Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Philippines finally ROARS!

In Defense of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Team. The Philippines finally ROARS!

The Philippines grows by 6.9% in the first quarter. And it takes its rightful place among the top-10 fastest growing developing countries in the world.

Infrastructure and Energy projects planned all the way until 2013 are only going to further support this growth.

Want proof? Go to the websites of First Philippine Holdings, International Container Terminal Services, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, and PNOC.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Past Life

I don't know how you feel about it, but you were female in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Central England around the year 975. Your profession was that of a jeweler or watch-maker.
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
Such people are always involved with all new. You have always loved changes, especially in art, music, cooking.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
The world is full of ill and lonely people. You should help those, who are less fortunate than you are.

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Letter to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mailed to: Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Email address:

Good day gentlemen:

I would like to report an incident that occurred several months ago. This is a bit late, but it is better than not reporting it at all.

It occurred during Ash Wednesday of this year, 21 February 2007.

I attended the Ash Wednesday Mass in the San Agustin Church in Intramuros. Before entering the church, I saw a sign that said ‘Tourists are not allowed to enter while mass is going on.’

In the middle of the mass, 6 Korean tourists who did not even bother to take off their baseball caps and visors went inside the church. As far as I’m concerned, removing a hat is required as a sign of respect when entering a place of worship, whether it’s a church in the Philippines or a temple in Korea. And there is a very visible sign in front of the church ‘Tourists are not allowed to enter while mass is going on.’

How would Koreans react if Filipino tourists went inside Korean temples without removing their baseball caps and visors?

Furthermore, the female tour guide of the tourist group soon entered the church, and explained very loudly to the tourist group. She was not even sensitive enough to observe that the people around her were already being bothered by her very loud voice.

Again, how would Koreans react if Filipino tourists went inside Korean temples and talked loudly while Koreans were worshipping inside the temple?

Lastly and most notably, the female tour guide forcefully stomped her feet numerous times on a tombstone located inside the church, while explaining to the tourist group.

Again, how would Koreans react if Filipino tour guides went to Korea and desecrated the tombstones of Koreans?

In the spirit of MUTUAL RESPECT, I would have to say that the behavior of the tour guide is unacceptable by any civilized culture and any civilized religion in the entire world. It is unacceptable behavior based on Philippine Culture, it is unacceptable behavior based on the Roman Catholic Religion, it is unacceptable behavior based on Korean Culture, it is unacceptable behavior based on the Buddhist Religion, it is unacceptable behavior based on European Cultures and Religions, Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions, Hindu Cultures and Religions, North and South American Cultures and Religions, and Asian, Australian, and African Cultures and Religions. I would just like to emphasize that her behavior is unacceptable wherever she went in the entire world.

Places of worship, whether it’s a church in the Philippines, or a mosque in the Middle East, or a temple in Korea, are the same. These places require that people show respect when entering them. And showing respect in a place of worship is the same almost everywhere in the world, like removing a baseball cap, and by being quiet. These are very basic and common sense gestures of respect.

Lastly, may I recommend that it should be the responsibility of the tour guide and the company that the tour guide works for to remind the tourist group of the proper behavior when visiting such places, even though they are common sense. If he/she can not take on such responsibility, then perhaps he/she should not be allowed to work as a tour guide, and the company that he/she works for should not be given the license to conduct the business of individual and group tours.

I hope action will be taken regarding this matter.


Dr. Jake E. HofileƱa