Saturday, November 19, 2011

Unveiling of Next Week

My Saturday night is a really exciting night. I'm excited about a lot of things. I'm anxious about a lot of stuff. And those things I'm thinking about (that makes me excited/anxious) will mostly happen in the coming week. ;-)

Starting tomorrow, I'll be busy, but I'm very excited about it. My Thesis Defense is scheduled on Monday. I'm supposed to prepare for an overnight. I might also be assigned to print "Demo Kits" for our thesis defense. I don't wanna forget that I should bring with me some scratch papers to use for the test-printing of our system. Another thing is I'll bring all my "appliances" (cables, internet, etc.). I hope my group mate does not forget his printer. Then, after preparing for an overnight (my attire should be ready, presentation materials, clothes, etc.), when I get to my group mate's house, we'll be starting our rehearsal. I plan for us to review our document very well, but to also focus on the flow of our presentation.

This is my last defense ever for my undergraduate degree. Talk about happiness and excitement! I'm about to end a phase of my life. ;-) After that, I'm totally free!

Next week, Tuesday, I might meet with my former professor, now turned IT professional. Hahaha. A group date (with two other friends in college). After that, I might go to school, then accompany my best buddy, and have an overnight at their place (for the 3rd consecutive time)! ;-)

I'm also planning to clean up my room next week, because I never really had the chance to do so. Our house helpers are not doing the deed that right lately. Maybe I can rearrange my stuff myself. :-)

And how about some physical activities? I have a planned jogging exercise at my college's sports center. I'm looking forward to it! I also want to try swimming with my thesis mates once our defense is over.

So, here's a good night! :-D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Volunteerism

It's at my last year (and last term) in college that I have sincerely contemplated and thought about volunteerism. In the previous years, I hated it. Why? I'm not the type to go out and "explore lands", and "help others" by "volunteering" in events called for by different organizations. Why? Because I think that, though noble, they're too temporal and unsustainable. Too one-sided. I dream instead of helping people by becoming rich, then engaging in philanthropy.

I believe in supporting a cause that I really believe in, then going full-blown with it; not of volunteering just about anywhere the wind of volunteering blows, and at the end of the day, fooling myself that I was satisfied for that night for helping others, then forgetting it the day after. I'll just renew the "contract", and help again, then I'll feel good again, then I'll forget the feeling. Then I'll do it again to feel good for helping. But, it never really ends. The short-term needs of people are met; they are left there hoping for another wave of volunteers. Do they really obtain hope in getting a better life just from volunteers? My thought is that volunteering should end, because the need for it has been eliminated; that just means that people have become self-sufficient. That is what I want to see.

I have been "unsupportive" and "inactive" a lot of times because I lack the necessary appreciation of things; usually because I think that if something is not sustainable, why waste in investing? I'd invest if I'm sure about the thought already. I wouldn't want to join an organization and stay there for the "association" nor the company. It's the cause, not the friends you gain.

I'm lucky, though, to have finally "found" what I believe is a cause that I genuinely wish to support; that is the EDUCATION OF THE POOR. There are lots of poor people lacking the same education I have. The kind of education that empowers decisions, gives voice to people. The challenge here is that even those who are educated still encounter that problem; so, it mustn't be the kind of education that you can find in books. Maybe it's the kind of education about surviving in life, and succeeding. It's about the kind of education of finding out that you have that identity as a Filipino, as an individual, and you have a power to choose.

I wish to engage in volunteerism acts soon related to Education. I particularly want to teach. And, what I love the most about Education is not teaching technical subject matters; it's about empowering the minds of people, both young and old (particularly the fresh and young minds). It's about showing them that they have the capacity to grow, to absorb. The impediment of lacking the "materials" is a treatable illness, and the impoverished can still enjoy education beyond the books. That is something I want to see. That is a cause I would want to support.

Upon writing this, I've realized something about myself. I've been too inactive, too busy waiting for "that one thing", that I have missed out on experiences that could help prepare me for "that one".

Help--it starts early; do not delay it. Do not be like that servant who received one talent, and buried it on the ground, waiting for a "worthy cause" to spend the talent with; cos, in the end, time ran out for him, and that "cause" he was waiting for never came (Parable of the Talents). Maybe we are the ones who would create a "cause". Increases don't mean never losing a talent you have invested. It may be a part of the process. But the important thing is to use the talents, and eventually there will be an increase.

Another principle I've learned here is that what you sow is what you reap. Engaging in volunteer acts doesn't go without it's own rewards. The superficial benefits may be for the short-term, but the learning, the experience, that is something that builds up in time.

This is a new page in time. I hope to engage in this personally, and heave a great amount of learning.


1. Parable of the Talents -
2. What you sow is what you reap -,9-10&version=NKJV

Monday, November 7, 2011

Xenophon, Socrates

Xenophon, Socrates:

"Do not be surprised at my plain speaking; the wine helps to incite me, and the kind of Love [Eros] that ever dwells with me spurs me on to say what I think about its opposite.

For, to my way of thinking, the man whose attention is attracted only by his beloved's appearance is like one who has rented a farm; his aim is not to increase its value but to gain from it as much of a harvest as he can for himself. On the other hand, the man whose goal is friendship is more like one possessing a farm of his own; at any rate he utilizes all sources to enhance his loved one's worth.

Furthermore, the favourite who realizes that he who lavishes physical charms will be the lover's sovereign will in all likelihood be loose in his general conduct; but the one who feels that he cannot keep his lover faithful without nobility of character [kalokagathia] will more probably give heed to virtue [areté].

But the greatest blessing that befalls the man who yearns to render his favourite a good friend is the necessity of himself making virtue [areté] his habitual practice. For one cannot produce goodness [agathos] in his companion while his own conduct is evil, nor can he himself exhibit shamelessness and incontinence and at the same time render his beloved self-controlled and reverent."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Casting Doubts about the "RH" Bill

I'm pretty interested about the RH Bill topic. I normally don't buy something out of face value. When the bill was first mentioned (prolly in 2006/2007?), I was hopeful and open-minded about it. But, when I got educated about the implication of contraceptives (moral, physical, social, cultural, etc.), and so on, my opinion changed. I think those who "deny" the disadvantages of contraceptives, and it's heavy connection with the bill, are highly uneducated about it, and that they do not really have a decent say about this bill.C To be fair, I want to learn more about the bill, too. But, maybe I can do that by asking questions.

