Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Manigong Bagong Taon!

Just saying Happy New Year to one and all. :D

... Damn, where did 2008 go??? D:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Local trapos (traditionally corrupt politicians), we're watching you!

READ THIS (http://vicissitude-decidido.blogspot.com/2008/12/world-is-fucked-up.html) AND PASS.

Related reading:

Those politicians are going down.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I can has Poupee! :D

So thanks to Seme GF-chama, I finally joined PoupeeGirl!

poupeegirl fashion brand community

For those on Poupee, please add me! ;D

Merry Christmas again! :P

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Greetings!

Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!

... Normally I'd have some form of artwork, but I'm feeling mighty lazy and I need to go out anyways. X3

EDIT: Haha sa wakas hindi na rin tinamad.

Letras Y Figuras - Maligayang Pasko!

"Pasko" by Alvaro Jimenez, circa 2002, artwork borrowed from the Ayala Museum. "Maligayang" added by myself thanks to Photoshop CS3. XD

Friday, December 12, 2008

Home, Sweet House

Posting this because I'm off to a party where I KNOW this won't last longer than 5 minutes. Too bad, I really wanted to bring it home. ;~;

This lovely house is made out of graham crackers, chocolate cookies, marshmallows, caramel popcorn, chocolate wafers and much love. all put together with melted chocolate syrup (isn't that technically fondue?). Our accountant here at work, Ma'am G, has made this delectable piece of art. ♥ Look at the candy-choccy perfection and despair.

Friday, November 28, 2008

In the Waiting Line.

This song by Zero7 totally sums up what I've been feeling for months. I just don't feel like investing myself in anything besides work and the relationships that matter to me.

Wait in line 'til your time
Ticking clock, everyone stop

Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me
Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me

Do you believe in what you see?
There doesn't seem to be
Anybody else who agrees with me

Do you believe in what you see?
Motionless wheel, nothing is real
Wasting my time in the waiting line
Do you believe in what you see?

Nine to five, living lies
Everyday, stealing time
Everyone's taking everything they can
Everything they can
Everyone's taking everything they can
Everything they can

Do you believe in what you feel?
There doesn't seem to be
Anybody else who agrees with me

Do you believe in what you see?
Motionless wheel, nothing is real
Wasting my time in the waiting line
Do you believe in what you see?

Ah, and I’ll shout and I’ll scream
But I’d rather not have seen
And i'll hide away for another day

Do you believe in what you see?
Motionless wheel, nothing is real
Wasting my time in the waiting line
Do you believe in what you see?

Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me...
Everyone's taking everything they can
Everything they can

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today is a very, VERY sleepy day here at work. Which is ironic since I'm doing a lot of things. I thought this job would be easy, but apparently it's a lot more complicated and tiring than I thought. X_x

EDIT: Testing some settings on some video sharing sites (yes, for work :P). Would appreciate feedback on my comments section if you can see the videos. X3 Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Moments like these

I was going to post about my Christmas wishlist or the insanity of last weekend with Sentigram, but apparently the near-loss of my sister (context in previous post) was enough to shake me off this. Even now that I'm catching up on cosplay-related posts and other "light" news, I've become convinced that everything I have now is completely meaningless. I just want Ate back, and to see Mahal again. And now more than ever, I need to be financially stable if anything happens to myself or my family. So I'll just keep all my commitments, and afterwards I might not be around as often, if at all.

For a moment there...

I thought we lost you.

Please to not be letting us panic like that next time, okay?

Nalalapit pa naman ang kaarawan mo.

Love you. ♥

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Little Girl Who Will.

So, I've got a job.

I now work as a Media Relations Associate, soon to be accelerated to Media Relations Officer, in Virtusio Public Relations, Inc.

The catch is, I must be able to absorb 15 years of learning and experience from the person I am replacing, who is training me up till her resignation takes effect at the end of this month.

...I can do this! >0

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cosplay Mania!

I'm sorry I've been out of the loop, everyone. I assisted in Cosplay Mania, an event purely by cosplayers and for cosplayers. Unlike most other places, cosplayers here in my neck of the woods are hardcore enough to want to organise their own event. :P (Same goes for the yaoi fans, in the form of Lights Out, but I'm not one of 'em... :3) I'm sincerely hoping the gamers follow suit soon too -- I KNOW they can do it. d^_^b

I have found two blogs full of massive hate for Cosplay Mania, calling our event an epic failure. I don't really mind, except they seem to have written mindlessly, without the knowledge of the difficulties in putting up an event without tie-ups to large companies as is the norm here. Also, they don't know the full details behind the scenes, and while I suspect that making them privy to this knowledge may make them reconsider their posts, stories like these are never mine to tell. Besides, we already know that space has become a concern. Seriously, call us naive, but we still didn't think we'd fill the whole hall up -- hell, at least I was sure we wouldn't, I'd left all things cosplay behind for at least a year so I didn't think we had such a huge cosplay community by the time I returned -- if we all consider the timing of the event, among other things.

Again, my sincerest thanks to Filcosplay Forums, Ongaku-Society, New Worlds Alliance, Midknighter of Groundbreakers Studios/Mangaholix, and to all the volunteers and staffers for their outstanding support of this endeavour. Thanks to all the sponsors and exhibitors (I don't remember everyone, sorry ;~;) who helped make this event possible. And last but never least, thanks to all the cosplayers and cosplay fans who came, saw and enjoyed the event. v^_^v

God(dess) willing, see you all next year! ;3

Much love,

Cosplay Mania 2008 Staffer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CosTube: The Cosplay Mania Cosplay Video Contest!

Get ready for Cosplay Mania, the event where cosplay reigns supreme -- take part in CosTube, the Cosplay Mania Video Contest!

Read the mechanics and contest rules right here.

Bookmark and watch the official Cosplay Mania website for more details on Cosplay Mania!

Plan... Build... Cosplay!

CosTube Cosplay Video Contest and Cosplay Mania are presented by Cosplay.ph, the Philippine Cosplay Compendium. Visit our website for news and information regarding past, present and future cosplay events, articles, photo and video galleries, forums, and more!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I r genius. XD

So, I have finally and totally figured out how to take back view photos by myself without literally or figuratively breaking a bone in my body, and without a tripod or surface either:

Back view

That's all. See you all at CosplayMania on Sunday! :D

Monday, August 18, 2008

Koakuma Sailormoon, and other things.

What happens when you cross himegyaru style with Sailormoon? v^V^v

Pretty Gyaru Sailormoon, that's what! XD
I want Neptune's hair the most, I hope it fits me! ♥♥♥ Alas, Uranus doesn't look very pretty here, but I guess that's because she's better off translated in terms of either sentaa (the male version of gyaru, aka those dandy boys with tans and ridiculous hairdos), or in bosozoku (biker gang) culture ala Anna Tsuchiya's character Ichigo in Shimotsuma Monogatari. X3

Scans taken from the September 2008 issue of Koakuma Ageha (Koakuma = little devil, ageha = swallowtail/night butterfly depending on the reading, and the magazine caters primarily to girls in, um, hostess bars so please exercise caution when reading!), made available here - please don't forget to say thank you! X3


Wow... tomorrow, it will be exactly two years since my sister left for the USA. While I have definitely gotten used to her physical absence, I still feel lonely and helpless without her sometimes.

