Monday, December 18, 2006

True Christmas

If you are rich be generous
If you are poor be hopeful
If you are a father be the head
If you are a mother be the light
If you are a daughter be obedient
If you are a son be studious
If you are a mother –in- law be a friend
If you are a father- in- law be the wise
If you are priest be like Christ
If you are a politician be a role model
If you are a Filipino be a lover of your country

To all my blog readers around the world. May you have a truly Merry Christmas!

Arnel L. Cadeliña & Family

Monday, December 04, 2006

Para sa Mga Taga-Bikol

Kumusta na?, Ayos pa ba?
Eh, kung hindi, Paano na?
Ewan ko ba, bahala na.

from the song "kumusta na" by Yano

Para sa Mga Taga-Bikol

Si Pepe ng Albay ay nagtatanong
Habang sinisipat ang bahay niyang walang bubong
Lintek na delubyo! bakit pa masa ang tinumbok?
Hinimas ang sugat at pasa dala ng batong bundok.

Tumingin sa paligid at nagilid ang luha
Ang kanyang barangay binura ng baha
Wala na ang gintong palayan ni Mang Jose
Hindi na makinig ang tungayaw ni Rosie

Wala na ang hikbi ni Nene at tawa ni Buloy
Tunay na nakakabingi ang katahimikan sa Barangay Uloy!
" Parang sa Leyte at Aurora noon" sabi ni Kapitan Tadyong
"Huwag mag-alaala" sambit ni Kapitan.
Darating na ang pork barrel ni Congressman

Sumingit si Kagawad Manny at nagsabi
"Aba, Jueteng at si Mayor ating asahan"
Hindi napigil ni Pepe ang sarili
Dumura sa lupa at nagsabi
" Lahat ng pulitiko, sundalo at rebelde, sambit ang masa sa kanilang pangarap.
Tunay ngang lagi nilang awit
Pero sa huli bakit tayo laging sabit?"

Natulala ang Kapitan at ang Kagawad
Tingin nila kay Pepe ay di propetang huwad.
Nagpatuloy si Pepe sa kanyang pasabi:
" Huwag natin silang asahan na babago sa ating pamumuhay.
Ang delubyong ito ay tunay na nagpamulat sa akin,
na edukasyon, pamilya at panalagin
Ang tunay na susi ng masa
Upang mabuksan ang saradong mata"

Muling tumingin si Pepe sa maputik na paligid.
Sinaliksik ang puso at walng galit na nadagit.
Nang masipat ang kanyang dalawang anak,
Tumingin sa langit at napaiyak.
Hindi sa muhi kundi sa galak.
Para sa masa? Bagong Pag-asa.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Trough in 2007

The government will not likely meet its P63 billion budget deficit target and will instead incur a P101.3 B shortfall, estimates by the House of Representatives think tank showed.

Business world, Dec. 4, 2006

Is the Philippines cursed?, that the only way to exorcised the demon is to leave the country the soonest time possible? Why is it that we Filipinos who dream of staying and serving the country are harvesting instead an onslaught of pain and sufferings? Are circumstances(man made or natural) shoving us to the wall, forcing us to raised our hands and say goodbye to our patria adorada?
As a student of business, I am sharing to you the signs that our country will still be in trough or depression again in 2007.
1. Slow economic growth of 4.7% -5.3% in 2007.
2. The threat of El Niño is here.
3. The highly inflationary June 2007 election.
4. Export of the country wanes because of recession in the U.S. and slow growth in Japan.
5. Slow death of manufacturing in the country due to rampant smuggling of agricultural and consumer products.
6. Foreign investors buying long-term Philippine Global Funds. (they will earn more if depression materialize)
For Filipinos who will stick to the country through thick and thin, here;s how to survive the tough 2007:
1. If you have stocks and equity mutual fund sell it now.
2. Then buy stocks again when they hit bargain price.(Usually before the election or before Christams season ). Hold it for 20-30 years horizon.
3. If you are close to retirement, buy bonds and invest in money market.
4. Real estate will be a bargain in depression. Take advantage.
5. Convince your family to be self-sufficient. Plant vegetables in your garden.
6. Spend less and earn more. Use your wise judgement here.
7. Be healthy and take care of your family's health. It will save you money.
8. Prayer always help. Never stop doing it.
My wish for all of us to make 2007 a smooth sailing.
Am I now entitled to greet you Merry Christmas?

State Colleges and Universities

"Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion in the number of state colleges and universities, driven largely by the desire of politicians to commandeer state resources and create trophy institutions in their localities"
Alex Magno
Phil. Star, Dec. 2, 2006

The readers are advised that the content of my comments may hurt . I am just asserting my freedom of expression and since I pay my taxes religiously, the concern people deserve to know the truth. If you want to know the truth, read on:

1. Mr. Magno and I have the same observations. In Lucena, politicians created the "City College of Lucena" eventhough there is already SLPC-Lucena and SLPC-Lucban to cater to poor students. Since the City College sourced their funds from the cash strapped Lucena City fund, delay of teachers salaries are common and facilities rots. They are short changing the students.
2. If this creation of state colleges remain uncontrolled, we might end up with a state college in every congressional districts.
3. Majority of these state colleges are hastily organized. Their content offerings are basically unregulated, resulting in grossly inferior quality of education.
4. Scrutinized it closely (teachers, administrators etc.), you may conclude that they are mainly extension of patronage mechanism developed by local politicians.
5. They are not capable of providing qualified skills, tarining that the market could later absorb.
6. Students are flocking there only because of cheap tuition fee.
7. It is horribly run.
8. Because they are subsidized by our taxes, it discourage private investment in the provision of educational services.
9. The best approach is to close down the substandard but heavily subsidized state colleges.
1. Instead of spending on this diploma mill state colleges, politicians should instead offer a voucher system to encourage poor students to enrol in quality colleges.
2. Let us not rely on politicians and local education bureaucrats to change the education system. Believe me they are fearful of change.
3. We need help from outside the education establishment, from NGO's, from Corporations, that can deliver the ideas and resources to force the reforms.



Thanks for your comment. I browsed your blog and it seems you are based in Florida, USA. May I get your full name so that our Alumni Coordinator can get in touch with you?.
It's very heartwarming to hear from a 1991 batch Cordian.
Mabuhay ka Sparrow!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ireland and the Philippines

In just over a generation, Ireland has evolved from one of the poorest countries in Western Europe to one of the most successful. It has reversed the persistent emigration of its best and brightest and achieved an enviable reputation as a thriving, knowledge-driven economy.
As a result of sustained efforts over many years, the past of declining population, poor living standards, and economic stagnation has been left behind. Ireland now has the second highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita within the European Union (after Luxem­bourg), one-third higher than the EU-25 average, and has achieved exceptional grow.

One of the biggest successes of the Irish economy has been new job creation. From 1990 to 2005, employment soared from 1.1 million to 1.9 million. Economic growth, more jobs, and rising living standards meant the resolution of the emigration problem, which had bedeviled Ireland for generations.

How Ireland Became the Celtic Tiger
by Sean Dorgan of Heritage Foundation

If you are familiar with history, Philippines and Ireland have a lot of in common :

1. Both are Catholic country.

2. Stagnation and emigration are a way of life.

3. English speaking and low labor cost

4. Companies are uncompetitive

5. depended heavily on agriculture

6. high unemployment

7. drain of human capital due to immigration

8. persistent inflation

9. huge public debt

10. government responsible for excessive and misguided public spending.

How come Ireland became the most successful economically with the 2nd highest per capita in all of Europe while the Philippines remain at the bottom of the heap in Southeast asia?

Their secrets :

a) At the heart of these policies was a belief in economic openness to global markets, low tax rates, and invest­ment in education.

b) Ireland’s transformation was national in scope, with individu­als, businesses, institutions, and government sharing the same ambition.

c) It involved parents deciding that their children would have choices that they did not have and would not be forced to leave their home com­munities because of economic necessity.

d) Political decisions were driven and sustained by the public will for success.

e)Smaller government became part of the road to success. There was surprise with the first moves to cut spending severely across a range of programs and abolish a number of government agencies.

f) moderate wage increases in return for modest reductions in direct income taxes, in effect allowing take-home pay to increase more than the pay raise granted by employers.

g) While cutting back on spending, the govern­ment took steps to promote business investment.

h) The people of Ireland have assiduously invested in human capital over the past 40 years. Ever since the OECD published Investment in Education in 1966, education has had a central position in Ireland’s development policies. Education in state colleges and universities is free from elementary up to college.

This economic openness, combined with low taxes, pragmatism and ambition, further invest­ment in education, and a continuing eye to the future, are the ingredients for success. this only prove that hard work and good policy can bring rewards.

Let us test the current regime claim that they will make the Philippines a First World country when they step down in the year 2010. Check the space if the current policy exists in this regime:

[ ] The economy is open to the global market.

[ ] Companies and workers enjoy low tax rates.

[ ] Investment in Education is their priority.

[ ] The government enjoy the trust of the people, businesses and institutions

[ ] The government is not encouraging immigration because there are lot of jobs available.

[ ] They cut spending accross all government programs.

[ ] They abolish a number of government agencies.

[ ] education is free in all state colleges and universities from elementary to college.

7-8 yes answers. Congratulations you live in a First World Country.

5-6 yes answers. Thank your government. They take care of you

4 below yes answers. Peace man! Throw the gun!


Monday, November 20, 2006

U.P. announces 300% Tuition Fee Increase

"University of the Philippines Board of Directors unanimously approved 300% increase in tuition fee or a ma ximum of P18,000 per semester."

Philippine Star, November 19, 2006

This is rather sad. Many poor 4th year high school students who are bright can't afford the P18,000/semester tuition fee. Most of them coming from the province will now think twice going to UP.

You may notice that the current GMA regime does not prioritize higher education. The military is her priority. The country who prioritize education always come up a winner. Look at Ireland now being called as a CELTIC Tiger. The Irish knows that in order to compete they need quality workers. How they do it?. State-funded education is available at all levels, so you will not have to pay fees unless you choose to send your child to a private school or college. you will not be charged fees for approved full-time undergraduate courses in state-run universities and Institutes of Technology, although you may have to pay a small amount for registration, exams, etc..

With a lot of pork barrel (in billions) given to congressmen and senators, what on earth that they did not allocate money for the improvement of higher education?

Why are they not making laws to make higher education affordable?

Are they deaf and blind or are they deaf and blind?


Friday, November 10, 2006

Ten Forever Jobs

My students are asking what jobs will stay almost forever. Here's my list (with the help of Forbes):

1. Politician - We hate their trapo ways and some of us vomit whenever they handle a microphone. Though we adore a few. We can continue to expect actors and actresses to be elected.

2. Prostitute - This oldest profession will always on the rise as long as poverty is around.

3. Morticians- We can not escape death. You can be placed in a coffin or be cremated.

4. Tax Collector - You can not escape tax either. If they can tax the air you breath in the future, they will do so.

5. Barber - unless you are bald, you are heading for a haircut almost always monthly.

6. Artists - Creative writers, comedians, actors, entertainers, painters, designers. Art changes and evolves with technology, but it will never disappear.

7. Religious Leader -Many people will continue to look to religion to find meaning in their lives.

8.Criminal-The crimes may change, but the profession will remain.

9.Parent- OK, so it doesn't pay very well. Or at all. But there will always be a demand for someone to raise our helpless human babes.

10. Soldier-The world's population is growing, religious fervor shows no signs of abating and precious resources are becoming increasingly scarce. Count on the military to stick around for all kinds of future conflicts.

National Career Assessment Examination

"Education Sec. Jesli A. Lapus announced that the 300,000 4th year public and private high school students are required to take the National Career Assessment Examination scheduled for December 12"

This announcement caught many parents by suprised and wonder if this is similar to the defunct NCEE. I browsed the DepEd Memorandum No. 342 series of 2006 regading this National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) and summarized below:

1. The NCAE will be done first in Manila on December 12. Others to follow.
2. This is not similar to NCEE. Therefore students can flunk and still go to college.
3.This aims only to guide high school students and parents on what appropriate career path is fitted for them.
4. The exam consider mental competence, aptitude, skills and interest.

This is a good project of Sec. Lapus because some college students are unemployable because of the wrong choice of course. The parents will spend large scale of hard-earned income and they should know what course that will fit their children's competence and interest or else all will be squandered.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Talent is Irrelevant

The evidence we have surveyed... does not support the notion that excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts.
Michael J. Howe, Jane W. davidson, & John A. Sluboda

This is rather true. Let's analyze what Geffrey Colvin said in his Fortune Mag article:
1. Nobody is great without work.
2. There is no evidence of hig-level performance without experience or practice.
3. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hardwork over many years. And not just any hard work , but work of particular type that's demanding and painful.
4. The good news is that your lack of a natural gift is irrelevant - talent has little or nothing to do with greatness.
5. You can make yourself into any number of things , and you can even make yourself great.
6. There is a vast evidence that even the most accomplished people need around ten years of hard work before becoming world class., researchers call it the ten-year rule.
7. The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what researchers call "deliberate practice".
8. More deliberate practice equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Economic Revolution

Food in the Philippines are among the most costly in Southeast asia. Food is cheaper in Thailand. Surpisingly, food is cheaper in Singapore, which has no agriculture at all"
Alex Magno, Philippine Star, Nov. 4, 2006.

I could agree more. When I was assigned in 1998 to Singapore for several months way back in my PLDT days, the price of rice there is equivalent to P9/kilo. The price of rice in the Philippines then? A whooping P15/kilo.
Indeed we have a regime of high food prices because of failed land reform, high price of fertilizers, absence of irrigation, explosive population growth and lack of support for our agriculture sector.

As a father who is always in the public market every weekend , it is evident that there is no shortage of food in the country. It is the high prices and low income that made our life difficult.

We really need an economic revolution, if not our children will reap the harvest of Philippines as a failed state.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Why All Saints Day Matter

All Saints day Celebration has developed a reputation on modern Catholics as stuffy, boring and repetitive. I can not anymore see a catholic community expressing solidly the importance and maintaining its identity. To me All Saints Day is something I must observe. I am in rage when GMA announced that only November 1 is a holiday. ( Anyway what can you expect to her. Flip flopping, wishy washy is her trademark)
Because to me All Saints Day is action, thought, prayer, sights, sounds, smells and emotions. It is relationships and connections to the living and the dead.It define what Catholic stands for and keep us spiritually fit.

To all of you, even it's a short celebration of faith, may you have a spirutally fullfilling All Saint's Day.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Top 10 best jobs

"MONEY Magazine and researched hundreds of jobs, considering their growth, pay, stress-levels and other factors. These careers ranked highest.
1. Software Engineer
2. College professor
3. Financial adviser
4. Human Resources Manager
5. Physician assistant
6. Market research analyst
7. Computer IT analyst
8. Real Estate Appraiser
9. Pharmacist
10. Psychologist"

I am an Associate Professor right now and it's quite heartening that my current profession ranked no.2. It is not surpising though, the stress is minimal, the creativity and flexibility are day-to-day occurrence but to be tenured is difficult. Though tenure-track jobs will always be stiff, enrollment is rising in professional programs, state colleges and technical schools -- which means higher demand for faculty.

It's easier to break in at this level, and often many can teach with a master's and professional experience. Demand is especially strong in fields that compete with the private sector (health science and business, for example).

What's cool Professors have near-total flexibility in their schedules. Creative thinking is the coin of the realm. No dress code!

What's not: grading papers; salaries at the low end are indeed low.But knowing that you contribute in shaping the minds of the youth is a big boost to your points in heaven.

People will not remember how much is your earthly possessions but will surely remember your caring and your love. Teaching indeed has an advantage!.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad Boss, Good Boss

I am working for the past 17 years and I identified who are the bad boss and the good boss. Here are my list, after checking it twice:

Bad Boss

1. Tries too hard to be everyone's friend
2. Micromanages
3. Ignores conflict
4. Arrogant
5. Wishy-washy
6. Impulsive
7. Unable to delegate
8. Impatient
9. Stubborn
10. Unprofessional

Good boss

1. Trust in one's employees
2. Honesty/authenticity
3. Great team-building skills
4. Effective coaching skills
5. The ability to say "no"
6. A broader perspective
7. Patience
8. Decision-making skills

You can not change the bad boss but you can influence him. But beware that most employees leave a company not because of the company but because of bad bosses.

Finding a good boss is rare but when you met one, be loyal to him. Maybe the pay is less but you can learn more.

May all of us find a good one!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Filipino Seamen, I Salute You!

" In the list of countries supplying seamen worldwide, the Philippines ranked first with 230,000 seamen. The POEA said that Filipino seamen are the most sought after in the maritime industry"
Salome Mendoza, POEA Planning, October ,10,2006

Do you know the pain they experienced as a seaman?. Here's what my nephew said:
1. Loneliness always haunts them especially when Filipino crews were mixed with different nationalities. Christmas is terribly lonely day for them.
2. Majority of them worked on "substandard" ships that barely meet the minimum international shipping norms.
3. They are sometimes exposed to dangerous chemicals especially if they are assigned at the bottom plate.
4. There are ships that lack hygienic toilets.
5. They are overworked and exposed to inefficient salvage services.
6. Many of them do not have a definite contract that guarantees job stability.

To all of our seamen who worked day and night to send their children to good school, put food in the table, build their dream house and uplift their family out of poverty, I salute you. Kayo ang tunay na hari ng pitong karagatan!.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's a Bull Run

"The country's gross international reserves hits a record high of $ 21.56 B due to string dollar inflows from OFW.
Total foreign direct investment reached $ 996 million and may reached $2B
Oil prices down to $61".
Des ferriols,Philippine Star page B-3,B-4, Oct.7,2006

How these will benefit us? Here are my thoughts:
1. There will be more money that will circulate resulting to high sales for those who got business.
2. Investment in equity mutual fund and stocks will give a positive yield. In short NAV for the mutual funds and stock prices will be higher resulting to higher earnings for shareholders.
3. High interest rate for your bank savings account and time deposit.
4. Inflation will be down to 6% or less hence more purchasing power for the peso.
It's definitely a bull run.
The question though is long?


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ten Reasons Why Students Hate Math

Here are my thoughts:

1. They encounter during their elementary and high school math teachers who are semi-literate, or who teach their pupils the wrong things, or who are just one chapter ahead of their pupils in digesting the book they are in teaching.

2. Teachers traumatized students by giving them instant quiz or exam when some students misbehave, thereby giving a signal that Math equates punishment. This make the pupils or students hate Math and develop dyscalculia (fear in math).

3. They were given Math textbooks that are ineffectual which often pose problems. You can detect textbook that will make pupils hate the subjects when you find on that book movement from one skill or topic to another is too quick; there is no chapter outline, no exercises or if there are its limited in variety, no chapter examination and do not provide answers to that chapter examination.

4. Teachers did not correlate math to real-life situations. Instead of getting high grades, teacher’s should encourage independent thinking like: giving and receiving correct change, balancing a checkbook, using scales, estimating the amount of gas needed to travel a certain distance, and the like. Use of play money, toy clocks, blocks of different shapes should supplement the textbook.

5. Teachers assign the same work to everyone in the class. They should remember the principle of bell curve wherein 2/3 of the class may understand Math while the 1/3 are frustrated from trying to solve the impossible.

6. Pupils or Students felt that they are not love by their Math teachers. After years of handling students, I can conclude that students perform well mainly based on their perception of the teacher. If the pupils or students were treated as morons and slow learners which the teacher reinforced almost everyday expect them to think that way. Math teachers, love your students.

7. Pupils or students are not allowed to solve each problem in a different way. Let us accept the fact that in mathemetics, though an exact science, we encounter pupils or students who solve Math problems creatively. Cheer them!

8. Teachers teach math only by the book, problem by problem, page by page then we asked why they are bored. Be creative, like integrate math and music, sing while teaching addition!

9. Teachers make Math difficult when in fact it can be taught in a simplest way possible. Strengthen the basic, illustrate laws and principles and use everyday life situations.

10. Pupils or students can detect Math teachers who do not enjoy what they are doing. Since enjoyment is contagious, we can see students enjoying math if their teacher enjoys teaching it. If the students know that the teacher is fooling them, they will think that Math is a joke, a real big joke.


Mirant-Pagbilao Will Retrench Employees

“Mirant will make it’s separation of paying 2.5 months for every year of service a part of agreement on the sale of the company’s assets in the country. The affected employees in Pagbilao, Sual and Manila were informed already by the management.”
- Leviste, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct. 4, 2006

This is bad news to our kababayan working in Mirant, Pagbilao especially for those whose ages are 40 and above. They will find it difficult to look for another job. I pray that their separation pay be used properly and set up a business. For the young ones, they can find another job though maybe a little bit longer.
My prayers are with you!.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thoughts on Securing Your Retirement Future


 Arnel L. Cadeliña

Several colleagues call and e-mail me urging me to write more about my thoughts on retirement. Judging from their enthusiasm I am influencing them. This is rather a blessing for me that I am a blessing to others. Hoping to transform the Philippines in my own little way, here are my thoughts on retirement that you may share with other people. Only that I ask that you mention to them that I wrote this piece.

Everybody needs a plan (yeah, that includes you!). If you go to a strange place, you need a map or a guide to reach that place. It’s the same with retirement. Everybody whether you are self-employed or an employee you need to plan in 4 ways:

First is Mental Preparation.
You need to compute your life expectancy. That is, estimate when will you die. (sound scary?). You have to accept the fact that all of us will die. It is only the question of when. Here’s a clue, according to National geographic, the average life expectancy of male is 74 while female is 78. Since you will retire at age 60, you need money until you reach 74 or 78. Now ask the question if your SSS, pension plan, Pag-IBIG Fund, CEAP will suffice. Can your children help you?

