Politicising Marlou Arizala’s Transformation: Beauty and Acceptance in the Philippine Society




Photo Credits to zeibiz.com


“The gods fought, and the very earth shook. The soil broke in half; and from there came Xander Ford.”

This was exactly what I thought when the news about Marlou Arizala’s beauty transformation flooded my Facebook and Twitter news feeds. Three of my close friends sent me links which led me to funny memes that showed his before-and-now faces. Just months ago, he was a consistent victim of cyber-bullying for having a “Pinipig Face”— or in simpler terms — an ugly face; but, starting today, he may rise up to become a typical ideal Filipino guy — an “oppa” before the eyes of women.

I am never going to deny that I hated Marlou or Xander. In fact, I hated him not because of his ugliness, but because of his arrogance and his ceaseless demand for public attention and his unfounded search for fame. However, today I did not laugh because of memes about him, for I realised that our hatred and pessimistic attitudes towards him — not his actual transformation — are the ones that need to be called out and be corrected.

Social acceptance and beauty standards in the Philippine society

The Filipino standards of beauty, perhaps, has evolved via the amalgamation of other cultures’ perceptions on beauty. By merely looking at the television, we can see how the entrenched colonial mentality and the forces of globalisation have moulded us to conform to the Westernised standards of beauty. In the Philippine mass media, one can rarely see black or heavily dark-skinned actors playing a major role in a drama or movie; but if they do, they would only be allowed to perform comedic acts or have their skin lightened. Some actors or comedians who seem “ugly” before, upon gaining financial stability, had placed plastic surgeries on top of their list of priorities in order to please their followers and the general public.

But that is not only the problem. In a country in which fame in social media is being highly valued, many Filipinos are so hooked up on trying to look good and beautiful in order to gain wider acceptance, and consequently, more friends. If you look ugly, you may become a subject of online harassment — which was exactly the problem of Xander and the others. Such a problem may have convinced — or impelled — him to undergo a surgery, which I claim to be aesthetically successful.

Xander’s act of transformation, therefore, exposes larger problems — that our standards of beauty are becoming a requisite for others to obtain our respect and acceptance and that one needs to appear handsome or beautiful in order to rightfully demand social attention. Moreover, in a relatively conservative country like the Philippines — in which many people would tell you to accept and preserve whatever face or body that God has given you — those we consider as “ugly people” are further forced to face a moral dilemma on top of their physical struggles, thus, inevitably trapping themselves in a never-ending quest for social acceptance.


Photo Credits to news.abs-cbn.com

Opportunities for beauty capitalism

Talking about beauty in the Philippines will reveal contradictions in our culture. Like what I said in the previous paragraphs, one key example is how our conservative culture could influence ugly people’s decision to transform. However, in spite of such problem, cosmetic surgery businesses in the country never died; in fact, it may further grow now, since tools and equipment for such operation are continuously undergoing innovations to achieve optimal results and to undermine the Filipino conservatives’ fear of the possible drastic consequences of having such surgeries. Shows played in the television are also subtly challenging the current conservative views on cosmetic surgery.

Furthermore, Xander’s (or Marlou’s) transformation could be taken as an opportunity for beauty capitalists to expand since such marketing strategies involving his transformation — which, initially, are targeted for the propulsion of Xander’s fame and career and the cosmetic company’s reputation  — may benefit the whole industry as well, especially if the demand for cosmetic products and services increases. Moreover, the industry could utilise Xander’s narrative of harassment and bullying in order to create an illusion that such horrendous actions might end upon availing such products and services.

Lastly, ever since this news came out, one pertinent question which arose in my mind is how “ugly people” from all socio-economic classes would respond to the Filipino society’s ever-changing beauty standards. However, one fact remains clear: “ugly Filipinos” who live within or below the poverty line will be forced to swallow the reality that they will remain poor and ugly … and that the beauty is also only a want and never a need and is always out of reach.


Our hatred against Marlou Arizala (or Xander Ford) before and after his transformation is not only a reflection of our individual biases and attitudes, but is also a worsening image of a society in which tolerance and acceptance are difficult to obtain. The beauty standards that we have are so warped that we are actually forcing people to empty their pockets for surgeries in order to be deserving of our attention. Nevertheless, in the end, in this battle, cosmetic businesses will be the real winners, and the contradictions within our society will further alienate and oppress those we perceive as “ugly people”.

The author, Josue Mapagdalita, is a graduate of UP Manila Political Science program.


To My Best Pal, Who Had Set Her Soul for a Short Departure



To my beloved Georgina/Jorge,

Two to three weeks flew fast forward from the day of your departure; and ever since I received the text message regarding your short burial, my world — for some instances — had been cased around an inexplicable amount of despair. My family had undergone a state of mourning, and seemingly, Marco, your dearest companion and partner, was not eating a lot for days, and yet  — once upon a time — both of you were classically conditioned to automatically be hungry as soon as you hear the sound of pots and of plastic bags. But you know what? The arriving semester will soon create a larger, inevitable doom, but I do not anymore have that ‘special someone’ whom I can talk with regarding Pokemon and Naruto episodes that I missed and whom I can express rants about my incompetence in school and about my crush who never noticed me. Ouch.

You knew how embarrassed and furious I was when a friend of mine showed me a picture of a guinea pig being experimented for medical purposes. You knew about the night when I barely had enough sleep because of  pictures of specially deep-fried and marinated-then-roasted guinea pigs that were kept to flash before my vision. For me, it was a nightmare, and I thought, “What if either Marco or Jorge are about to be cooked? Well, I would not mind grilling the cook or chef alive instead!”

The family bullied you for having red eyes — one of which turned blind for unknown reasons. I once regretted for not having brought you to a vet, but, to hell with it, why did you not heed to my advice that ‘you mustn’t use Sharingan too much to avoid side effects’?

You witnessed the moments when we were watching Marco and you having this ‘sacred union’ but such will be interrupted because you would notice us peeking. We always wished for a baby to be born, but you never became pregnant. We waited for countless months, but when we all grew tired of waiting, my only consolation to myself was: “Maybe she’s a lesbian.”

I will forever cherish the days I had you in my arms — afraid to let you go, the days we took a bath together and you were trying to flee out of the bucket of water because you felt so cold even though we were gravely plagued by the heat of summer, and the days when I would not bother walking distances to find something for your dinner.

There were moments when I would be mad at you because you were sometimes attempting to fully destroy the boxes that my father had exerted with full effort for it to remain as your sanctuary. I would also be mad at you because of myriad of other petty reasons, i.e. peeing on my face. But despite that, I love you. I love you, along with Marco and Brownie, more than any other animals — or maybe anything — in this world, that I would wish for us to stay together as friends, probably for a lifetime. But sadly and annoyingly, cute rodents have indeed shorter lifespan than greedy politicians and capitalists. Pssh.

I know that this message I am demanding to deliver is by now too late. I regret for not having to be by your side during your last hours. Or maybe, you would not permit me to do so, because you knew that I hate witnessing sudden departures.

But before I finally say my farewell to you, there is this memory that I am sure I would never forget: the very first time you set your feet on the soil and ran around the whole garden by the countryside, as if you were enjoying the first breath of freedom after my father lifted you out from your little, beautiful cage. In that particular moment, I felt so proud when I saw you running as fast as you could and stashing yourself between the rich foliage, as if you want us to play hide-and-seek with you. And as I think of it, relief comes back into my senses, because finally, you experienced the life outside the comfort of four corners during your last days.

And perhaps, this is the time to let you go.

I love you, Georgina. As always.


Your proud guinea pig pal,

Josue/Sueju Takeshi

Short Note: My buddy and I never took selfies together. There were several times when I captured photos of her, but the memory card of my cellphone containing such photos was corrupted, and I did not have anymore chance(s) to recover the files. So, I am thanking Guinea Pig Cages for posting this photo on Internet, because this guinea pig indeed resembles my dear Jorge. More power to your blog!

The New Reader and Page Views


Now I finally understand. I haven’t been blogging for a month then suddenly I got this problem.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Some of you may have noticed that the WordPress Reader has changed again. This time, it gives you fewer options to view blog posts on the actual blog. This is a problem for those who run blogs and want to keep track of view and visitor stats. I know I do.

As a default, the Reader allows people to read the full blog post in the Reader. This does not count toward the views, so you never know if someone actually read it. Also, you may notice that a lot of short posts tend to have more likes than views. Why? They just liked it through the Reader.

Well, there’s a way you can force your readers to visit the post on your blog. What you want is this:

visitYou see where that red arrow is pointing? If that appears in the Reader, that means that you cannot read the…

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Haiku – Night


Annie's Poetry

Haiku – Night

Passing winds whisper

In a silken moonlit night

Stars fall at your feet

© Ann Bagnall and AnnieB222.com, 2015.


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Lonely lay the heart. (A poem.)


“Lonely lay the heart of the man, in search of the tenderness of his love’s hand.”
This is the most powerful line I have read today. Nice one, Ron!


Lonely lay the heart of the man, under the feet of love’s caravan.
Through sands of burning glass, to the brittle savanna’s finger grass.
Cutting and scratching for a hole of entry, fighting against a time tested sentry.
Lonely lay the heart of the man, in search of the tenderness of his love’s hand.

A whisper of a word begins the stir of change, as rumblings sound throughout the range.
Shattering boundaries and crossing borders, the word on her lips destroys the stone’s engraved orders.
Raging seas roll within his confines, thoughts racing and winding about building for her shrines.
A whisper of a word begins the stir of change, in search to burst the heart beat of the one to whom love is so strange.

Fire burns through granite of the hardest find, intent on finding the only one for his kind.
What was once a shadow of mindless…

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The List





Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

Faces change
beyond recognition
Shine and worth
doesn’t last
Lies unravel fast,
Clergy loses its sect
leaders forget their act
Reflections on a mirror
of truth and fact

20140504-050011 pm.jpg

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Again With the Literary Clique


What's Right Is Write

A few unnamed pieces that needed a group home, so to speak.

I stuffed my life into three boxes,
changed the locks on all the doors,
emptied out the hallway closets,
tossed the lit match on the floor,
hurried to my packed car waiting,
looked back just in time to see,
flames exploding and creating
ash of all my history.

Whats the sense in running
when your legs are made of steel?
You’ll get no where fast, my dear
and tire out before your problems catch up,
You say you’ve no support
For the problems that exist
But I’ve been here all along, my dear
Waiting patiently, content, inside your mind
Reminding you that you haven’t been alone for a long time

Combed over in exhaustion,
his eyes burned from deprivation,
the rest he craved wouldn’t be found,
as the need to survive weighed more dire.
Late nights overdosed on…

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Absence of Words by Blair Gaulton


Toutons Tubas and Other Tales

Absence of Words
An absence of words;
the flow.
Better let go;
give it time.
When the time is right;
it will suddenly appear.
It was always there; somewhere;
because you needed time,
and stopped blocking yourself.
(C)BJG(Blair Gaulton)June 2015

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Warning of grand projects!


Very good pieces of advice that came across my reader!

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

How you do recognize grandiose projects that could harm you and your environment.

1. If something sounds too good to be true, it’s often NOT TRUE.

2. If the driving force behind the grand project seems to be in a rush decision. Be extremely vigilant.

3. If the project leaders don’t want to listen to the critics and trying to minimize them. Listen to the critics, NOT those who try to belittle them.

4. If the grandiose project leaders are trying to eliminate criticism by quell the voices of others, be very vigilant.

5. If project managers constantly denies adverse information with beautiful words only and no evidence, be extremely vigilant.

6. If anyone speaks beautiful about the grandiose project, but stumbles on the logic of the vision, be properly vigilant.

7. If the project’s great small men attempt to explain the economic situation in terms you don’t understand. Review…

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“For I was Hungry…”



Dear homeless boy sitting on the curb,

In the heat of the day, I passed you by.

Your was face darkened with fear, anger and hunger,

But I averted my eyes.

Alone in a world of 7 billion people,

I hardened my heart choosing not to wonder.

A face so young with eyes grown old.

What happened to you to make you thus so?

I suppose I could have stopped

And chatted with you all the same.

Maybe there’d be a change

If I had prayed over you in Yahshua’s name.

But I’m heading to Bible study now,

My emotions too comfortable to disturb.

Perhaps another passerby will come strolling ’round the curb.

“Yes,” I console my conscience.

Perhaps another passerby will come strolling ’round the curb.

Matthew 25:35-40

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For Homeless Women, Having a Period Isn’t a Hassle – It’s a Nightmare


Down Not Out

By Maya Oppenheim published by Vice.com:

No woman actively looks forward to getting her period. Even after decades of menstruating, it can be a painful, expensive hassle every month that leaves you feeling completely flattened. But if you’re a woman living on the street, having a period isn’t a hassle – it’s a nightmare. Because if you can’t muddle together enough money for food or shelter, it is unlikely you’ll be able to afford sanitary towels or tampons.

Read more here

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13 things only nosey people get..


“You get a bit sad when you have to give up the front of the bus seat which faces directly on to everybody else.”
Oh my god! HAHAHAHA

A Girl In Europe

We can’t help it if other people’s lives are more interesting than our own…

1) You will purposely sit in strategic places in order to allow you maximum people watching capability…

2) Your sentences will trail off as you stare at some girls hair wondering how she braided it like that.

3) People ask you around 10 times in one conversation ‘What are you even looking at?’

4) When people do ask you that you have to spend a good few moments shaking your head and suing ‘me, nothing, why?’

5) You start a lot of sentences with ‘oh did you just see his shirt??’ Only for for your friends to have no idea who you’re talking about.

6) You’ve mastered the perfect ‘ooh I’m looking at the statue behind you, of course not at you’ look.

7) You see everybody’s embarrassing moments in the street when nobody else does…

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Maze of Thoughts


“The maze will twist and turn
There will be a few dead ends
But we will walk through this array of thoughts in your mind.”
Very nice passage though. 🙂

Syl65's Blog


Beautiful mind
A penny for your thoughts
Shall I meet you in your maze of thoughts
Put your head on my shoulder
And we will walk this trail of thoughts
Light precedes us, we will not get lost
We can make small talk along the way
The thoughts of the mind can be multi layered
The maze will twist and turn
There will be a few dead ends
But we will walk through this array of thoughts in your mind
Confident, all will be clear
And we will soon see that heart smile of yours again
I so love the shine from your beautiful mind

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He taught me to feel


This post draws out so much inspiration. 🙂

The Fickle Heartbeat


Shared by Rhapsody

I feel a lot. I never really understood until now, I feel EVERYTHING. I never really paid much attention to it until now, until him. You know him, the him that walks into your life like he owns the place and when your defensive, unemotional, I control everything self tries to puff up, his smile or touch breaks it completely down. I thought I was a steel shield, nothing could ever truly penetrate my heart, but he did, he came without warning and made me rethink everything I ever thought about friendship, connection, chemistry and love. Its safe to say he shook up my world in a way I can barely describe.

I should run away from this, its so unfamiliar, there are so many reasons I shouldn’t even entertain, but I do, I do because I’m learning here, I’m growing here, I’m truly loving without condition…

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Blogging – the dream v the reality


Oh my God! This is the post I have been waiting for decades!

Starting Prompts & Blog Promotions


Good day everyone! It will take only a month or two in order for my blog to reach 500 followers. Two weeks ago, my blog, Takeshi’s Flight, celebrated its first birthday (yay!) — a moment which further questioned my capability as a blogger. For instance, compared to other new blogs, I find mine less engaging, because (1) I am sometimes simply not motivated in posting anything, and (2) seldom do I find blogs across my Wordpress reader offering prompts and blog promotions.

Then I asked myself, “What if I also start prompts in order for me to do what is being stated/instructed in my own prompt so that I could post something for a week? Or what if I use my platform so that other bloggers can check out each other’s posts and develop more connections?”

What is your opinion about this, guys? Is this a good idea?

Your time to shine


“But when the day has said it’s here;
And sunshine cozily installs itself;
There’s none that can anything change.”

Strikingly beautiful!

Success Inspirers World

Your sun has begun to shine
Promising one;
Your sun has begun to shine;
And so brightly too;
Who can stop it now?
No one that I know!

Your star has begun to shine,
Lovely one;
Your star has begun to shine;
And so brightly too;
Who can stop it now?
No one that I know!

Your light has begun to shine,
Amazing one;
Your light has begun to shine;
And so brightly too;
Who can stop it now?
No one that I know!

That’s just the beauty of the world;
You may live in darkness
All your life;
But when the day has said it’s here;
And sunshine cozily installs itself;
There’s none that can anything change.

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Early Morning Conversation #2: Bigotry


This morning, I had a chat with a ‘friend’ of mine when I was on the train going to another friend’s house; we knew each other for around seven years or so. We are both religious, but it happened that he used his beliefs to justify his bigotry …

‘Friend’: Homosexuality is an unforgivable sin. You must repent now, or else …

Me: Wait, let me count your sins, from A to Z

‘Friend’: I’m a sinner. You’re a sinner, but the Bible says …


‘Friend’: Who the fuck said we can’t eat fat???


*brief silence*

‘Friend’: Leviticus? What’s that?

Me: Welcome to hell, bitch.

Summertime: Dangerous for Pets, so Be Prepared!



For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s officially summer and it’s pretty darn hot!

And even though you’ve been inundated with posts to social media telling you to take precautions, we still hear stories of people who unknowingly put their beloved pets at risk.

So the good folks at the ASPCA are asking you to share this infographic far and wide. Let’s make this summer the safest ever for animals!


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Grades are just numbers



Hounding his false dreams

Cared for grades than the lessons

Dispersed knowledge gained.

One-Liner Wednesday: Judgment & Destiny


On my twelfth birthday, my grandfather said to me, “your judgment towards circumstances determines your destiny,” but it took me three more years to finally understand what he meant.

5 things to remember in order to be deliriously happy…


“You will probably never look like the people in magazines. Your butt will never be as cellulite free or your arms as defined, [But that’s] okay you don’t have photoshop and 15 people dedicated to making you look like that, accept it and then quickly remember how great you are.”
Right on spot! One of the main reasons why I am terribly happy …

A Girl In Europe

Happiness is not always as infectious as we think, sometimes you need to remind yourself of a few little things in order to put a smile on yo face!

1. Nobody will remember the bad things you did whilst you were young and stupid. Well they might remember them but if they love you they won’t remind you of them.

2. You don’t need to push a friendship, either you’re 2 perfect weirdos together or not.

3. It’s perfectly okay to have a totally dramatic Emmy award winning meltdown when things are going wayward just don’t expect people that love you to walk carelessly on, chances are they’re going to stop, wipe your eyes and pass you a Jaffa cake.

4. You will probably never look like the people in magazines. Your butt will never be as cellulite free or your arms as defined, BUT THATS OKAY you don’t have…

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Quote Challenge (3rd Day)


Thank you It’s PH Blog for nominating me for the 03 days 03 Quotes Challenge.  Rules are

1. Share three quotes on three days in a row, one on each day.

2. Nominate three bloggers on each day.

And here’s the quotation to end this challenge, from one of the best novels of all time:

“I want love to conquer all. But love can’t conquer anything on this own.

“It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.”

— excerpted from David Levithan’s Everyday

My nominees for this day are the following:

1. Margaret Mathews

2. advocare distributor

3. Surrendering My Shield

Quote Challenge (2nd Day)


Thank you It’s PH Blog for nominating me for the 03 days 03 Quotes Challenge.  Rules are

1. Share three quotes on three days in a row, one on each day.

2. Nominate three bloggers on each day.

And here’s the quotation that will surely haunt you, from one of my most favorite collection of short stories:

“I learned that the world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone. It was as simple, as absurd, and as cruel as that.” — from Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed.

My nominees for today are the following:

1. Little Calico’s Journal

2. It’s Jerrod

3. Addiction Place

Quote Challenge (1st Day)


Thank you It’s PH Blog for nominating me for the 03 days 03 Quotes Challenge.  Rules are

1. Share three quotes on three days in a row, one on each day.

2. Nominate three bloggers on each day.

My quote for this day:


This is one my most favorite quotes of all time. The storyline and the dialogue of this novel is really tear-jerking. I recommend everyone to read this amazing stuff!

My nominees for this day are the following:

1. Pixie Dust

2. Vashti Quizon-Vega’s Blog

3. Tienny the Storyteller

10 signs you might be a writer…


I laughed by the time I read the fourth sign. I am undeniably a writer!

A Girl In Europe

Whether it’s for a blog or a magazine or a book, a writer is easy distinguishable by a few tell tale signs…

1. You will write down things your friends say or things you see in the street for possible writing material.

2. You save every meme or funny picture that you find on Facebook, in case you need a picture for a post. Which means you have more funny pictures of cats than your actual family.

3. You always insist that the thousands of notebooks you buy are deeply important for your writing career.

4. You feel wonderfully cool and fabulous when people ask you what you do. ‘Oh yaa, I’m a writer’.

5. People don’t really need to know what your job that pays the bills is.

6. You’re friends have stopped telling you embarrassing stories about themselves in case you use it as material.

7. You are…

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Silence is Violence!



I did not make this photo. I only saw this on Facebook, at Brandon Weber’s profile. This photo sums up all my feelings that I cannot explain right at this very moment.

in these dreams


Wonderful poem, Reminds me of my family. 🙂

Leonard Durso

in these dreams
they come
family friends
in places
so long ago
comforting enough
to resist
when knowing
only in these dreams
will all of them
be there

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Man in the Mirror


Wah! I am seeing myself with a thin beard and a stethoscope circling around my neck. But there are hidden thoughts of being a writer. 🙂

Dream Big, Dream Often

When was the last time you sat and looked at yourself in the mirror.  I have not done this in a few years.  The last time I recall staring at myself in the mirror I was not very happy nor was I pleased with the person I was at that time.  I remember looking into the eyes of that man and wondering where I had disappeared to and who was this person living in my body.

It might sound a bit dramatic, but it is very honest.  Since then I have turned my life around and have found happiness once again.  Which is nice!

image credit: 123RF image credit: 123RF

I want you to take time today to stop and look at yourself in the mirror.  Stand and stare for 60 seconds.  No words, no expressions, just stare into your own eyes.  Who do you see?  What are your thoughts?

I hope you…

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One-Liner Wednesday: Bacons and Chocolates


I sleep every night to dream about every fucking lovely piece of bacon and chocolates and never about that handsome, annoying guy whom the girls in our neighborhood had a fucking crush on.

2 stories so different


I remember what Mitch Albom remarked in the epilogue of his novel, “Five People You Meet in Heaven”. Though I believe the essence of this photo’s quotation, I have faith towards Albom’s quotes: “There are no random acts…We are all connected…You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind…” & “Each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”

Momentary Lapse Of Sanity


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Speech 11, fun, and underlying lessons



Before I lined up and enrolled for my fourth semester of stay in the University, I already predicted that the next five months would be academically toxic and crucial. Furthermore, finding a course that will serve as the best avenue to release this debilitating mixture of feelings induced by repetitious moments of failures — or to at least partially unload a burden of another intense semester — was another challenge I had to face. Adding up to my frustration towards my ineptness in the social sciences (but I am still struggling), unfortunately and annoyingly, is the plain fulfillment of this prediction, for, even if I began changing my study habits, most of the courses I took acted like machine guns showering students with bullets of written requirements — if not, with brain-draining exams or quizzes.

However, on the positive side, there is this one course/subject — which typical students may overlook — that I never planned to take, but I enjoyed the most. In that class, everyone was obliged, individually, to deliver their chosen pieces and to unite as a group to come up with a meaningful performance. Yes, this class may sound like your ordinary high school literature subjects, but for me, every second I spared was enough to turn my life towards abrupt changes.

I hate whatever performance that compels me to stand on stage with all eyes fixing on my actions, but the Course is more than a matter of (re)building confidence and/or self-esteem. When we delivered our narratives, I realized that each one of us presented a unique, personal revelation — words that hold the key to our real-life character and to our present understanding of prevailing circumstances. It could be the same memory that shifts us back to the horrible pain caused by a bitter lost, a beloved’s death, heartbreak, deprivation of second chances, and constant failures. It could also be the mere joy we feel as we journey towards our chosen destinations. It could be the stories hidden within the depths of our hearts, waiting for the right time to be unearthed.

Moreover, as the term slowly progressed, I realized that my Revelation lies behind the lines of written in the short bond paper intended for my Narrative. I fathomed that, undeniably, there exists a thin thread connecting heaven and earth, and that even though there are situations that impale us with sorrow, there are still countless reasons to be happy.

And perhaps, the best thing I ever observed throughout the semester is the burning passion among the members of the class and that, whenever we are called to act, no one ceased to cooperate. Whatever will be the result of this term, I surely will heave sighs of relief, for I know that I’ve gone into a very interactive class, with our one-and-only lovely and passionate Speech 11 professor and lots of crazy people!


Photos are from my lovely Speech 11 classmates, Tanya Mindo and Jara Rogacion.

5 Ways To Pick Yourself Up After The End Of A Long-Term Relationship


A post full of insights. I really loved the first way!




Earlier, when I was inside the bus during my journey back home, there sat beside me a student who seemingly came fresh from a high school graduation ceremony. He wore a uniform full of signatures and notes; the school logo sealed on his pocket led to my deduction that he came from a school known for prestige and costly education.

In his hand was a handful of letters, and for instances I was glancing at him, I saw his smile — his teeth glittering in apparent joy — whenever his eyes flashes before the sentences which my vision could barely reach. But when he was about to read the ‘last letter’, his smile was quickly converted to a stream of tears. Even though I was concerned with how people around us may react and think, I never bothered him in his private life and suddenly, I stopped observing him and thought: “Soon, he will throw most of those letters away, along with the memories of the past, no matter how joyous or hurtful they may be. Inevitable realities would devour him wholly and would lead him to decisions he would later regret. He will realize that the promises of ‘not forgetting’ are empty and are never true, and that only few memories are truly worth keeping.”

Educating Children



Photo taken from The News Ages’ Facebook page.

A Friend who Messes Up with Make-Ups



Love Conquers Fear


win_over_fearPhoto screen-capped from the 2010 Thai sleeper hit, First Love (Thai: สิ่งเล็กเล็ก ที่เรียกว่า…รัก), starring Mario Maurer and  Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul.

Writer or Author?


Ohm (Early Morning Conversation Number One)



Bae’s Stare



Screencapped from the 2014 Thai gay-themed film, Love’s Coming

Guest Post: Top resources to Learn Chinese


My second parents happened to be Chinese, and both of them are residing in Chengdu, China currently. Two years ago, they wished for me to stay and live with them, but I cannot simply do so because I have my own family — and parents — here in my country of residence and also because of language barriers (I do not have any difficulty communicating with my second parents, but I know it will be tough for me to communicate with the community).

So right now, I am willing to study Mandarin Chinese, but I find the classes very costly. It is good to know that some apps and materials like those mentioned in this post come in handy — and never costly!

Crazy Chinese Family

Hi all, once again I have a great infographic from Learn Mandarin Now. I remember when I was asked about my top resources and I am glad my feedback was used for this work. I must also add that I am still a defender of the basic vocabulary/ character flash cards hand written (by my wife…)! But I also like to use other means to study as well in order not to get stucked with just one source.

Learning Mandarin Chinese is becoming more and more popular—and can be very rewarding. To help you along your way, we recently asked 50+ bloggers about the top resources they use to Learn Chinese, via our blog Learn Mandarin Now. Amazingly, we received so much feedback that we’ve put together a colourful Infographic of the results—and we’re happy to share this with you today.

But, firstly, thanks to Timo for his…

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Kick-Start Your Comments


This blog post is to be considered crucial for bloggers out there!

The Daily Post

Blogging is 50% self-expression, 50% community — bloggers who don’t want to connect with others are few and far between, and most of us get a little frisson of excitement every time we’re notified that one of our posts has moved someone enough to leave a comment.

If your comment section is populated mainly by tumbleweeds, never fear! Try one (or all) of these to up the odds of starting a conversation with your readers:

  • Have an opinion. Opinions are the lifeblood of blogs — your unique perspective gets us reading, and reacting to that perspective gets us commenting. You may want to appeal to the widest audience by keeping your blog blandly balanced, but you’ll miss out on the thing that makes blogs compelling: point of view. Without a point of view, you won’t get negative comments… but you won’t get positive ones, either. (Worried about being too blunt? We’ve got some tips that’ll help.)

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You Can’t Drink From An Empty Well . . .


A short message as powerful as an arrow that cuts through the air and strikes the heart.

Memories and Leaving


sakitbehQuote and photo are both excerpted from the Thai film, My Bromance (Pee Chai), directed by Nitchapoom Chaianun.




Be pleased with thy jeans.

Don’t threaten tattered wallets.

Choose needs over wants.

A response to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge.

Beacon and Field


God Light

Sharp beacon of light
Fielding great moments through clouds
Battling against height

A response to Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge

Photo credits to http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/

Around The World In 18 Gestures


The Philippines and Thailand’s hand gestures are the best!
Thanks to this post for the laugh! 😀

A New Life Wandering

gestures around the world

Cultures around the world have different meanings for the same things. For example, the color green in Brazil represents the royal family, in Bangladesh it stands for the lushness of the land and in Mexico it represents hope and prosperity.

Because of these different meanings, we might end up accidentally offending a local when we communicate. The OK sing we do with our fingers, is totally innocent in the US, but restrain yourself from using it in Greece, Spain or Brazil where it is extremely offensive and although you might be expressing agreement, they will think you are calling them an a**hole. 

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5 Psychological Blocks that Stop Bloggers (and Writers) Going from Good to Great


I am really hit by third and fourth psychological block mentioned. I really thank these people for their prolific suggestions! 😀

Lit World Interviews

Hi all:

I was checking through some blogs and found one that I felt spoke to me and I thought I’d share it with you to see if it resonates with you too. The original post was in Problogger and it’s a guest contribution by a psychologist, Dr Alice Boyes. You can read it here. Although the title of the post is: 5 Psychological Blocks that Stop Bloggers Going from Good to Great, I felt those apply to writers in general, and of course, many of us are also bloggers.

X ray photographs of person s skull uid 1171297

To summarise, Dr Boyes mentions five blocks to developing a blogger’s (read writer’s) career:

  1. Imposter Syndrome. You aren’t good enough, you aren’t really a writer, how can you compare with others, who are you trying to fool…This blocks you as you don’t feel you should reach to others whom you view as true… (bloggers, writers, authors…)…

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Love in Pain and Sickness