Three Years

It’s been three years since I’ve started this blog which means it’s been almost three years, two and a half years to be exact, since I graduated from college and moved back with my family.

I know I complain a lot about how my life is here but I realized that I would’ve missed out on so much if I hadn’t decided to come back. So many blessings were thrown towards me in the past three years and I will be forever thankful for them. Who knew that I would have a penchant for teaching children? Three years ago I would never have imagined myself considering a career in teaching. Who would’ve thought I’d be able to pay for my own trip to the United Kingdom? Three years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it myself!

So much has changed and has happened in these three years and although I do feel that I have missed out on a lot of things because I’m not in the Philippines, I do believe that what I have gained while I was here definitely outweighs what I missed out on.

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On having kids one day

I think the biggest proof that I really do want to have kids some day is the fact that I work with (and watch over) almost 50 five year olds everyday and that is the part of my job that I love the most. I have always wanted to have kids and honestly my greatest fear is to go through life without having experienced the joy of having my own child. I know I’m being dramatic about this. I was just talking to Vida about how legitimately scared I was of the thought of growing old without the chance of having a child of my own.

She called me praning for this, but I’m known to be a television addict who lives in TV Land. Two of my favorite television characters, who both wanted desperately to have kids, had issues with having kids. Granted, these are all fictional stories, their stories really got to me and it really hit me hard that there’s a possibility that someone like me who was really set in a life with kids may not actually be blessed with one.

On being fat

“You know, you’re pretty even if you’re fat.”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that line (and forms of it), but no matter how often I hear it, I’ll never understand it. Being pretty and being fat are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I remember someone telling me I must lose weight so I can find a husband. Frankly, if any man will only be attracted to me because of how much I weighed, I don’t think he’s worth the time. Plus, modesty aside, I’ve been asked out by people several times before. I guess my weight isn’t acting like the road block people think it would.

In college, I heard stories of people making fun of me because I seemed to be “overconfident” and “too feeling sexy”. I’ve always been aware that I am fat, and I never really felt like it was a bad thing, but that didn’t stop me from feeling bad about what was being said about me. I have to admit that it really got me down for a while. It’s sad that people felt I didn’t have the right to be confident with how I looked despite my imperfections. Sure, I wasn’t as pretty as they were and sure I would definitely not fit in their clothes but that did not mean I should let them get to me. Now that I’m older I wish I didn’t feel so affected by what was said about me then.

I don’t mind if people tell me I need to lose weight because they’re concerned for me and my health but when I hear reasons such as to find a husband or to look better well that’s just crazy. I’m rambling a lot right now, but I just need to get this out. I mean sure I’d like to lose weight and wear the clothes I want to, and maybe one day I will, but I don’t want to do it just because of what other people say or because I want a guy to like me.

On Plagiarism

On October 15, 2010, the Philippine Supreme Court made a decision that would lead to the death of academic and intellectual integrity in the country. Justice del Castillo was tried for allegedly plagiarizing international literature in his court decision and was cleared of these charges.

In July 2010, a case was filed against Justice del Castillo on the basis that he directly quoted several authors who wrote on topics related to the case he was handling without proper citations. After proper proceedings, he was cleared for of the following reasons:

  1. The legal researcher accidentally deleted the proper citation
  2. Microsoft Word failed to supply a mechanism that will allow it to check for copy-pasted material
  3. There was no malicious intent to pass the work as his own

It is absolutely preposterous for the Supreme Court to have agreed to this faulty reasoning presented by del Castillo. First of all, it is unfair for the legal researcher to receive the blame for del Castillo negligence. A legal researcher provides information such as literature and other cases that could supplement the points made by del Castillo in his defense. If he puts the blame on the legal researcher then perhaps it is an implication that his legal researcher does everything for him. If he were diligent enough, he would have at least reviewed what his legal researcher did, if he was too busy to write his own ponencia.

The second argument is just pure ignorance on his part. Bill Gates might as well sue the Philippine court for (further) tainting the name of Microsoft. Microsoft Word is a word processor. It is a typewriter with aesthetic functions, so obviously it does not have plagiarism detecting features. Maybe the Supreme Court should invest in something like turnitin which actually does check for plagiarism.

Finally, there’s the issue of not intending to plagiarize. I can’t find a definitive source that is not a dictionary or university pamphlet that presents the dangers of plagiarism, but in general it is the lack of or wrongful attribution of an idea to the original source. When I was still in uni, the concept and consequences of plagiarism were always drilled into our heads. Plagiarism is not citing a source. Plagiarism is citing the source wrongfully. Plagiarism is citing the wrong source. Negligence is never an excuse, just as ignorance is never an excuse when it comes to the law.

Plagiarism is a major issue in intellectual integrity. It can stain your reputation. But now there is a Supreme Court Justice who gets out of the case scot free. This has implications on the intellectual and legal development of society.

Of course the most obvious implication is that on intellectual integrity. In clearing Justice del Castillo, the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for more (student) appeals with regard to counts of plagiarism, wherein they could state that it was not their intent to plagiarize.

Another implication is that on future cases. One valid source of court decision is precedents. By principle, if a case has the same facts as another, a decision is valid based on the previous case.  Although plagiarism is not a legal concept, in the growing prominence of the knowledge economy could lead  to more cases of this nature. It makes fighting against plagiarism in the future a losing battle.

How does one prove intent? And does the lack of malicious intent remove the fact that the crime has been done? In a more extreme case, you accidentally drive into the wall of someone’s house causing the roof to collapse and heavy damage on the part of the house owner. Even if you did not mean to crash into the house, there is fault. Perhaps you were not focusing or you forgot to refill your brake fluid. It was an accident, but it was from one’s negligence. That is reckless imprudence.

Plagiarism should be taken seriously, especially in the case of Justice del Castillo, as he is in a position that expects moral conduct and integrity. If we allow people like that in such positions, what does that have to say about the society we live in.

At the end of the day, all you really own in the world is your integrity. Once you give that up, you don’t ever get it back.” – Julian Baker, One Tree Hill 8×04

To the Supreme Court, especially to you – Justice del Castillo, David Tennant does not approve.

One of the biggest downsides of being in Saudi Arabia is that there are no updated Cinemas in the area. There is one cinema here that is walking distance from my house, but it shows really old movies. It really frustrates me since I won’t be watching the Harry Potter movie until December 2, which is around two weeks from the official release date.

I have decided not to go on Tumblr before I watch it. I won’t want to spoil myself. My mom told me to download a bad torrent copy of it but it won’t be the same. I’m so annoyed. But what annoyed me more is that my mom called me a brat when I explained to her that I’m a big fan. I honestly tried my best to take it well. Being a brat would mean me not talking to my parents until they can either let me go back to the Philippines early or drive me to Bahrain as soon as we can.

I was merely explaining why (1) I won’t download the ugly version from torrent – as she told me to do in the mean time and (2) why I said I would not go online to the sites I regularly go to for two weeks.

Oh, if only I could drive myself to Bahrain. Maybe I can wear a wig and a fake mustache so I can actually do that.

Wake up, Krasner, September has ended.

I haven’t been able to blog for a while, one of the biggest reasons being my thoughts are not as coherent as they are at the moment. Between today and my last post, things have been crazy. On a personal level I had strained a muscle so bad I could not walk without support or move  without any reverberating pain on my back to my thighs. It was horrible.

But I know I was in no right to complain. The day after I strained my back, the tragic De La Salle Bar Exam explosions occurred and my friend, Raissa Laurel, was involved in the incident. She lost both her legs to the accident. It was then when I decided not to complain about my leg pain, but rather rejoice for the pain because I still have legs to feel that pain.

After that I was just ashamed that I actually complained, while my friend Raissa took everything so well. She even took her own circumstance better than I did. I could not think properly given that everything that had happened seemed too close for comfort. Tragedy is put into perspective when someone you’ve interacted with is the one who is hurt.

Of course that is not the only mind-blowing incident that happened that day. As I was telling my best friend Henry, it was a horrible weekend for me, with everything just falling on my lap and it took me time to absorb all the information.

I felt if I blogged, I would be all irrational and just spew out all my emotions and regret it later (It has happened before).

To avoid this being a blog about blogging, I shall add: I have been preoccupied lately back watching Veronica Mars and Doctor Who episodes. I am rather enjoying Doctor Who, while the cancellation Veronica Mars remains to be one of The CW’s biggest mistakes.

Social Network Hiatus

I realized how addicted to twitter and facebook I have been. Even if I have already deactivated my facebook account, I find myself typing “facebook.com” on the url box. Sometimes I end up on the homepage without realizing what happened. Is this facebook withdrawal? Well, I managed to do one month the last time, so I think I can try for longer.

The same goes for twitter. Sadly there’s no deactivate function for twitter, so I just try to avoid it – just in case I actually wanted to return. I’m close to uninstalling my TweetDeck too. Don’t ask me why. I just feel so anti-social lately. I’ve been invisibile on YM for a while as well.

Meh. Well I don’t know if this is just a phase, but I’m trying to look at the bright side of things. I could focus on writing full sentences and paragraphs like while I blog, and I will be forced to participate in activities that don’t involve my laptop and an internet connection.

I’d like to see how this goes.

