Means & Ends

by Elvyra Gel Olazo

Does the end justify the means?death-penalty

A man was found guilty in September 1994 on two counts of the incestuous rape of his daughter. His sentence was execution by lethal injection. June 25 1999, a Roman Catholic bishop appealed for him to be spared. The most powerful man in the Philippines wavered in his decision. Calls were made. Calls that never came. An aide was dispatched to call on the official palace hotline.

A cocktail of sodium pentothal, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride coursed through convicted veins. The aide’s call had got through 12 minutes past three. Eduardo  Agbayani had been pronounced dead a minute earlier.

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Murder, rape, treason, and drug trafficking were crimes subjected to capital punishment back in the days were justice was best served cold. The Philippines used the electric chair until 1976, when execution by firing squad eventually replaced it as the sole method of execution. Until its first abolition in 1987, the country reverted to using death by firing squad. Six years later, death penalty was re-introduced with lethal injection as its sole method of execution.

The Philippines reaffirmed its commitment against capital punishment at the 5th World Congress Against Death Penalty, in a “strongly worded” speech last June 12, in Madrid, Spain.Presidents before advocated the ultimate penalty. President Aquino thinks otherwise. The President stated that he was not in favor of the revival of the death penalty due to the country’s imperfect justice. He was concerned that the state might execute the wrong person. I guess it’s safe to say that vengeance is not his. Vengeance through execution, that is.

“Every person is equal before the law, and that each life holds intrinsic value, which no person – no State – can or should take. I believe that imposing the death penalty cannot fully deter crime. I believe in a system where each citizen is empowered to take hold his destiny, enabling him to uplift his family, community, and nation,” – Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said at the 5th World Congress on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III

On the other hand, Senator Vicente Sotto III earlier proposed a measure that will reportedly revive the death penalty in drug-related cases. Senate Bill No. 1 authored by Sotto proposes to re-impose death penalty in drug-related cases comes in the wake of the execution of a Filipino drug mule in China.

After reading that article in Dokumentaryo ni Juan Tagalog, I’m not so certain about my stand on death penalty is. At first I was sure that I wanted it back, but now, I’m not so sure anymore. Hate the sin, not the sinner: easy to say, hard to do. Even if we bury the bad things in our hearts, the scars will always be there to remind us of how fragile we are us humans.

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“The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.” – V, V for Vendetta

The big question is: Does the end justify the means? V’s ultimate goal was to vindicate the vigilant and virtuous by eliminating the roots of evil. But his means were through killing, his mind was filled with vengeance, and he took the law into his hands. Although the problem he faced was that there was no court for men like Prothero and so he solved the matter with the only way he knew how.

Death is the mean and justice is the end in both cases. My professor in philosophy once said that the end never justifies the mean. He knows philosophy and I should believe what he said but I can’t. Sometimes we really can’t rely on being complacent about things and we need to do what it takes to get to those ends that want.

The way I see means to an end, it’s a battle of what is morally, legally, and combined with one’s own personal judgment on what is right. I can’t tell you what or what not to believe in. We have to rely on our gut instincts to tell us what to do.

Accept, be quiet, or challenge. Accept things as they are with openness and gratification. Stay oblivious and indifferent to what is happening. Or be sceptical boy/girl and challenge the world around you. That is our power to choose whether the end justify the means.

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Sources:

http://dokumentaryonijuantagalog.weebly.com/death-penalty.html

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/palace-against-restoring-death-penalty-164051242.html

http://www.economist.com/node/218327

http://www.rappler.com/nation/31421-ph-affirms-commitment-against-death-penalty

Photos: 9gag, Google

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WHAT ABOUT ME?

581841_10201346658581733_1090695837_nBy Issa Garcia

I once had a sleepless night (well, I’m kind of insomniac), thinking if I would be able to finish all of my requirements, and I saw this while browsing on the pictures at Instagram.

images Then thoughts flooded my mind. I remembered someone saying…

“Oh that small mean girl thinks that she’s so pretty and smart, effin’ irritates me.”

“She thinks that everybody’s afraid of her ‘coz no one ever ‘said no’ to what she is saying”

“So she thinks that she’s so funny and loved because she’s got those plastic friends, pity.”

“Good think you’re not close, because I don’t like her.”

And I can say is that, “What have I done to you? Why?”

Since high school, and even when I am elementary, I knew that I’m a person who has a strong personality; strong, emotionally. I can handle heartaches, heartbreaks, family problems, misunderstandings with neither my studies nor my other activities being affected. Just like what the famous saying says, “Mind over matter.” I don’t mind, and that doesn’t matter. At times, I also enjoy being alone, but I do enjoy the company of my friends as well. I can easily cope up because I can always go with the flow.

Some of the persons I know said that…

“You are fun to be with.” –Jino Garcia, my youngest brother.

I describe Issay as a very fearless girl. She’s been through a lot of heart aches, down falls, and people said bad things about her; and no matter how painful they may, she manages to handle it just fine. I think that’s the best description for her.” –AJ Rafol

 

Looks like a girl but a woman in heart. Even though you look vulnerable, you’re a strong girl.” –Jema Bueno

 

Beautiful, intelligent and very out-going person.” –Juve Amodente

 

Issa hmmm… Base sa pagkakakilala ko sayo nung classmate pa kita, minsan lang kita makausap. Someone you can talk to in times of troubles, darkest hour of your life, and can be a friend when you need one. Based on my observations, you’re makulit, jolly person, and full of kakikayan sa buhay. Icing semester lang tayo nagkasama, but i think that’s enough to know you. God Bless, Issa!” –Kris Samaniego

 

“Very friendly and kind… Easy to get along with. Really smart, I’m amaze about how you write articles, which I wish I can also. A really strong and brave girl, hindi nagpapatalo, lalo na pag alam mong tama ka. A girl who would love to listen to your stories no matter what, yung parang hindi siya magsasawang makinig, tsaka hindi nang-iiwan. A beauty and brain girl, pero martyr sa love. (Kahit wag mo na isama. HAHAHA!)” –Eunice Bartolome

 

“I think you’re very sweet, yan unang pumapasok sa isip ko pag tungkol sayo.” –Leigh Acosta

 

“Basta mabait, matalino, masunurin, may takot sa Diyos, masinop, masikap, mapagkumbaba, maalalahanin, maligalig, mataray.”- Royette Ricafrente

 

“You are a very caring person.” –Keisha Tirado

 

“You were once a cute and smart little girl I know way back in high school. You had this bubbly and friendly aura that made me feel comfortable of being friends with you. I can still remember having fun conversations with you before. Now that you’ve grown like a lady, I can feel that you still possessed all those things I’ve previously mentioned. The only difference is that, I bet you’ve matured and have a better outlook when it comes to different matters in life.” –Mitch Dabu

Awwwwww. Thank you, friends, I feel so loved. J *kilig*

I am a type of person that we can be close even at first meeting. I have never felt ‘out of place’ in my nineteen years of existence. I can easily get along with anybody. Why others judge us without really knowing us? Why not focus on themselves rather than gossiping and making fun or others?

Gossip has long been considered a normal part of a teenager’s life. At its best, gossip may only be one person passing on personal information about someone else. But at its worst, gossip can be a malicious form of slander and accusation that can injure a teen’s self-esteem. With the advent of the Internet and cell phones, gossip has become far more socially and emotionally damaging for many teens. (Retrieved from, http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/gossip-affects-teens-8112.html)

There are factors why other people judge or gossip us, here are some:

  1. They have low self-esteem.

Teens who gossip often suffer from low self-esteem, and put others down in an attempt to boost their selves up. They are envious of other person that is why they focus on the things that they are not good at and tell others so others may think that they are better, so they get to have the attention that they want.

  1. Peer pressure

Sometimes teens don’t want to gossip, but do it anyway to fit in with their friends. As seen in the movie Mean Girls, stares by Lindsay Lohan, to be able to fit in, she also did bad things that made her ‘in’ to group, but ‘out’ to her true friends.

  1. Social influence

The behaviour is promoted in mainstream media. In the Philippines, talk shows and celebrity insiders are all over the television, giving a teenager, or a young one to think that it is okay to gossip or judge others because it is also seen on television, or even on the internet.

  1. Parental influence

Teens often do what they see, not what they’re told, according to Shanterra McBride, director of education and programs for the Empower Program in Silver Springs, Maryland, as reported in the “The New York Times” article. She said that if you tell your kid not to gossip, and then come home and complain about your co-workers or dish about your friends, your teen will get the message that it’s perfectly fine to speak one way to someone’s face and another way behind their back. If you don’t want your teen to gossip, you have to provide a good example and zip your lips. (Retrieved from, http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/teenagers-gossip-6314.html)

Here are some notions why people do such thing:

I think it’s in their nature. They judge you because they assume that your attitude is based on your physical features. And people always rely on first impressions before even attempting to get to know you.” –AJ Rafol

 

Maybe because they don’t have anything to do and they’re just people wasting their time.” –Jema Bueno

 

They judge me because maybe they see something in me that they don’t like. Or because my presence threatens them” –Juve Amodente

 

“Maybe sometimes insecure sila or may nakita silang something na sa tingin nila O.A, pero yun pala gusto lang nila nasa kanila yung attention. Sometimes may hidden galit sila sayo pero madalas insecurity; kulang sa pansin lang yun. –Kris Samaniego

 

“Kasi, siguro dahil sa insecurities. Marami siguro silang naririnig na magandang bagay about you which makes them jealous about it. O kaya may mga tsismis na kumakalat, na narinig lang nila, pinapaniwalaan na agad. Or maybe kasi from the way you look or the way you act.” –Eunice Bartolome

 

“Because they don’t have a life. Maybe because some people tend to be too judgemental that they only see what they think they already know even without knowing the real story behind it.” –Leigh Acosta

 

“Somehow, it already becomes a person’s nature to criticize others. They try to seek for what they don’t possess from the people around them and always feel envious about not having that certain thing. It’s deeply rooted to insecurity. They just want what they don’t have and judge those who have what they desire for.” –Mitch Dabu

At the end of the day, what matters is the truth. If you think that you are not doing anything wrong, then ignore them and just let it go. Who knows, one day those people will be shot by their own words. What goes around comes around. Don’t be afraid to show what you got. Love me or hate me, I don’t care, I always have the guts and you don’t.

How about you? What do you think of me? J

Sources:

Photos from google.com

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/gossip-affects-teens-8112.html

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/teenagers-gossip-6314.html

Stop Talking, Start Living

IMG_3220[1]   By Clarisse Santos

 

“Ain’t it strange, all the things you hear when you sit and listen?”

― Paramore, Native Tongue

 paparazzi

When people gossip about you, it’s like; you’re a celebrity with those flashy lights and fancy recorders following you everywhere. Well, I know I do. I feel like I’m one of those people who are being followed by the paparazzi.

 

Gossip

Gossiping has always been associated with the negativity it brings to people. But did you know that it has its positive effect? Yes, a positive effect. It’s quite hard to believe, though. Who would’ve thought that talking about someone else’s life rather than yours has an upside? And duly appropriate to this is what Sean Covey wrote in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens, “Isn’t it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?”

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A study conducted by psychologists from the University of California, Berkeley, says that gossiping has significant social benefits. Some of which are lowering the gossipers’ stress, preventing exploitation and promoting more generous behavior.

But still, I don’t approve gossiping. (Admittedly, though, I do gossip sometimes. Well, I’m not really into it. And I don’t really dig deeper into the story. Whatever I hear, that’s the only thing I’m gonna tell, not to everyone, but only to one.) Why so? Here’s why…

Open-Book

Transparency is my thing. My life has always been an open book. Yet, somehow, people often mistook my openness for something else; they see it as a way to interfere with my life.

During high school, I once got caught up in a sort of romantic set-up with someone who’s quite, well, popular at school. And before I knew it, everybody at school knows what’s happening—EVERYBODY. Even the teachers and the non-teaching personnel know. News does travel fast, I told myself. It wasn’t supposed to be that big of a deal. But knowing that everybody knows what’s happening and some even say crap about me and the set-up, is irritating, frustrating even. Walking past the corridors of the school with pairs of eyes following me and proving the point that looks could kill, gossiping, I realized from that point on, is not as fun as I thought it is. Because being the subject of the gossip sucks. I mean it. (It wasn’t just that one instance in my life. There are a lot. I just don’t want to go down memory lane and tell everything. But surely, that served as the cue for me to turn my back from gossiping.  )

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Mind your own business. I’ve always wanted to tell this to some people. This is my life and not yours to mess with. You can’t just go around and tell others what’s happening with my life. I’m used to being the subject of gossips. Sometimes I just let it pass but there are times that I can take it no more. But seriously, tell me, is my life really THAT interesting, you guys? I can’t say I like it. People go talking behind your back about things you sometimes don’t want others to find out. What’s worse is that the truth is being exaggerated… most of the time.

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Who are you to meddle? Yes, who do you think you are, meddling and gossiping about other people’s lives? You have your own life to deal with. If you think others’ lives are more interesting than yours, well, sorry honey but you have to deal with it.

“And all this time I’ve been wasting my breath, just wasting my words on everyone else!”  I wonder… Is this line from Paramore’s song Native Tongue appropriate or very appropriate for all the professional gossipers out there? 😉

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A small rumor can start a big fight. It’s funny that even though the pettiest little gossip can break a person. To tell all the professional gossipers out there, it hurts. Even the littlest white lie, when told by a person to another, stabs. It’s pretty amazing how something so small hurts and affects a life so much. I’ve always hated that feeling. I’ve always hated people who apparently have nothing else to do, talk about my life so much as if they know me better than I know myself. If I may say so, (and quoting Arya Stark from the TV series Game of Thrones) SEVEN HELLS!

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Know the effects and consequences. Before doing anything, think of the possible outcomes. Do people think? I want so much to cuss and curse endlessly because it seems that most of the time, they don’t. YOLO—an excuse to do freakin’ stupid things (including gossiping) because as they say, ‘You Only Live Once’. Bullshit, right? You don’t need to have a thousand lives to make it count. If you know how to live it without hurting and stepping on anyone, well, my friend, I’m telling you, once is more than enough.

 

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…talk and blab about things not about you or pull your crap together and start a life?

… destroy a person’s reputation and dignity by being the catalyst of spreading blasphemous things or help one who’s been crippled by lies?

… start the lies or stop the slur?

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
Socrates

I’d rather stop talking about things which has nothing to do with me and might possibly hurt others than start blabbing about malicious deceits. I’d rather start building my life than destroy a well-founded one. I’d rather stop talking and start living.

Would you do the same?

Source:

http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/19/the-upside-of-gossip-social-and-psychological-benefits/

Photos from Google

The Good Daughter

By Marjorie Orantes

 “I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.”
Martha Gellhorn, Selected Letters

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Be a Mother who is committed to loving her children into standing on higher ground than the environment surrounding them. Mothers are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

And the ever famous “Mother Knows Best”

I could quote and make a long list of sayings about mother. But those that I appreciate? Only a few. It came from an experience that I view my mother differently. No she’s not the evil queen and I’m Cinderella. Ironically, her name is Diosa, my beloved mother.

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When I was a child, my eldest sister and my mother always fight, a big one. Chairs will be broken, they would curse one another, and at the end of the day I’m left comforting my mother. The reason behind all these fight is because my sister is a rebel one, the black sheep of the family, for me. But as I grow, I fully understand why, and it looks like I’m the last one to know. My mother have money issues. My father for 23 years is working abroad, but she don’t have money saved for the future. She’ll hide how she spends the money.

And because my father is an OFW, some of our relatives think that we are rich, and rich, and rich. I’m not so close with my relatives on my mother side, and I’m not building any connection with them other than relatives. I don’t hate them for who they are, but for what they are doing and how they treat us, I think they only know us when they need money, but what can I do? My mother supports them. She even put up a charity, oh I mean a business to help her relatives. She’s the boss, and her relatives are her staffs, great. And because it is a 24-hour business, she’s there 24/7. And she’s not at home caring for us or acting like a mother. At school I’m the one who’ll claim my card, because she’s busy. That way I felt motherless and rejected. That’s why I’m closer to my best friend’s mother than to her.

Whenever my father will come home, there will be an unplanned party and uninvited relatives at our house, sometimes an early Christmas Party, hosted by my mother. They will all be nice to my father and ask for a pasalubong, like they’re a priority. But when my father got sick, no one cared to visit him at the hospital.

There are moments when my mother would remember my father’s infidelity because of another woman, she’ll cry and will ignore my father the whole day, if not, blame my father again and again. Then I’ll stop her, she’ll say “kampi ka talaga sa papa mo…” I admit I am, but my point is, it all happened years ago. There’s no point on remembering it. She’s not the only one who’s hurt. When their relationship is at risk of separation, I said to myself I will go with my father, she have her relatives with her to take care of her.

Bitterness and anger reside in me towards my mother and her relatives. I thought I’ve already forgave them, but I realized not completely.

After all the revelations, who am I to evaluate her? Maybe I should also ask myself if I became a good daughter to her. With all those grades and treatment she don’t deserve. With all those kickbacks and harsh words. I realized that if I will continue harboring this feeling, I will just make our relationship miserable, and might be a worst mother than her. Maybe it’s time to appreciate her efforts and stop looking on her downfalls.

Safe Haven?

IMG_3036  By Clarisse Santos

Where do we go from here?

The news for the past few weeks had been nothing but non-stop killings. Kae Davantes, an advertising executive, was murdered right in front of her house. A family in Angeles, Pampanga was massacred. In Zamboanga, a war between the AFP and MNLF has been going on for who-knows-how-many-weeks.

Nowhere is safe. Not even are own homes are safe. That’s what I’ve come to realize. In addition, it was stated in the Ten Commandments that one shall not kill. But in these scenarios, it seems to me that the sixth commandment is being disregarded.

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The world was supposed to be a safe place to live. But what’s happening now? It’s like everywhere we look, it’s a never ending picture of struggle and war.

Is there a safe and decent place still? Where is our safe haven…

Where is your safe haven?

“It is at home with my family.” –Jared Bañares

“It is whenever and wherever I am with my HS friends. I may have found new friends in college, but as we all know, nothing beats the classics and my HS friends are the classics. I fell in love, fell out of love, fell in a deep well of confusion with them but with them is where my safe haven lies” –Eman de Guzman

At home.” –Justine Ponce

When I’m outside, in the park or trails. I feel safe when I’m alone outside.” –Richard John Esguerra

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According to http://www.top10thebest.com, Iceland is the best place to live. With its huge per capita income, Iceland has been deemed to have many accomplishments and sure enough, it’s one wealthy nation.

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On the other hand, Damascus in Syria has been said to be the worst place to live in according to http://www.independent.co.uk, with the never-ending violence and other economic-related issues.

Different persons are we, different perspective we believe in. There will always be those “safe” and “dangerous” places. And frankly, it’s not the surveys and articles which defines the level of safeness of a place. It’s a person’s thinking whether the place is safe enough for him.

Safe haven, also, doesn’t only pertain to a place. It may also mean a certain feeling of safeness. You may feel safe whenever you’re with your friends or family. You may feel safe wandering alone in this world. Safe haven is a state of mind.

A line from a Paramore’s song goes like, “… and found a demon in my safest haven seems like, it’s getting harder to believe in anything.”

 

Is there still such a thing as safe haven? I asked myself. If so, where is it?

Sources:

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2013/09/11/1196441/we-are-never-truly-safe

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/the-10-worst-cities-in-the-world-to-live-in-8790121.html

http://www.top10thebest.com/top-10-safest-countries-in-the-world-to-live-or-visit

Photos from:

http://rumiahmed.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/a-photo-for-burma/

http://toptravellists.net/reykjavik-wallpaper-iceland.html

http://www.old-picture.com/europe/Damascus-Wall.htm

Existential Crisis

photoby Elvyra Gel Olazo

I’ve been feeling tired lately and I don’t know why. Not the kind of physical tiredness, more like tired of life. The kind of tiredness where no matter how much I sleep it off is still not good enough.

Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast, walk to the jeepney bay, ride the jeepney to school, go up the stairs to the building of my first class, chat with friends, pretend to listen to the professor but sometimes actually listen, class ends, go to the next, get constructive criticism for my blog article, class ends, eat lunch with friends, have stimulating conversation with friends, go to last class, find myself thinking about nothing while still looking at the professor, class ends, go home, do some workout, eat dinner, surf the net, blog, sleep, repeat.

Tired of life, tired of school, tired of doing nothing, tired of doing the same thing every day and expecting something to change. I feel like my life is on repeat over and over again. Like I’m just going through the motion with nowhere to go. I really thought I’d be happy by now but I guess things aren’t always how we want them to be.

I actually did try something new which made me feel more alone and lonely than ever. I joined this pageant and knew the moment I stepped in that room where all the candidates were that I was completely out of place.

It wasn’t the people themselves that were wrong; it was probably me and what we do that bothered me. Since this was my first time, I didn’t know what to expect. Saying that I wasn’t prepared for what was coming is a complete understatement. Fake smiles, walk like you’re some hot shit, all eyes on you. Smells like teen spirit.

Two days before this competition, I lied on my bed and had an existential crisis. I just kept asking myself ‘who am I? what am I doing with my life?’ and all those other things you ask yourself when you’re at an all-time low. I couldn’t answer any of those questions. I couldn’t cry, which at that time I really wanted to do so badly. I felt like a part of my soul was leaving my body, the light behind my eyes were going out (not dying, just losing hope, I guess), and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong and what pissed me more was that I couldn’t do anything about it.

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What brought me back was my family and friends who put their faith in me which is why I joined in the first place. I lost, which was a huge sigh of relief on my part, but a disappointment too that I let them down.

“You know what Gel, di mo lang alam kung gaano ako kaproud na maging kaibigan mo. Kasi di ka na natatakot na iconquer ang iba’t ibang bagay especially your fears. Ibang Gel na ang nakikita namin. Ang husay lang! You made Issa cry. Ituloy mo lang yan.” – Ervin Jayvee Lopez

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“I’m so proud of you, Elvz! Proud friend here! :’) Sorry may iyak iyak factor, so proud kase.” – Carissa Joy Garcia

1045060_449898828440019_355465512_n“Kahit wala ako dun, ang sobrang tagal na nating hindi nagkita, I’m very proud of you Elvz! You don’t need to win a beauty pageant to prove your beauty, because for me, for all of us, you’re a true beauty queen. Not just a beautiful face but also a beautiful soul and a beautiful personality. Love you Gel! And I miss you so much! ” – Angel Dei Peralta

These were just some of the things they said to me. I’ve never felt so blessed and loved in all my life. After that frantic week of my life, I experience new things; I gained a new found appreciation to all pageant girls and guys, I coughed up blood (After our rehearsal, I just started coughing and had trouble breathing maybe because it was so hot in the auditorium without any fans or aircon, fyi oh my god I’m gonna die, and I haven’t eaten yet. No worries! I’m still alive and kicking.) Anyways, I also accepted that I would never be one of them, which is o-freaking-kay. Guess I could cross out ‘join a pageant’ in my bucket list (which I don’t have so I guess I’d have to make one).

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club movie

These words speak what’s in my heart right now. I have no war to win or fight, only the battle to save my soul (if I have any), no great depression or ultimate highs. The closest thing I had was when my sister assumed that I got depressed after losing. The nerve of her! Ha! Try as hard as I might but people wouldn’t know me. I’m about as insignificant as it’s gonna get. Average. Not a billionaire, or a model, or a very special journalist.

