Monthly Archives: April 2016

Defining Happiness


What may be considered as the most encompassing definition of happiness was provided by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. He said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” The Dalai Lama seemed to have concurred when he said that the very purpose of life is to seek happiness.

Life indeed is an endless quest for happiness. People always seek for things that gives them pleasure and enjoyment. They do whatever it takes for them to attain contentment and satisfaction. They enjoy the moments when they feel untroubled, delighted and satisfied.

Happiness may come from different sources. It can be put this way also…that happiness is an effect resulting from different causes. It depends on a person’s beliefs and perspectives. People define happiness in different ways thus they tread different directions when pursuing it. They differ in opinion as to what brings joy and meaning to one’s existence.

Since time immemorial people have been debating whether or not money can buy happiness. The question commonly asked is “Are wealthy people really happy and those who are not unhappy?”

Democritus articulated,“Happiness resides not in possession, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” In disagreement Albert Camus had this to say, “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.”

Which of the two contentions would hold water in a world driven by materialism, Democritus’ or that of Camus? Can people be happy without money? Does happiness reside on the things that a person’s wealth would allow him to buy and to own…clothes, jewelry, gadgets, cars?

However a person responds to the questions aforementioned is grounded on his perspectives about life. Whatever a person does to his life is his own prerogative. Believing that money dictates happiness would not make a person bad. And if believing so would make him focus on amassing wealth then fine. People do whatever makes them happy. As Aristotle said, “Happiness depends on ourselves.” How a person gets the money is another question.

Oscar Wilde once said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Believe that or would you rather take it from Benjamin Franklin who said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.” He also added that the more of it (money) one has the more one wants.

Here’s another one from Henry David Thoreau… “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” In response, Dennis Waitley explained, “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, work or consumed.” In addition, he argued that “happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.”

The downside of embracing Thoreau’s thoughts can be summed up in the following question: What happens if you don’t have wealth? Would it mean that those who do not have money cannot fully experience life?

Not everybody can be rich so much so that they can buy beyond what is necessary. Many are content with having just enough. Many live modest lives and they do not complain.

There are people who earn just enough to buy the basic things they need yet they are happy. They live in modest houses, not big mansions and not all of them have cars yet they are satisfied and contended. Why? They don’t have lots of money but perhaps they have love. They chime to George Sand’s idea that there is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved or sing along with The Beatles who, in one of their songs said, “For I don’t care too much for money, for money can’t buy me love.”

There are people whose happiness lies not in the material things the world offers. Some people find happiness by helping others. They believe that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35). They embrace the idea “Happiness never decreases by being shared (Buddha).”

Some feel ultimate joy when they bask in the glory of their achievements, when they finally get what they have worked so hard to achieve. As Franklin D. Roosevelt puts it, “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

However a person wants to achieve happiness is entirely up to him. But as Zig Ziglar pointed out, “Until your are happy with who you are, you will never be happy with what you have.”

We don’t only chart our own destiny but we also define our own happiness. It starts from within. It should not be contingent on anything nor dictated by terms set by other people.

Happiness is a decision we make. “Most folks,” according to Abrham Lincoln, “are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

So, heed Leo Tolstoy’s advise, “If you want to be happy, be.” Remember what Buddha said, “Happiness does  not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think.”

I’d Rather


My President is foul-mouthed
In his speech he lacks tact

But he is not corrupt
I’d rather have a foul-mouthed leader
Than somebody who will foul-up my nation’s coffer

He is foul-mouthed
But he’s not an oligarch

We are not a democracy
But an oligarchy

Governed by the few mighty and wealthy
The nation remains in poverty

I’d rather have a Duterte… careless in his speech
Than be led again  by a member of the elite

I’d rather have a leader whose language is nasty
Than a somebody with a flip-flopping nationality

Would you rather have a ventriloquist dummy
Controlled by the TRAPOS  pushing her candidacy?

Would you rather have a thief, a weak oligarch or a dummy?
I’d rather have a Duterte, foul-mouthed he may be

My President?

Who got my nod in the Philippine presidential derby when I cast my vote at the Philippine embassy in Seoul yesterday (April 16th)?

I don’t know… nobody knows (only the Man above), if I made the wrong choice. I would have a glimpse of the wrongness or rightness of my decision after 3 years. However, let me reserve my judgment on the performance of the President I chose in 2022.

My choice hinged on several premises.


I love my country and I am proud to be a Filipino. But my nationalism doesn’t make me blind not to accept the fact that majority of my countrymen lack discipline. They are abusive of the liberties that democracy bestowed them forgetting that with freedom comes responsibility.

That being said, my conscience dictated that I vote for a President capable of reminding the citizenry to exercise their freedom without disregarding the rule of law and to protect their dignity without trampling on somebody else’s.

The utter disregard for law by many in the Philippine has come to a point that sometimes there’s a need to resort to extra-judicial means in order to restore order and to promote justice. It sounds radical and it can be argued that that in itself is a “disregard of law.” But when democratic processes are failing and society is about to crumble somebody has to take the lead, put the law in his hands and restore order for the benefit of the majority.

We’ve got to choose between “honorable” thieves who, with money and influence, can play around the so-called “rule of law” and continue to ransack the national treasury and a leader who may disregard the rule of law when the situation calls for it so justice will be served and order in society be restored.

We’ve got to decide which kind of leader we want. Do you wish to have somebody who is afraid to restore death penalty because it is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church who, with a majority of the voters being Catholics, may campaign against him or her? Or would you rather have a Chief Executive who is not willing to give criminals a safe haven where they could freely ply their deadly and dangerous trades.

I decided to tick the box in the ballot opposite the name of the presidential candidate who will not babysit corrupt officials and criminals. I don’t care how that candidate would do it. For me, the only way to succeed against corruption and criminality is to use “iron hands.”

We need a President who can’t be manipulated by scheming politicians. He (yes… it’s a he I chose) must be a strong leader who will not bend to the whims and fancies of anybody and can’t be swayed by opinions when performing his duties.

That is the reason I voted for this President.

He has the capability to instill discipline in the different branches of government. The country needs a President whose strong presence would make public officials perform their constitutional duties to the best they can and at the same time avoid any wrongdoings… a leader who will bring back the essence of accountability in public service.

We need a leader not afraid to crack the whip against corrupt officials and send them to rut in jail, a leader who is not afraid to lock horns with the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and admonish them when they are deemed to be just spewing their saliva in endless debates and not taking actions on important legislation…a leader who will not have second thoughts to “interpret” the laws in manner he sees fit if he detects incompetence and complacency among his colleagues in the Judiciary.

The President I chose is unafraid to make unpopular decisions and try new things.

I want him to be President because he said he’ll try Federalism.

The Philippines has a unitary government where national and local affairs are controlled by the central or national leadership. Considering the socio-economic performance of the Philippines as a nation for the past decades, it is safe to say that the current form of government has failed.

For a geographically fragmented country inhabited by people belonging to different ethnolinguistic groups, Federalism may be a better form of government. It is said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But it is! The system in place is defective therefore it must be replaced.

The one who earned my nod in the presidential derby said that Federalism will eliminate the problem of unfair distribution of funds between the local government and the national government and the decades-long Muslim insurgency in the North. And I believe him.

I want him to be the next President because it’s about time that the Philippines experience a meaningful change.

Change is coming!

Yes, my president is DUTERTE.


%d bloggers like this: