On the Issue: Thoughts for the Day – 26 August

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Did you join the march earlier? Are you mad, furious, infuriated, and [insert another adjective here] regarding the issue at hand? We have the right to be mad, mad about how some of our elected officials is spending public funds. We can be mad about the allegation that JLN has managed to draw out funds from the PDAF into to her very own coffers. We can be mad about exposes and frauds left and right.

Corruption is a bad thing right?

Now let us sit down for a moment and chat, do you drive an automobile? Let us say you do drive. Look straight into my eyes and answer this – what would you do if a traffic officer flags you down for a traffic violation? If you decided to give the officer coffee, snack, doughnut, cronut, doussant, or whatever you call it money to get away – is it not some form of corruption? Tell me. Tell me all the excuses that you have, but through that act, you have committed the crime that you despise the most.

This is the problem, we are mad at other people for being corrupt but it is perfectly okay for us to corrupt other people. We go to rallies to express our anger and frustrations against corruption but we find all excuses to use fixers to corrupt other people in order to process our transactions faster.

When we say no to corruption, there should be no grey areas, no ifs and buts. It will not change overnight, but it is up to us to starve it off.

It has to begin with us – the only question is would you do it?


Chocolate Crinkles

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I grew up in a very religious family. When I was very young, my father’s aunt who we all dearly call “Tita Madre” (loosely translates to “Aunt Nun”, or “Sister Aunt”) regularly visits us when she has time away from the convent. During those visits, she usually brings treats and sweets for me and my brother and at one point she even bought a basketball for us two boys to play (me and my younger brother).

In August of 2001, she joined our creator, whom she served all throughout her life in heaven due to old age.

During the wake, the nun who looks after her allowed us to go through the things that she have left behind – the nun allowed us to take some items as remembrance and keepsakes of her such as the rosary she is using and some that she have personally made. She has also left behind some food items and one of those that caught my attention is a plastic jar of chocolate crinkles.

For those of you who are not familiar, in this particular religious community any food item that is brought in will be pooled to be shared equally among the members of the religious community. So if someone gives out particular goods or food items it is divided equally among themselves so everyone can enjoy.

That particular plastic jar of chocolate crinkles came from that pool.

“Why did she keep this?” I asked.

“She would always tell us these are for the two boys”, the nun replied.

At that point in time, tears start streaming from my eyes as I hold on to the plastic jar. For the last time, she managed to express her love for us in a very simple way through a plastic jar of crinkles. I personally have become attached to that jar that I managed to keep it for months if not years with crinkles intact as a symbol of her love for us in a simple way.

Tita Madre, you’ll be forever in our hearts.

Drafts & Anecdotes is a collection of my short personal stories about the different experiences I have had over the past few years. I hope you enjoy reading my anecdotes and feel free to suggest any topic that you want me to write about next by dropping me a simple note

Another Chapter

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There is still a few more hours before midnight and a few of my neighbors are lighting the sky and making some noise with different pyrotechnics. It is exactly ten o’clock in the evening, here I am on my desk looking back at all the things that happened the past year.

It is a pity that I will be ending the year suffering from a sore throat that would not just get away plus cough that I think would be aggravated by the smoke coming from pyrotechnics later in the night. How about you how are you ending this year?

I am finding one statement that would summarize this year, and I think it would be appropriate to call this a year that surprised me.

2011: The Year that Surprised Me.

I would like to thank everyone who has been part of my 2011 – you made this year interesting.

From my family to, all of my eight hundred and thirty six friends on Facebook. From peers, colleagues, and MACHs I’ve met in person and online to my friends from college (shout out to Block IT!). From my 127 followers in Twitter to anyone who RT’d my tweets. To the PR, 5J, 2P, DL, UA, and AS staff and to everyone who I encountered directly or indirectly during my travels. And to everyone who I failed to mention. THANK YOU / MARAMING SALAMAT!

Forward March. Soar High. Happy New Year!


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Looking back at all the things that happened this year, these are just some of the many facts that I can think of:

  1. I have been to ten airports namely: MNL, NRT, SEA, LAX, SFO, HKG, MPH, KLO, SIN, and CEB.
  2. If my memory serves me right I have been on a 767, 777, CRJ 700, A320, 747, A330, Q400 – so that would be 7 different types of aircraft – from the tiny ones.
  3. Used the following currencies: PHP, USD, SGD, HKD, and a little bit of MOP
  4. I have traveled approximately 20,979 miles – by air
  5. I have accumulated 15 more stamps on my passport

In a journey, we get to see places, experience a new set of experiences, meet a lot of people. In between all these – I have gained and lost a few pounds, earn and spent money, learned a lot, met people, gained friends, watched movies, changed phones, taught students, laughed, get stressed – a small fraction of my entire journey in 2010.

