Araw ni Rizal sa mata ng mga trolls

Disclaimer: This post contains heavy amounts of sarcasm which some may not be able to handle, and may generate considerable amount of butthurt. Read at your own discretion. We will not be responsible for any backlash that may arise.

Ito na naman ang araw na ipagdiriwang ng mga Pepetards ang araw ng pagkamatay ng kanilang bayani na si Jose Rizal, na isang aktibista na wala namang ibang ginawa kundi maghanap ng chix at magpasarap sa Europa.

Hindi niyo ba alam na yang mga history books na binabasa ninyo ngayon ay may mga bias? Malay niyo baka hindi pa nga sila pinanganak noong panahon ng mga Kastila eh.

Atsaka yang bias na media na yan? Pagawa-gawa ng pelikula tungkol sa mga kabayanihan niya kuno? Mag-research nga kayo, hindi yung puro kayo ingay. Hindi kayo maka-move on eh.

Atsaka yung mga human rights violations na yan, hindi naman sila totortyurin ng mga Kastila kung hindi sila mga aktibista eh. Kung sumusunod kayo sa batas hindi niyo mararanasan ang mga naranasan ng mga aktibistang yan. Ang iingay eh. Ano ba nagawa niyo para sa bayan?

Yung iba galit na galit pa rin sa Kastila pero hindi pa naman sila pinapanganak noon eh. Sige nga. Wag niyo gamitin ang mga pangalan niyong tunog-Espanyol, wag kayo mag-aral sa Ateneo or sa UST. Wag kayo magpapagamot sa Hospicio de San Jose. Lumayas kayo sa Maynila, Cebu, Iloilo. Wag na rin kayo magsimba.

At teka, kung bayani talaga si Rizal bakit hindi siya nakalibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani? Sige nga. Hindi kayo nag-iisip eh. Pero ang dapat ilibing diyan ay si Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Tanggapin niyo na lang na Golden Age ng Pilipinas ang pananakop ng mga Kastila. Maayos naman ang palakad nila kung di lang dahil sa mga bayarang Katipunerong ‘yan.

Ano masasabi niyo mga ka-DDS (Damaso Diehard Supporters)?




Ideas for routes to Latin America

We would like to pitch some ideas on how to operate flights from the Philippines to Latin America, as non-stop flights are still impossible even for jumbo airliners like the Airbus A330, Boeing 777, Airbus A340, Airbus A350, and perhaps Airbus A380 (correct me if I’m wrong):

  • Manila to Sao Paolo via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Rio de Janeiro via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Mexico City (non-stop)
  • Manila to Montevideo via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Buenos Aires via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Santiago via Auckland
  • Manila to San Juan via Mexico City
  • Manila to Quito via Auckland
  • Manila to Lima via Auckland
  • Manila to Asuncion via Auckland
  • Manila to Cocachamba via Johannesburg
  • Manila to La Paz via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Santa Cruz-Viru Viru via Johannesburg
  • Manila to Bogota via Mexico City
  • Manila to Caracas via Mexico City
  • Manila to Panama City via Mexico City
  • Manila to Havana via Mexico City
  • Manila to Managua via Mexico City
  • Manila to San Salvador via Mexico City
  • Manila to San Jose via Mexico City
  • Manila to Tegucigalpa via Mexico City
  • Manila to Santo Domingo via Mexico City
  • Manila to Guatemala City via Mexico City

The above mentioned are for trans-Pacific routes. For a probably less costly and more profitable one, consider Madrid or Lisbon as possible stopovers.

These are for the flag carrier Philippine Airlines should the day come they would ever decide to expand to the region. At present they have a fleet of eight Boeing 777-300s which are primarily used to flights in the United States, Canada, and UK, and future expansion to Rome, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris. They also have orders for six Airbus A350-500s which will most likely be deployed to these destinations.

At present Latin American carriers have limited presence in the Asian region (for example, Aeromexico has flights to Shanghai and Tokyo), but for expansion plans they might consider the Philippines as it is a cultural cousin.

Will this become feasible in the future? Share us your thoughts. 

New look, and stories in store

Before this year ends, I have decided to unveil a new look for the blog, which reflects the seriousness in our approach and to further attact readership. Coupled with that, we will improve our content.

