Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year-End 4: Well Wisher

In the few remaining hours of the year, let us set ourselves, however briefly, to a solemn look back on the things that we have done for the last twelve months. And may we orient ourselves in the coming of the New Year to our newfound resolves. There is nothing wrong with being organized with our personal endeavors. Instead, it endows our lives a more coherent form. Let us then celebrate in the safest way we could!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year-End 3: Thoughts on Rizal Day

I hope it doesn’t spoil the anticipations of the Filipinos for the New Year celebrations with the coming of the Rizal Day. It is not an excuse at all that we have anyway his birthday to celebrate on June. It is in my belief that December 30 is as much as important as the celebration of his birthday, perhaps more. To borrow a line from a local TV channel, tomorrow marks Rizal’s martyrdom.

It certainly would look boring if I am to recount the details leading to his execution. Perhaps it is a better thing to assume that most of us (if not all, for I know that there are still those who care not about history) knows a bit about him. The point of this entry is to reiterate the important of putting our minds in retrospect, especially when they concern events in our history that have made lasting marks to the country.

For one point, I think I am in no position to put forward a meaty opinion about the possible thoughts of Rizal when he sees our situation today – widespread graft and corruption in the public offices; swept almost entirely by blinding promises of game shows; and suspended to our dreams ‘thanks’ to the many forms of entertainment abounding around.

Certainly, I would not want to be a killjoy as well. This is our times and it is kind of crap to twist the present to suit certain things about the past. Rizal may have enjoyed as well the ‘refreshments’ of life back in his times.

But Rizal is one of the exponents of the struggle for freedom (well, technically reforms, but that’s another story) and it would be a bad slap to his memory if we are to succumb to the distractions of the present times – entertainment, fashion, the notorious internet, among other. It would not cause a thing, not even our face, to revere in our own ways the works, in fact almost the entire life, of our established national hero. We have December 30 to do this.

But of course, it is a personal hope that ‘realizations’ or resolves to interconnect our country’s past with the patterns of the present would be a lifestyle. We have seen anyway (through the death of a former president) that we are as much as receptive to national sentiments as open to sensational issues in showbiz. We must therefore reinforce it to a better, loftier cause.

Sharing things about Rizal to the younger generation is one, attending ceremonies tomorrow or involving one’s self into discussions is another (although may already be a little too heavy already to some). But in any case, each one of us should re-orient our thoughts and reflect in the relative freedom that we are enjoying now. Rizal may not the knight-in-shining-armor that completely gave this ‘freedom’, but it is irrefutable that he did his part to ensure this.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Year-End 2: Sinking Ships and Reminiscences


Tragedies really home-in on me especially when I feel that I could, in one way or another, relate to it. The sinking of shipping vessels, starting with MV Princess of the Stars to the recent Baleno Nine really, ‘strikes home’.

I have been sailing to and fro for at least two years between Batangas and Mindoro because of a personal relationship that I used to have. And over the course of those two years I have accumulated an envelope-ful of tickets. (Yep, I enjoy keeping souvenirs of my trips, however near that trip may be.)

My first impulse when I heard about Baleno, was to rummage through my ticket-souvenirs to see if I have been to that particular Baleno. Well, no, I did not. I have boarded instead a Baleno Five. But, all the same, I have some things to say about these vessels.

I can still remember that it was a last choice. As I had to make an ambush appointment before some personal relations get severed, I was compelled to board the Baleno. Topping it all of course was that the fare was cheap.

Small and rusty (common I would believe for such things that have spent almost most of their lives on water), filth would the first thing that would greet you. I can still remember that I opted to stand for the whole duration of the trip because, although I am not that the segregator-type of person, the seats were simply dirty. I cannot be so sure about this, but it seemed that the small ship is not focused on passengers but rather cargoes. In the end, I am not that surprised that a Baleno should meet demise like that – obliteration under a fair weather.

They may eventually reason out the big waves, which some travelers to the place say they often feel and see during December, but it really boils down to that singular issue of the ships’ sea-worthiness.

I would agree to those media commentators that we should not wait for sea accidents again and again for us review policies on the sea-worthiness of ships – both cargo and passenger ones – for the very nature of our country, an archipelagic one, should be an impetus enough to specify coherent rules and security for the people and the ships. The habit of issuing tickets to people that should have been given to some one else, as I have experienced, should be stopped now. Importance should be given to the manifestoes, and reiterate to the travelers that it is just as important as their lives, and not just a nuisance in a busy pier-terminal.

Yes, to a certain extent, the agency that handles the ships and sea travel is still existing and doing their job. But look at the seeming monument now of Princess of the Stars? From that recent tragedy, have we seen more stringent measures to ensure the safety of all the people using sea travel? I don’t think so. For in just a span of two years, the news has been replete with tragedies of similar nature.

In this form, I am getting really personal. Indeed. For I personally love traveling by ship, looking out the wide expanse of water ending only to the horizons, the islands one passes by, the occasional dolphins. But altogether, it is not all about the aesthetic side of traveling by sea. It is ultimately on the safety of the travelers on one hand, and the proper handling of the agencies on their rules and policies.

I do not want to see myself getting to that point where I have to force my way through people just to grab one of those short-supplied life jackets.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Season’s Talk Series 6: End of the Series

This marks my continued resolve to defy a tradition that fails to take in consideration the truth, the much needed truth, behind the reason for the present celebrations. I need not tire myself of all the arguments to share the need to uncover the flaws in the celebrations. It boils down to choice, of course, but there comes a time that one should step forward to act. I am be a pessimist, but that is my choice. This is my act.

Season’s Talk Series 5: KM 64: Call for Submissions: Duguang Lupa


Mag-iisang buwan na mula nang maganap ang karumal-dumal na krimeng ngayo'y tinatawag na Ampatuan Massacre, na ibinunga ng kasakiman sa kapangyarihan ng iilang taong matagal nang naghahari at gusto'y sila na lang sa habang panahon ang maghari sa Maguindanao.

Sinundan ang insidente ng pagdedeklara ng state of emergency at, kasunod niyon, batas militar sa Maguindanao. Ito'y upang madakip daw nang madali ang mga Ampatuan at ang mga tagasuporta nila.

Binawi na ang proklamasyon ng batas militar ngunit nananatili ang state of emergency sa Maguindanao. Patuloy ang mga pagdakip nang walang kautusan mula sa hukuman.

Hindi natin alam kung talaga bang ang mga Ampatuan at ang mga tagasuporta nila lamang ang pinagdadadakip.

Ang alam natin ay ito: halos isang buwan matapos ang masaker, si Andal Ampatuan Jr. pa lamang ang sinasampahan ng kaso -- samantalang hindi lang lima sa mga Ampatuan ang sangkot sa karumal-dumal na krimeng naglagay sa Pilipinas sa kawalang-dangal sa mata ng buong mundo.

Tandaan nating malaki ang utang na loob ng rehimeng Arroyo sa mga Ampatuan. Tandaan ang pagkatalo ni FPJ noong 2004 sa isang lalawigan kung saan marami siyang tagahanmga. Tandaan ang 12-0 na panalo ng Team Unity laban sa Genuine Opposition noong 2007 sa Maguindanao.

Sa kanyang keynote speech noong Disyembre 6, sa taunang kumperensiya ng Philippine PEN, winika ng makatang si Ricardo de Ungria ang ganito:

"The silence of art and literature in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre is crushingly telling. Our realities in this country far outstrip our wildest imaginings, forcing us to dig deeper into our personal griefs and solitudes. Which is probably not the right way to go. For where does that put, pray tell, the literature it produces that ought to confront such realities at the same time that it celebrates life? And what does it say of the artists' and writers' engagement with the realities of the time?"

Kung hindi kayo kabilang sa mga artista't manunulat na tinukoy ni De Ungria, iniimbitahan kayo ng Kilometer 64 Poetry Collective na magsumite ng inyong mga piyesa sa Duguang Lupa, isang chapbook tungkol sa Ampatuan Massacre na binabalak na ilabas sa darating na Enero.

Tatanggapin ang mga tula, mga sanaysay na hindi hihigit sa dalawang pahina (sa file na gumagamit ng size 12 na Times New Roman), mga litrato at larawang-guhit. Mangyaring ipadala ang mga ito sa duguanglupa@gmail.com.

Tatanggapin ang mga kontribusyon hanggang sa Disyembre 29.

Maraming salamat! Katarungan sa mga biktima ng masaker sa Ampatuan! At sa wika nga ng makatang si Richard Gappi, "Managot ang dapat managot! Wakasan ang walang-habas na dahas!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Season’s Talk Series 4: ‘Back Trails’ Blog

Hear ye, hear ye! A travel/history blog! Come explore with us at pransisempilipinas.blogspot.com.
Spread the word.

Season’s Talk Series 3: LagosZine Ad

For every new endeavor, one is almost always compelled to introduce them to as much people as they can. As for us who come up with this little project we really want to spread the word about it. We have just released the third issue of LagosZine (Topic: Kapatirang Pitong Lawa [KAPWA] sa UPLB), samples contents of which are loaded to its blog at Blogspot and can be downloaded for free (yeah, for now) from our 4Shared Account. Dig in!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Season's Talk Series 2: Call for submissions for High Chair 12

High Chair 12 is a special issue devoted to the Maguindanao Massacre.

We are inviting poets and artists everywhere to submit responses to the following questions:

1. What did you feel upon hearing about the Maguindanao Massacre?

2. How could poetry be written/art be made so that it has value to the event?

We are interested in poems (whether old or new, unpublished or previously published) that offer ways of thinking about terror, horror, and other pertinent ideas/terms.

We are interested in essays and reviews that examine the role and state of Philippine poetry and art in the context of the Maguindanao Massacre.

We recognize the need to engage with the Maguindanao Massacre immediately and to ensure, through an ongoing discussion, that the event remains current and urgent. Thus,High Chair 12 will take on the format of a work in progress, with content uploaded by installment from mid-December to mid-February.

The deadlines for submission for possible inclusion in the four installments of High Chair 12 are: December 10, 2009, December 26, 2009, January 15, 2010, and January 30, 2010.

We welcome submissions in Filipino and English. Please visit our site (highchair.com.ph) to get a more comprehensive idea as regards the work we do and the poetry and essays we publish. Please send no more than five pages of poetry. There is no page limit for essay contributions.

Please email your submissions or queries to highchair@gmail.com (subject heading: High Chair Issue 12). Feel free to circulate this call for submissions to other interested parties. Thank you.

Conchitina Cruz and Adam David (Issue Editors)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Season’s Talk Series 1: Second San Pablo Comics Fest




It has taken quite an effort before when I launched the Navidad Talk Series where I put under it those thoughts I had during that holiday period they call the Christmas season. And I wished to do it once again, not primarily because I want to put forward again my objections against this severely out-of-place celebration, but for the belief that people tend to have more thoughts all throughout this December month. For that I wish to participate.

San Pablo City first: the Komikero Group here led, I think, by Gerry Alanguilan has just launched the Second San Pablo Comics Festival. It was personally quite a treat already, having only reached the level of comics-reading and not exactly comics-making. For most of the day, together with a cousin’s boyfriend, we were busy doing our artwork entries for the on-the-spot art contest. Eventually this buddy of my mine won in our category but I felt a winner nevertheless, having been treated with books and comics and meeting and actually chatting with some local comic artists. Sir Gil Monsanto is fan-friendly, Sir Gerry was exceptionally amiable and The Great Manix Abrera was downright cool.

I have never realized that comics industry (if I can call it that) in the country is still in the boom (having been spent most of the time poring over literature stuff myself). And although it was on a quite sad note that most of our best artists are doing it for foreign comics art publishing, it is consoling that, despite the heavy influences of the foreign (mostly Western) drawing techniques, most of these artists are conscious to put the comics industry in a Philippine context. Bayan Knights, Boy Ipis, Elmer, are but some of the art works that I saw rendered with a touch of being Filipinos.

On a deeper note, it was observed that most of these groups are still well within the realms of the middle classes. And although I have learned to respect that phrase “art for art’s sake”, I still hold on to my belief that every work should be aimed at something coherent, if not useful. For it render these works into abstractions, things that simply exist seemingly for themselves. And thus I admire those comics that I saw there which had, albeit implicitly, social undertones. Of course, of course, it should not always be like that; it would eventually lead to ‘boring-ness’. But again I say it must be aimed at something coherent.

It would be a year again before those comics-lovers convene again and I look forward in assessing myself if I have been charged enough to support and join in the comics world. Mabuhay ang komiks sa Pilipinas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

If Not the Spark, the Fire that Spread: Bonifacio

“… A single spark can start a spectral fire…”
- Quarantined, (defunct) At the Drive-In -

There has been a remark given on an entry of mine about Andres Bonifacio in commemoration of his birth last year which I have failed to follow up. And as Bonifacio Day comes again today, I cannot possibly leave it out again.

The remark concerns my statement on Bonifacio being the necessary spark for the revolution that came to be known as the Philippine Revolution. A fellow blogger said that this is not the case, for Jose Rizal rightfully holds the title. Well then, I would agree with it for the following reasons which I have tried to figure out (but do not think that it has taken me a year to do this).

If I remember my history classes well, Bonifacio have already been exposed to some of the relevant books on liberal ideas, among them about the French Revolution. But I believe that Jose Rizal’s novels further opened the minds of the people at the time about their dire situations under the Spanish rule to such an extent that even his name was used as a password within KKK, the organization that Bonifacio founded for the ‘armed’ struggle against the Spaniards. Bonifacio could have the idea of forming KKK eventually but without the moving influence of Rizal (and his works) KKK would have emerged at a much later point in our history. And that would have changed the entire revolution story!

Thus in many ways Rizal was a central and vital figure in hastening the commencement and spread of the revolution and for this he rightfully owns the title necessary spark. The reason why I have ‘awarded’ the name before to Bonifacio was that I saw that Bonifacio had the courage to push through with the armed fights, despite many misgivings and objections to it, one well known was the interview of Dr. Pio Valenzuela with Jose Rizal in which Rizal refused to agree with the idea of an armed struggle.

It seems to me now that Bonifacio assumed the fire that spread the moment Rizal gave off the necessary spark. Even if he intended it to happen, Rizal himself contributed to the revolution.

Nevertheless, any issue about this should not cloud the celebration of the day, the day we remember the birth of the great plebeian Andres Bonifacio!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Second San Pablo Comics Festival

The Second San Pablo Comics Festival is a celebration of Philippine comics where one can buy independently produced Filipino comic books (as well as imported ones) and meet the people who create them! There will be a comics art exhibit, art contest, writer and artist signings, comic book sales, mini-tutorials, mini-seminars, panel discussions, and many more! San Pablo too far away? Think of it as a vacation! Think of it as getting away from it all! Think of it as decentralizing Manila and spreading the comics love to the provinces! Plus, you'll get an AWESOME view! See you there!

From sanpablocomicsfestival.blogspot.com

Monday, November 9, 2009

KAPWA Lives on Beyond 20


I cannot really recall now how many times I have attempted, even in thought, to use Viole(n)t Mugs as my stage for easing myself of the frustrations that have come with my stay in our organization. But for equal number of times, I have held myself back. It seems apparent to me now that even somewhere in the realms of my unconsciousness, I was retaliating with the sad unfolding of events in our org in the past few years and to write openly about, for me, meant the formative stages of surrender. It was not be the case.

November the 7th marked the 20th anniversary of KAPWA sa UPLB and despite the misgivings within the resident group, we nevertheless braved the meeting with our equally brave hearts (indeed, as we saw later on) and come face to face with the pillars of the organization.

