Sunday, November 11, 2007
Prior to the arrival of the "sacadas," most of the farm workers in Hawaii were Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Portuguese. However, with the passage of the xenophobic Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, the supply of farm workers dwindled. When the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States for $20,000,000 in 1898, the plantation owners saw the former Las Islas Filipinas as a new source of farm workers.
Satisfied with the industriousness and traits of the 15 Ilocano "sacadas," the demand for Filipino farm workers increased. Ilocano and Visayan "sacadas" were recruited. By 1931, there were 115,000 "sacadas" in Hawaii. Today, the State of Hawaii boasts of 270,000 Filipinos comprising almost a quarter of the state's population.
Within a year of the arrival of the first batch of "sacadas" in Hawaii in 1906, the First Wave of Filipinos started to arrive in Hawaii and the US mainland, mostly in California. Filipinos also trekked to the canneries of Alaska. In addition to the farm workers, young Filipino students and scholars, supported by the Pensionado Act of 1903, studied in American universities. More than 14,000 "pensionados" graduated from prestigious American universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell. Most of the "pensionados" -- many of which took up Law and Engineering -- went back to the Philippines after they earned their degrees and served in key positions in the Philippine Commonwealth government. They became the role models for local university graduates who were motivated to serve their government which at that time signified the epitome of their careers. Some of the "pensionados" even ran for political offices. They became the new "ilustrados" of the American "Hollywood" Era.
When World War II started, thousands of the migrant Filipinos in America -- then known as the "manongs" -- joined the US army and became part of the US liberation forces. Since most of the "manongs" were unmarried due to the scarcity of Filipinas in the US and the ban on interracial marriages by the anti-miscegenation laws of California and several other states, they took advantage of their "homecoming." They did not waste any time looking for brides to bring back with them to America.
After the Philippines gained its independence in 1946, immigration trickled down to 50 a year, a number imposed by US immigration reforms enacted to control the influx of immigrants from certain countries. However, a lot of Filipinos who served in the US armed forces were granted American citizenship. Thus, the Second Wave of Filipino immigrants began. In addition, the US Navy started recruiting Filipinos as stewards. A lot of them were assigned to the White House serving all the presidents from the time of President Truman. Today, the Chief Cook in the White House is a Filipina.
In 1965, the US Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1965 which increased the immigration quota to 20,000 per year per country. The new law gave preference to professionals and relatives of American citizens. The Third Wave of Filipino immigrants began to arrive.
In the 1970s, Middle Eastern countries with their "petrodollars," started recruiting skilled workers from other countries. Thus, the "Overseas Filipino Worker" (OFW) was born. Mostly equipped with a college degree or technical skill and the ability to communicate in English, thousands of OFWs sought employment in the oil fields of the Middle East.
Consequently, employment opportunities were found in other countries as well. The reputation of Filipinos as industrious, efficient, and literate in English became the OFWs' ticket to job opportunities in more than 100 countries. Today, 3,500 Filipinos leave each day for overseas job placements.
The economic impact of the 8.1 million OFWs is the bedrock of the Philippines' financial stability. Recently, the Philippine government announced that from January through October 2005, remittances from overseas Filipinos totaled $8.83 billion which included $5.32 billion from the US. This amount did not include money sent by other means outside of Philippine banks. It is estimated that the total amount of remittances is more than $21 billion per year.
A century after the "Filipino Diaspora" began, a global Filipino nation emerged. The Philippines' borders are now just imaginary lines demarcating the country's political boundaries. However, a borderless Global Filipino nation has superimposed itself on Earth. With the passage of the Philippines' Dual Citizenship Law, overseas Filipinos can now retain their Filipino citizenship.
With the advent of globalization, the Filipinos have become the most competitive labor group among nations. Other countries -- e.g., China and India -- are now preparing their citizens to compete in the global labor market by encouraging them to learn English as a second language. It is ironic, however, that the Philippines -- whose immersion in English has been its best advantage in the global labor market -- is heading towards changing its medium of instruction from English to the Tagalog-based Filipino.
There is even a small group of Filipinos who want to preserve the indigenous languages by using them as the medium of instruction in their respective regions. But what good would it be if Filipinos become proficient in their indigenous language and lose their ability to communicate in the global community? How could they compete in the global labor market without any knowledge of English, the universal lingua franca?
Filipinos should not lose sight of the fact that the 8.1 million overseas Filipinos in more than 100 countries in the world are the ones who are fueling the Philippine economy with their "Pinoydollars." The Philippine government should make all efforts to prepare its citizens for competitiveness and job placements not only within its territorial boundaries but in every country in the world. After all, the Number One beneficiary is our "Inang Bayan," Filipinas.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I am glad I took this picture. This will be my constant reminder to give myself a timeout and rethink how I can move forward again without the pervading sense of urgency surrounding me. Maybe next time, you will see me sitting under that Dita tree.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Whatever your political opinion is, or even if you don't have one, watch this video. It's worth knowing the truth, if in case it really IS the truth. And if it's not, at least you know that things could be worse.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So this good friend once mentioned that he was willing to be my financial planner. But we were drinking that time and we were humoring my spending habits so I didn't think he was serious. And I would guess he didn't think I was serious about my problem either. I talk about it all the time that it has probably lost its "value". Almost short of saying, it's already become a joke.
To cut the long story short, Steve offered again tonight. And he seems to be serious about it. He seems to already know which of my expenses are unnecessary and how much I REALLY am capable of saving. I am impressed, really. It almost seems to me like he's reviewed my financial profile all those nights we were out getting hammered and trying to get a decent lay.
Immediately before I started writing this blog, we were chatting online about this. It got me quite excited and here's why---
He doesn't ask for anything unreasonable in return. Nothing unreasonable --- not even sexual favors from me or any of my friends *winks at Steve*. He knows his Math. He will educate me on Excel. He promised he will never ask to be the sgnatory of my bank account. He doesn't intimidate me with all those sickening financial jargon. He talks sense. And an observation based on friendship, he is rational. (Too rational in fact, that he overanalyzes even matters of the heart)
But come to think of it, all the basic principles that he's mentioned from the first time ever that we talked about money, I've already heard and read about. His offer is just more difficult to resist because of his scientific approach. Hello! Microsoft Excel! Well, that and the fact that I've come to a point that I know that I really have to start doing something about my finances.
Then he said it. What I knew was the ultimate solution but wished he'd be more scrupulous in telling me --- I'll have to be ready. More than anything, it's a complete change in lifestyle. That means cutting down on shopping, abstaining from too many night-outs, and less rendezvous with Collins. It's quite daunting, I must admit. But it's necessary.
The thing is, my willpower, valid reasoning and sound judgement don't always triumph over my impulsiveness. They rarely do, actually. Even with their powers combined. There's only one way that could possibly defeat my being a spendthrift. From the words of Dan, Julius and Chris, I have to be addicted to saving up.
How can I do that?
Thursday, October 4, 2007
1. Publish a posting (Bulletin Board, Forum, Blog, Social Network, Static Website…) on the 4th of October with the header: “Free Burma!”
2. Tag it if you can with “Free Burma”
3. Choose a grafic from our Grafics page and
4. Link to www.free-burma.org there your readers will find some informations about the campaign and Burma and a participant list which you can join. Even if you're a webmaster of a bulletin board or social network you will find a special Group List to join.
5. Add our Petition Widget to your blog/website.
6. Feel free to write any additional text you want.
If you have no website or blog we need you even more: Please help us to spread the word across the internet, tell your neighbours, friends or kids and first of all: Sign our list of participants!
Spread the word
Please help to spread the word about the Free Burma! action.
Comment on blogs to promote our campaign, write website owners and forum admins to inform them, post on forums and guestbooks, tell your whole neighborhood about us.
Spread the Graphics
Please use one of the these graphics for your blog/forum/website post or pick one from our Flickr group.
Pls. Visit SUGARKURLS
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Just when we had a positive citation of Filipinos in the international media scene, this nasty issue popped up:
#20 - Teri Hatcher insults Filipinos
So now of course the country is up in arms and an online petition has been started against both ABC and the producers of Desperate Housewives for the racial slur. The local blogosphere is pretty miffed about it as well - just check out some of the Filipino blogs you might already read and you can expect this to be mentioned within the week.
Why do we always get into these things? Before it was about being a country known for our maids - now they're claiming we have hack doctors too? Geez.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Way back before the colonial times, the Philippines have never been under a single flag. Different islands, valleys or plateaus have their own groups and governments. When the Spaniards came, they used these divisions to rule us for 3 centuries. Even now, you could see those divisions. Ilocanos, Kapampangans, Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Muslims, Bisaya... From past til the present people are more identified with their ethnic groups more than their identity as Filipinos. Only when we move out of our country could we identify ourselves.
This divisiveness, caused mainly by the geographic feature of our country, causes problems to our society today. We can't move forward because somehow we don't trust each other. Only in few historical events seemed that Filipinos could unite, and after these moments, we disintengrate again.
I'm not sure if we could correct this, for these divisions run very deep. With the current political and economic situation, these rifts grow more --- further dividing our already divided society.
As compared to our ASEAN neighbors, most of them have attained prosperity after unification or at least minimizing divisions. That's what this country lacks, the sense of unity under a single identity as Filipinos.
Sure, we could blame corruption, graft and endless wars as the problem. But if we as a people stood up against these, will these problems prevail? No one can challenge the will of a united 80 million Filipinos.
Think about it. If a person's hands, feet, mouth, and eyes have their own will and cannot act as one, can he do something?
The same is what happening to our society ever since.
*** thanks for adding me at United SEA. more power to you guys.
There's no point in letting the whole world know what's going in my own lil world. Im losing my sense of privacy.
I got a card from a friend from way back says there " You are a beautiful person, come out of your shell. Let your love be felt by everybody."
See I used to be a private person, I don't talk much about what I feel. I goof up, play around but I don't talk about "me". My friends can attest to that.
But 2006 was a year of revelation, a year of maturity in many ways.
I've done so many stupid things. I lost and I gained.
I lost control of my emotions, I lost a friend and so on and so forth.
All along I thought that I'm 22 so I must, should, could, release my inhibitions, live my life to the fullest.
No regrets. It made me who I am today gained me anew set of friends.
But now that I'm 23 there are some things that I must change and things that I need to bring back to my life.
One of them is privacy. I realized that it really helps to talk about what you feel, what's going on with your life.
But it's not healthy to talk about it 24/7.
I apologize to those ears I have busted... Appreciate it guys.
The past few months has been very challenging for me. I went through a series of contemplation, soul searching. 'Guess its what they called the phase of "trying twenties".
I have been trying to understand myself, what I feel and what's going on with my life. Why can't my life be the way I wanted it to be or the way I planned it.
Why can't I have the people I want to be in my life? Why cant I do the things I've been dying to do?.. and etc.
It was mind boggling, heart crushing and my only outlet was to talk about it with my friends.. I talk about every little thing and it felt good. Talking about "me" is really something new.
I enjoyed the feeling of being free to speak up, letting everybody know what I have in mind, what my plans are in the future.
But today I realized there's still something missing, I was so busy talking about "me" that I forgot about "me". That might be confusing to some but to me it's crystal clear.
Im always searching, whining, wishing. Frustrated and desperate to find the answer I look inside myself what is it that I really want to do with my life?
and why cant fate agree with me...And the answer is simple Heavenly Father wants me to listen.
