Tag Archives: Filipinos

Congratulations Manny Pacquiao!

16 Nov

Pinoy Pride once again!

Just want to congratulate Manny for bagging his 8th title in his boxing career! You are a legend Pacman !You deserve this 8th win because of your humility and for not forgetting to bring the honor and glory back to our God. You made us, the Filipinos proud. Again, congratulations!

Why I grieve for the loss of President Corazon Aquino

5 Aug

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From my journal, dated July 26, 2009:

“I am personally saddened about learning that the former president Aquino is in the hospital fighting for her life. I pray that she gets better soon.”

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This is what I wrote in my journal while we were on our way home from the church where our head pastor lead a prayer for the former President Aquino. Indeed I was personally saddened upon learning her condition while she was still Makati Medical Center, but now my heart grieves for her loss.

I was born in the 80’s. I was 4 years old  when she became the president. All I could remember was the election, seeing her rival, Marcos’ face on the television and hearing my parents and some adult relatives and neighbors talking about them. I even remember saying, “kawawa naman si Marcos” , but I was corrected by my aunt, telling me that he deserves it. Of course, I really have no idea what was happening that time, I don’t understand what was going on, all I know is that the dictator Marcos looks pitiful on television. But the people around me were all rejoicing over Aquino’s victory.

Few years after that, I was in my mother’s hometown which is a 2-hour drive from Manila, I remember  while playing “baril-barilan” (toy guns) with my childhood friends (yes I used to play a lot of boys’ games) an elderly neighbor shouted at us and told us to stop playing. She said, there is already a chaos happening in Manila and playing a game like that is not good. She was talking about the coup d’é·tat in Manila during Aquino’s administration.

Then I also remember seeing advertisements on TV with some of the military men’s faces whom the government called as state enemies for staging the coup. I particularly recalled Honasan’s head shot. I also remember the massive power interruptions. Other than those I have mentioned, I don’t remember anything anymore during her term. I guess I was too young to remember.

About 1-2 decades after, I have some good memories about Mrs. Aquino. I don’t personally know her and haven’t even seen her in flesh but with her participation in fighting for truth, justice and righteousness during the past few years, she had earned my utmost respect. She bravely went out to the street and made her stand on political issues. Even after being diagnosed for cancer, she still didn’t stop supporting the fight for the righteous government. Truly she is an icon of democracy. We were encouraged when she joined forces with the  Filipinos who never lose hope for the Philippines.

I was saddened by her illness and grieves for her death. I felt like we have lost someone so significant, someone so vital for the fight we are fighting for the future of the nation. That I think is the very reason I grieve.

For the past few days, reports were showing the whole Philippines in grief. We are all mourning. They also showed how her death unifies the Filipinos. It is indeed good to see my fellowmen show concern and not being apathetic on what is going on. It is a good news from the bad news. But I hope it will not end here. I pray and hope that President Aquino’s legacy will always be remembered. I pray it will continue to live on in every hearts and minds of each Filipino citizen.

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Thank you President Corazon Aquino. Thank you, you made us proud to be Filipinos.

“Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa Panginoong Diyos na ginawa niya akong isang Pilipino”
— Cory Aquino, September 2008

A Halloween Party Pooper!

31 Oct

Yes, ND  said I’m a party pooper.  That’s after me telling him about the Halloween party at work that I didn’t participate in, at least in wearing costume.  But I wore a black shirt. Ain’t it enough?

We have a Halloween celebration at the office but none from our department dressed up for it nor we have the Halloween decoration on our work stations. So I guess we are all a party poopers!

But I don’t care at all. While others from my department didn’t participate in wearing creepy costumes, might be because they just don’t feel like it or that they have other reasons, my own reason is because we don’t really celebrate it or I personally don’t at all believe in celebrating it. Why? I have reasons.

First, being a Christian, I don’t think I should. And I don’t think I should still elaborate on that.

Second, it’s not too “Filipino”.  It’s just too “American” for me.  While I don’t have anything against Americans celebrating them, dressing up in scary costumes or something… it’s just not actually the culture in the Philippines.  While it is also a holiday in the Philippines on this day, well, Nov. 1 actually, it’s not for Halloween, instead it’s called All Saint’s Day and the day after it, Nov 2, is All Souls Day.

Although growing up, I never had heard or seen anyone honoring the “saint’s” during Nov. 1, it is mostly spent going to hometowns and visiting relatives and the grave of the dead loved ones that stretches until Nov 2. It is when they offer flowers and lit candles, and for Chinese-Filipinos, it is also about offering food. However, growing up in  a Christian family, we didn’t really visit graves on the dates mentioned and offer prayers and candles at the same time because we believe that we can visit them anytime in a year, lit candles and that’s it.

About praying for them, I don’t think so. They are already dead. I mean, the main reason most Catholics believe that they should pray for the dead love ones is because they believe in purgatory (which Christians like me don’t) and that their dead family member may be in that place so if they keep on praying for them, God will deliver them out from that place and send them to heaven. That’s the reason we don’t have to pray for them anymore. Because it’s either you go to hell or heaven and there is nothing you can do about it anymore once you are in any of that place.

We can also visit them on these dates but it’s not just because of the tradition.

Third reason. We are just too busy in our department. We have a lot of workloads at the moment and it can’t be delayed.  Yes it may sound too corny but that’s exactly what happened. Others are interested to have something, but none of us have the time to decorate and I guess some of them as just not interested at all for some reasons. But even if I have the time, I won’t. Others, if they want to, I won’t mind it at all.

So I don’t care if I am called a party pooper or what, as long as I don’t compromise my beliefs and hold on to my conviction no matter which environment I am in.

Imagine a World without Filipinos

20 Jun

Just thought I’d post this inspiring article here. Proud to be Pinoy!

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Imagine a World without Filipinos

by: Abdullah Al-Maghlooth | Al-Watan, almaghlooth@alwatan.com.sa

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 workers — 1,019,577 — outside the Philippines. In 2006 alone, the Kingdom recruited more than 223,000 workers from the Philippines and their numbers are still increasing. Filipinos not only play an important and effective role in the Kingdom, they also perform different jobs in countries across the world, including working as sailors. They are known for their professionalism and the quality of their work.

Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos, who make up around 20 percent of the world’s seafarers. There are 1.2 million Filipino sailors.

So if Filipinos decided one day to stop working or go on strike for any reason, who would transport oil, food and heavy equipment across the world? We can only imagine the disaster that would happen.

What makes Filipinos unique is their ability to speak very good English and the technical training they receive in the early stages of their education. There are several specialized training institutes in the Philippines, including those specializing in engineering and road maintenance. This training background makes them highly competent in these vital areas.

When speaking about the Philippines, we should not forget Filipino nurses. They are some 23 percent of the world’s total number of nurses. The Philippines is home to over 190 accredited nursing colleges and institutes, from which some 9,000 nurses graduate each year. Many of them work abroad in countries such as the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore.

Cathy Ann, a 35-year-old Filipino nurse who has been working in the Kingdom for the last five years and before that in Singapore, said she does not feel homesick abroad because “I am surrounded by my compatriots everywhere.” Ann thinks that early training allows Filipinos to excel in nursing and other vocations. She started learning this profession at the age of four as her aunt, a nurse, used to take her to hospital and ask her to watch the work. “She used to kiss me whenever I learned a new thing. At the age of 11, I could do a lot. I began doing things like measuring my grandfather’s blood pressure and giving my mother her insulin injections,” she said.

This type of early education system is lacking in the Kingdom. Many of our children reach the university stage without learning anything except boredom.

The Philippines, which you can barely see on the map, is a very effective country thanks to its people. It has the ability to influence the entire world economy.

We should pay respect to Filipino workers, not only by employing them but also by learning from their valuable experiences.

We should learn and educate our children on how to operate and maintain ships and oil tankers, as well as planning and nursing and how to achieve perfection in our work. This is a must so that we do not become like Muhammad Al-Maghrabi who lost his interest and appetite when Filipino workers left his flower shop.

We have to remember that we are very much dependent on the Filipinos around us. We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.

Filipinos Today

2 Mar

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I once listened to a speech by one local politician, not a traditional one though, talking about the current political situation in the Philippines. He enumerated what the current administration has done and is doing at the moment. He reminded us about the scams the present government has, like the “fertilizer scam, textbook scam, the 2004 electoral fraud popularly known as the Hello Garci Scam , the malacanang bribery and others I could not remember, including of course the famous ZTE-NBN Scandal that is currently being investigated by the Senate, Department of Justice and the Ombudsman. The scandal proved to be a really huge one after the star-witness Jun Lozada named some prominent and influential people that including the first couple as part of this multi-bilion ZTE- NBN Deal.

Anyway, that is not what I am writing about now. Well maybe I’ll write about it later on. I was particularly moved by what this local politician said about the Filipinos today. I don’t know where he got it but it’s something that bothers me. Well, from his speech he said that today there are 3 kinds of Filipinos and they are:

1. The News Junkies- which is about 15% of the population

2. The News Ignorant – which is again 15%

3. The News Junkies turned News Ignorant- which describes the 70% of the population.

I’d like to change number 3 though. A friend of mine indirectly suggested that it should be “News Junkies turned Apathetic.” Sad to say but it is true.  Most Filipinos seem to have become numb and unconcerned about the country now. It seems that they couldn’t care less now whether those  in position right now are robbing the people through anomalous government projects, constantly lying and fooling its citizens and abusing its power. It is alarming that most of the population fell on category 3 who seem to lost interest on what’s going on their homeland.

Somehow I’d like to think that it is because of what seems to be“failed” People Power Revolutions that happened twice (or thrice) in the past. Yes we (I was part of EDSA People Power 2) successfully ousted the immoral president in 2001, and evicted the most hated dictator in 1986 (ESDA People Power 1). Call me bias but I’d rather not mention the 3rd EDSA. I once read an article, I forgot where but it says that probably the reason why the people particularly the middle class or the working class seem to lose their interest now is because the Marcoses who were ousted from the position through People Power 1 are still free and were not really charged for their wrongdoings and that some of their family members are again in the position now. Then Joseph Estrada who was also ejected from presidency through People Power 2, and though was charged for plunder and other cases and was under “house arrest” for a few years and was charged guilty with his plunder case last year by the Sandigan Bayan and was sentenced for a Reclusión Perpetua, which could have been a proof that justice exists in the Philippines and it does not favor the rich and those in power, turned out to be completely the opposite when he was pardoned by no other than Gloria herself which makes him a free man now. Ironically too, he is one of those calling the one who pardoned him to resign now because of the controversies surrounding the GMA government. Isn’t that funny?

These probably are the reasons why people seems to have not grown interest in joining the street protests against GMA. Those who were ousted are still free now, enjoying their wealth. Some of their family members are again in power, they were not jailed in the truest sense of the word, yes because ERAP was just under “house arrest”. He still could eat all the food that he wanted, experience luxury except to go out of his house. But still he didn’t experience what the other prisoners have in National Bilibid Prison. People might have a thought that if GMA will be ejected from Malacanang, she and her “cohorts” will not be charged as well or that  justice will not be served.

Somehow I don’t want to blame them for thinking that way but I do hope that the patriotism and nationalism will spark once more in their hearts and minds and that they will open up their eyes with what is going on in our beloved country and start to stand up and fight for truth, righteousness and morality to reign in this country.

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