Here are the things I want to scrutinize about the RH Bill:

- What does it say about adoption/people who have difficulties in child bearing?
- What does it say about orphans, and the people who already are the "victims" of poor reproductive healthcare, particularly "mistakes" that cannot be undone?
- What about the idea that the poor should've had been unborn, instead of living an "undignified life"? Does the RH Bill really dignify human life by deciding, or suggesting, that those who live "undignified lives" should not suffer, and not be born instead for that to happen?

Also, in the future, I want to comment about this post: - I heavily want to criticize the comments of the Tapat leader. It's worth criticizing.

I also hope that those who are against the bill present more credible, logical arguments against it. We need modern thinkers. But, just because something is not modern, does not mean it's not good at all.

(I had to cut this short because I need to sleep already)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Good Samaritan Dilemma: To Help or Not to Help?

My Reply to a Friend who helped a beggar, and got treated nastily in return. ;-)

Just cos someone is poor and is a beggar, does not mean that the right thing to do is to give him money or free food. Often times, these people do the begging as a profession, and do not have pure intentions behind doing it.

I have witnessed before how my brother gave away a well-prepared sandwich that I very much wanted. Instead of giving me the sandwich, he was moved with so much pity to give the kids the sandwich we brought for us to eat. And, when the kids went a bit far away (after acting very pitiable), they just threw away the sandwich saying "Pwe! Ang pangit ng lasa! (Bah! It tastes bad!)" Then, they ran away mocking and laughing away like they were just acting and having fun all the time.

Rule or lesson to be learned: Don't just trust from the outward looks of a person. There is a difference between a person who is really in need, or the general poor who is always at need.

Maybe we obtained this sympathy from the example of the "Good Samaritan". But, we must learn how to distinguish the person who really needs our help. In the story, the person who got helped by the Samaritan was not a poor fellow, but simply a guy who got mobbed by thieves, and knocked off to near death. That is the person who really needs help.

Notes: Someone who needs help, when he or she receives help, does not have the right to choice, unlike in my example. Another thing is, the poor people (beggars in general) won't stay as poor/beggars if they had enough discipline and will to get out of their situation. I can say that my dad came from a poor family, but he managed to get us out of that situation. "If there is a will, there is a way." In everything we must practice good judgment and wisdom. ;-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Population, Poverty, & GDP Growth

A reply I made on the issue of Overpopulation:

Poverty and hunger is not caused nor aggravated by overpopulation, but by the wrong economic policies, poor governance and systemic corruption. Numerous economic studies have shown that there is no correlation between population, the incidence of poverty and GDP growth
about an hour ago ·  · 

  • 3 people like this.

    • ******* ******** Stretch ka muna.
      about an hour ago ·  ·  4 people

    • ***** *** ****** message ng panganay sa mga kapatid?
      about an hour ago · 

    • **** * **** pwede ng pang senado
      about an hour ago ·  ·  2 people

    • **** ****** ** this is a sign ** ******. tumatanda ka na! Politics! hehe...
      27 minutes ago · 

    • ****** ****** ***** ikaw na. :) cant imagine you talking about this. hehe
      18 minutes ago · 

    • Me The only time (over?)population becomes a problem is when the government can't support their constituents because of "poor governance and systemic corruption".

      Overpopulation is a very subjective matter. But, I guess in the context of the Philippines, there really is an "over"-population, because of corruption. Would we ever consider it as "over"-population if in the first place we could support our own families?

      As it stands, "over"population, when it could have simply been "population at a certain objective number", becomes pointed fingers at as a (or THE) root cause of poverty, and not corruption.

      Come to think of it, the root of a big proportion of our population being poor is only a result of corruption. What we are now doing is giving bandaid solutions, instead of eliminating the cause of these wounds. Yes, the symptoms can be patched, but the root cause will still cause more of them in the long run.

      Lastly, as you have stated something about the correlation of population, poverty, and GDP growth, I think that is correct. Just because a nation has a big population, does not mean that it will make them poor. There is a different variable that we must look into and consider for poverty, and GDP growth, not population.

      a few seconds ago · 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Concussion: I Got Mobbed!

I was asking myself if I should write this or not... I still do not know until now.

I was on my way home from OJT. It is my second day. I think to myself that I can get used to Makati pretty fast after a few trips. I am a country-side boy. I live in the province, and grew up there, in Laguna.

Before we went out of office, I asked my fellow interns and officemates a funny question (a line from a song, in fact, which was the closest to the thought I had that time). We then parted ways, and I went alone because I had a different route. I decided to listen to the song I quoted a line from.

On the bus stop at MRT Ayala Station, when I was about to board a bus, people were pushing, and I was just trying to stand there still and not push with them. They were undisciplined. Then, suddenly, I felt a fast hand move inside and outside my left pocket, as if picking something out of it. Without missing a beat, I grabbed the outside of my pocket to feel if I still have my phone in it. My other phone was gone. I immediately caught sight of a guy in white t-shirt, with a backpack, hurriedly walking in front of me, maneuvering his hands as if trying to hide something. I immediately ran to this guy and grabbed his right arm. I told him to give me back my phone and immediately cried for help as I am aware of the potential danger since he was aggressive and bigger.

The guy started punching me non-stop, as I was crying "help, thief!" It stopped when he punched me the last few times, and my hearing started to sound different. I thought it was a big concussion -- but it was just my MP3 falling off. I felt like I was so helpless that I was just like a Christmas tree that one can freely pick from at will, stealing anything they like without me being able to do anything about it. I thought I also lost my MP3 by that simple jab, and that he was too much of an expert. But, I realized that it just fell, and having a sentimental value to me, I immediately stopped and picked it up... I was glad it was not stolen too.

Just a few seconds after all that happened, recovering from a mild concussion, a man came to me telling me that he was shouting at me repeatedly. He saw the man running while I cried for help. He said he would accompany me, but he thinks he already rode a bus. I followed him. I asked him questions like what did he look like, where did he go, did he see everything, can he describe the person? He only said that he had a white shirt. I immediately became paranoid of every suspicious-looking/pretentious guy in white. I tried to point to one, and he said that, "no, he had a back-pack". I told him that the previous guy I was grabbing was who I thought was the thief. I told him that he was too "guilty for punching me". He commented that the person I was talking about "might just be humiliated in public" to do that. But, I am not sure if he really saw the scene where I got jabbed and pummeled by the guy.

Anyway, I thought that I grabbed the wrong guy, that in the middle of being punched the "real thief" was running away, and that I had to take whatever step I had to get back to the thief. But, coming to piece if together, the guy I grabbed was very suspicious, defensive, and started punching me right away when I attempted a talk. And, when I lost just a few-moments attention at him, he immediately disappeared. I might have got it correctly, but the police or people in charge I was expecting to help me control the situation just weren't there.

I felt so unsafe, so helpless, like people like the police weren't there when you needed them. There were lots of people who saw it, I got humiliated, and got no resolve. They all just watched there as I cried for help in the middle of the bus stop. I feel like Makati is too un-secure with all the criminals like that. I'd rather stay home in Laguna because it's much peaceful here. I think my earlier sentiments about not wanting to live a work life like this is very much satisfied by this situation. It just happened probably a half-hour before the incident.

The jabs were not painful. I just felt like I was being thrown away in different directions with different hooks. They only started feeling painful after all the action, when I was looking for the supposedly "other" thief, and when I was ready to give up and accept that I lost him. I think this time that I got him, but nobody was there in the middle of the crowd, and with the presence of the police, to help me. I have seen lots of suspicious people having different modus operandi in that station, yet there is no sufficient security going on. Will the government really care? Or will they only care for their own government?


I stopped halfway the punching series, because I feared that I might lose more than just my phone, including my beloved MP3 player...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Place

I would wait at the place
Where everyday we met
But I just have this feeling
That tonight you won't be there

Tomorrow when I wake up
I will forget everything
The memories of the place
And live life anew

One day I will come back
To the place long forgotten
Feeling something familiar
And there we'll meet again

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Notes On Existentialism: Is A Young Female Dog A Bitch?

Caution: some words may be offensive to some readers, but it is not the writer's intention to offend in any way. This blog post is only intended to inquire about the existentialist viewpoint in relation to the term "bitch".

Do we call a virgin female dog a bitch? That is what I asked myself tonight as I thought of our 3-month old female pointer (mix breed?) pup-dog. Or, I am badly mistaken to attribute to the origin of a borrowed term to refer itself. If I'm correct, we call a female dog a bitch not because it sleeps (or mates) with a lot of male dogs by nature. We only use the word "bitch" as a derogatory term to females who act like a female dog, in the sense of behaving the same way sexually.

But, considering that the term "bitch" had the original meaning of a female specie having many sexual partners, where it is not the norm, or is distasteful for them to act in such way. Let us go back to asking, is a young female dog a "bitch" because it expected to act like a bitch? Or is it only a bitch only when it does act like a bitch?

Is a being's essence pre-determined, and thus exists; or is its existence determines its essence?

Anyway, I am aware that I have equivocated or mixed up the meaning of terms (or term) particularly the word bitch. I may have mixed up its usage, and exchanged the original context in which they were used (as to dog-human reference). But, come to think of it, it will lead you to existentialist enquiries. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Sunday Without Church: The Power of Words

I was not able to go to church this Sunday. It has been like that for about a month now. Since my stay in Manila, and going home on Saturday evenings, I find myself having a hard time going to church. I do not think that it's because I am staying in Manila, but it may have something to do with it.

From what I have observed, I do not wake-up from my bed on few occasions, resulting to me feeling like missing the church service. First is, whenever people are starting to prepare for church, but do not wake me up or remind me that they are going. Second is, whenever people are starting to prepare for church, but tell me sarcastic, negative remarks about me not going to church.

I immediately lose interest in church given those situations, and decide to let them go ahead, and figure out things on my own when everyone's gone. I hate being under the attention of others for something negative, just for me to do something good. I do not want to do good things just because people are thinking bad of me. I want to do good things because in my heart I know those are the things that I should be doing.

I have noticed that negative remarks do not help me at all. On Sunday mornings, it's either I want to go, or am not that interested. If in my heart, I want to go, and others would start on me by saying negative things about being disinterested, I hate that feeling. It's as if I would like to tell them to shut-up because they are wrong, and I need not prove them anything. I don't want to prove them wrong in their own terms, because I am doing "church", among others, for myself, and not for them. But, I end up keeping it to myself, discouraged, and ultimately get affected and uninterested. I hate that feeling, but sadly, it happens all the time.

The danger in telling people negative things even though they do not feel the same way we do is we make judgments of them, when in fact we are wrong. Our judgments turn into poisonous words, affecting others.

The next situation is when I do not feel that interested. When people tell me how disinterested I am, it just reinforces what I already feel. It just gives me more reason to lose interest. Is that how we should talk? Does anyone still know how to use more positive, and encouraging words? Because that will help everyone. I believe we do, but we just do not.

I have learned yesterday, Saturday,  March 26, that I should just use kind words in exchange of harsh ones to tame a fire, and reduce it into a tiny, beautiful spark. My friend was already fusing about him going early to our meet-up for a subject in school, ranting violently. But, I held my equally-sharp speech nonchalantly, and instead simply said sorry. What happened is my friend immediately felt understanding.

Words should be chosen with understanding, and wisdom. We oftentimes take our words too easily, and simply say that we did not mean things. But, I believe we should be fully accountable for all the words that we say. If we ever make mistakes with words, we should be open, humble, mature, and honest enough to admit them, and correct them afterwards. People can be forgiving and understanding on the other hand, too.

Imagine the power of words. I am encouraging everyone, most especially myself, to carefully and wisely choose their words each time. This may not be an easy one. But, to the most, I just pray to have that kind of wisdom in my heart throughout my life, much like the prayer of King Solomon.


I feel really sad today that I was not able to go to church. Of course, I could not show that to anybody because my actions do not speak for myself. But, in my heart I am very repentant. Sometimes these contradicting situations make me feel confused, and oftentimes leave me at the side of the errant.

I already had plans last night of going to church, and seeking God. In fact, I actually prayed for a genuine experience of my Christian faith. I might not have had that today, in the going-to-church sense, but I still believe in it, and looking forward to that experience. Right now, I do not want to limit my experience of God in my ability to go to church, and my inability to do so.

I still feel really sorry, but I want to get this off my head.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Retreat + Japan Sentiments. :(

I learned a lot from yesterday and today's retreat. It was really short but was very sweet. I was the usual "epal" -- not belonging to the block I was with, talked a bit lengthy at times when called, and what-not. Good thing I was accompanied by a friend there, who considers me as his "best friend" (how flattering).

One of the things that I have learned from the retreat is that we may say things but mean more than just that. We may also say things that we do not really mean. Sometimes, we want to talk about something but can't speak them out. There are moments that we get enlightenment, though.

Okay, I'm gonna continue editing this blog. I'm not yet finished. I need to do something else... :p

I feel for those who are in Japan right now. :(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How do you know you're "in-love?"

Earlier, I was able to talk to my friend about some of my problems and other stuff. That friend of mine also shared his sentiments, cheesy ones, to me. He's asking me about what to tell his girlfriend (soon-to-be) when she asked him how he knows when one is "in love" already, and is ready to go into a relationship.

Well, the following song title "That's where it is" is a good answer to the previously said question. It's not really something definite. It cannot be grasped by the mind and expressed in simple words. It is an experience, and the following is such:

"That's where it is"
(Youtube video after the lyrics)

In the circles I've been running,
I've covered many miles.
And I could search forever,
For what's right before my eyes

Just when I thought I'd found it,
It was nothing like I planned.
And when I got my heart around it,
It slipped right through my hands.

Here with you, I feel it.
I close my eyes and see it.

In a midnight talk,
In a morning kiss,
When I'm in your arms,
That's where it is.

When we're tangled up,
And can't resist.
When we feel that rush,
That's where it is.

That's where it is.

When I'm crashing through the madness,
Not sure who I'm supposed to be.
When I'm caught up in the darkness,
But your hand that's leading me.

You bring me back to solid ground.
You lift me up right here, right now

In a midnight talk,
In a morning kiss,
When I'm in your arms,
That's where it is.

When we're tangled up,
And can't resist.
When we feel that rush,
That's where it is.

It's a lifetime filled with tiny graces,
The biggest things in the smallest places

In a midnight talk,
In a morning kiss,
When I'm in your arms,
That's where it is.

When we're tangled up,
And can't resist.
When we feel that rush,
That's where it is.

In the sweetest smile,
On a night like this
On a tender touch,
That's where it is

When we're tangled up,
And can't resist.
When we feel that rush,
That's where it is.

That's where it is.

- Performed by Carrie Underwood, from her album "Some Hearts"

This song speaks very well about "it". I'm right, aren't I? :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Good Morning Indeed -- Except for Norton 360

Where to start? Where to start? Okay. I'm using my dad's laptop for tonight. Now, that's a start. And, I did not think I would get the time to write here again. But, I'm thankful that I found myself tapping on the keyboard and revealing something this morning-night. It's 1:08 AM! At first I thought that I would get stuck with Plurk, or if I reach my daily 30-Plurks allowance, probably just go ahead with Twitter. But, am I glad to find myself writing on my blog instead.

Wait, gosh, I forgot that I left my Mac on sleep, and I am supposed to watch a 20-minute video interview of Q TV (in Canada, I assume) with Ryan Reynolds. Well, I've watched that with Alanis and Sarah McLachlan. Oh, must love Canadians. They flow with amazing song-writing talents like the ones I previously mentioned. They define art in music.

You might also ask why I watched Ryan Reynold's. But, actually, I haven't really watched it yet. Well, I would like to ask myself why too. But, it's because I was just wondering if the interview had anything related to his past failed relationship with Alanis Morissette, one of the coolest song writers I have ever known. I haven't watched, haven't had enough time to do so.

I have been very busy today, working with Shane (my group mate for the Capstone project I'm taking on), teaching him to do stuff he "normally" does not do, and doing my own stuff as well. It's kinda hard to oversee someone else's performance, but it is kinda rewarding and it's a whole lot easier when you have the time to actually do it, despite having your own task. Plus, the physical presence really counts. The interaction allows the free trade of thought, and generates more learning and good group dynamics. Technically speaking, however, we weren't, as of that moment, the ideal-sized group. We were just two. And, we worked in the condo unit I was staying in. It was good working there because there was a study table. I just did not like the lighting. It was kinda making us dizzy and all, as we stared the whole afternoon at our computers.

In one of my previous posts (an entry created yesterday), I talked about how big corporations can take advantage of the ordinary individual. I also connected how knowledge, and the lack of it, can make one powerful or powerless in the sense of the right to choose what is so-so, good, better, and best for one's self. Also, in terms of goodness, there is also this medieval concept of metaphysics about "good" -- that an act is judged to be good if it is of the greatest good, and if it is the good of the majority, if not all. But, this kind of "good" is not the case with these corporations. The "good" that they are focusing on are their own, neglecting the good of others, and unequally distributing the rightful good.

Let us take Norton 360 for example. I just hate how full of crap it is that there exists such "service" schemes as the likes of a Norton antivirus paid subscription. My dad bought a P3600 worth (or even more expensive) Norton 360 antivirus DVD, with a paid subscription. WOW. We paid for a "powerful" antivirus software, as they claim it to be, and have it expire for after a few short years? Just plain WOW again at that. It's like buying a brand new house, and having to pay for the key to it at a short time frame. In short, they really are taking advantage of the ignorance of the regular individual.

