Friday, 29 April 2011

Lost Phone

For the first time in my life, I have suffered the loss of my mobile phone.

I was just paying for some items at SM Harrison, and placed my Nokia C3 on the cashier counter, so that I could take out both my wallet and in-store membership card. I saw some items nearby and just took a look. Before I knew it, it was gone.

Of course, I was mad. Mad and fuming at a lot of things, not least of them my sheer carelessness in thinking I could get away with leaving an item on a public space (even though it was just nearby) without it being pocketed by someone else. I was also mad at the several SM employees who were just rooted to the ground when I started asking questions. I was mad at the person who took it, because I believe that the no-no against taking what does not belong to us has been imprinted in our memories since kindy years. Oh well.

It was a silly scene at Harrison. All I was asking for - nay, begging for - was access to a mobile phone so that I could try calling my own phone. I understand that the employees were not allowed to bring their mobile phones with them while working but good Lord, I was asking them to ask their managers to lend me a phone. It took all of half an hour (and more) for one manager to take pity on my situation (at this point, I had to flash my De La Salle University business card) and took some semblance of an action. She went to get her own mobile, and that took another 10-15 minutes or so. At that point, I knew it was gone.

On Blame
Of course, the responsibility for this particular unfortunate event does not entirely fall on the shoulders of one party. I learned this the hard way, when I was so hard on myself for the first half an hour of the theft. Then, I realized that there was pretty much nothing I could have done. The CCTV camera over the cashier was useless, since the employees told me it was switched off (how STUPID is that?), and therefore my sense of security in the mall was pretty much false. Also, the person - God bless his soul on the judgment he will receive - who took it could always have turned it in to the Lost and Found section, or at least had the decency to receive my calls later and return it. Was that too much to hope for? I personally didn't think so.

Lessons learned, and I know much better now. Surprisingly, forgiveness came easily. As my mother was raising me, she'd say of stolen things: "At least when you have something stolen from you, it made the thief happy for a while. Give it to them." My boss, who I notified a little later said, "That's alright. That should give you some sense of detachment from the material things of the world." The wisdom from this incident! :)

So yeah, do not text or call me at my old number anymore :P


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Condo Life

It's been a few days since I've moved out of the old apartment, and I have to say, even though the circumstances are the same (I pay my own bills, handle miscellaneous responsibilities, wake myself up, etc.), the feel is quite different.

First, the quiet is God-given. My old apartment featured neighbors who were constantly at each others' throats, with the violence sometimes spilling out onto the street. The microphone-toting preacher was a source of nuisance as well, since he would preach at the top of his lungs all the time, as if that would mean communicating better the Word to the masses. The neighbor's dog - why do apartments allow dogs?? - and its barking and omnipresent fecal matter are all finally gone, much to my relief. I swear I could shoot that dog, given a hot enough day and temper of mine, as well as the availability of the necessary weapon.

Second, the independence is amazing. I've always been proud of the fact that I'm independent, but seeing as this is a brand-new condo and with all my furniture and appliances paid for from the fruits of my toil, I have been more inclined to take care of my place and my stuff much better. The place is spic-and-span, with everything in its proper place. I love how I have the freedom (finally!) to do what I wish with the interior. The only thing missing right now is a fridge, and once I have that, I promise to upload photographs of my new place.

Third, the swagger that comes with paying for not one, but two places is a source of quiet and private pride. At my age, I am able to support more than myself. My old place, I have turned over to my grandparent, and she probably has the most real estate in the old neighborhood, seeing as many people are jam-packed Manila-style into small dwellings. I love how I know I can do this, and do this comfortably.

It's been difficult, and it's been tiring to move out. Now that it's done though, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Friday, 8 April 2011

Backlash and Child Abuse

This issue on the sexy dancing 6-year old has ballooned over the past weeks and is now currently dying down. By "dying down", I mean it has not been going around as much, and I do not see links and/or posts about this incident flying around either Facebook or Twitter. The show host, Willie Revillame, along with the television show, are on a 'break' for the past week (which will continue after next week) so this seems to be a resolved issue. Seems.

What exactly has been resolved?

The issue that many people have, i.e. violated rights of a child, has not really been handled to its conclusion. Sure, advertisers have pulled/suspended their ads from the show in order to cut ties with a possible children's rights violator. One after another, the advertisers - the bread and butter of any major mass media institution - pulled out. The show probably lost money on this, and then again, maybe not. While the actions of the advertisers seem to be supporting the case against violation of rights, it just seems like they want to wash their hands off this issue, IN CASE it does get messy. Food for thought: "rats abandon a sinking ship".

