Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How these notorious gangsters die

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace." Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Never mind if some of their ilk are still very much alive today, enriching themselves astronomically, killing people left and right, and violating our laws with impunity. 
Their time will come, anyway. Crime doesn't pay.
History, in fact, is not kind to some of the most notorious gangsters based on the way they died:
--Joe Aiello (1928-1930), assassinated October 23, 1930. 
--Al Capone (1899-1947), syphilis and pneumonia. 
--Steve Ferrigno, assassinated November 5, 1930. 
--Antonio Lombardo, assassinated September 7, 1928 
--Salvatore Maranzano, assassinated September 11, 1931. 
--Giuseppe Masseria (Joe the Boss), assassinated April 10, 1931. 
--Bugs Moran (August 1891 – February 25, 1957), lung cancer. 
--Alfred Mineo, assassinated November 5, 1930. 
--Joseph Pinzolo assassinated September, 1930. 
--Gaetano Reina, assassinated February 28, 1930. 
--John Torrio (The Fox), heart attack April 16, 1957. 
--Frankie Yale, assassinated July 1, 1928. 

Why we die early

“Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.” Sai Baba

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- As we age we become conscious of the food that we eat primarily because of health reasons. 
According to a dietician, we are the food that we eat.
A young college student once asked why people in ancient times lived longer than people in modern times. 
My answer was a quick “probably because of the quality of food that they ate.”
Biblical figures lived up to 800 years. 
Today, at 60, many of us are already “bog bog sarado” from different ailments and complications; and are frequent visitors in the doctor’s clinics if not confined in the hospitals. 
By 70, some of us are wheelchair-bound. 
Those lucky to reach 80 stay in bed until the trip to the kingdom come beckons.  


Some foods give us diseases because they are contaminated by chemicals and preservatives. 
To be healthy, according to health experts, our body needs fuel-foods, fats and carbohydrates (sugars starches) to provide energy; proteins, such as meat, to build new tissues for growth or to replace those worn out; calcium, in milk, for strong bones and teeth; and various minerals, including salt, that help the body to maintain its chemical balance and to carry on its functions.
We learned that vitamins are not foods, but these “food-factors,” as they are called, are essential. 
They help the body to make use of the food we eat, doctors say.
Vitamins already present in food are usually enough for a normal person if his diet is otherwise well-balanced, they add.


Every day we are advised to eat some foods from each of these groups: 
(1) milk or milk products, including cheese—at least a pint of milk for an adult and more for a child; 
(2) citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), tomatoes, or raw cabbage or salad greens—at least one; 
(3) green or yellow vegetables, some raw, some cooked—at least one big serving; 
(4) other vegetables or fruits, including potatoes;
(5) bread and cereals; 
(6) meat, poultry or fish; 
(7) eggs—three or four a week at least; 
(8) butter or another vitamin-rich spread.
We will all die anyway, so it's better to make an exit with grace.

We reduce supplies of our natural wealth

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- It was Sir Francis Bacon who exhorted us to obey our nature if we wish to command it.
By obeying, it doesn’t mean we will not enjoy from its wealth.
By commanding, it doesn’t mean we will destroy it.
The laws of nature definitely are in consonance with our existence, thus there is no need to exploit and ravage nature for our whims and caprices.
There is no need to rape the environment for our own irrational selfishness and greed.
The following are some of the ways in which man has upset nature’s balance and reduced our supplies of natural wealth:
1. Destruction of vast forest areas. Enormous quantities of lumber were taken from our forests for buildings, furniture, fuel, and other useful purposes.
But because of the apparent abundance of forests, lumbering practices were very wasteful. Little heed was given to the replanting of trees to keep our forests producing for the future.
2. Destruction of wild life. When forests are cut away, the homes of countless animals are destroyed, and these animals die.
The balance of nature has been upset at a vital point, and entire species may vanish as a result.
Added to this is the effect of needless trapping and shooting of animals for sport.
Examples of species made extinct or nearly extinct by man most particularly in America are: American bison (buffalo), antelope, passenger pigeon.


3. Reckless use of farm lands. Nature’s orderly processes keep soils permanently fertile.
But when man’s sole interest is to extract the maximum crop from his farm each year, regardless of the consequences, the soil soon loses its essential minerals and cannot support plant life at all. The soil, moreover, loosened and laid bare by the planting and harvesting of a single crop, and the wind and the rain easily carry it away.
4. Overgrazing of pasture lands. Sheep- and cattle-raisers, through lack of planning and foresight, have pastured their animals on the same land year after year.
Here, too, the result has been to lay bare the soil, so that it falls victim to erosion.
5. Pollution of streams. The dumping of sewage and industrial wastes into streams and rivers makes these waters unhealthy for water life.
The result is the destruction of large numbers of fish, oysters, and other valuable organisms.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Character, Beauty, Ignorance)

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But it is better to be good than to be ugly. 

