Blog Archive

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My 15 Minutes Love Affair


"Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end."
“You're Beautiful” – James Blunt

A girl of twenty-three, I assume, steps in into the MRT train, Boni Station. My random rumination about life suddenly came into a halt. I suddenly put aside my worries about being late today for my 2 o’clock class, in fact, I don’t care about my terrible professor anymore. The gales of laughter from the few passengers, which annoys me a while ago, suddenly vanished. There’s a miraculous silence on that MRT couch, or maybe it’s my heart that stopped beating.

She is dressed in the uniform of a nursing student. It is white like lonely starlight shining at dawn. She has let her long black hair down to brush it, and stirs languidly in the occasional aircon breeze. The cold artificial light of the MRT makes her face glow like the face of Lady Arwen Undómiel, the elf princess in the Lord of the Rings, so beautiful and mysterious.

She hides behind a thick medical book for a moment, concentrated on it with her bowed head. Then she lowers the book, inhales deeply and scanned the empty MRT seats – gradually revealing her high cheeks, her perfect little nose, the fantastic sculpture of her lips, and teeth, white and fetchingly crooked, barely visible. Her deadly chinita eyes instantly killed me. Dead on the spot.

She is smiling. (Or that is what I thought.)

Then she caught my eyes, “Oh my gums” I know that staring to a girl is rude, but I can’t help myself, and this is my way of saying – “Jesus H. Christ, you’re goddamn beautiful do you know that?

And she’s fucking smiling back at me – (or that is what I thought, again)

And she goes back in her deep thought – alone in her own world, sad but contended. I suppose, she’s the type of girl that is free, highly opinionated and outrageous but tamed by the nuns of a strictly Catholic school.

“Ding! Taft Avenue station!, taft avenue station!... this is the last station….,” – announced by the automatic and lifeless voice. For the first time, I felt like MRT train is moving so fast like a light.

Then the commotion of all sorts of people ensued. With that avalanche of people – I lost her. Back to reality again – with all these uncaring-always-in-hurry people trying to fit in on this almost dead city.

The memory of her face goes directly to my heart. I want to hug her. I want to understand her. I want to love her... (music please..)

Knock! Knock! wake up and stop dreaming you ugly farmer!

Ok ok, yeah I know, I know - most of my wishes are impossible.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking at the Wrong Side


A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.

Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.

Many years passed and the young man became a miserable drunkard. He had no home and broken family. He realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.

He began to search his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ramblings of the Weekend Boozer

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more."
Proverbs 31:4–7, Prophecy of King Lemuel,
I’m staring at the shot glass gripped by my left hand and notices the vapors clinging onto it – catching other vapors, and together they lazily slide down like tears. My gazed was fixed on the ground while my trembling hand lifted the glass, to once again kiss its crystal mouth and sipped the last drop of that golden elixir, bitter and burning.

Like the Jedi’s lightsaber, which can cut a metal before touching it, that last drop hit the last synapse connecting me to the sane world, already doing its trick before spreading into my blood; freeing me and enslaving my inhibitions.


While drinking, I see a black hole inside the already empty glass, inviting me to enter; and I willingly enter. That black hole is a temporary world full of wide ranging emotions; from anger, to lighthe
artedness, to sadness, euphoria to depression, to joviality.

I talk a lot without saying a word, laugh too much without feelings, answered questions just for the sake of a response – symptoms of a skewed physical and mental faculties.

Deep in the recesses of my mind, I am hearing the night’s silence; in the middle of my friend’s laughter and my own slurred swearing and the crazy videoke noise, I felt a comforting peace. My subconscious knows that finally, I calmed my mind, temporarily leaving the crazy world behind.

I drift; I float, totally gone.
Remembering myself no more.


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Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Insanity

Some quick notes on what happened to me this weekend.
________________________________________________


Friday Night
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Another videoke-
barkada gig at Cuba Libre. We sang the same songs, same food, same beer, a few new faces, same room and same place, same talk: new gig – same shit. Haven’t you noticed? The picture is almost the same with the picture on my Jan. 13, 09 blog entry? But it’s fun, and its free anyway.


Saturday Morning
6:00 a.m.

Woke up
early to attend baby Althea’s baptismal, Che and Lynard’s second baby – another addition to my very few and selected inaanak, naks! The priest, who reminds me of my activist senior brod during my college days, said that baptism marks the end of an old way of life, and the start of a new life. Hmm, people should be baptized more often I guess. I don’t know but somehow the ceremony gives me creeps not because we are asked to repent all our sins and denounce all evils, and I gave a silent “a-huh” for an answer, but because the priest reminded me of my obligations as a Catholic. He also mentioned the famous “KBL Catholics.” I admit that I'm a member of that. (Note: KBL or those Catholics who only enters the church during Kasal, Binyag and Libing). The good thing is, at least I know where I stand and doesn’t pretend to be a sarado-katoliko.
9:00 a.m. Reception at Chowking – SM Bacoor. Foods, foods, foods


10:30 a.m. Hurriedly go to STI College - Bacoor, for our Artificial Intelligence class activity. Thank heavens, the schedule and venue favored me because the college was just across SM Bacoor. We are tasked to give some A.I. training to their students as part of our subject requirement, instead of developing some A.I. system or application. We prepared some short lab training about animation, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Authorware.
I realized that the best way to learn something is to teach it.
Align Center My A.I. Classmates


Saturday afternoon to I don’t know

4:00 p.m.

