What I Left Behind To My Students

                By Vic Odarve

As would be the last classroom lecture before the class ends for the second semester, I reminded them to take a promissory note from the College Dean should there will be a problem on a permit to take the final exam. And further, by doing so since they are graduating, special exams can be avoided which may bring complication in their coming graduation.

20170925_184446

Engineering Students-Philippines

But after two days from the final examination, two students failed to take the exam. “I was not feeling well, sir”, one student told me. Then the other one informed me that he failed to pay his tuition obligation for the school and that the Dean did not approve his request.

When I heard these, my world crumbled like a black curtain fell, destroying the timetable already laid up for smooth planning on their graduation and the submission of grades. This means another time for exam preparation, correction, as well as grades computation, to meet the deadline on all requirements for graduating students. It is additional work and another life stressors!

blog-study-math

My Engineering Students-African University

I pondered for a moment. I believed that they were fighting a battle common for the graduating students…financial. The problem seemed to flash back and forth in my mind recalling the memories of my college days. I had been experiencing such a situation before that nearly failed me to march during the graduation day. And perhaps, these two students had the same problem. But am not certain!

The helplessness and uncertainty of the situation whether these two students could graduate or not keep on pressing in my mind. I already had deep attachments with these students for having with them since in their freshmen years. And they were my best performers in the classroom.

    Classroom lecture

 And upon my advice, with the presence of their parents, we met the College Dean and together made a promissory note with the Registrar. Finally, it worked!

Sometimes life is a pain but there are situations that taught us the determination to move forward when facing adversity. The students tried to work hard that seemed solutions were out of sight.

For us, it was a chance to show a view of humanity that a little help meant a great thing for those in need. Sometimes we have to understand the unique challenges each of us faces so that we could treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, and care.

Today when I see students marching on their graduation day, I always remember these two students.

Advertisements

Elect the Best Candidates: The Choice is Ours

   By Vic Odarve

Since a number of candidates with various intentions wants to hold a public office in a democratic society, elections have been the usual mechanism by which a population chooses representatives. Elections give people an opportunity to have their say, invoke the symbols of nationalism or patriotism, and more, elections break the monotony of our daily life with government officials running our economy with a downward trend which the country suffers. As always is, the choice to elect public officials to hold a public office is yours and is irrevocable.

Participating in the election process really invokes the symbols of nationalism or patriotism. It gives us satisfaction in our need to feel a sense of belonging to our country…the place of our birth. Hence, the events during election time that include rallies, banners, posters, and television coverage, suggest the importance of our participation. Sharing a post like the one shown below educates fellow voters. The Philippines is an electoral democracy, but sometimes corruption and a lack of transparency continue to undermine democratic development. Elections have historically been marred by fraud, intimidation, and political violence. Vote-buying and vote-selling obstruct the democratic process, yet they remain pervasive in some parts of our country. Taking part to monitor a clean and honest election is one of our nationalistic roles.

This is the time to give people an opportunity to have their say. The graph shown above showed Duterte garnered +66 satisfactory rating for the first quarter of 2019 as compared with the previous presidents. His anti-corruption and drugs campaign works. For the old politicians, we can confirm if our last vote is worth what we are looking for public servants. Whatever other reasons voters may have in their minds, participation in the upcoming election serves to reinforce our self-esteem and self-respect. For the neophytes in politics, voters have their time to dig deeper if the candidates are best applicants in the government position. He could not be the perfect candidate—but maybe the best among them. At least, the voters can choose better candidates for the public servants.

By arousing emotions and working toward a collective objective on improving our country by electing good performing government officials, it gives us a chance to replace below par performers in our governance platform. By helping our voters through education, we can select candidates that could not be bought and fooled by the big businesses, crooked government officials, and oligarchs. Graft and corruption, tax evaders, and drug lords have been the perennial problems in this country. These are the main culprits why our economy is on a downward trend. One thing is certain …let others also know that they must vote according to their conscience, even if they do accept money.

