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The contents of this blog are entirely my opinion, but feel free to agree or disagree with me... I like a good conversation!

Who benefits from mining gold? Not Lobo, Batangas!

…Not the people living in and around the mining area, that’s for sure.  Please help save Lobo, Batangas (beside Laiya) from destruction!  Spread the word!


“…(M)ost, if not all, of the barangay captains who gave their assent to mining–it turns out– did not know what open pit mining entailed. They were told that it would create jobs but did not realize that modern mining is not labor intensive and that it will, in the long run, and for hundreds of decades to come, impoverish them even more. They did not have the faintest idea that the soil upon which they derive crops will no longer be fit for planting, the seas from which they obtain food will die from pollution and poisoning, and the forested mountains that give them fresh air will be blown away.”

“…(A)ll that Lobo now boasts of, environmentally, geographically and historically, are in grave danger of being destroyed. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is now seriously considering the application for gold mining operations in Lobo by Egerton Gold Phils. Inc. It is frightening that the proposed mining in Lobo will cover a vast expanse of land areas: one will have 137.1 hectares while the other, 125.2 hectares. It will impact nearly all of the coastal barangays, as well as the Mabilog na Bundok. The projects’ fact sheets, albeit couched in sanitized technical terms, cannot conceal alarming facts. The waste types the mining will produce, according to the fact sheets, will affect the soil and water, specifically: “overburdens and waste rocks, domestic waste and garbage construction wastes, debris, tree cuttings, oily waste water from minor oil leaks from equipment, etc.” The major impacts will be: “disturbance of the existing terrestrial flora and fauna, disturbance of the existing access roads or construction of new roads, disturbance of the site topography or landform, discharge of treated waste water to adjacent surface water bodies and potential disturbance of aquifers during ore extraction.” In laymen’s terms, the impact will mean driving away and eventually killing the wildlife inhabiting the forests of Lobo as trees will be cut and the earth will be destroyed by explosions to extract the minerals. It will also mean that the water resource for the entire community will be diminished as the mining operations will compete for substantial amounts of water for its operations. …The book “Rich Lands, Poor People,” said, mining in India, contrary to the government’s claims, has done little for the development of the mineral-bearing regions. Chandra Bhushan, one of the authors, said: “Mining has not benefited people; instead, it has impoverished local environments and displaced people.” The book also said, “All state governments justify mining arguing that the sector will provide employment, but this is a chimera.””

“…MRL Gold has explored 29,000 hectares of land encompassing several villages of Lobo; it is allowed to explore 10 percent of the town’s total land area, majority of which are mountainous and plains suitable for culti-vation. The company has already drilled 173 holes for the exploration, each approximately one kilometer deep, in barangays (villages) Pulang Lupa and Kay Tanda to check for gold deposits. Lobo is home to nearly 40,000 people, as well as to Mount Banoi, a watershed that provides potable water for the people of Batangas. Several concerned groups like the Bukluran Para sa Inang Kalikasan (Bukal), an inter-organizational and multi-sectoral alliance of church people, professionals and people’s organizations, together with Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan), conducted a fact finding mission last February 21 and 22 to deter-mine the possible impact of mining in the town. According to their assessment, as soon as the actual mining operation in Lobo begins, potable water sourced from Mount Banoi would be contaminated as chemicals, such as mercury and lead, which are used in separating minerals from ore, would eventually mix with the water. Residents and NGOs have started consultations against MRL Gold. Shown at centre in bottom photo is Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Batangas conferring with them. This contamination would bring sickness and possibly death to people, the advocates said. The contamination of water from Mount Banoi would also kill marine life in rivers and lakes in the area. There is a possibility that open-pit mining would leave Lobo’s land forever useless.”

“BUKAL along with KALIKASAN People’s Network for the Environment (PNE) – Southern Tagalog stood against large-scale foreign mining during the public hearing of Mindoro Resources Limited and Egerton Limited for their Copper-Gold Mining Project happened today at Punta Malabrigo, Lobo, Batangas. “Large-scale foreign mining results to environmental plunder by these foreign mining companies. They deceived the people of its promised basic developments of providing jobs and improvement of livelihood but loomed destruction of the environment, loss of livelihood, displacement of communities and caused health complications,” stressed by PJ Santos, coordinator of Kalikasan PNE-ST. The groups denounce the endorsement of the local government of Lobo in letting foreign mining companies continue their operations in spite of protests and resolutions filed by the people to stop mining in the province. They were also dismayed by the continuous silence of the provincial government in the issue of mining playing safe around the fingers of these foreign mining companies and the stand of the people against mining. “The permission of our government to let these foreign mining companies use our land and resources for mining is a direct violation of our constitution, a violation to our national sovereignty,” added by Enriquez.”


Another contribution to the #marketing2025 debate

Yes another one!  This time under “Digital Strategy and Social Media“.  But I’ll keep my introduction short this time, here’s the permalink to the new post:

I’d like to add though, maybe… just maybe… I still feel strongly against #shallowmarketing because of past experiences.

The argument:  A decade ago there was no such thing as Twitter. Facebook was only open to students at a selection of US universities. There was no Gmail or Google Maps. The iPhone hadn’t been released and Blackberry and Nokia were still thriving. There was no App Store or the multi-billion dollar economy which accompanies it. And marketing technology implementations took months, not the moments they do now. This scale and pace of technological change has created new industries, new economies and new market rules. For marketing, it’s created as much complexity as it has opportunity. New skills, new models, new frameworks and new thinking. When we get to 2025 and look back another 10 years, what other changes will we be writing about and what impact will they have had?

Some of the contributions already made including mine.

Contribution to the #marketing2025 debate


Posted under MARKETING ECONOMICS – Accountability, metrics and ROI of the #marketing2025 hackathon.

The argument:  For most, the holy grail of marketing return on investment remains elusive, despite significant efforts from heavyweights across the academic, business and consultancy communities. Valuing the real impact of marketing (not just communications) investment on organisational performance – be that profit-oriented or otherwise – remains highly-complex and lacking standardisation. Yet in the background, marketing technology has become more sophisticated, data and business intelligence more advanced and analytical capability more commonplace… so what’s needed to answer the calls of the CFO and the analyst community, and decode the science around marketing investment? Where and how will these issues develop over the next decade, and what other developments might have an impact?


Here are some of the contributions already made by the participants of the hackathon, including mine.  As I was composing my answer, it was hard not to touch upon the other topics in the hackathon because the issues are all related.  But hopefully I was able to bring up the extent of accountability expected in marketing today.

Other topics discussed were:

Care to join the debate?

The Role of the CMO in Advocate Marketing (#advocatemktg twitter chat by @influitive)

Today I’m following the discussion on twitter about #advocatemktg, and I’m answering questions posted by @influitive.  This post will be updated as I move on to the next question.  Join the chat to share your insights!

Let’s begin.

Q1: What role does advocacy play in building a company’s brand?

My Answer: Advocacy involves imparting the message of the brand successfully to stakeholders, in turn advocates extend that message to others.  But what this also means is that the company first understood what their customers wanted, and alongside that, had a clear and worthy message their stakeholders could believe or count on.  Then the company delivers outstanding products and exceptional service that attests their message (and brand), and only after that will customers or external influencers become convinced about the brand, where some of them turn into evangelists or advocates for their brand.

Q2: Why should CMOs pay attention to advocacy and ?

My Answer: #advocatemktg is the CMO’s means to impart the right message to the right people, engaging both lead and customer.  There’s a proper call-to-action for each level of relationship for both potential and existing customers, where every engagement builds a deeper relationship with the brand.  So it starts out with reaching the right people (or quality leads), but they continue to grow into advocates who start evangelizing others.

Q3: How can CMOs make advocacy a strategic priority at their organization?

My Answer: The results from a successful #advocatemktg campaign will speak for the CMO (ex. increased conversions).  Equally important are customer retention and increased satisfaction.  But sometimes convincing the organization to try it the first time is what’s most difficult.  You can present case studies and testimonies from other successful campaigns, but the amount of preparation or maintenance is what stops most executive management from pursuing (because of the costs), especially when short-term-get-customers-quick campaigns appear to be working for them (what I call shallow marketing).  In which case, the CMO needs to explain how the long-term benefits outweigh the costs.