Attended Atty. Rhesa’s birthday celebration, also in Cavite – the best part of my weekend.
Tired, lots of food, lots of booze – a perfect day to get drunk. And so, I got drunk – no – I got totally wasted. I throw-up; I lost consciousness, lost memory, lost my sanity.

To all my officemates, who instantly became caregivers during my troubled times, thank you.. I owe you my dignity...we he he.


(I will try to post some videos later)


2:00 p.m. Sunday

Gara’s residence, also in Cavite: We end up hanging in Aratiles
tree, somewhere in the barrio part of Cavite.

Then I realized that I needed to go home to do some laundry – the sad part of my perfect weekend.

Huh, Watta weekend...

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Notes: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

I borrowed this book from Tonet who also loves Paulo Coelho books. It is a novel about a Brazilian girl named Maria. At a very young age, she was convinced that love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. With dreams of finding fame and fortune, a club recruiter deceived her and ends up working as a prostitute. Drifting farther and farther away from love, she develops a fascination with sex.
She fall in-love with a young painter who showed her “inner light” and later realized the possibility of a “sacred “ sex in the context of love.

The main theme of this book is about sex, prostitution, and falling in love. I do not normally read novels with this subject but Paulo Coelho, being a gifted writer, never fails to inspire me. He doesn’t just write to entertain but to inspire. I also learned a great deal of information about clitorology. Ha ha. Cool stuff.
Some passages from the book:

“Sometimes life is very mean: a person can spend days, weeks, months and years without feeling anything new. Then when a door opens – as happened with Maria when she met Ralf Hart – a positive avalanche pours in. One moment, you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with.” - From page 141

“When a boss humiliates an employee, or a man humiliates his wife, he is merely being cowardly or taking his revenge on life, they are the people who never dared to look into the depths of their soul, never attempted to know the origin of that desire to unleash the wild beast or to understand that sex, pain and love are all extreme experiences. Only those who know those frontiers know life; everything else is just passing time, repeating the same tasks, growing old and dying without ever having discovered what we are doing here.
Work, marriage, children, television, bitterness, old age, the sense of having lost many things, frustrations, illness, disability, dependence on others, loneliness, death.”

From Maria’s Diary : “I am two women; one wants to have all the joy, passion, and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can planned and achieved. I’m a housewife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other.” - Page 149-151

“I’ve confronted my demons, and my dark side. I plunged into the depths of my soul and know that I still want good things, many good things from this life.” – Ralf Hart - From page 192;
____________________
Coelho, Paulo. 2004. Eleven Minutes,.New York ,New York:HarperCollins Publisher Inc. ISBN : 0-06-072675-X

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reason to Save

Last December I saw this cool phone in SM Cyberzone. It’s the Samsung Omnia. Oh my, I love its features – Win Mobile 6.1 prof., optical internet browsing, touch screen features and full spectrum entertainment.

I instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a budget for it yet (sigh!) coz I’m still on the process of developing my thesis, a very costly project, which I think, is more important.

Anyway my old phone is still doing fine. I guess I just have to save more and wait until its price goes down.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book Notes: Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho

When I finished reading the “The Alchemist”, I immediately bought this book as an inspirational companion. It contains short passages, which invites every reader to live out their dreams, to embrace uncertainty in life and to rise to their own unique destiny.

This book really inspires me; hence, I named my personal blog “Struggles of the Warrior of the Light.” Paulo Coelho really helps me in bringing out the Warrior within me and showed me how to embark upon the way of the Warrior: appreciating the miracle of being alive, accepting failure and being the person I want to be.

For all the seekers out there, you must have this book.

Here are some passages from the book: (from page 84)

“You can recognize a Warrior of the Light by the look in his eye. Warriors of the Light are in the world, they form part of the world, and they were sent to the world without saddlebags or sandals. They are often cowardly. They do not always act correctly.

Warriors of the Light are wounded by the most foolish things, they worry about trivialities, they believe themselves incapable of growing, Warrior of the Light sometimes believe themselves unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

Warriors of the Light often ask themselves what they are doing here. Often they find their lives meaningless.

