Saturday, December 27, 2014

Steve Farzam, CEO of Shore Hotel: Santa Monica, California

Steve Farzam
Photo credit:

The California Attorney General's E-Crime Unit in cooperation with the United States Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol & Firearms, the FBI, State Vehicles Agency of California, arrested Steve Farzam, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Santa Monica's Shore Hotel on June 27, 2014 on various charges of felony, misdemeanor, theft and grand larceny. He posted bail the same night. Steve Farzam was charged on 77 counts of mostly felonies: 18 counts of identity theft, 19 counts of impersonating police officers, and the manufacture and attempt to sell assault rifles.

Among the alleged crimes constitute:

Misdemeanor, involving identity theft and assault of several people;

Falsified license plates, official seals of the State of California, and gun permit at the day of his arrest;

Illegal possession of police properties: police official colored bars, radio, and siren, that were apparently taken from the County Sheriff of Los Angeles.

As regards charges of identity theft, Steve Farzam allegedly impersonated a police officer and committed the following crimes:

Arresting, detaining and made threats of arresting and detaining a person;

Intimidating another;

Made unlawful searches of people and their personal properties, and;

Theft and grand larceny.

According to the company website, its CEO was a police officer,  having graduated from the Academy for Police Officers at Santa Barbara at age 19. His activities include flying aircrafts and doing restoration of his 51' fire truck, and volunteering as tactical officer of a charitable organization that deals with "at risk" youth.

Shore Hotel, Santa Monica
Photo credit:

Shore Hotel is ideally located in the central area of the city, a mere six minute walk from Santa Monica Pier. It boasts of eco-friendly rooms, state-of-the-art gym that is open for 24 hours, and a business center. Each room has its own balcony and room massage service, among other amenities. It opened its doors to the public in 2011 and room rates are from $279 upwards per night. The Pacific Amusement Park is a mere six minute walk away from the hotel.


Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scum of the Earth

What do you consider as scum of the earth?

The word represents the most offensive and demeaning that any person can be called. What it means, is you are judged as one of the lowest life form that walks this earth. It is an insult which says---you amount to nothing.

What we normally do with scum, is throw them out like garbage. I threw out a pile of twigs, leaves, and various bric-a-brac this morning. I have to pay a little extra for the garbage truck doesn't usually accept this stuff. Only household garbage, they say.

50 sacks were thrown

After doing away with them, I went out on an errand and rode a jeepney. While seated cozily, I noticed this young boy who sat on the stairs sniffing a bottle of rugby. I stared at him--- helpless, and unable to do anything.

How can somebody so young, act so brazenly, as if "getting high" in public is normal? He sat there, sniffing, and holding on to the rails for about half a kilometer. The passengers sat there stupefied, and unable to do anything. They looked at him with disdain as if, he was a total scum of the earth.

Garbage collection  every Saturday of the week 

I remember the garbage that I threw away a couple of hours before, and I would have liked to do the same thing for this young boy. But, I can't. So, I just stared there---helpless,   until he took off in an alley, where he can probably get another fill.

What a pity! A sheer waste of humanity for somebody so young.


Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Time: On My Way to Buy Parol Blinkers

It is Christmas time, and everybody is out and about to do some last minute shopping.

While on the way to Almanza Hardware to buy electrical wires, plugs and blinkers for our parol, I saw a man grabbed the bag of one pedestrian along the highway.

It was a group of three to four kids who were on the way to Southmall. They attracted a lot of attention from passers-by as they were in skimpy shorts, tight pants, and see-through blouses.

It was just a matter of seconds when I first saw them, that a man grabbed the bag of one of the kids. Nobody was able to do anything as the man ran across the street and jumped on a waiting motorcycle.

It was fast and I was not even able to take pictures of the incident. That kid might have only around P100 on her bag as she was crying that it was what was left of her allowance for the week.

Parols along St. Joseph in Las Pinas


Please do not wear clothes that calls attention to yourself while gallivanting around. Moving unnaturally like, screaming, shouting, and laughing while on the streets would not get you the kind of attention that you want. You would only attract the criminal elements that abound during the Christmas season.

Also, never wear high heels while commuting. It looks funny when you walk along the uneven pavements/and or streets of Las Pinas. Doing so would most likely make you an easy target of snatchers and hooligans.

Note: Pictures of Las Pinas lanterns along the highway of St. Joseph. I was there this afternoon to buy blinkers for our parol. The selection of parols are awesome!

Price ranges from a few hundreds to several thousands of pesos


Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Collegiate Education and Opportunities: Social Inequity

photo credit:

I bumped into a "kakanin" vendor outside of the subdivision a few days ago. She inquired about collegiate opportunities for her child. I say to her that there are several choices ---DFCAMCLP, PLMun, UP, and TESDA.

She told me that her kid doesn't stand a chance in UP. She frowned on TESDA and wanted proper collegiate education for her child. She looks forward though, of trying their luck on either DFCAMCLP or PLMun.

Local public colleges are a boon to impoverished families who can ill-afford a college education. Students from these schools are considered intellectually superior; hence, are given access to free college education by either the local or national government.

I know that the parents of these gifted kids try hard to eke out a living by doing menial jobs like the
vendor above. They work rain and shine just to be able to send their children to school. Much sacrifice is given by parents just to give their children opportunities to have a better life.

Nonetheless, some parents may be more financially able than the others. But kids from these families should show sensitivity to the plight of their less fortunate schoolmates.Meaning, that ostentatious display of 'high living' should be avoided at all times --- like expensive gadgets and high-end lifestyle.

photo credit:

When I was still in the academe, I know of several students who did not have the luxury of having breakfast before attending school.Some walked from one to two kilometers to and fro, since they can't afford a jeepney fare. Many can hardly afford to fund school projects and activities.

Such is the plight of these students whose only dream is to finish a college education. Now, comes the social network like FB, where we get to see some students posting about their meals in fast food centers, almost on a daily basis, as if money is not a problem to them. 

I also see some of them in malls watching movies or attending expensive shows of local and foreign artists at prices that I can even ill-afford.This would be alright if you're out of school and are already working. But it is so out of place if you're still in college and supported by your parents.

Had you been well-off in the first place, you would not have attended public school.I should know, since my only kid attends a public university. There is no ostentatious display on her part since she is aware that her schooling comes from the largesse of the national government.

So please, have an even keel --- don't show off. It doesn't make you a bigger person than what you really are. You only succeed in making a mockery of yourself by looking so pathetic.

A dreary outlook on a dreary day this 9th of December 2014.

My one cent...


Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 8, 2014

The View From My Side of the Earth: December 8, 2014

 As Typhoon Ruby batters the country,

My side of the earth looks dire and gloomy,

 The view from my window

Only my plants look so happy and carefree,

As I watched the pattering of rains with my cup of coffee.

Vegetable patch in my backyard

Though the typhoon is wreaking havoc along its path,

I pray to the heavens and the angels above,

Welcome plant bought in Alabang Market

Families with little children now suffer from God's wrath,

Oh Dear Lord, have mercy! Heed our calls for the rains to stop.

Veggies needing trellis

Pechay reaching cooking stage

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cellway-Southmall, Las Pinas City, Metro Manila

Cellway at Southmall, Las Pinas

Cellway is a mobile and cellular company that you can find on the 3rd floor of Southmall. They have a vast array of techie stuff on display and amiable salespersons to help you with your tech needs.

My techie stuff is ok, but I have problems with my Sun Broadband stick. It just went dead on me, by stopping to install midway. I had it checked with the service repair center of the Sun, but they were unable to do something about it.

They told me, that I need to have my laptop checked, and they referred me to Cellway. So, there I was at the repair center, and patiently waited for my turn.There were three technicians, and one tinkered with my unit.

Well, it didn't get him anywhere, to the bemused of the other technician who was seated near him. When this other technician was finished with what he was doing, he took a look of my unit to see what's wrong.

I can say that he is a master of the trade, who knows his way around. In just 10 minutes flat, the Sun Broadband stick was happily purring into action!


I went back the following day and informed him that the stick didn't work when I reached home. I said  that I uninstalled it again, and was no longer able to reinstall it back.

He looked at me bemused, installed the broadband, and gave me instructions on how to do it right. I dare say, that this technician is a professional, friendly, and knows his stuff like the tip of his nose.

It is good to see highly skilled professionals like him who can help us, should the  need arises. His name?

Eugene Villaraza of Cellway-Southmall.

Go see him for all your techie needs. This is not a paid advertisement. I am just a satisfied customer.

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 1, 2014

Quickie Meals at Fast Food Joints in Metro Manila

Burger King outlet at Southmall, Las Pinas

Filipinos have a penchant for cheap and quickie meals. For P200 and below, one can get a variety of choices in the malls and in the hole-in-the- wall food outlets that are found all over Metro Manila.

I am no exception, as I try to savor the food in most of these outlets and in the iconic places like those found on Masagana Street in Quezon City. I do not get paid to do the reviews, I merely do it for the love of eating, and in finding out where I can get the best value that money can buy.

Where do we find these fast food joints?

Oh, they are everywhere. Most of them are in the fast food centers of malls like Southmall, Festival Mall, Metropolis, among many others.Some of those that I have tried follows:

Ilonggo Grill

Batchoy at Ilongo Grill

This stall can be found in most malls in Metro Manila. You can buy native cuisine ---from kare-kare to batchoy and more. It's a few pesos more expensive than other food stalls, but the food selections taste better.

Nacho King

Nachos with cheese and meat dips at Nacho King

Most mall goers try to get several snack food in one run, or those that can be eaten right away. An example would be nachos with choices of toppings--- from cheese, meat with chilis, or a combination of both. This is a snack food to have if you just like to munch something, and not be filled up while on the run.

Burger King

Whopper Burger at Burger King

Their signature product is the whopper burger, a bigger version of the  traditional burgers that we see around. The meat is about 1/4 lbs of grilled beef patties, with slices of onion, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and a generous serving of mayonnaise. It's big, filling, and great tasting!

Tropical Hut Hamburger

Hawaiian Glee at Tropical Hut

Macaroni Salad at Tropical Hut

Their burgers were pioneers that always come  with a big bun, a quarter pound of grounded beef, pickles, mayo, and tomato. They came out with several variations like Rancho Ranchero and Hawaiian Glee, my favorites. Another specialty is macaroni salad and clubhouse sandwich.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Spicy Gangnam Chicken at KFC

They are known to introduce food variations like spicy gangnam chicken, fully loaded meals, and bucket meals. Favorite add-ons would include potato salad/gravy and coleslaw.


Isn't it a wonder that Filipinos are now getting bigger? With the many choices of food that are made available at a click of a finger, who could forego having quickie meals in  easy to find fast food joints that are, delicious and not heavy on the pocket?

C'mon, let's grab something to eat!

Onli in da Pilipins: A Writer's Journal
Copyright © csmiravite™. All Rights Reserved