My dad is not a techie person. He only uses the internet for personal productivity tools such as the Microsoft Office, email, and a few others. Add to the list is the need for antivirus. What used to be a computer whose sole purpose should be for personal productivity now had an added responsibility of "protecting the user from viruses" and such piece of crap. Early on, I'd rather buy my dad a Macintosh computer to dump altogether these nonsense software called antivirus. And, especially to those big companies who won't give us any "service" unless we pay them, and only for a short time will they "serve" you. It's no use buying their DVD installer because it's useless anyway if you don't subscribe to them. AS IF they're a necessity. AS IF we could not live without them.

Yes, we do have a choice to not buy them at all. But, do we all know that? My dad does not even have an idea what his options are, and this plot of these large antivirus corporations offering "strong computer protection", with all the other unnecessary crap features, all for a price really "sells" to the kind of market that fear for their computers, even when no real serious threat exists. There is just an illusion that if you pay for something, the service is indeed better, and you get exactly what you pay for. Nah-uh.

Up to now, my dad feels scared to use his computer, plug in flash disks to transport important files, and use the internet all because his Norton 360 subscription has expired. What's so epic-ly funny is that the software is so wonderfully designed to not ever forget that my dad's subscription has expired, and NEEDS TO BE RENEWED RIGHT AWAY. All with those wonderful display of the price range, and all the other wonderful useless features. All value-added ones. Crap.

Right now, I think what I should to help my dad trust in his computer again, and start his daily activities is to explain to him that dependence to a paid antivirus subscription is not necessary. There are free antivirus software available in the internet, and those are enough to protect a computer. The best way to avoid viruses is a smart use of computers. Prevention is always better than cure. Knowledge equips one well enough for prevention of unnecessary dilemmas like computer viruses. Ultimately, it would also be best to suggest to my dad to try a Mac instead next time around. I'm sure that once he gets used to it, he'll never turn back. He does not know what he's missing... yet. At least not yet. I'm gonna make sure that I'll sell the idea of a Mac to him well. That is, if it would come to a point that I'll need to convince him about that.

I am going to finish installing an AVG Free version to my dad's computer so he can happily use his computer again (a childish la-la-la melody to that). I bet it's done downloading now. Better press Next, Next, and Next 'til it finishes installing. Ciao! ;)

Note: Here is the link to my previous blog about how corporations are practicing control over individuals:


I'm not furious about these things. I'm just frustrated and feeling critical about them. We all probably know, even in the unconscious we feel it, that we are being taken advantage of. These things are just popping out in the open, like when a potion of invisibility loses its effectiveness, and slowly reveals the image of its drinker.

Oh, don't think that I have missed out on bashing you, Microsoft! Hahaha! I still love you for the wonderful programming but exclusive platform, though! Still, Mac rocks. But, let's see what happens this next 10 years. I wonder who'll dominate the market next, if there will ever be a change, or if there will be new players. :)

I forgot to share too about my plan to go to AdHoc. I eventually decided not to go. I had to view my resume and prepare it soon for my internship this summer. I also have a good feeling that we will be able to finish our Capstone Project. God, thank You! You really are great! I feel strengthened and full of hope. I am also glad that things are starting to work out fine with me and my group. I am confident that we, well I, will graduate on time this coming September/October/next term! Oh, and, AdHoc, Imma see you this September! Parteeeey!!! >;)

There are still other stuff that I realized today. It includes some frustrations, learning from those failures, and enlightenment from those realizations about myself and others. What's so good is that in the end I find myself smiling. I'll also always remember how Alanis said that it's about what you do to your anger that makes anger colorful (see video here: Yes, we can be mad, frustrated, or pissed off at someone. But, it is what we do with our anger that defines if it is good or bad. It is the lack of action about anger that creates plain bitterness and frustrations. So, be mad, but do something good about it!

I won't get to read through this work anymore since I'm feeling SOOO sleepy now. Maybe next time I will. See 'ya! ;)

So there ya have it. Yer daily dose of rant, from Dukefool. ;)

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I shall write about the initiation of Dukefool probably tomorrow. For now, I shall sleep. Rest well, my liege!

The Self-Proclaimed Ezekiel hands down his torch to Dukefool...

Blog to follow: "The Initiation of Dukefool", as influenced by C.S. Lewis, and the respectable Madphilo Sophia, A.K.A Mark Anthony Dacela...

Realizing "Supersize Me"

Yes, there are lots of thoughts in my head. But, I just have enough time for a number of them. I have to pick what I want to write about. And, here is what I would like to write about last for "tonight" (technically, it is morning already, but I shall consider and call it night because it is dark):

I just had a McDonald's cheeseburger value meal with large fries, and a big plastic cup of Coke. I call them now as a value meal, but later I will refer to them as "value meals" with double open-close quotes. But, to tell you honestly, what I just wanted was a large fries (in McDo terms, it was actually just medium), and a cheeseburger. I craved for it when I saw an amateur video online that, for a very brief moment, displayed a cheeseburger on top of a table (of course, it was at a McDonald's).

I then decided to grab my wallet with me and head straight to the nearest McDo franchise -- the one in Quirino Station. I am staying at a condo unit here in Manila to be able to focus more on my thesis, and give it more time (not really sure if that is what's exactly happening, haha, but it helps if school is a lot closer and nearer, based on experience).

I walked my way to McDonalds; it was just a 5-10 minute walk from the condominium tower I was staying in. I brought with me my all-time favorite Walkman that was about to die from a low-battery (its LED indicator was already blinking orange, and I have forgotten to charge it for a few days now).

When I got to McDo, it was a relief except that the queue was a bit long. I got there at around 11:15-11:30, and got back home at around 11:45. But, anyway, when I got my turn to order, I first asked the lady in the counter about my options for ordering. I already had what I want in mind, but I had to ask how things work. For a first, I felt like I had a choice, but then the reality of McDonald's "Supersize Me" ideal set in a bit later.

