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Showing posts from 2009

A Tale of Two Cities (with apologies to Charles Dickens)

A few days ago, I had a conversation with one of my administrators (who happens to be the Commission Chair of my county's Commission). It centered upon international workers' plight to the US, trainings required, attitudes needed in going abroad, and as usual, the highly used and abused terms in US K-12 education: engaging lessons and classroom management. Whew!

The irony of the matter is that, while the Americans taught us (English language) literacy, an increasing number of international teachers from the Philippines are on board the earliest flight to the US in order to respond to the "shortage" of teachers (does it really exist?!).

In the early 1900s, an enormous number of American teachers docked on the shores of the Philippine archipelago on board the steamship Thomas (they were known later on as the Thomasites) in order to teach the Philippine natives how to speak, write, and do math in English (aka 3 R's). After more than a decade of struggle, the natives…

An OFW's Letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Dear Mrs. President,

How I wish I were home when you had your 2009 State-of-the-Nation Address. I would have joined the millions of Filipinos excitedly awaiting for your yearly report over the broadsheet, radio and television stations. I would have been so vigilant in monitoring crowd formations near Malacañan Palace, EDSA-Ortigas, Paseo de Roxas, or near the House of Representatives in Commonwealth. Over the years I was an active spectator --- joining public opinions about the possibility of changing our nation's course of events through the strengths and opportunities that formed part of your SONAs.

This year, however, is the first time that I failed to have an access to the first-hand account surrounding your State-of-the-Nation Address. I will surely miss the blow-by-blow reports and analysis of top-rated journalists whose words charismatically provoke citizens, even in the margins, to speak and to take a stand, for or against our country's social issues.

I failed to join…

How Important is Michael Jackson to the World?

While it is true that life must go on for the world that is stricken by tremendous recession, it may not be easy for the family, followers, and fans of the phenomenal 'King of Pop.'

Michael Jackson, 50, faced his untimely death on June 25, 2009. For people who have lived ordinary lives, death is swift and details can be reported in no time. It was not true for Jackson who was even suspected to have had a shot of pain killer before going on coma.

Jackson can be remembered as the high-octave kid who did most solos in the Jackson 5 fever. One of my favorites is 'Ben,' a song whose highest note I have never reached in my entire videoke career. LOL! His  world 'Dangerous Tour' can never be forgotten by millions of fans. In Europe, concert goers even had tremendous experience called mass hysteria (a form of collective behavior) due to an amazing performance of the prince.

Some time in the late 80s, Michael Jackson visited the Philippines for a grand open air concert.…

Bye School... for Now?

The school year has finally come to its end in NC. After the raging state tests, kids are now preparing for a long break. Books have been stacked for a while. Classrooms were shut for overhauling. Schools will start to hear the sound of silence temporarily again.

Will there be another school year for the rest of America? Certainly, but not all schools will re-open in 2009-2010. The effect of global recession has caused a number of counties and independent school districts to tighten budget. State employees received, not bonuses for a job-well-done, but salary deductions. Some schools are closing permanently while others are merging. Even groupings are affected. The traditional K-5, middle, and high school groupings are under threat. Staff and administrators will lose their jobs while others might assume relatively unstable positions. At the very edge are international teachers, both H and J holders, who will sacrifice their most sought-after jobs.

Some Filipino, Jamaican and African V…

Will H1N1 Attend Classes in the Philippine Schools this Year?

Some time ago, I wrote something about the spread of a mysterious Swine Flu (now more popularly known as H1N1) virus all over America and the world. I have also surmised about migration being the possible culprit of the spread, and why the virus cannot be easily contained.

Now that the school year is about to begin, Philippine schools are faced with uncertainty. There can be other centers that the virus may attack, but why are schools on the verge of great vulnerability?
Everyone undergoes a process of socialization. We complete a process of becoming through socializing centers such as the family, peers, church, political and economic centers – even markets – and many others that play a role in the maturity of the Filipino. These centers are responsible for inculcating the much-needed values, habits and attitudes an individual is required to possess and exhibit in the more advanced stage of social life.

The school is a socializing agent that is vulnerable to the spread of contagious …

Ang Mayo at ang Buhay-Pinoy

Ilang sandali na lang, lilipas na naman ang Mayo. Simula na naman ng buhay. May pasok na naman ang mga matatag ang pangarap. Tapos na ang bakasyon. Malulungkot na naman ang mga ilog at picnic groves na hindi tinigilan hanggang mapuno ng mga duming karamiha'y plastik na kung susuriing mabuti ang epekto'y "irreversible" sa kalikasan.

Ano ba ang Mayo sa buhay-pinoy?

Summer kasi ang Mayo kaya anihan. Sa ganitong panaho'y masaya ang lahat. Masagana ang buhay kahit isang buong taong naghirap ang pamilya. Ang ganitong panahon ay isang paraan ng pagpapahinga sa matagal na pagpapakasakit sa buhay. Ang sakripisyo'y panandaliang nakakalimutan. Nagdiriwang ang pamilya kasama ang buong angkan.

Bakasyon sa buwan ng Mayo. Ang "curricular cycle" ay tapos na kaya ang mga nagpakasakit sa kanilang mga klase at nagbigay-pasakit sa kanilang mga kaklase't guro ay masayang nagtatampisaw sa ilog, ulan, at init na sinasang-ayunan ng sariwang paligid na puno ng kulay a…

Wowowee and Pinoy Mentality

Several days ago, a chatmate in the Middle East left me without a warning because "it's Wowowee time".

Now I realize even TFC-North America has THREE daily airing schedules of Wowowee!

What is happening to us? Na unsa na man ta ani oi? says a Visayan friend.

The Pinoys all over the world have been hooked into what we call back home as a "noontime show mentality". Everyone is rushing to the screen, not bothered by hectic schedules. No one wants to miss Wowowee. What is in Wowowee? If we dissect the program, we would be able to categorize details into interesting chunks: a male host singing a variety of Lito Camu compositions, gorgeous and sexy co-hosts doing stints of slang and mispronounced words, a co-host comedienne fluterring her daily outrageous fashion statement and popular lines like "Habang may buhay, may Arabo!", sexy dancers doing roundabouts of risky steps, and a lot of games that benefit the "poor but deserving".

If we only take a…

Goodbye, Fr. Mike

For someone who has not made any significant contribution to the growth of Bertie County Catholic community, I don't deserve any attention if I talk about its activities.

However, I feel obligated to pay tribute to the memories of the person whose persistence drove Filipinos at the county closer together.

Fr. Mike Langell, a Caucasian cleric in his late 60s had a reputation of introducing his homilies with an interesting story. I first became fascinated by his technique during his new year's eve mass that it made me crave for more. He was so down-to-earth that he touched the lives of the faithful with no one being aware of it.

It was late when I became interested about the pastor who united and reinforced the formation of very few Sunday mass attendees. But it was fascinating to note that the "rural missioner" had a wonderful life prior to being assigned at Bertie. A graduate of Athenaeum of Ohio in  1964 and a holder of a master of divinity from St. Meinrad School …

Why America cannot restrict Swine Flu from getting into its borders

The new threat of a mysterious swine flu virus is spreading like wild fire across the globe. Among the countries affected greatly are Mexico and its neighboring superpower, the United States. It bothers me to hear every agency and institution preparing for its spread almost everyday. In the state where I am situated right now, we almost await for it with open hands because its neighbors, Georgia and South Carolina, have already claimed to have traces of the flu. Although as of this time, only one case of a 22-month Mexican boy in the state of Texas has been recorded, it is alarming to note that the national scene is focused on the threat of registering more casualties.

The international news also describe how measures are taken by various countries in order to protect their citizens from the deadly virus. Japan, for example, has stopped issuing visas to Mexican applicants (sorry, Mexico). A couple of Latin American countries have suspended flights coming from countries where increasi…

For the Boys Only [Rated PG]

Be good while still on earth. You might end up using these urinals -- eternally. harharhar!

I was planning to log my school's forthcoming gallery presentation -- an adaptation of Jules Verne's 'Around the World in 80 Days'. But something really ridiculous came to my mind. Here it is -- a visual presentation of urinals, not just around the world, but across time and space! hehehe.

Note: Sociologically, human perversion is widespread all over the world. Somehow, our natural curiousity upholds it. Culture also justifies its control or permissiveness. When the so-called agents of social control are at active play, perversions can be significantly reduced. provides a vivid description of what it is: "Sexual perversions are conditions in which sexual excitement or orgasm is associated with acts or imagery that are considered unusual within the culture. To avoid problems associated with the stigmatization of labels, the neutral term 'paraphilia,' der…

Old Joke, New Smile

I miss the forwarded jokes via text messages. Texting in the land of recession is excessively painful to the pocket. I also miss the moments when all friends share the same laughter after reading text jokes together. (Corny pero masaya)

I can't wait to come home and relive the strange laughter with friends. But it will take a little while...haays...

Joke Time

A lizard fell on a table.

Genius: Oh! reptila scincidae

Kikay: Eew, lizard!

Astig: Shit, butiki!

Mataray: Shucks, butiks!

Mayaman: Yuck! Lacoste!

Jologs: Pare, ulam!

No offense. Peace!

The Long Road to Opportunities

Recession is felt in every corner of America. The education sector has never been free from it. Uncertainties are underway especially for us beginners. Of course, if the worst situation strikes, those who entered last will be out first.

It took us weeks to decide on how to find alternative options that will save us from the sudden strikes of unemployment. At last, we took the painful step of driving to the central states in order to find some options.

The travel was not at all easy. Four days on the road for a one-way travel did not provide us with the comfort anyone who must have spent the Spring Break could ever enjoy.

When we got to our final destination, opportunities were not at reach because school districts do not allow applicants to hand in hard copy resumes. The pain of having spent resources, time, and effort was never compensated, except for bits and pieces of site-seeing and accidental discoveries of new-found places that Ate Lea called opportunities "wherever our wh…

What a Generic Name Means

When I was a kid, my family used a name for me. That childish name was carried to my grown-up years. Little did I realize it had a meaning in itself. Its meaning is enigmatic but true. Amazing!
I am giving it a benefit of the doubt.

You Are Dreamy and DistractedYou are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them tryi…

Liaa dares CSA

Who would ever imagine that the baby who used to weigh six-pounds-point-something-ounces in October 2002 is now courageously running for her own name in one of Metro Manila's finest Catholic schools?

Way to go, Liaa!

(Prep-D during the CSA Preschool Department's dance semi-finals: Zoë, Arabella, Ninutska, Lalaine, and Liaa)

Adult ADHD Screening Test: Wanna try?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is becoming prevalent in this present generation of school-age children. It has increased because of a variety of reasons. From the modern-day academic critics, it has become prevalent not because of too much exposure to media or the dominance of yellow color #5 in many foods that are accessible to children. The primary culprit is the much-improved reportage.

Adults who formed part of the Dekada 70 and succeeding years might have failed to be diagnosed with ADHD. Who knows, you can be one! LOL.

I took an online adult ADHD screening test. Whew! Buti naman at walang traces. Kundi, naku mahal ang therapy. Hehehe.

Eto ang result ko:

Total score of: 1 (Below 70, Not Associated with ADHD)Your answers to this adult ADHD screening test suggest that you are not in the range associated with a high probability of ADHD.
Want to try taking the adult ADHD screening test? You might be surprised about the result.

Click the link below for the online …

Miss ko na ang Skyflakes!

There is really no place like home!

I miss everything: from dirty ice cream to Jollibee spaghetti with hotdog bits to maruya.
Sa pinas, we have lots of choices depending on budget. In the land most-sought after by pinoys, you'll establish monotony in no time.

Walang mangga! Waah! Walang sago! Ang biko bini-bake. Hindi matamis ang lakatan. Karamihan sa commodities 'made in China'. Karamihan ng crackers peanut butter ang palaman. E bawal ngayon ang peanut butter kasi me salmonella scare! Huhuhu!

In order to eat skyflakes, we need to visit a Filipino store in Virginia Beach. That's about two hours travel from the house. Ang mahal ng Lucky Me pancit canton. At kumusta naman ang malunggay, frozen. Haaays... It's not easy to live a normal pinoy promdi life in the land of opportunities.

When tastebuds are deprived, you'll almost always miss what you have enjoyed back home. It brings you to getting sick. And there's no point in analyzing it further.

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