Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ihip ng Hangin - Saranggola ni Pepe

Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon
Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon
Dumaan ang jeepney at gumuhit pa sa kalye
Mauling ang iniwang hindi na tinabi
(Awit ni Celeste Legaspi)

This photo was taken last 5th of May, Children's Day of Korea, it was a holiday so the park was teeming with children and their parents. It was windy so kites made their presence on the sky. But it was the adults (their dad) who enjoyed flying kite the most, it was them who controlled the kite's thread to keep it afloat. So some of the kids were protesting to have the chance to play with the the kite.

I am so glad to find this video from You Tube since it is children related as well. The music was performed by a children's choir (kids of Overseas Filipino Workers) based in Jeddah, KSA. Read the comments made by the owner of the video. I hope that these children understand and appreciate the wonderful role they are doing for their countrymen. And not only helping but they also make their parents and the Philippine community proud of their musical talents.


Serenata is presently based here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Where music is not allowed for girls.. especially for public performances. These kids practiced for 5 months and staged a yearly concert for the benefit of the numerous underprivileged people in the Philippines.. such as the landslide victims in Leyte (in 2006).. in 2007.. helped 4 school.. (2 of them are Islamic School).. and for this year.. for the Al Jamila Organization in the Mindanao..

Monday, May 26, 2008

4YOBlog – How old is your blog?

4YOBlog means 4-year old blog.

Today marks the eve of my upcoming 4th year Blogging Anniversary. So I will try to do a blog meme on blogs 4 years or older.

Whenever I look at blogs I would always check the archives. At least the number of years you are blogging means you have a track record and history. But this is never a factor considered by any of those available metrics and tools that measures blog statistics. Today, maintaining a blog rank is a primary concern for most bloggers who are monetizing their blogs to keep and attract more advertisers to their sites. But most often those blog that commands high visibility may have been around for a year or two. Well these bloggers are really good at promoting themselves. So I thought of doing this blog meme to promote and recognize bloggers who have been blogging for quite some time.

Checking on the history of, I was just a year shy starting a blog when it was acquired by Google. Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan (Pyra Labs) launched in August 1999 (purchased by Google in February 2003) according to this link from

I started blogging some years earlier, then stopped and only to find out when I revisited my then onclave account is not anymore available since it became a paid-for-subscription site. I never made any back-up of those postings so they are gone for good.

So what is 4YOBlog?

It is a blog meme (read more from this link: that I would like to start. It is my tribute to my blog on its forthcoming 4th anniversary and to all other tireless bloggers who have been blogging for four years or more. I plan to synthesize the outcome of this meme after sometime (maybe after four months).

Like any meme I have some set of guides to be answered by those folks (whose blogs are 4 years or older) whom I will tag.

The following are the 4 guide questions:

1) 4 Favorite Blog Entries (as much as possible highlight an entry from each year, just the 4 titles and links or title with the hyperlink)

2) 4 Unique Keywords and Tags on your Blog

3) 4 Do's in Blogging (A must for blogging and your best blogging practices)

4) 4 Bloggers to Tag ( please tag only those whose blogs that are 4 years or older and are still active, so check their blog archive, this is our way to recognize those who have been blogging for some time)

It is best also to check and inform the person you are tagging so that they get to know about this meme. I was surprised one time to find my name tagged for a meme when checking on blogs linked to me, but I was never told about it so I never got to do it at the specified time that was set.

Try to include these keywords/tags also when posting this meme on your blog – 4YOBlog, 4-year-old-blog, 4plusYOBlog, 4-plus-year-old-blog. The keywords will easily help me track down and find out those who will be doing this meme.

Thank you for taking part in this blog meme.

For those who are not tagged but interested to do this meme feel free to do it. Please inform me so I can link up with you and be included in the synthesis I will make afterwards.

Here's my take:

1) 4 Favorite Blog Entries (as much as possible highlight an entry from each year, just the 4 titles and links or title with hyperlink)

2004 My new blog

2005 – My first vlog at

2006 Balikbayan Box

2007 Nursing is apolitical?

2) 4 Unique Keywords or Tags in your Blog

corea curios

3) 4 Do's in Blogging

1) Keep a goal and purpose for blogging.
2) Acknowledge your blog commenter and do visit and comment on their blog as well.
3) As much as possible accompany pictures/graphics to your posting.
4) Join social networks.

4) 4 Bloggers to Tag ( please tag only those whose blog are 4 years or older and are still active, check their blog archive, this is our way to recognize those who have been blogging for a time)

1) Betchay

2) Dr. Emer

3) Annalyn

4) Kiwi’s Adventures

My Way with Cow Bells

Playing a haunting music with saw for a violin.


