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Is it Natural to Fall in Love?


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Have you experienced falling in love? What was it like? Did it feel natural? Is love forever? Here’s the love story of Kenneth:

“Just call me Kenneth. I’m 27 years old, with a swell job at one of the biggest networks in the country. My girlfriend, Clarissa, is very pretty, smart, understanding, religious and very loving. She has all the qualities you’re looking for in a girl and she’s the kind of girl you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.

My problem is that I haven’t really treated her right. Instead of spending time with her, I went out with my friends and co-workers. I flirted with other women in front of her. She never said a word, and remained devoted to me. We lived together for three months when her mother went to the US for a vacation, and she was like a wife to me. She prepared everything for me, from the time I woke up till I went to bed. She wouldn’t let a day pass without telling me she loved me.

There were so many things I couldn’t put into words and so many words I couldn’t put into actions, she submitted herself to me. It made me love her more but it made me take her more for granted, thinking that she was mine forever.

Until last December, Joe. A day before Christmas , she told me she was pregnant. I was startled and speechless, thinking I was going to be a father. But she told me that I was not the father of her child. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even notice the tears pouring down my cheeks. I was hurt. i couldn’t accept that she went to bed with another man.

At that moment, I felt like killing myself. I hated myself for being so selfish and nor appreciating her. I never cherished her.

She called me the other week to tell me that she’s leaving the country to marry the other guy. She told me she was leaving me for good this time and that she loved me very much.

Why is she doing this to me, Joe? I don’t want her to marry him. I want to stop her and marry her even if the child is not mine. I want to take care of her and show her how i truly love her, appreciate her. how can i stop her, Joe? What should I do? I feel like I’m in a quicksand, the more I struggle out of it, the more it eats me up. I’ve been so depressed lately and I couldn’t even concentrate on my job. I feel like I can’t go on anymore.”(


Theories on Love

Is romantic love really a natural thing? Or a socially learned phenomenon, and thus one would not die without it?

One biological theory suggests that falling in love is like “being drunk.” The love hormone can make people fall in love, making them “drunk” with erotic passion and altruism. Scientists who prescribed to this theory identified the hormone associated with falling in love as oxytocin, a hormone produced in one part of the brain called hypothalamus which is said to be playing a significant role in bonding, falling in love, and making friendship. To some social scientists at the School of Psychology at Birmingham University, the love hormone of oxytocin has an intoxicating effect to lovers similar to alcohol. It relaxes people and removes their social inhibition, anxiety, and fear when falling in love with their partners. It increases their pro-social behavior such as generosity, empathy, and trust and makes them feel more relaxed, happy, and confident in their romantic relationship.

The biological approach to romantic love suggests that falling in love is primarily influenced by people’s biological or physiological make-up and not by the social environment is somehow unacceptable to sociologists. To sociologists, falling in love is basically a socially-learned experience and behavior, determined by societal factors and not merely by hormones. The biological and bodily reactions felt by people when they fall in love are triggered and shaped by cultural forces outside the self. In the sociology of emotions, for instance, sociologists believe that people’s emotions are determined by society and culture. Thus, people’s deep feelings and emotions of love are primarily a product of cultural and social conditioning. In the same manner, people’s romantic feelings and expressions are learned and shaped by the local culture and not solely by biology. In many primitive societies, for instance, where arranged marriages and betrothals are common cultural practice, romantic love between the bride and groom is not a prerequisite for marriage. The feeling of falling in love and romance is nonexistent in these societies because there are no romantic things and expectations that can trigger the so-called love hormones and people’s minds are not ideologically conditioned to fall in love. Therefore, the idea that people must fall in love in courtship before marriage is not universal or found in all human societies. In many non-Western societies, couples do not fall in love before marriage. Some couples do not even know each other before the wedding. In these societies, the families and relatives are tasked to find the lifelong partner for their bride or groom and arrange the marriage. In Southern Philippines, a council of Muslim elders decided the marriage between a young and beautiful 20-year old girl and a 60-year old Moro rebel leader who already had 3 wives. The girl neither personally knew nor met him before their wedding. She only knew him through a photo given to her by the council before the ceremony. Thus, there was no falling in love and romantic love between them before marriage. And the marriage seemed to work well and they were blessed with beautiful kids. In Bangladesh, the youngest marriage in the world took place without romance and falling in love. According to 2001 Guinness Book of World Records, the youngest marriage involved an eleven-month-old baby boy and a three-month-old girl. The marriage took place in order to end a twenty-year feud between the children’s families (Delaney, 2012). These two cases illustrate that falling in love is not always required before marriage. It is not a natural or biologically-determined behavior such as drinking or eating which can bring death to the couple without it. People will not die without falling in love and romance. Think of the thousands of celibate Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious monks and religious who live normal and generous lives despite being unmarried and chaste throughout their life. For sociologists, falling in love and romantic love are social constructions of society that started in the late 18th century in order to preserve the institution of marriage. Because of industrialization, migration, and urbanization, the influence of families and relatives in the arrangement of marriages declined. Thus, society has to create and manage various socialization tools such as romantic music, novels, films, posts, cards, stories, and other romantic things and processes in order to condition people’s minds that to fall in love is natural and a necessity for marriage.

Can One Control to Love and be Loved?

If falling in love and romantic love are socially learned behavior, then people should have some control over them. With sufficient knowledge about what men and women look for in their partners, romantic people, for instance, can change or enhance their looks and appearance. With the advent of modern medicine, cosmetic surgery, and other physical enhancing technology, they can change and improve their looks and appearance to make them attractive to their crushes or partners. They can also manage and improve their personal impressions in social interaction and dating by taking up personality-enhancing courses to make themselves romantically desirable and attractive to others. Through sufficient knowledge on the dynamics of romantic love and falling in love, they can, furthermore, discern which of their suitors are deserving of their true love and which of their romantic relationships is deceptive, obsessive, or authentic and leading towards marital commitment. Finally, they can structure and schedule their social functions to make themselves visible and desirable to people whom they want to establish romantic relationships. It is not true that real love and romance are written in the stars and determined by fate. More often, true love can be found and realized through  scientific knowledge on romantic love and marriage, mature and realistic decision-making process, and proper social positioning and management of the social tools of romantic love.

Love Quotes 

“True love only comes once in a lifetime, so take it as it comes along and enjoy every bit of it while it is still burning strong

This is the true measure of love: When we strongly believe that there is no one else who could give as much love to our partners, nobody from their past, present or future

When you look into the eyes of your love, you see forever, you see warmth and safety, you see two hearts beating together for each other, for the rest of your lives….”(


What is an “Unhealthy” Romantic Love?


Fig. 3.1 “A Couple Having a Fight” by David Castillo Dominici (Image courtesy of

    A true romantic love is said to be a sincere and based on mutual self-giving. People must avoid a one-sided affair where one partner in a romantic relationship is just using the other to satisfy his or her own needs. Sadly, there are people who allow this type of love and allow their partners to manipulate them, most probably because of lack of options. This particularly true for people who desperately look for a romantic partner despite being used by the other. A person who is single with mature age or a young person who is pressured by his or her peer group and relatives to have a boyfriend or girlfriend may cling to an unhealthy or one-sided romantic love. As the following lyrics of the song “I can’t live without you” by the Bad Company illustrate:

The first time you deceived me, it nearly broke my heart
What hurts me most was I’m the last to know
So lately I’ve been thinking, thinking ’bout you
I know deep in my heart you had to go

Last night when I told you, you looked into my eyes
A wicked smile just spread across your face
You know I can’t resist you, no matter what you do
The way you treat me babe, it’s a disgrace [1]

According to the great Winston Churchill, an “[i]mmature love says, I love you because I need you, mature love says, I need you because I love you.” A true and mature romantic relationship does not use the other for selfish reasons. True love allows both partners to grow as persons and does not manipulate or use the other. Here’s an example of a one-sided and unhealthy types of romantic relationship. The lack of option is one important reason why people stay in a one-sided love affair. Obviously, this type of romance is not true love:

     “I don’t really know if I can call it love, but I really care for this guy in my college. I had always been a reserved, socially awkward individual. I never really dated any guy in my school years because I couldn’t even look in the eyes of a man without blushing!… However, I am a changed person today—more confident, smart, straight forward and honest. This guy in my college was the FIRST guy who told me “I am falling for you”. He told me he thought I was beautiful. It took over a month to finally tell him a yes, because I was afraid if he would hurt my feeble heart. The thing about me is that if I love, I love unconditionally….And so we spend a lot of time together and during one of our conversations he told me about his psychological condition—he had split personality, was a socially disconnected individual and couldn’t handle relationships. He told me about how his “falling in love” phase lasted only four hours to a few days… But the more I knew about his flaws, the more I loved him.

      Over time, I empathized so much with him that I ended up mirroring his emotions and his personality… I also realized that the only reason he sticks around with me is because 1) I am regularly at work and is a good student at college. Hence, I can inform him of assignments to be submitted and college holidays. 2) He said he can’t afford a girlfriend at the moment and I am available at a ‘cheaper price’ and mostly free because I don’t demand for anything. 3) I am a girl and he is a guy and he can satisfy his ‘needs’….[2]

      No! This is certainly not the way I wanted a man to love me. But I continued to remain in this one-sided, broken relationship in the craving and greed for the temporary happiness I gained when I was with him. I’ve lost all my self-respect; I have begun to value him more than I value myself. I know this isn’t good, but I just can’t get over him and I just don’t seem to find the true love I have been looking for my entire 19 years.

      Love and intimacy go hand in hand in romantic love. But this must be felt by both partners. Love is the physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual, or social affection one person holds for another, while intimacy is the close relationship of two people where mutual acceptance, nurturance, and trust are shared at some level.


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   But not all romantic relationships can blossom into real love. Because of some psychological issues faced by people in romantic love as well as incompatibilities in terms of personal trait and character between lovers, the initial feeling of love or infatuation can turn into an “unhealthy” romantic relationship. People who experience the following types of love are advised to leave the relationship and move on to search their true and meaningful love.

    The most common types of unhealthy romantic love include obsessive love, unrequited love, and deceptive love.


