Namets! at Cinemalaya 2008

I was fortunate enough to watch feature films at this year’s Cinemalaya independent film festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines yesterday. (I was fortune because I had the luxury of time to travel from the hilly North Eastern Metro Manila to Manila Bay.  My friends and I jokingly dub the event as “cinemalayo” because of its very far venue.)

A film worth mentioning and is worth recommending is the digital film, “Namets!”  Namets is the Hiligaynon word for masarap/sarap in Filipino, yummy in English or sedap in Bahasa Malaysia.  The film was mainly in Hiligaynon (with English subtitles), a regional language (not a dialect) spoken in Western Visayas (Panay, Negros and Guimaras Islands).  As a Tagalog/Filipino speaker, I did not have any problem in watching the movie since Hiligaynon for me has similarities to Tagalog.

From the Cinemalaya programme:

Namets by Emilio “Jay” Abello is a colorful celebration of food as well as love, and the love of food above all, which is central to being Negrosanon and being Filipino. It follows the flirtation between Jacko and Cassie, two Negrenses who grew up in Bacolod, and whose lives revolve around food.

Aside from the main story, the movie interjects funny, delightful and amusing side stories in between scenes which are (not in order of appearance):

  1. Negros cavemen from pre-history accidentally discovering how to roast chicken while having a brawl.
  2. A young boy saving his pet chicken named Leonard, pet goat (I forgot it’s name) and his pet dog named Raymond.  He was saving them from his father who was starving for meat.
  3. A siopao maker who kneads his dough by squeezing it in between his hairy and sweaty armpits. He also sold an highly potent aphrodisiac to a wife of a security guard.
  4. The café manager who finds out why his Bacolod branch consumes the most sugar than other branches in the Philippines.
  5. The dialysis patents who is dying to eat his favorite Napleones (a famous pastry in Western Visayas) during his treatment sessions.
  6. The father who teaches his kids the proper and systematic way of eating Chicken Inasal (a barbecue chicken delicacy).

I learned about Negrense cuisine and contemporary culture. It made me realize that the 7,107 islands of the Philippines is unique and has its unique taste.  (In nearby places like Metro Manila and Rizal Province, local dishes such as Adobo and Menudo have their own twist.)

The acting of Angel Jacob and Christian Vazquez, while not worth an Oscar was good.  There was chemistry between the two.  

I would also commend the supporting role of Peque Gallaga. who played Boss Dolpo, mob boss.  His character did not speak at all except for his gibberish in between munching on his food and shouting “namet” in a scene while sitting in his pool.  He made his character funny and despicable yet memorable.  If Dame Judy Dench won a supporting actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love while delivering a few lines, Peque Gallaga perhaps deserves a similar accolade.

I encourage everyone to watch and support the film.  It was worth my time and the 100 pesos I paid for the ticket.  The film is not only recommended but also memorable.  I will not forget the funny scenes, how it made my mouth water and how hungry I was for Negrense food after watching the show.  I hope there really was a La Cucina Negrense in Bacolod.  It would have been a good excuse to fly to Bacolod City just to taste the dishes featured in the movie.

While I am not a film or entertainment professional who would know what makes a good film, Namets! is surely a good film and is perhaps one of the best and most unique Pinoy films this year.  The story telling, execution and technical aspects was superb.  

Namets has local commercial potential and is a nice entry for international film festivals.  It would be a big hit from the millions of Hiligaynon speakers alone.  It would be a great introduction to Pinoy food and culture abroad.  I hope the producers make DVDs soon.  A coffee table book or cookbook featuring Negrense recipes and food should also be developed.  I will be the first ones to buy them for myself and for my family and friends overseas.  

For more info on the movie please visit the official website ( and site (  The film will be shown on 30 July 2008 at 7:00 PM at the Cine Adarna (UP Film Institute), University of the Philippines Diliman.

Who controls the world’s oil supplies?

