Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Only in The Philippines?

On the way home from Ateneo, I was listening to the evening news through the car radio. The news that caught my attention involved that of a certain former government official who is now being called to testify in front of the senate regarding his alleged anomalous release of funds to government officials not necessarily involved with the goals of that fund. What really got me wondering was not the fact that there was news about possible committed corruption (What's new?), but the statement of a well-known senator (known to be corrupt, but bluntly proven) for the former government official;on TV, he advised the former government official to stop "prolonging the agony," and to start testifying already, as if he, the well-known senator, himself was a righteous man (He may actually be.).

That piece of news just got my attention, but I am not condemning that certain senator for saying that. It is his job to say that, since he is also tasked to do investigations. However, what keeps me bothered is the fact that politicians we usually carelessly brand as corrupt seem to investigate each other on a regular basis already. I wonder what comes to the minds of political investigators when they interview anomalous people. I mean, if they were corrupt too, then they would probably be laughing at the anomalous person they were interviewing for being stupid enough to be caught. We rarely end up proving that a lot of governement officials in the Philippines are corrupt, or have stolen a tremendous amount of money, but we always seem to know, based on rumors, and news of this and that person "allegedly" stealing this and that amount for this or that invalid project. Sometimes, we do not have to prove that someone is bad to know if a system is bad, or dangerous. 

But how the heck did our country end up to be like this? The government functions very much like a company, and we can think of it as the central company that takes care of all major transactions that will benefit the Filipino citizen, its customer and major shareholder. If this company alone is known to be corrupt in itself, then all other companies, or systems attached to it (like the different sectors), are bound to be corrupt in a degree equal to, or less than that of the central government. Therefore, we can say that in our own different work places, like show business or the simple common corporate set-up, different forms of corruption are already present, and they are not limited to stealing money by way of bent transactions. If you noticed, in the Philippines, only the powerful elite help their own kind, and most of the developing kind (those striving to improve their lives immensely) have to struggle against crab mentality, and having to meet the right people at the right time to help them out. Don't we all just wish that our own workplaces felt like school, wherein working hard almost usually meant getting the better grade, and hopefully the better future? PR was not the make or break skill then, but now, the motto seems to be "Who you know will best help you and your company."

As a student nearing the end of my student life, I keep praying not to be eaten up by the damaged culture in my own future workplace, if ever that damaged culture shows up. When we all end up having to decide against our own integrity for what may seem to look better for our own careers, do we succumb to temptation? Seeing that the damaged Filipino culture is an open secret, is being part and king of that system the only way to succeed? When the good people we see are limited to the "heroes" and those who are killed for fighting for what they believe in, can we still be courageous enough to do what's right, and what we love?

We may be afraid to pay the price of doing good, but if we do not do good now, whatever bad we do will eventually contribute to a system that will kill us in the end. I hope more people take the risk. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Life on Display

Note: The following article is the 2nd draft of my feature article in my English class. This is my first ever attempt to write something that simply just features somebody. In class, we ended up not having to write the final article because of lack of time. The 2nd draft was checked as if it was the final feature article. 

Museums are a fad because of the variety of items that reveal shadowed parts of the past and glimpses of the future. These items are the stars of the show, and most people would rather observe only them all throughout their visit, instead of the numerous other seemingly boring fixtures in the museum.

One such fixture is George Antolino, a security guard in the famous gold exhibit of the museum. He was tall, dark, but ignored by a lot of visitors. To those who noticed him, he looked like a normal Filipino corporate security guard.  He wore a gray barong and black pants, sported a 3x4 military haircut, and almost-always held a walkie-talkie to his ear. With his pensive expression, you’d think he had a problem with being where he is. But by being a guard for Ayala Museum for four years, he is able to share peculiar insight on his job, on the people going there, and on the stars of the show, the artifacts.

His pensive expression revealed nothing about how he initially desired to work for the Ayala Museum. He found its ambiance refreshing to the senses, after his stint as an SM security guard. According to him, he trusted Ayala’s reputation too. After four years, he has not left, which leads us to ask if he loves his job. “Oo naman,” was his response. His family depends on what he earns from the place, and that is enough to make him happy there.

With around two-hundred visitors a day, it seems like George is not the only one drawn to the museum. From his observation, schools would normally schedule field trips, and foreigners mostly consisted of Koreans and Japanese. When asked if he had problems with any of the foreigners, he responded with, “Sa totoo lang, mas madali pa ngang kasundo ang mga foreigner na iyan eh. Kaunting sabi mo lang sa kanila na huwag gawin ang ganito o ganiyan, susunod na.” Foreigners were used to being disciplined, while Filipinos who visited the Ayala Museum would only pretend to follow the rules. He could not understand Balikbayans insisting to pay the more expensive foreigner fee, and only shrugged his shoulders at the thought that they might have just been bragging.

George’s daily task is to protect golden artifacts he speculates as simple pieces of metal the revealed history. He thinks they simply look like junk aluminum foil painted gold. Despite this, he eagerly pointed to one particular piece of junk encased in a glass box. Inside the container was a human torso wearing George’s favorite piece, a 24-karat halter with an intricately knitted design, resembling a rope with fine threads.

