Friday, December 7, 2007

Bumming around

The past month has passed by like a blur, and the life I'm currently living consists of a routine that is made up of the following: wake-eat-movies-eat-beer-movies-sleep. I thought I've had too much of these activities that I felt my head and body was going to explode due the inactivity and slothful tendencies a clear schedule provides recent graduates. I yet have to go home to Manila, and my father has been constantly badgering me to ride that ship with my stuff and head to Manila to look for work. He told me that since the Ford Everest I was driving has already been sold, there is no more reason to stay and bum around in Dumaguete. As of this post, I have managed to hurdle that problem by telling him that I am still waiting for my Transcript (which is true, for your information), and that it might be my last time in Dumaguete, and I'm feeling nostalgic that the city I have lived in for five or so years might be out of reach.

Luckily, I was invited by my good friend, Karl Aoanan to go to Oroquieta in Misamis Occidental, for the simple reason that I graduated and he was out to get me drunk at any cost. It was also by chance that Dr. Earl Cleope also invited me to go to Tangub for the Philippine National Historical Society annual conference. So I gave myself another vacation.

When I arrived at Oroquieta, Karl and Co. were preparing for their Outstanding Misamisnon awarding ceremonies, and I volunteered my services to be a Personal Assistant (PA) to the party of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, in short, tig-. But Trillanes and his rag-tag bunch of mutineers disrupted the chance for us to see Kiko. It was a fun experience and at least I got to see Karl, April, Radha, Shanti, and the IT Boys of the Province of Misamis Occidental; this was my third time in Misamis, by the way.

I remember the summer of 2007 when Mich and LA (Mark G was supposed to be with us but he chose not to part with P1,500 for one of the best vacations I've had so far.), and I was tricked by Karl into running up and down Hoyohoy ala Amazing Race for us to bond with his people. I was so piss-tired after the ordeal that I ended up riding the horse, and Mich had to run up, because the other teams were so ahead of us. Another blooper to that vacation was LA puking on Mich's leg kay nahutdan siya'g hangin. (Sige yosi pa! Hahaha...) Poor Mich, putting up with our craziness. Hahahaha...

I also passed through Oroquieta in July when I went to Pagadian for the Asia Pacific Youth Conference, and had to wait for Sunday for the Sulpicio Lines trip to Dumaguete. All I know is, every time I pass through Karl's balwarte I add a few more pounds, get to lie in the sun, and drink till we drop.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures of last week's escapade.

With Gov. Loreto Leo Ocampos at the Outstanding Misamisnon Ceremonies. (FYI: I was wearing his barong because I did not bring any formal clothes. He had no idea I wore that. Tee-hee.)

Eating (again!) after swimming with some St. Scholastica girls.

It's me among the lights in Tangub. (Very dark photo, though.)

With Karl at the Tangub City Hall.

One of the Christmas Symbol displays in Tangub.

Here's to Misamis!

Grades and Teachers (Late Post)

When I stepped into college, I had two goals in mind to repay my parents' struggle to give me an education. They were: to finish with honors, and not to receive any letter grade from any of my subjects. I promised to myself on the first day I became a college student, that I will never receive one and will work towards finishing all my courses for the semester that it was allotted, with the highest grade in the class, of course.

Unfortunately, Silliman University had to botch up those two goals.

I will never become cum laude, because a History professor made sure I will never get at least a 2.0, and a Philosophy teacher believed that students were scums of the earth and made sure that at least 3/4 of the class repeated Philosophy 31.

When I was a freshman transferee from MSU, the impression Political Science gave me were about laws, arguments, debates, etc and I thought that since this was Silliman, the professors would be open to students who rejected their opinions and analysis because they believed theirs was better. I did get to know these teachers, and I am forever grateful to them.

However, when I took this teacher's History class, I was expecting a very lively debate among the ranks, and I opened fire on the very first day by shutting down her opinion on the Crusades and tried to explain my theory. I thought she appreciated that activity, and she was all smiles during the semester. I did good on the exams and attended every meeting, but at the end of the semester, I got a grade of 1.7, which to me was crazy. So when I approached her, and asked, she gave me her records, while I had no test papers or whatsoever to show her. I was not one who would beg and ask favors to get a good grade, so I just took whatever she gave me and enrolled the subject for the next semester. My mother was furious about what happened, and she told me that that was the only time she will allow me to retake the subject. If ever I was to screw up again, I had to pay for the tuition for that subject myself. (By the way, the Department knew about this, and was furious that the teacher gave me that grade, but what can they do? Shouganai na...) This was when I was a sophomore.

The Philosophy teacher on the other hand, had a University-known holier-than-thou attitude, which lead to repeated enrollment of Philosophy 31 by students. I bought his book, attended all the classes, but still came up .1 short of a 2.0, and again disqualified me for cum laude. (This was also in my second year.)

My second goal was also flushed down the drain, when two of my professors gave me INCs last October, which led to me officially graduating in March, instead of October. I think I will never get an F because I do believe I am better than that. (I can get my Transcript of Records, though.)

The first INC was from my Political Science professor. She gave me that because I lacked a book report, though I did leave a book report at the office; she told me she did not get it. I admit I was at fault there, because I didn't give it to her directly. Though if you think about it again, how would it get lost in her office? I think she is to blame, too, for that.

