Stupid SUN has clouded my day!

Okay fine. Our Sun Cellular (Group Plan (990) got redirected. But that’s inevitable. What is really upsetting is their veeerrryyyy slow response.

I also maintain a postpaid account with Smart Telecom. There are times when I get redirected with that line too. But as soon as I made my payment, my connection gets restored. I have not even exited the mall yet!

But with SUN? Gosh! *sigh
When I asked how long it would take before the redirection would be lifted, I was told within the next hour or two. Ok, I can be patient for that long.

The two hours wait stretched until morning. More than 12 hours already. Naturally, I called their Customer Service Hotline. And I waited some more! I stayed on the line for 10 minutes before I was able to talk to  an agent. We went through the usual Q&A, then he said, “Yes, ma’am. I can see that your payment was already posted, but not yet advised for lifting.”

What? Why?

“Ah, ma’am, this is systems generated that 24 hours upon payment was made, the system will automatically lift the redirection. Our payment centers are only authorized to accept and post the payment of the customer. But it is the system that will lift the redirection.”

WHAT???? Ok fine, your system sucks.

Now, it is more than 24 hours since payment was made.  I called again to ask why, even after patiently waiting for more than the promised period, the system still has not restored our connection.  The agent who took the call said,”  Yes, ma’am.  We are really sorry for that, ma’am.  Can you hold for 3 minutes while I check with our technical group?”

“Well, miss, your company already had me on hold for more than 24 hours, what difference would 3 minutes make?”

Silence…….. hhhmmm, I think she did not get that sarcasm.  “Yes, miss. go ahead.  I’ll wait.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”   After a while, she came back.  “Thank you for waiting, ma’am.”

“Which one are you thanking me for?  The 24 hours or the three minutes?  I hope you have some good news for me?”

“Aahh, yes ma’am.  We are so sorry about that, ma’am.  But our technical team has to look into the system to determine why your connection is still not restored.  We advise that you continue to monitor for the next few hours, ma’am.”

“Thank you, miss. That will be all.”

Goodness gracious!  How stupid do you think your clients are?

We know the translation of your spiel!  We know that when you guys say “hold on for a minute while I check with our technical group”  you are actually saying,”I need to get off the air for a while, without dropping your call, because I need to ask my seatmate/shiftmate what to do.”

In reality, you don’t have a technical group/team and you don’t have an automatic time-lapse redirection lifting system.  It is easier for you to blame something that is non-existent rather than admit that you have absolutely no idea how to resolve the issue at your level.  You are simple trying to appease the client  and irritating us in the process.

A piece of advice:  Tell the truth.  Don’t give us some idiotic stories.  With the advancement in technology, your clients are better informed than you suppose.

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There could be no better man!

Ang kusog sa panggamhanan nagagikan sa katawhan.

There can be no better man to represent the people of the 1st District of South Cotabato than someone who believes in the people that he represents, and who has faith in the potentials for greatness that lies in every individual in General Santos City and in the Municipalities of Polomolok, Tampakan and Tupi.

There can be no better man than PEDRO B. ACHARON, JR. to be  our Congressman for the 1st District of South Cotabato.

This three-termer Local Chief Executive of General Santos City is an epitome of a true General.  Elected as City Councilor in 1992 at his first try in politics and was re-elected to the same office in 1995 with the highest number of votes.  In 1998, he was overwhelmingly elected as the City Vice-Mayor. He was sworn as the 10th City Mayor in 2001 when the position was declared vacant.  In the 2001, 2004 and 2007 local elections, he was reaffirmed by the Generals as the City Mayor.

The people’s trust and confidence in his leadership was founded on history and destiny.  Mayor Jun Acharon comes from a long line of public servants.  His father, Pedro A. Acharon, Sr. was the 2nd Mayor of then the Municipality of Rajah Buayan. While his brother Antonio C. Acharon was the 5th Chief Executive and the mayor with the longest service record of the City of General Santos.  Another brother, the late Jacinto C. Acharon was the holder of the longest term as City Councilor.

He is a civil engineer by profession and a graduate of Cebu Institute of Technology.  He is very active with religious organization and civic clubs including the Rotary Club.  A recipient of numerous awards of distinction, among which are the “Outstanding City Councilor of the New Republic of the Philippines”, “Most Outstanding City Vice-Mayor of the Philippines”, and the “International Humanitarian Award.”

