WebSmart: A Short Message To Internet Users

Everybody has the privilege to be informed. And everybody has the right NOT to be misinformed.

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Yes, continue stuffing your mind with information, global news and anything that surfaces under the sun. But please, as a human being blessed with a functioning human brain, do your homework. Not all pictures you see and words you read on the internet are true. Analyze everything, be skeptical with your online sources. Stop being so lazy. Do your research. You have a responsibility to prevent the spread of malicious articles written out of context intended to demoralize a personality’s or organization’s reputation. You have a responsibility to put a stop to ignorance.

Be that one responsible internet user.

Peace.
-Danica Aquino

Weekend Musings: Does Holding On Mean Progressing Backwards?

Memories. Childhood memories. Forgotten friendships. People. Life changing events. Memories are the yesterday of today and the future. Memories are the only truth of what had become. And we all have something that keeps us from doing whatever at the moment and stare into the void of space, looking back the good (or bad) days.

Continue reading “Weekend Musings: Does Holding On Mean Progressing Backwards?”

Ang mga Mukha ng Undas

Gatas na malapot. Edi wow! Pabebe wave, hahaha! Mas gusto ko yung OTWOL ayoko sa PSY. Ayoko kalaro ‘to pikon. Gan’on naman talaga pag meron kang nararamdaman. Sinungaling! Meron dito sitsirya at biko. Bumibili ng rosas hindi maintindihan kung anong rosas binili. Sige kunin mo ‘yong maliit lang. Sayang pinambili ko para sa inyo. Hindi masarap, matabang. Pwede po bang kunin ‘yong naitra? Buti hindi umulan ngayon. Kaunti lang tao kumpara nakaraang taon ‘no? Nasan na ba’ng drayber niyo? Hindi kasi holiday bukas. Ang kumikita lang naman ay ‘yong mga mall at department store. Daga yung costume, ginuhitan ko pa sa mukha, nanalo! Nakalimutan na ang tunay na diwa ng okasyon. Kaya gusto ko sa unahan, maingay dito. ‘Yong iba may guwardya pa ‘no? Puro putik ka! Mayaman kasi. Nanalo ng tent, ‘yong maliit pambata. Pag gising niya sa umaga naka tambay na siya sa may tricycle. Nag uunahan sila sa sinangag! Pawis ka na. Paki bantayan na lang po, salamat. Maupo, maupo! Bitawan mo yan mapapaso ka. Ano bang lulutuin mo? 1, 2, 3! Ayoko pangit camera mo. Ang ganda ko talaga. Anong oras pasok mo? Alas nueve na. Walang text sa ‘kin? Anong pake ko sayo? Baka masunog ah. Malayo biyahe namin. Walang pagbabago. Mamaya may kukuha na niyan. Bye-bye na, ‘tay. Forever ‘yang kandila.

Araw ng mga santo, bukas ay mga kaluluwa. Ngunit nasaan na nga ba nagpunta ang mga ipinagdiriwang? Hayun, kasama sa libingan. Hindi na nga sila nakikita mula sa ilalim ng lupa, wala pang pag-gunita ang mga nakapaligid na anino. Pati mga naiwang alaala ng buhay, hindi man lubusang batid, pinapatay.

Danica Aquino

Jose Garcia Villa and My Admirations

Has anyone, except literary people, ever heard of this name? Probably not, especially today’s generation of Fifty Shades of What the Heck. This was also one of the reasons why we (study mates) picked him and his works as the center of our thesis writing. The man was extremely remarkable; this was what I thought while reading his biography. Remarkable in a sense that he knows his intelligence very well and I would never be bothered by his utter arrogance because I know he had all the rights to be. Thinking of Jose Garcia Villa simply made questions like “why did I not live during his time?” creep up my neck. God forbid how much I want to dig his grave, meet and conduct an interview with him. Although I doubt I would complete the whole thing without totally passing out.

I’ve read few of his interviews, too. I now would have the perfect answer whenever someone would ask me of who inspired me to write; definitely this man. Not only was his craft outstanding and unique, he also had a fine practice as to how this would transcend into his poetry.

Wait, who was he again?

Jose Garcia Villa

Jose Garcia Villa was a great Filipino poet. He studied medicine first in the University of the Philippines, early 20th century, and later transferred to law in the same university only to find out that his soul was in the arts, particularly in literature after he tried painting. He wrote “Man-Songs”, an erotic poetry collection, which had caused him his expulsion from UP and to fine 70Php (and not to mention the charge of “poisoning of public moral” to his collection). He later won an award for “Mir-I-Nisa” and a money prize costing 1,000Php which he used in boarding a flight to the US. He then lived there, established his career as a writer, taught few people, won many awards and occasionally returned to the Philippines. But when asked if he’s a Filipino, he cleverly answered “Yes I am a Filipino, but an American resident.”⁽¹⁾

One of his few famous poems was “First a Poem be Magical”⁽²⁾ where he beautifully defined what is poetry according to his own judgments. I love this one, aside from his many other pieces, especially its last two lines.

 

First, a poem must be magical,

Then musical as a seagull,

It must be a brightness moving

And hold secret a birds flowering

It must be slender as a bell,

And it must hold fire as well,

It must have the wisdom of bows.

And it must kneel like a rose,

It must be able to hear

The luminance of dove and deer.

It must be able to hide

What it seeks, like a bride,

And over all I would like to hover,

God, smiling from the poems cover.

 

Yes, he can be that fine. But he can also surprise readers with his experimental and unconventional way of conveying a story which had me… shaking my head in amusement. This one is titled “She Asked Him to Come”. I’ve got a tricky and chaotic (and quite filthy) idea about what he really meant with the whole thing, I would love to hear your take on this one so please leave them at the comment box if you have one!

She asked him. To come. She asked. Him. To. Come.

               Did she. Ask him. To come. Did she. Or. Did she. Not. Ask him. To. Come. Did she. Ask him. To. Come. She asked. Him. To come. She said. Welcome. Did she. Ask him. To come. Yet she said. Welcome. Did she. Ask him. To come. She said. Welcome. She said. Well. Come. Did she say. Welcome. Or. Did she say. Well. Come. Which. Did she say. When. She asked. Him. To come. Well come. Did she say that. Or. Welcome. And. Did she. Really. Ask him. To. Come. She said. Well. Come. She. Must have asked. Him. To come.

                Now. Did he come. Did he. Come. She asked him. To come. Did he. Some. Since. She asked him. To come. She asked. Him. To. Come. And. Did he. Come. She asked him. To come. And. Did he. Come. Or. Did he. Not. Come. Or. Did. He. Come. Or. Did he. Not. Come. Did he. Or did he. Not come. Or did he. Come. She asked him. To come. But. Did he. Come. Or. Did he. Not. Come. Or. Did he. Come. Did he. Or. Did he. Not. Come. Tom. Did not. Come.

                She should not. Have asked him. To come. She. Should. Not. Have asked. Him. To. Come. He. Did not. Come. He did. Not. Come. Her Tom. Her dear. Dear. Tom. Did not come. Though. She asked. Him. To come. Tom. Did not. Come. Though. She asked him. To come. Her Tom. Her dear. Dear Tom. Did not. Come. Tom. Who did not. Come.

                She. Should not. Have asked. Him. To come. He did. Not. Come.

Damn, imagine if everybody speaks like that in real life. This experimental story appeared in Free Press (1933). During his submission to Free Press, he explained that “I am experimenting with a new form, and I think it is, at least, interesting. I am working against staidness, against mustiness of form. I desire freshness, new vigor.”⁽³⁾ It surely wasn’t staid and musty at all, was it? He ended his statement with a conclusion saying “You don’t have to like this new story, but I wish you would give it a hearing.”⁽³⁾ in spite of the story’s appearance on Free Press, the staff didn’t like the story. But I guess they didn’t like it because, according to Villa, “There was no mind behind the editor, ”⁽¹⁾

There are too many authors out in the world to be admired of and too many of their works to be learned; I’m glad I could proudly claim that, although not many, a few talented writers of Filipino blood such as the likes of Jose Garcia Villa and Nick Joaquin (one incredible writer as well and the only considered contemporary by Villa) are capable of soaring, if not competing, with the finest world class writers.

 


 

⁽¹⁾Interview with Doreen Fernandez appeared on “The Writer and His Milieu”.

⁽²⁾Copy of “First a Poem be Magical” courtesy of “Philippine Literatures: Texts, Themes, Approaches” By Augusto Antonio Aguila, Joyce L. Arriola & John Jack G Wigley, UST Publishing House, 2008.

⁽³⁾Copy of “She Asked Him To Come” and Villa’s statement courtesy of Free Press, 1933, appeared on the book “The Writer and His Milieu” by Doreen Fernandez.

Act of Kindness and Charity Work amidst Realms of Destruction

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

(Qtd Leon Edel, Henry James: A Life, 1972)

I think we all once thought to ourselves, ‘I want to make a difference’ while the camera zooms dramatically in our dreamy face with an unrealistically inspiring background music. I’ve always dreamed of my older self helping the unfortunate people turn their dreams to reality. Not that I want to be popular and honored for good deeds but, at least once in my life, just because I wanted to and because I think that is what’s righteous. The most common problem is – like any goal we set ourselves to – we face difficulties fulfilling them. And on that note, how do we start making a difference?

I’ve listed below a few helpful and effective guideline to paving your way in helping people in need:

One of the most valuable characteristics of acquiring the will and initiative to do good things is having a sublime, pure and divine heart and soul that sympathize with the rest of less fortunate ones. And that alone, I believe, is a lot better than what countless money could make. But of course, a dream would never come true with the absence of physical action.

 

We wouldn’t always have to jump on to bigger spectacles to wow spectators; most of the time a huge success comes from smaller achievements (I know most of you probably knew this concept but it’s still better to instill the thought to our youngsters). We can always start with baby steps like for example: doing household chores! Helping mom pick up the grocery; doing the dishes; mopping the floor and so on and so forth. With those little initiatives, who would dare say you made no difference at all?

Next, we may want to set a mission and vision to improve the quality of our service and as well not to lose path to what we really wanted to do in the first place – which is to help.

Thirdly, setting a target group of people could help us decide on what difference we fit to make. Start questions with do we want to help improve our community? Or should we begin with schoolmates and coworkers? With this option, we lessen the burden of choosing certain things – because, honestly, there are thousand and million ways to show people how much we care for them. Who knows? Maybe you’ve got a hidden talent to teaching children. For starters, you and your friends could set up a summer camp, or any camp for that matter, and tutor neighborhood kids school subjects and musical instruments for free.

Money. Who says money is everything? I do. Well, partly, I do. The moment we decided to up our A game and move on to the next level, we would need a reasonable amount of money for funding needs.

 

Fifth, building up a community of people having the same interest as you is an important factor. Connections are always a good thing. Having them can help you promote and widen you little advocacy and/or charity. However, bear in mind that feeding off of them is another thing. Never use having connections for one’s own vanity.

Lastly, just because something is written and published on the internet doesn’t mean they’re accountable.

Who said the outlined tips are the exact relevant steps we must do in order to fulfill this goal? Who said a simple article wrote by someone you don’t know is reliable? Don’t believe to anything I’ve said earlier.

Wait, WHAT?

Disregard everything. I’m telling you to never believe hear-says that easy. From this moment, start questioning people, and everything around you. Let your mind wander into the brightest jungle of ideas. Trust yourself. Build a concrete confidence in you – that’s where the motivation and strength to achieving your goals starts. Because there is no exact recipe or magic spell in fulfilling them. Because the most important thing behind making a difference would come directly from you and from what your heart is telling you. Only you can know what you should and should not do. Never let anything stand between you and your will. When you decided to do good things for people, do it anyway without the hassle of rules. And to quote a master herself:

“Setting rules is one thing. Following them is another thing. But soaring against the wind is something.”

(Danica Aquino: The Dirty Diaries, 2015)

Danica, enough with the blab, you’re not even an expert.

I know I’m not, but who is? And do we really have to be an expert before helping each other out?

I’m closing this post with a single challenge for you and myself as well. Because I believe that all of us have a soft side – a personality that is masked by bitterness and unwelcome realms of this material world – I challenge you to do a single, at least, act of kindness each day. May it be giving a problematic friend an uplifting piece of advice or flashing a sweet smile to people, even strangers, you come across with. Write them in a notebook and read it weekly or depending how often you want. It will surely bring you the inspiration to continue doing acts of kindness, and not to mention the cheesy smile on your face. 🙂

With love,
Danica Aquino

 

 

*photos courtesy of Google images search engine | click image to view original source*

You Are Who Your Idols Are

“Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” There’s no denying that most of us have heard of this famous line–some believe it but some have doubts. Now, this can be related to who people idolize. I’ll tell you how.

Justin Bieber, One Direction, Miley Cyrus and many other young celebrities are being idolized by most teenagers out there. If asked why, they will probably tell you that it is because they are HOT or TALENTED or GORGEOUS. While others will say they are their INSPIRATION. No second thought, it is true. Celebrities have something to be idolized for may it be from physical attributes or their talents but fans have underlying reasons that not all may literally notice why they became fans in the first place.

For example, you are looking up to Miley Cyrus. The majority thinks that Cyrus has gone insane, trashy and stupid but for you, she is a woman with pure talent, confidence and beauty that every woman should have. You look up to that certain person not only because of the obvious reasons. It’s safe to say that you imagine yourself as your idol. Because your idol has talents, that person has become an outlet of who you want to be or what talents you want to have. Because your idol has confidence, that person has become an outlet of your inner confidence which you can’t show in your own personal life.

Coming from my personal experience, I’ve been looking up to this particular celebrity for almost ten years now. It started from an interest, then it developed to (kind of) obsession which led to this undying passionate support for the ones I idolize. I channel my inner personality through them and think that I could relate a lot to my idol.  Not only this person is talented and achiever but also have become an inspiration of who and what kind of person I want to be.

Also, I’ve witnessed how fans behave relates to their idol’s behavior. If they see celebrities act bitchy and obnoxious, fans tend to behave the same. If they see celebrities being inspirational and respectful to people, fans tend to treat others just the same. That is why these so-called “Idols” influence fans in many ways and they are making a huge impact on our generation today.

I also wanted to point out that we shouldn’t underestimate these celebrities – whether a good influence or not – since they contribute a huge impact on our generation, especially those who look up to them.

You are who your idols are; I think no further explanations are needed to make people understand what the statement is trying to mean.