The Patriot

I’m amazed how my kids quickly pick up the Filipino language now that they’re enrolled here in the country (Don Bosco School, Baguio). I remember in Canada, well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) people were telling us to teach our kids to speak Filipino (and implying irresponsibility on our part as parents if we don’t).

Thing is, Pinoys oftentimes confuse use of Filipino language with Patriotism. Love of one’s country (patriotism) can be expressed in numerous ways. Speaking in Filipino is just one of these ways, but is certainly NOT the only way.

I say that English should be taught by every parent starting childhood, regardless of your stature in society (I know most rich families do, and perhaps that’s one reason they get ahead in life). English, and not Taglish, should be the medium of instruction in every school, public or private. There should be less Filipino subjects as well … Makabayan, Araling Panlipunan, Pilipino … What the heck? Can there just be one? Pilipino? After all, we speak the language most of our free time after school. We hear them on TV and radio. We converse with our friends and family using the Filipino language. I do believe our own language is actually overused.

I remember my own childhood days (I was born in the 70’s) when my favorite shows like Sesame Street, Looney Tunes, Voltes V, Daimos, Uncle Bob Lucky 7 Club, etc. were shown in English. We did not speak English in our family. In fact, the only other exposure we had in English was our time in school during classes, just about 5-6 hours a day. But I can tell you we understood what were being shown. And the fact that I knew and learned English well did not in any way affect my patriotism even when we lived in Canada. It actually gave us a better chance in adapting to Canadian culture.

Nowadays, most TV shows are either dubbed in Filipino or has a Filipino counterpart (like Batibot for Sesame Street, Tabing Ilog for Dawson’s Creek). I guess it all started when some no-good politicians in the past proposed a bill that Filipino language should be the medium of instruction, invoking nationalism and patriotism as their causes. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Like I said, Patriotism does not have anything to do with the knowledge or use of Filipino language. One may not know how to speak Filipino fluently but it does not necessarily mean he/she is not patriotic. Patriotism is love for, and devotion to, one’s country. Filipino language is just one symbol of our identity as a Filipino nation. .

Look at the result. A decline in English Proficiency among our people, even College graduates. Hence, outsourcing by North America to our country is limited. They mainly choose India, China and Russia. Philippines just come in fourth. My company, Bell Canada, the largest telecom company in Canada, has 3 Call Centers in India and zero (as in nada, nil, zip, NOTHING) here in the Philippines.

Whoa, wait … India, you say? Pinoys, wake up! I just mentioned India. Ooops, no offense meant to people from India (I have a lot of Indian friends). What I’m just saying is that if India can do it, why could not we? I mean, English has always been our second language since the Americans colonized us. Whatever happened to our knowledge and correct use of the language? We go back to those idiots who insisted that speaking Filipino is patriotism at its peak.

I have more to say on this subject but this can't be a novel-blog. So, to be continued.

"Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation." - Jane Addams (


I was recently hired by an international company to teach English online to professional Koreans. They have a branch here in Baguio and there’s an opportunity for me to work from home coz I have a high speed internet connection, and with most online and call center jobs, that’s all you need to have. I haven’t started yet, so I have no idea how to do it (it's a first for me which was what got me applying for the job coz I know it's a challenge). I started searching the net and I found out that English teaching jobs are abound, and Korean companies are even shouldering the travel and lodging expenses. However, the opportunities are mostly for citizens of USA, Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

Whoah! Hang on a second! Why would the Korean government make it exclusive only to the aforementioned countries when I’m pretty sure, citizens of other countries like the Philippines, are also capable, if not more than capable, of teaching English as well?

In any case, I decided to give it a try and send out my Resume, you know, just for the sake of challenging the idea. I mentioned that although I am not a citizen of those countries, I can very well assure them that I speak and understand the English language. I also mentioned my own personal experience with Canadians and Americans who, although speak the language fluently, do not necesarily speak it properly. They are fluent because English is their first language, but they are not particularly exceptional when it comes to its correct usage, pronunciation, grammar and even spelling. In one of my job stints in Canada (for a Test Marking), we had a very simple English exam on usage, grammar and spelling, and not all Canadians who applied (we were 8) got in. The ones that got in had Master’s degrees to their credit. My point is that being citizens of these English-speaking countries do not necessarily make them masters of the English language.

Anyways, after 2 days, I got a reply from the company, and I quote: “The unfortunate reality of the ESL market is that the governments of most countries require that individuals applying for teaching visas are citizens of English speaking countries. These are defined as countries where English is the first language and they are limited to the following: Canada, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with your proficiency in the English language but is simply the government regulation.”

Whew! I guess I can accept that logic. At least they're not saying that citizens of other countries are no better.

"The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself". ~Derek Walcott (

Perfect Day!

Sun’s up. It’s a little after 12. Make breakfast for myself. Leave the work for someone else. People say, they say that it’s just a phase. They tell me to act my age. Well, I am.


