Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Atty. Alex Lacson: Defining the Real Filipino Spirit

Back from a day spent with my dear darling editor Kay Abella. A few weeks ago, she asked me if I could possibly join her in a bloggers' event Kapihan at Istoryahan to happen in line with Atty. Alex Lacson's endeavor of running for the senatorial race. It was an invitation that I simply cannot miss for the world.

I really did not personally know Atty. Alex Lacson. The nearest thing that got me acquainted with him and his book 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help the Country was after featuring him in 2007 during the Responsible Citizenship issue of Highlights. But ever since I took hold of his book and got myself immersed in it, I know there was something with this man. Not long after having him in the magazine, I decided that I better have a copy of that "little but powerful orange book"

Just when I thought I will only be reading the book, I was proven wrong as I was given a rare opportunity to meet an author that I really admire.

Now I know that last year, I decided to perform one of those little things--fulfilling my solemn duty as a registered voter--not at 18 but at 24 (I went to register five months before my 25th birthday). I remember that a year ago, while I was working as a teacher the school academic manager asked me this:

"Teacher, sa tingin mo ba, may pag-asa pa ang Pilipinas?"

I remember answering him "yes it is possible but maybe we have to return to the era of Magsaysay or better yet, if we can possibly produce a different breed of Filipinos." As of this writing, I am recalling those words focusing on the last thought. For the longest time, despite knowing that suffrage is a right that's free of charge, I was not exercising it--out of choice. For the reason that honestly I have lost my confidence over the kind of government that we have.

There are things I heard from him that I never, ever heard other people say that they will do.

When I learned that Atty. Lacson was eying and running for the senatorial race, it dawned on me that probably, my decision to register to vote has found its reason and purpose that this man could be the new breed [of Filipino] that I once said . The same way that I have came to a decision that I will really vote for this man. Reading his book should have been enough to convince me that probably, this person is what the country really needs. That he can bring change especially to those who are starting to lose hope for the country and self-esteem about being Pinoy. Listening to him answer the questions of people made me realize that he is the kind of candidate who is worthy of my vote. What was more surprising was when I heard him respond that unlike Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, he will decline to hold the controversial case of Andal Ampatuan Jr.

At the back of my head I was stunned but what else can I say but "now, this man's really different." Unlike those politicians who tend to consume much of a person's TV habit pronouncing his future platform of government. And they're doing it earlier than what COMELEC had designated.

Personally meeting him was also like a challenge for me. I was among those attendees who were able to ask my own question which was one straightforward query on what sets him apart from other senatoriables. I was actually hesitant at first to ask but then, being a first time voter, I need to know if that candidate deserves my vote (and others too). There was actually no pretensions (not a hint whatsoever) in his answer. And at the end of the day, this man, Atty. Alex Lacson is an epitome of a person who practices what he preaches (and writes) in his powerful orange book.

I know this man is worth my vote. And for answering my straightforward question, I will give my honest, straightforward response:

I am voting for this man. Count me in.

Get to know more about Atty. ALex Lacson by visiting http://alexlacson.net

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Ounce of Caution is Still The Best Way

Blogger faces libel charge filed by NBI.

This was the article that caught my interest in today's Metro page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Apparently, the National Bureau of Investigation is now on a hunt to bring forth to justice a certain John Doe blogger for the malicious entry the person wrote regarding the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the website Blog ni Ella.

As I write down this post, I also tried to check out that blog as well as Google regarding that controversial entry that still actually exists in the search engine.

Cyberspace has become a sort of freedom wall for a lot of people. As I see it, individuals nowadays think that the internet is comparable to a huge blank concrete where one's graffiti thoughts could be written--regardless of how destructive or derogatory it could be. Now, I'm not saying that I am not among them. I have been a blogger for five years. My Friendster account and personal blog is still existing though sadly I don't get to update that regularly because aside from other things, I have three other blogs where I write. And in a way I am at times guilty as charged of writing my angst against circumstances and even with people.

Going back to the article, I was given the chance to write a feature on blogs in one of the issues of Highlights last year. I raised there a point, it's not just about tinkering and posting an entry pronto. Being a blogger also entails responsibility and guts--a personality that's strong enough should one decide to tackle a very sensitive issue or a personal matter. It's just like being a Big Brother housemate as it has consequences and it includes being stripped of your own privacy; because once it circulates in the Web, people follow even if they don't personally know the writer.

I can't say that I have such enough amount of guts. In my five years of blogging, I have tackled some of my personal issues which I was supposed to keep to myself. I have been confronted by a person over it, had my relationship suffer due to it and was even advised by my mom over the whole thing. Sure do, I cry about the issue at times but then, I guess the thing also is that before I typed and published them, I have pondered about the whole subject, with full and concrete decision over what I will write and was ready to explain and defend if needed once people start to ask. In a way I also tried to play safe and refrain from getting into trouble because to simply put it, a libel case is no joke.

Besides, a blog that's full of angst and rage is not one idea of a good read. It would be stupid, pathetic even to visit a website that says it's a zone for those seeking solitude only to get an experience of the underworld because of the mad, revengeful posts. If that would be the case, then readers should just navigate to another page or better yet, I should change my blog title and the tag line.

I know I once questioned, if it's wrong to be cautious. But realized a few of those "cautious" measure won't hurt anyway.

photo courtesy of Photos.com

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Insights I Learned from Reading His Life

To do or what? See, I have that hardbound notebook even over coffee.

Few weeks before Christmas, I have spotted the book Say ni Chiz, a book about Senator Francis Escudero as told to Bibeth Orteza- Siguion Reyna on the bookstore shelf. It took me a few sleepless nights twisting, turning and thinking if I will get the book or not; which ended two days after Christmas as I went out of the bookstore carrying the book in my hand. I should have made this entry a few days prior to last year's end but because I got all occupied at home, it was left hanging till yesterday. And so today despite another bout with migraine, I'm off to doing it. Finally.

But actually, more than the purpose of knowing Chiz Escudero's humble beginnings, the book being his autobiography, what really prompted (or should I say convinced) me to own a copy of this is because I wanted to see, read and know how a lawyer thinks and what runs inside his mind expressing his views on the realities of life and the things, situations and circumstances that are around him.

An autobiography that does not contain much of the nakakaumay spiels of politics; for a change.

I'm sorry for saying this part, but, reading his book reminded me of author Bob Ong. Second to Bob Ong's books, I'd say this is the other one that kinda won me over. People might think you'll just get nothing but sucky political stuff in his book but then, I just found a few--not sucky but rather enlightening that as one reads, they too will say "oo nga naman"and they're justified. I found this book another good read because:

1. There are no pretentious sides of the story (OK, Sen. Escudero might be exposing his accomplishments being a congressman and then as a senator, but likewise it's his autobiography; it's all bout him so he has the final say).

2. The book fits the youth's thoughts and the minds of common Pinoys. And compared to other autobiographies that are written in a manner that's too technical, this one is just right--from the language used, the words applied (no technical, hard-to-understand jargons) to the way the stories in chapters are being told. It's just breezy--like you're taking a walk in the park.

So what did I get reading about his life? Here are a few things that I realized, missed thought in a way made sense which I firmly do believe he has a point in saying that:

1. There is no use getting jealous (even envious) over someone or something. There's no such thing as an ideal girl or ideal guy because we all have some dysfunctional points. So why be inggit over someone when you know he or she isn't a perfect being like you either?

Often, it is true that those people who answered the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" are the ones who tend to get it and succeed later on in life. In Chiz's case, he was once asked the question and said two things: to be a lawyer and a president. He got the first one, but the second, that's the thing there--maybe it will come in a few more years or so.

3. It is true that sometimes you need to look at the past to plot on what you want to happen in the future, but it's more important to look and live at the present moment. And if you'll keep on looking back at the past, chances are, you'll trip down and fall.

4. Courtship starts not in asking someone to be your boyfriend (in the case of liberal minds there) or girlfriend--as that's the conclusion. The process begins when you start to give special attention; to ask is to know the result of the effort.

5. Sometimes, the best kind of moral support parents can give their children is silence and a positive, clean reputation. I agree with my friend Mikhaela when she told me this: "Sometimes the best thing you can do for the people you love is to stay out of their business."

6. For those with torpe troubles (for my non-Pinoy followers, that's the term for the shy guys out there), never let go of the chances and opportunities that you have. If your sole reason for being torpe is just the fear of being humiliated, forget it because after some years, you'll just find yourself laughing about the whole ordeal.

It doesn't always have to follow that because you're a lawyer, you'll have to marry someone who's also in the same field. In Senator Escudero's case, his wife Christine is a music teacher and stage actress. (So that means a writer and editor like me could marry a basketball player, physician or-- never mind. I'll have no further objections).