My second INC was from my Literature professor, who I think is delusional, out of her range, and condescending. She rejected all our answers and forced down our throat what she thought was the correct answer. She thought she was in the league of Edith Tiempo! And clearly she is not! She gave me an INC, because my grades didn't reach 2.0; it was not a failing grade, though, but she thought she had to give me an INC to make my stay in Dumaguete longer. To her credit, she was considerate enough and actually looked out for my welfare. Some of my Masscom classmates though, needed at least 2.7 and were not given that, which meant they had to retake the class. When I asked the Registrar if this will affect my October graduation, they told me that it will. But I knew that we just needed a 1.0 to pass the subject. I wanted to take whatever grade to make it an October graduation. But the long holidays during that month had my professor unavailable. So to make a long story short, I just settled for completing the requirements and received a 2.0. (I wonder, if she just gave the 2.0 to me right away, I would never have to bother her, and vice versa. Kasamok ba.)

I know. I think I am too outspoken with my opinions, that sometimes teachers, especially the older ones, misconstrue it as me being too "fresh." I've had the same trouble when I was in high school at Notre Dame. I still have it now. Though I think I've toned down a bit, now that I will be entering the Land of the Unemployed, and have to kiss ass to go up the ladder.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Random pictures

Late na...

Ako rin yan...

Mga barkada ni Mommy...

Almost there...

Now that it's October, and being an Octoberian (if there's such a word), I am looking forward to graduation. I do believe that it has been long overdue, and I have my reasons for my being in college for almost 6 years. I transferred from Mindanao State University in General Santos City to Silliman, because I knew that if I stayed in that desert of a location that they call an institute for higher learning, I don't know where I would be right now. Sure, I might've graduated with an Economics degree, I would've graduated at the same age like my father (who was 19 then), and maybe, just maybe, I would have a job right now, instead of mooching off my parents.

My parents are even scolding me, telling me "Gumaraduate ka naman! Naunahan ka pa ng kapatid mo!" Yes, my younger sister already graduated and is in the USA already, priming up for the California State Board of Nursing Examinations this coming month (I think), and I am still here in Dumaguete, decidedly undecided what to do next. Though I know that I should be applying for the United States after the Civil Service Examinations in Cebu, I just don't know what I will do. If ever I get rejected, I guess I will just stay here and study. AGAIN!

People who have been in college for a much longer time than I am continuously preach to me that there is no rush to graduating on time - as long as you graduate, then you will be fine. But I am TIRED of studying! I don't know who to blame, although I would have to say that Silliman didn't help a lot. (They did help me get to Japan, so I guess they do deserve some credit). I don't know. I guess I was expecting a lot from Silliman. Silliman just didn't push me hard enough for me to think about struggling for grades, didn't force me to go beyond the "stuck (up) knowledge" some subjects require. ICU was strict, even though the subjects we took there won't be credited.

The usual rants of those who went there would be the usual crap about studying Kanji and memorizing verses and all that. But they didn't know what Intensive Japanese takers like me (Karu-san, te o agate kudasai!) did. I was up at 5am, studying and reviewing the Kanji that I already studied the night before. Then study the previous day's lesson, coupled with that day's lesson. Then 6 hours of Japanese for class, after which the senseis will give us a ton of homework to do, which I had to finish before going to work at 4pm. Archaeology class is next and we had to dig up some Jomon doku and scrub it clean. Then ride fast before it becomes 6pm to Bamiyan. Then from 6pm to 12 midnight, I would making haico-ro or shoyou-men, washing the dishes, scrubbing floors, and then gomi-kokkan before that 20-minute bike ride to McDonald's for a couple of hyaku-en ba-ga- for a light snack, then finish all the homework again until 2am. Then dream of all the Japanese that I am still to encounter. Despite all these, I still managed to get excellent grades.

I guess I needed that flurry of activity, even though I didn't see any need to be hassled like that. I just don't know what it is that makes me afraid to go out into the world outside Dumaguete. I guess that's the effect being stuck in this haven that I can call home has had on me.

Oh well. On to better things. Like finishing this video documentary, and a research paper defense...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A little late...

It's been a long time since I really surfed the Internet, and I know I missed all the hype about the Simpson's movie and the marketing strategies behind their success. I admit that I did not grow up watching the Simpson's because the only people I know in Springfield are Homer and Bart! But anyway, saw this site where you can be Simponized! I don't know about you, but I think they got it down here with my picture... Hahaha!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Conferences and changes

Jan Alistair L. Villegas
08 August 2007

A conference, to me, entails a group of people from different sectors in society gathered and seated before a giant podium, sipping coffee and eating doughnuts while listening to a certain "expert" talk about a specialized field that everybody knows about but just needed to attend the conference because their boss told them to go in their stead.

But the recent 13th Asia Pacific Youth Conference (APYC) I attended in Pagadian City hosted by MRA-Initiatives of Change (MRA-IofC), was everything but a "conference." It was more of a learning experience that just gets to you because it was guided by the four Absolutes: absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, absolute love, and absolute purity.

On their website ( MRA-IofC is a global network committed to building integrity and trust across the world's divides through change in individuals and relationships, starting in their own lives. MRA is the acronym for Moral Re-Armament, which was a movement founded by Frank Buchman and inspired university students in the 1920’s and 1930's to spread social change amid a backdrop of Communism and Fascism. They also promote "quiet time," which is usually done in the morning to let the person listen to the inner voice of conscience to consider changes in one's own life and seek direction.

The following is a small (edited) testimonial speech this writer gave at the end of the conference:

"At the onset of this conference, I had no real idea or good enough reason why I decided to join this. The reason why in the end I attended was at the insistence of my good friend Efren Buendia that I should join the conference because of the values it advocates, and the conference's theme (“Change Begins With Me: Who I Am Today Will Make A Difference in the Future”) perked my interest a bit.

I was very much afraid of what I was expected to do since I was to receive a scholarship that made it possible for me to join the conference. The funding came from people all over the world, and it made me think harder and deeper if this was really the thing for me, and would I be doing justice to this noble undertaking.

But as the days went by, I had a hint of what I was to do for this organization, because I believe that everything I do has a reason that will be clearer each passing day. I am still young and I have a lot of things ahead of me – good and bad. This APYC has given me reason to think clearly about my relationships with my father and family. There have also been realizations that have cleared up and let me understand what I have to do to address issues that are currently bothering the Philippines.

The APYC has also let me realize that it is okay to tell people what I think of, and the good thing is that they will not criticize, look down, ridicule, and think differently of you. They help you more as a person by listening to you, supporting you, and crying with you.

I have had much respect and appreciation from my family group since there were issues that I have always hidden deep inside my heart, which somehow was coaxed out of me and forced me to think if this was really me. This further led me to a realization that even though I think that I am invincible and nothing can stop or affect me, the truth of the matter is, I am very weak and vulnerable. The whole week, I have realized that being honest and open to my feelings is very healthy for me.

Other thing that on hindsight I should have done was join the family workshop (though I enjoyed the dance workshop), because they challenged me with their skit question: "Do you think you know yourself?" The whole conference has helped me find out that little voice (though it still is whimpering and trying to be a difference).

I thank the organizers for giving me this opportunity and scholarship to be a difference in my life, and hopefully I can become a difference in other people's lives no matter how small it is. Thank you."

The MRA-IofC believes that moments of personal transformation often mark a new direction in a person's life. And personal change can often lead to change in situations. I believe I can and will change. And it started with me.


It has been a fruitful five and a half years since I first started in Silliman University, and I have had the privilege to be part of a diverse and important part of the University, and it is with this publication. tWS has always been my life, especially when I was still a writer until I became the Associate Editor. This is hopefully my last semester in Silliman, and I fondly reminisce the drunken, craze-filled and teary-eyed nights I have spent inside the torture chamber and Guy Hall. The torch has been passed, and I am just a spectator. So with bittersweet memories, Persiflage is signing off.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Been there, done that

I just saw this terrific site made by Eugene Alvin Villar. Lakbayan grades you on how well have you travelled and remembered the Philippines. I am very proud to say that I did well. I had a B for the test, which would say that I am a well-traveled person. Tee-hee.

Traveling has always been a big part of my life, since my family always made it a point to travel every summer to a place in the Philippines that we have never even set foot on. I guess I inherited my being laagan from both my parents. My dad, being an army brat, would always follow my grandfather where ever he was stationed. My mom, on the other hand, has this mole on her left foot that according to my grandmother, was a sign of being laagan.

I was infected with this penchance for traveling around when I was little, as far as I remember. When I was a toddler, my father was assigned to Cebu and Iloilo, while my mother was oftentimes in Dagupan City in Pangasinan. Though I have never really set foot and explored Cebu until I was studying in Silliman, I was fairly familiar with Dagupan and the northern part of Luzon.

My mother have often told me stories of the four of us (the family only grew big when we transferred to Gen San) would go to Laoag, Baguio, La Union, and Vigan, just to name a few, just because we were there and we were itching for adventure. As long as we had a clean set of clothes, a few hundred pesos, and we were all set.

When my father found a job in Gen San, we also followed, but being in Mindanao did not stop our traveling ways, as we made it a point to go to Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Butuan at least once. I guess that is why when I was in Tokyo for a year, I did all the traveling I did from the meager allowance ICU was giving me, and I was scrounging for a few more thousand yen from the salary I was making at Bamiyan Chinese Restaurant.

I think Jose Rizal was right in saying that one should not be a foreigner in your own country, and make it a point to travel your country first, before even America, Europe, or whatever country you go to. Not only does it say something about your being a Filipino, but I guess it is something that you can truly say, "Been there, done that."

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A proud day...

My ninang just sent this:

Pinoy to address Harvard Law graduation

A FILIPINO lawyer taking up his LLM or master's degree in law at Harvard Law School in Cambridge , Massachusetts , will deliver the school's commencement address on June 7.

Oscar Franklin Barcelona Tan, a graduate of UP Law Class 2005 will address about 700 graduates. He is an associate, on study leave, at the ACCRA law office.

His father, lawyer Edmundo L. Tan of the Tan Acut & Lopez Law firm, had no comment on Franklin 's selection by a select committee, but said, "I will be there in Harvard on June 7 to congratulate personally my son and to share the moment with him."

