sanipriya's musings

"I am an instrument in the shape
of a WOMAN trying to translate pulsations
into images
for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind."

written by Adrienne Cecile Rich

Monday, April 23, 2007

weed out violence

"the passions that incline men to peace, are fear of death; desire of such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them." - thomas hobbes

joining the media bandwagon is completely not my intention today. what i really want to hear is the human side of his story, because i feel he is the victim in all this.

he killed 32 people and eventually took his own life. most of the news stories about him are about how much of a textbook psychopath he is. he was withdrawn, quiet, and has violent tendencies as shown in his writings, and was bullied in middle school and in high school.

aside from him being south korean, i do not know much about his life. from my point of view, he is the biggest victim in all this, and many people do not see that. what a sad life he lived to be bullied throughout his childhood and teenage years.

this massacre has led a global uproar in the regulation of guns and gun ownership. friends, gun control is not the root of the problem. gun control is only one branch of the large roots of violence in society.

the biggest problem is society's tendency to violence. this is not just prevalent in america; there are underpinnings of this root in our own philippine soil. take a look at the recent "hostage-taking" of 30 children. no, not just that. take a look at the everyday local news, the police, the hashish that we call a government.

when we teach our children that "the only way" to combat [insert pressing issue here] is to take up arms, we teach our children that violence is the way out. as i see it, using guns is only one form of violence. there are many more out there.

we are violent towards others when they are different from us. we highlight the word different here. by simple definition, when you are not one of us, then you must be different. a different religion, a different belief, a different race or nationality.

this is not to say that violence is only using firearms, nay. violence in my definition is any form of attack on another with intent of hurting or inflicting pain. the physical means is what many of us are more familiar with, but there can also be emotional means, or others.

bullying, then, is a form of violence on the children also by other children. kids bully other kids because they know that this one kid is different and can be kicked around like a puppy, not in the literal sense of course. bullying can be through physical means, or even verbal. there's no truth to the saying that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. harsh words will always be branded in our minds. believe me, i've been a victim of this.

violence is prevalent and we see its symptoms. see it in the movies, the games, the wars. yes, the wars.

cho seung-hui and the other 32 people dead in the massacre is only a consequence of this long and deep root in a violent society. it is an outcome that will happen again, and most probably in a larger scale, unless we pull the root from the soil. cho is a victim of a violent society, and so were the 32 people he killed.

so gun control is only cutting a branch. how do we weed out this root? we have to learn to embrace differences and be tolerant of each other no matter how different one may be from another. we do not have to be sympathetic to each other. acceptance is the key word.

and when we cannot accept another? resolutions should be in means that would not hurt another. in other words, peaceful.

these are simple rules in a social contract, theorized and written about by philosophers for many centuries, but still people fail to understand.

"...the only way whereby anyone divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for the comfortable, safe, and peaceable living amongst another..." - john locke

Friday, April 20, 2007

brightest of the bright

oops. forgot to update. hoo. that's something. haha.

i've been uber busy this week (as if other weeks i'm not); i'm in between research and lectures.

i'm so jealous of the graduating students. i wish i'm graduating and not stuck in college for a few more semesters. but more so, i'm jealous of the university valedictorian. let me tell you why.

she's a bs physics (one of my more favorite subjects back in highschool) graduate. she most probably aced the math subjects most of us are crawling through. her gwa is 1.099 (highest is 1.00). but that's not why i'm so jealous.

she's only sixteen years old. (read about it

yep. at the age when i was still in sweet bliss sixteen not minding academics and gushing over prom gowns and dates and parties, mikaela irene fudolig is already graduating, not highschool, but college, mind you. she's too young to get a non-pro driver's license, too young to drink, heck, even too young to vote. she probably has lots of job offers right now, that is, if the department of labor and employment would rule her as working at that age as not child labor.

she stepped into UP at the tender age of 11 (huwaaaaaatt?!?), an age so young it makes me mutter profanities. heck, at 11 i haven't gotten my period yet.

it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "oh how they grow up so quickly." yep, child prodigies start so young.

and i recall that the students i'm giving lectures to (for the upcat review) are also around the age of mikaela: 15 or 16, give or take a few months. i'm happy that so many of them are hopefuls to get into this country's premier educational institution, that many of them are eager enough to sit through english review with me.

