Friday, June 12, 2009

Corporal punishment, Child abuse and the Public school system

I am utmost saddened when your hear or read in the news that students as young as 6 or 7 years old are being punished and humiliated by their very own teachers in front of their classmates because of their inability to read and write. Teachers are supposed to teach not punish. It is the responsibility of the teacher to inculcate lessons that their students may use in braving their future.

Grade school and elementary school students have the propensity to misbehave especially around kids their age. Even high school and college students do that. Or even adults too. And please don’t tell me that these teachers who subjected their students to punishment were not pesky students themselves when they were still in school.

A teacher’s responsibility is to teach the child. And as teachers, it is also part of their obligation to discipline the student. But I don’t think child abuse and corporal punishment is a part of the lesson taught in schools.

You don’t hear corporal punishments being used by teachers in expensive private schools. Most of the time, you hear them done in public schools. Why? Is it because parents of the students enrolled in private schools can afford to sue when their children are being harmed? Is it because parents of public school students cannot afford that’s why they choose to send their kids to public schools? Is it because of teacher-student ratio or perhaps that the classroom in private schools are well lighted and well-ventilated whilst public schools are not?

Teachers are as human as every parent can be. They too have problems of their own and they too, like most parents are struggling in their own households. When someone is struggling in their own personal lives, they have the tendency to be short tempered. Yet, I don’t see that as a reason to treat students badly. I agree that in every class, there are a few bad apples however; teachers shouldn’t allow them to rot. They should find ways to make the apples useful rather than throwing them away.

Back in the day in the province, we don’t have private elementary schools; only public ones and they are as good (academically) as with other private elementary schools. I am a product of a public school education system. And I too have been subject to corporal punishment. I remember very well this teacher who would point fingers at us, knock on our heads or let us stand for long periods when we cant answer a simple mathematical question. She would even go to the point to whipping our bottoms with broomsticks if we make a single noise while she’s checking our test papers or writing on the board. I knew even from then that what she did to us was not right. But yet, I cant bring myself to tell my parents because I know that they’ll take the teachers side.

Looking back, I would wonder if the punishments I received from school resulted my hatred for mathematics. But I have always been the resilient kind so when I went to college, I proceeded to take up engineering just to prove that I am not dumb.

I can see myself in these students who are humiliated and being punished by their teachers. I can very well see myself in them because I too, have been a student like them.

Child abuse and corporal punishment does not justify anything.

Note: There are a lot of good public school teachers out there. I've met a few who have left lasting good impressions in me. I hope their fellow teachers can learn from them.


I had a heated debate with a friend recently who told me that the romantic love between two people of the same sex is ABNORMAL. I was appalled when I heard that blatant degradation of someone's sexual preference. She also said that men or women who's relationship with somebody older than them is just superficial and that they are simply using the person for personal gain. I respect her opinion however, I am deeply chagrined to hear those words coming from someone " who claims to be a Christian and is highly educated."

Love isn’t about a boy finding a girl and falling in love with her and vice versa. But rather, love is about finding someone you truly love and care about. It does not matter whether you find someone your own sex or some twice as old you are. What's important is what you feel for your beloved.

Honestly, I feel sick whenever I hear people say that men shouldn’t have relationships with men or women shouldn’t have relationships with women. Regardless of your sexual orientation, sexual preference or age, all of us should be free and I mean without boundaries to find that one person who will truly behold our hearts and make us happy.

I am straight. My sexual preference is defined to that of heterosexual relationships. However, I am not opposed to people falling in love with their same sex. It preposterous to say that since you are a man you should only fall in love with a woman.

Love is free. It should be given freely without asking for anything in return. And most of all, love shouldn't be confined within what they call as normal boy-girl relationship.

There isn’t such a thing as an abnormal love but I think it’s abnormal to think that way.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The brave and strong

I have tattoos on my body and I am a fan of extreme sports. However, no matter how many people tell me that I am brave and strong, I don't seem to be convinced.

First of all, I am but a human being. I don't have any super powers although I'd love to have one if given the chance (but I don't want to be Darna, just so you know).

Recently, I had a woman on woman and heart to heart conversation with a close friend. She said that of all the people she knew, she considered me as one of the strongest. Not just because of my ability to conquer a 40ft vertical wall but because I survived life's rather unconventional challenges.

Well, I think most of you knew that I am a single mother by choice. Honestly, had my daughters father been a man, I would have married him.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, all throughout my pregnancy, I endured it all alone. Just imagine being pregnant and going to the doctor alone for your monthly checkup. You walk down the street with a bulging tummy and rely on an umbrella instead of a man to keep yourself from falling. Or listening to your baby's heartbeat and having no one by your side to share the moment with. Then how about knowing your child's gender then going straight to the mall all by yourself to pickup your baby's needs. Lastly, having to go through labor without anybody to hold hands with.

I am not a strong person. There were moments when I have to cry myself to sleep because I don't have anybody to talk to. I do have friends but they have their own families and problems to deal with so I decided not to bother them.

I am not a strong person but I have someone strong supporting me. I have God. He made who I am now. He knew that I am weak so He gave me my daughter who in turn gave me new meaning to my life. I didn't see my purpose in life then until I became a mother.

