Sunday, July 16, 2017

When men dream of raping and violating women

Is there truth to what Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte just recently told Filipinos that "men have balls if they rape Miss Universe candidates"? What do researches and studies show?

One research "Understanding violence against women" tries to shed light on the causes of this continuing violence of men against women. Based on this book, there are two lines of inquiry: examination of the behavior of offenders and consideration of heightened vulnerability of women to violence. In looking at behavior of offenders, researchers found these factors as evident:

"biologic factors such as androgenic hormonal influences; evolutionary theories; intrapsychic explanations focused on mental disorder or personality traits and profiles; social learning models that highlight the socialization experiences that shape individual men to be violent; social information processing theory concerning the cognitive processes that offenders engage in before, during, and after violence; sociocultural analyses aimed at understanding the structural features of society at the level of the dyad, family, peer group, school, religion, media, and state that encourage male violence and maintain women as a vulnerable class of potential victims; and feminist explanations stressing the gendered nature of violence against women and its roots in patriarchal social systems. "("3 Causes and Consequences of Violence Against Women." National Research Council. 1996. Understanding Violence Against Women. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5127: 50)


"Studies of male batterers have found that some batterers confine their violent behavior to their intimates but others are violent in general (Fagan et al., 1983; Cadsky and Crawford, 1988; Shields et al., 1988; Saunders, 1992; Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart, 1994). The research suggests that, at least in some cases, there may be differences in the factors that cause violence against women and those that cause other violent behavior. ("3 Causes and Consequences of Violence Against Women." National Research Council. 1996. Understanding Violence Against Women. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5127)

We learned from these studies that: men with mental disorders or personality traits usually undertake violence against women and some of these batterers "confine their violent behavior to their intimates" but "others are violent in general."

Again, let's ask ourselves---what led men such as Mr. Duterte to think that violence against women is "masculine" and "proof of masculinity"? A study about man box supports Mr. Duterte's thinking. The socialization of man in society immerses him in an environment where certain beliefs and values are considered "masculine" and therefore, expected to be acted out by men in their societies.

and what better way for a man to express his "masculinity" than wish violence for women. The most pervasive form of violence against women is rape (Tough Guise: Men, Violence and the Crisis in Masculinity, 1999)

But what kind of man do you think, again based on research, are those who always and even publicly wishes rape and mentions rape and violence against women?

Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, in his study of human destructive behavior exhibited by homophobes and men against gays, lesbians and even women, says that these men should undertake a self-examination because there is a very strong evidence that the reason why they exhibit strong reactions against the other sex smacks of homosexuality.  Men who wish harm against homosexuals or gays are, according to Ryan, probably also gay.

"This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, 'Why?"Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection."

Let us hear Ryan again:

"Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they are fearing their own impulses, in a sense they 'doth protest too much,'" Ryan told LiveScience. "In addition, it appears that sometimes those who would oppress others have been oppressed themselves, and we can have some compassion for them too, they may be unaccepting of others because they cannot be accepting of themselves."

Writing for the Guardian, Julie Bindin interviewed Andrea Dworkin, a rape victim about what she thinks rape is. Dworkin is quoted as saying this:

"Rape is a sadistic act of punishment. We are raped by men who hate us, not by those who desire us so much they have no self- control. They do it to control us and then they tell us we are mad for imagining it happened because we are not good enough for them to violate, abuse and colonise. The truth about rape and sexual assault is ugly."

So rape is a kind of punishment and those who do that are men "who hate us (us here means women)."

Summarising what we know so far:

1. Men thru their socialization process, are made to believe certain values which are considered "masculine" or male. These kinds of behavior establishes masculinity or are considered proofs of masculinity. One form of behavior is violent behavior.

2. One of these behaviors is violence. Rape is one form of violence by a human against his fellow human.

3. A study shows that those who hate other sexes, are actually people harboring same-sex feelings themselves but unable to express these in public. Meaning, a man who hates a gay, is probably gay himself.

4. Closet gays are most feared because they can't express themselves fully, and research shows, most closet gays hate women because they hate themselves. Psychologists say this is a mental disorder or a personality disorder.

