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11.07.10; Soccer Sunday; 16:20

Greatest achievement this week: The long overdue room cleanup + anti-termite treatment. But I didn’t do it by myself. I’m so grateful. Sorry, I can’t show before and after photos. I’m THAT ashamed of my crap.

Dear Niwee,

Unilab launched Ideas Positive, a school-based competition open to all college students in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Pampanga. Unilab invites student groups to come up with fresh and positive ideas that promote health and wellness in their chosen community/beneficiary.

The groups with the best ideas will have the chance to make this idea a reality. The first placer will receive P100,000 seed money to implement their idea. They will also receive a three-day, two-night group vacation package to Boracay. Second and third placers will get P50,000 seed money, and an iPod Shuffle for each member of the team.

Interested parties must form groups of five to seven members and submit their social marketing ideas, in the form of a sustainable plan, to address the health and wellness concerns of their chosen community. Deadline for submission is on August 16, 2010. You can visit Ideas Positive for more details.


Since I am way beyond college days and thus not qualified to participate in Ideas Positive, I am joining Team Carnival’s topic this week instead. What’s that one thing I want to do to help change the country?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we belong to one of the most failed countries this planet has ever known. Yet, in spite of the repeated promises of povety alleviation during the recent election campaigns, I am still convinced that poverty is NOT the root cause of our nation’s misery. I’d say it’s just the manifestation of our people’s scarcity of sense of country.

Look at Africa. They’re hungrier, stripped and deprived than we are but look at the pride in their eyes. I’ve listened to some of their spoken word; it made me feel their intense love for their roots. We’ve discussed in Anthropology class how other nations lobby to put an end to their practice of female genital mutilation yet some women themselves fight back to protect the culture they are accustomed to. Who are these people who dictate what’s immoral and socially backward, they reasoned out.

Let’s not go farther to illustrate my point. If there were genuine love and concern for this country’s welfare, politicians would never be tempted to commit acts of corruption, citizens would take their right of suffrage seriously, competent people would not even consider leaving for greener pastures, historians would have thought of writing about our identity and Austronesian roots, our TV networks need not to mimic Hollywood, foodies would have something more insightful to say to Anthony Bourdain, and so on.

I had been very vocal about my frustration why Filipinos prefer to explore foreign destinations than to appease their wanderlust in any of our own 7,107 islands. It is depressing that it took Michael Caine and/or Jens Peters to find Boracay first, surfers Steve Jones, Tony Arroza and Mike Boyum to discover the waves in Siargao and Chef Aklay and/or the foreign backpackers before him to find home in Sagada.

I admit I have my own list of must-see destinations abroad myself but I try my best not to be an alien in my own paradise. I am aware how more expensive it can get to fly to Batanes than to, say, go around Macau. I am sincerely hoping this scenario will change anytime soon.

If you can still remember this entry, I made mention of my little effort to promote domestic tourism. I came up with traveling dolls, namely, Raya, Djin Djin & Lunah, who hopefully encourage anyone to visit local tourist spots and, for balikbayans, to remember that fact that there’s no place like home. And, yes, some places change over the years. There’s always a reason to come back!

That being said, I truly wish to be a part of any existing campaigns to persuade people to support domestic tourism and movements to help rouse our love for our homeland. In my estimation, it’s the key to attain the prosperity we all had been clamoring for.

This entry is cross-posted here.