Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 24, 2015

You are the present day Goliath

You heard of me just before we met,
Though I’m not sure what the infos were.
You developed an impression then
Though you might not be aware of it.

We met.
You talked, I listened.
You asked questions, I answered with scientific honesty.
You asked for informations, I provided you with literatures.
You gossiped and badmouthed others, I was silent.

I thought you were smart and a quick learner
I also thought you were nice
I was absolutely wrong.
So I blocked you out of my circle.

After all these years, despite my utter silence
You continue to belittle and insult me (and others),
To other people through emails (and more, for sure)

You think you are untouchable?
You think you are a giant? Yes, the Goliath of today!
Bullying only those you think are in the lower castes
Greedy for power and crowd adulation
But insecure and a coward to the core.

I can only pity your existence.
I pray someday soon
You will see the light and reform your ways
And give peace to those you are oppresing.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 23, 2015

A Trauma in the Trauma Center

Sunday, aside from being my market day, its mostly my gardening day. I love tending my wild garden, be it raining or sun-scorching Sunday. Just before I rest for lunch, an insect went inside my left ear and happily moving around hurting me with some new really painful sensations. Not wasting time, I just clean my hands and went into the emergency of the hospital on my gardening attire.
I went first to one of the elite hospital hoping i will get immediate treatment. The guards, seeing me in a not so elite attire, hesitated to let me in until I explained it to them patiently what I need. The same hesitation was given my way in the reception but this time, I briskly tell them what I need and hurray, attention is given to me.unfortunately being a Sunday, no ENT Specialist is around but they let me know there is only one hospital that has an ENT Specialist on duty. The hospital is one of the biggest public hospital in town. I hesitated as I percieved government hospitals to be very crowded.
I, instead, went to an elite chinese hospital; hoping I will be lucky. Unfortunately, the same hesitations and answers were given to me.
So out of desperation, I went to the recommended hospital. To my surprise, the buildings and the environment are nice and not the dilapidated look I somehow thought of. I went to the ER but the guard told me my case should be in the Trauma Section. I felt relief, expecting i have avoided meeting the sick by going into the Trauma section. To my worst surprise, the sight opened to me are lines of bleeding men and women with the cries of the grievers filling the silent air. Did I miss a war or ambush news? but no, the guard said  its a normal occurence and its even the lean hours. Feeling slightly dazed and sick up to my core, not because of the insect in my ear, but because of the hundred bodies of wounded people with their linens soaked in blood, few are already fully covered (dead) and some are still holding on to dear life. I went through the long bureaucratic process like a zombie until I was finally led to the ENT.
Closing my eyes to the crowd around me, I let the doctor and nurses took care of removing the ant in my ear. Thanking profusely the doctor and nurses, I went to the billing and cashier sections also expressing my gratitude this time with a smile as their place seemed to be out of the death section. But I still need to go back to where I entered for the discharge process needed. Not having any pain this time, I was able to see how the only lady nurse is working efficiently along and alone amidst the crowd of rapidly growing patients. She was very efficient, cool and such so helpful, I believe I am looking at an angel. I looked at her name tag and tried banking it into my memories exactly for this blog, to my consternation I could not fully remember her name anymore. Its so sad that I could not name the Angel I saw that moment. I know however that I will recognized her when I see her in other places, then maybe I could tell her straight to her eyes with a relax smile that she is an angel. Maybe someday.
This event also reminded me to be very careful and understanding in dealing with people particularly strangers, as I may not be aware of how their moments are unfolding. Its a sad reminder and though I consider that Trauma Section traumatic, I still see it as full of lessons I need to internalize, to pause and be still when I met a not-so-nice stranger.
The ant is now out of my ears though I am still using some antibiotic as the doctor suspected I was bitten, yet the experiences and lessons i gained was worth more than the expenses and trauma I incurred. Still, I thank you universe for the loving support and care.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 22, 2015

Sunday: My Market Day

Its Sunday, I woke up from the bells and prayers of the Muslim Church in my neighborhood, indicating it is now about four in the morning. Refreshed from a good night rest, I joyously grab my market bags and food containers and walked to the market, a few kilometers away. This early, I usually walked instead of riding the taxi to enjoy the cool morning breeze.
Looking forward with eager anticipation of the surprises my market day usually brings, my steps are long and brisks.
As usual, I went to the fresh vegetable section first. Then into the seafood section. I moved around to look at the marine organisms and aquacultured species. On my round, I saw some albacore (not a common sight in the market) which is really very interesting, and then the usual fishes such as milkfish, bigeyed scad, roundscads, other species of tunas caught and sold in all their life stages from babies to adult, and of course the perennial presence of immature blue swimming crabs. Among all the seafoods mentioned, only the blue swimming crabs are not supposed to be sold and process as in their immature life stage as per the national management plan posted in the BFARhttp://www.bfar.da.gov.ph website.
I, of course, just bought some mahi-mahi which I requested the seller to fillet for me, some seaweeds, and mollusks. I considered it as a very interesting market day because of the albacore but also a depressing one because of the immature blue swimming crabs.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 20, 2015

