Sunday, April 28, 2013

Take Your Pick - Trapo or Bimpo

Since election day is just around the corner, two of the popular hashtags trending in some microblogging sites are the "trapo" and the "bimpo".

If we analyze the profile of political candidates running for certain positions in any level, there seem to be a nominal variable, if you want it the statistical way, that divides them between two: the trapo and the bimpo.

Trapo literally means a filthy rag, but it is actually a clipping of the phrase "traditional politician" or those old time candidates who rather look candidates for retirement but still fishing for another chance in the politics.

Trapos are candidates who are experienced enough as they have been in the politics for long. They have learned the ropes of politics so well that they know what stratagem and tactic - usually dirty - to use in every circumstance they might encounter while in the course of courting the voters.

Bimpo explicitly refers to a wet towel, but is actually an acronym of "batang isinubo ng magulang sa politika" which roughly means a child pushed or forced, whether they like it or not, by a politician parent to follow the world of politics. 

Bimpos are trained by their parents who wanted to pass on their helm to them. Sadly, although not all, the bimpos usually serve as puppets of their parents. In other words, there are those bimpos who do not have backbone to make decisions based on their own judgement and tend to side to the ideals of their families.

These candidates trying to win our hearts are equally hungry to take their seats in the government - for good and evil motives - which is why we need a wise evaluation of our vote list come May 13 Election Day.

Our politics is dirty enough. Every wise vote counts.

Who are the trapos and bimpos you know?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vigan for New 7 Wonders Cities

Just a note to say.

If you haven't cast your vote for the New 7 Wonders Cities, then this is your chance to show your reasonable support for our cities to qualify for the next phase.

I am not putting down other Philippine cities nominated, but if I would be asked which one of our cities I would like to enter the next cut, I would not think twice about the awesome city of Vigan. 

I haven't personally visited Vigan but I am constantly awed by its charm and glory. No other city in the region can match its material allure and rich history.

I think Vigan is the best preserved colonial city in the Philippines. It is very famous for its unique architecture that fuses local Oriental design with colonial Occidental architecture - a beautiful antithesis that is nowhere to be found in the world.

Materially rich aside, its landmarks like churches, plazas, houses and streets speak of so many stories of the past. It is a living museum that transports one to the old centuries back when the city was a center of religion, politics, economy and culture.

If I would to live in the past, I would love to experience Ciudad de Vigan.

The 28 Official Finalist Candidates in the New 7 Wonders Cities campaign that garnered the highest votes will be chosen on September 7 of this year.

The same organization was responsible for the New 7 Wonders of Nature where our very own Puerto Princesa Undergroung River was hailed as one. Remember during the selection, only one entry with the highest vote was chosen per continent.

To vote for Vigan and other cities directly, please visit the official website in this link here

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kioskmood Carenderia?

Last night I tried traveling without moving spatially. This was made possible through the use of Google Maps; thanks to the ever rapid technological revolution that we are having now.

After going to favorite destinations, I went down the memory lane of my alma mater - the great Mindanao State University - General Santos City. I was wandering among its landmarks like the H Building when going a bit further BA Square I saw the famous kiosk that perhaps every MSUan like me know so well.

Yet what surprised me was the name labelled on it. As an MSUan, perhaps I partly understood it. But why KIOSKMOOD CARENDERIA?

Kioskmood Carenderia as viewed from Google Maps satellite.

The said kiosk is operated by an Ilonggo speaking woman who is huge enough to carry all the burdens of the world with her apron. She seems quiet and serious, which must be the reason why she looks like she frets all the busy and not busy times.

Fretting in Ilonggo translates to "kusmod", which could have later started the monicker of the kiosk. Probably the bright and humorous MSUans blended the words "kiosk" and "kusmod", and viola!

But of course, it was never officially named or called Kioskmood Carenderia. It was more like an open secret among the MSUans ourselves. That would have incensed the corpulent owner of the kiosk, and I am sure the plates would have turned into flying saucers.

Our bubbly friend in the group usually cracks jokes at her which we all ride in. Those were the only times I remember her giving out that expensive smile. That would earn special favors on our group like "paaman" or extra viand for free.

The most selling delicacy, not necessarily the best, is the lumpia that is twice bigger than the ordinary lumpia. I don't like it though but it is loaded inside with lots of veggies that MSUans turned it a viand rather than just a snack.

