THESPECTRUM FREEDOM IS EVERYTHING Official Student Media Corps of the University of St. La Salle
VOLUME 56 NUMBER 3 JANUARY 2013
Illustration Joy Marie D. Martir
Editor’s Note Hey, read this!
Six feet under. The very words themselves already connote something macabre and grim; a parody of what it feels to be enclosed in a box, the weight of the musty earth choking the life out of you as your flesh becomes maggot chow and your bones crumble into dust. But before we start crying with the imminent thought of our doom with the theme and wonder why the weirdos from the school pub chose another weird topic for this year’s magazine, come to think of it, do the words “six feet under” only refer to everything that is deathly and downright depressing? Not that we haphazardly thought of it all. We actually have a lot of pending topics here tucked under coconut shells but after some time, we became quite enamored with these three words. It all unfolded like a well-crafted Sherlock Holmes novel. Six feet under isn’t as depressing as it seems to be after all. I will not dwell on the details behind the newly-found facets of this topic; the articles will speak for themselves. Why are villains so evil? Why do children have unseen companions? What lurks behind the university’s dark corridors? How does one embalm a dead body? How do gasoline prices affect us that much? A lot of uncovering, delving and investigating will be done here. We’ve made it all easier for you to do so. To go six feet under is to go beyond what is seen, to plunge deep into where nobody has ever been before and to realize how fleetingly short our lives are. So read on. Then claw your way out…up into real life.
Staff EDITORIAL BOARD Jayrick F. Aguirre Editor-in-Chief
Coleen Edrea F. Ematong Joy Marie D. Martir Associate Editors
Bea Francine M. Rodriguez
Managing Editor for External Affairs
Judy Rose L. Sayson
Managing Editor for Internal Affairs
Adely Grace V. Tomaro Magazine Editor
ABOUT THE COVER A man with disheveled hair and bloodshot eyes sits uncomfortably atop a chair, a solemn look on his face as he stares into the distance. His world is shrouded in darkness and all that lies around him is in chaos. “Insanity” is a term befitting this issue’s cover. There is insanity in each of us to do the wildest, worst, maybe even the greatest, things. But since society binds and shuns that which it does not understand, our wild sides are kept in straitjackets within us, never to be tapped, and buried six feet under the subconscious.
Anna Katrina B. Almalki
Joy Marie D. Martir
BACK COVER ILLUSTRATION
Kurt Steven Y. Soberano Marc Kevin R. Jabay
Jayrick F. Aguirre Joy Marie D. Martir Ryan Ceazar B. Santua Adely Grace V. Tomaro
MAKE-UP ARTIST AND STYLIST
The Spectrum Blitz
After what seemed like several years (just months actually), this issue has finally been thawed out of its ice prison in the South Pole. Though many sleepless nights were spent, delicately carving it out using only an ice pick and several plastic spoons, it was worth it, having produced such an insane issue. The Spectres would like to acknowledge Mr. Andre Tagamolila and the rest of the OSA faculty and staff for signing requests and approving the Spectres’ demands; our parents, for granting us permission to do the oddest things all for the name of this publication; Marc Jabay, our eternal go-to make-up artist and stylist; Kurt Tee for the chocolate coins and red marks on our articles, and to everyone else who contributed anything, be it an article, a photo, a graphic, or a fraction of their patience to help make this issue that you’re holding right now the best that it can be. You are all beautiful butterflies, inside and out.
FOUNDED 1956 VOLUME 56 NUMBER 3 JANUARY 2013 MEMBER
Alliance of Lasallian Campus Journalists and Advisers College Editors Guild of the Philippines The Spectrum is the Official Student Media Corps of the University of St. La Salle. Its editorial office is located at the Student Activity Center G/F, University of St. La Salle, Lasalle Avenue, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental 6100. CONTACT NUMBER
(034) 432-1187 local 172 E-MAIL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of The Spectrum may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Media Corps. All contributions become The Spectrum property and the Editorin-Chief reserves the right to edit all articles for publication.
Carl Mark A. Pat Newspaper Editor
John Dave P. Pido
Asst. Newspaper Editor
Ryan Ceazar B. Santua Layout & Graphics Editor
Anna Katrina B. Almalki Photo & Video Editor
Monica Louise M. Cueto Faith Joeleene J. Lacson Online Publication Editors
Magazine Writers Mark Harmon R. Magbanua Patricia D. Erillo Katrina Trish C. Isiderio Patricia Marie M. Laporno Krimlyn L. Lumawag Newspaper Writers Ken Jee V. Acosta Patricia Mari M. Mijares Roma Jane A. Hechanova Mary Grace G. Monteros Ceejay T. Urbano Filipino Writer Jisson C. Yalong Layout & Graphic Artists Roselyn M. Quiocson Robert Austin G. Salameda Aloe Danica B. Deala Robert C. Dingcong, Jr. Charisma P. Libo-on Photojournalists Johanna May G. Espanola Erick F. Juplo Videographer Eleanor B. Leyble Editorial Assistant Irene H. Severino Publication Adviser Ms. Jean Lee C. Patindol
Contents Volume 56 Number 3 January 2013
60 Years and Counting
Gone But Not Forgotten
Something Eerie This Way Comes
Your handy guide to the latest word mutations. Lights, fireworks, entertainment and celebration; the University pays homage to the past and welcomes the future. The University has certainly undergone many innovative changes since 1952. New buildings, new students and even new uniforms, but what remains the same is a tale of quality education as old as the lot itself. Looking for a scare? Read this article and feel chills go down your spine. Cue creepy sing-song ‘whoo’ voice now.
D.I.Y Fashion is no joke. If you ever have old clothes that seem out of style, never fear! With some scissors, glue, an iron, a little time and creativity, you can turn it into a super suit even Edna Mode would be proud of, dahling.
Making Breaks Worthwhile
Students want to spend their breaks as awesomely and epic-ly as possible. But the problem is, they don’t really know how to. Reading this might help.
Street Food Vending: The Underdogs 15 of the Business World Small businesses continue to thrive despite the rise of big competition in the market. Yes, street food shall live forever.
Mythical Creatures of the Deep A typology of the fictional oddities lurking in the world’s waters.
The Fun in Funerals
The morgue, or the mortuary, serves as a temporary refrigerated storage for the deceased. Who knew there was so much more to it than that?
Gold Diggers and the Other Kind of Gold Diggers There are two sides to a coin. Moreover, there are two ways to actually get coins, or what makes them. Most people dig them up in the dirt. Others have more creative methods.
Are we a Tiger Already?
It’s good to be a Filipino. With the promising 7.1 % growth rate in the economy, you’d wonder how our country has managed to make a dramatic comeback after years of being stuck at the bottom. Find out here.
It’s All in the Name
Let’s play a brand game. The one with the most expensive stuff wins.
Ask A Difficult Question 26 To Beauty has always been desired by man to the point that it has been an unhealthy obsession.
Unspoken Digital Competition 29 The When you immerse yourself in the culture of online and computer gaming, why is it so important to be number one?
55 Chicken Soup for the Villain’s Soul Even villains need a little love.
and Pens 57 Blood When people say inspiration is taken from
the happy dappy little things around us, they absolutely haven’t considered how writers like Shakespeare and Lemony Snicket actually draw their prowess from the damp and dark factions of depression, sadness and pain.
The Art of Staring at the 35 Swinging Pocket Watch
You are getting sleepy… But certainly not because of this ingenious article about the phenomenon that is hypnotism. Is it legit? Or is it another hoax? Read and find out.
Sixth Sense 37 The Delve into ideas regarding the
59 Higit pa kaysa kay Superman, Batman, at Spiderman
Hindi magpapahuli ang mga Pilipino sa mga superhero ngayon. Eto ang mga bayani ng mga epiko ng ating mga ninuno
sixth sense, otherwise known as the extrasensory perception.
Death’s At the Door
When death comes knocking at your house, who are you expecting?
Unusual deaths 41 Famous Dying is natural. These guys, however,
Child’s Illusionary Buddy 43 A Are imaginary friends simply a
had the unusual ways of going to the other side.
procuration of a child’s overly active creative mind or something else entirely?
Calm and Carry On 45 Keep Not another overused meme! Argh! You must be
really angry about this now. Reading this might help calm your nerves and make you understand that temper can be very dangerous and selfdestructive if left untreated.
kind. Read about controlling relationships and how investing in it is like digging your own premature grave.
Still can’t get enough of those word mutations?
Book Review: Always Hiding by Sophia Romero TV-series Review: Smash Music Album Review: Science and Faith by the Script Blog Review: Gnostic Bent Movie Review: Rango Game Review: Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Dolphin Rape and ETC.: When Boregasm Strikes
71 ROLEPLAY Fresh off a tricycle, disheveled and enthusiastic,
and Forgotten? 51 Fallen One moment they’re at the height of fighting
this unlikely probinsyana is determined to blow your minds with her uncanny ability to prove each item on your stereotypical first impression checklist wrong.
for what they believe to be right, the next thing you hear are news reports about their disappearance or worse, their deaths.
When you think Titanic 3D, Finding Nemo 3D, Glee song covers and the like, do you think that making revivals such as these are just ploys to make more money or to relive a wonderful memory?
Some criminal issues were never really solved. Some were buried, forgotten or left alone for long periods of time instead.
The internet never fails to amuse the new generation’s unbelievably short attention span. Check out these interesting online finds that’ll leave you gaping, shocked, happy or just downright disturbed. Either way, you will be entertained.
Suffocation 49 Tender Some relationships aren’t the democratic
Reincarnated Movies and 53 Music
Heads and Tails: Introversion vs Extroversion How would you want to live your college life? Read and decide for yourself.
Underneath Our Coasts
Oil makes the economy go round. Find out how.
Slangtionary Your handy guide to the latest and most baffling word mutations.
WORDS JAYRICK F. AGUIRRE ILLUSTRATIONS ALOE DANICA B. DEALA
n. A nonsense word that you can use for no certain reason at any point of the conversation, but typically at the end of every sentence. Usually signifies approval or excitement but can also be used to punctuate awkward situations.
Girl 1: So, that’s how Derp died. *sob* Girl 2: Skilicioussssss!
Coffeedence n. A feeling of invigoration and optimism after drinking a cup of coffee; caused by the competitive binding of caffeine to the adenosine receptors in the nervous system. Read more at Wikipedia.
n. A condition characterized by extreme laziness and inability to go to school on a Friday just because...it’s Friday.
Teacher: Derp Derpson?
Guy 1: Derp is absent today because he has
a polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Teacher: Friday sickness you mean?
Guy 1: Brrrrrrnnngggg! I’m so pumped today! It’s that coffeedence that your overprized coffee has given me. Now, I’m gonna go jump off buildings and stuff. YOLO!
Axehole Paper Traction n. Refers to the feeling of writing on top of several sheets of paper that usually produces your best penmanship; traction is reduced when writing on a single sheet of paper prevalent during exams and quizzes with scrupulous teachers that hate cheating.
n. A guy who uses too much perfume that everytime he passes by, he asphyxiates everyone with the overpowering stench of “Click”, “Vice” and the new “Dark Temptation” scents. Girl 1: *choke, cough, cough* That axehole
Girl 1: Darn, my paper traction sucks with this one sheet of thin paper. The desk’s too rough! Not my fault if my penmanship’s like crap.
just passed by and I feel like vacuuming my lungs now.
Facial Wash Commercial Splash n. A way of splashing water on your face, commonly seen in facial scrub advertisements where models effortlessly splash water all over their faces to wash off the product while smiling; causes drowning in real life. 5
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Girl 1: I will imitate that facial-wash-commercial splash I saw on TV! *few seconds later* Girl 1: Gllluuuuurrrb, gllllurrrb, gluuurrrrb *cough, cough*
60 YEARS AND COUNTING MORE THAN
60 years ago, the country was still reeling from the war. The Hukbalahap guerillas were hot on the governmentâ€™s tail, staging attacks left and right. Elpidio Quirino was about to turn over his seat as President to Ramon Magsaysay. More than sixty years ago, a group of Brothers had come to the city to establish a new institution. On a 10-hectare land, bordered by sugarcane fields, rose an unremarkable school building â€“ and what was soon to be dubbed as the university of the future. Today, the University of St. La Salle has come a long way since it welcomed less than 200 grade school boys headed by a seven-member teaching force. The former La Salle-Bacolod continues to lead the road to academic excellence in the region and lives up to its tradition, cultivating the Lasallian faith and producing welleducated individuals in various fields. At its 60th aniversary, USLS embarks on its Diamond Jubilee celebration this school year with a round-up of marathons and a lavish kick-off last July, complete with the sparkly, crowd-favorite air dance and a special theme song. The spectrum of activities to celebrate this anniversary continued, including more alumni homecomings and an Eco-Christmas Lantern Festival last December. This academic year sees the university honoring hard work and the milestones of the past, as well as rekindling the Lasallian animo spirit. For the University of St. La Salle, there is no other way but to go forward. PHOTOS BY ANNA KATRINA B. ALMALKI, JOHANNA MAY G. ESPANOLA, FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON, ERICK F. JUPLO
WORDS BY JOY MARIE D. MARTIR
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN WORDS ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO & PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO PHOTOS JOHANNA MAY G. ESPAÑOLA
n the University of St. La Salle, there exists a shortcut to the back parking lot in gate six if you reach the far end of the Wester Hall. Students usually make the cut from the field, or from their cars there, to save time, especially if there’s only three minutes to the final bell and they rush through the halls to make it to class on time. Others leisurely pass by, talking about lunch plans or cursing the amount of EPIP work they have to do, but never once stopping to notice the portraits of faces smiling at them, much less the names beneath the frames and the stories behind them. Students walk by, treating these paintings like they would any other piece of dull wall décor: with disinterest. They’d much rather watch their reflections on the glass doors and windows rather than take the time to notice these old mementos. The University has recently celebrated its 60th year anniversary, and the entire Lasallian community has also been in big hype about the 100th year celebration of Lasallian education in the Philippines. But distracted by the glamorous lights, flashy human star formations, and even strange and catchy University theme songs, what is essentially the core reason why we celebrate in the first place is often overlooked. Lasallian education began with the efforts of St. John Baptist de La Salle, one man with a dream to help the poor and the illiterate. Soon, his vocation grew into a brotherhood, and over the years, they have carried his mission across nations. Every brother deserves to be remembered, even the ones that aren’t as popular, and even the ones that are gone should never be forgotten. When was the last time you remembered?
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1. Miguel Febres Cordero 2. Mutien Marie Wiaux 3. Blessed Scubilion Rousseau 4. St. John Baptist de La Salle 5. Brother Solomon Leclercq 6. St. Benilde Romancon
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
SOMETHING EERIE THIS WAY COMES
On a dark and gloomy night, the wind blows, strange sounds fill the corridors and ghostly apparitions show up at each intersection. With a haunted setting such as this, how can you expect yourself to get to your classes on time without feeling goosebumps on your arms and legs? WORDS MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA PHOTOS ANNA KATRINA B. ALMALKI
magine yourself just getting dismissed from your blasted 8:30 pm class and walking down the dimly-lit Solomon Hall. Only the sound of your hurried footsteps can be heard. Suddenly, you come face-to-face with a dark, shadowy figure that resembles Spawn (that superhero from Image Comics). It took you a whole five seconds to realize that you came in contact with the nefarious “Black Lady”, something that’s feared in Filipino folklore. Terrorized, you let out a scream, only to find that no sound came out. As the ghost came closer and closer, you could see its bloodshot eyes staring right at you, as if you were looking into the fiery pits of hell. There is something terribly strange in the University, you thought, and not even Tom Hanks and the Ghostbusters could save you. You close your eyes and a voice says “Hey! What are you still doing here? It is already late! Give me your ID! Your inside shirt is not tucked in!” The moment you open your eyes, the ghost disappeared, and lo and behold, it was the Discipline Officer in its place instead. Apparently, he saved you, but now you have to give him your ID, which is worse than a ghost attack. Ghostly apparitions, demonic fiends, cursed hallways and classrooms, and haunted restrooms. These are the kind of stuff urban legends are made of. The University has its fair share of ghost stories. The fact that the school is teeming with supernatural happenings is the reason why students head to the exits before nightfall (aside, of course, from the fact that some ‘accidents’ in the dark cause children). But a few kindred souls have encountered and survived such occurrences. These are their stories. Benilde Building 3rd Floor Hallway – “Unwanted Visitor”
It was already past eight in the evening when a group of Nursing students were still nosed in on a research paper inside the B32 classroom. Atilla*, one of the students, was dozing off, when one of his girl classmates let out a hysterical scream. His sleep was abruptly disturbed, but what he saw afterwards was even more disturbing. Standing outside the front door was a man with bloodshot eyes and a red face. He was rubbing his face on the little glass window on the door and suddenly just disappeared. A few seconds later, the same man appeared again, this time, he was outside the back door. After nudging his face back and forth the glass, he disappeared once again. The guys of the class went out to investigate the weird occurrence. When they checked, there was no one in the entire
THESPECTRUM January 2013
3rd floor except them. It could not be the janitor, they thought. Gallaga Theatre – “The Show Goes On”
The Gallaga Theatre is home to all kinds of theater art. But within its four walls resides a dark secret. Chad*, now a second year Biology student, recalls his experience back in his high school days. As part of a project, the whole class was to act out a chapter from a novel. The stage had a set of curtains that are used to shift from one scene to another. The ropes for the curtains were located backstage, which at that time was darker than Spawn wearing a black leather jacket inside a movie house showing Alien versus Predator: Requiem (God knows how dark that movie is). As soon as he finished his role in the play, Chad went to the side to ready the curtains. And there, in the corner, right beside the curtains, stood a kid in a grade school uniform. Thinking it was only a lost student, Chad tiptoed his way through and said, “Excuse me, coming through!” A few minutes later, the sound of running footsteps was heard coming from the backstage. When he looked back, the kid was nowhere to be found. He must’ve gone out, he thought. When the play was over, one of his classmates approached him and said, “Hey man, who was that kid standing behind you during the entire show?” Puzzled, Chad asked, “Kid? What kid?” “You know, that grade school kid, you didn’t see him? He was in the corner, right behind you.” Chad went silent. He never told his friends that during the play, he was alone backstage. The kid’s ghost must really be a fan of the performing arts.
Standing outside the front door was a man with bloodshot eyes and a red face. He was rubbing his face on the little glass window on the door and suddenly just disappeared.
Wester Hall Old Girl’s Comfort Room – “The Lady In The Mirror”
Ace*, a member of the Premed Society, knows a secret that most of the student population today is oblivious to. An old friend managed to tell him a story about a young girl who, at past 8 o’clock in the evening, was still roaming the university grounds. She stopped by the old comfort room, fronting the CBA office, to fix herself up and comb her hair in front of the mirror. Then something in the corner of hte mirror caught her eye. It was a lady dressed in black, her face almost hidden by her hair. She flashed a smirk. Scared out of her wits, the girl closed her eyes, grabbed a rosary, and started praying. Halfway through Hail Mary, she opened her eyes to see if the unwelcome visitor was still there. To her horror, yes, she was. Standing right behind her, the lady breathed out in a horrifying voice, “Holy Mary, Mother of God...” She smiled, looking straight into the girl’s eyes through the mirror and inducing her into a state of horried confusion. With a scream, the girl bolted for the door, only to find it locked from the outside. The next morning, people found her shaking in the corner of a cubicle, with traces of fear visible throughout her face. So much for fixing yourself at night in a haunted comfort room… Ghosts. Are they really just a figment of our imagination? Or are they here with us? We can never really tell. One thing is for sure though: these spirits need our prayers. Their souls wander continuously, searching for the justice they so rightfully deserve. We should not be afraid of them. All we need to do is offer them prayers and hope they will finally find peace. But if that does not happen, you know who to call (Chuck Norris, not the Ghostbusters, but I like the way you think). **Names have been changed
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
trendsetter WORDS PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO PHOTOS FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON MODEL ERIKA LEDESMA
Fashion is a serious business. No one wants to walk the halls on Wednesdays looking like something the cat dragged in. Fashion isn’t also about getting the most expensive clothes; but rather, strutting your stuff and wearing the outfit that totally screams “you.”
ashion is more than just an industry. Fashion, from its hemlines to its shoulder cuts, is a form of art. It is making a statement; not by the brands you wear or the current fad you are keeping up with, but by who you are as a person. Your personality, preference and character are embedded on the genre of clothes you pick out and wear. But teenagers, being innovative as they are, tend to either go with the latest fashion craze or come up with some new style entirely. That is why over time we seem to get stuck with a bunch of unwanted clothes that take up most of our closet space. Most people find it funny how teenagers can stare into a closet swarming with clothes and proclaim that they have absolutely nothing to wear. But for us, a closet filled to the brim can just mean a bunch of dying trends, overused outfits and clothes we wouldn’t be caught dead in. In today’s rapidly changing world, style goes in and out in the blink of an eye and no one wants to reuse an outfit so often that people practically memorize it from head to toe. The problem is, not all of us have the budget to keep up with our fashion demands and most of the time we’re stuck staring at the same wardrobe with the same problem: We have nothing to wear.
THESPECTRUM January 2013
So we teamed up with Erika Ledesma, a second year BS Management Accounting student, to introduce to you the ingenious method of DIY (doit-yourself) fashion. DIY fashion is a great alternative because not only is it cheap and practical but, it is also a great way to completely customize your outfits to suit your own style and taste. For this project, we made use of an old navy blue polka-dotted polo, a black maxi skirt, all purpose glue, poster board (or any sturdy writing material), laundry pins, a clothes iron, scissors, a cutter, a ruler, one small pack of bias tape and three yards of lace. The whole process took less than two hours and a budget of 150 pesos.
