Monday, September 29, 2008

Farewell to My Mentor

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last Sunday, the UPLB College of Arts and Sciences lost an important pillar of knowledge and learning, especially in the field of Social Sciences.

Dr. Corazon Lamug died in Coron when she drowned last Sunday morning.

Her remains will be brought at St. Therese Chapel in UPLB by late PM tomorrow.

Please let’s pray for the peace of her soul.

from the TRIAD
Eugen Bunao, Social Research Methods Student
Beverly Quintos, Social Research Methods Student
Blog owner, Social Research Methods Student and academic advisee

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sentiments of an Online English Teacher

I have been working as an online English teacher to Koreans for almost a year already. Being part of this KPO company was such a turning point in my career as I really never thought of becoming an educator, much less a web-ucator. Now, my career path has been re-carved by Fate, a sui generis entity created by none other but myself.

In the company, things were going well. My team mates were professionals; they do act like teachers who just happen to work in an unconventional classroom setting. My bosses...uhhmm...they were benign. They're quite detached from the tutors probably because of certain stereotypes that perpetuate themselves, whether they be well-grounded or unfounded. I'm not really bothered about this as much as I am with the nature of this job. I asked this question thus:

"Will my Korean bosses be willing to pay $ if I were their English teacher?"
I think this online teaching thingamajig is going to be a big fat joke if they they themselves feel dubious about our English and teaching skills. To wit: "Are these Koreans just fooling their fellow countrymen by placing them under Filipinos speaking half-baked English?" And as there is a need to be fair, I also have to ask myself: "Will I pay for the kind of service that I give?"

There is one wish that I could ask from my bosses. I wish that they could be more than just benign towards us and show us the level of respect that teachers, in the original sense of the word, deserve. They should manifest confidence in their teachers, for we are not there to dupe anyone. And to the instructors, I wish that EVERYONE display professional behavior that is befitting of teachers. This reciprocation of attitudes and values between Korean higher-ups and Filipino employees could very well dispel the divisive spirit that has been there for an unwantedly long time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

White Room

It pains me whenever I get disillusioned...but it's kinda liberating

환멸을 느낀다... 하지만 그것은 자유로워지는 것이다




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not a Salaryman Forever

I am seriously saving money for my future entrepreneurial endeavors. Having a job, or being a salary man is only a temporary solution to a long-term problem, which is unemployment. I want to open a restaurant business with my parents. My father is a chief cook in a luxury ship, and with his competence and 22 years of experience, I am quite confident that the foods would be extraordinary. My mom is a cold kitchen specialist. She can make good salads and pastries. If my savings would not be enough to fund the opening of our family business, I think the next best step is to apply for a business loan. These days, a lot of loaning services are made accessible through the internet. Applying for business loans, especially unsecured ones, is quite a pleasant idea considering that my parents know how to effectively manage money; they can always make money work for them. Loans for business purposes is also not a scary prospective. People always think that loans are evils that eventually bury borrowers under humongous debts. Well, if one is borrowing for a business, then this should not be too much of a concern. Learn how to break-even when business is not doing well, know how to diversify and make your items quite stand out from others, and I think you’ll not going to be bankrupt. You’ll be able to pay the debt eventually. Amen. ^^;

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Misnomer for "Plagiarism"

Being a college student means assuming multiple roles. More often that not, your master role as a “student” is challenged and often conflicts with other obligations like love life, social life, family duties, etc. This is particularly true especially if you land on a very reputable university. Sometimes you can’t just juggle all the demands with just your two hands. In real emergency cases, it is permissible by my standards that one asks help from an essay writing service. It is not plagiarism in the strictest sense of the word because all ideas that the original writer (who is not you, just to be clear) has written are properly cited (or should have been; the site boasts of adept essay writers). What one is actually buying here is the service--the output--and it being plagiarized is out of the question. Rights and intellectual property are purchase-able. If you really can’t avoid to beat the deadline, even if you had been diligent and have been all those things you learned in your GMRC and Christian Values class, then asking for an essay help could be a good, temporary escape. Order essay services are there not just because of lazy students. They are there to help out even responsible ones who have just been caught in toxic college moments.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Date to Remember

pic taken in 2006

"We both have changed--features, weight, style, and so on...I'm just happy that one thing remains as is: our friendship."
Meeting a friend, an intellectual sparring-mate, an 'ate' Meranz, makes this day one of a kind. Next to change, which could be the most unchanging feature of a changing world, is our friendship that is being a not had been. We met after two years in Alabang Town Center, one of the biggest malls in our city.

Today's quotable quotes made over a cup of over-rated GMO coffee bean (kwim?):
1) If you're in a relationshp that doesn't have marriage in sight, then you're just looking for heartache.
2) I don't want to change my physical appearance so that a person could like me. For where could I attribute his feelings after I've changed?
3) Love is the crystallization of the feeling of being wanted, affirmation, economic security, a bit of physical attraction, ergo the difficulty in defining it.
4) Sojourning spares you from the peering eyes of people who know you, exempts you from social sanctions, lets you reinvent yourself to some extent, and makes life more alive.
5) If you're a manager, you really have to be at least two steps ahead from those under you.

Being both single, the topic on Love, for 90% cerebral 10% heart-type people like us, is expected to dominate the conversation. Why am I still single?. As soon as ate Meranz writes about her reasons, I'll link it to my blog. ^^; Someone fish us out!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ne Ssai Woldeu

The English-speaking world has its own array of social networking sites: Friendster, Multiply, Facebook, and the list goes on. I thought these were the coolest ones that offer free service until I was introduced to Cyworld. It's a Korean-based networking site that offers much more features, photo enhancement tools (embedded in the website), privacy options, and most of the things you thought you could have lived without. One major and obvious downside, however, is that you have to know Korean.

Here are some photos I uploaded in my Cyworld hompi (homepage):
Team Rio
Karl, Sir Matt, Me
In Tom's World, Ayala Town Center.
I like the superimposed "sticker photo" clip arts the most! ^^;

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Can You Read This?

I always believe that nothing could top the benefits natural medication can offer. I have proven its efficacy over relatively artificial means when I was trying to rid my face of facial rubies and topazes. Tomatoes plus lemon juice did wonders. Now I am free of pimples and zits but my eyesight is becoming poorer because of my 8-hour-on-the-PC-screen job. My friend, who is a more avid fan of natural means, has sent me an email that could give hope to my ailing eyes. Pinhole glasses, an alternative to prescription glasses , is scientifically hailed to naturally correct the angular entrance of light that comes through the eyes. Honestly, I have never heard about pinhole eyeglasses before but I do believe that the basis of this eye correction product is scientifically sound. The most common visual illness is refractive eye disorder. This category includes myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, computer vision syndrome or cataracts. Basically, the function of the lens to refract the absorbed light has been distorted, or ill-refracted, resulting to poor eyesight. My vision is not yet as bad as to require the help of prescription glasses. But when bad comes to worse, then I will definitely try pinhole glasses. I think it does look hip and trendy. It does match my fashion sense of being a bit stand-out among the crowd of humdrum clothes wearers. This is not the main reason that I’d try this, though. The engineering principle, the science behind pinhole eyeglasses, its affordability, and its natural ability to correct one’s vision, are the things that convince me to try this product out. Speaking of affordability, I think I would order one for my younger sister come payday. Her myopic condition is congenital and she’s currently wearing prescription glasses. The price is a bit wallet-flattening, and considering that she has to eventually change them punches another financial hole on my pocket. For 14U$D, I could give her the chance to a better vision through this natural and innovative product.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Born after Nine Months

Finally, I got my Cyworld account. I want to thank my Korean friend who really went out of his way in helping me make a homepage in this social networking site. It was my mistake not signing up when I was in Korea since a foreign registration card is needed for the application process. Yeah, this one's unlike Friendster where you could create an account so long as you have a valid email address. Cyworld requires a foreign registration ID number before they could grant you a space in Cyworld. And I already surrendered mine on the day I flew back here. Anyhow, this is what Cyworld looks like:

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Highschool Vine

These people are the reason why I have second-thoughts going abroad.
Even just for today, they made me forget everything that's ugly about life.

Thanks guys for formally inducting me to my twenteen-xth day on Earth. Made me happy that I'm aging with a growing number of friends. ^^;

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Consolation of Aging

September 13 is only the legitimate day when my ego can indulge in overflowing compliments, best wishes, and greetings of all sorts. "Why were you even born?", asked one of my friends. I do thank him; at least that could be a bitter melon in today's sweet salad.

Yeah, today's my birthday. And I was expecting someone to greet me warmly today.
That person didn't.
Honestly, I felt that by birthday won't be that complete without that person's greeting.

But I couldn't care less now.

After my best friend from overseas dropped me a line, when my lawyer-to-be friend went out of her way to greet me, when all my relatives remembered...That person shrank to insignificance that I was able to tell myself:

"You're not a someone to begin with. No, you're not."

These people are the reason why I should be happy today:

Thank you everyone for making my birthday kimchi-esque.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ASEAN in Galilee Street

Volunteerism is the epitome of unselfishness. We gave our time that we could never get back to these kids in Galilee Church. The day was April 21, 2007 when I and my friends participated in a volunteer work in a foreign country. The feeling was awesome.
Digression: And the last line welcomes the philosophical argument that volunteerism and self-sacrifice are essentially acts of selfishness. Whoever agrees shall be silenced with brutal philosophical castigation. We taught them English through picture stories, visual poems, songs, rhymes, dances, and theatrical gestures.

Most of these kids are children of single-parent families and seeing the smiles on these innocent faces were truly priceless.

Monday, September 8, 2008

You're Invited!

Dear all,

Greetings from UPLB!

In the midst of today's issues, the youth seek for solutions and
answers. On September 11, 2008, the UPLB Sociology Society, UPLB
Development Communicators Society and the Theta Epsilon Sorority will
hold a symposium entitled the "DIWA: Alamin, Unawain, Pagtibayin – A symposium on the issues confronting the youth today", from 1:00PM to
4:00PM at the SEARCA Auditorium. The speakers will comprise of
young leaders from various groups and political parties, who aim to
have a conversation with the young people to clarify issues, provide
substance, and arm them with objectivity and hope, instead of apathy
and hopelessness. The speakers are:

Atty. Adel Tamano, President of Pamanatasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
(PLM), United Opposition Spokesperson and UP alumnus
Mr. Gilbert Remulla, former congressman, broadcaster and television
personality; spokesperson of the Nacionalista Party and UP alumnus
Prof. Danton Remoto, Chairman of Ang Ladlad Party List and English
professor at the Ateneo de Manila University

We are really hoping that you can join us in this important
occasion. The University of the Philippines - Los Banos community would like to see and hear from you.
To confirm, please email at this address ekdd14@yahoo. com.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Ella Kristina D. Coronel
(Socio Soc Tribo 95)


Vincent Baracao
President, UPLB Sociology Society 08-09
(Batch Band 06)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Single's Hallucination?

Last night I dreamt someone sending me a YM ID called "shin-shi-ne-gin; 신시내긴". I know that I like that person in my dream but I wasn't too certain who that person was...everything was blurred except for this one word...A string of Korean words that I haven't heard before, but have dreamt about. I had to struggle to keep this vocabulary from slipping off my memory until I wake up and search it in my dictionary.


Those Korean words mean "my faith, fidelity, a modern poem, lifelong"...
I wish I would dream again and find out who gave me that YM ID. Who knows, that might even exist in reality!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Death Defying Existence

I took this picture in Korea National Museum. Walking along its corridor lined with flower wreaths for a thousand faceless names, my spirit saluted these Filipino heroes who fought for a land that's not theirs. I could never have risked my life this way...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Eventful 4

Contrary to what Koreans and Chinese believe, for me, the number 4 is a vivacious number. It's not anywhere near death and despair. Whenever the calendar hits a date with a 4 in it, I remember these four things:

September 4, 2007

The Start of Our New Semester! Receiving of monthly stipend! Yon yon eh!
Professor Jeon's inauguration as the Head of DJU's International Office.

And last but not the least, Eunjin nuna and Jinhyeung hyeong's birthday!
생일 축하합니다 이은진 누나, 김진형이형

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Prayer for Population

The natural means have no side effect other than pregnancy.

The Catholic Church is on the move for the nth time to block the law on contraception and sterilization. The Philippines, having a population of 90,000,000, is in dire need of population control. This figure could easily reach 125,000,000 in the next 5 years if the State remains to be soft towards the holiness plead of the Church.

I don't want to sound heretic but I am appalled at the Church's stand on population control. Priests should not intervene with demographic discourse. And it should leave the Philippine state alone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The ~bers Have Come

September (my birth month ^^;), October, November, December--the Four Bers children reckon to be harbingers of Christmas. The have come. The spirit of Christmas is trying to infuse the air around us with light, hope, and joy. But it seem that we are not inhaling the life this Season brings anymore. It's become more difficult as years go by.
How is the concept of Christmas constructed in the minds children? How is the concept deconstructed by bitter social facts? Christmas...are the Bers going to hibernate forever from our consciousness?

Photo: The Philippine Parol is hung at every house during Christmas. The parol, an everlasting symbol of the Filipino's struggle for a better, brighter life.