Monthly Archives: March 2013

THE FILIPINO SLAVES

slave

HongKong top court denied two Filipinos the right for permanent residency or to own real estate properties in said country.  So what is the big fuz there?  These Filipino litigants should go home instead.  If HongKong laws do not squarely meet your expectations, don’t attempt to force your own and believe that their laws would crumble on your knees.  Sometimes, some people believe that laws are there to be interpreted in one’s favor.  Worst, some would rather act as if they are from the place although they are seen more as slaves than pets.

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South Korean immigration authorities apprehended a fugitive, Park Sung-Jung, a Korean, who figured in a $25 Million investment scam after he successfully eluded Philippine immigration agency, slipped past the cordon, treated with deference and got a number of privileges instead.  The Korean scam artist may provide a good testimony that it is more fun in the Philippines!

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Writing about the entertainment industry is more fun than taking up issues outside of it, like in the realm of public service or politics.  The writer is even encouraged to write anything—right or wrong—-about an entertainer because they subscribe to the belief that “good or bad news, is news.”   They must be embroiled in a scandal or controversy so that their names will be recalled.  When the time comes, they bag a good role and in the process, can demand an equally good pay.

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In politics, while the approach is almost similar, the process is however replete with danger for the spinner.  Politicians in the course of promoting themselves are in effect exposed to a lot of insulting insinuations and black intrigues.  Media is quick to reflect these and in the process, those caught repeating the charges, are exterminated outrightly.  Bad news in politics invite fatal response.  So why write about it and glorify.  Let the politicians slaughter their own kind.  After the final count of fatalities made, there will be instant tranquility.  That way, the world would be cleaner and easier to live in.

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The open season of blaring loud speakers has arrived as soon as the day for campaigning on the local government starts.  Various sounds, mostly irritating have polluted the tranquil morning of rural areas.  People knows it as ritual although they are resigned that far from the time they would reflect whom they wished to vote, the tally sheet has already been prepared already.  For as long as established families have grown deep roots on local politics, the ordinary people, the struggling masses, are still immersed in a situation where their very condition may be seen literally as slaves.  Rural areas in the country is still very feudal to say the least.

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The Holy Week was concluded in the traditional rite of “Salubong” but of course what is more exciting is when those who took time to spend vacation in their hometown and trek back to the city for work would bring bagfulls of “Pasalubong!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WORLD SLEEP DAY

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The year 2013 celebrates World Sleep Day—an annual event that focuses on the  celebration of sleep and a call to action versus important sleep-related issues.  It has been said that there are conditions like respiratory disorders, changes in sleep cycles or rhythms, medical and psychiatric illnesses and increased medicine use that results in sleeping disturbances.  This eventually lead to less quality of life, depression and anxiety, slower reaction time, memory problems, issues with balance and vision increasing risk of falls and even death.  Luckily, there is no problem like this in government service since most of the front line workers are always asleep!

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A few months ago, a police precinct was permanently closed down when newly appointed PNP Chief inspected the area and found his entire beat policemen lined up neatly in their air-conditioned office in deep slumber.  Of course, what happened in the police precinct and on that fateful sixth round of the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy have nothing to do with the celebration of World Sleep Day!

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A smart inmate once professed that even if government will not grant him a reduction of his penalty of six years imprisonment, he can still cut it down to a half or three years.  Asked how he would do it, he quipped that he would just sleep 12 hours a day or half a day during the period!

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After the devastation experienced by Fukushima from that deadly tsunami two years ago, the town has literally been reconstructed and almost restored to its former glory.  That is one advantage when government is competent and its workers disciplined to the core.  We could only appreciate these considerations from a distance and wish that we could also do the same here in  storm devastated areas.  But we are still a far cry from what is means to be competent and disciplined.  While Japan seriously worked to make things happen, we, on the other hand would just pass our time laughing our blues away.

