EDSA: The Filipinos’ Longest Journey


1986.
That may be just mere numbers for some, but for me, that numbers are the most important combination in my life. For Filipinos, that means freedom (well, for those who understand the real stories behind). People Power Revolution or EDSA Revolution happened during the time when I was just inside the womb of my mother. I was only one month in my mother’s uterus when Marcos stepped down from Malacanang and Cory Aquino took over the position. A fetus – clueless, ignorant, and just a worthless seed with having nothing yet, not even a heartbeat. Sometimes I would like to believe that I am lucky for not having the need to experience those hardships during the time of Martial Law. I was born in the right time – the time when Filipinos have already won their freedom and done fighting against wrongdoing and monstrosity. But sometimes, I wish I was born earlier. Somehow, I would like to see how it feels like to live during the Marcos’ regime. I am envious of the stories of hardships and success of my fellow Filipinos who were able to live at that time. Some of my friends would say, “I bet you’ll be one of the desaparecidos”. Maybe.

But come to think of it. Has the battle really ended in 1986? Filipinos may have kicked Marcos out of the palace but the monstrosity and greediness in the government continued like a contagious disease. I may not have been born during the time of chaos but I keep seeing the things that our folks have tried to conceal to our generation. The corruption, deception, aggression, and horror of the past years. These things continue to hunt the present generation but the society that this generation lives in has become immune to the wrong political culture and mistaken constructed reality.

25 years.
Time passed so fast. Yesterday, people were just shouting for their rights and liberty. Today, we are the ones benefiting from it…but not really. In my 25 years of existence in this world, I’ve seen the whole system. I observed, evaluated, and got dismayed by the irrational actions, illogical decisions, and selfishness of the people around me. Martial Law may have ended even before I was born, but that did not hinder me from knowing everything about the past. I felt the need to participate not only because I am a Filipino but because I believed that I am one of the symbolisms of hope for those who were helpless and lost during that time of chaos. When Cory Aquino sat as the president of the Philippines and the Filipinos who walked and fought for our freedom finally went home, I came out from the womb of my mother. The old trees may have suffered the storm but the new seeds have started to grow – that’s my generation.

Today, with all these corruption issues and incompetence of our leaders, I could say that the generation I belong in failed to maintain the success of our folks. After the tough moments in EDSA, Filipinos let the disease spread once more. Now I wonder where the Filipinos get their strength and motivation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of people power revolution. I wonder if they even look around and see that nothing has ever changed… same faces of cheaters, same national issues and same societal problems- minus the extensive military harassment, of course. This is not to say that I am against the EDSA celebration. I am just disheartened by the fact that we keep on looking back at the past and yet we never learn. After February 25, when the students go back to school after a long weekend and employees receive their bonus for going to work during the holiday, our country will pursue the hearing on AFP corruption, wait for the China’s decision on the three or hundreds of convicted drug mules, pray for the Filipinos who are now in risk in Libya, Bahrain, and Yemen while working hard for their families, hope for the RH Bill to be approved during the plenary session, wait for the updates of the Ombudsman impeachment trial, see the Church and government crash right before our eyes, and wish that no terrorist attack or natural calamity will happen because our country cannot just afford the things that may prevent them. Now, tell me, as a concerned citizen of this country, what motivates the Filipinos to celebrate the EDSA Revolution anniversary if we are still suffering from the same dilemmas that our past generation has tried to won over 25 years ago?

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No explanation needed

So it’s December 6 today, and I’m kinda excited for tomorrow because I’m looking forward to see Facebook gets back to its original appearance, see human faces and not cartoon characters as profile pictures. Please don’t get me wrong, I was once a child too, and I still love cartoon characters until now that I’m already 24 years old. I still watch Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. I still buy items with the images of my favorite cartoon characters. I still hug Spongebob or Patrick pillows. And needless to say, I have collection of more than 300 stuffed toys at home. True story. But few days ago, I was rather mad or sad about this profile-pic-change on Facebook. Seeing your news feed bombarded with pictures of cartoon characters will make you reminisce your childhood and feel like a 6 year old child again. But I found out that there was a reason why people changed their primary pictures into cartoon characters. It was an anti-child violence campaign. And these are the problems.

