Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Friday, March 18, 2011

Understanding the Role of Stock Inventories in Oil Pricing

The Press Release below was issued on March 4, 2011 by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. in an effort to address questions raised about why prices are increasing based on global oil prices when they still have inventory of crude bought at a lower price.

To summarize the article below the answers are:
1. To ensure price transparency - it is the norm in open markets in other countries as well
2. In response to market competition (i.e. refiners vs importers)

In addition, crude is bought on a continuous basis, and so while the crude bought at a lower price 3 months ago is being sold at a higher price now, say a month from now when the oil prices go down, the crude bought at a higher price today will then be sold at a loss by the oil companies.

Anyway, onto the article. It explains it in more details. I encourage you to remove your bias for a second and try to read objectively and understand...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Big Bad Blogger an unfolding scandal

Big Bad Blogger aka BBB

Both Bloggers and non-Bloggers alike have been equally intrigued by who the Big Bad Blogger (ingeniously shortened to "BBB") could possibly be - although I must say, anyone in his (we at least know BBB is male) right mind would confess to "giving Blogging a bad name", what with all the hullabaloo and media attention it has received...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pilipinas Shell responds to Bureau of Customs complaint

Dear friends, You may have heard about the new case filed by the Bureau of Customs (Customs) against Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation. Below is an article published today by Shell in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star to provide the public more information.

I encourage you to read more and know more about the issues before making your conclusions about Shell and its employees...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Duìbùqǐ - I am sorry

Duìbùqǐ ("I am sorry") - to the families of those who were hurt and killed in today's hostage taking near Quirino Grandstand in Manila by ex-Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza. - @Reyjrdotcom

Friday, March 26, 2010

Full list: September 2009 Philippine Bar Exam Results

The long wait is over. A total of 1,451 out of 5,903 examinees from 108 law schools nationwide passed the 2009 Philippine Bar examinations. Among them, the 10 highest scores belonged to:

1 - YEBRA, REINIER, 84.800, San Beda
2 - TAPIC, CHARLENE MAY, 84.600, San Beda
3 - LIM, JOHN PAUL , 84.500, Ateneo Law
4 - LAGOS, CAROLINE, 84.400, UP Law
5 - TAN, ERIC DAVID, 84.050, Ateneo Law
6 - GONZALEZ, YVI RANDOLF, 83.900, Ateneo Law
7 - TO, JOAN MAE, 83.650, Ateneo Law
8 - BAGRO, HERMINIO III, 83.400, UP Law
9 - LUMAUIG, TIMOTHY JOSEPH, 83.200, Ateneo Law
10 - BAINTO, NAELLA ROSE, 83.100, Ateneo Law
10 - GO, SHIELA ABIGAIL, 83.100, Ateneo Law

Here is the full list of successful examinees for the September 2009 Philippine Bar Exams...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What the Shell Tax Issue is all about - the public deserves to know

Dear Friends, As some of you may know, I am an employee of Shell in the Philippines.  I would like to invite you to read through the article below about the position of Shell on the alleged non-payment of excise taxes worth $7.3 billion to the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

This issue obviously affects me personally (I am at risk of losing my job if the refinery closes down) but it also affects all of you. Fuel shortage will bring fuel prices up which will eventually cause other commodities to increase prices too.  Double taxation favors importers over manufacturers - if there are less factories, that means lesser job opportunities especially for new graduates.

I invite you to read the article below for your own sake, speak out your opinions - I will respect them.  If you have more questions or clarifications, you may ask it here and I will try my best to answer them for you...

---------------------- beginning of article ----------------------
*As published by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. in the February 16, 2010 issue of The Philippine Daily Inquirer (A-7) and The Philippine Star (A-11)

Recently, the public has heard of the issue regarding alleged non-payment by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) of excise taxes for imports of Catalytic Cracked Gasoline (CCG) and light catalytic cracked gasoline (LCCG), amounting to Php 7.35 billion for the years 2004-09. To correct the misleading, inaccurate and wrong statements that have been made regarding this case, PSPC would like to provide the public the facts of the case:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti Death Toll reaches 150,000 - Please send help

Please, send help now - visit


Haiti Earthquake

I live in a country where natural disasters are commonplace - earthquakes, typhoons, erupting volcanoes, floods - you name it, we've gone through it for sure. But even though year in and year out we experience these tests, nothing really prepares you for it...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Leonids Meteor Shower! How could I not blog about it?

sI've never seen a shooting star in my life. Or I don't remember. Will try to catch some for a wish or two tonight.

From Perseid to Leonids - Meteor Shower crazy

In August of this year, I blogged about the Perseid Meteor Shower. I was excited because I usually find out about these stuff after the fact, but that time

I went out and walked around the compound for a couple of nights in a row, hoping to catch one. It turned out to be a disappointment: It was drizzling, and the clouds were too thick to see the sky, much less any meteor showers.

This time around, I'm optimistic. Local weather station PAGASA says...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Trauma in Ondoy's wake

The sunburn on my nose and forehead has begun to peel. No, I did not go to the beach. Who would go in this weather?


Saturday Surprise: Flash Flood

We had so many things planned for that weekend: maybe a barbecue lunch, dinner out to a fancy resto, a movie, some errands perhaps, or a relaxing massage - but our weekend activities was decided for us instead by Ondoy.

I wanted to sleep-in that Saturday morning (I drove home from Batangas the night before) but was woken up early by my worried girlfriend Liz: her sister Belle lives in Pasig too, and the flood in their area is rising fast. My dad and I had a quick coffee and tried to make our way to Belle's house. One of my Uncles volunteered to drive my Lolo's Tamaraw FX for us - we needed a high enough vehicle. The traffic was horrible. When we finally reached Ortigas Extension via East Bank Road, the FX could no longer move forward because there was already about a meter deep water. Even on foot, the water was already too deep to traverse. We saw one vehicle being pushed across - it was the only one that tried.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Symbology of Ninoy, a Filipino Hero

Why is it a holiday today?

Last night, one of my younger colleagues asked us over dinner the reason why it was a holiday today. We all laughed at her naivete - it was common knowledge: today we remember the 26th death Anniversary of Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino.

On a separate occasion, another friend asked if whether it was Ninoy's birthday or his death anniversary we are commemorating on Aug 21.

While both mistakes can be attributable to memory gaps and are forgivable, it made me wonder about myself: Do I really understand why it was a holiday today? Or am I just happy that I don't have to work? If I, who was already alive at the time of Ninoy's assassination (albeit too young to remember) can so easily forget, how much more so for those who were born much later?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight!

I just found out that there is an ongoing meteor shower called the Perseid Meteor Shower, and that it is peaking TONIGHT (Aug 12)! It's a great night to sit under the stars and wish on a shooting star (or a hundred shooting stars just to be sure). :D

So, tonight, get you boyfriend, your girlfriend, your special someone to spend a few minutes looking at the sky. Make sure it's dark to get a better view of the night sky. I guess, a candle-lit dinner will be perfect. ;)

Details of meteor shower, where to look, i.e. what constellations to look for, and other geeky stuff after the jump...

Here is the info excerpt from the PAGASA Website:

"The famous Perseids meteor shower will be observed with its peak on the late night of August 12 until dawn on the following day...occasionally, an exceptional shower may show tens or even hundreds of meteors per minute, but around 50 meteors per hour is more typical."

The Perseids meteor shower is the most reliable one, which is best seen during August 10-14 every year. Under most favorable clear sky condition, there may be 60 to 100 meteors per hour."

If you see a shooting star, what will you wish for?

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Monday, August 03, 2009

I sang for President Cory Aquino, for the first and the last time

On Saturday, August 1, I woke up to an sms from my co-UP Concert Chorus Alum, Ging, that our dear former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino or Tita Cory, had passed away. Her message was quickly followed by another one, asking if I was willing to come over and sing for the 8pm mass set that evening in La Salle, Greenhills where the late President's body was brought for public viewing. It was going to be the first mass for the wake of Pres. Cory Aquino...

I knew there was going to be a lot of people, tight security because of all the VIPs coming, parking was going to be difficult, not to mention I haven't sung with the UP Concert Chorus in a long time...but there was no hesitation when I replied: Yes, I will go.

After some errands in Makati and a light KFC take-out dinner in the car, Liz and I made our way to La Salle, Greenhills. Along the way, we could already see the yellow ribbons on the vehicles around us, on the branches of trees along Ortigas Ave, even on lamp posts and road blocks, all leading us to where we needed to go.

When we got there, we found La Salle had been closed for entry so we parked across the street and walked to the gymnasium where the mass was going to be held. There was already a long line of people waiting under the rain, hoping to get one last look at the beloved former President.

Inside the gym, the lights were bright but the mood somber and respectful. There were chairs arranged in rows in front of a makeshift stage, and in between was the casket with the remains of Tita Cory. There were 2 cameras on extensions, several more cameramen going around, and there was a row of tables with laptops and other gadgets on them which I assumed were the press people.

