Monday, September 26, 2016


The day I represented Usec Fred to judge a climate debate by Grade 10 students of the Philippine Science High School's Clark Campus was supposed to be dull and uneventful until the policy papers were handed, all 12 of them, and got pleasantly surprised by dissertations on underwater forests [seaweeds] as carbon sinks and requiring ranchers to plant two trees for every head of cattle to absorb the livestock's methane emissions [yes, the cattle fart], which I think are climate-smart and practical solutions, plus having the pleasure of an assurance that the next generation of Philippine negotiators to the UN climate talks might just be seated across our panel, while discreetly examining a fellow judge, former DOTC secretary Joseph Emilio [Jun] Aguinaldo Abaya, and concluding that he indeed have semblances of his great grandfather after which he was named.      

The day I confirmed my attendance to the Legal Rights Center's two-day round-table-discussion on indigenous people's rights was more of an accommodation to Norly's invitation, in fact a reason to go back to our company doctor at the UP Health Services, until Attorney Gus' presentation on the evolution of land ownership in the Philippines and related stories from the perspective of those most displaced by land grabs, the indigenous communities of the Philippines, that I realized how little I know of what I claimed to be an expert, and how much learning I can absorb in half a day before I have to hit [lunch] and run [to a meeting at Miriam College]. 

The day I signed up as a Hackaton mentor was in fact a reciprocity to Rappler for having made us a sponsor of its 2016 Social Good Summit in Makati, almost ruing why I did as the pangs of a breakfastless day kicked in by 10 am and missing most of Maria Ressa's presentation on the trolls that haunt the internet which I first absconded when she presented the same in PRRM, until I read the business concept on AGORA by students from Wesleyan University-Philippines, only to drown my disappointment in a brunch of cold grilled chicken and a plastic of chop suey because their no-show effectively handed first place to the aquaphonics for urban poor women with UPLB's laboratory school for future farmers a close second.   

I was a mentor that turned out mentored, by Grade 10 students and indigenous community leaders and "Hacks", which is perhaps the whole point of Robin Padilla on expounding his own personal revolution, the conversations that rebounded from the German beer to the dark hall of Noli Mi Tangere Lodge 42 to the coffee-and-beer stained tables of Cafe La Solidaridad, that led to my realization that bikers can indeed become first responders in the early hours of an emergency.

I learned too that I can actually go places with my little folded bike, like catching the morning shadow of the Welcome Rotunda between Quezon City and Manila, braving the traffic of the Quezon Memorial Circle and Commonwealth Avenue to the Ayala Techno Hub, or chasing the mystery of Balete Drive.

I learned too not to trust the photo ads of food being sold in the Food Court of SM City Cabanatuan, and three big bags of pop corn is all it takes for the travel time of the train to Busan.

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