Ruffled feathers

I am not a bird. Yet, I have so much love for birds. I tend to silence my wake up dawns just to hear the cacophony of birds tweets in the trees surrounding my house. I make a habit of drinking my coffee in my rose yard just to observe the small birds hopping from one petal to another, to sip the morning dewdrops sweetened by the flowers’ nectar.
I love the birds even if I’m not one of them. I do not know why, when and up to what extent the feathers of birds get ruffled. I would love to be in with that wonderful mystery. Help from the birds is much welcome opportunity.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 20, 2015

Philippine blue swimming crab at risk

The Philippine blue swimming crab fishery is at risk for several reasons:
1. Overcapacity. There are just too much harvesting than the existing natural population could support; this is manifested by declining catch rates and declining average crab sizes, undermining profitability.
2. Negative impact on the ecosystem is very high. There are no regulations whatsoever that mitigate the high bycatch problem that include species listed as endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) in the country’s red list such as some species of mollusks, dolphins and sharks’ juvenile.
3. Haphazard stock enhancement. Releases of hatchery reared in protected areas is a serious cause for concern as the activity is being done in the absence of any accepted stock enhancement protocol. It lacks the necessary transparent hatchery, releasing and post releasing protocols, this despite the now long years of operation. The risk management protocols are not even thought of before such was implemented.
4. Stocking cages of berried female crabs to simulate natural spawning is rampant even when its effectiveness is yet to be proven and the methods are not within the common science sense ecological, biological characteristics of the crabs.
5. Ghostfishing and coastal wastes mostly by discarded gillnets are everywhere.
6. Management actions towards sustainability are mostly on papers without really much work in the ground. Management actions must focus on addressing these problems. Sustainability actions other than addressing the root causes are nothing but simply empty claims designed for marketing objectives or just simply greenwashing.

Personal note:
I encourage comments upfront in the comment box. Unprofessional complains through emails to the non-authors is considered cowardice!

Posted by: Jimely Flores | February 4, 2015

Thought I was alone

During the 2010 presidential election in the Philippines, most Pilipinos went gaga over the candidacy of Benigno Aquino III. Most thought because of his clean background he would be a good leader. I thought otherwise. In his long term in the Lower House of Congress as representative of Tarlac, he never did a dent, nothing was recorded as accomplishment. He was just one of the boys who were getting money from the poor workers taxes and gave nothing in return. Same story when he was a Senator for long years. He never did nor said anything of good substance. Lito Lapid and the other showbiz personalities in the same house had even fared well and worked better than him. He was a fence sitter who once again wasted the taxes of the Pilipino people. Despite of having a zero record of accomplishment (maybe that meant clean record by the people who voted for him) he became the president of the Philippines. It was the start of mourning for us, Pilipinos, whose love for decency, freedom and intelligence is high.

Since then, nothing seemed to be handled right. Just after the election in 2010, the hostage of HK Tourists in the City of Manila was a mess. It could have been just a localized event/issue had the President, in his eagerness for stardom, took over with his fiddle-faddle strategies. And so on and so forth, this Benigno Aquino III is a perfect emblem of an incompetent, star strucked, nonsense government (just searched the world wide web of how this could be true). I am proud not to vote for him but still so sad I was right! And its just now that I fully realized this time I am not alone in my opinions and observations.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | January 18, 2015

My journey to learning how to learn

I am one of those who despite their advance age is still looking forward to learning new skills, discovering new worlds and indulging in new experiences. Yet I also am afflicted by the common woes of learners, procrastination, writer’s block, loss of enthusiasm and worst loss of interest.

When I saw the MOOC Course through Coursera offered by the University of California, San Diego on Learning How To Learn, my interest was perked so I immediately enrolled in the course. Through it I learn several techniques, one of which is the Pomodoro Technique, instead of the 25minutes focused worked, i tried the 2hours intense focused work as I thought the 25minutes might be too short for me. This I plan to do for 21 days as most self-help authors are recommending 21days at least to develop a habit. I could not make it consecutively on the first week because I am on several travels and meetings.

1st day
I am still on my first day today, pushing myself to write amidst the noise in the airport and the very cold temperature (I am a warm climate loving person). Adding anxiety to the situation, I just dropped my front teeth denture while eating my lunch. I am now sporting a no tooth smile.

