AUGUST 2018 Articles

For quite sometime now, one thing that actually connects me to writing is not the reports I have to accomplish for my company but the list of articles I read in a month and what I think about them. The reports do excite me in way as they pose challenges– stating a negative outcome in the most professional manner possible even when you are so tempted to embellish it with curses is an example.

My reading life is more exciting however. from Ayn Rand to Jasper Fforde, from Fforde to Lemony Snicket, and from Snicket to Neil Gaiman. You may expect my language to be less sarcastic but funnier from now on.

How Creativity Drives Human Evolution

Hardly a new theory anymore but still an interesting read. I, for one under the influence of Ian Malcolm, believe that what drives evolution is the need to survive.

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lifted from Giphy

The One Coffee You Should Never, Ever Order at Starbucks, According to an Employee

By now, you might be wondering why I am reading about something I already know. Well, there is satisfaction in having a basis for being right. The fact that the title has the word coffee is another factor.

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Sherlock and coffee make good combination.

What is the Future of English in the US?

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As a former English teacher, it’s interesting to know that while in Asia, there are a number of people who pay big bucks to learn English as a second or even foreign language, in the US, there is a considerable decline in the number of speakers.

Henry Miller on Writing

Image result for anime reading gifMy daily creative routine?
1. Read an eBook.
2. Watch an anime.
3. Read a manga.
4. Listen to music.
5. Daydream.
6. Write.
7. Repeat.

And yes, drink coffee while doing all of them.

Wizarding World Characters that Mirror Harry Potter

If you ever have a problem with me loving Harry Potter, fight me. That doesn’t sound so professional, does it?

Reading a Book Takes Time—Deal With It

Reading is a pleasurable experience for me, whether I do it at the comforts of my home with a steaming mug of coffee and great music or while taking a train or bus. There are so many books published…more than we can actually read but there are only few books worth our time so it all boils down to how we choose actually.

…was my response to this must-read article.

Lastly, am I the only one bothered by the fact sharing in Facebook ceased? It has affected the number of views.

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July 2018 Articles

Thank you to Joey of Thoughts and Afterthoughts  for subtly reminding me that I have a huge responsibility to update my blog. Although, to be honest, he was only reflecting on his own blogging schedule and I just felt quite guilty.

I want to give an extra pat on my own shoulder as I have written a couple of really long articles in July not for any other blogging site but my own. If you do have the time, please read my articles (Something smells Kimchi and The Gods of VIBAL’s CPD Program). Also, finishing five books this month does not sound so bad either–I ought to give myself a reward.

The Age You Feel Means More Than Your Actual Birthdate

Believe it or not, a number of people I meet and even my acquaintances often compliment my youthful appearance (okay, that sounded over the top). Seriously though, they gush at how my appearance does not show my age. This article sums it up for me.

Btw, you can follow my favorite BBC writer in Twitter (@d_a_robson)

Open Offices Make People Talk Less and Email More

The struggle is real particularly when coworkers try to shatter the wall you have built around yourself. Collaboration is indeed necessary but true to what I usually say, true collaboration only happens when each member is willing to bear his own weight, with or without walls.

10 Innovative Learning Strategies For Modern Pedagogy

My immediate supervisor shared this link and I found it enlightening. However, I cannot make heads or tails of why items 8 and 10 are included in the list of ‘learning’ strategies.

Japan’s Iga city ‘does not need ninjas’ after reports it was hiring

Trust the Japanese to always defend and preserve their culture and tradition- they even posted the announcement in Nihonggo.

Why Jack Ma Doesn’t Hire the Best Candidate for the Job 

Just a thought, maybe it’s about time we re-evaluate our screening process. Then again, experience and wisdom cannot be measured objectively.

Finally, I would like to give a great shout-out to my friend, Von, who has noticed the list of articles getting shorter each month that passed by. It takes great friendship to notice that and to tell me the truth.

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Looking for an INTJ 8w7

If you have encountered a person exhibiting the aforementioned description, let me know. I must say however that those who understand Cognitive Approach to INTJ are more welcome. I find INTJ 8w7 interesting to a scary degree. I have always daydreamed having a conversation with this person and trying to keep up.

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It’s such a shame they are so rare–which makes them even more interesting.

 

 

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Something smells kimchi…

In ten years of working in the field of education, I devoted three to four of them in Korean companies. If there is one thing I learned about them aside from how they make kimchi, it’s their intense pride in their nation, their culture, their language, their skin.

A high sense of superiority for one’s culture can only dictate this statement:

“I was teased because I looked like a Filipino because of my skin color.”

Koreans are aware of the influence of their media to their people and so do we. This statement therefore is alarming. How far has discrimination against Filipinos gone in that country for ‘looking like a Filipino’ to be considered ‘troublesome’ in a show?

I am quite grateful that @royaltykai from Twitter has raised this issue and voiced her opinion to what many Filipinos prefer to shrug off. I understand her frustration: how come a culture can be loved and another culture, or even skin-color be discriminated against?

