For whatever I can share to inform, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy and hope to others, then this blog has best served its purpose.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Malaysia must abide with historical truth and give Sabah back to its true owner

Filipino Muslim gunmen of about 400 with about 200 of them heavily armed infiltrating the Sabah state in Malaysia a little over a week ago and identifying themselves as the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army lead by one of the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu Sultan Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram might be a case, for the now Islamic country and former British colony, of taking a dose of its own medicine. Malaysia has been a major supporter of a Muslim rebellion in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao as its way of weakening the Philippine republic as well as a diversionary tactics to keep the Philippine government’s focus away from claiming Sabah back. It must be known, for those who still don’t know the real score why that Northern portion of Borneo (called Sabah) once owned by the Sultanate of Sulu has now become a part of Malaysia, that the Sultanate of Sulu which is a part of Philippine territory is the true owner of Sabah. Allow me to give you just a brief review on history.

Sabah has been given by the Sultanate of Brunei to the Sultanate of Sulu as a gift for the latter’s military assistance to the former in the year 1703. Several years later it was leased back to the British company based in Brunei by which, as what was agreed upon between them, the company will provide arms to the Sultan to repulse the Spaniards in the Philippines and an annual rental of 5,000 Malaysian ringgits based on the Mexican peso value at that time or its equivalent in gold. Malaysia has continued the rental payment up to the present time. It was the British who, upon granting Malaysia its independence in 1963 opted Sabah to form the new Malayan state by which to also include Singapore, Malayan peninsula, and Sarawak. 

It was not until the presidency of Philippine president Diosdado Macapagal in the year 1962 that the Sabah claim by the Philippines has been formalized based on the Sultanate of Sulu heirs’ claim on the said territory. The late and only Philippine president who later on became a dictator Ferdinand Marcos almost made it to take Sabah back from the Malaysians by force. He trained young Muslim recruits from Mindanao secretly in the island of Corregidor as part of the force that will invade Sabah. But when the said operation has been leaked out to the media, all the young trainees were eliminated except for one that survived by swimming across the sea towards the mainland Luzon. Upon learning about the aborted mission by the Philippine government, Malaysia somehow retaliated by giving support to the rising number of Muslim rebels from Mindanao who were so much angered by the massacre of their brothers in Corregidor island.

These heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu have earlier announced that they will not leave the area and will fight to the death whenever necessary and to stay in the land they have called their own. Malaysian troops as well will only be following orders from their boss and is every now and then waiting for the go signal. The Philippine government lead by the commander in chief himself, Philippine president Benigno Aquino III must act and carefully address for the peaceful resolution of the said stand-off as soon as possible to avoid bloodshed. He must have the initiative to draw ignorance out of the picture while, at the same time, bringing the issue into the light of historical truth and stand by it.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

It’s not how much money we have but how much we enjoy by giving what we have

Money can do many things for you, but not everything. It can't even buy you happiness (Pleasure? Perhaps, there are lots of them for you to choose from depending on your taste). I'm not going to be one of those pretentious people who should sound as if money is not at all that needed, but what I'm trying to convey here is that money should not be treated as though it was the only important thing or as something by which you can tread on other people. I heard about people who change for the worse and because of money and they're not even that wealthy as they should suppose after all. Below is a short essay I have produced by combining the quotes of Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, Epictitus, Aristotle Onasis, Sophocles, Lucretius, and Alan Watts (with their own views on wealth, money, and happiness).

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business --(Henry Ford). Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants --(Benjamin Franklin). It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver --(Mahatma Gandhi).

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money --(Benjamin Franklin). After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts. --(Aristotle Onassis). Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. --(Epictetus). Wisdom outweighs any wealth --(Sophocles).

The reason we have poverty is that we have no imagination. There are a great many people accumulating what they think is vast wealth, but it's only money... they don't know how to enjoy it, because they have no imagination. --(Alan Watts). Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. --(Epictetus). The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied --(Lucretius).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why video games can do more harm than good for your kids?

The people who will say that video games could not do harm to their children is to indeed admit, in a surreal way, that they are because video games can actually be bad for your kids. Addictive computer or video games can harm your children’s mental development. Of course, there are a few positive effects of playing video games but the damage they may have caused, to some degree, could be most alarming. Video game playing, I mean excessive video game playing to be exact, socially isolate your kids. Not only that, once your kid gets addicted to it, the impact out of such an obsession could affect their thought span, academic skills, and perception of the real world. In other words, it will confuse reality and fantasy.

In an article of The Telegraph dated 14 October 2011, Science Correspondent Nick Collins quoted about what Baroness Greenfield, the former director of the Royal Institution, have explained about how computer or video games can literally “blow the mind” by temporarily or permanently deactivating certain nerve connections in the brain.

Video games can only make your kids do what the game lets them do which is to limit the brain’s ability to learn something new by getting stuck in that same sphere of activity compared when they are in the outside real world playing, interacting, and enjoying where they can do what they want to do and because, unlike in video games, their actions and thoughts are not limited there’s a great potential for learning new and different things all at once. In a study conducted by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and Family, have found out that, aside from the fact that video games could be addictive for kids, the kids’ addiction to these video games could increase their depression and anxiety levels.  Health problems such as obesity, video-induced seizures, and postural, muscular, and skeletal disorders could result from too much playing of video games over a long period of time.

I’m not totally against video games. What I’m trying to suggest is, for the parents who have kids that play video games, for them to monitor what video games their children are playing and to set time limits. Discipline your kids whenever necessary and make sure to make them understand why you are doing that so but in the right manner; kids who are aggressive or spoiled are simply just a product of poor or dysfunctional parenting. Encourage or convince your kids to try doing other things like interacting with other kids, playing sports, and many more. The natural world is, still and always, the best way to learn something from for the best.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Perhaps the best gift I can give to my son, aside from love, is freedom. The freedom to explore things while, at the same time, enjoying it as any normal child would and, when he’s old enough to think what's right from wrong and can stand on his own, the freedom for him to take the path that he must choose. My son Nathaniel Harris was born on August of last year and he’s a healthy baby when he came out from his mother’s womb. To become a dad for the first time is, for me, to feel the real joy I have never felt in a long time. But, I know, it will also take a great responsibility on my part to nurture this little man after my own image to become a better soul as he grows up. Could I be a good dad to my son or, when another one comes, children?

While it's true that parents know what's best for their children, I think it is also wise to consider that these children may as well know what’s best for them. I heard about parents becoming too obsessed with trying to fit their children into their mold but ended up making them rebellious and unhappy in the process. It's not that we're going to raise children who will become spoiled brats but for the parents to impose the proper application of discipline. As a dad to my son, to revise a quote I came across with (from Anne Frank), I can only give him good advice or put him on the right path, but the final forming of his character lies in his own hands.

To become a dad to my son is to understand the fact that, although he comes through me, he belongs to his own purpose. The great Lebanese poet and writer Khalil Gibran captured such a role with words of wisdom when he said: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the House of Tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.”

Fatherhood is one of the most wonderful, joyful, yet challenging experience a man could go through. It is a role by which he elevates himself into such a status that will define him better than when he's single. It is, above all, about understanding more, complaining less, and the expression of love through actions.

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