Wednesday, February 21, 2007

setting the papers on fire

I would always like to see myself up there, taking a sheet of paper from the hand a person so influential and full of authority. And while walking down the flight of steps, the crowd would clap their hands out of delight and happiness and not because they are forced to.

And last February 16 and 20, I received a couple of papers to burn with and to warm up the balmy night that followed the ceremony. Nothing new; I still remained on the same level while my other mates enjoyed the pleasures of being front-in-line. It was factual but unrelentingly painful.

Anyways, we received the same papers without the same printed words. And now it is time to burn the papers with passion.

Friday, February 16, 2007

vessels of love

It is the month of February and obviously red will be splashed all across business establishments, shirts, and even food! Aside from the overly rated color, couples stick together and flaunt to all people who are deprived of being bitten by the love bug; smooching and caressing for the world to see how loved each other are.

People will express, distress, and exhaust passiveness in this occasion—and I choose the latter. There’s nothing wrong with it anyway, as long as the mind, body, and soul is intact, my day should go on.

Yet, this said occasion I did not mind in totality of course. In lieu with the month of hearts, Silliman University Campus Ambassadors together with the Weekly Sillimanian organized a camera-photo competition with the theme: “Sillimanians: Vessels of Love.”

Out of absolute boredom—fortunately with a new phone at hand—we went to Quezon Park in the last weekend of January and there I found the perfect subject for my photo.

And in the following weeks, the winner is announced, published in February 14 issue of the Weekly Sillimanian.

I won! Not that the competition had great prizes in store for me but, huh, I won!

Rodrigo insisted that he took this picture—nah, it is me Dirgy! It’s mine! Ha ha ha. And by the way Claudine, where are my rewards?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

losing the fairytale touch?

Could it be true that our first major encounter with “happily ever after” started when Aladdin and Jasmine flew on a magic carpet?

We look at our peers and see that they have this idea of what romantic love should be. Some rebel from it; some don’t. But in one way or another, fairytales have unknowingly modified our ideal version of couples and relationships.

Each fairytale is singularly unique the whole world over. Their only similarity is they hope to teach valuable lessons through entertaining others, mostly kids, as they employ the oh-so-familiar plot. The heroine with stupefying beauty is introduced, and antagonists set up a living hell for her. Prince charming comes to the rescue, and they live happily ever after. Colors burst as love blooms to the merry chirping of birds. Dreamy? Or sickeningly cliché?

Whatever it is, we still ask: where did the fairytales go? When did our kindergarten, fanciful bedtime stories take on a good-versus-evil leave?

Lately, we’ve been enjoying the likes of “Shrek” and “Hoodwink”, which merely lampoon the fairytales we’ve grown up with. We wonder if the classical and the traditional have lost that magic touch, and are unable to touch hearts in today’s world.

“Fairytales are for kids. That’s why they mostly have happy endings,” said nursing sophomore Luther Ocampos. “And in order to gain appeal to the mature audience, varieties were made to suit the changing preference of the populace.”

In fact, according to, “Beauty and the Beast” was the last hand-drawn fairytale Disney animation. Released in 1991, it was the first, and so far the only, animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Belle descended from a line of princesses that could be traced all the way back to Snow White in 1937. Do the math and you’ll find that Snow White’s 70th anniversary is actually this year.

“Whenever the guy rescues the damsel in distress, it’s obvious that they would end up living together forever. Fairytales may be old, but they are still charismatic,” said Fiona Jade Lim, an entrepreneurship sophomore. traces these stories’ origins to word of mouth, children’s story writer Hans Christian Andersen, and particularly to the Brothers Grimm. In the late 1700s, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm, rendered fairytales too ghastly and grim, not to mention gruesome, for children. Disney apparently offers distilled versions of these.

And now that being said, with the concept of faraway places with spectral beings possessing remarkable skills and abilities in the midst assisting the handsome prince and the beautiful princess, surely the mind a child wanders to something flattering and lovely.

Former tWS features editor Easter Lois Marigza expressed, “Love presented in fairytales is unrealistic. They’re what make people today delusional; these fairytales embed in their heads the notion that there are Prince Charmings and damsels in distress when in fact they don’t exist. Fairytales are not love stories for the young but for the disillusioned.”

Well, we know she is not alone. But for the rest of the hopelessly romantic, go ahead. Make your fairytale Wednesday today. Just watch out for those evil witches and petulant stepsisters in the sidelines.

Note: In the February 12 Philippine Daily Inquirer issue, Walt Disney animators announced they would bring back the hand-drawn films to the big screen. One wonders what plots Disney can come up with using the traditional 2D approach.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


A heart
can only be a heart
if it knows
how to maintain
the blood that lives to it
and let go
of the same fluid
when needed
or when it is ineffective.


It must accept that
it can never keep
that enters into its
walls perpetually.


Friday, February 09, 2007

silence of the bullfrog

Everything stands still. It is different. It is not sane.

It is one of those days when you turn your back, only to discover that there's nothing to be bothered--actually there is no single thing and there is no one to bother. The austerity and placidity are nauseous; these keep on pulsating in my mind. Spitting it all out is the last thing on my mind.

When noise in common generally gives disorientation and interruption, I just miss your noise. Tell me I am foolish of saying this but whoever reads this one, this "you" might be really you or not. My volition is cluttered with mess and I think rants and silliness and its like are the best solution of cleaning it up.

I should start getting used to this, I said to my self forcedly.

(and then there was silence)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

portraits of an artist

Who is Edith Lopez Tiempo? Who are the Tiempos? Kinsa na siya?

I tried hard not to show any appalled reaction to these recurring lines. I tried to the best of my abilities to share who the “Mom” of the Philippine literary scene is to the rest of the unfortunately uninformed. But it is tasking. Just thinking about her and her literary works and the rest of her family’s is as profound as the legacy that she is.

It is true that moments come in our lives when we honestly forget the things that matter most. But this month, as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts honors 5 National Artists, we focus on Edith Tiempo, as a Sillimanian, as a Dumagueteño, as a literary giant, as an idol.

“She is venerable,” Prof. Phillip Van Peel said, since he once was under Tiempo’s supervision when he took up his Masters Degree in English. “She is a monument in the Philippine literary scene. Both young and mature authors in the country look up to her.”

Born in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya on April 22, 1919, Tiempo, who is now 87, became one of the finest Filipino writers of the English language. In fact, according to the January 29 Philippine Daily Inquirer issue, her “works of fiction and poetry are characterized with much substance behind those simple looking items such as a fern (A Blade of Fern, a novel) and even a monkey (Lament of the Littlest Fellow, a poem).”

Garnering numerous achievements and awards that further enhanced her chosen field of artistry, such as the 1999 National Artist for Literature, 1979 Cultural Center of the Philippines First Prize for Novel, a 1988 Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas, and many more; she gains the distinction she truly deserves.

The Silliman community witnessed the tribute honoring Tiempo last February 2 at the Luce Auditorium. Her works, “Bonsai”, “View of Water on a Lake”, “Dancers” and “Black Monkey” were ingenuously interpreted by the Silliman University Kahayag Dance Troupe.

“Her ‘lecture’ on poetry gave us a glimpse as to how insightful she can get when it comes to literary workshops,” said management junior Wharton Dy.

She is rightfully called “Mom” because, as what Prof. Andrea Gomez-Soluta said, “she may be a grandmom but she will always be a mom to us; she has a place in our [writers’] hearts.”

“I lost my virginity in Dumaguete. Of course, I mean my literary virginity,” stated Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing Director Vim Nadera Jr. in his opening speech. And indeed a whole roster of important, contemporary and award-winning Filipino writers like Jose Dalisay Jr., Conrado de Quiros, Bobby Flores Villalis, Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Alfred Yuson, Marjorie Evasco, Ian Rosales Casocot, Angelo Suarez, Dean Alfar and Angelo Lacuesta, and many others, were also inspired  of her, through the Dumaguete National Writers Workshop that the Tiempos conceived and nurtured throughout the decades.

Even Tiempo’s daughter Rowena and granddaughter Rima got bitten by the writing bug. Rowena Torrevillas have won the Philippine National Book Awards and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for literature, among others; most likely nourished by no less than her dad Edilberto Tiempo, another Philippine literary giant.

Rima, with her soft-spoken reading of Atty. Ernesto Superal Yee’s “The Comfort of Mom Edith”, only draws and entices the readers as to what kind of “mom” Edith Tiempo really is. With food probably, as what Yee wrote in his essay. But maybe it’s also something more, like passion for self-expression.

To those who left early on that once-in-a-blue-moon affair, maybe you have to wait another couple of years to witness great icons who shaped the landscape of Philippine culture and the arts. Edith Lopez Tiempo and her brood, biological or literary, will continue to transcend what is expected from them, and astound us with the most tangible of things—words.

Monday, February 05, 2007

the tribute


That was once in a life time. Good thing I did not have the trait of sitting down and getting up immediatley once the even started inside the auditorium unlike those people who had unpleasant tastes--squirming in their seats and leaving even before the main event is yet to happen. such taste...

My patience paid off.