Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Right to Know

Going over the news last night was like hovering over the Philippine archipelago and seeing all the events all at the same time. Not an omnipresent god I might say, but more of a vigilant citizen so aware of what is happening today.
Days have passed of those passive existence when most of us, if not all, just go on with our own private lives, and not minding what are printed on our newspapers, heard on the radios, projected onto the televisions, or flashed into the videos uploaded on the internet. There is more than just having our respective pieces of peace.
The future of our country is right on the stage today, seemingly judged whether it will be having a good story or not. The main jurors? The senate? No. The other officials perhaps? No also. It is us, it us. We, the citizens, are the ones who should be able to make the decisions not just for our future but also, as I’ve already said before, for the future of those unborn.
The trust given by most of the Filipino people (assuming that she really won the elections fairly) is now marred with controversies, not just because of the present broadband kickback stuff, but has actually been incurred for the past several years, amounting to a number of issues involving election fraud, corruption, among other.
Can those in position blame the people for whining now? Do they have good grounds in shunning the outcries of those workers as heard from different places across the country? A big no! All of their functionalities, their works, their actions, their decisions, are all accountable to the people. Didn’t we vote for them? And so with all the recent events all seemingly connected those in the Palace, isn’t it just right for us to demand a concrete, coherent, and solid explanation from them and more so, evidences that will prove wrong the witnesses the people are now considering heroes for speaking the truth? And if ever they fail for these, then it will just be reasonable for us to demand for them to step down from their offices.
The country has suffered long enough from the indifferent hands of the foreigners, from tyrants, from oppressors. We cannot afford to let ourselves be subjected again to such sufferings and deceptions especially from our own blood lines. The Filipinos deserve more than just economony-genius-looking-people-but-rotten-and-corrupt-in-their-actions.
Let the people be in this present state of urge and agitation to know the truth for as long as the truth that they want, that they deserve to have, for which they have the right to know, is not out there in the open, exposed for all the world to see.
I have all the reasons to think that public offices should be manned with only one thing in mind: to be able to serve the Filipino people…truthfully and faithfully.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Carving the Country’s Future NOW

Amidst the (seemingly) hectic schedules I have imposed on myself (practices, book readings galore, travels, among other), I fortunately found the time to tune in to my long lost favorite station NU 107. Things have been quite different now, remembering that “Against the Flow” used to be on Saturday nights but is now scheduled at every Sunday afternoon. Heck, I would not find the time to listen to all those many songs even if I were given the chance to have free internet surfing for like one month. Radios are still indispensable, I daresay.
Well, we were suppose to have another band practice last night since my cousin informed me that he has already come home from his job. I doubted that it would still be possible since it was already around 7:40 in the evening and the studio where we play, I estimated, would be closed by that time (although they profess that the studio closes at 9). Anyway, I asked them to check it out and voila, indeed it was already closed. And by that time, the segment in NU was already manned by RockEd people, the group that visited our school during the recently concluded Feb Fair.
I immediately recognized the voice of the anchor/DJ/or-whatever-you-call-it as the woman who spoke for RockEd at school. Well she had Satur Ocampo and the present Student Regent of the UP System. (The woman seemed to enjoy playing with Sir Satur’s name, like calling him “SAT” or “S.O.”. At least Sir Satur did not bother with any of this stuff).
Anyway, they talked about the times when Sir Satur was still at his college days, and somehow compared it to what is going on in today’s student college lives, as represented by the Student Regent (I just forgot his name, sorry).
What was cool about the conversation was the first hand account of Sir Satur’s escape during the Martial Law and one line that struck me was “it was his duty to escape”.
For the more serious part now:
For the whole duration of the talk, I was able to reflect on their ideologies and aspirations for the country and at the same time search within me if ever there was any moment that I have been of the same thinking with them. Then my mind soared into the seemingly peacefulness of my three years in college and wondered if ever they ever had any contribution to the country as a whole. Don’t ask for the results of my muni-muni and analysis. Suffice it to say that I was quite disappointed with my self.