That is what they are Warriors of the Light. Because they fail. Because they ask questions. Because they keep looking for a meaning. And, in the end, they will find it.”
__________________________
Coelho, Paulo. 2003.Warrior of the Light, A Manual.New York: HarperCollins Publisher Inc.


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Bibliography » Yodz Insigne Thesis Manuscript

Books
 
» Bekkers, Rudi., 2001. Mobile Telecommunications Standards: GSM, UMTS, TETRA, and ERMES. London: Artech House

» Bhasin, Shweta. 2002. Web Security Basics.  2002. Web Security Basics. New York: Premier Press

» Brinck, Tom, Darren Gergle and Scott D. Wood. 2002.Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites the Work. California: Academic Press

» Charlesworth, Alan., 2007. Key Concepts in E-Commerce. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

» Dholakia, N., Rask M., and Dholakia R. 2006. M-Commerce: Global Experiences and Perspectives. Pennsylvania: Idea Group Inc.

» Edquist, Charles., 2003. The Internet and Mobile Telecommunications System of Innovation: Developments in Equipment, Access, and Content. Massachusetts: Edward Edgar Publishing Ltd.

» Fischer, Robert, Edward Halibozek, Gion Green., 2008. Introduction to Security. USA: Butterworth-Heinemann

» Garfinkel, Simon. 2002. Web Security, Privacy, and Commerce. New York: O’Reilly

» Harper, Richard, Palen L., and Taylor, A., 2005. The Inside Text: Social, Cultural and Design Perspectives on SMS.  New York: Springer

» Kappel, Gerti, Proll B., Reich, W., Retschitzegger, W., 2006. Web Engineering, The Discipline of Systematic Development of Web Applications.  Germany: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

» Keen, Peter G.W., 2001. The Freedom Economy: Gaining the M-commerce Edge in the Era of the Wireless Internet. California: McGraw-Hill Companies

» Kurniawan, Sri and Zaphiris, Panayiotis.2006. Advances in Universal Web Design and Evaluation: Research, Trends and Opportunities. Pennsylvania: Idea Group Inc.

» Mueller, Karin P., 2000. Online Money Management. Washington: Microsoft Press

» Paltridge, Sam., 2000. Mobile Phones: Pricing Structures and Trends. France: OECD Publishing
Patterson, Tom and Blue, Scott G., 2005. Mapping Security: The Corporate Security Sourcebook for Today’s Global Economy. Maryland: Symantec Press

» Shorey, Rajeev et al., Mobile, Wireless, and Sensor Networks: Technology, Applications and Future Directions. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

» Van Grembergen, Wim,.2001. Information Technology Evaluation Methods and Management. United Kingdom: Idea Group Publishing

» Wagner, Richard., 2006. Web Design Before & After Makeovers. Indiana: Wiley Publishing Inc.

» Zilliox, Danielle., 2002. The Get-started Guide to M-commerce and Mobile Technology. USA: SMW Porductions, Inc.


Theses and Dissertations


» Aranda, Athena Marie F., “Economic & Social Determinants of Remittance Behavior of OFWs in Choosing Remittance Modes.” MS Industrial Economics Thesis. University of Asia and the Pacific. Philippines, 2005.

» Bobis, Jan D., “Development of an SMS and LAN-based Public Address System with LED Matrix Display and Automated Voice Narrator.” MIT Thesis, Technological University of the Philippines. Philippines, 2008

» Hasan, S.M. Maruf, “Development of an Online Money Remittance System.” MIT Thesis, Technological University of the Philippines. Philippines, 2006.

» Juliano, Joseph Paul G., “Building a Design Framework for Web-based Processes.” MS IT Thesis, University of Asia and the Pacific. Philippines, 2001

» Lamvik, Gunmar M., “The Filipino Seafarer, A Life Between Sacrifice and Shopping.” Doctor of Arts Dissertation. Norwegian University of Science & Technology. Norway, 2002
  

Journals and Other Publications

» Abenoja, Zeno Ronald R. “Promoting Greater Use of Formal Remittance Systems by Overseas Filipinos.” 9th National Convention on Statistics. 4 October 2004: 2-5

» Amador, Ma. Cyd N. “Migrant Remittances: Macroeconomic Implications and Policy Prescriptions.” Bangko Sentral Review. July 2004. Vol. VI, No. 2: 45-54

» Antonio, Raymond F. “ DoLE projects deployment of 1-M OFWs by yearend.”  Manila Bulletin. 28 June 2008: 1

» Business Planner, “New Remittance Product.” Remittance Industry Philippines., June 2006: 23-28

» BusinessWorld.” Dole reports steady OFW deployment, remittances” BusinessWorld Bulletins. 1 July 2008

» Department of Trade & Industry. “ RP Tops Remittance Innovations.” DTI Dataline. 10 October 2005, Vol. 9, No., 21: 7

» Department of Trade and Industry. “ Filipinos Using cellphones a lot more than texting” Philippine Business Report.  June 2008. Vol. 19, No. 06: 9

» Department of Trade and Industy. “IT Services, a new market niche for Filipinos”  Philippine Business Report. October 2000, Vol. 11 No. 10: 7-9

» Executive Order No. 264, “Establishing the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council (ITECC) from the Merger of the National Information Technology Council (NITC) and the Electronic Commerce Council (ECPC)” Malacañang.

» Executive Order No. 269. “Creating the Commission on Information and Communications Technology” Malacañang

» Garcia Dexter Ian S. and Corpuz, Sharon V. “Towards an e-Philippines: Learning from South Korea’s ICT Policy and Legislation.” Digital – Digest of Information Technology and the Law. University of the Philippines. 2004 Vol. 11 No. 4: 17

» Lee, Steve. “Philippine Mobile Market Overview & 2007-2010 Forecast” Research on Asia Group. 2008: 5

» Manlulo, Bliss Florence S. “A Service to the OFWs.” InfoNet. Vol. 13 No. 2, 2005: 9-10, 34

» Philippine Overseas Employment Adminitration. “Standard Terms & Conditions Governing the Employment of Filipino Seafarers On-board Ocean Going Vessels.” Memorandum Circular No. 09 Series of 2000: Section 8

» Quiason, Rey L. and Quiason, Vangie A. “Guiding the Shipping Industry Towards Safety and Competitiveness in the Global Century.” Manila Bulletin,  1 June 2000: 9

» Samal, Chandan K. “Remittances and Sustainable Livelihoods in Semi-Arid Areas.” Asia-Pacific Development Journal. December 2006. Vol. 13, No. 2: 73-82

» United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), “ICT Indicators for Development: Trends and Impact.” Information Economy Report, 2006: 1-11, 290.
 
» United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), “Science and Technology for Development: The New ICT Paradigm of ICT” Information Economy Report, 2007-2008: 27-31, 325.

Electronic Sources
   
» Arroyo, Gloria M. “PGMA Speech” Philippine-Japan Manning Cooperative Forum.  28 Feruary 2008. http://www.ops.gov.ph/speeches2008/speech2008_feb28.htm (23 Sept. 2008)

» Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas “Record Monthly OF Remittances Posted in June 2008: First Semester Level at US$8.2 Billion” Media Releases. http://bsp.gov.ph/publications/media.asp?id=1868 (23 Sept. 2008)

» Batino, Clarissa S. “RP still world’s text capital” Inquirer News Article 25 July 2005. http://money.inq7/topstories/view_topstories.php (25 Sept. 2008)

» Department of Labor and Employment. “Seafarer’s deployment, dollar remittances port robust growth” News Article. 14 January 2005. http://dole.gov.ph/news (17 Sept. 2008)

» e-Strategy Guide. “Broadcast SMS” Using SMS. 2008. http://www.e-strategyguide.gov.au/phone_on_the_web/using_sms (25 Sept. 2008)

» Globe Gcash. “What is Gcash.” (2007). http://www.g-cash.com.ph. (24 Sept. 2008)

» Oliva, Erwin. “RP seen as unique consumer market for mobile services” Inquirer.net.  17 June 2008. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20080617 (24 Sept. 2008)

» Smart Communications. “What is Smart Padala International” Smart Communications (2007). http://smart.com.ph/Corporate/Services/SmartPadala/AboutSmartPadala.htm (24 Sept. 2008)

» United Nations ESCAP. “Technology Trends Reviewed” United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. (1995). http://unescap.org/stat/gc/gcnl/gcnl4.asp (18 September 2008)

» Wikipedia. “GSM (Global System for Mobile communication” Free Online  Encyclopedia 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=GSM (25 Sept. 2008)

» World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). “W3C Security Home”, “W3C History”. 2006. http://www.w3.org/ (28 Sept. 2008)

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Philippine manning industry and seafarer’s remittances.

Philippine manning industry and seafarer’s remittances.
by: Yodz de Veas Insigne

The Philippines is basically composed of thousand island economies. It also straddles a strategic position in Asia’s great oceans serving as a gateway to mainland Asia and other countries in the Pacific Rim. Accordingly, Quiason et al. (2000) takes the view that the geographical nature of the country and its vital position in Asia’s major sea lanes make it imperative for the Philippines to have a well developed maritime industry not only to link its various islands for purposes of economic, socio-cultural, political and physical integration, but effectively linking the country to the world.

To improve the financial situation of the family is the major motive of every seafarer for working overseas. Accordingly, Lamvik (2002) takes the view that at the core of the Filipino maritime labor migration lies an admirable ability and willingness to endure hardship or make sacrifice in the name of the family. This is the most fundamental and meaningful inducement factor for choosing a maritime overseas career in the Philippines.

