Friday, April 01, 2016

Caught In A Bad Place...

.:Caught In A Bad Place...:.

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the worst possible person at the worst possible time?

I just did.

I'll spare you the details, but it was a mortifying experience, and I'm still experiencing the fallout to this very moment. But like some stupid clickbait post, the reason why I was thinking of said person at said moment might surprise you. Immensely.

There was once a point in my life when someone did a number on my self-esteem. Every single amount of hubris I had was turned into crow, and I ate it. Hard. It was fine, at first, because it grounded me. But then, it seemed like it became sport. I was being knocked down a few pegs with regularity and with motivation behind it. Needless to say, it wasn't fun, at the very least, and it started to eat away at me and how I saw myself.

I hardly ever spoke about it because the source of this was someone who meant a lot to me. I simply didn't want this person to be put in a bad light, and I figured that it was on me to regain the self-esteem I lost, since I shouldn't have allowed this person to take it from me in the first place. But it never quite came back. And there are days I still feel inadequate or lacking in some shape or form.

Fast forward to the present,

This person was weighing heavily on my mind, and the name came up at a most inopportune moment. And it's not an excuse for that kind of horrid timing, mind you. But it's just a confirmation that indeed, the self-esteem has never come back. Because quite sadly, that has been the only context for the longest time when my thoughts would dwell on this person.

And it sucks, because it gets in the way of the present. It sucks, because it affects everything in so many ways, and you can't help but feel doubly bad because you: 1. dwelled on the past, and 2. you let the present get adversely affected.

But what can you do? What can you do except to admit that you are having difficulties at present because of what happened, and now, it has caused damage in more ways than one? What can you do except to accept the plain and simple fact that you need to exert more effort than what you have to prove that you are worthy of where you are today?

I could apologize. I could grovel. I could break down into tears. But if I don't move forward, then what is it all for?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Leave The Memories Behind?

.:Welp:.

So recently, my laptop's hard drive crashed, and with it, all the data I've backed up from my phones for the past few years. A bit unfortunate, but that's how it is, really.

As an emotional packrat, I've always hated the feeling of missing out on archiving important things I've done in the past. Off the top of my head, my backup contained my first and only time of headlining a standup comedy show, as well as that time I did my John Hendrix jokes right in front of John Hendrix. Those were definitely great moments, and I would have loved revisiting them from time to time if I had the chance.

Unfortunately, everything I could have done stupidly the day my hard drive crashed, I did. I worked beside a bunch of powerful magnets. I didn't ask for the busted hard drive after the repairman replaced it. I didn't press the issue when he told me he tossed the old hard drive in the garbage. Overall, it was a sequence of errors, and now, this is the spilled milk I'm supposed to cry on.

But then, in writing about it, I choose not to. I choose to remember it fondly, but to no longer dwell on it.

There's been a lot of things going on in my life lately that has forced me to do spring cleaning. And while some of it has been good, a lot of it has been bad. Nonetheless, emotional spring cleaning does the heart good, and should be a better thing for me to do than to, well, persist in trying to hold on to things I shouldn't be holding onto any longer.

.:The Turning Point:.

A few weeks ago, some people who have been pretending to get along with me for years finally reared their real selves and demonstrated quite clearly that they never want me to be one of them. That's fine, really. I just wish they didn't waste years of their time pretending to like me when they apparently never did.

Ultimately, I just try to live my life in a way where I don't step on anybody. If people dislike me even after that, I can't really help it anymore, whether they're just being haters or they think they have valid reasons in their head for doing what they do.

These are just some more memories to leave behind, really.

Through all of this, I just need to take the higher road, and not fight back when I don't need to. Through all this, I just have to keep showing the same kind of treatment I've always shown in the past. I don't need to drop pretenses because I was never pretending.

In the end, if after all of that, I am still despised, that is no longer my fault.

