Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

Filipinas, anyone?

In a resolution dated April 12, 2013, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) suddebly decided to refer to our country as “Filipinas”, instead of Pilipinas .

They said it was a “modernized” version of Filipinas, the name given by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in honor of then Prince Philip of Spain. It was originally called Archipelago of St. Lazaro by Fernando Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan). Should he had not been killed by Lapu-lapu, the country would’ve been still named after St. Lazarus.

The name Philippines is supposedly an influence by the Americans who occupied the county after more than 300 years of Spanish regime. So when the country adopted the modern Filipino alphabet, the commission decided to revive the use of Filipinas instead of the Philippines we are used to using.

Although I’m not a Catholic, I prefer the name Magellan named our country, instead of Philippines named after Prince Philip of Spain.

Plus the fact if you try to google the word Filipina, whom KWF wants our country to be called, you’ll come upon porn sites or even mail order brides (except now that recently Filipna “dug mule” was executed in china.

Would you prefer to be called Pinoy or Finoy? Come on, change is inevitable, but sometimes, changing a thing you’re used to is not really a good idea.

(PS, I personally find the idea for the our country to be called Filipinas ridiculous.)

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I Support Rep. Teddy A. Casiño for Senator

The May 13, 2013 midterm elections in the Philippines is just around the corner. I’m a registered voter in my home province, but unfrotunately, the leave I requested was not approved. Alas, I cannot exercise my right to vote.

Had my leave been approved, I would’ve voted for Rep. Teddy A. Casiño. He is running for a seat at the Upper House of the Congress, also known as the Senate.

Who is he and why I would’ve voted for him? He is the sole bet of the coalition of 12 Philippine progessive Partylists called Makabayan. He authored/sponsored numerous House Measures. Some of them are: HB01483 (an act defining discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and providing penalties…), HB01961 (act regulationg tuition and other fees of private educational institutions), HB02308 (act providing for a mandatory nationwide child nutrition program in all public elementary and barangay day care centers). Here’s the complete list from the Congress website.

Since I cannot personally cast my vote for him, this is the least thing I can do, inform people of how deserving he is to be voted for Senate. Kay Teddy Casiño, panalo ang karaniwang tao!

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RH Bill = catastrophic disasters

Recently, a tragedy (typhoon Pablo) struck the Philippines that left a lot of people dead and destroyed billions worth of properties and livelihood. A leader of the influential Catholic Church linked the catastrophic event to the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill as the tragedy happened at the same time when Congress was deliberating the bill’s fate.

The bill, according to some “experts” will just legalize abortion and contraception. Huh? “Porke ba RH Bill e contraception agad? Hindi ba pwedeng women’s health/advancement of reproductive health facilities muna?” [If it's RH Bill, it's always about contraception? Why not think of it as women's health/advancement of reproductive health facilities?] (in a Vice Ganda-ish tone)

Why do they always link the Bill to contraception? Have they read the bill’s content before making a comment? Have they been keen on understanding what the bill says before jumping into conclusions?

We are now in a modern society with a high cost of living. You can’t support a family if you’re just relying on the crops you grow in your backyard or the farm. Before, a Filipino family can afford to eat three times a day and even send their children to school, even if they are large in terms of number of offsprings. But gone were the days…

Today, a liter if petrol is about 5times more than the price when I was in high school, and that was just 20years ago. When I was a kid, a tricycle ride was just 2Php, now it is 10Php. My daily allowance before was just about 2Php/day. If that is still the case today, you can just buy 2pieces of candy.

Going back, we need long-term solutions to long-term problems. Aside from providing facilities that specifically cater to women’s health, this bill can also provide options and educate couples by providing them access to family planning facilities. Nowadays, it is quite impossible to manage a large family. Educating poor families the value of family planning is not really about limiting the number of children but providing them quality life.

The church official’s comment was highly uncalled for. It is very unbecoming of a man who is called to lead the people to salvation by setting an example, not only through the sermons they deliver from the pulpit but also how they behave in front of the public’s scrutinizing eyes.

Pinoy Sounding Board said that his God is not a cruel God. I do agree. I highly agree. Who can forget when God made a wonderful covenant with Noah: Genesis 9:11 “I
establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Has he forgotten to read the bible? Will God break this covenant he had not only with Noah but also with all generations to come? Well, let’s leave it to them, we are entitled to our opinions.

That disaster is an sign, a sign for us to slow down and not a sign to kill the bill. This is just another consequence of climate change and rampant mining and illegal logging (which is not in the case of some towns affected by the flash flood brought by the typhoon, because according to some experts, the forest there are now denuded). And also, the place is a hazardous zone for habitation according to the Mines and Geoscience Bureau.

As for my personal opinion, it is our fault. It is not made by God for us to kill RH Bill, but for us to learn that we must learn to slow down and start caring for the environment. The typhoon is NOT in any way related to the RH Bill.

I support RH Bill because I love my family. I love my wife and my daughter. I support RH Bill because I support life. Period.

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Why being a teacher in the Philippines is losing its luster.

The Philippine Star’s Editorial ( last October 5, 2010 talks about Teachers day. According to the article, the career of being an educator is beginning to lose its luster.

When I was a kid, I used to hear the joke that goes, “If you want to be a domestic helper in Hong-Kong, take Bachelor of Science in Education.” -this seem to be quite true, especially nowadays. With the very little compensation they(us) get, some choose to make a career-shift. Exchanging the honorable(but obviously low-income) job, to a lowly, but higher paying job as a domestic helper.

I remember the Smokey Mountain song, “Mama”. It never fail to make tears fall down my eyes. It talks about a daughter longing to be with her mama who has been gone since she was five.

Anyway, here’s the lyrics:

“Mama she wrote me a letter
Saying she’s gonna be fine
Please take good care of your sister
I’ll be home in three years time

Mama it seems like forever
You’ve been gone since I was five
They say you were a good teacher
In the same school where I can’t

Mama’s a maid in London
I want to believe that she’s fine
She could be lonely in London
I want to know why she had to go
I need her, I want to be near her
I’ve got to be with her
And see to it that we’re together
once more

My English teacher she told me
She wants to be where you are
Mama she’s leaving her family
To earn all the money she wants

London, Vancouver, or Hong Kong
Governess, housekeeper, or nurse
What is to happen to all of us
With mothers who travel so far

Mama’s a maid in London
I want to believe that she’s fine
She could be lonely in London
I want to know why she had to go
I need her, I want to be near her
I’ve got to be with her
And see to it that we’re together
once more

Once more…”

Another reason why it has lost its luster is that nepotism, that is prevalent in government institutions, is now also in government funded educational institutions. This is very sad. How can a better and more qualified teacher get the more out of her/his own teaching career when someone who has “connections” get promoted over her/him?

And also, over population has something to do with this lack of luster. Quoting from the article:

“..public school teachers have been staging mass protests and complaining about being among the most overworked and underpaid in the bureaucracy. Over the years the teachers’ workload has increased with the continuing boom in the student population, with no commensurate salary adjustments.”

How can we deliver quality education if the current ratio of teachers to students is something like 1teacher:50/60students. It also produces classroom shortage. Where will you put those students if you only have a few classroms?

The government plans to cut the budget for education + the church calls RHB “anti-life” and calls for Congress to junk the bill = shortage of classrooms and quality educators and, you’ve guessed it, over population.

Some countries really invest on education. How can you get the most out of the population? Make them literate! According to Confucius in his analects, when they visited a province, they saw that the place is greatly populated. His chariot driver asked him what will they do if the population is great. “Make them prosperous,” he said. And the chariot driver asked what will be done after that. “Educate them,” was Confucius’ reply.

Yes, the government gives free education(that’s their job) through the public school system. But how can the students survive the whole school year if their families can barely make both ends meet?

The head of the family has an unstable job. The mother is unemployed as she has to take care of her 6 children. To make matters worse, she’s pregnant with their 7th child.

If that is how a typical family in a slum area is like, how can we move forward? Overpopulation can lead to higher demand. And how can they look for a job to sustain their family’s needs if they are not supplied with skills and knowledge needed? And some, because of being unemployed, they have nothing to do at home. They don’t have a television set to while the time away because they can’t afford one, or they don’t have electricity. So what will they do? Time for some afternoon delight, I guess.

As for my opinion, what our country needs is a better educational system. The government should invest more in the education sector. And passing the RHB will be a big help.


Election-related Violence in the Philippines

Do you know that:
March 22, 1897, at the Tejeros Convention in Cavite, Gat. Andres Bonifacio was elected as Director of the Interior. When he was being proclaimed, a member of the Magdaló faction of the Katipunan stood up and protested saying the position is an exalted one and only a lawyer should hold. Gat. Andres Bonifacio was hurt and felt insulted. It was agreed upon that whoever got elected was to be respected. Bonifacio demanded Tirona to retract what he said, but instead of apologizing, he left the scene. Bonifacio drew his pistol and was about to shoot Tirona when Artemio Ricarte intervened and prevented what could have been a blood bath.

That is one of the oldest, if not, the first election related violence in the Philippine annals.

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