Choosing the best candidate can be a challenging job and when none of them seem to be a perfect fit for the public position, always vote for people who will best represent and uphold biblical values. Candidates, which are usually groomed and supported by media giants and rich and powerful oligarchs, must be investigated if they have records on graft and corruption. If they are one of them, crush them out in your list.  Do not vote them even if they are endorsed by the President. Do not sell your votes to save our country! Believe in God supernatural touch. The Bible says,

“When we humble ourselves and pray…He will heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14)!

The choice to select candidates is ours and is irrevocable when the dust of all our cities incarnadines the sunsets of the world.

Hard Work Brings Profit

By Vic Odarve

I placed all the examination papers in my table preparing for a week-long marking or checks for the final grade. I know it would be a long way to work it out. As usual, I looked first to my favorite students to check their performances and see to it if they got correct answers on the difficult problems. In engineering courses, problems are usually a part of the exams.

Sometimes a university life is a pain

It is the joy of the teachers that the majority of the students will pass the exam, and of course, checking first among the class best performers serves as the jumpstart of the undertaking to lift up your day.

To my surprise, the script of the best class performers was not in the bundled answer sheets. Just a day before I completed the work, I called the attention of the Department dean if any information about this student on why she failed to take the final exam. To my dismay, the dean informed me that the student failed to secure the required exam permit. She failed to settle her outstanding school fees obligation.

As the grade submission drew nearer, I proceeded to compute the class grade following the established guidelines. I am no longer interested to see her as the top performers of the class. Like in a game of chess, trying to salvage a draw from a difficult position is itself a win. True, as I encoded her overall final period performance without final exams, she still passed with a barely passing grade of 75%. Somewhat a miracle! Her admirable performance during prelim and midterm periods contributed it all. Then, I think to myself, ‘life is sometimes cruel.’

Recently, I took a vacation to my birthplace and attended their annual fiesta celebration. On the land of my ancestors, I visited a piece of land I inherited from my parents. There, I saw beautiful and bearing flower trees. They look like Christmas trees.

A rocky terrain but trees struggle to grow

But I was shocked to see that it grew from the rocky lot where other plants seldom survived. How the roots can obtain water during summer where rain seldom pour down? I pondered for a moment. While walking slowly seeing the beautiful scenery of rice terraces, I remember my student who was struggling in pain over her grades in the mathematics of the last semester. What an irony! This beautiful tree is trying to survive from a rocky ground like my student salvaging a grade of 75%.

Obstacles are part of our journey in life and sometimes destroyed many people because they gave up and turned their focus away from their dreams. When times get rough, life simply falls apart. But for the student and the trees, they have to live and work hard in order to survive.

Despite all these trials, life marched on and turned out positive.

The Bible puts it, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23

So, be it!

 

Questionable Credibility Kills!

           By Vic Odarve

Questionable credibility kills!

Individuals with highly questionable credibility often do not practice what they preach; not honest and fair in dealing with others; put themselves first before taking care for others, and making promises but do not fulfill them.

That’s it. Apart from being  gifted persons who talk with strong and remarkable persuasion like Hitler and Marcos, these individuals often play as right hand to those in powers; influence the company’s owners, its relatives, inner circles, celebrities and government officials, and among the institution’s bigwigs; and allow themselves to serve as a conduit for  kickbacks and corruptions.

Imelda Marcos

They do not also practice what they preach. During the strongman Marcos era, what was always highlighted in a tabloid and various newspapers was no less than a former First Lady who in the prime of her political career, preached that every citizen must be vigilant on any corruption in the government offices. But today, Imelda Marcos was found guilty of corruption on November 9, 2018, and ordered arrested in a rare conviction of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers. She did not practice what she preaches. Her credibility kills!

Honesty speaks well to credible individuals. When the Senator explained that she did not get any cents from the drug lords in the Bilibid prison, the opinion polls survey showed that most people believed the opposite. De Lima was accused of being involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as justice secretary. She is accused of conspiring with a high-profile inmate, Peter Co who supposedly gave the former Justice Secretary P3-M and a vehicle in exchange for allowing illegal drugs into the national penitentiary.  She is definitely lying to the public; hence she was not honest. She is not credible. Her credibility kills!