Sinuot ‘yan ni Cheche Lazaro sa T.V. Sa Probe. Ako nagbabantay noon eh,” he shared, with pride evident from his eyes, as they intently looked at the halter. He then went back to his duty.

Museums showcase items like the halter that certainly reveal a lot about history by just being on display, and not making any sound. However, certain unnoticed members of the Ayala Museum, like George, when asked to share, can also teach us about our own selves. Sometimes, we may even learn things that no priceless gold artifact can spell out. We just have to get to know them, to maybe get to know ourselves a little better.

I'm Back!

Hi! I'm finally back to writing again! Sorry for the really long break. I was just so busy with my first semester in college, and everytime I'd have a little free time to write for the blog, I'd end up not having the inspiration nor a good topic i felt I should write about.

So here I am now, welcoming you back to my blog. I hope that you can appreciate my next posts like you have my previous ones. God bless you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Strangebrew at ang Halaga ng Saya

Pasensiya na medyo matagal na rin akong hindi sumusulat dito ah. Nakakain kasi ang oras ko nga mga kung anu-ano sa eskuwela. Ang maganda naman doon, marami akong nakakalap na bagong pagkatuto na puwedeng pag-isipan. Kaya ito, mag-Filipino muna tayo.

Napanood niyo na ba iyong Strangebrew nina Tado at Erning, iyong pinalabas dati sa UNTV, tapos sa Studio 23? Sa nakaraan linggo kasi, nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataon na balikan iyong mga lumang episode nito. Natutuwa naman ako, kasi ang sasaya ng mga episode noon, at kakaiba rin talaga ang lapit nila sa pagkalap ng impormasyon sa pamamagitan ng mga panayam, at pag-arte nang nakakatawa. Kung ako sa inyo, papanoorin ko ngayon iyong mga lumang episode noon sa Youtube. May naglagay.

Kaya bigla naman akong nahumaling muli sa Strangebrew ay sa klaseng Filipino kasi namin, naisip namin ng kaklase kong si Jico na iyon ay gawing presentasyon sa isang sagala sa loob ng paaralan. Subalit, bago namin ito magawa, kailangan namin makumbinsi ang kagawaran na may kahalagahan ang napili naming tema para sa manoonood na Pilipino. Naisip namin na baka naman may matututunan ang manonood sa kung anu-anong pinag-uusapan sa Strangebrew. Totoo naman, na sa dinami-raming nironda nina Tado, marami nga namang matututunan ang mga manonood hinggil sa Maynila at iba pang lugar, sa nakakatawang paraan pa. Matutuwa na nga sila, matututo pa ng bago. O 'di ba? Puwedeng puwede?

Kaso, naisip ko rin na sa kahit anong bagay naman may matututunan ka 'di ba? Kahit na yata sa simpleng pagkain ng tsokolateng Magic Flakes, may matututunan kang bago 'di ba, kahit gaano kaliit? 'Di ba? TAMA! Kaya ito, kailangan pa naming isipin kung ano ang iba pang kahalagahan ng Strangebrew.

Bakit nga ba pinapanood ang Strangebrew? Dahil kay Tado 'di ba? Dahil kay Erning 'di ba? Dahil kay Jun Sabayton at Ramon Bautista 'di ba? TAMA! Natutuwa talaga tayo sa kakaibang lapit ng Strangebrew sa mga pinakakaraniwang bagay. Nakakatuwa siya. Papanoorin ba natin ang palabas na iyon kung gusto lang natin matuto ng tungkol sa Tubero, Barko, at MRT? Malayo yatang magkaganoon. Sobrang astig ng pagkakagawa ng Strangebrew kaya tayo na-hook. Iilan lang ang kagaya ng Strangebrew kaya natin siya pinanood. Bago ang konseptong iyon noong panahong iyon, at natuwa tayo. Masaya lang tayong panoorin iyon.

Ba't nga ba ako naghahanap pa ng ibang kahalagahan? Napakahalaga nga pala ng kasiyahan, lalo na kung kakaiba ito. 'Di ba nga ang karamihan ng tao, naghahanap lang ng kasiyahan sa buhay? Iyong iba nga, kapag masaya na, wala nang ibang hinahanap eh.

Minsan, natatandaan ko, parang natanong ni Tado sa Strangebrew sa isang taong mahilig makipag-gagambahan (o larong pinaglalaban ang mga gagamba) kung ano ang maitutulong ng ginagawa niya sa bayan. Siguro, naisip ng taong iyon, kahit hindi niya marahil nasabi, na "Masaya ito eh." Iyon na iyon.

Kaya kapag oras mo nang matanong ukol sa ginagawa mo, huwag kang mag-alinlanngang sabihing, "Masaya eh," lalo na kung ito ang totoo.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I'm Sure You Can Relate

This Thursday was a special day for my high school classmate and very good friend, James Soriano. He was a champion debater back in high school, an honor student, and now a real writer for no less than Manila Bulletin. Thursday was when his very first article on his very first column, iThink, became available for the public to reflect on. Congrats pare!

