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Engkwentro (Encounters)

18 Jun

If we are to successfully sustain ourselves to be human beings, we need to be able to adequately cope with everyday encounters and retain our sense of well-being.

For some odd reason, adverse encounters are frequent in occurance due to differences in perception and how adjustments needed to deal with the variety these are communicated to the other party.

Hmmm, okay, before this post turns out as a pretentious article with me pretending to be a psyche expert, NO. I just wanted to list the most pleasant events/encounters I’ve experienced and would like to highlight from the past months:

  1. Weddings
  2. Philippine Satellite
  3. Some of my TECH StartUps are starting to fly
  4. Some stuff at the daytime gig office
  5. Couchsurfing Outreach Programs
  6. Mount Pulag Climb with Travel Bloggers & Photographers
  7. Couchsurfing Party Jeepney
  8. IdeaSpace
  9. Lunches, Dinners, Concerts & Movies
  10. IdeaLab & EntrepsbuildPH
  11. White Rock Beach Resort Subic with Family
  12. Haribon
  13. TEDxKatipunan
  14. PHL360

So not busy writing diaries because busy living it out.  Hopefully in the next few days I will have links sharing stories about these (or surrender and combine everything to this post.  Or these keeps up and I honestly won’t have time to share (you may follow my Twitter or Facebook for a more real time account.

Either way, I do wish that all who have time to look at this to have the same sense of clarity and contentment I am awash with lately. 

Truly, the universe is generously abundant with the blessings coming on into my life. I appreciate with great joy and I ask for more, please 🙂

Also, a Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary today to my parents.

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Light and Freedom

18 May

(Day 18 of Mindful in May)

I’m going to be pretty vague about this one and focus on the feelings because I will be hitting on a specific reader’s toes if I get into any more detail.

The tone I’ve been using on the past few entries have been really dark so instead of trying to keep keeping on like that, I just shut up and let light come in to take care of me.

It is not one instant event given the overwhelming hesitation, uncertainty and mistrust on people and the world had previously appeared to be. The negative forces had been quite active on being too noisy that the tiny person holding the light can barely speak. This then resulted in panic and despair.

A quick trip to the columbarium and a monologue having my father’s ashes as audience was all it took to make me dump every single noise, to qualify its significance in my life, to quash my preconceived notions of what and how should it be and how I should react when people believe it should.

No hagulgol crying was made on this unloading, but I felt tons lighter, my world got more space to be a little more brighter, and that general sense of I-don’t-give-a-flying-fart-I-can-do-anything sense of invincibility has come in and decided to stay once more. 

It’s a pleasant feeling. Like the sound of the heavens when you’re summitting before sunrise.  Like the gentle breeze of the sea as you walk on the beach.  Like the almost flirty tones of the birds chirping.  Like the steadiness of the water as it flows through the stream.

So world, good and bad, I am sooo back and ready to take you on again in full force.  Bring it.

 

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.

Andres Bonifacio: My Occupy Philippines National Hero

28 Nov

An advanced birthday treat for literally, my hero, who celebrates his 148th on November 30.

While I can barely remember the name of my university Filipino history professor, the arguments ensuing on the debate as to who was truly deserving to be called national hero still remains and feels fresh in my memory.  I guess this was the time when I started being a Bonifacio geek.

A photo engraving of Andres Bonifacio, founder...
Image via Wikipedia

It was a fight between Andres Bonifacio versus the incumbent Philippines National Hero Jose Rizal.  It was quite interesting to note that there were a lot of my class and schoolmates when asked truly sympathized with how The Supremo was treated by his supposed team mates/counterparts all fighting for independence.

I remember myself totally siding with Bonifacio because I have come across some material concluding that Rizal was after all, seeking equality in the sense that he’s after having Philippines as a legitimate province of Spain.  That in my books, does not fly.

Well, now Spain, after gunning down Rizal in Bagumbayan, has finally claimed Rizal as a legit “Son of Spain” (have seen this reference personally on Rizal’s statue in Madrid).  Whereas Bonifacio, the self-taught, radical revolutionary, has ways, approach and interests for true independence from our Spanish, Japanese, American and most importantly, the Illustrado ruling class.

Unlike the usual profile of the popular heroes of the country, Bonifacio was born in the slums, self-educated, and truly had his heart set on empowering the Filipino working masses.  His greatest work and accomplishment, was directing attention to the unjust class structure of the colonial system, the exploitation of the indigenous people.  His ideals aimed at engaging the masses to “occupy” and make fair the existing regime of the then Spanish then American rule in the Philippines.

Bonifacio was  victim of treachery and political maneuvering of the clannish middle-class factions leading to his death, and then cast aside by Americans for a more pacifist figure.  I used to look forward to seeing his likeness on the five peso bill before it was replaced and demoted to a two-peso coin and eventually disappear with the latest currency in the land. Which is really a huge shame.

I’d like to send out a little note and try to reach out to fellow Andres Bonifacio geeks out there to come out, and campaign to update our national hero into someone that truly represents the interests of all our countrymen – of independence from foreign rule, of economic sustainability by work that allows income disparity and indigenous people exploitation to fade away.

Happy 148th Birth Anniversary, Sir Andres –
 
Here’s hoping that the day will come that the rest of the country and the world realizes and gives you what the honor you truly deserve.
 
While your demographic continues to exist, there continues to be hope.
 
 
So let me end this post with one of the poems closest to my heart as with its writer (please use online translation tools available to translate):
 
PAG-IBIG SA TINUBUANG LUPA
(ni Andres Bonifacio y de Castro)
 
Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya sa pagkadalisay at magkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa sariling lupa?
Aling pag-ibig pa?
Wala na nga, wala.
  
Pagpupuring lubos ang palaging hangad
Sa bayan ng taong may dangal na ingat,
Umawit, tumula, kumata’t at sumulat,
Kalakhan din niya’y isinisiwalat.
  
Walang mahalagang hindi inihandog
Ng may pusong mahal sa
Bayang nagkupkop, dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisa’t pagod,
Buhay ma’y abuting magkalagut-lagot.
  
Bakit? Alin ito na sakdal ng laki,
Na hinahandugan ng busong pagkasi,
Na sa lalong mahal nakapangyayari,
At ginugulan ng buhay na iwi?
  
Ay! Ito’y ang iang bayang tinubuan:
Siya’y iona’t tangi sa kinamulatan
Ng kawili-wiling liwanang ng araw
Na nagbigay-init sa buong katawan.
  
Kalakip din nito’y pag-ibig sa Bayan,
Ang lahat ng lalong sa gunita’y mahal,
Mula sa masaya’y gasong kasanggulan
Hanggang sa katawa’y mapasa-libingan.
  
Sa aba ng abang mawalay sa bayan!
Gunita ma’y laging sakbibi ng lumbay,
Walang alaala’t inaasa-asam
Kundi ang makita’y lupang tinubuan.
  
Pati ng magdusa’y sampung kamatayan
Wari ay masarap kung dahil sa bayan
At lalong mahirap.
Oh, himalang bagay!
 
 Lalong pag-irog pa ang sa kanya’y alay.
Kung ang bayang ito’y masasa-panganib
At siya ay dapat na ipagtangkilik,
Ang anak, asawa, magulang, kapatid;
  
Isang tawag niya’y tatalidang pilit.
Hayo na nga, hayo, kayong nagabuhay
Sa pag-asang lubos ng kaginhawahan
At walang tinamo kundi kapaitan,
  
Hayo na’t ibangon ang naabang bayan!
Kayong nalagasan ng bunga’t bulaklak
Ng kaho’y ng buhay na nilanta’t sukat,
Ng bala-balaki’t makapal na hirap, muling manariaw’t sa baya’y lumiyag.
 
 Ipahandug-handog ang busong pag-ibig
At hanggang may dugo’y ubusing itigis;
kung sa pagtatanggol, buhay ay mapatid,
Ito’y kapalaran at tunay na langit!

 

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

Symptoms of a Sick Culture and The Start of Curing Them

17 Nov

This post is in celebration of World Philosophy Day.

“The practice of philosophy is a process benefitting the whole of society. It helps to build bridges between peoples and cultures and heightens demand for quality education for all. Philosophy encourages respect for cultural diversity, exchanging opinions and sharing the benefits of science, which are the conditions for genuine debate. This 17 November, let us rally together to harness the incredibly transformative potential of philosophy.”
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO Message on World Philosophy Day 17 November 2011

I’m taking a passage of my All Time Favorite Book in the world.  Yeah grandiose tagging, because I mean it. I’ve read this book quite a number of times.  I would highly recommend this author to everyone I know and perhaps discuss sometime over any beverage of your choice.

The scene is set at the most dramatic event of the story.  If you want a spoiler, again, search engines are your friend for the eBook version (I’m still not getting the hang of those, but perhaps because I haven’t got a Kindle yet).

Or you are most welcome to borrow my travelling physical copy (scanned cover below).  I just need you to promise to send it back because it doesn’t want to be gathering dust on some stupid shelf on a weirdo’s place.  It needs to get around.

What are the marks of a sick culture?

It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population.

A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it. Dominance of males over females seems to be one of the symptoms.

Before a revolution can take place, the population must lose faith in both the police and the courts.

High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that’s old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way – even though there are always endless attempts to wish it way by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms.

I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course – but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down. Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial – but those things are obvious; all the histories list them.

I think you have missed the most alarming symptom of all. This one I shall tell you. But go back and search for it. Examine it. Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named… But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is too late to save this culture – this worldwide culture, not just the freak show here in California. Therefore we must now prepare the monasteries for the coming Dark Age. Electronic records are too fragile; we must again have books, of stable inks and resistant paper.

Dr. Kettle Belly Baldwin

Hump Day Haiku (Makes Two)

16 Nov

Well lookie here, another hump day.  Wonder where’d the past week went?

I’ve gotten some good feedback from some friends from the my first attempt last week so I’m taking another go.

And we’re off:

Here’s how the mob works.

Plead to their hearts, they’ll listen.

Overlord style fails.

I would have loved to write more about the events of the past week but I’m taking my sweet time. If you’re checking out my Twitter timeline, it has been quite a week for some of the things I really care about (my country and the people from it).

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