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The J Spotter

Personal insights from the J Spot author J. Angelo Racoma
( this site has moved to http://jangelo.racoma.net )

The J Spotter » Archives

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Updates (color scheme, subscription)

Changes as of 1030H (+0800), 29-Sep-04


Color scheme:

I reversed the color scheme such that the background is now white, and the text black. I also changed the default font to Times New Roman. I was having a difficult time reading with a black background and with a sans-serif font at that. I thought readers (however few) may likewise find it hard to read, especially with the usual length of my posts.



Subscription:


I'm now using bloglet for subscriptions. Simpler than yahoogroups or bravenet. Just key in your email address in the form provided (in the sidebar), click 'subscribe' and bloglet will inform you of new posts (along with the first 500 characters or so).

-Angelo

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I/P Updates - News and Information for Intellectual Property Practitioners

Found this site while blog-hopping. Info/updates may be useful for I.T. professionals/practicioners. -Angelo

I/P Updates - News and Information for Intellectual Property Practitioners

Monday, September 27, 2004

Daughter Dearest

This is for all the dads out there. The article was published on Page 64 of the 6 September 2004 issue of TIME Magazine (Asian Edition). My daughter is now one year and three months old, by the way. I'm enjoying every moment of it, somehow dreading and anxious, yet excited of that time when she grows up. -J. Angelo Racoma

Daughter Dearest

The little one adores you now, Dad, but brace yourself for the next chapter
www.TIME.com: Daughter Dearest -- September 6, 2004


E S S A Y
By GARRISON KEILLOR

My sandy-haired, gap-toothed 6-year-old daughter got a pair of cleated black shoes and shin guards so that she could attend soccer camp this month, which she wants to do because her pal Charlie Hooley is going, and that is how the twig is bent around here. The dad has little to say about it. Fate is everything. Thanks to a dog that jumped on her when she was 3, she is terrified of dogs, and thus are we spared the curse of dog ownership.

Almost every day my little girl climbs into her old man's lap and puts her little arms around his neck and lays her head against his chest and melts his heart like cheese under the broiler. She comes home from soccer and bursts into the house and cries "Daddy!" and runs and clasps his knees for perhaps four seconds, or three, and this is the Hallelujah Chorus and the Water Lilies at Giverny of parenthood. And sometimes she says, "I love you so much." This is so indescribably lovely that the old man feels dread in his heart: When will this Golden Age end, and what comes after it?

A little girl could be given a pony ride by her aunt Kay, and the virus of horsewomanship enters her blood, and thereafter, every Saturday morning for the next 12 years, I must drive her to Foxcroft Stables and watch Emmett, the chain-smoking, bourbon-soaked stableman, help my child up onto Crimson Blaze, who gallops away, leaping over hedges and fences, and after 15 minutes, I need a powerful tranquilizer, the kind they'd administer to a horse. Or a little girl could pick up a hockey stick and sense its potential for violence, and thus 10 years later, I have a 6-ft., 180-lb. defensewoman under my roof who loves to bang into people and knock their molars loose. My daughter is no shrinking violet. The other day I saw the little darling try to throttle a 6-year-old boy. She threw him down and was about to kick him in the pancreas. I called her name from the kitchen window, and she smiled a cherubic smile and poked him with her toe, just so he'd know what was on her mind. The old man shudders to see this.

My little girl is not into Sharing. She is a zealous guardian of her vast inventory of toys and games, her collection of more than 14,000 stuffed animals, even her handcrafted-from-natural-material playthings, given to her by liberals, which of course she never plays with. When another child ventures onto her turf and shows an interest in, say, one tiny stuffed llama made by Peruvian peasants from organic wool, the darling snatches it away, and her parents have to browbeat her into civility. The old man worries about this. I can visualize her as a selfish, overbearing snot — visions of the Bush daughter in the limo, her tongue stuck out — a royal pain in the ass. I brood about this.

A 6-year-old can be managed rather well. My little girl, thanks to her vigilant mother, does not watch television (except for approved videos) or eat fast food (except when with her aunt) or drink soda pop (ditto) or use foul language. She wears clean clothes and is fed fresh fruit and vegetables and that sort of thing. She is taken to kiddie concerts of classical music and to children's theater. At bedtime, with a little prompting, she bows her head and prays for people. Her teeth are clean and bright. Here I am, an old Democrat who's 150% in favor of public education, so what did I do with my own child? Sent her to a private Christian school, of course. Call me a hypocrite. We looked at a public school and decided to send her to a place where Miss Clavel is still in charge and children proceed in quiet lines into the building covered with vines, and of course, my daughter loves it there. Like most other kids, she is fond of order and rules and schedules. It's just like my old Sunnyvale School, a quiet pond of books and pen and paper. But a parent stands on a precipice. Adolescence looms ahead, which nowadays can begin at around the age of 8. Drug dealers lurk in the alley; nihilist rock 'n' roll wafts up from the storm sewer; the culture of covetousness is everywhere.

It is an act of optimism to bring a child into the world. Of course, lust enters into it too, and ignorance and sometimes mixed drinks, but a parent is, ex officio, a believer in the fundamental goodness of life. In a world of superstition, cruelty and despair, there is also friendship, fresh sweet corn, theater, the North Shore of Lake Superior, so many delightful things that tip the balance. Is this not so? The parent prays that it is so. I hear my daughter in the yard, laughing. She is on a swing, swinging so high that her head hits the leaves of the apple tree, and the weightless moment at the height of the backswing is what makes her laugh out loud. That moment when joy and terror meet. A religious moment. I want to go out and tell her to be careful, and I don't. Exuberance! Exuberance! The joy of life. For that, you need independence.

(c) Garrison Keillor

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

On Fiscal Crisis

I posted this comment on the NEDA N! News Freedom Wall (week of September 22, 2002), in response to the following question:

Recently, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo admitted, “We are already in the midst of a fiscal crisis and we have to face it squarely--wielding our courage, resourcefulness, and solidarity as a nation and people.” Fiscal crisis, as defined by international financial institutions, such as credit-rating and multilateral agencies, is being in a state of default, and having a deficit that can no longer be financed due to limited access to the capital markets. Amid talk of a fiscal crisis, NEDAns gave their two-cents worth of views on what should be done.

It may also be good to refer to a white paper by a group of UP School of Economics professors, entitled The deepening crisis: the real score on deficits and the public debt (clik here to download a PDF copy), for more information (I suggest you brew some strong coffee, or prepare a large glass of iced tea; this may be a long reading).


Government can not simply cut back on implementing its activities in the aim of averting the looming fiscal crisis. It is not economically sound to altogether scrimp on expenditures without considering the impact on various stakeholders, especially if this means a slowing down of economic growth. Hence, fiscal deficit is not necessarily bad, as long as it is kept at optimal levels. However, I believe that we are at a point where our deficit has grown out of hand, with government’s being inefficient.

I say we bring down our expenditures to a reasonable level by ensuring that government only spends for activities that are responsive to the targets/goals, and are efficient enough to provide the most benefit at the least possible cost. This may entail scrapping of non-responsive ongoing programs and projects, rationalization of the bureaucracy (all branches of government should be included--and yes, I do believe CSC will soon implement its program for this, but the coverage is only the executive branch), lessening or removing altogether the discretionary spending (as would be best exemplified by pork barrel allocations), and privatization or devolution to LGUs of national government’s non-core/non-essential activities (i.e. most GOCCs, and other activities best handled by local governments).

We should look for sustainable means to finance our deficit. On the revenue side, tax collection should be improved (perhaps not yet “increased,” but rather improved--yeah, run after the large-scale tax evaders), so we can lessen our dependence on debt. Perhaps we should consider structuring and restructuring our debt such that current servicing would be limited to manageable levels, and that new debt would be concessional enough not to be too heavy on our pockets and that of the future generations.

On austerity measures: honestly, as a civil servant, I feel the brunt of the administration’s and its respective agencies’ implementation of measures to save up. While the austerity measures in place are mostly rational and reasonable, one could not help but feel his/her psychic income declining, especially considering that the administration is scrimping on its honest civil servants (i.e. proposing to turn off the air conditioning at 5 p.m. when work in our Staff is at peak during this time), when it does not seem to be undertaking any concrete measures to effectively curb large-scale corruption, purge itself of non-essential expenditures (i.e. losing/useless GOCCs), and control the discretionary pocketing, err, spending of many legislators of their pork.

In the end, what we need is political will. We need leaders who are willing to lead by example by making sacrifices (yes, even political sacrifices) and doing the necessary steps to enhance the peoples’ welfare in the long run. We need leaders who can curb thoughtless spending, scrap/give up pork barrel, run after tax evaders, incur only reasonable debt, and whatever else needs to be done. We need leaders who are statesmen (or is “statespersons” a more P.C. term). Then we can expect the people to follow.

