Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Filipinos on death row in China

The three Filipinos sentenced to death by lethal injection in China for drug smuggling were executed late this morning. Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain were caught to carry heroin in their suitcases as they entered China.

Now I can't help but question how did these people able to leave the country with 4-6kls., of illegal drugs undetected? As I remember,when I had the chance to visit Japan I went through a series of check-in procedures at Ninoy Aquino International Airport that includes inspecting my luggage with those X-ray scanners all over the port. I had to leave my nail cutter and pusher behind because I wasn't allowed to keep it even inside my hand-carry bag.

Many of our fellows are now on trial all over the world for possessing banned drugs, some are already been sentenced and now hoping for clemency. They were victimized by illegal recruiters and is used by these drug syndicates to smuggle illegal drugs.

Though they say that the Government is now working on saving the lives of Filipinos on death row worldwide, I think that if they refine and strengthen the laws against drug traffickers and drug lords, and be serious and firm on implementing these laws just like China, perhaps it can help prevent such mournful event from happening.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Just How Do You Help A Country Like Japan?

The earth shook with a magnitude of 9 in Sendai.  But, everyone was awe-strucked by horror of the tsunamis that hit Japan.  It was something that we just see in movies--large walls of water pushing cars, swallowing houses and engulfing a city.  Thousands were dead while 10,000 more are missing.  Worst,  a nuclear disaster.  I hope more people are rescued...i hope more of those feared dead will be found and be given a proper burial...I hope the nuclear plant cools off...i hope no harm would come to people and volunteers in Sendai.

I send my hope, and my love to the people of Japan.  Our prayers are with you.

Suggestions are welcomed on just how we can help Japan

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Games of Today vs. The Games of The Past

"Shatonnnnnnnnnngggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and mothers screaming "Anak! Pasok at mag agahan na! May Pasok pa mam'ya" were all you can hear in the morning in my Childhood days. Before, I usually wake up around 7am due to the noise the children make while playing these "Street Games". Right then and there, I would immediately change my PJs then head outside to join these kids. My mom would usually prepare "Milo" and have me drink it before going outside to play.

I remember our "tsinelas" are worn incorrectly, Wearing tattered Sando shirt's and very short shorts (i even remember some wearing only their  underwear). We played until we couldn't catch our breath anymore). We only go home to eat breakfast when we are exhausted or if mother pulls out Daddy's belt or gives you “the look".

Most of you people reading this probably came out of the 80’s era where we had children playing physical games such as "shatong",  "Piko","Tumbang Preso", "Luksong-Tinik\Baka", "Patintero", etc. But where are these games now? Most of the children i know now, doesn't even know how to play these games. They would prefer to play on their computers and go online for an MMORPG, or sit in the couch with a gameboy or psp (even Xbox and gamecube for the bigtime little tykes); but no longer play the "street games", not even the simple taguan or mataya taya.

It makes me sad because playing these games is also teaching us a lesson in life; such as; "If we fall, we must know how to stand back up and continue what we were doing", "more heads are better than one" and so on... My opinion is that If we were to compare the children of today to the children of yesterday, we will notice a very big difference from their attitude, the way they do things and express their thoughts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Change starts within

We used to say “school is our second home”. It is where we continue to learn new things about ourselves and make us aware of our surroundings.   It’s a place where we try to complete our dreams as to who and what we would like to be in the future.

I believe that the first few years of attending school are the most crucial because it would be the foundation of our life.  I believe that what we do in school greatly impacts what we would become in the future.

There are people in school who facilitate in the construction of our lives. They are called Teachers.  They’re not only educators, but also our 2nd parents; they would nurture us with care and love, and consider themselves responsible of what we become.

I have my own stories to tell about my teachers during my school days. I had a professor who always came in late. When she arrives, she would always go back to the faculty room because she forgot something (purse, pen, visual  aid – whatever she could think of) then gets back to class with only 10-15 minutes left in her subject to teach. She would just give us homework and tells us to study. I had some teachers who came in class well prepared and ready to answer questions.  But some are just “plain boring”. They would just make you copy stuff from text books in your notebook while they are chitchatting with some co-teachers.

But what should a real educator be? As I watched the movie Mga Munting Tinig (Small Voices) by Mr. Gil Portes, It somehow gave me an idea. In the movie, Melinda Santiago was a fresh grad student assigned to be a substitute teacher in a small rural school where people live a simple yet hard life. Education in the movie is less valued by adults. They would rather have their kids to work in the farm with them or do house chores than go to school. Perhaps poverty caused them to think that education is for the rich and that they are the only ones who have the rights to dream.  Despite her difficulties, like having some dishonest co-teachers and parents insistence for their kids to help put food on the table than to study, Melinda’s idealism lead her to encourage her students to dream. She motivated them to focus on their talents and brought hope back into their hearts again.

In a way the movie tells us that we could all be agent of change.   We could all do something to help others in our own little ways.  And who knows the change we bring to young kids will impact them in ways that will amaze us all and in the process bring more good changes in the world we live in. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

BAYANIHAN THROUGH Waste Trading Markets

I really think there's a bayani in everyone.  Here's one way we can fan the bayanihan in everybody--helping the environment.    We can start by segregating our trash and putting them into its right place.  There are "Waste Trade Markets" around the metro.  All we have to do is find one and drop some of things that can still be re-used, or recycle like glass, paper, plastics, batteries etc.

In Makati and Alabang Zapote Road for example, every first Friday of the month at the Gold Crest Car Park, Ayala Center (along Arnaiz Ave. Makati), and Every third Friday of the month) at the Alabang Town Center (Alabang - Zapote Rd), you can find a Waste Trading Market.

SM Supermalls also have this kind of advocacy and calls it SM Trash to Cash.  You can bring reusable and recyclable wastes there every first Friday to Saturday of the month from 8 AM to 2 PM at all SM Supermalls. WHAT THE WASTE MARKETS OFFER; 
Trade scrap paper for new (office/ mimeo) paper!
 Trade used ink cartridges for new!
 Sell your electronic waste (junk computers) and old / broken appliances
Sell your used lead acid batteries
Redeem the following for cash: PET plastic bottles and other plastics, aluminum/tin cans, scrap glass 
Drop off points also provided for junk cellphones/ cellphone batteries/ styrofoam

Recycling now is made convenient and accessible through the Waste Markets.  All the more for those who frequent the Shopping Malls.  Let's make recycling a habit!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bayani noon at ngayon

When I was kid, I had dreams of becoming a "hero". I dreamt of having powers, incredible strength and defeating the bad people who do bad things to others. Of course I also liked the costumes, the boots and the bodacious hair that go with it, thanks to The Justice League and our local hero Darna.

Hero in tagalog is Bayani. And since grade school our notion of Bayani were the likes of Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Tandang Sora, Emilio Jacinto, I think you know what I mean.

We know they’re BAYANI because one way or the other, they died fighting for our country—our kasarinlan or Independence. But, have you ever wondered when an ordinary person can be called a "bayani"? Because I do. Did Rizal become a hero instantly when he was shot in Bagumbayan (now Luneta correct me if I am wrong) or was it even before that?

Now, the new heroes or the bagong bayanis are Doctors, teachers, laborers who work abroad and leave their family behind. But do we have to leave the country to be counted as bayani? Or should one have to be killed in the line of duty before their act of heroism gets acknowledged?

Why do I ask these questions? Maybe because, Ligot invoked his right to self-incrimination and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee can’t do anything about it. Maybe, because OFWs are stuck in Libya and the DFA aren’t doing a good enough job to help them out. Maybe because there are many people who still remain poor and many politicians are still corrupt as ever. Maybe because we just don’t care enough.

I would love to see one day people try to become hero in their own little way. Help people out in the streets. Teach small children. Read to the elderly and the sick. Give something valuable to the less fortunate. Keep the environment clean. Volunteer for a cause.

It was Gandhi who said “be the change you want to be.” So I’ll commit to doing it. I’ll be the change I want to be.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


When you ask someone about the meaning of bayanihan, the first thing that comes to mind would be-- community members, helping move the house of neighbor literally-- by carrying it from one place to another.

But, bayanihan is also “Bayan” which means a nation or country.  It could even mean a town, a municipality or even just a small community.

Detail of mural Bayanihan by Carlos 'Botong' Francisco
Bayanihan, hence, is a concept to make something impossible--POSSIBLE by simply uniting as one. So, when a neighbor relocates to another place, the entire members of the “bayan” are called upon to help and make it possible.  This spirit became part of the Filipino tradition.
People- Power Revolution is a good example of bayanihan.  From February 22-25, 1986, millions of Filipinos civilians as well as several political, military and religious figures, trooped to the streets of EDSA (EPifanio de los Santos Avenue in Quezon City) to fight for freedom and end the 20-year tyranny of the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Photos from EDSA Revolution 1986
The E.D.S.A Revolution was known to be the first of its kind in the history of the Philippines, perhaps even the world. No blood was shed during the 4-day uprising. People gradually became one. Hand in hand, the Filipino people made a stand and this act was testament to the true Bayanihan spirit that was alive in every Filipino.

Now I said "WAS". Because i am inclined to ask now-is BAYANIHAN still alive today?


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