Hello world!

papa2I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you.

Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated.

We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site.

Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship.

Thank you.

Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados.

Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio.

Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad.

Gracias.

Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

Older sister wants baby brother to remain a baby

Sadie, a 5-year old girl from Arizona, cried copious tears because she did not want her 3-month old brother, Carson, to grow up.

This video really got me laughing not at the sight of Sadie crying, but at how Carson was showing his impish reaction at the fuss created by his sister.

Sadie even cried more and kissed Carson’s head when the latter responded at her wailing with innocently executed “cute little smiles.”

But, surely, Sadie has shown the world what love and caring is all about or what a drama queen she can be in the future!

 

Pacific islanders fight obesity

 

pif1Political leaders and ministers from Pacific nations are in Palau attending the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), its 45th annual meeting, to discuss mainly the threat climate change has on the low-lying island nations and the overfishing problem in the Pacific.

The 15 members of the PIF include several countries made up of atolls that barely rise one meter above sea level.

The theme of this year’s forum is ‘The Ocean: Life and Future’.

While climate change has always been a continuing hot topic in many countries, but most especially among the Pacific nations, another critical issue brought for discussion in the forum is about health – specifically the high incidence of obesity among the islanders – under the topic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Palau’s President and PIF chairman, Tommy Remengesau Jr., said that he was determined to change the unhealthy lifestyle choices that have made his region the fattest in the world.

A recent study by British medical journal The Lancet found that five of the top 10 fattest countries in the world were Pacific island nations, with Tonga leading the rankings due to an obesity rate of more than 50 per cent.

Official statistics show NCDs account for about 75 per cent of all deaths in the Pacific, and diabetes rates exceed 40 per cent in some island nations.

obesity“Our ancestors took advantage of the local produce here, vegetables and fish. Now we’re relying too much on imported goods, canned goods, which are giving you high levels of sugar, salt and fat,” Remengesau lamented.

He said people in the Pacific had long viewed copious amounts of food as a sign of prosperity, leading to an attitude that bigger is better.

Remengesau, a relatively lean 58-year old man, said teenagers were now dying of diabetes in the Pacific and it was imperative that the lifestyle mistakes of recent decades were not repeated.

“No islander will never say that a fat man is a sick man, they will say ‘wow, he’s a strong man, he’s got a lot of food and he’s living well’,” he said.

It is this cultural misconception, this mindset that Remengesau wants changed.

Study shows fist bumps better than handshakes

fist bumpIf a handshake tells you about a person’s character or his lack if it, how could you be able to judge someone’s personality by the bump of his/her fist on yours?

Well, you can’t really, except perhaps to say that it is more sanitary, hygienic and aseptic that way.

While a nice firm handshake has long been a mark of good manners, confidence, security and trustworthiness, what are all these qualities, however, if your health is threatened by it.

A study conducted by researchers at Aberystwyth University in the U.K. and published in the American Journal of Infection Control showed that handshakes passed on far more of the dangerous bacteria than fist bumps or high fives.

Researchers were able to measure the movement of germs using sterile rubber gloves, one of which was dipped into a coating of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria, before exchanging a range of greeting gestures. What they found out was that habitual handshaking allows the movement of germs between people and helps the spread contagious illness.

The study also estimated that the hygienic nature of the fist bump may be due to its speed and the small impact area involved.

Doctor Dave Whitworth, who led the research, said the study could have a serious impact on public health.

“People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.”

Well, to a certain extent, this is probably happening now in hospital settings.

But what is a better way to express appreciation, gladness and sincere greetings than showing it with a well balanced handshake? Surely it cannot be manifested in fist bumps.

 

Events and milestones

babyCongratulations Philippines!

You are now a country of 100,000,000th people and counting!

But, is this really a time to rejoice?

If we were just talking about numbers it won’t probably cease mesmerizing us at how a poor, third world country was able reach that number in so short a time.

But lest we forget, this is not about breaking records. It is precisely because of being a poor, third world country that this milestone should jolt us from our passiveness and realize whether or not our enormous population is beneficial to the Filipinos in general.

If poverty wasn’t the main problem, I probably wouldn’t have given a hoot about the population explosion of this country.

But the way the economy of this country has been performing vis-à-vis the rise in our population has always shown that it has not helped improved the quality of lives of the poor Filipinos.

Thus, questions are asked as to why, despite the good economic performance, you don’t see the benefits touching the lives of the poor.

Who are those being benefited then?

Good question!

Recent encouraging events that has made to the lists of milestones in this country is the sending to prison (deodorized as custodial center) of three senators after they have been charged with plunder cases.

Yes, corruption is still very rampant in government that even the very poor in our society are victimized by these scoundrels who go in the guise of public servants.

And so, as the rich gets richer and the poor, poorer, how then shall the lives of the poor be alleviated so that they could live in ease and comfort knowing that corruption is here to stay?

It matters most that a responsible and competent individual shall succeed President Benigno Aquino in 2016.

It is even important that the country reins in the population growth as effectively as it can by doing everything possible that the Reproductive Health (RH) Law be made the game changer in the lives of the many poor Filipinos wanting to have quality lives.

It is best to remember the words of Klaus Beck, country representative of the United Nations Population Fund, when he said, “Governments that are serious about eradicating poverty should also be serious about providing the services, supplies, information that women, men and young people need to exercise their reproductive rights.”

The RH law is yet another significant milestone for the country.

The DAP controversy

dapThe Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issue got passionately controversial when, on one hand, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled some of the acts and practices by the executive branch on the DAP as unconstitutional and, on the other hand, the executive branch (translated as President Aquino/PNoy) sticking to his belief that his action on the DAP did not violate the law – or so he thinks.

The following were declared by the SC as unconstitutional:

• the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies, and the declaration of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the end of the fiscal year AND (all caps mine) without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained in the General Appropriations Acts (GAA);
• the cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive to augment the appropriations of other offices outside the Executive; and
• the funding of projects, activities, and programs that were not covered by any appropriation in the GAA

Those who are against the administration are riding on the opinion of the SC and taking the chance to further put PNoy on the spot by calling for his impeachment. Although this move borders on absurdness and arrogance, since PNoy was just following the footsteps of his predecessors in this regard, which made him thought he was doing the right thing, still everyone has the right to seek grievance.

In the same vein, pro-administration keeps on defending their implementation of the DAP and claiming the benefits the country has received from it.

“By implementing DAP, we wanted to ensure that funds are properly used so that social services and public goods are delivered to the people—especially the poor—as swiftly as possible, and with minimal leakages and wastage,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

Also, Abad explained that DAP was a spending reform measure for speeding up public expenditure “to catalyze” economic growth.

But, it is in the context of ‘social services’ that I want to give my two cents worth of opinion.

While many may have condemned the way PNoy handled the DAP, my question is: Have the critics ever gone out of their way to question those who have been impacted favorably by the DAP how it was to receive help from government?

Unless the critics do this, they will never learn the alleviation DAP has contributed to the lives of the poor Filipinos.

Ask the families of the sick, the injured and the chronically ill children in hospitals all over the country (especially those assisted by the Kythe Foundation), the fishermen, the farmers, the students, the beneficiaries of the livelihood programs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, etc.

Perhaps the Department of Social Welfare and Development could elaborate further on how ease, relief and comfort have given hope to the poor in our society.

What I am simply saying is that let us not just look at the negative side of things just because it was declared unconstitutional. DAP is very much unlike the PDAF scam where even the poorest of the poor got ripped off by public servants.

Let us investigate, verify and confirm instead if DAP carries legitimacy and benefits in its existence.

If it does, then for Christ sake, let the opposition, who normally has this holier-than-thou syndrome and identifies themselves as pro-poor, mention it, so there is equality in the treatment of the DAP issue.

Binay tops presidential survey

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Vice President Jejomar Binay

Pulse Asia survey once again shows that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the man to beat in the 2016 presidential elections.

Is Binay the best there is?

Is  the Binay political dynasty here to stay?

While it is true that Binay easily goes where the wind blows and has never gotten himself embroiled in controversies, partly because he is simply playing it too safe for political expediency, one can’t help but think, however, if his style and personality is what is needed to lead this country in 2016.

The closest that I can remember Binay getting politically scalded is when he tried to play hero and thought that because of his friendship with Nur Misuari that he could end the Zamboanga Siege sooner than if government were to continue fighting the dismembered Moro National Liberation Front. Realizing that no one was pleased with his self-serving move, Binay backed off from his plan.

It only confirmed Binay’s belief that in order to protect his political integrity he just have to continue being less critical, less opinionated and less vociferous. All these have served Binay in good stead all these years.

But is Binay truly the kind of leader that could sustain the straight path that PNoy is trying hard to establish, no matter how pockmark the way is?

The problem with Binay is because of his desire to be popular and be in good graces with the people all the time, he would rather be mum on controversial issues dividing the country.

How could we gauge then his strength of character and resolve?

Have you heard Binay take a stand, for instance, on the controversial Reproductive Health Law?

I still have to hear whether or not he was in favor of former chief justice Renato Corona’s impeachment.

How about his views on the PDAF and/or the incarceration of Enrile, Estrada and Revilla?

Yet, for political expediency he minced no words that he wouldn’t mind at all having Jinggoy Estrada as his running mate in 2016.

What I am afraid is that with Binay at the helm and with the kind of dubious allies and traditional politicians he surrounds himself with, the advances the country has made and the respect it has gained from the world community will only come to naught.

So, if Binay is not the best there is, who?

Not Joseph Estrada again, for Chrissake!

Neither are the Grace Poes, the Chiz Escuderos, the Mar Roxases, the Alan Cayetanos, the Bongbong Marcoses (God forbids!) and the Bong Revillas.

I am more talking about the Rody Dutertes, the Gibo Teodoros, the Artemio Panganibans, the Hilario Davides and the Manny Pangilinans.

Either one of them is the best bet.

 

 

The Animal School: A Fable

I do not know if you are familiar with this fable, but in this age of extreme rivalry among schools, I have decided to share this with you, and especially to the young parents, who sometimes forget that not every child can be what the parents want him/her to be.

In its desire to corner large enrollment, schools try to make it appear that it has programs and a curriculum-driven agenda that could make a big difference in your kid’s study and future.

But, does it really?

We just have to be reminded that it isn’t so – because each child is a unique human being. Some make it, others fail, and with adverse consequences sometimes – if pushed further.

The Animal School was originally written by George Reavis, then Assistant Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools in 1939. This latest version has been dedicated to “those children and adults who have unjustly suffered the fate of standardized tests and inappropriate curriculum and standards”.

animal

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Does this fable have a moral?