Monday, November 14, 2016

For The Sake of Beautiful Memories and Wonderful Stories

Whoa! That was fast! Two weeks have passed already and I have never even had my fill of Halloween treats yet.

No really, it's already the 14th of November and I am still hoping for some Halloween feels 'cause I didn't get any. It's like the stuff don't exist anymore - you know that feeling when you first learned that Santa is not the one giving you gifts on Christmas morn? That's how it is this year.

Well anyway, I did get some early Christmas treats. I was able to meet international Broadway star Lea Salonga two Fridays ago.


And then it dawned on me that very same day that I have already met a lot of different famous personalities since I started attending blogging events 6 years ago - June 23, 2010 to be exact. I have also been to a lot of places in and outside Mega Manila, places I have never thought that I'll be able to go to.

The last 6 years have been a whirlwind of events and activities that I have never thought of it as something that is truly an important part of my life. What seems to be like work (kind'a) are awesome memories that needs to be cherished.

So I decided to make a personal catalog of everything (I hope) - and publish it here or on Wattpad, I haven't decided yet. The tricky part is that while most of my activities are chronicled either here on this blog or at rainCHECK (my Lifestyle blog), some are not properly labeled or documented. 

Unlike other online media, I didn't think that taking photos together with people that I meet is a necessary part of a coverage or an interview. The result is that I only have around 20% photos of me with the famous personalities that I've personally talked to in the past 6 years. Bummer!

Now I know why it's important! :)


I love taking pictures but I am however not that comfortable with having my own picture taken. I am also not that fond of taking selfies or groufies - I try but... well okay I'll try.

I remember interviewing Direk Wenn V. Deramas for the film "Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy" three years ago. I remembered him crying during the interview while explaining to the bloggers the beautiful message of the movie. I have a video of that interview posted on YouTube and on my blog www.raindeocampo.com - Direk Wenn died this year on February 29. Here is our picture together taken in 2013. 

For the sake of beautiful memories and wonderful stories to tell. I'll try.   

Saturday, November 12, 2016

On Duterte Fans and Hitler's Ghost

"When he's right, he's right and even when he's wrong, he's always right."

The political landscapes all over the world is changing, and people everywhere are fidgety because for the first time after World War II, a looming cloud of uncertainty has covered the entire planet.

That has been the case here in the Philippines too since after the installation of President Rodrigo Duterte, who's "All out War on Drugs" and "Foreign Policy Shifts" has gained some mixed local and international views.

Regardless of his controversial decisions  and questionable style of communication, the new President of the Philippines remains to be one of the most popular person among his people. And maybe in China and Russia as well. :)

With millions of Filipino supporters and FANS here and abroad, he's like the Alden Richards of Philippine politics. I just couldn't find a dimple anywhere. 

The good news is that BIG NUMBERS wins, the bad news is... BIG NUMBERS wins.


Hitler's Ghost

If we go back in history and revisit the events that has transpired prior to the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II, you'll find that it all started with a CHARISMATIC person who bears a GRUDGE. His name was Adolf Hitler.

His rise to power was brought about by his ability to give a demoralized (and oppressed) people a reason to believe that they can be great again. He capitalized on the growing desperation of the people. His persistent campaign to restore German Pride gave rise to millions of worshiping fans that catapulted him to the highest position in the land. Fans who would defend him and even gave their own lives and the lives of their children for him.

Hitler was an excellent, charismatic leader with millions of followers - but he gave the world its most devastating man-made catastrophe that claimed an immeasurable number of lives.

Now, although President Duterte have been quoted in the past comparing himself to Hitler, let me just make it clear that I AM NOT SAYING THAT DUTERTE IS THE HITLER OF THIS GENERATION - and this post is not even about him. It's about the FANS!

However, one cannot deny certain similarities - both are excellent and charismatic leaders with millions of WORSHIPING followers. Duterte's campaign is also centered on the plight of a desperate nation burdened with a huge drug problem (according to the government) which they linked to criminality, corruption and poverty.     


Duterte's Fans  

In one of his most recent statement, the President said that "he believes in God but not in organized religion," - which to me is kinda like one of those hypocritical statements, because his idea of God was formed in the religion that he was raised in. To say that you believe in God and not believe in religion is like getting a fruit from a tree that never existed.

Whether he admits it or not, his idea of God came from a religious belief. 

It's more acceptable if he just told us that he's an agnostic. But he didn't say that - he clearly said that he believes in God.          

Unfortunately, that statement has introduced me to two types of Duterte supporters (or Fans):

Fan #1 is a lot like Duterte (Believes in God, No to Religion) but worships Duterte like a deity along with other followers.

Fan #2 is a member of an organized religion but agrees and even defends Duterte's statement. Well, actually all of his statements. So whatever happened to your religious faith? In the order of priorities, was it Duterte first and God second?

I don't know which of the two types of fans is worse.

In one of the talks that I gave to young students I said,
"Don't let augmented reality games take you away from the real thing - you don't know what you're missing-out when you're always glued on virtual spaces.. see with your own eyes, experience with your own senses, catch more friends and collect lots of awesome memories."
Just the same, I now tell all fans of political figures (not just Duterte) to not let your love and admiration or hate and abhor for one person cloud your ability to think and to be blinded to the truth and what matters most. You got your own minds - use it. 

The Propaganda

I am not a fan but I don't hate him either. I don't know him that much to admire or loathe him as a person.

As a political figure, yes there have been some areas in his character and personality that seems to be a little off for me. I even expressed my disappointments on some areas of his policies because it goes against the basic principles that I hold dear.

But I did however saw some things that I do like about the new President and I have openly expressed and complimented him a couple of times for both his humor and leadership capabilities.

The sad part is that many Duterte supporters have embraced the FANDOM MENTALITY excessively and are unable to objectively see through all the events that are transpiring. They have an answer to every criticisms even before weighing the merits of the criticism presented. A meme to every negative issues and a way to divert blames on other people, events or things. The same way the Nazis are with Adolf Hitler. And our grand parents have witnessed the dangers of this kind of behavior.

The main symptom of these bug is that these people can't say anything bad about their idol.

Which is totally insane! Because no one is that perfect - Only God is perfect!

I can even tell you 2 or 3 things about my mother that I don't like.

An organized version of that are the various websites and social media pages on the internet that features biased news and opinions in favor of the President - back in Hitler's time they call these publications as a propaganda. I can name you several websites that has 'biased' reporting written all over it.

And if you're a die-hard fan, you'll ONLY read and believe these sites and its articles.

The thing about propaganda is that they're also known as a very effective BRAINWASHING tool. That's why most political groups resort to these activities to forward their agenda.


The Challenge  

Now there are several ways to prove to yourself that you are not one of the people that got brainwashed.

First is that if you can still find 2 or 3 things about your idol that you are not fond of and openly expressed it without defending it from yourself. Can you? Can I hear a challenge accepted?

I am not much of a fan-type of person - I wear no colors, and that keeps me impartial, objective.. and sane. I was one of those people who have criticized the past administration for its flaws and I am doing it again in this new administration.

I praise the good stuff and you can be sure that my eyes are wide open and will never let the bad stuff slip pass by me. 

Second is if you can still differentiate what's factual news and opinion-based articles.

For example, I have read from one of a propaganda news website an article with this title: Duterte Lectures Inquirer Reporter Who Put Malice on His Comments About Leni Robredo - now based on the title, it may appear to be like a news article and the site does not distinguishes a news article from an opinion-based article, so to an unsuspecting supporter (FAN) all of it are factual news!

But when you read the opening paragraph, it starts like this:

"The mainstream media is really getting desperate. After a series of “mistranslations” of the President’s statements by the Lopez-owned ANS-CBN network, it is now the turn of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to try and create a mountain out of a molehill."

The first line already tells you that the post is not news and that the writer presented his bias already. It's an opinion article and should be taken for what it is - just a point of view.

Regardless of the merit of the article, we must first learn to distinguish that this is only an opinion and not NEWS.

A blog, like my blog is not news - and this post you're reading now is an opinion-based article.

To conclude: Let me just say that being a fan is not a bad thing, but just make sure that you don't turn into mindless zombies in the process.

