I Miss...

Category: By DuNi

I made a mistake.

I believe it was two years ago that I decided to distance myself with EPAFI, my very first community involvement activity.  EPAFI stands for
Environmental Protection of Asia Foundation, Inc., an non-profit, non governmental organization which helps protects the environment.  To make the story short, I decided to cut any involvement to the organization.  

It was a decision I didn't want to do, but there were certain factors that made me decide to quit.  The organization has taken a lot of my time that there were times I neglected some of my parental duties.  And also, financial problems have started to give me a lot of pressures that broke my wallet, figuratively.  I had a part time job during that time, and I was shuffling my schedules between the organization and my job.  When my earnings was not enough for me to have allowances during my volunteer days at EPAFI, I felt the relationship with the organization was doomed.  I loved working with EPAFI, but I need to seek greener pastures.  It was not enough to cover the daily expenses that even going to the EPAFI office was even very hard.  It was located during that time near the edge of Clark Economic Zone, almost just like going to a remote town with no way of going out after the sun sets. 

Even though Bruce, our chairman, was sometimes eccentric, visionary, meticulous, very much talkative, and was always very demanding in terms of work, most of the time it did not affect me much
that I admit I had enjoyed my days with them.  I got McDonalds for free at breakfast every travel to Zambales, ocasionally a pound of burger steak, roasted chicken, and your typical american meal – without rice.  Beach patrols at Pundakit, trips to Capones Lighthouse, dinners and sometimes breakfast at Subic Bay, and even having to drive from Dinalupihan to Angeles one moonless night without any license, hahaha.

Most important of all, I got firsthand experiences on community work, information dissemination about EPAFI and our pet
project, the Turtle Conservation Program.  I was one of the facilitators of the first technical seminar on turtle conservation in 2004.  We spent 10 days at the beach preparing the materials, I even had participated in one of DENR's research, although I hated how ugly I looked in the video.  And most of all, I had experiences with live marine turtles and even baby hatchlings.

Right now, I miss all the fun, I even misses James' red Acura Integra 91' traversing the uphill road going to Olongapo
in 4th gear having a blue plate that is immune to almost every traffic violations that can be easily created on the spot by traffic enforcers.  I miss Pundakit, Capones, the hatchery, the San Antonio town plaza, Times Square in Subic, Scuba Shack where you can find the best breakfast egg omelets, the bus terminal in Olongapo, Magsaysay drive, and even the Dinalupihan-Porac alternate road.

I miss the baby turtles that I used to hold during hatching season and I miss the sleep at the beach. 

I miss the good old times with EPAFI.

I wish I were still with the organization, for I wouldn't have missed this:

Star Strucked! How the showbiz industry is slowly killing Filipino Nationalism

Category: By DuNi

I went to the mall one afternoon to attend to some errands, going to an establishment to print some business cards and then buy some things needed at the house.  The mall was packed at the entrance, which was the usual sight on a lazy Sunday, but I was still surprised to see more people drawn towards the event center where they usually hold programs and mall happenings.  As I drew closer to the center of the mall where the event center is located, I could hear some loud shrieks coming from... who else but the crowd inside.  What the f*ck?  What is going on here?

I glanced at the stage and saw the culprit.  Richard Gutierrez.  The handsome boy most girls would love to drool, even just the mere mention of his name.

Now I understand.  This is a case where people are allowed a little gratification on their part, and yet, when we talk about nationalistic issues, the answer in unison would sound like “we don't care”.  It’s a pathetic excuse for a country that was the only one who has demonstrated to the whole world how to lead a successful bloodless revolution.  Instead, they would rather know more about their “beloved” superstar in glossy posters rather than stare at old, worn-out, and faded portraits of national heroes and their achievements.  Ask some of our young generations about Philippine history and they would cram for answers, and yet when you ask about Britney, Hanna, or the brothers named Jonas, they could probably tell you stories of those people's lives.  Ask about JPEPA, BJE, ZTE, and they would probably reply to you that they don't care because it is the responsibility of the government.  They sold their Filipino souls in exchanges for the PSP', DS's, N Series, Xboxes, Wii's, IXUS's and the iPods.

This is the generation wherein people do not stand straight at the sound of the National Anthem at the cinema's last full shows.  This is the period where we witnessed a celebrity singer forgetting four lines of the national anthem in front of the television cameras.  This is the time where the revised Panatang Makabayan wasn't even memorized at heart by students.  This is the era where “Pilipinas Kong Mahal” means everything has an expensive price, including standing up for your political beliefs.

Unfortunately, people would rather talk showbiz rather than get involved with politics.  And it is only here in the Philippines where the actors run for public office, and the politicians showboat in front of the camera.  As much as idealistic Filipinos would want to see a united country working towards progress with a sense of nationalism within each and everyone, most of these visionaries have long been gone to the graves.

So, where does the future of this country stands?  Probably it will gonna end up in the magazine covers and centerfolds...