Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Last Post on the Talking Mute

Farewell my fellow bloggers. This is the last post you will see on the Talking Mute. I have decided to use another screen name for a change. To some of you who have acquired my style of blogging would probably recognize me in my next screen name. I am calling it a reincarnation into another sum of personality where my very being is not lost but found.

Cheers!

Monday, April 03, 2006

An Encore on PARTNERS and MARRIAGE

I had a very heated discourse with one of my ex-boyfriends recently via e-mail. I did not expect to have such nasty exchange of words especially via e-mail! The argument nearly made me give up on love. So, I am reposting this wonderful essay again by Mr. Calasanz on marriage to remind me that given a chance with the right person, at the right time and the right match, love can always be found.

PARTNERS AND MARRIAGE

By Eduardo Jose E. Calasanz

I have never met a man who didn't want to be loved. But I have seldom met a man who didn't fear marriage. Something about the closure seems constricting, not enabling. Marriage seems easier to understand for what it cuts out of our lives than for what it makes possible within our lives. When I was younger this fear immobilized me. I did not want to make a mistake. I saw my friends get married for reasons of social acceptability, or sexual fever, or just because they thought it was the logical thing to do. Then I watched, as they and their partners became embittered and petty in their dealings with each other. I looked at older couples and saw, at best, mutual toleration of each other.

I imagined a lifetime of loveless nights and bickering and could not imagine subjecting myself or someone else to such a fate. And yet, on rare occasions, I would see old couples who somehow seemed to glow in each other's presence. They seemed really in love, not just dependent upon each other and tolerant of each other's foibles. It was an astounding sight, and it seemed impossible. How, I asked myself, can they have survived so many years of sameness, so much irritation at the other's habits?

What keeps love alive in them, when most of us seem unable to even stay together, much less love each other? The central secret seems to be in choosing well. There is something to the claim of fundamental compatibility. Good people can create a bad relationship, even though they both dearly want the relationship to succeed. It is important to find someone with whom you can create a good relationship from the outset. Unfortunately, it is hard to see clearly in the early stages.

Sexual hunger draws you to each other and colors the way you see yourselves together. It blinds you to the thousands of little things by which relationships eventually survive or fail. You need to find a way to see beyond this initial overwhelming sexual fascination. Some people choose to involve themselves sexually and ride out the most heated period of sexual attraction in order to see what is on the other side. This can work, but it can also leave a trail of wounded hearts. Others deny the sexual side altogether in an attempt to get to know each other apart from their sexuality. But they cannot see clearly, because the presence of unfulfilled sexual desire looms so large that it keeps them from having any normal perception of what life would be like together.

The truly lucky people are the ones who manage to become long-time friends before they realize they are attracted to each other. They get to know each other's laughs, passions, sadness, and fears. They see each other at their worst and at their best. They share time together before they get swept into the entangling intimacy of their sexuality. This is the ideal, but not often possible. If you fall under the spell of your sexual attraction immediately, you need to look beyond it for other keys to compatibility.

One of these is laughter. Laughter tells you how much you will enjoy each other's company over the long term. If your laughter together is good and healthy, and not at the expense of others, then you have a healthy relationship to the world. Laughter is the child of surprise. If you can make each other laugh, you can always surprise each other. And if you can always surprise each other, you can always keep the world around you new.

Beware of a relationship in which there is no laughter. Even the most intimate relationships based only on seriousness have a tendency to turn sour. Over time, sharing a common serious viewpoint on the world tends to turn you against those who do not share the same viewpoint, and your relationship can become based on being critical together.

After laughter, look for a partner who deals with the world in a way you respect. When two people first get together, they tend to see their relationship as existing only in the space between the two of them. They find each other endlessly fascinating, and the overwhelming power of the emotions they are sharing obscures the outside world. As the relationship ages and grows, the outside world becomes important again. If your partner treats people or circumstances in a way you can't accept, you will inevitably come to grief. Look at the way she cares for others and deals with the daily affairs of life. If that makes you love her more, your love will grow. If it does not, be careful. If you do not respect the way you each deal with the world around you, eventually the two of you will not respect each other.

