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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, September 27, 2012
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Choices We Make
with Benjamin Calderon


Benjamin Calderon

It is always interesting to take time to reverse our perspectives on issues and life’s circumstances. In our doing so, we get to have a wider perspective in making choices that exercise our principles and mold our character.

It is too early to be making choices on who to vote for in the coming elections.  I am all ears when political personalities are involved or the topic as this is the time for those concerned to reveal their true selves.  The altercation between the Senate President and a re-electionist Senator is one opportunity to learn more.  Their exchange of heated thoughts, accusations and explanations reveal to the whole world the kind and quality of leaders we have entrusted with legislation.  One question I always ask is, “what is the motive or objective?”  Their dispute is now related to the national issue of foreign policy with relation to our disputed claim of the Scarborough Shoal, as well as, local policy of dividing political provinces or districts.  Hopefully on in the days to come the personal egos are properly subjugated and discussions on the relevant issues are held.

Another circumstance is the media’s or news reporting as differentiated from the introduction of a manipulative spin in relation to the political “balay” versus “samar”.  We can also take the view that the competition between the groups, if any, is healthy for check and balance, provides the decision-maker a wider base of information to stand on when making a choice with consideration for national interests.  I can only hope that the President has his own personal smiles arising from amusement when he is able to listen and learn from both competing sides.  We can relate to this while being objective spectator at an athletic game

Also the developing story of businessman Manny Pangalinan’s relationship with his Alma Mater in relation to the current issues of the Reproductive Health Bill, the issue of mining and the environment, plus plagiarism is one opportunity to get know better the person and national issues that confront all of us.  Not an easy task to handle for one in the spot light.  For you and me, we need to take time to reflect on and make our choices with regards to population, the mining industry and personal integrity.

Finally, Silliman University High School Class 1975 bids “Godspeed” to Rodolfo Rafal, our classmate, who has embarked on his journey to heaven.  While we take time to mourn with his love ones, now is also the time to consider that the most glorious moment in our life is when we finally meet our God.  This moment happens after our last breath. 

Let us end with an attempt to smile and remember to appreciate life’s test with the following anecdote.  My name is Alice Smith and I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his diploma, which had his full name.

Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 30-odd years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then? Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Morgan Park High school. 'Yes. Yes, I did.' he gleamed with pride. 'When did you graduate?' I asked. He answered, 'In 1967. Why do you ask?''You were in my class!' I exclaimed. He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled, fat, gray-haired man asked, 'What did you teach?'*

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