Category Archives: advocacy

An Open Letter through a Song

 

I always have adored Pink. Her kick ass songs about love, life, loss, acceptance never fails to impress and inspire me. Lately, I was able to hear her 2006 song, Dear Mr. President. It is an open-letter addressed to ex-President Bush and his ways as the US president. Immediately, I felt a connection with the song. The lyrics are compelling and haunting.

Just like her, I have so many question to our leaders (may it be ex-PGMA or PNOY). There are still lots of unresolved issues and problems in our country and as I grow older, things have been the same-corruption, poverty,crimes, inequality–and there are just some slight and actual development.

This song clearly expresses how us, the commoners feel against our leaders. It asks the questions we have been wanting to ask and have a clear answer from them. It voices out our concerns as citizens and how our rights should be protected and promoted.

Watch and be moved by the song’s power:

 

And here are the song’s lyrics:

Dear Mr. President, come take a walk with me
(Take a walk with me)
Let’s pretend we’re just two people and you’re not better than me
I’d like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror? Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye? And tell me why?

Dear Mr.President, were you a lonely boy?
(Were you a lonely boy?)
Are you a lonely boy?
(Are you a lonely boy?)

How can you say, no child is left behind?
We’re not dumb and we’re not blind
(We’re not blind)
They’re all sitting in your cells while you pave the road to hell

What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away

Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you ’bout hard work, hard work, hard work
You don’t know nothin’ ’bout hard work, hard work, hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President, you’d never take a walk with me, would you?

 

Now I just hope that PNOY can listen to this, given his inclination to music….

 

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Bloody Heck!

Majority of the people in this world tend to dislike towards blood. Some would faint, some would vomit, some would hyperventilate just the plain sight of it. I’m an exception of that fact.

I have lots of bloody encounter, no pun intended, as I grow up. I once got my fingers cut when it was stuck on a broken window. I had a series of lancets poking me when I had H-fever (it’s now known as dengue). I clumsily cut myself during a “hostage-taking” role play during our biology class. I even had proven the truth behind the idiomatic expression, stone throw, when I accidentally hit my playmate with a sharp stone in his forehead.  And due to my impulsive mind, I donated blood for red-cross when I was in college.

My latest bloody encounter was two weeks ago, when I rushed to the side of a friend dear to my heart (clue: he’s often included in some of the entries in my blog) when he asked for helped because his sister needs blood donors due to dengue. To cut the story short, I got my blood tested, I passed and I could be a donor again (yey for me!) and oh, his sister recovered without any blood transfusion at all.

Not all of us have the guts to donate blood. Some would be shaken with just the sight of long needles pricking your veins. But believe me, the pain is nothing compared to the benefits you’ll reap from it.

I wrote this not to convince people to donate blood, but maybe, just to consider it as an option in the future. Why? Here are the reasons:

1. there MIGHT be some freebies – yes, for all the cheapskate out there, some organizations would give free gifts like shirt, sticker, poster and foods as a token of your generosity. shame on me, because that was my primary reason when i first shared blood. i got tempted by the free stuff. oh well granted, i was still quite immature then…which leads me to the second reason,

2. humanity– goodwill and all, donating one’s blood is one act of selflessness. an ounce of blood might save someone’s life from danger. it can also heal wounds that can’t be healed by betadine or any gauze. I’m talking about wounds created by conflicts and heartbreaks. you see, this special friend of mine were involved in an argument way, way back and i was afraid that our budding friendship will be forgotten. and when i learned that he need donors, i immediately volunteered. i was so tempted to get even at him by not showing up, but humanity prevailed and decided to take the higher road…it then lead to reconcilatory bond…see? blood can also bond…(plus points to the rhyme)

3. it will show how healthy you are – it has been five years since i donated blood and if i remember it right, my lifestyle had a complete 180 degrees turn after it…i was no more the good boy and though i was tempted to donate blood again before, i was scared because it might confirm my hypochondriac fears that i might discover that i have an incurable disease after the blood screening, that was why im avoiding it. but blood donation requires you to screen your blood first of all the known diseases out there like hepatitis, HIV and allergy. and if you passed, that means you are free from those threats..and since i wrote this, i guess you’d know what were my results..

4. it can conquer your fears. this will be your own fear factor. we all know that some avoid this because they are afraid of blood, afraid of needles or maybe they are afraid of the confirmation of their fears (please refer to item no 3). i had this attitude before of finding security of not knowing because sometimes truth is more hurtful than a wound. but cliché as it may seem, truth will indeed set you free. there was a time that i was avoiding to donate blood again because it might be the confirmation of my fears that i am sick. Undergoing this donation process again forced me to face it, and imagine my relief that i am healthy, just a hypochondriac.

5. it is GOOD for you. need to say more? it’s good for your body…i remember i was told that donating blood is good for our system because it will replenish our blood. it’s like our internal organs would have a car wash of some sort…and we all need that once in a while…

i hope these reasons are good enough for you to somehow consider donating blood.

you just have to remember that for a few minutes of pain, it will yield a life time of goodness.

so let that blood start flowing..


The Kitten Who Can’t Be Moved

This story is not about me. 

