Friday, February 27, 2009

Premarital Sex among Christian/Churched Teens

Churched teens (those who regularly attend church/religious activities) can also succumb to premarital sex. This is the fact that all youth leaders and pastors must accept and contend with. Christian young people are not inoculated against societal pressure. They also experience the same temptations secular teenagers face. Both of them absorb the same erotic messages they receive from radio stations, TV shows, movies and adult/showbiz magazines/materials.

Some thoughts on what exacerbates the problem.

Churches may fail to provide an environment where teenagers can have a REAL encounter with Christ. Sometimes churches focus more on enhancing the party mood of youth ministry fellowship rather than concentrating their energies on ow to produce Christ-like young people . Youth ministry programs must FIRST and FOREMOST attack the heart of the issue—the problem of the heart. Evangelism and discipleship programs must be prioritized and incorporated into any youth ministry strategy.

Another dilemma is the weak involvement of the Church in educating the young people regarding responsible sexuality. Many church leaders still cling to the idea that sex education is the sole domain of parents (who do not also want to be given the burden of educating their children about the birds and the bees). The inevitable result: many teenagers receive thwarted information on the subject from the media and their peers. Hence, we should not be surprised if the members of our youth ministries would learn the MECHANICS of sex but would be totally ignorant of its depressing consequences.

Pastors and youth ministry leaders can only do so much. They cannot watch over the activities of their young members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hence, parents should assume the more pro-active role as guardians. Voluminous studies show that irresponsible parenting and dysfunctional families often produce teenagers who engage in premarital sex. Parents should communicate with youth pastors the issues which concern their children. Likewise, youth ministers must be always receptive to the idea that parents are partners and not as ministry nemeses.

We must also re-think the way we deliver the “Abstinence before marriage” message. Youth ministers should not only approach the issue from a mere “hormone-induced” perspective. We must also address the psychological, intellectual and emotional struggles of teenagers. Virginity pledges/commitments are not silver bullets. They must be complemented by a systematic program that would empower the young people pursue the battle for purity. Teach their minds (through objective seminars and studies about human sexuality and reproductive health). Touch their hearts (through the transforming Gospel of Christ—their best defense against PMS). Then, we can see transformed lives.

Monday, February 23, 2009

THE JONAS BROTHERS (Before They Were Stars)

Isa itong artikulo mula sa Christianity Today na naglalahad ng buhay ng mga miyembro ng Jonas Brothers bago sila sumikat nang husto. The surname Jonas rings a bell for me mainly because I have been listening to the album of Christ for the Nations (CFN). Isa ang kanilang ama, si Kevin Jonas, sa mga worship leaders ng ministeryo.

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In 2006, an unheard trio of brothers with the last name Jonas released their debut album, It's About Time (INO/Columbia), into both the general music industry and the Christian market. When it came out, Ignite Your Faith got a chance to sit down with the young brothers to talk about music, faith and appearing on MTV's TRL four weeks in a row.

You might know what happened after that April 2006 interview: The Jonas Brothers' popularity exploded.

Looking back at what they said then suggests the group's career is going exactly like they planned: playing for mass audiences and living their lives as a witness to Christ.

The Band's Mission
Nick: We're going more mainstream with our music. We play mainstream music in the mainstream world. We have a light to shine in the dark world. We aren't saying we're perfect. We also don't want to shove anything down anyone's throat. We just want to be who we are so people can see there's something different.

Kevin: That's our opportunity to witness. People are always saying, "Why don't you cuss? Why don't you smoke? What makes you different?" We ran into a girl today who saw us play at a Jesse McCartney concert. She said, "I just knew you were Christians!" We don't have to say anything. We love the quote, "Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary." To us, that's what we're really about.

Keeping God Involved
Joe: Before we go on stage, we have a lock-down time where we only play worship music and pray to God for 45 minutes.

Kevin: We surround ourselves with Christians, especially on our tour bus because that bus is our home. We walk into a building for a show and maybe 5 percent of the people there are Christians, so you want to have a core group of believers so you can go back to the bus and say, "Praise God!"

Nick: It's an accountability thing as well. When we're on the road together, we have a core group. Our band members are all Christians, our dad's a pastor, and our uncle is an ordained minister. He's like our youth pastor on tour. We keep each other accountable and watch out for each other.

Keeping Each Other Accountable
Nick: There's a point where you just can't be offended by others keeping you in line. It's like, "What I am saying will help you so don't get mad at me. You have to trust me no matter what."

Kevin: There's amazing trust levels between all three of us. We know where we each stand, know each other's breaking points, and know when we need our space. We have a close-knit group of friends. And that's good because things can get weird. You don't know if people genuinely want to be your friend because they like you for you or because you're famous. When I left high school, no one talked to me. All of a sudden we were on TRL, and I got 10 calls from kids at high school. They never called before TRL.

Finding Success
Joe: Even with a lot of fans, we won't let ourselves get big-headed. We know that all this popularity isn't real. These people don't know the real me. We love our fans, but that's not what matters in life. You can be sure we will stay grounded.

Kevin: It's all a God thing. A non-Christian guy at our label said, "There's no way you could work with the Jonas Brothers and not see there's a God."

I think he meant that there's no way we could be where we are today without God. And he's right.

What Nick, Joe and Kevin are saying:
"We are Christians in a pop rock band. Our faith is really important to us and a big part of everything we do." —Nick (FoxNews, September 2007)

"[The purity rings we wear are] promises to ourselves and to God that we'll stay pure till marriage."
—Joe (Details, February 2008)

"Our purity rings are constant reminders to live a life with values. [It's like how] you put a string around your finger to remember to wash your car or take your dog for a walk. Wearing these rings is a private decision that we've made."
—Kevin (The Daily Mail, June 2008)

"[After I was diagnosed with diabetes,] I heard all these stories about kids afraid to tell friends they had diabetes and how my situation gave them courage to do that. I just feel blessed to have a spotlight to share my story. I have this passion to be able to share with young people and be a positive light in a situation that might not be so positive."
—Nick, (DiabetesHealth, April 2007)

Ignite says: Check out the band's diabetes foundation at changeforthechildren.org

"We want to continue being a positive influence. I don't think [having morals in the music business] is a contradiction. It's more of a new way of looking at things. We're trying to be different. It's who we are as people, and it's how we set ourselves aside from people."
—Kevin, (Reuters, February 2008)

Link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/cl/2008/004/37.37.html

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When Technology and Christianity Collide (Pleasing God with your Entertainment Part 2)

Isa sa pinakapaboritong regalo ng mga kabataan ngayon ay ang mga information gadgets and gizmos. Sa tuwing magde-debut ang isang dalaga, hindi mawawala sa kaniyang wish list ang cellphone, IPod o kaya naman ay laptop. Indeed, we live in the Information Age. Dahil sa mga teknolohiyang ito, madali nating naaabot ang sinuman saanman sila naroroon. Mas dumadali ang komunikasyon. Hindi na kailangan ang snail mail at kartero, you can send a message in an instant through email. May teleconferencing na rin kung saan makikita mo sa video ang kausap mo, ilang kontinente at dagat man ang layo mo. Sa kabilang banda, ginagamit din ni satanas ang teknolohiya upang sirain ang buhay ng maraming kabataan. This time let’s take a look at the danger of misuse of cellphone and the Internet.

TXTMATE TAU!

Sa tindi ng pagkahilig ng sambayanang Filipino sa cellphone, idineklarang ang salitang “LOBAT” ang salita ng taong 2005, samantalang “MISKOL” naman sa sumunod na taon. Ito ay ayon sa surbey at pag-aaral na ginawa ng Filipinas Institute of Translation, National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Bihira kang makakita ngayon ng kabataan na walang cellphone, dahil 80 porsyento ng populasyon ng Pilpinas ay may access o nakakagamit ng cellphone. Sa pagtaas ng bilang ng may mobile phones, bumuntot din ang mga problema.

Lalong tinatakam ng mga mobile phone companies ang maraming kabataan sa kanilang mga unlimited texting schemes. Dahil mura ang text, wala nang tawagan, text na lang. Mula umaga hanggang bago matulog, text lang ng text. Kahit nasa loob ng classroom, nasa sinehan, nasa toilet, nasa jeep, hindi matigil ang katetext. Kahit magkatabi lang, minsan sa text pa nag-uusap. Nauubos ang allowance sa pagbili lang ng load.

Mababaw na daw ang mga kabataan ngayon. Kahit sa text, naiinlove na. Puwede ka nang magka-BF/GF sa pamamagitan ng SMS (short messaging system). Nagse-sex na rin ang mga teenagers sa pamamagitan ng cellphone. Weird! We must use the technology for our benefit and not for our destruction. Sa halip na mga green jokes at sexual messages ang ipasa sa mga kaibigan, ipasa sa kanila ang mga inspirational words from the Word of God. Our text messages should strengthen rather than destroy our relationship with God.

Also, do not succumb to materialism. Marami sa mga kabataan na gustong laging may bagong cellphone. Kung hindi mo kailangan ng cellphone na may wireless transfer function bakit ka bibili ng gadget na may Wi-Fi? Iakma ang iyong gamit batay sa iyong pangangailangan. Mabilis ang pag-unlad ng teknolohiya. Ang bago ngayon, luma na anim na buwan makalipas. Huwag padala sa materyalismo.

INTERNET ISSUES

Isa sa walong tao sa Amerika ang hindi matagalan na hindi mag-Internet sa buong araw. Ito ang pag-aaral na isinagawa ng Stanford University School of Medicine sa California. Ang kalimitang dahilan: pinadadali daw ng Internet ang kanilang pamumuhay. Ipinahayag din ng pag-aaral na 5 hanggang 10 porsyento sa mga nakapanayam ay maaring maging “Internet addicts” dahil marami sa kanila ay hindi na natutulog, hindi na nakikisalamuha sa maraming tao at nagkakaroon ng mga sakit tulad ng pagluluha ng mata at carpal tunnel syndrome o pananakit ng mga kamay at daliri.

Nabili ko ang una kong computer noong 1996: 486 processor, 32mb ang memory at 250mb ang hard disk. Noong panahong iyon, hindi pa sikat masyado ang Internet. Windows 3.11 pa ang gamit ko noon. Nang dalhin ako ng isang kaibigan sa kaniyang opisina upang mag-research, nag-enjoy talaga ako sa paggamit ng Internet. Ako ang nahilo sa dami ng impormasyon na puwede mong masagap. Nang ako ay magtrabaho, tigil ang operasyon ng opisina kapag walang Internet connection dahil lahat ng aming ginagawa mula sa pagi-email hanggang sa pagre-research ay nangangailangan ng paggalugad sa World Wide Web.

Chain E-Mails and Scam Letters

Hindi lang isang daan beses ako nakakatanggap ng mga chain emails sa aking email inbox. Ang iba, nananakot na mamamatay ka daw at mamalasin kapag hindi mo pinasa sa iba. Ang hindi alam ng maraming kabataan, kinakasangkapan na sila ng kampon ng kadiliman dahil sa ipinapakalat nilang CURSED messages. Sa halip na burahin na lamang para matigil, sige pa rin sa pagpapasa. Ang dahilan: NATATAKOT. Ang mga Cristiano ay hindi dapat natatakot. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. Hindi tayong kayang patayin ng isang chain email letter dahil pinapatnubayan ang lahat ng Cristiano ng Diyos. Mas lalong magkakaproblema kung magiging bahagi ang mga kabataan ng ganitong mga walang kabuluhang mga gawain. They can spread the WORD of the EVIL like wildfire. Huwag nang basahin o i-forward ang anumang chain email letter. Burahin agad kung kinakailangan. Sometimes, they even carry computer viruses that could infect and destroy your computer files. To put your commitment in another level, ipaabot sa mga nagpasa ang isang babala. Sabihin sa kanila na hindi ka naniniwala sa kanilang mga email at sabihing hindi nakakatuwa ang kanilang ginagawa.

Mag-ingat din sa mga scam letters na pangangakuan ka ng kayamanan at limpak-limpak na salapi. Marami ang nasisila ng mga scammer na ito na kalimitang nagmumula sa mga bansa sa Africa na maraming gold deposits. Kesyo anak daw siya ng dating president ng Nigeria, isang katiwala ng isang mayamang tagapagmana at kung anu-ano pa. Ang iba para lalong maging convincing, tinatawagan pa mismo ang nakabasa ng sulat at saka hihingin ng mga preliminary deposit sa bangko. The World Wide Web is a jungle. Huwag agad magbibigay ng maseselang impormasyon kung hindi kilala ang nagpadala sa iyo ng sulat. In everything, always seek the wisdom of God and discern the works of the evil one.

The Temptation of Porn Sites

Ang mga malalaswang websites ang kalimitang puntahan ng mga kabataan sa tuwing nag-iisang katapat ng computer at nagi-Internet. Pornography violates the sexual and moral integrity of human beings. Laging kakabit ng pornograpiya ang malaswang pag-iisip at gawa. Maari nitong sirain ang personalidad ng isang kabataan. Kalimitang ang mga nasasangkot sa panggagahasa, sexual abuse, karahasan, at marami pang kasalanang may kinalaman sa sex, ay ang mga taong matindi ang pagkalantad sa mga pornographic materials. Some recommendations to fight the temptation:

  • Make a decision not to visit websites with pornographic materials. Make a covenant with your eyes.
  • Place your computer in a place where others can see you while using it.
  • Huwag gumamit ng Internet kapag wala nang tao o kaya ay natutulog na ang mga kasambahay. Sa mga sandaling ito, matindi ang tukso sa pagbisita sa mga porn websites.
  • Do not prolong the use of Internet. Gamitin lang sa mga importanteng bagay.

Sino ang ka-Chat Mo?

Maraming kabataan ang nalululong sa Internet Relay Chat o IRC. Madalas sila iyong mga kabataan na nababagot sa buhay at gustong may kausap sa Internet. Mayroon namang mga seryosong naghahanap ng kaibigan. Mayroon ding desperadong makahanap ng boyfriend o girlfriend—to form a romantic relationship. Mas malalakas ang loob ng mga kasama sa IRC pagdating sa pagsasabi ng kanilang nararamdaman dahil hindi nila nakikita sa isa’t isa. Giving false information is also the prevailing culture among chatters. Mas gumaganda daw ang pag-uusap kapag naglolokohan. Madaling manloko sa IRC dahil hindi mo nakikita ang iyong kausap. Identity theft is so rampant that you should not easily trust any person. Kahit pareho ang nick (nickname) na ginagamit ng isang tao, hindi ka pa rin nakasisigurado na siya ang dati mo nang nakausap sa chatroom. No serious chatter would readily give his/her information online. Marami ding scammers sa chatrooms na puwedeng kunin ang personal mong impormasyon (ATM PIN, credit card password at iba pa). That’s why online interaction is considered as an insecure venue to develop relationships. Sa halip na makipag-chat, meet persons through face-to-face interaction. To sustain friendship, you still need physical contact.

Friday, February 20, 2009

UK Study: TV Shows Glorifying Sex Linked to TEEN PREGNANCIES

Teenage girls who watch a lot of TV shows with a high sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant, according to a study.

Boys watching similar programmes, like Friends and Sex and the City, were also more likely to get a girl pregnant, the research in Pediatrics found.

The study authors said limiting exposure to sexual content on TV might reduce teen pregnancies.

Experts urged parents to talk more openly with their children about sex.

Study author Dr Anita Chandra of the RAND Corporation said adolescents received a considerable amount of information about sex through television and the problem was that programmes such as these typically did not highlight the risks and responsibilities of sex.

She said:"Our findings suggest that television may play a significant role in the high rates of teenage pregnancy in the US."

According to Dr Chandra, hers is the first study to show such a direct link.

The researchers interviewed 2,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 three times between 2001 and 2004.

Teens who watched larger amounts of sexually charged TV shows were twice as likely to experience a pregnancy in the subsequent three years, compared with those with lower levels of exposure.

Sexual content

By the third interview, 744 of the teenagers said they had engaged in sexual intercourse and 718 of the youths shared with the researchers information about their pregnancy histories.

Of that group, 91 teens - 58 girls and 33 boys - were involved in a pregnancy.

Dr Chandra said: "Sexual content on TV has doubled in the last few years, especially during the period of our research. We found a strong association."

The US has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates among industrialized nations, with nearly one million adolescent females becoming pregnant each year, with the majority of these pregnancies unplanned, according to RAND.

Britain has Europe's highest teenage pregnancy rate.

The idea of parents sitting down with their children and talking about the issues raised in these television programmes is a great one
A spokeswoman from Brook

Tory MP Nadine Dorries said it would be interesting to see if a similar study in the UK revealed a trend.

"Information such as this empowers parents when making difficult decisions as to what they do and don't allow their daughters to watch," she said.

Psychologist David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family said many teenagers relied on the media to act as sex educator.

Dr Walsh said: "If you have a kid who no-one's talking to about sex and who then watches sitcoms on TV where sex is presented as 'this is what cool people do', the outcome is obvious.

"The message to parents is to talk to their kids about sex long before they become teenagers."

A spokeswoman from Brook said: "The causes of teen pregnancy in the UK are quite complex.

"There are a range of ways we can try to reduce the teen pregnancy rate, such as providing sex and relationship education and outreach and community services for young people.

"The idea of parents sitting down with their children and talking about the issues raised in these television programmes is a great one."

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7707664.stm


Thursday, February 19, 2009

GIMIKERO/GIMIKERA ka Ba? (Pleasing God with your ENTERTAINMENT)

Simple lang ang maging bata noong panahon ko. Kuntento na kami sa mga larong takbuhan at habulan dahil wala pang mga video games at hindi pa uso ang mag-window shopping sa mall. To give you an idea kung ano ang mga nilalaro ko, isa-isahin ko sa inyo:

  • Tagu-taguan sa bukid
  • Siato – iyong may dalawang kahoy na hinahataw tapos kapag natalo kayo sisigaw kayo ng napakahabang Siyaaaaaaaaa......to! hanggang umabot ka kung saan nagmula ang hinagis na kahoy.
  • Sketeng ang tawag sa scooter noon na ginawa sa isang plywood at dalawang maingay na bearing. Iyong pako ang preno.
  • Nagpapalipad din kami ng saranggola, boca-boca at borador
  • Usong-uso din ang text cards na nabibili singko isa. Kahon-kahon ang pinaglalaruan ko noon at dumadayo pa sa ibang barangay para makipaglaro
  • Hindi rin nakalampas ang mga balot at kaha ng sigarilyo. May iba’t ibang halaga iyon ayon sa halaga ng isang stick ng sigarilyo
  • Paramihan din ng laste
  • Tumbang preso
  • Paunang bumilot ng gagamba at salagubang
  • Nanghuhuli rin kami ng palakang bukid at suso sa bukid
  • Hinahabol din naming ang mga tutubing karayom at tutubing kalabaw

Hindi killjoy si Lord. He wants us to enjoy life and have it to the fullest.The challenge is how to strike a balance between recreation/entertainment and our responsibility to please God in everything that we do. Ano ang sinasabi ng Bibliya ukol sa pagpili natin ng kasiyahan at libangan? Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:15-16 (MKJV):

“… but according to the Holy One who has called you, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

Ang mga Cristianong kabataan ay tinawag upang mabuhay sa kalinisan at malayo sa kasalanan. Magkagayon, anumang uri ng kasiyahan na “marumi sa paningin ng Panginoon” at sisira sa ating kabanalan ay hindi dapat tangkilikin. For instance, maraming mga pelikula ang nagpapahayag na ang premarital sex at homosexuality ay ayos lang. Ngunit sa katunayan, hindi maaring umayon ang Panginoon sa ganoong mga kaisipan. Sadly, many youth enjoy movies promoting those messages. May ilang prinsipyo tayong kailangang sundin pagdating sa pagpili ng ating libangan.