Source: Saved from (Pinterest)



[2] “I am in Love” by Nandana96 in

The Social Use of Rumors in Business Firms


The prevalence of rumors in a business firm indicates a corporate communication crisis. Rumors are difficult to trace and almost impossible to stop. It takes a concentrated effort to dispel them. If remain unchecked, rumors can undermine company morale and, eventually, productivity.  And the primary weapon in putting an end to unwarranted rumors in the company is effective communications. The company story must be put across in a positive light.  The media appreciates quick, accurate, and thorough responses, which should be provided. Staff members should also be used to spread the truth. Other potential allies can be contacted and persuaded to help. The best way to dispel a rumor is to establish a policy regarding the problem and let everyone involved know about it (Horton, 1983).

 “Rumors are common in any organization. Some rumors are destructive and may cause considerable stress, sidetrack the work of key people, or damage the image of an organization. Associations are as vulnerable to rumors as corporations. The environment is especially vulnerable to rumors because so many meetings are held with results that are not made public” (William, 1985).

Rumors are a form of informal company communication. Studies have shown that informal lines of communication, such as rumors, must be kept open because they are a vital part of any organization. Rumors provide feedback to employees and to management; they also justify feelings about situations and help individuals understand the way they feel about certain things (Schaeffer, 1984).

In his studies of the role of rumors in companies, Larry Hirschhorn concluded that rumors have a strong positive role to play in keeping an organization healthy. When rumors are going around, they provide important clues as to what is happening in the company and act as a safety valve to relieve tensions and worries. If people stop spreading rumors, it implies that the workplace reality is so grim that they build psychological barriers to distance themselves from it.  A lack of rumors is a sign of sharp demoralization of a business organization (Hirchhorn cited in Bensahel, 1982).

Managers should pay attention to rumors. By listening to rumors, it does not always mean that they are true. Rumors deal with the internal affairs of the company. Even if they are false, they often reveal the concerns of insecurity, uncertainty or worry among employees. A good manager can prevent many internal crises if they are addressing the concern reflected in rumors (Adler, 1977).

It has been hypothesized that an organization’s culture may affect the propensity to engage in rumors. “In some organizations, the culture may advocate considerable formal communication while informal communication may, at the same time, be discouraged (Kurland and Pelled, 2000, p. 434). In this case, an anti-rumor or gossip culture may cause individuals to refrain from seeking information from sources other than officially sanctioned ones” (Michelson and Mouly, 2004, p. 195).

An exhaustive review of the literature identified fours motivations for consumers to share rumors in the marketplace. It included anxiety management motivation, information sharing motivation, relationship management motivation and self-enhancement motivation (Sudhir and Unnithan, 2014).

Rumors are always present in a business firm. The role of the manager is not to eliminate them, but to learn from them in order to improve the company’s human resource and information management system in order to achieve corporate goals!


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How to Judge Behavior



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      People tend to judge the meaning of action from the outside and sometimes fail to see what’s inside the person’s mind doing the action. Most romantic relationships fail because the jealous partner often sees only the external act of what his/her partner is doing with another person. One girlfriend just broke with her boyfriend when she saw her chatting with a beautiful girl from afar. She interpreted the animated conversation of the two as a form of attraction. Without asking the boyfriend about the girl  and what they were talking about, she immediately stopped texting and communicating with him. Max Weber, a German sociologist, has a very good advice for people who want to judge the meaning of people’s interaction. He called this approach as “verstehen” or “interpretive understanding”. This means that if one wants to fully understand the meaning of the human action, he or she must understand the meaning of the external act and the motive behind the act. He or she must place himself or herself into the shoes of the other  to know the full meaning of the action. Without learning the motive of the act, it would rash judgment to conclude the meaning of the act. The girl could have investigated what was really the motive why his boyfriend has an animated conversation with the other girl.


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Law, Normative Pluralism, and Post-Disaster Recovery: Evaluating the Post-Disaster Relocation and Housing of Typhoon Ketsana Victims in the Philippines

This book looks at how the multiplicity of formal and informal normative systems that actualize the post-disaster recovery goals of the country’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 has resulted in the inadequate housing and relocation of Typhoon Ketsana victims in the Philippines. Using the sociological and normative pluralist perspectives and the case study method, it evaluates the level of conformity of the components of the housing project according to international conventions and legal standards. It highlights the negative unintended consequences caused by the complex normative regimes of various competing stakeholders, rigid real estate regulation, and the unscrupulous involvement of powerful and ‘corrupt’ real estate developers and housing groups as largely contributing to the project’s deviation from the law’s proactive  objectives. This book attempts to promote the socio-legal perspectives which have long been overlooked in disaster research. Finally, it invites policymakers to enact a comprehensive disaster law and create a one-stop disaster management agency to improve the long-term rehabilitation of disaster victims in developing countries such as the Philippines. 

New Book on Why Media Piracy Business Persists in the Philippines and Vietnam

 Cover Springer 978-981-287-920-2

Pre-order my book at

Pre-order here at

  • ISBN 978-981-287-920-2 (Hardcover, US$129)
  • free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Due: December 30, 2015

Unique Selling Points of this Book:

  • Views the persistence of piracy from a wider social context than just the economic, legal, and juridical
  • Provides a sociological and ethnographic investigation on why the retail of pirated discs persists in the Philippines and Vietnam
  • Challenges the normative and prescriptive approach of jurisprudence in understanding copyright piracy
  • Applies the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to account for the role of technological and material networks in the persistence of copyright piracy in today’s global era​.