His mother, Dr. Jesusa Barcelona Tan, is a dermatology consultant at the Hospital of the Infant Jesus in Sampaloc, head of the photo-dermatology unit, and former chair of the Department of D ermatology at the Jose R. Reyes Medical Center of the Department of Health.

In his draft speech, Oscar urges his 700 fellow graduates to transcend narrow nationalism. "My friends – and this includes our American classmates who will soon lead the world's lone superpower – let us transcend our individual nationalities and affirm that we are citizens of the world," he says.


Like Wine in the River, Like Citizens of the World
Harvard Law School 2007 Student Commencement Address
Oscar Franklin Barcelona Tan ( Philippines )

Dean Kagan, Vice-Dean Alford, professors, classmates, families, and friends. Let me first thank our tireless graduate program staff. They were the first friendly faces who greeted me, told me which functions offered free food, and what to do if you faint during your final exams. Assistant Dean Jeanne Tai, Nancy Pinn, Heather Wallick, Curtis Morrow, Jane Bestor, Chris Nepple, April Stockfleet: This year would not have been possible without you.

But this goes to everyone: Thank you all for truly making us feel part of this community. We LLMs became your fellow students after your Salsa Party, Chinese and Korean New Year, African Night, and our International Party. To honor you, we took Europe by storm, winning in the inaugural Negotiation Challenge, in the European Law Moot Court, and in the Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court. Of course, you truly become part of Harvard Law School when you're featured in the Parody.

Not so long ago, Cambridge seemed a strange, unfriendly place especially when I first saw Gropius. I went to John Harvard's with the British, who began chittering in an alien language. I later discovered it was actually English -- the real English. I complained I was not used to cold, but a Saudi Arabian reminded me that you can fry eggs on a sidewalk in Riyadh . An Italian gave me tips on women because Italian men are the world's greatest lovers, with the disclaimer that their style does not work on American women. A Malaysian was asked to
explain the religious significance of the color of her hijab, or headscarf. She would answer: It had to match her blouse.

Soon, we found that great substance that keeps any law school together: alcohol. On New Year's Eve, a Belarusian handed me a glass of vodka, but scolded me when I began to sip it. Sipping, he emphasized, was not the Slavic way. I shared a Frenchman's champagne, a Peruvian's pisco sour, a Costa Rican's pina colada, a Brazilian's caipirinha, a Mexican's tequila, and a Japanese's sake. And apologies to the Germans, but I learned how even weak American beer enlivens an evening when you drink it with the Irish.

We found greater common ground: The Swiss complained about American chocolate, the New Zealanders complained about American cheese, the Sri Lankans complained about American tea, the Indians complained about the lack of vegetarian food, and everyone complained that American food makes you fat. An Austrian made homemade apfelstrudel. A Nigerian made homemade fried plantains. The Pakistanis made a non-spicy version of keema, and I only needed eight glasses of water during the meal. All the Americans had was Three Aces pizza.

As for me, I come from the Philippines , a former American colony best known for Imelda Marcos's shoe collection. I remember being a six-year old watching my parents walk out of our house to join the crowds gathering to depose the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and form human walls against tanks. I remember being a twenty-year old in a different crowd deposing a different but equally corrupt president.

It was liberating to hear how a Chilean danced with crowds in the streets when Pinochet was arrested. How the Chinese come to grips with Tiananmen Square, while convinced that one cannot transplant American-style government wholesale to Beijing . How life changed in the former Soviet Union ; how it was like growing up in a fledgling Eastern European country. How a Pakistani discussed Musharraf's assault on judicial independence with a South African worried about Mugabe's own acts in Zimbabwe .

It was even more liberating to hear from a Korean prosecutor how his country sent two former presidents to jail. How the Swiss have preserved their tradition of independence and referendum. How Ghana threw off its colonial fetters and inspired a conscious African solidarity. How a Bhutanese wants to help shape her constitution after her king voluntarily gave up absolute power.

I cannot deny that our generation's issues will be complex, but I can guarantee that they will never be abstract, not after having a classmate who was an Israeli army drill sergeant, not after having a Chinese classmate with a Taiwanese girlfriend, nor after having a classmate chased by gunmen out of Afghanistan . In fact, when George W. Bush's speech writer visited, my Iranian classmate introduced himself, "Hi, I'm from an Axis of Evil country."

Friends, my most uplifting thought this year has been that the more we learn about each other, the more we realize that we are all alike, and the more we inspire each other to realize our most heartfelt yearnings. My single most memorable moment here came when I met South African Justice Albie Sachs, left with only one arm after an assassination attempt during apartheid. My classmate stood up and said: " South Africa is the world's second most unequal country. I come from Brazil , the world's most unequal country, and I admire how the South African Constitutional Court has inspired the progress of human
rights throughout the world."

And this is how Harvard has changed us. We recall struggling with English to keep pace with the world's most brilliant professors, especially with Elizabeth Warren's Socratic blitzkriegs, and we thank Harvard for raising our thinking to a higher, broader level. But even the most powerful ideas demand passion to set them aflame. The passion we ignite today is fueled by a collage of vignettes that will remind us in this crucible of life that our peers in faraway lands face the same frustrations, the same nation building ordeals, the same sorrows,
and ultimately, the same shared joys and triumphs.