There was a mass in celebration of our anniversary, two outreach activities in San Pablo, and a series of big eats I have not encountered in my six years in the organization.

I personally thought that my brief talk with Kuya Atoy constituted the ‘meeting’ and ‘update’ that I was expecting to do and have. But it turned out that our big meeting was yet to come. A staunch pessimist, I sat in front of the other alumni with my heart pounding, totally devoid of an idea of what lies ahead for the residents. But most of the time, things do not turn out the way we expect it. They have been very accommodating and openly offered all the forms of assistance they could say at the time. It is beyond the role of this blog to contain every details of the meeting. It would be enough to say that alas, to the resident’s pride, we could walk in the university with heads help up high that we can possibly continue the legacy that these people have started and have actually experienced.

And to a large extent, I am not sorry that I have extended my stay in the university for a few semesters. The rising of the organization from its short stint of dormancy is well within our reach. And I am overjoyed that I am here, right in the middle of the action, to witness this historical part of the organization’s existence.

My fellow residents before may have some things to say about our moves as residents now but they cannot possible tone down the sweeping movements that has been fueled by the anniversary celebration (and the reflections and the renewal of commitments that went with it). Some can babble all they can, projecting an image of concern and scorn with the way we are handling the group, but these cannot possibly tear apart the larger goals by the organization. An alumnus has said years back that petty scuffles (among members) may arise but it should not defeat the collective affection and commitment that we all have for KAPWA.

To all the alumni who generously provided us with literal food and food for thought, we extend our thanks in behalf of the residents. Your vital assistance in this critical part of the organization’s life in the university will never be laid to waste. Your stories have surely given us solid inspiration to fuel us to move forward.

To the residents, old and new, who still have the affection and came to us for the celebrations, we all know that we are now officially part of that pivotal place in our history. Time and opportunity is wide; let us move things now!

Lastly, I have searched within me and was placed at ease that at I can say honestly that it was not at all vindication of some personal desires for the org. No one, not even the most successful of all the members, can possibly tower over the organization. KAPWA is formed to unite, not to divide. And at least on this note, I am putting my dreams and aspirations for the further development of the org in the collective ones that have been shared by the past batches and members.

Long Live KAPWA sa UPLB!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Santi Onslaught Experience


Finding yourself in a rural area inevitable gives you the experience of getting almost limitless peace of mind you could amass, given the relatively small number of people and vehicles that could break through your repose. Little noise. Lots of fresh air. With a good supply of food and other necessities, it is for me, one ‘panalo’ experience.

But then, the seeming geographical detachment from vital needs such as newspapers (for in our case, we don’t have a television in our house-hideout, he-he) and internet (we are working on the laptop purchase issue, my personal computer being glued to my ‘ancestral’ house) places us at the mercy of totally unknown events that could possibly come to us. And that is exactly what happened when Santi came.

We did not even know there was a storm coming. Not even the fact that we were placed at Public Storm Signal Number 2. Not even the storms’ name. Thanks to some of my partner’s colleagues, we were informed at least a few hours before the predicted landfall of the storm in our province, and into our new little rural abode.

Lights went out at 10. Fluctuated for a few minutes then electricity died out totally. We were now in the midst of a raging storm with a single cellphone light to accompany us (my cellphone have died out days before; I did not bring any charger, nyay) and a single candle stick in reserve.

What word could fit in the attacks of that storm?

I could not help but go outside, to the immense worry of my intimate, and witness and feel the effects. There were those seeming strong trees just outside our gate and fence – mangga, santol, narra – and other ‘lesser’ trees such bananas, papayas, and other bushes all bowing down to the winds brought by Santi. Swayed they go, left to right, the wind whistling in seeming glee. I was dead worried that our roof might tear at any moment, leaving the brittle (ply)wood ceiling prey to the deadly winds. At the same time, I was wishing that my sister has promptly protected my books that are shelved near a weak window.

Saturday came and finally all was clear. And I mean literally. The mighty santol tree on the ground at the side of our house that has been a subject of our horror stories was finally chopped off. It was already being cut into smaller pieces by the time I personally saw it. Partner saw it first. The papaya trees that cover the perimeter of our ground were either fell down or in slanting positions. Good thing no house was substantially destroyed during that rage; the village gossipmongers are now deprived of at least one topic to feast upon.

Finally, mud, trapped flood waters, fallen leaves and branches greeted us as we ply through the streets. Santi may have wreaked havoc, gave us a nightlong experience of hell, but at least all was over by the next day. One thing I only noticed as we talked to neighbors later, that events such as storms give God a free entry to the minds and hearts of the believing (and in some good cases, of the non-believing) people. Either they finally reject the concept of his existence, or withdraw their beliefs, or throw themselves again at the feet of an Almighty Something. Whatever. Human will always be a curious creature.

CHANCE READER! I invite you to place in here a short note if ever you had any experience during Santi’s visit that is worth mentioning (whether it is good or bad).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 World Bank Essay Competition Certificate

It was enough that I was able to join again this year. But then, it could have been better to have gone at least into the semi-finals. Nevertheless, it was good news already to have a finalist representative from the Philippines. The e-mail I received said that the news of the 2010 essay competition will be announced on their site essaycompetition.org by January 2010. For anyone who have chanced to read this, you could join if you are interested! There has been a number of quite interesting topics for the past years.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Viole(n)t Mugs Approach


The unplanned break from my very personal activities (Viole(n)t Mugs included and all the other blogs I am maintaining) proved to be immensely helpful and healthy at the same time. There was a point where I have almost felt extreme repulsion to typing my thoughts on the keyboard, as it seemed that the activity have become minuscule in comparison with the domestic problems I was facing. This vacuum period helped me get through with these ‘down times’ for I was able to rethink and rethink all those activities I have embraced for a quite some time now, without the aid of the democratic’ world wide web and computers themselves.

And Viole(n)t Mugs placed itself well within those things that need reconsideration first. And why not? VM is the embodiment of that seed idea about posting my write ups on the internet. It was conceived with a prospect readership in mind. It was thought not only to be a mere site with my written (or typed, to be more precise) stuff posted there, but also a place where possible readers could react about them and interact with me, as well as with other possible readers. I saw all these ideas resembling a virtual café where people are welcome to conduct open discussions and forums.

But of course, it was not designed in such a way as to give it an appearance of a forum. There are sites designed solely for such activities. As I read back into my past entries, I see that their core goals have not change considerably. Instead, my entries reinforced those goals as time passed. My view that politics should be a concern of the people is still intact, as well as my position not to exclude beliefs in my possible topics for discussion. Its nearly three years of existence is littered with announcements and (almost) silly entries but they add to the texture of the blog as a whole.

I do not see this reflection about the nature of my blog as a personal weakness; a flaw in my resolve to stick with I want to do. Instead I view this as an essential self-check if I what I am doing in this blog still pursues (at least) a coherent and logical pattern and not just a scribble wall (a virtual wall, that is). I laud those bloggers who I was able to make acquaintance of, for showing the strength to keep their blogs along the track of the topics they wanted. I have in fact felt great inspiration from those who have won awards for their blogs. They are just doing what they like and love to do and they are getting those things as bonuses.

Thus, I would remain true on the nature of this blog which characterized it since July 2007 – a personal blog. But then, the experience transcripts that shall appear here will, as the past entries have shown, relate to the fields (politics, science, philosophy, etc.) and events (i.e. current events, etc.) that I get to encounter in the course of my living. It is my belief that it is inevitable that we get to experience different things. I mean, I cannot possibly assume a ‘political attitude’ for that long without undergoing some changes in other aspects of my life. And I have seen that VM is a convenient place to describe those experiences and changes.

Readers/followers and comments would come now only as bonuses. What is essential is that we, all novice and established bloggers alike, are able to exercise that worn out phrase of ‘freedom of expression’.

