Bakit Mailap ang Ginto?
Reina Beatriz Peralta

Kailan ba huling nakasungkit ng medalya ang Pilipinas sa Olympics? Bakit nga ba hanggang ngayon ay wala pa ring ginto sa listahan ng mga medalyang nakuha na ng mga atletang Pilipino?

Kung tutuusin, walang dudang magagaling ang ating mga atleta. May kakayahan sila at talento.  Malaki ang potensyal nilang manalo. Sa suporta lang talaga ng gobyerno nagkukulang.

Hindi maikakaila na karamihan sa mga magagaling na atleta ay salat sa buhay. Dahilan para magkulang sila sa mga kagamitang pang-ensayo at panglaban. Kadalasan pa nga ay luma at sira-sira na ang kanilang mga kagamitan.  Ang iba pa sa mga iyon ay donasyon lang at pinaglumaan.  Hindi naman nila magawang bumili ng panibago dahil nga sa kahirapan.  Kaya kahit sabihin pang tunay silang magagaling, naaapektuhan pa rin ang kanilang performance dahil nga sa kasalatan sa kagamitan.  Ito ay isa lang sa mga problemang dapat sana ay nabibigyang solusyon ng pamahalaan.

Bukod sa pinansyal na suporta, ang gobyerno ay nagkukulang din sa angkop na atensyon para sa isports, higit lalo sa mga Pilipinong atleta.

Kapuna-puna na nitong nagdaang ika-tatlong State of the Nation Address (SONA) ng Pangulong Benigno Aquino, isa sa mga nakaligtaan niyang banggitin ay ang tungkol sa isports.  Wala siyang nasabing plano o narating ng pamahalaan tungkol sa bagay na iyon. Ni hindi man lang niya nagawang pasalamatan o sabihan man lang ng “good luck” ang ating mga atletang sasabak sa London Olympics.

Hindi naman lingid sa kaalaman ng lahat na sa dinami-rami ng problemang kinakaharap ng bansa ay hindi na mapaprayoridad ng gobyerno ang isports.  Ngunit sana’y matugunan ng pamahalaan ang pangangailangan ng mga atleta.  Dahil sila ay maituturing na “bagong bayani”.  Dinadala nila ang pangalan ng Pilipinas sa bawat laban nila sa ibang bansa.  Ang bawat pagkapanalo nila ay panalo na rin ng mga Pilipino, at ang bawat pagkatalo ay pagkatalo na rin ng buong Pilipinas.

Milyon-milyong pera ang ilalaan nila sa kontrobersyal na Reproductive Health (RH) Bill kung sakaling maisasabatas ang ito.  Isang batas na wala namang kasiguraduhan na makasasagot sa problema tungkol sa kahirapan ng mamamayan.  Ang perang nakalaan para sa RH bill ay ilaan na lang sana sa pondo para sa ibang bagay na may katiyakang ikakapanalo, ikagaganda at ikaaayos ng lahat, gaya ng edukasyon, kalusugan at isports.


Nothing's Sweeter than Honor
John Paul Marquez

Philippines is one of the most dominant countries in Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) but things seemed to fall apart in every Olympic Game for us.

With 11 athletes to represent our country in the 2012 London Olympics, this is also the smallest delegation in the history of Philippines in Olympics since 1932. 11 hopes for the medals and 11 honors for the country.

Every athlete's dream is to play in the Olympics and represent their country, and off course to win a medal/s and that is what Mark Javier and Rachel Cabral of Archery, Rene Herrera (300m) and Marestella Torres (Long Jump) of Athletics, Light flyweight fighter Mark Barriga, BMX rider Daniel Caluag, Tomohiko Hoshina of Judo, Shooter Brian Rosario, Swimmers Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi and the flag bearer weight lifter Hidilyn Diaz are hoping for. They are trying to get their luck and strive to edge for the medals.

July 28, 4:00 am (Phil.time), the greatest show on earth started, performance coming from the superstars of Great Britain and the athletes parade was witnessed worldwide. As Queen Elizabeth II declares the opening of the Olympics, hopes, dreams and eagerness begin.

It all started from Jessie Lacuna who fell short after digging a time of 1:52:91 and finished the track in the fifth place in his heat. Another loss is that of Daniel Caluag who didn’t qualify for the next round after he scored 29 total points, was also the slowest rider in the seeding round with 40.900 seconds.

Caluag is the remaining athlete to represent the Philippines since his race last August 9 after Rene Herrera’s defeat in athletics, finidhing last in their heat with the time of 14:44:11. It was his personal best record but still wasn't enough time for him to qualify for the next round. The flag bearer Diaz made a strong kick-off when she lifted 97kgs in the snatch, but badly in the clean and jerk she wasn't able to lift 118kgs in her three attempts, ending her campaign in the Olympics.

Mark Barriga shocked the country after he chased down Manuel Cappai of Italy in their light flyweight showdown tallying for 17-7 advantage and in that win he called as the “Little Pacman.”

Barriga, together with the Philippineas, gained a lot of momentum after he advanced to the round of 16. Everyone's holding on their breath wishing to get at least a medal in that sport, like what Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco did in 1996 Atlanta Olympics where he got a silver. But unexpected things happened when Barriga seized a penalty that leads to a deduction to him and an additional point to his opponent. In the end, Barriga failed to advance in the quarter after he suffered a 17-16 heart breaking loss to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakypov.

Those losses really killed the dream of the Philippines. Silver has been our greatest achievement in Olympic history, courtesy of Anthony Villanueva in 1964 Tokyo Olympics when he lost to Soviet’s Union Stanislav Stepashkin in their gold medal match and Mansueto Velasco in 1996 Atlanta Olympics in his defeat against Bulgaria’s Daniel Petrov both from Boxing. Now, we have a total of only nine medals since the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

It was in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when we last grabbed a medal. Now, we are looking forward to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, at the same time, anticipating to finally capture some medals in that event. After this Olympics we have to wait for another four years, dreaming to furnish our brand new hopes aand dreams.

Four years will be enough to prepare for that event, four years will be enough to produce some athletes, four years will be enough to build a dream. Hoping that after four years, all the sacrifices we drained will finally produce a sweet honor.

Another Olympics has been ended and we end up nothing but the pride, nothing but the honor and nothing but our passion in sport. We may don’t have those medals but we have those athletes who will try to recover and get some medals and honors after four years.


Looking forward to the Rio Olympics 2016! -Philippines
Justine Marie Bernardo

You read it right. Nothing's left for the Philippines to have a title in the London Olympics. The last contender that took the chance is Daniel Caluag, the BMX Cycling athlete from Bulacan. But unfortunately, he was one of the three that gone out in the first game. But for me, it will never be a defeat nor failure, but a privilege. This is a privilege that will hold on for a thousand years by Philippine history. Being a part and qualified for the London 2012 is a great honour for the country. Why? Because we know that we had a chance to prove to the world that we are neither weak nor scarce. To show that the Philippines that can compete with them though they are much wealthier than ours.

11 representatives, different fields of sport, but one country. Some are Half-Filipinos, and live in other country, but they chose to stand for the Philippines. This is one of the reasons for us to be proud of. Despite of the limited funds and time that they receive, they don’t mind them. They’re focus is on the game and the winning.

But the bitter truth that these athletes must face is that, most of his countrymen don’t know them. Their “kababayan” don’t know that they will be there, competing for our country. They will just recognize if they will win, but if not, these people will never know their identity and they will be forgotten until the next competitions. This is one of the problems in our country. We only focus on the universal and big things, but those small things that could possibly be a success; we don’t even notice it and sometimes, push them away. Though chances are little, these athletes are still hoping and trying their best to win because they knew that if they’ll win, it will bring a great pride for the nation.

But now, the Philippines exited her way from the London 2012. It is not a big deal to others because they don’t know how hard it is to train and win against big countries. But for our Filipino athletes it’s an ending story because they failed. It is also a big frustration for them; however we don’t even observe that. Our Filipino Olympians are underrated.

These are one of the actions that should be exerted and should give an effort to help. By winning, you will not only get money, but a good history. You will not only receive fame, but a positive pride for your nation and for yourself. You will not only be given trophy, but also a great memory and experience that will you cherish when you die.

