17 Again

There was only one reason why I couldn’t wait to see 17 Again.

The movie was obviously relying on his Disney fame and good looks to guarentee ticket sales. The first scene satisfies the expectations of every straight girl/gay guy in the movie, with the camera giving a full, detailed view of AWESOME AWESOME upper body. That shot alone explained why many women lash out on Vanessa Hudgens (even if they project using other reasons. I mean c’mon girls, she’s not that famous and avoids the paparazzi). But the movie dares to go a bit deeper, but still retaining the natural light feel which every comedy is expected to deliver.

Although the basic plotline has been done more than once before, 17 again offers a twist that appeals to the current generation. Mike O’Donnell (adult played by Matthew Perry) is about to be divorced from his wife since high school, Scarlett O’Donnell (Leslie Mann). To make his adult crisis worse, he has no connection at all with his two children, Alex (Sterling Knight) and Maggie (Michelle Tratchenberg). With his life at a standstill, he only wishes he could go back to his senior year, when life was full of possibilities. He is granted this by some twist of fate, becoming 17 again (Zac Efron), using this as his opportunity to get close to his children. An interesting and awkward reconciliation process begins, showcasing Zac Efron’s comedic timing. He surprises the audience by showing that yes, he can do more than sing and dance while playing basketball. He executed the proper awkwardness by showing he can play a dad struggling to get his life back in a 17 year old body. The possibilities are obviously endless with Zac Efron, who has not let the attachment of tween to his Troy Bolton image get in the way of a promising acting career.

All in all, the movie is a good watch, to be shared with your fellow Efron fan girls or even to reconnect with your dad. Although I would have preferred to wait for a download/DVD to be available, but then again, that’s just my empty wallet talking. The cinema wide screen abs made the wallet emptiness soooo worth it.

Last Hurrah

My last written column for The LaSallian.

The greatest lesson I learned from college has no direct relation with my academic, extra-curricular or social life. It is something drawn from all these aspects; its application to be carried on as I enter the “real world.” In college, I learned that the phrase “no regrets” is possible. In order to learn the real meaning of this word, we must exhaust all the possibilities that have been presented to us. We must grab every experience we can get. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking back years from now, thinking “what if?” These “what if’s” are merely echoes of not ever being able to really know what could have been, what was, what will or what is.

Knowledge is the very reason why we start and finish college in the first place. It is more than just assuring one’s self of a better chance at a job after college. It is the time for us to really know where we stand as we transition into adulthood. This is why we should not hold back from the experiences handed to us or available to us in college. If we do not grab them, then one may not discover more about him or herself. Here a few guidelines for making the most out of the college experience.

To those who insist on not partaking in extra-curricular activities so that they may focus on their academics, I suggest you quit this mentality. The four walls of the classroom will get you distinction during graduation but the life lessons you gain from organizational work and meeting all kinds of people are priceless. Years from now, would you rather look back at your many distinctions that happened in a college life empty of life lessons or a handful of memories that helped you mature as a better person? This brings to my mind what my SPO director said about being part of a publication: interpersonal matters in the workplace became easier for her thanks to what she had learned from her non-academic experiences.

To those who join organizations or events for the sake of building up one’s resume, stop it. You’re not going to fool the job interviewer when he/she asks about the 10++ organizations you were part of in paper but never really participated in fully. Be part of the organizations that matter you that you know you’ll be good at, and that you can grow in. A substantial resume beats a long resume because it will reflect in your job interview. Spreading yourself thinly impedes one from truly knowing him/herself. Investing yourself in the right places and experiences allows you to become a better person and understand which situations bring out your best and worst.

Enroll in the classes of the so-called ‘terror’ professors. Terror is usually an exaggeration the reality of having to work hard in order to pass the subject. Some students may get away with 25% “easy 4.0” type subjects in their EAFs, but life after graduation (or even life in general) teaches us that anything (or anyone) worth having does not come easy. In order to get through life with through success, every challenge must be embraced and faced head on. The worth of your grade is proved once it has been applied, not according to what is written on your transcript. The measure of intellect greatly relies on how much hard work has been invested in honing it.

Enjoy. Don’t take things too seriously; get serious when a job has to get done. Make enough acquaintances but trust the right kind of people. Never get too arrogant but be confident enough to know your worth.

***

Humility is a virtue that enables one to come a long way. I’ve come a loooooong way since my first day of school, and I’d like to thank the people who got me to where I am now.

To Jabin and Melai, my fellow tough two this school year in The LaSallian—we’ve definitely had our share of the good, bad, and the ugly. But none of these things would have been enjoyable or bearable without the both of you by my side.

To Jeff and Airi, my two favourite companions amidst the madness of EB work. Jeff, thank you for being my constant source of laughter, wisdom, and tambay sessions. To Airi, thank you for the laughter you bring forth during layout. Eating is so much better with you.

To Crez, Gerry, Jenner, and Johna, for putting your best foot forward in all of your responsibilities. Continue being awesome in what you do. I know all of you will become great in the fields you are aspiring to be part of.

To the love of my life, for being the constant good aspect of my life, for being the man who continues to fight for me and vice-versa—thank you. You’re the reason why I cry whenever I watch the end of Slumdog Millionaire.

To Chessie, Darcy, Ogge, George, and RC, and of course, my darling Samantha, for your priceless company and the endless laughter (and booze) involved. Most of my best college memories were spent with all of you. For sure, there will be more.

To CHUCKIE, the very reason why I got into The LaSallian in the first place! Thank you for the unwavering guidance and constant friendship.

To my high school barkada, for being like fine wine—my girls who simply get better with age. I love you all and let’s create more and more memories in our future.

To my family, for only giving, teaching, and simply being the best.



Last He Club Post, Promise

So the mole says, who gives a fuck, on his attempt to write about my favoooriiitee show, Helium Club.

He brought up pretty good points, such as, no one will really notice Helium Club (considering how bad it is, trailer pa lang). The only people that will bother are those who have friends in it (or are just as self-absorbed) or those who enjoy seeing more reasons to mock it (ie, Gela, Eric and Darcy).

But what irks me the most about Helium Club is not the self-absorbed elitists involved, but the fact ang sayang kasi. Sayang ang: 1. pera 2. oras 3. medium 4. pera 5. oras. 6. pera

There’s an economic crisis, the middle to lower class have hell of a time finding a job/or are underemployed, and these kids still feel like burning daddy’s fat wallet. The elitist culture has existed for years, and it shocks me that spoiled little rich kids still works for these families. How can it? How can you want a child that will just waste your money?

Essentially, it’s just my frustration with money. But then again this is the Philippines. Money has always been our frustration. Money is there, but is either wasted by the corrupt or on the elite’s boredom busters.

More Helium Club Fail

The friend who had linked me to this Helium club madness brought up an interesting point: What if it was merely poking fun at themselves? Should we be really taking it seriously?

Yes, we should. Because that is the problem with pretentious elitism in the Philippines. They take themselves so seriously that their shallow lines and mannerisms need to elevated upon a fake pedestal. Again, it does not solve the problems our country faces. The website insists that it offers an “alternative solution,” saying:

“After all, the Youth of this Nation has been tired of hearing, seeing and witnessing the grim Manila, The Philippines that is highly-publicized all over the World, thanks to the International Press. It is time that we show the other light of this Nation through a Reality Show that talks about friendships and not poverty, night outs and not terrorism and a vibrant urban lifestyle over the usual corruption and street demonstrations that regularly painted the almost-hostile image of this country to the World.”

By stating we are TIRED of hearing about the “grim Manila” means we are not facing the harsh realities of the Filipino. Escapism has become too much of a staple for both the rich and poor–but the rich have the means to escape harsh reality or DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, so that such an image isn’t projected worlwide. The rich have the means, the resources, and the connections to make a big difference in our nation’s plights. We are all accountable to the grim Manila you speak of because we have not done enough to project a decent image worldwide. Of course the International Press will make others aware of our problems. It is the press’ fight against apathy–to let countries with better resources see what they can do help us. But in the end, it is our job to know what exactly needs to be done because we are the grim Manila.

Oh, if you are going to the a ‘satire’ poking fun at these kind of people–do it in a witty way. Check out what Jon Stewart, SNL, and the Soup have done. If you wanna be so smart about it, don’t do it without common sense.

Oh, and if you’re going to defend yourself, at least use PROPER GRAMMAR, structure and get straight to the point. How can anyone take you seriously if you present your ideas like that?!

Do We Really Need Anymore?

1. Watch this.

2. Find someone to rave and/or complain to about it.

3. If you’re raving about it. Do NOT read on.

4. If your brain just splattered on the floor or cringed in disgust, continue to read.

5. WHAT. THE. HELL. The idea isn’t original in the first place. Another show about the elite? Another attempt to make the masses feel like they’re taking part of the ‘glamour’ of designer overpriced culture and clubs? Is this what Philippine media needs? ANOTHER copy cat idea? Oo na, you’re an “online reality show.” Wooooh. Watch me make hanga to the max!

Ano ba. ANO BA. We don’t need another reason for the elite to overindulge on their vanity. It’s a reality show, so you’re just going to follow them around, edit the juicy bits; what substance will anyone get out of it? Trailer pa lang. Anong makukuha ko diyan? Marunong magsalita na parang elitista? Hindi ko yan kailangan. Hindi natin kailangan i-encourage yung culturang elitista sa Pilipinas.

We need something that will make the SMART viewers be in awe at the originality of your concept. We need something that talks about the real problems of our country. You want to talk about the youth in a ‘cool’ but relatable way? Show stories of people who are having a difficult time starting independence because they don’t have a trust fund to burn. Show people who worry about paying bills while being underpaid in their jobs. Show people who end up in call centers after a degree in Math or English. Show people who want to make it on their own, and have so many hindrances to beginning independence. That’s reality. Reality that has something relevant to say about us.

Susej would not be happy

So on Holy Week, some families go to the beach. Some stay at home because they have no money for the beach, resting with activities they would usually not do cause of work.

While others, have strange parents/house culture that bans them from any form of ENJOYABLE activity because Jesus is dead. *rolls eyes*

Yes, Jesus dead is devastating. But idle minds lead to sin, and by banning any form of activity, what are you left to do? A friend of mine isn’t even allowed to use the internet!

What really pains me about Filipino Catholicism is the fact it takes everything so goddamn literal. I’m not even talking about people crucifying themselves. At least they have something to do in their time. But people who can’t go out and do anything in order to be solemn?

Faith is meant to be something personal. We will never truly understand its meaning if we understand its concepts all too literally. It becomes a habit instead of something integrally a part of our hearts and minds.

a course on objectivity

If there is one course that my university lacks for other colleges, it is a curriculum/subject on learning the ropes of thinking ‘objectively.’ Coming from a scientific course and having the training of a campus journalist, objectivity has become an integral part of my mentality and action. In science, you learn how to gather data, relying on qualitative evidence that needs to be backed up by the quantitative, and vice-versa. As a campus journalist, gathering details on a news/news features/features article must be done scientifically–gathering the facts as they are. The journalist cannot tamper with the evidence, he/she must only report them as they are. As for writing editorials, the same principle is applied. Your opinions must be based on concrete evidence. Seek the evidence then make your stand. DO NOT make your stand, then filter the only evidence that will back it up.

I have seen way too many instances of the latter in the university and other bigger public settings. The most micro instance was in freshman year, when certain rumoured qualities about myself had spread, leading to my reputation’s temporary demise. However, as true evidence began to disprove opinions based on nothing, my reputation eventually enjoyed a clean slate. (That had to be the most regency way of talking about my traumatizing freshmen year. Kudos to me 😀 haha!) I also discovered friends with more mature minds, who took the time to seek the evidence as the basis of our friendship.

As for my campus journalism experience, it is normal for me to hear feedback on my colleague’s articles about their columns or articles. Persons being discussed (usually, if not often, student leaders), misinterpret the statement of facts as attacks on their acts, instead of taking these as reports of things as they simply are. Same goes for editorials–it is natural for one to disagree with another’s opinion. We are only there to place our arguments as recommendations.

Unfortunately, subjectivity’s ability to mask its very nature of lacking reliability is masked by rhetoric. Yesterday, my parish church decided to use the homily as its time to present its stand on the reproductive health bill. I ended up spacing out as I was in the mass to hear about Jesus’ passion and death, and not politics.

But it wasn’t the fact I am for the reproductive health bill which disgruntled me. It was the misuse of the homily and the presentation of its arguments. Let me count the ways.

First off, it presented the arguments instead of showing actual evidence of the bill’s so-called “anti-Catholic” nature. Instead of QUOTING the bill, it went straight to saying it is “anti” this and that. It also went into arguments such as it being disadvantageous medically and economically, but not having ANY evidence of it being so. There were no STATEMENTS from doctors or economic experts to back up their arguments.

What offended me the most was when it said that women’s rights, reproductive health, and sex education were merely nice sounding words. These three statements are REAL issues that our country faces, and demeaning them to merely “nice sounding words” defeats what Jesus wanted in our world in the first place. The Church should stop making judgements merely based on their morals and take into consideration the research and experiences of poor families and Filipinas who face the very issues this bill is trying to answer.

So as thinking individuals, let us not form opinions unless we have read and talked to the persons involved. We have no right to do so, as much as we mask our opinions with fancy words and statements. There will be those who will see right through you.