We don't want another charismatic leader causing havoc in the world because the fans allowed it to happen.

Fr. Aelred Nilo, OSB said in a homily:
Earthly life is so good that it can sometimes distract us from God. Ironically life itself suppresses our desire to think about any life beyond this world or about God. Because of our attachment to worldly life MAN HIMSELF BECOMES A SUBSTITUTE FOR GOD. This is perhaps the reason why Mark Helprin said, "The human race is intoxicated with narrow victories, for life is a string of them like pearls that hit the floor when the rope breaks, and roll away in perfection and anarchy.”
I am not a fan. I give my adoration and worship only to God and God alone. I praise men for their actions and convictions.

GOD first, COUNTRY second, FAMILY third, SELF fourth ... showbiz personalities last.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Now You See Me 2 Vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 #5SecReview

So I just recently watched two, months-old sequel films here in Manila - Now You See Me 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadow.

To give you a little background, I am a big fan of the first "Now You See Me" film which was shown in 2013 but I didn't like the 2014 Michael Bay produced reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

After watching the sequels, I guess the tide has changed - I am now impressed with TMNT Out of the Shadows and a little bit disappointed with Now You See Me 2.

Most of the cast of the two films have reprise their roles in the sequels, they also have the same set of writers. And so I am assuming that the most critical changes were brought by their new directors.
  • Now You See Me 1 - Louis Leterrier (hence the French environment)
  • Now You See Me 2 - John M. Chu (hence the Chinese environment)
  • TMNT 1 - Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles/Wrath of Titans)
  • TMNT 2 - Dave Green (Earth to Echo)
For a show about magic and the best magicians in the world, Now You See Me 2 lost some of the first film's 'magic'. It lacks the thrill and awe that we have experienced during the first one. I guess I was expecting to see more spectacular and mind boggling illusions instead of hearing about conspiracies and other boring revelations.

I was actually dreaming of a Now You See Me wizards' showdown. A Jesse Eisenberg-Daniel Radcliffe magic battle would be nice! But instead we got a lousy version of Oceans 11.

Now "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" actually redeemed the first movie. I love that they didn't focused much on 'origin' stories again just like what they did on the first one which totally messed-up the 90s version.

The new film has more turtle action, less drama and even more humor. "Turtle Power" was born and so is the character of the vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell).

The evil alien Krang and mutants BeBop and RockSteady was portrayed awesomely. I think transforming a human Bebop and Rocksteady to animal mutant villains are more believable, so deviating from their origin story was really a necessary act.

The Now You See Me plot has a lot of potentials to turn it into an epic movie, I hope the writers will be able to see that and make it right.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has already made its marked in cinematic history, making it more entertainingly appealing to today's audiences will be the producer's greatest challenge.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

STRANGER THINGS | More of That Strange 80s Stuff #5SecReview


I just finished watching all the 8 episodes of Netflix's latest hit series STRANGER THINGS!

Of course this show deserves a second season but first here's what I think about the first one.

Stranger Things got a lot of awesome reviews everywhere and for good reasons too, but it is still incomparable to HBO's cinematic masterpiece Game of Thrones.

But here are some of the good points that made it one of the most watched series of 2016:
  • The story written by the Duffer Brothers pays homage to 80s most famous story-tellers like Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King. The over-all environment of the series takes you back to some of the masters' early works.
  • Aside from the settings, the music also captured that 80s feel especially "Episode 2: The Weirdo on Maple Street" which features some of my favorite 80s music and the score was absolutely perfect.
  • Winona Ryder! Need I say more?
  • Actually I have to commend Winona with her performance here as Joyce Byers, the mother of Will who mysteriously went missing on Episode 1. This is by far her best performance as an actress yet (in my opinion). Although appearing first as an actress in the late 80s, Winona achieved showbiz fame in the 90s.
The series bears a lot of similarities with films of the same genre made during the 80s and has "Steven Spielberg" written on the plot from the start. Even saw some parts of "Super 8" somewhere in there. Super 8 is a 2011 Spielberg film.

