May love fall on you, may you fall in love

“Hindi maituturing na bulag ang pagmamahal dahil nakikita ng taong nag­mamahal ang halaga ng minamahal. Kaya hindi totoo ang kasabihang “Love is blind.” Sabi nga ni Blaise Pascal, “May sariling katwiran ang pagmamahal na hindi maunawaan ng mismong katwiran.”

This is what’s written in one of the EsP modules for grade 10. When I was discussing it, all the familiar adage came to as well as the personal aphorisms I have about love and reason.

I told my students that “when torn between the dictates of your heart and mind, always follow your mind. Because the head (mind/reason) was put on top of the heart (love) because the former is superior (or at least must be consulted first) than the latter.

We cannot also say that love is blind as purported above.

I say that “love is not blind. It sees, but it doesn’t mind.”

The lover sees the flaws and imperfections of the beloved. But because of love, one chooses not to see those flaws and imperfections. Thus, genuine and unconditional love.

After all, in the end, as Blaise Pascal said, “the heart has its reasons that reason will never understand.”

Let’s love… unconditionally and genuinely! May love fall on you and may you fall in love!

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Table vs. Matrix

Wondering about the difference between tables and matrices? You’re not alone. I had wondered about that as well until I found an explanation that made sense.

It appears that “the key difference between tables and matrices is that TABLES can include only row groups, whereas MATRICES have row groups and column groups.

Now you will no longer be confused when to say “table” and when to say “matrix.”

Reference: docs.microsoft.com

Table and Matrix

Table vs. Matrix

Meaning of the Official Seal of Bataan

Intro

My grade 3 nephew asked me to explain the meaning of the symbols used in the official seal of the province of Bataan. I tried googling for the answers using “official seal of Bataan meaning” as search word but in vain. The official website of Bataan doesn’t also give a hint.

Until I’ve come upon this website: archive.org which features a book entitled “SYMBOLS OF THE STATE: Republic of The Philippines” published in 1975 by the Bureau of Local Government under the Department of Local Government and Community Development.

Meaning of the Official Seal of Bataan

According to the ‘Symbols of the State,’ the meaning of the Official Seal of Bataan is as follow:

  • Flaming Sword – the Flaming Sword of Bataan, symbol of the bravery of our soldiers during World War II and the guerrilla movement that followed later.
  • The three golden stars – represent the three geographical regions that contributed their sons in the bloody resistance of World War II.
  • Red Panel – depicts the battles fought in Bataan and in the country.
  • Blue Panel – depicts the peace of the night that followed.

Now, my nephew has an answer to his assignment and all Bataenos know what their provincial seal signify.

#FilipiKnow #1Bataan

Reference:

Bureau of Local Government. (1975). Symbols of The State: Republic of The Philippines, p. 188-189. Retrieved from us.archive.org

 

Seal of Bataan Meaning

bataangov

I am what I experience

My neice asked me to explain to her my understanding of “I am what I experience.” I don’t claim expertise of the subject but here is what I answered:

We have already heard the saying, “we are what we eat — because naturally, what we eat becomes part of our body.”

In a similar fashion, “we are what we experience” means that as we make meaningful experiences everyday, these experiences become part of ourselves — of our personalities, our belief systems, and pur humanity. Our learnings from our daily encounter with people and the society make us the people we are now. We act and do certain things, for example, because they are guided by our prior learnings from our previous experiences. 

For example, a person may be strong because of the hardships s/he has experienced in life. A person may be careful and cautious in choosing his/her friends, because maybe s/he has encountered false friends before. Our present self (or actions) are somehow guided by our past experiences.

Therefore, in sum, “I am what I experience” means that I am honed and molded into the person I am now by my daily life experiences.

An Attempt to Poetry

Here are a few selected poetic compositions of my students from G9 – Breadfruit (S.Y. 2018-2019) at Orani National High School. They vary in theme as these are mere attempts to self-expression through poetry. [Click on the images to enlarge.]

RESPONSE-able FREEDOM

RESPONSIBILITY

Today, I am going to talk about three overarching principles: responsibility, freedom, and responsible freedom.

Let us begin with the first principle. Responsibility is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as the opportunity or ability to act independently and take decisions without authorization. To put that simply, this definition can be divided into two root-words: response and ability.

Making a coherent simple definition of the word, responsibility NOW will mean OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND. Responsibility lies in our ability and capacity to act. Responsibility is to do something without being told but simply because we can and because we are ABLE.

When confronted with confusion whether to ACT or NOT, we ask ourselves, “AM I RESPONSIBLE?” So whenever we ask ourselves this question of responsibility, let us remember the root words: RESPONSE+ABLE.

If until now you are asking, “Am I responsible for my parents?” or “Am I responsible for the poor in my community?” or “Am I responsible for my classmate with a failing grade?” My simple answer to that is: are you response-able? If you are, then you must be held responsible for them.

FREEDOM

Now let’s take my second point. You might be familiar with this: “The cry of Balintawak. And the echoes answered back – Freedom!”

From the earliest conception of the term, freedom has been a debatable topic. Nations cry for freedom from the tyranny of the oppressors. The people of the Philippines, for example, cried for freedom against its many colonizers in the past. And we won.

But freedom is not only winning our national liberty. There is more to freedom than the absence of foreign domination and enslavement. Freedom is also personal.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants (Oxford Dictionaries Online). So to say, when one is not hindered to do as he wants, he is free.

When free folks want to go shopping, swimming, or hiking, they can do so. When someone wants to go to the church or any place of worship, he is free to go and exercise his religion. If someone wants to remain silent, he is free to do so – that is his right; such is his freedom. Moreover, when people want to express their opinions, they can gather together and let their voices be heard.

Following this line of thinking, one can even spread gossip and false information about his enemies. One can slap the person next to her if she gets irritated. Or steal someone’s belongings whenever he feels like doing it. Such is freedom, isn’t it? But oops! That seems to be erroneous and it brings me to my next point – the relativity and partiality of freedom.

RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM

Freedom is not absolute. As Herbert Spencer said, “every man has the freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.” This is tantamount to saying that the limitation of our freedom is the equal freedom of our fellowmen. In a simple adage, it means that “our freedom ends when someone else’s freedom begins.”

This brings us to the realization that whenever we exercise our freedom, we always have to consider its implications to others. This relates to our responsibility as caretakers of our brethren.

Putting this into context, one is free to cheat in an examination, but is that responsible? All are free to defame others, but is that responsible? One is free to steal, to hastily judge, to kill, and to commit adultery – but none of those is responsible.

It is right, therefore, to conclude that responsible freedom is directed towards our welfare and the well-being of our fellow men. We are free to do anything good, and just, and beautiful for ourselves and for others.

Exercise your freedom by doing what is good and just. Do something good and beautiful not because you were forced to do so, but because you have the ability to do so. Help, not because it is your obligation but because you are free and able to reach out.

Respond because you are able. Respond because you are free!

My wish for you today is to become responsible for the freedom you all have. Thank you and good day!

Library

Below is a series of quotes I made about a library.

A library is…

… an oasis where one drowns himself.

… a honeycomb 🍯 where one tastes the sweetness of wisdom.

… a casket of dead trees but a spring of knowledge and truth.

… a resting house for a weary mind.

Why we do what we do: Values in Action

Speech @ SPVA Flag Ceremony

Yesterday, a friend, Kenji, came to me and asked, “what are your core values?”

I answered, “integrity, authenticity, family, faith/religion, wisdom/learning, and influence.”

That time, his mind was cluttered, therefore he further inquired, “how do you know these are your values?”

My simple reply was, “values are the things important to us.”

My dear friends, what are the things important to you? There are your values. Values are the ball-bearings of our actions. Our decisions are grounded in our values and belief systems. To put it simply, the choices we take and the decisions we make are propelled by our values.

As an example, if my value is honesty, I will never cheat in the exams because my values say, cheating is dishonest. If I value my family, I will never do anything to disobey and disrespect my parents – because after all, they are important to me.

So I say, we do what we do because it is propelled by our values.

Kenji’s inquiry didn’t stop there. He wanted to know how he can form his own value system.

There’s the rub. Students and friends, I have a good news – that is, values can be learned. Here, I want to show the connection between habits, values, and virtues.

Habits are formed through repetition of a similar act. Then these habits that are formed through the repetition of a similar act would reveal a deeper meaning aside from the act itself. That deeper meaning is what we call values. When one no longer sees the act itself but the reason and purpose behind its performance, then one has already placed a value on the specific act.

So, again, I ask you, “what are important to you?” Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Therefore today, I direct you to a contemplation – to an examination of your values.

Is discipline your value? Then you must be behaving in the class. Is honesty your value? Then you must be honest in the exams. Is obedience your value? Then you must obey your teachers and parents alike.

And finally, is the Eucharist, or the Mass, valuable to you?

If so, there must be a multitude of SPVA Students flocking in the church every Sunday knowing that it is not only an obligation as Catholics to celebrate the Mass but rather an understanding that it is a deeper encounter with the Lord Jesus Himself.

My wish for you all is that you make the Eucharist and all heavenly things a value in your life.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Language and the Brain in Psycholinguistics

In one of my recent Facebook posts, I posted this picture of a brain [called as Albert]. I jested that “when you were able to see and touch a real brain in the classroom, the experience will make you wonder how your own brain functions.”

Here’s the picture of the brain I’m refering to. The right one was magnified for you. 🙂

So, why do we have this in our ELE701 (Second Language Acquisition) class? Well, because we were studying the brain features, functions, its processess and how it works, and its implication in Language Learning.