An Exxon Mobil Corp...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Oil and Gas Reserves by Company – Country:

1. Saudi Aramco –  Saudi Arabia (more than 300 billion barrels)
2. National Iranian Oil Company – Iran
3. Qatar Petroleum – Qatar
4. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company – UAE
5. Iraq NOC – Iraq
6. Gazprom – Russia
7. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – Kuwait
8. Petróleos de Venezuala S.A. – Venezuela
9. Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigeria
10. National Oil Corporation – Libya
11. Sonatrach – Algeria
12. Rosneft – Russia
13. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) – Malaysia
14. Exxon Mobil – USA (about 20 billion barrels)
15. Lukoil – Russia
16. Petróleos Mexicanos – Mexico
17. Petrochina – China
18. BP – Britain
19. Chevron – USA
20. Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Brazil
21. Roya Dutch Shell – Britain/Netherlands
22. Total S.A. – France
23. ConocoPhilips – USA
24. ENI – Italy
25. Oil and Natural Gas Company – India
26. Sinopec – China

Oil and Gas Reserves by Country or Company,

Ninety five percent of of these companies are state owned while only five percent are private corporations.  With the high oil prices who do you think are raking in more billions in profits?

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Republic Act 9504 – full text

(Per RA 8293 Sec. 176.1 works of the Government of the Philippines can be used freely for non-commercial purposes. Feel free to copy the following text:)

An Act Amending Sections 22, 24, 34, 35, 51 and 79 of Republic Act No. 8424, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1987. 

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand seven.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress assembled:

Section 1.  Section 22 of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby further amended by adding the following definition after Subsection (FF) to read as follows: 

“Sec. 22 Definitions.  – When in this Title:

“(A)  x  x  x

“x  x  x

“(FF) x  x  x

“(GG)”  The term ‘statutory minimum wage’ shall refer to the rate fixed by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board, as defined by the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“(HH)” The term ‘minimum wage earner’ shall refer to a worker in the private sector paid the statutory minimum wage, or to an employee in the public sector with compensation income of not more than the statutory minimum wage in the non-agricultural sector where he/she is assigned.”

Sec. 2.  Section 24(A) of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby further amended to read as follows: 

“Sec. 24.  Income Tax Rates. – 

“(A)” Rates of Income Tax on Individual Citizen and Individual Resident Alien of the Philippines. – 

“(1)  x  x  x

“x  x  x; and

“(c) On the taxable income defined in Section 31 of this Code, other than income subject to tax under Subsections (B), (C) and (D) of this Section, derived for each taxable year from all sources within the Philippines by an individual alien who is a resident of the Philippines.

“(2)  Rates of Tax on Taxable Income of Individuals.  – The tax shall be computed in accordance with and at the rates established in the following schedule:

“Not over P10,000 ………………………………………. 5%

“Over P10,000 but not over P30,000 ……………… P500 + 10% of excess over P10,000

“Over P30,000 but not over P70,000 ……………… P2,500 + 15% of the excess over P30,000

“Over P70,000 but not over P140,000 ……………. P8,500 + 20% of the excess over P70,000

“Over P140,000 but not over P250,000 ………….. P22,500 + 25% of the excess over P140,000

“Over P250,000 but not over P500,000 ………….. P50,000 + 30% of the excess over P250,000

“Over P500,000 ………………………………………….. P125,000 + 32% of the excess over P500,000

“For married individuals, the husband and wife, subject to the provision of Section 51(D) hereof, shall compute separately their individual income tax based on their respective total taxable income:  Provided, That if any income cannot be definitely attributed to or identified as income exclusively earned or realized by either of the spouses, the same shall be divided equally between the spouses for the purpose of determining their respective taxable income.

“Provided, That minimum wage earners as defined in Section 22(HH) of this Code shall be exempt from the payment of income tax on their taxable income:  Provided, further, That the holiday pay, overtime pay, night shift differential pay and hazard pay received by such minimum wage earners shall likewise be exempt from income tax.

