Ang Mundo ng Bukas: 2065

Maraming mga magagandang bagay sa ating mundo: makabagong teknolohiya, tayong mga tao ay mas konektado na sa bawat isa, magagandang medisina na nakakapagpagaling sa mga sakit na dati ay hindi matulungan, atbp. Pero sa kabila nito, mayroong maraming mga bagay na nangyayari sa likuran na hindi natin napapansin o hindi pinapakialaman kahit na alam natin tungkol sa ito. Sa tingin niyo ba na lahat ng magagandang bagay sa buay ay nakukuha nang walang nadudulot na masama?

Simula palang ng panahon ng mga tao, mabilis na umuunlad ang ating mga teknolohiya, kaya sigurado tayo na habang tayo ay mas magiging magarbo at makabago sa pagdaan ng 50 at marami pang taon.

Manatili muna tayo sa ating panahon. Ayon sa sinabi ko kanina, maganda ang ating buhay dahil sa ma teknolohiya natin. Oo nga, maganda. Pero ano naman ang hindi natin napapansin? Ang mga tao at kompanya na gumagawa at nagpapaunlad nitong teknolohiya ay siyang mga sumisira sa ating mundo. Sila ay nagpapadumi sa ating mga dagat, sumisira sa ating mga gubat, at nagsasamantala sa ating mga natural na kayamanan.

Sigurado ako na pagdating ng 2065, tayo ay mayroong mga lumilipad na kotse at mga teleportation device. Ang ating mga gusali ay matataas at makikinis—yung tipong kumikintab sa araw. Baka pa nga ay tayo ay may mga kolonya na sa ibang mga planeta.

Pero may makikita ka bang puno? Maaalala mo pa ba ang dating kulay berde na nagbigay ng kagandahan sa ating mundo noon? Ikaw ba ay simpleng “mawawala” na lang sa konkretong gubat na ginawa nating mga tao?

At ikaw, mahal kong mambabasa, papayag ka ba na ito ay and maging bukas ng ating mundo? Dito kayo titira pagkalaki niyo, at dito rin mabubuhay ang iyong mga anak? Mag-ingat po tayo sa ating mga teknolohiya. Hindi lamang ito puro maganda. Nasisira din ang ating mundo. Baka pa ay wala nang tao na matira pagdating ng taong 2065. O kaya naman, hindi tayo makalagpas ng taong 2020?

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Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed

What would you do if you suddenly received a shigofumi—from someone who was dead? The sender could either be a friend or a relative. Would you accept it or no?

Last week, during the day of the class suspension, I had happened to be bored and not in the mood to do any homework. Sure, I tried playing with my PS4, but I quickly grew tired of it. I was alone at home and I happened to be reading manga. Then suddenly, a thought popped into my mind: What was the name of that series I remember reading in that magazine three years ago? Deciding that I would watch that to relieve my boredom, I googled out the details of the show and came across “Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed.” So there I went and watched the anime.

What I saw… was the most amazing blend of death, life, messages and emotion.

Fun Fact: The Kanji for “shigofumi” uses “shigo”, which means ‘after death’, and “fumi”, which means ‘letter’. But for some reason, it types out the title in Katakana.

So what’s the premise of Shigofumi all about, anyway?

shigofumi

Shigofumi tells the story of a postman named Fumika, a no-nonsense girl who works to deliver the final messages and sentiments of the dead to whomever they write down as a recipient. Each episode focuses on Fumika delivering each letter, occasionally throwing in a discussion between her and another character or her talking staff, Kanaka, about the lives of us humans. Postmen are chosen from among the dead, thus they do not age, but Fumika ages—albeit this is unobvious—which signifies she is alive.

An anime that’s just about letters being delivered to their loved ones?! Boring!

No, it’s not the same thing over and over again… Sure, each episode is about the delivery of a letter, but what makes each one unique is the method, the timing by which the letter was delivered and who the receiver was that made each episode unique. Take this one non-spoiler example from the show: the letter was from this guy who committed suicide and the recipient was his friend who looked as if he had crossed a personal event horizon.

And on another note, what’s nice about this show is that characters (who haven’t died) from other episodes appear in the next episodes as well.

The characters are all well-crafted, though some might seem cliche. Each one, despite all their flaws and actions are well presentations of the fact that they are humans. They serve to remind us of the beautiful ugliness of us humans. And their method of presentation is also a factor of what makes them great. Take for example a very minor character who only in the beginning of the OVA. His daughter needs to undergo surgery for reasons not clearly stated. What does he do? Rob a bank to get the funds that he needs, all the while saying sorry and apologising to the staff and the hostages. What happens next? Fumika comes in and gives him a shigofumi…

from his daughter.

In the end, the commotion is resolved peacefully with the father surrendering to the police, crying for his now dead daughter.

I honestly would like to say more, but what this anime has given me… it’s just something that is too amazing to express with words.

Rating: 10/10

Freedom of Information

 

Warning: There may or not be some (not really) offensive, nonsensical, and totally unrelated content. Please take note that they will NOT be edited out of this blog. Don’t blame me if something here offends you, dear reader, because I don’t care.

You ever hear some of those rumours or street information (for lack of better terms) regarding the media and how some information, whether they are official or not, gets censored by some media outlets?  If you’ve been on the internet for as long as I have, you might probably have seen at least one nut-job or  conspiracy theorist going on about how the government is manipulating the media to serve their own interests or to protect some sort of state secret. The most popular topic (in its time at least) may have been the Roswell Incident in New Mexico, where an alleged UFO crashed, while the U.S. government insisted that it was a U-2 spy plane or some Commie spy plane.

Are you starting to have an idea of what I’m getting at? Well, buckle up for another minute or hour or so, because we are NOT here to talk about government conspiracies or any of that hicky-doo. Heck, we aren’t even supposed to be talking about that in the first place. No, it’s not because the National Security Agency is spying on me. I live in the Philippines. (Looks out the window and sees two men in black cars, wearing suits and sunglasses. Oh crap!)

Anyway, let’s get back on topic: Duterte’s passing of an Executive Order regarding the Freedom of information. (FREEDOM! WOO!)

“President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an Executive Order mandating full public disclosure of all offices under the executive branch, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar announced Sunday, July 24.” (http://www.rappler.com/nation/140718-duterte-signs-executive-order-freedom-of-information) [1]

Now, regarding this: In doing so, President Duterte has basically stated that every single record of public offices, including, but not limited to, government institutes and organisations, universities and colleges, shall be made accessible for the public. Yes. Every. Single. Record. These include documents, papers, reports, contracts, minutes-of-the-meetings, photo, video and data, physical or electronic. Woah. That is a LOT of information being made public. Emphasis on “public.”

In simple terms, this means that the entire populace of the Philippines now has the right and means to access oh-so-much valuable and important information. (On another note, the people can also have access to some very, very nobody-else-can-know kinds of info and secrets… “Quick! Someone destroy any incriminating evidence that the prosecutors can use against us in court!” said the head of [Insert Name of Government Institute Here] to his/her subordinates, two days before they made all their information and records available for public viewing.)

“No person requesting for information shall be denied access unless the information sought “falls under any of the exception enshrined in the constitution existing law or jurisprudence,” the EO stated.” (http://www.rappler.com/nation/140718-duterte-signs-executive-order-freedom-of-information) (Yes, also from the same source. I know. Don’t judge me.)

On another note, regarding the FOI EO: “MANILA, Philippines — A landmark order that would require all government offices under the executive branch to disclose details of their transactions has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in a move that officials said would promote transparency and strengthen public participation in governance.” ([2] < The number is the link, dear reader.)

Even Philstar agrees with this; though in a different manner. But hey, still (almost) the same.

Now, even though the Freedom of Information Executive Order by President Duterte requires that government institutes and organisations disclose all of their records and information, there are certain exceptions. These exceptions include, but are not limited to matters that concern national security and the protection of the people. So yeah, info will be made public, but not all of it. (Suck on that, terrorists! You still can’t do anything to the Filipino people!)

So, let’s ask a question: What is the point in all of this Freedom of Information Executive Order? Don’t we, the public, already have access to government information?

My answer: Then tell me, do you have any clue on what’s been going on “behind the doors” of the government officials that are accused of being corrupt?

Me neither. (What did you expect me to say? They’re making it rain cash in their private offices?)

Anyway, the point of this EO is to strengthen transparency and improve public participation in governance. And the first step is to let all (not all) records be available for public access and review. How do you expect a relationship to work out if one party is keeping secrets from the other? It would horribly fall apart, because there must be a level of trust to be able to maintain a good relationship. Just like how there must be trust between the public and the government in order to maintain the stability of a country.

duterte-foi

[Source]

Extra Excerpt (that will probably give you more info than the post…):

“Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate welcomed the President’s move to finally sign an EO on FOI.

‘This is very good and long awaited step in the quest for transparency and accountability in government,’ Zarate said.

Zarate stressed, this is a clear recognition of every Filipino’s right to ‘have access to information and official records.

The lawmaker added, the Executive’s initiative is ‘certainly a challenge’ to Congress to pass ‘an all-embracing FOI law.’

‘We urge in particular the House leadership to fast track the passage of a genuine FOI bill, one that will truly reflect the principles of full transparency in government and full accountability of government officials and employees,’ Zarate said.

Zarate filed an FOI bill marked as House Bill 334 last June 30.  The lawmaker added, a genuine FOI is ‘a necessary tool’ in the fight against graft and corruption and against other forms of abuse and excesses in the government.” [Source]

A copy of the Executive Order: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/574869/news/nation/executive-order-on-freedom-of-information/top_picks?order=1

Special mention to President Noynoy Aquino who tried to pass this bill during his term but failed. What a failure of a president.

1k words!!! WOOHOO!!!