Category Archives: My Two Centavos

Who says I'm wasting my time?

It’s been three days since NaNoWriMo started, and even I am surprised at the lack of posts I have about it here. I’m not really sure why I’m not posting about it, really. Maybe it’s because I’m just plain busy (which I am), maybe I have no plot to talk about (partly true), or maybe I’ve just decided that I’ve blogged enough about it and I don’t need to really blog about it again (I’ve blogged about it here, anyway). It’s no secret to anyone who’s been following my blog (and the four, five who read this regularly) — I love NaNoWriMo. I cannot stress that enough.

So it kind of breaks my heart when I read some articles like this (and I kind of hate that I’m linking it, but I guess I have to) that slams something that has made my November for the past six years happier and crazier, and has allowed me to meet some of the most inspiring people I’ve known. Truth be told, the article kind of depressed me a bit, and wonder about how people can be so harsh about something that makes people of all ages write? What’s so wrong about attempting to write  a novel in a month?

And then I started to read the comments. Then I felt better because I realized that I’m not alone in feeling indignant. Misery (well, if you can call that misery) does love company! :P

Before I even heard of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been writing a lot. I wrote short stories, I had plots for novels and even some nonfiction books. I dreamed of being a writer, and I dreamed of seeing books with my name on the cover in the bookstores, but I got sidetracked by real life. In college, I attempted to write but I hardly finished anything because I always felt they weren’t good. I wasn’t brave enough to keep writing and I never had a looming deadline to give me discipline to write everyday. It was typical “One Day Novelist” syndrome: “One Day, I’ll write a novel.” When is that day? Whenever.

I think the most important lesson that NaNoWriMo has taught me is there’s never a perfect first draft. I’ve read blog posts of some of my favorite writers and other popular authors nowadays and they all say the same thing: the first draft is always ugly. I take comfort in that and despite all the screams of my inner editor, I write. I write for myself, I write for the people in my region who look up to me as their Municipal Liaison. NaNoWriMo has taught me the beauty of allowing myself to make mistakes and just keep going, because I know I can always go back to it later if I want to, after I have finished it from start to finish. The important thing for me right now, as a writer, is to get them written.  What was that I always tell our Filipino participants? Oh yeah, this one: don’t get it right, get it written.

And isn’t that what all writers should really start with? Even just wannabe writers who decided to jump and join the fun? Hello, fun?

And just a little rebuttal to the author of the article: I believe NaNoWriMo is not just a celebration for writers, but also for readers. Granted, not even 10% of the NaNoWriMo novels written in November gets to see the light of publishing day, but hey, I doubt these people who join NaNoWriMo are not readers, too. There may be a small percentage of non-readers there, but I’m pretty sure majority of those who join and enjoy the challenge and actually finish and return are readers, too. Perhaps they may not be the readers that you think (you know, those who read novels that are written by the authors that you also approve of), but they still read. And isn’t that really the point of it? Would you rather that people do not read if they’re not reading the “right” novels? In the same vein, would you rather people not write if they’re not writing the next great (insert your nationality here) novel?

I know I’m probably writing a bunch of crap this month about mythical creatures and Orlando vacation packages, just like I’ve done for the past six years, but at least I’m writing and I’m enjoying it. I’m not letting a pretentious article from someone who’s probably never even tried joining NaNoWriMo to discourage me from doing something that I love.

Pretty Purple Finger

I feel very Filipino today, can you guess why?

In case you’re living under a rock, today is election day for the Philippines. Today, we elect our leaders for the next six years. Today is also the day where we get to see the automation of the elections, which everyone has been talking/writing/discussing about for months and months now.

I finished voting about an hour ago. The entire voting process took about 5 minutes, but waiting took 3 hours. Here are some observations:

  • There seems to be more people voting today. I don’t have a point of comparison since it’s my first time to vote, but my mom who was with me, told me there were more people there. No complaining on the crowds here, because a huge crowd meant more votes, which means more people are getting involved.
  • Knowing your precinct and your cluster number before you line up is going to help. Seriously, it would help you a lot! I made sure I knew our precinct last night, and so when we asked around, it was easier to know. Don’t forget to ask for your sequence number when you check your cluster, so it’s easier to find you.
  • Bring something to get your mind off the waiting. Waiting for three hours isn’t easy. Good thing my mom’s friends were there and I had a book to read while waiting. This is the perfect time for you to make a dent in that book you’ve been planning to read or need to finish.
  • Patience! What’s three or so hours of waiting if it means 6 years of a better country? Smile as you wait, make friends with the people on the line. :) It’s hot, yes, and it may feel like you’re in a place with no furnace filters, but it’s just one day out of the year, for our country, it’s worth the sacrifice, right?
  • The PCOS machine looked…well, cool. It may be the geek in me that rejoiced when I saw the machine. But it was cool. One step to making things easier for us, I hope?
  • Be careful with shading. A note of warning: the ballots are kind of thin, and some of the marks you make on one side will be seen on the other side. It didn’t affect my ballot, but still, better be careful, right?
  • I couldn’t breathe until I see “Congratulations!” on the PCOS screen. One guy went out after he voted and said that there were no rejected ballots in our room so far. I didn’t want to be the first one, so I was extremely careful while shading. My hands get sweaty at the most inopportune times, so I was careful to put my hand on my hanky so it won’t leave marks on the ballot! So I put it in the machine and it felt like forever before the machine told me the ballot was accepted. Then I breathed normally. :P

I’m pretty lucky to be in a municipality that isn’t really hot in the elections. It was quiet, and it was actually nice to see some of our neighbors and old high school classmates out. :)

And also I guess people were expecting a faster voting process, but remember, what they only automated is the counting, not the actual voting! If this is successful (or somewhat successful, one can hope :p), maybe they should work on making searching the names and places faster? Like putting everything in a centralized database so it’s computerized and it’s faster to find your name and all. Of course, precincts in the far-flung provinces might not get to use that…but then, whoever gets to be the next president can hopefully do something about that, right?

Now all we can do is wait and watch and pray for the rest of the day and for the results.

It’s a pretty successful voting experience for me, and I hope it gets better for others. Truth be told, I almost didn’t want to go later because I felt lazy, but I’m glad I did. I’m glad that even if I was just one person out of millions of voters, I did my part. :) How about you? Will you do yours?

May 10, 2010

It’s Friday, and I’m facing another long weekend, but somehow, I don’t feel like this weekend is going to be relaxing. Sure, I’ll be meeting my friends tonight, I’ll be working out tomorrow and it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, but Monday is a whole new ball game.

Monday is the day when changes will happen. I don’t know if it’s for the good, but I’m pretty sure changes will happen.

I admit to being apathetic in the past few years. Truth be told, I used to not care at all, and I avoid reading newspapers or listening/watching news because I don’t care about giving an opinion or even just having an opinion about something that I can’t even defend, or I can’t even really understand fully. I suck at debates like that, so I avoid it, and in the process, I avoid anything that happens to talk about the society. Sure, I volunteer for Gawad Kalinga, I sponsor a kid in World Vision…but government issues? Politics? Who’s the next best leader? I’d rather research about the best weight loss drinks in the market. Seriously, get me out.

That’s one of the reasons why I chose not to vote in the last presidential elections. I didn’t even register, because I felt like my vote would just be wasted. Besides, it’s my choice not to vote, right? There’s no one deserving of my vote, anyway.

All that changed last year. I guess you could say this one side of me woke up, and I decided to start doing something, even if it’s just in my own small way, to help the country. The first time I felt that tug was when Former President Cory Aquino passed away. That was enough for me to actually go and be a registered voter, because I was born when she was president and was restoring democracy, and well…it’s a big thing. The second time I felt the tug — and a stronger one, this time — was when Ondoy hit. I talk about this all the time, but it really changed my life. I’ve explained it in this entry in detail, but I quote:

The point is, because of the flood, I’ve learned to care even more. I am determined to make my vote count, and to make sure I use my power to do my best to help put the right person in the positions in 2010.

With all these election talk, issues, campaign jingles (that have been driving me nuts, really) and posters, it’s kind of hard to believe that Monday will (hopefully) end all that. On Monday, we will all cast our votes, in hopes of electing the right people into the positions of power in our government. I may be one person out of millions of voters, but a vote is a vote, and it’s powerful. It may be highly improbable for two candidates to have only a vote in difference…but it’s only improbable, not impossible. My vote is that important, and in a way, it’s kind of scary.

