Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When We Are Silent, Our Silence Condones The Language

I have been seeing a lot of "Reality-TV" shows that talks about bullying of people or children with special needs especially when they are encountered in public places like a supermarket or other kinds of shop. It is not really a prank show but the people behind just want to observe how people would react if they see a person with disability being bullied by regular people. Of course both are actors who are just following a dialogue to catch attention from other people.

To give you a heads, people with special needs are being trained from younger age on life skills, vocational skills and activities of daily living. There are schools who also prepare them to be able to integrate in the society they live in by training them in simple tasks in order to get a job to support themselves. Not all people with special needs can do this but given early intervention, training and therapy, they may have that chance to find a job. There are companies nowadays that are willing to accept people with special needs especially if they are well-trained. Most of them get simple jobs like cleaning toilets, mopping floors, wiping windows, throwing trash and bagging grocery items. There are some who manages to make it to food industry like cleaning up tables in restaurants or packing food. But due to hygienic reasons, most people with special needs needs more training in order to get in to the food industry as it is quite delicate for them to handle food.

Among these people with special needs, those that have Down Syndrome condition are the ones who are most likely given the chance to get a job because they are only physically disabled. They can actually easily learn and easily trainable although sometimes, it still depends on their cases. As far as I know, people have become more aware now about these people with special needs like in the US, Australia, Singapore and in the Philippines and how they are integrated in the society. But not everyone around them has that tolerance towards these people and have the proper understanding to deal with them.

So these TV shows tries to capture the attention of the public and see their reaction when they see a person being bullied who is just trying to do their job. And if you were the one in that situation, what would you do? This question is actually the title of a show in the US to remind the public on what would they do if they encounter such incident.

In this video, you will see a how people in a grocery store reacted on a lady bullying an employee of the store who has Down Syndrome and is the one packing the grocery she bought.

There is a part in the video where Madeline Will from the National Down syndrome Society in the US said "When we're silent, our silence condones the language". When we are confronted in situations that we do not like and we do not have a choice, most of the time we could not let out a single word because it is true and it is very difficult to accept it. Our silence to a certain question actually means yes. But if we speak out and defend ourselves, or defend someone, it is telling them that they are wrong. Letting your voice be heard or speaking out what you think is something that is really important. Your silence can either ruin someone's life. Be not afraid to speak up and let yourself be heard. We are not just defending a person with disability, we are defending the right of every person to live normally in an accepting environment.


J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of akosiherardo.blogspot.com and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


Monday, October 21, 2013

A Special Goal

It was in 2007 when I made a decision to take up a post graduate certificate course on teaching special education. When I took the course, I did not really know what I was putting myself into. My mom wanted me to take up nursing so that when I go the states, I can easily find a job. But then I did not want to take another course for 2 or 3 years. This special education course will only take me 9 months and I can work at the same time because classes were on weekends. So anyway, eventually, I finish the course, took my practicum at St. Coletta Special School then off I flew to Singapore. When I was looking for a job in Singapore, I was willing to take any job just to secure a permit so I can stay there for good. Luckily, I got hired as a Special Needs Teacher in a small school and that was the beginning of my journey on this field.

It was quite a tough job for me but I personally find it rewarding when I get to develop a certain skill on a child and see their progress as I help them every day in school. We all experience hardship in our job but this one is quite different. Not many people really understand how to deal with children with special needs. Luckily I was given the patience to do so and I just did not help them, these kids helped too. I became more aware of the rights of these children and their right to be included as well. And that their disabilities should not come first as they all are, like all of us, human being first before their disabilities. Singapore is a great country for having the best facilities for children with special needs and persons with disabilities (whether physical or mental). Their local government program widely considers the rights of every individual whether you are special or not. But then not everyone understands this accordingly. An example is when a school like us go for a field trip and you will see different reactions from regular people when they see you. It’s all different reactions but so most of my experiences were generally good. People were accepting and helpful but there will be just some who feels like they should not be seen next to them.

I will just give some hilarious examples from people who are just unbelievable when they react towards children with special needs. But now, my goal is to continue to help. Or if I can volunteer, then I will do so. I see myself in this field for good. Maybe there will be a time that I should give myself a little break but I believe this is where I belong, for good.

This is a card written by a parent of my student. This simple note is the kind of simple thought that will make you feel that you did something right. This note is better than receiving a degree or diploma.


J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of akosiherardo.blogspot.com and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Top Ten Indonesian Food

So as of today, here is my Top Ten Favourite Indonesian Food (and a drink)

1. Beef Rendang - is a spicy meet dish that originated from Minangkabau, West Sumatra, Indonesia. Also known as caramelized beef curry. So far, I have best tasted this dish in Garuda Padang Cuisine.

Special Children Are Born To Special People

Wow. Is all I can say to a note left by a couple of stranger for paying the dinner of a family with special child. This is what's nice about the world that despite all the ugly things happening around us, there are still some people who do good deeds without even being asked for it.

I admire you for what you did and I do not know who you are or where you came from or what job you do but that simple action you did has touched not only the family you helped but everyone who has seen that serviette.

I know living in Singapore and I have experienced the "Cold Hard Singapore" treatment as well but despite that branding people have over Singapore, act of random kindness can still be seen.

