Monday, June 29, 2009

2 Miles of Regress

If you have read the major broadsheets last Monday, I'm very much sure that you've come across an ad by our 'dear President Arroyo' that enlists all, if not some, of the benefits that we had gained from all of her trips in the past eight years of presidency. Lately, her foreign trips are being criticized by the opposition because it cost us more than 800 million pesos to fund her trips. Maybe, that's the reason behind the publication of this ad - paid by taxpayer's money.

All in all, the ad contains "14 benefits" that we have gained for the following: job generation, infrastructure development, protecting Filipino concerns, energy cooperation and agricultural development.

At a first glance, you would be somehow quite impressed because our 'dear' president had been able to get this and that. Although for me, ads like this does not impress me anymore - especially if this was paid using our money.

Anyway, the question is: Did we really get something substantial from her trips that had benefited all of us - especially those who need it most?

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Some of the benefits listed are quite specific: $2.3 billion investment and job opportunities from South Korea, $2 billion investment from China, etc. But did those investments have actually flowed into the Philippines? Maybe not.

Let us take a look at 'Chinese investments.'

The President first went to China in 2004. If I remember it right, China had promised her more than $1 billion in investment for our country. But according to my little research, China had never been a 'top source of foreign direct investments (FDI)' for our country considering the number of 'infrastructure projects' that they are supposed to finance. Not even in a single quarter in the succeeding years (2005-2008) that they have been in the top spot. In fact, Japan is consistently our major source of FDI from 2004 till 2008. Taiwan would even sometimes land on the second spot as a top source of FDI for our country. But China, it never even registered a blip on our radar screens.

If you have doubts on my claim well you may check out the facts here at the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) website.

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But what was really quite noticeable about the 'benefits' listed is that some of them are not concrete benefits that would readily benefit us. For example, we have this 'potential agreement' with Russia on energy, defense, etc. By definition, it is just a likely event but there is nothing definite yet and could actually not happen in the future. Another one are the MOUs with Brazil and Bahrain; so now that we have 'understood' each other, what happens next? Do these 'promises, understandings and agreements' materialize for our benefit?

Or our dear President is very busy selling off our country piece by piece. I just hope that it won't be the case.

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It is really disgusting to know that in times like this, wherein the government's budget deficit is estimated to be at record high this year - a whooping 257 billion pesos - this government can still afford to place ads in major broadsheets, TV and radio. Ads worth millions of pesos funded by taxpayers' money that won't even feed a single hungry mouth in the slums.

Ads that tries to makes us look stupid not to know that such claims in their ads are just part of their fantasy.

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What also pisses me off is the fact that this government is trying to look like a slut (I apologize for my term) by begging off for scraps from wealthier nations rather than supporting and developing our own industries. For example, this government would rather have our agricultural sector be developed by Saudi Arabia! What could a country that is almost a hundred percent desert can do to 'develop' our rich agricultural resources? Does this also mean that once they had develop this land, they now own it?

Maybe that's why her morons in Congress are pushing for ChaCha.

Extend her term and sell our country piece by piece and pocket billions of pesos - if not dollars - from it.

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Take a look at the annoying ad below.

Have you noticed how the ad was filled with pictures of our 'dear President' handshaking with the leaders of the countries she had visited? So what is its significance? Maybe it could be much effective tool to deceive us if they had instead placed pictures of the projects that had been ongoing or completed because of her trips.

But maybe, they don't have anything to show because none had really materialized.

They should except that a lot would beat their asses off after the noon of June 30, 2010.

I can't wait.

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Photo Credit: Philippine Information Agency

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

8 Temptation is Inevitable

I have to confess something. I had been too lazy to finish what I have started. Well not really lazy but I'm always too tired to sit down in front of the computer and make my computer screen bleed with my thoughts. Still if I have the time to do so, my thoughts are so 'unorganized' that I don't know where to start. That's why I'm really tempted to just slack off and texted EUQIE. :D (Who is she? Well.. You know the answer. :D And speaking of temptation, she's the sweetest temptation that I can't resist. Haha.. :D)

Talking about temptation, I would want to write on this one because lately, I find myself being 'tempted' most of the time to do certain things - like going back to my 'old self.'

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This is not to brag about it but lately, I've been finding myself to be much closer to God. I try to read the Bible everyday. Yes, I try because sometimes I fail to do so. But as much as possible, even if I don't have my 'Daily Bible Reading Guide' with me, I just open up the Bible and read some wise advices from one of my favorite books: the Proverbs.

Did that 'habit' made me holier?

No. In fact, the more that I try to become one, more temptation comes in my life.

Like right now, I'm tempted to stop writing down this post and just scour the net for the latest and hottest scandals.