Hostage

Today, a tragedy has befallen a group of tourists in the Philippines. August 23, 2010 will forever mark the day when a suspended cop took hostage 22 tourists from Hong Kong. My sympathies go to those who have lost their loved ones.

I have so many things to say about the whole situation that I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just say this. No one wanted it to happen. I’m pretty sure Mendoza (the suspect and hostage taker) did not want it to end this way either. He wanted his job, ergo did not want to die. But everything went badly, and I think all events that happened prior to the bloodshed have contributed to it.

I think everyone, most importantly the police and the media persons, can learn something from what had happened today. For one, broadcast sensationalism of the whole situation has resulted in the increased tension between the hostage taker and the policemen. The first blow was when the policemen had taken in the brother as well as the interview of the parents. Perhaps the media thought that showing the family could soften his heart a bit, but I think if he was able to keep 15 innocent lives for hours, then they should’ve known that would not work.

Another thing is that they indeed did their “job” to let the people, which included the hostage taker, know EVERYTHING that is happening. So the hostage taker was well-aware of the actions being taken by the police. Of course this isn’t very smart for the media. But of course, media economics works that way. There is a demand, and therefore they supply it. It continues to feed the people’s addiction to wanting to know everything.

Sometimes I really believe the Filipino is addicted to gossip – 4 daily celebrity life shows (2 in ABS-CBN, 1 in TV5, 1 in GMA7, this is not considering the “Celebrity News” portion of the evening news programs), 5 Sunday celebrity oriented shows (Showbiz Central, The Buzz, Paparazzi, Sharon and Mel and Joey) and 2 Saturday celebrity news programs  (E-live and Startalk). I’d even go as far as saying “The Bottomline” of Boy Abunda fits in this category. I mean come on, who asks a bureaucrat about his sex life. No I don’t need to know that thank you.

I’ve drifted a bit. I’m just trying to say that the media would do whatever it takes to get information to people because they like saying they have the exclusive, even if it compromises police operations and the lives of those at risk in the scene. I read that one reporter sneaked from behind the police to get an interview with the brother of the hostage taker. I think the media should know when to draw the line. President Aquino is right in stating that there is freedom of the press. But there’s also such thing as prudence, which seemed to be poorly exercised today.

Of course the biggest government agency being hit with criticisms is the Philippine National Police. Even the SWAT could not redeem Philippine law enforcement. They say the PNP officers lack training. Sadly, it is quite true. The reputation of the PNP has been long tainted by corruption. Just recently, it was involved in the 21-M burger ordeal , the death of Ivan Padilla, and the torture video. Now this. They can’t catch a break can they?

But the lack of training is growing more and more obvious with every blunder they get themselves in. Although the lack of budget is a major factor as to why this has been happening, poor management is also at fault. Given that there is an already set budget at the start of the fiscal year, then the PNP officials should be able to allocate it properly to fund their activities rather than complaining that they don’t have enough. Money is like time. We never have enough yet we can do what we can to be efficient with it through proper allocation and management of what we have.

The hostage taker posted a note for all to read: “Big mistake to correct a big wrong decision.” This is an extremely flawed perspective of decision-making. Only in arithmetic do two negative entities ever surely result in a positive one. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do. (unrelated but I like the play of words). There is nothing good in taking illegal and even extralegal measures in getting what you want.

Ultimately, I believe that this whole ordeal is a result of bad decision-making in the part of the media, the police, and of course the hostage taker. I think the biggest lesson that everyone can pick up from this whole… event.. is:

Killing won’t make people like you. It just makes them dead. – Voldemort (Joe Walker), A Very Potter Musical (It actually makes a lot of sense.)

Goodbye Facebook.

I was going to make this entry my “Goodbye Internet” one but I knew that was kindov foolish of me. I can’t survive without internet. I need to watch my shows as they get released, get updates from some friends, and write on my blog because this is the only medium I have left since I have no friends here.

For those wondering why I had to deactivate my facebook account (Ehem ehem Haeja, Ms Gruet), I have several reasons. And perhaps the March incident plays a small, very TINY part of why I had to deactivate for a while.

So that’s probably number one. I don’t think I can move on completely if I keep seeing his name on my inbox or people tagging us in the same picture/note. Sometimes it makes me feel like a bad person. For reasons I already explained in a previous post. But this is not even 5% of the reason.

There are two major reasons why I decided to finally deactivate. Since I already started with the percentage, I’d say it’s an equal 40-40.