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Gone were the days when one with a skeleton in the closet is almost treated like a pariah.  Gays were seen as abnormal and any gender challenge was viewed as an ailment.  Now, approaching almost like a fad, clothing are designed for unisex and hair salon for both sexes are everywhere already.  Names formerly associated with men are now used by women.  Some celebrity are into cross-dressing and in time, gays and lesbians have attained professional respect and recognition.  It is not surprising that the next level for this social evolution of sexes would be the formal arrangement of relationship as in gay marriage.  I will not be startled anymore if one day, after my tutorial in martial arts,  I would find my burly mentor wearing his wife’s curlers!

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Those who are still dazed with incomplete or disturbed sleep should be wary and cautious as you take your snack in some glitzy bistro or stall.  In Japan, 5 customers were downed after drinking a bleach-laced beverage.  A few months ago, a number of students were bundled and rushed to the hospital after consuming spaghetti from a popular food chain.  Better take your snack, or at best, just eat in the safety of your home.

 

 

FOR “KRIS” SAKE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF MY “HEART”

lover

Every blog in town and correspondents of every stripe had frenzy writing about the episodes on Kris-James and Chiz-Heart incidents.  Every national issue of importance was sidelined when these two opera began to unfold to the consternation of the people.  Both carry a popular name and all are celebrity in their own rights.  I wish to add more to what has been said, this time, in my capacity as a psychologist.

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Come to think about it, both Kris and Heart are overgrown girls, sheltered and almost shielded from the pangs of reality.  For them, all of us live in their world.  They grew up thinking that the human race owes them a lot and so when they encounter conflicts, we are dragged into their make believe corner.  Both are wholesome figure though.  Both are pedigreed and to a manor born.  There is no bone in their constitution that would spell erroneous.  They must be saintly to say the least, at the most, very weak, vulnerable and gullible on the ways of the world.  Their strength is on their innocence and they easily become prey to predatory opportunists.

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In other words, only a few men would dare approach these delicate figurines.  They are after all breakable and costly to maintain.  Only those who have known how to handle sensitivity are fit to check them out and usually, these are men of the world, the experienced, the married ones and those who led complicated lives that can understand and play along the interests of these grown-up damsels.  Hence, for starters, Kris had Philip Salvador, married and senior by several years.  Heart on the other hand had Jericho, although a bachelor had a child out of wedlock from a previous relationship.  It will not stop there after a failed liaison.  They would get into the same situation after the next.

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These girls despite reaching the age of majority would still be perceived by their families as special.  Not only are they the youngest in the brood, they are literally the muse and feminine counterpart of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.  In their minds are preserved the fairly tale of innocence.  Their ways are pure, their intention unadulterated.  Despite the accidents of life, they are virtually virgins and chaste to the bones.  The world is joyful once they express their love.  Their unhappiness and discontentment, on the other hand, fan the flames of sufferings and sorrow.

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For these princesses, love is the highest accolade to be offered at their feet.  The reason why they are drawn to elder men, to men of substance and accomplishment, to men senior to them is the quest or expectations for the “last love.”  Like in their respective family, where they are the center of the universe as youngest, they also enjoy the so called last love.  In turn, they would expect from their future relationship the same condition, that is, to be given and be treated as last love, in contrast with first love.  Single men are ignorant and even moronic to spell this out.

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Parents take note.

 

 

BEDROOM ISSUES AND NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS

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While the nation is gripped with such social problems like the Sabah and Spratly issues, the growing local economic posture as against global economic challenges, the Papal pronouncements and CBCP RH concerns, the two-headed insurgency demands, tourism flow and their security amidst problem of kidnapping, we are mortally saddled with popular distractions like the Kris-James anthology and the Chiz-Heart compilation of love-hate exchanges.  The latter makes Philippine society pulsate in animated entertainment.  We are indeed a nation fixated with bedroom issues rather than national ones.

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Radio broadcaster and social activist Gerry Ortega’s untimely death may not be resolved soon because of so many legal gobbledygook.  What could have been a simple offense to   scrutinize has become too complex a case.  Remember that the fatal shooting immediately bagged the shooter.  Thereafter, a series of confessions neatly tied one fact after another leading to the truth.  Then it was cloaked in legalistic fashion.  Result:  more complications that may lead nowhere.  The Guinness Book of Records may already cast a moistened eye on this lawsuit!

