Dear 40-year-old Ped


Dear 40-year-old Ped,
I am writing this in the 32nd year of my existence on Earth. According to popular adage, “life begins at 40”. I do not get the logic but I found it an excuse to be careless and carefree before 40. I cannot wait until forty to start living. For years I have been bothered by the thought that I just simply exist but does not actually live.
I defy what Biology thought me about living that as long as you are motile, eating, and reproducing; you are alive. For me, to live means to function according to your purpose. Without knowing my purpose I would be wandering. I would not know where I am going and what to do. Without knowing my purpose I would be only consuming the Earth’s resources and contribute to pollution. I do not know how much I contribute to water pollution every time I use anti-dandruff shampoo. I hope the brain that is shaded by my hair can come up with at least an idea to lessen water pollution.
I hope you finally learnt how to be more expressive of your feelings. You know what I mean remember you are the older version of this wretched fool.
I just exist but I do not live. That is what I used to tell myself. I thought I am not making ripples on earth. If my earthly body dies, my home planet will continue to revolve around the nearest star in 365.25 days as if I never existed. All I had is nothing but an empty existence.
I never felt I was living because I chose to remain on the safe side. One could not live by avoiding not to offend others or to be in disagreement with others. It is unavoidable to meet opposition. We are entitled to our opinions and it is not unusual to encounter someone disagreeing with you. One will always be in conflict with someone just like stories penned by great writers. A story without a conflict, should not be even called a story. Fiction is no different from real life. Great men and women whose biographies we study did not live their lives by avoiding conflicts. They did not run away from their enemies, they faced their foes, conquered their fears and eventually won their battles. If I would adopt the principle that there is no story without a conflict to living then I can say I never felt so alive than now because there are more individuals who hate me. You, the older and I hope the better version of me, knows if hypothesis is correct.
I started writing this letter on while I was waiting for President Duterte to take oath as the 16th president. It took me days to finish this letter. I wanted to be extra cautious of what am I going to write. After eight years, my older version might be laughing at my superficiality. But being too anxious of mistakes I might commit is counter-productive. This anxiety will hinder me from taking risk and I might not write anything at all. Life is taking risks.
You know that I am a fearful person. I used to be afraid of camera flash before I attended preschool because that resembles lightning. As I grow older I learned that being brave does not mean having no fear, it is knowing how to face your fears. I am still afraid of many things. Although I am no longer afraid of camera flash but still I feel uneasy being photographed. I have an inkling that at 40, you are filled with regrets (as I am right now).
It is useless to cry in your beer! Past is nothing but history and there is no “what ifs” in history. My commitment to you is that I will do everything I think noble and right so that you will have lesser regrets. At your age, you might be assessing if you succeed. Let me remind you that success is not measured by your net worth in your SALN nor the suffixes attached to your name. Success is not measured through LET score nor the number of awards you received. Success is achieved when you serve others and ultimately empower them to serve others too.
As a teacher, you are not only ought to teach the content of the textbooks and macro skills. You have to teach them also how to dream and to believe in their dreams. Their dreams fuel them to become great citizens of the world. You can tell if I have Messianic complex because I believe I will play a big role in changing the culture and work ethics of the teachers. As I observe whenever I visit my college instructor in the nearby elementary school, his advisory class is always sent back to his classroom because the subject teacher all of the sudden decided not to teach. This is a red flag to me, it seems that some teachers are not dedicated as they should be. We need change not only in the curriculum but also in the attitude of teachers.
Teaching is not only a job but is a mission. Mission is not something that you do for a living. Mission is something that you live for. As an Evangelical Christian, mission is something that you do for God and you are willing to die for it. Now that I have found something to die for, I am certain I live. Remember you are not training your students to become your copycats you are raising them to become greater than you. It is not good for the society, to have more socially-inept individuals like you. 🙂 May the Force be with you!
Your more-foolish-self,
32-year-old Ped
June 30 – July 12, 2016

on 11/27/2016…

Life should be moving forward, but it seems that I am moving backward.


I have a feeling that what am I today is worse version of myself yesterday and the trend seem not to end soon. How did I come into this mess? An aggregate of wrong decisions plus irrational solutions to the outcomes of the former is a perfect formula to chaos.

I know what I should do but still doing what I should not.I had been through similar situations before but I never learned. My reaction is no better than before. It seems that I am wired to self-destruct.

