random thoughts

Are foreigners allowed to drive Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) here?

 

I am losing faith in Uber. Seems to be getting worse and worse drivers these days. Uber is surely on the way down. The Uber driver that drove me the other day I highly suspect is a blue collar foreign national which means not a Filipino. He could hardly speak English and Tagalog and had no idea where he was going except follow GPS.

 

Also recently getting a lot of retiree drivers who drive very slowly. It needs to do something about checking its drivers. Actually I do want to report about the driver that I suspect is illegal.

 

Have had some experience with Uber’s customer service, which is galling – everything is offshore, and you can only submit feedback/complaints through its in-app function. Turnaround time varies from a couple hours to days, and the quality/consistency of responses also varies.

 

Note that you have to keep at least one credit card tied to your Uber account – the app won’t allow deletion or cash-only payment. Plus, there seems to be little/no disciplinary action taken against errant drivers. I once reported a driver for going against the flow of traffic, and was told he would not be matched to me again. That’s the penalty?!

 

Increasingly I am moving back to cab/ taxi or Grab instead of Uber. The new flat rate comfort pricing is a good move and makes it more affordable as well during peak hours Vs Uber which is increasingly becoming more and more expensive. The bigger problem is that the quality of Uber drivers is getting bad.

 

Uber should do better screening and offer better rated drivers to higher rated passengers. There’s been an incident where the driver had a criminal record and was allowed to drive. Ended up robbing a passenger. What’s worse is the fellers rating was below 3 stars and he was still driving.

 

I’ve been taking Grab Taxi or Grab Car all these while and happy with them. They keep having promos now, like P50 off on Grabcar rides from 12NN – 5PM or enjoy 70% off first 3 Grab rides when you pay with BPI card .  Gives me more reasons to take them. So far Grab drivers are fine with me, I’ll never use again the service of Uber .

random thoughts

Why this is the worst?

 

When a man implies he digs you and then follows it up with “although admittedly I rarely go for short-haired ladies…” It sounds backhanded, like, “admittedly I don’t usually go for short guys,” a kind of passive-aggressive vibe. And it suggests an “are you open to changing it?” Or I guess “bald guys” would be a better comparison since height is harder to alter. It just shows how shallow some people are. Someone’s hair style shouldn’t be the determining factor about starting a potential relationship with them. It’s best to avoid people like that. More than likely they will make mountains out of insignificant issues.

 

Nobody needs that kind of drama in their life. I think this bothers me/you/us on a subconscious level because it indicates that despite what he has learned about your personality, lifestyle, worldview, etc. he still fixates more on your physical appearance than anything else. It’s like he’s surprised that he finds you both interesting AND attractive. Which definitely says something about the type of guy he is AND the type of woman he usually goes for. And he sounds like a dick that usually goes for stereotypically hot bimbos.

 

Last summer I was walking down a crowded street and I saw a pacifier on the ground and a child in a stroller nearby. My “let’s do a good deed” programming kicked in and I picked up the pacifier and held it out towards the parent, “Yours?” They looked at me like I was a serial killer (I’m not) and shook their head. Oops. It all happened so fast I didn’t realize how my action would be perceived. This is not the only story of me putting my foot in my mouth and won’t be the last (this reply is likely another instance). Think about what you say/do? Yeah, of course, but it still applies to both genders and there should be a sliver of leeway for honest mistakes.

 

If a woman told a man she doesn’t normally go for guys with beards, or guys with red hair, but she really liked the man, I would think – wow! His personality overwhelmed her “type.” I might roll my eyes a bit but that wouldn’t be offended. It’s a weird phenomenon for us to reckon with, the reality that the ethics of certain behaviors have more to do with social identities and power dynamics than with the content of the behaviors themselves. Harder for those of us with more privilege. Like, I totally get it on the conceptual level, but still stumble around recognizing it practice. Some things are only good and true when said by certain people; who you are conditions to believe on what they say.

Web/Tech

The pros and cons of playing video games

Pros = when gaming, you are God in the game or the champion and the super hero of the day. And when you don’t like the outcome, you just restart or wipe out the loss. Now who wouldn’t want that power and escapism?

Cons: You actually think you are God and a super hero and somehow that seeps from subconscious into your consciousness. The bad? Spending so much time in front of the computer will definitely be detrimental to myopia levels and school grades! Moderation is the key.

