Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Freedom and its ultimate price"

The recent events that have occurred in Maguindanao has prompted me to dig up old issues of The Scholastican and look for the issue where I wrote about the journalist killings back then.

Without further ado, I share with you my article on journalist killings I wrote back in 2005.

o O o

Figuratively, a journalist can be "killed" by means of a starvation wage and overwork. Morally "killing" a journalist would mean the influence of the material world, more often equated to money -- bribery. On the literal side, unhappy politicians could hire people to assassinate journalists.

Starvation wages can kill the spirit of journalists and make them an easy prey to all sorts of temptations. On another point, bribery can make them forget the mission and ethics of their profession. But killing is the ultimate solution to the problem of personalities or groups with journalists who reveal anomalies that would inflict a damaging reputation to them.

We like to pride ourselves as "the freest press in Asia." However, the number of journalists killed since the time of Marcos makes this statement an ultimate lie. We call our society democratic and yet we allow journalists to get killed. How can we claim the existence of press freedom when journalists are being murdered again and again?

A study shows that since 1986, a total of 69 journalists were killed. Of the told, 39 were categorized as job-related; 22 had unknown causes or motives; and the rest were non-work related. Of the 39 journalists killed in line of duty, many were actively involved in crusades against corruption and related issues or were assigned to conflict areas.

Majority of the victims, a vast 51 per cent of them, were reporters, correspondents or broadcasters. The remaining 49 per cent is distributed to editors, publishers, commentators and photojournalists.

So why are the killings of Filipino journalists relentlessly thrive in our society? Powerful people are killing journalists and they are doing it with impunity. Only five of the 69 cases have been solved, and only three cases have ended in the conviction of the killers. 93 per cent of the cases, still quite a big number, have remained unsolved.

A new analysis by the Committee to Protect Journalists has found that Iraq, Columbia, Bangladesh and Russia are among the murderous countries for journalists. The Philippines is said to be the most dangerous place in the world to practice journalism.

The killing of journalists is the ultimate expression of the censorship of the freedom of the press. Victimized news subjects can file complaints against the editors of newspapers. They can also file libel cases. Regrettably, many prefer to use the ultimate weapon of silencing journlists: ASSASSINATION. Such a method should not dwell in a free and democratic society where justice is of paramount importance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Distress over OJTs and Grad School is for Serious People"

Back when I was in my junior year of college, when I was then the associate editor of our school paper, The Scholastican, I had a column I called "Paper Trails" (which I eventually made into a now-defunct blog). And I started to miss writing an ed-op. So here I am now, posting in this blog something that was printed three years ago. I hope you will appreciate it as much as I do.

o O o

The beginning of another school year.

The halfway point of my college career.

The beginning of the end.

Ouch! It even hurts to put that last one in writing. As my junior year begins, I can't say I'm pleased with the pace at which my college experience is flying by. When did this transition from young naive freshwoman to accustomed upperclassman occur? Why wasn't I aware of it?

It seems as though once junior year starts, everyone seems to get bitten by the whole planning-for-the-future bug that I so sneakily avoided. I mean, we just got back from whatever place we had our summer, and now people are making plans for next year's on-the-job trainings and internships. Am I missing something?! Suddenly, all talk has shifted from amazing summer vacations to grad school and getting an "in" at the right company so as to ensure a lucrative future.

While I sit at the Social Hall with my MP3 player and a couple of books and handouts, I see students with highlighters and test-prep books. I wonder if its wrong to study for the subjects at hand rather than the ones I'll be taking a few years from now. Is it wrong if I worry about my schedule for this week than for the next 20 years? Sure, it's great to have an idea as to the path we all wish to take after St. Scholastica's COllege, but isn't there something to be said for taking life one day at a time and seeing where it leads us on its own?

Now everyone thinks getting an MBA is a sure-way ticket to everything noble in this world and admission to medical school is on a continuous upsurge. Many leaders in the world today are self-made and, for the most part, self-taught. Sure, they received some form of undergraduate education, but many of them worked their way up the ladder by moving from job to job and learning new life skills and lessons each step of the way.

