What is the ‘truth’ behind ‘communal action’?

The question, “how can CBCP’s quest for truth be satiated?” [1] asked by Candido Wenceslao in his Sun Star Cebu column Candid Thoughts is worthy to ponder upon. Truth as talked about by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in its statements seemed to be very elusive.

Wenceslao added:

Is truth the one that the political opposition, militants and civil society groups believe: that everybody in Malacañang is corrupt? Or is truth the one insinuated by the Arroyo administration: that it is clean? [2]

The truth should be based on evidence. It must not lay upon mere hearsay. The testimony of Rodolfo Lozada, Jr. in the Senate may be true but he must present evidence and he must be consistent and reliable enough to qualify his statements as “truth”. In the same way, what the Malacañang men are saying as the “truth” must be substantiated.

Truth can be gauged based on facts and evidence not on how dramatic the statement is presented. When Lozada testified, he touched the nation’s sensitive emotions with his tears. He appeared to be telling the truth. He must had been. But as the Senate hearing progressed, the quest for truth shifted to quest to console the “star witness”. Console Lozada by showing to him that many support him. Supporting does not always equate to believing.

[The] ‘truth challenges us now to communal action,’ the CBCP said in a statement signed by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. ABS-CBN online reported. [3]

What is communal action? Are we going to streets to shout for “truth”? Are we going to join those groups planning to do radical actions? CBCP is not clear on what communal action means.

While CBCP “challenges us now to communal action”, I challenge every Filipino to listen to both sides and to evaluate the circumstances. Instead of being too radical, let us all calm down. Let us also remember that will happen to our nation if we keep our emotions up and ignore reasons.

Clerics must remember how the people in Jerusalem welcomed Jesus Christ. The same people condemned him. Several statements are reported hailing Lozada and even former Speaker Jose de Venecia. Some even said that de Venecia sacrificed his political ambition just to let the public would know the truth behind controversies on the aborted NBN deal. Let us remember that de Venecia even on the last minute tried to save his political prowess. De Venecia obviously said bad against the administration – after all, it ousted him.

What is the ‘truth’ behind ‘communal action’? The intention to overthrow the government. If we will, what then?

[1] [2] Sun Star Cebu, Wenceslao: Prayer power
[3] ABS-CBN News Online, Communal action needed after NBN exposé – CBCP

JGG|Mandaue City
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!|Contact: Send Mail

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Enhancing Online Reading

We print information in blocks like this post. We traditionally write and print this way – blocks or by paragraph. But a research indicates that the human brain is not “wired” to read text in the traditional way we print it, which is in blocks.

A company called Walker Reading Technologies, conducted scientific research that would revolutionize online publication and reading. The study concluded that “the natural field of focus for our eyes is circular, so our eyes view the printed page as if we’re peering through a straw.” [1]

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A Dreamer’s Dream

I am a dreamer. Last night I dream my most elusive dreams.

I can’t reveal when was my last casual sexual encounter. It was gruesome yet pleasantly and superficially exciting. Until now, the casual encounter with a horny user tickle my lower extremities. I entertain the idea of casual sexual encounters but never love it the way I love the sexual encounter I had with the most beautiful creature whom I think I love.

My sexual encounter with the one I think I love just exist in my imagination.

From deep slumber, I was awakened wet. I switched on the light and scribble to my journal a night’s dream that keep on flashing even after the cold yet erotic dawning of February. I can share here a part of it but not the entire transcript of glaringly vivid and graphic details of another very elusive sexual encounter (but this time, only as a dream).

I saw her smiling – a smile that captivated rugged spirit of masculinity. Her eyes were tempting and silently trasmitting electrostatic message only both of us can decipher. I kissed her – a passionate kiss of newly weds. And there I stood before her – both of us revealing the innocence of the newborn; nothing on, nothing to hide on. I had shaky knees as I stared her curves and goddess stature.

I was gazing her perfection like the way I should when I buy a fertile tract where I could plant my fruit. A minute or two of gazing before I claimed ownership of her. I could not wait for another second to possess her. In turn, she could not even wait longer to submit her softness to the robust force I had.

Both of us were panting as God’s air was not enough for us to breath. We made our own world – a world like no other.

No one can tell how long the Earth’s most pleasurable bath could be. Neither I can tell you how long I sip the sweetest nectar on Earth. As far as I knew, I had lost myself. I lost the world where I live because I migrated to the highest form of pleasure and happiness.

As much as I never knew how long I left this world, I likewise never knew how I lost her. I lost my position as I lost my treasured posessions. I am then awakened and goes back to walls of realism.

But I was there, I insist. I’m wet – my sole evidence. I’m sure I was with her. I opened my eyes. Said my prayer:

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for me.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

It was a cold dawn of February. When, I opened the window facing south, I saw the little drops from above – morning blessing!

Now, I’m awake but still dream because I still ponder on why I was wet. Does dream come true?

JGG|Mandaue City
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!|Contact: Send Mail

Improving English Proficiency

On its initiative to further improve English instruction among public schools, DepEd’s press release reads:

Recognizing the importance of English proficiency as an important building block in learning, the Department of Education has placed it as one of its priority programs for 2008 focusing on schools with low mastery level in the 2007 National Achievement Test (NAT). [1]

Erosion of English skills [2] among Filipinos has drawn attention among the government policy makers and even stakeholders of industries that are directly affected by it like the Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industries. In Congress, Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas filed House Bill 305 (Proposed Act to Strengthen and Enhance the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Philippine Schools) that revives English as the mandatory language for teaching in all school levels.

It seems that I do not need to see research data to affirm that English skills among students deteriorate. I can partially conclude that based on experience. In writing classes for example, it pained me to check the students’ output. Since they were college students, they were expected to write correct sentences but I contrary to my expectation level, there was still a need to go back to basics.

The worst was in speech classes. It was common to hear student saying “raid” as he read “red”. Most of the students say “mum” instead of “ma’am”. Many teachers corrected mispronunciation but many teachers also mispronounced words. What a mess!

This problem is deeply rooted in our education system. It boils down to classroom shortage, inadequate instructional materials, and undesirable class size. Teachers’ proficiency must also be assessed. No teachers are inefficient nor not proficient to teach the language but it must be stressed that teachers also need to refresh and enhance skills.

There are numerous seminars that aim to upgrade teacher’s skills but are not gaining momentum yet. One of the best way to upgrade one’s skill is graduate studies. However, CHED need to carefully evaluate schools that offer graduate studies in English as some of those schools just simply add the problem instead of helping.

I believe the government is taking good actions in improving the quality of education. DepEd is conducting the Test of English Proficiency for Teachers (TEPT) which will “specifically measure teachers’ aptitude on the structure of the English language, reading comprehension, written expression and grammar.” [3] The result of the test will guide our policy makers to execute viable programs.

It is also important that we look at our infrastructure to improve the quality of English instruction. How many public elementary and high school have audio-visual room and speech laboratories? How many of them have libraries? How many of them have teachers who are specialist in reading or literature?

Improving English proficiency cannot be done overnight nor just by a political leader. It calls participation among all sectors in the society. Everyone must do his part.
[1] DepEd English proficiency: DepEd’s flagship program in 2008 (January 15, 2008)
[2] third wave Erosion of English Skills
[3] DepEd DepEd Tests Teachers on English Proficiency (February 1, 2008)

JGG|Mandaue City
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!|Contact: Send Mail

Narco-politics and the 2010 Elections

Election in the Philippines is very expensive. To run for national or even local positions, one has to spend millions of pesos. This is one of the reason of the emergence of narco-politics. Drug lords would finance the election campaigns of political candidates for obvious reason – protection of drug syndicate.

Felix Mediavillo of The Manila Bulletin Online reports, narco-politics has apparently found its way in the Philippines following reports that big-time drug lords financed the campaign of several elected officials.

In 2007 local election, the term narco-politics became clear to me when Dilaab Foundation (Cebu) launched an advocacy against it. The tag line was very popular then, Ayaw Ipalusot Kandidatong Shaburakot. The advocacy of Dilaab Foundation gained momentum especially to the youth.

I recalled narco-politics when I attended the Cebu Bloggers Meet-Up organized by Janette Toral and Max Limpag, and hosted by Sun Star. Janette Toral presented insights on how bloggers can actively participate in the 2010 presidential elections. She stressed the crucial role of bloggers to promote transparency in Philippine elections. Electoral transparency is a prevailing issue which affects the political stability of our nation.

I agree. A blogger can participate and effectively communicate ideas to shape opinions so that voters can have a wise decision whom to vote for.

I foresee that the issue of narco-politics will then be more visible in the synchronize local and presidential elections.

The area of concern is to communicate to voters on the nature of narco-politics, the ways the means to identify the candidates who are supported by narcotic syndicate. I think with the help of Dilaab Foundation, this can be very feasible. This way, no voter can be decieved!

Today is a good start to prepare for an election that will shape our nations destiny.

JGG|Mandaue City
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!|Contact: Send Mail

Why third wave?

Technie
This blog was first known as Technie – a little twist of techie. Though I don’t see myself as real techie, I intended Technie to focus on technology. My posts were limited to such topics.

Serenity
When I decided to close my personal blog (in English), I posted to Technie essays of various theme and topics such as politics, emotions, and personal experiences. Technie, as a blog title, then became unfitted to blog content. I personally picked Serenity – a favorite word since I first experience inner peace. This blog had been known Serenity.

third wave
Today, I name this blog as “third wave” (all letters in lowercase). The blog title, third wave, is most appropriate as this is the third name “I install” (sounds techie) or I say, “I baptize” (sounds angelic) to my blog. As I personally see, I now emerge into third stage of blogging.
This is third wave, a third force!

I decided to re-engineer this blog as part of my blog enhancement efforts. My apologies to Alvin Toffler whose work, Third Wave continue to inspire me and continue to drive me to aspire.

This is not a blog patch nor an update. I hate to call this as upgrade. I just implement blog re-engineering. May the spirit of blogging dwell upon us.