Monday, October 29, 2007


Recalling our early days in remembering the passed away love ones in peace, the practices in our village is quite unusual compared to other parts of the Philippines. Although we may say that it is almost pass'e, its cultural feature is of real worth and signifies our unique identity as people of the world. A vivid example goes like this: the parading of a look alike, live statue of a saint painted with gray clay all over his body -resembling a soul wandering in purgatory before being admitted to the Kingdom of Heaven, as in the belief of the Roman Catholics- is carried by four men in a makeshift support and presented house to house. The four men represent the relatives of the soul begging for prayers so that their dead will be finally forgiven and gain entrance to heaven. In return the householder will give donations or a form of prayer. This is done a day before "All Saints' Day". Another is, the serenading of the houses by reciting a repetitive lines of verse in a Filipino dialect as follows: "Pispis ng pikoy, talisaying bulik; Humapon sa kahoy, ang hingi ay barek. . . . .Barek!" This will start at the middle of the night until dawn of "All Saints' Day". There are chances, however, that when the householder refused to acknowledge the serenaders, they will steal the fruits, vegetables, or even chicken raised at the backyard. They will cook it and invite the owner to eat with them at daytime. When they finished eating, it's the time they will tell the truth that . . . "The fried chicken you ate is your fighting cock," and laughters will follow or they scampered to safety to avoid reprisals. Going to the village cemetery which is located near the river -there is a sayings that you should not fish near the site as you might caught a wandering soul- our elders selected the place for accessibility so they can visit, by boat or by foot, their dead anytime they wish. During this time people troops to the cemetery -in urban towns, congestion of traffic is in the worst and too much irritating- and it is also an occasion where relocated relatives, either abroad or to any other place, met and got together after a long time of absence. To some of our folks, it is the time where they engaged in conversation, gossip, and everything to talk about. However, upon reaching the respective niches or tomb sites, they exercised strict movement and silence. . . the immediate relative of the dead will light a candle and all the members of the clan will solemnly offer prayers for the eternal repose of the soul in heaven. They remain in the graveyard until sunset. As they do not practice eating at the cemetery, they prepare native foods at home such as: "biko", "suman sa ibos", "kalamay," and others. (These are foods consisting mostly of starchy rice, mascuvado sugar, coconut milk, and "pandan" leaves as taste enhancer; they differ only in the preparation and cooking systems.) . . . And they partook it with laughters! These practices and traditions are now vanishing. The western style of Halloween predominates the activities of the youth, though they still bring flowers as offering to their departed love ones in the cemetery. Rmagin Read more on this article...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Global warming, environmental degradation, erodation of polar ice cap, carbon dioxide emission, greenhouse gases blockade, rising sea level, catastrophe, holocaust, or even doomsday are issues for greater understanding and awareness. What measures are to be adopted to avert universal problems and ..... extinction? Oh, no! On this part of our globe, we village people are just looking for Mother Nature who always cares, as we also care for. But time has changed, .. . and where are you now Mother Nature? We are watching out and searching beyond the horizon as we whisper words of hope . . . that you are back! Oh! Mother Nature, where have you been? We looked for you in the woods where denuded forest stared us; we looked for you in the rivers where rusty-brown muds and faulty smell engulfed us; we looked for you in the vast terrain where fossil grass and desert fumes hounded us; we looked for you in the caves and waterfalls where vandals prevented us; we looked for you in the mountains where deforestations and wildfires suffocated us; and we looked for you in the oceans and coral reefs where jellyfishes abound and swarmed us due to climate change. We found you in our village accessible by foot, where: no engine roaring to blast your ear; no smoke-belching factory to bloat your lungs; no man-made chemicals to deform your hair or irritate your skin; and no welding rod to make you blind. Backed in the city, we looked for you: we saw the metro beach full of plastics, whereas in our village beach, it is full of fish; we raised our heads up high, we saw the sky full of smudges and confetti, whereas in our village it is full of birds; and when the night comes, the city is full of pyrotechnics, in our village it is full of fireflies. Oh Mother Nature! it is looking for you, why we are going back. . . . to the village. Blog Action Day Rmagin Read more on this article...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Boo-rangay Election

Baranggay is the smallest local self-government unit in the Philippines. It is headed by a Baranggay Captain, Baranggay Kagawad, and Baranggay Secretary, Treasurer, and Lupong Tagapamayapa. It is compose of 2000 or more inhabitants and whose activities are independent of the municipalities. A problem or any disputes of its populace are being resolved first by the Baranggay Captain and his decision is binding thus relieving the national justice system of backlog cases. But when it comes to election it is being utilized by the politicians who mingled, usurped, or encroached in their territories and enforced their will to gain votes. Thus, the Baranggay Captain is being influenced by these political shenanigans and applied deception or any trickery to insure their post. This blog observed this maneuvering in a remote baranggay and he just made fun of them instead of trying to correct these maladies of a baranggay society. Months before election, through the funds provided by their political sponsors, aspiring Baranggay Captain gathers certain group of settlers and feed them in their lair for a day with sumptuous meal including wines without telling the purpose of such show of good will. These settlers head a group of no-read-no-write natives which they can lure or manipulate to vote whoever they dictate. On the date of registration, the political machinery starts to grind. They provide logging trucks or any means of transportation to register these natives in as many precinct as possible with different assumed names through the leader-settler who kept the copy of such registrations. A leader is assigned to maintain ten natives. Three days before election this mentally deranged aspirant will call again these settlers with the same luxuriant treatment and promises of personal gains if elected. A day before election, these leaders- sometimes called as "Cabo" of the illegal "witing" or lottery game- return to their lair, gather again the natives and feed them, and give instructions on how to behave while voting. On election day, they make sure to be at the polling place as early as possible. At the poll, the leader will introduce the name of the native as appearing in the list of voters and as a representative, vote for the natives whose only part is to bow for whatever the leader said. This is allowed by the election laws to ensure majority participation. And after signing by means of thumb-print they proceed to other polling site after washing their hands with some kind of plant sap to erase whatever voting marks. In remote areas, special ink is substituted by ordinary ink by unscrupulous politicians to suit their purpose. Again the leader introduce the natives with another name, vote the same candidate and go to another site. So simple but it works. What a shameful acts that such activities are still going on every time election is conducted. There are those proposing that squatters who are non-payer-of-taxes, or no-read-no-write natives should not be allowed to vote. This move should be supported as these groups of people are only being utilized as cheerers/audiences in speech gatherings and are open to abuse by those in power. For a mere few pesos they sell their votes. They are swarming the metropolis, thereby posing hazards on the streets, sources of unsanitation as they dispose their waste in their surroundings, and lair of nuisant activities. And they decide the fate of the people. These unschooled or less educated majority imposed their will instead of knowledgeable few. This is the system flaws of a democracy. And how will you eradicate global poverty as envisioned by the group of haves countries under United Nations or of Geoffrey Sachs concept, when the less educated rules the land. We experienced this when a highschool drop-out took the shot by calling his cohorts at night and decide the fate of the nation through the bottles of wines. Baranggay election is scheduled on October 29, 2007, "Oh my tribe, when will you ever learn." Rmagin Read more on this article...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


(The Missing One Thousand) In this age of machine, seldom you will encounter a manifestation of honesty through a computer aided transactions in every business establishment where what you feed is what you get. How will you gratify the acts of good will and reclaim the lost goods as a result of manual maneuvering or finger-flip faulty inputs. Unlike in the lost-and-found, where what you found can be claimed by the owner. Or a case of taxi-driver returning a bag containing a complete cash, except when it passed through the hands of a crooked policeman, and claim it after showing proofs related to the found items, and then rewarding.
A case of my wife, Sebia, is quite different and very hard to show a proof to claim the missing item. In this instance, Sebia paid a phone bill to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) cashier and received a computer generated cash receipt. Without any glimpse on the transaction made, she put the receipt in her bag and left.
After a month and a half, the phone services and the broadband connectivity failed and upon inquiry, she was informed that the services was cut due to unsettled amount. She was furious and the harm is done! She has been paying the monthly bill regularly ever since the phone is installed and why the reason of unpaid account. She took all the files of phone receipts and examined the amount paid for each month. She noticed that one of the receipt bore small amount that she surmised is not sufficient for the monthly bill she has been paying. She recalled that for the bill amounting one thousand nine hundred fifty-five, she gave two thousands plus five pesos. But the receipt showed that she tendered only one thousand five, cash payment is nine hundred fifty-five, and the change cash amount is fifty pesos. She paused and thought analytically: “Where did the one thousand pesos go?”
Resigned of the thought that she cannot contest the cashier for the missing one thousand, she decided to pay the unsettled amount and the current bill required of her.
On the way to PLDT, she found out that her cash money is not enough. Her son, who is studying in college, asked for additional allowance reasoning out that he had to stay overnight with his classmates to research a subject on the Internet. Our service provider, PLDT thru myDSL, a broadband access to the internet, was also disabled with these circumstances. So when she glanced a pawnshop on the sideways, she alighted from a jeepney and pawned a ring to avert any deficiency in the payment of the bill. Upon entering the PLDT reception room, the guard gave her the usual queuing number and was offered to take her seat. While waiting, she tried to recognize the cashier in the paying window and made again an effort to refresh herself of what transpired when she paid the said bill. In calling back her mind, it is clear to her that she paid the right amount and instead of confronting the cashier she talked with the complaint receptionist and raised the questionable receipt. The lady reasoned out that upon receiving the payment, the cashier echoed the exact amount what the customer handed to her so that the payer can right away correct if the amount tendered is inconsistent, as what Sebia heard for every customer the cashier served in the payment window.
The supervisor in the nearby table, who is listening, presented a balance book showing a well-accounted transaction on the said date. Sebia countered that she always pay the exact current amount stated in the bill ever since the line was installed and never pay the half amount as she will be excepting the payment for myDSL. And also the cashier write a note on the billing sheet of the agreed amount the customer should pay. The lady insisted that she had the receipt and it is binding.
The cashier, however, overheard the discussions and immediately get out of her booth showing Sebia the record book of the missing one thousand pesos and the cash amount she had clipped in it as she uttered: “Sorry it’s my fault, I apologize for the shortcomings. It took me late at night trying to find as to where the excess money came from after depositing to the bank the collections on the said date.”
Appreciating the humble behavior, good will, sincere intent, and the gesture of honesty, Sebia thanked the cashier instead. Seldom we expressed gratitude to the acts of humility committed from a mistake. We retorted by counteracting, either to get even or scold them and make them realized that the shortcomings should not be repeated to avoid any inconveniences to the good-natured clients. We resorted further as a form of vindictiveness: by making them pay for the damage inflicted; or requiring contrition before forgiving; or pardon with reservation; or forgiveness with retribution; and or amnesty with conditions.
Read more on this article...