Friday, April 27, 2007

i am a fisherman

"Give the man a fish and he will live for a day,
but teach the man how to fish and he will live for a lifetime."

In all walks of this extraordinary randomly spiced existence, a lot will definitely agree that in this particular point of the year when everyone goes splashing in the waters even without the need of dorsal fins, goes publicly flaunting with “friends” for the populace to see what was saved on the previous months of academic and anabolic spending, or goes incessantly attempting of making a full day out of the night, I am living on a perpetual summer stagnation.

Though there are some interesting inserts that took place such as the 67th College Editors Guild of the Philippines Press Convention, some simple once-in-a-year celebrations, and the various shots of submitting written works to competitions and publishing opportunities, these could just sum up to a measly ball of crumpled paper, compared to the gloom as huge as a hot air balloon. Aside from this account that I have done less instead of doing more the pesky idea of doubt of capability creeps over me, takes precedence on me.

And there it goes: the last line of that paragraph just gives the hint of what’s more to come in this sad and humdrum account. Consider that as a normal everyday hurdle of acknowledging mistakes and failures but the trouble with me is that I make it a great deal. Pardon for the word but… shit! No matter how I suppress such trait from all people, it will eventually come out as a sugar-coated, self-pitying, needy-for-compliment ramble of thoughts.

Of all these years when I have thought the word bullfrog is the most faultless uncanny identity I (together with the help of my Grade 4 classmate) had mustered and proclaimed to myself 9 years ago, I just recently found out that I am one discreet fisherman, or so somebody thought.

You know what a fisherman does? Of course he fishes; with a net, hooks, baits, and all, or if you want something primitive, with a spear or even with bare hands. I do not recognize yet which kind of utilization I got my interest on, but one thing’s for sure; I am one unique kind of fisherman. If statistics shows the ratio: I am one of the 2 out of 10 fishermen who fishes for the different thing, not going for those slippery scaly swimmers under the sea.

I fish for compliment.*

Admiration, apology, countless congratulations, honor, nobility, pity, praise, reputation, respect, sorry, title—these are some of the many precious catch my fishing aptitude rewards me whenever the need requires me to handle.

How do I do this fishing spree, if you may ask? Let us set this in a systematic way:

1) Create a topic to discuss with. Tip: Much better if the discussion involves only two people.
2) Continue talking—come what may—until a melodramatic turn of events occurs.
3) Anchor all concentration on that gravest repertoire of stories in your life.
4) Stop talking when the other person is about to speak.
5) If the person talks, listen intently.
6) Sob more, if tears are necessary.
7) If not, be very very sad. Exhume it all through dismal expressions.
8) Allow a minute of silence.
9) Let the other person talk first for in this part comes the moment of your achievement as a fisherman.
10) Accept what the person have said that should uplift your spirits. And congratulations, you have just a caught a big tuna! Salmons can be good too.

That’s it! It’s that easy. If you want to learn more in this Art of Fishing Compliments, call you local operator, connect to the most prestigious university in town, and demand to have this learning as soon as possible—if it’s available.

Truthfully, it’s not actually good to fish like this at all time. For me, I consider the practice as mundanely stupid and trash-worthy. It never, ever, came into my mind of the slightest touch, that I am a fisherman of such kind. It unmistakably pains to hear, from the most unexpected source who you just knew lately, that I am like one.

Candidly saying that the source has no right of divulging such statements, well, it is also like I have been denying, all the time, what I actually haven’t noticed. I believe that other people outside the comfort zone of your tightly-knit philosophy that their words might spell right. The more it would be very logical if you are compared to someone who got the unanimous reputation of skill on that field.

For it could be, deep within the dark recesses of myself, I am a fisherman at spirit, mind, and deed. Though the looks may deceive, I could be one.

And I beg anyone who successfully comes into this part (of which I shall commend you); I don’t need your compliments this time.

Pardon me.






- Tagbilaran City, Bohol experienced a heavy downpour a while ago, this morning.

- Father finally knew what my course is, after doggedly thinking I majored in journalism.

- I am Fisherman, not a Bullfrog, but still judging on its validity.

- Did a large-scale triptych for my sister’s living room.

- Courageously submitted works of fiction and poetry for Luksong Tinik: the Philippine Collegian Literary Folio 2007.

- Everyday unlimited internet connection: zilch.

- Due to some unexpected state of affairs, I finished reading Ben Singkol by F. Sionil Jose just last Tuesday.

- Five years of waiting and at last I procured Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass novel.

- Got pissed a bit for having not seen the latest extended movie trailer of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. YouTube’s got to have it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

embracing the numbers game

Happy birthday to you..
happy birthday, happy birthday...
Happy birthday to you!

