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Then the second part of the advice goes like this, “…and do not do anything that will end your life.”
This advice covers the part that one should avoid things like suicide, drinking and driving and again doing drugs. This could include life threatening situations where you entangle yourself with some serious problems that would involve deaths and killings.

Though the advice covers these kinds of life situations, I also would like to emphasize more on the suicide side. This is because, time will come in life that problems will get the best of us. Our plans might no longer be possible that we just want to end it all, surrender to all the things that are negative. This can happen to anyone, even to the best of us.

So when I say that ,”… do not do anything that will end your life”… in a way I also mean that my students should not give up on their plans and dreams in life. Suicide is ending your life, ending your plans.
I do not want my students to give up. I do not want them to surrender or lose hope. I want them to keep on fighting.

I want them to always find new creative strategies to solve their problems so they can reach their dreams. I want them to know that problems always have solutions, it just being creative enough to look for new ways to solve it.

So that is it, that is my advice to our high school graduating students. For me, it is a good advice because it covers a lot of things and it deals with what they may encounter in their lives in the future. This advice may not even be heard, may not even be read. But I still feel that it is worth my time to write about it.

So again, to the fourth year graduating students, I say, ““Do not do anything that will ruin the plans of your life and do not do anything that will end your life.”

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So what is my advice then to the graduating class?

After all the ideas I had, after thinking about it a lot, I would choose this one. “Do not do anything that will ruin the plans of your life and do not do anything that will end your life.”

I chose this advice because it covers a lot of things, first of all, it tells the students that he or she should have a plan, a goal, a dream that he or she should follow. Having a plan in life is very important. People should focus on his/ her plans, stick with it and stop procrastinating or making excuses in fullfilling it. You can change your plans along the way or strategies but the fact is, having a plan is important.

This also means that anything that may destroy her or his plans, he/she should avoid it. This includes getting someone pregnant, getting pregnant or delving into drugs and many other disastrous things.

Such an advice is real because I have seen a lot of people’s dreams crumble because they got themselves pregnant or got someone pregnant. It becomes difficult for those people who are tackling those problems to continue with their dreams and plans of life because they will now have to prioritize their time and money in rearing a child and supporting a young family.

The advice though does not mean that one should not have sex or that one should get an abortion. That is another topic all together.

Delving into drugs is also a dream destroyer because what if you become addicted to it. Now that would mean everything in your life will then be going nowhere. You could go to rehabilitation for it, you could kill someone and get imprisoned, or whatever dangerous effects related to it. So drugs and pregnancy are a no-no.

A person, a fourth year student can have new and different experiences in college or in life but the caution here is that one should avoid the things that are hard to solve or hard to escape from. Stealing, drugs, getting someone pregnant are things that curtail responsibility and big consequences. It will not be an easy problem to just get away from.

If you want to try new experiences, there are a lot of things one can do. Travelling, learning a new talent, making a band, starting a new business, trying out fun but safe activities such as go-carting or going to zip-lines are just a few new things to try.

Small new problems that curtail no heavy consequences could mean failing an exam, failing a class, breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend or even shifting to another course.

So first part of the advice, “Do not do anything that will ruin the plans of your life…”

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Now, when it comes to the fourth year high school students, which has a different situation to college, I would offer a different advice. Again, I would like to remind the reader that all of this stuff is just in the realm of imagination; I am really not giving any speeches. I am no highly successful individual I am just an ordinary man.

When I was thinking about this, a lot of things came to mind which also means a lot of advices came to mind as well. One was that I could tell my students that they learn to appreciate art and support the local art and music scene. In a way, this was important but when it comes to talking about life, this was truly not a good advice. It was only applicable to art and not applicable to the many things they would encounter during college and after college.

Next was that, I also could tell them that they should live a creative life. But again, this could be misinterpreted because much of them will not be taking any art related course. Yes, I know creativity as we have said is not related to art but it could be misinterpreted and the advice could also be limited. I think if I would give this advice, I would make it sound this way, “Always be creative in solving your problems.”

But again, the same problem to the previous advices may arise because such an advice can be misinterpreted. This is because they might in a way try to solve their problems by creatively escaping it because I do believe problems are supposed to be faced head on and you just look for new strategies to solve it and not escape it.

Solving problems does not mean escaping it, blaming someone for it or not solving it and wait for it to go away which usually does not happen.

So in the end, I scrapped the idea of giving that advice.

So what is my advice then to the graduating class?

Due to the constraints of time and space, I will tell you all about it tomorrow.

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In a way, the possibility of me giving advice to fourth year high school students or any graduating class is nearly impossible. Usually such speeches are given to the High School Principal, the Adviser, the Dean or to any highly successful individual. But it was nice to think about it, I felt that I had something to say about it. So even if such a chance will never happen to me, I just wanted to write it down. It clears the mind anyway.
First of all, if this advice was for the graduating class of the fine arts students of U.P. Cebu, this would be the advice I would give which in a way was the advice we understood were given to us by our teachers when my batch graduated from college. It went like this.

No matter where you go, no matter what you do, continue to become an artist.

Such an advice meant that there will come a time that will not continue painting art and having exhibits. Especially in these trying times, the situation will come that we will no longer be visual artists. But it does not mean that we should stop being an artist. This is because we can still be artists, but have different mediums. We can still be graphic artists, be fashion designers, writers or musicians. It is a different medium but we are still out there creating and expressing ourselves.

Second, the advice also means that we continue to live a life of passion and always be creative. Passion and creativity are things not only limited to art. It can be related to business, teaching, sports, leadership and even living a life of advocacy. No matter where we would go, the advice meant that we should live a passionate and creative life.

So again, to the graduates of the Fine arts course of U.P. Cebu, I say ,“ no matter where you go, no matter what you do, continue to become an artist.”

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You Give Drawing a Bad Name

One of the things that I was very excited about to teach in high school was teaching kids about drawing. This was because I really believed that every high school kid wanted to learn how to draw. As I found out then and found out in a hard way, a lot of kids do not like to learn how to draw. I was wrong about it and a lot of them were scared to learn because of how grown-ups, adults or parents saw drawing.

The thing is, a lot of adults think learning how to draw is very difficult. They think that the skill of drawing is acquired through genetics. So if the parent thinks that he or she is bad at drawing, he or she concludes that her or his child will also be bad at it.

They also think that drawing is something magical. That only few can handle it. Artists or people who are skilled at drawing are something rare. For them learning how to play the guitar is more difficult than drawing. They place too much value; they place drawing on such a high pedestal or an ivory tower that when it comes to teaching it, these parents are not at all helpful; they give drawing a bad name.

The thing is, these old misconceptions about drawing have already been debunked long time ago due to the efforts of Betty Edwards and her theories about drawing from the right side of the brain. In this book, Betty Edwards shares that drawing is not about genetics or magic at all. Drawing can be learned by seeing things with the right side of the brain. Drawing like any skill can be learned and like everything else, anyone can be good at it with hard work and consistent practice. With such a breakthrough understanding of drawing, Betty Edwards revolutionized how we see drawing.

The lesson here is that any person, young or old can learn how to draw. He or she just needs to have the correct lessons and works hard for it.

The lesson here is that we must stop spreading such misconceptions that drawing is difficult to learn because it discourages kids to learn and be open to new ideas.

The lesson here is that if you do not know anything about drawing and share old opinions about it, you should shut up because clearly you are ignorant of the topic; you lack research which only means you have no right to share your opinions about drawing.

Stop giving it a bad name, will ya?

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25 + 1 Creativity Tips

Right now, I am teaching my fourth year high school students about creativity. Mostly I teach them about my personal experiences about creativity that is why I share it to them very spontaneously. Sometimes I get books to help me teach creativity to them. This is why from one book, from one source I got some tips in how to heighten your creativity.

This book shared its tips about being creative. Some examples of the 26 tips cover visiting inspirational places, practice “what-if-ing”, listening to classical music and doing things spontaneously. Other tips are admiring someone that is creative, being self confident, not watching television all the time and writing songs/poems.

I shared to my students 25 tips but originally in the book, there are 26 tips. And because the 26th tip for me, might be misunderstood I did not share it to my class.

The 26th tip was about having a rebellious streak.

Creativity for me is a very important lesson to teach but it is also very dangerous especially for young kids to get. This is because in order to have the consistent supply of being creative and having new ideas and concepts, it also means that one should always have new experiences and new experiences can mean different things to different people. It can be harmless such as trying out a new ice cream flavour as well as it can be scary as it can be meant that one should try out drugs.

It is double edged sword teaching about creativity and as a teacher I do not want my students to misinterpret me.

That is why, I could not share them the 26th tip, “having a rebellious streak” because, they could accept it as going against authority such as their parents and teachers. That is a very terrifying thought. And such an idea should not be planted in their minds for now.

But if I were to tell them about what it does mean to have a rebellious streak without making it dangerous, it could mean that instead of girls always sporting long hair why not try having a boy cut or with the boys, always wearing the guy colours like blue or green, why not try pink on for a change.

So again, as a teacher you always want the students to understood you properly and not get the wrong lessons. I just hope that in teaching them creativity I achieved that with them.

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Pacquaio vs. Donaire

I stated in my previous article that I did not want to see two great Filipino boxers slugging it out in the ring just to see who is better than them. That is why to see Pacquaio and Donaire fight is not a good idea for me.
But will I be forever closed to such a scenario in the future of two Filipino fighters trying to knock each other out? My answer is no, I am open to such a possibility but only and only if my conditions do happen in the future.

I am open to such an idea only and only if in the future, Filipino fighters are dominating the world boxing scene. This means that we would have a lot of Filipino champions and having champions would already seem normal to us.

The other countries would offer no competition against our home-grown fighters. It would be just like Mexico or America with their boxers before, we already expect our Pinoy boxers to win so as great that may seem it would no longer be news to us if a Pinoy boxer wins.

So if that does happen, if our boxers do dominate the boxing scene, it would mean that we need to know who will be the best boxer of their time. That would be the time that I would be open to seeing Filipinos fight against each other. This is because we have no choice, all the greats our coming from our country and for the sport to continue to go on and get its attention, we need to pit great fighters against each other; even if it means that the said fighters come from the same country—our country.

And if the great fighters come from our country then so be it. We have no choice. At that point, it would not even divide us. It would make us proud that we consistently develop great boxers. It would truly be great for us.

Will such a boxing future ever happen? Yes, it can. As long as there are young poor Filipino boxers out there who are inspired to be like their boxing idols right now. Then it is possible.

When will this happen? That I cannot answer. To consistently develop great boxers from our country year after year means that we need a time-proven system and funding, which also means that we expect our government system to do something about it, and when we talk about government action in the Philippines context, that usually translates to: hopeless.

Anyway, at least we can count on our country’s poverty to continue to breed and motivate young boxers to become great one day. And that my friends, is one positive way to look at poverty.

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Donaire vs. Pacquaio

If in the future, Manny Pacquaio remains at number 1 in the rankings for the boxing pound for pound and Nonito Donaire becomes number 2, would it be great to see these two fight against each other in the ring to determine who truly is the greatest among them?

As much as that scenario is very tempting to all boxing fans, as a Filipino I would not want it. For the simple reason that it is bad for the country to have two Filipinos battle it out. The reason might be corny but the bigger picture is we as Filipinos do not need it.

Yes, we all know, as of now that Pacquaio is the better fighter. Manny has the punch, the speed, the experience and the belts to prove that to us. But Manny is also getting older and may retire one day.
Donaire is good and can even be better. Donaire is still young and has enormous potential to be the best. But if he loses his focus, potential can just be easily wasted one day.

If in the future, these two fighters do meet, Donaire would be at his peak while Manny would be at his twilight. That fight would be unfair to Manny. So it should not happen.

If Donaire wants to be better than Manny Pacquiao, if Donaire in the future will be haunted by that question if who is better than the two, then he can beat Pacquaio by not beating him in the ring. He can do that in another way. He can do this by beating Manny’s record of having eight title belts in different divisions.

Yes, that is the only way he can prove to us that he is better than Manny. Donaire has the speed, the height at 5’7”, the power punch and the motivation to do that. If he gets eight to nine titles, then he proves to us that he is better than Manny.

If he does do that in the future, then it will be good for the morale of our country. It will unite us again just like Manny is doing now.

Seeing two Filipino fighters fight in one ring, it might sound good but to see it actually happen, but I don’t think it is a good idea. We should by all means avoid that.

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Nonito Donaire was Impressive

I almost forgot when this fight would happen. Good that I woke up early and turned on my television on that Sunday morning. I was supposed to be watching the NBA all stars but it was not on television. Good that I did not turn it off and just continued to channel surf and arrived on Channel 3, ABS-CBN.

This was an important fight for Nonito Donaire. He needed to prove to all his doubters that he was the heir-apparent to Manny Pacquiao. Donaire needed a big fight. Donaire needed this. And by knocking down Fernando Montiel, he proved to us that he is our next great champion and could even be better than Manny Pacquaio.

It was a great fight and it ended fast. I did not even expect it to end that fast. Nonito knocks down Montiel in the second round. Montiel, after being knocked down, had involuntary spasms that reminds me of a helpless baby crying. It was weird, but that is what happened. It was a really impressive punch from Donaire, a left hand punch that knocked down a then-undefeated Montiel and silenced all of Donaire’s doubters.

The question right now is no longer who the next Manny Pacquiao is because Doanire has already answered that for us. The question right now is, who is the next Nonito Donaire?

As of now, Donaire is ranked number 5 on the boxing pound for pound list. If he beats another fighter later this year, he could be ranked 2 while Manny Pacquiao, if he beats Mosley, would remain to be number 1. That would be great for our country, two Philippine Champions both at the top.

Donaire has a lot of potential and could be better than Pacquaio because he will continue to go up in weight and has the chance to beat Manny’s record. Donaire is still 28 years old; if he retires at 35 he still has seven years of great fighting. He now has three titles on him so he still can get six to seven more.

But even if he does not do that, having to witness two Filipino fighters continuing to be great right now is awesome. It is a great time to be a boxing fan and a great time to be a Filipino.

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Masteral of Fine Arts pt. 2

Another requirement in order to get in to the Masteral of Fine Arts is that you will be asked to propose a Master of Fine arts degree program of study in the UPCFA graduate program. Here, you will state in 500 words the objectives and outlines of your major field of study and the details of your program.

This means before you enter the masters, you already have a plan of action what you are going to do when you graduate because you are going to make a curriculum.

These three requirements alone are going to be tough. And as what my friend Intoy Corpin III remarked, “Di lang basta-basta” (This is not something easy or one should take lightly).

The thing is, the Masteral of Fine Arts is something serious. And the program wants the best of the best to enrol on their course. That is why it should be hard and tough to get in.

And it even becomes tougher because they are planning to increase tuition from 500 pesos per unit to 1,500 pesos per unit. Not counting your stay in Manila if you come from Cebu or from the other regions, you would need P100,000 to finish the course in two to three years. We are not even counting your expenses of your thesis, art materials and all.

So if you truly want to get into the Masters program, you better start early, start planning about it. Start being serious about your art by painting, joining art exhibits and art groups this early.

The good thing about it is that as I read the application form, they do not ask about your age which means they are open to both the young and old. They do not care how old you are; just as long as you pass the other requirements and you are set to go.

By the way, the answer on why there is no Masters program for the Fine Arts in Cebu is that a Masters program would need three graduates of the Masters to be able to teach here in Cebu. As of now, I think we just have one.

That’s it .Good luck.

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Masteral of Fine Arts pt. 1

Taking the Masteral of Fine Arts in Diliman was one of the goals we had when we were in college. We wanted to learn more about art, we wanted to be great artists one day and being a graduate of the Masteral of Fine Arts in U. P .Diliman was one way to reach those goals. Sadly, most of my batch mates did not take this course. It was too expensive for us to go to Diliman and take that course. So that is why, not just from my batch most of us did not pursue the masteral course and went each other’s ways.

These days, the one person I get to talk about the having plans to take the Masteral of Fine Arts is my good friend and band drummer, Intoy Corpin III. And because the both of us have few details about the course, it was one of my plans when I went to Manila to go to U.P. Diliman College of Fine Arts and inquire about the course.

So if you are right now taking the fine arts course and want to take the course in the future, keep on reading because I have some details to share about the Masteral of Fine Arts that might just help you in the long run.

First thing I have discovered about the course is it is not advisable that you take the course right after graduating from college. This is because you need to have two years of experience as a professional artist to get into the course.

Being a professional artist does not mean that you be an art teacher or graphic artist, though that would be an added plus, but as major requirement this does not necessarily count. So being a professional artist would mean that you need to have art exhibits, (solo or group exhibits) being active in art groups and also selling artworks. An added plus would be to win art competitions and be in a high ranking position in some art organization.

But again for the basics, having art exhibits and being in active in art groups is already fine.

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Pinoy Azkals as a Fad pt. 3

So as I end my three parts article, I hope that those who support the game right now especially to those who just discovered the game right now will learn more about the game.

Learn more about the rules and the history of the game, more specifically to learn more about the history, the problems and personalities about Philippine football.

Football is great game, a game that Filipinos can excel in. Height is not a requirement to play the game. Height is not an advantage to play the game. Only hard work, passion and skill are needed. Every old football fan or football players know this.

In Asia, football is becoming stronger and stable. Asia is even being predicted to be stronger than Africa in the future. We as Filipinos could be all part of this, if we do the right thing. Japan, China and South Korea are the powerhouses when it comes to Asian football. We could be one of those powerhouses if we do the right thing.

Doing the right thing for football will take time, it will need a stronger foundation. It might not even happen as quick as now. We have to start thinking, that if we truly want football to rise it wll take an attitude of getting married to it. That when it comes to football, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health we will still support it.

To support football is not like a fling, like a flavour of the month that when we get bored we will no longer support it. Again, we need to think about it as marriage. We need to get married to Philippine football so that in the future it will bear children, young players and young supporters, who will continue to love the game and bring it to the next level.

In richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, we need to say “ I do” and love Philippine football forever.

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Pinoy Azkals as a Fad pt. 2

Third proof for me that the Pinoy Azkals right now will no longer be a fad is when the corruption in the Philippine football organizations shall no longer exist.

This is very important because even if how much money the government or the private sector will give to football, if the money will go to corruption, it will be useless. Corruption will just devour all those sponsored money and no development will happen.

So if you want Philippine football to stay, corruption within its organization must be meted out. And we all know, when it comes to meting out corruption, it takes time and it is difficult.

The last proof for me that Philippine football is not a fad, is when the time comes that there will be a Philippine football professional league.

As a football player, I am very cautious about what is happening to the game. Yes I love what is happening right now, but as a football player I do not want a fad, I want stability for the game. And all my points, all my reasoning right now lead to that.

Having a professional football league is the highest a game can reach. Having a professional football league is the ultimate signal that a game like football is now stable and here to stay.

This point is very important, because this is what is being done to basketball. Football players in order to continue playing must be convinced that they can financially survive if they still continue to play football. They must be convinced that when they play, they only think about the game and not be worried about where to get their means of survival tomorrow or what if they get injured, will someone take care of them.
Philippine football players, if they are to give their best, must be focused and having a professional league will solve their future and survival worries.

This point is very important because I know a lot of great football players in high school that because we all knew back then that you cannot get money from football, or there is no future in football chose a different course in college or in life. They stopped playing and started just to be realistic and get regular jobs.
This point is very important. In order to encourage the young to play, in order to give hope to the game, in order to make the game stable. Football players must be convinced that in the future they will get paid to play the game. That their skills will convert to money in the long run.

In high school and college, young Pinoy football players play for the passion of playing the game. But passion alone does not make you survive after college. It cannot support a family or buy you the needs of life. That is why, if we truly want to support Philippine football players, we need to erect a Philippine professional football league.

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Pinoy Azkals as a Fad pt. 1

In my first article about the Pinoy Azkals, someone commented about that we can no longer treat the Azkal’s rise to fame now as a fad. I had my reply on this one and I would like to write that one down again and add more ideas to the topic.

As I said on my comment, I still cannot say that the rise of the Pinoy Azkals and Philippine football is no longer a fad, this is because it is too early to say that. This is because fads usually take time to fade away just like Bisrock or some top 1 pop hit song. Sometimes fads get more or less 1 to 2 years of fame then they lose our attention.

And for Philippine football, this could all be a fad right now, a flavour of the month thing.

The thing is there are requirements I need to see before I believe or be convinced that what is happening right now to Philippine football is not a fad.

One, is that people, will still continue to support the game after five to ten years. That means, it has surpassed the time limit for it being fad. Even if it is no longer cool to support football, a lot of people will still support it then that would be a good sign.

Second proof that is not a fad is the situation that what if, the Pinoy Azkals will lose and continue to lose, will we as a nation still support them? We all know this, Filipinos love winners. Manny Pacquiao, Efren “Bata” Reyes got their attention when they won but when they lose will we still support them?

A lot of us do this. Rey “Boom-boom” Bautista was very highly regarded as a future boxing champ when he continued to knock his opponents out and remain undefeated. But when the time came that he lost, we shifted our attention to someone else or supported the boxer that we knew that would sure to win, that is Manny Pacquiao.

So this could happen to the Pinoy Azkals now. Think about it. Ask yourself this question. Will you still support the Azkals if they lose? Will you support them if they continue to lose and lose again?

Winning is cool, losing sucks. When the time comes when it will no longer be cool to support the Pinoy Azkals, when the time comes that the Pinoy Azkals suck, will you still support them?

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U.P. Diliman

One of the things I was looking forward for my Manila trip was going to U.P. Diliman. As a UPian, I think it is imperative for me to go there in order to pay my respects to the university that started it all. Going there is like a collegiate pilgrimage of some sort and U. P. Diliman is the Mecca for UPians. Also, visiting U.P. Diliman was some of the things I missed out in college.

A lot of my college friends back then even took summer classes at U.P. Diliman so they could have a one month experience on what it is like to be in U.P. Diliman. I missed out on that one.

Although I have already visited Diliman before during semestral breaks and other vacations, I did not get to visit the place during school days where I would get the chance to see U.P. students and their art museums. I also did not get to visit it back then with a camera.

So this time, with my wife and a camera I made sure the visit would truly be worthwhile. So I made sure that we visit the Vargas Museum and the College of Fine Arts, as well as the the U.P. Oblation and the Sunken garden. We also bought some U.P .souvenirs along the way.

I even wanted to stay longer so I could see some football players practicing at the Sunken garden but because of fear of the Manila traffic I cancelled that plan.

Another reason why I wanted to visit U.P. Diliman is because one of my paintings from my first exhibit is hanging on the walls of the office of the U.P. Student Regent. I gave that painting to a friend of mine, Hannah Serrana, who became a U. P. Student Regent and brought it from Cebu to Diliman.

The painting is still there and it was a nice feeling to have my picture taken with it and also for my wife to be able to see one of my paintings in the flesh.

The painting for me was very memorable for it was my first artwork for my exhibit, it was my first artwork coming out from an artist’s block during college, so it was nice to see it again.

So as I end, my trip to U.P. Diliman rekindled a lot of things for me, especially about pursuing a life of a professional artist.

I just hope that I do not waste the experiences from this U.P. Diliman trip and start making Art again.

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My Sister is now A Sister

As I mentioned, my trip to Manila was not just a vacation, it was about my sister taking her vows to become a nun. For if it was just a vacation, I would not have made the trip and miss out on our schools sports fest, especially not missing out on the exhibition football game where teachers battle it out against the students varsity.

But because it was for a special reason, I had to leave that all behind for my sister’s special day.

Though I know what it is like to be living a religious life (even in a little way), in a way, I don’t agree that much on the decision why my sister wanted to be a sister.

Yes, I know she had a calling and all to be God’s servant. She needs to live in poverty, celibacy and obedience. But my sister had promise to become a high ranking nurse in the hospital she used to work for. Money and respect would have come with that. But yeah, material things are not enough to make us live. And maybe that was what it was about, so I understand and respect that.

Seeing my sister doing her vows, always smiling while the other sisters were not even smiling made me feel that my sister was very happy now. She was even the one who made the “Thank You” speech which kind of makes it look like she was the Valedictorian of her batch, and that made me feel proud.

Such a situation with my sister made me remind of a friend of mine who was hooked on drugs in his high school life and when he went to rehabilitation became a born again Christian pastor – something which is different to a lot of us.

The thing is, there are a lot of things that I do not truly agree on about my friends and relatives and how they live their lives. But as long as they are happy about it, as long as they were not forced to do something against their will and it gives them a reason and purpose to live, then I am up for it.

I think that is what family and friends are for, we support and accept each other even if we sometimes do not agree with how they live their lives.

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Metro Manila vs. Cebu City

My trip to Manila was in a way different because it is not just that it has been a long time since I was in Manila, it was also the first time I went there with my wife and that made the experience special.

I love going back to Manila, this is because they have a lot of things to visit there. They have their art galleries and cultural structures that can really inspire passion and make you value history. They also have their music bars that feature a lot of Pinoy rock bands that remind you that most of the great artists now are not seen on television or heard on the radio.

It is a good thing to know that bands like The Jerks and Razorback are still rocking out in ones of these bars in Manila. It kind of says to you, that as long as there are fans and a venue, no one is too old to rock and roll.

I love Manila because of the schools as well. U.P. Diliman is there as well as Ateneo, La Salle and UST. I also love Manila for their trains and buildings. It is just a different skyline out there in Manila.

But the most I love about Manila because it reminds me of Cebu. The way these two cities are so different. Manila, is just so big while Cebu is just small. Manila is just so cold with all its buildings. There aren’t that many trees and plants out there in Manila. With Cebu, it just feels homey. Yes, we have our buildings but we also have our trees beside our buildings. And add the nearby beaches, then that just makes it great.

Then when you come to Manila there is also that creeping feeling that Cebu might in the future be another Manila. That would mean, Cebu City would inherit the smog, the sewer problems and the traffic. That future might even be closer now than before with all the condominiums rising now which means more people with cars living in the city. That future might even be much closer now especially the little Ondoy-esque floods at Mandaue and A.S. Fortuna giving us a little taste of what is to come.

So as I come back to Cebu, I hope our Mayors do solve the sewer problems for real. I do hope that with the rise of the condominiums they also anticipate the traffic problem that will come with it.

And especially for us artists, I also hope that one day Cebu City will have a lot of art galleries and a stable art scene. I also hope that rock bars will sprung up and help stabilize the music scene and not just be a boom and fade away music scene because there is a new fad coming out.

I love Manila because it reminds me of Cebu. I love Cebu because the city is some kind of an underdog. There are a lot of great people here who do not get the recognition they truly deserve.

Bottom line, Manila is a great city where as Cebuanos, we can learn their mistakes and avoid it especially when it comes to urban planning. Bottom line is, Manila is a great place to visit, but a true blue Cebuano would not want to live there.

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Fr. Rey Garcia and the Seminary Life

I went to Manila last week to attend my sister’s vows for sisterhood, which I found to be an inspiring moment for me: being in a convent reminded of my days on the seminary.

Convents and seminaries are all similar in a way. They have their schedules, their rules, their discipline and their camaraderie. And the camaraderie with my fellow seminarians back then was one of the things I really miss most.

I sometimes even tell myself that I did not have a high school life, I had a seminary life.

It was a formative time of my life. I learned a lot of basics in sports such as soccer, volleyball and basketball as well as learning about music like playing the guitar and the keyboards. I too learned a lot of values, self discipline and organization. These were strong values that truly prepared me during my college life and after.

It was a formative time in my life and it was made easier because of my fellow aspirants such as Ondo Villordon, Butch Reyes, Arnel Salacao, Jojo Villacorta, Jv Lee, Omar Socias, Richard Entera, Mark Mesina, Lawrence Lozada, Ryan Navarro, Raymund Garcia, Nandi Vicoy, Ian Cabellon and many other guys that helped during those times. And of course, the seminary experience would never be the same to the priest who comes close to a father figure for me, Fr. Rey Garcia.

Fr. Rey was a great mentor; he truly thought us a lot and really cared for us. He was very strict, but he was strict for the right reasons. I miss the guy and hope someday I would have the chance to see and talk to him again.

That is why when I was looking at my sister and she was very happy with her life always smiling and all, it was the camaraderie and the lessons I learned and felt back then that I truly remembered when I saw my sister.

A surreal thought even passed me by that I could one day go back to the seminary and pursue priesthood. But I told myself that would be impossible because first of all I am already married and second, even though I would love to go back because of the companionship and all, the priesthood and seminary life is not just that. There are religious beliefs and principles involved that as of know I am not fully ready to commit and believe any longer.

So everything is on the past now. We move on and we live our lives but if I had to do it all over again, I would still want to be a high school seminarian. I would not be the man I am now without it.

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College Sweethearts

The topic here is most likely a continuation of my last week’s Friday article.

So, if I say that the standards change, does this mean that all students now especially in college who have special relationships will break up? Not necessarily.

As all relationships, those who survive are the ones that have a strong foundation of why they got together. Of course, stuff like I got a crush on him because he was a star player, the president of the organization or in a band are okay. These kinds of reasons maybe superficial but they are the characteristics that get our attention.

But, such characteristics are temporary, they change so this means that students who are in a relationship must make their relationship much deeper by focusing on the foundation of making a strong relationship. These can be like: do the both of you mesh together or communicate well, or do your negatives attitudes outweigh the positive attitudes and so on and so forth.

Again, superficial characteristics, though not strong reasons to be in a relationship, are still important because they are the ones that get attention but you still need to work on building a stronger foundation for your relationship.

Another way in order to stay as sweethearts after college is to talk about your future. This can be done by planning your future realistically and when he or she has a very unrealistic plan that may be a signal that you won’t last long after college. This is especially true when the plan has no plan B.

Then also talk about the reality that the standards, the basis of you liking someone changes. Because when you start talking about it, you start facing reality and realizing that being in love is not forever. And you can also realize that your basis of your liking each other is very temporary, it changes. If one can fall in love, one can also fall out of love.

So to students who really want to be in a relationship now, especially kids in college, think of where your relationship is going and if you like what you see, then start working on building a strong relationship.

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As usual, when it comes to high school there will always be puppy love going around. And this is normal, kids always want to grow up fast and one thing to show that they have grown up is to have relationships with the other sex. Little do they know that such things do not normally last. As far as I know, it is mostly impossible to sustain a relationship from high school to college and after it.

Things just do not last because along the way people and the standards change. For example, when in high school you got a crush on someone because he or she was the star player on the high school varsity team. But when he/she goes to college, he/she may no longer be the star player…will you still love him? Or her? Same goes with college, what if he or she was the president of your organization, that was the basis why you liked her but then after college, his or her leadership skills cannot produce a high paying job, will you still love him or her?

If you still have a hard time understanding this concept, try watching the Wedding Singer, where Adam Sandler’s (character) girlfriend liked him because he was the singer of the band but when it comes to a job after college, he was only a wedding singer. Dreams of rock and roll stardom died, so Adam Sandler and his girlfriend changed. And this could happen to all high school and college students too.

But of course, because high school and college sweethearts usually are in their love bubbles, they don’t listen to you when you start warning them about this. They might even hate you for it or accuse you of meddling with their lives or what. So they just go on, and continue to be inside their love bubbles.

With such concepts in mind, this does not mean that when I hear a high school student liking someone I will not support him or her. In a way, yes, if that high school student truly does have feelings for someone even if they don’t truly understand those feelings then go on, court your crush. As long as you don’t disobey your parents or it lowers your grades, fine.

But if it were up to me, especially when I see two students that are compatible meaning that in a very small standard, like they just look cute together, I would not advise that they be in a special relationship. It is because again, when their relationships pass high school, college and after, it may not be able to survive. So they will just break up in the end.

The good thing would be to just be friends for now, get to college and stay as friends, meet other people then maybe around the last school year they could be in a special relationship.

But because these kids are still in high school, they won’t even plan that far, for that long ahead. So again, even if will I say I told you so in the future , they are still going to go for it. That is just part of growing up. Kids.

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My Korean Students

One of the discoveries to my job as a teacher is getting to know a lot of Koreans. From first to fourth year high school, I have known a lot of Koreans and I might say they have changed my perception about them.

This is because my first impression about Koreans is kind of like connected to the arrival of Vietnamese back then; where they got our education (especially about planting rice) from us and then they returned home and developed their rice industry – which is now more developed compared to our own country’s rice industry. And this might happen to Koreans as well. They learn English and other stuff from us and then maybe use it on the development of their country.

Learning from other countries is not bad at all, and our system of government is mostly to blame if we do not properly maximize our own advantages. And if Koreans and other tourists want to learn from us especially knowledge that is valuable to them then we have to teach them about it.

So what has changed about my perceptions about Koreans? Well first of all, because I am not really that good at speaking the English language, I find the Koreans students easy to talk to. They also have a good sense of humour so a lot of jokes get passed around when I talk to my Korean students. So it makes it a lot easier when I talk to them.

Then second, most of my Korean students (mostly the girls) are very good in drawing. So they are very attentive in my class and usually do not create disturbances. However, I do find it weird that the Korean girls are very good at drawing while the Korean boys are not. It must be something about the culture.

The plus factor about the Korean boys is that they play football, and that is one thing we can agree about.

So in a way, for now, I like my Korean students for the reasons I have stated above. Now, the question is, will Koreans be a threat to our country one day especially in terms of being another option for the Western world to market or outsource their products? Yes, that is a sure possibility.

But, even with that thought, I am a teacher today and I cannot worry or live in the future. I am a teacher right now and I cannot choose to have favourites when I teach. Korean, Japanese, American or Filipino, as long as they willing to learn, then I have to teach them even if they become future competitors to our country.

And if it does come to that, that Koreans will be compete against Filipinos especially in the field of outsourcing then it is not their fault. It is the fault of the system of the Philippine government for not making sustainable developments in our country and just relying on other countries to boost our development.

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The Comic Book Film Genre

The comic book movie genre in 2012 will flood us with a lot of films. As for now the films that are planned to go out in 2012 has this great line up. Such films and their schedule of release are as follows:

February 17, 2012 – GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

May 4, 2012 – THE AVENGERS

June 29, 2012 – STAR TREK 2

July 3, 2012 – SPIDER-MAN

July 20, 2012 – BATMAN 3

December 2012 – SUPERMAN

Aside from that, there are also news that The Flash, a new Fantastic Four, Wolverine 2 and Judge Dredd starring Karl Urban will also be on their way.