Quiason et al. (2005) concluded that the Philippines is the top supplier of skilled shipping manpower for foreign ships. The general shipping business is currently on an upswing as the demand for general seaborne transport has continued to grow in the recent years. Consequently, Filipino seafarers becomes very much in demand worldwide. In a speech delivered by President Arroyo during the Philippine-Japan Manning Cooperative Forum last February 2008, she mentioned that most Filipinos are natural-born sailors and this inborn inclination and the great Filipino worker’s drive to excel explains the country’s stature as the world’s manning capital.

The Department of Labor & Employment (2005) reported that seafarer’s inward remittances also rose from US$1.093 billion in 2001 to US$1.226 billion in 2002 and to US$1.294 billion in 2003. Remittances are crucial source of income for the families of seafarers. According to the standard terms and conditions governing the employment of Filipino seafarers on board ocean going-vessels, the seafarer is required to make an allotment which shall be payable once a month to his designated allottee in the Philippines through any authorized Philippine bank. The agency shall provide the seafarer with the facilities to do so at no expense of the seafarer. Abenoja (2004), estimated that more than 80% of the remittances came from land-based Filipino workers. The remaining 20% is accounted by the sea-based Filipino workers. It maybe noted that remittances from sea-based workers have been on a steady uptrend compared to the slightly volatile trend for remittances from land-based workers. This is due in part to existing regulation of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) requiring seafarers to remit a portion of their monthly basic salary including backwages.

During the Philippine-Japan Manning Forum, President Arroyo, in her speech during the opening ceremony, stressed that the seafarers, being the largest sector among the OFWs, constitute a major factor in the rise of the Philippine economy and contribute to the 14.4 billion-dollar remittances in 2007. Filipino seafarers are truly making waves in serving not only the nation but the world. President Arroyo also added that the rising remittances and the continued effectiveness of the economic reforms that are being implemented in a few years have made 2007 a banner year in Philippine economic history.

References:

Bibliography » Yodz Insigne Thesis Manuscript

Remittances and Returnees: The Cultural Economy of Migration in Ilocos 

Overseas employment policy and remittances (Discussion paper) 

Overseas workers' remittances not a leak, but a bypass (SWS occasional paper) 

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Channels of OFW remittances.

Channels of OFW remittances.
by: Yodz Insigne

Based from a study conducted by Aranda (2005) regarding the economic and social determinants of remittance behavior of OFWs in choosing remittance modes, the choice of channel of the OFWs is influenced by a combination of social and economic variables. The said study concluded that the social variables that were influential were occupational level, community membership, civil status and household income while economic variables that were significant were transaction cost, exchange rates, inflation rates and deposit interest rate of banks. Aranda (2005) concluded that OFWs are risk-averse and that those who are low-income, low-skilled migrants are more likely to use formal channel than the informal channel and the more attractive the economic variable, the more likely that formal channels will be chosen by the migrant than informal channel.

Similarly, Samal (2006) concluded that migrants send remittances home through several means such as money order, through the contractor, neighbors, co-workers or relatives. Various remittance systems are now available in the Philippines. Several online remittances with tie-up in Philippine banks are also available in many OFW destinations such as the in the United States, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. One of the successful firms in online remittance business for OFW is the I-Remit Incorporated. Loyola (2008) reported that I-Remit’s remittance volume jumped 57% in the first half of the year to five hundred thirty one million US dollars. This figure is evidence that OFWs are now aware of the innovative and technology driven systems of remittance transfers.

Source:

Bibliography » Yodz Insigne Thesis Manuscript

Overseas Filipino Workers-New Heroes or Mad Heroes 

The Western Union Effect: Filipino Global Workers as Agents of Change 

The Urban Filipino Worker in an Industrializing Society 

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Remittance Innovations and Related Systems.

Philippine Remittance Innovations and Related Systems.
 

Oliva (2008) reported that the rise of remittance services like Globe G-Cash and Smart Padala are setting examples for Asian countries that are looking at developing new mobile services for predominantly prepaid market of mobile phone users. Smart Communications developed the Smart Padala for cash remittance via text messaging. It is a faster and cheaper way of remitting cash from sender abroad to the celfone of a beneficiary in the Philippines.

Through the use of the mobile device, the OFW can send remittance by going to any Smart Padala remittance partners and fill-out information sheet. The remittance center will then transfer the remittance to the Smart Money number of the beneficiary and after a few seconds, the remittance center will confirm that the transaction has been completed.
The beneficiaries will then receive a text message indicating the sixteen digit Smart Money Number. Another text message will be sent to confirm that the money has been received through the Smart money number. To encash, the beneficiary can go to any Smart Padala center.
Gcash, Globe’s flagship m-commerce services, was born from transforming a mobile phone into a wallet. It was launch in October 2004 and effectively given its subscribers access to cashless and cardless method of facilitating money remittance.

 In February 2005, Gcash was awarded the Best Mobile Messaging Service during the GSM Awards. It was also named the Most Innovative Mobile Operator Service and lauded as the Best M-Commerce Service Application.
Various Internet based remittance services are also available in the Philippines. Their service ranges from electronic fund transfers, investments and other financial products and services.

Internet-based remittance system gained reputation of being a technology driven and efficient way of sending money by OFWs. The use of the Internet integrates the process of online remittance utilizing proprietary mechanisms and facilities such as servers, debit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and other mechanisms to facilitate money transfer.

Based from the study conducted by Business Planner, Philippines, about the remittance industry in the Philippines, above are the new remittance products in the remittance industry.
Seafarer’s Remittance Processing. For one thing, manning agency plays an important role in the remittance transaction of seafarers. Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) required that the manning agency should provide the seafarer with facilities to efficiently remit to their families the required portion of their monthly basic salary. On the other hand, the remittance process of land-based OFW is different because their salary can be remitted to their family on a variety of available remittance systems either via formal or traditional means. For sea-based OFW, POEA requires the manning to agency to pay the designated allottee of the seafarer in the Philippines subject to the currency control regulations at the port abroad and to the official rate of exchange prevailing at the time of payment.

Accordingly, remittance transactions of seafarers are being processed by their respective manning agency in the Philippines. This regular transaction requires special attention for the manning agencies because the seafarer’s families are depending on this remitted money to support their daily living expenses. Evidently, the role of available technology and IT enabled services are very crucial to efficiently handle these transactions.

References:

Bibliography » Yodz Insigne Thesis Manuscript

Approaches to increasing the productive value of remittances IAF and other case studies in financial innovations and international cooperative community ... March 19, 2001 (SuDoc Y 3.IN 8/25:2 AP 6) 

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Importance of Information Technology (IT) Enabled Services

Importance of Information Technology (IT) Enabled Services

During the past decade, there had been dramatic changes in information technology (IT) infrastructure and development. Each year the price of computer hardware had declined while its performance had risen spectacularly due to improvements in microprocessors, memory chips and other base technologies. Information technology changed the whole business processes and personal lifestyle of Filipinos through faster access to information, innovative telecommunication services, financial services and transport.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

What 'ya gonna do with those books?

Somebody asked me, what you gonna do with those books after reading them? Hmm well, usually I just stack them and go over it and browse it again when I need some stuff for school.
But most of the time, I just forget about them and can't even remember the title and the author. I really can't rely on my memory.
So, I guess the better thing to do with it is for me to write some review about those books (I guess I should also include movies) and post it on the net. I guess this will also help me a lot in my studies coz next semester I will be doing the bloody thesis manuscript writing.
Therefore, I guess another blog about it will do - and I decided to name it The Geek Bookworm. Hmmm, I'm becoming a heavy blogger now. I don't have posts yet, but here's the link : http://geekbookworm.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reverent Sardonicism - My Other Blog


I edited the header graphics of my other blog today. I find it cool, so I posted it here. Reverent Sardonicism is a collection of inspirational stories and jokes about everything. It was previously titled "Mga Piling Istorya ni Prof. Yodz" but I decided renaming it to Reverent Sardonicism, an irony for reverently laughing at life's cruelty.

Here's the link if you want to check it out : http://istoryahan-ni-yodz.blogspot.com/

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How Much Does A Miracle Cost

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.


She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat
with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he said without waiting for a reply to his question. 'Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's really, really sick...and I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?' said the pharmacist.
'His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now So how much does a miracle cost?'

'We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.

'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me ho w much it costs.' The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a miracle does your brother need?' ' I don't know,' Tess replied with her
eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money.'

'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago 'One dollar and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audibly. 'And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'
'Well, what a coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. ' He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'

That well dressed man was Dr. Yodz Insigne, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?'
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and eleven cents....plus the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need... A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All Work and No Play Makes Yodz A Dull Boy

My co-wokers, belonging to generation X and Y, decided to have some barkada night out tonight in Cuba Libre, a cool bar near our office building. It was supposed to be just a casual dinner in SM Megamall but the group thinks that it was too boring so we decided to have some videoke gig and a few bottles of beer instead.


It was nice to have some chill out gig occasionally because monotonous work routine can cause boredom that leads to un-productive mindset. A few bottles of beer, videoke fun and barkada kulitan after work is worth like a week vacation for me.

This is also one thing I learned in my working life – if you do not love your work, love your co-workers. This will make your life easier.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

A King-Size Bed As A Reward for Patience & Diplomacy


This event happened last November 16, 2008. I always remember this event in our Boarding House whenever I am in my room so I guess it is worth posting even if its about two months ago.
________________________

One lazy Sunday afternoon while I was taking my luxury nap, I heard a loud hammering outside my room. Irritated because it woke me up, I grudgingly inquire what was happening, and to my horror, I found out that somebody was demolishing my room. Thanked heavens, I managed to keep my temper and diplomatically inquire as to what the hell is he doing?

I remembered that Ms. N., our new house caretaker cum mistress of the owner, informed me that my room would be demolished by the end of the month – suppose to be on the 30th of November, which gives me enough time to pack my things. The previous caretaker, the niece of the owner with a dysfunctional family, was so infuriated by the idea that the owner decided to give full control of the house to his mistress. So Mrs. L., the niece and adopted daughter of the owner, together with her husband Mr. E. – who depends on his wife to feed himself and his son and still living with his mother, was so enraged over the owner’s decision and decided to ransack the whole house. What happened next was a real chaos. They get all the things that they think was their property: from a simple cloth hanger, electric fans, furniture, light bulbs and yes including my room. They said that they installed it, so they must demolish it.

I do understand their rage because that means, now without the house, they have to work hard to earn a living. Unlike before, they will just longingly wait for the 15th and 30th of the month to collect the rent and have their regular drinking session – that is five times a week, believing that that was normal and that they are not yet alcoholic.

Out of their desperation, Mr. E. decided that end of November was too long and decided demolishing my room right at that lazy Sunday while I was taking my luxury cold afternoon nap.

Goddamn it! I know my right. I am religiously paying the monthly rent and they still have my one-month advance payment and one-month cash deposit. They cannot treat me like I am an illegal squatter. I decided to talk to both of them but Mr. E, obviously because of so much anger will not listen to reason and logic. So I insist on talking to the owner, which is by the way staying in the United States.

Anyway, I know Ms. N. is in constant communication with the owner via online webcam – making her an online mistress. So I immediately knock on her room. When she opened the door, I said Hey! Mr. E. is demolishing my room! I want to talk to the owner! To my relief, the owner Mr. J. was online at that moment and she immediately asked me to sit down in front of her webcam and talk to Mr. J. Out of the confusion Ms. N didn’t even closed those porn sites before letting me use her pc. While I was talking to the owner, I can still hear those oohhh! harder baby harder, ahhhh! – because, oh my gums! she was watching a porn video while chatting with the owner when I knocked on her room. Under the active chat window of Mr. J and me are nude pictures in action and partially hidden in the screen is the porn video with an ongoing orgy, in action like acrobats. What d’ fu*# is this girl doing in the middle of the afternoon while the crazy Mr. E is demolishing my room? It gave me terrible goosebumps, but my concern that time was some clarifications about my rights.

The owner promised me that they will install a much better room for me and asked me if I’m willing to temporarily stay in the bedspacer’s room. I agreed because I will only be staying there for two or three weeks and besides it's time that I should know the other new boarders and expand my circle of influence.

In the end, everything goes back to normal. I have a brand new room now. Very comfortable. Very convenient because they even included a small lababo inside the room. And the most important thing is that Mr. J. let me used his king sized bed just for me. Living a nice bachelor's life eh. A-huh, that's right, living single, independent and free in my own room.

Well, life is really getting better. I realized that diplomacy and patience is necessary to get the most out of a terrible and confusing situation.

We should also not try to talk to those people that we know will not listen to reason. Always talk to the right person and never try to argue to the angry one.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Love and Sacrifice


There was once this guy who is very much in love with his girl. This romantic guy folded 1,000 pieces of paper cranes as a gift to his girl.

Although, at that time he was just a small fry in his company, his future didn't seem too bright, they were very happy together. Until one day, his girl told him she was going to Paris and will never come back. She also told him that she cannot visualize any future for the both of them, so they went their own ways there and then...

Heartbroken, the guy agreed. But when he regained his confidence, he worked hard day and night, slogging his body and mind just to make something out of him.

Finally with all the hard work and the help of friends, this guy had set up his own company.

You never fail until you stop trying. One rainy day, while this guy was driving, he saw an elderly couple sharing an umbrella in the rain walking to some destination. Even with the umbrella, they were still drenched. It didn't take him long to realize they were his girl's parents.

With a heart in getting back at them, he drove slowly beside the couple, wanting them to spot him in his luxury sedan. He wanted them to know that he wasn't the same any more; he had his own company, car, condo, etc. He made it! What he saw next confused him, the couple was walking towards a cemetery, and so he got out of his car and followed...and he saw his girl, a photograph of her smiling sweetly as ever at him from her tombstone and he saw his paper cranes right beside her...

Her parents saw him. He asked them why this had happened. They explained.. She did not leave for France at all. She was ill with cancer. She had believed that he will make it someday, but she did not want to be his obstacle... therefore she had chosen to leave him. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. She had wanted her parents to put his paper cranes beside her, because, if the day comes when fate brings him to her again...he can take some of those back with him...