Recovery however comes to me now rather quick and those negative thoughts suddenly evolved into a resolve to make the best of what lies now ahead of me and utilize to the best of my capabilities the field which I am currently pursuing and chose to pursue for many years to come.
The Student Regent had a point when he gave an example about a chemical engineer who cannot afford to join in the rallies and leave his laboratory. He said we can express our disappointments and grievances in many different ways, be it small or big. His solid example is wearing of a pin or of a band which, he said, really says a lot already.
And so with this, I realized my undying hope to end the bad things about the government which was actually born during my high school days (for this thing, I owe a lot from my social studies teacher, despite…well… the inadequacies on his role as a real teacher). Also, I realized that I can do something for this country, using the arsenal of knowledge to which I have full access. I felt the tickling of the thought that this all sound corny and passé but I immediately brushed it away. I am old enough, I told to myself, to know the defining differences between right and wrong and must therefore use this wisely and not subject myself to too much emotion playing. (Sorry for the things I’ve done anyway...Hey-o!)
Chances are, not too many will be able to read these words. But to you, a chance reader, let it be known to you that we, and I mean we, each one of us, has an inescapable role of making this country a better place to live, not just for yourself and for your remaining years, but also for your children and the child
ren of your children and their children. We will all be heroes in our own ways if we will be able to carve something, however small, for the future of the Philippines.
I am always in the habit of alluding specials events, things, etc. to dates. And so, I thought it must really be a good day to start a revolution, from within this time, just in time with the EDSA Revolution Commemoration today.

Mabuhay and Pilipinas!

(For us, the children of the first bloodless revolution in the country, let us always bear in mind that we owe a debt of gratitude for those who braved the machine guns and tanks of the tyrant during the past three decades. We are now tasked to preserve the freedom that our people have fought for, even at the cost of their lives.)

(Photo credits: and

MICROSPHIL 2008 Conference

Just been to MAPUA for this conference. It was fun going through again the process of explaining your poster to people. Anyway, it was kind of hard to relate to some of the presentations to the point of boring Danny to death until she finally walked out. (Just kidding; she was to meet her parents.

I personally learned a lot of things from it, technically and spiritually perhaps? Advance research through microscopy. Woo.

To Volunteer or Not to Volunteer, That is the Question

A Rock Ed Volunteer Manifesto

I will never settle for a few when most are within reach.I have no interest in ‘okay.’
I will never confuse a fadfor commitment.I will frustrate the cynics.
I have been stubborn when necessary.I have been easy when offered collaboration.
I have lit fires.
I am a Rock Ed volunteer

I encountered this group in the last day of our February Fair, following a tearful confession over some private matters and thankfully getting over it, and on the very grounds that is popularly called in campus as the Freedom Park. There was this woman, with a speech that is quite normal in such a place as University of the Philippines. But it was personally quite a surprising moment, since the week-long celebration was supposedly set for fun and pure enjoyment, no strings attached. She told us that their group had chosen to troop to Los Baños, despite the rally that was to be held in Makati at that day, to bring in the message about corruption in our government and about the sickening realization of poverty in the country. She shouted out from that shaking stage that we did not need to go out in the streets and join the multitude of those who chose to participate in the rally so long as we are aware of what’s happening around us and that we are to make sure that the truth will come out soon. (She was obviously referring to the ZTE controversy.) To have fun and to enjoy our freedom, she continued, is our right and privilege and at the same time, we deserve to have the truth from the public officials since it is also our right and privilege to have them. They are accountable to the people. And so with this, she brought onto the stage three bands (or was it two? I seem to forgot now) whose songs spoke of the need to have the real changes in the government and to end poverty.

The whole introduction of RockEd Philippines of their ideals and goals to the Los Baños community is certainly good given the reasonable arguments she gave to us: living our lives to the fullest yet being an active participant in the furtherance of our own nation at the same time.

And the next day, I dug in the net to find more stuff about this group and found out that it is actually part of a larger oraiming at ending poverty. It offers alternative education that is more focused on social issues but with an approach that will make use of the different media such as photography, music, among other. There are certainly good grounds for a Filipino to participate and take part in the aims of the group. Even prominent people are already volunteers for the group, (Prof. Randy David, Jessica Soho, Ely Buendia, etc.)

As of now, I am currently battling on what way in which I can lend my hand to their desired goals. I am quite certain of the realization of my want to strike poverty to its end, but there is a divergence in my opinion on how to properly execute them: am I to do it via the field I have chosen to pursue or am I to publicly do it and consequently share with the things that they are currently doing?

But whichever way, I am just thankful for having such concerned Filipinos, who give time and effort to make a change in this country that we all love.

Don’t we just wish that we can all do something relevant for the Philippines? There are many in stored for us and I hope to make mark in its full realization. 

Anyone can check out their website at: or the larger group essentially carrying the same goals and ideals at 

Gotta Beat This

Monday, February 11, 2008

Drills on Fire (Electromagnetism Interlude)

We were trying to wrestle with some conceptal questions in classical electromagnetism when we began to hear some weird repeating noises.I thought it weird because it sounded like we were having the Fire Prevention Month in late January.But no, it was a fire drill courtesy of our caring university firemen. It was all but brief: shortlisting the things that should be done in case of emergency,and a bunch of points relating to fire scenarios.Well, it ended too short, to the disappointment of most of the students. Don't they wish fire drills consume a whole day? (Laughs.)
(Photo: Copyright 2008 Francis Emralino)