Thursday, October 29, 2009

Karen Continues Piano Repair (Oct 30 09)

My daughter Karen, in the process of cleaning our Yamaha upright piano after it was immersed in Ondoy floodwater, is learning many new things about how the piano works. For example. she learned what each felt damper does and there are many of these felt dampers, what each pedal does and how the pedals differ between a grand piano and an upright piano. She has also learned that the correct material to use to glue wood to wood and felt to wood is Elmer's Carpenter's Glue. She learned how to remove and clean each hammer, and how to remove and clean each key. She numbered each component that did not have a number, so that she can return them to their original positions. She learned that the same diluted bleach solution that they use as anti-bacterial in the MBB lab at UP can be used as anti-fungal for the Yamaha piano.

She also learned the compact economical Japanese design that does not compromise quality -- how the Japanese designers diagonally crossed the long strings over the short ones to conserve space without compromising string length -- without compromising sound quality. She also learned the the Japanese used a synthetic ivory substitute for the keys, called "ivorite", which is actually smoother and does not chip as easily. She concluded that the Yamaha is the best value for money upright piano that one can buy in today's market. Of course, the overpriced Steinway is still the world's best grand piano, but the Yamaha is not so far behind in quality, if not in price.

So Karen is learning to do a decent job of cleaning our Yamaha. She does not intend to make this her vocation, since she is already too busy with her MBB wet-lab job, programming in C for plasmid 5-tuple binding amino-acids, playing the electronic keyboard, and learning the violin.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Practial Voter's Guide (Oct 25 09)

Practical Voters' Guide to Election 2010

1. Verify your voter registration status at the COMELEC office in the town/city where you reside. And you should do this before the deadline on October 31, 2009.

a. If you are already registered and you voted in the last 2007(?) national elections then you are probably still in the voters' list. But even then, you should check that your name has not been accidentally removed. You can also check your new precinct number assignment. You can get your new precinct number, even if the actual address of that precinct number is still unknown.

b. If you are already registered, but did not vote in the two most recent national elections (2004 and 2007), then you are probably not in the voters' list anymore. You should go to the COMELEC office of the town/city where you currently reside and re-register there. Bring two picture IDs issued by the government (SSS ID, GSIS ID, Taxpayer ID, passport, etc) or issued by your employer or school, a proof of date of birth (birth certificate), and a proof of address (a recent Meralco bill, or mobile phone bill).

c. If you are a new voter who has never registered before, then you must register for the first time. Proceed as in step (b) above.

2. One day before election day, go to the school where your precinct is located. Remember that one aggregated precinct has anywhere from 400-1000 voters with an average of 600 voters. The voters' lists will be posted outside the door of the precinct (classroom). Looking for your name in the list, even if you know your precinct number, might take a while, so you should do this before actual election day. If you do not find your name in the voters' list in all the precincts of the polling center (school), you should call the COMELEC emergency number (please paste telephone number here).

3. On actual election day, go to your assigned precinct early. Do not wait for the last hour (5:00 pm - 6:00 pm), because if you do, you probably will miss your chance to vote. Sayang naman ang boto niyo. Bring with you the following:

a. Your voter's ID or if you do not yet have an ID, your copy of your voter's registration form.

b. A felt-tip pen (medium point). Any brand will do. Do not bring ball pen or pencil. The precinct will have a supply of 50 felt-tip pens to be shared by 400-1000 voters. After voting, you might want to donate your felt-tip pen to the precinct, because the 50 might not be enough.

c. A white corrector tape (dry version). The COMELEC and Smartmatic do not want the voter to make changes in their ballot using white corrector tape (dry version), because the correction might still be fresh and sticky when you feed your ballot into the PCOS machine, causing paper jam, and preventing subsequent voters from casting their votes. If you bring a dry corrector tape, you will have to make corrections at your own risk.

4. How to vote:

a. Proceed to the table where the BEI (Board of Election Inspectors) are seated, show them your voter's ID or voter's copy of the registration form.

b. The BEI will check if your name is on their list, and if so, will give you your official ballot. The ballot will be 20 inches to less than 30 inches long, so you must handle the ballot carefully to prevent accidental tearing. They will also give you a felt-tip pen which you will use for filling out your ballot.

c. Upon receiving your ballot and pen, go to one of the secrecy booths (actually this will be a student chair with a little desk for writing, which will be provided with a 8.5 inch x 13 inch folder for "cover", so that the next voter can not see your choices).

d. To vote for a candidate, shade the oval next to the candidate's name with the felt-tip pen. Make sure that the oval is completely shaded with no white left, and that the shading does not go out of the oval. Do not over-vote, that is, vote for only one president, one vice-president, twelve senators, etc.

e. Before going to the PCOS computer to cast your vote, review your work to make sure that ovals are completely shaded with no shading outside the oval. Also make sure there are no accidental stray marks on the bar code area of the ballot or anywhere else, as these stray marks could invalidate your ballot. If you find that you overvoted for a given position (say you selected more than 12 senators), and if you decide to use your dry corrector tape to cover your extra choice, remember that you will do this at your own risk.

f. After reviewing your ballot, and if you are already satisfied with your choices, go the PCOS computer to cast your vote. There might be a queue, so you have to take your proper place in the queue. Filipinos know how to respect the rights of others, so let us not jump queue. There is no special queue for senior citizens, so they just have to queue up like all the others.

g. When it is your turn to feed your ballot into the PCOS machine, remember that there is a proper orientation for feeding the ballot. The ballot has two edges, the 8.5 inch short edge, and the 20-30 inch long edge. You must insert the 8.5 inch short edge first. It does not matter which of the two short edges (top or bottom) is inserted first, and it does not matter which face is up (the face containing the national candidates or the face containing the local candidates). The PCOS computer can read any orientation as long as the 8.5 inch top or bottom is inserted first.

h. The PCOS machine will finish reading and interpreting your ballot in about 30 seconds. Do not leave yet, wait until the little LCD display to the right of the PCOS computer says that your ballot has been successfully read. If he PCOS computer does not show you on the LCD display a list of candidates that you actually voted for, go to the BEI and register your complaint in writing. Beforehand, you might want to prepare the following statement and sign it, and have the BEI sign that he/she received your complaint:

I would like to formally register my complaint with COMELEC, through its BEI staff of precinct no. ______, municipality of _________, that the PCOS computer did not show me on the LCD screen, or in printed form, or in any other manner, the actual list of candidates that I voted for in my ballot, as required by RA-9369 Section 7 (Section 6 Minimum System Capabilities) Item (n), that states:

Provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice;

Voter's Name _______________________ Voter's ID No. __________

Complaint received by: ________________________________ (BEI)
Date:_______ Time: _______

Make two copies and sign both. One copy goes to COMELEC, and the other will be your receipt.

i. That is all there is to computerized voting. After successfully completing the eight steps (a)-(h), do like my wife says. Pray that the PCOS computer has not been internally rigged to cheat for the favorites or COMELEC and Smartmatic. CenPEG, the NASSA-CBCP, and other cause-oriented groups and NGOs, who have been labeled as fear-mongerers, do not have the tools to do external hacking via the network. If the PCOS and REIS computers have been internally rigged or externally hacked, it will be because of people "inside", not people "outside".

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boutin's Election Questions (Oct 19 09)

Here are my answers to questions submitted by Mr. Matthew Boutin, a student of Ateneo:

-In your August 4 Filipino Voices blog entry entitled "Election 2010: Public Counting & Code Review" you note that the PCOS units will not reveal to the voter how it read their ballot because of COMELEC imposed time constraints, thus violating the Omnibus Election Code. You also suggest that issues involving source code review in a controlled environment interfere with the voters right to know. Do you you consider there issues alone worthy of putting a halt to the upcoming automation, issues to be resolved, or some other level of seriousness?

The sentiment of the Filipino public, I believe, is that everyone wants computerized elections to succeed. I also personally like computerized elections to succeed. I believe, though, that COMELEC should seriously rethink its stand on NOT implementing the "voter verifiability of his choices" feature of the PCOS. I also believe that there are some required features that the PCOS should have which it does not have and which only source code review will reveal. I believe that COMELEC must allow source code review NOW, while there is still time for review, so that the public can see the conformance or non-conformance of the PCOS to RA-9369 and the COMELEC Terms of Reference (ToR). I do not believe, though, that we should stop computerized elections, because that is the sentiment of the people.

With the destruction caused by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng to the schools, basketball courts and other places that will be used for precincts in Metro Manila and Northern Luzon, I have doubts that COMELEC will be able to do even 50% computerization of the entire country.