“x  x  x.”

Sec. 3.  Section 34 (L) of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Sec. 34.  Deductions from Gross Income. – Except for taxpayers earning compensation income arising from personal services rendered under an employer-employee relationship where no deductions shall be allowed under this Section other than under Section (M) hereof, in computing taxable income subject to income tax under Sections 24(A); 25(A); 26; 27(A), (B) and (C); and 28(A)(1) there shall be allowed the following deductions from gross income:

“(A)  Expenses. – 

“x  x  x

“(L) Optional Standard Deduction. – In lieu of the deductions allowed under the preceding Subsections, an individual subject to tax under Section 24, other than nonresident alien, may elect a standard deduction in an amount not exceeding forty percent (40%) of his gross sales or gross receipts, as the case may be.  In the case of a corporation subject to tax under Sections 27(A) and 28(A)(1), it may elect a standard deduction in an amount not exceeding forty percent (40%) of its gross income as defined in Section 32 of this Code.  Unless the taxpayer signifies in his return his intention to elect the optional standard deduction, he shall be considered as having availed himself of the deductions allowed in the preceding Subsections.  Such election when made in the return shall irrevocable for the taxable year for which the return is made.  Provided, That an individual who is entitled to an claimed for the optional standard deduction shall not be required to submit with his tax return such financial statements otherwise required under this Code:  Provided, further, That except when the Commissioner otherwise permits the said individual shall keep such records pertaining to this gross sales or gross receipts, or the said corporation shall keep such records pertaining to this gross income as defined in Section 32 of this Code during the taxable year, as may be required by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner. 

“(M) x  x  x. – 

“x  x  x.”

Sec. 4.  Section 35(A) and (B) of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Sec. 35.  Allowance of Personal Exemption for Individual Taxpayer. – 

“(A)  In General. – For purposes of determining the tax provided in Section 24(A) of this Title, there shall be allowed a basic personal exemption amounting to Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) for each individual taxpayer.

“In the case of married individuals where only one of the spouse is deriving gross income, only such spouse shall be allowed the personal exemption.

“(B)  Additional Exemption for Dependents. – There shall be allowed an additional exemption of Twenty-five thousand pesos (P25,000) for each dependent not exceeding four (4).

“The additional exemption for dependents shall be claimed by only one of the spouses in the case of married individuals.

“In the case of legally separated spouses, additional exemptions may be claimed only by the spouse who has custody of the child or children: Provided, That the total amount of additional exemptions that may be claimed by both shall not exceed the maximum additional exemptions herein allowed. 

“For purposes of this Subsection, a ‘dependent’ means a legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted child chiefly dependent upon and living with the taxpayer if such dependent is not more than twenty-one (21) years of age, unmarried and not gainfully employed or if such dependent, regardless of age, is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.

“x  x  x”

Sec. 5.  Section 51(A)(2) of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“Sec. 51.  Individual Return. – 

“(A)  Requirements. – 

“(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this Subsection, the following individuals are required to file an income tax return:

“(a) x  x  x;

“x  x  x.

“(2)  The following individuals shall not be required to file an income tax return:

“(a) x  x  x;

“(b)  An individual with respect to pure compensation income, as defined in Section 32(A)(1), derived from sources within the Philippines, the income tax on which has been correctly withheld under the provisions of Section 79 of this Code:  Provided, That an individual deriving compensation concurrently from two or more employers at any time during the taxable year shall file an income tax return:

“(c) x  x  x; and

“(d)  A minimum wage earner as defined in Section 22(HH) of this Code or an individual who is exempt from income tax pursuant to the provisions of this Code and other laws, general or special.

“x  x  x.”

Sec. 6.  Section 79(A) of Republic Act No. 8424, as amended, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“Sec. 79.  Income Tax Collected at Source. – 

“(A)  Requirement of Withholding. – Except in the case of a minimum wage earner as defined in Section 22(HH) of this Code, every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages a tax determined in accordance with the rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Finance, upon recommendation of the Commissioner.

