Random realisations

Number 1

I was looking at my old entries especially those that were written before my undergrad thesis days. I noticed how much more beautifully I wrote back then. Each sentence was meticulously written where each word meant something, and when you tied them all together it would create a colourful painting.

Ever since I took poetry class, I integrated my lessons into how I would translate imagery into text. I wanted to paint a picture through senses and emotions. It felt close and personal, and almost voyeuristic.

I think that was my main focus on writing–to provide a direct connection from senses, emotions, and experiences to text. But as I got more and more into research, my writing style started to change.

I was more focused at building a narrative, a coherent story, a journey that would take the reader from point A to point B. Think of it this way: my poetry writing style focused on illustrating a snapshot in time while my narrative writing has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Finally knowing the difference between the two, I have to find a way to join the best of both worlds while making the least compromise. Continue reading “Random realisations”

The Mistake

I’ve always thought that I loved what I studied. International Relations (IR) seemed to be a degree that I was determined to finish with pride. I’ve been so wrong, and it took me two weeks of International Law (INTLLAW) *and a semi-covert day out in Ateneo* to find out what I really wanted. It’s true though, that I love to study. I love to read things that have existed for years, and yet never heard of until I’ve read them. I love that professors teach me things that explain why the world is the way it is. My mind is hungry, so hungry that I forgot that I’m made up of more than just a slab of gray matter. I’ve been so caught up in filling my mind that I’ve completely starved my soul. I realised it the hard way.

Studying INTLLAW changed how I did things. I study way in advance, TRY to finish all the materials needed for the day, then review what I’ve studied; I also have other Majors to deal with. I kept doing this routine, until one day, I just cracked. I broke down from the stress, a pressure that I thought I was totally used to. But the stress from my family meddled with my focus to study, and I couldn’t use academics to deviate my attention away from my family. I was completely bare to the emotional attack that I apparently set up for myself all these years without knowing. I had no armour; I was made of glass instead of the usual three-inch-thick-crocodile-skin. I questioned what I was doing, “Is this what I truly want? Getting an IR degree so that I could go back to where I grew up? Is IR what I would have picked at all?” And the answer is, no. Continue reading “The Mistake”

To H.E. Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing

My professor instructed us to attend a forum on China‘s foreign policy making. She also instructed us to create a paper on it, and here it is.

A Reaction to H.E. Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing

A forum on China’s foreign policy was held last Friday at William Hall Theatre, and the guest of honour was none other than Her Excellency Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing. This forum was held two days after Xi Jinping succeeded as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the highest rank any official could achieve, which was preceeded by China’s current President, Hu Jintao. In all honesty, I was quite surprised that the Ambassador agreed to have this forum when she would most often decline television interviews on the matter of the West Philippine Sea dispute. Most, if not all of us were expecting to hear the Ambassador talk on that issue; although, we partially knew that the forum would not come to that. Tensions are high as they all ready are; I believe that tackling that maritime issue would only ensue more anxiety and degrade the image of the university. There are some details that the Ambassador talked about that came into my attention: 1) the economic improvements of China during its past years, 2) the fact that it is not China’s intention to be a state that expresses aggressive military power, and that 3) China has always been about peace and cooperation with its neighbours. Continue reading “To H.E. Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing”

In Response to Hank Green and the US Election

To which I responded on his channel:

Hello, Hank. I’m a Filipino from the Philippines. And my country and your country have been through hell and back together.

If my history is right, our country was the US’ only colony. Our political system has been adopted from US’ system ever since the Philippine Commonwealth era. During the American colonisation (which happened after the Spanish-American war *the Spanish were our colonisers prior to US*, Spain handed our country to America under the 1898 Treaty of Paris. Then the Philippine-American war [1899-1902] happened) the Jones Law (1916)”…the grant of independence would come only “as soon as a stable government can be established”, which gave the United States Government the power to determine when this “stable government” has been achieved.”

Tydings–McDuffie Act (1934) was a “United States federal law which provided for self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence from the United States after a period of ten years.” We didn’t achieve that independence (although we did achieve independence from Spain’s reign from 1521-1898 on June 12, the Philippine’s Independence Day) because of the attack of Manila Bay by the Japanese, this happened one day after the attack of Pearl Harbour. Japan attacked us because we refused their ideology of “Asia for Asians”, basically they wanted to liberate us from the US, but with Tydings–McDuffie Act in effect, the Philippines didn’t believe the Japanese. After the victory of WW2, the Philippines was left in ruins (since our country essentially served as a battle ground for South East Asia.) Afterwards, the Treaty of Manila was signed with the declaration of Philippine independence from the US in July 4, 1946 (the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese for around 3 years in WW2 at one point.)

From the point when the Spaniards captured the Philippines (1521) until the rule of our former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in his 3rd term (martial law, -1986), the Philippines was one of the strongest states in Asia. When Marcos stepped down due to the EDSA revolution, Corazon Aquino became the 11th President of the Philippines, that’s when our state started to decline.

Basically, the Philippines was one of the strongest states in Asia, we were labeled as a tiger economy at one point. The Philippines is now in a state of “soft-political conflict” between the US and the ASEAN plus 3 and most notably China, over the territories of Spratly Islands and parts of the West Philippine Sea or as the world knows it, the South China Sea. Add to the fact that large companies, personalities and the Church have immense influence in domestic politics. The middle to lower class have very little say, but the recent suspension of the anti-cybercrime law (a retweet that deems as “libel” can get you 7 years in prison) by our Supreme Court, was accomplished through the power of Filipino netizens.

Der Philippinisch Charakteristische

I have Filipino blood. My family is Filipino. My family’s history (pre-birth of me) is very Filipino. Yet there is one thing I cannot understand. When Filipinos face adversity, they always find a way to smile. So, taking a stab in the dark here, most of my readers here might be Filipino, and they know what I’m talking about. But if you aren’t Filipino, I’ll give you a little background.

Currently, Metro Manila is experiencing an extreme downpour, and it’s causing massive flooding. The picture above isn’t a river, it’s in a middle of a city.

Here’s a news article

Here’s a video:

More videos here
For non-Manilans, Recto underpass is a 4-lane (or 6-lane), 3-story deep tunnel. So yeah, that isn’t a canal or a river, it’s a road.

And here’s what some Filipinos do when they have free-time (these are all in the city):

Continue reading “Der Philippinisch Charakteristische”