Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pop Music: Is It Only Entertainment?

This article from is by far one of the best commentaries I’ve read on pop music and its influence on our daughters. The author and I share the same sentiments with good Ol' pop music (i.e Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, etc.) and my angst with the current crop of pop starlets (i.e Rihanna, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, etc.). We rant about pop music’s use of over-sexualized lyrics, self-hating labels on women, raunchy publicity stunts and the blatant hypocrisy of the music industry for turning a blind eye to its own and the callousness of the listening public to give these artists a pass and regard them as role models - all because "its only entertainment,"... yeah right!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What the Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Corona Tells Me

There are mixed opinions surrounding the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. But there's only one message the trial tells me. The trial tells me that the rule of law in the Philippines is alive and well no matter how perceived its corrupt or disappointed Filipinos are with the country’s justice system. The Constitution remains the supreme law of the Philippines and it's designed by God to create order and a strong moral foundation for the country. A foundation strong enough to withstand "storms" and able to hold "bad fruits" in our government accountable for their actions. Clearly no one is above the law.

Repeating what I said in a previous article, it's up to us parents to teach our children about politics and tell them what they see in the news are great lessons in what they ought not imitate. News like the Corona impeachment is a teaching opportunities to tell them that doing the right thing always matter.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What's the Real Cause of Crimes in the Philippines?

As the poverty incidences in the Philippines and the proportion of Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger increases in the last decade, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that crime rates in the country are in a downward trend. According to the PNP, 502,665 cases of crimes were recorded in 2009 to only 246,958 in 2011, indicating an average monthly decrease of 3.57% by the end of 2011. The PNP's Chief Executive claimed that the drop in crime rate was because effective anti-crime measures have been put in place in the form of increased police visibility in crime prone areas.

The PNP efforts to stop crime were great but I don't think it's the best solution nor the most effective to bring crime rates down. Alleviating Filipinos from poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and other ills of our society can do little to have a significant impact to maintain peace and order in our neighborhoods.   To fix the problem, the root cause of crime should be addressed.

The cause of crime is not poverty or the inability of the government to provide basic social needs such as jobs and education. Crimes are caused by people making wrong moral choices. Yes, lack of employment or food on the table is an influence but its the lack of moral training that cause an individual to steal, cheat or murder. Most Filipinos know what's right or wrong but the bigger question, and most important question to ask - do Filipinos have the will to do what is right even in the face of temptation or incentives to do what's wrong?

To deal with crime we have to start with the task of moral reformation and teaching ethics to Filipinos. Increasing police presence and stricter crime laws only creates overcrowded prisons and not a reformed crime-free society. Family breakdown is the leading indicator of criminal activity. Instilling good character and virtues of self-discipline, integrity and service within the context of a loving family and healthy community structures like schools and churches is the best anti-crime program we all can take part and believe in. Of course its ideal to start forming these virtues when Filipinos are young. But it's not too late to start for adults. Because latest statistic shows that high poverty doesn't necessarily mean high  crimes. It's not poverty but depravity that causes crimes.  To slow it down, it should begin not by empowering the PNP but strengthening the Filipino family.

(Adapted from BreakPoint. Article also posted on Definitely Filipino)