ii. tumutulak daw ako

pero hindi.
ayun siya
nakahiga at naliligo sa sariling dugo
ang kaawa-awa kong katawan
kanina’y payosi-yosi lang ako
at pumepetiks
sabi na nga ba’t
may masamang mangyayari
kanino ba ‘ko may atraso?
kay Marcelo,
na asawa ng kinakasama ko na si Carina?
kay Aling Lina,
na dalawang taon ko nang tinataguan
dahil ‘di ko mabaya-bayaran
ang dyes mil kong utang?
kay Angelo,
na kaibigan ko ngunit dahil sa
isang tampuhan sa inuman ay
di ko sinasadyang mabigwasan?
atraso lang naman ang nakikita kong dahilan
dahil Diyos ko,
kailanman ay ‘di ako nagtulak,
di ako nag-adik,
di ako nanggahasa o nanghalay man lang ng babae
at lalong lalo na’ng
‘di ako pumatay
“Pusher ako. ‘Wag tularan”
Ayan ang nakasulat sa kwadradong karton
na nakapatong sa aking walang buhay na katawan.
Marcelo, Aling Lina, Angelo, Carina…?
Sino pa ba?
Sila kaya?

Isa ako sa kanila
Na sinasaksak at pinaputukan ng paulit-ulit
hanggang mawalan ng hininga
Isa ako sa kanila
Silang walang malay na inagawan ng buhay
dahil sa purong muhi at personal na bersyon ng hustisya
Ito ba ang kabayaran sa ideyal na pagbabago?
Isa ako sa kanila
Gusto mo bang sumama?

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Infidelity: A Quest for Novelty

This is another paper that I did for our Eng 11 class. I kind of enjoyed doing this, although it was very stressful, because I had to cram this whole thing.

What personal and societal challenges should one take in dealing with a monotonous and decidedly unexciting marriage? “What did that mean, to be together? What did it mean to enter into a bond with another person?” (Oates 65). Anton Chekhov’s “The 
Lady with the Dog” and Joyce Carol Oates' “The Lady with the Pet Dog” explore and exemplify how two married individuals' yearnings for self reinvention and novelty, consequently catapulted them into obscure territories of infidelity.

Chekhov points out very early in his story that his main character, Dmitri Dmitrich Gurov, is someone who is used to being unfaithful with his wife and their marriage, as emphasized by: “He had begun being unfaithful to her long ago – had been
unfaithful to her often” (52). This unfaithfulness attests Gurov’s dissatisfaction with their marriage, eventually pulling him to cheat, to escape displeasure by finding missing pleasure through the company of other women. His stay at Yalta also
indicates his attempts of temporary escapes. The author hints that he goes there to find women in that he “had begun to take an interest in new arrivals” (51).He yearns so much for excitement in that place as he dreams of “tales of easy conquests, of
trips to the mountains and the tempting thought of a swift, fleeting love affair… took possession of him” (Chekhov 52). He later becomes acquainted with Anna Sergeyevna, “the lady with the dog” (Chekhov 52) and develops an affair with her. The “swift, fleeting love affair” however, does not turn out as how it is meant to be. Something brief grows into something deeper, as Gurov follows Anna to her hometown, even after they have parted and made promises to never see each other again. Anna, who is also married, and Gurov, figure out what to do with their relationship, for they “loved each other like people very close… like husband and wife… They could not understand why he had a wife and she, a husband, and it was as though they were a pair of birds of passage, caught and forced to live in different cages” (Chekhov 62).

Oates’ Anna also encounters the same problem. She also feels like she is trapped in her marriage, as if her relationship is in stagnant seas: “For years now, they had not been comfortable together; in their intimacy… they struggled gently as if the paces of this dance were too rigorous for them” (Oates 64). She moreover confessed to her lover that “she lived with her husband lovelessly, the two of them polite strangers, sharing a bed, lying side by side in the night in that bed, bodies out of which souls had fled” (Oates 75). This suggests that she and her husband were, once upon a time, happy and in love, but as time passes, the loving “souls had fled,” the love they once shared has already left them. Anna, in turn, attempts to find this lost love that eluded their marriage and finds it with an unnamed stranger, thinking that “this man was her savior, that he had come to her at a time in her life when it demanded completion… a permanent fixing of all that was troubled, shifting, and deadly” (Oates 65). She feels that her “completion” depends on the arrival of this special person. Even though she is evidently elated with this discovery, she is chased by shame, the same way Chekhov’s Anna is. In parallel with Gurov’s ultimate certainty or otherwise, about Anna Sergeyevna and their relationship , Oates’ Anna claims that the unnamed lover, “this man, whom she loved above any other person in the world, above… her own life, was her truest lover, her destiny” (Oates 75).