But because I'm trying, I try hard not to fall into it.

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According to Microsoft Encarta Dictionary, temptation is defined as the 'desire for something bad, incitement of desire or cause of desire'. For Catholics and Christian alike, there is an accepted 'truth' that a temptation is just a 'precondition in committing a sin.' It means that once you succumb to that, you have already sinned against God. (Please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

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Lately, I had been able to find out for myself that getting closer to God is not really the answer in evading temptation. The 'elders' are right. Once you committed yourself to Him, more temptations would try to lure you to go back to your 'old self.'

The one who brings forth temptation in this world knows what specific temptation that can used be used on you. Usually these are our weakest points: power, money, love, lust, anger or envy. Name it. Alam ni Taning kung paano ka niya susulutin.

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I would admit, even though this would make myself further vulnerable, that Taning knows that my weaknesses are girls. In the most unexpected and unguarded moments, he would send an 'angel' infront of me so that my eyes would stick upon that 'angel'. So at that point he got me, I had sinned. Pero paano ako nagkasala sa temptation na iyon?

According to my brothers and sisters in our Singles for Christ community, if you had seen someone you like and then get a second, third or nth look and started to stare at the person, you are already committing adultery. Why? Because your thoughts starts to fleet away. Most of the time, to lustful thoughts. Not neccesarily about sex but because you have began to have a 'desire' to that person. (Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.)

So most of the time, 'angels' would pass infront of me or would land as my seatmate or classmate until I would take a second, third and nth look at the 'angel' and would make me sin all over again.

But why is is happening? Because Taning don't want me to go back to God.

Temptation is inevitable. But you've got two choices: face and fight it or give up and enjoy the view.

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Sometimes, I would still give up and just 'enjoy the view.' But because of my other 'desire' to go back to God, I find myself praying very hard. Praying for the 'angel.' (And praying that my love won't be angry at me. I love you euqie. :D) Praying that God would give me more strength and more wisdom to overcome that temptation.

Because I cannot do it alone. Temptations are here because we try to get closer to God. So no one knows the better solution in overcoming it than Him.

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Most of the time, people just give up and 'enjoy the view.' They'd rather go for the 'sarap' rather than the 'hirap'. It would be understandable since it is our nature to always go for something that would give us momentary bliss. We always think that something that is hard to achieve is not really rewarding. Yet in the end, they would find themselves suffering more because of what they had done.

Something that had happened to me in the past.

Temptations that I had 'welcomed' into my life and eventually destroyed it.

Something that I won't let to happen again.

Why? Because of two things.

My love for our Heavenly Father above.

And my love for my father, now 52 years old (it's his birthday today), who had taught me to resist all of these temptations so that I won' have much regrets in life later on.

Happy Birthday Papa. :)

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

11 State of Philippine Education - Part 3

Coinciding with the opening of classes this month, I'm coming up with a series of articles that would talk about the current state of Philippine education. When I say here the 'state of Philippine education' it encompasses all issues related to it: from the conditions of our classrooms to the attitude of today's youth and the view of Philippine society today towards getting 'an education.'

Ito ang aking maliit na kontribusyon upang i-angat ang kalagayan at siguro panibaguhin kahit papaano ng sistemang pangedukasyon sa Pilipinas.

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Eversince, I always have high regard for our teachers - especially the teachers that had shared their life to 'educate' me. So before anything else, I would like to express my gratitude to the following teachers who had changed my life and how I view it.

I would be always thankful to my teacher in elementary who had opened me up to never wane in loving this nation. Her lessons in HEKASI made me somehow a 'nationalistic' kid. It was also at this point that I made up my mind on what I wanted to be when I grow up: to be the next President of the Philippines.

I would be always thankful to my English teacher in high school who made me 'discover' my passion for writing and for 'firing' up my 'nationalistic' sentiment against those who see our country as 'hopeless', She also had acceoted me to be a part of our school paper then despite my belief that my skills in writing is lamentable unlike the other applicants. (Off topic: I would also like to thank the editors of our school paper then for allowing all of my articles to be published - it was the first time I got to see my work in print and have let others read it.)

I would also be forever to my Math teacher in high school that scolded me for snickering at a classmate who had answered wrongly to her question. Because after that I wasn't also able to answer her question, she told me "O ayan tamo, di ka rin makasagot." But the real story is that everyone else also laughed - even louder than what I did. Siguro, napaginitan lang ako saka kasi magkatabi kami. Tas siguro pangit gupit ko nun, haha.. :D Defensive. :D But seriously, that single 'embarrasing' event made me more careful in my acts and I seldom snicker when someone commits a mistake.

I would also be forever thankful to my History professor in my previous school (UP) that taught me to love reading books. She also made me realize that I won't be able to write well unless I have been a avid reader of books.

But most of all, I would always be forever thankful to my first teacher, ang aking pinakamamahal na nanay, Mrs. Milagros P. Lim.

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Well actually, she is indeed a teacher - a public high school Biology teacher to be exact. She had been in the teaching profession for almost 30 years now. Madami nang mga estudyante ang dumaan sa kanya. Sa dami ba naman ng kanilang load, kaunti na siguro iyung 300 estudyante and tuturuan niya kada taon. In fact, there had been a lot of occassions wherein we would 'stumble upon' some of her former students who still recognize her. If you're going to ask me if she is a 'terror' teacher, well, I'm proud to say that my mother is a very kind and considerate teacher.

Hindi dahil sa anak niya ako kaya ko nasabi un ah. :D Halimbawa na lang, sino bang teacher ang itetext pa ang estudyante niya na pumasok naman para maayos ang grade niya? O di ba? :D

But what I'm really proud of her is that despite the low pay and the ungratefulness of this government - especially the GSIS - of the services she rendered for the past 30 years, she still commits random acts of kindness to her students. If one of her students does not have something to eat, she buys something for him/her. If her student's mother is selling guavas or mangos, she would buy from her. That way she could help the student to stay at school and would not opt to drop out.

Better yet, my mother is not the only one whose doing it. These random acts of kindness that are also seen in all teachers across all public schools in the Philippines.

That's why, in my own opinion, they are really the 'New Heroes' of this God-forsaken land. They do not bring in billions of dollars to uplift the economy, but they infuse trillions of hope in their students that would ensure us that there's still a bright future that awaits us all.

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Yet despite of that, they don't get what they deserve.

They would instead get sometimes, insults from their students.

They would instead get low salary with lots of deductions.

For public school teachers, they would instead get no retirement benefits because of their social security agency's 'unbelievable schemes' and failure to process their benefits FAST.

They would instead be killed because of protecting the sanctity of the ballot.

They would even sometimes get harassed by parents because they had just 'disciplinec' their stubborn and hard-headed children.

And because of these things, they would be 'forced' by the circumstances, to either pursue their career abroad, be a call center agent here and worse - leave their lesson plans, pick up the mop and work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong or Saudi.

What a 'great' way to thank our educators.

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UP NEXT: The Student's Pledge

Photo credits: Image 1 & Image 2

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

19 Blessings for the Day

Just for this post, allow me to be not so serious because despite having AH1N1-like symptoms (But don't worry, pano ko magkakaswine flue eh di nga ako lumalabas ng bahay. :P), I'm really happy today. God is really good for opening up the gates of blessings today for me. I guess, I need to do more sacrifices (like that one-that-I-must-not-name-yet, haha.. :D) so He I'll be receiving more of His grace - rather than Tany's disastrous temptations. (Si Tany nga pala ung nasa ibaba - ung sa nag-aapoy na lupain.)

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First of all, I would like to thank everyone else for continually supporting and VOTING me to win the much coveted FILIPINO BLOG of the WEEK by The Composed Gentleman!

Finally, after almost a month of being nominated for the polls, I won the FIRST PLACE!

Here is what I've got from the contest:


As you can see Google Chrome user ako, kasi mas mabilis siya kesa sa Firefox. Wala lang naishare ko lang. :P

Muli, sa mga kapamilya, ka-plurk, ka-twitter, ka-friendster, ka-facebook, ka-multiply, ka-blog at mga katextmate ko na sobra nang nakulitan sa pagsusumamo ko na iboto nila ako para manalo, MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMT PO!

Ang tanging bayad na maibibigay ko sa inyo ay aking mga post na lubos kong pagbubutihan ang pagre-research at pagsusulat para naman maging 'worth it' ang inyong pananatili sa aking blog.

Again, for those who are not yet familiar with this blog, this is not some sort of a project about me. Eh bakit PROJECT DENNIO? Wala lang. It sounds nice so I chose the name. :D But if you want to know more why I named it like that, go here.

Baka naman 'di kayo naniniwala eh narito ang ebidensiya. :D

Ganda nung logo noh? Finally, I have it here, hahaha.. :D

Pero mas maganda kung kasama niya ung ka-tandem na HALL OF FAME. Sana lang bumoto pa din sila noh Papa Jesus, dun lang naman po un ulit sa may VOTE HERE section sa sidebar ng The Composed Gentleman, scroll lang ng konti tas boboto na po nila ang PROJECT DENNIO, madali lang naman po di ba? :) Sana po tamaan sila noh, hahaha.. :P

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The second good news for today is finally, after almost two weeks of stagnation, I got a new client for my freelance writing services.

My new client is from Singapore. At first, when I recieved his email, I shrugged it off because his mail looks like a usual spam. But I was surprised that he called me. Yup, direct from Singapore.

Medyo hindi pa nga kami nagkaintindihan kasi kakaiba ang English niya. :P Pero awa naman ng Diyos naging maluwalhati ang aming pag-uusap at hindi dumugo ang aking ilong. Narealize ko lang na kelangan ko pang hasain ang aking conversational skills in English para naman kaya ko makipag-Inglisan sa mga kliyente ko. :D

The project that he gave me is quite easy. All I have to do is answer the questions then submit the first half, he'll pay me in full and then I'll submit the second half. But what's really nice is that once he gets satisfied with my output, he'll be getting me for the next batch of projects that he have.

So I'll just inform everyone if I'd be needing ACADEMIC WRITERS for my future projects with this new client.

Sa ngayon, ipagdasal nating lahat na maging maganda ang aking trabaho. :)

Magkano ang bayad? Quite big, hahaha.. :D

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Flag source: Encarta Encyclopedia 2008

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

6 Ang Gamit ng Kalayaan

I have decided not to post anything about Independence Day on this blog until I have read , watched and heard the different thoughts of other people about this day. As expected, most are cynical if indeed we are free. Much have been also said about being not really free.

Well, it would be quite obvious to see such posts or articles coming from the 'hardcore' activists' that we are not truly free because as they say, our society is 'semi-feudal' because a small group of elite people controls the economic and political aspect of our life and 'semi colonial' because the US still has a hand on our internal affairs (e.g. policies, investment). For others, we are not yet truly free because there are still plenty of corruption, poverty, war, crimes and discrimination going around.

That's why many have come to a very disturbing conclusion: we would be better off had we just given up our independence and let Uncle Sam take over.

This 'wonderful' conclusion made my Independence Day.

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I bet many of you would probably think the same way they did. Just imagine, your money is in dollars. You are an American citizen. This means you don't have to line up at the US embassy everyday just to get even a tourist visa so you can breathe in 'American air' and dug your feet in 'American soil' - as if they have a superior kind of air and soil there.

You also don't have to wait for months or weeks or even days before you can see the next installment of the 'Twilight' saga or any Hollywood movie for that matter. Better yet, you can go to any state whenever you want - without the need for a passport or visa, just your plain ticket and traveling bag.

But of course those are just the perks. What makes Filipinos disillusioned about the 'American dream' is that they believe that once we are under the Stars and Stripes, we would all rise up from poverty and experience American prosperity. I cannot blame most of us who resent to that thought. For me, they are just being 'practical.'

Ano nga naman ang gamit ng kalayaang ito kung hindi naman ito nakakain?

In the end, it is always the question of the stomach that will matter the most - not any nationalistic fervor that won't feed their hungry mouths.

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But the BIG question is: Did our ancestors, our forefathers, made the wrong choice of pursuing our freedom, our independence?

My answer is also a big NO.

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Given the circumstances that they under into, they've got no other choice but to fight for their freedom. Previous calls for reforms fell on deaf ears. The colonizers had just oppressed them even more. That was the only solution they had. But this does not mean that they were 'forced' by these circumstances to take this option.

In fact, before the revolution broke out in 1896, Filipinos had been continually up in arms against the colonizers in the entire length of the Spanish rule for the following reasons: forced labor, heavy taxation, land grabbing, usurpation, censorship, unjust and cruel practices and some, for personal reasons.

None of these uprisings had been successful in their quest for freedom. But these revolts had been important in fueling the Filipinos thirst for freedom from the oppresive rule of the Spaniards. These set the stage for a more concerted and unified effort to gain our independence from Spain - which finally happened in 1898.

Our ancestors did everything they could to win the war, gain our freedom and had even continued doing so when a new colonizer comes in.

And so what?

The bottom is simply this: they did their part in 1896 and beyond to free us from oppresive colonizers and dictators, now it is our turn to do our part.

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No Filipino during the revolution of 1896 had claime that the revolution would be the cure to all of the problems they had during that time. Because they knew that driving off the oppressor is just one of the problems, mending the problems left behind after the oppressor had left is another thing.

Problems that won't be solved by bolos, pistols or cannons and another bloody revolution.

Problems that still persists in our present time.

Problems that our forefathers believed that can be solved by the future generation of Filipinos.

That's why they gave us this freedom, this independence. To be free in our actions to solve the problems that had been left behind and continually haunt our nation.

That's the use of our independence today and why is it still relevant to be commemorated.

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Mabuhay ang ating KALAYAAN!

Photo credits: Symbianize.com, Live the Life, Live the Dream and No Fear and Ibangon ang Bayan

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