Issues of the day

Gilas Pilipinas!

The whole country is still celebrating the Silver Medal finish of Team Gilas Pilipinas in the recently concluded FIBA Asian Championships. Nakaka-proud talagang maging Pinoy!

Team Gilas Photo courtesy  of InterAKTV

Team Gilas Photo courtesy of InterAKTV


I didn’t actually get to see the final match. I saw a few minutes of the first half, but then I dozed off to the land of nod. Ha! When I was a lot younger, like maybe highschool, I dreamed of becoming a girlfriend or wife to a professional basketball player. Kasagsagan pa yun na nanunuod kami ng PBA games on TV regularly, and we even went to see a Ginebra-Alaska championship match in Cuneta Astrodome. Maybe that was in college? Anyway, I’ve never been athletic, and I had very little interest in playing sports so I would never be a good match for a player, haha. I could be a great fan and cheerleader though. Pwede? 🙂

I just remembered that because they show the wives/GFs of the players on the screen during these games. I’m pretty sure they’re so proud of their partners. Tayo nga na taumbayan lang so happy for the team’s achievement eh, what more their families and friends? 🙂 Anyway, I’m just sharing this so I have something else to say than congratulations to the team. 😉

Congratulations again to Team Gilas Pilipinas! You achieved your goal of qualifying for the FIBA World Cup, and of giving glory to your country. Until the next game! 🙂


Halalan 2013

May 13, 2013 was mid-term election day in the Philippines. Of course, I went out to vote.

We were pleasantly surprised not to see long lines at the voting precinct. I had registered only in 2009 and ended up in a different precinct from the rest of my family. But because Comelec implemented a cluster system since elections were automated, we still vote in the same precinct.

Barangay Kalusugan Voting Precincts

Barangay Kalusugan Voting Precincts

Just like in the 2010 elections, we went to vote as a family, except for my brother who went there straight from work so he was very early. Since the line was short, I decided I didn’t need special treatment (recovering from an operation and all) and waited patiently in line. We were all done in perhaps 15 or 20 minutes. My cousin says we’re lucky because they had to wait a lot longer. They were already done when we arrived. I guess the rain, and it being lunchtime, discouraged people from voting at the time we did.

But we really had it good. There were apparently many places in the country where voting didn’t go as smoothly as it did for us. I pray this is the last time it happens. We seriously need to have improved systems and a COMELEC who will work on it all the time, not just the year before the next elections.

Two days later, we still don’t have any of the senator-elects being proclaimed. I only voted for 9 candidates, and not everyone made it. But that’s democracy. And instead of complaining about Nancy Binay making it to the top 5, we should focus our energies on mapping out how we’ll make all 12 accountable to the people in the next six years. Instead of blaming an uninformed electorate for making Grace Poe number one and Dick Gordon teetering from number 12 to 13, let’s look at what we should do to ensure that the people can become better informed.

Political ads on TV, and the campaign sorties, were mostly how the people got to know their candidates. But those shouldn’t be the only sources of information. Netizens had some online resources, but not all of us actually took the time to review 3rd party profiles and analyses of the platforms or fact-checked debate responses. I’m just saying that no matter how sophisticated or un-sophisticated we are, the resource first has to be there, and then we need to take the time to refer to it. There needs to be an uninterested party (not affiliated with the political parties) out there who would do round-table discussions with the common folk, or maybe bring out laptops and tablets so the people can browse at material available online. But who would do it?

A group of child-rights NGOs came up with Bata Muna which was a campaign to engage with candidates to find out their stand on child-sensitive issues. That’s a good idea, I think. But then they would also need to distribute the information they gathered. In the end they did not seek to endorse any particular candidate, but they did present the candidates’ responses on critical issues. I took note of that and it helped frame who I would vote for.

Leading up to the elections you would see a lot of push to go out and vote. That’s good. COMELEC sees voter turnout at 70%. So 70% of registered voters cared enough to make their votes count. Kudos to us. But it’s not just how many people vote; what’s important is the thought-process behind those votes. Sorry, but do I make sense?

As for me, I continue to be hopeful for the country. I did my best to vote for the candidates that I feel would ensure that the future is secure, and that we learn from past mistakes. More candidates who didn’t get my vote are actually winning but that is no reason to be sad or jaded. That is democracy after all.

