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The Philippines and the Whole World Need the Ideology of Non-violence



Violence in this world threatens our very existence. Violence is done to one’s self, to other people, and to nature, resulting to physical or psychological harm, death, and environmental destruction.

In the Philippines, as of April 23, 2017, there have been over 7,000 deaths, both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings (from since Duterte’s war on drug began from the start of his term in June 2016 up to the present – which is just more than a year by now. While in the ongoing battle in Marawi City, as of July 10, 2017, 507 people died. Of these, 379 were Muslim violent extremists; 39 were civilians; and 89 were government fatalities (military soldiers and police).

How do we convince President Duterte to tackle the war on drugs in a non-violent way? Why can’t he arrest the big drug lords instead? Why kill suspected drug lords and drug traders without impunity? The war on drugs is rooted in poverty, inequality, corruption, and materialism. Our society needs to become morally and spiritually renewed for the whole nation to be free from all unwanted elements and underdevelopment.

In the international scene, a power play goes on that says “might makes right”. Certain nations want to dominate the global arena while some nations are known to keep and manufacture nuclear arms for the purpose of defense or aggression. In a world that is threatened by war and other problems such as climate change, crimes, and terrorism, the ideology of non-violence is called for. A nuclear war is something that no one will ever want to have because it means annihilation of a great number of people, destruction of a vast magnitude, and radioactive contamination that can affect millions, if not billions of people.

How do we convince the nations’ leaders to make peace with all other nations? In this world, it appears that a show of military power is a show of a country’s strength or prowess. A show of military prowess and arms is a deterrent to being invaded, ousted from power, and worse, assassinated by invading forces. This is to understand the psychology of Kim Jong un. He does not want to suffer the fate of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammad Khadafi of Libya in the hands of the American forces.

It is time for nations’ leaders to express humility, repentance and the desire for reconciliation in their words and actions. War is never an option. Nonviolence is the expression of a pure heart that seeks after Truth, the Truth being God Himself and the unity of all creation. We need to supplicate the living God to enlighten the world’s leaders so they may see that the ideology of nonviolence is much greater than the ideology of military might and aggression.

The way of peace is the way to progress and universal brotherhood, as teachers like Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and peacemakers have been rallying for. The way of nonviolence is filled with wisdom because it seeks to persuade the opponent through reason, diplomacy, and the search for Truth. Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha or the search for Truth and his adoption of ahimsa or nonviolence are founded on the principle that life is sacred and shows the influence of Jesus Christ’s teaching of loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek to the oppressor.

We should actively promote the way of peace and nonviolence through our own lives and call on nations’ leaders to respect life, choose humility and reconciliation with other countries in order to live peacefully to address the problems the world is facing right now such as climate change, poverty of millions of people, terrorism, and materialism. A recognition that we are all spiritual beings having physical existence for the purpose of realizing our unity with God and with one another is the first step to the search for Truth and the practice of nonviolence.


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No Kyok



Image Source: Image Source: from by Egay & Pastor Jeff

Ever heard of the word kyok before? Most likely not. It is archaic and not found in any dictionary. Yet members of our clan say it all the time, even if we don’t know exactly how it’s spelled.

Kyok is a word that defined the attitude of six generations of us (huge now at over 400 members scattered all over the world), and shaped the way we perform today.

It was our grandfather’s (lolo) command word during our family reunions, where the highlight was a talent show or program of sorts. He and our grandmother would place before the stage a batia (another archaic word that means, huge metal basin made from an old drum or large tin can, used for washing clothes).

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Then they would sit in the front row with a bagful of coins.

As their children and grandchildren performed (dance, song, declamation, whatever), they would throw into the batia coins that clinked and clanged, encouraging the performers to do their best.

Nobody was spared from performing. Lolo, with his autocratic Hispanic posture, would declare in Ilocano, “Awan ti kyok!” (Rough translation, “No kyok!”) Kyok means, cowardice to perform. “No kyok” therefore translated to, “Perform or else!’ It didn’t matter if your performance was not the best; what mattered was, you did your best, if only because you did it.

This led me to believe that business’ just-do-it principle was inspired by my grandfather’s “No kyok!”

The just-do-it corporate attitude, as defined in management books, means, “Start your work immediately, and get things done. Do not waste time doing unnecessary research or learning unnecessary skills. Do not squander time being shy and lazy, or indulging in wishful thinking.

Taking this further, “If you want to succeed in life, you have to work hard and create things using your talent. If you kyok, and do not take action when you should, you’ll never succeed—your batia will be empty.”

