Monday, September 24, 2012

Rewriting history

Why does our nation of nearly 100 Million so easily forget the past? Why is martial law no longer remembered? Why do we have a weak sense of history as a people?

Perhaps because history as we know it is written by the elite and the 'educated' and as such reflects the point of view of the elite and the 'educated' and does not reflect the point of view of the common folk such as the farmers, the fisherfolk, the taxi drivers, the cocheros and welders all of whom comprise 90 percent of the population. History as it is written excludes and alienates the vast majority. It cannot be called their history.

Until we extoll the virtues of Juan the farmer, Jose the fisherman, Pablo the taxi driver and Maria the cigarette vendor and show how they struggled and triumphed during these difficult upheavals in our nation's history, only then will history become relevant, meaningful and most importantly remembered by our nation and our people collectively.

We must rewrite history so that we, as a people, gain a real sense of history.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Helping our children overcome their fears

Miguel, our 2 year old, was afraid to use the toilet in the Masters bathroom and so with the use of pretend play I helped him over come the fear.

I got 3 bottles of mouthwash, 3 bars of soap and pretended they were two families. I gave each one a voice and one after the other each 'member' of the family 'went to the toilet' in order to 'take a leak' and

each member of the family would repeat and say that it was fun to use the toilet. After which the toilet was flushed and there was 'laughter and cheers' from 'other family members'.

All the while, Miguel was watching. The little bottle of mouthwash was the 'baby' of the mouthwash family while the smallest bar of soap was the baby of the soap family and both babies said 'even if I am a baby, I am brave' and the two babies went on to take a leak as well.

After all the members of the 'two families' had used the toilet, Miguel comes up to me and says, 'I will also make wiwi Daddy' and went on to do so saying 'I am also brave Daddy'. Pretend play helped him overcome his fear!

Pretend play can also be used to encourage our toddlers to eat their food

When Miguel refuses to eat his food or has his 'moods' that get him distracted and therefore fails to eat the food on his plate, I again employ pretend play. I pretend that the food and Miguel's mouth, teeth, stomach can speak and they begin to converse with one another.

The stomach says 'Hi rice and fish, i miss you. Can we play please? Then the rice and the fish reply saying 'Hi there tummy, we miss you too and we also want to play!' While this conversation is going on, I hold the spoon and the rice and fish close to Miguel's mouth and he too participates by opening his mouth so as to swallow the food. The rice and fish in Miguel's mouth would then start to speak inside his mouth saying 'Yuppy, we will be playing with the tummy!' "We miss him so so much!

After which Miguel responds by chewing excitedly and then he swallows his food with a smile. At this point the tummy, the rice and the fish start conversing with one another inside Miguel's tummy saying hello to each other and saying how they have missed each other so much and how fun it is to be playing with one another.

The vegetables on Miguel's play then join in saying they too want to play with the tummy and so Miguel then excitedly prepares to swallow his vegetables!

Parents can try and create other types of imaginary conversations between body parts like the teeth, the lips, the mouth and the food such as the ever important vegetables to make eating interesting and fun.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Learn from CJ Panganiban

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. All that the JBC needs to do is to look at the process implemented by the JBC under the leadership of then CJ Panganiban. Under his leadership, the JBC was able to reduce the vacancy in the judiciary to 16 percent from a high of 32 percent.Today it is back to 25 percent. Instead of pushing on to bring the vacancy to single digit levels, the process regressed under succeeding chief justices and hence the vacancy rate ballooned back to unacceptable levels.

The workshop should review the minutes of previous JBC meetings held during CJ Panganiban's time. Here they will discover that at one point the JBC interviewed up to thirty applicants daily for a period of four months, thereby speeding up the nomination process tremendoulsy. If we, in the JBC, were able to reduce the vacancy rates from 32 percent to 16 percent then, there is no reason why the JBC cannot do it now. We slashed the vacancies in half. The JBC today should be able to accomplish this and more. The target should be to reduce the vacancy rate to single digits in a year's time. This will require an aggressive recruitement effort where the JBC goes to the provinces to urge lawyers to take on the challenge of public service.

CJ Sereno who is young and energetic should lead the charge and undertake an all encompassing search for the best and the brigtest to join the judiciary and help in putting in place the reforms it so urgently needs.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Convene JELACC to institutionalize budgetary support in the judiciary

With a new Chief Justice in place, it is timely for all branches of government to come together to map out a strategic direction for judicial reforms. Of course, in order to implement the reforms that we have long been waiting for in the judiciary, the JELACC must push for greater budgetary support for the Judiciary. The Judiciary simply cannot be modernized by a measly one percent of the national budget.

Government must be able to address the budgetary woes that have been plaguing our antiquated justice system. Matagal nang humigingi ang taumbayan ng reporma sa hudikatura, e hindi naman napopondohan ang mga repormang ito. We call on the national government to put its money where its mouth is, and invest in urgently needed judicial reforms.The country cannot expect a first-world justice system with a Judiciary that is given a third-world budgetary allocation.

It will not do us any good if the Judiciary continues to fall behind as the other branches of government are moving steadily forward. Let all the other branches of government reach out and lift the Judiciary from the quagmire that it finds itself in because of lack of budgetary support and lack of justices. Let us convene JELACC and institute the necessary reforms to modernize our Judiciary.