Look also at how your partner confronts the mysteries of life. We live on the cusp of poetry and practicality, and the real life of the heart resides in the poetic. If one of you is deeply affected by the mystery of the unseen in life and relationships, while the other is drawn only to the literal and the practical, you must take care that the distance doesn't become an unbridgeable gap that leaves you each feeling isolated and misunderstood.

There are many other keys, but you must find them by yourself. We all have unchangeable parts of our hearts that we will not betray and private commitments to a vision of life that we will not deny. If you fall in love with someone who cannot nourish those inviolable parts of you, or if you cannot nourish them in her, you will find yourselves growing further apart until you live in separate worlds where you share the business of life, but never touch each other where the heart lives and dreams. From there it is only a small leap to the cataloging of petty hurts and daily failures that leaves so many couples bitter and unsatisfied with their mates. So choose carefully and well. If you do, you will have chosen a partner with whom you can grow, and then the real miracle of marriage can take place in your hearts. I pick my words carefully when I speak of a miracle. But I think it is not too strong a word.

There is a miracle in marriage. It is called transformation. Transformation is one of the most common events of nature. The seed becomes the flower. The cocoon becomes the butterfly. Winter becomes spring and love becomes a child. We never question these, because we see them around us every day. To us they are not miracles, though if we did not know them they would be impossible to believe.

Marriage is a transformation we choose to make. Our love is planted like a seed, and in time it begins to flower. We cannot know the flower that will blossom, but we can be sure that a bloom will come. If you have chosen carefully and wisely, the bloom will be good. If you have chosen poorly or for the wrong reason, the bloom will be flawed. We are quite willing to accept the reality of negative transformation in a marriage. It was negative transformation that always had me terrified of the bitter marriages that I feared when I was younger. It never occurred to me to question the dark miracle that transformed love into harshness and bitterness. Yet I was unable to accept the possibility that the first heat of love could be transformed into something positive that was actually deeper and more meaningful than the heat of fresh passion. All I could believe in was the power of this passion and the fear that when it cooled I would be left with something lesser and bitter. But there is positive transformation as well. Like negative transformation, it results from a slow accretion of little things. But instead of death by a thousand blows, it is growth by a thousand touches of love.

Two histories intermingle. Two separate beings, two separate presence, two separate consciousnesses come together and share a view of life that passes before them. They remain separate, but they also become one. There is an expansion of awareness, not a closure and a constriction, as I had once feared. This is not to say that there is not tension and there are not traps. Tension and traps are part of every choice of life, from celibate to monogamous to having multiple lovers. Each choice contains within it the lingering doubt that the road not taken somehow more fruitful and exciting, and each becomes dulled to the richness that it alone contains. But only marriage allows life to deepen and expand and be leavened by the knowledge that two have chosen, against all odds, to become one.

Those who live together without marriage can know the pleasure of shared company, but there is a specific gravity in the marriage commitment that deepens that experience into something richer and more complex. So do not fear marriage, just as you should not rush into it for the wrong reasons. It is an act of faith and it contains within it the power of transformation. If you believe in your heart that you have found someone with whom you are able to grow, if you have sufficient faith that you can resist the endless attraction of the road not taken and the partner not chosen, if you have the strength of heart to embrace the cycles and seasons that your love will experience, then you may be ready to seek the miracle that marriage offers. If not, then wait.

The easy grace of a marriage well made is worth your patience. When the time comes, a thousand flowers will bloom...endlessly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pictures of Keira Gail

As promised I have posted a couple of pictures of my new neice, Keira Gail. She was born on March 11th, 2006 to her very proud parents, Adrian and Ger. See her cute pictures on my photoblog below:

http://agnespictures.blogspot.com

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Lectures, lectures, lectures

I am attending my Finance 2 (Certified General Accountants program) lectures today at the University of Toronto campus and for every Saturday thereafter until May 2006. I will see if I chose a good lecturer. If not, I will just stay home and do self-study.

I am excited for this course since I will be learning more of the investments world, NPVs, swaps, futures, capital projects and all and hopefully pass the exams. I am working for an insurance company that is into investment business as well, so this course should make me a valuable resource, I hope for this company.

However, that means, less sleeping, less leisure time and less blogging for me.