But more than a place where one can find cheap foods, the kiosk has become a symbol of life in the university. Among the tall golden durantas and shady nem trees, the kiosk has virtually seen the different communal things that every MSU student typically do.

It is a place where one can see almost all types of MSU students who meet in different numbers and different causes. There are those individuals who read handouts or books like quiet mice in the corner, those partners who talk in hush about ministry life or romantic matters, or those circles who regularly meet for activist issues or friendship blues.

The Kioskmood Carenderia, as etched in the Google Map, is like a piece of a puzzle. One's college journey in MSU would not be memorable without a stop in this little spot in the university.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Soft Soap

SOFT SOAP, aside from our literal understanding, is a figurative expression that means a flattering talk.

As I have post scripted in a previous article I wrote in this link here, I am not bitter about desiring to have a white skin at all.

Since its summer, I and my friend beat the afternoon heat by wandering around the mall. We stumbled across this stall of purely beauty products.

"What is your best whitening product?" I queried.

"This soap is good." The young sales lady gave me a white soap.

I took the soap. "How does it take effect?" I further asked.

"Notice your skin peeling a bit off after bathing," she replied.

The sales lady, believing she delivered a convincing spiel to a potential customer, thought that I would be impressed with the instant whitening effect that their product can do.

A drama lit up my head. "Is there no more harsh than this, like a soap that would peel my whole self off as a snake leaving all its skin behind?"

She essayed a laugh.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hello, Summer Reading Camp!

I am both fortunate and at the same time challenged as this is my first time to be a camp mentor for a literacy program in our school.

The aim of the program is mainly to intervene children who have difficulty in reading. Stressing the importance of reading, we all know that without reading ability, many areas of the academic life of children are hindered.

During our first day of reading camp, we assessed the reading abilities of the children to know the baseline where we will start our reading intervention. Surprisingly we observed that most of the children, even intermediate graders, failed to produce a sound given a specific visual symbol of the letter.

Such problem has roots not only to the usual lack of parental support, but also to how the teachers educate the children.

Sometimes teachers tend to misunderstand the developmental aspect of reading that they keep on teaching how to read a word without visual imagery and part analysis of what really comes out the mouth on the part of the children.

Reading, not parroting.
At other times, because reading is a very complex skill to develop and can be an intricate area to teach, teachers usually fall short of perseverance in developing children to be readers of their own.

Which leads to haphazard learning for the children.

It takes tons of patience but I hope that while taking this endeavor as a new journey for my teaching career, at the end I will 
most importantly be able to tap the reading abilities of the children to the fullest.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Girl on Fire

So beautiful Isabel Granada. Click the image to view the video.
I don't know why but I just can't get over Isabel Granada and I have been whistling 'Girl on Fire' which she sang on a local talent show for her death defying fire dance a week ago.

I am not an avid follower of her projects, but I just so love Isabel Granada. I don't know but sometimes I get weird like this. Maybe there are just people in this world created with oozing facial value that one can't stop looking for nth time.

Aside form the skate and fire stunts that wowed the judges and audience, I was also amazed by the quality of her voice. It was the first time I heard her sang although I found out that she had already recorded songs in the past.

Isabel Granada is aptly a girl on fire. I hope she will be more visible on local television soon. A talented artist like her deserves a space and a break.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Crown

For the first time in my life, I had my crowning glory colored!

Actually, having my hair dyed has been a wild idea a year ago. However, I always took it with a grain of salt. What if I don't look good with it? But I thought a good beautician translates to a good hair make over.

Just before my M.A. graduation, I went to a referred beauty parlor. I wanted a hair color that isn't so obvious, so I imagined a dark brown color. The beautician gave me a brochure with hair color models. I never thought in the world there could be dark brown, darker brown and darkest brown. I chose the superlative degree.

After over an hour, there I was looking at my new crowning glory in the mirror being dried. I wasn't really convinced it's dark enough until my landlady in the corner said that it looked good with me. It's funny and evil though but I usually bring my landlady with me for second opinion purposes; the mall treat is given, of course.

I have some of my friends who barely noticed my new hair and others of them didn't at all. Among my friends who noticed, I should like to divide them into two.

The first are those who I know are die hard as huge members of a fan's club no matter what scandal their most cherished star might go through. They said they like my brand new hair because it's making my aura more glorious.

