Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Women's Demands...

Spent a bit of time over the weekend watching Billy Connolly on DVD...and introducing the Island Boy to some classic British humour.... in my book, it doesn't get much funnier than this....

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super Maid.....

From today's SCMP; have copied the articles verbatim as not everyone has access...

Maids lose jobs over Manila policy
Helpers delayed for HK work have contracts terminated

Several domestic helpers from the Philippines have had their jobs terminated even before they started work because their arrival in Hong Kong has been delayed by a new Manila policy aiming to create "super maids".
There are also almost daily complaints of women being held at Manila airport because they cannot show the training certificates required since December 16.

And in Hong Kong, at least one Filipino was terminated from her job after her boss heard of the policy requiring that helpers must be at least 25.

The incidents follow a Philippine policy reform enforced since last month that includes raising the minimum age of domestic helpers seeking work abroad from 21 to 25, raising their minimum wage to US$400, and requiring them to take a 23-day training course by the Philippine Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Dolores Balladares, chairwoman of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, said her group had been receiving complaints about the policy over the past few weeks.

The policy resulted in workers having to pay 10,000 pesos (HK$1,600) on the training course and certificates, the group said. "We have heard of workers being barred from going to Hong Kong because they did not have training certificates. Their contracts were terminated because they did not arrive in Hong Kong on the expected date," she said.

The group plans to hold a protest rally on Sunday from Central to the Philippine consulate in Admiralty.

One woman told Ms Balladares that her job was terminated earlier this month because she was 23. She was given one month's notice.

Cynthia Talamor, a volunteer with the Mission for Filipino Migrant Workers Society, said she was worried for her sister who was coming back to Hong Kong on a new contract. Her boss had given her a January 31 deadline.

"She was expected to come here on January 15. Her visa and papers were in order. But she could not leave because she was told she had to undergo training," she said. The sister speaks Cantonese and had worked in the city for six years.

"In the training courses, they use old models of home appliances when Hong Kong homes are hi-tech," Ms Talamor said.

"As for the language course, they not only are required to learn basic Cantonese but also Putonghua - in just three days."

Philippine labour attach? Bernardino Julve said that the training requirements were "mandatory only for new hires".

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Il Divo in Manila

Last night's viewing entertainment at the PICC was four boys who actually can sing..otherwise known as Il Divo.

They definitely can sing, although the friend I was with (in future to be known as City Boy!) wittered throughout the concert that the Swiss guy's notes were not 'clean'!

They definitely look good..although three of them look a little on the pale side compared to the Spanish guy who looked as if he were getting more tanned as the show went on - almost as if he has slathered on fake tan pre-show and it was darkening by the minute!

However, the one thing they cannot do...is make little asides and chat through the show...it was all so forced and felt very awkward..every time they stopped for one of their little 'chats'; my toes curled up in my shoes as I cringed!

The one thing that made my evening was the conductor for the orchestra...he was hysterical, his movements wouldn't have been out of place in an 80s disco; and at one stage I thought he was going to gallop off the stage...it provided me with a good 15 minutes of almost hysteria!

The concert was graced by GMA...who walked (more like trotted!) in at about 8:30pm, the concert was supposed to start at 8pm....after the announcer asked us to please sit..and then please stand as the President arrived, there was subdued booing from the front of the theatre..I don't think the concert was late because of her, just that she waited until most people had arrived. To be honest, half an hour late for a concert to start is not bad going - particularly here!

All in, a highly enjoyable evening!

Update: It seems there was heckling of GMA both before and after...!!!

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Life and laughter on the precipice

A positive travel article on Manila from The Daily Telegraph...as the wide mouthed-frog said, "You don't see many of those around here, do you?"!

The accompanying photos in the seperate section are a little on the odd side though!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Words of Wisdom from the Hound

Indy has been on quite a writing roll recently with some very good posts....today's...with the addition of the comments goes all out on blow jobs...I can't understand why Cosmopolitan haven't snapped this guy up yet...!!!

And a few of my recent favourites...

What do men generally think of us if we sleep with them on a first date?

All about 'nice guys'!


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It does look a tad windy....

Living in the typhoon belt, its always hard to believe that anywhere else could have such destructive weather...but it is becoming more and more common in Europe, particularly it seems in the UK which has, until recently, always been known for its rather 'bland' weather...i.e. drizzle, a bit of rain, more drizzle and then grey clouds...

Yesterday's storms look as if they have wreaked terrible damage, more pictures here



Thursday, January 18, 2007

And it's the end of another week in reality.....

Seriously, this is a labour of love....wrote the whole damn post earlier and lost the whole bloody thing....

So, take two...and this take will be a little more abbreviated than the original...

Take heart all you single men out there (well, those that are single and looking!) even truckloads of money and good looks and being 'nice' isn't a guarantee to get you the girl of your dreams..as one Englishman has discovered.

And in pictures, how lucky The Hamster really was.