Singing ala-Pavarotti

Back home, I've heard stories of homicides at videoke bars because of quarrel and fight over Frank Sinatra' s song My Way. The song is the most favorite videoke songs, an anthem even for most videoke singers. So if the song is not sung in the proper way and offended the discriminating ears of its listeners, such situation could really turn fatal that would lead way to the funeral.

But here in Korea, My Way is performed a different and unique way. My Way performed with different sizes of cow bells. The performer even made use of saw for a violin. He yodels and sings opera. A virtuoso who confessed that it was his first time to perform in his suit outdoor under a blazing afternoon sun.

My Way (His Way) with Cow Bells

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diwata ng Tubig sa Siyudad

Diwata ng Tubig sa Siyudad

Sa bagong paraiso mo sa siyudad
Ay gubat ng mga matatayog na gusali
Usok ng sasakyan iyong nilalanghap
Ang malamyos na huni ng mga ibon at kulisap
Ngayo’y busina at harurot ang kapalit.

Sa saliw ng buga at buhos ng fountain
Ika’y nasilayan…
nagkukubli sa tabing ng tubig.

Urban Water Nymph

Your new paradise is the city
In a forest of tall buildings
Breathing fume of vehicles
Where the harmony of birds and insects
Are now cacophony of beeps and vrooms

In the melody of sputter and pour of the fountain
I beheld…
an apparition, hiding in a curtain of water.

(This photo was originally posted with this link:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A year ago - A May 18 interview

The article below was from, one of the daily newspapers here in Korea. I was interviewed last year May 2007. Ms. Oh Miok, was a 2006 volunteer sent by The May 18 Memorial Foundation to my former organization (CO Multiversity/Philcos) in the Philippines. She lived in an urban poor community in Manila where she learned Community Organizing to help empower the community.

This article was showed to me a year after by another interviewer for our magazine joo muk bap on our 2008 may issue (the write up is now being translated in English). Researching about me prior the interview my interviewer found this article and gave to me the online printout.

I asked our 2007 volunteer Yoan Kim who is an English education major. Yoan was sent to Malaysia and work with Empower who deals primarily with youth and women. Thanks to Mi Ok and Yoan for their help.

The Korean version is posted with this titled link:

“5·18 잊고 사는 광주가 슬프다”

5월 광주는 아시아 활동가에게 ‘승리의 신념’ 전해…소중한 역사 계승해야

It is said that the May 18 is forgotten in Gwangju
Interview and written by
Kook Jin Bang

May of Gwangju brings belief in victory to Asian activists... precious history should be succeeded.

"I am so sad when I hear that Gwangju citizens have forgotten the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising (518). The May 18 is precious and important history that Koreans should treasure." This is what Mr. Pete Rahon feels about Gwangju and Gwangju citizens. He had been working with poor people for the last 10 years in the Philippine. He came first to Gwangju in 2005 as an intern for The May 18 Memorial Foundation. For 1o months he learned about the May 18 and worked providing staff support for the international cooperation team. He believes that the spirit and experience of Gwangju uprising is the same longing of Filipinos with the Philippine democracy movement.

♦ The May 18 needs to be national, not only Gwangju's own

16th May was such a busy day for him presiding a session and guiding participants for the 2007 Gwangju Peace Forum.

"History education to youth is essential for the succession of the spirit of May" he said.

That same day an opinion research about the May 18 was reported. According to the research, 2 out of 10 respondents said the May 18 was a riot or disturbance: 16.5 % of respondents said the May 18 had no influence to democratization of Korea: 68% didn't know that the 18th May is a national holiday. This shows that there is limitation of projects done by May 18 - related organizations. In response to this limitation, "It shouldn't be Gwangju's own history." he said and added "Memorial events should be prepared in other regions." It is such a precious advice from a foreigner to Gwangju citizens.

♦ " I can feel the spirit and victory of people power from the May 18"

It was not until 1990, when the trial of 2 former presidents, that he got to know about the May 18. It was a vivid memory for him to see two former Korean presidents stood at the bar; it was such an inspiring moment for him. He believes that soon Philippine democracy movement will gain victory.

"It was such a shock to see the pictures of victims brutally beaten and shot by the army. I pay homage to the Gwangju citizenas fighting for democracy."

He described Gwangju uprising as 'People Power'. He was touched of the spontaneous participation of Gwangju citizens in 1980 and it reminds him how powerful 'People Power' is. His feeling for the victory of 518 is a source of hope for him.

♦ What do Asian civil society activists think about the May 18?

He said the May 18 is an awe-inspiring experience to the Asian civil activists. He plans to introduce the May 18 to the Philippines. He is positive that the Philippines will also achieve the same victory oft he May 18. A real democratic government that leads to economic development.

"Gwangju gives confidence to Asian civil society which expect more help and inspiration from the Gwangju experience" he said.

It is a precious advice from a foreigner which makes us shameful.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Entrecard's Add a Blog Feature

Updated: 22 May 2008.

On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 3:17 AM, <> wrote:
You have been sent 2000 Entrecard credits!

These credits were sent from Entrecard direct to your Entrecard account and have been applied to your balance. The transaction included the following note from the sender:


---, linking bloggers together.

I woke up in happiness I told at the comment section of entrecard's blog. I cheked my email upon waking up to see this email in my inbox. So I can now splurge on advertising! Especially,we have to promote the 2008 Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School.


Original post:

One of the internet activities that I usually do aside from checking emails and browsing the net is checking my advertisements at entrecard. Entrecard has been a way for me to create traffic and gain readers and subscribers.

So even before I read the email notice of the changes at entrecard I have seen the feature ahead. This is indeed an interesting time at entrecard. It has been very responsive to the calls, suggestions and ideas of its members. No wonder the membership continues to increase. For that same reason also all the blogs that I created have entrecard widgets in them.

Add a Blog Feature is the newest development at entrecard so it would be easier for me who have several blogs to switch from one blog to another. I don’t have to log-in and out to check on the status of my other blogs with the entrecard widget in them.

What more?

Now newbies will have an easy time to learn about entrecard. Unlike us older members who have to go through its development stage and learn in the process the nitty-gritty. And experience the shock of the sky-rocketting cost of our entrecard, but patiently the members waited for it to normalize and to get back to a more reasonable price.

So for newbies here is ENTRECARD's OFFICIAL EBOOK, gift for you:

Folks from entrecard has this to say “Our free ebook has arrived for everyone to download! If you're new to Entrecard, and wondering what to do first, this ebook will guide you along the way. And if you're an intermediate of advanced user, it's packed full of strategies you can use to get the absolute most from our service. Download from the link above.”

It seems for the past months the team is so engaged at updating and developing the site, new look, new features and definitely attracting more new members. So, I have to blog about these things, a personal testimony and appreciation of the good job entrecard folks keep doing.

Related External Post:

OFFICIAL E-Book release,

AWESOME features added,

and two BIG contests!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mabuhay Human Rights!

At blogcatalog today is the day to blog about human rights. I am glad to participate since our office blog is mostly about human rights, peace and democracy. But on a personal basis here on my personal blog I am wondering what to write about. Or should I just link those articles I have written about human rights? Good questions?

This evening at 6:00 PM we will have a reception party for the delegates and guests of the 2008 Gwangju International Peace Forum (2008 GIPF). An annual international event that gathers human rights activists and social development workers to Gwangju to network and exchange, learn about old and new issues, appreciate Gwangju and May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising (518), pay respect to the heroes of 518 and witness the awarding ceremony for the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. Particularly for this year it is hoped that a Gwangju network will be created so collaboration will be much easier especially with the perception that most Asian countries are back sliding to authoritarianism and their governments becoming more of an illiberal democracies.

Particularly in the Philippines, Filipinos have been calling for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down. Aside from the corruption her families is embroiled, the unabated extrajudicial killings of journalists and activists are reasons
enough for her to give up her position.

Also with the upcoming 30th Anniversary of 518 the international community is being engaged on how it will be celebrated and commemorated.

As a migrant or Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) here in Korea I am aware of the issues of fellow migrant workers since I interact with them at the Catholic Church on Sundays. But personally I have not done much to help address their issues. Anyway migrant workers here in Korea are well taken cared of compared to those who work in Saudi Arabia. In the Middle East aside from their unique culture and religion they do not have a vibrant civil society movement. There are no NGOs and Migrant Workers Centers to go to when you get in trouble. To think that almost half of these countries’ population is composed of migrant workers building their economy. In Saudi Arabia if you are not Muslim you are not allowed to practice your religion openly. So a lot of religious groups congregate in secrecy and privacy of their homes.

I could really say that migrant workers here in Korea for that matter are far better off than their counterparts in most Middle East countries. Here there are migrant workers centers to go to and NGOs to seek help. Catholic, Protestant, and Buddhist groups run programs or ministry for migrants, thus, lucky are the Embassies whose role is reduced to issuing visa and renewing passports and maintaining diplomatic relations since their peoples problems are attended to by the civil society groups in this country.

Although on a personal and official capacity, since the Foundation I work with is providing some financial assistance to a migrant group, and I was asked to work on their issues, I will then be more involved and engaged. This is an opportunity that I have been waiting for and I do hope that I can be of help this time.

But another of those human rights that I would like to look into is the rights of multiethnic or multicultural families. It is amazing to experience a birthday party where you could see a mixture of race and colors. Indeed Korea is turning into heterogeneous society. Statistics shows an upward trend on this situation.

It is now a big challenge for Korea to redefine itself. Institutions are beginning to adjust and wake up to the fact that a new Korea is emerging just decades after its rapid successful economic growth. It is a big pressure to the society and the citizens in particular who are constantly deluge by rapid changes. But the “pali-pali” (rush-rush) culture here I would surmise is capable to adapt to all these present phenomena.

At the Catholic Church also I would encounter Filipino women most of them I suppose are not oriented of their rights and aware of women’s issues. Perhaps “rights” is the least of their concern since productive and hard working as they are, they need to contribute to the families coffer with constant increase cost of living.

At the 2008 GIPF the National Human Rights Commission of Korea will be doing a forum that seeks to address the concern of multiethnic families. They will look and assess the responsiveness of local human rights ordinances to the plight of these multiethnic families. I think this is one the strengths of Korean governance, although cautious they welcome and embrace change easily. There’s even one political party that had a Filipina married to a Korean, in their slate of candidate running as representative to the Korean Assembly. But unfortunately she did not make it.

Indeed it is an exciting times here in Korea. And I do admire and pay respect to the sacrifice of the patriots and heroes of May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising. For without them this might not be the Korea of their dreams, free and democratic. Their death was not put into vain after all. For they have paved the way for Korean democratization and for its rapid economic development. Today, both Koreans and migrants alike are reaping the rewards of their sacrifice. Truly, Gwangju should be considered as one of Asia’s sacred places for human rights, peace and democracy.

Umaapoy, nagliliyab... nagliwanag!

tulad ng puno sa gitna ng disyerto 'di masunog
ang pagmamahal ng Inang Birhen
patuloy na mag-aalab, magliliyab...
kasamaan lamang ang matutupok,
sa mga kahinaan ng mga anak na marurupok.

pag-alabin at
pagtibayin ang pananampalataya...
siya nawa.

(Larawan ng Groto ng Mahal na Birhen sa isang kumbento sa Gwangju, ROK. Epekto ng matagal na exposure sa liwanag mula sa malayong posisyon ng camera).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Isabel Allende on Women Empowerment

I was forwarded this link of Isabel Allende speaking at TED - Technology, Entertainment and Design. Although I have not read (blush) any of her novels I have seen one of her works adapted into film. Here is the reason why you should listen and watch her, from TED website:

As a novelist and memoirist, Isabel Allende writes of passionate lives, including her own. Born into a Chilean family with political ties, she went into exile in the United States in the 1970s -- an event that, she believes, created her as a writer. Her voice blends sweeping narrative with touches of magical realism; her stories are romantic, in the very best sense of the word. Her novels include The House of the Spirits, Eva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna, and her latest, Ines of My Soul and La Suma de los Dias (The Sum of Our Days). And don't forget her adventure trilogy for young readers -- City of the Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and Forest of the Pygmies.

As a memoirist, she has written about her vision of her lost Chile, in My Invented Country, and movingly tells the story of her life to her own daughter, in Paula. Her book Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses memorably linked two sections of the bookstore that don't see much crossover: Erotica and Cookbooks. Just as vital is her community work: The Isabel Allende Foundation works with nonprofits in the SF Bay Area and Chile to empower and protect women and girls -- understanding that empowering women is the only true route to social and economic justice.

"Allende can spin a funny, sensual yarn, but she can also use her narrative skills to remind us that parallel to our placid and comfortable existence is another, invisible universe, one where poverty, misery and torture are all too real."
Patricia Hart, The Nation

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today is Buddha's Birthday!

Almost a month ago I posted a blog entry about Buddha's Birthday - since those lanterns hanging on the street marks His Birthday. It is the most commented blog entry because of the cherry blossoms fotos. The link is below:

But actually today is the real day of Buddha's Birthday here in Korea. I think in other countries his birthday is celebrated in other dates. Perhaps it was the Hallyu (Korean wave) from South Asia (India/Nepal/Tibet?) to China-Korea-Japan or East Asia.


Happy Birthday Buddha!

May peace reign in hearts, mind and soul... Ooooommm... Shanti.....

Below are photos taken at the Buddhist Temple located at the 518 Memorial Park, Sangmu, Gwangju, ROK.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Nanay! Flowers for you !

(Nanay/Lola with Grace at Quezon City Children's Hospital)

Mothers are like flowers

sweet with their fragrance

beautiful like a bouquet

great with their nature

loved for their nurture

Happy Mothers Day Nanay

Happy Mothers Day to all Moms!

Link of related post (where this blog entry was mentioned/updated 12May):