Friday, December 4, 2009

The Out of the Ordinary Juan

There are people that you meet in ordinary places and circumstances that seems to make your life a bit easier, more livable and more enjoyable – these people comes in different shapes and sizes but they are a bit extraordinary.

For example, this morning, there was this person who rode on the same Jeepney that Sky and I took going to her school.

He took the seat up front near the driver and was carrying two sling bags. We were seated at the opposite side and right in the middle of the bench.

He was about to pay for his fare when all of a sudden the passengers on his side of the car and almost all at the same time brought out their money to pay for their fares too. This person then reach out for the fares of all the other passengers one by one and with a smile each time. Not a single soul said ‘thank you’ – what would you expect, this is the City of Manila – but he just smiled anyway. When at last every single fare and change was delivered, he took out his money and pay the driver his own fare.

He alighted the at the Pureza LRT station along with most of the passengers and then a new set of passengers entered the passenger jeep.

The last of the new batch was a middle-aged woman carrying a small bag and she was trying to get a seat in the middle but the Jeepney was already full so she has no other choice but to get the seat up front nearest to the driver, the same place where the kind man was seated earlier.

She took out her cellfone and texted away. Then, the passengers from the back and almost all at the same time brought out their money to pay for their fares. There were people trying to pass the fares to her because she was nearer the driver’s seat but the woman just texted and texted not minding the other passengers.

The person next to her was forced to make long stretches just to bring the fares to the driver’s hand.

One by one the passengers went down and seeing that her side of the bench was already free the woman moved to the back. The only one left in the Jeepney was her, me and sky.

She then brought out her fare and then reach out to me and said “pakisuyo po” - of course I reached for her fare and then inched my way to bring her fare to the driver.

After seeing that her fare was safely delivered she then went back to texting again.

Realizing the irony of this trip, I suddenly missed the person who was kind enough to reach for the passengers fare earlier and began to wonder why everyone can’t be like that.

Maybe this small realization could become a guide for us in selecting the people that we want in our lives - whether a friend, a lover or even our next President.

We should select people that makes life easier.  People who are kind. People who goes out of their way to reach out and help and people you’ll miss when they’re not around.

Leaders, servants or just the plain out of the ordinary JUAN.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Extinction is a word used to refer to the death of the very last individual of a species.

It is evolution's way of cleansing - 'survival of the fittest.' A popular term to relate with 'Natural Selection.' An inevitable fact of life.

Those who are unable to adapt cease to exist. A hard truth each one of us must face.

Here are some animals recently added to the extinct list (1980 - present):









Extinction is caused by several factors: climactic change, natural calamity, and of course a dominant species usually a highly evolved predator.

Prior to modern man, the dominant species would be the dinosaurs (tyranasaurus rex, the raptors and other large predators) - which maybe, one of the primary reason of the extinction of the inferior of their kind.

Today, MAN is the dominant species. We are either the main cause or contributing to almost all the recorded extinction that has happened from as early as the 16th Century up to the 20th Century.
  • Mauritius Dodo (hunted to extinction) - 17th Century
  • Steller's Sea Cow (hunted to extinction) - 18th Century
  • Atlas Bear (hunted for sport to extinction) - 19th Century
  • Falkland Island Fox (Intended Extermination) - 19th Century
  • Great Auk (hunted to extinction) - 19th Century
  • Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger (hunted to extinction) - 20th Century
  • Israel Painted Frog (marsh habitat drained) - 20th Century
  • Caribean Monk Seal (hunted to extinction) - 20th Century
  • African Cape Lion (hunted to extinction) - 20th Century
  • Caspian Tiger (Intended Extermination) - 20th Century

The most notable extinction directly caused by MAN was of the 'passenger pigeon' - from being the world's most populous bird to become extinct in 1914 due to indescriminate hunting.

MAN is the ultimate predator and all other are inferior species. The only threat to MAN as of today is MAN itself. That is why our world have seen its share of GENOCIDES (which is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group).

Meanwhile, we see this modern killing field all around us. Right at our own backyard, in our school at work, most evidently in the corporate world and in politics.

MAN is very destructive.

However, even the dinosaurs - more fierce and powerful than modern man - met their match.

In comparison to a clock, the dinosaurs ruled the earth for about 6 to 7 hours while modern man for only about 3 seconds. It makes you wonder, that at the rate and status of our efficiency of killing each other - will we be able to reach at least a minute before we become extinct?

They say that a meteor might have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

They say that we might even suffer a similar fate.

Or, maybe a new species will wipe us out and replace us as the dominant one in the planet. A mutated virus or a lethal bacteria perhaps. In this case, the hunter now becomes the prey

However, we must not also discount the possibility that our extinction might be caused by our own doing (through a nuclear war perhaps..) - we have proven time and time again to the world of our capacity for destruction.

Our Pride.

Our Lust for Power.

Just look at Philippine Politics for example if you can see any kind of redemption.

Maybe, extinction would be a saving grace for Mother Earth.

A cleansing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SANTOL is a Fruit, ROTONDA is a Place

Wanna hear something funny?

You see, my little daughter is a PREP student at STI Sta. Mesa. STI-Sta. Mesa is located at the corner of SANTOL ext. and Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. (near Stop and Shop). Before we could get there we would ride a Jeepney from Pandacan Bayan going to ROTONDA (along the intersection of Nagtahan and Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. (near Save More) then we would ride another Jeepney going to Santol. So basically, she was very familiar with Santol, Rotonda and Stop and Shop. (She's 5 already)

Yesterday, Tam brought home a big Santol Fruit and she showed it to Sky (my little girl) - this was the first time she saw the fruit. She never tasted one yet. She was told that the name of the fruit is Santol.

This morning, as Sky was getting ready for school she took the fruit again from the table and showed it to Tam and said... Mom look, (proudly pointing at the fruit)... ROTONDA.


I just had one of those heart to heart moment with my 5 year old daughter early this afternoon as I was carrying her home after her class at STI Prep School. She's now in PREP.She asked me, "Daddy are you going out later?"

I said, "No." and then asked her why.

She said, "Cause I don't want you to go."

Then I said, "What if I have work to do or I have a job and I need to go out later?"

Then she said, "I have a job too."

"Yeah, what?" I asked her.

"My job is to go to school, your job is to carry me."

I smiled and blow in her ears.

She smiled back and then said, "Daddy, when I get older you'll still carry me to school, OK?"

"I can barely carry you right now, how can I carry you when you're older?" I protested.

"You'll be like as heavy as an elephant by then." Then we laughed.

And then I said "OK."


I have recently watched this full length animation called Monsters Vs. Aliens by Dreamworks.
It’s about this human girl Susan. Who, after being hit by a huge asteroid grew in strength and size.

Captured by the government and then put in a cell together with four other odd looking monsters: Dr. Cockroach (experimented on himself to be able to possess a cockroach’s survival ability but of course having the side effect of looking like one), BOB (a gelatinous mass of goo that eats about anything), Link (half man-half fish) and Insectosaurus (A giant caterpillar-type insect that metamorphosed into a giant butterfly before the end of the film).
Their fate would change after an alien came to earth with his probe robots to retrieve and extract the energy that Susan absorbed from the asteroid.

Well to make the long story short, Monster wins and Aliens lose.

Susan gets to appreciate her new self and her monster friends.

Here are some of the things I’ve picked up from the story:

People feared monsters so they isolate them. We do that. We fear what we don’t understand. We dispose of things that are out of the ordinary.

Those who possess great talents don’t usually use it. Because they fear it, that is why we have frustrated artists and engineers, scientists and many more others hiding and denying themselves the opportunity to achieve greatness with these talents and skills.

Most people are afraid to be different, to be unique or to go against the flow.

So they buy things that they don’t really need, wear clothes that they don’t really like, say things that they don’t really mean and act like everybody else because that’s what the others are doing.

What does it take to be a monster?

BE BIG! You must be enormously “BIG.”

Think BIG. Do things BIG. Give everything and anything your 100%. Make the ordinary extra-ordinary. Remember P.T. Barnum and his Circus?

BE MAD! You must be “MAD” enough or possess an eccentric personality to do the unimaginable and unconventional.

Every great idea emanates from something that is totally unthinkable. Every slice of truth that we know right now comes from unbelievable theories from people that are anything but credible.

Who would have thought that putting water in a bottle would turn out to be a multi-million industry right now? 20 years ago – this was just a silly joke.

BE FEARSOME! You must be “INTIMIDATING” and strike fear in everyone’s heart.

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions.

Fear drives people to new heights and every possibilities.

Actually, most of us are directly or indirectly motivated by fear. The fear of losing your job, the fear of losing money, the fear of losing a loved one, the fear of not being accepted, the fear of doing nothing.

Fear drives us and motivates us.
Being a monster is about motivating people to achieve their own goals and in the process you achieve yours. Reminding them of their fears and indirectly inspiring them to be producers and innovators. Intimidating them in whatever way possible so that they strive and grind and do more than what they would usually do.

This is why parents are usually seen by their kids as MONSTERS.

This is why Leading Corporations are seen by their lesser competitors as MONSTERS.

This is also how nations came to be. We were governed and moved by different kinds of MONSTERS.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Apocalypse of Our Own Doing

I was watching last night season three of the hit 90's Chris Carter (creator of X-Files) TV Series - Millennium which stars Lance Henriksen (Terminator 1, Alien) as FBI Special Agent Frank Black.

Millennium lasted for three seasons on FOX.
I am now down to the final episodes and in an episode that I was watching last night, Frank Black (Lance) received an internet virus through a video game warning him about an impending danger and the message was:
The Apocalypse of Our Own Creation

I was fixated with the message and actually re-winded that scene a couple of times before finishing the whole episode.
The Apocalypse of Our Own Creation

Apocalypse is a Greek word for "revelation." It is a term used to mean a form of disclosure to special privileged people of something that is perpetually hidden from the rest of the world.

In today's language - the end of the world (Apokalupsis Eschaton).

In the Christian point of view, an apocalypse is described as a God-to-Prophet thing. It's a special part of the relationship between the divine and the messenger and the result being is a divine message.
Whether it be about the future, the present or the past.

But in the series, it was clearly mentioned

A revelation that we ourselves made?

An end that we ourselves designed?

And there maybe some truths about that statement. From the pages of mankind's history book we saw the Atomic Bomb, Incidents of Genocide, HIV outbreak, the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, GLOBAL WARMING... just to name a few.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
We can actually level it down to smaller events that happened in our own backyard like Landslides due to indiscriminate mining, Flash Floods due to deforestation, Growing National Debt due to Government Spending and Graft and Corruption, and so on and so forth. The future is very much predictable right now.
The Apocalypse of our own creation

If we can create our own apocalypse - then, it is also true to say that we can design a better revelation.

The future is very much predictable right now but... the future isn't written yet.

We can write a better one starting today by taking charge of our own future and by doing something about it.

Oppose indiscriminate mining, plant more trees, expose and jail the corrupt and do whatever we can to make this world more just and fair to all its inhabitants.