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Thursday, 16 October 2014

English: A Content Writer's Dilemma

On-line writers have a fairly difficult time in writing content for the Internet, particularly for those employers that seek a convincing means of attracting viewers and visitors to their sites. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the only method to attract traffic to these sites in order to give these websites  the ranking and visibility they need. SEO can be done in a number of ways in which I myself had the experience to learn from all of my previous employers during my stint as a writer for various products. Such methods employ organic traffic growth which means building internal and external links, consistent updated blogging and finding the right niche and keyword that the Google search engine and logarithm will easily understand. Others have resorted to dubious means such as automated spam blogging using article spinning software and HTML encoded links hidden within the article itself to promote their sites. 

However, despite various methods to siphon traffic into these sites, Google has instigated their Panda logarithm that hunts down these scrupulous sites in order to give each and every website a fair share on the traffic that Google has to offer those who are using the Internet. Unfortunately, some sites tend to be a wee bit greedy when it comes to letting smaller sites take a piece of the traffic that they all want to be on top when users click the search button. From the olden days of keyword stuffing, most web page developers employ HTML code tactics to try fool the Google algorithm, nevertheless, Google wins in the end as it always does, reducing the visibility of these websites that do not follow the strict guidelines incorporated by Google into their search engine.

Fortunately, there is one old practice that seems to work perfectly up to this day and it is called content writing. Content writing works as it did many years ago during the early conception of the Internet but it seems that writing well structured and well informed articles has taken a downside as it has to fall on a compromise with giving consideration to most people that can't seem to understand the basics of the English language. I do recall the times when I was confronted by my employer to tone down my writing as to make it easy for most people to understand the contents of my article. Which is proven true since most people, particularly English speaking countries, can't seem to contemplate their own native tongue when it comes to reading it. 

This comes as a surprise for most non-English speaking countries that are currently being outsourced to undertake various tasks such as copy writing, proof reading, transcribing and word editing. Is the English language still what it is? Or should we blame the Internet for diversifying how people should comprehend it? It seems more likely the later, since the English vocabulary started to lose its substance when the Internet became the primary means of delivering information in a global scale. Compromises should be made with regard to giving people the convenience of understanding what they are reading in a blog, website or just about any informative article that they may come across on the Internet. But don't you think that people should also come into terms with improving the way they are able to understand what they read?

In the Philippines, where most English speaking writers are outsourced and employed, there are a lot of  people who know to speak conversational English. But do not expect a lot from this country as most people know how to read and write in a most passive way which leaves only a few that really know how to speak and write it properly as it should be. Do not expect the King's English or some Shakespearean Prose to be accounted on their resume, for this is but a rarity in this part of the world, unless you should happen to come across someone who delves in such sort of things. English is a beautiful language and if I may say so, a language that most people use in a daily basis around the world on their endeavours. It still remains a question on how it came to be slenderized to conveniently conform for the convenience of those who can not properly indulge themselves in the simpleness of its use.

Writing has always been about imparting the clarity of the truth in a subject being dealt with and it is within the skills of the writer to give various aspects on what the truth is regarding a certain topic. If you are to write something that has nothing to do with the truth of what the subject matter is about, then it is quite clear that you are misleading your readers. Always take to account the ideals of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway as a basis on how a real writer should define a subject matter. There is nothing like the truth to stir the interest of your readers, no matter how dull, mundane or even blatantly boring the subject is. The true skill of a writer comes out when they are able to make the simplest subject matter interesting, whether you are writing about a technically immersed subject or even about rocks, it is always on the writers personal aspect and perspective in which the topic comes alive.

Never be afraid to learn new things when it comes to honing your craft as a writer, as there are a lot of open suggestions which can improve your skills that comes from people who know how to improve your particular writing style. I for one had the so called Hemingway syndrome, which makes me write very long sentences due to having been influenced by the true master of the one true sentence. As my employer pointed out, keeping it short and simple along with putting it in a straightforward manner always gives your readers the information that they are looking for. The Internet is about information and giving people the information that they need in the simplest possible explanation will entice your readers to come back to your web page. Pride should make you discern but gratitude for learning new things is more important to improve your skills as a writer. As a parting gesture, never forget to thank the people who made you see your mistakes as a writer, your mentors and your employers. Thanks boss, I really learned a lot from you. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Prisoner of the Mind

Imagine someone who is going through an episode of panic attacks and incoherently shouting out on the top of their voices of things that do not make sense. These panic attacks are accompanied by intense bouts of paranoia making them think that people around them are out to kill them, even close family members. This is the usual manifestation of dementia associated with the degenerative condition caused by Alzheimer disease which affects people that belong to the age groups between 60 to 80 years of age. Despite research and intensive medical research to help slow down the advancement of this mentally debilitating disease, there is no definite clear path of clinical treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is quite similar to the symptoms manifested with ALS (amyothropic lateral sclerosis) in which the brain neurons start to disconnect from the locomotor connections that simulate muscular functions associated with movement, auditory sensors and mental faculties. Alzheimer's has been the key proponent in memory loss among old people in which 1 out of 10 is likely to show signs of classic senile dementia when they get to a certain age (60 to 80). Bouts of manic depression can be seen when a patient starts to hyper ventilate, complaining most of the time that they can not breathe even though the room is well ventilated. This quickly progresses to incoherent shouting stating that they are being held prisoner against their will.

Violence is a common occurrence as most patients will not let themselves be touched even though they can not longer manage to keep their balance. Most patients going through this episode prefer to take off their clothes completely without any reason at all, stating that they feel more comfortable that way. Decency should not be expected as most patients tend to exhibit child-like behavior that explains their often irrational answers to simple questions. Self denial can be considered as one of the most common psychological behavior that people affected with Alzheimer's often show. Interestingly though, there was a clinical study that positively confirms that there is a clear line that associates the onset of Alzheimer with people that have developed Diabetes. Study shows that 80% of people that were afflicted with diabetes during their senior years showed signs of Alzheimer's that rapidly progressed because of blood toxicity caused by the imbalance of their blood sugar levels that affected the neural connections of the brain. Another cause which greatly is being debated by researchers is the psychological fortitude of the patient's across demographical representations with consideration of race, social developmental factors and nutrition.

In third world countries, there are is large segment of elderly people that are affected with Alzheimer's disease because they lack nutritional value in their diet, particularly in the Philippines where the quality of life dips greatly below the poverty line. Most of the elderly people here are fed with instant noodles that contain harsh chemical flavorings and preservatives. Social beliefs are also a major influence along with educational understanding as there is a clear pattern that suggest that mental aptitude has a lot to do with a person's ability to discern the rationality of their emotions coupled with achieving their mental stability. Most sociologist have suggested that happiness, in all of its meaning is nothing more than a human condition, same as pain and both ambiguous just as well. As clearly seen with people with Alzheimer's, most subjects affected with this disease often cry out to satisfy their wants and needs. Religious beliefs, particularly the belief in salvation in all of its aspects are often shouted out incoherently which clearly states that there is a time that people affected with Alzheimer often come to terms in questioning the validity of what they have longed stood up for which has been an influence to their upbringing. There are studies that clearly indicate that countries that have a high diversity of religious beliefs show a high rate of elderly people that are affected with Alzheimer's disease.

Psychologist state that giving your mind too much to think about tends to wear down the neural connections that affect mental fortitude and rational thinking. Especially now that the way of life runs at a much faster pace than it was 100 years ago. Also, the quality of life that we live now has a great impact on how our bodies react to the various chemicals that it ingests from various food products that are formulated with synthetic flavorings and preservatives. Most people with Alzheimer's disease require to be kept in solitude and can pose as a danger to others and themselves if kept along with others that have a similar condition. There is no sense in talking to people with this disease to show them the rational perspective of reality as they have no more grasp of the actual reality that is happening to them. All they are waiting for is their time and Alzheimer is not giving them a chance to live their remaining time in this life with dignity. Most people that are inflicted with this mental disease often defecate within their room, even urinating on their tea cups. To say the least, they even tend to wake up in the middle of the dead of night and move about, turning everything inside their room into one big chaotic mess. Alzheimer's disease is the end of human dignity in which a person looses all rational mental faculties. Just goes to show how interesting the human body is and all of its splendor, after all, God created man in his own image didn't he? Then again, this may be a clear explanation in why this whole world is so messed up.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Things To Hate About The Philippines: Filipino Dog Eaters

Despite the advancement of modern day living in this country (Philippines), I still could not understand why there are still Filipinos that indulge themselves in killing dogs just for the sake of cooking the flesh while savoring it as if it was a delicacy. As far as it is very embarrassing to admit, this takes the letter “P” in the word “Pilipino” to a whole new perspective such as “P” for “primitive”. There are a lot of things that you can easily hate about the Philippines without even trying, as some of the most obvious scenarios can be seen once you step out into the streets. But nothing really multiplies my hatred for this backward thinking society as their love for dog meat!

Filipinos have been doing this for God knows how long and it seems that they have never changed a bit. Especially the Ilocanos, who with their so called “Ilocano Pride”, who are the most avid practitioners of killing dogs and eating it despite the efforts of the Philippine government that has already outlawed this primitive and mindless act of animal cruelty. But, as the saying goes, “law makers are also the law breakers” as the effort to stop this very stupid cultural practice that spans the entire Philippine archipelago from north to south. There is really something wrong about the Filipinos, that I can say hands down.

Especially in the provinces in where people gather like the primitives that they are, to kill helpless dogs to cook for their own enjoyment, in which they partake as “hors de'ouvre”. What's more spine chilling is that they even teach their children to eat the cooked dog about utter ignorance. No wonder this country is so messed up. I am not really surprised why Filipinos get into trouble in other countries because of their primal mentality in which is a really funny scenario since karma works in mysterious ways...what goes around, comes around. Dog eaters! Bah humbug!

In a province called Pampanga, there is a small community there that eats cats! Seriously? Cats?! Unfortunately, this is quite true as there are a lot of documented reports concerning this. Why do Filipinos like to do this? That. I can not know as it goes beyond the rationality of the status quo of the life in the Philippines. I would understand if it was a means of survival, but not like this! People in this country kill cats and dogs as casually as they do with other livestock. You should see their dumb faces as they savor the cooked dog meat in their mouth as they drink to their hearts content while singing awful karaoke songs.

People who are genuine pet owners here sometimes discover their dogs missing and would search for them. Unfortunately, to their horror, they would soon discover that their pets were victimized by deadbeats who have eventually killed their pets, to be used as food for a drinking spree on the street corner. Despite humane efforts to reduce this situation, the practice of killing cats and dogs in the Philippines, still continues up to this day, to the dismay of international animalrights activists. It seems that Filipinos will remain what they are for as long as they will not accept changes in the way that they think.

I am a Filipino as well, but I hate this practice of killing dogs for the lamest reason of enjoying feasting on the flesh of dogs and cats. I hope that the natural course of nature will do something about this in the coming future so the practice of killing domesticated pets stop once and for all. And if you come across a Filipino along the way, do the right thing and give them a piece of your mind with regard to this blatant and dreadful practice of eating cats and dogs. Pets are our friends, not our food regardless of any situation.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Marriage Blues

One thing that always comes to mind when we are confronted with a seemingly simple question that demands a more or less complicated answer is if "Love" is a tangible human emotion or if it is just a primal instinct? Due to the fact that this feeling that we so fondly called "Love" is the sole principle of our human existence and should be considered a viable reason in thinking that it is so. Another side of opinion suggests that "Love" is nothing more than just a primal instinct that has been embedded in our genealogy for the sole purpose of self preservation and propagation.

Our social evolution might have a little or great influence in putting a stereotypical description to what "Love" is or should be and has been the basis of our understanding and acknowledgement. Greatly influenced by our emotional and psychological yearning as it became a part of our basic needs as a specie. In regards to the story about falling in love, it can be so noted that the perception of most individuals was more on the ironies and regret after a seemingly short time that they enjoyed each others company of their marriage which only lasted a measly 6 months. At the start of a relationship, it was quite astounding to hear other people's personal thoughts on how they perceived feelings for their spouses and how most of us who understand the emotional ongoing of the heart as it defies the logic of the mind when it comes to this sort of thing.

"Falling Out of Love Story"

Some people will be very quick in implying that love is not enough to assure that a marriage would indeed stay in its pristine existence. In a sense of truthfulness to the matter at hand, it may be quite true depending on the acceptance of the general truth. However, on such an opinionated matter, it is all a matter of accepting how the truth would serve favorably to those who seek solace to its validity. To the some people's point of view, love "was" not enough as personal differences between a husband and his wife  soon emerged after being together for just roughly six months. The vivid description of how the most marriage counselors described men's "longing and yearning" for women was a typical romantic passage from a novel but unfortunately most novels that deal with such romantic fervour are just plain idealistic gratification for the authors own zestful gratification, unfortunately, the ironic truth to life's delusional precepts emerge.

"Many Different People's Perspective of Being in Love"

Regardless of cultural boundaries and beliefs, the concept of "Love and Affection "is a commonality among different cultural enclaves and social demographics. As the author describes, people have very varied opinions when it comes to defining a clear path towards a successful married relationship with their spouses. Sociologists and marriage counselors quick to state that the average time that a marriage would start to loose its glitter and appeal was about six months to two years and that these couples would soon find themselves seeking counselling. Unfortunately, most people never mentioned acceptance and understanding as a motivational factor to attempt to amend a fizzling marital relationship. It seems like the easiest way out of a relationship is divorce, and to think that the author is also a premarital counselor. The convenience of divorce might be one of the factors that motivate couples to consider this sort of method as an easy way out and they tend to overlook possibilities of trying to resolve critical situations such as this.

"A Young Man's Delusion of Being Ready for Marriage"

Young people always have the pretentious tendencies to be so idealistic when it comes to marriage that they inevitably believe that they can control the varying odds to their favour in making their marriage work. Blind idealism's always tend to do more damage in the long run for people that get married all for the wrong idealistic reasons. Even the best planned marriages fail at a point despite careful planning and thorough premarital counselling. Sometimes, it is best not to plan at all, as it seems to work out fine for most couples that did not even thought that they would end with their life long partners and had managed to do absolutely fine.

"Analogy of Falling in Love"

To freely be given a choice on how I would define Love in a comparative meaning, that will be... "Falling in love is like jumping a thousand feet off an aeroplane, over the ocean, without a parachute, and not being sure if you would survive the impact in the water". Quiet true as the relationship between a man and a woman at the earliest part of their relationship is quite a "euphoric" sensation that it blinds the mind from any form of logical reasoning concerning their ability to foresee impending possibilities that might end in an inevitable parting of ways. Though most of the times relationships sometimes come around the bend of a certain problem evidently created by either one.

"Reality of Marriage After Falling in Love Fades"

No one wants their marriage to end as if it was not even worth saving, but regretfully, some relationships do fall apart. The inevitable decision to part ways seems like the final option as to save ones sanity to the beleaguering thought of living each day with the company of the person that you once thought of as the most ideal individual that you could spend the entirety of your life, to have and to hold. Divorce is the final severity that many consider, would give them a sense of continuing life, an extra baggage less the burdening weight that they had to carry for the whole duration of their failed marriage. Though it is a sad though that a relationship should end this way, it is admissibly humane as to go on their separate ways in order to find a brand new lease on their lives and to ultimately find their individual happiness. It is more agonizing to keep on trying to patch things up, but this only aggravates the situation.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Returning to Nature

Today's modern way of existence is usually meant to provide us with the most comfort and convenience for us to easily accomplish our day to day endeavours. To most people who had gotten used to the fast pace of life in our society, things can never be more comforting and easy in all aspects of living out their ideals based upon social necessity. But for some, the complexities of having to struggle with this kind of living seems to be a little as some have even given up on the simplest way of relying on modern day technology and just simply gave it all up. As a result, they even decided to leave everything behind to start life anew, moving out from the comforting and chaotic civilized life that they once indulged in and settled on the fringes of the back country, where nature is the closest thing to living out a natural way of life.

Is it that easy to just stand up and walk away from everything that modern day technology has to offer with regard to the convenience that it has given us? Can we really survive without the comforts and convenience that society offers in exchange to just living out our life how nature intended us to be? Our social existence dictates that we should improve our way of life as modern day technology is the key to making sure that our civilization will prevail just as long as we use our common collective knowledge in finding ways to hurdle every obstacle that we face regarding our struggles as a specie. To some people these struggles were the reasons why they gave up on all the modern day conveniences that once gave them the comforts that they yearned in life, but since every form of convenience in this society has a compromised price, they seem to have grown tired of having to cope up with paying that price.

Modern day society is filled with obligations and the chaos of having to conform to these aspects can be so overwhelming at times that you sometimes feel the burden of the whole world resting on your shoulders. Giving up on this life that we had grown accustomed to would bring on many changes on our part, primarily the use of modern day technology such as cellphones and computers. Some have adapted to these changes that they decidedly would live it for the rest of their remaining days and enjoy the comforts of nature without the burden of any social obligations such as taxes, queuing in line in a bank, making a frantic trip to the groceries for supplies and all the other social conformities that will tie you down to a system of life that only gives you a temporary sense of security and comfort. 

For people who had decided to live the rest of their life in the fringes of mother nature, adjusting to this type of living with nature was not that easy at first as they had to do away with the comforts of everything that they were used to. For people who had chosen this lifestyle, making a trip to the nearest grocery is no longer necessary as all they need to do is pick up their bow and arrow and hunt for their next meal. Come to think of it, isn't this the way how the early settlers lived out their lives during the olden days? Was it not how our modern day society came to be? If it was how our society evolved from then it is probably only natural for us to go back to that kind of social existence where in to only natural way to fend for ourselves is to find our rightful place in nature itself. 

Unfortunately, this kind of life is not made for everybody since not everyone is willing to just simply give up on all the convenience that this society has to offer along with all the hard work that they had put in just to conform with all the social obligations that has given them the comforts of life as they know it. But it is a very good thought to ponder upon as we do need something to fall back into just in case our society starts to breakdown from all the turmoils that it is presently facing with regard to trying to keep everything under control. If things should turn out the other way around, Mother Nature will always be there to help us start life anew.

Self Sustainable Backyard Gardening

Back in the early days, most people used to plant fruits and vegetables in their backyards as an added source of food for personal consumption. This became much more as a general practice during the late 1920's when the Great Depression was taking over the United States as prices of basic food commodities skyrocketed to a point that people were obligated to plant food crops in their backyard. Today, there are some people that find planting fruits and vegetables as both a source of recreation and as a worthwhile endeavor that they can literally eat the fruits of their endeavour. Backyard fruit and vegetable gardening is a very worthwhile hobby during weekends or after coming home early from work as it can ease out all the stress that you have accumulated the whole day through and nothing is more relaxing than tending your small garden plot on your lawn or backyard for that matter.

The basic history of gardening dates back to thousands of years during the early existence of human societies. It is no wonder that there is the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon that all throughout history are mentioned for being the most beautifully made garden in human history. Some consider gardening as a part of human nature and a need for us to keep in touch with our natural perspective in life. Whatever we may want to consider what gardening should be, it is without a doubt a very worthwhile way of spending time and be rewarded by your own efforts in bringing your plants to life with their natural beauty. Backyard gardening is very easy to do as the only requirements that you need to start out is that you have to have a genuine interest in plants and in propagating them. 

You do not even have to an expert horticulturist to know the basic needs of raising your plants properly as you only need the basics such as water, soil and sun. As for the needed space to grow your plants, you need not worry too much on that aspect as you can conveniently start growing them from a simple plant box, plastic pots or even grow them using advanced methods such as hydroponics. For most people, ornamental shrubs with colorful flowery blooms seem to be the most preferred type of plants that they usually propagate for aesthetic reasons. For others, hedges seem to be appropriate as they also serve as perimeter boundaries that replaces fences. Others prefer to raise small fruit bearing plants in pots which can be very ornamental, especially when they start to produce flowers. 

Over the years, the methods of advanced gardening techniques have greatly improved not only in the propagational methods of properly raising plants but also the subsequent optimization of space in which to raise your plants. In big crowded cities that have little or no space at all to possibly raise plants, people have devised ingenious methods of raising plants using only very small proportional space as less than a meter wide by using modern methods such as hydroponics and stacking. Hydroponics was first developed about 20 years ago as a method of cultivating and raising plants in space stations during the early years of the space shuttle missions. It involved raising flora in a soil free environment using synthetic foam materials as a growing medium. Eventually this method led to practical applications that enables people to raise such plants as food crops as well as other species of plants that would not be possible to grow given natural conditions.

