quaint little rutted bucket

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Really, its crazy.

I dunno what to make of things anymore. Never before has this country been placed in this situation: the President undergoing a credibility issue, with a Vice Prez tainted (some say by the last election's smear campaigns) and the so-called United Opposition (really? From this ordinary bloke's point of view, they all have individual agendas. It doesn't matter if its good or bad; they're all selfish anyway. >:-| And Susan Roces just burned everybody within a 30ft radius with her fiery, but really sincere tirade against the Administration yesterday.

Wah. Even a journo guy I like who usually takes the enlightened middle ground has spoken out.

So if Gloria were to resign, what options do we have?

(1) A snap election. This is something some people have qualms about, given the derelict and corrupt nature of the Commission on Elections. But hey, it could work. Just have it automated.

(2) Noli steps in. Viable, but again, some people oppose him. Personally, I'll take my chances with him or even with the Senate President, Franklin Drilon.

(3) Loren wins the recount. I generally like Loren, but the people around her are despicable. That's the very reason why even her Alma Mater did not support her last elections.

(4) Commies take control for some reason. There's already talk of the leftist groups coming together and building a 'revolutionary' government. Given their connections and ideologies, I think they'll go for a socialist/communist kind of government. Not really my cup of tea. I'd immediately ask my relatives overseas to petition me. (preferably, to here. The country south of them, despite all the nice ideals their nation was founded upon, still has a crazy President. Oh, that reminds me: I need to learn French ASAP.)

(5) The military, in all its glory, seizes power and establishes junta. Again, like option (4), i'd just pack up and leave. No use trying to stay.

(6) Nothing happens. Gloria stays, people get killed in rallies, yadda yadda yadda.

(7) Ping and or even ERAP gets to be President. No. Just not those bad bad lot, please!

Personally, I think Gloria still has to do something apart from her apology. Fine, I forgive her, but then, I haven't heard the original recording of the conversation so I can't really make any value or moral judgments now. (With the word original, I meant something that excludes Bunye's and Paguia's version. I may listen to the one with Ong, but then, that still has to be verified.) Maybe she could set up an independent truth commission of sorts and while that commission does its job, she would have to take an indefinite leave of absence.

The thing is, I care about this nation. That's the very reason why I poked my head into the notion of being an educator. But even my resolve is being eroded by the very people who, in the grand scheme of things, seem to exemplify crab mentality at its finest.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about the old people and the trapos we still have lying around. What I care about is the youth who will inherit this nation.

Maybe I should start praying every night for our salvation.

The likely scenario: preservation (some parts) of the status quo.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The loser complex: Lacson continues whining, starts group to make Gloria resign

INQ7 Page

Ah, the big, bad loser complex: the all-too familiar feeling of wanting to get back at somebody for beating you fair and square(?) in an election. Apparently, this guy really, really, and I mean really badly wants Gloria out.

Dude, get real. If less than three million people voted for you, surely that must've have meant something, right?

Credibility problem you have, my young Ping. (Not to mention a big gaping list of unresolved and obviously unexplained skeletons in some closets. Note the 's'.)

Can't he just get over it? Oh man.

Loser. Whiner. He should just get back to work. Or whatever that is he calls work.

The problem is, the people already gave the opposition a chance to serve the country with ERAP. Nothing happened. The crackpot just screwed our country over and over, screwed us some more, and screwed us even more, this time, with his friends. Until he got thrown out.

And now, the opposition (or military junta. or the Communists. or some other rich guy who wants to live in Malacanang.) wants to be in power and "serve the people."


Oh man, that last part sickens me. That line has been dragged along by too many politicians for too many times already without actually ever meaning it. To hell with them.

Think of it this way:
The status quo is the lesser evil. The lady has at least an inkling of what to do for the short, medium and long term periods. That's already a start. Until we can get somebody who actually can do his/her work better than Gloria, only then we will change. And with an election. Excluding Ping and his mischievous lot.


We had a report for one of my majors classes this morning... and it sucked. I don't know if it was my plain incompetence, or the incompetence of my groupmates, or perhaps the incompetent slides I prepared, but it was really disappointing. And to think our prof had pretty high expectations not only from the materials we had prepared, but also from the report itself.

I did mostly understand what we were supposed to report, except for the context gap portion. That part was really frustrating. But I can confidently explain the other aspects of our report, including the big picture.

One of the glaring problems with our presentation was that our slides were packed with text and no visuals. That was not something our prof was expecting. But really, neither my English speech class last term--all the presentations I prepared for class contained fairly wordy slides--nor even my prof in educational technology told me that slides used in presentations should be visually oriented and contain only a few, if any, textual statements. They let go the way I prepared my slides. No comments, no feedback at all. And I received fairly high marks in both courses. So all along, I thought I was doing well.

Apparently, I was not.

The thing is, I prepared that thing. I spent time and money on that thing. I spent countless hours poring over the source material over and over just to make sure I could understand, share and explain what I understood. I do things not just for the sake of doing them, but doing them well. That is something I hold much belief in. And all of sudden earlier, things break down in the middle of my presentation. It was, in a word, really depressing.

I don't know who to blame. Or if there is even anybody/anything to blame other than myself.

My overt enthusiasm soon turned to frustration after our prof pointed out that our slides were wrong. I was already grovelling under intense pressure of the big booboo I made, but I hung on in there. In a stroke of divine intervention, the overhead projector's lamp decided to rest. I willingly went out of the class, perhaps unconciously to relieve myself of the pressure I felt, to get chalk and just do this the old fashioned way, to show that I did not come to school just to lamely read stuff. I dunno what motivated me to do that, but at that point, all I wanted was to save face and salvage whatever I could from something that was akin to a slowly-unravelling train crash. I couldn't care less.

I found myself blanked and lost. "I couldn't do this anymore," I heard myself saying. But I still tried to explain things. Not really well, but at that point, really, who cares.

I tried to collect myself to end this thing properly. I summed it up, taking the major points I have highlighted from the text and presenting a table that contained a checklist that could be used to compare tasks against. It ended relatively well, but I felt at that point that everything I was doing was futile. Our prof was already peeved.

I tried to explain the rationale behind the activity, even if it did not jive with the explanations offered by my groupmates. Again, I couldn't care less if it became evident that we weren't really a group at all. I just wanted the entire thing to end.

And it did. That was when tears started welling up. I just faced the window, pretended to be looking out far into the horizon and the skyline. It passed: not a tear shed, but there still was a part of me that would've liked to go away, far from that place, and just let the tears flow.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

the weekend of weeeee-ness: Tagaytay!

Last Friday evening, I was rushing to La Salle to catch up with the rest of the people heading up to Tagaytay for a two-day FORMDEV teambuilding+retreat under Bro. Ceci Hojilla, FSC. It was almost seven when I arrived at Gox, only to find out the we weren't close to leaving, until around fifteen minutes to eight. Make that nine, as we still went to South Gate to pick things up, and also Bro. Ceci.

The trip was cool, alright. Traffic was, as always, heavy before hitting the Bicutan and Sucat exits, but after that, everything was smooth sailing. We stopped by the Shell station near Susana Heights for gas and some snacks. I ended up buying nothing, knowing how unbelievable Select's mark ups are.

Anyway, the trip to Tagaytay was pretty quick. We blazed through Santa Rosa and Tagaytay's outlying areas in around an hour or so, arriving at the La Salle Villa a quarter of an hour to ten. There we had a simple dinner, with Bro. Ceci starting to crack jokes about not expecting that we will be having dinner upon arrival.

The night was pretty uneventful, save for stories from Sir Raffy and the other guys who decided to stay up until around two am or so. I myself went to bed at around one am.

Tagaytay's evening breeze was a welcome change from the exhaust-filled environment of Metro Manila. Fresh, cool and light, unlike a typical Manila night's still and very humid air.

I woke up before anybody else at around 530 am, expecting things to happen early. Perhaps exercises. Really, I was expecting a lot of activities to do today. But nothing happened until around mid morning, when we had our first session with Bro. Ceci.

Bro. Ceci's initial presentation and sharing of personal stories were inspiring in how it brings to fore the very things St. La Salle was concerned about when he started the Christian Schools: the poor. He also discussed the mission of the Brothers, along with the things they currently do. Definitely fascinating.

After a hearty lunch, the group spent the entire afternoon doing nothing. We tried to share stories, but that was easier said than done. We just did not have enough of a common ground from which to lob stories from. Anyway, we just limited ourselves to playing 'killers', a card game I remembered having in one of courses last year as an ice breaker.

Truth be told, we really didn't do much, even on Sunday. It wasn't all bad, as I personally loved hanging back and just relaxing--it gave much time for reflections and deep thought. The geek in me finished the book I had with me in record time. The relative downtime was very welcome; a much-needed break from the daily humdrum of school life back at Taft. I wish we'd be having more of these in the future, but that's wishful thinking.

Popoy said that F. Sionil Jose's "My Brother, My Executioner" would be slow. I didn't find that to be true as the story progressed on. In its entirety, it turned out to be a worthwhile read. I'd be reading it agin just to make sure I've read and understood the story completely.

Sunday morning came and I decided to finally bring out my camera. Alas, its batteries weren't charged from its previous outing, so I only had the chance to snap around eight photos. Here are some:

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Early morning! 6:41 am.

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Just morning. 7:35 am.

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Before last session. 11:03 am.

We started home at around 2 pm, arriving at Gox a few minutes before 4 in the afternoon. Called up Dad if he was somewhere near and if he could pick me up, said no, that he was inspecting another of our houses being built. (gosh. we've got four lots with houses at various stages of construction. not one is finished and we're still renting after nearly a decade. methinks Dad has a fetish for building stuff... without actually getting around to completing them :)

He said he'll pick me up if I could wait thirty to forty minutes, even suggesting I get something to eat. I was thinking of getting pizza at Yellow Cab, but I figured that I was penny pinching and opted for something cheaper instead. Ended up going to the grease joint MickeyDs to get something to munch on. Mickey D didn't have much people, save for a lucky kid's birthday party guests. I ordered virtually nothing, save for a mcflurfy and a iced tea. If there was anything to be gained from the McDo experience, I got the chance to ponder on the intricacies of a cup of Oreo-vanilla soft ice cream and how some people spend Sundays. (So, tell me, are they really dating? I've heard stuff, but this may be the smoking gun. And on a Sunday! ;)

I am bad.