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Monthly Archives: April 2016


Final Grades are up!

Go to Introduction to Philosophy page and click the grade for INTFILO c36. Grade consultation will be on April 19. 2016 at 10 AM at M410.

See you!


Practice Self-Compassion

It’s finals week once again, and in a few days, you will be finding out whether you got the grade you wanted.  I know that a lot of you had set up some pretty unrealistic goals for yourself.  In so doing, you had set yourself up for quite a bit of a reality check, and that this reality would bite in many ways that could be hurtful.

Rather than self-destruct because of perceived failures, why not be more compassionate to oneself?  Just like what we learned in Philosophy, there is nothing that remains unchanged, including states of happiness and unhappiness.

This video below offers us practical ways to deal with self-doubts.




Final Paper: A Phenomenological Study On Empowerment or Powerlessness In Cyberspace

Featured Post: Johanna Gatdula of INTFILO C36

Excellent reflection on power and powerlessness in cyberspace.

The Belligerent Pacifist

Johanna Lyn U. Gatdula                                                                                                                      AB ISA                                                                                                                                                                  INTFILO

The Elegant Saga Of A…

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Featured Post: Paul Cabual of INTFILO C36

Excellent reflection on reality as played out in cyberspace!


Stuck in a Made up Reality

 “What is real? How do you define real?

If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain”

                                                                                                                                           -Morpheus (The Matrix)

Following the logic of the above statement, I now find it hard to know what constitutes reality. In its most common definition, reality is the state of things in which they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. In the field of science, an object being real or existing is something that occupies space and has the characteristics of matter.

The basic definition of reality does not easily coincide with that of cyberspace. The cyberspace is like another realm somewhat parallel to that of the real world but does not contain the physical and tangible characteristics. It only mimics reality but it has slowly and continuously taking over things that are real. Daily human activities nowadays are done with the aid of phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. If people would send messages to each other in the early years, they would write letters, make phone calls or send telegrams. Now, people would easily send emails through computers and communicate through social media. When people in the past want to make new friends they would attend a social gatherings or go out in public places to socialize and have long and friendly conversations. Now, a person can automatically have hundreds of friends within a few clicks through the help of social media. Decades ago, the cyberspace was a mere imagination but the fine line that differentiates the real word and the cyber realm is fading since its emergence in the 21st century. If sending messages and making friends in the traditional way are real, then why not doing the same things in the cyberspace cannot be easily established as real?

Living in this technological era, I am already immersed with the concept of cyberspace. Internet has been a part of my daily routine and I cannot remember a day without checking my social media accounts like Facebook timeline or Twitter page. Social media now felt like a need and a few days without social media would feel like isolation from the real world since you have no idea what is happening out there. I know that many people feel this way also. I have met several people who cannot last an hour not looking at their phones and post, like, tweet, instagram or snapchat anything under the sun which includes their selfies, food, their Starbucks drink and that #OOTD. It is quite ironic how social media seems to be their reality. Especially when going out, instead of socializing with friends that are around them, many people would choose to grab on to their phones and update their social media status.


For more, check out Paul’s blog here.

In Solidarity with the Hungry Kidapawan Farmers


The Filipino farmers, especially peasants who do not own their land, never had a good break in this country ruled by the oligarchs.  Why is hunger an important issue? I’ve written an article, “Kumakalam na Sikmura” in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, which appeared last Fall 2015 issue.  Let me share with you some of my reflections on hunger:

Issues of hunger can be compelling for a national vision. The 1987 Philippine Constitution explicitly urges the government to promote a just and dynamic social order that ensures the prosperity and independence of the nation. This social order must also free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment and a rising standard of living, and ensure an improved quality of life for all. This quality of life is characterized by the absence of complications such as hunger.

It is unimaginable to some that in a world where food abounds, so many are hungry.
Hunger affected at least 4.8 million Filipinos families in the third quarter of 2014, an upsurge from the previous year, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). The September 26-29, 2014, poll found the proportion of families experiencing involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months to be 22 percent. Considering that the average family has six members, this means that around 27 million Filipinos, or 15 percent of the country’s total population, experience hunger. Meanwhile, 4.7 percent (970,000 families) regard themselves as being severely hungry, experiencing it “all the time” or “always.” The same survey also reveals that 55 percent of the respondents
considered themselves to be poor; 43 percent or an estimated 9.3 million households considered themselves to be food poor. .Filipino economist.  JC Punongbayan claims
that in many developing countries like the Philippines, hunger remains a daily battle for survival. According to official data, the food poor are those people whose incomes fall below the cost of basic food and nutritional requirements. While the share of the population who are food poor decreased from 2006 to 2012, the absolute number of food-poor people has increased, mainly due to population growth.

Hunger has always been regarded as an economic issue because food touches everything and is the foundation of every economy. In the Philippines, economic indicators are built around the rise and fall of the price of rice, the country’s major food staple. Foods such as rice and fish (and in recent times, noodles) are subject to political strategies of states and households. Food sharing creates solidarity, while food scarcity damages the human community and the human spirit.

Kumakalam na Sikmura as Body in Pain
In everyday life, we are not usually very aware of our bodies. Only in pain does
the body intrude into the consciousness, thereby making its presence felt. The experience of hunger as physiological pain—insistent, clawing, and gnawing—demonstrates the interaction of bodies and the environment. Nancy Scheper-Hughes captures this occurrence best when she declares that a phenomenology of hunger reveals a “horrible human affliction.” It is interesting to note that the Filipino phrase kumakalam na sikmura—literally translated as the “gnawing of the stomach”— refers both to the physiological aspect of hunger as well as the state whenthe stomach “communicates” its needs to the person. When people are chronically hungry, their stomachs are always “crying,” “demanding,” and “insistent.” Kumakalam na sikmura explicitly draws attention to the relationship between the body its owner, and the social and cultural worlds it is part of. To grasp the meaning of pain, it is not enough to look at the body’s presence or absence in the individual’s consciousness. Understanding the language of the body in general and the hungry stomach in particular is only possible if the body is positioned firmly within the cultural symbolism and the context of the social groups it is a part of. Due to its insistence and demand, hunger is the best example of a phenomenon that can demonstrate how the body is real and tangible, but lends itself to symbols and meanings.

History has also shown that masses of individual, hungry bodies, when they recognize the roots of their suffering and organize among themselves, have become catalysts of change. Tragically, they are more often aroused in anger and indignation to fight wars of revolution or liberation against other members of economic/political/cultural bodies within smaller geopolitical zones in the world. Furthermore, Philippine history has shown how these events have resulted in the reorganization of political, economic, and cultural bodies, which
may identify intermediate solutions to address issues of chronic hunger. As mentioned earlier, traditional responses to hunger have revolved around resource allocation. However, while structural changes in political and economic spheres may indeed result in more efficient management systems (political bodies) and economic production systems (economic bodies), they can further cultivate more material consumption, heavily affecting the biogeosphere or environment. These tremendous changes may lead to more competition for scarce resources at the planetary level, as nation-states or regional blocs
emerge. Neocolonial forms of domination may likewise rise from these social systems, which fail to address other causes of human hunger at different levels.This cyclic competition for resources to address hunger at different levels of human existence may intensify further, unless a permanent revolution in the cultural body occurs that proposes to cultivate a state of mental satisfaction with basic ecological necessities for human survival.