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Archive for February, 2006

Note: I wasn’t able to attend and sign this statement, the least I could do is pass it around. You should, too. ü
N.B. – This statement titled “Rescind Proclamation No. 1017″ was signed by 124 students, faculty members and administrative staff of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) at its emergency assembly last February 27, 2006.

Statement of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) on the state of national emergency
Proclamation No. 1017 and General Order No. 5, both signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last February 24, have been used by the government to quell legitimate dissent as manifested by the arrests of demonstrators and so-called conspirators to bring down the President. We can conclude from the raid on the broadsheet The Daily Tribune and the tight watch by the military on other media agencies that the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is savaging press freedom.
The suppression of mass media agencies and other organizations will continue unless we unite to fight for our rights and to oppose all measures aimed at curtailing our freedoms. As an academic institution, the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) is committed to the defense of free expression and press freedom.
We believe that press freedom is the cornerstone of a democratic society. It is crucial in providing the people the information they need to form enlightened opinion on matters of public interest especially in times of crisis. And yet, Proclamation No. 1017 condemns the media for “recklessly magnify(ing)” the claims of the political opposition.
The UP CMC is committed to oppose measures like Proclamation No. 1017 which clearly undermine the role of the free press in the country.
We demand that the President end the assault on press freedom and the media and immediately rescind Proclamation No. 1017.

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I have not realized the gravity of our country’s present situation until our SocSci discussion this afternoon. We didn’t talk about gender and sexuality this time, instead, our prof lectured on the recent declaration of “State of National Emergency” and its repercussions on our lives as private citizens and as students of the University as well.
I was deeply moved by my professor’s statements, since she was a student activist of the university herself during her time. I was especially affected by how she highlighted the massive democratic space the Philippines currently bathes up on, and how other countries’ democratic spaces pale in comparison with ours. She told us not to waste the democratic space we so enjoy now — the fruit of the blood sweat and tears devoted by the people who fought for freedom — just by being apathetic and shunning a cold shoulder on the recent situation. I was so moved because I didn’t realize how right she was before this; that we, the youth, enjoy the freedom to make our own decisions, the freedom to stand up for our rights that are now being compromised, to freely express our views, and some are just wasting the opportunity to stand up for their convictions. Sooner or later, we never know, those rights will be all gone, and we could only cry tears of regret because we didn’t do anything to prevent it from happening.
I’m sure Proclamation 1017 and General Order No. 5 has spread like the Pinoy Big Brother dance craze all over the country already. Most people are getting sick of hearing it in the news, as a matter of fact. Not until now have I realized the grave consequences of having a “state of national emergency” in our country. True to its form, Proclamation 1017 really is, more or less, Proclamation 1081 revised, refreshed, and re-proclaimed. Just note the ending paragraph from both statements:
Proclamation 1017 (by Gloria Arroyo)
NOW, THEREFORE, I Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution … in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction
Proclamation 1081 (by Ferdinand Marcos, so-called Martial Law)
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Article VII, Section 10, Paragraph (’2) of the Constitution, …, in my capacity as their commander-in-chief, do hereby command the armed forces of the Philippines, to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction
Notice the similarity? In essence, what GMA did was just take Proclamation 1081 from the Archives, add and remove some paragraphs, and give it a new name: State of National Emergency. As Prof. Luis Teodoro said, it was a “convenient ambiguity” for GMA. Ambiguous because the provisions in the proclamation umbrella almost everything that go against her administration, and convenient because she can use it as her arm to crush all her foes with.
I would like to ask, where is the emergency? Where are all the lawless violence? Where’s the rebellion? Surely there are no people killing each other in the streets, are they? Surely we do not violate any law in holding demonstrations, do we? Surely we do not compromise any economic and political hoopla by publishing news, don’t we? Apparently the emergency lies within Arroyo and her constant paranoia with all the people who “are trying to destabilize the government”. Well, news flash, Madam President, the government has always been unstable since you took power. Today the score is not between Pro and Anti administration, but it’s a battle between Arroyo’s Administration and the Filipino people, who have every right to fight for their government, because it’s the government of the people.
What came as a shock to me, and most of my classmates in SocSci, was the possibility of having an indefinite suspension of classes. When our professor told us about it, some of us quickly dismissed the thought, saying that it’s not possible. But when our professor started saying, “and because of this, I would like to make clarifications regarding our requirements. You still have two reflection papers, and just one exam. Your research paper is due Friday next week. And please keep an eye on the corkboard outside my room, since it’ll be our only venue of discussion if ever something comes up. Remember, all your requirements will be passed. Sulitin nyo na ang mga susunod na meetings, baka last na natin yun.” We were all shocked. She was serious about the indefinite suspension thing. We all went nervous. We never thought.
By this I would like to vow to attend every possible discussion regarding the current state of our country. Surely I was quite apathetic before this, but seeing as to how I was deeply moved just by looking at all the facts (the media is no good source of facts nowadays, since it’s filtered by the proclamation anyway) I just feel the responsibility to fight for my rights and the rights of my fellow as well.
Time to ignite the wick of the candle of activism. Let’s go Youth!