I looked around and saw her family: I saw Kris Aquino was being interviewed, I saw Jiggy Aquino-Cruz, one of her grandsons who I happened to read about in a magazine just before going to the wake, Mikee and Chynna Conjuangco were there too.

Mayor Sonny Belmonte was there, VP Noli De Castro, Mayor Alfredo Lim, Sen. Loren Legarda, former President Fidel Ramos and a host of other political figures were present. Media personalities and celebrities were also in attendance: David Celdran, Charo Santos-Concio, Bianca Gonzalez, Tessa Prieto-Valdez. Singers Jose Mari Chan, Jaime Rivera and Gary Valenciano were also present, and later gave tributes and sang after the mass ended.

Being inside the "VIP" area, we did not have to line up from outside to view the remains of the late President. So we took a short queue from inside the barricaded area, Liz and I went together, to see her in person for the first, and for the last time.

Cory looked peaceful, her face bright, her hands clasped and holding a golden rosary. I uttered a short prayer for her, and before we left, I gave her a small bow to show my respect. I would have preferred to have sung for her in a different setting, but I guess it must be this way. Even though I was singing with 20+ other people in the choir, it felt like it was my personal tribute to her. It was an honor to sing for her. I will always remember her as a shining symbol of hope and democracy for the Filipino people and for the world.

Thank you for the inspiration, Cory Aquino.

Here's the only Youtube video I found of the mass with us singing in the background: Click here.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead and why I even care

I am a fan of Michael Jackson. And I'm devastated that he's dead.

If you've seen the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus" in the scene where the lead character finds out over the radio that John Lennon of the Beatles had been shot - that's exactly how I felt like when I found out about MJ.
"...the King of Pop, his heart has stopped..."
I found out through a text message from Liz, and I actually thought it was another one of those so-and-so-is-dead-hoax things, but when I checked, it was all over the news. On all news websites, on Twitter, on Facebook, on all TV channels, on all radio stations, they were talking about nothing else: "the King of Pop, his heart has stopped". Yes folks, the Jacko is dead.

Everywhere you go they were playing Michael Jackson songs, you could even listen to "Thriller" in the mall in broad daylight. They've stopped playing David Cook's version and opted for 80's style "Billy Jean". In my car you'd hear "The Way You Make Me Feel", one of my all time favorite MJ songs.

There were numerous tributes on MTV, Channel V, even the local Myx channel. Variety shows had all these celebrities singing and dancing to MJ songs. Michael Jackson was ubiquitous again, at least for the moment.
"...I respect him as an artist... "
Now, I am not a HUGE Michael Jackson fan: I do not have any of his albums, nor do I have any posters or souvenirs; I have never seen his concerts or saw him performing live, (although I wanted to when he visited the Philippines almost 10 years ago, too bad it was my final exams at the time!), I do not know all the lyrics to his songs, or his life story or anything like that... some fan, right?

But I still do consider myself a Michael Jackson fan.

I am a fan because despite all the media frenzy about his molestation charges, his weird behavior, his disappearing melanin, his disintegrating nose...I say: I may not understand his person, but I understand his talent. He is a very talented man and I respect him as an artist...
"...did he really defy gravity..."
I grew up in the 80's, this I guess, influenced much of how I perceived Michael Jackson. I distinctly remember hearing myths about him, stories about him never needing to sing lipsynch, seeing his concerts full of people screaming and crying like crazy just to see him, I grew up listening to his amazingly high songs (hee hee! go on girl!), his uber amazing videos, his amazing dancing (he floats!)...I mean who was this man who commanded the attention of the world so easily? Can he really float over the stage, did he really just stand on his toes? (must be the shoes). Did he really defy gravity in Smooth Criminal (yeah, it's gotta be the shoes, gotta get me those shoes!).

Sure, some of his latter songs or albums did not sell as massively as the earlier ones, but MJ still commanded the attention of the world. I was actually excited when I heard that he was recording new material for an album, collaborating with today's hottest artists. I was interested to see how his style will re-emerge seeing how relevant his old songs still sound even though they are a few decades old already. I was looking forward to buying my first Michael Jackson album...

But now I'd have to settle for one of his catalogue albums which are not at all less compelling to buy, especially now. I'm thinking of getting "History". What do you think?

Michael Jackson: His talent, his uniqueness, and his passion for performance has captured the imagination of the whole world, including mine. Thank you for the inspiration!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Latest: The Philippines has first swine flu (Influenza A H1N1)-related fatality

About an hour ago, DOH announced the Philippines' first fatality related to swine flu or Influenza A H1N1 virus.

The 49-year-old woman from Metro Manila died from congestive heart failure (the blood passageway to her heart was blocked), but was discovered after she had died that she was infected with the swine flu virus. Her death is the first reported fatality related to Influenza A (H1N1).

Her husband and son are currently quarantined, and DOH is doing a contact tracing of the family.
Meanwhile, several more schools have suspended classes due to the outbreak. The Philippines reportedly has the highest number of infections in the South East Asian region.

Sources linked after the jump...

GMA - DOH announces first death in RP linked to A(H1N1)
ABS-CBN - RP confirms first A (H1N1) death
This report got me really worried. And this swine flu is really making me paranoid. Last week my girlfriend was sick, turned out it was common flu. And this weekend, my mom was bed-ridden with fever and cough. She's much better now, no more fever, but we're still monitoring it.

Stay healthy everyone.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

UP is Top University in the Philippines in QS Top University Rankings 2009

No surprises there, the University of the PHILIPPINES ( alma mater...ehem) is still the top University/College in the Philippines, ranking #63 in the 2009 "Top 200 Asian Universities" of Top Universities. It is tied at 63 with Universitas GADJAH MADA of Indonesia.

Other Philippine Universities that ranked are the De la Salle University #76, the Ateneo de Manila University #84, and the University of Santo Tomas #144.

According to the site, this is the first regional ranking from QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd, the compilers of the Times Higher Education - QS World University Rankings. Previously published rankings were all Global rankings. In the 2008 Global ranking, UP ranked #276, a big jump from the previous year's #398 ranking.

The 2009 Top Asian Universities are as follows...
#1 University of HONG KONG Hong Kong
#2 The CHINESE University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
#3 University of TOKYO Japan
#4 HONG KONG University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
#5 KYOTO University Japan
#6 OSAKA University Japan
#7 KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Scie... Korea, South
#8 SEOUL National University Korea, South
#9 TOKYO Institute of Technology Japan
#10 National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore, tied with
#10 PEKING University China

For the full ranking, visit Top Universities.

*A quick note on the attached video: The UP Concert Chorus singing UP's alma mater song, UP Naming Mahal. It is taken from BUKLOD TANGI VCD, produced by UP Dilliman Office of the Vice Chancellor, Chancellor, and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA). Copyright 2001. All rights reserved.

P.S. I was part of the group that recorded it! But didn't make it to the shooting of the video. :(

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Friday, June 05, 2009

June 5 is World Environment Day, How did we fare?

Today, June 5 is World Environment Day (WED), according to the UNEP Homepage, it is the day when the United Nations stimulate people and governments to push for action on environmental issues. The theme for WED 2009 is 'Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change'.

Climate Change has been in the forefront of environment related discussions for the past few decades, and numerous promotions have been made to try to address the issue. There is a particularly wonderful page on the UNEP Homepage about how to: "Easily Green your daily Routine" (and it rhymes too!) which details small adjustments to your lifestyle that will help in big ways. Things like "wear jeans more than once" or "usa a washable mug for your morning coffee" are very easily doable.

My question though is have we gone far enough to effect a slowdown of this inevitable future of climate change? How have we in our yearly Environmental Day celebrations been able to effect change and curb climate change? Or has June 5 become just another celebration we do, but not really affecting anything?

As an improvement, I think it would be good to know how we have as individuals uniting together have been able to make a difference. Or if we haven't, how we should do more. From my work I have learned that we can't improve on something we don't measure. So, so far, how have we fared? How far have we come? And what do we need to do more?

Although wonderfully clever to break down environmental friendly contributions to a doable daily task list, it's still difficult to imagine how my putting my printer on default "print on both sides" mode will effect the cutting down of trees in the thousands per day. So, my challenge to UN is... to help me imagine it better. :D If I see how I have been able to help, then maybe I will be inspired to help some more, and maybe other people will be inspired as well.

This is our world, we, the human race, are the biggest stakeholders in this worldwide project. And even if you do not care if I or any other person in the world will survive, even if your intentions are purely selfish, I don't care. As long as you do your bit to help.

Oh, and please plant a tree. :D

Monday, May 25, 2009

12 dead in capsized boat en route to Puerto Galera

On my last post, I spoke about the weather being not so good before we left for Puerto Galera earlier this month. Then just last week, this happened. The boat we took was not overloaded, far from it, but still... it could've been us. I remember our boatman saying that our boat cannot sink because it's made of wood. True enough, but then again, the boat below did not sink either. In fact, it's still floating now.