But the similarities are not an accident. And the show didn't appear as a rip-off! In a way, it honored the masters. Telling the millennials that these are the stuff of great imagination back in the 80s and that's how stories are supposed to be told.

So it's not original nor visually spectacular, but it is an awesome story worth telling over and over again.

Stranger Things also stars Milly Bobby Brown (as the weirdo 11), Natalie Dyer (as nancy), Finn Wolfhard (as Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Noah Schnapp (Will), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan), David Harbour (Chief Jim Hopper) and Matthew Modine (as Dr. Martin Brenner).

Season 2 is scheduled to come out next year (2017).


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Evolving Team Rain

I would just like to say that I am the extremely proud parent of two very wonderful kids, and seeing them grow to become responsible and kindhearted young adults makes me so happy... and old.

I would suggest for them to 'not grow old so fast' but we all know that's not up to them, or us.

It's the law of the universe - people and all living things grow and change. And CHANGE is the only constant thing in this world - that's why I'd like to inform those people who used the slogan "Change Is Coming" in the last election that it's wrong because "Change is Always Happening" whether you shout that from the top of your lungs or not.

Now, the kind of change that happens is determined by the events or situations from which it was created. We can will for the change that we want but sometimes it just take its own course.

Anyway, I'd just like to share that my 12 year old daughter just got her period the other day.

I was actually worried because she was absent for two days in school and kept on complaining about a persistent headache and abdominal pains. We were going to bring her to the clinic but our family doctor was out on a seminar. So bummer.

And then it happened.

So I called her mom and asked her what to do because 'haleer' I have never experienced that and don't actually know the ABCs on that subject.

What this all means is that, as a father, I am gonna do a little bit more 'hawk-eyeing' on her friends! Boys will need to go over the Hulk first before they can talk to my daughter! It's gonna be a Hulk Smash moment for the poor kid that tries!

Now my 17 year old son is very remarkable!

He was a victim of bullying in school which really affected his self-esteem. He actually skipped a school year because of that incident.

That's one of the reason why I am really advocating for various anti-bullying campaigns.  But it's a complex matter since there are many forms of bullying and a lot of factors why it is happening. Reasons may be rooted to clinical, psychological or experiential but whatever the case may be, it must be stopped and the correct way of dealing with the problem is not to eliminate the bullies (the DU30 way of doing things - I suppose) but to address the issues on a case-to-case basis - find out what the cause is and treat the root of the problem.

When you see bullying as a sickness and the bully as a victim of this disease - you can always find a win-win solution to it. Treat the problem and not the person. (and that goes with other social issues like drugs, alcoholism, etc.)

Getting rid of a complex problem takes more than just simply getting rid of the symptoms. It's always going to grow back because the root of the problem is still there - just like a fungus. So there.    

But going back to my son, growing-up was very difficult for him (and for us) because he was somewhat emotionally incapacitated because of that, but seeing him right now makes me want to cry tears of joy.

During his last year in Junior High, we were able to actually see him on stage performing long lines confidently for a school stage play. A side of him that we thought we'd never ever see.

And then just last week he's on the stage again together with his classmates for a school presentation - he's in Grade 11 now studying at St. Paul University Manila.

In Pokemon Go lingo, I think I have already earned enough Sky Candies and Neo Candies to bring them to their second stage of evolution. I wonder who will they become in their next stage - and I hope that I will still be here to see it when that happens. :)

Go Team Rain!

Friday, July 15, 2016

5 SIGNS TO LIVE BY

And the sign says "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I put my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said you look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you'll do
So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that, huh, me working for you"

Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs
Fuckin' up the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign...

That was from a song way back in 2007 by a band called TESLA that talks about SIGNS! It was actually a revival from an even older band called Five Man Electrical Band who created the song in 1971.

Here's what the TESLA version sounds like:
Anyway, those were my kind of songs back in the early 90s - Posters of Tesla, Warrant, Skid Row and Motley Crew used to be all over my room's wall. Then Nirvana came, and I had to redo the whole set-up with a touch of Grunge.

That piece of personal history was brought to you by the song SIGNS, which is actually the main reason why I am writing this post.

