Friday, February 29, 2008


It was last September when I opened an account with Banco de Oro, Megamall (one beside National Bookstore). It was one of those desperate times when I needed to buy dollars and BDO can sell me at least a thousand only if I have an account with them. It was a no brainer really since BDO is one of the most reputable banks in the country in terms of stability and customer service.

I was wrong.

They gave me a 'temporary' ATM card without my name in it. I was made to believe that I will get my card two weeks after. It was ok, I will be out of Manila for about a month. Then come December, I went to the branch to get my card- the one with my name on it. They told me that I did not apply for a replacement card so they have nothing to give me. The one who told me that I will get my ATM card after two weeks already resigned. So it was pointless for me to actually rant about it. Still, not being able to help myself, I told them that I was not informed of the procedure. If I was told earlier, then I could have applied for the new card way back September. Having said that, I signed the application form for the replacement card. And paid a hundred pesos for a piece of new plastic.

That was last December. This afternoon, I went back to BDO to get my card. Then there was this flushed face in front of me, same expression as the last time when I was applying. And after running to and fro, trying to talk to her boss without me hearing or seeing them, she came back telling me that my card is not with them anymore. It has lapsed its maturity period of sixty days. 

Trying to be sunny about it, I asked her, "So, what do we do?" 

She then answered me, "Kayo sir, kayo po ang bahala." 

What the f.3.?!? 

First, I have no idea about that maturity thing. I was told that I can get it after two weeks. I was never informed that it should be not later than sixty days. 

Second, this is not the first time that I am confronted with this dilemma. It's deja vu! She then told me to re-apply and pay another hundred bucks. As if the damage is not yet enough!

Third, going to Megamall, No, parking in Megamall is no walk in the park. I have already told them that I don't go there often. I would, before, when I used to walk from Galleria to Mega but now that I drive, it's just too much hassle especially that there is this endless construction going on.

It was such a cloudy day that my sunny disposition led me out of the bank to actually vent the tempest out to my friend who referred me to that specific branch. He then told me that he can't do anything about it so he suggests that I'll just do what they said. 

It was unacceptable. 

I hurriedly went back inside the mall and was suddenly stopped by the guard saying that the bank is about to close. I told him that my passbook is still inside. He made me wait for fifteen minutes outside then the girl went out carrying my passbook, whining, "Ano na sir? Kayo po, anong balak niyo?"

It was a cloudy day. I told her, "Huwag mong ibalik sa akin ang problema, if you have informed me beforehand, this will not happen. Ikaw yung naka-usap ko before, and you exacty know how exasperated I was and now... Oh well, nevermind. I'll close my account next week."

Got my passbook and left. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Idol Niya si Rizal"

With due apologies, I am again reposting my sister's blog here (again, without her consent...)

photo from

For four days now, my husband and I had devoured the local news. As a result, as the events of this week unfolded, I became awashed not just with feelings of disgust (for the despicable Arroyo government), empathy (for Jun Lozada and family), and grief (for our beloved Philippines). On top of all these mixed emotions, nostalgia crept in, especially as I look at our 2-year old daughter.

I was younger than our little girl when martial law was declared. I did not have any recollection of the events, but my parents would remind me quite often that among the first phrases I said as a child was the slogan “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” 

What I remembered clearly though was how it was growing in NPA-infested Panay in the 70’s and 80’s. And how in the early 80’s I would often hear my father saying that Marcos was the number one recruiter of the NPA’s as by oppressing people, he (Marcos) had actually forced them (the people) to go the hills. I also remembered my mother packing things during those days - land titles, document, then, clothes. And how she was silently weeping. And not so silently whenever the song "Bayan Ko" was played. This was around those days after Ninoy was shot. 

As my father seethed in anger over the political situation at that time, my mother sought refuge in prayer. She would spend day after day in church just to pray for the country. But she also prepared, that’s why she packed.

I would later learn that during those tumultuous days, the one option my parents had considered was going to the hills, as we were warned early on that my father will be re-assigned to an island because of his political views. 

My eyes well up with tears as I recalled those days. Devoid of other options, what indeed will parents do instead? 

As we watched Jun Lozada say the things he was saying, we feel for him and his family. For who indeed will want to be in the situation he is currently in? What husband/father would want to put his family in this type of a predicament? Hindi naman siguro dahil idol niya lang si Rizal? 

Lozada had wanted to give something back to the country. Ugh! That had hit a nerve. Honestly, if I were on his shoes, I would just have left the country. But recalling what he had said, what would you have gained (by doing something cowardly) if you lose your soul? What indeed? 

“Idol nga niya si Rizal”. May God hold men like these in His keeping. 

And may the Lord heal our land.