5. A person with such disorders wishes violence upon another. Rapists are one. They rape women because they want to punish them. The cause of their behavior--hate. Rape is a form of punishment. And when one wishes rape upon a woman, that means that that person wishes to punish that woman.

Finally, what do we now say about Mr. Duterte again using the podium only reserved to Philippine presidents (whenever Mr. Duterte now speaks, he speaks on behalf of the Philippine Republic and on behalf of the Filipino people).

1. Mr. Duterte probably wishes to punish women with rape.
2. Some of those who hate women are closet gays.
2. Rape is a sexual form of hate.
3. Mr. Duterte is possibly a closet gay.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight heading for the humdrum kingdom

A UFC fighter versus a professional 40-0 boxer, who'll emerge victorious? Millions have speculated about the odds of a UFC fighter lasting even a round or two in the ring with a boxer who has spent hundreds of hours locked in a brutal fight with other classy pugilists. Go to Youtube, and you'll find that this UFC vs. Boxer idea is one among hundreds pitting one martial arts form with another.

One such Youtube video involves 15 year old Amateur boxing champion Rakeem Nealy in a sparring session with UFC professional fighter Jaime Alvarez (6-1).  A boxing promoter probably saw how 2.5 million people thought of this as a cool thing, and voila, you have your Mcgregor vs. Mayweather fight.

Of course, this Mayweather vs. Mcgregor fight promoter probably did not saw another video, this time between a Russian truck driver and an MMA professional fighter which garnered 3 million more views than this Nealy vs. Alvarez sparring bout.

I'm old enough to know that the more pre-fight hoopla, the more chances of this fight heading towards a mediocre ending. Reports about this fight have centered on Mcgregor's racist remarks and Mayweather's treating the Irish 29 year old fighter like his man bitch.

These colorful coverages are there to blur the statistics between the two. These verbal exchanges are meant to confuse and befuddle the bettors of this fight. And based on my observation, promoters want to increase bets on Mcgregor eventhough odds are surely stacked against him.

Observers of boxing know that:

1. There is simply no chance for Mcgregor to win this fight since no neophyte fighter has ever won against a veteran of many wars. Mcgregor may have that power punches and kicks, but compared with Mayweather's tactics and antics in the ring, the Irish man's skills are simply no match against the American's. I predict an early knockdown, with Mcgregor kissing the canvas as early as the third or fourth.

2. The dimensions of the ring is also a factor why I believe Mcgregor would simply wither away once he engages with Mayweather. UFC rings are octagonal which allows more space for kicks and punches. Professional boxing rings are rectangular which provides for increased chances of two fighters engaging early on. It would be too late for McGregor the minute Mayweather lands his patented punches on his face and body coz he'll be strolling along Dreamtown boulevard.

3. We all know that power punches depend on weight. A 210 pound man can throw a more lethal punch than, say a 120 pound boxer. Reports say, both fighters agreed to fight on the 154 lb weight, which is a disadvantage for Mayweather, according to reports, since he has been fighting at the 147 lb weight class since 2007.

This news item seemed to suggest that Mcgregor is at an advantage but if you think of this, this is actually a plus for Mayweather because it increases the boxers' muscle and knockout power when you put on another 10 pounds on him. Mayweather is already forty years old and it's natural for his body to take on that extra ten. Mayweather is gunning on a knockdown and since Mcgregor is not a Speedy Gonzales type, similar to Manny Pacman Pacquiao, extra poundage for Mayweather is okey and it makes him stronger and with his height, it would be natural for him to move a little slower yes, but more lethal than before.

So, thinking of betting for this fight? Keep your money, and just watch this on regular TV. This fight is more for entertainment, rather than a serious one between two serious practitioners of the art.

The fact is, this fight aims to boost the stock of both UFC and boxing. These two martial arts forms are losing audiences for the past few years, mainly because there's simply no one exciting enough to watch. And that fake wrestling body called WWE is the one laughing all the way to the bank.


Friday, July 14, 2017

When a state uses terror to impose itself upon its citizenry, what now?

What right do you have if a particular government or state does not necessarily pursue the national will as expressed in the laws and the Constitution? Do citizens have a remedy when a government of a state uses coercive power just to impose its legitimacy over its constituents?

