Let’s marinate and conversate

18 01 2011

It’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged some random thoughts and ideas.  I’m known to go on quite the tangent if there are several things that are bugging me or several things that I’ve thought about and just can’t shake it from my mind.  When was the last time you just kicked back with a friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, family member and just conversated on everything!! Been a while huh? 

As you read this blog entry, please please please feel free to drop a comment and let’s converse!!

Last week I was one of the co-hosts on a weekly Filipino radio show called Tinig Ng Masa (Voice of the People) on 102.7 FM CFRO.  On top of playing some dope music, our topic of discussion was the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) and it’s effects on our community and immigration.  Just recently a large number of filipino TFWP’s have filed a law suite against Denny’s Restaurants.  In a nutshell, Denny’s restaurants hired TFWP’s (Thank you Denny’s for contributing to the opression of our people).  Numerous times, Management broke from their contract and have basically treated these workers as 2nd Class Citizens.  Overtime wages not being paid, airfare from the Philippines to Canada were not paid.  1 worker approached his manager and requested that we receive his overtime pay and wages still owing, management then used the deportation scare tactic.  Now ask yourself, if you worked 40 hours and didn’t get paid for it.  Would you report this to your boss?  I’m certain that all of you would say yes… now imagine the door being slammed in your face after this request.. and then being sent home.  This is a reality that a lot of TFWP’s face daily.  But instead of just simply being sent home… they are being deported.  Now ask yourself another question, is systemic racism a factor?  Yes! It is, we pay workers from Third World Countries sub standard pay for the same jobs our fellow Canadians are doing.  They are not offered benefits, services, and pay increases.  The pacification of our people and people of colour continues.  This my friends is Capitalism at work.  Next time you run into your friendly neighbourhood right winger, and ask them if the opression of a community is what Capitalism is all about.  They will say no.. but you can argue yes!  Just look at the world around you, and it’s negative affects.  One of the things I find appauling as well is that there is NO organization or Dept that deals with TFWP abuses.  Nothing, no governing state to keep track of abuses under the program.  NONE!! Except the Kalayaan Centre and the community.  If the state will not take the time to analyze their policies and programs in a manner that benefits their people.. then we will… and we WILL bring it to the forefront for discussion.  Growing up in Canada I never really thought that racism was a big issue… and now looking at the current state of Canadian Society and I realized that racism runs rampant in our government.  Minister Kinney is one person that might as well wear the white hood in all it’s glory to precislely portray his stance on people of colour and immigration.  Minister Kinney, if you are reading this blog entry, if you weren’t racist or a champion for oppression then you would re-construct and re-look Canada’s immigration laws.  You would realize that the LCP and the TFWP are racist policies and programs that do not benefit anyone than yourself.  I challenge ALL of immigration Canada and the HRSDC to really look at this program… and you’ll find that it’s got modern day slavery written across it in big bold letters…

And so this conversation continues…

On a more lighter note… On Saturday, I tried Jellyfish for the first time.  Although I wasn’t sure WHICH exactly was the Jellyfish in the meal, I gotta admit that it was ALL good.  Everything on that plate… so at one point I consumed Jellyfish and was quite happy with buying that dish… I would eat it again… but next time… gonna cut down on the portions cause we kind of went all out.  Itis was my best friend by the end of the night…

2011 so far has proved to be a thorn in my side, in the first couple weeks of this year, I’ve basically have been brought to my knees… through anxiety, frustration, and stress… it has been damaging to well being.  I’m taking into consideration that I need more kasama time.  I need to hang with the homies more this year…

And to those who have found love… fuck you… HAHAHAHHA just kidding!! I wish you all the best.. you guys know who you are!!

And to my readers… got a question?  ask away… shetpancit’s got answers…


Does honesty pay off?

17 01 2011

If life has proven anything to me, one thing I can say is honesty is a code that I live by.  So far, 2011 has been a year of ups and downs.  Yes, I know it’s only the 3rd week  of January but let me tell you that this year has NOT started off  on a good note.  Going back to my first statement regarding honesty, I’ve always been honest to myself and the people around me.  I’m also the same around strangers.  Regardless of what the situation is that I’m in, I’m always truthful.  Why? Because I believe in Karma and I believe in what goes around comes around.

Last week, I got into a minor accident.  Although all parties involved were not hurt, our cars definitely took the damage.  An hour to two after the accident, I went home and did an online claim to ICBC.  The days after submitting my claim, I was not ready for.  After providing a statement of events online, I called the Claims Adjustor to see if my claim was moving along.  AFter giving a second statement of events, the Claims Adjustor began explaining to me how hard it is to prove that someone backed into you, without a witness who is NOT related to you or have ties to you.  Now I’m stuck, stuck at a cross roads of unneccesary stress, a damaged car, and the possibility that I will have to take some money out of my RRSP’s to pay for damage that wasn’t my fault.  To repair the car of an owner who is completely dishonest, who would rather settle this privately.  Yes… i said it… settle this privately.  I took a moment to point that out to the Claims Adjustor and asked him, if that sounds like the actions of someone who’s being truthful.  At this point, I would like to get my car repaired.  I don’t give a shit about the money, all I care about is that the other drive, own up to her mistakes and pay for the damages on my car.  Yes, I understand that you do not want your record to be tarnished with this incident, nor do you want your insurance premiums to go up.  But as I understand and I’m sure all you drivers out there understand, that once you get your license and you take it upon yourself to drive, you have a responsibility to not only keep yourself safe, but to make sure that those driving around you are safe as well.  I don’t care that you are an elderley woman, the fact that you can sit in front of ICBC, and tell them completely false details of the accident and then deny liablity? 

Yes, I may be young, and yes my car may be a pretty nice car… but that doesn’t mean that I have all the money in the world to take the blame for this, pay your damages and then get dinged on my insurance policy.  Words can not express, how alarmed and discouraged I am about ICBC.  If someone backing up into your car is hard to prove and by BC Road Laws, those behind the vehicle are at fault in this instance.  Then our road policies and laws definitely need to be re-asseseed.  This is complete bull shit, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty.  In this case, through technicalities, I’m the guilty party in this accident. 

I WILL NOT be dinged for this as being my fault.  I will NOT PAY for the repair on damages that I did not inflict.  I would rather spend a week in jail then fall victim to shotty laws and be guilty for something I did not do.  I fight for my community and all the injustices that the state has forced upon our people, and I will fight just as vigilantly to keep my insurance in tact and prove that I am NOT at fault.

To the lady that hit my car:  You would not have taken off from the accident scene if this was truly my fault…. if it wasn’t for me chasing you down and getting your insurance information, you probably would have gotten away with this.  Not this time… you hit the wrong Toyota…..

1 Part Cosmic, 2 Parts Subterranean

10 01 2011

In my continuing search for truth I’ve been bombarded with questions, answers to these questions are far fetching and could take a lifetime to try and answer.  Like I said in earlier posts, I’m constantly questioning my friends and myself in regards to all things that matter in my life, both physically and spritually.

My subterranean mind is my underground movement to open doors in ways of thinking.  Ways of changing what comes second nature, and changing my thought process to be more objective and to understand all things that have a deeper meaning.  Be it trying to understand dreams, or trying to understand the inner workings of a person.  There are only a handful of people that I would even consider trying to get to know on a level that far surpasses face value.  Confused?  Think of it this way, you meet someone or something that interests you… do you take it for face value?  Or would you commit the time to trully understand him/her/it?  I believe in my life, I’ve met quite a few people that have sparked my interest on that level.  Yearning to know more about this person and not just enjoying the time spent together, but also enjoy the process of gaining a deeper understanding of he or she.  I’m not speaking in context of relationships or dating (although this also applies to that), but moreso in learning from others and applying that for the betterment of your life.  I say 2 parts Subterranean because we are constantly thinking, and trying to break apart and process things as human beings.  My underground is a constant battlefield… and a Subterranean war is at hand to Revolutionize the way I think and the way I live my life.  I’m never going to be the perfect person outside, but inside I can achieve a status of perfection with constant struggle and battles.  If life was an even battlefield, our learning process would flatline… and we’d all be the exact same person.

My cosmic adventures lead me to finding truths that are beyond my Subterranean movement.  Everything above ground… outside my inner workings.  My last post talked about understanding women which I believe is one of the most important things we should all do, but how important is it to seek the perfect partner.  I’m not talking about those single folks who are “I’m single and i’m just trying to enjoy life, not looking for a relationship”.  Majority of the time, single people who are not actively looking… are definitely looking within’ context to their “underground” movement or what I call Subterranean.  What you see, is not always what you’re going to get.  Or what you perceive is not always going to be the truth.  I’m single and I’m definitely not looking, but inside I know my soul is constantly patrolling trying to find that person that brings out the best in me.  I was chatting with a friend last night and for some part of this morning regarding a girl he had just met, not only are they beautiful together but when I see him, his smile can puncture the toughest of any kevlar vest.   I’ve known this guy for quite a long time and I know that he’s been searching for a perfect partner.  Maybe not physcially but I know deep down it’s one of things he was yearning for.  What I came away with from our conversation was this… regardless of what point you are in your life in trying to fulfill lifetime goals and self betterment, I believe disregarding a possible connection with a person due to the fact that you believe it will be detrimental to your growth is a complete cop out.  How do you know for sure?  How can you honestly say that Happiness and love is not part of your life goals.  So next time… think about that folks… think about what you’re really saying… and then think about how you feel inside.  If there’s any discrepancy… you’re lying to yourself. 

I have a subterranean movement that’s catapulted and acted upon by my Cosmic Adventurer.  If I find or have found truth in any of my adventures… it would be that love, although has become jaded by mainstream media and society… it’s still one of the most beautiful feelings we will feel as a human being.  With love, comes change, with change comes harmony, and with harmony comes life….

So don’t settle for 2nd best… settle for love…

Although this world is riddled with racism, war, hate, and oppression… we can all agree that as human beings and inhabitants of this world… Love is universal… we all know how to hate, but our subterranean movement teaches us how to love….

If you’re gonna hate on this blog entry… I got nothing but love for you…

Life as a cosmic adventurer…

7 01 2011

As a human being, I’m always searching for truth.  Truth to everything, as big and technical as social justice and as small and simple as why fish are attracted to worms.  I can honestly say that I’ve stumbled upon truths that have changed my life, but there’s one thing I think all us males have been trying to figure out, the opposite sex.  (I say opposite sex coming from my standpoint as a straight male, this is in no way gender specific and should apply to anyone seeking truth and seeking love toward a person or toward your preference for a partner.)

Media has been so diluted with shows and articles about how to pick up women or how to pleasure a woman that we forget about learning how to talk to women, how to understand women and how to understand a woman’s needs.  Next time you see a confident man, question his confidence.  Confidence in trying to get into your pants? Or confidence in himself as being a strong and genuine person. 

I’m always constantly questioning the women around me in regards to preference.  Preference in what they look for in a partner and what they understand as what criteria would best suit them as a partner.  I question them, not to figure out how I or my fellow males can change to better suit their interest.  It’s not about changing yourself to make someone fall in love with you.  It’s about rebelling against all social norms and being the person you were truly meant to be…. yourself.  I strive daily to be the person I was meant to be, treating others with respect, exactly how I would like to be treated.  Once you’ve figured out that social norms on appearance and style are not correct for all walks of life, you’re one step ahead of the game and in my opinion rebelling in your own way against what the majority of society would consider beautiful.

