#KwentongLakbayan 2016

October 19, 2016. The day the police rammed over our own people, I was with my Philo 10 class, visiting the camps of the indigenous people in the new CAL building. It was my first time this year to see them.

We were listening to the story of the Dumagat tribe leader, when an Anakbayan member showed us pictures of the incident on his phone. Pictures of a foot under a police van. I was there when he showed it to them.

It was… as if… time had slowed down. From the moment I saw their reaction… to the moment we were dismissed. The anger and grief in their eyes. It was like molten lava pooling in their eyes – wanting the people they hated to burn, and yet feeling momentous sadness as the hatred coursed through them.

Seeing them, I could feel a hundred thoughts running through their mind. They say a picture says a thousand words, and as we saw that picture, this was mine:

“Why would they do this to us?- Protecting the people who once violated our same ancestors… -What if it’s my friend? Are they okay? Who went to the Embassy? Think, think! – Wait, where are they now? What’s happening there?- Why is this happening to us?! Putang ina! Wait…Will they be safe? ….Will we?”

I called a friend from UP Manila, and he said that his friends were detained, and so were those who were badly injured, and so were the doctors who tried to help them. The police were still watching over them like vultures, waiting for their dead carcasses, excited to bring it to their boss, and feast on their triumphant battle.

I cried in the parking lot.

October 20, 2016. I did not let any insensitive sentiments pass by without them knowing this simple fact: with the freedom of speech comes an acceptance of criticism. I tried to educate as many people as I could, hoping that my voice could be heard in a void full of people who are always just full of themselves.

And I kept going, even if I had faced a handful of criticisms that had gone below the belt more than once, because the voice of the Dumagat tribe leader was echoing deep inside my mind, “You don’t need a college degree to know if you’re in the right. And if you are, then always, always choose to fight.”

October 21, 2016. I used to tell myself that I was a girl on fire, and the spit I received from strangers have doused my flame, but when human rights get trampled on with no care, I promised that I would fight. I don’t give a fuck who would stare.

As I raise my statements to the sky, hoping to attract and catch as many eyes. The broken bones my own people have had to endure had become my dried wood, and the police’s denial of the incident has become my gasoline. The friction between the police van’s tire against asphalt became the match that sparked my anger. I am so sorry. Blood had to spilled, just so eyes could be opened.

How many more gallons should be splattered on the ground before we finally receive what you’ve already had since the day you were born?

October 26, 2016. I didn’t know they were about to leave so soon. I went as soon as I could, and talked to a member of the Southern Mindanao tribe. He talked about the mining in his land, and most of all, he talked about how thankful he was to be here. Here, in UP Diliman.

That night, we had the Hugpungan, a cultural performance by the different national minority groups. I had chills the whole night, watching children talk of battle stories in front of us, amazed at the bursts of yellow, blue, red, and black all over their traditional clothes. These are children that are deprived of what we call a childhood full of innocence and Disney movies, and instead were given the battleground as their theatre stage.

After their performances, our Chancellor, Michael Tan, and the male and female leaders of the national minorities gave some closing remarks. They said, “We hope that next year, when we come back, we will no longer tell stories of our hardships, of war, and of tragedy. Hopefully, next year, we will bring with us stories of triumph.”

The host announced the different national minority groups for a curtain call. They danced in a circular motion around the stage. She invited our Chancellor to come up with them, along with other respectable leaders. The others started to invited the audience. Slowly, more and more people filled up the stage, dancing freely, chanting, “Ayan na. Ayan na. Ayan na ang sambayanan.” They mingled and merged as one uniting force – senior teachers, people of authority, students, indigenous people, children… All moving in one direction.

I was left astounded as I watched this spontaneous scenario unfold onstage. People of all ages, of different backgrounds, smiling, interacting, despite all odds – because their one goal was finally accomplished. A hopeful ending to this journey full of pain.

