Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey guys, Citizen JDC signing on. I'm sorry that it took a rather looooong time to write a new entry on this blog. As you see, there are many things that happened in my life in the later part of last year and now I am quite busy on my new job as a call center agent and I don't have a free time posting here. Now that I took advantage of my day-off I finally have the oppurtunity to release some stress and at the same time do the thing that I miss doing--blogging! Yeah, there's a crisis going on, and the risk of losing one's job is a thorn that's lodging in each and every working-class Pinoy's mind. In fact, it is a nightmare that came into reality to some who had been recently laid-off. And now I'm lucky that I have this job, but I have to fight to keep it. Oh well, I guess we're back in the stone age where the only-the-strongest-will-survive maxim prevailed. Stressful yeah, and quitting had crossed my mind, but I can't tell if I'm still very lucky to get a new job after this. Maybe can go back to blogging and posting stuff that crossed my mind regarding our beloved and bedeviled country. Oppurtunity knocks twice, my mom said, and to be honest, I slowly grasped the ins and outs of the call center, which is to everyone's delight (or dismay) the only means of employment. But I heard that even the industry is hanging on the edge with some BPO companies closing shop recently. Guess I have to hang on for a few more months, or weeks, before thinking of looking for another job apart from being an agent. I don't want to get stuck to call center, you know. I have an ambition of my own, and it's my obligation to fulfill it. But when will that time come, I guess, will just be a guess. Got to go now. See ya and keep posting! Citizen JDC signing off.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For the Love(?) of Country

Signing on

A group member in the Bobong Pinoy forums posted a short essay written by a Korean student here in the Philippines about his observation about, in his own opinion, our lack of love in our country. His work may be far from being scholarly, but what snaps his work awake is that how the author parallels our current economic and political situation with that of his native South Korea years after the Korean War.

This Korean jives with my point of view concerning patriotism.They, when they struggled to get on their feet again, felt that they have an obligation for their country. They had their run-ins with bad administrators and poor governance, but they brushed them aside and worked hard to help South Korea into what they are now. Some were sent abroad to work; others by their own will, but it's clear to them that they are working for their country and not just by themselves.

It is sad to know that we Filipinos easily break under surmounting pressure of our sluggish progress, but the point is, where's the bayaniha
n spirit that we've been known to outsiders? Now more that ever that bayanihan is needed if we ever want the Philippines to regain its former prosperity as it had half a century ago, when are are second economically to Japan. I, if given a chance, am willing to work abroad; should somebody ask me why I did that, my answer will be 'I'm doing this for family and for country'. The conjunction 'and for country' spells the difference between working abroad and coming home, and working abroad, then bringing over the rest of the family to live there permanently.

Our government sucks, that's for sure, but we cannot leave the burden on them alone. We as citizens have to do something as well in this situation. After all, it takes two to tango. Maybe some of our officials are corrupt, maybe our social welfare services are pathetic, maybe our national security is flawed, but shouldn't we take them as challenges to show our resiliency in face of such odds?

The writer may be just another foreigner in our land, and someone may retort "anong paki mo!?" or "mind your own f@#%ing business!" but his work reflects his concern on us, to the point of telling what his country went through to become an economic giant as they are. He knows that what South Korea was is what the Philippines is now. There's no difference on that part however, except for one thing--they never gave up.

Signing off

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Choice to be Green

Signing on

Each and every one of us thought that the stunt pulled by actress Alicia Mayer would be the last that we will see. Just the other day three women, two Pinays and one foreigner walked across Plaza Miranda wearing lettuce leaves, campaigning for Filipinos to switch to vegetarian diet. They are said to be members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Personally I'm not against the idea of vegetarianism. Heck, I also eat vegetables. But at the same time I am a carnivore. I am, in my own words, a balanced eater. But the idea of totally converting to a vegan lifestyle has not yet crossed my mind, because I firmly believe that being one should be done only willingly and with full volition. But judging on how PETA reason out, I guess that I will remain the way I am. See, I couldn't help but wonder why these people think that raising cattle and poultry is harmful to the environment because they contribute to the increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Well, I think that's because they pass wind, and their numbers increases the chances of the emission being brought up above. Personally, I believe that they are missing some points. Number one: whether to raise animals or not, either for food or otherwise, they will still break wind. Number two: all animals fart. Cows fart. Chickens fart. Lions fart. Giraffes fart. Elephants fart. And number three: Animals aren't the only ones who passes wind. We humans do that also.

