Why I am anti Marcos Burial and why I am still accepting my 13th month pay

There’s no denying that Marcos was one of the most advanced thinking presidents the Philippines had. Economically, technologically he did a lot of good (w/c we still benefit from and will benefit from).

Am I a supporter of Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani? I am not. But that doesn’t mean I am taking political sides.

Honestly, I am at awe at how intelligent he had been and I am happy with the advances in urban development he spearheaded. But the gravity of the consequences of his declared martial law somehow outweighed all the greatness he accomplished.

Technically, he never hurt the victims. It were the people who abused their granted powers then who did. Nonetheless, his decree  incited ruthless acts and the outcry of the masses is far too heart wrenching and overpowering that his systematic achievements as a Philippine President had been toppled over. As a result, the surprise Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani led the people to the streets again.

Though the intention was sincere, we still can see different political agenda being inserted into the matter. Pathetic.

I am not pro this nor anti that… I am pro Filipinos having a good life they deserve.

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photo not mine

The 13th Month Pay Challenge

Then here comes the challenge.

Marcos was the proponent of the law that states that every employee must be given a “13th month pay” by the end of the year—that is a type of wage bonus about one to two months worth of salary.

Now, people say that if you’re against Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, you must not accept this bonus to show how strongly principled you are.

As former President, it was his obligation to help produce a quality life for Filipinos. Thus, passing of this law was his duty.

More so, originally, the workers included in this decree were only those earning P1,000 and below a month. After his reign, it was amended by the Cory Aquino administration to be granted to all employees regardless of income. As such, it is then a combined effort from two different Philippine Presidents and since then has become a basic right of the working class.

So, if you’re anti the LNMB burial, should you give up your 13th month pay? Not necessarily. A right is different from bribery. Why should you give up the privilege that is rightfully yours especially your bonus is the fruit of your hard annual labor?

Yes, he was the proponent but it was because he ought to.

Should we accept this challenge, it then must be equal to not using the public highways and technically not being part of anything today that stemmed from Marcos’ economic partnerships and projects with other nations. Where would Filipinos go then, when every economic or national gain we have today has built up on top of each other that it will be plainly difficult to label them as achievements of a particular administration only?

With this, the blueprint of Filipinos’ way of living after the martial law is the result of the democracy and is the payback from all the shortcomings and the horrors of that period brought upon to the people.

Our gains today is our privilege. It is our basic right. It is the “Filipino Life” not the “Marcos labelled Filipino Living.”

Again, as a former President, Marcos was great. But not all great people produce only great things.

If you are given a share of something legal you worked hard for, it is lawful and moral. There are logical boundaries to what we deem righteous—it’s relative. Stop judging people who disagree with your beliefs. Halt from challenging people to prove what they are fighting for.

To forgive and move on

Basing from legal criteria, Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is legal. He was a president and a soldier. However, in the judgment of people who lost loved ones who never get to know what happened to their children, wife, husband, sister, or brother,  it is a spat to their loss and pain.

While Marcos is finally laid to rest, their wandering minds continue to ask lingering questions—where is s/he? When can I build a tombstone in my beloved’s name?

Yes, we must forgive. We must forget. But how can we possibly forgive when forgiveness was never asked?

How can we forget, when the very same right to a decent burial that was given to a deemed dictator was never granted to victims we would never know what happened with?

Though a name maybe just a name, it cannot cover the fact that among the heroes who fought against terrors in society, The President who incited public hysteria was laid to rest with them.

Perhaps, our definition of a hero is flexible. Depending on the ideals that are favorable to whoever’s in power.

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photo not mine

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Someday I Will Have To Go Too

“Alan Rickman dies of cancer at 69”

Death is Inevitable

One of the saddest things about growing up is seeing the people you thought you’ve known all your life become lifeless one after the other. It’s like you leave for a couple of moments and you come back and someone is missing, or someone has married, became a parent, got divorced, got a job. Or the park that used to be filled with children becomes empty or becomes filled with new faces.

Then it dawns on you that maybe we are all meant to be alone in the future. Until it’s your own time to be gone. You sit in one corner, you drink coffee instead of juice, you eat a piece of bread instead of candies and you think ‘I just grew up, what the heck happened?’ You look around and the familiar faces became too few until you are absolutely nonexistent in the lives of whoever occupied the empty houses around you. Your playmates are not there, your friends are not around… Your neighbours, they have all gone.

You hold onto your cane and say to yourself, ‘Yeah. I would want to go too.’
You just grew up, what the heck happened? Where did they all go?

I remember when I was little I wanted so much to become an adult… if anyone told me it could be this empty, I would have savoured my childhood more.

To the kids who felt older than their age, to the kid in me who wanted to grow up, what were you thinking?

On Being a Witness of the Paris Attacks

This generation is composed of some people who support peace movements not for restoration of faith in humanity but to make their online lives appear more humane in a less purposeful intent.

The world was shook after ISIS claimed terrorist attack toppled over the loveliest city in the world that is Paris and BBC, CNN and ANC supplied the rest of the globe information regarding the number of lives lost and injured during the Paris attacks. And suddenly people started typing #prayforparis and using the Safety Check Facebook feature activated for Parisians. However, non European residents began checking on this feature as if it is not redundancy since they are located everywhere BUT Paris.

Yes, we are worried. Yes, we want justice for them and yes, this heightens the already existing terror Iran spurred in us that violence is indeed transcending borders and overcoming geographical boundaries; that ruthlessness is seated within each our very own citizenry, that it is like a bomb that is just waiting to go off anytime. But are our intent genuine? Or are we just riding into the Paris attacks’ popularity just to tell the world that we are concerned? But what is sure is this: there is NOT one responsible group behind all the attacks worldwide because if we think smart enough, TERRORISM has NO race, NO religion and NO conditions because violence is not part of any religious doctrines and is also not imprinted in our DNA. Outrage that resulted in more than the Paris attacks is the product of definitive upbringing that we are unequals and only by force equality can be achieved — which, of course, is a twisted reasoning.

The Paris attacks brought forth people in power who can actually change the world and clean it and it also allowed the resurfacing of peoples who suddenly became experts who seemingly achieved Political Degrees overnight. It has also highlighted some individuals who stand for something without seeing the hypocrisy in their actions.

First, we saw rainbows in Facebook DPs in support of same sex marriage but some people who used that feature said they are against it, then we were talking about the Starbucks cup. People hated that it didn’t have Christmas design, that it is so unreligious, but they are OK with its logo containing a Pagan deity. Now, we see people lighting up to show support amidst Paris attacks but then they continue their early Christmas shopping, they post smiling or laughing photos on Instagram. They live their lives. Of course, we cannot mourn for them and there is not much we can do. Lighting up makes Parisians stronger knowing that the other side of the world is with them but then what is next? We are seeing teenagers who color their DPs but speak ill of their own country, who shout at their own parents, who misuse tools to portray seemingly perfect life. But what we can do is to rid this story of pseudo concern.

The Paris attacks is not an opportunity for some individuals to show off their rhetoric abilities nor it is a chance for people to put forth their political agenda. The Paris attacks is a wake up call for us to do more than post about our problems online, do more than talk about it in cyber space and most importantly do more than create stereotypes and misjudgements.

Europeans are not just the people hurt during the Paris attacks but so are our Muslim friends all over the world. Why is it that when there is terrorism, some of us equate it with Muslim beliefs? Are we sure that there is zero Muslim casualty? Maybe it is true that some terrorists can be Muslims, that has the same degree of probability that some other terrorists are Catholics, Buddhists or members of any other religious affiliation. Not all Muslims are terrorists similarly not all Christians practice true Christianity. Humanity has flaws and one of the oldest issues resurfaced by the Paris attacks is humanity’s practice of classifying people according to dominance.

Being a witness of the Paris attacks therefore does not solely mean seeing the physical chaos and destruction but is also tantamount to witnessing lives being shattered; that is children losing their interest in pursuing their dreams because the world gets cruel every time, women fearing the safety of their femininity because the system of the Phallus no longer stays as concept acting as an invisible force that dictates this world as man-friendly but is already taken into life in the negative forms of domestic abuse and forced labour. It is some sectors being stigmatised. It is also families worrying about food the next day or how to make it through winter’s cold. It is simply hope fading and nations falling apart. It is the idea of a country being powerless in uniting people and creating a sense of home. Basically, it is human losing the very nature by which makes us human: genuine love and wisdom.

And if being a supporter of peace ends when you finally changed your picture’s color, when you finally had hundreds of likes and when you tweet and retweet and trend #prayforparis, then we have forgotten how to be humane at all.

We make #prayforparis trend worldwide but in all honesty do we even pray for ourselves… or do we even pray at all? We are at the state of war and during these times do we have to choose who to fight for? Do we have to turn blind if a nation is not a Super Power? Do we act vengeful towards hostility? Do we spark anger and fuel it to churn out war? Do we connive and plan to annihilate a race or a faction? What do we do? What shall we do? Do we turn to our existing demons instead of weakening them? If we think that we must pay a tooth for a tooth, do we become the hero or a different type of villain?

If dominant doctrines are taught correctly and are absorbed by us, we would not be worrying about profanity anymore because regardless of what we believe in, we are all taught to find and champion peace. However, the world is at the moment when we can no longer bring balance to it. It is already filled with people too hungry for power and too greedy for money and at the verge of stealing, we hold onto our instincts which is to fight for what is ours. But then, instead of fully caring for the world, we only select what we want to see and we take sides through misguided unions. We #prayforparis but we do not care about Iran, Beirut, Kenya, Japan, Philippines and Lebanon. We temporarily carry the Parisian flag in our webpages but how about the rest of the world’s where poverty is eating off the flesh of the young and immorality gets the better of everyone?

Why is it we only we pray when we are at peril? Is it not righteous that prayer becomes so common that we no longer need to advocate for it? Do we hate people only because we think they carry the sin of their neighbours?

Now, we go back to a statement we all read but we need more to understand: terrorism is not a function of a denomination for religion does not incite rebellion and peace cannot be carried by the flags that only represent us.

3 Reasons Barter Will Work in the Philippines

The Philippines has been having transactions even before the time Spaniards came over to dominate. Filipinos have been transacting with each other and other races too. Datus or the leaders among villages, or as we call it ,baranggays, manage negotiations with other Datus and Maharlikas through exchange of goods. There even was a time when slaves exchange was a form of barter in the Philippines, particularly in answer to exchange of services.

Don’t be mistaken, slavery has long been abolished in the country. Then, Chinese came and they also transacted. However, barter in the Philippines met difficulties such as not being able to see groups in need of what the other can offer, thus, made barter a search for a good exchange partner. That is the reason other modes of payments were invented and so the barter system in the Philippines evolved and has became buying.

Now, Barter system is a boom inothercountries but itisnot muchof a big thing yet in the Philippines, orifitwere, not so muchknows about it. So ifever Barter in the Philippines would become popular, here are the three reasons barter in the Philippines would definitelybe a success:

1. Less money is ideal

The Filipinos like buying items that are less expensive. That is the reason we lots of thrift shops in the country from clothing to shoes to books, we have them. And people patronise it. Why? Because the Filipinos look for value in money.  

Or because the Philippine pays low labour, people look for ways to save more while getting what they need. So of they can get more item with less money that is good! What more of they do not need money anymore? Better!

2. We have a lot of old items in store

Filipinos have this behaviour of keeping things in store even when they don’t need it. Emotional attachment. That is why. No matter what other say, the implicit reason is because we spent money on them! So hand-me-downs are a thing in the country. Remember, we want to maximise the value of our money so if someone would introduce a system of product exchange to give away what is old to get something new and needed, then there is a big chance Filipinos will buy the idea.

3.  We love making connection

One of the best benefits barter in the Philippines can offer is that when it comes to services, Filipinos can deliver the best! The Philippines is one of the countries that lead in the number of proficient English speakers and the Philippines’ literacy rate is at par with international standards too. We wouldn’t be called one of the BPO capitals in the world for nothing. If some worry about transacting with literate individuals, well College Degrees are not much of a problem here. 

Since we are also hospitable, we love opportunities to grow our networks in a faster and cheaper way. Because we also like being practical. Barter in the Philippines can offer new platform to meet other businesses and individuals with the right expertise. Besides, exchange of service is a way for businesses to market themselves without spending too much and getting what they need in return.

Barter in the Philippines in a corporate set up is not much of a thing yet, so reintroducing it can promise a lot of changes. First, in can incur “discounts in tax” and second it can also help grow a pool of professionals  working within a specific niche or experts in different fields that are connected by a common institution.

Time Banking

There are things we like that we can not afford and we can do nothing but to wait. But what if you had another legal way of getting things,? Not just the ones you like but even the ones you need, without spending actual money for it through an alternative banking system, would you be interested?

Time Banking. That is the concept you have to be familiar with, it falls under the barter category, in case you would want to “afford” anything you might want and might need in the future.

What is it?

First off, define your skills. What do you do? Second, what do you need? Time Banking is basically doing “something” and for each hour you earn “one time dollar” that is then stored in your Time Bank.

Now this time dollar can be used to “buy” other services from members of your Time Bank. The number of hours you work will be equivalent to the number of hours other people will “work for you.”

Example

You need a good house painter. You can cook or housesit so what’s gonna happen is this: you will be offering your housesitting service to someone who can do house paint in return of that person painting your house for you.

You can play the guitar. Your neighbour’s son wants to learn guitar. You taught him for two hours and that earned you “two time dollars.” After couple of weeks, you needed someone to help you with your Calculus exam. You may want to ask your neighbour who is good at Calculus to teach you for certain number of hours equivalent to “two time dollars.”

This kind of “banking” range from the simple stuff to more expensive services like medical or legal.

Benefits

The best thing about Time Banking is that you may “purchase” several products or services at once and not “pay” on the spot. In short, Time Banking is like friends doing favours for each other.  Saving your “time dollar” is like saving money that can be used later.

Time Banking allows you to afford things that are actually out of your budget. All you need is your skills, your time, and offered service. Aside from the “transaction” side, you also get to meet new people and in the process, you are able to be “a good neighbour”  too.

So there is no need to fuss anymore if you think you need more than what you can afford. To know more about Time Banking read about it here.