I still have that unshakable tired feeling inside of me. I hope nobody feels the same as I do because if you are, then you must feel like crap right now.  I’m lost, flawed, all-too human, and uncomfortable in my own skin. I realize that now. I don’t know what to do except to continue on with my life and somehow find this purpose that I so desperately need. I’ll just let the chips fall in and out of place and I’ll take it from there.

Other Women? No More!

996009_10201443094872580_334531940_nBy Issa Garcia

“I told him that I would love him with everything I had in me until the very end of everything, and I meant it.” ― Sarah OcklerFixing Delilah

As a teenager, one of the matters that get our attention is love life. Not all our fond of having a love life but this is communal and natural among teenagers.

Let me share you about something that really brings me pain, boils my blood, clenches my fists, makes me cry, but makes me fall in love harder and harder.

I was just seven years old when I met this thin, dark, brown-eyed, little boy named CJ. Yeah, I know too young for that. He used to be my childhood friend because we live in the same neighbourhood. Back then, I was called one of the boys because all of my playmates were little boys. My mom was also afraid that I may grow up and be a lesbian or something. Aside from boy playmates, I have two brothers.

After a year we moved to Cavite and I only see CJ every Christmas vacation and summer vacation. We still know each other but there’s a little inhibition because we’re growing up and starting to be teenagers.

One day, I was walking around the neighbourhood with my cousin, that was a Christmas vacation when I was on second year high school, someone called me, “Issaaaaa!!” I didn’t even bother to look. Again, he shouted, “Issaaaaaa!!” So I search where it is coming from. It was Jao, he used be my playmate too, then I recognized someone approaching us; it was CJ.

CJ: Si Issa ka diba? Hindi ka na payatot ah. *laughs*

Me: Wow ha? Nagsalita? Sino yung tumatawag sakin?

CJ: Si Jao, hindi mo naaalala? Lagi mo yang binubully dati, sinuntok mo pa nga yan sa tiyan.

Me: Hindi ko alam!!! Sorry!!! *giggles* Si Jiean nga pala, pinsan ko. Si CJ at si Jao. Osige, alis na kami, nagpaload lang kami eh.

CJ: Teka, globe ka ba?

Me: Smart ako eh.

CJ: Kunin ko number mo, kaso wala akong phone ngayon, nanakaw ehh. I-memorize ko na lang, magaling naman ako sa numbers ehh.

Issa: Yabang pa din ha? Hahaha! Anong year mo na ba?

CJ: Second year college, Engineering sa USTe.

Issa: Nuuuks!! *gives my number*

            That started then.

I went back to Cavite. We texted almost every day; we talked about everything under the sun; he even jokes that he likes me, but somehow I felt that it’s true.

One day he shared that he started smoking because of a girl. Somehow, I got jealous, I don’t know why but I still comforted him. He became my best friend.

On my fourth year, I took an exam at university of Sto. Tomas and he accompanied me. He was really a gentleman and really kind. When the results came, I didn’t make it and decided to take an exam at Centro Escolar University.

CJ: Debarred na ako sa UST. Lipat ako ng school.

Me: San ka na?

CJ: Baka sa Trinity University of Asia.

Me: Sa CEU ka na lang, para magkakasama tayo ni Jiean.

I stayed at my grandma’s place; the place where I met CJ. He introduced me to every girl that he likes and asked me if they were going to pass my standards, of course I got jealous, like all the time and I did not tell him, because I’m afraid that he might go away. The thought that he was always there for me, with or without his girls, makes me feel good, really good.

One night, I was out with my friends. It was a typical teenager night out— drinking, smoking, and dancing. On our way home, my friend was driving really fast and I felt like something bad is going to happen, I received a text message from CJ.

CJ: Good evening!

Me: Please tell my mom that I love her so much, mamamatay na ata ako. Haha!

CJ: Sana ako na lang mommy mo, para you love me so much din.

            OMG! Am I drunk or just dreaming???

My best friend started courting me. And he told me that he knew that this is going to happen. He told that, “Ayoko ng kung sino-sino kasama mo, nag-aalala ako. Pag may sinishare ka sakin na crush mo, nagseselos ako. I want to tell you this, but I’m afraid that you might go away, baka hindi mo ako gusto.” So he also thought of what I thought. After a month he became my boyfriend, finally.

Teenage Love is a complicated but beautiful thing— but ours isn’t that beautiful. There are times that we fought over little things, he even cheated on me, with not just one, not two, but many girls, many to mention. We broke up not just once, not twice, nor thrice, but many times. But I didn’t gave up; nor him.

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Mistake after mistake he comes back. Every girl or guy has someone whom they go back again and again, heartbreak after heartbreak, no one understands it, they don’t even understand themselves. They cannot let each other go.

Maybe it was the friendship, maybe because I’m not like his other women, maybe he’s just not ready for commitment, maybe it was just too fast, or maybe were too young for a serious relationship. Many think that I’m stupid for accepting his sorry all the time, but who cares? If God can forgive, why not me? I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, teenage love is probably making things a little more complicated for us but, this is life, not a fairy-tale.

So I came up with the list of the girls that I hated the most, I call this, THE BITCH LIST. (not their real name but you make click on their profiles)

  • Ab- she’s a bisexual who calls on CJ whenever she needs something. We used to be friends but before she had been the reason why CJ breaks up on me. I hate her to the nth power! Whenever I hear her name, I flame, smoke and everything goes out of my nostrils.
  • Ce– she’s a high school ex-girlfriend turned to a party girl. We used to be friends but she deleted me on Facebook when she knew that CJ goes back to me again and again. She is also studying at CEU and spreads rumours about me. It doesn’t even bother me because I won’t go down to her level.
  • Ia– she’s a friend of our friend who was introduced to CJ when we broke up last October 2012. She became everybody’s boyfriend and I hated her for being such a slut, but I found her very kind because she said sorry.
  • Ja– she’s Ia’s friend; girl who thinks that she’s very pretty though she’s not. She texted me with unkind words because CJ asked her to apologize to me because they burned my pictures on CJ’s wallet.
  • Di– a 14 year old girl who had been everybody’s girlfriend and a little bitch. She she’s CJ as her next target and asked him to drink with her friends. Too bad she started too young, she talks to me without respect, I’m even the one who says,”Po” to her.
  • Do– she’s Di’s friend; a girl who said that, “Sino kayang panget satin?” and that made me laugh like all day long, she was a certified stalker who knows CJ’s accounts. She also asked my boyfriend to drink, knowing that she already has a boyfriend. Is that what a girl should be doing?
  • K- a girl whom CJ met at BBM and asks him to go out. She’s respectful and kind. She has a boyfriend now so she’s okay with me.