Even though both stories share very similar premises, themes, plots, and characters, they are manipulated by the author in distinctive manners. The similar plot, although different in structure, and “Anna” might primarily imply the possibility that both stories are connected, however, the settings of both stories prove otherwise. Chekhov’s is set on Russia, in Yalta, while Oates’ is set on United States, particularly in Nantucket and New York. The protagonists’ genders (one from a masculine
perspective, and the other, feminine) introduce the readers into distinctive moods and tones which the authors want to highlight. Chekhov’s Gurov appears to be laid­back, condescending, even dismissive, particularly with his wife and women. The very little information that Chekhov presented about Gurov’s wife insinuates that she plays an unimportant role in his life. Chekhov only tells the readers how Gurov “considered her unintelligent, narrow and inelegant” (52). The author also exposes most of Gurov’s thoughts, that attests how generally cynical and condescending his disposition is. About Anna, he thinks dismissively, “’There’s something pathetic about her anyway’” (Chekhov 53). He also admits that he used to call women “the
lower race” (Chekhov 52). The earlier part of Chekhov’s story offers a slightly relaxed, tensionless tone. Gurov’s nonchalant and virile disposition act as a tone driver. He primarily exudes an almost guiltless attitude towards infidelity. The tension just appears near the conclusion when Gurov realizes that “only now when his head was grey he had fallen properly, really in love – for the first time in his life” (Chekhov 62) and then both of them gradually think about how they can handle their secret relationship. Oates’ Anna, on the other hand, exudes feminine, dissenting feelings of hope and doubt, love and shame throughout the story. Unlike Gurov, Anna still has a direct physical connection with her husband – kissing, embracing, and love­making, shameful though it might be for her. Also, unlike Gurov’s wife, Anna’s marital partner evidently still cares for her, asking affirming questions such as, “Did I hurt you?” (Oates 52). She is notably religious about her lover, hailing him as her “savior”. Anna consistently thinks of her infidelity as something shameful, especially whenever she is with her husband, and doubtful: “He doesn’t love me, nothing will come of it” (Oates 72).

The two authors both speak of two worlds in their stories. In Oates’ it is “to be here and not there, to be one person and not another, a certain man’s wife and not the wife of another man” (66) while in Chekhov’s, “he had two lives: one, open, seen, and known by all… and another life running its course in secret” (61). Both are referring to the main characters’ two worlds: a) the public, legal life with their marital partners and b) the private life with their secret lovers. Both main characters similarly experience life in monotony and dissatisfaction, with Gurov thinking that “There is left a life… curtailed, worthless and trivial” (Chekhov 58) and Anna believing that “her life demanded completion” (Oates 65).

Shame and uncertainty are hovering feelings in both stories. To Oates’ Anna: “There was no future” and to Anna’s lover: “This is impossible” (66). Chekhov’s Sergeyevna tells Gurov that, “They could only meet in secret, hiding themselves from people,
like thieves” (62). Both stories also show that the two women (Oates’ Anna and Anna Sergeyevna) are more palpably worried about the social repercussions which may inevitably amount from infidelity, than the two men (Gurov and the stranger). The
two men’s nonchalant attitude towards it seems to suggest that they deem infidelity as something natural and inevitable to happen. This might also suggest that in both places and both time frames present in the story, societies are quicker to point fingers to women, likelier to impose shame and fault upon them, than they are to men.

