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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Navigating Laguna Loop: Victoria

Victoria is a town in Laguna located in the northern part of the province, bordered by the towns of Pila in the northeast, Calauan in the southwest and Nagcarlan in the southeast. The town was formerly a barangay in Pila, it was considered as the Duck Capital of Laguna because of numerous duck farms, as well with the famous Duck Junction with colorful and huge duck statues which welcomed you in the town. 

After travelling for approximately 45 minutes from Calamba, I visit the town of Victoria. The first thing I did was I took pictures with different angles of the Duck Junction which is a popular landmark in the town. Victoria is known as the Duck Capital of Laguna because there are plenty of ducks in the town, as well with the fact where it is also one of the country's producers of balut (a boiled, fertilized egg which is a popular delicacy in Asia) and salted egg (locally known as itlog na maalat) where Pateros is considered as the Duck Capital of the Philippines because it is the top producer of balut and salted egg as well with the number of duck farms in the city. I visited a duck farm which is near in the Laguna de Bay and there are also other duck farms and wholesalers / retailers of ducks and salted eggs. Every April, the town of Victoria held its Itik Festival.


I wanted to find the farm used for the Detour Task in the fifth season of the U.S. reality show "The Amazing Race." However, the rice fields I passed in the road were dry that is why I didn't found it. In the end, I appreciate the green pastures of the town because of the simple yet scenic view of rice fields and mountains. In addition, the location for ducks which is near in the bay is also ideal for them because of the topographical and climatic features of the place.





The different angles of Duck Junction in Victoria, Laguna. This landmark is composed of colorful and huge ducks which considered as a tourist attraction in the town. In Victoria, there are lots of duck farms as well with their products like balut and salted egg. It also serve as a welcome sign to the tourists in order for them to discover Victoria.
A road in Victoria going to National Highway where you can see the golden rice fields as well with the view of mountains and you can experience the fresh air and cleanliness of the town.
The combination of golden and light green rice fields while passing the road in Victoria with a high mountain in a background. In Victoria, you can see the two mountains in Laguna: the mystic Mt. Banahaw and the legendary Mt. Makiling.
A duck farm in Victoria. The worker in the farm is busy taking care of the ducks and cleaning the cages.
The view of Laguna de Bay in the town of Victoria, Laguna.
Even I stayed there for not less than an hour, I appreciated the hospitality of the residents because they helped me to go in some places in the town that I wanted to visit. Victoria is such a place where people lived a simple life and clean surroundings along with the progress of duck industry in their town.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Isang Testimonya sa Pagbasa ng Suplado Tips

"Pag may natanggap ka na Facebook invite para sa isang event, mag-reply lang ng MAYBE. Para pilitin kang mag-attend ng event nila, kahit alam nilang baka hindi ka pumunta." - Suplado Tip 44

Natanggap ko ang event invitation na ito para sa book launch ng Suplado Tips ng napakakisig at nakakatawang manunulat na si Stanley Chi. Gusto ko sana pumunta ngayong araw na ito subalit wala akong pera pamasahe (dahil ako ay galing pa mula sa Cavite) ngunit ako ay bumili sa National Bookstore sa isang branch ng malaking mall sa Dasmarinas, Cavite. 

Noong nagtanong ako sa saleslady kung saan ang Suplado Tips buti nahanap nila ito kaagad at kinantiyawan pa ako na "Uy si Sir gustong maging suplado!" Sinagot ko naman "Hindi naman po sa ganun kasi gusto ko lang mabasa yun libro ng Facebook idol ko na si Stanley Chi." At noong napunta na ako sa cashier para bayaran ang nabili kong libro, napatingin sa akin at parang di makapaniwala ang kahera sa napili kong libro (dahil pakiramdam nila di ako ang tipo na bibili ng ganung libro dahil sa kabaitan ng aking mukha at kilos).

Libro ng Suplado Tips
Noong nasimulan kong basahin ang librong ito, may mga parte na nakakainis kasi nakakabastos ngunit mas marami dito ang nakakatawa at gusto kong gawin sa tunay na buhay. Ang ilan sa mga sitwasyon dito ay katotohanan na ginawa ko na rin at ginawa na din sa akin at sa ibang tao. Sinagutan ko rin ang Suplado Quiz kung saan nakakuha ako ng 35 (Suplado ka nga pero kulang pa!) na sa madaling salita ay tunay akong mabait at minsan lang magsuplado at magtaray. Ang librong ito ay binubuo ng 10 Supladong Hirit at 100 Suplado Tips.

