Thai Politician Defends Filipino Teachers

We cover different topics in our English class every Sunday. From personal stuff, world problems, politics, TV shows - you name it. There is no lesson planning. No power point presentation. Dr. Warong doesn't like the idea of using a book either. The flow of the conversation and the transition from one topic to another happens naturally. He wants everything to be natural. And we're doing it for over three years now.

With so many topics we covered for the last three years, his liking for Filipino teachers will always be my favorite. In one of our sessions last year, he said he wanted Filipino teachers to teach at kindergarten schools in Thailand. 


"Apart from the fact that Filipinos and Thai are both Asean member states John, both countries do have a lot of similarities in culture which can be a big help for both parties to easily understand each other. Filipinos and Thai look the same as well. These are some of the reasons I am more comfortable talking to you in English than with native speakers. Others may disapprove of my beliefs but this is what I feel. I feel like I'm using English to communicate to another Thai, and I find it easier, he said. 


Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva promoting Dr. Warong's book

Earlier today, Dr. Warong mentioned to me for the first time the discussion he had with some staff working at the Democrat Party house in Bangkok who were educated in English speaking countries. 

"When we were at the stage of recruiting teachers, I told them I wanted Filipino teachers in the project. Many reacted and advised me to choose American or British teachers. They said to choose native speakers because when native speakers talk, they talk naturally. And their accent is lot better than Filipinos too," Dr. Warong said.

"True. I don't have anything against native speakers, but I believe that accent didn't play well on that belief. Singaporeans have this strong accent, but their country and their citizens are one of the most globally competitive people. Everyone has accent. As long as other people can understand you, then there's no problem in getting the message across," Dr. Warong added.


Note: This post is not intended to create a rift between native and non native English teachers. This is a personal account of the conversation I had with former MP for Phitsanulok Dr. Warong. 

There are native speakers who are really great teachers. I met and worked with some of them. There are also non natives who are really good with their craft. Let's leave it like that.

Photo: Bangkok Post

Beware: Modus About Fake Facebook Account Targeting OFWs!

If you're an OFW or a family member of an OFW, this post is for you.

A new modus of people who don't want to stretch their lazy bones is out. These bad people will create an account on Facebook with your own profile picture as their profile, and the name is exactly the same as yours. Gagayahin talaga nila ang account mo.

Once they're done creating one and copying pictures from your account, they will start their evil plan. They will send messages to your family members asking for money. 

To avoid and to not fall for this kind of modus, Facebook user Lee CaƱete has some pointers.

1. Siguruhing ang inyong mga picture sa FB ay naka-friends only para maiwasang makuha ng ibang tao.
2. Iwasang gumamit ng picture nyo sa inyong Cover Photo, dahil ito ay hindi naise-setting at laging naka-public lang.
3. Gawing "only me" ang setting ng inyong Friends List. Dahil nandito rin nakalagay ang lahat ng kamaganak nyo. Hindi naman kailangan malaman pa ng publiko kung sino ang mga Friends at Families nyo dito sa FB. Ito ay para maiwasang malaman ng mga masasamang tao kung sino ang pamilya nyo na nasa Pinas.
4. Iwasang ilagay ang inyong CP# sa info nyo sa FB.
5. Paalalahanan ang inyong pamilya na kapag may mga ganitong pangyayari na hihingan sila ng pera thru FB o anumang Social Media, siguruhin muna sa pamamagitan ng pagtawag sa inyo.

Happy World Teachers' Day, Kru; Ajarn; Teacher!

World Teachers' Day commemorates teachers all over the world by providing quality education from all levels. Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.

According to UNESCO, World Teachers' Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. 

Photo: www.aworldatschool.org

The first World Teachers' Day was held on October 5, 1994. This global observance has been organized on the same date each year since then.

To all the teachers in Thailand, the Philippines and the world, Happy World Teachers' Day! Thank you so much for imparting your knowledge and for making us who we are today. 

Source: Wikipedia

Thai Politician to visit the Philippines in December, twice this year now

Last summer I suggested former MP for Phitsanulok Dr. Warong to visit Palawan, my hometown dubbed as the "Last Frontier of the Philippines." He said he'd been to the Philippines quite a few times and even met former Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Linglingay Lacanlale in one of his trips. However, he'd never been outside Manila. If ever he visits the Philippines again, Palawan would be his first destination.

Dr. Warong and his wife 
I never thought he'll take my suggestion seriously. Few weeks after our conversation, he asked me to create an itinerary for six people and invited me to be part of the trip. But due to busy schedule at the university and some workshops lined up, I ended up asking my friend's help who used to work as a teacher here in Thailand to be their tour guide.

My friend Johanna and her then-boyfriend now her husband Poulo, took them to the Underground River and to some not so popular yet interesting spots in Puerto Princesa City. I saw photos of their adventures shared by Dr. Warong on his Facebook account. They were all smiles. They even sent some of their photos as if to make me jealous in our Line group. LoL.

The Underground River as the backdrop
When they arrived back in Thailand, even at Suvarnabhumi, I found myself at the receiving end of their never-ending stories. It was overwhelming seeing them as they narrated the similarities and the differences of Thailand and the Philippines and the places they've been to. Glad they really enjoyed their trip!

It didn't occur to me that they were actually planning to visit the Philippines again. "Come December, it will be our second visit this year to your country, John," Dr. Warong said.