I know I could say so much more. I know I could even launch an offensive. But why would I have to? They made their choice. I am making mine. And my choice is to be above the needless drama that some people create just to remind themselves that they're still alive sometimes.

It's simple, really: if I give nothing but respect, I find it difficult to accept being disrespected in return. There's nothing onion-skinned or hypocritical about that, is there?

.:More Random Thoughts:.

I never thought long-distance relationships could be hard, but I guess that's only when you consider one half of the equation.

Nonetheless, it's worth it. I hate talking about my relationship because there's this feeling that it's all so ostentatious, but I haven't felt this happy in a long time, and it's hard keeping a lid on it.

Thank you, love. As insignificant as this blog post might be, I'm just glad things are really working out well for the both of us.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

She's Leaving On A Jetplane...

.:Don't Know When She'll Be Back Again...:.

A while ago, Hun went through the sacrament of Confirmation, and she was asked at least thrice by different people if she was doing it to get married. I didn't even know that was a thing.

In the past years, I've really avoided writing about my lovelife. I guess it's because I've been avoiding giving myself a chance to be mushy here in my blog, as I seem to be asking for it in the event things don't work out and I end up backtracking over my posts some time later.

But you know what? I don't care anymore, because it's my blog, and they're still my memories, for better or worse.

The past few weeks before Hun headed off to the States have been wonderful. Unexpected, even. Things fell into place, and I couldn't be more grateful. I couldn't be more grateful to feel loved and cherished.

Especially after this.

Who knew that courting friends and family was this challenging? Oh, wait. I always knew that. That's why I shirked from it back then. This time, I didn't. As socially awkward as I am, I realized that if I wanted to make a difference, I had to do some things differently. So I did.

I can't speak with absolute certitude about the future, but what I know is that I incrementally bettered myself as a human being each step of the way to get here. Is this it for me? Is this the one? Only time can tell. What I know though is that I believe this could very well be it, and I should treat it accordingly.

Whoever said love isn't a choice but merely a feeling ought to rethink that, in all honesty. Ayoko magsalita ng tapos, pero masaya ako ngayon. At masaya rin siya. Yun naman ang mahalaga, diba?

I guess that's why even if she's half a world away as we speak, I'm still happy. I know she and I may be apart physically, but our hearts remain beside each other. It also really helps that traveling and communicating despite the distance has never been easier than it is at present.

And to think that it all started from her watching Switch Improv in Burger Company by pure chance. You never can tell when things would fall into place. You really can't.

When I went with her family to bring her to the airport, I was exhausted. But fulfilled. I didn't sleep at all, but I wanted to see her off. And though I'm not entirely sure when I will see her again, one thing is for certain: all of these changes, all of this hurly-burly and insanity, it's all been worth it, and I can't thank her enough for coming into my life.

Thank you, Hun. You're really a keeper.

... and the woman of my dreams, apparently.


Friday, March 04, 2016

Three Stars And A Sun!

.:Three Stars and a Sun: How To Sing #NeverForget For Two Hours:.

Allow me to make this very short and sweet... if you haven't yet, you should be watching Three Stars and a Sun in PETA Theater. There really is no other way to say it.

Greetings from the Mirror Universe!

I'm not going to bore you with a review here, but needless to say, 3 Stars and a Sun reminded me exactly why the PETA of old was considered a political activist during the Marcos era. While "Rak of Aegis" was entertaining and definitely a great musical, 3 Stars was all that, and downright subversive, as it attempts to challenge the notion of power and the perpetuation of a cycle of power-grabbing that leaves the empowered paranoid and the disempowered disgruntled.

It's not just a musical: it's a harsh lesson on history, and how forgetting history dooms us to repeat it.

It's not just a musical: it's a soulful tribute to patriotism, and it took the form of Francis Magalona's music, which has always been patriotic at its very core.

It's not just a musical: it's a cynical yet hopeful lens put upon the dynamics of power and Philippine society, and a reminder to us that Filipino Pride comes from within, and not from how many Mexicans Pacquiao has dispatched in the ring, or how many times Lea Salonga stars in Broadway or Hollywood.