PRINCIPLE 1: GET RID OF WORLDLINESS -Kailangang umiwas ang lahat ng kabataan sa anumang uri ng kamunduhan. If we are worldly, we cannot please God.Kailangang alamin natin kung ang ating buhay ay nakatuon na lamang sa mga bagay dito sa sanlibutan.Our thinking must be heavenward and not earth-bound.Christians, although living physically in the world, must come spiritually out of the world.Paano mo malalaman kung hindi nakakalugod sa Panginoon ang iyong libangan? Isang basehan ay ang sinabi ni Apostol Juan:

Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:15-16)

Lust of the Flesh (“nakakapukaw sa masamang pita ng laman”) - The flesh is defined as a way of thinking and living that is contrary to the way of God. Kung ang ating mga pagnanasa ay labag sa kalooban ng Diyos, mas minamahal natin ang kasalanan ng daigdig. Pumupukaw ba ng masamang pagnanasa ng katawan ang iyong libangan? Maaari bang magdulot ng “addiction” ang iyong labis na paglilibang? Binigyan tayo ng Diyos ng kakayahang magnasa ng mga bagay-bagay. Pero kung hindi natin ipapasailalim sa Kaniyang kapangyarihan ang mga bagay na ito, maari tayong wasakin ng mga pagnanasang ito. Hindi masamang kumain, subalit makakasama sa atin ang sobrang pagkain (gluttony). Hindi masamang matulog subalit ang sobrang tulog ay tanda ng katamaran na magbubunga ng kahirapan. There’s nothing wrong with fulfilling our sexual desires if it is done within the boundaries of marriage. Fornication (i.e. pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality) is sinful.

Lust of the Eyes (“nakakatukso sa paningin”) - We can have pleasure from gratifying our eyes and minds. Maaring dalhin tayo ng ating mata sa pagkakasala. Marami ang naakit sa magagandang babae/lalake, magagarang kotse, naglalakihang bahay. Gagawin nila ang lahat para matamo ang mga bagay na ito. Hindi nila alam na habang nagsisikap silang makuha ang mga bagay na ito, lalo silang nalalayo sa Diyos. Inaakit ba ng iyong libangan ang iyong sarili upang ikaw ay maging sakim at gumawa ng kasalanan? We must remember that we see in this world are temporal. Maglalaho silang lahat subalit ang lahat ng may takot sa Diyos ay magkakaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan.

Pride of Life (“karangyaan sa buhay”) -People can be proud because of the riches and material things they possess. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit minsan nasabi ng Panginoon na mahirap makapasok sa kaharian ng langit ang mga mayayaman. Rich people may forget God because they are materially well-off. Ganundin, maari tayong ilayo ng ating libangan sa kalooban ng Diyos. Dinadala ka ba ng iyong libangan sa isang sitwasyon upang makalimutan mo ang Diyos at nakatuon ka na lamang sa iyong pansariling interes? Kapag inisip mong hindi mo na kailangan ang Diyos, nagsisimula nang kumapit sa iyo ang kayabangan.

Sa kabuuan, hindi natin dapat tangkilikin ang mga libangan na MAKAPAGLALAYO sa atin sa Diyos. Hindi masamang maglibang ngunit kung ito ang magiging dahilan upang tayo ay mawala sa kalooban at plano ng Diyos, kailangan natin itong bitiwan at iwan. The main question is: DO THESE ENTERTAINMENT BUILD UP MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD? Christians must always please God in everything they do.

PRINCIPLE 2: DO NOT LET YOUR ENTERTAINMENT PREVENT YOU FROM SERVING GOD-Our entertainment must not prevent us from serving and worshipping God and living a holy life. Bagaman binigyan tayo ng Panginoon ng kalayaan na gawin ang lahat ng ating magustuhan, hindi lahat ng iyon ay makakatulong sa ating buhay-espiritwal. All things are permissible but not all are beneficial. Our entertainment might be morally permissible but not spiritually profitable. Kung tunay tayong mga Cristiano, nasa ating puso ang Banal na Espiritu na siyang magsasabi sa atin kung tama o mali ang ating ginagawa. Malalaman mo kung OK ba o hindi sa Panginoon ang iyong paglilibang sa pamamagitan ng iyong isip at konsensiya. Kung sinasabi ng iyong isip o/at ng iyong konsensiya na hindi nalulugod ang Diyos sa iyong ginagawa, palagay ko kailangan mo nang itigil ang iyong ginagawa.

PRINCIPLE 3: BE A GOOD STEWARD OF TIME AND RESOURCES-Kasabay nito, kailangan tayong maging matalino sa paggamit ng oras. Saan natin madalas inuubos ang ating oras? Sa paglalaro ng video games o sa paglilingkod sa Panginoon? Some entertainment can cause addiction. Over-indulgence in any form of entertainment is dangerous. Maaring mawalan ka na ng panahon sa paggawa ng mas mahalagang bagay sa iyong buhay (i.e. panagon para sa Panginoon, panahon sa pamilya o pag-aaral.

PRINCIPLE 4: DO NOT BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO OTHERS-Ganundin, kailangang alalahanin din natin ang ating kapwa Cristiano na mahina pa sa pananampalataya. We should know if our entertainment causes them to fall away from faith. Kapag Cristiano ka, hindi lang sariling kagustuhan mo ang masusunod, kung hindi kailangang alagaan mo rin ang iyong patotoo sa ibang tao.

Friday, February 13, 2009

UP-Diliman Students, LIBERAL mag-isip pero KONSERBATIBO sa Pag-Ibig?

Habang nagde-date kami ng aking "significant other" sa Starbucks-Trinoma, nabasa ko ang interesanteng artikulong ito mula sa Philippine Daily Inquirer. Taun-taon naglalabas ang UP Communication Research Society ng kanilang survey ukol sa usapang pag-ibig. This year's survey reveals that UP students "do not expect sex from their partners and their partners’ virginity while in a romantic relationship."

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In UP, traditional love still rules

By Mariel Kierulf Asiddao-Philippine Daily Inquirer
http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/you/2bu/view/20090213-189182/In-UP-traditional-love-still-rules

WHILE V-Day for many is SAD (Single Awareness Day), don’t fret if you’re NBSB or NGSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth or No Girlfriend Since Birth); you are not alone.

In fact, if you are from UP, you are in the majority.

In a recent study done by the UP Communication Research Society about perceptions of, attitudes toward, and practices of romantic love among UP Diliman students, three out of four students identified themselves as single. Majority—41 percent, have never been in a relationship, while 36 percent are single but have been in a relationship.

The rest are in open or exclusive relationships, or engaged.

The survey, which sampled 312 students from 16 colleges within the university, can be generalized for the student population of UP Diliman, though further studies are encouraged in other colleges and universities to look at college students’ perceptions, attitudes and practices toward romance.

The respondents were asked to describe love using 15 pairs of words on a semantic differential scale. According to them, romantic love is attainable, fun and mature. However, it is not clear if one has to be mature to achieve it. Even then, while romantic love can be mature, it is not boring, but fun and enjoyable.

Partner preferences

The survey looked at the students’ preferences in choosing a partner, and found out that respondents do not take physical appearance as the most important factor in a partner. Good moral character (remember GMRC in high school?) is at the top of the list, followed by personality and intelligence.

Gender or sexual orientation is also a top factor in partner preference, as is the family. A potential partner should have the makings of a good spouse as well as a good family background. The consent of each others’ families is also important.

Physical appearance is, of course, also important, though the respondents look at the overall appearance and not just attraction to a partner.

Results also show that students are more open to dating people outside their own social circles. Race is the least important factor, as well as the possibility that potential partners might come from other schools outside UP and from other nationalities. Political views and skin color, presumably because of race, also rank lowest.

Expressing love

Constant communication is the most important expression of love in relationships, according to the respondents. So, while people may be busy, it is important to keep in touch with each other. Respondents see their significant others also as confidants; sharing secrets is important in a relationship.

Celebrating special occasions together and going out on dates follow as important expressions of love in a relationship.

Meanwhile, displays of affection, sexually intimate acts and sexual intercourse rank lowest in expressions of love. While UP students are thought to be liberal, or more liberal than the average student, the study showed that they are still traditional in terms of relationships. They do not seem to give much importance to sexual intercourse.

Commitment, intimacy, passion

According to Robert Sternberg, the psychologist who developed the triangular theory of love, the three components of love are passion, commitment and intimacy. Among the three, commitment is seen by UP students as the most important element in relationships, specifically getting through relationship problems and making the relationship last.

Intimacy, or feelings of connectedness and closeness in relationships, is manifested through the experience of happiness when being with their significant other and receiving emotional support, as well as through complete and reciprocal trust.

The respondents ranked passion as the least important among the components of love. This refers to physical attraction and sexual consummation in relationships. Not surprising, as physical attributes and sexual intimacy do not rank as high in partner preferences and in expressions of love in the study. However, the nurturance aspect of passion is ranked high in importance, though this is nurturing in the emotional and not the physical sense.

As ‘nagmamahal’ and as ‘minamahal’

As giver of love, the respondents are most willing to give emotional support and trust to their significant others or would-be significant others. They are also willing to give affection as well as gifts to show their love.

Respondents are also willing to give academic support through helping with school work and projects, or even just encouragement from academic stress.

Meanwhile, they are least willing to give sex or sacrifice their virginity in a relationship. They are also not willing to give financial support to their current or would-be significant others.

As receiver of love, on the other hand, UP students expect in return what they would give to their partners or would-be partners. They expect to receive trust, emotional support and affection in return.

However, they do not expect sex from their partners and their partners’ virginity while in a romantic relationship. They also do not expect their partners to give them financial support, which can imply that UP students wish to have financial independence from their significant others.

Traditional values

The results of the study imply that, contrary to the widespread perception, UP students are still traditional in terms of relationships. While they can be liberal in terms of their views and opinions, relationships are still traditional to them. Sexual acts and sexual intimacy are not deemed as important to make relationships last.

UP students prefer what is within the person—his or her personality, character, intelligence—than what is outside, such as nationality, skin color and race. That means they are also more open to dating people outside their own social circles.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

TRUE LOVE...

Below are the answers of some of my students when I asked them about their definition/s of TRUE LOVE. The respondents belong to the 18-21 age group.

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  1. Is when you are with someone whom you are comfortable and happy with.
  2. Is when two people accept each other’s weaknesses.
  3. Is when you are able to love unconditionally and you’re both happy in the relationship
  4. Is when you can be yourself with each other and still be happy. It is also when one can say they would die for the other.
  5. Is God because God is Love – He is not merely loving because He is love itself.
  6. Is like dinking booze, you know you’ll get a hangover in the morning, but you’ll take the risk and drink up anyway!
  7. Is when you feel that you have found the perfect person whom you want to spend the rest of your life with.
  8. Is something that can never be explained by words. It can only be described and exemplified through one’s actions.
  9. Is felt when you are willing to sacrifice or give up anything for that person. It is something that varies in meaning for it is based on a person’s specific perspective and his/her own experiences.
  10. Is something we will never find, it is just his thought of the perfect kind of love, but nothing is really perfect.
  11. Is when you accept someone whole heartedly. It is when you think about him all the time. It is when you feel secure in his arms.
  12. Is when you are willing to sacrifice anything for that person. Also, if you are willing to change yourself for the better. It is also true love if you’re willing to share your life with him.
  13. Never dies. It is giving, caring, not jealous, unselfish etc.
  14. Is a human emotion that goes beyond wordly desires, it has the ability to see beyond the physical appearance and sees another being in different yet special way. You have it you when you start feeling the mixture of joy and pain and is the reason why you want to live.
  15. Is when people have a deeper than usual connection. There are four elements of r a successful relationship: Friendship-Emotional-Spiritual-Physical, and in that order. Once these 4 parts are achieved, we can say there is true love due to the presence of love, trust and respect and acceptance.
  16. Can be defined by two individuals sharing something in common and their differences are not seen as obstacles but as traits that make them fall in love with someone even more.
  17. Is the kind of love that will never be forgotten by anyone. It makes the world of someone go round.
  18. Is that which is based on friendship. When you truly love someone, you never ask for anything in return.
  19. Is love that would last forever. It is unconditional love.
  20. Cannot be explained by writing down a hundred or even a million words of mushy things. It is something that goes beyond words, something special that is profoundly felt
  21. Is when you really accept the person despite hating all the qualities he/she may have. You don’t judge them rather understand. Actually words can’t really explain these two words but I believe that True Love is when you give and not really expecting for anything in return.
  22. Is a state when you have strong feelings for a particular person, despite and inspite of circumstances, differences and conflict.
  23. Is something unexpected and unpredictable. It is when you feel vulnerable, that someone is taking control over you. You function differently as a person.
  24. Is patient and generous. If it means giving up your happiness for the one you love.
  25. Is unconditional love. True love is when 2 or more people see the good things about the other and fill up the other’s shortcomings.
  26. Is an extreme feeling towards a person, a thing or something. True love makes you happy no matter how hard trials you may face because of your feeling towards that person or something.
  27. Is when you accept a person for who he/she may be without any conditions.
  28. Is something you feel for a person you are meant to be with. It may be unconditional in most cases.
  29. Is something one feels towards somebody special. It is felt in the sense that this person is willing to die for his/her special someone.
  30. Is feeling a sense of commitment and contentment towards another person, it is when you find someone that you are willing to share your life with.
  31. Is the feeling that two individuals feel when they reach a certain point in their life. It is also when both people are willing to give up/leave everything behind for the sake of “love”
  32. Is when you have deep affection to another person you are binded by marriage or an unsigned contract declaring your loyalty and trust to that person and true love is when you surpass and support each other through every obstacle you encounter.
  33. Means putting yourself last and prioritizing the ones you love even if it hurts. –means letting go
  34. A love that is not bounded by anything (unconditional). Is something that comes only once in one’s lifetime. Is the kind of love that everyone looks for.
  35. Is the perfect harmony of mind, heart, body and soul between two people wherein the Significant Other takes place of the Ego in the level of importance.
  36. Is equals to trusting the person
  37. Is like a burning candle in a dark room. It gives warmth and light that not even darkness can consume the spark it ignites.
  38. Exists when a person sees the future with the other person!
  39. True love waits! True is about destiny! True love is a very strong feeling that’s hard to explain. It may be a wonderful feeling or a feeling of pain. True love accepts not only the good side of a person but also his/her bad/horrible side.
  40. Is when two persons are loyal to each other until the end of their time.
  41. It is being able to commit one’s self wholly with love in a relationship, whatever the circumstances may be.
  42. Is being able to bring out the each others intimate and passionate selves to be able to completely commit.
  43. Should be the easiest thing to feel.
  44. You will never know what true love is until you’ve actually felt it.
  45. Is any kind of love. No one has the right to say whether it is true or not.
  46. Is simply the acceptance of a person’s flaws.
  47. Is not a passive effect. It is a “standing in”, not a “falling for”. It is primarily giving not receiving.
  48. Is finding your soul mate. Both of you are happy.
  49. Is when you feel more responsibility for someone? It is something which survives distance. God is the foundation of true love.
  50. Is the harmonizing of two person in mind, body, heart and spirit into a perfect being.
  51. Is a kind of relationship when both parties are able to achieve or experience happiness.
  52. is all about giving until it hurts….
  53. Can be defined as a kind of love wherein two people love each other no matter what, not giving emphasis on looks, intelligence or wealth
  54. Is when the happiness of the person you love/adore is more important than yours.
  55. Is madness if not controlled, but these brutal madness leads to brutal honesty.
  56. Is the most mysterious experience a person can have because it cannot be explained by words or rather words are not enough to explain it.
  57. Is the most complex feeling that intertwines with everything you do and affect you in every way.
  58. True love is a compromise.
  59. Is unconditional, seldom happens and is always mistaken to last forever.
  60. Is unconditional love however it does not mean that one should depend on his/her partner.
  61. Is kind, never jealous and knows how to let go.
  62. True love transforms a person (?)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Filipino Youth and Premarital Sex

