On Media, Awareness, and All that Jazz

Philippines: On January 22, 2014, actor-comedian, Vhong Navarro, assaulted and blackmailed by businessman, Cedric Lee, due to accusations of raping Deniece Cornejo, model/actress.

Photos of Vhong’s unrecognizable face due to bruises and swelling spread across the internet as well as circulation of interviews of Lee and Cornejo rebutting the actor’s statement.

The incident happened exactly a week ago, and until now, Philippine media has made this issue a daily top story, making Filipino fans (and haters) relentlessly express their concerns on social media and blogs alike.

What has the media gotten into?

The Philippines is facing far more relevant and serious issues. The pork barrel scam is not yet over, peace talks with MILF was successful, Yolanda victims and survivors still haven’t gotten ample aid to start over, and a lot more. But still, the media instead chose to make a big deal out of a dancer turned actor turned comedian who is in fact well-known for being a womanizer. Move on already. Let them deal with their cases themselves and delve on it again when it’s already in court if the media wants it that way.

Yesterday, I made a new Filipina friend here and we talked about current issues in the Philippines. One thing she told me (that was seriously in my head too for quite some time now) was along the lines of Philippine media getting so used to publicizing negative and depressing news. It then results to almost all the population having a mind frame of negativity and depression. It is no wonder Philippines is having a hard time rising to the top. Add to that the network rivalry rebutting every detail of their news.

Think about it.

Psychology is also applicable to this. Raising higher awareness is the least our media can do. Exaggerated drama telenovelas every damn night? How do we expect to have an optimistic nation that thinks objectively? Local television, instead of educating the people, only aggravates the psyche of each and every one, creating “monsters” of thinkers. How do these people vote for instance? By popularity, by charm, by whatever other shallow reasons. Feeding the masses with cynicism, BS news, and all that jazz does not help at all. We are only proving to the whole world that we truly are fools, when in reality we’re not. Filipinos are smart, talented, and skillful. I believe so. I see so.

However, what we lack now is values. Given it is a Catholic country, at our very core we know the values which most just can’t seem to apply to their daily lives. All the pettifogging details of Vhong and other banal stories then became a hobby of Pinoys. I am not surprised why gossip is so rampant in the Philippines… The clash of networks should just take their issues behind cam. It’s so improper to keep on narrating unintelligent news. So. Plaguing.

And a lot of people say this is a hopeless case. It isn’t.

If the media only chooses to be proactive, report authentic and honest stories, let go of their biases just because in one network the sister of the president has a contract or that the other network is pro-somebody else, stop accepting bribes and all, then we will have a more striving country. Media is a very powerful tool, use it wisely; Being part of it is a huge responsibility, and when used inappropriately, everybody gets affected.

This. Has. Got. To. End.

Deniece could be a rape victim. Vhong is a womanizer and may have raped that model. Cedric has criminal records. WE GET IT. Let it go. Focus on what’s more important, on things that will help the country rise again that will eventually inspire people.

Let’s get back to focusing on things that really matter shall we?

The Fine Line Between Getting What You Want And What You Deserve

I’m writing this entry as per request.

When faced with a dilemma, have you ever wondered if that’s what you wanted or what you deserved? How and when do you draw the line between the two?

It is easy to split hairs if you’re coming from a third person’s perspective, but being the one tangled in a shady predicament feels like nothing’s ever easy and it’s best to just breakdown.

The question is tricky though. It is to me because I always believed that if you allow something to happen, you deserve it. Hence, you wanted it since you allowed it. However, the word deserve does not belong in that context. It is not deserving in a sense that a person is sentenced or comforted in exchange for choosing to do either a good thing or a bad thing. It is, per contra, intertwined with one’s worth.

Our wants depend on our current needs. And needs come from this imaginary haze we call ego. When we need something so bad that we can’t operate without it, be aware that’s it’s the ego screaming. Also reflect on how people present themselves to others  to get what they want. Women, for example, oftentimes perpetrate the common blunder of using sex as a bait to catch that one big fish. Of course the sexual male sea creature will succumb to the game. But in the end, it’s those types of women who suffer from immense distress and suffering. Then they announce to all mankind that men are jerks. Really?

Sure we achieve a certain level of satisfaction when wants and needs are met, but once the ecstasy fades, we’re like hungry vampires craving for more blood to suck. And it sucks to be in that state. It sucks that we try to compensate for things that we feel are deficient in our lives when in reality, we unmistakably obsess on the outside rather than what’s on the inside.

It’s what’s on the inside that matters anyway. The rest are just spectators. If anything goes wrong in the future, as long as you take very good care of yourself, you won’t feel even a bit of shortchange. You’ll then stop blaming others for problems that were in fact caused by you. Try to shift that perspective as well.

Remember: those who put blame on others are the people who are so good at deflecting responsibility in their own lives.

Needy people are repugnant, don’t you agree? Exactly. So why be one?

That being said, in order to extricate one’s self from a terrible entanglement, one has to perform a mental check-up on how he/she grades himself/herself according to worthiness instead of drowning in melancholy.

Let’s do an exercise: rate yourself from 1-10; ten being the highest. If you think you’re a five, I suggest you work a little more on self-love. If you think you’re a seven, not bad, but still needs a little more work. Try spoiling yourself with your personal needs and make sure to not overdo it. If you see yourself as an eight or a nine, good for you! As long as you’re not saying that just to win the discussion to get this over and done with. And to those who rated themselves as a ten, congratulations! You all are ready to face the world with much less hesitation!

Here’s the thing, like what the English teacher, Bill said to Charlie in Perks of Being a Wallflower, “we accept the love we think we deserve.”

Therefore, if you’re a ten, you are always open to receive love from a fellow ten and so on. It’s common sense that isn’t used commonly. I, too, am guilty of drenching my pillow in tears when I am faced with a difficult situation. But tell you what, I don’t stay in agony for so long. I allow myself to release whatever type of resentment and bitterness inside of me then I rise up to the problem. Because really, what is there to sulk about? And for a long time that is. Besides, hating and blaming only contaminates my whole being. It sure does the same thing to you.

Finally, do yourself a favor. Stop selling yourself short. Refrain from settling for anything less than what you deserve just because it’s what you wanted in that certain moment. Keep in mind that ecstasy fades; it’s temporary. The one thing that’s continual and can or may leave a legacy is no one else but YOU. You are beautiful, amazing and worthy. Never ever forget that.

“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ― Margaret Cho

Cybercrime Law

Today is the day that our government implements the bill on Cybercrime Law. I’ve only been online for a few hours and I’ve already witnessed a lot of protesters do their own thing to voice out their grievances on the said bill. After all the online controversy on Tito Sotto’s plagiarized speech et al, the government has gotten too far with this I suppose? I’m all for moderating human rights and governmental rules, but in my opinion, there are far more important things to prioritize other than this law. Besides, it has been written on our bill of rights under the 1987 Constitution, and I quote,

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
-Art III, Sec 4

Also…

“The privacy of communication shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
Any evidence obtained in violation of this and the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.” -Art III, Sec’s 1, 2

It may be unlawful of me (at this time) to post about it, but we all have the right to freedom of speech and privacy don’t you agree? Considering the number of budding bloggers in the Philippines with different niches, how can they survive with this law? Our RH Bill is pending for the longest time now, why don’t they focus on that? Just because one senator got humiliated online? Is it even fair? Are we not allowed to speak for ourselves anymore? Are we the epitome of an abusive country that’s why our privacy must be taken away from us just like that? I read somewhere that “nobody owns the internet,” so why monopolize it now?
To be truly honest, I don’t see the point in this bill. It doesn’t even help our economic growth and our homeless fellowmen for crying out loud.
Please help us obtain our online right as a nation. The longer these public officials stay in position, all the more they’re becoming demented. And I don’t mean it literally, just so we’re clear. Unless you think otherwise.
I respect your opinion.
For more information on this new law that they want to pass, click: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276136/scitech/technology/phl-cybercrime-law-outrages-netizens

Why Move On When You Can Just…

I’m not proud to say that it’s breakup season on my side of town. And that doesn’t even include me. Nope. I’m single and I was surprisingly greeted by my ex a happy anniversary the other day. It wasn’t even for the time we hooked up. It was the quite opposite actually. He greeted me because September is the month we’ve broken up… Two years ago. I know right? (I promise to post a more sympathetic entry next time)

Anyway, yes, it’s breakup season and I’ve heard a considerable amount of cries and disgust that I can actually build a house from them (if it’s even possible converting feelings into estates). Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact, like I said in my previous post, best thing a third perspective can do is listen.

Because the reality here is it’s over and there’s nothing people can do about it. We can’t force ourselves into someone else’s life if we’re not welcome there anymore. Reality bites, I know. And it can sure damn suck my balls.

In situations like this, friends would always end up saying the overused advice, “stop crying and move on–for yourself.” Easy to say when you’re not in the position. Like, “yeah I can be all bipolar with this case and you know, cry one minute, then move on the next. And voilà! I’m better. Let’s paint the freakin’ town red.”

Then again, it doesn’t work that way.

So what is it about breakups that make it so hard to endure?

Is it the huge amount of effort you exert in adjusting to new ways? Or probably the feeling of getting dumped even if the two of you were the ones who did the dumping? Could it be the self-pity that follows it? You want to seek revenge because you’re hurt sore? Or maybe the hopelessness because you felt the person was “The One” – that got away perhaps?

Whatever the reason may be, one thing holds true: this is another chapter of one’s life wherein he/she is actually entitled to improve and redo one’s self. Yes, it definitely is the perfect excuse to be conceited. Now you can tell your cliché-talking friend to get lost because it’s your time to shine.

But, before change happens, acceptance must take place. So prior to cutting your hair short (or shaving it, whatever rocks your boat), take a moment to breathe and embrace the endless possibilities that are about to come your way. ACCEPTANCE is key. Accept that it’s over and fixing it is beyond your capacity. Accept together with forgiveness. Just like what Aunt May said to Spiderman in Spiderman 3, ” Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself.” Indeed. And you never thought you’d pick up values from a superhero movie huh?

Once you’re done accepting and forgiving (even the ones who aren’t even involved) then the transformation begins. Go out. Meet new people. Experience new things. Do stuff that you didn’t get to do when you were still tied up. Learn a new language. Cook a gazillion dishes in a month. Play with your dog. Chat with your long-lost friend. Spend more time with your family. Get a makeover. Go shopping. Hit the clubs. Finish that book you’ve ignored. Or better yet, go to the movies by yourself. Do everything you’ve been meaning to do in your own sweet time.

People are normally scared of change. It’s natural. So break the record, and accept that another major life change is taking place. I won’t be one of those friends who’d tell you to move on. Instead, I want you to accept, surrender to the process, and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not going to be easy, cliché as it may sound, but trust me, everything’s going to be worth it.

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” ~William James

So why move on when you can just accept?

Oh and when you’re done, hit me up, maybe we can grab a coffee and talk about… Love. How does that sound?

My Take On Listening

One of the greatest things I’ve learned in life is to listen. Given that I am deaf in one ear (the right one, but thank God my left ear works perfectly), I’ve practiced the art of listening to people whom I consider important and unimportant. It exudes practicing several values too such as respect, openness, compassion and understanding.

I’m still young, but at the age of 27 I can already say that I have met various people from different walks of life and listening to them has been one of the few talents that made a HUGE difference. As a result, whether I agreed or disagreed with their joyous stories and repetitive qualms, it made them feel important just by being listened to.

I can also attest to that because definitely not everyone has the same talent and I’ve experienced firsthand. There are those who can’t seem to fixate themselves on my words probably because of preëmpted judgment or dismay. Oftentimes when they catch me ranting it sends off a negative impression or my optimism comes off as repulsive. But no matter what their reason may be, each and every one of us (this I know for a fact without survey or studies) that bottom line of listening to others is to silently show that they matter too, that they have a voice, and are worthy to be heard.

We are all undeniably self-centered in our own ways, but we can’t expect others to treat us differently with the way we treat them. You get what you give, maybe not from the same person you’ve given it to, but you get the similar, if not the same, treatment from people who matter as much to you.

So, a little piece of unsolicited advice, instead of preëmpted judgments to either the negativity and enthusiasm of others or both, LISTEN WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTION. You’re not three anymore to be excused from being rude by interrupting someone from speaking. So just listen with full attention, ground yourself, and be one with the world. Because each of us have our own stories to tell. It may not be that important to you, but to the person speaking, each word they say may mean the world to them.

Start making a difference by extending your time and patience. But! If it’s going in circles, getting below the belt and not making any sense, then by all means speak up; for sure they’ll listen too because they value you.

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” — M. Scott Peck

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway