Friday, November 30, 2012

The Irony of Learning


The concept of learning is an irony in itself. The more knowledgeable a person is, the more he becomes aware of how less he knows. A wise person accepts that one can only acquire as much as a single drop of knowledge from its vast oceans around the world in his lifetime

The denial of this fact may lead to arrogance, foolishness and stubbornness. For there are two instances when a man's brain halts from gathering knowledge. First is when a person deliberately or innocently chooses to live in arrogance and ignorance. Second is upon death. But then we cannot be certain about the latter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Predictable Movies, Predictable Campaigns, Different Ending



I'm the worst guy you can ask about movies. People close to me know that I'm not very fond of going to the cinema. Not that I don't like movies at all. It's just that I watch them when I want to watch them. Not when the movie promoters tell me. Not when the actors say it's a great one. Or maybe I'm just lazy. More than a couple of times I slept through a good movie. Then I woke up watching the final few minutes. I wasted money, I know. That's why I rarely go to movies. I rather wait for it to come out on cable channels or for someone to lend me their DVD copies.


But I'll regret it if I'm not able to see this on big screen.


But at times I recommend movies too. Those from which I learned a lot. Not that they were technically good movies. Fact is when I see the reviews on those which I recommended, a lot of them were criticized badly. Bad acting, bad script, bad everything. But who cares. I enjoyed them. I watch movies primarily to be entertained and to learn and not to criticize. But there are some people who are good at it. When it comes to movie reviews, these guys know what they're talking about. And I don’t. I once was in theater acting and I also experienced creating and editing short clips. But I will lie to you if I say that I know how to properly review and criticize a film.


But there are really those that even if you are not an expert critic, you can say outright that they are bad movies.
                                                                                                       

We have a lot of Filipino movie critics. Not only professionally but there are those we meet in person day to day. We can't question the credibility of some for having to watch dozens of movies per month at a minimum. That includes at the cinemas and at their homes. They really are capable of comparing and reviewing movies for that. And after every showing of blockbuster flicks, almost everybody has a say on the screenplay, the cinematic, the acting, the plot, the ending, the fight scene, the effects, the music score, what's lacking and what's excessive, etc. ALMOST everybody see the technicalities. Not necessarily agreeing but a lot of times everybody has some things to say which sounds intellectually thought of. And most probably they are.


Critic Borat says 2 thumbs up


Just like producing a movie for a film festival comes the campaign time for the next elections. The politicians hire their directors and scriptwriters. These guys create the plot of their campaign strategies. They usually come up with an “award-winning line” that will be used as a slogan. This is very important as the campaign revolves around it. Like in the movies, it can be treated as the “title”. The catchier it is the better. Then they will insert theatrics with lots of drama that would appeal to the emotion of the people. It could be about the candidate's humble beginnings. Or maybe a recent sad personal experience where they will say they can relate to the public's clamor for change. 


Then to put up some action, there will be witnesses of the deeds that were done by the candidate. They might be saying the truth because there were pictures capturing the act. And to heighten it up, the candidate will play the beaten up hero of the antagonist’s dirty tactics and attack to his person. He will again appeal to the people’s emotion for being the victim of this bad scenario created by the enemy.  And by the way, the hero and the villain of the story depend on which side you are looking.


And of course, the love story angle would not be left out. There will be political tandems that sound like a relationship made for forever. And there will be former allies who will be like in an old lovers’ quarrel. And there will be traitors in the “love team”. There will also be love triangles. Someone will be torn between two lovers.  And there will also be adulterers. If love story is your cup of tea, you’ll never run short of it with our politics.


And these candidates know how to end their movie the Pinoy way. They will top it off with a celebratory dance or song number. It can be done during miting de avance or on their tv guestings. A lot of people love this. It’s like showing their human side. That they are just like us. Even the president of the most powerful state in the world was not exempted on this.


For a nation of movie critics, this type of campaign style is cliché. A story that is recycled, actors which aren’t good, scripts which are badly written and an ending that is very predictable, these are signs of a very bad movie. And it is one of those you can tell outright that it’s bad. Yet a lot of us still choose them. It could be the fear to try the new and the unknown. Though in the movies, we already started to embrace independent films. We tried the new and the unknown and we got entertained by this new discovery. And we felt the substance of the indie movies.

And the award goes to...

But we have yet to see that happen in the world of politics. And we can trace the reason for this by simply going back to our logic for choice of movies. In selecting the film to watch, a lot of times we pick them based on the main casts. It’s a lie if we say that it’s always the plot that matters. If that is true, then we won’t have these so-called “marketable actors” locally or internationally. No matter how much we deny it, it is the names of the actors which we give more weight most of the time and we care less on which roles they would play.  Like I said, it’s only most of the time. Because sometimes it is not true. Sometimes, we are actually looking at the plot. Sometimes, we are looking for the substance. And we do that sometimes in choosing the movies.





Friday, November 23, 2012

Sabado Nights! (Oops, Friday pa lang, excited) - 3DO Cover

Relax muna for the weekend:

Months ago, I posted a demo song vid of the band we formed last 2009 in my previous company. Well here's a video of one song we played from our live performance. (Our only performance, for the record. hehehehe)

Originally sang by 90s Pinoy band Rizal Underground, this song became more popular when it was used in a popular beer advertisement that catapulted Ina Raymundo's showbiz career.

Eto na. Enjoy! :D

 





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dinosaurs are old, Robots are New (Godzilla wins and so will you)



I already made a lot of wrong decisions in life. I thought that quick success was possible. And that it could be done by riding on those attractive, new and fast-paced ways marketed by the so-called ‘experts’. These experts would tell you to just follow what they do. No need to ask. Just copy their formula and technique and you’re in for a zooming ride to success. It could be true as it happened to some. Maybe with sheer luck. But not everyone is lucky. Not me. But I’m blessed. And one blessing I have is an open mind to learn from the mistakes that I committed. And it makes all the wrong decisions I made bearable and meaningful.

Young energetic pseudo-experts who proclaim the modern and the new as the best, quickest and most exciting way to reach the top are the usual scenes we see in almost every field today.  And push further by bringing down and trashing the old ways.  Many ignorant and unsuspecting victims are easily mesmerized and enchanted by the “wit and charisma” of these messengers of the new age. Dinosaurs are out and the cyber-age is in, they say.


Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla  (Image:Wikipedia.org)


And the choice looks so easy. It’s cool to be a fan of the “rockstars” of their trades. Who likes to be left out sitting on a corner listening to the lectures of a boring old conservative folk?

But taking it from those who already reached the top of their game, they tell us otherwise. It’s the expertise of the old tricks, the basics and the fundamentals which brought them up to the peak and to excellence. Understanding the thing that they do and why they were doing it is what catapulted their careers to great heights. There were no shortcuts for most of them.

I don’t care what you’re doing or what you’re trying to accomplish; you can’t skip fundamentals if you want to be the best.”- Michael Jordan

(Image: hoopthoughts.blogspot.com)


Modern is not at all bad. Being knowledgeable about new techniques is also great. But by doing it without tad recognition of its foundation, basics and history is a blind walk away from what is true and proper.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reversing the Cycle of Appreciation



I always wanted to be recognized.  This could be one of the most basic emotional needs of every person.  To be acknowledged. To be appreciated. Like in this blog, I wanted to be read. 

Most of us spend a lot of time chasing some people's attention. But only a few succeeds and most end up feeling empty and unappreciated. It is not that we don’t deserve it. But like most of us, these people are just too busy to notice us. Too busy in trying to please other people so they will be appreciated in return. This makes a very vicious cycle. 





U-turn is allowed


So why not try to go on the reverse? By simply turning around, we'll meet those who have always been behind us. These are the people who believe and care for us all this time.  For they may also be just like us who's waiting for someone’s appreciation.   And that someone could be us.  And by reciprocating, we'll both end up happy, thankful and contented.

We are all interconnected in this small world. As we continue this reversed cycle, all lives on earth will possibly be touched. And it probably won't take that long until that person whose appreciation we had been longing for will finally turn around to notice and appreciate us.


So for you who’s reading this, thank you.  Without you I would just be talking to myself.  I value your spent moments visiting this page. And I hope that I’m able to provide value in return of your time. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

You vs Zombies (Don't let 'em eat your brains)

Not sure if it's out of boredom but my generation seemed to be too accustomed in looking for the secrets, the hidden and the mysteries even on the most trivial of things. From  nursery rhymes, Disney shows to mainstream songs, nothing is safe from them.

Human's addiction on over-analyzing is quite fascinating. The effort and eagerness to find subliminal messages and hidden meanings on generally wholesome stuff like backmasking popular songs, mapping out adult images on cartoons and finding secret meanings on product advertisements is amusing. Always searching for too deep of a thinking among these meant to be innocent things.