So with all the comic book movies coming out, will there be a time that this fad, will bore us? If that will happen, what could be the next move for the comic book movie genre?

What is great about the comic book movie genre is that it has its foundation of fans, stories and characters already established way back then, in the comic world. So this means that fans and different storylines have already been planned out. So if boredom thus sets in and ends the fad, the comic book movie genre has still a lot to offer us.

Think about it, we are still at the first part of the possibilities of the comic book genre .Most films right now are at the stage of introducing new superheroes. And with the Avengers, we are somewhat going to the second stage, superheroes teaming up in one film. But superheroes going against each other, storylines like Batman Vs. Superman or Wolverine vs. The Hulk still has not come out on the big screen yet. So in the future, this could ultimately happen. Imagine that possibility. Then if all the comic hero versus another comic hero has been exhausted, there is still the next step, Marvel and Dc Comics teaming up for a film. Their team up would mean movies such as Batman vs. The Wolverine or Superman vs. The Hulk. So again, imagine that possibility.

This is what is great about the comic book movie genre, it already has a lot of storylines reserved for us that can be done in movies. This is what is great about the comic book movie genre , it is not tied down to one or two star like action films. So if action film stars such as Stallone or Bruce Willis (of the Rocky and Rambo or Die Hard franchises, respectively) are fading, the film genre also fades with it. With the comic book movie genre, the characters like Spider-man or Wonder Woman are the stars, so all you need to do is just supply the genre with the correct young stars to don the costumes and off we go, another franchise getting a revival.

So if you feel that the comic book movie genre is about to get boring, just be patient because we all know what’s coming up- team ups and the superhero vs. superhero storyline.

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The new addition to the stars for the Fast and Furious franchise is now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And for fans of the action film genre, such a move is big.

Big, because as I have said before in one of my previous articles, Vin Diesel is the next Sylvester Stallone and The Rock is the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. And because the action film genre has been experiencing an all time low these days because of the influx of the comic book movie genre, the action film genre has adjusted by bringing their action stars together in one film.

This has already happened with the The Expendables, and now two of the top stars of the genre will meet on the big screen by way of Fast Five, the fifth film to the Fast and Furious franchise.

Yeah, I know The Expendables was not much of a great film with all its macho clichés and all, but who cares? We just watch the film for its all-star cast and old school action. So the film was a great boost to the action film genre.

We can also include here the team up of Jet Li and Jackie Chan in The Forbidden Kingdom as well as Jason Statham and Jet Li in War.

Now, with The Rock and Vin Diesel meeting on the big screen we also would not care about the story, we just want to see some action.

How I wish this happened before with Stallone and Schwarzenegger. Just imagine at the peak of their careers these two battled it out in the big screen. Just imagine the possibilities, Rambo vs. Commando, Judge Dredd vs. The Terminator or The Demolition Man vs. The Terminator. We could even have another Rocky with Schwarzenegger. But of course, because of all the big money these stars could make they did not need to team up in one film. So for the young fans of the action film genre, they are lucky to see Vin Diesel and The Rock meeting early in their careers.

Young fans now are getting what most of us in the past were just dreaming about. So know the significance of this team-up because this is going to be big.

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I have heard a lot of old conservative people complaining that there are a lot of homosexuals roaming around these days. It kind of irks them that there are lot of gays and lesbians now and kind of makes them proud that there were few from their generation.

These old conservative people have tried hard to understand such changing of the times, and one of their explanations and I find very weird is this – eating chicken from fast foods can make you gay. Yes, you are reading it right, so if you are reading this with a KFC, McDonalds or Jollibee chicken in your hand, you better stop doing both at the same time.

The explanation about this is that because a lot of fast food chickens are injected of growth hormones (particularly estrogen), the side effects on human beings is that it can make us gay. Now true or not, for this to be the accepted reason is way absurd.

Absurd because, the more realistic explanation why there are more gays now than before because more and more homosexuals are becoming brave and admitting out in the open of their true nature. In the past generation, gays and lesbians were afraid to be known so they would hide their true sexuality. It is different now. Times have changed.

More gays are coming out, more gays are becoming successful at different fields and more gays are fighting for their rights to be respected.

If this is hard to accept for the old generation and they start making up such absurd reasons then by doing this they will never understand the third sex.

Now, I am not writing this because I am pro growth hormones to be injected to chicken. I am not. That is just gross; and unnatural.

I am just writing this because that the more conservative people close their minds to change, the more they will not understand it and it will have the effect of escaping it instead of solving it. That is if homosexuality is indeed a problem for them.

So if they really believe that they need to solve the problem of homosexuality. Start learning to understand it and spare the chicken.

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So Bamboo has disbanded. Nu107 is out. And Rico Blanco is an actor. These must be tough times for Philippine rock music. But still it will not be enough to kill it. Yes, I believe such bad news is not enough to kill it. And there are a lot of reasons why I say that.

For one, Rock music, as a form of expression that is the most rebellious, will always find a way to survive. As long as there are kids and grown-ups out there with angst, those who want to rebel at something, Rock music will survive.

Rock music has always been the music of choice of rebels because it is a music that shows the bad side of a lot of things. It talks about depression, anger, insecurities, confusion that the youth need to let out. Rock music has never been radio-friendly. Pop music can never give this to the young, that is why Rock will be there to let it all out for us.

Then another reason why rock music will continue is that for some, it may be bad news to no longer have a Rico Blanco or a Bamboo for the music scene but it also is an opportunity for other rock musicians to fill out the void these bands and rock gods have left. So it is all not bad for us because it is a chance for other bands coming from different places and regions to step up. The old will always be replaced by the new. And now is the time to do it.

Such change has been experienced before when bands such as Eraserheads, Wolfgang, Yano and Razorback disbanded. Their end was a beginning to a lot of bands to get their limelight. Bands such as Urbandub, Itchyworms, Parokya ni Edgar and Slapshock filled that void.

So it can be bad news, yes, but there is always a light at the end of the Pinoy rock tunnel, and that light means opportunity for a lot of aspiring rock bands out there.

Then another way that may insure the survivality of Rock music is through old timers forming new bands. Examples of these are Bamboo Manalac forming Bamboo and Ely Buendia forming Pupil. Other bands similar to these are Sandwich and 6 Cycle Mind. So again, death nay come but there is also birth. So there really is no need to worry.

Rock music survived Martial Law, it survived the 80s, a time when The Dawn was the only popular band. It survived the break-up of the Eraserheads, Yano, Wolfgang, Razorback and many more 90s bands. Rest assured it can survive this.

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How to be Insensitive

There was a time while I was riding a taxi that I had this realization. I am not making this up to shock you. This was weird but this is true. This is how the story goes.

So as I said, there was a time while I was riding a taxi going to work that I experienced such a realization. With its radio and air conditioner on full blast, the taxi stopped on the highway and beside the highway were shanties with dogs and people going their way. I did not mean to do it but I was just looking outside and I just stopped and started to look at dog poo. Yes, I was looking at dog poo, staring through the glass at it about two to three minutes and I really did not know why.

Then it hit me, because my whole senses did not experience the whole thing because of the radio and air conditioning blocking the other senses, dog poo seemed “un-yucky”…I perceived it akin to the blue colored gooey toys kids now like to play with. Dog poo was just like that, with only the eyes having to experience it, dog poo was just like that – normal like a gooey toy. It was not ugly and you just accepted it, not wanting to clean it or what.

It was weird but it was true.

Then if you think about it more, riding cars or taxis, going to the malls with their radio, glass walls and air conditioner is a nice way to distance yourself from what is outside, to block you from feeling, to make you insensitive to the dog poo, to the issues and problems going on outside.

It is an effective and enjoyable way to learn how to be insensitive, because you do not feel guilt over it because you are having fun. Cool, huh?

Thinking about it more, it reminded me of my good friend Maumau Galinato’s winning artwork for the Joya Awards way back. Sorry that I forgot the title of the artwork but the painting depicted a rainy night with kids begging on the street to people in their air conditioned cars. Maumau Galinato’s message on this artwork was to let us see the differences between the haves and the have-nots. It was a sensitive painting from a sensitive man. Cool artwork.

So back to my topic, so again if you want to be insensitive, have fun doing it, and feel no guilt, ride a taxi and go straight to the mall. Cool.

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The Sto. Nino and Cebu

I heard an explanation once during typhoon Ondoy, the explanation was about why the other regions like Manila or Leyte experience great floods or great typhoons while Cebu did not.

It goes that Cebu is blessed to have all the good weather because our province and city is protected by the Senyor Sto. Nino. We are the ones who worship Sto. Nino and celebrate Sinulog, and this is why we are blessed with the fine weather.

As much as it sounds real awesome to be protected by the Sto. Nino, it also sounds pretty bad because it would appear that other people suffer because they do not have the Sto. Nino. And secondly, it would appear as if other saints are lame because their devotees get the ire of a super typhoon?

If the explanation or the whole story is true, then the best way then would be to get the entire nation to celebrate Sinulog (instead of just Cebu alone); so every region can get protection from Sto. Nino, right? Other regions celebrating fiestas or other devotions no longer need to have the Black Nazarene or the Ati-atihan, the whole country can all have the Sinulog! If we do that, we would all have good weather, no more typhoons, right?

So why are the other regions not doing this then? Don’t they want protection from the bad weather?
There are lot of questions and possibilities if this explanation is really true to all of us. Would we as Cebuanos share the Sinulog to other regions thus the celebration would no longer be exclusive to us? This would mean that tourists would no longer have a reason to come visit us during third Sundays of January, are we alright with that? If this happens, Cebu will no longer be unique. No more bragging about the mother of all festivals that is the Sinulog.

Do we want to share the Sinulog (thus giving up the rights to its exclusivity) so everyone would have the protection that the Sto. Nino gives? Or are we not ready for this?

And if we are not ready to give up the Sinulog then, is it fine, then, that we stop spreading such kind of explanation and give a more rational, realistic explanation instead? I mean no disrespect to the power of a festival like Sinulog and certainly, I mean no disrespect to the Sto. Nino and of its devotees. I chose this particular topic because I want to point out how people can sometimes come up with the craziest explanations for events and certain phenomena; how people seemingly omit rationality.

We can begin with grounded explanations such as: “typhoons and bad weather now are caused by Global warming and bad sewage planning”. Or the explanation that “Cebu is at the middle of Leyte, Bohol and Negros which means that we are do not feel the whole power of typhoons coming from the Pacific and other oceans”. Can we do this instead, so we won’t sound selfish to other regions? So we, as Cebuanos, will not be put in a bad light.

So as we celebrate the Sinulog, think about it.

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Only Yes and No Questions Please

There is a conversational skill that everyone needs to learn especially if you need to relate to people and avoid irritating them. This is the skill of asking only yes and no questions.

Yes and no questions involve you asking someone questions that are only to be answered with, you guessed it: yes and no. This means that you do not ask questions that involve long answers. This means no why, what, where, when, who and how questions.

If you need to ask this type of questions, you need to pattern your questions by making it long. For example, if someone is in pain, you ask her or him a question like, “Are you in pain?” (yes or no), “Is your pain in the shoulders?” (yes or no), “Is your pain in the hands?” (yes or no).

