Mangaun Ta

Seafood Pasta.

Mangagda na ko ron. Kay naay masuko ug dili agdahun. Haha. Basta ajaw lang ka tando. Haha.


I'm rich, bitch

I'm not sure about this. I'm rich, apparently. So says The Global Rich List.

One thing I'm sure though, is that there are way more people way more worse off than I am. That doesn't make me grateful. It makes me sad. Sad that I couldn't help. I'm not helping. Because I know I'd rather do that.


Creation - Official Trailer [HD]

I'd like to see this. I'm a Darwinian. His works are some of my favorite subjects back in school. Still is. Evolution rocks.


To a year more of crap!

This is day 365 of marooning myself in a desert-island, a self-exile of sorts, and not with any one of my top-five-all-time-desert-island favorites - allow me to be offensive. Imma spatter my gut-shit outwardly, this could be bloody.

A year has gone. One more to go. I'm still here because I have to. Hello no, I don't have to be here. But it just might be. Or I die. But I'm dying here anyway, little by little, in tiny, tiny increments.

What the fuck was I thinking? What the fuck was I thinking?

I'm here because of the job, and that need to get away, but for the work mostly, but what the fuck, I'm getting nothing, gaining nothing. Let's not even talk about the dough. No sense of gratification, fulfillment and what-not. Not even some sort of upgraded knowledge. Nada. Worse, it's probably dumbing me down, too, Mother Earth forbid.

This is exactly why I don't say much about the work, because everything's rubbish. And I just get all upset. And just spew vile all over the place. You don't need this. People don't need this. Fuck.

And I get stuck with the lamest gaggle of whatnots, too. Damn it, it would've made a huuge difference otherwise. Like whooot? Just freakin shoot me. Or I'll shoot me myself. Puhlease.

Please don't ask me how I'm doing. I'm not doing anything. No news from me, means there really is no news from me. Yes, for a freakin whole year. Merde.

A year ago today, I said goodbye to life. I didn't die. I'm in a brain-only cryonic suspension. Only they put me in the oven, not the freezer.

People like me are soo full of crap, soo darn hopeless. Seriously. We languish in misery. I know I do. And that's wretched. Damn.


Que Horror! Que Horror!

When everybody's actually willing to wear where-i'm-from-everybody's-a-hero shirts - this shit happens. Damn warlords & im-fuckin-punity http://tinyurl.com/ye3t823

P.S. The Filipino people better get their acts together. We let this happen in a way. We just let things happen, that's why. GMA's practically useless. May 2010 people. We've got things to undo. Redo.



A life where you are not allowed grieve is fucking perdition.

'La, I'll see you soon. I will.


Copy Editing Kicks Ass

Disgruntled Employee of the Day: An anonymous Toronto Star editor upset over Star publisher John Cruickshank’s decision to outsource union editing jobs to freelancers expresses her displeasure the best way he/she knows how: By marking up the internal memo notifying employees of said decision.

[via thedailywhat] [via.]


Kailangan ng laban ang mga bagong bayani

Risa is My Senator #1.

But I must say this is what it is: early campaigning. A detergent TVCommercial would be tacky, yes, but you know not there-there... Oh well...

Gratis+amore usually gives off something more artsy-fartsy, just sayin.

Let's get Risa out there. But IMO with extra extra care (and flair)


Bored to Death

These days, it's chocolates. And green apples. And Fosters. The other week, it was all about Jack & Jill corn chips and LIP. There came  days of cardio, cardio, cardio. And yogurt, yogurt, yogurt. And Mirinda Lemon and B movies. Chicken franks. Arabic flat bread. Lucky Me pansit canton chilimansi. And then some.

It's getting tedious. It's gotta stop. Butwhatelseisthere?


(BARONG TAGALOG) I didn't know this - now I know!

And a great deal of the Filipino’s response, I guess, owes as well to his creativity. My favorite example there is the barong Tagalog. That originated in the Americans forcing the indios at the beginning of their occupation to wear transparent shirts so they could not hide their bolos underneath them. Eventually, by dint of refashioning and embroidery, the indios turned the thing into their national costume. The badge of national shame became the badge of national honor. That’s a pretty brilliant way to respond to adversity.
- ripped from "Filipino Resilience" There's the Rub by Conrado de Quiros


Here I go again.

Really, I think scientiests should seriously finally look for cures to this menacing affliction that is stupidity. It's just too annoying, too irritating, too fucking much. Fuck.

Somebody, shoot me.


Imagine no possessions.

These YouTube stars are doing what they can to help. Me, I don't know. I don't know what to do. How to help. All I know is I want to be there.


Gandhi Day

Best known for pioneering satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence—which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Mahatma Gandhi. Today is the 140th anniversary of his birth.


A Sad, Sad Situation

There's a certain persistent nagging part in me that just wants to let go. Jump. Fly. Scream. Live. Die.

I have come to conclude that right now, right this very instant, I'm living a purpose-less existence. My existence doesn't matter. At all. I mean if I die right now, and I mean that in an un-emo-ey way, like matter-of-factly, if I get run over by a cab or something less tragic, my non-existence won't, in any way, disrupt anything. My presence does not link to anything, anyone, other than my very own self. Not even a weak link to anything weaker.

Not that it hugely did before, but at least there was something there, then. Well, at least I thought I did. You know, that somehow I mattered. That I made a difference. That I was doing something that made a difference. I lived and not merely existed.

But now. Nada. It's just so sad. And I bet I'm not the only one, too. I mean, majority are worse off than me, that I'm sure. But that's them. And there's me. Damn.

Someone send me to Darfur. Now.


Bol-anon Food Nostalgia

Got me into doing halang-halang, the one dish one could mention when asked about Bol-anon cuisine (if at all, that existed). I haven't cooked halang-halang ever and so why not? And without a recipe, too.

It turned out looking good, actually. Prolly, too hot (it gave me a freakin' headache) but it was all good. I think.

P.S. So, why the food posts? Because it's not EMO.


"Be young or die. That was my plan."

I judge little-known (at least, known little by me, for who knows they're like huuuge somewhere, some time) books by their first lines.Well,  that's my way of convincing myself to buy it (you know, when Oprah isn't there. hah! I kid, i kid.), especially if I didn't have the money to buy, or had prior budgetary allocations for said amount, like say, a month's worth of Jasmine rice. Well, it happened that I was totally hankering for anything intellectually-stimulating other than White Dragons and Where's Fluffy and Strawberry Fields, and mostly after intoxicating weeeeks and weeeeks of cheap tweets and Wes Anderson flicks.

Okay, so, whatever. I just had to buy a book. And there's something witty and pretentious about using '20 Fragments of A Ravenous Youth" as a title, and from a actual mainland-er Chinese, too.

It turned out quite a good read. I didn't expect much (for sure, The Catcher in the Rye, this is not) and it didn't disappoint either. There were some cool moments, there, too, some I've listed below. I'm definitely going to re-visit China. Someday. Some day.
"Be young or die. That was my plan."

"I felt safer once I got there. Humans need cages around their bodies - wombs, houses, coffins."

"From inside the building came the sound of police dogs barking. I turned my back on that place of Morality and Power and Guidance."

"Huizi once told me that, when a young person started drinking, it was a sign that they were getting old. It suddenly felt very true."

"People always say it's harder to heal a wounded heart than a wounded body. Bullshit. It's exactly the opposite - a wounded body takes much longer to heal. A wounded heart is nothing but ashes of memories. But the body is everything. The body is blood and veins and cells and nerves. A wounded body is when, after leaving a man you've lived with for three years, you curl up on your side of the bed as if there's still somebody beside you. That is a wounded body: a body that feels connected to someone who is no longer there."


Tea Junkie

I haven't entirely abandoned coffee, merely adding tea to my beverage roll. I mean the only sort of tea that I've been known of drinking (as does most Filipinos) is 'iced tea', basically juice in a different flavor. So this is sort of a revelation to me, that I could actually drink tea, you know, without wincing. It's actually quite good. I mean some varieties are to my liking, light and smooth. And I like it more East Asian style, clear and pure.


Let's Never Forget

Today we remember the disappeared. The abducted. Disappearances. Enforced. Either by the State or other equally vicious establishments.

I'm one in the call for justice of the families and friends of the the disappeared. I'm one in the call for the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.


I did a most drastic thing

To think that I began thinking about pulling the Friendster plug like 4 years back. Whoot. About time.

P.S. I twitted this too. And ooh, guess what. Got a reply from Friendster twitter. Hah!

Time is Running Out! Pass the RH Bill!


Mau Na'y Pirata

Pirate Bay. Down a while earlier but now back and bitchier! Haha!


Where's the *ding*?

Can't I not buzz it myself?

I got that feeling. Yep.

Everything's gonna be alright. Everything's gonna be alright. Everything's gonna be alright.

Everything better be.


Friday Fair: BB Adeel's Month 1

P.S. (On outdoor shots. Don't be deceived with the pearly white smiles, it was smmmoldering hot. Absurdly so. And what the hell where we doing out anyway? =P )


Mix Tapes Mix

Apparently, uso pa ang tape diri.

I saw a young lad peddle some Arabic (i presume) tapes in one stoplight. My boss's son's PSP has a tape adaptor. (I actually didn't know such thing existed. Well, now I know!) A local driver is playing late 90s tunes on his car stereo. Cool. Cooler still, from a casette tape. Which from the looks of it, may have actually come from that actual time too, late 90s. So tapes are quite long lasting. I should know, I still have my mix tapes stored in a shoe box somewhere at home, last time I tried them (last year), they still worked. (At least some did.)

Speaking of mix tapes, there's 2 movies I recently watched that hark back to that era. Adventureland (an 80s period film, so actual mix tapes are passed around) and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (set today, so it's mix cd's). I might totally meander too far off with these films, so I'd better leave them for another post. I have to say though: I'm totally immersed in the Nick and Norah's soundtrack. So, there.


Shrimpin' Business

Week-old rice with buttered shrimp.

Now all I need is the appetite.


Speaking of screaming your lungs out...

I want to be able to do this.

Again. (?) I'm not sure if I did. Already. I think I might have. Yeah. I should've.

Anyway, this scene in Garden State is like amongst my fave. When I saw that, I was like, "Yeah, I want to do that." Right now. I remember blogging about this in one of my earlier blogs (emo-ish, and back when emo was actually undergound not this eww pophenomenon. The feel of this film for me I recall was like wading in icy cold marsh water, through a thick blanket of fog. I dunno where that image came from. But something like that, the sensation was. Burning+freezing cold. A bitter yearning. This song streaming in in my head: "if i could be like that, i'd give anything. just to live one day. in those shoes."

Oookay. I so need to watch this film again. And right now.


Tonight's Philippic

Don't you wish you could just snap one day and actually say what you mean. Like to that person next to you, talking shit, talking you to take this crap and you just smile and let him because you're polite, you've been brought up that way, and you snap, fuck that. Fuck this shitty business of being good and feeling shit about it. You see him eye to eye for once and sternly, without batting an eyelash, say: shut the fuck up. I'm not taking any of all your shit anymore. You think you're cool? Newsflash you ain't. And you ain't fuckin gonna be. Hell no. Hell never. So please just get your fat ass off of my face. I don't like you. I don't like people like you. With all your misspelled words, grammatical errors and phoney American accents. Fuck. And that music you're playing? Not crap. But you're making it as shitty as yourself. How dare you? How dare you destroy those masterful anthems of rock, you bastard. Just shut the fuck up. Don't ever ever effin' talk to me ever ever again. Disappear. Be gone. Damn.

Haha. Of course, I couldn't do that. I mean not as harshly. And so the fury keeps building and building up. An implosion coming up. Damn.

P.S. Yes. I'm crazy.



I've been writing

It's like an idea. I had to put on paper. I wish had more time. More peace. To write. As it is, I'm too stressed out. Too jumpy. The nerves creeping even in my sleep. I hope I could see the end to this one.


You Walk Away Cold and Empty

And quite annoyed and furious with the filmmakers for this crap. I was expecting to join in a cacophony of applause at the end of the film, but everyone just sort of fled from the cinema fast and without even staying a bit to savor the lingering after taste of a film well done, you know, just staring blankly at the raining credits. Oh, I really, really wanted to like this film, convince myself to believe in the good reviews, the nice aspects about it, the cinematography, the what-not, yet....

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, despite raving reviews, truly and utterly disappoints. Forget about separating it from the book crap, it shouldn't be. We understand the limitations of film, more so than its capabilities, but they butchered the book really. Whereas the book was very engrossing, the movie certainly dragged on as long as it should be on unimportant side bits and completely dropped the very essential elements that held the story together. I mean, that's okay for those who read the book, we know the story, and what's behind the story, but still so much more was expected. Ain't that what's movie-going is for? I agree with someone who said that this installment deserves a do-over. Seriously. And they better better not mess-up Deathly Hallows, to think it's gonna be the same director and all. What a weekend-wrecker.

One more sad thing: the sight of toddlers being brought along in the cinema. WTF were the parents thinking? And it was a 10pm showing, too. Geez. Bahrain is weird.


Just Had To

Told myself to refrain from buying books here in Bahrain because once I start doing so, it'll be a buying frenzy thereon. I could live with that actually. The thing is I don't want to have a container-van-full of books once I get out off of this beige patch of land. But then again life is too short to deprive myself from real books. I've been reading alot actually but via cost-free pdf's. Also I like to make notes while reading, underline great quotes and cool phrases, and say 'tsk!' and 'wtf' to some. The thing is, books are quite steep here, so there, that's stopping me there from buying (unlike China which has like ridiculously cheap books) being the spendthrift (really) that I am. For now, I'd just like to enjoy this read (and hopefully not be trapped in the misery that this book might contain.)


A Life Minimal - MySpace Out

Yep. I finally deleted my MySpace account. It's pretty much unused. And I seldom browse MySpace also, contented with YouTube and Facebook. I'm thinking of Friendster next but I got friends there that I'd like to reconnect with from time to time. Multiply is pretty much redundant for me now, too. But we'll see. For now, I'm just glad I finally had my MySpace deactivated. (Reminder to self: change email sig and other sites to remove MySpace link.)


Pop-the-Cherry Birthday Party

So everyone was asked to have body art to be admitted to the party. Not forcibly. But one does not disappoint the birthday girl. Not on her birthday. And not on her party. While imaginations ran wild and amok on the tattoos everyone would be flashing during the party, we were blinded by Cherry's ginormous marker tattoo: a centimeter sized smiley face on her left hand. Hah! Happy birthday, indeed! But that was all forgiven the moment the feast of the most delish food was spread on the buffet counter. And the open bar Red Horse Beer. (There's Red Horse Beer to be had in Bahrain? Apparently.) Karaoke as usual. I mean, yes, karaoke! And of course the shimmering pool that beckoned us all. That's the way to celebrate one's birthday in a faraway land with strangers that are friends and friends that are strangers and then some, stranger strangers.

(P.S. Those locals are rather pesky. Can we not just make that a one-nighter? Kalas. Finito. Remind me to revert to my aloof self when around people like them. Geez.)


Rant of the Month


And shutting it with certain subjects. (Self-censure, damn straight.)

Because I still want to live. Somehow.


A Diana to Spice Up the Holga - Dalek Romance

Acquiring a new Lomo camera was entirely unplanned. It just happened. Whaaa?

And there it is Diana F+ and the whole nine yards (De Luxe). Feels like assembling ammos when I tinker with them (not that I've assembled ammos before) . I wish there was a Mr. Pink available though or even that Tokyo Snow one. But I'm loving the Diana accessories. I could use some in my Holga, too. And the flash comes in handy for lo-fi colorsplash effects with my cheapo digital camera.


Fight Fire with Fire

Apple Cider Vinegar as Vodka Substitute. It could work. When you just need the nasty kick and burning inside of you. One capful is all it takes. Yep, I'm that pathetic.


Stop Gloria Forever Moves! Kick ConAss!

From the Akbayan Executive Committee
June 3, 2009

There are many uncertainties about the legal meaning of the passage of House Resolution 1109. What is crystal clear is that Gloria has not given up on remaining in power after 2010. Despite its patent illegality, despite divisions in the ranks of the GMA forces in the House, despite the withdrawal of HR1109’s main sponsor, Cong. Villafuerte, GMA’s people forced HR1109’s passage.

This move should be opposed in the strongest possible terms, using all means available for people to express their opposition – in the courts, in the Congress, most importantly in the streets. A broad coalition of civil society groups, political parties, religious groups, youth formations have already begun. Opposition has to be organized outside Manila . We encourage party units to take the lead in mobilizing opposition in the provinces.

What is HR1109?

HR1109 calls on Congress to convene as a Constituent Assembly. It specifically says that the House, without the Senate, can propose amendments to the constitution. It says that if the House can secure three fourths of all the members of the House and the Senate, 225 votes in all, it will fulfill the requirements under Article XVII of the Constitution.

By itself, HR1109 will have little effect except to declare to the Senate and to the public that the House is interested in convening a ConAss for the purpose of proposing amendments/revisions to the Constitution. It does not propose any specific amendments/revisions yet.

There are disagreements on the legal implications of HR1109. Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia, an HR1109 proponent, characterizes it as a mere “call to convene”, and an invitation to the Senate to join the House in convening a ConAss. If the Senate does not “accept the invitation” – does not pass a resolution convening a ConAss – there is no legal basis for a ConAss.

But the immediate purpose of the hurried passage of HR1109 is only to create a semblance of a justiciable issue that may be raised before the Supreme Court. Gloria and her operators believe that they have enough people in the Court who can secure a decision accepting the voting formula contained in HR1109.

It is clear that GMA has not managed to secure the 225 votes needed to pull off the charade of fulfilling the Constitutional requirement of a three fourth’s vote of the members of both the House and the Senate. Their hope is that if the Supreme Court says ConAss without the Senate does not violate the Constitution, they will be able to secure the remaining votes.

Legal Obstacles

Lawyers in the opposition say that the passage of HR1109, by itself, does not create a “justiciable issue”. The expression of an intention to convene a ConAss without the Senate is not illegal. If the Senate rejects it, or chooses not to address it at all, then the entire move to convene a ConAss will remain in limbo.

There are indications that to force the issue, GMA’s people will go ahead and convene a ConAss, elect officers, and propose amendments. But without the 225 votes, the process will not even fulfill the requirements of HR1109 itself which calls for a three fourths vote. They won’t even have an argument to make to the Supreme Court.

Political Means

Under conditions of legality, if the Supreme Court does what it is supposed to do, it should be easy to stop HR1109. Because Gloria has a long record of illegal moves, in the end, Gloria’s chacha can only be stopped politically.

§ We should tell Gloria’s people in the House that we will mobilize against them in the 2010 elections,

§ We should let Supreme Court justices know that they cannot violate the Constitution with impunity,

§ We should express our anger in our schools, in the halls of Congress, most importantly in the streets (maski na umuulan.


MUST-SEE: Paper Heart

This should be a fun movie to watch. This Charlyne Yi is phenomenal. I mean wrote and produced this, too. She like reminds me of someone, a friend, a classmate, somewhere, so familiar. Michael Cera is of course as cuddly cute. Hah, wonder if he could ever get out playing such cool-un-cool characters.


At First Sight

Blindness is precious. People should be raving about this movie. I mean, the smart artistic ones at least, art film buffs. Those who loved Cidade de Deus. And Fernando Mereilles. And Saramago, the NObel Laureate writer of the book the film is based from.
The making shouldn’t be missed either. It just completes the whole creative circle. I mean, I cried. Understanding the artistry of it all. The book. The screenplay. The acting. The cinematography. The music. The direction. The film. The whole creative process. Like I understand that. I’ve felt that. I feel that.
You’ll know what I mean once you see it, them, the film and the making of the film.
Geez, I’m just too freaking overwhelmed to say anything more.


The Ghost of Tom Joad

Listening to Rage Against The Machine, I’m missing live super loud rock concerts. Not that I’ve been to many. But with the few that I’ve been to during my freshman days in U of P and then some more while I was in U of B , it was riot. I especially miss the chaos. The sweet smell of ganja all over. The mad camaraderie amongst everyone there. All that beer and fooling around after. That juvenile freedom.



I’m thinking. Story ideas, mostly. I got one. Something depressing. Revolves around an exit plan. Something that I’m feeling strongly right about now and most every day these days. This may perhaps be my very gracious departure I am concocting on. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. Okay so there’s another one. Something that I’ve already made a draft of, actually. In my cellphone. The concept is like with two people’s correspondence thru SMS. Some childish stuff, but some deep shit also hanging around the edges. Yeah, and one more would play on inter-cultural, inter-racial, inter-religious affairs/relationships, the conflict - zooming in on something particular, specific, something. Which I’ve yet to come up with. So I’m thinking I shouldn’t. I should just write. Maybe later.