Many are criticizing Mr. Duterte over his morals. Many, especially that segment of our society who consider themselves as "morally upright" always take umbrage over social media when Duterte starts cursing again. This segment I call the "urbanidados," those who are accustomed to see a state exercising Victorian like behavior.

In the real world, having or even exercising a moral code does not work anymore. The world is harsh. It is peopled with groups of influentials with their own interests. These groups use money and political influence in pursuit of both their fiduciary goals and power trips. When the social order is dictated not by laws, but of men, being moral is not anymore the proper response to such violenvce  of the times. Machiavelli is even more emphatic---one should be above the others to maintain power and political legitimacy.

Duterte's behavior was a cause of concern during his first half of the year rule. As expected however, people are now beyond his curses and are now focusing rather closely on his policies. Which policies support the national will as expressed in the Constitution and which policies do not? Which campaign promises were effectively met and which were not?

Really now, if we are to judge Mr. Duterte on behavior alone as a basis of support or non support, I am sure the president already received a bad score and probably had been languishing in jail now. Mr. Duterte should be assessed based on his adherence and competence in governance.

What if his public pronouncements are treated as policies? Then, we have a problem, a problem so serious that it took an Ombudsman, Conchita Morales, to point this out to us.

Today, Morales took the floor and says that it is extremely dangerous for Mr. Duterte to issue statements of support with the likes of Superintendent Marcos who was one among many cops accused of murdering or assassinating an elected official suspected of drug dealing. Morales sees Mr. Duterte's statements as encouragements for bad behavior.

During Marcos' time, the Philippine Constabulary which served as the police force, came under extreme fire from the population for their legendary abuses in human rights and their militarist approach to public order and security.

For over 30 years, we struggled to transform the PC into what is now our Philippine National Police (PNP) with an obvious intent to make it act more like a civilian organisation rather than militarist. Thousands of hours were spent researching, experimenting and training PNP personnel on the proper ways of securing order in society without breaching the Bill of Rights. After many years, the relationship of the PNP with the general population took a positive turn mainly on the basis of effective leadership and stewardship of leaders such as now Senator Panfilo Lacson, Roberto Lastimoso and Edgardo Aglipay. These leaders held the organisation together and effected discipline among the ranks and got the public's approbation.

Yes, there were several instances of abuses committed even during these leaders' time yet not as monumentally brutish compared with what is happening now.

Extra-judicial killings are on the rise, a tacit violation of the social contract of the Duterte administration with those of the Filipino people. We simply don't know how many of those 8,000 people killed during this second phase of anti-drugs campaign were innocent victims or really guilty. What we try to gloss over is the fact that whether a person killed during these times is innocent or entirely evil is irrelevant. The fact is, we have laws and a Bill of Rights to follow. Justice is blind. It does not distinguish. It gives value to forensic evidence, acts consciously undertaken which violates agreed norms of behavior. It does not speculate. It avoids metaphysical assertions.

We condemn the New People's Army and the Abu Sayyaf Group for their Kangaroo courts and how they dispense justice in their respective territories but we simply ignore the wanton disregard for life, liberty and property of some of our police forces over the lives of ignorant, poor and destitute folks living in depressed communities.

When states act like brutes and behave like how terrorists do, what now? On whose laws do we derive legitimacy?

Some theorists say it is perfectly legitimate for states to use coercive force against its people for self-preservation. I agree. Such a statement is acceptable when the state is besieged by its political enemies, or at war with other states, or simply incapable of asserting control over its territory.

Do we experience such a state now? Do we have general disorder? Is our bureaucracy functioning well below our expectations? Are we so poorly governed and is there disobedience and widespread anarchy that justifies the use of coercive force upon us, citizens of this Republic?

When the very leader of a state encourages its security forces to behave like terrorists, then, what now? Are we going to sit and watch these ghastly and bloody events past by without any of us even lifting a finger?

We need to go beyond the issue of political legitimacy and question the avowed policies of the present dispensation and try to compare these with the stated policies as expressed in our Constitution.

The fact is, the Constitutionalist amongs us, those persons who believe in the supremacy of the Basic Charter, should take the bull by the horns and lead in the charge.

We agree that we live in a country peopled by different tribes, of differing values and sets of traditions. This Constitution simply holds us together. It expresses our collectivity.

Our collectivity and unity as a people is not abstract or theoretical--it is Constitutional. When masses of people who deemed themselves "Filipinos" voted en mass for the implementation of the 1987 Constitution, they did so on the basis of their conformity with the expressed provisions contained therein. These Filipinos gave their individual freedoms to the state on the presumption that the state is the means to realize the will as expressed in that basic charter.

That is the social contract.

When the very state itself promotes the breach of this Constitution, when the state itself promotes violence upon its citizenry and when the state uses coercive force just to prove its political legitimacy, then, this contract just simply, fades away, as if no contract ever existed.

There is simply no recourse but to take action simply on the basis of insulating not just this present generation from the genocidal atrophy and the moral paralysis afflicting our society right now.

When we allow such sacrileges against our collective values, we are rewriting our very Constitution unwittingly or wittingly and allowing men with viscous behavior dictate themselves upon us without our legitimate agreement.

When these things happen, what then prevent us from revolting against this assault of our values? Nothing! We must exercise our Constitutional right to conservative revolution when our leaders try to change our system and allowing their own concepts to rule over us sans our expressed support. David Williams (1994) said so himself in his article, " The Constitutional Right to Conservative Revolution"--that peoples have the constitutional right to revolution to preserve the very Charter that promotes order.

Meaning, we revolt based on a just cause--a cause to preserve the collective values expressed in this Constitution which is being assaulted by people who derived their power from the very charter they are now consciously setting aside and are in effect, trying to destroy.

Thus, revolution now becomes a civic duty of all citizens who believe in the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.

What surveys about the Duterte administration don't tell us

Hegel's conception of the state as an expression of rational will may not apply to our present concept of the state. Hegel believes that men created states as expressions of their freedoms. These freedoms, although individualized, are collectivized at some point when individuals themselves find reason to subsume their individual freedoms and rights over to the universal freedom which actualizes itself thru the state. When the state ceases to actualize collective will, it ceases to exists.

What, then, is our collective will? Can we summarize collective will thru surveys or Focus Group Discussions? How reliable are surveys?

Surveys are not exactly reflective of the totality of public sentiment. As what these survey firms emphasize, surveys collect data from a sample of the population and extrapolate results from there. Some are pretty accurate, while some leave doubts in the minds of many especially when results are so unbelievable.

There is a current debate on whether surveys do provide us with a complete picture of reality. The elections in the United States is one example. Surveys upon surveys point to a Hillary Clinton victory. In the end, it was Trump who emerged from the shadows after initially throwing a warning of a possible rigged elections. Trump cruised easily thru electoral college and eventually got himself elected as president.

What happened in the US happened here in the Philippines. Prior to his election as president, Duterte also warned the people of possible electoral fraud. Unlike Trump who did so a few days prior to the elections, Duterte's warning came a full two months and a half.  Duterte's warning may have been part of campaign propaganda to preserve their gains over their opponents. Yet, the similarities between the two campaign strategies of both presidents are uncanny.

Duterte's ascension to popularity is due to his impeccable timing. He peaked at the right time, which is close to the elections. Like Trump, Duterte threw caution out of the window and spoke like how a grandfather speaks with his fellow septuagenarians in some dinky street corner. Unmistakably clear language caught the public's attention while confusion reigned among opposing elite groups.

Surveys did not exactly catch "the drift" and even now, there is no clear determination as to the patterns or trends generated by public support behind Duterte. What surveys show are trust and satisfaction ratings which could be attributed to improved bureaucratic efficiency, which, to those who know the real score, came from years of better legislation and adoption of newer technologies. Meaning, improvements in public service may simply not be the direct result of Duterte's efficiency as a public servant, but more of a systemic improvement caused by legislation or previous Executive action. Duterte maybe reaping the goodwill now due to the work undertaken by his predecessor which are being felt only now. 