I’ll get some rest and hope I’ll find some guts to do what is right tomorrow and reverse the flow of my narration.

Land Reform: Land soaked with sweat, tears and blood

I wrote this piece as a requirement for Speech and Theater . Of the topics given I chose to discuss CARP, a hot topic issue this election.


On the night of January 9, 2016, thirty year old Benjie Sustento was forcibly taken out of his house in Barangay Murcia, Lopez-Jaena , Negros Occidental.  He was blindfolded, gagged, hogtied, and dragged several hundred meters from a motor vehicle. The following day he was found bearing torture marks, gunshot wounds on his face and lifeless.

What did Benjie do to deserve his brutal death? He is a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program beneficiary. He fought for his right to own the land he is toiling. He was killed because he wanted be freed from his slave-like condition. Before he was killed his family was harassed while defending the land they collectively cultivate. His brother was accused of arson. His family just wanted to own a piece of land from the vast hacienda, yet, they took his life.

Benjie Sustento is now among the farmers who gave their lives to own the land the land they toil; among the seven who were killed by government operatives on November 16, 2004 at the gate of Hacienda Luisita; and among the 13 who was killed at Mendiola Bridge near Malacanang on January 22, 1987. Benjie was only a toddler when Mendiola Massacre happened; in his early twenties during Hacienda Luisita Massacre. Who would thought he will have the same fate?

Agrarian Reform was stained with blood even before it was passed into law in 1988. CARP only favors the landed families because the drafters of flawed law are hacienderos. As I speak right now, the Araneta clan is now displacing farmers from 1,645-hectar land in Rodriguez, Rizal and also evicting farmers from more than 300-hectares of land in San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

The government’s agrarian reform failed to break up the monopoly of land by a few elite. Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Dolores, , Hacienda Roxas, Hacienda Looc, Hacienda Yulo, the haciendas in Negros, in Bicol, in Mindanao still remain.

Expect that the farm lands will not only soaked by sweat but also of tears, and blood if we keep on electing the hacienderos. You have the power to future of the peasant. Only a landless leader will understand the landless. Do not be convinced alone by what they say on their tv ads. Know who they really are. Read.

This coming election, remember Benjie the man who dreamed to own a parcel land but instead was killed. Vote for Benjie, vote for victims of Hacienda Luisita Massacre and Mendiola Massacre, vote for all farmers who died fighting for better lives of their families.

References: Bulatlat.com and GMA News Online

 

cartridge at ako


Heto ako’t nakaupo sa harap ng computer

hindi alam kung paano makakasimula.

Musika ko ang lagapak ng printer

maya’t maya’y may papel na iniluluwa.

Ang tanging hypothesis ko ay:

“Ang utak ko ay parang cartridge ng printer ko-

pigang-piga na.”

Palabo na nang palabo ang print.

Pigang-piga na!

Ganito siguro ang tumatanda na:

ano mang puno ay masasaid din,

ano mang tingkad ay kukupas din,

at ano mang talas ay pupurol din.

 

Hiwalayan mo na.

I used to listen to Tiya Dely Magpayo as a kid in the 90’s. Now, I try to be a love-guru but with hugot


Continent nga naghihiwalay, magjowa pa kaya.

Mabuti pa ang traffic sa Edsa kahit usad pagong umaabante pa rin. Eh ikaw kailan ba magmomove on?

Boom!

Ang linya mo palagi sa tuwing pinapayuhan ay “Hindi ninyo ako naiintindihan!” Ay bakit? Nag-i-Spanish ka ba? Mi no habla Español. Sulat kamay ba kita na maging ako ay hindi nakakaintindi?

Sabi mo sayang naman daw ang one year ninyo. Paano ba naman ninyo pinagsalohan ang isang buong taon? Ang sagot ay away-bati. Ikaw ba ay handa nang gugulin ang susunod na isang daan taon ng buhay mo sa pakikipaghiwalayan at balikan? Kung balak mong maging record holder ng Guinness sa pinakamaraming beses nakipaghiwalay at nakipagbalikan ay sabihin mo na para ngayon pa lang ay maipagawa ko ang tarpaulin mo. Salamat saiyong pagkamartir dahil diyan ay magkakaroon na naman ng panibagong record ang Pilipinas bukod sa pinakamahabang ihawan ng bangus, pinakamaraming naligo nang sabay-sabay, at pinakamaraming nanakaw sa bayan.