Speaking of writing, I have recently been struggling with academic writing myself. I just really find it ironic that after two years of writing in a blog full of reflections, I find myself stumped about what to write for a simple, personal essay in English class. I even find it 'lame' (as my teacher called it earlier) that I missed my one and only chance of consulting with the teacher about what to write, and how to write it well (in her own, supposedly expert view; I have an almost completely different idea of what's good, so good luck to me).

For the past few days, attending English class has not personally felt very fruitful. We've been going through a lot of things about the essay that we already repeatedly learned in high school (like the thesis statement and topic and sentence outlines), from the best English teachers. The worst part was, we've been 'learning' at a much slower pace, since the class is supposed to focus on the writing process. I'm sorry if I sound like a kid, but I feel bored with what we are taking up in English. To add to that, I even seem to resent a lot of the new writing styles and tips our new teacher imparts to us. Bluntly, I cannot stand all of it.

I am pretty sure that if my teacher reads this post, she will end up thinking about how full of pride I am, despite me being a real beginner in writing compared to her. To clarify, I have nothing against my teacher and her style of teaching. I just do not find it useful enough for me, after learning so much for the past 4 years with a different style. I always feel that I have to protect whatever I learned from high school about writing, which makes me resent learning new things about the old things.

I feel stumped not only because I cannot find something to write about in a simple, personal essay, but also because I feel like I cannot learn anything new because of whatever pride I have.

We've all felt the same way. We've all felt like we were wasting time doing something in the place of whatever we feel we should be doing. The problem is, how can we learn if we keep resenting and resenting whatever comes our way? Even if it's really hard to see at this point, I guess there's always something new to learn from everything. There may presently be no clear manifestations of what we learn, but I guess they are bound to show themselves someday.

In all this uncertainty about learning, I just really hope I am not wasting my time.

By the way, whatever I wrote today is not a simple, personal essay, by choice. It only shows how I have to listen and re-learn things in class.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Ba Talaga Language Mo? Going Back to Basics

Today is the day I can say debate taught me more than what 'Matter, Manner, and Method' could.

When I was a high school debater debating for Ateneo, I knew damn well that I was not the best. I was your average Ateneo debater (Ateneo debaters were supposedly some of the best in the country, but I would not count myself in.), and while there were notable moments (like a very memorable competition in Los Banos) of debate glory towards the end of my adolescent debating career, I was not completely sure if it was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my schooling. Early in my debating life, I resented reading up on world political and economic views, news, and anything else debaters would call 'Matter,' since I thought that the best way to enjoy teenage life was to stay away from grown-up stuff as much as possible.

When I would have a bad debating day, I would blame it on British Parliamentary Debating in the Philippines being in English, and not Filipino, my primary speaking language. I thought that given the chance to have Filipino debates, more Filipinos would be able express the important thoughts easily. Language would not be a barrier for good thoughts.

Earlier today, I was able to see my dream of experiencing Filipino debates, on a national scale. Two credible schools, not necessarily for teaching English, were competing in a debate broadcast on the radio, with Filipino as the primary language. They were arguing about the policies behind Ces Drilon's release, if I heard them right. However, my happiness for the Filipino debates was short-lived since listening to these debaters was a struggle, since they themselves struggled in finding the right Filipino words to support their points, switching to English more frequently than than the conyos a good number of 'real' Filipinos hate.

I ended up rethinking my previous thoughts (which have been lingering in my head for years) concerning debate. What if I was given the chance to debate formally in Filipino? Would I be able to deliver my points better than before, or would I stutter just like the students I listened to earlier? Was I even good enough a debater, to even demand a Language shift early in my career, or to even want to skip researching and rely on my own intelligence in debates?

In any field, I think that we have to master the basics first, before we can move on to the more challenging, and more glorifying things. In sports, basketball players cannot let go of basic dribbling, passing, or the like, if they want to achieve greater things in their career. For God's sake they'd injure themselves if they tried to dunk without the basics. The same goes for debate, and any other kind of thing that needs practice, determination, concentration, and most of all, commitment. I do not think that without reading about what's happening around us, I can give good views in a debate or even in a blog. I do not think that I will have the guts to talk about mentally intimidating things without mastering the medium, or language, that my audience can find useful.

I am sure that even you have got your own activites that need a little refresher. Let us all strengthen the foundations of our work, so we can reach farther things. Who was that scientist who commented that he would not have seen very far without standing on the shoulders of giants?

I need a refresher myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2 Days After Independence Day

I am writing today as a week-old college freshman. I was able to experience college firsthand, and I was really struck by all the freedom I have recently acquired. The haircut rule is already a thing of the past. 6am mornings are lessened. I was also really surprised by all the free time I had.

Yes, these privileges and a lot more existed, but I have also observed that most of my classmates now are the brightest in the country. Some have even come from the farthest places to study in the Ateneo, eager to show the best they have got. After my first week in college, after all the talks from upperclassmen and school officials regarding how hard it is to stay in the Ateneo, more so stay in my course of study, I have come to realize that all the freedom of college in the Ateneo (or in any school, for that matter), comes with a price, just like anything in this world.

And so I found myself studying during the lightest week of the year, like it was mid-year.

Once again, I felt like a high school freshman being drilled with words of wisdom by Mr. Pagsanghan, the most memorable (and appropriate) being "Everything has a price tag."

Yes, there may be lots of fun times in college, like parties, victories, and chances to meet people, but these fun moments may have to be earned by hard work. Because when you are partying with your 'free' time, someone else may be studying like hell for the next big test, and that night only may already spell the difference between your pasang-awa mark, and that person's summa cum laude QPI or GPA.

So, as college freshmen, do we abuse free time the wrong way, or the right way?

Happy Independence Day should have been the title of my post two days ago, had I decided to write one. Two days ago, we should have celebrated our freedom as a nation. We should have celebrated our freedom from abusive foreign rule.

However, after more than one hundred years, still one abuse, we can observe, is prevalent:

Negative abuse of so much freedom.
And I thought college was supposed to teach you how to manage freedom.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Congrats Pare

Robi, dahil M-boy ka, tatagalugin ko ito nang maayos.
Napanood ko kahapon ang Big Night, at sigurado akong maraming tao ang nasiyahan at hindi nasiyahan sa desisyon ng kapanalunan, pero alam kong hindi na iyon mahalaga para sa iyo.

Bilang kapwa mong housemate, batchmate at Atenista, gusto kong malaman mo na lubos akong nasiyahan sa mga nagawa mo sa loob ng bahay. Mapagkumbaba ka, may talino, at naghahangad ka ng mabuti para sa iba. Kahit huhusgahan ng maraming tao ang mga nagawa mo sa negatibong paraan, tandaan mo na hindi ka pumasok diyan para magpaka-alipin sa prinsipyo ng iba.

Mapagmamalaki ka. Maraming Atenista, at hindi naman lahat mabubuting tao, pero patunay ka na kaya ng Ateneo magpalaki ng tulad mo, na natatanyag ang kalooban. Hindi pa tapos ang lahat, pareho pareho pang hilaw ang ating mga pagkatao, at marami pa tayong pagdadaanan dahil bata pa tayo, subalit pinakita mo na hindi siguro kailangan alalahanin kung ika'y mapapariwara. Ang hamon sa iyo ngayon ay kung paano pa natin magagamit ang mga mararanasan natin para lalong malayo ang marating. Hindi dahil may marami tayong pribilehiyo, gugustuhin na lang natin tumulong nang tumulong. Dapat, lalo rin nating pinalalago ang ating mga pangarap.

Maraming salamat sa iyo. Dahil sa iyo, naranasan ko kung paano ang pakiramdam bilang manonood, at dahil dito, marami rin akong natutunan sa sarili ko. Kahit hindi mo alam noong nasa loob ka, marami kang buhay na naapektuhan sa mabuting paraan.

Ngayong nasa labas ka na, masayang ingay ang mararanasan mo, pero ang payo ko sa iyo, alamin mo kung saan nanggagaling ang mga sinasabi sa iyo, para malaman mo kung ano talaga ang mahalaga. Sobrang saya ng buhay sa labas ng bahay, pero kailangan buo ngayon ang loob mo, dahil kakaibang laban ngayon ang iyong mararanasan.

Congrats pare. Tandaan mo na nandito lang ako para sa iyo. One Big Fight.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hey guys our orientation seminar in school just started, and I've been busy after school doing different things, so I haven't really had time to make a real entry. By the end of this weekend though, expect a new post, and expect your links to be put up already. If I forget to link your blog, please remind me. Please look into the comments section for replies on your relevant comments. Thanks so much! I'm so happy school's starting! College na! Any tips from those who have gone through it?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Malungkot at Masakit na Kasiyahan

Before we proceed, let me invite you to visit this Wikipedia page, and to read at least the first sentence, since I am very surprised that such a thing exists:


Well, the article pretty much discusses a 'recreational drug' similar to cocaine, among other harmful drugs, that people can get addicted to. It's called Jenkem, and from the name itself, you just feel that it does not sound pleasant. It induces hallucinations and the feeling of being 'high,' just like any other drug, but it's made from whatever your system never wants to have back: fermented feces and urine. Kadiri pare.

You know what, I can't really understand (or accept) the psychology behind wanting to achieve artificial moments of euphoria, when it can practically be achieved naturally through different real-life situations, although not instantly. We can say people use them as escape routes from their own lives, but don't these drugs end up making lives worse eventually? Even more disturbing today is the fact that people may already be using their own excretions to achieve a high. If this Jenkem substance really exists and is being used, I just don't know what other bad thing I should expect from life. I think that the message is clear: those excretions were rejected by your body in the first place, so why force it in again? It's bound to cause you harm, as rumors and stories tell us that inhaling this substance gives the bad taste brought about by feces for about a week.

What do you think? Are some people already that sad, that they already look for happiness in the worst place to find it?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wow, Robi's ligtas yo.

I'm sure you've had the chance to meet the kind of Filipino you would call coño. He's the type of person who usually speaks fluent, or almost-fluent English most of the time, but struggles with Filipino. Whenever he would speak Filipino, it would almost always sound like "Can you pass me th...the...lapis! There! lapis right?" Normally, they are associated with the upper class, or upper middle class. They're elitista to most of us, and to some, annoying. "Ba't naman kasi nag-Iingles pa 'yan eh Pinoy naman siya?!"would be normal comments from people who have recently met one of the coño type. That comment is pretty mild, considering the fact that they are even accused as not being in touch with Filipino sensibilities, despite living in the Philippines for most of their lives. A stigma exists that puts the 'richer' ones in a negative light, when there may be even more to these 'richer' people.

It's really easy to accuse the coño person as someone who does not want to embrace his own Filipino culture, but one recent conversation from a really close, supposedly coño friend of mine revealed otherwise:

"You know, [most] Filipinos don't really like elitists or rich people but they want to be rich, they want to go abroad for better jobs, they want to be more Americanized, they want showbiz and when they hit it, they want to fit in that crowd - and yet they look down on rich people and put value on the "real world" values on the street [so much]."

That was the first thought that went through his mind, based on his own observations. It was bothering him that coño people were less listened to by the supposedly purer Filipinos, for the simple reason that they did not know how to commute, nor were they familiar with balut and isaw. It bothers him that accusations about them are made just for being who they are. We may not know it but while there are really coño people to be loathed for their actions, we have to be able to separate hating from action from hating because we cannot relate. In the same way that the 'poor' want some understanding, I think that the rich also deserve some too.

It really is disturbing that there are lots of people who hate the rich so much, but when they end up getting rich themselves by some twist of fate, they end up embracing it. Why cannot we just accept the fact that even within the Philippines, different kinds of people exist? Sure, there are people who cannot even ride the MRT or jeepney to save their own lives, but they are Filipino too. Lots of these kinds of people actually try to embrace the Filipino culture, within their reach. On the other hand, why do some richer people embrace being rich so much that they look down on the poor? Why can't we all just accept that yes, were born in different settings, but we all struggle with life almost equally? God never gave us things we can't handle right? We just have to accept our differences and learn to live unbothered by these little differences in lifestyle. Kahit anong mangyari, Pilipino ka, basta gustuhin mo.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Comic Relief

Guys, subukan niyo lang ito. Kung matagal ka nang nagbabasa ng blog na ito, sigurado ako medyo pagod ka na rin sa kakabasa ng mga entry na kailangan ng kalaliman ng pag-iisip. Pinapanood ito sa akin ng mga kaklase kong si James and Hansky, at nagustuhan ko talaga. Wala siyang sense masyado, pero nakakaaliw. Nakakatulong din naman ang pahinga 'di ba? Punta ka sa left-hand side ng blog na ito, tapos look under comic relief, and click on one of the videos. Wala talagang sense masyado 'yan pero try mo lang. Game? Game!

Answer no. 1

Well, I think it's about time I really share my insights on the previous post I really left hanging. Thank you for those who commented. Whatever you shared contributed immensely to this post.

So why do people, though supposedly innately good, find it easier to do bad things?

I think it's really a matter of patience and work ethic. Normally, the really bad choices, even if we do not recognize them as bad immediately, are the ones that can get us what we want quicker. If we're looking for huge amounts of money for whatever use (hopefully good), it's easier to get the money by stealing (minus the trouble, which is not normally foreseen), compared to actually saving up (Just don't take this whole situation literally.). When we want pleasure, some people find it easier to take drugs, instead of looking for a natural high which will make you look for a situation that induces that kind of natural high. If you're considering the pretty woman-politician example, I'm guessing that impatient human nature will make it easier for the eyes to listen to the pretty woman (who is not bad, but the politician has more right to be listened to regarding political issues). I'm not telling you not to listen to the beauty queen speaking about ecological issues; but if there's already an ecological expert speaking out, why do we find it easier to listen to the beauty queen, when the expert may have lots to say too? If it's easier on the eyes, why do we need our eyes to listen?

I'll stop there, with the three examples. That's just my take on it. Trying to answer this question will probably take a long time, but it helps to think about it from time to time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Support Robi! Big Brother is NOT Primarily a Charity Show

Before I start ranting about what I feel is the wrong way to see Pinoy Big Brother, let me first appeal to you to vote for my friend and schoolmate Robi Domingo to save him from eviction this week by texting BB ROBI to 2331 for Globe networks and to 231 for Smart networks, or by voting online through http://teensplus.pinoybigbrother.com/Vote/tabid/139/Default.aspx. Robi has been nothing but an exceptional housemate during his stay, and in my opinion, the good rankings in this competition of values and attitudes give us a good picture of what characteristics Filipinos see as important.

Pinoy Big Brother was supposedly tagged as the "teleserye ng totoong buhay." For the past 3 years, it showed different batches of people living inside a house, trying to show whatever good or bad they have, with the hopes of winning a prize that amounts to at least a million pesos, among other reasons (like inspiring others and trying to jump-start a show business career). However, whoever wins or loses in the contest is ultimately left to the discretion of the viewers, who vote for the housemate they want to stay, and in most cases, eventually win. However, whoever is presented to the public as 'nominees' for eviction depends on the housemates themselves, and the way the housemates tackle this obstacle really bothers me.

I have seen countless instances when housemates (and even guardians) were nominated for eviction for the simple reason that they did not need the money involved with winning the contest. Being a housemate myself, I admit that it really is hard to say that you want a friend to leave the house because of whatever reason, but I believe that each housemate (or guardian) also has the mental capacity to discern that being well-off is not enough ground for trying to dismiss a person from a contest that measures character, more than anything. Nominating someone because of financial capability, in my opinion, cannot be used as an escape route to avoid saying negative things about others. It has often been said that Filipinos are maawain, and that they want those least blessed to be victorious, but this certain Filipino trait of seemingly wanting the less-privileged to win should not be the reason for the more-privileged to suffer. We cannot let crab-mentality take over!