For the top, first we drew a heart on a piece of poster board and then cut it out to use as an outline. Then we traced this pattern onto the back of the polo then cut the heart out with a cutter, leaving the back exposed. We then applied the all-in-one glue around the heart area to outline it further with bias tape. This was done to give it a nice clean and finished look. Then we cut out the sleeve, applied glue all around each side and covered the hem with bias tape as well. We put laundry pins along the newly glued bias tape to keep it in place while it dries. The bottom was a much easier and faster process. We simply cut the skirt to make it shorter
Now you never have to look at your closet as a vast wasteland of unwanted clothes any longer. With a little bit of glue and some scissors, you can recycle and reinvent your clothes in however way you want to.
and spread a generous amount of glue on the bottom and finished it off by surrounding it with lace. The three yards of lace we used can be found at central market for only 21 pesos. To polish the bottom, we cut off the excess portions of the skirt that was exposed below the lace. After everything has been cut, glued and cleaned, we ironed out the newly glued areas to finish and voila! Erika has been doing these projects since 2008 because her grandmother is incredibly thrifty. Not wanting to be left out of the fashion craze, Erika decided to find ways to alter her clothes to make them look newer and trendier. So she took a look around Google and got inspiration from different fashion bloggers for ideas on how to update her wardrobe. She began experimenting with her old
clothes and even featured some of her projects in her Tumblr account, www.thefashionwhoree. tumblr.com. Now you never have to look at your closet as a vast wasteland of unwanted clothes. With a little bit of glue and some scissors, you can recycle and reinvent your clothes in however way you want to. In fact, go crazy! Use glitter, sequins, fabric flowers, patches, paint, new cuts and outrageous styles to make your clothes stand out and make a statement. The great Ralph Lauren once said, “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” So start your own little fashion industry and become your own fashion designer. Make the world your runway. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
Make your breaks more than just another few hours sitting in front of the computer, television or both. WORDS KRIMLYN L. LUMAWAG & ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO GRAPHICS ROBERT C. DINGCONG, JR.
ow does one live the dream? A regular student would immediately think, “by taking a break.” This isn’t entirely wrong because, be it in the form of a long summer vacation or a short hiatus from classes, a “break” for students is deemed the worldly equivalent of a temporary spot in paradise. It is the time to unwind from the stresses of being in the classroom, taking tests and listening to lectures. It could be spent doing productive activities but then again, being an individual belonging to the new generation, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if you would rather spend this so-called “break” propped in front of the computer all day or up all night watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother and New Girl than actually doing anything remotely similar to living an “ideal dream.” And that’s partly alright, despite the alarming health implication of living a stagnant hermit-like life. Because when you’re trapped in a small country and an even smaller city, it’s not like you have anything more interesting to do, right? Wrong. Even in the confines of this little archipelago, you can engage in several interesting hobbies that can leave you amused and entertained without much effort.
less training. Virtually anyone can get the mechanics of the activity from simply watching how it’s done from a distance. All you need to do is do as the hamsters do and keep on running around in your own spherical prison. And if you trip, well, that’s the best part.
Every day I’m Zorbing
Be one with the needle
It’s big, it’s a spherical plastic ball, and it’s basically the ultimate human hamster ball experience. Apparently, putting yourself inside a transparent inflated ball and rolling down a grassy slope or buoying on water leaves you senselessly enjoying yourself and also giggling uncontrollably either due to the sheer fun of it or perhaps due to the lack of oxygen intake. But most people would say it’s the former. The Zorb ball is one of the newest concoctions of adrenaline junkies to enter the extreme sports and hobbyist scene. There isn’t much battle strategy or history defining it as an actual sport, but Zorbing is quite an interesting short-term venture because it requires little orientation and even
THESPECTRUM January 2013
Cross-stitching is a form of counted-thread embroidery where stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form an image. But do not be fooled, it’s a lot harder than it looks. If you still associate this activity with being old and sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch, then be prepared to be proven wrong. Sure, ten or so years ago, cross stitch patterns were only limited to nature scenes, cursive “home sweet home” typography and teddy bears holding heart-shaped pillows, but now, more interesting challenges present themselves to knitting enthusiasts. In a wonderful place called the World Wide Web, there are several tutorials on how to create cross-stitch designs to satisfy everyone’s inner nerd. Some of the cutest online finds
Every moment can be a fun experience, if you put in conscious effort to actually live life from a more colorful perspective include patterns of the Tardis from the British television series, Doctor Who, the Empire State Building and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even the infamous rage faces like Me Gusta and Forever Alone Guy have already made their dishcloth debuts. Cross-stitching can be done in two methods, either the Stab method, the first footway of becoming a wholesome embroider, and the Sewing method, which is fairly easier. Materials are easy to find and are not very expensive. Overall, it is a fairly productive hobby that’ll leave you immersed and entertained down to the very last stitch. Also, the finished product makes great décor. Feel the adrenaline rush
When you actually get out of the city for a short family vacation before classes resume, the first thing you usually look for in a new place, other than the comfort room or a Jollibee branch, is a mall. But malls can’t give you the
same rush of adrenaline that a gut-wrenching, fast and furious “boat ride” along violent river torrents can, now can it? White water rafting, or simply rafting, is a recreational outdoor activity that involves using an inflatable raft to navigate along a river. The direction is controlled by a paddle, which you use to steer the boat away from rocks and other blockages along your path. This thrilling and exciting activity is fairly dangerous and therefore, should not be done without the supervision of a learned individual. In the Philippines, Cagayan De Oro is known for its white water rafting activity. They provide proper gear, pre-orientation, as well as professional assistance to ensure that thrill seekers who wish to engage in the extreme sport can actually live to tell the tale. So, if you’re ever in town, plunge into the untamed waters, but remember to go to the toilet first. Every moment of even the shortest break can be a fun experience, only if you want it to be like so and if you put in conscious effort to actually live life from a more colorful perspective. A break comes and goes, and no sooner than later, school will once again open its doors, promising another round of assignments and lessons designed to crack your skull in half with just thinking about it. And that’s perfectly all right, albeit the headaches, migraines and sleepless nights you will once again experience. Because by then, you’d be wide awake, bursting with excess energy and not at all the couch potato you once were. With renewed motivation and hope, you’re ready to make the next segment of your school life a downright amazing one. And by then, you willalready have a different answer to the question: How, indeed, does one live the dream?
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
STREET FOOD VENDING:
THE UNDERDOGS OF THE BUSINESS WORLD WORDS PATRICIA D. ERILLO & ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO PHOTOS ERICK F. JUPLO & FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON
Negros Occidental has been getting several upgrades since its humble beginnings as a small sugar-producing province. Bacolod City, specifically, has grown from being a slow, easy-going little town to a respectable tourist attraction, well known for its culinary heritage. But despite big industries dominating the local food scene with their promise of quality products, Negrenses still have a soft spot in their stomachs for the underdogs of the industry: street food vending. But rather than going into an in-depth yet unnecessary discussion of what street food vending is, here’s a question you might be wondering, yourself: when the world reaches the epitome of
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modernization such that someday, selling food will be restricted to high-rise restaurants and governed by laws of sanitation, permits and other legalities to accommodate the dawn of a new era, what happens to these traditional micro-industries that, though, appear insignificant to the richer or even the middle class, could mean the entire survival of the poorer sector who consider it their only source of livelihood? Sadly, the answer is as vague as the Mayan calendar. But nevertheless, until that day comes, street food vendors are putting up a good fight by continually operating despite their “small fish” status in society and though highly underestimated by large food empires, they manage to stay afloat despite all odds.
he kappa may well b e dist a nt relatives of t he Mut a nt Ninja Turt les, except t hat t hey inhabit Japa n’s rivers a nd have webb ed ha nd s, t he s caly skin of a reptile, a nd a b ea k. T heir p ower source is t he water-f illed b owl-like depression up on t heir head s.
OF THE DEEP
We've seen them in films, read about them in books, and saw them in paintings, but just how acquainted are we with some of the most popular creatures of myth that haunt the world’s waters?
Interestingly, t hes e water imps are ver y p olite. Bow to t hem a nd t hey’d b e courteous enough to ret ur n it. A nd when t hey do, t he water on t heir head p ours out a nd p oof! go es t heir p ower. T hat’s your cue to r un.
WORDS AND ILLUSTRATIONS JOY MARIE D. MARTIR
Kappa like to rap e women, drown p eople, a nd eat children. However, not a ll kappa are flesh lovers. If you’re luck y, you ca n even excha nge gift s. How? Simply brib e t hem w it h cucumb ers! Worr y not ab out com munication issues eit her, b e caus e kappa are fluent enough for tête-à-têtes. A s long a s you sp ea k Japa nes e too, of cours e.
efore it wa s adopted by t he Greek deities in Cla sh of t he Tit a ns , b e ca me a sup erst ar when it shared a s cene w it h THE Joh nny D epp, a nd even lent it s na me to a cla ssy bra nd of black r um, t his ma ny-legged, ma ny-tent acled, one- eyed s ea monster wa s a native of Nors e myt hology. It s ex istence sur faced to t he public in t he 18t h cent ur y when Bishop Erik Pontoppida n compiled numerous account s by sa ilors, who cla imed to have s een it near Greenla nd a nd Nor way. T hough some sp e culate it is merely a gia nt squid whos e size eyew it ness es simply exaggerated, t he k ra ken is often shown a s a HEE-UGE octopus w it h a bad temp er a nd t he ability to sucker-punch large ships. It s eldom ris es up to t he sur face, but when it do es, sa ilors often m ist a ke it for a n isla nd a nd would “go a shore” on it, b efore t hey are suddenly plunged into t he deep.
o, Ariel wasn’t the first mermaid – although she’s probably the most popular. Sometime in 1000-BC. Assyria, a story about a fertility goddess named Atargatis spread. Known as Derketo to the Greeks, she became ashamed of her affair with a mortal and, hoping to turn into a fish, decided to throw herself into the ocean. But luckily, the higher powers thought her beauty was too divine to waste, so Atargatis only became the half-human, half-fish creature we now call the mermaid.
t’s said that in every lake in Northern Britain dwells its own supernatural water horse, called the kelpie, but some know better than to approach it and succumb to its charm.
Films and books portray mermaids differently: sometimes they’re kind creatures who come to shore in peace; sometimes they’re scrawny, finned versions of Sadako (remember Peter Pan’s Mermish friends?); and sometimes they are simply pure evil. However, the typical seamaiden is gifted with a mesmeric singing voice and has mastered the art of luring men.
A kelpie appears only at night as a handsome lost pony, either pure black or white, with a long dripping mane against its seal-like skin. It also happens to have an appetite for children. When an unlucky fellow crosses its path, the kelpie’s routine goes like this: first, it lures him, entices him into going for a ride, and suddenly charges for the deepest part of the lake before he can say “Horsey!”
Contrary to popular belief, mermaids are NOT sirens. Sirens are not fish humanoids, but are half-bird femme fatales who share the same penchant for singing and sailor-hunting.
And even if he does, it won’t matter anyway, because kelpie hide is said to turn adhesive-like the moment he sits on it. A kelpie ride means a one-way ticket to a watery grave.
omewhere in Scot la nd is a la ke called Loch Ness, home to a p opular monster t hat ha s graced ma ny newspap er headlines for more t ha n f ifty years a nd t hat fa natics event ually ch ristened it Nessie. Legend tells us t hat in 565 AD, St. Columba of Iona s ent one of his followers to lure t he water b ea st out. W hen it app eared, he made a sign of t he cross a nd successf ully com ma nded it to draw back. T he Loch Ness Monster ha s kept a clea n re cord ever since. Nessie’s histor y is fa mously plagued w it h hoa x after hoa x, a nd it’s b e en identif ied w it h a gia nt eel, a n elepha nt, a kelpie, a nd even a t ree! O t hers, however, sp e culate it comes f rom a line of plesiosaurs. W hatever it is, or whet her it even ex ist s or not, it s fa nba s e draws a large numb er of tourist s ever y year. A nd yes, Bella’s kid wa s nick na med after it. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
The fun in
Grooming the dead is more than just an art form. It is a duty that requires careful procedure and nerves of steel. WORDS JAYRICK F. AGUIRRE WITH REPORTS FROM JISSON C. YALONG PHOTOS FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON
e stared at it with trepidation. It just seemed like a shapeless mass, although we can make out the vaguely humanoid figure sprawled on the tiled laboratory table, covered by a white cloth spotted with maroon stains. The air felt unusually stuffy; a sort of dry, lazy heat, yet something smelled funny (or was that just my imagination?). Our jaded photographer and my quivering co-writer stayed near the door, unsure of stepping inside, yet their necks craned to the table, eager to see what the figure would look like with the cloth drawn. The embalmer, who was in his usual stoic disposition, began to move the figure rather roughly, which made us all jump. He went to the other table and showed us the paraphernalia, which are not as gruesome-looking as we envisioned, but still a bit unnerving to look at. And then, he suddenly uncovered the body that we had been ogling for several minutes now. My photographer gave out a little shriek; my cowriter’s face crinkled in revulsion. The body was that of an old man, naked and contorted in a weird position: his legs were up and open, as if they were wrenched and held apart. The skin looked rubbery and yellowish, almost like wrinkled plastic. The face was bristled with salt-and-pepper scruff, the lips partly open like a frozen yawn, and the heavy-lidded eyes (mercifully) closed. We stared at the body for several minutes in shock while Manong went on with his business, washing and doing the preparations. Then he
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came back, now brandishing a scalpel, his face trying to hide his smile. He said, “Start na ko? (Shall I start?)” Death is a natural part of life. It is depressing, but it is the undeniable truth. For most of us, it is a tragic loss; a grim reminder of our short lives here on Earth. But for others, it is their source of income. Embalming may seem like a job for oddballs: dealing with death, bodily fluids and formalin on a daily basis. But it is considered a normal profession for approximately 5,000 licensed embalmers all over the country. A paltry number compared to the bloating Philippine population with an estimated 1,400 people dying every day, calculated from the crude death rate data from the CIA World fact book. Bacolod, like any other major city, has a number of funeral homes, giving service to an almost regular number of “clients” even during
the holidays. We met Manong Nilo, a 54-year-old embalmer who works in one of the more wellknown funeral homes in the city, who candidly told us of the perks of his job and basically, how he makes a living out of the dead. “I’ve been an embalmer for 27 years now,” Manong Nilo says, wiping his face with a small towel. “It’s in the family business. Even though I had family members who already knew how to do the process, I still had to learn everything by myself. At first, it was difficult because I had to adjust to everything but after one month, I eventually got used to handling the dead.” When asked what part of his job he liked best, Manong Nilo answered, “I like restoring faces. We put pieces of cloth inside and we mold them to make the face look natural. We usually do this to guys who were in motorcycle accidents, when the faces are partially damaged.” And how about the really damaged faces, like the ones we see in gory horror movies? He just
Contrary to popular opinion that embalming involves removal of internal organs, Manong Nilo’s procedure is actually simpler and less nauseating. shrugged. “If it’s beyond restoration, then we have no choice but to cover it.” Contrary to popular opinion that embalming involves removal of internal organs, Manong Nilo’s procedure is actually simpler and less nauseating. “First, we prepare the needed solutions and equipment. Then, we bathe the dead body to clean it from body waste and other secretions.” The smell of unwashed dead bodies, according to him, is one of the things he dislikes about his job (“especially the very old ones who weren’t taken care of properly”). “We then place the body in position by massaging the limbs and all. After that, we make a 4-cm incision at the right side of the lower neck, insert the needle into the common carotid artery and pump in the 37-percent formalin solution. The blood is drained out by the pressure and sometimes we have to suction some of it out to delay decomposition. Then, it is fanned for drying and then makeup is applied for a pleasing appearance.” Having spent more than half of his life as an embalmer, Manong Nilo has had his fair share of weird experiences. “I was once tasked to embalm someone in Talisay. It was nearing nightfall and I heard flapping sounds above me. Later, I knew that my client was an ‘aswang’ and his family was angry at me for ‘disrespecting’ their son.” “There was also one time when I was about to embalm the body of an old woman in La Carlota back in the 1990s. When I took off the cloth cover, she was still. But as I moved the body, her eyes flicked open and she breathed in gasps,” he says. “Good thing it happened just before I cut her
neck.” Naturally, Manong Nilo’s job also involves assisting the police and the doctor on autopsy cases. But before doing anything invasive on the bodies, there are certain requirements. “We must have the death certificate or the barangay certification to know the body is ready for embalming.” When asked if the family business will still run in the family, he just shrugged it off. “I tried to train my oldest son with the procedure but he just can’t seem to get used to it. I’m not sure about the future, but I’ll probably be doing this for as long as I can.” Just as we wrapped up the interview, one of his workmates came and held out a death certificate. Manong Nilo read the creased paper for a few seconds, then he calmly lead us to the adjoining room: the place where he did the same thing to hundreds, probably thousands of dead bodies on a daily basis for 27 years. Manong Nilo’s eyebrows arched after seeing our indecisiveness. “Uh, sige Nong,” I said gingerly as we approached the table, our noses catching a peculiar smell that seemed to intensify with each step. The smell of death. As Manong Nilo started to cut the rubbery flesh (it took several “slices”), it was then that we realized that death is absolute. I even had the image of the man rising from the table, jumping from pain after Manong Nilo pierced him on the neck. But the man lay still on the tiled table, silent and lifeless. Death might not be a rather ugly experience, but it’s the guys like Manong Nilo who make us look a bit more decent and presentable for the last time. At least until we’re six feet under. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
GOLD DIGGERS Gold has always been an ever present entity in history. But no matter how people view it, one thing is for sure: gold is wrought from events far from sparkling.
WORDS KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO GRAPHICS JOY MARIE D. MARTIR
think I’m getting the black lung, Pop. It’s not very wellventilated down there.” “For Christ’s sake, Derek, you’ve been there one day, talk to me in years.” That was a scene from the movie, Zoolander, where the titular character retired from being a male supermodel, went back to his hometown, and complained after a long day’s work as a coal miner. It was then followed by an awkward commercial of him as a merman on television that sends viewers laughing like crazy. As much as people enjoy that scene, there is some truth in that dialogue. The mines, aside from being well-
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ventilated, are rough and unsafe and the fact that there are people willing to risk their lives to work sparked many issues that cannot be ignored any longer. It is against the nature of humans to be underground; we thrive above the earth and being anywhere else is unnatural. Yet, some people shake this thought off and venture into the mines to earn a living. Dangerous, dark and unsure, this is the life of a gold digger. Jonas Cabiles Soltes, a writer for Inquirer News and author of the blogsite Dagang Tinubuan, has had the opportunity to shed light on the lives of several gold diggers from Paracale, Camarines Norte. One of these gold diggers, Constantino,
confesses that mining is not the best job and it is a shaky source of income. Gold digging is basically a gamble, and one’s future in this business is a matter of luck. “In mining, it is possible to have luck on your side and strike gold and earn more than a regular job can provide,” Constantino says. But cases like these are rare and gold diggers are more than aware that ventures into the mines may just end in a big pile of dust. Still, this does not stop them from entering the dark caves and, with hope of striking gold, they dig deeper into the musty tunnels. These 50-meter deep tunnels eventually maze out into passageways called “drivers” and
as gold diggers scavenge for those precious metals, they mount pieces of wood that serve as supports for the drives. The deeper a gold digger digs, the lesser air he breathes in, and chances for accidents multiply as gold diggers stay longer in the drives. Even something as tiny as a pebble can wreck a drive’s fragile infrastructure. When this happens, the gold diggers only have approximately thirty minutes to bail out before they die of suffocation. But earth is not the only element gold diggers come against; there is the danger of water rushing into the tunnels and drowning everyone inside. Such an incident has occurred in the mining pits of Paracale, Camarines Norte in
Despite the fact that gold diggers risk their lives everyday, they earn very little. In a week, they can only earn from nothing to five hundred pesos. January 2012, prompting the cityâ€™s Governor, Edgardo Tallado, to shut down local mining operations. Despite the toil and the fact that gold diggers risk their lives everyday, they earn very little. In a week, they can only earn from nothing to five hundred pesos. Their income is so irregular that they only earn an average of four thousand pesos a month. Once again, this brings up the truth that gold digging is a matter of luck. There are times when miners would discover free gold and run away with it. To minimize situations like this, gold diggers would invite family members to work in the tunnels. As a result, children are dragged into the business. Children
as young as twelve years old are pushed by their parents to do tasks such as transporting ores to the ball mills downhill to earn money. Gradually, the children stop going to school to work in the mines. But even with extended families working together, income is still scarce. Alex dela Cruz, a small-time financier in the Gold Mines, says that in the gold digging business, it is the financiers that get rich, not the miners. When gold traders buy the gold, the financiers get the bulk of the proceeds while as many as twenty miners share the remainder. Aside from forces of nature, gold diggers also fight battles against their very own government. There are countless times when the mines
and gold diggers are blamed for environmental devastation and are threatened to be closed down. In turn, gold diggers, passionate to keep their work going, stand up and defend themselves. Reynaldo Elejorde, a gold digger from Mount Diwata, Compostela Valley retorts, â€œWe will insist that we stay here because this is our only livelihood.â€? And what a livelihood it truly is! For gold diggers, it does not matter that much if they earn little at present; the hope that maybe someday the gold will finally reveal itself is what pushes them day after day to rise with the sun and go into the dark. Always tempting fate. Dangerous, dark and unsure. That is the life of a gold digger. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
A DIFFERENT KIND OF GOLD DIGGER WORDS PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO
ould you jump off a moving car for five hundred thousand pesos, or set your arm on fire for a million? How much money would it take for you to eat a live cockroach or lie in a casket of snakes?
It’s funny, the lengths people go for money. The world today has grown so obsessed with making money. People work heaven-knows-howmany hours a day, leave their families to work abroad and go into dangerous fields that may put their lives at stake. Wouldn’t it just be easier to skip all that stress and sacrifice by simply using charm and beauty to lure the elite into bathing you in their success and riches? Why go through all that trouble if you can get all that money by simply unzipping your dress and batting your eyelashes? That is the how world works for people informally known as “gold diggers”. People, often women, christened with such a “label” are described to have a tendency to enter relationships with rich individuals -- obviously for money, of course. They couldn’t care less about looks and personality as long as they get to enjoy the pleasures of their lovers’ big, fat paychecks. These people can either be male or female, although psychological studies show that women are more naturally drawn to men who have the capability of caring for them and for their children. It is a common instinct for women to want a rich and successful husband who can easily provide
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their needs. In some cases, people resort to gold digging because they have no choice. A more justifiable reason for gold digging is having a child or family to care for. Other times, especially in prominent families, people marry for money to save themselves from bankruptcy. But then again, the end doesn’t always justify the means. Studies also show that gold diggers develop their materialism through their past experiences. They may have been betrayed, neglected, hurt, rejected or oppressed. As a result, they use material things to protect themselves from future pain. Comically speaking, a stereotypical female gold digger would look flashy, well-accessorized, and wears excessive make up. But they normally follow common behavioral patterns. They usually strike men with an innocent facade, seeking sympathy indirectly while feigning helplessness. They make it a point to let the man figure out what she wants so that her intentions remain subtle. Gold diggers in their early teenage years are a little different. Although most of them follow the same tactics, they are a little harder to spot. In the hype of young love and raging hormones, teenage boys aren’t as keen. Most of the time, these boys are too distracted by the amount of oxytocin racing through their veins. So gold digging young little vixens can coax their boyfriends into indulging them in material things. As soon as they spot a better prospect, these poor teenage boys end up with nothing
but broken hearts and empty wallets. Leo*, a 19-year-old Lasallian student whose first girlfriend had been a gold digger, says, “We were only together for 2 months and during that time she would always annoy me for libres. It was fine at first but then she even started forcing me to treat her friends.” When Leo refused to pay, she would get back at him by flirting with other guys or ignoring him completely. “It hurt even more because after she broke up with me, it wasn’t long until she got together with a foreigner.” This experience has caused Leo to lose faith in the existence of love. “I constantly wonder if girls still have the capability to look into who the person is instead of how much cash he has in his wallet,” he says. Up until today, Leo still encounters plenty of gold diggers. “When I realize what they are after I ignore them until they stop trying to pursue me.” And because of this, Leo finds it hard to look for a girlfriend. “I’m always wary of the girls I get close to since most of the time, they end up disappointing me. But as of now, I decided to take a break on romance and focus on enjoying my single life to the fullest.” Today as gold diggers run amok around world, the best we can do is to be on guard and think twice before we splurge on some greedy viper waiting to suck our bank accounts dry. After all, in today’s world, there is a price for everything. It is up to you to figure out just how much you’re willing to put out for love, and if that love is worth the price. **Names have been changed
ARE WE A
After several years of being at the bottom of the economic chain, economists claim that we are finally making a huge comeback. Or are we? WORDS PATRICIA MARI M. MIJARES
he Philippines is venturing on a fivepeso-fare trip from rags to riches as it gets ready to share the spotlight. With its acclaimed title as a “New Tiger” of Asia, it’s time for past economic powerhouses to step aside. Once falling flat with its low international economic esteem, what was called as “Pearl of the Orient Seas” has been reputed as the “Sick Man of Asia”. However, proving its once-praised potential, the country is right back on track as business news site Market Watch christened the Philippines and Indonesia as “the new tigers” or economies that have been overlooked in the past and are now “poised to drive future growth and grab more economic power.” Once a borrower of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country has recently pledged to lend US $1 billion for the IMF crisis fund for wobbly European countries. With all the rise in numbers and economic growth, how much are these making sense? How true is it that the country can rightfully claim the title? College of Business and Accountancy Economics teacher Paolo Valladarez affirms the upsurge in numbers and strongly believes that “the Philippines is really performing well economically”.
The distribution of resources here in the Philippines is so “skewed and unequal” that the benefits of economic growth are not experienced by the lower srata of the society. Valladarez also believes that the country will all the more continue to experience economic growth because “it’s election year.” With the spending of the candidates, a ripple of benefits continue—people who do not have jobs are being paid to work for the candidates, the government is spending a lot for election paraphernalia, and there is additional pay for teachers, just to mention just a few. With all the positive bits of statistics waiting to be bitten off and digested as a fact, the classic question still remains. “Why is it that many Filipinos are still poor, starving and without jobs?”, adds Valladarez. Why does the number of families living on shanties continue to rise? Why are there still children roaming the streets at night and hopelessly finding food scraps? Why are there people who work hard and yet still cannot feed their entire families with their income? These questions have grown cliché and have been left unanswered. Consider the stark difference between the rich and the poor. The holding firm of tycoon and richest man in the world Henry Sy, reported a 14-percent growth in earnings, catapulted by its banking, malls and retail businesses. On the other hand, roughly 87% of all families in the Philippines, representing 75.7 million people, are living on
less than PHP5,000 per month per person on average in income. You may think, will the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor? If all of Sy’s annual income combined, wouldn’t that actually help solve the needs of those who are underprivileged? Wouldn’t it help if resources that much were equally distributed? Valladarez, mentioned at the outset believes that “a more equitable distribution of resources and income is needed by this country.” The distribution of resources here in the Philippines is so “skewed and unequal” that the benefits of economic growth are not experienced by the lower strata of the society. “For example, a man has managed to put up a business, the business has earned a lot, and it has expanded. The person became rich. He used his additional wealth in buying more houses, more cars and more properties. However, he still pays his employees a minimum wage. His employees still do not have SSS and health benefits. He does not pay the correct taxes,” Valladarez illustrates. Clearly, there is growth there, as the man becomes richer, but the people who helped him acquire additional wealth have not. Much is true to the economy. “We are all contributing to the economic growth of the Philippines. We should all receive our fair share, in
any form, from the additional wealth of our country.” Despite the setbacks, the fact remains that the Philippines took a step higher as a title bearer. Whether it will remain the ranks, however, continues to be a challenge posed to its citizens. Regardless of which industries the country seeks to develop, it is largely dependent on its labor force. People are constantly praised as the Philippines’ best asset—the key to unlocking its doors for development. Recently ranked one as the world’s most influential thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine, American economist and writer, Tyler Cowen considers English proficiency and the Filipinos’ belief in education as the key ingredients of economic headway. To further its industries, the country will need international backing—an ingredient more reachable now than it ever was with the investors eyeing the country with so much renewed interest. International funding may not be far off. A stable economy, low debt, potential industries and a youthful population—the country now has the tools for a standout economy. All it needs is a little unleashing of its assets. Will it remain in the ranks? Or more importantly, will all these economic growth be felt by everyone? January 2013 THESPECTRUM
IT’S ALL in the
NAME What makes owning a closet full of Nike shoes and Burberry sweatshirts much more desirable than having the regular Islander slippers and UK (Ukay-ukay) scavenged tank tops? WORDS MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA PHOTO FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON
hat does a locally produced pair of sneakers have in common with a pair of hand-sewn-in-a-Vietnamese-sweat-shop sneakers from Nike? Aside from the fact that both are just sneakers inside and out, they are proudly made in Asia, proving indeed that Asia has S.W.A.G. (Something We Asians Got).
Now what about their differences? Again, aside from the very evident truth that Manny Pacquiao has his own signature shoe from Nike (Trainer 1.3 Max Manny Pacquiao), the latter has the iconic Nike Swoosh logo on it and the first one is just, well, a brand-less piece of rubber footwear. The world today is a place governed by branded stuff. Everything under the sun now has a brand. Branded coffee beans, branded clown suits, branded condoms, branded fish feed, heck, even branded concrete (think, Mr. Concrete)! Yes, it is during times like these when companies trick the people into believing that the products they peddle are, God forbid, “iconic.” After all, icons
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sell, just go ask the guy who founded Levi’s. Majority of the A, B, and upper C socioeconomic classes are undeniably brand conscious, whether they admit it or not. There is this insatiable desire for things that are branded. Fat Joe of the rap group Terror Squad (Need For Speed Underground 2 fans, holla!) has a massive collective of sneakers, which could bankrupt Somalia all over again, all of which are Nikes. “If it ain’t Nike, forget it” is his motto. Second year Biology student, Bhea Anne de Sales, is another member of the brand-conscious club. “When it comes to shirts and shoes, I am very particular with what I am buying,” she explains.
Pinoys are among the most practical people on the face of the planet. But colonial mentality has really gotten under our skin. To her, branded apparel is one way to stand out in the sea of mediocrity in today’s society. “I don’t want to be seen wearing the same shirt as another person. It’s nothing personal, but I just like my clothes to bear premium tags.” There’s nothing wrong with having a closet full of Versace on one side and Forever 21 on the other, right? An AB-1 student, Samantha Vivien Manaloto, meanwhile is a person who does not really pay much attention to the tags on the back of everything she wears. “My mom buys me all these branded stuff but I don’t bother sticking to a single brand. I’m not brand conscious,” she says. Even though her closet is filled to the brim with exotic brands, she prefers to wear outfits that look good on her, regardless of what brand. “As long as it suits me, I don’t care what brand it is.” Why do people insist on buying branded stuff? “Because it is cool to be associated with that brand,” Ricardo Golez, a second year Computer Science student says, making references to his Giorgio Armani jeans. But really, some people would still opt to buy worth P3,000 jeans from Levi’s than just settle for a lower priced jeans of the same quality, but from an unheard of brand. Some would still purchase an expensive black Jesus piece from Goodwood when the same Jesus piece can be bought at the Cathedral for less than P100. The feeling of pride you get when you have the latest brand is truly incomparable. Walking down City Walk with a Von Dutch t-shirt, a steel chronograph from Rolex, some 501 jeans from Levi’s, a multi-colored belt from Volcom, and a fresh pair of Nikes is really something, after all. It’s not that Filipinos are brand-conscious, mind you; Pinoys are among the most practical people on the face of the planet. But colonial mentality has really gotten under our skin. If we see Chris Brown or Drizzy Drake wearing skinny jeans with a tank top, before we know it, lo and behold, every wannabe gangster in the Philippines starts to wear skinny jeans with a tank top. If our idols wear something outrageous, we find it cool and hip, and so like Twitter spam accounts, we follow it. But as what Samantha Manaloto would say, “Do not follow the trend; be the trendsetter.” Last piece of advice for all the brand-conscious people out there, BroTip # 197 clearly states: “If you’re old enough to vote, you’re too old to wear Abercrombie.” Peace! January 2013 THESPECTRUM
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Graphics Judy Rose L. Sayson
TO ASK A DIFFICULT QUESTION Why is being beautiful so important to people? Do beautiful people really have it better off in life WORDS ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
The vain, proud, and beautiful Queen Grimhilde would often ask her Magic Mirror this question every day, two or three times at the minimum. And with the many years it has assured her that she was indeed “the fairest of them all”, Grimhilde never saw it coming when it suddenly proclaimed someone else had already taken the title. And no matter how many versions of Snow White are adapted into movies, plays, and books, the Evil Queen remains the same obsessed, narcissistic lunatic who would gladly kill a young girl and eat her heart out just so she satisfies her severe esteem needs. It’s sad how, as a character, Queen Grimhilde was reasonably beautiful, albeit in a scary, menacing and evil way. She didn’t need to ask others to assure her of that. But, like many of us, instead of seeing the gorgeous, fine, and beautiful reflection in the mirror, she only saw the flaws. And when someone points those things out, it’s as if a Nano chip implanted by the imperial powers of early mankind pushed us all into a state of frenzy. I wish I was beautiful! A beautiful bottahflay!
“The root cause of this problem is the pressure on young people to conform to an unattainable and unrealistic ideal body image,” says Rosi Prescott, the chief executive of Central YMCA, a charity function that commissioned a study on why young people appear to be increasingly insecure about their appearance. Especially now, having been heavily influenced by what is shown on television, magazine advertisements, movies and even cartoons, the trend of people is that they attempt to adapt a perceived impression of ideal beauty upon themselves simply because of the misconception that in order to be considered “attractive” by society, they must meet those requirements. Other girls compensate by wearing make-up to mask their less attractive features and some guys would hit the gym in a heartbeat when they realize they’ve let themselves go. But for a select few, striving to be beautiful isn’t just a means to an end, but a lifestyle, a vocation and a full-time preoccupation. Valeria Lukyanova, dubbed on the internet as the “Human Barbie”, and other names like Sarah Burge (known as the Ultimate Barbie Mom) and Kotakoti (the screen name of a teenage cosplayer), are good examples of taking “playing doll” to a whole new level.
These girls came from different races, origins, and backgrounds, but what connects them is their mutual taste for changing their appearance by whatever means so that they resemble the plastic doll, Barbie. And this isn’t just in the dressing up and putting on extremely heavy make-up level of adulation for the popular Mattel brand doll, we’re talking about. Valeria, as she is seen in her photos posted on Facebook and some internet blogs, has really imitated even the physique of Barbie herself, despite the impossibility of such proportions. Why impossible, you ask? If Barbie were a real person, she’d be around 6 or 7 feet tall, with a measurement of around 38-23-33, or somewhere along those numbers. She’d be about 100 pounds, which would deem her considerably anorexic. Coupled with her whacked up physical proportions, one would wonder how she could even manage to balance herself without falling forward on her knees. The “Barbie Girls” aren’t the only ones who’ve invested a lot to achieve beauty. Jocelyn Wildenstein, a New York socialite, has gone through several extensive cosmetic surgeries on her face over the years, resulting to a very catlike appearance. The surgeries cost her millions, and she actually got it done in order to please her then husband, who was fond of big cats. The effect of the physical transformation gave her a very nauseating and unnatural appearance. According to tabloids and internet articles, though, she feels quite “beautiful.” When she looks in the mirror, she loves what she sees, though most of the world can’t seem to fathom why. I will be beautiful! You’ll see!
Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychotherapist and founder of the school of individual psychology, says that a human’s motivating factor is his/her strive for perfection. Thus, girls and boys alike ache for the perfect body, the perfect face, and the perfect everything else. In a study conducted by Psychology Today, more than half of the world’s population is not entirely satisfied with at least one part of their body. More than 400,000 men and women in one half of the world alone engage in yearly diet plans and exercise routines to lose extra fat and get toned. This excessive desire to become pretty has spawned what is perhaps the greatest flaw in human nature: excessive vanity. And to an alarming level, people’s desire to be beautiful
If Barbie were a real person, she’d be around 6 or 7 feet tall, with a measurement of around 38-23-33 can lead them battling anorexia, bulimia, or other diseases brought about by their pursuit. Isabelle Caro, a former French model and actress, knows the sad price of beauty put upon those who desperately covet it. She has battled anorexia for years and has begun to warn other girls, especially young models who seem to have gotten pretty obsessed with the idea of being stick-thin, to avoid such an end. Caro was an advocate of Anti-Anorexia up until last November 17, 2010. That was the day she lost her battle and died. Other people who have the money would invest in nose jobs, liposuction, whitening creams, and other forms of medication in high hopes that their physical flaws can be miraculously cured. But sometimes, it just makes things worse. After all, the most effective methods are not necessarily the best ones. Nor is it the solution to filling that void insecurity has left warping inside your gut. I am beautiful! No matter what they say!
Beauty, in the long run, isn’t up to society to decide and judge. It is, in fact, the reflection of your own feelings of self-worth and importance. Nobody wants to hear people calling them ugly. Moreover, nobody wants to be regarded as unattractive, or feel as if they were unattractive. That’s why people work themselves to the bone and spend so much just to be what the world considers gorgeous, to the point of making themselves miserable. And that’s totally missing the point, people. The real way to feel beautiful isn’t by making obsessive efforts to fit into a size-24 dress or skinny jeans and a low-waist belt. It isn’t even about poisoning Snow White to lessen your competition (I’m looking at you, Grimhilde). It is by accepting who you are and making the most of whatever face, body structure, or physical deformity you have and flaunting it. Because your perception of yourself is the best opinion that you can ever receive. So the next time you look at the mirror and feel like asking it the million-dollar question: “Hey, mirror, who is the fairest of them all?” Rest on your laurels, remember your worth, and be happy it won’t talk back. Or better yet, it doesn’t laugh. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
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“Someday I will become a beautiful butterfly, and then everything will be better.” -Heimlich the Caterpillar from A Bug’s Life (1998)
Photography Anna Katrina B. Almalki Make-up and Styling Marc Kevin R. Jabay Editing and Composition Joy Marie D. Martir Model Jeanelee Alfon
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THE UNSPOKEN DIGITAL COMPETITION In a cutthroat competition in the digital arena, only two are left standing. Who will be number one? WORDS ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO & KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO SCREENSHOT RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
ou are playing Tekken 6, and you are on a roll. Your character has just been promoted to Juggernaut and after customizing its features so it looks bad-ass and awesome, you have taken the liberty of making a flashy account name that basically tells other players you’ve got mad skills and they’d be wise not to cross you. With your unbeatable techniques, you lead a streak of victories against several opponents; some with even higher ranks than you. And as you bask in the glory of your awesomeness, you feel like you’re already the King of the Iron Fist. But when the time comes that another player who is just as good suddenly K.O.’s you off of your make-believe throne, your entire world crashes down. And you are left horrified, shocked and spitefully muttering the words, “Dude, oh no you didn’t.” The advent of computer games and other interactive online apps have made it possible for humans to enter as many alternate universes as they please. From taking on fighter players in command -based games like Tekken to going on quests and organizing raids in role-playing online games like DotA, people have grown more and more enchanted with the concept of creating anonymous digital alter egos and live in fictional worlds. These games lure people in with its promise of excitement and fun. Much like how the ring in Lord of the Rings, they promise you riches and everything else you could possibly dream of. But with the primary motive for every battle in these games being to “level-up”, these digital worlds become battlegrounds, sparking what can be deemed a serious obsession with becoming “number one”. The concept of a game’s ranking scheme is perhaps the digital world’s equivalent of the caste system. Ranking systems are evident in most computer games, even in seemingly harmless ones like Tetris, Coco Girl, and Farmville. To be promoted or to level-up is every gamer’s ambition. Most of the time, it’s the mere existence of a ranking system that keeps them hooked in the first place. But other than to satisfy an inner desire to compete and win, some gamers also want to
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make money out of their skills on the digital arena. Prinny*, a 3rd year Engineering student, says that he can get more than P 3,000 just by selling his old yet powerful accounts to other people. His benefactors, also game enthusiasts, would rather purchase a powerful account rather than actually going through the process of leveling up. He also engages in team tournaments where the winnings they receive from bets are split amongst the members. On a minimum, he can receive a fraction of P 200 from their prize money. “I use the money for food,” Prinny says. He spends at least five hours a day playing his games (that’s more hours spent than any person’s attention span during class hours) to maintain his accounts and, well, level-up. An outsider wouldn’t really see the utmost importance of that task, but for intense gamers, it is a common religion. James*, an Accountancy student, says that ranking is a very important part of gaming. “When your character attains a higher rank or levels-up, it’s a big deal. Other players become in awe of you, and in a way, it gives the gamer some honor.” Honor in a sense that having a higher rank gives you more benefits and shields you from petty squabbles. According to Prinny, everyone desires to be the best so that no one could trash talk them and, instead, actually give them the opportunity to
He can get more than P 3,000 just by selling his old yet powerful accounts to other people. trash talk others. But winning or being the best isn’t everything. Sometimes, being on top can get pretty lonely. “When you reach the top, it becomes boring because there’s nothing else to do,” James says. “But at least, you’re number one. At least, you’re the best.” Games are meant to be fun recreational activities and the healthy competition that comes with it is basic human nature. Computer games have made it possible for gamers to do what they love, while getting money out of it. All the while
they build their self-esteem as they realize they can improve and push themselves to be better, even if it is in digital form. But when you become the “number one” and expect yourself to be in that spot forever, then you’ve stopped improving. You’ve stopped looking forward to what lies ahead, and have been blinded by what is only a temporary title. When you reach the top, nobody will be able to cross you; nobody will dare battle with you. So where’s the fun in that? Like Tekken’s Bryan Fury, you’ve already
reached the best you can be. You become impatient because no one’s good enough to battle you anymore. Every fight turns out to be a piece of cake for your character. Where do you go then? As the saying goes, if you’re already at the top, there’s nowhere left to go but down. So once again, you begin your game at ground zero. You’ve created a new character. And as your computer monitor whirs with the sounds of cyber battle, you prepare yourself for the ultimate journey - the journey to becoming the best. “Oh no you didn’t.”
* Names have been changed.
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Crumpled pieces of paper litter the floor of a room as dark as a cave. Everything is silent as you sit in a corner, your knees pulled to your chest. Your eyes are weary and you want to fall asleep but cannot do so. Your thoughts are too caught up with personal problems for you to relax. The heavy demands of school and your teachers, your relationships and family members, have all put a toll on you and have left you tired, weak, and fragile. A recent 2012 study by the American College Counseling Association shows that 37.4 percent of college students have some severe psychological problems and need counseling. These issues reach out from anxiety, depression, anger, and other pent-up emotions that resulted from bullying, cutting, and vice addiction. With the way things are going, students are already six feet in distress and they aren’t even halfway through their lives yet. Because every semester, there’s a storage room full of assignments, tests, and other requirements that keep piling on one after the other and take away a student’s energy like poison. It is an insane rollercoaster ride and at one point, everyone is bound to end up in that same dark room, pieces of paper cluttering the floor, their thoughts a jungle of all their demanding priorities. With weary minds, messy hair, and tired eyes permanently set with dark shadows underneath them, one would think you are insane if you still managed to laugh despite looking like the walking dead. But here’s the thing about Filipinos: even in the worst situations, we still manage to find a way to turn the tables around and smile about it. Some call it excessive optimism, but recalling what Sherrilyn Kenyon said in her book Dance with the Devil, perhaps it’s also because we “don’t suffer from insanity,” but rather, “enjoy every minute of it.”
Photography Anna Katrina B. Almalki Make-up and Styling Marc Kevin R. Jabay Words Adely Grace V. Tomaro
THE ART OF STARING AT THE SWINGING POCKET WATCH Hypnotism is usually portrayed in movies as a means to reduce a person’s mind into that of a ridiculous animal. But it is also a means of unlocking your past, and possibly even your past life. Is that really true?
WORDS KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO GRAPHICS RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
ou are now my slave,” says the goateed man, waving a golden pocket watch in front of you. Dear, if that’s what you think hypnosis is, then you’d better wave that pocket watch away. Thanks to good ol’ Hollywood, people think of hypnosis as a sort of magic trick that compels people to obey the hypnotist’s every command. Not only is this idea false, but to real hypnotists, it’s downright silly. Now that Hollywood’s definition of hypnosis has failed (Heavens to Betsy!), it is time to delve deeper into what hypnosis really is. The father of modern hypnotism, Franz Mesmer, believed that hypnosis was a mystical force from the hypnotist that enters a subject; he called this “animal magnetism”. However, critics quickly dismissed this idea. Psychiatrists understand hypnosis as a trancelike state resembling sleep, usually induced by a therapist by focusing a subject’s attention that heightens the subject’s receptivity to suggestion. One should take note that the person being hypnotized is not asleep but hyper-attentive, and that person is not someone’s “slave”, since he/she is fully conscious of his or her actions. Scientists such as AmbroiseAuguste Liebeault, Hippolyte Bernheim, and J.M. Charcot theorized that hypnosis is not a force inflicted by the hypnotist, but a combination of responses to suggestions.
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Milton Erickson, the premier hypnotism expert of the 20th century, claims that people hypnotize themselves on a daily basis. Tom Harris, author of “How Hypnosis Works”, explains that during the process of hypnosis, the subject’s conscious mind becomes less active and gives way to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, being more creative and impulsive, receives suggestions from the hypnotist, and without the conscious mind to put on the brakes, the subconscious mind responds, “why not?” thus, the subject willingly does the suggestions given. Nineteenth century Scottish surgeon, James Braid, originated the terms “hypnotism” and “hypnosis” from the Greek word “hypnos”, which means “to sleep”. Hypnosis is characterized by deep relaxation, and it is during this state that the subject focuses intently on the hypnotist, the hypnotist’s words or a subject at hand, tunes out every other stimulus around him or her to the near exclusion of any other thought and opens his or her subconscious. During hypnosis, physical changes cannot be seen on the subject. Electroencephalographs, measurements of the electrical activity of the brain, show that a subject under hypnosis has brainwaves higher than those sleeping and lower than those fully awake. Milton Erickson, the premier hypnotism expert of the 20th century, claims that people hypnotize themselves on a daily basis. So when it comes to the matter of when a person is hypnotized, you can scratch out “when that person is kidnapped and forced to do the bad guy’s evil bidding.” Hypnotism can range from therapy to just watching television at home. Psychiatrists explain that when a person is so preoccupied and immersed
in a television show or a book, that person blocks out the outside world and enters into a trance-like state where only the movie or the book exists. Researchers have discovered that not only does the subconscious mind take control during hypnosis, but the right hemisphere, the creative side of the brain, also becomes more active than the left hemisphere, the logical side. Hypnosis has been used in many fields of life for centuries, from making babies sleep, to treating people psychologically. In forensic hypnotism, hypnosis is used to identify suspects or to fill in details about a case. By gaining access into a victim or a witness’ subconscious, a hypnotist can open deep and repressed memories. In psychiatric and medical hypnotism, hypnosis is used to treat psychological or even physical problems among patients. The therapeutic abilities of hypnosis may range from dealing with a patient’s personal problems, fixing a vice or habit by reprograming the mind, or healing the body by making the subconscious mind think that the illness does not exist. But since hypnotists may lead the subject to form false memories, or tamper with the subject’s habits, phobias, or any other psychologically related matter, hypnosis remains a very controversial technique and is not often used. In the end, hypnosis’ effect on a person is determined by that person’s willingness to follow. So, if you wind up clucking like a chicken in front of everyone, don’t blame the hypnotist. Blame that computer game you’ve been playing for several days now.
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THE SIXTH THE SIXTH SENSE
SENSE Is it the real deal or is it just another phantasm invented by the mind?
WORDS PATRICIA D. ERILLO & MONICA LOUISE TRINIDAD M. CUETO ILLUSTRATION ROBERT C. DINGCONG, JR.
e hear, smell, taste, feel, and see… and then we see dead people. First-grade science forced our innocence to believe that the human brain can detect and identify only five senses through our ears, nose, tongue, skin, and eyes. But then, people who claim to have seen and encountered the supernatural are strongly willed to their belief that there is more to what we have been given than just eyes for corporeal vision, but also a special invisible eye for sight of the paranormal: a sixth sense. Another way to call it is ESP, or extrasensory perception; the perception of non-physical stimuli and acquiring information via paranormal means. It subjects to the unexplainable abilities of a “chosen” few who are able to see and understand the supernatural, and even have physical encounters with the dead. It also entails a strong hunch to predict, or a gift that holds sight of the future. Scientists refuse to support the existence of a sixth sense due to lack of evidence. Several methods have been attempted to get a hold of the existence of such paranormal ability, however, none of these methods were conclusive. Despite all scientific data and experiments that have turned down the existence
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of the sixth sense, countless witnesses in this century and over the history of mankind, claim that it is not a hoax or dark magic. Having the sixth sense is too much of a sensation because: (1) It is a special ability; (2) it is quite a mysterious ability; (3) people always question its existence; and (4) the world can be creative in finding answers to these questions. And Filipinos, over the decades, have undeniably been known for embracing the ability of seeing the unseen. Whether it is just another corny Filipino way of seeing the bright side of things or genuinely just being curious about the supernatural, it has made a lot of fans and money for the media. Movies like Shake, Rattle and Roll,
Richard Senate, who has been hunting ghosts for years now, says his life has improved after dedicating his passion to hunting ghosts. television shows such as Oka Tokat and Ngiinig, and even books such as True Philippine Ghost Stories has made millions in franchise and series over the years. This generation has a bit of knowledge on the unknown. Ask anybody about the sixth sense and they answer you with: “Isn’t Bruce Willis in that movie; it’s about that weird kid, right?” Sure, the movie is called The Sixth Sense and the plot gives you a taste of what it is like to be in a world where one is able to encounter supernatural beings; which is probably why it was nominated for 6 Oscars. The movie gives the audiences the explanation of being gifted with the ability to physically and emotionally interact with dead people, in the hopes that such gift may help the dead with their unfinished business until they finally rest in peace. Well, whether it is real or just a play of our own brain and imagination, some experiences have their own benefits and helped the world in a certain way. Richard Senate, who has been
hunting ghosts for years now, says his life has improved after dedicating his passion to hunting ghosts. It was sometime around 1978 when he first spotted a ghost monk at Mission San Antonio de Padua in California. The monk wore a brown vest and seemed troubled at that moment. He had his head bent down, staring at the ground for more than seven minutes. He wasn’t moving or even hardly breathing. After a gust of wind blew, he disappeared. This hinted how Senate’s life will be devoted to ghost hunting. To this day, he has helped the lives of people who seek the truth and has opened the spiritual side of those who dare to believe. We hear, smell, taste, feel, see and to some, an addition to seeing the unseen. Whether we are gifted or not, doubtful, or complete believers, there are many mysteries in this world that cannot be explained, and until then, we will be filled with confusion and curiosity. Always remember, when things get dark and cold, don’t forget to leave the lights out. There might just be something out there. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
DEATH’S AT THE DOOR Death can come in many forms: as a shrouded dark and faceless enigma, a gloomy feeling, a horned demon, or even a seductive woman. But in the end, you wonder: who is really the “Grim Reaper”?
WORDS MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA LINE ART ROBERT AUSTIN G. SALAMEDA GRAPHICS CHARISMA P. LIBO-ON
here was this girl, lying on her deathbed, about to succumb to the effects of a disease so irritatingly difficult to pronounce that it should not be written anymore, holding on to dear life because at any moment, she will be reunited with her Creator.
Out of the corner of her eye, she spots a shadowy figure hiding behind the hospital room’s curtains. As her consciousness began to wane, so did her firm grip on her lifeline. The shadow got closer, inch by inch, and the girl slowly made out the features on the entity’s face, as if every step was like a microscope, changing objectives to get a clearer view. Suddenly, just as the girl was about to breathe her last, the shadow revealed itself to her. It was the Grim Reaper, the infamous Devil of Death, the harvester of souls, the harbinger of doom, and
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Lucifer’s best buddy. The girl took one look at its pitch-black eyes, much like the pits of hell where it came from, then an eternal darkness engulfed her vision. The ballistocardiogram registered a flat line. The girl is now dead. The shadow disappeared into thin air, quite contented with the newest addition to its ever-growing collection of souls. Sentience has long been associated with Death, with dates as early as the 1500s. The Grim Reaper is the other face of Death, portrayed as a skeleton carrying a large scythe and wrapped
Many believe that it kills anyone that it touches with a power it possesses, rightfully earning the name “Finger of Death.” in a dark cloak with a hood. In the Bible, it came to be known as Abaddon or “The Angel of The Abyss.” In Talmudic folklore, it is characterized as the archangel Samael, an entity described as both good and evil. The Greeks called it a “psychopomp”, which means “Guide of Souls.” Legend has it that the Reaper does not judge a soul, but provides it safe passage to the afterlife. In Norse mythology, Odin was nicknamed Grimnir and had all the characteristics of Grim itself. It has been centuries since the time of folklore and mythology, but the concept of the Reaper and Death is still firmly attached to the hearts of people. Many believe that it kills anyone that it touches with a power it possesses, rightfully earning the name “Finger of Death.” Even Death has to travel in style. It rides in a dilapidated coach drawn by majestic white horses. The eerie and disturbing racket can be audible due to the stones it carries in its trusty carriage. Whenever it claims a soul, it drops off a stone as a reminder that its job is done. The stone takes away the soul of a person when it is time; it is the sign of impending death. It is also the messenger of Satan. In tarot cards, its representation is death. Some say Death whacks people with its scythe to claim their souls, but a select few insist that it uses its fingers to touch the person’s soul, painlessly ending its mortal life. Just ask the Illuminati. The Reaper made a cameo appearance in the Bible. In the Book of Revelations, there was a mention of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. “When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come and see!’ I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death,
and Hades was following close behind him.” -Revelations 6:7-8 It is believed that the final horseman of the Apocalypse was the Grim Reaper. Of the four, it was the only one given a name by the Bible, apparently calling it Death. It describes Death as wielding a scythe and is followed by Hades. It is pale, similar to that of a rotting corpse. The Grim Reaper, according to popular belief, is not the same Mr. Death since the beginning of time. Just like CEO’s and mob bosses, there will come a time that it will have to be replaced by someone new. An unlucky soul will be endowed with the right to be Death. Has anyone here watched that The Simpsons episode where Homer became the Grim Reaper? Those stories about Death might be enough to send anyone into chilled disbelief, but a handful of students still laugh at the thought of the Grim Reaper. When asked what he thinks of the Reaper, BS Psychology student Robert* laughs and says, “It’s the best job in the universe! I mean, I get to touch people and they die, how cool is that?” Meanwhile, Ricardo*, a Computer Science student confesses, “The Grim Reaper? Isn’t that a cocktail? The mix of vodka, tequila, and gin?” Death is the end of human life. The final stop. The line drawn between mortality and immortality. Sure, it is frightening to think about. But that shouldn’t stop someone from living his or her life to the fullest. That cheesy quote from Tumblr finally made sense, “You only live once, but if you live it right, once is enough.” The fact that it is from Tumblr does not make it less true. Finally, a question for all to ponder on: why are people dying to live, when ultimately, they are just living to die?
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The world is full of coincidences, some more obvious than others. WORDS KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO GRAPHICS ROSELYN M. QUIOCSON
Famous magician and escapologist, Harry Houdini amazed the world with his unbelievable stunts. From handcuffs to straitjackets and Chinese Water Torture Cells, Houdini escaped them all. Unfortunately, J. Gordon Whitehead, a university student, was one trap he could not escape. Harry Houdini was asked if he could take a punch to the stomach. Yes, he could, he said. A few days later, he died of peritonitis, the inflammation of the thin tissue lining the inner wall of the abdomen. Ironically, he supposedly suffered the ailment after the punch.
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One of the most famous and renowned ballerinas in history, Anna Pavlova was not only known for her exquisite and graceful movements, but her unique techniques in dancing as well. With her extremely arched feet and delicate ankles, she was not capable of performing acrobatic feats like other ballerinas. Instead, she performed routines that accentuated her daintiness and fragility. She is known most for her role as the Dying Swan in Swan Lake. In the winter of 1931, Anna Pavlova was exposed to cold weather during a train accident. She caught a cold that eventually led to serious respiratory problems. She died within a few weeks. On her deathbed, she spoke her last words: â€œGet my Swan costume ready!â€?
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A CHILD’S ILLUSIONARY BUDDY There’s more to a kid’s mind than just an overactive imagination. WORDS MONICA LOUISE TRINIDAD M. CUETO PHOTOS ANNA KATRINA B. ALMALKI GRAPHICS CHARISMA P. LIBO-ON
oey was Marceline’s most reliable partner-in-crime. The dynamic duo climbed guava trees that stood on Lola Trining’s backyard, stole star apples from the property of Tiyay Pipin, a 50-year-old spinster, and voyaged to the depths of the unknown in an abandoned subdivision. Oh, how they found happiness in each other’s company. The exorbitant jubilance Joey brought to the lonely unica ija was indescribable. HE was the ideal friend and playmate. A smart, witty, sweet, and curious little boy, Joey was also very protective of Marceline, as if he were her personal superhero. He had supernatural abilities of his own, like laser eyes and super speed. Yes, he was the perfect best friend. In fact, he was too perfect and surreal that his talents and powers made people wonder of his existence. Marceline’s parents were worried; who was this Joey boy that their little girl continuously yaps
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about? The maids and house boys were concerned of her introversion from the other kids in preschool and in the neighborhood, but Marceline always claimed she needed no one else’s company but Joey’s. When children look as if they are talking to themselves, parents need not to worry; kids may invent a make-believe friendship with a creature they made up for the purpose of companionship and playtime. Imaginary friends can serve as important sources of companionship for children who suffer
...children often create imaginary friends as tools for expressing their deep desires and actions that they normally are afraid to engage in. isolation from peers. Clinical psychologists have reported that young children in boarding schools often develop imaginary friends to cope with extreme stress and separation from their family. In other circumstances, children often create imaginary friends as tools for expressing their deep desires and actions that they normally are afraid to engage in. It is only common for a child to be mischievous and participate in immature acts such as pranks and games, and then blame their imaginary friend. This allows the child to act out fantasies that they are otherwise restricted from doing. Similarly, children often give their imaginary friend the personality traits that they lack and shape them into ideal versions of themselves. For instance, bashful kids often describe and foresee their imaginary friends as popular extroverted pranksters, to become the ultimate childish role model. A long-time popular misconception holds that most children dismiss or forget the imaginary friend once they begin school and befriend real humans. Some psychologists suggest that children simply retain but stop speaking about imaginary friends, due to adult expectations and peer pressure. A well-known American television series produced by Cartoon Network Studios, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends has a concept related to the heartaches of growing- up, kids, and their imaginary creatures. The animated series revolves around the life of a shy and creative 8-year-old introvert named Mac, together with his self-created best friend, Bloo, and the rest of the “forgotten childhood imaginary friends” that reside at Foster’s. Mac was forced to sacrifice Bloo due to peer pressure and societal acceptance but ends up bargaining with the caretakers and employees at Foster’s Home. A deal was made that they guard Bloo from adoption as long as
Mac continues to visit the center every day. Bloo is the exact opposite of his creator, a real chaosmaker and mischievous lad who is mostly the evil mastermind behind every humorous tragedy Mac faces. In other words, he’s the source behind Mac’s enjoyable and colorful jubilant life. Niall Horan, one of the boys of the ridiculously famous tween sensation, admits to having an imaginary friend as a boy. Being an only child, growing up alone with occupied parents, Niall played soccer under the Mullingar sun with Michael, his imaginary buddy. I guess you can say this is “one direction” to having company. Similarly, American actor and comedian, Robin Williams, also confesses to growing up with an imaginary friend as a kid. Adults are not even excluded from this therapy for loneliness. Cast Away, a 2000 film starring Tom Hanks, depicts the survival of a FedEx employee after the company’s plane crashes on the Pacific Ocean during a violent storm. Hanks’ character is forced to live and seek strategies and ideas in the uninhabited island for each day to assure his life and sanity where he prays for a miracle of coming home to his wife. One of his tactics to survive was keeping himself sane. Being the only survivor of the plane crash, there was no one else to talk to nor was there an identifiable scrap left of the airplane, except a ball, a Wilson brand type for volleyball, that was intended for delivery. Hanks spends four years on the island with only “Wilson” by his side to serve as his reliable friend. He talks to him as if Wilson was not an inanimate object. He treated him more like a brother and a family member than just another athlete’s volleyball ball. Hanks imagined Wilson to be real human being with actual human feelings to keep his sanity intact while suffering the burden of extreme isolation from civilization.
Adults have a fancier way of referring to imaginary creatures that linger in their lives; they call them spirit guides, guardians, angels and selfacclaimed advisers. There are many theories and studies that claim these events with the reasons similar to that of children being alone and having no one to express their feelings to. Another is the battle against Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), also known as the Multiple Personality Disorder, the feeling that the other person can take control of one’s mind, which enables them to hear voices. The situation of victims diagnosed with DID recognize the voice within to be their friend who has full authority over them. Moreover, the Attachment Theory also claims that imaginary friends are positive in adults. Some kids, maybe single children or neglected children, don’t get enough emotional nourishment growing up thus developing imaginary friends as a support system and bring their make-believe buddies with them until they grow up to be complete adults. Everyone needs a friend, and it does not come with age. Children, teenagers and adults alike need companionship or the interaction with other human beings to keep them sane. And if desperate times call for desperate measures, having an imaginary friend does not count as insane but rather a working force of creativity. The years went by and the time slowly shifted its gears; Marceline grew up. She no longer played with her dolls nor climbed trees or even went outside her house to play. Piece by piece, Joey was fading from Marceline’s sight and imagination. By the time Marceline was 10 and about to enter middle school; she fell in the company of real humans and enjoyed their bonding. And Joey no longer existed. Now, he lies in the cemetery of other forgotten childhood memories. His service as a friend to Marceline was done. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
KEEP CALM AND
CARRY ON Temper can bring out the worst in people, especially the destructive I-can’t-betamed-I’m-the-Hulk level of temper. WORDS KRIMLYN L. LUMAWAG & PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO
er first year as an engineering student at the University of St. La Salle led to her sudden adjustment. Angelie* admitted that her stress does not come from the busy horns of jeepneys every morning, or the hard and uncomfortable bed in her dormitory. “I was actually doing well with my academics and even my social life during the earlier part of the year,” she said. But one thing that flusters Angelie is her moodiness, which affected her self-concept and her relationships with the people around her. She’s the kind of girl who can look like she can take on grizzly bears when she’s in a rage. She’s the girl who may seem like she can toss you to the next galaxy if you ever cross her. Others consider her attitude as an extreme means of self defense but apart from that, Angelie fears that someday her temper might
THESPECTRUM January 2013
cause her own death. “There was a time when I lost my temper and swallowed all the pills from our medicine box,” Angelie shares. “I took them in and imprisoned myself in my room for three days. I just stayed in the corner without any food. I didn’t seem to notice my hunger or disorderly
Not being able to strike a balance in life causes people to let off their “bitter pill” and allow their impulses to react to their own rule. appearance because I was so high on drugs.” Temper is known to be one of the vivid causes of sudden mood shifts. This could lead to petty arguments and damage, which could wreck relationships. Take the Hulk for example. His uncontrollable anger can turn him into a giant green monster that screams violently while smashing anything along his path. Although he was made for pure fictional amusement, he depicts the reality of how twisted people can become when they don’t keep their composure. One’s anger causes a person to lose his/her sense of control and throw temper tantrums. Commonly, these temper tantrums may also manifest in regression. This usually happens when a person gets incredibly irritated or frustrated with something, leading them to display a form of childish rage. Oftentimes, people also tend to displace their anger. This is done by lashing out on random targets, people and objects alike. How one reacts usually depends on the type of person and the gravity of the situation. Other people may curse incessantly, use physical means, become cold, or just cry in helplessness. The leading causes of these temper tantrums are said to be stress, anxiety, demanding workloads, hectic lifestyles, social and financial responsibilities and unrealistic expectations. Basically, temper is most imminent when people are either given too much or too little. Not being able to strike a
balance in life causes people to let off their “bitter pill” and allow their impulses to react to their own rule. Anger is one of the emotions that trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response. In that moment, the person’s reflexes urge him/her to either retaliate or just run away. When one is angry, the brain pushes blood away from the gut and towards the muscles. This is in preparation for physical exertion. In the process, your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration also increase; body temperature rises and the skin perspires. The more alarming part of temper is how it can affect you physically. The constant flood of stress chemicals and metabolic changes that accompany unmanaged anger can harm different systems of the body. Some of these health problems are abdominal pain, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, eczema, heart attack, and stroke. The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way… that is not easy.” So if you feel a burning rage urging you to implode, that’s ok. If irrational rage angers you and if it happens in the most inconvenient of moments, it’s safe to say that’s normal. But when you’re ready to let it pass, count to ten then do as the Brits do, keep calm and carry on.
* Names have been changed.
SONA IAL PER
E AMNESIA Admitt save h ed after f choki is friend orgetting t claim ng on an a Daniel fro o when s to have bpple. Subje m pitchehe heard D lacked outct an d scre am for iel’s high help. Rarel OBSERVATION NO y TE h S: o stile solita an r inani y. Seen tal d quite printemate object king to detai rs. Often s like names ls of conv forgets e , shoes, or where hrsations, e pu but accur ate me has a cre t his e what seem t mory of na pily mes o b famou s linge models of of erie l a i n e. MED VictorICATION: Rer ia’s Se u cre ns of Shows t Fashion
CASE FILE 003 DIAGNOSIS: SE DISORDER (OCD VERE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIV ) E Scientis t turned ne hell-ben t on perf cromancer ecting th resurrec ting the e dead. Lost art of after se ve revive he ral failed atte her mind mp r sister , Matilde. ts to
Naturall RVATION NOTES: y artist ic, draw severa recogniz l pictures of a ing ed by re girl, latives Subject as Matild means no e. usually friendly harm and is mentions , but if someone her sist er, she go a state of loony. es into MEDICATI ON: Art cl ass
CASE FILE 00 1 DIAGNOSIS : DISSOCIA T
ess E 002 se-l CASE FIL IS: ANTISOC emor ment r f S h o O s t ries he puni e cour DIAGN h a se t
, t s the d ough itte eath a y Comm er. Alth me is d blige, leaz o i d ly s mur uch cr ant to most and e s t r c for s relu tims a ders, he n at t c seem cts’ vi aw offe ors th ject t e b subj nals, l s viola ure. Su for i V t t crim n righ n’t cap e next d a hum e coul eled th c b poli been la t S: has etta. N NOTdE subje.c d n VATIO Ve OBSERthal adn shifts e ly l e moo side Higho sever put beuffy. r l t v Ne ething f any ION: ment T A e IC MED confin y tar Soli
An excavation team finds an abandoned rui n of what was once a psychiatric asylum, its big rooms reeking with the passage of time. Howe they tore down one ver, door to find a fairly cle an, gothic-like office perfect condition, wi in near th old, stained papers strewn across the flo These turned out to or. be the files of a batch of teenaged patients .
CASE FILE 00 DIAGNOS 6 IS (FORMER : DISSOCIATIVE LY MULT ID IPLE PER ENTITY DISORD After ER S O NALITY DISORDE borin watching R) g doc a tra pi u u
nk f men mat on a lamingo tary abo ically u s f voice ew alter , subject t migrat in h s her h she cla egos to “ as taken g a i by lo ead. Subj ms to he ppease” a e t c c he mena al auth t was tu r inside oriti c rned e hous e and a thre s, callin over e buf at to g fet t seve her a able ral o s. pen Subje OBSER c crea t capita VATION NOT ti ES l imag vity and s on her : i abun bath nary rai ability d room to pu ant nbow . s back ke stori Subject h in the as g es, a all h iv n e curr r imagin d unique en name s, en a be Ma tly beli ry pers traits to on e m grou a Ling-L ves hers as. Subj ect c i elf t war hy Old Ch ng, a o v i stan eteran w nese ho ca d med tooth io n past crity an not e com merc d ials . MEDI CATIO N: FOOD
CASE FIL E0 DIAGNO 05 SIS: TR ANSIEN DISORDE T TIC R Caus ed p accicontroveolitical dent rs dist ally sy by abouurbing fpilling t acts t he lea how ders suland’s in t they sa ch as h one eir sl livate fing has aneep, how er, a nd extra ha ribb s a feti how one sh f ons. “ERH Often s or MEGE a RD.” ys
004 CASE FILE E ROM D N Y S PERGER’S
SERV Su RICEbject iATION NOT to c and hs craz ES: y doctoopera as pro for her ors if te withmised a pl the y her everate of give y da RIC E y. MED ICAT ION: RICE
/ ress l act sion. rsia rove to admis d a t n o se r A c prio s cau e host bject ha l, peopl h su a turmoi of her g u o i se Th d u e a e m c u e f n s lot o ve her b rm. Conti the lo ha in l c l l i e i t . l a s niab an m nstitute unde eceive f I : to r
OTES ATION N OBSERV uite the be q ats
t ch s to pear n. Subjec thing i ct ap ny Subje al pengu about a d with soci anyone equippe king a li with rely is ra as taken n themed and i H n ter. sing up l i ver i . f a es e, ne w to dr of cours g yello ut hin es, b anyt r i t t g a rnin y mo hi Earl Tai C ION: T A C I MED
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
8 CASE FILE 00 : DIAGNOSIS M UTIS M E IV T SELEC
CASE FILE 007 DIAGNOSIS: SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER Was once a renowned opera singer who could sing both male and female parts of a duet song. But somewhere along the way he began to believe that his alter ego did exist and had a mental break down during one of his shows.
nd kgrou ject e bac b ncret on the su y o c y l An n clear matio infor s not beenue to the k ha ied d al to spea ll, f i t n ide efus peak at a , ct’s r subje past (or s r). Though s e y s of hi that matten hearsaian s for have be a Rus r a there him beingisguise, o dy. o about robot in d a man’s b n spy, ay queen i ES: the beaut TION NOT A V get s ER S OB i le to a whi e. Subject Pid. k o o It t ct’s nam Pido or subje called y simpl kouts l wor : Voca ATION MEDIC
Subject is happy and an amus ing source of entertainment in the otherwise gloomy setting of the Institute. Frequently wins Perfomer of the Night durin g mental acquaintance parties. MEDICATION: K-Pop, and several purple pills
9 CASE FILE 00 DISORDER RETTE’S U O T : IS S ers DIAGNO e sist
th in by e after a taken ag his t was rphan Subjec Ben Avon o e cost him il t k of the e earthqua ppy life un ts l i terrib lived a ha the 13 spir d n e H y ed b Gogh a home. posess , like Van s able s a w s a t he w s i r t o r ast d a out, of dea o. A local p rcise them ct Picass ssfully exo t the subje ng ef ce dent l hile creati y to suc e inci w t but th ly ticking ces. Insani t ie violen ul masterp lowed. f l i beaut quickly fo
ON NOTES: e any OBSERVATIppear to havsorder. a i d t o r n to
pping dd mo t does Subjec with his o o enjoy sla able, t m t proble even seems ced near a er. a t ov Subjec e and, if pl to flip it c e his fa ot hesitat will n TION: k IC MED A fe bac his li f o um e; b g l a a n a o rph A phot Avon o ls in the en pil me gre o s d n a
0 EFICIENCY CASE FILE 01 EVERE ATTENTION D S : IS S O N G DIA (ADHD) d DISORDER rreste
ng a er bei reak of ed aft t Admitt mitting a s t-outs in m oo for co iminate sh g school. r in c s d indi boar ews llege and n her co ng to data ent totaled i id d c r n o i c c e A h im ngs, t e vict e clippi s, with on th lde, th 15 dea ied as Mati atient. f p identi f another o sister lly, ON NOTES: ive, jo OBSERVATI is hyperacty agree t l c i je s b a e u S ist t herap se oes no and d times. Her t n to appea o i p t a d ta i n d to n u e o m f ten sted sugge d spirit. Of les, l ch tab ious” her wi ing on lun lic i k “S t o a medit e word bit is in n a ing th chant dly. This h te repea lthy. ea nd way h ills a llow p ION: Ye therapy T A IC D ME al ologic psych
CASE FILE 011 HIZOPHRENIA SI NO DIAG S: SC
ramedics after pa off of a Admitted jumping om be fr r rself to he saved he g in n”. , believ “Super Mo o d building me na tw ero a superh also involved in s fing Subject wa e first by stuf y th rt s: di murder side a g riend in her boyf by pushin . e second th , el e window rr ba r out th he ot br r her olde TES: OBSERVATION NO joy mental ems to en se t ec bj is even Su ent and tivities. confinem t most ac ou ab ic ile and st enthusia ly displays host . al provoked g if Occasion or vi -Lin c beha Mama Ling ) is psychoti at th es te liev inma Subject be created by one te a a separa (a person gave her en s. ev d st Chri ma r real an fo et gift bask , yellow watching ON: Bird MEDICATI s ll pi
CAS DIA E FILE GNO 012 SIS Fi : PA he rst
RKI tr rse pa NSO th ave lf tie N’S do at lli int nt DIS he esn she ng o t to EAS w h r ’ ’ s h t th e i E in inh see los ipp in lli ie st ng k k i i b n OBS sh it ps g w it ly e’s io yc he ho ut Su ERV e ju ns hol r m rea e. A nro ba bje ATIO st to og in s ll pa rel ct N NO o w d i n he ar c de ssi y h sha TES: re ds al if s o s k o u a ta pi n fo li he sh t s es r f l e he kes te ate mo un th e. B p a s r , a t b e li sub ome bo or con fo ut w out ME mi je f ut co tr od e ta ct ru p or ol je DIC . st ho din la ti ll A r b on ef ra to y TIO s. us ti gr ati ly su N: es ng ap on an pp T hy . V d le hr t b o me ee gi lur , so ery nt ye ve ry s THESPECTRUM January 2013 ll in ow to
. in ey a m ere ir d k o IA fr wh the an 14 AN s e k 13-0 YPOM gift som t of loc 0 d en LES IS: H re ute Mos er an ak s I F e e t ow E t e. nd e S r S l i O . w t CA AGN la ab av sh th ed s s ol u po oci . H ma wi ud ct in h p ept DI i e s l b s u ra ch c bj al rt k ES: y re ro d u in Su ent no are OT pla t a nge ng to ys m e s N s i n u N h i u t ile TIO d b da ch i G f VA cts ies ly wat uch ide. R e E m S e c e is OB ubj den tir to ry e s rc e S n en ng ve in ex te ot ki e min n li ar fe nd a nd r N: s a O a ei TI ll th CA pi DI n E M ree G
CASE FIL E0 DIAGNO 15 LINE PER SIS: SONALIT Reco mmen Y DISOR de o BORDER
DER ne d f sudd therapy or admis en si se song ly danc ssion, w on afte Sant . Her th ed to a here sh r e K e ua, s aid rapist, M orean p o it w as f s. Brian p OBSERV or t he b a kara ATION NOTE est. S oke mach : Subject ine h ogs ever t he y we eken MED d. K-po ICATION: p dosa and ges h of r alf ed p ills
CASE FILES 016-020 DIAGNOSIS: CHRONIC HALLUCINATORY PSYCHO SIS Imported from a sweat shop in the Middle Ea st and the lat est batch of mental cases. Severely traumatized by the harsh realities of lif e at This compels the a young age. m to seek the truth as well as justice.
NOTES: Subjects are pol ite, prim, orderl y and quiet. But at night, each crumbles to per sonal demons that haunt the ir dreams. Be it success iss ues, family deprivation, lov e, loss, ribbon cutting, or wh atever. They scream about it in their sle ep. MEDICATION: Red pills, tra uma therapy
YPE R’S T -027 ty ES 021 LZHEIME ili IL F E fac CAS IA, OF A ter ange s T i N s str eign ge DEME y a
y r b spla e for stran d i h ove e ed ects d rom t tell sider ved p p f bj ly hi ol on y e s ia. Su babl ional en c e inv r e e pro cas y w uss e b hav rk. The in R iors, nd oc d hav not fo av g, a oul hey th a , h e t w n i b i ite w d t g l a n e pol th ri pl hou me, ff to : i upb ories ng, s g peo S E t o OT the to st esti imin ng ION N gh er ma RVAT t of ari ou int OBSE t mos ght st ive en en en at au sil lly c nnov kitch s i n re s a siona and mmon weapo m t c co je ve ca o ai Sub nd oc reati form s int ey cl t s C i e a h ce. tran lianc er. T rned n. o d spa app r mur e lea evisi v l e fo o ha h t t g u : o N thr TIO ICA S MED OKIE O C
E 32 028-0 ISEAS ute tit FILES GTON’S D E S A Ins on. C N I e T h i N t s s : HU ide inva it wa ey e ins NOSIS
, i Th ace zomb ation ace. ed l g e s sol ht ng th vesti ook p confu the g u t n i i so n iv ke ad cts surv reful vasio ho h ts li ed to e j Sub after er ca no in cts w ubjec e opt ent. i r s aft hat hav he add he But led t uter ity. T they pay t p a o l y m e s a y rev re co th re ugh, barel njo n’t ho hey we e wi d e o : e t t OTES oke an irs. D N gam titut ugh N a VATIO for Cl-y ch ins y tho R E S OB sion ive sta w pas h s e a d wit ask. v a n h u o y r N: The ng a ld TIO yi ICA e wor D E pla d M i s t ou The
TOG An n R Joh a Kat APH r a Fai nna ina Y B t M Joy h Jo ay G . Alm a . E Ma elee spa lki rie ne no J D. MAK Ma . Lac la rti s o E n Joy -UP r & S Cha Mari e Joh risma D. M TYL I a Fai anna P. Li rtir NG bot Jud h Jo May on G e Jay y Ros leen . Esp an e e ric k F L. Sa J. La ola cso ys . Ag ED n uir on I re Joy TIN G Ma rie & C O D. WOR Ma MPO SIT rti Ade DS r ION ly Gra ce V. T oma ro January 2013 THESPECTRUM
As Pedro Calderon de la Bara said, “Love that is not madness is not love.” WORDS PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO PHOTO ANNA KATRINA B. ALMALKI PHOTO MANIPULATION CHARISMA P. LIBO-ON
ave you ever played the game Sims? Well, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s basically a game about life. A life where you decide everything. A life where you can play god. A life where everything is literally at your fingertips. The game SIMS is an easy, convenient and a classic example of obtaining control over relationships. Say for example you create a family. You can choose how your spouse dresses, what job to choose, who to talk to, when to eat or sleep and even when to die. You can create them and program them to do whatever you please, whenever you please without complaint. Most people would think that this lifestyle is virtually impossible in the real world but some people refuse to believe. Others however, don’t even realize they’re already sucked into it. 49
THESPECTRUM January 2013
Just like in Sims, someone plays god and someone plays the puppet. A controlling relationship is a relationship where one has a certain amount of control over the other. Just like in Sims, someone plays God and someone plays the puppet. There are two kinds of abusers: the dominant and the victim. The dominant’s favorite weapon is fear, while the victim’s is guilt. Dominant abusers are more dangerous due to their tendency to turn towards verbal and in some cases, physical abuse. The victim, on the other hand, is a little trickier to identify. They use your everyday relationship dramas such as crying and complaining in a manner that will make you feel as though you have to change. Now, don’t start accusing your significant other of being controlling straightaway. These methods have to be done excessively and to great extents for it to be considered controlling behavior. It’s very easy to dislike the idea of an abuser but most of the time, these people don’t want to be abusers themselves. They simply react the way they do because of their inability to comprehend and handle pain, insecurity, anxieties, hostility or fear. Thus, they become prone to irrational behavior and sudden outbursts of emotions. They turn to control merely as a defense mechanism. In some cases, abusers can be victims of neurosis, which in context, is an attempt to make
life bearable. Most of them are just scared and lost people trying to find means to feel safe. Raffy* is a 19-year-old Lasallian who has been submissive for almost two years. “I realized that Amy* was a bit controlling eight months into the relationship when boundaries began to be set due to her constant outbursts, so I began to cut off my relationships with other girls,” he says. Over time the limitations become more stifling. This behavior has hindered Raffy from having close ties with his block and his other classes in general. “I do my best to avoid doing anything that may hurt her and in the process, I became a different person.” However, Raffy is set on remaining loyal and understanding to his girlfriend, despite the fact that Amy’s nature tends to make him feel like the relationship lacks equality and fairness. “I do my best to make her happy because she’s less uptight when she’s happy.” Raffy claims that their relationship is still going strong and that Amy is currently doing her best to work out her issues. He doesn’t resent his girlfriend at all and is even planning to marry her someday. “I haven’t given up hope that we can make this relationship last forever. I believe any relationship can work out as long as
both parties still love each other.” Sheila Javier, a guidance counselor of the University of St. La Salle, says that it is very important to have a stable sense of self-awareness before going into a relationship. Knowing who you are, what you want and what you stand for will help you keep a firm grip on your identity when your relationship starts to become controlling. That way, you can make sure that you do not allow yourself to become a victim. According to Javier, your emotions are your responsibility. You must have a healthy perception and a clear acceptance of what you’re feeling in order to compose yourself. In a relationship, communication is key and a great help. “Part of loving is letting that person know he/she is hurting you,” Javier says. For her, controlling relationships can be saved but when it’s really not working, you have to know when to get out. Love, they say, conquers all things. So if your relationship is indeed a controlling one, it isn’t doomed to fail. If you believe that your love is genuine and both you and your partner are willing to brave the storm, then anything is possible. And well, if that doesn’t work out well, Sims 1, 2 and 3 are all downloadable online for your gaming pleasure.
**Names have been changed January 2013 THESPECTRUM
FALLEN AND FORGOTTEN? Remembering all those who dared to go to great lengths to seek the truth and defend human rights. WORDS COLEEN EDREA F. EMATONG PHOTO RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
n November 23, 2009, the Philippines awoke to the horrendous news of the murder of 57 people in Maguindanao. Their slain bodies were found scattered on a vacant land; others had to be dug out of the earth. The victims were lawyers, journalists, and media workers. Each was promised with “special [news] scoops” if they accompany the group headed to the Comelec provincial office in Shariff Aguak town to file the Certificate of Candidacy for then Buluan Vice-Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu. He was to run for governor, challenging one of the members of a famous political dynasty in the place, the Ampatuans. That promise, however, led to their deaths. There were female victims who were even pregnant at the time of their murder, and many others were sexually abused before they were killed. The victims were shot using what they called a ‘baby armalite’, to be sure they were all dead. Police investigation showed that a lot of them were mutilated, and tortured, before finally being made to face death. Interestingly enough, a backhoe owned by the primary suspects, the Ampatuans, was found on the crime scene. But despite such coincidence, prosecutors seem to find it difficult to implicate them. Three years after the murder, several witnesses had already been killed. The ones still alive fear for their lives. Heaven knows just when justice will be given for the 57 victims of what is known today as the ‘Maguindanao Massacre’, and what is also considered as the largest murder of journalists, not only in the Philippines, but in the whole world. Perhaps, justice will be given once the trees and the bushes surrounding the area, where the lifeless bodies were discovered, grow mouths and start talking. Of course, that’s just the writer’s way of making things a bit more comical than they seem. But murdering journalists, let alone murdering ordinary people, is not in any way comical. Former Negros Press Club President and current freelance writer and photojournalist, Julius Mariveles, said, “The rampant murders only prove that there is a total lack of respect not only for the press, but [for] the right of the people to be informed.” According to him, the murders also show that impunity is ‘very much alive and flourishing’ in
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“Journalists are killed for personal or work-related reasons,” said Mariveles. “Truth-telling comes at a high price and high risks.” There are, however, some ways journalists could do to protect themselves. “Ethical practice is one, and being aware of threats and determining with the help of the authorities the source of these threats is another,” Mariveles said. He added that it is also important for journalists to organize themselves and educate the community about the need for a free and vibrant press. “But most of all, the government should do its job of identifying, arresting, and charging killers and masterminds in order to protects not only journalists but all citizens.”
“Silencing [killing] of journalists and activists in the Philippines is not new anymore. It has become a culture to abolish those who expose the truth.” This ‘culture’ has worsened under the Arroyo administration, but also under the Aquino government. “No matter what the UN or international human rights treaties the Aquino administration signs, there are still activists being abducted and tortured and journalists that are being ‘silenced’.” Cases like the Maguindanao massacre and the disappearance of student leaders Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan remain unsolved up to this day. “Hundreds of activists are being thrown to rot in jail without warrant of arrest nor objective reasons. The human rights situation in the Philippines is bad and will continue to worsen under this government which has decided to protect not the Filipino’s democratic/political rights, but the needs of the few elite and foreign capitalists,” Ombion said. For Ombion, there is nothing lacking with the law. On the contrary, the justice system in the Philippines is even part of this ‘big’ inhuman connivance. “We’ve heard of it a lot of times: justice delayed is justice denied,” she said. “What can these poor journalists, activists and ordinary innocent people do against those who are in position? They have no millions of pesos nor properties to bribe the justice system with. All they have is their commitment to fight for their rights.”
JOURNALISTS ARE THE USUAL TARGETS, BUT NOT ALWAYS
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THIS WON’T GO ON FOREVER
the country. Even international organizations expressed their abhorrence of the said crime. Two days after the massacre, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) gave a statement on their website. Apparently the Philippines had already overtaken Iraq, where an armed conflict has been raging, as the most dangerous place for journalists. The group also condemned the previous Arroyo administration for their lack of action in ending the culture of impunity in the country. IFJ reports that at least 74 journalists have been killed during Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s eight-year tenure. And the number still seems to increase. Why are they the usual targets?
Who remembers the case of Jonas Joseph Burgos, one of the country’s most famous desaparecidos? It has now been five years since he was last seen being dragged by a couple of men out of restaurant in Quezon City. A veteran investigative writer, Glenda Gloria, wrote that in Police and Military dossiers, Burgos is known as ‘Ka Ramon’, a Bulacan-based rebel and an earnest guerilla. He was an activist, and his family reportedly does not deny his connections with the underground communist movement. The Military does not also deny that Burgos is ‘Ka Ramon’. But it does deny that it had anything to do with his enforced disappearance. League of Filipino Students National Deputy Education and Research Officer, Pats Ombion said,
Ombion said that with the way the justice system is being run in this country, no human rights victim has ever been served justice. Their families and friends are the ones doing the fact finding missions, joining human rights organizations for help, and literally looking for their disappeared loved ones. Their families and friends are the ones doing all these and not our justice system, according to Ombion. Not the police, nor the AFP. “Where is Palparan? Gloria Arroyo?” Ombion asked. “They either roam free and kickin’ or are seated in the government, even Ferdinand Marcos. Yes, he is in his grave with flowers and everything but where are the activists who fought for the rights of the Filipino people back then? Until now, they cannot be found, until now they
“Until now, justice for all these Human Rights violations, is a blurry dream; a flickering goal in Aquino’s daang matuwid.” are being tagged as enemies of the state, as subversives.” Furthermore, under the Aquino regime, there is still a standing number of 132 extra judicial killings, 12 cases of enforced disappearances, and 72 cases of torture. She also shared that the Lumads and other Indigenous People of Mindanao came to Manila just this December to call out for justice due to the incessant militarization and foreign large-scale mining in Mindanao. The Aquino administration has not solved any of the cases but they are telling both the local and international media that they have. “Until now, justice for all these Human Rights violations, is a blurry dream; a flickering goal in Aquino’s ‘daang matuwid’,” said Ombion. Now, journalists and student activists all over the nation share the hopes of many others to someday attain justice for those who disappeared in the dead of the night. Fallen? Yes, they are. But, hopefully, not forgotten. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
REINCARNATED MOVIES AND MUSIC Why do we still love seeing the same things?
WORDS KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO PHOTO FROM DISNEY.GO.COM
Was it for the sake of reminiscing a beautiful story, or because remaking a famous movie is a fast and easy way to earn big bucks?
our comically sarcastic friend, after looking at a poster announcing the upcoming 3D re-release of Finding Nemo, turns to you and asks, “Is Nemo lost again?” And you, being a patient person, would reply, “They’re showing it again in 3D, which would be very nice.” What would keep you wondering though, is the reason why showing it again in 3D would be nice. The story’s still the same, and you have already seen it before; the only difference is that it will be released with a threedimensional twist and you will get to wear cool-looking shades while watching it. After thinking it through, you realize that it would be nice, great even, to watch this movie again mainly because you want to see Nemo again. And not only Nemo, but Marlin, Dory, Bruce the Shark and all the other sea critters that Pixar had creatively simulated. But despite the way they react to its re-release, there remains the other side of the story: why was this movie revived? Was it for the sake of reminiscing a beautiful story or because remaking a famous movie is a fast and easy way to earn big bucks? Music and movies are designed to solicit a certain response from their audience. According to Jon Reiss, a filmmaker and strategist, to “engage the audience and cause them to remember you” is one of the most important goals one can achieve in the media industry. Price Jaccobi, a producer of indie films,
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says, “By patronizing these movie remakes, audiences are telling us that they want things to be familiar and at the same time, new. They know that the story will be similar, but different in a way that should be entertaining.” People are beguiled by these revived movies and covered songs because it is in the nature of human beings to remember. People give attention to these Lazarus-like media because they want to know if what they have seen in the original film or song is still seen in the remakes. Yes, there are changes but something still stays the same and they tune in to know if it is still there. This is a point which filmmakers and recording artists put to mind because not only does it affect their theatrical impact, it also affects their industry’s business portion. According to the Copyright Act of 1909, a recording artist has the right
to record a version of someone else’s tune, whether of music alone or of music and lyrics. In cases like this, negotiations are held between the interpreting artist and the copyright holder and eventually, under a mechanical license, the interpreting artist will have to pay standard royalties to the copyright holder. It is because of this that most are led to think that songs are revived for profit. Lawyers for cover artists would usually encourage their clients to cover songs because people tend to be strongly drawn to a song when it is presented in a new yet familiar way. The more people are drawn, the more albums are sold. Thus, bands like New Found Glory and Boyce Avenue have released numerous song covers and singers like Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, and many others dabble on the art of remaking songs. The beloved Muppets have also adapted this when they released their ambiguously named album, The Green Album, featuring their famous songs covered by various artists such as Amy Lee of Evanescence and Hayley Williams of Paramore. This art was taken a step higher when the phenomenal television series Glee graced televisions and featured covered songs throughout their seasons. Original songs were revived, remade and some were even mashed up, and all of them performed in a way that kept the audience listening. With all these things in mind, one must again go back to the question that burns through the film and music remaking franchise: to reminisce or for money? The Dark Knight Rises has just recently dominated cinemas worldwide and its controversial release became even more controversial when Marvel and DC fans clashed to see whether Gotham’s caped crusader could thwart The Avengers’ box office
earnings of $207 million (sadly no, it didn’t). After so many Batman movies, one would most likely assume that these film studios have probably ran out of creative juices and stuck to remaking The Dark Knight franchise to earn money. The same judgment can be assumed with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man; Spidey’s franchise has already popularized itself to the audience, why the need for the retroactive continuity? Producer Gavin Polone explains that remaking a movie implicitly boosts its value, which then in turn helps boost the studio’s total worth. But those involved with these movies’ cinematography say otherwise. Jeff Alexander, author of A TV Guide to Life, says, “It’s easy to complain about studios continually trying to bring in more money from stories that have already been told... It’s sometimes worth coming back to a story and telling it in a way that it couldn’t have or wouldn’t have been told in the time of the original.” It was to indulge the people to enjoy themselves with a character they loved and to thrill them again with the things that he did. In addition to that, Price Jaccobi also explains that, “People flock to see the remakes because they enjoy being with the characters and in the world. Remakes are not just indications that Hollywood is greedy, it tells you something about the audience.” Every movie that was produced and every song that was recorded must have meant something more to its audience. Being two of the most influential mass mediums, movies and music may have affected people more than common words and actions could. What is better than experiencing something once? Experiencing it again. That is what covered songs and remade movies are designed for: to make people remember. Money just comes.
DORY GRAPHIC by Ryan
JUST KEEP SWIMMING Graphics Ryan Ceazar B. Santua January 2013 THESPECTRUM
wasor alive dead
BEBING AN D BEBANGS LIVE CONCERT
reward : 1.1 m
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE
REWARD : $1
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE VILLAIN’S SOUL Underneath that layer of diabolical evil and super villain-plotting is a soul that just wants to be loved. WORDS & LINE ART KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO GRAPHICS ROBERT C. DINGCONG, JR.
he better the villain, the better the film.” Such true words from legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock. If you take time to notice, you will find that most of the famous films of the “past and of today showcase villains that are just as famous as they are: Dr. Jekyll from Victor Fleming’s memorable 1941 remake of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula from the eponymously-named novel, Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs and Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter series. These characters are not Punch and Judy villains who go through film after film cackling maniacally as they terrorize their victims for the fun of it. They are characters with depth; they had real lives and real motivations. All villainy is motivated. This is a point which Dr. Stuart Fischoff, senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology, gives great emphasis to in his article “Villains in Film: Anemic Renderings”. According to him, “Hollywood never
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seems to get the fundamental truth (which Alfred Hitchcock understood so well) about the audience appeal of ordinary people placed in extraordinary situations, battling ordinary looking antagonists. The simple truth is that what makes villains interesting is less often what they do than why they do it. They were real, fleshed out and motivated by something other than evil.” Psychologist Kurt Lewin provided a simple formula for understanding motivational forces:
B=f ( P, E ), which means behavior is a function of personality factors interacting with environmental factors. According to Dr. Fischoff, understanding a villain’s criminal intent in terms of his or her personality may be viewed from two angles. The first angle dictates that to understand one’s villainy, one only needs to look into oneself and see his or her weakest, most desperate and vengeful moments. Given the proper nurturing, people are capable of almost anything. However, the power of the inhibitory mechanism, the ability to restrain one’s self, is what makes a difference. In Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince, Dumbledore and Harry look into the Pensieve to understand Voldemort’s past. As a young boy, Voldemort was identified as a bully not only by the matron of the orphanage where he grew up;
Dumbledore acknowledged this as well, saying, “he [Voldemort] was already using magic against other people, to frighten, to punish, to control.” Theravive, a website for psychological studies, explains that bullying all comes down to fear. Bullies have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. But what finally led Tom Riddle down under was his disappointment towards his parents. Upon learning the truth about his ordinary father and witch mother, he was deprived of his dreams and expectations from his parents. His dismay affected him so greatly that he changed his name, refused to be associated with any of his father’s kind and set forth to become the most powerful wizard. Tom Riddle lacked the power to restrain himself, and so he became Voldemort.
The same thing can be said of Tangled’s Mother Gothel and Coraline’s Other Mother. Although Mother Gothel did show signs of fondness for Rapunzel sometime during the film, her desire to be forever young often overpowered her. On the other hand, Coraline’s Other Mother was driven by the desire to love somebody other than herself. This not only proves that anyone, even mothers, are capable of villainy, it also shows that one’s most cherished and deepest dream, heartache or emotion can be the catalyst leading a person to the road of villainy. The second angle presents a more familiar territory; villains become villains because they crave attention. Erich Fromm, a German psychologist, observed that people want to make an impact on the world, something which, even momentarily, cuts them from the herd and permits them to stand alone and be counted. Now, it is essential to put to mind another important fact noted by Fromm. He explains that if a person cannot create to gain attention—and if he desperately wants attention—he or she will most likely destroy. Well-known villains such as the Joker from the Batman comics and Megamind are perfect examples. As the Joker puts it, “It’s not about the money, it’s about making an
impression.” And now, to the second critical element of Lewin’s equation: the environment. A person’s potential villainy is only ventilated given the proper environmental encouragement. According to Hickey’s Trauma Control Model, early childhood trauma can set the child up for deviant behavior in adulthood. Family, or lack thereof, is the most influential part of a child’s development because it is what the child can identify with on a regular basis. Dr. Fischoff says that villains were drawn from what people know is real life, the real life of miserable, angry people who have a chance of elevating themselves at the expense of others in a system that is too uncaring or busy to notice. Enter Magneto and siblings, Zuko and Azula. Magneto, as a child, was a survivor of the Holocaust who, after being persecuted as a Jew, was persecuted as a mutant throughout his life. Where should he get the idea of eradicating those different from him than from the people who, more than once, tried to eradicate him and his kind? Zuko, on the other hand, was a victim of favoritism and brutal criticism. Although his mother loved him dearly, his father, grandfather, and sister’s jeers and judgments made him, the bullied, into a bully.
...what makes villains interesting is less often what they do than why they do it. They were real, fleshed out and motivated by something other than evil. Theravive explains that the victim, out of anger and lack of control of their own lives, seek out someone who is weaker than they are and target them; hence the victim turns into a bully. The same can also be said about Zuko’s sister, Azula. Throughout seasons two and three of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula was portrayed as a coldhearted antagonist. But season three’s fifth episode, “The Beach”, showed a short moment where Azula got emotional and confessed, “I don’t have sob stories like all of you. I could sit her and complain how our mom liked Zuko more than me. But I don’t really care. My own mother... thought I was a monster... She was right of course, but it still hurt. Azula’s lack of attention from her mother drove her to be spiteful and turn to her father, from whom she learned to be cold-hearted and demeaning. This is how memorable villains like Voldemort are made. But more importantly, this is also how they
are justified. Who can blame Snape for being cruel and antagonistic towards Harry when, as a child, he grew up in a home where his parents quarreled all the time, as a teenager, he was rejected and shamelessly bullied by James Potter and his friends, and as an adult, the world has become a dark place reeking with evil and inhabited by people who did not know any better? Who can blame villains like Rogue, who accidentally sent her boyfriend to a coma and had to grow up with Mystique; Sweeney Todd, who was unjustly imprisoned and deprived of his family; Davey Jones, whose heart was broken beyond repair or even Lotso, who was lost, replaced and hurt? Just like Megamind, maybe every villain is secretly screaming, “Maybe I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore!” people just don’t take the time to listen and do something about it. Maybe “villain” is not so suitable a title for these characters after all. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
BLOOD AND PENS Inspiration comes out of the most random places. Even from the deepest, darkest, sickest parts of our souls.
WORDS KRIMLYN L. LUMAWAG & PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO GRAPHICS JOY MARIE D. MARTIR
ave you ever noticed that the best and most intriguing pieces of literature are those that speak mainly of pain? That writers seem to have a stroke of genius when their heart is breaking? What is it about looming depression that pushes them into creating some sort of masterpiece? And why are we drawn to the idea of these gloomy and depressing things? The most painful pieces are so beautiful because they were crafted with each sting and hurt of the writer’s heart. Take Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo as examples. These two novels were written during a time when our country was under great oppression. He felt so strongly about it that his emotions paved the way for him to write what has become a classic. Even a couple of the best hit songs in today’s generation were written out of sadness: Steven Chapman’s Cinderella was written due to the death of his eldest daughter; Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven was written because his four-year-old son fell out of a window; and Adele’s whole album was practically made possible because of the heartache her former lover caused her. Pain makes for a good source of inspiration. This is because when we are in pain, we tend to reflect on our lives, choices and loved ones thus seeing things from a clearer perspective. During these moments we are so overwhelmed with emotions and realizations that we
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begin to look within ourselves. We become so in touch with ourselves during moments of despair that we begin to look at things in a deeper manner. Writers often produce great works because of these reasons. Oftentimes, people grow to become poetic during their moments of melancholy and if they channel it correctly they may find themselves with a charming write up. According to Freud, this method of coping is known as sublimation. It is the unconscious channeling of impulses and anxiety, transforming energies into socially-accepted forms of behavior. In other words, it is a defense mechanism wherein a person uses his or her negative energy and directs it into being productive. Writing things down is common for writers who are hurt or troubled. This is an outlet for them to express and overcome what they are feeling. Thus, the write-up becomes more personal and honest. This makes people believe that what they are reading isn’t just their usual piece of fiction. They get a bit of the writer’s reality, which gives them a chance to
It’s safe to say that being depressed may have certain perks when it comes to making a literary masterpiece. relate and empathize. That is what draws the people to these stories more strongly. A single piece can even torment a reader’s heart. But this time, a writer needs not encounter his audience personally. This teaser now revolves around the book and how the reader chains himself to events that usually relate to his life or to those that simply pin his heart deeply, making him want to travel with the stroke of pain from every line. Because readers tend to feel so strongly about these genres, it is up to the writer to make the story as personal and real as possible. But is it really pain that brings out the best in these writers or was the depression just a product of the intense effort they invested on their work? Studies have shown that writing is one of the 10 professions most likely to result in depression. Writers usually have very erratic sleeping and eating patterns. Not to mention, they have to spend hours staring at white sheets of paper trying to squeeze every ounce of
creativity out of their brains. The cycle of crunching ideas into a writer’s head only to have it result in multiple sheets of the manuscript leads to good writeups. It also dooms the mind into crying for a decade of rest. Not to mention those moments where they find themselves finding better angles, looking for more innovative topics all while trying to escape the dreaded writer’s block. It’s safe to say that being depressed may have certain perks when it comes to making a literary masterpiece. But the doom and gloom aren’t the only things that can fire up inspiration. It’s actually intense emotion that sparks a writer’s need to ramble about. So the best write-ups can come from either sunshine and rainbows, or the most treacherous storms. They just want to float on their little piece in heaven and bask on their joy. You don’t exactly need a book to do that. So although happiness wouldn’t be as fun alone, it’s misery that is truly best with company. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
Higit pa kaysa kay Superman, Batman o Spiderman
Bumalik sa panahon na kung saan mayroon pang mga mahihiwagang espada, mababangis na halimaw at mga prinsepeng sumasakay sa hangin. WORDS JISSON C. YALONG & JAYRICK F. AGUIRRE GRAPHICS RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
ago pa man tumapak ang Espanyol sa ating mga lupain ay nagtataglay na ng mayamang kultura ang mga sinaunang Pilipino. Makikita ito sa mga natira pang mga kakaunting piraso ng ating panitikan na siya lamang pasalitang ipinasa-pasa makalipas ang iilang henerasyon. Nakakamangha kung paano napanatiling buhay ang mga pamanang ito sa paglampas ng iilang siglo. Sa kasalukuyan, nakasanayan na ng mga tao ngayon ang pumunta sa sinehan at manood ng mga “superhero” na palabas gawa sa Hollywood na tila umuulit-ulit at bumabalik-balik ang mga istorya. Malamang ay nawiwili tayong manood ng mga ito dahil sa mga tila tunay na “special effects” o kaya’y iniidolo natin ang mga artistang gumaganap sa kanila. Si Superman ay nakikilala dahil sa kanyang lakas at kakayahang lumipad. Si Batman ay may taglay na talino at kayamanan upang makakuha ng mga makabagong gadgets sa kanyang pagpapanatili ng hustisya. Si Spiderman naman, pagkatapos makagat ng gagamba ay nakakuha ng liksi at lakas na kita sa kanyang pagtitiwarik at pagsisirko sa mga gusali ng New York. Astig diba? Ngunit noon pa man, bago pa lumitaw ang mga komiks at sina Kapitan Barbell, Darna at Lastikman, ay mayroon nang mga idolo ang mga sinaunang Pilipino. Malamang
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ay narinig na ninyo ang ilan sa kanila sa ilan sa mga klase ninyo dito sa Unibersidad pero naisip na ba ninyo ang mga kakayahan nila kung ang mga ito’y mailalarawan sa istilong-Hollywood na “special effects”? Kilalahin ang mga (kinathang) idolong mga unang Pilipino: BANTUGAN
Ang susunod na mga bayani natin ay malamang miyembro na ng mga “undead,” dahil siya ay literal na nabuhay pagktapos niyang mamatay. Ngunit di katulad ng mga makupad at mga naagnas nang mga zombie, ang ating bayani ay nanatiling matikas at likas pa ring matinik sa mga prinsesa. Ang epikong Bantugan ng mga Moro sa Mindanao ay tungkol sa buhay (at kabilang buhay) ng prinsipe ng kahariang Bumbaran, na si Bantugan. Noon pa man ay uso na ang tinatawag na “sibling rivalry.” Nainggit ang kapatid ni Bantugan
na si Haring Madali sa kasikatan ng prinsipe kaya nag-atas ang naiinggit niyang kuya na parusahan ang sinumang makikipag-usap kay Bantugan. Ang prinsipe, na likas na “people-person,” ay nabagot, nalungkot at tuluyang namatay. Ang kanyang bangkay ay nakita at nakuha ni Datimbang, isang prinsesa mula sa ibang kaharian. Nang nalaman ni Madali ay nagmadali siyang umakyat sa langit upang kunin ang kaluluwa ni Bantugan at ibinalik niya ito sa katawan ng prinsipe (malamang nakonsiyensya). Nabuhay uli ang prinsipe at nagpahanda ng piging ang hari. Habang nagsasaya ang lahat ay inatake ang kaharian ng kanilang kaaway na si Haring Miskoyaw. Si Bantugan, na kakagaling lamang sa pagkamatay ay nabihag ng mga kampon ni Miskoyaw ngunit lumaon ay bumalik ang kanyang lakas at kanyang nilupig ang lahat ng kaaway. Sa huli ay namalagi pa rin ang pagkatsikboy ni Bantugan at tuluyan niyang pinakasalan ang lahat ng kanyang naging katipan (na malamang ay napakarami) at sila’s nabuhay ng mapayapa at masagana. Walang nang mas may astig pa sa zombie na tsikboy. Indarapatra at Sulayman
Tila “trending” noon ang
pagkabuhay mula sa kamatayan kaya eto ang isa pang epikong may ganung “twist.” Ang Indarapatra at Sulayman ay isang epiko tungkol sa magkapatid na hari at prinsipe ng Mantapuli na nakipagtuos sa apat na mababagsik na halimaw upang masalba ang mga apektadong lugar ibang panig ng Mindanao. Parang “outreach” kumbaga. Ipinatawag ni Indarapatra si Sulayman at inatasan niyang maglakbay ito sa mga nasalantang pook at puksain ang mga halimaw. Nagbilin siya sa kapatid na mayroon siyang halaman na siya ring malalanta at mamamatay kung sakaling mapaslang si Sulayman. Sumakay si Sulayman sa hangin (asteg) at narating niya ang lugar na Kabilalan na walang katao-tao. Nalaman niya na si Tarabusaw, isang halimaw na maraming paa at kumakain ng tiglimang tao bawat tanghalian, ay nanakot sa lugar na iyon. Agad niyang sinupil ang halimaw gamit ang kanyang kris (yung espada, hindi yung artista). Agad naman siyang tumungo sa Matutum kung saan naninirahan si Kurita, isa ring halimaw na tila naglilihi sa mga tao. Pinaghampas hampas niya ito ng mga kahoy at tuluyang minasaker. Tumungo naman siya sa Bita kung saan biglang nagdilim ang paligid at nakita niya ang ibong si
...naisip na ba ninyo ang mga kakayahan nila kung ang mga ito’y mailalarawan sa istilong-Hollywood na “special effects”? Pah (bakit pa kaya pinapangalanan pa ng mga tao ang mga halimaw na nananakot sa kanila?) at pinaslang din ang higanteng manok, este ibon. Ngunit sa kasamaang palad ay nadaganan siya ng mga mabibigat na pakpak ni Pah kaya siya ay nadedo. Si Indarapatra naman ay “chill” lang nitong buong magmadamag nang mapansin niyang nalalanta na ang halaman. Agad siyang nagcommute sa hangin papuntang Bita kung saan nakita ang bangkay ni Sulayman. Alam na inyo kung ano ang nangyari dito. Nagdasal lamang siya at may nakita siyang banga ng tubig sa paligid. Pagkatapos magwisik wisik ng tubig sa bangkay ay..voila...buhay si Pareng Sulayman at kanilang itinuloy ang pakikipagsapalaran. May pinatay silang isang halimaw ulit at nakikita si Indarapatra ng kanyang reyna sa isang club, este piging at intinuring silang bayani ng buong Mindanao. Lam-Ang
Hindi magpapahuli ang mga Ilokano. Itinuturing na isa sa mga pinakasikat na mga Pilipinong epiko, ang Biag ni Lam-ang ay sinasabing kinatha ni Pedro Bucaneg, isang bulag na manunula sa Ilokos noong 1640. Si Lam-ang ay anak nina Don Juan at Namongan na taga Nalbuan. Bago isilang ang anak niya, umalis si Don Juan upang parusahan ang isang pangkat ng mga Igorota na kalaban niya. Nang nanganak si Namongan, agad natutong magsalita ang sanggol (ilan kaya IQ niya) at nagsuggest sa kanyang mga magulang na
ipapangalan sa kanya ay Lam-ang. Dumating ang siyam na buwan ay nainip si Lam-ang at sinundan ang kanyang ama, baon ang iba’t ibang mga sandata at mga agimat. Nang makita niya ang pugot na ulo ng kanyang ama na pinagpipistahan ng mga Igorot, pinaslang niya ang lahat na kalaban gamit ang kanyang talino sa pakikidigma na pinalakas pa ng mga items, este antinganting. Umuwi siya at pinaliguan ng mga dilag sa Ilog ng Amburayan (wow) kung saan namatay ang lahat ng isda sa kanyang libag at umaalingasaw na amoy (masasabi rin na isa ito sa mga “superpower” ni Lam-ang). Nang umuwi siya sa Nalbuan dala ang tagumpay, nanligaw siya kay Ines Kannoyan, isang magandang dilag, at sila’y ikinasal. Sa pagsunod niya sa tradisyon ng kanilang tribo, sumisid siya upang humuli ng rarang (isang isda) sa ilog, ngunit sa kasamaang palad ay pinatay siya ng isang berkakan (isang pating). Ang kanyang mga buto ay pinasisid sa pusod ng dagat habang kinuha ng kanyang asawa ang alagang manok at aso na may kapangyarihan na bumuo ng mga bagay. Tumilaok at kumahol ang mga mahiwagang hayop at gumalaw ang mga buto ni Lam-ang upang mabuhay ulit (oo, isa na namang zombie). Nagsama sila ng kanyang asawa at ng kanyang mga alaga ng matiwasay. Kung nakikinig kayo sa mga klase ninyo sa Philippine Literature, marami pa kayong makikilalalang mga nakamamanghang karakter mula sa mga kwento na siya ring naging libangan ng ating mga kanunu-nunuan noon. Totoo,
madalas ang mga bayaning ito ay saksakan ng pagkahiwaga sa puntong hindi na talaga mapaniwalaan. Pero ganoon kalawak ang pag-iisip ng ating mga ninuno noon at kung iisipin mo, hindi pa sila noon nabibiyayaan ng mga bagay na tinatamasa natin ngayon.
Ngayon, ano kaya kung magtutuos sina Lam-ang, Bantugan at Aliguyon kina Batman, Superman at Spiderman? Hindi ko rin maimagine kung ano ang mangyayari kung ganoon pero aminin mo, magiging isa iyong “epic” na panoorin, di ba? January 2013 THESPECTRUM
CASE “Case closed” means putting investigation and all means related to a particular incident under wrap. But is everything about it really said and done? WORDS JOHN DAVE P. PIDO GRAPHICS RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
hen is a case really closed? One might answer, “if a judge gave his verdict based on the evidences presented by two parties” or “if a conclusion was made after a series of trials”. On the other hand, The United States Federal Court would tell us a case is closed if the case is over, that if the dismissal was with prejudice, it cannot be filed again and if the dismissal was without prejudice, it may either be re-filed or reinstated once the reason for the dismissal has been rectified. This question should not be very distant from our thoughts since we live in a country with hundreds of cases still pending for closure and dismissal. It would not be very hard to pinpoint that politics and corruption are mostly associated with these cases. And very often, violence is present. Some of these cases are still unresolved for decades. For our lawyers, it’s always like solving a very hard puzzle game not knowing how to connect the pieces. For ordinary people, they’re another set of cases to clamor about, something to provide explanations for, and something to be corrected. And if no action is done at all, these could all lead to a pile of forgotten
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lawsuits that will continue to haunt us for years. Let’s take a look at the Maguindanao massacre, the notorious case that took the lives of 58 people. Thirty-four of them were journalists. It’s been almost three years since the crime was done, and until now, no verdict has been made. The best thing the National Bureau of Investigation can do is to detain Andal Ampatuan Sr., his son, his two brothers and other relatives to Camp Bagong Diwa while searching for more evidence that would seal the fate of the masterminds. However, there are witnesses who are willing to stand in court and go against the Ampatuans,
investigations have proven that the ammunition and tools used to murder the victims belong to the Ampatuans, there is still no proof that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has anything to do with the killings. Yet the task is moving very slowly, and time is getting wasted. Sooner or later, the Maguindanao massacre would become another unresolved case. The Vizconde Massacre, which remains a mystery for more than 21 years, is another example. It was a big surprise for everyone when alleged Hubert Webb and seven other defendants were acquitted last December 2010 due to failure of the prosecution to prove them guilty beyond reasonable doubt after 15 years of imprisonment. The case was almost solved when in 1995, Jessica Alfaro stood as a witness against Webb. However, due to the unreliability and inconsistency of Alfaro’s testimony, the court couldn’t easily give a verdict. The court had trouble believing that Webb was in the United States at
If we look around, not only the government is teeming with unresolved cases but also our homes, and even ourselves. the time of the massacre, but was supported by numerous witnesses including Webb’s family together with multiple pieces of evidence. The case even became harder when the NBI lost the DNA evidence found at the Vizconde residence was lost by the NBI. Lauro Vizconde could only mourn Webb’s acquittal, which resulted from loss of evidence and an inconsistent witness. Another case left in the middle of uncertainty. It is even surprising to know that not only unsolved cases are haunting us in the country. Even people who are dead can do the magic too. Former President Ferdinand Marcos is a good example. With his remains still above the ground in Ilocos, his legacy as a dictator still lives within Filipinos both in positive and negative light. Undeniably, Marcos’ reign had put the Philippines on the world’s economic map by imposing discipline among the Filipinos through martial law. The country had seen its own growth
when infrastructures and roads were designed at their best. The military was greatly strengthened and became the president’s right hand. Marcos’ regime had the glorious years of the country as it gained respect from other nations. On the other hand, it was a living hell for Filipinos as it took their freedom and happiness. Despite the wealth and fame, martial law locked Filipinos up in a cage inaccessible to the media. Actions were limited, and those who rebelled against the dictator were bound to be found lifeless. After the Filipinos united to bring Marcos down, the aftermath of his reign still lingers within the country’s premises. His dictatorship left a pile of international debts, a burden in the current administration. His reign started corruption in the government. The military hampered the social life of every Filipino for many years. His remains reminds the people of a horrible past. Would it matter if he were buried? Would it compensate the damage done to the affected?
Would it help us move on and face the current challenges that distress the country? This is a case some of us have to close already. It is a case that lives in our minds. Only if we find a way to give a verdict to it, then we will find the peace we have longed to have. We face different types of cases every day. Some of them are easily solved by those who have sound judgment. Some of them are unconsciously forgotten by those who are passive and apathetic. If we look around, not only the government is teeming with unresolved cases but also our homes, and even ourselves. We often forget that we’re supposed to solve them in the best and fastest way we possibly could. Every problem has its corresponding solution and it’s just there, it could even be in our hands already. As for the country, discipline is still lacking. Unless we become systematic and methodical, cases would still continue to be unsolved and forgotten in oblivion. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
Graphics Ryan Ceazar B. Santua THESPECTRUM January 2013
Slangtionary II Cellphone-Kinging v. The act of raising your cellphone to the sky in attempts of finding a signal in remote places, an allusion to The Lion King scene when Mufasa raised Simba to the heavens. Girl 1: Crud, there’s no signal here! Girl 2: Try cellphone-kinging. It can help you send a text even though it’s just practically a few inches closer to the satellite.
n. Also known as a “break” while making an assignment online. As opposed to delayed gratification, this one is done while you are in the middle of your assignments. Can last from a few minutes to hours, depending on one’s focus, though most cases abandon their work after they saw their crush post something on their newsfeed.
*Typing a thousand word essay about Morality*
Guy 1: There. Ten words. 990 words to go. I need a midassignment gratification after that hard work.
*Facebook chat sounds*
Russian Doll Present n. Presents that are wrapped with multiple layers of gift wrapper to hide the actual gift’s smallness; the term is derived from the Russian doll, matryoshka, where there are dolls within dolls. Troll present givers also do this. Must be recognized from presentception (presents within presents, usually given by grandmothers and titas). Guy 1: Oh my god, that big one might be mine. Guy 2: Don’t be fooled. That might just be a Russian doll present.
n. A temporary condition characterized by the gnarled fingers and throbbing, shaking joints after handwriting too many essays, assignments, exams and other academic goods.
Guy 1: Ouch. Huhuhuhu. Ouch. Guy 2: Bro, are you OK? Guy 1: I have writethritis after that DO sanction. Huhuhu. I will tuck my shirt always from now on. Huhuhuhu.
BABY STARING CONTEST
n. A fun activity done when you see a baby that stares at you and you stare back for several seconds until he/she breaks the gaze. Usually done when the parents aren’t looking.
n. A trancelike state when one uses the internet after being offline for several days or weeks, characterized by inability to respond to external stimuli such as your Mom’s queries or your cat’s attempts of being cuddled. Guy 1: Hey. What’s up? *Girl is not responsive and continues the mouse clicking* Guy 2: She has internet coma, yo. Come back in an hour after she’s done.
Guy 1: Yo man, I won a baby-staring contest earlier. It was chicken.
Guy 2: Brofist, dude!
n., adj. A quality of doing things in a crappy way; opposite of “swag”
Girl 1: Look at the guy. He has swog. *Guy slips on the sidewalk, ice cream smeared on his shirt* Girl 2: Such swoooooog.
January 2013 THESPECTRUM
by SOPHIA ROMERO
WORDS PATRICIA MARIE M. LAPORNO
WORDS PATRICIA D. ERILLO
ritten by a Filipino author currently residing in New York, this novel articulates greatly about family problems and keeping one’s head up even at the most difficult times of life. Sophia G. Romero, the author, compellingly expresses what it’s like living in Manila under Marcos and living as an illegal immigrant in the US. Viola, the main character of the story who happens to be an only child, grew up in the city of Manila wholly loved and protected by her parents. Her father, at one point in her life, turned into a womanizer, causing the great bond that a wife and husband once shared to be torn. The overwhelming fact that the end of a life-long promise ate up what was left of her mother’s heart forced the sad woman to stay away from every memory of the wreckage. Viola was then left alone to wander and get through life on her own as her mother migrated to America. Through all these, she didn’t throw herself down on the ground and bawl about her family’s absence. Instead, she grew herself a stronger heart and strived to get on with life. Her father took over what was left of their family business and used the money invested by one of Marcos’ cronies to expand it into a publishing
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house. This voracious act started issues against her father who, by that time, had told Viola to migrate to America and live with her mother so she may avoid the possibly unpleasant scenes that were coming after him. Thinking back to all the letters she received from her mother and not having even the tiniest hint that her mother missed her, Viola takes the trip anyway, hoping she could get her mother to come back to Manila and live a free life without having to hide from the police. Through her determination and hope, she convinced her mother to forget the past and fly back to the Philippines. There, her mother did not have to hide to keep living and for the first time in years, Viola could see her mother smiling once again. Always Hiding is a fascinating book, which would no doubt appeal to teenagers. Viola and her sense of keeping courage and strength even after a disastrous event in her life would inspire other teens to carry on through existence. Also, the fact that happiness can still be found as long as you keep your heart strong is proven true through this novel. Because even at the most tragic point in your life, happiness still exists. And you can achieve that by keeping a hold on hope.
ou enter a room; your heartbeat races, your pulse quickens, and sweat trickles down your skin. They ask for your name and you answer with a stutter. “This is it; this is my big break,” you say. If this goes well, you’ll be one step closer to everything you’ve been working for. This is the constant mantra of the aspiring stars in DreamWorks Television’s recent musical drama series, Smash. Smash is about a Broadway play reenacting the life of the famous Marilyn Monroe. The series depicts the drama and scandal behind the curtains, proving once more that the real show is indeed the one off the set. It focuses on the competition between Karen (Katherine McPhee), a struggling, aspiring singer, and Ivy (Megan Hilty), a frustrated chorus girl, fighting for the lead role of Marilyn. Both girls work to the bone for the part. They spend day and night rehearsing lines, getting into character, learning the dance steps and working their vocal chords all while trying to balance their personal lives and battling out their demons. Karen easily wins the favor of Derrek, the production director due to her raw but exceptional talent despite her lack of
experience. But surprisingly, Ivy ends up getting the lead role instead, not because of her stage talents, but her talents in bed. All is not lost for Karen though; throughout the show, she is presented with bigger and brighter opportunities to shine. Karen, Ivy, Derrek as well as the other characters of the show, are tossed about in a whirlwind of jealousy, temptation, insecurity, challenges and old flames. The series is bound to fill your daily dose of romance, drama, competition, scandal, and, of course, show tunes. Week after week the plots get more complicated and unexpected. And of course, its collection of original Broadway tunes, as well as its incorporation of contemporary music, will leave you singing your heart out in the shower. It inspires you to chase your dreams despite the failure and hindrances that come your way, teaching us that in order to reach our goals, we must be willing to stand up to any challenge. The series touches the hearts of just about anyone with a dream and, with the infectious fighting spirit of the characters, it is sure to rouse your spirit, make it go blond and have it belting show tunes.
MUSIC ALBUM REVIEW
by THE SCRIPT
WHERE THE CREATIVE MEETS THE UNKNOWN
SCIENCE AND FAITH WORDS KRIMLYN L. LUMAWAG
hen you’re down the local street with a mate who is drowning his sorrows, the one thing you pray he doesn’t ask is, “Am I better off dead?” Not only does it force you to play an impromptu game of “hide the pint” but it generally means you’re going to have to call time on your own hard-earned drinking session. Nonetheless, it’s how Danny O’Donoghue kicks things off with The Script’s 2010 album, Science and Faith. The Script is known for their sense of flow in their chorus and the group has been crammed with minor trims and fiddles into almost every song in their second album. Nothing is a very worthy single but also has a big act to follow. It is like coming on to perform just after the Led Zeppelin, a popular British rock band that pioneered the development of heavy-metal rock music. The background story of the new song darted a great impact to The Script’s fans. It’s all about a guy wanting his girl back after their break up. He is still lunged stagnant from his withered love, feeling hopeless. The woman is all but gone and not planning to come back to his arms anymore. A good tie
WORDS MONICA LOUISE TRINIDAD M. CUETO
up for the heartbroken or simply emotional ones. The predecessor has made it a flinty execution. For The First Time was a big hit in Ireland where it debuted at the top spot and earned the band their Number One. The track also reached the Number Four spot in the United Kingdom. However, other music specialists say that it’s the best effort of the trio to date and is almost a perfect pop song. The song composition garnered good reviews from music critics because of its flow, rhythm, and the relatable themes. The songs contain flawless vocals from lead singer Danny O’Donoghue with powerful choruses that are perhaps the main selling point of the song. You get the feeling that you have already heard the chorus before because it is very catchy and recognizable. Well, a modern classic if it is not. The Script is going all out to convince their fans that they’re this “big, grown up, mature band” with “big, grown up, mature songs” in the album. And apart from the maturity they project, they still managed to make it fun at the same time, and capture the ears of their listeners.
cott Marsigli, an academic advisor, freelance writer, editor, Student Affairs Professional and a committed family man, started running the Gnostic Bent only three months ago with an intention of having a jump start on his writing skills and to fulfill his desperate need for inspiration. For a short period of being a part-time blogger: 283 posts (and counting) have been published, 1,223 followers anticipate his blog posts and in three months, he already gained three distinguished blog rewards plus a special “freshly pressed” award from the WordPress administrators. The blog has a stupendous flexibility on opinions and discussions that gained itself a whopping number of followers. Categories vary from sharing thoughts on the current economic crisis to presenting to the world the art of amateur screenwriting. The layout is as simple as the blog and the blogger himself: a dark background to give that sophisticated look, two menu buttons, six main categories, and an original manipulation of the atomic symbol to recognize intelligence and creativity. Gnostic Bent, unlike other blogs, runs without a specific theme for narrow discussions and a specified audience but instead
tackles mostly current events, messed-up reality and sublime, inevitable situations. Provided parental guidance to audiences under 13 is given, doors are open to all types of web readers, current events researchers and fellow bloggers who seek interesting, humorous yet intellectual pieces of information. Extracted from blog headlines and the top stories of the day are tips on how to live peacefully with stress on hold, 101 on parenthood, family matters, school ties and just the way life can be tackled with thoughts on happiness, contentment and a gaze on a fulfilling career. His perspectives on issues are, more often than not, agreeable to his followers and readers who would probably rate his articles not less than four stars a piece. Marsigli, who admits to having drained his creativity caused by years of being a college English teacher, makes it his responsibility to post more than one entry every day. With only a short mile left to reach three hundred entries, each published article varies from the other without a duplication of thought or a sign of a mainstream idea. Overall, it’s a nice and satisfying read, more useful than watching cat videos on Youtube. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
MOVIE MOVIEREVIEW REVIEW
WORDS MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA WORDS MARK HARMON R. MAGBANUA
WORDS ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO
ickelodeon Movies is really pushing it with this film. Just like what Disney did with Pirates of the Caribbean a few years back. Shifting from childcentered movies to blockbusters with more mature themes, delve into the heart and mind of Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp), the regular-chameleon-living-inyour-glass-tank-with-nothingbut-rubber-toys-turned-intoa-gunslinging-Western-hero protagonist of this film. Starting out as an unnamed reptile, the chameleon finds himself in the middle of the ghost town called Dirt after the family car runs over a ditch and sends his glass tank flying into the air and spiraling to the side of the freeway. He is out of place in the town and nervously walks into a bar filled with mean-looking citizens who look like extras in a gangster movie. Hoping to blend in with the locals, he sits down by the bar and orders a bottle of water. The entire saloon burst out in laughter, saying water is like the rarest of the rare in their town and gives him cactus juice instead. Arousing the suspicion of the entire bar, several ask his name. He saw the word “Durango” on the bottle, and proudly shouts, “call me RANGO.” After a bar fight he unintentionally causes with a lizard name Bad Bill and a furious encounter with a hawk, the Mayor of Dirt, claims that Rango gave the townspeople the hope they have been searching for, and names him the sheriff. As the new sheriff, Rango gets the people to believe that he is really a badass veteran from the City and that he is not afraid of Rattlesnake Jake, a notorious desperado. Through a series of adventures, Rango finds out that the Mayor
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has been planning to transform Dirt into a commercialized land the whole time and that he is controlling all the water, and he is forced to get all the courage he could possibly need to return to the people and save them from the evil clutches of the Mayor. Sounds like a really straightforward plot. It seems to be borrowed from other child movies. But Rango uses a more mature theme, thanks to director Gore Verbinski, the same brain behind hit movies The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s filled to the brim with gunfights, mature language like “hell” and “damn”, and there was an instance in the film where Rango talked to some fresh road kill. That’s pretty much evidence that this is not entirely a film for kids. It has an atmosphere that was made for adults. Its humor is directed in a more mature way, unlike your traditional kid’s movie. The animation is something that will definitely leave audiences the world over enthralled by its tremendous beauty. The special effects company Industrial Light & Magic, the same company who did the computer generated effects for the original Star Wars trilogy, did the honors for Rango too. Overall, Rango is good film to watch. Scratch that, it’s a superb film to watch. From its sense of humor, to excellent voiceovers, to the animation, and even to the soundtrack. Definitely a must-have on your weekend movies-to-watch list. And as all good movies go, it leaves a very important message to its viewers. As the Spirit of the West said in the movie, “no man can ever walk out on his own story.” Well said, mysterious spirit, well said.
the dark descent
he year is 1839 and you wake up, suddenly finding yourself in the dark confides of the old Brennenburg Castle, your memory a blur of passing shadows. All you recall is that your name is Daniel, you are English and that something horrible is out to get you. You later find a note amidst the clutter surrounding you. As you read it, you learn that, for some reason, you had intentionally erased your own memory by drinking an amnesia potion and that you have to go kill a man named Alexander in an ominous place called “The Inner Sanctum.” Following a trail of pinkish jelly conspicuously left on the floorboards or on the rug, you begin your journey into the terrifying halls of the mysterious castle where you are susceptible to, not only the disfigured monsters that lurk within, but also the terrible secrets of the life you had left behind. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a thrilling adventure/horror game that can get you thinking of logical and strategic escape routes one minute and then screaming incoherently, all trace of intelligence gone, the next. The game is told in the first person’s perspective, which is probably one of the factors that make it such a treat to gamers out there. Apparently, there’s something very charming about how you, the player, interact as Daniel and see the animated halls of Brennenburg Castle come to life as you use your keyboard and mouse to direct how you pick stuff up, mix potions, open doors and run away or hide from the creepy undead. The last bit may be open to objection. But despite its novelty, Amnesia has a pretty slow-paced
storyline with a lot of narratives and audio flashbacks. And however sexy the British accent may be, it can sometimes be a bit dragging and boring listening to Daniel read aloud pieces of his journal and old letters that he finds scattered inside the castle. These journal entries are quite long, mind you (because apparently, good old Daniel was quite a prolific writer with a lot of pent up emotions and feelings). But despite that, Amnesia: The Dark Descent has proven to have a very haunting story that’s worth telling. Because it does not only provide a horrifying gaming experience that can leave you sleepless and paranoid for a couple of nights, but also several thoughts to ponder on such as the core of human nature, human desire and the ultimate pursuit of redemption to the sins we have committed. Also, the visual treat of the set’s amazing scenery with its attention to detail only adds fuel to the authenticity of living in an old 19th century haunted castle. Amnesia has been given consistent praise by game critics everywhere and has even been dubbed “one of the most successfully frightening games to have ever been made” by John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a popular gaming blog based in the United Kingdom. Whether you feel like giving yourself a spook or feel like dispelling the game as less than fantastic as others claim it to be, by all means, turn off the lights, put on a pair of headphones and play the game. Live inside the nightmare and by the end of it, you will realize why Daniel wanted to forget it all in the first place.
Photo Anna Katrina B. Almalki January 2013 THESPECTRUM Graphics Robert C. Dingcong Jr., Ryan Ceazar B. Santua, Katrina Trish C. Isiderio & Charisma P. Libo-on
DOLPHIN RAPE AND ETC: WHEN BOREGASM STRIKES Welcome to the weird part of the internet.
WORDS MONICA LOUISE TRINIDAD M. CUETO SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE.COM/USER/RAYWILLIAMJOHNSON GRAPHICS JEFTOON01.DEVIANTART.COM
oregasm (n.) The event of reaching the peak or the climax of extreme boredom. Now that your attention is directed to this article, have you ever wondered about the world of cyberspace and its influence on the rapid evolvement of the current generation? Likewise, it is predominantly becoming the hotspot for bored and restless nocturnal human beings and notorious procrastinators. You are probably one of cyberspace’s enthusiastic patients who discover interesting finds online that can be the one remedy to overcome agonies and woes of boredom. An avid procrastinator perhaps, excelling in subjects like “scrolling down” and “leave a comment?” Or you might be another victim that entered its portal of undiscovered worlds where routes lead to inexplicable computer addiction. Psychology would tell us that people who seek to amuse and apprise other human beings tend to do so in their utmost desire of fulfilling contentment and appreciation. It matters most when the audiences are those ogling online, because the internet is home to the freedom of expression, (most) legitimate reviews and information, opinions, thoughts, fragmented entertainment, and more. Popularity matters in the online world though. The more interesting, informative, or weirder a website or find is, the more chances it attracts a bored audience. Here, I present a few notable interesting online finds:
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Enrolling in a prestigious university and hoping to finish a degree, people expect college students to burn eyebrows for tests, exams, reports, or thesis papers, then graduate with flying colors to earn a hefty job with a bad*ss payroll. But not for David Stanworth, also known as “SnafuDave.” College goals were too mainstream for this openminded artist, social introvert, and avid gamer. Stanworth is the brilliant mind behind Snafu Comics, a web-comics site inspiring antisocial nerds, independent graphic artists and comic aficionados everywhere since 2002. It was just an idea that popped in during his jaded days as a student at the University of Utah. Snafu Comics produces comical strips coming out of the box of current events like movies, politics, random social commentary and Internet subcultures. Just when you thought that after 10 years, Stanworth might run out of ideas for his unexpected success that is his online “job.” But he never does.
