In a Fix
By Annabelle Chua
I am hopeless without a computer.
Coming from me, that’s a rather bold statement. Unlike other people, I am not a DOTA addict, nor am I a chronic downloader. I spend perhaps around an hour a day on the Internet, reading mail, sending mail and doing research – pretty basic stuff, if I say so myself. I play games every now and then. I write papers and articles. I carry a universal serial bus (USB, for short) around to copy lectures, handouts and pictures. Hardly the makings of an overly computer-dependent person – or so I thought.
Then my computer broke down.
It was really amazing, if I say so myself. Not even Charlemagne could have cut down his enemy as quickly as my computer cut me off from my work, my data and all of my resources. With the computer down (thanks to a virus), I was unable to access all of my saved notes, handouts, papers and the like. The finished articles and paperwork all went down the drain as well. I was reduced to tears as I finally comprehended the magnitude of my problem. First, I had to recall which particular files were stored in my hard drive. Then, I had to ask around for a duplicate copy of those lectures and notes. I had to rewrite the papers that had disappeared into the virus’ gaping jaws. And, of course, I had to accept the toll on my time, patience and effort.
I am not alone in this dilemma. But I didn’t narrate this situation to you to ask for sympathy or to proclaim the evils of computer viruses. Rather, I wrote this because I noticed our generation’s growing dependence on technology. We are in a technologically advanced and highly industrialized era, and it shows in our way of life – from the places where we live, to the food that we eat, to the clothes that we wear, to the things that we do. We communicate by means of phones, mobiles and the Internet. We ride cars, boats and planes. We text and e-mail each other for appointments and meetings. We buy food processed and packaged with who-knows-how-many preservatives. We wear clothes machine-stitched and mass produced, with good quality albeit without personal human touches.
We rely too much on technology, and it’s a sickness that’s becoming more and more prevalent, especially with the hectic schedules that we all have to cope with these days. True enough, the conveniences that advancements in technology provide are numerous, and these conveniences can save us a lot of time, money and effort. We are able to gain more time to do the things we want to do, because technology helps accomplish the tasks that we need to do.
However, in our rush to ‘make life easier’, we are forgetting to live. In our eagerness to make time, to enjoy ourselves and be happy, we ignore the fact that happiness is not found at the end of the road, but along the way. We keep on striving for a goal, for the end of the journey, not knowing that the journey itself is what matters. As a line in The Paradox of our Time goes,
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years.
At the moment, though, it doesn’t seem possible to curb our fondness and dependence for technology. I only come to lament the way we human beings have forgotten how to live, and to pray that we one day wake up and remember our purpose in this life.
KABATAAN: Sampung taon mula ngayon, saan ka matatagpuan?
By Marylaine Louise L. Viernes
Sabi nila, isang naghihingalong bansa ang Pilipinas ngayon, dahil sa napakatindi at laganap na korapsyon sa ating gobyerno, sa mababang kalidad ng edukasyon at mga taong nahuhubog nito, ang paghina ng middle class sector ng ating bansa, habang patuloy na lumalawak ang puwang sa gitna ng mayayaman at naghihirap na mga tao rito.
Subalit bakit nga ba tuwing napapadpad ako sa mga lugar gaya ng The Fort, Greenbelt, Greenhills at iba pang mga pook pasyalan, tila yatang walang katotohanan ang mga balita ukol sa tunay na estado n gating bansa? Napakaraming mayayamang tao ang naglipana sa mga pamilihan, sa mga magagagarbong restaurant, at nagsisikintaban ang mga bagong modelo ng sasakyan na nakalabi sa tila “car warehouse” na mga parking spaces sa mga establisyamentong ito. Kaya nagtataka ako kung talaga nga bang patuloy na naghihirap ang bansa natin, kung totoo ang mga statistics na nagsasabi na walang magawa ang malaking populasyon ng mga pamilya rito kundi mabuhay sa trenta pesos isang araw. Bakit trenta pesos lang ang inilalaan para sa isang pamilya ng limang tao? Eh sa pamasahe ko nga, kulang na kulang pa iyon, eh!
At ang isa pang talagang hindi makatarungang bagay ay napakaraming mga oportunidad na talagang hindi naman abot-kamay ng karamihan sa ating mga kababayan ngayon. Kaya, sino nga ba talaga ang dapat sisihin? At ano ang dapat gawin, ngayong damang-dama na nating lahat ang problema?
