Month: May 2011

It’s my first birthday!

I have a reason to celebrate. This blog turns a year older today!!!! Yipee! This post signifies that I survived a year of blogging. I started a number of blogs in the past. I had blogs from different online platforms such as Friendster, Multiply, Livejournal and Blogger. I began with high level of enthusiasm in updating each of these blogs. For some reason, I ended up losing my interest and letting those blogs fade away.

I almost lost interest in maintaining this account. When I decided to reopen my Blogger account, I was in the brink of deleting this blog. I gained more followers in Blogger and the platform was relatively easy to navigate. But since WordPress marked the beginning of my renewed interest in blogging, I decided not to give up. In effect, I am here! I am happy to say that I survived!

To celebrate my year in blogging, I am subjecting myself to a challenge. Have you watched Julia and Julie? The challenge I will undertake is similar to what Julie had engaged. Julie made a 365 consecutive days of cooking and blogging. Julie survived and was able to cook all of recipes in Julia’s famous book.

In my case, I chose to take baby steps. I am subjecting myself to a 30 day blog challenge. My task is to write an entry for 30 consecutive days. I don’t want to lose my interest in blogging again. So hopefully this challenge will encourage and empower me to continue blogging. If I survive, this means that I can carry on blogging. A big good luck to myself! ūüôā

I still choose Passion and Ambition

I was watching the late night news in a local channel when a topic close to my heart caught my attention. One of the news features tackled the most enrolled courses vs. the high paying jobs in the country. I am familiar with the trending of the results because my job entailed constant monitoring of education related data. Statistics related that the most enrolled courses do not necessarily provide promising job opportunities.  The high paying and in demand jobs are not found in the field of the most enrolled courses.

After the presentation of key statistics, the news anchor coined a suggestion to schools and incoming college students. She insinuated the possibility that the Guidance Office of each school should discourage students from taking courses that are not highly in demand in the labor market.

She is partly correct. We should inform students of what courses appear to be in demand in the industry. However, dictating the students on what course to pursue is something I will never support.

In the first place Madam Journalist, the role of the Guidance Office is to support students in discovering their hidden talents and interests. To dictate what students should become in the future cannot be considered a supporting mechanism. It’s a maneuvering act that hinders students to learn and unleash their real passion in life. If all students are forced to take only the in demand courses, imagine what kind of labor economy are we producing. We might as well prove that we are a lame nation comprised by citizens who have nothing in mind but money.

Jobs that require a license in Accountancy and Engineering appeared highly demanded in the next years. Imagine if all students will take Accountancy and Engineering. Assuming that will prevail, we might as well forget having another Juan Luna and Nick Joaquin. We might end as a nation who are slaves of the labor market trend.

Had she forgotten the words “passion” and”ambition”?

Dream

Not everyone know that I have a special brother. My brother used to be a healthy baby not until Meningitis paralyzed him.  It started with a high fever which turned out to be a disease that almost took his life away.

My brother survived Meningitis at 6 months old but his nervous system was severely affected. His growth and development were hampered and he remained bed ridden in his entire life. In God’s grace, he’s still with us and will turn 33 years old this year.

As far as I can remember, it was only last night when I dreamt about him. I partially lifted him to give him a better sitting position. My brother can‚Äôt speak. He can’t understand words. He can’t communicate. But in that dream, he said something to me. It was unclear but the words I heard were ‚ÄúThank you.‚ÄĚ

I woke up feeling suddenly bothered, worried and nervous. What does that mean? Dear God, you know how I feel…

Isaw is Sosyal!

This is why I love the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines.

And mind you people, the customers of this famous UP Isawan are not just ordinary people in the streets. This is the only Isawan that caters the¬†affluent students of UP Diliman, Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila! Who says isaw is kadiri? Visit and experience the only sosyal isawan in town ! ūüôā

Customer Service and an Insensitive Colleague

We all have our own share of horror stories about Customer Service. We complain about poor customer service experiences in banks, restaurants, government offices, shopping malls, etc. The complaints I usually encounter arise from transactions with other companies. A recent experience however taught me that poor customer service is more rampant in our nearest surrounding, the workplace.

All offices have internal and external clients. External clients are comprised of people who serve as the lifeblood of the company. They are the real customers who bring income to the company. Internal clients are formed by our own colleagues.  Accept it or not, we depend to a certain extent to our colleagues to sustain our operations.  

I used to work at the Research Department of a private company. Researches depend heavily on data from inside and outside the company. In securing data, we need to coordinate with other departments. And honestly, this is not an easy task.  Irony of ironies, it is sometimes easier for us to obtain data from external organizations.  While it would take us a few days to receive data from other companies, some of our colleagues would give us fake promises and deadlines. Chasing with endless follow ups was always the name of the game.

A friend’s recent experience with a new colleague prompted me to write this post. My friend has been hearing a lot of not-so-good stories about this new colleague. Most of the complaints pointed to her poor customer service skills. She was particularly criticized for rendering poor phone etiquette, uttering sarcastic responses on inquiries, and projecting her signature intimidating face.

My friend had the chance to personally transact business with this new colleague. My friend admits that her impression over this colleague has been stained by all those negative stories. My friend however gave her a fair chance. She courteously approached the new colleague and related her concern. True enough, my friend has now her own share of notorious story from this new colleague.

When my friend handed her document, the new colleague responded by staring at her from head to foot.  My friend returned a friendly smile though she started to feel irritated. As soon as the new colleague type words from her computer, she gave a rude and disturbing laugh. The new colleague later on told her immediate supervisor that she was having an online chat with a friend.

The new colleague didn‚Äôt render her trademarked face or utter a sarcastic remark. My friend however was introduced to a different form of poor customer service.¬†¬†We don’t need to present¬†principles to establish that the act of this new colleague is an offensive foul in the field of Customer Management. Making a boisterous laugh in front of a client is¬†the lowest of low in customer service. Who would not feel humiliated if someone suddenly bursts a laugh on your face?¬†Her resume reveal overpowering awards and credentials.¬†But in reality, she¬†never had the brains to¬†live and understand Customer Service.

Two words¬†for this new colleague, fix yourself! The organization hired you because they believed that you are a potential asset. The situation however manifests that you are becoming more of a liability.¬† You are causing distress and stress to the working environment. The organization has already enough issues and concerns, please don’t add to the burden.

There is still Compassion left in this world

I learned of this event through one of my friends in my Blogger account. Thanks Duni.

I intend to write a post about a modern day experience on Compassion. I will particularly relate the story of an anonymous Filipino family who have depicted the real meaning of love, generosity, selflessness and compassion.

Have you heard of the Zapp family?

The Zapps are known as the traveling family. The family led by the Argentinian couple, Herman and Candelaria, and their children, Pampa, Pewe, Paloma and Wallaby have crossed continents with their 83-year old vintage car. The car proves to be so versatile because it serves as a living and bed room at the same time. The car is being shipped as they move across countries.

I will forever be thankful to the Zapp family because they have proudly mentioned that Filipinos are one of the most compassionate people in the world. An article from Daily Mail UK mentioned that the couple will never forget the Filipino family who adopted them during their stay in the Philippines. According to Herman and Candelaria, the Filipino couple gave their lone room and piece of meat for the Zapps.The Filipino couple was even apologetic for not being able to provide much during their stay.

Not all people even knew the existence of¬†my country. The international media also rarely mentions positive things about my country. Most of the time, it’s the bad news and all those negativity that gives exposure to my country.

The Philippines is a third-world country. We don’t have equal resources and technology with that of Japan and other European countries. But at the end of the day, what I can be proud of my country is my fellowmen, who have a compassionate heart. We don’t have much in life but our hearts are always overflowing with love and compassion.

One of my simple wishes is that more people will have the heart of the the anonymous Filipino couple. They have proven that deprivation of earthly goods will never be a hindrance to have a compassionate heart. We are all capable to love and possess a compassionate heart.

