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24th MOMENT: Bullets, Crabs and Butter

Christmas on the road: Some years back we spent our Christmas holidays driving north in the mountain provinces. We visited Baguio, the Trinidad valley, Benguet and important tourist spots like Sagada and the famous rice terraces. We passed by the highest peak of the Philippine highway system touching the clouds in the early morning skies. My youngest daughter was our navigator using her IPad. We had exultant moments describing the beauty of the Philippine landscape and how developed the places were compared to our dear province of Camarines Sur. After being silent all the time my wife (SLN) suddenly blurted the ultimate description – AWESOME! ------------------------- From bullets to nails: When I was working for peace and development in Mindanao we visited a project in Zamboanga Del Sur. We arrived at a time when the project leader, the state revolutionary chairman, was busy with the construction of their enterprise center project which we gave. Upon seeing me he said “you know brother Rudy, before I was counting bullets now, I am counting nails and hinges! Before I give the orders, now my men tell me to go back to the hardware store because the door hinges that I bought were not the right ones. No tell me what is happening?” ------------------------ Product branding: We had also a project in Bagoong Making in Zamboanga del Sur. The beneficiaries named their product LBM for Labuan Bagoong Making, because they live in a village called Labuan! I cautioned the ladies that their product trademark was not marketable because it is not a sweet-smelling name for a food item. We left them thinking of another product name. ------------------------- More fun in enterprise training and product branding: (Thanks to the Bangsamoro Women Federation of of the MNLF for this lovely educational experience). One of our lady target groups in Marawi City decided on a project in peanut butter making. A couple of months after their training we visited them. They showed us bottles of peanut butter without their brand name. When I asked for the product name the group told me that they have been finding it hard to decide what name they will use. So, I asked what was in their mind. They said they want to put the name of their organization. So, I asked what name they wanting to use. And they showed me the name in a bond paper. It read: Ranao Sur State Revolutionary Committee Bangsamoro Women Delicious Peanut Butter. I said it is too long, the name will cover all of the sides of the bottle and buyers will have a hard time turning the bottle or their heads just to read the brand name. So I suggested making it shorter. After a few minutes of serious discussions, they hesitantly showed me another name in the bond paper. The new name was taken from the first letters of the first brand name that they have initially decided upon. The new brand name appeared like this: RSSRCBMW Delicious Peanut Butter! So, I said the name is difficult to read because it has no bowels. So, they volunteered to remove the abbreviations. What remained was Delicious Peanut Butter. I said the word Delicious is not a brand name because it is an adjective. So, they decided to cross out the word Delicious. What remained was Peanut Butter! So, I suggested using the name of a person. I recommended, as an example, the name of the wife of Nur Misuari – Roaida. There was a violent reaction. I asked why they don’t like the name. They said in no simple term, “she will be the one who will become famous not us!” I left without solving the issue. ------------------------ Climate change in the South Pacific: In Kiribati, a small flat island republic in the South Pacific, the issue of climate change is a life endangering challenge. In a consultation meeting on employment a participant told me: “Sir, our problem here is not about jobs, it is about where to go if the sea rises above our landmass! And there are about 10,000 souls out there! ------------------------ Crabs and population control: I learned that when crabs are placed in a closed pond, like for a fattening business, they do not mate! So, they don’t reproduce. If they feel like having sex, they bore holes in the ground to escape. Experts in population should do a research whether this can be applied to humans. ------------------------ Re-focus education: Education and training today seemed to be too much focused-on achievements, in passing exams, tests etc. How can education and training be intellectually free? Are our students able to develop original ideas other than those from the tests or through the Internet? Can COVID change the system? ------------------------ Humanizing education: With rising criminality, communal violence, corruption, terrorism, illegal drugs and widespread lawlessness it is refreshing to recollect subjects in humanities when we were in elementary, high school and in lower college such as gardening, music, literature, poetry, arts, ethics, philosophy. -------------------------

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