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How to be a Better Filipino

 

“You must be the change you want to see in the world”

                                                               – Mahatma Gandhi

                It’s so hard not to blame the government with all the difficulties our country is experiencing right now. Issues like the pork barrel scam, poverty, and China bullying us, the urge to yell profanity at the President is hard to resist. However, we fail to realize that running this country towards a better future is not just the job of the government. We are also responsible in making this country a better place to live in. And I believe that we can if we only allow the change to start within ourselves. You want a better Philippines? Then become a better Filipino!

But how does one become a better Filipino? As hard as that might sound, it’s actually pretty easy once we learn to admit our faults. All we have to do then is get rid of all our bad habits and follow these tips:

 

  • Teach yourself and everyone you know about the art of Discipline

 

                “Kaya di maunlad ang Pilipinas kasi walang disiplina ang mga Pilipino.” My grandfather used to say as he drank up his 5th bottle of beer. Discipline here in this country is very hard to see because most of us do not know what it means to be a disciplined person. It’s not just about following orders or not littering or behaving. Discipline is standing up against the wrong, the bad and the destructive. Discipline is knowing when something is appropriate or not. Discipline is knowing your place in the society and doing whatever you can to contribute to its progress.

 

  • Seriously, FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC RULES

 

                 What is the main cause of road accidents and road-related violence? It’s not what, it’s who. Car accidents happen because most drivers cannot follow simple rules or better yet, they don’t even know the first thing about road safety. What is so difficult about staying in your lane, no u-turn, one way only etc.? They’re not written in Chinese or Japanese, right? Plus, as a driver you should know your responsibilities when you’re behind the wheel because every time you drive, there are always lives at stake. If you cannot recognize the amount of responsibility you have, you should not drive. As for those who love to jaywalk and are too damn lazy to use the overpass, you’re gambling with your life every time you play hit or miss with fast vehicles. Avoiding the overpass just to make time is not worth dying for.

 

  • Complaining does not solve anything

              Every time I see statuses on Facebook condemning corrupt politicians,it makes me wonder if they truly care or at least know about the issue they’re complaining about. Too many people just join in on what’s trending and are just content with complaining online. If you’re going to complain, make sure that you’re doing something about it. Make sure you are worthy of your opinion. After all the government does not read your Facebook posts nor they care about your political statuses. What the country needs are people who, instead of complaining, are out there doing something to help instead of endlessly criticizing people that won’t even listen.

 

  • Be Positive About Your Country

 

           Our country had been down on the dumps way too many times and everyone knows it. We’re a third world country and most of the population is poor. Our government is stealing from us and bigger countries are bullying us. It’s hard to be proud and say that you’re happy to be a Filipino but do you really have to be so negative about it? Do you really have to wish the USA would just adopt us? Do you really believe that there’s no hope for us? Do you really have to kick your own country down just because you can’t take it anymore? That’s a typical Filipino attitude. Always ready to take the easiest way out. The truth is, we’re the only ones who can get ourselves out of poverty. Not the USA, not the government or the President, it’s just us. Imagine if every Filipino right now, rich or poor, suddenly realize that the only way to improve the economy is to improve ourselves first, things would change so fast! It is the lack of patriotism and optimism that’s keeping us poor.

 

                This country is not perfect and so are we but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to make our lives better. Our poverty and problems should push us to be better and not drown us in shame. We must be the change that we want to see in the Philippines and that change should start within us.

Grand-Jeepney-Parade

A Jeepney on a Perpetual Traffic Jam

 

                The other day I got stuck in one of the most unbearable traffic jams in my years of being a commuter. I was inside this jeepney with six other people and we were all sweating like pigs because of the heat. Our jeepney barely moved at all. We’ve been on the same spot for 15 whole minutes and as a person who has a lot of experiences when it comes to heavy traffic jams, I kept my calm and tried not to worry so much. The heat was over 40 degrees and it was making all of us impatient. Another 15 minutes have passed when one passenger decided to just get off and walk. The driver then suggested the same thing to us since we were somewhere “near” the terminal anyway, according to him. I didn’t know the place that well enough to walk but I couldn’t stand the heat inside. Everyone alighted the jeepney so I did the same and I thought I’d see the terminal in 5 minutes tops like what the driver promised but I thought wrong.

