Monday, December 10, 2012

NANG MATALO ANG PAMBANSANG KAMAO

Hindi sanay ang Pinoy na natatalo ang bida. Hindi bumebenta sa atin ang malulungkot na istorya. Marahil, masyado na tayong lugmok sa kahirapan kaya wala na tayong panahon upang malumbay pa. Gusto natin, ang ending laging masaya.

Binago ni Manny ang pagtingin ng bayan sa tunay na tagumpay. Bagaman nabigo siyang depensahan ang kaniyang titulo, hindi nabago ang pagtingin sa kaniya ng marami. Siya pa rin ang hinahangaang "Pambansang Kamao" ng bayan. Hindi nagawang magpalusot, mambuska o mangatwiran. Tinanggap nang buong saya ang pagkatalo. Nasaksihan natin ang isang atletang walang masamang buto sa katawan.

Madalas, naghahanap tayo ng paliwanag sa mga bagay na hindi natin maunawaan. Ibinubunton natin ang sisi sa mga bagay na labas sa ating karanasan. Pinipilit nating madiskubre ang dahilan upang gumaan-gaan ang ating kalooban. Anupaman ang kalabasan ng ating paguusisa, magtiwala tayo na batid ng Diyos ang ating patutunguhan. Minsan, hindi makakatulong ang patuloy na pagtatanong. Ang mga nagtatanong, madalas hindi naghahanap ng kasagutan kundi ng argumento at maidadahilan. Magtiwala na lamang.

Bakit natalo ang pambansang kamao? May simple at masalimuot na sagot. Ang pinakasimple--nagiba siya ng isang malakas na suntok ng kalaban. Period. Ganun ang boksing. Kapag naisahan ka, yari ka.

Ang mas kumplikadong paliwanag at maaring hindi matanggap ng marami- inaayos ng Diyos ang magandang plano para sa kaniyang anak. Ito marahil ang tamang pagkakataon upang pansamantala siyang tumigil upang marinig at maunawaan ang tinig ng kaniyang Panginoon.
Walang kulay ang buhay kung laging panalo. Ang lungkot ang nagbibigay-katuturan sa kasiyahan. Ang pagkatalo ang nagpapasarap sa tagumpay. Tama si Manny. Kahit ang mga higante sa lupa ay may angking kahinaan. Dahil pagdating sa langit, malalantad kung sino ang pinakamakapangyarihan. Hindi nasusukat ang tagumpay sa dami ng yaman at ningning ng pangalan. Ang pinakamahalaga ay nasa pangangalaga ka ng Manlilikha ng buong sanlibutan.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

RIGHT OF REPLY (ROR): Aprub o Pasaway?


Noong ika-27 ng Nobyembre, sa botong 17-3 na may isang abstention, naaprubahan sa committee level ang Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. Pero hindi pa tapos ang boksing. Pagde-debatehan pa ito sa plenaryo at ihahain sa mga mambabatas para pagbotohan. May isang probisyon na hiniling ng Malacanang at ilang Kongresista ang hindi naisama sa ipinasang panukala--ang right of reply. Ayon kay Congressman Erin Tanada, isa sa mga masugid na tagapagsulong ng Bill, hindi naisama ang ROR sa pinag-usapan sa Technical Working Group (TWG) dahil inihain ito matapos na maibigay ang resulta ng pagpupulong. Ganunpaman, maari itong isama sa bill kung umabot ito sa second reading sa plenaryo.

Oobligahin ng right of reply ang mass media companies na maglaan ng espasyo (para sa print) o oras (para sa broadcast) para sa mga taong nais tumugon sa mga balitang nakaapekto sa kanilang reputasyon. Isa rin itong mekanismo upang maiwasan ang magastos na pagsasampa ng defamation at libel cases laban sa mga media personnel. Sa halip na paabutin sa korte, maaring ayusin na lamang ang kaso sa pamamagitan ng pagtatama sa mga maling impormasyon at paghahain ng balanseng pag-uulat ng mga balita. Sa kabilang banda, iniisip ng maraming media practitioners na tatamaan ang kanilang kalayaan at mga praktikal na gawain, lalo na kung tumangging magsalita ng mga taong apektado ng mga balitang kanilang inilalalabas. Mayroon din silang karapatang hindi magsalita.

Higit sa lahat, ikinakatakot ng maraming media firms ang walang patumanggang pakikialam ng gobyerno sa kanilang mga sinusulat at sinasabi. Mas maigi na maging isang "industry regulation" ito kaysa isang batas na magmumula sa pamahalaan. Kung maisasama sa FOI Bill, ang right of reply ay dapat lamang tumugon sa mga pagkakamali sa mga "facts" o datos ng pamamahayag at hindi ukol sa opinyon. Kung hindi, lalabagin nito ang karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag.

Ang right of reply ay isang mekanismo upang sugpuin ang abusado at may kinikilingang pamamahayag. Ito rin marahil ang dahilan kung bakit inaprubahan ng pangulo ang online libel clause sa Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Kung paanong pinapangarap ng FOI Bill na madaling makuha ng media ang mga pampublikong dokumento, marapat din silang maging responsable, tapat at patas sa pagtupad ng kanilang propesyon.

Ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag ay may limitasyon at hindi "absolute". Aminin natin na talamak ang envelopmental o kaya naman ay ATM journalism sa bansa, na siyang dahilan kung bakit maraming media personnel ang nagiging iresponsable at "corrupt". Marami ang nasusuhulan at nagiging "bata" ng mga pulitiko na may makasariling agenda. Kailangan ng mekanismo upang mabigyan proteksyon ang publiko laban sa mga taong ito.

Bakit matatakot ang media sa right of reply kung sila ay responsable sa pamamahayag? Lahat ng pumapasok na balita at impormasyon ay marapat lamang na masusing salain ng editorial team bago ilabas sa publiko. Dapat ding tingnan ng panukalang ito ang mga government-owned media firms na kalimitang nakatutok lamang sa mga positibong balita ukol sa gobyerno. Kailangang linawin din kung kailangang isama sa usapin ang mga bloggers na walang maayos na training sa etika ng pamamahayag bagaman itinuturing ang kanilang mga sarili na bahagi ng online media group.

Katulad ng tinanong ng Griyegong pilosopo na si Aristotle, "Sino ang magbabantay sa mga tagapagbantay? Ang mga miyembro ng media, na itinuturing na tagapagbantay ng nagaganap sa pamahalan at lipunan, ay kailangan ding matyagan. Wala silang karapatang magsalita laban sa korupsyon at katiwalian kung hindi sila mismo ay lumalabag sa batas ng katuwiran at katarungan.

Kung nagtitiwala tayong kayang bantayan ng mga mamamahayag---sa TV, print, radyo at Internet--ang kanilang sarili upang maging responsable at walang dungis, walang dapat ipangamba. Asahan natin na magiging sensitibo sila sa mga "feedback" na kanilang natatanggap mula sa publiko at susunod sa mga batas sa pamamahayag. Sa kabilang banda, makakabuti ring maglagay ng mga mekanismo upang maitama ang kanilang mga lihis na gawain.

Ito po si Ronald Molmisa para sa Opinyon ng Pilipino. Dahil sa isang bansang may demokrasya, opinyon ng bawat isa ay mahalaga.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

ANTI-POLITICAL DYNASTY BILL: Suntok sa Buwan?

Itinatadahana ng Article II, Section 26 ng 1987 Constitution: "Dapat seguruhin ng Estado ang pantay na pag-uukol ng mga pagkakataon para sa lingkurang pambayan, at ipagbawal ang mga dinastiyang politikal ayon sa maaaring ipagkahulugan ng batas." Nakakalungkot isipin na isa itong patay na probisyon dahil patuloy na naghihintay sa isang "implementing/enabling law." Ilang mambabatas na ang nagtangkang magsulong ng batas upang suportahan ito ngunit lahat ay nauwi sa basurahan at ibinaon sa limot. Sa kasalukuyan, inaamag sa Committee Level ang mga panukalang batas ni Senador Miriam Defensor-Santiago at Congressman Teddy Casino ng Bayan Muna Party List.

Tandaan na ang pulitikang Pinoy ay pinatatakbo ng mga makapangyarihan. Halos lahat ng bayan sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao ay kinakatawan ng isang mayaman at naghaharing pamilya--mula sa mga Abad ng Batanes hanggang sa mga Zubiri ng Bukidnon. Sa Senado, lalo na sa Mababang Kapulungan halos 70 porsyento ay miyembro ng political family (115 sa 15th Congress). Maaring demokrasya ang porma ng ating pamahalaan subalit ang sistema ng pamumuno ay oligarkiya.

May katotohanan naman na ang paniniwala na nananatili ang mga political dynasties dahil sa pagiging family-oriented ng mga Pinoy. Nasa dugo kasi natin ito. Sa isang banda, hindi lahat ng political dynasties ay tiwali at masama. Ngunit ibig bang sabihin ay magkikibit-balikat na lamang tayo sa pamamayagpag ng iilan at pang-aabuso sa kanilang kapangyarihan? Hindi lang kasi ito usapin kung "mabuti"o "corrupt" ang isang dinastiya kundi kung paano nila pinoprotektahan ang kanilang mga "mini-kingdoms" na isang paglabag sa Konstitusyon.

Una, maituturing na malaswa ang pag-monopolyo nila sa kapangyarihan sa pamahalaan. Magkakatabi silang nakaupo sa Kongreso maging sa executive branch ng gobyerno. Nakapako na ang kanilang pangalan at pagkatao sa mga opisina ng pamahalaan.

Pangalawa, hindi umuunlad ang maraming bayan dahil pare-parehong mukha at estilo sa pamumuno ang kanilang nasasaksihan. May isang bayan nga sa hilagang Luzon na hinawakan ng isang pamilya sa loob ng 50 taon subalit hindi kinakitaan ng pag-unlad. Nagdarahop pa rin ang maraming tao. Hindi tumataas ang kalidad sa pamumuno dahil walang bagong dugo at espiritu ng pamamahala. Same old banana.

Pangatlo, sa pagtagal sa puwesto ng mga political families, inaaangkin na nila ang posisyon na wari'y bahagi ng yamang kanilang minana sa mga namayapang magulang. Sa ganitong kalakaran, hindi lamang tayong maituturing na oligarkiya kundi isang monarkiya na pinagpasa-pasahan ang kapangyarihan sa iba't ibang salinlahi. At ang sambayan ang nagiging kahabag-habag na mga "subjects" na sunud-sunuran lamang sa dinidikta ng mga naghaharing pulitiko.

Pang-apat, ang mga programang makakatulong sa mahihirap tulad ng reporma sa lupa at mataas na sahod sa manggagawa ay hindi maisulong dahil sa impluwensiya ng mga dinastiyang pampulitika na hindi papayag na maapektuhan ang kanilang mga personal na interes.

Ano ngayon ang solusyon sa usaping ito? Suntok sa buwan ang bawat aksyon na isulong ang isang anti-dinasty bill hangga't ang mga miyembro ng Kongreso ay bahagi lahat ng naghaharing mga pamilya. Ganundin, kung pipigilan sila na tumakbo muli sa puwesto, lalabagin nito ang kanilang sibil na karapatan na makibahagi sa gawaing pampulitika. Wala ring malinaw na depinisyon ang terminong, "political dynasty". Hanggang saang degree of consanguinity ba dapat ipagbawal ang paghawak ng puwesto sa pamahalaan? Maaaring magbigay ng opinyon ang Korte Suprema sa usaping ito. Ngunit, bilang co-equal branch, hindi nito maaring puwersahin ang Kongreso na magpasa ng batas ukol sa isyu.
Sa huli, ang pagtatapos ng mga political dynasties ay nasa kamay pa rin ng sambayanan. Patuloy silang imulat sa negatibong epekto ng masamang pamumulitika at sakim na pamumunoi. Patindihin ang non-partisan "voter's education." Gawing matalino ang sambayan sa pagpili ng kanilang lider. Ganundin, resolbahin ang kahirapan na isang ugat ng sobra nilang pag-asa sa mga mayayamang pulitiko.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

KORUPSYON: Pataas o Pababa?

Sa isang survey na isinagawa ng Social Weather Stations (SWS) mula July 16 hanggang September 14 ngayong taon, 71 porsyento (826 business executives) ang nagsabing mas bumaba ang korupsyon sa gobyerno kumpara sa mga nagdaang taon. Tumaas ang "sincerity rating" ng 16 na ahensiya ng pamahalaan sa pangunguna ng Office of the President na  may excellent mark (+81 mula  -37). Dumausdos naman ang sincerity rating ng mga city goverments (+35 to +24), Supreme Court (+40  to +23) at COMELEC (-8 to -14). Wala nang government agency ang binigyan ng "Very Bad" rating.  Katulad ng inaasahan, ang may "Bad" Rating pa rin ang Department of Customs  (-69 to -45).

Ang inilabas ng SWS ay ang pananaw ng mga businessmen pagdating sa katiwalian sa pamahalaan. Hindi ito ang kumpletong larawan. Kailangan din tingnan ang pulso ng sambayanan at silipin ang tunay na nagaganap sa lipunan. Pag-aralan din ang korupsyon na ginagawa ng maraming negosyante tulad ng hindi pagi-isyu ng resibo, pandaraya sa kanilang accounting books at hindi pagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Paano ba natin tinitingnan ang korupsyon? Maraming Filipino ang nakatuon sa mga high profile cases (wholesale corruption) subalit nagbu-bulag-bulagan sa mga pang-araw-araw na manipestasyon nito (petty or street-level corruption). Galit na galit ang marami sa mga Kongresistang nagnanakaw ng kanilang pork barrel subalit OK lang ang panunuhol sa traffic enforcer. Kinukundena nila ang mga illegal na transaksyon sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno subalit nagpapadulas naman upang mapabilis ang takbo ng kanilang mga dokumento.

Nakakataba ng puso ang resulta ng survey dahil sa paglakas ng kumpiyansa ng  mga miyembro ng business sector sa gobyerno.  Subalit napakababa pa rin ng bilang ng mga nagre-report ng mga suhulan at katiwalian (9 percent) dahil sa pag-aakalang walang pupuntahan ang kanilang hinaing. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit dapat nang ipasa ang Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill upang mas lalong mapadali ang pagre-report ng mga corruption activities at mas mabigyan ng proteksyon ang mga mamamayan na mag-uulat ng katiwalian. Kung talagang "sincere" ang pamahalaang Aquino na sugpuin ang korupsyon, kailangang mas paigtingin ang mga institusyon, patatagin ang kultura ng pagbabantay, at magpasa ng mga batas na susupil sa mga maling gawain sa gobyerno.

Ipinagkikibit-balikat ng marami ang mga katiwalian dahil sa paniniwalang wala nang solusyon ang problema. Huwag tayong maniwala sa kasinungalingang ito. Ang kasalanan ang naghihiwalay sa atin sa Diyos (Roma 3:23). Kailangang manguna ang mga taga-sunod ni Cristo sa pagsasabuhay ng kabanalan ng Diyos. Higit sa lahat, simulan ang pagwaksi ng korupsyon sa loob ng iglesya. Walang karapatang magsabi ang mga taong simbahan na sugpuin ang korupsyon sa gobyerno kung sila mismo ay hindi mapagkakatiwalaan sa salapi ng iglesya. Ialay natin ang ating mga sarili bilang mga handog na buhay at nakakalugod sa Diyos (Romans 12:1-2).

Ang hamon ngayon ay kung paano ipagpapatuloy ang ganitong kalakaran. Tatlong taon na lamang sa puwesto ang presidente. Kung maluluklok ang isang lider na taliwas ang pagpapahalaga sa kanya, maaring mapunta sa wala ang lahat ng pinaghirapan ng kaniyang pamunuan. Dito pumapasok ang papel ng simbahan na aktibong makisangkot upang masugpo ang katiwalian sa iba't ibang bahagi ng buhay-Pinoy. Kailangang magbantay at patuloy na manalangin para sa kagalingan ng bayan.


Ito po si Ronald Molmisa para sa Opinyon ng Pilipino. Dahil sa isang bansang may demokrasya, opinyon ng bawat isa ay mahalaga.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

COUP De Grace? (Morsi and the Egyptian Military)

On August 13, the Egyptian President dismissed the country’s top military officers, Defense Minister Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and Chief of staff Lieutenant General Sami Annan. Five other generals were sacked from office. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, a former head of military intelligence replaced Tantawi while General Sedky Sobhy, an Islamist, was appointed as the new chief of staff. The members of the upper echelons of the military are scheduled to be replaced by the younger members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Morsi also annulled a controversial provision in the constitution giving vast powers to the generals. Two days after the dismissal of two top officers, they were given positions in the president’s advisory council.

The military presided over state affairs since the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Last July, the military dissolved the parliament by the virtue of a Supreme Court decision questioning the election process. The parliament has yet to be reconvened to draft the new constitution. At present, Morsi holds full executive powers and without the parliament, he also serves as the de-facto prime legislator. These developments illuminate the power struggle between the first civilian president of Egypt and a military which aims to limit his power.

Many speculated that Morsi’s move is just symptomatic of the hushed political squabble between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the military. There were rumors that the military has been planning a major coup this August, and Morsi just responded to avert the scheme. Junior officers welcomed the president’s move since they have been demoralized by the political entrenchment of their senior counterparts, who deprived them of decent salaries and quality military equipment. All presidents since the 1952 revolution were military officers. The institution has been discredited in the eyes of the Egyptians due to their privileged position in society. It owns at least 35 factories and companies (20 percent of Egypt’s industries) and many of its officers occupy the posh apartments of Alexandria and Nasser City. 

Morsi’s purge of the “old woods/brass” can be a mechanism to dismantle the dual power in the country and consolidate the government. This is a politically engineered strategy to significantly broaden his powers. The country is still waiting for the new constitution which explains his current political swagger. After praising the military in his speech, he admonished it to concentrate on its “holy mission of protecting the nation". What he meant by “protection” is subject to various readings. The president argued that the move was not directed at a certain group of people and that there is a current need move the country “towards a better future with a new generation and long-awaited new blood.” Rebuilding Egypt necessitates the introduction of young blood in the military. For sure, it sent a chilling effect to the entrenched political institution. The Egyptian military is the largest military in the Middle East and the 10th in the world thanks to massive US aid ($1.3 billion annually). 

Any attempt to undermine the positive role of Egyptian military could be a “political suicide” on the part of the president. Morsi has yet to recover from the political consequences of a violent standoff on the Sinai Peninsula between the military and militants where 16 soldiers were killed. Majority of the people still value the contribution of the institution in modernizing the country. The October 1973 victory of the military is one of the most celebrated events in the country’s history. Military officers gained the respect of the nation when they refused to fire on peaceful demonstrators during the revolution. Nonetheless, the army appears to concede to Morsi's purge, perhaps fearing the breakout of another civil war resulting from any act of defiance.

Morsi’s move can also be a subtle technique to introduce MB’s pan-Islamist project. Many fear the introduction of Sharia vision of society. General Sedky Sobhy  once wrote a paper lambasting US  policy in the Middle East when he studied in the National War College in Washington in 2005. There has been a crackdown on secular dissidents as Morsi calls for a more Islamic constitution in the country. Geopolitically, Israel is now on it toes for a possible Intifada in Egypt. The peace treaty with Israel (Camp David Treaty), which the generals have safeguarded for more than three decades could be destabilized by the Morsi regime. President Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to visit Iran on August 30 to attend the Non-Aligned Movement meetings. He also made an earlier pronouncement that Egypt and the Palestine are “one”.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mga Isyung Kailangang Harapin ng JBC

Ang Judicial and Bar Council o JBC ang itinalaga ng Saligang Batas upang pag-aralan ang mga aplikasyon ng mga nominees na nangangarap maging miyembro ng Korte Suprema. Ito ang magsusumite ng listahan sa Presidente na siyang pormal na magtatalaga ng mga hukom. Mahalaga ang papel ng JBC sa pagpili ng susunod na Chief Justice lalo na ngayong kailangang isalba ang nadungisang imahe ng hudikatura bunga ng Corona impeachment trial.  Pinalulutang ng kasalukuyang proseso ng pagpili ang mga legal at pulitikal na isyung kailangang harapin ng JBC sa mga susunod na panahon.

Isang malaking katanungan ang dapat na maging bilang ng kinatawan ng Kongreso sa JBC. Ayon sa Konstitusyon, mayroon itong apat na regular na miyembro, kabilang ang kinatawan ng Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), isang law professor, isang retiradong miyembro ng Korte Suprema, at isang kinatawan mula sa pribadong sektor. Bahagi rin ng konseho ang mga ex-officio members (sa bisa ng kanilang opisina) na kinabibilangan ng Secretary of Justice at kinatawan mula sa Kongreso. Ang Chief Justice ang tatayo bilang ex-officio chairman.

Sa pagkakataong walang tatayong Chief Justice, ang pinaka-senior sa mga Associate Justices ang uupo sa JBC. Kamakailan lamang, pinagbigyan ng Korte Suprema na magkaroon ng magkahiwalay na kinatawan ang Senado at ang Mababang Kapulungan. Dahil dito, sa halip na pitong (7) miyembro, magkakaroon ng walong (8) miyembro ang JBC. Kung ganito ang magiging kalakaran, mas may bentahe na sa boto ang Kongreso kaysa sa kinatawan ng dalawang departamento—isa lamang para sa executive (ang Secretary of Justice) at isa rin para sa judiciary (ang Chief Justice).

Nasisilip rin ang “insider tradition” sa Mataas na Hukuman. Magmula nang ito ay matatag noong ika-11 ng Hunyo 1901, walang Chief Justice ang naluklok nang hindi kabilang sa mga senior members ng korte. Exception dito ang naganap noong panahon ng Hapon nang italaga si House Speaker Jose Yulo bilang Chief Justice ng Japanese Military Administration. Ganundin, wala pang naisama sa short-list ng nominasyon ng JBC sa mahigit 25 taon nitong kasaysayan (mula 1987) na “outsider”. Sa mga nominees, 6 ang insiders at 14 ang outsiders. Naging kultura na sa JBC na isama sa listahan ang mga senior Supreme Court justices. Ganunpaman, hndi nakakasiguro na kung “insider” ang maluluklok sa puwesto ay magiging maayos ang pamumuno ng Korte Suprema. Tandaan natin na isa lamang ang Chief Justice, and primus inter pares, sa 15 miyembro ng korte. Katulad ng ibang sangay ng pamahalaan, ang judiciary ay apektado rin ng iba’t ibang uri at antas ng pulitika.

Pinaka-matingkad sa lahat ng isyu ang papel ng Pangulo sa proseso ng pagpili ng susunod na Chief Justice. Sa kasalukuyang patakaran, sinasala lamang ng JBC ang mga aplikasyon at ang presidente ang magdedesisyon kung sino ang kaniyang hihirangin mula sa shortlist na ibibigay ng JBC. Maaaring magdagdag ng pangalan mula sa mga nominees ang presidente kung nais nitong palawigin ang listahan. Matapos pumili ang presidente, hindi na dadaaan sa kumpirmasyon ng Commission on Appointments ang hukom na mahihirang. Maraming umaalma sa kapangyarihan ng presidente na iluklok ang nais niyang ilagay sa puwesto. May opinion na mas mabuti ang  pagbabalik ng 1935 Constitution system sa pagpili ng mga miyembro ng Korte Suprema.

Binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng 1935 Constitution ang presidente upang  pumili ng Chief Justice ngunit kailangang may “consent” o pag-sang-ayon ng Commission on Appointments (Article VIII, section 5). Ang COA ay binubuo ng tig-12 kinatawan mula sa Senado at Mababang Kapulungan. Sa ganitong sistema, may kapangyarihan ang COA na tanggihan ang napili ng pangulo. Subalit binago ito dahil sa pananaw na nagiging ma-pulitika ang proseso ng pagpili. Nagbago ang lahat noong Martital Law nang sinimulan ng dating pangulong Marcos ang tradisyon ng pagpili ng miyembro ng Korte Suprema gamit ang kaniyang kapangyarihan.

Sa kabuuan, ang Chief Justice ang mukha ng hukuman at sistema ng hustisya ng bayan. Itinatadhana ng Konstitusyon na dapat taglay niya at ng ibang hukom sa Korte Suprema ang apat na katangian—competence o kahusayan, integrity o katapatan, probity o kabutihan at independence o kakayahang magdesisyon para sa sarili.

Kung nagawa ng JBC na isapubliko ang mga panayam sa mga nominees, marapat ding isapubliko ang pagboto ng mga miyembro nito. Habang nagmamatyag ang sambayanan sa kilos ng mga JBC members, JBC rin ang kanilang panawagan – JUST BE CAREFUL sa pagpili ng susunod na Chief Justice.

Mga Aral na Iniwan ni Habagat

Muli tayong minulto ng matinding pag-ulan katulad ng hagupit na dinala ni Ondoy noong 2009 at ng “The Great Flood of Manila” ng 1972. Damang-dama na natin ang epekto ng climate change. Asahan nating mayroon pang mga “Habagat” na maaring humampas sa bansa. Napakahalagang iayon na natin ang ating pamumuhay sa katotohanang ito. Kailangang maglatag ng “long-term solutions” upang mabawasan, kung hindi man tuluyang masawata, ang masamang epekto ng matinding pagbaha sa Metro Manila at karatig-probinsya.

Kumplikado ang usapin ng flood control. Hindi ito maaaring ibunton lamang sa iresponsableng pagtatapon ng basura na nagbabara ng ating mga drainage system. Kailangan ring ipakita ng pamahalaan ang “political will” upang isaayos ang mga programa ukol sa migration at urban planning. Ang mga lugar na dapat ay hindi tinitirhan ay namumutiktik ngayon sa mga informal settlers at squatters. Sa tuwing rumaragasa ang malakas na pag-ulan, sakit sa ulo ang paglilikas ng mga kababayan nating nakatira sa mga estero at tabing-ilog. Ang resulta: nalalagay sa panganib ang kanilang buhay at ang buhay ng mga rescuers.  Hindi sila magawang paalisin ng mga lokal na opisyal dahil sa usapin ng “human rights” at pulitika. Sila kasi ang pinagkukunan ng boto ng mga pulitiko tuwing eleksyon.

Kailangang iiwas ang mga tao sa paninirahan sa mga hazardous areas. Ngayon ang panahon upang paigtingin ng mga local government units ang paggamit sa mga “geohazard maps”  at datos ng Project NOAH na sinimulan ng Mines and Geosciences Bureau ng DENR at Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Buhusan ng sapat na pondo ang PAG-ASA upang mas mapabuti ang weather forecasting at madagdagan ang mga kailangang teknolohiya. Linisin ang mga drainage system.  Magtayo ng low-cost housing para sa mga urban poor. Maaaring bilyon-bilyon ang aabutin ng mga proyektong ito. Ngunit napakaliit niyon kung ikukumpara sa mga buhay na mawawala at ari-ariang sisirain ng mas matitinding kalamidad.

Maaring “kamay na bakal” ang kailangan upang matigil na ang illegal logging na kumakalbo sa kabundakan ng Sierra Madre at iba pang kagubatan. Political will ang susi upang masunod ang National Land Use Plan na nagiging isang “patay na dokumento” dahil sa laki ng real estate investments ng mga makapangyarihan sa lipunan. Ang pagi-issue ng Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) at building permits ay nagiging “gatasang baka” ng maraming ahensiya. Maraming contractors ang walang habas na nagtatayo ng subdivision sa mga delikadong lugar. Sariwa pa sa ala-ala ng marami ang trahedya ng Cherry Hills noong 1999 sa Antipolo kung saan mahigit 50 residente ang namatay dahil sa landslide.

Walang ginagalang na “political boundaries” ang kalamidad. Tinatawag ng pagkakataon ang lahat ng munisipilidad, bayan at lungsod na magkaisa. Mahalagang kilalanin din ang kontribusyon ng ibang sektor—ang scientific community, mga arkitekto, business sector at maging ng international community. Gawin nating inspirasyon ang karanasan at expertise ng ibang bansa tulad ng Belgium, Netherlands at Malaysia sa pagkontrol sa baha.

Hindi tayo magiging kaaki-akit sa mga foreign investors kung may pangamba silang babahain at mapupunta sa wala ang kanilang ipupundar sa bansa. Ngayon natin mas nauunawaan ang kasabihang “kung ano ang ating itinanim, iyon ang ating aanihin.” (Galacia 6:7). Kung hindi tayo matututo sa trahedya ni Ondoy at ni Habagat, asahan natin ang mas matinding trahedya sa mga susunod na panahon.

The Nature and Limits of Propaganda

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s foremost polemicist, argued that propaganda must be simple enough to be appreciated by the common people. A propagandist is a “true artist” and “master of the popular soul.” They have the acumen vis-a-vis their audience’s ability to perceive information. Propaganda, however, should be perceived as amoral. It depends on the goal it seeks. This is a historical irony since Goebbels was the major lackey of Hitler in committing mass atrocities/genocide in Europe.

Russian socialist theorist Plekhanov made a distinction between agitation and propaganda. The former utilizes ideas and slogans to shape people’s opinions, for immediate purposes, while the latter aggressively espouses the principles of Marxism-Leninism with the view of transforming the infra-culture and superstructure of society. Also, Lenin, in his work, “What needs to be done” also distinguishes one from the other according to the quantity of ideas being advocated and the means by which they are projected to the masses:

"The propagandist, dealing with, say, the question of unemployment, must explain the capitalistic nature of crises, the cause of their inevitability in modern society, the necessity for the transformation of this society into a socialist society, etc. In a word, he must present “many ideas”, so many indeed, that they will be understood as an integral whole by a (comparatively) few persons. The agitator however, speaking on the same subject, will take as an illustration the death of an unemployed worker’s family from starvation, the growing impoverishment etc and utilising this fact, known to all, will direct his efforts to presenting a single idea to the “masses”. Consequently the propagandist operates chiefly by means of the printed word; the agitator by means of the spoken word. (underline mine)"

Juxtaposing this view with the advent of information and communication technologies,  Lenin can be indicted for limiting the perceived images agitators can get across and the information people can absorb through this method. Agitation, as Lenin defined it, requires bigger forces to achieve its purposes. This view can be undermined by the capability of social networking sites (SNS) to make information spread like wildfire.

Moreover, propaganda is not merely an “art of persuasion”. The Bolsheviks elicited support from peasants and workers, not only because they intended to “brainwash” them, but also due to their skill to magnify existing social issues and trends, giving them sharper and precise focus. 

Propaganda shapes collective attitudes by manipulating significant symbols. Cyphers and codes can be expressions of allegiance. This can be witnessed in Hitler’s swastika and Nazi gesture and Mao’s Red Book which sustained the cult of personality in China. The zealous Red Guards, composed mainly of students, persecuted those who gave low esteem to the state-published booklet. This continued during Zhou En-Lai’s Thought Reform campaign in 1950s which smothered the power of Western/capitalist principles through massive indoctrination, struggle sessions (public humiliation of “enemies of the state”), among others.

Propagandism, however, entails significant costs. Sustaining a campaign warrants infusion of resources for the constant stream of ideological information. This compelled Stalin in 1930s to build Russia’s largest propaganda aircraft, Tupolev ANT-20, which served as the “voice from the sky” of the Communist Party. It was used to drop printed leaflets and even became a radio station hub and film projector. Mao was effective in projecting ad nauseum propaganda by inculcating among the youth his personal vision of Chinese socialism. In the same manner, Marcos, during Martial Law, ordered the religious singing of Bagong Lipunan hymn to project a "compassionate government."

Russian propaganda, of course, also had its offensive dimension. Glavlit, USSR’s main censorship organization used to employ at least 50,000 “watchdog” staff to eliminate anti-state information and make sure that printed materials are compatible with the state’s ideological spin. In the same vein, Marcos, with his Bagong Lipunan campaign, encouraged developmental journalism and clandestinely imprisoned anti-regime journalists. I remember Ariel Ureta being punished for mocking Marcos’s slogan---“Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, bisikleta ang kailangan.” As a result, he was forced to make his rounds inside Camp Crame using his bicycle.

Propaganda, to be effective, must be planted on a fertile field for it to prosper and influence a community. It is essential that it is congruent with people’s desires and aspirations. Hitler’s persecution of the “non-Aryan” race struck a chord in the hearts of Germans who, during that period, also desired global supremacy and freedom from the clutches of major powers which punished their country post-World War I. The masses’ lack of education and discernment of issues make them susceptible to ideological appeals.  However, propaganda can only be effective as long as the propagandists deliver their pronouncements. Hollow promises can cause disillusionment among the people.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Seven Reasons Why To Be In Youth Ministry and Stay (via Youth Ministry Ideas)

1. Youth are the most spiritually responsive segment of society – The statistics are somewhere between 85 -90% of people that choose Christ as savior end up doing so by age 21. There is a stronger indication that most do between age 5 to 14. What this means is you have a vital role in the influence of young people towards accepting the gift of salvation! Make sure that you are giving the gospel in your talks because you never know which night is the night that a student will place their trust in Christ.

2. Adolescence is the time when most determinitive decisions are made – Let’s take a look at the 4 C’s:
  •  Companionship – teens are looking for and developing companionship. who their friends are is extremely important and weighs heavily on their decision making because of the influence.
  •  Courtship – They spend a LOT of time talking about relationships. Who’s going out with who. Did you hear? I can’t believe that they did that! Be careful not to tease about their relationships as this can really damage the influence you have.
  • Career – Believe it or not – students are thinking about what they want to do for a career. They are wondering and exploring and looking for a path that will lead them into a career some day. We have the opportunity to help them down that path.
  • Convictions – Here are some negative convictions: Materialism (we are what we have). Secularism – (functional atheism). Heedism – (pleasure principle). Humanism – (I am the center of the universe). These are what you students are battling with on a day to day basis in their school. We have a job as youth leaders to help battle the negative convictions and give them God convictions.

3. Human tendency is to overlook the contribution to youth – Only problem with this is that look at the Bible and how it is filled with youth: Jesus, Mary, Timothy, David, Joseph, Samuel, Daniel. These were not old people – these were young people! I Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Young people can be a tremendous example to the older ones in Church! You have a role developing them into young people that love God!

4. Young people have their entire life ahead of them to live for Jesus Christ – The sooner that they begin a relationship with Christ – the longer their life for God is. They can have more of  an influence over their friends and family. They can make a lasting difference for God’s kingdom and it starts now in their lives not later when they are older. You can have such an impact on them by leading them to Jesus Christ – whom they can start their new life and live it out!

5. Young people are desperately searching for a model for their life – Young people will always be looking up to someone be it famous, father, mother, coach, and YOU the youth leader. They are looking for someone that’s not perfect, but progressing and real. They can tell if you are being fake – so instead be yourself and the students that connect with you will be the students that God will help you with.

6. Youth represent the greatest reservoir potential – Youth have so much potential! Most any of the great movements started with young people and it’s young people that can bring a change and revival to our countries. We need to be doing everything we can to help build their potential and help them to be a strong follower of Christ.

7. Youth need a committed adult outside the home to help them grow up – The teenage years are about creating their own identity and what you normally will see is some separation from their mother and father. So with that – they need adults with Godly influence to help them as they are growing up. They need youth leaders to step in and walk beside them and to lead them to making decisions based on what God would want.

What are some of your reasons to be in youth ministry?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Political Culture/Socialization

Political culture refers to “people’s psychological orientation, being the pattern of orientations to political objects such as parties, government, and constitution, expressed in beliefs, symbols and values”.[1] It builds upon the studies of political behavior which focuses on individuals rather than larger political units.[2] It wishes to look at participants in the political system as individuals who have the emotions, prejudices and predispositions.[3] Behavioralism has eight intellectual foundation stones:[4] 1) Regularities (assumes that there are “discoverable uniformities”); 2) Commitment to Verification - The ability to verify ones generalizations, testability by reference to relevant behavior; 3) Techniques – Be more self-conscious and critical about its methodology; 4) Quantification (Results to be expressed in numbers where possible); 5) Values – separating facts from values; 6) Systemization – Theory and research as closely intertwined; 7) Pure Science (theory and applied research combined ) and 8) Integration (interdisciplinary character).

Political socialization is the developmental process through which persons acquire political orientations and patterns of behaviour.[5]  It is the process of transmitting the central values of society’s political culture from one generation to another. Studying political socialization does “not only gives us insight into the pattern of political culture and subcultures in [a] society, but also locates for us in the socialization processes of the society the point where particular qualities and elements are being sustained or modified.”[6]

The pioneering work of Almond and Verba (Civil Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations, 1963) reveals that democratic stability is characterized by a blend of activity and passivity on the part of citizens and a balance between obligation and performance on the part of state leaders. They identified three major types of political culture: 1) parochial (i.e. Mexico and Italy) “where citizens are only remotely aware of the presence of central government, and live their lives near enough regardless of the decisions taken by the state.”;2) subject (i.e. Germany) “where citizens are aware of central government, and are heavily subjected to its decisions with little scope for dissent” and 3) participant (i.e. UK and US) where “citizens are able to influence the government in various ways and they are affected by it.”  A similar study of O.D. Corpuz[7] reveals the historical and cultural foundations of Philippine politics. The author writes argues that Filipino political institutions are not merely “adulterated versions” of alien institutions. Irregularities in the system manifest because Filipinos have a superstructure of Western-inspired values sitting on top indigenous infra-structure.


[1] Heywood, A. 2007. Politics (3rd ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 207
[2] Robert A. Dahl, "The Behavioral Approach in Political Science:  Epitaph for a Monument to a Successful Pro- test," American Political Science Review, 55 (December 1961): 763-772.
[3] David  Easton,. "The Current Meaning of  Behavioralism," in Charlesworth, ed.,   Contemporary Political Analysis, pp. 11-31.
[4] David  Easton,. "The Current Meaning of  Behavioralism," in Charlesworth, ed.,   Contemporary Political Analysis, pp. 16-17.
[5] Easton, David. 1968. The Theoretical Relevance of Political Socialization.  Canadian Journal of Political Science 1 (2):125-146.
[6] Almond, Gabriel A. 1960. “A Functional Approach to Comparative Politics,” in Gabriel A. Almond and James S. Coleman (eds.), The Politics of Developing Areas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.pp. 31.
[7] Onofre D. Corpuz, "The Cultural Foundations of Filipino Politics," Philippine   Journal   of  Public Administration, 4 (October 1960): 297-310.

On Political Elites


Elite refers to a minority of individuals who have the most of what (power, wealth, status, etc.) there is to have or who get the most of what there is to get in society.  They have the highest indices (of success) in their branch of activity and they directly or indirectly play some considerable part in government.  Normative elitism contends that elite rule is desirable and that political power should be vested in the hands of a wise or enlightened minority (Heywood 2007:84). The classical philosophers (i.e. Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli) attempted to answer the question: Who is fit to rule? The major assumption of political leadership is that not everybody can rule. Leadership is reserved for those who possess certain qualities which distinguish them from ordinary people.  

Classical elite studies claim to be empirical (although normative judgments intrude) and sees elite rule as an inevitable, and unchangeable fact of social existence (Heywood 2007:85). For Mosca (1939), there are only two types of people in society—the rulers and the ruled. The organizational nature of the elites makes them the most convenient rulers of the society. In the same manner, Pareto (1968) considered the elites are the appropriate rulers because they have the skills and expertise. Using the German Social Democrat Party as a case study, Robert Michels (1949) introduced the “iron law of oligarchy” to explain the elitist/oligarchical tendencies of all socio-political organizations. Direct/participatory democracy although noble is physically and technically impossible.   

Modern elitist perspectives developed as empirical analyses but are more critical and discriminating about the causes of elite rule. Mills’s The Power Elite (1956) contends that elite power is subject to historical variations. There are three major keys in understanding the group: 1) psychological/social similarity; 2) structural coincidences (relationship with social institutions); and 3) explicit coordination (strategies for unity). An empirical study by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), The Rulemakers (2004), reveals the aforementioned characteristics of elites. The work shows how Philippine legislators  cannot live up to their title as “representatives of the people” given their economic status and political prestige.

For Guttsman[1], one of the shortcomings of elite theories is that they consider the ruling political group as belonging to the top group of society There is a little systematic study of the changing political elites within the framework of a changing social structure.. Also, no one can generalize the attitudes of elites vis-à-vis democracy.[2] It means they can also provide and espouse democratic values/ethos (democratic elitism). Schumpeter’s “realistic” model of democracy[3] argues that political power shall always be exercised by the elites (inter-elite rivalry). This is supported by Anthony Down’s idea of “competitive elitism”[4] which explains the entrepreneurial tendencies of politicians due to the need to satisfy the demands of political market wherein the electorate behave as consumers.


[1] W.L.Guttsman,"Social Stratification and  Political Elite,”  British Journal of   Sociology, 11  (June 1960)137-150.
[2] Frank Bealey, “Democratic Elitism and the Autonomy of Elites,” International Political Science Review, Vol 17, No. 3 (July 1996), p. 319-331.
[3] Schumpeter, Joseph. 1942. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. London: Allen and Win.
[4] Downs, Anthony. 1990. An Economic Theory of  Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.

State and Globalization

The “state” is one of the most important and enduring concepts in the study of politics. Its philosophic and historical conception can be traced to the writings of Plato (arising out of man’s lack of self-sufficiency), Aristotle (state for  political animals), St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas (state as a divine institution), Machiavelli (state as  instrument of  power), and Hobbes, Locke and Rosseau (state and social contract). It was defined and redefined alongside the development of political science as an area of inquiry. In the early part of 20th century, the “Germanization” of the discipline popularized the Weberian notion of the state as an entity exercising a monopoly of “coercive authority” (violence) over a given territory which must be anchored on the process of legitimation. The modern state has been accorded with four key features: a defined territory, a permanent population, an effective government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states (internal and external sovereignty). 

Post-war political science witnessed the rejection of the concept of the state as a theoretical concept. Peter Bentley argued that is too ideological to be used as an organizing concept. Meanwhile, Michael Mann (Autonomous Power of the State) wrote that the state is withering away in the face of political authority, political administration and society. In 1950s, behavioralists like David Easton (The Political System, 1953) and Gabriel Almond (Politics of Developing Areas, 1960) replaced the state with the concept of “system” saying that the former is imbued with many meanings and cannot be operationalized. For Nettl[1], since the state is a product of continental European political science, it is not applicable to the study of other countries.

Despite the hyperglobalists’s declaration of the decline, erosion and “end of the nation-state”[2] due to forces of global capitalism[3], the state remains the significant, if not the primary, actor in international relations. It is being enhanced and reinforced due to the process of internationalization which requires the acquiescence of the states.[4] For skeptics, globalization has been used as an “ideological device by politicians and theorists who wish to advance a market-orientated economic agenda”.[5] Occupying the middle ground, the ‘transformationalists” argue that globalization has indeed transformed some of the  functions of the state (in its Westphalian sense) but not everything, especially as the final arbiter and negotiator in international treaties/relations.[6]


[1] Nettl, J.P. 1949. "The State as a Conceptual Variable," World Politics, 20 (July 1949): 559-592.
[2] Ohmae, K. (1990) The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy. London: Fontana.; Ohmae, K. (1995) The End of the Nation-State: The Rise of Regional Economies. New York: Free Press.
[3] Strange, S. (1996) The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[4] Hirst, P. and G. Thompson (1999) Globalization in Question. Cambridge: Polity Press.
[5] Heywood, A. 2011. Global Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
[6] Held, D., A.McGrew, D. Goldblatt and J. Perraton (1999) Global Transformations. Cambridge:Polity Press.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RELATIONSHIP TIPS

Maraming bahagi ng ating buhay ang nasisira dahil sa pagbaba ng kalidad ng ating relasyon sa ating kapwa. Nag-uugat ang lahat sa maling pananaw sa pakikipagkapwa at hindi tamang tugon sa mga alitan. Failed relationships, however, can be prevented. Ilang tips upang masolusyunan ang mga problema.  