Eventually, this method now allows people that live in small spaces such as apartment buildings to be able to raise plants without the need for any ample space more than they can provide. As for giving the plants their daily dose of sunlight, specially made LED (light emitting diode) that simulate the sun's natural rays which can be used in places where there is virtually no access to direct sunlight which is needed by plants. Thanks to modern methods of plant propagation with the help of modern day technology, people can now enjoy growing their own garden without having to carve out their backyards or apartments just to gain the needed space to raise their plant and enjoy their little piece of nature in the comforts of their own private space.

The Risks of Smoking and Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

Despite of the proven medical implications involved with the risk of imperiling both the mother and the fetus, there are still some women that indulge themselves with smoking and drinking even during their trimester of pregnancy. Even though it is a highly publicized fact that these detrimental activities should be avoided during pregnancy and ignoring such health warnings could lead to unwanted consequences.

In general, most doctors advise pregnant women to totally avoid in partaking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy and in the event that they can not avoid it, they should minimize it to having only one to two units (one unit is a full jigger or a shot glass or about 8 grams liquid weight) of alcohol which is most at twice a week. Anything more than that amount or frequency can eventually result to some irreversible consequences to your baby's health and well being.

This is also important for women that are trying to conceive since excessive drinking and alcohol intake can greatly reduce their fertility which greatly decreases their chance to be able to conceive. In the event that they do become successful in becoming pregnant, excessive alcohol intake can weaken the uterus ability to maintain a firm hold on the developing fetus which could lead to a miscarriage, especially during the earliest stages of their pregnancy. The best preventive measure to avoid any of this to possibly happen is to completely withhold from drinking, or if unavoidable, reduce the amount of alcohol intake in every way possible. 

How does alcohol affect the fetus during pregnancy and what are the possible consequences that could arise if a woman continues to neglect such warnings? Induced alcohol levels in the blood stream during pregnancy affects the fetus as the nutrients and the needed rich oxygen that helps develop the baby's brain is depleted by the alcohol in the mother's blood stream.

The alcohol then passes through the placenta and to the fetus, and we know what that can lead to regarding the baby's development in the womb. The high levels of alcohol can greatly reduce the way the baby's brain is growing which can lead to such results as mental retardation and other mental deformities as a result of the mother's excessive alcohol intake.

What is more alarming is the way on how the alcohol continues to linger on internally all throughout the pregnancy period and not just the early stages of the pregnancy itself. Other possible effects that frequent alcohol and smoking can do to the fetus during pregnancy can involve premature birth, a low birth weight and the most common result such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that affects the physical and mental development of the baby as a result of the mother's excessive smoking and drinking. 

As early as the first three months of pregnancy, women are prohibited to drink any amount of alcohol since it is proven to cause miscarriage during this precarious period in which the fetus is not yet that fully embedded to the uterine wall. The detrimental effect of alcohol tends to thin down the walls of the uterus and as a consequence, looses its firm hold on the developing fetus resulting in a miscarriage

Even though a woman has already given birth, regular intake of alcohol and habitual smoking should still be avoided for reasons of breast feeding. Even at this point, a mother can still do her baby harm through breastfeeding if she maintains in partaking alcohol on a regular basis. If it could not be avoided, just remember not to drink any substantial amount of alcoholic beverages prior to breast feeding your baby since the alcohol can be ingested through breast milk which will give the same effect as if the baby itself was the one drinking the alcohol, which can affect their growth development at this early point of their life. As a reminder, always think about your baby's welfare before yours and if you truly love them, you will do the right thing not to harm their wellbeing.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Exploiting Poverty Porn

Poverty porn is not the kind of porn that most people think it is, or are expecting about it. Poverty porn is really about any type of media, whether that it be written, filmed or otherwise, to draw the perspective of its readers and audiences the plight of those who are currently experiencing the undeniable fact that poverty is an inescapable social condition. Charities and humanitarian foundations use this method of attaining the sympathy of the public, to whom they draw support to their causes, earning from the need to dwell on the social aspect of interceding to provide some sort of help to alleviate the living condition of the needy.

It all seems to be a logical reason to willingly give to a cause that helps in improving the quality of life within a community, or is it what they actually say it is? Most charitable institutions, whether it be religious, governmental or privately run, earn substantially large amounts of money from various proceedings that they run, but do they really give it all to the cause that they declare? Which leads to the question if it really helps those that are in dire need? If so, then why are there many people in society today that are still in the clutches of an indigent way of life that have hardly anything to eat despite the existence of these so called “charitable” institutions?

The truth is, life is slowly decaying despite the claims of governments around the world that are allegedly supporting poverty reform programs to improve the life of their citizens. But despite of this, poverty rates are continuing to bloat exponentially, contrary to what most people who think that institutions are gradually making efforts to stave down the ill effects of a spiraling world economy. Considering that developed nations in Northern America and Europe also have problems of their own with regard to their need to reduce the level of poverty in their respective societies, there are still many that live in these parts of the world that have no adequate jobs or means of securing a tangible livelihood to even support their daily needs.

If you think things are bad enough for these developed nations, you should take a glimpse on the horrific way of life in the third world countries such as Africa and South East Asia, particularly in India and the Philippines. Movies like ”Slum Dog Millionaire” are a very good example of what poverty porn is all about. The destitute way of life in these countries make the poor people in the developed countries look like middle class citizens. Compared to people living in western countries, south east Asians are literally living like pigs. The condition of the kind of squalor that these people are living on a daily basis is much worse than being thrown into prison in a western country.