On the other hand, the second are those who I know are my chums in life and are just open enough to speak up their minds. They said my new hair had me look more matured and I am better with my simple black crown.

To crown or not to crown?

Today I attended a seminar with selected teachers in the district. I was about to go off when I heard my name. One teacher told me she likes my hair and that I looked bright with it.

I thought and said: We are nurturing children in school for bright future. And that brightness ought to begin with us.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Me and Abstract Painting - Really?

Alright, here I am trying so hard again. I have no real talent in painting, that I surely know. But I would like to share some 'work of arts' I did three summers ago. In the following images of my work that I posted below, I included captions to justify myself. Yikes.

I can say that arts can sometimes be a matter of luck and destiny. I mean sometimes it's how the combination of paint colors turn out no matter how much artistic effort you draw in it. I jokingly claim that most of my works are abstract - to be safe from an artist's perspective on perfection.

The processes in making them are actually just simple that preschool kids can do it. If you've got nothing to do this summer, you can prepare a rim of your paper canvas for a colorful fun!

Blot painting: Life is meant to be shared.
Fold the paper in half horizontally and then unfold. Begin to dot the paint on the paper. You can do it in drops of different sizes, but remember not to get too much paint if you don't want a too messy work. After dotting the paper, fold the paper back and press with your hands. And lo behold, unfold again! 

Finger painting: Clean the air, wash the water.
Instead of brush, why not fingers? There are no exact rules to finger painting. Choose your color and dip your fingers into a cup of paint. Smear your fingers in any shape, line and direction you desire in the paper canvas. Take time, and presto!

Bubble painting: Love is like circles. It is forever because it is never ending.
Gather empty cases of bubble toys. Fill each case with a water solution of soap and dye of desired color. Blow and pop the bubbles on the different angles of paper canvas. And when popping is done, viola!

Yarn painting:  A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Dip a short piece of cut yarn in the paint of desired color. Swirl it around your paper in different sizes and shapes. You can also dribble the yarn randomly with different colors. When desired amount of artistic messiness is enough, eureka!

Marble painting: When love and hate collide.
Fit your paper canvas inside a box, a shoe box or gift box. Dip two to three marbles in each paint color. Scoop out the marbles and drop them inside the box. Shake the box in different sides to have the marbles roll inside. When you're finished, check out your masterpiece!

Convincing enough? I hope you somehow enjoyed. I am thinking of putting them in frames someday - if that is not too ambitious. Laughs.

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Day of Valor

I must be brave enough at this point to admit that I have a lot fears in my life. I used to consider myself a lame duck with heaps of emotional fixations within me. I always dreaded to step out of my comfort zone and face new challenges of life. There were the times when I just wanted to crawl inside a hole and forever disappear.

But slowly I am realizing that life is a risk and not even the things that scare me should stop me. 

I learned that being brave is knowing that things will change one day and that things ought to change... that being brave is unbelieving fake people and walking away from them... that being brave is landing on my feet and moving again for what I want in life... 

That is, to me, the most remarkable lesson I learned - to keep valor in a heap of fears and pains, uncertainties and apprehensions. 

It has me thinking - maybe it isn't loosely wet duck feathers at all... but tightly woven phoenix feathers, blanched pink in the sun. I feel like dusting off these feathers and charting the skies.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You're Not Alone

I have a very few of favorite poems and I  attempt not quite often. The following poem entitled "You're Not Alone" which I wrote for an assignment back in college is actually a reply to a very touching poem entitled "Alone" by Maya Angelou which you an read in a link here.

Thinking pensively
Now tonight
Can I make your soul a home
Where water isn't thirsty
Nor bread loaf a stone?
I believe of the same thing
I know you were not wrong
That nobody,
And nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Hush now, I'm here
You're not alone
We can make it out together.

Soon the born to the purple 
Will know and all the people
That not all in the world
That glitters are gold
And not a doctor's pill
Can ease a heart's ill
And nobody
Yes, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Hush now, I'm here
You're not alone
We can make it out together.

If the clouds are gathering
Know that each has silver lining
And fear not the wind's blow
It can't cut us swathe through
Hear not the moan of suffering
But the call of God in heaven
For nobody
And nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Hush now, I'm here
You're not alone
We can make it out together.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Epic Fail

I recently chatted with a friend, Christy Joy, who is now having a good time of her career abroad. She tagged us in a post about missing us all in our 'home' as college students. She was in the middle of her emotions when I corrected her wrong address of our boarding house in her post. She was kind of laughing at the mistake. How could she forget that memorable place!

She admitted: I fail!

And I said: Epic fail!

Which brings me to wonder about the real origin and meaning of 'epic fail' as an expression. Sometimes I use too many expressions that are not really part of my vocabulary. These are something that I readily hear anywhere but not so common yet.

I googled to find illumination on this but it seemed that all sites point out to the same introductions that the origin of the expression is not clear although there seemed to be an agreement over what its meaning.


The word epic, in literature, is a long type of poetry that talks about a surpassing adventure of a culture hero. It may mean wonderful and awesome. In an extended interpretation, it may also mean something of enormous magnitude or significant effect*.

Based on Urban Dictionary**, epic is a word whose definitions and applications have been raped to death by the younger generation. It has been overused as a catch phrase to refer to a particular person, thing or event taking synonymous to 'shit'.


We all know what the word fail means. Literally speaking, it may mean to become deficient in any measure or degree. In popular culture, this term though is often used as a quick phrase to express derision or disappointment*.

According to Urban Dictionary**, fail is an interjection that one utters to disapprove of something.  It may also be a verb that approximately means the same as 'suck'. The word might have originated from younger generation who put bad reputation on online gaming and shout 'fail' everytime one makes a slight error.

Epic Fail.

The combination of these two words is an exaggeration to itself. Having defined those words, epic fail may essentially mean screwing up in a large scale or losing to a great extent*. 

Urban Dictionary** puts 'epic fail' this way: A mistake of such monumental proportions that it requires its own term in order to successfully point out the unfathomable shortcomings of an individual or a group.

I first heard of the expression some years ago but I really never bothered to use it in my social circles. And now I'm beginning to adopt it as an expression of mockery whenever someone commits a blunder, loses a game, fails a task, or makes a flop.

*Disclaimer: This is not for scholarly use.
**Credits: Urban Dictionary.

Fake People

Fake people don  social mask.
Urban Dictionary defines fake people as persons who are not genuine and will do whatever it takes to make themselves look good. They take part in hypocrisy; they change their personality to fit to a certain group.

Alright, pardon me while I rant a little about fake people but let us face the grim truth of life. Human beings are naturally born performers - actors and actresses in this big stage that Shakespear called world. In a nutshell, people are just fake.

I have a lot of sorting of friends in my life and I have met a few of them who I later realized were wolves in sheep's clothing. They usually don a complete good character to cover up the pessimist, bitter and envious pile of persons they truly are.

Sometimes I wish not to see those masked faces, but the more they are always on my dash. People will always know people, and the worst part is I am always pushed to keep nice to them who are trying to kiss my ass. These are the times when I want to hang their faces in the wall and punch off those fake smiles.

But then I realized lately that treating people despite their being two faced is not being pretentious; it's called manners. I have to grow up to know that manner matters all the time regardless of what kind of person we deal with. Yes, it's like a bitter pill to swallow but that's where the thin line divides between being pretentious and having manners. 

Sometimes that is a hard truth to accept. I have to forgive myself for hating them but I should not forget my lessons. I cannot deny to myself the dislike I have towards fake people in my life but I always remember that I must not step down their low profiles. So, like, smile back to them and silently say: Don't feel nice, you're the biggest moron in life, don't you know?

I am done hanging out with people who came off the factory line of plastics. I know not a lot of friends, both true and fake, who regularly lurk on my blog posts, but I am sorry for those who have to read this. I guess I just need to get it off my chest. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Mystery of Smile

But behind a smile, there can be a lot of things.

A smile could mean that someone had just found a nice surprise, had just heard an awesome joke or had just seen a beautiful inspiration. People smile because they want to express their amusement or happiness.

On the other hand, there are also people who overplay their sadness with a smile. They are the ones who can't risk to show their vulnerability. They are afraid of life so they step back and smile as if nothing is wrong.

A smile could also be a form of game. People are naturally performers. People can smile in a camera and present themselves as serene people to the world, but in reality they are lonely, broken and screwed.

Some naughty people in many social sites modernized this ancient
painting. After spooking, this is Mona Lisa after a day of  internet surfing.

Perhaps the most mysterious smile that had all the poets and scholars around the world wondered is that of a work of art called Mona Lisa. It has been said that its artist Leonardo Da Vinci, due to his obsession and compulsion, took painting the lips for 10 years! 

