Archive for December, 2017

new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin designed to confuse pinoys

December 23, 2017 Leave a comment

i was at McDonald’s and paid for my order. i was getting a 13 peso change – 2 5-peso coins and 3 1-peso coins. the McDonald’s crew called my attention to the coins she was giving me, isolating 2 coins –  “Sir, 5 peso coins po itong dalawa.”

at first i was not sure why she was calling my attention to the coins and making a big deal of the 5 peso coins. i told myself of course i can distinguish a 5 peso coin from  a 1 peso coin – the sizes and colors are different, the 5 peso coin is yellowish and bigger than the 1 peso coin which is silver in color and smaller. the differences are very obvious.

the MacDonald’s crew separated the 2 5-peso coins on the table and pointed them out to me. i looked at them and i realized she had a point. the 5 peso coin looks exactly the same as the 1 peso coin. it was smart of her to point that out to me and i thanked her for her effort.

current 1 peso coin on the left, new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin in the middle which is shinier because it is new and the current 5 peso coin on the right

she gave me 13 pesos in change – 2 new 5 peso coins and 3 1-peso coins. all 5 coins looked the same at first glance – same color and the same size. and since i was familiar with the current 1 peso coin, it would have seemed to me she gave me 5 pesos in change, 5 1-peso coins, instead of 13 pesos.

and that’s the part i don’t get – why did the BSP (Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas) release new 5 peso coins that look almost exactly the same as the current 1 peso coin?

i thought the primary consideration, the very first mandatory in designing coins and paper bills is to have designs that are DISTINCT from other coins and bills in the market. that the looks and size should be very obviously different.

the reason is obvious – you do not want people confusing one coin and bill denomination from another. that is to make sure people do not make mistakes in using their money.

but apparently that was not at all a consideration in the design of the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin.

the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin is almost the same in looks and size as the current 1 peso coin. both have the same silver color. (the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin in the picture above is just much shinier than the 1 peso coin because it is a new coin.)

the size of the 1 peso coin and the new 5 peso coin are almost the same. there is a minute difference with the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin versus the current 1 peso coin. the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin is ever so slightly bigger than the 1 peso coin. by looking at them side by side, the naked eye won’t be able to tell the differences in size. you can can tell that the 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin is  bigger if you put the 1 peso coin on top of it and you will see that the minuscule outer ring in the new 5 peso Andres Bonifacio coin shows. that’s it, that is the size difference.

aside from having essentially the same size, what i don’t get it is why did BSP  not have the same yellowish color of the current 5 peso coin to the new 5 coin? having the same yellowish color would have clearly communicated both are 5 peso coins. and one can argue clearly differentiates it versus the 1 peso coin even if they have the same size to the naked eye.

the mandatory design principle in bills is this – have different colors, different graphics, big numbers to denote value and in some countries even have different sizes.

in coins, the mandatory design principle is about the same – have different sizes,  different colors, different graphics and in some different shapes or have 2 toned colors or a hole in one denomination.

but not in the Philippines. the BSP designed a new 5 peso coin that had essentially the same color and same size as the current 1 peso coin that it is really difficult to tell them apart.

why did this happen?






Amiel Alcantara – some closure and justice : Woman gets 2 to 6 years in jail for running over Ateneo student

December 20, 2017 Leave a comment

classmates of Amiel Alcantara release blue and white balloons as the his hearse drives by for the final resting. this was my favorite picture.


Woman gets 2 to 6 years in jail for running over Ateneo student

The family of the late Julian Carlo Miguel “Amiel” Alcantara has finally found justice, closure, and forgiveness after a Quezon City Regional Trial Court convicted the woman who had hit and run over him at the Ateneo de Manila University parking lot eight years ago.

In a 23-page decision promulgated on Dec. 8, Judge Cecilyn Villavert of Branch 89 of the Quezon City RTC sentenced Ma. Theresa Torres to two to six years in prison and ordered her to pay Amiel’s family P4.4 million in criminal and civil damages.

In the courtroom, Torres walked to Amiel’s parents, Jose Fernando and Melanie Alcantara, after the verdict was read and all broke down in tears, a family friend of the Alcantaras told the Inquirer on Sunday.

When he died, Amiel was 10 years old, a fourth grade student at the Ateneo.

The friend said the Alcantara family had forgiven Torres, herself a mother.

Amiel also lives in the lessons everybody learned from the incident. His family recognizes how Ateneo has continued to improve its traffic system, which by now has been emulated by other schools.

Moreover, the public has become more aware and concerned for the need for comprehensive road safety regulations and enforcement.

Of the P4.4 million worth of damages, P2 million is for exemplary damage, which the court grants as an example for the public good.

It was on Feb. 24, 2009 at around 4:30 p.m. when Torres stayed with her daughter inside a borrowed Toyota Hi-Ace van at the Ateneo parking lot while they were waiting for her driver to pick up her son.

Torres said she heard several cars honking behind her, which prompted her to shift to the driver’s side and move the van.

At that moment, Amiel, Avie, younger sister Jana, and nanny Tomasa “Tata” Suarez, were crossing the street towards their own car after picking up Amiel and Avie.

While Torres claimed she drove slowly, witnesses Jonas Mahinay and the Alcantaras’ family driver, Khan Nguyen Alcasabas, told the court they heard a “loud and resounding sound” from the van, saw it speed at an estimated 40 to 60 kph, then hit Amiel and Tata, and then two other vehicles before it came to a full stop.

Torres had pleaded not guilty to the case of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and physical injuries filed against her by Jose Fernando and Melanie, and fought hard in court to contest the allegation of criminal negligence against her that caused the death of Amiel.

Torres, through her lawyer, had tried to convince the court that there was also negligence on the part of Amiel, Avie, Jana, and Tata because they did not use the pedestrian lane and did not look for oncoming vehicles as they approached their own car.

The court noted that Torres herself admitted in her testimony that she saw the victims crossing the street and knew that even if her vehicle moved slowly she would hit Tata and Jana.

“It is therefore clear from the foregoing that accused had that last chance to avoid hitting the victims,” the court said.

Mahinay also told the court he heard Torres tell the Ateneo guards that she stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes.

Alcasabas said he rushed to Amiel and saw his head pinned in the back right tire of the van. He said he and another person had to push the van to release the tire from Amiel’s head.

Amiel died in the arms of Alcasabas as he rushed the boy to the New Era Hospital.

“The totality of the evidence presented shows that the proximate cause of death of Amiel was the reckless driving of the accused,” the court said.

In its verdict, the court also ordered Torres to pay Tata P50,000 as moral damages for her injuries and suffering at the rate of 6 percent per annum from the date of finality of judgment until fully paid. /atm

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