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Showing posts from September, 2005

Teaching Blues part 1

Two times a week and on Saturdays, I roll up my sleeves, put on a serious face, unlock my reservoir of patience and stand in front of a sea of faces whose expressions range from the bored, to the apathetic, to the cynical, to the annoying. Yup, I teach. On weekday nights, to HRM majors at Benilde; and on weekends to slightly older (and sometimes really old!) HRM practitioners at some graduate schools.

Why I do it is a question that is easier to answer (because I want to!) than the other question - how do you end up not committing genocide while at it?

I have been asked many times how it is like to be a teacher. I realize that teaching is shrouded by many myths that being a teacher can make one feel he is Yoda (Filosopo Tasio), or worse, Darth Vader (Miss Tapia). It is difficult to act normal when being with students because the connection that is cemented in a classroom does last; so much so that even if you try to establish friendship afterwards, one will forever be a "sir" t…

Christmas In My Mind

First, a disclaimer: I love Christmas, I really do. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and not just for the usual reasons. I love Christmas because it is fun.

This piece is not about debunking old Christmas beliefs and traditions but rather about recognizing that some things in this world don’t make sense at all. But then again, who really cares as long as it is fun? And having fun is enough justification for most anything.

Anyway, I knew Christmas is just around the corner (more like the next toll station) not only because the nights have become colder (just had to bring that cliche in), but because the radio stations have started playing Christmas carols, darn it. It is as if people need to be reminded or else it will go away. Why do we start playing Christmas carols in September 1? And why must it be Gary V's Pasko Na Sinta Ko? Is there a conspiracy somewhere to get people to fall in love before Christmas otherwise... you'd be what the song is about?

But really. Ch…

Getting Wired

It finally dawned on me that I am a certified netizen.

In the past, I would have withdrawal symptoms on only one, and only one instance: when I haven't visited a bookstore or a library in a week's time. Today, not having logged into the net can produce the same sweating palms, generally uneasiness, a sense of foreboding, you get the drift. I can not get things done anymore without logging on to the net! To get updates I have to download. To work on a file, I have to access my yahoo accounts. To talk to people, I have to buzz them at ym! To look at pics, I have to...arrgggggggh.

I guess the signs were all there all these time. For example, to be able to have meaningful contact with an officemate on the other side of the floor I have to first text him, and then we log on to ym to talk. To get to talk to another friend who in Makati who is a certified night owl, I have to log in at night, get connected to Binondo (where my ISP is), log on to Atlanta Georgia or Oslo, Finland (…

Top 10

I surfed through some blogs last night, and got -ehemmmmmmmm- struck by what people are writing in them. I didn't realize the extent to which a lot of people are baring their innermost secrets and displaying (maybe parading is more apt) their heart out. Anyway, I figured, I can do that too.

In my household, Sundays find the teenager in the house glued to FM radio for the usual rundown of the top ten hit songs of the week. Although the cynic in me tends to suspect that the ranking of the songs is arrived at through very subjective selection processes, I grant that listening to the weekly countdown simplifies lives. One gets instant access to the hit tunes without having to wait for them played in between the usual warbling, crooning and preaching that some people dare call music.

Listening to the countdown over the weekend got me thinking about the other top ten lists in my life.
First, books. Topping the list would be Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, then Catcher in the Rye by …

On Top of The World

In the last seven years, I have been working with a splendid view of Quezon City and Marikina on my left. My (glass, ehem) office is at the 29th floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange Centre (also known as Tektite Towers after the street where it is located).

I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking this guy must feel like he is on top of the world. Well, I used to think that working on a high rise tower would be cool but… not really. It has prestige, it has a good view . But it can get boring after a while. And it can get pretty inconvenient.

You see, no matter how "intelligent" the building might be (and Tektite is presumably an intelligent building, but with ADHD problems ) it is still puny when subject to the basic laws of nature.

First of these laws is the first law of nature: gravity. The higher you go, the more difficult it will be to bring stuff to you. If you forgot something from your car, or worse, from your house, it will take a while before you can get it to …

Lets Just Get on With EVAT and Our Lives

Today, I got an email from another bleeding heart harping about the EVAT and how it is another ploy of the imperialist countries, yadda yadda yadda. Nice piece of work; at least as far as grammatical correctness and syntax are concerned.

What we need to remember though, is that this is the point of view of the opposition and the "ideological"
forces in congress. Note the inevitable anti-IMF and anti-foreign investment slant. I know, I used to write these things too.Nothing wrong with that as long as we take that context in the evaluation.

The issue is also ideological. The email does make a valid argument on the inefficiency of the tax collection
system in the Philippines. And this is a very ticklish issue for don't we all try to get around taxation? Yes, the government is to be blamed for the leaks - such as when it grants perks to foreign investors and etc. But what
about the investment they bring in? What about the employment they generate? There is a lot of static surroun…

Self Destructing Our Way To Doomsday

Here we go again.

