Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There was a time I was a constant user of terms like "Proudly Pinoy" or "I'm so proud to be a Filipino!". I would post them around Internet sites whenever Pacquiao would win or I watch YouTube videos of Lea Salonga's spellbinding audition for Miss Saigon. Today, I actually cringe whenever I see hundreds of them cluttering a single comment thread about, say, Charice or Arnel Pineda. It all now seems superficial, like a child boasting to an adult about how high he can jump.

For whatever reason, I cannot write what I feel without seeming to be an antagonist to my own country. Fortunately, I've stumbled upon an article which mirrors my sentiments exactly that I could not bare to ignore the opportunity to showcase it here. I know a lot of people will disagree, but I do believe that this is the unspoken truth we Filipinos have been trying real hard to ignore for the longest time now.

The time I'll be proud to be Filipino
By: Iya Justimbaste

It has finally dawned unto me that there is something clearly erroneous with the circumstances in which Filipinos believe they should be proud about.

Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco, and boxing champion Manny Pacquaio, these are the few world-renowned Filipinos who have instigated a sense of so-called “Pinoy Pride” among the attention-seeking Filipinos who, after realizing within themselves that as a state, we have achieved practically nothing, would bask in to the achievements of the individuals mentioned in order to feel some sense of self-worth. However, I do not blame people like Pacquaio for precipitating a false sense of pride among the Filipinos. After all, it’s not their fault their “kababayans” have a distorted culture.

When Filipinos showcase this tremendous pride, they would do it excessively as if a single person like Charice Pempengco can save the entire Philippines from its mayhem of unfortunate events. They would completely delude themselves that the Filipino race is superior among others without actually taking in to consideration that other countries like the United States of America also have their fair share of talented people without actually rubbing it in to the international community’s face.  I find it rather gloomy when I come across Filipinos with unwarranted pride for I believe the reason behind this is that we no longer have other more important things we can be proud of hence, people mentioned earlier in this article serve as the only excuse we have for having such “pinoy pride”.

Such great is this pride that when people like Claire Danes dare say something about the unruly condition of the country and how dirty our surroundings are, we would bash them incessantly, forcing them to make a public apology. It’s hilarious at times since majority of these Filipinos who bash other people for stating the truth, would say something bad against the person not accomplishing the fact that in order to come up with a good rebuttal, the ideas of the person should be attacked, not his or her personality. Then again, it is hard to defend why our country’s environment is dirty anyway. Apparently, it doesn’t occur to them that in order for people to stop saying negative things about our country, we should be very wary of our actions. Instead of doing that, we would just further humiliate ourselves to our country’s defense by making ourselves look low by making sorry excuses for our country’s downfall. Why don’t we do something in order for people like Claire Danes not to be able to say something horrible about us? We can do extreme measures like keep our environment clean and instil a sense of discipline among ourselves as to not make our country look like a dumpsite. Without a doubt, too much pride does harm us in so many ways we can’t imagine.

Another thing I realized about this inappropriate pride Filipinos have is that our people have very low self-esteem. It’s actually contrary to what I stated before but then I acknowledged the fact that if we do really have something going on for us, we wouldn’t bank on popular figures like Pacquiao and Charice Pempengco. We would just let the whole world realize how great we are as a nation not by exploiting such personalities but by just keeping mum about it and letting it speak for itself. Furthermore, if the criticisms we received are so untrue like what most Filipinos claim them to be, they wouldn’t be enraged by it right? The saying “The truth hurts” really is applicable to the uproar created by Filipinos when facing criticisms. That is probably the reason why we have never progressed as a country. We can’t take constructive criticisms because it hurts our ego despite the fact that we really need to change our wrong practices which consume us day by day...

Full article can be found here:

Turns out, Adam Corolla was right. We wouldn't be crazy over a mere singer or a boxer infiltrating the international scene if we have a lot of things going for us. We don't need to shove in the face of the whole world our achievements if we really are confident that the said accomplishments truly warrant admiration. 

We wouldn't boast to other countries that Jasmine Trias, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Judd and even Nicole Scherzinger all have Filipino blood (purposely leaving behind the fact that none of them has ever been to the Philippines before nor speak the language) if we thought we, as a nation, are significant enough without these minor links to our race.

Being proud to be a Filipino is not bad, if expressed in a right way and is focused on the right things. Instead of allocating all our energy on bringing out the pitch forks and torches on anybody who happens to not like the way Charice sings or wants Manny Pacquiao to lose a fight or says our country is polluted, let's channel it to making our country a better place and our people with a stronger sense of self worth. Maybe in that way, maybe in the future, we wouldn't care what other people say about anything because we have already built this powerful bubble of confidence around ourselves, as a country, as Filipinos. What they say won't even matter.

That is when I will truly believe that we have the best kind, the right kind of Filipino Pride.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So here I am again, writing another blog post about Charice Pempengco, the latest Filipino singer who has managed to put at least a dent on the not-so-easily breakable bubble of international stardom. The first blog entry elicited some, let's say, enthusiastic / defensive response from readers that, to say the least, took me by surprise.

It has just reached my attention that Charice will OFFICIALLY be guest starring in a recurring role in the next season of Glee. If you have been reading this blog, it is quite obvious how addicted I am with that show. I do feel quite possessive with it, because I want it to succeed and maintain the great momentum it has been in for quite some time now. I am torn by the hype surrounding the list of names that is rumored to be guest starring in the show and the disappointment that this means still fewer air time for painfully underdeveloped existing characters.

That said, I am honestly excited to see Charice walking the halls of McKinley High as a foreign student and threatening Rachel's vocal prowess with her own. That would be surely a diva-off to anticipate. My friends actually teased me upon hearing the news because I am known to them as a 'Charice-hater' because of my previous post and with all the debates I got into with die-hard fans. For the record, I do not hate nor dislike the girl. I do not worship the ground that she walks on yet I don't feel the need to switch the channel or to bang my head on the wall every time she sings. I admire her talent (although there is always room for improvement as with every artist) and is happy with her success. It's the OA-FANS (some of them at least) I happen to severely dislike.

In a nutshell, here's what they're like:

Me / Other People Who Are Not Fans: Charice has a great voice, although I think she can do so much better, try to write songs or at least appeal to a larger crowd, spice up her image. I think she must try harder and strive for growth.

OA Fans: You are deranged! You don't know what you are talking about! She is PERFECT! She has no flaws! She is immaculate the way she is! There is nothing else to change, she is a flawless gift from heaven! You are deaf / blind / stupid. (And here's the worst part:) You are just JEALOUS! Just look at yourself and see if you can sing and perform the way she does! CRAB MENTALITY!!!

Me / Other People Who Are Not Fans: What the... ??

This is not just my experience. I've read too many comment threads from YouTube, Twitter and other sites to know that this kind of flame war happens over and over again. I know that fans, of course, tend to be passionate on what they believe in but please be humble enough to respect other opinions, especially those that clash with your own. We all can't think alike.

With Charice on Glee next season, she will no doubt be introduced to a broader range of audience who will have different opinions about her. Please, let's respect and accept the good and the bad. I am ashamed at how some countrymen spew out profanity when debates get heated and it turns personal. We can't let the world think we are defensive war freaks who cannot take criticisms nor even a joke.

I do not take back all that I've said in the previous post although everything lacking I've stated about her is cancelled out by the mere fact that she will be on GLEE. All her PR people can function like comatose patients and she will still be known world wide once she appears on screen. I just hope real hard that she can act since singing is a given. Obviously, her future in the industry depends on her performance on the show. I hope she will be able to deliver. Can't wait to find out. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interestingly enough, a Facebook contact was the one who brought this domino effect which led us to claiming our 8 unclaimed checks from this insurance company that once promised to shoulder all my college tuition fees no matter how far inflated the rates become compared to the time my mother signed up for the plan.

I was browsing my news feed when I saw someone post a status saying that her dad was so excited to claim a CAP check after years of waiting and follow ups. She said she saw her name on the Internet. So I googled CAP's official website but failed to find a direct link to the list of unclaimed checks there. With some more searching, I finally found what I was looking for. A long long list of names with check numbers beside them. Honestly, I felt like looking for my name in the list board exam passers. And when I found my name, turned out I passed, 8 times!

When we arrived at CAP's office in Makati early in the morning, there were already people there, some of whom are already frowning and irritable because of unavailable checks. The office was dreary and showed tell-tale signs of an institution on the brink of collapse. Sorry, but it's the impression I got from the place and even from the people working there. We claimed our checks, went to Veterans bank to encash it but then we had to go back to CAP because the checks are already stale and the administrating officer forgot to put date stamps on it, then back to the bank. All these took 6 hours of our time.

All in all, we got about 65% of what we invested more than 10 years ago. Still not enough, but better than nothing.
I noticed that a lot of plan holders are not aware that they can view the list of available checks online. Some still drop by the main office just to ask and leave quite disappointed. It's a waste of time, money and effort. I suggest visiting these sites first to know if there's a purpose to roam around Makati and their irritating one-way streets.

Official site of CAP:

Unclaimed Checks List per areas:

There are thousands of unclaimed checks waiting to be encashed. Please don't let your investment completely go to waste.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

After almost exactly a year after taking my Nursing Board Exam, I enrolled at an IVT Training at a hospital near our home. Yes, the perpetual laggard is a laggard no more. Almost all of my friends (those who are not stuck in a call center) have already undergone the said seminar and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel left behind. Plus, being able to initiate an IV line to a person an interesting skill to have, not to mention lifesaving. Plus plus, most hospitals require the green IV Therapist card given by ANSAP.

So anyways, in a nutshell, I thought the 3 day seminar will going to consist of various techniques and procedures on how to choose and hit the vein correctly. Also, I expected that we will be given tips on how to manage common complications in an IV line, how to be an IV guru, so on and so forth. In short, I thought the sacred secrets of IV initiation and management, things that were never shared with us when we were in college because it is reserved only for the worthy registered ones, will be imparted upon us. Heck, no.

Because of my wrong expectations, that I was a bit bored with the training. For a day and a half, things we already know were reiterated in the lecture like functions of fluid in the body etc. etc. I found myself more interested in the lecturer's personal tales in the hospital and tips on how to get a job and NOT volunteer. 95% of the participants are registered bums. Ouch.

2nd day was the demo day. I was further disappointed with it because (grouped into 12) we were the one tasked to perform the procedures and demo it to the whole class. I think it would be proper if the proctors did the demo themselves so that we could learn more from it rather than have us watch fellow participants who don't know half of what they are doing. Just my 2 cents. The preceptors did correct wrong techniques and after major tiptoeing and squeezing myself between other participants to get a better view I finally learned the proper steps on initiating an IV line and administering medication through Heparin-lock that I never got when I was in college.

3rd day was return demo day. It was hot (Air conditioning 'broken' for the third day. Boo.) and toxic but we all survived. My one-on-one I-prick-you-you-prick-me session was weird. The preceptor was exceedingly helpful that she was technically the one who managed to insert the catheter into the vein and not me. I still got a perfect score though but felt as if I was still inadequate to do the job right. I definitely need more practice. Any takers?

Completion duty to go and all I have to do is wait for my ANSAP card. Hopefully, my schedule will not interfere with my training schedule for another hospital. Feels awesome to be a nurse again.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The international sensation that is GLEE just wrapped up its first season. With so many musical numbers recorded and performed, it's almost impossible to pick a favorite. Almost. Here are my personal picks for the most hair-raising, mind bending, emotionally uplifting songs / performances of season one.


10. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen - Jesse St. James with Vocal Adrenaline
I know. They're the bad guys. But basing from the superb performance of VA and Jesse St. James's remarkable pipes, this track definitely deserved a thumbs up.

9. Faithfully - Journey - Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry and New Directions
There's something magical that happens every time Rachel and Finn perform a duet. Whatever it is, "Faithfully" embodies just that.

8. Somebody to Love - Queen - New Directions
First great performance of the complete glee club. Definitely a memorable one.

7. Imagine - John Lennon - Haverbrook Deaf Choir and New Directions
The audio itself is mediocre, but what made this song so special was the scene with the deaf choir and the message it brings to all.

6. I Dreamed a Dream - Cast of Les Miserables - Shelby Corcoran and Rachel Berry
Susan Boyle got nothing when it comes to Idina Menzel and Lea Michelle, singing as mother and daughter, combined.

5. Hello - Lionel Richie - Rachel Berry and Jesse St. James
Lea Michelle and Jonathan Groff in their first duet since Spring Awakening. Wendla and Melchior, Rachel and Jesse, it's just too perfect.

4. One Less Bell to Answer / A House is Not A Home - Barbra Streisand - Will Schuester and April Rhodes
This very well done mash up of two songs that could almost be considered under the genre of 'Classical' brought forth such emotion it's hard not to be carried away.

3. Defying Gravity - Wicked the Musical - Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry
Fell in love with the song from the very first note. Not only did it stay in my mind's LSS Chamber for weeks on end, but it also opened a whole new world of Broadway musicals that I now just can't get enough of.

2. Don't Stop Believin - Journey - New Directions
The song that reeled in the millions of fans Glee has today. Without the greatness of this song, I think Glee would be just another flop musical.

1. Like a Prayer - Madonna - New Directions with Jesse St. James and gospel choir
New Directions with Jesse St. James and a gospel choir remaking a Madonna song. Need I say more? The unbelievable vocals and the stunning performance gave me goosebumps I didn't even care where the gospel choir came from.

For a full list of GLEE songs:

Saturday, June 5, 2010

 Crap. I'm old.
Oh well, at least there's pizza. ;)
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