Saturday, February 28, 2004

.:SURPRISE PLUG:.

I’ll be doing Radio 1 today, 12-2 in the afternoon, only on Manila’s Hottest, Monster Radio, RX 93.1!!!

.:Try This:.

Can you get out of THIS room? I’d like to see how many people actually can.

.:My Media Law And Ethics Final Paper:.

I took the liberty of posting it on My Livejournal for you to have the option of not seeing how long it was... when double-spaced, I hit 19 pages. Otherwise, it's just a 12-page effort, really.

I'd like to hear what any of the legal eagles (And not-so legal eagles) have to say about it... :)

My thanx to all my sources on this.
.:On Eyeballs And Phone Calls:.

I can’t wait for madame sky’s birthday. I really would want to be there for her celebration next Saturday, and so I probably won’t show up at the Rusher’s Mailing List grand eyeball. What’s there for me to see, anyway? I’d rather be with familiar ground, where I’m exceedingly comfortable and happy to be. I don’t think I’d go for the other EB, unless I show up at sky’s early, then leave for a few hours to just drop in on the mailing list people. In any case, I will not miss sky’s birthday celebration.

Had a slightly unproductive talk with Cami last night. She was busy having fun with a penguin-bashing game of some sorts, and then she was looking to go off to some sort of a retreat, as far as I know. Good for her, really. Ah, well. I don’t know what else to say about it. Needless to say, my brain is on a fritz whenever I try to say something poignant lately. I guess it can’t be helped, so I'd write her a delayed Palanca letter for when she comes back instead... I can't do it right now.

.:That Ruddy Blue Rose:.

I am almost dead certain that I will give the blue rose to one of two people come March 24. Maybe it’s no big deal to them, but it is to me. One of them already knows what goes behind it. The other just thinks I’m joking. In any case, I guess I’d rather give it to someone who’d be surprised, so it might actually be a good moment to consider. However, I don’t intend to give it to someone who might take offense (Daph.), or to someone who’s pretty much a closed door to me, anyway (Shar, Jack…). Some people I could’ve easily given it to aren’t seniors (Rachel Reyes, Sacha…), while the rest of the people are just… for lack of a better term… not going to yield anything interesting.

With that being said, I guess there’re really only two people left whom I can give the Blue Rose to. I don’t think I’d be getting any Blue Roses from anyone (And if I do, I hope to Gawd it’s not a guy.), but I’d really want to give mine to someone who’d matter. Someone who could very well be a special someone to somebody else (As I’m taken.), yet just isn’t quite yet (This rules out Abby.). It’s less of a pat on my shoulder for being this or that kind of a person, and more of a vote of confidence in the person to remind her that she’s a very lovable and wonderful human being. Sure, I could say that of anyone. But I’m going beyond just labels here. I’m really looking into this with a very idealistic notion, and as such, I guess that Blue Rose will really go to someone who deserves it. And more Blue Roses from more people, for that matter.

I don’t know. I’m thinking way too ahead about this, but I just really relish the idea of the Blue Rose. I really do.

.:I Got It Bad:.

Not that I’d act on it, but I have a tremendous crush on someone right now… really cute, really nice, and though she’s not CP number one, I have to say… she’s so fine. I just wish she noticed. Then again, maybe I don’t.

.:A Conscious Choice:.

Just my mind over-analyzing the irrational. I think the bottomline is: the more I try to make sense of love, the less I truly udnerstand it. With that being said, after all these ruminations, expect me to just go and continue enjoying what I have, as though I never bothered asking questions. ::blushes::

Nobody ever said loving someone was easy. Nobody ever said that choosing to not love someone is an easy choice to make, either.

When a person knocks at your heart’s door, and you already let someone in, it’s just as difficult to turn that person away as it is to keep the person inside there warm and safe. When it’s your turn to come a-knocking on that person’s heart, and then you realize you’re not supposed to be doing so, it becomes quite difficult as well to turn around without so much as trying to throw pebbles at the door, to at least see if that door would open just slightly for you. Testing the waters, so to speak.

Far be it for me to seem like a sappy romantic, and so I believe that love is not as effortless as it seems. Maybe through habitus, it can turn out to be effortless. However, it won’t be that way on the way to it. Loving someone, I believe, is a conscious choice. You reinforce that choice again and again with each thing you do for one another. It’s not the ideal, and I know it’s not. But it’s the reality we move in, and as such, I have to deal with the reality I perceive. I’ve been making this conscious choice for four years straight, and the end just isn’t quite in sight yet. Maybe it never will for as long as I live, or maybe it will. In either case, I take this choice one with me one day at a time, never looking too far ahead or behind.

It’s hard to make that conscious choice every single day when you sometimes feel that the person you pledged yourself to isn’t happy or isn’t growing in that promise. Maybe you sometimes think of reneging on the pledge, or maybe you think you’d want to recalibrate yourself to encourage the growth in the relationship. Either way, you can’t let something like that just stagnate. It won’t help. Not at all.

At the same time, it’s hard to make that conscious choice that comes along from time to time whenever you feel an inexplicable connection with someone else. Not only do you feel guilt because you’re already with someone else, you also feel that the only reason they are this comfortable with you is because they know they’re safe from you. You have no reason to attempt to jump ladders with them, and really now, they’re probably correct. After all, if you’re not the incontinent type, you can resist the urge to jump ladders because you know what the right thing to do is. You know where you’re flourishing. If you’re not just continent but already virtuous, the urge isn’t even making a dent on your resolve. Of course, this is a kind of habituation most of us can only dream of.

In any case, it’s good to love and to be loved. Maybe some people think of this in romantic terms, but I see it quite differently. Love is such a broad term. I know I can tell someone I love him/her without Grace being jealous, simply because it’s not romantic love we’re talking about at that point. And so I realize that loving different people is quite, quite different from being in love with someone. Maybe you’d fall out of love with the person in question, but the fact that you choose to persist in a commitment that, if we were to assume, allows the both of you to grow, then why renege on the commitment?

So maybe a part of you is asking “what if’s” with certain people who just seem to matter so much to you. Maybe a former unrequited love, maybe a newfound friend, maybe a veritable genius, maybe a “better late than never” close friend, or perhaps even an old friend who was inexplicably figuring in one’s life without either knowing it. Questions are good. Questioning within one’s faith, within one’s commitment helps one strengthen it further, or forge a more significant commitment. However, don’t forget that while the grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence, “what if” questions can and will still exist wherever you end up. This is a nightmare for a person who was never satisfied with the status quo.

I can’t speak with finality on anything, but one thing I can be quite certain of: no matter where my commitment takes me, I know I’m still flourishing within it. I just hope that I really am doing my part in making my significant other flourish as well.

Friday, February 27, 2004

.:Eh?:.

Friendster seems to have been either fritzy lately, or Ateneo has finally ensured that the students can’t log into it through the school computers. Every time you enter your e-mail and password, you are then returned to the login screen after a while as though nothing happened.

Thank goodness I’m not too hooked on it… Orkut is way better…

.:No Big Deal:.

Went on air with Chico and Delamar this morning, but other than Chico giving me a bit of the rub by telling me that I’ve actually improved a bit during my delivery of the Generation RX Poll Question. Of course, I ended up doing that sing-song tone of mine again once I did the Sunsilk tags. I guess I realized that the latter happened mainly because I was having panic attacks, which kept me from consciously avoiding my mannerism of doing that really annoying mode of enunciation when I’m reading something…

Didn’t answer the Hot 10 today, but that’s fine. I didn’t have much to say about movie experiences anyway…

I swear. My mind is slowing down now. I cannot help but feel that after making my brain work off the charts (I have never put my mind to this much work. Ever. Maybe it’s not much to you jabronis, but considering how I’m quite a slacker most of the time, this is an off-the-hook effort…), it’s involuntarily relaxing on me now, and I, for the life of me, couldn’t think of something extra witty to post. Nonetheless, that’s no problem with me. I’m sure I could come up and say something nice by next week…

.:No. Thank YOU.:.

It really makes my day to know that I’ve done a good deed successfully. So to Emily and Jason, I’m glad to be of help, and thank you for the measure of confidence. Good luck to you jabronis in the near future.

.:A Dearth Of IQ:.

The people who get banned on OB keep on getting dumber and dumber and dumber… this is so funny, you don’t have to play Ragnarok just to relate…

From thornz, a.k.a. wOrd:

I wish you wannabe japanese people quit trying to speak it. *thumbs down sign*

Actually, at this point, this species of moronica sounds like he’s actually making sense. Sounds exceedingly patriotic, a bit foolhardy, but at least, he stands for patriotism, and doesn’t believe in these otakus on Otaku Board who love to joke about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s atrocious Japanese commercial. But then, any hope for a semblance of intelligence is thrown out the window when…

From thornz, a.k.a. wOrd:

oh an another thing ichi u dumb@$$ i only have 2 posts because i keep getting banned so ill (sic) just keep making accounts so i dont give a $h!7 about what u say

can u white people act like your own culture go to damn england or something your
(sic) making japan here look bad. u comin acting lie (Guess what? Even more sic!) dumbasses and u make this (You got it. Sic) place all dirty WTF is up with that.

