Archive for the 'writings' Category

should you support the reproductive health bill?

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I wrote with utmost joy on the latest survey findings from the Social Weather Stations, which said that majority of Filipinos are in favor of passing the controversial Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 (HB No. 5043).

The survey can be read in full at, but to summarize, it found that around seven in every 10 adult Filipinos said they favored the passage of the RH bill (71 percent), and about three in every four (76 percent) agreeing with the statement, “There should be a law that requires government to teach family planning to the youth.”

Quoting SWS: “Support for both family planning education and for passage of the RH Bill is very high among both Catholics and non-Catholics. Regularity of church-going and trust in the Catholic church have no effect on support for the RH bill.”

The survey was conducted from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 this year. It used face-to-face interviews a total of 1,500 respondents (even more than the usual 1,200 respondents in other surveys from SWS). It had a margin of error of plus-minus 2.5 percentage points. (Unfortunately, this vital paragraph was cut from my story that came out this morning in the paper for lack of space.)

Of course, surveys are surveys, and people have varied opinions as to how to view survey results. Some people use favorable survey results to further their causes, and I am doing exactly that - this time, to bat for the passage of the Reproductive Health bill.

Ayway, I would like to finally tackle THAT ad from a well-known group actively campaigning against the passage of the RH bill. I have nothing personal against their group, but I have noticed the horrible and misleading angle in which their ad has been cast. I’m sure you’ve seen it in a major broadsheet. It’s in the form of a checklist.


Finally, a Maskom post

Thursday, September 25th, 2008


plaridel facade


I knew there would come a time when I would have to talk about UP Mass Comm and an alumni homecoming of sorts, but I did not expect it to come this soon, only three years after graduation, and without anything really major to brag about (hehe). But yeah, I would have loved to go to this Saturday’s party, had my schedule permitted it. But alas, I have to settle for making badges to compensate for my upcoming absence.


I think my most vivid memories of Maskom were spent mostly here, underneath the Skywalk:


ilalim ng skywalk


The Skywalk is a hallway connecting the two Mass Comm buildings, and the space underneath it used to be a perfect hangout for smokers. (I don’t think they still allow that though) I first adapted the smoking habit in my freshman year, as passed on by my blockmate John (the last I heard, this guy is directing this year’s Live A.I.D.S.). Having quit the habit (seven months and counting) I guess I’d always associate smoking with college, after all.

A few months ago, I returned to Mass Comm as a favor for a friend who taught J109. I talked about, of all things, writing survey stories. Waiting for the class to start, I noticed how a lot has changed since I was a student, and mostly for the better, I mean, facilities-wise. Do any of the rooms still use electric fans, I wondered.

But yeah, the most glaring difference was that space underneath the Skywalk. For one, it didn’t contain smokers anymore. A part of me was glad, having found this new lifestyle of sorts. But of course, another part of me was a little sad – I kept looking for a face I knew, but I found none.

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on writing*

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

*with apologies to Stephen King. this is about your book anyway. 

I’ve never picked up a book by Stephen King – mainly because I was afraid to be afraid, to be haunted. But last night, I did pick up one of his books, and it couldn’t have come at a better time – it was his writing memoir, On Writing.

And so, Mr King says to me:

“You approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness or even despair – the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: You must not come lightly to the blank page.

“I’m not asking you to come reverently or unquestioningly; I’m not asking you to be politically correct or cast aside your sense of humor (please God you have one). This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s not the moral Olympics, and it’s not church. But it’s writing, damn it, not washing the car, or putting on eyeliner. If you can take it seriously, we can do business. If you can’t or won’t, it’s time for you to close the book and do something else.”  (pages 92-93)


for tara

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Something has to be said about Tara Santelices, who is currently fighting for her life in Medical City’s ICU after being shot in the head in a hold-up incident in Cainta, Rizal on Wednesday. She was with a friend around past midnight onboard a jeep to Marikina when a man announced a hold-up. He put a bullet through her head; the kind that doesn’t have any exit wounds, the kind that fragments inside. That day was also, incidentally, her birthday.


communion and options

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Caught an interesting replay of “Straight Talk” on ANC, a show hosted by Pia Hontiveros, the other day. The topic of the debate: The controversial reproductive health bill. Her panel of guests featured Rep. Janette Garin of Iloilo, who solely defended the bill against a representative from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and former BIR head Liwayway Vinzons Chato.

Things came to a head earlier this week when a bishop announced that solons who endorsed the bill should not be given communion because supporting the bill was immoral because it endorsed abortion. Garin, a medical doctor by profession, reiterated that the bill also condemns abortion and that the use of contraceptives was not equivalent to abortion.

Of course, we all know the Catholic Church has always opposed artificial methods such as the use of condoms and pills, among others. The government, despite the supposed separation of Church and State enshrined in the Constitution, has refused to take a progressive stance on population control.

What is even more shocking is the fact that, apparently, the Church believes that the Philippine population is actually decreasing, thus there is no need for population control, much less family planning. I regret not having taken out my phone for a quick picture; I really should have taken a screen grab of that quote when it was flashed on ANC the other day.


futsal notes

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

aka Top 5 things na natutunan ko sa futsal sa loob ng isang taon

Isang taon na pala halos akong naglalaro ng futsal. Matatandaan, June 19, 2007 ang date ng kauna-unahang futsal match sa Club650 sa Libis, 11 p.m. Requirement lang nun e ang magpunta – no skills, no color codes, wala pa ngang sariling bola. May naka-jeans pa nga – malay ba na seryoso pala talaga ang laro. Ito ang humble beginnings ng futsal.




