2/12/2020
キキ!!! on HAY

Until last night, I haven't seen a single Studio Ghibli film.

For one, I wasn't really a guy who watched a lot of anime as a kid. I was happy with whatever was on local TV, dubbed in Filipino, unless I had no patience for the premise, which turns out to cover almost all of the more adventure-driven shows that did air here. My ADHD, I guess, was never compatible with mythology, at least until I learned to understand them.

Also, I wasn't the cool kid who knew what was going on outside of my bubble. I mean, you probably had access to these things, but I didn't. This is me being really fascinated with local alternative music in high school. This is me being really fascinated with British radio in college. This is me going to great lengths to understanding K-pop over four years ago. It's when I finally discover something properly, and realize I'm interested in it, and then going relatively deep.

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2/11/2020
The discourse of moral ascendancy

I remember this time when former president Noynoy Aquino admitted that he refused to award National Artist honors to actress Nora Aunor because she was convicted of drug possession. He worried, or so he argued, that it would send the wrong message. Something about drugs being okay or whatever.

Of course he really did that because he wanted to send another message, one that he's been sending for the six years he's been president: that he has the moral ascendancy to lead the country. With the blessing of his mother and that yellow ribbon pinned to his chest, he is here to deliver the Philippines from eternal damnation, away from the darkness and into the light. He has done nothing wrong, therefore he is the right man for the job; everyone else who has made mistakes along the way can never be have the supremacy bestowed upon him.

We all know what happened.

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2/02/2020
Choose your bogeyman

On her way to do the laundry yesterday, Shalla saw a Chinese national - one of many who have moved into the flats surrounding ours - walking around with a sign hanging around his neck, much like a pre-schooler on the first day of school would. It said "sorry".

And then she saw another one, also with a sign saying "sorry" - complete with crying emoji - hanging around his neck.

For many reasons I feel so strongly about how inherently racist we really are as a nation. Shalla is one of them. She's half-Taiwanese, although she was born here and grew up here. I never got the chance to meet her father, as he died when she was nine or ten. She carries what you'd call a typical Chinese last name, but she doesn't really look like one; it'll all make sense if you go to Taiwan and see the, uh, natives. She often tells me about how her Chinese heritage becomes part of the conversation when her colleagues talk about the more negative side of the Chinese - you know, the peeing-in-sidewalks, berating-service-crew, flouting-the-rules thing you always see on social media. It's what I was thinking when I wrote this last week.

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1/30/2020
Mask culture

Here's a photo of a man in Hong Kong wearing a mask.

"Buti pa sa Hong Kong, mahilig sila mag-mask."

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1/24/2020
Us and them

There were four Chinese men in the elevator when I entered. They weren't together, it seemed: one pair were talking, and the other pair weren't.

The elevator stopped and two more Chinese men entered. They had a conversation of their own.

The elevator stopped again, and a Filipina woman came in, with her daughter, perhaps five years old.

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