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I have forgiven them all already, but once they touch what’s mine, I will punch their face and break their necks. Hahaha! Kidding!  🙂

I asked some of my friends what they will do if their boyfriends cheated on them.

“I’ll talk to him and let him explain why he did that” –Jiean Pazcoguin

“Break agad.”-Labneh Anicro

“Iwan ko siya or I’ll do the same thing. I’ll make him realize kung ano pinagpalit niya.” –Leng Perdido

“Knock on wood. If ever he cheated on me, magagalit ako of course. And if he comes back, begging for me to give him another chance, no way. Kasi once na nagcheat siya and you just let it go, mauulit at mauulit lang yon.”-Clarisse Santos

“Hahayaan ko na lang, bahala na siyang makarma.”-Ayvee Callao

The beauty of being a teenager is having a flexible and more open mind. Friends from our childhood or adolescence are special, no matter how much time has elapsed between visits. These compelling connections are the result of shared roots during the formative years. Our childhood friends and teenage sweethearts experienced with us all the wonderful, horrible, boring, and embarrassing moments that helped to make us who we are today.

We teenagers have to understand our emotions, we are still discovering many thinks, so enjoy. Life and love are two beautiful things that should really be treasured. We just have to know our limitations and learn to limit ourselves; theirs is nothing wrong in falling in love that is the one of the things that makes the world go around.

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The guy who used to be my playmate is now my boyfriend. Last September 14, we celebrated our two years of togetherness, stupid or not, I don’t care. He had changed, I’m not sure if he’ll cheat again but one thing we should know about love is that, we have to understand each other’s flaws, mistakes, and accept them. Forgive and forget.

We’re still together, and we made it. I love him and I meant it, isn’t it? Can you do the same thing? 🙂

Sources:

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/teenage-love

http://love.allwomenstalk.com/things-teenage-girls-should-learn-about-love

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sticky-bonds/200906/teenagers-in-love

Photos from Google.com

Say NO To Animal Abuse!

545826_315476535202217_935904921_n By Marjorie Orantes

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This was my first shared photo on Facebook. It made me angry so I made an all caps caption about it.

I grew up surrounded by animals. We had dogs, cats, and birds, and flies and cockroaches. I remember when I was in grade school, I don’t want to go to school because all I want is to carry the new born puppy on my arms all day long. Another experience during higher years, one day I was going to buy something outside and I saw a 5-6 yrs. old boy playing with the dog violently, so with all conviction I commanded the boy to stop, in front of her mother, but then I realized I acted out of compulsion that time.  During childhood, I dreamed of building a center for homeless and abused animals, as in all the animals that could be seen outside, a vague one.

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All I know was that animals are lovable, period. Until I get to watch shows like Born to be Wild and Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, they feature animals that are abused. Just like a story on KMJS, aired on May 2, 2009, a 21 year old guy named “Mike” who’s mistreated by his parents put his revenge on animals by placing a cat on a freezer or drowning it.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/159282/publicaffairs/kapusomojessicasoho/animal-cruelty-freebies-food-origins-vacation-nightmare

A news on 24 Oras like this:

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Then I knew that many people have the opposite sentiment about animals. Upon further research about this topic, I’ve known that among all the animals, dogs are most subjected to cruelty followed by cats and pit bulls are the most victimized among dogs. Statistics also show that almost 15 million warm blooded animals are used for research in laboratories, and scientists believe that 100 species extinct every day.

  I asked a pet lover and a psych major about their views about animal cruelty

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Nakakainis talaga. sobra. lalo pag nakakapanood ako sa tv nung mga aso na nahuhuling pinapatay ganun. kasi unfair naman yun sa kanila, lalo yung mga dogs na loyal sa humans nila, ganun. ibang klase kasi sila magpasaya ng tao, kahit sa tingin or mga small actions lang nila. nakakaawa lang na hindi sila na-a-appreciate ng iba. yun.

(Follow up question) Is there an instance where you’ve seen animals abused in front of you, for example, by a friend or an acquaintance?

So far, wala pa naman akong nakikitang ganun na as in sa harap ko talaga nangyari, pero pag napapanood ko sa TV, nang gigigil talaga ako. Minsan nililipat ko nalang. Pero minsan pag papasok nakasakay ako ng jeep, nakakakita ako nung mga stray dogs na umiinom nung maduning tubig sa kalsada, yun lang naaawa na talaga ako.

995480_10200843877954040_482621316_n  Kim Agramon, Psych Major

Ayako, di ako pro sa ganun that’s punishable, ang dilemma lang kasi ano ang limits ng abuse. Psych major kasi ako so we use animals sa experiments, minsan may ethical issues to animals yun kasi di defined ang border kung abuse.na siya or not.

mas madali din mapprotect ang animals kung exact na. pag vague kasi mas madaling malulusutan nung mga abusers ung punishment.”

(Follow up question) “What is your insight about that, what do you think are the parameters to consider if abused or not?”

Kunwari too much stress ang nac-cause sa animal nung human act hanggang physical abuse na yung pwedeng parusahan, like sa psych minsan may mga gumagamit ng small electric shocks to animals para acondition yung animal na magkaaversion sa isang bagay. Too much of that can be stressful to them na pwede magcause ng side effects.”

After all the information, interviews, and research there’s still a question unanswered inside my mind. What could be our reason to abuse them? From my view, we may have reasons not to like them, they’re stinky on some ways, they’re messy, they’re irritating (on some people), they’re noisy. But we don’t have a reason to abuse them. I could still recall what my Mom would say to  me: “Ang hayop, salita lang ang kulang jan.” They eat, feel, and love to.