Ito ang ilan sa mga quotable quotes at suplado tips na natutunan ko at pwede kong magamit sa araw-araw o natamaan ako:
  1. Hindi ako SUPLADO, mahiyain lang ako! 
  2. Kung alam na ng lahat na may bagyo at biglang may nagtanong sayo ng "May bagyo ba?" hiritan mo ng "Itanong mo sa PAG-ASA!"
  3. Kung sinabihan ka ng kakilala mo na "Ang suplado mo naman!" hiritan mo ng "Sige bigyan mo ako ng rason para hindi kita supladuhan! sabay walk out para hindi na siya makahirit ulit!
  4. Kung ayaw mong mabasted ng babae huwag kang manligaw!
  5. Kung hina-hassle ka ng isang tao, sungitan mo siya para makahanap ng katapat niya!
  6. Kung nakikinig ka ng radyo at biglang nakikisabay sa pagkanta yung kasama mo, hiritan mo ng "Nakikinig ako ng radyo para marinig yung boses ng singer at hindi yung boses mo!"
  7. May mga taong puro sarili lang niya ang gusto niyang pag-usapan o kaya naman pag nagkukuwentuhan gusto niyang siya lagi ang bida, kailangan sa mga ganyan hinihiritan ng "Hindi umiikot sa'yo ang mundo!"
  8. Pag nasa office ka at nakita mo ang kaaway mo na sumisipsip sa boss niyo, magparinig ka ng "Bakit may linta dito sa office?" sabay hampas mo sa table para kunwari pinapatay mo yung linta pero sa loob-loob mo lang yung kaaway mo ang hinahampas mo!
  9. Kung may inuutos sayo ang Boss mo pero kaya naman niyang gawin yun hiritan mo ng "Ano na lang mangyayari sayo kung wala ako?"
  10. Kung may ka-officemate kang MAYABANG, hayaan mo lang siyang magyabang... Huwag mo siyang pansinin tatahimik din yan!
  11. Kung marami kang ginagawa at nakatunganga lang ang officemate mo paringgan mo ng "buti pa ang ibang tao nagpapaka-busy yung iba dyan papetiks-petiks lang!"
  12. Kung insecure ang officemate mo sa'yo, magkuwento ka lang ng magkuwento para lalo siyang mainsecure sa'yo!
  13. Kung may nagtanong sayo kung sino at ano ang trabaho mo, hiritan mo ng GOOGLE ME!
  14. Huwag kang makipagplastikan kahit kanino, kung asar ka sa kakilala mo, ipakita mo!
  15. Kung may ginawang kasalanan sayo ang isang tao smile ka lang pero huwag mo itong kalilimutan dahil gaganti ka sa kanya in the near future.
Ang librong ito ay mura lang, nagtipid sa papel (yun pala puting papel yun na mukhang makaluma) ngunit masasabi ko sulit ang tawa at ang mga leksyon na natutunan ko. Kay Mr. Stanley Chi, isa kang tunay na karapat-dapat sa larangan ng pagsusuplado at pagsusulat at isa ka sa naging inspirasyon ko kaya ipagpapatuloy ko ang pagsusulat. At magkakaroon na ng sequel ang Suplado Tips na maganda ang papel ngunit nakakatawa at masaya pa rin ang mga hirit! At sa susunod na book launch ni Stanley Chi pupuntahan ko na talaga ito! 



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ang Aking Hilig sa Larangan ng Pagsusulat: Isang Pagsisimula

Bawat tao sa mundo ay may kanya-kanyang talento at kakayahan na ipinagkaloob ng Diyos. Ang Pilipinas ay isang bansa na sinasabing naghihirap nga ngunit ang bawat mamamayan nito ay pinagkalooban ng talento sa iba't-ibang larangan. At ako ay isang Pinoy na ipinanganak sa Cavite, isang lalawigan sa Pilipinas sa rehiyon ng Luzon na may sariling kakayahan.

