Pure and true

There you go. Leni Robredo is running for president - a non-surprise for the most part, but considering how limp and disorganized the opposition has been in light of the dominating style of Rodrigo Duterte, the fact that they finally convinced the highest-ranking elected official to not be under the fistbump umbrella to seek even higher office must be a sigh of relief for her acolytes and supporters.

And so it was that today, in a piece of political theater that should be effective but really isn't, our social media feeds were filled with pink. Celebrities of a certain income class - of a certain level of civility? - had the same message as a downtrodden people who are suddenly filled with hope that, on an immediate level, there will be an end to the past five years of self-serving incompetence and despotic-in-all-but-name attitudes. Leni is running, and therefore Leni will win.

Oh, yes, I did say it's ineffective political theater, right?

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There's a light and I can see my way

I'm going to say it happened on the 22nd of November.

Shalla and I weren't dating yet then. Well, not officially. We just went out and hung out far more often than a pair usually would. As in, I would step out of the office and, rather than go straight home, I would go to some mall in Makati, or in some cases, walk from one end of Ayala Avenue to the other to meet her near her office. It's something I wouldn't otherwise do, so, yeah, I guess it's safe to say I really liked her then.

The 22nd was one of those days. It was a Thursday, and we were at Greenbelt, I think to have dinner at Toast Box or something. I think it's Toast Box because we were at the higher floors and there really aren't that many options in the immediate vicinity at the time if you didn't want to eat too fancy. And yes, Toast Box isn't that cheap either, but it felt cheap, in a good way. It's a shame it got replaced by Nanyang, which is the same thing - Singapore kopitiam fare - but somehow both more limited and more premium.

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Almost everything comes back to you

I always found it weird how people take screenshots of tweets from their phones and then post said screenshot on Facebook. Does that make it more shareable? (Definitely.) Does that make it a meme? (I don't know.) Does that make it easier to spot amidst a sea of posts designed to grab your attention? (Maybe?)

Earlier this morning I found one such post on Facebook. It's one of those posts that social media behemoth insists on recommending to me, even if I don't have an interest specifically in that topic. Broadly, yes. It's K-pop. I don't mind, even if I think it's weird that it shows me teasers from Twice's upcoming English single. Or, in this case, a BTS fan page posting a screenshot of a tweet. It was about their upcoming series of concerts - physical concerts - happening in Los Angeles. The tweet was a meme-y one, of a fan watching said concert... with only one kidney.

I instantly thought, Anna would have something to say about this.

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The imperialists

I didn't prompt the conversation. I wouldn't start talking about politics in most circumstances while having a haircut, especially a haircut that's three weeks behind schedule. Me-time is pretty rare as it is.

But then, I understand my barber just really wants to shoot the breeze with someone.

"Sinong presidente mo?" he asked.

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Silence is not always complicity

Yesterday I found myself in a meeting - virtual, of course - with at least two high-ranking government officials.

It's not an extraordinary circumstance, by all means. Sure, perhaps it's somewhat extraordinary because, in some convoluted manner, the meeting was happening because of something I did. But that said, I've done these somewhat regularly, both in the old times and the current ones.

I never would have imagined that I would be in a position where I'm talking to high-level bureaucrats about industry concerns. It certainly felt like a lofty ambition - not that I ever dreamed it - when I began watching local news in earnest in high school. It felt like something only elected student government officials did when I was in college. But, well, there I was, spending the night before finishing a slide show, sending it off to people the following morning for them to present in the afternoon. They know my name and I didn't make a fool of myself answering some questions.

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