Forever “Third World” na lang ba tayo talaga?!

At hindi lang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas ang tinutukoy ko. Mas pa yung mga pananaw at ugali natin bilang “Pinoy.”

Ilang dekada na kasi tayong nasanay sa ganitong mga pag-uugali, sa ganitong mga gawi. Hayan tuloy, parang “normal” na sila sa atin. In fact, we sometimes even celebrate them, rationalizing (read: make excuses for) them to bring out the so-called “positive aspects” of the trait.

Haaays. Tama ba yun? Alam nating mali ipipilit pa rin… for the sake of “identity?”¬†It’s as if nababawasan ang pagka-Pilipino natin kung hindi natin ugaling maging ganito:

  • Mahilig sumingit sa pila o mag-lagay sa fixer para mapadali ang buhay. “Diskarte” daw kasi ito
  • Mahilig mag counter-flow sa kalsada kapag na-trapik.
  • Wagas kung bumusina. Akala mo bibilis yun paglipat ng ilaw mula red to green.
  • Tapon dito, tapon doon (na hindi naman ginagawa kapag nasa ibang bansa )
  • Pinupuna ang lahat, pwera ang sarili
  • Pag imported, laging mas mainam kaysa gawang lokal
  • Ihi ng ihi kung saan-saan
  • Galit sa kapwa — naba-badtrip kapag may nagka-counterflow, pero gawain din naman nya.
  • Laging iniisip kung anong magiging balik (ganansya, ika nga) bago gawin ang isang bagay

At kahit hindi pa masasaabing “ilang dekada na nating nakasanayan”… malamang dun din mauuwi itong ugali ng maraming Pinoy na matapang bumanat online pero tameme naman pag harapan na ang komprontasyon.

Haaaays!

ūüė¶

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Forever “Third World” na lang ba tayo talaga?!

The Change I Want

PDut

First things first. I did not vote for Rody Duterte. Ilalatag ko na yun agad habang maaga pa.

I voted for Mar Roxas for President. I had my reasons, of course; the same way that those who voted for Digong had their reasons as well.

The point, however, is simply this: our reasons for voting (or not voting) are all valid and should be respected – no matter what. It is our right to express our political opinions and preferences and the most concrete expression of that right would be our actual votes during election day. Which means that if we really believe in the importance of this tool of democracy called elections, we should learn to respect and — though it’s sometimes very hard to do — accept the outcome.

After all, we can’t always have what we want all the time, right?

So I will say this: even if the guy sometimes scares me… and his family scares me… and his friends scare me… and his advisers scare me…¬†and his plans¬†scare the bejeezus out of me… I accept his victory.

And I wish him well. I wish him success in his six years in office as President of the Philippines. For the people have spoken; and as they say, the voice of the People is the voice of God.

But… of course there is a “but;” there’s always a “but”… I hope to God his promise to bring “change” to our¬†country¬†does not destroy it at the same time.

Change is good. Change is inevitable.

But change can be achieved through many different ways, so we don’t always have to choose the most traumatic ways to effect change; more so if our leaders seem hell-bent on doing exactly that.

The Change I Want

Elections already over? Wahappen??!

Amazing. I was so caught up in my work these past few months that I completely overlooked¬†blogging about the 2016 Elections. I know my blogging has been quite¬†irregular lately (to say the least), but to not blog anything at all about the elections?! That’s not right!

But better late than never, right? Also, late blogging affords me the opportunity to be… let’s just say, less passionate about the topic.

So the campaign period has come and gone… the voting has finally finished… and the counting almost over. Many¬†local candidates have already been proclaimed and people are now waiting for the proclamation of the¬†new set of national leaders. Of course, the outcomes are already clear (except probably for the VP race) and one¬†already has an inkling – depending on which side of the line you were on during the campaign – of how good, or bad, the next six years will be for you.

In my case, I’m both worried and relieved.

Worried because the incoming President did make many worrying pronouncements during the campaign. Worried because He seems intent on pushing through with his ideas. Worried because the current make-up of his Cabinet seems to be a recipe for ceaseless infighting.