My grandparents being Christians lived this value from Philippians 4:13 (NLT), “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Such was the mindset of all the 206 reunionites (or clanistas) of all ages who attended our end-year-beginning-year 73rd reunion—not only on talent night, but also in all activities.

Chaired by a sub-clan whose members mostly live abroad, the reunion’s battle cry was still “No kyok!” And the batia (a modern version, since the old form has become extinct) clinked and clanged even more outrageously.

It’s amazing how this attitude, including the batia, lives on in us to this day.

What grace is mine that I belong to this no-kyok clan!


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Childhood Obesity: Chubby Is Not Equal To Healthy



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Cute is a word most likely used to describe chubby kids, but being chubby may not be cute after all as these kids may actually be among those having childhood obesity without their parents realizing it. Unfortunately, “obese” may sometimes be mistaken as “healthy” as some parents may have the idea that a visibly fat child is a healthy child.

Childhood obesity is believed to be on the rise and this problem is certainly becoming a fat one.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of overweight children under age five in 2010 is 42 million with 35 million found in developing countries. Obese children may likely remain obese as adults and will likely develop health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age according to the WHO.

But childhood obesity can be preventable, and prevention should start even when the child is still in the mother’s womb. The New England Journal of Medicine cites excessive maternal weight gain, smoking during pregnancy and shorter-than-recommended duration of breastfeeding as some factors associated with increased risk for obesity in infancy and early childhood.

During the infancy stage, less-than-12-hours sleep duration is also a factor. As the child grows, other factors come in. Foods high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and micronutrients are widely available and provide a temptation that is hard to resist among children. With these foods around, unhealthy eating habits tend to occur. Add to this is the increasing trend towards lesser physical activity with increased TV hours and with playing time confined to a seat with the entry of video and computer games as well as increased urbanization.

Ask a child about their favorite snack and fruits are rarely mentioned. Try asking a child today about street games like “buwan-buwan”, “siatong” or, “tubig-tubig” and chances are, nobody is playing those games nowadays. Instead of spotting kids running on the streets, you will find toddlers to adolescents making their avatars run for them in “Temple Run” or “DOTA”.

It’s not just the children’s behavior that is to blame but the parents too. Some parents are actually contributing to the problem of obesity in their own children as they spoil their child with food and lots of it. “The idea that a big baby is a healthy baby, and a crying baby is probably a hungry baby who should be fed, are things we really need to rethink,” Dr. Leann Birch, director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center in Penn State said.

With many Filipinos working abroad, it is possible that there are also some parents who may make up for their physical presence by allowing a child to watch plenty of TV, or play video and computer games. Many parents become so busy at work that they often find less time with their kids, time which could have been spent for having family walks, biking, jogging and other physical activities.

The prevention of childhood obesity should be a multisectoral effort that should start within a family and should include schools, civil society and the private sector. Parents are very important for prevention to be successful. Early in life, mothers should breastfeed their children. They should promote healthy diets by making healthy foods and beverages available in their homes. The intake of fruits and vegetables should be encouraged. Healthy school snacks should also be served to children instead of packaged snacks. Having family meals together is also encouraged.

Parents should also promote a healthy lifestyle by acting as models to their children encouraging their children to engage in sports or perhaps do physical activities together. Television and computer time should be reduced.

Next to parents, the school plays an important role to reduce childhood obesity. Health education promoting healthy behaviors and creating a healthy school environment should be integrated. School canteens should offer healthy choices too. School gardens can be used as a tool to increase awareness about food origins and nutrition. Sports and fitness programs should be activated. Physical activity should be encouraged among teachers, parents, students and the entire community.

With these combined efforts, it is the hope that this childhood obesity epidemic will be put to a stop.


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My Contribution to Make Philippines a Better Place



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Everyday is an opportunity to learn. To keep myself abreast with new updates in the industry and how to change outlook from being purely an insurance agent or salesperson to being a very effective Financial Consultant: I am to broaden my knowledge and improve my skills. I have to improve myself and be a cut above the rest- not to be a sub-par agent. One who effectively assesses the financial needs of my clients and finds out what they have done and what more they can do to improve the handling of their finances, and most importantly, to remind them of why they worked so hard and thus, guide them to set their priorities right.

My role therefore, is not just to sell any product, but to make them see the value of their human capital-their ability to provide and create what they wanted for their families to have such as to build the house they dreamed of, send their kids to the best schools, go to their dream vacations, do civic activities and give contributions. They all can achieve their goals, be financially secured for as long as they can and work hard.

