Monday, August 29, 2011

National Heroes Day

Andrés Bonifacio
José Rizal
Lea Salonga
Vicenté Hao Chin, Jr
Carlos P. Garcia

I'm not sure whether or not "Heroes" actually has an apostrophe (') after it.  As far as the title of this entry goes, there isn't one because I want to write it parallel to how Rizal Day and Bonifacio Day are written.  I mean, we don't say Rizal's Day or Bonifacio's Day, do we?

Wikipedia says:

National Heroes Day
This holiday is dedicated to the memory of all the nation's heroes throughout history. Observed yearly on last Monday of August, it is a regular holiday marking the Cry of Pugad Lawin by the Katipunan, led by its Supremo, Andres Bonifacio, which began the Philippine Revolution.

Iilan kaya sa ating mga Pilipino ang nakakaalam nito?

(How many of us Filipinos actually know this?)

I had a conversation with a friend a couple of years ago during this exact holiday.  He actually thought it's written with a possessive form of Hero, as in Hero's.  I was, like, "What?"  He thought it's just another holiday made for Jose Rizal, who is recognised as the greatest national hero of the Philippines.  That, of course, I do recognise, but for the sake of education, I'm calling on every single citizen of this country to be informed!

This holiday marks the day in August of 1896 when Andres Bonifacio led the beginning of the revolution against the Spanish hegemony.  It was then that members of the secret society called Katipunan ripped their tax certificates to pieces, ceremoniously separating themselves from Spain, and the skirmish between the revolutionaries and the colonial civil guards began.

However, this day doesn't just mark that instance.  This day commemorates ALL the national heroes of the Philippines -- meaning every single one that contributed to this nation's growth from the accounted time before March 16, 1521 up to yesterday.

So, yes, this day commemorates people such as the famed Lapu-Lapu, Jose Rizal himself, Benigno Aquino Jr, Francisco Dagohoy, Biki'ng Tamblot, Babaylang Karyapa and all your personal heroes who have helped this nation grow -- including Lea Salonga herself.

As for the now-dead heroes, we take the few hours this day allots to collectively remember their stories, their lives, and their invaluable contribution to the Philippines.  Not just that, let us also consider how hard they would weep if they were to rise from the ashes and see how the motherland is now being raped and robbed and tortured by inscrutable human greed and lust for power.

Alam kong maraming mga di-kanais-nais na bagay na nangyayari ngayon ay mahirap itigil.  Isa dito ay ang mabilis na pag-halo sa wikang Ingles sa mga wika ng Pilipinas, na kung saa'y nawawala na ang kaalaman sa karamihan ng mga tunay na salitang likas sa atin at napapalitan na ng mga hiram na salitang binago lang ang pagbaybay.  Kung ipagpatuloy ng kaunti ang pagbilang, kasali na rin ang napakalaking suliranin ng katiwalian sa pamahalaan, ang walang humpay na mga madugong digmaan maging laban sa mga naghihimagsikang puwersa ng komunismo o sa timog ng ating kapuluan, at ang pagharang ng pag-unlad gawa ng mga pagtatatag na sinasaisip pa rin ang panlabing-siyam na siglo.

(I know most of these less-than-desirable things happening at present are hard to press the break on.  One noteworthy problem for me is the fast integration of English into the Filipino languages, where a lot of the original words are now being forgotten and replaced by English words conveniently spelled in a Filipino manner.  To mention a few more, major problems include the despicable corruption in the government, the endless bloody battles we have -- be it the ones against the communist revolutionaries or what's happening south in the archipelago, and the quandaries that keep progressive ideas from transforming into actual solutions, caused by institutions who do everything to keep progress at bay simply because they're stuck in the 19th century.)

Gayahin natin ang halimbawa ng ating mga bayani.  Kung tayong lahat ay kikilos ayon sa mga kanais-nais na tuntuning ating nakikitang isinabuhay ng mga taong nagbibigay-sigya sa atin, maging buhay pa o hindi na, makakakita rin ng bago at mas mabuting umaga ang Pilipinas nating mahal.