Once you have loved, you will always love. For what's in your mind may escape but what's in your heart will remain forever.

The guy just wept...The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside her knowing you can't have her, see her or be with her ever again.........

Find time to realize that there is one person who means so much to you, for you might wake up one morning losing that person who you thought meant nothing to you.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Kindness Pays


One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only two pesos left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied "Mother has taught us never to accept payment for a kindness." He said... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Yodz Insigne left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled.. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Yodz! Insigne was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Yodz requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side as she read these words.....

"Paid in full with one glass of milk." (Signed) Dr. Yodz Insigne.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, GOD, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands."

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Pink EDSA and the Cadena de Amor


When I’m stuck in heavy traffic in EDSA, which is expected as always, I usually detach myself from involving my already stressed self in the godforsaken stressful EDSA. I usually directed my focus on a book or listen to my MP3 player. This famous avenue, symbolizing unity and freedom is more famous for its angry drivers, angry passengers, overloaded and stinking buses, loud FM radio – always tuned in to “Tambalang Balasubas at Balahura,” sometimes funny and most of the time irritating, and of course, the terribly irritating and deafening blowing of horns. I don’t understand why drivers, especially bus drivers, kept on blowing their loud horns for no reason at all. I suggest that there should be a law limiting the number of horn-honking while in EDSA. Like the seatbelt law, a small wire should also be required to be connected to the drivers testicles so that when he exceeded the maximum number of horns per day, a device will blow up his balls, he he he. I’m thinking about this because, today, I’m stuck in terrible heavy traffic in EDSA, without a book to read, and I forgot to re-charge my MP3 player. Huh, bad week to start 2009.


Therefore, I have no choice but to set my system on CYM (Contemplating Yodz Mode). Then suddenly, the pink EDSA and the struggling Cadena de Amor caught my attention.

It was noticeable that MMDA is trying to paint EDSA pink - pink overpass, pink railings, pink signages, pink walls and the most noticeable are the pink and terribly stinking male urinals. And to complete the pink mood, they planted the Cadena de Amor all over EDSA. I’ve heard the “pink scheme” was Bayani Fernado’s idea. By the way, this MMDA chairperson is famous for unconventional traffic schemes, demolishing sidewalk vendors and other street regulations and he already declared his intention to run for public office. I might vote for him, only if he removed those stinking pink male urinals.

I also notice these crawling vines all over the MRT railings and its concrete posts. I think it was planted there to add some green and pleasant pink buds to the gray and angry EDSA. I’ve known this plant, which is called Cadena de Amor, because these vines are growing wild in my grandmother’s backyard during my childhood days in Mindoro. Like the persistent talahib grass, it grows even without tending. Cadena de amor always tries to reach for the top, for the highest and when it reach the top it will crown itself with pink little blossoms.

I don’t know, but its crawling vines, dry and dusty leaves, its tiny little blossoms - no longer pink due to terrible pollution, all reminds me of how hard it is to survive and adapt in the city. I’m thinking of this because, I happen to enjoy the simple life in the province. I only got here in Manila when I started college education.

I find it odd. A wild Cadena de Amor trying to fit in the busiest street in Manila. It kept on crawling higher and higher, clinging on to the highest railing. Its soft tendrils always aiming up, never minding what is happening below. It withstand the pollution, the noise, the stink of human absurdity and other elements trying to prevent it from producing those soft little pink buds.

These buds, its crown of glory and triumph over all the negative elements of life, is trying to teach me how to persevere, how to focus on things that are more important and how to love life.

I now understand that sometimes, the best way to deal with negative elements in our life is just neglecting it. We must never waste emotion and time and get involve on things that is beyond our control.

I guess this is my new year’s resolution for 2009.

To FOCUS and PERSEVERE.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Life is Getting Better


"From tonight onwards, take complete control of your life. Decide, once and for all, to be the master of your fate. Run your own race. Discover your calling and you will start to experience the ecstasy of an inspired life."
from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!!

I had a very fruitful year last 2008. I just hope I can do more this coming year.
Life is getting better for me...

How about writing some Positive Notes for 2009. Hmm, Let me try...

1) I should forget about the past. Whatever failures happened in 2008 already happened. I must use it as a benchmark to improve but never as a guideline why I cannot achieve success in 2009.

2) Many people wish for a better year in 2009. I should not wish. Wishful thinking doesn't get me anywhere, especially success. I must commit to what I want to achieve and achieve it for my own benefit.

3) I must continue being a positive thinker. I must think positive about 2009 regardless of the recession because my mind WILL influence my actions.

4) If I have to whine and blame, I must DO IT NOW. Then I must get over it and start afresh in 2009.

5) Have a plan. I should plan it out and know what are the steps that will get me closer to my goal. I can't get to my destination if I don't know what and where is my destination.

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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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