Prison life in the western hemisphere is far better than living in these countries, as most poor people in these countries survive by scavenging the streets, turning over piles of garbage just to forage food to eat. Most of the time, poor people in these countries, particularly in the Philippines, would go to the dumpster of their local fast food restaurant and wait for the waiters to bring out the table scraps and leftovers. They would take these leftovers and bring it home to their families and partake it for their diner, yummy. In recent years however, it has become a business as well, as most of these fast food establishments are now being contracted by middlemen, buying these table scarps and leftover foods and selling them to the poorest of the poor, in which the will clean it up and re-cook it, then sell it off as food.

These kinds of “foods” are a subcategory of the famous “PhilippineStreet Food” and has been given the term “Pag-Pag” (to pat it off as to render it clean) which is a very fitting term considering that you have to clean off anything left of what its former owner has left on it (yuck!). This is often referred to with regard to leftover fried chicken and hamburgers, as the method requires it to be washed down with water and re-cooked in oil. “Pag-Pag” has become a thriving business to the poorest communities in the city of Manila and other provinces where there are many fast food establishments that throw away their table scarps. Despite the huge probability of being inflicted with any type of contagious diseases through contaminated leftover foods, people who eat these “refurbished” foods have no choice as it is the cheapest means of sustaining their hunger.

The poorest of the poor in the Philippines sustain their livelihood by scavenging for refuse such as empty pet bottles, scrap iron, old paper materials such as newspapers and almost anything that they could sell to their local junk dealers. Most of these people live in tenements or even much worse, squatter communities that have evolved to be the breeding ground of the most unimaginable part of society that perpetuates the most unimaginable crimes from petty theft, drug dealing or even worse, hired killers that are willing to kill for amounts as low as $200. Prostitution is very rampant, as there are even families that sell their babies for as low as $300 and even encourage their children as young as 10 years old to commit pornography!

Young children literally loiter in the streets and the main thoroughfares, begging for alms, even bringing along their baby siblings along to draw pity from commuters and passersby. Eventually these children grow up and end up as drug dealers and petty thieves that worsen the already deteriorating state of Philippine society. So, what does poverty porn have to do with this? Simply stated that poverty porn is a looking glass to what society really is around the world and it is a perspective much appreciated not by those who are currently experiencing it, but those that are observing it from a distance.

The world needs poverty porn in a way to make one feel the comfort of what they presently have compared to that of what's happening to the less fortunate around the world. One can consider it like a terrarium in which they can comfortably watch every ugly aspect of how poor people live, without getting their hands dirty and without guilt. Poverty porn gives people the reason to be thankful that its them and not you who is going through that kind of hellish life, and it's a kind of thought that makes you want to cuddle on your warm sofa, while holding that hot cup of chocolate with marshmallows as you watch the ugliness of the reality of life which is a stark contrast to what you are complaining about.

Poverty is both ugly and pungent, as one can clearly imagine being thrown in the middle of all that squalor. Am I being too insensitive? I don't think so. As a final remark, I would just like to quote a stanza sung by Simon Le Bon during the Band Aide song “Do They Know Its Christmas” as it goes like this..."Well tonight thank God its them, instead of you". It just clearly states how caring most people are when it comes to the issue of helping the poor. The truth is, you need to realize that somewhere in the world right now, someone is presently being battered by a strong typhoon, a hurricane, a drought, famine and death...well, tonight thank God its them instead of you. This really makes you feel good, doesn't it?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Loneliness: A Human Social Tragedy

Some people may find solitude a comforting state to spend their entire life, avoiding the unnecessary inconveniences that mingling with other individuals in a daily basis can be considered a nuisance. There are people who prefer to be alone and don't want to be involved in social practices that can be considered irrelevant in life, mostly living an introverted point of view that satisfies their self esteem, but all the more so, improves their capacity to think more clearly that leads to better decision making. Introverts are people who mainly live a solitary world of identifying themselves with the blissful existence of living inside their own state of mind, detached from the chaotic chasms of life's somewhat and often times, absurd profanities.

Introverts are mostly individuals that have come into terms with the reality of life and the truthfulness of social awareness and implicated adherence to social order. Going about one's daily tasks without the cumbersome intangible idiocy of some people that can be considered a liability in one's pursuit of a peaceful and stress free daily existence is more than what people with this kind of mental aptitude prefer. Mostly creative logical thinkers, introverts seldom "come out and play" despite being sociably coherent among their circle of acquaintances, work wise. They are the kind of individuals who find pleasure in being alone and prefer to be that way, spending most of their time dwelling on work.

Though stereo typically being designated as "geeks", not all aspect of introversion can be addressed as such, most of the time. Regardless of such social branding, introverts are one of the most socially active people in the world, involving themselves in social media. Not to be given the wrong aspect of social description, introverts are more comfortable in dealing with society at a distance, not getting themselves attached to any aspect of ideologies or interests besides their own. Loneliness is a comfort zone to some but for others, it is a torment that can lead to mental anguish in the sense of borderline insanity.

The human specie is a social organism that tends to exist with the need for longing and attention. It is a fact that has existed since our conception in this world. The need to be with someone seems to be the most insatiable instinctive drive on our psychological aspects as human beings that we give it more importance than all other social values. The natural comforting need to mingle among others is a natural instinct directly attributed to social propagation. The human need to eventually interact and divulge in society can not be disregarded as it is built in our genes. Despite all other social deviations founded on norms and morality, ideologies and social conditioning, we, as humans need other humans to satisfy our needs and urges, among ourselves.

The human touch is a very fascinating principle that involves the basic need to reach out and make physical contact to an individual. Regardless of any gender, age or diversified social inclinations, we long to be touched, in more ways than one. A good example would that be between a man and a woman, that involve the basic principle of touch. Despite any social implications of norms and practices, touching indicates longing or wanting as it is a motivational body language that yearns desire. A woman who gently puts her hand behind a man's back and gives it a gentle stroke is a clear sign of desire, despite age and social standings. It is viewed more as a sign of sexual want and is a natural instinct for both sexes.

Another aspect of social perspective in the light of this is the fear of solitude. Most people struggle for most of their lives try to fit into society and the need to gain respect from others. Delving into social acceptance for most of their lives, these individuals are the extroverts. Living a mostly hedonistic way of life that involve in the pursue of worldly pleasures. A good example of this would be that of former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, who adheres to this kind of lifestyle. Oftentimes associated with opulence, hedonists are the real party animals.

The stark comparison can be considerably incremental to put conclusion between introverts and extroverts, as to put a generalization between the two. Leaving us to think for ourselves on who truly is the most lonely one considering all of these rational evaluations. Loneliness is one of the most frustrating states of human mentality one could deal with. It is often times a factor that leads to depression that can imbalance the brain, leading to mental deterioration. The need to want and the want to need go together, completing the human psyche as loneliness is a psychological disorder.

This reminds me of that old song from the group America, entitled, "Lonely People", which goes with the line..."look at all the lonely people...thinking that life has passed them by". A more apt word would that be of contentedness in your human existence. Asking for something that society would not give you for your own satisfaction is indeed a lonely thought even though you have come to a resolute acceptance that you are deemed to stay alone for the remaining of your entire life. It is a sad thought to ponder upon, indeed, Though happiness should never be this complicated from the start. It was us that has put the complications in life.

Friday, 22 August 2014

A Labor of Love: The True Essence of a Social Worker

If there was a corresponding description to the terminology “a labor of love”, that will justly imply to any undertaking in this society, that will be a fitting manner on how to describe a social worker. Social workers are individuals who work for the government that are given the most arduous task of tending to the most obvious problems of what a society is undergoing in terms of poverty and desolation which is more implicative of the problems of the poorest of the poor which are mostly indigents.

Some of the most obvious problems that asocial worker must tackle is related to society's struggle with issues regarding physical and mental illnesses, alcohol and drug addiction. What does it take to become a social worker? Is it a line of work that can be taught in school? The answer is no, as most social workers are not obligated to learn any special skills except that of knowing how society affects the lives of people and a sensitivity to the problems that surround us that influences our decisions of dealing with life's problems.

Social workers tend to be more sensitive in regards to hearing out people's problems as they should be good listeners as well. People who choose to become social workers should be very keen in pointing out the causes of problems as it would help them find a solution to it in the most sensible manner as it should benefit the people that they are helping. To become a social worker, you need to know the most important requirements that will earn you your accreditation as it is a very demanding form of work that can get the best of you on the end of the day.

But despite the obvious difficulties that this line of work would demand from you, it is still one of the most fulfilling occupations that a person could have as you get a chance to help other people with their problems and with helping them overcome certain obstacles in their lives, as to improve the quality and substance of the life that they have, which they have the potential to achieve.

Most social workers are college degree holders who have studied psychology, sociology or other related courses that deals with social and human behavioral sciences. A four year college degree usually is sufficient enough to make you qualify for the job. In the United States, a social worker require to pass an examination in order to avail of a license to practice. In general, all social workers are under the jurisdiction of the local government of the city in which they serve. The primary job description of a social worker is to mitigate in between the government and the individuals who are not capable of coping up with social problems such as poverty. A social worker is usually called upon the request of concerned individuals to look into certain problems which basically concern other people.

Social worker are usually the ones that go to the most indigent in society to evaluate their living conditions, especially is they tend to have children or elderly people among them that do not get the right amount of welfare service that the government provides. They are also concerned with child welfare and act upon what they evaluate to make assessments on how to best deal with certain situations in where people who should look after their children or elderly, fail to comply with the basic requirements that the government has set upon.

There are often times that children are taken away from their parents in which the government looks after the vested interest of the children in the event the parents can no longer support them. In the case of elderly people that are living without any companions with them, social workers are the ones that look after for their own sake and evaluate the best course of action that can be taken so that these elderly people can live the rest of their remaining years in which the government will look after their welfare.

It might seem just like a simple line of work, but there are times that a social worker must in one way or the other, risk their safety in order to comply with their duty in carrying out their duty to ensure the welfare of the people around them. There are times that a social worker must interact and cope with the needs of people with mental disabilities that need medical attention, especially if these people were already abandoned by those who should be taking care of them. There are even times when a social worker has to deal with people who are drug dependents, which may even put a social workers life at risk as people who have a history of substance abuse tend to become violent at certain times.