Contrary to what the Tesla song is trying to imply, not all SIGNS are bad. Most of them are actually crucial for us humans as a society. Let's just say that WE ARE LOST without them.

And some SIGNS even go the extra mile by influencing our way of life. And I am here to talk to you about 5 SIGNS that has indeed made a lasting impression in mine.

NO ID NO ENTRY

This SIGN is on every institutions found here on the face of the planet.  It's like common sense already - if you have no proof of identity then people won't trust you to go inside their place.
We learned in school early that our name and face on a piece of paper and plastic, can actually give you leverage on many things. Well for one you'll have access to almost everything plus you automatically become part of a community that wears the same kind of paper and plastic.

When you get older, you'll find that having an ID is also a necessity - for work, as a requirement for various applications and a way to get more IDs. That's why, the more IDs you have, the more privileged you become.

So that makes me an indigent, 'cause what I do have on my wallet right now is an almost expired Postal ID. :)

KEEP OFF THE GRASS

You get the hell out of the neighbors well trimmed Bermuda because you'll mess up the landscaping!

But there's more to this sign than just aesthetics! It teaches us also about respect! Respect for other people's property. Respect for Nature. Respect for Life (however small or insignificant it may be).

KEEP RIGHT

I came across this sign when I first started working. This was actually part of a Japanese Workplace Organization manual that promotes order and discipline in traffic (people or vehicle) in and outside of the work environment.
The idea is very simple - always keep to the right side of everything. For example, in staircases, when you follow this principle, people going up or going down will not have any problem because everyone's on the right side (a space to the left is always made available).

However, I am not so sure if LRT and MRT personnels have been introduced to 5S because some stations are actually violating this basic principle by directing passengers to go left instead of right when going up the first level of stairs and then you decide which way to go (left or right) when you get to 2nd or 3rd level - Pureza LRT station is one of them.

Not much of a big deal to some but it's quite confusing especially for a society that has been trained to Keep Right.  

CLEAN AS YOU GO

This is an unusual sign, but one that is very important.

I used to work for a NGO and we have this canteen that has this sign posted on the wall. What this means is that dining customers will need to free or clean-up their table after eating.
It's not because the concessionaire lacks the manpower to service its dining customers but it was more like a way for the organization to train its volunteers, workers and visitors the value of taking full responsibility for one's action and self-reliance as well.

Good values is always worth all the trouble!

SILENCE PLEASE

You'll see this sign usually on Libraries, Hospitals, Retreat Houses, Recording Studios and Churches.
It's a sign that teaches us to respect the rights of other people.

But what it actually does is that it trains us to have more self-control. For many, a silencing activity would prove to be a difficult task but once we've mastered the art of being silent - we can now claim that we have full control of both mind and body.

This skill will be one of the most important tool that you can use to face life's many challenges.

Self-Control, Self-Reliance, Order, Respect and Identity. Just some of  the things that SIGNS have taught me over the years.

For all those who have questions about this post or this blog in general, please read the sign below:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

ANO ANG UPONG PITONG PISO?

Naranasan mo na bang maipit sa loob ng Jeepney?

Naranasan mo na bang magbayad ng pitong piso habang nakaupong dalawang piso?

Masakit po lalo na sa binti. Yun tipong tuwing pe-preno ang sasakyan e inaantay mo na madulas yun pwet mo sa pagkaka-upo at malaglag ka ng tuluyan. Well actually di ka naman talaga naka-upo in the first place.. nakadikit lang ang tumbong mo doon sa upuan.

Gustuhin mo man sanang sumabit na lang e hindi na pwede dahil puno na rin ang lugar na pagsasabitan.

"E bakit ko naman ginagawa sa sarili ko yun?" - you might ask.

Bakit hindi na lang ako lumipat sa ibang jeep para makaupo ng matiwasay? Kokonti lang ba ang mga pampasaherong Jeep?

Naku hindi po, sandamakmak po at nagkalat ang Jeep sa buong Pilipinas. Ang byaheng Escoda-Pandacan na nga lang sa Maynila e halos pila-pila na sa kalsada sa sobrang dami kaya kahit napaka-ikli lang naman ng bya-byahehin e umaabot pa ng kalahating oras o higit pa dahil napakabagal ng usad at bawat kanto e humihinto at nag-aabang ng pasahero.

So ano talaga ang problema?

Una sa lahat kung sasakay ka sa pila, punuan po talaga yun at hindi aalis ang jeep hanggat hindi nakukumpleto ang dami ng pasahero na itinakda dito.

Halimbawa sa sukatan, nagpa-upo si manong ng 10 maninipis na tao at nagkasya kaya sasabihin sa konduktor na sampuan siya.

E hello, hindi naman lahat ng pasahero mo e maninipis na tao. Paano kung may sumakay na foreigner, German, sin laki ni Arnold Scharzenneger? O isang tao na ang pants size ay 40 pataas? Paano?

Adjust-adjust din sana dapat sa bilang kaso ang kadalasan nilang pinag-aadjust ay mga pasahero. Kaya yun iba, stomach in - chest out na lang para magkasya.

Meron din style na alternate positioning na tinatawag. Yun isa sa bandang loob habang yun kasunod ay nakaupo na bandang palabas. And so on and so forth - para lang magkasya.

E bakit nga ko hindi na lang lumipat?

Ginagawa ko talaga yun, lalo na kung di naman ako masyado nagmamadali - kaso po gawin ko man ang paglipat e andun pa din po ang problema at malilipat lang po sa ibang tao ang pagsasakripisyo.

Parang yun sa school ko lang yan dati nung college - sabi sa amin nung administrator, "Kung di n'yo gusto ang patakaran dito sa paaralan e lumipat na lang kayo,"

Ang galing di ba? Parang no choice di ba?

Siguro ang mas marapat natin pagtuunan ng pansin ay kung paano kaya maso-solve ang problema na ito.

Sa tagal ko na namamasahe at sumasakay ng jeep, naisip ko, na siguro ang solusyon lang dito ay ang pagkakaroon ng isang maayos na regulation na magsasabi o maglilimita sa isang pampublikong sasakyan sa dami ng tao na pwede nitong isakay.

Halimbawa, dapat may sticker o karatola ang jeep na nakalagay kung ilan ang maximum na pwede nito isakay sa magkabilang upuan. Pag nakalagay ay 10 eto ay sampuan. At maaaring magreklamo ang pasahero kung lalabis dito ang isasakay ng driver.

Dapat ay sa simula ay may maayos na batayan ng pagsusukat. Isang standard na kinokonsidera ang laki ng bawat mananakay.

Dapat pagmultahin din ang lalabag sa panuntunan na ito. Parang sa Ayala, Makati lang di ba, bawal magsakay at magbaba kung saan saan - kaya natin yun ipatupad.

Malamang ay hindi eto 'applicable' sa mga probinsya at sa mga lugar na kakaunti lang ang pampasaherong sasakyan - subalit dito sa Metro Manila... matagal na sana eto nagawa.

Ang isa pang problema ay ang mga nagmamadaling mga pasahero na gagawin ang lahat para lang makasakay at makasabit sa pampasaherong Jeepney. Alam ko na sa maraming lugar ay ipinagbabawal na rin ang pagsabit - subalit hindi rin eto naipapatupad ng maayos dahil sa mga kadahilanang:

  • Welcome sa mga drivers ang sabit dahil eto ay dagdag na kita, kaya kahit bawal e go lang ng go.
  • Wala naman mga traffic enforcers na naninita - wala kasing malinaw na batas ukol dito.
  • Kagustuhan rin naman eto ng mga pasahero.      

So ang tanong: Kaayusan ba para sa mga nakakarami o pagtanggap sa nakaugalian na para sa kapakanan lamang ng iilang mga mananakay.

Siyempre magrereklamo din ang mga operators kasi mababawasan sila ng kita. Dahil nakatulong naman eto para pagaanin ang kalagayan ng mga mananakay, siguro naman ay hindi naman tayo magrereklamo kung may dagdag na kahit piso lang sa pamasahe.

Kapalit naman nito ay kaayusan at ginhawa ng bawat mananakay.
editorial cartoon by Jess Abrera

Friday, January 8, 2016

DOTC Launches New MRT - LRT Fitness Program

With barely six months of office work left, the big bosses of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) launches its new fitness program for all Metro Manila commuters through the MRT and LRT train systems.

Here are the main features of the said program:

  • The fitness activity starts with a healthy walk UP and DOWN the train stations since almost all the Escalators and Elevators are already rendered unusable and not safe to use. For beginners,you may choose to start with LRT which is a slightly shorter climb compared to MRT. For experts, try the Shaw Boulevard and Quezon Avenue stations.
  • Another great activity in the said fitness program are the long lines. A long line going up the stations, one more long line to the ticket booth and finally one more long line to get inside the platforms. For non-beginners you may choose not to get the BEEP cards for longer waiting periods. The activity is said to help strengthen your legs, improve stamina and PATIENCE.
  • For Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts, get your game on by riding the trains during Rush Hours. Improve your blocking, balance and defensive techniques especially when getting out of the trains while other passengers who are racing to get inside tries to prevent you from coming out.
  • For those who enjoys a little more challenge.  Join the advance program by riding the trains that usually breaks down in between stations and add walking on the railway as part of your routine.
  • You don't need to enroll in swimming lessons to improve your breathing. Ride the trains again during Rush Hour and see how long you can hold your breath. Other passengers who either forgot to take a shower or brush their teeth will motivate you to meet your targets for the day.
  • Finally, get your excess fats off fast and easy by riding the LRT and MRT everyday. Choose the train sections that has little or no air conditioner. The old trains usually have these as a special feature. I've experienced it first hand and it is way better and cheaper than sauna or those fancy hotbeds and steam baths.
Old folks, pregnant women and PWDs are DISCOURAGED to take this program.

So that's it!

I am so glad that this government and its Daang Matuwid program is taking the over-all fitness of the Filipino people into consideration and a PRIORITY by setting-up a lot of ways to make us SUFFER (for our fitness goals)!    

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Are You a Hero or a Villain?

There is a thin line that separates a hero from a villain!

They both make hard choices in life and in the end, it doesn't really matter what side you're with - it's how you lived through the decisions that you've made.

Heroes may also become Villains at some point in their lives. And they can be both at the same time in the eyes of one person.

Every hero has a villain inside them wanting to come out and every villain has a hero inside them waiting to be seen.
Heroes and Villains do not choose their path with a blind eye. They act on impulse, they act on circumstances, they act on principles, on values, on beliefs, on instinct.

BUT THEY ACT.

This is the thing that separates them from the mere spectators and the people that they save or terrorize.

This is what separates Superman and Luthor from the rest of the crowd in Metropolis; The Batman and the Joker from Gotham City's people.

They don't just stay in the sidelights and watch. They take action. And these actions keeps everything in motion. Changing everything. Good or Bad.

Heroes and Villains do not need super powers or high tech gadgets to become one. They just need to ACT. 

To take INITIATIVE.

When I was in college, I used to hang out with friends till midnight just talking about anything or goofing around almost everyday.

We don't do the crazy stuffs like drinking booze, or anything.. heck we don't even smoke and join gangs or fraternities (which is pretty rampant in those days).

We were just the noisy, wacky, annoying and lazy bunch that tends to drive the neighborhood mad (in a good way).

Our favorite place to hangout then was either inside the Jeepney of 'Onad', my friend Eric's older brother or just the bench right in front of our Barangay Captain's house.

We don't have money to go to those party places. We just cap the night with a hot lugaw or pandesal and a cold bottle of Coke and that's it. - solve!

One night while we were hanging around inside Onad's Jeepney, a notorious drug addict, gangster, thief and suspected murderer who lives in our Barangay was ganged up by another rival gang.

We all saw everything because we were just only about 15 feet away from where it happened.

After about less than a minute of brawling he was left behind and was able to walk until he collapses just in front of the Jeepney where we are in.

A lot of people saw these, they all went out of their houses and looked on.

I was studying nursing then at Emilio Aguinaldo College and my nursing instinct told me to come out and help this person.

My friends tried to stopped me from coming out - not because it's dangerous but because in their minds they wanted him to die because that person is known as a human plague in our place, a stupid virus that needs to be eradicated.

In my mind, I wanted that too. But I am a nursing student and I know that in my heart that I can help that person because of what I've learned in school. Maybe because I thought I have the power to do so (not the willingness though). But as Ben Parker told Peter Parker in the movie Spiderman... "with power comes responsibilities."

So I went out and made my nursing assessment.. he received numerous stab wounds so i ripped his clothes off and put pressure on the most critical wounds.

My friends saw what I was doing, they all came out of the Jeepney and helped me in putting pressure on the other wounds to stop the bleeding. I know that they didn't want to, but they did, because I was their friend and we stick together.

Our Barangay Captain then finally asked for some of his men to get a tricycle and bring the wounded menace to the nearest hospital.

We did not receive any praises that night for what I did, only stone-cold silence from the people around us. I went home with blood on my hands and my shirt. And the confusion that if what I did was right or wrong.

My praise came a few weeks after when I saw the person I helped that night who is now well and good. We crossed path and he said his thanks. I was pretty much pleased with what I did but not until the following day and the days to come.

Because that was the start of our Barangay's nightly unstoppable gang wars and street rumbles - all courtesy of the person who thanked me for helping him that night. There was never a silent night after that.

Some of the people who knew what happened that night started blaming me and my friends and the Barangay for helping him live.

The gang wars only stopped when a policeman finally put a bullet on the body of that person.

His death brought a lasting peace in our place. The gangs laid low and we were able to hang out once again until midnight.

Up until now, I still don't know if what I did that night was right or wrong.

I ACTED and the world I knew CHANGED.

In the end, what I did didn't matter... but it is how I lived through the decision I made.

Is Your Glass Half Empty or Full?

One person sees a glass half-empty, another person sees a glass half-filled... but rarely, we see a glass with water and then look for someone who might be thirsty and in need of a drink.
What is it that you see?
Glass Half-Empty.

The pessimist, or the realist!

The world around us - and forgive me for saying - is as half-empty as the glass of water we're talking about. In my experience, the reality of things is not as wonderful as one would wish it to be.

Admit it or not, majority of the people around us are scared to bring out their mobile phones in public to make a call because of FEAR that it would get stolen.

Majority, would pick a career they don't even like over a lifelong dream because of security, money and stability.

Majority... are pessimistic, or to soften the blow... realistic.

Glass Half-Filled.

The optimists, or the idealist.

A small minority of risk-takers and counter-culture people. They either end up making a mark in this world because of their principled endeavors or die and carry with them their dreams, their hopes, aspirations and the knowledge of the fact that reality bites... and it bites hard.

These minority believed in the goodness of people and in change and are directly motivated by it. They see or rather imagine things which are contrary to known beliefs and realities. They expect more from the world and sometimes more than what the world can offer at the present reality - this is their strength and this is also their weakness.

I once belong to this group... and to a certain degree, I still do.

Glass of Water to Share.

The good samaritan.
They are both realistic and idealistic in nature. They see a glass half-empty and find someone who needs it more.

They work on 'Abundance Mentality' - which is far more greater than being just an optimist. They believe and hope for the best and knowing this, they also see the reality of the world and that more than anything else - HOPE is the one thing that needs to be shared.

They don't dwell on the reality of things and do nothing.

They don't only believe that goodness and change will come instead they make it happen not only for what they think is right for them but for all the people around them.

They believe that the world has a lot to offer, so much that one person cannot contain it and that it needs to be shared.

Such person knows the meaning of contentment.

Such person knows the value of other peoples lives.

Such person is not motivated by fame and rewards for their actions.

But... sad to say, such a person rarely exist in our present reality. Most of these people stay invisible to the public's eyes because they are not known to advertise their achievements like government officials, celebrities, rich people who conducts public service activities with press releases and the TV networks.

Yes, they are invisible and rarely noticed, but to the people they have shared their lives with they remain eternal.

It's a tough act to follow.

Because actually, most would rather see a glass with water and then ask for more even if it's already full.