Dumami nang dumami ang naglalaro – may time pa ata na 20 katao ang sabay-sabay na nagtatakbuhan sa court. Pagsipa mo ng bola, three inches later, may paa na agad. Hahaha. May time naman, 8 katao lang all in all ang naglalaro – 10 minutes pa lang laglag na baga ko. At goalie ako sa lagay na yun ha.

So ayun. Mantakin mo ba naman na a year hence e may naglalaro pa rin ng futsal. Napalitan na nga ang sunugan ng baga every payday ng laglagan naman ng baga every Tuesday. Healthy living daw o hahaha. Through futsal nasasabi ko na kahit papaano me physical activity naman ako every week at na hindi puro lamon lang ang ginagawa ko sa buhay hahaha. Marami ring new friends na nakilala, ganyan. Mga bagong kasabawan sa kape, kaululan over yosi sa Something Fishy o sa Starbucks dahil maaga nagsasara ang Coffee Bean. Hehe.

To put all those months in a single blog entry is such a task. Pero sige, subukan natin sa format na ito.

Ano ang natutunan ko sa futsal sa loob ng isang taon?


the art of parting

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Or, alternatively, further meditations on the continental drift theory

Come to think of it, it’s easier trying to explain why some romantic connections are suddenly severed – these are the stuff break-ups between lovers are made of. Sadly, they are sometimes over the minutest of things. In other situations, they could also be over the insurmountable consequences of certain events that transpire through the years. Sometimes they could have been avoided; sometimes, it was how the natural flow of things would have gone. It’s sad to note also that some relationships have been doomed to end even before they really began.

There are third parties, and impossible parents and in-laws; there are racial boundaries, sexual norms; there are religion-related limits. There are power hierarchies even, for those who are involved with their own superiors or their own employees. In some cases, there are social dispositions to be taken into consideration. For lovers in separate continents, the mere existence of the distance between is sometimes reason enough to end it.

There are a lot of reasons why marriages are broken, why couples file for divorce where they could or why younger lovers have to part. But that’s not the point of this at all.

What I’m curious about is how and why platonic relationships fall apart.


the people we were

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

apparently, it’s World Pangea Day really soon. thanks to cois and his latest post for the heads up. i had commented that i agreed with him that in a way the call to mark World Pangea Day is a call to come together. that the celeb has several layers of meaning (naks.)

anyway, he also asked for a really old blog entry i wrote once wherein i referred to the continental drift theory. i couldn’t remember which one, so i googled within my site and found this:

the art of recycled love affairs
a.k.a. another one of those general observation posts. or alternatively, learning from south america, india and the continental drift theory.

wow. isang taon na pala since i wrote that? (read: wow. i used to write this way.) hahaha. to think that a year ago i had absolutely no idea i’d be here, right where i am, right this very moment =)

so anyway. i was re-reading that thing and i came across a reference to the l word’s bette and tina. institution couple, 7-year-strong yada-yada broke up over a third party, man that was harrowing.

so anyway, so they tried to get back together season 3 right? and it was horrible and bette ended up kidnapping their artificially inseminated daughter, right? end of season 3. so season 4 was just HARD man. because tina went back to boys and had a relationship with a guy named henry. which eventually fell apart. but then bette had already found someone else. and so by season 5 (their latest — oops spoiler?) bette started falling out with the new someone, and she and tina started falling back into each other, IT. WAS. CRAZY. hahaha. so there. to sort of update that article, hmm.

a house of endless summers

Friday, April 18th, 2008

1. A house

It was nearly noon when I reached the familiar bend, and there it was – the house where I grew up in, also known as the house where I did not live anymore, standing right there, right where it has been for the last few decades.

It could be said that perhaps this house and I indeed grew up together. My family moved here from a rented house in Sucat two years after I was born. Back then it was just a small house with two rooms. Back then, I was an only child.

The house started expanding as our family started growing. My sister came two years later. My mother was a chemist, my father was a pilot, and they each had a sort of idea of what their dream house was. They added a terrace for my mother’s orchids and a foyer for my father’s tools. They extended the house the other way to accommodate a fully-tiled kitchen and the maid’s quarters, and made a garage that could accommodate two cars.

For a while I thought it would never stop growing, the house. On top of all this, in 1993 my mother bought a seven-foot white Christmas tree. I’d never felt smaller.

It was only when my mother died a decade later that the changes stopped coming.



Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

dapat umuuwi ako nang mas madalas. nung linggo, naghahanap kami ng pagupitan ni auntie sa metropolis nang mapag-usapan namin yung pinsan kong doktor.

auntie: si ano, si ate mo michelle*.

ako: aling ate michelle?

auntie: si ate michelle ni auntie emma* mo.

ako: ah. bakit ano meron?

auntie: kinukulam daw siya ng best friend niyang babae.

ako: (insert taas kilay ko dito) ows?

auntie: oo kaya. hindi raw makahindi ate mo sa kaibigan niya. at nagagalit pag umaalis ng bahay nila si ate mo. pati daw nanay nung kaibigan, nagagalit.

ako: (suspicious) ayan na naman kayo eh. magkarelasyon yang dalawang yan!

auntie: (insistent) hindi, tinanong ko ate mo mismo, sabi niya friends lang daw sila!

ako: (rolls eyes) ows.

auntie: chaka me boyfriend daw yung kaibigan niya eh.

ako: (rolls eyes again) ay talaga lang ha.

auntie: tsaka kilala ang pamilya nilang ganun. (by this, she meant witchy lineage)

ako: ganon?

auntie: oo, ganun.

ako: haha ang kulit.

auntie: (natahimik) ano nga uli buong pangalan nung girlfriend mo?

ako: che.

so anyway. you know what this means? family gossip time means rumor-fleshing-out time!