STUDENTS UNITE, STAND – UP and BE HEARD!

You students, 

scholars and academics,
dont be afraid to stand and be heard;

look up and stand tall,
dont be afraid to stand and be heard;

gifts from God were given to us,
knowledge is our treasure,
the acquisition of it our birth right!

dont let others trample that right,
dont let others snatch it from our sight..

Our voice is God’s gift to us,
let us refine it through learning. .

let us make our voice sweeter and lovelier through wisdom;
a voice tempered with wisdom can topple empires.

dont let others drown our voices in the seas of corruption and of hate. .
dont let our voices be tainted by rains of envy and of distraught,

Let us stand tall,
Let us be United. . .
Let us Stand UP!!!

We shall let our voices ring to the heavens,
let us shake the foundations of this world.

Let our voices be heard.
and may it wake the flames of progress in each others hearts.

Students unite,

Stand-up and be Heard!

– petros absalon bojo

Quarter Life Crisis … is there such a thing?

photo from http://www.topnews.in

Sorry for the long absence in my column dear readers. I am, like most youngsters, incapable of managing my time well. I am sure that if any of you who are parents to kids my age (I am twenty-one), or somebody younger, would agree that one major source of quarrels with them is how they would manage their time. I for one had my own fair share of scolding from my mom, due to this. My only excuse is that I am busy with my studies (haha!).

Then again, as my mother would always say, “there are no excuses when it comes to meeting your responsibilities.” She’s right but those who are young (relatively) and are reading this column may perhaps agree with me that when it comes to arguments nobody could beat a mother. I do believe most husbands out there would also agree (hahaha). My mother even has a scientific explanation for this.

Since you agree with me, now let us talk of a more pressing issue. Have any of you heard of the phrase “quarter life crisis (QLC)”? It is related to the midlife crisis except that it happens during the first 25 years or so, or thereabouts, depending on some personal circumstances. QLC has been recognized as one of the most devastating phenomenon to hit the youth in this country (in any other country, in fact) and, I was told, many of us are not even aware it exists.

So you may think that I am exaggerating? Guilty I may be of melodramatics sometimes but on this issue you could say I am even understating it. I did not even know of it until a friend literally hit me with it, when he pointed out some symptoms exhibited by a friend. He simply said, while we were drinking coffee and eating doughnuts in a pub, that some people our age have QLC in the making. I was caught with my mouth open, figuratively speaking. If not for that comment, some of my friends, or even I myself, could have slumped to a long depression, or worse, make rash decisions and yet remain clueless.

Actually, this phenomenon is quite new to the medical phraseology. According to Wikipedia, the first book to identify this phenomenon was published only as recently as 2001 in a book entitled “Quarter life Crisis, the Unique Challenges of Life in your Twenties, coauthored by Abby Wilner and Alexandra Robbins. Since then, a few accounts are now coming out and some blogs are dedicated to it.

What is “quarter life crisis”? It is characterized as a period of personal, emotional turmoil and coping challenges that some people encounter when they reach the period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the early twenties to the early thirties. The term is named by analogy to mid-life crisis (the “crisis” faced by those in their late 40’s and early 50’s).

Below is a list, provided for by Wikipedia, of symptoms of a quarter life crisis:

  • realizing that the pursuit of one’s peers are useless
  • confronting their own mortality
  • watching time slowly take its toll on their parents, only to realize they are next
  • insecurity regarding the fact that their actions are meaningless
  • insecurity concerning ability to love themselves, let alone another person
  • insecurity regarding present accomplishments
  • lack of friendships or romantic relationships, sexual frustration, and involuntary celibacy
  • disappointment with one’s job
  • nostalgia for university, college, high school or elementary school life
  • tendency to hold stronger opinions
  • boredom with people and with constantly hanging around with the same routine
  • loss of closeness to high school and college friends
  • financially-rooted  stress
  • loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies
  • desire to have children
  • a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you

Wikipedia further puts forward that “These unsettling emotions and insecurities are not uncommon at this age, nor at any age in adult life. In the context of the quarter-life crisis, however, they occur shortly after a young person – usually an educated professional, in this context – enters the “real world”. After entering adult life and coming to terms with its responsibilities, some individuals find themselves experiencing career stagnation or extreme insecurity. The individual often realizes the real world is tougher, more competitive and less forgiving than they imagined. Furthermore, the qualifications they have spent so much time and money earning are not likely to prepare them for this disillusionment.”