I profess to have my misgivings over "Filipino Pride," but this play stirred it within me, because it showed me what I am personally capable of : the ability to make things better. The ability to put to use the freedom granted unto me.

For anyone who wishes to blame the spectre of EDSA for whatever perceived ills we go through today, the message is clear: why blame a stretch of asphalt when we had 30 years to make good on our freedom in the first place? Freedom never promised us anything beyond freedom, after all.

While watching the musical, I was absolutely enthralled by the story, even when stripped of its allegorical value: who knew that a sci-fi musical could be done, and done well? To posit a third world war, one that was a nuclear disaster, and to posit life in a nuclear shelter that houses only a select few that ended up dividing into two classes, and to infuse all that with the timeless and always-relevant music of Francis Magalona, is to put together a masterpiece that mixes history with recent pop culture and presents a package that can easily be enjoyed on so many levels.

Admittedly, while watching it, I felt a mild pang of regret because I wanted to audition for the musical, but who cares? Whether or not I was there (and I probably wouldn't have made the cut anyways), getting to watch the finished product was what mattered, because it can truly stir you in ways you don't quite expect.

When people say, "wow, that's deep," there's an air of pretentiousness that normally comes with uttering those words. 3 Stars and a Sun doesn't attempt to be pretentious or even unsubtle about its metaphors and allusions, yet still achieves a depth few contemporary pieces of art can match without compensating for their paltriness with pretentiousness.

The message is deep, because it is deep within us: the Filipino is only as powerful as we collectively act as Filipinos, and for as long as we divide ourselves among different lines in the sand, we will remain easy pickings for the vultures who have so much yet leave so little for us. It isn't a revolutionary cry of taking the Triangle and turning it upside down, but of taking the Triangle, and creating unity from within.

And while China steps upon our territory, and while threats from within and without threaten the very fabric of Philippine society, we learn to fight the many battles on many different fronts, as our heroes no doubt did. We learn to look at them and never forget, not just the good they have done, but the mistakes and weaknesses they fell prey to, lest we repeat the very same.

To never forget is not to be mired in nostalgia or historical cynicism, but to be more cognizant of how we go to where we are today. To never forget is to appreciate the Filipino spirit, with all its idiosyncracies and failings, not blindly, but lovingly. To look at what is wrong with us and correct it, instead of rebuking ourselves ceaselessly.

Otherwise, we would be too busy fighting from within to know that from without, we are hopelessly surrounded. But both battles are no less important to fight.

 A happy battle, no less.


3 Stars and a Sun, ladies and gentlemen. Watch it. Enjoy it. And if on some level, it stirs that patriotic spirit in you, find it in yourself to put it to good use. Dahil nasa palad mo ang kapalaran.

Dugong inialay para sa bayan, sayang naman ang kanilang ipinaglaban...


Monday, February 22, 2016

2-Hot-4-8List: 8 Stupid Ways We’ve Been Defending Manny Pacquiao

(2Hot 4 8List are lists that for various, often obvious reasons, need to be published on a personal capacity, rather than as something that de facto represents the website I love to write for. I hope you enjoy it, because whether or not they ended up on the site, I still worked pretty hard on them, minus the epic graphic design you've come to know and love from the 8List.)

.:2-Hot-4-8List: 8 Stupid Ways We’ve Been Defending Manny Pacquiao:.

Manny Pacquiao is a boxing legend, and a man who has nearly single-handedly put the Philippines on the map. He has used the millions of dollars he has earned to give houses to his constituents in Sarangani. He is a devout Christian, and a renewed husband and father who seems to have left behind his past of gambling and carousing behind in favor of Bible studies and family time when he’s not training for his next blockbuster fight.


