediate predecessor, Noynoy Aquino, and frustrating for those who filed their vacation leaves for a long vacation of up to 10 days has been shortened to just four.

Many of you had strong points on why Wednesday should be a holiday and not merged with one already a holiday as a Muslim holiday can last for two more days after 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the Islam’s 12th lunar month).

Here are the four things (points and implications) to take into account:

  1. Our Southeast Asian neighbors have announced the dates of Muslim holidays for the coming year in advance. The Philippines does not; we have to wait for confirmation from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
  2. The heads of state and/or government in the said region have the limited right to promulgate national holidays because the legislature has the clear, supreme imposition. Ours is obviously problematic as the President and its individual motive have strong, effective power to proclaim such holidays. This is due to the provision of the “holiday economics” policy that grants the President to proclaim such holidays for the upcoming year, superseding what Congress actually sets.
  3. Unlike other Asian countries, there is no legislative mechanism on how to deal with overlapping national holidays. The Araw ng Kagitingan holiday on April, which has a bit more chance to coincide than this Eid-Ninoy Day, can also fall on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday but there are no substitute holidays.
  4. The public holiday treatment for our Southeast Asian fellows have streamlined with one pay rule: pay double if you work and pay regularly if you don’t. As mentioned before, ours is a bit complicated with two types: regular and special.

If you are not convinced, look out for the opening of our stock market on Wednesday and after 3:30 p.m., if our stock index dips because the regional bourses are closed — no regional transactions — you should really be alarmed.

With the country facing federalization, I think the Congress shoud review the Administrative Code and the Labor Code, particularly on the provision regarding national holidays, in addition to the enacted laws establishing nationwide holidays.

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#MondayThoughts No. 13: International Lefthanders Day

IT’S ANOTHER MONDAY but this is no ordinary Monday because it is a special day for me and the 10% of the world’s population. It is International Lefthanders Day.

Such dexterity is said to be high achievers, more skillful and more creative, which happened to be mostly true in my character.

We have famous lefties ranging from real life like former US President Barack Obama to fictitious like Ned Flanders of The Simpsons.

Here, I would like to tell my struggling narrative.

During the first year of high school in 2006, I have to adapt ourselves to armchairs from small chairs and tables. At first, I sat on the right-handed armchair but because of the unease, the school generously made armchairs specifically designed for such minority.

When I transferred to another school from second-year high school until its graduation, it was unfortunate that no left-handed armchairs were made and I had no choice but to adjust in a conformity.

In college, I barely use an armchair as we mostly sit on individual chairs and desks but during those armchair moments, it’s just like the majority of high school days.

During review school stint in 2015, there are alternating left- and right-hand armchairs in a room but since it must be reserved in advance, my reserved armchair was for the right-handed armchair but in case there is a nearest, available left-hand armchair, I could have moved there.

That’s how I harness how my left-handedness but we hope the policymakers will heed to solve everyday challenges regarding the dexterity.

Timow out.

#MondayThoughts No. 12: Recovering from Rabies

Last Friday early morning, I tried to get my mother’s laptop to finish encoding the exams but then I was shocked when our 7-year-old hybrid dog of a Shih Tzu and Japanese Spitz.

He responded in retaliation and bit me so big on my right thigh and with minor pains on my right middle finger and my right hip.

The night prior, he slept on her room underneath the bed and I decided to sleep in my room.

Luckily, the dog had an anti-rabies vaccine and unfortunately, I don’t — not even a tetanus shot. Thus, we went over a health unit and got a shot on each shoulder. Later in the afternoon, I was sent to Bacolor with three shots — one in the right arm for a skin test and two for the real thing in the affected area.

The real thing was excruciating — the vaccine contained 14 mL, the largest intake ever. I calculated that for every 5 kg of body weight per mL.

Overall, I was injected five times and currently taking my antibiotics twice a day to prevent the adverse spread of any formidable disease until this Friday morning.

Later today, I will be injected for the second phase and this coming Friday for the last phase.

Timow out.

 

#MondayThoughts No. 11: All Things Considered

It’s Monday again and July is coming to an end. Welcome to another Monday Thoughts.

Last Saturday marked the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting almost 1 and 3/4 hours. Not only that, it simultaneously with the perihelic opposition of Mars, a coincidence that happens once every 25,000 years. Thus, it was a good treat.

From July 9, I try to wake up, 12-13 minutes earlier leading to 1 a.m. of July 28 to train for that astronomical event but I wasn’t able to see it due to overcast conditions after the week of agony and the roof of my neighbor obscured the view.

Last Monday, at least every Filipino knew what happened over Batasang Pambansa before and after the profanity-free but still figure-free SONA.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dethroned Pantaleon Alvarez as the Speaker in some kind of internal coup with colleagues with the missing mace. I know the mace-chase is not new in the legislative department.

I thought to myself that I thought her quashing in Oakwood in 2003 and Manila Peninsula in 2007 was a bad thing. Then, this happened. I think it’s a mix of a Darwinist concept of survival to the fittest and moro-moro. Amidst the comeback, she is on the third term — meaning that she cannot run for another term next year but then, her kumare would be given an anointing/endorsement power.

As mentioned earlier, August is coming and that means Buwan ng (mga) Wika and Tuberculosis Awareness Month. In addition, three national holidays in the third week of that month: Ninoy Aquino Day (21), Eid al-Adha (22) and National Heroes’ Day (27).

However, putting a Monday update makes my head exhausted.

Bye for now, Timow out.

Sine over SONA

Instead of watching SONA this year, due to fears of any profanity and attacks, which unexpectedly never happened but the Malice in the Plenary over the speakership, my mom, my sister and I watched Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (dir. Ol Parker) during that period.