1. (and enumerating them is very PolEco of me) I have been spending too much time on facebook. No really. I am too addicted to the games. I play family feud every day, for the past two months, and I have already reached the top five of the board (I don’t remember what part specifically).  I have a FIFA team which is right now the top with 300 wins (I even bought match points online just so I can play more.) I own a bakery, a restaurant, a hotel, a cafe, and I live in the frontier. Most of these I visit everyday. And I realized this took too much of my time. I never got into playing Pet Society or Farmville, but now that I have so much time in my hands, I got too addicted to those games. It’s no longer funny. Aside from games, I read my contact updates every day, and sometimes I even refresh it. It’s a sad sad life. Facebook has taken over my life now, and I have to show it who’s boss.

2. I realize that I’ve been too clingy to my friends on facebook. To the point that I have been dubbed as Nostalgia Queen by one of them. But really I have become too… present. It’s like I never left the country. I think Facebook has been helping me in my denial that things won’t change. Because things have changed so much these past few months and I have to accept that. Being omnipresent through facebook is only a temporary relief to what is about to come. So I want to stop pretending that things are the same. It’s my way of detaching from Manila, temporarily, so I can move on with my life here. And besides, I see it as a way for me to finally see who my real friends are. Facebook makes it too easy to reconnect, and sometimes it would be nice to know who will reach out without facebook. I think people did well without facebook, what’s stopping our generation. Besides, who can maintain 500+ friendships at the same time? There’s even a study that shows that the brain can only maintain 150 friends at a time. I honestly just want to know who will reach out and who won’t without facebook. 🙂

Those are the biggest considerations as to why I “quit” Facebook. There’s still a 5% left, which is mainly to remove the pressure of accepting some of the adults here who tried to add me. You’re my parents’ friends, not mine. My friends are your kids. Please understand. Plus, people here like to talk a lot, so I’ve been warned. So that lessens the chance of that too.

I really don’t know how long I will last without a facebook account since I like being in the loop. But I guess it’s my chance to feel how it is to be out of the loop (and have a quiet life). So goodbye Facebook, for now.

Paranoia and sleepless nights

Today I am officially a month unemployed. It’s starting to alarm me because I don’t think I can take this dependence thing much longer. I love my parents for offering to support me till forever, but I’d like to give them a break as well.

It’s 4:16 am right now and I am having trouble sleeping. I admit, I have been having trouble sleeping for a while now. I usually like to tire myself until I’m really sleepy so that I could avoid the blank spaces before sleeping. Because it is during this that my mind tends to drift. Unfortunately, my thoughts seem to always drift to a specific time in my life which has caused me great confusion and pain and has led me to increased paranoia.

I’ve told this story enough, but let’s just say it’s a story of two people with different notions of friendship, and different degrees of manifesting that friendship towards each other. I used to be scared to blog about this, because that person might read this, because whenever I write about an encounter between the two of us, it seems to get to the other side. But now I don’t care. If this reaches him, then that just means one thing. He reads this blog, which of course, I will never assume, because it was made very clear to me that he does not care for me either.

The problem with me now is that I care too much. I care too much about what other people have to say about me. I have an extreme case of paranoia that haunts me in my quiet hours, which is why I prefer to preoccupy myself. That is why these bum days have been horrible. You see, I am not having trouble sleeping because I miss this person. No. I do not. In fact I have no regrets in what I did and the consequences of that action (I’m sorry for being vague. I’d rather not go into detail as it is rather long). Bottom line is I deserve better.

What haunts me is the trauma of being treated such way by someone with whom I have done (almost) nothing but favors for. What bothers me is the thought that I may have been the bad person (although my friends tell me I’m not, but that’s just it. They’re my friends – they should side with me). What makes me feel bad is that there could be something wrong with me. Honestly I have had difficulties letting other people in now because of what happened. There I said it. And if ever you read this, I hope you’re happy, don’t you like to make people feel self-doubt? Well now you’ve done it to me. Thanks.

But I don’t (completely) blame you. A big part of it is my fault – because I allowed myself to be treated in such way for a long time, because I am a paranoid person, because I let what you said get to me. It shouldn’t be that way. I should not be affected by it, but I’m not numb, not yet.

I guess the first step is acceptance. Acceptance that I have a serious case of paranoia, and that I need all the help I can get. It’s not funny anymore. It’s not helping that I am miles away from the people with whom I am most comfortable in expressing my emotions to. But whatever, I’ll get through this., I know I will. All I need is time.

Anyway, since I have already started with the emo mood for those who actually read through the above paragraphs, you may want to check out the three new additions I made for the 30-day meme for July:

Day 2: to your crush

Day 3: to your parents

Day 4: to your sibling

If you have noticed, I’m really bad in capping my blog entries. I’m thinking of a cool signature that goes beyond xo, toodles, tata, hugs and kisses. But since I can’t think of any yet, I’ll just leave my blog entries unsigned.