Simply listen to what he has to say. I now finally admit that I can't handle all these trials by myself so now I'm saying "JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL"
- and what's that exactly got to do with me bringing back privacy.
My friends won't hear me whining, or talk about my "bandido-soulmate', my future plans will be between me and God.
I've talked to my friends, my family but nothing beats pouring your heart out to your Father in Heaven.
Cheers to me getting in control with my life again. Looking forward to a better "me".
join my journey visit http://sugarkurls.blogspot.com
Monday, September 17, 2007
"Now for your *third* wish, what will it be?"
"Third wish?" The man was baffled
"How can it be a third wish if I haven't had a first and second wish?"
"You've had two wishes already," the hag said
"but your second wish was for me to return everything to the way it was before you had made your first wish. That's why you remember nothing; because everything is the way it was before you made any wishes."
She cackled at the poor man, "so it is that you have one with left."
"All right," said the man
" I don't believe this; but there's no harm in wishing. I wish to know who I am"
"Funny," said the old woman as she granted his wish and disapeared forever,
"That was your first wish."
- Planescape Torment
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Last week, Ellen*, one of my fellow dancers came rushing out of the stage after our final pose, pissed by a Chinese kid sitting with his mom in the audience. The kid was around 8. During the part where we, the dancers go up the bleachers to interact with the spectators, he reached for Ellen's hand and had her touch his stiff dick while he stared amusingly at Ellen's boobs.
Friday, August 24, 2007
If Southeast Asia is an office that opens at 7am, Burma would be 30 minutes too early. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam would just be on time but Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines would be an hour late. An office with half of its staff coming in late wouldn’t do the job efficiently, would it?
Our region is in 4 Time Zones (UTC+6.30, +7, +8 and +9). Indonesia is the only country that uses 3 time zones from +7 to +9 and Burma is the only country that uses +6.30. If you would look closely at the map; Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is in line with Bangkok and Jakarta is in line with Hanoi at +7 -- but they are on a different time zone (+8). They share it with Manila, which is hundreds of miles east of Thailand. Have you ever wondered why?
In 1981, Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammad changed their time zone to +8 to unify East and West Malaysia. And for economic cooperation, the great Lee Kwan Yew followed suit for Singapore because they will be in an awkward position. Meaning technically, the Philippines and Brunei should be the only countries in the +8 time zone.
If Southeast Asia is a hospital and baby Burma came in at 6:30 with an asthma attack, she has to wait 30 minutes to see if Dr. Thailand or Nurse Vietnam got a Ventolin inhaler. But when they came in at 7.00-- they don’t have any. Meanwhile, old Mrs. Laos and baby Cambodia came in with an asthma attack too! Now all of them -- panicked and all -- have to wait another hour to see if Dr. Singapore, Dr. Malaysia or Nurse Philippines have the inhaler. Unfortunately, when they came in at 8.00, it turned out that Dr. Indonesia got the inhaler but he’ll come in at 9.00! Now the hospital is in one BIG 2 ½ hour mess! An utter tragedy!
The ASEAN Common Time is an idea by the ASEAN to adapt a standard time for all member countries. The initiative will unify our great region – economic wise, for efficiency and mutual benefits.
If we can come to the office all at the same time, we can finish more work. And if we can come to the hospital altogether, we can relieve more patients and efficiently solve the problems.
What do you think?
-- Pisanu, Thailand
As posted on BISEAN
Sunday, August 19, 2007
(Part 2 of 2) Before going on to the rest of the guidelines, check out Part 1 first.
Converse As Quietly As You
Play Safe. Especially when you’re up for a quickie, always check if there are cameras installed in the elevator. Don’t be stupid, they are not installed there for nothing. Spare yourself from humiliation by simply keeping the “urge” to yourself.
Those are just simple rules but often neglected. There are actually just a handful of Filipinos who act according to acceptable standards and yet again, culture has something to do with it. I sometimes find myself wondering how our educational institutions, and the system itself, respond to this idiosyncrasy. I can see that together with the government and the media, our schools have greater control in shaping up a person’s ethical behavior.
As you can see, the simple things that we do affect our overall image as a person, as part of the society and as a nation. To those who are working as part of the corporate world, you may have observed that blue-collar workers pay a special respect to white-collar employees. At the age of 20, I feel privileged each time our security guard and maintenance people call me Sir (sometimes followed by my first name). At first, I thought that’s only because they don’t know my name but I realized that it’s actually because they look up to me as a fitting example of an educated man.That’s more than just boosting one’s ego; I feel that everybody should set an example to others as well. Just keep in mind that wherever and whenever we face a crowd, even inside the elevator, we should never give them a reason to frown.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The issue about the "not-the-best singer in the Philippines" Vina Morales defeating the "best singer in Malaysia" Jaclyn Victor at the recently-concluded Ikon Asean competition continues to be discussed, almost violently, by fans of both singers.
Some Jac fans claimed that she was robbed of the title, while others say that she wasn't at here element. Meanwhile, some Pinoys even criticized Vina as below par, that the likes of Regine Velasquez should have been in Ikon (Asia's Songbird didn't join). Others even joked that Jaclyn wouldn't even win "Tanghalan ng Kampeon" (Championship Stage, our version of "Star Search" back in the day). We Pinoys never seem to run out of naysayers, ano?
And I don't wanna even delve on the "ad hominems" on how we Pinoys are being "teased" by our Malaysian neighbors as their maids and prostitutes. That's another story.
Here are the performance clips of the two singers and we shall analyze it one by one. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Jac and I used to call Vina the lone female member of "The Maskulados." That makes the analysis even.
Let's start with Jaclyn's first song choice, a medley of three songs composed by P. Ramlee.
They say that she was pitchy in places, but I barely noticed them. The problem is that even though she sang three different songs, it sounds monotonous to me. Oh, did you notice how she handled the mic? I'll talk about that later.
