Issues of the day

Wrapped up in my own world: ignoring the China milk scare & others too

There was a time when I was appalled by other young people’s apathy. I vividly remember hearing, back when I was a junior in college, hearing this senior girl so worried about because she was not going to get the – was that a condo or a car? – that her dad had promised her. When I heard that, I felt disgusted- how could she worry about such trivial things when there were so many other important things to worry about? When there were so many issues plaguing the country at the time?

In time, I realized I was wrong to trivialize what she felt were her issues. I was wrong to judge.

But at that time in my life, as was years earlier and years since, I was a social activist – particularly on children’s issues. Having been raised by parents who were in the thick of action in the upheaval that was the Martial Law years, I was brought up aware of what’s happening to my surroundings. It also helped that I went to highschool where there was some of that too.

So what I’ve become now, is a little unimaginable for myself.

I used to think it was impossible, but I have become wrapped up in my own little world. I care less now. And I’m not sure that is all very good.

I do not wish to judge others, believe me, because we all write about what we want to, what we feel, what affects us. But I am judging myself, in a way. Because, as I said, I have become another a slightly different version of the person I thought I would grow up to be.

I’d like to think that this has nothing to do with the career change that I did more than three years ago. That switching careers wasn’t a complete change in lifestyle. I cringe to think of myself as a total sellout. Though I don’t doubt that there are others who may think that way.

But look at my blog, notice how I almost never post about other people, about social issues, anymore? I never really thought about it until now. I blog about most things, I only keep my deepest secrets to myself really. The rest I share.

I realized this because, well, the China milk scare has been in the headlines for some time now. And then there’s the tragedy in the mines of Benguet. Yet none of those two newsmakers have found their way through here. The worst part is that I was only vaguely aware of the Benguet mine disaster – I thought it was in some other country.

I had not picked up the papers, and I have not been paying attention to the news on TV apparently. Shame on me.

Enough with the ranting.


First Computerized Gov’t Elections in the Philippines

The first ever fully automated/computerized elections in the country was held successfully today. It is sad that there are no news stories about it posted on the Internet even as of this writing (midnight of the day after).

There were news stories and features on the television, but I would have loved to read about them before posting any info here.

Seems that the election is overshadowed by other events in the region – the armed conflict in North Cotabato which have displaced hundreds of thousands of residents both Christian and Muslim; and the controversy of the Memorandum of Agreement that the Peace Panel was negotiating and was supposed to have signed.

All these issues in the South has got me to thinking of the ex-MILF commanders-turned-Peace Advocates that we worked with in my old job. I wonder how they are now, and how all these things have affected the work that they have devoted their lives to in recent years?

The conflict really is deeply rooted, and involves so many stakeholders. One document surely won’t magically resolve everything in one day.

Tuned in to Kids

Sunday night turned out to be kids’ night. No, the kids weren’t around here. Rather, we spent almost the entire evening watching kids on TV.

First up: Pinoy Dream Academy’s Little Dreamers.

By golly, those kids have got oodles of talent. Really. I love watching them and I truly believe there is more talent in them than their teen/adult scholar counterparts.

Cristina was named this week’s Outstanding Little Dreamer, and she deserves the award. She’s always very energetic in her performances. You could check out a video of her performance here. Hers was the last number in the video in that post. Check out the Archives for performances of the other little dreamers. You will be WOWed by their talents.

Later in the evening, ABS-CBN had a feature story on the two faces of malnutrition in the Philippines. On the one hand, there’s the more common scene of skin and bones children who, because of poverty, and/or neglect, do not eat enough. On the other, obese children who give off a false front of being healthy but are actually are at high risk for heart disease and diabetes.

The Health and Social Welfare bureaus have programs to address the growing problem, but I know they are barely scratching the surface. Development groups and NGOs are also there with their own feeding programs and health programs for moms and their children. But how can we really save more children from dying of hunger or obesity?

With the food crisis hanging over the air, many of this kids are even more compromised than ever. But really, it’s not just the poor who can’t afford the enough healthy food for the entire family who’s in danger. In fact, I have a nephew who the doctor said was malnourished. It is sad. He has an enormous appetite and I’ve never really seen him be picky with his food. But I guess he’s not eating healthy.

And the overweight/over-indulged kids featured in the story have become too big for their age because their diets weren’t carefully planned by the adults caring for them. So it’s not just money needed to ensure that kids are healthy and grow up to become adults themselves.

It wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the feature, but this got me to thinking about how the pending law on Reproductive Health is being vehemently opposed by the Catholic Church here. I mean really, I am all for educating parents-to-be before they bring more children in the world, that’s a long term solution. But we’ve come to a desperate point already and government has the responsibility to at least make available various options to allow couples to choose the best family planning method for themselves. I just don’t see what’s so wrong about that. I don’t think the law endorses abortion, does it? I mean, c’mon!

Ces Drilon has been freed

*If you don’t like the music, please scroll down to my Juday post and click on the Stop button to turn it off. I can’t make myself take out the embedded music player altogether. hihi.

Broadcast journalist Ces OreƱa-Drilon, her camera man Jimmy Encarnacion, and Professor Octavio Dinampo have been freed by the armed group that held them hostage for 9 days. Another member of their crew was released a few days ago. Read the story from Drilon’s network, the ABS-CBN news website.

I heard the radio interview with Senator Loren Legarda, herself a former ABS-CBN broadcaster, as soon as I arrived home at past 12 midnight.

My dad’s work takes him to Mindanao (Davao and Cotabato specifically) and he works with NGOs and peace advocates in the area. He mentioned that he has met the Professor who was with Ces Drilon.


I don’t have any other interesting news today, other than I really pigged out and ordered a full meal, plus a side order of Mashed Potatoes (which turned out to be a full serving) and 2 free buttermilk pancakes. I ate at my boss’ station while he was out, and one of my colleagues had the same idea so we shared the booth. I shared my mashed taters with him too. As it were, I didn’t eat the meal (Eggs Popeye) because I was already full. I brought it home with me and it’s in the fridge. I’ll heat it for brunch later.


What am I saying? No interesting news? But there is!

Just at the stroke of midnight for June 18, I booked 3 roundtrip tickets for Manila-Tagbilaran, Bohol. Yes, we are finally going on the Bohol trip that we thought would never happen. Sadly though, there seems to just three of us going, instead of the 5 that we originally planned for.

The trip was supposed to be this June but we couldn’t afford the airfare. Or we could, but then there would be no money left for food, accommodations, and the land trip. My friend casually mentioned Cebu Pacific’s low fare promo that was ending at midnight (yes I had to beat it) so I logged on and checked for available flights and coordinated with our friends for their availability.

I am still hoping that Joy would be available on the dates we picked (it’s still in September) and that the promo is extended even for just one day so we can get her cheap fare too. Vanette can’t come because she won’t be able to go on a 2-day straight leave. I was kinda hoping we could work that out too…

Still, we are so psyched about it though it’s just me, Alfred, and our friend Tengkie.

This will be my third visit to the province but the first that will be strictly recreational and on my own tab.

We have these, and more, to look forward too (the images are linked to where I got them on the web).

Team Number One

Wow, the week just went by in a snap.

I had a really good week at work, seriously. Yesterday, I spent half the day filing my coaching forms on each agent folder. It was tedious because I had allowed a whole month’s worth of documentation to accumulate for all eleven of them. But it was light, easy work.

My team has been having a phenomenal performance in the last 3 weeks. I am very proud of them. To think that 60% of them are newbies to the account and yet we’re number one. That is truly a remarkable achievement. Even if things don’t work out as well for the fourth week (but I’m crossing my fingers that it still does) it would still have been a magnificent run.

This tears my heart really.

You see, I have a chance to go back and do what I’ve always loved doing. This whole year that I’ve been a team manager, I’ve found myself looking at training classes and wish I was the one teaching them. I’ve looked at trainers and have been silently critical of them. Often I catch myself thinking if I was ever like this or that as a trainer. Was I slow to react? Was I full of crap?

Don’t get me wrong, I have adjusted to my TM duties well and I love what I do. But I guess that training has always been my first love and you know what they say about that.

Nothing has been decided anyway. At the very last minute, I turned in my application for the training post that was opened, but I’m still giving myself a lot of room to think things through and weigh my choices. I am just greatful that I work with people and am in an environment that allows me these liberties to do what I really want to do.

On an entirely different matter…

Ka Bel was in the news again today (or was it yesterday’s paper?). He was refused welcome and blessing in Roman Catholic churches in his hometown in Legazpi, Albay. Their reason? He was in the Aglipayan Cathedral in Manila for a few days. They claimed that that was a sign that he was of a different religion and they have nothing to do with funerals for people of a different belief. One – Ka Bel is Catholic. In fact, he and his wife renewed their marriage vows for their 50th wedding anniversary at a Catholic Church. Two – Ka Bel’s funeral was held at the Aglipay church because that church is known to be supportive of the labor leader’s causes. Three – How medieval of that bishop in charge there. Ugh.

On TV right now is Charisse Pempengco’s new song and music video. It isn’t bad. I think it’s an original this time and not a cover of an older woman’s song. Good for her. I didn’t see the title though. I’m guessing it’s “It could only get better.”

On a more personal topic this time…

I calculated my expenses for the week and found out that I have spent WAY TOO MUCH than I should have. Seriously. Even without Zune’s doctor fees, it’s still way over budget. Talk about living beyond one’s means. Major ugh.

Oh, have you seen the latest Indiana Jones flick? I don’t think I’ll be seeing it in the cinema. What with all the cost cutting I need to do. I’d probably wait to see it on DVD. Bummer.


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