Emotional Preparation
Now you are prepared mentally, make an updated will that you need to revise yearly.
Include your projection what you are doing at age 60, 65 and 70.

Financial Preparation
This is tricky but most important. You need your finances in order before its too late. Here’s the tip:
1. Buy stocks. You need to surf the internet, read investment books and ask people with background on stocks. In my experience buy stocks only when P/E drop. You have to check the company on their Cash flow (be sure it’s positive), sales forecast (be sure it’s growing) , operating margin forecast (be sure its positive), and investment spending of the company (be sure it’s not too risky). If you are ready, you may buy stocks on-line at CITI-SEC online.who charges only 0.25% gross trade amount and P20 per transaction. Hold your stocks for 10-15 years.
2. Buy mutual funds. . But stick only on equity fund. Practice peso cost averaging. Hold your mutual funds for 10-15 years.
3. Buy Index Funds. There’s only one in the Philippines called Philippine Index fund. You need P50,000 in order to invest.
4. Contribute to all available retirement income.. Explore endowment plan offered by life insurance companies.
5. Keep out of debt. As I said in my other blog (Retire with money not in poverty), throw away your credit cards. I mean now!.
6. Get a life insurance worth at least 3 times your annual salary.
7. Put away 15% of your income to retirement.
8. If you have the capital, own a business, buy real estate and get more whole life insurance.
9. This is the right mix in investment:
50% in stocks
35% in bonds
10% in cash
5% in mad money speculative investment

Physical Preparation

Take good care of your health: eat right, beging walking or join a gym, keep a balance in your life

Spiritual Preparation

Heal your spirit- mend fences, strengthen relations, ask forgiveness, forge better
or newer alliances.

Feed your soul – have more time for God. This time you don’t have an excuse.

These are my random thoughts on retirements. Product of several years of experience, provided for you in order for all of us to live our dreams, by planning today for a secure tomorrow.

Here’s a parting words :
Retirement without money is…….hell.


Quo Vadis, Philippines?

“The Economist” in their September 16th issue provided a 19 page special report on the world economy. I summarized some of their findings, though if scrutinized are not new, which have some effects on us and our country.

1. There is a risk that the American economy will face a sharp financial shock and a recession, or an extended period of sluggish growth. This will slow growth in the rest of the world economy.

2. Countries that try to protect jobs and wages through import barriers or restrictions on offshoring will only hasten their relative decline.

3. Rich economies can grow only by inventing new technology or management methods. Poor countries should find it easy to grow faster because they can boost their productivity by adopting innovations from richer ones.

4. Asia worked its “miracles” by creating the right conditions for high investment: a high saving rate, open markets and a good education system.

5. The best way to boost national economic prosperity is to make labor and product markets work more efficiently.
Speed up the shifts of jobs from the old industries to better paying new ones, and improve education and training to prepare workers for tomorrow’s jobs.

Let us analyze it one by one.

1. It is matter of time that the economy of USA will cause a meltdown. Their more than S100 billion dollars deficit, their low saving rate and high consumer debts will mean devaluation of the mighty dollars and a crisis in the bond market. THERE WILL BE RECESSION IN AMERICA SOONER OR LATER. You have to think twice migrating there since there will be scarcity of jobs and high basic commodity prices. There is a saying in the business world, that if USA sneezes, every country catches cold. Therefore recession will reach the Philippines. What you will do? Spend only on the necessity, pay in cash (since in recession, interest rate will be high) and hold on to your cash. In this situation CASH is KING.

2. Expect more foreign companies to established offshoring business in the Philippines. Call Centers and Medical Transcription will still head to the Philippines instead of India because the latter is now getting expensive. If you are new graduates, there is a high probability that only call centers will welcome you.

3. It is a reality that all modern inventions that are transforming our lives came from rich countries. Our role in the flat world economy is to use these modern inventions to MAKE US MORE PRODUCTIVE.

4. If you haven’t heard it yet, Vietnam is overtaking us in terms of high investment, high saving rate and huge investment in education. This is rather discomforting. What we need to do:
4.1. We have to elect local and national leaders that favors investment and provide perks for investors. If your local leaders know only jueteng or STL as the source of capital, dump him.
4.2. We need to save a lot in any financial instrument available in the market. This capital can be used by the banks and the government to lend to investors or entrepreneurs.
4.3. With the current GMA administration it is unlikely she will allocate huge investment in education. Judging from the DepEd and CHED budget, the allocation will be used largely to pay the salary of teachers and personnels. The military is eating a lot of the budget. Is it a survival factor or what?
The current GMA administration is always willing and allocating resources to pay the soldiers. It is not bad per se. How about the good teachers? Since we don’t carry a gun and can not mount a coup, we can only appeal to their sense of justice. A warning though, you can not count on the good teachers to help create workers that are prepare for tomorrow’s job if they are starving, I mean really starving.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

For Chariz Carlos


Thank you for the one year you spend with us. You are truly became part of our lives.
We offer you petionary prayers for you that will surely knock on heaven's door.
Your migration to New Zealand is a truly big decision but I am confident that your perseverance will be rewarded.
We believe that you can accomplish much, because you love much and because you have strong faith.

Our best wishes for your success.


( Chariz Carlos is a faculty member of Computer Science on SHC who is migrating to New Zealand with her family this October.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our Social Security System (SSS)

If you are employed in the private sector, you can not escape the SSS. They are present on every payslip you receive. Their mandate is to provide security through pensions to private sectors employees when they retire. Recently they announced triumphantly the following:
1. 15 days after date of retirement, an employee will start getting his pension.
2. Another condonation of penalties on long overdue low-cost hosuing loans is on the way.
3. SSS made a profit of P3.7B
4. The life of SSS stretches to year 2031.

Let us analyze these claim :
First. The 15 days retirement-pension scheme still need to be seen. Currently the SSS took 90 days before a retiree receive his first pension check.
Second. This condonation of penalties is at least the THIRD such amnesty program.They are rewarding delinquent borrowers. For those who have a background in business, this is a constant bewilderment. Why is that SSS does not reward those who pay religiously?.
Third. In a social security system a profit should be distributed as dividends to members. So when they announce that they earn 3.7B it is nothing to members unless it will be transformed as dividends.
Fourth. When they announced this you have to ask the devil for the details. To stretch the life of a social security system they WILL NOT INCREASE THE PENSION OF THE MEMBERS unless again if they increased the contribution of the current members.
In conclusion, work as if SSS will not be there when you retire. Save as if SSS will not be there to provide you a pension check. Invest in stocks or mutual funds now as if the SSS will again take a cut of your salary tomorrow.


Next Call Center Destination: SE Europe

For about 10 years, India and the Philippines were the two biggest players in the offshore outsourcing business. But a recent article written in the July 2006 Business Finance Magazine quotes " Once salaries in the Philippines rose substantially, the southeast european countries of Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia are poised to attract outsourcing business due to business maturity, english speaking people, infrastructure, cultural compatibility and geopolitical environment".
A message to my past and present students, please do not stick for the long term if you are employed in a call center business. Start sharpening your skills, enrol for a graduate studies and start looking for alternatives.Once you notice that your boss starts to kick his door seven times a day and your colleagues begin encoding their resume instead of doing their job, that's the signal for you to call your networks and start tempting them that you are available!.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

7 Steps to Retire with Money not in Poverty

I was deeply hurt when I read a friend’s blog that he will die broke and sad. Honestly he mentioned that he is not good in handling money and he was not trained to save. Statistically he belongs to the more than 90% of Filipinos who do not plan for the long term financially. The uncertainties of job loss, double digit inflation and changes in the economic policies are not enough to scare us to save for the rainy days. Why is it that our mentality is like these? Is Colayco right that the education system is a failure on teaching about money management and personal finance? Judging from the many who rely only on SSS or GSIS pension there is indeed a failure. Why will you rely on the government pension alone when you don’t even know that they will be there when you retire.
Many of people that I know, from the corporate and the academe, are likely to delay planning for retirement until a few years prior to it. When they reach 50 or 55 years old, they began to panic and suddenly realized that leaving their workplace is now around the corner.
Some reason out that they are not saving money right now because they are young and have more pressing concern such as buying a house, a car or a cellphone. However, the longer you put off preparing for the years when you are no longer working, the less likely it is that you will have enough during retirement. This is because at 50 or 55 years old you will have less time to accumulate what you need.
Since I belong to the tribe of positive thinkers and do-gooders, I rather propose to you steps to retire with money rather that sit in my comfort zone and see good people die broke, sad and even angry.

Here are the steps:

1. Life Insurance. In my case I go only for the term insurance and I selected Insular Life because it is a mutual fund and belong to the top 3 in the insurance industry. The term insurance is less expensive, my P200,000 coverage require me to pay only P2,600 annually. I need life insurance to make sure that my wife and children will have money if I die suddenly. You try to browse all personal finance website and they will tell you, coerce you and convince you that getting a life insurance is a must.
2. Private Pension Plan. When I say private pension plan, I do not mean the pension plan offered by pre-need companies. If a person from a pre-need company offer you a pension plan, I advised you to run literally!. The pre-need is in the melt-down stage. If you were born from Mars maybe you are not aware yet that CAP, Professional and their likes can not meet the payment due to their policy holders. While waiting on their toes to be burn in hell slowly explore the private pension plan offered by top insurance company. In my case I bought an endowment plan from Insular and you may get your own from Sunlife.
3. Save 10% of your gross income for your emergency fund. You will save this in an ATM account of your choice. You have to exert effort to save at least 3 months of your gross monthly salary(i.e. if your salary is P15,000 you need to save P45,000). This emergency fund will be your source for sudden sickness, accident and other emergency expenses.
4. Save 10% of your gross income for your investment fund. This is somewhat tricky for those without a background. For an expert you know that stocks will be the primary choice. For the neophyte, it’s the mutual fund. There are lots of mutual funds in the Philippines but you should be careful on choosing it. The first thing that you need to do in order for you to be aware is to read the Businessworld newspaper and see the list of mutual funds. Choose only mutual funds that offer the best return of yield. Your benchmark should be 20%. In my case, I parked my money to First Metro Equity Fund but there are others who performed also well like ATR Kim Eng and Philippine Equity Fund. You have to read properly their prospectus before investing.
5. Eliminate debt. You know why CITIBANK convince you to get their credit card? Because they earn from you. Your face is profit to them. In return you will be a slave in their interest. The best thing to do is to throw the plastic and pay in cash. Avoid debt at all cost so that you will have enough money to invest.
6. Take good care of yourself. eat right, begin walking or join a gym, keep balance in your life. You can not save nor invest if you are always lying in the hospital every month and munching their expensive medicines. Do I need to say more?.
7. Own a business and buy real estate. Please don’t plunge unless you are prepared to face the risk. Though there is saying that the higher the risk , the higher the returns it is better to do your homework first before burning your money.

When we follow the above steps we are indeed on the road to enjoy our retirement.

Arnel L. Cadeliña

(You may e-mail your reaction to this article at )

Stay in School

My Dear Students:

You are very lucky. Your family can send you to attend Sacred Heart College rather than require you to work early. With the current unfavorable economic condition, staying in school is your best choice and your parents without any doubts, knows that a degree in college will give you a fighting chance to get a job in the future.
Today, when there is so much talk about unemployment, I remind you that college graduates have a relatively great chance to get a job than high school or elementary graduates. Staying in school does not come easy. It can be won and enjoyed only with a lot of efforts, and often of heroic sacrifices.
And why should you put high premium on sacrifices to stay in school?. The answer is as simple as it is natural: what you sow you will reap. In other words that for every sacrifice there is an equal and opposite rewards. We only get back if we put out. The fascinating thing about staying in school is that you never know when will you be rewarded; when will you receive the prize of your time and effort. But I assure you, rewards always come.
But there’s a catch there, if you put mediocre effort you get mediocre results and when you put quality and excellent efforts you will get excellent result. There’s no escape on the law: what you saw you will reap.
As your professor, staying in Sacred Heart is not enough, you should apply what you learned and continuously improved yourself. With that, you control your destiny rather than you are controlled by others.
Stay, it’s your best choice.
My best wishes, always.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Ten Reasons Why I am a Catholic

Arnel L. Cadeliña

I have numerous friends belonging to different denominations. My experienced with them were rather pleasant and fulfilling. I remember my MBA classmate at Ateneo, Djukifli Candao, who was raised as a Muslim but religion to us was not a hindrance to be friends. Tolerance is the key. Though many of them did not ask why I am a Catholic it was rather obvious because of my rosary. Knowing myself, if I was born a Jew or a Muslim I will be also faithful. Since Catholicism nurtured me, giving me contacts with good priests and nuns, provide me beliefs and values, convinced me enough that I am better as a Catholic.
Here are the 10 reasons why I stick to the faith:

1. I find God just about everywhere, around every corner, under every leaf, in
the eyes of a child, in the eyes of the poor and the eyes of a very old person.

2. I find joy in the seven sacraments which bring me in contact with Christ through my senses.

3. I can find communion with the saints where I feel I belong to a community that is not limited by time and space. That’s why I adhere to All Saint’s Day because I find it joyful to continue having relationships with people who have died.

4. I have thousands of saints and a Blessed Mary to pray for me but believing also that their powers are not independent of God’s power.

5. I have a blessing for every occasion. Looking at the Book of Blessings, I can find blessing for family, for son, for daughter, married couple, single parent, birthdays, elderly people, sick , victim of crime or oppression and so on.

6. I can pray with water. Baptism, confirmation, marriage, death I am or will be sprinkled with holy water by a priest. I believe that the holy water is a source not only of healing but it is life itself.

7. I can go to mass anywhere in the world with the same structure. The mass that made me selfless, more charitable, more kind, more braver and stronger. I absorb the pattern of Jesus. The Host gives me strength to run the race.

8. My faith gave the Christmas, the Carols, the tree lights , the simbang gabi and the Christmas prayers. This season of joy gave us the time to celebrate the birth of Christ and nowadays even non-Catholics are celebrating it.

9. I have a 40 days of season of Lent to paused from my hectic pace, to slow down from the hustle and bustle and to look at my relationship with God.

10. I can trace my faith all the way to Apostle Peter and the succession is not broken ever since.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Triumph of Entertainment and Mammon

The Triumph of Entertainment and Mammon

By: Arnel L. Cadeliña

My 50 students were excited. It was 4:00AM of September 13, 2006 but we made the front gate of Sacred Heart a busy place. What’s the fuzz?. We are attending the 4th IT Congress at U.P. Diliman. But how come, judging from their faces, that they are more excited to be away from their home rather than looking forward to learn?. Why are they like these? Is hunger for learning less attractive therefore not satisfying anymore nowadays?

As we boarded the van, I felt a sudden hunch of a day not so productive. I even can’t sleep maybe it’s damn too cold or I was disturbed by the myriad thoughts in my head.
We arrived at U.P. Diliman around 7:45AM . Students from all over the country were lined up and snaked toward the U.P. Theater.

You asked me what I noticed about U.P.? It’s very dirty. Garbage are everywhere. Students mingling with squatters and squatters roamed freely in the campus. Why is it U.P. Diliman allow this to happen? You can not even see a decent organized bulletin board. They definitely thrive in chaos. Maybe it’s the reason why they are the premier state u. Everything they challenged, even their surroundings.

To dispel the negativity, I rode the IKOT jeepney but sadly it’s the same old story. Buildings bear no soul that identifying their relationship with one another was a huge puzzle. I saw NUS in Singapore, my God the buildings there are easily distinguished having connections to one another, the color, the architecture , the lawn, etc. When I look at UP Diliman, I saw the reflection of our own country: chaotic, prone to short term goals and hostage of the past.

The only positive thing that overwhelmed me were the students. They study, I mean they really study. Under the tree, in the sunken graden, near the sorbetero, inside the jeepney, and even while walking. Now I know why UP Diliman is different, it’s because of its students. They spell Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y.
Slightly overjoyed, I return to UP Theater. The program started very late. To entertain the 3000 students, the organizers brilliantly fielded 2 gay emcees whose jokes ranges from toilet green to below the belt insults.
For the 8 hours we been there, 5 hours were consumed listening to the 2 gay morons who made every person they called in the stage a butt of disrespectful jokes. As I helplessly sat in the theater, I am slapping my face if I am at Wowowee or at IT Congress. What’s so painful here, the students are enjoying it. They did not felt that they were robbed.
Compute this 3000 students x P450 registration/student, that’s a whooping P1,350,000.
Really the organizers are laughing all their way to the bank. It’s daylight robbing time in a grand scale. I had a seatmate who came from Capiz with her 60 students paying expensive air fare and hotel fare just for this fiasco. Is she regretting it? No! In fact she and her students are enjoying it.
Yeah It’s Wowowee and mammon who won that day and the suckers love it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Beatles Songs

In my high school, nobody affect me like the Beatles. Their songs played on our AM radio every 5:00AM by a local AM station made we woke up early. I am a Beatlemania. A certified one. I was not born yet when Filipinos hear the first song sang by four young guys from Liverpool, England. My father said that the Beatles were seen in front of our small black & white television sets on February 9, 1964, when the Beatles made their first American debut on TheEdSullivanShow.

During my high school days, I watched a documentary about their debut in America and I saw the Beatles for the first time performing. I can not believe the fondness and excitement of the audience as they sang five songs in the following order: All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand. Ed Sullivan said on that night, seventy-three million people watched the Beatles. Their appearance had such an impact that most normal activities in America came to a standstill watching their performance. Criminal activity in most of the major cities and towns in America was put on hold, and getting a taxi or bus in New York was almost impossible, until their performance was over. Mass hysteria resulted wherever the Beatles appeared, and Beatlemania was created.

After hearing their songs I did spot geniuses.Their music touches my soul. Their name etched in me that I wrote in my diary their complete names:
John Winston (Ono) Lennon ; James Paul McCartney ; George Harold Harrison ; and Ringo Starr.

The song writing duo of Lennon-McCartney is the most successful in the world. The only other song writing duo to come close to the success of Lennon-McCartney is Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Although they almost never wrote any of their songs together, John Lennon and Paul McCartney decided that all songs written by each of them would always be credited to both of them. Generally, what each would do is write a particular song, then present it to each other. In areas where each song needed a word, or some changes, they then would sit together a fine tune the song.

From 1962 to 1970, the Beatles recorded 214 songs. But many people, up to now speculated what many Beatles songs really mean. To gather the truth, I decided to research some of it and chosed interesting songs and outline its meaning.

About young love and relationship- Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Beatles For Sale and Help! .
About adolescent- Nowhere Man
About Dorothy (girlfried of Paul)- P.S. I Love You
About cynthia (first love of John)Do You Want To Know A Secret
About Life's Sadness - There's A Place
About separation from love ones-All My Loving.
About being together- Things We Said Today
About classmate of Julian lennon- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
About the weather- Getting Better
About a missing girl- She's Leaving Home.
about Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal- Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!
About inflience of maharishi- Within You, Without You,
About using the sitar- Norwegian Wood
About Paul's tribute to his father -When I'm Sixty-Four
About parking violation- Lovely Rita
About Kellogg's Corn Flakes that John liked to eat for breakfast- Good Morning, Good Morning
About a newspaper articles in the Daily Mail- Day In The Life
About a street in Liverpool- penny lane
About salvation Army- Strawberry Fields Forever
About Julian and Cynthia- Originally titled, "Hey Julian," then "Hey Jules," it was later changed to Hey JUDE, because from a song standpoint, the name was stronger.
About eric Clapton- SavoyTruffle

If you notice, the songs the Beatles wrote are simple experiences in their daily life yet these songs changed history and the music world in a dramatic way. That's what made them tick up to now, they write simple songs, with simple melody but a LOT of meaning. How many bands do that and survive?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

WHY I AM A TEACHER ( a re-blogged)

This article was written 3 years ago and was re-blogged in celebration of "International Teachers day"

By: Arnel L. Cadeliña

Dear Alyssa and Amiel:

Both of you asked me several times why I am teaching and why I leave the corporate world. The frequency of your query is getting higher as you get older and you see your classmates riding in their shiny cars while both of you literally squeezed in the tricycle. I even remember a prayer of yours requesting the heaven and the saints to send me in far away places in order to earn the mighty dollars. Amiel even whisper to me that almost half of his classmates were boasting that their parents are OFWs and I should be one. How can I blame both of you? Your generation is bombarded daily of thousand advertisements tempting you to buy anything and everything. The TV, radio,cellphones and internet are part of your life that these so called technology helped you and your peers to have a blurred distinction between needs and wants. Sometimes when I hear you and your friends talking about the latest Nokia cell phone, I started to ponder that materialism already won the battle and my children are being groomed by the environment to be the next disciples.

My dear Alyssa and Amiel, you are very much correct that I earn less than the parents of your classmates. The OFW’s who are breaking their backs to feed, clothed and send their children to school are earning more than I. You should remember though that your classmates are enjoying the benefits in replacement of having the physical present of their parent. I know several OFW friends suffering homesickness, toiling from sunset to dawn and missing the important events of their growing up children in return for earning more. But remember though, majority of your classmates OFW parents were not provided good job opportunities in our country and going abroad for them is not an option but a necessity. Every time you kneel for a prayer, include prayers for them.

In your case, I am there when your tears are flowing when you fell in the bicycle; you hear my voice every night while I read stories; we watched wrestlemania together with both our feet up in the chair and sharing Gatorade and spit it loudly every time John Cena loses; we are both teary-eyed when we watched Superman dying ; we pillow fight in the wee hours of the morning; we play soccer until we can not stand anymore; we go to church together and held each other hands while singing the Lord’s Prayer. Would you believe I eagerly await the first time you will be in love?

There are other million things that we did together which you may vividly remember ten years down the road. The memories imprinted on you are irreplaceable. I can not earn dollars but I am with you while you are growing up. For me that’s the best thing in life.

Before I forgot, I am teaching because I am happy doing it. I worked for 14 years in the corporate world which help me build the house we call home. Lord even blessed you in having funds for your college education because of my incessant savings. However, working in a corporation and teaching are like Mars and Venus. In teaching, I found out that I can shape the future, that I am standing on the shoulders of the teachers before me who find teaching noble: Christ, Buddha, Confucious, Gandhi, Franklin, Rizal and million others. Your generation may call as nerds, geeks and weirdos but we are not treating it as a blasphemy but notice our passion. You must remember that a lot of people are successful because of being passionate and I am a passionate teacher at the same time a passionate parent. While I make sure that my students learned, I always find time to be with you.

When will we scale Mount Banahaw?

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Quest for Brotherhood

There is an interesting and true meaning in the writings of Mitsugi Saotome which speaks the essence of brotherhood. It is this: “ If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.”.
In the human quest for brotherhood, a better understanding of love is of central importance. In both its effects and affects, love is immeasurable. Will you believe me that history is a witness that certain problems can be resolved if people or nations act as brothers in love? Take for example, the Solidarity Movement in 1980 Poland. Some social scientists calculated that the Solidarity Movement will be irrelevant once it will be crushed by the Communists, whereas others claimed that it will be a positive non-violent force that will topple the communists. We all know that the latter triumphed.
I am reminded of something Vaclav Havel had said: “ The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human humility, and in human responsibility.” One can only join with him in announcing “ brotherhood can be something higher than my family and my country”.
What is that brotherhood to which Mr. Havel associated with the human heart? What power doest it have that drives people to offer their time, money and talent into a cause wherein the results are uncertain and often painful?. We are all aware of the “generic brotherhood” of our time. They are dressed like fraternities, sororities, organizations and clubs, deodorized by exclusiveness. Some people who wear the “generic brotherhood” dress become either privatize or narrowly activist.
The war in the Middle East, the genocide in Darfur and the sufferings of Filipinos in our time are indeed enough proof of the “generic brotherhood” that the depth dimension of the true meaning of brotherhood was lost.
In order to touch souls of nations, the generic should be transformed into universality. Can it be reversed? How can this be possible? Can we still say that men can transform the true meaning of brotherhood as creating ways to help each other? It is time for us to look into our hearts and dwell at the very core of it.
Whenever I read articles about Gawad Kalinga, Jaycees, Red Cross and a hundred others, I become a believer of these movements. They continue to light the dark path of our times.
Whether it’s famine in North Korea, hurricane in New Orleans or war in Mindanao, such groups act in harmony to help the needy. They believed that the sufferings of other people are their sufferings. Hearing lives being wasted by a land mine , seeing mothers in the internet limping to beg in order to buy food or reading that an organization needs a helping hand to build house for the homeless are enough reasons for them to act. The government, whatever its form, silently renounced its sovereignty whenever they need help to alleviate the immense suffering of its people. Even despot regimes can not tag an organization as enemies if people from other nations bring compassion and hope.
In the case of Gawad Kalinga, it expresses itself in the form of building decent houses for the homeless. The 19,321 homes in 809 communities built by 8,400 advocates created the avenue of hope that even doubting Thomases will be an advocate once they see how dreams fulfilled and human dignity restored.
Jaycees with its 200,000 active members present in more than 5000 communities in over 100 countries worldwide may at first sight appear to be concerned for the defense of businessmen. On a much deeper level, however, we can realize presence of activism for young people to meet, to learn and to grow together.
Hurricane Katrina was the shining example of universal brotherhood. Red Cross necessitated the largest mobilization of 233,000 volunteers coming from different organizations and religious affiliations for a single relief operation. In their spectacularly radical commitment, we can detect their belief in the sacredness of brotherhood.
If our purpose is to transcend nations we obviously should act as brothers. In these trying times we don’t lack any heroes. What we need are the true definitions of brotherhood which touch the ground of the human heart. These can be manifested in the food we give to the needy, the decent home we build for the homeless, the training we give to the youth, and the right action taken when it is needed most desperately.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“Strong Participative Democratic Government: The Antithesis to Human Rights Violations”

“Strong Participative Democratic Government: The Antithesis to Human Rights Violations”

By: Arnel L. Cadeliña

Disturbed by the continuous revulsions of abductions and political killings in our country and elsewhere, I recently reviewed a statement of the nationalist and prolific writer Emerenciana Y. Arcellana made three decades ago and which I had filed on the human rights day of December 10, 1997:
“Human rights…include the natural rights to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; the civil rights to privacy, property, freedom
of abode, association, conscience, religion, expression, contract,
and movement; the political rights of assembly, petition, suffrage,
direct and indirect participation, self-determination, self-
government, and election to public office; the social and economic
rights to livelihood, equal opportunities, education, housing, leisure
and recreation, the freedom choose one’s occupation, to picket and
to strike for better working conditions and various benefits to
improve the quality of life.”
The Philippines is blessed with Ms. Arcellana and countless Filipinos who fervently struggled for human rights. The Kartilya ng Katipunan, the Malolos Constitution of 1899, the 1935 Constitution, the 1973 constitution and the 1987 constitution uniformly embody the sacred commitments in the promotion and encouragement of respect and observance of human rights. We, as a race, are one with the others in believing that human rights are implanted in human nature. History validated that though how long we suffer, at the end it propel us to seek for justice ; the indignity forced to us by foreign colonialists and their Filipino authoritarian heirs eventually made us realized that in order to break the yoke of tyranny we need not be a cog in the machinery of oppression.
Sadly, today we are witnessing the resurgence of the state interfering with civil and political rights; people living in miserable poverty and rampant disregard of life by the bloody political killings happening almost daily. Newspaper headlines banners political killings, torture and coercion. The nation is again sliding back to the dark days of martial rule contributed by the harsh realities of a democratic system whose respect for human rights are in the cloud of doubts.
In our time we are now again facing the question on how can we realize the protection of human beings and how can our democratic system guarantees the defense of the people’s rights.
I can think only of Jose “Pepe” W. Diokno, whose adherence in the defense of human rights, civil liberties and democracy, as more worthy to answer our questions.
It is time to re-read his statement and be reminded that respect for human rights stem from three basic principles: right to life, right to human dignity, and right to develop which can be summed up to his maxim “food and freedom, jobs and justice” . Can these three basic principles and its maxim effectively provided by a democratic system thru its empowered democratic institutions?
Until the 17th century, human rights were vague. Even the basic concepts of it were put in a debate. The French Revolution who started the concept of Human Rights was successful in introducing it because of the alternative it offers. But many argued that from the French Revolution and throughout the 19th century human rights remain as a purely theoretical concept in a democracy that contribute little in stopping the exploitation of workers. The Western Europeans and the Americans, who swear in the sanctity of democracy and human rights, were also practicing during that time child labor, racial discrimination and colonial exploitation. Human rights became an important issue only in the 1960’s and that decade marked the strengthening of democratic institutions in Western Europe and America and the weakening of human rights violations.
In a Third world country like the Philippines, the democratic institutions are fragile and many times lame in their fight against injustices and oppressions. Diokno’s “ food and freedom, jobs and justice” was a concept that is not only correct but timeless. The weak democratic institutions in the country are exploited by the powerful, the rich, the rightist and leftist armed groups which collectively resulted in the trampling of people’s rights.
We need a strong and real participatory constitutional democracy which would bring about the transformation of the Philippine society and play the role to end poverty and lawlessness which are the very things that deny human rights to Filipinos. A democracy that is leading the way in following Diokno’s maxim of providing food (meeting basic needs and creation of domestic market) and freedom (free and honest elections, democratic participations), jobs (elimination of poverty and job creation) and justice (social justice).
First. Food (meeting basic needs and creation of domestic market). The poor who make up the largest part of the population continue to be ruthlessly exploited by rural land, credit, trading and marketing monopolies and are kept in miserable poverty. The poverty in the urban and countryside are prevalent now that the rapid increase in prices of commodities and services has also accelerated the rise in the cost of living. IBON Foundation estimates that a family of six needs at least P546.80 to live decently. The minimum wage of P325 as of April 2006 does not even fulfill the daily cost of living. Thus, with rising cost of living and low wages in the country, more and more Filipino workers are falling into the mire of poverty. IBON estimates that almost 83% or 8 out of 10 families are poor.
Add to that, the wholesale liberalization of economies have proven to be disastrous despite claims of developed countries of fostering economic growth. Underdeveloped countries like the Philippines do not have the capacity to compete with the production levels of developed countries, thus the country serve as dumping ground for highly subsidized products. This export dumping depresses farm gate prices consequently rendering small farmers bankrupt aggravating food insecurity, poverty and social unrest.
The democratic government, who believes that all of us have an equal rights to life and share the same inherent human dignity, need to strengthen its democratic institutions that will meet the basic needs of the people. It is in a democratic setting that more people have the opportunity to create wealth and develop a flexible strong government that can distribute it. The right to life, the right to dignity and the right to develop ourselves will only flower in a participatory democratic setting.
Second. Freedom (free and honest elections, democratic participations). For human rights to flourish the people should have a right to express his convictions and beliefs through legal means. They should have the power to determine the kind of social and political existence they should have without perverting any notion of freedom. How can this possible? It should begin in the most important institution of a democratic government: the Commission on Election. In order for a democratic country to commit, uphold and implement human rights agenda we need to believe that human rights and free elections are inseparable. A fiercely independent Commission on Election that uses it’s sovereignty to promote pluralist character. This institution of democracy should allow the majority who are without power and without wealth to be informed and support candidates who embody the belief on human rights. It should identify candidates who abused the people and barred them permanently in seeking any elected seat in the government. An undeserving officials, elected by guns, golds and goons, because of his power and influence, may become a human rights violators by being deaf and blind to his patrons whose companies poison rivers and oceans, destroy rain forests and the minorities living there and politically resettling indigenous people.
Next to the Commission of Election (COMELEC), the institution critical to the realization of human rights is the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The importance of civilian supremacy over the military at all times should be adhered to. The Armed Forces as an institution of democracy are created to protect the people and the state. The extrajudicial killings, the illegal arrests and detentions should be understood by the institution as a tool for human rights violations and should be denounced.
Raul Alfonsin, the former President of Argentina, said, “What both the military an civilians forget here, to the detriment of both country and the Armed Forces, is that golden rule which applies in all civilized nations whatever their political system or ideology, which is that the Armed Forces should always be subordinate to the civilian authority established through democratic institutions.”
Third. Jobs (elimination of poverty and job creation). The Philippine economy is characterized by import dependence and export orientation. Basic commodities such as rice and fresh meat are even imported abroad. The country has become a net food importer, meaning that it imports more foodstuffs that what it actually exports to other countries.
The Congressional Planning and Budget Department, House of Representatives issued their social services expenditure program for 2004-2006. From the said budget, the biggest chunk at 32.3% is for debt servicing which is only for the payment of the interest rate. The budget for the entire social service sector is P239.2 billion and compared to other sector is meager. The meeting of basic needs such as medicine, hospitalization, education and other services remain an elusive dream for millions of impoverished Filipinos. In terms of Labor Force, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) says that the 447,847 college graduates last March 2006 may opt to look for jobs abroad since at least one in four new college graduates will be jobless. The national economy is so unable to generate jobs that the efforts of families to invest in education are tragically coming to naught. In this setting, food in the table is the first priority of Filipino families and some scrupulous employers exploit it to trample on their rights of just wages.
It is without doubt the biggest challenge of a democratically elected government is how to eliminate poverty. But history is full of proof that poverty can be best solved in a democratic setting. The free choice of employment, the profit sharing, participation in equity, formulation of policies and support of democratic institution through favorable labor laws such as the laws affirmed by the Supreme Court are opportunities available for the workers which a participatory democratic state provided.
Fourth. Social Justice. In our country, hunger, disease, violence and unemployment are prevalent. The primary role of a participative democratic government is to strengthen democratic institutions that will ensure social justice especially to the impoverished and powerless. In a participative democratic government, economic growth and social justice are treated as having significant relationships. Wealth can be quickly created in a democratic setting but it is a mere abstraction. It is shallow in meaning if majority of the people do not enjoy social justice hence people in a participatory democratic state produces philanthropists that help the government to address the social problems. .
Democratic institutions are tool of the government to ensure that social justice alleviate the financial hardships of the people and empowers them to deal with their social circumstances in a sustainable manner.
These are the four reasons needed why we need a strong participatory democracy. This is the only system that ensures the protection of human beings against violations and abuses thru its democratic institutions which can be strengthened and utilized to employ Diokno’s maxim. His is simply the antithesis of the current malady we are now experiencing and the only guide to stop the human rights violations and abuses. If this nation is to survive, we need to have a strong participatory democracy which defend and respect the people’s rights. As Jose W. Diokno’ said in the KAAKBAY Congress held at Ateneo de Manila on March 15, 1987:
If the past and the present teach us anything, it is this::
“Unless our people are freed to work and create,
to speak and decide – that is, unless there is
democracy – and unless the nation is freed to be itself,
to set its own goals and choose the means to
achieve them – that is , unless the nation is sovereign –
our country will never be what it can become.”
Let me stress the need to have a strong participative democratic government that will create ways to meet the basic needs of the people; utilizes its means to empower democratic institutions which in turn create healthy pluralism; create jobs and bring social justice to empower the many who are poor. If we remain true to these beliefs, then this is the type of democracy that will make human rights violations and abuses a thing of the past.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Majority of us, Filipinos are not fond of investing. We are satisfied on parking our money in the banks. We are not even asking how much interest bank's are offering for our money. Our idea of not losing our money in the bank is true but we are not aware of inflation. Living in the Philippines with yearly two-digits inflation means that the cost of living will be doubled in less than ten years.

We have options in the Philippines to defeat inflation. The presence of mutual funds are good investment that can be used to maximize potential returns. These mutual funds like First Metro Savings & Learn, PhilaAm Asset, ALFM Family of Funds and Sunlife Funds are investment companies in the Philippines. For me, I invested my money to First Metro Equity fund which are managed by Mr. Edwin Valeroso who is a full-time professional fund manager.

The First Metro currently stands as the industry leader and is providing me a consistent and benchmark-beating returns. As of August 28, 2006, the First Metro equity Fund outranked their respective benchmarks, performance-wise.

For OFW, we then have an option aside from banks. Look for mutual funds, stocks and even real estate. These may reward us a steadier and better returns.