With what started out as a short storyline starring two main characters, Dave and Travis, who spend much of their time playing and commenting on video games, SnafuDave developed the site for years to offer web-comic readers and comic aficionados 22 different series. From an incompetent ninja to amuse you all night with his not-so-intelligent ninja skills to two demons carrying out torture and execution from a sadistic clown, you not only leave Snafu Comics overdosed with laughter but addicted to read more and anticipate in the coming adventures of its main characters. Stanworth has a way of mashing up art, journalism, reality, and humor. Teaming up with him for over a decade are his buddies and fellow comic artists, Vinson Ngo a.k.a. Bleedman, Shaun Healy, Giovanny Hernandez and Matt Herms, who contribute their pieces of art and strips weekly for snafucomics. com. Dolphin Rape
No, I am not going to talk about a tutorial for dolphins on how to sexually harass human beings. But guess who just got 3,896,696 views on YouTube since March 2012? Glad to say, it isn’t Justin Bieber or any of his Beliebers. Meet vlogger Ray William
The more interesting, informative, or weirder a website or find is, the more chances it attracts a bored audience. Johnson, who posted a rant about Dolphin Rape, enlightening us that our friendly, gay friends of the sea deceive us with their cuteness by raping an average of 14 human beings a year. Talk about love being blind and squeaky. YouTube is home to about 13 different videos of lustful dolphins spontaneously jumping on innocent humans who probably visited the beach to relax from the bustle of the city. And they call us the insensitive species? The rates and views are rapidly growing for this type of topic on the cyberspace, an interesting find indeed. Undead Disney Princesses
What does the world get when this century of imaginative minds find themselves taking in doses of inspiration from the happy-ever-afters of their childhood, collaborating with the morbidity of both reality and fantasy? Not only do we have a pretty messed-up mix of emotions, but princesses from fairytale books our parents used to narrate for us before bedtime gets an ambush makeover where artists morph them into zombies. I bet you didn’t see that coming. TrendHunter.com, home to bizarre innovations and designs, LaughingSquid.com, an online resource for interesting art, culture, & technology, and DeviantArt.com, every independent
doodler’s nest, are the common websites where these undead princesses came to life and are introduced to the world wide web. Colombian artist Miguel Gutierrez conceptualized fairytale heroines such Snow White and Ariel as skeletal figures that lack bone marrows and blood vessels. On the other hand, Thai illustrator Witit Karpkraikaew tagged the damsels as flesh-eating zombies, where Cinderella wields the obligatory blood-dripping axe with her glass slipper stuck in her mouth; Snow White, missing an arm, holds out an intact brain for her consumption; and Ariel poses with a missing torso. They may strike us right in the childhood but one cannot deny that the idea captures our state of awe. Like they say, inspiration for art can be found everywhere, even in the undead. Damninteresting.com
An advertisement-free, spare-time project intended to promote knowledge and education online, Damn Interesting has existed in the web since September 2005. Founded by Alan Bellows, the website’s ongoing developer, designer, and managing editor, DamnInteresting.com owns a growing collection of over-the-top and mind-blowing
information dug up from the past, the unforeseen present, and the anticipated future. Joining Bellows in his part-time obligation of writing timeless topics and doing legitimate research for the survival of the site are 16 other researchers, teachers and the site’s enthusiasts from different parts of the world. Articles vary from a man riding in the sky on a storm to the unfortunate sex life of a banana. Funny, witty and filled with curiosity themselves, authors of Damn Interesting articles open their doors to ideas and questions readers would like to contribute and be enlightened. When boredom strikes, gone are the days of shooting hoops on sunny afternoons, hide-andseek with neighboring playmates, hopscotch on school grounds and creative vandalism on the playground. Seldom do we see kids frolicking around during playtime. This generation of wearied Homo sapiens would rather voyage the depths of the cyberspace to quench their thirst for satisfying entertainment. And since everything and almost everyone in this present age are aware of the power of social media, combined with the laws of audience fragmentation, there is no doubt that the online world will never run out of ideas to produce interesting online finds for those inflicted with boregasm. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
THE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT Not all who wander are lost, nor are they all what they appear to be WORDS ADELY GRACE V. TOMARO PHOTOS FAITH JOELEENE J. LACSON
f you ever saw a bananaque vendor playing with the latest iPad or using BBM on his Blackberry, it would seem like the universe was playing one big joke on you, wouldn’t it? After all, how could this poor street-folk have the latest gadget and you’re stuck with handme-downs? That’s the problem with people in urbanized cities. They have this misconception that those who appear “pigado”, “manul”, “buki” and many other vernacular terms that, if translated, would not nearly be as accurate, do not have the right to enjoy the better things in life or do not have the capacity to acquire them. How do you know that bananaque vendor didn’t have a chain of bananaque stalls worldwide? First impressions are born prematurely; “judging a book by its cover,” to put it metaphorically. First impressions are also, more often than not, wrong. How do I know? Because for a day, I gave up my privileges as Adely Tomaro, Spectre and college student of the University of St. La Salle, to role-play as Adeh, ang munting Ingleserang dalaga ng sakahan, to prove that. The Next 007
Spies, super heroes, and secret agents make having alter egos look so easy. But going undercover as a province girl who just happens to have great diction and great English is easier said than done. The role-play began at The Spectrum office, where I changed into my awkwardly long, layered skirt and my old frilly-sleeved blouse. I tied a red bandana to my head, teased my hair a bit, grabbed the huge bayong-like handbag I borrowed from my mother, and while clutching it to my chest, I surveyed my reflection in the mirror. Yup, I looked like something recently coughed out of a congested old Ceres bus. Perfect! However, it was only after I got out of the office, did I feel the disguise work its magic. Walking through the corridors of the University, I accumulated several stares from students, athletes and even teachers. And by the time I managed to arrive at gate 1, the spirit of stupidity convinced me
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to go to Starbucks for a snack. And upon deciding so, I had pretty much sold my soul to the hands of torturous humiliation. The road less travelled by
After getting out of school, I was on my way to Lacson Street riding a genuine trisikad. On any normal day, I wouldn’t have put any malice to it. But today, having dressed up like a badly puttogether farm girl in a Nescafe ad, I felt like a huge placard was on my head practically begging people to ridicule me. While I disembarked the vehicle, saying I felt butterflies in my stomach would be an understatement. More accurately, I felt landmines repeatedly blow up in my gut portion. On my way to the entrance, a man and his daughter beat me to the door. The guard greeted them with a smile and a friendly “Good morning.” When I passed by him, I didn’t know what to expect. Would he question me? Oh God, what if he thought I was another
trespassing lunatic and he was going to Taser me or something? Thankfully, he didn’t. The guard just looked at me for a moment, and then nodded, offering me a tight-lipped smile. I didn’t know how to interpret that gesture as one of sympathy, of genuine kindness, or of forced politeness. So, flashing him a grateful look, I just walked right in. I didn’t look back. Starbaks Expuryens
Waiting to order at the counter was the worst. It was like the stares people were giving me bore holes through my back. After what seemed like hours, the young lady ordering before me had finished and I was faced with a big challenge. I had to speak straight English to the cashier without dying on the spot or suddenly saying “Hey! You just got punked!” before running away and burying myself in a hole of shame. Silently muttering a short prayer along with my last will and testament,
When I took my leave, a passing staff member held the exit door open for me, and offered a “Thank you, ma’am!” before closing it I approached the counter. The cashier looked amused. I caught a glimpse of her coworkers visibly snickering behind her. “Order mo, Miss?” she asked. Well, here goes everything. I took a deep breath. “Um, what can you, like, recommend that’s sweet?” Her coworkers literally choked on their own spit and their eyes widened to the size of golf balls. They tried stifling laughs (and failing, actually). I cleared my throat. “Um, is anything wrong?” “Ah, excuse me, miss,” The cashier said, sobering up. “Well, we have cold drinks, pastries, cakes, cream-based lattes. What do you like?” I honestly didn’t know. I didn’t even expect to get this far without being reported to security. Moreover, I didn’t expect her to reply in English too. But, anyway, now that I was on a roll, I continued to converse with her as if oblivious to the people whispering in the background. After ordering and paying my bill, I thanked her and went to take a seat by the window. When a waitress passed by, I called “Psst! Miss!” I said it so loudly most people craned their necks towards me to see what the noise was all about. “Ma’am?” she asked reluctantly. “Miss, excuse me,” I began seriously. “Do you have any good ginamus here?” I’m not actually a fan of the delicacy but I wanted to see how the staff would react to such an odd request. After all, such a dish isn’t exactly on the menu of an establishment like Starbucks. The staff member looked disturbed and confused by the query. After gawking for a few seconds, she replied, rather unsurely, “Um, pastries…lang…kami…di….miss (We only have pastries here, miss).”
“What? Pardon?” I asked, trying to sound like I couldn’t understand her. “Um… pastries… miss.” “Oh, okay, never mind.” I went back to sip my drink. “Thanks.” She nodded and quietly slipped away. I looked around me; people visibly shifted in their seats to appear like they hadn’t listened in. The old man with a laptop seated nearby seemed too busy talking on the phone to care, but the teenager across the table occasionally gave me fleeting looks before turning his attention to the interesting spectacle that is the ceiling. The Deed is Done
When I finished the food I ordered (and I hadn’t planned to order anymore since I was already nearly broke), I thought it was about time to go home and call it a day. While I gathered my things, I heard the security guard welcome some new customers in. All eyes turned to the door and even I couldn’t help but take a glance. And my eyes widened. Three people, one man, one woman, and one old lady, walked in, looking like the perfect stereotypical probinsyano and probinsyanas. They looked so authentic with the big old bag, checkered and raggedy shorts and Islander slippers and everything. They even looked like they’d recently taken a long road trip from the countryside. As they lined up to the counter, I couldn’t help but smile. Nobody really gave them much attention anymore, and the cashier lady greeted them as she had every other customer: with a smile. People were laughing amongst themselves, totally ignoring the newcomers. The old man behind me had given up on his phone
call and was now typing away on his laptop, and the teenager from across my seat was still inspecting the ceiling. When I took my leave, a passing staff member held the exit door open for me, and offered a “Thank you, ma’am!” before closing it. Outside, where jeepney drivers honked to their hearts’ content, the busy streets didn’t seem to mind a small, oddly dressed-up girl standing by the sidewalk with a huge smile on her face. Lessons
Admit it. If you ever saw a “pigado”, “buki” or “manul”-looking person in an affluent setting, you’d be disturbed too, wouldn’t you? Moreover, you’d never expect she’d speak, or even interact like a Harvard graduate, either. Humans are proud and it’s because of our pride that stereotyping tends to get the better of us. Just because someone fits a categorical description for a poor man, we immediately assume that this appearance applies to his entire being. And we know this isn’t always true. People are full of surprises. I mean, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen even the most unlikely people pull out Macbooks and iPads from their Zesto-pack bags. Okay, so maybe I exaggerated a bit, but I have seen the owner of a big taxi line in Bacolod walk around the streets of SM dressed up as simple as one of his employees and even the heir to a chain of successful restaurants in Negros go to school with a hole in his shoe. They aren’t disguising themselves like spies do. And they don’t have alter egos like superheroes such as Superman and Batman, either. They are regular people who possess a virtue called “humility.” And admittedly, we could use a bit of that too. January 2013 THESPECTRUM
HEADS AND TAILS
WORDS KATRINA TRISH C. ISIDERIO & PATRIICIA D. ERILLO
PHOTO ANNA KATRINA B. ALMALKI
College is a long way from high school. Gone are your classmates whom you’ve probably been with since kindergarten and your sense of security from an environment that you’ve known for ages. Now, you’re in a new turf and you’re fresh meat. The first thing that you need to do is to define yourself in this new community. So the question is: To mingle or not to mingle? EXTROVERSION: Spreadin’ the Love
The dictionary gives two definitions for the word “extrovert”. The first one defines it as a person concerned more with practical realities than with inner thoughts and feelings, and the second, a person concerned with what is outside the self. In layman’s terms, an extrovert is a person who is talkative, gets along with everybody, calls everyone in the room his friend and has a social circle as big as the whole population of Asia. With friends that many, life sure must be busy, and who has time to, well, give time to anything or anyone else when you are always occupied by the people around you? That is why extroverts are usually misunderstood as having shallow relationships and perspectives, because it is logically impossible for someone to build up a friendship in an intimate fashion when you have a lot of friends. College offers tons of new things and opportunities and to fully experience these, one must not shy away and should satisfy himself with portions alone. According to Jeff Nickles, author of the online guide-you-through-life blog, “My Super-Charged Life”, extroverts greatly value knowing a lot of people and will strike up a conversation just about anywhere. They are very uninhibited about reaching out to others. It is not so much what they are doing as who they are with. They become familiar with all different types of personalities and attitudes and become well-rounded on how to treat and act towards a person; making new friends is not a problem for extroverts. They also improve their public relations and widen their chances for opportunities by connecting to many people, especially those who can help them in their future. This is an important reminder because when one wades through college life, it helps to have many people accompanying you. Extroverts are not just loud-mouthed people. Practicing your public relations and wanting to meet and befriend others is not a bad thing. True, introverts also have friends who aid them, but for an extrovert, help comes not only from his/her own circle of friends, but having acquainted himself with others, people are more than willing to lend a hand when emergencies arise. Contrary to popular belief, extroverts do not engross themselves with their level of popularity and ignore their level of knowledge. Nickles explains that, “Extroverts tend to value breadth of experience over depth. They will often bounce from one thing to the next. This includes hobbies, interests, conversations, friendships and social events. They want to see it all, do it all and talk to everyone.” By being with many different people and trying many different things, extroverts gain practical knowledge, which they can use in the practical world. Extroverts are able to build up countless friendships with people of different cultures and ideals. So, when someone tells you that extroverts are overrated, just remember that there’s nothing overrated with spicing up college by meeting different people and by trying different things. The world is not there for you to just sit back and experience it through the pages of a book.
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Introversion: A Gift Unseen
It is no secret that the modern world today is dominated by extroverts – people who prefer being surrounded by a crowd rather than sitting alone in one corner and reading a book. It seems as though the ideal person, especially in college, is gregarious, has tons of friends, and has the confidence to speak out whenever he/she wants to. But are all these really mandatory? In school, we are all usually surrounded by a whole bunch of students talking out loud here and screaming their mouths off there, which is not exactly the ideal set for an introverted individual. Introverts, people who like spending time alone in quiet and secluded places, prefer the simple life. They don’t need a lot of people or attention to feel good about themselves. Nor do they need a huge pack of friends to enjoy college and other aspects of life. They would much rather spend the entire weekend behind closed doors, studying in advance, surfing the web, or sipping tea with a close friend. Most people regard introverts as shy and insecure individuals, which is the reason why most introverts, especially considering the kind of world we live in today, feel left out and undervalued by many, causing them to attempt to enter the extroverted side of society. What they do not know is that college may be a social environment, but it does not exactly need all social skills to survive. College prepares us for the upcoming reality of life. What needs to be focused on is not our level of popularity, but our level of knowledge. And that is where introverts best come in. Because of their calm and measured ways of facing situations, most introverts don’t completely stress out. Instead, they tend to finish their work in no time. Introverts are self-sufficient, which means they can work alone and still present a great piece of material. They have the ability to get through situations without the need to tag others along with them. Unlike extroverts who have multiple people around them, introverts do not get much distractions and misunderstandings. They think about themselves and other’s opinions before initiating any action. Majority of the people in society perceive introversion as an anti-social disorder that needs to be fixed, hence the way most schools are so big on team-oriented activities. But introversion is a gift, which gives you the ability to work by yourself and learn to be independent with the absence of people. Without the need to for higher social relationships or popularity, introverts can develop better friendships and relationships. Basically, introverts help balance the world. If we were all loud-mouthed extroverts, can you just imagine what the world would be like? Relationships would go from great to worse, people’s messages would hardly be understood and iProducts would cease to exist. If you study the world more closely, you will realize extroverts fill it, but introverts tame it.
Graphics Robert C. Dingcong, JR & Charisma P. Libo-on January 2013 THESPECTRUM
UNDERNEATH OUR COASTS Know how the stuff beneath the ground affects the lives of those above it. WORDS MICHAEL V. BAYLOSIS GRAPHICS RYAN CEAZAR B. SANTUA
y high school teacher once asked the class what we think is the major cause of many of society’s problems in the present economy - inflationary prices of goods, decreasing purchase power of our incomes, and ultimately, poverty. It seemed like a wild goose chase. We all gave our best guess. I bravely told her that Eve is to blame, for biting into the forbidden fruit. But oddly enough, the correct answer was – OIL… …popularly coined as black gold. The funny highs and lows of our economy are caused in one way or another by those stuff thousands of feet below our shoes. Come to think of it, our lives here above are determined by the stuff below. It is funny to think how this material dictates our economy. It is a stuff of daily news. We can hear about it almost every day, which is probably the reason why we don’t take it as seriously as we should. The rising price of oil on a centavo basis seems like something we don’t take gravely. But at this point of time, it is perhaps the opportune moment for us to be alarmed by the staggering effects of crude oil in the world economy. And ultimately - like any effect on the world economy - this will most likely affect our households, too. That’s you and me. Your tuition fees, your gym memberships, your dating allowance... all reliant in some way to this stuff we know as oil. But we must first come to understand what the big fuss is all about. You may not be aware of it but we are largely dependent on oil. All because we are hugely dependent on its byproduct, gasoline. Gas used to be somehow useless. No one knew what to do with it. Oil
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was largely used for several purposes by then. Like lubricants. But at the dawn of the invention of the engine, this “gasoline” was finally put to use. Heavy use. Henry Ford’s Model T (something you’ve probably heard of for countless times in your business courses) used to run on alcoholbased ethanol. Oil stole the limelight when alcohol was subsequently prohibited by the US. Transportation depended on it of course, as well as many other things. This was the rise of the second Industrial Revolution. The perfume you just sprayed in the morning? Oil. Your shampoo and toothpaste? Oil. The sun glasses you wore on your way to school? Oil. The ink you use to answer your quizzes? Oil. The football you kick and play with after today’s last class? Oil. The asphalt that your vehicle cruised over? Oil. These things can easily find another material to replace their composition though. Thus, solving the dependence on oil. But the major usage of oil is for production gasoline and that’s where the real problem comes in. Forty-four percent of oil is used to produce gasoline - something we are largely dependent on. We have seen many alternatives of course. The e-jeep is an example. And we’ve seen cars run by solar energy. Ideally, this might ultimately solve the
Forty-four percent of oil is used to produce gasoline - something we are largely dependent on. oil crisis. The problem, however, is that across the globe, large industries and communities are constructed in such a way that we become so dependent on gasoline. And by industries we’re talking about trillions of money. We can’t just replace all of that. And the feasibility may seem legendary. Cars dependent on gasoline are massproduced. We can’t just halt that. So are our other means of transport planes, ships, etc. You did not arrive to school by riding a train powered by coal, did you? And you don’t drive a horse carriage either. Some experts claim that we haven’t reached the Peak Oil just yet. Peak Oil means that our resources for oil is so depleted such that demand increases, supply decreases, and price increases. No worries, they say! Some claim the idea is dead. There have been numerous threats about Peak Oil in the past years, none of which really resulted to an effect over which the fear was initially sparked. The amount of oil we’ve used has not allegedly - depleted even half of the oil supply there is on earth. But at this point, we revisit the idea again. The rapid increasing rate of the population is a telltale sign. Wendy Baldwin, CEO of the Population Reference Bureau said that “the dual effect high birth rates and young population” in Africa, Asia, and Latin America accounts for the present world population of 7.1 billion. This growth in population means increase in oil consumption, too. Fourteen and a half million cars were shipped to China last year, according to Roger Harrabin of BBC News. Duncan Graham-Rowe of
The Guardian said that the demand for oil increase by 2% annually. The conflicts in the Middle East, where we get most of our oil sources, do not help this fiasco either. It seems like the gods of economics put a joke on us because having a stronger economy does not help. To put it simply, strong economy equates to increased consumption of oil products, which equates to increase in prices of oil, which in turn equates to declining economy. Governments save their economies and restore it to health and it goes back to the start all over again. Perhaps you’re thinking that we are in deep trouble. And perhaps I think you’re right. But the greatest solution humanity can come up with at this point is sustainable energy. We must be able to find renewable sources of energy for our cars and our businesses. Our global cry for our economic downfall is not far off from our need to take better care of our environment and a personal decision to control one’s consumption of energy. We cannot predict how oil prices will behave in the years to come. That is something infinitely beyond our control as normal young folks. But what we can do with our own efforts is to be conscious of our own energy consumption. Underneath our coasts is an endless story of humanity’s battle with economy and the environment (and their inability to distinguish the interrelatedness of both problems). But there’s nothing you cannot do today to save your territory. Someday we’d be better off. And we’ll know better.
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THE SPECTRUM BACK ISSUES compiled photos by johanna
Photos Johanna May G. Espanola, Composition Robert C. Dingcong, Jr.
LIGHTS WILL GUIDE YOU HOME Graphics Ryan Ceazar B. Santua