The 10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam

I am one of the many middle class citizens here in the Metro. My life story is common and non-interesting. I was able to finish school through my grandparents’ pension. My first out of the country was when I was 21, right after I got my first job. I worked for it, saved for it, and enjoyed it.  I am now an IT Consultant. I take a two hour road trip everyday just to go to work. I ride the train every day and complain how the transportation here in Manila sucks big time every now and then. I was only able to start attending Graduate School when I was 26, because only then can I afford the tuition fees and other additional expenses.  You see, I am not rich.  I work hard to buy the things that I want, need and dream of. I had been working for the past six years, and had been paying taxes since then.

Watching the news nowadays is just beyond frustrating. Yes, I am talking about Janet Lim Napoles – the woman behind the 10 Billion Pork Barrel Scam. 28 houses, 30 cars, 415 bank accounts, awesome lifestyle. I only have two questions for her – what will you do with all these and how do you sleep at night?

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Jeane Napoles and Her Lavish Lifestyle

Apparently, five senators were linked to Janet Lim Napoles and the multi billion peso scam. Five thick faced, heartless and corrupt officials who does not deserve even a single centavo earned by hardworking Filipinos. The following senators were named and have of course denied the accusations.

Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.

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I never liked you as an actor, and Lord knows how much I hated your guts when you decided to enter politics. There are two things I remember about you – you’re a womanizer, and you’re a drama queen. You turned the senate into a movie house during the Hayden Kho scandal. Practice what you preach. Respect women before you teach others how to. What sucks even more is part of my taxes goes to a number of your mistresses. Oh, who can forget your dramatic entrance during EDSA Dos asking Erap, your ninong, to resign? Good grief!

Jinggoy Estrada

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Some people just don’t learn, do they? You were in prison with your father for plunder, and here we go again.

Juan Ponce Enrile

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With all due respect, JPE, you’re 89! You’re old, dying and still so corrupt. You received many praises during Corona’s impeachment, but even then, my dad still kept reminding me of the things you did during Martial Law. That’s why I was not impressed, and will never be your fan.

Gregorio Honasan

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You’re just like JPE, only that, you were never praised I guess.

Bongbong Marcos

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Many Filipinos hated your father, and how you got to be in the senate, I will never understand. But you’re already there. If I were you, I would have cleaned my father’s mess and start a new reputation for the future of the Marcoses. Think of how  your future grandchildren would feel once they read  history books. Would you want to be remembered continuing your father’s legacy or starting your own?

Honestly, I was never surprised when I saw the list of the senators linked to the Pork Barrel scam. Well I guess, this is what I expect from them. It’s just frustrating how the money can go a long way if only the right people were elected. Look at what’s happening now? Two days of nonstop raining and most part of the Metro are already in the state of calamity. Look at our transportation system – the train, buses, jeepneys and the endless proposal just to have a temporary fix for the traffic jam since there are no budget or plans for any road widening projects. Look at our public schools, parks, government offices, the list is just endless.

To these senators, to Janet Lim Napoles and her family – how can you watch the news and see how hundreds of Filipinos suffer as a result of your greed and arrogance?

Iloilo + Guimaras

My friends, life partner and I went to Iloilo for a three day vacation. I think this would probably be our cheapest vacation to date! We only spent around Php 3745 including our airfare and accommodations. Although there’s nothing much to do in Iloilo, it still is a fun experience.

We arrived at Iloilo City at around 10am. From the airport, we took a cab which cost us Php 350.00. Metered was not used and they told us that that is the flat rate. A bit disappointing I guess. We stayed at a budget hotel named Riverside Inn. Our room was only Php 1675 a night and could accommodate up to four guests. The hotel was comfortable, their staff were friendly, and the location was a plus! So I would recommend this if you’re just looking for a comfortable place to stay in Iloilo.

We were so hungry when we arrived. Our first stop – Tatoy’s Manukan and Seafood. We ordered Sinigang na Hipon, Native Chicken and Kilawin. I so love the Chicken and Kilawin, but I would not recommend their Sinigang since it was not sour enough for us.

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Tatoy’s Manukan and Seafoods

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Kilawin

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Native Chicken

Our next stop was Molo Church. I love this Church. I am always fascinated by old churches. If only I could get married here.

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Molo Church

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Then we tried out Roberto’s Siopao since most of the blogs I read included this in their itinerary. Their best seller was Roberto’s Queen Siopao which has Bacon Chinese Sausage, Chicken Pork Adobo and Egg and only costs Php 70.00. I am not really a fan of Roberto’s since I want my siopao to be saucy.

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Roberto’s Queen Siopao

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Roberto’s

After our Roberto’s experience, we went for a walk at Plaza Libertad and Calle Real. Since it was still early and we have nothing much to do, we just watched a movie at SM Iloilo to end the night.

Our second day was allotted for our Guimaras Escapade. Before leaving Iloilo City, we went to Decos to eat our breakfast. I love their hospitality and ofcourse, their La Paz Batchoy.

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 Deco’s La Paz Batchoy

Now we’re off to Guimaras Island – The Island of Opportunities. Guimaras Island is a boat ride away from Iloilo City and was always known for their sweet mangoes. Unfortunately, it was not the Mango Season so we weren’t able to buy one or take some home.

We rent a multicab to tour us around the city. The rental cost us Php 1800. Our first stop was souvenir shopping. Mango flavored food everywhere. Mango jam, Mango Piyaya, Mango Barquillos. Believe it or not, there’s even Mango Ketchup.

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Mango Juice, Mango Jam and Many More

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Mc Nester Mango Ketchup

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More Mango Flavored Goodies

Then we visited Trappist Monastery. There were lots of trees surrounding the church that gave me that Baguio vibe.

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 Trappist Monastery

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Inside the Trappist Monastery

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We then visited Guisi Light House. If you love old places, there are many picture perfect spots for this one. Lucky for us, the one who toured us inside the light house know where these are and which angle to take it from 🙂

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Guisi Light House

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Inside the Guisi Light House

Then we went to Pitstop to try out their Mango Pizza. Since its not the mango season yet, there were no mango pizza available, so we just ordered Hawaiian Delight instead. Good thing there are three Pitstop branches in Guimaras, so there’s still hope 🙂

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 Hawaiian Pizza at Pitshop

We wanted to have a quick swim so we went to Raymen Beach Resort. Unfortunately, my boyfriend did not liked the beach so we decided to go back to Guisi since their beaches were less crowded and clearer. The staff at Raymen Beach were not that hospitable either.

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Guisi Beach

After the swim, we tried looking for another Pitshop to taste their Mango Pizza! It’s a must try since its not every day you’ll taste something like this 🙂Image

 Pitshop Mango Pizza (Photo grabbed from Paolo Leynes – my battery run out)

 We went back to Iloilo again, rest and got ready for our day three! 🙂

Since we are about to leave Iloilo, we went to Miag-ao Church for our last day. Its an hour road trip from Iloilo City, a bit far, but since there’s nothing much to do in Iloilo, we decided to go to Miagao. The church was beautiful as well. Old yet well maintained.

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 Miagao Church 

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Then we went back to Iloilo again – after the more than an hour road trip, we were so hungry. We decided to havelunch at Ramboy’s. Love the food, the place, but they need to do something about their restrooms.

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 Kare Kare at Ramboy’s

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Lechon Liempo at Ramboy’s

One of the hotel staff advised us to visit Jaro Church. The church was visited by then pope, Pope John Paul II. It was said that one of Jesus’ sculpture there, gets bigger.

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Jaro Church

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Before heading home, my friends bought their pasablubongs for their loved ones at the Biscocho Haus 🙂

That’s our last stop for our Iloilo – Guimaras tour. We went to the airport to catch our flight. We asked the hotel staff to get us some taxi, and they advise us that metered taxi should be used. To our surprise, the driver was charging us Php 500.00 this time. So we said no, and he asked us to pay just Pho 350.00. It’s a bit frustrating dealing with people like this. The airport staff were not that friendly either. No smiles, no hellos. Especially the airport cashier! She told us that she has no change for our money when we are about to pay our terminal fee in such a rude way. I was a bit disappointed because as tourists, they should take care of us so we’ll go back or say something positive about the province.

To cool our heads, we tried the Coffee Break Café found inside the airport while waiting  for our flight. Its like their own version of Starbucks here, since it can be found everywhere.

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So that’s our Iloilo and Guimaras Escapade. 🙂 Any ideas where to head to next? 🙂