8. Seeing a photo on one of the pages of the book, it made me miss UP Law Center and UP College of Law. Why? Because it was on one of the classrooms in that place, I took the UP College Admission Test nine years ago in August 2001.

9. While lawyers are great at reasoning, some of them at one point have a problem on one thing--believe it or not--on English grammar. (CLARIFICATION: I am not saying ALL lawyers are--just some of them do. Based on the senator's confession found on chapter 3 of the book. I know someone too in the same profession who's got the same problem). I suppose that's the reason universities got courses for writers and editors; to diagnose grammar and sentence glitches.

10. If I were to compare, I realized that during his years as a law student, Senator Escudero looked like my friend Miguel (when Miguel was 23 years old).

I just felt a bit regretful because, the book is supposed to help Chiz map out the path of his political career. At the end of the book, on chapter 10, he left this question and a statement to his readers that went this way:

"Saan nga ba ang punta ko mula rito? Ikaw and dapat magsabi sa akin. (Where do I go from here? You should be the one to tell me)."

And I went to see the book out just days after Chiz declared that he won't be running anymore. And as I told my friend Miguel about the whole thing, he's also got an opinion with a tone of regret.

Hay... isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Almost BTTRW (Back to the Real World)

It's already the second week of January. And it seems I'm still in a daze. Since the balikbayans arrived last year three days after Christmas, the house had been full, noisy and busy. Everyday's agenda included trips to the grocery to purchase a lot of stuff for the house or for the fridge.

Weeks back, in the midst of our holiday feast, I was already thinking, weight gain's going to be one possible consequence--which for me in a way would be good. Knowing that I am in a brood consists of mainly guys (all my cousins are well--boys) who loves to eat (aside from me) I could attest that guys can do get one to ruin her diet hehe :-p

Talk about busy...busy list.

And while it's another year, the pressure is starting to creep in to my nerves. I'm darn serious in fulfilling a lot of changes in my life this year--from my heart to my career. And as of this writing, I am filled with things to do including:

-having to wait for an impending phone interview;
-an interview for a Web Content position this afternoon;
-attending a blogger's event for a senatorial candidate next week;
-cleaning my bedroom and arranging the furniture;
-reading the Random House Writer's Reference book that I've finally purchased;
-writing a review on what I found out from reading Sen. Chiz Escudero's autobiography, Say ni Chiz;
-writing another post on that special bonding moment with dad yesterday;
-studying and learning to play The Nearness of You on my piano.
-updating my journals.

While it will for sure be a really busy day, with Faith for sure it's going to be all good--which it should really be.

I just hope the reminders won't be left forgotten or else...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rats!....This Will Be An Exciting Year!

A few days after the New Year, Being born under the Chinese Zodiac of the Rat, I tried checking out the forecast for what's going to be in store for me for this year. And look (or should I say, READ) what I found:

"For those born in the Year of the Rat, year 2010 promises to be an average year for you, while you may suffer from melancholy from time to time, the positioning of the planets in 2010 will benefit the rats and they will most definitely be more self-confident, and be more innovative than before. Excellent news for the lonely rats, year 2010 promises a great love life for you. You will definitely find a lover within the year, and for the ones that are blissfully married, the year will be filled with romantic joy. Time to rejoice in the warmth of love, rats!"

And I am grinning at the thought of experiencing that warmth of love this year. Hee...heee :-p

photo courtesy of HubPages.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Past Makes A Comeback

I never thought I'll be crossing paths with a thing that I have buried and completely forgotten for a couple of years.

What should one really do when a past makes a comeback?

This morning I woke up to two new text messages on my phone. I was all okay for the first one knowing it was just from a friend; if not only for the second one--a job interview from a company where I once applied for--two years back.

Seeing the text message and email left me dumbfounded and kinda disorganized. I know I am still enjoying the job of writing for MMLDC and for Highlights, the other day, my managing editor and I were discussing about a new opportunity in the marketing communications aspect that I might handle.

On the other hand, I have been wanting something feasible too. At 25, it scares the hell out of me when I think of having a career, knowing that in the place like ours, getting a career in your mid-20's is an indefinite (if not hard) thing. Like what I often say, I'm really wanting something that's full-time; with regular benefits and the stuff that I need. It's not a joke to grow by age year by year, just paying taxes; with a social security number that does not have anything at all. As I write these down, in a way these two things dawned on me...

-that there was a reason why despite of years of keeping the whole stuff, I still cannot trash that old, dusty envelope containing my documents--including the application for an Australian visa;

-that more than just wanting to go to Disneyland by the end of the year, there was a reason why I seem to badly want to possess a Philippine passport.

A lot of things had gotten over me in the first attempt on this prospect;and all those were telling me the time isn't right--yet. I was then going through a trial separation with a then boyfriend (now a long-forgotten Ex), I was performing two jobs at the same time and juggling my time over the job, the requirements to avail of the supposed training having to finish the process just before the Australian Embassy closes for the Yuletide holidays; and being a neophyte, I had a lot of unsettled doubts over the whole thing.

At one point right now, I am also thinking that this could be a heaven-sent opportunity. After all, like actor Harrison Ford puts it, "We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." Probably, this is the second chance that I am being given to change my life.

I am going to discern about the whole thing further and hopefully, this time, I can make a better, clearer and wiser decision; and probably this time, I'll seriously consider going to the Land Down Under if ever they'll offer.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Thoughts on Marital Bliss

Today, just two days after we welcomed the New Year, my family is also celebrating another occasion. This day, my parents are celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

These symbols have been with them for that long--26 wonderful, blissful years.

The night before, I remember telling Mama not to leave and instead postpone her plan of visiting my other relatives in Manila for the sake of this event. I found it both surprising and disappointing to see her decline and hear her say, "kapag ganon na katagal, sa puso na lang inaalala yon."

Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning to be mushy. But the thing is, I know regardless of how long two people had been together in marriage, it's worth celebrating. After all, with the things and factors surrounding people that influence their relationships with their respective partners, to be married and stay happily hitched in these trying times is already a milestone.

And Mama and Papa are among those few lucky couples who are still strongly bonded by the Sacrament of Matrimony--despite the time and tide of the modern times that tend to easily destroy relationships. So having reached that long is already a huge blessing.

I know I have been lucky to be born to Mama and Papa. Nine years ago, as a college paper editor, I remember my then editor-in-chief tell me out of the blue that I have an ideal family. In some ways, he was right. I'd say in some ways because there's no such thing as a perfect family. In a little way or two, my family has its dysfunctional (READ: WEAK) side too.

Yet, I know I am lucky to have parents who at 26 years are still at the pink of their health enjoying such a long year of marital bliss. In the recent family reunion that we had, while I was at the verge of those jokes on my present civil status knowing that I am now the only single lady in the family, I just tend to shrug the whole thing and smile--though I can't help but murmur at the back of my head that the family has indeed grown, my cousins now have families complete with kids, my brother has a new girlfriend and, as sad, scary and silly as it could be quarter life crisis had started taking a toil on me.

It's not that I don't want to get married. Yes, I'd admit that at one point, I used to have fears about getting married--and the thing about being a once burned twice shy person, it isn't that easy for me to take the plunge ASAP. I've became more cautious about dating and being in another relationship. Yet as time passed, I got to see things in a different perspective. Of course, like anyone else, I also do want and hope for marriage to happen. It's just that I am taking things one at a time. Because like Mama and Papa, I would DEFINITELY want to experience a lasting relationship within the sanctity of the Sacrament of Matrimony just like theirs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Shoe Just Fits

Days before Christmas, I got this present for myself:

Bone-white colored shoes from Le Donne. It took me a snap to get this one. Days before the purchase, I was eyeing for a black pair of mules from Chelsea at SM Taytay (which is nearest mall to my location) unfortunately and unluckily for me, they don't have the size that would fit. So after a week, off I went to Sta. Lucia and got these instead.

At first I felt kind hesitant, but aside from the color, what made me luv this is the heels. Kinda girly actually--which I think is about time that I should be.

Yesterday, as I went off to SM Taytay, this one made it to my girly arsenal:

While I really didn't surrender my hopes on that Chelsea shoe that I really wanted badly, I found these on their shelves yesterday. Actually I have eyed on this a week before while I was window shopping and having a bonding moment with one of my nieces and thought, I'll return to get these cute pair. I did and I should say I love eeetttt!

Despite that I was having some cloudy thoughts over mom protesting that I'll be wearing heels, I also knew, I wanted to have this and that I want to look much ladylike now--something that hit me out of the blue when someone addressed me with a "Miss" in my surname last year--but that's another story for my other blog. Being 25 had taken me to some light--which, to the surprise of my family drives them to ask, what has gotten into me.

And it includes this.