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Showing posts from August, 2011

sa pagdiriwang ng buwan ng wika

Ipinagdiriwang ng mga Pilipino ang "Buwan ng Wika" tuwing Agosto. Ito ang isa sa mga pagkakataon taon-taon para maipagmalaki at mapayaman ang pambansang wika ng Pilipinas, ang Filipino. Kaya't bago matapos ang buwan na ito, naisip kong maiba naman at magsulat gamit ang pambansang wika.
Magandang pagkakataon din ito upang isulat ang aking naiisip tungkol sa sanaysay na nilathala ni Ginoong James Soriano na lumabas sa Manila Bulletin kamakailan (makikita ito dito). Ako man ay napatigil matapos mabasa ito; bagama't maganda ang paksa at ang panimula ng artikulo, hindi naging maingat ang manunulat sa pagpapahayag ng kanyang mensahe.
Ayon sa kanyang sanaysay na pinamagatang Language, learning, identity, privilege, Ingles ang wika na kanyang kinamalayan, wika na kanyang kinasanayan sa paaralan, at wika na ginagamit sa trabaho. Dahil dito, Ingles ang kanyang tinuturing na inang wika. Sa kabilang dako, ang Filipino naman daw ang wika ng pagkakakilanlan. Ito ang wika na kaila…

presenting an imaginary world

As promised on Day #1 by the teachers in the training course on Enhancing Global Rice Research Leadership, our skills would be stretched by the activities we would have to undergo. For instance, each student was tasked to give a three-minute talk on a topic assigned to us by our teachers. Some were asked to talk about their inspiration, what they had done when they lost something, what challenges had they overcome, to sell the shirt they were wearing, to discuss what colour they'd paint the world... In my assignment, I had to be creative and imaginative since I was supposed to describe how amazing an imaginary country, called Dramanesia, is. 
A photo is worth a thousand words, they say. To paint a picture of the imaginary country in their minds, I pooled together some of pictures I've captured; photos that showed endemic plants and animals and landscapes that were not easily identifiable to one location... those images that made people say "I know this place, but I'm…

the learning journey

One of the highlights of the Enhancing Global Rice Research Leadership course was the "learning journey" to a rice farming community in Jala-jala, Rizal which we did on August 20, a Saturday.
The aim of the trip was to help us gain insights about the context of the farmer -- the environment, the community, the political and social structures, his/her values and beliefs, behavioral patterns -- things that could help us, the future drivers of rice research, to figure out solutions to barriers to development. We were encouraged to look at these factors as part of a whole ecology and not just in a cause-and-effect simplistic point of view.

In other words, we were instructed to go the farmers' fields as people going to the farm for the first time; not as scientists who had done a lot of farmers' surveys prior to this trip. We were outsiders, looking into the culture... and being in it, if we could.

In preparation for the journey, one of our teachers, Julie Arts, encourag…

learning to leading: our learning journey

Learning Journey, a set on Flickr. Photos from my trip to Jala-jala, Rizal with classmates from the leadership training course I attended. It was such a great experience for me. More about it in the next blog posts.

learning to leading: culture sensitivity in an international community

Being exposed to an international community is a good way of becoming sensitive to what is acceptable to cultures other than one's own, or to normal behavior in one's own culture that is unacceptable in another culture. In a way, people exposed to such a community break themselves from their culture's stereotype; their behavior becomes more akin to what is "globally accepted".
In the training course I'm attending, I am surrounded by people coming from different cultural and national backgrounds. It's a good place to be for leaders in the making: a lot of conflicts arise from ignorance about cultural sensitivity and can just as easily be avoided if only people are aware or are sensitive about cultural differences.
Before going to another country, whether for work or for recreation, it is useful to research about cultural "peculiarities" (the departure from one's culture); these may take the form of gestures, other behavior patterns. Here are so…


Back in college, I used to play with the UPLB Ethnomusemblia, a group of students who liked to play traditional Filipino music as live accompaniment to the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe, those students who performed Filipino local dances. Tribal music was what I learned with the group: music filled with textures of the sounds from kulintang and agong; the resonating sounds of simultaneously beaten gangsa; and the deep tones from the dabakan. However, I never learned how to play stringed instruments that are part of the rondalla. I attempted the banduria but to no avail. That's why I never learned to play the music for the tinikling; instead, I contented myself with listening to the rondalla people play the lively song.

Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. In this lively dance, the man and the woman imitate the movements of a tikling, a bird found in the country, over two parallel bamboo poles set horizontally on the floor. The dance is made more challenging as the b…

learning to leading: introspection

"Gotta be conventional; you can't be so radical... For in this cycle that we call life, we are the ones who are next in line."  -- Next In Line, After Image 
A few weeks back, I had to choose between attending an international workshop related to food science and attending an in-house training on leadership. I had a serious think about this because both are very good opportunities for me to grow as a person: the international workshop would give me the chance to meet with my group's collaborators; the in-house training was geared towards harnessing my potential... a look into my future roles, if you will. After a weekend of considering the options, I decided to attend the in-house training instead of the international workshop.
And so, for the next few days, I have given myself permission to commit to the intensive training called Enhancing Global Rice Research Leadership, a course being conducted by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. This training course was desig…

happy birthday, Mam AKR!

Dr. Asuncion K. Raymundo was my academic adviser when I was majoring in Microbiology in UPLB. That was almost ten years ago. In a nutshell, she was one of the most influential people I've encountered; she helped steer my future towards a life of scientific research... I may not be a microbiologist anymore, but her tutelage has certainly set the foundation.
Today, a day before she retires, the graduates who experienced her guidance gathered together to celebrate her birthday with her. Alumni from as far as Iligan and Bacolod flew in to greet her on her special day. A former student even arrived from Canada! Those who couldn't attend sent in their messages through different forms of media.
To our academic mother, Ma'am AKR, we thank you for your guidance and setting the bar high for us. We wish you a happy birthday and all the best during your retirement.