It is better to be ugly than to be ignorant. But to be ignorant is better than to have ugly character.


Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Respect, Kindness)

Treat everyone with respect and kindness. Period. No exceptions. 

Respect is only for those who deserve it, not for those who demand for it. Kindness has a bigger role. Even if nobody will respect us, we must be kind even to our worst enemies; because kindness is a virtue while respect is a judgment.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Kindness)

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

There is no substitute for kindness. Never mind if the world is full of hateful and malicious characters. Let's be kind to everyone; at least, our hearts are not heavily burdened.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Guard my heart and mind, Lord!

I pray to Almighty Father that His peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and mind.
God the Father continue to guide me when I write and do a research; when I deal with complex issues in society; when I use my pen to criticize and expose bellicose and uncouth characters in government and the underworld. 
I am aware, Lord, that I sometimes make people laugh; sometimes I make them cry; some are disappointed if not agitated by my dyed-in-the-wool convictions to reform the society and save it from evil through my write-ups.
I choose to think on good things because I love life and desire to see many good days. 
As a community journalist, I will keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking lies. I will turn from evil and do good; I will seek peace and pursue it. In my heart I have planned my course, and I look to You, Lord, to determine my steps. 
Lord, Your peace will act as umpire in my heart and will settle with finality all my decisions. You will keep me in perfect peace, Father, for my mind is stayed on You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Thank you, Father!

Father, I thank You that I have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of Your dear Son. 
I commit to live free from worry, in the name of Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death.
I humble myself under Your mighty hand, that in due time You may exalt me.
I cast the whole of my cares--all my anxities, all my worries, all my concerns, once and for all--on You. 
You care for me affectionately and care about me watchfully. 
You sustain me. 
You will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved--made to slip, fall or fail!
Thank you, Father, I am carefree. I walk in that peace which passes all understanding, in Jesus' name!

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Truth)

A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.

There are truths that can damage reputations and wreck relationships. If we reveal them with malicious intent and gung-ho excitement just to hurt others, we are not only adding insult to their injury, we also become merchants of disunity and destruction.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Heart)

The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.

Goodness, kindness and loving others should be our main mantra in life. If we don't possess this triumvirate that represents our primary virtues, life would be like an arid desert. In God's radar, the languages of our hearts are closely monitored like a life-support system and CCTV.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Silence)

Silence is argument carried out by other means.

If our adversaries refuse to parry our verbal tirades or won't engage us in a debate but are just standing in front of us and giving us a beautiful-eyes look, that's also a statement.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Secret)

Opening up to the wrong person is like putting ammo in his hands.

Asking the wrong person not to reveal our secrets is like telling a trigger-happy maniac to load the bullets and aim the gun at us but he shouldn't pull the trigger.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Woman)

The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is "What does a woman want?"

She wants absolute love and respect, and she needs them right now. Also, she wants him to "wait" her and postpone any coitus interruptus; and she needs his total understanding on this subject matter not anytime, but all the time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Give me a woman or give me death'

"As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot." 
John Lennon

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- When Diosdada Balajadia landed in the United States via Los Angeles, California sometime in 1990, she knew flying back again in the "land of milk and honey"--if ever she decided to return to the Philippines--would be next to impossible.
"So I decided to go TNT (tago ng tago)," she admitted while flashing a funny face, her mannerism.
Balajadia, 65, of Purok 1 Sisi, Magsungay, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, used a fake name in a valid passport when she obtained a tourist visa.
Her first application was denied in the US Embassy in Lahug, Cebu City.
"I was so desperate to go to the United States because of a very humiliating incident in our place where my name was dragged," Balajadia volunteered.
She did not give details. 
"It was a love triangle turned awry and I don't want to recall the past now. It gives me more pain each time I remember it," Balajadia explained in vernacular.