Then we go to Vina's first song, "Pangako Sa Iyo" (A Promise to You).
It was not surprising that she would sing this in Ikon Asean. It's the theme song of the soap opera of the same title, which was very popular in Malaysia. It was a great choice for Vina because it definitely connected her to the dominantly Malay audience, and it also has a lot of high and long notes giving Vina a lot of chances for her to show her vocal range without having to ad lib like in Jac's case.
Now here are the second performance videos. We go back to Jaclyn and her winning song back in Malaysian Idol, Gemilang.
At least Jac rebounded here. She hit the notes almost right and she made good use of her really powerful voice. However, I'm really bothered by the way she handles the microphone. You know, once she sings the high notes she puts the mic on her forehead. I know that's called style, but where I come from, putting the mic away from your mouth when singing the high notes means you're cheating. Jac made it appear that she couldn't reach the high notes so she would put the mic away from her mouth and it wouldn't sound too obvious.
You would never see that being done by Filipino singers. In fact, if you watch Vina's Pangako Sa Iyo video, she would even put the mic closer to her mouth when she sang the high notes.
Anyway, back to Vina. She performs a dance track "Feels So Nice."
I understand that she chose this so she would show off her dance skills. Catch is, singing and dancing at the same time is pretty tiring, and you would hear Vina catching her breath in some instances. But overall, she performed well in this song, and by that time her fate was sealed anyway.
That's why, I think, Vina won.
Oh by way, can I just say that the female host in Ikon Asean was so inconsiderate. Can't she explain her lines in English for the benefit of non-Malay speakers...like us? Buti pa si Angela Chow kada koda niya ng Chinese sa Miss World may-I-explain agad sa Inggles.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Typhoon signal no. 8 was hoisted today at around 1:30pm in HK, as the strong winds of Tropical Storm Pabuk's speed exceeded 62 kph.
After receiving the announcement that our afternoon shows were already cancelled and that we were to leave work pronto, Dan and I decided to go on an impromptu shopping in Mongkok. In took us less than a minute after getting out of the train station to realize that even business establishments closed down and that everybody (probably except us) was rushing home. We headed towards the ladies' market anyway, which looks like this on a regular day:
This is what we found instead:
Ghost town. Well, not really. There were a few people on the street --- half-naked, hunky chinese and middle-eastern men running back and forth, trying to save their merchandise from getting wet. Quite a sight, I should say!
We decided to head to Langham Place. It's a mall, for crying out loud! It's made of concrete and the engineering is quite advanced. We were sure it wasn't threatened by the scare of a typhoon. In Manila, in our younger years, and even until now, as soon as the teacher announced suspension of classes, everybody heads to the mall. We were wrong. That's not the case in HK.
It seemed like there was no other option but to go home and just spend the afternoon sleeping. We got in at around 6pm and started to make sotanghon for dinner. A few minutes later, I got an sms from Joseph, the manager of Volume which read:
Typhoon party tonight at Volume! 2-4-1 drinks
extended until 12!
Ok, I must admit, that was quite enticing. But because of what I had witnessed earlier on, I was just scared to go out. So I didn't. And I was thankful I didn't go, despite Chris's eager invitation to go with him. A few minutes later, we got news that the train service has stopped because of the inclement weather. Lawrence, a friend of mine, was in Central station and took this video:
It's a bit of a bore how HK welcomes tropical disturbances. I grew up in Manila where typhoons flooding were nothing extraordinary. I grew up seeing roofs flying in the air with the strong wind and trees just collapsing in the streets. I remember watching the news one stormy afternoon when I was a kid, where the field correspondent had herself tied to a post while reporting on-cam so as not to be blown away by the wind. The university I went to was on the street that flooded after just an hour of continuous downpour. I have walked more than 2 kilometers going home from the university, half of my body submerged in dirty, murky, smelly flood --- along with a host of other people: fellow students, faculty, robbers, snatchers, employees, etc. (and along with other elements as well. i.e., a dead rat, a swimming dog, and a drowning cat). It was gross! But it was fun.
My french ex-boyfriend witnessed this once and he said nothing but: "It's like Disneyland!"
Sunday, August 12, 2007
(Part 1 of 2)
The elevator is where people with different orientations flock together. So whether you are the most popular person in your neighborhood, a member of a royal family in the United Kingdom of Tondo, or Gretchen Barretto, you can make this world a better place if you can act in such a way that other people would feel respected or valued as a divine creation or at least as human beings.
Be Generous. We all know that you’re in a hurry and needs to Bundy as soon as possible, but you have to stretch your patience a bit longer by pressing the open-the-door button if you see somebody approaching the elevator. Don’t embarrass the poor soul to everybody else around by letting the door closed itself when he is just a few seconds late.
Always Face The Door. No matter how crowded it is inside the elevator, make sure that you’re facing its doors while it is taking you to your ultimate destination. Never face the rest of the crowd unless you want them to discover a new planet next to Planet Zit in the universe disguised as your face.
Don't Fart. If you feel that something odd is gaining power inside your tummy, you can save yourself from embarrassment by letting that fart out before going in for the ride. Or if you’re inside the elevator already, try to hold on for a second. Please be considerate to others as this is undeniably gross.(To be continued…)
(This article was originally posted by Reyville for Simply Manila. Can I be the "How To" guy for this blog? HaHa. Just kidding, seriously kidding.)
Friday, August 10, 2007
Let's not worry first about why or how the Filipinos disappeared; in fact, it becomes academic whether it's a day or a week. Just imagine a world without Filipinos.
Think of the homes that are dependent on Filipino housekeepers, nannies, caregivers. The homes would be chaotic as kids cry out for their nannies. Arabs, Hong Kong and Singaporean and Taiwanese yuppie couples are now forced to stay home and realizing, goodness, there's so much of housework that has to be handled and how demanding their kids can be and hey, what's this strange language they're babbling in?