I now have 101 reasons not to go on a cruise...do people fall or do they get pushed? Mysterious deaths on the high seas!

And to my list of 100 reasons not to go back and live in the UK, I add this...give or take 5,000 pounds for a rail annual season ticket...and one shouldn't expect a seat.

A new blogger on the block...Bill Marriott

In further hotel news...from 'Absolutely filthy' to just 'dirty' in 6 months...now there's a goal for any hotel!

And in the final bit of hotel news for the day....the Philippine Plaza here in Manila has cross country skiing close by, I'm not sure why that surprises me...but it does!!

The 2008 election is edging ever nearer...is Obama the Democratic man to watch? Would it be possible to have Hillary Clinton as the Presidential nominee with Obama on the ticket as the VP..or would that be too much for conservative America to deal with?

I wanted to write a post about the USAF Staff Sergeant who posed for Playboy magazine..but I figured I knew a man who would probably do it so much better than I...and I was right...so, over to Skippy-San



Monday, January 15, 2007

Opposites attract...

An interesting read from the Daily Mail this morning...

The history of love is littered with famous examples. Marilyn Monroe and Henry Miller, the pneumatic movie star and the intellect with a brain the size of a planet. Salman Rushdie and his wife Padma Lakshmi, he the author of books too well written for anyone actually to finish, she a Bollywood starlet.

More often than not, the pairing is this way around. It is hard to think of many examples where the beauty has belonged to the male and the brains to the female.


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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Out of the mouth of 'Babes'!

It is a fact of life here that the local physique does not generally make for big burly men...and as a result the average security guard here does not always inspire confidence in their 'security' abilities....however...

The other evening, whilst knocking back a few drinks with a female friend of mine outside the Shang Mall, one of the security guards walked past...my friend looked at the security guard and then said...

"These guys look like as if you blew them they'd fall over"

when I answered her that that was a fair comment for most men it took a few minutes for realisation to dawn...



Saturday, January 13, 2007

Barong Tagalog

For those of you unfamiliar with the Philippines...the men's national dress here is known as the Barong Tagalog

It is actually a very nice piece of clothing and there are very few men who actually look bad in a barong...it covers a multitude of sins! It is worn for most formal occasions - weddings, meetings, conferences, formal family gatherings etc...and as a very acceptable alternative to a suit...my colleagues often wear a barong when working over the weekend instead of a suit.

So it was obviously going to be the garment of choice at the ASEAN summit and to be honest it does look better on the delegates than the majority of national dress outfits they have been squeezed into in the past.

The PDI had a very simple column about the ASEAN summit and the wearing of the Barong...given that every Filipino knows what a barong is, given that the readership of the PDI does not extend too far out of the Philippines, I would assume that the column was aimed at those foreigners either living in the Philippines or possibly visiting for the summit...which is why the following sentence was really, really unnecessary...

A Manila pub once used the national see-through attire to dress waitresses without any underwear in hopes of luring crowds of men at night.

The Philippines has a bad enough reputation overseas as a sex tourism hot spot...without adding inane comments such as this...

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Once more with feeling....

So, we now have a second shot at hosting the ASEAN Summit. Obviously it is not so exciting the second time around as the PDI hasn't even come up with its special ASEAN section with the links to all the relevant news articles!

Along with street lights that cost millions and work rather sporadically, there is also the weather and security to be concerned about.

And just to add to the joys of hosting all these VIPs, one of the hotels also has a wedding to contend with! But, all things considered these sorts of events are good for localbusiness and for spotlighting areas of the country that may otherwise be forgotten.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So who wants to fly into NAIA?

Which should be given priority on the runway? A Lear jet taking off with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on board or an incoming long haul Airbus 340 ferrying 231 passengers that is running low on fuel?

This was the question posed by an official of the Airline Operators Council (AOC) after a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain was reportedly denied landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) because Arroyo was using the runway for her flight to Davao City on Wednesday to stand as a wedding sponsor

From the PDI.

If you ask me, it sounds like a bloody joke....I cannot believe that a decision can be made like that. However, I would ask... is it all possible that GMA may not have been aware that this decision had been made until it was too late...is it possible that one of her flunkies decided to make the decision for fear of upsetting the 'little one'?

Either way its just another in a long line of bad PR moves for GMA and the Philippines....and another sin to add to the long list I'm compiling for NAIA aka The world's least favourite airport!

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I'm back...and so is the internet - nominally!

Cebu was lovely...as always...weather on Saturday was crap though...was like being in England so the day was spent indoors watching TV and reading...fortunately Sunday was nicer so a nice relaxed day around Cebu...

and as an added bonus the Island Boy is making a flying visit to Manila tonight....

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Off island!

Thanks to various internet connection issues I have been out of radio contact for quite a while....not even any e-mails!

Anyway, now I'm back on line...I'm going off island again...well, at least off this one and onto another one....no prizes for guessing where!

See you Monday!