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The other day while I was waiting for my SocSci class to start, I hung out at the veranda just above the PalmaHallAnnex Lobby. As I looked down I saw a girl standing beside the gate. If I hadn’t known better she looked like a promo girl in Megamall handing out flyers for SALEs and Discounts on certain shops. Of course that’s not gonna happen in UP and so I dismissed such thoughts. Later on I found out who she is — well, to be politically correct, what she’s supposed to be.

It was a rather humid thursday afternoon and I was walking down the usual path to Math building. I chose to walk because it’s cheaper that way, plus it’s exercise. While turning a corner near UPIS I saw a lady wearing a very huge tag with her name on it. I was stunned and so I looked — more like stared — at it for a while. She noticed my surprised face and told me, “Vote Straight for STAND-UP!”. Gawrsh. That’s what they’re supposed to be.

It’s a really nice (though somewhat ludicrous) election tactic. Why didn’t I think of that? Use nametags so people will identify you, that’s one ingenious idea! (Only in UP!) For a while I pondered on the thought and all it ever made me was smile. Haha… it’s really clever, knowing for a fact that not all UP students (thousands of them) have the chance to see the candidates up close and personal. At least this way we can pinpoint them in a crowd and at least we get to see their faces, not just their names.

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Dear JM,
Congratulations! I’m afraid I have to give it to you. Bravo! You did it once again! And you never fail to amaze me everytime you do.
Let me refresh your memory. More than a year ago (in your time) or, a month ago (in my time), you were caught up in a very devastating circumstance. You saw — made possible, even — the demise of one of the best friendships you’ve ever had in your lifetime. You worked so hard just so it won’t fall apart; you served as the lasting support even if its foundations, though rock solid, were shaken and broken down to shards. And yet even though you were the last resort, the last ray of hope for the friendship, you decide to give up and let the relationship fall apart. You never wanted it to happen yet somehow you were the one who let it happen. Even worse, you were the one who made it happen, thanks to your nosiness and your desperate attempts to save something you never really meant to save.
And so in the coming months you take extra caution. The passing of something very dear to you caused so much heartache and agony that suicide was the next best thing to laptops. Thank God you didn’t budge, and apparently you’re still alive today.
You met many people after that but they didn’t qualify to how much you loved the previous friendship. You decided to close your heart for a while and not get too attached with people so that their departure won’t cause you so much pain. You loathed pain so much you tried to live out escapism just to keep yourself from getting hurt again. It seemed like a big achievement, for nobody new ever meant to you more than your old friends.
You decided, then, to forego a previous heartache that’s been piercing your heart for quite a while now. You apeaced yourself to all those who’ve caused you pain and those who you’ve caused pain. You relinquish old scores and made new memories for yourself. You enjoyed yourself so much you forgot about the other essential things that make up the “new you”.
And because of all your shortcomings you forgot the other people in your life. You never knew that foregoing one previous heartache would lead to another, and a couple at that. You never knew that by moving on and letting go you’d be causing yourself more pain. With this you stopped and asked yourself why these things are happening to you.
It’s been not so long ago, and yet you proved the old saying because history indeed repeated itself. No matter how you tried to be cautious and prudent about dealing with relationships nothing seemed to work. Maybe you think about it so much. You were always trying to apply the lessons you’ve learned you forgot to be liberal and spontaneous about everything. And what has this brought you? Who would’ve thought? More pain, indeed.
Where are all your friends now? Enough of self-pity and start taking responsibility for your actions. After all, it’s always you and your “attitude” that drives people, even friends, away from you. The journey towards finding yourself could’ve been easier if a friend walked by with you; and yet the more you discover things about yourself the more you use those traits to drive them away. Perfect, JM, just fabulous!
Congratulations for yet another job well done. You’ve completely proven to me, even to the whole world, that you really are worthy of living life alone. Pat yourself on the back, because you totally deserve it. Nobody’s there to pat your back anyway, so just do it yourself.
Love lots,
JM (of a year ago)

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It’s still
A puzzle waiting to be solved
A mystery wating to be unveiled
A secret waiting to be told
This thing we all know
Yet don’t seem to understand

I don’t understand
Why in less I want more
And in more I still want more
And in wanting more the less I have
Is lost

It feels like
I have everything I need
I have everything I want
But there’s still something missing
And in looking I ask
“Do I really have anything at all?”