                I didn’t know exactly how far I’ve walked but I finished listening to like, 15 songs before I reached the terminal. Anyway, as I was walking, All I can think about was WHY was I walking and WHY was the traffic heavy in this part of town and on a freaking Saturday night? If it was Friday, sure, I would understand but it was a Saturday and class hasn’t even started yet for most students. I thought of a lot of possible scenarios of what may have caused the jam. Maybe there was a collision? An accident? Or maybe there was a murder that took place on the far side of the road? Or maybe, some TV production was shooting a show or something and there was a famous actor there. I was  determined to find out the cause of the traffic jam so I kept on walking, looking forward for an answer. However, when I got to the place where all the cars seemed to get stuck, I saw nothing. There weren’t an accident, or an actor or dead bodies. There were just a bunch of cars who couldn’t get through because the other cars took two lanes instead of just one. None of the cars wouldn’t want to give way and everyone wanted to get ahead first. The source of the problem was non-existent. It was just the motorists and their unbelievable ability to be incredibly selfish. When I passed by that place of chaos, the road was incredibly wide. No traffic at all. You can even play hopscotch on it.

                I got angry because it was completely idiotic. I walked so far just because some idiot driver couldn’t stay on his lane and decided to make his own and others followed suit. That’s just so typical selfish Filipino attitude. Then as I was fuming, I realized something. The whole experience describes the present condition of our country. This is why the Philippines is not moving forward. This is the reason why we are STILL a third world country.

                We’re all inside this big jeepney and our driver, the President, though he’s trying, can’t do anything about it but sit and wait for the car in front of him to move a tiny inch. And we, the passengers resolve to complaining and getting angry for not knowing the reason why we’re stuck in traffic. The driver can’t even explain it either. There’s a car who’d take two lanes to get ahead and the others will follow his corrupt and wrong example with the goal of getting ahead too. We, the people who cannot afford cars, get stuck way behind. So, I realized that the more we stay in that jeepney, HOPING to move forward, the more we are dooming ourselves in poverty. Unless we gather our courage and strength to alight the jeepney and move forward by ourselves, we can never get away from that traffic jam. We’ll be stuck there for hours, cursing the government and the heavens for giving us such a hard time and never get anywhere.

                Our country is stuck in a perpetual traffic jam and we all need to get off the ride and start walking. We’ve been trudging on the wrong direction for too long, sitting and doing nothing but complain. We must make our own path to progress and not follow someone else’s. It’s going to be a long journey to success so we all better start walking right now.

 

commuter

The Commuter Commandments

                I’ve been a commuter for years and as such I have experienced a lot of unpleasant things simply because most commuters forget what it is to be a considerate human being. So to slightly remedy that if not put a stop to it completely, here are some commuter commandments that we all should live by:

  • Thou Shall Be QuietThe Commuter Commandments

 Whether you’re chatting with your friends or talking on your cell phones, it’s important to be quiet whenever you’re in a public transport whether it is a bus, a jeepney or the train, etc. It might be fun for you to laugh and talk like no one’s listening but it’s so annoying for the rest of us who just wants to get from point A to point B without punching someone on the throat

  • Thou Shall Move When Told to Freaking MoveThe Commuter Commandments

 This is a major problem whenever I ride the bus to work, especially during the rush hour. People closest to the door just won’t move the hell out to the back of the bus. I don’t know why it is so important to stay there when they’re not even about to get off the bus. When the ticket guy tells you to move, move it so other passengers can get a chance to ride! Don’t be selfish.

  • Thou Shall Not Expel Nauseous GasThe Commuter Commandments

 Have you ever experienced sitting or standing close to someone and then they just fart? I did and it was the most horrible 60 seconds of my life. Imagine being in a cramped space with more than 50 people and then someone just casually lets out gas. I really thought I was going to die at that moment and I am not even exaggerating. The worst part is the perpetrator wouldn’t even apologize. I know sometimes it’s hard to hold it in but for the sake of everyone inside the air-conditioned  bus, please for the love of God do not kill us all.

  • Thou Shall Not Hog The SeatThe Commuter Commandments

 If you’re a guy and you insist on sitting with your legs widespread like there are giant dragon eggs between your legs, you should be thrown off the bus. Okay, let’s say you do need some space in that area but come on! Why would you take most of the seat when your seatmate paid for it, too? That’s just rude. If you want to sit like the freaking king of England, then go ride a taxi!

  • Thou Shall Offer Your Seat To the Elderly, Pregnant Women and PWD sThe Commuter Commandments

 I can’t believe I had to put this as a commandment when it should just be common sense. Most guys don’t feel too compelled to give up their seats for the ladies. Fine, we understand. But please for the love of all things bright and beautiful; offer your seats to the elderly, pregnant women and persons with disabilities! It’s not even an option, that’s human decency we’re talking about. I know we’re all tired from commuting and the traffic but giving up your seat for these people and hearing them say ‘Thank you’ will wipe off your exhaustion away.

                So there you go, the five commandments for every commuter. If we all follow these commandments, none of us would feel cranky even on Monday mornings! Happy trip!

Only Tax Payers Should Be Allowed to Vote

Miriam: Only Tax Payers should be allowed to Vote

                “If a person is a borderline moron, why should his vote equal the vote of a college graduate?”

                                                                                          -Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

                We all know Sen. Miriam to be the toughest chic in the senate and let’s face it, she’s among the very few who actually makes sense when she opens her mouth. One of her latest ideas sparked a very active online debate amongst netizens when she said that only tax payers should be allowed to vote. There are those who agree while some think it’s a very elitist move.

                The Filipino people are mostly composed of the urban poor. By urban poor I mean people who only eat adequate times a day, mostly just two, people who are living in slum areas and with little to no education at all. In her speech at the Far Eastern University’s Central Student Organization series back in 2012, Sen. Miriam emphasized the importance of being an educated voter. “But in our country, the masses tend to vote for the people whom they most often see either in movies or on TV.  They apply only a visual test to candidates.  If the candidate often plays the role of champion of the poor, then the uneducated poor will vote him to office for this reason only.  Thus, they are voting for actors.  Accordingly, when some of these TV and film personalities win in the elections, they continue their acting in the legislature.” She said in her speech.

                We can all attest to the kind of education we have here in the Philippines and sometimes, I cannot help but think that the government is doing so little about our severe educational problems intentionally  to keep us all stupid and ignorant during the elections. I agree with what the senator said because if you’re uneducated, then you definitely don’t know any better than to vote for the handsome actor or even get involved in vote buying just so you can feed your family. The fact that so many Filipinos do that is appalling because they do not know its long term implications towards the future of this nation and their children.

            Under Article IV, Sec 1 of the Philippine Constitution: Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year, and in the place wherein they propose to vote, for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage. Now, Sen. Miriam says this is not applicable in the 21st century and therefore should be amended. She proposes to change the charter so only tax payers can vote since the non-tax payers belongs to the poorest of poor, they are most likely to accept money from politicians. “Kasi kung hindisiya nagbabayad ng tax, mahirap na mahirap siya. Maski sino na lang, basta bigyan siya ng pera, kahit bigyan mo ng konti, that is patronage politics. The taxpayers are being ruled by the choice of the non-taxpayers.” The senator said.

                While many people claim that this idea has a lot of loopholes, (for example, if only income-tax payers are allowed to vote, what about those who pay the Value-Added Tax, which is everyone?) One cannot say that it doesn’t make sense because it does. As a tax payer, of course, you will care about where your hard earned contribution is going to or if it falls to the hands of righteous people. So with that, you will care to analyze and scrutinize each candidate and vote for the best ones, not just those with the most fans or with the most outrageous campaign. You will think for yourself and your country because you know exactly what is at stake.

                However, since there’s the VAT-tax payer’s problem, the only solution we can do to stop ignorant votes from running the country is to fix our educational system. Let’s do what other European countries do and put everything we have on education. Pay our teachers well, build more schools and teach more useful lessons instead of filling students’ head with useless information. Let’s add a bit of political awareness to the curriculum too so we can produce more intelligent voters who actually care about their country. I am not aiming to belittle the urban poor and the uneducated, I’m just merely stating the fact that most of us don’t really know who they’re voting for and what’s worse is they compose the majority.

                This idea by Sen. Miriam might just save us another decade of idleness, massive inflation and socioeconomic problems if it’s implemented correctly. If we stop denying the fact that the Philippine population is mostly composed of people who couldn’t care less about the names they write on their ballots as long as they get money from it; and actually do something about that problem instead, we might have a chance of experiencing a better Philippines in this lifetime.

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                Do you remember the last dream you have had? What about your last nightmare? Of course you do. Nightmares are definitely easier to remember since they can leave a mark on a person. I still remember the most terrifying nightmare I’ve had when I was a kid and I still feel scared whenever I think about it. Experts say that our dreams are just our subconscious doing its magic and the symbols we see inside our dreams are actually messages from our selves, manifesting in dreams. These are the things we often worry about or refuse to realize. Decoding these symbols will help you figure out what’s really bothering you in your waking life and what you should do about it. The same thing goes with our nightmares.

Here are the most common nightmares we probably all have had and what they’re trying to tell us:

Being Chased

     Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                Almost everyone probably had this kind of nightmare. Whether you’re being chased by a monster, a ghost or a serial killer, this kind of nightmare just wakes you up panting and catching your breath. But what does this mean in our waking life? According to psychologists, being chased in a dream means you’re feeling helpless in real life. There must be something that’s chasing you like an old family issue, a feud with a co-worker or anything that you don’t want to face head on so you run away from it. Your nightmare is basically telling you to stop running away from your problems.

Teeth Falling Out

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                In our culture, when you dream that your teeth is falling out you must bite onto a tree bark or else, someone you love will die. But in a scientific point of view, the teeth nightmare is actually associated to repress feelings of neglect. Since the teeth are inside our mouths, it may signify that you feel ignored and unheard in your waking life. Also, you might be feeling the need to express yourself more but something is holding you back.

The End of the World

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                This nightmare is one of the most terrifying because you can really feel the fear building up inside you and personally, whenever I have this nightmare I always wake up crying because I thought my family is gone forever. This nightmare may symbolize unexpressed emotions or fears that we haven’t related to anyone in our waking life. If the end of the world came in a form of a giant tidal wave, that could be your emotional problem in your waking life, acting up. Water always symbolizes emotions. Seeing a tornado in your end of the world nightmare means that you are about to go through a big transformation in your life that you’re scared or anxious to face. Kind of like a plot twist that you know is about to happen but aren’t ready for it yet.

 

Being Trapped

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                Being trapped in your nightmare is common to people who are claustrophobic or scared of small spaces. However, if you’re not claustrophobic and dreamed of being trapped, you could be feeling the same way in your waking life in a not so literal sense. This nightmare may tell you that you are feeling trapped inside a relationship, a job you hate or under the authority of your parents. It could also mean that you are feeling unsatisfied with your current position in life and that you’re not reaching your full potential.

Death

Most Common Nightmares and What They Mean

                Death is probably one of those nightmares I never want to have again, ever. When I was a kid I thought it means that the person who died in my dream will die in real life so I was a bit worried. If you dreamed that someone you love has died, it could mean that there’s a part of your personality that you need to kill. It could even be a characteristic of the person who died in your dream that you want to emulate. It could also be a bad habit or a doomed relationship that you need to kill. Either way, having the death dream is actually more sad than scary. That’s what terrifies me the most.

               

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

 

 

                The Philippines is more than just a tropical paradise, it’s also home to many stories of the strange and paranormal. In this country, we don’t just have the stereotypes like the white lady and headless priests. No, what we have here are something far more terrifying that will make anyone say “It’s creepier in the Philippines!”

Here are some of the creepiest and spine-tingling Philippine monsters and their origins:

The Aswang

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

                Almost every province in the Philippines has their own share of aswang stories and the features of these creatures may even vary. However, the province of Capiz in Western Visayas is the most popular amongst them all as it said to be where the first aswang originated. Aswangs are creatures of the night who feed on unsuspecting victims by sucking their blood dry. They have very scary faces and long tongues. In some versions, they also eat the victim’s flesh and they can shape shift into any form of animal, usually a dog or a pig. If chased, they can fly away.The word Aswang is derived from the Sanskrit word “swan” and “ang” or “Shwan” which means dog and body respectively. One of the most famous stories of the aswang is one of Tiniente Gimo of Barrio Duenas, Iloilo. According to legends, the Tiniente has ruled over the barrio for many years because he is immortal and all of the townsfolk have all been turned into aswangs and anyone who visits their little barrio gets a warm welcome and at night, they eat them.

The Bungisngis

 

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

                The Greeks have the “Cyclops” and we Filipinos have the “bungisngis”. It’s also a one eyed monster who allegedly lives in the Bataan area in Luzon. It was called “bungisngis” because of its distinctive giggle. As if the one eye does not make it weird enough, this monster is also described to have long tusks, like those of elephants and an exposed mouth which contains humongous teeth. The Bungisngis is usually interpreted as a dumb giant when it comes to stories. In the Filipino tale “The Three Friends – The Monkey, The Dog and The Carabao, The giant is able to lift the carabao and throw it with such force that it ends knee-deep in the ground. However, despite its strength, the bungisngis is easily outwitted and quickly panics. In the tale of the Three Friends, Monkey’s tricks led him to his death. It is said that when you’re out in the woods at night and hear a laugh out of nowhere, it means that the bungisngis is out to get you. The targeted victims are the only ones who can hear the laughter and that’s probably the last thing they’ll ever hear.

The Bangungot or Batibat

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

                This creature originated in the province of Ilocos. There, they call it the “Batibat”. According to their legends, this creature is a vengeful demon often blamed for nocturnal deaths or those who died in their sleep. They are described as big fat old women who live in trees. It is said that when you cut a Batibat’s tree and used the wood in your home, the demon stays there. Batibats do not allow anyone to sleep near them so when this happens, they transform into their true form and they sit on the chest of the sleeping person until they suffocate. The only way to escape the wrath of the Batibat is to wiggle your toes or bite your thumb to jolt yourself awake.

The Tiyanak

Creepiest Filipino Monsters and Their Origins

                Aren’t babies adorable? Well, wait till they grow fangs and eat you alive! That’s how the creatures called tiyanak lure their prey. It starts with a very pitiful crying sound of a baby in the middle of the woods (though at this point one should really be running the hell out of there once they hear that creepy crying) and when you find the source of the cry, you’ll see an adorable little baby. Once you pick it up it will grow fangs and become so far from adorable. If you ever managed to run away from it, you better take of your shirt and wear it backwards so it can’t come running after you. These creatures could either be offspring of demons or aborted babies who want revenge towards their mothers. Either way, the lesson here is to never pick up a baby in the middle of the woods. The cry should be enough to scare you off.