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Showing posts from 2008

In Search of the Superpower's Future Leader

America is getting ready for the succession of President-elect Barack Obama to the presidential throne-- an event that will leave a permanent mark in the history of the country and the world.

Several weeks ago, the country's giant television networks were preoccupied with state campaigns of the hopefuls. Newspapers, local and national alike, had loud commentaries on who would lead today's superpower.  Even mailboxes were disturbed by printouts containing  election guidelines. Upon opening your AOL or Yahoomail platforms, you would have discovered that Obama or Palin became almost a part of your breath!

For a promdi, I am not at all interested in American politics. I would rather focus on discovering discipline strategies to apply to the American kids. LOL!

What is worth-observing, however, is the tougher routine of the homeland security, the scarcity of jobs and the changing rules here and there. To a Filipino hopeful who has spent a lot for a US work application, it is evide…

The Other Side of America

My initial experience of America is far from most people think it is.

While most Filipinos who reach America for the first time are drowned in flash with the popular views of Lower Manhattan, the Golden Gate, and the huge memorial stone and numerous museums at Washington, DC, I was deployed in a far-flung sleeping part of Conway, North Carolina. I even bet if you could locate Conway via Google Earth. LOL! What I am sure of is that GPS navigator, a satellite-based road assistant, does not recognize my address. LOL!

The greatest consolation I have, however, is that I lived in a place (I recently moved out from Conway) with virtually zero crime. It is a small community where 'everyone knows everyone else.' The streets of North Carolina are one of the 'kindest' of the places I have reached so far. It is where you see pedestrians and motorists waving their hands to one another. It is also where you see drivers giving way even to a pedestrian who walks farthest from an inte…

Coming to America the Promdi Way

In spite of friends' encouragements, I didn't really feel so excited of going to the US for the first time.

In August 2008, my batchmates and I boarded a JAL aircraft bound for Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan. The aircraft, instead of providing the usual wide plasma screen, was equipped with a 'viewing panel' where you could see the movement of the plane. It was interesting because you could imagine how the pilot works his best in order to bring a safe ride to the airline company's passengers.

We waited for four hours at Narita before checking in at the American Airlines flight bound for Chicago-O'Hare. Narita International Airport was extremely isolated that we haven't seen any of Japan's corners from its limited vantage point.

When we boarded American Airlines, an unpopular sight caught my attention. While media market airline companies through the young and flawless, all-smiling faces of flight stewardesses, AA gives you all the middle-…

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, err.. happy holidays!

Many people in the first world are accustomed to use the latter. They're not synonymous.

In the Philippines where a predominant component of the population is Christian, merry Christmas is a favorite byword during this season. For a multicultural environment where equal opportunity is provided to everyone regardless of color, creed, or political affiliation, and to my former Sociology students-- wealth, power, or prestige, 'happy holidays' is a safer greeting.

Whatever it means to you, this season needs to be celebrated for a reason. HE is the reason!

Merry Christmas from all of us!

Click here for our presentation.

(as you click the link, your audio has to be activated; presentation ends January 15; LOL!)

The Promdi is Back!

The deep slumber is finally over. I'm back to the information superhighway.

A few months ago, I told myself everything will be recorded in this blog. I failed to do that because of my adjustment to a new work environment. Life in the first world is really demanding. Although I recently moved to a small community of Filipinos where life is as normal as life back home, it wasn't easy to deal with time and expectations.

The next few entries are old observations in a new world. I am also moving to a brand-new website carrying my own name. My purpose is to keep my friends intact and provide support to more promdis who were educated to prepare for enslavement in countries all over the world. LOL!

The Long Wait is Over!

Yesterday, I ended the long wait. I finally said goodbye to anxiety and apprehensions.

As I walked through the high security arsenal-like US Embassy-Manila, I was in my sincerest prayers that the consul should be enlightened, and that he should grant me a visa. LOL!

After more than thirty minutes of being on queue, my number finally appeared on screen. It took me a short while to respond to the officer's scrutiny. When he instructed me to proceed to Delbros (an exclusive courier of the US Embassy in Manila) , I wanted to call everyone and rejoice instantly! Well, I just forgot no electronic device is allowed in the embassy. LOL!

But the essence is: I'm done. Now I have to do a few more preparations.

At last, I can now relax.

From Pag-asa to Pag-asa

More than a year ago, I was a naive newcomer at Pag-asa street. The sign became a popular sight to me when I started teaching at the university located within the vicinity. That sign was a silent witness to my angst, my sense of despair, my frustrations, and my disappointments. As I walked through that street everyday, I realized how I made a mistake in my decisions. That sign was associated, not with hope, but with pessimism.

That was a year ago. Gradually, Pag-asa became a venue for my excitement. The sign slowly saw me transforming into a worker eager to start the day right. It was also a witness to my satisfaction as I leave the last class, bringing with me bits of inspiration from students who just joined a concert of class participation.

Who will ever forget Pag-asa? Who can forget the shake coupled with a variety of juicy burgers prepared right before your eyes? Who will forget the popular bystanders who will outsmart you in class because despite their social life, they have p…

The Politics of Money in a US Work Application

I am not a politician but political sociology became a fascinating discipline to me a few years back. Its ghost is very much present in every corner of my existence that it continues to haunt me up to this day.

Everything that I learned from that course was theoretical until I experienced it recently.

My application for a US job was not easy. The required qualifications and documents literally drained my brain, emotion, time, and financial resources. I had to take tests in order to be voted "highly qualified" from the vantage point of America's 'No Child Left Behind' law. I had to apply for parallel credentialling to a US curriculum. I needed to take local modules in order to strengthen my skills, and additional academic credits from a regionally-accredited American university in order to strengthen affiliations.

Demands for money were endless. For a poor person like me, a six-digit figure is no-joke. When my placement agency discussed the schedule of payments,…

Pacquiao for President?

When the nation is faced by crisis, it has been customary to blame the incumbent government. Towards the close of President Arroyo's administration, we are being challenged to pick, among very few "fresh" choices, who will be granted the privilege to represent the Philippine democracy's sovereign powers.

In the Philippines, however, what matters is not how you demonstrate expretise. Sometimes it's the capacity to be associated to the masses, but in many cases, it's who you are.

The succeeding battles of Manny Pacquiao to acquire several world titles in boxing has literally put him into pedestal. His popularity has ascended to greater heights. He was literally voted as a new "hero" of the masses.

Although not really successful in a local political bout in General Santos, at least he showed a spark of interest in politics.

Will he be another political figure in the 2010 elections? If he chooses to run for presidency, will he succeed? It may be too ear…

Physical or Social Malaise?

For a couple of days now, I could not afford going to work. My throat has been complaining of a tiresome monotony. When my doctor diagnosed it, she said it was just a simple irritation caused by an 'unknown allergy'. I was speculating that I was suffering from tonsillitis, but she opposed it by suspecting that it must be an earlier symptom of pharyngitis. How grudging!

A few hours before this blog, I was once again complaining of an irritated eye. It must be a curse! A pink eye! People will stay away from me for days. Sigh... I will be treated to be a carrier of health epidemic. Waaaah!!!

Now I'm beginning to ask myself, what have I done? What is going on that slowly brings me to paralysis? Am I overworked? I must admit I am underpaid, but it must be unfair to claim that I am overworked. Am I depressed? Why can I afford throwing laughter at even the most pathetic forwarded jokes by texters?

I must be suffering from malaise. Answers-dot-com provides a simple definition of…
I woke up today with nothing in mind. I did not look forward to anything or ever planned of doing anything. Sunday, after all, is my only bonus day.

My family planned to hear mass at 9 am. Because it was a cloudy day, we were all beating the 'deadline'. We left home past the mass schedule. We were late.

I know myself. I've been in defensive driving for the past 10 years. I must admit I did fail to convince traffic enforcers to confiscate my license due to simple road violations. However, when it comes to safety, I have always made sure no one gets hurt.

While I was heading towards Makati bridge, I needed to step on half-break because of the curve. I saw a male beggar crossing the street. I admit he was too close, but everything was calculated so I was confident. Within a wink of my eye...blaaaagghh! The beggar was hit!

I pulled over immediately. I set the hazard lights. Then I quickly ran to rescue my victim. He was carrying a container with a few teaspoons of rice left (here …

Imagine a World Without Filipinos

I bumped on this beautifully-written article from ArabNews June 16, 2008 issue. The article encompasses what speaks of the Filipino spirit. The article deserves to be published originally, so I am sharing with you the full-length article.


Imagine a world without Filipinos
Abdullah Al-Maghlooth | Al-Watan,

Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home. He says: “When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite.”

Al-Maghrabi then flew to Manila to look for two other Filipino workers to replace the ones who had left. Previously, he had tried workers of different nationalities but they did not impress him. “There is no comparison between Filipinos and others,” he says. Whenever I see Filipinos working in the Kingdom, I wonder what our life would be without them.

Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Filipino…

When NFA Rice is not enough

When I was a kid, I never tasted imported rice. This is  because I was reared in the family of rice farmers.

Today, many Pinoys prefer imported rice, not because it is imported. Rather, imported rice is much cheaper than premium grade commercial rice. In today's vocabulary, imported rice is synonymous to NFA rice.

The recent 'national panic' has turned many Filipinos into instant political commentators. This is similar to the time when the Philippine President was being tried in public television.

Rice has been, indeed, a well-loved element of the Filipino culture. We find a close affinity with rice, in other words.

But much has been said about the rice shortage issue. Today, the reality that majority of the Filipinos remains to be poor is the real issue. We can afford the rice shortage if there is something that can 'fill in' during its absence. But for an average Filipino, nothing is left after the rice.

A couple of days from the time of this blog's publication…

Life is in constant change

Agrarian as it may sound, life is, indeed, in constant change.

When I was in college, I was filled with theory-based idealisms. I told myself I will become one of my country's loyal servants.

Life at first was easy. I considered myself lucky because I enjoyed everything I wanted. Little did I know there would be obstacles and crossroads along the way.

Now, after years of acquiring trainings, I am a hopeful worker to a first-world country. It really sounded ridiculous when I first thought of it. But there is little choice in life. To raise a family and to see them enjoying the fruits of my labor is my utmost intention right now.

To make a decision that's quite far from what I actually want really breaks my heart because I have very few choices.

I have anticipated the mockery that will be thrown to me by former colleagues in the nationalist movement and in the University. The 'Uncle Sam' who was always at the center of our discourse is just a stone's throw away.

I have lo…
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