I once saw a leaflet from PETA describing how inhumane cattle and poultry were slaughtered. But nothing is more head-shaking than what the foreigner had said; she said that cows are being flayed alive. HUH!? I once saw a pig being slaughtered, but I don't remember it being flayed alive. I guess that the proposition "claiming is one thing, proving is another thing" holds true in this case. You see, it's easier to say that that happens than to produce a concrete proof of such. It's like saying that aliens has indeed landed in Roswell, that everything written in The Da Vinci Code is true, and that Elvis has left the building.

So what's my point after all these? That after all that's been said and done, at the end of the day it's still our decisions that will make the difference. I recognize the benefits of a vegetarian diet, but I believe in free will, and I believe in choices, and I am against using ad baculum statements just for the sake of converting to a new lifestyle. I myself don't like people telling me of what I should be. And I know that we Filipinos do not entertain that idea either. We had endured three hundred and thirty-three years of Spanish occupation, fifty years under the Americans, with a four-year interegnuum under the Japanese, who did nothing but tell us what shall we do, what we shall believe, who shall we listen to, and whose authority shall we recognize. If I am to go vegetarian it is because I want to and not because they tell me to. I have the right to make choices for myself. I am a free man.

Signing off.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The P's and the F's

Signing on

The title has something to do on the last Binibining Pilipinas pageant wherein a candidate who stammered her way through the question and answer portion, who bagged the Bb. Pilipinas-World crown just out of sheer confidence despite the obvious nervousness and the subsequent butchering of the English language. You know, "my pamily... , my pamily... , they was". No, I'm not here to drag her down and malign her with comments like "she's dumb", "she's stupid" or "she doesn't deserve to win", no, no, no. I will not, never going to use this blog to maliciously attack anyone just because I damn want to. Well, at least we know that she's not alone in this wide world who got mixed up. Because in the Ms. Teen America pageant, we will see that even Americans commit embarrassing mistakes when answering to a rather simple question, considering that they are an English-speaking nation. Miss South Carolina must've missed the question regarding American geography, or she just didn't paid attention. The whole thing even made it to YouTube. Ah, the power of the internet.

Let's set aside if beauty pageants has lost its credibility by the candidates that they pick, the image the they project, and on how they answer to the questions that they pick themselves. Did I miss on how they pronounce words and their grammar? Hope not! Because if we watch these pageants we will see that there are candidates who are rather poor in speaking English but kept on trying to speak it, despite their accents, and being ungrammatical. But personally I would laud on others who chose to answer in their native tongue because it was through that that they could express best what they think and what they feel regarding the question the judges throws at them. I mean, why torture yourself to speak in a language that you are not familiar with? There's no existing rule that states that candidates should answers only in English, and definitely they will not be hanged when they do not. Save the practice backstage, there's room for improvement and polishing. Feel free to speak in you own language, that what interpreters are for. I hope that the incoming beauty queens will remember that. Hopefully.

Signing off

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Yellow Paper

Signing on

Every morning I have the habit of taking a long walk around our subdivision. Whenever I pass a sari-sari store selling newspapers I couldn't resist on peeking at the headlines. I am inspired about writing about them not because of anything but out of my personal observation regarding the quality of their stories printed. When I was in college my Journalism professor Sir Ron (who is now a reporter on TV Patrol World) discussed in class about sensationalism in media, both on broadcast and print. In the latter, the tabloids lead the way. Such sensationalism is termed Yellow Journalism. The objective of adulterating facts with subjective interjections is more for commercial purposes. And it figures: headlines about murders, rapes, crimes of passion and exposés screams at the front page;pictures of bloodied cadavers printed in full color instead in black and white and on some tabloids, pictures of near naked, or naked women grace the front. ( I collected some of them ha ha ha).

Compared to broad sheets, tabloids are more accesible to the mass market because it is cheaper, convenient, and generally understood by all since some of them are written in Filipino. With the exception of the few which are cleaner and decent, tabloids, in my opinion, is more on the business of selling than in the business of truth. The fact that they cater to patrons who digs such stories contributes much to their increase in profit. I know, I was one of them.

Now there's a couple of tabloids on the top of the computer desk where I am currently typing this post. I have read them before I started writing. I know why it's so popular. But I decline to reason why; somebody might lynch me...

Signing off

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Mystery Man

Signing on

Inside the Bahay ni Kuya each participant knows well what they are getting. Every word, every move, if they did something either good or bad, if they tripped on something, rest assured that Big Brother would know it, and if he says (in a deep bass voice) "Pumasok kayo sa confession room" will surely make their knees shudder. They fear him. They respect him. They hear him. But they can't see him.

Outside there's this fellow much like in the same vein as Kuya. But the difference is that he is a writer; his works are widely read and almost everybody knows about them. All six books under his authorship. We laughed at them. Emphatized at them. Pondered at them. But we never see him.

And he hides under the name Bob Ong.

If you ask me which among his six books I consider my most favorite? A resounding Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang Pilipino? Why? Because it is an uncompromising book containing the foibles and the misbehavior some of us Filipinos often do but often (but sometimes, always) ignore. It is an eye-opener about the other side of the Philippines through his own words, as well as other Filipinos here and abroad who share their thoughts about being Filipinos. In my possession I own Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (a book pondering philosophically about life, existence and spirituality) and Stainless Longganisa (an introspective on BO's life as a writer as well as about his books that he had written), as well as his first, ABNKKBSNPLAko!? (a narrative about the author's experience as a student, as well as his views about education and being educated) although it was borrowed. I have read Alamat ng Gubat (A sidesplitting fable of a parody of Philippine society) and MacArthur ( a novel about friendship amidst the the backdrop of squalor, poverty and drugs) through my cousin, who like me, is a BO fan.

He has become a household name for his books which are mostly social commentaries laced with humor which makes them interesting reads. And the fact that he chose the Filipino language as his medium did they became comprehensible to everybody. Agree with them or disagree with them, laugh at them or barf at them, read from start to finish or read the first few pages then shut it close, the point is that you are affected. The same way that they affected me. If you have managed to read all six, or some of them then congratulations; you have met someone who dared to swim against the current of commercialism in print media. The one who dared to shake us to our senses and think about ourselves as Filipinos and our country the Philippines. Kung may pagkakataon e ipagtatayo ko sya ng rebulto, kung alam ko lang ang itsura niya. But it doesn't matter. The fact that we didn't know what he looks like adds mystery to his works. But rest assured BO exists.

And he will continue to exist.

Signing off

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

(Partial) Memories of an 80's Childhood Part 4

Signing on

"Monkey,monkey Annabel. How many monkeys did you see?"

"Tagu-taguan maliwanag ang buwan. Tayo maglaro ng tagu-taguan"

"Doctor Quack Quack!!!"

Ahhh, the joy of being a kid back in those days. I would like to comment that kids back in the day are more creative in terms of entertaining themselves. I mean, internet was still a virtual unknown here, and aside from cartoons that I have mentioned in my previous posts, playing outdoors is our source of amusement, as well as an enjoyable form of exercise (no wonder we are healthier then!). When I was a kid we used to live with our aunt in Parañaque; me, my two sisters, our cousins, and other playmates would meet together every afternooon for some dose of fun and games. Read the intro? Those are some of the games that we enjoyed. Taguan is obviously hide and seek. The "taya" shoulc turn his or her back to the players, and facing the wall with eyes covered the taya must count to ten while the players scamper around for a place to hide. When all had hid the (okay, to avoid redundance I'll substitute taya with "it") it will search those who are hiding and when found the caught player must race with the it to the wall and, upon touching must shout "Save!"; if the player is unsuccesful in getting to the wall first he will be the next it. And the whole thing goes on and on until everyone is exhausted. In Doctor Quack-Quack, the it is the doc. The other players will entangle themselves and shout "Doctor Quack-Quack!" The it wll then try to untangle them. In Monkey Monkey Anabel, well, can somebody describe it to me once again. I still need to refresh my memory about how to play the game. I have also played luksong-tinik, habulan and patintero to name a few.

Being a son of a seaman I have the privilege of having toys that I treasured. I remember owning Matchbox die-casts, a toy laser gun, robots, and a slot car set. When I was seven I received a Transformers Sharkticon as a Christmas present. How I enjoyed it then because I was dying to have one.

Long before Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii there was the Family Computer. When we lived in Baclaran a neighbor used to run a computer game rental business, and I must admit, it is a profitable one. I remember being one of the uzis who watched the game and wishing that we have one in our house. [Author's note: Hanabishi has produced their own Family Computer.] To play it a cartridge must be inserted in the slot. The selected cartridge contains a specific game. There are also cartridges that has multiple games stored inside. You know, the 5-in-i, 10-in-1 and other -in 1s. That's how it was back then.

Signing off