Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Damaged Culture - James Fallows 1987

This whole essay was taken from an article written almost 25 years ago just a year before my baby brother, Paul, was born.

I was 10 years old then... Naive, filled with the excitement that comes with a promise of new government and change.

My heart sung praises when my Lolo was taken from us because I know as a believer, that his mission on this Earth was done and completed. The sudden realization is now that the Legacy has passed, what is to be my response?

I was communicated that awesome dream... a dream of a First World Philippines.

If anything this article encourages me and makes me cringe at the same time. Fallows said in his article:

If the problem in the Philippines does not lie in the people themselves or, it would seem, in their choice between capitalism and socialism, what is the problem? I think it is cultural, and that it should be thought of as a failure of nationalism. (emphasis added)

Fallows explored the cultural genesis of the Pinoy Ethos,  giving rise to some realizations.

  1. Elitism is self-perpetuating
  2. A pervasive attitude of dependence (be it to well to do relatives, kids or the Americans)
  3. The Pinoy Spirit is incredibly resilient
In this social reference the "Resilience" of the Filipino Spirit is all about our ability to rise up over ALL obstacles, to make the best out of every situation. As Fallows has observed:
The people of Smoky Mountain complain about land-tenure problems-- they want the city to give them title to the land on which they've built their shacks--but the one or two dozen I spoke with seemed very cheerful about their community and their lives. Father Beltran, the young Dominican, has worked up a thriving business speaking about Smoky Mountain to foreign audiences, and has used the lecture fees to pay for a paved basketball court, a community-center building, and, of course, a church. As I trudged down from the summit of the mountain, having watched little boys dart among the bulldozers, I passed the community center. It was full of little girls, sitting in a circle and singing nursery-school songs with glee. If I hadn't come at the last minute, I would have suspected Father Beltran of putting on a Potemkin Village show.
At this moment, I know I have had some setbacks from writing quality WoW Gold making and Tanking posts. I just moved jobs and I am still getting the hang of commission only wages, my Lolo passed away and I am recovering from a bad spell of the Flu. Times like these are draining enough as it is, but I always take heart. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." There is something about my faith that strengthens my soul to keep going. This is the same quality that my Lolo has encouraged me to pursue. A strong character that is imbued with tenacity and perseverance is definitely needed to reach the next level. ACTION.

The dream is alive in me again. I know that the start is just around the corner. A strong network of people looking at the same result will eventually give rise to the momentum needed to shift mass apathy into a nationalistic action to eventually, a First World Philippines.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The life of a simple, honest man

This was taken way back in 1977 (I was just a month old) at Quezon City, Phil
My life is a complex mix of influence, thought and decisions. I am proud to say that my best decision in my life was to love the Lord Jesus as King of my life. Other men and women have influenced my life in incredible ways.

Lolo Amante, or Daddy Lolo, as we called him, was a mountain of a man in my eyes. His influence was the one I truly remembered when I was growing up. The wisdom he had and the love for his grand kids are what I remember.

Lolo passed away 15th June 2012 at 12pm MLA, survived by his loving wife, Felisa.

Daddy lolo has 9 children (7 girls and 2 boys with my mum being the eldest girl) and I was his first grandchild. It was family legend that the same month I was born the family was able to buy their first car and Daddy Lolo was promoted to be Vice President of the Government Service Insurance System (a Philippine Government incentive to provide affordable services like housing, medical, dental, optical, education and general insurances for government employees). That month brought great joy to the Rimando Clan.

My heart is filled with sadness as I type this. A man I loved and looked up to has departed. Yet a certain joy in my being is pushing away the melancholy. Daddy Lolo is a lover of Christ. His departure from this planet is met with an excitement of reunion in Heaven.

This man is the reason I am who I am today. My decision to be an entrepreneur started when I asked him if we Filipinos can ever be a first world country (me being a Filipino by heritage). His answer was, "The only thing that can change the Philippines is if there is a change in the Filipino's heart. The best way to do that is through a Renaissance. Start with educating the people."

A dream took root in my heart at that stage and my life seemed that it had purpose.

A First World Philippines!! What a thought. Thus bore my greatest dream and my greatest burden. A career life mistakenly lived for fast money in order to finance a seemingly Herculean dream.

Yet as I let friends and family into my dream I realize that not only does Providence provide ways for this Herculean dream to become reality, I have already started progress and I just have not noticed.

Thanks to my Lolo, I have focused my affections into seeing the following:

  • 40 acres of land dedicated to a small Training Campus for general trade (carpentry, brick laying, plumbing) and an elementary school with room to become a high school with instructors from overseas (e.g. Gold License Australian Plumbers and Electricians training Pinoy candidates)
  • Underprivileged families living in the complex with a 2 bedroom house per family residence.
  • Small businesses funding the day to day expenses of running the complex
  • Full scholarships for the children until the completion of high school
  • Parents of the children have the choice to be employed in these small businesses or be trained to start their own small businesses or be trained to have internationally marketable trade skills from the Training Campus

The whole idea is to produce a generation of forward thinking, proud Filipino professionals with no Colonial dependencies and a rigorous passion to see a First World Philippines.

Though what I have seen I am lacking is my desire to do all of this alone. In this age of Global Villages, I am excited to see what the possibilities are linking like minded people together.

Thank you again Lolo. This has been your legacy to me.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Amante Rimando - RIP 8 May 1932 - 14th Jun 2012

My Lolo (grandfather) putting me (2 months) to sleep

I love you Daddy Lolo. You will always be in my heart. Thank you for putting a dream in my heart for a better Philippines.

You were my first mentor and my first idol. When I was a kid I grew up believing that you really did buy Japan for me and is having it towed to us so I can have all the toys I wanted. I believed you because that is how incredible you were to me.

I am so blessed to be your grandchild. I got to know you and you passed on some of your wisdom to me. I will always cherish the special times when you and Mommy Fely flew to Australia to visit us. I will always regret that my children will never get to know you the way I did. I will miss the times you bought taho in the morning when I woke up at holidays, the Mah-Jong tips you would give me or the times you would let me sit at your desk at work, pretending that I was the SVP of Finance at GSIS. You would encourage me to always be better than what I can be and to work hard to get where I needed to be.

Thank you for your love, your guidance and for helping me see the plan our Lord Jesus has for my life. and I so very much look forward to seeing you in Heaven. I love you lolo. I will miss you very very much.

Monday, 5 March 2012

What part of "I'm Asian, and I hate spending my gold unnecessarily" do you not understand?

As a self-confessed Auction house junkie, I have amassed a decent amount of gold. Not blow your mind amounts by any means at all, but a decent amount.

Pug Tanking in Heroic End Times on my Tailor /X-mute Alchemist I won some decent shoulders . I normally tank on this toon so I made a comment, "Aww snap, I have to spend gold to get this sucka re-forged enough to be viable for decent tanking. I hate spending my hard earned gold that way! I'm Asian, and I hate spending my gold lol" Trolling my group for some sort of racially profiled sterotype.

The conversation progressed and lead to my healer asking me for gold every minutes of the last 10 minutes of the game.

Seriously dude? I can give you 10,000 gold and not even dent my budget, but with that 10k, I will put 3k of that into some elementium and I will PROFIT from gems and bars, 4k into cloth and PROFIT from bags and shirts, 3k into herbs and PROFIT from glyphs and Potions of Treasure Finding.

I pointed him to Cold, Euripedes and Jim-Flux but all he can say is that he is too busy to read these blog posts just give him the gold.

THEIR TECHNIQUES ARE SO WELL BLOGGED IT IS PUBLIC DOMAIN!!! I am even twitter buddies with two of em!!

Herin comes the lesson.

You can lead a man to the spring of knowledge but no matter how long you hold their head under, unless they want to take a drink it is just a waste of time and you go to gaol afterwards. (I'm Aussie... look up gaol in google and increase your vocabulation)

I am an avid fan of the Free Enterprise System. It is a lot like Capitalism except everyone who has a fair go gets dough.

I believe in the unlimited wealth that is around us just waiting to be tapped!! If you are a WoW player and doubt this, buy 20 Netherweave Cloth for 10g (1 stack) make it into bolts, buy 1x rune thread turn it into a bag sell it for 20g on almost any night (or whatever prices are comparable to your server economy) and no matter how many times you do it, there seems to be no sating the demand for this market!

Naysayers will say that having multiple vendors for a similar product will cause over saturation. THEORETICALLY that is a valid point, but in a free enterprise system, the successful entrepreneur will have their share of that market AS WELL as looking for other ways to make the most of the money that they have made.

I hope the healer dude ends up reading Scottie's posts or Jims (both have a fantastic beginner's blog for WoW Gold making) and take their lessons to heart.

I know that by putting effort and observation regarding the trends, one can truly benefit financially, be it in Azeroth or IRL, yet the courage to take the first step is always the biggest hurdle.

On my next sermon series, I will speak about the cause and effect of Legislation and how it was used to train the attitudes of slaves into free men. Looking forward in sharing that with y'all.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

How He turned Slaves into a Powerful nation

I am a P.U.G. (pick up group) affectionado. Mainly because I like the stark dichotomy of society rearing their ugly head on a missed pull or a DPS not optimally performing will cause a variety of trolls to vomit their bile all over the chat. Also it gives me the chance to see the direct opposite in meeting some of the loveliest bunch of fun-seekers in the game.

But instance-pugging, especially for a self-confessed Tanking addict, is a really safe way to get to know the gameplay before you volunteer for the rest of the guild.

By taking the bare bones basics, you are able to put together a more complex idea and next thing you know, you are progressing into Deathwing's Maw and letting that monster taste your enchanted blade.

So too did the Isrealites have this problem.

In the greater society of the ancient middle east, Israel was a collection of slaves who ransacked their neighbours in Egypt lead by one of the former princes of the same country. Mentality wise, attitude and posture they were not in the best shape of leadership. They are a people ready for plunder.

But the Lord applied some basic principles (Exodus 21 onward) and made explicit and Clear examples of what is and is not expected.

I was to preach on this today but all my study lead me to ask the question "Why did God put this chapter here in the Bible?" instead of the usual "Lord show me something here to preach".

Plain and simply, this was the WoW-Head of the Isrealites. This is how their daily quests were completed. A clear-cut, simplified method given by an All-Knowing God.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

What WoW Dads should do

I have been playing World of Warcraft since a few months after the release (that means since 2005) and I have loved and still love every aspect of the game.

Yet loving something like such which also requires time and attention means other areas of my life got neglected. My wife, my work, my pursuit of the promise of a close and intimate fellowship with the Almighty, all sacrificed at the altar of pixilated purple epics.

As I became a father, the realization of how to juggle what I sink my time into became more visceral. The cry of the child at 2am for a feed and I am just logging off a WoW raid is an all too familiar scenario of my past.

This is my first foray into today's blogging so please bear with me.

I found as a parent that I have to put priorities in order, as by doing so, it puts purpose on each minute you stay on line. Here are a few things I like to do whilst on line:

  • Know why you log on - Each time you enter your password and your authentication codes know the purpose. Is it to level a toon? Is it to quest or to farm materials for an item? The clarification of "WHY" not only improves your productivity on line it most often gives you "more" time on the game
  • Focus on one activity at a time - There are opportunities that call you all the time as a player on the major cities. Trade chat is always asking for tanks or Raid members (/pst iLvl and Achi or NTY) or the guild is always a hive of activity. If you logged on to do some gold making, focus on that. If you want to get better healing gear, do that instead and put the other activity on hold. Remember the reason or reasons you logged on for. As like in real life, trying to do everything just means you are liable to miss out on the best of things.
  • Character Selection - What type of characters to play for maximum enjoyment of the game. Personally, I love instance grinding. I love getting gold from the AH and I just love the social aspect (confrontational or non) of the game. But the same time, I have 2 young kids who, if not in need of a cuddle, needs constant companionship before they are lulled into sweet sleep. Play to your strengths. If you are playing and one of the kids asked for you or your wife asked for your assistance, you will NEED to leave your group in the Random Dungeon Finder that you have waited for over 35 minutes to form. Hybrid classes offer tanking, dps or healing so you can easily find a group again. Got kicked from the group? The game also offers you a much more confrontational play style with PvP and the cooldowns from the "Deserter" debuff are separate from the RDF and PvP so if you needed to duck out and see to the kids you can easily do so.
  •  Economic Interaction of the Goblin Kind - Questing gives gold at max level. Buy materials from the Auction house, craft an item that costs more to buy in the AH than material costs, sell it on the AH for pixelated gold so you can repeat the process. The act of crafting and selling on the auction house is, in my opinion is pure PVP. REAL player vs player. See these guys Euripides , Cold's Gold Factory , Flux (aka Jim) and enjoy an economic pvp in this digital world.

The reason I wanted to blog about this is to make all the WoW dads out there know that you too can enjoy the MMORPG's offered and still be a good father. It's all about prioritizing activities. For my life it has always been:

Lyn (my wife)
Rest of Family

Whenever I have found an imbalance and things go astray, I tend to look back and contemplate on the list and see where I put one about the other.

I hope some of you have found this post helpful. Do not hesitate to leave a comment.

I look forward to our future correspondence.