What am I saying here? We correlate the expression of public will with net satisfaction and trust ratings when there is simply no correlation at all. There is simply no surveys out there which catch the real public sentiment when it comes to national will. An interdisciplinary approach is pertinent here, not just surveys.

We are also being misled to believe that trust and satisfaction ratings give this administration its legitimacy. No.

Political legitimacy is based on how people behave. When people act in conformity with the state's stated norms of behavior, then legitimacy surely exists. We all know that legitimacy rests in the observance of a social contract between the government and the governed. This contract has to be observed by those who govern, and the only action expected of the governed is to follow what those who govern tell them to do. Problems or irregularities come to the fore when the actions intended by the state are not visible within a particular society.  Max Weber says it very plainly:

“the basis of every system of authority, and correspondingly of every kind of willingness to obey, is a belief, a belief by virtue of which persons exercising authority are lent prestige” (Weber 1964: 382)

Weber expands this by saying that a state is legitimate when people believe that the existing system has been in existence for so long that tradition dictates people to follow it. Another thing that gives a government a form of legitimacy is when people are following a charismatic leader or people respect the rule of law. When one or three of these factors is or are broken, then, state violence begins to take a more dominant place in that society.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Filipinos Foreigners Love: Bruno Mars

Who does not know Bruno Mars as half-Pinoy? His mother is half-Pinoy with some Spanish blood in her while his father is Puerto Rican-American. He grew up in Hawaii, exposed to various musical genres since both parents were performers.

This video below has now garnered 2.5 BILLION VIEWS and growing. It's the 3rd most watched videos on

The music is refreshing and new especially to those accustomed to urban pop, rap and rock. It has influences from Prince, and other Black funk singers. That's why it is appealing to more than 2 billion people (Or, am I exaggerating. These are views. Nevertheless, I think in actuality, this video has truly breached the billion people mark)

Why is Bruno Mars so successful he is even at Forbes Top 30? Well,

1. He's talented. He has a voice uniquely his, not a copy of this singer or that singer. When you hear his songs, immediately if you well informed, you'll identify it as "Bruno's"

2. He has his own style, which is a fusion of various other styles and genres.

3. He is real and simple. Take a look at his videos. It's not raunchy. It just sells music and fun.

4. He appeals to a cross-section of the global market because he does not want people to box him in a particular sound.

5. He does not use sparkles just to make himself sparkle. His voice and stage presence are his sparkles.


Filipinos Foreigners Love: 4th Impact

I don't care if they are not considered eye candy by some. And I don't fuckin care if they have been competing since 16 years ago, and just placing 8th or 3rd in major international competitions like UK's X Factor 2015, but 4th IMpact is simply amazing.

This girl band composed of sisters from a brood of 8, hails from Isabela, Cagayan, a province up North of the Philippines. They have been competing since 2001 because these girls want nothing more than put food in the table. Like 30% of Filipino families, the Cercado family's life is a hand-to-mouth existence.

Their father (who is reportedly sick with a brain illness) works as a scrap collector and seller while their mother works odd jobs. Mindful of their situation, the Cercado sisters decided to form themselves as a band and joined competitions to put food on the table.

Of course, they did not win the X Factor UK 2015 competitions because some fans think they are fakes. And who would not have that idea? They are impeccable on stage. They have amazing voices. They dance pretty well on stage and they have an electric presence which fans love.

However, two years had passed and we don't see them at the stratosphere of popularity yet. Why? Because I think they are mishandled. Like other Filipino talents who go global, the 4th Impact is stuck with doing covers that they forgot that one important thing that would really make them a success--an album or group of songs which they can call their own.

And you know why, until now, they are not selling records? I think because they believe that pop is the way to go. As for these girls, I think they are not really thinking what genre they want themselves in.

Hey girls, don't re-invent yourselves anymore. Cherly, Simon and Rita Ora already gave you your images--you are bad-asses. You have the voices, and the swagger. Just develop the swagger. Don't be a Adriana Grande---be a Jessie J. The world need bad ass girls now, after Destiny's Child or that British girl band sensation, " The Spice Girls." There is a market out there for singers and bands who sing songs for bad-ass girls.

And please, throw those diva costumes. They are not working. You are not fashionistas. Do the sexy urban outfits. That will do since Selena, one of the sisters, has a charm that borders on being demure yet sexy, like, as they say, a cat.

This video of the 4th IMpact which is now garnering close to 86 milllion views already throughout the world, should be seriously studied by whoever handles this band. This first audition video has shown the world how spunky Filipino girls are, and this is the image that the public loves about 4th Impact.

Don't do traditional pop, or ballads. Reinvent the wheel. Show some spunky, bad ass pop. Think of Bruno Mars or Jessie J or Rita Ora when you do your own original songs. Maybe thru 4th Impact, this is also a great time to introduce Pinoy Rappers like, Gloc9 unto the global stage.

A Glo9 song with 4th Impact would make it globally for as long as the song shows the underground urban culture that is sweeping not just the undercurrents but even aboveground Pinoy music lovers.

Go girls, show them what Filipina girls are like---demure, sexy and fighting for their place in the world. That should be your image. And, believe you me, there would be millions out there who would identify themselves with you and buy your records.

Filipinos Foreigners Love: Julia San Jose

Julia San Jose, a GMA7 artist may not be as well known as Sarah Geronimo is among Filipinos, but she is surely rocking it in the international scene!

Her cover of 'Despacito" which is the no. 1 hit of Justin Bieber is getting amazing and tremendous reaction from foreigners, especially Americans and Latinos who are going crazy about her. Her Spanish is impeccable.

She's cute. She's gorgeous. She's sexy and she has that voice that raise testosterone levels all over the world. This girl would go places if handled well.

Get her out of the Philippines and find a nice record producer who'll handle her in the States. She's better than other more popular Filipina singers I should say. I know she is not a belter like the others which is good since people are already tired of divas and they want nothing more than Sheeran types who are just simply amazing in interpreting songs. Julia could be a female Sheeran.

Or, she could likewise create her own style which, If I'm asked, she should be encouraged to do something like a Filipino Spunk song or ballads with attitude.


Check out for her other covers which got more than 10 million views already.

In this Despacito cover, I repeated it so many times, I lost count already. And everytime I did, I'm still satisfied.

Filipinos Foreigners Love: Julia San Jose

She's cute. She's sexy. And she has an amazing voice.

Julia San Jose may not be as popular as, say Sarah Geronimo, but, my gosh, she's getting tremendous reactions from foreigners all over the world.

Visit Youtube and you'll find that Julia San Jose's rendition of the song Despacito has been getting so much positive vibe from pure Americans and even Latinos. Julia's Spanish is impeccable, even Mexicanos can't seem to get over her.

I hope those who handle Julia consider puncturing the vast American market and just sell her records there. Ask for contacts from records label companies and even one of them would seriously consider her a bankable artist.

Julia San Jose should be going global.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Martial law in the Philippines---a complete transformation to a garrison state

I'm sure members of our Highest Court knew the serious implications of their decision legitimising the Martial law declaration of President Duterte. Sectors are now preparing for an eventual showdown anytime soon against the possible application of martial rule throughout the country. That decision meant the complete transformation of this state as a garrison state. Such a collusion of various members of this country's elite around a concept that has been rejected by the People in 1986,  has never been seen until now. It is very interesting how things developed this way--from a somewhat people-oriented government into a government with a self-defending and elite-controlled one.

Re-studying our History, I find that this is not something that architects of this developmental construct came up just recently. I believe this is a protracted struggle which traced its roots way back in 1986, shortly after the defeat of the Marcosian forces by the counter-elites led by the Aquinos. From that monumental event, believers of this construct worked their way unto the system, masquerading as democratic forces while colluding with social influencers like the media in portraying efforts at making the Philippines an open democratic society such failed experiments. Why did we now arrive at a very solid conclusion that it is only thru strong arm tactics would be able to solve the monumental ills of this society?

This can also be the culmination of decades-long sociological re-imagination of the role of the Military in state affairs. Thinkers behind this developmental construct that is the garrison state may have been toying the idea that Marcos was actually right in declaring martial rule except that he eventually succumbed to monumental graft and corruption due to his avarious family members.

Now that the concept has been freed from conjugal influence, supporters of the strong-arm rule concept believe that there is no more reason not to implement a Council-type government where members or proxy members of the elite occupy sensitive posts of power.

The only question that remains is--what would be the event that would trigger Duterte to declare martial rule? Who will be the escape goat this time? 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Maureen Wroblewitz is the New Filipino Icon: She Screams Global

Maureen Wroblewitz is 1st Filipina as
Asia's Next Top Model
She's just 19, reportedly short at 5'6 for a model and somewhat shy, but Maureen Wroblewitz stood tall among all her fellow top models at Asia's Next Top Model competition cycle 5. What struck me as highly admirable about her is her mental toughness and her composure. She may look like this frail, beautiful girl but deep within her, she has an admirable, even noble spirit that screams Iconic.

Just like other Filipinos like her, Wroblewitz was bullied. Some models from other countries were threatened by her and wanted her out of their world.

One of them, an Indonesian by the name of Clara Tan, even confronted her and to her face, told her that she does not deserve to be on the Top Six. I watched that episode and her response to Ms. Tan's and even to that Malaysian girl's comments was totally amazing. (That Malaysian girl's name escaped me--Chikin Gomez? Ah, yes, Shikin Gomez. She's a product of an intermarriage, probably of an Indian and a Caucasian? Frankly, she looks like one of the walkers in Malate)

 " That's your opinion but you are not the one who decides on that" was a comment that you expect from a mature person. It was respectful. It was direct. And it directly addresses the issue head-on. If one hears that from a beautiful fairy-like face like Wroblewitz, you expect that face to turn into Satania the minute she spews that out. No. No change of face. She could be a bitch but she's a bitch that you'll love because you'll feel the honesty and you'll even feel guilty for thinking bad about her.

Many Filipinos living or working in other countries experienced the same thing. Some just shrugged it off. Others, well, they say their piece. I perfectly get it when this Clara Tan felt insecure before Wroblewitz and who would not? Wroblewitz looks the part of a top model while Clara, to be perfectly honest, is ordinary. Her face looks like an ordinary girl in some backwater Filipino community, and I think, even in Indonesia where she hails from, would agree with me that there are far more beautiful and more model-looking girls than her.

YU Tsai nailed it when he told Maureen that during photoshoots, he's like a chef training a cook. His "perfect little nodge" helped Wroblewitz improve her craft. Every Filipino working abroad would surely identify with that. When a Filipino is abroad, either working or studying, he is like a sponge. We immerse ourselves in our environment that's why I dare say, we, Filipinos are the most resilient, and an expert in survival techniques. We survive in every environment, be it as hot as the Sahara and as cold as Alaska, you'll find a Filipino working and sweating it out and competing among the rest of the world.

Sadly though, a part of why foreigners have this low regard about us, is probably their disbelief on why our country remains as violent as an African country and as poor as a Southern American one. Because when you meet a Filipino, you'll find none of the violent behavior the world sees every single day reported in several global news channels and none of the worrying poor financial handling that worsens poverty incidence in this country.

When you meet a Filipino, you meet somebody who is a globalist, someone who knows his place in the world and tries to at least make that part of the world, as beautiful and as amazing as he wants it. We are a beautiful race. We are an amazing people. Unfortunately, those who lead us do not deserve us. Inspite of our intelligence and most of us have great minds, we fail in creating a political and economic system that would benefit all of us and would eradicate the problems that make us the poor man of Asia.

I hope Wroblewitz make the right choices and see herself as a global treasure rather than a local one. The world deserves her. We don't. I hope Wroblewitz would not succumb to the glitter of easy money from our local tinseltown and instead, work hard to become an international icon.

I look at some of our actresses and some of them, and that includes Liza Soberano, deserves a spot in the international movie scene instead of them spending their precious youth and time doing those cheesy commercials and slapstick noontime shows. As I said, Liza, like Maureen, are gems who deserve global exposure. We must support these girls to carve an international career rather than just "settle down" and "become another Anne Curtis".