Source of Information

Are we there yet? Couple travel the world for 11 years having four children along the way.. and they’re still going by Oliver Tree of Daily Mail UK

The Real Meaning of Economic Development

I recently watched a local debate that tackled the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. The debaters were comprised of politicians, government officials, medical professionals and famous personalities who have bravely expressed their opinions on the issue.

First and foremost,¬†a debate should be a professional discourse of opinions and points of views. However, as expected, the debate emerged as a personal and selfish¬†showcase of debaters’ conceitedness. I will not further criticize the format and the chaotic approach of the debate. I would rather focus my attention to some politicians, whom I believe should be given a crash course in Economics and Statistics.

On the course of the debate, the indicators of population and poverty were discussed. This politician apparently does not even know where to obtain statistics on Philippine population. This politician was citing WHO as a source of his population and growth rate statistics. No offense meant to WHO, but I think this politician needs a refresher course in Economics and Statistics.

All population records and statistics in the Philippines are obtained from the National Statistics Office (NSO). This government office collect, process and generate reports contaning national and regional population statistics. It’s the NSO, and not the WHO, that is authorized to collect and generate all population statistics.

Mr. Politician’s stupidity further¬†manifested when he compared the Philippines to Japan and Germany. Mr. Politician claims that Japan and Germany are experiencing higher population growth rates, yet they remain to be developed and progressive. He wanted to establish the idea that population is not a hindrance to development.

Growth rate measures the rate of increase. However, directly comparing growth rates of countries with different degrees of population is deceiving and incorrect. If the Philippines, Japan and Germany¬†have more or less equal population, then¬†their growth rates can be¬†compared. Japan’s population is around 127 million, Germany has around 82 million while the Philippines has 88,574 million people. The population growth rate of Germany and Philippines should not obviously be compared with Japan. Japan has a larger population and its growth rate would obviously entail either higher or lower changes in population.

When Mr. Politician compared the population growth rate of Philippines to Japan, it was like directly comparing schools with equal passing rates but with different number of examinees. To further illustrate the case, assume two schools who obtained a 60% passing rate. School A has a total of 100 examinees while School B has only 20 examinees. At 60% passing rate, School A has 60 passers while School B has 12 passers. Is it fair to compare School A and School B? The answer is of course NO! The two schools have different number of examinees or population base. Such is the case for Philippines and Japan. We can’t directly compare population growth rates of two countries, unless they have the same level of population OVER THE PAST YEARS.

How could these politicians dare talk about “development” when they don’t even know the right indicators of development. Population density¬†is not a¬†measure of economic development. The two are actually biased indicators.

Population density measures the number of people per square kilometer of land. The population of a particular country is simply divided to its total land area. Land in the Philippines is not equally distributed. The greater fraction is enjoyed by the landlords or even the families of these politicians. The remaining pieces are shared by the low to middle income earners. So why use Population Density as a measure of development? Are we assuming that land in the Philippines is equally distributed?

The measure of a country’s level of Economic Development is not observed on a single biased variable. Economic Development is a broad and holistic indicator. It is similar to defining what makes a healthy human being.¬†A healthy human being is not merely¬†observed on¬†the proportionality¬†of his weight and height. It entails¬†determining his physical, emotional and mental state.

Economic Development does not simply mean having a stable population and an increase in the national income or Gross Domestic Product.  Economic Development means every children receives education (high Cohort Survival Rates), every member of the economy is employed (lower unemployment rates), every member of the populace is healthy (low mortality rate, high life expectancy, low incidence of diseases), good roads and infrastructures are provided in every town, lesser environmental related problems, the prices of goods and services are stable (no extreme inflation or deflation is observed), the defense and armed forces are capable and fully equipped to protect the country, the crimes rates are low, every family owns a decent home, the government leaders are united, and the economy manifests sustainable growth and development in the succeeding years. In short, a country is said to be developed if it exhibits a place where the quality of life and welfare of every citizen is exceptional.

The next time these intelligent politicians will lecture about population and the measures of economic development, I hope they do some real and serious research. Please stop your noise. You all sound like useless empty cans.