A person with questionable credibility cannot be trusted. A supposed leader of an expat group, who was trusted by the owner of the company to review and work out the individual performance, secretly managed to give salary increases to herself and her favorite selected few. It was only discovered when the group complained in unison to the owner of the institution. She is indeed not fair to others. She is not credible. Her credibility kills!

In many instances, my friend borrowed money during emergencies and promised to return just after a few days. But when the days are gone, he seemed to forget to return the money; the next time around he was not entertained. Other friends followed the same move. He is not credible!

If your credibility is questioned, most people lose their trust and often feel betrayed, stop coming to you for help and prefer others. It has lasting negative impacts especially to your friends, and worst, condemn you as liars. It may come to a point that nobody believes when you tell the truth. Most friends describe these people as pious persons who went to Sunday Mass, said a novena every day and regularly visited the church every morning. But beware! Credibility sinks as deep as the bottomless pit!

On the other hand, good reputation and strong credibility truly help us increase our opportunities and chances for success. We must commit to practice what we preach; be honest and fair in dealing with others; can be trusted in discharging our responsibilities; do fulfill what we have promised and adhered to moral values and principles more than friendship can offer. Credibility counts a lot!

Questionable credibility kills!

Sometimes Life is Pain and Sacrifice

By Vic Odarve

She was one of my best math performers last year. That’s why after every school exams and quizzes, I always checked her papers first over the others. It gives me the thrill to scan over her solutions; watches the steps involved, and the way she presented her mathematical manipulations until arriving her final answer.  Except for a few cases, she always got a perfect score. So I thought that I am one of the lucky professors to have this student under my course. Her performance becomes a barometer on how effective my teaching strategy is!

015.jpg

A Math Professor

That’s it. I am comfortable on her way she acted as a student taking up an engineering course…a course where some stupid ones failed to graduate because of math. In one of my visit to the university library to read some local newspaper, she requested me to have some explanation on the math solutions previously discussed in the classroom. “Okay, what part of the topic?” I told her. She opened her notes and showed the steps where she got the problems. After some explanation and discussion, she was contented. Feeling satisfied, she said, “Thank you, Sir, I understand already”, she said. Then I said,” What was the result of your last quiz?” “I got 90 % score, Sir”, she smiled. “Good, and on next quiz, you must get a perfect score”, I replied. Then she slowly walked and slipped away out of my sight. I paid little attention. She got a good score. So nothing to worry!  She may just serious enough and want to do more on her study every day.

Then, the next quiz came. Only 2 out of 54 students in a class got a perfect score. And she was one of them!

18446966_1450139381711462_1774365570315310354_n

After pain and sacrifices, life is beautiful

It was then that I gave her an attention. I noticed that during the class session, she sat at the end of the last row of the seats in a packed and overcrowded room. She listened intently and focused on my discussion. No friend, no talking even on her seatmates as if she knew none of her classmates! “She must be too shy”, I guessed.

The semester math course was about to finish. I gave a quiz before the final exam. “This would be the last quiz”, I told the students. Then what was the result? She got perfect score again! She had done it! “She is a good performing student”, I told myself.

The next meeting I returned the quiz papers/scripts. She was absent. For almost two weeks, I could no longer see her. Then I inquired her classmates what happened to this girl. To my surprise, none of her classmates knew her. She vanished and I received no word from her and her whereabouts! I was completely pushed to the wall blank!

IMG-20141110-00899

An African setting. My class in Math usually consists of 300-400 students.

After two weeks my phone rang. The girl informed me that she does a part-time job in an instrumentation company to support her schooling financially and thus, she failed to attend the class. I was dumbfounded and could not believe it. Lately, I also found out another student who often absent during my class lectures is also doing a part-time job in a food chain restaurant.

Sometimes we feel that life is a pain but for these two students who did sacrifices mark that they are really great. Students engaging in this task will reap in joy and bountifully. The Bible puts it,

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” – Psalms 126:5-6 (NKJV).

So be it! Sometimes we feel life is a pain but in the end shall reap in joy.

THE SIMPLEST WAY TO LEARN MATH

By Vic Odarve

Good mood and positive thinking! These are the basic requirements. Now join me in the simplest way to learn mathematics! It is enjoyable and fun! Follow me and let’s explore!

IMG-20140114-00333

Math textbooks- a legacy for the next generation of students

At classroom, you listen intently to your teacher or lecturer. Every word he speaks gathers important information. Observe how he does the steps in solving the problems or exercises. Relax. Take note and ask questions if necessary.

Then at home, it is your turn! Open your notes. Review and study the steps. Recall the reasons why he does it.

Finally, test your understanding! This is the moment! Close the notes and get an extra sheet of paper and solve by yourself. Solve it! If you fail to get the correct answer, open your notes and see where in your way you get wrong. Repeat if you get wrong! Don’t stop doing it until you get it right! It is just like playing the game of “hide and seek”. You hide the solutions of the problems in your notes and seek its answer by solving it by yourself. That’s it!

blog study math

Madonna University, Nigeria, Africa

It’s as simple as that. It is just a pleasure! Practice makes perfect as the saying goes. It holds true!
This simple technique develops a positive thinking. If the final answer is the same as your notes, it gives you confidence. And getting the correct answer raises your adrenalin to a certain level of excitement and joy. Confidence is building up!

Then go out in your study room and relax. See the world outside. It pictures well. It sounds good. You will be in a good mood as if the world is joining your excitements. Happiness for getting the correct answer! That is without seeing the solution from your notes! And you get it right! It is like medicine. It alleviates depression! It fosters positive mood!

20170511_103023

Outside the study room, see this beautiful Mayana ricefields.

One of my friends was doing this before our final exam. I met him outside in his house while seeing the beautiful pictures of Chocolate hills of the Philippines, famous Boracay beach, and National Pilgrimage Center of Nigeria managed by Father Edeh at Elele, River State, Nigeria. My friend was singing as if in harmony with the bird’s sweet song on the bough of the trees as sunset faded in the African sky. I told him “Why are you look so happy and smiling, my friend?” What was his answer? “I know now how to derive the famous equation of Einstein, E= mc2 by following the steps from our lecturer. I solve it by myself, without looking my notes” That was his reply. So astonishing was his reply! It caught me by surprise. Indeed, he had learned mathematics in the simplest way! And enjoyed it!

Learning mathematics is a fun-filled activity. It makes the lives of the students better and we, too, the lecturers, are enjoying! Even this simple technique is interesting! I love students come to see me with toothy smiles saying,” Sir, you make our study of mathematics in this university simple and easy. And we enjoy it”.

Fighting the Philippine’s Looting Machines

By  Vic Odarve

Graft and corruptions, tax evasions, and smuggling activities are the looting machines that keep the Philippines a poor country.  To combat this looting machines, the President had accelerated his predecessor’s campaign against graft and corruptions, tax cheaters, and smugglers. To date, several officials have been fired for alleged corruption or

Graft and corruption

misconduct and going extravagant trips. On tax evasion, the government has ongoing tax administration reforms and review of the declared asset and income in the submitted Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) of all public officials. Lately, the President also issued a directive to publicly destroy illegally shipped contrabands in the country’s economic zones aimed at deterring smuggling. Thus, a war of nerve emerges… Duterte vs The Looting Machines.

According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, the Philippines lost aboutP19.34 trillion between 1960 and 2011 on graft and corruption and keep on increasing. Big time corrupt officials are from the government offices, bigwigs in our society, and business magnates and oligarchs. Hence, it is not surprising that to date, nearly two dozen officials have been fired for alleged corruption and going on extravagant trips since Duterte came to power two years ago.  The   Bureau of Customs tops the list among the corrupt government officials. Duterte said, “If you go to the national government just to look for an opportunity for money, go look for another job. I will really fire you,” Duterte told employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform on June 20. The Pork barrel scam led by Napoles where billions of pesos were stolen from the Filipino people must be a thing of the past. Corruption remains a significant barrier why we are left behind from our Asian neighbors in economy and progress.

Illegal shipment

On tax evasion, the government has found out that the primary source of corruptions is the BIR examiners in connivance with government officials and politicians and bigwigs in our society. Therefore, the government with all of its power brought to the court all corrupt BIR examiners and government officials and slapped with tax evasion cases. In the previous administration, they impeached former Chief Justice Corona while the current one is the case of Chief Justice Sereno. Tax evasion was also dealing with Rappler and Dunkin’ Donuts of the Prietos, who own the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Erring examiners were put under investigation after being asked to resign if they will not stop corrupt practices. The BIR had also filed before the DOJ three tax evasion cases against homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. and its top executives for a total of P37.9 billion in unpaid excise taxes due to the alleged use of fake tax stamps. Lucio Tan, one of the richest Filipinos, owes the government at least P30 billion in unpaid taxes. And still, there are some other oligarchs in the country doing the same under the government periscope.

The coming of the new generation

Another headache is the smuggling of goods from foreign countries that include basic necessities such as rice, onions, etc. and cars. Lately, the government intercepted expensive cars and motorbikes together with some of the 800 contraband vehicles imported in Cagayan port. Thus, as directed by the President, bulldozers were used to destroy a total of 68 contraband luxury vehicles valued at P277.9 million and 8 luxury motorbikes worth P19.5 million. Among the luxury cars destroyed were Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche Carrera and Mercedez Benz SLK 280.  Since car smugglers still rake in profits from the selling of seized cars, destroying the smuggled luxury vehicles will give them no opportunity to secure them legally through the Bureau of Customs.

The Philippines is a sick man in Asia due to graft and corruption, tax evasion, and smuggling. Since Duterte is not beholden to any of the political, social or economic elites, he can focus his energy to run after these untouchables without fear. Although he has a big foul mouth, Duterte has the will to implement the law for the good of the country. People are fed up with sweet talking politicians for several decades. But one thing of caution to the president: he must always consult and listen to his advisers on critical matters like the case of mayor Espinosa and now on Senator Trillanes before making a public announcement.

Fighting these looting machines is a difficult job. But Duterte has the support from the majority of the Filipinos. Sometimes the scenarios’ give us pain but it must be done for the betterment of the next generations.

 

 

 

 

Why Ordinary Filipinos Love President Duterte?

By Vic Odarve

For almost three decades, the Philippines is struggling in pain over the crippling culture of corruption, illegal drug trades, and crimes that bankrupted an already poor country which appears impossible to remedy. They are very much tired of the sweet talking politicians who often promise heavens and earth for an exchange of government elected positions yet failed to perform. To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. Duterte, whose unorthodox behaviour and outrageous statements are often highlighted in media forum, appeared to be their only hope to challenge and can deliver result!

     Thousands of OFW at the Dubai Airport

It is common knowledge that the country is mired by graft and corruption, illegal drug trades, and street criminals. There are rampant graft and corruptions in almost all government offices. Diversion of budgets, awarding of contracts, and various government transactions from ordinary people such as getting a medical card, passport, drivers licence, etc., take several weeks are among the few.  For several decades, the same political clans have dominated Filipino politics and businesses; worst, some of these oligarchs did not pay proper taxes amounting to significant billions of pesos. Illegal drugs are spiralling and out of control. The success of De Lima in politics and accumulation of wealth of the Espinosas in the province of Leyte were associated with the illegal drugs network.  The mayor of Ozamis city, despite the history of crime, had gained trust and admiration by the residents for sharing the loot from illegal drugs. For several decades, the elected presidents are always after popularity. They want to be seen in a good light and they don’t want to affect the relationships with the oligarchs who control the country’s economy.

    Poor neighborhood in Metro Manila

Unlike any sweet talking politicians, Duterte promises a change is definitely coming during his term. Ordinary Filipinos feel that Duterte will stand his ground when oligarchs try to influence him. That is, after a few months at Malacanang office and because of his political will, the government earned around P 6B from Lucio Tan from tax evasion, 1.7B w/o Tax from Mile Long Property, and 25B from Mighty Cigarettes.  Senator De Lima, once the most sought-after lawyers and powerful government officials, is now imprisoned for alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Several cabinet secretaries and government officers’ were fired out after found enriching themselves while holding a position. Such were the case of Peter Lavina, former National Irrigation Administration chief, Ismael Sueno, former interior secretary, and the several others. Nowadays, medical card, passport, business permits, etc., that takes several weeks before can be available within three days or less.  Enforcement agencies are more active in monitoring and in implementing rules; hence, drug lords and users are afraid of resulting to a safer environment.

Demonstrations and rallies are the same old songs as in past regimes

To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. They feel that Duterte will not be swayed by the oligarchs for what is best for the Filipinos. His sincerity to fight graft and corruption rises investor confidence. People think they are now safer due to illegal drugs. Street crimes related to drugs are now reduced. Despite all the shortcomings of his unorthodox behaviour, ordinary Filipinos welcomed the development as shown by his high-performance rating. Although it provokes outrage in some quarters, most ordinary Filipinos are unfazed but love Duterte!

For several decades the past presidents have tried almost all possible strategies to improve our country but failed. Filipinos feel they have been voting for liars and cheaters and for political dynasties for too long. Because of the poor job opportunity at home, most able bodied Filipinos have to work abroad as OFW. The outrage in the American and European media over the extrajudicial killings or Duterte’s more inflammatory statements on the Catholic church about God still keep the Filipinos unfazed on their faith in his leadership. They believed that the time for a change has come. The Bible puts it;

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 

6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

 That is why the ordinary Filipinos love Duterte for the time to change has come.

 

 

Duterte’s Iron-fisted Rule

             By Vic Odarve

Simply, there are those who criticized and appreciated this brand of leadership. Supporters consider this style as strong and decisive leadership…an effective response to rising number of street crimes, illegal drug trade, and rampant corruptions. While on the opposite flank, critics claimed that the authoritarian rule is a recipe to a dictatorship form of governance. But whether we like it or not, historian reminds us that the iron-fisted rule has its positive as well as negative impact. So, who would like the iron-fisted rule by Duterte?

Duterte as one of the world’s strongman

Supporters of the president consider the Philippines as a sick man in Asia. This country needs to be overhauled. Graft and corruptions blanketed any government transactions, bureaucracy in most government posts, and monopoly in some of our businesses are rampant in almost all sectors of our society. Worst, politicians and some government officials are involved in drug trade. The Philippines is becoming a trans-shipment point for the global illegal drug trade, where a high number of approximately 1.8 million are drug users.  Majority of the people live in poverty coupled with a poor peace and order situation. Hence, they consider Duterte’s fisted rule style as an effective response.

People who also supported this governance are really fed up with the sweet talking politicians. They also think that the previous presidents have turned a blind eye to these problems. In a country where politicians attain a position of authority after the election, they tend to be blinded by power and intoxicated by the perks and privileges attached to the position. Typical examples are the recent issue of the diversion of P10.6 billion fund for PhilHealth intended for the benefits of senior citizens for CY 2015 to the DOH. To most senior citizens, it is a heinous act three times cruel than the Dengvaxia fiasco. It is an act that is utterly heartless and insensitive to the condition of our senior citizens. Lately, Duterte replaces PhilHealth chief mired in travel and leadership issues.  COA flagged Dela Serna for spending P627, 000 for travels and hotels in 2017 despite Phil health’s loss of P8.92 billion. In addition, there were several government heads that were fired and replaced due to ineffective in office. Hence, these citizens favor the iron-fisted rule.

