Less Blogging

I just noticed that most of my recent blogs didn't concern any news. It's becuase, I opted not to read the online news papers. I did catch some news on tv but I didn't really pay attention. See, I'm trying not to get too involved in current events. When I read the news, there's always this part of me which wants to do more research on the issues by looking for articles online. But more than that, there's the need to follow the developments in the issue.

Reading the news is like watching teleseryes. I just avoid the tv because I really don't like how they report the news. It's as if you are watching a teleserye; dramatic dialogue, forceful delivery, flowery words, and the 'reporting' face. To me, they often appear to be acting – hindi natural.

Back to not reading the news. As I was saying, following the news is like following a teleserye. Thus, it takes time. Which I'm having less and less. 

In short, I cannot spend as much time as I used to when I started this blog. I'm slacking in my other responsibilities – i.e. house chores – because I spend 'too much time' in front of the computer. Just when I found something that I like doing, things get noisy-crazy at home. And it's draining the life-force, that I've been trying so hard to recover, in me again. Buwiset.


Tutor Payday

I tutored Mark last night. The 1-hour went by fast. Except for some spelling words that he still couldn't memorize, the whole session was nothing out of the ordinary. And besides, I was too tired from work that my patience and attention were wearing thin pretty fast. The highlight of the night was the family dinner.

Normally, I don't stay for beyond the 1-hour because I had other places that I needed to go to. But tonight, just when I was about to leave, Mark's parents insisted that I stay. Nakakahiya naman tumangi, so I did. His grandma, my co-worker prepared the meal. We had tinolang manok for dinner. The dinner was really awkward for me. You see, they have the tendency of making kwento in their native dialect. They were speaking in Ilocano, a dialect that I don't understand. All of them were having a lively discussion on something. I was mostly eating my dinner, giving occasional smiles when they were laughing, while composing this blog entry in my head. It was kind of Auntie though to translate in Tagalog some of the stories that they were talking about.

After dinner, Mark's mother gave me the payment for the tutoring. I bid them goodbye and I was off to the nearest bookstore, before heading home. : )

Why We Are Poor

A friend of mine sent an email that tries to explain the difference between rich countries and poor ones, and why the Philippines is poor. I don't know where he got this though. (Note to self: search for the source.) Here's the highlight of that email.

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country:

This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt, that are more than 2000 years old, but are poor. On the other hand, Canada, Australia & New Zealand, that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries, and are rich.

The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources. Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw material from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.

Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate of the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality. It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world's strongest, safest place.

Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference. Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.

What is the difference then?

The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture. On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:

1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
2. Integrity.
3. Responsibility.
4. Respect to the laws & rules.
5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.
6. Work loving.
7. Strive for saving & investment.
8. Will of super action.
9. Punctuality.

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life. We are not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us.

We are poor because we lack the correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.

I agree. But not quite. Here's what I wrote back.

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RSS and Meta

This new theme that I'm using allows me to add rss and meta to the sidebar. My only problem is I don't know what to put in the "Enter the RSS feed URL here:" part or what meta is supposed to do. Sigh. I should really find the time to read up on these things. I'm sure WordPress has the answers somewhere. I want to try them but I'm often afraid of clicking anything that might cause this blog to self-destruct.

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On Being A Parent

Today, I am reminded yet again that being a parent is a full-time job. It’s not something that only happens in between your 8-5 job; it’s a 24/7/365 thing. There’s no holiday, no time out. Once you’re a parent, you cannot turn it “off” like an appliance or hit “pause“ when you need a break. You cannot quit it like any other job. You just learn to adapt, to juggle and shuffle everything, as time progresses. There is no escape, even if you think you can.

Being a good parent is a different matter all together.

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A few months ago, a co-worker of mine asked me if I could tutor her grandson who’s in fifth grade. Since she’s one of the few people who I like at the place where I work, I agreed. I get paid of course. That’s still extra income for me. It started as 2-hour sessions, twice a week. The first few session revealed that Mark maybe in grade 5 but he didn’t posses the basic skills of a fifth grader. I was supposed to tutor him on math only, but 2 hours of math lessons alone is equivalent to pure torture for kids his age.

As the sessions progressed, I noticed that he’s not the type who’s really into studying to say the least. His mind often wandered as revealed by his playing with the pencil, or doodling on the papers. Then Mark’s mom asked me to shorten the 2-hour tutoring to 1 hour. And then later, my tutoring became an on-call arrangement.

Auntie, my co-worker, called this afternon, saying that I need not tutor Mark today.

Da Vinci Kodigo

Recently, Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, has been getting a lot of attention. It’s not only because the movie version of the book is coming out soon but because he is being sued by two other authors.

According to this article, Brown allegedly got his idea from a 1982 book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” which was written by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. Brown, in his defense, says that he has not even heard of the book when he wrote “The Da Vinci Code” a few years ago. Both books involve the storyline wherein… Hm. Just read the book. 😛

Part of me thinks that Brown may have gotten his ideas from the Holy Blood book. I think it’s important to establish how and when he got the idea? Can you really consider it crime if Brown just heard the story from somebody else or he read a short, short summary of the other book? The way I see it, if the “idea/storyline” is really huge and important in terms of its potential theological (as well as historical) implications, then no single entity can claim full ownership of that “idea/storyline” (Unless the Roman Catholic Church comes out with a news stating the *real* story of the historical Christ. But I doubt this.)

The other part of me thinks this.

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