Naniniwala akong malaki ang kinalaman ng gobyernong ito sa pamumuhay ng mga Pilipino. Sila ang may kakayahan at kaperahan upang maipatupad ang mga tamang programa at probisyon na sadyang makakatulong sa mga Pilipino. Nariyan na rin ang mga kapitalistang nakikinabang sa masang Pilipino kaya’t patuloy ang kanilang sistema upang panatilihing mangmang ang mga Pilipino at napakaliit ang puwang tungo sa pag-asenso. Tila pinapanatili nila ang kultura ng pagiging mangmang, walang pinag-aralan at pagsamba sa mga artista. Ipinagdaramot nila ang magandang kinabukasan na dapat ay ipinamumulat nila lalo na sa mga kabataan.
Hindi naman pwedeng puro ang gobyerno at mga maiimpluwensiyang tao ang dapat sisihin; eh ang kultura kaya mismo natin? Samut-saring mga kultura ang humubog sa atin, kaya nagkaroon tayo ng kung anu-anong negatibong mentalidad gaya ng colonial & crab mentality, bahala na, pagniningas-kugon at iba pa. Pero ang pinakamatindi ay ang nais kong tawaging “kanya-kanya attitude,” kung saan limot na ang diwa ng pakikipag-kapwa at bayanihan. Wala nang marunong tumulong, pwera na lamang kung nalalapit na ang eleksyon.
Hanggang ngayon, may kabuluhan pa rin ang sinasabi ng kasaysayan sa atin, na Kabataan, nasa kamay mo ang pag-asa ng bayang ito. Hanggang kailan ka ba tutunganga at mangangarap diyan? Hanggang kailang ka magnanais na tumoma bawat gabi, winawaldas ang kakaramput mong baon o sweldo?
Hindi ka na bata, at hindi mag-lalaaon ay makikita mong lipas na ang iyong kabataan. Kaya tumakbo ka na sa dapat pong puntahan, sa nakikita mong kinalulugaran mo, sampung taon mula ngayon. Ang lumakad ng matulin, kung matinik ay malalim, ngunit ang mga tinik na ito ay ang magpapatibay sa iyo.
On The News
There is one thing that is definitely bothering me with what is happening in the news lately. It seems that there has been an up rise of crimes wherein the victims are the young people, and what’s worse; one of the crimes that definitely piqued my interest has the youth on the other side of the court, them as the offender. Just these past few weeks, it has been all over the tube that 2 girls have been raped and killed. Students, though differing in age and social status, have had their life short-lived as it has been tragically taken away from them.
Their dreams they had shattered probably as the faces of their loved ones past their eyes as they slowly succumb to torture. How unfair life may seem right? Why have these women suffer such heinous crimes, especially the young ones who might have had a bright future and who knows, probably could have made a positive change in our country?
There’s much to say about these types of crimes, but what is important, I believe, is for us to be vigilant in our society. There is no other to look out for our own safety but ourselves, at least in this we have control. There are a lot of that is going to happen we have no hold off, but hopefully, people have much better to do with their lives that ruin those of others. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, it’s sad to hear youth dying young, but it’s much worse to take when those who take their life are their fellow young people.
Having graduated from college, I have experienced an environment where fraternities and sororities exist. Though in my alma mater, this is not tolerated as much of these networks are under ground; this is relative to the different schools in the country. I do have friends who are part of these “frats” and “soros”, and I heard some gruesome and torturous stories as well. I have had peers go into detail into hazing sessions and have shown me a “brand” of a particular group. I even experienced being recruited, encouraged and discouraged at the same time by my friends. There are various reasons why people opt to join or not these brother/sisterhoods. Some is for pride, some for networks for possible employment in the future, some go for the status they obtain, some for the goals of the organization and some for the peer pressure they experience. It is hard to generalize, for I am positive there are a lot of these groups that do constructive and helpful activities for the benefit of the greater good of their respective society.
But when I hear stories of torture which can eventually lead to death in some instances like that of the recent student from UP, it is hard not to condone such groups and their actions. I often wonder why one must experience such hardships to be accepted in such fraternities and sororities. Is it just a sign of seniority or does it mean something more? Since most of the fraternities and sororities are covert in their recruiting process, it is hard to know for sure what is running through their minds as they pound the paddle on the newbie. I speak in a point of view of an outsider, and some who read this may have a different take on this.
But I do hope that fraternities and sororities would never forget that their new recruits are humans too, they have their physical and emotional limitations. Sometimes it’s hard to let go while in the thrill of the action. But one must always be cautious of their actions and most of all, be responsible for it. The essence of these groups is for brotherhood, and hopefully, when something drastic happens, your brother in bruise, tears, blood and sweat would still be there by your side before another life is lost and dream forsaken.