4ever With U Seems Too Good 2 be True

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
In a lifetime, there are actions you do out of immaturity and those that are deliberately done differently despite maturity. In any case, there will be a point of reflection that either make people grow or remain foolish. Wise people choose to learn over failures while the ordinary may settle for the same things over and over again. Sadly enough, considering mistakes as a toll to experience will not reverse any damage done.

I had a major stumble when I was younger yet it does not justify the intensity of my wrong. Today, I stood up to admit what went wrong, how I did wrong and why I did wrong. Needless to say, the gist of everything is as simple as me picking the wrong options. It was a difficult path; one that should not have been paved had I been forgiving, understanding and loyal. But that was not the case. It is only now that I realize why it really takes forgiveness to sustain a good relationship. Forgiving back then should have meant not reviving the wrong once committed by my better half. I did just the exact opposite not in an instance but repeatedly, as if I was doing the right thing. Forgetting, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. However, learning from mistakes sound good for an alternative. Now that we’re on our separate ways, the best there is to do is to be happy for each other. Even if one will not, even if one cannot. It would be so selfish of me to push my luck any further knowing that the other is already happy, if not, very happy. I know there’s something more than just praying and hoping that “we” be revisited but what’s the whole point?

Wishing that destiny will one day bring the magic back between the two of us would be like asking the sun to appear at night. I was wrong, I did wrong and I will have to face whatever I deserve. I’ll take it from here no matter how painful, no matter how much regret I have deep inside. I guess I will never be able to find someone alike - someone who supplies my daily dose of happiness, someone who I can foresee my future with, a lover and a best friend. I had that one chance and I know I just put it to waste.

Now that I’m fully grown-up, I will take full responsibility for whatever my actions were from my yesterday. At least this time, I know I did gain a lot from all the experiences I had, good or bad. Knowing that forever with the person I’d love to spend a lifetime with was once so close to being a reality will be a really hard pill to swallow. I guess happy endings only love to exist where fairy tales flourish. I'll have to face it; forever with you just seems too good to be true.

Three Reasons Why I Love You

Monday, December 24, 2012
People make mistakes. Perhaps, the biggest mistake I've ever made was to let my immaturity take over me entirely. Now is not the right time for regrets. All there is to ask is not a second, third or any chance at all but an apology long overdue. Time may deprive a moment of togetherness; not now or maybe never. This Christmas I choose to right the wrong by being entirely down on my knees, begging that I be pardoned for how it went before: the hurting, humiliation and lack of closure. I remember when I was once told to "go and see who's the better one." The answer was there even before I had to decide but I opted to take the wrong path. Everything makes sense now: the memories, learning and a bulk of regrets. Allow me to return what was once given to me on a very special day... the reasons why I felt so loved:

"1. You make me happy in times that I frown. You cheer me up when I feel oh so down. You paint a smile.

2. You always feed me... with love and comfort in times that I need it. You never fail to shower me with love and you've been my shoulder when I feel like the world is against me, when I feel that the world is not working accordingly.

3. Your TOUCH... has something I cannot fathom nor explain... and this just shows that you have the magic I'm looking for. You're my ONLY."

I wish you the happiness you deserve and I'm sorry if I had to keep a mum on the query about how my emotions toward you were but, once and for all, hear my simple answer - yes...

Devastatingly Yours, Pablo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Just when people in Dumaguete thought that last year's typhoon Sendong was worst, a new one makes a statement.

4th of December 2012 - a category 5 super typhoon paid the city of gentle people an unwelcome visit to remember. It took several days of planning and preparing for the city and surrounding islands as the typhoon was anticipated to be more dreadful than Sendong and what it had in store for us the same month last year.

A day before the typhoon hit Dumaguete, the weather was typical - sunny, cloudy and ordinary. As such, people would tend not to take the weather agency's warning of an upcoming super typhoon seriously - at least not for me. As forecasted, Pablo (typhoon Bopha) made landfall in the Philippines with Mindanao area and parts of Leyte as the first in line to taste Pablo's wickedness. The day started pretty normal with little to no rainfall in Dumaguete but as the day progressed, the dark clouds upcoming were evident. Not so long after, rainfall began to pour as if tomorrow never existed. Nothing much was up until afternoon came and Pablo started to unveil his real identity. Heavy rain accompanied with winds stronger than ever in about a decade was how Pablo wanted the people to regard him of. Then, the rest became a significant part of the city's history...

There's no denying that Dumaguete City isn't used to typhoons at all but that never had anything to do with it being spared from natural calamities as such. In fact, last year's typhoon Sendong left casualties not only in the city but the entire province of Negros Oriental as well. This year's typhoon Pablo brought about massive destruction which left the city with not much options but to move on, regardless of situation.

Devastating, terrifying and traumatizing are only among the few words to describe how super typhoon Pablo was but despite that, no life was taken away. Just recently, the city government of Dumaguete declared zero-casuality after the said typhoon.

After all that happened, regardless of the extent of damage, DumagueteƱos will still have a reason to call the season merry. After all, Christmas was never really central about material possessions. Perhaps, the best gifts won't come wrapped in nice packages this Yuletide. Remember, no material thing can be as precious as a loved one.

Apple - The Fruitful Company That Was

Thursday, September 13, 2012
"Hey look! It's an iPhone!" was a very popular line in the history of mobile telephony. If you were one of those people whose jaws dropped upon stumbling next to a person owning the first generation iPhone back then, consider yourself hypnotized.

Photo courtesy of CNET

It can be recalled how Apple's iPhone brought about a tremendous amount of change in how mobile phones are right now. Sure, there have been a few touch-screen phones before it but the differentiating factor is the manner it was marketed - A phone and iPod in one!

But how innovative was the "innovative" fruit-company with the initial iPhone? Did it blow others up flaunting something that others lacked? I'd say it did. To a certain extent, touch-enabled phones carrying different brands flooded the market thereafter. Other than Apple empowering people's index fingers in mobile technology, there isn't really anything left worth mentioning. I can recall trying to sell my Nokia N95 just to get hold of an iPhone. Just before I actually did, I began to have second thoughts on the iPhone for one thing - it didn't have quite a number of standard features that others already had for years. Eventually I had to say "nay" instead of "yey" on the iPhone.

A year passed and a successor came into place bringing a not-so-generous number of features. Unsurprisingly, it sold like hotcakes like the first one did. The second iteration of the iPhone failed to lure me into getting one. Such reaction went on until Apple unveiled Siri. It wasn't really the first of its kind but like the first iPhone, Apple went away successful with a sole strategy - marketing (again). Perhaps, Apple can lean on that aspect for its success.

Engineering phones with a minimalist design left people with the impression that simple is beautiful; and it is. Though agreeable, you don't look only into aesthetics. Ironically, the iPhone's operating system dwells in a spot just below simplicity; deviating from competition with a snob on basic features that phones should have. Just imagine how Apple took 5 long years before it had video calling over mobile network incorporated on its product, 1 year before Multi Media Messaging (MMS) was considered, another unbelievable 5 years and counting for inability to send files via Bluetooth and an absolute blind eye on NFC. But the list doesn't stop there. A lot is still left undone for consumers to get the complete experience on an Apple iPhone.

Just hours ago, the latest iPhone (iPhone 5) was introduced to the public. I'd be honest in telling that I've been crossing my fingers on the possibility of Apple introducing a ground-breaking evolution to its next-generation mobile phone. To my surprise, it only played catch-up with other existing phones in the market. In a world where technology has apparently reached its climax, banking only on hardware upgrades will bring no good. Look for a fast phone and there's quad-core. Search for LTE and there's a variety to choose from. But consider software evolution - it's something you'd gain much credit for without having to share much similarity with competition.

Before buying another phone, one is likely to ask if the upgrade is justifiable. In this case, if a bigger screen, slimmer phone profile and LTE integration will suffice, why would you pay a premium when there are better phones out there at a lesser price? Is it because the logo looks "too cool," or because you'll finally have a reason to flaunt? Hey, I got good news for you! In a third-world country like the Philippines, our tricycle drivers, security guards and household personnel have iPhones, too. In effect, what I'm driving at is the fact that owning an iPhone will never make you look elite, nor will it make you BE elite. And so I ask, what does your iPhone do that the other phones, like the Galaxy SIII, can't? Or should the question be what CAN'T your iPhone do that the Galaxy SIII can?

Photo courtesy of CNET Asia

Apple has apparently lost its glory in its claim to be an "innovator" with the iPhone 5. Unless the next-generation phone from Apple can make any notable difference, it will only turn out to be less of a mobile phone and more of an expensive toy. Let me end with a quote from CNET's Roger Cheng, "Think about it: was there one legitimately new feature that was shown off? That's the big issue. When a company stops innovating, it becomes vulnerable. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but the lack of breakthrough products sets you on the track for a potential downfall."

