Tuesday, April 25, 2006

2nd year

Me and Pangga in Bahia Resort in Lapu-Lapu, during our 2nd year anniversary last March. =)

Back with SFC, finally

I finally am back to Singles For Christ. I attended our service meeting last night. When I entered Sis Fe's residence my brods and sis were surprised. Although Jaypee and Carlo texted me to come they probably didn't expect I'd actually attend the meeting (Having gotten used perhaps to my habit of saying "Yes, Ill be there" and not actually showing up, hehe). They all looked at me at first in silence and seriousness, then they clapped their hands, and one of my brod said, "Welcome back!" I felt like the prodigal son, or brother. Haha.

I really feel happy. At first it was truly, truly awkward for me to be there. I missed a lot of things during my absence: countless meetings, activities, fellowships... I felt not a bit out of place. But I had to be there. I have to be with SFC again. It's okay for my brods and sis to think that I'm irresponsible and unreliable, that I turned my back on the commitment I made to Singles when I became a member more than two years ago by abandoning my household members for several months. They have every right to think that way about me, because it's true. I don't mind. I just want to be with Singles again, to serve the community again, and this time with more seriousness and dedication, commitment and perseverance, and hopefully with the Lord's help, with all my heart and mind, resources, time, and talent.

At the end of the meeting some of my brods, including ManMan who just got back from Manila, shook my hand and chatted with me and asked me how I was. I'm good, I'm fine, I said. I didn't add that I'm happy to be back among them.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cebuano Church song

There's a Church song that I really love to sing. I forgot the title, and I can only remember the chorus. It goes like this...

O Dios, Ikaw lamang ang sundun ko
Himua nga takos
Pagatawgon nga anak mo
Hugasi ako sa mga sayop ko
Higugmaon ko Ikaw O Dios hangtud...
Sa kahangturan...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Gloria heckled

Have you read this piece of news in the Inquirer yesterday?

Brave girl.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Random thoughts

Summer vacation is going to end tonight because tomorrow's gonna be our first day of school for the summer term. And I'll be taking Microbiology and Parasitology, and Foundations of Nursing.

And how have I spent my two weeks? Not wisely. I've squandered it. I've done absolutely nothing. I haven't read a book (except browsing on a few pages). I haven't gotten into sitting down and arranging my priorities on what goals I want to achieve in the coming months (which I planned I would do). I've been absolutely unproductive. Too much free time just wasted me away, haha.

I sound like a male version Norah Jones when I talk. That is, I sound hoarse, a bit jazzy. That's because I have a cough. It has hounded me since last week. I've had terrible coughing fits when I go to sleep.

How can I make my life beautiful? I want to live a beautiful life. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Behind the times

Ulahi na siguro kaayo ko, but I just recently discovered Youtube.com. This site is heaven sent! Imagine you can search through their files and you can find videos by Paulo Santos, Norah Jones, Bob Marley, and Matisyahu!? Awesome.

Speaking of Matisyahu, if you haven't heard of this guy yet, I can't recommend him highly enough: King Without a Crown by Matisyahu (Live at Stubb's). Listen to him. Watch the video. Awesome, awesome artist.

And videos of Noam Chomsky, too! Wow!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Inquirer editorial on entrepreneurship

I completely missed the PDI's wonderful April 4 editorial: Entrepreneurship.

The editorial's timing couldn't be more perfect for me and my Pangga. As I've said in my post yesterday, I've become interested in entrepreneurship lately. Now, my baby and I are planning to go into business together.

It's amazing how the editorial really captured my personal views about employment and making a living. It's really hard to get a decent job these days. The ones that are good paying are call center work, and it's not really for everybody (for many, if not most, of the people in the industry, especially those in the operations work - the agents - it can't be considered as a long-term career). More and more people, high school graduates and even professionals from various backgrounds, including doctors, are enrolling in nursing because of the promise of better-paying work abroad. Majority of the new graduates will enter the growing ranks of the unemployed and the underemployed. Therefore, it is truly wise to look into entrepreneurship as an option to making a living. It's a really promising venture, and very exciting, too. Although, it will surely take a lot of hard work, perseverance, and of course imagination and creativity. I believe it will be very beneficial for us if most of our countrymen will seek to become entrepreneurs rather than employees only. I think that's the mindset of most of the Filipino-Chinese: They teach their children to venture into business. We native Pinoys, on the other hand, teach our kids to aspire to become employees only (not to sound condescending).

