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Anti-Charter Aseanists, unite!

Seven member states of Asean have ratified the Charter and only three countries have yet to ratify it. The three countries are Indonesia, the Phillipines and Thailand.

Of all the seven countries, not one of the ratification processes had gone through a democratic mean. In Malaysia, it was ratified by the executive branch of the government, without participation of the legislative arm.

For a document that would have far reaching effects on more than half a billion people in Southeast Asia, surely the document deserves to be vetted more closely. It at least has to go through the elected representatives in the democratic legislature. Or ideally, directly decided upon by the people via referenda.

Isn't that the invested idea in the Asean Charter, democracy? Or the Charter and the word democracy are so cheaply uttered by the lips of Asean politicians that its worth has devalued so greatly?

All seven have failed to live up to a democratic ideal and the Singaporean Prime Minister even has the cheek to say that implementation of the Charter would go through regardless of the ratification status of the Charter in Indonesia, the Phillipines and Thailand.

I would hate to have a Constitution which has no respect individual liberty forced upon all citizens of Asean. The current form is likely to be useless in advancing individual liberty, judging even at how bureaucrats, some of them are part of the most repressive regime, most of them are part of states unconscious or dismissive of individual liberty and all disconnected from the the basic unit of a society, the individuals, are writing it. In the name of unity, these bureaucrats are willing to turn a blind eye to requirement for strong protection for individual liberty.

Now, the future of a democratic Asean rests upon these final three countries. I urge all Indonesians, Filipinos and Thais to write to your representatives and urge them to save all of us. Urge them to reject the Charter and force the Charter to go to the drawing board again. Force the Charter to go through the people.


The Modern-Day Filipino Symbol

This is a multi-authored blog. One entry may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the others.

Let's accept it. Some of us have considered the word "conservative" as legendary. Young people (like me) nowadays have been so into techies and up-to-date gadgets. So how does these affect us and our future?

Let me show you what most young Filipinos take with them nowadays.

1. Of course, we can't live without gold as much as rabbits do with their partners.

2. Cellphones have been the Filipinos' number one addiction since the comic magazines. They have become a necessity to the country (and to the world) that the Philippines might be considered the Texting Capital of the World.

3. Condoms are absolute evidences why "conservative" as now a history. Though the Church has been battling out condom ads everywhere, youngsters have learned to use these things as fast as they learned how to use the internet. It could help with the 91 Million and rising population, you know.

4. Well, Filipinos really are fond of singing that even jeepneys are equipped with high end sound systems.

5. Everywhere you go, you can always find an internet cafe in the Philippines nowadays. They've been addicted to it. No wonder we've dominated the Miss Photogenic Award in Miss Universe.

Do you have one of those? If yes, then maybe you do belong to the new generation. If not, better be satisfied with what you have.


What About Timor?

For several years, we've been considering Southeast Asia (just as ASEAN says so) as the Asia's Perfect 10.

But then again, things have gone different now. We have always defined this Perfect Ten as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Laos and Viet Nam. But we have forgotten that we have recently welcome our youngest brother, Timor Leste.

This is indeed regretful that even the SEA Games logo still depicts 10 rings.

Well I suggest, as to welcome Timor Leste on this blog, that we should change the blog's name as Asia's Perfect 11. *wink*

What d'you think guys?


The Most Beautiful Women Comes To Viet Nam!

Every year, the world celebrates femininity and this time, they take it to Viet Nam!

The 2008 Miss Universe Pageant has taken its wings to Southeast Asia's hidden charm in the coastal city of Nha trang.

Founded in 1952 by Pacific Mills, the prestigious pageant has stretched to almost all 6 continents of the world and produced countless most beautiful women of their times.

To date, only the Philippines and Thailand has yet produced Miss Universe title holders and, together with its 4 neighbors, are trying for another crown this year.

The coronation night is scheduled to take place in Juy 14 at the Crown Convention Center with 80 delegates from all over the globe.

Southeast Asia's delegates are as follows:

Indonesia: Putri Raemawasti
Malaysia: Levy Li Su Lin
Philippines: Jennifer Barrientos
Singapore: Shenise Wong
Thailand: Gavintra Photijak
Viet Nam: Nguyen Thuy Lam

Miss Indonesia

Miss Malaysia

Miss Philippines

Miss Singapore

We were not able to gather photos of Miss Thailand and Miss Vietnam.

Goodluck to the candidates!


8th ASEAN Science and Technology Week

The 8th ASEAN Science and Technology Week (ASTW) is currently on-going here in Manila, Philippines - from July 1 to July 11.

The Philippines through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is hosting the 8th ASEAN Science and Technology Week (ASTW) celebration on July 1-11, 2008 in Manila. This event also coincides with the 50th anniversary of DOST and the country’s annual celebration of National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) with the theme “Making Science Work for You.”

The ASEAN S&T Week is one of the major and continuing undertakings in ASEAN S&T cooperation. It aims to promote science and technology (S&T) development in the region by creating greater awareness of S&T, developing an S&T culture, as well as providing a medium for participation and collaboration in regional S&T programs. The ASTW is held every three years and hosting is rotated among ASEAN member countries.

You can know more about the event and the schedule by visiting the official website at See you all there!

Kampot's Num Bonh-Chok (Khmer Noodle from Kampot)


Kampot’s Num Bonh-Chok

Num Bonh-Chok​​ has been regarded as one of the Cambodian national foods. Even thought the country bears no obvious evidence such as records about the origin of Num Bonh-Chok, but this thick noodle is only to be found in Cambodia. If you never heard of Num Bonh-Chok, just think of a “thick noodle” as mentioned earlier. You can refer it as “Khmer noodle.”

Standard Num Bonh-Chok’s dish is a mixture of the “thick noodle” and Khmer green soup. However, this text introduces you a unique cuisine from the province of Kampot.

But first, let me review some of the Kampotprovince details. Kampot locates at the most south-eastern part of Cambodia, bordered to Vietnam. The best sites to visit in Kampot includes: Kep City and beach, Bokor national park and mountain (and potential resort), Tek Chhu waterfall, and the nature there. The distance between Kampot and Phnom Penh is 150Km. You can travel there by car (takes 3 to 4 hours) or by irregular airplane service.

Back to the topic, Num Bonh-Chok from Kampot province is different from Num Bonh-Chok from other parts of Cambodia. Kampot inhabitants use distinctive ingredients to the thick noodle. Those are: tiny saltwater shrimp, bean sprout, coconut cream, peanut and fish sauce. To make Kampot’s Num Banh-Chok is very easy. First have the thick noodle in the dish and then add up all the ingredients listed with a reasonable amount: slight amount of peanut, three spoons of coconut cream, three spoons of fish sauce, one spoon of tiny saltwater shrimps and two spoons of bean sprout. In the end you shall have one dish of Kampot’s Num Bonh-Chok like in the picture. That should make a fine Kampot’s Num Bonh-Chok. Have a nice meal.