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Naalala ko na naman mga napanaginipan ko pero bawal sabihin kung sino, siguro mga namimiss kong tao nagpakita at parang eksena pa sa isang serye.

Parang may drug operations tapos parang mga agents sa isang buy bust operation pero walang nangyaring huli pero kakilala at close friend dati ang involved, kasama niya lang tatay niya at maayos naman siyang nakausap. 

Sa kabilang banda yung isa pang matagal ko nang hindi nakikita, pumunta ako sa bahay nila, siya lang magisa, eh matagal ko nang gusto tikman ito, nagulat nalang siya nang nag take advantage ako at ayun na nga, hindi naman siya nagalit at parang casual na niyang ginagawa ata ito, yun nga lang unamin siya na hindi ako ang una kundi yung isa ko pang kasamahan dati sa ibang kumpanya na halos oras oras eh ginagawa sa kanya, kaya siguro parang wala na sa kanya kung ano man gawin sa kanya. Naputol nalang ang nangyari nang dumating ang asawa at anak niya. 

Nang pauwi na ako eh hindi ko alam ang lugar na iyon at naiwan nalang ako magisa, kaya nagtanong ako sa dalawang bata na puro iyakin. Umalis nalang ako at nagtanong sa isang matanda, tawid lang daw ako sa kalsada at iyon ang mabilis na daan paguwi ko kaso dahil quarantine ay walang sasakyan makakapaghatid sa akin. At doon na naputol ang aking panaginip. 

Hindi ko alam sa pagod ba o sarap ng tulog kaya naalala pa natin minsan ang ating panaginip, kailangan lang mabilis tayo mag type para hindi isa isang mawala ito sa isipan. 


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Batch 1.. Two weeks work from Home and alternate two weeks work from Office. Isa sa mga maswerteng napili na ganito parin ang schedule (30% workforce per Department).

Syempre praning parin dahil hindi pa nawawala ang banta ng Covid-19 lalo na marami na rin ang nag positive sa office. Mahirap kumilos lalo na maglakad, kung ano ano nakapatong sa mukha, face mask with Shield, ano kaya sunod PPE naman or astronaut costume. 

No choice rin eh, may paperworks parin na gagawin kaya kailangan pumasok parin. Bahala na. Magiging Ok din ang lahat sa huli. 

Eye Opener

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Why we are shallow 
By F. Sionil Jose

I was visited by an old Asian friend who lived here 10 years ago. I was floored by his observation that though we have lots of talented people, as a whole, we continue to be shallow.

Recently, I was seated beside former Senator Letty Shahani, PhD in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne, watching a medley of Asian dances. The stately and classical Japanese number with stylized movements which perhaps took years to master elicited what seemed to me grudging applause. Then, the Filipino tinikling which any one can learn in 10 minutes; after all that energetic jumping, an almost standing ovation. Letty turned to me and asked, “Why are we so shallow?”

Yes, indeed, and for how long?

This is a question which I have asked myself, which I hope all of us should ask ourselves every so often. Once we have answered it, then we will move on to a more elevated sensibility. And with this sensibility, we will then be able to deny the highest positions in government to those nincompoops who have nothing going for them except popularity, what an irresponsible and equally shallow media had created. As my foreign friend said, there is nothing to read in our major papers.

Again, why are we shallow?

There are so many reasons. One lies in our educational system which has diminished not just scholarship but excellence. There is less emphasis now on the humanities, in the study of the classics which enables us to have a broader grasp of our past and the philosophies of this past. I envy those Hindus and Buddhists who have in their religion philosophy and ancestor worship which build in the believer a continuity with the past, and that most important ingredient in the building of a nation — memory.

Sure, our Christian faith, too, has a philosophical tradition, particularly if we connect it to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Remember, the first Bible was in Greek. But Greek, Latin and the classics in these languages are no longer taught in our schools the way these are still studied in many universities in Europe.

We are shallow because we are mayabang, ego driven, and do not have the humility to understand that we are only human, much too human to mistake knowledge for wisdom. We can see this yabang in some of our public commentators, particularly on TV — the know-it-alls who think that because they have so much knowledge — available now on the Web at the click of a button — they can answer every question posed to them. What they do not realize is that knowledge is not wisdom. Until they recognize that important if sometimes awful difference, they will continue to bluster their way to the top at our expense because we, the people, will then have to suffer their arrogance and ignorance.

We are shallow because with this arrogance, we accept positions far beyond our competence. Because there is no critical tradition in this country — a tradition which will easily separate the chaff from the grain, we cannot recognize fakery from the real goods. That outstanding scholar, Wilfredo Villacorta, is a rare bird indeed; when offered a high position in government, he refused it because he knew he was not qualified for the job. Any other mayabang academic would have grabbed it although he knows he can’t handle it. And so it happens always — the nitwits who hold such high positions stubbornly hold on to their posts, bamboozling their subordinates who may be brighter than them for that is the only way those who are inferior feel they can have respect.

On the other hand, the intelligent person will be aware of his shortcomings. He does not hesitate to ask the opinion of those who know more than him on particular subjects. If he is a government hierarch, he will surround himself with advisers who he knows can supply him with guidance and background possessing as they do more knowledge, experience and wisdom than him. Such an official is bound to commit fewer mistakes because he knows himself.

We are shallow because we lack this most important knowledge — who we are and the limits to what we can do.

We also lack the perception, and the courage, for instance, to deny these religious quacks and the thousands who listen and believe in them. Sure, religion is the opium of the masses as Marx said. So then, how can we prevent the masa from taking this poison without recognizing their right to make fools of themselves? Again, shallowness because the good people are silent. Ubi boni tacent, malum prosperat.

Where good men are silent, evil prospers.

This shallowness is the impediment to prosperity, to justice, and men of goodwill should emphasize this, take risks even in doing so. As the late Salvador P. Lopez said, “It is better to be silenced than to be silent.”

We are shallow because our media are so horribly shallow. Every morning, I peruse the papers and there is so little to read in them. It is the same with radio — all that noise, that artifice.

I turn on the TV on prime time and what do I get? Five juvenile commentators gushing over the amors of movie stars, who is shacking up with whom. One of the blabbering panelists I distinctly remember was caught cheating some years back at some movie award. How could she still be on TV after that moral destruct? And the telenovelas, how utterly asinine, bizarre, foolish, insipid moronic and mephitic they are! And there are so many talented writers in our vernaculars and in English as the Palanca Awards show every year — why aren’t they harnessed for TV? Those TV moguls have a stock answer — the ratings of these shows are very high. Popularity not quality is their final arbiter. They give our people garbage and they are now giving it back to all of us in kind! So I must not be blamed if, most of the time, I turn on BBC. Aljazeera, rather than the local TV channels. It is such a pleasure to read The New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post, to listen to “Fresh Air” on US public radio and public TV where my ever-continuing thirst for knowledge (and good entertainment) is quenched.

We are shallow because we don’t read. I go to the hospital on occasion — the long corridor is filled with people staring into the cosmos. It is only I who have brought a book or a magazine. In Japanese cities, in Korea — in the buses and trains, young and old are reading, or if they are not holding books and magazines, they are glued to their iPhones where so much information is now available.

In these countries and in Western cities, the bookshops are still full, but not so much anymore because the new communications technologies are now available to their masa. How I wish my tiny bookshop or any Filipino bookshop for that matter would be filled with people. I’ll make an exception here: BookSale branches are always full because their books are very cheap. But I would still ask: what kind of books do Filipinos buy?

We are shallow because we have become enslaved by gross materialism, the glitter of gold and its equivalents, for which reason we think that only the material goods of this earth can satisfy us and we must therefore grab as much as we can while we are able. Enjoy all these baubles that we have accumulated; sure, it is pleasurable to possess such artifacts that make living trouble free. And that old anodyne: “Man does not live by bread alone,” who are the thinking and stubborn few who believe in it?

I hope that those who read this piece still do.

Sa iyo..

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from Covid with Love

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Much has been changed since my last entry sa blog na ito which is last year pa. Please forgive me na hindi na siya kagaya ng dati na kasing enthusiastic ang mga post dahil hindi na talaga ako into blogging and recently nagkaroon lang ng time and effort para magkaroon ng entries.

December 2019 - Normal pa ang mundo, same celebrations ng Christmas and New Year. Same Same.

January 2020 - New Year na. Nagkaroon ng outbreak sa China pero baka parang SARS lang siya na bigla nalang nawala kaya not much of a concern. Tuloy parin ang ikot ng mundo. New Year, new hope ika nga. Work parin sa Government and have to say thankful at approaching my 2nd year na in the coming months. Of course medyo malayo pa lalo dati rati sa BGC to Montalban lang, ngayon Pasay na, lalong napalayo, umaabot na ng 3-4 hours ang travel time ko. Malasin mo pa kung heavy rain at aabot pa ng 5hrs na kulang nalang eh parang nagbyahe na ako pa Batangas.

February 2020 - My Birth month, matic na ito every last week ng February eh nag file ako ng whole week leave at byahe sa bandang south gaya ng ginagawa ko dati pa. Pero this time it's different; imbes na diretso kina Marvin sa South Cotabato. This will be my 1st time na solo travel/backpacking and sa Cagayan de Oro / Camiguin on the 1st part ng travel and hike series ko.

Manila - CDO - Camiguin. Kabado ako dahil first ko talaga at todo research ako at tingin sa mga travel blogs kung anung mga sasakyan at mga gagastusin sa trip. Nakakatakot na excited na rin dahil first time kong gagawin ito. Matapos makalapag sa CDO airport, check-in muna sa inn, haba ng pila dahil kuripot ako sa typical motmot type na motel lang, kaya nakipila. Kinabukasan maagang nagising at dumiretso na sa port pa Camiguin, again solo ko parin pero happy at kaya ko naman pala mag byahe nang magisa basta wag lang mahihiyang magtanong at friendly naman ang mga tao.

Camiguin - Nakarating nasa Camiguin, dahil na nga sa new virus na Covid-19 eh medyo strict protocols ang mga port, may pa lista sila ng nag byahe, temp. check para na rin sa safety ng taga Camiguin. Meet si Kuya Melo na last year ko pang contact at naudlot dati na ni refer sa akin ni Manuel na nagpunta roon last time. 2 Days akong nag stay sa Camiguin at halos na cover ko ang lahat ng tourist spot doon at mapapamangha ka nalang sa ganda talaga niya. I don’t know kung swerte ba o takot lang sa Covid ang mga tao pero umaayon naman sa side ko since halos dahil walang mga turista eh solo mo ang view at makakapag pic ka ng solo talaga or kaunti lang ang mga turista dahil na rin nga sa virus. Syempre for the love of the mountains, Hibok-Hibok hindi pwedeng hindi kasama sa itinerary. Relatively easy naman siya me mga paahon na part at salamat kay Kuya Ronald na guide despite na bawal na mag traverse eh tumuloy parin kami at bahala na kung masita kesa naman backtrail.

CDO - After ng Camiguin, balik CDO na ako at syempre hindi ka pwede umalis sa CDO nang hindi i try ang White Water Rafting, syempre nakakatakot kasi hindi naman ako marunong lumangoy paano pag bumaliktad ang rubber boat eh malakas pa ang current. Eh buti nalang at medyo hindi naguulan lately kaya mababa ang water level pero syempre lagpas tao parin. Puro thrill at sigawan at tawanan nangyari sa mga nakasama sa adventure, nakakatuwa lang, halos lahat sila taga Manila at yung isa eh nakasabay ko pa sa Camiguin na naalala ko sa carinderia na pareho din kaming kumain at  back ride lang din siya sa isang tour guide. One heck of an experience talaga itong river adventure ride na hindi ko malilimutan.

Mt Hamiguitan - This time makakasama ko na si Marvin, medyo busy sa work kaya hindi nakasama sa byahe ko and naka plano rin kasi sila ng friend niya na pumunta dun kaya understandable naman. CDO to Davao - napagkamalan pa akong sundalo dahil sa logo sa balikat ko pero bago sumakay sa Bus, medyo masakit sa bulsa ang presyo ng nonstop ah pero naghahabol kasi ako ng oras at 6-8 hours ang pa Davao. Hindi pa kami nagkita ni Marvin at maagang natulog kaya naman napilitan ako mag check-in saglit para maka idlip. Madaling araw meet na namin ang tour organizer na si Sir Emman of Saka Ta Bai para sa aming Mt Hamiguitan, by the way hindi talaga ito ang original na plano, supposedly eh Bukidnon Madness (5 peaks) sana kami ni Marvin kaso dahil na nga rin sa insurgency sa area napilitan kaming maghanap ng ibang aakyatan, tapos na kami sa Apo ni Marvin, swerte naman at may 2 pax pang naghahanap rin ng makakasama sa Hami kaya nag push ang akyat namin.

Kahit medyo pricey, super epic ang hike namin sa Mt Hamiguitan World Heritage Park, dahil malakas si Emman sa LGU sa area na iyon nabigyan kami ng opportunity na mag traverse instead of the backtrail na traditional na ginagawa, unli river crossing na panay tawanan sa hirap, parang sinasadya ni Emman na maghirap muna kami. Awesome falls, diverse ecosystem ng area, pitcher plants at lalo na solo namin ang hike all throughout, medyo long trek kaya nakakapagod samahan pa ng pagsungit ng panahon, kaya lungkot nga lang at walang clearing sa summit nung umakyat kami, surprisingly sabi nila limatik infested pero hindi naman. Medyo maputik nga lang ang challenge lalo na nung pa Hidden Garden kami. Hinatid na rin ako ni Marvin at Von after namin mag overnight sa Davao pabalik, sakit sa binti at na stretch na naman limit namin lalo na ni Marvin sa hike na iyon. Syempre happy at satisfied. Mission accomplished at meaningful ang birthday trip ko na naman. Marami na namang nakilala na tour guide and friends sa duration ng stay ko sa Mindanao. Syempre Bukidnon babalikan ka namin next year.

Lockdown months of March to May - Situation worsens regarding the Covid-19 na naging pandemic na siya na halos lahat ng bansa meron na nito. Pasalamat na rin ako nakapagtrek pa kami bago pa mag issue ng State of Public Emergency at nagkaroon ng lockdown ang buong Luzon. Lahat ng activities cancelled at stay indoors. Maski sa work, nauna pang mag lockdown ang building dahil nga sa nagkaroon ng infection ang katabing building. Buhay lockdown, pasalamat narin po ako at nasa government ako at tuloy tuloy ang sahod parin unlike sa private sectors na ang iba eh no work, no pay. Sa ayuda na rin na natatanggap mula sa Munisipyo at Barangay. Hindi ko nakuha ang PC ko dahil sa lockdown kaya parang preso ka sa bahay na medyo nakakabagot pero on the other hand may time para makapag pahinga at tulong nang mahabang oras. Iyon nga lang, since bawal nrin lumabas labas, eh sakit sa puso at high blood naman ang aabutin mo dahil nga sa sedentary life style. Hindi kasi ako fan ng indoor exercise medyo jumping jacks at stationary jogging nagagawa ko. Panay extend ng 15 days at bakit hindi nalang sabihin na indefinitely ang gagawing declaration ng lockdown, nakakabagot ang 3 buwan na nasa bahay lang talaga. Nakakamiss umakyat ng bundok, mabuti hindi tumapat sa birthday month ko ang lockdown na ito at nabiyayaan akong ma celebrate thru byahe at akyat.

June and the New Normal - Dahil hindi na kakayanin ng ekonomiya ang further lockdown kahit hindi pa na flatten ang curve, napilitan nang ibaba sa GCQ ang Metro Manila. Dahil frontliner agency kami, no choice kundi pumasok pero by batch kami ng 2 weeks at next eh WFH naman for two weeks ulit habang ang iba eh whole week at may 1 day lang na day off sa work. Eto na siguro ang new normal hanggat hindi nadidiskubre ang vaccine. Social distancing, face mask, alcohol ang new norms ngayon at essential. Mahirap sumakay at limited lang ang transportation kaya medyo mahirap. Mabuti nalang at may service at sinundo kami at no choice ako ulit na matulog sa gymnasium kasama ng ibang guys na malalayo rin. Sanay na naman ako sa ganitong setup at nakapag dorm na naman ako before ng 1 month, mahirap nga lang at walang privacy or modular tent at open ang lahat kaya nagbibihis na ako sa cr/shower area. Medyo nakakatakot pumasok talaga at hindi mo alam kung sino ang positive o hindi na makakasalubong mo sa work since walang rapid test na nangyari. Kaya may Mask at Face Shield palagi at panay contact tracing everyday na mechanism to fight the virus.

Sa ngayon work from home ako for two months kaya may time ako na makapag compose ng entry today. Eto oras ko na para makapag exercise sa labas pero naghehesitate ako dahil na rin sa virus siguro at wala rin kasamay kaya nauna na naman ang katamaran. Super Dad bod pa lalo ako ngayon at Buddha na parang 6-8 months na buntis ang tiyan ko. Disiplina talaga ang kailangan. Oh well, sana maging ok na at magkaroon na ng vaccine para unti unti na tayong bumalik sa dati pero malabo, sana new normal na tayo, more healthy na dapat at palakasin ang immune system, more healthy activities, sana matuto na rin magbike ulit, sana eventually payagan na kami mag hike, tutal social distancing normal na sa amin yang mga umaakyat, kung minsan bundok pa nga ang pagitan talaga. Nakakamiss na ang dating ginagawa. Nakakabagot na minsan ang pagaantay sa walang kasiguruhan. Naway malagpasan na natin ang krisis na ito at matuto na tayo sa mga nangyayari sa buhay ng natin. 

Hanggang sa muli at mag-ingat tayong lahat.


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