If ever we will have a chance to go and compete again in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, we should familiarize ourselves to the next Olympians. It will be a great help for them because their countrymen are in their back to support and love them through winning and defeat. So Rio 2016, be ready.


Celebrating Christmas, it’s more fun in the Philippines
Justine Marie Bernardo

Saan ka nga ba makakakita ng mga Christmas lights at decors na dinisplay na para ibenta sa unang lingo palang ng August? At saan ka nga ba nakakakita ng agad-agad na ‘Countdown to Christmas’ pagdating ng unang araw ng Setyembre? Ha, wala nang iba kundi sa Pilipinas lang.

Sabi nga, ang Pilipinas ang bansang may pinakamahabang selebrasyon ng kapaskuhan. Pag sumapit na ang unang araw ng Setyembre o ang ‘Ber month’, kusa nang nagbibilang ang mga Pilipino hanggang sa sumapit ang pasko. Base sa aking pagkakabilang, simula setyembre uno hanggang desyembre 25, 115 pang araw ang aabutin. Pero ano naman nga eka ng ilan. Napakabilis na ng panahon ngayon. Hindi na natin namamalayan na ganoon na kabilis ang pag-ikot ng mundo. Sa sobrang bilis, nakakahilo’t nakakasuka na at magigising ka nalang na parang panaginip lang ang nangyari.

Sabi nga ng mga taga-ibang bansa, masyado daw “excited” ang Pilipinas sa pasko. Kahit walang handa, kahit ang hirap ng buhay, kahit walang plano at perang gagastusin, lagi pa rin tayong sabik at pinaghahandaan ang kapaskuhan. Kaya nga masayang mag-pasko sa Pinas eh. Kasi hindi inintindi kung gaano kakaunti ang pagkaing hinahain basta’t magkakasama at masaya.

Maraming ma-mi-miss at na-mi-miss ang mga pinoy na nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa pag pasko. Bilang anak ng isang Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), mahirap para sa amin at sa aking ama na malayo sa isa’t-isa tuwing pasko. Tinitiis na lang namin ang lungkot dahil magkaiba ang lugar namin. Kaya minsan, tinatapat niya talaga ng mga setyembre o nobyembre ang uwi niya para sa amin siya magpasko. At natutuwa naman akong sabihin sa inyo na uuwi na siya sa Setyembre kaya naman masaya ang magiging pasko ko kasama ang aking pamilya.

Tulad nga ng sinabi ko, maraming na-mi-miss na OFW's ang magdiwang ng pasko sa Pilipinas. Isipin mo, pag sumapit na ang Ber Months, may mga nagkikislapan na sa labas na nagbebenta ng Christmas lights, may naka-display na sa mall na mga Christmas decors, may tinda nang puto bumbong at bibingka tuwing gabi at madaling araw, “malamig” na simoy ng hangin, at may mga nagkakantahan na ng mga Christmas songs. O, san ka makakakita sa mall ng ibang bansa na setyembre palang pinapalandakan na “Oy, pasko na!”

Kung saka-sakali mang makuha ko ang kapalaran ko sa ibang bansa pagdating ng tamang panahon, ipipilit kong umuwi tuwing pasko at bagong taon. Lagi kong idadahilan na isang beses lang ito sa isang taon at ang mga bagay na minsan lang mangyari ay may iba ibang kwento at karanasan.

Eh sa ano nga naman ba kung magdiriwang tayong mga Pilipino ng maagang pasko? Hindi naman nawawala ang simbolismo nito, at lalo pa nga itong tumitibay. Ang pagkakabuo ng isang masayang pamilya. Maliit man o malaki, kahit na anong estado sa buhay, basta’t nandyan silang lahat, masaya ang pasko.

Kaya’t sulitin ang bawat panahon at araw. Mabilis ang ikot ng mundo, minsan napag-iiwanan na ang isang tao. Ngunit nasa sa atin naman kung magpapaiwan tayo. Minsan lang dumaan ang kapaskuhan. Magiging maganda, masaya at makabuluhan ang pasko tulad lang din ng dati. Bakit? Kasi ang araw na iyon ay ang kapanganakan ng Panginoon. At ang lahat ay nagpupugay at nagpapasalamat dahil sa kanyang pagsilang.


Mala-Olympics ang Pilipinas sa hagupit ng habagat
Deliza Maye Fernandez

Akala ko pinakamalaking balita na sa Pilipinas sa buwan ng Hulyo at Agosto ang napakalaking bakbakan ng buong mundo sa London Olympics. Nang dumating ang habagat at humagupit sa bansa, pinatunayan nitong mali ang akala ko.

Pinaniniwalaang buntot daw ito ni Gener na hindi naman kalakasan ngunit walang tigil naman. Ang iba, inaakusahan pang feeling bagyo itong habagat na ito na lumelebel sa hagupit ni Ondoy noon. Ang iba, inihalintulad pa sa tukso na kay raming winasak na tahanan at matang pinaluha. Maraming klase at trabaho ang sinuspendido sa habagat na ito. Maraming tao ang nawindang dahil sa tanang kanilang buhay ay ngayon lamang sila binaha, sa hindi pa bagyong naturingan.

Isa sa mga hinagupit nito ang probinsya ng Bulacan kung saan tatlo sa labing-isang atletang pinoy ay dito nagmula. Habang pinipilit nilang iangat ang Pilipinas sa pagsubok na makamit ang medalya, heto tayo’t lumulubog sa baha.

Sa kasamaang palad nga, bigo tayong masungkit kahit isang medalya, kahit bronze, wala. Pero taas-noo pa rin ako bilang Pilipino dahil ang makapasok lang at makapagrepresenta ng bansa sa Olympics ay malaking karangalan na. Pero mas taas-noo ako sa mga Pinoy na nakita kong nakangiti at nagtutulong-tulong sa gitna ng unos na sinapit nila. Mas malaki ito kesa sa Olympics.

Aba! Dinaig ng isang volunteer ang weightlifter na si Hidilyn Diaz sa pagbuhat ng mga kapwa niya Pilipino sa gitna ng malakas na agos ng baha. Kaya bang magswimming ni Lacuna at Alkhaldi sa baha tulad ng ibang batang nakita kong nakangiti pa habang hinahagupit sila? Mas malakas ang suntok ng fighting spirit ng mga pinoy na nasalanta kumpara kay Barriga  kung boxing lang ng buhay ang pag-uusapan. Ang karera sa tunay na buhay, mahuli man, basta’t tinapos ang laban, panalo pa rin.

Hindi ko minamaliit o sinasabing mahina ang mga atleta natin kaya wala tayong maiuuwing medalya sa bansa. Ang akin lang, ang tunay na laban pala ay hindi lang tungkol sa medalya. May sariling karera ang mga pinoy ngayon at masasabi kong mas malaki ang hamon na ito. Natapos na tayo sa pagsabak sa napakalaking patimpalak sa London, subukan naman nating bumangon ngayon.

At para sa mga Pinoy na nagrepresenta ng bansa sa Olympics, saludo ako sa inyo. Hindi biro ang makipagsapalaran sa mga banyaga lalo’t hindi naman ganoon kaunlad ang training ground natin dito.


Who’s making the NEWS?
Nico Villaceran

    In the twenty-five months of his administration, for the first time, President Benigno Aquino III address his observation on how our Philippine media reports. Dating back to his 3rd SONA (State of the Nation Address) when PNoy pleasingly said,”Sana po tuwing sasabihin nating Magandang gabi bayan ay totoong hinahangad nating maging maganda ang gabi ng bayan.” The president hit the signature line of our former vice president and current TV Patrol news anchor Noli De Castro.

                           Last Friday, the night after the opening of London Olympics, July 27, at the 25th Anniversary of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol news program held at the Manila Hotel’s Grand Pavilion the issue’s fire continues. Again with his Tagalong speech, President Aquino III humored,”If there is a competition for understanding and self-restraint, perhaps I would be a gold medalist here”. The president complaint on what he observes in Philippine media for negativism instead of spreading good news.

                       “Napaisip nga po ako, 'yong nagkomento nito, hindi ba’t anim na taon ding tumangan sa renda ng gobyerno? Sabihin na po nating minana lang din nila ang problema, 'di hamak mas luma naman ang ipinamana nilang problema sa amin”, the president said not naming De Castro but referring to a TV Patrol anchor who is an ex-government official.

                       “Anim na taon ang ipinagkaloob sa kanya para tumulong sa pagsasaayos ng mismong inireklamo niya. Pero ngayon, tayo na nga ang may bitbit na problema, tayo na nga ang tutugon dito, pero masakit nga ho, may gana pang hiritan ng nagpamana?” the president said.

                         “May naitutulong po ba ang mga walang basehang spekulasyon? Kung alam mong opinion-maker ka, alam mo rin dapat na mayroon kang responsibilidad , the President said about De Castro’s regular ending comments and opinions in TV Patrol.

                          The NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) valiantly commented,” Instead of demanding the media to report a story the way Aquino sees it, he should take off his rose-tinted glasses and descend from the heights to walk through the muck and the grime that the people he professes to serve live in”.

                         “Call it what you will, Mr. Aquino, but we, the truly independent Philippine press, will not acquiesce to your wish that we sugarcoat the reality that we not only see and witness but also live in.”

                         “That would be, in the very words you use, albeit misguidedly, truly negativism,” the NUJP added.

                        “I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts not to distort truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to air the other side and to correct substantive errors promptly”, from The Philippine Journalist Code of Ethics.

                       When we say “ I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news”, we’re not saying not exact but scrupulous. And when we say “report and interpret the news”, we’re saying NEWS whatever it is, whether black or yellow. Well, if the president didn’t understand a simple grammar then his Bosses (Filipino people) must take him back to an English remedial class. The public will always have a right to real information. The easy way to distinguish the situation is a journalist line ”Sorry, walang personalan, trabaho lang”. Following our job is following the Ethics, if you follow the ethics you will also follow and serve the truth.

                         The Aquino’s administration, reaction, actions and even the implementations, all of his moves is the newsmaker, not the media. We only just factually interpret the information but his the one and his administration that created it, from the high to lower sectors of the government. It is not the media’s iniquity to report a bad news and also, it doesn’t mean it’s NEGATIVISM, it’s the TRUTH. If you read and seen a lot of bad news today in Televisions and Print, remember, we don’t put the blame on the Networks and to the newspapers. Media is the fourth estate, its being a truth interpreter, protector and deliverer. And the other three estates including the administration of President Aquino III is the newsmaker. 


Positivism vs. Truth-telling
Kattryn Erryc Sayo

Aquino on TV Patrol’s News Anchor Noli de Castro    

               Last Sunday, July 29, I have read this article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about PNoy’s speech during ABS-CBN TV Patrol’s 25th anniversary. It is entitled “P-Noy slams news delivery during TV network’s bash”. Since I haven’t watched the speech itself, I just relied on the article in the broadsheet.  Aquino has been saying that de Castro always has his negative criticisms to news, even on the good ones, which is a no-no in the profession. Well, for this, I stand with our president. As a media practitioner, de Castro can directly manipulate or shape the public’s opinion. Instead of giving his pessimistic comments on issues, he must, all the time, disseminate the truth. As a media worker, people might easily believe what he says. Moreover, a media practitioner has a great role in the society, and in what he has been doing, giving out all his negative judgment over an issue, he does not execute the chief essence of a media worker. We all know that a journalist is unbiased, neutral, fair, impartial, balanced or objective (every single adjective that pertains to a similar subject). If de Castro’s actions will be the basis, he does not purely show the principle of Journalism. Yes, we cannot avoid bad occurrences, but inserting every little negativism and opinion to issues, especially to good ones, is another story. Most importantly, we are not prioritizing opinions in the world of Journalism; we are emphasizing the truth, which all of the time must be handed to the community.

Aquino on Media’s Reporting

                      There is another article about Aquino’s speech which I had read last Tuesday, July 31. The title is “Aquino Instruct Media to Deviate in Negative Reporting”. The president would like the media to shun sensationalism and balance negative news as they also affect the outlook of other people. Also part of this is his desire for the media to veer away from negativism, or refrain from disseminating more often the distressing and undesirable issues. He would like the media to focus more on the encouraging and positive happenings in the society. Well, in one way, it’s a bit of idealism for we all know that not every single happening on earth can be considered as positive. For this, I must say I oppose the idea or suggestion of our president.

                              We are all aware that the primary principle and role of Journalism is to express nothing but the truth. It’s very simple. Everything that occurs in the society, may it be inspiring or disheartening, must all be exposed to the society. Take for instance, if a negative issue is of a major concern, should the media ignore this or let the public know about it? Of course, let the public be aware of it. Media cannot always focus on the positive ones especially if the negative stories show more importance. I’m not saying that we can’t live in an atmosphere of total optimism. It’s just in the core of reality that the country is still in the process of going there. Another thing, avoiding the coverage of negative issues would only limit us from improving. If we would lay out those stories, enhancements are highly possible. It is like when we’re in a pit of difficulties, it makes us struggle and learn more. The same goes with reporting negative news: the more we expose those stories and know about them, the more we will be aware and alert. We have more chances in waking up our intellectuals as well as ordinary folks, and the closer we are in achieving change and development. 


Aids Does Matter
Deliza Maye Fernandez

                   Ang ikatlong State-of-the-Nation Address ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III kamakailan lang ay umani ng papuri sa mga Pilipino at sinasabing ito na raw ang pinakamagandang SONA ng pangulo. 

              Walo sa sampung taong aking nakapanayam ay nagustuhan ang kanyang SONA. Marami sa kanila ang nagbigay importansiya sa bahaging pangkalusugan na ipinahayag ni PNoy. Matatandaang ibinida ng pangulo ang pagtaas ng bilang ng nakaenroll ngayon sa PhilHealth. Mula sa 62% noong dating administrasyon, umakyat ito sa 85% sa kanyang pamamahala. 5.2 Milyon dito ang nakikinabang na sa No Balance Billing policy ng Department of Health. Sinabi pa niyang ang lunas sa mga sakit tulad ng Asthma, Pneumonia, Katarata, at maging ang iba pang Catastrophic diseases tulad ng breast cancer, Prostate Cancer, at Acute Leukemia ay makukuha ng libre ng mga pinakamahirap na Pilipino. Magandang balita rin ang tungkol sa pagtaas ng bilang ng mga nurses na naipapaabot sa mga bayan na mistulang napag-iwanan na ng pag-unlad. Saklaw ito ng Pantawid Pamilya.

                 Wala akong nakikitang masamang hatid sa pahayag ng Pangulo. Ang sa akin lang ay mas magiging ayos sana kung nabanggit din niya ang isyu tungkol sa Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) na maaaring maging AIDS o Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Matatandaang lumobo ang may kaso ng HIV sa bansa simula ng bagong milenyo at patuloy pang lumulobo. Ayon sa Philippine National Aids Council, 9,669 na ang kumpirmadong may ganitong kaso sa bansa, maliit na bilang kung tutuusin sa 100Milyong tao sa Pilipinas. Pero hindi pa kabilang dito ang ilang mga taong may mga sintomas at hindi pa umaaming mayroon sila nito. 

                Ayon naman sa United Nation’s Department Program, Sampung impeksyon ang nadedetect kada araw. Tatlong beses sa naitala noong mga nakaraang taon. Ito ay nakakaalarma bilang ang Pilipinas ay isa sa pitong bansa sa mundo kung saan ang HIV ay mabilis na dumarami ng 25%. Malaking porsyento ang sinasabing dulot daw ng men-to-men sex. Marami ang nagsasabing dahil daw ito sa kakulangan ng kaalaman ukol dito at maging ang simbahang katoliko ay tampulan ng sisi ukol dito sa pagbabawal gumamit ng mga contraceptives.

                     Bagama’t pinaglalaban ni PNoy ang RH Bill, naniniwala akong mas pinag-uukulan niya rito ang pagpigil sa pagdami ng populasyon sa bansa. Naging matunog na ito noong nakaraang mga buwan. Gusto ko sanang malaman kung anong plano ng pamahalaan ukol sa nakakaalarmang virus na ito na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa matukoy ang solusyon para dito. Sana’y katulad din ito ng kaso ng Dengue sa Bukidnon na mula sa 1,216 kaso ay bumaba na lang ito sa 37 dahil sa mosquito trap.  


Pilipinas: Kahapon, Ngayon, Bukas
Justine Marie Bernardo

“Ang bayan ko’y tanging ikaw, Pilipinas kong mahal. Ang puso ko at buhay man, sa iyo’y ibibigay. Tungkulin ko'y gagampanan, na lagi kang paglingkuran. Ang laya mo’y babantayan, Pilipinas kong hirang.”

What’s with me? Am I patriotic? Hah. No. I just wanted that introductory though it’s not that related.  

It’s cliché because people always make the present time the most horrible days ever while the past is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in the world. Well then, how about flipping the situation? How about the good news for the present time and the bad news for the past time? 

Positive side - Present time

Ever wonder what’s “good” in the world today? From all of the disasters, wars, pollution, and poverty, what do you think are the opposite side of these things?

Number one, the technology. We live in the generation wherein almost everything can be instant. Food, Hygiene, Transportation, Houses, and even Artificial Insemination. All of these can be brought with money. (But of course it requires a lot of money too.) In the past years, we never had these things in just a snap. It’s a choice of working it very hard to turn out to be yours and let it come to you by luck. You will never see a person holding his Desktop, CPU, Keyboard, Mouse, and Speakers walking in the street to be in a Café Shop. But in the present time, you will only see a small and a big rectangle. It’s either a “techie” bitten apple or a cute green alien.

Number two, the way of living. Unlike in the past years, many of us are really having a worst life. There are many people (especially the women) who are unable to study and do the things they want. But now, whatever a man can do, women can also do it and vice versa. They were also instant jobs and sidelines that can make a living. 

Number three, education. As the 90’s kid, I’ve never thought of having a laptop. I just want to play outside and though I have scars and dirty, I don’t mind them. But then, when it comes to education, I only focused on books. A book that was never changed and never moved. The words and figures are very limited. I’ve never saw a giraffe in my entire life. But in the present time now, many kids will just connect into the World Wide Web, and as they search in the internet, even the little things about giraffe they could see and learn from it. 

Number four, the freedom of speech. Journalists in the previous time are powerless against the government. And journalists back then ware being killed and being forgotten by all people because of the fear that others will be also killed. Philippines is the most dangerous place for a journalist. But now, they have already that power to speak and reveal everything that they knew. It was also considered Journalism is the 4th state lining with the executive, legislative and judiciary. 

The fifth and the final, the gender fair relations. All of the women in the Philippines back then do not have chance to study and have a good and decent job. They were all in the house and serve as the “housewife”. They’ve been discriminated and are being abused like the comfort women in the old days. 

I’ve never thought that I will think this way. But then, we should always look at the positive side of everything. Even though the bad things are leading, we should think of the good ones. It will also boost our minds and think many times. 

We should not also over think. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. We should make our ways to overcome problems and we should eliminate things that can make us down.  


Bakit nga ba sa dinami-rami ng sakunang dumaraan sa mga Pilipino, lagi pa rin tayong nakangiti? 
Justine Marie Bernardo

Natatandaan ko nung hayskul palang ako, tinanong sa amin ng aming guro kung anu-ano ang katangian ng isang Pilipino. Pangkaraniwan at hindi pangkaraniwan. Iyan dapat ang sasabihin ko kaso, hindi na ko naabutan. Pero bakit nga ano? Ano nga ba ang pinanghuhugutan ng mga Pilipino na kahit pa anong mangyari, lubog na ang mga bahay, sunog na ang kanilang mga ari-arian, lindol, nakatira sa mga evacuation centers, o kahit sa mismong pang-araw-araw na kakulangan sa pagkain at pamumuhay, at minsa'y hindi na nakakakatyempo ng matinong trabaho, ay nakakaya pa rin ang ngumiti? Sa oras na nakakita ng kamera na galing sa isang sikat na broadcasting network, ngiti at tawa parin ang namumukod-tanging ekspresyon ng mga tao sa Pilipinas. Sa paanong paraan pa nakakatawa ang isang tao sa kabila ng wala na siyang makain o nalunod na ang kanilang mga bahay? Ay nako, ibahin mo ang Pilipino.

Sabi ng ilan, kaya sila nakakatawa kahit sa anong sitwasyon ng buhay nila, halimbawa nalang kapag nasunog ang kanilang mga gamit, ang pinakaimportante lang para sa kanila ay wala ni isang nasaktan, nawala o namatay sa kanilang pamilya. Kaya nilang mabuhay sa kalsada, o mamalimos kung saan saan basta't magkakasama silang pamilya. Kaya nilang isuko ang lahat ng kanilang ari-arian kung ito nama'y kapalit ng buhay ng isa sa kanilang mahal sa buhay. Hindi talaga tipikal ang pamilyang Pilipino. Sama-sama sa hirap at ginhawa.

Kaya naman hinahangaan tayo ng ibang bansa sa tibay ng samahan ng bawat pamilya. Isipin mo, sa isang bahay, may nanay, may tatay, may mga anak, at mga lolo at lola pa! Isama pa natin ang mga tito at tita, pati na rin ang mga pamangkin. Tinatawag itong extended family, na lahat, kahit isang lahi pa yan, ipagkakasya at ipipilit na isama sa iisang bahay. Hindi na iniisip ng pamilyang Pilipino ang siksikan, kakulangan ng pagkain, at mainit na kapaligiran kung kapalit naman nito ay magkakasama sila.

Ang mga Pilipino nga naman, hindi maikukumpara sa mga taga-ibang bansa. Hindi ba’t sa Amerika, sa oras na ang isang bata ay nag-labinwalong taong gulang na, aalis na ito sa bahay ng kanyang mga magulang. Kung hindi siya magpapatuloy ng kolehiyo, aalis siya at magtatrabaho. Siya na ang susuporta sa sarili niyang pangangailangan. Ibig sabihin, hindi narin siya responsibilidad ng kanyang magulang sa oras na umalis na siya ng bahay.

Pero sa Pilipinas, kabaligtaran ang nangyayari. Walang “Time Limit” sa bahay. Depende nalang sa kanila kung paaalisin ka nila. Kung miyembro ka ng isang marangal na pamilya, nararapat lamang na mag-aral ng kolehiyo at magtrabaho. Ganun din naman sa may kahirapan na buhay pero minsan, hanggang hayskul lang ang natatapos ng ilan. Minsan nga wala pang grade six ng elementarya ang naaabot ng mga ito dahil sa sobrang hirap ng buhay. Kaya kadalasan, nakakapag-asawa na ang anak ngunit nakatira pa rin sa bahay ng mga magulang. Hindi na rin ito makakapagtrabaho dahil walang natapos. Iyon nga lang ang mahirap sa kasalukuyang panahon, ni ultimo panggatas ng apo, sagot narin ng mga lolo at lola. 

Hindi naman ako kabilang sa extended family. Pero para sa akin, ayos lang naman iyon. Hindi ba’t may katagang “the more, the merrier.” Iyon nga lang, dapat ang lahat ng miyembro ng bahay ay may kanya-kanyang tungkulin sa pamilya. Hindi pwedeng wala. Hindi naman porket pinatuloy kayo sa isang bahay ng matagal na panahon e magiging “bwisita” nalang kayo. Minsan kailangang magkusa tayo ng loob dahil hindi naman lagi tayong papansinin at pupunahin sa ating mga ginagawa. Kailangan din ng konting hiya sa sarili. Isipin mo, silang lahat nagtatrabaho tapos ikaw tambay? Para naman yatang baligtad ang nangyari. Lahat kailangang gumalaw. Lahat kailangang magsama-samang iangat ang pamilya sa kahirapan. Iyan ang sikreto ng pamilyang Pilipino kung paano nila napapanatiling masaya ang kanilang loob. 

Kung ako naman ang tatanungin sa pagkamasayahin ng Pilipino, hindi na ito bago sa atin. Isipin man nilang baliw tayo, o ano pa man, ganun talaga e. Tawanan na lamang ang problema kaysa multuhin ka nito habang nabubuhay ka. Ika nga ng ilan, parang mga unggoy ang mga Pilipino. Kasi kahit na sa anong aspeto ng buhay, ang unggoy lagging nakatawa. Lalo na kapag nakakuha siya ng isang saging. Abot tainga na ang ngiti. Simple lang kasi ang kaligayahan ng mga Pilipino, at kadalasan, hindi nakukuha sa materyal na bahay.