Monday, August 31, 2009

We Choose Peace In Taking the Other Road...

but "The Road not Taken" will always be at the other crossroad...

"The Road Not Taken"
A poem by Robert Frost
published in 1915 in his collection Mountain Interval

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

According to Wikipedia, the poem has two recognized interpretations. One is a more literal interpretation which most readers see it to be - inspirational, a paean to individualism and to non conformism, while the other is more ironic - critics typically view the poem this way because instead of regret and personal myth-making, it is rationalizing our decisions. Frost himself warned about this poem - "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem – very tricky."

I am not going to a make a critical analysis of the poem (I'll leave that to the English Literature guys from the academe... ) because whether it is literal or ironic, the two roads we faced today were exactly opposite to each other but would have led to the ultimate goal that the OFW wants to achieve - RESPECT!

OFWs have had differing opinions on how to deal with the problem. The other group chooses the road of peace - peace talks and treaties, truce and ceasefire while this corner and some August 31 celebrants (another semantics for OFW because of today's Philippine celebration) believed in waging war, in the use of tomahawks and howitzers, in imposing blog-embargo and boycotts, and for a military-care, to borrow the words of our militia.

There was no more time left... decision had to be immediate because we were at the crossroad. The initial conditions for an interim 'peace' entered into by the peacekeepers was complied with by the fatigued and somnolent fighter. An act which we construed as just a defensive scheme for fear of the consequence of the blog-war declaration... We wanted a retraction and an apology for that malicious and irresponsible blog-post but it never happened, yet we are still hopeful for it to be posted soon.

Which road then should we go - is it this way or that way? One road had foot trails and leaf-covered path and the other road had almost-forgotten-trails, swampy where you could hear the deafening sound of croaking frogs echoing throughout the forest.

Thus, whether or not the condition complied with was acceptable to all, we had to stand by the word that our peacekeepers gave because it bespeaks of who we are - we respect the stand of others, we respect ourselves and we put our hand where our mouth is! We may have made mistakes and lapses in our judgment but we're willing to exhaust all means to attain peace... always ready to admit and make amends if necessary for the best interest of all through a fair process, playing fairly and squarely the rules of engagement!

There were no heated arguments on how to deal with it... There were no strategic plannings and brainstorming... The crossroad that was like a chimera where the pros and cons were one by one weighed in a justice scale was the same crossroad that became a witness to the spontaneous unity of the diversities of the OFWs.

The decision to temporarily take the road of peace was carried out... a decision that was determined by the OFWs' priorities - our beliefs, our guiding principles, and our stand and conviction on the issue. It was our character that became the umpire in making the call, even if it was not the easy and the more popular choice. It was a decision for the good of the OFWs, a decision for our families, and for peace to reign in the whole of bloggywood. A decision befitting the 31st of August Philippine celebration commemorating the victory of our (modern-day) heroes.

What happened to the road not taken?

It's still there... it will be at the other crossroad of our journey. The tomahawks and the howitzers have not been buried and cached. All the weapons are still in a firing position and are all the time ready to be fired when faced with any external threat.

God forbid that it will happen again but if it did the Manifesto of what we believe in shall once again be put at the forefront. We will act by what we believe in and we will never allow anyone to attack, malign, insult, abuse and exploit the state of affairs of the OFW.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unstoppable Croaking and Other Frog Stories

"Do not consider painful what is good for you." -- Euripides

A postlude to the illusion on the Croak of Death...

What I expected to be a statement from a gentlemen never pushed through but instead found the removal of the post for what I personally feel is a fear of a ramification of an imminent blog-embargo.

I wouldn't have preferred seeing that face undergo a plastic surgery at Vicky Belo's clinic... for it wouldn't have been a surgery to remove the thick papier mache of dollars, pounds, dirhams and riyals because such layer of money bills can only be reserved to the money-faced caregivers and ofw slaves who wipe the asses of their masters... what do you think did Vicky Belo and her assistants find out when they operated on that face?

I would have preferred seeing the blogger go through a heart surgery...

A change in blogface may not necessarily mean a change of the blogger's heart...

They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger. However, if you put a frog in a kettle of cool water, and gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog paddles about happily unaware of the threat until it is too late. The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

The OFW bloggers have detected the sudden change and there's no stopping the frogs to do the traditional croak of death!

The Two Frogs - A Parable

Two frogs were neighbors.

One inhabited a deep pond, far removed from public view; the other lived in a gully containing little water, and traversed by a country road.

The Frog that lived in the pond warned his friend to change his residence and entreated him to come and live with him, saying that he would enjoy greater safety from danger and more abundant food.

The other refused, saying that he felt it so very hard to leave a place to which he had become accustomed.

A few days afterwards a heavy wagon passed through the gully and crushed him to death under its wheels.

A willful man will have his way to his own hurt.

The Scorpion and the Frog - A Parable

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.

The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.
"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drowning frog's back. "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

“Self destruction, it’s my nature…” said the scorpion.

Adapted from Frog Fables and Parables

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Smoking the Peace Pipe, Burying the Hatchet and Declaring A Blog-War

On Mike Avenue's Decision to Smoke the Peace Pipe and Our Action to Bury the Hatchet

When Mike Avenue offered to smoke the peace pipe and to bury the hatchet in what we may consider as one of our most unpleasant experiences at PEBA and KaBlogs, I saw a man stand so tall. I saw one who tried to make the best step forward in a very difficult situation. It required from him strength and courage to apologize and to admit his mistakes. He did not lose self-respect but instead gained appreciation, understanding and compassion from all of us whom he had hurt before by his previous posts and beliefs. When he offered to smoke the peace pipe, ending weeks of argument and fighting over the Tsokolate and Daga posts, he established a peace treaty and became an ally of the OFW. For me, Mike Avenue is no longer somebody-who-must-not-be-named (to borrow Isla de Nebz's line who also at this time calls him MA). He now stands a gallant gentleman (Look at his picture).

