Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"I really just have to find the beauty in living to be able to fight for it again."
-Antonio Cruz, circa 2005.

An announcement: After 18 years of having migrated here, I just became a US citizen today.

A friend came with me. I asked her to be my witness while I take oath. While it was not necessary (I could've gone to the ceremony alone), folks can be brought as witnesses. I intentionally asked her because, as I told her my reason, she was the only real American person I know. Hehehe.

The event looked like a graduation ceremony, and the trip (BART train and a 1-mile uphill walk) to the place gave us time to catch up with each other. My goodness, we both said as we started sharing each other stories, "a lot of things have changed." After the 2-hour ceremony that could have really just taken 15 minutes (thanks to the emcee for being quite a jokester), she treated me to the celebratory lunch, before we parted ways. Then I thought to myself, "Funny, I wonder when I'll see her again. She comes and goes like the last dream before waking!"

[hmmm... hehe] yep, quite funny indeed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lesson number one
If a couple doesn't see each other as friends, they might as well separate;

Alternative statement
A couple needs to regard each other as real friends in order to survive;

Another alternative statement
Without friendship, a romantic relationship would not last;

Final alternative statement
Couples should always foster friendship;

Final, final alternative statement
...If you're not willing to be friends, forget it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I love Robert Fulghum. Don't know if I mentioned it in this blog but I originally patterned this blog with the kind of brevity that he uses in his books. Short anecdotal chapters, just about simple things with a twist. Looking back at my postings though, I am so far from his style. Haha. Anyhow, here is a recent article that adopts his famous poster-desiderata. It strikes me as it encapsulates the goings-on in the "Phils" at the same time. Political twists, something I started to like sometime back. The point is to love life, and hate unjust things...

(excerpt from Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 4, 2008)

Wrong values outside school

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, saying that students must be insulated from politics, appealed to political groups and personalities not to bring their battle over the national broadband network deal to school campuses.

Must the youth be kept ignorant of the affairs of the state? Shouldn’t teachers guide them so they can make informed decisions?

The youth know very well that they are being deprived of their right to quality education, which they see in the poor facilities of their schools and, worst, the growing number of their classmates who are dropping out because of poverty. Must they turn a blind eye to corruption? Must they act deaf and dumb amid the fraud and official lies? Must the children of the victims of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances meekly submit to the injustice that has been done to them and their loved ones?

The trouble with the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration is that it is focused on covering up its evil rule by repressing the people’s basic freedoms. Arroyo must be reminded that children must be taught and nurtured with the values needed to shape a better society.

Robert Fulghum, in his book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” has a lot to say about leadership and governance. Let me cite a few:

• Share everything.

• Play fair.

• Don’t hit people.

• Put things back where you found them.

• Clean up your own mess.

• Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

• Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

• Wash your hands before you eat.

• Flush.

But what do our children learn from the Arroyo administration?

• While in power, amass as much wealth as you can.

• Buy votes to win elections. And if you must, call the chair of the Commission on Elections to manipulate the results in your favor.

• Kill, abduct, harass, torture, persecute those who work for justice, peace and meaningful change.

• Go sell our sovereignty and patrimony. Mother Nature be damned as long as you earn from the sellout.

• Stealing public funds is OK. Never mind if people go hungry and are deprived of proper health care, quality education and decent shelter, as long as you and your family get richer and richer.

• But feign piety and make sure your religious activities are covered by the media.

• Cover up your corrupt dealings. If exposed, try to make “palusot” (e.g., find a scapegoat). If there’s no way out, say “I am sorry” in public, but find ways to escape accountability.

• Keep your supporters loyal with bribes and political rewards. Distribute “paper bags” every time you meet with them.

• Always assure everyone that you will step down at the end of your term, as the law provides, even if you have contrary plans.

While teachers struggle in the classroom to impart the right values, their students see, in real life, a solid example of governance by corruption, lies, cheating, thievery and murder.

NORMA P. DOLLAGA, Kapatirang Simbahan Para Sa Bayan (Kasimbayan), 3/F NCCP, 879 EDSA, Quezon City