The Problem with Leaders with Low Self-Esteem

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“The problem with people of low esteem is that they cast strong people as villains. The crab culture in which the Philippines works is, after all, a culture of low self-esteem that is not surprising considering how people have largely been pawns to greater interests from the Spanish, the Catholic Church, the Americans, the Japanese briefly, and forever by their overbearing, corrupt, me-first dynastic landlords, warlords and archaic autocrats devoid of any compassion toward people beyond their dining room tables.

“The problem with people of low self esteem is that they don’t see themselves very well. They are in a daily state of delusional denial. They think they are smart, and normal.

“So the President of the Philippines, who seems to me to be a degree beyond insecure and operating in a realm of applied vengeance, sees the US as a villain, laws as a villain, socio-economic health problems (drugs) as a villain, and any critic as a villain. Even if they make total sense and are of high character.”

Source: “Every Filipino for himself!!!”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper defends coverage

“I don’t know who this person is.”

Oh dear. Shall we say, bitch slapped?

On another note–aren’t we in deep, deep trouble, falling between man-made and natural calamities. Haiyan is not of our own (direct) making, but having to choose between epals and non-performing trapos who let us down even in times of critical need can only be blamed on us. We elect the the politicians and watch the media personalities that we deserve.

The longest Christmas

Christmas Light & Sound show at Ayala Gardens, Makati

 

“Where would you find the most Christmas spirit in the world? It’s hard to say for certain, but if a global competition were to be held, the Philippines would have an excellent shot at winning.

“The southeast Asian island nation has the world’s longest festive season — and pulls no punches in its celebratory zeal for the period, with lavish light displays, masses, and festivals held throughout the country from September until January.

“One of the most populous nations in Asia, the Philippines is an overwhelmingly Christian nation. Approximately 90% of Filipinos are Christian and 80% of those are Catholic, an influence gleaned from the country’s period as a Spanish colony from the sixteenth century until the end of the nineteenth.”

On CNN: The Philippines shows the world how to celebrate Christmas

Weekend at Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

I live (and work) for weekends like this. As much as I love going out to party with friends; hanging out at a bookstore, a resto, or a cafe; or shopping, there is nothing like relaxing by the beach, as far as I’m concerned. I was never keen on beach camping until my previous trip to Anawangin, which I enjoyed so much. 
Like most people, I do look for certain creature comforts before I can say that I enjoy any particular activity.  However, due perhaps to the craziness that life has thrown my way in recent months, any travel outside Manila which allowed me the opportunity to unplug–from the web, from social media, from email or texting—has been more than welcome. And still more, doing so in some far-flung pocket of the country with just me and nature (okay, amongst friends and on good weather) is something I will always look forward to.
I joined a group of friends and colleagues over the weekend for an overnight camping trip at Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. Nagsasa is a massive cove some 1.5 hours away by boat from the nearest take-off point in Pundaquit Village in sleepy San Antonio town. However, despite the extra one-hour boat ride, I would always choose it over Anawangin, as it is about three times bigger and the water is definitely cleaner/clearer. You could also be some 50 meters out on the shore and the water would only still be chest-deep, or shallow, whichever you prefer. Ergo, if you are not the best swimmer in town, there is less danger of accidentally getting into sudden drop or getting oneself dragged by waves.
Pundaquit, Zambales, Nagsasa
We reached Pundaquit a little before 8:00 AM and immediately prepared for camping. Mind, going to the cove is not really for the faint of heart, particularly because only small pump boats or bancas took campers to the site. 

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
A small vessel could load up up to 10 people, plus camping gears, food chests, luggage, and whatnot. Because the cove is quite far, you may ask your camping guides to stop off at nearby coves for rest and picture-taking. 

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Island-hopping is also included in the camping package, which depending on the number of people in your group costs anywhere from P1,000 to P2,000, and it includes tent rental, boat ride, 3 to 4 camping guides/helpers, wood for bonfire, food, and a quick snorkeling stop.

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Our group was lucky enough to get an early start when the waters were still calm. 
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Me and my home girls
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines, Bacardi Apple

Picnic huts are provided for campers for resting while the sun is at its merciless. The best time to hit the water is around 4 PM when one has finally rested or taken siesta.

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Because it faces the west, Nagsasa Cove showcases fantastic views of the sunset.
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
In the evenings, bonfire parties with good old-fashioned drinking, roasting marshmallows, and music are a  must. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries for your mp3 players and speakers. On the other hand, it’s best to bring a guitar if you are so inclined to play some familiar tunes, so everyone else can join in the merrymaking. 
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
We were blessed with fantastic weather during the trip, and this picture does not even begin to give justice to just how  beautiful the place is.
Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales, Philippines
On the way back to Pundaquit, a short snorkeling stint near Anawangin proved to be a great treat.