Big Brother is not primarily a charity show. While it tries to help the needy in some way, it is first and foremost a contest of character. I would never like to think that the sole reason that Nene, Keanna, Kim, Bea, and Reuben won was because they needed so much money. I would like to think that while yes, it was a factor, they were persons that really reflected what the Filipino stood up for. They were Filipinos with good character. It is alright to want the less-privileged to win, but please, do not bring people down for the same reason.

PBB is primarily a contest of character, and the best way to choose who to nominate (after assessing my own stay inside the house), is by assessing what each housemate has done for the past week. Nominations happen weekly for a reason, and I think each nomination weekend is a time to think about how each housemate has interacted with the others, or how each has done his part as a member of a team. If financial status is considered a good reason to nominate someone, then we can assume that PBB is a charity show. Housemates should know better.

Robi's nominations for the whole season are dumb, if he's nominated for the reason that he does not demonstrate immense financial need. If he's nominated by others as part of a strategy to win (that we'll probably never find out), since Robi has a good chance of ranking high, then things can be more acceptable. In that case, Teen Edition Plus would be full of devious housemates, which is pretty unlikely, considering our age.


I'm going to start making this blog a little more interactive. In addition to your answers to the previous post ("Question Number 1"), I would also like to ask you to give me your blogs' URL so that I can link it. There were numerous blogs in the past that have asked to be linked, so I will try to link them all, in due time. And please be informed that the comments will be a little more improved, as I will now exert an effort to really reply. Thanks!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Question Number 1

We're all supposed to be innately good. That's supposedly our nature. Being made in the image and likeness of God, we really are supposed to be good. Why is the good way supposedly the path less traveled then? We're all good, but why is it easier for us to do bad things? Why are the least lasting things most attractive? Why listen to a dumb supermodel when you can listen to an old, smart, but saggy politician? You wanna try telling me before I start expounding? The comments section is open, and you're invited to write.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Hi! I'm sorry if I haven't been able to really reply to all the readers' comments, but I want you all to know that I am reading them, and I feel very blessed to know that there really are people like you who also have strong opinions about the different things that happen from day to day. Kahit simpleng alimango lang, nakukunan pa rin natin ng aral 'di ba? Thank you for all your comments. They inspire me to write about more relevant things. I know I haven't been able to post regularly (I have lots of ideas, but sometimes I just can't seem to follow them up with a good essay), so I am asking for your help to suggest, through the comments section, some topics you may want to appear in this blog, that we can discuss and possibly learn from. I've been writing and writing and writing without actually really responding to what others think (in my writing, at least), and I plan to change that. Keep reading, and feel free to comment, and suggest. Thank you so much for the help. By the way, to answer most of the questions in the comments section, I'd like to give a little update on what I've been doing (which isn't really characteristic of this blog, but I'll do it). I just recently graduated from the Ateneo High School, and yes, Robi Domingo is my batchmate (Support him ah.). I did not graduate valedictorian (My classmate Viko Fumar was the vale.), but I was luckily able to graduate with First Honors. I am an incoming college freshman now in the Ateneo, and I will be taking up Management Engineering (think Math in business). I was luckily able to pass some schools in the States (just like what Tito Edu announced), namely Georgetown and Fordham universities, but I chose to stay in the Philippines for very personal reasons. But don't worry, any decision would have been a fun-filled one anyway. So there. Read on.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Give and Take (Praning, Don't Read)

Minsan ba ay pumasok na sa isip mo na baka ang tao, nilalapitan ka lang dahil may kailangan siya sa'yo, o dahil may nabibigay ka sa tao? Ang dalawang nag-iibigan naman napaglalapit ng pag-ibig 'di ba? Ang pag-ibig ay isang bagay na binibigay ng isa sa isa kaya nagkakaganoon. Kung masama kang tao na social climber, lalapitan mo lang naman siguro ang isang taong mayaman at sikat na hindi mo naman lubos na kilala dahil kailangan mo makilalang katabi noong sikat na iyon. Ang pari, pinapakinggan at dinarayo dahil nabibigay niya ang Diyos (o karanasan ng Diyos, at iba pang mga aral) sa mga tao. Kahit sa negosyo, kaya mayroong mga business organizations ay 'di lang para mapadali ang pagsasagawa ng mga transaksiyon at proyekto, kundi para makapagbuo rin ng mga 'pagkakaibigan' o koneksiyon na magagamit para sa kabutihan ng negosyo. Kung may kailangan mula sa kumpanya mong gumagawa ng semento ang taong gumagawa ng gusali, baka ibigay mo pa sa kaniya ng mas mura ang semento 'di ba, dahil magkasama kayo sa organisasyon? Ganoon 'din sa fraternity. Brad mo ko, brad kita. Kailangan mo ko, kailangan kita. Mahal mo ko, mahal kita. Kung mapahamak ka, sabit ako pero tutulungan kita at tutulungan mo ko 'pag kailangan ko. Kahit sa mga taong mahilig magbigay, puwedeng isipin (kahit baka makasakit ng damdamin), na kaya siya naghahanap ng mga natutulungan kasi kailangan niya ng pakiramdam na mapagbigay siya, at 'di niya yun makukuha kung di siya makabigay.
Sa totoo lang puwedeng tignan sa mabuti o masamang paraan itong ganitong pag-iisip eh. Masama siguro siya dahil nakakalungkot na kaya lang tayo lalapitan ng isang tao ay dahil sa mga kaya nating ibigay, pero mabuti rin siya dahil alam mong may malalapitan kang mga tao sa oras ng kagipitan, o kahit kailan mo trip.
Pero 'di ba? Nakakayanig isipin 'di ba? Isipin mo kaya 'yong mga nakaraang karanasan mo na may lumapit sa'yo, nakangiti, tapos may hiningi sa'yo. Tingin mo lalapitan ka niya kung wala kang ganoon? Tingin mo friends kayo? Hmmm...
Hoy, huwag mapapraning ng sobra ah.. 'Di naman masama ang mundo eh. May mga masama lang, pero 'di lahat. Pero maganda rin siguro na paminsan-minsan may ganitong gumugulo sa ating isipan, para 'di rin tayo maloko. Basta, peksman, walang todohang praningan ah?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

happy happy joy

Hey, have you ever felt sad for no apparent reason at all? You just feel sad and down all of a sudden, and then you try to think of reasons for your sadness, but you just cannot pinpoint which event or person is responsible? This has probably happened to us a lot of times, especially when we're staying home, and doing almost nothing productive. We tend to sometimes be too reflective about things that we end up with so much clutter in our minds.

However, don't you think that it really is in those quiet times that we really get to sort out what we are thinking? We have often been advised by our friends to always find quiet time for ourselves, to sort out things and to really know what is going on both around and within us.

If in those quiet times, we can either sort out our thoughts, or mess them up even more, what does this tell us? I guess it all boils down to what we decide to think. It all boils down to our decisions. With this little conclusion, I'm thinking that maybe we don't even need quiet time to help us out. We can help ourselves out by choosing what to think for ourselves, and letting our emotions follow. But we are mere humans almost perpetually affected by nature. Maybe we still have to choose the right environment for our thoughts.

I'm trying to discover what's the best way to make ourselves happy. Happiness may be thought of as a thought, but it really is what we strive for in life. Knowing that happiness is a thought can make us happier people by choosing to simply be happy, by thinking of the right things, and doing whatever makes us happy.

I guess the challenge now is to find what really makes us happy. Believe me, even if happiness is a simple thought, different things really make us tick, and despite our efforts to try, we cannot force ourselves to be happy with things we do not like. Therefore, we need the proper guidance through prayer. If you cannot pray due to some belief, think of praying as an exercise of thought. I would not choose to though. But if you choose to, beware of probable mind cluttering.

Monday, February 25, 2008


The Red Cross Youth is the youth program of the Philippine National Red Cross, and is one of the leading youth organizations in the country. It aims to educate children and the youth with the goal of providing opportunities for the harnessing of skills and talents through worthwhile activities within the organization.

I recently received an e-mail from Lyn Garcia, President of the National Youth Council, and a member of the Board of Governors:

"Good day!
The Philippine National Red Cross - National Headquarters takes a distinctive approach in giving the opportunities to every Red Cross Youth to be pride of the premier organization.
In line with this, we are encouraging RCY volunteers to apply as national field representative for the following services:
2 for disaster management service
2 for fund generation
1 for safety service
For further information, don't hesitate to contact the undersigned or our officer in-charge, Mr. Carlos Benigno S. Gallardo.
Thank you."

It asks us to join their cause, and to make the world a better place (in our own way). We just have to take that one big first step towards helping others. I think that this is one great avenue to help out. Ano, game?

If you're interested, please contact Lyn Garcia through
+639276967388 , or go to the Red Cross Youth site (http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/RCY/Home.aspx) and apply to be a member and/or volunteer. Applying is easy!


Saturday, February 16, 2008


Sa kasalukuyan, pinapanood ko ang Harapan sa ABS-CBN na pinapakitang nagsasagutan sina Jun Lozada at si Benjamin Abalos, na sa sa aking personal na obserbasyon ay hindi kampante sa sasabihin niya. Bukod sa walang-hintong pananabat at sa paghinging huwag siyang sabatin, nagdala pa siya ng abogado para sa naturang debate, na hindi naman kasimbigat ng korte o ng senado, pero napapalabas din sa publiko. Kung sa suntukang hayskul, mano-mano sana ang labanan ng dalawang taong naghamunan, pero naduwag ang isa at tumawag pa ng resbak para tulungan siya. Nakakahiya. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na nagsisinungaling si Abalos (at hindi ko sinasabing naniniwala ako sa lahat ng sinasabi ni Lozada), pero sa pinapakita ni Abalos ngayon, parang mangungulelat siya kung haharap silang dalawa kay San Pedro na nakikita ang lahat ng bagay. Walang dalang dokumento si Lozada, pero basa naman nang basa nang kung anu-anong papeles si Abalos. Sa larangan ng pangungumbinsi (at debate), dapat mapamukha mo sa lahat ng nanonood na totoo at pinaniniwalaan mo ang sinasabi mo. Bagaman nagawa ito ng dalawang natatanyag na ginoo, huling-huli naman natin kung sino ang nagpapanggap na alam niya ang nangyayari. Puwedeng mukhang alam mo ang isang bagay, pero kasabay nito, puwedeng mukhang pinepeke mo pa rin. Yun ang mas nakakahiya. Mas nakita ko kay Lozada ang pagpapakatotoo (pagpapakatotoo, at 'di katotohanan). Kahit hindi ko mapapatunayan sa kasalukuyan na totoong-totoo ang sinasabi ni Lozada, malaking bagay na talaga na kitang-kita mo sa mata niya na may pinanggalingan nga ang sinasabi niya, at mukhang naranasan niya talaga ang mga kinuwento niya. Si Abalos, sa tanda niya, hindi pa rin siya natututong magmukhang kapani-paniwala, kaya kahit totoo man ang sinasabi niya, kailangan pa rin niya ng abogado para tulungan siya, na makasasama naman sa pagtingin sa kanya--duwag.

Ngayon naalala ko ang bandang simula ng kuwento-- Si Joey de Venecia. Bilib din ako sa tapang ng taong yun. Pero bakit kaya marami ang nagsasabi na ginagawa lang niya ang mga ginawa niya dahil talunan siya doon sa ZTE? Tsaka bakit pati ang ama niya, kung anu-ano na ang binunyag noong pababa na siya sa puwesto niya bilang Kinatawan ng Kamara? Puwede namang mas maaga 'di ba, lalo pa't may kapangyarihan siya noon? I will praise the president when she does good, and oppose when she's wrong. Ang huling pangungusap ay maganda pakinggan, pero isa sa pinakaginagamit ng mga plastik para magmukhang obhetibo. Ikaw na ang humusga, pero hindi ka ba naaaliw? Parang may pinagmanahan si Joey? Ang galing nilang mag-ama sa timing. Wow.

Ewan ko ba kung bakit ilang beses ko nang naririnig sa radyo ang "Pagod na ang mga tao. Oras na ng pagbabago." Nostalgia ang naramdaman ko noong narinig ko na naman sa radyo mula sa taong mahal daw ang bayan. Naalala ko noong Gr.4 ako, may nagsabi rin niyan sa radyo. At noong Prep, narinig ko rin 'yan. Napanood ko pa nga sa TV noong Gr.5, First Year, Gr. 3, Gr.1. Narinig ko sa maraming tao, pero bakit parang kaunti ang nagbabago, kahit parang marami ang may gusto? Baka sa limang taong may sabi noon, 1 lang ang naniwala sa sariling sinabi, at binugbog pa siya ng apat.

Kaya dalawang bagay 'yan. Timing at pagiging kapani-paniwala. Ibig mo bang yumaman? Maging public servant ka, at aralin mo nang maayos ang timing at pagiging kapani-paniwala. Iwasan mo lang ang pagkakamali ni Abalos, de Venecia, at de Veneciang mas matanda. Pero siyempre mas kailangan ng bayan ang katulad ni Lozada, na hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan mabubuhay sa lagay niya ngayon (sana walang masamang mangyari), pero magaling din mangumbinsi. Underdog technique naman siya, pero sana ang pagiging underdog niya, totoo, at makatutulong sa iba.

Kapag naging public servant ka, tandaan mo na ang tinuturo ng public ay lahat ng Pilipino, hindi lamang ang mga apo mo. Mamatay ka sana kung pagdating ng panahon, hindi mo magamit sa buhay ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng public, at constituents.

Hamon kay Lozada at Abalos (batay sa isang pakikiuso): Alam niyo 'yung pinagagawa sa showbiz talk shows? Magandang case study siguro kung magpa-lie-detector test kayo nang ganun. Sana wala nang dalahan ng resbak, okay Mr. Chair?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

By the way, I do not have a Multiply account.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mahal Kita, Mahal Kita, Hindi 'to Bola

Jaeyoun Kim, with his open letter that spread long ago, stated that for the Philippines to improve and become well off, love for country not only has to be felt but also practiced. I agree with him, and indeed the improvement should start with our selves.

In my opinion, even if there are a lot of corrupt and vile acts like plunder, cheating especially in elections, terrorist attacks, murder and rape (at high rates), that pull our country down, they are little as compared to the great force that will pull our country up, if and only if each one of us starts loving our country. By doing so, all of us can take action to alleviate the situation.

Indeed it is hard to love a person with qualities that we hate. Even harder is to love a country with undesirable qualities. The Philippines is slowly becoming one of the worst countries in Asia economically and politically, while about half a decade ago, it was one of the best. Our neighboring countries are slowly overtaking us. Poverty, corruption, and immorality is also plaguing us, but since this is also affecting other countries, this is barely an excuse, and I believe that even though it is difficult to love our country for what it is, once we learn to do so as individuals, it will be much easier for others to love the country, which will lead to great change.

The choice to love our country is ultimately ours, but I believe that choosing this can only bring us good.

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost