Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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All entries tagged philippines.

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Jun 2021

May 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-05-23

    It’s the last week of May (more or less), and I’m mostly looking forward to a new month because I’m tired of ridiculous summer heat and I’m hoping the sun tones it down a bit in June. The one aircon we have in the house has been busted all summer, so we have been suffering through the heat and surviving mostly through stacking multiple fans and also an excessive number of showers.

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    Posted by under post at #weeknotes #covid19 #philippines
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 1244 words
  • Weeknotes 2021-05-16

    A quote “Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-05-09

    This post is being published a day late. Things happen okay? Sometimes you get busy and things need to be pushed back. The world: like the thug that he is, our dear president claimed that the arbitral award ruling in the PH’s favor was nothing more than a sheet of paper he could easily discard. He also challenged former justice Antonio Carpio to a debate over the West Philippine Sea issue, a challenge the latter quickly accepted.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #covid19 #weeknotes
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 1223 words
  • This mindset reflects someone who doesn’t respect institutions or the law or civilized agreements, and basically respects only one thing: power. That’s why he thinks people who oppose China want war and why he doesn’t want to offend China, power is all he sees and values, like the thug that he is. For this kind of person, you can’t be right because of the law or because of principle, or because of justice, you can only be right if you had the ability to enforce that right. Basically the type of leader who would just collaborate with any invaders who managed to overpower us and would say wag na lang tayo gumawa ng gulo, andyan na e.

    Posted by under notes at #Philippines
    Also on: reddit / 0
  • Weeknotes 2021-05-02

    It’s already May? April felt like it came and went so quickly. But then again, time has little meaning in this accursed pandemic. The world: The brouhaha over community pantries (as described last week), seems to have calmed down and they are now generally coordinating with LGUs for assistance in maintaining health protocols Meanwhile, the government has embarked on a propaganda campaign to assert that we aren’t the worst in terms of pandemic response in the world Certain congress people continue to promote the usage of the drug Ivermectin, which has no known effect on Covid-19, as a Covid-19 cure or something.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #covid19 #weeknotes
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 999 words

Apr 2021

  • I’ve been a bit busy this weekend (see below), so this post is running a bit late. The world: An ongoing saga right here in the Philippines: Last weekend, community pantries for the needy started sprouting up in Metro Manila and all over the country, largely inspired by one started in Maginhawa here in Quezon City. The central idea was “give what you can, take what you need.” Stories spread of heartwarming stories like a poor old man donating some food even though he had very little and an ice cream vendor giving away the remnants of his cart for the day to those in the queue.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #covid19 #weeknotes
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 1442 words
  • Weeknotes 2021-04-18

    I’m not sure what to think of this past week, feels like it went by quickly. I may have spent too much of it daydreaming. The world: NCR+ bubble is now one week into modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ - an acronym that makes no sense). Cases still seem to be pretty high on a day-to-day basis, though we’re told the R number is dropping slightly, so that’s good I guess?

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-11

    The world: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth’s husband, has passed away. So has DMX, American rapper. Big facebook breach reported, etc. Doesn’t seem like news, really. My phone number was among the data leaked. The country is still experiencing a surge in cases, hospitals and ICUs still bursting to capacity. Yet in spite of the crisis, the president has not been around. This has prompted questions of whether he’s still alive.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-04-04

    It’s April! Or as it’s otherwise known, March 2020 month 13. As is usual, we are suffering the sweltering summer heat. Also, it’s Easter Sunday, if that means anything to you. The world: Surprising almost no one, the PH government extended the ECQ lockdown in the NCR+ bubble. Anyone with half a brain could have told you that the one week ECQ was no way going to be enough, given what we know about the virus’ life cycle.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #covid19 #weeknotes
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 854 words

Mar 2021

  • Weeknotes 2021-03-28

    It’s the last weekend of March. It feels like the month went by quickly. The world: Local covid response: The government introduced the concept of an “NCR Plus” bubble last Monday, restricting travel in and out of the NCR and adjacent provinces, in response to the rising cases. Still, the daily counts kept rising, hitting record highs of almost 10k cases daily. Even before the dust has settled on the bubble response, they decided to announce last night a reversion to the stricter ECQ.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-21