About this Book:

This book addresses the persistence of the optical media piracy trade in the Philippines and Vietnam. It goes beyond arguments of defective law enforcement and copyright legal systems by applying sociological perspectives to examine the socio-economic forces behind the advent of piracy in the region. Using documentary and ethnographic data, in addition to resistance and ecological theories in sociology of law and technology as the overall theoretical framework, the book investigates factors that contribute to this phenomenon and factors that impede the full formalization of the optical media trade in the two countries. These factors include the government’s attitude towards the informal sector and strong resistance to tougher IPR protection, unstable and sometimes conflicting policies on technologies, burdensome business registration process and weak enforcement of business regulations, bureaucratic corruption and loopholes in law enforcement system as well as trade ties with China. In addition to that, the book highlights the social background of the actors behind the illegal business of counterfeit CDs and DVDs, thereby explaining the reasons they continue to persist in this type of trade. It invites policymakers, law enforcers, advocates of anti-piracy groups, and the general public to use a more holistic lens in understanding the persistence of copyright piracy in developing countries, shifting the blame from the moral defect of the traders to the current problematic copyright policy and enforcement structure, and the difficulty of crafting effective anti-piracy measures in a constantly evolving and advancing technological environment.

Table of Contents:


1 Introduction
1.1 Background of the Media Piracy Problem
1.2 Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam
1.3 Understanding Media Piracy
1.4 Analyzing Media Piracy in Contemporary Global Society
1.5 The Book’s Sociological Approach
1.6 Objectives of the Book
1.7 Definition of Terms
1.8 Theoretical Framework
1.9 Methodology
1.9.1 The Roadmap of the Book
List of References

2 The U.S. IP Hegemony and the Politics of Piracy and Resistance

2.1 Understanding Power and Hegemony
2.2 U.S Hegemony in Intellectual Property Trade
2.3 Law as a Maker of Hegemony
2.4 Social Resistance and U.S. IP Hegemony
2.5 Asia-Pacific: A Great Promise and Scourge of U.S. IP Hegemony
2.6 China and ASEAN as a Scourge for American IP Hegemony
2.7 China: The Tie that Binds the Philippines and Vietnam to Piracy
2.8 Guandong as Mediating Network for the Philippines and Vietnam
2.9 Summary
List of References

3 Government’s Attitude towards the Informal Sector and Piracy
3.1 The Prevalence of the Informal Sector and Formalization
3.2 Understanding the Nature of the Informal Sector
3.3 Informal Employment in SEA
3.4 The Government Attitude towards the Informal Sector
3.5 The Philippines’ and Vietnam’s Attitudes towards Informality
3.6 Vietnam and the Philippines on Legality and Informality
3.7 Employment in Piracy Trade as Informal and Illegal
3.8 Formality and Illegality in the Optical Piracy Disc Trade
3.9 Piracy as Source of Informal Employment
3.9.1 Summary
List of References

4 Obstacles in Formalizing the Optical Media Trade
4.1 Understanding Formalization of Business
4.2 Legal and Judicial Obstacles of Formalization
4.3 Bureaucratic Obstacles
4.4 Opening an Optical Media Business in the Philippines
4.5 Starting a New Optical Media Business in Vietnam
4.6 Regulation and Formalization of Technologies for Media Piracy
4.7 Harmonizing ICT Technology and Copyright Business Interests
4.8 Summary
List of References

5 Social and Technological Forces Supporting Piracy
5.1 The General Profile of the Piracy Traders
5.2 The Piracy Traders in the Philippines
5.3 The Piracy Traders in Vietnam
5.4 Factors Fueling the Piracy Trade in the Philippines
5.5 Informal Trading and Overcoming Discrimination
5.6 Factors Facilitating the Piracy Trade in Vietnam
5. 7 Technological Networks for Piracy
5.8 Social Networks Supporting the Piracy Trade
5.9 Summary
List of References

6 Corruption and Nonenforcement of the Optical Media Law
6.1 Law Enforcement and Corruption in Sociology
6.2 Understanding the Nonenforcement of the Optical Media Law
6.3 Corruption and Media Piracy in SEA
6.4 The Nonenforcement of the Optical Media Law
6.5 Corruption and Illegal Business Protection System
6.6 Appropriating the Protection Money in Piracy
6.7 Nonenforcement and Corruption Patterns in the Philippines and Vietnam
6.8 Summary
List of References

7 Tracing Media Piracy: The Current and Future Trends
7.1 The Evolving Nature of Media Piracy and Globalization
7.2 Trends in Media Piracy Follow the Trends in Technology
7.3 Future Trends
7.4 Digital Spying and Hacking
7.5 Regulating the Internet and ICT Technologies
7.6 The Role of China
7.7 China’s Future Involvement in Piracy
7.8 Summary
List of References

About the Author:

Dr. Vivencio O. Ballano is a Professor of Sociology and Law at St. Paul University, Quezon City, Philippines. His specialized areas of teaching and research include Sociology of Law and Religion, Optical Media Law, Constitutional Law, Disaster Management Law and Copyright Counterfeiting. He obtained his doctoral degree in Sociology from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2011 and was chosen as a 2012 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Southeast Asian Studies Research Exchange Program (SEASREP). He has read papers in local and international conferences and published articles in journals mostly on the area of copyright piracy. He has also published a textbook for his course on Politics, Government, and the Philippine Constitution. He is a founding Board Member of the Philippine Association for the Sociology of Religion (PASR) and a member of the Philippine Sociological Society (PSS). In 2013, St. Paul University recognised his research work by awarding him the Best Researcher Award for that year.

