Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Business Becomes Personal: the Mental Uncertainties of Unemployment

Its funny how human relationships can change so suddenly so fast in such dramatic ways.  A few days ago, the same group of people sat in a formal meeting in an office discussing conflicts of business interests, mutual improvements, and concerns on performances, and a few days later, you are sitting around the dinner table discussing life in general, pains of working and hating current jobs, and plans for the (decidedly personal) future.  The author has to thank unemployment for even the remote possibility of turning business clientele relationships into personal friendships.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Is Fostering Class Consciousness an Act of Unfettered Freedom of Speech or Institutional Over-confidence?

It is the author's solid belief that modern cinematography of the futuristic fiction genre is becoming increasingly a forum of political commentary, as demonstrated previously by the Purge, and now by the newly released second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy.  In fact, the political commentary associated with this latest film was so obviously presented, so not at all subtly nuanced, and so blatantly naked that as a member of the audience in a rather upscale cinema, the author was feeling cold sweat running down his back thinking just how subversive and seditious its conveyed messages are.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dreams, False Cognates, and Plugging in Gaps of Reality

Two guys were sitting in a casual Japanese restaurants.  The waitress shows up at their table with their lunches in hand.  "Sorry, the soup from one set and the rice from the other will come later," she noted apologetically.  The two men did not seem to mind.  They carry on chatting and eating whatever that was already served at their table.  Almost done with their incomplete meals, and noting that the rice and soup have yet to arrive, they call over the waitress to ask.  Embarrassed about her memory loss, she quickly ran back to the kitchen and brought out rice and soup to the table.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Modern Capitalism vs. Buddhist Traditionalism in a Newly Opening Myanmar

There was a teenage girl, donning a trendy T-shirt, tight-fitting jeans, and high heels in the middle of the night market in a remote corner of Yangon outskirts.  As the people went about its narrow pedestrian-only alleyways buying vegetables and other daily needed goods, her team put up a small boom-box and lighting system in one of the more spacious intersections.  The boom-box started blasting the latest English club hits, the lights turned on to the small space on the streets in front of the boom-box.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Persistent Cult of Personality and Lack of Development

The author has not spared any harsh words when it comes to describing just how awful physical infrastructure is everywhere in the Philippines.  The lack of adequate roads and other transportation/communication networks present the country with a severe bottleneck in economic development, scaring off economic activities through prohibitively high logistics costs and lengthy time frame for getting goods and people from point A to B.  Yet we see little investment in the upgrading or maintenance of the already inadequate infrastructure, with even major highways filled with potholes.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Complete Lack of Regional Community: Where is the "A" in ASEAN?

Back in the days of backpacking through the European continent during his graduate school days, the author had many doubts about the European Union's ability to forge a common identity for different races and nationalities who answer to different customs, languages, and religions.  Indeed, the thoughts ring even truer today in a continent where diverging economic fortunes among different member states are threatening to tear apart any sort of ideological cohesion based on the pure of "European-ness" that act as the spiritual glue of EU as a supranational concept.