Yo, yo, yo. Chill. So you’re saying that the people on Otaku Board, particularly those playing on PHILIPPINE Ragnarok Online are all white people. Word. That’s funny. Somewhere in that mind of yours, you probably think that we jabronis here are wannabe Asians. O-okay… ::dusts off shoulders after shaking both from side to side::

And if you’re sooo proud of being Japanese, how do you explain this traced IP address (Courtesy of madame sky.)?

Address: 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
City: Marina del Rey
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 90292-6695
Country: US


So Marcelle’s a white boy wannabe Japanese, eh? Well, just call me Vanilla Weiss. Daijo-bwi!!!


.:Can You Smell It?:.

Graduation’s around the corner. Can you smell it? I really don’t think there’re too many sad songs I can sing once I graduate. It’s not like I’d stop keeping in touch with the people who matter, anyway. I guess I’d really appreciate to make the most out of my last few days as a college student, but then again, what else can I do that I haven’t already done? I don’t feel the need to actively cement my legacy in this batch, really. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m just one of the many here, although winning my two nominations in the Blue Roast Awards would be really nice. I certainly hope that I can be able to win both. I know Bobby Benedicto’s also nominated for “Batch Genius”, but I still figure that I’d have a fighting chance here…

I guess I’d write a bit more extensively about graduation in the future. I just don’t feel any cause for writing right now: no extreme sentimentality, no profound inspiration. Simply put, all I really need is to let all the hoopla sink into my system: I still feel like a student, I still feel like an atypical nerd, and I still really feel like I want to stay around on campus… as a teacher, hopefully. Hopefully, indeed. I don’t want to give myself too much hype or credit as it wouldn’t help me one bit. I’d be best-served to just let the natural process take its course and allow me to actually achieve what I really hope I can achieve… ah, well.

I know I’m a sentimental person, but when you realize that you could’ve been doing better than how you were, reminiscing does little more than frustrate you. I guess that’s why until I’m over that pettiness, I can’t really reminisce properly, truth be told… I really feel a bit inadequate at this point, but never mind.

I can’t help but agree with Cami though, when she says that she sees the value in meeting great people on the last possible minute. And what can I say? I certainly have. And they’re every bit as meaningful as the people who have lasted me through the years… I just really feel glad that I didn’t let the opportunity to figure in their lives somehow just go and slip me by…

.:Four Down, None To Go; Five Down, None To Go:.

I don’t want to say outright that I have a perfect 4.0 QPI this semester. I don’t want to jinx it. However, I do want to point out that I have already finished all my requirements, so I guess that means I can be happy and all. I’ve finished my 19-page paper for Pablito Perez since Wednesday, and then I already wrapped up my film paper for Fr. Nick, which I absentmindedly left in the CS laboratory in diskette format. That was one of the most idiotic things I’ve done, I swear. If Peppy doesn’t find that (Boy, I owe him big time for this! Domo Arigato!) tomorrow, I’m pretty much screwed already and I’d have to rewrite that paper… annoying. Really annoying, I swear. In spite of that, I guess I can say that I’m still pretty happy whatever happens, all things considered. (Then again, an update: it’s all settled, printed, and submitted now, so I can breathe easy…)

Spoke to Peppy while asking him for that big favor, and I swear, I’ve been giving him too much information, really. There are just some things I don’t really have to compare, but I go ahead and compare them, anyway…

Regardless of how this turns out, the nice thing is that I’m more or less complete with the requirements already. No need to wait until Saturday to wrap up everything.

In other news, four down, none to go. I sat in on Sacha’s class today, although she was hardly in the classroom, as she was more or less too busy proctoring, I believe. In any case, she texted me while I was in Megamall to meet her for dinner, though we just ended up chatting in Starbucks for about an hour and a half. No big deal, really. I guess she just enjoyed the fact that I am suddenly heavily considering a shift in career, completely ignoring the course I studied for. I don’t mind, truth be told. I’m after fulfillment right now, although if something like McKinzie offered me a consultancy for a six-digit salary, I know I’d work on that for a couple of years but end up teaching afterwards, anyway. I don’t think I can say I have lived my life if I haven’t experienced teaching… I just don’t think so.

Nonetheless, I’ve been chatting a bit with Sacha’s students. They’re all a nice bunch, although they still tend to neglect the fact that I’m not a computer science student, so I am sometimes completely oblivious to their jokes and all. Nonetheless, it’s nice talking to them. They know me by face, most likely, as not too many of them know my name. I’m just that guy who always sits in to go online for the duration of the class. Be that as it may, I’m still doing fine with them, really. It’s fun talking to them…

So I ran into Dot and Kim in Starbucks, as well as Meg and Pia. Just a few coincidences that are bound to happen. It’s Katipunan, after all. I really ought to keep my ego in check again, though. Those “A’s” mean nothing if I suddenly act all amoral (Not just “not moral”, i.e. immoral, but bereft of it… nice derivative.). I find that particularly futile. Nonetheless, I was talking a bit with Dot and Kim, and then Sacha arrived shortly afterwards. She just had some hot chocolate, and then she started talking to me. She actually won the “Batch Genius” award. Interesting. Really interesting.

She then talked a bit about her plans, and her beliefs in life. She seems pretty sure-footed to me, the more I observe her. I guess my being a fan of pluralism means that while I take a particular path in life, I am still open to the validity of the others around me. It helps me avoid any conflicts of interest. Pretty useful, if you think about it. Sacha wasn’t so receptive of Delamar’s theory on love as merely a controlling mechanism, though. Moving on, I guess if there’s one word people attribute to Sach mostly in a half-serious way but they really should mean it seriously, it’s “passionate”. Not that kind of passionate, though. I mean passionate in her work, in whatever purpose she finds herself to be serving the best. That amount of self-confidence within her really just makes people recognize that she’s got a good head on her shoulders.

An interesting excerpt from our dialogue, though:

Sacha: In case you’re wondering why people think I’m a “hot chick”, why don’t you ask Jobert? He was the one who thought so.

Marcelle: He said it’s the hair. But I don’t agree.

Sacha: Well, yes. But it can’t be the voice either. Some people are annoyed by that.

Marcelle: I’m sorry. That, I appreciate. Of course, me and my girlfriend don’t agree on that count, and she questions my ears.

Sacha: Hmm…

Marcelle: Maybe it’s your… or rather, your lack of…

Sacha: … Inhibition?

Marcelle: Not really. Try “hot implants”.

Sacha: You seem to be a bit fixated on that. I do appreciate the comments about my hemispheres, though (Brain hemispheres! Come on, stop that!).

Funny dialogue, I swear. I did get a nice reminder about my being a bit too competitive at times, though. Not that I’m trying to outdo her at computers, but I tend to shrink when I’m around greatness and all. She then talks about how if two people don’t find any common ground as a basis of comparison, then the next best thing is determining who’s more into whatever their strongest suit may be. It’d be interesting to see how me and Peppy would go around in the faculty, though. That’d be quite a sight… two evil men, plotting all the time…

After a bit more of intelligent conversation (She didn’t get the “This is up and this is down” puzzle, though.), we left Starbucks, and walked generally in the same direction until I got to KFC. I guess I was a bit brazen enough, and, well… asked for a hug. She readily obliged, to which I am extremely grateful for. I really appreciated that bonding time, as it really made me feel more and more sure that following this path I’m taking at the moment is the right thing to do. Maybe I won’t be making a 6-digit paycheck in this path, but bottom line is that I know I’ll be flourishing in this path I’m taking. At the same time, I don’t intend to speak with any finality either, so maybe that 6-digit paycheck isn’t so out of the question just yet…

Thank you very much for the time and the hug as well, Sach. It reassured me that I’ve been on the right track thus far. Hope to be working with you (indirectly) soon.
.:The Top Five:.

Next week’s Top Five: The Top Five Ways To Tell Your Parents You’re Getting Married

This week…

The Top Five Famous Last Words:

5. “What do you mean I’m wearing a backpack?”, said the sky-diver.
4. “You know what, Ken Shamrock? You’re a ninny!”
3. “Stop! Stop! I want to get on! Why are these weird-looking cabs so dumb?”, said the man flagging down a train while standing in the tracks.
2. “Wait. Let me light a match. There. What does the sign say? Oh. ‘Danger! Explosives.’”
1. “Don’t worry. Reticulated pythons aren’t poisonous. Here. Come closer.”
.:In Case You Didn’t Know:.

This weblog has been in existence for the past two years. I am quite aware that a lot of people have not seen this weblog’s growing pains, nor has most of this lot ever bothered to go through the archives to understand exactly what “It’s True! It’s True!” is really all about. Some people, therefore, aren’t quite aware of the “traditional” things I’ve been doing for this weblog, such as a weekly Top Five topic, or an occasional rant (Which I call a “vituperation”), or an occasional alternate usage for the word “jabroni” (Which is, to me, a synonym for “friend”.), or an occasional indulgence in the politically incorrect.

Crass? At times, yes. It’s not like I pretend to be refined, anyway. You should see some of the other weblogs, though. There’re people who swear worse than sailors, and I hang around them quite a bit. Despite that, there’s no reason to fault a person in his choice of words, so long as he doesn’t step on other people’s toes.

Arrogant? At times, yes. Let’s face it: when two of your favorite wrestlers are named Rocky Maivia and Kurt Angle, their innate arrogance does rub off on you. I don’t claim to be humble, and truth be told, my downplaying of whatever I can do is mostly to keep people from expecting too much from me than for me to stay as this humble human being of utmost piety and temperance. I am, after all, human. I get my kicks out of hearing from people, in any shape or form, and knowing that somehow, I figure in their lives every now and then. I don’t have to be the center of attraction or the star of the show. I just have to do what I have to do and make sure I don’t antagonize other people to the best of my abilities.

With that being said, maybe some of you jabronis tend to wonder about why I sometimes refer to myself in the third person. Well, yes, it does come off as arrogant, no doubt, but beyond that, I write in the third person from time to time because it’s the way I want to write. Label it as you please, but I simply feel comfortable writing like that every now and then. Occasions such as when I’m exceedingly happy or morose. In any case, it has a lot to do with the fact that again, Rocky Maivia speaks in the third person. The Rock says this, the Rock says that, remember? At the same time, Mr. Jim Paredes, my creativity teacher, allowed me to persist in speaking in the third person in his class almost all the time. Believe it or not, the freedom of doing that, helped my creativity along a lot. In honor of that, I still go back to third person style from time to time. I initially started all my posts in the third person, but even I realized that doing that too often would make it lose its appeal to me to be creative and all. So I only do it from time to time now.

Maybe you think it’s arrogance. I won’t fault you for that. I never claimed to be humble, anyway. Maybe you think it’s being crass and self-centered. Fine, if you judge my being based on a writing style. It’s a bloody writing style. Good Gawd, no need to crucify me for persisting in it. Nonetheless, in case you didn’t know, I thought maybe a reiteration of my history of weblogging should clarify why I post in the third person from time to time. Your call if you don’t buy it, really. I don’t have any need to convince you jabronis otherwise…

.:You Think You Know Me?:.

A WARNING: This is not going to be pretty. Skip this, if you’re so inclined.

While I have no qualms with people who complain about this or that element of my being, I certainly have a bone to pick with those who decide to stab me in the back about these deficiencies AFTER getting what they wanted from me. I mean, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the bloody kitchen. Just make bloody sure you don’t take any of the food with you. If you find me offensive, I find you exceedingly user-friendly and utilitarian. After putting me to use, no matter how meager my utility may have been, you would actually have the gall to lash out at me behind my back. Where’s your intestinal fortitude, jabroni?

I mean, come on, jabroni! You have the nerve to judge me based on what you see here! You think you know me? Well, you don’t. Calling me “crass” after getting what you needed from me is plain low, jabroni. Really low. I wouldn’t mind it at all if you called me whatever the Hades you want, but quit biting the hand that feeds you, jabroni! It just makes you look really bad. Quit biting behind his back too. It must really blow to be you, to use someone else to get something, and then to ditch that person after the utility is over and done with. If you want to assassinate Marcelle’s freaking character, then do it before you take his help. Stop being such a freaking ingrate, because I sure as Hades don’t deserve it. Not especially from you.

I don’t give a flying freak if you think I’m such an annoying bastich who’s only out for recognition. If you had any spine at all, then you’d have told it to my face and not availed of my help. It’s immaterial here if my help was great or not. The mere fact that you availed of it already shows that I have the moral high ground at this juncture.

At the same ruddy time, if you’re so annoyed, who the Hades told you to read the other posts? You came here because you wanted something, and you sure as Hades got it. Then, you take more than you needed, and you have the gall to lash out at me for what you chose to do? Nobody forced you to read my weblog. Nobody. I only offered to help, and if you didn’t want the help, then fine. I did not offer you any insight into my being through my weblog, but only help. If you took more than your share of help, then you fault me for it, then you clearly have no idea what you’re doing.

This is my weblog. This is my space to write about what I feel like writing. It’s like my house. I’m sure you get the analogy, or do I need to make a three-page paper to explain that to you as well? I mean, if I were in your house, I have no right to complain about your d├ęcor, or your choice of tacky furniture, because I am your guest. Out of your good will, you let me in, in spite of your shortcomings. I’m sure you’d be equally appalled if after you welcome me to your home, and you let me have lunch, I proceed to lambast you because you have an atrocious-looking carpet and a really dismal wallpaper scheme. I’m sure you know where you’ve heard this concept before. It’s called “a wounded healer”. Oh, wait. Maybe you don’t get that, either. That’s why you came here in the first place, right?

So if you got anything more to say, why don’t you say it to my face, jabroni? Or are you just content simmering and stabbing me in the back while I call you out? I offered help, you took it. If you have any problems with anything else beyond that, then don’t take my help in the first place. That way, I don’t have to waste my time and energies making you famous by writing about you for being such a freaking spineless ingrate. That way, you can still keep your dignity for calling me a crass, arrogant, and “feeling” bastich, because you were so appalled by my perceived faults that you flat-out refuse any help I extend to you. But no, you made an IW out of me, then you talk behind my back. How’s that for classy?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

.:PLUG!!!:.

The 2004 Blue Roast Awards are coming up. I'm nominated for the following categories:

1. Batch Gifted Child
2. Crush ANG Bayan

I would really appreciate the votes for me. I really would. Winning both categories would be such a boon for me, and would make me feel happy and all...

I hope you people vote for me. You know I'm qualified on both counts. Et tu, Mr. Bulaong, Mr. Dy-Liaco?

At the same time, I'll be on air tomorrow at RX 93.1, from 6-9 in the morning. I don't expect to be talking as much as I did today, but I'm going on air, nonetheless with Chico and Delamar.

Keep safe, jabronis!
.:Finally, Progress:.

I guess I can’t complain with today’s Morning Rush stint. You might say that I’ve been able to achieve so much more this day than what I’ve been able to achieve for the past few weeks, considering how I was in high spirits throughout the day, and Delamar seemed her normal self towards me already.

I was working on my diction quite a bit throughout Generation RX, and I was doing pretty well, all things considered. I was avoiding the lack of “h” in my “th” sounds, so I don’t think anyone can complain about it. In fact, what I saw on the textline in reference to me was from Sumi’s Brother, and he was saying:

Is it just my imagination, or is there a third person in the booth with you?

I didn’t get any hate mail today. Shucks. They love me. They really love me. ::/sarcasm::

Chico and Delamar were having fun with the Hot 10 topic: the Hot 10 replies to your crush if he or she asks you, “Do you have a crush on me?” Some of the answers were pretty cute, no question about it. This piece of dialogue got pretty interesting, though…

Delamar: Right! Crushing on a celebrity isn’t a big deal. And I don’t think I’d say to Joyce Jimenez that I like her.

Chico: I meant guys, okay? I mean, if you’re a guy, Joyce Jimenez. If you’re a girl… who’s a crush material celebrity for girls?

Marcelle: Greg Turvey.

Delamar: Stay out of this, Marcelle.

Do note that this was during the Hot 10, which meant I got to sneak my two cents into the Hot 10, although I really kept it to a minimum. We ended up wondering where the sewage in all the toilets in a city go to, to which the listeners responded that it’s taken to a sewage treatment plant. And then? What happens there? Is it sent back into the sea? That’s still bad. Fertilizer? After all those chemicals? Wonderful topic, neh? I’m sure it made people reminisce about their breakfast a wee bit too physically… heh. I even got to answer the Hot 10, but I’ll get there later.

Chico was a bit confident with me already, as he asked me to read some Generation RX responses. Still, I swear, I cannot, for the life of me, read Chico’s handwriting. It’s almost as bad as mine, but since I’m not used to it, I really have no idea how to make heads or tails out of his writing. Nonetheless, it was good, because I’ve been working a bit on my voice, so I’ve been a bit easier on the ears as of late. I don’t know what sir Louie D, would do upon finding out that I talked during the Hot 10, but in the final instance, it happened to be them who offered me to answer the question. It’s just that Delamar was proposing a theory that made love seem exceedingly utilitarian…

Delamar: You know what? I think love is just a control mechanism imposed by society.

Marcelle: So you don’t think love is good in and by itself?

Delamar: I don’t!

Marcelle: Ah. Now I know where you’re coming from.

Chico: You know what? If I put an ampalaya (Bittermelon.) inside the booth, it’d look so much sweeter with you around.

Marcelle: The bitterness just oozes out of you, Delle. I swear.

And yes, I will be on air tomorrow again, 6-9 in the morning, only on Monster Radio, RX 93.1. Whoo!


.:Passing The Time:.

While waiting for Mega Mall to open, I was talking with Sir Jojo about GTO, among other things. Ah, well. Pretty funny stuff, really. I sure ended up having a good time talking, though. Stuff like Lucy Liu’s GQ Germany appearance, among other things… really interesting stuff, all things considered. In any case, I noticed that Kim already has a time card, so I guess that means she’s already a contracted DJ on RX. That’s good for her. Couldn’t happen to a more talented person…

Anyways, it’s funny, but I actually have a shot at the departmental awards. I of course wonder if it’s going to do me any good to hope. I don’t think I’m half as good as the people who are also nominated, like Willard, or Bianca Rodriguez (I think.), or Abby. Whatever the case may be, I’m happy to be so much as considered. I was too dumb to leave out a few elements of my resume. Sigh. I didn’t mention any of my other finals and sem-finals appearances in ADS tournaments, but I guess that can’t be helped. Whatever happens, I’m satisfied anyway with my being pretty much set on my Cum Laude status, and how many people seem to be so aware about my study guide for Theology and Philosophy in this weblog. I think the word has really spread, and it’s the least I can do for these people, regardless if it seems like I do feel a bit like an IW in the end. I still extended this help for the sake of helping people, so I guess if it makes me seem like an IW, I may as well just take the good with the bad.

Been getting a lot of positive feedback over negative feedback lately. Even found an old High School friend, Tyrone Dimaguila, on Friendster. He’s now happily living in Canada. That jabroni was one of my closest friends at the time. In any case, no big deal. I’m sure he’s doing fine right now, and I even found a few other friends, as well. Angelica Sarte from CSR is actually married now. She’s only 21. Pretty surprising, but that’s good for her. She looks happy. I haven’t written testimonials for people in ages. In any case, that’s no biggie. It’s not like I’ve been getting much for myself, either.

I noticed I’ve been using the phrase “in any case” more often than ever, effectively replacing “regardless” or “irregardless” for the most part. In any case, I just noticed it. No big deal, really.

Was supposed to meet up with Maia and her boyfriend today, but the poor jabroni got sick. May he get well soon. I guess he’s not used to the weather? I ended up playing some KOF instead, and it sure sharpened my skills with guys like Athena, Billy Kane, Goro Daimon, and Tizoc/Griffon. I have problems with Griffon’s headbutt, though. He rolls sometimes. Daimon, on the other hand, is fun with his counter super. Opponent does the tag-in super, then Daimon does the counter. Tagged-in opponent walks into the counter and eats it. Bada-bing! I love it. I should find more uses for Goro, though. I’m not too good with his command throws and comboing his super… shucks.

So there we go. I’ve a dinner date with a friend tonight. Let’s see if I can complete the fourfold goal.
.:Quick Breaking News!!!:.

I'll blog later, but I thought I'd say this bit of inside information...

Don't be surprised if the Supreme Court rules in favor of DISQUALIFYING FPJ, 7-3-4. Expect trouble when this happens. In any case, you heard it here first.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

.:Three Down, Two To Go; Three Down, One To Go:.

I have three subjects out of the way, and two to go. Unless I am sadly mistaken, all three subjects are indeed A’s: Theology, Philosophy, and Political Science. With only Asian Film and Media Law and Ethics left for me to deal with, I must say that I feel pretty good about my chances of earning a perfect semester, no question about it. Getting a 4.0 is simply not a mean feat for anyone, and as such, I’d want to have a claim in being able to achieve that, in any case.

I’m pretty happy with the whole setup of this day, as it was exceedingly contributory to how I was particularly well-motivated to do well in my oral examinations. I was reviewing Cami for most of the time, along with one of her friends, and then through our reviews, I was able to bond with her nicely enough. Afterwards, when it was about time for her to take her test, I saw her in the third floor of the Dela Costa building, and as I checked for my time, I saw ma’am Elsa Magtibay in the other Consultation Room. Funny thing is, Cami then called my attention to who was in the room with ma’am Elsa. Daph Villanueva, no less. Cami was laughing at me over acting so giddy and all about it, as it would appear that I have been running into nice CP’s or PCP’s for most of the day, even just by SMS. I swear, this was a really fun day, to say the least. I was making sure I could help out anyone I’d run into who had to deal with the thesis statements in the book. While I seem to be feeding them the answers, considering how open this weblog is to anyone, it would be a good idea to use my answers as no more than a guide, for their own sake.

Ma’am Elsa was happy to hear about my plans, and was hoping to see me around. I’d like that, but I’d also be realistic and say that my applying to teach does not guarantee that I will. I will do my best, though. She apparently realized that Daph was… a fit in my criterion…

In any case, three down, one to go. There are four people I wish to bond with before I graduate. Diane Sayo is one of them. Rachel Reyes is another. I sincerely appreciate the chance to do so with Cami all the same. I am grateful for the hugs, really. It made me feel that my efforts were all worth it (You do recall that if you didn’t ask me to, I prolly wouldn’t have bothered answering those thesis statements online?). She happens to be one of the few people who over the course of the week, in spite of availing of my aid, did not make me feel one bit like an IW. That’s great. Really. I was having fun talking to her because of all the lateral puzzles she was trying to solve, and the nice conversation about things like the La Salle Scandal.

Maybe she doesn’t have Sacha’s voice, but her voice is quite interesting itself. She of course took a 180-degree turn from her formal look before I met up with her after my orals. Maybe we’re not best of friends, but I’m pretty grateful that I still managed to get closer to her as a friend before we graduate. She’s one of those wonderful surprises that you can’t believe you missed for the longest time. With that being said, maybe it’s obvious who that one person to go happens to be… if not, I’m still pretty glad how things are…

.:No Wonder It’s Also Called Stalkster:.

So many resources one can actually acquire by virtue of Friendster. Funny thing is, after listening to Fr. Que for just a short while about Hannah Arendt, I went off to sit in on Sacha’s class (As usual.), and it looks like her students are beginning to get an idea about me. Of course, while my long-running joke is about teaching swimming in ICA, let it not be said that I really am serious about trying this out for myself. Maybe I’m wrong, but at this point in my life, teaching seems to be what will fulfill me as a human being. I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t see any reason why I should knock it before I try it.

In any case, I was acting like a genuine stalker today (Not one of my obvious strengths.), as I was considering e-mailing myself a video clip then playing it in Sacha’s projector. Imagine her talking to her students, and a video clip of her three minutes prior to it is playing on the big screen. Wonder how that would capture the attention of her students. Neil seems to be gung-ho about Game of the Generals lately, though. Yes, my good man: keep it up. Let us resurrect the glory days of this fine, fine game.

.:Resolutions:.

Unlike how Abby and I used to go, I must say that I’m really happy that we’re doing very well now. I know some old nagging issues will resurface from time to time, but I guess it’s just a phase, really. And she’s right, though: maybe I’ve been reading too much into other people lately. Not just her, in fact. Maybe that makes me look at things from a rather unique and unorthodox point of view. Nonetheless, I still believe that dialogue was of immense help.

At least, gone were the days of a huge issue erupting in my face regarding her that would require tons of damage control. Any issues we have are better-resolved now, although there are naturally still things I cannot and will not address, as the case is the same with her. In spite of that, our good standing with one another is something I am pretty much grateful for already. Maybe I’m not her best friend per se, but I’d like to think that I still matter, to some extent.

I’m grateful she was understanding enough to know that it was just my brain working overtime that made me feel bad the previous day. I know it’s not such a great alibi, but it’s the truth, anyway. I at least managed to explain to her with some measure of clarity why I was acting up the way I was acting up, and I guess the fact that my expectations aren’t as congruent with what appeared to be that of others do tell me that I’ve been putting myself too much in other people’s shoes the other day. Although, of course, while it’s no cause to bring out the champagne, certain other people, given the different circumstances, would really make it a valid cause to bring out the champagne. There, I can expect. But that’s a different story for a different consideration.

At the same time, we talked a bit about Christ’s example. As He treats Himself as a means to an end, this does not fall in line with the second categorical imperative, apparently. Despite the argument for its being a validly moral act, then, this is quite a hurdle that is difficult to overcome. Richie’s case is more of the same, really. Talked to Mr. Bulaong about it a bit, though he reminded me to send in my application soon. Will do. Will do.

So maybe I have seemingly exceeded my academic yardstick. That’s frankly not the case. It’s pretty obvious that she’s been lying low, to begin with, as she really didn’t have to do anything to become Cum Laude. I had to. With that being said, I think that Abby as my yardstick for academic success was quite a sensible choice, to begin with.

Thanx, Abby. I owe you yet again.

.:Shucks:.

So here I am right now, doing my paper for Atty. Perez. Pretty long paper, mind you, but I already hit the page requirement, so I’m sure I can finish this whole thing by tomorrow, at the latest.

In any case, Abby (Again! She’s on a roll…) and I talked a bit on the phone, as she’s apparently done with Theology. I suppose Mr. Dy-Liaco liked how she answered thesis statement number 4, as he said that she did fine. Then we talked a bit about Dungeons and Dragons, as she’s playing Neverwinter Nights. The funniest thing, though, was when I told her that I couldn’t get to Rockwell, so I couldn’t take Sach up on her invite to play billiards. Abby taught me how to get there, but…

Abby: You may as well stay home and do Pablito.

Marcelle: Wouldn’t it be better to…

Abby: Evil man!

Marcelle: You know what I was about to say?

Abby: Yes.

Marcelle: So right. Wouldn’t it be better for me to do billiards instead, or Sacha, for that matter?

Abby: Right. Who would want to do Pablito over Sacha, right?

Marcelle: Yep. Wrong choice of words, Abby.

.:The Theology Transcript:.

I essentially used up all my time without stopping and letting Mr. Dy-Liaco ask any questions. I think the best way to get a good grade for this is to not let him fill in any blanks for you and to know exactly what you’re talking about, and to string your arguments cohesively enough. I’m not 100% sure of an “A”, but at the very least, I’m certain that in being able to maximize my time and cover the material concisely but clearly, I did quite well.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: So Marcelle, you’ve answered all the thesis statements on your website. How long was your answer to each question?

Marcelle: The whole document was about eleven pages, single-spaced, on MS Word, sir.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Yes, but how many pages did you devote to each question?

Marcelle: Mostly three pages each, sir.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Among all the thesis statements, what were you the most happy about?

Marcelle: I have to say I’m pretty glad about Thesis Statement 1A, if only for its scope and everything it encompasses.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Okay. Talk about Thesis Statement 1A, then.

Marcelle: “Thesis Statement 1A: This course consists in an effort at sustained, directed, and personal thinking out of Christian Faith with the aim of fostering the ongoing growth of seniors toward full maturity in the Faith, as active members of the Christian community, the Church, capable of responding as true disciples of Christ to the urgent challenges of Filipino life today.”

Sir, what I realized about this thesis statement the first time that I read it is that it is clearly an attempt to outline the entirety of the course itself. It’s a catch-all statement that tries to tell us precisely what Theology 151 wants us to learn. In realizing that fact, I am then pressed to ask myself: what is the crux, the central focus of this entire course? Given the many elements involved, it is irrevocably CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT. This Christian commitment is something that is brought about by a deepening of the Christian Faith, so let us talk about this first.

Why sustained and directed? We realize, firstly, that this effort to think upon one’s Christian Faith stems from the fact that as a nation, the Philippines is highly involved in Folk Christianity. Many people live their lives without ever knowing the reasons why they believe in what they believe. In thinking upon our faith, we begin to make heads and tails of their meaning to us, and we begin to grow in our faith by knowing it better. This meditation upon the faith should not be merely in sporadic bursts, but a continual effort, hence, sustained. It must also be directed, not only because of its being imperative to our growth, but because it must be directed as focused upon us, as we try to determine which elements of our faith are of significance and pertinence to us. Maybe one would want to migrate once FPJ wins. Thinking upon this is directed, given the context we find ourselves in.

Ultimately, this is what makes our thinking upon our Christian Faith as personal. Each of us would have our own steps to undergo throughout this lifelong process of growing in the faith, as it is obvious that one semester cannot provide for us to make this growth so tangible.

So we, as seniors, are nearing some important crossroads in our lives. These are crossroads that we will take and crossroads that will definitely have a significant impact upon our lives. Because of our being imperfect, it is here that we ask for a graced imagination and reality through prayer. We ask through prayer for aid in finding who we are and where we want to go, in order for us to be able to move forward and actually work towards our human fulfillment. Clearly, once we act this out, Christian Commitment comes into play.

We have this general notion that commitments are romantic relationships between husbands and wives, or girlfriends and boyfriends, but we ought to know better. Commitments, for our purposes, interpersonal ones, can be commitments to one other person, or to a community or nation. We know we freely enter these commitments, as a commitment is a promise: a special kind of choice. We know that our choices are ground in freedom, and they concretize this freedom. As we make this special choice, our story, it then shapes our choices further. Why do we want to do this? Inadvertently, our commitments will intertwine us with others, and thereby give us our Great Humanizing Goods of love, friendship, and communion, ideally. At the same time, our motivation to enter commitments are likewise the Great Humanizing Goods.

Admittedly, maturity in the faith does not happen after one semester of theologizing. Despite this fact, this course lays out to us how we can continue to mature in the faith, and allows us to realize how fides et ratio work together hand in hand, as our faith is not just a faith to think about, but a faith to think with, in fact.

Our commitments are ideally being constantly affirmed by our conscience: not just an arbiter, but as I fondly term it, our life’s compass, that takes us in the direction of the flow of our being. Our commitment, while freely entered, is paradoxically something we are responsible for. We oblige ourselves to uphold this, knowing that we ourselves appropriated this for ourselves. One might say it’s “making things hard on one’s self”. After all, one has the option of doing otherwise. However, I prefer to label it as being “one’s own boss”. Given the grace of the Holy Spirit, one exercises his freedom to enter and maintain this commitment, as His sources for it are the Great Humanizing Goods. As such, if one is in a genuine commitment, the growth follows.

As such, because we realize that Christian Commitment comes with being part of Christ’s Body, the Church, our thinking out of Christian faith has to be operationalized by our conscience, our subjective norm of morality, in a place where communion should happen. The Church, being our tangible link to the transcendent God, is that which we commit ourselves to. Why? Clearly, Christ is the example par excellence of the fulfillment of a genuine commitment from start to finish. The Church, as our tangible link to Christ, is precisely that which allows us to foster a personal relationship with Him, through His works, through His words, and through action in His Church, as we now respond to the challenges in being Christ-like.


Mr. Dy-Liaco: You started with Thesis 1A and wrapped it up with Thesis 4 in precisely ten minutes. Very nice, Fabie… Marcelle.

Marcelle: ::smiles nervously::

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Are you doing okay?

Marcelle: Well, sir, it’s hard to believe, but I might not be in advertising or public relations after all. I don’t know. I just felt like I wanted to teach Philosophy. The past couple of oral exams, I’ve been uploading my answers to the thesis statements, and while I make sure they’re not plagiarizing me word for word, I thought that I could help more people in a better way. I know it seems shallow to me without thinking it over, but at this moment, and maybe it’d change, but at this moment, I just feel that my fulfillment will come through teaching. I don’t know why, but I guess there’s just something about it.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Okay. I’ll see you, Marcelle.

Marcelle: Yes, sir. Thank you.

Mr. Dy-Liaco: Thank you.

::handshake, end of transcript::

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Obviously, I skipped my Radio 1 today. I'm doing too many things in school right now, so I decided to go on Thursday and Friday instead, to drive the listeners crazy...

.:Why Make Soap?:.

A question of fulfillment has been posed by Atty. Perez to his students on the last day of his class. A person in the advertising industry may be so successful and make even more money than even a slightly above average lawyer could, but then, why make soap? Aren't there better things to do? Clearly, we see that this question of fulfillment sums up the entirety of the course nicely: media law and ethics, more than letting you know about your rights, is about letting you know what rights you could be trampling upon in your quest for media dominance. If there's only one thing I feel that Atty. Perez would want his students to not forget, it's being an ethical media practitioner, aware of the rights of everyone they deal with, despite their privileged status born out of influence.

To drive the point of copyrights and neighboring rights, it was pretty amusing how he kept on using Kyla as an overextended example, though. He kept on talking about Kyla performing a song, and then what steps all parties involved would have to take so that Kyla's performance is legal, as well as the broadcast and recording of this performance, and what rights are involved in the whole equation. Atty. Perez may seem to be just another teacher, but I had the feeling that beneath all those lines, and all those jokes about Elizabeth Ramsey during the Shakespearean era, he still has his heart in the right place. That's a consoling thing to know, as at least, I now know of two lawyers (Hello there, Sassy Lawyer In Philippine Suburbia!) who don't fit the joke of practicing their job on the go the way a chiropractor massages the person in front of him in a line: by screwing the person in front of him in the line.

Maybe it should be a stern reminder of the things that should matter. Money's great, but what good is it if it cost your soul to acquire it, neh? I don't have to be philosophical or preachy about this. There simply is a line I cannot and will not go beyond, and selling my soul to Hades is simply one of those lines I cannot cross. Or stabbing a friend behind the back after helping me out of a tight spot... I cede my bragging rights to do these things, so I'd rather not.

It looks like weblog entries may fall under the catch-all phrase in the Philippine Copyright Law, but until someone sues another for plagiarizing weblog content, that is going to be no more than a possibility. Maybe I should sue someone, just so there'd be precedent to back my paper up already. Ha! As if anyone would rip me off?

.:Old Habits Die Hard:.

And so I owe Abby yet again. It 's been the case for the longest time: the person who makes another cry is also the only person who can stop the tears. Maybe the analogy doesn't fit to a "T", but it does have some relevance, nonetheless.

Marcelle's history with Abby has been anything but pretty. A lot of people know that. It's been so legendary already that no further elucidations on the matter are needed, as most people have their own versions about the story by now, and even if either party chose to remain silent upon stepping into college, the history would've willed itself out, anyway. As such, it does become quite a difficulty for a seven-year old friendship to just neglect everything that has transpired over the years. Let's face it: Abby and Marcelle have gone a long way as friends. While the jump to the other ladder did send him to the Abyss, it was still worth it to be her friend for him. In fact, that greatly explains what he's doing in the same course, in the same college as she is.

Marcelle has been thinking and contemplating and philosophizing about anything and everything for the longest time. He realizes that when his brain is working full-time, downtime is his worst enemy. He ends up being way too pensive, and it doesn't help him to be so one bit. Let's face it: being pensive makes him think about the past, and makes him feel bad about the shortcomings he had back then. Marcelle is the kind of person who'd beat himself up over his failure, as he would somehow feel bad about the dearth of A's in Philosophy in spite of the help he extended to his classmates, which says a lot about his not being as great of an aid as he hoped to be.