October, 2016. I cannot pinpoint the exact date, but this month was the month I found my purpose. This Lakbayan has changed my collegiate experience. The montage of martyrs showed every Iskolar ng Bayan who had not only dedicated their lives to the national minorities, but also died for them. I knew, then, that I wanted to be one of them.

As someone who is determined to become a psychologist, people forget that mental health is not just an issue of the proletariat or the peti-bourgeoise, but also of our national minorities. That we voice out our concerns for the health of the middle class, than the health of the children who have witnessed the burning of their schools, and other unthinkable tragedies, says a lot. I am not saying that we should disregard people who face monsters under their beds, just because other people face monsters with guns.

What I imply is this: do what you must to ensure that the people you believe should have what they must have WILL have what they must have, and I will do the same.

The indigenous people believed that UP Diliman was the safest place for them to stay, and they have stayed in many, many places. In their whole year, we have guranteed them 2 weeks away from military forces.

14 days of peace and shelter for them, in the rest of their 365 days.

14 days of enlightenment for me, in the rest of mine.

And I will not stop fighting until that 14 days of peace, turns into a three hundred and sixty-five.

#KwentongLakbayan 2016

“RE: Filipinos saying we should move on”


Don’t you dare associate heartbreak with socio-political traumas
On top of the reasons why, is that theirs ended with a period; yours, a comma

Never think that your tears over a lover is the same grief victims feel
Opposition led the powerful to send Death to many; your sad songs
Tell about a boy or girl you losed; how can you still

Fall in love with the idea of not remembering? I refuse to think
Only the ones who were wounded would remember the scars; that
Rage will only beget those near the fire, and never those who were afar
God rightfully gave us life, even if this religion was forced upon us by a separate enemy
Even if both a heartbreak and a death are both graced with loss, one was simply a mistake;
The other, a tragedy; we forget what’s at stake –

Made a promise to the future children never to beat them with the same stick that harmed us
Apathy: the one emotion you learn after heartbreak; the one thing you get if you don’t get scarred
Rage beget by those near the fire, are now burning those who are afar
To wound them, to hurt them, to make them feel what they were feeling, this…
Instead of aiming the flames to the ones who held the match, we hiss at
Anyone ignorant, for we’d rather burn whole forests than the one stick that was first lit
Learn from the past, both for heartbreak and traumas, but don’t you dare forget it

Let scars be shown
Accept it
What has happened has happened.

Remember it.

“RE: Filipinos saying we should move on”

Film Review: “Heneral Luna (2015)”


A film review about Heneral Luna, directed by Jerrold Tarog. Heavy spoilers ahead!!

Continue reading “Film Review: “Heneral Luna (2015)””

Film Review: “Heneral Luna (2015)”

A rant on Philippine Shows

There are two things that I’d like to rant about.

  1. Variety Shows
  2. Telenovelas/Soap Operas

Fair Warning: I am a human being, and my opinions might vary greatly from yours. These are my thoughts and I post them in the hopes that we might actually change the way our world is turning. This is a rant, and only just roughly based on truth.

  1. Variety Shows
    One HUGE flaw about Philippine media is that we depend too much on western culture. Master Chef, Big Brother, X Factor, Biggest Loser, The Voice… They’re all just western programs with the words Filipino Edition added on the bottom. How about an original reality for once?But even our original programs aren’t working that well. It’s Showtime, for example. This variety show has segments that need you to pretend to be someone else. These segments are mainly Kalokalike and Mini Me, wherein people have to literally just cosplay filipino celebrities. I mean, really? In my opinion, this is just to boost the ego of said celebrities. It completely loses the meaning of loving yourself. It’s acceptable to cosplay a fictional character because come on. The person is fictional. But to cosplay a real human being – to wear the same outfit, to walk and speak the same way… It’s absolutely ridiculous. Mini Me doesn’t even make sense, either. Because how can a child look like a celebrity. Like I said, it’s just wearing the same thing

    Not only do they make you pretend to be someone else, they also make you follow them and humiliate yourself in the process in the segment Sine ‘Mo ‘To! Like as if their egos can’t get big enough. These madlang people are PEOPLE too. I used to enjoy this segment, but someone pointed out that this segment is just a bunch of famous people ordering non-famous people around. And hooray, you get cash prize for it.

