Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ON FRUITCAKES AND DOUBLE EDGE SWORDS



Fruitcakes and Double Edge Swords

A reverse edge sword like the one that Kenji Himura uses from the hit anime Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) is what I am craving for right now.

It's not what you think - I am not about to commit a Hara kiri or Seppuku.

I am of course speaking metaphorically.

A reverse edge sword may seem useless or meaningless but at least you know its downright worth.

However, most of the things that we receive in life are double edge swords.

As the eraserhead song 'fruitcake' say.. ".. there's a B side in every story.."

Blessings and misfortunes are one and the same, it is how you take it that makes all the difference. - this is a lesson in life that I always had trouble learning. I have been going to this class all my life and still haven't mastered it yet.

I am so engulfed with the notion that you can put order in everything and everything has its own place - That time is a tangible asset - but order is but an illusion for life is born out of chaos and time is but an essence of reality, uncontrolled and unpredictable.

We don't own the universe and we can't tell if the pieces will fall perfectly as you imagined it to be.

I have a dear friend who got everything that he wished for. Money, fame, a great job, honor and his very own family. But his mother died before he could give her everything, a year later his brother and year after that his father. I can see the torment in his eyes when he speaks about this - but he was greatly blessed nevertheless.

A family member who was a top executive in one of the top 100 corporations here in the Philippines receiving top salary that let's her enjoy a great amount of financial security is now diagnosed with Cancer.

I know a lot people who after being laid off and losing their jobs went on to make personal ventures and took on other profession and became even more successful and financially stable.

"Blessings and misfortunes are one and the same."

Both contain branches of uncertainties.

I believe, the person who recently won the 700Million grand lotto pot will see my point of view quite clearly - the anxiety, the fear, the overwhelming joy, the confusion, the responsibility attached to all that blessing - but of course I will welcome that difficulty anytime. :)

Most of the time, each blessing presents itself with its own misfortunes and vice-versa.

It is in my nature to be overly critical about things and sometimes skeptical about everything that is happening, good or bad. I am aware of this and I wish life would be simpler for me but it's just the way it is.

This litany of personal sorrow is brought to you by a never-ending and escalating life challenges that is getting me all worn out. It's like those presents you received that when you open the wrappings and the box, what you'll see is another gift wrapped box that contains another gift wrapped box, and another, and another one. The box gets smaller and smaller until it's too small to contain something significant.

Why can't it be as simple as just a gift wrapped box with a gift in it?

I really miss my family right now. I miss my two kids.

Anyway, maybe that's just the way it is. You can never have it all. 

Take a bite
It's alright
There's some brandy and star margarine to make it bright
Take a bite
It's alright
A little lovin' and some fruit to bake
Life is a piece of cake 

Friday, November 26, 2010

STAY AWAKE! AND BE READY FOR THE KING!

"Stay Awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come." - Matthew 24:27-44
be ready

In Matrix:Reloaded, the opening scene was a sort of a glimpse of the things to come where Neo (Keanu Reeves) dreamt of Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) dying. A prophecy. A future foreseen.


There are a lot of foreign films out there that executed perfectly a style that shows the climactic end first before going through the whole story. Knowing the end of the story makes the "reading" or "watching it" part seems pointless and dull. However, the part that really excites people to read-on or watch is not knowing when will that "end" come. How did it come to that? And, what will happen next.

To them, the end becomes a beginning.

Just like for Christians all over the world who will celebrate the beginning of Advent this Sunday. We all know what the end will be but we are always excited every year. Advent is but of course, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

And to that, the end of the Advent story will be the birth of Christ and this Sunday is the beginning of that story. But what is remarkable about this is that the expected end, which is the birth of Christ, is also in itself a great beginning - a start that will truly revolutionize how people think (hope), feel (love) and act (charity). Through His teachings, miracles and leadership we have experienced a new way to live our lives.

We must however, look at the Advent season as more of a personal experience rather than a worldwide celebration. An annual practice for every single one of us, so that when the time comes we will all be ready. Our faith is strong and our heart is pure and renewed.

The Lord will come.. yes, but when and how?

And are we prepared?

Some of us fear that meeting, because we may think that we are unworthy, that we have so many dirt in our souls and that this should be a cause for us to move away and stray. But, that is one element of the advent season that is truly wonderful. During this time we are called to renew ourselves. To clean ourselves of all our wrong-doings. To repent and make amends.