First, I notice that people conform only because they saw their friends change their primary pic. Of course, it was fun, searching for an image of a cartoon character that had been an important part of your mornings or weekends 15 or 20 years ago. Somehow I feel different when I saw the images of cartoon characters that I used to watch when I was just in grade school…it was like being reunited with your old old friends. And you’ll hear yourself saying “Uyyyy! si Remi oh!!” A homeless boy, who captured your heart when you were in grade 3. Then you’ll smile when you see Eugene of Ghost fighter and sigh when you see Belle of Beauty and the Beast because you’ll remember how long it had been since you last watch them. The problem is, people forgot what the campaign was for. The main purpose of changing the profile pic was to show protest on violence against children. But I wonder if these people even thought how violent their cartoon characters are before making them their primary photos. Most of the profile pictures are images of violent characters… I know some people would agree that some photos used by their friends are images of aggressive characters who fight and kill in the cartoon series.

Second, there are reports that this campaign was not intentionally for anti-child violence at first. The brains behind the campaign just found it hard to persuade people to change their profile pics and eliminate human faces at least for a week, so they make this action ‘for-a-cause’ instead. Reports say that the ones who started this profile pic change are pedophiles which aims to invite more friends specially the young people. They use cartoon characters because children are more likely to accept invites when they see a cartoon character on the profile picture.

These are just reports, and I’m not even sure if they are true, but here’s my point. When we participate in one campaign, it is definitely because we have a wide knowledge regarding the issue. We know what we’re aiming for and know whether our actions will really help or not. Now how are you going to defend those people who participate in anti-child violence campaign but used aggressive and violent cartoon characters as their profile pictures? Are they going to tell us that the main purpose of this action is to show childhood inside each individual through the favorite cartoon characters that we watched yesterday? Are they really aware of what they are fighting for or was it because changing profile pics into their favorite cartoon characters just fun to do? Or because they feel they belong… they “fit in”. Now, what happened to the cause? After December 6, what will happen? Is violence against children going to end? Seriously. Come to think of it, violence against children is a serious matter, everyday hundred thousands of children suffer from physical, emotional, sexual and psychological abuse, but what have most people done to help them? If we want to end violence against children, why not just help those institutions, charities and organizations that continuously do projects to at least lessen this societal/global problem. And now you are proud that you’ve participated, that you’ve changed your profile pic into cartoon characters? Did you even know where this campaign come from? Or at least aware of what might happen when this campaign ends?

Had I known that there will be a serious change after this campaign, I am telling you, I’ll be one of those people who would bombard your news feeds with articles, posts, and status messages regarding this cause. I would be very annoying that you’ll have no choice but to remove me from your friends’ list. I want violence against children to end too and I’m willing to participate in any project that will be beneficial for the young ones. If only I found out that this profile-pic change was just for fun and a game, I would be very willing and very excited to replace my picture with a Tom and Jerry image. Yes, I’m as corny as that.

I’m just glad that I don’t just conform. I am mad that people use serious matters as alibi to have fun… if we want to have fun, let’s just have fun. Let’s do whatever we want in social network sites without using important matters in vain. Of course people would say “Makiuso ka na lang!” or “Walang basagan ng trip!”… and you would just shrug because you’ll realize how insane some people are. They would follow a trend, would say that they support a certain campaign and yet they don’t understand what they are doing. So this is my opinion, an idea that is entirely different from the others’; and they’re right this is a free country and they can do whatever they want, so I guess, I can say whatever I want either.Peace!

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Behind your favorite reality shows

Few months ago, I wrote about the Cheaters show and how much I despise that TV program. Apparently, aside from that show, there are still a lot of television programs that will make you ask what the hell is wrong with the world. Most people used to tell me that I was born to complain… probably. But these TV programs are just so unbearable that I cannot keep myself from frowning every time I watch them.

Perhaps, you’re a fan of reality shows and you love seeing unpredictable moments on screen. Yes, there is indescribable feeling when you see people squirm and you cannot deny the happiness that you feel when something you wanted to happen really happened to that particular character on TV. I won’t deny the fact that I feel satisfied when I see a certain individual faint with so much humiliation. I don’t know if that’s my nature or merely an influence of mass media’s strategy to create a feeling of disgust for that TV character. There’s just something about these reality shows that excite you and make you want to see them even though you’re aware that the producers just created these shows for plain consumerism.

The Bachelor. I’ve seen a lot of episodes of this TV program and with all honesty I still don’t understand its concept. Don’t get me wrong, of course I know the mechanics of the game — the participants or the ladies would compete for the man’s heart, as simple as that. It is a reality TV dating show which revolves around a bachelor and typically 25 ladies, which possibly include the potential wife for the bachelor. But this is not your typical TV series in which the main character selects the humble princess that the crowd wants for the man. Gone are those days when Cinderella and Snow White were the epitome of happy ending love story, The Bachelor is the modern fairy tale that makes women label love as something like a trophy in a beauty pageant. It’s irritating to see women threw themselves at the bachelor, showering him with affection and fighting for his attention. This type of shows does not only degrade women, it also gives a misconception about the whole idea of love and courtship.

MTV The X Effect. If you and your ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend are given an opportunity to be together in one room for one day, what would you do? Sounds interesting, right? But what if you find out that you and your ex’s actions are being seen in the other room wherein both of your current significant others are staying together? It may sound complicated, but these all make the MTV The X Effect entertaining for the audience. I’m not sure which aspect of this program makes it somehow unethical for me. Definitely, it’s not all about jealousy, for me it’s all about privacy. When we say ex, there is always a connotation of the word “past”. The X Effect by MTV is a reality show that tries to either prove that there are still unresolved feelings for ones ex or to prove that people can be very unfaithful in their relationships once they are re-introduced to their ex. While the ex’s are busy getting re-acquanited, their significant others are also at the same resort, but they are hidden and their mission is to observe whatever takes place between the reunited ex’s. Personally, this type of TV program does not help the people especially the young adults understand the importance of trust in the relationship; rather it creates a perfect definition of lust and betrayal. Seeing the former couple reunites and talks about their unresolved issues aren’t the only things to consider because watching people witness their romantic partners rekindle things with old flames makes the show one hell of a crap.

The moment of truth. The Moment of Truth is a dramatic game show based on the ability of contestants to tell the truth, even when asked extremely personal and/or damning questions. The show has raised all sorts of criticism due to its use of a polygraph machine to determine if contestants are being truthful, and because some of the contestants have revealed things about themselves, their families, and their friends that are truly sensational. And what does the gamer get for participating in this show? Cash prize that he or she had gained by answering the questions with yes or no. This is the worst TV show I’ve ever seen. You see, you have to disclose everything in order to win half a million dollar. It’s somehow shocking to see these people let their families break right before their eyes in order to gain a certain amount of money. Apparently, some things are better left unsaid not only because they would tear the hearts of people around you but because some secrets measure you as an individual when revealed in public. What makes the show worse than other TV programs is the idea that it depicts to the audience — the truth can be sold and people are capable of ruining their dignity and reputation with just a certain amount of cash.

I’m not sure if these shows are for real or for reel. Most critics say that these TV programs are not truthful and the scenes are all scripted; however, the ideas and lessons that it show to the audience still determine the importance of ethics and morality in every show that mass media offers to the viewers. May it be truthful or not, the ideas and information that each show provides for the audience will still affect the way of living of not only a single individual but also the whole society that conforms to the information that media gives them.

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P-Noy on the Road, V-Nay in the House

When President Noynoy Aquino was proclaimed as the new president of the Philippines, I somehow felt relieved. I don’t know. Maybe because it was not Joseph Estrada or Manny Villar. To be honest, everything was going fine since June 30 when Pres. Aquino was inaugurated as the 15th president of the country. In fairness to him, everything seems to be what the Filipino people was expecting from him, aside maybe from the hidden agenda inside the government offices that only the high and mighty political leaders are allowed to know. Even though it is still very early to praise the Aquino administration, I would like to commend on the president’s effort to make the mass feel that his administration is entirely different from the previous one, although I somehow feel that Pres. Aquino was just trying to drop and change what the former President GMA had done during her time.

The President tries to reach the Filipino masses and Vice-President Jojo Binay, however, is still busy pampering himself with what the position could give him. P-Noy follows the normal traffic rules and V-Nay beats the red light. P-Noy lives in his home in Times Square and V-Nay wants an official residence. The newly elected Vice President must have forgotten that his request is not provided for in the constitution. We have a spoiled brat Vice President here. We’re just starting and our leaders are already showing inconsistencies. I thought Filipino people have elected the types of leaders that are opposite from those that they couldn’t wait to dump.

Further, I cannot understand why Joseph Estrada has to answer whether the appointed leaders of the current administration deserve the position or not. Which part of the fact that Erap did not serve well in this country these people don’t understand? It’s like asking a fugitive if another fugitive should be arrested or not. C’mon people, move on. There’s a lot of cleaning to do. It’s time to dump the unworthy and unnecessary.

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Folks, it’s a mediated world

My Grandma used to tell me that the world has changed a lot, and I used to frown every time she would say it. I knew then that she would nag whenever she made that kind of statement and it would be a loooong conversation. And now that she is gone, I can no longer tell her that I won’t argue about this topic with her anymore. I absolutely agree with her. It’s a new world. New gadgets, new faces, new culture, and new beliefs – everything is new that sometimes, I, myself, cannot handle it any longer.

If you were born during the 19th century and you’re still living today, every day is a hard challenge for you. You sleep one night only to wake up the next morning in a different place in a different time. Sometimes it’s just so hard to comprehend. But of course, it’s a case to case basis; some people anticipate for this change and even ask for more. In my case, generation left me and I’m still struggling to survive in a world that is familiar yet very strange to me.

Some of my friends tell me that I am anti-social because of how I react to things, but I’m not. It’s just that, in the situation of the society today, I am not a pro-social either. Why?

Facebook becomes one hell of a dump site. Just by browsing your friends’ updates every day, you’ll have the opportunity to either get to know how dumber they are or get more frustrated by how the world lacks sensibilities sometimes. Of which I am pertaining to the nonsense games and applications that you might have probably encountered during your good times in Facebook. Just try to look at your news feed and see the shallow thoughts of people who used to appear really smart in real life but look very immature in social network site. Aside from gossips, you’ll be able to learn all the unnecessary information about them. Of course, having this realization does not excuse me from being dumb either — I have Facebook account, too. What made me different from those Facebook users is that I’m aware that I’m dumb, and they’re not.

There’s more.

I want to kill those people who buy broadsheet but only interested in the showbiz page. Probably you have encountered some of them or maybe, you are one of them. Those people who buy newspapers or magazines because they just want to know the latest news about Marian Rivera or Miley Cyrus. They’re interested to know who the newest lovebirds are in show business and the reasons why certain celebrity couples broke up. And for these people, the most interesting part of the broadsheet lies on its center page – where Sam Milby’s or Taylor Lautner’s huge picture is printed.

Robert Pattinson and Justin Bieber never fail to make my heart beat faster. I just get too excited when I see them on screen that all I wanted to do is to throw the remote control right there and then. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with the world today? What happened to people who take beauty as their religion? Pattinson always looks like he doesn’t comb his hair. Bieber looks and sounds like a teenage woman. Oh please let’s not talk about talent anymore; these two will not pass in the objective qualification of skills, though.

Because people have been exposed with the ugly and disgusting look of aliens in media, God created a newer version. They still look very different but enable to talk and dress like normal people, only in a more ‘creative’ way. You can see them in America’s Next Top Model show or any fashion channels on TV. I hate how media portrays women today, especially the young ones. Look at that unrealistic body figure. Oh did I just say, unrealistic? Well, I have a thin body, too. And when I say thin, that means I am not as slim as those women that you see in product advertisements or billboards in EDSA or pages in magazines. What’s the point of being slim if you cannot even enjoy any food that is available in the supermarket because you’re too conscious that you’ll gain another pound? Heck.

Yes, I’m living under the rock. Now, you may call me an anti-social. Or a kill joy if you want. Just don’t ever try to persuade me to love Lady Gaga and include Twilight in the list of my favorite movies. Goddamnit.