-Are these, or other issues, you biggest concerns about the voting automation?

These two are some of the important concerns. There are others, about 30 vulnerabilities in all. Check the website of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance for the list of 30 vulnerabilities, Top among these vulnerabilites is the fact that Smartmatic will generate all private keys that will be used by the BEI staff for digitally signing the precinct election returns. Ideally, each BEI staff should generate his own private-public key pair, then password the private key so that only the BEI staff himself can access the private key for signing, and then have the public key certified by Smartmatic or by another certificate authority. But under Bid Bulletin No. 10, Smartmatic will generate all private-public key pairs of all BEI staff, and the BEI staff will only get their signing keys (private keys) on election day. This is bull$#!+, because it gives Smartmatic power to change all precinct ERs, then re-sign them with the private keys (which they have) and pass this modified precinct ER as if it was the original.

-Do you feel that COMELEC skimped out on buying high enough quality machinery for automation (I am thinking of the scanner which you mentioned is only able to read a limited number of shades of color)?

The original AES (automated election system) manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems of Canada consisted of the Democracy Suite Ballot Marking Device (BMD) and the Democracy Suite Image Cast Ballot Scanning Device (the PCOS computer).


The BMD+PCOS combination should be ideal, but Smartmatic supplied us only the PCOS computer. In the NY primaries, voters used the BMD to select their choices using a touch screen, and then the BMD prints the ballot using perfectly shaded ovals (the computer always shades the ovals in the perfect way it knows, and in no other way). So even if the PCOS computer can only read 16 shades of gray, that is sufficient, because the BMD computer printed the voter's choices, and the PCOS computer has been programmed to read THAT perfectly 100% of the time.

In the Philippine's case, 48 million voters will troop to the polls, and will fill out their ballots manually, using 48 million different styles of shading. You can not imagine how difficult the job of COMELEC will be, trying the customize the "% threshhold" that the PCOS computer will use to decide whether the shading is a vote or not.

-In it's September 10 decision upholding the validity of the COMELEC-Smartmatic/TIM contract, the Philippine Supreme Court asserted that PCOS successfully met minimum system capabilites standards with the use of the COMELEC 26 item/check list criteria listed below... (I suspect you are familiar with them, but I will include them for ready reference) (Test criteria clipped) Do you feel that these are sufficient and strict enough criteria to determine if the PCOS units can get the job done? Would you like to see any changes or additional testing of the machines, and if so, what?

I was member of the CenPEG team of observers during the SBAC testing (Special Bids and Awards Committee). First, the team of testers were not software test engineers but lay employees of COMELEC and people from Smartmatic. Second, whenever SBAC felt that the PCOS computer will fail in a test, the testers modified the test a bit, to ensure that the PCOS will pass. For example, the PCOS is known not to read pencil and ball-pen marks on the ballot. So all the tests were done using only felt-tip pen, but the COMELEC ToR specifies that the PCOS must be able to read pencil and ball pen marks also. Little mods like this erode your faith in the correctness of the SBAC testing.

-Do you feel that it is misplaced priorities to put automation in place when vote buying and other forms of fraud could sway elections without tampering with the PCOS units at all? Should COMELEC and the government deal with basic fraud and corruption before turning to automation to improve the election system?

I should not answer this question, because vote buying is not a problem unique to computerized elections, but also exist in manual elections. Ask someone else with more experience than I. Maybe, Mr. Bobby Tuazon, whom I cc'd here, could answer this question with more authority.

-Do you feel that COMELEC can manage the large number of laptops, other computers, and technology it will need for a successful automation in time for the elections?

COMELEC is essentially a team of lawyers who are not computer-techies. It depends on Smartmatic for EVERYTHING regarding computers and the computerization of elections. So outside of customization of data for elections (format of ballot, how many to print per precinct, what % shading to consider a vote, what are the names of candidates, etc.) everything else is the job of Smartmatic. This includes testing, warehousing, transportation, security, etc of the computers. For this reason, Atty Harry Roque claimed that COMELEC has surrendered its mandate to manage the computerized elections to Smartmatic.

-Do you feel that the potential scenarios for an election failure are serious enough to call off automation if it was possible to do so?

There will be no failure of elections. In places where there is no electricity or no cellular signal (so no transmission capability), there will be manual elections. In places where there is electricity and cellular signal, where computerized election is possible, if at any step of the computerized election process, there is a breakdown of computer or transmission capability, then the computerized election will just continue in a manual way. The ballot box will be opened, and the votes counted manually. How this will be done within the context of allowable COMELEC regulations will still be threshed out by COMELEC's implementing rules and regulations (IRRs), which COMELEC has been delaying for some time. I think their problem is, since computerized election is so unfamiliar to them, reverting to manual from computerized election is even more strange, and thus the long delay in the release of the IRR. Mr. Bobby Tuazon might want to add to this.

-Do you consider the PCOS technology too complicated for poll workers and the voting public?

For the poll workers and the voters in the cities and big towns, who are familiar with computer technology, there will be no problem. The problem will be in the far off rural areas, where people have not even seen a fax machine. But voter education can solve this problem, and COMELEC must start its voter education soon.

-Do you have another other thoughts on or points about automation that are not covered in my questions or I may yet be ignorant to?

Check the 30 vulnerabilities in the CenPEG web site,

Karen Cleans Our Piano (Oct 19 09)

On September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy submerged our piano in flood water which was chest-high in our sala area, where the piano was located. The piano is a Yamaha No. U3 made by Nippon Gakki. The wood frame, metal frame, and wood sounding board seem to have survived the flood without much damage, but the keys, hammers and actuators have all turned moldy after several days. We should call a competent repair man to put the unit in working condition again, but while we are waiting for the repair man, Karen and I decided to open the unit. Fortunately, piano construction is modular, and it is easy to get to the moldy parts for cleaning.

Karen, being a molecular biologist (biochemistry, microbiology, etc), knows how to remove molds. She took one cup Zonrox bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) and mixed this with 9 cups water to get her fungicide that will kill the molds, without removing the paintwork on the piano.

When the repairman comes to look at the unit, the molds will be gone, and the piano will be repairable again.

Wish us luck!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Caring for Your Netbook Keyboard (Oct 13 09)

In September 2007, when the MSI Wind U100 netbook first came out, the model that had 1GB ram and 80GB disk was selling for about PHP21-24 thousand. My daughters, Abigail and Karen, both wanted the white-colored version, but the only color available from PC Corner in Gilmore was "lady pink". Since Abigail was going to Reims, France, for her Erasmus Mundus masteral studies, she wanted one right away, no matter what color. Karen also had to make do with the pink one. The Wind U100 is a very nice model for women, since it is very portable, light enough and small enough to put inside a medium-sized woman's handbag, together with all other womanly stuff -- hair brushes, pad paper, notebooks, make-up kit, etc.

The younger daughter, Karen, abused this portability feature of her Wind. On occasion, she would place pad paper on the keyboard, close the netbook with the pad paper between screen and keyboard, and stuff the Wind into her bag. After several months, the poor fragile keyboard would not work anymore, and Karen had to bring her Wind to the repair center, Net Essentials, near Boni Serrano Avenue in Quezon City.

Net Essentials
#11 8th Avenue near corner Boni Serrano
Cubao, Quezon City

The repair people are quite efficient, and the cost of a new replacement keyboard was less than PHP2 thousand. Now, I think Karen will be very careful how she handles her MSI Wind.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Notre Dame of Marbel Class '63 (Oct 11 09)

I am a member of Notre Dame of Marbel Boys High School Class of 1963. At that time NDM had a Boys' Department, a Girls' Department, and a College Department. I think NDM is now NDM University.

In NDM, I learned many things. My first encounter with Algebra and the wonders of the variables x, y, and z had a mesmerizing effect on me. Physics with Bro Paul Johannes, on the grass and under the trees was actually better than inside the classroom. Even Geometry, which everyone feared, was enjoyable, even if everyone was trying to hide from our teacher whenever he shot a question to the class. On Mondays in Religion class, you had to recite (from memory) the previous Sunday's gospel, and that practically made me quite familiar with the New Testament. The Marist Brothers taught us pre-Vatican-II catechism, about the commandments of God and of the Church, mortal sin and venial sin, the sacraments. The Brothers taught us how to be good persons.

I made a number good friends: Cayetano Gregorio, Juanito Aquino, Leo Estember, Eliseo Vergara, Harry Malinao, Patricio M., etc. I was even Knight of the Altar, learning the rubrics in Latin, "Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine", etc, while serving the Passionist priests in the main cathedral and in the Barrio-1 chapel.

For the first time in my adolescent years, I discovered that there are girls on the other side of campus. In Nueva Ecija High School, where I did my first and second years, I sat next to girls, but I did not notice that they were girls. They were just simply classmates. But not so in Notre Dame of Marbel. When you separate boys from girls, they notice each other. Of course, I was too young then (15-16) and small for my age, and the magic of academic studies was more attractive than the magic of girls. And so the sexual desire got sublimated, not in the Jesuit style, but in the distinctly PMana-cum-Marist-cum-Passionist style.

Today, three classmates emailed me. Leo Estember is an Engineer in the west coast. Eliseo Vergara is also in the U.S. Evangeline de Pedro (Valedictorian of Girls' Department) also got in touch. We will be celebrating our golden anniversary homecoming in 2013, and everyone is busy getting in touch with everyone else.

We will see you in 2013, and possibly earlier!

We stand today for our Notre Dame; Loyal and true we'll always remain.

SmartBro Nameserver (Oct 11 09)

I have a SmartBro microwave connection to the Internet. After the Marikina Valley flood, SmartBro disconnected my Internet service. I did not miss my emails, since I could always go to Burger King or McDo to avail of their free wifi service. Also, I lost the AC adapter (12VDC, 2A) of my Linksys wifi router; floodwater can do that to most electrical appliances. I discovered that a replacement AC adapter cost as must as a made-in-China Buffalo wifi router, and so I got the Buffalo instead. Today, I have Internet. Allelluia!

Then I found out that I could not connect to many Internet sites. I could not post to my Multiply blog site, since SmartBro could not find Multiply. Fortunately, I use Ubuntu Linux, not Windows, and am quite familiar with Linux networking. A check of the file /etc/resolv.conf revealed that SmartBro is using a local caching nameserver at I think this nameserver is not properly configured, and so could not give the proper IP addresses of many sites.

If you are a Linux user (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, etc), I suggest that you become superuser (the su command will do the trick) and edit the file /etc/resolv.conf. After editing the file should look like:

# /etc/resolv.conf

The first two nameservers are those of OpenDNS (see OpenDNS provides free domain name service (DNS). Then save the file, and you instantly get proper name service. Now you can reach those sites that was previously unable to reach.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Source Code Review: CenPEG vs COMELEC (Oct 09 09)

CenPEG, the Center for People Empowerment in Governance, finally did it. After waiting for five months since May 2009, for COMELEC to release the source code of the computer programs that will be used in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections, and after being given the run-around and subjecting to various delaying tactics, CenPEG filed on Monday Oct 9 2009, a petition for mandamus at the Supreme Court, to force COMELEC to release the source code to CenPEG and to interested political parties and groups, as mandated by law (RA-9369 Sec 12). CenPEG is represented in this petition by lawyers Koko Pimentel and Pancho Joaquin.

The text of the petition can be found here

Now it is a game of wait and see. CenPEG is hopeful that justice will prevail, and COMELEC will obey the law, and not run rings around it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Healing the Earth - Healing the Heart (Oct 03 09)

When I was teaching biology in Xavier School in San Juan, Jesuit priest Fr. Moran gave a retreat to the faculty. He showed a poster depicting us as little fish and around us are many bigger fishes. Then he showed us another poster showing us as little fish, and around us are many more little fishes, so much smaller than we are. I think the lesson that the posters is trying to depict is that we are not the most unfortunate creatures, since we can always find others less fortunate than we are. We should feel truly blessed for the gift of life that God gives us everyday we are still breathing.

I'm really quite fortunate -- I believe God has not truly abandoned me during the flood. My house was flooded to chest deep only, while two houses away, my neighbor had to climb up to the roof to stay out of the floodwater. I lost a few pets, while many families lost more than 300 parents or children. I lost one little car, while my neighbor Oafallas lost one car, two vans, one dump truck, etc. I can go on and on, and describe in so many ways how God loves me and took care of me and my family.

Whatever kind of fish we are: big or medium or small, we have to heal our wounded soul. We can't forever be hurting. So I am learning to forgive and to forget the administrators of Angat and Ipo and La Mesa for flooding my community. I will also forgive the wreckless people who throw plastic bags and styro stuff into our drains, clogging the waterways and contributing to the flooding problem of the metropolis. I am also trying to forgive myself for the lack of preparation during times of emergencies like this.

I am also fortunate that I work in a University where people care for you: for both your material and spiritual health. Today, Dean Marlu Vilches sent this message via email:

To live content with small means
to seek elegance rather than luxury
and refinement rather than fashion,
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never?
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common
This is to be my symphony.
William E. Channing

As a way of contributing to the University-wide endeavor towards the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the human spirit in the midst of the recent upheaval in our community and nation, the School of Humanities begins our return to class with a paraliturgy on the theme HEALING THE EARTH, HEALING OURSELVES, prepared by the Theology Department.
Through this event, we hope to encourage students, faculty, and staff to see the work of rebuilding in the light of faith.

Monday, 5th October 2009
5:00 to 6:30 PM
Natividad Galang Fajardo Conference Room
Ground Floor, Horacio de la Costa Hall
School of Humanities

You are most welcome to this evening of songs, poetry, readings from biblical texts, reflections on recent experiences. All this in view of recognizing our need for mercy and compassion, showing our praise and thanksgiving, and inclining ourselves to the call for service.

We continue to celebrate MAGIS in our responses to the crisis situation that our society faces today.

All the best,

Associate Professor
Dean, School of Humanities
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University

Thursday, October 01, 2009

After the Flood (Oct 02 09)

Note that the title that I chose is "After the Flood", not "After the Typhoon", because there was hardly any typhoon. All we had was flooding due to the release of water from Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa dams, resulting in more than 300 deaths (not counting bodies that have not yet been found), massive destruction of property, sickness, and despair. And the culprits continue denying their culpability. If man does not judge their actions, God will.

All the houses in Kingsville suffered the same fate. Water entered into at least the first floor, wetting everything inside with semi-muddy floodwater, killing all electrical appliances, and wetting all books and clothes and documents. All wood appliances like pianos and composite wood cabinetry, absorbed water and bloated, making it difficult to take out the wet stuff inside. Composite wood cabinetry are useless after a flood, and must be thrown away. Narra sala sets are exceptions, since water hardly affected them. Plastic drawers in plastic cabinets retained 100% of water that entered, each drawer holding nearly five gallons of dirty floodwater.

Outside, on the driveway or on the street where floodlevel is deeper, water got into all vehicles parked there,. getting into every possible hole in the vehicles, including the air-filtration system, and replacing the fuel in the tank with the heavier floodwater. Also outside, where the pet dogs and pet cats are kept in their specially made dog and cat houses, many of them simply drowned, except those that you were able to bring inside the house.

You clean out the sala first, and then realize that you should have clean out the rooms first, because cleaning the rooms require that you bring out stuff from the rooms, through the sala, and out of the house onto the pingpong table in the driveway, where you transferred everything to dry, since you can not move them to dry out in the sun, because there is no sun, but only a steady drizzle. You can't imagine how heavy a King size mattress is when soaked in water - three muscled men are needed to drag the thing out of the house, not even lift it. Then you clean out all electrical outlets on the ground floor, in preparation for Meralco power, which you expect to come soon. When you went out to buy food, water, and other basic needs, two kilometers from your house, you got signal on your Globe mobile, which, by some magic trick from Globe, such Globe mobile signal is absent from the entire Kingsville Subdivision. Then your friend who lives in New Manila, whose first floor also got flooded, calls you and tells you not to turn on electricity to the outlets, because he did that and got a short, and now he has no power for several days.

Next you need to attend to the laundry, but you have no electrical power, and your washing machine and dryer are all flooded. So you bring some wet clothes to the cleaners, who promise you that your laundry will be ready for pick up in 12 days time, because they are full of other people's laundry. Fortunately, you have a son, who gives you his washing machine, and now wait for power to be restored. Finally after several days, power comes, and you spend hours spin-drying all the wet clothes. Now find out that you do not have enough clothes lines, and your problem never ends.

So you go out again to buy food, and you discover that your favorite Robinsons Supermarket also got flooded and will not be selling for the next several days, so you go to Sta Lucia, where food prices have miraculously gone up by 30%?

Next you try to see if you can have your Honda City towed to Honda Quezon Avenue, and find out that the queue is three cars deep all along the entire length of their service center, and if you bring your car in, they can attend to it after se3fveral months.

God have mery on us. God have mercy on those murderers from Angat, Ipo, and La Mesa!