How do a mere 700 change the world, even with overpriced Harvard diplomas? Before a great battle in China's Spring and Autumn Period, the legendary King Gou Jian of Yue was presented with fine wine. He ordered his troops to stand beside a river, and poured the wine into it. He ordered them to drink from the river and share his gift. A bottle of wine cannot flavor a river, but the gesture so emboldened his army that they won a great victory. We of the Class of 2007 shall flavor this earth, whether we be vodka, wine, champagne, pisco sour, pina colada, caipirinha, tequila, sake, jagermeister, raki, Irish stout, Ugandan Warabi, or Philippine lambanog.

Thus, my friends --and this includes our American classmates who will soon lead the world's lone superpower -- let us transcend our individual nationalities and affirm that we are citizens of the world. Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay kayong lahat.*Thank you and long live you all.*


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Yeah, back in Dumaguete, and will be facing the inevitability of starting the yearly grind that has been a part of my life for the past 15 or so years. Nothing fancy really, just this new system of enrollment that is a bit better than years before. Supposedly...

Let me break it down for you. (This is what happens at the History-Political Science Department)
1) Pay to the Business and Finance office your deposit of at least P6,500 to get your enrollment form.
2) Go to your adviser for advice on what subjects you can take.
3) Go to your college and choose from a list what subjects you have to take, according to your curriculum, of course. (And this is provided you have passed all your subjects the previous semester)
4) Let one of the "friendly" encoders supplied by the University make a printout of your schedule.
5) Back to your adviser for verification.
6) Pay A/S Council Fee. (Which I believe is a highway robbery in broad daylight, if you ask me.)
7) Proceed to A/S Dean for signature.
8) Proceed to get your class cards from the "friendly" staff of the University.
9) Get your I.D. validated.

1) Pay P6,500. (If you can't cough up that amount, I am sorry to say, you will have to bleed for it.)
2) Show your "OK for Enrollment" receipt to the "friendly" Encoding Section staff for your priority number.
3) If you're number is up, proceed to the computer room to verify your schedule. (Because apparently, the secretary of your Department has encoded it. The helpful Ma'am Perla from my Department has done it already, but upon checking my account, the schedule she made for me just wasn't there. Who knows what happened.)
4) If your schedule was encoded and you're satisfied with your schedule, you can get your printout.
5) Pay your college fees.
6) Dean for verification.
7) Stamp "ENROLLED."
8) ID validation.

The International Christian University (ICU) way. (As narrated to Fred Carnice).
1) I didn't have to pay, because I was a scholar! But if you are paying, ICU gives you how much you have to pay for this year, say, 2.2M Yen. Just pay at your bank and ask for a draft, payable to ICU.
2) On Enrollment Day, go to the Computer Centers. Type your user name and password. Select your subjects and get your first printout.
3) Go to your adviser and have him sign it.
4) Back to the Computer Center for verification.
AND YOU'RE DONE! Then, next day is class. (Bummer!)

Another great thing about ICU is, if you want to add/drop subjects, you just go to any computer and do the process again, but this time choose add/drop. (By the way, we only had two (2) weeks for adding/dropping. You cannot drop/add after those two weeks, and you're stuck to that class until the term is over.


I applaud the people behind this great idea to make enrollment online. It's hassle-free for the students.

But when glitches like a sudden printing of schedule without the actual pressing of the "PRINT" button locks up my account, the PABX system of Silliman is "suddenly"not working, and I have to work up a sweat to unlock my account, go to the Physics department to request for another Physics 25 section be opened (but the f*cking PABX of Silliman - which I believe is top-of-the-line, continues to be f*cked up) and I have to walk all the way again to the EDP center because I was asked by the secretary of the Physics department to tell those guys to increase the enrollees to 45 instead of 30 (I have a lot of respect for utility men, but I was no student assistant that they can order around - and I made sure she knew that!). I ended up doing all of these to get my shitty little piece of paper!

And when I got to the "ENROLLED" stamp section, I was told that I still needed those window envelopes! Can't Silliman just frigging provide those P8 envelopes! Salamabit! I am paying a lot of shit to Silliman since my ADF was increased to the level of a freshman, when in fact I should be given the chance to pay a lower ADF since I have overstayed my expected date of graduation. (No fee increase my ass!)

This is not hassle-free at all!

But since this is the first time, I will forgive Silliman for their shortcomings.

Oh well. On to better things...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hoy! Psst!

Sometimes, before and after every elections, a sense of nationalism takes a hold of every Filipino. Don't you think?

Sabi MO , ang gobyerno natin ay palpak.
Sabi MO , ang mga batas natin ay sinauna.
Sabi MO , ang lokal na pamahalaan natin ay hindi
maganda ang pagkolekta ng basura at ang paglilinis ng mga lugar.
Sabi MO , hindi gumagana ang mga telepono, katatawanan
ang kalagayan ng trapiko, at hindi nakakarating sa
paroroonan ang mga sulat.
Sabi MO , parang nasadlak sa basura ang ating buong bansa.
Sabi Mo , sabi MO, sabi MO.

E ano'ng ginagawa mo tungkol dito?

Kumuha ka ng isang taong papunta sa Singapore . Bigyan
mo sya ng pangalan, yung sa IYO. Bigyan MO sya ng
mukha, yung sa IYO.
Lumabas KA sa airport nang
pinakamatino mong sarili na maipagmamalaki sa mundo..

