Category Archives: Straight from the heart

Goya Dark Almonds

I was falling in line to the cashier.  It was just a short line but I quickly got bored. And then I saw this among those displayed before the Cashier counter: GOYA DARK ALMONDS. I’ve always been a patronizer of well-known imported brands like Reese’s, Hershey’s, Snickers, M&Ms, etc. For local, I like the Chocolate Mallows, Hiro from Comfoods. But Goya? Just a brand that I’d usually ignore.

But not at that particular moment. When I grabbed a pack, opened it, then tasted what’s inside while waiting for my turn to the cashier, my perspective changed. RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT. I’m now a believer of Goya Dark Almonds. 🙂

Francis Brew Reyes

Posting this here to remember my second virtual encounter with Francis Brew Reyes of The Dawn, who had a show in late 1990s called In The Raw in UNTV which I loved to watch. Francis promoted raw talents in the show and his commentaries made the featured band of the night interesting. 😀 Francis Reyes is not just a musician, he was also a DJ and a host worth listening to.

Wow, good thing to know that Francis Reyes writes articles online for Billboard. My unforgettable moment with him was only virtual, through Multiply (Multiply’s dead though). I commented on his post and he commented also on my post. That’s it. To me that was already unforgettable. He’s not just a good musician (and a good backup vocalist), I’m a fan of his blogs (when he used to have blogs). Here, Francis Brew Reyes writes about Robert Javier of The Youth.

The Youth’s Robert Javier talks about the band’s longevity and his work with #EatBulaga read on

Backstage in Broadway Centrum, stagehands and technicians are scurrying about. It is 11am, an hour before the day’s episode of the noontime TV…
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Francis Brew Reyes Awww, thank you!!!
Jezzamine Andaquig
Jezzamine Andaquig Haha! Nagulat ako. You’re welcome, sir Francis! Still remember that word of advice you gave ancient’s ago to the contestants of the search for the new vocalist of Rivermaya (where Jason Fernandez was discovered). You said: “Don’t let praises and criticisms get into your head. Just let it slide.” I always keep that in mind when I’m feeling down or high.
Jezzamine Andaquig

Hate

Anger is like water. Just let it flow.

“Anger is an essential part of being human. People are taught to deny themselves anger, and in this, they are actually opening themselves up to hate. The more you deny yourself the freedom to be angry, the more you will hate. Let yourself be angry, and hate will disintegrate, and when hate disintegrates, forgiveness prevails! The more you deny that you are angry, in attempts to be “holy” the more inhuman you will become, and the more inhuman you will become, the harder it will be to forgive.”

~C. Joybell C.

Poverty as an excuse

Last night, while having dinner in an open venue somewhere in Commonwealth Ave.

Batang lalaking pulubi (kuno): Ate, pahingi ng pera nagugutom ako. Kanina pa ako walang makain, wal….

Me: Nasaan magulang mo? Sila singilin mo. Dapat sila nag-aalaga sa iyo. Ako nagbabanat ako ng buto. Sila singilin mo. Saan magulang mo? Di ba da….

Batang lalaking pulubi (kuno): Sige salamat na lang po kung wala.

Me: (Relieved pero dismayado sa encounter na iyon.)

Reflection:  I really do not have a heart for “street chidren” acting as “beggars” in the street. I know those street children got parents and since time immemorial this begging tactic of some of the poor for survival is, to me, just a manifestation of laziness, of hopelessness, of resigning already to his/her own misfortune.  This bothers me a lot. Always. Extending help to a less fortunate is really not that easy. You need to think twice before offering help and consider its implications. If you refuse, you’d be seen as selfish. If you give in, you’re only encouraging him to beg for money.  In this case, I refused to give the child a penny because I would only encourage him to beg more, again and again. The cycle of poverty will not stop. And my way to stop it is to discourage him from begging for money from me.  Which led me to ask: Begging for money is already an effortful task. So why can’t the parents of these kids, or particularly these children, just go get a decent job.  I just hate it when poverty is being used as an excuse to beg for money from others who work hard for the money.

Ferrero Rocher, the golden experience

I wanna talk about chocolates. Coz I love chocolates. And among my favorites is Ferrero Rocher. This is the best gift you can give to your chocolate lover friends–not perfume, not lotion–it’s chocolates. Now, if you’re a guy and you’re giving this to a girl, make sure she is your girlfriend already. Because if the girl doesn’t like you, she will give this away to her friends or worse, throw it away. What an ugly fate for Ferrero Rocher!

Ferrero Rocher has been there for quite a long time already. And it is only now that I took notice and appreciate its intricate nitty-gritty details in its packaging. A chocolate that is wrapped in gold aluminum foil, with its branding on top. Not only that, the aluminum foil is gelled into the soft mini brown paper plate underneath it so that the chocolate won’t roll away when you mishandle it. And when you open the wrapper and bite into the chocolate, you get to know very well that “Crisp Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate-Covered Specialty with a Smooth Filling and Whole Hazelnut.” The packaging also says it’s made in Italy. And the container? It’s something that you can reuse to keep your personal things. They have containers in rectangular and heart shapes. Heart shape is the one I have.

