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July 30, 2010 Leave a comment

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Categories: philosophy

Gibo,No Lame Duck

February 26, 2010 2 comments

Categories: philosophy

N O T I C E

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

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Categories: philosophy

Not now for wordpress

September 30, 2009 1 comment

I am leaving this blog temporarily. I don’t if this is the right thing to do after getting one good year of blogging in wordpress. This blog was conceived out of curiosity without definite plan what to write to or what should be the best format to use. Then I realized that wordpress is so limited unless you keep a semi-hosted site. WordPress is good in design (the free themes) but not really in applications such as accessibility in javascript, etc. So, I opted to explore other sites such as blogger.com which is friendly and can be easily manipulated. Bye for now. I will still be writing here for sure.

So please be directed to this site: www.totomel.blogspot.com.  I will be very happy to link all of you there.

Categories: philosophy

Ushering the Green Path

September 4, 2009 8 comments

The short repose from blogging was an utter blessing on my part to ponder on the things that needed much attention. My officemate told me that I should focus on something relevant rather than speculate on unnecessary subjects such as faith and politics which seem like rigmaroles to her ears. Somehow, I thought that she doesn’t understand my endeavor. But after reflecting on what she said, I was impelled by an idea of defining where I should immerse my self with.

In the vast arena of knowledge, I know I have to choose a subject to embrace, to live and to contribute to its growth.  And in this case I opted to pry on environmental studies which is I deem far alarming than Mar giving up his political aspiration to pave way for the Cory Magic.

Of course, I don’t want to be a member of a stringent environmental cult that would die for death of a fly slapped by President Obama but just a simple advocate that would help the environment in my own simple ways. I would still write about other things that interest me for sure. It is just that environmental problem is prevalent and the obligation to save it confronts us in many ways. And in a wider sense, I cannot really separate myself from the things around me.Celebrate the World

Looking back to a past decade, one would see the abject deterioration of the environment. In my personal experience, I once enjoyed sight of the dragon flies lingering in the field and catching the harmful pest feasting on the rice stalks. Then all of a sudden-Poof! These little creatures were nowhere to be found and most have been eradicated by pesticides. Even the crickets and cicadas were obliterated in rice fields. Just exactly as what Rachel Carlson had claimed, man is so desperate to re-engineer the scheme of nature all for the glory of monoculture and high harvest yields. She added that men have become self-centered that they forgot to acknowledge the biodiversity co-existing with them.

Meanwhile, climate change is starting to wreak havoc in our planet. Heat became unbearable and would likely to soar rapidly in the coming days if carbon emission is not curtailed. And if ever we became altruistic of these things, the effect would only be felt in the long future. Dr. Jessica Salas, an advocate against climate change, said the collective effort of people around the world to cut carbon produce can only be felt by 2040. By that time the aqua alta have already submerged some part of the Philippines including the City of Iloilo. So here is the point: Let’s save the planet, in whatever way we can, by not letting it reach 2040 when the rising sea level could possibly destroy most of our coastal communities.

Moreover, the population would never recede in time but would perpetually grow in years. This has a critical effect to the environment as the law of demand and supply ascends with it. Taking the example of water supply versus the water consumption per person, one could logically deduct that water will become scarce by 2015. You do the math based on population projection and you’ll get a horrible picture of the situation of our planet. And if you still need more proof, I urge you to check on the remaining watershed around the country and you will be shocked of its improbability to manage the demand of the booming population by 2020.

So with all these formidable insights, one can never shoo the condition of our environment today as done by pact scientists who claimed that global warming is absolutely hearsay. I know that this have been bugging us all along yet we continue to be unmindful to do something about it. We know that saving this planet lies not in the mercy of God but on the commitment of the people to rebuild it.

Lastly, we are the cause that this planet is dying and this is the right moment that we should also be the cause for its living. Saving this planet is everybody’s concern simply because we owe our lives to its graces.

Losing Letters

August 12, 2009 15 comments

loveletters2I have this undying fascination for reading old documented letters compiled in books especially when it speaks of human affinities that usually begins in courting. Elegant scribbles of blotters, which are mostly portrayed in sepia, create a portal of the past of how men addressed their inamoratas with clandestine penmanship and poetic embellishments. Their age was very different then when SMS was not yet available for use. They only had the paper, inkwell and the blotter to send messages to their beloved (disregarding the case of distance), which are in turn carried by messengers, usually friends or relatives, who most of the time were intrigued and tempted to sneak into the content of letters. I haven’t really been a good letter writer, but I have a vivid memory, and making some that paved well while also being nosy of their outcomes.

Back in highschool when I was much enamored to the classic writings like that of Shakespeare’s addressing a sonnet to a beautiful lady of May, I also took the chances of conversing them through love letters. However I was not writing for my sake but for the bully classmates that sought my assistance to furnish them a beautiful rendition to some lady they met on the street. Thinking of crushes is a part of teenage years where one’s face is invaded with zits only to add a more challenging world in courting. What can be more interesting is the fact that there is always a way to compensate for somebody’s shortcomings – and no other act can compete with writing a good letter; and the bully boys had figured that out well. It even made me more convinced of the power of words, how it can blur any imperfection and create an alluring persona to adore. Apparently, it is the words that transform man – too good to be a tool for inveigling.

