Sunday, July 13, 2008


In the old days strong young men usually flexed muscles in order to be able to lift a one whole piece of Nipa hut or the traditional Filipino home, from one place to a quite distant new location. May it be far or near, the journey was never easy especially some walking paths were terrains that were never been flat for easy traveling. The Nipa Hut was carried on the shoulders of mostly able-bodied young men from within the neighborhood and other places as invited volunteers. Nipa Hut-is a traditional Filipino home made of bamboos as its main structural, flooring members, wall runner and roof rafters tied together by strands of bamboo skins to achieve structural strength. Its main roof is usually made of bunch of pre-arranged cogon leaves or woven coconut leaves.

The effort is what we Filipinos called the Bayanihan. This is uniquely Filipino. This tradition is still in practice in our countryside, where huge transportation is not so practicable option to lift a house or the very natures of circumstances are so poor to do it other than lifting the house by shoulders. Usually, Bayanihan starts from developing a keen planning, where to lift, what path to take and how many men are needed for the job, however the latter is not usually limited to few or to the numbers needed. As long as there more volunteers, more are so welcome to share the loads. The efforts await no monetary rewards but just cold fresh water from clean spring.

NOW THIS IS A CHALLENGE to the young, able-bodied and brightest Filipinos, both professional and skilled ones. Let the spirit of this Bayanihan be elevated on a higher level of mission, a bigger challenge and more difficult terrains to traverse.

We have numerous different associations and societies of professionals like engineers, economists, computer scientists, public accountants, lawyers, and doctors of medicines and many more, to include the skilled group of fabricators, welders, machine operators, electricians, mechanics and other trade practitioners. Most of them are scattering around the world making their employers more dominant in their respective field of businesses, while likewise their employers give them comfort in life because of their indispensable contributions through high salary rates and other benefits.

Khalliwalli (Arabic for “do not care”) the militant leaders and street activists. We sometimes need to abandon their old style of expressing grievances. More often than not, street protests ended in vain and painful laryngitis at the end of the day. All the time the ordinary people are the once affected by their acts like Tigil-pasada and traffic congestion due to mass rally on streets. Militants have more loud shouts (than result) to effect changes and always trying to push the most immovable entity in the world, the government, to the hell on their feet and address our economic problem. We need to replace this style professionally. We should not shout and wait and shout again, but we rather convene, brainstorm and work for it, and maybe we can shout at later portion.

Through the years, the Filipino masses are lambasted by undeniable corruptions in the government, mismanagement, grids, poverty and political theatrical play to fool the ordinary Pinoys. Prices increase overnight but with unclear reasons behind. Oil and Currency exchange are the easy escape-goats by the manipulators and by the government, but to approach the problem with solutions is always out of their hands. Monster giant companies usually pick one (between oil and peso rate) after the other as reasons for increases, or sometimes pick them both. In my personal view, it is high time to challenge everyone (politicians not counted). Our first project to be lifted, not a Nipa Hut, but a power plant. Let the Filipinos be free from paying expensive electric bills.

Let the engineers convene to develop new power plants that do not rely solely with petroleum, or much less depend on it. It may take time but let it a mission for the generation. Technology is just around the corner, Engr. Dingle has proved it. Honda cars had proved it too. All the engineers need to do is to gather around unselfishly and contribute what they have got. Launch a contest maybe through our top universities. This is a challenge; let us carry it in our shoulder.

Last time, I saw a Pinoy engineer on television who applied a US –initiated type of engine in his passenger jeepney using used-cooking oil instead of diesel fuel. More than a half of daily expenses were saved. He is somewhere in Pasong Tamo, Makati I guess, I forgot the name. As a short brain back-track, our very own coconut oil is also used as cooking not to mention the vegetables (Halleeer! We are vegetation country kaya) Diesel emits pollution, cooking oil does not. While Saudi Arabia has abundant of natural oil, the kingdom has no vegetations and coconut trees in their deserts. Imagine a big power plant spreading the smell of “pinirito” instead of lethal carbon monoxide.

Also let the other professionals and skilled ones to convene for this patriotic agenda and contribute using their profession. (Convene not for bowling and basketball. Television exposures and name-screen flashing are also not included, unless of course one has political ambition). This is a challenge; let us carry it in our shoulder.

Needless to say, “Necessity leads to invention”. But more than enough has been invented and its only development and application are the next thing needed. Now and more than ever our necessities are too high and too big to face against. Admit it or not, in our solitary time, we are thinking of sure-shot alternatives to somehow cope up with current difficulties. How to use our cars without spending too much, how to eat enough without spending too much and how to get things we need without spending too much. Even going too church now in order to file a complaint before God about what happening is becoming too expensive too.

I know our agriculturists, nutritionists and other food scientists are so busy inside UPLB in addressing food problems. Last time they announce the development of submarine rice that can live inundated for two weeks. I wish they could develop a fast growing “kamote” that can be harvested in a month so we can just plant it inside our home-made garden, maybe inside empty tin cans. Sweet potato is better alternative to high priced rice, I guess. It is better than instant noodles as your toppings for ice cold rice and healthier too.

One example of usual innovation available to us, last time our company here in Dammam, KSA, developed a German-designed Barge Water Desalination for the royal personalities. This maybe common but Filipinos do not have it, the fact that we can do it too. The vessel travels on sea and converting sea-water to mineral water. It was quite expensive in its final commercial price of course due to too much profit our company has added, it maybe cheaper though. The unit is quite big fixed to the front of the barge to get all this water to be converted to fine potable water, but the idea is not always depend on moving barge.

I am thinking, if few million pesos from each congressman’s pork barrel will be used to this project to create desalination for constituents; people will be free from paying too much water bills or maybe for maintenance and operations contribution only. We will gonna spend once for a long time benefit, after all we are surrounded by sea. This is a challenge; let us carry it in our shoulder

This is just a challenge, take it or leave it.

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