All the words I'll leave behind

"It's your blog. You write for yourself. Don't think about what they think."

This was a long time ago. Definitely back in college, when I made "blogger" my identity. I think it was Icka who said this. I can imagine her face when she said it. About what, I don't remember.

Occasionally, even up to now, this would echo in my head, especially now that I take weeks planning an essay, particularly those really long ones. I'm sure nobody reads those, because attention spans are short and demands for one's time are many, but still, I write them. It's my blog. I write for myself.

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Dove Cameron as Bubbles

The idea of travel bubbles isn't new. I mean, not new considering how the fabric of space and time seems to have dilated beyond recognition in the past thirteen months. Objectively, the term is new, the same way "quarantine pass" and "you're on mute" didn't exist until this time last year.

I remember this talk of a Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble almost materializing, but then not happening, because of a spike in cases somewhere. I assume Hong Kong, since they're the city I've been monitoring more, for some reason.

In the past few days, however, that term's bounced back in my head. There's a Taiwan-Palau travel bubble, and there's an Australia-New Zealand travel bubble, all involving places that have had a better handle on this pandemic than we have, and so have earned the confidence of similarly-minded places to bring people over without the need for two weeks of quarantine.

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Stock up

I found myself in that rabbit hole of Philippine television advertisements in the 1970s.

It's interesting how it all looks and feels a particular way: shot on film, written like a radio play, and almost always punctuated with sung jingles. Well, it hasn't all changed, but considering how we do things on digital nowadays, and how jingles don't sound as lush as they used to, and how all these came from a time before I was born, well, it feels quaint and fascinating and, oddly, nostalgic. I mean, I wasn't born yet.

I was watching this San Miguel Beer ad. I assume it's action star Max Alvarado on there. It is him, right? Anyway, it was about why Filipinos would stock up on bottles of beer.

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Leni Robredo is not the answer

The problem with unfollowing everyone who you disagree with, as we've all probably established by now, is that you end up being in your own custom-built echo chamber, where everybody agrees with you, and therefore, you can do nothing wrong.

Sure, say it's about keeping your sanity intact and your mental health in check, but it leads to you not having the full picture. Sure, you can say you're shutting out the negative, but you can't ever claim that you have a full understanding of what's going on, not if you only see the side of the story that clicks with your belief system.

The past year has been a clusterfuck, to say the least, and rightfully a huge chunk of the blame belongs to the government for squandering the many opportunities (and the surprising amount of goodwill bestowed upon it, at least in the early stages) it had to properly and decisively respond to the COVID-19 crisis. I mean, as I write this, on the first day of Metro Manila's return to the strictest form of everyone-finally-calls-it-a-lockdown, the situation is at its worst. Ten thousand new cases in one day, for the first time since the pandemic first struck. And it can only get worse from here, what with still no structures in place for proper tracing and testing, not to mention us somehow having cultivated a variant all our own. All the government has to say about this is, "see, it's your fault you're stubborn."

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Present tense (again)

I have riffed before on one of the first things Sir Doy, one of my college professors, said in class.

"Always use the present tense," he said in, I think, the first day of our introduction to film class. "Everything that happens on screen happens in the present tense."

He was talking specifically about how we should approach our term-long assignment, where we had to write "notes" on every film we decided to watch in the next thirteen weeks. That means both the films we watch for class, the films we to watch in between classes, and perhaps the films we watch on the weekend.

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