Some of us have grown weary. That because of all the hardships and loneliness that we've felt in this world, we all feel that it is a just enough cause for us to believe that He will never come. But that is also another beauty of the advent season. It reminds us, no... it TELLS us that the coming of the Lord is inevitable and true! All of us have suffered and sometimes some have suffered more, but it is my personal belief that suffering becomes a beacon of hope for everyone when we suffer for something that we believe in.

In a scene from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, upon seeing that Dumbledore was dead, all the faculties and students 'suffering' the loss of a dear friend and leader, raised their wands and lighted the sky which made the mark of the dark Lord in the heavens disappear.

We all carry this wand of light with us even in suffering if we suffer for the belief and faith in the coming of our Lord.

"Stay Awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come."

The main purpose of the advent season is not to prepare gifts, plan parties and vacations, or buy new gadgets and expect gifts.

The purpose is to prepare and make ourselves presentable or pleasing to the eye of the Lord. To renew ourselves. To be an instrument of hope for all people. To receive His love and share it with others and most specially those who need it.
Imitate the Lord. Look upon to what form and manner did He come to this world. A baby in a manger. - Be humble. Be meek. Be kind. Be true. - that is all.

Love is the key. He came because of love for mankind. His message was all about love - love for everyone, unconditional and true. Then show love.- that is all.
Be always ready. The key is to not only do the giving, the loving, the caring, the renewing.. only during advent season. You try to do these things all the time and that would be great. - that is all.

Bring heaven here on earth. When Jesus talked about the kingdom - He was not describing what it looks like but rather how it feels like to live there. Learn about the Kingdom, read the parables and know the teachings of the church about this. Understand what it meant and try to live by the principles that it stands for.

In C. S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, there is a scene there where the children, learning that Aslan is not a man but a lion are not only startled but down right alarmed. 

"Is he – quite safe?" Susan asks. "I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie, and no mistake," replies Mrs. Beaver, "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else silly." "Then he isn't safe?" Lucy asks. To which Mr. Beaver responds, "Safe? Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

Our Lord will come. He is just and merciful. He is good. We must be ready.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?


November 21, 2010

As I was designing a power point presentation about PCP-II (2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines), I stumbled upon a paragraph which struck me like a bolt of lightning. It said: 
Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new.

Now humanity is a vague word that might not necessarily mean the whole human species but rather its essence. Being human. We all have our darkness from within and sometimes that darkness over shadows that essence which we called 'humanity.'

This Sunday's Gospel reminds us of the last hour spent by Jesus while embracing that which made Him human. Facing death by the most gruesome and most embarrassing way possible. A sign was placed over his head which says "This is the King of the Jews." Mocked and humiliated until one man dying the same way as he was, defended him and entrusted his life to this crucified King.

Now, this act of punishment that Jesus received from the hands of people like you and me, could we, by our own reflection call this as humane? Drawing it from the context of being a human act of justice and therefore, part of our being human. Humanity?

'King' is also a human phrase and a human rank of power and glory. That is why when the word 'King' was branded to a man nailed on a cross and about to die- people see it as a big joke or even as an insult to the word.

There were a lot of contrasting events told in the Gospel today that which the paragraph from the PCP-II manual helped me realized.

Humanity is bigger than us, humans. It's larger than us and sometimes never us. When we do injustices, we lose our humanity. When we commit harm to other individuals, we lose our humanity. When we say bad things to other people, we lose our humanity. It is a contrast clearly seen in Golgotha where there suffers three crucified men and treated like animals - but we see those around them laughing and mocking as the real animals. This is so, because the very act of cruelty made by those who stands around them already rids them of their humanity.

A Kingly status is never about power and glory, it is about how others respect and believes in you. It is about the effortless influence you exert on people not because of what you wear, how rich you are or who you know but because of how you treat people, how you care for them and your sense of vision. Another contrasting event in the Golgotha scene. Jesus almost bare, powerless, wounded and dying was seen by one man as a savior. Someone who can deliver and protect him. A KING that he will follow to the end.

Evangelizing is to bring the good news to all the strata of humanity. The story and message of Christ received by all humans from within. A story of hope and salvation. I believe that whatever wrong things we do could never ever get rid of our humanity totally. There will always be a single drop of humanity left in all of us where we can draw upon strength to renew ourselves. That is why for those of us who have some strength to spare must do whatever we can to fuel those who have less. Your hope will inspire the hope of others. Your strength will be their strength. And the word of God flowing though you will flow through them. Jesus' teachings is not meant to turn us into Gods but it is meant to bring back our humanity and teach us to embrace it so that we may all live well.

Now why manifest the Lord's Kingly status during a time of suffering? Because I believe that the primary duty of a King is to protect his people. To love them. To fight for them. And if they will suffer, a king must suffer first to be able to save them.

Jesus died as a KING! The highest rank any man can bestow upon another man. And if we are to share in the Kingly vocation of Christ we must live by his example. Embrace our humanity and live by what it really stands for.

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” - Carl Gustav Jung

Jesus is truly a KING! Not just among Jews but a king to all HUMANITY!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WARNING: SMOKING KILLS!

Smoking Kills!

My father suffered and died from emphysema a chronic excruciating disease of the lungs due to excessive smoking.

He was a chain smoker.

He was a good father.

Actually, smoking doesn't kill the smoker at once but it prolongs the addiction long enough so that when your body becomes too weak from the toxins, that's the time when all the breathing problems and other ailments occur. And you have no choice but to cope with the suffering and the inconveniences of paying up for all the times you have abused your body.


It is a very costly disease. The maintenance medications and immediate relief drugs are so expensive not to mention the regular check-ups and the twice or thrice a year visit to the emergency room for serious attacks.

Smoking kills and that is an indisputable fact. If my story above doesn't sound convincing enough, then find out what a single stick of cigarette contains.

Of course there are a lot of those who don't give a shit about all of these warnings and what's-it-about.

I have to tell you, that it is not only your funeral, it is also your loved ones'. All the people you cared about and who cared for you, it is them who you should consider with every puff.

I am not talking about second-hand smoke dangers which is also very true, but the greater menace would be leaving them because you've made that choice.

Making them suffer by letting them see you suffer from your disease years from now.

I have chanced on a smokers blog site yesterday and he said in one of his posts that studies says that lung cancer is a disease that can't really be attributed to smoking (just like what everyone is saying) but with old age and a poor immune system.

If that is true, then by all means let us all die of lung cancer due to old age. Still, without opening a pack of cigarette.

You have a choice.

Smoking kills only those who allow IT to.

Monday, October 4, 2010

SOME TIPS WHEN COMMUTING IN METRO MANILA


Urban Trekking is one of my greatest pleasure.

I enjoy a good walk around any place as long as the weather permits it. I'd rather walk than wait inside a jeep or taxi specially when the traffic is moving slow. I take pleasure in looking at every buildings, houses, corners and the people roaming around each and everyday.

The only thing that tops this is trekking in the country side - which is far more exciting since I don't get to see it very often and the environment is much more conducive for such an activity.

Aside from the fun of just plain walking and its health and cost benefits, I also get spared from the troubles and stresses brought by commuting with or without a car.

Having your own vehicle means daily gasoline expenses, weekly and monthly maintenance costs and of course parking and traffic jams.

Using public utility vehicles is even worse. Although it is more cost efficient, there are a lot of hassles in using one and if you're not prepared for the culture of commuting in Metro Manila then I advise you to just stay at home or use a bicycle instead.

Anyway, here are some things that I always remind myself when commuting via public utility vehicles here in Metro Manila:

  • Always carry with you small change (1 peso, 5 pesos and 10 pesos). This is very useful when riding all kinds of vehicles. Pedicabs, Tricycles, Jeepneys, Taxi, Buses and even LRT. This will prevent drivers from making the lame excuse of not having any change to make you pay more than the usual fare. If possible plan everything and carry with you the exact amount that you need to pay for your fare. There are a lot of vultures out there so don't be a victim.
  • Expect the long lines of the LRT and MRT stations specially during rush hours and on end stations like Baclaran, EDSA Rotonda, Cubao, Monumento, Santolan, North and Recto. Again prepare the exact amount and wear comfortable clothes because almost all the stations specially the MRT line is not properly ventilated. If you're in a hurry don't bring lots of stuff because searches takes so long except for the Santolan station because they have x-ray bag scanners.
  • The holidays are almost here, if you need to bring gifts with you that are already wrapped don't take the LRT and MRT because they're going to ask you to open it. Although they have blade cutters there and scotch tapes ready for resealing, again, this will take a lot of time and trouble.
  • When taking a taxi, check for the air conditioning first because this is one of the main factor why you chose to ride it in the first place. There are still a lot of cabs out there that have terrible air conditioning.
  • Ask the taxi driver if he knows the place you want him or her to take you. If you know the place and he doesn't, then be a backseat driver but if you don't know the place and he doesn't also, it is best that you look for another cab who knows the place. This will minimize the risk of getting a lousy driver who will take advantage of you because you don't know how to get there. So when you arrive your bill is 3x higher than the usual trip.
  • As much as possible, don't take cabs that ask for a contract-out fare. Remember, tips are not to be settled before you enter the taxi. Ask always for a flag down and if they insist on contract payments go look for another one. Tips should never exceed 20 pesos. A 10 peso tip is very decent.
  • When paying for your fare to a jeepney driver, make sure that your payment is acknowledged. As much as possible don't bring out your pay when others are still paying or waiting for their change to avoid confusion.
  • Lastly, know your rights as a commuter or a passenger be courteous but also don't let yourself be fooled.
I have mentioned all of this because one time when I was riding a jeepney, the driver was all theatrical and complaining (which reminded me of Carlos Celdran) about passengers not having small change and that it was still early. But I can tell that he was just acting it all out just to pull up a scam, and I was right. Because majority of those who didn't have the exact fare when they paid were not able to get their change because the driver would let out an angry excuse that he already gave them their change. So, the passengers avoiding an early morning stressful confrontation just silenced themselves and let the driver make a litany of how they should've brought the exact fare in the first place.

I asked a college student who was seated beside me if she already got her change from the 10 pesos she gave the driver. I said that if she wants i'll remind the driver. She said "No, it's okay.. it's just 4 pesos. Thanks." Feeling that she didn't want to get embarrassed because the driver is being irrational, I respected her wishes.

Many injustices happen because we let them happen. So if you are not ready to defend your right as a commuter, a passenger or a consumer... then make the effort to not leave any room for anyone to fool you or take advantage of you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

THE FALL OF THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE

July 23, Yesterday - I picked up Sky from her school at around quarter to 1 but it rained so hard that we can't walk to the jeepney station.

So, Sky and I decided to have lunch at SM Sta. Mesa until the rain stop. We ate at Wendy's and then waited and waited and waited but the rain won't stop.

Later, that afternoon while going around the mall, we stopped by the cinema area and I started taking pictures of Sky with the movie posters and the standees.

The movie showing that time was the latest Disney film called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" which stars Nicolas Cage. According to movie critics, this was the 2nd Disney Flop this year following the "Prince of Persia" - showing us that movie goers would go for a good script rather than awesome special digital effects. But for me, I think the two movies are just okay. It's not their best works but it's not their worst either.

Ironically, the fall of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" takes a new form that afternoon. Sky was posing on the standee when she accidentally leaned on it that it slowly fell to the tune of "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh..." from all the people in the cinema area.

I was like, "Sorry... sorry" to the guard that helped me picked up the huge cardboard standee. And the guard was saying "it's ok sir.." smiling like this was some kind of a coffee break for him.

Luckily Sky was not hurt and no one was standing behind the standee when it fell.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DO ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS

Life is much sweeter when you're a kid and here are some of the things those over the age of 20 perhaps would want to bring back into their lives. Simple things that spells out rule number one of being young.

ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS!


Your bedroom could be anything you want IT to be.

It's the power of imagination that sets kids apart from the adult world. I used to play for countless of hours on my bed with just a couple of pillows, a blanket, a flashlight or whatever junks on it and a whole lot of imagination. I never had a lot of toys when I was a kid, never had a lot of friends either so it's me and my bedroom all the way. I can imagine it to be a battlefield and start making sounds that would irritate my parents to the max. A jungle, and be a dinosaur or something less ferocious - but never a bunny, no... bunnies are for wimps.

Can you imagine a small space in the house turning into something big like the entire universe? When you're young everything is bigger and even small places can be a whole set of new adventures, full of mysteries waiting to be found.

Sadly, when we get older, our bedroom turns into something like just an ordinary bedroom. To rest on. Well of course there are other stuff you can do in your bedroom when you're not a kid anymore that requires some imagination as well, but I will not dwell on that subject.

What I'm trying to point out is, when we get bigger things get smaller. We see things a little too narrow. We tend to believe less in possibilities and dwell on the practicality and logic of things. We see people, things and events as boxes. All with its four corners. We don't see past the images we see at the moment anymore. We don't imagine wonderful consequences nor beautiful transformations.