Just Read: Forrest Gump Screenplay

A fine watch. An even finer read.


We get it Mr. ChipTsao, but we ain't laughin'

To Mr. Tsao. Because it's from you. Had it been from a fellow Pinoy, different story. Nay, there'd be no story at all.

The War at Home

March 27th, 2009
Chip Tsao

The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. We can live with that—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That’s no big problem—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on—even the Filipinos? Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as $3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell every one of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout “China, Madam/Sir” loudly whenever they hear the word “Spratly.” They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, “Long live Chairman Mao!” at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that’s going a bit too far, at least for the time being.


Chip Tsao is a best-selling author and columnist. A former reporter for the BBC, his columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others. Now, now Mr. Tsao I hope you realize that you may have started a war of “attrition” which you may end up losing. First off, while Louisa moonlights as your international politics consultant (unpaid of course) you have to make sure that the food she serves you does not taste a little strange.


It happens

"Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time."
-Catherine Zandonella


Purple Haze

I've been putting off writing some deep shit. I'm afraid I'd lose it if I did. Break down. Snap.

There's a constant pounding in my chest, inhabited by a drumline, incessant, unrelenting, seething along with the burning staccato of this throbbing fistful of flesh, my heart, scathed.

See, I should stop.


The Bahraini Resistance

Scenes like these are commonplace in some parts in the Bahrain burbs and even, at times, in the heart of Manama. Happening almost everyday, and more notably in certain parts, these so-called riots have become sort of a daily occurrence, a natural day-to-day disturbance of the otherwise dreary existence of this sandy gulf island.

I hear the most stupid remarks, supposals of people around me, mostly from big-mouthed Pinoy ignoramuses, brushing these issues as such and such, blah-blah-blah, blaming the rioters basically - that I didn't buy a bit. I mean there must be serious reasons for all these anti-establishment, anti-government actions and for them to just downplay it, belittle it even, that's BS.

And so I set out to learn what these protests are for. And there's serious stuff that I found. I knew that Bahrain has a Shia majority. But the thing is, it's rulers are Sunni, a powerful family whose government supposedly has instituted a systematic discrimination to Shia citizens especially in civil service. A case of class struggle. But then there are other issues. And there's more to learn. Makes for a better understanding for this kingdom-country and its people.

This is a clip from a Reuters news article Bahrain: Socio-Political Issues, dated 14th Oct 2008:

If left unresolved, discriminatory practices in Bahrain could threaten local harmony, with repercussions felt throughout the region and beyond. The U.S., which has a naval base in Bahrain, cannot afford overlooking challenges facing an allied nation.

On Sunday, October 19th, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa inaugurates the third session of 2006-2010 parliament. However, the country faces numerous challenges and opportunities that require contributions from members of parliament, local civil societies and international establishments supporting democracy and justice.

The biggest challenge relates to systematic discriminatory practices against the majority Shia population. As of mid-October 2008, Shia merely assumed 10 percent of cabinet-level ministers. According to a study conducted by Al Wefaq (the largest opposition group in terms of members and parliamentary representation), Shia control 13 percent of decision-making positions in governmental departments. Worse, the authorities largely deny Shia entry at security establishments, in turn regarded as key sources of employment by virtue of receiving about 30 percent of budgetary recurrent expenditures.

Denial of jobs at security apparatuses is a primary reason behind unemployment amongst Shia. True unemployment rate is not an exact science in Bahrain, but believed to be running anywhere between 4 to 8 percent. The utmost majority of unemployed happen to be Shia, reflecting either a careless or a carefully planned governmental policy.

Reforming election districts is another priority. Now, election districts do not reflect population density, echoing a determined governmental policy to influence parliamentary voting. For instance, the southern governorate boosted about 6 per cent of total electorate but granted 15 per cent of parliamentary seats. Unfair representation is deterring the legislative branch from fulfilling its duties towards the citizens.

Yet, Bahrain encounters serious economic challenges that require contributions from all concerned parties. The petroleum sector continues to play a dominant role in the economy despite all talks of economic diversification. The sector contributed 80 percent of real treasury income in 2007. Concurrently, Bahrain is facing growing rivalry from regional economies, with Dubai, Doha and Riyadh and more recently Kuwait vying to become regional hub for financial services.