As usual, Dr. Warong planned to have it done in December so I could join the trip. This time it will be in Vigan. It was suggested by Goodwill, the new teacher at Sapanteesam School where we initiated our pilot project called "English for all." But because I have a plan to visit the Philippines in summer next year with my family, I am not sure if I still have the budget for this December visit. Fingers crossed!

On a serious note, I am really happy to hear that they really like to explore the Philippines once more. Despite the negative things happening in our country including the modus and the stealing of airport officials at NAIA, news about international tourists enjoying the Pearl of the Orient's beauty and hospitality is a breath of fresh air. 

In a way, I still cling to the hope that it's more fun in the Philippines!

[Viral Video] Filipino Teacher Slaps Student

A video of a teacher at a public school in Caloocan slapping one of the students and using profanity, has gone viral.

Mike (not his real name) narrated that they were playing some music inside the classroom using loud speakers when their teacher walked in. She got upset, closed the door and confiscated the speakers.

The 15-year-old student and his classmate apologized to their teacher and requested if they can have their speakers back. But the teacher in question went ballistic and slapped Mike. She also told everyone that she can easily tell a different story about what happened.

Initially, Mike's mother didn't want to pursue or file a complaint against the teacher. However, when the teacher told a different story of what really happened saying that Mike was the one who instigated the heated encounter, Mike's mother decided to let the truth prevail.

She approached the Department of Education to formally file a complaint against the teacher. DepEd tried calling and texting the now infamous teacher but all were ignored.

Watch the video below.

[Watch] "Tanim Bala" Scam in NAIAA Exposed

Manila, Philippines - "Kotong" victim Rhodora De Guzman appeared on ABS-CBN news to tell her side regarding the modus currently happening inside NIAA.

According to De Guzman, when her bags were being x-rayed she was told by the x-ray operator that they've seen something strange in one of the bags. The baggage inspector whose back was turned from her, checked and inserted his hand inside the bag. But when he pulled out his hand he was already holding two bullets.

That was the moment De Guzman was threatened by two security personnel who asked for his passport and green card. She then discovered the modus when the porter whispered to her that they will record what happened and they will interrogate and add notes on her record that she was carrying two bullets when she entered the airport.

"Let's end this, Ma'am. Just give them P500. That's ok with them," the porter added.

De Guzman gave them what they asked for so as not to be bothered anymore. 

But prior to what happened to De Guzman the same modus now called "Tanim Bala," was also experienced by 20-year-old Lane Michael White, an American missionary who was supposed to take his connecting flight to Palawan.

White was shocked when he was told by two security personnel that his bag contained a 42 caliber bullet. They asked him to give P30,000 for him not to be imprisoned. 

But the American missionary refused to give anything. He was imprisoned for five days and was charged with illegal possession of ammunition. He was allowed to post bail and is currently out of prison. 

According to Jonathan Maliwat, PIO, Officer for Transportation Security, they will not let it pass and will charge employees who are engaging in illegal activities.

Watch the video below.

Good News: Parts of Thai-Cambo border back open for some Out/In stamps

Bangkok, Thailand -  Following the news last week regarding the closing of the Thai-Cambodian border that surprised many tourists and those holding valid visas, immigration officials made an update on the issue that will somehow give others a reason to smile about.

According to Thaivisaservice.com who relayed the information to Thaivisa.com, immigration officials at Ban Laem/Daun Lem, Ban Pakard/Phsa Prum and Aranyaprathet/Poipet will allow Out/In stamps for "Westerners/Japanese/Russians" in possession of a valid double/triple tourist visa or multiple non immigrant visa.

Unfortunately, people from ASEAN nations are still not allowed to have Out/In stamps even with valid visas.

Out/In stamps for visa exempt entries are still not permitted for any nationality.

As for Phu Nam Ron border in Kanchanaburi, no update still as of this writing.

Source: Thaivisa

Why You Should Consider Teaching In The Province?

With so many of our "kababayans" struggling big time in finding a job; one will notice that seconds or minutes after someone posts an advert in different Filipino groups on Facebook, comments will immediately populate the entire thread. It's no biggie if I receive notifications after notifications as I understand they want to know the details of the said job. What I find interesting though is whenever someone asks about the location of the job and the original poster answers that it's going to be in the province, the ever optimistic asker will suddenly lose interest. 

Ay, ang layo.

Sa province pala, kala ko sa Bangkok.

Wala ba kayong offer na ganyan dito sa Bangkok?

These are just some of the replies I normally see. We might have different reasons as to why it's difficult to kiss Bangkok goodbye. I would certainly understand if the reason why someone still clings to stay in the capital despite having no job is about family. After all, family is family. No question about that.

But if you can't leave Bangkok because of the many malls and discounted prices in almost every street; the many bars where you can get drunk and rowdy on a Friday night; and the thought that you are in the capital where almost everything is at your disposal; I think it's high time to think again. Think of the reasons why you are here in Thailand in the first place.

When I first came to Thailand, I had the same thoughts. I programmed myself that I will only be working in Bangkok. But life in Bangkok wasn't friendlier to me compared to other Filipinos. So, without hesitation, I tried my luck to work in the "banok." And you know what? I found peace. I found what I was looking for. 

Therefore if Bangkok is not being friendly anymore to you, try the north, northeast or the south. They might be super friendly you'll mistake them as family. Good luck!