Sa Singapore Hindi KA nagtatapon ng upos ng sigarilyo
sa kalye. Ipinagmamalaki MO ang magaganda nilang
underpass. Nagbabayad KA ng mga 60 pesos para
makapagmaneho sa Orchard Road (parang EDSA) mula alas
5 hanggang alas 8 ng gabi. Bumalik KA sa parking lot
para bayaran ang parking tiket mo kung napasobra ka ng
oras sa shopping o sa pagkain sa isang restaurant. Sa
Singapore , wala KAng sinasabi, meron ba?

Hindi MO susubukang kumain sa lantad kapag Ramadan sa
Dubai .
Hindi MO susubukang lumabas ng bahay na walang takip
ang mukha sa Jeddah.
Hindi MO susubukang lagyan ang isang empleyado ng
kumpanya ng telepono sa London para mapunta sa ibang
tao ang mga long distance na tawag mo.

Hindi MO susubukang lumampas ng 90 kilometers per hour
sa Washington, at saka sasabihin sa pulis "Alam mo
kung sino ako?"

Bakit di MO subukang dumura o magtapon ng upos ng
sigarilyo o balat ng kendi sa mga kalye sa Tokyo ?

Bakit hindi MO subukang bumili ng pekeng mga papeles
sa Boston tulad ng ginagawa sa Recto?

Pinag-uusapan pa rin natin IKAW.

IKAW na gumagalang at sumusunod sa patakarang banyaga
sa ibang bansa pero hindi makasunod sa sarili mong

IKAW na tapon ng tapon sa kalye pagtuntong mo pa lang
sa lupa.

Kung IKAW ay nakikisalamuha at pumupuri ng systema sa
bansang banyaga, bakit hindi KA maging ganyan sa

Minsan sa isang panayam, ang dating Subic
Administrator na si Gordon ay may katwiran ng sinabi
nyang "Ang mga aso ng mayayaman ay pinalalakad at
pinadudumi ng may-ari sa kalye, tapos sila mismo ang
pumupuna sa may katungkulan sa kapalpakan sa
paglilinis ng mga kalye. Ano ang gusto nilang gawin ng
mga may katungkulan? Magwalis tuwing makakaramdam ng
hindi maganda sa tiyan ang kanilang alaga?"

Sa America , bawat may-ari ng alaga ay dapat maglinis
matapos ang pagdumi ng aso. Ganuon din sa Japan ...

Gagawin ba ng mga Pilipino yun dito? Tama sya.

Pumupunta tayo sa botohan para pumili ng gobyerno at
pagkatapos nuon ay tinatanggal na natin sa sarili ang
responsibilidad. Uupo tayo sa isang tabi at
paghihintay ng pagkalinga at umaasa na gagawin ng
gobyerno ang lahat habang wala tayong iniaalay.

Umaasa tayo sa pamahalaan na maglinis, ngunit hindi
naman tayo titigil sa pagtatapon ng basura sa kung
saan-saan, at ni hindi tayo pupulot ng anumang piraso
ng papel para itapon sa basurahan.

Pagdating sa mga panlipunang talakayin tulad nang
hindi pagiging tapat sa kasal, sa mga dalagang ina, sa
pagtatalik ng walang basbas ng kasal, at iba pa,
maingay tayong nagpoprotesta ngunit patuloy naman
nating ginagawa ang mga ito.

Sa sandaling tayo ay mangulila kapag nasa labas tayo
ng bansa, naghahanap tayo ng aliw sa iba, kadalasan sa
kapwa rin natin Pilipino, na hindi natin iniisip ang
ating katungkulan na ating sinumpaan sa ating pamilya
nuong narito pa tayo.

Tapos sinisisi natin ang pamahalaan kapag nakikita
natin ang karahasan sa kabataan, pagkagumon sa bawal
na gamot, at iba pa, samantalang sinimulan natin
ito sa hindi pagpansin sa pangangailangan ng ating mga
anak ng tunay na pag-gabay at responsibilidad ng isang

Ang sabi natin, "Ang buong sistema ang kailangang
magbago. Ano ang magagawa kung ako lang ang
magpapabago sa aking pamilya?"

E sino ang magbabago ng sistema?

Ano ba ang mga sankap ng sistema? Napakaginhawa sa
atin na ang sistema ay binubuo ng ating mga
kapitbahay, mga ibang tahanan, ibang syudad, ibang
komunidad, at ang pamahalaan. Pero hindi kasama IKAW
at AKO. Pagdating sa ating pagkakaroon ng positibong
handog sa sistema, ikinakandado natin ang sarili, pati
na ang ating pamilya sa loob ng isang ligtas na pugad
at tumatanaw na lang tayo sa malayong mga lugar at
bansa at naghihintay ng isang Mr. Clean na dumating at
maghatid na mga himala.