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The Reds have no more beefs against an honest Chief Executive.  It has no other recourse but negotiate for a lasting peace.  The problem however is that peace may only last up to the last day of the President.  The future is not yet secured, what of the type of people who are seen as heir apparent of the national leadership.  The picture is not only unclear but the potential bearers smack of the traditional and the usual compromising type.

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Pampanga is once again reflected on the prime list of tourist destination on Holy Week.  And why not?  Penitents are lined to be literally crucified, a mortal duplication of the original except that what happened in Jerusalem was a morbid penal rite compared with the local version which borders on circus, hilarity and a desecration of anything sacred.  This is all because it has been said, even as we try to be solemn, that it is more fun in this country!

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Over in North Korea, a move was made to train “cyber warriors” to wage war against any nation that may scuttle their plans to show their military might.  As it were, they are already making pronouncements like pulverizing their neighbors in the event that they intrude into their national affairs.  There were even pronouncements that they threaten to strike Hawaii and US mainland.  To start with, they intend to disrupt technology first and then take over the world later.  Of course, the Koreans are not aware of the fact that our country through the Filipino overseas workers has already taken over the world years ago!

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Administration candidates for the coming election continue to advance and gain voter preference according to the latest survey as against the organized and independent opponents.  This advantage is a result of constant exposures by a highly supportive administration not only in terms of media coverage but through expensive out of town barnstorming—something which the opponents could not match materially.  If one has the wherewithal, the die is cast.

 

 

 

 

 

THE FATE OF ORDINARY CITIZENS

ordinary citizen

It’s a dog-eats-dog situation and public safety is always threatened.  Before, if one is a whistle-blower, or a crime witness, most likely, the person is fair game.  Now, even if a person does not exude any material significance or social import, he is already a potential subject.  Government is rendered helpless and the only recourse is good old faith and reliance by loved ones on fate.

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An Australian national who was held captive for more than one year has reappeared and rejoined his family after paying ransom.  Just the other day, a missing ABS CBN employee went missing and after 5 days reappeared, a victim also of kidnapping.  And there are countless cases of this nature which unfortunately have not been featured well because media’s attention is elsewhere.  No one is safe in our streets anymore unless you are armed.

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How parochial and limited are public interest on issues today.  Instead of determining the difference between Liberal Party and UNA, between Sabah and a Sultanate, between Philippines and Malaysia, we are more conversant with what is happening in the bedroom of Kris and James!

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An international study revealed that workers are more effective if they use in work their personal tools.  Accordingly, employees worked faster, happier and less stressed.  The private sector knows this intimately; hence they provide their workers company based incentive like company cars, computers, etc.  If government supplies personal computers to its workers as incentive and allows its use in the workplace, performance will likewise be enhanced.

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Pope Francis emphasized during the celebration of the Mass that in his country, “burial shrouds do not have pockets.”  Greed, avarice, covetousness have no significance when one leaves this material world.  Yet some people crave and desire to the point of exploitation and crime.  Because of this war, violence and economic conflicts predominate the landscape where humanity is situated.  Hence, a few mortals are surrounded by symbols of power, amidst an ocean of wounds and sufferings.

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The Pope has therefore rerouted Papal direction shunning the trappings of Papacy in favor of a collegial and simple style that harks back on the roots and ministry in slum areas.  In his homily, he urges the people to be “humble and young at heart.”  This is a quality not only for leaders to reckon but for all people to live in peace and harmony.

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 Finally, the ABS CBN administrative officer was found although still in a state of shock.  She was brought by group of vendors walking aimlessly near The Mansion in Baguio City, unkempt and disoriented.  She merely filed some documents at BIR in Quezon City when she was abducted.  After a few hours, she was dumped in Baguio City.  She must have been mistaken as an Amazon or someone related to the rebels.  Her abduction smacks of a military type arrest—swift, organized and highly objective.  Had she been snatched by criminal elements, she could have been desperately thrown in nearby cliffs or numerous precipices in the mountain region.

 

PENITENTIAL BLUES

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A village in San Fernando, Pampanga is preparing for the influx of around 50,000 people out to witness the traditional crucifixion rites by one of its penitents this coming Good Friday.  I was reminded of a sitio in Bulacan which was renamed as Baranggay Pinag-mumura which came about on the same penitential rites held a number of years ago.  Accordingly, a number of fanatics crowded at the foot of the nailed penitent when a burst of gun fire was heard.  There was pandemonium and the people quickly disappeared as they ran in different directions leaving the crucified penitent alone in his cross.  Nervous that the stray bullet may hit the penitent, he cried repeatedly “ Mga  #@%%*%#@ ninyo, baka ako tamaan ng %$#@%^ niyan! Hence the new name of the Barangay.

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Australian Warren Rodney, after 15 months (or 1 year and 3 months) in captivity has been successfully redeemed in the amount of P7Million by his Australian backers.  That means that KFR (Kidnapping for ransom) in Mindanao is alive and kicking.  It has never even waned from its category as a fast and rising cottage industry!  So those whose skin is white, especially those locals taking glutathione, skip the southern islands if you have no money for the ransom.

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2013 is a year of entertainment controversy.  First, there were the Shine-Cesar jealousy raps.  And the three-cornered rough debate among Madam Miriam-Senate Prexy Enrile and Senator Lacson as they wrangle one insult after another onwards to mudslinging and as they eventually are thrown almost into the gutter.   Then we have the Chiz-Heart  Shakespearean love story, followed by the Kris-James a la Kramer vs Kramer soap opera.  And out from the blue, Anne Curtis’ provocative outfit.  Suddenly, the Lenten season has become a Chismisan  period in this time of year!

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“Observe Lent while on Holiday” says the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, while it addressed the faithful in the forthcoming long week-end.  Lent here does not mean the past tense of “lend!”  Hindi ibig sabihin niyan dapat tayong mangutang ng mangutang!

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Pope Francis flew to the papal residence in Alban Hills south of Rome where former Pope Benedict lives hidden from the world as he wants it.  The historic meeting and luncheon of two Popes since 600 years was noted presumably to discuss the future of the Catholic Church.  Here are two leaders with two different orientations, almost poles apart.  Pope Benedict pursued a conservative outlook while Pope Francis is more pragmatic and liberal with bias in favor of the disadvantaged.

 

 

DOG DAY AFTERNOON IN THIS COUNTRY

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Remember Kabang?  It is a dog.  Its snout was fractured after it saved its master from a fatal accident.  Kabang was helped by no less than a top government official.  It was immediately referred to plastic surgeons abroad to save its looks.  Now, a retired prosecutor of Cadiz City who is about to be operated on for heart bypass needed funds for the medical procedure and has asked assistance from the same official to help him also  facilitate the issuance of his hard earned lump sum pension.  It has been two years since he retired and he has not received any response yet.   In this country, it is still better to be a dog than a lowly bureaucrat.

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949 out of 5, 343 successfully hurdled and passed the 2013 Bar Exams.   The recent Bar Exams is the most difficult, considering the fact that the number of passers is the lowest in 13 years.  Had the Supreme Court not lowered the passing grade (from 75 to 70), half of those who passed would not have made it.  Hayyyy,  dadami na naman ang nag-nonotaryo nito.  They would add into the most crowded profession in this country next to nursing.

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When one hears “Tulfo”, one immediately infers braggadocio.  The Tulfo brothers indeed are a bunch of passionate kids ready to rumble at a sign of disgust.  I am never an admirer of these hard-to-please denizens until I heard by chance a radio program by one of them.  It is Raffy Tulfo’s “Asintado” radio slot.   From there on, I would set aside a time every afternoon not only to hear but to relish how he solves social and communal problems.  From there on, I became not only a follower but a fan in capital letter.  Truly, Raffy’s aggressive and superior posture in helping people in distress is worth appreciating.  In my book, Raffy is one great public servant.

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Well, come to think about it.  First, we have a Pope, who would retire because of physical infirmity.  But Papacy is for life.  Yet the active Church must fulfill its obligations to the flock.  Hence, we now have two Popes.

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Political dynasty (families rule 78 of 80 provinces)  is a bane and therefore should be weeded out of the political mainstream if not from the electorate consciousness.  That is in the Constitution but the problem is, we have no enabling law.  Lawmakers do not probably intend to formulate one.  It is up to the people to vote who, belonging to a political dynasty or not.  The real problem is that political dynasty at times is mistaken as genealogy.  There is nothing wrong when our leaders came from the same bloodline.  From King David came King Solomon down to the Lord Jesus onwards to the Sinclair family.  Nothing is wicked there.  What is unacceptable and seems the order of the day is the incompetence of those elected.  Well, people deserve their fate.  As the saying goes,” ginusto mo yan, dapat masaya ka.”

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AT A GLANCE:  Birthday greetings to Uncle Ben Tesoro, a guitar legend;  also, to Correctional Officer Roger Boncales, Michael Barlaan, Tracy Soriano, Generoso Esculto, Jocjoc Magana and my consultant, Joel Villanueva.  On the other side of reality, Inquirer columnist and former Supreme Court Justice Isagani Cruz, 88, silently moved to life hereafter.  His columns were a discourse on law and considered a perfect prose dedicated to love.

NOTES ON DAILY LIFE

old man A

Veteran soldier T/Sgt Tranquilino Cabiling may not sound a bell but he is considered the oldest living mammal in the list of military pensioner at 112.  Asked about his longevity, he claimed that he has no vices—he never drinks and womanize.  He added that he never eat meat, only fish and root crops.  He even bragged that his teeth are still complete!

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Headline:  “INSIDER, 6 OTHERS ON PALACE SHORTLIST FOR 2 VACANT COMELEC POST.”  Something is remiss in the process of appointing officials to sensitive posts in government.  The first consideration is never competence or accomplishment.  It is more on a personal knowledge of the person rather than his record that takes the cake.  One can already see how appointing authorities value government service.  They would rather pick someone they know personally, rather than those who are considered experts.  I doubt if they use the same standard in selecting a physician if they are to undergo surgery.  Pipiliin din kaya nila yung barkada nila na tambay ng ospital o yung mahusay na doktor? 

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The Chiz-Heart teleserye is already heading towards the climatic edge.  The people are agitated at each argument.  It was designed actually to bring a name in the limelight, to bring the kilig factor which the masses relish.  But there are episodes that could turn the plot into a tragic end.  The same can be said on the Kris-James Yap drama anthology.  Real life, real people, real issues fictionized by the times.

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It is ironical that those who dropped out from school are today’s the most prominent, wealthiest and most influential, whose wisdom the world cherishes.  We have Steve Jobs who made digital technology within reached through his Apple computer.  And Bill Gates who popularized Personal computer programs; Mark Zukerberg who made Facebook; etc.

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 AT A GLANCE:  Birthday greetings to Bong Feliciano’s better half, Madam Josie Lacson Feliciano, many,many more birthdays to come!……  The Philippines landed as one of the top 30 friendliest countries  among 140 countries in the world. ……. Kinchay is the chopped green decoration in our pancit.  Boil some chopped leaves and drink it.  Your kidneys will be reborn says a study. …… Condolence to the Jorge family.  The oldest career Prison Superintendent Jorge of Davao Prison and Penal Farm at 96 however crossed over a couple of days ago. 

SUICIDE: INSTRUCTIVE ANGLE

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History has a list of high profile suicide.  We have of course known that former apostle Judas Iscariot hanged himself after betraying his master.  His effort however never gained any pity or sympathy for him later.  He was detested even.  Literary giant Ernest Hemingway decided that time is up and blew his brains out.

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Among the most notable, we have Billionaire Howard Hugh who piloted his plane and flew nowhere;   famous singer Whitney Houston took drugs and drowned herself; controversial actress Marlin Monroe, George Eastman (inventor of camera and Kodak) after he got bored experiencing paralysis; and German strong man Adolf Hitler, who never wanted retreat and could not accept defeat.