The Senate is all agog over whipping up the latest political extravaganza, the more salacious and controversial, the better. The Opposition is perennially at least two feet away from a media person, all ready to dish out his or her soundbyte. The Government is hostage. The media is circling around like vultures for the carcass of the next political victim in this deadly game of political opportunism. Let us not discuss who the real victim is in this sorry state of affairs.

The really sad thing is how each claims to speak for the Filipino people. Each claims to have a bleeding heart overwhelmed with compassion and affection for the ordinary Filipino. Oh please. Spare us the sanctimony. Quite frankly, you all look like Imelda Marcos claiming to be destitute and poor in a Chanel dress and bling blings worth a poor man's household budget for 50 years.

Quite frankly, I am sick of it all.

I feel like throwing up everytime I see Drilon and his constipated demeanor on…

The Bar Exams On Taft Avenue

I got down from the LRT Station on Vito Cruz Avenue last Sunday to witness an orgy right smack on Taft Avenue. No, it wasnt the sexual type, although it very well could have been, or should have been. There were wet bodies all right. There were gyrating people on makeshift stages. There were drums and ati-atihan. And there were people, lots and lots of people all jostling for space on that tiny strip of road half of which were already crammed with cars. The right side of Taft Avenue, from Vito Cruz to Quirino Avenue was transformed into a parking area while the other side was site of the circus (pardon the mixed metaphors - I really could not find one word to describe all that hoopla).

Every once in a while, some groups would launch into cheers and slogans complete with fists on air and chest beating, somehow reminiscent of gorillas staking their territories. And maybe they really were, I mean stalking their territories on that narrow road.

The bar examinees were walking out of La Salle…

Reinventing heroes

These are stories about real people who are heroes in their own right. Let me tell you why. I can not tell you what their names are because real heroes that they are, they prefer anonymity. But I assure you they are there, and their lives and what they do is a composite of those of many others like them who continue to do what they can in many seemingly insignificant but valuable ways.

The first friend is someone who works in the local capital markets – known among laymen as the stockmarket. There was a time (which seems like long, long ago) when working in the stockmarket was something one wore like a badge of honor and prestige. Then, being a stockbroker conjured images of someone who made tons of money both for himself and for his clients, someone who drove fast cars and lived The Life. Today, being a stockbroker is almost tantamount to being irrelevant. With the local stockmarket stuck in the ICU ward, most stockbrokers have abandoned their portfolios and their clients and have fou…

EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE I LEARNED FROM A JIGSAW PUZZLE

I came across this recently, and it has been top of mind lately. What struck me the most about this piece was how it simplifies life into a series of steps. I wish I can do that - I mean look at life with such utter simplicity. It amazes me how many people can actually preface their statements with "It's this simple..." as if anything can be that simple. Is anything really simple? Last I looked they have not been able to explain majority of the seemingly simple things in life. How exactly does one fall in love? What truly makes people smile? Etc. 1. Don't force a fit--if something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.2. When things aren't going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.3. Be sure to look at the big picture. Getting hung up on the little pieces only leads to frustration.4. Perseverance pays off. Every important puzzle went together bit by bit, piece by piece.5. When one spot stops working, move to another. Bu…

In a carnivale mood

Last Sunday, I was able to get my grubby hands on the dvd set of the second season of Carnivale - the HBO show that features, well, out of this world characters and plotlines. Since then, my bedtime stories have mostly been about macabre, gruesome, Neil Gaimanish stuff. Not that I have been able to make heads or tails of the convuluted plot, nor am I able to understand exactly how the pieces fit together. All I know is that I am hooked. It is a virtual kaleidoscope of colors and taste and textures.

There is something about shows like these that appeal to people of my generation. Perhaps it is true, I belong to a generation sorely and desperately in need of our own myths and stories. Sure, I loved LOTR and yes, I find Harry Potter strangely appealing. But Carnivale takes all these into a whole new frontier.

I can't wait to get to the next season.

Hello world.

I am not really sure why I am doing this. I mean what the heck, I have two proposals to write both of which were due yesterday. I have a book to write too - and this one has been paid for two months ago and was due two months ago as well. In addition, I have a zillion other stuff to do, all screaming for attention. But there is something about having to start my own blog that has been gnawing inside for quite some time now. So here goes.

Since College, I always had this weird compulsion to write down thoughts - on the pages of books I was reading, on stationeries, on countless notebooks bought for the purpose of starting a personal chronicle. Some of the notebooks I still have to this day, and quite frankly, most of them do not even have more than 3 pages of stuff written. It's not a good idea for one to read stuff written years ago unless he has this overwhelming desire to laugh at one's self or to feel extremely foolish, but sometimes I do come across the notebooks and I...we…