O lumilikas tayo. Parang mga tamad na duwag na hindi
pinatatahimik ng ating mga takot, tumatakbo tayo sa
Amerika upang makisalo sa kanilang luwalhati at
purihin sa kanilang sistema. Pero pag naging
masalimuot sa New York tatakbo tayo sa Japan o
Hongkong. Pag nagkahirapan ang paghanap ng trabaho sa
Hongkong, sakay agad tayo sa susunod na eroplano
patungong Gitnang Silangan. Pag may digmaan sa Gulf,
inaasahan nating masagip at mapauwi ng Gobyernong

Lahat ay handang umabuso at gumahasa sa bansa. Walang
nag-iisip na handugan ang sistema. Ang konsyensya
natin ay nakasanla sa pera. Mga mahal kong kababayan,
ang sulating ito ay matinding nakakakislot ng isipan,
nangangailangan ng maraming pagmumuni-muni, at
tumutusok din sa konsyensya. Medyo inuulit ko lang
ayon sa ating salita ang mga salita ni John
..F.Kennedy sa kanyang kabansa upang maitugma sa ating
mga Pilipino:

"Itanong natin kung ano ang magagawa natin sa ating
bansang Pilipinas at gawin ang nararapat upang ang
Pilipinas ay maging tulad ng Amerika at ibang
kanlurang bansa ngayon."

Ano masasabi mo Pilipino?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Amazing! すごい!

A summa cum laude at 16, you better read Mikaela Irene Fudolig's life story trudging the halls of U.P. Diliman.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What kind of intelligence do you have?

This sign was posted on a note of my friend's in Facebook and I was curious how intelligent I was and so I took the test and this was the result:

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Now that is funny. Because I still very much struggle in expressing myself in terms of writing anything. Thought I am a columnist for the weekly campus publication in Silliman, I do not think of myself of a journalist, because I sometimes think that I make mistakes editorially, and to pass myself of as a journalist would be a joke (at least I think it to be).

Now, I do not think I can even become a poet or a writer. No, no, no, no....

A teacher? Nah. I have no patience whatsoever. Lawyer? Maybe. Politician? I am not rich to aspire for such things. Translater? Eeeww... But I have given being a translator a shot, and the experience was fun and it showed how inept I was, especially after only a year studying Nihongo.

Now, for those who would like to know what your intelligence is click here and take the test.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The life of a writer...

Yesterday evening was very entertaining, stimulating and enjoyable, to say the least as I attended Mr. Timothy Montes's lecture-forum on the Writer's life. He said that do not forget to write about your city/town/where you came from, because nobody can make a story about that place aside from you.

He also mentioned a reading list by Clifton Fadiman that everyone should read even well after graduating from college, because learning does not stop after college - it is a lifelong passion. I just researched on the Internet what those books are, please click here for a list.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Coming back (sorta...)

Tomorrow will be a homecoming of sorts, as I will step on Mindanao after almost five years. I will be going to my Karl Aoanan's resort in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental for a much-deserved and much-delayed vacation.

When Karl was in Dumaguete for the College Editors Guild of the Philippines workshop, he kept on telling us (Mark Garcia, LA Hernandez, and Mich) that "nangluod na siya" (I'll get back to you on the English equivalent) because we kept on putting him off regarding the trip.

If you come to think of it, the very thought of my going to Mindanao should be a wonder and most would probably say that I am crazy of going to Ozamis (does Kuratong Baleleng Gang ring any bells?) with the forthcoming national and local elections only two weeks away, things can get pretty rough there.

Well, even though I was born and from Manila, I would say that I was raised in General Santos City (you heard it right, Pacman-landia, Bomb Capital of the Philippines) and I am proud of that. I mean, that is where we live (though not presently). I guess, when you're home, you feel invincible. As if, nothing can harm, distract, disgust, or bother you in any way. One feels secured when they are home, and I feel the same way today as I felt ten years ago amidst the bombing. That connection between you and the city (or island for that matter) is something that you can leave for few moments or years, but will continue to feel in your inner being/soul. Corny? I guess I am. Besides, I have good friends going with me. What else can go wrong?

Anyway, just one more day...

internet connections....

i am starting to get pissed at the people from globe telecom... they just do not know when to act when it is an emergency... it has been a long time since i posted because those freaks in all their starched pants and three piece suit did not find dumaguete to be a catastrophic case and just had time to fix their cables today... and i am not even a subscriber... hehehe... anyway, it is only three days away before ozamis! and i am freaking excited!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Boys of Summer

I just read the news that my New York Yankees were crushed by my other favorite team (and the Yankees's rival) the Boston Red Sox. Now, for those who are not baseball fans, you might not understand why these two teams hate each other's guts, and I mean LOATHE each other.

It all started in the 1920s when the Boston Red Sox sold a pitcher "The Bambino" Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $20,000 so that the owner of the Red Sox can produce even more Broadway shows which never earn well in ticket sales.

After being sold to the Yankees, Ruth was converted into an outfielder and never turned back while on his way to being the "Sultan of Swat" and led the Yankees in their quest to be the best in Baseball. The Red Sox rued their decision to sell Ruth and this was called to be the "Curse of the Bambino" and started the drought for the Sox, which was only satiated in 2004, when after almost 90 years the Sox won the World Series.

Anyway, if you are not yet a fan of baseball and would like to be click on this: for more information.


To those who might be reading my post earlier would be squirming on the floor for all the grammatical mistakes that I made. Sheesshhh! I do not know how to write anymore. Help!

Not a technofreak...

I just realized yesterday how incompetent and outdated I am.