It's not just the children that are affected. The problems are even more serious with the elderly in homes and nursing institutions, because Filipino caregivers have provided so much of the critical services they need. When temporary contractual workers are brought in from among non-Filipinos, the elderly complain. They want their Filipino caregivers back because they have that special touch, that extra patience and willingness to stay an hour more when needed.
Hospitals, too, are adversely affected because so many of the disappeared Filipinos were physicians, nurses and other health professionals. All appointments for rehabilitation services, from children with speech problems to stroke survivors, are indefinitely postponed because of disappeared speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists!
Eventually, the hospital administrators announce they won't take in any more patients unless the conditions are serious. Patients are told to follow their doctors' written orders and, if they have questions, to seek advice on several Internet medical sites. But within two days, the hospitals are swamped with new complaints. The web sites aren't working because of missing Filipino web designers and web site managers.
Service establishments throughout the world -- restaurants, supermarkets, hotels -- all close down because of their missing key staff involved in management and maintenance. In Asia , hotels complain about the missing bands and singers.
In the United States , many commercial establishments have to close shop, not just because of the missing Filipino sales staff but because their suppliers have all been sending in notices about delays in shipments. Yup, the shipping industry has gone into a crisis because of missing Filipino seafarers.
The shipping firms begin to look into the emergency recruitment of non-Filipino seafarers but then declare another crisis: They're running out of supplies of oil for their ships because the Middle Eastern countries have come to a standstill without their Filipino workers, including quite a few working for the oil industry.
Frantic presidents and prime ministers call on the United Nations to convene a special session of the Security Council but Ban Ki-Moon says he can't do that because the UN system itself is on the edge, with so many of their secretarial and clerical staff, as well as translators, having disappeared from their main headquarters in New York and Geneva, as well as their regional offices throughout the world. Quite a number of UN services, especially refugee camps, are also in danger of closing down because of missing Filipino health professionals and teachers.
Ban Ki-Moon also explains that he can't convene UN meetings because the airports in New York , Washington and other major US cities have been shut down. The reason? The disappeared Filipinos included quite a few airport security personnel who used to check passengers and their baggage.
Ban Ki-Moon calls on the World Bank and international private foundations for assistance but they're crippled, too, because their Filipino consultants and staff are nowhere to be seen. Funds can't be remitted and projects can't run without the technical assistance provided for by Filipinos.
An exasperated Ban Ki-Moon calls on religious leaders to pray, and pray hard. But when he phones the Pope, he is told the Catholic Church, too, is in crisis because the disappeared include the many Filipino priests and nuns in Rome who help run day-to-day activities, as well as missionaries in the front lines of remote posts, often the only ones providing basic social services.
As they converse, Ban Ki-Moon and the Pope agree on one thing: the world has become a quieter place since the Filipinos disappeared. It isn't just the silencing of work and office equipment formerly handled by Filipinos; no, it seems there's much less laughter now that the Filipinos aren't around, both the laughter of the Filipinos and those they served.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The 2007 Mid-Year Edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities was released last Wednesday (01 August). This lists the Top 500 Universities of the World and here is the list of the Top Universities in Southeast Asia.
1. National University of Singapore
2. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3. Kasetsart University, Thailand
4. Chulalongkorn University, Thailand *Yipeeee!*
5. Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
6. Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
7. Chiang Mai University, Thailand
8. Thammasat University, Thailand
9. Assumption University of Thailand
10. Khon Khaen University, Thailand
Is your school on the Top 20?
And here are the remaining 10:
11. Mahidol University, Thailand
12. Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
13. Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia
14. Universiti Sains Malaysia
15. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
16. Multimedia University, Malaysia
17. University of the Philippines-Diliman
18. Universiti Putra Malaysia
19. University Malaya, Malaysia
20. King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand
Still not there? -- oh well.
Is your school on the Top 100 at least?
--Pisanu for BISEAN, Thailand
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Regulation of the Labour laws had been passed by Southeast Asian countries aimed at improving the standard of living for its citizens working in the region.
The new Philippine government regulations, passed in December last year, require GCC employers to pay a minimum salary of $400 a month to any Filipino working as domestic help – double the previous minimum salary of $200.
Employers are also required to sign a declaration stipulating that they will pay a daily fine of around $13 if they do not pay workers on time.
While Indonesian authorities have ruled to increase the wages of its citizens working as maids in Saudi Arabia from $160 to $213 a month from August 1, 2007
The said minimum salary regulations are not binding on any of the GCC’s six member states.
GCC Committee for Importing Foreign Workers agreed to lobby authorities to stop importing Filipinos while Saudi recruitment agencies have threatened to petition the government to stop issuing work visas to Indonesians after the Southeast Asian country’s decision to raise the minimum wage for Indonesian maids working in Saudi Arabia.
I worked in the Gulf States for almost five years and I think it is about time someone took a stand on this, I've seen workers (not necessarily domestic helpers and not only Filipino) basically treated like slaves. They have to pay their sponsor, tickets to and from home country and then spend up to three years without a break, often in debt so they cannot afford to leave of their own free will.
There's nothing bad protecting your own people. Giving better compensation to employees, most especially house assistants/housemaids, will benefit the employers/sponsors the most. Filipino workers (or other nationalities), will of course display efficient / excellent performance, will often give satisfying results, if they are paid and treated well. Always remember, since the topic is Filipino Housemaids - employers MUST extend full and humanely support to these workers, because these Filipino housemaids are the ones taking care of simple to royal families, children and olds alike are entrusted to them, your food and even the utmost confidential issues and things at your home front. And yet, the Philippine Govt. is aggressively finding solutions to improve the works and the welfare of the Filipino workers, which, then and again will have an optimistic effect to their superiors wherever they maybe.