253rd voter

253rd voter



Buhay na Kasiyasiya

Last Sunday, kids at Church had the culminating activity for their theater arts workshop which was held the week prior. A niece and two of my nephews attended the course.  I didn’t get to see them perform live, but thanks to technology, this video has already been posted in Facebook:

I am so proud of the kids. They performed more after the Mass, during coffee time for the congregation at the Cathedral Hall.

When I was their age, starting at around ten years old, I was also active in theater arts activities. I must say I wasn’t that much active in our own Church, but I did sort of represent us in a group of children from various churches. I belonged to the Ecumenical Children’s Theater group of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. We performed at events of the NCCP, and we also participated in PETA’s children’s theater festival for three consecutive years. I loved that time of my life.

The song featured in the video above was a theme song that the NCCP used many many years ago. We interpreted it too, and performed at the UP Church of the Risen Lord. Our teacher/choreographer at the time was also from PETA. He was very strict, and rehearsals were like workouts. It wasn’t the first time I performed (in fact, I think it was one of the last times I ever danced onstage), but it was the first time I had done anything like it. He made us crawl, not just on the ground, but over and on top of each other. Talk about loosing inhibitions. Those rehearsals were probably the most exhausting ones I’d attended ever. I wonder if anyone had bothered to take a video of us? I don’t even recall having any photos from then. Oh well.

The message of the song, Buhay na Kasiya-siya, seems to be quite timely. Election season is when national issues are at the forefront. This is when we focus on what’s to happen in the future. What’s to be left for our children, and our children’s children. It’s also the time to think about how decisions in the past (when choosing leaders) affect the quality of our lives now. The song tells us – Kung uunahin muna natin, ang kailangan ng lahat. Ang masaganang lupain ay higit pa kaysa sapat. Kung uunahin muna natin, ang sa Kanya’y mahalaga. Sama-samang daranasin, buhay na kasiya-siya. My rough translation: If we prioritize the people’s needs, an abundant land is more than enough. If we start with what’s important to Him, we will all enjoy an abundant/happy life.

It is nice to be reminded that if we focus on what’s really important, we would learn that most of the time, if not always, we have more than what we need. We just need to look around us.

Coca-Cola and Obesity

This ad isn’t shown in the Philippines, I guess because the program is currently only in the US. But it is of interest to me because I drink Coke and I am obese.

Some time ago (I completely forgot when that was) I signed up at the health site Calorie Count (and I even downloaded the free iPhone app). Although I haven’t fully maximized the abundance of information (and support) available from that community to kick off my own wellness plan, I do pick up on articles they post thru their newsletters. Today, it included a post on Coca-Cola’s Anti-Obesity Ad.

Put on those headphones, and watch this short video:


What do you think?

I think that when big corporations (and don’t forget politicians) spend money (or risk losing some profit) for the greater good – that’s a good thing. And that we shouldn’t be so blind not to see that their special projects could also be self-serving – a PR job, a way to look good for the cameras, or a conscience-cleansing effort. But they still deserve support – or acknowledgment at the very least. After all, when more people join in to fight for a cause, whatever cause it may be, it’s a step closer to the goal.

What I’m saying is, good job Coca-Cola for owning up to your role in making the world obese and taking steps to reduce that – no matter how small the steps. But I’m pretty sure you will not completely take your sugary products off the market. That would be suicide.

On the YouTube page for the ad, there are mixed reactions. Some people talk about other sins of the company. It’s like saying ‘I will not accept nor applaud your help here and right now because I cannot accept your other actions elsewhere.’ It’s like Sting changing the venue of his Philippine concert because the SM MOA Arena is affiliated with tree-cutting SM Baguio. Know what I mean?

So in the end, it’s still up to us to choose the better options. 0 cal or 140 cal? Zero or regular Coke? Soda or water? It’s not just Coke’s fault that I need to lose about ninety to a hundred pounds, but drinking Coke was probably a big contributor. And yes, I have ingested way more calories than I burn. I didn’t need a Coca-Cola ad to tell me that. But knowing that they are putting money into the fight against obesity? Now that’s cool.

But you know what, maybe learning about why other people boycott Coke would help turn me off of it completely. Hah! That would be the day. Happiness nga eh.

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