Tag Archives: OFW

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.

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!

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!

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.

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:

I am Rebooting Valentine’s Day as Generosity Day with Acumen Fund, Come Join Us!

14 Feb

RT @acumenfund Rebooting Valentine’s Day as #generosityday #thatslove #notgettingany a blog entry + an FB note 4 my peeps. Love & Light! #fb

A tweet from @acumenfund a few days back started to stir in my head, whilst trying to decide between:

  • accepting Valentine’s Day date invites from equally gorgeous+energetic+smelling good men
  • chillin at the spa – must admit it has been pretty busy lately
  • pushing through with the “date” with Binondo Church’s St. Josemaria Escriva statue giving out novenas and talking about the Opus Dei personal prelature to the curious
  • holing up in my room watching the mushiest of romcoms feeling vulnerable and/or sorry for being single during this day of days where a lover appears to be necessary
  • going to a gaybar with fellow single ladies ogling at male equipment we will never have

The tweet goes:

On Monday we’re trying to reboot Valentine’s Day as #generosityday. Are you in? Thanks for your help! http://bit.ly/fJASGV

The link follows as:

http://sashadichter.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/rebooting-valentines-day/

I got floored and am now joining them to celebrate Generosity Day.

In cooperation with this awesome company’s great initiative, I hereby offer to the universe EVERYTHING I HAVE (time & efforts for service + material stuff) that you feel I can give away while keeping myself and my family  sustainable still.

Please just go message, comment, text, call me TODAY – we will schedule  handovers – I WILL GIVE IT TO YOU WHOLEHEARTEDLY.  No questions asked (well except maybe for more details logistics/delivery wise), no exchange deals, no catch, no BS.  It’s yours for the asking. TODAY.

HAPPY GENEROSITY DAY, UNIVERSE!

A Call For Civility + My Happiness Plan

10 Feb

The most outstanding comment I heard on the wake of Angelo Reyes’ death was from an old-time crush pretty boy (well, his hair is all while now, I guess “boy” is no longer appropriate) Rafael Alunan III calling for civility.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Civility

The past few days have been heartbreaking for most of us not only in the Philippines, but for the rest of the world as well.  We are all confused with what’s happening and who to side with and how to move forward from all this sadness.

I take a step back and check my approach and methods for communication and calls to action due to some personal conflicts I have had faced head on and resolved in full recently.  Yes, I have resorted to crass or harsh wordings and musings, even be super passionate on tone and context as I share the emotion of frustration or disappointment.  But only as a last resort – only at the time I felt I have no other recourse but to lash back as my wounds do not have a chance to heal if I don’t get the space to breathe.  I was seeking air.  But I do realize, all these may have stemmed from a lack of civility from both sides.  Most likely, stemmed from a high sense of self-righteous personal pride.

Well anyways, before I go into further babbling, I will keep in mind of Raffy Alunan’s call for civility to keep each other’s dignity intact.  Maybe if we all do, people will not feel so low that they need to go corrupt to keep up with the condescending and patronizing rich people.  Suicides need not happen, political turmoil can be avoided, rallies or political disobedience unnecessary.

Sure, you may say this piece as too naive and the author continues to stay in her idealistic bubble.  But hey, this floats my boat.  I’m still here full of dreams and living my life in full like a fool.  Of course I have my troubles, but overall I’m happy with how things are going.  And you sir, how’s your life?

Love & Light!

My Happiness Plan and Operating Guidelines:

1. Find and follow your purpose.

2. Participate as frequent as humanly possible.

3. Contribute by commenting/suggesting/granting a wish/EPALizing like there’s no tomorrow – we needed whatever you’re tasked to do two weeks ago!

4. Communicate – please set mutual expecations straight.  It’s a safe environment here with no judgment (just snide remarks).  If you sit on a task not having an idea how to do it or need help on completing it, just ask because our pool is huge.  If you don’t, we’ll assume you got what it takes.

5.  Take ownership of your assignment by heart & soul (IKARIR) – If your deliverable blows and negatively impacts other tasks needed to keep this machine running like clockwork, we will shoot you like hell and worse, we’ll blog and/or facebook and/or tweet about it with your photo and contact info (maybe).

OFW Holiday Paranoia

21 Dec

I’ll just share my chat today with my friend G who’s been working in Dubai for almost 4 years now.

G: hehehe takot kasi talaga ako umuwi, 13 kasi pamangkin ko!!! di ko pa mabilang inaanak ko. mga aunt pa, cousins, etc lolss.

Me: aysus. pamangkin lang naman pala at inaanak gosh kapatid you don’t need to sponsor all of them! i don’t:) when they bully me para magpasponsor,labas ang sungay ko

G: di kasi ako madalas umuwi, kaya mataas expectations sa akin lolss!!! pano mo nilalabas sungay mo?

Me: sinasabi ko lang sa mga nagpapalibre i don’t hang around with losers.

G: last april i was there, on the 3rd day, ubos agad 5K dirhams (PHP 60,000) ko!!!.

Me: so kung di kayo loser, di kayo magpapalibre. at pag loser kayo, babush na

G: LOLSSS!!!! nice one!! pwede pa-kopya? winner un, “I dont hang around with losers!”lolssteka, nga at magawang status!!! lolss.

Me: basta tatandaan mo lang you ar not obliged to sponsor them, your money is yours alone and you decide how to spend it – not them. not because you’re single and not because you have more money than them – it does not make it mandatory – ayan give kita sungay para mapadalas

G: TOTALLY AGREE!!!.

Me: ung mga slow, di nila gets yan, nagtatampo.

G: lolss!! sige, pag-uwi ko next year sa October, lets hang around para naman matutunan ko rin maglabas ng sungay….

Me: pero kung ganun sila ka-shallow, do we really need to spend time with them?sige aabangan kita next year keep me posted.

G: mkorek! nakaka-drain ng energy ang mga ganung people!!!will do, girl 😉 luv ya!

On Overseas Filipinos and the Philippines

26 Oct

We can always say, “walang basagan ng trip”, but seriously, if we are to mature about this we need to take sides. I speak as someone who was an accidental OFW with the fullest resolve to go back home and did so.

Of course there will always …be a financial advantage on deciding to work, even live with your family at another country, but the emotional, spiritual and long-term economic cost of leaving the country is tremendous.

Sure, go and work overseas for a couple of years for the experience, but please, I beg you to not contribute to the Brain Drain long term. Just get the knowledge and technology the high and mghty countries and companies have, then funnel it back here at the earliest time possible.

We can always say those who remain in Pinas are this and that, even blame the corruption in the government or even justify that the foreign currency remittances compensate for your absence or even save the economy. My appeal is to those who have the potential to make a positive change within the country and not just win the respect of foreigners on perceptions of Filipinos worldwide. If you do insist our talents are “World Class”, why not dare to show your fellow countrymen what you can do, here?

Fellow Talented Filipinos, your talents and passion are needed here in the Philippines, now.

I dare not label as Traitor those who decide to take the Overseas Filipino path, but if that individual looks down on the decisions and actions of the nation he/she/it/they abandoned, you are lower than traitors, even lower than the lowest microcosms that pretend to live still.

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