Right now she's having fun gambling with a friend in Nevada. I hope that she actually wins something. d^V~b


For those who want to see some large photographs of the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, visit this site! v^_^v

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Would appreciate support for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk! :3

Supporting my sister in this one, half a world away. Here's her email:

Hi everyone,

Often times, we often look to make a difference in the world, no matter how big or small. My grandfather passed away from cancer and my aunt was once diagnosed with breast cancer and is now in remission. I've decided to become a part of the cause that will help contribute in developing a cure for this disease that affects us all.

It'll be a big feat for me, not just because it's for a great cause but because I've never joined a marathon before. I need to raise $ 1,800 for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on September 13 and 14 and I hope you can all help me achieve that goal before September 13. I've been training every week going around my hilly neighbourhood, running and not just walking. And I will do my darndest to walk the 38 miles during the weekend. I'm hoping for your support and if you would like to donate, please clink on the link above. Thank you all for your generousity.

--> More info about the Avon Breast Cancer Walk here.

Which reminds me, I should go to the gym again ASAP.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Found this being posted around. While I don't know this musician personally, I'm angry about the circumstances behind her current status, and hoping and praying she pulls through.



Word spreads around fast and almost everyone has already heard about what happened to our dear friend, Tara Santelices (Assumption Antipolo’s Batch 2003 and Ateneo de Manila University’s Class of 2007, AB Political Science).

On the eve of her 23rd birthday, Tara was shot in the head during a hold-up while riding a jeepney along Imelda Avenue, Cainta, Rizal. Joee Mejias, who was with her at that time, rushed her to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Marikina City. The parents of Tara and Joee arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter. When morning came, Tara’s parents finally decided to transfer her to the Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. Since 8:00am of August 6, Tara has been in the ICU fighting for her dear life. Her parents have decided not to push through with the operation.

Although it might seem that there is nothing else that we can do but wait for Tara to wake up from this horrific nightmare, we, the friends of Tara, have decided to raise funds for Tara’s hospital bills. This is the least we can do to ease the unbearable pain her family is going through. We have been given the go-signal from Tara’s dad, Tito Larry, and here are the details:

The temporary bank account is under Anne Marie F. Santelices, Banco de Oro, SA 2140-062201. For direct cash donations, please proceed to the ICU Waiting Room of the Medical City (Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City). Please look for Joee Mejias or Lila Santelices.

Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Anonymous donations are also welcome. Please spread the word. Forward this to your family, friends and even to everyone else you know. Please post this on Friendster, Multiply, Facebook and wherever else you can think of. Please send group messages on Yahoo Messenger. This will mean so much to us, her friends.

Please continue praying for Tara, for Joee and for both of their families. If you want to come see Tara, visiting hours at the ICU are at 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Thank you so much for your time and kind consideration.

For inquiries, please contact Joee Mejias (09228154987) for calls and Jac Ledonio (09167243071) or Myka Francisco (09163695148) for text messages.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I want...

The Chloe Leather Alligator Fold Clutch. It's so damn distinctive. ♥

If anyone among my contacts can make me something like this, I will love you forever. T0T

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I will always love the second office that employed me. <3

So I've finally resigned. As much as it pains me, I really ought to move on and advance my career.

On the other hand, OMFG my separation pay owns me so bad. \*0*/

Now, to make sure it's actually SAVED. I need all the money I can get for
all the bills to pay.


... In other news, I am addicted to Plurk. Twitter didn't even stand a chance, LOL.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Glasses = 1, contacts = 0. XD

One of the last projects I encountered at work was about contact lenses. Having worn glasses since I was seven years old, everyone here and everywhere has asked me why I don't ditch glasses for contacts. It doesn't help that cosplay is a hobby that's particularly biased towards contacts usage, particularly the usage of coloured and "circle" lenses which both serve to alter the appearances of the pupils.

But at long last, I have a great answer. X3

ABS-CBN article
Fashion Japan/Japanese Streets article

...So, minna, wear 'em at your risk. :P

* Photo of Shiho "Sifow" Fukuda, gal entrepreneur extraordinaire, rockin' the HRGs. Thanks to malignita of kogal_panel at LJ!

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Original Source: http://www.theamericanscholar.org/su08/elite-deresiewicz.html

* Thanks to Dani-girl for posting this. And I am SO emailing this to my mum. XD

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers

By William Deresiewicz

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League dees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.

It’s not surprising that it took me so long to discover the extent of my miseducation, because the last thing an elite education will teach you is its own inadequacy. As two dozen years at Yale and Columbia have shown me, elite colleges relentlessly encourage their students to flatter themselves for being there, and for what being there can do for them. The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.

I’m not talking about curricula or the culture wars, the closing or opening of the American mind, political correctness, canon formation, or what have you. I’m talking about the whole system in which these skirmishes play out. Not just the Ivy League and its peer institutions, but also the mechanisms that get you there in the first place: the private and affluent public “feeder” schools, the ever-growing parastructure of tutors and test-prep courses and enrichment programs, the whole admissions frenzy and everything that leads up to and away from it. The message, as always, is the medium. Before, after, and around the elite college classroom, a constellation of values is ceaselessly inculcated. As globalization sharpens economic insecurity, we are increasingly committing ourselves—as students, as parents, as a society—to a vast apparatus of educational advantage. With so many resources devoted to the business of elite academics and so many people scrambling for the limited space at the top of the ladder, it is worth asking what exactly it is you get in the end—what it is we all get, because the elite students of today, as their institutions never tire of reminding them, are the leaders of tomorrow.

The first disadvantage of an elite education, as I learned in my kitchen that day, is that it makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you. Elite schools pride themselves on their diversity, but that diversity is almost entirely a matter of ethnicity and race. With respect to class, these schools are largely—indeed increasingly—homogeneous. Visit any elite campus in our great nation and you can thrill to the heartwarming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals. At the same time, because these schools tend to cultivate liberal attitudes, they leave their students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it. Witness the last two Democratic presidential nominees, Al Gore and John Kerry: one each from Harvard and Yale, both earnest, decent, intelligent men, both utterly incapable of communicating with the larger electorate.

But it isn’t just a matter of class. My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy League or equivalent school weren’t worth talking to, regardless of their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were beneath me. We were “the best and the brightest,” as these places love to say, and everyone else was, well, something else: less good, less bright. I learned to give that little nod of understanding, that slightly sympathetic “Oh,” when people told me they went to a less prestigious college. (If I’d gone to Harvard, I would have learned to say “in Boston” when I was asked where I went to school—the Cambridge version of noblesse oblige.) I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to elite colleges, often precisely for reasons of class. I never learned that there are smart people who don’t go to college at all.

I also never learned that there are smart people who aren’t “smart.” The existence of multiple forms of intelligence has become a commonplace, but however much elite universities like to sprinkle their incoming classes with a few actors or violinists, they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic. While this is broadly true of all universities, elite schools, precisely because their students (and faculty, and administrators) possess this one form of intelligence to such a high degree, are more apt to ignore the value of others. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for one’s advantages. But social intelligence and emotional intelligence and creative ability, to name just three other forms, are not distributed preferentially among the educational elite. The “best” are the brightest only in one narrow sense. One needs to wander away from the educational elite to begin to discover this.

What about people who aren’t bright in any sense? I have a friend who went to an Ivy League college after graduating from a typically mediocre public high school. One of the values of going to such a school, she once said, is that it teaches you to relate to stupid people. Some people are smart in the elite-college way, some are smart in other ways, and some aren’t smart at all. It should be embarrassing not to know how to talk to any of them, if only because talking to people is the only real way of knowing them. Elite institutions are supposed to provide a humanistic education, but the first principle of humanism is Terence’s: “nothing human is alien to me.” The first disadvantage of an elite education is how very much of the human it alienates you from.

The second disadvantage, implicit in what I’ve been saying, is that an elite education inculcates a false sense of self-worth. Getting to an elite college, being at an elite college, and going on from an elite college—all involve numerical rankings: SAT, GPA, GRE. You learn to think of yourself in terms of those numbers. They come to signify not only your fate, but your identity; not only your identity, but your value. It’s been said that what those tests really measure is your ability to take tests, but even if they measure something real, it is only a small slice of the real. The problem begins when students are encouraged to forget this truth, when academic excellence becomes excellence in some absolute sense, when “better at X” becomes simply “better.”

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s intellect or knowledge. There is something wrong with the smugness and self-congratulation that elite schools connive at from the moment the fat envelopes come in the mail. From orientation to graduation, the message is implicit in every tone of voice and tilt of the head, every old-school tradition, every article in the student paper, every speech from the dean. The message is: You have arrived. Welcome to the club. And the corollary is equally clear: You deserve everything your presence here is going to enable you to get. When people say that students at elite schools have a strong sense of entitlement, they mean that those students think they deserve more than other people because their sat scores are higher.

At Yale, and no doubt at other places, the message is reinforced in embarrassingly literal terms. The physical form of the university—its quads and residential colleges, with their Gothic stone façades and wrought-iron portals—is constituted by the locked gate set into the encircling wall. Everyone carries around an ID card that determines which gates they can enter. The gate, in other words, is a kind of governing metaphor—because the social form of the university, as is true of every elite school, is constituted the same way. Elite colleges are walled domains guarded by locked gates, with admission granted only to the elect. The aptitude with which students absorb this lesson is demonstrated by the avidity with which they erect still more gates within those gates, special realms of ever-greater exclusivity—at Yale, the famous secret societies, or as they should probably be called, the open-secret societies, since true secrecy would defeat their purpose. There’s no point in excluding people unless they know they’ve been excluded.

One of the great errors of an elite education, then, is that it teaches you to think that measures of intelligence and academic achievement are measures of value in some moral or metaphysical sense. But they’re not. Graduates of elite schools are not more valuable than stupid people, or talentless people, or even lazy people. Their pain does not hurt more. Their souls do not weigh more. If I were religious, I would say, God does not love them more. The political implications should be clear. As John Ruskin told an older elite, grabbing what you can get isn’t any less wicked when you grab it with the power of your brains than with the power of your fists. “Work must always be,” Ruskin says, “and captains of work must always be....[But] there is a wide difference between being captains...of work, and taking the profits of it.”

The political implications don’t stop there. An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. They get their education wholesale, from an indifferent bureaucracy; it’s not handed to them in individually wrapped packages by smiling clerks. There are few, if any, opportunities for the kind of contacts I saw my students get routinely—classes with visiting power brokers, dinners with foreign dignitaries. There are also few, if any, of the kind of special funds that, at places like Yale, are available in profusion: travel stipends, research fellowships, performance grants. Each year, my department at Yale awards dozens of cash prizes for everything from freshman essays to senior projects. This year, those awards came to more than $90,000—in just one department.

Students at places like Cleveland State also don’t get A-’s just for doing the work. There’s been a lot of handwringing lately over grade inflation, and it is a scandal, but the most scandalous thing about it is how uneven it’s been. Forty years ago, the average GPA at both public and private universities was about 2.6, still close to the traditional B-/C+ curve. Since then, it’s gone up everywhere, but not by anything like the same amount. The average gpa at public universities is now about 3.0, a B; at private universities it’s about 3.3, just short of a B+. And at most Ivy League schools, it’s closer to 3.4. But there are always students who don’t do the work, or who are taking a class far outside their field (for fun or to fulfill a requirement), or who aren’t up to standard to begin with (athletes, legacies). At a school like Yale, students who come to class and work hard expect nothing less than an A-. And most of the time, they get it.

In short, the way students are treated in college trains them for the social position they will occupy once they get out. At schools like Cleveland State, they’re being trained for positions somewhere in the middle of the class system, in the depths of one bureaucracy or another. They’re being conditioned for lives with few second chances, no extensions, little support, narrow opportunity—lives of subordination, supervision, and control, lives of deadlines, not guidelines. At places like Yale, of course, it’s the reverse. The elite like to think of themselves as belonging to a meritocracy, but that’s true only up to a point. Getting through the gate is very difficult, but once you’re in, there’s almost nothing you can do to get kicked out. Not the most abject academic failure, not the most heinous act of plagiarism, not even threatening a fellow student with bodily harm—I’ve heard of all three—will get you expelled. The feeling is that, by gosh, it just wouldn’t be fair—in other words, the self-protectiveness of the old-boy network, even if it now includes girls. Elite schools nurture excellence, but they also nurture what a former Yale graduate student I know calls “entitled mediocrity.” A is the mark of excellence; A- is the mark of entitled mediocrity. It’s another one of those metaphors, not so much a grade as a promise. It means, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. You may not be all that good, but you’re good enough.

Here, too, college reflects the way things work in the adult world (unless it’s the other way around). For the elite, there’s always another extension—a bailout, a pardon, a stint in rehab—always plenty of contacts and special stipends—the country club, the conference, the year-end bonus, the dividend. If Al Gore and John Kerry represent one of the characteristic products of an elite education, George W. Bush represents another. It’s no coincidence that our current president, the apotheosis of entitled mediocrity, went to Yale. Entitled mediocrity is indeed the operating principle of his administration, but as Enron and WorldCom and the other scandals of the dot-com meltdown demonstrated, it’s also the operating principle of corporate America. The fat salaries paid to underperforming CEOs are an adult version of the A-. Anyone who remembers the injured sanctimony with which Kenneth Lay greeted the notion that he should be held accountable for his actions will understand the mentality in question—the belief that once you’re in the club, you’ve got a God-given right to stay in the club. But you don’t need to remember Ken Lay, because the whole dynamic played out again last year in the case of Scooter Libby, another Yale man.

If one of the disadvantages of an elite education is the temptation it offers to mediocrity, another is the temptation it offers to security. When parents explain why they work so hard to give their children the best possible education, they invariably say it is because of the opportunities it opens up. But what of the opportunities it shuts down? An elite education gives you the chance to be rich—which is, after all, what we’re talking about—but it takes away the chance not to be. Yet the opportunity not to be rich is one of the greatest opportunities with which young Americans have been blessed. We live in a society that is itself so wealthy that it can afford to provide a decent living to whole classes of people who in other countries exist (or in earlier times existed) on the brink of poverty or, at least, of indignity. You can live comfortably in the United States as a schoolteacher, or a community organizer, or a civil rights lawyer, or an artist—that is, by any reasonable definition of comfort. You have to live in an ordinary house instead of an apartment in Manhattan or a mansion in L.A.; you have to drive a Honda instead of a BMW or a Hummer; you have to vacation in Florida instead of Barbados or Paris, but what are such losses when set against the opportunity to do work you believe in, work you’re suited for, work you love, every day of your life?

Yet it is precisely that opportunity that an elite education takes away. How can I be a schoolteacher—wouldn’t that be a waste of my expensive education? Wouldn’t I be squandering the opportunities my parents worked so hard to provide? What will my friends think? How will I face my classmates at our 20th reunion, when they’re all rich lawyers or important people in New York? And the question that lies behind all these: Isn’t it beneath me? So a whole universe of possibility closes, and you miss your true calling.

This is not to say that students from elite colleges never pursue a riskier or less lucrative course after graduation, but even when they do, they tend to give up more quickly than others. (Let’s not even talk about the possibility of kids from privileged backgrounds not going to college at all, or delaying matriculation for several years, because however appropriate such choices might sometimes be, our rigid educational mentality places them outside the universe of possibility—the reason so many kids go sleepwalking off to college with no idea what they’re doing there.) This doesn’t seem to make sense, especially since students from elite schools tend to graduate with less debt and are more likely to be able to float by on family money for a while. I wasn’t aware of the phenomenon myself until I heard about it from a couple of graduate students in my department, one from Yale, one from Harvard. They were talking about trying to write poetry, how friends of theirs from college called it quits within a year or two while people they know from less prestigious schools are still at it. Why should this be? Because students from elite schools expect success, and expect it now. They have, by definition, never experienced anything else, and their sense of self has been built around their ability to succeed. The idea of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them, defeats them. They’ve been driven their whole lives by a fear of failure—often, in the first instance, by their parents’ fear of failure. The first time I blew a test, I walked out of the room feeling like I no longer knew who I was. The second time, it was easier; I had started to learn that failure isn’t the end of the world.

But if you’re afraid to fail, you’re afraid to take risks, which begins to explain the final and most damning disadvantage of an elite education: that it is profoundly anti-intellectual. This will seem counterintuitive. Aren’t kids at elite schools the smartest ones around, at least in the narrow academic sense? Don’t they work harder than anyone else—indeed, harder than any previous generation? They are. They do. But being an intellectual is not the same as being smart. Being an intellectual means more than doing your homework.

If so few kids come to college understanding this, it is no wonder. They are products of a system that rarely asked them to think about something bigger than the next assignment. The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name. It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

Being an intellectual means, first of all, being passionate about ideas—and not just for the duration of a semester, for the sake of pleasing the teacher, or for getting a good grade. A friend who teaches at the University of Connecticut once complained to me that his students don’t think for themselves. Well, I said, Yale students think for themselves, but only because they know we want them to. I’ve had many wonderful students at Yale and Columbia, bright, thoughtful, creative kids whom it’s been a pleasure to talk with and learn from. But most of them have seemed content to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them. Only a small minority have seen their education as part of a larger intellectual journey, have approached the work of the mind with a pilgrim soul. These few have tended to feel like freaks, not least because they get so little support from the university itself. Places like Yale, as one of them put it to me, are not conducive to searchers.

Places like Yale are simply not set up to help students ask the big questions. I don’t think there ever was a golden age of intellectualism in the American university, but in the 19th century students might at least have had a chance to hear such questions raised in chapel or in the literary societies and debating clubs that flourished on campus. Throughout much of the 20th century, with the growth of the humanistic ideal in American colleges, students might have encountered the big questions in the classrooms of professors possessed of a strong sense of pedagogic mission. Teachers like that still exist in this country, but the increasingly dire exigencies of academic professionalization have made them all but extinct at elite universities. Professors at top research institutions are valued exclusively for the quality of their scholarly work; time spent on teaching is time lost. If students want a conversion experience, they’re better off at a liberal arts college.

When elite universities boast that they teach their students how to think, they mean that they teach them the analytic and rhetorical skills necessary for success in law or medicine or science or business. But a humanistic education is supposed to mean something more than that, as universities still dimly feel. So when students get to college, they hear a couple of speeches telling them to ask the big questions, and when they graduate, they hear a couple more speeches telling them to ask the big questions. And in between, they spend four years taking courses that train them to ask the little questions—specialized courses, taught by specialized professors, aimed at specialized students. Although the notion of breadth is implicit in the very idea of a liberal arts education, the admissions process increasingly selects for kids who have already begun to think of themselves in specialized terms—the junior journalist, the budding astronomer, the language prodigy. We are slouching, even at elite schools, toward a glorified form of vocational training.

Indeed, that seems to be exactly what those schools want. There’s a reason elite schools speak of training leaders, not thinkers—holders of power, not its critics. An independent mind is independent of all allegiances, and elite schools, which get a large percentage of their budget from alumni giving, are strongly invested in fostering institutional loyalty. As another friend, a third-generation Yalie, says, the purpose of Yale College is to manufacture Yale alumni. Of course, for the system to work, those alumni need money. At Yale, the long-term drift of students away from majors in the humanities and basic sciences toward more practical ones like computer science and economics has been abetted by administrative indifference. The college career office has little to say to students not interested in law, medicine, or business, and elite universities are not going to do anything to discourage the large percentage of their graduates who take their degrees to Wall Street. In fact, they’re showing them the way. The liberal arts university is becoming the corporate university, its center of gravity shifting to technical fields where scholarly expertise can be parlayed into lucrative business opportunities.

It’s no wonder that the few students who are passionate about ideas find themselves feeling isolated and confused. I was talking with one of them last year about his interest in the German Romantic idea of bildung, the upbuilding of the soul. But, he said—he was a senior at the time—it’s hard to build your soul when everyone around you is trying to sell theirs.

Yet there is a dimension of the intellectual life that lies above the passion for ideas, though so thoroughly has our culture been sanitized of it that it is hardly surprising if it was beyond the reach of even my most alert students. Since the idea of the intellectual emerged in the 18th century, it has had, at its core, a commitment to social transformation. Being an intellectual means thinking your way toward a vision of the good society and then trying to realize that vision by speaking truth to power. It means going into spiritual exile. It means foreswearing your allegiance, in lonely freedom, to God, to country, and to Yale. It takes more than just intellect; it takes imagination and courage. “I am not afraid to make a mistake,” Stephen Dedalus says, “even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake, and perhaps as long as eternity, too.”

Being an intellectual begins with thinking your way outside of your assumptions and the system that enforces them. But students who get into elite schools are precisely the ones who have best learned to work within the system, so it’s almost impossible for them to see outside it, to see that it’s even there. Long before they got to college, they turned themselves into world-class hoop-jumpers and teacher-pleasers, getting A’s in every class no matter how boring they found the teacher or how pointless the subject, racking up eight or 10 extracurricular activities no matter what else they wanted to do with their time. Paradoxically, the situation may be better at second-tier schools and, in particular, again, at liberal arts colleges than at the most prestigious universities. Some students end up at second-tier schools because they’re exactly like students at Harvard or Yale, only less gifted or driven. But others end up there because they have a more independent spirit. They didn’t get straight A’s because they couldn’t be bothered to give everything in every class. They concentrated on the ones that meant the most to them or on a single strong extracurricular passion or on projects that had nothing to do with school or even with looking good on a college application. Maybe they just sat in their room, reading a lot and writing in their journal. These are the kinds of kids who are likely, once they get to college, to be more interested in the human spirit than in school spirit, and to think about leaving college bearing questions, not resumés.

I’ve been struck, during my time at Yale, by how similar everyone looks. You hardly see any hippies or punks or art-school types, and at a college that was known in the ’80s as the Gay Ivy, few out lesbians and no gender queers. The geeks don’t look all that geeky; the fashionable kids go in for understated elegance. Thirty-two flavors, all of them vanilla. The most elite schools have become places of a narrow and suffocating normalcy. Everyone feels pressure to maintain the kind of appearance—and affect—that go with achievement. (Dress for success, medicate for success.) I know from long experience as an adviser that not every Yale student is appropriate and well-adjusted, which is exactly why it worries me that so many of them act that way. The tyranny of the normal must be very heavy in their lives. One consequence is that those who can’t get with the program (and they tend to be students from poorer backgrounds) often polarize in the opposite direction, flying off into extremes of disaffection and self-destruction. But another consequence has to do with the large majority who can get with the program.

I taught a class several years ago on the literature of friendship. One day we were discussing Virginia Woolf’s novel The Waves, which follows a group of friends from childhood to middle age. In high school, one of them falls in love with another boy. He thinks, “To whom can I expose the urgency of my own passion?...There is nobody—here among these grey arches, and moaning pigeons, and cheerful games and tradition and emulation, all so skilfully organised to prevent feeling alone.” A pretty good description of an elite college campus, including the part about never being allowed to feel alone. What did my students think of this, I wanted to know? What does it mean to go to school at a place where you’re never alone? Well, one of them said, I do feel uncomfortable sitting in my room by myself. Even when I have to write a paper, I do it at a friend’s. That same day, as it happened, another student gave a presentation on Emerson’s essay on friendship. Emerson says, he reported, that one of the purposes of friendship is to equip you for solitude. As I was asking my students what they thought that meant, one of them interrupted to say, wait a second, why do you need solitude in the first place? What can you do by yourself that you can’t do with a friend?

So there they were: one young person who had lost the capacity for solitude and another who couldn’t see the point of it. There’s been much talk of late about the loss of privacy, but equally calamitous is its corollary, the loss of solitude. It used to be that you couldn’t always get together with your friends even when you wanted to. Now that students are in constant electronic contact, they never have trouble finding each other. But it’s not as if their compulsive sociability is enabling them to develop deep friendships. “To whom can I expose the urgency of my own passion?”: my student was in her friend’s room writing a paper, not having a heart-to-heart. She probably didn’t have the time; indeed, other students told me they found their peers too busy for intimacy.

What happens when busyness and sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection, I put it to my students that day, is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspection is solitude. They took this in for a second, and then one of them said, with a dawning sense of self-awareness, “So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Well, I don’t know. But I do know that the life of the mind is lived one mind at a time: one solitary, skeptical, resistant mind at a time. The best place to cultivate it is not within an educational system whose real purpose is to reproduce the class system.

The world that produced John Kerry and George Bush is indeed giving us our next generation of leaders. The kid who’s loading up on AP courses junior year or editing three campus publications while double-majoring, the kid whom everyone wants at their college or law school but no one wants in their classroom, the kid who doesn’t have a minute to breathe, let alone think, will soon be running a corporation or an institution or a government. She will have many achievements but little experience, great success but no vision. The disadvantage of an elite education is that it’s given us the elite we have, and the elite we’re going to have.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why Are 2.9 Million Filipinos Jobless? [Thoughts]

Some people who know me personally have already heard about this, but in any case I am at a crossroads in my professional and financial life. I also don't blog a lot and do not wish to associate much with local bloggers save for a few, as you can very well tell. But I have been following a few blogs to keep me focused on one of my life goals, which is financial independence before the age of 30. (I'm 24 now... ohmigosh, six more years! @_@) One such blog is owned by Mr. Dave Aguila, which he has currently titled FOR EVERY JUAN: “A blogsite that inspires every Juan to care for their health, mother earth, and money”.

One of his most recent posts is Why 2.9 Million Pinoys Are Jobless. It's a very thought-provoking read, though it ends with a plug that's masked in a call to action (more on that later). Because the particular entry's original target audience is Filipino like myself, it is written in a mixture of slang-riddled Tagalog-based Filipino, with a smattering of English. For those who may be interested, I have asked permission from Sir Dave so I can put up a translation here (in the next post, most possibly).

The whole point of the post is to tell Filipinos like him and myself, to our collective face, to (pardon my language) get the hell up and do something instead of biding our time just waiting for financial security and success and complaining why they haven't come yet. It's a sad fact, but true - for some reason, we Filipinos are a really lazy bunch, and would rather earn a lot with little to zero effort. I see it everywhere: in the city of Makati alone, pockets of street corners reveal able-bodied men who would rather drink under the heat of the afternoon sun instead of clocking in or taking on the most menial (and sometimes disgusting) tasks if they meant enough money to put food on the table. Or worse, they make their WIVES AND CHILDREN do all the working for them, as laundry washers, sampaguita vendors, and of course as prostitutes.

Reading it for the first time felt like a slap in the face. That's exactly the style Sir Dave wrote it in - brutally frank, no-nonsense and pitiless. But then I found myself admitting that I have this lethargic feeling at work every day, the same strange mix of complacence about my financial state and pickiness about the jobs I want, that he's trying to shake the Filipino readers out of. I mean, part of my current job is to add website content, and I keep putting that off because it's mind-numbing work, not to mention that I am a bit arrogant about not wanting to clean up over website owners who make life miserable. And it's that same attitude, I'm sure, that keeps other Filipinos from earning their way into financial success.

I wish more Filipinos would actually be able to read this though. That's the biggest problem I find here - bloggers in the Philippines are an educated bunch. But this attitude, this culture, is one of the few things that actually bind Filipinos young and old, rich or poor, from all walks of life. How about those who don't know how to use computers? That's a HUGE chunk of Sir Dave's audience right there. I guess I'll have to put up flyers now...

My other problem is that the last paragraph wasn't so much a call to action but a call to ... well, call him. He's also an entrepreneur of course, but I had hoped that for once his own interests didn't get in the way of a perfectly written and particularly persuasive piece. Of course this is just my humble opinion.

Next time hopefully I can write a bit more cohesively on this. For those who can read in Tagalog, please read the article, comment on it and pass it around!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spread Firefox Download Day 2008

The easy-to-use, near-perfect and pretty indestructible interface, the useful add-ons, the fun extensions and themes, the possibility of becoming a part of a Guiness World Record in my own small way, and the deceptive, cunning cuteness of Firefox-tan have made me do it.

And really, you ought to join too. v^V~v {displays best imitation of a foxy grin}

Download Day 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Makes Your Friendship Work?

What admirable qualities attract you to your friends? What glues your relationships together?

I've been thinking about this on and off, but until now I don't have one answer that encompasses everything.

However, here's my best attempt in figuring out which qualities attract me to my friends and keep us together:

1) Similarities in our interests, particularly in fandoms and in creative pursuits. My blogroll here alone is full of fans of anime, manga, cosplay, Japanese fashion, photography, graphic design, and food, among many other things; same goes for my blogs in other "places," like Livejournal.

2) Varied life experiences, often those which are so vast and expansive and different from my own. Because they've allowed themselves to experience all that life has to offer, they are particularly open-minded. I will admit that my experiences are very limited due to my sheltered circumstances and my tendency to close myself from the rest of the world, and now that I think about it that's why I find myself drawn to, and highly appreciative of, people whose opinions, while contrary, are very well-formed, and people in whom I can live vicariously (did I spell this right?). In particular, I'm with people who are well-traveled, people who constantly travel, and people who love to travel.

Case in point: a co-worker read the title of this post as he was passing by my workstation, and he succinctly told me that there was no such thing as "writer's block". When I asked him why, he crossed his arms behind his head so he could lean on his hands and answered with a slight smirk, "Because if someone puts a gun to your head and demands you to write something, you would, no matter how short it is!" Hmmm, makes perfect sense actually. Outside of work, this man is a fiction writer whose work I've read and admired, who once lived, studied and even worked abroad before returning here to work in my present company (those of you in my circle who know exactly who I'm talking about, shhh ;P).

3) Temperaments which are much less volatile than my own, for very obvious reasons.

4) Smiling ways and a great sense of humour. I love surrounding myself with happy things and happy people and so I try not to develop crushes on those whose smiles are so ready and whose jokes are so funny (even if they should be corny) that I find myself completely disarmed.

5) High degrees of tolerance for my insanity, my inconsistencies, my rage (especially in times when that long-withheld anger is set off by something so slight), and for those days when I can't even bear being around myself.

These are my answers, off the top of my head.

Everytime I think about my friends, I keep reminding myself that I'm lucky I've got friends at all.

So, for those friends of mine who read this because they felt like reading it, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for being my friends, even if it's just online. v^_^v

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The usual YAY and NAY.

YAY: Congratulations to my little sis for finally graduating! I know you won't be doing desk jobs anytime soon though, but that's fine, as long as you do apply some of the things you've learned and not depend solely on your primary investment.

NAY: Argh, everyone getting sick at home and all the insanity at work and at home have made me FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. My belly is distended and I look pregnant. ToT God, why did you have to make my belly the first thing to get fat and the last thing to lose weight? I'd have understood if my problem areas were my arms, but they're not. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDX Must gym! >o

Saturday, June 07, 2008


All my cosplay friends have posted a reaction to an article (okay, two) written on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Here's what I can say about it:

...Sorry, had to skim the page. Got more important things to do like... well, work and think about whether or not I'm going to the Air Supply concert with Mum who is so dead-set on it. @_@.

EDIT: I'll be reprinting my post and her defense in a very heated discussion thread in Filcosplay, where my post was originally right under hers (but trust me it was pure coincidence when that happened; it was the only time I was able to read it and react to it for myself).

Here's my post:
My points :
1) Alodia (the cosplayer featured in the articles)'s own article was too short and devoid of explanations. I don't know if they edited the h311 out of it or if she just kept it short and sweet. I know that most writers subscribe to the KISS rule - Keep It Short & Simple - but this was too simplistic and obviously didn't cover everything about cosplay, or at least cosplay as it is done here.
2) I kinda lost respect for Pam Pastor (the author of the feature article on Alodia) when she took the helm of Super (a lifestyle section of the PDI on which comes out only on weekends), but right now I don't think I've any respect left for her at this point. I know that she still answers to the higher-ups in the Inquirer, but really, did she have to pander so much to Alodia? Look at the slant of the article and see for yourselves.
3) I am seriously hoping that no one else from Alodia's circle, in particular the snivelling Boobman Linkwhore (this guy needs no introduction, LOL!), had nothing to do with the article. And I am also hoping that Alodia sincerely knows what she's doing and where all this is leading to. The first time I met her, I thought she was a nice, sweet girl; now while I don't dislike her, I'm not quite sure what or how to make of her anymore.

And here's her defense, part 1:

I couldn't help but let you all know of what happened. The interviewer merely asked me to list 5 tips for starters/young people. Never did she mention it being an article which will be entitled "What makes a standout cosplayer". And the funny thing is, it was separated on its own, which was never mentioned in the first place. All I know is that it was just part of an interview.

@ (member whose response she didn't like #1): "But hey, you are reading something written by a girl born rich already who knows not a thing about sacrificing allowances for hobbies. "
- I beg to disagree. I save up my allowance and spend on some of my costumes. At one point, I even had to argue with my mom. So I used up my saved allowance to cosplay with my Angel Sanctuary group. Most of the other apparel I use for cosplaying are bought with the money I earn from doing art commissions. Please don't assume what you are not sure of.