(Let us emulate the examples our heroes have set for us.  If we all live according to the positive principles that we have seen the people who inspire us live by, whether or not they are still alive today, we will all see a new and better day dawn on our beloved Philippines.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

What if these THINGS ever manage to make their way inside of you?

Can you blame me for having weird interests?  I'm eccentric, so deal with it.

I just  finished reading's article on the 5 most horrifying bugs in the world, which I'm going to share with you after I finish typing this entry to prevent your attention from getting diverted.  It's interesting.  Really!

The last bug they featured was the botfly.

It may look like your everyday housefly, but there is more to it than meets the eye.  There are several species - each named after a specific animal.  The one above is a rabbit botfly.  There are horse botflies and rat botflies among approximately 150 species worldwide.

So if you ask why they are named as such, I'm about to give you the answer so brace yourselves.  This one pictured above, for instance, isn't called a rabbit botfly because it looks like a rabbit.  No.  In fact, it doesn't even come close to looking like a rabbit.  It has its name because its larvae are physically designed to burrow inside living, breathing rabbits.  Each species is designated to be parasite to specific organisms.

This is where it gets gross and scary for us.  There are such things as HUMAN BOTFLIES.  Yes.  Living around the Americas -- from Mexico to Northern Argentina to Chile -- are these skin-burrowing, flesh-eating creepy crawlies.  How it goes is like this:  Female human botflies lay their eggs onto mosquitoes and other insects that are known to land on human skin.  When they do land on us, the eggs will hatch by our body temperature and the larvae will immediately burrow their way into our skins.

Like this:

No, that's not an oversized acne.  That's a human botfly maggot thriving underneath a living, breathing human being's skin.  And just to make it absolutely clear to everyone: THAT's NOT ME!  I just borrowed this photo from someone else's website.  Credits below.

Here's an HD YouTube video by AB93552 of three of those things being removed from a man's elbow.  ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old Entry #16: Who I Would Go To for Counseling

I went over some old folders in my hard drive looking to delete unnecessary files and I came across some of the essays I had written in college.

OH MY GOODNESS!  Pretty good insights, this one has -- even for me.  It answers the title question when given seven pioneering scientists in the field of psychology as choices.

Enjoy reading!

This was written on June 14, 2008 as a college essay in psychology.


B.F. Skinner
Erik Erikson
Ivan Pavlov
Jean Piaget 
John B. Watson 
Lawrence Kohlberg
Sigmund Freud

Who I Would Go To for Counseling
by Ludwig Bon Quirog
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Having read the profound leaps in the field of psychology initiated by the seven pioneer psychologists, I would say they are all more than qualified to give me pieces of advice in case I run to them for counseling.  They have quite reputable track records that anyone, whether or not in his/her right mind, would find more than competent enough to trust.  However, the question here is not whether they are capable “enough”.  Rather, the basic shell that needs to be filled is who I would seek first for counseling and why.

The best way to resolve my query is to get counseling from them first hand.  But since time travel is not yet possible, let us just take a less technologically implausible scheme.  A background check of each candidate would fit very much in the category that negates science fiction ideas.

Let us make a series of assessments, then.  To kick things of, let us start with Burrhus Frederic Skinner.  His theory on radical behaviorism is what he would most likely employ to gauge my psychological innards.  Although he has built up quite a reputation during his time of existence and has contributed a lot to modern psychology, I would rather not choose him for counseling and neither would I choose his forerunner, John Broadus Watson.  Since their theories suggest that all organismic action is predetermined and not done out of free will, they are therefore heavily anti-theoretical.  They neglect the role of theory in radically inductive scientific positions, which reject hypothetic-deductive methods and theory construction about things in unobservable, immeasurable places such as the human mind.  With this line of thinking, I do not think I would be having a very healthy counseling session with people who would treat me like an animal whose reactions are all instinctively predetermined by a catalog of “possible” organic brainwave movements.

The basic principle that both scientists in subject abide by, maintain, and I quote, “That behaviors as such can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as the mind.”  Quoting further, it suggests that, “all theories should have observational correlates but that there are no philosophical differences between publicly observable processes such as actions and privately observable processes such as thinking and feeling.”  Now, I, as a living, breathing, thinking human being cannot scarf up an idea that my mind does not exist.  If I were to ask them about a predicament regarding violent dreams, the explanation they would likely give me is a bogus statement like “they are mere pigments of the fragmented visual interpretations of your surroundings.”  I am an esoterically inclined person and I would not submit myself to a scheme that is structure-centered and that is apathetic of the faculty of the mind.

Moving on, Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory on the stages of moral development as an explanation of the overall development of the human psyche is a viable solution to problems that I may be having.  His likely interpretations of my statements—which he might find problematic—would be inconsistencies in my moral development like an unfulfilled crucial stage or a stage that I may have completely skipped.  Let us use an example for analysis.  Now, I have given dreams as a viable quandary so let us stick with the idea, then.  Suppose I am having disturbing dreams.  What would Dr. Kohlberg likely give me as an explanation?  Now, since the statement “having bad dreams” is quite vague, he would probably ask me to elaborate.  Maybe he would ask me what sort of dreams I was having.  So, for the grace of an example’s sake, let us say I have repeatedly been having dreams about a shooting incident inside one of the bathrooms in the school where I study at.  Now, with the act of open gun firing in public being an example of social divergence, my problem would fall under stage four of his categorized stages.  This stage deals with law abidance and conformity to social expectations.  The question that would likely follow is one that asks for certain recent occurrences in my life I could possibly associate with the images that I saw in my nightmare.

In response to that, I would say that I have constantly been exposed to the sight of a person carrying a gun throughout the duration of my first year in college since a classmate and close friend of mine in the last period of my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes would be carrying a rifle in preparation for her drills on the hour that followed.  That was because she was an officer of the ROTC.  And on one occasion when I was in the dressing area of a washroom inside the gymnasium, some of the officers in the same room were arguing and yelling at each other while holding their wooden rifles.  A regular person would say that my witnessing of that particular incident was what had triggered the scenario in my dream.  However, Kohlberg could have a more elaborate explanation.  Since his theory is not value-neutral, it starts with a stake in certain perspectives that includes a view of human nature and a certain understanding of the form and content of moral reasoning.  Furthermore it includes the relationship between morality and the world, between morality and logical expression, and the role of reason in morality.  Therefore, a lot more than a memory of an argument inside a dressing room had triggered my dreams to occur—not to mention repeatedly.  He would probably tell me that my innate ability to connect images with each other was one factor.  Additionally, my propensity to exaggerate occurrences, leave out details to protect myself, or my tendency to change the story entirely to fit my interest would have something to do with it.  There are a lot of possibilities as to the explanation of my therapist but these are the most plausible ones that I envisage.

So much for him.  Let us go on.  It is Erik Erikson’s turn to give me counseling.  Given that the problem has been opened up and is no longer vague, I do not feel the need to reiterate it.  Now, since Dr. Erikson’s core theory revolves around psychosocial development, I would surmise that he would use its principles in getting to the crux of my problem.  With the dream at hand, he would probably ask me another question pertaining to the incident in the dream.  It would probably be whether or not in my dream I had the initiative to do something about it or remain merely as a spectator.  If my answer is no, he would tell me that the dream keeps repeating itself because I bore the guilt of not having resolved it in the previous instance when I dreamed of it.  It would be an obvious case of an ambiguity in the stage of “initiative vs. guilt” wherein such is not fulfilled, and therefore creates confusion with regard to reaction to a similar incident.  Going back to the episode that had happened in the physical world where I was trapped in a dressing room where people with rifles were arguing, he would, next, ask me if I wanted to do anything about it.  Did I have any purpose, whatsoever, in being there?  Did my presence serve any positive or negative effect as compared to what would have been the case if I had not been around?  He would most probably diagnose my case as a lack of a feeling of purpose or usefulness.

As for Ivan Pavlov, who pioneered the definition of classical conditioning and the reflex system research, his diagnosis would be a more sophisticated version of Skinner’s and Watson’s.  However, it would make more sense since his psychological constituents are described very well.  Being another “instinctive” approach, I would say that it is a rather traditional and less analytical way of determining a problem.  It would entail another locked theory system, which, we now know very well, is not applicable in all psychological cases.  A mere study of a salivating dog does not, to any degree, justify violent human dreams—or give a viable abstract explanation of it.  You simply cannot pair a scheme used on animals to that of people who have advanced and more erudite way of approaching the world.  I do not know with other people.  But, I would rather not gamble my sanity on Pavlov.  It has been said, once, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that, “pure logic is the ruin of spirit.”  I choose to believe this statement.

Jean Piaget, the Swiss philosopher, natural scientist, and developmental theorist who defined the stages of cognitive development, would probably have a more satisfying explanation compared to that of our previous doctor.  He would perhaps tell me that what I am experiencing is a compensative defense mechanism developed by my psyche to fulfill my transition between the concrete operational and the formal operational stage of development.  He would say that I am struggling inside to make a practical decision, thus abandoning egocentrism and at the same time developing an abstract “what if” idea as to what could happen if nothing is done otherwise.  Thus, the violent dream materializes.

Piaget’s may be quite a good way of looking at it.  But what of the last psychologist on my list?  Let us now step inside the office of Dr. Shlomo Sigismund Freud, simply known as Sigmund Freud.  He was the psychosexual scientist who pioneered the definition of the unconscious mind, defense mechanisms, and psychoanalysis.  He is most renowned for his redefinition of sexual desire as the primary motivational energy of human life which is directed towards a wide variety of objects, as well as his therapeutic techniques, including the use of free association, his theory of transference in the therapeutic relationship, and the interpretation of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires.  Is that not quite a charm for the tormented patient?

After going over the entire problem of mine, he would most probably ask me questions and give me the treatment of free association.  He would let me divulge whatever there is inside my head.  That way, he could best interpret my dream as to his elucidation of how my mind operates on a normal conversational basis.  He would tell me that my dream is a psychological reaction to internal energy that has not been properly channeled into something productive.  It may have little to do with the prior incident in the gymnasium despite the fact that the images I saw were very similar.  It was an overflow of sexual energy that needed re-channeling or a viable outlet.  My mind just needed something aesthetic to associate active emotion with—something to play with visually and to exaggerate.  He would then ask me if these dreams ever result in abrupt waking, to which the answer is “yes”.  And then he would infer that, indeed, I need an outlet for my excess energy.  He would tell me to channel it into something productive like sports or writing, or what not for as long as it gets used.

Of all seven psychologists I’ve gotten therapy from, who would I choose?  Skinner, Watson, and Pavlov are most definitely slashed off.  Kohlberg’s was okay but still a little vague for me to gain useful information from so it is a “no” for him.  Erikson’s [supposed] analysis of purpose based on the situation and imagery would be viable; and Piaget’s theory of compensation is also a good possibility to ponder on.  But the explanation that really satisfied me was Freud’s.  His rationalization to my dream quandary was exceptional and truly different from the others’.  Not that I am just too sexually inclined or anything.  But only my therapy session with him had really given me something to sink my thoughts on.  It was a deep idea for me to brood over— fulfilling, nonetheless. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Addams Family Mansion

This is a photograph of the Addams Family estate.

This is my dream house.

I'm going to build a slightly bigger version of this in a couple of years or so.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

See You There?

A lot of people have this broad propensity to keep returning to the places that have contributed epic paragraphs to their lives' stories and helped make them who they are.

I'm not talking about hometowns and families because that's generally a given no matter how much of a ne'er-do-well you are.  I'm talking about alma maters and boarding schools.  For instance, every year, thousands and thousands of alumni and alumnae flock to Silliman University for the Founders' Week.

Some jump over ridiculous obstacles and are probably willing to walk through a hedge of thorny bushes just to make it in time.  I think I know why.  There's so much emotional attachment between the school, the person, and other persons from the school.  And, of course, they expect a lot of their kind to be there during such time.

I'm not shunning the practice or anything.  In fact, I'm about to do the exact same thing in over a week.


See you there?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Of Tips and Bargaining

Comic art by Iris Yan, one of my favorite Blogger bloggers - girlfriend to Alex Noriega, another favorite Blogger blogger.

I know this sounds quite familiar to you, reader.

Why do we tip bigtime at posh restaurants when we know they obviously make tons more money than cheap cafés?

For Filipinos:

Why do we tip big at fancy restaurants and not leave any at the local karinderia (quick-serve restaurant)?

Then again, why don't we mind paying a full price at the department store while we argue our asses off to bargain for the lowest possible price at the palengke (locality market)?


This culture is a little confusing, don't you think?

Of course, about the latter, merchants normally have higher-than-normal price-labels at the outset.  This is clearly because they expect customers to bargain.  You can't help but bargain, anyway, if you really want to buy something.  It's a culturally defined system of purchasing and you can't beat it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old Entry #15: Allow Me To Express a Sentiment about Sandugo Festival '08

Okay, don't tell me I'm going overboard with the old entries series.  I'm not.  And even then it wouldn't matter because this is my blog and I will write what I want to write about.  You can't do anything about it!  **insert diabolical laugh here**

Give me leeway.  It's not like I post the old entries barely.  I do write knick-knacks before presenting the old article.  Well, who's complaining, anyway?

Anyway, this isn't anything fresh.  I just thought of posting this since the Sandugo Festival 2011 just culminated three days ago.  The article below is something I posted at an old forum site, which I'm still subscribed to (albeit apathetically so), and it's about how frustrated I was with the 2008 version of the festivities and the administration/committee that handled it back then.  Things have changed for the better during this year's run, though.

The original post was written bilingually in English and Binol-ano'ng Bisaya (Bohol's local dialect).  I initially intended to just write bracketed translations beside the Bisaya statements, but found it to be a rather cumbersome task.  I ultimately decided to present it in full English to avoid confusion and what not.

And, yes, it's another rant.

Enjoy reading!

This was originally posted on Jul 05, '08 2:05 AM on


Are our standards as Boholano people deteriorating?

Has Tagbilaran City's brand of friendliness gone completely down the drain?

Why is the celebration this bad?

Why are all the stalls in front of the city hall?  Why not at the wharf where it used to be?  For goodness' sake, that place looks like a freaking carnival casino already!  The city hall looks very degraded with all the hung trimmings and what not.

Moreover, about the Miss Bohol Sandugo pageant - what has happened to it?  It has almost completely lost its symbolism.  I'm not going to say why anymore.  It's hard to explain and painful to think about.  I think you all get the point.

PLUS, LET ME POINT OUT A HUGE IRONY:  Why are there stalls selling pirated DVDs there?  In front of the city hall!  In front!  Why did they allow that?  You know what?  Some people are really stupid!  They're very stern about implementing their quasi-draconian policies and yet they have the nerve to simply (and probably deliberately) neglect the oh-so-simple-to-comprehend international anti-piracy law.  They are setting a terrible example to the public!  It's justifiable if they turn a blind eye on it provided that such business goes on in an inconspicuous location that isn't easily spotted, but come on!  In front of the city hall?  They should be slapped like crazy!  It would be stupid to reason that they haven't noticed it.  Of course they have!  It's the first thing people see when they pass by.

Gosh!  This celebration has lost all sense of culture and heritage.  It's supposed to be the commemoration of an earth-shaking milestone that took place in our province centuries ago.  The blood compact!  'San Dugo! (One Blood)  But look at the festival blurb in the website. (This link is dead already, by the way.)  There is nothing there that speaks in line with what's supposedly being celebrated.  It's a pure blabber concerning tourism.  Well, there's nothing wrong with tourism, but there should at least be some historical points included.  Even if they know that most people are aware of what the Sandugo Festival is for, the statement that says it still should not be left out!  If it hadn't happened, we wouldn't have something this big to be festive about in the first place.

Let's make an analogy in that line of thinking.  When a celebrity travels to another country, should he not bring his passport anymore, assuming that everyone knows him already?  Think about it.  It seems that this celebration is happening just for the sake of petty festivities.  See!  This is just a plain soulless festival now and no longer celebration.  We should just change its name if we're going to do it like that!

Goodness gracious!  What's happening to us?  What's happening to Tagbilaran City?  Do you remember the time of Gardy Labad and such people?  Although he wasn't perfect, he did something great to Bohol that would never be forgotten.  He helped put Bohol on the global scene.  But where is this kind of spirit now?  The tradition has largely disappeared except for a surviving few.  What ever happened to all the cultural fuss I used to enjoy as a little kid?  I remember the Loboc Children's Choir concerts at The Metro Centre, the golden singing voice of Da Maris Taldo singing Bisaya songs, musicals such as Dagon sa Hoyohoy, The Oracle, El Indio Bravo.  Are there no more of things like those?  Are those impossible feats nowadays?  What's the excuse?  Affected too much by the global financial crisis?  Hah!  Lame!

To all those affected by my statements, I apologize.  Nothing personal.  Don't get angry 'cause this is all true!  The veracity of this is indubitable!  I don't like what's happening!

To say that I'm appalled right now is a sheer understatement!  Ugh!  I don't know!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Titli's Busy Kitchen

"As-Salāmu `Alaykum and welcome to Titli's Busy Kitchen with me, Titli Nihaan."

To the fun-loving foodies out there, the line above might be quite familiar.  If you're one and you haven't heard of her, well, you haven't lived yet.  You will hear it uttered in every episode of Titli's Busy Kitchen, a cooking channel on YouTube hosted by one Titli Nihaan, a Muslim British foodie who has, in my opinion, revolutionized simple Halal cooking.  You don't even need to be Muslim to enjoy viewing her channel and trying her recipes out.

I discovered her about a month ago while browsing YouTube for simple recipes.  In abidance with the Food Revolution movement initiated by Jamie Oliver, MBE, I took the liberty of finding a convenient way to make my own quick meals.  It was then that I had stumbled upon this amazing woman's channel.

I was so amazed that I ended up watching all her food videos in one sitting.  I'm talking about hours and hours from midnight to beyond sunrise of watching Titli-Titli-Titli.  What can I say?  I'm not Muslim, but I found another role model in her.

She's amazing, isn't she?  She's got her own brand of humour and sarcasm that gets you laughing your head off.  If you're not one for the laughs, you may get the gist by playing a video only once.  However, if you're like me, you'd be needing two or three runs--or until you manage to compose yourself to stop laughing.  I don't know about you, but as much as I admire her sheer sensibility, I also find her utterly hilarious.

If you want to know what I mean, here's a video she made that parodies many celebrity chefs.  This was inspired by comments made by YouTube users saying that she should become a TV Megachef.  In this, she shows us how to soft-boil an egg.

Well, that's about it for now.  I've tried some of her recipes.  They're awesome!  You should try them, too.

"So, join me next time in Titli's Busy Kitchen with me, Titli Nihaan.  Until next time, Khuda Hafiz!"