October 17, 2009

NOtHiNg HaPpENs . . .

Walang Sinasadya , Walang Nagkataon

October 06, 2009


In a land where bad news is the norm, perhaps the occasional story of progress and peace-making is the more significant story. When my family learned that I would be going to Mindanao, their reaction was : Bako kaya delikado duman ? ("Is it not dangerous there ? ). Well , I just want to prove that you can visit any place in Mindanao and have no problem as long as you respect the people and their cultures. Wherever you chose to visit just smile and show respect. If you do that you would be guaranteed to leave with a friend.There is no doubt in the air, but whatever happens I still believe that Mindanao is relatively a safe place. A very safe place to live, work and invest despite what you hear on the news. Everything went well during my trip. I could not hoard all the beauty the place offers. It was Mindanao that got me to appreciate our multi-cultural heritage even more. And what shocks my senses is the knowledge that there will be no victors only victims in this war and the victims are all of us. I wish others will know how much pain these biases had caused the people of Mindanao.

Differences are not intended to separate , to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another. – Desmond Tutu

October 01, 2009

Right Place , Right Time , Right Direction

It is a concept ,it exists.

From up there you could see everything. Distances , spaces , height and depth. Mathematical equations interpreted at that singular moment as on freaking beautiful world , there is only one left thing to do. . . . JuMp !

So what is fear then ? Most would say that fear is born out of the unknown, but perhaps there is an even greater fear that arises from what is known. All those things in your mind that impose limits and build walls , leading to the real insanity. The real thrill in taking any great leap is an open mind.

April 02, 2009

To ReTaLiAtE iS tO tAkE rEvEnGe. (Seventeen people were killed when communist rebels attacked a military outpost in the southern Philippines )

When people are hurt by violence, they tend to retaliate with violence.

There are at least three reasons why people retaliate.

  1. An attack is likely to be perceived as wrong doing by the target and thus creates a grievance.
  2. By retaliating , the target of an attack deters his or her tormentors and others from future attacks.
  3. An initial attacks cast the targets into a negative identity by making the target appear weak and ineffectual.

Research teaches us that our reasons and our pains are more palpable, more obvious and real, than are the reasons and pains of others. This leads to the escalation of mutual harm, to the illusion that others are solely responsible for it and to the belief that our actions are justifiable responses to theirs.

Last March 31, 2009, New People's Army guerrillas in two trucks assaulted the army patrol base outside Malaybalay city in Bukidnon province.The attack came two days after the rebels marked the 40th anniversary of their Maoist insurgency.

Major Michelle Anayron spokesman of 4th ID,Philippine Army based in Cagayan de Oro City said, 17 were killed in action during the encounter, 11 of these are NPA, four Cafgus, and two civilians, while three other Cafgus were also wounded and reportedly taken to Bethel Hospital in Malaybalay City.

It was the biggest number of casualties suffered by the rebels in the northern region on the main southern Philippine island of Mindanao in recent months.

It is to be recalled, that two NPA camps in Gingoog City was successfully seized by the military just last March 26. Maj. Anayron said,the attack may have come in retaliation for the army's capture of two NPA camps where the rebels were supposed to hold a plenum in connection with their 40th anniversary. Gingoog City is part of Misamis Oriental province but is near to Butuan City which is only 79 kilometers away than to Cagayan de Oro City which is 150 kilometers.

Is War or the Use of Force Ever Justified ?

The code, lex talionis, 'an eye for an eye' a tooth for a tooth', reduces human beings to mere savages fighting for survival. It becomes the battle of the greatest and the fittest.

One claims that any war is justified if you are in the right; the problem is that everyone thinks that they are in the right. To repay injury with another injury is to continue the spiral of violence. The best response is not to retaliate , but to hold back and accept that reconciliation comes only through forgiveness. The choice is yours. The choice is either to take matters in your own hands or to be an agent of the Kingdom of God. You can assert your rights, or you can reach out to others. You can retaliate, or you can show compassion. This is the spirituality of non-resistance, of non-violence.

How wonderful the world would be if we all learn to :

  • love without conditions
  • talk without bad intention
  • give without reason and
  • care for people without expectations

April 01, 2009

Pinangat ! Hmmm "GuLay na NaTonG" PriDe of BiCoL.

Since I'm a Bicolana I love Pinangat . Pinangat is one of all time favorite Bicol native dish. We are famous for being chili ( sili ) lovers. Almost Bicolano foods are hot and spicy.

March 25, 2009

Sociology FoR NuRsInG .

Teaching Sociology for nursing is a continuing, ever changing challenge for me. The challenge I face is an opportunity to make sure that future nurses are competent and confident in the practice setting: a practice which includes the application of clinical and generic skills as well as subject specific knowledge .

Sociology is essential for nurses, locally and globally, as they are facing new and complex challenges on account of living in a culturally diverse and dynamic world. Sociology for nursing can help students to develop an understanding and analysis of the context and substance of nursing practice.

SoCiOlOgY !

Sociology in a contemporary usage has two meanings. One is broad with expression of the humanitarian tradition in nursing and in public frequently read into it any interpretation consistent with their own experience and interests. This defines the humane care of patients , prevention of disease , health education , nutrition education, counseling ,the work of local health authorities , finance of nursing services and indeed concerned with health and welfare. The other is restricted sense in which we shall be using sociology with a body of knowledge and methods of obtaining that knowledge to nursing profession. In nutshell , it studies the nursing need of the society and the human epidemiology. ( GN Prabhakara ).

Sociology provides an insight into the understanding of many events and activities that seem to concern our society , our family and our organization. One has to think away from usual routines for proper understanding of sociology in nursing profession.

Sociology in nursing profession has an area of interest for the study of health, disease , health behavior and medico-social interactions.

Similarly nursing profession has an obligation to see the diet , theraphy , counseling, assistance ,defense and security apart from welfare through social obligations which we control in terms of :

  1. Social Diet
  2. Social Theraphy
  3. Social Counselling
  4. Social Asisstance
  5. Social Defense
  6. Social Security

March 22, 2009

Mayon Volcano remains a beautiful SIGHT !

One morning I was standing outside my classroom when Magayon ( Mt. Mayon ) welcomed me with all her beauty. I was so lucky that she was not covered by so much clouds at the time.

Our University lies at the foot of Mayon volcano, in Albay.

Albay Province is home to the majestic Mayon Volcano. Named after a beautiful maiden, "Magayon", which means beautiful, this scenic beauty is sighted to have the most perfect cone among volcanoes in the world. It has an exquisite appearance that disguises an startling behavior known only to residents of Albay.

This volcano unpredictably behaves like a raging dragon, chasing the jumbling locals with flaming lava and layers of ashes out of their houses. Undecided whether to desert their hometown or to live with the dreadful presence of its shadow, they, however, choose to stay and consider the presence of Magayon a lingering phantom that is periodically haunting them with fearful visits.

A Myth on Mayon Volcano
Mayon boasts of the world’s most perfect cone-shaped volcano crater. How did this came to be? This myth on Mayon Volcano tells us how.

The myth on Mayon is composed of three epic stories. The story of Batlog, Handiong, and Bantong; all fierce epic warriors battling evil mystical creatures out to grab the whole of Bicol. This is how the stories go.

          The first warrior, Batlog, accidentally stumbled upon a vast area of land rich with vegetation and forest because of its fertile soil. Batlog, according to this myth, fell in love with the land and decided to settle there. He moved his people from Batavara to this new found land called Ibalon. His kingdom greatly prospered in Ibalon, but it was far from living happily ever after. Soon, evil mystical creatures attacked them to grab Ibalon from their possession. The myth says, a giant man-eating wild boar was the first to try out Batlog’s mettle.

           The myth says the monstrous wild boar ravaged the land, destroying much of the crops and killing so many people. But eventually, the myth says Batlog easily wrestled the giant wild boar to death. Some years of peace and prosperity reigned again, but not for long. Soon huge wild water buffalos or carabaos, winged sharks, and giant crocodiles and other crazy-loking creatures lined up the siege of Ibalon. Batlog could manage the fights a while, but the myth says age eventually caught up with him.
Then entered Handiong. The myth says Handiong and company came to rescue old Batlog. According to the myth, Handiong proved a violent warrior, fiercely defeating the huge creatures. Soon, the myth continues, Ibalon enjoyed years of peace and prosperity again under Handiong’s leadership.But being mere mortal, Handiong soon grew old. And a new batch of rampaging creatures was soon on the scene again, wreaking tremendous havoc on Ibalon. But Handiong could do nothing except watch helplessly. But Bantong came to his rescue, wiped out all “halimaws” or evil creatures, and this time, a volcano with a perfect cone appeared on the scene. It was to be symbolic of the heroic exploits of the chieftains and a perpetual guardian over the vast land of Ibalon, which is now Bicol.

              This myth on Bicol and Mayon Volcano teaches us that humans are mortal, and no matter their achievements, they will someday leave the scene of greatness and pass away. But monuments and symbols will see to it that they will be remembered by posterity, especially the heroism of Bicolanos.

March 17, 2009

Teaching is a Lifelong Journey

This is the place where I stay 8 hours a day for 22 years now. A place where I spend time interacting with students of different mold and character.Think of the 350 students in the average per semester whom I have to deal with. This gives me a full range of experience not only in terms of personal satisfaction but also in terms of human relation.

Passion is what guides my teaching, that's for sure. Without it, I couldn't face the immense challenge of teaching teenagers these days. I truly believe the old adage, "Teachers affect eternity"; therefore, all the work I do has a higher purpose than my own enjoyment and satisfaction.

Let me show you how interesting , lovable , and smart my students are. I love them. I enjoy being around their energy. There is no other profession that would allow me to have such an impact on the future. When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.With love, I can praise my students for jobs well done. 'It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts... it is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always to think for themselves.' Treat the students the way you would want to be treated.

I love the wonder in a young's eyes. I keep learning all the time. If I had to do it all over again , I would still prefer to be a teacher. I hope I'm still around in 10 to 20 years full of vigor and enthusiasm to help shape the future of my students.

Teaching, like preaching,is a calling. It's an old and proud profession that touches the future.

March 14, 2009

This is dedicated to the most beautiful beings that inhabit the earth. DoLpHiNs !

Here are some of the pictures and video I shot when my son and I watched the amazing dolphin show.It was an amazing experience, and I hope to do it again someday!

"The dolphins teach us to honor the place in ourselves where the entire universe dwells. When we honor that in each other, we are one."

Dolphins are social animals, full of simple joy and inspiration. They are the most intelligent sea animals. The quality of dolphins is the quality of water,of emotional flow, of communication in different levels, of spontaneity, of telephatic communication.

The dolphins want us to help lift the energy on the planet. They want to show us the level of love and the level community that is possible. What is becoming obvious is that dolphins are unlike our pets. They have more intelligence than humans, they have a wider range of abilities, and they are curious about us and our development. Unfortunately they haven't created weapons or communication devices, so they are generally at the mercy of the human population.

Dolphins are one of the most beautiful animals on the ocean. They are great teachers, teaching us to regain our playfulness and joy. Smaller than whales, swimming together with fishes, or near the corals - they have a presense of their own. Looking at dolphin art has great energetic qualities.

For thousands of years, dolphins have captured the hearts of humans. And everyone has heard at least one story about how a dolphin rescued a drowning man or a child lost at sea. In recent years, however, this connection has become even stronger. More and more people want to swim with dolphins. Now more than ever, humans are being drawn to this cetacean species for communication, healing, and guidance.

Dolphins are certainly an enigma, and they are intelligent and self-aware. Can it be that the life we have always searched for in outer space has been cohabiting with us all along, enjoying seventy percent of the earth's surface? Can it be that dolphins will help bridge the gap between us and all other sentient life on the planet? Perhaps. They certainly deserve our respect and admiration!

March 11, 2009

Reading the 1593 ‘Ama Namin’ as a Filipino

The Lord’s Prayer without a doubt, is the most eminent prayers among Christians. It distills the substance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and suggests its practice in life.Indeed, The "Our Father" can be regarded as a "school prayer“ as well as a “school life."

To date, however, one has yet to come across a commentary on the Prayer written specifically from a Filipino Cultural perspective. Dr. Jose de Mesa , a theologian reflects on the The Lords Prayer precisely as a Filipino. Using the 1593 Tagalog translation of the text as basis. Our university sponsored a Theological Forum on Contextual Theology with Dr. Jose de Mesa as our Speaker/Facilitator.

Within the discipline of theology, this endeavor is known as “inculturation,” or doing theology with cultural resources. Permit me to explain with a specific historical example. While local precedents are hard to come by,the largely unknown text of the 1593 version of the Ama Namin (Our Father) in the Doctrina Christiana provides insights in doing theology in the Filipino cultural context. Not only does it illustrate the positive values of the Filipino culture in general, it also shows the capacity of the Filipino language to articulate the faith in particular and provide fresh categories for understanding the Gospel. The text, which was printed both in our ancient native script and in a Romanized form, reads as follows :

Ama namin nasa langit ca
Ypasamba mo ang ngalan mo
moui sa amin ang pagcahari mo.
Ypa sonod mo ang loob mo dito
sa lupa parang sa langit.
Bigyan mo cami ngaion nang aming cacanin
para nang sa araoarao
at pacaulin mo ang aming casalanan
ya iang uinaualan bahala namin sa loob
ang casalanan nang nagcacasal amin.
Huoag mo caming aeuan
nang di cami matalo nang tocso.
Datapuoat iadya mo cami sa dilan masama.
Amen. Hesus.

Below is Dr. Mendoza’s translation of the text into English which, we hope, reflects as closely as possible the cultural meanings the words represent.In relation to its content, I shall only comment on two very meaningful themes in the Filipino culture - relationships and food to illustrate how the wisdom and genius of a culture can make for a richer understanding of the Christian faith.

Our Father, you are in heaven.
Make your name be worshipped.
Make your kingdom come home to us.
Make your most authentic self be followed
here on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily rice.
And release our sins as we are completely indifferent
within our most authentic relational self
to the sins of those who sin against us.
Do not leave us so we are not overcome by temptation.
But deliver us from every evil.
Amen. In the name of Jesus.

March 10, 2009

ArMy LiFe is not for EverYoNe !

Army life is not for everyone. It's the highest form of citizenship. Always a meaningful part of our society. They are the brave and proud who give up their life for freedom for you and I. These are the gallant ones who, in time of war, know that this is their calling as each one goes into war not knowing if they will live or die.

Liked what they have said ."You May Pay our Salaries With Your TAXES. But wE Repay it With oUr LIVES!" They never failed to be there for us.

“For someone who doesn’t know exactly what direction they want to go in, it could be great experience for a lot of people.” The military can teach respect, discipline, organization skills, and even what you key to succeed in life is.

Bicol's Boracay ! Caramoan Island, Camarines Sur

If you want to relax , unwind , and feel the breezes visit our Bicol's Boracay. It is "God's gift to Bicol and the whole world ".It is a beach Paradise located in Southern Luzon in the Philippines.

Caramoan is known for its white sand beaches and islands that dot its crystal-clear waters.
Going to Caramoan Island is quite tiresome, it’s a 9-hour trip by land from Manila to Naga City in Bicol or a plane trip to Naga City. From Legaspi, it will take you an overall travel time of 6 hours before you even set foot on Caramoan's fine sand. Then at least another 45 minutes to negotiate a boat to take you to the remote islands scattered about the peninsula. Boat ride usually lasts for 2-hrs . Only then will you be able to savor its beauty.

March 08, 2009

Love in Action .

Love is not a feeling. It is one of the greatest , if not the greatest of all human qualities. It is a sincere and real caring for others put into action, an activity. Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom. Love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.Unselfish concern and service to others is a spiritual gift from God.This special gift from God is available to everyone.Unfortunately , not everyone is accepting this gift from God.

Remember that true love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love or cathexis, it is correct to say, 'Love is as love does'

March 06, 2009

Everyone is imperfect. Be careful not to let their failures erode your respect for their good qualities.

At 8:39 PM of October 28,2008, a young Army lieutenant was killed while another one was wounded Sunday in a scuffle with fellow soldiers in Placer town, Surigao del Norte.

Killed in the incident was 2Lt. Albert Amat, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 2006, while the injured soldier was identified as 2Lt. Joe Patrick Martinez, who just graduated from the same academy last March.

The incident happened at the headquarters of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion located at Sta. Cruz village when Amat berated or scolded T/Sgt. Neptael Maglangit infront of other soldiers for , who was reportedly drunk. As Maglangit recovered, Amat drew a pistol, leading to a scuffle for the firearm.

Amat and Martinez were rushed to the Miranda Medical Hospital in Surigao City, but Amat was pronounced dead on arrival.

It's normal to feel this way, yet it isn't the attitude God wants us to have. We can be aware of others' faults, and there may be times when we need to confront sin, but we need to maintain an attitude of respect for everybody. An employee should not be scolded or berated infront of other employees because doing so might result of in a negative or violent reaction from the concerned employee like the incident happened between Amat and Maglangit.

You can find something to respect in anybody if you look hard enough

You can respect your spouse, child, parent, boss or others because of their position. For example, after David killed Goliath, he became more popular than King Saul. Saul became jealous and determined to kill David, so David fled.

Saul gathered his army and chased David. On two different occasions, when Saul’s army was pursuing David, David had the chance to kill Saul.

Most of us would say that David had every right to kill Saul. After all, Saul was trying to kill him. Yet although he knew that Saul’s actions did not deserve respect, David honored Saul as his king and refused to kill him. At his second opportunity to kill Saul, David said, "The LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’S anointed" (1 Samuel 26:11).

God wants you to respect others because of their position in your life.

See others as God does. Each of us has an amazing potential.

Speaking with Understanding and Compassion .

The opposite of speaking of the faults of others is speaking with understanding and compassion. For those engaged in Military work and for those who want to live harmoniously with others, this is essential. When we look at other's good qualities, we feel happy that they exist. Acknowledging people's good qualities to them and to others makes our own mind happy; it promotes harmony in the environment; and it gives people useful feedback.

Praising others should be part of our daily life . Imagine what our life would be like if we trained our minds to dwell on others' talents and good attributes. We would feel much happier and so would they! We would get along better with others, and our families, work environments, and living situations would be much more harmonious. We place the seeds from such positive actions on our mindstream, creating the cause for harmonious relationships and success in our military aims.

An interesting experiment is to try to say something nice to or about someone every day for a month. Try it. It makes us much more aware of what we say and why. It encourages us to change our perspective so that we notice others' good qualities. Doing so also improves our relationships tremendously.

A few months ago, I gave this as a homework assignment , encouraging people to try to praise even someone they didn't like very much. The next week I asked the students how they did. One student said that the first day he had to make something up in order to speak positively to a fellow classmates. But after that, the student was so much nicer to him that it was easy to see his good qualities and speak about them!

Your boss or employee may make foolish decisions. He or she may be lazy and forgetful. Yet chances are good he or she wants to be a good person and do the right thing. You can respect the desire of someone's heart even if you are disappointed by his or her actions.

God wants us to speak with love and courtesy, whatever the circumstances. Our words should be things of beauty, "like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). Even if you need to take strong actions, control your anger (Proverbs 29:11).

March 05, 2009

The Art of Being HaPpY .

The art of being happy lies in the power of finding JoY in ordinary things. Life does not force us to be the best ; it only asks that we try our very best as we possibly can.

REMEMBER this old Italian wiSh :

" Vive bene , spesso l'amore , di risata molto ." ( Live well , love much , laugh often . )

February 25, 2009

I sTaNd 0n mY 0wn Tw0 feeT, buT I d0 n0t sTaNd alonE .

Living on purpose requires us to find what we love fiercely, give it all we’ve got, and then pass it on, as if it were a torch, to those who follow. When I think of my father, even today, I remember his thoughts that when a person dies, he or she has the opportunity to bequeath a legacy of love. When I became a teacher. I felt the fire my father had sparked in me reignite as if blown by a gentle wind . "If children are to keep alive their inborn sense of wonder, they need the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, discovering with them the joy, the excitement and mystery of the world we live in. Every haiku has to have a gasp where God can enter. Every life, I think, has to have a gasp where God can enter. And every such gasp is a finger pointing at what you‚ve spent your whole life loving.

My mind is colored with reminders not to get tired because I grow stronger in the act of loving something. It sustains me. It generates energy. If I am depleted or feel as if I’ve failed, ultimately it is because I have not been living in service to what I love.

Soundtrack of my Life !

Music can help people express emotions during different points in their lives. "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban and "Your still you " are two songs that I would have on the soundtrack of my life because it reminds me of the time I had to have surgery. It helped soothe my nerves.These two songs represent different times in my life. They hold a meaning for me and help me express what I am feeling when I cannot put those feelings into words. They are a manifestation of those feelings.

With music , I can create the kind of world in which I wish to live.


Who ever wants to be great must become a servant .

"Unless your heart, your soul, and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless. Truth and confidence are the roots of happiness."

"Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart and mountains will move out of your way."

"If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought and could be."

February 24, 2009

Pinoy Version of The Last Supper .

( Artist - Joey Velasco.)
I often see this picture in our University.A very touching painting of the last supper titled Hapag ng Pag-asa with dirty street children of poverty .These are children of poverty in the Philippines exposed to the harsh and difficult dehumanizing subsistence has managed somehow to show their good nature and innocence.Each figure depicted in this mural comes alive... for they are based on real life street kids whose livelihoods are depicted in the mural.One of them is a girl who belongs to a family squatting at the North Cemetery. One boy is a push-cart scavenger who has a father addicted to drugs. Another boy has been in and out of jail for petty theft.It inspired a lot of students. I hope it touches your lives as well.

I'm sure sometimes God wants to be asked, "Is there anything I can do for You?"