    Another thing about It’s Showtime is its exposure to gays. They have segments like That’s My Tomboy and I am Pogay. I don’t understand why you have one whole segment solely focused on homosexuals.

    Instead of achieving their obvious intention to persuade people that gays are humans too, they’re doing quite the opposite. They make gays act in front of the whole Philippines as some kind of entertainment monkey. It disgusts me. Leave them alone.

  2. Telenovelas/Soap Operas
    There are so many things that I want to talk about when it comes to Soap Operas. I don’t wait around to watch it. It just so happens to coincide with my eating schedule that I have no choice but to watch bits and pieces of it. There so much more that I want to rant on (Mirabella, LuvU, MMK, etc.), but I’ll stick to these three.
  • Be Careful With My Heart
    It really does not have any conflict anymore, other than small ones like Maya’s parents still not getting it on. I see no point to this, except that it hasn’t ended because people still like it. That’s not what TV Shows are supposed to be about!!! It’s not just pure entertainment. A show must have a story. And a story must have conflicts. Conflicts should be solved. Morals should be learned. And it ends with that – with a lesson. What can you learn from this?Nothing’s happening in this show! The family just keeps getting better and better! It’s FANSERVICE. This is a show that never ends, not until the last peron who is obsessed with it stops being obsessed with it. Even fanservice fanfiction has a plot. And they don’t even get paid. 
  • The Legal Wife
    I had an idea for a show. How about a story of a religious lesbian province-born girl who tries to defy the laws of a post-apocalyptic dystopian society and tries to save the world and she turns out to be Lapu-Lapu’s direct descendant. Oh wait, speaking of lesbians, have you ever wondered why there are no LGBTs in Philippine Media? Is it because homosexuals are ‘frowned upon’?The Legal Wife is all about infidelity. That is immensely frowned upon, both by the Bible and the Society, and yet we have a whole show for it. Now, if you can make a show about infidelity – which is directly forbidden in the 10 commandments, so don’t even try to argue about God hating gays – why can’t you make a show about two people of the same gender falling in love in front of the camera?
  • Dyesebel
    Out of all the shows, this one takes the cake. First of all, too much coincidence, as is what happens in every single filipino show. Second, the mermaids swim like seahorses. Awful props and effects. Have you seen Pirates of the Carribean? Even GMA’s Kambal Sirena is better than that. You can’t tell me you’re doing your best when you give crappy designs like that.Third, acting is downright horrible. We don’t see Dyesebel. We see Anne Curtis. Name a Filipino Telenovela wherein the main character is someone we don’t know yet. It’s always some famous hot chic paired with another famous hot-looking guy. They don’t even bother to change the plot anymore. There’s no character development, at all. Every character is so one-sided. It’s as if the writers manipulated the character to match the actors, when ACTING IS ALL ABOUT actors manipulating their emotions to match the characters. It’s so wrong!

    Fourth, it’s a sad replica of The Little Mermaid. And even if it’s not exactly an exact replica, Dyesebel has already been done numerous times by a handful of different beautiful girls. It’s not about the plot anymore, it’s about the woman portraying the character in a bikini shell and a tail. It’s not her performance anymore, it’s how good she looks in it.

That’s the sad thing about Filipino Shows. I wish we can get rid of all of these irritating filipino tropes. Let’s twist things up a bit. Teach people lessons other than work hard, stay true to yourself. And if directors, writers, production managers and film crew staff alike don’t make a difference, then I will.

People think engineering, nursing and business management are more important than other careers like film making or teaching. While the former shapes the future, the latter shapes the society. Films and TV shows shape the mind of each individual – graduates and tambays alike. And if we don’t fix the terrible condition of our media, no matter how advanced our technology is, if our minds are twisted to think that everything I said above is OK… well, we’re in for a nasty future.

A rant on Philippine Shows