MY 2 CENTS · Philippines

Eleksyon in da Philippines.

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So, Election in the Philippines is over and done with.

So, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the Presidency while the wife of the late DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo (which I personally like) Leni Robredo seemed to have won the race for Vice President.

Come June 30, they will take oath in front (or maybe not) of the Filipino people to lead our Nation to a better and hopefully, brighter future.

What comes after that, I wonder?

Not so long ago, I participated in this thing they call “Election” in 2010. That was my first time to vote for the highest post in the country. I was 21, (kinda) fresh outta College and had my hopes up for Gilbert “Gibo”  Teodoro winning the race & changing the world. Although I knew that he will never win, I still voted for him.

You see, that was the time when the former President Corazon Aquino succumbed to cancer. That was the time when LP’s current front runner, then Senator Mar Roxas gave way to then Senator (also) Noynoy Aquino to run for President. And I bet now you remember, that was the time when the Filipino people thought and came up with the idea that “hey, Noynoy (Aquino) could be our next President, his father died for the country (really?!) and his Mom has led us in the 80’s towards a better economy (again, really?!), so why not vote for him?” (-it’s quite a long thought) and so the petition began for Noynoy to step up.

To make the story short, Noynoy won Presidency and I couldn’t be anymore disappointed to my fellow countrymen -insert sad emoticon here-. What I don’t like about it is that they (voters) were blinded, misled by the media’s representation of the Aquino Clan and the thought that if you are the son of a great hero and a past leader of the country, you are QUALIFIED to run too! Like, duh?! Yes, he was a Senator that time but No, I don’t see why he is qualified for the post. It. Does. Not. Run. In. The. Blood.

To qualify, I personally (and I say this IMO) think that you have to have enough experience politically and that preferably, you started from the bottom and made your way up, slowly. Take FVR (Fidel V.Ramos) for example, he started from the Military and later on assumed position as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and Secretary for National Defense respectively.

Moving on,  Noynoy became our President and while some would say he did NOTHING for the country, some claimed otherwise and that the country’s economy boomed under his Administration. I don’t want to go into the details and statistics as to the reliability of these claims but I got nothing good to say about him so I better shut up.

While Duterte and Noynoy vary in many ways you and I can enumerate, they both won the Presidency due to the fervent need of the Filipino people for change, particularly in the Government system. The support that people have thrown for Duterte  during his candidacy is overwhelming that I wonder if he ever wins (which he already did), will he ever meet all of these expectations? Yes, he has led Davao to be one of the safest cities in the world and his advocacy against crime and corruption is as good as it gets but can he effectively lead a Nation with diverse and complex demands?

These people who voted for Duterte have shown solid support to him and his platforms. I’m in awe as to how far their loyalty (to the man) can take them, I have seen it online everyday during the Election period. I’d like to think that they are not “blind supporters” and hope that the man they chose to lead our country will live up to their expectations. As we move forward as a Nation under a new leader, I wish the citizen will find it in them to change their ways too, and not solely depend the Nation’s success in our leaders. I wish they’d realize that (as cliche as it sounds) change starts from ourselves and it should start today.

I hope our President will focus more on our country’s Education system as I firmly believe that it is one of the strongest foundations a country can rely on. If your voters are educated, they’ll be more aware of the candidate that is deserving of whatever post they are voting for. If you are educated enough to know the difference between a “TraPo” and a qualified candidate, then the country’s right on track!

P.S. And uhmmm, if you’re wondering, No I did not vote (I’m based overseas) and Yes, I would’ve vote for Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

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Book · Book Review

Book Review: The Bell Jar

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If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.

The Bell Jar is the only novel written and published by the American poet Sylvia Plath that served as her semi-autobiography as well. It evolves around the world of Esther Greenwood, a young, college woman in Boston whose mental illness is the central theme of this book.

The book starts with Esther and her internship in a glamorous magazine in New York where she parties and hang out with other women her age who have won the same internship. Towards the end of their internship and her comeback to her hometown in Massachusetts, she found out that she was not granted scholarship to a writing course she so desperately wanted. This brought about a depression on her that resulted to side effects such as inability to read, write & sleep for days.

As a result, her parents brought her to a psychiatrist who performed shock treatment which traumatized her and didn’t helped at all. It made things worse for Esther as she attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. This failed attempt led her benefactress, Philomena Guinea in sending her to a private institution, funded by the older woman. In this institution, Esther eventually found her way to functioning mentally normal and slowly started being a part of the society. The novel ended with Esther preparing for her final interview at the Institution which will determine if she is ready to face the world outside.

Esther compares her mental condition to like being trapped in a Bell Jar. She refers to the Bell Jar as the world and society in general when she wrote “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.” In reference to the same subject, she once thought that she may have been healed now, but there is no assurance that this depression will permanently be gone. In this note, she is anticipating the possibility that it may come back (How did I know that someday—at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere—the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn’t descend again?). 

Esther may have triumphed over depression but it was unfortunate that Sylvia succumbed to it. This may have been what people call Sylvia Plath’s  “semi-autobiography” and I might say that she concluded it when she ended her life in February 1963.

I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars for its contents are helpful for people suffering from the same mental condition. It gives hope when it showed how one (Esther) can defeat all these monsters inside her and be taken back to the society as a normal, functioning human being. Personally, I’d recommend it to everybody I know for it gives us a glimpse of what depression looks like and how these people need our understanding and not our judgments.

"TVShow · #FanGirlMode · Uncategorized

#FangirlMode : ON (Orange is The New Black)

Orange is The New Black is an original Netflix series that showcase the lives of inmates in a minimum security women’s  federal prison set at Litchfield Penitentiary, somewhere in New York with the lead character Piper Chapman played by Taylor Schilling. Together with Piper, the show is fired-up with the diverse personalities and ethnicity of inmates and Correctional Officers alike.

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OITNB premieres with the main character Piper Chapman being sentenced to 15 months at Litchfield, she was convicted of transporting a large amount of drug money for her then girlfriend, Alex Vause who is a big time drug dealer. In the early part of Season 1, Piper was engaged to his boyfriend, Larry but was later on called off due to Piper’s infidelity. She cheated on Larry, with Alex.

This here is Piper.

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And this is Alex, who was the reason why Piper is in prison.

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The inmates are divided by race, there are the White, Black, Spanish and Minority group.

The whites are being led by Red (Russian) who is the Chef of the prison (in Season 1) and acts as the Mother of all the white girls. I like Red because she’s very protective of her girls and she’s hilarious too! Her girls includes Nicky, Gina, Norma, Alex, Piper, Boo, Morello, Jones and just about any white girl that comes in.

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My personal favorite among the whites would have to be Nicky because she doesn’t like drama, straight to the point and has this ” I’m-tough-don’t-mess-with-me” vibe though she  gets along with almost everyone in the prison. She loves Red like a real Mom and their relationship is one of the many things I like about OITNB.

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Natasha Lyonne (L) and Kate Mulgrew (R) in a scene from Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Season 2. Photo credit: Ali Goldstein for Netflix.

The black girls are Taystee, Poussey, Suzanne “Crazy Eyes”, Black Cindy and Janae. Of all the groups in the prison, I am most entertained with these girls as they are hilarious as hell! I like Black Cindy ‘coz girl, she’s witty !

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Latinas are lead by Gloria, who became the Chef in Season 2 after Red had a few conflict with a correctional officer. Her group includes Flaca, Daya, Blanca, Ramos and Aleida. I like Gloria out of them all as she too, is one tough lady. Also, she is neutral to all and doesn’t let things like race groupings get in her way.

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Minority group includes Soso and Chang. I like Soso ‘coz I see her heart is so pure and delicate, prison is not for her. She got in because of her protests for logging a tree in which she lived in so they wouldn’t cut it off.

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One character I like in this series (which does not belong to any group) is Pennsatucky. She used to have bad teeth due to drug abuse but that was fixed later in Season 2 due to Healy’s favor for her. I like her now more than I do in the early seasons ‘coz she became more normal than before. I like her ‘coz she’s independent, doesn’t need a group or a clique to validate her existence. I find her cute and childish sometimes, but I guess all of ’em are.

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What I like most about OITNB is that it shows how these criminals co-exist with each other and shows no matter how flawed they all are, they still can live and love like normal/free human beings. They don’t let their crimes define them and I think it applies to  all of us. Our mistakes doesn’t define us, it shouldn’t stop us from achieving things.

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I read somewhere that it was renewed for a 5th, 6th and 7th season. That’s a big “YAY!” for me! Season 4 will be released on June and I couldn’t be any more excited about it!