This is not my mom’s original choice. She wanted local films, in this case, Star Cinema’s I Love You, Hater (dir. Giselle Andres) starring Joshua Garcia, Julia Barreto and Kris Aquino.

To be honest, I denounce such types of films for sticking to a tried-and-tested model of cinematography and story telling.

This is why our local cinema rots to the core; they don’t take a risk and they don’t make people think.

Although this year, few worthy Filipino films are and will be released commercially: Citizen Jake (dir. Mike de Leon), by next week, BuyBust (dir. Erik Matti) and by next month, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (dir. Jerrold Tarog).

In the end, my choice ended up being a better option. The film was worth nostalgic of my parents’ taste in music if only my dad was present to tune in to the songs but he couldn’t go out.

My OPERATION: STATE OF THE NATION EVASION was a success.

In other words, that opportunity paid us off to spend more time with my family from reducing further synapses that form individuals’ common sense from complete insincerity of a person that we and 100 million of us have to live with for less than four years.

#MondayThoughts No. 10: Why I Will NOT Watch This Year’s SONA?

For the first time in weeks, I made my mind straight for this.

And yes, you heard me, I won’t watch this year’s SONA.

Why?

First, I cannot distinguish SONA from his daily speeches. I expected that this mandatory megillah will be filled with ad libs, antics and alibis that are not appropriate for the venue.

He boasts that he can deliver within 30-35 minutes, factoring out audience reactions. I don’t buy it.

Like all his live speaking engagements, there will be corresponding clueless members laughing and cheering — except Ilonggos.

Ambassadors would likely be stunned with his antics from their interpreters but it shouldn’t be anymore. Well, except China’s.

Poor them, not even in those in the sign language window.

With that, Batasang Pambansa is already a stage in Zirkoh, Klownz or Broadway Centrum. Beat that, Senate Pepsident Tito Sotto!

Talk about being the Greatest Showman, a bad one that is or being Thanos with all the Infinity Stones in your gauntlet.

Second, I don’t expect any accomplishments or agenda to be bannered — save the BBL, ConCom draft to amend and the 2019 budget. You know why the fact checkers’ radars are undetected over him for his all-time rant.

Here are some of them that transpired from last year to now that he won’t tackle:

  • Marawi was declared liberated last October after five months of the skirmish. This means martial law in Mindanao should have been lifted but no. Sure, Martial Law in Mindanao might have saved and prevented future terrorists. However, did it improve the general lives of civilians? Did it reduce criminality there at a significant rate? About the true victims, did you send the bakwit home and retrieve their useful scrap?
  • The economy. How is the stock market going? It went over 9,000 at its peak but right now, it’s almost 7,400 (as of Friday). In addition, how about the TRAIN Law and its effects? You execute the excise tax on gases at the wrong time: when VAT in the Gulf was introduced and an even weaker peso-dollar exchange rate as we bought oil. Last June, it recorded a 5.2% inflation rate — far more than your economic managers’ estimates and the economy is said: “in the doldrums.” Lucidly, he was right but spinmaster spokesperson Harry Roque’s justification-cum-clarification is wrong. In fact, he is supposed to enhance the confidence and to convince investors with sincerity. He lacks that quality; it’s no wonder they will choose Vietnam as a new investment destination in ASEAN.
  • Boracay. You give them time to rehabilitate but then you don’t have a plan at the expense of other’s livelihood. Well, did you know that the family of your DPWH secretary destroyed a mountain for their condo?
  • Whiff of corruption. Really? Care to explain that to the Bureau of Customs’ 6.4 billion peso shipment, PCOO’s 700% budget increase and Wanda Teo. To be honest, he’s an environmentalist, indeed; he reduces, reuse and recycles… old and tainted appointees.
  • What about your promises? The Commission on Audit is raising red flags over it. Oh wait, he doesn’t care about it at all. Who’s incompetent?

Plus, how is the international relations? Are you still sucking up to China? The fishermen in Zambales are already losers in this game of idleness and you exchange their catch for a cheaper exchange. Instead of improving their lives by doing your job to protect the territories, you simply spit at them.

Third, the cinematography from Joyce Bernal will make us impress that he made the Philippines great as he is the Father of the Country (again, I refute it). Well guess what, it WILL NOT! It will be just like a typical MMFF entry, luring in the mindless audience but lack of substance.

In a nutshell, what do you really expect for him if he already humiliated and arrested De Lima and recently on ex-CJ Sereno by a flouting loophole for making their conscionable decisions according to the spirit of the law and common sense?

Soon or right now, the Vice President is on the crosshairs.

Why are you sad or shocked with the running or imminent outcome?

Wala na finish na! Ang kapal ng mga mukha ninyo! Suck it, you subservient scumbags! You all truly deserve it, kasi.

You signed that contract without reading the fine print on and now, you can’t refund with it anymore because you were convinced with this hard sell. Ayan, you don’t think and you got what you asked for.

Collective guilt is not the best way but I had no choice but to invoke such a thing for a unified crime of perfidy. I’m sure you remain impenitent from this because you defend him without question.

I hope Araling Panlipunan teachers will stop giving students reaction paper, no what they had expected and hope for in light of this.

#MondayThoughts No. 9: No Title Indicated

Well, yesterday was a good day in sports — Pacquiao won by technical knockout (after 9 years) against Matthysse and France won their second World Cup (after 20 years).

After these sports, it seems to be back to work for most of us.

For me, I had no idea what will go on this week as I had so much work to do, I cannot set my mind straight.

Next Monday is the State of the Nation but I don’t really want to watch it — expect no accomplishments, all rabble and profanity and clueless laughter and applauses.

I’ll detail the whole reason on the next Monday Thought.

Timow out.