    The world: Over the past couple of days, our nationwide daily covid cases broke 7000+, the highest recorded so far. Have to be super careful when going out for errands. Not that I wasn’t being careful even before, mind you. Just now, government has announced we are still under GCQ (see my post about the PH quarantine levels), but with more restrictions, etc. Looks like they are still hesitant to provide a stronger lockdown which would require paying people to stay home so they don’t starve to death.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-14

    Happy Pi Day! The world: It’s the one year anniversary of the world’s longest lockdown. In some kind of sick anniversary celebration, local covid cases are on the rise. Yesterday, 5000 new cases were reported, the highest daily rate in 6 months or so. And now a Philippine variant has been detected. Now is not the time to be complacent, we all need to be more careful. The government seems unwilling to impose another widespread ECQ and are focusing on targetted, granular lockdowns.

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  • Weeknotes 2021-03-07

    March has begun. Did it ever really end? The world: Vaccination finally starts in the country, with initial donated batches of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine arriving in the country. Just in time for the one year anniversary of the world’s longest lockdown. SinoVac isn’t the best choice, but many of my doctor friends say they’ll settle for it if that’s what’s available for them. I think QC is planning to use AstraZeneca for their citizens, but worrying is that AZ’s efficacy has been shown to be not so good against certain variants such as the South African one, which has already been detected in the country.

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Feb 2021

Jan 2021

  • Pinoy Drawing Memes

    Posted by under post at #philippines
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 273 words

Dec 2020

Aug 2020

  • These weeknotes are coming in late in the day because of reasons. (The reasons being laziness and procrastination.) Actually, I feel like I’ve been kind of phoning in the weeknotes over the past few weeks, they’ve mostly been “hey, I’ve been busy, so nothing of significance happened, but here are some things I watched/played.” Supposedly one of the side effects of writing regular updates is that you tend to look out for more interesting things to do so you have something to write about, even on an unconscious level.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-09

    Still kind of busy, although there’s a bunch of things I hope I can finally wrap up this week, so I can move on to the long list of other things I want to be doing. The world continues to be bleak, so I’m still hiding from it. My stuff: Forty-two. I thought about just merging these into a single post for the day, but nah, this seems better. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing.

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  • Weeknotes 2020-08-02

    Kind of a busy week for me again, so the week kind of passed me by quickly. It’s August! In one month it will be (PH) Christmas season! It feels like July went by more quickly than other quarantine months. My stuff: A bit of consulting work. Reworking the old charity side project still ongoing. I was hoping to finish all the changes last week and next week would be testing and deployment, but stuff got in the way (and estimates may have been a bit off), but the spillover is small and we should still be fine for finishing everything next week.

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Jul 2020

Jun 2020

May 2020

  • Equal Protections

    A recent post on Cory Doctorow’s pluralistic blog had a really good take on the general worldview of “the right”, describing it as “mafia logic”. I’m going to quote a huge chunk of it here: This follows perfectly from the second definition. The purpose of the law is to protect the rightful rulers, so the law can’t – by definition – punish them. And it is “mafia logic.” Holbo was talking about Michael Gove – a UK Tory Minister – excusing his the Prime Minister’s advisor Dominick Cummings repeatedly breaking the quarantine rules that Cummings is responsible for creating and enforcing.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #philosophy
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 0 / 913 words
  • ABS-CBN, Bias, and Press Freedom

    A bit of brouhaha a couple of weeks ago after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the country’s biggest broadcaster ABS-CBN to cease operations because Congress had been remiss in renewing their franchise.. This despite the NTC earlier promising they can operate provisionally while the franchise renewal is being processed, a change of heart apparently due to a legal opinion by the SolGen. Some thoughts: “Bias” The speaker of the house says:

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #current events
    Also on: mastodon twitter / 1 / 1081 words

Mar 2020

Feb 2020

  • A Different Kind of Revolution

    I watched a little bit of the Senate hearing yesterday on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal issues. One of the senators, a known lackey of the president claimed that while the president was not vindictive, “kung masama ka sa kanya, masama din sya sa yo” (I’m not sure the senator understood what vindictive means). One of the ABS head honchos later made a statement that they were “sorry if they had offended the president” even though they were just following all the relevant laws, or something to that effect.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 807 words

Dec 2019

  • Thanks for your reply, but I’m still not clear on the “employer-employee relationship part.

    For example, a contractual part-time service worker in a fast food chain, he is not considered a regular employee is this correct? Is he required to register as a business? (I assume no.) Is he deduced the 8% withholding tax or the regular income tax?

    How is this different from the scenario where you are a consultant working as a contractor for a local (PH) client (say, as a graphic designer or software developer)? Is the consultant considered an employee? Is he required to register as a business?

    Also, I’ve worked for a number of clients as a consultant under contract, and they always just withhold the 8% and when I ask if there’s anything else I need to do for tax purposes, they never advise me that I need a business permit. Should their accountant been telling them otherwise?

    > Recurring like, you expect to engage in that particular kind of transaction for more than 1 time

    -> does that mean if you are only doing this once, it is not considered recurring? i.e. a client asks me to build an application for them and I receive a one-time payment from them upon delivery and afterwards we no longer have a relationship, in this scenario you do not have to register as a business?

    Sorry for all the follow-ups, I just want to clearly understand the scenarios wherein I would or would not be required to register as a business, because honestly I would like to avoid the bureaucracy as much as possible, hence I prefer not to register as a business if it can be avoided. I understand our duty as citizens to pay the right taxes etc and I would like to make sure I comply with any requirements and I don’t mind the withholding tax being deducted from me. But I would prefer to know under what conditions I could structure freelance/consultant work without having to register as a business.

    BTW, I wanted to say I appreciate your answering these questions. I had been planning to look for an accountant to consult on related matters so this thread really helps.

    Posted by under notes at #Philippines
    Also on: reddit / 0
  • > 1. Should I register as a self-employed /business?
    Only if you are earning recurring income not earned under an employer-employee relationship.

    Please explain “recurring income” here? What if I am earning money not on a full-time basis, with no guarantee of recurring income? For example, a company consults with me and I get paid an hourly fee.

    Please also explain “employer-employee relationship”. I was previously working as a consultant with a company, and they were deducting the withholding tax from me (I think it was 8%). My understanding is I was not an actual employee here since I was a consultant, should I have been registered as a business in this instance? It’s just weird since this withholding tax was already reported to the BIR and it seems there was no issue.

    Posted by under notes at #Philippines
    Also on: reddit / 0

Nov 2019

  • The Costs of Corruption

    A quick follow-up to something I mentioned in yesterday’s post: It is a cultural problem too. Even we the citizens have little respect for rules and laws and try to skip around them when we can. This is why we have fixers, and connections, and patronage. We trade on favors to get us out of trouble. I’m not sure if needed to be said, but I wasn’t saying that literally every single person participates in fixing and patronage to get around the rules.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #current events
    Also on: twitter / 1 0 / 582 words
  • Laws Not Men

    In yet another example of what is wrong with this country, the PNP are planning to arrest vape users after Duterte’s directive, despite there actually being yet no law or executive order banning vaping. Thus, the arrests are meaningless and merely another form of harassment. PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac explained that while violators would be apprehended, they would be released immediately after the incident is recorded in the police blotter.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines #current events
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 524 words
  • Grab Overpricing

    So the Philippine Competition Commission recently fined rideshare provider Grab P23M for overcharging their customers. Apparently only P5M of that is meant to go back to the affected riders, which seems like a piddly amount considering the number of riders in the Philippines. We’ll see how of that I actually get credited back, if any. Grab pricing has been steadily increasing since Uber exited the market early last year. The other day Grab wanted to charge me a bit over P400 for a 13km ride to a commercial area, which seemed insane.

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  • Tales from a P2P Bus

    It’s a lot more uncommon for me to go to places like Ortigas or Makati nowadays, but when I do I almost always take the P2P bus. The P2P (Point-to-Point) buses were introduced in Metro Manila I think around late 2015/early 2016, as a pricier alternative to the usual city buses. The fares are more expensive, but the buses are also much more comfortable and they don’t make stops along their route, only at the endpoints, so their travel time is faster compared to the usual city buses.

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    Posted by under post at #philippines
    Also on: twitter / 3 0 / 718 words
  • Four Days in Bicol

    Posted by under post at #travels #philippines
    Also on: twitter / 0 / 2425 words

Oct 2019

Jul 2019