Friday, June 28, 2013

On riding the MRT

Girls, you are well aware of the male-female ‘segregation scheme’ (yeah, that’s how MRT personnel call it) which dedicates a specific coach to women, senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs) and that is located in the first-most coach where the MRT operator is situated. So, main message is, ride that coach but if you choose otherwise, don’t complain in the ‘male coaches’ for whatever things. Yes, guys are being somehow rude already but you chose that coach so be ready with the things that go along with it.

The MRT force tried to designate a coach to prioritize women, senior citizens and PWDs (although I know one coach isn’t enough for the female population) and you deliberately did not choose the priority coach. Especially when you’re riding during off-peak hours or even the not-so-peak hours, you don’t have the right to complain UNLESS of course it’s already a deliberate women abuse moves acted upon you.

To All Passengers
1) You know how it feels seeing spacious areas inside coaches and people inside not even conscientiously moving to allow entry to more passengers. So if on your next ride, you happen to be on the foot of those people inside, move a little, give some space to allow entry.

For passengers entering the coaches, if you already see that there is really no space for the volume of your body to get in, no matter how slender you really are, please don’t push people inside. You don’t want to get pushed anyway when you’re inside.

SILVER RULE: Do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.

I guess the silver rule is very much applicable to riding the MRT. (Mind you, I was not mistaken when I wrote Silver Rule, because it really is the Silver Rule. The Golden Rule is “Do unto others what you what others do unto you”. Yeah, the positive mode.)

2) When entering the MRT station itself, as in passing by the guards and turnstiles (it’s what you call the thing we pass through via badging our MRT tickets - I learned the term in my previous office because it has turnstiles too), please be diligent enough to open your bags for inspection. I know the guards aren’t always consistently checking the bags but in the face of law/policy/guideline, we should really be opening our bags for inspection.

Special note to those bringing PACKED items
It is MRT policy to ‘open’ (as in tanggalin ang scotchtape/wrapper at tignan kung ano nilalaman) so please stop battling with the guards. If you don’t want this hassle, don’t ride the MRT. Take a cab or whatever.

Oh, when allowing the guards to open the item, do not be sarcastic and say ‘Ano ba yan. Kita naman sa box label/image kung ano yan.’ Restrictive items intentionally being brought in by imp strangers are really disguised in a lot of ways. Malay ba namin kung isa kang masamang estranghero na mapagpanggap lang na inosenteng pasahero na umaasal epal sa mga gwardya.

Please be diligent as well in performing your job. (I wonder if any MRT guards will happen to read this post. At least, MRT personnel man lang to relay this.) Don’t be diligent only when there is a recent incident of threat or actual violence occurrence, etc. (Oh, I remember, this goes to guards also inside malls.)

You don’t expect passengers to be cooperative if you yourselves are not really constantly diligent in performing your job. If you want utmost cooperation from us, be persistent and perpetual in what you do.

Pregnant Women/Senior Citizens/PWDs-related
I know the world has evolved a lot. Filipino values and culture are dwindling and is extra evident in Metro Manila (sorry for singling out Metro Manila but that’s how I perceive it).

When riding the MRT and we really see, like totally, undeniably see old men/women, weak on their knees – they are riding the MRT for some reasons; one reason maybe they couldn’t afford a cab so no matter how they want a better transportation, their means just won’t allow it – let us please be valiant and proper enough to stand and offer our seats, especially if we aren’t feeling any physical illness/weakness at all, like our feet don’t hurt, we don’t feel dizzy, nauseous, etc. If we’re perfectly fine then let’s thank God for that, be happy and share our seats. Let’s give the elderly respect and gentle consideration.

This does not go to healthy men only. This goes to everyone young and strong. Let us offer our seats to senior citizens, pregnant women and of course, PWDs as well.

I was laughing inside my head because Kuya MRT personnel was announcing inside the station: “Wag po natin lamangan ang ibang pasahero, nagbabayad din po sila. Di lang kayo.”, “Isipin po rin natin ang kaligtasan ng ibang pasahero sa baba (pertaining to train waiting area). That was his message to north-bound passengers trying to cross the entrance area by the guards/turnstiles when there was a stop entry and only south-bound passengers are momentarily allowed to enter. I laughed because Kuya was too emotional about it. But I get him. He was trying to get through people to be sensitive enough to other passengers. And I guess that’s the most important thing: to have enough malasakit to each and every one.

written June 19, 2013

Faith Within.

Faith for me, is one’s personal relationship with God. It’s that unique ultimate bond we share with Him.

I grew up a Catholic, was born a Catholic, was molded a Catholic. I’ve seen different religious beliefs and practices as I grew up, witnessed and be friends with others outside the Catholic faith, even attended summer Bible classes instituted by other Christian religions, even went to the point of facilitating such classes. I have nothing against other religious faiths because after all, I do believe we have One Father.

Whatever name we may call Him, I believe that the Father other religions recognize as their Father, is the same God the Father in the Catholic Faith, if not, well then, another version of God the Father, but same qualities and ideals.

What kind of bothers me is when other religions start saying some things about the Catholic faith. Yes, Catholics do also say a few things but more often than not, it’s other religions who criticize the Catholic faith. I get even more upset when new converts all of a sudden disown the Catholic faith by deliberately saying they found God once they are already official members of other religious sects. God was never lost. He is not to be found like in a quest of finding hidden treasures, well maybe, yes, but to be searched as in like to be searched within us, because He is within us.

For me, I didn’t have to change religion to realize that He is there for me, that he is present, because God intrinsically, is omnipresent. I am not saying this because I am a Catholic. If I was born from another religion, I would have defended my faith in the same way I am now advocating the faith I actually grew up with, the Catholic faith.

I am no perfect Christian. I am no perfect Catholic. I have my flaws and I will never stop making human mistakes in the course of my existence. But I know what my faith is. I know the duties as well that comes with it. That I have a responsibility to reach out to others, that I have a responsibility to personally reach out to God, that I have a responsibility to bring Him closer to other people and vice versa. I realize the vastness of the Catholic faith and I realize the limits of the people forming it.

Catholic faith, as in any other religious faith is formed by people, all humans at that. And as humans, we all have same capabilities and limitations. We can only go as far as our capabilities would allow us. We could stretch but still there is a limit to the maximum stretch that we could attain. If members of the church reach out to other people, they can only do so much. Yes, missionaries can travel all over the world but they can never fully cover every barangay, every district, every city, every municipality, every nation, all the more every single person in that every community. Just like a lighthouse can illumine only so much.

A few common sentiments shared by Catholics who converted into other religious sects are they did not feel God in the Catholic faith, they found other religion’s service livelier than the Holy Eucharist celebration, they weren’t able to know the Bible deeply when they were Catholics, again, the most common, they found God outside Catholicism.

If I were to comment, which is what I am doing now, these are but shallow reasons. It’s like saying you no longer love a person because you found a prettier one, more talented, more caring, and more understanding, etc. If you are looking for lively gatherings, Catholic faith has that. Be part of the different religious organizations and you are bound to witness the liveliest praises you could ever imagine. Praise Jam (if you’re familiar J) is one of the best gatherings I’ve ever attended. People just sing their hearts out, jump to the beat of the praise songs and utter out loud prayers of thanksgiving, praise and even speak in tongues. To knowing the Bible even more, attend prayer sessions, even you yourself can personally read Bible verses at home.

Point is, everything that people say they found in other religious faith, is definitely in the Catholic faith too, not to mention, the Catholic faith started all these practices. You should only know how to take part of your mission as a Christian. Sorry for the connotation that I will try to resemble with, but people who have converted to other religions and gave such shallow ideas about Catholics (from which they came from) can quite be resembled with ‘Juan Tamad’, just waiting around for apples to fall down from an apple tree, just waiting for people to offer a hand, just simply sitting around, in short, passive. When I said we have a responsibility as Christians, I meant we also have a personal responsibility to take a step to get closer to God. We just don’t wait for people to invite us in a service, Bible study, etc. I know people who have converted to other religions are well aware of the different Catholic organizations that abound but missed to make a move to be part of these or even if they did, they found a flaw inside the organization, not so good heads maybe, or gossiping members, etc.