That moment was memorable for us! Thanks Pope, Kenji and Lord CM for being emissaries of the peace talks. We right away buried the hatchet (American English colloquial to "make peace" as the hatchet is an allusion to the figurative and literal practice of putting away the tomahawk and the weapons of war during cessation of hostilities).

For more details of the peace talks, please read Palipasan's Try Before You Quit, Kenji's Dear Mike, Naintindihan Na Kita, and KaBlogs' Mike Avenue Said Sorry to All OFWs!

Peace Was Short-Lived: The Red Flag Must Once Again Be Raised!

We intended to bury and cache our weapons of war when one person with Makitid Na Utak (Kenji's Post) tried to earn his Ticket to Stardom (Bizjoker's Post) hurting Silang Mga Nangarap (Lord CM's Dungeon) for which came out the OFW Says Foul, Respect the OFW (Pope's Palipasan), Chico's Attack on OFW (Part 1) and the noise barrage echoed Respeto Ang Sigaw! (Gumamela sa Paraiso) adlibbing Batang 'henyo's Ako ay Tutula.. (Bow!).

New protest: Kosa Pogi's Para sayo Kupal.Kupal.

Declaration of War

Arvin de la Pena's post on Mukhang Pera is a discriminate, reckless, foolish, rash and irresponsible post of one who claimed to be an ex-OFW.

It is a barefaced ridicule and contempt of the sacrifices of the Filipino Expatriates and Overseas Filipino Workers by branding them as money-faced, unprincipled, and good for nothing slaves for money in other more progressive countries.

Whether it was a satire or whatever figure of speech he may have wanted to portray in his post, he failed to achieve it. He may have added the statistics of visitors to his blog but it was done in a very distasteful manner.

He is one blogger who has overstepped the bounds of sensitivity and responsibility of a decent mind of an accountable and responsible blogger.

We therefore declare a blog war against this person who continuously persist in exploiting, abusing, and maligning the Overseas Filipino Worker.

This declaration of blog war will only be lifted upon this person's retraction and an apology for his irresponsible blogpost!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PEBA, Inc. - Evidence 101

Afrikaans - bewyse, bewys
Arabic - الأدلة
Chinese - 证据,证明
Danish - beviser, bevis
Dutch - bewijs
English - evidence, proof
French - eléments de preuve, la preuve
German - Beweise
Greek - αποδεικτικά στοιχεία, η απόδειξη
Hebrew - ראיות, הוכחות
Hindi - साक्ष्य, सबूत
Italian - prova
Japanese - 証拠、証拠
Korean - 증거
Malay - bukti
Spanish - evidencia; cosa evidente, prueba
Swedish - bevis
Thai - หลักฐาน, หลักฐาน

Filipino - katibayan, ibidensya (Bisaya - ibidinsya)
[Pangngalan] - magbigay ng katibayan para; tumayo bilang patunay ng; ipakita sa pamamagitan ng pag-uugali at saloobin, o mga panlabas na mga katangian; isang indikasyon na gumagawa ng isang bagay na maliwanag, katibayan; anumang paraan ng katibayan; katibayan ng katotohanan o kasinungalingan ng isang pahayag.

PEBA, Inc.
Securities & Exchange Commission Registration No. CN200931023
18th August 2009

Certificate of Registration Granted on 20th August 2009
Bureau of Internal Revenue TIN - 280-505-833-000
Registration Date: 18th August 2009

PEBA, Inc.'s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a legal organization proves its sincerity and determination to be a channel for the blogging talents and the brilliance of the Filipino expatriates and overseas workers in this phenomenal new media industry.

It's a great honor to be invited by Kenji to join PEBA 2009 Season as a member of the Organizing Committee. I have never met and seen this man behind PEBA but all I can say is that his vision for PEBA is contagious! His vision has become our vision. It has become the driving force that binds us all together even though we may all be geographically separated from each other. It has literally put the meaning of the blog-world as a borderless world for the Filipino diasporic community of bloggers.

With the support of many Filipino bloggers at home and abroad, PEBA, Inc. will not just become a prestigious award-giving body that will recognize the exemplary blogging Pinoy expatriates and overseas workers but will soon become a cause-oriented organization achieving the purposes for which PEBA, Inc. is incorporated:

1. To create an association that will recognize and honor the exemplary blogging work of the Filipino expatriates and overseas workers in order to present their blog work and bring their creative talents to light and to highlight their inspiring blogs, their stories, and their work conditions.

2. To create a sustainable program that would uplift the plight of the other blogging and non blogging Filipino expatriates and overseas workers.

3. To provide help to Pinoy expats and OFWs by implementing projects and programs through a network of bloggers* that will coordinate with other OFW Support Groups, other NGOs and government agencies.

4. To establish a platform and create an environment for bloggers to be involved and to take actions on issues and concerns of the millions of OFWs and Expats around the world.

a. To enable the Filipino expatriate and overseas worker blogger to become a powerful medium to express human emotion and nature.

b. To enable the Filipino expatriate and overseas worker blogger to enhance awareness of the relevance of blogging to their social milieu.

c. To promote Filipino cultural values through exemplary blogging worldwide.

Now is the time to show our solidarity, cooperation, support and strength in advancing the message of hope and faith to all those who sulk in desperation and downtrodden in hopelessness.

Push on PEBA, Inc.! Mabuhay ang Pinoy bloggers!

*KaBlogs po itong network of bloggers

Evidence is translated in different languages to emphasize the Filipino diaspora worldwide. Roughly around 12 million of the estimated 100+ million Filipinos are scattered all over 90% of the UN-registered countries in the world.