Q4: Who should CMOs partner with to create a culture of advocacy?

My Answer: #advocatemktg is also the business of business developers, production teams, service teams and community managers.  CMOs should work with everyone involved in building and maintaining the brand’s image, reputation, product quality (and ROI) and service delivery.

Q5: What digital tools should CMOs have in their technology stack?

My Answer: Check out @influitive 😉 other #advocatemktg tools and helpful guidelines for picking them are also found here . Although the article focuses on Employee Advocacy, I think their guidelines are applicable to advocate marketing in general.

Q6: Which results should CMOs stay focused on when it comes to ?

My Answer: Depends on need, but generally: Conversion, retention/customer loyalty, response consistency,  message value.  The intent behind any campaign determines what KPIs matter, as well as message value that drives the advocacy.  Message value also affects brand impact.   Capturing quality leads is important, but more so high conversion rates and customer loyalty.  What I also mean by response consistency is how both the brand and the audience maintain open communication to address any situation, whether positive or negative, and this exercise also touches on transparency.

Q7: How do you see the role of the CMO evolving next?

My Answer: The CMO becomes an advocate of corporate citizenship and an enabler for brands to build lasting relationships with customers.  It’s not just about bringing in revenue anymore but developing brand value for all stakeholders, whether potential/existing customer, or even the brand’s very own people.  There should be synergy in all these.

Q8: Does anyone have any questions about the role of the CMO and ?

My Question: How many CMOs actually practice #advocatemktg? And if there aren’t a lot, then why not?

#advocatemktg Twitter Chat: FEB 12, 2pm ET (11am PT)

The topic on this date is the CMO’s role in building brand in the age of advocacy.  Without a doubt I think CMO’s should spearhead advocate marketing in practice, though I think this twitter chat will be an interesting event for any marketer who wants to incorporate advocate marketing into their campaigns.

I think the next logical direction for future discussions will be how advocate marketing is only as effective as a company’s passion to deliver exceptional service for their customers, make a difference in their customers’ lives, and make a significant contribution to society.  In other words Advocate Marketing is only as effective as a company’s Corporate Citizenship.  Advocates are the kind of people who want to be a part of something more significant than themselves or their own needs.  A company/brand with poor corporate citizenship is not appealing to advocates no matter how effective its marketing campaigns have reached the advocates.  A CMO must be aligned with the company’s/brand’s commitment to corporate responsibility and then integrate that in advocate marketing strategies.  It becomes a problem when a company does not take corporate citizenship seriously, because with type of irresponsibility comes half-hearted campaigns at best (what I call “shallow marketing campaigns/tactics“), and it wouldn’t be enough to keep an advocate from turning into a passive customer,or worse, leave.

See you guys at the event!

Not True: Working in the office beats telecommuting

This morning I read an article from TechRepublic that justifies why business leaders and employment experts prefer that their workers work onsite.  These were the 10 reasons given:

  1. Working onsite fosters innovation
  2. Onsite workers are easier to manage
  3. Remote working tools are poor
  4. Some employees don’t want to telecommute
  5. Some employees can’t telecommute
  6. Communication is easier in the office
  7. Local workers are easier to trust
  8. Office work is nurturing
  9. Many jobs can’t be done remotely
  10. Flexible hours are popular with businesses (remote work, less so)

My first point, the article assumes that all offices foster innovation, provide the latest or most effective tools, and overall nurtures its workers to bring out the best in them.  This isn’t always the case.  There are many offices where like-minded people flock and leave out those who think differently, where extroverts are favored over introverts, where politics affect promotions, where the tools aren’t always working, and where complacency and mediocrity has been reached because of some favorite “cash cow” or “formula” that no one wants to challenge or management is too lazy to improve because it already works.  In this working environment, the growth of any worker is stunted.

My second point, I think the only benefit for management / company owners is #2: Onsite workers are easier to manage… But then again it’s the quality and attitude of the worker that makes managing/leading them easy, not their proximity.  It really boils down to the character of the worker (or manager/team leader), his ingenuity to get the job done wherever he is with whatever is available (and there are so many tools already available), his ability to communicate and remain organized, and overall, his perseverance, focus, and discipline.

Now I don’t totally disagree with Nick’s premise in his article, because I myself ask “Why all the talk of the death of the office?“.  But I don’t see why the only reason for offices to still exist is that working there trumps working in any other place, since offices serve a different kind of business need or avenue for getting a job done, much like telecommuting serves another business need and avenue for getting another type of job done.  Both ways are equally important and efficient, it’s only a question of business need whether an office is required or telecommuting would suffice.  I would say that from a customer’s perspective, I’d prefer to seek service from a company with a physical address I can visit if all other access fails.  I’d like to, at times, talk face-to-face with someone from the company for any issue I might have—or, perhaps the company needs a venue to accommodate customers face-to-face.  To serve such customers, a physical office is definitely important, with workers who function quickly to fulfill certain tasks at that point of interaction.  On the other hand, a business might find telecommuting to be highly efficient and convenient for workers who live very far away from the office, especially when output can be submitted online.  I live in the Philippines where traffic is horrendous, and the average time for someone taking public transportation is 2 hours going to work and 2 hours going home.  In those 4 hours, say, a developer could already work on so many things and accomplish more, instead of waste his time in daily commute.

There are possibly three reasons why a person would prefer to work in an office (or factory or lab): He doesn’t have the tools / equipment / knowledge base he needs (such as proprietary hardware or software, or sensitive information), maximum security is required for highly critical projects, or third, the person is easily distracted with all other entertainment / leisure activities / domestic problems at home that he could not focus on work.  So here’s the kicker: Unless the issue is serious domestic problems that really disrupt a person’s development (in which case he needs the support of a healthy working environment), a person who is easily distracted by other activities will still have a problem disciplining himself or focus on work even if he is in an office environment.

Which brings me to my last point, for an office to really be effective, it must foster individual excellence in character and skill-set so that one becomes a well-rounded, outstanding individual who is great at what he does whether he is working inside the office or outside of it (at home, in a coffee shop, wherever).  You’ll want that kind of individual to make up an outstanding team and an exceptional company.  But an office that doesn’t have that culture and support system in place only breeds unproductive, whiny, and lazy workers / managers who expect to be paid merely for their attendance.

Fortunately there are workers out there who are already disciplined, capable and determined within themselves, to be more than they can be and really make a contribution in their professional communities.  These are the people who do well regardless if they are in an office environment or on their own.  Finding and keeping them is another story.

Bottom line, know and understand the business need (including what customers look for), set up a great working environment (whether offline or online), and get the right people to make up the team.  That’s what makes a great company and not a physical office.

Remember tsū?

In my last post I introduced tsū as the social network that gives back.  Today I’m attesting that they absolutely do!

Let me describe first that I have done ZERO MAINTENANCE in the last two months after joining tsū last December.  After a few posts I did back then, I got busy and was not able to look into my tsū profile until yesterday.  My reason for returning to my profile was to share something interesting… but I actually forget what it was I wanted to share because to my surprise after logging in I saw this:

My tsū profile after absolutely zero maintenance.

My tsū profile after absolutely zero maintenance.

I EARNED SOMETHING.  Yes it’s just 1 US centavo, but I still earned something!  And my stats aren’t even anything to brag about (though I’ll show you anyway, this was taken as of today):

See, nothing to brag about...

See, nothing to brag about…

*Note that today and yesterday I already posted something new (though not what I originally intended to share, speaking of yesterday which I’m still trying to remember what it was I had to share…  Aah!!)

Anyway, seeing that their system actually works made me smile 🙂  It’s nice to see that the people behind tsū meant what they said.  Now the only thing I have to figure out is how to collect that money if it gets any bigger.  Again I don’t expect it to really grow so much (for me anyway) given that I’m a very casual user; I only post when I remember to post and my interactions are few.  But I’m still happy for this community and the people making it work (whether developer or active member).

