New Year passed by while I was sound asleep. It was the first time that happened to me, at least as an adult. My marathon viewing of Games of Thrones exacted a toll on my wakefulness. I did not even hear the loud fireworks most merrymakers exploded at midnight. I was somewhere else, in the dreamworld to be exact.

Hours later, I found out that the first day of 2015 was no different from the last day of 2014. I woke up as usual, almost the same minute of the same hour every morning (due mainly to a changed sleeping habit) and back to my unfinished field work. It would seem nothing changed a bit in our part of the world.

Yet,  things changed elsewhere, events we were no aware of, occurrences that might or might not have any bearing to our simple lives. Unless it is Armageddon happening in a global scale, we would have not known of it. We would continue to exist the only way we know: subsist on a daily basis.

This seeming ignorance of information outside our locality is the main reason why I want to stay connected, be online everyday. In an important way, I could impart to others, those who are interested, vital facts that are not necessarily reported on local news. Yes, I could withheld the same information and keep it to myself but that’s not the genuine use of received information: it is dissemination.

It’s unfortunate that I missed several important news the past days I was off the Net. More unfortunate still was what actually reached us were the terrible and horrible events that claimed lives because of the continuing conflicts in the world.

People elsewhere should try to negotiate for peace. They will absolutely love it like we do.




We eat. We feed our minds.

I’ve always wondered why bad news generate more interest than good ones. It’s rather surprising that in general we all want the positive sides of life to reign in our world. Yet, we see more of the negative, often sensationalized, bled dry of inside information and analyses till we are all consumed by all the ill effects to our minds.

I am not an exception to this generalization. In fact, when I watch the newscast I could not help but be glued to my seat, oblivious of what’s happening around just to hear every word reported about an event. I am not glad to listen to accounts of accidents, natural calamities, political or social turmoils leading to deaths, or any other unfortunate incidents. I simply want to know the information.

Like eating, we feed ourselves to feel satiated physically and contented emotionally that we are not hungry. Could it be true that we fill our brains with information to be mentally active and emotionally contented that we are not ignorant about what’s happening around us?

Like eating healthy, we choose foods that benefit our bodies.. Mentally, we acquire positive thoughts, meaningful knowledge and good news.

On the other hand, more often than not we eat junk food, too. We know they are bad for our health but since they taste good, we still continue to consume them. We also have other vices that negatively affect our bodies but still we readily give in to their promised pleasures.

So, in some way bad news, which are not probably good for our mental health, continue to be included in our daily fare. We absorb every bit of details, tune in to updates and follow them up till the end. Subliminally, our negative emotions are aroused, our sense of fair play skewed and our logical thinking set aside.

We eat what we are. But we sometimes think what we are not.



It’s kind of late for me to write about this but I want it out of my mind before I sleep. The evening news bothered me to the point I wanted to laugh out loud due to the weirdness of the justice system in my country.

Only in the Philippines. Yeah, right!

While incarcerated, big time criminals lavish themselves inside a national penitentiary. After an early morning on the spot inspection, the raiders found out that being in jail was not a hindrance for moneyed crooks to enjoy the same luxurious lives they had before they were apprehended. It was a mind-boggling sight.

Imagine these: millions of pesos, thousands of dollars, a Jacuzi, a sauna, air-conditioning, flat screen TVs, computers, WiFi routers, cellular phones, live studio for bands, sex toys, several kilos of prohibited drugs, assorted guns, lists of recorded transactions and much more.

To think that ordinary people, upright and law abiding citizens, could only dream of possessing some of those stuff. Influential felons, who acted with impunity, recreated their jail time as a secured and safe vacation, complete with guards paid for by the same people those criminals victimized.

If there is a so-called injustice, that was it. Those ‘select’ criminals should be locked in a plain cell like everyone else.

And, those government officials who turned a blind eye while all of those transgressions took place should be sent to jail, too. Administrative sanctions are light penalties for their connivance with hardened criminals: they were outright accomplices to the continued illegal activities of the convicts they guarded.

Justice should be served accordingly.



He was a fast runner, I tell you. 🙂

I was not able to kick him in the butt for such a conceited proclamation. Who’s he kidding?

When people tell me things, I do not swallow everything at face value. I learned from experience, living in this place, that people stitched fact and fiction to suit the situation. Often, it was the tone of the delivery that gave away the story’s added spices.

I remember once I was told a revelation which seemed too realistic to be doubted as an invention. I was a newcomer back then so I did not have the faintest idea I was being conned. 🙂

Tell me what you think of this.

A escaped convict from a penal colony (there is one near the capital), about 70 kilometers from where I resided, was supposed to roam around at night. Many people claimed to have seen the guy who looked like Rambo minus the ammo and the muscles. More likely from their description, I could visualize him like a Japanese straggler from the last world war.

Fear was not the factor, for they claimed the man was harmless, hiding from sight at every possible instance. He simply needed his freedom from the daily chore he had been doing for several years while in custody: planting rice.