For our domestic (Filipino) audience, here are posts you will expect from us for the coming days or perhaps next year:

  • GMA Network under Gozon and claims to be number one
  • The federal parliamentary system shift and our proposal for such a shift
  • ABS-CBN News programming in high-definition
  • The long-overdue part 2 of our Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa series (which supposed to tackle on how the Philippines should reform its language policy)
  • Internet connecitivity in the Philippines

We will try to avoid overtly discuss topics such as the war on drugs because of intense emotions on both sides of the political spectrum and the amount of political butthurt. 

As for international audiences, we will try at our best to discuss events of international importance to the best of our abilities.

From us here, thank you. 

Banat Top 5 for 2016

With this blog barely a year old and due my relatively busy schedule (coupled with a penchant for procrastination), we have not been able to post that much content, but we would like to end the year with the top 5 issues that we feel  made a lot of impact.

5. Geopolitical earthquakes one after another

The rise of populist movements from both sides of the political spectrum, the resignations of and removals of various heads of state, struggles to resolve armed conflicts, among others. To enumerate:

  • Impeachment of Park Geun-hye (South Korea), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
  • Resignation of British PM David Cameron, New Zealand PM John Key, Italian PM Matteo Renzi
  • Death of former Cuban Fidel Castro, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Uzbek President Islam Karimov
  • Brexit and the upset victory of the ‘leave’ camp
  • Ratification of the Colombian FARC peace deal and its subsequent rejection in a referendum
  • Increased Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war, especially Aleppo
  • Failed coup attempt in Turkey which resulted in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cracking down further on dissent
  • North Korean nuclear threat
  • Resolution of the Spanish government crisis with Mariano Rajoy keeping his seat
  • Election victory of Tsai Ing-wen and the resumption of cross-strait tensions
  • The rise of the alt-right movement
  • Victory of Donald Trump
  • The Philippine drug war
  • Rescue of the Chibok girls
  • Economic collapse of Zimbabwe
  • Continued tensions in Ukraine

The list goes on.

4. Terrorist attacks

The most recent of which, the Berlin attack, assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov. Some of those were:

  • Nice, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Davao City
  • Cairo, Egypt

The list goes on.

3. Social media responsibility

The use of social media has become more prominent, with calls for responsibility increasing. The spread of so-called “fake news” and the heavily toxic air of debate has been a worrying trend.

The above mentioned are meant for our international audience, as this year we have tried to reach a readership outside of the Philippines. The top 2 will be geared towards our local readers.

2. Media trends

  • The never-ending claim for television rating leadership (ABS-CBN vs. GMA)
  • MMFF’s shift to one based on independent productions
  • Baron Geisler’s issues

The list goes on. For more on these, visit Ralph Domingo’s From The Tube ( or Timow’s Turf. (

1. Philippine political landscape

By next year, the blog might start to avoid talking about Filipino politics as it has become so divided at such a point people are being bullied.

  • Duterte’s victory
  • The ruling on South China Sea
  • The war on drugs
  • Marcos burial
  • Independent foreign policy

The list goes on.

We have not delved into details as it might be depressing and provoking to some and it takes lots of research to squeeze an entire year in one short post.

From us in Banat, we wish you a happy holidays and may 2017 bring us peace in our minds.


On fake news: what’s your stand?

There has been a lot of talk regarding fake news recently, with the spread of heavily partisan news sources or outright hoaxes and its influence in shaping public opinion. But we would like to ask a question. Which is more alarming, and who’s more responsible, these “fake news” sites or mainstream media’s failure to truly reflect the needs of the people? 

Share us your thoughts.

Why not a new trade bloc with Latin America? 

(Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shaking hands with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kucyznski during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, Peru last November 18-20, 2016. Photo credits: Philstar)

As part of the Philippines’ ongoing push to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West, we would like to suggest why don’t we consider establishing stronger links with the Latin American nations? 

Previously this blog has discussed the possibility of direct air links with the continent, this time we will discuss closer political and economic cooperation.

We all know the Philippines and Latin America has shared cultural links thanks to three centuries of Spanish colonization. We have had the Acapulco galleon trade from 1565 to 1821, when the Latin American counties declared independence from Spain one by one.

American influence in our culture had somehow diminished centuries of common heritage, but why can’t we rekindle these? For example, we have something in common when it comes to religiosity, telenovelas, and populist politics to name a few.

In keeping with modern challenges, this proposes that a new regional bloc with these countries could help us cope with common problems such as poverty and income inequality, a common approach in combating illegal drugs (PNP Dir. Gen. Bato dela Rosa has visited Colombia to study their approaches), and reestablishing cultural links, including reintroduction of the Spanish language.

We can also heavily promote tourism and trade opportunities, generating revenue and creating jobs.

There’s a lot of work to be done and this is a big gamble which if handled efficiently will generate huge benefits for both sides.

ARC still a work in progress

It’s about six months since the ABS-CBN Regional Channel hit the airwaves with a promise of bringing viewers closer to home.

It was heavily promoted on its regional programs, and even has livestreaming access on Sky On Demand and iWanTV. But has it lived up to the expectations? No, not yet. 

One would expect it will air most, if not all, programs from the ABS-CBN Regional family (from the morning shows to the regional editions of TV Patrol to KMWK), but has instead focused on select TV Patrol editions from Baguio, Dagupan, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao, the MagTV editions, current affairs, Agri Tayo Dito, and a repetitive mix of special events programs hosted by the Regional group (Kapamilya Karavan at home and One Kapamilya Go abroad) and movies dubbed in Cebuano (like The Hunger Games, Chinese Zodiac, and The Sorcerer and the White Snake). Their social media accounts also appear to be inactive.

Their rationale why they’re keeping the present state of affairs is to keep viewers at suspense and wait. But with what they’re doing, they are only making viewers lose interest. They couldn’t keep waiting any longer. No one even knows what their initial scheduling might be. But keep on waiting.

I must say Regional is among the least-prioritized divisions of the Kapamilya network. Should the mother network begin prioritizing its regional audiences aside from big-budgeted teleseryes and movies with cliched themes, ARC will be able to keep up with its premise, as it has also promised original programming not seen on the originating stations.

So, for now, all we can do is wait.

Long-distance flights from Manila to Latin America?

(A Boeing 777-300ER plane. Photo credit:

Has anyone thought of direct flights from the Philippines to countries in Latin America?

We may share something in common when it comes to culture, traditions, heritage, among others, but why isn’t there such a thing?

Considering the long distances (17-18 kilometers, 17hrs of flying, and the need for stopovers as airliners such as Boeing 777 could not have the capacity to fly non-stop, unless) and whether it could be financially viable or not, but who knows?

If both sides boost cultural ties, rekindling the common colonial heritage, and promote tourism, maybe this won’t be a far-fetched idea after all.

Russia-Philippines relations

Lately we’ve been hearing reports that the Philippines intends to sign defence cooperation agreements, enhance economic relations, and even send workers to the Russian Federation, all of these as a result of a long-term effort to diversify our foreign relations and reduce dependency on the United States.

You may remember that our relations with the US has significantly deteriorated during the past few months over concerns of possible human rights violations in the ongoing drug war and President Duterte’s rants against the US. At the same time, he has voiced intentions to pivot to Russia and China.

During the sidelines of the APEC Summit he met with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in which he congratulated Duterte on his election victory (which incidentally is the date of Victory Day celebrations), and invited him to visit Russia early next year.

At the same time Russian companies expressed interest in investing in this country, as well as the Philippines aiming to increase exports.

After the US canceled the sale of 26,000 assault rifles, Russian manufacturers oriented PH embassy staff on what they have to offer.

Recently, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Moscow to discuss the possibility of a defense cooperation agreement, and Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Additionally, the Philippines explored possibilities of sending OFWs in Russia.

In such a short period we’ve seen major developments and this is going to be an exciting time, and reap the benefits of this new window of opportunities.

My Take on 2016

I have been inactive for a while, thanks to studies and the preference to voice out my opinions through my social media accounts and the tendency to forget, but let me give you my insights.

Are you tired with the bickering, and you just want to go on peacefully with your lives?

Wherever you are in the world, you have seen one political earthquake after another. Brexit, Trump, EJKs, you name it. And it’s been polarizing. And tiring.

I’ll keep this short.

Can we all just continue with living together in peace regardless of what we stand for and what we believe in? We’re being consumed. Maybe even the most vocal are already getting tired.

Whoever reads this, regardless of what you stand for, for God’s sake, can we all live in peace? Thank you.