Anyway, I apologize if this article disappointed you. But as what I have mentioned above, I never knew it was going to be a separate article and they even changed the parameters just by changing the title. I have witnesses to this because I asked for help from other people in making this article; and, just for you guys, I captured a screenshot of the interview she sent me through email:

Here's part 2, after she got chewed out by my colleagues (and friends) in cosplay:
to (member whose response she didn't like #3): here is the fifth one which the writer excluded:
"Fifth, don’t rush your costume. Always plan your costume, maybe at least a week before the actual event. This will give ample time to remedy any problems just before the event."
I sent this to her, but found that it was omitted from the final write-up. This does not apply all the time, but I still find this very important because I've met cosplayers who were getting disrobed due to the glue not completely drying up just yet. Anyway, I see your point on being resourceful. I'm sorry. I could've suggested & written that as well because I find that very true. (I've mentioned 'resourcefulness' before for interviews in the past, but I just missed it out on this one because of the sudden deadline. Boo~ D: )

to {a more rational fanboy - she has MANY): Haha, I only started lurking here again a few days ago because my PC wouldn't allow me to log-in before (technical problems). But in the future, I hope to become more active. It's a risky thing to try to put cosplay into the mainstream because of things that may be misinterpreted by the media people in charge. We have very little or no influence on the end product even if we carefully choose the things we say. Their lack of knowledge about the community seems to make them think that it's fine to add/omit things to make things look/sound more catchy. Even to the point of creating an altered or entirely new meaning out of what you've just said. :[

to (mod-colleague #1): Thanks a lot for the tips (mod-colleague #1's real name). Anyway, again I apologize if this didn't turn out as expected because I've seen things differently based on the time how I, as another cosplay contestant, mingled with other cosplayers during a con (years back, many things may have changed now); and because of how the final article turned out. (The writer never replied to me with the final output of how things were dissected, segregated and laid-out. I only got to see it on the day it was released. So, it shocked me as well.) Anyway,If ever something like this happens again, I'll make sure to consult you guys first.

But obviously a lot were dissatisfied with her apology (their responses are long and kinda repeat themselves, since obviously Alodia doesn't quite get what they're actually saying), so finally, here's defense part 3:
Hello everyone,

to (member whose response she didn't like #1): It's ok, I understand your point. If I were another person, I might have reacted that way if we didn't know what truly happened. :] I'm sorry about the mishap at the m3con though. I hope nothing like that happens again. Thanks for the compliments on my costume. But I think my works are nothing compared to those armor costumes or super detailed outfits that I've been seeing during the past cons. I recognize their efforts and admit I envy them because they are able to make such. For years, I've dreamt of cosplaying the likes of mecha/armor, but I'm still not skilled enough and it might cost a lot. I got to ask how much the LOTR resin costumes (Toycon 2004) costed. The price blew me away, P20k. But they were really nicely done, and they deserved every bit to bag the 1st and 2nd prize at that time. I really admire the skills of those who can make these kinds of costumes. :]

to {the more rational fanboy): I just couldn't have left this issue because it seems to keep flourishing more hatred (my term for something which disappoints people) for the wrong reasons. I explained my side because I'm concerned about this as well and I'm glad you understand. I hope others would do too. Thank you for the 'WB', btw~

to (mod-colleague #2): I sent my answers around 2-3am Monday and asked when it will be posted. She did not reply to me, then saw it on the newspapers last Wednesday. How could I even ask for more questions if she didn't answer to my 1st simple inquiry. Yes, I've been cosplaying for five years, and that's how I view things. Those are my opinions and personal tips to hand out young people. Cosplay is expensive to youngsters(give or take, 11 - 17, is my definition of young). I don't know for you guys, but P500 seems to be already a lot for me or to others at that age. I've encountered people my age (when i was 17, 3 yrs ago) who want to start cosplaying with me. I told them to have at least P500, but having heard about how much it costs to cosplay, that they tend to back out immediately. I'm more thrifty than you think. (kuripot in other words). You are right with "cosplay should be fun, that's why it's a hobby not work." I never considered cosplaying as work. Creativity and resourcefulness? Though, I failed to mention those in this one, I've said this a lot of times in other interviews. I just find it redundant if I keep on saying the same things.

I'm sorry if i failed to notify everyone about this through my blog, because as soon as I posted about it on my blog, I left the house for a shoot with a different newspaper publisher. Don't worry, they didn't interview me or ask for cosplay tips etc, another less thing to disappoint you guys. yay~ I'm the process of coming up with my new journal entry about this. I'm sorry if I update slow, I've been out and about for the past few days, because of school (helped out in my art org in school for the incoming freshmen), shoots and other errands. Shall update it soon.

to (fairly impartial best friend): It really is hard to keep up when you are not sure of what might happen to your work. A simple little part of an interview turned into a whole new article, edited without my approval, under my name, with a new title which changed the whole concept... Sigh.. Anyway, I hope I don't hear much about this issue anymore.

to (mod-colleague #3): I don't think I have the authority to ask her why she omitted some lines since she is the writer. I never really considered myself as a writer so I believed that she has more authority and experience with handling real articles than me. I just simply answered what she asked of me.

to (comics giant-turned-cosplayer): Thanks (comics giant-turned-cosplayer's real name), ~ Preachy? Don't worry. It's fine. :] I'll be more careful next time. But I just cant be so sure on how it'll turn out because I don't get to see the final outcome after they have been published. I've experienced this a lot of times. After asking giving to them what they want, no word, until I just see it come out with alterations. :c *sad*

to (indie comics giant-turned-craftsman): Your comment seems a bit harsh. But anyway, I'm not doing all these just for myself. Cosplay is a hobby I enjoy and would like to share to other people. I just get featured for something I love doing. Like you said, if others didn't matter, I wouldn't have come here. But I do care, which is why I posted. I'm not saying that everything I wrote is perfect. It is most probably faulty especially if you guys disagree on it. But we cannot disregard what really happened to this issue. I was upset too that never did the writer mention to me that it will be a separate article with that title. Have I known that in the first place, I would have done my research and answered differently.

I've explained my part hoping that you would understand and took into consideration most of your suggestions. I just really want to apologize to everyone if my works are not good enough. The things I do just seem to meet up to the standards. But then again, I still keep on trying.

I thought I was irresponsible in this feature article with the same broadsheet a year ago, but I don't know if I should be comforted or disturbed by the fact that Alodia hasn't really progressed much by way of conducting a better interview, considering that she's been in the media spotlight for much longer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Under the weather and the aftermath of a party.

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I disappeared. I went on a swimming weekend out with friends, but because of the cold water and the changeable weather, I got really sick. Even now I've got a cold, and my coughing hasn't stopped yet. Cold weather and I have never agreed with each other (I still wonder how I was able to last so long during Christmas vacation last year in California). I'm also not feeling up to anything lately, to be honest, because I've begun disliking what my job so much. XP I do hope everyone's doing well. I mean, even Mum is sick too. D: (I'm taking care of her I promise! ;o;)

The recent Filcosplay/Cosplay.Ph party was fun, but I'm sure I'd prolly have enjoyed more if I was physically better. I mean, the pool was fairly shallow (but the water was hella COLD XP), the location was splendid, and there were tons of games and food to be had, plus a couple of laughs too. Although unfortunately, a rather notable sigh that was seen by all of us can no longer be unseen. X_x000 Thanks to everyone from who came, and good job to all of us who were there on the organizing side! d^0^b

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sticker Pictures! d^~^b

As y'all may have noticed, I'm a tad obsessed with cute things. I guess it comes with the territory of being a fangirl of Japanese pop culture. And few things could possibly be cuter than sticker pictures or purikura!