About the Publisher:

Springer Science+Business Media is a leading global scientific, technical and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in healthcare and road safety education. Springer published roughly 2,400 English-language journals and more than 9,000 new books in 2014, and the group is home to the world’s largest STM eBook collection, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. In 2014, Springer Science+Business Media generated sales of approximately EUR 959 million. The group employs some 8,500 individuals across the globe.

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Culture Matters in Job Recruitment


Culture matters in job recruitment. Hiring people to fill up vacant positions in the company requires that the new recruit does not only possess the necessary skill and talent for the job but also a “perfect fit” in the company’s organizational culture. Assuming that the applicant has all the qualifications, the primary question a recruiter should ask himself/herself before hiring an applicant must be this: “Can this person, if hired, persist in his/her job despite the negative traits of the company’s culture? Can his/her personality and value system tolerate if s/he discovers the most toxic trait or aspect of the company’s way of life? For instance, if s/he discovers that the company has strong power cliques or lacks career plan, can this new recruit capable of and willing to adjust and stay in the company? Will s/he be loyal in spite of….?

2 Dimensions of Hiring People

There are basically two major dimensions of hiring new applicants into the company: the technical and the cultural. The technical dimension includes the educational background, talent, experience and expertise of the applicant for the job. The cultural includes the applicants’ personality, value system, beliefs, attitudes to rules, power and authority or work ethic.The technical aspect is easier to handle than the cultural one. The resume or CV can be an important guide with regard to the technical aspect of the job. But there seems to be no comprehensive guide or tool for the recruiter or interviewer to understand the applicant’s cultural orientation. A well-planned interview guide can probably handle this, revealing the applicant’s basic cultural attitude and value system vis-a-vis the hiring company’ core values. The psychological exams may reveal some aspects of the person’s cultural life but not enough to cover all about the person’s character, value system, disposition, interpersonal skills and attitude towards work: all these are important characteristics which can determine the recruit’s longevity in the company.

The Recruiter Must Have a Sufficient Knowledge of Company’s Culture

It is difficult for a recruiter to know whether the applicant fits into the company’s culture if s/he is not part of the company or lacks an emic (insider’s knowledge) perspective of the organizational culture of the hiring company. Well, if the position is basically a technical one which doesn’t require much social networking or managing people, this internal knowledge of the corporate culture may not be that necessary. But people are not robots. They react to situations based on their cultural values and beliefs. Most failures in hiring–in a sense that recruits do not stay longer in the company–is probably due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the recruiter about the organizational culture of the hiring company. In this sense, the hiring company is accepting people who are technically capable but incompatible to its overall cultural mold. The result: fast turnovers due to cultural incompatibility between the new recruits’ cultural orientation and the cultural expectations of the hiring company.

Fast turnovers in the company’s hiring can therefore be an indicator of a mismatch between the recruit’s cultural values and the company’s organizational culture. And ultimately, the recruiting team can take the blame for hiring people whose cultural and mental frames as well as corporate values are in conflict with those of the company. The technical aspect of the job may be a perfect match but not the value system of the new employee and that of the hiring company.

Final Reminder

Remember: hiring is like finding a missing spare part of a particular brand of car. The recruiter may find a spare part similar to the original one but not in design and brand; thus, it will never fit into the car system. It will only damage the car. Thus, if the cultural orientation and value system of the newly-hired employee do not jibe with that of the company’s culture, s/he never fit into the firm’s cultural system. S/he can only cause harm rather improve the brand and productivity of the company. It is therefore important that the recruiter knows the brand and make of the car in order that s/he can spot and buy the correct spare part for the car. The ideal recruiter is one who knows the “basic parts and their interdependence in the entire system” of the hiring company.

Photo credit:, Savage chickens, et al.


Thank you for reading this post! If you want to read my regular posts, please follow me or send a LinkedIn invite to Feel free also to follow me on Twitter @detectivebogart and join my 103K+ online community for some sociological and inspirational tweets. My Instagram @venballano My Profile: My Blog: My Facebook: Ven Ballano. My Shots:@venballano.
Dr. Vivencio “Ven” Ballano is a sociologist-professor, religious educator, research consultant and media piracy specialist at St. Paul University, Quezon City, Philippines. He is currently writing a book entitled” “Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam” under the top scientific global publisher, Springer Science + Business Media.

Knowing the Job Applicant’s True Character

job interview


Job interview is all about impression management. On the one hand, the applicant must project his/her best image and impress the interviewer with his/her appearance and performance to get the job. On the other hand, the interviewer–knowing the limitation of the encounter–must exhaust all means during the interview to know the real self of the applicant beyond personal appearance and impression. S/he must get a glimpse of the applicant’s real character! But how? The interview encounter is too brief to understand the applicant’s real self !