Chekhov utilizes his story’s plot in a linear structure, while Oates’ does hers in a cyclical fashion. Chekhov’s strategy highlights realism, showcasing an open ending, wherein the conflict is just beginning to unveil itself. It reflects everyday reality, in which, practically, not everything ends with a closure. Chekhov ends “The Lady with the Dog” with: “They had still a long, long road before them, and that the most complicated part of it was only just beginning” (62). Oates’ cyclical plot structure, on the other hand, is effective in presenting Anna’s personal battles. Oates introduces the readers first to her marriage, her relationship with her husband –her life six months after she and lover decide to part ways, with consistent mentions of someone whom she is not allowed to be with. Oates then delves into the middle, in which she narrates Anna’s relationship with her secret lover. By primarily warning her readers that Anna indeed did something in the past that made her feel very shameful, the readers are able to empathize with her and understand what she is clearly feeling and where it is coming from at the middle of the story.

Even though the story is set in different time frames and different countries, different places, it is evident that in both stories, the main characters hide in secrecy, managing to create another world, a world that is private, known only by the two people participating in the secret relationship. The need to create another world, illustrates that the characters are fearsome of the legal and social repercussions that shall amount from an illegal relationship. This reflects that Russian and American societies, at those time frames, both frown upon infidelity. The characters’ secret dives into infidelity prove to be problematic, because of legal and societal consequences and conventions, but these dives, nonetheless, fulfill their yearnings for reinvention, and novelty.

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. “The Lady with the Dog.” Trans. Constance Garnett. Efictions. Ed. Joseph F. Trimmer, C. Wade Jennings, and Annette Patterson. Forth Worth: Harcourt College, 2001. 51­62. Print.

Oates, Joyce Carol. “The Lady with the Pet Dog.” Efictions. Ed. Joseph F. Trimmer, C. Wade Jennings, and Annette Patterson.
Fort Worth: Harcourt College, 2001. 63­76. Print.

The Status of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) in the 21st Century Youth Subculture

I wrote this paper for our Soc Sci 1 and Eng 10 classes. I ended up enjoying writing this.

I. Introduction

Music and society have always been intimately related. Music holds a strong, essential, and definitive role in reflecting and shaping the culture of every society, every country. It unifies groups of people and moves them to common action and helps them express common emotions. Some songs become anthems for particular generations, as Eraserhead’s Ligaya became for many in the 1990’s. In times of national crisis, songs seem especially appropriate, such as ASIN’s “Masdan Mo ang
Kapaligiran” or Francis M.’s “Tayo’y mga Pinoy”. Music expresses widely-shared values, experiences and emotions, that helps define a group’s identity and solidarity. It also serves as a forum for public debate about manners, morals, politics,
policies, and social change. Musicians and their audiences are social actors. While they reflect the world around them, they also interpret and change it. Some are most valuable for telling us what concerned people, how they saw issues, and how they
expressed their hopes, ideals, anger, and frustrations. It facilitates communication which goes beyond words, enables meanings to be shared, and promotes the development and maintenance of individual, group, cultural, and national identities.
Through Original Pilipino Music (OPM), the diversity, uniqueness, and richness of the Filipino culture, as well as the distinctive values and sentiments of the Filipino people are clearly expressed, exposed, and reflected at its most honest and rawest form.

Much of OPM have been influenced by the colonial legacies of Spain, Western rock n’ roll, hip-hop music and pop music from the United States, the Austronesian population and Indo-Malayan Gamelan music. It is a mixture of European, American and Indigenous sounds.

OPM originally referred only to Philippine pop songs and ballads, which appealed very much to the Philippine mass, right after the collapse of its predecessor, the Manila Sound, in the 1970’s. OPM is referred to now as any music composed and performed by a Filipino artist. It became hugely popular with the peak of the Metro Manila Music Festival or Metropop in 1972.

Artists such as Ryan Cayabyab, ASIN, Rico J. Puno, Joey Albert, Pilita Corrales, Basil Valdez, Claire dela Fuente, Rey Valera, Imelda Papin and Freddie Aguilar dominated the 70’s OPM scene, delineating the decade’s music with their powerful tunes and melodies, and lyrics with recurring themes of social, political, and familial struggles and of the pains and gains of hopeless romantic affairs.

In the midst of 1980s and 1990s, OPM was even more lifted by solo artists like Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, Jose Marie Chan, and Vina Morales who built their music career with their sweeping voices on ballads about unconditional love and heartbreak.

Also in the 90s, bands like the APO Hiking Society, Eraserheads,and Rivermaya found haven and developed a fan group following with their appealing and generally widely-accepted lyricism and their experimental, sometimes upbeat, sometimes melancholic, stadium rock tunes.

Meanwhile, band s like Side A, Introvoys, The Teeth, Yano and True Faith glorifies the maudlin, sentimental facet of OPM pop and reflects the Filipino people’s fondness to romanticism.

From its kickoff, OPM has been centered in Manila, where the city’s dominant, core languages are mostly Tagalog and English. Ilokano, Visayan, Bikolano, and Kapmpangan and other ethnolinguistic groups have not been recognized as OPM despite their palpable music production in their respective native languages. Multiculturalism advocates, and federalists often associate this discrepancy to the Tagalog-centric cultural hegemony of Manila.

The Visayan, who created a subgenre of Philippine Rock they hailed as Bisrock, have the biggest collection of modern music in their native language, with great collaboration and contribution from Visayan bands Phylum and Missing Philemon.
Regardless of the growing uproar for non-Tagalog, and non-English music, the apparent greater representation of other Philippine languages, the local Philippine Industry, which is centered in Manila, is unforthcoming in venturing investments
to other locations. Some of their major reasons include the language barrier, small market size, and socio-cultural emphasis away from regionalism in the Philippines.

In the present decade, artists and bands such as Yeng Constantino, Gloc-9, Hale, Up Dharma Down, Parokya ni Edgar and Callalily are still boldly persistent in creating experimental songs that explores a myriad of subgenres. Gradually, through the years, OPM has evolved, and has been experimented with myriad of genre-styles by many fleeting Filipino artists who each left their marks in the OPM history.

Filipinos had palpably supported OPM since the prelude of the Metropop culture. However, noticeably, after decades of the proliferation of music from prominent Filipino artists who made distinctive marks in the Filipino music scene, the
Philippines’ music industry gradually seemed to merely settle with the production of auto-tune, second-rate songs and revivals or covers of both foreign and English songs from the past.

Youth Subculture and Musical Preferences

Some consumers in the music industry are coming from the youth subculture. They are one of the essential demographics targeted by record producers, because they already have the capability to buy individual records or album, either through
online or physical means. The youth subculture also has the powerful capacity to expound a fan group following, being the primary users of social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Therefore, this subculture is very
effective in disseminating music.

The youth subculture is a youth-based subculture with distinct styles, behaviors, and interests. Socioeconomic class, gender, conformity, morality, and ethnicity can be important in relation to youth subcultures. Youth subcultures have a certain
devotion attached for clothing, music, and other visible affections by members of the subculture, because these mark them a nuance of identity and distinction.

Music is the preeminent fountainhead of liberation in the youth subculture, and most music is easily accessible now through the evolution of the internet and mainstream media. However, is the Philippine media doing its role in promoting Philippine
music to the Philippine youth subculture?

OPM and the Philippine Media

The 21st Century has indeed been tough for Philippine Music Industry. From the record high estimated P2.7 billion in industry CD sales in 1999, physical sales went down to P699 million in 2010 according to data provided by the Philippine Association
of the Recording Industry (PARI).

Production of albums today is clearly difficult considering the steep competition from online music sites like Spotify and iTunes. Physical albums are competing against the invisible and invincible. Artists, especially, endure the negative repercussions of these paradigm-shifting innovations.

Because of piracy, the music industry lost an estimate of more than a billion last year. Artists are not properly compensated for their work, and the industry loses profit which may lead to the closure of more record companies. According to PARI, 8 of
the 43 affiliated with the PARI, closed shops in 2001 because of the rampant operations of piracy in the Philippines.

Another challenging issue for the Philippine Music Industry is the lack of commercialization of music by the Philippine media (TV, radio, newspaper, etc.). Mainstream media dictates taste and excellent dissemination, however, most music
companies in the mainstream media choose to produce mostly remakes of old tunes, perhaps, believing that it is the fastest way of reaching a wider audience, assuming that the listeners only consume the familiar and comfortable.

In line with this, the researcher decided to conduct a survey participated by the youth subculture, which may show the current status of OPM in the 21st Century Philippine youth subculture.

II. Description of the Sample

30 students from universities and a high school in Quezon City and Manila City participated in this research survey. 24 students are from University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD); 3 students are from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP); 1 is from National Teachers’ College (NTC); 1 is from St. Paul’s University, Quezon City (SPUQC); 1 is from Quirino High School (QHS). 60% of the respondents are female and 40% are male. The respondents’ average age is 17 years old.

