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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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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.

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!

 

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

Day of the Dead in a world of the 7 Billion People Living

1 Nov

Church and political elders are to blame the need to assign separate days for Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  They wanted to control our beliefs so they set these stupid traditions as a reinforcement of their power to impact our lives each day.

We have two dead family members: An elder brother who was stillborn some years before I was born and my father, who died July 2008. There’s no longing feeling for either of them, and don’t go self-righteous to say I’m heartless or whatever. The elder brother, I never met, my father, I remember him almost every single day with envy and joy, him being in the after life if there’s such a place – so I don’t need a holiday as an excuse.

A few days back while on the beach, I tweeted, “…for the dead don’t give a shit!”  This is what I choose to believe. If they do, and any of the dead were like me, things would be a little different:

  • Only the actual dead would be allowed to ask for candy, and will be given when they tell us where they hid the goddam keys
  • The fellas who wear a “sexy ____” halloween costume should “get some”
  • Remakes of any sort will be banned – when a thing has come past, let it be gone forever, just like the dead now
  • Those benefiting from the dead will be stripped of that specific advantage to level the playing field
  • Cemeteries & columbaries would be rendered obsolete – in such a congested world, I’d rather be a fertilizer or mixed in animal feed
  • Yes for Halloween parties, but please not under the pretense that its on the dead’s honor, man up & admit it’s all for you, the undead
  • More online memorials for the dead, appreciating the e-dalaw and e-burial initiaves happening here in the Philippines for the jailbirds and the OFWs

So, in an undetermined time today, we’ll go visit my father’s ashes, celebrate mass & grab some grub. Meh. If my father were alive, he’d rather stay at home, enjoy some rum and cigarette.

For my brother that I’ve still yet to visit ever (Remember that story I shared a few years back on the circumstances surrounding his death?), I do remember you once in a while, wondering what you may have been if you held on, how you would react to what is happening here in the land of the living.

What’s weird now, probably part of growing old, is that I don’t have scary thoughts associated with the dead, death or the afterlife. It’s how I get there is what I’m more afraid of, and mostly the violent, criminal elements of the living.

I’ll be going around today and make a fun to-do-list for next year.

7 Billion People in the world, that is a scary thought, even if none of us are literal zombies yet. What about the food, the space, the ability to live humanely literally competing against each other to survive?   But that’s another long blog post so go have your fun today with your dead and live to fight another day.

Reblog: Visit TED’s Ads Worth Spreading channel on YouTube — comment and enter!

20 Oct
The foundation's logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Good morning!

TED’s Ads Worth Spreading attempts to appease the self-righteous indignation of some of us who is miffed by how the advertising industry seems to succeed boxing and hypnotizing us into buying the goods and services of their clients.

Been checking out the previous winners and have seen some of this year’s submissions, must admit they are swell!

You can participate by submitting or promoting the ones you love most.

TED Blog

Via the YouTube Blog: Last year, TED kicked off a challenge to the advertising industry called Ads Worth Spreading, our global search for innovation, ingenuity and intelligence in advertising. This year, we are delighted to announce that we’re now accepting entries to the current challenge through our Ads Worth Spreading channel on YouTube. The YouTube channel will help promote and showcase submissions, as well as spark conversation.

Even if you’re not an advertiser, you can visit the channel and comment on your favorite campaigns: Which ads are thought-provoking, funny, honest, warm, informative or creatively brilliant? We want your feedback, and the channel is our medium for hearing your voice.

Read the full story on the YouTube Blog >>

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Keeping A Sunny Disposition in the Dark

20 Oct

Sunny Disposition flickr image by mhofstrand

Insomuch as the past several weeks have been hugely stressful for me due to professional and personal challenges that sees me as an easy target to feast on lately.  Add to that the negative vibes within my immediate environment that seem to have dropped by on this already busy head and simply decided to stay. I also fully decided on letting go of one of my three biggest items on my bucket list.  Really heavy stuff.

Then the gray skies and rainy weather!  Oh man I really really hate it!

My speech and thought patterns have been greatly affected.  Looking at the first words and images that pop in my head for any new information that comes in, I barely recognize this zombie that replaced the bubbly, perky, happy-go-lucky girl full of bright ideas, a plan and tons of hope that was me around this time last year.  So I take some quiet time, double back and study.  WTF happened?  How do I climb myself out of this funk-y hole? I don’t like this at all.

As it had been my most of the time guilty pleasure, the positivity/happy thought/cheer-me-up literature actually provides me the opposite effect.  By now, the closest of my friends know to distance themselves when I’m like this.  The develolping ones, well, good to be able to hide with the schedule flexibility of my profession.  I keep away physically, I get vague online. Hint hint hint.  Either you stay to help me go through it or keep away as I’m going to make a very huge mess.

Sumptous & glorious food, sweets, alcohol and partying does provide temporary comfort, but I can’t go on a bingeing, munching, boozing spree forever!  I actually like my wardrobe now and not keen to replace them for the rest of this decade.  I also need to be lucid enough to be able to earn my living.

I’m only able to share this now because of an epiphany, great chocolate, and a really really good Cheerleader [THANK YOU!].  An expected development happening on the coming days, when it does happen, will confirm it.

I keep fighting the good fight because I know all the efforts exerted and continue to make will all be worth these wishes for my universe that I continue to strive for.

So I’m not gonna ruin the surprise.  I’lm unplugging my worries, chill and let the universe take care of me.

Wish me luck! (Or not, every chance I get to see the sun anywhere, or when the cat approaches me for some cuddling, even the assuring clear taste of water – it feels like a whispering, “While you breathe, you hope!”

 

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What I think of when I think of food (#BAD11)

16 Oct

For a huge part of our lives our thoughts would always be rotating around food in some fashion, inspite of your denial.

Growing up as a hackneyed latchkey kid staying at an extended family‘s compound with tons of cousins – I distinctly remember the bell ringing during summer vacation indicating that it’s time to eat.  Then we all head up the stairs to the 3rd floor in what I would describe now as a buffet.  Cousins, brothers, sisters,  Aunts and Uncles would then catch up on how their day was going.

It was a time to share part of your wishes, hopes, dreams and rants – quite a good way to bond with the rest of the clan.

I don’t remember being a picky eater then, so it doesn’t surprise me much that as an adult I’d always seek the local food for a new place I get to.

Strangest food I’ve tried hands down would be the Tamilok from Palawan. Worst food situation I have when I lived alone was when money was running out before payday and I would subsist with crackers, peanut butter and instant noodles.

Comfort food would be a really good pizza, greens with good vinegar-based dressing, sushi, a good slab of ribs or steak, anything chocolate and a variety of fish dishes (saucy or friend, man, I think of them now it’s way past midnight I think I need to eat again).

Fasting outside of health requirements for me is a huge disrespect to individuals that have limited or no access to and the blessings of food that is made available.

I am thankful that I have chances to eat these good things.  It’s such an awful thing to have leftovers that will go to waste, knowing as we speak there are thousands of people dying of hunger.

With the technology these days I await a good way to equally distribute food so that the resources consumed to produce is optimized.

Though Occupy Wall Street, Education and Poverty are quite popular topics to tackle now, none of these can be acted upon by those whose essential need to feed themselves are not met.

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:

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.

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