I am sure each and every member of SSC is shaking her head in disagreement right now, for they foster this new found idea of perpetual planning and constant worry. I'm sure that this opinion makes me appear like the most unmotivated student here, yet anyone can surely attest to the contrary. I work hard in what I do now; I apply myself in everything I choose to undertake and enjoy every second that passes. I'm not going to say that, at times, I don't feel overwhelmed by the thought of entering the "real world" in a few short years and by the crazy panic that has stricken the vast majority of everyone around me -- because I do.

My point is that we need to focus on making the most of the short amount of time in college, and, while still preparing for our future, leave it at that -- the future. I guarantee you -- we will still be okay.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Christmas Wish List 2009

I saw a friend of mine post her wishlist in her blog and I realized that I haven't posted mine yet. Haha! December begins next week, so I better post this one now. Hehehehe...

Here goes:

It is my most favorite and most awaited gift! I want to have the Belle De Jour Power Planner 2010. As usual, I'll be needing my organizer for my daily meetings and whatnots. Though I will be acquiring the Starbucks planner soon (and I'm sure, I'll be getting some free organizers from people), the BDJ Power Planner is a definite must-have for me!

I saw this coffee press at Starbucks -- and for its size, I do believe it's worth it for P595! The travel press is something I'd like to have. You know how much I love my coffee...hehehe...

I am a very girly girl and so I'd like to get dresses like these. I usually buy these at Trendy Dessert and Le Bon Marche when I don't have the time to actually go to the mall and buy clothes. Please, please, please give me cute dresses!

Ok. This might be a little over-the-top considering this country is not really where snow falls. But when I saw this coat in Le Bon Marche, I just want to have it! I really, really like it and I do hope I'm getting something like this, if not exactly this one.

I love shoes! I really do. These are probably the kinds of footwear you'll see in my collection (except for the sneakers -- definitely not a fan). I'm not really the type who cares about brands. As long as the shoes are nice and comfortable to wear, then it's all good. By the way, I'm a size 9.

As everyone knows, I'm a kikay girl. Ergo, I need my cosmetics. And I'm really liking the mineral cosmetics. I hope someone will give me the Maybelline Mineral Power Illuminator. If that someone will be kind enough to get me this, please get me the Pink shade.

Like with shoes, I love bags too. And I'm not really looking at the brand. I want bags that are functional yet stylish. I want an everyday kind of bag that comes with a twist. Hehehe.

I am a sucker for nice perfumes. Currently, I am using Lancome's Oui. I absolutely love the scent. But I'm starting to miss my old perfume: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. I believe the last time I had it was 4 years ago.

If you are familiar with Enjoy Philippines package, you'll understand why I want to have this. It's like a VIP pass to restaurants, spas, boutiques, and yes, hotels and resorts! It's got like P150,000 worth of gifts, discounts and privileges -- what's not to love? It's pricey, I know, but it's definitely worth it!

All right. These two, I know for sure that no one will give me. Hahahaha! But I still want to include them in my wish list. Who knows, one of these two may be my gift to myself soon, right? Hehehe...

I've been wanting to have a netbook since my birthday and I'm hoping to get one soon. Originally, I planned to buy one this Christmas but since I got an iPhone, my urge to buy the Dell Mini 10v subsided a bit. Although I still plan to buy the netbook, I'm not in any rush. Hehe...

I'm really getting tired of taking pictures using my phone so I thought of buying myself a digicam. After much thought, I am now choosing between the Nikon CoolPix P50 and the Canon Powershot E1. I don't really need a camera that's going to be used for work. The purpose of having my own digicam is taking pictures for leisure. And I think buying either of the two would be a good investment. Can someone advise me on which of the two I should buy? Right now, I'm leaning towards buying the Nikon digicam.

Well, folks, there you have it. My Christmas wish list for 2009.

31 days before Christmas day. I can't wait to celebrate it with family and friends!

Until my next post, people!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Night Blogging.

Hi there!

It's 9:15 in the evening on an uneventful Sunday night so I have decided to log in my blog and post something new. Hmm...what am I going to blog about tonight?

Y'know, it's funny sometimes, how you think you're doing everything you want to do and yet there's still a part you're still missing. I seriously miss singing! I realized this a couple of weeks ago when I sang in front of a huge crowd for a gig. I really do miss singing. I remember when it was nearing my birthday earlier this year, one of the 23 things I've wanted to do is to perform in front of an audience. Yeah, I've been singing my heart out. Regardless of the opportunities, I still miss it. I can't believe it -- I had no idea that singing was that huge of a part of my life. It's just surreal sometimes when I get to think about random things and it hits me as if it's something I have to do.

Don't get me wrong, I am so in love with my job! Who wouldn't be having the time of her life writing interesting stories, meeting great people, traveling to beautiful destinations? I love it and I wouldn't want to change direction in my career. There's still so much I want to learn from my work and I wouldn't let go of it until I am ready to. But singing is different. Singing, to me, is one of my creative outlets. I sing whatever I feel like singing, pouring my heart out as if I'm singing it to someone in particular. In a way, I feel like I'm a "celebrity." Egoistic as I may come off saying that, it's just true.

Hoping to sing again soon...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Yesterday was all about me.

Indeed, it was! I have finally acknowledged the realization that I've been pushing myself to the limit the past few weeks, and while it helped me that I was preoccupied with work, it was time to give myself a break and just have fun! And fun, I did get.

At 10:00 in the morning, I told my parents that I would be going out. I swear, I still get surprised by their response whenever I tell them I'm going out on weekends. When I told Mama that I'm going to hang out by myself, she told me, "Buti naman. Lagi ka na lang tutok sa trabaho mo." Thanks, Mama. I know you'd rather I go out with my friends, but I'm very happy you're glad to see me get out on my own and have some fun. Hehehe.

So after having an early lunch (11:30AM to be more precise), I washed up, took a shower, got dressed and headed to the salon. I've been planning since my birthday to get a hair treatment -- and that's exactly what I got when I went to my stylist and had an uber long hair treatment. Karina, owner of Regine's Salon, made sure that my hair would be so much more manageable than what I had. Yes, my locks are once again revitalized! 4 hours of sitting on the chair was sooooo worth it! I love my hair! I remember one of the staff saying, "Miss Marge, you're looking more and more Chinese with your hair like that." Thanks for the compliment! But Karina said the funniest thing ever: "Marge, if this doesn't get you a boyfriend, I don't know what will." Hahahaha! Thank you, Karina, for making me feel I'm the prettiest girl there is!

How do I look now? Well, see for yourself.

All right. Done with the salon. I could have just gone to Greenbelt and hung out in my usual place -- Starbucks. But I opted to get into a cab and go to Bonifacio High Street. It was already 4:30PM at that time when I got there. Didn't really do much there. Went in a couple of stores, checked out some stuff. But in the end, I went to my favorite place (Starbucks, where else?), brought out my book of the day (Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich), plugged in my earphones for some music, and ordered a dark cherry mocha frappuccino (current sticker count: 3 out of 17).

Here's the funny part. I was waiting for the barista to give me back my sticker but he ran out of it so they had to get a new roll. So while I was waiting for my promo card and my drink, the barista took the order of the guy next to me. When the barista asked if the guy wanted to avail a promo card, the guy politely declined. But what he said next was flattering. "You can just give my sticker to this lovely lady." I think I blushed at that. He was really nice. Thanks to him, I now have 4 stickers. Haha!

I stayed there until it was 7:00 in the evening, I think. I didn't even bother to buy any food. Hehe. But anyway, I finished the book so I went to take another stroll around Bonifacio High Street. I would have loved to take pictures but I didn't exactly have a camera with me and I didn't really want to use my iPhone as a camera at that time. So after strolling around for another hour, I got in a cab and went home.

I had an amazing "me-time"! Yes, I'm a very happy person (once again). Hehehe...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Funny Moment.

I just had to share this because I find it really funny.

After work, I decided to hang out in Starbucks. It has been quite a while since I last went there to just hang out. Oh yeah, for those of you who don't know yet, the promo for Starbucks Planner 2010 began today. So for those who are eager to collect those stickers, go to the nearest Starbucks and start buying those drinks! You need 17 stickers to be able to redeem the planner.

9 regular drinks + 8 specialty drinks = 1 planner

Ok. Well, that's not really what I wanted to share. Hehehe. But I had to plug it. Anyway, so there I was in Starbucks, alone (as usual), drinking my caffe mocha and eating my honey glazed doughnut when I noticed a guy -- a rather good looking Chinese guy -- was looking at me. So I looked back at him. Next thing I knew, I saw the guy trip and fell. Right there in the middle of Starbucks! Wow!

I feel like I'm such a geisha! Hahahaha!

That's all. I just felt like sharing that one.