The very that thing I appreciate to pets are those unseen act of love to us their masters. We let them sleep to cold floors, but it doesn’t matter to them, they still giggle and get excited the moment we’re home. They don’t complain if their food is a leftover or not. They listen when we’re sad, or cheer with us when we’re happy. They are not meant for abuse.

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Sources:

http://www.infojug.com/facts/animal-cruelty-facts.html

https://www.google.com.ph/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=667&q=animal+abuse+kapuso+mo+jessica+soho

photos from Google

Just Another Stereotype

IMG_3036 By Clarisse Santos

“All through life there were distinctions – toilets for men, toilets for women; clothes for men, clothes for women – then, at the end, the graves are identical.”   ― Leila Aboulela,  Minaret

Is there really a superior gender?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that men dominate most of the movies that I’ve seen, even some of the books that I’ve read; whereas women tend to be second-rate characters. Does reality also look like this?

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The 1987 Philippine Constitution affirms the parity of men and women before the law, therefore, promoting gender equality.

Gender equality is the measurable equal representation of women and men.1 Men and women are not entirely the same. Physically, men are stronger than women. Studies, however, show that women are more intellectual than men. Nevertheless, gender equality promotes equal and just treatment and judgment among genders.

 

Gender_equality

Still, a question lingers in my head.  Do other people think that their gender is above the other?

11949849671589982655male_symbol_dan_gerhards_01.svg.medHE SAYS:

“I don’t mean to be sexist, but I think men are better and superior than women,” Noel* said. “I love girls, don’t get me wrong. But I think we can do better things than them. We’re the alpha dog.” Quite confused, I asked him why he said that and he told me, “You want a clear example? Our country’s president is a guy. The CEOs and presidents of the companies in our country are mostly guys too. In a family, it’s almost always the father who earns for a living. Guys rule!” Noel*, a guy whom I’ve known for quite some time, really has this tough and solid personality which you can’t just put down. “We are created equally by God. However, I’ll say it again, I think we (guys), are better than the gals. In almost everything I can think of, I think we can do those better and faster than girls.”

 

 

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“Girls rule, boys drool,” that’s what Anne* first told when I asked for her opinion. “Maybe guys are stronger, but we are more persistent, more creative, more caring, more loving, and so many more.” Anne*, whom I quite fear for her very frank and straightforward personality, won’t just give up in an argument, especially topics like this. “I’ll cite three points why we, women, are better than men,” she said. “First, we are smarter. Different studies have proven that. Second, we put our heart to what we do. And third, we can give life.” In conclusion she said, “Whatever happens, I’ll stick by my opinion. We rule!”

 

 

 

male-and-female-relationship-signI SAY:

Young as I am, I try to speak up and fight for what I think is right. We are all created equal, in the eyes of the Lord, the law, and the people. So for me, there’s no superior gender. Both men and women have their strong and weak points but that doesn’t mean that one is above the other. And I’m happy to know that the place I live in, the Philippines, is among the world’s leading countries in terms of gender equality (8th out of 135 countries, wow!). It only goes to show that gender is just another stereotype.

 

 

 

“And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing that a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus.” – John Steinbeck , Travels with Charley: In Search of America

And who knows? Maybe one day, a woman with a beard won’t be that weird anymore. 😉

 

Sources:

1 http://ippf.org/our-work/what-we-do/gender/what-gender-equality

http://www.philstar.com/news-feature/2013/04/19/932572/women-top-phl-among-most-gender-equal-nations

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/16879/philippines-ranks-8th-among-135-on-world-gender-equality

http://plj.upd.edu.ph/gender-equality-and-justice-in-the-law-by-pia-s-cayetano/

Photos from Google

Women: We Can Do It

DSC_0069 By Issa Garcia 

“May mga bagay naman na mas angat kaming mga babae, at kaya rin naman naming makipagsabayan sa mga lalaki. Bawal daw yung mga babae sa barko kasi mahihina, tapos buwan buwan daw dinadalaw.” –Yvonnie Aliwate, BS Marine Transportation, AIMS

We interviewed Miss Aliwate for our feminism video blog, and when I heard what she said I thought that, that was not fair, those guys forgot that they were here in this world because of a woman.

Have you experienced to be stereotype as the weaker sex? Do we really deserve to be called as the weaker sex? Do we deserve to be harassed and abused? I believe that we shouldn’t be. At the back of every successful man, is a woman, may it be his daughter, niece, wife or mother— women play a very significant role in a man’s life.

Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world today. Domestic violence, rape, employment discrimination, sexual harassment in the workplace, and trafficking in women and girls are some of the issues that is a problem all over the world and must come to an end.

In many countries, women are frequently deprived of the right to life and security of person, full legal capacity, health care, education, employment, inheritance and freedom of movement. Women still do not have full entree to economic and political decision-making activities in their families, their nations or international institutions. Government allow crimes against women to go unpunished, continuing a culture of impunity for family members, state agents and others who discriminate against or commit violence against women too often.

The Philippines has 27 laws concerning women’s rights, but sometimes, these laws are not being implemented. These laws are made for the welfare and protection of Filipino Women. It’s so heart-breaking that we do not get the right justice that we deserve. Are these laws really made just to fill up our constitution?

Some of these laws are the following:

  • Republic Act 9710, Magna Carta of Women, a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.
  • Republic Act 10398, an act declaring November Twenty-Five of every year as “National Consciousness Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women And Children “In recognition of the need to establish a comprehensive and structured campaign for national consciousness on anti-violence against women, November 25 of every year is hereby declared as the “National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children”.
  • Republic Act No. 9262 also known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their children (VAWC) Act of 2004.
  • Republic Act No. 9208 also known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003

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In the year 2008, National Statistics Office (NSO), conducted a National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The main purpose of this survey is to determine the Violence Against Women (VAW) experienced by women that are 15 to 49 years old.

Physical Violence

The NDHS revealed that one in five women aged 15-49 has experienced physical violence since age 15.

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Sexual Violence

One in twenty five women age 15-49 who have ever had sex ever experienced forced first sexual intercourse. One in ten women age 15-49 ever experienced sexual violence.

Spousal Violence

Emotional and other forms of non-personal violence are the most common types of spousal violence (23% of ever-married women). One in seven ever-married women experienced physical violence by their husbands while 8 percent experienced sexual violence by their husbands.

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Violence Against Women (VAW) Reported to Philippine National Police

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Here are some of the greatest women I know:

1237125_10202111193087703_1377495723_nPaula Poblete, an 18-year old Medical Technology student shares, “I remember when I got yelled in front of many people that made me felt like my rights have been violated because I was humiliated. I think everyone of us has our own strengths and being a woman doesn’t mean being the weaker sex. We could be independent and be strong even without a guy. A woman is honestly physically weak, but we all know that there’s nothing in this world that we won’t do to overcome any circumstances. Never let any man treat you wrong. At some point, the right man will come in your life that will treat you right. Always be strong physically and emotionally.”

 

1185626_10200935756814039_2095887907_nRozelle Velasquez, a 20-year old, Applied Physics at University of Sto. Tomas said, “I’ve heard the line ‘I can do this I’m a man, you can’t ’cause you’re a woman.’ In public transportations men tend to take advantage on women like, leaning in close and staring like he will do something that is not good. It’s not always that you need to depend on them though we may need them, sometimes, but not totally dependent. Women are loving, smart, resourceful, mindful; but weak-hearted sometimes. Stand up for yourself because no one will fight for you until you do.”

941192_658531880842207_1898597240_nAlyssa Matsuda, a front desk receptionist at Hotel Kimberly Manila believes that men and women are at the same level nowadays, but chauvinism occurs. “Every person has its own physical, mental, and emotional ability to sustain their needs, so no to dependency especially for women. Actually, there are no specific advantages and disadvantages of being a woman. It is just that those women in the old times used to stay at home, raise up the children and feed her family. That’s why we are known to be weak but nowadays, we are proving ourselves in every aspect of living.”

1006188_10151721018214756_1901734208_nJocelyn Garcia, a 50 –year old accountancy graduate and a loving mother shared, A woman should not be dependent over a man because she has her own capacity and strength to do what a man does. A woman can live without a man by her side. women in general are not physically strong (some are ) than men; women are considered as the weaker sex most of the time ; but, women are given the great opportunity to bear a child ; women gain more respect base on what we always hear “ladies first”.  Women have equal rights with men. In cases of maltreatment, they should not be afraid to report to the proper authorities; they should also know how to defend themselves.”

1236808_625352244153021_1525862229_nLaremie Gaspar, a 25-year old private nurse (home health care) shared, “i had experience something that violated my rights as a woman. The first job I got upon graduation was talking care of a 75-year old patient. He touched my boobs and butt. I complained to his wife, but he didn’t care, so I quit. I was at my early twenties, and had no idea what to do, by that time; I knew that I have experienced sexual harassment. Women must not depend on the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself. Strong independent women don’t compliment strong independent men very well, our egos tend to collide. Women can wear any clothes with any colour of it without looking odd; we can wear men’s clothes. We can have as many hairstyles as we want. We can wear make-ups. We don’t need to pay for bills (dinner, snacks, drinks etc.). We can be emotional and cry our heart out. We can take advantage of “Lady’s first” rule. We can be with our girlfriend without anybody thinking we are lesbian. We won’t regret piercing our ears. We can loudly scream when watching horror movies. We don’t have to deal with heavy materials. We don’t have to waste 5-10 minutes of our day shaving your beard. We can paint our nails without seeming weird or gay. We can freak out over mouse, cockroaches and snakes without looking so foolish. We don’t need to change flat tires. And a girl’s smile and a girl’s tear can do anything remotely possible in this world. Love yourself before loving others. I truly believe you must first learn to love yourself for who you are, with all your flaws and imperfections before you can love others and truly live your life to its fullest. It’s not about bragging, flaunting your achievements or boasting about your wonderful qualities to others. It’s about self-awareness of who you really are. Always be true to yourself and celebrate your own uniqueness. You are one of a kind and there in is no other person in this universe exactly like you. Look deep within yourself and feel the intense love within your heart. And when you truly learn to love yourself; genuinely express love to others and live with gratitude for everything in life, you will soon discover a life of fulfilment go ahead love yourself, unconditionally you deserve it, girl!”

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I have read the article, “10 Women’s Rights Advocates You Should Know”, and I would like to recommend you to read it. They are so amazing and unbelievable (just wow). They exemplify a perfect example of a woman that should be adored and respected.

Women are very flexible, whatever the situation is. It’s very easy for us to make adjustments to other persons and environment. We can surpass everything may it be good or bad. Let’s fight for what we believe in, don’t let other people step on us nor let others pull us down. It’s our life and live it with happiness in our hearts, enjoying the freedom, rights, and the justice that we deserve. A woman should be loved, cherished and respected. Just like what Genesis 2:21-22 says, God did not make Eve from one of Adam’s foot bones, for Adam to trample over; nor did He make Eve from a bone of Adam’s head, for her to rule over the man. God made Eve from a bone right out of man’s side — a help meet at his side.

Do you still see me as a person who’s weak and gross because of my monthly period?

 

Sources:

http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/Women_s_Human_Rights.html

http://www.hrlawgroup.org/thematic_programs/womens_rights_advocacy/

http://www.pcw.gov.ph/statistics/201304/statistics-violence-against-filipino-women

http://pcw.gov.ph/law/republic-act-9710

http://pcw.gov.ph/laws

http://www.pcw.gov.ph/publication/republic-act-9262-anti-violence-against-women-and-their-children-act-2004-and-implementing-rules-and-regulations

http://www.gov.ph/2003/05/26/republic-act-no-9208-s-2003/

http://www.spot.ph/gallery/1030/10-women-rsquo-s-rights-advocates/article/47914#photo-1-10

http://www.city-data.com/forum/christianity/1265137-does-god-teach-women-equal-men-3.html

http://www.libertygospeltracts.com/question/prequest/meneqwom.htm