On the other hand, the GCC have the right to govern themselves as they see fit. It's the GCC residents' decision to hire and pay who and what they want. It's the simple economic principle of Supply and Demand. If the Philippines make the supply more expensive the demand will drop and the GCC consumers will look elsewhere. The GCC doesn't owe the Filipino's anything further than that.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
There were the different kinds of tag-and-you're-it games. It took me two days to actually remember the chant for Langit-Lupa.
Langit, lupa, impyernoAll players make a circle and say the chant in a singsong manner while pointing at each player for every syllable. Whoever gets the last syllable will be that first taya ("it") of the game. Everybody then scrams around looking for places that are higher than the ground to reach langit (heaven) where they cannot be tagged. You can only be tagged if you are standing on lupa (earth) or a place that's level with the ground. It's usually agreed upon before the game begins that when you're taya and you tag someone else to be the new taya, then he or she cannot tag you back. The game ends when almost everyone is tired or most of the players are called home (usually by one of their parents shouting their names from their homes).
Saksak puso, tulo ang dugo
Maalis ka na diyaan.
Kompyang is another way to determine who will be taya in a given game. everyone puts out their hand palms down and shouts "maiba taya!" After shouting the seemingly necessary sentence, everyone raises their hands ever so slightly and puts it down again either palms-down or palms-up. Whoever has the different hand will become taya. If there nobody has a different hand, then the players who have the hand that showed up fewest are taken out of the kompyang round. So if there are five players who have their palms up and the other three have their palms down, then the three are exempt from becoming the first taya. The remaining five players will do the kompyang again until a taya is chosen.
There's also prikidam 1-2-3. I don't even know why it's called that. Some of my friends tell me the game's name is really "piggy-down." But we agreed that it's also called agawan-base. This is a tag game that uses more strategy than langit-lupa. Everybody gathers round and puts one of their hands. Everyone does the kompyang, but instead of choosing one player to become taya, two players will become team leaders. Then they get to choose their teammates from the remaining players. Each team chooses a base (usually a big gate or a tree). There are two ways to win this game: by taking over the opposing team's base or by holding all opponents hostage.
To take over the opposing team's base, the whole team must touch the opponent's base without getting tagged and shout "prikidam." Again, I am boggled by how this word came to be.
When a player is tagged or caught by an opponent, he or she becomes a hostage and is trapped in the opposing team's base and must keep one hand in contact with that base. Usually a member of the team who caught the hostage will keep an eye on the base to make sure that the hostage does not escape. When another hostage is taken, they hold hands and stretch their hands as far as possible to that they can be rescued easily. Only the first hostage is required to physically stay in contact with the opponent's base. All hostages are rescued when someone from the hostage's team taps them.
(to be continued in another post)
I am a mother
I am a father
I am a daughter
I am a son
I am a sister
I am a brother
I am a neighbor
I am a friend
I am a teacher
I am a librarian
I am a firefighter
I am an officer
I am a clerk
I am a writer
I am an artist
I am a doctor
I am a council member
I am a judge
I am a mayor
I am a town trustee
I am a broker
I am a customer representative
I am a governor
I am a telemarketer
I am a television celebrity
I am a religious person
I am straight
I am bisexual
I am transgendered
I am gay
I am lesbian
I am judged
Each of these are things a person can identify with in their own lives. some may not seem to have any connection to others and yet, they have a single similarity. Each one could be someone we see every day, perhaps someone we know and care about. We take an immediate glance at the one statement that we hope is not true of the people in our lives, dreading the possibility.
Doing so makes the final statement true. We begin imagining how this possibility will change relationships and the perceived betrayal of not knowing before. We already place doubts upon the one person who is most likely to fit the stereotype. We cast the thought aside, telling ourselves that we have only been paranoid about the idea of the possibility.
Yet we neglect to cast aside the doubt. It gnaws at the back of our minds, causes us to seek out our perceived truth. Our judgement has been cast until we find the proof that we are wrong.
There are but few who can read these statements without experiencing the paranoia, accepting each without doubt as they are read. These are the open-minded people from which to learn.
How open minded are we?
Take the statements that speak of who we are, pass it on to those we trust, and seek wisdom in truth.
Who am I?
I am a human
I am a son
I am a brother
I am a neighbor
I am a friend
I am a teacher
I am a clerk
I am a writer
I am a religious person
I am bisexual
I am judged.
I've been tagged as a contributor for the United SEA blog for some time now. I admit I've been trying to get a feel for what direction the entries should be geared towards before getting into serious posting. I guess that time is more than up, eh?
The discussions centered around the 12th ASEAN summit seem a prime choice for discussion here, more so this year's summit given the controversies around the formation of a Human Rights body.
One of the biggest failings of the ASEAN, in my opinion, has been the standing policy of "non-interference" in the vaguely termed "internal affairs" of member countries. The policy seems so Asian in itself that we would rather allow whatever travesties to happen in fellow nations out of some sense of courtesy to the other. Under the banner of non-inteference we've seen the cases of the likes of Anwar Ibrahmim move along unchallenged or the continued imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from Myanmar prison.
The consensus to create a human rights body is a tremendous move for the group and a very large step that will require a lot of changes, especially related to the non-interference policy that has so long protected the practice of human rights violations within the region.
The discussions came along in line with current discussions to revise the ASEAN charter before November of this year to redefine the organization and make it more akin to the European Union, which the group is now trying to emulate. This makes perfect sense given the mixed progress over the years with the ASEAN unable to really promote meaningful changes amongst the member nations as much as it would like to.
The debates around the formation of a human rights body were largely opposed, of course, by Myanmar given their own shady practices at times that have often been met with international outrage if not suspicion. Also affected are Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam are all run by either authoritarian or single-party governments who may have some difficulty with dealing with a regional human rights body with its accompanying rules and regulations.