Well, recruiters and interviewers of applicants must accept the fact that job interview is not in-depth discovery of who the applicant is in terms of character and personality. But when done wisely and correctly, one can still get a glimpse of the character of the person. Here are two tips:

1. Observe the body language, gestures and actions and know their meaning.

During job interview, the interview or recruiter must expect that the applicant will present their best image and impression in order to be accepted in the company. S/he can control his/her image in terms of clothing, demeanor or speech. If the applicant is wise, it is expected that s/he has rehearsed a lot on the possible questions the interviewer will ask during the interview. S/he had probably read a lot on how to pass job interviews.

But one area the applicant may not have a total control of himself/herself—the body language and involuntary gestures which come mostly from his/her subconscious. His/her eye movements during the interview, for instance, can tell a lot about the person’s capacity to focus. So, it is important that the interviewer must be observant not only of the applicant’s words but also of his/her gestures and involuntary movements of the body. Well, if the interviewer really wants to know more of the applicant, s/he must try to find means to observe the applicant before the interview, probably while waiting for the interview or interacting with others in the office.

2. Ask situational questions which can reveal the applicant’s Value System.

The purpose of a cross-examination in a courtroom hearing is really to reveal the inconsistencies of the witness’ testimony. This can also be applied ob interviews. To know the integrity and honesty of the applicant’s character, the interviewer must find ways–beyond the prepared set of questions—to ask situational questions to reveal the applicant’s value system. Ask questions that concern dilemmas can be a good way to squeeze the applicant’s answer and reveal the what type of values s/he held as most important. Let’s say, the interviewer would ask questions to reveal the applicant’s priority between loyalty and career advancement, or between being honest or being fired by one’s manager if /she reveals his/her wrongdoing in the company.


Remember, recruiting is not only about hiring people with the best talent and qualification but also about recruiting applicants whose personality and character fit into the company’s mission-vision or corporate goals. A recruiter may have hired the best talent but his/her character and personality does fit into the corporate culture, s/he will stay in the company. It’s only a matter of time that s/he will leave because s/he is discovered that s/he not a perfect fit in the company’s way of life!

Photo credit: Shutterstock


Thank you for reading this post! If you want to read my regular posts, please follow me or send a LinkedIn invite to Feel free also to follow me on Twitter @detectivebogart and join my 103K+ online community for some sociological and inspirational tweets.My Instagram @venballano Profile: Blog: Facebook: Ven Ballano. Shots:@venballano.
Dr. Vivencio “Ven” Ballano is a sociologist-professor, religious educator, research consultant and media piracy specialist at St. Paul University, Quezon City, Philippines. He is currently writing a book entitled” “Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam” under the top scientific global publisher, Springer Science + Business Media.

Functions of Persistent Rumors in Business



It is normal in any business organization to hear rumors against the company, managers, supervisors as well as fellow employees. Unlike gossip, rumors deal with social issues, not personalities, that affect a sector of a company or the entire business organization. People may immediately dismiss rumors as hearsay and unproductive talk. But if they persist, they might have a structural basis that requires a closer examination and analysis. A persistent rumor about the company or workplace usually has structural roots that need attention and solution. All companies which face bankruptcy or imminent demise are always forewarned by rumors. Before Enron collapsed, for instance, rumors about the company fraudulent accounting persisted. But it seemed that the early warning signs were ignored by the company leading to its closure. “A detailed look at the Enron accounting scandal reveals the circumstances that made it possible for Enron to succeed in deceiving the public. There was connivance with external auditors & banks, while SEC gave Enron exemptions from investment laws, instead of paying heed to the early warning signs”(

Rumor as an Indicator of a Serious Issue and Lack of Transparency

A company which hides some vital information to their valued customers, stockholders, employees and to the public is prone to rumors. In today’s social media age, it only takes a post, selfie, or viral video to spread the rumors if a business firm is found deceiving the stockholders or customers about the true state of the company, products or services.As the saying goes, “If there’s a smoke, there’s fire!”. The smoke is the rumor, the fire is the negative effect that destroys the company. A firm cannot hide the reality to the public. It is only a matter of time that the fire will come out and burn the entire house! So, if there’s a persistent smoke or rumor, it is better for house managers or CEOs to put it off before it burns the company. And this could only be done if the company starts providing clear and convincing information to the affected sector about the issue. A transparent system is less prone to rumors. Thus, when rumors came out about the bending of iphone 6, Apple immediately issued a statement and credible explanation to stop the rumors on the alleged defects of the phone. And it did apparently succeeded in putting off the smoke as Apple posted a historical profit of $18 billion last year due to massive sale of iphone 6 and 6plus.

Rumor as An indicator of a Management Problem.

It is important that managers must be empirically updated with what’s going in the company. It there is a discontent in the company, the manager must be the first to know it, not the last one. S/he must open to suggestions and willing to listen even to people whom s/he dislike. Rumors can serve as warning signs and guide for managers on what management area that s/he needs to examine and improve. A feedback mechanism is therefore necessary to check once in a while the general sentiment of employees in the company as well as the true state of things in the company. This feedback must come from below, from rank and file employees up to the top managers in order that the general picture of true state of the company will come out. The Japanese firms which use the inductive method of management are good on this. They usually ask feedback or opinion from people below before they create or implement a major policy that affects the entire business firm.

Remember: a persistent rumor can be an allay not an enemy in business when used wisely by business managers. They serve as a guide or indicator on what area to improve on in the company!

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Thank you for reading this post! If you want to read my regular posts, please follow me or send a LinkedIn invite to Feel free also to follow me on Twitter @detectivebogart and join my 99K+ online community for some sociological and inspirational tweets.My Instagram @venballano Profile: Blog: Facebook: Ven Ballano. Shots:@venballano.
Dr. Vivencio “Ven” Ballano is a sociologist-professor, religious educator, research consultant and media piracy specialist at St. Paul University, Quezon City, Philippines.

Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam

Optical Disc and Digital Piracy

The optical media piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam started in the 1990s with the rise of digital technology using the CD, VCD, and DVD discs which replaced the analog technology of the Betamax and VHS cassettes tapes. Pirated discs recording copyrighted songs, films or software with a price often ten times cheaper than the original copies, became widely accessible and affordable to millions of people of Southeast Asian region. In the early 2000s, the disc piracy has already created open piracy in the retail markets in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. In the Philippines, the Quiapo Barter Trade Center piracy center in Manila was listed in United States Trade Representative Office’s (USTR) notorious piracy markets in the world. Medium size malls in the country are also constantly being watched by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), an umbrella organization of all copyright industries in the United States, because of rampant optical disc retail piracy. Vietnam’s major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Danang were also being monitored for open optical disc piracy.

In 2001, the physical and optical disc piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam had reached a critical level, prompting the powerful IIPA to recommend to the USTR to place Vietnam in the Watch List (WL) and the Philippines in the Priority Watch List (PWL) for their failure to address adequately the growing problem of media piracy. It alleged that Vietnam and the Philippines failed considerably to curb piracy and to comply with international copyright standards. The local digital media markets of these countries remained counterfeit. The local courts were not deterrent against piracy and the law enforcement system was often non-existent and non-transparent. In particular, it alleged that “Vietnam’s market for every kind of copyrighted material is almost entirely pirate” and its anti-piracy enforcement has been slow, uneven, and almost totally lacking in transparency. With regard to optical media piracy, the IIPA noted that it is rare to find a legitimate copy of a U.S. copyrighted work in both digital and non-digital formats in the communist state. Instead pirated music, film, computer program and other copyrighted materials are readily available both online and in retail stores throughout the country. The optical media production lines in the country exceed Vietnam’s low consumption levels and are believed to be used for piracy (2001 IIPA Special 301 Report).

The Philippines, like Vietnam, also received a strong negative assessment and recommendation from the powerful IIPA in 2001 due to rampant optical media piracy. The IIPA report alleged “[t]he Philippines is rapidly becoming a central battlefield in the increasingly intense campaign against optical media piracy in Southeast Asia; but the country remains ill-prepared to fight this battle” (p.175). Its pirate production capacity continues to increase and its domestic market remains heavily infiltrated by pirate product in all segments, from software to audio-visual, music to books. Moreover, it alleged that the Philippines lacked regulatory controls, updated legal framework and strong enforcement mechanism on the optical media business. The production, distribution and sale of unauthorized music CDs, video CDs, and CD-ROMs containing illegal copies of business software applications and/or entertainment software as well as literary material in the country are damaging the legitimate market of the copyright industries. In its overall assessment, the Philippines remains ill-prepared to fight optical media piracy as it lags behind in meeting its international obligations under the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (2001 IIPA Special 301 Report, p. 175).

Government Response

As a response to the IIPA and USTR’s international pressure and in compliance with the IPR aspect of their bilateral and trade obligations to the U.S., the Philippine and Vietnamese governments took some significant legislative and administrative steps to curb copyright piracy, particularly media piracy in their own respective jurisdiction since 2001. With regard to copyright laws, the Philippines and Vietnam updated their respective IPR codes to simplify and comply with international standards demanded by the USTR and to make them deterrent to media piracy. The Philippines, in particular, amended its existing copyright law to increase the scope of, and the penalty against, unauthorized production and distribution of optical media. In 2003, it enacted the 2003 Optical Media Act to criminalize media piracy and increased its penalty thereof. To fight film piracy and illegal recording of feature films inside cinemas which often targets American blockbuster movies to be distributed illegally as camcords or masters worldwide for mass duplication, the Philippines also passed into law the Anti-Camcording Act (Republic Act 10088) in 2010. Finally, after a protracted negotiation and pressure from the U.S. to curb online media piracy, the Philippines passed into law the controversial Anti-Cybercrime Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175). Furthermore, to make antipiracy agencies more equipped to fight piracy, the Philippine government strengthened the enforcement powers of its lead agency against media piracy, the Video Regulatory Board (VRB) which was renamed as the Optical Media Board (OMB) in 2003. Moreover, to better fight software piracy and to eliminate copyright piracy in order that the Philippines will be seen as a country with strong IPR protection, the Philippine government created the Philippine Anti-Piracy Team, a coalition of government agencies consisting of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Media Board (OMB) and the Philippines National Police (PNP). This coalition led by the OMB is responsible for the continuous raids of pirated discs throughout the country. It also played an important role when Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered in 20121 to close down the open optical media piracy in the Quiapo Barter Trade Center piracy market in the City of Manila, the top piracy production and distribution center of counterfeit media in the Philippines, long listed as one of the most notorious piracy markets in the world by the IIPA and USTR.