Back to preference, we all have our preference in what we look for in a partner.  The majority of women I asked as far as physical appearance goes want a taller partner, who knows how to carry themselves with confidence.  My next question was, “does physical weight or appearance matter to you?” .  The answer I got was pretty surprising.  Out of 10 women I asked, only 1 of them wanted a partner who was built with muscles.  I think this is a step forward in understanding that beauty doesn’t mean muscles and a six pack or big breasts and blonde hair.  Now if you’re questioning my findings… ask yourself… would you rather be with a beefcake who beats women and disrespects women only to make himself feel better? I also asked if a strong sense of style was important… and yes… it is.  What I found interesting is that preference of style wasn’t really important, or even being trendy… it was all about knowing how to carry themselves and being comfortable in their own skin.  Which makes sense to me, but in all honesty I wouldn’t date someone who carried themselves the wrong way while trying to portray a different person. 

So my dilemma in writing this blog was trying to write this in a way that wasn’t like a column.  I don’t want to give tips on how to date or how to meet that perfect person because in all honesty it varies between people and circumstances.  I’m trying to push everyone to do their own research, learn about yourself, learn about what you want in a partner and this cosmic adventure would be a more enjoyable ride.  Never settle for the next best thing, this only shows that you’ve given up.  My cosmic adventure is a constant ride, I can say that all the women I know are strong beautiful women and I learn from them everyday.  The topic of love for me is of cosmic proportions finding soulmates along the way, falling in love, falling out of love, crushing… and along the way learning about myself not only as a human being but a possible partner for a beautiful strong woman out there. 

So what truth have I learned from this particular cosmic adventure?  I learned that I still have a lot to learn… and that a lot of women I know are breaking away from dead end men.  When I say dead end men, I mean men who do everything to only benefit themselves.  I don’t believe that behind every good man there’s a good woman.  Why?  Because a woman should never be behind a man in a relationship.  Breaking free from Patriarchal norms and understanding that NO ONE is behind another person. 

Coming from a single person, you are all probably thinking that I’m all talk.  Think what you want to think… like I said.. this is an ongoing learning process… I may have stumbled upon a person I’m interested in.. and I might have not… what i’m looking for is harmony…. where all strings on the guitar played together play in tune… when one string goes out of tune… you work on it… to get it back to being intuned with the rest.  A great blog writer once wrote *ahem*…

 “I’m sick of seeing columns about love when in actuality love is a hidden instrument in all of us that plays music and harmonizes with a certain someone who’s playing the same tune. “

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Yes I’m a dork.. and I’m proud of it… and my cosmic adventure continues!

An Epiphany…

15 12 2010

In 2011….

I will be more assertive in my rights as a human being, a filipino and a father. 

I will not allow people (both strangers, family and kasamas) bring me down in any way due to their shortcomings or criticize me with no basis or point.

I will quit smoking cigarettes this year.

I will continue in figuring out what I need to do to become happier in my career and life, to better my situation for both my daughter and myself.

I will continue to not take bullshit from people who think they know me better than I do.

I am sure I will come upon a life changing experience… I feel it… it’s going to happen.

I will continue my path to becoming a better father outside the evilness of money.

I will continue to Serve The People and continue my growth as a Community Organizer. 

I will be more objective and critical in planning my goals for this year.

I will be more vigilant in making the important people around know that I appreciate them whole heartedly.

I will enroll my daughter into Eskrima…

My epiphany for the new year is actually something that I’m always constantly working on.  You can interperet it any way you would like, but in the end, my own interpretation is what I keep close.  I’ve felt this past year was spent being there for others as much as possible while falling short of being there for myself.  I have high hopes for 2011 and welcome it with a smile…

I usually do not do shout outs on my Blog but I believe the following people deserve it…

Kaya – You continue to wow me every second I spend with you.  Your growth has been critical in my learning, and I’ve learned so much from you this past year.  I’ m not sure my life could continue if you weren’t by my side struggling it out with me.  I can’t ask for a better partner in crime…

Kasamas & Friends – Thank you for standing by our work, continuing the fight for our community and thank you for taking the time out of your lives and spending it with me.

