On the Value of Books, Magazines, Etc.

On the Value of Books, Magazines, Etc.

By Apolinario Villalobos


I just cannot understand how some people can fail to appreciate the value of books, magazines, etc. just because they are two, three or more years old. For them such materials are already outdated, so they do not deserve appreciation. The fact is, these materials, especially books can be updated while retaining their historical usefulness, hence, never outdated. Books are updated based on the old editions, and this is necessary, as some authors are found to bungle or distort facts, especially, on political issues.


Even for scientific and technical books that are supposed to be updated regularly due to the fast turnover of new ideas and discoveries, there is still a need to maintain old editions so that basic information will always be on hand, in case of verification.


The notion that hard copies of books are no longer necessary with the onset of high technology is wrong. What the cyberspace keeps in its archives are actually digitized old books and their new editions if there are, for easy reference. Important issues here are the convenience and affordability of access, as not everybody can afford the installation of computers at home or the expense for browsing in internet cafes. On the other hand, there are the so-called e-books, but such are just “versions” of printed ones. In fact, some authors venture into e-book publication first, to sell their books on-line which is easier, but still print them later, using the earnings.


While before, the book was considered as a precious commodity for the acquisition of knowledge, today, book publication is viewed more as a very profitable business venture. This is the reason why the questionable Philippine educational system has allowed the “conversion” of text books into workbooks with the insertion of a portion on questions and answers at the end of each chapter. This practice of the educational institutions, including government agencies, in connivance with the unscrupulous publishers and agents has made many people shamefully rich on one end, while on the other end, the parents and students suffer. In their haste for printing, some books even come off the press with so many errors. The practice no longer made possible the passing on of old books to younger members of the family, as buying new sets with unanswered questions at the end of chapters, has become necessary and a requirement of the school.


People love trivia. But where do all the information come from? – old books and magazines! Those found in the internet are the upload, patiently done by website owners that earn through ads squeezed in available spaces of their site’s pages, or number of viewers they generate. This is how servers and website owners in the cyberspace earn. Netizens thought that they owe a lot to them thinking that they are the originators of the information, when all these website owners do is upload information. On the other hand, the servers only provide space for these websites from which they earn enormous income.


I have no quarrel with the servers and website owners, but my effort here is directed at how people have been misled by thinking that because of the computers, hard copies of reading materials have become obsolete or on a kindlier view, unreliable.


Before the onset of the internet, students had no choice but to diligently turn the pages of books to cull the needed information for their theses. They were forced to make summaries or condense sourced materials. But because of the advance technology, some of them just “copy” and “paste” pages from sources in the internet, make minimal revisions, by deleting sentences and paragraphs, then, collate them into a “thesis”. That is the ongoing sad reality.


When I did a job on the side editing theses of students from a reputable university, I discovered one time, that four drafts were identical word for word – with the same source in the internet. Two other students tried their best to be authentic by jumbling the sequence of paragraphs that they copied and collated. And there’s the story shared by a librarian about two similar theses, but with submission dates of more than ten years apart.  They were discovered later when a researcher took note of the similarity and called the librarian’s attention about it. And, there’s a classic story of how the whole content of a thesis reference was peeled off from its cover by a student researcher, and who inserted folded newspapers, afterwards, as replacement to make the reference material look intact when it was returned to the librarian who did not bother to check.


I am not saying that we fill whatever space we have at home and offices with books and magazines and hold on to them till time eternal.  What I am trying to share is the restraint that we should observe in disposing books and other reading materials that have outlived their immediate usefulness. What we do not need can be shared, instead of dumping them in garbage bins. What shocked me was when I found two copies of pocket edition of Bible in a box of junk, and worse, a copy of Koran in another junk shop! I found my rare copies of biography of Queen Victoria, “Pepe En Pilar”, and “Codigo Penal” printed in 1870, in a pile of junks sold on a sidewalk.


As a high school and college student in Notre Dame of Tacurong, a parochial school in the far southern province of Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao, I had a grand time poring over the pages of National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, and Encyclopedias in our library, all old editions, solicited by Oblate priests in the United States. Some of them were even dated as early as 1950’s, especially, the Reader’s Digest and National Geographic, but I still enjoyed reading them. We were lucky, as our bespectacled librarian, Leonardo Ninte and his student assistants, carefully, rebound the reading materials, to make them endure regular handling. A good number of shelves in the library were filled with donated books, with only very few important current editions purchased due to the scant fund of the school. Those “outdated” materials helped me a lot in developing my love for reading. Accordingly, if some people who are in charge of libraries today will nurture an attitude of abhorrence to old books, they will eventually deny others the opportunity to earn knowledge from books, be they old or new.


The fast advancing technology on information is proving its great help to mankind. But we should understand that technology in whatever form has limitations. The gadgets we see now as “repository” of information, still need to be fed with basic information by man as basis for their mechanical “intelligent” subsequent actions. Most importantly, what are fed to these machines come from the human brain. These invented and fabricated machines come about as forms of convenience that man seeks tirelessly for his comfort. Man started with barks, leaves, rocks and even pot shards in recording events long time ago. What resulted into modern day codices – books, should therefore be given due respect and importance for all their worth which is fathomless. To tip the balance in favor of these machines as regards the perception on the value of books, therefore, is not fair.


Ang Bumatikos sa Maling Ginawa ay Hindi Pagiging Abnormal

Ang Bumatikos sa Maling Ginawa ay Hindi

Pagiging Abnormal

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Hindi abnormal ang mga taong bumabatikos kay Pacquiao. Kung hindi normal ang pagbatikos kay Pacquiao dahil kinumpara niya sa hayop at mas masahol pa nga daw ang ginagawa ng mga bakla at tomboy, ibig sabihin ba ay abnormal ang decision ng NIKE na sipain siya?…abnormal ba ang mga sinasabi ngayon ng mga respetadong international at local sports analysts na mali ang ginawa niya na malinaw na isang “discrimination”? Abnormal ba ang ginagawa ng mga brodkaster at mga bloggers na tumatawag ng kanyang pansin dahil sa “karumal-dumal” at hindi “makatao” niyang ginawa? Para na rin niyang sinabi na dahil “straight” kuno siya, sigurado nang ligtas siya pagdating ng araw ng paghukom. Paanong mangyayari yon ganoong hindi siya naniniwalang NAKIKITA NG DIYOS ANG LAHAT, dahil tulad ni Binay, naniniwala din siyang HANGGA’T HINDI NAPAPATUNAYAN NG KORTE (NG TAO) ANG KASALANAN NG ISANG TAO, ITO AY  INOSENTE!….YAN ANG NAKAKAPANINDIG-BALAHIBONG PANANAW DAHIL HINDI NIYA INISIP NA ALAM NG DIYOS ANG LAHAT NG NANGYAYARI SA MUNDO!


Ang batayan niya sa kanyang mga sinasabi ay ang Bibliya at sa isang bahagi pa niyan ay nandoon ang mga batas PARA SA MGA ISRAELITA LANG NA IBINIGAY NG DIYOS NILA SA KANILA LANG. Nandoon ang mga batas na ginagamit ngayon ng ISIS. Nagbabasa ako ng Bibliya at namimik-ap ng mga ideya na maaari kong magamit, pero hindi ako panatiko at literal na nagpapatupad ng LAHAT  ng nababasa ko. Para sa akin ay tama lang na tandaan for information,  kung ano ang mga nabasa pero ang ipatupad ang mga hindi na applicable o angkop sa kasalukuyang panahon ay ang dapat ituring na ABNORMAL.


Halimbawa ng abnormal na pagpaniwala sa lahat ng sinasabi sa Bibliya ay ang sinabing, huwag mag-alala dahil Diyos na ang bahala sa iyo….na isang malaking kamalian. Dapat tayo ay magsikap pa rin, dahil kung hindi dapat mag-alala ang tao, magiging tamad na siya at aasa na lang sa biyaya. Sa Gitnang Silangan, may mga nagpapairal pa ng batas ng Bibliya na kailangang batuhin hanggang mamatay ang isang nagtaksil sa asawa, putulan ng ari ang isang nanggahasa, putulan ng kamay ang isang nagnakaw, etc.  Marami pang ganyang sinasabi sa Bibliya na literal na pinaniniwalaan ng mga “panatiko”. Sa Pilipinas ay maraming ganyang uri ng panatiko! Kaya mag -ingat tayo sa mga taong utak-ipis na mga ito! Ang masama lang ay baka makarating sila sa Kongreso at Senado….gagawa ng mga batas na “karumal-dumal”.


Walang kwestiyong magaling sa boksing si Pacquiao, subalit minsan na ring nakalog ang utak dahil sa sobrang self-confidence. Itong sobrang self-confidence na dinagdagan pa ng mga sulsol na gusto lang siyang lokohin ang humihila kay Pacquiao pababa.


Napatunayan na sa napakaraming pagkakataon ang pagiging bulag sa katotohanan ng mga taong nalasing sa tagumpay at karangalan kaya nag-akalang si SUPERMAN sila. Taliwas yan sa inakala kong okey si Pacquiao noon na padasal-dasal pa hawak ang rosaryong bigay ng nanay niya bago sumabak sa suntukan sa ibabaw ng ring. Bandang huli, nawala ang rosaryo, pumasok sa pulitika at nagpalit ng religion. Ano ang nangyari?….ang unti-unti niyang pagbagsak!


Ngayon, umabot sa sukdulan ang pagbago ng ugali ni Pacquiao dahil akala niya ay isa rin siyang “huwes” ng Diyos na dapat humusga sa ibang taong masahol pa daw sa hayop ang ginagawa! Ang ginagawa ni Pacquiao na paghuwes-huwesan ay panggagaya sa mga tunay na huwes noong panahon ng Bibliya, silang mga itinalaga ng Diyos dahil wala pang namumunong hari sa mga Israelita.


Upang makakita ng mga naghuhuwes-huwesan, pumunta lang sa tapat ng Quiapo church ngayong Holy Week at maraming makikita doon. Noong nakaraang taon, ang mga nakita ko ay mga may mahabang balbas at pilit na magmukhang si Hesus, may isa pang nakaupo sa “trono” , nakasuot ng puting damit upang magmukhang “diyos ama” at napapaligiran ng mga “disipulo” na ang isa ay umaarteng nagta-trance, pero nang sigawan ko ay “nagising”!


Marami na akong ginawang blog para kay Pacquiao, kasama na ang isang tula. Kahit nagsisimula pa lang siya sa boksing ay marami na siyang inaning tagumpay sa Pilipinas. Subalit sa kalaunan, nagmistula siyang gumuhong bantayog sa aking pananaw….ginagawa rin pala niya ang mga ginagawa ng mga nalalasing sa tagumpay.

Dialogue namin ng isang Makulit na “Kaibigan” tungkol sa Blogging…(ito ang sagot kung bakit may nagba-blog)

Dialogue namin ng isang Makulit na “Kaibigan”

Tungkol sa Blogging

(ito ang sagot kung bakit may mga nagba-blog)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang nakaganda sa ginagawa kong pagba-blog ay nai-exercise nito ang utak ko upang hindi agad ako maging ulyanin. Hindi ko kasi kaya ang mga larong “candy crusher” at crossword puzzle sa cellphone o computer. Ang mga disadvantages naman ay ang pagbalik ng sakit kong carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) na sanhi ng pamamanhid ng mga daliri ko, pagtaas ng blood pressure kung ang isinusulat ko ay tungkol sa pulitika, at ang pag-isipan akong kumikita sa mga sinusulat ko dahil akala ng iba ay bayaran ako ng ilang pulitiko na may gustong siraing kapwa pulitiko.


Ang sumusunod ay dialogue namin ng isang makulit na ay maurirat pa, na akala ko ay isang matalinong “kaibigan”. Naganap ang pag-uusap namin sa kapihan ng isang mall:


Makulit:   Pare, balita ko namumutiktik na ang internet sa blog mo.  Nakakainggit ka.


Ako:   Eh, di magsulat ka rin.


Makulit:   Hindi ko kaya, eh. At alam mo namang hindi ako nag-iinternet o nagpi-facebook. Kaya yon ngang sinasabing pagbukas man lang ng computer sa bahay ay hindi ko alam. Mga anak ko lang ang gumagamit noon. Si Misis nga eh, galit din sa computer. (Naalala kong binanggit nga niya ito noon, kaya mabuti na lang din dahil kung may facebook siya, hindi ko ito maiba-blog).


Ako:   Eh, di huwag ka na lang maiinggit sa akin dahil marami ka namang ginagawang pinagkikitaan. Sobrang yaman mo na nga, eh. Sana ay marami ka pang kitain. Pasalamat ka sa Diyos dahil sa grasya.


Makulit:   (medyo napangiwi, pagkarinig ng “Diyos”) Siyanga pala, pare, ang sabi nila pinagkikitaan din ang pag-blog. Yong iba alam kong binabayaran upang manira ng ibang tao. (Muntik na akong mabilaukan ng kape sa huling sinabi niya, dahil kulang na lang ay sabihin niyang bayaran ako.)


Ako:   Yong iba siguro. Sa kaso ko naman, wala akong pinipili dahil basta may mali, pinupuna ko at hindi paninira yon dahil ang ang sini-share ko ay alam na rin naman ng iba, pero sinasarili lang nila. Hindi ko naman kayang ipunin sa dibdib ang mga dapat kong i-share dahil baka sumabog ako sa sobrang himutok.


Makulit:   Paano ang gastos mo sa blogging?


Ako:   Mga oras lang yon na nagamit naman sa tama. At least hindi ako basta nakatunganga lang o nangungulit. (Paramdam ang huli kong sinabi upang sana ay tumigil na siya, pero tuloy pa rin.)


Makulit:   May banta ka na ba sa buhay?


Ako:   Secret. Pero mas malaking banta sa buhay ko ang pagtaas ng blood pressure dahil sa mga taong walang alam gawin kundi mangulit sa akin kaya naiinis ako. (Hindi pa rin niya naramdaman ang pagtumbok na ginawa ko dahil tuloy pa rin siya sa pangungulit.)


Makulit:   I-share mo naman yong tungkol sa mga project mo sa mga iskwater.


Ako:   Huwag na. Pero kung magdo-donate ka o tutulong sa pagpapa-aral ng mga bata, marami kang malalaman.


Makulit:   (Tumahimik siya sandali nang marinig ang mga salitang “donate” at “tulong”). Good luck na lang sa mga project mo, pare.


Ako:   (Nakakita ako ng pagkakataong mangulit naman sa kanya.) Hindi pare. Palagay ko bilang kababayang Pilipino dapat tumulong ka rin sa kapwa mo, mabawasan man lang ang “dirty money” mo. (Mabuti na lang hindi naintindihan kung ano ang ibig kong sabihin sa “dirty money”, dahil alam kong may mga illegal siyang transaction kaya biglang yumaman. Akala niya sa “dirty money” ay okey dahil siya ay tinawag ko noong “filthy rich” na okey lang ang ibig sabihin, ganoong sa Pilipino, ito ay katumbas ng “maruming mayaman”.)


