Sunday, May 19, 2013
All of us have “triggers” that when touched cause us to respond violently. We have low level of tolerance on some things. It is aggravated when people who knew these triggers would intentionally bring it out to wreck your day. Some people are so asar they would love to see you explode. I admire people who can manage to control their responses when others poke them. And I was surprised to read in the Bible a pikon prophet - Elisha. In 2 Kings 2:23-24 we can read this passage: As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. Wow, what a response! Maybe he was tired, or he thought as a Man of God he deserved some respect, or those juveniles has to be disciplined, or maybe he cannot tolerate being called names. For whatever reason, he exploded and sorry for the boys, they had a taste of the wrath of a prophet! One of the life lessons I learned how to handle situations like this is from Kuya Jotique Lamigo, my former boss at the CRWRC. As he gets angry, his voice also gets lower until you cannot hear it. He prefers to say nothing when he is angry or irritated. Words are powerful and once you say something, you cannot retrieve or erase it. If the words are negative and hurting to the person you are talking, it will leave scars that cannot be taken out by time.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
It took me eight months to write again, with Myanmar again as the subject. The last piece was when I first visited Myanmar to work with a partner institution in drafting a project. We were not selected and I became busy with the activities of the project I am managing in Cambodia and Vietnam. The opportunity to visit Myanmar again was due to the approval of another project. I joined a mission to refine a plan to support cooperative development in one of the states of Myanmar. This time we went out to the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw. From Yangon, the travel took six hours in a monotonous straight highway. There was only one stop and that was for breakfast. I feasted on mohinga, the local noodles in thick soup. The city was almost empty and seems to be far from any township or community. Nevertheless, constructions of villas and hotels can be observed. Offices of various ministries and government agencies are scattered in a wide area. Since there are no public transportation, only those with cars can go around it. The city is being prepared also for hosting the South East Asian Games in December. I wonder who will view the games, unless they will truck the people or give free transportation going to and coming from the city. Our team attended a conference in a humungous conference center. We also visited the parliament building, the biggest and the most elaborate building in the city. In front of the building is a 16-lane road that will surely ease the traffic if it were built in Bangkok or Manila. Our visit to Nay Pyi Taw is only one day and I hope to be back.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I just arrived from a trip to Myanmar. I was mesmerized by what i saw. The capital city of Yangon is quite big and its downtown looks like Quiapo in the Philippines. The roads are wide and clean with relatively no traffic. Unlike in Phnom Penh where motorbikes are king of the road, I have not seen a single during my stay. Men wear a long skirt called longyi worn just like the malong. Women's faces are swiped with thanaka, the local make-up made from ground sandalwood. There are many colonial buildings at the center of the city, and some were sold to businesspeople who are thinking of transforming the buildings into hotels and for other purposes. What is saddening is that some of these old buildings were already torn down to make way for new buildings. I visited the Shwedagon Paya, the biggest pagoda in the whole of Myanmar. One will be amazed with its golden color flashing as it is caught by the floodlights. From afar, it seemed like a golden crown left in the midst of glittering gems. For shoppers and bargain hunters, the Bogyoke Aung San Market offers textiles, ethnic souvenirs and gems! More than half of the stores in the market offers jade, rubies and sapphires.