Thursday, February 18, 2010

10 things I love about being an LM girl

Last night, I had dinner with my closest college blockmates Anj, Ria, Yang and Pia (in town from Singapore). It's been a while since we got together and caught up on each other's lives (work, love, or otherwise), and I realized how much I've missed being with my LM girls, and how being with them brings out some of my old qualities that don't manifest as often anymore. There's really a special kind of comfort when one is around old friends, and after an evening with mine, I drew up a list of reasons I just love being an LM girl.
  1. It's ok to show up late, because no one (except Nikki) ever arrives on time.
  2. Everyone notices (and loves) everyone else's clothes and shoes and bags.
  3. Our running jokes never grow old.
  4. We hold passionate views on Philippine politics (and showbiz), and are not shy about sharing them.
  5. No one is spared from razzing, even (especially?) our husbands and boyfriends.
  6. We all love to camwhore.
  7. We all love to eat (even if we are all on diets).
  8. And there is always, always room for dessert.
  9. Upon spotting a LaSalle Green Archer, we let the Ateneanly snide comments fly (and don't care if we're overheard).
  10. Saying goodbye takes forever, because once we get together, it's hard to break us apart.

Monday, February 08, 2010

When the going gets tough, the tough get going?

Earlier today, the morning radio program I listen to daily got a caller who asked for a DJ's opinion on Talk N' Text's walkout during Game 4 of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals. Another DJ interjected with a comment about how walkouts seem to be the trend recently, from basketball games to Senate sessions. That observation suddenly made me wonder if we Filipinos are cultivating-- if not already propagating-- a walkout culture. When circumstances become (or perceived to become) too unfair, uneasy, unpleasant or altogether unbearable, we just up and leave in a huff.

Back when I was still a high school teacher, we rookies were exhorted by some more senior members of the faculty never to walk out in the middle of a class, no matter how angry or upset we got. The explanation was, the second you walk out of the classroom, "ikaw ang talo". We were discouraged from letting any difficulty defeat us, or allowing our frustrations to get the better of us. Above all, we could not let our students see us give up, even if we wanted to show that we were seriously steamed. Walking out would deliver the wrong message about not only giving up on a tough situation, but giving up on them.

I understand the power of the emotions that compel and propel a walkout. Sometimes throwing your hands up and abandoning everything seems the only option available (it's either that or imploding). Sometimes you need to put some physical distance between the person and the problem, and get some room to breathe, and think. Sometimes you just want to tell the world you're really really pissed off, and you mean business. And sometimes the impulse to walk out even comes from good intentions: to protest a grievous ethical wrong, to stand up for a strong moral conviction, to prevent an already volatile issue from erupting, or to protect someone else from the damage or hurt you might inflict should you stay. Sometimes, walking out seems to be the "bigger" thing to do. But is it the right thing to do?

I've always considered myself a fighter, especially for people and things I value dearly. But it's that same passion that makes me get disheartened too quickly: when I feel like I've failed someone or something, it's painful for me to face it, and that's when the urge to walk out wells up. Most of the time though, I find enough strength to stick it out. I guess I'm too much of a fighter (or too much of a masochist) to throw in the towel and march off to the locker room with my head bowed. And I guess that's why in the 2 years I was a teacher, even on the days I felt like screaming and stomping out, I stood my ground. And I'm proud of that, that I didn't give up when times got tough. That I didn't give up on the kids I loved.

The cliche goes that the right thing is hardly ever easy. Walking out is not always easy, but I believe it is rarely right. Walking out is as good as quitting; it's a sign of weakness-- a weak character, and a weak spirit. When you walk out, you're surrendering what you believe in, what you value, what you love. When you walk out, it's leaving the fight unfinished-- it's losing without trying. Ikaw ang talo.

The fight may not always be fair, but at the very least see it through to the bitter end. Especially if it's something, or someone, worth fighting for.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Before the ballot battle begins

It's that time of the year again. Oscar nominations are out, and I am as excited about them as I am enthused about this season's American Idol-- which is to say, not in the slightest. I don't know what it is about 2010, but so far I am not mustering up enough interest in my usual sources of entertainment. I watched the pilot episode of Glee, and was underwhelmed (it's like High School Musical: The Series) so I haven't continued watching the rest of the series; I read through half of Zadie Smith's The Autograph Man, but haven't picked it up again in over a month; and as I mentioned, I haven't been keeping tabs on AI like I did in previous years (I miss Paula Abdul, that lovable loopy lush). And now when I should start prepping for our annual siblings' Oscar betting pool, I feel more inclined to not bother and just let either Hanks or Bens win it this year (well ok, Hanks can win, but not Bens).

I HAVE seen a couple of the 10 nominees for Best Picture though (yes, they increased the number of Best Pic noms to 10 again, crazy Academy): Inglourious Basterds, Up, District 9, The Blind Side, and of course, Avatar. I have The Hurt Locker saved in my netbook (thanks to my favorite soldier), so I'll probably watch that before they roll out the red carpet at the Kodak Theater. I do want to see An Education and Up in the Air, because I adore Peter Sarsgaard and George Clooney. But I'm lukewarm about A Serious Man (never been a big fan of the Coen brothers' films) and Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (what the heck kind of title is that anyway?). I don't think the latter 2 movies stand a serious chance of winning anyhow.

The only other films nominated for other awards I'd like to watch prior to Oscar night are Invictus (to see my darling Matt Damon show Leo DiCaprio how to pull off a South African accent), A Single Man (Colin Firth playing a gay man: 'nuff said), and Nine (my girl crushes Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz in a musical? I'm there!). Crazy Heart... not too crazy about going to see it, although Jeff Bridges seems a shoo-in for Best Actor this year. Ditto Sandra Bullock for Best Actress, whose understated, uncharacteristic performance in The Blind Side seems to have made an impression with a lot of people. Personally, I thought she was very good in the movie, but very good for Sandra Bullock only, and not necessarily worthy of an Oscar. She's got a long ways to go before she reaches Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren caliber.

I still have a couple of weeks to prepare myself to fill up my Oscar ballot, but I'm not optimistic about my chances this year, if only because I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of things (and because my brother has the dumbest luck when it comes to random guessing). In any case, I hope to catch some of the movies I wish to see, and I hope they prove to be quality films like last year's outstanding batch of nominees.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sweet 16

Aaaaand he's done it AGAIN. Roger Federer is the 2010 Australian Open champion, beating Andy Murray to notch his 16th Grand Slam title (and dash the hopes of British tennis fans everywhere). And because by now I've run out of words to describe The Mighty Fed's sheer awesomeness (AND hotness), I'm just going to let this collage c/o Yahoo! Sports do the gushing for me.