Violent Mugs shall live on!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

LagosZine Issue 1-2: Pensees II


We’ve been unfortunately strained by our respective activities and so the release of the second issue would be a little late. We hope to upload the thing by weekend. Expect a more decent and thought up format for this issue as we decided not to relegate it to being just a mere scratch book. Also, we’ve been thinking of been calling up friends to throw in their creations and works once we have come up with a particular theme next month.

Two works for the month’s issue appear in LagosZine Blog (lagoszine.blogspot.com). Indulge!

+team mates for this issue +
pransisem.emralino + jesse.essej.cervantes

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Passing on the Torch: The Noynoy Candidacy

In a country divided by personal interests and greed (yes, greed), it was not surprising that the announcement of Noynoy Aquino’s candidacy for the 2010 Philippine Presidential Election was met with a mixture of opinions, both positive and negative. For all I know, one cannot really please anybody, even if you mother is the established mother of the country’s democracy.

Each, ultimately, is entitled to their own beliefs. Noynoy is my best bet for the race next year. Not because he has been the most popular; I cannot say that he is that popular given his standing in the current surveys. Not because of his parents; I have realized long ago that a stature of a person is not wholly dependent on the background of his or her parents. For me it is simply because he has the credibility to affirm again the vision of the Filipinos in general of what good governance really is. Let us do away with slogans such as ‘Strong Republic’. No words are needed if such strength shows itself already.

In a way, I could liken his situation with Among Ed, who has a clear desire of doing his job the clean way; really, a source of inspiration as I have put it earlier. But then, Noynoy is the one who have clearly been into the story of the people’s struggle for freedom, being the son of an assassinated opposition to the dictatorship, and a mother who rose to re-establish the democracy following the downfall of the regime. (But of course, the Aquino family cannot escape the problem of land reform where their own land in Central Luzon is in fact part of it.) He is to a large extent feeble, even the average citizen could easily attest to this, but that is not the sole criterion to exclude him from the ranks of those who deserve to lead us in the next six years (assuming of course, that there are still others). I would start out by placing faith (not in the religious context) that he could transcend the limitations of his present capabilities an situation and rise above the short-sighted opinion of those who do not have the desire to look again to what he could possibly do.

I would really want to see him gripping the torch of the presidency by next year. For even if he would receive the same criticisms that his mother received concerning the way she handled the problems of the country, we can at least be assured of a theft-free government at the highest level. Feeble as he may seem today, I believe he would not succumb to the same (loathsome) actions of the current administration.

photo from: dic.academic.ru

Monday, August 31, 2009

Baya-Bayani

AD: LagosZine Issue 1-1: Pensees


Released one day ahead!
Do spare time to read our own zine LAGOS carrying the title Pensees on its debut issue.
You can follow up the progress of LagosZine at lagoszine.blogspot.com or download the issues at lagoszine.4shared.com. Contact us at: lagoszine@yahoo.com and/or franciswritesnow@yahoo.com.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lagos…

Coming right up this September First!

Bayole(n)t Mags, Baw

Patapos na naman ang buwan at sa dinami-dami ng mga gawain (at mga dapat gawin pa!) ay may isang bagay na mahirap iisang-tabi na lamang, at iyan ang Bayole(n)t Mags.

Nuon pa naman gusto ko nang magsulat nang magsulat. Akala ko nga magtutuloy tuloy na ‘ko sa karera sa pagsusulat pero kinailangang tapusin ‘tong isang kurso na ‘to, dahil nagkaron ng iskolarsyip na mahirap tanggihan.

Kaya ngayon kahit sa tingin ko ay nasa lebel pa rin ng pagka–nobis ang aking pagsusulat ay patuloy ko pa rin ‘tong ginagwa. Ayokong malason na lang ako ng mga bagay na aking iniisip at hayaang mabulok sila sa aking utak. Mas mabuti pang isulat ko sila, sa pribado man o sa publiko gaya netong blag, kahit gaano pa sila kababaw. Ayokong kalawangin mula sa loob.

Dati ginusto kong gawin tipong blag ng mga aktibidad at karanasan tong B.M. Pero sa paglaon ay di ko na napigilang gawing lugar siya para bigyang daan ang mga kuru-kuro sa iba’t-ibang bagay – pulitika, literatura, musika, at kung anu-ano pa. Hindi ko igigiit na marami akong alam sa temang ito kaya ko sila tinatalakay. May paniniwal lang ako na kahit sinong tao ay may abilidad na tingan nang kritikal ang isang bagay. Hindi hadlang ang hindi pagkakaroon ng akses sa midya, mga libro, pinag-aralan, atbp, para hindi makapagi-sip ang tao. May utak tayo, may kanya-kanyang lebel lang talaga ng paggamit ang mga tao rito. Kung isang kuto ka hindi na ‘ko magtatakang wala kang maisip. (Sana nakuha mo kaibigang mambabasa ang punto ko.)

At sa tingin ko, hindi dapat hadlang ang mga gawain mo upang di ka malayang makapag-sip ng mga likha o kuru-kuro. Para sa akin, isang paraan ang blag upang i-eksoryas ang mga nakatagong nga ideya dyan sa mga isipan natin. Para siyang isang parte ng mga aktibidad mo, tipong ehersisyo ba. ‘Pag hindi mo ginagawa, may posibilidad na magkasakit ka. May mga bagay kang naiisip, ilabas mo sa paraang sa tingin mo ay maganda – likhang-sining, sulatin, talumpati, atbp. Kahit di mo ito bahagi sa ibang tao, walang problema. May mas malalim pang paliwanag ang pagpapahayag ng sarili at ng mga isipin gamit ang iba’t ibang midya o paraan (mag-ikot sa mundo ng pilsopiya at sikolohiya para rito), pero tama nang sabihin natin na hindi maikakailang bahagi ito ng pagiging tao natin.

Hindi man umayon sa mga teoryang naitagtag na ang iyong obra, wag kang mabahala. Isipin mo na lang na hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon, maikakahon ng mga batayang teorya ang iyong sarili at ang paraan mo kung paano mo ito ipinapahayag.

Kaya tuloy lang mga blagers, ayon lang.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Racquets

Better be aware of schemes such as the following:

(+639287487944)
C lyn 2 new number ko ito pki load u ako 115, my tatawagan ako emergency lng, d2 ako hospital ngayon babayaran ko din sayo.

I know a few people with the name of Lyn but I cannot see them asking me to buy them some load. They could have asked my mother first!

(+639098437435)
Congratulations! Pres. GMA CHARITY FUND. Ur Sim#have Won! P860,000.00. 08/17/2009 DTI PRMT # 4627 For more info?Pls call me now! I’m Sec. Katherine L. Madrigal.

What a load of crap! How many times have I received such crap? Three times? Ten times? And I have not even joined any raffle of any sort that is related to PGMA! Tsk.

People, be wary of these things. They will only stop if we prevent them from fooling us.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ninoy: the Man and the Myth


It is undeniable the he is the man – the man, so to speak, during the dark days of the martial law regime. As for the myth, well, it is something that is personal in nature.

For an event, I believe, tends to be obscured by its distance from the present, along with all the mixture of news and stories about it, rendering that event as a hazy object in the mind. I do not know how many of the post-EDSA I children could genuinely relate to the fight that Ninoy waged during martial rule. But I do wish to “de-myth-tize” myself from the clouds that the years have put on the man that was Ninoy.

He was a fighter, not just a man who passes his day pensively on our 500-peso bills. It was a big chunk of history that he made which landed him on one of our local bills. He fought against an appointed leader stretching his power beyond its limits through his strategic position as a public servant. He was a fearless speaker who thought it best to inform the public of the dark activities going on behind the seemingly tranquil walls of Malacañang. For that he paid the ultimate price for such a dangerous, yet praiseworthy endeavor… – his life.

It seems familiar; these heroic acts (recall Rizal et al). But let us note, we post-EDSA I children in particular, that this is at least the closest point that we have in encountering a hero in his own rights. And so this should not be the case for “de-myth-tization” after all. The magnitude of his work to stand face to face with an enemy hungry for power cannot possibly leave us out of its illuminating power. In fact we are in the midst of a time that we cannot possibly miss out the true man that was Ninoy. It is up to us to inform ourselves of how well he stood for the Filipinos being trampled upon during the martial rule and how to continue that stand, to fight for the Filipinos, no matter how ungrateful and passive they are today.

We should not get discouraged by the lack of enthusiasm of many Filipinos to tackle the problems facing us as a nation everyday. For action should not depend solely on outside events. It has ‘choice’ as its fuel. For Ninoy, it was the choice to stand for the Constitution and laws that put him in the battlefields. And risk his life in the end. But of course we all know that all his works have not been in vain.

Now in the face of a government who prefers to consume exorbitant dinners while the Filipinos suffer from hunger each day, we cannot afford to let Ninoy be just a myth. We take him as fuel and inspiration. There is nothing silly and corny about getting inspiration. We take our place from where he and his wife Cory left off. Because for as long as there are beggars on the streets, garbage scavengers, unrest in Mindanao, outstanding foreign debts, prostitution, drugs, graft and corruption, among other, we cannot possibly leave our posts as vigilant citizens. We cannot afford to lose our identity to these present leaders who dare insult the Filipinos right in the face. And it’s not just about the issues of freedom and identity. I believe that there was more that Ninoy could have fought for. But he is gone and we are not. And thus we go make our respective moves to contribute in making the country livable.
Let us remember the brutal murder of Ninoy this August 21 and renew our resolve to be more real Filipinos in the present.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Post-Cory

Now that Cory has finally been laid to rest, attention inevitably falls to the people who showed sympathy to the grieving family, to the people who did not miss the corteges, to the people who showed that they support what Cory fought for and believed in. In this post-Cory period, can we still carry on what that Cory Magic has shown brought us?

For it was only natural for me to see people again in the streets – all dressed up in yellow shirts, laced here and there with yellow ribbons with all the placards bearing Cory’s and Ninoy’s names. It was simply a reliving of the late 80’s people power. Cory was an important part of that revolution and thus a mere form of reverence to a ‘democracy hero’ was shown by the people. I do not intend to ignore that fact that many of them expressed sadness in the passing away of Cory. Suffice it to say that the whole of Cory’s wake up to her funeral was composed of EDSA I recollections, nationwide grievance and sadness, politicking (as has been shown by numerous accounts on the internet and the media), and new battle cries of continued fight. The first three can be readily expounded on. But the last one that mentions of ‘patuloy na pakikipaglaban’ must be cleared.

In the death of Ninoy, the message coming from the people at that time was vivid – justice for Ninoy and an end to the dictatorship. And I found this here in the present only that it seems to point to blurred things. Well yes, the continued assertion of the Filipinos’ freedom and the defense of their democracy, that’s one. But I shall venture a little further for I think this is where I could possibly put the context in which Cory left her legacy today.

It concerns the administration of course. It was only recently that Cory asked the present leaders to maintain integrity of the government by resigning from their posts. One cannot miss it for it was big news at that time: they say that the 2004 elections were rigged and were taken to the highest level (read COMELEC level) of cheating. When Cory died she was still on her stand for these officials to go down and for the fraud to be exposed. Perhaps those chanting of Cory’s name and praises for what she has done for the country could create its own Post-Cory Magic by focusing ourselves to fighting to what are undeniably oppressions from the part of the leaders and degradation of our identity as a nation (to the point of losing such things that made EDSA I known world wide - democracy). Yes, we could create our own Post-Cory magic by standing by the power of the rule of law over the people, whether they are ordinary citizens or high-positioned leaders. This is what Cory showed in essence during that tumultuous late 80’s. She was branded a mere housewife but she took that fateful step forward and asserted to the people, in fact the whole world that freedom is what must be given to the people, not a dictatorship that spells only demise to the Filipinos. That step resulted in the downfall of a long-running regime and gave the world an example as to what people power could possibly do.

In a way, it would be an embarrassment if we plunge again to chaos just to straighten out things again in the country. At least for now the people are awakened again to the dire conditions of the society, thanks to the influence that Cory exerted despite her death. It now lies in our hands to use our rights and privileges intelligently for the betterment of the country. I know I know it shall be a long way. But remember that step I mentioned metaphorically earlier. We could all do exactly that. Simple actions could mean a lot.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Salamat, Maraming Salamat!


You have revived in our hearts what it means to be a Filipino, and I mean a pure Filipino. Thank you for offering up you life in this part of our history as a nation just for us to enjoy the freedom as a country. No eulogy, no amount of tears could possibly suffice to describe what you did for the country. Some may not understand fully what role you played in those trying times of 80’s but what is good to see now at these time of your funeral is that we have all rediscovered again that identity that we should live with everyday – and that is that we are Filipinos, for better or for worse, we are Filipinos and we must cherish this. Thank you President Cory.

photo from CANVAS Official Blog

Monday, August 3, 2009

Go go sa UPCAT!

We all hope for the best with the thousands of high school students who have taken the 2009 UP College Admission Test, the infamous and perhaps notorious UPCAT. It may have been bloody, but the experience of taking the exam itself is a triumph enough for them. Go go go go!

photo from youronlineguide.blogspot.com

2009 KAPWA sa UPLB UPCAT Review Aftermath

Despite the panic and seeming dog works behind, we have successfully launched again the 2009 UPCAT Review. We thank the students from Col. Lauro Dizon Memorial National High School, Del Remedio National High School, Laguna College, Laguna State Polytechnic University High School Department, Lakes City Christian School, Liceo de San Pablo, MSC-IT, Prudencia Fule Memorial National High School for being a part of it and for being active participants in the review. We have read your comments and your follow up text messages and all these really gave us inspiration to pull things through despite the hardships within our org. We hope the best for you in the exams!

Also, it would not have been that successful without the presence of Ser Bryan H. (HP Philippines, Society of Math Majors, KAPWA sa UPLB) and Ma’am Blaisie E. (Maquiling School Inc., UP GURO) for helping us out with the discussions of our test items.

I personally hope that we could finally settle things in our org and thus pave the way for a successful celebration of its 20th anniversary. Whew.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

PransisEmWatchMovies Retires

I have decided finally to close down PransisEmWatchMovies (pransisemwatchmovies.blogspot.com) to give way to my desire to maintain a blog for musings (you know, that kind of thing) and physics.
The contents of PransisemWatchMovies would appear hear at Viole(n)t Mugs in order to have a souvenir of some sort of the site.
Welcome Ricochet Bullets!

PransisEmWatchMovies Old Entries

Evan Changes the World

A-cts of R-andom K-indness (People, correct me if I am wrong)


I would still say that it is blasphemous to a certain extent but surely, the lessons that one would get from this movie could overcome that. We’ll just confine ourselves with a short account of the story and the tidbits of lessons from it.
Change the world: that was what Evan just prayed who has just won it in the US congress. For all we know, the Big Guy in the sky heard it and set things for this man.