For the first time in my blogging life, I’m putting aside my self-centered views about life, love and culture. Instead, I’m giving this limelight to feature someone who made an impact to me,  in just a few hours of seeing his plight. Meet the kitten who can’t be moved. 

Kitty Who Can't be Moved

and when zoomed, 

Kitty who can't be moved (zoomed version)

I saw this kitten last Saturday afternoon. I was waiting at the corner of our subdivision, waiting for my choirmates to pick me up (because we have a chorale practice in Buendia at 1 PM), when all of a sudden, I heard a kitten meowing. I looked back and I saw him but I didn’t mind him at first because I thought he was just looking for his mother. A few minutes had passed and his meows became louder and louder, and when I looked back, I saw him moving in a weird way and that made me curious to go closer and checked him up. Instantly, my heart sank on what I saw. 

I saw that from his waist down to his hind legs was paralyzed or in Tagalog, lantang gulay. It was immobile and he was just literally dragging himself so he can move. I could see the pain the kitten feels and how he was valiant in his efforts for him to “walk”. 

As instinct would have told it, he went to a generator cage, probably so he can seek shelter for protection from the elements, animals and people that would bring him potential harm. The problem was that the entrance to the cage was quite small so he really has to forced himself to go inside and since he couldn’t use force from his hind legs, he was trapped in the entrance and that made him cry with pain. At the back of my mind, I said, what if i get him now and pull him back and bring him to our house. But because my choirmates would pass by any time and even my hand couldn’t fir in the opening, the best thing that I did for him was to just gently push him inside the cage. When he was safely inside, my choirmates arrived in time and we were off to the practice. 

However, I wasn’t able to really have fun and concentrate during the travel and practice because all the time I was thinking about the hapless kitten and his probable fate. Even my choirmates were mystified with my silence and when I explained to the them the reason, they had this “awww” then just went on with their conversations. But I was stucked with the feeling of pity for the kitten. 

That’s why i concocted a plan on how to “rescue” the kitten. I texted, tweeted and called my friends to ask for their help in giving me the number of Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) a few responded that’s why instead of going with my choirmates to hang out after our practice, I decided to flaked out to help the kitten on my own. 

I went home immediately and checked the cage to see if he is stil alive. I mimicked his meows and luckily, he was still there. So rushed home, searched for the number of PAWS and called them up. Unfortunately, they were busy in handling an abuse case, but they told me I can temporaily help him. 

Witht that suggestion, I devised a plan: since the cage was padlocked,the best thing that i can do is to feed the kitten, give him water and make sure he would be safe until Monday. Come Monday, I would talk to the guard of the building and use my charms for him to open the cage and for me to get the cat. After that, I would take the kitten, take care of him and give him to PAWS on Saturday for his complete recovery. 

I was so motivated and I was willing to put up the fight eventhough my friends and some of my family members thought I’ve already gone to the cucckoodom. 

I pushed through with my plans, bought andsmuggled some Whiskas; brought water and put it inside the cage. Since he was still afraid, I let him be. I returned for a few minutes and was so glad that he was chomping some of it, so I thought my plan was running smoothly. But again, life has some twists in it. 

I left him,  confident that he would make it through the night. I went to another choir practice and right after, I went home to check the kitten. Unfortunately, there was no meows. It was just like what the night was. Dead silent. I tried meowing, but I got no response. I was meowing and scooping like crazy just to checked if he’s still there. 

But he wasn’t there. I was still hopeful that maybe he was just sleeping and would probably be awake by Sunday morning. I even prayed to God and asked  for his intercession, because as what I promised, I’d do what it takes for that kitten to make sure he’s alive. 

Sunday morning came, but he wasn’t there. Till noon. Till the evening. 

Till now. 

It is still a mystery to me on what was his real fate. He might have died becaus of the extent of his injuries or looking on the brighter side, he was able to get out and went somewhere else. He just faded to obscurity so what will remain are just questions. 

It has been a while since I took care of an animal this intense. The last time was when I was  in my teens, where I took care of chickens (I even named them ChickBi- ChickenBird and Laqua- Lakwastera). Maybe because I had two previous experiences of witnessing kittens being ran over to death. So probably, I unconciously promised myself that I would help out kittens who suffered the same fate. 

To you kitty, I am sorry I wasn’t able to save you on time. I am sorry that I did not get you immediately and you weren’t able simply to have THAT chance . I am sorry that I acted too human I forgot being humane. I’m sorry that I acted so selfishly in my own human world, I forgot you also needed to fight for survival. I’m sorry but I know I did what I could to provide you that chance of survival. Wherever you are, thank you for inspiring me to become an advocate of reminding people (esp those who are driving) about being wary on stray cats and dogs. Because, indeed they have lives too. 

People reading this might think I’m crazy about these small stray creatures. But we have to remember, unlike us, they do no have the voices to speak up for themselves. Unlike us, they do not have that much of a strength to ward off the different hazards surrounding them. Unlike us, they do not have the shelter we run to if trouble is lurking. 

So please, next time you drive a car or pass by a street and saw them,  be considerate enough to do your own little way to make them feel safe. 

That’s one way of making this world a better place and their world as well.