“x  x  x.”

Sec. 7.  Separability Clause.  – If any provision of this Act is declared invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect. 

Sec. 8.  Repealing Clause. – Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation contrary to or inconsistent with any provision of this Act is hereby amended or modified accordingly. 

Sec. 9.  Effectivity Clause.  – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. 


Speaker of the House of Representatives

President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No. 3971 and Senate Bill No. 2293 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 28, 2008 and May 27, 2008, respectively.

Secretary General
House of Representatives

Secretary of the Senate

Approved: June 17, 2008

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Diabetasol an alternative to Glucerna?




I have discovered a possible alternative for the very expensive Glucerna SR of Abbot that my parents drink. I saw this new product while shopping at Robinsons Supermarket. For those who are unaware, Glucerna SR is a meal replacement or food supplement for those with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

This new product called, Diabetasol is quite similar because it claims to also offer controlled glucose release. According to my mom the taste of the product is quite different if one was used to only drinking Glucerna SR.

The image that you see above contains 180 grams and costs about PHP 200.  Glucerna SR can cost twice as much.  Available flavors are vanilla, cappuccino an chocolate.

Diabetasol is made by Kalbe Nutritionals, a division PT Sanghiang Perkasa of Jakarta, Indonesia.  It is distributed in the Philippines by Getz Bros. Philippines Inc.

What’s the Plan??

Smart Money, Paypal and Endosulfan

Smart Money cards that start with 5299 are having problems.  Not all merchants are able to accept the new card series because Smart says it is quite new.

I encountered the problem when I was trying to add my Smart Money card to my PayPal account.  I received an error message that my card is already expired, however my card’s expiry date is on 06/2010

According to Smart Money, they’re are still working on the universal acceptance of the card by all Mastercard merchants.

The fact that Del Monte Philippines is using Endosulfan on its crops should be alarming.  Since this is a very toxic substance I am sure that we may have indirectly ingested this chemical by eating Del Monte produce.


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On Being Rich

GNP (Wealth)Image by A Look Askancevia Flickr

I saw the question (in Filipino) on a discussion thread in an internet forum called  It asked why Filipinos are not rich.  I don’t post there however I’d like to explore the idea of being rich.

How does one define “rich” or being “rich?”  Must we put a dollar figure to determine which individual is rich or not?

Anyway, for discussion’s sake, Merriam-Webster defines the word rich as, just to name a few, (1) having abundant possessions and especially material wealth, (2) having high value or quality, and (3) well supplied or endowed.

For me, being rich is really just a state of mind.  People equate being rich as being successful, content and having a high quality of life.  If people think that way then it is like saying money buys happiness, which seems very materialistic. People say they want to be rich but really all they want is to feel successful, content and enjoy a high quality of life.

If we define conentment and success just by being materially rich then the four to five billion of us who do not belong to the 10 million who are worth a million dollars or more are misarable but I’m sure we’re not.  Some very wealthy people can even be the most disturbed, the most disgusting and the most immoral.

The many Catholic religious people I know who took the vow of poverty and are celibate seem happy and content serving God and the needy.  My grand mother, a sari-sari store owner who died last year seemed happy and content to know that her children are living comfortably.

The truth is not every one will become a highly paid singer, actor, artist, dancer or athlete.  Neither will all of us become successful businessmen or entrepreneurs.  We must accept that fact however, not achieving those aforementioned is not terrible at all.

There is nothing wrong with creating and seeking material wealth as long as the means are legal, moral and ethical.  However, society and media should stop measuring a person’s success by their net worth. We should all strive to acheive a better quality of life for all.

In the end, people should really do some soul searching in finding out what really would make them happy, content and provide a high quality of life in order to feel “rich.”  In the end, when we all die people will remember us more on how we touched their lives and not how wealthy we were.

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