And so what's the point? As Marcelle was reviewing with Abby over Theology last night, he couldn't help but delude himself quite idiotically. It obviously doesn't help that he's around people who are aware of the history, either. And so Marcelle's seeming inability to help was magnified by the fact that it was Abby he was trying to help out. The botched attempt was frustrating, but the abrupt end of the whole thing felt even worse... is it such a crime to... backspace, backspace, backspace. Forget it.

So Marcelle owes Abby again because she was willing to hear him out about this, and not bite his head off for going around in circles with the same old issues and the same old worries to quell. Marcelle is glad that she recognizes and respects the effort on choosing to do one thing and not to do another. And then, people like Diane or Rachel or C come along, and they end up giving Marcelle more of the same questioning. At the same time, being an IW does sting a lot. When the only use people have for you is your brain, and they forget you even exist after the fact, it sure as Hades feels a whole lot demeaning and cheapening of your efforts to be of help. As Jim Paredes put it, there are a lot of crazymakers in this world. Unfortunately for Marcelle, a lot of these crazymakers are people he can't avoid, and even patrons of his own flourishing in some other respects. Abby is a perfect example of the hybrid. It's toxic, and Marcelle's slipping under.

Maybe all this paranoia is not doing any good at all. Maybe not everything that seems too good to be true really is, and in fact, some things just are that great. Maybe this relationship is smooth-sailing because it ought to be so, and not because it simply is convenient. Marcelle would not want regrets to come in when it's too late, but maybe Marcelle is, as Elbert would say, planning too far ahead. In any case, it helps that one's significant other is also one's best friend. As such, in spite of the adverse effects, she still manages to be supportive of you, and even reaffirms her trust in you, and reaffirms how much she believes that you are truly a special and lovable person. The guilt of course increases because you know that a person as understanding as this doesn't deserve being told of such things...

Gratitude also has to go out to Tsumenki, who heard Marcelle out quite a bit last night. Yes, maybe it's just a phase. These things do happen, and Tsumenki would probably know. That's how great she is in the empathy department.

.:The Method To The Madness: The Unsent Series Part V:.

Dear Divine,

Four years and more in your company, Divine. You are the earthly center that keeps Marcelle from spiraling away. And still you wonder if this is all just a dream. With all the others around you, you inevitably question your significance to him, as though that were a question one needed to ask.

And so it goes, "Why do you choose to be with me, quirks and all, oriental pulchritude around you and all, after all these years? "

How best to answer a question of choice? If one were to extol your virtues and speak about your beauty, or your grace, or your personality, Divine, then eradicating those reasons would eliminate the significance of the choice. If one were to ask in return, "why not" , then it would clearly be a matter of convenience, and once a compelling "why not " has been provided, then all bets are off.

If such a question when answered such as this will only be spurious, then perhaps the only valid answer is: "Why ask why?"

Why ask why, Divine? Is a question that is in need of an answer one that requires one so rational and unequivocally compelling? Or is it not better to keep one's eyes veiled to any rational reason that could easily be dismissed by its converse? Does not this solicitation for certitude cause only more ambiguities? Clearly, Divine, it is a matter of faith: faith in a commitment that has been made, honed and honored over time, regardless of the hurdles that have and are yet to come. A leap of faith that has been made with little of an escape clause. Beyond duty, love fuels the commitment, and love in and by itself is reason enough.

Divine, Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connait pas. The heart has its reasons which reason cannot know. And so, Marcelle asks you, "Why ask why?"

In all reality and idealism together, is not the assurance that it is as it is genuinely with reasons that are beyond reasoning to grasp behind them assurance enough of the sincerity of making this conscious choice? Cerebral though it may seem, Divine, truly, it is merely a rational declaration of irrationality: a sensible plea of the heart. A calculated madness, if you so please. Because Marcelle has chosen to love you in spite of any motivations to do otherwise, not because he has some ulterior gain that he can conceivably acquire, but because choosing to love you is complete and choiceworthy in and by itself. Let it not be said that loving Divine is as good as loving the Torch, or anyone else for that matter.

And as the melodies may go, Marcelle doesn't say it often as he should, but he really wants it to be heard. When he said he loves her, that's for good, in whatever capacity it may be. Marcelle wants to make her feel beautiful. Special. Marcelle looks at Divine, and sees that broken smile. He doesn't mind spending every waking minute of his life in the pouring rain of tribulations. If only he can make her happy for this short moment we call a lifetime.

Indeed, she will be loved, and there is no need to ask why.

Monday, February 23, 2004

A boring entry for a boring weekend... sort of boring, but with my being busy and all, I guess it makes sense why things are going this haywire... expect my posting to be less scatter-rained by Wednesday...

.:Consolation:.

Abby, thank you for snapping me back to my senses. I guess these are times when positivity is simply not enough to make me feel exceedingly sure-footed about things, and that really can’t be helped from time to time.

I suppose it’s the half-empty or half-full argument. I really don’t look at the glass as half-empty most of the time, but situations do come up from time to time that make me end up viewing it as such. Ah, well. That’s the way things are…

I’ve seen the four winning articles on Comic Images for the Raw Deal writer’s team, and I feel a bit justified that even though I didn’t win, the people who actually did really deserved it. So maybe they didn’t come up with t3ch gold for their articles, but they did what they were supposed to do, and that was to educate the player on the finer elements of gaming. Nothing earth-shaking. Just solid and extremely interesting writing from them carried them all the way through. I’d have wanted to be a regular writer, but I guess the fact remains that the articles these guys wrote about really shed new light on how I looked at the game, especially the two deckbuilding articles that were there. New terms even a longtime gamer like myself happened to be unfamiliar with, for instance, really educated me. So I guess I’ve no complaints with their win. Too bad about my not getting any booster boxes, though. I guess there’s always next year…

A bunch of B+/A’s in the oral exam results for Mr. Bulaong, but I’m genuinely surprised that I was the lone full-pledged A in the whole thing. In fact, I’m less proud and more surprised about it, considering how I would’ve thought that my other classmates would’ve gotten used to Mr. Bulaong’s style by now, and thus adapt their argumentation and elucidation accordingly. Arthur got even lower this time, as he had a B/B+ instead of a flat B+. Frankly, that does surprise me, as I always thought Mr. Bulaong appreciated Arthur’s enthusiasm and I was giving Arthur the benefit of the doubt that all his questions would lead to better answers from him when called upon it. Apparently not…

Nonetheless, I’m grateful to Abby because she certainly knocked some sense back into my head. I guess I have quite a lot of things I could still be thankful for.

.:Finally, Support:.

My mom doesn’t show any more resistance to the idea that I would teach Philosophy when I graduate. She originally refused to let me take a minor in Philosophy, but now, she is apparently supportive about the idea now. I noticed it when she was glad about the idea while we were talking about it over lunch at Steak Jack for my grandparents’ wedding anniversary. I guess that’s pretty nice, as I really want to teach, even for just a while. Ran into Charlene (Chua) in Steak Jack as well. She was either on a date with a guy and her brother, or she was with two siblings. I wouldn’t know, really. Not my job to stalk into this… ah, well.

I’m glad that I don’t have to go an extra mile just to convince my parents I want to do this. It’s a matter of fulfillment for me. Maybe I wouldn’t be making insane amounts of money in my line of work, but as long as I’m making do with what I have, and I’m not stepping on other people, I guess I really wouldn’t mind that fact. I’ve been having a nice chat with one of my Philosophy classmates (Hi, Rowena!) just now, and people I know I’ve helped somehow really make me feel a lot better with the choice I’m taking. Did the vote of confidence make me richer? No. But was the fact that I can help people through what I do good in and by itself? Hades, yeah.

.:Realism:.

Not that I intend to break up with Grace, but I do believe that it’s hard to be in a relationship for keeps if you haven’t had anyone else. This is not to say that I should actively be looking for other girls in the meantime, but I really believe that regrets when it’s too late into a relationship are flat-out bad… nonetheless, I guess this is planning way too far ahead, and I know it’s not the most optimistic thing to think about, but talking about things like this with Grace make me feel a lot more secure about my relationship with her. Ironic, neh? Works for me, nonetheless. We actually had a nice date, although we got exceedingly frustrated that after all that trouble for a Tower GC at TGI Friday’s, we end up going there and discovering that the Tower isn’t available. What a bloody rip-off.

Grace and I seem to have a kind of understanding of one another's personality that both of us can get away with things we can't hope to get away with if we were around somebody else. I don't know why, but I guess the quirks and all do add up to the fact that Grace and I have really come a long way, so regardless of how things turn out between the two of us, I'm quite certain that both of us would play a significant role in each other's life... I find that to be a good thing, in all honesty.

Anyways, things have been going pretty fine for me, as far as life goes. It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty content where I stand with my relationships. Lots of “what-if’s” do come along, but I recognize that I’d be asking “what if” anyway, regardless of which path I may choose. As such, I’ll just go where I feel is the right place to go to…

.:Theology Reviews:.

Kim wasn’t able to join me and Elbert review for Theology today, along with a few other people I know. Nonetheless, our review session was mostly about stories, anyway, and I didn’t know that one of the people there was Daph Villanueva’s cousin. Apparently, they’re pure Chinese despite the surname because they took the Filipino surname, so some of them are Lee, some Lee-Villanueva, some only Villanueva. Pretty interesting, really.

Elbert had a few interesting stories to talk about. Of course, my classmates discovered exactly how Elbert and I conduct our “reviews”. We hardly talk about anything, really. We usually throw about stories and (corny) jokes, then somehow, the answers do step right into the fray. Despite that, I think we made some headway, nonetheless. Elbert finally heard about the long-running joke between Grace and me.

Marcelle: Actually, Grace is smarter than I am.

Elbert: Why is that?

Marcelle: Because she picked me to be her boyfriend. How smart can that be?

.:Looking To Complete Pictures:.

Found some pictures for numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, and 11. Still, some of them aren’t the best pictures around, whilst others simply aren’t online (My cellular phone, for instance.). I’m hoping to complete these pictures soon enough. No particular reason, really. It’s just great. I could actually post these pictures already, but I’d rather not. That’s being mean to some of the people concerned, as they’ve no idea that I even have their pictures on my person by now. Diane’s pictures are especially cute, as far as I’m concerned. Sigh. I think she's moving up... Earl's sister is actually… forget it. He’d kill me. Ah, well. I have my means. I’m sure you jabronis know that by now…

Ah, yes. The hotness of it all… it’s true! It’s true!

I’ve had so many things to blog about for the past weekend, but they all seem gone now. Ah, well. I can’t do much about that. Still, my KOF has been steadily improving. Griffon’s a fun character to use, no question about it. With two A’s for sure, I have three more to work on, so I guess I can’t relax now. I’ve got to push myself further on, and hope that I can make it to Cum Laude.

I’ll be on air with Chico and Delamar tomorrow. Hope you guys will be listening, from 6-9 in the morning, only on Manila’s Hottest, Monster Radio RX 93.1…

Saturday, February 21, 2004

.:PLUGGAGE:.

1. I’M NOMINATED AS “BATCH GIFTED CHILD” AND “CRUSH ANG BAYAN” FOR THE BLUE ROAST. VOTE FOR ME NEXT WEEK!!!

2. DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN TO THE MORNING RUSH ON TUESDAY, 6-9 IN THE MORNING. I’LL BE THERE.


.:Way Too Competitive:.

It’s hard to be as competitive as I am yet still play nice. If I were a bit more ruthless, I would be able to achieve the things that other achievers I know of achieve on a regular basis. Unfortunately for me, I cannot stomach the idea of stepping on other people as a means to my own success. I’m not being a moralist or anything, it just goes against my rules to ensure success. I can do other evil things, but when it involves jeopardizing other people’s chances by backstabbing them, I really don’t feel any satisfaction about it. So you see, it’s not entirely about being moral. It’s more about my looking out for my own satisfaction in successful endeavors, as poisoning the well would be one of the things I don’t feel comfortable with as a tool to victory.

I hate being this competitive. Unlike other people I know, my capabilities can be pushed only so far. Imagine if I were to compete with someone like Kendra. That’s too much to ask of me, no question about it. What if I were to go and run aground Sacha? Even worse, because unlike Kendra, she doesn’t seem to feel the need to bleed for her grades, so her full potential in the academe sans Computer Science is actually relatively untapped. Abby? She’s taking it easier than I am (Much easier, in fact.), and yet she’s falling just a bit behind by me. I’m sure if she bled for it, I may as well just pack it up. Luis Geronimo? Should I care by now if I proved to be better than he is?

So how do you jabronis deal with competitiveness? How do you curb that really relentless drive to go and surpass the people around you? Even if you just “compete with yourself”, when do you tell yourself that you’ve gone the distance and that’s good enough for you? I mean, I started off without any yardstick in my mind save myself, but I never found any point of satiation. It’s always the case that when I start getting the hang of something, I want to excel at it. That explains all the frustration over Radio 1… I mean, why is anyone else who tags along with the show answering the Hot 10? So I guess that proves that the main issue I’m not joining in on the Hot 10 is because I’m not good enough?

Errgghh. I’ve been vituperating way too much the past few days. It doesn’t help my thinking cap much, annoyingly enough.

.:Today’s Hot 10:.

… was extremely chaotic. It’s about “The Hot 10 Reasons You Should Be Voted President”, and the funny thing is that it was call in, so all sorts of weirdos got through the line. I managed to get my two cents in, but I didn’t do much except play up my much-vaunted “AM quality voice”, as I did my political speech in the vernacular. Delamar thought I sounded like a fortune teller in Quiapo, though. Ah, well.

However, the funny part came along when they got in touch with Angel 243, who apparently was a pilot (Remember that pilot joke? Yeah, about their… stamina?). He was going on a date, so Chico and Delle were prying about the date…

Delamar: You mean to tell me this is a morning date? You’re fetching her at 9 in the morning?

Chico: No. I think he’s going to have an all-day date.

Delamar: An “all-day” date? What are you going to do?

Angel 243: Hehehehe…

Delamar: Okay… we think we know already! Goodbye!!!

Ah, yes. What were you expecting a pilot to do for a whole-day date, Delle? ::laughs maniacally, just like Yamazaki::

Friday, February 20, 2004

.:Heel Turn Of Events:.

Okay. So I'm not a nominee for Valedictorian. Big deal, considering the fact that in terms of extracurricular activities, I sure as Hades would fall flat. Kendra has the highest total QPI this year, with 3.96. I don't expect to even come close, even if we took out my freshman year. Abby is nominated, but for the sake of my ego, I hope whoever wins as Valedictorian is not someone I'm perceived to be at par with. I suppose the fact that my Cum Laude status isn't a sure deal also contributed to the fact that I'm not in the candidate for Valedictorian list. Ah, well. Can't do anything about that, I guess.

Interestingly enough, I decided to ask the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in our university about my status. I got a D in Math 11 before, so I asked if that will disqualify me from any honors. The nice lady there told me "no". I then asked if they rounded off QPI's, that is, if I was 3.498, I would still be Cum Laude, since it's soooo close to 3.5. She said "yes". So that means, I can breathe easy and take a solitary B+, because rounding my grade off will mean I'm still Cum Laude. I think that's good enough for me already. Valedictorian is out of my league, really.

.:GTO Fanfiction?:.

No, don't start with me on slash or lemons. I'm just talking about the fact that GTO's ending was such an open door, as far as the anime went, so maybe I ought to give it a shot and actually write a fanfiction about his return to Seirin after some time of teaching in California. Of course, he has to wreck Kyoto-sensei's brand new Cresta again on his way back, and all. And of course, his favorite students should've changed considerably by the time he gets back, unless he was gone for only a couple of months or something.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just holding onto considering Ranma ½ and Magic Knight Rayearth as my all-time favorite anime, but in reality, GTO is the one affecting ATM the most. I mean, it all but cemented my whimsical idea of being a teacher at ICA (So maybe I won?t teach in ICA per se. But then, who wants jailbait like that, anyway? Self-denial... self-denial...) to begin with, and I was so in touch with most of the episodes emotionally, although I do believe that Chobits connected with me more emotionally. I think I ended up crying on a couple of episodes of Chobits, and I can't recall doing that with GTO. Still, GTO holds a dearer place in my heart, and Chobits is CLAMP, anyway, which is my all-time favorite company to begin with. Fuu is... uhh... the hotness of it all...

With that being said, this may make me consider GTO as my all-time favorite anime. Or maybe the only reason I feel compelled to write a review about the series was because I completed it (Didn't get to do that for MKR, much less Ranma ½.). In spite of that, the idea of actually writing fanfiction sort of caught me off-guard. I was never a fanfic person, as I rarely wrote short stories and focused more on my essays (Duh. That's 80 pages worth of essays this month alone.). So the jury is out on this one. But still, I'm glad that I listened to Peppy when he told me about GTO. Imagine if I didn't bother watching when he told me to... no more ATM for me.

.:Politics? Gaahh!!!:.

Eddie Gil and Bro. Eddie Villanueva are like two flies atop a hippopotamus, duking it out as to who's the top dog. How pathetic, really. Eddie Gil is trying to pass himself off as "Bro. Eddie Gil" to completely confuse the voting public. He is not an evangelist, but a businessman. He also promised to make every Filipino richer by 1 million pesos if he were to become president. Whoop-de-freaking-doo. Tell that to the Marines. I mean, he couldn't even pay his hotel bills, then he promises this, and intends to pay off the national debt through his own money? Bro. Eddie Villanueva, on the other hand, wants to form a "Born Again Republic". I have nothing against his religion. I am, after all, a pluralist. I do have a problem with what seems to be an attempt to impose his beliefs on everyone else, though. That's something I don't sit well with.

On the other hand, FPJ's supporters are screaming bloody murder if he were to get disqualified. Wonderful. Really wonderful. If he doesn't get disqualified, we're screwed. If he gets disqualified, we're screwed. Either way you look at it, we're screwed. Lovely country we have, neh?

GMA and Roco are the only sensible choices we have. But look at their VP's. Roco's is more qualified, but does anyone know that? Noli De Castro is... never mind. And Roco's senatoriables are quite a weird mix. Bong Coo? Atty. Daredevil (The brilliant blind lawyer whose name escapes me. Wait. "Gat" Gatmaytan, I believe.)? With a lineup like that, no wonder Roco's treading on thin ice for the win. But I want him to win. GMA has been nothing more than a person who lives for hypothetical imperatives. If she can't be more moral than someone as seemingly evil as I can, then she shouldn't be holding that kind of power for a full six years.