Sticker pictures can be had at special photobooths, usually in arcades or unused corners of the mall. The older booths (I mean, 1990s sticker picture booths) allowed you only to pick your background or border (or both, but that was rare), then your photo was taken, then you waited a bit until it published. Now, the booths usually let you have your photo taken first, then you can pick borders or go all-out in doodling all over the purikura within a set timeframe. The insanity of it all has always made it fun for group shots, especially if you're amazing and can fit around 10 people in a booth meant for 4 (I've tried it). Oh, and don't forget to wait for your sticker print to dry a few minutes after it comes out of the slot in the booth!

It's sad that I'm older now and my friends and I don't have as much time - or inclination - to go to the booths, since they're always heaps of fun. But, thankfully, a website called Puricute (http://www.puricute.com) was developed so you can turn any digital picture of your liking into a soft-copy version of purikura! You can even pay for it to be delivered to you as a bonafide sticker picture set, for real cheap too (shipping is free within the USA). But right now, for me just decorating my photos is enough. XD

Here's an album of my Puricute photos, lemme know what y'all think! ;3

FOOD PR0N! [WORKSAFE = starring only food, not pr0n XD]

I'm not sure if I've indicated this on my profile, but I am a die-hard foodie. I'm a die-hard foodie to the point that I know I'm going to die by overeating a certain piece of food - what it is yet I'm not really sure though, so it's possible I'll die by overeating in general. XD;

But enough of death. As I was saying I'm a die-hard foodie and so I enjoy eating out immensely. I have been to a lot of restaurants, cafes, bars and eateries here in my hometown, Metro Manila, and thanks to my blog-happy sister I've begun taking photos of my food. I just LOVE the sight of food, it makes my mouth water. And I hope that my photos have that same effect on you! XD; (Don't forget to CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS to get the large photos. ;3)

First, we have the lovely Kapampangan (Pampanga province-themed) restaurant Abe, in the boutique mall One Serendra in Fort Bonifacio, City of Taguig. It's home to the best Ensalatang Pako (fern-based vegetable salad, with boiled egg, and onions), Binukadkad na Pla-pla (fried tilapia cut up and made to unfurl like a fan) and expensive Spicy Sisig in Metro Manila, among other things. XD I especially love their Lumpiang Ubod (steamed egg "crepe" roll filled with vegetables and garnished with peanuts, garlic and sweet peanut sauce) because the vegetables they use for it are very fresh - you can tell by the taste. Highly recommended.

Next is the lovely niche known as Cafe Juanita. Tucked inside a tiny home in the corner of a busy street in Barrio Kapitolyo in Pasig City, this "hole in the wall" began as exactly that, catering to taxi drivers and other blue-collar denizens making their way through the barrio. However, as the cook had never lost his aspirations to become top chef (he used to work in a cruise ship, or so I'm told), he decided to steadily upgrade the place into a swanky, slow-food cafe serving Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisine in a sea of antiques and Southeast Asian bric-a-brac. It's won great recognition and a lot of positive buzz, noteworthy among them the praises and recommendations heaped by no less than the Philippine Tatler - and twice! Although not all of their food are my favourites, I will admit Cafe Juanita does cooked fish exceptionally well, and everything tastes reasonably good and reasonably priced. It was a recent discovery of mine, having been brought there for my birthday by the family last month. Too bad I don't remember a single name of what I ate, except for the Kinilaw (raw fish in vinegar, see 2nd and 4th photos) which didn't really taste so good. D:

For geeks into Greek (bad pun, I know XD;;;), the best place to go is Cyma. With four branches in four select upscale malls in the metro, it's accessible enough but still undeniably exuding class. The atmosphere is warm and familial; it always feels like I'm coming home no matter what time of day I'm here. And the food is superbly prepared, though I will have to warn you that their lamb dishes aren't always easy to cut up, and their Greco-Mediterranean desserts are a bit on the cloyingly sweet side. Try their couscous, kebabs, pita bread and pasta, and bring your appetite because the servings are extra-large by Asian standards (though they are pretty reasonable for European and American palates).
Let's take a short day trip outside the metro and enjoy the spectacular provincial venue of Sonya's Garden. Originally just an organic botanical paradise for its owner, it soon expanded into food after Sonya realised that her friends were going there for her cooking as well. Of course, if you grow your own food, and the healthy type at that, you will always be patronised no matter where your customers are coming from. Besides its signature vegetable salad in cream-and-onion vinegarette, the set meal of Sonya's includes pasta (the kind of pasta you get varies between "seasons" or the four quarters of the year), juice (normally dalandan, or the local orange) and some sweet dessert (usually either local fare like bananas dipped in hot caramel, or foreign fare like tiny slices of creamy, icing-rich cake ... lol, so much for keeping healthy XD;;;). All in all the food is worth the day trip. ♥
Back in the Metro, Xocolat is a franchise cafe specializing in chocolate, undoubtedly the best export of Aztec, Incan and Mayan civilizations. My favourite branch would have to be the one in Eastwood City, Qnezon City, as it's outdoors and literally right in the center of the Eastwood plaza square, and for the fact that my boyfriend and I had our first date there. ♥ Also, this branch doesn't serve the chocolate too thickly or sweetly as the other branches do. I am completely enamoured with their hot chocolate drinks ... thick, bittersweet and perfect for a rainy day. ♥ (My boyfriend prefers the iced chocolate-coffee concoctions better, since he finds the Philippines a terribly hot place. XD;)
Closer to home is Tsoko.Nut, a fastfood cafe built to reinstate and focus on Philippine chocolate culture. Although it serves modern food like Spaghetti and Pancit (Chinese pasta), its true star is the chocolate made into tablets, and then mashed with a special mortar and pestle called collectively as a batirol, making the drink a refreshingly bittersweet experience. The Arroz a la cabana (pictured here) eaten by my boyfriend was terribly dry in comparison. Oh well!

And now here are some random bits of food. Bonus points and a nifty little online surprise to anyone who can guess where these photos are from! (Hint: only 2 are in one place; the rest are in different places.)
So everyone, what are your thoughts on food? Let's discuss! \^0^/

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A "Little Miss Povedan shirt" and other updates in my life.

Frustrated girl is bloody frustrated.Wavering at work (half the problem is with me, I know, and I'm working on it), the internet frustrating me with random disconnection (both at home and at work), my weight still being inconsistent and my fat still not melting no matter what I do at the gym... blah. Tips anyone? One more thing, please buy my stuff! :3 I can assure you I took good care of these things. v^_^vThe Povedan shirt is right this way, for those who may be interested (which I doubt, judging from my friends' list, harharhar): Little Miss Povedan Shirt.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Pursuit of Vanity (aka Kabaklaan ng Lola Mo)

This is how I looked up until early Sunday afternoon:

This is how I look like NOW.

And to top it off, I got myself nail art too!

LOL, I can't just say na niyaya ako ni Kaye (my younger sister), though ultimately she did convince me to go. I've been contemplating on looking prettier for some time, and worrying over the increasing thinness and hairfall of my already sparse eyelashes. XD;;; I think I'm becoming too vain for my own good, and it's starting to scare me... O_o

PS everything cost me only PhP1,000.00. Not bad if you consider that there was a manicure, pedicure with foot massage, and threading done to my eyebrows. hearts;