Mindanao’s beauty and other stories

Having lived my whole life in Metro Manila, I am filled with excitement when I learn that I will be sent to Mindanao for coverage. I am to join a visit to a government program intended to improve the lives of those living in the far-flung areas of the country. In this case, the beneficiaries are indigenous peoples, the lumad.

The visiting group includes government officials led by Education Secretary Armin Luistro. There are ranking military officials, employees of various government agencies, and selected members of the media. After a two-hour ride in a C-130 from Manila, we land at an airport in Caraga (Region XIII). Then we hop onto another aerial experience aboard a Huey, a military chopper with machine guns fitted on both sides. It is the fastest means to get to our target destination in Barangay Kalipay in Gingoog, Misamis Oriental.

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The paradox of our time

FromΒ The Huffington Post:

Albert Einstein famously remarked in a conversation with Werner Heisenberg, he said, “you know in the West we’ve built a beautiful ship, and in it it has all the comforts.But actually the one thing it doesn’t have is a compass and that’s why it doesn’t know where it’s going.”

This paradox of our times was propounded by the Dalai Lama when he said, “we have wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We have taller buildings but shorter tempers.”

Will Smith said that we spend money we haven’t earned on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.

And it’s phenomenal how the same technology that brings us close to those who are far away takes us far away from the people that are actually close.

30 billion WhatsApp messages are sent per day, but 48% of people say that they feel lonelier in general.

The paradox of our times is that we have more degrees but less sense. More knowledge but less judgment. More experts but less solutions.

It was Martin Luther King who said that the irony of our time is that we have guided missiles but misguided men.

Have you ever found it perplexing that we’ve been all the way to the moon and back but we struggle to start a conversation across the road or across the train?

And it’s amazing that Bill Gates was known as the top earner in 2015 with a wealth of $79.2 billion but one in four CEOs claim to be struggling from depression.

Do we actually thrive off this paradox?

Is it that this paradox actually makes the media interesting, it’s what makes journalism interesting, it’s what makes politics interesting, it’s what makes television interesting.

Is this paradox actually what we feed off and what we live off and what we talk about and discuss in our circles?

Doesn’t it seem that we’ve tried to clean up the air but polluted our souls, we’ve split the atom but not our prejudice, and we’re aiming for higher income but we have lower morals.

So I’m hearing you ask, how do we bring a change?

How do we dissect this paradox that exists in our lives?

And it starts by us, each of us pressing pause, pressing reset and then pressing play again.

Taking a moment to become more conscious, taking a moment to become more aware, taking a moment to really reflect on the consequence, the implications of a misplaced word of an unnecessary argument that we all know we didn’t need to have, or to speak to someone just slightly differently in a different tone, in a different voice, in a different empathy, with a different perspective. Just to really connect with people on a different level.

This, thinking out loud, started from Albert Einstein and I’ll track back to him when he actually said that the problems we have today can’t be solved with the same thinking that we used when we once created them.

So actually we need to research alternative teachings.

We need to deep down dig into these ancient books of wisdom.

We need to go back to understanding if there’s anything written in those creased pages of time that can actually reveal more knowledge and more wisdom of how we can transform our experience of life today.

Otherwise this paradox means that every step forward we take, we’re taking three backwards every time.


Watch the video here: