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.

general, perspective

First time ever in MAS history… Praying for the lost plane!

I’ve finally managed to squeeze some time to make a blog post again.  (And to think I’m still busy with many datelines in work and family time) Late last night, I was reading and watching news which an airplane just disappears into thin air. Then my sister came in my room and the first thing she asked was: “why you look so sad?”  I think I will never ever be able to understand the grief that passengers’ family have to go through now. It is beyond my imagination. If I understand correctly the news said, there were two passengers that boarded the airplane with fake passports. The said two passengers in the airplane using stolen Italian and Austrian passports purchased the tickets online at the same time so having consecutive e-ticket numbers. Both passports stolen in Phuket, Thailand. If this really true, they got half naked at security and the gate in the airport but they let these people to fly with fake passports?

Airplane appeared to turn back before disappearing   … was the airplane hijacked, went dark, and landed somewhere?  the mystery deepens. As of the moment, still no wreckage found, both the oil slick and strange object turned out to be false alarms.  The most recent similar incident is the Air France Jet that disappeared in the Atlantic flying from Brazil to Paris, no distress call from the pilots. The suspected cause was air speed sensors that froze up and fed wrong information to the flight computer causing some sort of catastrophic failure. The air France operations center just received automated messages from the airplane that systems were failing, which i suspect Malaysian Airlines may be in possession of but has not disclosed yet.

safe              Never lose hope.We are deeply shocked and-up to now they still can’t confirm what happened to that Malaysian Airlines plane that mysteriously disappeared without a trace at 35,000 feet.

I’m just thinking about this if we have GPS on our smart phone or in our tablet, how come an aircraft can be equipped a technology like that? So, I’m forced to conclude that my question is very technical to answer it. I’ve spoken to a schoolmate friend through viber who happened to be knowledgeable in technology and asked him about this incident in this day and age do planes still just vanish? Considering that today we have sophisticated GPS and radar/ satellite technologies, I am confused is that the physical plane has not been recovered yet? There’s is something they are not telling the public.

According to him : “ the smartphone doesn’t have a GPS transmitter or receiver in it, it actually has a RF transmitter and receiver in it so you can not only receive and transmit across GPRS, 3 and 4G networks, but also across 801.xx networks. (i.e. WiFi) This is actually a really important differentiator; let me prove to you how and why. When you next go into a public place and find the deepest and furthest spot away from where you can visibly see the sky… turn on your compass. Notice how your smartphone and tablet device will not only work, but will also give you the long. and latitude of your location.

 The reason for this is that they are actually measuring from the closest GSM base stations and EVERY wifi router that is radiating any RF signal and then triangulating your position with reference to these. It is actually a pretty simple algorithm (4th year high school Physics), but, it is actually VERY accurate. Reason being is that none of the other signals are actually moving and they themselves have all been  geography located over time,  including the exact same principal. In fact, the more dense the electronic population, the more accurate they will tell you your location. Try it next time your deep underground in difference situations…… the tunnel in greenbelt 5 mall in Makati.

However, from all reports, this only really accounts for about 1% of failures (and a number of friends who have been QF Captains for over 20 years haven’t had GPS failures of any sorts, other than power supply to the GPS transponders). With that being said, besides solar flares and issues of Strat/Ionosphere interference and diffraction, and cloud cover (which apparently have been ruled out now), there shouldn’t as far as I can tell (not that this means much BTW ;-)), from everything I have read over the past 40 hours, there really is nothing technically should have interrupted the GPS transponder feed info other than influence by a human element.

I’m sure you know (and everyone as well) that there were two alleged stolen passports used with passengers and authorities are now looking into this as well. I’ll be honest with you; I have developed a fear of flying over the past 6 months, due to the high frequency of taking flights and encountering turbulence. Hoping and praying everyone will be save, and restore my faith in flight. “

I WAS  thinking  and racking my brain over this incident  it is strange, where did a large plane disappeared to? Whether it crashed, disintegrated or even got hijack, it’s strange no sight or signals could be found. But for relatives, without confirmation and closure, it’s agony that there is no discovery of any sort. If superheroes do exist in the world, there is no better time than now to show yourself. Humanity needs you. My thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew, and families of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. This is a VERY strange and potentially devastating happening in aviation industry.

general, perspective

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was the strongest Typhoon on Earth

E                                         My post in facebook last November 07,2013.Pray for the Philippines. May God give our people more strength to recover and rebuild. May the next one coming be more gentle! Let us all pray together!