Just take a look at what happened to Georgina Wilson, Solenn Heufsaff, and Sarah Lahbati. They were so tied with local modelling work that, time just came and went pass them, and eventually they decided to just marry and raise their own families. Nothing wrong with that except that the world lost that chance of knowing them and probably, the world would have been different, even better, with having these girls walk the runway.

Give Wroblewitz the support to attract Hollywood. Her face screams global.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 Little Things To do Before You Hit 60: End it with an Amen

Why sixty? Well, according to science, this is the time when aging really hits home. You start to feel human, and alive. Well, here are ten things you need to do before you hit 60.

1. Discover God and His laws. Nothing wrong with acknowledging that a superior Force do exists out there somewhere who created everything you see. Do research. Nothing harmful for discovering His laws.

2. Eat wisely. Yes, turmeric tastes awful. But its great for inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells within your body. Consider adding more herbs to your diet. Of course, not to mention drinking those juices, packed with vegetables and fruits.

3. Stop eating pork. Yep, do your research online and you'll find out that pork do harm your body. The more you eat of it, the more it harms your body. Yes, they are delicious, but what would be a better choice--add extra 15 years to your life or die before you turn 70? It's really your choice.

4. Do frequent visits to the mountains. Go hiking. Go camping. Go swimming in streams and rivers. If you can do it twice a week, best.

5. Write your thoughts. Go get and buy a journal, and a pen or pencil. Write your thoughts. I know there's a laptop, but writing and exercising those fingers are still the best ways to add more time to your life.

6. Do good. Don't mind what others do--mine yours. Eventually, when you meet your Maker, it is between him and you. As much as you can, do good things. It reaps benefits.

7. Exercise or get a massage every month. What is that extra 300 pesos spent for a 1-hour shiatsu or swedish or Thai massage if it can add more years to your life?

8. Expel negative thoughts. Encourage only happy ones.

9. Every thing you do, do it with excellence and mindful that it has an effect on others. Realising that, make every effort and act count for the benefit not just for yourself but for others. Do not be brash. Don't rush. There is time for everything. And for every act you decide to do, do it for the long-term not just to solve a momentary thing.

10. Pray. It works. There are lots of literature out there which tell the extreme benefits of prayer in one's life. Do it and do it now. When you pray, please consider this structure:

1. Recognize God and God's power. Praise him.
2. Humble yourself and admit that you sin.
3. Ask for his mercy and forgiveness.
4. Ask that God protect you from the Satans of this world.
5. Ask that the spirit of Wisdom be upon you so that you can discern what is the right thing to do always.
6. Ask whatever you want.
7. Punctuate it with invoking the name of Christ.
8. End it with an amen.

Time matters

I just realized how important Time really is. We live such short lives on this earth. Realizing that, one treasures every single second you let pass.

Realizing this, my world suddenly turns brighter. My purpose is revitalized. Make that 100 cell divisions matter. :-)

Do you know that the cells within us divide themselves between 40 to the maximum of 100 before it enters into what scientists call senescence. (The so-called Hayflick limit says 70-100) This division is necessary for our bodies to cope up with environmental factors that affect our existence. Scientists also know as far back as the sixties that ageing begins when our telomeres, that coating that protects vital information contained in our chromosomes slowly shortens. Geneticists explain that, when our cells divide, this telomores also loses in length because when cells divide, it eats energy which the telomeres produces. The more we eat, the more free radicals are released within our cell structures, causing destruction in our telomeres.

When we came into this world, we have about 15,000-8,000 long pairs of telomeres in our blood. As we reach 35 years old, this length shortens by about 3,000 and whatever we do in our bodies, it slowly shortens that by 65, its average length is expected to only measure abiut 1,500 pairs in our blood, making us age and weaken. Stress, obesity, pollution, unhealthy diets and lack of exercise are contributory factors for our shortening of telomeres.

There is a solution though--telomerase theraphy. If we add telomerase in, we actually repair and bring back some of the length of our telomeres. The fact is--scientists had discovered T-65, a telomerase activator. It is derived from the plant astragalus, a food plant which is traditionally used by the Chinese as a booster of qi.

Of course, this is about our ageing. I'm not even talking about how you lived your life, which is philosophical.