Confirmed

The early evening news finally took the worms out of the can. It was common knowledge among local users but the government and the service providers always propped up the lies about slow (crawling, to be exact) Internet connection. At 3 Mbps, we are hypnotized to the idea that our system is at par with the rest of the world.

I could have forgiven the slow connection due to congestion in the information highway but to be charged stiff for inefficient service, there is no other term that could be used but criminal. It is thievery in the highest order.

I know businesses are established to earn profits, However, if such pursuits take advantage of customers, short-changing them in the process, the business should only be called opportunistic.

Demanded by the court to refund all overcharged fees siphoned off unwitting subscribers, the service providers have the gall to ask for a review. They are loathed to return what had entered their coffers. Instead, they offer more over-the-rainbow promises to muddle the issues.

Personally, I spent a lot with my surfing. Indirectly, I helped the telecommunications industry attain its profitable status. Along with the other millions of users, we deserve genuine and dedicated service in exchange for our continued loyalty.

The prompt No Service should go to the thrash bin especially when cold cash was paid in advance. Otherwise, a service provider is no better than a lowlife creepy swindler.

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Tricky

In business, there is what we call the law of supply and demand. Manufacturers produce a certain product that will be bought by consumers. As long as the product sells, production continues.

But what if the product sold and bought has both the capacity to do good and bad? That it could be used or misused by anyone holding its power?

The arms industry is one those businesses that provides this intriguing dilemma. One one hand, its products could be used for defensive purposes. On the other hand, for offensive uses, both legal and illegal, depending on who calls the shots.

The industry provides jobs and helps in propping up the government economy. Like other businesses, it exists to earn profits. As long as there are wars, insurgencies and other armed conflicts, its products will have customers.

Even peace, as we know it, is often preserved with the gun on the ready. Peacemakers are armed to the teeth to repel any or both sides of the conflict to protect the unarmed civilians.

Then, there’s the threats of terrorism. It is a real headache that often asks the question: who really started the fire? And, more often than not, our so-called enemies use the same weapons as we do. It’s an irony, of course, that we will be threatened by the same product our industry manufactured in the first place.

Realistically, the world will not be rid of weapons. That is a sad fact we have to accept. There will always be people who would fight hard to keep the power of the gun, literally and figuratively.

I hope we will not commit a racial suicide in the end by killing ourselves with our own weapons of mass destruction.

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193. Side Trip

When I was small boy I wondered where sweets came from. My mother used to point to the jar of brown sugar. That’s it.

Later, I became more educated that I discovered that sugar is but one of the ingredients of the commercially-sold candies. Other flavors are added for variety.

So, where am I leading to with this premise? Food processing.

I told myself, why not make a quick tour of several sites about the subject. No harm trying.

It was a fruitful (forgive the pun) search. I found out I can make my own home-made sweets using local ingredients. Cool!

You see, here in the province, we eat fruits the natural way. But sometimes, you can only eat as much as your appetites crave or your stomachs can take. Fruits go to waste due to oversupply.

With practice, I can process excess fruits.  I can also help others start making their own. We can decrease wastage and promote self-employment.

What a way to turn a negative into positive. Not only that,  we know what we are eating and where it comes from.

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191. Opportunity

Want a quick credit? Want to buy merchandize on installment basis?

Some people are allergic of banks and malls. They want services delivered to them.

Just wait for the motorcycle man coming in the neighborhood at certain hours in the morning or afternoon. You will not miss him because he talks funny for a native, the rhythm of his pronunciation surely comes from the Indian subcontinent.

If you are a new customer, you will be pleased with the affordability of his offer (provided you are not a lover of math). The daily payment is certainly an easy way to carry out a transaction than to go to a bank, wait for the credit investigation and all the hassles of formalities. Or, to shell out a major amount in one go when you buy in the mall or any store for that matter.

To frequent creditors, the sight of him can be of two ways. First, you have money and pay: he will be pleased. Second, you do not have a centavo so you hide somewhere he cannot find you: he will be pissed.

Come to think of it, why do these individuals spend time and money on gasoline and exert great effort to provide you with the home service? What’s in for them, besides the joy of traveling and meeting new people?

Fetch a calculator. Say, you borrow a thousand pesos and you agree to pay 50 pesos daily for a month. His profit for the whole month of the transaction is 500 pesos.

Peanuts, you might say.

What if you discover that the same man services fifty or more like you? Do the math.

Remove all his expenses and still he is way ahead. Money keeps rolling in.

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190. Fortunes

When I was young I want to be a Chinese. 🙂

Way back, I observed the diligence of these people, their industriousness was infectious to the point of getting my admiration to the hilt.

In our country, they were probably the first to make recycling a business. I’ve seen them pushed wooden carts, doing their rounds in the neighborhood, buying used bottles and old newspapers and boxes made of cardboards. They did this enterprise under our noses: some looked down at their labor and pretended they were harmless silly foreigners.

Some of these creative aliens went to selling T-shirts, buying used cars and most of the things, us natives did not care much about. We wanted the white-collar nine-to-five jobs at offices and the blue-collar work in industries. Most of us preferred to be contented consumers.

Zoom to the future, fifty years later.

You will seldom see any of them in the streets doing their first odd jobs. Nope. They moved up the ladder. Now, they are the owners of giant corporations from banks to malls and almost any business you can think of. They even control the government indirectly. (Guess how.)

Us, natives? Well, we remain much like the indifferent inheritors of the land. We are still farmers, fishermen, office workers, factory assemblers and most of the menial labor force of the society. Some of us are lucky(?) enough to go abroad and be laborers of rich Asians.

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178. Seduced

One day I had a dream: I was a fish.

I saw myself like any other ordinary consumer, swimming in the vast ocean of commercialism, going with the flow through the currents of craze and fads. With open eyes, I was fully aware of the dangers that lurked around me. But, I swam nonetheless.

I saw Industries and corporations like they were the fishermen, casting their nets of advertisements and lures of better buys of ‘quality’ products. Introducing baits of positive reviews and beaming spotlights to their corporate reputation, I, as the seduced fish of a consumer, could not wriggle free to escape the corral of the dreamy world called Popular.

Caught because of my own volition, I did not accept the stark reality that I was easily conned by the elaborate ruse. I did not realize that to be considered ‘in’ is like being inside a fish tank called modern lifestyle , I was continuously fed by engaging ideas to acquire more non-essential needs.

I woke up, wet with perspiration of fear while thanking God that I got my soul back before I was consumed by the death of my Common Sense.

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Inseparable

We always call source of income as bread and butter.

Why not buns and burger? 🙂