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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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Through the cooperation of stakeholders from the oldest universities in Asia and in the United States – the University of Santo Tomas and Harvard University, respectively – the younger generations will have another venue to foster proactive leadership as they partake into solving the issues of globalization.

The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences organizes the largest annual student conferences in the Asia-Pacific Region since 1991. Since then, HPAIR has dedicated itself to provide a forum for emerging leaders in the academia, business, and government to tackle vital issues in Asia. In 2017, HPAIR has recognized the creation of the HPAIR Philippines Alumni Community (HPAIRPH) – an organization of Filipino youth leaders from different institutions who have earlier participated at HPAIR conferences in Cambridge or in a host Asian city, to build a more inclusive academic community, breaking cultural and geographic boundaries, and to further share the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and leadership. Thus, HPAIRPH has pioneered the ASEAN Youth Impact Challenge (AYIC) – a youth summit primarily catered to the issues of ASEAN.


From a group of five countries united by fear of communism, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has now grown to become one of the most influential polities in the world. As it aims for integration among its current 10 member states, it has gained more prominence as its component members are heading the global economy. While Singapore is one of the four Asian Tigers, all Tiger Cub economies are ASEAN members – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The World Economic Forum published a report showing that 4 of the 10 fastest growing economies are ASEAN member states – Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

This 2017, ASEAN celebrates its golden anniversary, and the Philippines, one of its pillar members, brimming with hospitality and pride, is fortunate to host this global benchmark occasion. World leaders shall grace the country to celebrate together with the people of ASEAN. Since its establishment, ASEAN practically became the world’s 6th largest economy, aiming to be the 4th largest in the world by 2030, and there is still a long way to go.


The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Philippines Alumni Community (HPAIR-PH), University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association, Inc. (UST-AAI), the Harvard Club of the Philippines, and Global Filipino Network (GFN) commit their consortium to pioneering the ASEAN Youth Impact Challenge Conference, an allsponsored, pay-it-forward youth summit. Applications are open until November 20, 2017 and the release of acceptance letters are expected to be on November 23, 2017.

The AYIC Conference 2017 proper will be held in Manila on November 27, 2017. The conference proper shall be held at the majestic campus of the University of Santo Tomas in España, Manila.

The conference was organized in line with the ASEAN anniversary, and the Philippines’ leadership of the event with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, which shall be inculcated in the three major conference panels: (1) socio-cultural; (2) economic community; and (3) political security.

The conference has invited several personalities to serve as speakers: COMELEC front Atty. James Jimenez, Mental Health lobbyist Renz Argao, startup CEO Paul Rivera, Chef Wado Siman, Voltaire Tupaz, Susan Ople, Bloomberg TV anchor Anthony Abad, and Multiple Intelligences pioneer Prof. Henry S. Tenedero, among others. The event shall be hosted by Mon Gualvez of News5.

BE PART OF AYIC Conference 2017.

The ASEAN Youth Impact Challenge (AYIC) Conference is a pay-it-forward, partially- sponsored event that aims to instigate actions and solutions for the most pressing problems in the ASEAN Region.

Mentoring opportunities would be given in the duration of the event where participants have the chance of collaborating together with the experts in the ASEAN socio-cultural, political security and economic tracks. 

It open to all youth leaders from ages 18-30. We welcome group registrants too! 

To sign up, scan the QR code on the AYIC poster through your Viber/Snapchat accounts or through any QR scanning apps; or visit

Deadline of registration is until November 20, 2017 12:00PM, Philippine Standard Time.

The tentative release date of the decision letters is on November 23, 2017.

Note: Selected delegates will have to sponsor their personal expenses such as accommodation and travel.

See you there!


Lazada Featured Product:

About two months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and browsed through my Facebook notifications. A horrible news knocked the sleepyhead out of me: my favorite singer, Chester Bennington of the rock band Linkin Park, took his own life after years of battling depression. He hanged himself in California.

I was dumbfounded. I hurriedly took my camera; and in a true YouTuber fashion, pressed record and posted a vlog about my childhood hero’s death.

A couple of days after, I thought I also suffered from depression due to the shocking news. But upon delving into the topic of depression deeper, I realized that it’s more than just an emotional or psychological feeling. Surprisingly, it also is biological.

Brain chemical’s abnormality and imbalance on serotonin levels, result to this mental illness. And unlike the typical “sad feelings” that we can shrug off, depression negatively disrupts a person’s daily routine and often leads to suicide.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are “more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression”, worldwide. That is a huge number and it is a major psychiatric problem.