Like any activity, video gaming if taken to the extreme can be detrimental. Are there pros? Yes, many in fact, but I’d admit most kids would not have the mental fortitude to understand why/how they’re playing the game. Video games offer tremendous valuable lessons to the kids, if only their guardians knew how.

To be fair, there are simply too many genres of video games on too many platforms. How one can find Minecraft or Civilization nefarious, amazes me. On the other hand, I’ve been told Candy Crush is an amazing educational game to keep kids occupied. OK, I’ll take that.

Parents need to be aware of what video games their kids are playing and how they spend their time playing it. Try forcing a 12year old boy playing Dota or League with his friends at computer shop to continue with his homework, mid-game. Good luck with that.

Parents who are not media savvy and have no tolerance for video games are going to develop communication issues with their kids, especially if they offer no alternative.

At the end of the day, like all forms of media, video games can both be a positive and negative stimulus. It’s up to the parents to expose them to the right games, and educating themselves on these games before exposing their children. Easier said than done, so the only answer falls back to moderation.

perspective

How much time do you think would be saved if students were less disruptive as a whole?

Reading this article reminded me that type of thinking has led to the new normal of people who can’t handle criticism and get offended by anything and everything. I’d like to know more about the schools where this was implemented and they saw success. It’s usually effective but there are still some kids that will try to take advantage of a teacher like this and actually respond best to black and white discipline, at least until the teacher can utilize this technique without getting walked on, which is a tricky skill. (But tons of things are effective that are difficult to implement. “How” has to be a part of the conversation. I’m sure it would save time, and kids would learn better without disruptions and with positive relationships with their teachers. I think it’d be absolutely worthwhile to invest in. But I also think it’s still a pretty tough sell. It’s easy to say one hour a week is not a big deal (“doesn’t have anything in itself to do with overworked teachers “) when you’re not the one living that reality.

It raises a flag to me that the school was able to commit to 20 weeks of teacher training for this, and diverts funds to change classroom layouts. Makes me think that this school is in a unique position financially, or makes me wonder what they “diverted funds” away from (arts is a common choice).

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot to be said for this approach. Hands down, building a relationship with a kid is the best approach to classroom management, although how you build that relationship will vary (not every kid is going to respond to you just asking what’s going on when they’re being a handful). Also worth mentioning that this doesn’t HAVE to be a “hugs and kisses” approach – you can be completely compassionate and patient and still take zero shit. But I do think it takes a lot of effort, and in overcrowded and underfunded schools (read: most places, especially those that might benefit most from this) there’s not a lot of time for this approach.

Especially in a situation where half your class needs this kind of personal attention and you’ve got 30-60 kids in one room all reading way below grade level and you’re being required to dedicate a certain amount of class time to test prep, etc… I think the reason the “carrot and stick” is so prevalent isn’t because it works particularly well but because it’s a shortcut, and most teachers are desperate for shortcuts in our convoluted system.

The article left a few questions with me as well, and I’ll try to be brief. It talks mostly about repeat offenders, kids that have disorders, ADD, ADHD, etc., but doesn’t really talk much about the “average” kid that just wants to push the limits of authority. It also doesn’t say how these kids were diagnosed, which is a huge deal. Were these kids tested by a specialist or were these kids just given medication because a parent told an MD to “do something”? Yes, this happens. More often than people want to believe.

I like that it makes the point of kids’ brains not being fully developed. Kids develop at different rates and this needs to be addressed by the system. Not all kids learn the same, but that’s another conversation altogether.

The article also doesn’t mention much about when punishment is appropriate. Certainly, kids need to learn to control themselves and this is one method to teach that. But kids also need to learn that with certain behavior comes certain consequences.

random thoughts

Have a new start full of joy this new year

As the 2014 is coming to a close, it’s that time of the year when you acknowledge that there is a greater power out there that already has plans for you. This year has been sad and challenging yet fun and interesting. Losses are so difficult whether expected or unexpected. There are four special people who have passed away in this year. All these have taught me a great lesson. In this coming 2015, I wish you the best. To be brave to dare to dream the wildest dream you want and to work hard towards it, to be bold to live up your passion, to be strong to conquer challenges, to be kind to give, to be gracious to love, to be humble to learn, to be healthy, and most importantly, to always treasure those you love and those who love you. Nothing is better than living the life you want with the people who matters to you. Happy new year everyone!:)

Sharing photos I took during the New Year’s eve celebration.

meadow

fire

Copy of meadow

general, perspective

A most tragic end to such a beautiful life

RIP Robin Williams….the world got just a little less funny. It is sad. While he made others laughed and he was well loved and liked and helped so many – no one could helped him in his depression and darkness. This is the worst part He appeared like a happy man but he was actually depressed. Makes me wonder how many people are like him. Sad indeed and waste of a talented and good man.