On this perfect day, nothing’s standing in my way.  
On this perfect day, nothing can go wrong. 
It’s a perfect day. Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon.  
I could stay forever as I am on this perfect day.

Sun’s down a little after 10. I pick up all my friends in my Mercedes Benz. 
Wake up. Don’t tell me it’s just a dream coz when I’m heading off you hear me say 
“Now don’t you try to rain on my …”(perfect day) 

Nothing’s standing in my way. On this perfect day, nothing can go wrong. 
It’s a perfect day. Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon. 
I could stay forever as I am on this perfect day. 

I’m in the race but I’ve already won, and getting there can be half the fun. 
So don’t stop me till I’m good and done. Don’t you try to rain on my perfect day.
It’s a perfect day. It’s a perfect day, nothing’s gonna bring me down.  
I could stay forever as I am.

Worth The Wait

SM Baguio’s ‘The Great 3-day Sale’ started today (Fri-Sun). I thought if we go today (Friday), it wont be too crowded, coz most people would still be at work. Well, I was sooo wrong! It’s already a madhouse by 12nn. Makes me wonder if all these people here are also unemployed like me? lol. You’d never believe our country is in a crisis, what with all the mad shopping that’s taking place right here, right now .(Btw, I'm writing this while we’re having lunch here at Cordillera Cafe. Not because I love the food here – they're good but just not too many choices – but because they have FREE wifi, which is sooo neat!. They’re 1 of 2 establishments that offer wifi in the mall, the other 1 being Starbucks, but what the heck can you eat in Starbucks?).

But why shop during events like this? Just a few reasons I can think of:

1. Prices really drop. A week ago I was scouting for a new pair of jeans (it's been a while since I wore jeans, and when I finally decided to wear one, I found out I don’t have any coz I've given them all away.) They range from P2000-P4000. Today, I got 1 for only P750 (not a Levi's, though. Stupid me coz I passed up a Levi’s sale in NY where women’s jeans were on sale from only $50. tsk tsk.)
-Disney shoes were offered at 50% discount. And as our princess (JM) was with me, she just had to have 1 herself. Girls! (rolling eyes)

2. A whole lot of freebies. Pinoys are suckers for giveaways. Well, at least I am.
-Globe telecom teamed up w/ SM and was offering free SIM card for each P200 single receipt purchase from the dept store. Well, I didn’t know it till I already paid for my purchases. I could have gotten a lot more SIM cards if I didn't pay all at once. lol
-There’s pick-a-prize when you buy P50 worth of chocolates.
-There were too many BOGO items on the Perfumery, Cosmetics and Entertainment (on CDs/DVDs) sections.
-From Supermarket, we got samples of Downy and Purex.
-Each participating outlet in the mall were giving away their own freebies and stuff.

3. Double the points on your reward cards, additional discounts (and interest-free) when you use credit cards from participating financial institutions like BPI, BDO among others.

4. Great prizes to win in raffle draws.
- SM (mallwide) has a raffle draw for each, $500 single receipt purchase from any of the participating outlets, giving away panasonic refrigerators and washing machines.
- SM Dept Store is holding its own local raffle draw every 2 hours. They are giving away home theatres and other neat prizes.

5. It’s fun to watch, and mingle with, the crowd. People are full of glee and it just gives you a happy wonderful feeling that you’re right there at that very moment. No worries, no problems. (That would come after --- when the credit card bills arrive. lol)

"Shopping is better than sex. If you're not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like." - Adrienne Gusoff (


Admit it or not, women in general find shopping therapeutical. And it does NOT have anything to do with one's financial standing. Regardless of how much $$ we have on our purse, our moods usually dictate when it's time for us, women, to hit the shops.

Thing is, the act of shopping itself gives us a kind of relief ... from stress, misery, or even just plain boredom. And if we're fortunate enough to get some really great finds, it gives us a deep sense of fulfillment... like we're ready to face another day, or conquer the world, or whatever!

Well, at least, that' s how I would personally describe shopping. Don't get me wrong. I'm no Paris Hilton or Tori Spelling (I wish I were, money-wise!). But I guess I'm not the only one who views shopping this way.

Thus, to stop myself from feeling so homesick that particular day, I had to focus on finding real bargains on shops along 5th Ave. Luckily for me, Banana Rep was offering 'additional 30% off to already reduced prices'. Wow! That's like going to an outlet store - but on 5th Ave!

As with every store that offers such huge savings, the real gems could be found in inconspicuous places (my expertise is based on years of bargain-hunting). I found two neat blouses on 2nd floor at the far end of the Ladies' Wear. They originally cost about $85 each (I know coz the s#$@*&^ cashier mistakenly took 30% off from the original price instead of the reduced price; I had to blatantly point it out coz I was sure I only had $40 in my bank account then ... lol).

But I got both blouses for only (hold your breath) .....


Now, doesn't that beat Dr. Phil's therapy? (wink!)
"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." - Bo Derek (