I am quite relieved, though, that the poisoned atmosphere that was the campaign has finally dissipated — with some hardcore exceptions, of course. There always are. I am also relieved that the elections were generally peaceful and fair (again with some exceptions). And I am very much relieved that “democracy,” such as we know it in the Philippines, is still very much alive, albeit more smudged, scratched and dingy than before.

It’s not wishful thinking to clamor for change. I only hope that it is the kind of change that we can all live with (and not die from).

Change ahead

Elections already over? Wahappen??!

45 and still alive!

Medyo melo-dramatic, I know, pero marami-rami rin kasing tao ang pumapanaw before reaching this particular age. And knowing myself (na hindi naman poster boy for health and fitness, never mind clean living), I am genuinely surprised that I have made it this far with only a few scars to show.

Pero I am genuinely thankful to God na hindi pa niya ako kinukuha. Salamat dahil maliliit pa ang mga anak ko. I pray na sana maranasan ko pa na makalaro ang aking mga magiging apo.

And being a firm believer in the principle of “quid pro quo,” I resolve, from hereon, to live a more discerning, fulfilling and healthier life. Specifically:

  • bawasan (lalo) ang pag-inom ng alak
  • ituloy lang ang pagiging reformed smoker
  • bawasan ang love affair sa “extra rice”
  • itakwil na ng tuluyan ang softdrinks
  • bawasan ang kape
  • tanggapin na finally na masama talaga sa katawan ang taba ng baboy
  • bawasan ang pagka-hilig sa matatamis
  • dagdagan ang pagkain ng gulay
  • dagdagan ang exercise – buhayin ang pagbibisikleta at dalasan ang paglalakad
  • spend more quality time with my family
  • bawasan ang pagiging sensitive
  • look more at the positive things in life
  • tantanan na ang laging pagpupuyat
  • Pray more

Boom! Happy Birthday to me! ūüôā

45 and still alive!

I refuse to have to choose!

What’s wrong with just saying “NO” when faced with the dilemma of having to select¬†from several equally-unacceptable choices? After all, choosing the “lesser evil” is still choosing something “evil,” ‘di ba? So why choose it in the first place?

We always hear this “lesser evil” argument issue raised whenever elections are near, as if not choosing (read: not voting for) anyone is the worst evil of all. I think not. In fact, I believe the opposite to be true — i.e., not voting for anyone is way better than¬†adding your vote to the mandate of a politician you don’t really trust.

Which leads me to this other common, election-related argument that not filling-in the Ballot¬†entirely is a bad thing and that we’re somehow losing out by not maximizing the opportunity to include other candidates. There is something very wrong with this mindset. I really wouldn’t have any problem with¬†filling-in all the blanks IF I had a lot of good choices to pick from. Ang kaso, wala eh. At most, we get¬†a handful of good candidates from the pool of mediocre, thieving, clueless, and idiotic trapos we are regularly¬†forced to choose from.

Kaya ako, I will only vote for candidates I really, REALLY believe in. And if that means submitting a Ballot with a lot of blank spaces, so be it.

Hindi baleng Balota ay butas-butas, basta ang boto ko’y wagas!

By the way, hindi lang angkop¬†ang prinsipyong ito sa pag-boto; it can also be a guide when choosing what to eat/drink, where to go, or what to say.¬†I don’t think that¬†you are losing by choosing to just eat at home and not eat out; by going on staycation instead of going with the throng; or by just keeping quiet.

 

 

I refuse to have to choose!

May Araw ka din! Ang Hangin mo kasi.

Kwaresma na naman. Ibig sabihin, summer na naman. And, if you’re keeping track of trends, panahon na naman ng mg bantang “rolling brown-outs” gawa ng¬†(forever na)¬†kakulangan sa¬†generating capacity ng ating mga power plants.

As usual, ang sagot daw sabi ng gubyerno ay gumawa ng karagdagang mga power plants! And when they say “power plants” they usually refer to the coal-fired variety. Kasi nga malaki ang pag-kontra ng publiko sa nuclear power at bilang lang ang mga lugar na pwedeng tayuan ng geothermal plants.

