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Other-ness

The whole world has been rushing forward at a dizzying speed for decades. There was a mad rush to meet deadlines, to accomplish goals, to achieve. A year ago, the spinning suddenly slowed down due to extreme natural disasters and the pandemic. The frenetic movement forward shifted. It became a confusing downward spiral. Every day has been hazy, uncertain and anxiety-ridden. Confinement and a loss of activity stretched from weeks to months. And during the downtime, there is quiet time for reflection and evaluation.

Wishes

We have been living in a liminal space, a continuum for the past nine months. We are at the threshold between the familiar past and the unknown future. The uncertainty, anxiety, and fear have grown as the world experiences the pandemic and economic recession. It is like being in a World War but the enemy is unseen and deadly.

A dialogue on child protection

The highlight of the Ako Para Sa Bata Conference was the participation of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (UN SRSG) on Violence against Children (VAC). Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid had a virtual dialogue with the panel of articulate youth delegates from the provinces of the three clusters of Luzon-Oriental Mindoro, Visayas-Capiz, and Mindanao-Davao.

Grief in the time of the pandemic

One of the well-attended webinar topics in the Ako Para Sa Bata online conference was “How to handle grief.”

Notes on the Ako Para Sa Bata Conference

This year, the pandemic has drastically disrupted and changed the lives of millions of children all over the world. It has threatened their well-being, health, safety, education. Family life and income, school closures, quarantine measures, and child protection systems have been severely affected. Children now face the long-term socio-economic and mental health impact brought by COVID-19.

A different crisis

“The characteristics of a spiritual crisis are nearly identical to that of clinical depression… except that the cause is a crisis of the soul,” remarked five-time best-selling author Caroline Myss in a brief excerpt from her workshop. It is a timely topic during this pandemic and how it affects society.

Thoughts on adversity

Individuals perceive reality and respond in diverse ways. While some people freeze, rant, or panic, others stay grounded, calm or introspective.

Illusion and transformation

The eminent psychologist Gustav Carl Jung explained that every individual has two sides — the anima (mind, soul or true self) and the persona (assumed or externalized self).

Global and personal upheavals 

In this time of global upheaval, our country has experienced natural disasters full of devastation, suffering and anguish. For millions of people there is confusion and uncertainty. Illness and death struck suddenly — so close to home.

Beyond Brushstrokes

Past, present, future. Time as we know it is linear. In the cosmic dimension, it is always present. In my mind, time is circular. For a long...

Reflections on Hope

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest… For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Redefining wealth

Financial advisors and bankers used to discreetly classify their wealthy clients according to a finely calibrated chart.

Food pattern shift

One of the primary needs is oral satisfaction.

A new attitude

The period of prolonged isolation has been a time for reflection, grace, and transformation. A counselor explained that one’s attitude and lifestyle would change. We cannot go back to the old normal.

Filipino Heritage innovations

May is the month we celebrate National Heritage. But this year is unusual and haunting in our lifetime. People will have to strive hard, survive and find the means to fight the unseen enemy. The traditional festivals that happen around the country have been canceled. Due to the pandemic lockdown, National Heritage Month’s promotions, announcements, events, conferences, competitions and all programs, events and activities are online.

Transition and liminality

We are living in uncertain, challenging times. We are not in control of our lives. Our set patterns have changed. What was once familiar no longer feels or looks the same. The inexplicable situation is beyond the theories, statistics, reports, charts, analyses of the medical experts and scientists, task force and the instant know-it-all pseudo-writers.

Flaws and claws

The marine world has a diverse population of fishes, predator sharks, mammals such as whales and dolphins, algae, corals, crustaceans, microscopic organisms and amphibians.

Postscript to Easter

April has been a totally different experience. Instead of the Semana Santa tradition and rites, all churches were closed. The quarantine and surprise lockdown forced people to stay home for several weeks. Those who live in the city have to follow the protocol and strict security restrictions for health reasons.

Running Dry

The imagination is a creative fountain, a source of inspiration and ideas. Occasionally, it is overworked and it runs dry. Artists, writers, composers, architects, designers, professors and scientists experience the disconcerting, disturbing phenomenon called a “mental block.”

Spring thoughts

Spring officially began on March 21st . In our tropical country, it is also the start of the long, hot summer season.

The beauty of aging

Virginia Woolf once wrote, “I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”

Entitled

By definition, the adjective “entitled” has two meanings.

Restraint

Moderation and restraint are alien concepts in a consumer society. People are calibrated (by others) according to a status rating scale. Material things in glittering packages are impressive. Form over substance. Everything is quantified according to a price index.

Impact

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it by not dying.” -- Woody Allen, producer, actor, filmmaker

An attitude or vice?

In literature and history, the heroes Othello and Antony were noble, brave, and ingenious. However, their virtues were the cause of envy among their colleagues. In modern times, the outstanding individuals who excel in the fields of science, art, business, law, academe, and public service trigger pinpricks or gnawing pangs of jealousy.

Sleep and dream interpretation

“Sleep, perchance to dream.” -- William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Quadricula HOCUS II: history in art

“Art is long but life is short. In the long history of art, from the time man painted on the caves up to the present, this is the first time that art was created by two men in the manner of the HOCUS paintings,” historian-curator Gemma Cruz Araneta remarked.

Island interlude

The island offers a brief interlude from the oppressive urban congestion and frenzy. One finds instant relief. The city’s opaque toxic haze blurs and dissipates in the distance. The white cumulus clouds and the cerulean blue sky are a serene sight for world-weary eyes.

Siya nga: Reflections with art

“Words are windows that open us to mystery. Visual art that accompanies those words deepens the colors we see and brings us even closer to the wonder of it all,” remarked Father Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin, SJ, on his new book, Siya Nga! This is a Filipino expression of wonder, of openness to possibilities. It is an epiphany and eureka!

Insights on child protection

French philosopher Albert Camus once wrote, “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children.”

Ribbons in the sky

The world undergoes upheavals and periods of turmoil. There have been many crises -- floods, earthquakes, epidemics, and wars.

Deep creativity in our life

At a recent lecture, Carl Jung Circle Center chair Rose Yenko introduced author-psychologist Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD, a well-known professor at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

Ako Para Sa Bata inspired teens

“Studies have shown that violence against children and adolescents, the most vulnerable member of our society, leads to a wide range of health and social problems,” Dr. Bernadette J. Madrid, Child Protection Network executive director, remarked.

Low profile

During the long season of angst, one needs to be attuned to the times.

Newcomer, newsmaker

When someone suddenly zooms to power and fame, the newcomer becomes a newsmaker. The instant celebrity assumes an unmistakable aura of importance.

A mental discipline and pleasure

The iconic historian, writer, author, diplomat Carmen Guerrero Nakpil wrote in her autobiographical trilogy Myself, Elsewhere about how she learned to read.

Insights on depression

Depression is a mental illness that is difficult to detect, recognize, accept, and treat. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors note that it happens across a wide spectrum. In some cases, it hits generations in families.

The Magsaysay Awardees — heroes in selfless service

The beloved and much admired president Ramon Magsaysay was a man of greatness of spirit who exemplified the highest type of democratic leadership. He has been an inspiration, a source of strength that gave confidence to people who care about the well being of their fellow citizens.

The spectrum

Foodies fit into different categories and sub-classifications. Omnivore, carnivore, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, and flexitarian. The variations are growing.

Strategy

In love and war, timing is everything.

A matter of perception

One’s perspective and attitude determines the way things appear. A glass of water is either half-full or half-empty. The donut is a pastry with a hole. The pessimist looks at the hole instead of the whole sweet treat. On another level, a persistent problem could be a situation -- according to the optimist. It can be solved. It’s matter of perception.

Time to dream?

Traditional people think of time as a linear subject in a limited or given space. Using the chronological calendar, we aware of day one, day two, day three and so forth. We count the days, the hours and minutes. The clock follows a fixed pattern in minutes of 12 morning hours and 12 (afternoon and) night hours. Military time uses the 24-hour system. It is precise to the last second.

Surviving summer

How does one survive summer in the city?

Idealized images

Man has been obsessed with the search for the mythical fountain of eternal youth. It exists only in the imagination. There are projected and contrived cravings for rejuvenation procedures, cosmetic surgery, oxygen baths, hormonal injections, experiments with gene therapy. Some procedures and medicines are FDA-approved and safe to use. Other elixirs and treatments are still waiting for approval. While there are many successful results of retouching, revitalizing enhancements, there have been some tragic results too. Thus, one occasionally reads about cosmetic disasters: failed and fatal experiments and deadly diet pills. There are botched jobs because of allergic reactions to anesthesia and other complications.

Is divorce an equalizer?

For three decades, there have been attempts to pass the divorce bill in Congress. It has provoked waves of arguments and nothing happened.