2nd day
The alarm went off at the time I set to remind me its time to start working. I got my pen ready and bunches of blank papers and started doodling as I cant seem to find the words to start with. My doodles turned into words and formed into sentences. I find it hard not to edit while working and so I did waste some of the time editing but got aware of it before the alarm set off for the 2-hours. Editing while writing is one of the no-no’s advised by writers.

3rd day
This is my third day on my way to create the 2hours writing habit using the Pomodoro Technique. It was really not much of a struggle. I hope that I am now internalizing the habit and not just because I am actually inspired. I met some of the people, whose company and friendship I cherished, for a few days. Too short really but it had been refreshing. And then I read an article that journaling also boost one person’s mood. Whether its a combination of the three mentioned events, I am quite happy and grateful for all the blessings.

4th day
I needed to sit and really work on something very stressful, fully aware that my efforts here may just go to waste, yet I do not have the heart to quit knowing that the future ecosystem and population integrity of the Philippines blue swimming crab stocks is at risk with the irresponsible fisheries improvement activities of the industry such as stock enhancement and greenwashing news coverages. I know that my livelihood (job) is at risk by these articles yet not eating for a few days because of no income is something very insignificant compared with a future of destroyed ecosystem and depleted natural resources. I needed to do this not for finances sake but for my peace of soul. I pray for the Universe protection.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | January 18, 2015

Deprivation

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A glass wall separates me from the good coffee while i could only have the instant bland one expensively sold by AirAsia.

After a night-long of bus travel going straight to NAIA Terminal4 for my flight through AirAsia and looking forward to a nice cup of good real coffee. I arrive too early and checkin counter of Air Asia is not yet open and its just 2.5hours before the departure time. The line is already very long and some are starting to fret. After an hour, the door to the international departure opened but still no checkin. Passengers are directed to the travel tax payment counter before queing up for the still close checkin.

Exactly 1.5hours before indicated departure, the checkin opened and the long line started to move slowly. The thought of a good coffee sip keeps me looking forward to the end of the line. And then finally I enter the departure area. I immediately look for the connecting door to the fomedtic departure where the good coffee are waiting for me. To my greatest disappointment, there is no door! My dream of drinking good cup of coffee is a glass wall away!

With a disappointed heart, I went to Air Asia kiosk, the only one offering good inside (what a MAFIA!) But no good coffee, only instant bland ones! I could fret but what then?

So I bought the expensive bland instant coffee and started sipoing it with closed eyes imagining I am drinking the good coffee offered by the store infront of me.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | January 7, 2015

I welcome the year 2015 with gratitude

Its the start of the calendar year 2015. While traveling on the bus (right now) musing on the past year 2014 wonderful revelations, I can not suppressed the smile to come out. The year 2014 was the conclusion of really three turbulent working years. I frontally witnessed how greed, insecurity, and rudeness come into play. I have come to learn that social status and wealth can not buy good manners and upright character through coming in contact with such characters; in the past I only hear and see them in the news. I am so grateful I welcome this 2015 totally cleansed from all the negative vibrations of such involvement. I learnt so much and the process made me wiser and more aware.

I am now excited to walk new paths, learn new lessons, love new experiences and enjoy all the seasons life’s brings. I love life and I believe life supports me all through out. Smiles and love for 2015.

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Stone collection in Luna La Union

Posted by: Jimely Flores | November 13, 2014

The Daily Practice of Gratefulness

I woke up healthy and well, grateful for a restful refreshing sleep.
Thankful for my body for its very efficient intake and waste management, fully aware that it will continue to function for my healthy and strong body.
As I am making my usual coffee out of bed routine, I am saying thank you for the loving people involved in the complete life cycle/value chain of the coffee I will soon to drink. Thankful also for those involved in the creation of my coffee machine and the electricity system allowing me to conveniently enjoy my out of bed morning coffee.
Grateful of the house I am living in as I go around to prepare for my longday journey. Grateful for the LPG, for the clean water and for everything that enables me to enjoy my morning refreshing bath.
Praying my thank you for a safe journey, nice taxi driver, kind airport employees and fantastic co-travelers as I pick up my bag and started getting out of the house.
As I lock my doors, I am saying thank you for all good forces of the Universe for keeping my abode secure while I am out.
On my way to the airport, thankful for a patient driver staying cool and composed amidst the heavy traffic, I am also saying my thank you prayers for a successful and safe and wonderful travel, fully expecting that my purpose will be excellently accomplished and the doors of blessings will always stay open for me and everybody I will come in contact with.
It is indeed a beautiful life and I am so much grateful, Thank you!

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Pomegranates in Hyderabad

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Parade, General Santos City, Philipines

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