Social workers often find themselves in the middle of a family conflict in which most of the time they try to sort it out using the best of what they can advise on which proper solution a family must do to resolve their conflicting problems. Despite the hardships that this sort of job can offer, many still go on to become social workers as many of them find a sort of gratification in times of being able to help people overcome their problems. Social workers are some of the most broadminded people that work under pressure from the daily problems that other people face in regards to the lives that they live. For some people, they rather choose to become accountants, lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers for that matter and wouldn't even dream of becoming a social worker.

Social work is not a lucrative careers to say the least. The working conditions are not the best as you will always find yourself in the most unimaginable places and in the most uncompromising situations, but the rewards are more satisfying than the highest paying job that you can ever think of, as seeing another fellow human being pick up their lives from where they had fallen off is one of the most inspiring and self fulfilling sense of gratification that one can feel, and as true to the word, social work is definitely a labor of love.

Money on the Road: The History of Indian Money Lenders in the Philippines

For some Indian nationals, particularly Punjabi's and expatriates which hail from India, the Philippines has become a haven for those who want to find a new start in life as most Punjabi's have resorted in becoming money lenders that provide quick loans to those in need of a fast alternative in acquiring money for their specific needs. Money lending has become a lucrative business among Indian nationals that some of them have even decided to remain in the Philippines on a permanent basis. The Philippines has attracted many foreigners such as the Chinese and the Indians who had been plying their trade ever since the colonial time of the Spanish regime. 

The first wave of Indian nationals that came to the Philippines were called the Sepoy's. They were among the few immigrants that came along with the British expedition during the early 18th century and have chosen to remain permanently to live among the natives of the country. Most of the early Indian settlers had made their home in the Eastern part of the adjacent towns near the outskirts of Manila which was accessible through the Pasig river. The small settlement is now called Cainta, in which many of the localities descendants have Indian ancestry.

All throughout the century, a mass grove of Immigrants from India came over to the Philippine to do trade with the Spanish government and the locals alike, bringing with them their cultural heritage along with their cuisine and their business which was basically, lending out money. Punjabi's tend to earn handsomely through lending out money which is also termed as micro financing. Money lending, the Indian way goes about the principle of charging a 10% percent interest which is calculated on a “5 to 6” ratio, meaning they instantly get high returns on the money that they lend. But, they don't just lend out money to anyone. The 5-6 principle goes about the method of putting on an interest rate that will double the money that they have put out to the borrower as it will be calculated on the terms of every 1 peso will have a profited interest of about 20 centavos.

If the loanable amount of 100 pesos is paid within 1 month, there will be an interest of 20 pesos which is the terms set upon by the Indian money lender. If the Indian money lender has put into his capital 10,000 pesos, he will automatically earn 2,000 pesos on interest alone which is just the cost of money being borrowed! Often times, a borrower will not be able to pay their debt on time, forcing them to pay the interest as their loan's interest keep piling up on them, enabling the lender to earn interest at no extra cost. Debt is indeed a liability that can be profited to a great extent that the money which was used in capitalizing the loan, earns by itself.

The loan is good for a whole month and the lender goes to each person that has borrowed money from him on a daily basis for a whole month. This arrangement is based purely on mutual trust that is recorded on a small notebook which the lender brings with him to record any payments made or any payments missed. The Indian money lender usually goes about the time before noon as to make certain that their borrowers have already earned their mornings sale. There are some occasions that the lender can't be paid by the borrower for certain reasons and in some cases, other borrowers just disappear without a trace, leaving the poor money lender behind without any assurance that he will ever get paid.

The business of lending out money in the Philippines by Indian nationals all started way back in the 1930's when a Punjabi immigrant loaned out 5 pesos to a Filipino, which he eventually got back 6 pesos in return which included interest and it was then that the Indian business of lending out money got the name “5-6”. Indian nationals that go about lending money in the Philippines ply their trade on motorcycles, scouring the busy streets and looking for potential borrowers on a daily basis. They go the busiest market place as they tend to lend money to small business owners that have small shops that are located in heavily populated areas, particularly the market place. 

They usually lend out money to people who are engaged in businesses such as street peddlers or people that do business in the market place or other similar establishments that earn on a daily basis. They also lend out money to store owners which are situated in small communities that operate stores that sell general items. Indian money lenders know that people who operate small businesses of their own are likely to be good payers and do comply with the terms of payments on a daily basis. 

One of the most astounding thing about Indian money lenders is that they do not grow tired of personally going to and fro to collect their money from their borrowers. One Filipino local was heard saying that the Indians are one of the most hard working people that they ever met that they can be compared to the bees who do not grow tired of their work. True to this observation, the Indian expatriates in the Philippines had profited from all of the hard work that they put in establishing themselves as a means of helping people with the service that they provide in regards to lending money for those who are in need.

Regardless of the high interest that they obligate their borrowers, many still borrow money from them because there are no other quick options to turn onto. The Indian money lender is considered as one of the most trusting of all small loan providers as they only live upon the basis of mutual trust in exchange for the money that they lend people. The most smallest amount of money that a lender can give a borrower starts at 500 pesos. All that an Indian lender has to keep an accounted record of the loan that a borrower has taken is written on a small notebook which acts as the lenders ledger. Indian money lenders are very good when it comes to accounting the money that the had provided their borrower as they keep tabs on all of their transaction into this small notebook which the borrower signs on every time they make a payment.