Friday, November 20, 2009

pambangunan --> development




My classmate told us recently that in Indonesia, 'development' is near-term to 'pagbangunan'. I can't help but notice that it has a similarity to our tagalog term 'pagbangon' which means 'to arise'...hmmm, then it must be how development is best viewed: to become better than before, to be more 'coz you are able to do more for more.

However, economic development does not dwell only in the quantitative aspects but on the other non-measurable aspects as well. Economic development is both a policy objective and a means to achieving other policy goals, such as full employment, poverty alleviation, egalitarianism, and social progress.

When asked by Dr. Loanzon to give our own views of development, my usual way is to somehow understand what it is not. I always insist that economic development, though closely related to, is not identical with economic growth. Growth in real GDP is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for development. An economy may show a sound growth rate but may still fall well short of development. Neither is a high per capita income an important indicator of development. There are Muslim kingdoms with a remarkably high per capita income but still lack in the prerequisites of development.

Moreover, I can not equate development with a term for 'equal-footing'. Narrowed gap between ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ is both a component of the development process and its goal. It was possible for underdevelopment and egalitarianism to co-exist as in the case of primitive societies. Meanwhile, a highly developed economy may have gross inequalities, take US with a Gini of 40+.

What is economic development then? Economic development is growth in GDP accompanied by relevant social and institutional changes where growth can be sustained too. These changes include reduction in absolute poverty (or whatever it is you want to call it), a better quality of life (you know what I mean), development of physical and commercial infrastructure (even as it not sky-high), higher savings, increase in employment opportunities, high literacy level (the true one), improved productivity of labor and other factors of production, somewhat-sophisticated techniques of production, a more positive attitude towards life and work, and (please, please)a stable political system.

Now ain't that sounding very profound? Real question is: Can we...? Will we...? Are we...?

Monday, November 16, 2009

remembering the roots (literally)



it's been days since i came to manila again...and as expected, separation anxiety sat in. it's hard to be far away from the places and the people you love especially when you are about to get used to it again.

together with being far again is the struggle- emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual...financial. some light and easy, some too heavy to bear.

but on days like those, i just keep in mind the roots...the roots of the plants. observe them...look at those plants that you always water, their roots are thin and bundled, you can easily remove the plant with one hand from the soil...

meanwhile, those plants that you don't water much have roots that are bigger, somewhat unbundled and grow deeper into the soil...maybe that's what we need, that's what i need: a once in a while semi-drought.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

das ist die Frage!

am i really the alfie girl that you were looking for? what do we need to do to prove this? do we need to prove this? are the words of a dying man enough? what do you think? what do you feel? ...in my conversation with you, i can't help but want to hug you for being so strong and for acting detached the way you knew how. the talk was heavy and i was crying a river...

i have to let you know why i couldn't push this matter any longer. i have to make you see how i feel and how would she feel if i keep on bringing the matter that she has easily dismissed...what more can we do? what more can we talk of? will it be so bad for me, for you, for all of us to just let this river take its own course?

sad thing is, there were sadness, pains and regrets accompanying these questions. there are memories touched that brushed the big scars that i once thought was totally healed...i keep reminding myself that memories are monsters and that the mind should always be stronger than those memories...why do i allow myself to feel this way again?

what's it all about alfie? is this just for one moment we live? what's it all about when you sort it out alfie? are we meant to take more than we give? are we meant to be kind? what is this all about alfie? that is the question.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

typhoon ondoy damage --P 8.3 B only?




the philippine government must have underestimated the damage brought by ketsana (ondoy) at 8.3 billion pesos only. assad baunto, a calculater-thinker, believed it to be so. (thanks to nash for the CC copy of his thoughts and calculations).

using official statistical reports of various agencies, we can look at about 15 billion pesos, and that still excludes the foregone benefits and other social impacts. whew!

estimated number of filipinos affected by the september 26 flooding is about 3.9 million. the government's budget of 80 million pesos will translate to about 20 pesos per person. and they have served a little less than 1 million people, which, ahhhhmmm, he calculated to be about 80 pesos per person...sad sad sad.

the bulk of the help are coming from aids from relatives, friends and social networks. thanks god we have them...oh well, for now, we try to do the best we can, and help as much as we could...and pray pray pray ...for strength to start again and...healing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

annoying forum attendee

in a forum on climate change, makati city,
there is this forum attendee seated in the front row.
(we were seated in the next row)...this woman--
---answered a call from her cellular phone.
she talked quite loud, even laughed in between.
their phone conversation lasted for about 40 minutes,
just about the time spent by the speaker in the session.
afterwards, she guiltlessly said 'bye' to the person
on the other line, (i guess) not knowing that we are all irked!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

trust issues

i came across lately of several people who are having issues on trust and trusting (and/or whether or not he/she can be trusted). it is a pity that this once beautiful world is now so filled with worries and distrust. it may have cropped up from bad experiences hence, lessons well-learned or better yet written as : lessons learned the hard way.

trust is a concept; a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. once you loose trust, once trust is lost, it changes perception easily. it changes confidence, even character. it is a sad feeling when someone doesn't trust you, but it is an equally sad feeling when you can not put yourself to trust anyone. tsk tsk tsk. such lessons, such hard lessons.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

and god gave me food :)

god is good...he never really lets me go hungry, god may have thought that it's better for me to keep my hips this way :)

friday - sir santi gave me a big box of bisquits.
saturday - nanay gave us banana chips and tuna in can
sunday - the excess for the taxi fare in bringing nanay to the airport was enough for veggies
monday - mam maricar and mam ligaya gave me bananas
tuesday - dr. ang gave me goldilocks mamon
wednesday - the excess for tita's electric bill was enough for my jamppong and skyflakes
thursday - i'm feeling lucky, tomorrow someone's gonna hand me yogurt icecream :)

hmmmm... thank you angels :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

my 'persian' night a month ago or so












---when i woke up this morning i remembered zahra, a classmate and a friend. she's been going through a lot these days, taking charge of their family's restaurants, taking care of her beautiful baby boy, helping her cousin who just gave birth and juggling all those with our tons of paper requirements in the post-grad studies...sometimes, i have the urge to go to her and ... help her in any way i can...
---remembering her also reminded me of my last visit at their restaurant one rainy night. i was just off from my other class when i got an sms from her- "when will you visit the restaurant?". i figured out it's been so long since i last told her that i will so i rushed my way to there...after some funny mishaps of the directions and all, i arrived few minutes before her, the place was almost heaven. far from the busy noise of the city but it's just in its heart (zaitoon is in leveriza-menlo sts). i saw charming smoke pipes! (the ambiance is real great especially for circle of friends who wants good food over good chit-chats). she arrived with her husband and the cutest baby boy.
---we chatted and tried to catch up with our lives (as if we haven't been texting every now and then). it felt good to see her so happy finally having her dream child in her embrace. she ordered what she long ago promised me - carrot shake with icecream on top! can you blame me for having my dessert first??? :) then i had soltani, best non-pork i ever tasted playing hide and seek with the spicy-tasty rice and red tomato halves. i was full in no time. whew!
---then the rain started pouring real hard on our every conversation, with the baby almost as if listening intently to our babbles. the slow pouring of rain at one point reminded me that i need to go back to my dormitory or else i'd swim my way there (happens all the time)...

i'd never forget the hearty meal-soltani...i'd never forget the yummy dessert-carrot shake...i'd never forget zaitoon...i'd never forget my friend (and her beautiful family)...i'd never forget that night.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

you are a kite – fly high

made by mama’s skillful hands, you are formed beautifully. colored with love in each strand – inspired to fly, fly so free… fly high kite, fly and fly, to the heights, to the heavens. fly high kite, to the sky, discover your dreams – see new edens…go steady kite, in facing currents, balance, remember, is a friend. swing and dance even in torrents, to one side, to the other – to the end…

then as you fly, you see, you feel, the past, the now, the future. find some strength but be still. you are the one- be one with nature… and if your wings would ever wear, slowly come back, for a rest. ‘coz no wind can ever give you a tear. with dignity and pride – you passed the test!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

afraid of being afraid?


he is just a man and he keeps on saying it. he is just a man and he can be a subject to many-a-things a man could...struggle upon... says felbert (an old buddy). felbert may just be a name but the man behind that name is more than just a man. he even is sometimes everything but just a man. he is more than just a man 'coz he knew that he is just a man. what is just a man? why is simply accepting you are makes you aren't...is this some kind of a philosophical joke? oh i'm afraid i could not linger on this matter. i am afraid i have known much that i'm afraid i might be afraid to go the wrong way. yes. perhaps. i'm just afraid.

tell me in your simplest language, who is to say that a man shouldn't be afraid? a man could be afraid - he should be afraid sometimes. this world could sometimes be so strange. this world could sometimes be so big...so big...and...so strange...that it is almost so understandable if one couldn't help but be afraid. talking matter of factly, anything in this world: from friendship to religion, from money to love...could send shivers to one's bones...as if it would take a miracle to remove the plug. oh miracles happen everyday. i'm just afraid people want more...and more...and more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

game 4 blues

july 8, 2009. PBA finals, game 4. San Miguel vs Ginebra. awarding night for the MVP. from school we went there. used the mass transit to be there on time. (rush rush rush) whew! here's the cost (all in philippine peso- $1=48) : motor-bike to railway station= 25, train ticket=13, donut holes=45, game ticket=85, iced tea=40, popcorn=70, jeepney fare back to the dorm=15...that would be 293 in all. amp! and my team lost (despite the full-blast cheering, i needed ginger brew afterwards) --- by 2 points! how frustrating...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

because life is short


...we shouldn't waste it by not multi-tasking

...we shouldn't shorten it more by surrendering to 'stresses'

...we shouldn't let it pass by without doing something good---

---for others, and most especially

---for ourselves.

because life is short, and... time is fleeting...aja! FIGHTING!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

missing gensan

what is it about gensan that i miss a lot today?...
...the grilled tuna
...the smooth traffic
...the cheery students
...the lazy afternoons at dacera pool
and...the yellow poppies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

graduate school is a hospital


goodbye michael... michael jackson have fought with his demons recently and tried to live his life anew, but he was gone too soon...i guess, not too late...goodbye to a great artist, i grew up listening to him and digesting his lyrics. richard bach, in illusions, said: here is a test whether your mission on earth is finished: if you're still alive, it isn't...hmmm...perhaps.
i am seated here minutes now, and am about to write my thoughts about graduate school but it seemed to have flown away (the thoughts) after hearing several songs by MJ played in the net cafe (thriller, heal the world, happy). i lost my supposed topic...hahaha...well, as what i have started writing, graduate school is a hospital so i must have it in my mind that students like me are somewhat 'sick' and is in need of healing (more of un-learning)...i'm tired, and sick (of what i still have yet to specify) but one day(soon) i'd be healed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my playful good god always provides


growing up in a complicated bad-good-better-worse-worst-good-better-best-good-bad-and-on-and-on world somehow made me a well-adjusted individual. i can blend and/or stand out depending on my need and 'trip' for the time...one constant thing however during the 'down and lacking' episodes is the fact that i never fail to talk to my good-old-playful friend 'upstairs', and what's more is that he-provides! oh, he really does, at all times! once, i had nothing to eat for the week, i just tried laughing it out and voila! someone from abroad just handed me canned goods, rice and noodles (jokingly just enough for a week). that incident and others more makes me laugh sometimes but it also makes me trust Him more than ever. Lately, i had this fund-mishap, making me poor by 850, 1200 and 1000 (all philippine peso) in just 2 days. I brushed it off as one of those 'grrr-moments' but on the 3rd day, the personnel officer gave me a plaque, supposed to be a 'service award'--- i was thankful...and...hahaha, it was coupled with 3000 (php). do the math, my ever-playful god owes me 50! :)

sad and mad but hopeful

with everything negative that has been happening in this part of the world, one can't help but feel sad and mad...sometimes driving the usually sane and calm yuppies at wit's end. it's hard to remain insensible and unattached but it seems to be the most sensible thing to do. arrrggghhh!!! will it still pay to be hopeful?

Monday, June 15, 2009

chances...2nd, 3rd...nth--why not?


a rainy but good morning here in manila. yesterday was weird: hot-cold-hot-cold... weird enough to get to people's heads. negative vibes almost everywhere...tsk tsk tsk...for one, the day made me wonder why there are other people who can't seem to give other people chances: chance to change and prove their worth, chance to re-create and re-learn and live anew, chance to have a chance at chance. the question is not "why"...it is "why not".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

you have the power!



no one can make you feel bad, sad, mad without your consent
---you have the power to not feel if you want to (BUT be kind).
no one can make you change your mind unless you want to
---you have the power over your thoughts (BUT be careful).
no one can judge you if you don't allow them to
---you have the power to change your future, even your past (AND be bold).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

money can buy happiness (sometimes)

sometimes i feel like money does indeed bring happiness. yeyss - my "happy quotient" is quite high at times when i have enough money. i came across an email from a lotto system owner. he said that an article he read is interesting. hmmm...

By MALCOLM RITTER,
AP Science Writer Sun Nov 26
--------------
NEW YORK - Does money buy happiness? It's sometimes said that scientists have found no relationship between money and happiness, but that's a myth, says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener. The connection is complex, he says. But in fact, very rich people rate substantially higher in satisfaction with life than very poor people do, even within wealthy nations, he says.

"There is overwhelming evidence that money buys happiness," said economist Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick in England. The main debate, he said, is how strong the effect is. Oswald recently reported a study of Britons who won between $2,000 and $250,000 in a lottery. As a group, they showed a boost in happiness... compared to their levels two years before they won.


while there's some truth to this, i still adhere that the beautiful sunset and the soft giggles of your baby is priceless but...hey, what else can make me happy as of today? i'd give you just 8 of the many and see what i mean (in philippine peso)...

1. a night at conspiracy bar = P120 entrance fee and +- P250 for food and drinks
2. a wellness body massage = cheapest is at P180
3. an extended phone call = P150
4. weekly JRS bag to wowa = P350 and P100 freight
5. a movie at the mall = P150 (pirated dvd is at 3 for P100)
6. a good hair day = P70 (cheapest shampoo and blow dry)
7. a good pair of jeans = P400 (cheapest at the mall, ukay-ukay will do at P200)
8. chocolates and/or frozen drink = P100 (0r P45 will do)


those...aren't for free. whew!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

thoughts of a student mama


it has been raining here in manila for several days and what's weird is- it's supposed to be summer time in the philippines, sun should be shining brightly and everyone should be wearing summer light summer clothes...now, everyone looks gloomy, covered, irritated and confused. ahay! climate change...climate change indeed!


when it is this cold, i either need a hot choco or a very warm hug...i could not just hug anybody. i am a student in a catholic university and it happens that this university is quite far from home (1 hour and 50 minute-plane ride). i am a mother too, and i'm missing my son wowa a lot (and the husband jovit too of course). we used to snuggle and just play lazy on days like this...amp!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Substance Over Form?



Summer classes have started and what choice do I have but to go on and try as much as I can to finish what I already started - you see, there's no use in giving up when you can go on eh...My first nightmare is an essay on how to critique a paper. I thought at first that it was an easy task but later I learned otherwise.

In trying to learn about critiquing a research article in a scholarly journal, it is important that I should understand that the task in writing a critique is to convert the critical examination of a research article into a systematic evaluation. Among other things, I must be interested in determining what the author says or what he wants to achieve, how well the points are made- from the statement of the problem to the recommendations or policy implications, what assumptions underlie the argument, what issues are overlooked, and what implications can be drawn from such an analysis. Sort of like going to Conspiracy Cafe and digesting every word the artists say (sometimes they do have better sense than what I read sssshhh) hahaha.

Since next week we will be asked to critique at least 5 reasearch articles, it is good that the essay was given as a starter (talk about irony). Now I have a guide- yipi! Critiques, positive or negative, should include a fair and accurate summary of the text and a statement of the critic’s own assumptions. Stated or not, these assumptions underlie every evaluative comment made. Therefore, I have an obligation, both to the reader and to myself, to clarify my opinions. I know that in the process of writing a critical assessment, I will be somewhat forced to examine my own knowledge, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, the critique is my way of learning about the author and myself. What a way to read a material! What a way to live a life! Oh well...

Monday, April 20, 2009

there's always hope for the philippines


Here is a good article sent by Dr. Arsenio Martin of Fort Arthur , Texas ...Enjoy reading.

THE DIFFERENCE The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country:This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt , that are more than 2000 years old, but are poor. On the other hand, Canada , Australia & New Zealand , that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries, and are rich. The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw materials from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.


Another example is Switzerland , which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate in the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality! It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world's strongest, safest place.Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.


Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture & flawed tradition.


On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:1. Ethics, as a basic principle.2. Integrity.3. Responsibility.4. Respect to the laws & rules.5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.6. Work loving.7. Strive for savings & investment.8. Will of super action.9. Punctuality.10. and of course...Discipline.


In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life..The Philippines is not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. In fact, we are supposedly rich in natural resources.We are poor because we lack the correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.

Friday, March 27, 2009

in search of alfie girl


i recently celebrated my 32nd birth anniversary (march 22nd). even though i was away from home i tried to have a "happy" birthday. march 21st, i went with friends at bistro 70s (anonas, quezon city) and listen to RJ and noel c sing their version of songs of U2 and the police. there til 2am over tomato pizza, veggie chicharon, sisig sibintis and well, oh, beer... then music 21 til about 5am-whew!...unforgettable eh??? well, yes... but not as unforgettable as the day after.

23rd, i was excited to go home for a short school break. doing the 1st batch of my laundry, i got a call...and text messages...and all...made me so weak and confused. a father is looking for her daughter alfie girl (supposed to be me?) and is about to die of colon cancer and wanting to seek forgiveness for having abandoned me? ayayay! the maudlin, the hysterical, the insane in me was driven crazy!!! why? why me? why now?the recent happening brought too many questions, i resist to seek for the answers.why? i don't know...yet. :(

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

fools i saw in the scriptures (hala!)

Maybe this will answer the question: WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I???


The Simple Fool (opens his mind to any passing thought and opens his arms to any passing stranger, lacks discernment, has an over-simplified view of life and fails to recognize the cause-and-effect sequences that affect every area of life) .


The Silly Fool (the mouth of a silly fool often gets him in trouble, when things go wrong for a silly fool, he becomes angry, resulting in more damage, believes that his own way of thinking is right).


The Sensual Fool (one who rejects the correction of parents or other authorities, a person who seems determined to make wrong choices. He does not have a mental deficiency, but rather rejects the wisdom of God, he focus is on that which brings him immediate pleasure).


The Scorning Fool (facial expressions communicate the disdain and contempt he has in his heart toward his authorities, including parents, civil authorities, and God, the type of fool not only has rejected truth; he also has embraced that which is abominable to God).


The Steadfast Fool (most dangerous type, self-confident and close-minded, his goal to draw as many others as possible into his evil ways and attempts to reprove him will be futile and bring frustration to the one who tries to influence him).

Monday, February 23, 2009

jumbled-5 papers on the loose



so many thoughts in so little time, how will i manage? i have come across this article of fools in aquinas' analysis. i have thought it's a good read 'coz its not that common. imagine a discussion about fools and remedy for fooolishness (if any), i might end up remedying my own foolish-me :) then there's this paper that is due in a couple of weeks. i chose soul. why? well, why not? it's one of the biggest mysteries of humanity. on international economics, there's this debate paper on whether it is sensible to join economic (trade and/or financial) cooperation. my side is on the negative. my concentration is on globalization. the world is getting smaller. how will i prove otherwise? i'd also look into indonesia and it's labor policies. have i started going through it, to the moon and back yes! that? no! add up our problem sets and discussions on quantitative techniques...oh why oh why have i chosen this rugged thorny path when there's a simple life on the side. well, if i must sacrifice boredom - it's not an easy sacrifice.

Monday, January 12, 2009

new year?



another year went by, another came in...what is in store? will there be change? im sure there will be. we should change, live anew! but keep whatever it is that made us happy--- keep whatever and whoever that gave our lives more meaning...happy new year everyone!