Makulit:   Next time na lang pare, at good luck uli sa mga ginagawa mo sa mga iskwater. Siyanga pala, si Misis nasa supermarket sa ibaba, pupuntahan ko baka tapos na siyang mamili. Usap na lang tayo uli. (Dali-daling siyang tumayo.)


Ako:   Teka pare, ano nga pala ang itatanong mo?


Makulit:   Text ko na lang sa iyo.


Nagpasalamat ako sa huling pag-uusap namin ng “kaibigan” ko dahil nabisto kong allergic pala siya sa salitang “donate” o tulong, kaya sa susunod, sa simula pa lang ng usapan namin ay pariringgan ko na siya ng mga ganoong salita.


Paalala lang sa makakabasa na ang blogging ay hindi palaging pinagkikitaan. Ito ay sakripisyo sa panig ng nagba-blog lalo na kung ang sinusulat niya ay tungkol sa maling nagaganap sa paligid, kaya hindi dapat pag-isipan na ang taong maraming blogs ay marami ding pera. Ang mga nagbaba-blog ay mahilig lang talagang makibahagi ng kanilang saloobin sa pamamagitan ng pagsusulat ng sanaysay, kuwento o tula. Huwag ding akalaing mayabang ang mga bloggers, dahil kung tutuusin, namemeligro pa nga ang kanilang buhay lalo na kung tungkol sa pulitika ang kanilang sinusulat. Pero bilang dagdag-kaalaman, kumikita lamang ang mga blogger kung papasukan ng advertisements ang kanilang sites, na kalimitan ay tungkol sa fashion, shopping, cooking, travel , sports, at makabagong gadgets. Ang mga blogs ko ay hindi tungkol sa mga nabanggit na paksa.


Ang Laptop Kong Bungi…ka-partner ko sa pagbatikos at pagpuri

Ang Laptop Kong Bungi

…ka-partner ko sa pagbatikos at pagpuri

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Wala siyang teklado para sa letrang “M” subalit subok ang tibay dahil kahit bahayan ng langgam ang mga kalamnan ay hindi sumusurender maski pa maghapong gamitin. Ilang taon din siyang nagtiis sa pagtipa ko sa teklado ng kanyang mga letra at simbolo, yon nga lang, pagdating sa bunging bahagi para sa letrang “M” ay kailangang maingat ang aking pagpindot. Malaki ang utang na loob ko sa laptop na ito dahil lahat ng mga saloobin ko ay kinakaya niyang ipunin…i-absorb, kaya siguro kung mayroon lang siyang bituka baka palagi siyang nagsusuka, o di kaya kung may puso, ay matagal na siyang na-heart attack. Kahit halos mamuwalan na siya sa mga pinapakain kong nakakasuka at nakaka-heart attack na mga isyu, ay hindi siya nanghihina man lang.


Ang problema lang ay ang colonial niyang mentality dahil may mga salitang Pilipino na pinagpipilitan niyang baybayin sa Ingles kaya kailangan kong basahin nang paulit-ulit ang mga naisulat niya upang ang “namin” ay hindi maging “naming”, o di kaya ang “hindi maging” ay hindi maging “hind imaging”, ang “letra” ay hindi maging “letre”, at marami pang ibang salitang Pilipino na tinatarantado niya….sutil kasi.


Minsan ko na rin siyang nadunggol dahil sa sobrang antok nang bumagsak ang noo ko sa kanya, subalit hindi siya nagreklamo kahit sa pamamagitan ng pag-kuryente man lang sa akin. Nalaman kong nasaktan ko siya nang maramdaman ko sa aking pisngi ang kanyang pag-overheat makalipas ang dalawang oras ng pagkakatulog. Literally, I slept on my laptop! Siguro kung nakakatawa lang ang butiki ay hinalakhakan na ako dahil sa hindi kalayuan ay may nakita akong dalawa na halos hindi gumagalaw dahil siguro nagulat, pero nagpulasan nang tiningnan ko sila ng masama.


Hindi mitsa ng buhay ko ang aking mahal na laptop dahil old-fashion siya, luma na kasi, kaya kahit bitbitin ko siyang hubad, ibig sabihin ay hindi nakalagay sa bag, walang magkaka-interes. Parang babae rin na dahil naitatago ng pagka-old fashion ang kanyang ganda, siya ay malayo sa posibilidad na magahasa! Kaya ang mga babae ay hindi dapat magpakita ng motibo o pag-anyaya upang magahasa…magpaka-simple o magpaka-old fashion din kahit minsan….maliban na lang ang mga desperada!


Para ring tao ang aking laptop na nag-undergo ng operasyon at pagtapal dahil marami na rin siyang diperensiya maliban sa pagkabungi. Ang dating ayaw pumermanenteng pagtayo ng screen kaya nilalagyan ko pa ng suporta sa likod, ay naremedyuhan ng isang doktor ng mga laptop – may ginalaw sa kasu-kasuan o joints nito kaya nakakatayo na ngayon nang tiyeso. Ang dating sugat sa gilid dahil nabasag ay natapalan na rin ng karton kaya ngayon ay buo na siya – good as new!