Married of the former Miss Rosalinda V. Abinion of Cebu, they are blessed with five children – 3 boys and 2 girls.

Within the core of his administration’s thrust is the holistic and comprehensive Magandang Gensan through Social and Community Transformation, Human Resource Development, Economic Diversification, Environmental Regeneration and Participatory Governance.

His service-driven conviction that was instrumental in the city’s tremendous urbanization rate can be  advantageous for the people of the district in the coming years.  With PBA representing us in Congress, a future that is Progressive, Beneficial and Assured awaits us.


Cheers to 2009!

I pray for everybody’s continued good health and earthly wealth, inexhaustible sex appeal and perpetual good-looks! Cheers to 2009!

The Photography Guru

Leonard Pe is a genius behind the camera. His photographs are poignant as it captures the splendor of nature.  I have traveled along the vast pineapple fields at Polomolok on countless occasions, and have been to the Dole Clubhouse at Kalsangi several times.  But, I have never paused in awe at the sun as it slowly sets on the horizon or have appreciated the pine tress as it kissed the clouds above.  Only through Leonard’s art did I see them differently. His visuals are empowering as it move the viewer to protect the environment.  The way his “naturescape” photographs freeze time makes you want to do more than just cherish the present, but preserve it for the future as well. His art is inspiring as it induces the creation of other art forms. His wedding portfolios, at Fluidlight, do not only capture the happy images but also preserve the emotions in visual form.
Affirmation of his works includes an award from the Greenpeace Southeast Asia in an international photography competition.  His latest feat was as the featured Photographer of the Week of the October 14, 2008 issue of Manila Bulletin’s Picture Perfect and being described as Gensan’s Pride.
Yet, despite the high acclaims and adoration of his peers and colleagues, Leonard remained unpretentious and modest.  He never hesitates to share technical expertise and is always patient to teach people like me who are slightly technologically naïve yet are interest to learn the art.
His collections, available for the general public found at www.leonardpe.com, is best viewed in leisure.  Take you time to savor each photograph, and allow it to transport you to time and places that make you grateful for the visual art of photography.

HELP FIND DONNA

The girl on the pictures is DONNAVELLE HIPE REYES.  

She is missing since September 26, 2008.

 Donna is a resident of Doña Soledad Subdivision, General Santos City.

She was last seen on Sept. 26 (Friday) at 1:30PM by her class adviser at the Saavedra Saway Elementary School, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City.  She was wearing plain yellow T-shirt, maong pants and sandals. Donna is 12 years old and around 4’8″ to 4’10”.

If you have any information about her disappearance or may lead to her whereabouts please contact any of the following numbers:

    Erwin Reyes (father) – 09105076031
    Diana Reyes (mother) – 09187553562

If you don’t know anything about this case, you can still help by forwarding this email to all the people in your address book.

Let us pray that the internet will be God’s instrument of finding her and bring the wrongdoers to justice.

BLOGGING & EMPOWERMENT

Copy of the Message of the Honorable City Mayor, PEDRO B. ACHARON, JR. for the delegates of the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit held on October 25, 2008 at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center, General Santos City.

The message, in toto, was delivered by the Honorable City Councilor, Margareth Rose N. Santos.

 

 Magandang Gensan . . .

 In your language, I am a newbie.  Although, I am an active advocate of cyber technology as can be gleaned from the numerous ICT projects or ICT-support programs of the LGU, I am regrettably not tech-savvy.  

Much effort was made in order for me to deliver this message.  I have to educate myself, in order not to be off-course.  The more I learned, the more I admired this new medium called “weblog.”

Blogs, as personally published documents, can be liberating and at some point stress busting.  Imagine, stay at home mothers, gone are the days when they are cut-off from the world.  Not only are they up-to-date with their surroundings and even beyond; they can share their joys and woes of motherhood and exchange parenting tips with other parents.  Imagine flourishing poets and writers, gone are the days that they have to wait months or years for a publishing house to notice their works.  Now they can publish their literary pieces at their convenience and at the comfort of their own homes.  Imagine emerging businesses, market placement and business matching was at the mercy of resource entities.  Now they make themselves known over the internet and make personal correspondences with visitors and clients. At some instances and under the cloak of anonymity, you and me, can project frustrations and express true opinions about work, politics, or religion.  Indeed, on a deeply personal level, blogging is empowering.