But as I said, I care, and I am determined to make my vote count. This is probably the one of the few election-related posts I’ll be doing on this blog (the other one will probably be after the elections itself). I avoid these things because I hate having political discussions on my blog, and I still have to scrub off the years of apathy that is still in me…but I have to start somewhere, so I’m going to take this chance to let all these out. So on Monday:

  • Vote. I know some people who are not going to because they feel like their votes won’t count anyway, or they just don’t feel like it…but please, please change your mind and do. It’s your right, and it’s one of the most concrete ways that we can make a difference in this country.
  • And if you’re voting, vote for the right people. Don’t just vote for someone because they’re nice, or because they’re the most popular in the survey or because they’re the lesser evil and you don’t want the other one to win. Vote for the right people, the ones who are capable, who can face adversity head on, and can knock some sense into us. Read platforms, look at credentials, at track records. Read between the lines, don’t focus on the ads and promises they say on TV or radio. Being a leader is not an easy job, and we need a leader who is strong, who can do what needs to be done to bring this country up.  I don’t really care if you’re yellow or green or red or whatever color you carry, but do make an informed and educated choice on Monday.
  • Pray. I know not everyone believes in God, but if there’s one day when you choose to pray to whoever you believe in, make it this day, on election day. Pray for a peaceful, bloodless and successful elections. Pray for the whoever handles the ballots, pray for the machines, pray for our country. There’s no harm in doing so, and to all who share the same faith as I do, we all know that prayers can move mountains. :)

And if you’d like to know, yes, I have chosen my president and vice president, and a handful of senators. I’m still researching for my senators, party list, and other local government positions, so I’m going to take my free time this weekend to do just that.

It’s time for a change. God bless the Philippines.

Heroes

I want to take this moment to post this speech that made me shed tears last night while I procrastinated on writing my novel:

Efren Penaflorida“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers … you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.
- Efren Peñaflorida, CNN Hero of the Year 2009

This is truly a proud moment for all Filipinos, really. It’s true, what Efren said: all of us are heroes. Regardless of where you volunteer, or what you can do, or what you have or don’t have, we can all be heroes in our own way. Like what we used to say in Gawad Kalinga: Bawat Pilipino, Bayani!

Mabuhay ka, Efren Peñaflorida! Because of you, a lot of Filipinos have been inspired and have found their purpose. :) May we all have the same dedication and conviction as you do.

Lessons from the Flood # 1: I care.

So, after Ondoy and everything else that happened, I realized one thing (out of the many things).

I care.

I talked about my being apathetic a couple of months ago, when things are still…well, normal. This is sort of the post that is a follow up on that, and I honestly still don’t know how to write it down correctly…but let me try.

Ever since Former President Cory Aquino passed away, I’ve felt a bit disturbed. Not disturbed because of her death, but disturbed at how I’ve been acting for the past 23 years of my life. Like I said, I’m never the one to make a stand or care about what happens around me, unless it affected me directly. I rarely care about politics, or elections and all those stuff. I used to say it’s because I don’t believe in anything anymore and it’s my right not to care, but now as I look back, I realized that it’s just plain laziness to care about these things.

So when Cory passed away, I felt that I owed her something. Here’s a woman who did everything in her power so I will be born in a freer country. Here’s someone who held onto her ideals and cared about the country and her fellowmen, even if it feels like its hopeless. I never knew her personally, but I felt like I have to respond to that, to rise up to some kind of challenge and somehow say that what she did way back and up to her death wasn’t wasted.

So by August, I finally shook a bit of my apathetic self — the one who said she’d never vote — and went to our municipal hall to register.

Now, registering is another story in itself, so let’s skip that. When I first got that piece of paper that signifies I am now a registered voter, it didn’t feel like it was a big deal first. Until a couple of days later, I realized how much power that little piece of paper has. It meant I had a voice. I had a say in what happens in the country. It gave me a reason to care, because I realized how important my vote would be in 2010. It may be just one vote, but sometimes it takes only one vote to make a whole lot of difference.

I was determined to make sure that my vote would count and I’d vote for someone who would have the country’s best interests at heart. I thought that that determination was enough…but God had to bring another circumstance in my life to make me think more.

I guess we can say God literally used waters to wake me up even more. It’s one thing to be a volunteer to help the victims of a calamity. Being a victim changes everything. As a volunteer you want to try to help relieve other people even if it’s only temporary. As a victim, your main concern becomes finding a permanent solution to prevent what has happened. A lot of the permanent solution may lie with the victim/survivor itself — like move out from an area that always gets flooded and into someplace safer, like Tucson apartments — but there’s a lot more that the government can do given their resources.

And I want someone who can help give a permanent solution. Not just a band-aid, but an actual fix.