It's More Fun in Palawan!

Sunday, September 9, 2012
The Philippines boasts of 7107 islands. Interestingly, the one with the largest land area home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and, just recently, inaugurated as one of the new 7 Wonders of the World is Southeast Asia’s last frontier - Palawan. Sure, there are lots of tourist attractions scattered all over the country but a visit to this province, particularly Puerto Princesa City, is unlike any other; definitely not overrated, just pure astonishment.

I live in a quaint small city often regarded as one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, within the country. A visit to Puerto Princesa instantaneously dethroned my city in the shortlist. During the first few hours of my stay, I’ve been too busy looking for rubbish deliberately thrown anywhere which, by the way, turned out to be such an embarrassing failure. The city can’t be cleaner and it can only be attributed to the locals whose discipline is seen as exemplary. Respectful, gentle and kind are only among many initial impressions that they have set in my mind. I appreciate being able to roam around the city’s commercial district without fear of snatchers, swindlers and other people alike. Adding to the bunch of surprises is the fact that the city still covers majority of the tourist attractions with the Subterranean Underground River having approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes travel time and Honda Bay Wharf about 30 minutes away from the city-center. Yes, it’s HUGE so Davao City, step back! However, it’s not necessarily about how big the city is because a huge chunk of the people’s interest is captured by WHAT the place can offer.

The Subterranean Underground River has more to offer beyond it being a river inside a cave. It flaunts a perfect balance of the eco-system and a sustainability that does not weaken through the bulk of tourists coming in and out. Admittedly, the underground river in Palawan is not the sole natural attraction of its kind in the planet but what makes it far ahead of the rest is the fact that it measures 8.2 kilometers long; making it the world’s longest. With such a long (45-minute) quest, you’d be lucky to be with a tour guide whose sense of humor enhances the level of experience even more. A job like theirs not only demand strength (for paddling) but also calls for intellect (interaction, fact sharing and humor). I’m all hands-down on their multi-tasking. Apart from the subterranean river itself, the marvel of the flora and fauna will take you back to what the world had been – clean, green and untouched. A strong sense of coexistence between man and nature, though rarely seen, is very much present in the location. Monitor lizards, squirrels and other wild animals are free to roam the area without fear. Perhaps, that’s something you wouldn’t experience elsewhere but in Palawan.

The fun doesn’t stop with the country’s representative to the New 7 Wonders of the World as El Nido, the new owner of the number one spot for tourism in the country, will likely make jaws drop out of total awesomeness. They say it’s like heaven on earth but my motion sickness wouldn’t let me have a taste of it only because of the long trip from the downtown area (approx. 7 hours). I’m not really in the position to say much about the place since I really haven’t been there, yet. Honda Bay did the trick for me. Though not at par with the aforementioned attraction, it had me excited over one very amazing experience – being swarmed by fishes. Never in my life did I anticipate having a date with these fishes that actually don’t fall short of guts in dealing with people. Furthermore, the white sand beaches of the islands scattered in the bay will, somehow, ease your longing for the Boracay experience (minus the night life, of course).

Not to be forgotten is the tour around the city and a visit to the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center which gave me an opportunity to be up close and personal (well, not really that close) with the crocs. There lies the remains of the croc whose size is next to that of Lolong’s, officially the world’s largest crocodile in captivity.

Surely, a week’s time in Palawan will be too minimal to explore all that the province can offer. If you’re after a bang-for-the-buck type of vacation, do consider Palawan as your next travel destination because It’s More Fun in Palawan!

One Big Turn© recommends Ysabelle Mansion for your travel package and accommodation. They have the best staff with above average rooms. Visit their website at www.ysabellemansion.com

The Dirt Under The Hood of Politics

Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Philippine's recently concluded inculpation entitled "Chief Justice on Trial" has made its way to global awareness. It's not as if the entire world ever cared much about politics in a third world country's perspective but, at the very least, it did stir up talks across nations. A first in Philippine history, the highest official in the Judiciary underwent an "in-depth" (or was it?) investigation of undeclared wealth. It was a trial reminiscent of former Philippine President Estrada's which took the public's interest as if a top-rated TV series was aired. So what really made the entire impeachment proceeding so interesting?