“Beware,” many warned. “Do not hang your laundry outside. He might steal them.”

I possessed few clothes so I took the warning seriously. If he stole mine, he would probably have more clothes than me in the end.

Days later, there was a report that he was apprehended. I wanted to check his face to see if I had met him without me knowing it. I had seen a lot of strangers which was natural because I knew fewer people by name then.

Passing a small sari-sari store, I observed a group of farmers taking their mid morning snack. They were killing time while the sun shone its brightest.

When they saw me approached, smiles formed in their faces. I recognized two of my neighbors so I titled my head downward as a silent greeting.

“They caught him last night.”

Such piece of news aroused my curiosity. I had to get closer to hear everything said.

“Where?” someone asked, after sipping from a bottle of soda.

“There!” the lead storyteller pointed to the place.

Horrors! It was a stone’s throw away from my house. I never imagined that the convict could have trespassed in my land but the information led me to believe I could have met him face to face if I went out at that particular hour.

“Have you seen him?” I interrupted, relieved the threat was over but at the same time still curious of the man’s identity.

They stared at once another, seriously considering if there was a need to tell me the whole story. One of my neighbors kept shaking his head: he would not look me in the eye.

“What’s the matter?” I inquired. “Is he dead?”

“Are you sure you want to know what he looks like?” their leader asked. “You might not like it.”

I waved my hand, signalling him I was prepared for any surprises.

The man approached the store owner and whispered to her. She was reluctant at first but was goaded into following the man’s request.

When she came back, a foot-square object covered with cloth was in her hands.

“Go ahead,” the leader said. “Take it.”

My right hand was steady. I removed the cloth with my left.

It was a mirror.



Before I begin this day, in behalf of my countrymen, I would like to thank all of you who sent positive thoughts our way. I believe that our concerted efforts somewhat reduced an impending disaster into a more manageable natural occurrence.

Many people might not see it that way, that positive thoughts could be a powerful force to even influence Nature’s actions. Time and again, it has been proven during different occasions.

All day yesterday, before the super typhoon landed, we were united in seeking Mother Nature’s intervention, to calm the winds further so as not to make a repeat of last year’s devastation. We were ready to submit to any response to our plea.

We have no power supply almost the whole day yesterday but we did not care as long as the stormy weather did not affect us. A short rain in the morning and cloudy the whole afternoon, we were happy for the development.

Today, the sun is shining brightly out here. That’s what we wish for.

To everyone, we are much grateful for your natural goodness.



When economists talk everyone listens, right? When they announce rosy forecasts for the economy, they are applauded.

If they talk in front of a like-minded audience, what they explain would be received accordingly. Some people might react in the contrary but then they could sway the naysayers with figures to prove their points.

If they recite those numbers to ordinary people in the streets, they might get the surprise of their lives. Not only will they be harshly ignored but to more philosophical individuals they would be rebuffed as if they were living in a fantasy world.

Here are some conversations I heard that would approximate the feelings of the majority.

– 0 –

Customer: I heard on the radio that they lowered the price of gasoline. Why is it still unchanged?

Gasoline boy: If you do not want to buy, go to the radio station and buy there.

– 0 –

Pro: They said the economy is growing.

Con: I heard. But whose economy? Not mine I am very sure.

– 0 –

Worker 1: If the economy is booming, why can’t you raise my salary?

Manager: You come here to work, not believe in tall tales.

– 0 –

Buyer: I was here yesterday. Why did the price of vegetables rise today?

Seller: Haven’t you heard? The economy grew.

Buyer: What’s the connection with vegetables’ price increase?

Seller: Nothing. I just want my economy growing, too.

– 0 –

Child: My teacher said that our country is growing fast.

Father: Yes, that’s true.

Child: Why are we still poor?

Father: Because we are growing fast.

Child: Huh?

Father: There are too many babies born everyday.

– 0 –

Farmer 1: Do you wonder that every time they said the country is growing, we do not feel a thing?

Farmer 2: No, that’s not correct. I felt something.

Farmer 1: Is that so? You think you benefited personally?

Farmer 2: No. I just felt so angry that people up there in government think that we are naive.

– o –

Sentiments vary. People complain. Government does not listen. Stalemate.



Analyzing history when it pertains to currents events is not only educational but sometimes humorous, not in a funny sense though.

Imagine this scenario. Parents (both deceased) who fought against an alleged despot, one sacrificing life and the other helping restore democracy has a son who now holds a high position in government. Their grievance back then was against autocratic rule, the absence of regular elections and corruption in all levels of government. Their fight was their legacy to their countrymen.

The son, who was old enough during those times, should promote their ideals once he reached his place. Out of respect for his departed parents, he, of all people, should never soil their reputation by even thinking of contradicting what they fought for.

However, the son could never match his father’s popularity nor his mother’s, that in some crooked sense he has considered himself valuable to his people. The detested idea of extending his rule beyond his term crops up, deviously presented as the will of the majority.

Who could have thought that this train of thoughts would even be conjured in the first place?

