Friday, October 19, 2012

What I Learned from Tito Jim

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Just today, I heard rumors around my crib that there was a jeepney accident that happened last night. I reside at a stone throw distance from the place of the accident, so I presume it was true. Little did I know a good friend died there.

Perhaps I am among the last to find out that one of my churchmate and good friend, Jimmy Galang, aka Tito Jim, had a heart attack leading to the accident last night. He was rushed to the hospital, but he passed away there. When I read Kuya Jon's (one of my pastors here) status update posted just before 2:00 AM (and it was before 6:00 PM when I read it) as suggested by another churchmate, I got stunned, got chills, and totally forgot I am watching Calvin Abueva's celebrated PBA debut! What has just happened?

I will totally miss him a lot. His life is already a lesson to me. I will not tell the full details of his life, but I'm telling you that you would not gonna believe me in saying that he had a very miserable life prior to knowing God first. Many would say, "Nah! He will not change." But no, his life changed when he gave up his life to Christ. Because of his passion and the new life, he became active in the ministry. He helped in starting an outreach program for the poor and needy every Saturday which continues until today despite him not being able to come frequently because of health matters. He was also an usher during the mid-morning services and befriended almost everyone in the church.

I agree with what Pastor Dennis Sy said, that we should make 1 Timothy 1:15 as our status update. It was exactly his story. He may be among the worst of sinners, but when Jesus Christ came to his life, everything changed. His sins are now forgiven. He is now a son of God. He is a brand-new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is not just a churchmate and friend, he is a role model to me. If he was changed, so am I. His death may be untimely, but God reminded us through this event that everything will be fine. Tito Jim is now with the Lord. Thanks for the memories. See you up there. As this song goes, even if the bad news come, let's hold on to God.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Hardcore Editorial

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The Palawenian
As a news writer, I always make a point to
make my article impartial.
I was the sports editor of our high school paper and is now the current sports editor for an emerging online news site, so I always get a glimpse of the editorials my EIC's (shoutouts to JB, Aya, and Carlo) write, but I've never seen such an editorial as this. The Varsitarian, UST's official school paper, posted the editorial for its new issue on its website, and all who read it, even the Thomasians, are like, "Whoa!"

The article calls the attention of the professors and students of Ateneo and De La Salle who express their support for the Reproductive Health Bill. In a shocking manner, the editorial called them "lemons and cowards". While the editorial says UST still supports the call of the bishops to repeal the bill, I never thought that the article writer (although it's the EIC who usually posts editorials, I don't think it's the EIC who posted it) would inflict a direct hit to the Ateneans and La Sallians. He even calls the Thomasian profs who are also supporting the RH Bill to resign if they continue to do so.

The editorial was obviously not made to get back to Ateneo after spotty officiating cost UST the UAAP Finals Game 1 win (the editorial was made before September 30, when the latest issue was made available), but saying that Ateneo and La Salle have lost their minds is more painful than Coach Pido Jarencio crying foul for what happened in Game 1. I am supporting the RH Bill, but I will never ever throw a sucker punch to the anti-RH people online. Each of us has a reason why we support the bill or want it dropped, and we respect each other. Even Coach Pido will not go beyond basketball about what he thought is "too much Ateneo-favored" officiating and blast Ateneo for letting its community speak in favor of the bill.

Now I understand what my homie Alex Castro posted regarding freedom in his own blog. According to the article, allowing our feelings to take over the internet doesn't mean we're free. Now, social media goes abuzz about the Varsitarian editorial. You may be free to post everything, but get ready if people don't like what you posted.

All I can say is that it's OK to post your sentiment regarding an issue, but we should also respect the people in our surroundings. Jesus Christ even told us to love them as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). If you're about to post something similar to this, and you still don't know how to do it in such a manner that you will respect your Thomasian and your friends who are opposite your stand in RH Bill, seek God. In fact, you should seek Him first, and everything will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

I may be from UP, but I have Thomasian, Atenean, and La Sallian friends, and I know this article could test their friendship. I hope that the friendship of the Thomasians, Ateneans, and the La Sallians will not be hampered by this hardcore editorial.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Take on the Cyber Crime Law

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The black pictures on Facebook and Twitter symbolize the death of the free-
dom of speech after the passing of the Cyber Crime Law.
It doesn't mean that I'm not in favor of the Cyber Crime Law, I'm not in favor of every word that is written there. In fact, I'm glad that the common cyber crimes like cyber pornography will be tackled there and cyber bullying will be at least minimized. However, the libel clause, the most controversial part of the law, puzzled me a lot.

I agree with what everyone said of this "takedown" clause. It's too broad and vague. Now, everyone will ask, "Do you consider this article that I'm about to post libelous?" "If I add this word, will it make my article libelous?" Now, even if you think your article is no way libelous, as long as someone finds your article offensive, he can sue you. Every time I open TLIMC, I'm aware that non-Christians can access my article. While I still hope someone gets touched by my article, I'm also ready to answer the questions of the Agnostics, Atheists, and those from the other religions. Now, no more questions asked. "I find it against our beliefs. I will sue you for libel." The irony: the same people can sue each other if they post something that the other groups think is libelous. We don't want that to happen.

Another glitch of the clause is that someone can still be sued for libel for an article he posted ages ago for the reason that they only read it today. In my other blog, Sporty Guy, I posted my disappointment to SM Tickets for the problems they encountered during the mall-wide ticket selling of the Samsung UAAP Cheerdance Competition. While I know it's just their first try of managing the ticket selling, it's no doubt even more atrocious than 1995, when the competition began, or even the 1st NCAA Cheerdance Competition in 2001 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, whose ticket selling is controlled by TicketNet. While the article was dated September 21, which according to a lawyer Sam Gogna, Tony Bueno, and Rick Virata of Magic 89.9 called up during their radio program Boys Night Out will not fall under the jurisdiction of the CCL, SM can say they only read the article today, the time the effect of the CCL starts, and they can still sue me for libel.

I'm aware that libel is not a joke, but freedom of expression is also not a joke. I know I'm free to write, but I also make sure that my posts will not be too offensive to the other side. This is the reason why I at least want the CCL to be amended if not completely turned down. My UAAP Cheerdance Newbie Gaming post and my UFL post about the AFP soccer teams became battlefields for those who didn't like what happened. Although I now have the power to sue them, I don't know who to start. They're named "Anonymous". Most, if not all, of the websites allow anonymous commenting. Another thing: I have no plan of suing the commenters, because it's their right to express their own thoughts. If not for the commenters, I would not finish my UAAP Do the Math article.

There are still a lot of ways to post our articles online. Let's be creative, dynamic, and strategic. My homie David is right when he posted this, something I missed out. And one more thing, let's ask God (Allah for the Muslim readers, Buddha for the Buddhists, or the Hindu gods for the Hindu audience) for the wisdom to be responsible online users. This Cyber Crime Law, despite not liking it, gives us a reminder that the computer and the internet are not to be used for too much fun. We may be of different religions, but let's be united for our freedom to express our own thoughts. Peace out!

PS: I just wanna share this verse (with all due respect to the people of the other religions): Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)