Samonte – To the best broomy….. let’s see where 2011 takes us!

Jonah – There’s always one person that stands out in the crowd… you’re definitely one of them… “dope” can only go so far as an adjective…

To my readers – In this busy kaleidascope we call life, to take the time to read the thoughts of a person  you hardly know or don’t know at all is a gesture that can not be thanked with words… your comments and feedback have been helpful in my experiences as a blog writer.  Like I said in a earlier post… If I could.. I’d fly out to thank each and every one of you…

Alright mofos… let’s make 2011 a dope year… if we look at the predictions for 2012… and if it is in fact true… then 2011 is a do or die year…. let’s make it memborable!!!


Substance Therapy….

10 12 2010

Picture Courtesy of Alex Yu

How do you deal with stress? 

This is a question that most people are wondering when the noose get’s tighter from the pressures of work, extra curricular activities, or at the homefront.  I think for all of us, stress becomes a factor that can cause unwanted sleepless nights or a temporary addiction to a substance that helps you escape.  I’ve had my fair share of stresses and I still continue to have peaks in my stressful day either at work or outside of work.  And I continue to explore different ways to help ease this nasty feeling that we all go through on a daily basis, ofcourse in varying degrees.

I believe music is one of the best ways to quell that stress, for me, Reggae music brings me back down to earth.  There’s something about the one drop that slows me down and allows me to release what ever evil thoughts are in my head that may cause me to subject myself to relieving my stress using substances.  There are a lot of folks out there who are quick to go down the path of substance relief but due to my past, I try my hardest not to.  To the majority of my readers, I’m not sure how well you know me in person or if you don’t know me at all, I’m going to share a tiny window into my life that I am not happy about. (Mom and Dad if you’re reading this, now you know).  When I was 17 I was introduced to crack/cocaine in Highschool from a friend of mine that was new to the school.  I remember leaving class and going into the boys bathroom with him, he quickly went into one of the stalls as I waited by the entrance.  As he came out, he looked at me and said “I forgot my book in there, do you want to grab it for me?”  As I ran into the stall… there it was… my first run in with Cocaine.  He had setup 2 rails for me… which I quickly inhaled through my nostrils.  After that day, I was hooked.  Whenever anything stressed me out… I went straight for the powder.  Without thinking twice… I did this, day in and day out.  Everyday during our 15 min. transition from one class to another.  I messed up my senior year in highschool and had to stay a 5th year to graduate.  Before my 5th year into highschool, I had to quit my substance abuse, because I had attended the graduating ceremonies of my classmates and was not able to share in the glory of walking down that aisle with them.  The feeling of being left behind… killed me… and nothing was going to stop me from graduating.

Fast-forward to 1998.  Back in school in California, I meet 2 guys who were in the same program as me.  We were in the Systems Engineering course together which was pretty damn stressful.  Again, I was introduced to substance relief.  This time, the player, Crystal Meth.  I did this for a good 4 months straight… dabbling not only in Crystal Meth, but Crack, Cocaine, Acid, and a dirty drug they call Crank.  Everyday… 2 to 3 times a day… I would wash my stress away with these substances.  My GPA dropped significantly, and I realized I was becoming more and more anti-social.  I was conjuring up situations in my head that didn’t exist and then confront people with these bogus arguments.  The heavy use of these substances affected me so quickly that my turning point was when I found myself, hitting on my Psychology teacher in school.  I had to do something drastic, so I severed all ties with those guys and I’m really happy to say that I’ve never seen them again after graduation.  1 of the guys didn’t even finish. 

Through my lack of knowledge of combatting stress, I quickly moved to substances to combat them.  Not only did they combat them really well, but they also made them worse… 10 fold!  During the time of my self detox I listened to a lot of reggae music to help sooth the ringing in my ears that was tempting me to go back to Meth.  But I kept fighting… as stress as that was… Pot also helped me get off the cravings and also helped me get my mind at a state where I can clearly think.  Now most people may say that pot doesn’t do that… but for me… it did and it does. 

When in high moments of stress I still get the cravings.  The last time I broke was 5 years ago.  I’ve been clean ever since.  That instance 5 years ago was also just a one time thing.  It’s imperative to understand that these substances although users will tell you that it’s helped them deal with dark side of their life, they are failing to understand that those substances ARE apart of that dark side.  I can relate to addicts and I can honestly say that it’s not an easy thing to combat. 

I’m living proof that substance therapy can cause more stress than the initial idea of trying to relieve it.  Although what I wrote is in a nutshell… there’s more to that part of my life that I would not want to share with the world.  But If sharing just a small piece of my life with all of you, maybe there’s a possibilty that I can help just one person avoid that path to self destruction.  I’m not here to preach.. I’m here to share…

Why are you afraid of Activists?

8 12 2010

Throughout my time in Vancouver, I’ve experienced the lowest lows and some of my highest highs.  I’ve struggled through times of desparation and I’ve struggled through times where most people would think I was living comfortably.  What most people do not understand is that through struggle in all degrees comes liberation.  Liberation in they way you think, liberation on what you perceive is truth, and breaking the confines of normality that push us to the extremes of breaking out of our daily bubble.

In this constant changing world we live in, I believe it’s imperative to continue to understand the social conditions of not just the city we live in, but the world as a whole.  To think in the international framework and understand the struggles of people around the world is liberation.  Going against the grain and not fall victim to the lies that are fed to us by the very people that run and control this world.  The first step to social liberation is to throw everything out the door, and step into the door of re-education.  We’ve been mis-educated for centuries and I believe it’s long over due that we take back a culture that is rightfully ours.  Especially here in Canada, where echo’s of a Canadian Prime Minister once said “Don’t bring your country’s problems to Canada.”  Can we truly follow a government who’s politics doesn’t believe in Internationalism?  The only Internationalism the Canadian goverment is into is exploitation, opression, and capitalism. 

I understand that within’ society that we all know and love now, history of revolution once took the face of the Civil Rights movement.  The US was on the verge of Civil War as African Americans and Asian Americans were taking up arms and battling for their lives on the streets of NY, Oakland, and LA.  Militant groups like the Black Panther party were created to educate, organize and mobilize the communities in combating against Police corruption and human rights violations.  The battles were known around the world and Revolution became inevitable.  Theory to Practice, action to achieve a goal was the main thought process behind that movement.  Solidarity between University organizations, community organizations and underground organizations were more and more evident as the battles went on in the streets.  In an effort to quell these movements and the violence taking place the Government was pushing for a disbanding of all militant groups, left thinkers and organizations that were challenging the government at the time.  What a lot of people tend to forget about these times is that the people were fighting violence with violence.  Giving them a taste of their own medicine… showing the world that through the unity of the masses… change can occur.

Let’s bring it back to the present.  Where people either shun or are afraid of Activists..AND the word “Activist”.  As our countries men and women are fighting wars to keep Canada’s interests safe around the world, Activists are fighting the wars on the homefront.  We as well are ground troops trying to fight for the rights our countries constitutions clearly state that our government clearly does not enforce.  You say “Let’s figure out how to fix this homeless issue int he Downtown Eastside”, you donate to local charities… We march down streets, volunteer our time to educate the masses, and integrate into the communities that need our help. 

So before you yell at demonstrators and activists with the words… “Get a Job!” Or “Leave your problems back home!” Take a step back and think about it….  We DO have jobs and are volunteering our personal time.  WE are doing what YOU don’t want to do.  WE are talking to our local MPs and Government Officials.. challenging them on issues YOU watch everyday on TV.  WE are active in finding solutions and putting ACTION to our words.  If the revolution was to come to our doorsteps, it would be US that would help mobilize the masses….

So why are you afraid of activists?  I believe you’re afraid of truth…