Magpakatotoo ka brother/sister.
Hindi angkop na ibahin ang iyong kulay upang matanggap ka ng ibang tao. Iwaksi ang pagiging hunyango. Honesty is still the best policy. Humanda ka dahil may expiration date ang pagpapanggap. Lalabas at bubulwak ang tunay mong itsura at amoy. Huwag linlangin ang iyong sarili at ang iyong kapwa.  

Live a life of integrity. Maraming taong oportunista, pero huwag na huwag kang mangi-isa. Mas mabuti nang ikaw ang lokohin kaysa ikaw ang manloko. Kapag nadenggoy ka ng iba, ok lang iyan. There is always a first time. Ituring mo na lang na dakilang aral ang iyong karanasan. Pero kapag nalinlang ka na naman sa parehong dahilan, iba na iyan. Please, maging matalino. 

Kapag nagkamali, umamin sa pagkakasala at humingi ng tawad. Kung talagang nagkamali ka, bow na. Sambitin agad ang pangungusap, "I am sorry" nang galing sa puso, hindi lamang sa nguso. Don’t rationalize your mistakes. Huwag nang magpalusot. Minsan, hindi na isyu minsan kung sino ang mali. Humingi ng tawad kahit hindi ikaw ang may sala. Ang mahalaga, may pagnanais kang maitama ang gusot at mabuo muli ang relasyon.  

Choose your battles wisely. Mahirap ang maraming kaaway. Lumiliit ang mundo mo. Hindi lahat ng alitan dapat pinapatulan. May mga bagay na pinalalampas na lamang. Ito ang mga trivial issues na mas makakabuting huwag nang pansinin dahil mas lugi ka sa huli. Huwag masyadong mainit ang bunbunan at laging umuusok ang ilong. Pero, dapat mo ring malaman ang mga bagay na dapat ipaglaban. Ikaw lang ang nakakaalam niyan. 

Ibigay sa Panginoon ang karapatan na maghiganti. Kapag inagrabyado ka, itali ang iyong mga kamao at umupo sa isang sulok ng iyong kuwarto. Pahupain ang kalooban. Pause and pray. Ibigay mo na kay Lord ang lahat ng hinanakit. Sa Kaniya magsumbong. Huwag ipanalangin na saktan Niya ang ating kaaway kundi Siya ang magtakda kung ano ang nararapat na parusa. Let His justice prevail.  

Huwag mapapagod magmahal. People may forget your achievements and honors. But they can never forget how you made them feel loved. Laging magpakita ng pagmamahal sa lahat ng taong iyong makakasalamuha kahit sa maliit na paraan. Ika nga ni Mother Theresa, “We can do no great things--only small things with great love”. Ituon ang isip sa kung paano magpapakita ng pagmamahal at hindi sa kung paano makakatanggap ng pag-ibig mula sa iba. It is better to give than to receive.  

Matutong magpatawad. Ang mga taong hirap magpatawad ay either sadyang matigas na ang kalooban o kaya ay hindi pa nararanasan na patawaran ng iba. Kung hindi ka marunong magpatawad, para kang nagdadagan ng isang malaking bato sa iyong dibdib. Nakaka-stress iyan kapatid. Forgive and free yourself from resentment and anger.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Lovestruck: Your Refresher Course on Love (by Deb Bataller, CBN Asia)

Ronald Molmisa, author of OMF Literature bestseller Pass or Fail, presents another pocket-sized but very likeable book dedicated for the young generation.

What started as a series of Molmisa’s seminars in 2006 is now an in-demand read. Lovestruck: Love Mo Siya, Sure Ka Ba? tackles a huge and crucial topic among the youth: love. It aims to give a fresh and different view on what many people regard as the most wonderful feeling one can experience.

The author maintains that love is something more than mere emotions and feelings. For Molmisa, love is not about romantic dates, nor sex, nor happy thoughts. Love is more than attraction and mutual understanding.

There are many things to learn and understand about love. And that’s why Lovestruck was written.

A Challenging Task

One can find so many good books about love, but very few that talk about love the “Pinoy” way. Thankfully, Lovestruck is one those few.

With relevance to our culture, a very relatable language, and lively flow of thoughts, the book is surely different from all other love titles. After all, it’s the product of one man’s burden for the love-hungry youth.

What's "real" love got to do with it? Find out in this teaching.

“That’s the challenge of writing a book like this. You don’t just write anything you want. You have to strike a chord in young people’s hearts,” explained Molmisa, who is also a professor and a pastor.

“Young people nowadays are very passionate, and that’s why you have to choose the words, the thoughts, and the very message of your book. Otherwise, it will just be another ordinary love book.”

Fake Faces of Love

Molmisa added, “It is not unusual for young people to be involved in relationships. More than their studies, the issue is about building relationships because they need affirmation. Their-self esteem is connected to their relationships.”

According to the author, today’s young people have acquired and believed off-beam notions about romance and love: casual or recreational dating, living in, friends with benefits, flings, no-sex-no-spice, et cetera. All these are the fake faces of love.

“Many young people like to find love in the wrong places. Boys and girls can find all the materials they can read and watch to feed their minds with ideas of love. I was deeply bothered and burdened with the rising number of young people experiencing hurts and pains simply because they don’t know what genuine love is,” Molmisa shared.

“And that is why I wrote Lovestruck. It’s a guide for them to find a positive outlook in life and a way out of their complicated love life.”

A Must-Read

Lovestruck is timely and significantly relevant as it gives love a deeper understanding and meaning. It presents love in a different yet interesting and engaging way—love as a precious and an untainted gift from God.

Another notable thing in the book is its academic nature. Lovestruck was written empirically, based on facts, completed studies, and experience. In addition, the author’s bold way of presenting his convictions, the Gospel, and the truth about Christ’s love was very exceptional.

Another impressive feature of the book is its wide scope of topics, despite its handy size. It talks about common misconceptions about love, the importance of waiting and prioritizing, involving one’s family in a romantic relationship, and, of course, the real definition of true love.

Molmisa said, “I wrote Lovestruck to tell young people not to enter in a relationship without a serious motivation, and that is to find a lifetime partner. Entering a relationship means you are preparing for marriage. So, think about it a million times.”

If you are still confused about what genuine love means, go grab a copy of this book. It’s never too late to save yourself from getting hurt and broken-hearted, and discover what true love really feels.

ANO BA TALAGA ANG "CALLING" KO?

Lagi kong naririnig iyan sa mga kabataang kaga-graduate lang sa kolehiyo at mga young professionals na nababagot sa buhay. Nagtatanong si...