It has been a common conception also, once some guy/girl appears to be almost all good, someone would say ‘Christian kasi’ or would refer specifically to the religious organization that he or she belongs to. (By the way, the term Christian shouldn’t be termed as such for Non-Catholics because Christian means ‘Christ-like’ so it is basically a general term for every one of us. But anyway, I guess most understand that when others coin people as Christians, they mean of another religious sect.) Religious connection does not automatically entail holiness, nor does it ever connote perfection. We are all humans and whatever religion we belong to, we will still commit mistakes. Yes, we can be guided, but we can never be sin-free, that’s why we’re humans.

I was out with friends one night and we were just nonchalantly chitchatting about things when we happened to ask one friend in the group if he ever did something not good with his ex, then he said ‘No, bawal yan sa religion namin eh.’ So we asked right away, ‘What is your religion?’ He answered ‘Catholic.’ and we all had a good laugh but that line really got into my consciousness. There was some post-pondering after he uttered that line. Then he said, ‘Bakit, bawal din naman yan sa Katoliko ah.’ And he really made a good sense with that.

When members of other religious faiths say something like, ‘bawal yan sa amin’, I just wish they are really trying to make their religion as a point of reference and not some comparison to the faith of the person they are talking too. Like, not thinking at the back of their minds, ‘bawal yan sa amin, ayos lng nman sa inyo (Catholics)’. We share almost the same practices (except for the Marian notion of the Catholic faith, I guess that is the most distinct difference) so stop saying ‘bawal yan sa amin’ when you meant something common to almost all practices. Pre-marital sex is a no no for most religions (actually I don’t know if there’s a religion allowing that, I guess nil) so if you are referring to that topic, do not assume it’s allowed to Catholics. It’s okay if you refer to topics really distinct to your sect, like not celebrating birthdays (Jehovah’s Witnesses), not cutting of hair when you’re the eldest female among the siblings and you haven’t turned 18 (I don’t know what religion this is but I remembered a friend telling me this), not wearing of jeans during Sunday services* (Iglesia – I guess there are a lot of other religions also practicing this) etc., but if it’s something pretty much general like stealing, lying, adultery, please don’t come clean and refer to your faith for this. We are all generally tasked to preserve goodness in this planet so it’s just not you or your specific religious faith.

Re: all religious faiths and its members as a whole, there can never be a perfect community. We can all try to be one by correcting all our negative actions but we can never attain perfection, so organizations will always have their own set of flaws. Flaws may come in the form of off-beam or out-of-whack heads, preachers, programs, activities, etc. but all these should never prevent us from keeping our relationship with God. Converting from one religion to another will not change these facts/happenings because every religion is composed of the human race, capable of making mistakes. These flaws should not stop us from going to mass or be part of organizations. Maybe it is incumbent upon us to revolutionize these transgressions so instead of being disheartened and shunning away, we must assume responsibility to better the situation and this goes as well to those who converted from Catholicism. If you find anything off with your new religion, it’s okay to go back to Catholicism but it’s not okay to change to another religion again. You can never go from one religion to another just so you’d find a perfect religious community, instead, look for ways to help your community.

Faith is within us. The best way to keep the faith is strengthen it within us and not be continuously swayed by human flaws/imperfections. To be swayed by these is natural but to be constantly won over by these imperfections is a matter of outcome of your own personal choice of being won over. Go to church because you choose to go to church not because you’re accompanying someone to church, the church is air-conditioned, it is required for a school project, your crush goes to church or I guess the most common is, your crush is a member of the choir, etc. Faith must be intrinsic.

We were once told by our high school teacher that there are 3 kinds of values: preferential, instrumental and intrinsic. Preferential refers to our choice of simple things, like the color red over blue. We prefer an item over the other; that preferred item represents preferential value. Instrumental pertains to things we value because from its literal meaning ‘instrument’, it is a means towards achieving something. Like you want to go to Z Mall because you want to catch a mall tour of your favorite artist; Z Mall becomes an instrumental value for you. Intrinsic value is a set of values we give importance to because they are in themselves, intrinsic in nature. Like people, we should never represent preferential nor instrumental values. One should never use a person as a means to accomplish something. Mentoring and seeking help is different from treating a person as merely an instrument to get we want. I guess the perfect example of intrinsic value our teacher gave us is love. You don’t love someone for a reason, you just love. So is the same with faith, we just keep the faith.

I'm actually wonderin' if I interpreted our lesson right. l0l! but I believe I made a good point out of it. Well, that's how I see it. ;)
So we go to back to the reason why we go to church, prayer sessions and other similar religious activities. We don’t use these places as instruments. Sometimes accidentally there is a good outcome in having crushes in religious groups but I hope you don’t get stuck into that level of making the religious community as an alibi. You should transcend to that level where you go to church, because you want to; you go to church, because you decide to; you have faith because you believe; you have faith because you choose to seize it.

Faith is within us. We have the duty to keep it and share it with others. We don’t just wait for people to help nurture and strengthen our faith. We too should make a move. Reach out. Pray. Inspire.

Faith = Me and God and You.

I was supposed to close it as Faith = Me and God but I had to include You because I know God is in you too J and God would always want us to transcend to that level of seeing Him in other people too.

*I just want to express admiration to religions able to practice this. I am not really anti-jeans on Sundays, I even wear jeans when I go to mass but what I want to emphasize the most is other religions wear what they call “Sundays Best”. I am sorry to say this, I know I have a lot of friends who do this, but I am so against people wearing shorts, slippers, spaghetti tank tops, not to mean, tube! backless! during masses. Like c’mon guys, have some respect. We’re not here to party nor are we just in the mall, hanging around with friends (oh, I’m still not even amenable to short shorts and slippers when strolling in the malls, I feel like you’re making the mall as an extension of your living room at home). Other religions did quite a great job in telling their members not to wear jeans and be decent-looking in attending masses.

I know some Catholic churches already asking strict compliance from their mass goers but I guess implementation must really be stringent since a lot still do not observe proper Sunday wear even when they see posters and prints already of YES and NOs for Sunday wears.

started writing June 3, 2013; finished June 13, 2013

'Call Center lang pala'

I am not against any call center or BPO agents at all. But at this point, I wish to shed light on the whole perspective/perception of ‘Call Center lang pala’. Yes, I’ve read a million posts of call center agents venting their frustration and disappointment on people who looked at them in such low manner but a particular FB post hit me the most, almost awestruck. It was written by a Law graduate.

Yes, it is impolite and indecorous to give out such comments as ‘Call Center lang pala.’ People who bluntly deliver this line, even all aware of the people around who can so hear their insensitive comment, are quite well unaware also of what their line truly insinuates. Somehow there’s a part of me wanting to believe they have a good intention of saying that. Yes, you read it right. I believe there is still a good intention behind that insensitive line; because somehow, I do say that in my head too but not in mere sarcasm or mockery.

AD MAJOREM NATUS SUM. I believe in this: ‘We are born for greater things.’

Not that I think being an agent is not being ‘great’. Well, I guess yeah somehow. It is just ‘better’ but not ‘great’. I understand the responsibilities and duties attached to an agent and I seriously salute all agents taking graveyard and mid-shifts just to fulfill their dreams, provide for their families and for others, simply earn higher income. Call Centers and BPOs have been a go-to industry of most people who wanted to earn much for a living and thereafter support their families and pursue their dreams of travel and even the wants of gizmos and gadgets. And to fulfill all these entail sleepless nights, countless cursing from callers, extreme perseverance and determination to go through each day, etc. So for all these, let us give our credits to these agents.

But…there’s a but. This type of industry usually denotes underemployment. The term ‘unemployment’ has become the most prominent subject for the career/professional world (how should I call it?) but has forgotten another quite important matter, underemployment. If you have quite also forgotten what underemployment is, it is working on a job you are overly qualified for. Now you might be thinking of your present job. ;) It is inevitable given the vacancies and the limited positions a company holds. But in the realm of things, you can still find a job suited for your skills and level of education.

Anyway, back to the main point ‘Call Center lang pala’. Why drop such line? Because agents obtained a particular job they are overqualified of. Again, I must say, I was almost awestruck when I learned even a law graduate worked as an agent. You work your ass off to complete college and for some even, subsequently complete law school/masters, etc. For what? Point being. You have reached that level of education, completed that phase of studies for hopefully, a rewarding job at the end. Almost everyone in the call center and BPO industry are indeed also respectable graduates of reputable courses and colleges in the country.

I guess what I really want to point out is for agents not to vent also to these kind of comments. Not that the comments are good, but it won’t do you any good either if you go around fussing about it. Bear in mind that you applied for that job for a particular reason, rate of income maybe or easy-in to the industry. (I’m pertaining ‘easy-in’ to those learned also, and fluent enough as well to speak English. Like come on, you wouldn’t stoop down to the level of people not even able to pass the same tests you took nor people who are actually just by-standers lacking the know-hows and the right skills for a decent job. Well, at least, that’s what I hoped you not to do.) If you had priorities in mind and certain responsibilities in life that you felt the industry is the next best thing that can help you, then go on, carry on with the job and ignore people who give such comments. You yourself know what it’s like to work in the industry, how hard the whole course is, the number of things you have to bear to stay in the industry, and all that, so go on with your job, perform, and succeed. J

To wrap it up:
For those who did not make it to the training/production floor, stop the bitterness.

For those unaware of what call center agents do, cut these agents some slack. You don’t know how hard it is to be in that industry. Nor do you know what or who it is that they are offering their jobs/earnings to.

For people in the call center/BPO industry and consistently being affected by cliché comments, you still have a choice. Well, you had the choice from the very start, and you made that choice. It is but rude to just say, live with it. So I would say, make the most out of it. ;) If you try to fight back with such none-thought-of words, only really stirred-by-emotion words, then you’re losing ground. Why not just prove what good the industry has done for you, your family; your life as a whole. There is no perfect job. So whatever nuisances the industry has for you, there is another form of nuisance also in the normal industries. But then again, bear in mind also, AD MAJOREM NATUS SUM. I know there’s more to you. ;)

written May 30, 2013

About Me

Some random Pinay. ;)

the "Eva Braun" car
I’m no celebrity, not even a high profile personality in school, nor in the office. I am some random chic. ;) Not even a chic who goes bar hopping as past time. I am simply one random Pinay. ;)

It has been my fetish to think actively while on my way home. Yeah, all thinking happens during the ride home, like most others too. ;) I believe I have been creating great speeches, creative opinions on my way home but all those are just lost the moment I reach the house. I just let those thoughts fade away during the short ride home. Then the next day it will be the same routine.

What is different now is I actually write those thoughts down. I try to recall all the topics I’ve ever thought during my ride home then I just let my thoughts and fingers do all the typing until I am able to completely express them into writing. I am not editor-in-chief in a school paper way back nor was I a pro in feature essay writing. I do business writing now but it’s nothing compared to the free-flowing ideas I have here.

In creating this thought journal, I wish to just express all my ideas and feelings and yeah somehow a part of me wants to get through to people. I believe I have a lot of opinions which are actually quite practical and easy to deal with so I am hoping people to understand the message and do something about it.

I am some random Pinay with a lot of random thoughts in mind. So everything in here is, randomosity. ;)