Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Particularly sensitive is our terrier mix Barbie who is always the firs to sense us and starts barking to alert our Lab Troy. Troy would have the big voice that would usually catch the attention of any human. His bark though worse than his bite (Labs being mild-mannered), it always seems that the bark comes from a vicious animal given that he does bark with a loud, whole voice that masks the gentle beast that he really is.
I believe it is one of their ways of recognizing us and welcoming us every time we arrive home. It is something one would look forward to every single day. It is also perhaps something that gives us a feeling of relief after a hard day's work. To me, it is a way to de-stress after a toxic day.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday the 13th turned out to be tragic to a faculty member of the College of Mass Communications of the University of the Philippines Diliman. Prof. Lourdes Estella-Simbulan was killed when a bus hit the taxi she was riding along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City at around 6:00 PM yesterday. By the looks of the crumpled taxi cab shown in photos and videos taken by the media, it would have been a miracle if she survived such a crash.
Adding insult to injury were reports that the bus driver fled after the incident. The name of the bus company is not familiar to me despite our Center currently immersed in a project developing a planning support system for public transportation that included a database component that required us collecting data on companies and operators of public transport in Metro Manila. I suspect that the bus is one of those fly-by-night units taking advantage of the night in operating illegally or maybe one that is part of the kabit system that would be difficult to take to task by the HPG or the LTFRB. It is indeed a mockery of traffic rules and regulations that drivers can get away with murder when they are involved in crashes such as this. It is even more frustrating that the most common reason mentioned by drivers when asked why they drive recklessly is that they are just “naghahanap buhay” or earning a living. Such is unacceptable and those charged to bring order to traffic should be decisive and assertive on acting to prevent such crashes from happening again.
To me there is some irony in what had transpired considering that a couple of days ago, the Philippine joined other countries around the world in launching a program geared towards the reduction of road crashes and victims in the next ten years. Forget about the decade – there is a need to reduce crashes and victims NOW. This is because people are getting killed (or dare I say murdered) now, and there are terrible costs even as I write this post.
The College of Mass Communications is a partner in our advocacy for road traffic safety. In fact, that college produced a video for driver education that was supported by resources extended by the private sector led by the Automobile Association Philippines and Toyota Motor Philippines. I am sure that their faculty are now wondering if their efforts have been to naught considering the proliferation of drivers disregarding traffic rules and regulations, throwing caution to the air when they drive their vehicles.
On my part as head of a Center providing training to public utility vehicle drivers, I feel responsible and frustrated at the same time as I question myself if indeed our efforts are even having the slightest influence to improve PUV drivers’ behaviors. In fact, I have been admonishing participants in our training courses about how they sit in and pretend to learn, and then go out and drive like hell. I just hope that the driver involved in the crash that killed Prof. Simbulan is not among those whom we trained at the Center. It would be a shame and one that makes a mockery out of our efforts in promoting road safety. It is our failure as educators that our students and trainees do not practice what they are taught in terms of road safety. We just take it with a grain of salt, so to speak, that responsibility for such PUV drivers’ behavior can also be linked to a flawed licensing system as well as shortcomings in the regulations of public transport services. Indeed, we have our work cut out for us and we can only hope that our persistent efforts would eventually prevail and lead to a significant improvement to safety along our roads.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Murder or self-defense? - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
You be the judge?
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I am, however, not going to talk about that kind of labor in this post. I will talk about work that we typically call chores when we and the members of our family do it, and work or labor when it is done by our help. The way we call it is very typical of the way we call illnesses (asthmatic vs. hikain, warts vs. kulugo, Down's vs. mongoloid, etc.) that they sound so different and so pedestrian when used for those who appear to be of lower social class compared to the term used for those who can afford the "finer things in life."
I am no stranger to household work. This, even though we have had help at our home when I was growing up and even today as my parents are already senior citizens. I attribute this to our helping out at the house despite having help. My parents are firm believers of hard work and have taught us how to do the basic chores of cleaning the house, washing the dishes, tending to the plants, doing the laundry, and ironing clothes. I can even do a little cooking, thanks to a mother who was taught me at least to cook my favorite dishes. My way, however, has not replicated hers and I still long for the distinctive taste of her cooking.
I was able to practice doing a lot of these chores when I stayed in Japan. I can proudly say that in my 3-year stint while working on my doctorate degree, I was also able to hone my skills in ironing and cleaning. Let it not be said that I went to the university with unpressed clothes nor will any visitor attest to not seeing my home away from home clean and orderly. I take pride in this as I do so today. Of course, these days I have better tools than what we had before though I did have my own vacuum cleaner when I was in Japan and I did use my personal steam iron while there. I was just thankful that we had washers and dryers at the dormitory and the "mansion" back in Yokohama. I was prepared to do handwashing but it took much time and effort and I was abroad mainly to study rather than do housework.
I salute those who do decent, honest work on this Labor Day. A lot of people don't even the simplest menial work because perhaps they have not done anything like it. We tend to dismiss housework as chores and some even detest it as if it is something that is not worthy of our time. Is it perhaps due to our having help and our parents not allowing us to lift a finger to even put order in our rooms or closets? Is it because we were spoiled and had snooty parents and relatives? It is sad if we were like that and think so about our help and about other workers and laborers in different lines of work. We might be professionals or white collar workers, or perhaps homemakers with staffs to work at our pleasure. But we should learn to appreciate and to value hard work that is put in by others, sparing us of doing so in the process and freeing us to do what we like to do.