I'm in full support of this move by the Association - human rights should be protected regardless of nationality or personal beliefs since these are fundamental rights entitled to everyone. These should not be subject to the petty internal politics or the opinions of any one government. However in order for this body to be meaningful within the region, this will mean completely turning their backs on the older policy of non-interference. In place of this would be a greater sense of regional social responsibility driven by the need to care and be concerned about what is going on beyond one's own borders.
It's time we stop being silent about the abuses going on just next door - if we truly believe in human rights and how fundamental rights, then we defintely need to strike harder to get all thius one. Through this, I expect we'll benefit from having a stronger regional voice in the form of the ASEAN and its human rights body along wtih greater interdependence among member nations.
It's time we stepped up to the plate and really show everyone what this region is truly capable of and that it's not just about the US or the EU anymore. The ASEAN wants to sit at the big adults table now as a true global power to be respected and dealt with equitably as opposed to being a loose association of nations that gets little done if only in an effort not to offend one another.
It's a bold move and one that's long overdue. Let's hope that we get through the many changes involved leading to this next evoutionary step in the organization's path towards becoming much more than it is now.
- Inquirer.net: ASEAN still at odds on rights, charter
- International Herald Tribune: Asean foreign ministers overcome Myanmar resistance at Manila meeting and agree on human rights commission
- CNN.com: Myanmar agrees to human-rights body
My friend Blogie has asked my help in promoting the You Got Blogged! Review-a-Blog contest hosted by DigitalFilipino.com and his own MindanaoBloggers.com.
The contest is pretty straight forward - write a review about any of the blogs found on the Mindanao Bloggers Directory in line with the standards documented in this post and you're eligible to win as much as $150! Seriously!
And while we're on the subject, stay tuned as well for the 1st Mindanano Bloggers Summit to be held in Davao City on October 27, 2007. This is a pretty tremendous undertaking for our friends in the south so if you're in the area or planning to be come October, we'd greatly appreciate if you extended your full support for making this event a success!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Posting one of these lucky icons on your blog would not only banish bad luck -- but it would also guarantee, beyond reasonable doubt, that all your wildest dreams would come true (and not to mention that your blog design would significantly improve as well). :-)
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s pull our positive energies together by supporting United SEA blog and watch our bad luck disappear!
If you are a contributor to this blog; copy-paste the codes below to add this picture link to your blog and start changing your fortune.
If you’re not a member but would like to see your dreams come true; copy-paste the codes below to add this picture link to your blog/website.
Or if you would like a simpler lucky icon; copy-paste the codes below to get this picture link.
On behalf of my co-authors on this blog; we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Friday, July 27, 2007
For instance, let me tell you a story about a group of gays going to Starbucks:
Tom Jones ang mga bekla kaya gora ever sa mall para lumafang. Una nilang jonta ang nyudkort, kaya lang maraming utaw. Go naman sa Nyorbaks, kaya lang can't afford pala ang drama ng iba. Sey nga ni Kimberly, Mahalia Mendez daw ng kape, juwi na lang siya later para mag-Nescafe. Warla ngayon si Georgette, ang Rica Boom Boom ng federasyon. Tom Cruise na talaga siya't wai na patience, kaya shuwag ever siya sa kanyang chimini ah ah. "Yaya, dalhin mo ditech ang anda," sey ng bakla.
Just like any slang, Filipino gay lingo started out with replacing certain words with another term. For example, we say "award" instead of "embarrassed." We say "bet" instead of "boy crush." Eventually, gays learn to speak with a colorful vocabulary, using certain key rules:
* The J Law - Replacing the first letter of a word with "J."
Jowa - Asawa (husband, boyfriend)
Jonta - Punta (to go to a place)
Jubis - Obese
* The KY/ NY Law - Replacing the first letter with "Ky" or "Ny."
Kyota - Bata (Children)
Nyorts - A pair of shorts
* The Name Game - Replacing a word with a name (usually that of a celebrity) that sounds like it.
Julie Yap-Daza - Huli (to get caught)
Gelli de Belen - Jealous
Carmi Martin - Karma
* Plus - Adding an extra syllable, extra letters, or extra words to create a different word.
Crayola - Cry
Thunder Cats - Tanda (an old person; the slang is often called to an old gay man)
Pagoda Cold Wave Lotion - Pagod (tired)
The use of gay lingo was firstly because to avoid having other people hear what you are talking about, especially when it comes to sex. This is also a means of defying the cultural norms and creating an identity of their own.
Gay speak evolves really fast, with obsolete words and phrases being rewritten and replaced especially when non-gays learn what it means. Saying "Ano'ng happening" (What are your plans for tonight) would make you associated with the 1980s.
This language define the Philippine gay culture, and it would probably stay that way for quite a while.
We fearlessly praise our own country on the internet. We are proud of ourselves. We show the world how beautiful our country and how rich our culture is. We tell them we are the best; we are achievers, talented, intelligent, beautiful people. We even declare an all out war on the Internet when somebody disagrees.
All of it, of course, is already known to the world…we just keep repeating ourselves and sound like a broken record.
Although we are living in the age of information, I'm sure there are still many great things that are untold and you take pride of...
Sunday, July 22, 2007
In terms of Carnival Culture, our generation can well be defined by one of our favorite rides --- the bumper cars.
I’ve just recently been to the AIA World Carnival and, true enough, the bumper cars were one of the favorites because the attraction catered to almost everybody. It was neither too daring for the frail-hearted who couldn’t do the near-death-experience rides nor too boring for the thrill-seekers.
After a little over an hour of waiting, I found myself immersed in the chaos, that was one of the bumper cars’ most inviting features. Everyone was just having a blast slamming his car into other people’s and it seemed that the bumping arena was the only place in the carnival where solidarity was present. Strangers just kept screaming and laughing at each other to add fun to what may seem to be a bit of danger. It was amazing how much of a ball people could get from free-for-all chaos.
Having witnessed and experienced all this, I just couldn’t help but ask myself: “Are we a generation of closet anarchists?”
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Conformity. A grip that holds many of us here. Follow, tow the line. Listen and shut the fuck up. Conformity. Shaped by traditions, manipulated by the ones in the seats. Justified for keeping the status quo, weak as tea diluted by time. We watch, with envy at the imperfections of our neighbors from around the world and wish we had their problems. We look into their gardens and say, yeah at least they can put up signs that say, “We will walk on the damn grass if we so wish.” Conformity. The death grip that does not allow for any slack. Conformity that promotes fear, be afraid that your choice of walking on the grass could get you into deep shit. Fear that manifests into allegorical tales and ramblings like this one. Sad, but true. Nothing motivates better than the threat of harm and trouble. We list the goodness of our ways and hide the flaws behind gags. Decent is never on the menu. It makes for a really bad side dish. And so we eat up what is served. Choke it down even if it kills you. Indigestion is, after all, not deadly.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Once there was a boy
Who gave his love freely
Loved everyone equal
Saw no one different
He though that the most precious gift
That he could give another
Was love and affection
Man, woman, friend or lover
So he lived in innocence and bliss
Happiness and contentment
Until that one day
That one fateful day
As he walked down the street
On the arm of his lover
And saw a man leaning up against a wall
Who looked like he could be having trouble
And walked over to the man
And dared to ask if something was wrong
He began to speak, and then he looked up
Looked at the boy and the young man with him
And his eyes grew dark and angry
Moved too fast for either of them
There was a flash of bright steel
A splash of crimson blood
And a torrent of horrible names
And the boy fell silently at the foot of his love
While the man ran, ran quickly away
And as the world grew soft and fuzzy 'round the edges
As he felt the shadows creeping in
He lay his trembling fingers on his lover's cheek
And said "Tell them you love them again
And his love didn't have to ask who he was talking about
He knew exactly who he meant
Not one person, but the entire world
So full of hate and resentment
And then the darkness closed in on the free spirit
The shadows bore him off to a place
Where saying "I love you" is never a fear
Where there's no pain or hurt or hate
His lover bore the small form away
The light of life gone from its eyes
It was no longer the youth he loved
But an empty shell his disguise
But he did as he asked
He never forgot
He spread his cheer and joy and frame
Of mind to others, trying to drive away the hate
And the whole time he felt the free spirit
Wrap his arms around him again and again and
Again and again and...
Hate brings nothing but pain and remorse
Bitter, red-stained tears
Intolerance a rough-edged sword
Stained with the blood of many years
And it cleaves through souls that otherwise
Have naught but love to give
It turns the world unlivable
Keeps alive all our fears
So if we open our eyes to others
If we see things from their side
If we can only be what we're meant to be
And never have to hide
When we're free to say "I Love You"
To whoever where we please
Then we'll know that this is paradise
Every spirit will be free
Thursday, July 12, 2007
FACT: Our region is too diverse -- But should we let it stop us to unite? Should it stop us exchange ideas for our own good? Should we go far and westward to literally “beg” them to come and help our economies instead of helping each other out? We have a combined GDP of $900 billion and $2.8 trillion purchasing power parity. We are relatively rich!
FACT: Our region is of world importance – Aside from the points mentioned above, our region is closely monitored and befriended by the world’s “alleged” super countries – there’s ASEAN + 3 which includes Japan, Korea and China, the ASEAN-Russia, the ARF, the East Asia Summit. All of them acknowledges the fact, that we are a region with a future.
FACT: We are connected with each other – when the Thai economy collapsed in 1997, who fell next? When Vietnam was devastated with SARS and Bird Flu, who fell sick next? When Indonesia shakes an earthquake, where did the tsunami hit? When our ancestors are still trying to figure out how to plant rice, the Philippines came to the rescue. When the Burmese and the Viets fled their country, who welcomed them with open arms? When Laos asked for investment assistance, who came out to help?
We are 568 million strong. We are China’s “lady in waiting”. We are America’s brain contributors by pirating our professionals. We are the work force of the Middle East. We control the rice production of the world. We clean the world's households by producing coconut oil, we control this industry – what will happen to the world without soap?
We are a threat to India, Venezuela and Puerto Rico in any beauty pageant! For christssake!
Everything you could possibly need, are here.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
"BLOGGING HAS BECOME A NETWORKING SHIT AS FRIENDSTER AND MYSPACE."
-River Pisanu, Bisean
As i was doing my daily [b]reads and tagging fellow bloggers and friends via comment page. I came across the line above from River Pisanu of the Bisean. It is indeed quite alarming for me. As a blogger and as writer it has been my primordial goal to extend to my readers a piece of my mind on various issues and concerns plaguing society as whole through my poems, stories, essays, anecdotes etc. etc. etc.
And as much as i dont want to, I am nodding my head to what river said: Blogging has indeed is embracing a new shit! Proliferation of scam bloggers has become more and more noticeable and getting less substantial everyday.
Dont get me wrong, I am all for the freedom of expression but let us all be reminded that with "Freedom comes with great Responsibility."
Thus, I am dedicating a blog for the South East Asian Nation bloggers where we can join hands into taking blogging into a new level. To inspire new budding and emerging bloggers to actually tick their keyboards into actually writing about something that will actually be useful for the society.
It will be temporarily called United SEA [until somebody came up with a better name] so here is the link. Dont expect anything grand yet, it will be a blank space. Let us all start from Scratch.
So if you from the South East Asian Region, Join Us.