Friday, March 24, 2017

The Enchanted River

Every day is a struggle. Attending school is tiresome. Going to the office and beating deadlines is stressful. Being at home and doing the same routine is boring. Given the same scenario every day, we will end up unproductive and ineffective. One of the ways to regain your will and strength to go on is to find inner peace. Have a cup of coffee, watch a good movie or play in the rain. But the best way to cleanse the soul is to see places.
Lately, Filipinos have entertained the idea of discovering sights and spots which were never advertised before. From the deep waters to the high mountains, truly the Philippines is a sanctuary of resources. Secret islands in vast areas are noticed through the efforts of the travelers who seek to find beauty in mystery.
In the island of Mindanao lies a river so exquisite that it boomed to fame in a short span of time. That is the Hinatuan Enchanted River located in Surigao del Sur.

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The area which used to ordinary now claims thousands of visitors dying to experience the deep blue waters of the river. Mysteries and tales surround the Enchanted River, perhaps its name. The chains of scary stories begin with the mystery of the beginning of the river. Up until today, no one has ever completely explored the river and nobody knows how deep it goes. The pleasing colors of the waters fascinate the soul of the visitors and the wonderful ambiance around the area. It is believed that fairies watch over the river and are responsible for the cleanliness of the waters and the blue and green colors it resonates. It is coupled with paranormal legends on the spirits and pixies living in the water who, when disturbed, harm the people. Locals recalled stories of drowning and explorers whose body were never seen again. There are also folklores about schools of fish which appear in the river but are never caught by the locals. These are assumed to be the supernatural creatures protecting the river from abusers. At exactly 12 noon, while the Hymn of Hinatuan is played, visitors are asked to get out of the water for the feeding time of the silver-scaled fish coming out of the deepest parts of the cave and seem to be moving on cue. At night, voices and sounds of the spirits, fairies and pixies playing in the river are heard by residents. Mermaids and other mystical water creatures sing songs in the wee hours of the night. Trees around the river are supposed the habitat of unseen beings that come out by nightfall.
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The tales of the Enchanted River add to the mystery and majesty of the place making it one of the most visited spots in Mindanao since the time it was known. The numbers of visitors coming to experience this beauty have increased along with the development of the area for economic purposes and somehow uplift the living conditions of the residents. Rentals of life jackets, cottages, picnic tables and chairs manned by the locals mushroomed around the river. Restaurants and snack bars were opened to cater to the needs of the guests. The Local Government Unit is planning for the major development of the scenic spot as well as the roads leading to the river in the soonest possible time. It is their optimum goal to promote tourism through the Enchanted River and name it one of the sought-after international destination in Mindanao. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why is Education Important?

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” – Brian Herbert
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Education, on the most common definition generated by an online dictionary, has been defined as the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits (Wikipedia). However, in the Merriam-Webster mobile dictionary, it has been given a definition of the action or process of teaching someone, especially in a school, college, or university. Whatever definition may come to you, one thing is for sure: education aims for something, something that would make this world a better place to live, somehow. However, what would drive people to value education over other things that this world can provide? Let us have a quick review of why education is important.

            Education is important for you. Bertrand Russell once said, “Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” This may be true due to the fact that on the earliest times, people do not have such educational institutions to uphold the service of providing education to people nor did the existence of a judgmental nature is already born. Unfortunately, these nightmares are born in our generation. People tend to judge others by the way they dress, the things they have in possession, the achievements they have attained, but most of all, by the education they have acquired. 
This is how the present generation sees the capability of someone; when you do not acquire a degree, you are nothing; nonetheless, you have proven yourself like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg who hailed themselves in their respective areas amidst the fact that they did not finish college. You, as an individual still looking for your purpose here on this planet, must secure a degree, or a good education. This will take you to a higher ground above others, sounds selfish? Maybe yes. But in this world, all are selfish, all are judgmental. It is up to you on how to prove yourself worthy of living in this world, and one way is to secure a good education.

            Education is important for your parents. Alexander Dumas, a famous French writer, once stated, “How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.” The very reason that parents work hard for their children is, first, maybe to provide food, shelter or the basic needs, but whatever other reason may exist why parents work, giving their children good education will always be a part of those.  “Study hard, for that is the only heirloom we can give you,” a line that most parents use when encouraging their children to study hard. This may be a cliché, but this line reflects the mentality of the parents about education, its significance to life and its benefits in the future. You may be rich, you may be able to buy what you need, but your parents will not be with you until the end of time. To somehow reward them for their sacrifices, hard works and all the things they did to you, help yourself in attaining a good education, and show them that like them, you also value education.
            Education can help the community you live in. Change is gradual, they say, but waiting for that change is it brings goodness is worthy. As what Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Having good education can give you a better view of the future, not just for yourself but for the people around you. You will have the knowledge that they do not have. You will have the skills that can only be acquired in the school. But that is not enough. You must have the urge to share those you have acquired to your community. You must have the willingness to show to others the things that you have learned. But you must also bear in mind that it is not enough to stop when you have taught them all you know because time changes constantly. In order to have a good impact on the society, continue your learning, continue you track towards acquiring knowledge. It may be tiring, but your community needs you, your community ask for your assistance, mostly, your community is waiting for your help. These, once given, may change the way we interact with others. This can be one of the best manifestations of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

            Education can make this world a better place, somehow. An English philosopher and physician, in the person of John Locke, once stated that the only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it. This can be best interpreted as having sufficient ideas of what you will face out there. This world may be challenging, savage others may say, but a person armed with enough knowledge will never be harmed, rather he can make the world turn to his side and direct it. “Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world,” Nelson Mandela once stated in his life. 
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This may right, but for other people, this may not be enough. That is somehow reasonable, for a man cannot survive on bread alone, likewise, a man cannot live in this world just by having formal education or the education acquired in the school. People also need to live in the daily experiences he encounters, for this makes him human, a thinking organism. But if having experiences is helpful, why do we still need formal education? That is to cultivate such personal experiences. In both types, formal and informal education can be used as a means for changing the world; with the knowledge acquired in the school, one knows what can be done, and in knowledge acquired in daily life, one knows what must be done.

            These reasons, somehow, can be an eye opener to others. It can be viewed as a composition mainly generated to highlight and give emphasis on the importance of education. However, humans are free. We can still think for ourselves, decide for ourselves. You may be one of those people aiming to have a great education, or you may be one of those people waiting for the right time to discover their inner talents without going to school. Wherever you lie, education is inevitable. As what Albert Einstein stated years ago, education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. Think. Think not just for your own, but for humanity. Learn. Learn not just through readings, but also through experiences. Live. Live not just by making a day pass by, but on making a day last and significant.


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