Of Scandals, Janet Lim-Napoles and Daniel Veridiano

Seems like scandals are what preoccupy the national consciousness these days. From the showbiz lot to political arena, Filipinos can just pick one scandal after another to get some life lessons about learning the hard way. But we’ll focus on the parallels between the lavish lifestyle of the Napoles Family, which is allegedly ill-gotten, and that of a certain Daniel Verdiano who also rose to fame for embezzling money, then later betraying and charging of rape his former Church leader after joining an all-powerful Church group in the Philippines. nine years ago.

Janet Lim-Napoles Scandal

Janet Lim-Napoles
Janet Lim-Napoles wishes her daughter a happy birthday in her 21st birthday party in Hollywood. Screengrab from online birthday video

Since late July this year, videos circulated on the Internet of the lavish and posh lifestyle of the Napoles Family. You may wonder, what’s wrong with having a 2008 Porsche Cayenne that’s worth $21,385 and $42,503? Or a Porsche Boxster that’s worth $48,100 and $65,200? Then how about YSL Tribute Leather sandals ($875), Chanel timeless clutch ($1,900), Hublot white Big Bang watch (11,400 euros), Celine medium luggage tote ($3,100), Chanel watch (4,000 euros), Or Herve Leger bandage dress ($1,568) as gifts to the daughter? Okay so what’s wrong? The problem is that there’s no proof as concrete as the bricks of the Egyptian pyramids that the Napoles has been involved in any legitimate business that can support these posh expenses. As of this day, the social media accounts and blog of the wealthy Napoles’ daughther was already deactivated to avoid further controversies.

So what made me finally returned to blogging and talk about this? It’s head-scratching but it’s also fuming me to hell just how our hard-earned taxes simply go to these scums and corrupts. According to reports JLN Enterprises, an Ortigas-based firm owned by no less than Janet Lim-Napoles (JLN), has cornered at least P10-Billion after several lawmakers, senators and congressmen allegedly funded bogus non-government organizations in exchange for substantial kickbacks. The funds of these lawmakers were derived fromtheir Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel. And you know where pork barrel should be devoted to, right? It should fund infrastructure and other projects for the benefits of their local constituencies.

This story has many powerful mysteries wrapped around it. But for now our hope is to be more vigilant and determined to put to jail those responsible and those who will surely be exposed on this.

Daniel Veridiano Scandal

Daniel Veridiano Before and After
Daniel Veridiano, then ADD member and joined the influential INC to survive materially. Now, he’s got the INC on his back to betray and file rape charge against the ADD Group Leader.

Which brings us to Daniel Veridiano, a.k.a. Puto Veridiano. Puto is a homosexual and his lavish lifestyle was another interesting controversial story that hugged the limelight simply because the religion he is now a member of can use him all they want in exchange for material sustenance for Puto.

Puto lived the life of a rich and powerful just with the swipe of credit cards that he was then entrusted to use as a Department Supervisor of the IT Group of the Ang Dating Daan. Instead, Veridiano embezzled the funds and used the money for his own material luxuries that include luxury watches, jewelries, local and foreign trips to beaches and shopping sprees, including a penis enlarger!

Puto Veridiano splurges the money in transforming his ver ugly duckling face into the celebrity kind. Records that were released after exposing Veridiano showed he made expensive purchases that include P3,000-worth Calvin Klein briefs, P50,000-worth bracelets, P70,000-worth luxury watches, and more. He also plurges a lot of money for eating in posh and luxurious restaurants as if he owned these money! His penis enlarger purchase cost P10,000 from the House of Condom in Singapore!

How was he exposed? More than 15 underage boys appeared to report Daniel Verdiano in 2004 for various sexual acts of lasciviousness and rape. Veridiano later admitted the crimes and violations through a confession letter and a video.

Since Puto would not change, Veridiano was excommunicated by the Ang Dating Daan group and was told to leave the ADD Convention Center.  Puto was financially-strapped when he left the premises of the ADD, which means he’s really not financially stable and capable of supporting the lavish lifestyle that he showed while using credit cards and funds issued to him during his ADD days.

To continue with his material needs, he joined the Iglesia ni Cristo and that’s where he started his new life: to revenge against Bro. Eli Soriano by charging the preacher of a rape that Puto himself concocted. Puto knew very well that joining the INC will save him face and the perfect place for him to continue his revenge against Soriano.

INC is one of the religions that the ADD Leader is exposing because of its wrongful teachings about Jesus Christ as mere man, unbiblical doctrines and more biblical fallacies. Puto knows that at that time INC need someone like him to persecute Soriano.

I am quoting from this blog what’s common between Daniel Veridiano and the Iglesia ni Cristo:

The common denominator to Puto and the INC is that they have the same enemy – Eliseo Fernando Soriano – the walking bible who readily says a mouthful about religions he had examined to be deceiving people and whatever he sees as evil. No matter that the constitution of the Interpol says it doesn’t involve itself in crimes that do not overlap several member countries in order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Eliseo Soriano’s name is suddenly in its list. Puto’s enemy and the INC’s enemy seems well-taken care of. From a rape case that Puto concocted, helped by his Iglesia ni Cristo, they have him secure on a “Red Notice” of the Interpol according to an INC report.

Conclusion

If it’s the Christian Louboutin or Porsche luxury cars that opened a can of secrets from politics and the country’s justice system in the case of Janet Lim-Napoles, it’s the penis enlarger that sparked a wave of fresh insight about the relationship of religion, politics, justice system and military connection that the scandal of Daniel Veridiano had opened.

On writing and inspiration

“Who are you really?”

I am asked the burning question like some thousand times already.

“What do you do for a living?”

“A writer?”

“Seriously, you are a writer?”

Such answer often confuse people, I’ve observed. But they believe me when I say so. That’s my wild guess.

I am serious about putting that question mark to end my answer, like offering a suggestion that I myself is not so sure.

Yes, I’ve written a lot. But I am also certain I’ve written not much. Just what I’d expect, I am already contradicting myself.

So back to the question.

A writer is a reader. Writers are readers. When they read, they seem to use a different lens. Writers are after the feelings, the sensitivity of the author, the vulnerabilities. They look out for links, the hidden meanings, symbols scattered like alerting traffic lights. A writer must be a reader first in order to write.

So that’s what writers do, who really is a writer like you?

He, the writer, could also be a thing, like a piece of clothing. Wear it and he becomes this clothe. Sometimes a writer is a polka-dot dress, sometimes striped polo, or a plain t-shirt. He sports so many colors, textures and cuts. The clothe becomes his door to a different side of wonder. But be warned: it’s not so sweet wearing this clothe after all. This clothe helps him assume so many different personas, to gain for him access to a different side of an alter-universe, and more. He’ll immediately get a sense of just what all these means. He’ll soon realize he will need to endure some sacrifices like conceiving or delivering a child. But once that something’s emerge – whether a few stanzas of poems, a long essay, and more – oh joy is incomparable.

So I’ll repeat the question.

If it is really me, the writer, you want to know, here is a typical pattern: someone like any ordinary person. He is someone who eats thrice a day, laughs at jokes or memes on the Internet, meets and socializes with friends. He visits coffee shops to spend few hours a day writing and sometimes to read few good books. He also visits his parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews, and relatives. Attending birthday parties and school reunions are part of his list as well. He religiously go for Church weekly pilgrims to offer thanksgiving, attend workship services and more.

Or maybe, you simply want to see me agree to stereotypes of what a writer is like or who a writer is. It’s a profile that you’ve already believed writers look like. And trust me, you’ll just end up disappointed by expecting something.

No. I am not what you thought the common perceptions about what being a writer is or means. I am also not like others who have built a reputation for themselves, characters akin to that of rock stars or some with celebrity statuses. I don’t smoke, drink and go hard and wild partying at night. I also don’t feel troubled, suicidal or even thought to be belonging in an elite class status. And am thankful to God for these good reasons that I am not.

And I also don’t feel like taking the credit for these works. Simply, I am nothing. I only create what my Master would so permit and willed me to accomplish. I am only after His mercy. As a Christian, as a writer, my motivation and my inspiration may surprise you. It’s the best advice ever, said by the Wise Man for someone like me.

@BroEliSoriano Tweets of Inspiration
“The best inspiration that we can have is our Lord Jesus Christ. Heb. 12:2” – @BroEliSoriano

At 9th, UNTV Inspires Change, Builds Better Communities

UNTV - Your Public Service Channel
UNTV: Through the Years

When UNTV broke out of the mainstream, it never claimed nor promise anything big.  It didn’t have popular stars or celebrities. It didn’t boast of entertainment shows with big stars with fat paychecks running to like millions per appearance. That’s what big means, coupled with the readiness and willingness to invest in producing or buying foreign licenses of shows or telenovelas that will star powerhouse casts of today’s hottest local stars and hosts.

Being big and entertainment-focused requires a lot of effort to attract advertisers. Another challenge is competition, which is now offered by foreign shows that are highly accessible and available via the Internet. Those with broadband can simply download their favorite shows and movies in an instant.

Thus, to play is to gamble in the network game. If you cannot attract big celebrities or unable to provide really entertaining show, the door to horrific death will be opened wide for you. Since it’s an enormous, high-budget game, it then becomes inevitable to slay other bigness in this highly-lucrative show business industry. One cannot stay dormant as newbies in the game can quickly take the place of the weak players. It’s a cycle that’s unnerving and chilling if you know what’s happening beyond your television sets.  And that’s where the danger emerge: the public becomes immune and begin to unquestionably accept what they’re offered with, even if it’s cheap entertainment.

For UNTV, yes, it did achieved a very different kind of bigness. The Public Service Channel has grown bigger over the years in inspiring change and building better communities.

Now celebrating its ninth anniversary, UNTV remains and bent on staying the same humble station: true to its mission and purpose. It even never oozes any expression of doubt of what it has started and continuously enjoy doing. Unorthodox, alternative and intelligent. Just few words to describe what this channel has so fervently campaigned for – delivering public service – and today, it’s now reaping the fruits for itself and its constituencies’ favor. Its reward is obviously neither monetary nor financial, but more obligations, responsibilities like it’s obliged to perform in the first place. But it never complained doing any of these. Instead, it even strives to go even more committed.  Moreover, it never strays from its purpose from day one up to now.

With Daniel Razon, CEO and Chairman of BMPI, at its helm, the station looks at offering public service and revolutionizing journalism that is anchored on public service. Yes, that appears as its paramount mission and Razon cannot be quickly judged nor faulted for his ideals and calibre as a true visionary. With his over two-decade exposure and experience in broadcast journalism and public service, his heart and eyes were trained to see and expound the vast potential that a media establishment can achieve: fame, glory and richness. But he took the other path, the road less travelled — that is, to capitalize the strengths and opportunities that a media player can offer: elevate broadcasting and journalism practice in a country marred by corruption, poverty and hypocrisies in society. And not surprisingly, he did succeed with UNTV.

Then and now, UNTV has introduced programs and public service works that were never before seen, witnessed or experienced by the public. Filipino viewers witnessed a shift in their daily viewing experience for the first time after UNTV arrived. Indigents also finally found a true friend, comrade. Who ever thought that a television channel can be in an all-out-mission to deliver medical and dental health missions everyday, in far and wide places? Who braved about marrying journalism and rescue missions to save lives? Who went all crazy about spending to create a free transient housing for the homeless vagabonds or a home for abandoned babies?

All these and more became central to UNTV. Is it crazy or madness? For profit companies will obviously think so. Is it an adjunct to its corporate social responsibilities?  No, impossible. Public relations are often public stunts masked as philanthropy. But UNTV did all these and still doing it today without any big support from big advertisers or sponsors. Hence, it’s a genuine and sincere compassion of a television network that is like no other today. It’s most consistent partners include Bro. Eli Soriano of Ang Dating Daan and other government agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Education.

Gradually the channel become its own vision. An intelligent alternative to be exact. Genuine and straight-from-the-heart broadcasting and public service. Does it worry about the competition, of one day becoming big? Of also one day taking the easy route to fame and profitable success? My answer is a sure NO!

But UNTV is always more than happy to be imitated for what it is doing. In fact it happily encourages and inspires to be followed for what it offers to do for the public. Maybe it is the key, it is the goal after all. To plant the seeds of goodwill so that goodness will be shared, will become a movement. Doing good deed that start everyday.

Congratulations to UNTV for reaching 9.

The Weirdest Criticism I Got? I am Offering Thanksgiving to God

Is offering thanksgiving to God weird?

After being baptized in the Church of God a decade ago, some people opposed to my faith began to worry and picture in their minds that I am practicing some weird doctrine. My being grateful and thankful to God is one virtue they love to hate.

Take for instance my weekly sojourn to offer Thanksgiving to God in Apalit, Pampanga. It’s what continue to confound those who still don’t understand. They haven’t heard of Bro. Eli Soriano preach with all manifestations of sincerity and faithful leadership for a long time so I understand them. Paying attention, listening and listening is important to change the heart.

Only if these people could enter my heart and feel the heart of a thankful Christian. What they will feel inside me is a different sense of joy. The kind of joy that start every time the bus I am riding going to Apalit inches closer, closer and closer to the gates of the ADD Convention Center for this weekly service.

To these people, there’s nothing weirder than repeating, repeating and repeating week after week and then another week, then every quarter — for three straight days — my Thanksgiving pilgrim. If people only know, they will never contest that offering thanksgiving to God is an obligation that very human being is supposed to be doing regularly.Image

I just hope maybe they are misinformed. The perceptions against my faith are mostly negative borne out in the hearts and minds of people who did their lazy work of investigation from the channels of detractors.

They have to pay the price of listening to these mainstream hate factories. The cyclones of quizzical stares, whisperings and laughing behind the back, mud-slinging and fault-finding are the early berry fruits of being influenced.

I hope that they feel happy for me because I have peace of mind after finding what I am searching for in a very, very long time. Of course I did a careful research of all available faiths in my town and in every place where I stayed or lived in the past. When I finally decided my future with this faith, I didn’t consult anyone so I don’t have anyone to blame. Yet now it’s the despicable me after being honest with myself.

The more that my faith grows deeper and deeper, the more that I forget the word regret will ever apply to my situation. Still others feel they are obligated to feel that regret for me.

Thankfully to God, I was never moved nor swayed by the persecutions nor the criticisms. Some still don’t agree with my faith wholly but am thankful that I also earned some new respect, even friends. They are convinced we are not the kind who pay hate with hate. Now they know that in my religion, we are not taught to inflict harm to people just because they hate us.

Until today my only hope stays the same: for people to find and spend some time to listen to Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel preach. They can even inquire personally these preachers if we really are practicing weird or strange faith. Am sure they will be convinced we are not what others have perceived us like.

Cultivating the virtue of gratitude, especially for God, is spiritually sound as it is bible-based.

So on July 5 to 7, I will be joining thousands of Christians who will be offering thanksgiving to God for a blessed quarter. As early as this day, I am already looking forward to the celebratory mood, the vibrant smell of thankful souls, sincere expression of love, and some new biblical wisdom that will be served by MCGI leaders.

I have found the true faith and it’s like no other in the world today. Like my brethren, it is what I look forward to in thanking God and what makes me feel very proud.

Cab Drivers as Emergency and Rescue Force Will Soon Blaze Manila Roads

Cab drivers are often caricatured as solitary, sad creatures roaming the streets and highways with their best frenemy — taxi.

Any trace of history why this image has became the national symbol of taxi drivers could only point me to the effective portrayal by Robert De Niro of … (you guessed it!) a taxi driver, which incidentally is also the title of a Cannes prize-winning film.

Taxi Driver film starring Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in the American film Taxi Driver.

Martin Scorsese directed that film about a disturbed former Vietnam War soldier turned taxi driver whose redemption of sort was saving a 16-year-old teen from fully becoming a prostitute played by Jodie Foster. In short, it was a negative portrayal of a taxi driver with tons of boiling madness and pain inside him; the war waged by the most powerful nation in the world against Vietnam was to blame.

Those who already took a cab even for once in their lives will agree the stereotype is wrong and misleading. Cab drivers are people like us. With emotions like us, they have families like us, friends, memories, history, compassion and dignity like us.

Like us, you can find some funny types, talkative, and music lovers. There are taxi drivers who are like De Niro’s Travis. There are callous taxi drivers, stupid taxi drivers and foolish ones. In short, there are good and bad cab drivers. Sinners or saints, some even have promising star-like fame. Or perhaps because some have become heroes in their own rights. When local media blurt out news about a glowing award bestowed to honest taxi drivers, we rejoice. We celebrate heroism.

Taxi Drivers to the Rescue

Daniel Razon of UNTV, which is Manila’s only channel that gives priority to public service over entertainment, was the first person I can think of – past and present – who puts his badge of confidence in what taxi drivers can do beyond being a commuter wheel driver. He thought taxi drivers can be trained to provide emergency and rescue response assistance to people.

Dubbed in this Youtube video as “Tulong Muna Bago Pasada”, the volunteerism project is reminiscent of another equally successful endeavor that Razon has introduced a few years ago, the “Tulong Muna Bago Balita”. A project that initially received unpopular support on claims that journalism cannot be performing the role of both a reporter and rescuer.

Today, the success of Tulong Muna Bago Balita project has become a model for how public service journalism can be executed – where lives is more important than news, says Kuya Daniel, a moniker he is most popularly called among his constituents.

Like the media staff of UNTV who were equipped with the right training to render emergency and rescue response to victims of road accidents, calamities and tragedies, the same goes with cab drivers for the Tulong Muna Bago Pasada.

UNTV News and Rescue Hotline Numbers
News and Rescue Hotlines from UNTV

Now, my worries are lessened. And the answer is provided by this very timely and significant public service commitment. So Congratulations to UNTV, Kuya Daniel, to our new heroes: cab drivers!

Why Blog Only Now

It’s a question that informs about the future of what I want a slice of my life’s gonna be doing. Why blog? Why now? You ask, After all these years still not doing it? Yes, my answer is in the affirmative. It’s fear of so many things, especially writing. So afraid I am that I allowed writing to take a backseat.

Maybe you are confused about my previous statement. “You are writing to pay the rent, right?,” you might be wondering. Well, I mean it’s the other kind of writing that’s difficult.

Memory Lane

Writing has been there for me for so long. If memory serves me right: writing is never alien to me. I’ve been reading a lot of newspapers, magazines and books at home since I was a kid. We are not rich, but because we sell newspapers in the streets, to houses, we get complimentary copies of the prints. When I was in high school, I would jot down notes, compose some poems and write essays. Then my cred shoot up that some of my male friends would approach me to write for them love letters to their puppy crushes.

In college, it’s more of an obligation. I practically do all types of writing because am majoring in communications. From writing news stories, features to scriptwriting, I’ve had a taste of writing in all its shapes and sizes. Then before I finally jumped into the freelancing bandwagon, I have had a two-year writing stint for a daily broadsheet. And today, am still writing because I never could do any thing more awesome than this.

But there’s another form of writing that’s extremely difficult to do. That is writing that am afraid to perform. It is where your name is plastered in your work – open for public scrutiny.

“You are responsible to your posts,” you read the cards flashing in front of your eyes.

“You have obligations to be truthful, fair and just,” showed to you in neon-colored signboards repeating itself over and over.

“You are exposed and open to so many possibilities – the criticisms, cramped up creativity, being lost, looking like an idiot for a second and crazy the next couple of minutes, and just about everything attached to it,” critic inside loves shouting at you.

Diary or private writing is different. Sometimes, your writings stay with you. Texts are hidden in your notes, tissue papers that you only keep to yourself. Writing for a company is the same. It is only a few of you who only see your writing. You also get the help of an editor to tell you what you’re missing, grammatical lapses, etc. But blogging, which is practically public, it’s different. Then writing issues-based heightens the fear. So now, get it?

Given all these things, I am quite sure everything I’ve started writing about are enough to suggest that am seeking your understanding.

Now what to write?

Topics, topics, topics. Yes, there are plenty of things that I will talk a lot about in this blog. Pretty cool stuffs, books, news I read. Music am listening to or concerts I’ve attended. Movies that are cool to watch alone, with friends or never mind forgetting. Things that matter to me and could matter to you as well. The raison d’etre of why this blog pop out like it’s the most important thing in the universe.

I am also unafraid to talk about my faith every now and then so you will read a lot about how my religion influenced me in a lot of ways in this blog too. Because if not – my blog’s lifeline would be pointless and meaningless. And if not for the faith that I found, I know my life lived on earth would be darker, directionless. Even pointless. So to talk about it, to share about my faith is a worthwhile way to spend few hours of my life. As if like an epiphany, it really should be what am supposed to be doing in the first place. To write is to inspire people to think, feel and act. And I’d like to use that God-given gift to share it too.

Epilogue

I love everything about my life though everything’s not perfect. Still it’s worth loving and protecting. I believe 100% of my contentment and peace of mind I owe to my faith. I am religious. Yes, a person who have faith and a believer that there is a Divine Creator. Without doubt, there is. And if not with God’s help, things will be a lot more chaotic! Am not an expert on these things, but trust me, I’ve heard and seen a lot too. So I believe am blessed and also very, very thankful to God, aside from having known the preachers who are like no other in telling the truth.

My Invitation

So feel free to comment and share to me what you feel or what you think. I will also entertain some questions if there is anything you need to be clear about from what I posted.

I think that’s all for now. Thanks again for reading.

The Perpetual Opinionator. Now signing off.

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