Ako ay isang tao na sadyang malikot ang aking imahinasyon at maraming mga ideya na tumatakbo sa aking kaisipan. Mahilig akong magbasa. Mahilig akong mag-aral. Mahilig akong magbahagi ng aking kaalaman sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo. Madaldal. Maraming kuwento. At higit sa lahat, pag ako ay tahimik, ang mga sankaterbang kuwento at ideyang dumadaloy sa aking isipan ay idinadaan ko (minsan kausap ang aking sarili) sa pagsusulat.

Hindi ako ang tipo ng taong makuwento ngunit kapag may mga taong madaldal sa aking paligid na mahuhusay magkuwento ng isang bahagi ng kanilang karanasan, nais kong magkuwento. Ngunit may mga ibang tao na di mo puwedeng makumbinsi na pakinggan ka dahil iba ang kanilang interes. Dinadaan ko na lang sa pagsusulat.


****
Mahilig kasi akong magsulat. Kung anong naiisip ko na pawang nakakatuwa sa aking imahinasyon eh isinusulat ko. Mahilig ako sa ballpen at papel. Mahilig din akong magmasid sa paligid, minsan sumulat sa diary, manood ng TV, magbasa ng libro at mag-internet kung saan ako nakakakuha ng inspirasyon sa pagsusulat.

Noong bata pa ako, ang aking mga paboritong libro ay fairy tales, Araling Panlipunan, at mga libro sa paaralan. Ngayon, hilig kong basahin ang mga libro ni Bob Ong (ABNKKBSNPLAko?, Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino, Stainless Longganisa), Alex Lacson (12 Little Things That Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country), Kokology ni Prof. Isamu Saito at mga inspirational na libro.

Mahilig ako sa pulitika, TV shows, feature articles at mga personal essays. Hilig ko ang pagsusulat ng sanaysay, hindi ako mahilig sa tula ngunit gusto kong matuto ang pagsusulat ng maiking kuwento at dula.

Nakakapagsulat ako kapag may tumatakbong kakaibang ideya sa aking isipan na makakakuha ng interes ng ibang tao at nais kong ibahagi sa madla. Isinusulat ko muna ito sa papel at ililipat sa computer sabay type, edit at print. Kapag naprint, ipapabasa sa ibang tao. At itatago sa aking folder. Yan ang nakagisnan kong mga bagay at sikreto sa pagsusulat.
****
Hindi ko akalain na sa pagsusulat ako makakakuha ng mga papuri at parangal ng ibang tao. Nagsimula ito noong Grade 6 sa isang tipikal na klase, last section. Naghahanap ang aming guro ng pambato ng aming section sa Nutrition Day Essay Writing Contest, dalawa sa aking kaklase ang nagsasabi na ako raw ang isali. Wala akong idea kung ano ang "essay" hanggang sa pumayag ako kahit hindi ko iyon alam. (Alam ko lamang noon ay talata o paragraph) Noong sumalang na ako, doon ko nalaman na ang essay ay isang sanaysay o isang sulatin na pinagsama-sama ang mga grupo ng talata na may iisang diwa mula sa paksang hinihingi. Sumulat na lang ako ng sumulat kung ano ang hinihinging paksa. Ibinahagi ang aking nalalaman tungkol sa nutrisyon, masustansyang pagkain at pagpapanatili ng malusog na pamumuhay. Hanggang sa di ko akalain na makukuha ko ang ikatlong puwesto sa nasabing patimpalak.

Noong high school ako, ipinagpatuloy ko pa rin ang pagkamit ng pangarap. Ngunit hindi sa pagsusulat. Pansamantalang naudlot. Ngunit may mga gawain pa rin sa pagsusulat sa mga subjects namin. Ang aking kaibigan ay sinubukan naman naming gumawa ng mga kuwento. Ngunit libangan lang namin iyon. Nakasali din naman ako sa Spelling Bee at umabot naman ako sa school level bilang pambato ng second year high school at natuklasan ko ang kakayahan na makapagpantig ng mga salita sa Ingles. Noong fourth year high school ako, ang aking mga kaibigan ay gustong sumali sa staff ng aming school paper, nagpasa ng entry ngunit di kami pinalad. Kahit ganun pa man, naudlot ang aking hilig sa pagsusulat.