Sabi mo nanood ka ng “That Thing Called Tadhana”, eh bakit hindi mo ito narinig?

“Alam mo ‘yung love na 8 years na kayo? Sa ganong love ka pa ba magdududa? Pero wala pala sa tagal ng relasyon yun. Ke eight months kayo o eight years, kung gusto ka niyang lokohin, lolokohin ka niya. Pag hindi ka na niya mahal, hindi ka na niya mahal.”- Mace

Kung wala tayong natutunan sa mga pinapanood nating pelikula ay malamang ay mali si Albert Bandura sa kanyang learning by observation theory. Congrats, isa ka nang specimen para pabulaan ang theoryang nabanggit. Dahil saiyo mabubuo ang bagong Learning Theory. Ipapangalan sa iyo ang learning theory. Lalabas na sa Google Search ang apelyido mo. Mailalagay ka na sa Wikipedia. Isa sa  mga tanong sa LET exams ay tungkol saiyo.

Hugot pa more!

P.S.

Yaba, hindi para sa atin ang blog entry na ito.

Bakit ayaw ko nang maglasing?


I believe that sipping a drop of alcohol will not make you a bad person. Let me clear that early. I also believe drunkenness is the unacceptable especially if you do not have a job.

I used to drink when I was working as a call center agent and even way back when I was an English Tutors for Korean students for the sake of “pakikisama” ( a. fellow feeling  b. comradeship). Aside from what I thought sound sleep, being drunk did not do me anything good.

I have turn down a lot of invites to drink from my classmates since I enrolled again in college. When I am invited to drink I would keep my silence or give banal alibis why I could not show up to their “jamming”. In our town, they call drinking sessions “jamming”. A term that is not attractive to me because in some parts of the country “jamming” means using prohibited drugs together.

To save myself from Herculean task of turning down a jamming, I listed ten reasons why I chose not to drink. My girlfriend always ask me to enumerate ten reasons why she should believe my proposition. I am doing this list with her on mind.

10. It is shameful to waste the fruit of my brother’s HARD work as a seafarer on agua de pataranta.  It is rare to get a second chance to go back to school on your sibling’s dime. I screwed up my studies before and I would not do it again.

9. It is dishonorable to be an “upog”. “Upog” is term for catching fish with bare hands in our (Bicol-Rinconada) language. The term is also used to freeloaders– those who join the drinking sessions but do not chip in for the bill.

8. Too many books, too little time.  I have so many books on my Kindle account that I have not read yet. Project Gutenberg provides us access to classics. I cannot die with out reading and finishing a Tolstoy novel. I am not a time-traveler, therefore I cannot travel back in time to get extra reading hours. I have regret that I spent my earnings on beer,  I could have already all Harry Potter books and the Eleventh Edition Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary or Kindle II.

7. I am a cinephile– Merriam-Webster defines it “a devotee of motion pictures”. I believe drinking took away a huge chunk of my devotion time before. Never again!

6. It is more pleasurable to watch NatGeo, Discovery Channel and History Channel than drinking. I would rather use my money for cable subscription than for drink.

5. I am an aspiring writer but I am not  Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe nor Nick Joaquin who were at their best when writing under the influence. I would puke on the blank paper rather than pen a masterpiece when I am drunk.

4. It is not good for a would-be-teacher to be seen drinking by children. We have to walk the talk. In classrooms we tell our students not drink, we will be more effective in convincing them not to drink if they will not see us drinking.

3. I would rather spend my precious time with my family than drinking with friends. I can better help my future child/children with his/her/their homework if I am not  under the influence. I can better attend to my wife’s need if my judgement is not clouded.

2. I want to live longer. I am turning 32 this year but I have not jump started a career and a family of my own. Based on my estimate  when I am at my early fifties, my eldest or lone child would still be in college. I want to reach at least 80 years to see my child/children raise her/his/their own family/families. The only way to remain healthy at advance age is have a healthy lifestyle. Eliminating drinking is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

1. I promised my girlfriend I will quit drinking. If could not be trusted with this promise how I could be trusted with her future?

Now that I have listed reasons why I chose not to drink , I expect that I will receive less invites for jamming. I am not a killjoy nor antisocial, I believe that I am a social animal. I would would gladly receive your invites for a cup of coffee or milktea.

 

On Being Intelligent


The weirdest text message I have receive could be the one I received more than a year ago. It reads:“You are laughing at me because I’m different. I’m better than you. #spellkafeeling.”