Courtesy: ABS-CBN NEWS

In a third world country like the Philippines, seldom would you see people's interest spike on political matters. However, trials involving corrupt practices and the like become an instant hit; one that sell like pancakes in dusty streets. Former Chief Justice Renato Corona was found guilty by 20 out of 23 Senator Judges in the impeachment court with the accusation of an incompletely-filed SALN (Statement of Assets Liabilities & Net Worth).

Courtesy: Impeachment Update

Believed to be a start of a "clean" government, a large number of politicians and folk rejoiced at the outcome and conviction of the former Chief Justice. Like the promise of the current President of the republic, the country will be geared toward pure and corrupt-free governance. Ironically, that promise sounds too good to be true and one that might remain a dream in a lifetime. Having a "clean" President is never a guarantee of a domino effect in all sectors of the government. If a simple act of joining the bandwagon headed to a "moment of truth" is a challenge for majority in office, how much more difficult would it be to reveal corruption hidden in a very deceiving manner? It can be recalled that the accused, himself, stood before the impeachment court in the light of cleaning a heavily tainted reputation and divulging everything owned straight from the crocodile's mouth. It was a time when the concept of a "moment of truth" was initiated through the signing of a waiver to bank secrecy. It was a brilliant idea despite the debatable intention of such execution. Unfortunately, not everyone was willing to raise their white flags in favor of transparent and honest governance. Such raises a question whether there is a widespread betrayal of public trust or not.

How will the citizens be able to attain absolute justice if the court is only placing one official on hot seat? Shouldn't the signing of the waiver be made mandatory to initiate the promise of an honest government? Why do we hear comments that it is irrelevant, unnecessary and questionable? Is it a personal shield for those who have a lot (of illegally-amassed wealth) in secret? People in politics unconsciously practice irony among themselves and that itself signifies the dirt under the hood of Philippine politics.

It ridicules me knowing that not all of the 188 Congressmen and 23 Senators were willing to submit themselves under the signing of the said waiver when in fact they were all pointing their fingers, both guilty and innocent, to the former Chief Justice. I admire the three Senator Judges who stood for what they thought was right. Not being swayed with the majority's decision is, in itself, a commendable act.

The dirty game of politics is the main factor pulling the country down to poverty line. Those who accuse are often to be accused themselves; a cycle based on luck. If a corrupt official is not exposed to his wrongdoings, he remains clean in the eyes of the people. So you think it's unfair? I say the word itself is an understatement.

Courtesy: Cafebabel

Since the time I learned to think, I have always regarded this government as a corrupt and dishonest one. Standing out and claiming my luck at changing it is as impossible as snow in the Philippines. If in my financial-well, I am unable to cease the strong force of corruption and dishonesty in governance, more so will I not be able to reach success in the field of politics. Philippine politics go by one honest motto: "once corrupt, always corrupt."

The Lonely Side of it All

Monday, February 27, 2012
Lively, jolly and all hyped up are some of the common characteristics that people regard radio personalities, more popularly known as DJs. They are celebrities in their own field who dominate the airwaves and fill them with music pleasing to the listeners’ ears. But what really happens to the people behind the voices is something that is not really familiar to the majority.

Oftentimes, it is very easy for people to jump into conclusions and that, unfortunately, includes the mentality that being a radio personality only requires eloquence. In reality, the job requires more effort than what people perceive. Jessica Moldez, a [former] radio personality of Killer Bee Dumaguete, believes that her job is, more often than not, underestimated. She thinks the reason behind this is the people’s lack of information about her career. Attending to thousands of listeners, hundreds of text messages, arranging the flow of songs, answering phone calls, preparing information tidbits as well as getting all-hyped up has become part of her system as a radio personality. But despite those, Moldez still loves what she’s in right now.

(Jessica Moldez and me. KB Tech JC behind us.)

“This is an avenue where I can express myself and at the same time, entertain people with the right dose of music they love to hear.” Moldez further explained that music has become a stress-reliever for her especially that she’s usually stressed as an employee of a BPO company. At the same time, she finds joy in pleasing her listeners, “hearing simple admiration from listeners is a very pleasing experience that never fails to make me smile.”

They say nobody can please everybody; that applies to the job of a DJ too. Radio is a very complex medium and so is its listeners and Moldez understands that it is either a please or piss situation for anybody in the industry concerned. “It’s all a matter of taste. Apparently it’s mandatory for us to welcome comments or criticisms or let’s just put it this way, we just don’t have any other choice.” She is better off facing criticisms, taking them as challenges to further enhance her performance. In radio, there is really no way to control who the listeners should be—one reason why radio personalities should all the more understand that it’s a diverse community out there.