And so He wakes him up at exactly 6:15 am (or was it 14?) everyday to his great irritation. And so came these packages, seemingly from heaven, which he dismisses as wrong sent.
But hints are now coming his way, like animals chasing him up to his office and more packages, the materials of course for the work that He has given him. And so He finally appears to him, explaining it to him. But he would not believe and continues with his life as normal as he could… (in vain).
Then suddenly beard grows on his face and his clothes gets stripped off in exchange for that old school costume, that cloth in Bible times.
This time he gets the message and sets to work for what Genesis 6:15 (or was it 14?) says: to build an ark. But people around misunderstood him, dismissed him as insane, even his family would leave him for lack of a good explanation for his actions. “God told me…,” he would say to his wife but to no go. In his work, he was isolated for his weird actions…and clothes. Alone but determined, he continues the build, together with the animals which were already waiting for it to be finished.
He has forecasted a date for the deluge; the media picks up the signal and covers the event. His family goes back to help him and finished the beautiful ship just in time. Animals get now what they wanted: a shelter from a coming disaster. And so the people now challenge him. There was no rain at all! The sun was at its height. But suddenly there comes this rain only to stop after no more than three minutes. The people was, more than any other time, convinced of his insanity…but…
Several miles away, from a substantial height, a dam breaks down and the people down below would notice it. The deluge!
“Into the ark, into the ark!” Evan would call on to the people. The ark somehow saves all the people as the large amount of water runs through the place where the ark is situated, destroying everything. The flood gets into downtown and finally settling the great ark in the place where a fellow congressman is just having a boastful talk, the very man who proposed the construction of the dam, without proper planning which eventually led to the disaster. The hero wins the battle in the end. =)
I really like this play with the concept of randomness. Although at first the main character seemed to be at lost as to what it was all about, he eventually gets the big picture and follows, to the expense of respect and relationships. We would soon get the prize he asked for: the chance to change the world. Well at least.
Scientifically it is possible, that what seems to have no meaning at all can contain juicy information.
(Chaos theory of course, in which I’m getting pretty soaked up right now).

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 6:32 PM Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bean’s Holiday: Our Holiday

Despite being a self-confesses killjoy in watching in movies (I don’t enjoy having company when devouring flicks), I sometimes allow myself some amusement by having my sister, sometimes lola, largely depending on her mood and taste for the movie. But I had the whole gang for the Bean’s Holiday starring of course engineer Rowan Atkinson reliving some classic scenes from his past Mr. Beans’ shows (i.e. vomiting to a nearby chair in a classy restaurant).
The story is all about Mr. Beanie (from the kid in Bean the Movie) winning a holiday to Cannes (thanks to the winning ticket lying close to him) and all the mishaps and escapades leading to that beautiful holiday spot. Starting out from Paris, he gets in contact with a famous director to whom he does a big blunder – separating him from his son also due for Cannes. And so he keeps the kid in his company, doing some more stupid things like leaving the passports and empting their pockets altogether. But then, as expected with Bean, he goes to compensate for them, earning money by doing some sort musical play (thanks to a borrowed speaker) only to lose the ticket to a run-away chicken as well as the kid who eventually joins a traveling band.
But perhaps things are all in favor of Bean who eventually had a break for a commercial shoot but busting the chance soon after. Here he meets the young lady who would do for him a favor – take him to Cannes with her on a car pretty much like his own. Soon Mr. Bean would be reconciled with the kid and the crew is now complete, enjoying one heck of a road trip and finally arriving at Cannes at around morning. (Picture, picture!)
Now disguised to gain entrance to the venue of the movie premier to which the lady (just forgot her role in the movie) would be appearing, they are all good to go but a TV news report reveals everything to her. She would temporarily doubt Bean but everything would be settled and the plan is all out now to enter the place of the premiere. But there was only one ticket! So Bean and the kid now attempt to come up with a means to enter, knocks out I think a guard and enters into the movie hall.
But the movie in premiere was itself so boring and devoid of any life plus the disappointing fact that the director (the actor was the Green goblin of Spiderman, don’t know his name) had cut the lady’s scene, showing her for no more than five seconds.
And Bean now comes to the rescue, rigging his own video cam to project it onto the hall below, eliminating the motion pictures but not the sound. By stroke of luck, the narration of the movie goes along very well with the videos, touching topics such a beauty and happiness. The director makes the move to stop the surprise but all eventually ends up on stage, to the applause of the watching people, after Mr. Bean was shortly accused of kidnapping. Then everyone would get the real story and Mr. Bean, now enchanted by the blue sea, walks out onto the beach outside.
Nothing can be more exciting in having such a fun-filled holiday. I’d surely love to experience a fun-filled vacation like that but not in such a seemingly chaotic manner. Mr.Bean is, whether he exist or not, one heck of a superman in having the knack to escape dangers and evade bad lucks.
Although from what I’ve read, Rowan is not really at ease in this Mr. Bean thing, I’d sure enjoy any future stories of Beanie. =)
(I would recommend you to watch Bean the Movie; center on importance of families; good one)

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 6:29 PM Saturday, April 5, 2008

A (Quite) Convincing Truth

What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know It's what we know for sure that just ain't so -Mark Twain
I cannot say when I actually first heard about the movie. But I’ve watched several jokes and gags about it in Late Night Show with David Letterman, seen parts of it in Simpson the Movie, and read its showing in school announcements. And so I was quite glad that I was able to get a hold of copy when I registered in a video-renting shop in our city.
It was during the days when I was still hot on the issue of the NBN ZTE scandal here in our country and was susceptible to new issues. But then I found myself, to a certain extent, not able to grasp immediately the idea that he (Al Gore) was putting forward. Perhaps it’s because I have lived a large part of my life in this quite little province surrounded by mountain and trees. As if I am not feeling the horrors of this global warming that is said to permeate through our lives today.
But assuming that all the data that he gathered and presented in the documentary was reliable, there was nothing left but this gaping hole of realization in me that the world now, more than any time of human existence, is in need of efficient solutions to these problems. Well personally, I believe the country in which Al Gore belongs is one of the biggest factors in the problem’s continuance. He said it himself in the film: “By far the worst contributor to this problem…” Although I have my own criticisms about the United States of which I will not to talk about here (or else I might find myself being hunted by FBI or CIA), I think the US ought to spearhead the campaigns to prevent further destruction of the environment. Well that does not mean to say that since they are the superpower they will the be the only one to act since they have all the possible resources. Each nation I think should make the best efforts to assess the conditions of their own countries and design the necessary solutions for each one of them. Collaborative efforts I think will also do. I know that all I am saying right now are in general but each passing day is a new day, with new challenges and conditions that the solutions of yesterday may not meet today. The evolving planet encloses in it the same evolutions of different degrees. If we, the inhabitants, let the destructive processes evolve into their maturity, well, we cannot hope to find a more livable place in the future.
I find his explanation about the warming on the part of the Atlantic Ocean pretty amusing although I am quite critical of it. At least for now, since I am yet to understand the principles underlying reconstruction of the past events (or equivalently, forecasting of the future in a large time frame – recall chaos theory!)
Also, I sympathize with his past frustrations over his advocacies that were apparently turned down by his own countrymen. It’s really hard when all your efforts are seen by the outside world as tale and fiction. But I don’t think all his efforts were in vain since the US is doing its best now to do things to make some solutions to global warming.
(Well, I was surprised when he talked of in-land water because at least it confirmed the principle that one of our physics instructor fought for in one of his class. Sir Barry, tama nga ung sinabi mo about the yelo sa baso, mali ung mga taga chem. hehe.)

The era of Procrastination, of Half-Measures, of Soothing and Baffling Expedients, of Delays, of Coming to its Close. In its place we are entering a Period of Consequences. -Sir Winston Churchill, Nov. 12, 1936

What I really like about the film (despite the seemingly bad things it presented all through out) is the beautiful picture of the planet from the outer space, where it is all blue with these dancing clouds.
Whether you or me is a staunch environmentalist or not (I’m a trying-hard at that), we cannot dismiss altogether the fact the earth as a whole is one big home – one that we should protect and conserve, simply because it’s the only one that we have. It may take hundred years or so before we could migrate to Mars or to some cosmic habitation but by that time we, the present generation is all but ashes. So with this thing in mind, why don’t we live to the fullest while we still have the Earth but at the same time do our part as its protectors? Of course we are the ones who have put the planet into such state. At least we should have the discretion to make it a more habitable planet today and at least for the next hundred years.

Doing the right thing enable us to moves forward.

“An Inconvenient Truth” is a film that speaks of the outside world right now, of the things that we may not be seeing as we go along our lives, but succinctly leaves to us that urge to make a change, to step forward and act in favor of the home in which we live.

Related Site/s:
www.climatecrisis.net

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 1:22 AM Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

“Either we live by accident or die by accident, or we live by plan and die by plan…”


This adaptation of the Thornton Wilder Pulitzer-winning novel has indeed captured the drama and the emotions that were described in the story. In trying to come up with a sensible review of this, I needed to rummage through my books and find the book itself which I bought two years ago. I enjoyed it very much and I hoped to find fine corroboration between the movie and the written story.

The whole story centered upon the lives of the five people that became the casualties of the breaking of the San Luis Rey - the “finest bridge in all of Peru”. This has been made possible by a certain Franciscan priest by the name of Brother Juniper who was able to witness the accident and wrote a book about it. Prior to the incident, he was into this belief that bridges last forever. But when he saw with his own eyes the demise of the San Luis Rey, he asked to himself (or perhaps to God) why these people. And so with this, he set out to find the details on the lives of these five people and how they were led to the bridge and to the “gulf below”. (Sadly enough, this endeavor of his caused him his life as he was burned at the stake together with his books after an Inquisition.)

I will not deal with the technicalities of the movie itself. For one, I do not have sufficient knowledge to discuss them (i.e. lightings, make-ups, set-ups etc). The adaptation speaks for itself. But as a book reader I would try to dissect and describe the discrepancies that I’ve seen in this movie.

Well there is no denying that it is most of the time hard to put exactly what the original novel tells about. For one, the movie is time constrained. It cannot go about for like 5 hours or so. Even I, who has become accustomed to long lectures in class and watching professors do their job, will not be able to stand it. It won’t be boring for all I know. It will be just tiring.
Also I can understand that the movie is limited by the writers. Of course they only have to highlight the main sub-themes in the story and consequently discard the parts which cannot in any way affect the flow of the movie despite their omissions. Again the movie is quite successful in delivering the message of the novel. Let me just discuss now the “inaccuracies” so to speak, of some of the parts in the movie.

One, the narrator in the novel has become the archbishop, Brother Juniper, Pepita, Doña Clara, among other. It does not do harm to any chance watchers especially to those unfamiliar with the existence of the novel. But it is quite surprising to me. As I went to reread the story, I cannot help but let out a chuckle as I find scenes that were quite different in the movie. To wit, Pepita, Dona Maria Marques de la Montemayor’s all-too-faithful servant, is just twelve years old but in the movie, why it seems that she is already around in her twenties. To a certain extent, it defeats the purpose of the character and the emotions that she has. Anyway, the actress has done a good job of behaving just like the servants of those times would be most likely to behave. And hey, Manuel and Esteban talk in the story! But at least, the scene on the Manuel’s death, Esteban’s appearance in the room of the Perichole and his failed suicide attempt, and his talk to Captain Alvarado were quite good. The writer or director, or whoever is responsible for those parts, were creative enough to build fairly unique scenes. Copying exactly from the scenes in the novel would be boring anyway.

Perhaps it would a contradiction to pore into the other scenes that I find different with the statement I’ve mentioned which has something to do with the strength of the movie.

I personally recommend the movie and the novel together. Despite the compactness of the movie, the emotion, the lessons that the story has to tell will be complemented, perhaps completed, by the reading of the original novel.

“We have all fallen victim to the tyranny of loving more for the sake of ourselves…”

Actors/Actress:
Robert de Niro – Archbishop
Adriana Dominguez - Pepita

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 4:10 AM Sunday, March 16, 2008

PRANSISEM WATCH MOVIES Review Points

I thought it necessary to have at least a way of quantifying the degree of satisfaction to the movies. And so with the entries go the points for them. (I find star images quite boring and so chose instead my face to be the symbol, hehe.)


10: Blockbuster! I can watch the movie again and again without getting bored and as if I am seeing it for the first time. Definitely a thing that my children should get to watch! A gem!

9: Woah, who, woah. I’ll definitely recommend this to my friends, even to my friends’ bosses. Technically sound and solid. =)

8: This one’s got a lot of things to teach us. Enjoyable.

7: Certified movie at its best, in its own respect.

6: Well, this one’s going to last (I think).

5: Fair. It’s neither good nor bad. =)

4: Wait, wait, wait. Why are my fellow movie watchers starting to snooze?

3: ZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz… Hey, is it the end of the movie? (Thank G-d..)

2: A candidate for my brain’s trash can. A crap from my own stand point.

1: I’d better see the VCD (or DVD, whatever the case may be) smash itself into the walls outside. It’ll be a better action scene that all of its contents combined.

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 4:08 AM Sunday, March 16, 2008

PRANSISEM WATCH MOVIES Blog
The idea behind this blog came about when I had already a bunch of movies for which I planned to make some sort of reviews. My original plan was to put them all in my favorite blog (which I consider my ‘main blog’) www.pransisem.blogspot.com so that people may be able to browse through the entries.

But as I was going through the boring process of washing the dishes on that particular Saturday night, I thought it would just crowd the blog site if I am to put all of my write-ups there. It would also cover those themes or entries that I want to be on the top, so to speak. And so there was this click in my mind, sort of light bulb lighting up and finally decided why not put up a separate site where I can devote those movies reactions/reviews/whatever-you-call-it.

And voila www.pransisemwatchmovies.blogspot.com!

So here it is, naïve and novice as this may seem, I find this a good outlet of my thoughts on movies I get to watch. I cannot deny that I am oftentimes fascinated by how well plots of movies are laid out, or how good the effects, graphics, dialogues, scenes among other are executed. My mind seems to be set into this process of immediate disposal of feeble thoughts. That’s why I realize this need to put them into paper (or type them on the keyboard) so as to obtain a comprehensive review of them in the future. (Yap, it seems that I am in an unpronounced phobia of forgetting things about myself and or my past and hence, the addictive process of writing about virtually everything). Anyway, enough of these prologues. =)

To those who may chance upon this site: You are more than welcome to leave comments here (I have set this site so that any people, even those who do not have any Blogger account, can still leave some messages). There’s a great deal to be learned about movies I think, in relation to reality or about the reality of fantasies.

Thanks!

+pransisem+

[Cool Sites]
www.pransisem.blogspot.com
www.emralino.blogs.friendster.com/my_blog
www.uplb.edu.ph
www.spp-online.org

Posted by PransisEmWatchMovies at 8:03 PM Sunday, March 9, 2008

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pa-siyam: Gloria's 9th SONA, let's make it her last


From ARTISTS’ ARREST: Artists’ Response to the Call for Social Change and Transformation

Kapag may pa-siyam, nagluluksa at nagdarasal ang mga namatayan. Ngayong paparating ang ika-siyam na SONA (State of the Nation Address) ni Gloria sa July 27, magluluksa at magdarasal din ang taong bayan, nawa'y umalis na sa poder ang reyna ng kasakiman!

Iisa ang eksena saan ka man tumingin sa kasalukuyan. Parang palabas at mga bida sa tv na iisa ang ipinapakita. Isang driver na bumubuntung-hininga sa kawalan ng pasahero, isang snatcher na nag-aalibi na napilitan lang siya para may ipambili ng anti-tb na mga gamot para sa kanyang one year old, isang nanay na nagmumulti-tasking para maka-score ng instant noodles na ipapakain sa anim na anak.

Nakakabahala.

Magpaka-partikular tayo, 1,242 ang tinanggal sa NFA, 1,750 sa Fujitsu Ten sa Canlubang, at 392 sa Intel Corporation. Ang ipinagmamalaking BPO industry ay nanganganib na magbawas ng 90,000 na empleyado.

Mahaba pa ang listahan ng tanggalan.

Subukin nating pumasok sa mga tahanang walang maibili ng mahal na gasul, sa mga naputulan ng linya ng tubig at mga naka-jumper.

Maglakbay pa tayo sa kanayunan, sa mga magsasakang problemado dahil wala na siyang lupang mabubungkal.

Hindi maitatanggi ang laganap na kahirapan. Kahit saan. Sa loob ng mahigit walong taong panunungkulan ni Gloria.

Maitim na balak ang nalantad sa atin noong hatinggabi ng June 2, desidido ang reyna na manatili sa poder lagpas 2010. Niluto ng kanyang mga galamay sa kongreso ang pormulang HB 11059 na magpapalawig sa kanyang termino...ang CON-ASS (Constitutional Assembly).

Ibinukas na ang pintuan para sa Charter Change na mula pa 2005 ay ipinipilit na ni gloria. Sino nga ba ang hindi maniniwala na hindi term extension ang isa kanyang motibo?

Mag-rewind tayo ng kaunti: “I will not run for 2004 elections,” pero tumakbo siya at pagkaraan ng isang taon, nabuking ang Hello Garci Scandal, sinabi naman niya “I am sorry,” ganun-ganun na lang. Kamakailan pabiro pa niyang inanunsyo “Who knows, I may run for Congress in my hometown,” maniniwala at magtitiwala pa ba tayo sa kanya?

Bagama’t kinikilala natin ang kasiglahan ng eksena ng arts and literature sa kasalukuyan, pilit pa rin nating hahanapin kung nasaan ang mga artista sa ganitong panahong nililigalig ang ating bayan.

Malikhain ba nilang sinasalamin ang mga pangyayari sa ating lipunan?

Sa ganitong pagkakataon, ang Artists’ Arrest (Artists Response to the Call for Social Change and Transformation) ay maglulunsad ng isang kampanyang kontra Charter Change, kontra CON-ASS, kontra-SONA. Ang “Pa-siyam: Gloria’s 9th SONA, let’s make it her last”, ay katatampukan ng musika, pelikula, tula, litrato at sining biswal na sasalamin sa tunay na kalagayan ng bansa at damdamin ng mamamayan. Bahagi at Kaiisa ang kampanyang ito ng mas malawak na pagkilos ng taong bayan na LAKBAYAN ng MAMAMAYAN mula July 21-27.

Sa pamamagitan ng paglahok at pakikisangkot ng mga artista at manunulat sa mga isyu ng ating bayan ay higit na nagkakroon ng kabuluhan at papel ang arts and literature sa pagbabago ng ating lipunan.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Schools Within


A day of visit to some of the schools in our city enabled me to see the different faces of education, at least within the city level.

It was not suppose to be a surprise to us, but it was nevertheless still appalling to see that there are still cases of students having no classrooms at all. Exposed to the roaring sounds of the vehicles on one side, the noise of the rest of the school on the other, there is literally no shield from distractions. On one case I saw a teacher chose to give her students an assignment instead just to finish the class already in disarray. I was asked to speak to a class placed at the school stage for the announcement of our activity, and I knew already the moment I starting speaking that it was no joke speaking in such an open place. There were teachers I know in some of the schools but I could see that they are already used to this and I feel that they have already fathomed the intricate issues of this scarcity of the most important things in the education sector.

Then there is the instance where we saw an educator strongly firm in her belief that education should not be expensive. Indirectly, she said to us that UP education is still a very strong motivation for students to take the UPCAT but with the large chunk of value (read money) added to the tuition fee, many of students opted not to take UPCAT anymore. There is a flaw in what she said because I could feel that she was actually saying that it is better to stay in their school (their school has a college actually). I don’t think that the high tuition fee in UP prevents ANY fourth year high school student to take the exam. It is only actually on a personal level; it is you who will decide if you are eager to enter UP. That school may have offered as big as 70% discount for their students just to pursue higher education there. But no amount of discount from any school would equate to what UP could offer to its aspiring students. It must go without saying that indeed there is a big difference if one would pursue education in UP. (The problems within UP as an institution is of course another thing).

There are still a number of things we were able to observe in our school trips – from the idiosyncrasies of the teachers and principals, to the behavior (both annoying and worth taking notice) of the students – but I think the principal ones are those I mentioned above.

Resting later in my house and talking to a teacher of these observations, I realized again (perhaps stronger this time) how noble (and I say noble) indeed a job of a teacher is. Because whatever motives a teacher has in entering the teaching force, there is always an element of service in their work. They are already taking part in that very important work in the community, and that is to help strengthening one of the keys to our growth and development both as individual and as a nation – to educate the people.

(More than thrice on that day of school trips I thought of pursuing a career in teaching, hehe.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Meiday!


Purveyor
in cooperation with
Love Another Studio

presents

GO AHEAD PUNK,
MAKE MEIDAY!!!

July 18, Saturday, 6pm
Cubao Expo, QC
Free Admission

The Wuds
Itchyworms
Pedicab
The Dorques
Ciudad
Halik ni Gringo
Ang Bandang Shirley
Filterfilter
Arigato Hato
Markus Highway
Gorgoro
The Lowtechs
The Purple Chickens
Outerhope
Techy Romantics
The Discoball
Swissy
Sunflower Day Camp
The Charmes
Only Revolutions

Donation boxes will be set up for school supplies, textbooks, uniforms, for kids of Isang Bata Foundation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

On the (Possible) Horrors of the 2010 Poll Automation



A canvas of hope was bared to the Filipinos when the news of the poll automation for the 2010 elections was heard. It was actually already being processed much earlier, taking its first pilot testing during the ARMM elections just recently. All was seemingly running alright – the passing of the bill, the bidding, among other, until…well, until the ‘misunderstanding’ that surfaced between the partners that is suppose to provide the mechanism for automation, between SmartMatic and TIM.


The past week really got me worried, seeing the dissolution of a personal hope to at least reduce the widespread fraud during elections, especially during ‘manually-operated’ elections. COMELEC almost conceded to the inevitable fact that we might be going back after all to the manual one if these two companies would not be able to settle their ‘misunderstandings’. Friday came and at least, and I say at least, poll automation would still be underway.

But this sudden dent in the processing of the said operation for our election severely puts the whole automation process in a terrible doubt. Why, after all the harrowing bidding phase, would companies screw things up now in a very suspicious reason as money (this, of course, being the one of the reasons released by the media)? Money talk inevitably leads most of us to the ‘backstage’ activities of the present administration which could possibly making deliberate moves to weaken the poll automation (where, possibly, people such as Garcillano and her ‘lady boss’ would not be able to do much). But it gets more complicated when the opposition was also accused of having a hand in the recent problems that confronted the process of automating the elections. Again I say it is a good thing that things are underway now but still, doubts loom onto this issue, not in the least is the possibility of hacking.

With a computer system, one particularly powerful person (with money) could hire another to infiltrate the system and therefore manipulate the counting process of the system. Impossible? Nah. Entirely plausible. With the way things come up now of how hungry some of politician out there, I would not be surprise if this issue of hacking would surface by 2010. As a physics student, I came to realize that in dealing with such stuff (i.e. computer systems) a small action could result to drastic or perhaps devastating results (i.e., the manipulation of the results, of the numbers).
The suggestion of releasing the source code of the system to be used in the automation is a good one as it would give the general public the chance to actually look into the workings of the system. (I would leave out now the problems of having the source code studied by possible hackers; I’d be too much of a pessimist now if I to pursue that line of thought). Let me just confine myself to the good sides of having the code of the system publicly-accessible.

In the next months we will see how our officials (especially the COMELEC) would tackle the preparation for the automation. With the public getting more and more vigilant, they cannot afford to make any hocus-focus anymore and then say “I am sorry” later. Elections should not be a race for power but instead an intelligent process of securing our future as a nation. The basic idea after all is to have officials who would serve the people. Nothing else.

photo from tiscali.co.uk