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And in contemporary times.  We have Michael Jackson, UP scholar Kristel Pilar Mariz Tejada and earlier, Dennis Aranas, crime witness in Ortega slay, —.  Taking one’s life takes a lot of approaches and circumstances.  But it only signifies that these people never allowed nature to take its own course; they took over natural occurrence.  Some are bored, negligent, depressed, frustrated, disturbed, discouraged and grieving.  Well, some of them would have a helping hand somewhere.

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History also would point out that the Japanese Imperial Army flew a group of youthful pilots to attack Pearl Harbor and in a deadly encounter, to win and gain supremacy for their country, these ultra nationalist airmen would plunge their plane headlong on targets in a suicidal attempt to win—they are the so called “divine wind” or the kamikaze.

 

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Senator Miriam Santiago, whose son died of suicide, quipped “Life is misery.  When you are born, you are programmed to die.  If all of us had the choice, all of us would refuse to be born.  Do you want to be born to this life and die?  And if you don’t die outright, you get sick!  And as you get to learn to love all these people you grow up with, they’ll die before you!”  She even expressed something like, “Why struggle and pressure yourself to be famous and accomplished when after dying you are immediately forgotten?!”

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AT A GLANCE:  Pope Francis would celebrate Holy Thursday, not in the Vatican as tradition would have it, but in a prison for youthful offenders.  Some politicians would take the low road and even encourage to be dragged into showbiz intrigue just to woo the votes of the masses!  Congratulations to the 2013 Bar passers.  949 passed out of 5,686 who took the grueling exams or a measly 16% successful hurdlers.  In India, there is no Bar exams.  After graduation from law school, he can practice law already.

Portentious occurrence

suicide

Looks like the Philippine cultural profile is changing with the times.  In the past, suicide is almost never heard of in this shore.  We are more homicidal than suicidal.  Martyrdom may be but dying for something never, even if the lyrics of national anthem “ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo” implores.  It is only in the song.  In reality, the Filipino is a survivor. 

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Now it is different.  Sometime ago, a nine year old child hanged herself because of poverty.  Later, a juvenile high schooler jumped from the fourth floor of a mall down to the ground floor.  Then, a depressed patient removed all his medical tubes and jumped out of the hospital window.  A yuppy and an accomplished businessman threw himself out from his condo veranda.  And many more. All of them met their Creator in their chosen instance.   Unlike literary giant Ernest Hemmingway when he blew his brains out, Filipinos never resort to deciding on their fate until lately.  A sign of times?

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Pope Francis has been proudly known as “slum pope” in Argentina’s poorest district.  The Pope may also be interested in the Philippines where slum is a way of life.  Here is a situation where hope beacon’s the poorest and marginalized sector.  There were heroic efforts, most are spiritually pursued, to eradicate poverty in the face of the planet.  But still, poverty haunts the global community as if it is a curse.  There is no solution in sight to address destitution.  And so, we are stalled but must do something.  For the Papacy, it  is something like, “if you cannot beat them, join them!”

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The death of a UP scholar in her own hands is incomprehensible.  A scholar may die challenging the establishment or in some military prisons or in snake bites in some mountain lair.  Scholars are most courageous when pursuing a dream, most audacious when adhering to a principle.  They are weakest however if the school from where they receive their strength would turn their back on them.  That is when they see the end of life.  In this case, UP authorities have a lot to explain.

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 It could have been a good occasion for the highest leadership of the land to issue a snap decision.  He should have FIRED all the UP officials who have something to do with ignoring the plea of a scholar for financial reprieve.  The scholar should have been referred to a lot of alumni who have made a fortune already—and they are aplenty.  But to issue a statement that the scholar should take a leave, or shun schooling is like throwing one’s child into the ocean.  Such act of barbarism has no space in UP!

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What these UP bureaucrats did to Kristel is like what the Taliban terrorists did to Malala Yousafsai,a Pakistani school girl who was shot in the head because she wanted to go to school.

 

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