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?

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Famed MSU Kiosk: Moods and Modes

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.

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.

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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

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. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reaching that End Road of my M.A. Journey

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 of my M.A. journey...

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!