On the WHO website, I have also discovered that despite the “solicitous-natured” Southeast Asians, our region has some considerable figures on suicides. 2017 data reveals that there are about 3.8 Filipinos who commit suicide per 100,000 people. One thing to note is that these figures may even be higher than listed because these are often underreported in our secretive cultures.

As I was writing this essay, it seemed coincidental that news about depression and suicide were featured in the dailies and on TV. Just yesterday, a popular teen star’s brother also took his life by shooting himself to the head. My colleagues’ close friend, a young 23-year old boy who’s been very active in a literary organization, ended his life two weeks ago by hanging. The culprit for these alarming deaths? Depression. And while there is a stigma attached with self-inflicted death in my culture, it is undeniable that mental health awareness is extremely necessary.

As a “relatively cheerful” netizen, I notice some factors why young people fall prey to depression: family problems, bruised esteems, and failed relationships. Add to that the lack of social interaction due to the rising popularity of social media. I always emphasize in my seminars to universities the importance of face-to-face interactions. Good thing that last year, the Philippine government launched Hopeline, a suicide prevention hotline (may be reached at (02) 804-4637). It was a welcome development.

It sure is a pity that everyone, regardless of nationality, may go through dark bouts with depression. Hence the need for us to shed more light on it for proper funding and adequate research. There sure is a need to combat depression with empathy, concern, and ultimately, professional help. It’s about time to erase the stigma and prevent the loss of untimely deaths, especially from those of our valued youths because every one’s life is precious.

The lyrics from Linkin Park’s hit song, “One More Light”, still reverberate on my head. Chester sounds very much alive as he sings: “Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars?”. The answer is also in the song: “I do”.


AltPress. "Chester Bennington’s cause of death has been confirmed." Alternative Press, Accessed 8 October 2017.

"Depression." World Health Organization, Accessed 10 October 2017.

"Suicide rates, age-standardized Data by country." World Health Organization,  4 April 2017, Accessed 11 October 2017.

Takumi, Rie. "Suicide rates, age-standardized Data by country." GMA News Online, 13 September 2016, Accessed 12 October 2017.

Maraming-maraming salamat po sa lahat ng aking mga minamahal na tagasuporta. Ang ating YouTube channel na THE POLITIKALON BLOG ay nakatawid na po sa ika-1,000,000 na views. 🍷

Ako po ay masayang-masaya ngayong araw dahil itinuturing ko po ito bilang isang milestone sa aking vlogging career.

Marami na po tayong pinagdaanan sa 1 1/2 taon ng vlogging: exclusive vlog feature sa kampanya ni Pres. Duterte, exclusive vlog feature sa 65th Miss Universe, mga travel vlogs, sports coverages ng Southeast Asia Bastketball Association Championships, exclusive coverage sa MMA matches, countless concerts, at mga seminars sa iba't-ibang panig ng Pilipinas. Maraming salamat sa mga nakisama sa aking mga vlogging adventures. 🌏

Pagkatapos ng 13 seasons ng The PoliTikalon Blog TV, 2 action cameras, 2 digital compact cameras, 1 lumang DSLR,96 video uploads, at libu-libong milya nang mga biyahe at mga paglipad - nakapagtaya na po tayo ng vlogging achievement. 📹

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Ako po ay inyong nabigyan ng inspirasyon. Mabuhay po tayong lahat! 🇵🇭

~ JR Lopez Gonzales
Admin, The PoliTikalon Blog

Here's a message I got from a Japanese travel agency for a job opportunity:

I'm looking for High level Spanish speakers. And they need to use own PC with internet and Windows office as well. Of course, we want to hire the persons who really like tourism in Japan.

Our travel agency need a handful of staffs.

It's alright if he or she is living abroad but it is required that he communicates with me in English at least by Skype or email.

The salary is commission-based. We'll interview applicants after OCTOBER 17, 2017 in Spanish.

Please let send your ENGLISH CV to

We will contact by Skype if the person passed the document exam.

Photo Credits:

We would like to thank everyone for the support.

Last week, I flew to Northeastern Philippines to speak to more than 500 students at Father Saturnino Urios College of Trento, Incorporated in Trento, Agusan del Sur Province. Earlier this year, I also spoke to hundreds of students at Southeast Asian Institute of Technology in Tupi, South Cotabato Province.

I am grateful to Mr. Marvin Galay for the opportunity to share my knowledge; as well as to the principal, Mr. Celso Casamayor. For SEAIT, I am grateful to John Colonia and Prof. Francis Lorenzo.

We are so thankful for the incessant support of our followers all over the world. From India to Russia; Philippines to Japan. On Facebook, we just exceed the 500+ likes on our page and we get hundreds of daily video views there.