May parang ano daw



Yet, this addiction seemed to automatically turn off during news breaks.  Or while watching documentaries and other "informative/educational" tv shows. Supposedly, these shows would lead us into thinking. But the opposite happens. Most people just take them as they are. Accepting all those fed data and info as facts, flawless and unbiased. And then react quickly like programmed creations. Like zombies. It's like we're in the world of The Walking Dead.





They are everywhere.


Or maybe we are just like that. We're now in the Walking Dead world where we must fight the zombies and not let them eat our brains up.  And like in the show, there's only a few people who are left thinking independently. Or simply thinking. O wait, I might be over-analyzing already. Maybe I just need some more sleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stop losing MONEY by making TRUST expensive

Years ago, I got into two networking businesses. Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed on both. I even think I lost the trust of some people whom I invited and joined. Though my intention then was sincere. It was to get them into business so we can earn money together. I was too positive and believing that we would make it. And probably that was my fault. I might have gave them false hopes that we could do it easily. And thinking that failure was not possible. And that I was too good not to succeed. But I lacked the knowledge then. So I failed. But we earned some from selling products. And of course by having recruits. But we didn’t earn that much. Not as much as those businesses promised. So I lost their trust. The business was not easy anyway but I think I sent them the wrong signal. And it was my fault. I was too good in telling them we could do it. Too good that I so much believed myself knowing that I still didn't know that much about investments.



Most of us must have heard about the big scam that victimized thousands of people mostly from Visayas and Mindanao just recently. The Aman Group owners just duped them for billions of pesos. The promise of getting rich quick was utilized, and lots of people fell into the bait. This had happened before. And sadly, it still happens now. As you read this, chances are that some people out there are currently dealing with their innocent victims of the same scheme.



Is it?


Because of these scammers, a lot of people becomes too skeptic about anything involving money. From being too trusting to totally unbelieving. And most of them end up avoiding risk and investing as a whole. And it makes the ending more sad for them.


It's not difficult to avoid becoming victims of scams. But it's also not always easy to identify them. It was said that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. But sometimes there are things which are good but really is good. And being good doesn't mean it is easy. And what is good for me may not be good for you. It still depends on expectations. And it is a good expectation if it is backed up by knowledge. A knowledgeable person will always have more realistic and attainable expectations.


Grandfather of 'em all, Charles Ponzi


Patience is a virtue. It's truer in moneymaking. As what the “Great Bear of Wall Street” Jessie Livermore once said that he earned his moolahs from the sitting, not on the thinking. Get-rich-quick is not really impossible though. If you check the stock market chart, doubled and tripled price in a day happens more than you think it does. But how often you can hit those is a different story. It's actually like gambling if you don’t know what you’re doing there. But still, stock market is a risky thing even with much knowledge a person has. But at least, you can always give an intelligent bet than an 'ala-tsamba' style of an ignorant one. With knowledge, chances of "winning" is therefore bigger. You can choose to pick on the fundamentally sound businesses and hold them for long. Do the sitting. And there are also ways like 'cost-averaging' which furthermore lessens the risks. These all sounds good, but again, good doesn't always mean it's easy. And time is always a friend when you invest. But it can also be your worst enemy if you don’t know what you’re doing.


Due diligence is also important. There are a lot of choices of investment available for you. From all the traditional business options, to paper investments like buying stocks, bonds, special deposits, mutual funds, UITFs, VUL funds, etc, the choices are endless. And even if you got offered by one, don’t stop there. Look at all the other options. At first glance, an offer may look salivating, with all the hype and the promise. But always remember that it is not the only vendor that offers the same service. You might get a better deal with another. As a help, some sites are even giving lists of comparison like this site which gives lists of mutual fund performances. Though past performance will not assure anything in the future, it will still give you a glimpse on how they manage their funds. Then it will help you decide.  



Bricks. Oh, wait?

Lastly, never put the seller’s sweet words in consideration. Just get the numbers, calculations, processes and the computations. Understand all technicalities. Leave out the honey-coated words which are all for the hype. Be more intelligent. Not all that speaks of good things have the best intentions. Or maybe they have it but definitely not for you, but for their own pockets. So invest wisely. Choose wisely.….Meanwhile, the next local elections in the Philippines is coming.....

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