The man I am now
Is exactly
The opposite
Of the man
That I was
Five minutes ago
When will I stop yearning for more?
Is life nothing but a search
To satisfy
The crave of the soul?

I concede.

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It was once a day in sweet February
In a place all known to Tom, Dick and Harry
Drenched in sweat of cold and weary
Strangers it may seem, eyes not teary
In the spirit of light and of fun
As we two bake in the golden sun
Both hands clenched, your foot on top
Reach for something worth not a drop

A beehive of sorts with honey inside
No fear of them stings, lest we died
Thomp, boom, crack, slurp then ow!
A sting on your hand, ask not how

Not mind them stings, honey’s what’s good
Better than soda, milk or any food
As we sit down beneath nasty old pain
Enjoying them sweet honey that poured like rain

For months we lavished on our escapade
No amount of sting can make us afraid
Beehive to beehive together we hop
Sweet things like ours, seem never to stop

As the months passed by like autumn to spring
We can no more find any of them sweet things
Not one of us also wants another sting
The honey was now just a summertime fling

All those stings caused them bees to perish
All those sweet things ceased to be relished
No more bees to cause all the stings
No more bees to make them sweet things

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I’m lying alone with my head on the phone
Thinking of you till it hurts
I know you hurt too but what else can we do
Tormented and torn apart

I wish I could carry your smile in my heart
For times when my life seems so low
It would make me believe what tomorrow can bring
When today doesn’t really know, doesn’t really know

I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you
I know you were right, believing for so long
I’m all out of love, what am I without you
I can’t be too late to say that I was wrong

I want you to come back and carry me home
Away from these long, lonely nights
I’m reaching for you, are you feeling it too?
Does the feeling seem oh, so right?

And what would you say if I called on you now?
And said that I can’t hold on?
There’s no easy way, it gets harder each day
Please love me or I’ll be gone, I’ll be gone

I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you
I know you were right, believing for so long
I’m all out of love, what am I without you
I can’t be too late to say that I was so wrong

Ooh, what are you thinking of
What are you thinking of
What are you thinking of
What are you thinking of

I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you
I know you were right, believing for so long
I’m all out of love, what am I without you
I can’t be too late to say that I was so wrong

It was, of all things, an unsuspecting love song. It’s funny hearing this song in the new Kotex commercial featuring Dennis Trillo, where we are again reminded of Lucky Manzano and Richard Gutierrez’s Libresse days (Plaster strips!!!). Anyhoo, this morning on the ride to the MRT station, this song played on the radio. I never knew I’d be that affected, I mean, of all the songs to be played, why this? It’s not pop and it’s not even new. And yet it hits right through, where it hurts the most.

I’m tired… I want to go home, where it feels safe and where I can rest. I’m tired of living a lonely life. I’m tired of looking for something I can’t seem to find (or I’m never meant to find). I’m tired of carrying all the heartaches I’ve caused myself. If life is this cruel why is there life at all? If life could be this messy who’d clean up after it? I’m tired of being judged. I’m tired of being rejected, shunned away. I’m tired of pretending, of feigning, of faking. I’m tired of everything.

Of many things, I’m just tired. Please, let me rest…?

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Whenever my cousin brings her daughter to our compound, I always make it a point to play with her. Her name’s JC, and she’s the cutest little thing! But just like any one-year-old out there, she’s also very makulit as in she’ll hump on all the sofas and she’ll run around the sala throwing her toys around. One very grave danger of such makulit attitude is that she’ll eventually hurt herself doing all her flips and stunts just to impress all her aunts and uncles.

Ate Wheng (JC’s mom) related to me how JC’s being very makulit caused her to fall from the bed or get bruises and stuff. She particularly told me about how whenever it happens she’d try with all her might not to scream or get surprised because it’ll make JC cry. That’s why when JC once fell from their bed, she just stood still and kept quiet, and JC indeed didn’t cry. Its effect on Ate Wheng, however, was surprising — she felt so numb and crisp all over her body, it’s as if somebody froze her dead on the spot.

I understood what she was talking about when JC and I were once sitting on the sofa and the makulit in her was reaching the stuff toy on the floor. I didn’t notice her antic at first and so she fell face first on the floor. I wanted to shout “Ah!” but I remembered what Ate Wheng told me about not shouting so she wouldn’t cry, and so I didn’t. And guess what? I totally felt myself froze all over that I didn’t get her up until a minute or so. Good thing, though, she didn’t cry.

I guess that’s what happens to anyone who bottles up all their emotions. They work so hard keeping all their feelings to themselves they’re not aware that the same emotions are consuming them already. The end result? Anxiety attacks, “freezing over”, and worse, even death. Make it a point to detoxify and rid your body of all these unnecessary angst, grudge, remorse, guilt, whatever; that’s what friends are for (okay, so I used it in a different context but that’s what I really want to say =P).

Unfortunately, I can’t help the fact that I have to bottle one emotion right now. It’s some sort of joy and excitement, but I can’t let it show. It happens only when I see a certain commercial; I immediately shoot up when it starts to play, but I can’t show any sign of happiness or joy or whatever, I had to remain neutral lest I want to let everybody know the other side of me. Sigh… it’s hard but it’s what’s to be done!

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Stroke my ego (it’s not what you think). That’s what’s my professor in Speech has been doing. He’s been stroking my ego these past few sessions (again, it’s not what you think). And I’m not liking the stroking no more.

During Monologue presentations of my classmates the other day, he allowed us to give our comments to our peers’ performance. And so, I honestly gave my opinions to their performances, most of which were positively constructive. I was avoiding the negative ones since I didn’t want them to experience the beating I took during my critic.

For my last comment on the last performer, I said “I appreciate the eye contact, I know it’s hard to keep it when performing, but you managed to pull it off.” With which my professor retorted, LOCUS. Ikaw talaga, hindi ka na gagraduate sa course na’to. It’s locus, not eye contact. When you finish this course you’re supposed to learn a few jargon in the field.” With which I softly whispered to my seatmate, “Oh. Okay, shut up na’ko.”

Okay, so maybe it’s a bit out of context and I’m making him sound like the prof borne from hell, but he really isn’t. It’s just that sometimes, he isn’t really thinking of what he’s saying. I know I was right when I said eye contact. It’s his ridiculously funny theater antics that made him say it’s supposed to be locus. In speech, don’t we use eye contact as a jargon? Have you ever heard of locus? If you’ll look it in the dictionary, locus is nothing but a mere reference point. It’s something you look at, and it could be the wall, the chair, your audience’s forehead, and it could also be the eyes. But I was specifically talking about the eye contact and how it’s hard to maintain it, because that’s what I really wanted to point out.

I don’t know. I guess I’m coming off as a bit annoying to him already with all my bubbly comments (hey, this proves I can be bubbly and loud, too). Maybe we’re having a personality clash? I don’t know. Guess I’d have to find out in the coming sessions. I’ll still continue to give comments, though. And I’ll try to be more obnoxious than I previously were. Hehe… just to stroke his ego.

[EDIT] For some bizarre reason, I wasn’t able to comment much during the session this afternoon. It’s either the performers really aren’t worthy of comment, I’m just not in the mood to give comments, I can’t think of any comments or *exasperated gasp* my prof won over who strokes whose ego harder. Damn it!

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American Idol, apparently, is the biggest hit on Primetime TV in the US. It’s phenomenal in the sense that if it holds an audition in your town, not going in it would be more like not having the latest cellphone or the latest fashion craze. It’s slowly becoming an institution in that most of its “product” talents are already earning their own bucks, and one even taking home some Grammys.

But just like life, American Idol is a game. It’s funny watching people audition in front of Randy, Paula and Simon and seeing how they’d react to Simon’s resounding “a complete and utter mess” matched with his Australian (or British?) accent. It’s funny watching people make a fool out of themselves and still come out a winner (even if they don’t make it to Hollywood). And it’s also funny watching people rage over their not being chosen to participate, throwing fits, screaming curses and all that.

Last Thursday, I performed my monologue for my Speech Class. Funny how slowly it’s starting to become a Theater Class, and this monologue is just one of the antics of our Theater-Major prof. I prepared for it with quite a bit of an intensity and made sure I wouldn’t floop. Well, guess what? Looks like we have another Simon in the making — in the person of my prof.

I think I did pretty well but I also think I took quite a beating. Most of my faults were due to prior advices by classmates (you have to move around a lot, you have to look at their eyes, you have to speak slowly, you have to do this and do that), which I think made a whole mess out of my act. Note to self: never be too influenced by other people.

The critic part on my act was the longest. Our prof gave me so many advice about so many things (he even slapped me, but just as a joke). But I think the most hurtful comment of all was “Wala kang masyadong energy, taga-Masscom ka pa naman!” Pfft. I hate being stereotyped. Why does there have to be some sort-of an unwritten protocol that Masscom students have to be energetic and bubbly all the time? We’re humans, too, and we get tired also.

Sigh. Acting has just been added to my list of many frustrations in life. As of latest count, there’s singing, drawing, dancing, sports and now acting. I’d like to quote the cheerleader from American Dreams: “Sometimes, you have to see what you’re not, in order to see what you are.” Ouch. So yeah, I can’t take a criticism or two, well so what? It’s just that… it’s really hard that you finally find something you love doing, only to find out you’re really not for it. Pfft. Life.

I guess I really have to dwell on writing for now.

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