Tag Archives: Philippines

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.

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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

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

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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.

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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!

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.

I Love TonTon Thai Massage (and I’m not afraid to say it!)

12 Oct

It’s always a good day/night when I squeeze in time to drop by and have my 2 hours at TonTon Massage Authentic Thai Massage.

I got introduced to this by my former manager as a reward for doing great work way back in 2006.  Been hooked ever since.  Wherever in the Philippines, I will try to get myself to one of it’s many branches every two weeks.  Nothing like it overseas so it’s the first thing I gun for the minute I get back into the country.

My sister Earthlingorgeous posted her own review when I brought her one time. Her being a lifestyle blogger who’s used to glamorous spas did not appreciate the ambiance.  I have had my share of these fabulous spas but never cared about for the ambiance thing so long as I get quality treatment especially for the massage part.

I’d however agree with her feedback about the pillows, but I have previously and continue to enjoy fully my massage without it so…

At Tonton massage areas, there is soothing music played, there is minimum light to encourage awareness and rest to the patrons.  It smells quite nice too.  Have heard about some rumors of other branches smelling like stinky feet but I’m assuming those are isolated cases.  I frequent Shaw Boulevard and V. Luna/East Avenue branches usually.

Oh, I had a chitchat with the administrator of the V.Luna branch – it’s still for sale at PHP 1.2M!  Poked around further and found out that they are having a hard time finding a buyer because that price is only for half of the business – you’ll end up with a business partner in tow.  Oh well, when I finally get to save that much perhaps it’s still gonna be on sale.

Can’t wait to go back again soon =)

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!

Yoga, Surfing and Poi

29 Oct

The past two years I’ve really been treating my body bad with eating and drinking a lot.  Though I got into several physically strenous activities (swimming, kayak, biking, running, briskwalking), my heart wasn’t into it.  I’d start heavy, as in do each activity like there’s no tomorrow.  Then I get tired and feel deprived, then regress with inactivity and bingeing to no end.

Now I’ve gotten my 6-pack – six freaking kilos I badly need to get rid off.

So I’ve started reading up and exploring a lifestyle that would allow me to restore my health.  Thanks to ROX Philippines for hosting such a wellness talk event.  I would’ve gone directly to a gym and sign up but at least it got me thinking more if the sport I plan to pick up would allow me to commit to it for life.

The first speaker was a Yoga practicioner/coach (? didn’t really know, I was late) who was gushing about her journey from her illness requiring her to pick up a physical activity of this nature then eventually growing into it.  She can do a headstand on the middle of the floor without support!  Whoaaa!  That’s on top of the meditative value of the exercise.  Yes, this might be one thing I’d like to keep into my life.  Looks like I will have to sign up at least for the beginner’s class at their studio.

The second speaker was more commercial (his deck of revenue stream possibility statistics were a giveaway) and with the folowing he has now, I’m sure his visions will become a reality.  Well of course he had a surfer dude body to die for!  Who wouldn’t want that?  It’s also promising that he just mentioned Surfing Season just started.  I think I need to try this one out too.  Even if only for the chance to hang around with these strong and well-balanced people and their gear.  Another plus would be riding my own wave and enjoying the sea.  Curious?  See you there with the waves!

Last but not least would be this very passionate poi enthusiast spearheading poi advocacy in the Philippines.  A familiar sight seen when the family spent New Year’s Eve at Boracay.  He had these two dangling thingies of different sorts, waving while dancing.  At least that’s how it appears to me.  Object manipulation, that is how the art of poi is classified.  One would need to have graceful moves to be able to to it.  Hmm, I don’t.  But it does look fun to watch.  So, if you’re keen, try it sometime and join the gang.

The Mahaders Personal Declaration

19 Jun
Admittedly, there is a lot to be embarassed for in our country and with some of our fellowmen, but still, I’m glad I come from a culture and nature that is Philippines.

 

Mahaders literally means diva, and while that I am most of the time (sometimes the politically apt term is bitch), I put in my own definitions of the term. Some might think this is derogatory but I have embraced what I deem the word to mean.

 

Take me as I am or Watch me as I go

I am lazy on things I really do not want to do. I save my energies and passion for activities and causes that spark my mind’s eye and makes my heart beat a little bit faster. Same with everyone, I struggle to be unique so I can leave my own mark and be horribly missed when gone.

 

Non-Grokers need NOT apply

I will not dare explain the meaning of grok, please refer to Heinlein stuff to have an idea.

 

Building a life wherever I am

I have started travelling on my own to far away places to stay and work  for a while not knowing a soul.

Now, there are a lot of people in my life here so most of the time I am happy. There is always room for more people to trust my life with. I think I have found a handful already.

I am also passive-aggresively looking for my MacGyver/Michael Westen hybrid … who can:

  1. Really speak his mind whilst being inattentive to what his pants are sayin
  2. Deliberately NOT convince me to finally get paired
  3. Make my heart beat faster, my pants go boom, spark the rest of my body etcetera
  4. Give me this Diamond Solitaire set (hmmn maybe a smartly presented Cracker Jack set will suffice) I have been longing for

 

TANSTAAFL –There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Ah! A Challenge! Bring it on!

24 Mar
Maybe you have an impulse to go and check this site out…

Maybe not…

Though things are getting a little better around here, there are still uncertainties that have yet to bring a sense of security for those who resolve to remain…

Then again, this site is only dedicated to Happy Thoughts hence…

There’s a MAN AUCTION over the weekend in Cebu (see, there is some sense to the monies I’ve been saving for all this time!) Bwahahaha…

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=9386954297

A Big Pile of Garbage inside and outside Payatas

19 Jul

Moving from http://lodrose.tripod.com/opinyon.html

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So wat coconut?

Lam nyo ba as of today 205 na katao na ang nahuhukay sa libingang basurahan ng Payatas? At bumagsak na raw ang Camp Abubakar sa gobyerno?

Sino-sno nman ang mga salarin?

Sa Payatas, yung mga nakatira doon, yung nagtatapon ng basura doon (na kasali yata ako–pero kung nde doon itatapon saan? lahat nman ayaw pagtapunan ang lugar nila ng basura ng Metro Manila), at si Mathay (hehe nde maiwasan command responsibility yata yan). Sa mga nakatira doon, kapal nyo rin nmang humingi ng relocation site eh squatter nga kayo. Last time I checked e pagnanakaw ng lupa yon noh. Tapos hihingi kayo ng kapalit sa ninakaw ninyo. Hellow…

Sa MILF nman palabas lang nila Erap yan para bigyan sha ng emergency powers. Malaki yata kita don kung bawal na mag-TRO sa mga bidding bidding ng mga project doon sa Mindanao.

Walang kaibi-kaibigan, walang kamag-anak…urur! Cnong niloko mo? Hmp.

The only good news na nakita ko e yung pinalayang German hostage na maysakit. Pero nde pa rin full good kse nakalaya nga sha bihag pa rin hubby and child nya.

Claire Danes and Kim Atienza

19 Nov

Moving from http://lodrose.tripod.com/opinyon.htm  Once upon a time when blogs were not called as such and blog posts did not have titles

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Hate ko ang mga taga-Manila Council People for banning the showing of Claire Danes movies in Manila and for declaring her persona non grata. Ambababaw nyo! Why don’t you get busy wid more pressing issues? Wala na ba talaga kayong magawa? Mga asar talong mga panget! Pikoners Kadiri!

Ngayon if by chance e nakasakit akong damdamin ng ibang bumabasa nito (pero I doubt it kse naman mga manhid lang ang bibirahin ko todits)…sorry ka na lang. E sa yon ang opinyon ko eh. At kung talagang naiinis ka sa sinabi ko dito mag a la Kim Atienza ka na todo publicity sa media tungkol sa panlalait ni Claire Danes sa mga Pinoy sa buong mundo. If Pinoys would be judged on the basis of these honorable men’s behavior, malamang ngang the world would agree na “ghastly” tayo noh.

So if you must complain, see if I care.

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Claire Danes was then promoting for Brokedown Palace, a movie she made with then unknown Kate Beckinsale about drug smuggling in Thailand.  Filming was done in the Philippines and she was describing how disgusting their set was – full of cockroaches and smelled of urine and other unmentionable things. 

 

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