Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Society. Show all posts

30 August 2016

Some Very Telling Statistics on the Differences between Filipino Men and Women


A fact sheet on women and men in the Philippines offers some very interesting statistical differences between the genders in this country. The fact sheet was released last March 2016 by the Philippine Statistical Authority. The statistics in this sheet are comprehensive, but this article will only focus on certain areas which ought to be of interest to a wider audience.

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A Village Called Munting Batangas in Bataan

Image credit:  Judge Florentino Flor, Wikimedia Commons.

My career as an educator afforded me the chance to travel around the country, either to attend administrators’ conferences or to participate in sporting events. Inevitably, visits to cities like Cebu, Davao and Bacolod down south or Baguio and Vigan up north culminated in trips to the market to scrounge for presents to take home.

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22 November 2015

Funeral Companies and the Economics of Dying

These days, funeral companies offer much more than the usual services.

There are two types of death scenarios that every family has to deal with; and this is one of those things that nobody ever gets an exemption from. First is sudden death such as from an accident or a violent crime. In this scenario, shock and acceptance are the immediate family’s main challenges, particularly if the deceased is young and otherwise has no reason to move onto the other side.

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31 August 2015

From Coño to Konyo: How a Swearword Defines a Social Class


I was amused if still slightly taken aback to hear Vice Ganda use the word ‘coño’ a few months back while in the middle of a live segment of the popular noontime show ‘It’s Showtime!’ To be fair, in context there was nothing vulgar or sexual in the usage; and the word he probably had in mind was more the contemporary Tagalog slang ‘konyo.’

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23 July 2015

The One Dream Scam and the Science of Gullibility


The City of Lipa here in Batangas rarely makes the national news, but earlier this week it was the opening item of the evening edition of TV Patrol for all the wrong reasons – a billion peso get rich quickly networking scam by an SEC-registered corporation called One Dream.

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31 May 2015

Time Government Addressed the ‘Badjao’ Problem

Image from Blank Paper Will Always Be Ready.

First of all, I use the word ‘Badjao’ loosely and only because everyone hereabouts refers to them as such. Out of respect to the Sama-Badjao tribes of south-western Mindanao, I don’t really know what indigenous tribes, if at all, these road mendicants of Lipa City belong to.

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22 January 2015

Bagito and the Sexuality of the Filipino Youth

Image credit:  Wikipedia.
Question: How do you call a teenage male who has already fathered a son?

Answer: a Younghusband.

That was supposed to be a joke; albeit, the joke failed to specify if the Younghusband is Phil or James. Go squirm. The joke, by the way, was something I heard from one of the young men I play football with every weekend, triggered as it was by a brief discussion – of all things – of the ABS-CBN early evening series called ‘Bagito.’

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28 September 2014

Statistical Evidence on Deaths on or close to a Person’s Birthday

Image credit:
http://www.yourpersonalcartoonist.com/
All of us know at least someone who died close to his or her birthday. My own mother passed away just eleven days short of her 67th birthday. I am fine. She died in 1992.

During the wake or interment rites for somebody who died close to his or her birthday, it is common to hear someone mention knowing somebody he or she knows who likewise died on a date close to the his or her birthday.

Whatever we hear about any possible correlation between birthdays and death, however, is often shrouded in superstition. One version I heard is that older people tend to die just before their birthdays while the younger ones rather tend to leave the earthly plane just after.

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24 July 2014

Tsunami Hoax Death Shows How Jittery People are After Glenda

There was this item in the news earlier this week that, if only there was no death involved, I would have found almost comical. Text messages started circulating among village folks in San Juan, Batangas and Candelaria, Quezon Province about the supposed impending arrival of a tsunami.

The messages sent the folks into a state of frenzy, enough at any rate to send most scampering away into safety. There were those who were level-headed enough to ask one village councillor if there was any truth to the tsunami warning. The councillor asked somebody in city hall; who, in turn, replied that there had been no official warning.

The village folks scampered away, nonetheless.

Regrettably, one family packed everyone, including 64-year old grandmother Julieta Pañoso, onto a tricycle to make its escape. As the family drove away, the tricycle must have hit a rock or a hump on the road, causing Lola Julieta – who must have been seated behind the driver – to fall off and thump her head hard on the road.

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01 April 2014

Vice Ganda’s Toilet Dilemma

Those who watched the birthday episode of Gandang Gabi Vice last Sunday (30 March 2014) would have gotten to know the comedic superstar Vice Ganda more to the level of the personal during an interview with showbiz sisters Toni and Alex Gonzaga.

For a change, roles were reversed and the sisters were the ones asking the questions that fans apparently sent in.

One of these was down to the level of trivial but still allowed the audience to gain a valuable insight on the life of the transgender superstar; and that for all his wealth and fame, there are still prices to pay.

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31 March 2014

Watching a Fire Near the Lipa City Market

I was short on cash when I went uptown this morning, so I was aghast to discover that the ATMs of my bank in two branches were all offline. Desperate, I knocked on the glass door of the second branch and security guard was good enough to tell me what the matter was.

“There’s a fire near the market, Sir!” he told me.

Well, that explained it! Power was cut in the city proper as a precautionary move. With what little cash I had, I walked on to the market to get the things I went uptown for.

I scanned the skies for the tell-tale black smoke. There was none. Of course, when I neared the frontage of the market, I immediately knew where the fire was – to the left of the market. I could not see smoke; and neither could I see fire.

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14 August 2013

Doris Bigornia’s Edifying Mutyâ ng Masa

It is perhaps a sad indictment of the Filipino audiences’ viewing preferences as well as ABS-CBN’s corporate thinking that this edifying and educational little program called ‘Mutyâ ng Masa,’ presented by Doris Bigornia, is not on primetime. In my youth, a program of this calibre would have been the perfect excuse to gather the entire family in front of the boob tube after supper.

The program is conceptually simple, yet therein lies its brilliance. Bigornia walks the streets of the metropolis with her camera crew and strikes up conversations with whoever takes her fancy.

It can be a young man pushing a make-shift trolley along the rails of the PNR; a group of students playing basketball in a crowded university campus; one of a horde of seafarers lined up applying for a job; or, as last Tuesday, a homeless child at the baywalk.

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24 July 2013

One Day Filipinos Will Rule the World

A former player went on a package tour to Hong Kong recently; and I suppose it was a small price to pay in exchange for a burrito at Army and Navy to have to listen to his travel tales. In fairness, the burrito made the tales bearable.

And so he was talking about this Cantonese tour guide, who asked the bright-eyed first-time Pinoy visitors inside the tour bus, “What do you notice down there on the streets?”

Making a lame effort to deserve my burrito, I cut in and answered, “The mass of people?” I have not been to Hong Kong, but videos of the place that I have seen always seemed to portray this Quiapo-style avenue with a seemingly endless mass of people to-ing and fro-ing.

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10 April 2013

The Courage not to Commit Suicide

I am tempted to blame the media for the sudden rash of teenage suicides. On the other hand, media has really just been doing what it exists to do. Besides. I chanced upon an interview on DZMM by Noli de Castro with a UP Psychology professor; and apparently the slew of incidents is not the epidemic that is starting to seem.

There have been studies on suicides in the country and findings seem to indicate that the summer months are when suicides are most likely to be reported. The professor was quick to clarify that data was more on the reporting of the suicides extracted from police and hospital records. Whether the reporting is representative of the number of actual occurences per season, this she did not clarify.

This bit of information is at least curious because it contrasts with statistics in temperate countries where incidences of suicide are highest during the wintry months.

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06 January 2013

The Loneliness of Being in a Foreign Land

...is something that I wouldn’t know anything about. If I were a bird, I would be either the Philippine sparrow – which does not migrate – or the homing pigeon – because I always need to find my way back home.

If I think of travel at all, it is always for a visit; not something that would mean staying away for good. I will never say never because one never really knows even at my age; but up to this point in my life, I have not even remotely considered living away from these beautiful islands of ours.

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02 January 2013

Time for Decisive Legislation on Firecrackers

And as was bound to happen because it does every year, the first evening news show of the New Year began with a report straight from the emergency rooms of hospitals in the metropolis... The carnage, they said, was less than last year’s; but who really wants to know?

So, just as the news shows do each and every New Year’s Day for more years than I care to remember, the array of firecracker victims was flashed into television sets across the nation, exposed flesh considerately airbrushed away out of respect for people’s sensitivities.

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19 December 2012

The RH Bill: No Objections to It But...

The regional news had interviews with citizens on the streets earlier this week on the inevitable topic of the RH Bill. I found it strange that people would even be willing to go on air with their opinions when from their comments, it was quite apparent that few – if at all – of the respondents had bothered to read the contents of the bill.

Personally, I feel that unless somebody has even bothered to make an effort to read the bill, then he or she is not even qualified to participate in the debate. After all, whatever opinions he or she forms will only be based on hearsay.

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17 September 2012

Innocence of Muslims: A Tasteless, Irresponsible YouTube Movie

The stupidity that people can be capable of can be really regrettable. Those who have been following the world news will know that unrest has been spreading across the Middle East on account of a disrespectful little film called “Innocence of Muslims” which had been uploaded into YouTube.

I have seen the film, which has been viral for a while. The copy that I watched alone had more than 5.7 million hits. There are more copies at the same site; and each has been accumulating hits as well.

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14 September 2012

How Connected Countries Are Through Facebook Friendships

Facebook has mapped the connectedness of countries around the globe and has made the results available to the public through its Facebook Stories web site. The page is entitled “Mapping the World’s Friendships.” The rankings, according to the page, are based on the amount of connections between countries while also taking into account the total number of connections within each country.

Mia Newman, author of the post, noted that immigration seems to be the most important factor in these inter-country friendships or connections. Also influencing the connections are economic links between countries along with relationships established as far back as the colonial era.

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12 September 2012

The Ikî and the Tiyanak

I am amused now when I think about the things that we as kids were told to make us go to sleep; or stories we told to scare each other because that was just what kids did. It was not amusing then, that much I can say; and if the intention was to make us go to sleep, I can attest to the fact that the result was totally the contrary.

How many kids of the present day have heard of the ikî and the tiyanak? The two just do not go with the modern ambience; but in the era from where I come, these two were certifiable blockbusters in the fright department. Then, the nights were darker and quieter; and the things that inexplicably squeaked or creaked at night seemed so much louder.

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