Sunday, April 01, 2007

First Batch, Graduation, and Tears

De La Salle Canlubang Integrated School had their first graduation ceremonies last March 30, 2007, and I am just glad that I am part of that historical moment.

After weeks of hardwork, practices with the students, polishing the movement on stage, stapling hundreds of programs and mass guides, it is finally over.

I somewhat predicted that I would cry on my students' graduation ceremonies. But I can't help running around during the whole cermony to make sure people are doing their jobs right. I am such an obssessive-compuslive (OC). I can't bear seeing dull moments. I want everything in order and at the right pace for the 1st graduation ceremonies. Reflecting on what I was doing, I thought again, I don't think I can cry anymore being stressed out by all the coordinating I was doing. Oh well. It's not a problem, in fact, it's a relief that I won't be able to cry -- I mean, I am soooo ugly when I cry!!! :D

The last part of the program is when the students sing the alma mater hymn and proceed to descend the stage. As for me, I was hell-bent on congratulating my students because I don't want to regret not being able to congratulate them. (I hate regrets!) So I welcomed my advisory class at the side where they would go down from the stage, and one by one, I shook the hands of the boys, and embraced the girls. As I embraced one of my students, she whispered "thank you, miss" to my ears with her voice cracking, and when I let her go to look at her, I couldn't help shedding my own tears because I was moved. I continued to congratulate the rest. I offered my hand to another student, and instead he offered me his arms and we embraced each other. Another gallon of tears flowed. Then I embraced another student, and I found myself huddled in the middle of a crowd of students. It is the closest to heaven I could get here on earth: those 30 seconds in my students' embrace.

I looked around and saw no teacher and administrator left among the students and the parents. I was all alone, but I still continued to congratulate the students.

I cried at the "congratulations" I receive. I cried at each "thank you" I heard. I cried at each invitation from the parents to have a picture with their son or daughter. (Golly! I wonder how I looked in those pictures!!!) When I finally thought that I have given my congratulations enough, I proceeded to the venue where the teachers and administrators gathered for a celebration dinner.

Our brother president asked if I was okay, but I was still sobbing (hagulgol in tagalog) a bit so I couldn't give him a straight answer. I couldn't tell him I was crying not beccause I was sad, but because I was happy, I was moved by all the sentiments, and I was relieved that the graduation is over. I lined up for the buffet, and a student strayed in the midst of teachers and administrators video-taping each teacher, and when my student reached me, she thanked me for the carabiner I gave them last Christmas. She told me that in 10 years, she will show me that she will have her own car keys hanging in that keychain, and even perhaps her own house keys. She also thanked me for teaching her about time. Again, I poured another gallon of tears.

I cried gallons that night. And as i write this very momentous event, I can't help crying another pint more.

Congratulations to the First Batch of high school graudates of DLSC! I will surely miss each of you. Just remember what the red pen symbolizes. Each of you is unique, but we are one in revising our lives to make the best novel we have ever written.

Monday, January 08, 2007

This is why I don't join women's rights advocacy groups

Don't get me wrong. I definitely hate it when men consider women as "mere" women. We are not mere women. We are women. They are men. Women and men (or men and women) are both persons of equal dignity but of different functions. Their dignities are on the same level. This doesn't mean that I hate it that women are considered "mere" housewives. Women are not "mere" housewives. They (because I cannot consider myself a housewife yet) are housewives. They are executives. He is the CEO. She is the CEO. He is the breadwinner. She is the housewife.

If there were only one thing I'd fight for is to remove the adjective "mere" before women. That's it.

For your reference, I particularly like the article I read in the Inquirer today. Below is the full article.


<a href=""<"Faulty math of women's right advocates"></a>
By Honesto General
Last updated 08:56pm (Mla time) 01/07/2007

WOMEN'S rights advocates continue to fight for a bigger share of the national landscape. But, their arithmetic is faulty.

Their claim is based on the fact that the population is 51 percent
female. To be fair, they say, the female participation in every line of
activity--whether in the professions, in politics or elsewhere--should
be at least close to this figure. Four lady associate justices of the
Supreme Court are only 27 percent of the total 15; there should be
eight lady associate justices.

The arithmetic is faulty. The advocates have not considered one
factor: by God's plan, child bearing is a woman's strict monopoly.

As a result, child rearing, thank heaven, is still a woman's noblest
profession. We should stop using the adjective "mere" when describing a

I wonder if the National Statistics Office has any data on how many
of our women, with college degrees from the best schools, choose not to
pursue a career outside the home, and instead enjoy taking care of the
children. Are they wasting away their college education? Of course not.
At the very least, the mother helps the children with their homework.

The equation changes when the number of women who stay home to take
care of the children are deducted from the total female population.
Perhaps then, four lady associate justices of the Supreme Court are too
many. But if a woman is brilliant enough to be the chief justice,
that's fine with me.

Don't misunderstand me. I want the Filipino woman to pursue a career
if she will be good at it. Once I was at a court hearing. The witness
was a woman, about 30 years old. The private prosecutor and the defense
lawyer were both women, well-coifed and good-looking. The elderly male
judge was thoroughly enjoying the show unfolding before him.

In Asia, if not the world, the best place for a woman to be in is
the Philippines. The rice farmer's wife helps her husband in the field,
but she is never allowed to carry heavy loads. At a restaurant, the
waiter serves the women first; in other parts of Asia, the women are
served last. The Filipino woman won her right to vote 80 years ago; the
Kuwaiti women first voted last year. Even if she comes from a poor
family but is bright enough, our universal educational system allows
the Filipino woman to earn a doctorate degree; in some parts of Asia,
girls are allowed only six years of schooling.

The numbers game that the advocates of women's rights play is not
only fuzzy arithmetic, it is unnecessary. Women can carve their
rightful place in the sun by sheer persistence. This way, they can even

Let's take the life insurance industry. Fifty years ago, the
Filipino male ruled the life insurance business. At Insular Life, there
was only one lady section chief. Today, most of the vice presidents are
women. There was then a handful of lady insurance agents. Today, 80
percent of the agents are women. This table of organization is repeated
in every life insurance company in the land. The life insurance
industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

Fifty years ago, the few actuaries in the country were all male.
Today, Filipino female actuaries, all good-looking, entirely dominate
this profession.

The non-life insurance industry has not been safe from the inroads
by women. Women occupy executive positions in many companies. More and
more lady insurance brokers qualify for licenses every year.

My concern when a woman pursues a career in the professions or
politics or business is that the family is possibly being sacrificed at
the altar of success. That can be tragic.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Poor Philanthropist

I was watching a year-end special on ABS-CBN featuring great Filipinos in 2006. What made me shed tears were their features on Filipina philanthropists. What is amazing is that these Filipinas were not surnamed Zobels or Ayala or Lhuilliers, but they are the ordinary Dela Cruzes. When you look at them, you know they don't live in Forbes park, or in any posh condominium in Makati.

One was even a domestic helper from Japan, also a mother. While working in Japan, she noticed an encyclopedia in the trash and took it. She said that the book looked unused and that the receipt was still inside the book. She then remembered her poor countrymen who lacked reading materials, and decided to salvage all usable books that she would see in the garbage. It has become her passion, and it eventually became her second job to housekeeping. She looked for a cargo company who would be willing to ship her books to her hometown in Iloilo, and found one run by a Filipino. She established her foundation and called it "Pinokyo Foundation". With her work, she was awarded and granted 4 million pesos to invest in her philanthropy. Her employers noticed that she has become busy with her foundation work, so they asked her to go back home, and even offered to pay for her plane fare. She willingly accepted and knew that it was meant to be.

Though she is now based here in the Philippines, she still helps. She has a little canteen where she donates a peso for every transaction that she makes. She uses the money to help her poor neighbors.

There are others featured who started to put up a building where they will help prevent drug use in their poor neighborhood, by keeping them busy and educating them about drug use. There is another one who put up a center for children who are abused by their parents.

These are the Dela Cruzes. They are not the Zobels nor any other Spanish-sounding names. Do we still have to wait until we become rich in order to help my less fortunate countrymen? No, I don't think so.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Omigosh, I could have been on TV tonight!!

Following our report on ADB, I missed a call from an ABS-CBN guy. I returned his call and he was asking if I were available sana for an on-cam interview about the ADB report! Imagine?! Too bad I'm based in Laguna now that the ABS people couldn't make it due to time constraints. If I were in Manila right now, I could have had that on-cam interview!!! Major exposure! Hehehe. Even if it pushes through, I sure need to read my own research again to be able to say something. Heck I forgot what I wrote already! I mean, that was two years ago and many things have happened already in between!

Oh well, at least I know the report will be featured on TV tonight. :) I'll try to record it and post it here if I catch it. But if you catch it, record it for me. Hehe. :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Feeling intellectual right now? Try this: Philosophy of Work

Here's a summary of my Philosophy class on why persons work:

Work is part of the humanization -- that which makes a person more human, and different from animals -- process of man. By definition, "work is the activity which man exercises in a free and burdensome way, with the purpose of acquiring the means to satisfy his own needs and wants."

Let's face it. We have to work if we want to achieve something. Analyze the statement closely. Work is clearly a means, and not an end. it is an activity that has an end outside itself. The activity that does not have an end outside itself is contemplation, an end in itself.

Distinguishing roles, as in your role as a CEO and your role as a father or mother, has a tendency to split the personality of the person as if he or she is a different person at work, and at home. [Maybe that's why there are schizophrenics... hmmm.]

Although work humanizes us, it can also dehumanize us when we start becoming workaholics. We know that we are workaholics when we have already destroyed our social life.

To end, "Work is for man. Man is for others. Man is for God."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What's your worth?

I just saw an episode of Grey's Anatomy season 3 (don't ask me how I got to see it already) when our dear Dr. Preston Burke deals with his nerve problems in his right hand. He has lost control over his right surgical hand. The girlfriend forces him to practice and do home therapy to improve his "nerves" because she says, "You're Preston Burke. You need to practice." Christina implies that Dr. Burke won't be Dr. Burke without his surgical hands because he is good at it.

That episode promotes function as our worth. If we don't function, we are nothing. Same philosophy that drives people crazy and eventually to suicide (or at the least depression). People who lose one of their body parts undergo some sort of crisis. They start feeling worthless. When a painter loses his sight, he suddenly feels worthless. When a pianist loses his hands, he feels worthless. When a runner loses one or both his legs, he feels worthless.

It is as if our value as persons lies on how we function. But we are not just our eyes, our hands, our legs. We are our whole body. Our being, our soul, is not concentrated in our little pinky or in our hands. Our soul is in our being. Our worth is based on the fact that we have souls.

We will really commit suicide or euthanasia if we think that only people who function are worth keeping or loving. Might as well terminate the life of a sleeping person right?

Going back to our dear Preston Burke. Christina Yang should not later decide to break up with Dr. Burke because he "stopped" being that Preston Burke she originally fell in love with (i.e. the famous cardio-surgeon in Seattle Grace Hospital).

Haaay, love. When you have finally married your boyfriend now, would you give him up if he loses one of his body parts or even his sanity? Just remember, he may not be the same old guy before he lost his hand, but he is still the man you fell in love with and made a vow of being with him "'til death do [you] part".

So, what's your worth based on?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Very Catholic at the Core

Last night, like any other time when I drop Veevs at her place, we have an hour or so "car talk" before she really goes down from my car. Yes, with the A/C and engine running. Good thing we still haven't been poisoned. :P

She was telling me how the people in her workplace were. She told me that most of her openly gay colleagues have recently gotten converted to "Victory", a Protestant sect popular among the famous celebrities. She told me how her colleagues tried to convince her to join Victory with them, and how Victory has turned them into a celibate. Now they are turning their conference room into a Bible study sessions room.

What's funny is that the Catholic faith does exactly the same. We have a group called "Courage" that encourages admitted gays to live a celibate life. We are also encourage to study the Bible although memory of the text is not the key to going to heaven.

The thing is about Victory and similar protestant sects, they give their constituents a picture that it is very easy to go to heaven as opposed to the apparently rigorous teaching of the Catholic Church. Well, for a fact, nothing is really easy in this life. It is just that we want the "easy way out".

Veevs, for the first time, has felt that she is part of a minority, and has strongly felt the need to protect her faith even more strongly. A director she has worked with also told my friend that she did try to attend of the Vitctory sessions, but as soon as she heard the Pastor badmouthing the Pope, she exclaimed, "Ah that's it. I'm outta here." Mind you, this director is openly a lesbian. She confesses to my friend: "You know, although I am like this, inside, I am a conservative."

For people like this director, they know that the Catholic faith is The One. The true faith. They just find it difficult to embrace everything about the Catholic faith. It's like you know that ampalaya is good for your blood, it's just hard to eat it because it is so bitter to the taste. Nevertheless, people eat ampalaya and have grown accustomed to its taste because they use their heads and think that it is indeed good for them to take ampalaya.

For the converts out there, we try to look for other religious organizations, only to find that whatever it is that we liked in our newly found "family", it was there all along in our Catholic faith. We just didn't give the true faith a chance.