It’s highly idealistic, I know, but that’s really not my point. The point is, because of the flood, I’ve learned to care even more. I am determined to make my vote count, and to make sure I use my power to do my best to help put the right person in the positions in 2010.

Not only that, but I’ll be doing what I can do help to make things better. I will start taking a stand, even if it means I’ll be shot down at some point. It’s because I care. And if every single one of us would care about something, well, I’m pretty sure a lot of amazing things will happen. We just have to choose to care.

I remember one line that I got from a YFC conference years ago that struck me: If you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything.

I don’t want to fall for everything anymore.

Because of the flood, I will start caring.

Cory

I was born a little less than a month after EDSA People Power Revolution, so I never really had much of an experience about that revolution. All I know from it are the things I heard from my parents and my grandmother and from school. I’m ashamed to admit this, but those stories never really inspired me nor drove me to care about current events; I’m just mostly relieved that I wasn’t born then.

Now here I am at home, in front of the TV, crying my eyes out while watching Kris Aquino’s interview in The Buzz. The last time I cried like this over a death of a public figure was probably during all those Rico Yan tributes…and Former President Corazon Aquino is definitely so much bigger than Rico Yan.

Cory Aquino
Photo from PCIJ

I remember the one time I got a close encounter with Cory. I was sitting at the edge of one pew, waiting for the First Friday mass to start at the Holy Family Chapel in Eastwood during June last year. As I was looking at the altar thoughtfully (back then I was praying for my supposed WYD Sydney trip), someone approached me and said, “Excuse me.” As I moved to let them pass through to sit, I realized that it was actually Cory, clad in a yellow dress, off to hear the mass with the rest of us in the chapel.

That’s probably the closest I could ever get to her, and I remember noting how healthy she seemed then. When I found out about her passing yesterday, I wasn’t surprised but I was definitely saddened. I’m not exactly a big Cory fan unlike my best friend, but I know she was a good leader, a loving mother and most of all a prayerful woman.

It’s because of her that I was born in a freer country. And for that, I thank you, Cory.

Rest in peace, Corazon Aquino.

The Great Book Blockade of 2009

I meant to post this one earlier, but as usual, work got in the way.

Now, if there was anything that I know I love and will spend for (aside from my family), it’s books. I’d honestly rather spend on books than on clothes, really. And from all the book reviews I post in my site as well as the posts I write about books, it’s really obvious, right?

And this post is about books as well, but it’s really something that pissed me off when I first read about it, that I can’t believe it’s actually happening.

To make the long story short: we all know how hard it is to get stuffed imported in here from another country, unless you know someone from Customs. I’m not generalizing, but I’ve been a victim of this once, with an Amazon packaged purchased from my wishlist. I know that postal service sucks (for most part) in the country, and I am thankful to have been spared by it from the past orders/deliveries I received in the past months. But still, you know, there’s always the possibility of having a package I ordered being held up at the post office because I have to pay some kind of fee before I get it.

Now, apparently, early this year, there was this huge order on Twilight by Stephenie Meyer that reached the Philippine shores. Being very successful (ahem), it attracted the eyes of some customs officials and they demanded that duties (taxes) be paid for it.

Honestly, if I were to order something from outside the country and I’m really not in the mood to be hassled just so I can not pay those taxes, I’d probably just go ahead and pay it. Of course, we all know that’s wrong, especially when there’s no valid reason behind the additional fees, but again, who wants the hassle, right? And if you can afford it, why not?

Now the issue could have been just settled at that. I need my order of Twilight because my customers need them, so just so I won’t have to be hassled with trying to get away from the taxes and to pay for storage, I’ll just pay and get it over with. However, there is apparently a law that states that books are supposed to be tax-free. This law is called the Florence Agreement, a UN treaty where the Philippines was one of the original signatories.

I’m not much into law or any legal stuff (honestly those things make my head hurt), but I can understand that clearly enough. The Florence Agreement guarantees the “free flow of educational, scientific and cultural materials.” The reason why that shipment of Twilight was taxed because it’s not a textbook, ergo, it’s not educational. Tell me, when are books never educational? Regardless if it’s fiction or non-fiction? Or cultural, even?

Anyway, there was a lot of ruckus with interpreting the Florence Agreement (more of which you can read here), and eventually this came up: 1% tax on educational books and 5% tax on non-educational books. Who would decide if it’s educational or not? Why, the government, of course!

And again, when is a book not educational? (This really baffles me)

So anyway, there’s a lot more to this issue, and it’s really frustrating to know how this would affect us. Books would become more expensive, and because importing them would be a lot more expensive now (especially if it’s not “educational”), I predict that only the popular books would come in, and not the slightly less popular ones that are just as good. Again, books would become more expensive, and people would just resort to looking for free ebook versions instead. Or, okay, buy the ebook versions…unless someone finds a way to tax that too.

I’m being sarcastic, I know, but that’s just my ire, so forgive me. Again, I’m not too well-versed with law stuff, so I better leave the more nitty-gritty details of this to the people who know better. But please, spread the word. This entire thing is really preposterous (if I might borrow that long word :P), and we need more people to know about this issue.

Join the Cause on Facebook: Filipinos Against the Taxation of Books by Customs

The Great Book Blockade of 2009 by Robin Hemley
– The original article that started this all

Philippine Genre Stories on The Great Book Blockade of 2009
– by Kenneth Yu, with lots of reactions in it. This is a pretty long read, but it’s very, very informative.

The Long View:The Great Book Blockade of 2009
– by Manuel L. Quezon III

Essay: Clarifying the Great Book Blockade of 2009
Essay: More The Great Book Blocakade of 2009 Fallacies
Robin Hemley Responds

– All by Charles Tan — read it to calm yourself down a bit :P

A Taxing Matter
What is the street value of being human? (via Philippine Star)
by Jessica Zafra

We Ain’t Taxing Books Here: Bookbigayan 2009
– An actual event sponsored by Rock Ed that protests against taxes on books. It’s not a rally, but rather a book giveaway. It’s on May 24, 3pm onwards at Roxas Blvd. You may donate books and get some free books — all free of course. I’m not so sure if I can attend this, but I will really try.

The Great Book Blockade of 2009 on Bookmarked!
– By Blooey Singson, and it details her dealings with MCPO and Customs.

Letter to the President of the Philippines from Rep. Teodoro L. Locsin concerning the imposition of Customs duties on imported books sent May 11, 2009

The Stupidication of the Filipino – This and That and Whatnot
– by The Jester in Exile

The Great Book Blockade of 2009
– Comic strip c/o Beerkada

Espele Sales: “Books are non-educational”
- by Jayvee Fernandez

Binay: BOC should go after smugglers, not taxing books
– From Business Mirror

‘Book Blockade’ irks Miriam; Senate Probe Sought
– c/o ABS-CBN News

GBB: Dissecting BOC’s FAQ and DOF Guidelines

More Senators question ‘book blockade’
– c/o PhilStar

Duty-Free Books
- by Dennis Gonzalez, National Book Development Board Chairman

Today in Philippine Twittersphere: fighting the Book Blockade
- by Ia Lucero

If you have an article about this issue, leave a comment here so I can link you too. :)

Craziness NOT Over

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Warning: This entry is very ranty, maybe a bit selfish. Please excuse me, a corporate slave has been interrupted from her work. Let me let out some steam, please.

And I thought today would be a peaceful day, you know, since there’s only the real work I have to deal with, no extra-curricular activities. Plus, it’s the weekend, so I look forward to shopping tomorrow with Happy for something to wear for Saturday’s company Christmas party…and then relax on Sunday while capturing this video for work. You know, a nice, normal, quiet weekend — something to recover from the stress of the week.

But other people have other plans ((Read: The Makati Standoff)). And everyone’s affected ((Read: Manila curfew)).

If you happen to be in the country and you don’t know what’s going on, you are probably not watching the news…so here’s a short version: two grown men — a senator and a general — decided to throw a tantrum because the people won’t hear their side and lock themselves up in a hotel. Oh and they brought friends too! Hey, maybe they listen to us now!

Six hours later…“FINE! I’ll go out now and surrender…but only because I don’t want people to get hurt!” *Ignores all the guests staying in the hotel who had to go out because of what he did, the workers in Makati who got hassled, and all the people who got hassled because of the curfew imposed as a result of this whole shenanigan.* Oh, at least no one got hurt, right? They’re hassled, yes, but they’re not hurt! It’s okay! The Manila Peninsula has a tank smashed up the front entrance that destroyed the hotel entrance and probably their nice ceiling lighting? Cool! But no one’s hurt, right? The place is just badly damaged, but don’t worry, you can fix that! Oh, media people? Sorry we had to use you as human shields, and sorry, we’ll use you as well so some of us can try to go out. You might get arrested, but don’t worry, it’s okay! You’ll get out! Your networks will let you out! Everyone ready? Okai, we go nao! Ktnxbai!

Hay. Sorry for the sarcasm, I’m just annoyed. I’m probably going to take a lot of heat with what I’m about to say, but I’m annoyed because this is my last night of late shift, and I had a lot of stuff to finish tonight, which I couldn’t because I had to go home and I can’t work on it at home because I don’t have a work-issued laptop. Ah, I’ve become such a corporate slave that all I think about is work, work, work.

I guess at some point in the past few years since EDSA Dos, I have become a bit apathetic over these things. It had a point back then, but people keep on overusing the rally power that we had, that it’s become tiring. Remember those rallies in Makati two years ago, the one where entire Ayala was closed to traffic because people decided to rally? Where they left Makati very dirty afterwards, hassling all the workers because all underpasses and overpasses are closed and no bus passes in Ayala so everyone has to walk all the way to Glorietta to ride the MRT? It’s just too much. And now this! It’s tiring, really.

I’m not pro-administration or pro-opposition, but this is just crazy. And selfish. The way they tried to call attention and get the other side to do their bidding and point fingers to blame other people for the misfortune of our country is plain selfish, when in reality everyone is at fault. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you threw away your trash on the street and not look for a garbage can? When was the last time you one-upped your friend because you wanted to get more for yourself? When was the last time I ignored someone who needed my help? When was the last time I thought of someone other than myself? And see how selfish I was a few paragraphs back, when I was talking about how this entire thing disturbed me from work and I hardly even throught of everyone in Makati who is affected and might have been hurt in this entire ordeal?

I’m still proud to be a Filipino, and I still hope for the best in this country. I just hope that the people in position will decide to side with the Filipino people — who they are supposed to be serving, anyway — for once, and not stage things like these that really shows how much they only think of themselves.

Alright, enough ranting. The disgruntled (hee, favorite word at work right now) corporate slave will just sleep and pray everything is normal — as much as it can be — tomorrow.

Keep safe, everyone.

Explosions

Yesterday was a mixed emotions day. I was happy it was Friday, and I was excited for our quarterly Townhall. I felt bad for someone because of something I did, was excited for receiving something totally unexpected. But what kind of disturbed me the most for myself, was how I didn’t really feel anything about what happened in Glorietta 2.

Okay, I didn’t really feel nothing. I have this defense mechanism where when something really big happens, be it positive or negative, I tend to push the emotions away for a while and then feel it when I’m ready. I store them all up somewhere inside, then digest it when I know it’s “safe” to do so. That is why it takes a while for me to feel really happy or really sad about some things, because I choose not to feel it immediately.

When I heard about the Glorietta 2 explosion yesterday, my guy teammate was more worried than I am about it. Then again, maybe I wasn’t that worried because as far as I know, there was no one I know in that area — only a few people, that is. My brother works in Galleria, I’m in Eastwood, my mom’s at home, my best friend works in Shaw, my other friend is in Bacolod, the other one is in school. So my first initial thought was, Thank God I don’t work in Makati.

But after some time (like today), I felt selfish for that thought. Here I am again, thinking about myself in a time where other people are hurt, other people lost their loved ones and other people are in trauma for having to witness such event. I am relieved that I wasn’t there, that no one I know got hurt…but I can’t help but feel like I should be feeling something else for the people affected other than sympathy.

I know that might not make any sense, but forgive me for thinking aloud. This thing made me realize again how short life can be — how a person can be alive one day and gone the next. While I still believe that a person will not die unless it’s his time to die (and God only knows when that is), I now feel sad for the people who had to go in a way like this. :(

All I can do right now is pray. My prayers are with all the people and families affected by this tragedy. Keep safe everyone.

Free Burma!

Because every human life matters, and  everyone deserves to be free. Let’s all help stand up for our brothers and sisters in Burma.


Free Burma!

Take part in this action for a Free Burma!

1. Publish a posting (Bulletin Board, Forum, Blog, Social Network, Static Website…) on the 4th of October with the header: “Free Burma!”

2. Tag it if you can with “Free Burma”

3. Choose a grafic from our Grafics page and

4. Link to www.free-burma.org there your readers will find some informations about the campaign and Burma and a participant list which you can join. Even if you’re a webmaster of a bulletin board or social network you will find a special Group List to join.

5. Add our Petition Widget to your blog/website.

6. Feel free to write any additional text you want.

If you have no website or blog we need you even more: Please help us to spread the word across the internet, tell your neighbours, friends or kids and first of all: Sign our list of participants!