Commentaries Features Medium- English Rotary Family

A Place Called Paradise

Heaven…Glory…Ecstasy…Delight…Joy…Bliss…These words depict Paradise. A place we all want to be in.  A place we all dream of.

However, the Rotaract Club of San Pedro East knows a different paradise.  Yes, there are still birds singing, trees dancing, bees buzzing… but not enough to be called Real Paradise.

A twenty-minute jeepney ride and a ten-minute walk from San Pedro town proper, Sitio Paradise rests in a hilly luscious green terrain south of San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna.  It is only a half-hour journey but getting to Paradise is not at all that delightful.  One must traverse the rocky roads of far-flung Southside of the neighboring Barangay San Antonio– the site of the infamous Dumpsite and he must cope with the stench of rotting garbage and the habitual sting of spinning dust both so created to really infiltrate your nostrils.  It is just a ten minute trek but getting to Paradise is not at all that glorious– one must wrestle with the steep muddy slopes and the sharp-bladed grass vegetation of the sitio.

The mangangalahig in Paradise Dumpsite and Southside Dumpsite are the common residents. The land owner of the sitio is said to be a rich and  well-known politician. Being informal settlers, they are not permitted to build decent homes. Building houses of stone and concrete are tightly monitored since the shelters are subject to demolition anytime.  The source of electricity is centralized and is closely checked for consumption and safety. Clean water is being bought and fetched from an owner of electric pump in the neighboring piggery farm. Children are mostly out-of-school because of poverty, long distance and absence of inexpensive transportation.

A passing dumptruck makes the RACSPEans hold their breath for quite some time
Hey, here's the cam. Where are you looking at?
Cassava, banana, madre de cacao vegetates the trail
We Shall Return. The RACSPE Landing.
Jeff, Marny, Thony, Khit and Toyo

Of course, RACSPE is more than willing and able enough to deal with these ordeals.  For the nth time, the club visits the Paradise.

Paradise is one of the adopted communities of RACSPE.  Since RY 2004-2005, Paradise has been one of the community service priorities of RACSPE.

From the ground-breaking of its Day Care Center to the distribution of school needs, RACSPE is always in Paradise to help.

Just recently on August 17, 2009 the club did a series of projects in Paradise.  The idea began with a plain plan of having a survey for the  World Community Service (WCS) but the club still found it necessary to bring and do something simultaneously with the  original plan.  The club packed assorted school supplies, cooked the famous vitameal and prepared for an interactive encounter with the Day Care students.

Ms. Jane Atanoso, a barangay health worker and Ms. Lydia Atanoso, the teacher assisted the club.

Allan, Rival, Mark in the frontline
Toyo, Allan, Matthew and Jeff hurdles the trail
The Paradise Day Care Center and the Paradise makeshift Chapel
"The boat is sinking. Group yourselves into two." -Toyo
The kids take their snacks before the games begin
Mayotoes, Mayonaisse, Mayoshoulder, Mayohead
Rtr. Allan attends to the kids' needs.
Storytelling ala Rtr. Mark Angelo Nato. Rtrs. Juan, Ryan and Khit listen carefully.
Rtr. Anthony teaches a kid how to write
Rtr. Matthew helps the girl draw a tree
Rtr. Khit up closely observes her "little sister"
Rtr. Allan watches as a kid draws
Rtr. Marny shares a decent laughter with akid
RACSPE, Ms. Lydia Atanoso and the Paradise Kids
Wacky time
The Infamous Jumpshot


And this is the video I made for this particular project:

Commentaries Features Medium- English Rotary Family The Brown Farmer

My First Project as a Rotarian

I am still hesitant to join the Rotary Club of San Pedro East. Pecuniary matters perhaps are the most pertinent factors. The Rotary axiom states that one must have the 3 T’s to share for him to join the Rotary Family. The first T is Time. Everybody has enough Time in this world unless one is working twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Then, my best friend Webster must delete the word “busy” in his list. It is just a matter of time management. The second T is Talent. Everybody has his own inherent and unique talent unless… No, there is no unless clause. It is just a matter of … Talent Management? The saying “If you are good at something never do it for free.” is not only popular but also selfish. Joker must be joking when he uttered this statement in Batman sequel The Dark Knight. Then, my better friend Wikiquote must delete this irresponsible hearsay in his file. The third T is Treasure. Yes, treasure as in wealthMoney. This time, not everybody has enough money to share. However, a little Treasure can go a long, long way with ample Time and resourceful Talent.

I am still hesitant to join the Rotary Club of San Pedro East.

December 22, 2010. Last working day in the office (Read as: Last FB day in the office) before Christmas vacation. Being an Accounting Manager, I have flexible time. My morning routine: sitting in the doorway of my house with a cup of coffee and a lit cigarette and the compulsive tending of my little garden. Yes, my little garden built through my obsessive and petty thefts of plant stock in places I have been to as a Rotaractor.  No wonder why the names of plants are Tanauan, Taal-Lemery, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, Calamba, Bay, Lucena, Caluag, (CWC) and so on… named either after the Host Rotaract Clubs or the Places where the Rotaract events were held in (except for that one named after an important person). (Huwag mo‘kong tanungin kung sino basta  kapangalan siya ng aso at multo sa bahay)

The unreliable clock rang a quarter before eight in the morning. It was time to take the bath and head for my last FB day in the office. But the Incoming President of the Rotary Club of San Pedro East told me that they would be holding a project in Mary, Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and the Abandoned. With no hesitation, I iron-pressed my unused and a good-for-display-only Rotary Vest. With so much pride, I donned the vest with the most precious Rotary Wheel embedded on.

Notwithstanding, I managed to drop by the office- not to FB but to supervise my staff about what-to-do’s.

The Mary Mother of Mercy is a non- profit, non-government foundation taking care of the physical, medical, spiritual needs and concerns of the elderly and abandoned for ten years. Located in San Antonio, San Pedro, Laguna, it is presently home to 29 residents coming from different parts of the country who are ministered by the missionary nuns of St. Francis Xavier.  See related articles

The Rotaract Club of San Pedro East has been helping the Home since Rotary Year 2004-2005.

As usual, it was  the landscape and the plants that first got my attention.  I approach one Lola who was tending the Home’s garden. The garden was not that big but a certain species won my central vision.   Lola said that the name of the plant is Roselle.  She added that the plant is grown for its leaves used as “pampaasim’ in “sinigang”.  According to her the mother seeds were from Burma and were brought by the Burmese sisters.  Lately did I realize that it was known in Tagalog as Kulatsitsi.

After the Rotary and the Rotaract Club of San Pedro East gave their Christmas presents, I went back home to add my new find in my little garden collection.

Notwithstanding, I managed to drop by the office- not to FB but to do this blog.  Pictures to follow.

Commentaries Medium- English

Philippines Pulverizes Indonesia in TARA 4 Debate

The Controversial Passport


(1) Dumbasz Kurniawan-Filipino, protagonist dynamic character- alter and aletered ego and Grammar auto-corrector of M Heru Kurniawan
(2) Asel-Filipino, protagonist
(3) M Heru Kurniawan, Indon, antagonist
(4) Timz Gerrit, Indon, antagonist
(5) Christian Bautista– minor character, Dummy account of Asel
(6) Dumbasz Geritt- minor character, Dummy account of Asel, alter and altered ego and auto-corrector of Grammar of Timz Gerrit
(7) “M Heru Kurniawan”-double of M Heru Kurniawan, Dummy account of Asel
(8) “Timz Gerrit”- -double of Timz Gerrit, Dummy account of Asel
(9) Sawsaw Sukas- minor characters who pop in and out.  Some are intelligent observers who for the sake of Composure do not dip totally in the suka.  Some are frequent commentators who for the sake of papansin make habitual posts but are grammatically-constrained.  Some are nonsense agitators while some are conscientious pacifiers.
The plot begins with this passport picture of Richard earning criticisms from the Indonesians. Their argument- “USA wins TARA4 since The Richards are of American Citizenship and not bona fide Filipinos”.  In the beginning several Indonesians and a few of other Asians including a “treacherous Filipino” attack the patriotic Pinoy defenders.  The Indonesian M Heru Kurniawan begins throwing foul words as he cannot accept the defeat because he cannot understand the rule of TARA, the principle of Dual Citizenship, the meaning of jus sanguinis and the law of naturalization. Timz Gerrit, out of the blue surfaces to work back to back with M Heru. M Heru rejoices in frolic. Timz and Heru even become more energetic when Dumbasz Kurniawan comes into the limelight. Dumbasz Kurniawan agitates Timz and Heru’s furious hate of the Filipinos. Asel thinks that the two Kurniawans are one and the same person but Keannu argues Dumbasz Kurniawan is a Filipino. Indeed, Dumbasz Kurniawan is a Filipino but Keannu is wrong in his/her accusation that Dumbasz is betraying the Filipinos Trust. Dumbasz ends up reverting and inverting his past statements and declaring Heru and Timz as stupid. Dumbasz now takes the side of the real Filipinos. Philippines scores 1-0 vs. the Indons for the cleverness of Dumbasz and the stupidity of the Indons for not even asking who is this Kurniawan.
Heru and Gerrit calls for a rematch. Their major argument- Filipinos are good for nothing since they keep on banking on Half-foreign/Half-Filipino individuals for international contentions. They cite AFF Suzuki Cup with PhilBrit soccers for the supporting evidence. Out of nowhere, Christian Bautista enters the scene. He rallies for a truce between the Indons and Pinoys since as he said the two “breeds” are close to his heart. It turns out that Heru and Timz are die-hard gay fans of Christian. Timz even sings- “Is there something in the way Heru looks at me”. It takes them a long long time before they discover that Christian is a dummy account. Christian mistakenly takes Garuda as a place and says ”I don’t want to go to Garuda because there are a lot of Komodo Dragons there”. Gerrit finally doubts and says “How come there are Komodo Dragons in Garuda Airlines?”  Christian reveals and answers “I mean Komodo Dragons namely Timz and Heru are aboard the airlines”. The Philippines scores 2-0 against the Indons.
Timz and Heru never lose Hope. Their main proposition now is that Filipinos are cowards for making dummy accounts. Also, the never ending issues of passport, citizenship and their non-proficiency in English language resurface over and over again. Dumbasz Gerrit comes out to tagteam Dumbasz Kurniawan. It pisses off the Indons even more. Foul words and threats are cast all around. “M Heru Kurniawan” surrenders.  Timz Gerrit surrenders too after “M Heru Kurniawan” waved his white flag”. However, it is a different “M Heru Kurniawan”. Different “M Heru Kurniawan”, Christian Bautista and Dumbasz Gerrit are one and the same. As usual, it takes the Indons a long long time to realize the conspiracy. The Philippines score 3-0.
The Real Heru Kurniawan bids goodbye and leaves Timz Gerrit alone. Timz Gerrit tries to get back and score against the Pinoys. Suddenly, “Timz Gerrit” admits he is gay and he is a loser. But this is a different “Timz Gerrit”.  Finally, the Real Timz Gerrit together with his Indonesian representation surrenders and leaves the page.
FINAL SCORE: Phil 4 vs.  Indo 0