Now, as you can see, because someone is in pain, it would be unrealistic for her or him to be answering long answers and giving explanations to you, so you need to adjust make it easy for someone in pain to communicate to you so you need to ask yes and no questions. Another thing that makes yes and no questions easy is that they can be simply answered with a nod. So if someone is really in pain, he or she is unable to speak then by a simple nod to your yes and no questions you can already communicate.

So what are other situations we can use the yes and no questions? Other than talking to people in pain, other situations would involve if someone is sleeping or already asleep and you need to ask that person a question. Use the yes and no question here. Have you ever experienced someone letting you explain something while you are already sleeping or about to sleep? It was irritating wasn’t it? Now if that person was just asking the yes and no question, it would have been easy.

Another situation is when you are talking to an angry or irritated person like most love quarrels situations are about. To people who are in this kind of special relationships, yes and no questions are very important because most angry and irritated people do not want to talk so yes and no questions would be ideal because it only involves again nods and short answers.

An example for this situation would be like, “Did I offend you?” (yes or no) or “Was it because I was doing something while you were talking?” (yes or no) or “ Was it during while I was texting?” (yes or no) .
So as you see, things are easy for an angry, irritated, sleepy person or someone in pain to communicate with you if you present your questions like this.

Now, what is the very important trait you need to have if you are to be very successful with using yes and no questions? The most important trait is that you need to be sensitive to people’s feelings and be aware of things like body languages and facial expressions to know if someone is sleepy, in pain, irritated or angry.

If you are sensitive and be able to read people even without them talking to you, this would make you very effective with the yes and no questions. But if you are not sensitive and aware of even basic body languages then a lot of people will easily get irritated at you.

So next time be sensitive, stop irritating people and only ask yes and no questions if the situation calls for it.

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Going to the Dentist

I’m planning to go the dentist one of these days to get my teeth cleaned. I think it has been a long time since I went to the dentist, so I should take this seriously before my teeth start dropping off on me.
So while I was thinking about it which dentist to go to I had also found out in the process that I know a lot of dentist friends. There is my high school batch mate Gunther Seroy. There is also a sister of one of my players from U.P. Cebu before, Pam Fernandez. There is also a grade school batch mate of mine from USJ-R, Jill Sarvida and lastly a teammate of mine from the Fine Arts team that after graduating the Fine Arts course proceeded to take dentistry, this would be Ian Pehzman.

So with all the dentist friends that I have, which one should I go to? To be frank about it, I wouldn’t go to any of their clinics. You wonder why? Well, let me explain it to you.

The thing is I find it weird to open my mouth and have my teeth poked around by someone I know. I compare such a situation to confessing my sins to a friend that has become a priest now. Or to let my wife go to an OB-gyne doctor who is also a friend of mine. It is just weird.

Two reasons why it makes it weird, one is that it is just uncomfortable to have someone know something about you and you don’t know something about him or her, especially when it involves secrets like having bad and dirty teeth.

Having bad or dirty teeth is something personal, it’s like letting people in to your personal space. And showing it to friends just makes me uncomfortable.

But of course, since I have a lot of dentist friends I also would like to be one of their customers and support them in way at their jobs. So in the future, when I have kids I would let my friends be their dentists. That would be fine by me as it involves no invasion of my personal space. Yeah I know I’m sensitive but that is just me.

By the way, it was last year that I had thought of this topic while I was talking to my batch mate Gerald Ortiz in one of our reunions. We both agreed that we won’t let our friend dentists to check our teeth.

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Learning How to See Art

Aside from teaching my students the skill of drawing, there is also another thing I
want them to learn. And this is the skill of learning how to appreciate and see art.

Such skill is important especially when they grow up and their social lives force them to start visiting art exhibits and buying art. So when that time comes they will not be ignorant when it comes to art.

Appreciating art, teaching them what is beautiful and all–can be taught. They don’t need to master it, they don’t need to become very serious art critics about it but at least they learn the basics to use later on. And if they want to pursue such studies, they can read books about it and also take humanities courses in college.

To be very simple about it, appreciating art is just easy. It is all about describing what you see, interpreting it and judging if you like the piece of art work in front of you or not.

Describing art would involve obviously the giving of a description of the art work. Stating what colour it is, what shape and texture as well the medium used. In appreciating art this is the first thing to do.

Then next to describing art is interpreting the work. Interpreting usually involves learning how to look at the symbols used. Though the artist has its own interpretation of its work, critics and audience can also see something in the art work that the artist might not see or planned to show.

To be really good at interpreting, audiences also need to know the history of the artwork and the artists. That, though, may take time and we can just let the critic do that type of work. Knowing the history of the artist and the work is essential to truly understanding and knowing the language of art.

Describing an artwork and interpreting it are connected so much so that if the description is lacking, the interpretation will also be lacking. I had one student who did this to me, it was as if she was trying to escape the lesson. The lesson was about learning how to draw their hands and she did not do it well. I gave her a small grade because it lacked effort on her part.

She tried to defend herself by interpreting that she was drawing a farmer’s hands that is why her drawing looked dirty and hard.

Aside from not following instructions because she was supposed to draw her own hands, she also drew a smiley tattoo on the drawing, which, if I’m not mistaken, was supposed to make her work cute. But the thing is, farmer’s hands do not look cute, their hands have the wrinkles and creases borne out of struggle. So her interpretation was wrong because the description of the drawing and the interpretation did not connect. She was just trying to make excuses.

Then the last part of appreciating art is judging it. This usually depends on the audience tolerance on a lot of topics. That is why learning how to see art is also learning about yourself. If you examine an artwork and decide that you do not like it, this will reflect on your own views about life and all. If the message of the work offends you then the audience will have to ask themselves why they are offended.

So in a way the most important thing about appreciating art is that you get to know something about yourself in the process.

Well, that’s it for now.

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It was while I was just sitting around school, that a fourth year student (her name is Irina Gabasa, I think she is a junior champion golfer) approached me this question, “Sir, because all of us are learning how to draw, do you want us all to be artists?”

So far, this was one of the good questions that I got from a high school student. So good that I have given it a name in tribute to the student who asked it, I named it the “Irina Gabasa question”. It is a very challenging question and I am very glad a student asked me this. Again it is a very challenging question which I also have a good answer to.

Though I gave my student an answer, it was very short at that time so I like to share to you my answer and explain it much further.

This was my answer, I answered my student with a “no”. This is because learning how to draw and becoming an artist are two different things.

Learning how to draw, is just that, a skill or a talent. You can master it, you can even make it a hobby but you would not be called an artist for it. You are just good at drawing.

Learning how to draw is important to being an artist but it is just the first step to being an artist.
And this is what I want to teach my students, the skill of drawing. Because learning a new skill especially like drawing is very important. With your drawing skill, you can use it to make other projects for your class.

Then it is also can be another admirable characteristic for you. A lot of people admire people who can draw, so in a way it is plus points.

Teaching them how to draw is also good for them because they don’t need to go and spend more money to join art workshops during summer or weekends. They can just learn it in high school, so this is good for them. It saves them money and time.

So, that’s it. I just want to teach students how to draw, and because they are fourth years I do not even expect them to take courses related to art like architecture, advertising or interior designing. Especially since they come from rich families, usually their parents want them to take business courses. That is fine by me as long as they learn something from my art classes. All is well and good.

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Another Kris Aquino article

History repeats itself.

Is it not strange that in order for an Aquino to win the presidency, one family member has to die?
This is what happened with Cory Aquino back then. She had no plans to run for the presidency because it was suppose to be Ninoy Aquino doing that. But when Ninoy was assassinated, Cory had to replace Ninoy. And as they say, the rest is history. This was the year 1984.

Now –the year 2010– the same scenario unfolds. Cory Aquino died, and thus propelled the people to clamour for her son Noynoy Aquino to run for president. Noynoy won and, again as they say, the rest is history.

So what does this all mean to all of us? Here’s a theory:

In the future, history will repeat itself again.

I believe in the future, Kris Aquino and James Yap’s son Baby James will run for the presidency. This is why in the first stages of their divorce, Kris Aquino demanded Baby James’ family name to be changed. In all the issues about their relationships, it was the changing of the family name that Kris Aquino was after.

True or not, somewhere over the horizon, Kris Aquino is already planning for her son’s presidency; something Kris Aquino could not do, that is why her son has the burden to do it for her.

And you know how this will happen? If history will repeat itself again, if we follow the same script, this is what is going to happen.

In order for Bay James Aquino to win the presidency in the future, one family member from the Aquino’s has to die. And you know who will die? Yes, as sad as it is to hear to all of us, in order for Baby James Aquino to be president, her mother Kris Aquino has to die.

This is Kris Aquino’s ultimate sacrifice, that for her son to be successful she has to die. She has to die so that the Filipino people will clamour for another Aquino to run for presidency. The same script has to be acted upon again. History has to repeat itself again.

But of course we all know that Kris Aquino is not Cory nor is she Ninoy, so this can all be wrong. It is Noynoy that may equal Cory and Ninoy in political weight.

So in order for this to be correct, it is Noynoy Aquino future’s son that has the assurance that if Noynoy dies, it will be his name that people will clamour for the presidency. But as long as Noynoy Aquino does not produce an heir, it will be Kris Aquino’s son Baby James to follow the script.

Kris Aquino will die. The masses will clamour for Baby James Aquino to run for the presidency and Baby James Aquino will win.

If this all true, in a way we are all safe, because most of us will probably be dead by that time. Our children, and our children’s children will not be that lucky though. So start preparing your kids for what is coming. They need to know.

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The Pinoy Azkals

I am very proud of what the Philippine football team has achieved in this year’s AFF Suzuki cup. I am that proud that I wanted to buy their official uniform which is sold at the Mizuno shop at SM. But because of financial constraints, I had to cancel that plan. The uniform is expensive as it costs around 2,000 pesos. And that is only one uniform as they have two sets for it, the blue and white. And it also does not include shorts, only the upper jersey. But still, buying the uniform would be a good remembrance of this historic moment of Philippine football. Hope it gets cheaper after the Christmas season.

The success of the Philippine Azkals has brought again to the center of our attention the discouraging state of football in our country. The success has also renewed talks that Philippine football might rise after this one. I do hope it’s true but I also have my worries.

I am worried because I have heard such talk before but still to no avail, still no Philippine football program to be proud of. I hear such talk all the time during every Fifa World Cup season.

Everyone wants to support football during the Fifa World Cup, everyone wants to play and understand the game. Everyone wants to wear and buy the jerseys. Everyone loves the game, that is so good, but it is just a fad. And when the World Cup ends, we are back to loving basketball or boxing again.

And this is what I am worried about the success of the Philippine Azkals, that it will all just end up again to being a fad, to be forgotten again once another sport success comes in.

So what can we do to not make it a fad? I really do not know. After watching the Azkals with their Fil-foreignerss, I have come to the idea that in order for football to succeed in this country, it is the rich and the immigrants will have to do the work in order to save the beautiful game in this country. So if you are not rich or not an immigrant there is not much you can do about it.

This is because, if football continues to have no budget, then rich kids will not have a problem about this because they can support themselves. Rich players can continue to play the game, finance themselves on leagues and represent the country. Same goes with immigrants.

And with immigrants they can expose their children early to the game and be future football players that represent our country.

If all football programs this country has will fail then the rich and the immigrants would have to shoulder the burden of saving the game. They are our last resort. Football as bad as it sounds will be a game of the elite. The rich will be on the spotlight, the poor will be on the sidelines.

And with a Philippine team composed of rich and immigrant players consistent success in winning games abroad, the game will continue to get our attention and will no longer just be fad .There will be change of culture, there will be an awakening, a realization that as Filipinos with even just an average height of 5’4”, we can be good at this game.

So it is up to the rich and the immigrants now. Start saving football for us.

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The Truth about Recognition pt. 2

It is advised that if you have just stumbled on this article to read the first part so as to understand what the topic is about. Thanks

So I say, there are two important recognitions that a teacher needs to have in order to feel that he or she is fulfilled. One, is the recognition that a teacher gets from his/her employers. This is the salary he or she is given, a salary that is equal to his/ her effort. A salary that makes a teacher not feel cheated.

Second, is the recognition from his/her students. In fact, students who express their gratitude to their teacher is the highest recognition not financial a teacher will always value for. To know that their students came out to express their thanks for teaching them, is one of the best feelings a teacher can have. This is way better than plaques or awards because students thanking teachers is something that is real and it really feels good.

Gratitude does not even mean popularity. Because teachers can be popular because they gave way to the wishes of their students and may result to popular teachers afraid to teach young kids difficult lessons or not reprimanding them for being foolish. Even if there are just two or three students thanking their teachers, that is already enough.

Even if a teacher is strict, as long as students learn something from him/her, then well and good. Of course, students do not value discipline when they are young. It takes time for students to value strict teachers.

I used to hate my college teacher Prof. Karl Roque for his strictness. But as I grew up, I thank Sir Karl Roque for trying to implement discipline especially in a course such as the Fine arts where every young artist thinks that freedom without discipline is the rule. Sir Karl Roque brought balance to our course. He did a good job about it. And he did this to a college where academic freedom is highly valued. Sir Karl did a good job and I thank him for that.

So to conclude, the only recognition that a teacher will feel is real is when her/ his superiors give a salary, benefits and all that is truly equivalent to his value, a salary where a teacher does not feel that he or she is being cheated.

And second, the recognition from his or her students. We cannot expect students to give money to their teachers to express their gratitude. That is just weird in a way. A simple thank you from a student will do.
The fact that a teacher sees a student developing and becoming a good person is already something fulfilling to watch for teachers, whether or not that student expresses gratitude.

Plaques and rewards are good, but without these two real expressions of recognition, plaques and rewards are all just fancy chiseled wood and pretty paper…and nothing more than that.

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The Truth About Recognition pt. 1

As people, teachers also need to be recognized for their contributions in society because they play a major and significant part in developing the young.

Without our teachers we would not have learned anything in school. Even if a school has the most sophisticated facilities around, a very remarkable teaching program or curriculum, all of these would still be nothing without the teachers who teach and implement the plan of the school. I think it is safe to conclude that, without qualified teachers, a school’s reputation would go down.

Parents who enroll their kids in school do look at the facilities of the school, but they also ask the educational attainments of its teachers and their turnover rate.

That is why, school administrations and even a lot of companies do continue to give credit to teachers or their employees by giving them awards or plaques to know that they are important. Recognition also makes teachers or employees feel good thus discouraging them to look for another job.

The bad thing about this, a lot of this recognition is empty soundbites.

What do I mean about this? The thing is, though I know how good it feels it to be recognized, by accepting awards or plaques, at the end of the day it is still the financial rewards and benefits that a company gives to its employers that will be the final say if an employer or a teacher feels recognized or decides to go and look for another job.

I remember something like this was done during President Fidel V. Ramos term where he started to recognize OFW’s as the “Bagong Bayani”, the new heroes of our country for the revenues they give to the country that keeps our Philippine economy afloat. Of course that sounded good, to be called a hero is very prestigious. We even do this with our war veterans.

But the bottom line, our country still has not solved the issues OFWs face when they go abroad. There are already many stories coming out about the cruelty their foreign masters do to them, still these injustices have not been resolved.

Same as war veterans, they do are respected as heroes, but they don’t have the financial benefits, that they need in order to keep on living.

So what is the use of getting recognized if at the bottom line, we all know it is just talk? So what is the use of all of these recognition when at the end of the day, we cannot eat it. We do get recognized but without the financial salaries and bonuses, 13 month pays, medical benefits, insurances and whatever, talk still feels empty.

Let us be realistic here. Have you heard of someone wanting to go to work so to be given plaques and awards? We work to get paid, and that is the bottom line.

(Just a clarification, if I do say the term, “Bottom line,” I am not trying to follow Boy Abunda here. That quote was made famous by the iconic wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. So I got it from him. Am I defensive? You betcha. Hehe)

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To complain or to protest pt. 2

One other characteristic about complaining is that it is personal; it is something you do by yourself. That is why it is different from protesting.

The first similar thing about complaining and protesting is that you are talking against something; it could be an authority figure or whatever. The other similar thing about complaining and protesting is that people who do this look tough and intelligent. They look tough because they are brave enough to talk against something; even when it is done in secret. They look intelligent because they are able to analyze the things we normally would not see and say that it is a problem. But the similarities end there.

If complaining is done in secret, protesting is the opposite. Protesting is done out in the open. People know and see that you are standing up against the authority figure you have concerns about. Protesting is addressing your concerns to the “man” himself and letting him know about it.

Protesting is solving the problems by hitting the core – the root cause. You want these authority figures to change their assumed evil ways. And if it comes to that, you even want to change the system. You want change.

If you do not like your religions stand on society’s issues, then you protest about it, you let them know. If you do not like the corruption in government then you stand up against it, you let them know.

Then because protesting is trying to solve the problem at its cause, it will take time and it will not take a mere single individual to do it. This means that if you protest you will need patience and determination. You will not expect for the thing to be solved in a day. Change such as that is impossible.

Protesting needs the help of other people. This can only mean making an organization that will give your support so you can stand up against a common concern. This is where organizations like unions, associations or non-government organizations come out.

By making an organization, complications like leadership, dealing with other people, fear of getting kicked out of a job or humiliated or whatever connotations we all have about protesters also come into the picture.
So these are the difference about complaining and protesting. When people do this, they look tough and intelligent. The only difference about them is if they are brave enough to stand up against the authority figure they have concerns about. This is what separates the cowards and the courageous among us.

But even though, complaining seems cowardly or in secret, we still need to do it in order to achieve the emotional release we need. We just want to talk about our problems without caring if it gets solved or not.

And though complaining seems cowardly or in secret, it still needs to be done because it is the first step to protesting. Complaining is a requirement for protesting, because by complaining, other people know that you have felt the same problems as well and it is up to you if you want to act on it or not.

So what am I doing right now? I am just complaining. If I see something bad done on television, in the government, in religion or in our barangay, I just want to talk about it without caring if it gets solved or not.
I am not here trying to spark something.

Am I a coward? Sure and who cares, being brave is for heroes and I am no hero. This is me, I just want to survive and see where this life of mine goes.

No idealism, no religion, no principles here, just talk. This is all you are going to get.

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To complain or to protest pt. 1

Complaining and protesting are two different things. They may sound the same but they are different.

Complaining about something or someone is the thing people do in secret. When people complain they dare not do it in front of the people they are talking about. Complaining is in a way backbiting, complaining is in a way a form of talking against something but because it is not confrontational it really does not solve or change anything. Complaining, in a way, is a cowardly act because we are afraid to bring that concern to the people involved in fear of the consequences. Then complaining can also mean you just do not care. You just want to talk about it, but do not care enough to solve it.
So why do people complain?

People complain sometimes for the emotional release it can give. It is always a good thing to talk about your problems or worries to your friends or loved ones. A lot of these worries or problems we have are brought about from people who are in authority. Examples of these people in authority are our parents, teachers, bosses, priests and people in government like the police and politicians.

Because we cannot stand up against people in authority, we cannot tell them our problems or complains to them, we need to talk our problems about them to other people or those who are close to us to get the emotional release. That is the purpose of complaining.

Complaining does not solve the problems you are affected about because the authority figures do not know that you bear concerns about them. That is the problem about complaining: it is backbiting. We dare not bring that concern to these authority figures or we might have terrible consequences. Such consequences could lead to being kicked out of your job, excommunication when it comes to religion, or being scolded when it comes to teachers or parents.

Though complaining does not solve or change your problems, the problem being spoken here only covers the problem you have with your authority figures. Which means that because you are not telling these authority figures your concerns, they will not change for the better. So your problems about them will not change. However, you can still solve this problem by looking for another job, moving to another religion or rebelling against your parents.

Rebelling against your parents is already a form of standing up against them. You can still rebel against them even if they do not know what your problems are. You just want to express your anger in a form of your fashion, by going home late or by getting a boyfriend. Talking to them or raising your voice against them is not part of the option.

By complaining and solving your problems in another way, you are not solving the cause, you are only solving the effect of it. What bad deed these authority figures may be doing will continue to happen to other people, it will just be no longer your concern because you have already moved away from it.

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New Motto for Life

When I was young, I used to hear this positive notion that I should give my best all the time. It was really good advice, especially when you are young because at that time it was easy, I was full of hope and nothing could discourage you. Also, when you are young, you think that all people are good. So it was easy trying to give your best all the time.

But as one grows up, there comes a time that giving your best becomes tiring. This is because you learn that no one can consistently give their best all the time. You can’t put your best foot forward all the time because you also need to rest. You just want to relax sometimes.

The question also comes to mind that if you do your best all the time, the people surrounding you like you for your best. So what if you fail, will they still like you?

The thought also comes to mind that if you do your best all the time, people will always expect that from you and nothing less. So there is pressure, there is stress to always fulfil their expectations. You need to exceed your past achievements to do that. That is not a very relaxed life.

There is also the possibility, that when you do your best all the time, people will always depend on you and let you do all the work.

There is also the possibility, that because you are dependable, always giving your best all the time, you might get exploited for it.

What seems a good intention for you, people may use it for their personal selfish advantages.

With all of this being said, I have decided to not give my best foot every time. This means that I will choose when I will do my best and when to just sit back.

I am doing this in order to lessen the pressures in my life. I just want to relax and take it easy. If I do give my best, it means I truly want to do it and enjoy doing it. I must be properly motivated and very happy if I do decide to give my best to something.

People can give all their best if they want to, that is their decision and it is admirable that they can do that. I applaud them for that.

But for me, here is my new motto: I will not give my best every time. I will choose when and where I will give my best.

I just want to relax. Watch a movie.

I used to be a Leader

I used to be a leader; “used to be” because I am not leading anything these days and I have no plans to lead anything in the future. I have said this before; I really got my chance at leading when I was in college. It was a great fun, learning experience for me; but it also had its bad side.

One of the bad sides about leading is that people expect you to lead every time, which is just impossible. That is why when, even when there were times we had groups in my minor subjects, my classmates expected me to be a leader still. This was tiring because there was no rest. People expect their leaders to be at their best every time. And at that time, I just wanted to rest. Be a normal person.

This is one of the things I hate about leading, people expect you to be the best, and people expect you to succeed. That kind of pressure is just nerve-wracking. Leading is good, people recognize your efforts but it also sucks up a lot of your spirit. That is not good.

Then another bad thing about leading is that people expect their leaders to do all the work. Yes, I know about delegation and all, but some people when they know that their leader is good, they don’t do anything anymore and just expect for things to be given to them by their leaders. Some members just want the dregs of the work to be given to them, no more hard work.

I have seen a lot of people in my day just arriving only during the good times and are the ones gone during the bad times. Then this kind of people, the ones who do nothing are the noisy ones, the ones who always complain but are doing nothing. This kind of experience makes one think that he or she is just being used by people. This kind of experience results in the leaders getting tired and being discouraged.

People or members of organizations need to understand that for a group to succeed, it needs the effort of both leaders and it members.

That is why right now, because of this understanding that even if I don’t want to lead organizations anymore, I understand and respect people who want to lead. So in this light, I want to try to be a good member.

Because again, it takes a lot of a person’s time, patience, and sacrifice to be a good leader. The job is stressful, and knowing that, I do not want to add any more stress to what these leaders already have.
But being a good member does not mean that I will blindly follow my leaders now. Though some people think that to follow blindly is the right thing for a member to do, I don’t think that is a characteristic of being a good member.

Being a good member means you move, you follow because you understand. Being a good member means not being used.

If I see that my leaders somehow do not give credit where credit is due, then that is not acceptable. If I see that my leaders only do things for their own good; that they all get the spotlight and forget their members, then that is not acceptable.

I will only be a good member to a good leader. If my leaders are mediocre, then you get a mediocre member out of me.

Growing up and Long hair

Though I am not sure about this, I think every new presidential term the Philippine army always brings back to the open the topic of reinstating the ROTC. Though I am not talking about the ROTC topic here, my topic today about growing up and long hair came out because of the ROTC issue.

It was funny, because when I was going to work and listening to the radio. The radio station I was listening to was accepting callers to air out their ideas about the return of ROTC.

One caller wanted ROTC to return because a lot of male kids were already sporting long hair. What a reason! What is so wrong with long hair?

I know, I know a lot of people especially those who live under rocks among us still see men with long hair as bad apples just like the villains in movies. But of course, that is stupid. It’s all been said before: judging a book by its cover is a no-no. So I do not need to explain the topic further. Men with long hair are not all bad, as well as men with short hair are not all that good.

The way I see it, having long hair for male teenagers is part of growing up. As teenagers they are in their exploration stage. Some kids want to try playing sports, some want to try being in a band. Some want to court the opposite sex, and some just want to try long hair.

And college is a stage for this exploration because in college you can try new stuff and change yourself along the way. Growing your hair long is just another experience boys need to go through, and it does not matter if they look good with it or not. The thought that they experienced it is the important thing here. It is just growing up. Relax.

In high school, boys were always told to have a proper haircut. Then we go to the corporate world, men again will also be told to have a proper haircut. So college is the only time for males to grow their hair long. That is why; it was sad news for me when many colleges started banning their students form sporting long hair. But then again it was also good news for call center companies to allow their employers to sport long hair.

So parents, or old people, relax. There is nothing to fear. Long hair is just part of growing up and that is all there is to it.

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About Sex Education


Early this year, sex education became a hot issue when the Department of Education planned to teach it in schools, to make it part of the curriculum of this school year.

But the plan never came to light because of other sectors, especially the Roman Catholic Church protesting the plan (and let my say this, assuming that priests are really practicing celibacy, I find it weird for the church to be so knowledgeable about sex even if they do not have substantial experience when it comes to sex).

Though I do value the concerns of the Roman Catholic Church on this issue, I also do not fully agree with their alternative. Their alternative is to just let the parents do the teaching on sex education.

In an ideal society where everyone is educated and sex is no longer a taboo topic between kids and parents, the alternative of letting the parents teach their kids about sex is a good plan. But we are not living in an ideal society. A lot of parents themselves are uneducated and they do not know how to talk to their kids about sex. A lot of parents, especially from the poor, did not finish school. They are not technically qualified to teach a fragile matter such as sex. They do not even know how to talk to their kids about growing up, discipline and other issues society has.

Then add to that fact that sex is a taboo between parents and kids then the percentage of sex being explained to kids would be less. This taboo between parents and kids is the reason why a lot of us grew up learning about sex from other sources, and most of those sources were not credible so we end up having lot of misconceptions about sex.

The key word here is “education.” Young kids growing up today need to be informed about sex because the more we have information about it, the better it is for all of us. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is not bliss.
It was our national hero, Jose Rizal who told us all that education is important. And that includes sex education too.

The alternative should be complete. If the church does not want to teach sex education to students and let the parents do it then there should be an education program that teaches parents how to teach young kids about sex. If the church does not want to teach the young kids, then teach the parents.
By doing this, the information about sex will be correct. Misinformation and misconceptions about sex will be done away with.

Sex education for parents: I wonder how the parents would react to this.

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Now, for the second part of my topic, why should Mindworks be on September?

It’s because as a major activity, Mindworks is the first test for the Fine Arts Organization to know if it is strong or not.

And it’s precisely because every organization’s goal is to be strong; to be united. An organization that plans and is able to execute such plans is a strong organization. If the organization has no plans to be strong or united, then why did they organize themselves in the first place? If an organization does not aspire to be strong or united, then it is better that they discard dreams of organizing and just go their own separate ways.

Then, the summer art workshop cannot qualify as the first test of strength for the FASO because not all of its members are present in that activity. The FASO acquaintance party also does not qualify because it is treated as a minor activity. The cook-out, does not qualify either, because it is an activity of the whole school where the FASO only plays a minor part, then lastly, the Intramurals is also an activity where FASO plays a minor part.

Activities such as the summer art workshop, the acquaintance party, the cook-out, and the intramurals; even though they do not involve all FASO members, are still important. They can be used as “build-up” for the two major activities that are coming.

These minor activities can be viewed as preparations where the new FASO officers can gauge their organizing skills and be able to experience first-hand what the capability of its new team of officers can do. They are minor but they are still important; they are the first steps for something bigger.

Though the intramurals can be seen as a major test of unity, this test of unity is shown in sports. Now, the FASO is not a sports organization; it is an art organization. So its first test of unity should be along the lines of art. That is why, Mindworks provides that venue.

Now, because FASO needs to know as early as the first semester if it is strong or not, it has to place the Mindworks at September.

September also makes the Mindworks a venue for showing the accumulation the successes or failures achieved and learned from the summer art workshop, acquaintance party, cook-out and intramurals, to add it all up and apply it to the Mindworks to make it successful.

The Mindworks with its overnights and workshops in August are a venue for the members to bond more deeply, know more the history and set its goals for the new school year.

The Mindworks, if successful or a failure, if placed on September also provides ample time for the next major activity to be prepared, which is the Joya Awards. The Joya Awards is on February, so the October to January period, four months of preparation is enough to organize the awards.

Think about it, what if the Mindworks was placed on January, the Joya Awards on February or March. It is just too tight. Now what if the Mindworks was a failure, it would still be fresh on the organization and would harbour a bad mood for the next activity. Putting Mindworks in September, Joya in February is enough for preparations and failures to be assessed and regroup.

So again, as an art organization, FASO needs to know if it is strong or not. The Mindworks as the first test of unity will answer the questions the art organization has. That answer has to be known early, that is why the Mindworks has to be placed on September.

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I have been talking lately about leading the Fine Arts in this blog and doing that reminded me of a lot of our past ideas. One of these ideas was about how the Fine Arts Student Organization (FASO) should handle the activity they call the Mindworks.

The Mindworks, with the Jose T. Joya Awards, are the major activities of the Fine Arts Student Organization. The Mindworks, as a show that presents performance art, is one of the creative shows FASO has ever produced. The show is very much unique in the Cebuano art scene.

The Mindworks is supposed to be held during the first semester, while the Joya awards during the second semester. But in present time, the Mindworks and the Joya Awards have both been placed at the second semester, which for me is not a good idea.

Now, why is this not a good idea? Why should the Mindworks be on September and not on December or January?

First of all, the Mindworks as a major activity should not be stacked up together with the Joya Awards because doing so will fill up the schedule of the second semester. By putting the Mindworks in the first semester, it will loosen up the schedule thus, giving priority to every activity.

Now, present FASO members may question if this can be done, because there is still the acquaintance party, cook- out, and the intramurals to organize. Of course, this can be done, if again the officers start preparing and planning for their activity by March, or the moment they were sworn to office.

Officers should plan the Mindworks early especially since it is a major activity. As early as March, they should already be planning the Mindworks together with the summer art workshop. But if they just plan the Mindworks as late as August or September, then they are about to fail.

The Mindworks, like every activity of an organization, depends on the organizing capabilities of its officers. If the officers did not do their home work, do not know what it is getting in to, do not know how to plan, do not how to anticipate, do not know how to delegate, then, it looks like we elected the wrong officers here.

Again, let’s emphasize on the major activity label that is given here for the Mindworks. If this activity is indeed important, then it also needs longer preparation. In order to make it work, you need months, not just a couple of days, for its preparation.

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If push comes to shove, if I am forced to select one channel only then I would choose TV5. I would choose to be a Kapatid. This is because TV5’ programming is focused on comedy. With all the drama and hardships our real lives have, we all need a break. We all need a laugh here and there. So I would choose TV5 because it has a lot of comedy shows.

However, I would not be a fanatic about it. I can still choose to turn off the television and just watch pirated movies or go surf the internet.

Between reading a good book or just spending time with my dogs and watching television, I would choose to turn off the TV and walk my dogs.

So if I say it simply, if I am not choosing any television channels, then what is my point here?

My point is this: the goal of these television channels is to control and dictate us. They want us to side with them and follow their every word. They want us to accept what they give us without question. They want us to dictate what we should look like, what our ideas about things should be about and also what our attitudes should be. This is what they want. They do not want us to question things. They do not want us to be critical.

Now, this is very dangerous because television is very influential. A lot of our ideas and attitudes come from watching television. A lot of our beliefs about what is right and wrong come from television and if we are not careful, we could adapt a false sense of morality.

This is why a lot of parents do not let their kids watch television on school days because it is a distraction to learning. This is why a lot of parents do not let their toddlers watch television at all because bad attitudes about eating and how babies act can be picked up by children like an open book.

Children influenced by television do not question what they see, they just follow and that’s it.
Am I saying we should ban television? No. I am saying that instead of these channel stations wanting to control us, we should control them. We should be able to choose what truly is entertaining for us regardless of channel station. We should be able to choose what is right and wrong for us?
We should be able to know what crap is and what real talent is.

This is a bad thing to do, and talking about what is right or wrong will take more time. But for starters do this, if you do not want to see some drama tonight, then feel free to watch some comedy without being guilty that you have offended a television channel and broken your loyalty.

You own the television, not them. So be entertained without feeling any guilt. Go ahead, channel surf.
Now, about peer pressure, if your friends are mad about you because you are not updated about local showbiz then screw them. It is not end of the world; our lives do not revolve around these people. Who cares if so and so is getting a divorce or pregnant, celebrities being pregnant or having a divorce is no big deal, it will truly not affect your lives.

Politicians stealing our taxes, politicians breaking the rules affects our lives not these celebrities. If your friends think otherwise then get new friends, do not be afraid to do so.

Celebrities are people that we should not idolize; they are people that we get entertainment from. They are people we can laugh at. But we don’t follow the way they live their lives especially when they do this to get our attention.

So to conclude, do not be afraid if you are not a Kapamilya, a Kapuso, or a Kapatid. You own your television. Take control.

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Why am I not a Kapuso?

From my previous article, I have already shown why I dislike Abs-Cbn. It is already clear that I am not a Kapamilya. But not being a Kapamilya does not simply conclude that I am a Kapuso.

Before I used to choose GMA-7 over ABS-CBN, and there are many reasons why I did so.

First of all, Gma-7 has more variety. In their prime time shows they have a combination of shows that feature fantasy, comedy, action and drama. Shows such as Darna, Captain Barbel and Mulawin were all good signs of variety.

Also their news and current events shows are more credible than Abs-Cbn. I am not saying that Gma-7 has no biases, I do not even believe that they truly do not side with no one. But between choosing two evils, Gma-7 is the lesser evil.