Now if you’re the kind of person who has something new and interesting to share almost every hour of every day, this platform might just work to your advantage.  Here’s your invitation in case you want to try.

A warning on pet grooming services… Don’t.


Please read:

I’m sharing this to warn people about this place and how negligent people can be when it’s not their own pet.  Just groom your beloved pets yourselves, they will enjoy your care and the time you spend with them even more.  This experience is a very hard lesson learned by the family of Tyler, and I doubt if “The Dog Spa & Hotel” can ever compensate for this tragic loss, but they bloody well should try, and try even more, and return every penny the Balce family has spent in their shop, and then cover the expenses for the cremation of Tyler, and even cover all the expenses ever spent on Tyler when the family took care of him… just do everything and all you must do to show how sorry you really are, because firing the negligent employee is just not enough.  Otherwise close shop.


These people will continue to PUSH us unless we fight back! Pretty soon they’ll tax us for the air we breathe! Come on people! Don’t accept this! IT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Since the PH loves to COPY US laws, they think they have the “right” to impose even the appallingly perverted ones!

To the Filipino people, SHOW YOUR OUTRAGE!

Really? We’re No Better Than ISIS?!

*In response to: The Pope Has A Message For Christian Fundamentalists: You’re No Better Than ISIS

Excuse me, but “fundamentalists” are not the same as “extremists”. And “republican” doesn’t equate with “conservative”. ISIS have tortured, massacred, raped, and threatened many Christians… ESPECIALLY conservatives who have gone into missions spreading the good news of the Bible, or stood up for the name of Christ despite the risk of being abducted, tortured and killed themselves.

I call myself conservative or fundamentalist because I believe in the hard truths written in the Bible that many claiming-Christians today can’t accept or have downplayed. And believe it or not, the hard truths go against Virginia Republican Richard Black’s statement that “a woman could not be raped by her husband because she had already given consent through marriage.” Ephesians 5:24-26 says “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…” Rape doesn’t show love nor does it sanctify. Period. Richard Black is not a true Christian because he demonstrated that he clearly doesn’t know the Bible.

The article also seems to blame the majority conservative Christians in the US Supreme Court for upholding the rights of corporations to bar women accessing birth control through their health insurance plans, but they’re not stating the entire story. It’s the Catholic church who have lobbied against birth control, not the conservative Christians. So are they implying that Catholics are conservatives/fundamentalists too? I believe couples are responsible when they do family planning through contraception—not abortion, but birth control before the fetus is formed [meaning before conception]. Contrary to what most people think that the Bible is against contraception (and therefore conservative Christians are too), the Bible is actually neutral about it. The Bible has more to say about parenthood and the responsibility of raising godly children, and a parent can’t be responsible or raise godly children if they always show that they are in debt, unable to sustain the family, unable to ensure their children’s education, or take parenthood lightly as they continue to “make” children without accounting for their future.

As for Fox News… THEY ARE NOT THE VOICE OF CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS but maybe in the States they are the loudest. Some of their statements were purposely taken out of context (you can tell from the chopped segments of the video that picked the worst statements to hide the full picture), however, they and other democratic networks like CNN are really good with sensationalizing news (or downplaying facts, whichever works) for their cause. Placing the focus on “personal ideas” about “women voters” rather than discussing “responsible voting” whether by a man or woman, it surely raises controversies and misdirection over what is relevant, and the kind that anti-conservatives love to eat. To anyone, ANYONE, who thinks conservative Christians look down on women (single, married, widowed, whatever status in life), the Bible shows that women deserve equal opportunity and praise for her strengths and achievements: Proverbs 30:30-31, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

And lastly, it is a stretch (to say the least) for this article to call Christian fundamentalists “terrorists”, stating “Contrary to popular opinion, most of the terrorist activity in the U.S. in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from radical Christians, white supremacists, and far-right militia groups.” Does the author even realize what she is talking about? Her article shared numbers of the 10 worst US terror attacks by Christian Fundamentalists… Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug 2012 (six people during an attack on a Sikh temple), The Dr. George Tiller Murder, May 2009 (shot five times by female Christian Right terrorist but survived, later shot by anti-abortion terrorist), Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 2008 (Two were killed, while seven others were injured but survived), The Centennial Olympic Park bombing, July 1996 (a blast that killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others). A TRUE CHRISTIAN will not resort to these acts, but if you want to compare numbers, here are just a few recorded terrorist attacks by islamic extremists around the world:

  • 2/26/1993, New York, NY. 6 killed, 1040 injured. Islamic terrorists detonate a massive truck bomb under the World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring over 1,000 in an effort to collapse the towers.
  • 9/11/2001, Washington, DC. 184 killed, 53 injured. Nearly 200 people are killed when Islamic hijackers steer a plane full of people into the Pentagon.
  • 9/11/2001, Shanksville, PA. 40 killed, 0 injured. Forty passengers are killed after Islamic radicals hijack the plane in an attempt to steer it into the U.S. Capitol building.
  • 9/11/2001, New York, NY. 2752 killed, 251 injured. Islamic hijackers steer two planes packed with fuel and passengers into the World Trade Center, killing hundreds on impact and eventually killing thousands when the towers collapsed. At least 200 are seriously injured.
  • 10/3/2002, Montgomery County, MD. 5 killed. Muslim snipers kill three men and two women in separate attacks over a 15-hour period.
  • 4/15/2004, Scottsville, NY. 1 killed, 2 injured. In an honor killing, a Muslim father kills his wife and attacks his two daughters with a knife and hammer because he feared that they had been sexually molested.
  • 2/13/2007, Salt Lake City, UT. 5 killed, 4 injured. A Muslim immigrant goes on a shooting rampage at a mall, targeting people buying Valentine’s Day cards at a gift shop and killing five.
  • 11/5/2009, Ft. Hood, TX. 13 killed, 31 injured. A Muslim psychiatrist guns down thirteen unarmed soldiers while yelling praises to Allah.
  • 4/15/2013, Boston, MA. 3 killed, 264 injured. Foreign-born Muslims describing themselves as ‘very religious’ detonate two bombs packed with ball bearings at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and causing several more to lose limbs.
  • September 13, 1993, at least 53 Americans have been murdered and at least another 83 Americans have been injured by Palestinian terrorism. Excluding the September 11 attacks, approximately 700 Americans have been killed and 1,600 wounded in terrorist attacks between 1970 to 2006.
  • Iraqi civilian death toll passes 5,500 in wake of Isis offensive (
  • GENEVA — More than 5,500 people have been killed in Iraq since an offensive by the Islamic State militant group began in June, the United Nations reported… including hundreds of minority Yazidis slaughtered en masse. The report takes particular note of the extremists’ campaign of physical and sexual violence against women and children, with accounts of women being captured and sold as sex slaves to Islamic State recruits, and children being used as soldiers. Those deaths represent more than half of the 9,343 civilians killed in Iraq from January through September, the United Nations said in a report by its Iraq mission and its Geneva human rights office, emphasizing that its figures were “absolute minimums.” The total casualty count for the year so far, including wounded, is at least 26,000.

There is so much more torture of Christians in many Muslim countries going on today, and I can’t discount the fact that persecution of Christians exists even in the U.S. But the bottom line… for the Pope or Kerry-Anne to compare conservative Christians to ISIS, that’s a truly biased opinion based on incomplete facts. One that aims to destroy all true Bible-believing Christians through misinformation.

But Jesus did warn the Christians that in the last days, (Matthew 24:9-11) “…you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” So this build up of hatred of the rest of the world against Christians does not come as a surprise to the faithful, though I cannot deny that the very thought of it is frightening. But not as frightening as becoming an enemy of the Lord facing judgment. It also explains this next verse, Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Many claiming-Christian groups have already embraced a convenient gospel that ensures they can continue a lifestyle similar to the wicked. So if you find yourself believing what most of the world believes is “truth”, think long and hard about what road you seem to be taking.


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