no. 4

September 2005

Ever since I was little (no really, I once was), I always scoffed at the paradoxical aspect of the age-old adage, “Try and try until you succeed”. We’ve been told, by parents, preachers and proverbs alike, that we should always stand up every time we stumble; to return to the path each time we go astray, to always be willing to pay the price. The list of analogies goes on. But seriously, for me, what never ceases to amaze me is that, more often than not, we find ourselves measuring our self worth by the scarcity of erroneous attempts we make when we try to achieve something. As wise men put it, to err is human, and that as much as possible, we should learn from our mistakes. Yet here we are, living in a society that is gravely intolerant of errors. But as pop singer Natasha Bedingfield puts it in her song Unwritten, We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way” Indeed, mistakes serve as a testament to our humanity and a driving force that fuels our will to learn. That is why for this month, Menagerie aims to show that mistakes can actually yield better results in more ways than one. The stories featured here are those of people whose lives have been glorified, even made easier, because of what they initially thought of as mistakes. In addition to that, we’ll also be demystifying myths, examining the nature of taboos, and, of course, exploring roads paved with career shifts. All these plus many more are in store for this issue. So again, sit back and enjoy this month’s issue.

Editor’s Note

Rant n’ Rave

1154-A Rodrigues Avenue, corner Gerneral Lacuna St., Bangkal, Makati City,
Tucked in an unassuming corner of Makati is Fat Michael’s Place, a house slash restaurant that endures more on its charismatic décor than its lutong bahay appeal. Not located on usual hip strips, its growing clientele flock by to discover the hazy enchantment behind this uncommon dining place. The miniature house of Michael immediately strikes the diner with a French provincial atmosphere. Dusty carpets spread across the floors, old plates and ageing pictures hanging on the walls, and the native carpentry somehow give justice to the dingy ambience. Once seated, charming color-penciled menus will introduce you to the Filipino-Italian food they serve, or for a better look at the price tags, skim through the chalkboards that add a restrained café experience to the place. The interiors create great effects on the dining experience; as much as diners enjoy the anomalously delectable recipe of the Rosemarie Chicken Salad (PhP185), a careful concoction of green leaves, apricot, prunes, chicken strips, and croutons, the very languid and rustic feel of the house provides customers a respite from the usual hustle and bustle of typical on-the-go restos. For salads and main courses, prices range from PhP105-P295. To caution the restless, Fat Michael’s Place isn’t for the A-type personality. Food is served slow, such that its maxim attests, “We cook slow, live with it.” The Aligue Pasta (PhP195) is a recommended skip, for it intends to leave a bland, faint taste to the palate. But its Grilled Seafood Pasta with Kesong Puti (PhP205) is a delightfully exceptional break, thanks to the heaps of kesong puti over shrimps and tomatoes. A slight hitch, though correctable, is that the crust grudgingly leaves a 3M Pizza feel to the tongue. The Choco Coffee Cake (PhP105) with its layered taste deserves a try too. Surprisingly, the Iced Tea (PhP45) emerges as the winner, with a very unique peach-like taste, absent even in the dining cafes of posh hotels. The cramped place will cater more to the artistic types, coupled with the stifling atmosphere reminiscent of depressing Sunday afternoons. It wouldn’t be surprising to sit adjacent leaky air conditioners and to enjoy the company of houseflies either; they all add to the charm of the place. By far, its food is nothing spectacular. It fails to achieve the stark contrast of a jerry-bistro housing exceptional food. Fat Michael’s Place ring of Grandma’s restaurant – a low-key resto coupled with her equally unpresumptuous cooking. Go to Fat Michael’s if you need to visit lost memories, or if you want to take a peek into an artists’ world. When you’re there, your eyes digest more beautiful peculiarities than your stomach does food. It’s hard to forget a place whose surroundings stir forth a lot of sentiment and imagination as much as Fat Michael’s does. Alas, it is also a tad harder to find. So make sure to ask for directions when you make your reservation.

Fat Michael’s Place


Halina sa Parokya

Parokya ni Edgar

Juan Carlos Chavez Menagerie Editor


It’s more than a decade since Chito Miranda asnd co. started redefining OPM music. With the release of their latest album, Halina sa Parokya, the quintessential pop/rock group has proven that time hasn’t dulled their abilities one bit. This time around, the Pambansang Banda ng Pilipinas features a more-or-less “wholesome” mix of songs, with some concepts drawn from Batibot and Sesame Street, as evidenced by the colorful album art depicting puppet versions of the band members. Of course, since this is Parokya ni Edgar we’re talking about, subtle jabs of irreverence accompany the zany music and quirky humor of the album. Halina sa Parokya contains an eclectic variety of tracks that will surely delight both fans and newcomers to the band’s catchy music and witty lyrics. The 16 cuts, plus a bonus 17th track, ranges from the classic spoofs to the thematic ballads that we’ve come to associate with Parokya ni Edgar. The carrier single Mang Jose calls to mind the past Parokya hit Mr. Suave. This time though, it’s a superhero-for-rent who’s in the limelight. The somewhat guttural vocals complement the song’s raucous lyrics about the absurdity of the hero at the song’s center. A perfect example of the classic Parokya brand of humor, clever and amusing at the same time. Other highlight tracks are spoofs on past songs, including Walang Nangyari, a spoof of Andrew E’s song Andrew Ford Medina, and The Ordertaker, a spoof of the System of a Down hit Toxicity. The influence of Pinoy rap on the band also shows in Bagsakan, a collaboration between Parokya, Francis M, and Gloc-9, and the ubiquitous first day of school anthem First Day Funk, played everywhere ad nauseum and now synonymous to Rexona. Then there is the punk/pop ballad Para Sayo, which is engaging and sweet without removing the swift strings of the guitar. The other tracks of the album are so-so, and of mixed quality. The acoustic guitar-infused song Gitara and the gimmicky cut Pedro’s Basura Mix are a hit-or-miss affair. However, the overall quality of this album doesn’t suffer much, as the rest of the tracks are solid, hilarious Parokya efforts worthy of enjoyable consumption. Halina sa Parokya is another enjoyable ride from the masters of hilarious antics. As one of the icons of the local music scene, Parokya ni Edgar does not disappoint, once again turning out an album that is sure to become a part of Pinoy pop culture. This is one superhero worth paying for.

- Kristel Kaye Chua


Finally, an explanation for shizzle. UrbanDictionary. com is the answer to the kind of words that Merriam-Webster cannot define: slang. Teeming with thousands and thousands of definitions covering ghetto and pop culture, this online “slang bible” just might be able to shed some light on that obscure g-to-the-bizzack song on the radio. It exists from contributions of absolutely anyone who coins a word, phrase or expression and wishes to share it to the rest of the world. The terms range from hilarious descriptions of human behavior (carspective: the valuable insight that comes during the long drive home), to metaphors of mundane things (dish jenga: the pile of precariously balanced dishes in a dishrack that cannot be disturbed lest there be an avalanche of china), to internet jargon (pwned: to be made a fool of), to ghetto speak. UrbanDictionary is witty, liberal, and out-of-the-box. What it isn’t though, is discreet. To the easily offended, it might not be as amusing since some of the words contain racial slurs, profanities, and sexual references. Nevertheless, UrbanDictionary. com is still worth a visit. Also, by subscribing to the Word of the Day, not only will you pick up a funny phrase or two, you will also get to observe the way this generation acts. And realize that these days, old Mr. Webster isn’t the only one in control of the words anymore. Fo’ sho.

Urban Dictionary

Studio 23 Saturdays 9:00-10:00 PM
If you have been looking for an intelligent and fresh perspective into the typical teenager’s life of joys and woes, then you would probably find something worth watching in this TV drama. From the creators of The West Wing, Jack and Bobby looks into the personal lives of two adolescent brothers; one of them eventually becomes the future US president. In the story, president-to-be Bobby McCallister (Logan Lerman) lives a life that not many teens are strangers to. He has an overprotective mother (Christine Lahti) with a smoking problem, his older brother Jack (Matt Long) openly admits that he is embarrassed of him, and people claim that his personality would fit the words “totally uncool.” With each episode, Bobby experiences incidents in his teenage life and learns lessons that would ultimately affect who he becomes as the U.S. president. A particularly interesting feature to note is that the show uses flash-forward interview segments. Several 15-second interviews (that take place in year 2049) with President McCallister’s colleagues take over the screen in between parts of the story. The only drawback is, at certain points, the interviews could be quite distracting to the viewers since they interrupt the flow of the story. On the whole, though, Jack and Bobby would be just the thing to watch if you want to kick back and relax. The plot is interesting enough, and the acting is good, though there is still room for improvement. - Nino Rivera

Jack & Bobby



- Jensen Ching

- Ramona Torres

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The Lounge

the Man Behind the Pig’s Nest

Normally, when you call up a celebrity, you’d expect a secretary to pick up the phone. You’re made to wait a century before you’re told “Sorry, but Mr./Ms. Big-So-and-So cannot come to the phone right now” and “If you would be so kind as to just schedule an interview some other time”. But in this man’s case, it was a complete surprise. He not only answered his own telephone for this interview, he also candidly spoke of his schedule for the day and kept joking around. Apolonio “Pol” Medina, Jr. is the highly acclaimed virtuoso behind the Pugad Baboy series that has been entertaining the Philippine populace for seventeen years. His handiwork appears everyday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and over the years, he has compiled his works into books. He has so far produced seventeen volumes of his sometimes biting, sometimes green but always entertaining strips. But despite all the fame that this cartoonist has amassed throughout his career, he remains to be a down-to-earth man who has his feet planted firmly on the ground. The keeper of the pigs When one thinks of a cartoonist, one usually visualizes the shabby-looking bum-type with all his time in his hands. At least for Pol, this is not so. As a cartoonist for a major daily broadsheet, one of the main difficulties is that there are absolutely no sabbaticals; there is not so much as a day’s break. “If I want to take a week off, I have to submit a week’s worth of comics in advance,” Pol explains. But the work is only half of it. Cartoonists may have a Bohemian glamour to them, but they also have normal lives. Pol is the man of the house of five children. A regular day for Pol starts with a wake up call at five AM. He is both family cook and “school bus driver.” He prepares his children’s baon and drives them to and from school. It is only when he finally gets time to sit down that he starts sketching his cartoons. Architecture, Iraq and the Inquirer While Pol’s life may now be quite comfortable, like most things, it wasn’t

always so. As many of Pol Medina’s fans may already know, cartooning was not his primary career choice. Pol graduated with a degree in architecture in the University of Santo Tomas. He delved into this field since he believed that it was more serious work for an artist. This led him to a refinery in Iraq as an overseas contract worker. There, he became the project architect for two years. His plans of continuing with architecture, though, eventually met its demise when his earnings were not enough to sustain his needs. “I needed to moonlight to have gas money,” he states. Despite the initial career slump, what was clear is that Pol has always known what he is deep inside: an artist. His idols include the likes of Dick Giordano and Jack Kirby, both legends, the former as an inker and the latter as the brilliant mind behind such creations as the Fantastic Four. As both men have developed for themselves a niche in their respective artistic specialties, Pol has likewise carved out a spot for himself in Filipino pop culture.

Interestingly, it might have been something that never would have come about. Pol owes his popularity mostly to his talent but part of his success can safely be said to have come from the broadsheet where his strips come out, the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI). On his choice of broadsheet to apply for, he says that “I did not decide. Fate took me to the Inquirer. It was the only paper where I offered Pugad Baboy and they accepted it right away.” According to one story, when he decided to enter cartooning back in 1988, he intended to apply to different newspapers, starting with the market leader of the time, the Manila Bulletin. PDI was a relatively young publication at the time, but fate, in the guise of a confusing bystander who thought he was giving directions to the Bulletin, led him to PDI, and as he said, he’s “never looked back.” Even the book compilations seem to have been something fate cooked up. In 1989, a Communication Arts student from De La Salle University, Frank Aldana, used the then one-year old strip as the basis of his thesis. Frank got his 4.0, and Pol Medina got his book series started. The strips stripped Pugad Baboy stands out in the minds of people because, other than the fact that it is the only strip with nearly all the characters are overweight, Filipinos find their life stories jumping out at them. It’s no wonder, since Pol Medina gets all his material from his life and those of the people around him. In a previous interview, he shares that he himself has three characters representing him: Mang Dagul is his serious side, Utoy is his childish side and Polgas, his adventurous side. As does Pol himself, each of these characters sports an earring on their left ear. His family being very unique, he was able to come up with characters representing each member. Other characters were based on people from our society: the policeman (Patrolman Durugas), the government official (Senator Cabalfin), the teacher (Ms. Nobatos), the doctor (Dr. Sebo), the NPA men (Ka Noli) and so many others. He then takes these people and sets them against a backdrop laden with our own culture and enriched by his own experiences.

To make his art even more distinct, he allows his characters to evolve. As the people he based his characters on grow and change with time, so do their ink-and-paper twins. The net result is that at any given point, there will always be something every generation can relate with. This also makes the characters more real because like normal people, they change. His two cents for cartoonists To budding cartoonists in college, his advice was emphatic on the importance of education and originality. “Get that degree first. Everybody can draw cartoons but not everybody can tell a story. So stay in school and hoard those ideas before getting into this craft.” Generally, Pol Medina has felt no regrets when it comes to this career shift. “I consider every experience I have as story material for my comic strip. If I had a perfect life, I’d have nothing to write about.” Pol has embraced every aspect of his career and has considered each experience and yes, mistake, as a stepping stone in establishing his current professional status. Mistakes, after all, seem very bad when one first makes them but when one looks back, they may actually be the stuff of blessings. From the unfortunate mishaps in the field of architecture, Pol Medina has met ultimate success. His cartoon masterpiece has garnered much recognition throughout the country as a vivid reflection of the Filipino wit and psyche. Pugad Baboy is among the leading comic strips in the Philippines; its seventeen volumes are a testament to its enduring brilliance. Success is subjective to different people, and he aptly describes what it is for cartoonists. “When you’ve reached the point where you can live comfortably with what you make in cartoons, you’re there. I have reached that point seven years ago and I’ve never looked back.” But beyond that he, with his ingeniouslycrafted horizontally-challenged characters and politically satirical quips, has succeeded in encapsulating the very essence of the Filipino mindset greatly above all other cartoonists in Philippine history.

Pugad Baboy Comic Strips taken from pmjunior.com.ph

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Crash course 101




ccidental discoveries in whatever forms always manage to turn heads, not least because these serendipitous moments truly have the power to alter history. But what’s worth pointing out is just how much “serendipity” is there in these discoveries? Not much, it turns out. Louis Pasteur certainly got it right when he said that “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” Indeed! By and far, fortune also seems to have a penchant for those who “capitalize” on mistakes.

One thing you have to know about resistors is that these little, millimeter-scale cylinders used to control electric current are marked by a unique series of tiny, colored bands. Now whoever thought that a tiny stripe could make all the difference? Certainly not Wilson Greatbatch, who was an assistant professor of engineering at the University of Buffalo during the 1950s. At that time, Greatbatch was working with some cardiologists on a way to record heart sounds when he reached out for a 10,000-ohm resistor—brown-black-orange. Unknowingly, he grabbed a brown-black-green resistor instead—about 100 times stronger that what he needed—and plugged it into the circuit. The circuit suddenly pulsed for 1.8 milliseconds, stopped and repeated itself again. It was certainly no good for measuring heart sounds but Greatbatch knew what he had: a heartbeat! He went on to create the first implantable cardiac pacemaker, a far cry from the table-radio-sized, external pacemakers of his day. Whoever thought that one careless mistake could end up saving countless lives? “With the pacemaker”, Greatbatch beams, “Grandpa could be in the mainstream again.”

In 1905, 11-year old Frank Epperson tried making soda pop, then a popular drink, by mixing soda water powder and water. Accidentally, he left the soda out on his porch all night. Temperatures dropped so low that the next day, young Epperson found his soda pop had frozen with the stirring stick in it! He didn’t know it yet, but he had accidentally concocted the very first popsicle! It wasn’t until 18 years later, in 1923, that Epperson remembered his invention, applied for a patent and started selling “Eppsicle” ice pops in different fruit flavors. Later on, his kids started referring to it as the “Popsicle” and ever since, it’s been hard to resist the refreshing allure of this tangy summer treat!

saran wrap
In 1933, Ralph Wiley, a college student who cleaned glassware for Dow Chemical Co., stumbled across a vial that he couldn’t clean. He called the deposited substance “eonite”, after an indestructible material in the comics “Little Orphan Annie”. Researchers at Dow then developed the “eonite” into a greasy, green film called “Saran”. Initially, Saran was sprayed on fighter jets as a measure against salty sea spray and carmakers used it on upholstery. Subsequently, Dow refined the Saran into a transparent, odorless film later marketed as a food wrap. Today, polyvinylidene chlorine, or cling wrap, has revolutionized the food packaging industry and many a modern kitchen, efficiently protecting food against oxygen, water, acids, bases, and many solvents.

Nobody thought that a weak adhesive was useful until a man named Spencer Silver invented the ubiquitous Post-It Note that could be used as a self-sticking paper. Silver stayed up all night trying to invent an adhesive stronger than the ones already developed by 3M Company. Unfortunately, instead of coming up with a strong product, he came up with a weak adhesive, which stuck to surfaces but could easily be removed. Four years later, the 3M scientist named Arthur Fry remembered Silver’s “failed experiment” when he used some markers as bookmarks in the church choir. Annoyed because they kept falling off, he began using the notepapers developed by Silver. This invention came to be known today as the Post-It Note, which has become one of the most popular office products.

post-it notes

After centuries of nomadic living, it was only in 1948 that a Swiss engineer named George de Mestral took advantage of the burrs that stick to furs and other fabrics when someone passes by in a field of weeds. On his daily walk in the Alps, he took a closer look at the cockleburs that kept clinging to his dog and his jacket. When he examined one under the microscope, he saw that it has thin strands with tiny hooks. It took him almost ten years to realize the practical use of the burrs by applying their hook-and-loop principle through two strips of nylon fabric. This invention came to be known then as the Velcro, from the French words velours, or ‘velvet’, and crochet, or ‘hook’.


artificial sweetenerS

A textile engineer named Jacques Brandenberger only wanted to develop a transparent coating for tablecloths after witnessing a wine spill in a restaurant when he accidentally got a resultant mixture that was too rigid to be useful. The idea of having a waterproof coating was done by applying liquid viscose to cloth. When he found out that the viscose film could be easily separated from the tablecloth, he immediately saw the potential of his discovery. The transparent sheet was later on called as the cellophane, which is extremely useful for food packaging.

In 1879, Constantine Fahlberg went to Johns Hopkins University upon an invitation by then renowned chemist Ira Remsen. One day, Fahlberg left Remsen’s lab and proceeded to eat dinner without washing his hands. He noticed that his food was unusually sweet and after some investigation, was able to trace the sweetness back to the compound he handled earlier in the lab. While working on an experiment on coal tar derivatives, and at Remsen’s suggestion, Fahlberg oxidized a sample of orthotoluene sulfamide and came up with orthobenzoyl sulfimide. He called this “saccharin”, after the Latin word for sugar, saccharum and went on to patent and manufacture saccharin as a sugar substitute. Today, it is most famously found in Sweet ‘n Low and many diet sodas owing to its long shelf life and zero calorie content, despite the many controversies surrounding its consumption after studies suggest it as a possible carcinogen.

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Cover Story

My Teacher, My Soulmate

“Father and mother are the parents who bring me up, while a teacher is the parent who educates me”, says a Korean proverb. But where do we draw the line that separates the role of a teacher from that of a parent? Nonetheless, in nurturing both acts upon, to equip a child with knowledge guided by ethics and morality. Then the more appropriate question would be, where does it begin or rather, where does it end? The difference lies in the level of objectivity or extent— a teacher disciplines, a teacher imparts, but only to the limits of the classroom walls. Teachers are students’ second parents and the school is their second home. Or so they say. Schooling is when a child departs from home but to continue a time well spent of learning at a concrete foundation. This circumstance is the implicit idea that parents entrust their children to the institution that would impart knowledge and wisdom, provide nurturing and pervade learning with love and understanding set in the shared goal of a teacher and a student—a continuation of the fundamental idea of what has started at home. But what if the latter goes beyond the mandated functions of the unwritten constitution of student- teacher relationship? What if the allure of the forbidden is so lavish that it tempts even the most moral of teachers? Would there be a trade off with the disposition in culture or a violation of present views to act in a manner of one’s own choosing?

interest in a student for the need of a huge surge of ego boost? Students and teachers are mutually responsive when it comes to personal sentiments that concern the factors secluded within the same environment of the school. It varies, from cooperation and competition in the class or faculty, family conflicts, inferiority complex, or the mere want of attention and appreciation—tied with the dealings of daily routines of coming to school, teaching or learning, socializing and at the end of the day, going home . It’s just a matter of perception, or interest or even by chance actually, that makes it rather controversial. A student discloses, the teacher relates; a student confides, the teacher consoles. The innocent relation between the student and the teacher could flourish into a special feeling of affection when comfort and trust have already been established within the rapport. The conformity of the relationship comes with the acceptance of both parties—sense of ownership for the teacher and sense of belongingness for the student or vice versa. Could it be anything beyond that? On the Teacher : On the Student There are two contradicting forces in the formation of the “forbidden” relationship sentient to the teacher. A teacher has the duty of being in charge of a class and therefore has the authority to set the rules or even break them. Bringing this kind of mind set within the relationship and taking control actually means ownership of the resource which is , in this case, the student. It starts with a premeditated action of the teacher that allows an exercise of power and autonomy over the student to submit to his or her will and eventually leads to the manipulation of the entire relationshp, indirectly, intentionally, or so it seems. A teacher could say “no” to the budding relationship if one

really does not want it to go beyond what is denominated of his or her function. But inundated by the possibilities of a weakness that could also lead to the same interest, the party gives in and is in turn manipulated by the circumstance. But then again, is he or she inflicted by need or the inflictor of need? It is undeniable that many young ones seek attention. A deeper appreciation felt from a teacher could be a result from what he or she might considers lacking at home may be compelled in school. Maybe, there really are some things unexpected people come in handy. But considering how daring and playful the young could get, then maybe its just one of their nasty habits. Again, it is a matter of perception for one cannot solely rely on what is physically evident on matters of professional and moral conduct. Their Lips Are Sealed A student- teacher relationship is considered a taboo in the society because of its existential nature opposing the conservative moral obligations tied with cultural expectations. When such “forbidden” relationship occurs, there is a betrayal of societal trust, since parents rested the faith of the growth of their child’s

Truth, Lies, and Consequences. Like our very own parents, there are a lot of things that student’s may find admirable from teachers. On the contrary, we might find it unlikely as well when a simple admiration becomes too overpowering, it becomes an infatuation. May it be that smile that brightens a classroom fella’s day after a day’s work or that great sense of humor not evryone in class appreciates, that makes it all so charming. At the same way a teacher admires a student’s perseverance and enthusiasm, a couple of extra time could always be arranged for consultation. But wonderers are left asking, is it quite possible that the teacher deliberately mistakes this eagerness for a more personal

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CONVERGENCE If ignorance is bliss, why do we seek knowledge?
I guess it’s a balance of some sorts. We’re only human and the mere fact of wanting to attain knowledge is a very human quality. It gives us power. But sometimes, ignorance puts things in perspective. I don’t know why though, it just does. -Anton Javier, IV-AB-LIM We seek knowledge because man is naturally curious. -Valerie Ang, III-ACM We seek knowledge because humans are rational beings. We may be imperfect, (but) still we strive knowledge because knowledge means power...and people want power... - Ivan Payawal, III-CAM-MMG Are we seeking knowledge? Hindi naman, eh….We learn but we do not seek this “KNOWLEDGE” -Clarence Arreza, I-AB-CAM Because man is created with the ability to think and the hunger to find meaning in his life. Bliss has no meaning. You wouldn’t know it -Krizia Leal, II-MEM-BME Because today’s bliss might become tomorrow’s bane. Like what happens in unprotected sex. -Abin, II-BS-MEE Because we try to think ourselves better than ignorant. -Joey Alvero, I-AB-HIM It’s in our nature to be curious. Even if the end result would not be good, we still feel like we should know. -Mark Lim, IV-MMG A life without knowledge would actually cost you more. -Joseph Carunungan, V-BS-MEE Names have been changed and the class not specified for the sake of confidentiality.

well-being to someone who is not blood-related, someone outside the boundary of familial bond. In the same way, there is also the “sacrificial offering “of professional integrity on the part of the teacher. The teacher’s code of ethics states that they should always be professional in the manner of delivering their function and only to the extent of what is expected of them. It is inevitable that occasionally teachers undertake actions in response to personal issues concerning the student or in most cases, issues concerning themselves. But this should not hither the existence of the parents who have the legitimate role to respond to their child’s personal needs and to protect what is theirs. Society has dictated the way we perceive things and the way we live. It has established that romantic teacherstudent relationships are forbidden. Yet society does this without regard to the possibility that these relationships can work. Society must give these relationships a chance to work. For without the opportunity to achieve success within the relationship, then there would be no success at all. Indecent, unethical, deviant, depending from whose point of view but they only seem to matter because society dictates.

THEIR STORY Love can be found in the most peculiar places, sparked by the most unusual things, or even discovered in the most unlikely people. Deviant— as what society refers to going against social norms. Paolo and Carla had it. It was something they both found in one another. A discovery they dare explored. They had first met each other during Carla’s senior year of college and his first year of teaching, she being one of the students that stood out among the many he had taught in his class. It wasn’t her stellar academic performance that caught his attention (in fact she only maintained average grades in his class). Her vivacious personality made her known and approachable to all. He couldn’t help but develop a small crush on her because of the incredible appeal of her cheerfulness. Paolo was surprised when he bumped into Carla in his best friend’s birthday party. The two discovered they belonged to the same circle of friends. This coincidental connection allowed them to know each other beyond the limits of the classroom. As the semester progressed, the two maintained the potential friendship they discovered that night. Carla found a great sense of security from him, so great that she found strength in him whenever she had to face deep, personal problems. However, although the attraction was undeniable, they did not immediately act upon it. Both took into consideration the consequences they would have to face after being involved with one another. Finally they realized that certain sacrifices must be made to attain something great. A lasting relationship of two happy years.

Perhaps love is that one factor that deliberately breaks all barriers, bounderies, and odds. It’s a risk taker that only breathes strength and hope. It chooses no one in particular, but it is a choice, it exists not for what one is but simply for who that person is. But more than that, it deviates, it lives amidst all prejudices, that of criticisms and of false judgments. And more than anything in the world, the only thing that matters is the truth.

By pursuing knowledge, an individual will set his intellectual boundaries. By setting those boundaries, one either gains content or pleasure for that person has attained relative knowledge, but not all the knowledge this world has to offer. -Luarni Sim, II-AB-HIM compiled by Juan Carlos Chavez and Elvin Ngo

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Triumph Amidst the Turmoil


was vastly visible and felonies were greatly prevented. “It was a fascinating time in history,” shares Amy Canicosa, 50, resident of Makati. “Culture was flourishing with all the infrastructures that were being built to showcase them, like the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and Film Academy of the Philippines.” These structures were built to rival their international counterparts and to show to the world that the Philippines is just as glamorous as First World countries. Paving the Way Nobody can deny the futuristic optimism of Marcos’ programs under Martial Law. Of these was a massive campaign for buildings and constructions, which were meant to bring life to the rural areas. By the end of the dictatorship, the infrastructure network- national highways, bridges, and farm-to-market roads- was six times more in length than at the start of the century. According to Mrs. Emma Gregorio, a school teacher who lived during those times, “Umabot sa rural areas yung mga kalsada galing sa city noong panahon ni Marcos. Nagkaroon din ng mga tulay tsaka lumaki talaga yung mga daan.” That, she says, is the major factor to the sudden boost of economic growth for most barangays, a community system that was successfully revived and flourished during the era. School buildings also started mushrooming throughout the country during the first three terms of Marcos’ term, reaching 42,000 in number, as compared to the mere 400 left by his predecessor. Airports, piers, harbors, dams, irrigation canals, and other more structures served part of his grand construction legacy. All this was built in support of his vision to increase rural activity and income, as well as the overall living standards of the common Filipinos, which did happen for a time. Economic Renaissance Amidst all the controversies and hardships that surrounded the regime, what seemed to noticeably shine through is the administration’s push for agricultural advancement. Because of extensive research on rice funded by the government, and the corresponding adoption of the technology to the current rice production, the Philippines was able to boast itself as the second largest exporter of rice in Asia during that time. The agricultural sector grew as the farmers were provided


here are many things we do not want about the world. Let us not just mourn them. Let us change them.” – Ferdinand Marcos

Martial Law. Never before had any two words made such tremendous impact to Philippine history. During this time, the writ of habeas corpus was suspended, freedom of speech was banned and the Philippine Senate and Congress were immobilized. Indeed, it was a grim period in Philippine history. Many Filipinos were stripped off their human rights in their own homeland. Consequently, thousands of family members and comrades abducted, imprisoned, and worse, killed. Economic stagnation, political repression and insurgencies sprouted from the callous disregard for humanity. Rampant government corruption and exorbitant expenditures contributed greatly to the swelling international debt. No wonder it is difficult for many Filipinos to accept that anything worth being called good ever survived from this dictatorial era. Time travel The date is September 21, 1972. It was more than three decades ago that the Philippines was placed under military rule. It was during this period when the word “discipline” was strictly given meaning. People were expected to comply with numerous rules, even in their own attire. Slippers were prohibited. Men weren’t allowed to sport long hair and women weren’t allowed to wear skirts. Only citizens on the call of duty or on night shift were allowed to roam the streets from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am. Anyone caught disobeying the imposed curfew would be

apprehended and obliged to do civic duty. Immediately after the declaration, sources of information were blocked. Forms of media and broadcasting were forced to a halt. Rallies were banned. It wasn’t only until a week after the proclamation that the nation once again showed signs of life. Classes and work resumed. Government-sponsored channels like PTV 4 started airing. Other private television programs and radio stations recommenced only after a year of the declaration. However, the content of their programs still underwent the needle’s eye before being released to the public. Even movies and songs were scrutinized. On a different angle For years, Martial Law has always been associated with its negative effects. The trauma it imposed on the Filipinos has been so glaring that people only notice the black blotches of ink than the whiteness of the paper. A lot of people have been marred by the evils of Martial Law that they forget to acknowledge the good it has also imparted. But of course, it’s also worth mentioning that the Marcos regime was also responsible for programs that glorified the country. As austere as the stern discipline and strict implementation of rules may seem, it did succeed in generating favorable and healthy living conditions for the people. According to Mariano Surio, 70, from Pasay City, “There were no crimes during that time. The streets of Manila were quiet and safe. You can actually walk these streets without fear of danger or whatsoever.” It is a given fact that it is impossible to completely abolish crimes but these offenses were at an all time low during the period. The military

with much-needed technical and financial incentives. All these factors contributed to the upsurge of agricultural revenues and the dramatic increase of manufacturing activity in the country. Real GNP grew at an average rate of seven percent annually matching the exchange rate of P7 to $1, believe it or not. The strength of the currency was evident not only through the exchange rate but also because the cost of living wasn’t high and the purchasing power of the Filipino peso enabled the typical family could afford to eat 3 times a day. Even tourists were not immune to the rosy glow of the economy. The influx of visitors reached one million as compared to two hundred thousand of the previous years. With the infrastructures and developments that Pres. Marcos spearheaded, tourists and investors were encouraged and drawn to the magnificence of the Philippines. An inflow of international capital increased dramatically as the Philippines projected itself unto the world economy as a country of low wages and industrial peace. The Philippine economy during Martial Law was catapulted to all time highs that this nation has never experienced. Lessons Learned With the thriving economy and crime-free environment, the Philippines under Martial Law seemed like an ideal place to live in. The Martial Law era may indeed be one of the darkest periods of this country but it showed us that through discipline, cooperation and good governance, the Philippines has what it takes to be among the top countries in the world. It was once said that one must embody the change that one wishes to see in the world. If Filipinos truly wish for the economy and the country to prosper, the change must first be within. Now, more than ever, there is a need to desperately resuscitate this country. Each citizen must assess themselves and work for the betterment of this country rather than simply blaming the government for its deficiencies. The whole nation must first need to stop the political bickering and tackling irrelevant issues that are side-tracking progress and focus on more important affairs. Change is not something to be afraid of, but something to strive for. The citizens of this country have that power as they have proven by mere will and cooperation. They have initiated the change from silence to screams, from passiveness to awareness, from dictatorship to democracy. Let us not forget that there are always two sides to a story, for as sure as martial law conjured up many evils, some of Marcos’ dreams of greatness for the Filipino people did make it into reality.

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25 centavos’ worth

Detour through the Philippines

Shifting Gears

We’re moving where? Those were the first words that came from my mouth when my father announced that we were relocating to the Philippines. It was a suggestion that left me angry and hurt. How would he expect me to survive an entire 2944.12 air miles away from my friends, my cousins, my school, and my entire life? I was supposed to live out my life in India - study hard, get into a good college and settle into a reputable job. That had been the plan but somehow by some fluke of chance the plan took a turn to the southeast side of Asia, to a place I had only visited as a baby. The Adjustment Period Despite all my protests, the move was inevitable and I soon found myself in a country where everything seemed foreign and new. Though I was still in the period of resenting my adoptive country, I couldn’t help but stare in awe at the big flyovers and malls. We didn’t have those back then in my homeland. Indeed, my first few months can be compared to living in an unknown planet where everyone around me was speaking but I had no idea what they meant. When I first tried out school, I could neither understand any of my classmates nor comprehend the way lessons were taught. I was teased and taunted mercilessly for being an “Inglesera”. Everywhere I walked, there would be people looking strangely at me. Generally, I remember that my first impression of Filipinos was far from anything nice. “In-Like” with the Philippines By the time I was 11, I learned to speak Tagalog fluently and life became easier. I soon came to realize that the Philippines wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned it to be. In fact, unlike other cultures, the Philippines is actually home to the warmest people I have met in the span of my life. The whole country is a close knit community unlike most other cultures where it’s each man and woman for themselves. You can actually have a conversation with someone next in line to you when buying clothes in the same section as you are, unlike in other countries where it would be weird and embarrassing to do so. It was also here