              Leading oppositions

On the other hand, critics claimed that this type of leadership is killing democracy. It is a dictator in the making.The war on illegal drugs which they described as brutal has claimed lives of thousands, mostly urban-poor dwellers. The suspects were killed rather than jailed, sometimes with very little supporting evidence of their involvement in the drug trade…alleged crimes against humanity according to ICC. Allegations of planted evidence are rife so it is not surprising that there is growing concern that the war on drugs may be used as a political tool. That is what happened to Ozamis city mayor Parojinog and Leyte’s Espinosa. Then there were tax evasion cases; the Mighty cigarettes, Lucio Tan, and other oligarchs who run big businesses. Human rights, leftists, and some religious groups described Duterte as a dictator. Even the leaders of the Catholic Church joined the condemnation. They sponsor rallies decrying the death of democracy.

 With all these condemnations and rhetoric from the various critics and well supported by the opposition, one thing is clear… the president is gaining support from the people. “Except in September 2017, Pres. Duterte’s net trust rating has been excellent since he became President,” SWS said. The First Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 23-27, 2018, found 70% of adult Filipinos satisfied, 17% undecided, and 14% dissatisfied.

       A picture of unbecoming a statesman

But when it comes to his behavior, people come to terms and agreement that the president lacks refinement in his attire and his manners. His English is colorful and far from cultured. He talks without carefully considering the consequences. He tends to over-talk and has a big mouth. In his visit to South Korea, he kissed an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on the lips – a move that drew cheers from the audience but disgust from some netizens… manner which many folks don’t like.

This country has been ruled for a long time by people with their own interests at heart, not to mention pocketing government money into their own pockets. It is the failure of democracy. It is a nation broken by failed democratic policies, mismanagement, and corruption. The people have spoken, and this is their last cards. The majority have shown that iron-fisted rule offers the alternative towards the fulfillment of their aspirations for better life. It is a painful process but must be done.

High School Reunions; a Centrifugal Force of Modern Life

           By   Vic  Odarve

High school reunions are actually a centrifugal force of our modern life. It is a get-together affair that takes on a whole new meaning as we get older, a gathering to reminisce and to relive the fun and feel that we had experienced in high school, and a rare chance to spend some moments with our classmates who were a part of the story of our life. With all indications, high school reunions are like a centrifugal force pulling our classmates to meet together.

Central Visayan College, Jagna, Bohol Batch ’73

Yes, time passes differently as we get older and class reunion takes on a whole new meaning. As the person’s age is over 40 years, we are merely aging, physically and mentally. In our long struggle with time, the get-together affair seems to be a clock to stop the aging process. The excitement and renewed camaraderie that could result from attending the reunion may bring us to back in time. Singing at videoke, story-telling of the bygone days, and going to the beach together may put the time to a standstill. Of course, some of our classmates are older than you would like them to be, and you, too, realize that you are also in your advancing age and appearance.

The gathering allows us to reminisce and relive those thrilling days of our high school days. It is joyful to reunite with the girls and boys with whom you shared the first love and first lusts. Some also retold stories about our teachers who were good, and a handful of teachers we never forget. We never forget the teachers known for having a scary stage persona during classroom lessons. But to the more serious classmates during our high school, they never forget those teachers that pulled them from the depths of abysmal academic achievement into one of the top-performing students.

Picnic time, Batch ’73

The reunions also offer us a rare chance to spend a moment with our classmates after many years of not seeing with each other. It is just a way of revisiting your friends that you have lost track after graduating in high school. Meeting them is more significant in our life simply because they were part of our life story and we were a part of theirs. This is the time to know that some were already gone while others are still living. The usual practice of giving a souvenir such as T-shirt simply a memento that once upon a time we have to share some moments with our high school classmates.

Although in our modern times we have several social media such as Facebook to find our high school classmates’ whereabouts at our fingertips, reunions are more powerful to reconnect, relive our memories, and see our classmates face to face. Nowadays, high school reunions are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

Reunion is indeed a centrifugal force uniting our classmates. As our life is a journey, spending time in a reunion is a moment to cherish before we will finally reunite with the Holy One sitting on the throne.