life is ironic

Posted by Analyse at 6:54 PM

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


I have read this passage somewhere and that captured my attention and left me wondering about the irony of it. It may sound pessimist for some but a lot of us, in one point or another, could relate with this biting truth.

I will share to you a story of a friend who dreamt of having a better life with his chosen career but ended up tilling the lands - somebody else's land.

His family belonged to the lower class of our society - his father was a carpenter and his mother busied herself with farming jobs during planting and harvest seasons. As he was the bunso (youngest) in the family, his parents and his siblings decided to send him to school inspite of the financial difficulties. It was the only means to alleviate their social status.

Manila schools were of course out of the question, hence, he did a computer related study in our province's capital, thinking it will be a job of the future. Everybody in the family shared the same dream - a diploma - providing them motivations to work more.

Hélas, the diploma was on hand. It was time for him to prove himself in the real world. Unfortunately, he never landed in any job related to his line of profession. What was the problem?

Was he not competent enough?

I don't know. I don't think anybody could really answer that. He was never given the chance to prove his worth anyway. He was just exposed to the blatant discrimination of our society. A graduate from a never-heard school in a far away province trying his luck in the busy streets of Manila, who would hire him? Of course there will be some who would say, I was in the same shoes before and I nevertheless succeeded. Of course, of course. Lucky you. But were you really in the same shoes? He was a graduate of the new millennium when competition was stiff and discrimination was rampant.

And yes, to be positive, he triggered some small time jobs in Manila in order to sustain his basic a karpentero, kargador, waiter sa bar...

Did he exert enough effort to find a job?

Much more than you could imagine. Every CV and motivation letter he sent represented hard-earned pesos for him. Every refuse letter was a disappointment not only for him, more so for his family. Not only his stay in Manila was unproductive, most importantly, it was costly. He then decided to go home to the province - to work as a karpentero, kargador, waiter sa bar...but this time, less the charges.

Was he a loser?

I don't think so. The fact that he gave up in finding a job in Manila doesn't make him a loser at all. It was just the most practical choice at that point. He had no capital, he knew nobody, there was no opportunity - all these circumstances pushed him to move on and find another opportunity somewhere else.

Did he have the choice?

If you couldn't relate at all to his story, that means that you belong to the Elite Filipinos of our country. If you never heard of such kind of story, that means that you frequent the Elite Filipinos of our country. If you refuse to accept that such situations exist in our country, then I tell you, you've been dreaming for so long and it's time to wake up!

back to reality

Posted by Analyse at 6:40 PM

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Among the list of barriers preventing foreign investments in the Philippines, macroeconomic instability, corruption and poor infrastracture topped the list. Read more.

Any thoughts?

just dreaming..

Posted by Analyse at 6:57 PM

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I've been watching TV last night and Nepal was featured on one of the channels. The innocent landscapes untouched by the chaotic technology and the unblemished culture just captured the adventurer inside of me. I would like to explore what this country has to offer. I would like to walk around its little villages, talk and exchange smiles with its people, climb its mountains, breath its air..I would like to approach the alluring Mt Everest.

I have met one of the visitors of Nepal in one of my climbs, and his experience was still vivid in his mind...I would like to live the same of these days, I will be climbing one of its mountains!

I haven't been there but I start to love this country. It's one of the hike destinations I dreamed to explore.

tiger of asia?

Posted by Analyse at 11:50 AM

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The french and european leader in beauty products and perfumery distribution Marionnaud has been bought by a chinese business tycoon Li Ka-Shing, owner of AS Watson among others.

Read on.

An investor from a developing country to a developed country. A new twist in the global economy. It wasn't of course the first investment but this new development marks China's quest to conquer the business world. Not only it presents as a production haven for investors, it also highlights its intention to be one of the important actors in the competitive business world.

Looking back, there was a time when Philippines was the Tiger of Asia. Where are we now?

Cost of Living = Quality of Life

Posted by Analyse at 7:02 PM

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Among the millions of differences I had to get used to in living in another country, I particularly had a hard time getting accustomed to… vacations! I never had a vacation plan. I was used to my Philippine life where ‘long’ vacations had rare apparitions, that is, twice a year – Christmas and Holy Week! Needless to say that I’d rather spend those precious vacations with my family and friends in my hometown than spending it elsewhere.

But on second thought, if I had real long vacations in the Philippines, will I have the means to have a luxurious vacation? Could a simple employee as I was afford such getaway? Let me analyse…

I was a simple employee with an average salary and with a good independent life. Considering that I was just starting my career at that time, though I had total financial independence, I also had limited access to financial freedom and luxury. I could afford vacations, of course, but in a not-so-expensive scenario. Like everybody else, I had moral obligations towards my family, so before burning those bucks out in some cozy bars in makati or manila or even farther, I had to give my share to my sisters/brother in Manila. I committed myself to such charity to lighten my parent’s financial burden – the monthly bills are deadly!

Let me compare it with what I enjoy now.

I’m still a simple employee with an average salary and with a good independent life, redundant isn’t it? But the ratio between the cost of living and my purchasing power has increased. In the Philippines, it is sad to say that this ratio is in total disequilibrium. There is no balance between what you earn and what you have to pay. It seems to me that it is calculated on a survival basis. We live to work, well, for most.

Dollar earners would say that life there is not expensive. Euro earners will surely have a grand time with their 1€ = P74. But in reality, the cost of living is high! Terribly high!

I had a brief discussion with my mom this weekend. Since my parents are both retired now, no more children in school, I was trying to persuade them to finally enjoy their life and stop thinking about finances. I may sound French this time, but I guess they have completed their mission and deserve a break. My dad continues with his insurance thing and ventured his retirement money on business. It’s a good move, but then, as I’ve said, what will they do with their money? Their monthly pension should be enough to live correctly. They could even afford to have a little leisure on the side. But they just refuse this idea. – I know I will never succeed to change their mind – it’s the mentality. they would work as long as they could!

caring for mother earth

Posted by Analyse at 4:21 PM

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The tragedy caused by the killer tsunami still haunts me until now. After the typhoons in the Philippines, here we are again with another bigger catastrophe in Asia. I cant help but think about my family left in the Philippines, they're safe..but until when? I cant anymore stand watching those sufferings on TV.. my heart goes out for them.

As everybody has probably noticed, our climate has been changing: heavy rains experienced on a summer season and dryness on a rainy season. 3 consecutive typhoons on the month of December…?

On environment

It was in 1999 when I first encountered Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001) in the Philippines through a conference offered by the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PIChE). In layman’s term, I’ll just translate it to a company’s engagement to protect the environment. Different big companies were represented during the conference…I was there on my own account.

The approach was, for me at that time, a bit ambitious considering the investments involved..and the question..will the Filipinos take this step seriously? Will they be willing to sacrifice part of their profit to venture for this cause? Of course this initiative doesn’t only mean expenses, it also mean long-term profits…but as written, it’s long-term.

Being a French filial and following the company’s global politic on environment and security, our production site in the Philippines is certified ISO 14001 (and OHSAS 18001 too). It’s comforting to see that their approach is even more structured than what we have here in France. Yes, finally, the Filipino can!

Carrefour’s initiative

When I was on vacation in Venice, I thought that this city was an agreeable place to visit, not only because of its beauty but also because of its cleanliness. No cars, no buses…non negligible knowing that transportation is number one on the list of pollutants. Another observation was that, shoppers bring their own baskets / plastic bags to minimize their wastes. That was a good way to environment protection, and I wondered when would France engage the same approach…

Like all other Tuesdays (discounts are offered for cartepass holders exclusively on Tuesday), I was in Carrefour last Tuesday to refill my stocks. When I was about to arrange what I bought, I was surprised to see no plastic bags where they used to be, so I asked the cashier for some so I could help her fix them. Well, actually, she explained to me that they already stopped (or should I say minimized as they still give some - just enough for what you bought unlike before when everything was open to customers) giving away plastic bags.

Two thumbs up for Carrefour for their initiative to environment protection. I’m sure all other supermarkets will adapt the same politic sooner.

My role as an individual

Needless to say that I do separate recyclable / non recyclable wastes at home - it requires a minimum effort to be environment friendly.

I had a 3-day training on Functional Analysis which was very interesting and in line with what I do. During process conception, environment and security are imperative functions which shouldn’t be omitted – not forgetting of course the quality of the final product.

As an engineer and working in an industry, I am of course aware that I am a hazard to the environment – but rest assured, I am certified ISO 14001 :) !

Visit to La Cité des Sciences et de l'industrie

Science buff as I am, during our one-day stay in Paris with my frenchman’s niece, I brought her to the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (science and industry museum). Luckily, there was this animation on the changing climate and its causes. I wanted her to be aware thus, be responsible at an earlier age.

One thing that marked her attention was that, in the year 2500, if activities continue as they are right now, Paris will surely be below sea level!

How could we help preserve our environment for the next generation to come?