We the working men and women have to put much value of our life’s potential. With this we have to consider the risk that surrounds us. What are these risks? The uncertainties of what lies ahead us. Uncertainties such as diagnosis of critical illnesses, disability, and untimely death, we don’t like this to happen but if it does, it would greatly affect our ability to work- our income potential and therefore, would be a hindrance to the realization of the goals that we have set or the dreams we aspire for our loved ones. What do our clients have if such events happen? How much do they have? Would it be enough? What do you have? Is it enough? This is where I can give the solutions for it. I am their friend and their Financial Consultant. I will make them see the need, provide them the solutions and make them act upon it. I am therefore not a salesman. I will, at the best of my abilities, create the money my client’s family needs – to unload them of the possible financial burden that they should not experience. We all deserve the best in life. We all are provided with what we need. We have the best resources, the ability to work. And it is our responsibility to be good stewards of these blessings. How well we manage our finances today determines the kind of life we (given the time) and our loved ones will live. Would we allow putting our hard work not have a pay off? Would we just play today and pay it later? What does our client want to be, what do you want to be: A blessing or a burden? What we do today will determine it.

This is my mission. Given this position, I take it my responsibility to let my clients see, feel and act on the best solutions I can give. A contribution we all can take part in changing and making our country a better place not just for our generation, but for the next generations to come.

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“Disconnect to Connect”



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(I read that phrase somewhere in Facebook and thought of it as an appropriate title.)

My two-month old S4 suddenly went berserk. It would turn off in the middle of my Facebook stalking, disturbing my guilty pleasure three times that night. The next day, my boyfriend and I went to Ayala. He would always drop by Data Blitz to check on or buy a game for his 3DS; I didn’t mind because it would give me time to peek through my FB notifications and do mass check ins on Foursquare.

While I was happily doing these, my phone did it again. This time, it would turn off and back on repeatedly. Panicking, I carried my phone like a baby having an asthma attack as we rushed to find the nearest seat. I removed my phone’s battery to save it from further torture. (Pardon me if I sound like an obsessed little girl but I can get really crazy with anything I fancy.)

We then went to Smart to get that certificate that says I’m subscribed to their post-paid plan, and finally to the Samsung shop at Ayala’s New Wing. Being new, this branch was less crowded, we didn’t need a priority number to be assisted. (When this gets published and people discover its existence (whichever comes first, haha) I still hope I wouldn’t be needing a priority number. (Impossible)

The technician told me to back up all my files as my phone may need to be reformatted. Gladly, it still turned on; I hurriedly transferred all my selfies and food photos from my internal memory to my SD card. With a stroke of luck, I was able to do all of these before my phone turned off again.

When we came back to the shop after a wait time of 2-3 hours, we found out that it was only a battery problem which can be fixed by (of course) battery replacement. Because they had to order the battery from Manila (I think), this meant having a dead phone for 7-10 business days. I thought of all the photos I would not be able to take during this hiatus so I decided to buy an extra battery. (Me and my irrational passion for capturing daily memories.)

The technician told me that the reason why my phone kept auto-restarting was overcharging. Yes, I admit to have overcharged it . . . almost everyday. Aside from overnight charging, I also charge my phone while using it. Here are the things that the tech told me to do to avoid this from happening in the future:

1. Turn off the phone (or do not use it) while charging.

2. Do not overcharge it.

3. Once a month, ‘overcharge’ it a little by unplugging it ten minutes after it says battery full. This prolongs battery life. (He used a term to describe this method. With my goldfish memory, I could not remember the exact word. When I downloaded Battery Doctor, I figured it was called ‘trickle stage‘.)

4. Charge the phone when it says battery low (duh). Do not wait for it to be drained completely.

Well these are just basic stuff which I, unfortunately, did not follow.

I am not sure if what the tech said were 100% true and accurate. I learned my lesson though and by following what he said, had more time for things I have not paid attention to before. Now that I have to wait for about two hours for my phone to be fully charged, I already have time to talk to my siblings, do some cleaning or even the laundry, and prepare for the next day at work.

I remember this post that I wrote a few months ago: Nowadays, many people are “participating” more in social networks than in real life. With these sites being accessible anytime and anywhere, everyone is just glued to their smartphone, iPod, iPad or whatever, often forgetting that there’s a person beside them they can have an actual conversation with.

Turning off my phone for about two hours a day has indeed taught me that there’s more to life than my 5″ Full HD Super AMOLED display.

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