Today is April 21, 2007; the date of someone’s birthday I just eventually knew a while ago who have aged twenty-three years old by now. Honestly, I have never expected that person to be that, uhum, old.

This person was a bit worried for he still haven’t done anything exceptional (of which I don’t believe in), his plans of “doing this, that and all those bullshit” has not yet attained possibility, and most especially this irksome reality that he remains to be a student up to now. His frustrations can be considered absurd—but not totally.

As humans capable of feelings and logical thinking, falling into that situation is normal. We people are never content. I myself just turned a notch higher just last March, and I did blame the fast-moving numbers chasing after me—you know I want to do more things!

Frustrations will always be there but I explained that it is really not the whole thing. As if the momentous event of celebration had already gotten into him, he said that I (sensibly referring to the younger ones) should respect the elders. Talk about elders! So rebounded his statement; “the younger ones know some words the elders cannot spell!”

Well here’s a little fact about age: they are nothing but numbers. They are numbers that accompany us all throughout our lives; they can even live longer than we do. Our flesh may deteriorate but the count does not stop, for as long as someone remembers, could it be from a tad clichéd yellowing picture, age is still there.

It is a good thing this person acknowledged his stunted maturity after a series of light arguments. He humbly mentioned: “Rough seas make a good sailor.” And I added this to his familiar quote: “who in a matter of minutes will be drenched in coldwater.”

To momentarily escape from his agony, he forfeited any more debates then dozed off, and I went on to recount what we had just discussed and faced a mirror.

“Ow, what are those lines near me eyes? My, wrinkles…” I said to myself.

[ discussion was done through short messaging service ]

instant artistry?

Last night, nearing twelve o’clock, I was busily typing away on my computer, with adrenaline rushing to my fingertips, and I there was one more click—really, one, this is not for dramatic purposes—to complete a task when darkness embraced me and the whole room where I was seated.

Nagbrownout, bullfrogs!

To suffice my anger, I decided to have a late-night snack when I saw my mum lighting up a lamp, a kerosene lamp to be exact, and lit its cotton wick then left it on the table where I was munching on my sandwich with a mug of hot chocolate at hand.
Staring blankly on the only bright and lighted thing in the kitchen, the lamp, Jose Rizal’s moth story or any of the historical brouhaha that are involved with lamps didn’t gave me nostalgia, but this instead this morning in my phone:

I am really astounded with myself. Can you imagine, I did this even on the midst of ethereal obscurity and darkness? Narcissism could really do wonders.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

call for submissions for luksong tinik: the 2007 philippine collegian anthology

The Philippine Collegian is accepting submissions for its upcoming anthology to be released this May. Submissions may be in the form of fiction, poetry and essay for print; and short films, flash animation, games, and other digital art for the DVD. Send your entries to (kuh-le-fol-yoh-0607-at-gi-mayl-dot-com) in the following file formats:

Fiction/poetry/essay: RTF (rich text format)Short film: in DVD format or AVIFlash: SWF or EXENon-Flash: EXE

CDs/DVDs may also be brought to the Philippine Collegian office, Room 401 Vinzons Hall. Submissions are accepted until April 20.

April 20 is little bit, uhm, soon (and actually it's tomorrow!), and as far as I've known the editorial staff still have only a handful of contributions, so I guess they will move the deadline to a later date. But as of now, though, I still haven't heard anything from the editors. But just keep sending in your entries! (Just please make sure you follow the correct file formats.)

Vic and Karl, thanks for the information provided.


2007 dumaguete writers workshop fellows

Hitting the last minute has always been my flair in my college years. And this happened too in this year’s Dumaguete Writer’s Workshop; submitting my entries for a possible slot in a fellowship for poetry. Unfortunately, all those bustling efforts didn’t bear fruit. I didn’t made it. Well anyway, I’ve heard that the great poet Marjorie Evasco tried three times the effort before she finally got into this prestigious workshop.

All I can do right now is smile in a corner and applaud to my fellow LitCritters—Michelle Eve de Guzman and Robert Jed Malayang—who made it. Currently they can be tagged as “fellows!”

Congratulations also to the other Sillimanians who passed the strenuous and critical study from the applications committee. Pong, Justin, and Primy, good luck!


Krisette Sia-Valderia (De la Salle)
Kristian Abe Dalao (De la Salle)
Pancho Villanueva (UP Diliman)
Jennelyn Tabora (De la Salle)
Sharleen Banzon (UP Diliman)
Cecille La Verne de la Cruz (UP Diliman)


Sasha Martinez (Ateneo de Manila)
Catherine Alpay (Ateneo de Manila)
Janina Marie Rivera (De la Salle)


Primy Joy Cane (Silliman)
Justine Megan Yu (Silliman)
Martin Villanueva (Ateneo de Manila)
Mia Tijam (UP Diliman)

I may as well apply for some auditing purposes. I'm in stagnant mode these days; I want to do something.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

2007 gawad ernesto rodriguez jr.

To recognize excellence in campus journalism and literary outputs, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) commemorates the Gawad Ernesto Rodriquez, Jr. awards at Silliman University, Dumaguete City last April 15 2007.

Named after the journalist who founded CEGP and started it all in the University of the Philippines through the Philippine Collegian, this award-giving body serves as the mark for any student publications’ maturity. Here are this year’s winners in their respective fields.


1st – Heraldo Filipino, De La Salle University Dasmariñas
2nd – White and Blue, Saint Louis University
3rd – La Rock, San Pedro College


1st – The Medium, Lorma Colleges & Matanglawin, Ateneo de Manila
2nd – The Crusader, Xavier University
3rd – La Salleno, De La Salle University Dasmariñas


1st – Aklas, Philippine Normal University
2nd – Veritas, Xavier University
3rd – Yano, Southeastern State University

1st – Rebel Kulé, UP Dilliman
2nd – Ang Sulo, Philippine Normal University
3rd – Magningas. Magtaya. Mangmulat., Ateneo de Manila


1st – Philippine Collegian, UP Dilliman
2nd – The Catalyst, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
3rd – EARIST Technozette, Eulogio ‘Amang’ Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology

67th college editors guild of the philippines press convention

Sumulong. Sumulat. Manindigan. Magmulat.

This year's 67th National Press Convention of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) cry was indeed hard-hitting, if not bravely mooting some of the nation's standing dirty actualities. "To write is already to choose," this is thier undying motto.

With Jose Cosido, Heidi Sarno, Rowell Madula, Gerg Anrol Cahiles, Karen Baral, Annaliza Tolentino, Vijae Alquisola, Trina Federis, Allan Billiones, Ronoriendo Roxas, Yshmael Cabaña, Laurence Robledo, Mara Manalang, and Darren Mangado who composed the Organizing committee and together with Rachel May Palang, Kimberly Gari, Michelle Eve de Guzman, Ma. Fe Jayme, and Sarah Alvarez as the Hosting committee -- these people successfully pulled the event into one piece.

Held at Silliman University, Dumaguete City with the Weekly Sillimanian as the host, being one of the 105 delegates from student campus publications all over the country, the practice I have encountered and studied was worth the profuse sweating during my almost one-week stay.

The whole 5 day deliberation of various important matters, which started last April 13 and closed at April 17, was basically divided into 6 parts: first with the 1) Batayan, Intermedya at Abanteng Pagsasanay at Palihan sa Pamamahayag, also with 5 classroom discussions to tackle with in each day as a delegate; 2) 8th Gawad Ernesto Rodriguez, Jr.; 3) Diskusyong Sosyo-Politikal, of which words from different Highly-regarded national personalities is still ringing in my mind; 4) Palihan sa Sining at Literatura discussed by various Palanca awardees; 5) acknowledging this year’s Gawad Marcelo H. del Pilar; 6) and the 4th Gawad Beng Hernandez.
Michelle Eve de Guzman (editor-in-chief), Anthony Gerard Odtohan (news editor), and Jan Alistair Villegas (columnist), and I represented as the Weekly Sillimanian delegates. While some of last school year’s staffers—namely John Boaz Lee, Kimberly Daphne Gari, Rochelle Bacay, Aiken Quipot, Springzeal Pherps Baccaro, Donna Bernardo, and Janseven Quijote—acted out as one of the CEGP secretariats. It was frustrating though that some didn’t exert enough effort as what was expected from them.

Acquaintances were made and having heard both sides of the coin that dealt with campus press freedom and its innate relations, I and the rest of my company now have in mind what is best for next school year’s the Weekly Sillimanian. And I personally feel that change is direly in need for our paper.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

inspecting once more on what was previously left

Finally, the power of blogging is now back in my hands!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

prose as art

“I have never bothered before with definitions of feelings—the gross animal that I am, my motives were circumscribed by the most basic appetites but at twenty-one, having felt this unexplainable hankering, it could be no other but love, pure and all encompassing, sensual yes, but not tainted by lust. That word was alien to me and, perhaps, would always be.”

- Benjamin

“The worst enemies of the poor are the poor themselves. And never, never appear as if you are virtuous and without sin. It is the virtuous who have many enemies for they shame the many who are without virtue.”

- Francisco

With Francisco Sionil Jose's beautiful yet powerful prose, enamoring the book “Ben Singkol” will never be a fault. Though I am not yet in the near-half of the novel, it got me into straight reading even with those social and historical morsels. This specific work is artistically crafted yet it doesn't compromise the general reader. Emotions are well encapsulated that enable all kinds of readers to easily take its depth and core; effortless but never shallow.

from norwegian woods to blind women

Razcel was right, Haruki Murakami is great.

From his words (English translation, of course) to those books' eclectic art-designs, all I can say is that I have never been in awe with a Japanese author.

Artpaix, thanks for the hint!

Friday, April 06, 2007

a very disturbing good friday

Ephesians 1:7-8
"For by the sacrificial death of Christ we are set free, that is,
our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God,
which he gave us in such large measure!"

We have been mingling with so many actualities these days that neither heightens our dictations for advancement nor give meaning to those that actually deserves care and praise. Then again, we only feel the loss when we discover that something, someone, which has changed the course of our lives that we always ignore have suddenly, without notice, closes their doors permanently from us.

Call this an annoying, lacking of mental perception, personal blog post but I love cats; cats which are highly social mammals that enjoy a vermin for a meal. Their tactile moves, their clandestine thinking, and their unassuming preference to something urbane, draw me closer to these animals. And what joy it brought to me when I found out the youngest house feline just gave birth to four little kittens last Tuesday, which was April 3, 2007. And as if there is always a remarkable contradiction for any aspect in return, I saw this afternoon two out of the four babies limp and lifeless in my shoe box they considered their first home. It depressed me a bit.

Like any melodramatic ominous scene, the skies turned dull and grey, rain pounding on our roofs for an hour until it stopped to allow my brother to dig a tiny hole in our backyard.

* * * *

1 Corinthians 12:26
"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;
or if one member is honored,
all the members rejoice with it."

On this same day, as if death is not enough, my father was admitted to the hospital right at the moment when I rested in the afternoon. Based on the doctor’s findings, my father was on his way to myocardial infarction, an occurrence when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted, and in some other happenings, on the brink of heart attack.

My father was complaining this pain in his chest for days, reminding me of my own piercing feeling I apperceive up to now, pain which started ever since time I can barely remember. I did divulge this to other people in my sophomore year with this statement: “Sakit kaayo ako heart—literally.” And no one took it seriously, so life’s daily activities should go on.

The acceptance of a disregarded truth is indeed agonizing and I think my father had learned to do so since he gave up being tough and deaf to my mum’s suggestions—or should I say pleadings.

To suffer is humane, and not to is otherworldly.

One cannot question the existence of pain, raw or not. And before everything comes too late for the need of an unguarded enlightenment, I say let us put things into their proper places, steadfastly.

And my father being in that sterile hospital, with me on my way too of the same place, and with the loss of an adored pet, it is quite funny to think that I am still able to query this: “What’s next?”

It’s Good Friday after all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

instantaneous faction transformation

Last night, I was on the peak of my creative energies when one wrong flick of my fingers almost obliterated every artistic feeling in me.

My plan for the night was to create something for someone, or rather someones (allow me to use such word, there are a lot of them you know), since my mind was restless with images I ought to translate into something I can see, touch, and feel, and then give away. But upon readying this little black bottle of dark fluid in a hurry, it spilled all over me—all over. Looking at the mirror, I was a wiccan in less than a minute. No offense to the art and conviction, but that’s how I can describe myself for the meantime. I should have said to everyone around me that night, “Look, got myself into a new cult!”

With a powerful body scrub that I believe could have rivaled Dirg’s, Marianne’s, and my plans on that spa in downtown Dumaguete, I went out of the bathroom and also pitied my surf shorts that I left discouragingly in a basin of water with a sprinkle of Tide, hopelessly thinking it could actually do wonders.

But yet, even with that incident that indelibly leave dark blotches on my skin up to now, I went on to do some sketching, penning, and inking that night. And here are some of the results.

And hey Mario, you owe me one for what happened.


Monday, April 02, 2007

graceful exits

Upon cleaning and rearranging some files in my flash drive—or now commonly known as USB though it shouldn’t be called as such—I found this picture.

It has been barely a month since I last step inside that Weekly Sillimanian Office. It is funny how the fates mistakenly placed me in that group and made me meet new people of different traits that coincidentally corresponded, in one way or another, with my warped-up thinking.

Being in that hectic place, you feel like an office...

An office wherein there are those people who opens the door then enters unexpectedly and then all of sudden exits like a breeze, either noticed or not.