Sunday, August 15, 2004


Adapted from my e-mail.

Happy birthday SHARE! Happy birthday to Marcial Soriano, one of the co-founders of SHARE (isn't he the coolest?)

I’m taking a little time off from “The Life of Otep” to say a few things ----

First, I am glad that we have continued to be in touch through our e-forum for airing out our views and sharing a little bit of our lives. I wish more people were more participative though.

I am glad that many people have continued to live the SHARE spirit in their lives even though we as an organization have not continued doing so. For those who plod on and try, kudos to you and I am behind you all the way even if I am all the way over here in KSA.

I am glad for the many friends that I have met through SHARE and even though at times I was not the best in my role to them (co-facilitator, center person, work colleague, or simply a person to hang out with), I am so grateful that so many have chosen to stick it out with me. One day I pray I will be given an opportunity to be there when I am needed.

I am glad for the education for life that SHARE has made possible for me and that I have learned so much more than I ever expected, received more than I have given, and blessed more than making it possible for others to be blessed through me. In some crazy way, I am humbled because I never thought I gave enough to the people we served and more importantly, to you the people that I have worked with for the 15 or so years I have been involved in SHARE before I left the Philippines.

I believe there is still room, what’s more, time for all of us SHARE people to move ourselves in a new direction if not a new ministry. I only wish that I had done more when I had the opportunity to do so back home.

Most of all, I believe in all of you who have lived, loved, learned with SHARE, have freely given, have shared joy and pain, blood, sweat, and tears all throughout these years. I pray that our guiding lights (the Brothers) will continue to be strong amidst the challenges and remain as inspiring to other youth so that they too, in their own way, blaze a path of, and to, service for youth at risk. I pray for everyone in this group (and especially those who are out of the loop) ... and even as I realize each of us has his or her own intentions, my prayer is for us to continue in the faith and that we continue to strive to put meaning in our lives and in the lives of others.

So goes another year in the life of SHARE. May we all have another year and much more together.

Happy birthday, SHARE. And... everyone, thank you.

(For those who don't but would really like to know, SHARE is the Service for Human And Religious Experience organization, founded in 1982 by graduates of La Salle Greenhills high school. Up until the year 2000, SHARE was active in administering retreats, recollections, and training seminars for Lasallian communities and in other apostolates.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Waiting on Robert Jordan

Dang that Robert Jordan! How could he create a compelling series with such great pace to begin with and then degenerate into nothing! I agree with those who say that with "Crossroads of Twilight," the tenth volume of The Wheel of Time Series, Robert Jordan has managed to sandbag the pace of the series to a halt with the number of plots and sub-plots.

It was really fun until "The Dragon Reborn" and despite the drop-off in volumes 4 and 5, volume 6, "Lord of Chaos" has one of the best magic and metal fight sequence. Now the series is pitifully dragging out, begging for an ending. Jordan should just finish the series and come out with separate books on the sub-plots.

Even one of the most verbose of writers, Stephen King, took a jab at Jordan in his auto-bio/how-to book “On Writing.” Jordan is simply not getting to the point. I loved the series all the way to “Lord of Chaos.” “A Crown of Swords” was the first indication that the series would start to suck, especially the darned ending.

Obviously, TOR and Jordan are milking the series for the cash cow it is. The complete novel “A New Spring” came out and now Jordan will complete a three-book series on how Moiraine and Lan came to the Two Rivers just in time to take the ta’veren in hand. What a sell-out. I would have been happier to see that Jordan wrote the story of Rand (a.k.a. Tyr/the Fisher King) as one whole and give Mat (a.k.a. Odin/Heimdall/Rig) and Perrin (a.k.a. Thor/Perrun) their own book series to complement Rand’s story. Hell, you can throw in one whole book each for Egwene, Elayne, and Nynaeve, the history of Aes Sedai, how the Seanchan became Seanchan, the rise and fall of Artur Hawkwing, and the War of the Shadow. The last I would have enjoyed had Jordan written it as a separate series instead of making footnotes or references to it everywhere in WoT.

But I'm sure once the next book comes out, I'll be among the first in line to buy it. I'm such a sucker. It's worse than being whipped by your woman, not that I would know anything of that right now.

Sunday, August 01, 2004


Maybe I should put down more of my "political beliefs" in this blog. NOT!

Other than the random rant, what more can I say that hasn't been said? I don't think it would be such a good idea for me to do anything of that sort, given the fact that I am steeped in cynicism. I did wave the placards once, got gassed and received volleys from the water cannon back in the day. Somehow that seems to be one feverish dream, as if all the anger for a formless, shapeless Establishment was drained away.

Where is the relevance of seeking more rights for the people? Where is the righteous indignation over the decline of the Filipino spirit? Or of atrocities occurring in Iraq? Or of the unjust hegemony of the United States? Would I really think about what would happen if G.W. Bush would win a second term?

If I had wanted a career in government, maybe I should talk more about injustice. But the cause for change shouldn't come from without, but from without. In pragmatic terms, drawing from Machiavelli, it doesn't really matter what a "statesman" or a government does, it is how it achieves its results. Power in itself is its own means and ends.

If, however, someone crows loudly about "might for right" just look back and see how well that he, she, or it, matches the stated aims with the procedure and the result. That will be the yardstick of success and credibility. Given the way things stand, it still pays to be in the good graces of the United States. Whatever governments/groups do in foreign policy to oppose or coalesce with the US, or to advance certain economic or cultural policies, it is because they see that it is in their interest to do so. The results may be disappointing to some, but that is the reality we have, and will remain so until parochialism of one form or the other will be replaced by a true Earth-based ideology, or "Earthism."

That will be the relevance I am aiming for.