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Christmastime WAS Here, as was Sendong

30 Dec

…(Washi) with its flashflood-manifested wrath.  So though the typical Filipino style long-lasting yuletide festivities for the year would be disrupted to heed calls for donations of time, money and other resources for relief, recovery and restoration, that in a span of days are starting to fizzle down.

Over a thousand dead, same number still missing and tens of thousands whose homes and livelihoods that took lifetimes to build now gone forever.

Who in their right minds can genuinely celebrate amidst that situation, knowing, okay, you may even donate every spare penny and time you’ve got and still it won’t be enough for the long-term support these people will need to fully recover.  So of course the tiniest bit of callousness (read: Valerie Concepcion and Kris Aquino) will be called out.

There would also elements of pure evil capitalizing from the disaster and taking advantage of people’s emotions to swindle good-hearted donors for their own benefit.  A lesser evil would be the politicians who would agree to donate this or that given their faces and names would be provided media mileage. Yeah, scum, you suddenly get the urge to want them to have been part of those flooded away forever.

~~~~~

So does that mean those not directly affected be prohibited from having a good time? The survivors also need to understand that everyone in their own little way suffers, and to believe that the yuletide season is a reprieve from the constant negative things and asking them to NOT celebrate at all is like cutting off air.  There’s no good answer coming out of this because though personally if I were one of the dead (found or still missing), I would not seriously mind if the living acts to move on with their lives. Death after all is the final comfort.  Any left energies of those who remain should be focused on rebuilding the pieces of their life.

The Sendong survivors will continue to need help for a long time, so I hope & pray that:

  • The donors (of time, money & other items) to keep giving, to not get numbed by overwhelming calls for help
  • The government (national & LGU) and NGOs to not allow politics and egos to get in the way serving the survivors
  • The survivors themselves to be strong to keep the despair and darkness at bay
  • The rest of the world to not look the other way and act as if thise never happened, as wherever we are now, there is a good possibility that we may experience the ordeal they’ve had

~~~~~

Oh, and I almost forgot to greet the Celebrant.  Happy Birthday! Was it?

~~~~~

Also, the Philippines celebrate Rizal Day today.  As if it wasn’t enough that we just celebrated last June his 150th birthday that we have to honor him again on the day of his martyrdom. Meh. Told you I was a Bonifacio fan.

~~~~~

The world and life does go on.  Outside Sendong, there are still a lot of people that need help one way or the other.

Playing with Perceptions this Holiday Season

15 Dec

The reason for the season?

The Philippines is known to have the longest Christmas celebration period in the world with the fact that we start as early as the ber months begin.  Some cultures perceive this practice as crass due to the holiday’s association with how commercialized the occassion has become.  Others see the Filipino spirit as courageous and contagious, given in some countries it is said that most of the suicides occur during this lonely time for those who don’t have anyone significant in their lives.

If your household has an Overseas Filipino going home for the holidays you’re awash with joy for the chance to again be with this loved one (additional excitement for their neighbors, godsons, goddaughters and relatives).  For the common salaried employee, it’ll be exciting to receive the Christmas bonuses to pay off debts or upgrade existing gadgets or wardrobe or other things.

With the secular and other organizations starting to rise in numbers, alternatives to a Jesus’ birthday centered occassion (oh well, not really for the most of us, admit it!)

 

Human rights with current events.

Taking some excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to play with the recent events that struck me with good and bad vibes at some point.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading   treatment or punishment.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed   innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has   had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or   omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or   international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier   penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal   offence was committed

Article 12.  No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family,   home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Money-induced family feud resulting in a murder.

Forcibly outed homosexuality on national television by a reputed UN Ambassador and being ostracized by the rest of the nation really leaves a bad taste in anyone’s mind in comparison to an implied outing via a viral mic dropping reaction video that was eventually  brushed aside with class.

Malicious intent to malign is present when one does not exercise diligent care on preventing the leak of private and very sensitive data as seen on that video confession.  If your accusations are indeed true, you are encouraged to go to court and file the necessary charges rather than fuel the fire further.  It would have been easy to have contacted that video sharing site at the first instance of viewing that you were made aware of and formally request that it be removed instead of releasing more inflammatory statements.

Executive and Judiciary go into battle as Legislative are made dogs out grappling for pork while sitting on the Reproductive Health and Freedom of Information bills that continues to rot.

I’ve never been part of the sample surveyed for the public opinion polls.  I guess that goes into the bucket list.  Recent release on approval ratings really off me.  Uhm, in the presidential elections may I remind you, more people did not vote for you than the actual ballots under your name.  It is not equivalent to public mandate authorizing you to do your every whim.  Each day I get more convinced that Pinoy Monkey Pride was correct in assuming that the story of the mentally-challenged kid on TV is your life story and that it’s being used to condition the public to have confidence on your decisions. In short: You’re more and more proving to be a douche!

The appearance of urgency during the season’s mall, road and public transport congestion.  Bazaars. Sales.

Being “authorized” to redesign a rotting airport by apparently an overscoping government representative turns 8 months of free work with implied contract approvals ends up to nothing.

Opportunities for volunteering and giving to charities abound, a short-term “spiritual cleansing’ of sorts. Campaigns, tons of T-shirts. Gourmet coffee notebook planners.

Being more excited on the release of the latest gadget the following day.

Commission of Appointment grilling and rejecting confirmation of appointed diplomatic envoy to China and DSWD secretary.

Social media and it’s impact on the public’s easily swayed attention span. Occupy movements losing momentum and traction without measurable accomplishments.  Sigh.

Closure and hope for new beginnings.

Ups and downs included, it has been a fruitful year.  Windows and doors opening that allows me to pursue the life that could have been continues to overflow. Inspite of the difficult decisions one has to make to commit, it has all been worth it.  Pruning and trimming stages are both done.  Now is the time to let everything fall into place. THANK YOU UNIVERSE, MORE PLEASE.  Here’s to another great year ahead!

Hump Day Haiku – Bonifacio Day

30 Nov

Inspired by calls to poetry as an alternative to tons of rants and whines sprawled all around the internetz, I bumped into a Don’t Speak Whinese! post about something fun to do on hump days.

“What is a Haiku? It’s a Japanese poem with three lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) and is traditionally about nature. However, my Hump Day Haiku can also be called Haiku that Hurt! Or Hilarious Haiku… or err.. at least I think they are funny!”

I’m putting the Hump Day Haiku  button just on my post now, but hopefully I will have it form part of my main buttons on my 30th post, a challenge to myself to keep at it.

This is my Hump Day Haiku #3 (Dedicated to my Philippine National Hero Andres Bonifacio on his 148th Birth Anniversary Today)

Bayaning Andres

Bakasyon kami ngayon

Salamat sa’yo!

So that was a little lame. A little challenging to work the syllables using the Filipino language.

English: Picture of Filipino insurgent leader ...

Image via Wikipedia

Hump day Haiku #4 (I could go forever hahaha but let me see how this one looks like)

You wrote, you fought and

Longed for the country’s freedom

That’s real. My hero.  

So much better! Uhm, I think I’ll resist the temptation from making another one and appeal to the nationalistic spirit of fellow Filipinos to aptly honor the life and loves of this revolutionary that truly deserves a lot more than what was given to him.

Making a Conscious Choice of Your Life’s Work

20 Nov
Friendship love and truth
Image via Wikipedia Image via Wikipedia

Scheduled post.

One early evening the past week, myself and a few close friends who were former colleagues (NOT an oxymoron, while we were all really aggressive competitors during our time together, we became really good friends outside work) were graciously met by an outright “pera-pera” (money greedy) businessman who presented us with a business proposal.

Don’t worry N, we understand and forgive you – you may be married and a new father but still young, surely at some point pitches like this may slip and pass by your judgement.

This businessman that I’ll be referring to as J, didn’t even bother to hard sell the product that was supposedly the center of the universe of their business.  We even asked him if the product managers allow this and not get offended.  J says, not at all, so long as the money comes in.

