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The Pope’s Exhortation to the Youth Explained

It has been more than a week, and the hysteria has died down.People are no longer talking about his food, his previous lovelife, and his advice to families (“not like rabbits”). Perhaps I have been looking in the wrong places, but it was a rare post on social media about his exhortation to the youth. I think I made the right choice in staying home, as I was just watching TV and taking it all in, sans traffic, sans sweaty people, sans rain. I can’t blame the people, as I also wanted to be there, but was thinking of the magic of TV as I sat that day, having myself a revelation.

What revelation? Nothing much, really. Nothing that has not already been covered in the Bible, or in Religion or Christian Living class. It was really more akin to our parish priest discussing and explaining the daily gospel. The funny thing about it was even though he had foregone his prepared speech, he still got his point across. Three messages: 1.) Learn how to weep; 2.) How do you love? To think, to feel and to do; and 3.) Learn how to beg. What do I expect, the guy used to teach in college. But I was expecting him to mouth off exotic terms and impossible theology. I underestimated him. I should not have relied on mass media.

Now I have reflected on these three messages, and I made any theological or moral mistakes, please bear with me. The mistakes are all my own.

1. Learn how to weep. The visit had a theme, and is about mercy and compassion. Too often, he said, compassion makes us reach into our pockets and to give something for the poor, whether it be for a sampaguita vendor or a package of clothes and food for disaster victims. This is good in itself, but it should not stop on this. We should have the kind of compassion Christ did. What kind of compassion? Compassion means to feel what your fellow is going through. Christ became man. He became hungry, he lost a dear friend to death, and was also frightened of the future (in Getsemane). He suffered physical, mental, and emotional pain, anguish and shame. For this he was able to love us fully. For how can you not hate a multiple drug addict (or any kind of addict) if you know what withdrawal symptoms (and dopamine dependency and social stigma) are like? How can you not hate a single parent prostitute if you have to feed your daughter and send her to school, and you only know one trade? How can you condemn a suicide if you haven’t been deeply depressed? When you know what it feels like, it releases you and you become better able to help. You know which words to use, to assure and not to promise. You take their hand and sit in silence. You cry with them.You don’t have to experience these things, I hope not, but if you ask, you will hear. If you are still here, and want to help, you can volunteer. There are lots of institutions for doing so. But if you are sensitive, you can get asked by a friend.
2. The challenge of love or how to become saints. This is a bit tricky as he tried to cram other bits and pieces (this is impromptu after all), but one in particular shines through: He was reconciling the idea of the youth having access to the greatest repository of knowledge so far, and maintaining that it is not evil, but to use this knowledge to love. Too often, with too much knowlege we become too immersed in pop culture. Memes, fads, and hit songs and videos can run us the risk of easily getting jaded. A term, computer psychology (he probably means mentality), he explains as knowing everything that you do not become surprised anymore. (If you know the science fiction classic Dune, especially God Emperor of Dune, you will know what I mean.) Change frightens us, as we want to preserve the status quo. We do not want the cheese to be moved. Change makes us insecure, as we do not know the future. Love is like that. There is a saying among some people that they do not want to love because they do not want to get hurt again. They do not want to change. But God has loved us, and continues doing so. Even when we do not respond in kind. Who gets hurt more often than Him? But we are better off for His love. Therefore love, and allow ourselves to be surprised by love.
3. Learn how to beg. If I have not read of a book by a Father Robert Boudens I might have missed this, as I have been raised on “It is better to give than to receive.” Being a Boy Scout, to learn to rely on oneself and be self-sufficient. It was only in having nothing that I realized the value of having real friends. The overarching message is to learn how to be poor in spirit. This is not to say that we ask of people, we can do that easily, thank you very much, but to acknowledge what we lack, and ask of it, in humility, of others. To beg is not only to ask, but to ask with head bowed, without pride, but with courage and trust. We may not be poor in money, but we do not acknowledge that we need to be loved. Or the need for humor. Or the need to be trusted.
The Pope ended his speech on an apologetic note, as he hadn’t read his prepared speech. This was the highlight of the visit for me, to learn that all along I have known these truths, yet I haven’t been practicing them and I should, for this is the mark of being a Christian. To do as Christ has done.

For a transcript of the message, I got a nifty link from rappler here: http://www.rappler.com/…/81203-full-text-pope-francis-messa….
For a youtube video:


Dear Neckromancer: Gaming

Dear neckromancer,

Anong computer game ang nilalaro mo ngayon?

gamefreak

***
Dear gamefreak,

Bakit mo gustong malaman? Bibentahan mo ba ako? Usually Marvel Avengers Alliance ag umuubos sa facebook time ko e. Bibigyan mo ba ako ng Iso8?

neckromancer


Thoughts for the Day: The Flag-Bearer

On account of this girl:

Image from gmanews.tv

It certainly looks inspirational enough. I had no fb friends who posted it on time, shucks, Mike Enriquez knew about it before I did! Well, I’m still glad I caught this, and I’m smiling more broadly because I (and the government via DSWD and DepEd apparently) got to it earlier than the advertising companies. Ha! They could have wished they thought of this instead of the Camarines Sur thing.

***

So what is so great about it? Filipinos like it because it is a symbol of nationalistic hope, that in the midst of much-publicized corruption (choppers and coffee) and natural disaster (Janela the girl lost her parents in a typhoon, too), a little girl can remind us of what love of country is about.

Except when it is not. Well, that’s what some pundits are saying. <holier than thou voice>That girl wasn’t being respectful to the flag, she was just getting it for her elder brother who apparently wanted the flag as a temporary shelter.</holier than thou voice> And so on and so forth. It was just a symbol, they say. Nationalism is a  government-created religion, they say, and this is one of its symbols.

To tell you the truth, I love symbols.

Way back in high school, I didn’t get to be with the CAT in my fourth year. Instead, I was with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines as a Senior Scout for four years. I learned about knots and signals and survival and tracking. And respect for the flag. Having that kind of training lasts. I don’t remember the Flag Code verbatim, but I know enough that as a symbol of the Philippine nation, it is very hard to miss.

***

This post is a bit disjointed, but so are my current thoughts. I’ll try again to make it up:

IN THE NEWS:

SENATOR JUAN MIGUEL “MIGZ” ZUBIRI RESIGNS FROM THE SENATE IN LIGHT OF THE INCOMING ELECTORAL PROTESTS FROM THE LAST ELECTIONS.

My take? Ang ganda pala ng asawa niya. Mag-aartista kaya siya?

from interaksyon.com


Formspring!

Habang tumutugtog ang Dying Inside sa isang internet cafe sa Pedro Gil ay tinitipa ko ang article na ito. I feel really good!

Laitan time na naman, mga kaibigan! Formspring.me is a site that allows people to ask questions to other people. In meatspace, asking questions is an art, at the very least, a game of negotiations by which a person tries to extract information from another without the time-honored tradition of torture. What used to be a slow process of going from icebreakers to heart-to-heart talk and magic mirrors regressed into rapid fire and random questions blazing from either a soulless database or someone else’s perverted mind. Kumbaga sa sec walang foreplay. Nowadays, formspring is another proof that there is one born every minute.

Mga Burning Questions on Formspring.me

(Answers are not mine. The answers are the original ones given by the account owner. Thank you Carla.)

1. still a virgin or not?

Why are you interested?

2. Why are you, you?

Because I am not what I am not.

3. Can we just stop and talk awhile, get to know each other? 🙂

Why not, I guess.

4. can we meet for coffee?

sino po ba sila?

5. Kung puwede kang manalo ng P1M, kaya mo bang magpaka-vegan for 6 months? As in totally devoid of any animal products or by-products whatsoever?

Oo naman. Mas magandang diet nga ang vegan para sa Hirschprung’s Disease ko e.

6. Kung nagluluto ka, ano ang specialty mo?

Gelatin.

7. What if halikan kita… Dyan?

Magpapahabol muna ako.

8. If you were a flower, why not?

Nakakakurilyo yung tanong mo Jessica. Para kang Thesis ko. Para mo akong pinadrawing ng heart shape circle.

9. wasapennin’

Wassup!!! 😉

10. ANU GX2 MO BINGOT O BUNGAL ? :))

bungal!

Bonus Question: what walks on 4 legs in the morning, 2 legs in the afternoon, and 3 legs in the evening?

Person 😀

That last one came from the database. WTF?


Cartoons Should Not Be Used As Examples of an Advocacy Against Violence Against Children

So I logged in to facebook and found myself staring at pictures of cartoons. My first instinct, that it was part of a worldwide attack against the onslaught of 3D animated movies, was too simple to be true; so I asked a friend what it all meant. He explained that it was indeed a protest, an advocacy, not unlike the hoopla a year ago when women (and a few other men who wish they were) put in colors to represent their bra straps; this apparently did something to raise awareness of breast cancer (I was aware all right, but for the wrong reasons). So instead of a Christmas message we get an engineered fad to raise awareness on violence against children. The message was this, facebook users use a cartoon character from a show they liked as children to remind people not to hit children.

Will it work? Maybe they think it is because that children are supposed to be innocent, gentle beings but growing up Filipino, I know they are not. According to a strip by Maniz Abrera (Kiko Machine), children at play are fairly vicious by themselves. What with a pregame chant with “saksak puso, tulo ang dugo” (word for word: (when you) stab (the) heart, the blood flows) in the stanza, they’re a good bunch of hooligans already. Add to that the contests in holding one’s breath, striking the back of the knee of an unsuspecting playmate, catching spiders and making them fight each other, children are being violent even without adult approbation.

What I think the point and appeal of this current fad is to cater to twenty-somethings who miss their childhood. Looking back at mine, I found that cartoons are not the best way to espousea belief of  anti-violence against children. I used to spend Saturday mornings watching Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies on TV. You know that slapstick act? Clearly for adults.

For the record, I changed my profile picture into one showing Pacquiao beating up Marquez’s face.


Deconstructing Betamax: Part 2

Here We Go!

1 Wala pa nung MYX, wala pa nung MTV
2 Wala pa nung internet
3 Wala pa nung ipod o mp3
4 Wala pa nung cable
5 Wala pa nung cellphone
6 Wala pa ring cd o dvd
7 Meron lang Betamax

8 Sa JINGLE magazine
9 Natutong mag gitara
10 Sinifra ang mga kanta
11 Sa cassettte at plaka

12 Mula sa himig ni Pepe Smith
13 Mag blues si Wally Gonzales
14 Lumaki sa layaw ni Mike Hanopol
15 Bumalik ang kwago ni Bosyo
16 Kamusta mula sa Maria Cafra
17 Umistambay si Heber
18 Sa bahay ni Gary Granada
19 Nagbago ang lumad ni Joey Ayala

20 Nagreklamo si Chikoy Pura
21 Sa balita ng Asin
22 Ang anak ni ka Freddie
23 Kinontra ni Edu Abraham
24 Dumibidoo ang Apo Hiking
25 Mga kababayan ni Francis M
26 Beh buti nga sa Hotdog
27 Nosibalasi Sampaguita

28 Wala pa nung MYX wala pa nung MTV
29 Wala pa nung internet
30 Wala pa nung ipod o mp3
31 Wala pa nung cable
32 Wala pa nung cellphone
33 Wala pa ring cd o dvd
34 Meron lang Betamax

35 Sa JINGLE magazine
36 Natutong mag gitara
37 Sinifra ang mga kanta
38 Sa cassettte at plaka

39 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
40 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
41 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
42 Ipagpatuloy

43 Padayon

44 Baby baby Rico J
45 Musikahan ni Ryan Ryan
46 Umiskul bukol kay Tito Vic and Joey
47 Sumayaw sa VST
48 Humataw kay Gary V
49 Bumilad sa ballad ni Martin Nievera
50 Request sa dj ni Sharon Cuneta
51 Nangako sayo si Rey Valera
52 Salamat sa the Dawn
53 Ang tatay ko, si Jack Sikat
54 Disyembre ni Binky Lampano
55 Nangarap ang Identity crisis
56 Wag kalimutan ang Wuds
57 Namatay sa ingay ng Dead Ends
58 Never meant to be Betrayed
59 Sa XB, NU at Club Dredd

60 Wala pa nung MYX wala pa nung MTV
61 Wala pa nung internet
62 Wala pa nung ipod o mp3
63 (Wala)
64 Wala pa nung cable
65 Wala pa nung cellphone
66 Wala pa ring cd o dvd
67 Meron lang Betamax

68 Sa JINGLE magazine
69 Natutong mag gitara
70 Sinifra ang mga kanta
71 Sa cassettte at plaka

72 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
73 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
74 Ipagpatuloy ang daloy ng alon
75 Ipagpatuloy

76 Padayon
77 Padayon
78 Padayon
79 Padayon

My takes:

1-7, 28-34, 60-67: The song’s chorus that sums up its theme of nostalgia of that time between 1980s – 1990s (Betamax came out in 1975. MTV Philippines started in 1992.) At that time, the most popular distraction for bored teenagers would be the then ubiquitous Betamax. The song does not discuss how many kids discovered the limits of the human body via Linda Lovelace or that Cannibal Holocaust was a very elaborate fake (surprise, surprise!). I loved the video, which just showed the band playing on the porch/stairs of an old house and some clips of children playing traditional Filipino games like syato, patintero, sipa, trumpo and others. Later on, the band members join the kids in the games and the song ends with the band sharing merienda: pandesal (or, could it be pan de coco?) and 7up/Mountain Dew in plastic and sipped through a straw. Nostalgia sells. Good thing that Cafe Puro ad showed Myrene playing hopscotch/piko.

8-11, 35-38, 65-71: JINGLE was the brand name of “songhits” then. No lyrics.com for you. In the spirit of their popularity with teenagers, the song magazine was very unfriendly to parents. It was full of toilet humor, crude drawings and a mascot of a cherub urinating against a wall. Pilyang Kerubin indeed! Commercial music was very reasonably priced. Cassette tapes stood up well to abuse (except magnets). People got low-quality songs (and rock concerts via NU107) free on the radio by hitting the red record button. I used to know people who learn chords and songs to play on the guitar by ear. Kinakapa. Maybe that was what was meant by sinifra (cipher).

The stanzas are consist of wordplay using the music or song that defined or popularized the artist. Hence:

Ang Himig Natin – Pepe Smith (Juan De La Cruz Band)

Wally’s Blues – Wally Gonzales (Juan De La Cruz Band)

Laki sa Layaw – Mike Hanopol (Juan De La Cruz Band. Edmund Fortuno na lang, kumpleto na sila!)

Pagbabalik ng Kwago – Bosyo (bosyo is also the indigenous term for goiter)

Kamusta, mga Kaibigan – Maria Cafra (May logo sila na kahawig ng logo ng halos lahat ng action film noong 1970s.)

Istambay – Heber Bartolome (Banyuhay ni Heber. Dating board of trustee ng FILSCAP, na humiwalay din.)

Bahay – Gary Granada (He recently left the music industry in a protest against piracy.)

Bagong Lumad – Joey Ayala’s band (a play on bago/new/alternative and luma(d), the lumads of Mindanao and the word old). Isa sa mga naunang Pinoy alternative.

Reklamo nang Reklamo – Chikoy Pura (The Jerks. Repeat after me, “PUNK’S NOT DEAD!”)

Balita – Asin (Kailangan pa ba itong i-intro e pinalutang ulit ito ni apl.de.ap sa ere)

Anak – Freddie Aguilar (Ang masama, yung PAMANGKIN ni Ka Freddie)

Kontra-GAPI – Edru Abraham (Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino. Award-winning band.)

Doobidoo – Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society (Yes, that was what APO was called dati. In an old interview, they revealed that they almost called their group the Jose Rizal Bulletproof Vest Company. The said song was updated for a tribute album by Kamikazee.)

Mga Kababayan – Francis Magalona (One of the late rapper’s early hits that catapulted him and Filipino rap into mainstream radio. Made the “running man” ubiquitous.)

Beh Buti Nga – Hotdog (May show din si Janno Gibbs at Anjo Yllana titled Beh Bote Nga. Wala lang.)

Nosi Balasi – Sampaguita (If you haven’t known by now, the title is reversed.)

Rico J. Puno – His trademark was singing alternate Tagalog and English lyrics. And abuse of the word, “BABY.” Much much better than Renz Verano (although I liked Larawang Kupas) or Justin Bieber. Umabot naman sa cutoff, since 1976 siya nanalo sa Aliw Awards.

Ryan Ryan Musikahan – Ryan Cayabyab (The man who created Smokey Mountain, the singing group. I didn’t care much for music when I was very young, but nowadays I realized I missed too much sleeping early.)

Iskul Bukol – Tito, Vic and Joey (Not a music group, but a TV show. Isa lang ang masasabi ko dito. IDOL)

Sumayaw, Sumunod – VST and Co. (In a Mel and Joey interview, Joey jokingly remarked that Tito was so domineering, VST actually stood for Vicente Sotto the Third and Company. The band the senator’s two brothers Val and Vic, Spanky, Male and Roger Rigor, Monet Gaskell, Celso Llarina, and Jum Medina. It adapted Bee Gees styling and falsetto to Pinoy ears.)

Hataw Na – Gary Valenciano (Initially marketed as the Michael Jackson of the Philippines, he was known better for his dance hits, ballads and religious songs (sometimes mixing them up).

Martin Nievera – Gary’s “rival.” Magaling kumanta ng ballad. Walang kuwenta magsalita ng Tagalog. 🙂

Mr. DJ – Sharon Cuneta (The Escalera’s little sister. Wala pa siyang 17 nito I think. And patweetums pa rin hanggang ngayon.)

Pangako Sa ‘Yo – Rey Valera (How many lovers made this their theme song? Show of hands, anyone?)

Salamat – The Dawn (That powerful voice, that thundering beat and that crying guitar. Bring out the ice cold beer!)

Ang Tatay Ko – Jack Sikat (Ethnic Faces. Eighties na eighties. Punk, new wave, multicolored na jacket, studs sa kung saan-saan. Herbert Bautista in leotards.)

Disyembre – Binky Lampano (Dean’s December. I don’t know more, I only have namedrops from Rock N’ Rhythm magazine but here’s a link.)

Pangarap – Identity Crisis (Another revered band that I honestly know very little. Here’s another link to appease curious souls.)

At Nakalimutan ang Diyos – The Wuds (Binaboy naming magpipinsan hanggang naging: “at nakalimutang mag-juice.”)

Mamatay sa Ingay – Dead Ends (You guessed it right. They’re punk. Here’s their facebook page.)

Never Meant to be This Way – Betrayed (dubbed the fastest band in the land.)

XB, NU at Club Dredd – DWXB (102.7), where Binky Lampano was a former DJ. DWNU (107.5) survives as the home of new rock (DWLA105.9 surrendered quietly) and Club Dredd was the place to be.

Padayon? That’s a Visayan (waray, sugbuanon, cebuano) word for “to continue.” The song is essentially urging listeners to continue making sweet music. OPM forever!


Essence of Ondoy!

I was looking in facebook when I saw this:
Essence of Ondoy

Sorry Anonymous friend, I just have to post this! Without your permission, of course.