Based on the foregoing, it is best to say that there is a massive relationship and strong tie between language learning and the brain. This perceived relationship is studied in the field of Psycholinguistics.  Technically, it is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

As we have learned in the class, language and the brain are intricately related; and in order to gain a deeper understanding of Psycholinguistics, we must examine this palpable relationship. Moreover, in order for us to understand the nature and dynamics of language, we must understand how it relates to the brain. Through the lectures in our class, we have gleaned and understood how language is learned through the human brain and how several brain regions have been identified with linguistic capabilities.

In a simple sensible term, I could say that no one would be able to learn a language without his brain. Therefore, our brain is essential in language processing and learning.

It is truly satisfying to note that through the advancement of technology, the farfetched theories of great sciencists and psycholinguists have been brought into clearer form. Like what was presented in our discussion, modern technology has made it possible to watch the brain during language learning. This gives us the idea that certain parts of the brain are related to each other and that one part simultaneously works with another during language learning.

In light of this, we can say that the brain holds a paramount importance when it comes to psycholinguistics. Somehow, this brings me to a realization that one needs to protect, enhance, and take care of one’s brain for it plays a vital role not only in language learning but also on learning in a holistic concept.

It’s worth to note the new concept I learned in class like that of Broca’s Aphasia and Werneke’s Aphasia which was conceptualized through their founders. These scientists discovered parts of the brain found in the temporal lobes. When damaged, these parts will result to malfunction in language learning.

Going deeper, the human brain is measly divided into two hemispheres — the left and the right. Each has different functions. What’s interesting is the presence of the CC (Corpus Callosum) which is a bundle of nerves that allows each side of the brain to communicate with each other. Therefore, it is safe to say that there is a relationship between the two hemispheres and this supports my earlier claim that technology has made it possible to show how the different parts of the brain works simultaneously in relation to learning a word, phrase, etc.

The functions of the brain hemispheres are summarized through the images below. 🙂

To sum this up, I can say that there is no doubt on the importance of the brain in language learning. Following our definition of psycholinguistics earlier, if one one wants to grasp the factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language, one can’t get away studying the human brain.

As a wrap, remember that “no matter how complicated psycholinguistics and other field of studies are, the brain remains as a complete wonder and puzzle for those who want to explore it (Hark Sarmiento, 2017).”

Heart

MARJORIE “Heart” TINAO

She vouched for and made me one of her dances during her debut. I was late. But she still managed to dance me… Oops! I managed to dance her, rather. Hehe.

She knows that I am forgetful. She bought me a planner as a Christmas gift.

She wanted to make my birthday special. She bought me cake and waited for I-don’t-know-how-long with Edward (the one that got away) at the Plaza. Time was short but I appreciated her even more.

She was disappointed with a guy. She asked me to just dine at The Beanery. For that reason we got the picture posted here. 🙂 Maybe after tonight, she will get disappointed of me, too, for not greeting her properly for her birthday today. :p

marjorie-is-the-kindest-prettiest-simplest-and-brightest-girl-i-know

I wrote this character sketch because I can’t think of a gift for her birth anniversary today. Hope she won’t get mad after reading this or embarrassed.

Marj and I met in TDel in 2009. She told me that there is a proper date but I really can’t recall anymore. As I said, age has made me forgetful. Hehe.

I used to call her Heart. It’s a nick I gave her after an afternoon show featuring Heart Evangelista as Marjorie. Hope you got the play of names.

Anyway, she was one of the prominent and promising young girl in TDel when we were there. She has a nice smile and a really friendly aura. She’s easy going and fun to be with. I feel comfortable around her.

What made me like her more is her sincere interest to know me. I love people who wants to be with me and stick with me. If that’s the case, I stick with them too and become their friend. So I did. We became close friends. Even up to now, I consider her as my closest girl friend.

Marjorie is the kindest, prettiest, simplest, and brightest girl I know.

Marjorie’s sincerity and trust in me is very moving. She’s interesting. She’s adorable. I even tell my students, “She’s beautiful.” Yes. I tell her in my class. Sorry Marj, well at least now you’ll know I talk about you. But rest assured that I only say what’s best about you and all are positive and to your best interest. Hehe. 🙂 You’re free to scold me after reading this.

Moving on, I think she’s thinking that I will not greet her today because I forgot her birth date. Honestly, I don’t memorize dates. I only know two dates now – my own birthday and my sister’s death anniversary.

And by the way, to prove to you Marj’s sincerity and heartfelt warmth, she was there at my sister’s wake. She was not one of the people who failed my expectations.

Marjorie is someone who will always surpass your expectations. People who know her, know it.

Waah! Now, I want to say more things about this girl, but I’m running out of time. So let me wrap this up with a request. Since she’s too busy with work (GOSH! I USED TO BE THAT!), I’ll let her decide on the date and time and place where we can meet up again and eat together, and drink together, and talk a lot about our lives and catch up. I’d be waiting. She knows all the means to reach me.

So officially,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARJ!