Tbh,

*Written, well tweeted lol, as I risked looking like an honest fool and this might be the only good thing that came out of it haha steps towards being less inhibited and hey maybe I’m back on the blog

There’s an honesty you owe others, yourself, and more importantly, the moments.

It gets tiring, having to tiptoe around a fear of being seen as weak, emotional, sentimental, soft, or sweet. It’s nice to be able to give people some kind of honesty that reveals parts of your most unapologetic self, along with your real thoughts and feelings. How else do we make more meaningful connections?

If something means what it does to you, let it be known, call, send an embarrassingly long message before things change and moments are gone.

I guess that’s how you do all that live and love thing a lot, and you owe it to yourself to do it ever so honestly and free of all your crippling fears.

We have no control of others’ choices but we can’t let that inhibit us from being ourselves. What they choose to do and how they react is a reflection of them and in no way related to what we truly think and feel about them, unconditionally and unafraid. It’s something to be able to look back with a smile about how we were fully there and alive, and human in our moments with others.

 

Marikina: A heritage of homemade

*This is article is by my good friend, the monk himself, Peavey, who had just graduated a few months ago.

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I’ve actually never been here

In what I’m assuming is his last article in The Guidon, he so fittingly features (more like writes a special tribute) to Marikina City. It’s the kind of article every city deserves, and every publication and aspiring journalist needs to be able to type out.

I’m unsure whether I’ve really been to Marikina. I know I haven’t explored any of it then. I bet it would’ve been what Manila has sort of become to me and grown on me in my college years. It would’ve been my playground in between breaks had I stayed in Ateneo. I’m still set on visiting it someday especially after reading this travelogue.

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but I’ve been wanting to go since 2012

But not every joint run by passion is bannered with neon signs and billboards. Tucked away in the most unassuming corners of the city center or Bayan are surprisingly authentic ramen houses, holes-in-the-wall serving uniquely-crafted porridge and Visayan food joints.

Of course, all the walking one goes through helps digest all the eating. As the feet prime the stomach, shoes have been the city’s historical marker and primary product for centuries. Displays and shops sprawled around the riverbanks and traditional city center serve as living testimonies to this heritage.

The story of shoes and food arose together. Marikina resident and former Barangay Administrator Alan Bartolome shares that when shoemaking was the main occupation of the citizens, workers and shop owners would reward themselves and their families after a week’s labor. Too tired to cook, they would place hearty bulk orders of pancit and lumpia on the many eateries that still serve till today.

—Peavey Vergara

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think just how the white & blue scheme goes with a plate of Pinoy breakfast

No one can make pancit after a long day sound so appetizing and culturally significant as you have, Peaves!


Featured images: Rustic Mornings by Isabelo © Ea Senga

Mary Lou “Lion Heart” Retton

*Since it’s Olympic season, although it’s barely televised over here, I just wanted to share a wonderful moment that happened to me in the sea of Simone Biles news.

This is Mary Lou Retton. She’s an Olympic gold medalist in artistic gymnastics. 🏅 She’s an icon. My uncle says she was America’s darling. She changed the face of gymnastics becoming the first American woman to win individual gold, beating the Romanians, who together with the Soviets, had dominated the sport for decades back then. Moreover, I just think she has this bubbly, energetic personality that made everything she did absolutely captivating. It translated on the floor.

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Two nights ago I tweeted that 1984 was a golden year. And part of the reason I love 1984 so much is Mary Lou. Just look at her fire. 🔥 And to my amazement, she acknowledged the tweet! Her verified account. Just to make sure, I checked her likes and it’s not like she’s the type that goes around liking fan tweets, she mostly likes sports related announcements. Boy was I happy. I freaked out for a good 20 minutes. I really appreciate famous people that still acknowledge fans. It’s just a tiny effort on their part but it sure does brighten any fan’s day

I get so teary-eyed every time I watch this. Just listen to Bella Carolli energetically narrate history.

If it isn’t obvious, aside from tennis, artistic gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport. Every four years, I look forward to seeing people achieve what looks like the impossible and I wish my folks enrolled me in gymnastics classes growing up. Hooray for small, strong people.

But there’s just something about gymnastics back in the day. It was a lot more about form, artistry, creativity, and grace. Today the athletes are inarguably pushed to physical limits, but it’s because the sport has centered on stunts and the difficulty of extreme flips and tricks. Props to Simone Biles for quite literally defying gravity and challenging physics. But I miss the performers. I think Mary Lou was one of the best performers out there and her perfect 10 athleticism that was no accident either. It was also just part of the technique that made up the rest of her show.

She’s such a hero not just because of her gold or perfect 10s but because of her fighting spirit. I just really look up to her flame. You can see it in her eyes and her candidness gives away her passion. Most of all you can see it in her smile.

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Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.

—Mary Lou Retton

Cerulean blue

Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? I saw it a few times when it first came out and as a partly tomboyish 12 year old girl with a fairly stylish mom seated next to me, I didn’t bother grasping the whole story. I thought I got what I needed to know. Someone like Anne Hathaway’s Andy, someone I knew from dorky to princess on Princess Diaries, could go from badly dressed to Paris Fashion Week, with a little patience and a good eye.

Now on its 10th anniversary, I want to watch the movie again. It seems relevant because I too assume I want to become a serious journalist, like the demanding devil’s right hand set out for bigger things outside the industry she first looked down on with her new sense of confidence and perhaps what you could call style. But there’s more to story than the underling growing up and out, changing through a very staged 2006 wardrobe that’s nevertheless fascinating to see. Rachel Lubitz writes just a few days ago How, In One Monologue, The Devil Wears Prada Nailed the Cultural Appropriation Issue.

Before you try to immerse yourself in an industry or culture, or mock it while appearing to embrace it (like Andy), learn the history. Because, after all, in fashion, a blue sweater is not just a blue sweater, but the result of many different people working very hard to give you something exciting. Every garment has a story.

Have a little respect.

To Madison, Streep’s monologue was the lightbulb. What Priestley is doing in that scene, essentially, is exposing how dismissive and unknowledgeable Andy is of the culture she’s taking part in — a culture that she previously viewed as frivolous.

So many of us, me included, have that tendency to view certain industries as frivolous, don’t we? Yet one way or another we all partake in them.

Despite how much of serious (still not straight news but I guess features and lifestyle) journalism I thought I had to be a part of, a part of me still looks to the left every now and then. The fashion industry repels the side of me that works under the motion that I have to do something sensible with my degree. Ironically I’ve written two final papers about philosophy and fashion, haha. Maybe it repels my face that never looks good in makeup for more than two hours and can’t stand on heels for three. There is however a quite as large side of me that’s drawn to fashion beyond its aesthetic appeal. Though I’ll never be a slave to it like my mom warned and how some of the characters in the film have shown, who knows? I might hate to love and love to hate working in it if I choose to strut into that direction for a change.

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*Here’s another 10th anniversary related opinion article about the film. It criticizes the film but I think moreover, it shoots down the many assumptions people have about how they think the film should be as oppose to letting it just be. 

Untouchable

*Read the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her abuser, whose name isn’t really worth mentioning, and it really moved me. 

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“And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.”

“I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story.”

—the Stanford rape victim whose name I wish I knew because the words, “Stanford rape victim” just doesn’t do any justice to the strong human being that she is

Recreation

I debate with myself about starting over and continuing, and mostly which is braver? There are things in my life that aren’t the way I want it to be, like this blog for example. I think about dropping it completely and never blogging again. If I continue posting here, I might feel very disappointed in myself and itchy about it. I think about creating a new one just because I wasn’t able to make this what I wanted it to be. It’s rather messy too. But tonight, I’ve decided to do stay. I’m not pleased with my realities but I’ve promised to keep it all real. So I’ve decided to  stay to pursue it. What a challenge it’ll be. However, I’ll be recreating it hopefully, hopefully successfully.

Here’s to recreation! 

A piece of vandalism ☮

 *I’m not huge on politics but I wish I knew more and I’d like to do my own part as a citizen not only of my country but the world. It’ll be my first time to vote this May and although I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for, I do know that every person counts. This goes past elections. A government is important but no government can fix us when we refuse to fix us. With all the crazy bad natural and unnatural tragedies going on and will be going on, in here and the world, this is my piece. I also watched Bb. Pilipinas last night and contrary to popular protest, I’m actually real happy my bet won. Yay Maxine Medina, she’s lovely! 👑 In a far away munchkin land, I might join a pageant and say something along these lines… 😛🤓

Found this written in permanent marker in an alley in Singapore, ironically but fittingly a country that considers even the tiniest acts of vandalism unlawful. Still a minimal yet relevant piece of vandalism. I’ve come across a number of (legal) street art in Singapore meant to promote their culture and lineage, usually portraits of old Singapore. This came as a surprise find on a perfectly crisp white building which I had already been excited about for the usual photo op.

But this familiar quote isn’t meant to empower our indifference or sense of entitlement. Anyone could easily feel so empowered, fueled by anger towards certain systems we’re bounded by just to start a revolution of some sort. People in large numbers especially tend to get swept away by the spirit of battle, they tend to forget what they’re fighting for in the first place. And how fights can go. There is a time and a place for fights, and more importantly action doesn’t always have to be synonymous to speed typing on comment sections of social media platforms and walking hand in hand with clenched fists on the road. 👊

Uncle Ben was on to something; with great power does come responsibility. Only we are responsible for what happens to ourselves and our world. No government or god or people we project god-like qualities to can save us. Only we can save ourselves. When heroes disappoint and they have precisely because more often than not, human beings aren’t meant to be put on pedestals, much less things we cannot see. We become our own heroes. We ought to stop waiting on each other.

Whether it’s politics, education, human rights, safer streets, world hunger, or saving the environment (heck we should all save the environment🌿🌳), just stand for something. Action may just mean putting one foot on the ground and turning the other way around. Clenched fists aren’t the only way to fight for something but with open palms and outstretched arms for more. Stand for something, online and in real life by your own means. 

Not caring is not cool. In a generation where we’ve all hurt each other and taught one another that not caring is ultimately the better and undoubtedly cooler way to go, we’re coming close to functioning like robots that operate on instinct and very little of heart. 🤖 Dig deep down and we all weep a little for the things that we have to admit are also bigger than us. I have days when I convince myself it’s better not to care, that way I won’t get hurt or be left disappointed. But these are times we ought to grow up to face the reality that we live in a breaking world that wasn’t always this way. It could be another way. Let’s grow up with child-like innocence and love once again as children of the earth.👶🌎💓 It’s okay to care, I think we all do.✌☮