Having no future, we retreat to our past

(Article by William H. Esposo, as published in his regular column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Note:

Being an Ateneo alumnus myself (H.S. 1998), and one of the younger ones at that, I can't help but be disappointed at what our society has now come to. Back then, I was a typical idealistic student believing that when we come "down from the hill, into the world," we can make a difference (reference made to the Ateneo Alma Mater Song--Google it up!). Continuing my studies at UP (undergrad economics and currently pursuing graduate development economics), and now that I'm in government, I couldn't help but lose that idealism in favor of a more pragmatic, albeit pessimistic mindset. I used to shun reading/watching the news, since I read about/hear nothing but bad news, about how our country is being mismanaged (or had been mismanaged for the past decades), about how badly people are treating each other. But recently, I've come to terms with my fear of the issues, and I see myself slowly seeking to address them in my own, little ways.

Now I've come down from the hill, but I still have a long way to go. I guess the goal of making a difference is now a very difficult one to achieve. Difficult, perhaps, but nonetheless still worth pursuing. The Generations X and Y may have no "memory of a pleasant past nor a glimmer of hope for a better future," but with a touch of determination in the present, there may still be hope for the future.

- J. Angelo Racoma



Having no future, we retreat to our past

The High Ground
By: William M. Esposo
20 September 2004


In one of two Ateneo Alumni egroups that I belong to, one of us started a ‘remember when’ nostalgia trip and unwittingly unlocked wave upon wave of memories.

From the usual dozen or so emails I get every day from the alumni group, my inbox was suddenly inundated with over 40 emails a day for about a month in the running. Long-forgotten bits and pieces of the past spilled out from aging cerebral cortexes – from favorite teachers to the favorite soda fountain hang outs and the other few recreation places we had when Cubao, Greenhills and Makati were then hardly the shape and form they are today.

Of course, over 61% of our population today who had been born only in the years after the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972 will not be able to relate to those good old days when the Philippines happened to be second only to Japan in economic performance in Asia. Those of the next generation in my own family were all born after Martial Law and they can only gape in awe when we talk about how we had once been the envy of our Southeast Asian neighbors who sent their children here for that highly priced well-rounded education. Or when we tell them that the Philippine peso then was only P2 to US$1, how our currency enjoyed a P1 to HK$2 exchange rate and what shopping then in Hong Kong meant to the holder of the almighty peso.

On first instance, the next generation meets all this with disbelief. On second scrutiny, they become bewildered. For them, enjoying but half of what we had going in the 50s and mid-60s would suffice to create a paradise of sorts taken in the context of the Philippines they had known for the last 10 years.

All this makes us wonder if we of the older generation are better off and more fortunate having known happier times. Or are the members of the next generation who were born without the personal experience to form the basis of comparison between better and worse times more blessed in never being able know what they have missed?

Yet this is the tale of two Filipino generations today. The post-war babies born between 1946 and 1960 are the baby boomer generation. The other set are the Gen X and the Gen Y. The baby boomers have a past worth remembering while those of the Gens X and Y hardly have a future to look forward to.

To us the baby boomers, we were told to be self-reliant by obtaining a proper education. We believed and we knew that a college degree guaranteed a comfortable life, a secure future. A post-graduate education then even assured a baby boomer from the underclass a chance to uplift his living standards. In those days, our news dailies were replete with tales of rags to riches, of impoverished students elevated to higher stature by sheer determination to complete higher studies.

In fact, many baby boomers became successful even without attaining a college degree, nothing extraordinary about that. Some college undergraduates were so successful in their chosen fields that the Department of Education had allowed them to teach in universities on the merit of their own successes which in themselves took the equivalent of post-graduate credentials.

Nowadays, I hardly hear of such feats among the Gen Y and the Gen Xers. Theirs is a different reality altogether. In the world today of the Gen Y and the Gen X, not even a post-graduate degree can guarantee employment. To a baby boomer entering Harvard in 1964, he already has a list of companies wanting to hire him when he returns to the country. For a Gen Y today returning from Harvard, he too must join the employment line.

After the assassination of Ninoy Aquino on August 21, 1983, the economy went on a tailspin. I was then the president of a medium sized ad agency and we placed a classified ad for an account management assistant. Normally, fresh graduates of a Mass Communications bachelor’s degree would apply for such vacancies. But to my surprise, I received, among others, an application from a fresh graduate from Yale University. That was unheard of in that day and age. At about that time too, my good friend, film director Marilou Diaz-Abaya opened a watering hole for yuppies in Quezon City. Marilou was looking for high school graduates to serve as waiters. To her surprise, Marilou received a deluge of applications from college graduates.

There was a Batasan Pambansa (as the Marcos era rubber stamp parliament was called) election coming and I was part of the opposition communications planning team in 1984. When we were assessing the issues to be raised in that campaign, it was brought to our attention that in provinces like Tarlac, people were down to eating just two meals a day. To us, at that time, that seemed like a big issue. Since 1946, especially in the provinces where food is more readily available, it has never happened that Filipinos ate only two meals a day.

That was 1984. The Philippine peso sank from P13 to the US$1 before 1983 to P 24 to US$1. The national debt was known to be at a level of P28 billion – to us then that was an astronomical amount and boggled the national imagination. Jobs did become scarce in the country. But the era of overseas employment was only just beginning. No job here, just go there. And yes, poor Filipinos were down to eating two meals a day.

Today, in 2004, we have:

1. A peso that stands P56.05 to the US$1 and fast sinking.
2. A national debt of over P3 trillion, the annual interest payment of which amounts to one-third of our national budget.
3. No jobs here and hardly any too over there. So much so that there are takers for jobs in war torn Iraq.

Now, from what we hear, many from the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder are down to eating barely one meal a day. Which – based on the known prices of basic commodities and the daily wage of the average class E family – it is doubted if that one meal is even sufficient to qualify as a decent repast.

And what do the Filipino people see? They see a political leadership that continues to be petty and persists in playing its power games. They who are down to their last morsel are the ones being asked to pay more taxes, be more austere – while their representatives cannot even give up their pork and their perks and the First Family gallivants with babies and nannies on overseas dollar depleting holidays.

Thus to us baby boomers, who had the benefit of a happier, kinder, gentler past, we revel in our memories in the hope of drowning out the bitter realities of the present. We would rather reminisce about the era of President Diosdado Macapagal – the last of the good old days – rather than suffer the pits of our frustrations over the era of the Macapagal in Malacanang today.

But to the Gen Y and Gen Xers who never had the joys of such a past and only saw depression evolve into desperation, we wonder just how long they can keep the lid on their anger and their spite. They neither have a memory of a pleasant past nor a glimmer of hope for a better future.


Monday, September 20, 2004

The New Cinderellas

(from www.pcij.org)

The popular star-search shows on television promise instant — but only too fleeting — stardom, even as they rake in millions for the networks.

by Jose Javier Reyes

FALL IN line and be a star! Buying a lotto ticket is no longer the most popular way to turn dreams into instant reality. All one has to do is to audition for the latest talent search, which has itself become the latest national preoccupation. With the competition getting tougher by the minute, the search for the precious jewels to bring more brilliance to the crown of studios and networks has turned into a sub-industry that now has Filipinos in thrall.

Click here to read more (from the PCIJ website)

A borderless world does not preclude the idea of a home

'Borderless world does not preclude the idea of a home'
By Patricia Evangelista
Inquirer News Service

(THE PHILIPPINES' Patricia Evangelista, 19, won the International Public Speaking competition conducted by the English Speaking Union [ESU] in London early this month. The second-year Mass Communications student from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, beat 59 other student contestants from 37 countries, with her five-minute talk on the theme, "A Borderless World."

In November, she will formally accept her award at Buckingham Palace from Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and president of the ESU. Following is her prize-winning speech)



WHEN I was little, I wanted what many Filipino children all over the country wanted. I wanted to be blond, blue-eyed and white.

I thought -- if I just wished hard enough and was good enough, I'd wake up on Christmas morning with snow outside my window and freckles across my nose!

More than four centuries under western domination can do that to you. I have 16 cousins. In a couple of years, there will just be five of us left in the Philippines, the rest will have gone abroad in search of "greener pastures." It's not an anomaly; it's a trend; the Filipino diaspora. Today, about eight million Filipinos are scattered around the world.

There are those who disapprove of Filipinos who choose to leave. I used to. Maybe this is a natural reaction of someone who was left behind, smiling for family pictures that get emptier with each succeeding year. Desertion, I called it. My country is a land that has perpetually fought for the freedom to be itself. Our heroes offered their lives in the struggle against the Spanish, the Japanese, the Americans. To pack up and deny that identity is tantamount to spitting on that sacrifice.

Or is it? I don't think so. Not anymore.

True, there is no denying this phenomenon, aided by the fact that what was once the other side of the world is now a 12-hour plane ride away. But this is a borderless world, where no individual can claim to be purely from where he is now. My mother is of Chinese descent, my father is a quarter Spanish, and I call myself a pure Filipino -- a hybrid of sorts resulting from a combination of cultures.

Each square mile anywhere in the world is made up of people of different ethnicities, with national identities and individual personalities. Because of this, each square mile is already a microcosm of the world. In as much as this blessed spot that is England is the world, so is my neighborhood back home.

Seen this way, the Filipino Diaspora, or any sort of dispersal of populations, is not as ominous as so many claim. It must be understood. I come from a Third World country, one that is still trying mightily to get back on its feet after many years of dictatorship. But we shall make it, given more time. Especially now, when we have thousands of eager young minds who graduate from college every year. They have skills. They need jobs. We cannot absorb them all.

A borderless world presents a bigger opportunity, yet one that is not so much abandonment but an extension of identity. Even as we take, we give back. We are the 40,000 skilled nurses who support the United Kingdom's National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million seafarers manning most of the world's commercial ships. We are your software engineers in Ireland, your construction workers in the Middle East, your doctors and caregivers in North America, and, your musical artists in London's West End.

Nationalism isn't bound by time or place. People from other nations migrate to create new nations, yet still remain essentially who they are. British society is itself an example of a multi-cultural nation, a melting pot of races, religions, arts and cultures. We are, indeed, in a borderless world!

Leaving sometimes isn't a matter of choice. It's coming back that is. The Hobbits of the shire traveled all over Middle-Earth, but they chose to come home, richer in every sense of the word. We call people like these balikbayans or the "returnees" -- those who followed their dream, yet choose to return and share their mature talents and good fortune.

In a few years, I may take advantage of whatever opportunities that come my way. But I will come home. A borderless world doesn't preclude the idea of a home. I'm a Filipino, and I'll always be one. It isn't about geography; it isn't about boundaries. It's about giving back to the country that shaped me.

And that's going to be more important to me than seeing snow outside my window on a bright Christmas morning.

Mabuhay and thank you.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Pork is a Political, not a Developmental, Tool

Pork is a Political, not a Developmental, Tool

by YVONNE T. CHUA and BOOMA B. CRUZ
(Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism/PCIJ)

As the country debates the best ways of managing the current "fiscal crisis," the focus once again has shifted to pork-barrel funds, the discretionary funds allocated to members of Congress. While some legislators have agreed to a cut in their pork, many others defend pork and justify its usefulness as a developmental tool.

The PCIJ's investigation, however, proves otherwise. This two-part series says that pork is primarily a vote-getting vehicle and a source of political patronage. It is also a tool wielded by the executive to buy the support of Congress for the bills Malacañang wants passed. Pork, moreover, provides an opportunity for lawmakers to rake in bribes and commissions from contractors of pork-funded projects.

The series explains how pork allocations grew from P12.5 million per representative in 1990, when the practice of giving legislators pork barrel was reinstated, to the current P65 million per congressman. The first part of the series shows how pork is used to keep legislators in power. The second part examines more closely corruption in pork-funded projects.

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Cell Phone Theft - a report by the Inquirer News Service

Cell Phone Theft - INQ7.net

CELL PHONE theft and its fiercer sibling, robbery (when force or threat is involved), have emerged as a new sub-branch of criminal activity, revealing a dark side to the mobile technology boom that began in the late 1990s. Click here for full stories (at the INQ7.net site).

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Ritzos Code

From my friend Gerard's weblog:

http://gsanvic.blogspot.com/2004_08_01_gsanvic_archive.html#109236787585194959

I read the novel myself. Of course, it's fiction. But one could not help but wonder about the possibilities implied by the author, especially in view of the vastly powerful institution involved.

BTW, Gerard is teaching Socio-Eco-Ethics at the Ateneo High School (where we were classmates for four years way back in the mid-90's).



a typical day at school:

"sir, have you read dan brown's 'the da vinci code'?"

"yes."

"what do you think, sir? is it true?"

(i'm borrowing this line from a bishop asked the same question.)
"where in a bookstore do you find the book?"

"...?"

"where in the bookstore?"

"fiction, sir."

while the book does make one think, it is still a literary fictional work, masterpiece or otherwise.

this icon, however, is not. it was made by andreas ritzos, a 15th century cretian, to put on canvas the religious truth that is the assumption of mary.

the reflection takes off from the icon, which the author, ms. kimball, so graciously disects into smaller portions that have their own significance. it's interesting to note that even with this article, there still exist images that aren't accounted for. (who is the boy beside the virgin mary as she is assumed into heaven? why is one woman weeping amongst angels?)

i suggest that every catholic read the full text: a reflection on the feast of the assumption, if only to gain insight into the rich tradition that is part of our faith.

advanced happy feast!