Now, letter writing is becoming extinct as the Gen-X succumbed to practically new adventures that technology is offering. The age of text and twitter may all be good at one point creating an avenue for social networking yet miss the point of “sentimentality.” Its social cohesion shapes not just how the people behave but also fashions an easy way to start off with relationships. And unlike letters which are done laboriously and are mostly consulted before venturing into the receiver’s hand, this savvy age lost the very essence of proximity as perfect ingredients to pursue a long working relationship. The danger is even greater now that emotions are becoming unruly and are hardly validated like a water vapor that exists in reality but not tangible to human touch.

Although I have not been raised in the days of letters, I know then that the words they expressed, regardless of its authenticity, can all be validated by the receiver. After all letters are easily tracked back to where it comes from. I admit that it will never be gone for our age given the existence of cyber mails or emails (mostly are too formal or plain notifications), yet the question of content’s intention will all be at stake. I am not saying that this technology doesn’t work for relationships, what I am trying to point out is the danger that lurks behind. Can you imagine how many broken hymens SMS have caused by deceit? Those are all possible in texting. Yet, unlike text messages that easily forgotten once the SIM is blocked or the phone is lost, letters, which are fashioned delicately by human hands, may be kept under the pillow, lovingly regarded and truly felt by the lover. Alas, that day is fading.

Photo Credit: Sara Remington

Categories: education, letters, philosophy

Re-defining Our Fight

August 7, 2009 15 comments

The death of Cory Aquino spurred an emotion of solidarity among the Filipinos especially those who have witnessed the downfall of the Philippine Republic under the dictatorship of Marcos. The yellow flowers, ribbons and scattered confetti reminded us of the glorious day when the dictator was finally subjected to the undying thirst for justice, peace and clean governance, and we started to redefine our stand in more solid ground. Then we found ourselves looking at the bright aspect delineated to the changes in socio-political affair.  We have become a proud nation to achieve much in the global scene by crowding the streets armed with sentiments like that of the First Quarter Storm and the huge thirst quenching the EDSA revolution. We won the fight like eager mice trudging the dangerous path packed with hungry cats and successfully grabbed a piece of cheese that is worth our nation’s pride: exactly what Prometheus did among the sleeping gods.

Yes, we have won the fight. The question is what kind of fight? I do not claim to know more than anyone else about the ordeal of our country, but since the problem is apparent and could easily be pondered over a cup of coffee or a simple mind break in carenderia, it is my wish to say something  of what I percieve about it. After all, things are seen in various epistemological angles and one has the right to say what he thinks of the current situation in our country that escalates between the believers and the incredulous. Mind you, the danger may all be depending on what we believe. Sometimes, it takes more than courage and pure whim to unravel what should be done to re-define our common ground in order to prosper as a nation. And yes, we are constantly struggling to find our way to fight the foes that hurdle us to this redefinition of ourselves. Again – What kind of fight?

When you look back to our history, we could see that the Filipino people are fighting all their lives. First we showed our valor by toppling the Spanish colonizers only to realize it was just a coy for the entrance of Americans after we had been sold for more than a million dollars. After realizing that we are like turn-tables that have been passed from one hand to another, we plotted skirmishes to highlight our willingness to stand for what is right even if  it meant sacrificing lives against the super-power nation. It was a kind of fight where we repelled invasion just to preserve our natural identity as Filipinos. And after each success we tend to drown into oblivion the essence of such revolutions as an initial ladder to realizing our long-search for true identity.

The second phase of revolution has taken a different form. Unlike the first one which can be regarded as an external fight to defend our sovereignty, the latter is a kind of introspection: Our fight is not against external forces but individuals amongst us. Examples of this are the EDSA 1 and 2 Revolutions where we ousted individuals who have been traitors to their own kind. Because of our nescience on which ground to stand on, we allowed the budding evil to morph with us that in the end caught us off-guard. People have suffered more than they have during colonization because the adversary knew the nook and crook of how to play the devil’s game.  Thus, we have to fight harder to reverse the damage they brought.

Then the pattern continues. This time revolution moves deeper. How many times have we rallied in the street to shout that the government step out and leave their seats? How many times did we condemn cheating and malevolence in the administration because they have not been stealing from the national treasury? If you still consider this a good fight, then you are merely stranded in the second phase of revolution. What I am trying to say is that there are wicked individuals we see apart from ourselves. If you come to think of it, the worst enemy is ourselves which we are collectively unmindful of. We can all attest to this from the simple instance of throwing our garbage on the street to preserving corrupt officials by being loyal to them because of utang ng loob. We may laugh at this at times because this is so trivial to take into account, but when you look at its effect, there is no sheer difference between you and the one you are loathing. You cannot simply wipe out the dirt by dirt. Thus, by reflecting on it, it all boils to one ultimate premise: The Self. This self is not just the battle of some or of groups of political factions but of every Filipino who are tired of the maelstrom of history where a single mistake in the past is revived back to the concurrent political arena.

Hence, it is when we have waged war against ourselves that we become infectious and worthy in re-defining our ground. Just imagine how a good self can transform other lives like what Mother Teresa and of John Paul II did. If you replicate it a hundred times, then this country may already be a happy nation. Yet no matter how ideal this may sound, it could be achieved when we will it to happen. With what’s happening to our country, amidst turmoil, I guess, the greatest message of the death of Ninoy and Cory is just one: Beware, we are our greatest enemy. And by taking this message by heart, only then shall we authentically define the real fight for our nation.ninoy

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