“Sometimes listeners tend to be so harsh on us but even though it hurts a lot, it must not get into us and affect our performance because the rest of them will surely notice it.” The more depressing fact is the presence of listeners who send criticisms, often without any basis, aimed at bringing radio personalities down. Those are just some of many problems that Moldez and people in the same field are faced with.

A lot of people ask Moldez what exactly happens inside the studio off-air. Contrary to what it may seem, it’s a lonely world for her inside the DJ’s booth especially when alone. In her case, she has to face the computer and read numerous text messages that people send within her 3-hour shift. “I myself thought I’d go nuts after a few months working here [at Killer Bee] in a sense that the computer and the microphone are the ones I usually talk to on-air.” What’s more difficult for Moldez is the part where she has to do away with certain dilemmas and emotional pains just to entertain her audience. For her, it’s essential because most, if not all, listeners care less about what’s happening to the jock on board—a sad reality that radio personalities are aware of. “A lot of our listeners miss the point that we are also humans who are prone to hurting at any given time, even at work.”

For a rate of Php 25.00 an hour, Moldez is ought to do multi-tasking and worst, troubleshooting. Just like employees of other companies, she gets her fair share of reprimands whenever mistakes are committed though she always view them as constructive. Whether or not the salary is worth-it, she doesn’t really mind. What’s more important to her is the experience that she’s enjoying and the opportunity given to her that not everybody is entitled to.

In a world where what is apparent becomes the majority's reality, Moldez is forced to wear a mask because in reality, it’s all happy when the microphone turns on but it’s different when it’s shut off.

***Article written August 24, 2009. Minor changes done.***

How 69 Brought Bad Luck

Thursday, February 23, 2012
It was not so long a time since Dumaguete/Negros Oriental made it to global news. Now another set of write-ups were published involving such a humble city and province. Unfortunately though, it was not something majority would have wanted to hear of.

February 6 - A magnitude 6.9 earthquake brought about panic and mass destruction to the laid-back province of Negros Oriental. Though not as severe as that of Japan's 8.9 magnitude earthquake, numerous people in the northern part of the province were left homeless, hungry, miserable and worst of all, broken. Over a hundred are believed dead as earth abruptly ate people unable to escape such ill fate. For a number of survivors, a dark tomorrow became crystal clear. Having lost every single thing and person valued most marked a not so fresh start and since majority of the affected are financially incapable, moving on was never an easy way out of their fall. Despite such sad reality, the northern municipalities weren't the only places affected.

Dumaguete, reported to have felt the devastating intensity 7 shake, had its own story as well. Hundreds fled to higher lands upon knowing that a tsunami level 2 alert was issued by Philvolcs. People near seashores were reported to have left their households with the fear of getting an experience of Japan's fate. But that move was far from necessary.

Precaution was the main implication that the government agency wanted to get across. Needless to say, such alert was way too misunderstood. Dissecting at the triggering factors of the people's hysterical moves led to spotting the gap at which information dissemination was transmitted between the agency, media and the people. With the media having the most weight in the process, failure to clearly emphasize what the alert level accurately meant was evident. That automatically became a theory right after seeing how people reacted to the situation. It is undeniable how people feed information from media especially in cases as such. However, it is likewise high likely that people may have been informed well but have over-reacted to what has been communicated.

Taking a look at both sides of the coin brings to conclusions that people's knowledge of procedures pertaining to natural calamities are arguably poor and that media fell short at going the extra mile in letting everyone, affected or not, know how to get by situations where mother nature takes credit.

One Big Turn© has several basic tips to help everyone save their asses in case of an earthquake:
1. Stay calm despite how exactly opposite your environment is. Your mind thinks better when you are calm than in panic.
2. Look for a heavy piece of furniture (table etc.) that can protect you from falling objects/debris in the entire duration of the quake.
3. Stay inside a building especially if the exit is quite far from your location. However, if you are lucky enough to be near a building's main exit, do go out and look for an open area where nothing can fall on you.
4. Never take the elevators when getting out of a building; even minutes after the earthquake.
5. Expect aftershocks to happen and when they do, refer back to the previous instructions.
6. Be informed. Get the latest information from a trusted media institution for instructions and updates.

Note: To those who expected this write-up to be about something else, sorry to have you disappointed.