5 million or 23% of Filipino adolescents, aged 15-24, have already engaged in premarital sex. In 1994, only 18% of youth engaged in PMS. 20 percent of premarital sex occurs among high school students.

35% of those who engage in premarital sex are out-of-school youth and nonworking youths.
Young men who had their sexual debut at 13 years old would have anywhere between 10 and 60 sex partners during their adolescence alone

2 out of 10 said they had sex for the first time out of curiosity, while 14 percent did so to relieve sexual tension

Qualities of youth engaging in PMS
• Living away from parents at an early age (boys and girls);
• Regular exposure to x-rated movies (boys and girls).
• Frequently go to discos, massage parlors and clubs
• Does not attend religious services
• Unstable Family Life
• Addiction to Drugs, Smoking and Alcohol

Preventive factors against PMS
• Regular participation to religious activities
• Being employed (for boys);
• Staying longer in school (both boys and girls);
• Receiving population education in school (both);
• Living with parents (girls);
• Having a liberal-minded father who serves as a guardian (girls)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Reclaiming our power as a people - Philippine Daily Inquirer (March 23, 2008)

We are witnessing a new kind of politics sweeping across the Philippines today. In the streets, in classrooms and in public forums a renewed sense of democratic citizenship is arising from civil society organizations, especially student and youth groups expressing non-violent communal outrage and demanding accountability for the deterioration of our democratic institutions under the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Increasingly, individuals and organizations working for social change are realizing that the little things we do as responsible citizens are no longer enough if we want sustained progress and that our personal sacrifices and conversions must translate into political and institutional accountability and reform.

This is coming from an intensifying loss of confidence among Filipinos over the system and culture of unchecked corruption pervading our society today. More and more, we realize that the mockery of impeachment proceedings, suppression of the right to information, harassment of government critics and corruption witnesses and the unmitigated extra judicial killings and persecution of militants as well as the disenfranchisement of social movements are not isolated problems but are consequences of the very nature of the Arroyo government- a government which by its unresolved legitimacy issues has been forced to rely upon the support of corrupt allies. We have seen to what extent this government can give its allies unrestrained power, abuse institutional channels, co-opt calls for reform and even delude us with economic figures for political survival.

We have also been witnesses to what direction the government’s narrowing down of institutional and democratic spaces for dialogue and reform can take groups who are seeking progressive change to express their demands- prompting some of them to even entertain military adventurism of violent and no democratic options. We are disturbed by the prospects of this government taking us to a state where Filipinos no longer trust in democratic processes and institutions.

We are unified in the belief that unless G M Arroyo resigns as President, our democratic future will remain hostage to the entrenched interests of her family and officials an vulnerable to breakdown in the hands of political agents whose means of social transformation we deem perilous to our country’s progress.

We support and join the continuing efforts of groups seeking truth, accountability and reform through innovative and creative ways during these extraordinary times. We urge the Filipino people to come out and participate in these endeavors to intensify public awareness, arouse asense of moral indignation over blatant corruption and abuse of power, and generate a climate of engaged citizenship that will build and transform democratic institutions. Through this reinvigorated political vigilance, let us expose the gross injustices perpetrated in the highest levels of government as the first step toward righting these wrongs. Let us show those who aspire to become our leaders that we will not remain silt witnesses if they ever betray our sacred trust again.

In this season of hope, we call on President Arroyo to resign-as a first step in the direction of political and institutional reform- and allow the constitutional process of succession to take its course so our country can enter an era of genuine and decisive political renewal.

Joy G. Aceron Benjamin G. Barretto Melissa Jayme-Lao Millard O. Lim Diana J. Mendoza Ronald C. Molmisa Pilar Pajayon-Berse Rene Raymond R. Raneses Alma Maria O. Salvador Jennifer Santiage Oreta Benjamin T. Tolosa, Jr. Lydia Yu-Jose

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