I wanted me some Large Fries (again, a medium for McDo) and a single Cheeseburger. I didn't want any drinks. I'd rather drink water at home than drink a really cold (plastic) cup of Coke (or some other softdrink). I usually don't finish them anyway, and I just do because of the feeling of waste whenever I leave food or drinks unfinished. I also remembered them never asking me what I wanted for a drink, because they just served me with a Coke. What if I did not want a Coke, but wanted something else? Well, I will reserve my thoughts about that for later. So there, what I had in mind was the two food items. The only thing left is making clear to the order-taker what I had in mind, so she gets it fully well because it wasn't a "value meal" that everyone orders. It wasn't a package that McDo perfectly cut for a regular "Juan" or "Joe", if you will. It was a menu that I created for myself.

I should not forget to mention that they had a menu of "budget" food items. You can order a small-sized french fries for 25 bucks, and a cheeseburger for 39 bucks. That was a total of 64 bucks. But, I also saw in their menu that you just had to add 10 bucks to upsize your french fries (or get a large one). So, that is what I wanted. I wanted to spend 74 bucks to get a cheeseburger, and an upsized, or "large" fries. Without drinks, I must not forget.

So, I asked away, and what followed was the reply of the lady. I first asked, to verify, how much the large fries would cost. She said that it costs 50-something bucks. Gosh. That was one and the most surprising response I got there. It was the most surprising, because the reality later set in, and there was more learning afterwards. It was the defining moment that set the whole mood of my experience this night in McDonald's. If you do not order the "value meal" (the one with the drink on it), you'll have to pay a bigger sum. I was of course shocked, and asked why it was so priced like that. The explanation was quite ambiguous and I only understood later that they do not sell "medium-sized" french fries, which is what I wanted. They only sold "large" fries, which is only available when you order a "value meal". I am the one who will "consume"; in this case, the one who will eat. And, what I wanted for food was just the cheeseburger and my "large" fries. But, later on I realized that McDonald's wanted something for me from the very start.

I can vent out my disappointed at the cashier, or their manager, but I also realized that they are not my enemy. They may be part of this oppressing system, but they are also only just victims like everyone else. They work to get paid. They only tell you what they're told to tell you. Some may tell you more, but it's not the usual thing that would happen when you walk into a McDo store on a a regular day.

I got confused. I thought I had a choice, and that I could make a wise decision when I entered the doorsteps of McDonald's. I thought that I was going to be a wise buyer, and maximize my funds while I am away from home, from Laguna. I thought that I could spend my money well, and probably even get to try out some "nasty" food like those from fastfood stores (McDo, etc.), and street sides (barbecues), and expensive foods like those from convenience stores (Mini Stop, etc.), and from wee bit expensive restaurants along Taft.

But, I realized that this is where the reality of domination sets in. This is how controlling corporations can be. In a desire to standardize, to maximize profit, and to streamline the processes in selling fastfood, customers have less choices, less power, and less of everything (health and whatnot). But, the individual customer does not readily realize that, especially the majority of eaters. However, if from a bigger point of view, it can be seen how massive and detrimental is the effect of this corporate thinking of domination and profit. What makes it more doable is just you are trying to scatter the bad effects to a vast number of consumers, not a single one, so it is not easily perceived nor felt.

In my opinion, we need knowledge, and we can use it to obtain power. Our decisions and actions are the realizations of our potential, and our power. It is our own personal power if it isn't (our decisions) driven or pushed by other beings, big or small, be us aware or unaware of it. This kind of knowledge, this truth, gives freedom. From this thought, I will quote a popular biblical passage about truth:

"32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." -- John 8:32

The truth indeed empowers, and sets free those who are enslaved by the powers of deceit. Ignorance is a great cause for inferiority. Another biblical passage that I would like to quote is the following:

"6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." -- Hosea 4:6

To continue my story about my night with a McDonald's meal, I ended up eating what I originally did not intend to have. I did not really want large fries, or at least the "large" size that McDonald's have in mind. That is a simple but grand display of how invisible yet tangible the imposing power of corporations like McDonald's is. I only wanted the "medium" one, for the money I intended to buy the food with. Next, I'm glad I had the cheeseburger. But, I did not want the Coke. Aside from me hating that extra sugar that stains my teeth, what could be worse is to have a large-sized one (a medium for McDonald's), and I just had one. Plus, all at the extra cost. I could have re-done my calculation, but things would be more complicated. The people behind the line I was in would start to complain, and the cashier would have to ask their manager to "void" my initial orders if I would try to experiment to find out what the perfect order combination for me would be. From that scene alone, it can be seen that I, the consumer, is not the only powerless. Even the layman who works for the "god" that is McDo does not have power. They need to ask a superior to "void" a simple change of order. That complexity in the process, that hierarchy makes it more difficult for people to be more flexible in their decisions, and to customize according to their needs.

You do not really have much of a choice when you step in a McDonald's, especially if you're just one small citizen. It's either you order what they tell you to order, both implied and intrinsic, or get nothing at all. Or, maybe you'll get to have what you want, but at the cost of making a scene.

Some of the other realizations I gained from this night's McDonald's experience also include the realization of why I dislike fastfood, and do not know why exactly. I'm glad I am able to understand it much clearer, if not the clearest. It's that feeling of being powerless, of having to do what McDonald's tells you to do, instead of you having the power to do what you want to do for yourself. It's that fact that you don't know what or what they do not put into your food--what you are taking and, or what you are missing. It's that deceiving label of a "value meal", if it really is for the consumers, or if it is for their corporation. Is it about the kids who know nothing about the dynamics and complexities of power, or is it about that red-head clown who hides a wicked, scary smile, and has the capacity for infernal thinking?

In a tiny way I can relate this to my discussion with a friend about the feebleness and the deceitful nature of the broadband companies in the Philippines. It started when I complained about how fast the internet was for a moment, and how rare that happened. I also expressed how I expect it to not last, as it has always happened. Then, my mate told me how misleading the ad that the internet service providers claim of their service as "4G", while in fact it is only 3G / HSDPA. I then linked to that chain the earlier instance when Smart Broadband (Smart Bro) first branded itself as Smart Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a wrong term to refer to wireless broadband internet connection (what a loser, I exclaimed to myself during my conversation with the said friend). They (Smart) later changed their name to Smart Bro.

The talk went on to discussing how national politics, capitalism, ignorance, and the opportunistic grab and claim of power from the people's ignorance comes into play. At one point I expressed how I think that the citizens do not have power, in the form of the government protecting them, because the government itself is not powerful enough (or knowledgeable enough for that matter) to take this issue in its hands. There are lots of other stuff that I feel like the government cannot handle well yet for them to start delving into this issue about consumer rights, and a stronger protection of that entitlement.

Boy, am I glad I am not a commoner who lack knowledge about these things, although I may still be really ignorant. I am open to the fact that I may think that I know, but really do not. But, at least, I am proud to have been able to talk about this pressing issue on how the "big players" in the world oppress the small ones. It is better than being like straw, pushed to and fro by the wind, carried by and to wherever the wind blows*. I want to grow up standing on my own feet, treading places where I know I must go, not to where the clouds whisper to my ear that I go.

Notes: It took me a half-hour to at most an hour to finish this. Ugh! I am sleeping late again. :(

The friend I had a discussion with was Justin Go, who is also my thesis-mate. I am hoping to pass this project, despite the negative thoughts that I share with my other colleague, who is also named Matthew. We share the same thoughts because we are assigned to code the whole project, and we know what's going on.

I am also relating this again to my previous post about the question "What is Evil?" (Find post here:

I have high respect for the bible for the wisdom hidden within the folds of its pages and its words. Here is another one to quote about what I noted on ignorance, immaturity, and powerlessness (I have previously marked it in my writing with an asterisk):

* "14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming." -- Ephesians 4:14

From A Sand Castle to A Stone Palace -- Tweets and Blogs

A thought from a friend:

In my contemplation about me writing about something, and while I was writing a blog (that I wrote before this entry), I have further realized today the huge difference between blogs and tidbits of thoughts that go to various social-networking sites such as Plurk or Twitter.

"Nuggets of wisdom" only contain small flakes of knowledge, or thought in them. Yes, they can be expounded, but they will only expound once further thought is given unto them. A balloon won't inflate unless one breathes into them or pumps them air.

I have in the past reflected a lot of times about me not writing as much anymore compared to the first few years that I started this blog. Yes, I love writing, I love expressing my thoughts, and I love learning more about myself. But, it's not the type of love that I devote myself entirely to writing. I am not a writer by profession. I am not a writer by title. I am only a writer by want, and by choice.

My knack for writing continuously (in this blog) had come to a sort of hiatus starting the time that I felt like writing was a matter of impressing through expressing, expressing through the number of entries I write, and by expressing whenever I felt like something needs to be expressed, but couldn't be -- those that Wittgenstein claims should be treated with silence. "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence" (Tractatus 7), but I still find myself struggling and forcing myself to speak out what cannot be spoken.

Another reason why I had lesser and lesser blog entries is because of the advent and the then-rising popularity of micro-blogging sites (Plurk, Twitter, etc.) -- they're now really popular (especially the latter). They greatly decreased my personal appeal to blogs, although I love them in essence. "Micro" as they were, they remained as small dots, and dashes, that just could not make a straight line. I'd be lucky enough to scoop my hands through them like dust, and hold them together for moments, until what's left of their diminishing number is a tiny mound of sand. Aside from the said reasons, I can't think of others, although there still might be more.

There's just a difference when you write a piece, your thoughts. There's a whole lot o learning. There is depth, and there is form. You don't just see the particles that make up something, you see what the particles create. You don't expect the pieces to create their selves on their own. You should be the one to piece them together with your own hands, not just your imagination. Your imagination is only the abstract of the extent or potentiality of them to become what they can be -- a whole piece. The most that we might make out of the snippets of our thoughts (Tweets, Plurks) would be Sand Castles. But, if we take a moment and give more time to actually think, and then write, we get the chance to learn more, create understanding, and generate knowledge. We build palaces that are either made up of wood, or even stone.

I am writing this because I believe I have found again and realized more about what the importance of writing is to me. I think I now understand more why I write, why I share, why I post. I am not promising more entries, because I know now that it is not about numbers. But, what I can promise is that I know what writing means to me now, after trying to search for what it means to me from the start.

Notes: the friend I was referring to is J. Miguel Quizon. Thank you very much for the thoughts on writing. Anticipating to learn more from you soon! :)

References about "silence" include:

- Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1953. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G.E.M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell
- _____. 1974. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. Translated By D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Is Destruction Only Evil?

Is destruction evil? Why do we attribute destruction, death, and all that as evil all the time? Let us try to think about that question.

How about when someone passes away? Is it evil? Is it bad? We feel a longing feeling or sadness for whoever passes away, especially if they are important in our life, or have been a significant part of our life. When we build the time with others, no matter how good or bad it is, and when they pass away, it feels like something is taken away from us. I'm not talking about a hostage-kidnapper relationship. I am talking about a two-way relationship, such that both parties have a sense of ownership of each other. Am I saying that we should not feel bad about people passing away? No. It's just that maybe we should not view death as wholly evil, or as something entirely bad.

In mathematics, if we multiply a negative number by a negative number, we get a positive number. The same goes with life. We remove bad things so that only the good ones are left. When a man is hunted by a beast, and the only option left is to face it through bloodshed, is that evil? There is pain and death, but was the man who, if he kills the beast who plans to hurt him, evil? Also, in that sense, shall we say that the beasts in nature, especially the whole predator-prey relationship in the animal kingdom, are they evil?

So, what is evil exactly? When does something become evil? Who judges and qualifies something as evil? When and where did "evil" in the Christian biblical texts start or originate, anyway? If I am correct, the first time it has been mentioned was as a description of a particular tree in the book of Genesis -- the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the one that man ate, particularly Adam and Eve. In that sense, is it only man who qualifies as perpetrators of evil? The beasts did not eat of the fruit, or we do not know but they haven't really been told not to eat of the fruit of the Tree. Whatever commands the Creator gave to them, even those that may be unknown to us, it is their concern.