By the way, this is how an anti-social/kill joy looks like.

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To the lady who wears pink, admires Paris Hilton, and knows all the proper combination of make-up and outfits

… this is for you! No, i mean for us. Because we are both woman in today’s society. Since we are living in a post modern world where all the things around us matter and all the simple and big things are always worthy of our attention. I wonder if you will give at least five minutes of your time to listen to this nonsense talk of a person who does not know how to wear off-shoulder clothes, hates high heeled shoes, and prefers to pay attention to politics rather than to the fashion shows on television.

I want to let you know that I admire you for making yourself attractive in spite of many problems that require your cooperation. I am glad that you are still capable of buying 2000 pesos worth of bag despite the economic crisis that the country is facing right now. Sometimes, I can’t help but look at you when you are struggling to stand with confidence in a rocky path while wearing your 4-inch high heeled shoes. I want to hug you when you are wearing a backless dress when its already below zero degree outside. I am very concern with you and your health. I hope you know that.

I wish I could tell you that there are many intelligent people out there who will give you inspiration and teach you more than what you have anticipated. Those people you see on TV and those that are posted on your bedroom wall are undeniably beautiful. They are beautiful. and they are indeed influential because they are able to convince you to wear clothes that portray the exact opposite of your personality. No, i must not say that, because what you are doing right now are the things that you opted to do.

Oops! Don’t get me wrong. I am not mad because you love those things or you admire those people. I am sad, because I know you can think more than that if you want to. You can act in a way that people will respect you. You can talk and make them listen to you. But you are just enjoying the idea that you are a woman which hinders you to do more than what is ordinary.

I may sound insecure in this article. But honestly, no. Being naturally beautiful in today’s society is one thing that women should be proud of. In the world of drugs, needles, and technology, we should be proud that we are able to maintain what God had given us. Natural beauty.The world has been influenced with the marketers’ plain consumerism and the influential demands make us think that being attractive is a necessity. You buy perfume not for its aroma but because of the affection and belonging that you may get by using it. You purchase short and strapless clothes not only because you need it when you attend to a certain event but because of the attention that people may give you once you wear it. These are all complicated. But this is the reality.

Being a woman in a society is beyond the phrases that the society had taught you as you grow up. The world has been unconsciously offering answers and evidences to make you improve and stand with dignity and reputation in this constantly changing environment. Beauty should be seen in every woman. That’s right. You can be beautiful but you can be smart as well. Don’t be just a “woman” in the society. Be a person with own principles and live with unbending determination.

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The ‘Cheaters’ Show

Let’s face it, there are a lot of infidels around the world. Every second, countless of people across the globe cheat behind their partners back and it could be you who are either the cheater or the victim of that infidelity. It has been a societal problem ever since and the cheaters have always been the hottest subject of criticisms and judgmental minds. I abhor infidelity too. I have my own stand when it comes to this issue, in fact, this is one of the issues that I’m telling you, you can never win when you argue with me. But hey, to make the practice of infidelity, investigation of the sinners, and confrontations between the cheaters and the victims part of a reality show? I guess that is another question of morality, not only for the persons involved in the relationships but also for the show itself. I am talking about the show Cheaters. If there’s one thing that I’m guilty of, that is I watched this show for several times already. Well, I watched it not because I want the show but because every scene always surprises me. I even came to the point when I doubt if this show is real, which I mean to say is, if those people really know each other or just act for the sake of money, but somehow I  know how to read body languages, I hope my instinct isn’t failing me.

For those who haven’t seen a single episode of this television program,well it offers help to those people who feel that their significant others are seeing somebody else. They would spy on the suspect (the alleged cheater) for several days. The confrontation would then happen once the client (the victim of infidelity, the one who is being cheated) meets the host of the TV program to show the videos that the Cheaters staff got during the time of investigation. Imagine the chaos when the two parties meet…the violence, drama and all.

I hate this show. I mean, yes, cheating is a moral sin but it’s a very private matter. You cannot ridicule or interrogate someone just because you have the camera and the “credibility” to expose that infidelity. You can see it for yourself, it usually airs around 10pm at Maxxx channel and you may agree or disagree with me.

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