Monday, August 26, 2013

Profile of a Filipino Hotel

Surprisingly, the author has not had any chance to stay in a proper hotel in the Philippines before this weekend (the first few days stay in Manila in a converted condo does not count as there were not properly hotel amenities involved) So weirdly enough, the author was more or less really looking forward to staying in a rather posh (-looking, at least) place for his first overnight trip in the Philippines, coincidentally in Baguio, one of the long-time tourist capitals of the country.  As much as it is one hotel for one night, perhaps some observations about Filipino hotels can be made.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learned Cynicism to Combat Learned Helplessness?

After experiencing both man-made and natural disasters year after year personally for the past few years (from earthquake in Japan to mudslide in Korea to rioting in the UK), the author has been growing more and more desensitized to the devastation brought out by these unfortunate turns of events.  But some observations of the Filipinos' reactions to the ongoing floods in and near their homes and workplaces, and the author is ashamed to say that his sense of cynicism to disasters from the past is not even close to being at the same level as the ones seen among the populace here in the past days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Comparing Countries after Disasters Revisited: the Filipino Flood and the Japanese Quake

An old Chinese saying to wish newlyweds longevity in their marriages is "同享共福,同甘共苦," roughly meaning "enjoying all the fortunes together, suffering all the bitterness together."  Centuries of experiences show that while the first comes pretty for most, the latter almost inevitably lead to some sort to schism between the two halves of the couple, especially when the "bitterness" occurs after "fortunes."  People are fundamentally selfish, too willing to put the interests of others and the collective on the line so that they themselves can enjoy just a bit more.  The increases in divorces in recent years attest very much to this.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Learning to stare up from a Four-Inch Screen

Modern human beings live in the cyberspace, getting all the stimulation to get on with our lives, both desired and unwarranted, the needed and the unwanted, from the electronically led-up screens all around us.  Disseminating information to a broad audience no longer involved physically traveling to distant corners, seeking out like-minded individuals to preach novel ideologies, hoping that the few minutes of attention span may completely reorient a person’s dispositions on a certain topic.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

When You Put Your Heart to It...It's All about Economics

The basic principles of economics goes something like this: the greater the demand for something, the higher the price for that something will be.  More people will go produce that something because they know they can make good money of it, creating more competition for that something among the producers.  And when there is more competition, the producers will seek to create better version of that something faster and cheaper than others so that s/he can get a bigger share of the demand than others, and make more money.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Society Reborn...from a Catharsis Ridding Itself of All Negative Emotions and Physical Elements

The author is not a big movie-watcher, but he sees a extraordinary theme emanating from what critics would call an overly cliched plot-line and background, the them get stuck in his mind for days.  Recently, "the Purge" has been such a film.  The film takes place in a wealthy neighborhood in 2022 America, where government allegedly created a wealthy society of little crime and unemployment by permitting an annual 12-hour "no-sin" period when all crimes are legal.  The film tracks one such 12-hour period for one specific family to detail the moral and psychological meaning of such a law.