A culture of mendicancy

Almost as soon as the fireworks and lights settled from the night before, people would start knocking on our door for “Christmas greetings”. I thought this was rather thoughtful in the beginning until I realized that these visits came with an expectation of money or Aguinaldo for the kids as some visitors would bring their entire family. Sometimes even the adults expected a gift for themselves. Read more

I honor the food in you, which is also in me

Friends, critics, and readers, would you, for a moment, lend me your ear?

For some of us a year ago, it was a season for contemplating the political calculus. It was a period of uncertainty. For some, especially those who would step into the ring and aim for the various positions open, it was a matter of war.

We are here now, a year later. Wiser, I hope.

What differentiates this year from the last is this great weight that has been lifted. No matter the troubles the nation continues to face, and will without doubt have to live up to in the days, months and years to come, there is a general feeling of hope. Cito Beltran put it this way. The President’s popularity is more about us, than it is about him. In many ways, he is correct.

For all the faux pas of the past half year, for all the missteps, and setbacks, this continues to remain. It is an imperfect world. It is a country that is unequal. In many parts, it is unstable, and we have a democracy that at times would seem, unsustainable.

And yet, no matter how cynical our pragmatism could get, the President’s inaugural address continues to resonate, and with good reason, “Now we can dream again.” It is the call-to-arms that no matter how imperfect, this generation now has breathing room to begin, to build.

It can wait a few more days because, whatever your color, whatever the stripe of your conviction, whether you believe in a savior who was born some 2,000 years ago or not, perhaps we can agree that this holiday, we take a step back. It is a moment that there are no colors. There are no lines that divide us, no bitter rivalries. We all contemplate; renew our spirit surrounded by friends, family, good food and tasty drink.

“I came to the conclusion long ago…” Ghandi said, “that all religions were true, and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu… But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim, a better Muslim, a Christian, a better Christian.”

My point is, “I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me.”

I honor the food in you, which is also in me.

Put it another way, Food coma time!!!!

On behalf of the men and women— our writers, our creatives, and technical volunteers, and our Core Group, we wish you all our warmest Happy Christmas, and a most Merry Holiday.


Photo credit: Some rights reserved by [casey]

More jobs seen in 4th quarter

More jobs seen in 4th quarter
By Mayen Jaymalin
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Here’s good news for jobseekers.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday assured that employment opportunities are brighter for jobseekers with the coming holiday season.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said various industries are expected to hire more workers in the last three months of the year as commercial establishments nationwide prepare for Christmas.

Even poor but deserving students who are on Christmas vacation can work temporarily in various business firms and government offices nationwide as provided under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).

Employers will pay 60 percent of the students’ minimum wage while the government would shoulder the remaining 40 percent. The working students are also entitled to other benefits and privileges under the Labor Code.

Republic Act 9547 or the SPES Amendatory Law was passed last year to encourage employers engaged in small and medium enterprises to hire poor but deserving students so they will have the opportunity to earn more during vacation.

The labor chief said the government is also working to strengthen the agriculture sector as part of efforts to generate more local employment for Filipinos.

According to Baldoz, the government’s job promotion program is now starting to yield positive results as the country posted a lower unemployment rate in July.

Baldoz said they expect the unemployment rate to drop further in the coming months.

She added that the DOLE is closely coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the implementation of various construction projects that could also generate employment for Filipinos next year.