Vietnam, like the Philippines, also updated its copyright laws to combat media piracy and complied with many of the IIPA and USTR’s anti-piracy and law enforcement recommendations. With the determination to transform its economy into a market economy, Vietnam introduced a series of reforms to update its IP laws and strengthen its IPR protection system in order to comply with the international standards. One significant IPR reform is the compilation and upgrading of its IP laws. With the intention of becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) through the help of the U.S., Vietnam enacted its new IP Law in 2005 which consolidated and streamlined all its IP laws, scattered over 40 legal documents, into one version. It also updates its other laws and regulations which provide provisions related to IP such as the Criminal Code (1999), Science and Technology Law (2000), Customs Law (2001), Trade Law (2005), Investment Law (2005), Technology Transfer Law (2005), etc. (WIPO-UNU). It also issued implementing rules and regulation to enforce the new IP Law of 2005 and other related laws. On December 31, 2008, for instance, it issued Instruction No. 36/2008/CT-TTg which provided guidelines on strengthening copyright management and implementation of copyright and related rights protection (WIPO Lex, Vietnam). In recent years, the Vietnamese government has also rid government offices of pirated software and investigated, and in some cases raided and fined, businesses suspected of using pirated software”(BEBA, 2013). To combat the rising online media piracy, Vietnam, like the Philippines, also passed a similar an Internet law signed by the Vietnamese Prime Minister Tan Dung last July 15, 2013 which basically prohibits personal webpage owners to take news from news media agencies and use it as if their own—Decree 72 (Palatino, 8 August 2013).

Despite government’s efforts to regulate the Internet and improve IPR protection, and USTR’s pressure, Vietnam’s online media piracy is a growing problem. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of all digital content provided to users on the Internet in the country which includes music, movies,e-books, software and mobile phone applications is pirated. In 2012,, a portal run by a Vietnamese company, became the highly-publicized infringing website in Vietnam with more than 30 million Internet users and was attracting investments from major international investment firms (AmCham, 8 Feb 2013). In 2011, the U.S. embassy was forced to maintain a “Zingme” account of this notorious website to network and “to reach out to young people in Vietnam as it seeks to build closer ties with its former enemy” as there were no available legal websites with huge following like Zing.ven during this year (Brumitt, 29 Oct 2012).

The growth of online digital piracy occasioned by the increasing Internet penetration in the country and the popularity of the broadband technology in mobile phones did not, however, decrease the popularity of the optical disc piracy in Vietnam. Optical media illegally copied on CDs and DVDs and sold to the public continues to grow in major cities by mobile vendors and by registered CD-DVD shops in Vietnam. The elevation of Vietnam from Watch List (WL) to Priority Watch List (PWL) in the USTR’s 2014 Special 301 Annual Report for the first time after being listed in WL for 16 consecutive years is an indication that media piracy has not declined despite copyright reforms in the communist state (2014 USTR Special 301). This observation can also be applied for the Philippines. After more than 15 years of IPR reforms since the IIPA listed the country as a central battleground of video piracy in Southeast Asia, one can still sense the same intensity of copyright infringement in the country—albeit shifting more this time in the cyberspace. Although the Philippines was removed from the Watch List of the USTR’s 2014 Special 301 Report, massive physical and online media piracy has not substantially declined even with the “closure” of the notorious Quiapo piracy market in 2011. Thus, despite the Philippine and Vietnamese governments’ continuous efforts to improve their respective IPR protection system, media piracy or the unauthorized copying, downloading, sharing and trading of copyrighted media materials in digital and disc forms continues with impunity. By inspection, one can still observe the clandestine piracy distribution network of Quiapo and see the similar site of illegal vendors selling pirated discs in sidewalks, kiosks, wet markets, rented stores, and stalls in medium-size malls throughout the country.

The persistence of the media piracy, particularly optical disc piracy, in the Philippines and Vietnam makes one wonders: Why is media piracy persisting in these two countries despite the pressure of the USTR and government’s efforts to introduce copyright reforms and renewed drive against copyright piracy? What are the major social forces which support and sustain this persistence in these two Southeast Asian countries? What sociological insights can we cast on this phenomenon?….

Photo credit: Author
This is an excerpt of a draft of my book: “Sociological Perspectives on Media Piracy in the Philippines and Vietnam” for Springer Science+Business Media.Please don’t quote without permission.
Thank you for reading this post! If you want to read my regular posts, please follow me or send a LinkedIn invite to Feel free also to follow me on Twitter @detectivebogart and join my 89.6K++ online community for some sociological and inspirational tweets.My Instagram @venballano Profile: Blog: Facebook: Ven Ballano.

Dr. Vivencio “Ven” Ballano is a sociologist-professor, religious educator, research consultant and media piracy specialist at St. Paul University, Quezon City, Philippines.DSC04547

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