Noong dumating na ako sa kolehiyo, muling nabuhay ang aking interes sa pagsusulat. Noong first year college ako, Linggo ng Wika, ang patimpalak noon ay Pagsulat ng Sanaysay. Isinulat ko ang aking mga ideya at nalalaman tungkol sa wika, kung paano nabuo ang wikang Pilipino at paano natin ito ginagamit sa araw-araw na pamumuhay at ang salamin nito sa ating kultura. Muli akong nabuhayan ng lakas ng loob dahil doon ko nakamit ang aking unang medal kung saan nakuha ko ang ikalawang puwesto sa pagsulat ng sanaysay. Noong third year college naman ako, sumali ako sa campus paper at gumawa ng mga articles. Ngunit di nailimbag ang aming article dahil kulang sa pondo. At noong college ako unang nahumaling sa blogging. Gusto kong magpahayag ng saloobin. Ngunit mahirap talagang kumbinsihin ang mga tao (You cannot please everybody ayon sa kasabihan).

Noong panahon na wala akong trabaho, ako ay nasa bahay lamang at ibinubuhos ang oras sa harap ng computer. Hanggang sa nahumaling ako sa Facebook notes at Blogspot. Isinulat ko ang ilan sa mga sanaysay tungkol sa mga ekstraordinaryong pakikipagkaibigan sa mga produkto ng reality search kahit sa isang pulitiko at ang aking pananaw tungkol sa napapanahong isyu. Ang hindi ko talaga malilimutan ay ang pagsali sa Online Writing Contest noong nakaraang taon. Ang tema ay tungkol sa Pilipinas at pagiging Pilipino tulad ng kultura, mga pagkain, mga magagandang lugar at mga kaugaliang Pinoy. At naisulat kong sanaysay ay tungkol sa pagkaing Pinoy tuwing tag-araw ("Cool Pinoy Delicacies On Hot Summer"). Nai-publish ko siya sa OfficiallyPhilippines website kung saan ginanap ang patimpalak, sa Facebook account ko at sa Blogspot. Kailangan din ng online votes. At buong Pilipinas pala ang labanan nito. Ngunit hindi ako pinalad na manalo at kahit ganoon pa man, tuloy pa rin ang pagkamit sa pangarap.

Sa kasalukuyan, patuloy pa rin akong nagsusulat. Sa tulong ng papel, ballpen, computer at website. Manalo man o matalo, tuloy pa rin ang pagkamit sa pangarap. Hindi pa naman ako kilalang manunulat. Isa pa lamang akong nagsisimula sa larangan na ito. Kahit nagsisimula pa lang, pursigido na akong abutin ang panagrap na ito. Ginagawa ko ito sa mga taong sumusuporta at naniniwala sa kakayahan ko. Kaya salamat sa mga sumusporta sa aking pagsusulat, dahil sa inyo hindi ko ito maisusulat kung wala kayo. Higit sa lahat kay Lord salamat din po dahil gagamitin ko ang talentong ito para sa ikabubuti ng ibang tao. Ito pa lamang ang simula.

Fw: Philippines in the Eyes of Korean

Please pass it to all Filipinos you know.

The message goes:

As you know, we have plenty of Koreans currently studying in the Philippines to take advantage of our cheaper tuition fees and learn English at the same time.
This is an essay written by a Korean student I want to share with you. (Never mind the grammar; it's the CONTENT that counts) Maybe it is timely to think about this in the midst of all the confusion at present.


MY SHORT ESSAY ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES
Jaeyoun Kim


Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines. Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines.

Let me first talk about my country, Korea. It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

Koreans used to talk about the Philippines, for Filipinos were very rich in Asia. We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism. Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea . He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park. They asked to him, "President, when can we be well off?" That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea. So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea. He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea. They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood. Have you cried for the Philippines? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday.

However, they do not love the Philippines. I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines.

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

When I was in Korea, I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines, I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines. Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia, but there are too many poor people here. People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pasangjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.

I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love. Let's put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes.

I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country.

Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines, there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love. If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines.

Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country. You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others. That's all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

(FOR THE LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE)

MICHAEL KENNETH C. BALBIN
Technician - Sr Test/Engr
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Network Enabled Solutions (NES)
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