You don't need to have tattoos all over your body to prove that you are brave and strong. Or you don't need to be an athlete to prove your strength. All you needed to be strong is your determination and endurance to survive one's challenges in life. And one divine being to back you up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

On marriage, motherhood and making decisions

Wives are made; mothers are born.

This is my opinion. I don't care if you agree or not but this is how I see things.

I am a mother myself. I have a 2yr old daughter who was born out wedlock. And yes, her father did ask me to marry him but I declined.

I believe that pregnancy is not a passport to marriage. I also believe that if you truly love each other, you don't need to be engaged for a decade before committing yourself to one another.

That is why I choose to be single; a single parent that is. I never truly loved my daughters’ father but I fell in love with my daughter the moment I felt her heartbeat within me.

Most women are given chances to become wives. I believe that once in our lives, we were given options to be somebody's life partner. On my case, there were five men who asked me to be their wife, none of which I said yes. I don’t think the sixth one will be a charm either.

I can’t envision myself walking down the aisle and saying I DO to this one man and doing it in front of so many witnesses. It gives me the creeps. Honestly, it really does. But I enjoy witnessing two individuals profess their love and devotion for one another. I enjoy going to wedding ceremonies. It's just that I don’t have the courage to do it myself.

I am brave enough to do bungee jumping or do rock climbing or perhaps be a passenger in car racing. But I get weak in the knees every time a boyfriend asks me to consider marriage. That idea is not really far-fetched but it’s not something I’m considering right now.

I am not getting married today. Perhaps tomorrow, but not definitely not today. When that time comes, I will surely let you know.

Chicken Little

They say that each one of us have a certain animal within. Especially in relationships, each person is characterized with their animal persona.

Some women are called tigress because they are wild and untamable. Other older women are called cougars because they prowl for younger mate. "Other" women are called snakes because they sneak upon the husbands or boyfriends of other women.

Men on the other hand have certain animals characteristics attached to their personalities. Some are lions because they are the kings of their own jungle. Others are elephants because their egos are humongous. Other men tend to be like horses because they are strong and manly. And lastly, there's the formidable tomcats that has insatiable thirst for women.

If all of us have certain animal characteristics within us, what am I then? Well, I am but a chicken. Yes, a chicken and you heard me right.

When you hear the phrase "chickened out" that means you're afraid or you run away from something. Well, I am certainly like that in a relationship.

Over the years, I’ve met men who have somehow shown interests in me. Do you know what I normally do upon learning that? I chicken out and run away from it.

Last year, I met an American guy online who was really giddy and excited when he met me. I was flattered but then I got scared when he said that he's coming over to the Philippines to personally meet me. I got so scared that I totally discouraged him. Anyhow, no matter how I tried he still came over anyway. The usual chicken that I am, I stayed away from him. Good thing he met somebody else during his stay here and now they’re married.

This is just one of the many moments of my life wherein the chicken in me simply ruled over my rather strong lioness personality.

I am a chicken. Well, only in relationships anyway.

A Matter of Great Weight

I never had an issue with my weight not until people started to comment and tell me that I am fat. As a woman, being called fat is equivalent to being called a whore. Just call me ugly but certainly not fat.

Lately, these weight issues has been bothering me in a way that I became more conscious especially with how I look. I currently weigh 110lbs and this is the heaviest I weighed so far with the exception of that time when I was pregnant.

Just a question though, is 110lbs too fat for somebody like me who stands at 5ft tall? I checked all websites with BMI (body mass index) calculator and I always tell me that I am at my normal weight.

The "fat" factor has really gotten into my nerves already that for the last 2 days, I’ve tried to drastically cut my meals into half so that I can go back to my usual 100lbs frame. Honestly, it’s driving me nuts already and I really don’t want to go into depression because of this.

For your information, I only eat 2-3 meals a day. And that's how I’ve been eating since. I’m not a fan of chocolates, soft drinks and carbohydrates. However, I’m not a big fan of vegetables either. I've always been a meat-lover and I think I will always be one (sorry PETA).

Right now, I can only think of two things that could have attributed to my weight gain. First, is the lack of exercise. Second, my daily dose of anti-asthma medication which is very much steroidal. I'd honestly want to blame it on my medication but I can already hear some of you say..."what a lame excuse."

I know, I know...I haven’t had exercise lately. Id rather not rant about how busy I am because I know it’s true however most of you will not believe it anyway. I am the usual sporty type who loves to hit the wall and the conquer heights (in short, do wall climbing) or ogle at the biceps of those cute college ball players (try jogging around the abellana and you'll know what I mean).

Anyhow, all BMI calculators tell me that I am at my ideal weight. Perhaps I just need to tone my muscles more to make me look fit.

From now on, I promise to get more sexercise. Sorry guys, I meant exercise. (what can I do? I'm only human). Seriously, ill try my very best to set aside a few minutes of my rather hectic schedule (as if!) to exercise. I know again that promises are made to be broken however in this case; I am the one who will benefit the promise so I’ll decide to keep it (keeping my fingers and toes crossed).