The business model they’re pitching was the membership on their networking system, the price being several bags of the product and a few good marks, err, referrals with two steps:

  1. Have the marks, err, referrals invest a nominal amount into the business
  2. Extend membership on the network system by “inviting” a similar bunch of referrals on your group of friends to a business proposal meeting

The 4 of us attendees were already nodding, making knowing looks at each other, trying to be polite, asking relevant questions. I see potentially good poker partners there.

From: Justanotherpixel.net

If we weren’t this old wise, we’d probably sign up right away.

Of course who doesn’t want tons and tons of money?  We could definitely use some. Then again, we have enough to get by doing the things we’d love to do, and though you may believe we’re being hypocrites for the lack of willingness to subscribe to the kind of money mentality that you have, this is who we are.  Also, it is no surprise that the earlier venture of the product owner folded.  It did not happen simply because a person from public office intervened.

Umbrella/binary/pyramid/network marketing always has a bottom – it is not sustainable:

  • Networks get exhausted
  • Business does not cycle when there viable marks are no longer available
  • It has no real social value

Another significant and most overlooked aspect of this is tampering with the quality of personal relationship your investor has with their referrals.  When you get into something like this, the trust factor gets compromised. Of your credibility and a question of your values as a person, since you are in effect endorsing the mindset of the businessman you introduce into the life of your friend/colleague/referral.

Again, J, I’m not being negative or spreading any bad vibes with how driven you and how much you believe your business will succeed as it is doing so now, as I can see from the fancy watches that you and that lady were wearing, and the huge amounts on the checks you showed us.

I won’t speak on behalf of P & R & T, but with absolute certainty, I do not fit the profile you are looking for.

I am financially struggling with my startups, and straightforward as you are with how you do your business, in that same manner I’m proud of where I am. My eventual end customers are uncomfortably lodged at the BOP (base of the pyramid) – we are lifting each other up.

Best of luck to both of us, and if you can funnel in that tons of money my way as patient capital – perhaps we will both end up where we want to go financially.

Other get-rich-quick schemes:

Social Media, Shams, & the Create Abundance Business Community – this group in particular caught my ire because they dare call themselves as Social Entrepreneurs!

Talking Shit, Pee & Jizz on World Toilet Day

19 Nov

This is a scheduled post. I’m somewhere in Tarlac for the weekend on some goody two-shoe activity, perhaps I will update this post next week to share how this Aeta Community gets rid of their poop.  I’m guessing dig & bury.

Apologies for the NSFW terms because i won’t get your attention otherwise!  So if the video and photo below do not keep you, feel free to close tab or whatever.

For all of us who have access to the internet, we take toilets for granted.  I would hear an occassional whine about not having a personal one, but I’d like to share some perspective.

While there is a huge research now of the futuristic toilet that will no longer require water and will allow recycling, it’s really shocking to find out that considering the modern times, 2.6 billion people in the world that do not have this privilege and guess what?  In time, will affect us all.

Okay, so you’re finding me gross, I’ll tone it down a bit by cutting down on seriously heavy stuff but still about toilets: 

Best toilets are the ones in Dubai, where bidets seem to be mandatory.

I got freaked out with the squat toilets I first saw in the ladies room at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.  When I stayed in Malaysia, I realized these are more sanitary than the sit-down ones.

From Wacky Archives

Then again I shouldn’t complain because I have this distinct memory as a kid that on our public elementary school,  we used to pee on an elevated section of the bathroom floor, required to “shoot” the urine on the non-elevated, enclosed partition else we pee on our shoes. (Will try to find a photo later. One below is the closest so far that I can find on short notice.)

Who would ever forget about the urinals out and about on most national roads in Metro Manila by Bayani Fernando?

From Flickr user My Soul Insurance

I hear Starbucks is no longer willing to be the community’s public toilet. Yeah awful. First shooing away the wifi freeloaders. Now this.

There’s also the library loo at University of St. Andrews in the UK that has a No Masturbation poster because their loo is not designed for the jizz. I kid you not:

Pardon for this last one as its such a long read, but such graphic imagery on how this dude’s poop was dislodged, you’ll never need a real photo – follow the link for a more readable size:

Colorful poop story

Aren’t we all OCCUPY’d by now? (Updated Oct 22)

15 Oct
is symbolically used in the Philippines to rep...

Image via Wikipedia

BREAKING:      Surprised to find on my FB inbox just now an Occupy Cairns (Australia) helper (I feel none of the people involved are actually tagging themselves as organizer) reaching out and expressing support.

We are the farmers and workers,
We are the OFW and small entrepreneurs,
We are the teachers and students,
We are the professionals and house-helpers,
We are the private and public employees,
We are the artists and self-employed,
We are the lower and middle classes,
We are the parents and children,
We are the people,
We are the impoverished, oppressed, and unheard,
We are the real Filipinos,
We are the 99%,
We are the real Juan dela Cruz!

Far as I understand it, the original protesters on Wall Street want to have their (99%) American Dream back from the greedy corporate (1%) who controls and benefits from their downfall.

They seek liberation from:

  1. The high interest on their huge student loans that they are unable to pay due to unemployment or underemployment;
  2. Foreclosure on default mortgage payments on their house
  3. Extension of welfare/medical coverage
  4. Bankruptcy
  5. Unfair competition on trade brought about by outsourcing/global trade agreements
Serious stuff.  Further magnified by social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Meetup, where Occupy meetings are organized and published.
Then obviously the rest of the world not only just sympathized, they too have their own versions.  Some even pointing out that though US is indeed in a lot of trouble right now, their worries are nothing (ah well that’s relative to the ones personally experiencing the situation, right?) compared to the famine in Africa, or even the local economy here in the Philippines or the rest of the world.
Either way, I support these people who has sad stories to tell.  I wish there’s a wand that can send all their troubles away.  Any geniuses out there who can figure out a cure, please come out NOW.
Occupy Wall Street:

Ang Kapintasan ng “CouchSurfing” at pag-aaral sa mga alternatibo

25 Aug

Ayan, di kita pahhirapan dahil ingles ang panulat. May kaunting dagdag lang ako.

May mga balido naman siyang punto. Ang haba lang kasi eh hahaha.

Masama nga ba talagang magtiwala sa kabutihan ng tao? Isa ka na bang matuturing na engot kung ganun talaga ang pananaw mo sa buhay?

A criticism of CouchSurfing and review of alternatives Table of Contents Introduction Free Accommodation The “CouchSurfing Spirit” and Super-Hippies Problems with CouchSurfing ……..Fraud and illegal behavior ……..The Verification Scam ……..Privacy Concerns ……..References and the lack of a dispute resolution process ……..Censorship Alternatives ……..Hospitality Club ……..GlobalFreeloaders ……..BeWelcome ……..Tripping ……..Crashatmine Conclusion References Introduction Fo … Read More

via All that is wrong with the world…

Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa, Ramadan, Si Cory, Isang Kaganapan at Isang Magaganap

1 Aug

Kaunting paumanhin sa mga banyagang makakabasa nito na hindi marunong gumamit ng mga teknolohiyang magsasalin ng mga salita sa wika na kanilang nais.

Ito na ang ikaapat na taon kong “panata” na mangusap sa ating pambansang wika, ngunit sa mga nakaraang taon, Linggo ng Wika lamang siya kaya mas madali.  Bakit ko siya ginagawa?  Wala lang?

Paliwanag para lalong madiin:  Mabisa itong panglibang kung masyadong teknikal ang aking gawain.  Naikukubli ko ang aking poot sa aking banyagang kinaiinisan dahil hindi niya ako maiintindihan.  Para siyang magsasanay ng pagiging malikhain para sa akin.  Kahit kumportable ako sa wikang ingles, napagtanto ko sa mga taong ito na masarap ring manatili sa sariling wika, kaparis ng mga Arabo, Indyano, Intsik, Pranses at iba pang mga bansang sikat ang lengguwahe.  Kung lahat ng mga salita ay may pagsasalin sa Filipino, matutuwa ako.