The cabal collectively decided their personal interests would be best served if they revise the organic law of the land. Their stay in power rests in the notion that too many groups who possess particular agendas would also agree to the change, spreading words for all to hear that everything is for the welfare of the nation.

Of course, many people, especially those who understand the repercussions of such change would try to block the initiative. Unfortunately, they are in the minority, the real one and not the supposedly minority in congress who would also benefit in the proposed change.

It’s funny how millions of literate citizens could be deceived right in their faces. They only need to recall the old promises made, those that were not fulfilled to this day, and the new promises pledged to get their support. How simple could that be? How easy to turn those power hungry down instantly?

Not very easy because people forget. They never learn or they do not want to learn. Given crumbs and they would bow down immediately. That is how hopeless their lives are.

There is a saying that says: “You may fool people once. But you cannot fool them all the time.” Sadly, this is not true in our case. To paraphrase it: “You may fool people once. That’s enough to fool them all the time.”



We, humans, are but flesh and blood. A soul to keep in our lifetime and a journey to another time and space after death.

Notorious people are reviled in history, their wicked ways demonized for people not to forget. They chose their path and they deserved the consequences of their misdeeds.

Famous people, on the other hand, gave us precious contributions in our lives. They opened their private lives to the masses and almost anything they said and did were scrutinized to fit the image they portrayed in public. Any deviation was a negative, decreasing their appeal and influence.

When bad people die, there are sometimes celebration, gratitude in the air, that evil was again destined to uncertain oblivion.

When good people die, there is only sadness and regret, longing that could not be quenched, that goodness lost another disciple.

Tragic deaths of the good and the bad are treated differently. The latter provides satisfaction to victims, their vengeance realized and justice was served. To the former though, there are many shades to consider, sometimes even in death former lives were dissected for further media and public scrutiny.

The death of Robin Williams could serve as an example. Can we just pay tribute to the man and exalt all his positive inputs to society? Can we downplay or even remove from the public his private problems that led to his death? Can we do so out of respect for the man who cannot defend himself no more?

He was flesh and blood like we are. For like us, in death, we all deserve peace.



Poverty will be difficult to eradicate. On the contrary, it is always intended to flourish.

The poor in the world has their uses to multinational companies in developed nations. Not only the group, estimated in billions, has less education attainment than the middle class and the wealthy, they comprise the major part of business earnings around the world. Uplifting their economic standards could be a negative factor to global conglomerates’ continued growth: the poor should never escape poverty for the rest of their lives.

What better way to undermine their progress than introduce conflict. Choose from the menu: religious divisions, ethnic clashes, political maneuverings or scientific experiments. The last is the most subtle method: assistance in the form of poison pill.

Have you ever heard of an epidemic that started with the rich section of society? Except for corruption which figuratively is a viral infection that eats away at an individual’s sense of fairness, you cannot cite one. All those deadly diseases began where the poor resides.

There’s a saying: if it ain’t broke, do not fix it. How do you earn money if everything is spic and span? Well, you create a problem that needs a solution.

Overpopulation is one. After the wars of the past, fertility drugs proliferated to help repopulate the decimated areas. When the increase reached more than the expected number, pills that regulated births became popular. They were even included in aid programs to help poor countries maintain lower birth rates.

What is inside those pills? Other than removing chances of accidental fertilization, they host nightmares to frequent takers. The side effects lead to other diseases that needs other pills and medications to remedy. This does not include the overall impact on the family itself, the neighborhood where the family belongs, the larger community to the national level.

One pill that has created animosities all over the world, pitting people against one another, for or against it. Who benefited handsomely from this experiment?

Then, there were botched experiments, largely done in far-flung places, away from transparent inspections, human-trials without the blessing of government institutions, wonder drugs in the making but ending up as mutated viruses let loose inside human bodies.

Will an epidemic begin in the rich sections of society? No way, Jose! It will always start with the poor. That has been and will be his role in this inhumane world.



Much of our attention is focused on the wars in the Middle East and the Ukraine. Rightly so, we want them stopped to alleviate the sufferings of the living victims and their loved ones. We hope that current conflicts are resolved while new ones do not develop.

Less concerns with armed and violent confrontations mean more time and energies for other more pressing global problems we need to address. Perhaps, it is high time we spend billions of money for important issues that threaten the survival of our civilization as a whole.

Back in the 90s, we were jolted to the realization that we were not immune to a new virus. Since then, after millions of lives had been lost, and more still dying. we have swept the issue under the rug, so to speak. Yes, there were trickles of reminders through the years but they became so far and between that we look at them like scars in our history.

Time and again, we get frightened when news of a new virus comes along. We take precautions and be alert not to be infected. However, when the media focus fizzled out, we tended to view the scare as if it had vanished in thin air.

A new virus is here and now. It has not yet claimed thousands of lives. But silently, it moves outward from its source. It does not discriminate on who to infect. It must be stopped.

Our governments should inform us about this threat. A pandemic is worse than a world war: the enemy is within us.