Our YouTube channel has a different story, though: We get close to 1,200 views every day! And we already have more than 1,700 subscribers! We also have three new subscribers daily on average! :)

There was a bit of a "controversy" when a popular anti-administration Facebook page included a photo of my self on a propaganda video. I made a reaction to that here on this video:

Last week, I also had the chance of meeting DDI pioneer, Glen Santillan of Escape Manila, and Facebook vlogger Chito Samontina. Just good times and good chat with these Davaoeñ
o social media influencers.

With Glen Santillan and Chito Samontina of Davao Digital Influencers.

With hundreds of Southeast Asia Institute of Technology earlier this year for my seminar on social media.
Another totally new stint I did was a collaboration with FlipTop rapper Rudic. I had the chance of working with him and I will be appearing in his latest single "Paning" for his #garaON EP. It will be released on the fourth quarter of this year. Please check his music out, too!

Thanks to everyone for the love and support for the PoliTikalon brand.

Continue to follow us on our socmed accounts:


PoliTikalon Blog Seminar Winners:

1. Alger Esguerra (Free movie pass)
2. Aireyca Glenn G. Lanaban (LTE Prepaid Sim and Blink Free Account and Movie Access)
3. Bebap Aguiman
4. Trisha Nyree Ombrosa
5. Louis Lopez Suero
(Portable Solar-powered Calculator)
6. Wenilyn Suson Lolo
7. King Mark Badua

(Coffee holders from Japan)
Hello everyone, I’m JR Lopez Gonzales. In Bizmates, they call me "JR G".
And for this day, I'll be sharing to you my Bizmates story.

So, before Bizmates,[ actually] after graduating in the university,
I was able to apply for a job back in Mindanao, I taught in the university for a couple of years.

 And then after that, back in 2013 I had the chance of working as well in Makati.
 And that was like my first-ever experience of how it is working far from your home.
 It was in Manila; it was in Makati. The commute was more than an hour, just one way.
So back and forth, it [was] like more than two and a half hours.

That includes falling in line and it's like an Amazing Race every single day because you have to be in a hurry and you have to make sure that you go ahead and secure yourself a seat on the train, or if not, if you don't have any choice times then you have to stand up for the whole duration of the trip.

And that was my first taste of the harsh reality of living in an urban and center like Makati was so difficult for me.

Maybe because I was used to living in the province. So it was really a challenge and well, it was not that easy. So that was my life before Bizmates.
That’s a good question.
And I’m just so happy to share my Bizmates experience with everyone that I know,
because for me, Bizmates is a “game-changer in the online  teaching industry”.

First of all, we are teaching businessmen and it's not your typical conversation school. So for me – well, I did teach before - I was a former professor in the university for a couple of years but - I did also learn that, when I taught the lessons - the Bizmates Business programs - I learned a lot from those and in some points I also apply those lessons in my actual personal life because my parents are also into business.

And as to how it changed me as a person, I would say that it sure it sure did. I had [a] greater appreciation of Japanese business ethics and business culture.

And at the same time, I met a lot of wonderful students and I always tell other people that if you compare - not to some stereotypical - but if you compare the students from other schools I would have to say Bizmates students have their own student tradition where they're so courteous, so polite and I think that’s just one way of [them] reciprocating the professionalism that Bizmates extend to them.

And well right now I have taught about 5,000+ lessons now with Bizmates.

And I plan to teach five thousand more, hopefully, in the future.

And it has changed me as well with my time. You see, it has a flexible time schedule so you plot out your own schedule in advance.

And because of that, I save a lot of my time. Instead of going on a commute; going on a train; right now on have more time to make those things that I failed to do before. So, I had more time now writings articles because I contribute to news agencies in the Philippines; in GMA, in ABS-CBN. And also I  make YouTube videos and now; I make more vlog episodes because of having more time spent at home.

So, what are you waiting for? If you think my Bizmates story is inspiring, or something you can relate to,

So why not try and earn at Bizmates? I'm pretty sure you won’t regret it. And I’ll see you guys next time.

~ JR G

If you wish to join us at Bizmates, please visit the application link:

IMPORTANT: In the space for “How did you learn about Bizmates” > Click OTHER > type JR G. This is serves as my referral and helps me produce better video and blog contents.

Author's Note:
This is my personal story about working at home and teaching business English with Bizmates Japan. I’ve been a consultant for this company for years now and I have never looked back ever since.

Bizmates is a Japanese online teaching company that focuses on BUSINESS COMMUNICATION SKILLS and primarily caters to Japanese businessmen. Trainers are not just from the Philippines; but also from other parts of the globe.

For queries you may send questions on our comment section below. You can also e-mail us at We’ll try to get back to you at the soonest time we can. Domo arigatou gozaimasu!