Sometime last week, almost all of that fell to the wayside when he was quoted as saying that same-sex relations were “mas masahol pa sa hayop.” Multiple rebukes  and Nike dropping its sponsorship deal later, the backlash against Manny isn’t even done yet. He currently runs the risk of disqualification due to the unfair media mileage he gains from his next fight, which none of the other senatoriables can hope to match. Furthermore, former pro wrestler Dave Batista did not take too kindly to Manny's words, and the guy frigging calls himself "The Animal."


If you’re a huge fan of Manny Pacquiao, you might be appalled at this point how far things are going south for him, or maybe even thinking that he will be blessed in heaven because people who are persecuted for their faith, according to the Bible, will be rewarded.

Except if you actually take a moment to read your Bible, you might disagree with that, too, because Matthew 6:1-3 is pretty clear about that... 

1"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2"So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3"But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,…"


It seems like a no-brainer to defened a man who fought his way out of poverty and brought us so much pride as one of the best boxers in the world of all time. Unfortunately, his past achievements do not grant him a pass for any stupid shit he might do, because why the hell would it?

Here are 8+1 specific ways people defending Manny Pacquiao air out their ignorance...

Honorable Mention: "You are bigoted towards bigotry. That makes you a hypocrite."

Logical Fallacies Involved: Tu quoque, ad hominem, non sequitur

First of all, allow me to introduce you to the realization that policing my tone is bullshit. If Manny didn't police his tone for the benefit of the LGBT, why should I? I will be as abrasive as I want, not only because he didn't earn me being nice to him when he spoke that way, but also because being nice never won any revolutions. The suffragettes didn't get their vote without a lot of protests. The black people in America didn't get emancipation without a frigging civil war, and they had to fight a bunch more just to get equal rights, too. We didn't drop Marcos like a bad habit by asking him nicely, and the EDSA revolution was as "nice" as revolutions can get, but we sure didn't do it "nicely" just because nobody got killed. It's not like those chants against Marcos were positive slogans of encouragement for him, were they?

Secondly, my intolerance of intolerance isn't an act of hypocrisy, because doing the opposite would be an act of cowardice. When a bigot says they hate a race or a gender, they do so with no logical reason behind it (no, the Bible in and by itself is not enough as a logical reason, by virtue of it being a book of faith). But when someone rebukes a bigot, they do so by arguing using logic and reason. Just because some people may act purely off of emotion does not erase the fact that the vastly overwhelming amount of dissent has been based on the logical counterargument that contrary to Manny's beliefs, animals indeed practice homosexual behavior. Factually correcting Manny isn't an act of bigotry now, is it?

As someone on debate.org put it succinctly:

"A bigot is someone who makes generalizations about a group of people and then acts on a hatred of that group of people. To act inhospitably toward such a person is not bigotry, because it does not involve generalization (emphasis mine). It is, rather, a reaction to the hatred of a single, particular person. Such an act, by definition, is not bigotry."

Lastly, if the word "bigot" upsets you so much, then why does it surprise you when the LGBT gets upset about being told they are "masahol pa sa hayop?" Have you considered that for a moment?

P.S. It also doesn't make me gay if I support gay marriage any more than supporting saving the environment makes me an eco-bag.

.:8. “You’re being oversensitive.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Non sequitur, ad hominem, double standards


Just because an issue may not be important to us does not mean that it isn’t important, period. Some of us care about animal rights. Some of us care about the environment. Some of us care about human rights, of which LGBT rights clearly falls under.

Everyone has rights, okay?


If it alarms you that so many people were up in arms and so angry, please realize what was said. It was a comparison that likened the LGBT to being “more savage than animals.” Those were fighting words. You do not say those things endearingly. You do not say those things in a friendly manner.


Yet why is it that while people go out of their way to not make a big deal about Manny’s words, when the LGBT and their allies respond, people go out of their way to make a big deal about the responses? Suddenly, people who were okay with hurting the LGBT weren’t okay with hurting Manny, as if only Manny was deserving of protection.


Manny is a multi-millionaire. Even if every sponsor he currently has pulled out on him, he would still have a lot of money to live with. Meanwhile, the LGBT are fighting for little more than basic rights all of us straight people already enjoy. I hope you can appreciate the difference of what’s at stake here.

If anyone's being oversensitive, it's the people being all up in arms for Pacquiao as if he can't take it. He's rich, he thinks God is on his side. I'm pretty sure he'll be fine. Meanwhile, the LGBT constantly finds the church trying to take them away from the anti-discrimination bill because the church apparently needs to be given the legal right to discriminate against them.


.:7. “We have other issues to worry about, like China putting up missiles on our disputed territories.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: False dichotomy, strawman argumentation


People can care about more than one issue at a time. To say that someone talking about the Manny Pacquiao issue doesn’t care about China, or Syria, or ISIS is to create a false dichotomy where we can only care about one issue but not the other.

What exactly are we gonna do about China, in the first place? Oh, right. We don't really have solutions. We just want people to stop talking about Manny. Silencing! Wonderful.

Not even Heneral Luna is sure what we're supposed to do about them.



This realization that we can care about multiple issues at a time actually goes double for how we should vote during the elections. If the one and only issue you go by for electing your officials is whether or not they want to deny gay people their human rights, then you might want to expand your criteria a bit, because even if Manny Pacquiao’s politics agreed with you 100%, why would you want to vote someone who almost never went to work to do the job he was elected to do?


.:6. “Hindi ba si Miriam din, anti-gay? Diba sabi ni Rizal, mas malanasa pa tayo sa isda kung hindi natin mahalin ang sarili nating wika? Bakit hindi kayo galit sa kanila?!?”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: False dichotomy, faulty analogy, strawman argumentation, non sequitur, argumentum ad absurdum


You will notice that most people who got angry at Manny were willing to set aside the gay marriage debate in favor of calling out his choice of words. Miriam did not use the kind of cutting words she is known for using when the topic was about the LGBT. This is because the LGBT and their allies, in trying to keep the peace, can and do respect opinions to an extent (even if really, they shouldn’t, if the opinion is woefully misinformed), even if their opinion is clearly being disrespected by the very choice of words of the people on the other side (protip: calling them abominations and Sodomites would never endear you to them.).


As for Jose Rizal, what he said was a statement about one’s love for the language. Whether one uses Filipino or not is a matter of choice, not an essential component of one’s being, and if it were, hey, who am I to stop anyone from being pissed at Rizal, right? When one says that homosexuality is “mas masahol pa sa hayop,” it means that the very being of a person (remember, you can’t choose to be gay any more than straight people chose to be straight) is being insulted.

Again, those are fighting words. You don't get to sugarcoat them now just to pretend he was being endearing about it. That's about as logical as saying "with all due respect, fuck you." May "due respect" naman, diba?

Don't make Yosemite Sam mad!

.:5. “Tama naman sinabi niya, eh! Nasa Bibliya iyan.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Appeal to authority, double standards, factual errors, cherry-picking, non sequitur


There are a lot of things wrong according to the Bible…



Shall we prohibit slavery or shellfish? Let’s go with shellfish.


Yet people will go through amazing lengths to excuse all these other behaviors, kesyo Old Testament, kesyo context, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, it seems only they can do that (hence, a double standard), because once someone points out the context of Sodom and Gomorrah, or points out that the only thing mistaken as condemnation of homosexuality in the New Testament was actually about shrine prostitutes, and was never a direct quote from Jesus, who literally had nothing to say about homosexuality in the Bible, they magically insist that people should take the Bible on face value.

Pictured: face value.

As we can see above, let's not forget that it's Manny himself who just loves quoting Leviticus when he points out that the Bible says gays should be put to death, so he's clearly not discounting the Old Testament for his argument. But then, how does he weasel out of Leviticus 20:10, if that's the case?

10"If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."


Well, that's awkward. But, hey, that’s not the same, right? Only one side can look at context when cherry-picking which laws of the Bible should still be followed.


And, oh. Manny was also factually incorrect when he said that no animals engage in homosexual behavior.  If we made a bunch of 8Lists featuring these animals, it would take around 200 lists before we’re done.


Lastly, even if it were in the Bible, it’s irrelevant. Let’s be clear about one thing: there is a separation between church and state. Churches are free to never marry gay couples due to religious freedom and the separation clause. However, this also means that if the government decided to give equal rights to the LGBT on the topic of marriage, then the churches have no say on this. As they shouldn’t. The marriage we speak about here is a legal, civil procedure: not a religious ceremony. Please do not forget that.

We can't keep making up excuses for Manny Pacquiao while we keep making excuses against doing right by the LGBT who certainly are also made up of productive members of society. Why do we afford so much special consideration for Manny while we deny the LGBT the most basic of human rights? Because we don't like what they do with their sex life? That's pretty fucked up, if you ask me.


.:4. “Tingnan niyo: yung marriage ang ‘masahol pa sa hayop,’ hindi yung pagiging LGBT. Ang problema sa inyo, hindi kayo marunong umintindi.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Faulty semantics, cherry-picking, double standards


This argument is ridiculous because of one plain and simple fact: Manny’s justification for calling something “masahol pa sa hayop” was that animals did not perform these things. If he meant marriage as “masahol pa sa hayop,” then it would be ridiculous, because straight couples get married too, but no animal actually ever gets married. No, really. Look it up. Animals getting married by their own volition? Not a thing.

Not pictured: the part where it was the dogs' idea to get married.

What does this mean? Well, this only means that, regardless of the full interview that supposedly “explains everything,” Manny was not in any way equivocating when he made his statements. It was pretty much gay sex to him which was “masahol pa sa hayop,” which again emphasizes the disturbing fascination LGBT detractors have over what happens in LGBT bedrooms.

You can insist on context all you want, but demanding context only weakens your point further: he is answering a question as a senatorial candidate, and not as a pastor. That was the context of the question. If he knew the difference between the two like any decent politician ought to, then he would know better than to compare the LGBT to being worse than animals, because no matter how much you try to sugarcoat his words, those words were fighting words. You don't say shit like that to people and expect them to just smile and say "yeah, you're right. Mas masahol nga ako sa hayop."


.:3. “Bakit nung binabanatan siya at ang kanyang nanay sa comedy bars, narining mo ba siya magreklamo? And why are you so bigoted against bigotry? Isn’t that being hypocritical?”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Tu quoque, ad hominem, false equivalence, hasty generalization,


If Yeng Constantino can say that not all Christians are like Manny, surely, it is easy to point out that not all LGBT are Vice Ganda. Vice Ganda is not the be-all and end-all of the LGBT community.

No, really. He's not.

And even if Vice were, that does not invalidate his point. That he jokes about looking like a horse doesn’t mean that it’s okay for people to now call him “masahol pa sa hayop” because of what he does in his bedroom.


Furthermore, the difference is pretty clear: Manny’s statements inform his legislative agenda, and are clearly a perpetuation of the continued ignorance of the separation of church and state in this country. A joke in a comedy bar will not achieve anything remotely like that anytime soon. It is the sheer impact of such speech that explains why so much more weight is placed on what Manny had to say. He is running for the Senate: he, of all people, should know better.

You really cannot argue that those two things are equivalent to each other, because they clearly aren't.


.:2. “Crab mentality! You are suppressing his freedom of speech and his right to an opinion, especially after you made Nike drop him as an endorser.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Non sequitur, red herring


Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences of said speech. In fact, the backlash Manny is receiving is proof that freedom of speech exists, because these other people are now using their freedom of speech to refute Manny’s assertions. Some might even say that Manny’s speech is no longer even protected speech because it could fall under “hate speech,” which, I admit, is debatable at this point.

Opinions aren't magic. Just because you claim something is an opinion, and just because you claim this opinion was formed by the Bible does not mean that it is beyond question and beyond criticism. It does not follow that your entitlement to an opinion means you are also entitled to not being met with any form of dissent for your ideas. Nuh-uh. That's not how this works.

Imagine if life had traffic signs for logical thinking.

It is also not “crab mentality” to want to rebuke Manny Pacquiao for his rampant homophobia. Ano yun? Kesyo “hero” siya, hindi na siya pwedeng pagsabihan? Hindi na siya pwedeng magkamali? Oh, please. The problem with this country is that we put too many people above scrutiny just because they've done something for us. No, they don't get a pass. Why should they?


Nike is not the government. And at no point in dropping Manny did it mean that Manny can no longer say what he wants, because he clearly still does. Manny Pacquiao’s freedom of speech is guaranteed insofar as people also have their freedom of speech to call him out on it, insofar as Nike could also use its freedom of speech to distance itself from Pacquiao.

This goes double for the people who are expressing their none too charitable opinion about Manny right now. Manny had his turn. Why do we want to deny everybody else their turn? Or do we only want freedom of expression for ideas we agree with, while others should remain censored and silenced?


Whether they did it for humanitarian or economic reasons is besides the point. Nike just did it: just as people who don't like what Nike did are free to burn their shoes. It's a free country.


.:1. “He is being persecuted for his beliefs.”:.


Logical Fallacies Involved: Non sequitur, red herring, ad misericordiam


You will notice that so many candidates also do not believe in legalizing same-sex marriage. If you listen to the  interviews, you would notice that most senatoriables actually share that opinion. Yet only Pacquiao was crucified the way he was over it. Why is that?

So oppressed, you guys!


This is because he was the only one who went the extra step of comparing the LGBT to animals. He was the only one who decided to include something decidedly hateful: a slur on a group of people not even for something they chose to do (I would have no qualms calling, say, ISIS, as a bunch of terrorists, but I wouldn’t lump all Muslims with them), but for what they are.

Yes, what Manny said is a slur. Please stop trying to pretend it isn't. You can say a person is black or a person is a n*****. They are both factually correct, but one of them is a slur while the other is not.


It is in going the extra mile to hurt these people, going out of his way to extend a message that is divisive and painful, that Manny now gets all the blowback he is getting. It doesn’t matter if he is a great humanitarian. It doesn’t matter if he brings Filipino pride. He is also human. He is also prone to error. And it falls upon us to correct this error, lest we turn Manny into a sacred cow who can do no wrong. This is especially dangerous when we realize that as an aspiring Senator, Manny Pacquiao is supposed to represent all of us, LGBT people included, and yet he doesn’t see these people as equal to him while representing them. He even sees them as worse than animals, if his words were to be believed.

Correcting Manny’s perceptions and of those who agree with him won’t be easy. Some might try doing it nicely, as not a few have. Then again, as Manny himself has demonstrated, not everyone feels the need to get their point across nicely. I obviously don’t. Not today. Not when I see so many kids who feel worthless because their boxing idol told them they were worse than animals. Not when I see suicide cases elevated in the case of the LGBT, because people refuse to acknowledge that words do impact people, even if they're "just words," and especially if they're "just words" of both a boxing icon and a potential legislator who will not work for their welfare, if at all.

In the end, Manny was not persecuted for his beliefs. He was persecuted for being an asshole. A religious asshole who does a lot of charity work yet has repeatedly demonstrated he is not fit for Congress, much less the Senate, yes. But an asshole, nonetheless.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thank You, Alan Rickman

.:Thank You, Alan Rickman:.

Newsflash: human beings die.

Indeed, Lourd De Veyra is correct. that's what happens to all of us in the end, and even someone who always seemed larger than life as Alan Rickman did could not possibly be immune from this reality.

I suppose it's just comforting to know that there is more to life than just eventually dying, or else I have nothing else to write after agreeing with Lourd on that point.

