A Simple Request to ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5 and Other Local Channels+

Dear ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5 and other local channels:

I’ll make this post short. I would just like to request for you to please stop accepting political propaganda ads at least not at this time. I know. I know. These ads are not illegal. No laws are being broken because the ads do not explicitly use the term “vote” or whatever the legal loophole is.

Finding loopholes through technicalities: This is something we Filipinos, not just politicians, are good at. Hangga’t may butas, lusot lang. Okay lang na di ako mag-seatbelt sa kotse, wala namang makakakita. Okay lang na uminom ako at magdrive, di naman ako lasing. Okay lang na damihan ko ang unli-twirl sa Family Mart kahit di ko maubos, binayaran ko naman ‘yun eh. Sige lusot pa!

We have this natural tendency to justify wrong actions. May nalalaman pa tayong lesser evil ek ek. Siguro, mayroong mga gray area na applicable ‘to. Pero sa usapan ng eleksyon at estado ng bansa natindi na pwede ang trial and error! Konti na lang lulubog na tayong lahat.

We need to have this rare quality to not choose the lesser evil, but instead create something for the greater good. Strategize. Think of the long term. Consider what will happen to the future generations. ‘Pag pumutol ba ako ng puno, may epekto ba ‘to? ‘Pag nagtambak ako ng lupa sa dagat, okay lang ba ‘yun? Parang dati binabasa ko pa nung bata ako ang mga signage ng The Four Way Test ng Rotary Club, thinking “Wow! Tama ‘yung mga tanong. Dapat i-memorize ko ‘to para pagtanda ko.” Pero tumanda na ako’t lahat, di naman siya nasusunod.

Local channels, you should choose to be the greater good. Ang contradicting lang kasi. You campaign for clean elections but then you show political ads that obviously would affect the outcome of the elections. Tapos ‘yung iba pa sa inyo may affiliation sa politics. It’s time to do the greater good: TV is a powerful medium. Politicians pay you to run their ads. You could choose to turn them down. Naturingan pa namang may news and public affairs department kayo. The public is who you should protect, not the politicians who have money to throw at you. I guess you are also businesses, and you also need money. Their money. But wait! Those come from taxpayers’ money too. Our money. You should know better.

Maybe, this is just a way for you to be fair. Politicians have free speech rights too. Or maybe to show TV viewers which future candidates have the highest campaign funds. There might be a correlation between high funds and possible corruption in the future. I don’t know.

I really don’t know.


Help for Enzo’s Healing and Recovery+

Enzo is a young 10-year-old boy whose health has been worsening for the past few months. His parents Michael and Marian have put up a YouCaring fundraiser page to help support their child’s continued medical care and hospitalization.

An excerpt from the parents’ message:

We are so grateful for the many prayers and support that we’ve been receiving. It is heart-warming to know that many are with us as we go through these trying times. We hope you could continue to join us in prayer for Enzo’s complete healing and immediate recovery and that he can be home soon. We also humbly appeal to your generous hearts as we are in dire need of financial assistance for Enzo’s hospital bills and medical expenses. Any aid will be much appreciated and would go a long way in helping our son be well again.

Click on the “Donate Now” button on the widget below, or visit the fundraiser page for more details on how to help. UPDATE: Online donations are currently unavailable due to issues with Paypal. You may still continue to donate via the Philippine bank accounts, or contact the parents via email or Facebook.

You may also deposit to the following Philippine bank accounts:

PSBank Account Number: 141-11-1-01568-8
Account Name: Michael Stephen or Marian Louise Mariano
Account Type: Savings
Swift Code: PHSBPHMM

Metrobank Account Number: 066-7-066-40040-5
Account Name: Marian Louise Mariano
Account Type: Current
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Or get in touch with the parents:

Email Address: mfmariano@gmail.com and/or mykemariano@gmail.com
FB Messenger: Marian Ferrer-Mariano and/or Michael Mariano

Please support this fundraiser and save a child’s life. Every donation, however large or small, counts.

Why I Started to Avoid Helping Strangers: My Budol-Budol Story+

It is a familiar scene especially in the metro to see strangers trying to approach passersby asking questions, begging for alms or asking for a few bucks just so they can get home. For someone who is new to the city, you may fall for them and give them money. Worse, be a victim of a modus operandi that could cost you your life worth’s savings or your life. This is why little by little, passersby like me as much as possible try to ignore strangers asking for help. Good samaritans are becoming apathetic to protect themselves. Personally, I just smile (Important: without eye contact) and walk by them. This may be a little rude. What if the stranger actually needed help. Well, you can’t blame me. I’m just being safe.
Continue reading “Why I Started to Avoid Helping Strangers: My Budol-Budol Story”

Another Reclamation Project?!2

Philippines’ “biggest” reclamation project in Cordova approved

Wala ka bang napapansin sa iyong mga kapaligiran? (Asin — “Kapaligiran”)

I learned this song when I was in first grade. I think I was six years old. This song wasn’t just a song. It was a symbol of hope for a child like me that regularly passed by the Pasig River. Smelling its foul odor. Seeing floating garbage with the water lilies on its dark brown surface. A child that heard stories from his grandmother of how clear the water was. How they’d drink the water. How they used to catch fish. I get both sad and envious thinking about it now. I was a child that was taught to memorize and practice the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Return, which I forgot after I graduated. A child that was hoping that through this song everything will change for the better. But it didn’t.

Fast forward to 2015 and here we are. I’m now 25 years old and I’m reading an article that the biggest reclamation project in Cordova, an island municipality in the province of Cebu, is now approved.

I get that developed countries like Hong Kong, China and Japan have reclaimed lands as well, and locally, the land where the likes of SM Mall of Asia and Solaire were built has been a key to a lot of successful investment opportunities. However, I’m just wondering: When are we going to stop?

The Philippines is an archipelago, a group of islands. Converting a yamang tubig to a yamang lupa (no matter how useless this body of water is) is like playing God. Okay, for the non-religious: It’s altering nature’s balance. Somehow, somewhere, someday, it will have an effect on us. We may not know it now, we may not feel it now, but our sons and daughters of the next generations will.

Dear Philippines, 

Sustainability is the key for us to survive. It is not about which country has the highest GDP or currency rate. It is not about who has the most number of H&M stores or eat-all-you can restaurants. Nobody cares how many malls a country has. It is not about who can afford to go to a luxurious island for a “yaya meal” (yes, I’m talking about that island resort *evil stare*). In the long run, it is about how we maintained our natural resources for this generation and the generations to come.

Manila Bay: It’s sad that the view of the sunset is all it has now.

I read an old article this morning that some people are still swimming in Manila Bay despite government warnings. Are these people really at fault or are they, in a distorted kind of way, a symbol of hope? The natural thing to do when people see water is to drink and bathe in it. We can call them stupid or reckless for swimming in polluted waters but they do remind us that Manila Bay and other dead bodies of water and land are still alive. There is still hope for restoration. If Singapore and Korea have successfully done it, why can’t we? To this day, in spite of the growing number of natural disasters, the government still has no efforts in place to protect the environment.

We just need to do it now. Not tomorrow and not next year but now.

When will we start caring? Is all the money in the world worth it? When will stop destroying and start creating?

When will we stop?