Kaya lang, mapapanindigan ko kaya ito? Abangan.

Di ako masyadong natuwa nung mga nakalipas na 2 Ramadan na nasa Muslim na bansa ako dahil natapat ito sa aking kaarawan.  Di kami masyadong makapagsaya dahil ang aming mga kapitbahay ay nagtitika.  Ni hindi ako makapagdala ng kaunting handa sa opisina dahil pasok siya sa oras na bawal kumain o uminom man lang ng tubig na makikita ng nangingilin.  Kailangan patago.  Bagaman nakakatakot ang mga kalsada dahil ang mga nagmamanehong nangingilin ay parang mga hibang sa gutom at uhaw papunta sa mga iftar, masaya pa rin makisalo sa kanila at ang kanilang mga salaysay ukol sa pagdiriwang na ito sa mundo ng ating mga Muslim na kapatid.

Ngayon din ginugunita ang ikalawang taong kamatayan ng Dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino. Di man ako lubusang natuwa sa lahat ng kanyang ginawa at tinuran, nakakabilib pa rin ang kanyang mga nakamtan bilang isang babae, isang asawa, isang ina, at pangulo ng bansa.

Ang kaganapan na tinutukoy ko sa aking huling paskil na may temang pulitika ay nangyari sa aking kaibigang nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa. Nagkataong siya at ang kanyang banyaga ring kaibigan ay namamasyal nung may demonstrasyon na natampok sa mga pandaigdigang lathalain at telebisyon. Sila ay may dalang mga camera kaya’t nanguha sila ng mga litrato.

Makaraan ng dalawang linggo, sila ay dinampot ng militar. Walang kasong ihinabla ngunit kinumpisa ang kanyang camera at binura ang mga kuha nung demonstrasyon at sinabihang huwag ikuwento ang ginawa sa kanila kahit kanino, lalung-lalo na sa nagbabalita. Pinakawalan ang aking kaibigan ngunit ang kanyang kasama na mula sa isang bansa sa Europa ay nakapiit pa rin hanggang ngayon. O di ba nakakatakot?

Dun ako sa bansang yun tutungo sa mga darating na araw upang pansamantalang manirahan at magtrabaho. Yun ang magaganap. Nyahaha.

Babalitaan ko kayo sa mga susunod na pangyayari. Susubukan kong lumayo sa gulo sa abot ng aking makakaya, pangako!

Earth Hour(?!) Seriously, we owe so much more!

26 Mar

 

With an onslaught of worldly disasters (typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear facility breakdowns, political upheavals, hunger, disease), there can’t be a more opportune time to celebrate Earth Hour than these days.

It may not even be a sign from God that disasters abound, maybe it’s just our earth saying, it’s a little tired of being treated badly and it can only pamper us so much.

I’d even think this hour should be lasting and go beyond the 830pm one-hour local time allotment.  The latest publicities I’ve been seeing online and offline prove to be superficial – why organize events that would require or exert a lot of spent energy heading to the venue, lights, music, resources to secure the area.  Even those flyers being sent out to promote it – really pains me.

When in essence you can merely sit back at home, unplug everything and appreciate earth in its raw form.  Then just have a life based on just getting what you need and giving up/sharing what you consider an excess.

There are so many ways we can preserve this huge wonderful planet that we live in, and come to think of it going back to my previous blog post on decency, it will be reduced to that.  It sounds negligible on implementation but each effort to not contribute to the garbage, each effort not to waste existing resources would prove great in the long term.  I say we keep getting at it.

So going beyond the occasion, I won’t go preachy or self-righteous on saying we do this and that to “Save The Earth”. We’ll just do it.  You’ll see.