Before anybody tears his or her head off out of contempt and anger, let me start this discussion by saying Koreans’ general impressions are affected by how often they interact with Filipinos:

  1. Koreans stay in the Philippines to study English.
  2. Koreans pay for online English courses with Filipino teachers.
  3. Koreans put up businesses in the Philippines and interact with Filipino clients or even Filipino helpers.
  4. South Korea’s economic status is far better than the Philippines (2017, CountryEconomy)

Why do these matter? If perhaps, Koreans interact with Indonesians/ Thai more often, would they use the same comparison? Most likely. The use of the word ‘Filipino’ in the statement, or even in the TV show, was the game changer. Let’s be honest, Filipinos, we don’t own the skin-color ‘kayumanggi.’ We have a word for it, that’s true, but it’s just like having multiple words for rice—it’s a part of our distinction but we don’t have sole ownership to rice as to a skin-color. If you travel to other places in Asia, you will find that not only Filipinos have the enviable golden brown complexion. However, the Koreans, influenced by any of the aforementioned reasons or not, in the show still associated ‘Filipino’ to the color and even successfully managed to claim it was a ‘problem.’ Should we be grateful that at least ‘Filipinos’ were given limelight no matter how in poor taste it was? Don’t make me laugh.

In 2015, the number of Koreans in the Philippines has reached about a hundred thousand, undeniably attracted by the lower cost of living in our country as opposed to the first world standards of South Korea. I have already said more than once in my life, Filipinos are too welcoming. It’s the downside of our hospitality that our visitors, after exhausting our goods and safely coming back to their own land, would even ridicule our skin-color. It has been deeply ingrained in our system that what we do to others will also be done to us that is why as much as possible we try our best to show the best of ourselves, hoping that we in turn might receive the same respect elsewhere. Have we in any case insulted Koreans in our mainstream TV or perhaps associate ‘Korean’ negatively? Please let me know because I am ignorant.

I do understand that we must not blame the victims– in this case, yes Filipinos seem to be the victims—but I say, we must stop playing the victims. Something must be done about it but it doesn’t mean we have to douse ourselves with papaya or extracts and other whitening ingredients. We have our own prejudices—that’s a fact. Aren’t the Chinese often misrepresented in our TV shows and sitcoms? @royaltykai was right when she said we are also prejudiced against our own people (Negra and Ita were the common terms used when I was in elementary).

Should we fight fire with fire and catapult insults in our airwaves like, “Your face is as flat as a Korean!” or “You have Korean legs” or “You smell like Kimchi”–I do looooooooooove kimchi by the way but it doesn’t make me go gaga over a person whose armpits smell like fermented cabbage. Should we ban famous Korean artists we have learned to love from coming to the Philippines? Do we have the power to ban some Koreans who have insulted Filipinos from coming to our country? These ‘answers’ may look atrocious, even childish and do not even solve the core of the problem in any way.

The solution then, aside from calling the producers of the show out and demanding an apology, is to fiercely love our nation, culture, and language, our skin-color, the way Koreans love theirs or even more. A member of a different nationality no matter how good his or her intentions are won’t be able to educate one entire nation, no matter how small, into believing that something is beautiful. In South Korea where the standard of beauty is so rigid that it even often discriminates its own people, how can a Filipino proclaim, “This skin-color is beautiful, we are beautiful.” Take Pia Wurtzbach for example. She was a confirmed SUJU fan but did she ever see the need to comply with the standards of beauty Koreans have? No. She is very proud of her skin-color. Before you start telling me, “yeah, she’s a queen,” darling, you have reached the end of my long work and completely missed]nbvcdcdc1 my point. Before she was Queen Pia, she was Miss Philippines and before that, she’s Pia, a Filipina proud of her skin-color and giving it the respect it deserves.

I can almost hear others say, That’s only skin-color! There are more pressing issues around the world! There is nothing more important than world peace.

But of course! Some people would choose to believe that we better take the high road and think, “at least we’re not the first one to cast the stone.” After all, not all Koreans think poorly of Filipinos. Yes, that’s true as well but it doesn’t change the fact that some still do. The issue of colors has long pervaded history of wars around the world—it’s hardly new anymore but it’s still prevalent. Welcome to the group of people who are not appreciated because of their skin-color. Stand tall and be proud! It’s much easier than putting up a business that could rival Samsung, employing thousands of Koreans, and finally solving our country’s economic problems.

 

Postscript:

Permission to post tweets has been granted by the owner of the thread. Also, I would like to emphasize that I am not against Koreans. I am against any idea, philosophy, people, or group that irrationally degrades the nation I represent.

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三十歳

Great people or at least those who pretend to be often say that success is measured by how happy one has lived his life regardless of his accomplishments. I doubt that. Lions roam the Safari with contentment but I haven’t heard of a successful nor a happy one–kindly introduce me if you have met the greatest lion in the world (cue: Circle of Life).