in the Philippines where I learned to enjoy life’s small pleasures such as sharing a plate of “isaw” with friends or eating dirty ice cream on a hot summer day for almost nothing. The 7,107 islands of the Philippines are home to some of the most breathtaking feats of nature such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the beautiful coral reefs, and of course the many heavenly beaches. Suddenly, living here started to seem all right. After all, how many people can actually boast about living on group of islands, which tourists around the world pay to see? “Hoy! Pinoy Ako!” I am Pinoy, although not legally, but it’s how you feel that counts. After living seven whole years in the Philippines, I am now an absolute and total Pinoy junkie by heart complete with a history of “telenovelas”, novelty songs and local expressions to back me up. Yes, this might neither be the safest country nor the most developed but what it lacks in civil aspects it makes up with a lot of heart. Ask any foreigner who has passed by this island and I guarantee you that they will tell you of the hospitality and warmth of the Filipinos. People all over the world may value this country only for its beaches and holiday havens, but its real beauty lies in the hearts of its residents where warmth and love radiate. What I had perceived as lack of discipline was actually the Filipinos love of life and socializing, which I myself have come to adapt. It started out as what seemed to be a mistake of gigantean proportions but it turned out to be one of the best things that happened in my life. This country has bared witness to all my shortcomings and achievements and while my bloodline and birth certificate are neither Filipino, my heart is definitely a converted Pinoy. And to those who pine on leaving the country for a better life, well take a look around you. Where else would you find so much love all inside one archipelago? The Philippines and the Filipinos are beautiful and have so much to offer be it the beautiful geography or the infinite kindness of the community. I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to grow up in if I tried.

I find it amusing that so many people just can’t wait to graduate. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t hurry. It simply isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Like most students, I once couldn’t wait to get my diploma and get started on that long and winding road of life. But now that it’s actually within my reach, I’m wary about taking it. More than that, I’m scared stiff. Scared right down to my socks. Society tells us that the school is the place where we learn a craft to devote ourselves to for the rest of our lives. This choice will not only help us find our corner of the sky, but it should serve the greater scheme of things. As such, beyond the academics, we are also taught about our society and more importantly, about how to live in it. Yet, as uncertain as I was when I first entered college as a hopelessly naïve freshman, I can’t help feeling that I am even more uncertain now, for in the life I will shortly be starting, there are no textbooks, no professors, no tests, and no grades. There is only life, in all its frightening reality. The mistakes we’ve made Among the things that make leaving school behind oh-so-hard are the “what-ifs.” What if I had studied just a wee bit harder? What if I had chosen to shift, or enter a completely different course? As much as these questions can be somewhat disturbing, there is no real way to tell. While there are some things in my past that I’d like to change, if I really think it through, even if I could, I most likely wouldn’t. I am a product of my experiences and my mistakes, so changing these blemishes would amount to changing who I’ve become. With these then, there’s only one thing to do: accept them, learn from them and move on. The friends we’ve found Changes are easy enough to take when you know that you can rely on the constancy of the people who surround you. True friends ensure that you won’t

be alone through every ordeal you face. However, since graduating from college usually means that you and your friends will go down myriads of paths that in a lot of cases, may never cross with yours again, even this assurance is pulled out from under your feet. Once you leave school, your social life no longer remains in the background; it becomes a responsibility. Baz Luhrmann’s piece Everybody’s Free(To Wear Sunscreen) says that one should remember that friends come and go, but there is that “precious few” one should hold on to. Now, I realize that I must now make the choice to keep the links to the people who count alive. It might be tough, and new, but at least you can take the driver’s seat and take control. This is good, because especially at this point, you’re going to need every bit of help you can get. The life we’ll live Now, here comes the doozy. While some concrete move can be taken regarding mistakes and friends, there’s no way to imagine a complete plan of action for something that hasn’t happened yet. And this is perhaps the biggest fear I have, the one that has the power to send me into doldrums that take days to end. It’s what I call “the nightmare of ‘what now?’” Which career should I enter? Who shall my partner for life be? What will happen to me if I fail? Such questions line the road ahead. It’s easy enough to answer these questions within the confines of the classroom. In the real world, how I’ll answer them can build up my dreams or send them crashing down. One comforting thought is that I know I am not alone in my fear. Misery loves company, yes, but one cannot deny that there is safety in numbers. This thought alone should give one the courage to face the beyond. If many have done it before and succeeded, then I can too.

Life is essentially an adventure. You can make plans, bring a map and your truest friends, but you will still need to be ready to improvise as you go. Yes, with improvisation, you risk being wrong, but just like any gamble, it’s the odds that make it interesting. With a little faith, spontaneity, love, and magic, it seems the only thing that can make this trip go awry is myself.

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