Thoughts on P-Noy’s 2010 SONA

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA)
President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA)

It had not been a long time since the elections when our new President shook our world again. In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) for 2010, he gave a burning speech on what he’d been busy with for the past two months. In case you weren’t able to catch the SONA, here’s a copy of it.

Just my two cents on the SONA:

  1. It seems that the checks and balances that are necessary in our system of governance aren’t in place. Why would so many unforeseen projects get implemented to the detriment of planned ones? If proper checks and balances were really in place, such things would not even be possible.
  2. P-Noy revealed a lot of controversial cases. I certainly hope they’re already undergoing due process because otherwise, these exposés could preempt the court’s decision or even be construed as public stunts. But I have to admit that before this SONA, I didn’t know people could have so many bonuses.
  3. Teddy Locsin said on ABS-CBN that he doesn’t believe in “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” and that structural changes need to be made. I wholeheartedly agree. If we allow our flawed system to continue spawning corruption, we’re simply going to have one public prosecution after another, without effecting a long-term change (especially after P-Noy’s term).
  4. I think it’s great that the government wants to closely collaborate with the private sector. After all, why should the government spend its limited resources on something that private citizens and institutions can do? Along that line, I hope P-Noy realizes that he should leave sex education with the parents because they’re the best people to talk about the topic. He can support this responsibility of parents by strengthening moral education in schools so that our children will grow up to be good parents. But other than that, I think taxpayers’ money should go to tasks that are really concerns of the government.
  5. I’m very happy about the move to make it easy for businesses to register. I’ve tried before (out of a real desire to pay taxes), but the process was just so tedious that it altogether discouraged a newbie like me. If the process were a lot more friendly, I bet many small businesses will emerge, generating more production and taxes.

What are your thoughts on P-Noy’s SONA?

Mousse review: White Rain, Sunsilk, VO5

I’ve had permed hair for quite some time now and I’ve used several brands of mousse already. I’d like to share my experiences with three brands with the curly-haired ladies out there, if only to spare them from pain of trial-and-error:

1. White Rain Extra Hold mousse

This is the brand that I’ve used the longest. It’s the cheapest I’ve found in the stores, and the results are good enough for the price. I wouldn’t say this is the best option, though.

Pros:
• Most affordable
• Widely available (found it in Watson’s and in some supermarkets)
• Really adds volume

Cons:
• Hair looks obviously moussed–a guaranteed wet look for the whole day
• Hair looks unnaturally stiff
• Hair will already start to frizz after waking up (not good if you don’t shampoo daily)

2. Sunsilk Style mousse

I’ve only found this in the supermarket at SM Megamall. I never knew that Sunsilk had mousse, so I inspected the packaging and realized that it might be imported from another Asian country. I guess that explains why we don’t see ads of this product around.

Pros:
• Lasts longer than any other brand I’ve tried. Hair stays nice and tidy for two whole days.
• Hair doesn’t look artificially moussed

Cons:
• Sticky! You’d be hurrying to wash your hands after using this. I don’t think it matters, though, since your hair will hardly feel the stickiness after your hair has slightly dried.
• Slightly more expensive than White Rain
• Not widely available. During the last time I went to Megamall, I wasn’t able to find any on the shelves.
• Hair looks heavy. Some people might find this beneficial, but I’d rather my hair looked fluffy.

3. VO5 mousse
Though a bit more pricey than the other two, I like this VO5 mousse the most. I had to buy it one day because there were no stocks of the other two brands above. It was a blessing in disguise, as I now would opt for this brand.

Pros:
• Hair doesn’t look artificially moussed
• Not sticky!
• Lasts long though not as long as the Sunsilk mousse
• More foamy than the other two
• Adds enough volume though not as much as White Rain
• Curls look natural, not stiff

Cons:
• More expensive than the other two

That said, I’m sure Finesse will prove better than all these brands, but I would need to skip a few meals to buy one bottle and I am not going to do that. If anyone else would like to share their experiences regarding mousse brands, please feel free to leave a comment.

Outing to Bato Springs (San Pablo, Laguna)

Note: This blog post is a review. If you’d like to post an inquiry for Bato Springs Resort, kindly send them an email at batospringsresort@gmail.com.

Man-made waterfalls beside a pool
Man-made waterfalls beside a pool

I’ve been to many resorts in Laguna, but this one really stands out. Amidst the lush landscape of Bato Springs are pools that aren’t your usual tile-lined vats of chloroform–the walls are made of stone and the floors of cement, allowing them to blend into the surroundings as if they were natural springs. One refreshing feature is the presence of artificial waterfalls beside many of the pools. If only for aesthetics, the waterfalls already do a great job, but even more, they make swimming in the pool a much livelier experience as well. For those who aren’t so comfortable with such natural-looking pools, there is one tiled pool. It didn’t miss out on the special feature, though. A lovely artificial waterfall still enlivens one side of the pool.

Huts in Bato Springs
Huts!

Taking a walk around Bato Springs is a real treat. It’s not your usual square-ish resort; the paths are winding and surrounded with lovely scenery. At times, you’ll get to cross some of the pools using a short footbridge (a la Gaugin) or big stones that rise above the water. You’ll also see the different types of huts and cottages that guests can rent. The cottages are your typical booth + table in the middle + nipa roof on top. The huts, which are of different sizes, are reminiscent of the kubo but with some obviously modern furnishings (metal roofing, cement ladders and posts, glass windows). I was also told that some venues had air conditioning.

I’d recommend Bato Springs for a family getaway. With its affordable fees and quaint facilities, all the members of your family will get a good rest in this resort in San Pablo.

Natural-looking pool
Who’d think that this is a pool?
A beautiful pool
More…
Tiled pool with man-made waterfalls
Tiled pool with man-made waterfalls
A pavillion
A pavillion
Bridge over untroubled water
Bridge over untroubled water

For inquiries, please email batospringsresort(at)gmail.com or post on their Facebook page.