As a year-ender I wanted to dedicate this blog entry to everyone who became a part of my 2010.

  • Thanks for the numerous dinners, brunches, movies, etc. we had this year
  • Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts and stories with me this year
  • Thanks for making me special
  • Thanks for all the stuff you have given me this year
  • Thanks for getting me to places I haven’t been
  • Thanks for helping me with anything
  • Thanks for being a good friend
  • Thank you for anything and everything.

Tomorrow morning is a start of a new journey – not sure of the things that will come my way but I will always be ready.

2010 – thanks for the awesome journey.

Now it is time for me to get off here, join my family downstairs in welcoming 2011. Happy New Year!

Tips to help you avoid plagiarism

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Plagiarism is a hot topic in the Philippines these days, for the first time someone ruled that software was at fault on a plagiarism case because it did not detect that an idea was copied from somewhere else and was not cited properly. While this would have been a great feature request to the software company – there are actually ways to help you keep track of copy and pastes, and sources using the same software.

Tip #1: Do not paste directly to your working document, instead paste on to Microsoft OneNote – to keep track of your copy and pastes (as well as sources)


Microsoft Office OneNote has this great feature that when you paste something there it indicates the URL / location of your source. Now you would know that the passage you copied is not entirely yours. The best thing is that you can go back to the source and get additional details such as Author, etc.

Tip #2: Use Citations and Bibliography in Microsoft Word


Use the Manage Sources function in Microsoft Word to organize and keep track all your sources (books, websites, etc.). After entering all your sources choose a citation style that is appropriate for the document you are working on (e.g. Decisions, Papers, etc.). Then insert citations away, no need to consult those thick manuals and determine which format is the best to use this way.

Tip #3: Mark as Final


Of course there is still a danger that someone might unintentionally delete your citations while reading your document. To avoid this make sure that after proof-reading your document many times (making sure that you are not committing plagiarism) use the Mark as Final function in Microsoft Word to make the document read-only and protect it from unintentional further editing.

My open letter to our leaders, our legislators, and my countrymen about the Reproductive Health Bill

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Dear fellow countrymen,

My name is Chester Coronel, a taxpayer, a person practicing the Roman Catholic faith, and a citizen of the Philippines of legal age. I have long followed the issues about the Reproductive Health Bill and heard almost every argument for and against the aforementioned bill ever since I was in my senior year in college.

I would like to state my position regarding the controversial Reproductive Health Bill which is now being read by our legislators in congress.

First and foremost, being part of the Roman Catholic faith is not the primary reason of my opposition to the RH bill as many of the advocates would like to assume. My opinions are based on what I see around me.

As a taxpayer, I want my hard earned money no matter how small my contribution is, to benefit my countrymen. By benefit I mean providing them with better if not the best healthcare that the state can offer – especially to pregnant women in areas where people don’t have access to OB-GYNs. I don’t want any of my hard earned tax money to go to contraceptives – it is not a moral thing to do. Not moral in the sense that instead of allocating that money to go into saving lives through better healthcare, we plan to allocate money to make sure that people have a satisfying sex life without possible consequences. I know people would start throwing different fallacies that they can find at me after the previous sentence, but this is what I believe – we have very limited monetary resources dear leaders and legislators – we have to prioritize where to spend those monetary resources and subsidized contraception should be the least of your priorities. Who would you think will benefit if the government starts to provide contraception? definitely not us but some will do (hint: companies who create products for that purpose)

As someone who is part of this generation, I don’t want to send the wrong message to my would-be sons or daughters. We should not alter the meaning of the conjugal act by enacting laws that would do so. Today, contraception may be acceptable to some of us while we all consider abortion something that is appalling but think of how the next generation would think in a time where contraception is promoted and practiced. I wouldn’t want to wake up to a day where unwanted pregnancies would be considered a disease that would be cured with abortion or to a day where having children is the least of the priorities of a husband and wife.

To my fellow countrymen, let us respect the position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding this issue especially to those of you who are for the Reproductive Health Bill. Some of you would invoke the “separation of church and state” clause in our constitution so as to explain why the church should keep its mouth shut regarding the issue (depending on your interpretation) but we are all guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. It is the job of the church to preach and to adhere to her principles and doctrines.

Thank you for reading.


Chester Coronel

PLDT’s Magical Solution to all your problems

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