Ang kuwento ng laptop ko ay maihahalintulad din sa kuwento ng alagang hayop na pinagkakautangan dapat ng loob ng nag-aalaga dahil sa dulot nilang therapeutic relief, o di kaya ay iba pang bagay na napakinabangan para sa araw-araw na pamumuhay. May utang na loob tayo sa kanila. Hindi sila dapat binabale-wala nang basta-basta pagkatapos pagsawaan o kapag nagkaroon ng bago, lalo na ngayong pasko.


Hindi din dapat ganyan ang mag-asawa na pagkalipas ng maraming taon ay basta na lang makaramdam ng pagkasawa sa isa’t isa, kaya nagkakanya-kanya na sa pagrampa upang maghanap ng ibang mapagparausan. O di kaya ay ibang mga anak na pagkatapos iluwal ng ina at palakihin ng ama ay walang pakundangan kung sila ay balewalain o ikahiya sa ibang tao dahil walang pinag-aralan o di kaya ay hindi maganda o guwapo tulad ng mga magulang ng mga kaibigan nila, o di kaya ay amoy pawis dahil sa pagtinda sa palengke, hindi tulad ng magulang ng classmate nila na nagtatrabaho sa aircon na opisina.


Pairalin natin ang utang na loob. Magbago tayo….bilang pasalubong sa bagong taong 2016!

laptop kong bungi




An Encounter with a Quotation Enthusiast

An Encounter with a Quotation Enthusiast

By Apolinario Villalobos


I really do not know what to call the guy I met through another friend. He loves to quote other people and I admire his memory for he can even quote historical personages, with their sayings that I must admit are strange to me. We exchanged notes on blog subjects as he is also a blogger in his own right, though constrained by his busy schedule in their company as Operations Director. Practically, our styles do not have even a single similarity. While his blogs are full of “according to”, “as…..says”, or quotation marks, mine are simply stated and based on my own experience. However, we found out that two of our blogs tackled similar subjects.


We are both fond of history and biography. While I take note and absorb the essence of what I have read and tend to forget about the books later because of my short memory, he patiently takes note of statements of personages. While I am my own self in the course of our banter, his obsession shows no end about the personalities as he interjected quoted statements in our conversation which impressed me a lot. His memory is admirable.


He proudly told me about the “Tadhana…the story of the Filipino People”, supposedly written by Ferdinand Marcos. He also told me about the ancient books written by Greek philosophers, reprinted copies of which he found in a famous library in the United States. He even mentioned about Kahlil Gibran, and many more. I was humbled because although, I have read many books, I honestly could not recall their titles and authors, not even the history books that I was required to read as a high school and college student. I practically forgot about them.


I was dazed by the quotations that he impressed on me. All I could contribute was the “Golden Rule”, the author of which I do not even know. Throughout our conversation, I was further humbled with my AB course, earned from a then, struggling parochial school, when he bragged about his Master’s Degree earned from a university in the United States. But he slipped when he confirmed the fact that some students really copy/paste paragraphs from research materials. He admitted that he committed the same when he was in college. To further our conversation, I told him that I blogged about it a year ago, under the title “Plagiarism” a subject which also included plagiarized photographs and paintings.


My encounter with the guy, made me ask the question on why some people have to quote others, even on simple subjects such as love, kindness loyalty, life, corruption, etc. when all they need to do is bring out their own experience or look around them for the needed input. Why go to the pain, for instance, of quoting Mother Theresa or the new pope about compassion, love and charity when they can write about it based on the relationships that prevail among the members of their family or community? I cannot understand why they have to quote famous names when they write about corruption when all they need to do is open their eyes to what are happening around them, and quote philanthropists when they write about poverty and other deprivations in life, when all they need to do is throw a glance at families living on sidewalks and whose sustenance come from garbage dumps.


However, if these “quoters” cannot help it, they should also try to absorb what they quote and put them into practice. I presume that the reason the quotes caught their attention is that they are relevant, hence, worth remembering. But if they persist on just mumbling them to impress others, they become hollow “amplifier” of others. They cease to act as intelligent creatures who are supposed to use to the fullest what God gave them, by bringing out what are in their own mind, although, in most probability may be related to those of others.


Also, I am not saying that quoting others is wrong. What I am trying to imply is that, it should be done only when necessary, especially, when one is trying his best to emphasize his point, as quotes, especially, of reputable historical personages can help in the confirmation of ideas being presented.

To Blog and Risk Losing Life, Friends and Kinsfolks or Not to Blog and Remain Nice to All…and Stay Alive

To Blog and Risk Losing Life, Friends and Kinsfolks

Or Not to Blog and Remain Nice to All…and Stay Alive

By Apolinario Villalobos

The difference between “blogging” and “contributing” is that while the former gets published in the web of the information technology, the latter gets printed on papers. However, their common denominator is the “purpose” which is to “share”…a risky endeavor, especially, if what are shared concern politics, corruption, and religion. The risk is on losing one’s life, kinsfolks, and longtime friends.

In our province, Marlene Garcia Esperat, a courageous mediaperson lost her life when she exposed anomalous transactions in a government agency. The obviously hired killer had the gall to enter her house and pumped bullets into her head, to make sure that she was disabled for life. That’s one risk, made real – losing one’s life. Similar stories get splashed on pages of tabloids and broadsheets that many people do not take seriously, as they are perceived to be just ordinary incidents akin to road accidents and apprehension of drug pushers.

Bloggers cannot limit themselves with shares about fashion, literary, foods, travel, photography, etc. Sometimes they have to touch on controversial matters, such as politics that include corruption, and religion.  Blogs on these topics may affect the bloggers’ sensitive relatives and friends. Bloggers, therefore, wonder why, all of a sudden, some relatives and friends shy away from them. Some find themselves ignored by friends and buddies since grade school, as well as beloved relatives.

This unfortunate reality is happening to all bloggers. I found this out when I attended a small gathering of bloggers, during which blogging updates were passed around. Two bloggers shared that their sites were hacked, and another started getting threats via facebook messages when he uploaded blogs shared from other sites, about a controversial politician from their province in the north. Expectedly, the sender uses a fictitious personality.

Bloggers are just human instruments of the information technology, so that what they do should not be taken against them. A lot of sacrifice is made, aside from exhaustive effort in coming up with blogs, not to mention the precious time spent and money saved from scrimping on other necessities. Some bloggers earn, but most do not…as they bring out ideas, mainly due to their ardent love for writing and sharing.

The Mental Exercise in the Cyberspace also Benefits the Body as a whole

The Mental Exercise in the Cyberspace

also Benefits the Body as a Whole

By Apolinario Villalobos

The developers of blog sites such as blogspot, wordpress,Tumbler, facebook, etc., must have known the fact that all men have related ideas but some just beat the rest in posting them, hence, the buttons for the “like” and “comment”. If the viewer of a blog for instance, conforms to it because he has the same idea, he clicks the “like”, and if he feels like bringing out his own, he clicks the “comment” and proceeds to enhance the blog. That is the reason why posted or blogged materials are called “shares”.

Bloggers tickle the mind of viewers so that they will let go of what they harbor deep within the recesses of their brain. This makes the bloggers as initiators of discussions in forums of various blog sites. Some viewers may not even be aware about their ideas until they have come across blogs related to theirs. The only problem in this healthy exercise, are the “bashers” who muddle the discussion by interjecting unnecessary and irritating remarks. These are the viewers who try to join the intellectual intercourse, but could not honestly accept their limitation that gives them a feeling of inadequacy. What the “bashers” should do is absorb, instead, what are shared by bloggers and viewers to enhance their bit of knowledge on what are being discussed.  This opportunity should be seized by the “bashers” to enhance what teeny weeny bit of information they may have in their brain.

A simple vintage photo about happy school days posted on the facebook is enough to agitate the memory of the viewer while identifying those giving their best pose, which means that he is “exercising” his brain. A simple quote about the Virgin Mary or Jesus or the Pope or Mother Theresa, is enough to make a viewer think of something that can be correlated to it – another mental exercise. And, a long dissertation on politics, history, or science can provoke a viewer to think deeper for a better analysis of what is being shared – still another exercise, though, a heavy one.

The internet has given us a cheap opportunity to keep us mentally fit and healthy. All we need to do is just browse through the sites, absorb what we need, and share what we got. The brain is just like the body that needs an exercise, otherwise, if left idle, it will just be wasted and turn into a worthless gray matter that crams the head.

What is nice about the various cyberspace forums is the opportunity to execute what are being shared. Some viewers have learned how to cook through internet browsing. Still others somehow learned of their country’s history though shared trivia. Viewers whose farthest venture away from home is not more than fifty kilometers have learned about Africa through posted photos and travelogues. On my part, I must admit that through the cyberspace, I was able to pick up information about the traditional medicinal herbs that I need to improve my health. In other words, the mental intercourse in the cyberspace also benefits not only the mind, but the whole physical being of the viewer, as well.

Finally, the “addicts” of the games such as “candy crush”, solitaire, etc., as well as, facebook, need not be bashful about them, because they also provide some kind of mental exercise in another form. They are the mental equivalent of the “twirking” and zumba physical exercises that the body needs for toning. So the next time you tell your friends about the point you have earned in the nerve-wrecking and mentally taxing “candy crush”, be proud of it. You should also be proud and feel emotionally-boosted, after you have successfully located your childhood friends and classmates through facebook…so, now you can look forward to a grand and jovial reunion!

Clarifications…about my blogs

…about my blogs
By Apolinario Villalobos

Lest I be misunderstood, I would like to clarify that-

I am not against the Chinese people and their culture when I wrote the blogs about the West Philippine Sea. I am against their leaders who engineered the reclamation projects in that particular body of water much to the disadvantage of the Philippines and neighboring Asian nations….and, though belatedly realized by hypocrite international community, even the far-flung nations that use the passage in plying their maritime trade.

I am not against politics. I am against the pea-minded and abusive politicians and government officials who see glitter of gold in every project that they undertake for the Filipino people.

