Mindanao Times » Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan http://mindanaotimes.net Sun, 23 Sep 2018 16:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 CLOSE TO HOME| What about our mother tongue? http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-about-our-mother-tongue/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-about-our-mother-tongue/#comments Fri, 27 Oct 2017 01:34:30 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=49516 ]]> ONE time, I had a conversation with a friend who is a father of two, and our discussion revolved around mother tongue.

 Mother tongue is the language of the place where the child is born. My friend raised his concern about my children speaking in Bisaya. According to him, here in the Philippines, it is an edge if a child speaks in English. And so, I asked what edge he is referring to. He said that in this generation, children who can articulate ideas in English are mostly preferred by employers.

 I started thinking about his ideas. He is right, employers prefer applicants who are well-versed in English. But wait. My children are only four and seven. If there is one thing I want them to know, it is their surroundings and the language spoken around them. I have observed a good number of millennials who can really speak fluent English, just that. If I listen to the depth, I must say that something is amiss. I think it’s the depth that can be derived when one has a strong grounding to his/her environment. What I hear instead are echoes of the media; from Disney Channel, Extra Extra, TMZ, and whatnots. I can’t help but feel sorry for our country.

 I am mostly concerned about the children not meeting their mother tongue and being able to use it to express the innermost movement of their souls. By the time they reach middle school, they will start to learn English and other foreign languages. By that time too, they are capable of making sense of the foreign languages and use it in the right sense and context.

 My friend added that the children could be left behind by other kids. I asked, “Left behind with what?” He could not answer. I also don’t have an answer for that. I am not saying we should not let our children learn foreign language, I’m saying that teaching them our own will give them better sense for words as they grow.

 Anyhow, I told my friend that I subscribe to the idea of embracing our mother tongue first and later, of course, who can stop an individual from speaking a different language. I remember Dr. Macario Tiu’s article around a decade ago, it was published in a national broadsheet. The article said that if you observe closely, first world countries speak their very own language. And rightly so. A strong sense of identity will never let one forget the roots where one belongs.

 Our mother tongue has been spoken by our ancestors, long before conquistadors came and demonized them. If we look closer, this act of not letting the children use the mother tongue during their early years is telling them to forget our own derivation. I would like quote Anastasia of the Ringing Cedars of Russia, “Forgetfulness of our derivation will cause our civilization to perish.” What is wrong with our mother tongue? Nothing. To me, one way I can honor our ancestors is to speak our own language to my children. Underneath those words are hidden clues to their beautiful heritage.

 My friend laughingly answered that Bisaya lacks “panache.” I can’t help but laugh too, and, interestingly, he added, “Well, what’s more devoid of panache than a cat that tries to bark like a dog?”

-oOo-

Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother of two and a nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments, and suggestions, please feel free to email her at hello@joanmaesoco.com or visit Tuburan Institute at www.tuburaninstitute.org.

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CLOSE TO HOME| Alone time http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-alone-time/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-alone-time/#comments Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:07:21 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=48072 ]]> I HAVE not heard of the concept of alone time until I reached mid-20s. Being single that time, it was practically difficult for me to understand that we need to spend a sometime in isolation. I was mostly scared of being alone, so I did not really find time to practice it.

Then I gave birth to my first child Kasandra. I was thinking that I wasn’t ready to have a baby but I got pregnant and I chose to keep my baby. When my daughter was out, everything seemed to change. When before, it was always too easy to go wherever and whenever; having a child made my life turn 360 degrees. I had to stay home, tend to her, watch over her, feed her, and all the gazillion of things I ought to do with her. I was with her all the time! The only time I could be alone was when I needed to go to the bathroom. This went on and became more intense (at least, to me) when my second daughter came.

When I went back to work, I would get very busy and when it’s time to go home, another task awaits; namely, children. I would go home tired but it’s always a curious case that when I see my children smile, all the weariness disappears. I have talked with other parents and they say the same. Thank heavens! Each time I have that kind of experience, it would become clear in my thoughts that our children are heaven-sent!

But as I keep on with day to day grind, deadlines, arguments, petty dramas, bills, plus the children, I did not notice that I was slowly getting burned out. When I started asking friends about such experience, I felt relieved to find out that almost, if not all, have experienced getting burned out too. So I encountered the ‘alone time’ concept again through the many mothers I have talked with, this time, with better understanding.

My sister Jonna told me that when she notices herself easily getting irritated with her children, then she takes it as a sign that she needs time to be alone. Alone time does not need to be very long, it could be as short as a coffee break or a powernap.

Allowing the burn out feeling to stay and not do anything about it won’t help. In my experience and taking in the accounts of many busy mothers, not having time alone turns us into yellers instead of parents. Practicing alone time each day and just taking time to breathe and think of all the little joys in life makes a huge difference. Some mothers get their alone time through a retreat or a solo flight, others simply relish their alone time by taking a pause and just stop doing anything.

Whatever the strategy is, if it works, then go do it. The important thing is that we do not neglect ourselves while taking care of others. After all, it is when we experience care and love that we can do the same to the people who matter to us, most especially, our children.

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CLOSE TO HOME| Nimble hands, nimble minds http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-nimble-hands-nimble-minds/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-nimble-hands-nimble-minds/#comments Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:00:07 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=47138 ]]> ONLY TWO decades ago, we still see our oldies knitting and crocheting. Many times back then, I would see a grandmother of some playmates who would sew and knit while we run around and play. These days, I rarely see that and I see many adults, counting myself in, so hooked on the screen.

I learned knitting way back in 2014, when as a parent, I needed to attend the knitting session at the Tuburan Institute. I had complained during that time because I was so sure that I did not have “the gift” for doing handicrafts. But when I finally moved past the learning curve, I found the activity engaging that I can go on and on with the repetitive patterns of the needles. Even when I learned it though, I was not able to practice it fully because I had so many excuses. It became a practice when I finally became a teacher because I must teach knitting to my students starting Class One.

Last year, I took on the habit of knitting and each time when I feel that the world is closing in or that time is flying so fast, I knit and I often sense my being getting hold of my very own self.

In an article entitled The Healing Benefits of Knitting, written by Jane E. Brody and published by the New York Times, the repetitive action of needlework was identified by Dr. Herbert Benson, the author of “The Relaxation Response,” as an activity that can induce a relaxed state associated with yoga and meditation. Knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the article also says. Perhaps the plus with these handworks is that after doing it, one can make useful and beautiful creations that can also increase the feeling of productivity.

 The article furthers that a 2011 study led by Dr. Yonas E. Geda, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, found that people ages 70 to 89 who are engaged in crafts like knitting and crocheting have reduced chances of acquiring cognitive impairment and memory loss.

 In Waldorf Schools, knitting is being taught to children starting Class One because they help the children in grasping algorithm by allowing the neurons to wire in a way that will help them to process better mathematical concepts. Knitting time is usually the quietest time in my class. For 10 to 15 minutes, I bask in silence because my children are so deep into the process of knitting. At the end of a project, I sense their excitement in creating another. Their interest keeps growing.

For us adults, our lives have been run by urgency and busy-ness and this usually happens without us noticing it until the manifestations of stress take a toll on our bodies. Perhaps, taking on this little activity for at least an hour of the day will make it easier for us to cope with our days. I used to complain that social media is overrated but I feel that there is nothing else to do, so I stay hooked. When I began to knit, I felt a sense of empowerment and I am glad that I’m able to educate my hands to do the things I thought I would never do in my life.

A mentor and friend Bella Tan once told me that the way to nimble minds is nimble hands. I’m sure this applies to everyone, the younger generation and us. We ought to educate our hands to do useful stuff that the people who surround us may also enjoy.

(Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan works as Nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For inquiries and comments, feel free to reach her at hello@joanmaesoco.com)

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CLOSE TO HOME| What about personal development? http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-about-personal-development/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-about-personal-development/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:11:26 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=46506 ]]> AROUND 2005, there seemed to be a boom of personal development products ranging from books to DVD down to various platforms on the internet. You must have heard of The Secret? I first saw the movie way back in 2007, when my teacher from college showed it to us.

The ideas presented on The Secret were so new to me. I had always thought that for someone to have what one wants there is no other way but to work hard. The movie showed that with the power of thought, one can get what one wishes for. It seemed very incredible for me that time, I could not believe it.

In 2010, some changes in my life caused me to look for better ways of thinking and in looking at life. I watched The Secret again, and I would cry at some point when it emphasized the way I can change my life. I was really at loss that time and I found comfort in the ideas of the movie.

Over time, I read books for personal development and invested in seminars that helped rewire my thinking about life. And at some point, I started to be responsible for my own life and did not look for anyone else to blame. But there was one huge chunk missing in me – a sense of fulfillment.

With the personal development and self-help ideas, I started losing the sense of others. I started to resign to the thought that if I want to get rich and I become so, then well and good. Never mind the others, they don’t want it anyway. I get what I deserve and it’s no longer my problem if others don’t. I even started to agree that maybe, it’s really fine to own so much and not worry about the environment. I’ll just let others worry about it. But I cannot deny something is really missing inside.

Things took a beautiful turn when I attended Mission Courage by Nicanor Perlas which the late Councilor Leonardo Avila III had invited me to attend. There was huge emphasis on personal development as a way of responding more efficiently to the challenges of our times.

There, I learned that it is no longer workable if we do not engage in inner work and we go back to the society with the same way of thinking that created the problem, it would be of no use. We will only (although inadvertently, maybe) become part of the problem instead of the solution.

In hindsight, The Secret and other personal development workshops are great because they awaken those who subscribe to it to the power of their thoughts and feelings.

Only that the power of thought contains a colossal amount of energy and it should not be used only for egotistical purposes, like solely for having new toys, as it was portrayed in the said movie. The power of thought and personal development should lead us to enact our purpose to this world – mainly, to contribute to the evolution of humanity.

We know so very well that having things will only bring deeper emptiness inside. It is with the sense of service – a sense of knowing that we are setting goals and ideals for our higher development. I’m quite sure on this part that hoarding and consumerism is not part of higher development. It will only strengthen the sense of lack in one’s life.

May our striving for higher development not only serve our own personal whims but contribute to the change this world is longing for.

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CLOSE TO HOME| The importance of daily routine http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-importance-of-daily-routine/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-importance-of-daily-routine/#comments Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:23:07 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=45268 ]]> CHILDREN are born into this world without a manual on how to raise them attached to their bodies. They come as a riddle to us and we learn as we go or we copy how we were raised by our parents.

One constant idea that kept coming is the idea of daily routine. Far from the days when families naturally follow a routine from waking to sleeping, we now have difficulty with what routine to follow except for the TV series that keep us on the media. This society has also labelled routine to be ‘bad’ or ‘boring’ while discrediting the harmony it brings to everyone. If we examine carefully, it’s not routine per se that makes it boring. It is our perception toward it that makes it unwanted.

Many times, we have traded the purposeful movements of chores within the day for idle lifestyle. Time is often spent on screen and we forget that each day, our children are changing and they need movements to support them as they grow.

In the book Adventures in Parenting by Rachel Ross, emphasis on daily routine was given, because, it says that through this, children can hold good memories that make them feel secure and give them a sense of belongingness. Even more so, they do not need stimulation and distraction as they can use their imagination very well, given the space.

I met a student who had been overly stimulated by the media; the child cannot move without having to act out a TV character. At times, no one wants to befriend him because he tends to hit others with his play. When he was learning to sew and knitting, he found it very difficult; he can’t even use his fingers to thread a needle. His body that was not accustomed to daily routine cannot stand still, and at his at eight, he still finds it difficult to tie and untie his shoelace.

What happens to a child whose household doesn’t have daily routine and rhythm? A child often comes to school with lack of sleep, no breakfast (or fast food breakfast). This causes them difficulty and unprepared for learning in school. We are using the window of opportunity when they are still young to teach them personal care and other life skills so that when they grow older, they can manage themselves independently.

Routine is not only important in the lives of our children. It is also very important for us adults too. Being able to identify household routine will make us clear about our priorities. What is the most important for us, as parents? The answer may be found in our house. If our children will not see this in our house, it may cause them to be lazy or attain an apathetic attitude in their lives. The mothers may turn out to be screaming moms to their children, affecting her relationship with everyone in the family.

A daily routine could come as simple as bathing after waking up, breakfast, and preparing for school. After school, the child may take a little quiet time, drawing, playing with friends, and by six in the evening, dinner, then freshen up, then bed time story, and sleep. Following routine for us and for our children is not really that difficult. But it is our will that determines this. If we muster our will and wean ourselves from the distractions of the media that is present in almost every household, a great routine for our children may be pulled off. Remember, knowing and not doing is just like not knowing. We have to practice this with our children as their future are at stake in this personal endeavor.( Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother and a Nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments, and suggestions, feel free to email her at socojoanmae@yahoo.com)

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CLOSE TO HOME| A call to meaningful work http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-a-call-to-meaningful-work/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-a-call-to-meaningful-work/#comments Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:32:14 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=44989 ]]> OUR CHILDREN constantly imitate what they see from adults, most especially from age zero to seven although it often stretches up to the ninth year.

They are really beings of imitation and emphasis on this must be given every time.

There is a story about two sisters, age four and seven. Both walk together to school and both are limping on their right legs. However, only the older girl has a problem with her leg; the other only imitates the way her sister walk.

Also, I have a Japanese friend who had two daughters and I asked her how they taught their children to use chopsticks, she told that her children at two years old just picked up their own chopsticks and copied what Mama and Papa are doing. These are very simple example how our children unconsciously copy things that they are often exposed to.

We live in times when technology has become part of the reality. And with just one click, a person gets instant gratification and gains access to various information. In a world where “swipe” has become one of the primary things that the hands do, it only follows that we have children who have not fully developed their fine motor skills because of lack of understanding with what to do with their own hands.

As parents, we desire that our kids grow healthy and smart. We want them to acquire the necessary skills so that when they grow up, they will be life-ready. A huge chunk of what we want to teach our children is embedded in how we use our very own hands. This now entails mustering our will to train our own hands to make beautiful work. Knitting, crochet, stitching, cleaning the grounds, sweeping the floor, cooking, and other household chores, all these are meaningful work. If our children see us doing these things, they will ultimately imitate what we do with our hands.

I hear a lot of parents who complain about their lack of ‘talent’ in doing these things, most especially handworks. I’d be honest and tell them that the challenge in knitting and crochet are also manifestations of challenges in fine motor skills; and interestingly, fine motors have a lot to do with logic. Before I became a nurturer in Tuburan, I also had the same complaints, I really felt that knitting and other handworks were not for me. It was when I was required to learn handwork to teach the children that I gradually developed my patience in sitting down and work on strings instead of just swiping away with my tab for the rest of the afternoon.

There is nothing in our body that cannot be overcome by will. But if we already closed our doors to the possibilities of these kinds of work, then, of course, it cannot be done. Here’s a secret. A child’s constant exposure to these “boring” works will train them to be calmer and more patient. Trust me, I have seen it. What I’m saying is, if you learn handwork and cultivate patience in your system, your child will also adapt the way you behave.

Eventually, your child will also want to do handworks. By the way, it is totally for a boy to learn knitting and crochet; this will help them with their algorithm and Math. Only, be kind to them and to don’t get irritated when you teach them and they don’t understand the process right away. Part of our job is to constantly remind them, we cannot expect immediate results. They will slowly take it in and when they finally know, they will be using it for the rest of their lives.

As adults, it is best that we cultivate for ourselves what we want for our children. Do want our children to be industrious and do meaningful work when they’re grownups? Perhaps it is best that start this time while they are young.

(Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother of two and a nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments. and suggestions, please feel free to email her at socojoanmae@yahoo.com or visit Tuburan Institute at www.tuburaninstitute.org.)

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CLOSE TO HOME| Speak softly http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-speak-softly/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-speak-softly/#comments Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:24:53 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=44626 ]]> OUR CHILDREN, especially from the age zero to nine, imitate the things that adults do. They copy the actions, the manner of speaking, and even the feeling of the adults who surround them.

Whether we like it or not, we teach them who we are. Not what we know.

It is engaging these days to observe my little daughters Kasandra and Kyrstynne and the children in my class who are now in Grade Two. My daughters copy the intonation and the way that their grandmothers pray. When they reprimand someone, they copy the tone of my voice, and sometimes, of their guardian.

In the case of my students, there are times when I really want to laugh out loud when I hear them say things that I am sure they have copied from their parents. There was once when a child blurted a comment about the weather and when I turned to look, I really saw the perfect imitation of the child’s father. Although not in terms of the physical makeup because the child is the carbon copy of her mother but the nuances and the tone of her voice. I could not help but smile.

There are many times, when as a teacher, I observed how children copy the way their immediate authority speaks. This brings attention to our manner of speaking to the child. A child deserves to be spoken to softly and lovingly, even when they are about to reach puberty stage, they still need that.

If your child is impolite when he speaks, you might want to observe how the adults speak around him. And you might want to make them understand why speaking softly is very important when a child is around. Of course, how can a child learn to speak softly if the ones he can imitate are often screaming and shouting.

On another note, be aware of blaming other people or yourself. We must understand that our behaviors were acquired from our immediate authority back when we were young. Maybe our parents did not know any better too, that they thought that the best way to instill values in us is to speak unkind words. Perhaps, our parents got it from the adults who surrounded them. So, there is no use blaming others. But the buck stops here. We are now responsible for how the things may turn out. The ball is now in our hands and the things we want to change starts with us.

There is also no point in scolding the child for speaking harshly, scolding them might only aggravate the situation. There is no point in telling the child what you know, because they will not understand it yet. Their little minds are not yet capable of processing the highly intellectual information that you want to impart to them. The best way is to show them. Make them see how you try your best to speak softly to them, show them that you are in control of your emotions, and show them that because of them, you also want to grow better as a person, and that you are also practicing how it is to speak softly.

It will not be easy at first. It will take a lot of effort and mindfulness to your behaviors. But your inner work will not only help your child as she grows. It will also nurture your inner self, by striving, you will also heal yourself in the process. Your child, on his end, will also copy your striving. And they will love it when he sees you how you try to grow yourself better for them. By doing so, words like ‘I love you’ will grow more tangible in his life.

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Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan works as Nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For inquiries and comments, feel free to reach her at socojoanmae@yahoo.com.

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CLOSE TO HOME| The woman from Siberian Taiga http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-woman-from-siberian-taiga/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-woman-from-siberian-taiga/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 01:11:25 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=44019 ]]> IN 1996, a Russian merchant named Vladimir Megre boarded his ship and voyaged across the river Tomsk in Russia. Somewhere in the riverbanks of Siberia, he met a woman named Anastasia. Far from Megre’s prejudices of a woman from the countryside, Anastasia can access information regarding the society and the universe. As Megre recalled his encounter, she would lie down on the grass with eyes closed and in a little while, she’s able to give answers to the questions that are being posed to her.

Anastasia maintains that she is a human being, a child of God, and that all her abilities are also possessed by a human being too. To her, the way to solve the problem of the world is for each family to acquire a hectare of land and there, they ought to reside. She calls this plot, Family Homestead. This land, according to her, must be developed by the family who lives there and they should get their consumption from their own garden. The garden should also have various kinds of fruit trees and vegetable and there should also be a small plot for cereal or grain.

Among the many things that caught my great interest, are her simple but highly profound concepts. In the book one of the Ringing Cedars of Russia, Anastasia outlined simple ways to communicate with the plants so that, according to her, the plants will be able to identify the elements of the body that the person who planted it needs. This way, the plants will communicate with the cosmos and the depths of the Earth to get from there the nutrition that the human being needs.

There are many other things that she spoke about in the 10-part series of the Ringing Cedars of Russia. The Family Homestead sounds so incredible at first, but if one will take a closer look on the idea. It can solve the food problem and there is no more need to engage in artificial farming methods, like mono-cropping, just to address the challenges of food. While Anastasia predicted around the year 2000 that by the turn of the century, the president of Russia will declare that a one hectare land will be given to interested families who are willing to create a garden for their own. By May 2016, news came out of Putin’s giving away a hectare of land in Far East and Siberia to interested families.

This Family Homestead movement is spreading like the fire of Zarathustra in Russia. One hectare of land is the right size for the family to cultivate without needing bulldozers and huge farming equipment. Here in the Philippines, our indigenous tribes have been doing the same, save that their outline is not only for the family but for the whole community.

I can only imagine if here in our country,  40% of our families will be given one hectare land for free, I bet there will be no more need for us to buy food from other countries. We own a rich agricultural landscape and our children deserve good food right from our land. It is indeed sad why we resort to heavy industrialization when all we need to do is to use the land wisely and seriously tend to it because our lives depend on it.

The Family Homestead, if we take it on as a country, will surely make us grow. We can just see how people like Jojo Rom, Kahayag Farms, La Fermette, and other urban gardeners thrive with their small garden plot, how much more if we all take up the land, consciously touch Mother Earth, and plant the seeds we need for our food. I must agree now that planting your own food is like printing your own money.

Perhaps it’s high time now that we contemplate about this idea from the woman of Siberian Taiga, it must be that the way back to nature is the way back to peace and harmony inside and outside of ourselves.

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CLOSE TO HOME| The woman from Siberian Taiga http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-woman-from-siberian-taiga-2/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-the-woman-from-siberian-taiga-2/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:36:08 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=44042 ]]> IN 1996, a Russian merchant named Vladimir Megre boarded his ship and voyaged across the river Tomsk in Russia. Somewhere in the riverbanks of Siberia, he met a woman

named Anastasia. Far from Megre’s prejudices of a woman from the countryside, Anastasia can access information regarding the society and the universe. As Megre recalled his encounter, she would lie down on the grass with eyes closed and in a little while, she’s able to give answers to the questions that are being posed to her.

Anastasia maintains that she is a human being, a child of God, and that all her abilities are also possessed by a human being too. To her, the way to solve the problem of the world is for each family to acquire a hectare of land and there, they ought to reside. She calls this plot, Family Homestead. This land, according to her, must be developed by the family who lives there and they should get their consumption from their own garden. The garden should also have various kinds of fruit trees and vegetable and there should also be a small plot for cereal or grain.

Among the many things that caught my great interest, are her simple but highly profound concepts. In the book one of the Ringing Cedars of Russia, Anastasia outlined simple ways to communicate with the plants so that, according to her, the plants will be able to identify the elements of the body that the person who planted it needs. This way, the plants will communicate with the cosmos and the depths of the Earth to get from there the nutrition that the human being needs.

There are many other things that she spoke about in the 10-part series of the Ringing Cedars of Russia. The Family Homestead sounds so incredible at first, but if one will take a closer look on the idea. It can solve the food problem and there is no more need to engage in artificial farming methods, like mono-cropping, just to address the challenges of food. While Anastasia predicted around the year 2000 that by the turn of the century, the president of Russia will declare that a one hectare land will be given to interested families who are willing to create a garden for their own. By May 2016, news came out of Putin’s giving away a hectare of land in Far East and Siberia to interested families.

This Family Homestead movement is spreading like the fire of Zarathustra in Russia. One hectare of land is the right size for the family to cultivate without needing bulldozers and huge farming equipment. Here in the Philippines, our indigenous tribes have been doing the same, save that their outline is not only for the family but for the whole community.

I can only imagine if here in our country, 40% of our families will be given one hectare land for free, I bet there will be no more need for us to buy food from other countries. We own a rich agricultural landscape and our children deserve good food right from our land. It is indeed sad why we resort to heavy industrialization when all we need to do is to use the land wisely and seriously tend to it because our lives depend on it.

The Family Homestead, if we take it on as a country, will surely make us grow. We can just see how people like Jojo Rom, Kahayag Farms, La Fermette, and other urban gardeners thrive with their small garden plot, how much more if we all take up the land, consciously touch Mother Earth, and plant the seeds we need for our food. I must agree now that planting your own food is like printing your own money.

Perhaps it’s high time now that we contemplate about this idea from the woman of Siberian Taiga, it must be that the way back to nature is the way back to peace and harmony inside and outside of ourselves.

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CLOSE TO HOME| What do they tell? http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-do-they-tell/ http://mindanaotimes.net/close-to-home-what-do-they-tell/#comments Sat, 10 Jun 2017 05:38:29 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=43797 ]]> I OFTEN write about reasons why children, especially from age zero to 11, are highly discouraged from watching TV or movies. The medium itself is the problem. This time though, allow me to discuss content in the news from the national TV.

A few months ago, I happened to watch news on TV, an entertainment segment. The reporter talked about the fight scenes of beautiful actresses and how they are so good in slapping each other. It seemed comic but my thoughts went all out to the children who may be watching. Yes, they seemed comic but it also seemed to be praising the acts.

How would a child process a scene where beautiful ladies set out to hurt each other? I have mentioned in my previous articles how a child from age nine below would easily imitate the actions of adults. May it be at home or in school, and even on TV. The children will always think that the actions of adults are worthy of emulating. They will never question adults, they will only watch and emulate. I cannot help but wonder what does the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) think to allow these things to run on air. I also wonder what the people behind these shows think that they afford to create these types of scenes for the masa. Perhaps the MTRCB thinks that the filtering of these messages from media boils down to the parents. And maybe the people behind these shows also think that the MTRCB is responsible for ‘regulating’ these things.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. Bottom line: We are all accountable in protecting the senses of the children. It is a lame excuse to pass on the responsibility to others when we are in the position to do something that will either hurt or better the next generation. The people behind these series must think, so should the MTRCB. This does not excuse the parents and the adults at home too. Why do we seem to think that our actions will not have synchronistic effects to our society, most especially to our children?

It should be a wakeup call to us that this society seems to be celebrating rivalries and catfights. Is this the type of society that we want the children of our children to inherit? What do these scenes on TV tell us? That it is a reality? That women really do that to each other. Are we bound to make the young ones believe that using our hands to hurt somebody because of antipathy is a good thing to do?

Our children and the rest of the future generations deserve better than these things. They deserve to know and be assured of what is good, what is beautiful, and what is true. If during their childhood, we allow them to be exposed to these scenes in the media, we will be telling them something that may cause detriment to their human capacities and may hamper their growth.

This is a call to everyone who may read this. Even when you do not have a child of your own, it is still your task to uphold the virtues that a child will emulate. Why? Because children see it everywhere. They have this very watchful eye to the world and they always want to be us. So, please whatever you’re doing, know that this affects the children and the world, in one way or another. This is a call to the people in the media and to the policymakers: Please, let us save the senses of our children. When you approve policies, think about the children as the next in line for the humanity, not just as the carrier of your genes.

To the parents: Please do not expose your very young children to TV, even with you around. There will be time for that when they’re older. This is no longer about who’s the better parent or whose child is going to win. This is about our children who will take on the burden or the beauty of this world.

We need to understand what these things from external messages tell us. Even more so, we need to understand the messages we bring when we go out to the world. If we are to do something, let it be because we care for the wellbeing of our children. And not only for our short-term whims.

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