Bloggers and other media personalities, while very vocal in their condemnation of the show host for allowing the travesty to happen, are currently under attack themselves. The parents of Jan-Jan are even suing said bloggers, stating that all the media hype that has engulfed their family (along with the non-too-flattering "child abuser" label) is causing more damage to the child's well-being, as compared to the performance of their child on national television, lack of taste notwithstanding. What does this lawsuit do for the persons involved then?

In my opinion?

If (and this is a big if) they win the case against the personalities accusing them of child abuse, they get some money, sure, but that's about it. They will forever be remembered as the parents of one unfortunate kid who, with one televised performance, united thousands of Filipinos against child abuse. Pride, dignity, and reputation can never be covered by any amount won in a suit.
On the occasion that they lose this lawsuit, well, that's just plain ol' salt to the wound for them.

There is such a thing as freedom of speech, and as a blogger, I would feel really sympathetic if they were condemned for expressing their feelings and opinions through the written word. Granted, we bloggers are emotional and vocal creatures; this is one of the main reasons we blog. However, the intentions of the bloggers and various other individuals who spoke out against child abuse, the show host who displayed some insensitivity during the performance, and the television network for airing it are good; one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who spoke out against the issue out of personal gain. If these people were to lose the suit, it would be a sad day indeed for pro-active actions of Filipinos, and if they were to win, no point would have been proven, since it is the child abuse card that is on the table all along.

The Host:
If the parents win the lawsuit, perhaps some measure of comfort and "justice" would be felt by the host. This does not erase the fact that what has happened on that fateful episode of his show has already been burned onto the souls and minds of the Filipino viewer. He has his supporters, and he has his haters. At the end of the day, it is up to him to change and be more sensitive and more genuine in his quest to "help the poor", and stop involving himself in situations where he could potentially earn yet another detrimental label. If the parents lose, he still keeps the reputation he has, and he is still off the air.

The lawsuit, should it favor his parents, does nothing for the boy. Now, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines would probably not be able to do anything in order to help him, and in the case that there MAY be child abuse, he is pretty much on his own. If his family loses the lawsuit, the loss of family dignity and honor would be something he'd feel for the rest of his life. In the end, he will be the biggest loser, no matter how this turns out.

And to the parents: If you both did not want this issue to escalate further, why pursue a lawsuit? Congratulations; you have now drawn even more attention to this incident.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Tone Down; God Hears Y'all

First of all, I have NOTHING against bible study gatherings in residential areas; heck I used to lead youth groups just a few years back. A bible study gathering - complete with a few songs and yummy snacks - is one of the most enjoyable things I used to join.


When in a RESIDENTIAL AREA with a population density of about a hundred households per street (this is sub-urban Manila after all) please, for the love of all that is worthy of worshiping, do not shout, scream, yell, or belt your heart out.

On a microphone, no less.

Windows closed. Door closed. Five storeys up.



"I will be still, and know You are God."
- The bible, on silent moments.


Ten on Seven

Ten official months together :)
It's been a roller-coaster ride, and worth every moment.

Here's to two-short-of-a-year to us <3



Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Like Mother Like... Daughter?

The recent news on the child dancing like a stripper on national television is beginning to wind down. I thought that was bad, and then at one of the forums where I actively read, I see this pretty recent article:

A mother injecting her 8-year old botox for a beauty pageant. This is wrong on so many levels, I can't even begin to describe it.

Botox. Eight years old.

Yeah. This is way, way up there on the parents-can-be-such-uncaring-dumbasses list for me.


Sunday, 3 April 2011


What defines a 'hero'?

A hero is one because s/he inspires others to strive to be a higher being, to attain a higher sense of purpose in life (and perhaps the next?). A hero is not reckless; rather, s/he is courageous. Taking risks without knowing and understanding the consequences is what separates the village idiot from a true hero. The hero is selfless, and yet loves life, but it is this love of life that commits him/her to sacrifice all for the sake of his/her principles, flag, family, and loved ones.

Because s/he knows that those things are the things that s/he lives for.

With that, let us honor our heroes. The ones who are doing the best that their bodies, abilities, and souls can in order to QUITE LITERALLY keep the world safe.

The workers, technicians, scientists, and other personnel working 24/7 to fix the broken nuclear reactors in Japan.

I look up to all of you, knowing certain death must come from this and yet choosing to do what is right, given the right skills and expertise that each of you have. Thank you for trying to save all of us. Thank you for trying to save the world.

'nuff said.


For further reading: Yahoo! News report on Japanese workers committed to die if need be.