It must also be noted that in the book of Genesis, evil was only used to describe or to name a particular tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden. It did not have any exact definition. So, where did the description originate anyway? Did it exist even before the writing of the book of Genesis, which was written by Moses? Must it be that in his writing, evil already had existed, but was not defined either in text, or in a specific sense? Was it known as just an essence? What is it really?

Back to the animal kingdom. Are they excluded from evil? Well, at least let's take into consideration that the "evil" we are talking about is the man's concept of evil. Do they have their own concept or knowledge of evil? Are the able to hold knowledge? Well, if their description or kind of knowledge is their instincts, or something that they alone hold, I believe they are capable of knowledge. But, about their knowledge being compatible with the type of knowledge that man possesses, that I do not know, but I highly doubt as of the moment.

So, what is evil? Why do we judge something as evil? What is our basis? Us be an atheist or a theist, how do we define evil? How do we "discern" something to be evil in the first place? What gives us discernment of evil? Or, for that matter, "who" gives us the meaning of evil, if not what? And, I would like to ask if every human being believes in evil in the first place -- or knows of its existence, whether accepted or denied. Or, at the lack of it, is it because of ignorance, and yet despite ignorance, is there still a sort of intuition telling one's self that there is something that exists in the metaphysical plane that perfectly fits the description of those who know the word "evil"?

Take for example infinite circumstances of evil. When there are natural calamities. When there are deaths. When there is destruction. When there is judgment of someone doing "evil" acts, and damnation unto death. When an act such as those that do not fit our customs or modern practices, to the point of gruesomeness and unconventionality or "immorality" are committed. When there are outbreaks of diseases. When there is war. When there is darkness. When there is no light.

Who defines evil? How is it identified? Can we quantify evil? What is evil?


I did a Google search about "what is evil?", and what I found the most interesting was the following question -- "What is evil? Does it exist within our selves or does it originate from a force that is beyond our control?6"

Here are some of the links of the cloud searches I have found after writing this blog:


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If The Earth Could Speak

I wonder how things would be if the earth could speak. I wonder what would happen. I wonder what it will tell us.

I wish that the earth could speak. Maybe then it could tell us about humanity more than we could ever know about it by ourselves.

We speak too many lies, too many wrong assumptions, too many wrong claims about what we own and what we don't. And, if the earth could speak, I bet it could tell us that we are wrong.

But, consider this thought. What if the Earth, full of wisdom of the world, seeing everything that has happened since time began, would speak to us. But also, what if we don't listen to it? Would it be of any use to us still?

If the earth could speak and tell us truth, would we, as humans, even listen to it? Do we choose our own truth and believe only in what we want to believe in? Do we try to seek what life is and understand it? Or do we make life the way we want it to be -- our own rules, our own ways, our own wants?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I need someone in my life
Someone who would be there for me
Someone who, when I'm lonely, console me

I need someone in my life
Someone that would fill me
Someone who would delight me

I need someone in my life
Someone to stay there with me
Someone who would wait for me

I need someone in my life
Someone who would also need me
Someone just right for me

I need someone in my life
Someone who might argue with me
Someone who would still understand me

I need someone in my life
Someone who would strengthen me
Someone who would support me

I need someone in my life
Someone who would allow me
Someone who would receive love from me

I need someone in my life
Would that someone be you?

- Inspired by Kristy Starling / LeAnn Rimes' song "I Need You", written by Dennis Matkosky & Ty Lacy

Friday, January 14, 2011


I am your kite
With your hands
I took form
And my purpose is to fly

You tested me
If I worked
Fixed me
When I broke

You tore me
Into pieces
You built
Me up again

You tried your best
To make me fly
Even when
The wind wasn't around

But you waited
You toiled
Til the moment
I took my flight

I am a kite
And I thank you
That this moment
I can fly

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dream Blog Titles

Here are the dream blog titles (available ones) that I am thinking of using:

"The" versions:

(Forgot to include the first ones)

Gaining from Losing

In a small room, one has to give way for another to fit in. One has to empty the room to give space for another. In a house for one, one has to leave and be homeless for another to have a shelter.

You cannot switch the position of two things occupying space in two steps. It's always done in three steps, unless you do it simultaneously. But, I'm not talking multi-threads here. I'm talking about linear execution of events.

To switch the places of two blocks, you will have to first move the first block to some place to free the space that the other block will be occupying. Then, you will move the other block to the position that the first block had just vacated. Then, you'll go to the first block to fill in the other block's old position. It's a trade.

This kind of behaviour happens most of the time with computers. You cannot co-change the positions, or move them simultaneously. You only have one controller, and you can only do one command at the time. All of the simultaneous activities done by the computer are only done in the background. Most of the time, too, if not always, the user isn't the one who give out these commands to the computer. But, some of the latest computers of today, especially "Microsoft Surface", and an American invention, "The 6th Sense".

I wrote this entry not because I want to talk about technology. I only used it as an analogy that I saw with the way of life. In order to gain something, you'll have to lose something. In order for you to accomodate something in your heart to love, you'll have to let go of something else first. That may be hang-ups, an old love, your past, and so on; even a combination of any or all of them. Also, in order for you to get someone, there may be times that you'll need to let go of your loved ones. You'll have to take risks. You'll have to sacrifice. You'll have to leave everything behind even. That is what I'm talking about right now.

Well, it's funny cos I realized this while playing Backyard Monsters on Facebook. I was switching some blocks around and I was annoyed at how switching the places of two small blocks can be so complicated. I felt like "this is how life is -- you'll have to let go to get something back". I also then tried to ponder more on that thought, and I remembered about multi-threading in program execution -- yeah, I know, computer programming jargons; me has a habit of mixing life and how it works with the things I'm currently working on such as computers, art, whatever I'm doing.

So there. I just want to reflect on the concept of "exchange". Something for nothing? Not quite. Something for something else, I guess. Give to gain. That's it.

Oh. And happy new year! :)