the gapanese invasion is nigh!

"pinakamaganda ka nga sa buong kapuluan, pero latina na naman ang magwawagi ng korona at sash sa miss world! racism ba ito? lupasay!"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

micro-level political dynasties and gender dynamics


Inheriting a Patriarchal Legacy
The executive and legislative branches of Philippine government have been or are led by females. That the Philippines is widely considered patriarchal and paternalistic in trait and that male rivals have been around to challenge the women’s rise to a political post make this fact doubly intriguing. The ascension of these female leaders is related to their membership of renowned families. These daughters, wives, or widows of former politicians and oppositionists share inherited political leadership. Regardless of the largely patriarchal and paternalistic state that the Philippines is, many women of dynastic origins get elected to public office. Dynasties are not unusual in grassroots-level Philippine politics, but female succession to power previously held by their fathers or husbands is unusual.
Governing the Self and Others
This study will use Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality to explain the prevalence of female leaders in the grassroots-level Philippine politics. Foucault used the notion of governmentality as a “guideline” for the analysis he provided through the historical reconstructions encompassing the era beginning from Ancient Greece up to modern neo-liberalism.[1] The definitive connection of governing and modes of thought determines that it is not probable to study the technologies of power without the examination of the political rationality suggested by these. Also, Foucault uses the idea of government in a wide-ranging means pointing steadily to the ancient meaning of the name and foreshadows the close ties between forms of power and processes of subjectification. Whereas the word government nowadays means something entirely political, Foucault was able to underscore that the problem of the government in a wider context was well up to the 1900s. It was a term tackled in political texts as well as philosophical, religious, medical and academic tracts. Besides the management by the state or the administration, “government” has a definition that extends to the problems of self-control, guidance for the family and children, management of the household, directing the soul, among others. For this, Foucault views government as conduct or, more specifically, as the “conduct of conduct” that signifies a term that includes “governing the self” to “governing others.”[2]
Foucauldian Feminism
From this notion of Foucauldian governmentality emerges the idea that women, who are traditionally assigned to the household as its manager, can likewise find themselves managing a larger household of sort that is the barangay, the municipality, the city or even the state. They are no longer confined to their territory in the kitchen or the bedroom. The current president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the female president before her, Corazon Aquino, are examples of such women who can govern the way Foucault defines it.
Weak Feminine Foothold in Philippine Politics
While the Philippines seems to be ahead of its neighboring nations by already having two female presidents, major problems are still hindering women from possessing a firmer grasp of political positions. As it is, Philippine politics is traditionally male-dominated. Whereas there is a perceptible rise in the number of women elected in leadership positions, assumption to institutional government does not always transform into the anticipated degree of political influence. The problem of resources also bedevils women’s access to resources to decision-making positions since both sexes do not relish the equal access to resources that produce power.[3] The absence of economic power also deprives women of their rights and privileges.
Females Running Late
The highest political office in the land is obtained mostly by males. From the time the country declared itself independent from foreign colonizers way back at the turn of the 20th Century up to the present, the female leaderships of the nation came to be only after massive people power revolutions ousted the presidents they succeeded. It was only last 2004 that a female was democratically elected to the highest office in the land, and even that election has been challenged of having been rigged.
Male-Dominated Turf
Even the micro-level politics is dominated by males. From the barangay elections to the gubernatorial polls, males have always figured as winners. Only a few females figure in the election derby, let alone win. As a result, male-to-male successions generally prevail in the grassroots-level Philippine politics. This feudal parallelism became sharper when political dynasties became the name of the game since the introduction of Western-type elections in the Philippine landscape.
Dynastic Prevalence
Besides reflecting patriarchal composition, Philippine politics is replete with dynasties. Until recently, Isabela province has its Dys while Nueva Ecija has its Josons; Makati has its Binays and Valenzuela has its Gatchalians. The Philippine Senate has a mother-son tandem as well as sister-brother duo. At least two-thirds of the members of Congress compose political dynasties. Despite constitutional prohibitions, Philippine political dynasties abound from the highest down to the grassroots level. After the meltdown of Marcos dictatorship, there were tries to control political dynasties by limiting the number of family members who could run for office. Nonetheless, the efforts failed in the legislature.
The Female as Leader
In general, the phenomenon of political dynasties is not rare. What is not rare is women being the recipient of their family’s political legacy. It is not only a lack of men that qualifies women as candidates for succession within the family, but also these women’s capacity to symbolize a non-partisan alternative to corrupt male leadership.[4]
Depoliticized Under the Patriarchal Ideology
The unusualness of female leaders has been explained by traditional stereotypes about women's nonpolitical role in the family. The ideology of patriarchy has had a decisive influence on the fate of women in most cultures across the world. Male dominance has been made legitimate in law and custom.[5] Politics has been presumed to be a natural environment for men while for women, if only to have a space or place of their own, the natural environment was presumed to be private, not the public. Different cultures or religions might allude to this category of roles on the dirtiness or roughness of politics, the toughness needed, or, by contrast, the nobility of public service, the need of males with a sense of the big picture as opposed to females whose horizons and loyalties were limited to the family and clan.[6] Hence, the private family role forced on most women formed part of the standard for making them ineligible for political roles.
Male-Dominated Dynasties
Political dynasties are male-dominated,[7] but female succession is becoming an inherent feature within these dynasties. The role of women in engendering democratic transitions through active participation in social movements has long been acknowledged. However, female leaders of democratic transitions have been extremely unusual. They confront sexist barriers in moving from grass roots opposition to leadership posts in opposition parties. This explains why female leaders are rarely emergent as banner leaders in Philippine political parties. This also partly explains the failure of women’s party-lists to penetrate the congress in recent election years.
The Revolution of the Second Sex
However, the importance of women leaders is evident if democratic revolutions are focused on. These are characteristically peaceful and urban-based movements, defined as spontaneous popular uprisings—which topple dictators and begin a transition process that eventually results in the consolidation of democracy, EDSA 1 and 2, for examples. Women have been at the forefront of mass movements that have overthrown unyielding dictatorships and resulted in democratization. Given the absence of female leaders in negotiated transitions, it appears paradoxical that women should be "over-represented" as leaders of democratic revolutions in the Philippines, for instance.
Feminizing Politics
Nonetheless, patriarchy did not deter women from heading anti-dictatorship struggles. Rather, gender stereotyping proved to be politically advantageous. As women, the politicians in question were perceived to be weak, making them appear less threatening to ambitious opposition rivals. They were the mothers or sisters of a suffering nation, as was former First Lady Imelda Marcos was wont to project. They promised to clean the filthy public realm with private, familial virtue reminiscent of homes. Their apparent non-partisanship, self-sacrifice and even inexperience emphasized the moral character of the struggle against dictatorship. Patriarchal traditions have helped rather than hindered female leaders of democratic revolutions.
Going Against the Gendered Grain of Politics
Micro-level political dynasties alter sexual norms in Philippine society. Women of dynastic origins challenge male domination in micro-level Philippine politics by getting elected to public office. The election of women of dynastic origins to grassroots level public office is taken along the lines of gender stereotypes. Why are there so many women leaders in micro-level Philippine politics? In part, it is because male relatives were unable, unwilling, or unsuited to take over the leadership of a family-based political faction. But women were not chosen simply because of an absence of a suitable male relative. They appeared less threatening to potential rivals, who thus could support their leadership without sacrificing their own ambitions. Although they enjoyed a dynastic aura, it was expected that real control of the party, movement, or faction would be retained by men.[8] Women leaders assume only symbolic/representative leadership. Female leadership was perceived as largely a symbol, like an empress or queen perhaps but without the political influence to boot. Their ability to unite the faction through their integrative character was considered more important than their actual political skills. Women leaders perform only traditional female role models.
The Politicized Other Half
Another reason for the rise of women leaders is that traditional stereotypes about their gender were not a hindrance, but proved to be to their political advantage. In feminist literatures, the rarity of female leadership is commonly explained by the cultural construction of the role of women which is traditionally based in the family.[9] But such a patriarchal ideology did not hinder women from achieving leading political positions. Women leaders were often perceived as apolitical.[10] They were best suited to lead a moral struggle against male tyrants. As the wives, widows, or daughters of male martyrs, these women rose to political power over the male’s dead body. Murdered, imprisoned, or discredited male politicians became political martyrs at least for their supporters; their often ambivalent political backgrounds were conveniently overlooked as their cause was taken up by their female successors. Corazon Aquino fits this mold as well as others the likes of Susan Roces, although her husband Fernando Poe Jr., the nearest rival of Arroyo last 2004 National Election, died naturally as well as Sonia Roco, whose husband Raul Roco was popularly perceived to be more presidential than most candidates in the election years he ran.
Governing Better Beyond the Home
At the same time the experience and abilities of these women was left unquestioned. Once in power, however, the competence of women leaders often became a question of great political importance, the answer to which was often given by men. Women leaders portrayed themselves as fresh, uncorrupted alternatives to the male-dominated political club. Their gender made this claim more plausible.[11] It enabled them to achieve the apparently paradoxical: while they were the heirs to a political dynasty—which in few cases was renowned for its commitment to good governance or its upholding of lofty political morals—they appeared to be politically virtuous with a sincere commitment to reform. Because they claimed to offer a moral alternative, any indication of missteps once in office led to rapid disillusionment in the population. Such is the case of beleaguered current Philippine President.
Foucauldian Governmental Feminism at Work
Gender dynamics manifests itself in the grassroots level of Philippine politics. Data show that the recent elections for legislative positions produce, at its peak, 17% of senators and representatives are women. At the local level, as many as 20% of provincial governors are women and 15% of city and municipal mayors are women. Statistics from elections held in 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2001 show an ascending proportion of women among elected local chief executives. In 1992, 6.6% of governors were women; in 1995, 10.7%;in 1998, 16%; and in 2001, 19%. Women city mayors comprise 2.9% only in 1992. This climbed slightly in 1995 with 5.9%; 9% in 1998 and 13.54 in 2001. Women town mayors in 1992 are at 7.6%; 8.14 in 1995; 14.4% in 1998 and 13.8% in 2001.[12]
The increasing trend of women’s participation in local politics as governors and mayors may discredit the notion that there has not been much increase in women’s participation in elections. There have been, but the dramatic increase surged only in 1998.
Better Late than Never
Meanwhile, the 2007 elections result is part of a steady ascent in female representation in political life since the fall of the Marcos tyranny. According to an ABS-CBN report last May, the percentage of women in the 10th Congress (elected in 1992) was 11%; in the 11th (elected in 1996) it was 12%; and in the 12th (elected in 2001) it was 18%. No data are available for the 13th Congress, elected in 2004. These high figures by Asian standards are at least partly explained by dynastic politics—8 of the 53 women elected in 2007 (15%) are wives of incumbent congressmen who have just served their third and final terms. Still, that is becoming a less important factor—it is estimated that in the 12th House fully 45% of the female legislators were replacements of relatives previously in the House.
Becoming More Leader-like
More important than the dynastic element is the high status of women in wider Philippine society. Still from the report from ABS-CBN, women are better educated than men, with a combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio of 106%. This is actually true to emergent female leaders in grassroots politics, with women mayors, representatives and governors having college or graduate degrees and strong financial mechanism to go with their electoral campaign. In business, women are particularly visible, with 58.1% of administrators and managers being female. Returning to politics, whichever side had won in the 2004 Presidential election, the Philippines would have had a female president, since if the opposition had won, Loren Legarda would have acceded to the presidency on FPJ’s death in December 2004. Assuming that the beleaguered President sees out her current term, by 2010 the Philippines will have had a female president for 15.5 of the 24 years since EDSA, 65%.
Slow but Sure Ascent to Power
The study proves more holistic studies that women politicians come from political families. However, the data express that they have had achievements as government administrators or professionals and business women before entering politics, or have served as local councilors or village heads (barangay chairs) before running for office. Once in office, they create projects which may not be immediately labeled as gender-oriented, such as agriculture or public works, with the more gendered social services (health and education). Nonetheless, some of them are aware of responding to issues important to mothers and children, and some have even started women’s and/or children’s programs. Many of them consider their being mothers as a big influence on the priority they give their projects.

Percentage of Women in Government, Congress, and Judiciary[13]
Field
Percentage
Women government personnel by levels of position (CSC, 1999; * NCRFW, 2002)

First level
34.6%
Second level
71.9%
Third level
34.8%
Cabinet (Head of Department)
18.2%*
Women in government elective posts (COMELEC, 2001;**House of Representatives, 2003)

Senate
7.7%
Congress
19.0%**
Governor
19.5%
Vice-Governor
13.0%
Board Member
16.5%
Mayor
15.6%
Vice-Mayor
12.4%
Councilors
17.4%
Incumbent women judges in Philippine courts (Supreme Court, 2001)
21.4%

Female Brand of Politics
The role of dynastic women in the micro-level Philippine politics seems to be significant with their introduction of new politics. Nevertheless, it must be noted that their gaining of a foothold in electoral posts can be seen in the women’s movement as one of the successes of gender discourse. Yet the slow legislative lobbying and half-baked policy reforms in general make the discourse somewhat inadequate in terms of final results. While the greater involvement of women in politics—regardless of their dynastic origins, has been promoted, there must be formidable support for women advocacies. Only by then will the struggle of the women’s movement for more genuine gender equality and mainstreaming materialize tangible outcomes.

Bibliography:
Arendt, Hannah. “Introduction into Politics.” In The Promise of Politics. Germany: Schocken, 2005.
Berrett, Michelle. “Ideology and the Cultural Production of Gender.” In Feminist Critique and Social Change: Sex, Class and Race in Literature and Culture. Newton, Judith and Deborah Rosenfelt, eds. New York ; Methuen , 1985.
Bunch, Charlotte. “Women’s Human Rights: The Challenges of Global Feminism and Diversity.” In Feminist Locations: Global and Local, Theory and Practice. Dekoven, Marianne, ed. New Jersey: Rutgers , 2001.
Chomsky, Noam and Foucault, Michel. The Chomsky-Foucault Debate on Human Nature. New York: The New Press, 2006.
Foucault, Michel. “Governmentality.” In “Society Must Be Defended:” Lectures at the College de France, 1975-1976. New York: Picador, 1997.
Friedman, Marilyn. Anatomy, Gender, Politics. New York: Oxford, 2003.
Helga, Mylene. Participation of Women in Philippine Politics and Society: A Situationer. Makati: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003.
Johnson-Odim, Cheryl. “Who’s to Navigate and Who’s to Steer? A Consideration of the Role of the Theory in Feminist Struggle.” In Feminist Locations: Global and Local, Theory and Practice. Dekoven, Marianne, ed. New Jersey : Rutgers , 2001.
Juhasz, Suzanne, et al. The Women and Language Debate. New Jersey : Rutgers , 1994.
Kuhn, Annette. “Real Women.” In Feminist Critique and Social Change: Sex, Class and Race in Literature and Culture. Newton, Judith and Deborah Rosenfelt, eds. New York: Methuen, 1985.
Rogers, Mary. Contemporary Feminist Theory: A Text/Reader. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
Tapales, Proserpina. “Women in Contemporary Philippine Local Politics.” A Lecture delivered at the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 2005.

[1] Foucault, Michel. “Governmentality.” In “Society Must Be Defended:” Lectures at the College de France, 1975-1976. New York: Picador, 1997, pp. 201-222.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Arendt, Hannah. “Introduction into Politics.” In The Promise of Politics. Germany: Schocken, 2005. p.93.
[4] Friedman, Marilyn. Anatomy, Gender, Politics. New York: Oxford, 2003, p.168.
[5] Bunch, Charlotte. “Women’s Human Rights: The Challenges of Global Feminism and Diversity.” In Feminist Locations: Global and Local, Theory and Practice. Dekoven, Marianne, ed. New Jersey: Rutgers , 2001, p.97.
[6] Juhasz, Suzanne, et al. The Women and Language Debate. New Jersey : Rutgers , 1994,p.115.
[7] Chomsky, Noam and Foucault, Michel. The Chomsky-Foucault Debate on Human Nature. New York: The New Press, 2006, p.23.
[8] Kuhn, Annette. “Real Women.” In Feminist Critique and Social Change: Sex, Class and Race in Literature and Culture. Newton, Judith and Deborah Rosenfelt, eds. New York: Methuen, 1985, p.203.
[9] Berrett, Michelle. “Ideology and the Cultural Production of Gender.” In Feminist Critique and Social Change: Sex, Class and Race in Literature and Culture. Newton, Judith and Deborah Rosenfelt, eds. New York ; Methuen , 1985, p.43.
[10] Johnson-Odim, Cheryl. “Who’s to Navigate and Who’s to Steer? A Consideration of the Role of the Theory in Feminist Struggle.” In Feminist Locations: Global and Local, Theory and Practice. Dekoven, Marianne, ed. New Jersey : Rutgers , 2001, p.82.
[11] Rogers, Mary. Contemporary Feminist Theory: A Text/Reader. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
[12] Tapales, Proserpina. “Women in Contemporary Philippine Local Politics.” A Lecture delivered at the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 2005.
[13] Helga, Mylene. Participation of Women in Philippine Politics and Society: A Situationer. Makati: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003, p.3.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

the impact of parental separation on children


ABSTRACT
The study takes course on the impact of parental separation on children’s development. Through survey and interview, responses were made regarding the effects of this family problem. Generally, the impact is negative because parental split-up causes personal and social impairments. There are also benefits but the disadvantages far outweigh these. Coping mechanisms are resorted to in order to combat the negative effects, but these are difficult to undertake and takes long before producing favorable results. To help children adjust to the situation, parents need to cooperate and provide different kinds of support to their children.
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Parental separation is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. In many developed countries, separation rates have increased markedly during the previous century. Among the states in which separation has become a commonplace are the United States , South Korea , and members of the European Union. It is reported that more than 1 million children each year experience their parents’ separation. This condition will affect not only the spouse but also their children. The effects may vary according to the degree of separation but oftentimes, the behavior and relationship of the children are the ones greatly affected by that sad ending. Because of the rising separation rate, an investigation, through this research, is conducted to determine the effects of parental separation. This study will give an actual insight of children coming from a broken family. This will give necessary information on how these children reacted and accepted the separation of their parents.
The researchers are determined to study the effects of parental separation on children since this is a widely occurring problem on the family condition and is no longer a microcosmic but a worldwide phenomenon. Aside from that, everybody should be concerned and be aware of the plight of those who are products of a broken family in order to act on the reduction of the climbing rate at which parents separate yearly, causing sometimes irreparable damage on the inevitable victims that are the children.
Review of Literature
Emery (1999) views change as characteristic of all divorces. This is experienced even before the physical separation and continues well after the legal divorce. It can create a better or worse domestic environment, to which all children must adapt. Hence, children are affected psychologically on two levels: they need adaptation to change and need long-term psychological adjustment. The stability following this may be better, worse, or just different from that before the divorce.
Ayalon and Flasher (1993) report that broken families have become so prevalent that the social and psychological stigma the parental separation creates on children have often been overlooked. For one, this causes a tremendous amount of stress on children. Children also develop feelings of alienation, anger, confusion and despair. They frequently get affected cognitively, behaviorally and psychosocially. These children often require professional help in order to adjust to their frayed domestic atmosphere.
Buchanan et al (1996) examine that separating parents worry over the detrimental effects of their divorce on the happiness, well-being, responsibility and independence of their children. While there are children who adapt well after their parents' separation, there may be more if more information and support were provided professionally. Conversely, failure to adapt results to the impairment of children's capacity for development.
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Statement of the Problems
The study addresses the following questions:
1. What are the behavioral effects of parental separation as a result of the survey conducted to an offspring of a broken family?
2. What causes the change of behavior of a child that came from a broken family?
3. How did the parental separation affect the offspring's relationship with their parents?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of parental separation on children?
5. Who do these children trust regarding problems generated by parental separation?
6. What are the coping mechanisms of children whose parents have separated?
7. How long did the children use these coping mechanisms after their parents have separated?
Significance of the Study
The study is undertaken with the following considerations at hand:
1. To be aware of the behavioral change of those children who are raised by a broken family.2. To recognize the emotional needs and feeling of those who are products of a broken family.3. To develop ways on how to rehabilitate children's behavior in response to the separation of their parents.
4. To visualize how children change and how they respond to the separation of their parents.5. To realize the real essence of a complete family.
CHAPTER II
METHOD
Participants
The participants chosen discreetly by the respondents are known personally. The foremost qualification for the participants was their unique condition of having separated parents, legally or otherwise. Their ages range the late adolescence, a period that is crucial in identity formation and social interaction. The participants came from both sexes and from the middle to upper classes.
Measures
The operation of the variables proceeded as follows: the parental separation was viewed as the constant variable whereas the effects this separation causes were the dependent variables. The effects were categorized based on the positivity, negativity and neutrality in order to make a conclusion on how they impact children of separated parents.
Procedure
The data collected from this study were sourced out via survey and interview. The researchers prepared questions relevant to the study and handed them out to and asked directly from the respondents. After letting the respondents answer the questions, the researchers made notations regarding the data, tabulated, interpreted and gave implications to the results.
Limitations of the Study
This study will strictly cover adolescents who are a product of a broken family. This will provide necessary information on how these young people reacted on the separation of their parents, how they accept, how they change, among other things concerning on behavioral matters only. This study will depend on the survey and on the interview of the respondents. This study will not give many elaborations apart from the personal, behavioral and social effects of parental separation. It will not also give much emphasis on the gender of the respondents as well as their social status in life. In addition, this study will not any more scrutinize the most private lives of the respondents as well as the reasons why their parents ended up separating. Lastly, the scope of the investigation is limited to 15-20 respondents only.
CHAPTER III
RESULTS
The survey conducted on the children of separated parents yielded the following results, with answers appearing verbatim:
1. Do you prefer that your parents live together? Why?
· Yes, for my younger siblings. It would be for their welfare
· Yes, because I’m closer to my father
· N/A. No father
· No, I’m used to how things are
· No, hell no! They just don’t
· No, there are so many issues between them and both sides of the family
· No, they just fight
· Yes, so it would become happier
· Not really, they seem to be happy and that they are better friends now that they are separated
· No, if they do they just wont get along
· No, I have two houses to go to
· Not really. Maybe I would have if I had actually experienced it, but since I have no memories of them living together whatsoever, I can’t really imagine it. Besides, I’m really used to them living separately already; it’d be weirder for me if they actually lived together.
· It depends. I was pretty young when my parents separated and I didn’t exactly know what the cause was. My parents act normally when they’re around each other but they also have a lot of side comments about each other. Basing it on this, I’d prefer that they don’t live together. We all live happily now and that is fine with me. The only benefits, for me, of having them live together are: not having to go out of the way to visit my dad and actually having him around.
· Yes because I don’t want a broken family
· No, because they fight all the time. I think they’re just not meant to be together.
· I prefer that my parents live together but if the basis by which it happens is because they want to maintain a “complete-family-atmosphere” for the sake of us, the children, then I would rather that they live separately. It would be much harder for the kids to witness the everyday quarrels and arguments they may have because of their respective indifferences with each other.
· No I cant picture them together anymore
2. Whom would you rather live with, your mom or with your dad? Why?
· My mom. Because she would need someone to help her with stuff
· Dad. We understand each other more
· Mom, she’s great
· Mom. I live with her already
· Mom, she is less judgmental
· Mom, She’s the most responsible and I’m more close with my mom
· My dad. I’m closer to him
· Dad. I’m closer to my dad
· Either. My mom takes care of me while my dad is fun. “one of the boys fun”
· Mom, I feel she makes me feel more secure
· Mom, but at times to be with my dad. He just has everything
· My mom. I’ve lived with her all my life, so I’m closer to her. Besides, my dad’s too conservative and strict, and I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I’m doing now if I stayed with my dad.
· As I said, we all live happily now. It is hard to choose who I want to live with because there are pros and cons to both. Maybe I would choose my mom though because I am already used to the way things work around her house.
· Mom. I’m closer with my mom and I know that she’ll take care of me better than my dad.
· With my mom of course because my dad abandoned us for like four years.
· I would rather live with my mom, as I do at present, because the compassion of a mother is still very different from that of a father’s, although still on a case-to-case basis. On a personal note, because I am the only daughter and the eldest of 4 kids in my family, my father burdened me with the responsibilities, that supposedly belonged to a parent, with my mom out of the house. As a result, I carelessly failed to focus on what I was supposed to, instead struggled to play wife to my father (in the sense that I do the grocery-shopping and management of the house and not in any malicious way) and a mother to my younger brothers. For this reason, I chose to live with my mother as she never forgets to be that significant person in my life as a growing young adult entering the real world.
· Mom
3. Did your parents’ separation affect your relationship with them? Explain.
· Yes. I became more distant to them because I still don’t accept their separation
· Yes. I became more cold towards them
· Of course, I became closer to my mom
· Nope. I get to see my mom and dad normally
· Yeah. I felt tense whenever I talked about the other
· I became closer with my mom. There was lack of communication from my dads side
· Not really, actually it improved
· No, they are still my parents
· NO
· I became less close to my father, there was a lack of communication. For awhile I was distant to both
· Yes. I became more close with my feelings to them
· Yeah, it did. I used to be really bitter about the whole situation; I blamed their separation for all the disappointment in my life. There was this really huge distance between my mom and me for quite some time, and even more with my dad. My mom and I are okay now, but sometimes I feel like I never really got to fix things with my dad.
· I could say that it did but just a little. My dad lived in the US when I was young so I hardly got to talk to him. I only got to see him every year when I spent my summer over there. But honestly, I could not even remember the time that we all lived together.
· Only with my dad. I was a bit cold with him after the separation
· With my mom, it didn’t but with my dad, yeah it did. Well, first I don’t trust him anymore and now that his back, I take him for granted, though he lives in his parents’ house. Even though he find ways to make it up to us it can never bring back the hard times we’ve had because he left us hanging. I love my mom so much and she’s done everything for the three of us to the point of sacrificing her own happiness just to feed us. You see, because of my dad, my mom suffered and had to face everything she doesn’t deserve of. I’m really disappointed and disgusted of what my dad did, not only for abandoning us but because of hitting my mom as well.
· Yes, it affected my relationship with each of them. I completely lost all trust and admiration for my father as I, myself, discovered his philandering acts and infidelity to my mother and us, his children. For almost a year since the incident, I hadn’t spoken to him or seen him. I had no more respect for him left as certain reasons robbed that from me. Right now, I am on the verge of rebuilding my relationship with my father because I deem it necessary for my own piece of mind. My mother, on the other hand, shares a deeper and more connected bond with me. Because of everything that happened, we learned to stand by each other, under all circumstances.
· No
4. How did your parents’ separation affect you?
· I became a little more introverted and a little more reflective
· My grades suffered
· I grew up independently
· Not so much
· I became aversive to commitment
· In a way it affected my confidence and security. Sometimes I’m dismayed when some parents interview me and think of pity
· Surprisingly I’m happier. Things have calmed down. They’re still civil to each other
· I think I became more independent
· At first I had a hard time but soon became apathetic
· My grades suffered, became emotionally unstable, didn’t have a good relationship with dad, had lack of trust to others
· I'm like a closed book about my feeling though I'm still fun to be around with
· My grades actually dropped sometime in grade school because of the whole thing, mostly because I wallowed in self-pity. At that time it felt like I was an outcast of some sort, like I wasn’t normal, just because my parents didn’t live together. But I’m okay now, and I’m actually kind of open about the whole thing. I think that the fact that I’m from a dysfunctional family has affected my way of thinking; I’m more open-minded and liberated.
· It didn’t affect me personally. I don’t think that my attitude or whatsoever changed because of this
· It hurt a lot. I had a hard time accepting it.
· I have become more emotional when it comes to my mom.
· It affected me as it affected my three younger brothers. I saw the disappointment and tremendous pain and confusion they had. It also affected me because I had to carry the guilt that was utterly uncalled for because I was the one who had discovered of my father’s infidelity. For a time, I blamed myself for opening up the topic to my mom – to share what I found out. I blamed everyone, including myself, for what happened to our family. Because of this, I found it hard to trust people, especially boys. I mustered a cynical and deep-rooted hate for boys I deemed and assumed to be like my father. I had also let go of my priorities. In short, I found myself stuck in a rut. For a year, my life went down the drain because I failed to care for myself, for my future.
· My grades suffered and my relationship with them
5. Who do you turn to when you have problems regarding your parents’ separation?
· Girlfriend
· Girlfriend
· None
· Siblings
· No one
· My titos, titas, grandparents and cousins. They are very supportive
· My dad, I don’t really go to my friends
· Friends, Relatives
· NO one
· Friends, Mom
· No one
· Best friends, God.
· I actually never had a problem with this so I wouldn’t know. Maybe my sister, if ever.
· Close Friends
· My uncles
· Technically, I didn’t turn to anyone, not even to God, no matter how preachy that sounds. I always drowned myself in my own misery and at the same time, sought to find the answers to my own questions. Fortunately, as I gradually developed a tighter connection with my mother, I eventually was able to vent out to her and ask her all the things I wanted to clarify. At the same time, I was made to see a therapist and a psychologist to unleash all the anger and pain in me.
· Cousins and friends
6. For you, what are the disadvantages of having separated parents?
· None
· Family activities
· No father figure
· I feel an anxiety when there are people doing P(ublic) D(isplay of) A(ffection) because I never saw that when I was a kid
· I am juggled between the two
· Lack of security, Financial battles
· It's hard when I need them together for certain events
· When they are not there when I need them
· Only one parent dictates the rules
· When in family events...incomplete. Children are more “pakawala”
· Making two beds
· No man in the house, no one to drive us around when there’s no driver (my mom doesn’t drive).
· Communication with the parent whom you are not living with, someone who might understand you if the other parent doesn’t, more people around the house.
· It’ll have a terrible effect on the children because there are some who can’t deal with it.
· None
· Of course I can not say that I do not wish having dinner with my whole family or going to the malls with both my parents and my other siblings - that I miss the most. That would be the number one disadvantage of having separated parents. The children will also be affected greatly in all angles. Parents each trying to get the sympathies of the children by destroying the images of the other parent creates disharmony among children, between that parent and the children, and both parents.
· It didn’t affect me
7. How long did the effects of their separation last on you?
· Its still with me
· A year
· It didn’t
· O year
· Until I was 13
· I’m still somewhat affected
· Around a year
· I think it changed me as a person
· 1 month
· Until now
· Until now, since the birth of my younger sister
· 1 year
· None
· A year or two
· Until now
· Honestly, it affected me for a little more than a year. It possibly affected me for a year and 2 to 3 months.
8. How did you cope with the situation?
· I still don’t know
· Not to think about it. Talk to friends
· I cried
· Food
· I read books in order to escape
· Study well. Share with other situation, Just simple make life better, There is no point in sulking
· My dad kept talking to us about it
· I have to live with it
· Indifference
· Dance, friends
· Made loads of friends
· I had to force myself to accept it. No acceptance, no letting go. So I faced it, then I got over it. Haha.
· None
· Tried to accept it and moved on
· With the help of family and friends
· The thing is, I wasn’t able to cope with the situation at first. I rebelled and lost my principles which are both completely wrong. I was misinformed. Luckily, I found myself going nowhere but down and realized I had to do something, even on my own, to get myself back on my feet.
9. What are the benefits of your parents’ separation?
· None
· No more fighting in the house (screaming)
· None
· Lots of gifts and Money and Love
· I have learned to be wary of commitment and think things through
· No fighting and no trauma from conflicts
· Less emotional trauma
· Many
· Money
· Double allowance, more freedom
· Separate decisions. You ask one if the other doesn’t approve
· More freedom! I can do lots of things I would never have been able to do if my dad lived with us. Closer relationship with mom.
· I’m assuming that there would be less trouble around the house, no people fighting, and I get to use my dad as an excuse to leave the house.
· More allowance, more freedom
· I only have to ask permission to my mom. I can freely stay at any of the houses my parents have. I can just demand with my dad to drive for me if I have to run an errand or something because we both know he has no right to complain.
· The only benefit I had, aside from establishing a deep relationship with my mother, is that I learned to handle problems in a different way. I learned the hard truth about life at an early age and I am glad for it. I became stronger and unafraid of whatever else has to come my way.
· More money hahaha more family and more gifts
CHAPTER IV
DISCUSSION
Living Separate Lives
Where applicable, most of the respondents prefer that their parents live separately after the manifestation of marital incompatibility. 11 out of 16 definitively-answering respondents or 68.75% say that it is better that their parents not live together. Meanwhile, only five out of 16 definitively-answering respondents or 31.25% say that their parents should stay together. The majority answer is a telling fact that it is less traumatic for children to have separated parents than parents that harbor conjugal differences while living in the same domicile. The latter, after all, will cost the children the struggle with a hostile home atmosphere because of the warring parents. The trauma, as said, may be less, but this creates maladjustment on the part of the respondents, as the foregoing will attest. For one, children are left to struggle with the absence of one parent and with the authority of the present one.
Maternal Preference
Where applicable, most of the respondents prefer to live with their mothers when their parents separate. 13 out of 16 definitively-answering parents or 81.25% choose to stay with their mothers. Meanwhile, 3 out of the same respondents or 18.75% choose to stay with their fathers. Since mothers are naturally more nurturing, it is conclusive that children of separated parents would choose their mothers if only to have a better personal adjustment on the domestic crisis. After all, mothers can relate more emotionally to their children since they are more open about their feelings. Fathers are less known to relate to children emotionally, so they are less preferred to be with during the short- and long-term periods of after-separation adjustments.
Inescapable Impact
Most of the respondents confess that their relationship with their parents was affected owing to the parental separation. 12 out of 18 respondents or 66.67% admit that their parents' split-up transformed the way they relate to their parents. Meanwhile, 6 out of 18 respondents or 33.33% admit that their parents' separation did not affect the relationship between the children and the parent/s. This means that the separation has an impact on the relationship between the parents and their children. No product of a broken family can escape the anxiety of separation since this is an anomaly on the stability of family structure.
Frayed Relational Ties
Most of the respondents see that their relationship with their separated parents got affected negatively. 12 out of 17 respondents or 70.59% have a negative way of seeing the effect their parents' separation has on the parents-children relationship. While five out of the 17 respondents or 29.41% do not see a negative effect of their parents' separation on the parents-children relationship, most of these are not positive, either. At most, it created a neutral effect on the filial ties. The generally negative effect on the way children relate to parents after the latter have separated points to the disturbance on the equilibrium of the family structure.
Kin Closeness
Most of the respondents turn to their relatives regarding post-separation problems, followed closely by other people. 8 out of 19 responses or 42.10% tell that they turn to siblings, relatives or parents. Meanwhile, 7 out of 19 responses or 36.84% tell that they have romantic partners or friends who act as their confidante on occasions problems arise. A significant number of the respondents, 4 out of 19 responses or 21.05%, do not turn to anyone at all, a telling fact that a social impairment was done by the separation. The closeness to kin is an attestation that blood is thicker than water, especially in the context of a family crisis such as parental split-up.
Personal and Social Costs of Separation
Most of the respondents see disadvantages on their parents' separation. 8 out of 17 respondents or 41.17% see personal disadvantages ranging from maladjustments because of the parents' absence to financial insecurity. 7 out of 17 respondents or 41.17% see social disadvantages ranging from alienation during family activities to difficulty of relating with either or both parents. Only three respondents or 17.64% see no disadvantage at all. This goes on to show that more than advantages, parental separations engender personal and social disadvantages. This means children of separated parents will have to suffer relationship problems owing to their exposure to such a problem. It also means possibility of having personal anxieties and insecurities because they may feel accountable of the parents’ decision to separate.
Slow Recovery
Most of the respondents experience long-term coping period regarding their parents' split-up. 10 out of 16 respondents or 62.5% admit to having long period in adjusting to the situation, with a few saying that they have yet to cope up at all. 6 out of 16 respondents or 37.5% admit to having coped up within a year or less after their parents separated. This behavioral problem points to the fact that adjustments are hard to come by when separation crisis hits the family. The shock value of the problem is hard to erase since they will have a new yet discrepant way of seeing the structure of a family unit.
Negative Means of Recovery
Regarding the kind of mechanisms respondents used in order to cope up with their parents' separation, there were more negative than positive means. Nine out of 16 respondents or 56.25% have identifiably negative ways of reacting to their family situation, ranging from escapism to indifference. Meanwhile, only seven out of 16 respondents or 43.75% have identifiably positive ways of reacting to their family situation, ranging from sublimation to self-help. This only tells that it is more likely for children of separated parents to react negatively to their domestic crisis. Anyway, the crumbling image of a blissful family will recur in their minds and that damage is somewhat irredeemable.
Inadequate Compensation
Most of the respondents also see benefits coming out of the separation situation. 15 out of 17 respondents or 88.24% find perks despite their negative family situation, ranging from independence to financial support. Two out of 17 respondents or 11.76% find no benefit form it whatsoever. Given the kind of benefits drawn out of parents' separation, these benefits still do not outweigh the liabilities that parental separation causes to children's general adjustment. No matter what or how much benefits can be drawn from separations, it cannot be erased that there are far more problems caused by this. Some of the benefits are even forced upon the selves of the children, which cannot be labeled outright helpful at all.
CHAPTER V
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The study shows that separated parents are better off as separated physically because this setup creates less tension as to the adjustment capacity of the children of the involved parents. Any which way, children's relationship with their parents are affected negatively as are their own personal as well as social adjustments. Disadvantages are graver than advantages springing out of parental separation. While coping up is possible for children of separated parents, it does not come easily and even takes long.
It is suggested that there is a need to see parental separation not as an event but as a process which begins long before a parent departs and continues throughout. This is to secure the possibility of fast recovery on the part of the children. It is important to make sure that children know what is happening because separation is a parental decision which inevitably affects children.
Separation for children can be particularly difficult when followed by a number of other changes to the family setting. Financial hardship and parental distress are also associated with continuing problems for children. Many children seek better communication with and informal support from friends and family. Whereas all people experience a number of transitions that can be difficult for them, children of separated parents require unique additional support in order to cope up from their family crisis.
A poor relationship between the separated parents is understood to add to the difficulties in establishing successful arrangements for contact between the child and the parents. However, there are also many practical issues that concern families on separation, such as less trauma and a different means of achieving independence.
The decisions made between parents during and after the separation can become part of the past, but for the children, harm to self-esteem and self-identity, among other personal developments, can be evident for quite some time. Parents need to be a part of their children's lives. Separation affects children in their personal environment, their social environment, and their family structure. The family structure takes on a new definition, differing greatly from the traditional. Separations are highly emotional and can draw children into conflict, which weighs greatly on how the family functions as a unit. Children will go to great lengths in order to gain back their normal family lives.
Any adult who is the product of a broken family understands what separation can do to children. The effects can be long-term, so parents must be aware what their decision will lead to and what to be done about it. If parents work together for their children's adjustment despite their separation, children can develop healthy, emotional attitudes. This does not work for all families, but it reduces the anxiety that the child is experiencing. No matter how harsh the relationship between former partners, if the two work together for the adjustment of their offspring, the impact of the separation can pose little hindrance to the overall development of the children.
REFERENCES
Emery, Robert. (1999). Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment. California : Sage Publications.
Ayalon, Ofra and Adina Flasher (1993). Chain Reaction: Children and Divorce:
Pennsylvania: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Buchanan, Christy, et al. (1996). Adolescents After Divorce. Cambridge : Harvard University Press.

Friday, September 28, 2007

turning into a leader


John Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Within You is about certain traits that must be connected to desire in order for me to turn into a leader. These traits are varied. They appear in the book as principles. As they are already supplied in the book, I only need to supply the desire. Often, desire is the one thing that prevents me from assuming leadership. While I see that others see such principles in me, I lack the desire. Of course, I thank people when they appreciate my finer qualities. However, I understand that it’s hard to be a leader. Followers expect so much from a leader. If I fail as a leader, followers similarly, fail. Even if I deliver well, it’s not a guarantee that I will satisfy the standards of others. Hence, my desire is not incited even as I recognize my leadership potentials. It takes desire to support my traits in becoming a leader.
This is important because not everyone is a natural-born leader. If everyone including me has leadership traits, all that is needed is the desire to become a leader. If desire is incited in everyone, then there will be no more shortage of leaders. If I myself am one, I should like to be a leader with a spiritual act of service. I would like to be a Christ-like leader. I like to follow Christ by bringing out the ideal in people. I believe that my highest calling of leadership lies in my capacity to make people grow and develop. Like me, I should like people to draw out the best in themselves. In that case, we all have what it takes to be leaders, but desire complements these characteristics.
The insights that are the principles in the book are all important. Creating a positive influence is important to me because I want to be a charismatic leader. I want to have the moral capacity to make people follow me. Setting the right priorities is important to me because I want to concentrate my energy on the things that will realize my goals. Modeling integrity is important to me because as a leader, I will be looked up to. Thus, I must be ideal enough to be imitated for my integrity. Creating positive change is important to me because this is the signal that growth and development is happening. With positive change, my leadership is working to transform lives. Problem solving is important to me because with eliminated problems, I can be close to my goals. Having the right positive attitude is important to me because this is crucial in realizing my objectives. Developing people is important to me because I want to create leaders such as myself. More leaders means facilitating positive changes which I initiated. Charting the vision is important to me because I want to see where my actions are headed toward my goals. Practicing self-discipline is important to me because with it, I stay on focus with my priorities and do not get distracted by unimportant things. Lastly, developing staff is important to me because this is training my colleagues in assuming leadership posts themselves.
These principles are important in my studies, personal life and future professional life in many ways. In my studies, I can perhaps use everything especially practicing self-discipline and setting the right priorities. These principles are helpful in remembering the lessons I learn in class. Remembering them is important because I need to apply them in my life at present and in the future. For example, my lessons in history tell that history is used to chart the past mistakes so I do not have to repeat them. That holds true to any life: using the past to create a less imperfect future. With the right priorities, say studies first before anything else, nothing in my past which rendered mistakes will be repeated. Instead, with self-discipline, I will follow a neat pattern of life with a few errors just so I can be a leader by being a disciplined model. In my personal life, the principles are helpful especially charting my vision and modeling integrity. A true leader that’s me has a vision that is not short-sighted. I want that vision to benefit everyone so people I relate with will help me achieve other visions besides. I also want people to see that I have integrity to be emulated by them. Followers respect me more as their leader when they see that I am, as a whole, good. In my future life as a professional, I must develop staff and people as well as creating positive influence in them. Developing staff and people is my recognition of the leaders in them. This is a way of bringing out the best in themselves in much the same manner as I have drawn the best in me. Also, I want to be in the position where I can change people just by being an inspiring colleague or leader to them.
These insights are important to be done today and in the places I deal with people. In the home as well as in the school, opportunities flow wherein I can show my leadership traits. The only thing I need now is to have the desire to support these traits so I can initiate transformation as deemed needed by the present time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

freeing myself


The book is about liberating myself from my fears. Freeing myself is the beginning of many things. First, it precedes my personal growth. Second, it improves my relations with others. Third, I come closer to actualizing my potentials. However, I harbor many fears. I fear that who I really am is inconsistent with who people think of me. I also fear that if others find out about this, I will drive them off. I fear being alone, because I see the importance of others’ impact on my life. The book is aware of all these. That is why it tries to offer insights which may help me change my negative perception. Enhancing my self-perception is the key to understanding myself. Before others can possibly understand me, understanding should begin with myself. If it happens, I am taking away the burdens I put upon myself. This, in effect, creates self-liberation. It feels better to be free instead of suffering in the domination of fear.
The book is important because a few of the number of recommendations can already initiate the change in perception. I have become less fearsome now. Before, I used to be so fearful. I dread what others might perceive me. Everyday is an agony of putting a front which I am really not. I mask myself and pass myself off as a flawless individual. I want to follow my parents’ will to be called a dutiful child. It occurs to me to challenge their will sometimes just so I can decide for myself too. However, I fear that my parents will see this as a rebellion. As a result, my relationship with my parents cannot really be called perfectly meaningful. I may follow them always as parental respect. However, I do not find this obedience helpful in building my capacity for self-decision. I become depressed that I do not allow change to happen in my life. The only consolation here is being respectful of others and maintaining a good relationship. If I hope for self-growth, however, I must also consider myself. There is no sense in living in fear. There is no sense in keeping myself from the possibility of changing my life by making me decide for myself.
This insight on defying fear to produce freedom is essential. Leaving my fears behind is accepting the fact that sacrifices must be done. First, I will not be able to please everybody. Much as I want, I cannot hold what sort of person I appear to others. I cannot control if they find me a freak or what. It is pointless to dread others’ perception of me. I can only wish that most of these people will think of me favorably. How do I do this? I should not avoid showing who I really am. At most, if I know my faults, I can act on them. For the things that are already good in me, it’s only a matter of maintaining them. If I lose others in the process of showing myself (because this self is hard to accept), it shall come to pass. After all, experiences can be painful at times. Growing can include growing apart. The most I can do is to show who I really am and loving this self sincerely. If I begin with loving myself, I can follow this with a love that’s meant for others.
Swapping fear with self-acceptance is good to my life as a student, a person and a professional in the future. Shedding my fear is accepting that I am a human. As a human, I am liable to committing mistakes. This flaw should not stop me from loving myself. I want others to know that this is who I really am. I only hope that my classmates, the family and friends I relate with, and my future colleagues will be more accepting as I already accept myself. This is the only way I can be free. Loving myself—flaws and all—helps me emerge from my shell of fear. I become free and I even open myself for growth as, say, a student with the potential to be less imperfect. I also open myself for growth as a person with social and self-realization needs. I need my family to complete my being. I need my friends to enjoy peer relations. I likewise open myself for growth as a professional with imperfections in work ethics but certainly with capacity to improve on these imperfections.
I always have the time to use in liberating myself, whether alone or in the presence of others. Becoming free starts with myself and this I like to happen now. Everyday is a chance to free myself from my personal fears. Everyday is a chance to have self-acceptance. Anywhere can be a place for liberating myself. It becomes more meaningful if this starts somewhere within me. My other freedom happens where and when others begin to perceive me differently in a positive way.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ang sala ng nasasakdal: pagmumuni-muni sa angkop sa tao


May sala nga ba o wala si Sokrates? Kung kasama ba ako sa mga hukom, hinatulan ko ba siya? Kung nabuhay ako noong mga panahong iyon, maihahambing ko ang sarili ko ngayon bilang isang minorya sa mga intelektuwal ng Atenas. Samakatuwid, may malaking tsansang magustuhan ko ang katuruan ni Sokrates, at hindi magkaroon ng pangambang pulitikal sa kanya. Malamang, boboto ako para mapawalang-sala siya.
Ngunit ano nga ba ang nararapat na hatol kay Sokrates? Malamang, sa puntong ito, iaabsuwelto ko siya. Ngunit ito ay hindi sa dahilang parang walang sapat na rason para hatulan ko siya ng kamatayan: magiging batayan nito ang kahulugan ng kawalan ng pananalig sa Diyos.
Naniniwala akong ang akusasyon ng pangungurakot ng kabataan ay mangahulugang pagtuturo ng kawalan ng pananampalataya. Kaya nga dapat hindi mapanghimasukan ng akusasyong pulitikal, na hindi nangangahulugang hindi ito nangyari sa kasaysayan. Sinasabi ko ito sapagkat may puntong hindi mapaghihiwalay ang pulitika at relihiyon para sa mga taga-Atenas. Kung gayon, sa pag-ayaw ni Sokrates ng kaayusang pulitikal sa Atenas sa kabuuan, mangangahulugan ito ng pagsuspetsa sa kanyang relihiyon. Ngunit posble pa rin, kahit sa Atenas, na ang paglilitis ay hinggil sa pulitikal na usaping pag-atake sa kabuuan o hinggil sa paniniwala sa maling diyoses.
Susubukin kong manatili sa pagmumuni-muni sa pananampalataya. Kung bibigyang kahulugan sa makitid na pananaw ang pananampalataya, may sala si Sokrates sa hindi paniniwala sa mga diyoses ng Atenas, at marahil sa pagpapakilala ng mga bagong diyoses, o kaya ay ng binago, inimbento at moral na bersiyon ng mga lumang diyoses na ginawa sa paraang maituturing na silang mga bagong diyoses. Samantalang tumatanggap paminsan-minsan ng mga bagong diyoses ang mga taga-Atenas, may sinusundang proseso sa batas na saligan ng lahat, at hindi dumaan sa ganitong proseso si Sokrates. Kaya nga, ang paghatol ng pagkakasala batay sa akusasyon ng kawalan ng pananalig ay mapangangatwiranan. Sa kabilang banda, tila hindi malaking isyu ang daimonion , ngunit tila malaking isyu ito sa mga taga-Atenas. Hindi naman diyos ang daimonion. Ngunit maari itong magsilbing maliit na ebidensya na ang mga diyoses ni Sokrates ay bago.
Kaya nga ang paghatol na pagkakasala ay mapangangatwiranan. Ngunit ang mga hukom na Atenas ay mayroong masasabing malaking agwat ng pagbasa ng kahulugan ng batas: walang hukom o saligang magtatali sa kanya sa isang interpretasyon o iba pa. Maaari ring ang nasusulat na batas ay lubhang malabo. Kaya nga ang isang hukom na taga-Atenas ay may malaking kalayaang magdesisyon kung ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng kawalan ng pananampalataya. At kung paanong malabo ang batas ng Atenas, ganoon din ang relihiyon ng Atenas. Ni wala ngang banal na teksto o mga propesyunal na mga paring magsasabi kung ano ang dapat paniwalaan. Wala isa man sa batas o relihiyon ang makapagtatalaga ng dapat ipakahulugan ng kawalan ng pananalig, na magbibigay ng kalayaan para sa sinumang hukom na iabsuwelto si Sokrates kung nakikita niyang nararapat.
Ngunit, maaaring tuligsain na ang akusasyon mismo ang naging daan ng pagtatalagang hindi naniniwala si Sokrates sa kinikilalang diyoses ng Atenas. Masasabi namang walang binabanggit na opisyal na listahan ng mga diyoses sa lungsod, dahil hindi naman ito ginawa ng mga taga-Atenas. Ngunit maaring tumutukoy ito sa natatanging hatol ng isang hukom. Kaya nga bilang hukom ay hindi basta magdesisyong naniniwala si Sokrates sa kinikilalang diyoses, bagkus ay kung naniniwala siya sa mga diyoses na pinaniniwalaan ng mga taga-Atenas.
Maitatanong kung ang mga diyoses ni Sokrates ay lubhang napakalayo sa kinikilalang diyoses ng mga taga-Atenas na hindi na makikitang pareho lamang sila. Nakikita kong may dalawang argumento na maituturing sa pagdepensa kay Sokrates. Ang una ay batay sa kaisipan na ang malabo at madalas magkasalungat na paniniwalang relihiyoso ay kasama ang kaisipang mas marurunong ang mga diyoses kaysa atin at kumikilos sila upang magsagawa ng kaayusang moral. Wala alinman sa mga prinsipyong ito ang nagdadala sa atin sa radikal na pag-iisip na iniuugnay kay Sokrates gaya ng kaisipang alam ng mga diyoses ang lahat at buo ang kanilang moral. Ngunit pinag-iisip ako para makitang ang mga diyoses ni Sokrates ay isang likas na kaunlaran ng tradisyon. Hindi pa nga lamang natatalakay ang pangkaraniwang kaisipang hindi mauunawaan ang mga diyoses dahil hindi maiintindihan ng mga mortal na tao ang kanilang pinaggagagawa at hindi maiintindihan bakit nila ginagawa ang mga ito.
Ang kahirapang intindihin ang mga diyoses ay makatutulong supilin ang pagkritika sa mga diyoses. Samantala, pinapayagan nito ang interpretasyong ginagawa ni Sokrates. Mangangamba akong ang moralidad ni Sokrates ang magdadala sa mga diyoses sa puntong madali na silang maiintindihan. Ngunit itinatatwa ni Sokrates ang buong kaalaman sa kabutihan para hayaan sa halip na sundin ang tradisyon ng mahirap na pag-unawa sa mga diyoses. Kung gayon, hindi niya mauuri ang mga diyoses sa istriktong pamamaraan.
Sa ikalawang argumento, maipapakita kung buumbuong radikal si Sokrates sa kanyang pagbabago sa relihiyon. Mas diretso ito kung titignan. Ipinapakita ng pagkilos ni Sokrates na naniniwala siyang ang sentral na ritwal ng mga taga-Atenas ay dapat isagawa. Maaring sumobra ang pagtaya para sa mga taga-Atenas, mas matimbang ang gawaing panrelihiyon kaysa paniniwalang panrelihiyon, ngunit may sariling bigat ang mga gawain ni Sokrates. Makatutulong din ang salita mismo ni Sokrates sa ilang punto, dahil kahit hindi siya nagbabanggit ng indibidwal na diyos, nagsasalita siya tungkol sa mga diyoses o diyos sa isang mapanalig kundi mas malabong punto. Pangkaraniwan ang kalabuang ito, at mapanalig, lalo na sa mga okasyong hindi nakasisiguro kung sinong diyos ang binabanggit. Masasabing pambihira ang hindi pagbanggit ni Sokrates ng partikular na diyoses ngunit hindi ito malaking sorpresa. At hindi rin naman gagawa pa ng paraan si Sokrates para tuligsain ang mga diyoses.
Maikukumpara ang mga pagkilos ni Sokrates dito sa mga akusasyong pulitikal sa kanya. Samantalang hindi boluntaryo si Sokrates sa pangunguna sa buhay ng publiko, nagsilbi siya sa depensa, sa konseho, at nagdesisyong manatili at harapin ang kanyang parusa ayon sa batas. Kung gayon, may puntong si Sokrates ay totoo sa Atenas sa pulitikal at relihiyosong pamamaraan gamit ang kanyang mga kilos bilang ebidensya. Kung kasalanan man iyon, nakapagdesisyon naman na ang mga hukom.
Kung tama o mali ang parusa kay Sokrates, makikita sa pagpayag niyang mamatay sa lason. Hindi siya nagparahuyong tumakas sa pagkabilanggo para matakasan ang napipinto niyang kamatayan. Masyadong mahina ang argumento para marahuyo siya. Hindi na mahalaga sa kanya ang opinyon ng ignoranteng nakararami, anumang kapangyarihan meron sila. Hindi man mapangangatwiranan ang katwiran ni Sokrates na dapat magpailalim sa pagsasakdal ng estado, patunay ito na tama o mali ang parusa kay Sokrates.
Argumento ni Sokrates na may nakukubling kontrata siya sa Atenas na tanggapin ang anumang hatol, makatuwiran o hindi, at hindi manlalaban at paguguhuin ang estado. Kuwestiyonable ang argumentong ito dahil kung tatanggaping umiiral at totoo ang ganitong kontrata, hindi kaya may nakukubling kontrata rin si Sokrates na iligtas ang mga kaibigan para sa kanilang pagkakaibigan? Mas malaking tungkulin para sa kanya ang kaligtasan ng kanyang mga kaibigan kaysa ang malayong posibilidad ng destabilisasyon sa Atenas. Kahit hindi naman nasa panganib ang kanyang mga kaibigan kundi mapalayas at awayin ng mga nakikisimpatya kay Sokrates dahil wala silang nagawa para isalba siya, tungkulin niya ang ganito sa mga kaibigan kung paanong tungkulin niya rin ang tumalima sa Atenas.
Itinuturing ni Sokrates na ang mabuting buhay at hindi buhay lamang ang masarap gugulan ng panahon. Kaya nga kung mabubuhay lamang nang may pagkilos na mali sa moralidad, mas gugustuhin pa ang kamatayan. Hindi problematiko ang ganitong pagpili sa moralidad kaysa mortalidad. Kung dapat na magkaroon ng pagpapahalaga at isasabuhay ito, tama si Sokrates sa pagtanggap sa kanyang parusa kung magiging kasong imoral ang kanyang pagtakas.
Naniniwala si Sokrates na babagsak ang estado o kaya ay manghihina sa kanyang pagtakas sa parusa dahil nga mistulang mahina ang batas. Pinangangatwiranan niyang hindi makatarungan ang pagsira sa estado sa ganitong paraan, kahit pa sinira rin siya ng estado sa paghahatol sa kanya sa maling pamamaraan. Samantalang may nakukubling kontrata ngang sundin ang batas at tanggapin ang hatol, ngunit kondisyunal itong sabwatan. Sa mga kontratang panlipunan gaya nito, kalikasan na ang magkaroon ng parehong kapakinabangan, ngunit hindi ito alintana ni Sokrates. Kontrata ng estado na maging makatarungan sa kanyang mga mamamayan. Dahil sa sentensya kay Sokrates na kinukurakot ang kabataan, sinira ng estado ang ganitong kontrata dahil sa pagbibigay ng masamang hatol sa isang taong nagpupugay sa Atenas. Sinasabi ni Sokrates na hindi makatarungang labanan ang estado dahil hindi katanggap-tanggap ang pilosopiyang mata para sa mata, ngunit magkaiba ang pagsira sa panlipunang kontrata sa paghihiganti. Kung ang pagbawi ni Sokrates sa estado ay ginanyak ng damdamin at hindi mapangangatwiranan, hindi nga ito makatarungan. Ngunit may kontratang sinira ang estado dahil sa kawalang katarungan kaya nga mapangangatwiranang mali ang tanggapin ni Sokrates ang parusang paglason sa sarili.
Sabagay, binanggit ni Sokrates ang kanyang tungkulin na kung hindi makatarungan ang estado, dapat baguhin niya ang paniniwalang ito ng katarungan. Ngunit kung mamamatay si Sokrates (at namatay nga sa lason), paano niya matutupad ang ganitong tungkulin? Anong pagpapahalaga ang ibibigay niya sa ganitong tungkulin? Mapangangatwiranang mahalagang tungkulin nga ito, dahil ang hindi makatarungang estado ay maaaring gumawa ng lahat ng klaseng masama at hindi natatali sa isang panlipunang kontrata. Kapani-paniwalang dapat manatili ang estado kung kinakailangang itama ang paniniwala hinggil sa kung ano ang makatarungan.
Ang tungkuling ito, na pigilan ang estadong may monopolyo ng puwersa na gumawa ng 'di-makatarungang gawa at maghatol ng 'di-makatarungang sentensya sa kanyang mga mamamayan, ay umaayon sa panlipunang kontratang pinaniniwalaan ni Sokrates sa matagal na panahon sa Atenas. Lamang, wala na itong saysay mula nang sirain ito mismo ng estado. Hindi suliranin kung nahatulan man ng kamatayan si Sokrates kunid nahatulan siya nang walang katarungan at hindi makita ni Sokrates mismo kung tama o mali ang parusa sa kanya. Hinayaan ni Sokrates na itatwa ang kanyang kakayahang makapangatwiran sa pamamagitan ng bulag na pagtanggap sa di-makatarungang hatol ng Atenas at pagwalang-bahala sa mga suliranin ng 'di-makatarungang estado. Dito mahihinuha ang batayang kamalian at katamaan ng parusa kay Sokrates. parusa kay Sokrates.

Monday, September 24, 2007

tapping the leader in me


Developing the Leader Within You examines the differences between leadership styles and outlines principles for inspiring, motivating and influencing others. It shows that leaders and managers are not one and the same. While leaders may be effective managers, not all managers can be truthfully called leaders. Managers who are leaders inspire, motivate, and energize people with their visions and strategies toward a common goal. Meanwhile, mainstream and conventional managers are oriented toward short terms and are more concerned with the daily activities. If I want to be a successful leader, I must develop vision, value, influence and motivation. These are among the characteristics that set leaders apart from managers. These traits can make me effective in the highest vocation of leadership with the promoted integrity, self-discipline and positive change. As a leader, I can become efficient at organizing, allocating, regulating and monitoring resources. With acquired and developed leadership traits, I can go beyond simple managing and start leading.
This is important in the light of the difficulty of leading today. While I may have the traits of a leader, it is hard to be one. I become responsible for many things. I am expected to ensure successes in various undertakings. I want to have the charisma to make others follow me. I want to see the importance of attitude, people, vision and self-discipline. This goes beyond developing my own leadership ability. I likewise want to start developing others. I really do not have to have a big ego to be a leader. I know that I can demonstrate how I can start inspiring and motivating the people around me. I want to see how leaders can be influential. I likewise want to have the capability to gain followers. I do not just want to overestimate the lack of importance of many things. I want to have the efficiency in order to survive. I want to have the effectiveness to succeed. I want to realize my goals in order to be called successful. As in the book, I want to see 80% of my production coming from 20% of my priorities. My time and energy are best used when I channel them to my top priorities. I can learn to prioritize by asking myself what is required of me. I can also learn it by asking what gives me the greatest return for my effort. I can also learn this by asking what I find most rewarding. This is essential since I have the duties and obligations that will continue to pile up unless I know what things to take and how to approach them. Finally, I want to leave a mark instead of a scar.
The insights in the form of techniques are useful. Influence is a characteristic that define leadership qualities. Likewise, attitude makes a big difference. Positive change enhances integrity and self-discipline, too. Priorities, meanwhile, define my goals. Lastly, integrity and people develop my ties with others. As a starting leader, I benefit from these leadership levels. I understand the type of leader I am becoming. I am also shown how close I am to achieving this leadership. Knowing this, I recognize the obstacles that come in my path and think how I can clear them out of my way. I am helped how to set my priorities. I am likewise helped in checking my integrity. I learn how to start positive change. Lastly, I am helped how to become a problem solver.
In my studies, personal life and profession in the future, I can learn to be a leader. In my studies, I can lead by considering set priorities in my study habits. For example, I need to priorities the subjects that challenge me. If I can manage to get by in less difficult subjects, I will prioritize the more difficult ones. In this case, I can pass all subjects whether hard or relatively easy. In my personal life, I want to be charismatic. I deal with different people and I want to win most of them, if all is not possible. I want to be able to share something of myself in others. This can be possible if I see my influence in their lives. This holds true to my future life as a professional. I want to effect change in my career environment. This is possible if I can help develop my colleagues. When their leadership potential is awakened, there will be many leaders in our midst. This ensures the success of our business undertakings.
The various points I mentioned above may be started today in order to begin leadership. I intend to be more than a manager by starting to be a leader now. This can be done in my home where I can influence my family and in my school where I can influence my classmates. Change can happen when I start tapping the leader in me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

wrong object of desire: a reflection on paz marquez benitez' dead stars


"Dead Stars" for me is a reminder that it is pointless to fall in love with the idea of love. Often, it is hard to determine whether what one feels is love or just an imitation of it. Infatuation can delude someone into thinking that the passion is really for the object of one's affection, until one realizes that the object of desire really is the idea of being in love.
As in the case of Alfredo who thought he fell in love with Julia till he realized that there was no magic after all, a person who obsesses about the idea of love can never be in love with the object of passion. Why? A person feels good when in love. The roller coaster of feelings makes one truly human. One time, one feels happy; the next, one feels dejected; another time, one feels hopeful. Who wouldn't want to be humanized? It is this element of love that fools some people into the notion that love and infatuation are one and the same banana. Too bad if in the long run, one wakes up to the fact that one is really not in love, and too many sacrifices have been made along the way. Imagine if Alfredo pursued Julia then realized too belatedly that he wasn't in love with her anymore or at all. There was Esperanza who got victimized because Alfredo's relationship with her must have ended. There was Julia who became the convenient excuse for the idea of infatuation. There was Alfredo who was fooling himself into thinking that he was in love with a person, only to discover he wasn't even in love at all.
I do not want to fall in love with a non-person. I do not want to be obsessed with an idea. I want to fall in love and be able to share this emotion with somebody else, hoping that person will be able to reciprocate to add to the fantastic feeling. I want to come out of the phase or be stuck with it eternally knowing that I am truly in love with a human. I want to experience the joys and the pains and the hopes and the despairs associated with love, but not having to feel these without a proper object to receive my emotion. If it entails waiting long just to let the right one happen along, so be it, for as long as the love in me gets awakened by a real person than it being triggered for the sake of being triggered.
The various imitations of love are not unlike stars long dead but seeming alive from our vantage point under the sky. From where we see them, these stars twinkle, sparking light that we perceive as signs of life. However, even as these lights reach our planet, it may be unknown to us that they traveled the space so long that their stars of origin have long been extinguished. Bottomline is, we are seeing falsely alive stars. These stars, in comparison, are the false loves we feel. Loves that we believe have persons for objects but are actually loves that are narcissistic, for they exist for their own sake. These selfish loves should not be taken for the one and only genuine love that is full of sacrifice, emotionally-charged and, most of all, humanizing.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

showing the real me


Will the Real Me Please Stand Up discusses the need to come out and show my real self. Since the time I started writing reflections on the books I have read, layers of myself are slowly being peeled to reveal the real me. The present book peeled off yet another layer that hides my real self. This real self has many facets. On of these facets is my insecure self. I say I am insecure because it is difficult to risk showing the real me. There is the danger of not being accepted. While my family cannot disown me right away, they might dislike the real me. They might not like that I want them in my life to be with forever. This might seem to them overdependence or immaturity. My family might think that I cannot be independent or cannot grow up. With my friends, it's easy to lose them because they can find somebody else to be their friend. My real self may seem too much for them to endure. It might seem too bad or unfit. That is why it is always a balancing act between showing my real self and projecting my acceptable self. This balancing act, therefore, is hard to live by day to day. It is so much better if my real self and my accetable self are one and the same. The books I read, including the latest one, confirm that it can happen.
Showing my real self is important because I should be comfortable with my own skin. It is for my own sake that I be true to myself. I do not want to project somebody that I am not. I want my family not because I am dependent on them. More appropriately, I want them because they are my most treaured possession. I may lose everything in the world but not my family. They are not likely to let me down. Through thick and thin, we hang on together. Because of this, I love my family enough to want them forever by my side. Same thing goes with my friends. I want my friends around the real me. I want my friends to have a friend that's real and not just some product of their dream. I want them to stay by my side no matter what they see as me. Hence, I must show myself sincerely. I would scare them away if I am a bad company. Since I cannot claim to be saintly good, I am more human than I like to show. As a human being, I need company to get me through in life. My friends can do the part. All I need is to be able to keep them. This can be done largely by showing the real friend in me.
The book's insight about communicating with others is life-changing. My self is the best message I transmit to people. When I am happy or sad or confused, others can see it. They can if I allow myself to be seen as such. At times, I allow only my acceptable self to be seen. I allow to be seen as happy even as I am pained. I allow myself to be seen as understanding though I want to scream and say life is unfair for singling me out on certain problems. End of it, not all of me can be communicated to others. I take so much difficulty onto myself. I hide my feelings just so others will be next to me. Only, it is useless because my self-comunication is not complete. We are next to each other, but I cannot show to them the real me. I am afraid of what bad thing they will think of me. In essence, I am avoiding them. However, the insight says that I should allow myself to be loved by others for my true self. I need to communicate my genuine self so I will be loved back genuinely as well. I should let them know I need them for my personal security. I need to be secured about being with people I want to help define life for me.
Communicating myself to others is important in my studies, personal life and future professional life. My studies often include evaluation of what lessons I learned. This is a way of communicating the change in me. I am letting others know my present state after experiencing a new lesson. By telling what change happened in me, I let others know who they are dealing with. Of course, it is the new me instead of the old one. Same thing happens in my personal life. My family and friends can know my current state if I permit them to see my real self. Projecting another personality does not help me grow. I should aspire for growth and it's possible only when the real me comes out. It is more acceptable for my family and friends to be shown my true self instead of to discover that I am hiding myself in a false mask. This is true too in my future profession. I will soon be dealing with people who will work for one another's success. Communicating the real me will help them deal with me comfortably. We can earn one another's trust as well as the people involved in my growth and theirs.
Communicating my true self can be done anywhere at any given time. Every so often, I meet people in many places. It is helpful to show them only one true self so they will not be confused and aloof in dealing with me. People at school, in my house and at places I go to must discover the genuine me that they will help grow with their understanding and, hopefully, love.

Friday, September 21, 2007

kasiyahan at kalayaan: isang lingon sa kubrador


Maaring mabuhay ang tao na wala siyang malay na masaya siya. Sa kaso ni Amelita sa pelikulang Kubrador, hindi na niya hinahanap ang kaligayahan dahil limot na niya ito nang matagal. Ang mahalaga sa kanya, sa paggala-gala niya sa kanyang mahirap na kapitbahayan, makahanap siya ng tataya sa kanya sa jueteng at makaiwas sa mga naghahabol sa kanya na mga pulis. Sa puntong ito kung saan hindi na niya inaalaala ang kasiyahan, maaaring masaya na siya ngunit hindi niya ito namamalayan. Na malamang ay totoo: hindi man niya intensyong hanapin, natagpuan ni Amelita ang pagiging masaya sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pinagkakaabalahang gawain, ang pagiging kubrador. Hindi man siya mayaman, masaya naman siya kahit na hindi P300,000 ang naiuuwi niya araw-araw (na inirarasyon lamang sa isang lokal na pinuno) kundi P57 lang na komisyon, makaraos lang sa pangangailangan kahit hindi sapat. Kunsabagay, depende sa isip ang pagiging mahirap, dahil kahit dukha, maaaring masaya na kaya hindi nakakaramdam ng pangangailangan. At dahil hindi malay ni Amelita na masaya siya, hindi niya nararamdaman na kailangang maging masaya siya. Kung mamalayan ni Amelita na masaya na siya sa pagiging kubrador, doon na papasok ang krisis niya: dahil kuwestiyonable na ang kasiyahan kung aaminin niya na may malay siya sa kasiyahan. Kung totoong masaya siya, kailangan pa ba niyang, halimbawa, ipangalandakan ito? Pinipilosopiya ang kasiyahan, hindi sinasabi. Mamalayan man ng isang tao na masaya siya sapat para aminin iyon, mas makatotohanan kung isasagawa niya ang kasiyahan.
Sa kabilang banda, maaari ring hindi nagiging malaya ang tao dahil pinipili niyang huwag maging malaya. Sa kaso ni Amelita, nagmemeron siya ng pagkamiserable dahil ayaw niyang palayain ang sarili sa pagkamatay ng kanyang anak. Hindi niya matanggap na yumao na ang anak niya, kaya nakakulong siya sa kanyang pighati. Samakatuwid, sinasadya niya na huwag maging malaya. May kakayanan siya na humulagpos mula sa kanyang pighati ngunit siya mismo ang pumipili na makulong dito. Hindi siya nagiging malaya dahil sarili niyang desisyon na huwag lumaya. Samantala, maaari rin namang hindi nagiging malaya ang tao dahil pinipili para sa kanya ang pagiging malaya o pagiging bilanggo. Malaya saan? Malaya para? Kung hindi malaya ang tao dahil sa sistemang panlipunan (na nilalarawang mabuti si Amelita sa kanyang pagkabilanggo sa ilegal na sugal), iyon ay dahil mas malakas ang puwersa ng lipunan kaysa sa tao. Sa kabilang banda, hindi man pinipili ng tao ang kalayaan niya kundi pinipili para sa kanya, may kakayanan pa rin siyang lumaya dahil siya ang may katawan, ang may lubos na sakop sa kanyang isip. Maaaring hawak ng sistema ang kanyang katawan para ibilanggo, ngunit hindi kailanman masasakal ng sistema ang kanyang isip maliban na kung nalason na nito ang isip. Ang pagtakas ng isip sa kung anumang pagkabilanggong ginagawa sa katawan ay isang pagtakas, isang pagpapakita ng kalayaan.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

heartwarmers at farmers


There’s more to Farmers Market than meets the eye.
It is easy to take note of Farmers as one of the few dainty markets the Metropolitan Manila can be proud of. More so with the competitive prices of products despite Farmers’ reputation as a bourgeois market. Noticeable too is its strategic location; it is right next to the super-busy area of EDSA Cubao, Quezon City, so the throng of people in the market resembles a queue going to the box-office. All these would pale compared to the little known fact that the market is peopled by happy workers, merchants and laborers alike.
Picture a typical market and what looms before you is a place where noise, garbage and disorder thrive. As a market, Farmers has a share of all these, but not so. Credit it to the spacious setup and aisles as well as the organized way in which stalls are maintained and waste disposal is managed. Along the side adjacent to the popular mall Farmers shares its name with may be found the dry merchandises for sari-sari (all and sundry) stores. Name the product and the vendors have it, be it junk foods which kids love, kitchen condiments or canned goods. A little further toward the imposing dome of the Araneta Coliseum are stalls for baked products and fabrics. Sales staff may be seen preparing hopia straight from the improvised oven or manning glassed products of mouth-watering Spanish breads, loaves, chocolate cakes and quickmelt ensaymadas. On the other hand, fabric stores imitate imperial laundryhouses with the colorful array of clothing merchandises. Sales assistants approach with a smile, asking if textile for special occasions, buttons or needles are needed. Along the side facing the Big Dome’s parking lot may be found appliance centers and other such popular stores like fastfood, membership store and pharmacy. If you happen to enter their stores, expect to be welcomed warmly and to be asked respectfully how the staff may be of help.
The side facing the Expo may be found the elevated food court where fresh meat and seafood products may be cooked, the fruit and vegetable stands and the flower shops. The food court boasts of clean stalls with especially prepared dishes ranging from the Pinoy staples Adobo, Menudo and Tinola to the more universal fried chicken or fish, and roast meat. On that special time I visited the place, I got the chance to hear a band serenading the enamored crowd with its cover of Apo Hiking Society’s “When I Met You.” Appropriately, couples dating on the tables are cheerfully served by the stores’ crew. A little further and the fruit and vegetable stands will tempt with their exotic offerings. Only in Farmers did I discover that kiwis, mangosteens, Bangkok-imported lanzones, plums and other such non-endemic fruits are being sold. The regulars like green and burgundy grapes, green and red apples, avocado, durian, watermelons, bananas and the like also fiercely compete for space. Smiling salesladies even gave brief background of the foreign fruits while weighing the berries I had bought. Meanwhile, vegetables from Baguio, kamote tops, squashes, eggplants, spices and others are as fresh as the smiles of people peddling them. Near the corner are the stalls abloom with chrysanthemums, anthuriums, roses, daisies, and many other varicolored blossoms reeking with sweet scents. Sales staffs turn into romantic bards whenever they try to convince people into purchasing their self-styled ikebana. Further down, running parallel to the eternally busy Edsa is the wet market. Men either hauled banyera-full of variegated fish or brought carcasses of pigs and chickens. Trading jokes while performing the difficult work, they seem to be tireless in handling their agri-aquatic farm products. Deep into the market’s interior, fresh eggs are being color-coded into either white or red, fish are being cleansed of their entrails or scales while shrimps and prawns jump helplessly from their containers. Stall owners gave their welcoming smile as customers picked their way into the fresh goods. Neighboring the wet market are stalls offering dry products like kitchenware, school and office supplies, and house appliances. They share the rest of the interior’s space with service shops like beauty parlors and with magazine stands. In spite of the differences in their offerings, the stall keepers warmed to their potential patrons by offering their friendly smile.
Then, it dawned on me that a common theme was running in most of Farmers’ sections: they are all manned by happy people. As if it was not enough that this private market was nationally cited for its cleaner surroundings and competitive prices, the workers there seem unperturbed by the regular harshness of life. They still manage to smile even as the market tasks involved can get difficult. It’s a part of the package, yes, but admirable all the same. They mirror the capacity of the Filipinos at-large who can break into a grin despite or precisely because of life’s complexity. They show dignity in their labor, even as butchered animals or boxes of goodies or sacks of rice throw their weight in their back. Whether or not potential patrons will eventually be charmed into buying from them, they show happiness in what they do best: selling. Small wonder why all these years, the landmark that is the Farmers Market still stands—it’s significantly because of its denizens who smile their way to business.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

evaluating dipak mazumdar’s “poverty in asia: an overview”


An overview of poverty in Asia points to the use of income as a measure in reducing poverty. This use, nonetheless, is problematic because the quality of life like education should be considered. However, major policies affecting poverty alleviation make use of the human development index such as literacy, health and other social indicators in determining whether poverty is actually being reduced. It makes sense to eliminate the use of income as measure sinceit is possible that high income does not necessarily sustain the people’s living. If the cost of living is high or the population is burgeoning, it is still probable that a country will continue to languish in poverty. Reports show that there is a considerable range of changes in the face of poverty in Asia in comparison to other countries in Latin America or Africa, an indication that the introduction of human development index in studying poverty alleviation in Asia is working.
The discussion in the paper’s first section shows that there is still a high incidence of poverty in Asia, although in recent years many changes have been introduced like eliminating the head-count ratio in relation to distribution of income under the poverty line. The changes in this, nevertheless, include the improvement in the distribution of income in Asian countries, manifesting an actual reduction of poverty. This only means that poverty reduction was made possible by the significant ascent of growth rate of income per person. It is possible too that government policies have created an impact in helping avoid the deterioration of income distribution.
According to the presentation in the World Development Report 1990, the stress is on the income measure of poverty in Asia.The use of human development or social indicators and their comparability with the income measures show that poverty reduction can be done by improving indeces of human development, namely literacy, food policy, health services and the like. It is reported to affect directly the population’s quality of life. This, therefore, should be considered in upgrading social indicators and,eventually, poverty alleviation.
The issues relating the poverty alleviation in agricultural and non-agricultural development are important in order to view these development’s roles in reducing poverty. Asia is dominated by agriculture so modernizing it by introducing new technology, distribution and labor use can significantly increase the income of farmers, who are among the sectors peopling the poverty line. The creation of labor and the government expenditure in rural construction contribute to agricultural growth. Meanwhile, employment in the non-agricultural sector should be large enough in order to accommodate the most number of functioning labor force. Reducing unemployment in the urban sector is a means of alleviating poverty. Targeted programs of poverty reduction pose probable problems even as they are tasked at increasing the income of the poor.
Poverty in Asia, including in my own state, should not only focus on increasing income levels since the quality of life should be of prime consideration in reducing poverty. Satisfaction cannot rest alone on income measure but must be considered in relation to human development such as literacy, health, food distribution and mortality.