The Downside of Development

The word development is a cliché for me. I heard it a lot of times before and still hearing it up to now.  Different news regarding development always say that other countries—like America, China, and Japan—are already number one on the race while our country, Philippines, is far left behind. It is portrayed to me by media and my school teachers as directly connected modernization—money, transportations, buildings, cleanliness, politics, technologies, and market. Up to now, even my parents say that the country is having a hard time coping with the fast modernization. I can still remember when my mother told me that I should choose a course under the field of business and hard sciences since careers under them are considered well suited on the demands of the modernization. These are where technology is very well supported and good amount of money is the reward in the end.

Ever since DEVC70 started, we are highly encouraged to unveil “development”. The readings presented development under a different light—a discourse. At first, we were convinced that this trending topic is all about how we could help improve people’s lives by upgrading our economy and technologies. It is also regarded as the topic mainly concerning on poverty and its victims. What the reading shows is the downside of development. When I was taking DEVC10 and 11, I thought that development has only minimal side effects. What I primarily saw was the promising results of the progression. I remembered what my mom told me about the technologies and other innovations. “Sinisira kayo niyang mga computer at cellphone na yan. Mga kabataan ngayon iba na ugali dahil sa mga kung anu-anong naiimbento na yan”, she said. I was at first in denial of it but as I continued my DevCom life, I realized my mom is right. Supported by facts the readings discussed, development definitely has brought the third world countries financial, social, and identity crisis.

Due to the desire of the first world countries to be always on top, they had made ways—like United Nations and World Bank—to ensure their progress. It’s sad to know that they made us believe that they have good intentions in improving lives of people in the third world countries. According to the readings, Americans over consume and spend while other nationalities experience famine and other necessity shortage. What’s more saddening is the fact that first world countries consume the resources of the “underdeveloped” nations. This led to resource shortage of the victimized countries like Africa and Philippines and eventually to financial crisis. As a result of the competition amongst nations, more funds are allotted to military forces over health and educational services. It’s sad that due to money competition, we are blinded to the real needs of the people.

As also mentioned in the readings, culture and traditions are altered or diminished due to the changing process required by development. In our context, we could observe that Filipino values are disappearing on the scene. As we adapt modernity, we sacrifice our character. I think my mom is really right when she told me youth nowadays are very much affected by media and technologies. We can observe that we are focused on how we may adjust and go along with the various trends that we forget to live as sociable humans. For example, the innovations in communication made us communicate faster and easier, but the question is, do these innovations improve the value of communication and human relationship or do they ruin it? Technological advancements in communication brought forth advantages but they also caused a lot of intrapersonal and interpersonal damages—cyber bullying, cyber sex, threats, viruses, scams, hacking, etc. These may be considered as factors contributing to cases of suicides, rapes, and increased crimes. Moreover, because of investing to machines and other innovations, we destroy our environment. We fail to realize that over usage of the environment will cause us further suffering in the future.

Due to our efforts to keep on track, we sometimes fail to realize that we are losing our identity. I admit that I am also a victim of this. Our thinking and lifestyle are undoubtedly influenced by the westerners. This is because we want or we are sort of obliged to use what they use. We have this sort of notion that imported products are first class without us knowing that the materials they use in the production are from us. We are also forced to study what the first world countries want us to study. We follow their curriculum; we adopt their education. If we would observe, we may see that a lot of students take up courses regarding business or engineering. They also tend to clutter to courses which are internationally in demand. What may be better is if we analyze the context our country then figure out what knowledge or skills we should master in order to respond to the true grass roots of the nation’s problems.

Development is not bad. In fact, it also has proven its ability to improve lives—well at least in bringing convenience and easing complicated lives. Maybe what’s damaging is when modernization becomes very technical that we lose our culture values and tend to set aside the other aspects in life which we could address development, even the simplest thing in life, especially human relationships. Development shouldn’t also be exclusive it should cater all people from all walks of life. We all need development whether we are “poor” or “rich”. What we could do is to continuously be open-minded on development so that we may see both its beauty and madness.

What’s the thing you call, L-O-V-E exactly?

A lot of linguistics and poets have given us various definitions of love. In my opinion, the term love is one of the hardest word to give definition to. How can you enclose in one to two sentences a meaning of such an ambiguous and abstract word like love?

Is love the couples holding hands? Is love the parents sacrificing for their children? Is love the act of imparting yourself to others? Is love the act of accepting who you really are? Or, is it the looking to one’s beauty and disregarding his or her flaws? Very diverse. Right?

I will somehow express my thoughts on the romantic side of love. I’ll start with a question… How will you really know if your in-love? Does the time really stop when you’re in-love? Or.. Do you see and hear fireworks when you’re with the one you love? Feel the magic when your lips touches each other? I’ve been into relationships. But still, I’m confused of love. Maybe the many relationships I had made the thought of love a cliché or more confusing. That’s why I argue with my friends who tell me I’m a love expert just because I’ve been into relationships. I, myself ask why after the many affairs I had, I never learned. Sometimes, I find myself stupid but I’m just thinking that I’m widening my experience and learning in the heartaches I had. (Well, it’s not that I’m contented in failing relationships. Of course, I am dreaming of a cinderella-love-story.) After all, there’s no right or wrong in love right?

I now understand the value of “distance”. Yes. The “distance” being referred to many songs and portrayed by many films. Before, it was a question for me why does the other side needs to have a distance if they really love their partner? I discovered that sometimes, love isn’t really enough. I mean, yes, there’s love but if there’s something lacking in you as a person, love wouldn’t suffice that. And in that, I now believe that serious relationships are for mature people–mature not necessarily in age but in the state of being.

Distance is helpful. IF AND ONLY IF, USED WISELY. But, if not, REGRETS WILL SURELY FOLLOW. I’m in the current state of being in a distance. And, I’m note even sure if this is a good choice. Am I using this distance wisely or am I just wasting my freaking time? This is very crucial for me since I’m on the verge of losing my significant other in this distance. But, I can feel in myself that I need this. This is not just part of the daily dramas. I deemed this to be really necessary. I just hope that I’m keeping in track of myself on the process. I hope to be the person I should after this distance.

People deciding to be in a distance for some time needs to be strong cause it’s a risk. It’s choosing to be at risk.  Most of the people dealing with distance don’t really succeed. They end up regretting (scary right). And I heard stories of the said plot. I swear. I can feel their grieve; it’s something they couldn’t forget.

Done with the distance thing. I just thought that I need distance in order to discover what really love is. Actually, that’s the reason I had a space. I wanna discover love. Love not in my partner alone but on other things, specially myself. I believe that love, true love, only comes to the people ready for it, people who truly know and  love themselves for who they are. True love couldn’t spring up from someone problematic.  I mean, someone who has a problematic idea if himself and the love he feels for himself. It’s like, how could you give something you don’t even have.

Despite of all the questions and issues I have, I believe in LOVE. I believe in its power. I know true love is real. It’s not tangible but it’s real. All these pains, confusions, etc., are the exciting part of love. They go hand-in-hand.

And after all, love is something we should all hope for and dream for and absolutely.. not to be afraid of. Now maybe is not the right time for love, but stay positive, love will come in its perfect right timing. 🙂

Where beauty lies on the eyes.

True beauty is found on the inside where only a good heart can see.

Are they pretty? How about me?  Am I pretty?  How can we really measure one’s beauty? This modern society is undeniably focused on improving humans’ outside appearance. Cosmetics, surgery, salons, etc… We are all aware of these. And we support them, don’t we?

I admit that I, myself, is attracted to people with beautiful physical appearance. But, it’s their character which attracts my heart. I never settle for what I just see. What our eyes can perceive are merely false or constructed beauty. I believe if one has a good and genuine heart and personality, physical beauty will reflect on his physique.

I love make-ups. Really. Well, I don’t wear make-up every day but I’m a fan. I’m amazed by its hues and shimmer; they’re fun and exciting to see. But sadly, people nowadays are blinded by false beauty. It’s not wrong to use make-ups or support cosmetic services. What is wrong is if we tend to not see what’s within. We just use our eyes and not our hearts. I couldn’t remember who but here’s what he or she told me, “kung mamimili ka ng bf or gf, wag ganda ng mukha ang tingnan mo. Tingnan mo ang ugali nung tao kasi yun naman ang pakikisamahan mo hindi yung itsura niya”. ABSOLUTELY. That is why I hate people who are pushing themselves down just because they find their outer appearance ugly. These people tend to unsee the positive traits that they have. They focus on their flaws. Focus on them, do nothing, then get depressed. Isn’t it better if we focus on our strengths inside and out and find ways to use and enhance them?

Each of us may stand out if we choose to uplift our own self. It’s always better to be beautiful inside than outside but it’s a plus factor if we are beautiful on both. Right? Who doesn’t want that? 🙂

Soul mate

According to Wikipedia, a soulmate (or soul mate) is the theoretical person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. For me, a soul mate is someone you can talk to any time of the day and hears you when you need someone to listen to you. He understands you in time you don’t understand yourself and accepts you even if you, yourself couldn’t accept yourself. Without you asking, this person will show up in front of you because he feels you need him, his words, his comfort, and shoulder.

Before, people used to think that the soul mate is your significant other in life; that doesn’t apply all the time. The term soul mate is now redefined. Your friend, teacher, mother, father, cousin, best friend, etc, may be your soul mate. I can say that I’m in search of my soul mate. I am a person of numerous friends and I am very thankful to have them, but none of them is my soul mate (I thought before my soul mate was one of them until the day that he changed and left. Soul mates don’t go right?). Maybe, you couldn’t pick who your soul mate should be. Maybe, your soul mate will just come into your life unexpectedly, and in time, you’ll just feel in your heart that he or she is your soul mate.

At first look, this person may not meet your standards in filtering your friends, but sometimes, these people who you think you are very opposite with and couldn’t go along with, are the people who complement your life, your being. Yes. That how it work sometimes, rather, most of the times. I met someone last August and he was a contrary of me — thoughts, hobbies, perspectives, genres– yet as I get to be with him more, I felt there’s still connection which make these differences don’t matter. In fact, our differences made our friendship fun. I loved the differences and connection we both have and had. But, sadly, this isn’t sustainable. I don’t know why; there are just some things you have to sacrifice for better things to happen, for both of you to be better and grow.

If his my soul mate, we would still be soul mates no matter what right?