I am not against religion. I am against the arrogance and the unbecoming corruption of its church heads, ministers, priests, leaders, who invoke God and Christ as they release mouthfuls of Godly verses while competing with each other to win members, the more, the better for the fund to be raised.

I am not against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). I am against the people who structured the proposal with obvious betrayal of trust given to them by the Filipinos, especially, those from Mindanao who have more right in aspiring for lasting peace.

I am not against the Aquino family. I am against the late couple Ninoy and former President Cory’s son, President Pnoy’s cuddling of officials with questionable performance in his administration. I am against the president for not fulfilling his promise to listen to the Filipino people, his “bosses”. I am against his reactionary attitude – waiting for something disastrous to happen before doing something, such as not filling up vacancies in the Cabinets. To date, the COMELEC has no Chairman, yet….the PNP is without a Chief….etc.

I am not against the Philippine government. I am against the corrupt people who run it. I am against the graft-minded officials who manipulate the system for their advantage.

I am not against success of people who rose from “rags to riches”. I am against the successful ones who have no satisfaction in gaining wealth to the point of exploiting others. These are the professionals who make use of their learned craft in twisting truths.

I am not against the high technology. I am against the people who abuse its purpose.

I am not against the people who want to taste comfort in life. I am against their scheme at the disadvantage of their fellowmen in their desire to earn money at all cost.

I am not against life, otherwise, I will be contradicting Him….an ultimate mistake that I can do!

Ang Pagsi-share ng mga Ideya sa Iba…sa pamamagitan ng blogging

Ang Pagsi-share ng mga Ideya sa Iba
…sa pamamagitan ng blogging
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Marami na ang nagtanong kung saan daw ako kumukuha ng mga ideya upang i-develop at mai-share sa iba sa pamamagitan ng blogging. Ang sagot ko ay marami akong pinagkukunan, tulad ng mga nabibitawang salita ng kausap ko, mga nakikita ko sa paligid – bagay man ito o pangyayari, mga napapanaginipan ko, mga nakaka-inspire na ginagawa ng ibang tao, Bibliya, at lalo na diksiyonaryo kung saan ay maraming salita na relevant para sa isang paksa.

Alam kong kaya rin ng iba ang ginagawa ko, pero sa sarili nilang style. Ang problema lang ay takot silang maglabas at baka sila ma-criticize, dahil baka daw mali ang English at Tagalog, ang paglagay ng kudlit, ng tuldok, etc. Hindi dapat ganoon ang attitude. Ganoon pa man, marami pa rin akong nadidiskubre na magaling, gamit ang kanilang style tulad ng isang taga-UP na follower ko sa isang site. Akala ko ay estudyante dahil boyish ang mukha, pero yon pala ay may Doctor’s degree! Akala ko pa ay nagri-review lang ng mga librong binibenta niya sa internet, yon pala ay book writer na kinapapalooban ng mga isinulat niyang blogs sa sarili niyang style – mga ilang linya na nakakatawa pero may malalim na mensahe between the lines….yon lang! Inipon niya upang maging libro.

Marami nang Pilipino ang hindi gumagamit ng “diretsong” Tagalog, maski nga sarili nilang salita sa probinsiya. Ang Tagalog ay may halo nang mga English na salita, inispel lang sa Tagalog. Ang Bisaya ay may mga Tagalog na ring salita, pati na ang ibang dialects. Ganoon na kayaman ang ating wika at mga regional dialects kaya ang Pambansang Wika ay tinawag na ring Filipino, subalit hindi pa rin maiwasang matawag sa dati na “Pilipino”.

Ang English ay ganoon na rin…marami na itong hybrid na mga salitang modern kung ituring, lalo na kung mga Pilipino ang gumamit. Halimbawa ay ang hindi na pag-conjugate sa ibang salitang verb. Tulad ng salitang “invite”….sa halip na sabihing, “thank you for the invitation”, ay sinasabi nang “thank you for the invite”. Kung dati, hindi pwedeng umpisahan ang sentence ng “and”, ngayon ay pwede na. Kung minsan sa halip na gumamit ako ng “at”, ang ginagamit ko ay tatlong tuldok na magkakasunod. Inuumpisahan ko rin kung minsan ang sentence ng tatlong tuldok upang palabasing dramatic at bitin ang sentence.

Pero, kung hindi talaga maiiwasan ang pagkakamali ng spelling, pwedeng idahilan na lang ang palyadong keyboard ng computer, lalo na kung nagsusulat sa Tagalog dahil pinipilit ng computer na ispelingin ang ibang salitang Tagalog sa English kaya dinudugtungan nito ng mga letra. Kaya kung minsan sa pagmamadali ko ay nakakaligtaan ko tuloy na balikan upang ayusin ang mga salitang dinugtungan ng computer ng iba pang letra upang mabasa sa paraang English!