You see, it always seems like such an easy idea to attack people who sympathize with the loss of someone famous because we generally don't feel this way about other deaths. After all, there were people who lost their lives in Jakarta on the same day, after all, right? The thing is, though, this is not a contest, nor is there a shortage of sympathy and mourning to go around. Commemorating the life and times of Alan Rickman is not mutually exclusive from denouncing the needless loss of life in Jakarta at the same time. Because indeed, human beings do die, and that's why we need to cherish the human beings who somehow made a difference in our lives.

Alan Rickman was one such man to me.

No matter where in life I may find myself, I will always look to Severus Snape as the distillation of one's indefatigable capacity for love. Among all the characters in the Potterverse, it was Snape who resonated with me the most. Misunderstood as he was, nothing was truer about him than his love for Lily Potter, as unrequited as it may have been.

I know the pain of unrequited love. I know it all too well. I know how it straddles the fine line between a hopeless romantic and a creepy loser, and ultimately, I realize that there is nothing easy about carrying a torch for someone you love for as long as Severus did for Lily. The kind of love that transcended everything and extended to his implicit concern and affection for Harry Potter himself.

Indeed, it's easy to look at all that and to dismiss it as disturbing or pathetic. Yet at the same time, one cannot help but respect, if not admire that kind of devotion, because it goes far beyond reason, yet never once dips into something sinister or harmful. For all of Snape's fault, it was because of his love and not in spite of it that he managed to be the way that he was, working against years upon years of indoctrination, of biases, and predilections just so he could continue holding his torch of love.

It is in this fine line of sweetness and hopelessness that I see solace with Severus Snape, and it was Alan Rickman's masterful rendition of this character that has allowed me to truly find what it is about him that resonates within me. As changed as it may be, as different as the circumstances may be, when one would ask me, "after all this time?"

Without a doubt, the response remains to be, "always."

Magic is a lot of different things to different people. To me, magic is about going beyond the possibilities, and making something more of yourself than anyone ever expected of you. In that regard, everything Severus Snape did was truly magic.

So yes, human beings do die, but newsflash; it is the lives that these human beings have touched before they have died that choose to cherish and remember their legacy.

Alan Rickman has indeed touched many lives, and one of those will indelibly be mine, and that is why I will choose to remember his passing.

Whether he was a villain as sinister as Hans Gruber, or a schemer as ruthless as Judge Turpin, whether he was a man who would take your heart as Colonel Brandon, or one who would cut it out with a spoon as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Alan Rickman has managed to touch lives in a way that only he could. Is it truly a disservice to acknowledge that difference he has made? Was it not he who precisely told us that being an actor makes one "an agent of change," and in being such an agent, he has indeed changed the world?

Every single time I watched "Love, Actually" in the last couple of years, I never failed to relish how Alan Rickman's Harry became the polar opposite of his Severus Snape: a man who was so drowned in the mundane that he has lost the meaning of love and tried to seek it elsewhere than his own wife. It was something that resonated with me not because I went through the exact same thing, but realized that the love never went away, so much as it was forgotten.

So I will refuse to forget.

I will refuse to forget what it means to love, even if it will not always be given back in kind.

I will refuse to forget what it means to seek to change the world, no matter how seemingly insignificant it is that we do. There is no opportunity too small to make a difference.

Ultimately, I will refuse to forget the fact that though human beings die, but they can also live forever, thanks to love and magic.

I mourn the passing of Alan Rickman not so much as it is because he is a celebrity that I know of. I mourn his passing because thanks to him, I got to know myself just a little bit better, and there is no greater boon a performer can bestow upon us than leading us down the path of self-discovery.


Thank you, Alan Rickman. When I think of one word that could best describe what you have inspired and enabled in me, I do believe that word would be "Love," Actually.

Alan Rickman (1946-2016): An agent of change. Thank you for the love and the magic.