Well as everyone who bothers to read my blog, I just started it and I am still trying to work my way through discovering the little intricacies that prompted a certain writer from the Weekly Sillimanian to write about blogging.

I did not know how to use the link and paste it to this certain template space to input HTML/Javascript codes so that there might be some sort of advertisement on my page so that I can monitor who bothers to read this shit I am making. I did not even know that there is a website called puts a search button on your page, a link that will say if someone has made your website their favorite. It was also only yesterday when I knew that a CBOX was an important part of the whole blog!

Shit I am in trouble! And to think that coming fresh from Japan (which is technology-savvy indeed) a year ago would have perked my interest in the whole Internet. I do know that the Internet does magic for a lot of people, especially me when I was making reports in ICU that needed Filipino sources. It was also just when I came back here that I learned of this torrent thingy which connects registered users from around the world and allows us to share movies, e-books, programs, manga copies, etc. Although I knew about Limewire, the things torrents bring to newbie, is to say the least, overwhelming.

I was even more surprised and dumbfounded when my friend Jordan walked me through the whole process of clicking and linking and everything to make my blog a little bit better than a novice.

If you were to ask me to list down the sites that I usually check out it would go like this (in order):
1. Yahoo!
2. Hotmail
3. Gmail
4. Major League Baseball (
5. Friendster
6. Facebook
7. MySpace

That's it. Oh well, I guess I will get down to investigating more about the Internet.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


eto nga pala yung mga kaunting letrato na nakuha namin nung mga nakaraang araw...

basic mass integration. sa palagay ko ay eto ang unang pagkakataon para kina jordie at odie na sumali sa ganitong aktibidad. sana meron silang natutunan.

ang mga delegado mula sa silliman.

ang mga palanca awardees na nag-judge para sa gawad ernesto rodriguez jr.
mula sa kaliwa: genaro cruz, jun cruz reyes, gelacio guillermo, ferdinand jarin, at richard gappi

Thoughts on the recently concluded convention

It has been an eventful five or six days after the 67th National Students Press Convention by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines held here in the Campus by the Sea. We have had the chance to know different student publications from all over the Philippines. It was my second time to join this kind of event (the first one was held in Sinait, Ilocos Sur in 2004) which tells me that I am indeed getting older and older by the day. If you come to think of it, the very same people have remained part of the CEGP even well after their college years are done and over with. (Which might somewhat give an idea why they continue to serve as members of the secretariat, when in fact, it is time to move on and let the younger breed continue the struggle for a continued progressive press.

Another thing that has crossed my mind is the different approach to the program compared to the one I attended in Ilocos. Nahihiya ba sila sa Silliman at kung kaya'y hindi na sila nagpatuloy sa hardcore na pag-iindoctrinate sa mga kapwa estudyante? O kaya naman ay nagbabago na ang kanilang pananaw at napag-isipan rin nila na hindi sila magiging matagumpay sa paglaganap ng kanilang tunay na hangarin na ipatuloy ang pagtatanggol ng sibil na liberties at kung kaya nag-ibang paraan sila para hindi sila ma-isolate.

Sana sila Michelle, Odie, at Jordan ay may natutunan sa mga napag-usapan nung mga nakaraang araw at maisip din nila na napakaswerte nila na sa Silliman sila nag-aaral.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I just made a gaffe in my earlier post... I came back to Dumaguete just a little over a week has passed because I am part of a National Convention that was organized by Silliman University. NOT because of a National Workshop. Must be the jet lag.

Oh, well...

Am back

I just arrived from Manila on a 10-day vacation because I have to attend this National Workshop Silliman University organized. Well actually I was not involved in the planning and organization of the whole thing. Saybit kumbaga... Hehehe... Anyway, at least I have something to do...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Palm Sunday

It is Palm Sunday here in Dumaguete City. This would be the second consecutive year I "experienced" or had Palm Sunday without my parents. Geez. It has been a year. And it indeed just flies by like it was yesterday.

Exactly a year ago, at 11 am Tokyo time, I rode my jitensha (bike) to Musashisakai Eki (Musashisakai Station) for fifteen minutes and then bought my 210 yen kippu to ride the Chuo Sen (Chuo Line) for Yotsuya Station for Church.

But this year, at 11 am, I was inside my room, watching Four Brothers. It was a somewhat pathetic movie, if you ask me. It was star-studded, though. Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese, and Andre 3000? But I have to believe that the script sucked-big time. I mean, when their foster mother got killed in cold blood, they go on a Detroit rampage trying to uncover who was the brains behind the assassination. There were shouting all around, guns blazing, and crazy stunts were abound. The thing with that movie is Mark Wahlberg and Tyrese were trying to play their part. It just didn't feel spontaneous enough for me to believe what they were doing. Although I did like Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler and Vince Papale roles, being Bobby Mercer just didn't cut it out for me.

Another thing. I do not feel as if it is the start of Holy Week today. It was exactly the same feeling I got when I was in Japan. Is it that I am losing my inner beliefs towards religion? But I guess I always feel this way when I am away from my family. And I do miss them. Especially my brothers and sisters.

Here is my family's picture. See the similarities...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another start....

This may seem like another start to a rather pointless but soothing way to relieve stress. But then again, who said living is already stressful enough, and writing about it may be the only reason some live through the day. Be it anywhere in Dumaguete, or in some random place...