The sad reality is that the two major factors that affect QLC are the economic mess that we have in our country and second the overpopulation. Since we have a very rich country with very poor economy and government system, the government can’t provide jobs for the people. The youth, especially young professionals, have a hard time finding neither good nor earning jobs, nor any job in many cases. The overpopulation exacerbates the problem further, since there are just too many young graduates every year competing for the same position. Then, there is the kind of education the youth are getting and the kind of society they are getting into after graduation.

So you may ask, how should we deal with QLC, then? Well, the answer is such a cliché, actually, that you probably already know the answer to it. Love and guidance. The real question, however, is how do we love and to where do we guide these people?

I guess nobody would also disagree with me when I say that youth is the future of the nation. Whatever loving and guiding we do for them today will certainly go a long way towards making the future of this country better. Therefore, QLC is not just a real personal issue but a social issue of great importance. ###

What is this about the Party-list System?

During the elections one of the hottest issues, but not much publicized, was the bid for Congress by Mikey Arroyo, eldest son of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as the first nominee for the Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) Party-list. After winning, some groups questioned and sought to disqualify Mr. Arroyo as the first nominee for the said Party-list. Just recently the Commission on Elections had rendered their decision in his favor. Mikey now sits in Congress as the representative of the AGP, an org Continue reading What is this about the Party-list System?

House Bill 5043: The Reproductive Health Bill

It has been in the news of late. It is the most controversial topic to ever hit our nation since the past year or so. The controversy apparently reached its climax last Thursday when Carlos Celdran, a local celebrity in the Tourism Industry, dared to do the unthinkable – he barged in during a mass at the Manila Cathedral dressed as Jose Rizal while carrying a placard with the word “DAMASO” boldly written across it. For those  like me, who usually doze off during history classes, Damaso is the name of the friar in the novel of Jose Rizal, Noli Me Tangere, who fathered Maria Clara. Padre Damaso was portrayed by Rizal as the impersonation of the corrupt and hypocritical priests of his time.

 

The issue, apparently, is centered on the House Bill 5043: Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Bill. What makes this bill so singularly controversial is that it touched on a sensitive topic – that of having children. Most of us Filipinos, are usually touchy when sex is being talked about, more so when it pertains to the result there of. Now, this Bill actually seeks to address the population crisis in the Philippines by implementing a Sex Education Program (Section 4, paragraph H; and Section 12 of the Bill), by creating a Commission on Population (Section 5), by making contraceptives as essential medicines (Section 10), and by imposing penalties for some acts defined within the bill (Section 21 & 22), just to name a few provisions.

 

The Catholic Church and several Pro Life groups were vocal in their opposition to the Bill, saying that it encourages promiscuity among the youth, promotes abortion, and seeks to destroy the sanctity of the family and that the proposed bill is not a solution to the problem, but causes the deterioration of the Filipino morals. They believe that the natural method is still the best form of population control. The rhetoric coming from this sector was furthermore inflamed when the President stated during an interview in America, while on an official trip, that that the government “is obligated to inform everybody of their responsibility and their choices; at the end of the day government might provide assistance to those who are without means if they want to employ a particular method.”

 

The Pro Choice block, on the other hand upped the ante by staging several rallies in support of the RH Bill, culminating in the now famous performance of Carlos Celdran in the Manila Cathedral. Their position is that the Philippines is in dire need of population management, and the RH Bill is a much needed instrument in achieving this. They contend that one of the factors that is keeping our country poor and suffering is due to a very big population; we will reach 100 million before 2020. The poor get poorer, they say, due to the fact that most of them have too many children caused by unplanned pregnancies because of the lack of available family planning education, contraceptives, and other methods of family planning. Furthermore, the State is being burdened by the big population because their budget would be stretched too thin in trying to serve so many. This position is apparently gaining ground. A survey conducted last 2009 showed 6 out of 10 Filipinos agrees to the passage of the RH bill, while 8 out of 10 believes that the government should not only inform couples on family planning but also furnish them with services and materials.

 

Whichever side to this brewing controversy you are on, I would highly encourage you to know more about the said Bill and the positions of both sides, for in the end, an informed decision is the best decision. In the same vein, having more information of the proposed law will encourage a healthy debate on the issue. Hopefully, this would result into having a law that is well considered and well made. I will also encourage you to go to your respective House Representatives and tell them your stance and views on the matter; you could either write them a letter or give their respective offices a call. Through this, our Congressmen may know what their constituents want from them. In this way, at least, we can say, we have truly participated in an issue of  public concern.

________________________________________________________________

  • You could read the full text of the Reproductive Health Bill through:

http://jlp-law.com/blog/full-text-of-house-bill-no-5043-reproductive-health-and-population-development-act-of-2008/.

  • You could contact the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines through this site:

http://www.president.gov.ph/contact/default.aspx

Darkness and Light

Sunrise image from edwebproject.org

 

An old sage once asked his young disciple if he knew what makes light bright and what makes darkness dark. The young disciple however could not answer the old master, so he resolved to go out to the world and seek the answers to the riddle the old sage gave him.

 

He spent years roaming the land, until he too grew gray and old and weak, but he still persisted. Until a time came where he was so worn out from his travels that he stopped at a nearby temple. While lying at the stone steps blinded by old age and dying of exhaustion the master of the temple saw him and came out to help.

 

As his eyes started to fail, and the breath of life started to ebb away from his frail body, with the master of the temple cradling him in his arms, he finally found the answer he was looking for.

 

The disciple finally realized after all his sufferings and undertakings the secret of what his master was trying to teach him. Light is bright because of darkness, and darkness is dark because of light. One exists because the other exists.

 

How can man, in his limited knowledge and wisdom, appreciate the light if he did not experience darkness?

So too with our lives, how can us, as limited beings, appreciate what is happiness if we do not know sorrow?

How could we discern good if we did not see any evil?

Is there any glory to success if we did not feel defeat?

There are so many people out there that questions God.

If God exist, if he is truly God, then why do he let his people suffer?

 

The mere fact that we experience suffering is a testament that there is a God. The mere fact that we discern Evil is evidence that there is Good.

 

Man, as stubborn and ignorant as he is, need to suffer for him to know joy; he needs to live in an evil world for him to aspire for a better earth and a divine and good filled heaven.

 

We are made imperfect for us to seek perfection.

We are made weak and fragile for us to desire eternity.

God is the ultimate destination of our souls, He is perfection and everlasting.

To seek Him and be one with him should be our ultimate goal.

For “restless is our hearts until it rests in Thee, o God” (Saint Agustine)

A New President, A New Hope

 

I must admit that in the May 2010 elections I was an avid supporter of Gibo Teodoro. I liked his clean campaign and truly admired his “presidential” stance in many things. I also admired his dynamism and his undaunted spirit. Not that I don’t like Noynoy, or Pnoy, as he is called now, but that it was just Gibo who caught my imagination. We wouldn’t know now how he would fare as president since he lost in the elections but, on the other hand, I didn’t also believe that Noynoy would have this inner strength he is showing today. My father is fond of asking “mamunga ba diay ang santol og mangga?”, referring to PNoy’s parentage.  Although my mother has serious biases against this progeny thing, since she believes a person’s genes is tempered by his or her environment, I now believe that my father’s favorite saying is one heuristic we could use during elections. Ang santol tuod mamunga gyod og santol sab.  After all, PNoy now is showing the strength of his pedigree.

 

The good thing about Pnoy’s presidency is that it is solid on the call for change and is surging on the euphoria of hope, not on the euphoria of victory. The elation is subdued because it is futuristic, although the happiness of victory is felt.  My mother tells me that although the level of euphoria may not be the same during the EDSA revolution when PNoy’s mother, President Cory, came to power, the same feelings anchored on hope are as palpable today as they were during that EDSA revolution. To me, this means we are serious on change and that we want something better from our government. As a young citizen like me, who grew up on rampaging corruption as reported on the television and in the newspapers, these are not only indicators of something better, these are promises of a happier, less confusing life for the youth of today.

 

It fact, that was my reason why I did not vote for PNoy – the confusing life. Since, like President Erap before him, PNoy, was the butt of everything from the personal to the sublime, I thought he wouldn’t have the strength to make battle with people who would rather cling to the confusing way of life – preferring the “mysterious” to the transparent, preferring the magic wand of power rather than accountability. I feared that because he decided late to run for president, he may not yet be ready to run the country. Then opportunists would party, thus starting another wave of rampant cronyism wherein the sipsip and the sutsut would predominate and dictate the actions and policies of government. More than that, the inato and the ato-ato system would prevail, where only those who are willing to sell their souls for a position in power would predominate, preventing the truly good and capable from doing their share in governance. From the pronouncements of the new president, during his inaugural address and his two press conferences so far, however, I have hope that this wouldn’t be the case.

 

Now, it remains for us to think of something we can do to help.  This country is not President Noy’s alone. And it is not his job alone to make this country better. I think, since we have hope in him, he should get his inspiration from us.

 

This is for airing the things that we often forget and yet never truly forgotten, the things that we seldom give importance and yet fills our lives with more meaning and vibrance. This is for those thoughts that are rarely spoken aloud and yet in its hushed whisper it shouts out to our minds and resonates in our hearts.

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