I see a lot of people down the street smiling everyday, but I can't be sure of what they really mean.

And well... I am smiling right now.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

MSU GSC Class 2013

The past two days of graduation activities has been a fantastic way for me to mark the two years of my M.A. journey. It gave me the opportunity to celebrate another milestone in my life with family and friends, classmates and mentors. The gown and cap and hood are such poignant tradition that filled me with happiness as I finally reached that end road...

Only in MSU GSC: That giant fan to ease the heat inside the gym. :-)

For this year, the speaker for our baccalarueate was Atty. Eufemio A. Simtim, a 32-year old accomplished MSU GSC alumnus who practices his law profession in the City of Koronadal. We heard oh's and ah's as his biography was read. On top of his academic achievements, the delight of the female species in the house when it was announced that he is still single. His speech was well crafted, an encouragement to make a change to the big world that awaits before us!

The awarding came next. For this year, a Cum Laude from the College of Education topped the graduating class. We were talking at the back that the honor list this year was surprisingly short. We were kind of expecting of higher honors especially from the Accountancy and Engineering courses. That, it seemed few years back, gives the real batch buzz. 

After the baccalarueate program, we had a brief rehearsal, or should I appropriately say a brief orientation of what to expect for the graduation the next day, like when to perfectly stand and clap and sit, etc. It was really our first and then the last practice for the big day. Things that I can say - only in MSU!

So, from the gymnasium, we walked to CSSH Building from where we thought a glitzy yearbook pictorial was happening. But, alas, not even a shadow of camera! A staff boy inside directed  us to a certain SSC Building near the lady's dorm. At first we hesitated because all we knew is that SSC used to share building only at the Office of the Student Affairs. But oh boy, its been so long and a lot has happened more than four years ago since we set off the portals of our beloved university!

Just a stone's throw away, we were among the first to arrive in the so called SSC Building. Right, it exists and it's cozy though. We were taking a queue to get our priority number for the yearbook pictorial when, presto, the most unwelcome brownout hit the town! Now, it was more FAN in GenSan!

Those smile of feat.
The big day then came as warm as the sting of the bee in the middle of summer - 34th Commencement Exercises - as etched in the big stage of the MSU Gym. After a while of congratulations and pictorials outside, the most awesome rampage towards the gym began. Beaming with pride aside, I felt so tall it seemed I could reach the sky. I heard somebody called my name and I spotted a circle of my past mentors in the college who were waving and smiling to me in a corner.

It took an ounce of patience to really endure sitting. The longest part of the ceremony was the distribution of diploma. That was when each of the college dean called out the names of the graduates. It was in the middle of it when the program was cut short to pave way for the arrival of our lady commencement speaker. The university officials met her at the gym portal in a festive manner.

Our commencement speaker doesn't have a name that rung a bell to many. She was Hon. Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles, the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process. She had gray hair, but strong and active at that. She transported us back to the communal events that makes GenSan and Mindanao our distinct home. And then she talked mostly about the future and what we, the graduates, might do to build a country that loves peace.

The diploma distribution went on after the speech. Lucky were the graduates of College of Engineering who personally shook hands with the grand mademoiselle as she personally handed the diploma to them. When she was sent off by the university officials, all we could whisper to her was: Peace be with you until then, grand mademoiselle.

Then it simply felt mixed emotions singing the University Hymn before the recessional. I heard voices of relief and joy and pride and victory echoed across the gym. There were shouts and whoops and smiles for the cameras. There were tears and claps and whistles as we all marched out the portals of the university gym...

Real hats off goes to our great university, MSU! Dakilang Paaralan, Pamantasang Mindanaooooo!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So Sick

Hola! It feels so idle. I've been lurking here in my little space from time to time but I just fail to think of a really sensible post to write down. I am still not feeling well due to my dry cough.

Well, aside from not able to drop a line here often, I sadly failed to keep my resolutions. I haven't watched at least one classic movie a month and there are also thick novels left unread in the shelf.

And since I've been feeling under the weather lately, I would like to make a comeback feature about being sick. Although not really a regular on my playlist, I've known this "So Sick" song by Neyo for years. It gives that comfort during the depressive days like these.

Said I'm so sick of love songs, so sad and slow...
Click the image to watch the music video. :)

Enjoy the song, friends! And I hope to get back on my feet real soon!