There are reasons why I classified the message weird. It came from an unknown sender. So why did the sender send it to me? The sender said, “You are laughing at me because I’m different.”  Why the sender thought she/he is being laugh at just because she/he is different? How does the sender differ from us the recipients? The sender is a braggart when he said, “I’m better than you.”   Kafeeling is a Batuwanon expression for pretentious. The sender is no less different from the people laughing at him in being pretentious when he claimed he is better than them.

I replied to him, “Ignore what others say about you. If you give them a damn, they get shit they want from you.” The anonymous sender texted me several times after that exchange but I never replied. I don’t like textmates!

In school we are taught of Psychology, from there we learn that classmate who solve math problem like eating camote is not better than our classmate sings like Mariah Carey. They differ in intelligence one has Logical-Mathematical and the other has Musical. Let us thank Gardner for his Theory on Multiple Intelligences. What we regard as talents before are now viewed as intelligences.

Among the intelligences identified by Howard Gardner are Interpersonal (the sensitivity to the behavior, moods and the needs of others) and Intrapersonal (the ability to understand oneself). Gardner’s theory is congruent with Goleman’s. Goleman identified Emotional Intelligence or EQ that affords the individual to be aware of his own and other’s emotions, to recognize the difference of each emotion, and to use the information to guide his thinking and actions. Knowing what is the right to say at the right time is a display of Gardner’s Interpersonal Intelligence and Goleman’s EQ.

Why am I writing a piece on being intelligent? There was an incident in our school that involved my girlfriend. My girlfriend rebuked her classmate who carelessly name calling another “patal”–stupid in Batuwanon. Instead of being thankful of the gentle reminder not to call names, my girlfriend’s classmate turned her anger to my girlfriend. Summoned the thunder and lightning like Suez then threw them to my girlfriend. My exaggeration may not suffice the wrath of words she told my girlfriend.

To have the audacity to call someone patal or stupid, one must be convinced and firmly believe that she is more intelligent than others. (#spellkafeeling echoes from my anonymous ephemeral textmate.) Since she is claiming she has higher IQ, isn’t it right that we expect that she could had handle better my girlfriend’s correction? Instead of throwing personal attacks at my girlfriend, why didn’t she use her self-declared intelligence to weigh the correction and device a more pleasant reaction? The vicious lady could have asked herself, “Why is my classmate telling not to call others patal?” One does not need to understand the denotation of the word norm to know calling someone patal is wrong. I don’t question my girlfriend’s classmate’s brilliance, but her actions show that she lacks Interpersonal Intelligence.

My anonymous textmate and my girlfriend’s classmate have something in common– they both claim they are better than us. Hearing someone claim she is better than us would make us want to stone her to death. But before you pick up a stone and aim at her, let us look at the other side of the coin first. The vicious classmate might just a victim of circumstances. Everybody wants to be loved and respected and if she failed to get the love and respect she hungers for, she does unconventional stratagems even at the expense of others.

Germans are known to be précised. They showed their precision when they coined the word schadenfreude –from the German Schaden damage and Freude joy. The Broadway musical Avenue Q defines schadenfreude as “happiness from the misfortune of others”. This is akin to Filipino crab mentality. I think we superceded the Germans because we don’t only delight in misfortune of others, but also we enjoy more when we drag others down.

Beware of people afflicted with insecurities. When they saw you got confident about yourself they are quick to say kafeeling. They are filled with insecurities and they don’t want to be left behind in the realm of insecurities. Their insecurities are even intensified when then saw you break away from the chain of insecurities. They will shackle you again and secure the locks to prevent you from escaping again. A person filled with insecurities is insecure of being insecure.

My girlfriend told me other incident where her vicious classmate belittled one of their classmates. Let V is my girlfriend’s vicious classmate and X is another classmate who was a victim of V. X was told to join by her classmates to join the town fiesta beauty pageant. V carelessly said X has beautiful body and face but she doubts if X has enough intellect to join the pageant. As far as I know one does not to be a genius to qualify for a beauty pageant. By the way it is called a beauty pageant not a quiz bee.

If you think you are intelligent, people will eventually notice it even you are not bragging about it. You do not need to make others look bad to highlight your brilliance. Intelligence is not a license to be arrogant and call someone stupid. Never settle on being intelligent, seek to be wise. If you are wise you know how to use your intelligence.