 However, the question before me is, how can this medium, this new source of power, be used for Mindanao?

 Let us consider the benefits of B.L.O.G. and discover how Mindanao can and will be transformed.

“B” in blog means better communications.  As blogs are personal publications over the internet, it provides a chance to share experience and expertise to a wider audience.  Mindanao Island, our home, has been plagued by and subjected to negative publicity for too long. Today, we say, “no more!”  There is now an alternative to the traditional media agencies.  We are the alternative.  The power to correct or verify news about peace and order situations, business climate, or political issues.  Blogging provides us with the avenue to educate the rest of the country and the world the beauty of our people, the richness of our history and culture, the serenity of our land- and seascapes, the modernity of our infrastructure, and the vibrancy of our economy.  Decades ago, Mindanao was the land of promise.  Today, bloggers will make it the land of fulfillment.

 “L” in blog means lower cost.  Blogging is a cost effective alternative to traditional broadcasting or media printing. It is an inexpensive method to amplify personal voice and views or get business going over the internet.  This “L” is an accessory to our earlier “B”.

 “O” is for opportunities. Blogging presents a multitude of opportunities for the user.  Information for personal and relationship development, family and home improvement, career enhancements, financial advancement, and many others are available at a few clicks.  These informations can lead to or create opportunities for the blogger.  Opportunities which may also be relevant for the continuing growth of Mindanao.

  “G” obviously refers to global.  Global in terms of reach and scope.  Global in terms of magnitude and importance. 

 Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Mindanaon… the topic assigned to me today was “Empowering the Bloggers in Mindanao.”     Yet, after having delved into the subject of blog and blogging – – I concluded that bloggers do not need to be empowered.  For there, within each blogger’s grasp is the awesome power of multimedia, the power to inform and be informed, and the power to educate and be educated.  The only thing required is for the blogger to be aware of it.  What is most significant today is the challenge for the empowered blogger to empower Mindanao. 

 

Magandang Gensan sa muli and happy blogging!

I am joining the MBS2

I keep a journal.  Does this make me a journalist?

Journalists often adhere to certain ethical standards.  I wonder if bloggers have too.

I am going to the Mindanao Bloggers Summit to find out.

 

 

Thank you to the following for making 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit possible:

CO-PRESENTERS:
City Mayor Pedro B. Acharon, Jr.

Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio
NOKIA
Department of Tourism XII
ABS-CBN Regional Network Group
Bariles Republic
Gen. Santos City Tourism Association
SOCCSKSARGEN Blogers

GOLD SPONSORS:
Friendster

Globe
AMA Computer Learning Center
Grab A Crab Restaurant and Coffee Club 101
Gregoria Printing Press

SILVER SPONSORS:
Nokiahost.Com

Asia United Bank
Family Country Hotel & Convention Center
East Asia Royale Hotel
Fine Pixel Advertising
IDEAS

BRONZE SPONSORS
GenSan Sale.Com
Blogging from Home Book
Pacific Seas Seafood Market
Generals Logimark Exponent
Prints and You
Writing Edge.Com
Forest Lake San Carlos Park
Rolee Bakery & Cafe
Jehzlau Concepts
Techykid.Com
Jaypee Online.Net
Blue Media Communications
International Container Terminal Services, Inc
Shalom Wizard Academy
Dreamworld Travel and Tours
Sta. Cruz Seafoods, Inc.
Dellosa Design Build Services
Kristan Bookstore
DOLE Philippines
Husky Bus Lines
Shakey’s Pizza
Family Brand Sardines
Gaisano Mall of GenSan
Chowking – KCC
Jollibee National Highway
Procter & Gamble Philis., Inc
Mega Sardinesc

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Achieving Excellence in 2008

Among other reasons why I am offended by the “Labanan ang Kahirapan” campaign is that it highlights a negative reality – Poverty.  It could have been more effective if the spin-doctors  capitalized on the strenghts of the Filipinos to draw cooperation and move them to action.  A case in point is this article I wrote for the GSC Digest, a quarterly publication of the LGU.