When she first applied for a tourist visa three months earlier sometime in 1990, she was denied "because I didn't know how to describe Mickey Mouse," Balajadia chortled.
 "The consul said, 'what is the purpose of your travel?' I answered, 'to see the Disneyland, sir.' He asked me, 'what is there in Disneyland that you want to see?' I answered, 'Mickey Mouse, sir.' He asked more: 'Who is Mickey Mouse?' I answered, 'He is a rabbit, sir. A big rabbit with tall ears, two big teeth, and small begotes (beard)'," disclosed Balajadia.
"It's Bugs Bunny you are describing," Balajadia recalled the consul as telling her. 
Nursing a heartache, Balajadia returned to Bacolod, her passport stamped with a word "denied."
Upon the advice of a travel fixer, she changed her name and renewed her passport. 


Balajadia tried her luck in the US Embassy in Manila.
She was granted a tourist visa with multiple entry good for 10 years.
Balajadia, a lesbian, stayed alternately in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Sacrameto in California for three years working as nanny and dabbling in housekeeping before flying to El Paso, Texas to work "under the table" in a garment factory.
"That's where I met Rosanita (Ortaleza), the love of my life," revealed Balajadia, who was then 43 years old.
Rosanita, 30, was a Mexican illegal immigrant, who entered El Paso through the barricade or popularly known as "over the bakod" (over the fence).
"I loved Rosanita and she loved me, too. That's what she told me," Balajadia alleged. 
Single, with money to burn, and with no big family to support in the Philippines, Balajadia showered Rosanita with amenities in life, including expensive jewelry and signature handbags.


Through Balajadia's "kindness", Rosanita was able to send $500 a week to her family in Ciudad Juarez, a neighboring Mexican border city located a stone throw away from El Paso.
"Rosanita was my world; she was my everything until one day in 1994 she just disappeared without a trace," she said. "No sign. No letter. No notice whatsoever."
Rosanita's mobile phone "could no longer be reached."
Balajadia surmised either Rosanita was caught by border patrol guards and deported back to Ciudad Juarez or had eloped with a Hispanic man.
Balajadia discovered that their joint savings account at Wells Fargo had been emptied.
"Only $15 was left out of about $8,000 in our joint account," revealed Balajadia.
She approached a certain Romulo Contreras, a Hispanic-speaking bank executive and learned from him the money had been withdrawn through normal processes via ATM.
Balajadia refused to believe he had been conned after being castigated by friends.


After a futile attempt to search or "rescue" her girlfriend in 1996, Balajadia decided to "forget Rosanita for a while" and made a rendezvous to Jersey City in New Jersey.
When her tourist visa expired in 2000, Balajadia was already a long-time "resident" of New York. 
"I have adjusted (with my life here) and I don't intend to go back to the Philippines anymore," she intoned.
Balajadia has found a new flame, Alma (not her real name), a Pinay caregiver in Long Island.
They live together in one apartment in Queens.
Balajadia disclosed she also maintains "off and on" relationships with two other Pinoy women -- Jamjam and Rhodora (not their real names), both caregivers.
Alma, a public school teacher in Carmona, Cavite, Philippines, is building a P1.8-million house in Brgy. Barrios, Carmona through Alma's "generosity."
Balajadia admitted that at this point of her life, "I can't afford to be alone. All I want is a woman, a life-time partner."
Warned by "concerned" friends on the possible repeat of her ill-fated romance with the "desaparecido" Rosanita, Balajadia bemoaned, "Give me a woman or give me death."

Monday, December 14, 2015

'Niloko mo ako'

"It is the fool who thinks he cannot be fooled."
Joey Skaggs

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- A fool and his money are soon parted, as the saying goes.
"But I only wanted to help him," bewailed Jerome Uy, an architect in the Philippines, who now works as cashier in a Manhattan laundry service.
He was referring to one Philip Co, "an acquaintance I met only in a party three to four years ago," recalled the 43-year-old Uy, a graduate of Far Eastern University in Manila.
"Philip Co is not my friend. He only sought my help through Facebook. I met him only once," he clarified. 
Uy sought the help of this writer after Co allegedly bilked him a total of $3,000 (P141,570) through deceitful manner.
"I want to recover my money because I worked hard for it," Uy lamented.


This was how Uy narrated what had transpired between him and Co:
"On November 23, 2015 I received a private message on Facebook from Philip Co telling me that his son has been shot in the Philippines and that he needed some cash for his son's hospital expenses. He sent me his mobile number.
"On November 24, he went to my work place (in Manhattan) and handed me a check from Bank of America worth $1,400 under the name of Su M. Su. Philip Co claimed the check was owned by his employer. When I verified it, the check was 'cleared' thus I deposited it in my account in Chase bank. I gave him cash equivalent to the amount in the check.
"On November 25, Philip Co went back and brought two more checks: worth $250 under the name of Zhang, and $1,200 again under the name of Su M. Su. The checks were 'cleared' so I deposited them again in my account and gave him cash equivalent to the amount in the checks."


Uy said his nightmare began at 10 o'clock in the morning on November 30, when he was notified by Chase bank through his mobile phone's app that all the checks have been "overdrawn."
He immediately called Co but the later allegedly refused to answer. Uy's successive follow up calls proved futile thereafter.
Unable to get Co's cooperation, Uy sent a private message to Co on Facebook and ribbed him: "Niloko mo ako" (You fooled me).
Co never replied.
On December 1, he posted his fate on Facebook lamenting that "I worked hard for my money and they are all gone after I was victimized by a fraud."
When he mentioned Co's name, some Facebook friends commented they were also victims of the same person who used the same trick in the past.
"That Philip Co also told us his son has been shot and he needed emergency money to send to the Philippines," a Facebook friend commented. 
Uy went to the police but was told that his predicament was tantamount only to a civil case.
Uy went to the bank where he deposited the checks and was told to submit a detailed report.


Confused and disoriented, Uy sought my help last December 6. 
"I need your help, Alex," Uy appealed. "I'm so stressed because of what happened to me. I couldn't sleep.
I advised him to "waste no time" and to first file a report to the bank and use the same report as basis for his formal police complaint.
We drafted the report.
Uy brought the report to the bank and subsequently to the police. He also gave police Co's photo he downloaded from Co's Facebook account.
Uy was confident police would arrest Co, whose last known address was reportedly at Elmhurst in Queens.
On December 9, Uy sent me a text message: "I'm losing hope. I wished God had protected and guided me."
Police failed to locate Co, who was believed to be in hiding and could have fled New York for other states.


Co, who spoke good Tagalog, is reportedly an overstaying visitor with no legal papers to work in the United States.
To compound Uy's woes, the bank would not restore his money.
Uy said he suspected that Co stole the checks from Chinese-American residents. He was worried the check owners might run after him, not Co.
Or he could be tagged as "conspirator" to a fraud because the checks had been deposited in his account.
No paper trail could pin down Co in as far as fraudulent transaction is concerned, Uy was informed.
Two more text messages I received from Uy were self explanatory and prognostic: 
1. "Everything was falling apart from the bank to the police department";
2. "Where is God? Where is Jesus?"

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Women)

When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.

The love of a woman is the best and most mystifying gift to a man's life. A man can offer fake love to get laid, but only a woman can give unrequited love even if it would mean a trip to the Valley of Tears.

Alex P. Vidal (Tears, grief)

Tearless grief bleeds inwardly.

We must not suppressed our tears. Let them flow freely; they are part of nature. We shouldn't be ashamed to show our true emotions when we are grief-stricken and in deep tribulation. Otherwise, we will suffer from terrible internal pain.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Tears)

There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.

Tears over answered prayers are a combination of joy and a strong feeling of guilt upon realizing that even if we are sinners, God nevertheless gave credence to our petitions. Tears shed over unanswered prayers betrayed our possessiveness and utter lack of faith in God's wisdom.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Happiness)

Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.

Even if we want to bring sadness into our own life, nobody will begrudge it; it's none of other people's business. Sadness or sorrow was never an option for our ontological existence when God gave us the free will to choose the kind of life we want.

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Love)

Unless we love and are loved, each of us is alone, each of us is deeply lonely.

God did not want mankind to just exist, grow old and disappear like a wind without a purpose. We were not created to stay on this planet like stones, rivers, trees and rocks. He brought universal love so that all His creations will realign, integrate and co-exist under His omnipotent laws. We manifest the love that God has epitomized. 

Alex P. Vidal Quotes (Trust)

If we are bound to forgive an enemy, we are not bound to trust him.

Trust is not a mandatory string to be attached on a package deal of forgiveness. Once we forgive, we don't necessarily forget. And as long as we remember, our cognitive power will always place trust in the backseat.

Why we are part of a long history

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." Robert Kennedy

By Alex P. Vidal

WE are part of a long history and the present is what it is because of all that has gone before -- because forgotten empires rose and fell in antiquity; because unknown Greeks obeyed the Greek captains who defeated the Persians; because the Romans destroyed Carthage; because Mark Antony fell in love with Cleopatra; because the Western Christians grew tired of trying to drive the Arabs from Egypt; because the merchants of the west traded with India and China for profit; because Columbus discovered America; and Martin Luther preached against the pope, and Napoleon overran Europe.