Let's pray for the souls of the departed.

M/B Commando 6, a 12-ton, 21-meter outrigger boat capsized on May 23, Saturday off the coast of Batangas while on its way to Puerto Galera Beach. Coast guard officials estimate the boat's capacity at 42 passengers and 5 crew, however various reports of the actual number of passengers say the boat was overloaded by over 20 passengers.

The accounts of survivors explain that the weather was okay, but the waves were quite big, and so the tarpauline covers were pulled down to prevent the passengers from getting wet from the waves. When the right outrigger broke it caused the boat to tip over. Most of those who perished were trapped inside the upturned boat because of the tarpaulines.

As of this time, 12 people have been confirmed dead including 3 children (two 2-year olds and one 3-year old) and a Japanese national.

Survivors also talk of 2 vessels that passed by but did not stop to help, and had instead taken photos and videos of the tragedy.

Photo from Inquirer
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gary Granada: jilted Filipino composer fights back againts network giant GMA

I know Gary Granada from his winning the Grand Prize in the 1998 Metropop Song Festival for his song "Mabuti Pa Sila".

I'm familiar with the song because we sang it in the UPCC from 2000 to 2004. The last line of that song is probably how Gary Granada felt before he made this recording...

"Di tulad kong lagi na lang nag-iisa..."


"And you have the audacity to tell me that my composition is OUR collective effort."

This proves to be a case of ignorance on the side of the GMA Kapuso Foundation. I am theorizing that after they received the test copy from Mr. Granada and didn't like it, they handed it over to another composer. And because of they were constrained by time, they resorted to just changing the melodic line and retaining the rest.

I think they did not know that Gary Granada would be able to identify his work because for them, all they hear is the melody, which was now effectively altered. Too bad for them, Mr. Granada, who was class Valedictorian in Elementary and High School, and was a one time University of the Philippines student, is smarter than them.

To you Mr. Granada, fight for what you think is right.
To the GMA execs, especially to that man or lady who (theoretically) said: "Palitan mo na lang yung melody!", dude, an apology is in order.
To the person who "copied" Mr. Granada's composition, shame on you. Have you no integrity as a composer?

Original Recording at SoundCloud
Gary Granada's Homepage -- Leave a message here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Computer Virus "Conficker worm" spreading!

The Conficker worm is spreading worldwide, now affecting around 10 million personal and business computers. A report from F-secure says it leaped from 2.4 million to up to 3 times that number in just 3 days. Are you scared yet?

The worm can be acquired through a vulnerability in the Microsoft system which could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. This is not a problem if you already have the patch they sent out in October.

The worm can also “mutate” and launch “brute force attacks” that relentlessly try thousands of letter and number combinations in codes to steal personal passwords and login information.

Lastly, the worm can infect removable devices and network shares with an autorun file that executes as soon as a USB drive or other infected device is connected to a victim PC. This last one may be most common for personal computers, so protect yourself RIGHT NOW and turn off your AutoRun. I think you can do this by right clicking on the CD-ROM drive or USB drive, choosing the Properties > Autoplay > and the radio button for "Prompt me each time to do an action". But I'm not an expert so if you want more info, try this instead.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Glorietta Bomb

Theories have been flying around about the who and the why behind the alleged bombing of Glorietta Mall last week. Although maybe I shouldn't refer to it as bombing anymore, in light of new reports saying that it there were no bomb blast materials in the scene, and no bomb crater to support the bomb theory. They also said evidences are pointing towards an accidental gas explosion.

I had quite a discussion over lunch about it, before the new information came out and everyone agreed that it was indeed, a bomb. A friend of mine wouldn't dismiss the idea that it could have been the government behind the apparent diversion, what with all the talk about ZTE and the new Impeachment case they are drafting. Also, it did happen on the same day that those 3 bishops called for the President to resign, which I found completely absurd, by the way. I mean, they wanted to remove the President, but said they were not supporting any Politicians or other groups. So, if they got their way, what then?!?! We'll have a practically headless government!(Noli who?)

But going back to my lunch discussion, my opinion is this: I do think that those darn Politicians grandstanding and blaming the government for every little thing are over the top and should just be ignored. (Trillia-what?) I honestly think GMA is smart enough to recognize that the Martial Law tactics of creating chaos to be able to wield the government's controls against it is an easily recognizable strategy, and that she knows the Filipino people will not hear of it anymore.

In any case, 11 people died in that tragedy. One of them, the wife of Carlo Cruz, who's email has been circulating in our offices.

I pray for their souls and the families they left behind.