Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Science and the 14th Dalai Lama

A concerned member at proudlyfilipina.com recommended
Destructive Emotions:  A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama by Daniel Goleman. Having recently discovered the joys of the audiobook (and because I had lost my glasses once again), I got this.

The title states exactly what it is.  Briefly, the Dalai Lama initiated a forum with renowned Western scientists and philosophers. Buddhist spiritual practices and its effects were put up for scientific study. Acutely aware that majority would shun religious or moral doctrine, he espoused the findings of research to understand and counter destructive emotion. Can a Nobel Peace Prize recipient aspire for less?

I only recently found out that His Holiness kept up with technology, or the applied sciences. Last month, cyberspies were discovered to have infiltrated the computers at his Dharamsala offices. The 14th Dali Lama even has his own website! To find that even abstract science is of special interest leaves me in awe. Richard Davidson, a pioneer in the field of affective neuroscience had remarked, "[He had what seemed] an almost preternatural feel for data and the methods of science. I've seen His Holiness penetrate into the data when everyone else but the specialists are left behind."

More of this is revealed in the book's Foreward written by the Dalai Lama:
"Buddhism and science are not conflicting perspectives on the world but rather, different approaches to the same end: seeking truth. In Buddhist training, it is essential to investigate reality and science offers its own ways to go about its investigation. While the purposes of science may differ from those of Buddhism, both ways of searching for truth expand our knowledge and understanding.

"The dialogue between science and Buddhism is a two-way conversation. We Buddhists can make use of the findings of science to clarify our understanding of the world we live in. But scientists may also be able to utilize some insights from Buddhism. There are many fields in which Buddhism can contribute to scientific understanding...

"I have often said that if Science proves facts that conflict with Buddhist understanding, Buddhism must change accordingly. We should always adopt a view that accords with the facts. If upon investigation, we find that there is reason and proof for a point, then we should accept it."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Martin Nievera and His Ego

I've  posted about Lupang Hinirang sung at various boxing bouts.  I even have a dramatic video version of our National Anthem, meant more for reflection.  As a wannabe artist and Filipino, I recognize the respect due one's original work. One does not mess with Shakespeare, Vivaldi or the choreography of Giselle for example. So why should we consider the Lupang Hinirang fair game?  Or does Martin have the artistic freedom to change it up?  Is it true what he says that "we're afraid of change?"

I was a big fan of Martin when he first came on the Philippine music scene. I think it was on Pilita's show, and he sang with his father, Bert Nievera. Although you would have thought that they were patronizing this kid, he obviously had talent. It confused me a bit when he dissed Jackielou Blanco on national TV. I knew of her and found her to be a gracious and intelligent heiress who rather liked to work. Martin would show again later on that he generally disrespected women.

I cheered for the Pops-Martin tandem on Penthouse live. I think the end of the marriage started my dislike for him. (Fans CAN take it personally, you know). My ears began to ring with his American twang.  For those unaware, he was educated here. I cringe when he mispronounces Filipino words though I think he's recorded Filipino songs. It embarrasses me no end that Michelle van Eimeren and the Brazilian on Eat Bulaga! speak in the vernacular while Martin prattles like a Fil-Am who's never set foot in in the Philippines.

Why the rant?  I was worried about how he would sing Lupang Hinirang during the Pacquiao-Hatton bout last weekend. If you had to sing phonetically, the chances are you would commit a mistake or not give it the proper emotion.

Boy, was I mistaken! He pronounced the words right but that was all he did. He messed with the tempo and the original melody. And was that true emotion we see in his scrunched-up face? He's been doing that forever. Martin is pseudo-American rather than Filipino and I think he's rather proud of it. How did we expect someone without national pride to sing our National Anthem correctly? The song identifies our people but Martin is one of "them" people.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On Making Spectacular Comebacks

A major funk made its home in my head towards the end of last year and didn't leave until late February. This unwelcome visitor made for the worst kind of company. We battled night and day for weeks. When it was finally over, I prevailed but just barely. The scars will linger a while as I try to remedy the havoc it caused.

Getting back to the groove of writing this time is much more difficult than I imagined. I must admit though that to shake off the final traces of gloom, this is necessary. Writing makes me happy and clears my thoughts.

I'm determined to continue. Bigger, better and bolder. Here's to the written word!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Of Ex-Husbands and Ex-Boyfriends (A Dedication)

In a previous post, I mentioned being really lucky to find love twice in my life. I did forget to mention though that both relationships lasted more than a decade each. So for my loyal detractors who think I don't have what it takes, here's to wishing you at least a SINGLE honest, long-term commitment in your miserable existence:p

To those who don't think you can be friends with your ""ex-"es, I'm living proof that it can happen. While I'm not IN LOVE with them anymore, I happen to love all my ex-boyfriends! I'd like to think that the affection is mutual because I can walk up to any of them wherever and get a big hug. No break-up is painless, but they can be amicable. There were never any scenes, only the minimum of tears and always a sweet goodbye kiss. NOTE TO DREW BARRYMORE: It's nicer than the first kiss.

From the neighborhood cutie in Kapitolyo who made me blush at 12, the Notre Dame grad who proposed marriage when I was 14 to the recent "shoulder to cry on" who made me feel great, I'm thankful to them and won't hesitate to show it.

I won't go into detail about one-night stands, but they're basically the same. Just goes to show that I mostly won't jump into bed on a whim or on an alcoholic haze. I'm big on solid friendships. If there's no physical connection, no harm done. Just go back to being friends. Why lose a buddy over bad sex? It makes no sense.

Finally, for those who think this was too much information...I'm gonna shut up now.

I spoke with ex-hubby on Christmas Eve and he was happy to hear from me. I cried my heart out when I told him I missed my father especially. He sympathized that the (2nd) love of my life didn't turn out to be what I expected.
We admitted being sorry about how things turned out. I'm glad that he's still here for me and we're still friends.
On the other hand, I'm livid with the b*tch who broke us up...NOT!

On Dummies and the Internet (Deux)

For today's good news...the [morons, imbeciles and idiots] are back...with a vengeance!

The bad news? They have now stooped even lower, spoke without thinking and invaded our cell phones!

The end is near...for one of us at least.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On The Search For True Love

As my Prince did not come to me over the past weekend, I went out in search of him. Early Monday morning I thought I dressed sensibly in mid-heel mules, black wrinkle-free skirt, plain white shirt and a colorful scarf.

Since I wanted someone from the working class, I had to go somewhere they converged.  Our local Starbucks was usually packed with Chinoy students. Off limits!

The next sensible place to look was at the LRT terminal, a block away.  People went there when they had somewhere to go.  On Mondays, it meant that they were off to work.  Unfortunately, female passengers are placed exclusively in the first two cars.  No males there but the elderly and handicapped.  No thanks!

I had no idea where I was going, it was the journey that thrilled me.  There was a dominance of the male species at the Baclaran terminal that were mostly shorter than I.  WARNING: Do not wear mules at rush hour!  You may lose your slipper before you get to dance with your Prince Charming.

I found myself hours later at a public park and contemplated my foolishness and weary feet.  I let my mules decide where to go next.  I ended up home and stayed under the covers for the next three days.