Saturday, December 27, 2008

Traditions We Can Do Without

Next to ingratitude the most painful thing to bear is gratitude. - Henry Ward Beecher

I once read a story about a foreigner in 18th century Japan. While traveling along the edge of a river with his local guide, they saw a man gasping for breath as being drag by the rapids. He attempts to help but his companion admonished “I won’t save him if I were you. You’ll just bring more misery to him worst than his predicament now”. Baffled, the foreigner asks why and the guide explained: “In this part, we take gratitude seriously. If you save him, he’ll be in your debt until he also saves your life. In order to do that, he should be at your side at all times. Since you’re a stranger here, he has no choice but to leave his family and love ones behind. A sacrifice more awful than death”.

That is a tall order to achieve. But at least it has an ending if the man saves the foreigner’s life. On the other hand, we Filipinos put the standard a notch higher. We’re in debt forever if somebody did us a favor. Unlike Americans and Europeans, who consider an obligation repaid when a favor is settled with another favor, we are beholden to an individual for the rest of our life.

Politicians know this and capitalize on this twisted mind-set to stay in power. Dispensing favors here and there, legally or otherwise, to their “lideres”. In return, expects their support every election. This was illustrated comically by Imelda when asked what she thinks of their “friends” when her family fell from grace. She said it quite literally “They don’t have debt inside”. Translated in tagalog as “Wala silang utang na loob”. I guess, to her, 20 years in power isn't enough to repay an old debt.

Priests are also guilty of the same manipulation. Since childhood, they keep drumming inside our head, that our Lord gave His life in order to save us from sins we didn’t commit in the first place. The “brain washing” is so effective that we dare not go against the Church’s wishes or else suffer the fate of eternal damnation. An enigma to me, even if logic dictates that to do otherwise means a better life for us and our family.

Parents as well hold this belief. When you ask couples why they bear children, typically the response will be “so there is somebody to take care of us when we grow old”. First of all, the child didn’t ask to be born. Children have no obligation to take care of their parents. If they do take care of us, it is not because it’s their responsibility but because of love and respect for their parents. On the contrary, parents have duties and responsibility to raise their offspring decently and mold them to be productive members of society. We didn't brought them in this world to obligate them to fulfill what ever whim, needs and wants that cross our minds.

I don’t know about my wife, but when I grow old, I won’t hold it against my daughter if some stranger in white robe wipes my behind instead of her doing it. I am content with the idea that I raised her in a good environment and educated the best way I can afford. I’ll deem myself a failure as a parent if I can't do so.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Season’s Greeting to Everyone

I’d
like
to greet
everyone
who have
visited my
blog, read my
posts and commen
ted in a positive way
or otherwise. The year is
almost over and to show my
appreciation, I’d like to give thanks
to the following. First to my blogpals
starting with
panaderos, Jon Limjap, sheng,
Abou, RJ, donG, Ms. Sassy, TwilightZone, Nebz,
R-yo, Batjay, Lei, Tito Rolly, theonoski, mightydacz,
ever, Mari, caryn, Mimi, Abaniko, bwzone and last but not
the least, Ms. Jo. To those who voiced out what’s in their mind
like
ed v., wildflower, the suspect, lateralus, All Abu Dhabi, Points
of View
, berto xxx, Kotsengkuba, eds, L bukaneno, kamotenista, Julie,
madjik, Richard the Adventurer, Mec, Lawstude, madbong, Duncan, Trosp,
lusia, Kiko,
allen, Kenji,
ALiNe, flor,
bertN, BURAOT, Jepoy,
anonymark and the ever
present Anonymous.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Response To Moonbat’s Diatribe

My curiosity was aroused when I found a “love letter” in one of my post. A certain Reyna Elena leaves a vindictive comment, and like a jilted lover, dared me to read his post about my participation in an incident in Ms. Sassy’s blog some 3 months ago involving him and a regular commenter named Trosp. I went to his blog and there I read the rest of his “hinanakit”.

So here’s my reply (the second person I’ll be referring to is Reyna Elena). You said:
“My advice to you is this: read the context of what Trosp wrote. Ganun ang pag-analyze nung counter response because I do not claim na mas mahaba ang aken kesa seyo. But I could tell you that my school is world class kahit hindi ako world class. It might puke you but I will really want you to puke with your nerdy comment.”

“when you defend a point, you need to read it’s entirety and not the comment left by KK”

First of all it wasn’t me who challenged you, it was Trosp. So I have no obligation what so ever to read your post. My intent was to push for a debate between you and Trosp when I said this:
" Who really cares about citizenships and credentials here? Your not applying for a job, are you? The point is Trosp challenged the veracity of what you said. The appropriate response is to prove his wrong. If we gauge this by the merit system, you’re not building up any points.”

But you didn’t respond apart from your first two comments here:
“knock! knock! knock! moonbats flying in the nite! AHEM! Did I hear somebody call my name?! Got passport, ready to show if necessary, including diplomas. Any takers???
pissed be with you ~fly~”

“ahh… forgot sum’tin… also have my voters registration - democrat (Go Obama!) …. err 4 presidential elections. someone please show me yours n i’ll show u mine. pissed be with you”

If you had reacted properly and immediately when somebody’s trashing your credibility and not 3 months later, I wouldn’t have wrote my comment below which was based from your comment above:
“It’s just that it irritates me when I see pinoys who think they are “holier than thee” just because they have a green passport, educated in some prestigious institution and earning above 90% of the population. Worst than that is when I see pinoys enamored, short of idolizing that kind of person, accepting every word they say at face value. “

As for my comment for KK, that’s directed to him and it’s between him and me. His a big boy now and can stand on his own two feet. You need not be his au pair.

I think that clears things up with regards to my involvement in that brouhaha. Let’s go to our credibility issue. You said this:
“Now, mahal ko kapwa ko OFW, pero this is one OFW na I’m not loving it. Si BlogusVox. If you are one know-it-all commenter, especially sa isang famous and well-known blogger na caliber ni Connie, aba you better stood your ground and prove to yourself na hindi ka judgemental. Well, isa pa rin ang olat na to who has no clue how read analintek review between Trosp’s thoughtless writings and what Kotsengkuba was saying. Problem solved. Isa pang tangang blogger to. Not bilibabol.”

I always base my opinion on what I read and observed. If you call it judgmental, so be it. In contrast, you call me names which are not commensurate to my intelligence level. Does that sound judgmental too? With regards to my visits on Ms. Sassy’s blog, I read her post because I find it interesting and informative along with the rest of interesting and informative sites in my blogrole. I don’t go there just because she’s famous or I want to “rub elbows” with celebrities which, by the way, seems like an obsession in your part. I have a feeling your one of those people who put on a nonchalant face but behind the facade, kinikilig at nagtiti-tili pag nakita si Nora Aunor.

I also noticed that you’re fond of using “street” language. What’s with that? US education and a taste of western lifestyle isn’t enough to shake off your former environment? For a highly educated person, as you claimed to be, I find inadequacy in your analytical reasoning. People less educated than you will have you for breakfast in MLQ3’s blog. Not “bilibabol” enough? Try this for size. I don’t write stuff full of “trashy slang” or post “second-hand” articles. Some call it “cut-and-paste” others call it “pseudo-plagiarism”. I call it “lack of imagination, creativity and sensibility”. Intelligence you may have but talent is something else to be desired. You see, I don’t find you obnoxious enough to warrant puking. Pathetic is a more appropriate description.

As for calling me “nerdy”, thank you. I’m proud of my “geekiness”. I can also pass a basketball in front of your face without you knowing what just transpired and play “chopstick” on the piano in 3 different tempos. My blog is my testament of my nerdiness.

You’ve said your piece and I’ve said mine. Let’s call it even. But unlike Trosp, I don’t go around making empty threats, however I do issue warnings. Don’t sass me again. If you think you’re “untouchable”, think some more. Me and my associates are in familiar territory while you and your cohorts does not possess that kind of expertise. I leave it at that. Happy holidays!

---------------0---------------
And as for this Pen Sortijas who keeps clogging my inbox with his/her complains: STOP it already, hindi ako ang Daddy mo!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Six Things That Make Me Happy

Happiness depends upon ourselves. – Aristotle

I was tagged by Ms. Jo of Wits&Nuts to do this meme. It’s about happiness. To list six simple things that makes me happy.

1. My daughter – there is nothing natural on the way we got her. She was conceived outside the womb and brought out to this world unconventionally. I don’t know if you can put a price tag on five years of trying, nine months of “bed rest” for my wife and an ample sum of our savings. But it’s all worth it. The sacrifices we made I deemed irrelevant compared to the joy and happiness she brings us everyday.

2. Food – I may scrimp on some things but never on food. A hearty meal always makes me happy. Drain it down with a can of soda, burp and light a cigarette. Ahh… satisfaction guaranteed.

3. Work – I find fulfillment every time I encounter something new, face a challenging task or laboring for days to solve a difficult problem and then all of a sudden, Eureka! Problem solved! It’s like having an adrenalin rush.

4. Alone – once in a while I like to be alone. I go to the rooftop for a few minutes to be on my own. To forget about the world and its troubles for a while and gather my thoughts, dream and fantasize.

5. Hobby – I’ve been doing doodle since childhood. And to put on paper something I composed in my head brings some sort of gratification.

6. Friends – no man is an island and friends are there to depend on, come sunshine or rain, share secrets and just someone to talk to. And true friends listen to your stories even if they’d heard it from you a hundred times.

Some people finds happiness in material thinks, others on influence. But finding happiness shouldn’t be complicated. Just being true to yourself, experiencing life as it comes and go and striving in making the best of what you got, creates contentment. Happiness is how you see the big picture. It is a state of mind.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Top 10 Expats/OFW Award

It was born when me and Mrs. Thoughtskoto was looking for some bloggers award and we notice no awards has been given to OFW or Expats bloggers. The Search Project was born out of the belief that even without monetary price, a mere recognition will make a blogger happy, as well as the instant fame which may come along with the winning. – Kenji (Organizer)




Twenty-eight days more and the race will come to its end. After that, the judges will tally the score. Popularity is just one criterion, the others are “blog content” and “metrics”.

Popularity
I guess, it mean, even if you ask, persuade or threaten all your relatives, friends and town mates to vote for you (although they don’t know what the hell their voting for), that isn’t enough. A “landslide” or a “run-away” candidate doesn’t guarantee a laurel wreath. You still have to hurdle two more obstacles.

Blog Content
Maybe this indicates you have to write something inspiring, thought provoking or informative. So forget about it if you post what you did in the bathroom last night or what you ate for breakfast this morning and what you did in your garden last Sunday.

Metrics
I presume this connote reader traffic in your blog. I don’t know how this is done. Counting visitors isn’t a good idea. Blog-hoppers might have just stumbled in your blog, find it boring and move on. My best bet is number of comments for each post. Zero comment may mean zero reader.

In conclusion, if you think this blog passed those 3 criteria, please vote for it. Pleeeease, I won’t take “no” for an answer. While you’re at it, please visit the following blogs;

Pamatay Homesick
Sari-saring Kulay
Sleepless In KL
Wits and Nuts

And if you find all of them interesting, don’t forget to vote for them too. Thank you.