CBCP statement on the "People's Initiative"

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has released today a pastoral statement on the so-called "People's Initiative" to change the constitution:


1. Introduction

"The Church must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice." (Deus Caritas Est, 28) This challenging call of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, impels us to express to you, our beloved People of God, our deep concern over the attempt of certain sectors to make hasty and substantial changes to our Constitution, supposedly through the "People's Initiative" provision in our present charter. We speak to you, not as lawyers or politicians, but as Shepherds, applying principles of our Catholic Social Teaching to our present situation, and inviting you to discern, decide and act in the light of the Gospel.

We recognize and respect those many concerned and thoughtful Filipinos who see constitutional reform as a necessary remedy to the country's many problems at present. In our pastoral statement of January 2006, we already stated that "we agree that certain aspects of our Constitutions may need amendments and revisions." What we wish to challenge and express unease about is the process by which these challenges are being brought about.

2. Concerns about the present campaign

First, we believe that "changing the Constitution involving major shifts in the form of government, requires widespread participation, total transparency, and relative serenity that allows for rational discussion and debate." (CBCP Statement, 2006) The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches that "the shared participation of citizens in the destiny of their communities calls for work for information and education." (No. 191) The provision for a "People's Initiative" in the present Constitution was precisely an attempt to allow our people this participation.

We view with alarm, however, the present signature campaign endorsed by the government. Signatures are apparently collected without adequate information, discussion and education. The manner in which these signatures are supposedly collected, including door to door campaigns, are not conducive to the kind of informed participation that such fundamental changes demand. The changes that are being proposed for signatures of citizens are dangerously unclear and open to manipulation by groups with self-serving interests. The complexities and variations of the parliamentary system are not adequately explained and have not been sufficiently discussed by our people.

Second, we believe that "the reasons for constitutional change must be based on the common good rather than on self-serving interests or the interests of political dynasties." (CBCP Statement, 2006) The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches that: "An authentic democracy is - the fruit of - a commitment to the common good as the purpose and guiding criterion for political life." (No. 407)

In other words, charter change can only be morally justifiable if the revisions being proposed will lead to authentic reforms and development for the nation. Changes must assure shifts towards: principled politics, transparency and accountability, electoral and institutional reform, and more efficient delivery of services to the people, especially the poorest.

However, no such provisions have been clearly specified in the present signature campaign. What form of parliamentary system, how such a parliamentary system will truly serve the common good and the interests of the nation, especially the poor, have not been articulated. Instead, people are given general and sweeping promises of political stability and reform that will allegedly automatically come with a new political system.

This lack of clarity on how the changes will truly benefit our nation raises disturbing questions about who will truly benefit from these changes. It seems that the changes as they are being proposed now will benefit mainly those who already hold positions of power and privilege in the current political system. This raises questions as to the authenticity of this signature campaign and the motives of those who promote it. Is this truly a "people's initiative" or the initiative of self-seeking political players wanting to entrench themselves in power? We might further ask the question of the source of funding for this entire operation.

3. Conclusion

A call to discernment and action. In the light of the difficulties connected with the present efforts to change the Constitution, we, your Pastors, invite the People of God to take up once again the responsibilities of good citizens, who love this country and seek its true good. We remind you of the words of our Holy Father: "The direct duty for a just ordering of society - is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the state, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. They cannot relinquish their participation - to promote - the common good." (Dues Caritas Est, 29)

We invite you then to reflect and pray over what we have presented in this statement. If, before God speaking in your conscience, you agree, we call upon you to discern the appropriate actions. As Christians, we cannot be complacent and inactive in the face of this present issue of charter change, which is so crucial to the future of our country and people. Vigilance, education, principled opposition may be necessary steps to take.

As Holy Week draws near, we pray that the self-sacrificing love of Christ, that along brings life to the world, may fill the hearts of all Filipinos and bring about the new life we all desire for our nation.

For the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

Archbishop of Jaro &
CBCP President
April 7, 2006

What a powerful and enlightening letter. I pray all of us Filipinos, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, will heed its message.

Health (bad) news

Thousands of nurses leave RP yearly:

NURSES and other medical workers are leaving the Philippines at the rate of at least 15,000 a year for better-paying jobs abroad, threatening the country's health infrastructure, World Health Organization (WHO) officials warned Friday.
"It is a serious, serious situation," WHO spokesman Peter Cordingley said, noting that even Filipino doctors abandon their practices and go back to medical schools to enroll in nursing courses.

The number is more than any other country, with the United States, Britain and lately Australia the main destinations.

WHO country representative Jean Marc Olive warned that the exodus was expected to persist until 2015, with annual demand for medical workers in the United States and Europe estimated to be about 800,000.

"In the Philippines the shortage of nurses is starting to be felt, therefore it's a pressing issue that needs to be addressed, but not the quick fix solutions," Olive told a news conference.

He urged the government to look into the needs of the health workers" and adopt plans to convince them to stay.

UNICEF raises alarm on malnutrition in RP:

THE UNITED Nations Children's Fund has raised the alarm on malnutrition in the Philippines, which it noted has not substantially improved in the last 15 years.

At the first National Conference of Nutrition Stakeholders in the Philippines, UNICEF Country Representative Dr. Nicholas Alipui said he was especially concerned that child malnutrition rate in the country had remained at 30 percent for over a decade.

“Damages to children include lower intelligence, reduced physical capacity, and passing on malnutrition to the next generation. These result in reduction in productivity and sluggish economic growth, which perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Most importantly, every child has a right to be free of malnutrition,” he said.

AIDS taking 'terrible toll' on health workers--WHO:

LUSAKA -- The HIV/AIDS pandemic was taking a "terrible toll" on health workers, the World Health Organization’s top official said Friday, with many communities shorthanded of workers needed to care for those living with the disease.
Speaking in the Zambian capital Lusaka at the launch of the agency's 2006 World Health Report, WHO chief Lee Jong-wook highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the lives of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.

"I know that there are great difficulties to [be] overcome," Lee said at the report's three-city launch in Lusaka, Geneva and London.

"I know that HIV/AIDS is taking a terrible toll. It is taking skilled doctors and nurses from the bedside of the sick," he said in a speech.

The report issued on World Health Day on Friday under the banner "Working together for health", stressed the serious shortages of medical staff in poor countries from Asia to Africa.

The WHO said poor countries urgently needed 2.3 million health workers to deal with major diseases such as HIV/AIDS and everyday healthcare.

"The magnitude of the health workforce crisis in the world's poorest countries cannot be overstated and requires an urgent, sustained and coordinated response from the international community," the report warned.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"The Gospel of Judas"

The National Geographic Channel will be showing a feature program on "The Gospel of Judas" this coming Sunday. Carl Olson, co-author of the book The Da Vinci Hoax, web editor of the Ignatius Press website and moderator of the Insight Scoop blog, has a long article about it here.

On an unrelated note, tomorrow's Kapamilya Media Forum (ABS-CBN DYAB's weekly public program) will talk about celibacy of priests. They have invited two guests to tackle the issue of whether priests should be allowed to marry or not. Interesting topic. I hope to be there tomorrow at SM Activity Center at 10 in the morning.

Entrepreneurship is it!

I'm into entrepreneurship these days. Reading up/ researching on entrepreneurship, that is, and not actually engaging in any business. At least, not yet.

I've bought two back issues of Entrepreneur (Philippines) magazine yesterday. I'm also reading If Success Is A Game, These Are The Rules by Cherie Carter-Scott. It's a very good book. It has a lot of very useful insights.

My main goal is to become financially independent someday (Thank you, Bo Sanchez!). But that's quite a long shot. My more "immediate" goal is to start and operate a business within the year (Hehe, a bold goal indeed). If I can pull it off (and I really hope I can), it can help me finance my personal miscellaneous expenses, and help me and Pangga fund our wedding next year. :) Hopefully, it can also help offset the large expenses of nursing school.

The bottom line really is education. I want to learn more about entrepreneurship (and also financial literacy; I want to read Think Rich, Pinoy! and Rick Dad, Poor Dad), so that I can someday be financially independent.


We recently bought a new CPU. And is it amazing! It's super fast. We also have a new keyboard, and it's so good to type words now. We've had our old CPU and keyboard for 6-7 years, and we've agonized over it for it has broken down several times in the past. Now we have finally changed the CPU. It's now Pentium 4. At least we have now moved on from the "pre-historic" era of computers (Pentium 3, Windows 98, etc.) Hehe.
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