Keep it simple keep it real

This is something I received through e-mail that I feel should be shared to everyone I know. I haven't actually read or at the very least seen the booklet. All the points look really simple yet these are the very things we tend to overlook most of the time. It made even more sense to me in light of the words of the late Senator Raul Roco: "At 20 I wanted to change the world, At 40 I wanted to change my country, At 60 I just wanted to change myself."

While there are many areas in socio-political development that we feel we should get involved in, I believe it also pays to be conscious of our own actions and in our little way effect change. Just imagine how it will be if everyone in my network (not just friendster) take these simple rules by heart and pass it on to their own networks.

THERE'S a booklet making the rounds in Metro Manila that every Filipino who
loves his country should get hold of and read, and hopefully put the points it
raises into practice, in order to help our nation...

"Twelve (12) Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country," by
Alexander Ledesma Lacson, may be a "voice in the wilderness"; but as Fr. Ruben
Tanseco, S.J. puts it, what Alex proposes are "very concrete, practical and
doable" actions for us ordinary Filipinos. A simple enumeration of these
"twelve little things" will not Do justice to the work of Alex. You've got to
read the whole text, but I shall try to compress a few lines for some of the
items mentioned.

1. Follow traffic rules -- Why is that the most important? The answer is
simple. Traffic rules are the simplest of our laws. If we learn to follow them,
it will be the lowest form of national discipline that we can develop. Since it
is totally without monetary cost, it should be easy for us to comply with, and
therefore should provide a good start.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
-- If a seller does not issue an official receipt when you buy a product, the
seller may or may not remit the tax to the government. Without an O.R., there is
no record of the sale transaction, and the tax that you paid may not be remitted
to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

3. Do not buy smuggled goods. Buy local, buy Filipino. -- It may not be good
economics to buy 100 percent local products. What I suggest is for us to take a
"50-50" buying attitude. This means that we must develop the attitude of using
50 percent of our budget for local products and the other 50 percent for
imported choices.

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners, speak positively of our
race and our country
-- this is best addressed to the rich and the middle class
in our country, who have contact with the outside world. It is they who talk to,
dine or deal with foreigners either here or abroad. It is what they say and do
which creates impressions about us among foreigners.

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman, soldier and other public servants
-- There is nothing like the power of respect. It makes a person proud. It makes
one feel honorable. At the same time, courtesy to others is good manners. It is
class and elegance and kindness. It is seeing the value and dignity in the other
man. It is, in fact, a mark of a most profound education.

6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle.
-- As Louis Armstrong says in his song: "I see trees of green, red
roses, too, I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself, what a
wonderful world."

7. Support your church. (or charitable/ civic organizations -- :-)

8. During elections, do your solemn duty. -- Honesty, more than a masteral or
doctorate degree, is what gives credibility. And credibility is essential
because it is a leader's link to the people. It is what makes the people look to
one direction, follow a common vision, and perform a uniform act. In short,
credibility is what makes people follow the leader.

9. Pay your employees well. -- No exercise is better for the human heart than
to reach down and lift someone else up. This truly defines a successful life.
For success is the sum, not of our earthly possessions, but of how many times we
have shown love and kindness to others.

10. Pay your taxes. -- In 2003, P83 billion was collected from individual
income taxes. But 91 percent of this amount came from salaried workers from the
government and private sector, people who had no choice since their income taxes
were withheld mandatorily. Only P7 billion of the P83 billion came from
businessmen and professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants and
architects,among others.

11. Adopt a scholar or adopt a poor child. -- You can make a difference in
the future of our country by making a difference in the world of children.

12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and to love our
country. -- Today's children will someday rule and lead this world. But whether
they will be bad rulers or good leaders will depend largely on how we raise them
today. Our future is in the hearts and minds of our children.


From the House of Pain

Tagged by Do

1. What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play?

  • Explore. When I visit a new place, I enjoy exploring the place by myself. It’s always fun going around without knowing exactly where you’re headed or how things will turn out. (Note: this seldom happens since I’m such a planning person)
  • Watch a movie. I haven’t done this though since college. I remember watching The Patriot by myself and crying and consoling myself at the same time.
  • Run. When you run alone, there’s no one to compete but yourself, which makes it all the more enjoyable. I find it so challenging to run another lap after finishing my standard four laps in our compound in the mornings.
  • Working out. I know I’m lazy but once I get the groove, I don’t really need a gym buddy.
  • Research. I remember in college, I felt that I am more efficient going to the different libraries and resource centers by myself. I manage my time more effectively and get what I need fast.
  • Swim. I just can’t resist the water so it doesn’t matter even if I’m alone.

2. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level?

(in no particular order)

  • Coffee
  • Talking about the problem (with Jerv, with my officemate Cecille or with my sisters)
  • A warm hug
  • A good laugh
  • Mental outline of thoughts

I'm tagging Harry, Chad and Kira.


What happens in Boracay...

..stays in Boracay. At least for my friend Pressia and her Belgian waffle. We spent four days and three nights in this famous tourist destination, burning our skin in the day and wasting the nights away, despite the occasional rain.

Up until the time I was at the airport, I did not know what to expect. My boyfriend was stressing out the entire week freaking out at the idea of two girls spending four days alone in an island famous for its wild parties and hot summer affairs. I thought he was exaggerating but it turned out Boracay can be your temptation island..especially at night.

For an off-peak season, the place sure is packed. We were not able to book at the Regency because it was full but fortunately we were able to get a room at Nigi-nigi. We even got a family suite, a big room with a loft which can accommodate up to 6 people and with nice native interiors, very rustic.

During the day, the island looked just like any other beach. There were children playing along the shore, families eating at the different restaurants, massage services and women lying under the sun. But when night falls, the whole place suddenly transforms into every pubescent boy’s fantasy. As soon as happy hour starts, island girls in skimpy clothes can be seen hanging-out at the local bars befriending the only people I see now who drink pale pilsen, the white men (young or balding). At around 11 to midnight, dancing at the bar starts and island gays, not to be outdone, begin to strut their own stuff. In Boracay, I realized I had to sharpen my gay-dar because it was normal to see women who look like gays, gays who look like women and gays who look totally straight.

While there is a designated dance floor, dancing can take place anywhere, on your seat, on the table or on the bar (I think I was able to do all) or dance with whoever you feel like dancing with. There were white men dancing with brown women, white women dancing with brown men and white men dancing with brown men.

I realized that the best way to enjoy Boracay is when you’re hooked or you want to get hooked. Since I can be classified as neither, I had to amuse myself with the extraordinary sites to see such as couples making-out on the dance floor, black gay dancing to Beyonce and one man or woman (I am still not sure) dancing with a bamboo pole in his/her bra top and white thongs.

What I found most enjoyable in Boracay, is the experience of going out to drink and dance in your shirt and slippers, actually walking home at 4 in the morning and waking up to a glorious sunshine and beautiful beach. Probably because of its tourism-orientation, service in resorts and restaurants was also very remarkable. Just about anything can be found on the island from crepes to Persian food, decadent cake to tequila sunrise, internet cafe to treadmill, which made me wonder how come people call it a get-away or vacation.

It was fun not waking up to the alarm, bumming in the beach for hours and drinking at 5 in the afternoon. But somehow, the entire time, I felt like I left my heart in Manila.