In the beginning of this year, the Honorable City Mayor of General Santos City, Pedro B. Acharon, Jr.  issued Executive Order No. 01 mandating that the year 2008 shall be the Year of Excellence. Each official and employee in all city level departments shall, in the performance of duties and functions, use the Total Quality Services program as the good governance tool in the delivery of basic public services.

This advocacy was reiterated and was given much emphasis when he delivered the Sate of the City Address.  In that report, the City Development Strategies of good governance, competitiveness, livability and bankability were discussed according to their interdependence, such that “Good governance ensures that an environment of transparency and accountability is practiced in the local government, which will strengthen the competitiveness capability of the city; Thus, making it bankable in order for social and other services programs to be implemented making the city livable.”

This interdependence among the CDS principles is further manifested into a working framework. It is highly important that each public servant in the LGU understands that the CDS is a symbiont program of the four principles.  There is a cooperative relationship between and among the cabinet clusters.  While each department have its own mandate and each cluster functions independently; their existence and efficiency does not depend on the other departments or clusters.   But the existence, efficiency and the responsiveness of the entire local government of General Santos is dependent on the cooperation, support and mutual respect each department or cluster provides the others.

The mechanism is actually very simple.

To make the city well-governed, we have to enrich pro-active consciousness. And it starts with our sensitive awareness of what is going on around us. Most notably is the acknowledgement that as government workers, we are not super heroes.  Therefore, we must engage the participation of all stakeholders in the development processes, public and private alike.

To make the city competitive, we have to produce competitive individuals.  And it starts with finding our individual strengths by way of honest evaluation of what we can and cannot do, and of what we have and do not have.  Through acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses as an organization, we acknowledge the things we are capable of doing (and doing it well!), and the things that we need to invest on, improve and enhance.  As a result, we create, for the LGU and the city, an environment that sustains productivity and encourages value creation to our products and services.

To make the city bankable, we need to inculcate collective sensible values; and it starts in our own individual endeavors.  These undertakings do not require high-end or complicated technological gadgetries, but demand the basic and inherent human virtues of trustworthiness, integrity and accountability.  If we are to encourage investors, whether local, domestic or foreign, to pour their capital with confidence, we must prove that we have the ability to provide the necessary and appropriate climate for business and economic growth.

To make the city livable, we have to create healthy communities and it starts from our own homes. The first line of defense is the family.  The basic unit of society must be empowered to be able to send their children to school, clothe them and provide for nutrition, medical and health care. While there are LGU programs instituted for these concerns, these must be mere augmentations.  Furthermore, environmental protection and preservation is a universal responsibility.  As public servants, we must serve as the exemplars of family resource management, and of cleanliness in our immediate surroundings (among other functions expected of a family!).

Raising the Benchmark

Last July 4, the city received its third Most Competitive City Award from the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center.  The city greatly values this award because it is an affirmation among the business community, within and outside the city, of the efforts done by the local government to protect and promote their economic interests.

There are 6 criteria or drivers used by the policy center in determining the competitiveness of the city:

Cost of doing business – business tax burden, business regulation and procedures, presence of informal fees (a very politically correct term for bribe and other forms of corruption),  and cost of utilities (such as electricity, water, telephone and internet connections);

Dynamism of local economy – business growth and performance, access to financing assistance, and the existence of a functional public-private partnership;

Human resources and training – over-all quality of present workers, availability of competent manpower, skills enhancement programs present/available;

Infrastructure – over-all management of transportation services, reliability of utilities and environmental facilities;

Responsiveness of LGU to business needs – government regulations, investment promotion capabilities, ease and transparency  of LGU in dealings, crafting of appropriate and business-friendly legislations and quality of leadership and performance of the city administration; and

Quality of life – clean and sustainable environment, peace and order, and access to quality health care and social welfare services.

Of the 90 mid-sized cities in the country only 22 cities were ranked; 5 cities from Luzon and 2 from Mindanao were awarded most competitive mid-sized cities.

General Santos city ranked no. 1 in infrastructure.  Yet, among the most notable findings were: the reasonable cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour, very low incidence of or non-existent informal fees in LGU transactions involving permits and licenses, and the high total crime solution efficiency.

The effects of our labors will manifest next year, in 2009.  However, at mid-year of 2008 we are harvesting accolades and achievements.  The greatest challenge before us now, is to surpass these successes.  Gensan must continue its upward spiral and be the embodiment of excellence.

Magandang Gensan!