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Belsan Incident

This links to a post by my bro in his blog. I guess readers of this entry would already be aware of what happened to the school at Belsan, Russia. Click here for CNN's "World News" headline as of this posting:


http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/09/07/russia.school/index.html



A girl's poster reads "Only cowards fight kids," at rally in St. Petersburg (from CNN.com--click here for full story)


I could not agree more with the writing on the poster in the above image. Indeed, only cowards would include innocents in their war for their 'ideologies.'

Poor children. Poor parents. Poor families. What has our world come to? If I were single, unattached, or a hermit living in the mountains, I would most likely have no concern on these world events. But now having my own family (I think I used to be a hermit, heheh), I would always have my wife and kid in my mind whenever I hear about terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and the like.

What has our world come to?

Angelo

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A story about love

I got this in my email box with subject "Very touching story!!!!!! (I think there were more exclamation marks than that)." I thought I'd post it here since I did indeed find sense in the story. -Angelo

----
My husband is an Engineer by profession, I love him for his steady nature, and I love the warm feeling when I lean against his broad shoulders.

Three years of courtship and now, two years into marriage, I would have to admit, that I am getting tired of it. The reasons of me loving him before, has now transformed into the cause of all my restlessness.

I am a sentimental woman and extremely sensitive when it comes to a relationship and my feelings, I yearn for the romantic moments, like a little girl yearning for candy. My husband, is my complete opposite, his lack of sensitivity, and the inability of bringing romantic moments into our marriage has disheartened me about love. One day, I finally decided to tell him my decision, that I wanted a divorce.

"Why?" he asked, shocked. "I am tired, there are no reasons for everything in the world!" I answered.

He kept silent the whole night, seems to be in deep thought with a lighted cigarette at all times.

My feeling of disappointment only increased, here was a man who can't even express his predicament, what else can I hope from him?

And finally he asked me:" What can I do to change your mind?" Somebody said it right, it's hard to change a person's personality, and I guess, I have started losing faith in him.

Looking deep into his eyes I slowly answered : "Here is the question, if you can answer and convince my heart, I will change my mind, Let's say, I want a flower located on the face of a mountain cliff, and we both are sure that picking the flower will cause your death, will you do it for me?"

He said :" I will give you your answer tomorrow...." My hopes just sank by listening to his response.

I woke up the next morning to find him gone, and saw a piece of paper with his scratchy handwriting, underneath a milk glass, on the dining table near the front door, that goes....

My dear,

"I would not pick that flower for you, but please allow me to explain the reasons further.."

This first line was already breaking my heart. I continued reading.

"When you use the computer you always mess up the Software programs, and you cry in front of the screen, I have to save my fingers so that I can help to restore the programs.

You always leave the house keys behind, thus I have to save my legs to rush home to open the door for you.

You love traveling but always lose your way in a new city, I have to save my eyes to show you the way.

You always have the cramps whenever your "good friend" approaches every month, I have to save my palms so that I can calm the cramps in your tummy.

You like to stay indoors, and I worry that you will be infected by infantile autism. I have to save my mouth to tell you jokes and stories to cure your boredom.

You always stare at the computer, and that will do nothing good for your eyes, I have to save my eyes so that when we grow old, I can help to clip your nails,and help to remove those annoying white hairs. So I can also hold your hand while strolling down the beach, as you enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful sand... and tell you the colour of flowers, just like the color of the glow on your young face...

Thus, my dear, unless I am sure that there is someone who loves you more than I do... I could not pick that flower yet, and die.. "

My tears fell on the letter, and blurred the ink of his handwriting... and as I continue on reading...

"Now, that you have finished reading my answer, if you are satisfied, please open the front door for I am standing outside bringing your favorite bread and fresh milk...

I rush to pull open the door, and saw his anxious face, clutching tightly with his hands, the milk bottle and loaf of bread....

Now I am very sure that no one will ever love me as much as he does, and I have decided to leave the flower alone...

That's life, and love. When one is surrounded by love, the feeling of excitement fades away, and one tends to ignore the true love that lies in between the peace and dullness.

Love shows up in all forms, even very small and cheeky forms, it has never been a model, it could be the most dull and boring form ... flowers, and romantic moments are only used and appear on the surface of the relationship.

Under all this, the pillar of true love stands... and that's our life... Love, not words win arguments...It's the greatest thing one can have.