So, more coal plants equals, first of all, more utang, but, more importantly, more carbon emissions, which leads to more greenhouse gasses, which exacerbates climate change, which results in more “Yolanda-like” super-typhoons.

coal_fired_power_plant

Kaya¬†dapat may alternative, ‘di ba? Everything has an alternative.¬†And the same is true when it comes to Energy. Hindi dapat puro Coal na lang ang tinitingnan natin.

Ok, sabihin na natin na ito yung pinaka-mabilis itayo (para nga naman agad matugunan yung pangangailangan nating mga consumers — lang’ya, tayo na naman nagamit hehehe), pero kasabay nito ay dapat tinitingnan din yung ibang possible sources of energy.

Kaya nakakatuwa na dumadami na ang wind farms dito sa Pilipinas. Yung original na wind farm sa Bangui ay nasundan na ng bagong mga wind farms sa Burgos at Guimaras. At kumakalat na din yung paggamit ng Solar Energy.

Bangui wind Burgos wind Guimaras wind

Sa level ng indibidwal, medyo mahirap na magkaroon ng sariling windmill sa bakuran, pero simple lang na magpakabit ng solar panels. Medyo mahal pa rin ang isang kumpletong set (depende sa laki ng energy na kayang ipunin) pero di hamak na mas mura na ito kaysa 3 years ago.

solar panels

At sa mga can’t afford na magpaset-up ng solar panels sa bubong nila, meron ding mga “personal size” na solar energy gadgets.

IMG_20150108_105632

Magandang simula na rin ito, ‘di ba? ūüôā

 

May Araw ka din! Ang Hangin mo kasi.

Call it Burma, call it Myanmar, call it whatever you like…

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… the country effin’ Rocks!

I’ve been dreaming of going to Burma (now officially called “Myanmar,” since 1989) ever since I first met my Burmese friends and heard their stories of struggle under the Military Junta. That was more than 5 years ago. Isip-isip ko nun, “malaki nga ang problema ng Pilipinas, pero di hamak na mas malaki ang problema nila.”

Mas malupit ang naging diktador nila recently kumpara kay Marcos sa kapanahunan nito. Daang-libo ang namatay sa kanila noong Cyclone Nargis (2008); walang karapatang magmay-ari ng lupa ang kanilang mga magsasaka (all land is owned by the State and only “right of use” is granted); sobrang lupit ng kanilang Militar sa pag-lipol sa mga ethnic groups (Rape is being used as a weapon of war, especially sa Kachin State); naglipana ang mga plantasyon ng Poppy Plant na syang pinagmumulan ng Opium; etcetera… etcetera…

Pero marami rin tayong pagkaka-pareho:

  • Mahilig sila sa mga inuulit na pangalan (Noe Noe, Zaw Zaw, Tin Tin, Ni Ni, Ko Ko… at tayo naman may Ging Ging, Let Let, Bong Bong, Bing Bing, Jun Jun…)
  • Napaka-pamilyar ng lasa ng kanilang mga pagkain (di gaya sa Thai, halimbawa, na madalas kakaiba ang dating at presentation)
  • Meron silang babae na “Icon of Democracy” — si Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, habang meron naman tayong “Tita Cory”
  • Relihiyoso rin sila, Buddhist nga lang. So mahilig silang dumalaw sa mga templo at mag-alay sa kanilang mga altar.
  • Mahilig din silang kumanta. Andami ding mga Magaganda (at Pogi, shempre) sa Bansa nila, gaya sa atin. Hehehe…
  • Marami rin silang mga NGOs (both tunay at peke, just like the Philippines)
  • Nagbabasaan din sila tuwing piyesta — sa kanila tuwing New Year, sa atin tuwing Pista ni San Juan
  • At pinapanood din nila ang Dyesebel at Mara Clara! Pero dubbed in Burmese, shempre. ūüôā

 

Call it Burma, call it Myanmar, call it whatever you like…