Here is the link to the article:



J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of akosiherardo.blogspot.com and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


My Crowning Glory

Over the years, I have done different kind of collections that I do not know why I even collect. Because sometimes, it messes up my room and all my stuff with some things that I want to keep. But don't think I am sort of a hoarder because I am not. Hehe. I am not yet mentally ill to hoard many things. But this small collection of crowns which I started about a couple of years ago while I was living in Singapore. And then, every time I travel, I buy their local beer and keep the crown with me. And now here is the first batch of crowns that I framed by myself.

1. Beck's
2. Tiger Beer
3. Anchor
4. Anker
5. Tanduay Ice
6. Asahi
7. Coca Cola
8. Stella Artois
9. San Miguel Super Dry
10. San Miguel Strong Ice
11. Savana Dry
12. Tasmania's Finest JB
13. Redrock
14. Amstel
15. Hanoi Beer
16. Corona Extra
17. San Miguel Beer
18. Bintang
19. BOCQ
20. Grolsch
21. Hoagarden
22. Plus+
23. Kronenbourg
24. Bitburger
25. Singha
26. San Miguel Cerveza Negra
27. Victoria Bitter
28. Hoagarden
29. Frestea
30. Carlsberg
31. Guinness
32. Asahi Dry
33. San Mig Strong Ice
34. Pure Blonde
35. Budweiser
36. Crystal
37. Kingfisher
38. Erdinger
39. Miller
40. Heineken
41. Moscato
42. Aqua

I still have some crowns from other beers and drinks and still looking forward to collect more.


J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of akosiherardo.blogspot.com and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Travel and Learn

Traveling. Who doesn’t want to travel? I guess everyone wants to travel but not all are given the means to do so. But if you have the means to do so then why not, it is an experience you will always treasure. I came upon an article by Atom Araullo on SMILES, the Cebu Pacific In-flight Magazine, and he shared some thoughts on backpacking, keeping a record of important things you have seen, take a lot of pictures and learn and experience the culture of the places you are going to. When I first started traveling in the Philippines, I was mainly a tourist. I tasted the local fare, pictures on specific destinations, seeing the places but not exactly learning the culture. And I mainly travelled with friends. I have been to Baguio, Benguet, Cordillera, Sagada, Vigan, Laoag, Pagudpud, Pangasinan, Subic, Zambales, Batangas, Bataan, Puerto Galera, Tagaytay, Quezon, Laguna, Cebu, Bantayan Island, Boracay and Davao. And during all these trips, I never actually visited museums except for the Ilocos Trip. I guess as you grow old, you learn to travel than just being merely a regular tourist. Even in my first travel overseas which was in October 2004, I went to Hong Kong and Shenzen, China but mostly for theme parks and shopping. My first attempt to an actual travel was in October 2009 when I went to Bangkok alone. I think Bangkok is a good start for a solo traveller wanting to experience the culture without the hassle of rushing your time. But since then, even though I travelled with a friend or two, I or we have made plans on experiencing the culture rather than just being a regular tourist. So you simply have to choose the right people to travel with in order to experience what you want to do. Aside from Bangkok, here are the list of places I have been to:

1.       Hong Kong and Shenzen, China, October 2004
2.       Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, May 2008 – June 2013
3.       Bangkok, Thailand, October 2009
4.       Medan, Tangkahan and Lake Toba, North Sumatra Indonesia, February 2012
5.       Bali, Indonesia, March 2011
6.       Jakarta, Indonesia, July 2011
7.       Bali, Indonesia, March 2012
8.       Yogyakarta, Indonesia, May 2012
9.       Bohol, Philippines, June 2012
10.   Phuket, Thailand, December 2012
11.   Seoul, South Korea, December 2012
12.   Padang, Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra, December 2012
13.   Bali, Indonesia, March 2013
14.   Hanoi, Vietnam, April 2013
15.   Bangkok, Thailand, August 2013
16.   Vientiane, Laos, August 2013
17, Penang and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, October 2013
18. Bali, Indonesia, October 2013
19. Siem Reap, Cambodia, November 2013
20. Bangkok, Thailand, November 2013
21. Kathmandu and Lumbini, Nepal, December 2013
22. Baguio City (again), Philippines, January 2014
23. Singapore, February - March - April 2014
24. Bali, Indonesia, May 2014
25. Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia July 2014
26. Singapore, September 2014
27. Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, January 2015

Hoping to visit more countries soon such as:

1.       Nepal - done
2.       India
3.       Brazil
4.       Argentina
5.       San Francisco
6.       New York
7.       Spain
8.       Italy
9.       France
10.   Turkey
11.   Portugal
12.   Japan
13.   Taiwan
14.   Cambodia - done
15.   New Zealand

There are just so many places to go so just keep on travelling to many places as long as you can.

Here is a link to SMILES CEBU PACIFIC MAGAZINE where you can find Atom Araullo's article.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Losers Like Their Own

Shame on you. Those were my words upon seeing this photoshopped attempt to steal my thunder after I walked to the Rizal Park, just to take a photo of The Little Prince along with the statue of Jose Rizal, whose photo that was posted on The Little Prince Official Facebook Page garnering about less than 3000 Likes and heart-warming comments. Then another supposed to be fan photoshpoped The Little Prince and his Fox posing along the KKK Monument not too far from the Rizal Park.

Again shame on you. Not only nobody liked your post, you were the only one who liked it. Deymmmmm..


J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of akosiherardo.blogspot.com and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.