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Once in a lifetime

Since Donald Trump became U.S. president, almost everyone has been talking like their Nostradamus as if they know what will happen next. (Well, except that Nostradamus is not annoying. He’s mysterious.) Checking my Facebook, everyone–both celebrities and ordinary citizens–who is not in favor of Trump winning the presidency is spreading a message of doom.

Personally, I find this very alarming.

Who knows what the future holds anyway? And what makes you think that those who voted for Trump are stupid and gullible? And what makes you so sure that those who voted for Hillary Clinton are not?

You know what I’m sure of?  I’m sure that good people voted for Hillary Clinton. Also, I’m sure there are good people who voted for Donald Trump. And these people who voted whether for Trump or Clinton have their own valid reasons.

Anyone who voted for Trump believes that he would be the best president. Anyone who voted for Clinton also believes that she would be the best president. There is no right or wrong answer or result during election. Everyone is entitled to his/her own independent thinking, to pick his/her own president.  This is democracy. What’s important in the end is the honest result that will come out after the election and America have spoken: Donald Trump won.

I know that not all Americans like Trump. I saw those protests on TV, questioning why someone like him became president after all those disparaging remarks he said against Mexicans, against Filipinos, against women during election campaign.

Still, many Americans, even Filipino-Americans, voted for him.  I’ve spoken with my relatives and they are Filipinos who are U.S. citizens either because they were born there or have worked there for a long time already, and I’ve heard their sentiments, their frustrations.  In this life, there are no guarantees.  Life, sometimes, is a gamble. You don’t know for certain what will happen next.  Americans who voted for Trump voted for him because they want to gamble this time on a non-politician.  Let’s wait and see what good Trump can do for America and for the rest of the world. Let’s be vigilant.

Instead of spreading a message of doom about Trump being the new U.S. president, why can’t we just pray for him, to lead his country on the right path which can greatly affect the rest of the world.

I’m writing this because I don’t wanna lose hope. Praying for Donald Trump that he would make good of his presidency.  For that chance he got as president of the most powerful country in the world is once in a lifetime.

I have a pen

But it’s not just an ordinary ballpen. It’s Panda Super Ballpen. My newly discovered favorite ballpen. I love how it smoothly touches the paper. I love its quality of ink, too.

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Neil Gaiman is my shaman

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Promoting human rights

Paano nga ba sine-celebrate o pino-promote ang karapatang pantao? Sapat na ba ang fun run for this and that advocacy? Tanong ko nga palagi, may mga organisasyon na nagpapa-fun run laban dito sa ganito at ganyan. Gumagastos ng pera para ma-implement sya. Ang tanong ko lang, ano po ang positive outcome nito? May napapalaya bang inosenteng bilanggo? May naliligtas ba sa torture? Sapat na ba na alam mo yung tatlumpung artikulo ng Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Sapat na ba na AWARE ka?

Naitanong ko lang ito kasi oo nga mapapabilib ka sa mga tao na kabisado kahit nakapikit ang tatlumpung artikulo ng Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Kabisado din yung nine core international human rights treaties at nilalaman nito.

Pero ang tanong palagi, mayroon din bang ginagawang aplikasyon nito? Ang tanong palagi ng tagapakinig: Gaano ka ka-sincere sa sinasabi mo? Kasi sa tingin ko, ito ang pagbabatayan nila kung maniniwala sila sa iyo o hindi.

“Human rights are not just about ‘We teach you human rights,’” naalala kong sinabi ni Atty. Ibarra M. Gutierrez noong May 2012 sa isang forum tungkol sa human rights and the academe. Sabi nya, human rights is not some subject to be discussed, a separate entity, it is not an event that has to happen if the situation calls for it. Human rights are about the way we conduct our business, our life, ourselves.

“It is sad that simple respect towards another person is sometimes lost by simply teaching human rights,” he said.

According to Atty. Gutierrez, he taught in front of men in uniforms and he appreciated the teaching of human rights in the security and military sector. He is even impressed that they know their human rights. Ask them about the contents of the UDHR, the various definitions, and their theoretical grasp is tremendous. Awareness is very tight better than the NGO workers, he shared. Problem comes in when you talk about applications despite their very deep knowledge. There is, he reiterated, disconnection between their appreciation and their application. Atty. Gutierrez revealed that a study recently conducted showed that many officers say that human rights have no application in military operations although they are very well versed on the subject. So his major concern is the manner in teaching human rights to members of the AFP and PNP, to the soldiers and police officers. He asked, “How do we realign/ revisit training of people regarding human rights?” This remains a challenge, he said, and opportunities to work with security sector is there. “It is about building partnerships for the effective teaching of human rights and problems like this are not insurmountable,” he said.

Furthermore, he said: “Human rights are not only about human rights per se. It impacts a lot of aspects of our lives, entire perspective, mindset, it is not a mechanical approach. It has to be a way of thinking. In U.P. Law, we don’t teach what a law says. We are teaching people to think like lawyers. And respect for human rights is the objective of teaching human rights.”

Atty. Gutierrez’s parting message was this: “Know your rights. Assert it. In this way we promote a culture of human rights. Don’t be ignorant. We have entitlement. It doesn’t mean pakikipag-away, it’s about assertiveness.”

(Taken from my 2012 notes)

Note: December 4 to 10 is Republic Act No. 9201 National Human Rights Consciousness Week.