III. Summary of Resultssummary
IV. Discussion of Results and Conclusion

From the data gathered, it can be suggested that more teenagers can hear less OPM and more foreign music (English, K-Pop, J- Pop, etc.) from our local FM or AM radio stations. This shows that local radio stations today do not play enough OPM or
Philippine music.

The data also shows that most teenagers don’t listen more to OPM artists neither in Spotify nor YouTube. There’s a great probability that the respondents listen more to foreign artists.

The frequency of teenagers who buy albums or individual records either online or through physical music stores is considerably low. The low frequency may mean ambiguously: a) the respondents or participants may not also buy albums or
individual records by foreign artists either. They are likely listening through streaming platforms like Spotify or through YouTube or they are apt to participate in file sharing/torrent downloading/online piracy, or b) they are more apt to buying
foreign individual records or albums.

Moreover, most respondents conceive that the Philippine media is not effectively glorifying OPM. This shows that teenagers are not satisfied with the efforts of the Philippine media in showcasing OPM.

When inquired if OPM nowadays appeal very much to them, most of the respondents responded with a “no”. This may mean that foreign music appeal more to them than OPM or this might also mean that today’s music (foreign or OPM) in general, do not
appeal to them at all.

In the concluding question, when asked if they like today’s OPM, the answer is generally “no”. Most teenagers or members of the Philippine youth subculture surveyed generally are not in favor of today’s mainstream OPM.

V. Personal Evaluation

I chose to carry out this survey after reading an article online titled, “The life and death of OPM” written by Philippine Star’s cultural critic, Don Jaucian. In the article, he criticizes the status of today’s OPM, claiming that OPM’s death can be gleaned when “yesteryear’s hits” are “sung to death by variety show singers,” while newer acts “struggle to get their original material released.” Consequently, this article resulted into heated discussions in various social media, and blogging platforms. On one hand, many bloggers and critics disagree, including Carlo Casas, saying that, “I’ve been a part of the music scene since 2002, among my friends from the industry, none of them think OPM is close to being dead.” He added, “You have the Internet. You all have what all of your heroes of your teen angst years didn’t: The world at your fingertips. Share your music on social media. You have things like Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.” Critic Rain Contreras also added, “You don’t go to enough gigs of bands you don’t know. I’ve been witness to three decades worth of Pinoy music.” On the other hand, bloggers like Leloy Claudio agreed with Jaucian and contradicted the argument of Casas, saying that, “Take the argument to its logical conclusion: if you don’t make it, poor padawan, it’s nobody’s fault but yours. Don’t criticize “the man” for making it tough on poor musicians. Rock was never about complaining anyway. Stay happy. Surf the net. And if you lack support, it’s because you didn’t tweet enough. Try saying the same thing to novelists, painters, and other artists who don’t receive enough support in the Philippines. It’s in this way that Casas and Jaucian’s other critics conjure away the power of media conglomerates and distribution networks, while patronizing younger artists. It’s not like social media isn’t awash with music from young musicians who put out their work for free, or promos for gigs where you pay P150 for entrance, a beer, and five bands. The Casas musicological theorem of “internet + hard work = magic bullet to success” is fiction.”

This debate really piqued my curiosity, because I want to know if OPM’s indeed, “dead.” I found the opportunity to get immediate answers through this research survey project.

Although my personal answers to the questions I made would be mostly ‘No”, I was still hoping and even expecting that the respondents’ answers would be mostly “Yes”, because I assumed that perhaps most young people today still find OPM appealing.

Summarizing the survey was a slightly depressing task, after discovering that most young people I surveyed do not find OPM appealing and favorable over foreign music. On one hand, the young people I surveyed do not necessarily represent the whole youth subculture. It was just a small facet of it.

Is OPM, therefore, dead? It is not. Just like Casas said, there are still many rising music groups, bands, and solo artists out there, waiting to be unveiled and to be given the opportunity to showcase their talents.

One of the questions in the survey is “Do you think the Philippine media is effectively glorifying OPM?” I included this question because I want to find validation with my perception of the Philippine mainstream media, because, like the majority of the respondents’ answers, I don’t also think that the Philippine media is effectively glorifying OPM. I might not agree with Jaucian’s blunt statement “OPM is dead,” but I agree with him that “yesteryear’s hits” are “sung to death by variety show singers,” while newer acts “struggle to get their original material released.” The mainstream media is a very powerful tool to disseminate culture. Whatever the mainstream media produces, many people would unquestionably jump and ride along with it. The sad truth is that, most producers in the Philippines nowadays are afraid to take risk. Most of them would offer labels to famous actors, not musicians, because they think that popular handsome actors would sell more. Unbeknownst to them, this is actually affecting the music culture. They should mainstream the obscure but talented artists. Another structural factor that affects the arts is government investment. In 1950s France, a disdain for American film and a desire to promote cultural production outside Paris led the government to invest in directors like Godard and Truffaut who would constitute the French New Wave. (This was a common pattern in the social democratic milieu of postwar Europe.) In 1970s Philippines, the Marcos dictatorship also poured money into the arts. Imelda Marcos spent a lot of money on pop festivals. The government now, should do the same, not just in music, but also in all arts in the Philippines, because these are in great need of a strong foundation. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Music and arts in general are very important facets of a country, because it reflects a lot about the Filipino people and the Filipino culture. I want to hear a foreigner hear a Filipino song, and then exclaim, “Hey, I love that! That’s a Filipino song!” instead of “Hey, I love that, that sounds Western!”

The industry may now be too far away from its glory days like in the 60’s or 90’s, but it is not dead. It just needs the unified support of the Filipino people.

i. tumutulak daw ako

kanina pa
tila may sumusunod
na mga mata
sa aking bawat yapak
na tila ba anino
kanina pa
nababalisa
sa gitna ng kadiliman
kanina pa
nagtatanong:
parang may ‘di yata tama?
hinithit ko
ang dala-dalang yosi
buga
inulit-ulit ko ang siklo
nag-aantay
na parang salamangkang
maglalaho bigla
ang mga agam-agam
napatigil ako
sa aking kinatatayuan
habang pinagmamasdan
ang pagtulo
ng aking sariling dugo
mula sa kutsilyong
itinulak ng kung sino
nakuha ko pang lumingon
sa tatlong mamang may suot
na itim na saplot
itinutok niya muna
sa aking kaliwang binti
ang baril na hawak
tumama ang aking ulo
sa bakal
kasabay ng kanyang pagputok
tumingala ako
sa kanila
sinunod nila
ang aking dalawang kamay
kanan na binti
limang putok sa dibdib
k a d i l i m a n

2nd Liebster Award: Remembering Boo Radley, Singing With Our Neighbor’s Dogs, Etc.

Yay. I just received my 2nd Liebster Award. It is really nice to know that my blog is appreciated by bloggers who I also look up to. So much thanks again, filipinawriter for nominating me. I said thanks, for like, 3 times already haha. PLEASE go check out her site. Her entries never fail to amaze me, because they felt so genuine and emotional. She’s one of the many fascinating bloggers in WordPress who remains authentic no matter what.

Here are my answers to her questions.

If you would have to choose, poetry or novel? Why?

I’ll read both, but if I have to choose which one to write, it’s poetry. There’s something so authentic and selfless about writing poems that I really love. When I’m writing poems, I don’t just think about me. I think about other people as well, and how they can connect/empathize with me. Most poets only write for themselves. I often do too, because writing for oneself is a great way to vomit all those excess pleasures, bitterness, misery, and whatnot’s because their places in our hearts are just too much too bear. It is surely not a bad thing. Heck, it’s the major reason why all of us even write. But, most of the time, I write WITH people. Whenever I write, I want someone to connect with me, and when someone does, it offers me a very pleasant feeling. Poetry is, more often that not, very ambiguous, and it is always fun to experiment with ambiguity. I always ask myself when I’m writing: How can I empathize and be authentic, at the same time with this poem?

What’s your favorite book? Why?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I first read it when I was in 2nd year high school, because it was a required reading. I didn’t finish reading it. I had an incredibly short attention span. I re-read it again in 4th year and I finished it in 3 days. I was hooked, needless to say. I still remember tomboyish Scout, stubborn Jem, righteous Atticus, and of course, the mysterious Boo Radley. Reading To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. This may sound pretentious and cliched, but really, that’s what I felt after reading that book. It was a real eye-opener, and I just wished I read that book when I was much younger. It changed the way I looked at the world and its people. It made me want to punch my angsty, nonchalant, and egoistic self in the past. The lessons that I’ve learned from the book are also the foundation of my efforts to transition from this selfish, super annoying kid to a person who actually cares for the people around her. Here are some of the best lines from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that stayed with me up to this day:

1. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

2. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

3. “Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

4. “Atticus, he was real nice.”
“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

5. “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

6. “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fightin’ with your head for a change.
-Atticus Finch”

7. “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

8. “When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.”
Would you like to share with your friends and even relatives your blog?

Yes. Everyone is allowed to see this blog, although I’m sure that they can’t really agree with all the things that I have to say, and all the things that I already did share here. It’s OK though. I’m just being me. They don’t have to understand me, because I’m trying hard to understand myself too.

Why do you choose to write or blog?

I write because I just have to, and just like what I’ve written many times in my past posts, writing gives me eudaemonia/happiness and catharsis/purgation. It helps me move on. I’m the type of person who finds it hard to let go of things, especially if those things gave me unpleasant or overwhelming feelings. I just have to vomit it all out, so that I can move forward, and so that I can constantly remind myself that I wouldn’t let the same mistakes to repeat themselves in the future. It also helps me connect with people who experienced/are experiencing problems and situations that I went/am going through.
What post of yours would you like to share to the world? Why?

This is not actually a post. but an answer to Juansen’s question in his Real Neat Blog Award questions which is : If the world suddenly paused just to listen to you—what would be your message to the world?

Stop being so discriminating and unreasonable. Stop making other people feel less human than they actually are, just because they’re different from what you’re accustomed to. Make some sense out of: “We’re all equal.” And just LOVE. Oh, and also, there are lots of people around you who need at least a 5 second hug. You are required to attend to those people.

What sad poem would you like to share with your partner or the person you like? Why?

Virginia Woolf’s Angels 1919

Five years after their rescue
Of troops beaten back in Mons,
She danced with them on the downs,
Their forms like kites she reeled in
With clouds, their haloes askew
On waves of green escarpments
Breaking into the sea. Beech-brown
The combes she looked down upon
While the angels held up her skirts,
Rode the rhythms of her walking feet –
Their wings no longer torn.
In a host they balanced, on the alert
For ancient armies in retreat
Squatting in hunched hawthorns.

One year after the armistice
In the steep slopes of her temperament
She kept them at her side, to banish
The simpering angels of the house
At whom, with the sedge, they would hiss.
Whenever an alien shadow bent
Over her page as she wrote, a swish
Of wings dipped in ink would douse
Its creeping insistence, despatch it
Into tumuli turfed over, into dew ponds.
The angels of Mons were her guides
Through plankton, fossils, flint; could fit
Into her psyche’s darkest corners beyond
Precipices chalked in over sucking tides.

If you could have one ability what would it be?

The ability to dance! Because I can’t. 😦

If you are another person, how would you describe your self?

I answered this particular question last because I can’t really think about that other possibility. This is so hard. Hmm. I don’t know tbh. It’s not that I’m too lazy to look for an answer. But yeah, maybe I’m lazy. But, I just can’t see myself as another person. And I love myself hahaha. I’m sorry if I can’t answer this.

When was the last time you sing to your self? To Someone? What song was it?

Just a while ago. My brothers and I are in the same room so whenever I sing, they can hear it. So, maybe, technically, I’m singing to them. I sang I See Fire by Ed Sheeran. I actually recorded it! hahaha. I did a duet with my neighbor’s dogs.XD The dogs were great, and they are really, really sensational. I’m really sorry for the low-quality sound, low-quality timing and low-quality voice. But, the dogs are still the best! Here it is: 

f there is a song that would best describe me, it would be Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan, because I feel lost most of the time. Like, when I’m doing something, some annoying part of me would ask, ‘Why am I doing this?’ or ‘What am I doing here?’ It just ruins the day whenever those thoughts come. It takes so much will power.

What constitute a perfect day for you?

I always consider it a perfect day if I had a long, intimate conversation with anyone. This and only this, and the day will be perfect.