Senior Year & Being a Woman, many years thereabouts after High School

7 Mar

Today’s Blog joins in the Celebration of the 100th International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011

*Opinions expressed here do not represent those writers and artists involved on the movie “Senior Year” that incidentally opens March 9 to selected SM Cinemas nationwide (Sm Megamall, Mall of Asia, North, Sta Mesa, Manila, Cebu, Davao, Pampanga, Clark,, Fairview Bacoor and Southmall in the Philippines) .  I decided to link these two themes together as the movie inspired the starting point of my journey from a girl to a woman


I honestly had hesitations attending the movie premiere of a local independent movie film SENIOR YEAR, seeing that it’s a high school coming-of-age movie, the attending crowd would be in majority a bunch of kids and a possibility that some of them will be those feeling entitled ones.  Thanks to Associate Producer Bevlee Tañedo for saving tickets for me & my friend so we can watch it J

Though the movie is marketed to reach out to the young, may I recommend those a tad older to come explore too?  Simple as the plot and stories of these young kids as compared to how dramatic our problems may have become as we grow older, it’s a good reminder of what we used to be, what we’ve become and the possibilities still of what may happen in our future.

I find spoilers unethical so other than mentioning that the movie revolves around the lives of high school senior students and the issues they face as they transition onto college.  Stories of confusion over community cliques, personal relationships, gender confusion, puppy love and academic achievement abound.  Come to think of it, I realize you still have to face these issues as you grow older.  High school is but one place to start getting used to it and making sure you survive.

If there is anything I would change on the film, it would be to instill a clearer transition from the former versions of the Seniors to the Current Persons as often times I get confused as to who and what is talking about including which timeline are we on.  I’m assuming it’s an artistic stunt done by the writer-director reminiscent of the time-jumping Heroes or even Quantum Leap or even just a simple flashback.  For the story to work this needs to be crystal clear, especially to the simplest of minds who may be watching, otherwise you lose and spoil the story for them forever.

Now we go to the present, 2011, where you’d see women presidents or other positions in power say it corporate or politics.  Who would’ve thought that it will become commonplace the while we were in high school?

Coming from a poor family, there was indeed a disconnect on how to seek women development before, such that I too was told that going further from high school is optional – I was going to get married and have babies anyway, so what’s the point?  Instead of taking offense for the practicality of that logic, I accepted it as a challenge to work hard then pitch and pitch why I needed to take up further studies, even my plan to make myself richer than all my family’s wildest dreams combined.  Parts of that dream are being realized now, yet the movie seems to draw me back and speculate what may have happened if I merely took for a fact what was given to me.  I also wonder if there are still girls who continue to experience the same troubles as I when they express intent on going further with their studies, and who coaches or cheers them on to not surrender on their dreams because they’re women.

Going further from that, as I talked to Middle East high school girls during my DigiGirlz stint with Microsoft Dubai, there are new issues that comes with being a modern woman – juggling career, family, spiritual responsibilities and a healthy personal life (and figure!).  Most of the married colleagues I know make their active choice and live by it each day.   Some seek help while some surrender and let one or a combination of these things slide.  For single ladies such as myself, given the freedom  we have gained through education and professional experience, we still encounter “well-meaning” groups and individuals who would take the path of saying we should do this and that simply because we’re women.

Sometimes I think the rendition of the modern woman as depicted in “Sex & the City” had gone obsolete and gender expectations are back pre-medieval, or maybe not that far, just back in high school, the timeline of the movie.  I don’t mean the sexually promiscuous type (not that I’m against it, your body, your rules) but the highly educated and independent woman on top of her world.

Empowerment is indeed flourishing, yet we don’t really know what to do with this “power” or how to handle it while keeping ourselves sane.  At the most, I will say we still have a long way to go and create a new sense of direction. It is however comforting to know that there is a huge community of women & men out there having that same feeling and ready to support you.

Count yourselves in on the celebration online and offline by signing up on this link:

http://internationalwomensday.org/node/add/count-me?nocache=1#count-me

It’s still International Women’s Month for the rest of March (yeah, alongside Philippines’ Fire Prevention Month – haha) so have fun being ladies and enjoy that time!

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