if only that eagerness is enough to get them into UP. it's a sad fact that many students fail in english. i am sometimes disappointed at the students who fail to get the correct answers, even if questions are easy. i am saddened at the dumbfounded faces looking straight at me in the classroom, and sometimes i don't know if it's because they had an epiphany with the english language, or they simply don't know what i'm blabbering about. my mom, an english prof, is disheartened at the grades many students get. and many don't even know the basics to the language, something they should have learned in elementary school.

so i try. i try hard. i want them to know and understand what i teach. but more importantly, i want them to appreciate english as much as i do. at the end of the day, the gauge of my tutoring is if they had learned enough from me to pass the upcat (or the acet or ustet or dlsu exam).

and hopefully when they graduate college, even if they aren't child prodigies, they become the light of the nation. yes, the salt of the earth. i earnestly wish they don't forget this immorality-stricken country when they graduate.

i'm so happy for this young girl. and for the many graduates this sunday in diliman. the feeling that so many fresh young minds which are (hopefully) not yet corrupted by the black hole of reality. we need these people in our down-trodden nation.

it is my hope that our beloved UP graduates live up to the call of Serving the People.

(and this is a big good news break from the virginia tech massacre that is sprawled all over the media lately.)

Sunday, April 15, 2007


i've been bitten by the korean drama/ korean comedy bug.

lately i've been waking up at 3 am, and for lack of better things to do, i watch these korean films on youtube (since hollywood films are scarce on youtube haha).

the other day i watched 100 days with mr. arrogant, which is a funny (in an awfully barbaric sort) and cute romantic film. and i've just finished friends, that drama collaboration between korea and japan starring won bin and kyoko fukada.

i'm out of words right now, mostly because i'm lss-ing the theme song of the 4-episode series. hoo.

i can't imagine myself watching these films and series on youtube. i swore off korean dramas after crying buckets at, what's the name of the film? i can't remeber the title (haha, coping mechanism) but i think it's the sequel to windstruck. the one that starts off with the girl puking on top of a man's head inside a train...

oh, golly. now, when i'm not beachin' or baskin' in the summer sun (or when i'm taking a break from studying for research), i'm bummin' in front of my computer watching these asian series and films.

i'll be reviewing them, but that would be for my next post, since i'm really famished and i need my food to think. haha. i'm signing off with a video of that lss of mine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

no fear?

mood: blanketed
currently: (supposed to be) working

bakit ba ako ang receiving end ng kamalasan sa relationships?

i’m not saying i’m the loser in all of my relationships, but i just feel that i’m the unfortunate one. it’s sad to realize that i have given more than what they can give me.

okay, i’m not dissing; i’m simply stating facts. one played with me, one was a coward, and another one was too weak for me. how’s that for a numbers game?

from this point of view, i’m starting to realize that i may be unlovable. ha. ouch.

i give so much of myself into relationships, thinking that by doing so, my significant other would do the same. usually it doesn’t happen. in the end i’m the first one to get hurt.

but it’s not really fun to not give so much in a relationship. it’s the hesitations, the doubts, the inhibitions that kill me, so i try not to be that.

well, i know one day someone will match my strength in a relationship. There’s gotta be someone man enough to be that way with me. i want to be loved in the way i love. it can be complicated, but yes, it’s possible. But in the present, not probable.

i’ve had this lingering question in my mind. maybe that person who could be man enough to love me is actually a woman. what if… ?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Philippine schools offer hard lesson in life

i'm posting this from yahoo! news. something to think about when we vote in may. hopefully our lawmakers and leaders realize how prevalent this issue is when they lounge about in their comfortable lives.

MANILA (Reuters) - School is out for Filipino children this summer and a large proportion of them won't be coming back.

Dropout rates are climbing in the Philippines as years of underfunding and rapid population growth have left the country's public schools -- once the pride of the region -- with insufficient teachers, classrooms and textbooks to go round.

The poor are most at risk, creating a vicious cycle of impoverishment that two men armed with a submachine gun, a revolver and two grenades decided to highlight last week by holding dozens of children in Manila hostage.

Although Filipinos abhorred the actions of Jun Ducat and his accomplice, the businessman's impassioned condemnation of corruption and inequality in education, aired live on TV, struck a chord.

"I wholeheartedly agree with the message because these are the kids who are neglected," said Dolores Espanol, chairwoman of the Philippine branch of Transparency International, which rated the country 126 out of 163 in a 2006 global survey on corruption, behind Libya and Uganda.

"Corruption is really pervasive in the education system."

Publishers often bribe school boards and superintendents with money and foreign holidays to win lucrative textbook contracts.

Teachers, who earn as little as 165,000 pesos (7,600 pound) sometimes over-charge their students for materials or accept payoffs for higher grades. Many have left the Philippines for better-paying work as domestic help.

The result is book shortages, inappropriate texts and bitterness among the poor. Pupils are forced either to share or fork out for extra resources, putting a big strain on families already struggling to pay for uniforms and lunches.


Although government finances are improving and the economy is growing, the benefits are not trickling down to the poor, whose ranks are expanding due to a lack of contraception and little education about birth control in the mainly Catholic nation.

Around 46 percent of the Philippine population live on less than $2 (1 pound) a day, and 28 percent of children under the age of five are underweight, according to the United Nations.

Extreme poverty is forcing more and more students out of the classroom and onto the streets of large cities, where they beg and hustle to survive.

"Even if education is free, the problem is the daily expenses and allowances of the children. I have had students who attend classes on empty stomachs," said one veteran high school teacher, who declined to be named.

Drop-out rates in secondary school rose to 15.8 percent in 2005-06 from 8.5 percent in 2000-01, according to the Department of Education. In some schools the rate is as high as 30 percent.

"What you have is a very large minority of people who are condemned to poverty because they will be functionally illiterate," said Solita Monsod, professor of economics at the University of the Philippines.


For those children that stick it out, conditions are tough.

Overcrowding and lack of space mean that classes are held in shifts. One group will start lessons at 6 a.m. and the next will take over the room at 1 p.m.

Teachers frequently have to deal with 65 children at a time and sometimes there aren't enough chairs or desks for everyone.

While the rich can send their children to private institutions with air conditioning and computers, rural public schools often have to make do without reliable electricity and classes are sometimes held outside or in the stairwell.

Figures from the World Bank show education spending by the Philippines was equal to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2004, far higher than Indonesia's 0.9 percent but well below Malaysia's 8 percent and Thailand's 4.2 percent.

For decades, the Philippines was acclaimed as one of the most highly educated countries in Asia but recent test scores tell a different story.

Just one in five 12-year-olds scored the mastery level of 75 percent in maths, science, social studies and languages in the 2004/05 school year, a report by the National Statistical Coordination Board showed.

Buoyed by improving tax revenues and large foreign exchange flows from overseas workers -- including former teachers -- the Philippines plans to hike its education budget by 13 percent to 133 billion pesos this year.

But it's already too late for Edraline Mataron, whose parents halted her education last year so that her older brother could go to college.

"I am saddened by it," said the 16-year-old from a slum area of Manila. "I'm trying to get any work, even part time, but it's hard to pass the requirements."

(Additional reporting by Karen Lema and Rosemarie Francisco)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

hop goes the bunny easter

easter bunny hopped through tanay, rizal yesterday and dropped goodies for the kids. nah. it was just my cousin chinky, who played santa by funding this year's easter egg hunt.

hiding all those sixty-four eggs is a blast but still pretty difficult. we don't want the kids to find them too easily, but we also don't want to spoil the fun by putting the eggs in places where you can see them ten yards away.

i love spending easter with family. i always look forward to easter, more than i look forward to christmas. yes, there's the exchanging of gifts part, but every christmas to me is just the same: we spend it in project four, watch tv, eat, sleep... then the next day it's not christmas anymore.

i love easter simply because it's the day after all the fasting, sacrifice, and loooong prayers asking the Lord for forgiveness. it's the long wait, and finally Christ has resurrected.

i'm not too religious. if you ask me, i don't adhere to that many catholic dogmas.

easter for me is a time for rejoicing, for family, for having fun, for the celebrations. during the christmas season, i get to go to so many christmas parties before the actual christmas celebration that i get pooped up by the time christmas comes.

easter is also my time of connecting with my inner self, of cleansing myself of past hurts, of forgiving myself for past mistakes. it's the end of my academic year, so it's my time to evaluate myself after one long year of hard school work. and when i don't have anywhere to go to, it's also my time of physical cleansing. yep, i do my spring cleaning during the holy week. nothing gets better than actually seeing my desk again (after one whole year of being under the mounds of books, papers, bags, and nonsense stuff).

okay, i've sidetracked long enough. we went to tanay, rizal, to the rest house of my cousin jp's in-laws (ang haba ng connection hehe). looked and felt like the usual family cookout: barbecue, lotsa good food, drinks (by that i mean beer), swimming, and the chitchats.

and any family gathering wouldn't be complete without having a baby in center stage: cousin jp's son inggo. haha. before, the baby used to be my tita jing's baby judd, but they're now in canada. before him, my tita michelle's son david, and before him again was cousin john's daughter anezka. i don't know what it is about family gatherings, but our family seems to have at least one pretty baby every year... and we welcome a new one when that baby turns three or four years old. who's will it be in the next years? i wonder.

my sibs joanne and jj and cousin chinky turned the small kubo into a casino (yep, cards, bets by piso-piso, tong-its, beer, and a few smokes), while i played around in the pool with the kids. i was forced into exercise, what with everyone asking me, "ate mariel pull me here," or "ate mariel take me there." haha. i enjoyed it anyway. i also needed to sweat out the few pounds i gained through eating so much during the holy week.

i missed those days when i was the one who looked for easter eggs, but it was actually more fun hiding the eggs and watching the kids search for those eggs. at the end of the day, however, the kids thought of hiding the eggs for us and we would look for them. haha. i didn't join in, but i think the kids had more fun thinking up of places where we would have a difficulty searching.

it's back to research work for me on monday. nope, i want to take a break on monday. i'll read up my articles on monday, edit them on tuesday, and hopefully have a draft of data that still needs to be collected on wednesday. by wednesday, though, i need to get my butt back to UP.

ooh. and while i'm on a break, i'm planning our laiya excursion. hehe. i've just got back from a really long break and now i'm already thinking of another one.

lah-eeh-yah. eeh-lah-yah. yah-eeh-lah. yah-lah-eeh...

i'm going to sleep before i get crazy with syllabic anagrams. happy easter everybody!

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

starting summer with a bang

yay! i'm back home, after two nights of lazing on the beach. on the third day, i was really ready to go home. i needed to feel my soft bed and hug my pillows. sleeping on the sand is really not my thing. haha.

went to zambales, in san antonio, a place that is, according to kel, populated by aetas. heck, i haven't seen one during my stay there. anyway, we camped by the beach, and it was so breezy! sleeping under the sky, and opening my eyes in the middle of the night to see the moon directly above me.. ooh, that was exhilarating. the first night i slept in the tent, but on the 2nd night i decided to rough it out, take my banig and sleep in the open air. haha.

on our 2nd day there, i decided to go for a walk at 5.30 in the morning. on the beach i met steve who's from new zealand and his two beautiful dogs, chuba and cocky. my, those dogs are so playful! and so big... they managed to tumble me down while playing, and that hurt. steve's a deep-sea fisherman, and he's been staying in san antonio for nine years already. haha. my mom joked that he's already a native there.

he toured us (me, mom, and dad) in the "international" village where the residents are australian, swedish, norweigian, english... i liked that place. they have bungalow houses, large gardens, and inside the community they were building two small lakes. someday i'd like to fish for carp there. hehe.

steve invited us inside his garden where we found so many flowering plants, fruit trees, and spices. he even gave us small basil plants to take home. wow. now i can have basil in my pasta without buying that spice. hehe.

and that afternoon we went island hopping. tranquility is the word for those islands across san antonio. white sand. waves lapping at the shore. woot. bora without the sin city. hahaha.

and that vacation taught me what "waves crashing at the shore" meant. yes, i know what it is. but it was my first time to encounter such huge waves. they pull you into the sea then throw you back on the shore. if you get pulled so far you won't be able to reach the shore. after playing tug-of-war with the sea, i walked away with sand in all the places of my bathing suit.

my brother mark went kickboarding on those waves. tried it, and i thought i was going to die in those waves. after a few scratches on my leg, i finally got it. yay!

when we were finally going home on the third day, my dad decided we still haven't enough of the water, so we drove to 8 waves in bulacan. whew. waves again?!

this time, though, the waves didn't horseplay around with me. and i got to do a few lopsided laps in the olympic-sized pool, too.

my mom and i joked that the place felt like a pool park in sentosa in singapore... all around us the people were either bumbay or chinese, and all else looked like pinoys (which were, of course, a mix of filipinos, malaysians, and a few indonesians here and there). hehe.

whatta vacation. i slumped on the bed when i got home. too bad my digicam got messed up and i don't have pics. anyway, saving for a new one, and crossing my fingers that hopefully i won't use all that money up for shopping.

next stop/s would be: tanay, rizal on easter with my family and my cousins, sagada and banawe (again with my family) on the 29th, laiya (that excursion i'm planning with myk) with don bosco friends on may 5th, davao with my sibs and my cousins on the end of may, and maybe lemery to visit my parents' friend there. woohoo. whatta summer.

wait. no puerto?!?

happy summer break, friends!

congratulations to the graduates! u.p. cmc's graduation is on the 22nd (and usually u.p.'s graduation is always the last among all the universities), so this greeting may be too early. but to all else who have graduated, congrats guys!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

finally, the closure i've been waiting for

in breakups, nobody really loses. both of you actually win (unless you're both stupid haha). instead of the both of you pulling yourselves downward because you're not really good together, it makes sense that you get out of that relationship and be the better individuals that you can be.

i realized so much about this. most of my posts have been about this relationship.

i thought we were perfect for each other. but through time i was killing him by not letting him be, and he was also pulling me down because i was affected by his negativity toward me. i'm not sure how it started, but it became a vicious cycle between us, and it started long before we had our first anniversary. i learned here that if we really loved each other, we have to let each other grow apart so we can't feed on the bad things.

okay, here's the dish. we talked. i appreciated talking to him. he was saying sorry for it all. i didn't want to go through it again. he cried, and i tried to put on a straight face, mostly for myself. it is now that i cry, but i'm thankful that it's over. i'm thankful that we called a truce. it's not everyday that you can say to an ex, "we're okay. i'm fine."

people may think i'm pathetic for talking to him, what with all he's done to me. but it healed me, somehow, to think that he doesn't hold anything against me. i have forgiven him, he has forgiven me.

not too many people are keen on the idea of calling a truce with an ex. but it's better than being angry at what had happened to us.

i'm genuinely happy for him. no, don't think me a fake. i feel happy for myself, too. the way i see it, i've rubbed off so much of myself on him that he became ready for someone else. haha. my ego credits myself for being that much of an influence on him.

and maybe he did, too, influence me on so many things that i can prepare myself for obstacles to come. and maybe it is he, too, who readies me for my next relationship.

am i the one talking? i thought these ideas were for the hopeless singles. i think i should be a relationship guru. hahaha.

i missed him, but mostly it was because i treasured his friendship the most. through time, we became friends. and i know i was worth something in his life for him to stay with me for that long (read: almost three years).

most people would think it a wasted investment. but i was happy then. i had fun.

i told him that i'll be okay. and when that time comes, he'll know.

thanks kel for the years. thanks for being proud of me.


got tagged by my friend ilia. sorry lia for posting this so late. i haven't read as much i would want to lately, and for the past semesters i'm stuck with gravetter and wallnau, babbie, littlejohn, mcquail, and ocassionally strunk and white. haven't been literary lately.

1. You're stuck inside Farenheit 451. What book do you want to be? hm. let's just say i don't want to be a book. haha.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? ooh, once you've read a sheldon, you'll know. i forgot his name, but the way sheldon described him: debonair, a perfect gentleman, sexy, cunning and an intellectual. in short, he's perfect. haha. i just forgot his name and the book (basically sheldon's leading men all have the same personalities haha).

3. The last books you bought were: bonifacio's bones by ambeth ocampo (i'm a history freak) and i finished that short book in one afternoon and, on a whim, walden bello's anti-development state... i loved his views (although i haven't taken him as a prof) hehe.

4. The last books given to you were: ooh, my dad bought me the complete set of philippine history by reader's digest. i said we needed it for our library at home, but mostly it was me reading it. haha.

5. Three books that would have made more of a difference in life had I read them years earlier: yah, vagina monologues by eve ensler, ambeth ocampo's looking back and aguinaldo's breakfast (it would have made me enjoy my history classes then).

6. Three books I borrowed and don't want to return anymore: i don't remember borrowing any book (kasi naman! i usually buy my own. but i can name dvds i wouldn't want to return back hehe).

7. Three books I wanted to like more: (can i name just two?) tuesdays with morrie (yeah, i didn't really like it as much, what with all the hype and all), grapes of wrath by john steinbeck bored me at the start i didn't even finish it (huwat? that's a pulitzer prize-winning novel!).

8. Three books I pretended to have read: not that i know of.

9. Three books I am happy I bought last year: gravetter and wallnau tops that! (top 1, 2, and 3, grabe!) i mean, a bargain php 300 second-hand book in hardbound, and it looked brand-new! i'm the only one i know who has one (the cmc lib has a photocopy). hehehe. yabang.

10. Three books I wish I had written: catcher in the rye by jd salinger (i always wanted to write a novel that has so many thoughts, it would seem like a word salad), the rule of four by ian caldwell and dustin thompson (oh man, the details of that book are amazing!). and the rosales saga (can i just name all?) is just so damn satisfying. i was proud of my race after reading that.

now, i'm tagging tina (who has read so many books it amazes me), rv, and luisa, and myk.

Monday, April 02, 2007

finding my composure

this march i only posted a few entries, not that i am on hiatus, but simply because nawalan ako ng gana. it happens, sometimes, but i guess there are moments when i can't force myself to write.

my friend commented to me that the battle of exes is simple: the one who has the best composure through it all (and is in a less emotional mess) is declared the winner. but why should there be a battle anyway?

i never really believed in the-ex-is-the-enemy point of view. i hate that. aeons ago, i had this grudge over an ex, and i can't sleep because of the knife in the gut that someone hates me as much as i hate him. i was guilty for so many months for not trying to at least be civil with him! ha.

i've been through a rough ride this past few months, and i'm worried that my wreck would be so humongous it could pull me down--like how the titanic was pulled into the atlantic. so huge. i don't want to be that. why are there no diagnoses made for these kinds of things, so i'd directly know the cure? oh well. placebo is usually the remedy for imagined illnesses.

i told myself i needed a catharsis. stress balls maybe? bobo dolls? or how about his neck for me to wring? hahaha. i'm talking nonsense now.

i need to forgive the past hurts. it's one of my dad's "teachings": forgive and forget. i'm trying to forgive, only, i also need to be forgiven. at least i know that many of the things i did could be forgotten and get over with, instead of me blaming myself all over again.

resolving differences is not a simple matter, since the question would be, so what now? why resolve anyway? i need my peace of mind, hell. i told my friend ares that i try not to be bitter, which is completely a very hard thing to do.

he told me that not resolving this within myself is like a pc with so many processes; babagal ang pag-andar 'pag hindi binawasan ang mga proseso. tumpak, i said.

i realized that what i miss most about him is because he was the one i turn to, but i can always find another person who can be that way for me. it's not necessarily him who makes me happy. it's the feeling that someone's there with me. it's the happy feeling of security and of satisfaction that someone will always be here for me. and when that security was taken away from me, saka ako nasaktan.

so it's not really just him. it's me trying to find my security with a person.

now, even if it took me months, i have the happy-floaty feeling of letting go. yes, i've moved on because i have no choice, but i've let go of the feelings that made me suffer through all this time.

and i only need one thing more to make this complete within me. forgiveness.

it's now the holy week. a time for cleansing.


Saturn's precious star
the elder sister
a squirrel under the oak
never early
Venus' healing herb
la luna de la noche
a girl of wishes
pride inside
pretending to be smart
nicely tucked in
a lady not poised
the talahiranya

Location: San Juan, Philippines

Notes and scribbles of a wayward child

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