I am fascinated to see on TV those typhoon victims who are already rebuilding their houses, a day after the typhoon. No more time to cry, or mourn, or even question God for their current situation. All they want to do is to get back to their normal lives. God bless their indomitable spirit. So you know, those areas are mostly coastal towns and farmlands. Those people there do not have much concrete infrastructures and their homes are made of light materials. I cannot begin to imagine the damage there but from what I have seen  in the news…it doesn’t look good at all. Being a coastal town, these people live with the threat of storm and sea everyday. Whatever the technical name for it or its origin, they, even illiterate ones, are familiar with their environment enough to know the consequences. A lot of us are blaming lack of preparation, specially the President. But those in the affected areas have been prepared by generations upon generations of seasonally bad weather. In retrospect, the only sensible preparation for such a threat would have been to go to (much) higher ground. There was simply no ground high enough in the province of Leyte.

People from Tacloban (including the mayor) are victims. As such, exposed to tremendous amounts of stress, just like shell-shocked soldiers… They need help because it is already a disaster – meaning internak coping mechanisms can no longer address the emergency situation the typhoon did not discriminate. it hit the entire place and destroyed houses whether made of wood, concrete and losing your home and livelihood is one thing, but losing your loved ones is another. a lot of them have lost friends, relatives, neighbors, and even some have lost their entire families to the storm. it’s really sad considering that Christmas is just a month away

WATCH: Atom Araullo in Tacloban flood rescue | ABS-CBN News. More attention on the brave ABSCBN news team helping out flood victims.They were chest-deep in the water ferrying out kids! Watch the video!

Seeing TV Patrol  news  made me more realized  the amount of devastation and catastrophic destructions caused by typhoon Yolanda- Looting is so rampant in the disaster stricken areas. I understand the desperate need to get food, potable water and medicines . Looting result out of desperation, the absence of available evacuation centers and food, make my heart bleed for the lives lost and the survivors who are clinging on to their lives. It’s more disheartening to see the people are driven to, for lack of a better word, loot, because help’s been slow getting there. The people in these areas have lost literally everything (some, even, everyone) and have not had decent food or water for days. We can expect that for even more days after, they probably won’t have a steady source for many of their barest necessities.To be fair, my knee-jerk reaction to the news about it was to be disappointed – I think that’s natural. The feeling didn’t last long, how could it when I saw all that these people had to experience and what they’ll have to live with for a very long time (through the Television only)? They’re just reacting and surviving. To be honest I don’t think I’d do things any differently if I were in the same dilemma – by golly, I know I’d try (and I’m certain people did) but when survival is on the line, I’d do my best to live. Goes to show what the human instincts are in times of despair and catastrophe. We all live to survive.

How about looting TV sets and other electronic appliances?  I don’t really get why people had to get the appliances from the mall. I feel like they should be getting other stuff instead of the electric appliances. I wish people weren’t taking advantage of the chaos.  If the police/military are there to stop looting, then they can be there to be the ones to take the goods instead and distribute them–properly and evenly and therefore fairly–among the needy. You know what terrifies me? There will ALWAYS be justifications for such actions by saying “You weren’t there…you can’t possibly understand…who are you to judge…” People are quick to deny reports of rapes. But, in the aftermath of disasters like this, women and children are the most vulnerable and often, there is a rise of sexual violence against them.

This is a fact and has been observed in other disaster situations. This is because women and children often are not physically strong enough to fight the mob to get to relief goods and other necessities they need. Some thoughts about the aftermath of the typhoon signal number 4 or 5:  I realized that before we complain about the tiniest inconvenience we are experiencing take a moment to think about what the typhoon Yolanda victims are going through right now most especially if you’re just there, sitting on your comfy chair, checking your facebook news-feed. (social media accounts in general) I think it’s best if you move your ASS and DO SOMETHING even in your small way. Glad to see so many contacts at facebook and instagram posting ways on how you can help our brothers & sisters who lost so much. Times like this, there are no contributions that are too small. And frankly, there is no excuse to not help.

Are there also emotional relief efforts ongoing for the affected people, especially the children? Is there an organization that can do this? Set up tents where children can gather and provide them with creative activities to help them ease off this tragedy? Teach them to draw, tell them stories, teach them to build things. Is there still room for that in ongoing operations? I’m glad to see outpouring of relief materials – this is badly needed. Though maybe we can also complement it with emotional relief especially because when things start to become silent post-tragedy and all that’s left of them is to wait to rebuild, traumatic reflections can become a mind/spirit-killer..Is this logistically possible? Who can act on this?

If we already know that storms are going to get more intense, we should adapt with infrastructure and architecture designed to better withstand extreme weather condition right ? Typhoon proof (as typhoon proof as possible) and typhoon ready infra and buildings? Just wishful thinking. I’m not an architect, neither am I an urban planner but I feel if we don’t adapt, well be seeing the scene in the country  over and over again with the years to come. Take Japan as an example. Knowing that they experience constant earth quakes, they have adapted their infra and architecture accordingly. Emotional relief to this victim of this tragedy, I haven’t heard any organization doing it. You could always donate money you might have in ngo like sagip kamilya. and others. Hoping the Save the Children Philippines focus on children and disaster risk reduction in all its components such as rehabilitation and recovery are doing the mobilization

The list of signal number 4 storms of Rappler indicated a major storm almost every other year yet only in Marikina are there warning systems in place with clear pre -planned responses for the government to take and an informed public on what to do. It’s a failure of public officials. It’s still a wonder that there’s no outcry for the lack of infrastructure . Climate change adaptation and mitigation. Disaster risk reduction and management.

Look at how Albay responded from the 2006 super-typhoons. Takes a lot of political will. Albay province suffered much damage from the typhoon but has zero casualties. Listening to Dr. Mahar Lagmay on DZMM talk about Albay’s effectiveness in managing disaster: storm surge areas as per-identified and marked off with signage “This is a storm surge area.” Residents therefore know to stay away. Disaster education and communication is so important!he key is people knowing what a storm surge is -People living in coastal areas probably know it from experience but might use local terms. As disaster becomes the new normal, this is just one of the many phenomenon we will need an aligned understanding of. We’ll probably need stronger disaster education in the K-12 curriculum as well.

There are initiatives being done, but right now, there’s no unified, concerted effort. Albay responded after typhoon Reming, Marikina responded after typhoon Ondoy. I know it will take a lot of resources this infrastructure and architecture designed projects what I’m just saying it will save more in the longer term. Less lives lost. Less properties destroyed. Less rebuilding needed. I don’t know what actual solutions can be employed as I’m not an engineer, architect, or urban planner. I don’t know what it will cost. I don’t know how long it will take. I don’t know if there are innovations out there that are not as expensive as we think it is. But something has to be done else we’ll be seeing the same scene over and over. I’d be interested to know what architects, engineers, and urban planners would have to say. Changes have to be made, which will be more beneficial in the longer run, but the missing factor is political will—at local, national, and international levels.

Expect that this is going to be worse, given the scientific facts. Seas are getting warmer due to climate change, so statistically; we will experience much stronger typhoons than this. Thus, government investment on the science of weather control must be seriously considered. From the side of the society, it is also time to prepare more for it in the future. It is not good enough if we just rely on weathering storms if we cannot act on it proactively. Beyond volunteering and donating for relief operations, there is a need to do more- to help on-ground. To be able to, in the capacity with which we occupy in our careers and the wealth of knowledge we apply to our jobs, create more sustainable change for our countrymen. It gives me pause as I thank the Lord for the safety of my family and friends.Lord,Though my family is not directly affected on these tragic events, I can feel the cry of my fellow countrymen, especially the innocent children. Have mercy on all the victims of typhoon yolanda/haiyan and their loved ones. Let’s offer prayers and our masses to the victims of Yolanda, along with material contributions – prayer works miracles

general, random thoughts

What a good day to be a Filipino indeed!


   Congrats to all of us! Another reason to be proud today…People cleaned up the park before they left. Proud to be a Filipino.

The rally picnic earlier was not a charade or moro-moro. What message would that have sent to senate, congress, and those who profit from their plunder? That they could go back to business as usual, treating our hard-earned taxes like personal piggy banks to finance their lavish lifestyles and to further their political careers? Because Filipino were too jaded to care? I’m proud to have been there and it may have been one step, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. I hope the legislators in both chambers are aware of that. And that they will realize that they can’t circumvent the law and just put up with us for now but eventually, get back to ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL” for the PORK.

I can imagine them trying to do a series of caucuses and meetings (over these past days and even in the succeeding months) in order to DO DAMAGE CONTROL, like any great company and organizations I have been to where specific circumstances needed to be addressed. We know very well how PR (public relations) and all efforts geared to project a GOOD IMAGE work. Thus, we have to remain vigilant. We are aware too that even with the abolition, the evil that is Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), a.k.a. congressional pork barrel will simply hibernate only to metamorphose with more creative names. But the crooks will remain the same – the old, corrupt, dynasties we have seen all these times. Thanks to our “despotic amnesia”. These politicians from the executive and legislative will entertain us. Perhaps, let us feel that they feel for us or seemingly share our cause but only to rob us dry all the more.

I’m sure if they study and analyze the growth in the financial resources of these elected politicians I’m betting 99% of them became really rich in such a short time! Remove the Pork Barrel now!  If there’s a will, there’s a way. The corruption is everywhere. Shamelessness at its maximum! It’s a shame to have shameless legislators! Corruption is ingrained in our culture. How to change it will take time. We’ve had two EDSAs and the same thing happened again. Look–Erap was pardoned and allowed to run. Cory asked for his forgiveness. PNoy invited him to his inauguration. What does that tell the people? The New System proposed by the Palace is that the Congressmen and Senators will now recommend projects to government agencies (dpwh ,deped etc). Then the funds will be used. Make sense? Is it logical? Are the legislators competent to recommend? Whats the role of LGU officials now? There is redundancy here. The congressmen and Senators why can’t they just concentrate on making laws? has no business implementing projects. Focus on improving our laws. Pass the FOI (Freedom of Information) Bill, while you’re at it. If you can, amend the Constitution as well.

I heard this earlier a suggestion from a friend of my mom to the Philippine “government” who do not want to remove the pork barrel.

  1.  All Senators/Congressmen hands –of  to the following projects : education, health , infrastructure (telecommunication) and security. Let the respective government agencies – DEPED/CHED/TESDA, DOH,DPWH & AFP/PNP DO IT. They know better than you!
  2. It will be the governors and mayors who will recommend project aside from those in major services for line item budgeting approval to their senators / congressmen and submission DBM.
  3. Allocate only two to three million per year for each of the senators and congressmen as Calamity and Constituent Fund (CCF) no projects will be funded by the CCF. Your Job is to make laws not projects. You are all incompetent to be Project Managers

I believe the 3 suggestion above is a win-win solution!  But for me here are what our lawmakers should do:

1) Resign from their post. They were not able to do one of the key jobs they were elected to do. That is, be the gatekeepers and stewards of the people’s money that they have been entrusted to ensure these are spent correctly. They have put their interest ahead of the Philippine’s and the Filipino people’s.

2) If they are too thick-faced to resign, then let go of their pork barrel. They have shown that they are incapable of handling such huge amounts.

3) If, still, they dont want to let go of their pork, then I hope they burn you know where.

Our taxes better be going to classrooms, bridges and education programs. Can’t we just nominate where our own taxes go, and be the one fulfill it? We pay so much in tax hoping that the money goes to infrastructure, economy, and poor… but really sad that we bankroll the frivolous and wasteful lifestyle of the Napoles family and corrupt politicians

Let’s remain vigilant. It’s time we truly get involved with good governance, politics, the many facets of government and most importantly the budgetary procedures and financial dispensations of the nation. Let’s consistently demand accountability & transparency at all times, in all sectors,  , in season & out season . Well, we don’t need to be experts. Let us support those who are experts in the various fields.

Be informed. Read more. Discern more. Pray harder. Let’s support those who risk their lives exposing anomalies and deficiencies, that is, if we truly care and would want to do our share in nation building. Enough of being regarded as the sick man of Asia. We have been living with such stigma over the last 3 decades! We deserve a truly happier and more transparent Philippines! Each Filipino , at the very least, deserve a good life !

general, random thoughts

What a fun Masters 2013! Congrats to the the first Australian to win, Adam Scott!!!


Ooooh, Adam Scott congratulations for being so incredibly good looking…and for winning the Masters, too! 🙂

Great way to start the week,wow, what an AMAZING Masters golf tourney . One of the best finishes that I can remember. Congratulations­ to Adam Scott , you played a GREAT game today. I think Australia is going crazy right about now.Safe to say that that was one of the best masters I’ve watched , best four days of golf in a long time and I don’t think anyone can be disappointing with who won it , we’ll deserved , well done Adam Scott !!!

general, perspective, random thoughts

God Bless you with much wisdom and strength Pope Francis I!

I woke up this morning to this great news :  After two  days of conclave & 5 ballots, we have a  new pope He is Jorge Mario Bergoglio , the 76-year-old Archbishop of Buenos Aires and the first non-European & first South American pontiff, Pope Francis should have sang Don’t Cry For Me Argentina when he was in the balcony. Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding the Conclave in their discernment of choosing Pope Francis.

