Postscript

I know when to use ng and when to use nang. I also know the difference between pinto and pintuan. But is it spelled anu-ano, or is it ano-ano? And is “although” bagaman? Bagamat? Are they both correct? Beats me.

But I do know that hyphens are used for repeated words and that repetition necessitates likeness. So technically it should be sino-sino, not sinu-sino; taon-taon, not taun-taon. This rule, however, also implies that halo-halo (a combination of unlike objects) is different from haluhalo (our favorite dessert).

It reads wrong, and it looks wrong — who spells it haluhalo anyway? But experts insist that this isn’t a matter of preference. “Paano ka magtuturo ng language kung lahat ay tama?” asks national artist Virgilio Almario in a Wasak interview with Lourd de Veyra. Everyone, including the media, must follow the rules. So it should be ni’yo, not n’yo (rule on contraction); imahen, not imahe (rule on etymology); siyokoy, not syokoy (rule on diphthongs).

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Supermassive Black Hole

“You can throw television sets, diamond rings, or even
your worst enemies into a black hole, and all the black hole
will remember, is the total mass, and the state of rotation.”

– Stephen Hawking, in a lecture

“I’m sure if Shakespeare were alive today,
he’d be doing classic guitar solos on YouTube.”
– Peter Capaldi, in a meta-diary

As a kid I used to have an irrational fear of black holes. I learned from the I Wonder Why series that one cannot escape a black hole — you either travel faster than the speed of light (highly impractical, according to a nerd called Albert) or you destroy yourself piece-by-piece as you get closer and closer to singularity. Fun stuff.

Black holes also distort our sense of time. Inside a black hole, time slows down and everything else speeds up. Time gets whacked, so to speak, which is also what happens when we spend hours and hours on the Internet engulfed in the cold celestial blob that is YouTube.

But I don’t fear YouTube and I don’t hate it either. I just don’t like myself when I get swallowed by those insipid artista videos like Boy Abunda’s Fast Talk or Darla’s bag raids. Bag raids, in particular, are unexplainably addictive. The attempt to humanize celebrities does nothing to mask the brazen displays of luxury — and still, I dive in.

The better part of YouTube has an even stronger pull. Two of my favorite channels, for example, are Lessons from the Screenplay and Every Frame a Painting. They use the video essay format to deconstruct movies with keen attention to cinematic form (i.e. screenplay, musical score, camera movement, etc). I think film analyses that focus on form are better expressed through video essays. By showing us clips from the movies being dissected, video essays are able to present the argument and the evidence at the same time.

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Apatetiko

May magandang sinabi ang playwright na si Bertolt Brecht tungkol sa apathy:

bertolt-brecht-1352087

Ganda, ‘no? Medyo antagonistiko nga lang. Naalala ko ang sinabi sa akin ni Gui noong college: “Masakit kayang maparatangan na apathetic.” I get it, man. Nakakapikon nga siguro ang ma-reduce agad sa “apathy” ang kawalan natin ng tindig sa mga bagay-bagay. Sa dami ng mga inaalala natin — trabaho, pamilya, pag-ibig, etc — minsan wala na talagang oras para magmuni at umaksyon ukol sa mga nangyayari sa lipunan.

Pero may mga tao rin namang sadyang ayaw makisangkot sa kahit anong usaping pulitikal. Karaniwang argumento ang “may iba kasi kaming paraan ng pagsilbi sa bayan.” Madalas nababanggit ang pagbayad ng tamang buwis at pagsunod sa mga batas trapiko. “Being a law-abiding citizen is our way of subversion,” anila.

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On Filipino science fiction

Early this morning I watched the trailer for an upcoming Filipino science fiction movie called Instalado. Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, the film explores the idea of a future in which knowledge can be purchased and installed on anyone willing to pay the cost. The protagonist is Victor, a young farmer hoping for a better life for his family, and the narrative follows his quest to be an “instalado” or an “insta” despite his limited means.

The film is an entry to TOFARM Film Festival, a two-year old fest that specifically aims to “uplift the farmers [and their] personal development.” Set in a country whose economy is still arguably hinged on agriculture, Instalado boasts of a premise that is both significant and potentially radical.

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Sa ngalan ng pangalan

Burgis na kayabangan siguro itong maituturing pero hindi ba’t ang jologs ng mga pangalang may silent “h” sa gitna? ‘Yung tipong Jhasmine o Bhea o Dhonalyn. Naku, isa pa ‘yang mga pangalang nagtatapos sa “lyn” o kaya—dios mio patawarin—lhyn.

Hindi naman ako tumatawa o nangangantyaw tuwing may nakikilala akong Jhonalyn o Gheralyn. May agarang panghuhusga lang na kumakalabit sa isip ko: siguro hindi sila mayaman.

Class-based, oo. Mukhang wala naman sa hinagap ng mga Sy at Zobel at Gokongwei na magdagdag ng silent “h” sa gitna ng pangalan. Khecelyn Zobel o Jhobert Elizalde—parang ang sarap sagutin ng, weh? 

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How To Get Away With Plunder

After the Supreme Court dismissed the plunder case against her, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gamely posed for a selfie with her lawyer Raul Lambino as if to show the world that hey, now that I’m free I don’t have to pretend I need a neck brace.

lambino-arroyo-20160719_fab12b58a3f2450f8994d15a8cc7bacdSource

Kudos to the makeup artist too! The contour was well done with just the right tinge of bronze on the apples of the cheeks. It’s even poetic, actually. Looks like three or more coats of the thickest foundation have been applied to Arroyo’s face in order to achieve that airbrush effect—truly an embodiment of the Filipino jibe ang kapal ng mukha!

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On Badjao girl, free slippers, and other superficial sympathies

badjao_girl
Original photo by Topher Quinto Burgos | Source

We see a photograph of a scene basked in gold sunlight — and right in the foreground, a girl. She wears a faded pink shirt and slung around her left shoulder is a worn grey cloth tied tightly in a knot. Her eyes are dark and her hair has tinges of brown as golden as her skin.

The picture would be shared several thousand times in social media. A few more days and the girl would star in her own photo shoot. She would be in the news and in lifestyle programs. A politician’s wife would reportedly grant her a scholarship during a show known for handing out libreng tsinelas. And of course we, the audience, would feel elated for the pretty lass.

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