My choice of liking Gma-7 more than Abs-Cbn started to wane , when they started accepting people who had no talent but because they were grandchildren or sons of some celebrity. Then they were given primetime shows. I am talking about the talentless Carla Abellana here; I am talking about the talentless Geoff Eigenmann as examples here.

I even find it ironic that Carla Abellana was chosen as host to a talent search. Something she can’t relate to, something she never went through: a talent search.

Such celebrities were given breaks over people who had true talent; ABS-CBN does this, now Gma-7 does this too. There is no difference between the two, they are all the same. So my respect for the channel started to wane.

Add to that fact is that a lot of their storylines were copies of American stories. Captain Barbell was like the local version of Smallville. I was just thinking, is this Filipino creativity? Can’t we just make our own stories that reflect the lives and struggles of the Filipino and not the Western standards we all are programmed to adhere to?

Now, the only reason why I watch Gma-7 is because of Michael V. and Bubble Gang. Again, Michael V is a talent that Gma-7 should never let go of. The guy is a comedic genius. He has no counterpart in this generation.

So I am not a Kapamilya and also not a Kapuso, where do we go from here? Does this mean I am a Kapatid? Let’s see…

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These days, Filipinos are now confronted to answer a question that can dictate their social lives. This question is about what television channel he or she is fanatically watching.

This question can dictate their social lives because by watching a certain television channel shows, Filipinos can be updated about what is going on in showbiz. And if you are not updated, then you will be out of the loop; you will be unable to understand the latest television craze or keep up with telenovela updates. Television has now been a tool for peer pressure.

So like it or not, as a Filipino, you need to answer, are you a Kapamilya, Kapuso or Kapatid?
As a Filipino, I am neither of the three. Why? This is why.
First of all, I am not a Kapamilya because I do not like Abs-Cbn because of its boring shows that always center on dramas.

Dramas, or soaps, that always have the same storylines but just the different actors. Abs-Cbn is always about drama, they like to see people cry, they want to play with our emotions. Even in Wowowee before, they wanted their contestants to cry or dish out some teary story. That is why, Abs-Cbn loves Kris Aquino, because Kris always wants the drama of her life to be broadcasted and talked about by everyone. With Kris Aquino, Abs-Cbn has surpassed their teleseryes, because Kris is the real thing – a real drama queen, that is.

I also do not like Abs-Cbn because of the way they trick us by making Bea Alonzo, Toni Gonzaga, KC Concepcion and other stars and portraying them as full-fledged singers. They do this by putting them on a level parallel to real talents like Jed Madela, Christian Bautista, and Rachel Ann Go.

These stars sell a lot of albums even when they do not have real talent to back it up. These stars sell a lot of albums while talented bands and singers from the provinces do not get their due recognition.

These stars sell a lot of albums, even if they can’t sing. Actors that they are, they are just acting; only this time, it’s with a microphone. They are not singing; they are just trying to make us believe that they can sing. It is all an act, and they are very good at that.

There are still a lot of things I hate about Abs-Cbn from their biased news and all, for me, their only saving grace is Sarah Geronimo. That girl really has a talent, she can sing, dance act and be charming at the same time.

That is why Abs-Cbn, needs to hold on to her because that girl is one of the things that make Abs-CBN credible. Sarah Geronimo is their proof that they are a TV station with real talents. They should never let her go away.

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Coaching Women pt. 2

The second and important thing in coaching women is that a coach needs to respect women.
This means that male coaches who want to try coaching women should not see women as sexual objects, but instead to see them as human beings. A male coach should not be coaching a woman’s team because he wants to get a girlfriend out of it. Or even worse so he can get laid.
A male coach should stop looking at who is beautiful and who is not. He must focus on the skill level and on developing teamwork.
Now, I know that for guys, it must be really awesome to be coaching women and get an exponential increase in the number of female friends you have. Yes, this is good. But if a male coach thinks he can get more than friendship and makes “hooking up” as a primary objective in coaching, then his team will never respect him; they will never believe him. He may even get kicked out for his hidden agendas.
Then again, there are exemptions, because even if a male coach did not plan it, love can always blossom. This is always possible because there are a lot of beautiful and intelligent football players out there. So what must a male coach do in such a situation?
The male coach, because he respects the team, must talk about it to some of his players. He must ask the team if it is okay for them if the coach courts one of their teammates. And if it comes to that, the coach and his players must also discuss the adjustments needed if the coach gets busted or gets a “yes” from the girl.
If this is okay for the team – that their coach to court a player, then good. But if it is not okay, then a coach can either court that player after she graduates, or when that player is no longer on the team. A coach can also forget about his feelings or quit as a coach and decide if the girl-player is worth pursuing over the team. These are his options if indeed the male coach is “in love”.
And if the coach is truly in love, he really needs to be sure about his feelings and his intentions because, again, every wrong move he makes will affect his standing as coach. So he really needs to be sure. Is it love, or is it only just infatuation?
So these are my insights about coaching women. If a male coach truly is serious about coaching women, then he needs to treat women as equals; he needs to believe and respect them. If he can’t do all of that, then he can forget about his coaching career.

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Coaching Women pt. 1

After I coached the FASO United Team for what I think was 11 years, I decided to be open to the idea of coaching the U.P. Women’s College Team.

Before this, though, I encountered a lot of bad experiences in coaching women, because during U.P. intramurals they never made a habit of listening to me. They gave an impression that they already knew what to do and didn’t need my advice. So naturally, the effect this experience had on me made me see coaching women as discouraging.

But, I thought, maybe this time, with the new U.P. Women’s team, it could be different. I also wanted to try out new experiences and challenges, so why not give coaching the woman’s football team another try, I thought.

So I did pursue coaching the U.P. women’s team and it was a great learning experience for me, especially on the topic of understanding and handling different kinds of women.

The two-year experience with coaching a team of women gave me some enough insight on how to coach women. These insights were not even of the technical sort or about the game of football. This was about the mindset the coach should adopt if and when he coaches a women’s team.
And here are the things I have learned along the way.

The first and most important thing in coaching women is that a coach needs to believe in the potential and capabilities of women, not just women athletes, but women in general. What I mean by this is that, women are seen by many as the weaker sex, so if a coach gives credence to such though, he will never believe that a woman’s team will ever improve or even be good at sports.

A coach who believes that women are the weaker sex will see a woman’s team as slow and frail. He believes that girls are slow to improve compared to a boy’s team.

On the back of his mind, he will always think that women are the weaker sex, and therefore think that it is okay for them to lose.

If a coach thinks this way, he is already limiting the potential of his team. He is already accepting a culture where losing is okay; where striving to be the best is okay. This is wrong because coaches are supposed to inspire and motivate their players. Coaches are supposed to be expecting the best from his players-whatever the gender of the team is. If a coach is not there to get the best from his players; if a coach is not there to win, what is he there for, then? To lose?

A coach for a woman’s team needs to believe in women empowerment in order to be successful at the job.

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To be open-minded

The idea of writing this came to me when in my few months of formal teaching I got to experience students who when I got to know them, were afraid of a lot of things. They were afraid to go to tree planting activities because they would get wounds. They were afraid to learn how to draw because when they were young, they were bad about drawing so they concluded that they will be bad forever. They do not want to try anymore.

I said to myself, these kids are too young to be afraid, too young to be close minded, too young to give up and lose hope.

I must be feeling very old when I say this but one of the things I have learned in life about the secrets of staying young is about retaining your open mindedness.

Being open to new ideas and experiences, is one sure way of being young.

I must be very old that I can say things like this, but as I understand it as long as we continue to learn something new then our lives will not be boring and dull. Life will always refresh us as we always become open to learning new ideas and trying out new stuff.

But, being open to new things is not always that easy because being open to new things means trying out new experiences where you could be humiliated and laughed at. And most of the time, a lot of adults are not comfortable about getting laughed at. A lot of adults are not comfortable at committing mistakes again because they think that the time for learning is over, they think that they are already too old for mistakes.
Being open to new things would also mean forgiving yourself of past faults because trying out new stuff also involves reviving our past experiences. Because this is true, our past which has a lot of hurts and pains are the ones that are stopping us from trying out new things. We are afraid to make the same mistakes again, we are afraid to go through it all over again.

Yes, we can always let our past control us and keep us in our comfort zones. But the consequences of it, is that we will be afraid, we will be bored, we will get old fast.

What are our common fears about the past? One of the common things is our experiences with relationships. A lot of us are afraid to go into new relationships because we have been hurt in the past before so we have closed our minds about it, saying that it will all be the same.

It is foolish to try again because we assume that it will all be the same.

Another common fear is pursuing our dreams and ambitions when we were children. When we were young, we had many dreams but as we grow old as we learned that in order to get our dreams we would also need to do the hard work. And by learning all of these requirements to get our dreams, a lot of us surrendered and forgot about it.

So our fears are keeping us from trying out new things. Our ideas about what adults are suppose to be are keeping us from being open minded. These fears, these ideas are making us old. Being open to trying out new things is what keeps us from being young.

So it is up to you now, do you want to grow old fast or do you want to stay young? It is your life, so you decide.

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What Happens to Impersonators?

Impersonators are comedians who copy politicians, celebrities or any famous person for a living. Impersonators are living caricatures of politicians and celebrities, they are funny and give us this awesome feeling of laughing at politicians or celebrities without the feeling of disrespecting them, because we are not laughing at the real thing.

Impersonators are really hilarious and by delivering their brand of entertainment and comedy have also attained fame just like the famous people they impersonate.

There is Pooh who became famous for impersonating Manny Pacquiao, there is Ate Glow impersonating Gloria Arroyo, Jon Santos for Vilma Santos, and Pokwang who impersonates Mommy Dionesia.

But the bad side of impersonators is that there jobs also depend on the fame of the celebrities and politicians they copy, this especially true for impersonators who can only copy one celebrity.

That is why, if Gloria Arroyo would not have won as a congressman and retire, this would take her out of the limelight. Which means impersonating her would no longer be relevant , so her impersonator Ate Glow would also be irrelevant and would have no job right now.

If we forget, Gloria Arroyo, we would also forget her impersonator Ate Glow. This is the bad side of impersonating, it is a temporary gig. So they better make the most of the fame right now before it’s gone.
This is also true of the many impersonators of Manny Pacquiao and coach Freddie Roach. When the time comes that Manny will retire, they will also lose their fame as impersonators.

This bad side of impersonating is even true to the greatest impersonator our country has, Willie Nepumoceno. Willie Nep is one of the best as he can copy a lot of politicians and celebrities.

The long list of people he has caricatured include former presidents Marcos, Ramos and Estrada. Willie Nep has also copied Freddie Aguilar and Fernando Poe Jr. Then just during elections, he has copied political aspirants Manny Villar, Gibo Teodoro, Dick Gordon and Noynoy Aquino.

But because Willie Nep has been very famous in copying Philippine presidents, he has also lost his gigs when Gloria Arroyo became president. Because this time even though he could impersonate a lot of people, he could not impersonate women. This was his weakness.

It all goes to show that even with a talent like Willie Nep, he is still affected about the fact about impersonating- their jobs are attached to the famous people they copy.

So what happens to impersonators? They lose their jobs. Impersonators achieve fame when the people they copy achieve fame. Impersonators also lose that fame when the people they copy lose that fame as well.
Though I hate to say this, for Willie Nep’s sake, thank God a man won the Philippine presidency. So that Willie Nep can be back doing his political comments on how this country is being run .Willie Nep is back to give us this excuse again to laugh at our presidents without being guilty about it. Because again, we are not laughing at the real thing, we are laughing at impersonators like Willie Nep.

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