So why does some people conclude it is Francis of Assisi? The man is a Jesuit! They don’t know Francis Xavier? It’s Xavier, not Assisi. March 12 was when St. Francis Xavier was canonized. The Conclave started on March 12. St. Francis Xavier is the patron saint of the Society of Jesus (SJ), I’d like to think that the foremost reason for his choice of name is deeper than this. I’d like to think he was so moved by this from Pope Benedict and the need of the Church at present 🙂 the best part is, the new pope hit two birds with one stone with his choice of name 😉

I find myself totally charmed by this Pope and intrigued by the man. He shows the same humility and break with tradition that he demonstrated at the balcony .  I have high hopes. We need the right leadership and he seems to fit the bill. As they say he is pope of the people and rides public bus in Argentina. Hope he doesn’t go barefoot in Vatican. In any case, he just makes me want to hug him like I would a grandfather. And I love that he makes me feel that. 🙂 ♥

We pray that our new Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, will bring together a wounded Church, and welcome back those who were pushed aside. We hope that he will not cause further dissension by marginalizing others. Because as far as I remember, Jesus Christ called the sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes a.k.a. the ‘othered’ populace. Please continue to guide him through these challenging times.


Post Updated on March  15, 2013 :
I am so relieved he is the new pope. He is not a Franciscan , he is a Jesuit and the first one. So this is going to be exciting! I have a good feeling because he’s from a place other than Europe (I mean I have nothing against Europeans) but maybe someone with a different perspective but still strong & holy? It must be a very tough shoes or sandals to fill. St Peter’s lol.I think many boys will be baptized Francis. Actually, I was mistaken. The new Pope took the name Francis in honor of St. Francis Assisi known for his simple lifestyle. By the way, it’s Pope Francis, period. Without the numeral. The next one will be Pope Francis Jr. (just kidding) Only after his death or his insistence will the numeral be added.
general, perspective

Just horrible and inhumane :-(

Today was the start of the nine-days  novena mass/simbang gabi! Let us not forget to include in our prayers those who have lost loved ones because of typhoon Pablo and the deadly shooting in Connecticut.I just don’t get it. Why will you go on a shooting spree firing indiscriminatel­y killing innocent people (especially children) and after that, you’ll shoot yourself and die too? No words can express the heartbreak and sadness I feel over the brutal shooting incident that took place in Newtown, Connecticut.

It is really hard to comprehend the happenings today. I am shocked and sadden by it. After the sad tragedies of innocent blood being shed due to brokenness, mental health and guns in the wrong hands. I don’t understand why someone needs to take away the lives of these precious “little angels”. What was his motivation to do that?! I guess it has something to do with psychological issues. I’m not a mother so can’t even say that I can empathize with the terrible pain that mothers/­fathers are feeling right now. I know these event beg the question if there is a God and how can bad things like this happen…it reminds me how badly our world needs to turn to HIM so we can fight the evil in this world and address society’s problems.

I also believe that if we had better preventative treatment in which we would encourage people to “seek help/­counseling/­etc.” and we would take notice of someone who is acting “depressed”, “recluse”, “angry”, some tragedies like this could be prevented. I’m not making an excuse but just cautioning that we should be more aware. Terrible things can happen when parents choose to be in denial when their child is suffering from a mental illness, instead of getting them treatment. They either end up causing harm to themselves or to others.

The tears keep flowing as I see the ages of 6 and 7 next to most of these names. Covering those parents in prayer who are dealing with the unimaginable…­and praying they can find peace knowing their babies are with GOD.I cannot keep from thinking that these families may never be able to celebrate Christmas for what it is ever again. I pray that somehow through God’s marvelous grace that they can someday get past this and be able to feel the joy of Christmas again.This is just so terrible. I guess we all should lend our strength, kindness, compassion, love & grace… To stranger & friend… We don’t know the struggles they face.

Unsolicited advice to all you people calling for stricter gun control, think about this. That would only restrict people who carry/buy/have weapons LEGALLY. Stricter gun control won’t keep weapons out of bad people’s hands because they don’t carry them legally or care about laws.To all you people calling for stricter gun control, think about this. That would only restrict people who carry/buy/have weapons LEGALLY. Stricter gun control won’t keep weapons out of bad people’s hands because they don’t carry them legally or care about laws. A bad person is going to commit bad crimes not matter how many new laws we get.People who want to do bad things are going to do those things whether law abiding citizens have a harder time getting guns or not. Like what if someone in any one of these crowds would have been carrying? A lot would have been prevented. Gun control just isn’t the answer.  For protection… And it doesn’t stop at guns, if someone wants to commit a crime they could use a plethora of weapons… Box cutter, knives, scalpels, bombs (which by the way you could make one with materials that are all legal). So why push for more control on guns only?  A bad person is going to commit crimes whether gun control is in full force or not. It’s not going to keep guns out of bad people’s hands. It’ll just keep them out of hands that legally and lawfully own in my opinion. Take a minute to think about that please.