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I, however, have heard of the greatest showman, the greatest purveyor of arts, the greatest philosopher… What I am trying to point out is if true success meant happiness and contentment in life without having to work hard, I wouldn’t be any different from the homeless person living outside of my village.

I have accomplished a great number of things in my thirty years of stay on this planet. Publishing my own book, winning a couple of awards, speaking in front of a huge crowd were some of them. Why stop there?

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Being ambitious is not as bad they say.

Ambition 
 Is like the sea wave, which the more you drink 
 The more you thirst—yea—drink too much, as men 
 Have done on rafts of wreck—it drives you mad.  - Alfred Tennyson

They say life begins at forty. That’s a big fat lie. Life begins when you live it. 30 years ago I started living mine.

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The silver-lining: the Gods of VIBAL’s CPD Program

For many, the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 was not a good news. Let’s be honest: who has the time to go to seminars amidst the noble yet chaotic responsibilities of teaching? It, being a law, however makes it a requirement; violation of such is considered against the law. A notable person once said that for development, struggles and effort are essential. Though it may seem a struggle waking up early particularly on a Saturday or attending a seminar on a holiday amidst a horrible weather (a shout out to those who attended the CPD program at Amazing Grace School despite the typhoon), the benefits of the program definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

Take for example, the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Didn’t he stop going to school for a time because he already knew what his teachers were trying to teach him? If he lived in this generation, he wouldn’t even trade the comforts of his own house with great internet connection for a six-hour class at school with a teacher droning on and on. For all we know, there are a number of Rizal-like creatures in our classroom and we may fail to address their needs. Educators who have to sit in a seminar with a speaker rambling the same nonsense could probably understand the frustration of their students so why in the world do they want their learners to suffer the same way?

How then can we look at CPD Program without cursing the awesome and professional people behind this idea?

  • For Development – Nobody can say no to that. Disappointing is a strong word but it is perfect to describe a teacher who does not seek development. The program is time consuming, I am not going to lie. Teachers have to spend about 4-5 hours handling classes, 2 hours for other school stuff and goodness knows how much time they devote in preparing lesson plans and checking tests.
  • Requirement – This doesn’t sound like an advantage at all but what do teachers usually say when they give a ton of homework to their students? It’s for your own good! And believe me, it is. Am I the only person who was embittered when old teachers were the only ones sent to other places for seminars? The fact that it is a requirement means teachers can be aggressive in getting more units, learning more and getting farther in their respective careers.
  • Inspiring speakers – So far, I have met speakers who have superb ideas on education. Working with trainings and programs enables me to rub elbows with keynote speakers who exude wisdom, credibility and confidence in their respective fields.

I have witnessed the awesome Mr. Roderick Aguirre in action- a man perfect in every way—this he often reminds me as I am inclined to have dementia.

I have been encouraged many times by Miss Icay, Ma. Carmela Boncodin and Miss Glendora Tiu – both amazing women don’t want to be addressed superficially by doctors.

 

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I have been inspired by Mr. Michael Angelo Malicsi with his passion not only for education but also for the corporate industry.

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You probably know the short story Visitation of the Gods and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that working with these people is like seeing the gods in action as they perform their miracles in schools they visit. I do believe that there are other amazing speakers out there who are as committed as the ones I have written about but I can only attest to the information I have collected myself through observation.

There are moments when as an educator, one cannot employ to the best of his abilities the techniques he has learned at school but he can get a fresher take, a better example after joining training programs. Motivated teachers do their jobs with renewed passion and vigor and their students benefit from it. Watching the aforementioned speakers as they share professional experience, innovative strategies, and strong perspective is truly empowering and enlightening.

I am fortunate that though not working in school anymore, I still feel like a part of the academe, hoping to influence education in general as my position permits me.

 

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JUNE 2018 Articles

June has come and gone in a whirlwind of activities for me; I feel like I became Dorothy momentarily with my doll shoes on.  It’s not enough an excuse to take my blog for granted though. I am glad to report, however, that I have finished a number of books from Jasper Fforde and Lemony Snicket this month. If you feel my humor is going nowhere, please bear with me and just understand the longing of someone who has lost a labrador and now looking for a quarkbeast.

A Stoic’s Key to Peace of Mind: Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety

The existence of the unknown is an assurance itself.

Narcissists ‘irritating but successful’

Some of us could “be very charismatic” and I have just realized that the idea of making myself look pleasant does not only involve consideration of others but also my own benefit.

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Fixed vs Growth Mindset

I refuse to accept the belief we were not supposed to reach for more than what we were supposed to be… because nobody knows what else we can be and that’s the beauty of it. As an educator, the worst you can tell your students is to stop pursuing his or her passion because you are telling him to stop living his life.

Don’t say my name wrong at graduation

One of my pet peeves is when people mispronounce my name and yes, it happened on my graduation day.

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