After reading so many stories on him and all his roles – you realize he was actually both a brilliant actor and comedian. It is a waste of a much loved, much liked and popular person in real life, not just reel life. Dead Poets Society is my favorite of all his movies and shows. He was brilliant and inspirational in this and showed how you can educate and grow brains, mind and heart and even soul. These types of teachers do exist – rare but inspirational.

It’s often very hard to understand why people can get depression. Many people have passed judgment on Robin’s decision to end his life, calling it selfish and stating, “How can someone with so many resources choose to do such a thing?” Here’s what the reality:  Depression affects all socioeconomic and age groups and it is a dark battle and one not easy to win against it. To pass judgment on a mental illness that inflicts millions does nothing to bring understanding to the pain many people go through everyday, just trying to make it through.

It sometimes doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by people who love you and would do anything to take your pain away: the pain is still there and often it feels more powerful than the love of those close to us. We don’t know if that person ever gets a break from the voices that tell him or her that life is not worth living. We don’t know if those dark voices enter their dreams. And sometimes those that bring the most joy to others have to find a way to survive in their own mind. It’s therapy to bring happiness to people around them because the suffering knows what it like is to live in a place of darkness. .

Good thing is it can be managed with proper medicines, active lifestyle changes and very important support from loved ones and acceptance by the society. Often the latter is super tough and almost impossible. The social stigma is too huge. People are often ashamed of their pain and sadness because the world expects us to be happy, especially those that have more opportunities and wealth.

Pain and sadness should be more welcomed in this world, in that it loses its stigma. Perhaps if we could make this world a safer place to feel pain in, maybe those suffering from depression could feel more supported, instead of thinking they need to deal with it all on their own. I think what we can take from this is to continue to love on each other and to be understanding of someone’s pain. Be kind to people, because you never know what may really be taking place within their hearts and souls.

perspective, random thoughts

Oh yay!!! Good vibes! :-)

 

I think after all the ugliness of mother earth; we need a sunny cheer up. Here’s a nice story to share this beautiful evening:

Today I spoke to 3 strangers at Makati Area. 1st was a sales lady name Pauline. I was browsing for art paper and I heard her singing the Sarah Geronimo’s version of ‘Maybe this Time’ When I made my payment I told her ” Galing, you love singing?”, she happily smiled and said “Opo naman! “. And I told her “Pauline ang ganda ng boses mo, keep it up!” She was petite, had short black hair with big round eyes. 2nd was a promoter from hardware shop who showed me the extra discount section when I made payment. Nice up selling, but I honestly told her ” pag na promote ka ng product ipakita mo . wag mo itago sa box kase wala makakapansin yan.d yun box binebenta mo diba? “. She laughed and agreed. I told her “Have a nice day” before I left and she shouted the same back. She was a confident transgender, 5’6 ft tall, had her hair in a nice bun. 3rd person was a really good waitress at Bizu. Loved her service. After a good meal I told her “Thanks so much Hannah!”. She had her hair tied into a pony tail and she wore eye glasses. (Like me hehehehe..)

How many of us almost missed a lift and got saved by someone inside who kindly pressed the click button? Did you walk in thanking a complete stranger, and that person gives you a welcome smile, then your mood was slightly lifted up for the day? We can make a difference in anyone’s life every day in any way. It doesn’t have to be big, even a simple smile will brighten up their day.

Now my point is not saying that I made an effort to talk more with them or thank them. At the end of the day, if we pay more attention to people and open up more to them – no one is really a stranger. Everyone wants a conversation. Everyone wants attention. Everyone wants love. Everyone wants happiness. Those are basic needs of the soul. Above it all, it is more blessed to give than to receive. I got pumped up with extra dose of happiness and positivity.