Lesson Learned


AFTER the success of her best-selling books “Parang Kayo, Pero Hindi” and “Buti Pa Ang Roma May Bagong Papa,” Noringai produces another book that is certainly a must-read, “The Goodbye Girl,” (Noreen Capili & Anvil Publishing, Inc., Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 2015, 112). I had the chance to read this third book of hers in paperback and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

“Kapag hindi ka mahal ng taong mahal mo, ikaw iyong letter E sa word na LOVE. Nandyan ka pero hindi pino-pronounce (Noringai, 2015).”

Lately, buzzes about Wattpad stories have been circulating around the country with the rise of movies and TV shows based on them. Wattpad was just a domain before, serving as a platform for writers at heart to share their works publicly with fellow writers and readers. But, with the aforementioned buzzes, Wattpad has become a stepping-stone for aspiring writers who wanted to make a name for themselves. Noringai or Noreen Capili was one of them – a BA Creative Writing graduate from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, who is currently writing teleplays and screenplays for a living.

“The Goodbye Girl” is an inspirational book especially written for those who suffers from this thing called love – those who loved with their all but ended up taken for granted, hurt, left behind and even forgotten. Noringai introduces readers to the five types of the “goodbye girl”: the invisible girl, the other girl, the heartbroken girl, the bitter girl and finally, the new girl. “The Goodbye Girl” is a book about heartaches, heartbreaks and moving on. It is about the broken heart. It is a compilation of real life stories of pain experienced from loving someone with the hope that readers can find comfort, hope and humor in every essay and make them realize that what they are feeling may be universal but temporary.

“Wala tayo sa pelikula. This is reality. And in reality, kapag umalis ako, hahayaan mo lang ako (Noringai, 2015).”

I’m not usually a reader of this kind of books but I must say that I actually enjoyed the experience. Noringai has her special way of storytelling. She writes in a very conversational manner, and effortlessly inserts wit and humor to her writings.

Even topics as heavy as the matters of the heart is conveyed very lightly without having to compromise the content. She makes even the most painful of memories laughable but still very relatable. Even with the bombarding of “hugot” lines and funny antiques, “The Goodbye Girl” is still thought provoking and striking in an exceptionally unpredictable way of putting things into perspective. The book will certainly leave you feeling light-hearted, encouraged and even a better person after reading it. She writes with such skill that her words will reassure you that you are absolutely not alone in this world whatever it is that you are feeling. And in whatever it is that you are confronted with, there is always hope.

“Kung ito lang ang paraan to make the pain stop, to help you cope with depression, then by all means, magpaka-bitter ka (Noringai, 2015).”

What I find very notable about the book is how it conveys its message. Yes, it is an inspirational book but it didn’t feel like it. Readers won’t really feel that they were being lead to a solution or a realization, but instead, it feels natural. The presentation of the message is smooth and light, but very moving. That is something that is hard to do and I admire Noringai for being able to do that in this book. “The Goodbye Girl” may be very easygoing, but it is very helpful.

“The Goodbye Girl,” sold at only P185, is greatly recommended for those who are currently in a very difficult situation in their love lives – those who are going through tough times with the matters of the heart. It’s also a good read for those who have gone through same situations or those who know people who are going through the same hardships. This book will positively help you start anew.



Spotlight: Pangako Sa’yo Remake

AMIDST the sea of ABS-CBN remakes such as “Mara Clara” (2010) and “Bituing Walang Ningning” (2006), now comes another version of one of the best teleseryes of all time – “Pangako Sa’yo” (2015).


This 2015, a remake of the great “Pangako Sa’yo,” first aired in 2000, was launched and is expected to make people swoon with one of the most loved love stories of all time. It was dubbed the first “teleserye” on Philippine television, previously starring one of the Philippine’s favorite on-and-off-screen tandem back then, Jericho Rosales (Angelo Buenavista) and Kristine Hermosa (Yna Macaspac). It had a huge following, which made it ran for 426 episodes a.k.a. two long but promising years. The original, with a captivating storyline and exquisite casting, which also included Eula Valdez (Amor Powers), Jean Garcia (Madam Claudia) and Tonton Gutierez (Eduardo Buenavista), was truly unforgettable and iconic. With this, the remake is really something that is much anticipated by the Filipino fans.


The “Pangako Sa’yo” Remake (2015), directed by Rory Quintos, Dado Lumibao and Olivia M. Lamasan, is a modern retelling of a great Filipino love story that revolves around Amor, Eduardo, Claudia, and their children Yna and Angelo, whose paths crossed because of love, poverty, power and vengeance. It stars this generation’s hottest loveteam, the teen king and queen themselves, Kathryn Bernardo (Yna Macaspac) and Daniel Padilla (Angelo Buenavista), alongside with Jodi Sta. Maria (Amor Powers), Angelica Panganiban (Madam Claudia) and Ian Veneracion (Eduardo Buenavista). With the cast alone, it is undeniable that this version is really something to look out for and it is continually proving that it really is.


Watching some episodes, I had a glimpse of what this remake has to offer. KathNiel may certainly be the first choice to re-animate the characters of Kristine and Echo, considering how they have come to grow in the industry, garnering a huge following amongst the Filipino masses. The fact that “Pangako Sa’yo” aired after the popular Forevermore (2014) may also be a factor, since the ratings of the LizQuen tandem is something to, if not to beat, to maintain. KathNiel was seen in various projects already, so people have set high expectations from the two. I was impressed with Daniel Padilla’s acting, clearly he has grown in his field. I was expecting him to be like his uncle, Robin Padilla, who has this certain “macho vibe” going on whatever role he is portraying, but no, Daniel Padilla turned out to be more versatile. On the other hand, I was disappointed with Kathryn Bernardo. I expected so much of her since she literally grew up in the industry, but all she is doing is “pabebe” acting, which could be really annoying at some point. Jodi Sta. Maria is doing well, proving that she really is a versatile actress. However, sometimes, I can’t help but get a shadow of a character she portrayed for quite a long time – Maya, from “Please Be Careful With My Heart.” Angelica Panganiban, with her natural comedic demeanor, is bringing something new to the table and is really owning her character as Madam Claudia. Ian Veneracion, appearance-wise, is really dreamy with looks girls would really go gaga for. Acting-wise, Ian’s interpretation of Eduardo feels quite promising. In terms of technicalities, it is the cinematography which is really noteworthy. It is clear that the show has stepped up in that aspect. Editing is also well-done despite the fact that it could be really demanding at that since it is shown daily. Audio-wise, the sound is crisp and clear. In terms of storyline, this version brings more depth. It also has tweaked the original story, bringing changes that would really appeal to this generation’s viewers.

From the cast to the storyline, to the cinematography, to the twists and turns, indeed this version of the iconic “Pangako Sa’yo” is something the television viewers of today will really appreciate.


Spotlight: The Love Affair (A Movie Review)

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Star Cinema producing movies like No Other Woman, The Secret Affair and The Mistress, now comes up with The Love Affair. Is the trend still going on?

What can we expect from a movie directed by the same person who directed The Secret Affair? Is it any different?

This year, Star Cinema presents The Love Affair, a story that revolves around a family issue very apparent nowadays. Vince (Richard Gomez), a renowned neurosurgeon, realizing that his wife, Trisha (Dawn Zulueta) has been cheating on him with his best friend, Greg (Tonton Gutierez), tried to ease the pain with a weekend sailing hobby, where he got to know Adrianne (Bea Alonzo), a lawyer who is also nurturing a broken heart. With their vulnerability, Vince and Adrianne, upon spending time and getting to know each other, developed a budding relationship, putting everyone on a difficult situation. Trisha, wanting to save the marriage, does all she can to fight for it, including a confrontation with Adrianne.

The Love Affair is very much anticipated among Filipino fans with the comeback of the ‘eternal love team’ of a popular tandem in the 90’s, the CharDawn, who also used to date back then. After their comeback teleserye Walang Hanggan back in 2012, much to

the delight of their fans, young and old, Richard and Dawn once again played husband and wife in a Star Cinema romantic drama, along with one of this generation’s most prominent actresses, Bea Alonzo. With the direction of Nuel Naval, who directed The Secret Affair (2012) and some of the biggest teleseryes of ABS-CBN, which includes Magkaribal (2010) and Krystala (2004), who designed the productions of some of the biggest movies including Milan (2004) and Anak (2000) and also acted a little in movies like In My Life (2009), You Got Me! (2007), and Milan (2004), much is expected from the movie.

I’m very glad to say that I like how the movie diverted from a typical infidelity theme. Rather than focus on the issue of infidelity, the movie revolved more on the family itself. The theme of infidelity served as an entry point to many other issues we face in reality such as issues in family and one’s self. How these issues unfolded in the movie was outstanding.

Nuel Naval’s interpretation of the script carried the movie through along with the incredible acting chops of Dawn Zulueta and Bea Alonzo, despite the awkward acting demeanor of Richard Gomez. Jane Oineza and Grey Fernandez did a pretty satisfactory job as well portraying the kids, while Manolo Pedrosa, the middle child, needed more work. Other supporting roles also did well acting-wise.

The film was really remarkable in terms of the technicalities from the preparations, locations, production designs, shots and the sound. The pulse of the editing

was notable as well. It amplified the story telling. The sound was crisp and clear. The shots really helped in conveying the tension of each scene. The production design was on point, of course what can you expect from a production headed by Nuel Naval, a renowned production designer? The storyline is okay, though it missed out on establishing the friendship of Vince and Greg, which could have brought about more justice to the gravity of the pain that compelled him to punish his wife, Trisha. I also thought that Trisha’s reaction to the tragedy wasn’t enough. It did not establish the severity of the situation. The effect of the situation to the children should also have been illustrated with more emphasis.

The film clearly explained the reasons behind marital conflicts, yet the resolution need not be the same as how the film ended. It is just an option. The actual resolution should spring out from actual events and considerations for everyone involved.

This film is highly recommended for family viewing, because this paints a realistic picture of one of the major problems that the modern families are confronted with.


Spotlight: DNA (A Movie Review)


Just recently, our Facebook feeds were flooded by articles exposing similar themes between some of our local movies and some of the known foreign films, instigating conversations among the population. What do we get from these issues?

From the breakout of movies in the 1870’s, being visual creatures, movies have been a huge part of every person’s lives. They have been there throughout the years, continuously catering to us. Therefore, it is not very shocking to notice similar themes among them. One of the trending ones would be the resemblance between “The Breakup Playlist” (2015) and “Begin Again” (2013), which brought out numerous debates and exposing more films with parallels. But, little did we know that these issues are not new at all.

Recently, I’ve watched this movie entitled “DNA”, a movie released in the year 1997. It’s a sci-fi action movie directed by William R. Mesa, who is long considered one of the most innovative visual directors in the industry. This is why his direction of a sci-fi movie like “DNA” was really something to look out for. The screenplay was written by Nick Davis, also is distinguished in visual effects. Apparently, it was a surprise for everyone that the movie succeeded because it stole bits and pieces of nearly every monster movie created around twenty years prior to the movie – evidence that issues about comparisons between movies have always been there even before the rise of social media. However, up to this day, it was also the last movie William Mesa ever directed and Nick Davis ever wrote.

The plot revolves around a fervent tribal doctor, Ash Mattley (Mark Dacascos), who runs a provincial clinic in Sarawak, Borneo while trying to cultivate an immunity-boosting enzyme found only in certain rare beetles. He is confronted with his rival mad scientist, Carl Wessinger (Jürgen Prochnow), who discovered how to extract DNA from the bones of a creature buried among the ruins of a forgotten civilization, reviving a nasty alien skeleton named Balacau. Ash teamed up with a CIA operative, Claire Sommers (Robin McKee) and an intelligent native boy, Matzu (Thomas Taus, Jr.) to stop Wessinger from selling Balacau for use as a biological weapon for wars.

From the poster, to the first few scenes of the movie, it was undeniable that it was somewhat inspired by “Raiders of The Lost Ark,” the first installment of Indiana Jones released back in 1981. The storyline was way too similar, with the main character braving an ancient place to retrieve something so important that he would be confronted with an indigenous tribe and a rival, who is also good in the same field. There is also a monster, which chases the cast through various dim, groveling passages like the so-called beast in “Alien” (1979), which it also resembles. This creature also occasionally uses the camouflaging ability of the monster in “Predator” (1987). These are just three things that were stolen from the many movies that inspired the making of “DNA”.

Apart from the likeness of the picture from many other flicks created prior to its production, there are still many things that got me hooked to it. First and foremost, the weird cast. I consider it weird for it casts a lot of familiar faces that are very known doing different things today. The movie casts Mark Dacascos, who is seen nowadays in Iron Chef America, portraying the role of the chairman. It also casts Jürgen Prochnow, who is known today as Andre Vernet from the Da Vinci Code. And since it was shot in the Philippines, the movie casts Filipinos. It was weird seeing prominent stars like Joel Torre and Susan Africa acting in English because I know for a fact that they are Filipino actors. Also, the team-up of Mark Dacascos and Robin McKee as Dr. Ash Mattley and Claire Sommers, gives me a ‘Tarzan meets Taylor Swift vibe’ just by their appearance in the movie, because nowadays a manly, long, wavy, brown hair like his and a long, blonde bob like hers is often tied up with Tarzan and Taylor Swift.

I also found the movie very entertaining because of many other different things. Another reason would be the inconsistency and predictability in acting, which made the movie so unrealistic. This is also the reason why the heavy drama parts come across as hilarious. The language used is very inconsistent especially among the indigenous tribes. One moment they are speaking their native tongue, needing translators, the next moment, they are already speaking English. Shockers, just like the other action scenes, seem very compulsory, which made it appear so scripted. Many elements in the movie were not established. Many things appear from nowhere. The flow of the storyline was problematic. The narrative was not smooth at all. What were commendable though were the visual effects. What can you expect from a team up of two renowned people from that aspect? Imagining the technology back then, having produced such is really notable.

“DNA” is highly recommended for family viewing and for friends who wants to have a good time. It would be fun to watch the movie with people you are very comfortable with. Enjoy and laugh until tears start running out from your eyes!

-jooleeyuuh ❤

Spotlight: Paramore by Paramore



Paramore is back and it’s here to stay!

After a long wait for the new album, it has finally arrived. I was curious about the direction Paramore would be taking on their latest effort and now it’s finally here. I can very much say that it is better than ever!

Paramore released its self-titled album in April 5, 2013. It is the first full-length album of the American rock band Paramore after the departure of co-founders Josh Farro and Zac Farro in 2010. And can I just say… I love it so much!

The album was described by the band as being a “statement”, a reintroduction of the band to the world and to themselves. It was a commercial success, topping the charts in many different countries. Paramore received universal commendation from music critics, who applauded the band’s maturity and experimentation in terms of musicianship.

Paramore went through many challenges. Many criticisms have been sprawling against this album and I find them very ridiculous. One of the things the album is criticized for is for being “pop”. As a fan of the band, I cannot believe that people criticize it for being “pop”. I mean, the only pop song in the album is ‘Still Into You’! Anyhow, people may argue that it is not their best but it is amazing. In fact, I can say that this is definitely one of the best albums I have heard this year. It is indeed a masterpiece! Paramore feels far more human and sincere than anything the band has ever made. It’s definitely one of the finest music these three artists–vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis have committed to tape to date. Paramore feels so penetrating yet so intimate.

As a full record, Paramore certainly isn’t for everyone. However, there’s certainly something for everyone. There will be some Paramore fans upset with their departure from teen rock, but this album brings a more creative and experimental sound to their discography. The new flavor is brilliant. The sound is so diverse. There’s more than just guitars and electronica: there are ukuleles, string sections, harmonicas and even a gospel choir. The variety is so refreshing. The musicianship is solid. The drums were so much better than the previous album. The sequencing of the songs and the interludes were impeccable. The transitions from the soft moods to a sudden return of pace were marvelous. And not to mention Hayley Williams’ immaculate voice! The album highlighted Hayley’s vocal prowess. There’s also something exceptional with their lyrics. There’s soul. There’s more to them than just music. It reflected something within. Many songs reflected on their troubles with Farros, declarations of moving on and willingness to try new things. After all the drama Paramore’s confronted with over the last three years, they’ve come out the other side as a multi-dimensional band who’s willing to push their own borders, marking their greatest artistic statement. All of the tracks are fun to listen to and are very fluid. It is a great album.

There are two types of bands in this world: Those who evolve and those who change. Paramore’s self-titled album is a prime example of what happens when a band changes. It is a bold step. This may not be what we were expecting and may not be the Paramore that we’ve come to know and love, but they are on the journey of discovering who they really are, and this album may stand as an important step on that path. Overall, it’s hard to say anything cumulatively negative about the album. It’s not perfect, no, but it’s pretty darn close. Paramore has shown a tremendous growth with each album: from kids on Falling, to teens on Riot!, to young adults on Brand New Eyes, and finally to adults on Paramore. It’s amazing to see that from good albums, they make great ones.

I highly recommend this album. It shows maturity, growth, and more feeling. I hope for more albums like this in the future. 🙂


Release information about the album

Release Date: 04/09/2013

Tracks in Paramore: Fast In My Car, Now, Grow Up, Daydreaming, Interlude: Moving On, Ain’t It Fun, Part II, Last Hope, Still Into You, Anklebiters, Interlude: Holiday, Proof, Hate To See Your Heart Break, (One Of Those) Crazy Girls, Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore, Be Alone, Future, Bonus Tracks, Native Tongue, Escape Route



WOTL: Miriam’s Greatest Hits, dissected. – The story behind the face of strong femininity.

Underneath the strong façade of a courageous woman, there lies a story, a history that molded the woman she is today.

The video, WOTL: Miriam’s Greatest Hits, posted in YouTube last February 22, 2012 by tv5theeveningnews showed a compilation of Miriam’s greatest hits. It collected her statements which have left a big mark in our minds and which have made a big impact in our country.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago, born Miriam Palma Defensor on June 15, 1945, is Judge-elect of the International Criminal Court and a member of the Senate of the Philippines. She became globally famous because of her courageous and brilliant crusade against corruption in the Philippines. As a result, at 43, she was named Laureate of the Asian Nobel Prize, known as the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. She was cited “for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.”

Speaking of this very respectable lady, we would all think about the distinctive manner of how she presents herself and how powerful she relays what’s on her mind. Miriam was widely featured because of her charisma, flamboyant personality, and her signature witticisms. The video is an actual illustration of the kind of woman Miriam is. Looking at how she behaves, when she’s not feeling very good about what’s going on, we would see a wild monster in her, a character who truly hates imperfection, one who has very high regard for excellence. When she is at her light moments, she seems to be a best friend material. Looking at the contrast on how she behaves on two opposite moods, it is apparent that Miriam Defensor-Santiago is a normal human being who simply reacts to circumstances bluntly without hesitation.

“May amats ata si Miriam”, the video would say. “May amats”, another term Filipinos use for “may tama” or “may sira” or “may deperensya”, meaning she might be crazy or out of her mind or mad, because of the way she acts, the way she speaks and the way she does things. Little do we know that digging deeper, there might be something about her that turned her into the person she is today. There is a story beneath the image that she chooses to live with.

In an article written for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in their site, http://www.rmaf.org.ph, Miriam as a child is said to have learned to come off strong at an early age. Being the eldest daughter among seven children of a district trial judge and a school teacher, much is expected from her. She was raised to be excellent. She managed to excel in everything she set her mind into. Young as she was, she learned to take charge early in life. As an intelligent child, she was running the household well before she was out of grade school. Her mother, a career woman then, eschewed housework, saw responsibility for the daily marketing, supervised the family’s untrained village maids and made sure that the Defensor brood arrived on time and well-scrubbed for weekly catechism classes. Discipline was her mother’s byword, and young Miriam came to recognize her authoritarian, achievement-oriented environment as “the natural working of the universe.” Her mother had long since instilled in Miriam a drive to fill every moment with worthy activity. This drive propelled her into a life of super-achievement.

Her childhood has made a big influence on how she handles and treats circumstances in her personal life and even on our country today. The person Miriam is today is just the result of the past; there is nothing abnormal about it, considering that every individual has a past from which the present is derived from. Miriam’s past just happened to be a constructive one, having developed her to a very confident individual, who never feels inferior in the presence of powerful men.

“Hay naku, ang boring talaga ng buhay pag wala si Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.” This statement was said and was emphasized in the video, WOTL: Miriam’s Greatest Hits, where all her most memorable lines were presented. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, being one of the few women in politics, understood well that she has a message to relay to the public. She is assertive in presenting her ideas and achievements for she stands tall and believes in her cause, thus making her one of the favorites of the media. Miriam became the darling of the press, both national and international. The media, who have a crucial and increasing role in shaping the image of politicians, did not act as mere mirrors of the social and cultural traditional patterns, but also have become an agent of change. Miriam has become an object of change, being the person that she is, women in politics were given a voice. How the integration of women into politics strengthen democracy was understood by the media, therefore having the crucial and increasing role in the democratic process, have become more open to the concerns of the female politicians and have tried to convey their messages in all possible ways. A fairer image of women politicians was promoted more and more.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago is truly a face of strong femininity. In the descriptive aspect of femininity, she considers herself at par with men, demanding equal rights. She has her own perspective on ideas and beliefs about how culture can be and should be different. She has her set of goals, ideals, and visions.

Miriam, as a person, represents women of power. She is an embodiment of excellence and an icon of a strong Filipina. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago truly made a big impact in our society.

Watching her video clips, we would initially have a negative impression of the kind of person she is. Basing on the fact that she is a public figure, no matter how high her standards in excellence may be, it is yet unacceptable for her to name call people, because just like her, every individual has a past that affected the person that they are.

Nobody is perfect just like her, that is why calling people “gago”, “bobo” and the likes would never be acceptable, in fact it is a violation of a person’s reputation, some sort of a character assassination. One’s excellence and perfection never put her in the position to judge and humiliate others, considering the fact that we are created with individual differences. Her position and achievements do not make her any better than anyone else, basing on the principles of equality among men. She is in fact expected to set good examples, being an iconic female figure who has all the power to make an impact and take part in making the world a better place. If she would only uphold God’s words and grace in her daily walk, she could even be a lot better than the powerful woman that she is right now.

How actions define character: A reflection about Hell Screen, by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Hell Screen, based on research, is a short story written by Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. It was originally published in 1918 as a serialization in two newspapers. It was later published in a collection of Akutagawa short stories, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke zenshū. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_Screen)

Hell Screen revolves around a character named Yoshihide, who was said to be the greatest painter in the land. The artist was described as someone who can be really obsessive and frenzied towards what he does – his art. He would overlook and disregard everything in trying to make his pictures as perfect as possible. He would do anything just to show his excellence. For example, in making the hell screen he would even make his apprentices torture themselves for he could not effectively paint anything he has not seen. According to him, he could not paint anything for which a model is lacking;  there is a lack of conviction. Some of these models include one of his apprentices being pounced in the face by the claws of an owl (part 10), another apprentice bound with a chain, naked (part 8) and the commotion between the owl and the snake (part 11) . These events give some ideas of Yoshihide’s madness.   However, Yoshihide’s not all harsh and evil. He also has a human weakness, a soft spot for someone dear to him. He truly cares about his daughter, Yuzuki, the one important person in his life. He’s not thrilled that she is a lady-in-waiting at the court of the lord of Horikawa, so when the lord offers him anything he wishes, he asks that his daughter be released from his service, but the lord of Horikawa refused. The lord eventually ordered Yoshihide to paint a screen delineating hell. Yoshihide had a little trouble in envisioning a good deal of the horror, so he began inflicting agonies to his apprentices. Later on, he wished to have someone burned in a carriage for his centerpiece, so he can finish the screen. He discussed it with the lord. He got what he wished for, but of course, it came with an appropriately gruesome twist. He painted the final detail on the screen with the horrendous burning of his loving daughter and her monkey right there before his eyes. The story ended with the marvelously hideous screen completed, and Yoshihide’s suicide.

Yoshihide was introduced in the story describing how great he is as a painter. In part 2 of the text, it is said that he is a famous painter surpassed by no contemporary. However physically, he was considered as someone who does not have so much of a deal for his looks, for he is a man of a short stature and a bag of skin and bones, as also mentioned in part 2. He is also described as having unnaturally red lips for such an old man. This was somewhat emphasized in the text. This youthful red lips of his was said to bring an evil vibe for its as if he was some sort of an animal. This is also a reason why others who are more unkind compare him with monkeys for they say he looks and moves like a monkey. This is how his nickname “monkey hide” came about. He was described to be a man who is very unpleasant to look at or mingle with.

As to Yoshihide’s character, he was described as someone who is very harsh and cruel in dealing with people. In part 4, he is illustrated as someone who is shameless, lazy, bad-tempered, contemptuous and greedy. He disliked religion and the rituals. He despised everything, even the customs and amenities of society. As we go along the body of the text, it can be concluded that some of his very evident traits were his insolence and arrogance, as the text was broken into events that would really define who he is and how far he would discredit beliefs. The story also mentioned details on how Yoshihide is “sacrilegeous in his work”. As I mentioned in my 2nd paragraph, he could really be mad as depicted by his art. He is not accepted. He is disliked. He is hated. As told in part 3 of the text, he is very repellant because of his appearance and his habits. However, no one was to blame for his unpopularity but himself.

Yoshihide is described very negatively in the story. Yet, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa chose to create a soft spot of Yoshihide – his love of his only daughter, Yuzuki, a charming 15-year-old girl, quite unlike her father, was at that time a maid in Horikawa, as said in part 2 of the text. In part 5 of the text, it is told that He would even provide kimono and pins for his daughter with a reckless disregard of cost. This is such an incredible thing for a man who never gave donation to a temple. In the last part of the story where his daughter was burned for the completion of his work – the Hell Screen, it is said that on the night of the day following the completion of the painting of the screen, he hanged himself by putting a rope over the beam of his room for he who survived the untimely and heart breaking death of his only beloved daughter could no longer find it in his heart to live.

One’s character and personality cannot be defined by merely looking at his general behavior. It is usually the opposite of one’s truest self that only appears to be one’s façade to protect one’s soft spot and vulnerability.

Going back to the story. In the case of Yoshihide, throughout the story, he appeared to be heartless and cruel. The text showed different events of his life, which resulted to seeing him as someone vicious. However, his innermost self became apparent, when he was caught in a situation where he was left with no choice. He couldn’t do anything but suffer the consequence of his radical and unconventional way of extracting brilliant and matchless creative ideas, which caused him the life of his dearly beloved daughter.

There had been a twist in his character as his ideals and rights were violated with the lord’s way of giving him what he wanted at his own expense; the burning of his dearly beloved daughter in a carriage which is what he requested to serve as an inspiration for his art.

In conclusion, we could never judge one’s character with the way he generally deals with people but with his inner most self.

How techniques affect meaning: An analysis of Jose Garcia Villa’s Poems

An Analysis of Jose Garcia Villa’s poems- And If the Heart Can Not Love, When I Was No Bigger Than A Huge, First, A Poem Must Be Magical, Lyric 17 and Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant



Jose Garcia Villa, being the first Filipino National Artist for literature and an award-winning poet not just here in Philippines but also in the United States, is known for his “reversed consonance rime scheme” style in writing poetry, wherein, according to Villa: “The last sounded consonants of the last syllable, or the last principal consonant of a word, are reversed for the corresponding rhyme. Thus, a rhyme for near would be run; or rain, green, reign.” He is also popular for his extensive use of punctuation marks, most especially commas. He puts commas after every word, making the reader pause for every word, resulting in slowing the pace of poem. This leads to what Villa called “a lineal dignity of pace and movement“.

A Comma Poet, he is known, with a “ lineal dignity of pace of movement” as his personal take on poetry. What does this phrase really means? How does is principle affect our approach to poetry?

For this paper, I have decided to make an analysis on five of his great works: And If the Heart Can Not Love, When I Was No Bigger Than A Huge, First, A Poem Must Be Magical, Lyric 17 and Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant. These poems exhibit his unusual style in writing poetry, thus giving us a whole new approach in reading poetry. In this paper, I would be analyzing the poems one by one to see what differences his style made on taking poetry.

First: And If the Heart Can Not Love. This poem is one of the first works of Jose Garcia Villa. This poem is a poem about love where the persona talks about things that could happen if the heart cannot love. According to the poem, if the heart cannot love, it becomes hopelessly insensitive to all the beauty that surrounds it. I look at this poem with passion for poetry for in the way Villa has written it, it brings us to the realization that it is not the heart that molds love, it is love that gives significance to the heart. It also gives the idea that he believes strongly to the saying, “it is better to have love and lost, than never to have loved at all”. The poem is presented in a very direct manner. It started the poem with the condition, “And if the heart can not love,” followed by multiple possibilities or effects that could take place if the heart cannot love. The technique he used in this poem made it very simple for the readers to decode the over-all meaning of the poem. The imageries and the figures of speech used were not very complex. His style of writing this poem gave way to the emotion of the poem. It was really evident. The sorrow was felt intensively. He simplified the  poem as a whole to highlight the deeper meaning of the poem; to focus on the weight of emotion presented by the poem.

Secondly, we focus on another poem he had written: When I Was No Bigger Than A Huge. This poem is published in Jose Garcia Villa’s second anthology of poems. This poem is about the persona who is in the midst of reminiscing, as suggested in it’s first line, “When,I,was,no,bigger,than,a,huge.” The second line, “Star,in,my,self,I,began,to,write,” suggests that the persona is maybe in he’s middle age already for it used a star- a star within him. This could suggest that he has reached the point in his life that he has become wise; he has experienced a lot. The fact that that the first line ended with ‘huge’ and the second line started with ‘Star’ emphasizes the difference from then and now, that the persona before is nothing compared to his current state. Noticing the that it is after all a ‘my self’ and not a ‘myself’ shows that the second line is a definition of the persona’s current existence. The next three lines, “My, Theology, Of, rose, and,” leads us to his internalization. The choice of words, the imageries and the figures of speech connected the poem to the Divine. The poem,  as a whole, could be seen as a person’s rediscovery of one’s self, after years of being self-indulgent, and confirmation of the capabilities innate in all of us, overcoming self-doubt and unshakable beliefs. The poem is one of the poems of Villa’s that are classifies as a “Comma Poem.” It is presented in a manner wherein the reader is exposed to an unusual way of reading and/or writing poetry. The structure Jose Garcia Villa had chosen to present the poem, where he placed commas after every word, most of the time without the space as expected, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of the theme and the message of the poem. The technique of dividing the words may lead to a multitude of interpretations.  The commas did not only work as a tool of adjusting the poem’s verbal density and mundane movement, it also gave each word a fuller tonal value, allowing the more precise line movement.

Next, we focus on First, A Poem Must Be Magical. The poem is a presentation of the characteristics of a great poem. Basically, it is an instructional poem about writing a poem. Like the first poem we focused on, it is presented in a direct manner wherein it already stated its main point on the first line clearly that a poem must be magical. Then other characteristics in connection with being magical followed. Notice that the structure of the poem has the traditional rhyme scheme of two consecutive lines: A, A, B, B, C, C, D, D, E, E, F, F, G, G. The imageries, choices of words and figures of speech suggested literal meanings. The structure and the technique made the poem easy to decode. The poem turned out to be an informative one because of the over-all way of writing it.

Then, we go to the fourth poem: Lyric 17. This is a poem is about a persona whou could not see or feel the beauty of life anymore. Unlike the first and the third poem we focused on, this poem is presented in a quite undirected manner. Jose Garcia Villa presented the poem in a specific –to-general structure, wherein he decided to present the things that the persona is undergoing first leading to the over-all conclusion that the persona felt dead. Just like the third poem we analyzed, this poem is written in a structure with the traditional rhyme scheme of two consecutive lines: A, A, B, B, C, C, D, D, E, E, F, F, G, G. Notice that Villa did not finish sentences on every line, instead he divided each sentence into two, presenting the other half of every sentence on succeeding lines connecting them to the first halves of the next sentences. This suggests that Villa is preparing the reader to every revelation of the persona. Though unlike the first and third poem we focused on that it is presented in an undirected manner, like the first and third poems, it is written simply. The technique, the choices of imageries, figures of speech and words are simple. They made it easier for the reader to make sense of the poem as a whole.

Lastly, let us analyze the fifth poem: Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant. This poem, just like the third poem, is somehow instructional and/or informative. The poem is about seeing the importance of little things or creatures in a large world. In this poem, the author did not think of the character of an Antique ant lowly, but instead, he used it as an epitome of what he wants to put across. It is poem suggesting that we should be beautiful, noble and all other characteristics just like the antique ant. It is clear that it uses a commanding tone, suggesting things how can one be like this and that. In terms of structure, it doesn’t follow any conventional form of writing poetry. In some stanzas some lines rhyme, while in some no lines rhyme at all, therefore we can conclude that there really is no rhyme scheme at all. What was very evident in the poem is the use of figures of speech, specifically, metaphor. There were a lot. But though there were a lot of metaphors, the poem wasn’t really hard to understand. The over-all presentation of the poem, though may be quite a mouthful, was quite simple that’s why it is relatively easy to interpret.

Jose Garcia Villa, one of the well-known writers today, really has an eye for poetry. He has a really distinctive take on poetry, which was really evident on all five poems analyzed. His unusual technique and his creative manner of writing and presenting his poems really made a big impact on its readers. In analyzing his poems, the idea that dominated me is that altering the structure of the poem may also result to altering the meaning of the poem. Yes, his poems are unusual, but it is with a purpose. Just like the second poem analyzed. Every comma has a purpose. Putting it after every word has a purpose. The structure, the choices of words, the figures of speech and the imageries all contribute to the over-all meaning of the poem.

Labaw Donggon


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Sa aking unang taon sa kolehiyo, aking nasaksihan ang Labaw Donggon- isang napakagandang dula.

Ang Labaw Donggon ay isang halimbawa ng isang epikong bisaya. Bilang epiko, kinikilala itong isang uri ng panitikan na tumatalakay sa mga kabayanihan at pakikipagunggali ng isang tao laban sa mga kaaway na halos hindi kapani-paniwala dahil sa mga kakaibang tagpuan na puno ng kababalaghan. Bilang epiko, inaasahan ang Labaw Donggon na maging kwento ng ng kabayanihan na punong puno ng mga nakakamamangaha at nakagugulat na mga pangyayari; ito ay isang paglalahad na makabayani.

Ang Labaw Donggon ay kwento ng isang napakakisig na lalaking palaibig; isang romantikong karakter. Si Labaw ay isa sa tatlong anak nina Abyang Alunsina at Buyung Panbari. Naiiba siya dahil nang ipinanganak ito, lumaki ito kaagad. Lumaki siyang matalino, malakas at natuto agad itong magsalita. Siya ay umibig sa tatlong magagandang babae – Sina Anggoy Ginbitan, Anggoy Doroonan, at Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. Sunod-sunod niyang sinuyo at pinakasalan nang walang pag-aalinlangan; nang buo ang loob. Handa niyang gawin ang kahit ano at handa siyang lumaban sa kahit kanino makuha lang mga minumutya. Kaiba sa naunang dalawa, si Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata ay may-asawa. Kasal it kay Buyung Saragnayan. Hindi pumayag si Buyung sa pakiusap ni Labaw, kung kaya’t naglaban sila nito. Nagtagal ang labanan dahil parehong malakas si Buyung at Labaw. Nang mapagod si Labaw, tinali agad ito ni Buyung. Sinabit siya nang parang baboy sa ilalim ng kanilang bahay. Nang mabalitaan ito ng mga anak ni Labaw na sina Baranugan, anak ni Anggoy Doroonan, at Asu Mangga, anak ni Anggoy Ginbitinan, agad silang nagpaalam upang iligtas ang kanilang ama. Dahil sa Lakas ni Buyung, kinailangan nila humingi ng tulong sa mga impakto at sa kanilang lola na si Abyang Alunsina. Sinunod nila ang lahat ng sinabi kung kaya’t nagtagumpay sila sa pagpaslang kay Buyung Saragnayan. Nang mahanap na nila Asu Mangga at Baranugan si Labaw ay nabaliw na ito. Ginamot ito ng kanyang mga asawa paguwi nila.

Kahit ganoon pa man, kahit sa Labaw Donggon ang Bida, mas nagustuhan ko ang karakter ni Buyung Saragnayan. Mas napukaw niya ang atensyon ko’t damdamin, kung kaya’t siya ang naging paborito kong karakter bagamat kaaway ang pagkakakilala sa kanya sa epiko.

Si Buyung Saragnayan ang asawa ni Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. S epiko ipinapakilala siya bilang isang kaaway. Siya’y hadlang sa pag-aasam ni Labaw Donggon na mapangasawa si Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata. Si Buyung Saragnayan ay isang nilalang na napakalakas. Hindi naging madali para kina Labaw Donggon, Asu Mangga at Baranugan ang pakikipagtunggali at pagpapatumba dito.  Maitim man o madilim ang pagpapakilala sa kanya sa epiko, nakuha niya ang aking simpatya. Ito ay sapagkat, para sa aking pananaw, ipinaglalaban lang niya kung ano ang nararapat talaga para sa kanya.

Sa aking palagay, si Buyung Saragnayan ay tumatayong simbolo. Siya ay humahalili sa mga bagay o mg aparte ng pagkatao ni Labaw Donggon na nais niyang malinis. Sa kabilang banda, ang mga nilalang naman na nilabanan ni abaw Donggon, ang mga maiitim na bagay sa dula, ay sumisimbolo naman sa mg aparte ng pagkatao ni Saragnayan.

Si Buyung Saragnayan ang naging daan upang mas makilala ni Labaw Donggon ang kanyang pagkatao. Dahil kay Buyung Saragnayan, napagtanto ni Labaw Donggon ang mga kamalian sa kanyang sarili. Minsann sa buhay, upang may mabuo sa iyong sarili, nararapat na may maguho muna sa iyng sarili. Sa epikong ito, ang elementong ginamit na makapag-guguho sa pagkatao ng pangunahing karakter upang makabuo ng mas mabuting karakter o realisasyon ay si Buyung Saragnayan.

Bakit ba kailangan mamatay ni Buyung Saragnayan?

Sa umpisa pa lang naman, alam na ni Buyung Saragnayan ang kanyang kahahantungan. Alam na niyang siya ay mamatay. Ngunit gayun pa man, pinili pa rin niyang labanan si Labaw Donggn. Ang lahat ng mga pangyayari ay nakalathala na sa tadhana.

Ang kaibahan ng pagnanasa at pag-ibig ay ipina-intindi sa atin ng epiko sa pamamagitan ni Buyung Saragnayan. Malaki ang kaibahan ng dalawang ito. Nalinaw it okay Labaw Donggon ng kamatayan ni Buyung Saragnayan. Naipunto it okay Labaw Doggon ng paghihirap ni Buyung Saragnayan. Ang lahat ng paghihirap ni Buyung Saragnayan ang nagtulak sa pagkamulat ni Labaw Donggon sa katotohanan. Ang pagkamatay ni Buyung Saragnayan ay sumisimbolo sa pagkamatay ng masamang bahagi ng karakter ni Labaw Donggon.

Kung ganoon, maipagtatanto natin na ang tadhana ni Buyung Saragnayan ay nakadugtong sa tadhana ni Labaw Donggon.  Hindi mabubuo ang epiko ng Labaw donggon kung aalisin si Buyung Saragnayan, sapagkat napakalaking parte ng pagkatao ni Labaw Donggon si Buyung Saragnayan.