Huwag ikahiya ang sariling style sa pagsulat. Yong isang kaibigan kong nasa Amerika, kung mag-blog, dire-diretso, kung baga sa driver ay pag-jingle lang ang pahinga. Pero marami ang nag-aapreciate dahil kung sa isang bulsa ay namimintog sa laman ang mga bina-blog niya. Maingat din siya sa mga ginagamit na salita dahil refined ang kanyang pagkatao. Kung minsan pa nga ay cellphone lang ang gamit niya sa pag-blog pero dahil sa tiyaga ay nairaraos niya ang kanyang passion na mag-share. Ayaw lang niyang ipabanggit ang pangalan niyang “Ding”, kaya nga ingat na ingat ako at baka magalit siya sa akin!….oooppppps!

Ang mga blogger ay nagtutulungan sa isa’t isa sa pamamagitan ng “sharing” o paglilipat ng blogs ng iba sa sarili nilang site. Kaya huwag isiping ito ay pangongopya o plagiarism. Ang paghanap ng makabuluhang blog upang maipamahagi ay binabatay sa isip o ideya ng nagsi-share. Dahil gusto ng nag-share ang nai-share niyang blog, para na rin niyang ideya ito – naunahan lang siya ng iba. Kaya nga may expression na, “…ah, oo nga ano!”. Para bang binuhay lang ng nai-share niyang blog ang “natutulog” na ideya sa utak niya. Ganoon lang…kaya sa mga nagsi-share, ituloy nyo lang!

Ang pagla-like ng blog ay tanda ng pakiki-ayon kaya lumalabas na ang nag-like ay siya na ring gumawa ng blog, lalo na ang nag-comment upang ma-enhance o ma-improve ang blog. Ibig sabihin may mga ideyang hindi nailabas ng blogger na nasa isip ng commentor…na lalong ikinaganda ng blog!

Kung hindi naman mahilig magsulat, pwede na ring i-share ang mga nilulutong pagkain upang maturuan ang viewers na walang alam gawin kundi kumain, at upang hindi alipustahin ng mga mister na naghahanap ng mga pagkaing lutong-bahay. Maganda ring i-share ang mga litrato ng masasayang yugto ng buhay – nakaraan man o kasalukuyan lalo na ng pamilya, upang ipaalam sa iba na mahalaga sa buhay natin ang magpakita ng pagkakuntento sa ibinigay sa atin ng Diyos.

Ang ibang bloggers ay nagsi-share ng mga kaalaman sa kalusugan, pagkain, mga bakasyunan, hotel, at marami pang iba tungkol sa buhay ng tao. Ano pa nga ba at dahil abot-kamay na natin ang isang instrumento upang makatulong sa kapwa, dapat ay huwag nang palampasin pa ito.

Ang Pagsusulat ay parang Pagluluto

Ang Pagsusulat ay parang Pagluluto
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Walang pinag-iba ang pagsusulat kung ihambing sa pagluluto. Kung sa pagsusulat ay gumagamit ng naangkop na mga kataga upang gumanda ang isinusulat, ganoon din sa pagluluto na gumagamit ng mga angkop na sangkap upang sumarap ang pagkaing niluluto.

Ang ibang isinusulat ay may pinaglalaanang partikular na grupo ng magbabasa tulad ng mga matured na tao, kaya hindi pwede sa mga bata. Ang mga niluluto ay ganoon din, dahil may mga pagkaing hindi pwede sa may sakit na diabetes, o mataas ang cholesterol, at iba pa.

Kailangang bukal sa loob ng sumusulat ang ginagawa niya upang mabasa sa mga linya ang layunin niyang makapagdulot ng kasiyahan. Ang pagluto ay ganoon din, dahil kailangang malasahan sa bawa’t subo ang sarap na sanhi ng isang seryosong pagluto – hindi minadali.

Ang mga manunulat ay may istilong sinusunod na dapat ay tamang-tama lang ang dating – walang yabang kaya hindi nagpipilit na parang sobra na ang kaalaman, dahil kapag nasobrahan, hindi pa man tapos basahin ang unang paragraph, maasiwa na ang nagbabasa. Sa pagluluto naman, may mga spices na nagpapasarap sa niluluto, yong iba ay simpleng betsin lang, “magic sarap”, toyo, patis o asin…lahat sila pampasarap. Subali’t kung masobrahan ng ano man sa mga nabanggit, ang niluluto ay nagiging maalat o mapakla o sobrang maanghang. Kaya sa unang tikim pa lang ng pagkain, dapat masarap na sa panlasa.

Sa pagsusulat, titulo pa lang ay dapat may hatak na ang dating. Dapat sa pagbasa pa lang nito ay maging curious na ang magbabasa upang magpatuloy siya. Ganoon din sa pagkaing niluto na kung ilatag ay dapat may nakakaakit na “presentation”, na sa unang tingin pa lang ay magpapalaway na sa kakain. Dapat maging curious ang kakain kung masarap ang inihain dahil sa ganda ng presentation nito.

Sa mga nabanggit, isang bagay ang mahalaga – tama lang ang timpla. Ganyan din dapat ang buhay natin….dapat nababalanse ang lahat na nangyayari. Huwag maging “patay” o walang kabuhay-buhay sa mga ginagawa, o di kaya ay “OA” o trying hard na nagtataboy ng mga kaibigan.