Oh well, no pain, no gain.

A Babe is Born and her name is Keira Gail

Last night, my parents and I chatted for hours with my siblings and nephews and most importantly to see my new niece, Keira Gail, via webcam. She was born on March 11th, 2006 at 7 lbs. She was sleeping most of the time, occassionally peeking and startled by the commotion around her. Keira is the 4th child of my brother, Adrian.

I can't wait until I post her pictures on this blog.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ferdinand Magellan Discovers the Philippines

On this day in 1521, the first circumnavigator of the world, Ferdinand Magellan, discovers the Philippines.

See more of him on the link below:

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Ferdinand+Magellan

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Rebuttal to the Open Letter from SC Austero

Here is a rebuttal to the open letter I have posted below from SC Austero. The debate is heating up folks. The man is named "Enteng," or Vincent in English.

The Right to Remain Silent

I am glad that the military incident and the subsequent proclamation of PP 1017 two weeks ago emboldened those of you, who previously stayed on the sidelines, to share your convictions. There are 2 emails making the rounds – "Why we are not out in the streets" and "Galing sa isang Middle-Class Pinoy" that are quite interesting.

I appreciate why people can identify with these email messages. I felt the same way during the days prior to EDSA 1. I was a middle manager at that time, trying to build a career, and when I saw the likes of Cory side by side with the reds pushing the economy to the brink as they began calling for civil disobedience, I was indignant. I told everyone I knew who participated in such exercise that it was sheer foolishness... that it was bringing the economy down. And that if they would only stop, then we can all go about our business of building up our careers, our personal fortunes, and by extension, the economy. Hard work is the key. Politics was just a necessary evil.

I did not know and didn't mind the extent of pillage of our national treasury that Marcos and his cronies committed, nor the extent of human rights violations, including disappearances, happening around me. Really, it did not affect me directly, so I did not care.

And then EDSA 1 happened. People, led mostly by the middle class, came out. I was there, too, for 2 days, celebrating with the rest of the nation the end of a dictatorship, conveniently forgetting that only a few days before, I was all too willing to let Marcos rule forever, a bit embarrassed to be called a hero of EDSA, for simply being there.

EDSA 2 followed a similar path. While a committed few fanned the flames of discontent, the middle class waited on the sidelines until the opportune time to push the envelope proving once again that people power is a middle-class act. EDSA 3 only reinforced the idea. It failed because the middle class was conspicuously absent.

And now you tell us to stop the protests, because you have no intention of coming out to the streets and therefore people power will fail. You may be right – people power could fail. But that should not give you comfort, for it only opens up other forms of revolt – a peasant revolution, a military rebellion, or a communist takeover. When you have more than half of the people living in abject poverty, a restive military, and an oppressive regime – it's a social volcano just waiting to erupt. And this time, it could be bloody.

You ask us why can't we just redirect our energies towards building up the economy through productive work, like you do, instead of disruptive protest actions. You might be surprised to know that this is not a full-time job for us. Like you, we have a business to run or a job we try to keep. Beyond work, there are many in our ranks who are involved in civic projects through Rotary, Gawad Kalinga, and NGOs – trying to help in alleviating the conditions of our poor. So, please… you don't have an exclusive claim to doing good for this nation, much less to patriotism.

You accuse us of being fools for allowing ourselves to be used by the leftists, Erap and Marcos forces, and other unscrupulous politicians to advance their agenda. We are not as naïve as you think. We recognize that it is Erap's right to dream of one day regaining his lost glory just as it is the leftists' right to push their ideology within the bounds of law. In the same manner, we recognize it is your right to express your willingness for your basic rights and freedom to be curtailed or to settle for a president who is a cheat, a thief, and an oppressor. We may not agree with any of you, but we do not get angry like you do, when people espouse views different from ours. Such is the way of democracy. It is the same democracy that gives us the right to think of you as the bigger fools, for allowing yourselves to be used by GMA to prop up her repressive regime.

And now that you have finally decided to speak up, you claim to represent the silent majority. Where did you get this idea? The majority could be silent, but they do not necessarily share your sentiments. At least when we claim that 80% of our people believe GMA cheated and 54% wants her out, we have the surveys to back our claims. Whether or not they will act on what they believe in is another story. Soon – when the flurry of mail forwards bottom out - you will discover as we have, that this nation is hopelessly divided. And that is how GMA intends to keep it in order to cling on to power.

How, then, do we move forward?

If you, the middle class, sincerely believe that the future of this nation is in your hands, then I urge you to arise now, be heard, and take the lead. If you believe GMA staying on is the best option for our country today, then I call for leaders to rise among you, and organize yourselves to act on your belief. Lobby your congressmen to ban protests. Tell your president of your unequivocal support, regardless of her alleged cheating and thievery. Go to the streets in thousands, if not millions. But do something. Put your money where your mouth is… because forwarding email messages around and wishing the protests away will not make it happen.

If, on the other hand, you share our convictions that GMA must go, then join us now and be counted. There's an easy way to do this through our Black Friday Protest Movement. Just visit
www.blackfridayprotest.blogspot.com or send a blank email to blackfridayprotest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to receive a regular bulletin from us. You may also forward this email to friends and colleagues and urge them to join us now.

Whichever side you are in, the important thing is to come out and be counted. The time to act is now. For if you continue exercising your right to remain silent – pretty soon, it will be the only right left for us as citizens.

God bless and God save this country.

enteng


-------------------------------------------------------
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for some good men to do nothing."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Response from the Silent Majority

The following letter was written by one of the silent majority during last week's political upheaval from those opposing the incumbent Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (fondly known as GMA). The letter was written by a certain S.C. Austero from the Philippines who is tired of the former Philippine president, "Tita Cory" Aquino's, sabotaging Philippine progress. Tell me what you think fellow bloggers.

Open Letter to Our Leaders: Why We Are Not Out In The Streets

Dear Tita Cory, Senators, Congressmen, Businessmen, Media people,Leftists, and all Bleeding Hearts Out There:
I am angry. And I know that there are many out there who are angrier than I am for the same reason. And that reason is simple. I am sick and tired of all you guys claiming to speak for me and many Filipinos. I feel like screaming every time you mouth words about fighting for my freedom and my rights, when you obviously are just thinking about yours. You tell me that the essence of democracy is providing every citizen the right to speak his or her mind and make his or her own informed judgments, but you yourselves do not respect my silence and the choices I and many others have made. In other words, your concept of democracy is limited to having your rights and your freedoms respected, at the expense of ours.


I am utterly flabbergasted that you still do not get it: we already responded to your calls, and our response has been very clear - we chose not to heed your calls to go to EDSA or to Fort Bonifacio not because we do not love our country or our freedoms or our rights, but precisely because we love our country even more. Because quite frankly, we are prepared to lose our freedoms and our rights just to move this country forward. You may counter with your ideological propaganda and give me all the dire warnings about the evils of Martial Law, authoritarian rule, suppression of freedom, etc., but quite frankly all we see is your pathetic efforts to defend your right to continue fulminating, filibustering, and sabotaging this country until you wrestle power for yourselves. You tell me that you are simply protecting my freedoms and my rights, but who told you to do that? I assure you that when I feel that my rights and my freedoms are at a peril, Iwill stand up and fight for them myself. I have done that in the past, and I will do it again when I SEE THE NEED FOR IT, not when you tell me to do it.
You tell us that GMA is not the right person to lead this country because she has done immoral acts. As someone who sees immorality being committed wantonly in many ways every day and by everyone (yes, including the ones you do), I may have become jaded. I may have lowered my standards about what a leader should be. Guess what, Tita Cory, you lowered it yourself. When I accepted your incompetence and fought for you during the many attempts against your government, I already lowered the standards to ridiculous levels. Guess what, Senators and Congressmen, you lowered it yourselves when you ran for office and won and now make fools of yourselves in the august halls of congress.


But the simple truth that you try to obfuscate is this: you have not been able to offer me any viable alternative! On the other hand, GMA has bent over backwards many times to accommodate you while continuing to work hard despite all the obstacles and the brickbats you have thrown her way. From where I sit, she is the one who has been working really hard to move this country forward while all of you have been so busy with one and only one thing: to make sure she does not succeed. So forgive me if I do not want to join you in your moral pissing contest. Forgive me if I have chosen to see things from another perspective. You say she is the problem. I say, we are - all of us is the problem; more to the point, I think you are a bigger problem than she is. Taking her out may solve part of the problem, but that leaves us with a bigger problem: you. That is right, YOU!

While I felt outraged that she called a Comelec official during the elections and that she may have rigged the elections, I have since then taken the higher moral ground and forgiven her. Yes my dear bishops, I have done what you have told me to do since I was a child, which you say is the Christian and moral thing to do: forgive. Especially since she has asked for forgiveness and has tried to make amends for it. Erap (former Philippine president) certainly has not apologized and continues to be defiant, continuing to insult us everyday with his protestations - and he is part of your cause now! Cory has not apologized for her incompetence but we have forgiven her just the same because like GMA, she has worked hard after all.

I know you do not think that GMA's apology was not enough, or that she was insincere, or that that apology should not be the end of it, but please spare me the hypocrisy of telling me that you do so for the sake of protecting the moral fibre of society. The real reason is because you smell blood and want to go for the kill.

Well, I have news for you. I do not like her too. I did not even vote for her. I voted for Raul Roco. But as much as I do not like her, I do not like you even more. I may not trust her, but you know what, I do not trust you even more.

You know why I do not trust you? Because all you do is whine and sabotage this country. You belittle every little progress we make, conveniently forgetting that it is not just GMA who has been working so hard to achieve them. Every single day, we keep the faith burning in our hearts that this country will finally pull itself out of the mess and we work so hard to do that. Every little progress is the result of our collective effort, we who toil hard everyday in our jobs. Yet, you persist in one and only thing: making GMA look bad in the eyes of the world and making sure that this country continues to suffer to prove your sorry point. In the process, you continue to destroy what we painstakinly try to build. So please do not be surprised that I do not share your cause. Do not be surprised that we have become contemptuous of your antics. You have moved heaven and earth to destroy her credibility, you have convened all kinds of fora and hearings and all you have done is test our patience to the core. For all your efforts, you have only succeeded in dragging us further down. I say enough.

Don't get me wrong. I am not asking that we take immorality lying down, or that we let the President get away with anything illegal. But you have tried to prove your accusations all these time and you have not succeeded, so it is time to let things be. Besides, you are doing something immoral as well if not utterly unforgivable. The Magdalo soldiers are consorting with the communists - the same people who have been trying to kill democracy for years. Cory has been consorting with Erap and the Marcoses.

So please wake up and take a reality check. In the absence of true and genuine moral leadership, many of us have decided to cast our lot with the President, even if we do not like her. A flawed leader is better than scheming power hungry fools who can not even stand up for their convictions in the face of an impending arrest.

Your coup attempts and the denials that you have consequently made only underscore what we think is true: you are spineless and unreliable, people who only want power but not the consequences and the sacrifices that go with the quest. Your one and only defense is to cry suppression when your ruse does not work. You are nothing but BULLIES who taunt and provoke, but cry oppression when taken to task for your cruelty. You call for the rule of law and respect for authority, but so brazenly display your defiance and disrespect for the same things you claim to be fighting for.

I would have respected you if you took the consequences of your actions like real heroes: calmly and responsibly instead of kicking and screaming and making all kinds of lame excuses. You say you are willing to die for us, that you do all these things for the country and the Filipino, but you are not even willing to go to jail for us.
Come on, you really think we believe that you did not want to bring down the government when THAT IS THE ONE AND ONLY ONE THING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DESPERATELY TRYING TO DO in the last many months?

We love this country and we want peace and progress. Many among us do not give a f*&k who sits at Malacanang (the presidential residence) because we will work hard and do our share to make things work. We the people will and can make it work, if only you get out of the way and let us do it. If you only do your jobs, the ones you are supposed to be doing, things would be a lot simpler and easier for all of us.

The events during the weekend only proved one thing. You are more dangerous and a serious threat to this country than GMA is. We have seen what you are capable of doing - you are ready to burn this country and reduce everything to ashes just to prove your point. If there is something that we need protection from, IT IS PROTECTION FROM YOU.

S. C. Austero


Heaven
Add a video to your site FREE Music Video Code