Battlefields are now real blood and gore. Jungles are now places that have malaria and other diseases. Dinosaurs don't exist anymore and outer space is just so out there.

Kids don't care if these things are real or not. They just know that it is fun. They always have in their minds the question - "WHAT IF?"

WHAT IF...

We've lost that question a long time ago and if it ever comes across our minds we quickly dismiss it with rational thoughts.

All of the great minds of the past, inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and revolutionaries were those we often call as eccentric, insane, obsessed lunatics raving about their mad ideas to the world. But, they have changed the way we lived our lives today.

They were the kid at heart. Those who even at their 30's or 50's imagined that their bedrooms could be surrounded by light (Thomas Edison), fly (Leonardo da Vinci), or move from place to place without pedal or a horse pulling it (Karl Benz).

If they can do it, maybe we can also. How? Here are some things I've picked up from that bedroom experience.

Believe. In yourself. In others. In possibilities.

Big things can happen in small spaces. It's not the size of your resources that matters but on how big you can dream.

Write your own story and make it happen. 
The scene, the characters and the plot? It's all up to you. You call the shots because it is your own. If you fail or succeed, it happened because you have written it that way. Take responsibility and ownership of your life.

[Written on June 9, 2010]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Winning the Lotto

*WINNING THE LOTTO, originally written May 2010 on www.raindeocampo.com

I am an on-and-off fan of the PCSO Lottery Game since it started. An occasional gambler so-to-speak.

I have not bought a ticket in months and then suddenly last Thursday I was drawn to the booth once again to try my luck on the growing pot - which was at 190 Million Pesos already at that time.

I have lost faith in lottery. Probably because I have never had the chance of winning an amount bigger than the usual 20 or 40 Pesos consolation prizes.
 
Lately, I’ve noticed that even if the pot was extremely high – the lines in various Lotto outlets are shorter.

Maybe, many people have lost faith as well on the government-run game of chance.

This assumption led me to talked to people who used to put in big moolas on lottery tickets but did not made any attempt to buy a single ticket during the last draw period.

They said that it is better to buy tickets for the draws with lesser pot money, the draws are more credible than the big draws where the prize will most likely be given to only one or two winners because the draws are rigged.

Of course there was no way of proving the allegations.

However, I was able to talk to some people who knew someone that actually won the lottery – so they believe that the draws are legit.

I have also talked to people waiting in line to buy lottery tickets.

Some of them said that they go for it because of the element of CHANCE even when they know that their chances of winning is almost near-impossible.

Can you imagine the number of combinations generated for the 6/42 game alone?

5,245,786 combinations! You actually get better chances of being hit by a lightning twice.

Some said they buy tickets but not as many as before because the times are hard and that they also know that there is a big possibility that the draws might be rigged.

I said, if you know this… then why take a chance?

Their answers: “Nagbabaka-sakali lang”

Whatever the case may be, all I know is that those people in the lotto booth line are people who have put a variable amount of hope and faith that lottery will change their lives - for the better.

Armed with hope on a piece of paper which to most people who join the lottery, is the most priceless item in their lives - until after the draw is done.

MINE, right now, is just another piece of small trash in our waste basket.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MY BIG BREAK

"Eto na ang break mo... KAGATIN MO NA!"

I wonder how Robin Padilla got his big break in show business?

Actually, I really don't understand the concept of a "Big Break" maybe it's because I don't feel like anything like that has ever happened to me before.

Someone told me that "Luck is the event of being ready for an opportunity when it happens."

So, luck may also be called as a "Big Break"

And when you missed out on that "Big Break" that may be attributed to being "Unlucky" or having a "Bad Luck" or any other extreme phrases you can think of to express disappointments.

Well, if that's the case then I think I've had my share of "Big Breaks" as well in the past.
Sadly, 'Big Breaks' are not meant to last. They're one shot deals that disappears when taken for granted or when not fully realized (understood or accepted).

So maybe, it was really entirely my fault that my "Big Breaks" didn't last that long.

Let me cite some instances.

Two years of investing and putting into trial a lot of systems to find out what works and what didn't.. and after finally setting up a good system and was about to reap the rewards of all my hard work somebody shows up, inexperienced and incompetent and with all the wrong motives, snatches up your two years work and networks.

This person was the anointed one.. the one baptized in a river and to whom the boss' finds favor (if you get my drift).

The opportunity here is to kiss the buts of the bosses and you get to stay in your place. BUT I am never that good at kissing buts - I am however good at kicking them.

To make the story short - I kicked buts and I got sacked. :)

Not very good playing with incompetent people, it usually makes my stomach sick.

If I did, I might still be there reaping. So... it was really my fault.

This incident happened to me twice.. my reaction was the same and I got the same result.

There must be something wrong with me! hehehe.

That's why I will never be able to make it inside politics. It's a very messy place and I don't like messy places. I can never condition myself to see a messy place and not do anything about it.

I will never understand the concept of a "Big Break" entirely but maybe I'll just have to hope that I will still get mine, someday. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

HELP WANTED

Here is a typical local job wanted advertisement box that you'll find on leading newspapers today and specially on Sundays:

WORKER NEEDED

Female Only

not more than 28 years old

with at least 1 year experience


What's my interpretation?

Female Only

Well, if you're a male you got no chance of getting a job there and believe me, majority of the ads that you'll find on newspapers these days prefers female workers than male for reasons that aren't so clear to me.

I'm going to generalize that this would mean that there are more job opportunities for female workers than for male these days. So probably, there will be even more 'tambays' in the Philippines.

Some people are quick to judge men of being just lazy but look at the present social structure that they are living in right now. I will bet my new pants that if you count and categorize workers today, a lot of companies will have more female office workers than males, and majority of the men are either drivers, maintenance people, messengers or security guards.

It's ironic though that MOST of the top management positions in many companies are still mostly given to male executives. And why is that? 

Not more than 28 years old

This could be the new standard age limit for most non-technical and semi-technical job opportunities which qualifies majority of the able workers here in the Philippines.

However, what about those who are 29 years and older? What opportunities do they have if after their 28th birthday and they aren't still successful of establishing a career or getting a stable job?

Majority of those in the bracket of 30 something are already settled down and with kids. How are they to support their families if there are no job opportunities available for them?

With at least 1 year experience

Now this is truly ridiculous, well if you're in the bracket of below 28 years old, most probably you'll still be looking for work experiences but majority of the ads I see requires job seekers to have at least a year's work experience.

A friend of mine commented saying:
"Langya' kaya ka nga nag-aaply ng trabaho para magkaroon ng experience tapos hahanapan ka ng experience."
What does this mean - well, if you've just graduated, this job is not for you and maybe majority of the jobs being advertised are not for you. What a bummer, finish four years of college and you still need an experience to get a job, but how are you gonna get an experience if no one will hire you in the first place.

What a dumb society we live in.

The Philippines has one of the most unfair employment requirements in the world. In other places it is illegal to indicate age or gender as a requirement for work, not unless it is DEEMED necessary.

My OFW friends once told me, that in the countries where they've work - and they have worked in many different places already - most establishments don't have any age or gender requirement. As long as you are fit and able and passed all the interviews you'll most likely to get the job.

The stupidest thing is that here in the Philippines, agencies who handle recruitment of workers for the same establishments abroad still adds the age and gender requirements.

Apparently, if you wanted to get that job and you didn't pass the age and gender requirement, you'll have to go to that country and apply personally because the agencies here are making it impossible for a lot of people to get in.

It's hard to get ahead in this life when there are a lot of systems of injustices and unfair practices prevailing in our society. Life is already hard as it is but other people tend to make it even harder for others.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What's Your Greatest Achievement?

I was thinking about this routine job interview question in the internet that I found the other day.

"What was your greatest achievement so far?"

It caught my attention because:

1). It's like a question that would likely be addressed to Homer Simpson and then I laughed at some of his possible answers.

2). Because frankly, it's a question I haven't thought about yet.

So I paused and then contemplate on my answer. I imagined myself writing a lot of figures and references on the space provided but instead my answer came out like this:

Professionally...

I was able to accomplish all the projects and programs that I've handled with flying colors even if it is out of my league.

I was fortunate to have been a part and be transformed as an instrument for developing programs that helped a lot of people most specially the poor.

I was able to meet a lot of people and somehow made an impact in their lives no matter how little or how big.

These things did not make me rich.. but I am blessed with friends abundantly.

I may not have made a career out of the things that I do.. but the experiences and memories are worth more than any treasures in the world.

Personally...

My Family.

I have been blessed with two wonderful and loving kids and a very understanding and exceptional wife.

I wouldn't ask for anything more.

(except for a house on a lot, a family car, trust fund for the kids, pocket cash for our family vacation around the world... hehehe) - of course I edited this part out.