Ah, I'll think this over some more next time...

.:Friendster Depresses Marcelle Again:.

Hey, Mich! Nice testimonials. You too, Angie. Hey, Marcelle! My, how few people give a damn about you! Some of these so-called friends of yours apparently wouldn't know if you just dropped dead and got run over by a steamroller. After all, they seem to avoid your company like a plague! You must provide some really lousy company for them, Marcelle. That's the only logical explanation for it. After all, if you were half as good as a friend as you claim to be, these people would at the very least be looking you up, if they're not writing nice, touching things about you.

You're out of your league, Marcelle. Don?'t knock yourself out trying to earn your keep. It's pretty obvious that you made yourself out to be such a loner, so you suffer the consequences of being one, you two-bit punk. Isn't this what you wanted? Isn't this what you've always been asking for? Being a loner? Well, you got your wish. People you thought mattered to you and vice versa couldn't care less what happens to you. Maybe the lack of feedback to anything you do, no matter how well you did it, should give you a hint.

Go away, Marcelle. You annoy the Hades out of everyone else. You annoy the Hades out of me, most of all.
Before we get started, a few imperative reminders about these answers:

1. I am not the authority on Theology. Study well.

2. Don't expect to be able to use these answers word for word and get away with it. Mr. Dy-Liaco will know about this website before Tuesday, so it's a good idea to come up with different explicitations on the answers you'd find here.

3. I have only finished the second and third thesis statements. I expect the rest to be done by Monday, at the latest, but preferably by Saturday morning.

4. If you do read this for reviewing purposes, please leave a comment at the end of this post, and mark your tracks on my Guestmap. I'd like to think that I'm actually helping people enough for them to let me know that I've been doing so.

5. I'm nominated for "Crush ANG Bayan" and "Gifted Child" for the batch Blue Roast Awards. I'd really appreciate votes to that effect. :)

Thesis Statement 1A: This course consists in an effort at sustained, directed, and personal thinking out of Christian Faith with the aim of fostering the ongoing growth of seniors toward full maturity in the Faith, as active members of the Christian community, the Church, capable of responding as true disciples of Christ to the urgent challenges of Filipino life today.

This thesis statement is an overview of the entirety of the course. What Marcelle needs to do here is to simply realize the telos, the ultimate end (At the very least, in temporality. It’s obvious that “salvation” would be the ultimate telos, although it’s not up to us to determine that, but it’s up to God’s Grace to do so.) of developing our faith. As such, we realize that the central and unifying notion of the whole course is simply: CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT. Our tools for determining the many facets of our Christian commitment are our basic sources for theological study. We begin to see that our faith is not merely a blind acceptance of what the Church tells us, but a critical thinking out of why they are telling us what they are telling us.

As such, we begin to consider the nature of a Christian commitment: its basis, its longevity, its scope, its cost, and its yield for us. We think out our Christian Faith in an effort to foster our ongoing growth as seniors towards full maturity in the Faith. As Christians, why should we do this? For most of our lives, we have taken everything our parents, teachers, and priests have told us without ever really asking why. These people seem to have been so firm in their beliefs that we just took their word for it. For true maturity in our faith to happen, we have to begin to comprehend why we are taking the path that we are taking right now, lest we do not root our life upon something genuine, and as such our being would fail to grow to its full potential. What good is this growth for? Well, it is good in and by itself. As far as postulates in geometry go, this is a postulate, and this is the only point where we can satisfactorily not need to ask for any further reason.

We need to sustain our thinking upon our Christian Faith because it is imperative to our growth as Christians. In sustaining it and not merely making it surreptitious bursts of contemplation, we are able to make heads and tails of the values and meanings espoused by our faith, as well as the freedom by which we heed our vocation, whichever it may be. We direct it so that we allow ourselves to focus our energies on this contemplation and truly come to answers that are of pertinence and significance to us.

Most of all, as free human beings, this thinking out of our Christian Faith must be done personally. Ideas are useless if they have no significance to our lives. Perhaps one has a friend who wants to enter a relationship with her after four years of college (“Better late than never” awardees.). Perhaps one is beginning to fall out of love, and the sizzle of the romance is fading fast. Perhaps one wishes to be a priest and commit himself to God. Perhaps one genuinely loves the Ateneo and the people within it and as such wishes to teach Philosophy or Theology upon graduation to further help people along the road to becoming. In any case, it still boils down to the fact that one has to think his Faith over because his Faith will have inextricable consequences on his life, no matter what he does.

Being graduating seniors, we are approaching a crossroads in our lives. We are about to make new commitments and either discard or renew older ones. Perhaps some of us would be going back to our province, or some of us would be migrating to another country upon learning that FPJ wins the presidency. In any case, there’s no better time than now to begin contemplating upon where we intend to go, what we intend to do, and who do we intend to be with in the near future.

With all the failures and shortcoming our mortal world disheartens us with, Faith allows us to recognize that there is more within us. Our Christian Faith is an experience of reality, as our reality is grace to us: it gives us insights on our way towards personal fulfillment. These experiences are not superficial but they aim at some sense of depth in the latent reality presented to us. We qualitatively search for what our experiences hold for us. We realize through our faith the new possibilities for the future in an imperfect world. The future that we dream of is something we strive towards. Ultimately, in our realization that we are part of a bigger picture, we begin to look at our life through heaven’s eyes. What we do can and will affect the other, and as such, commitments between persons will happen ideally because of their common wish to grow in such a commitment.

Admittedly, maturity in the faith does not happen after one semester of theologizing. Despite this fact, this course lays out to us how we can continue to mature in the faith, and allows us to realize how fides et ratio work together hand in hand, as our faith is not just a faith to think about, but a faith to think with, in fact. Our belief systems, while we ponder upon them, are also the same tools by which we will know how to act accordingly in any given situation. As such, and because we realize that Christian Commitment comes with being part of Christ’s Body, the Church, our thinking out of Christian faith has to be operationalized by our conscience, our subjective norm of morality, in a place where communion should happen. The Church, being our tangible link to the transcendent God, is that which we commit ourselves to in love, friendship, and communion, collectively known as the great humanizing goods, in order for us to make this spiritual growth a holistic one.

Our commitments indeed are part of a greater picture, and not merely the common connotation of two people pledging romantic love to one another. As such, our commitment to our Church, one we freely choose but personally oblige ourselves to when in it, is simply putting into practice what we have contemplated upon in the Word of God, through doctrine and prayer. This enactment is that which allows us to touch other lives in order for us to grow with one another.

In doing these things, after having thought upon them, we are being called to respond as true disciples of Christ to the urgent challenges of Filipino life today. Challenges such as the peace and order situation, poverty, and even structural evil, all make this country seem to be such a dismal place to live in. While we recognize that we also have our own trials and tribulations, we also recognize that we are not Christ in the fullest sense, and as such, we cannot be messiahs, but through our tribulations, we may become wounded healers, beacons of hope to all the lives we touch, that we carry on despite our own holocausts. The ethics of hope does not seek to overturn the status quo, but simply to make people aware that there is something to hope for beyond what seems to be an inescapable trapping of sorrow and tribulation.

As true disciples of Christ, our thinking upon our faith, enacted by our conscience through our communion with the Church, is concretized in the steps we take to relay this message of hope to our countrymen, who, like us, carry their own trials and tribulations, and like us, are in need of hope. Through our commitment of love, friendship, and communion, we wish to overcome guilt and evil in our self-donation as true Christian disciples who see themselves in the bigger picture, who know the transcendent beyond them who is God, who live out Christ’s example par excellence to the best of their ability, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, so they may go and transcend their wounded selves.

Only in putting all these words to action can we truly say that this course has been successful, no matter if we earned an “F” or an “A” in the final grade.

Thesis Statement 2B: Conscience is our ultimate and subjective norm of moral behavior, judging the morality of concrete individual acts by applying universal moral laws, thus involving both objective and creative subjective dimensions. The gradual formation of an informed “Christian conscience” is marked by fundamental stages (instinctive, moral, and religious) developing true freedom together with the recognition of moral obligation, and grounded on prayer and the Spirit’s prompting daily conversion towards fuller, responsible “new life” in Christ.

The mistaken notion about one’s conscience is that it is little more than an arbiter of right and wrong. Clearly, while this might seem to be the case, one’s conscience moves beyond merely that, as one’s conscience is one’s subjective compass towards whatever his flow of being takes him to. This conscience is that which enables him to develop his primordial level of commitment, as well as actually define it in order to accept or reject it. As such, the conscience, more than being a mere arbiter, is one’s ultimate and subjective norm of moral behavior. Every act one does is being judged for its morality by this subjective norm, yet applying universal moral laws in the process, which is akin to Kantian morality. Objectively speaking, these universal moral laws do stand for everyone, but subjectively speaking, it is in our autonomy as human beings who are ends in themselves to appropriate these moral laws as our own to thereby indicate to us the fact that we are indeed free. As mentioned in Marcelle’s Philosophy oral examinations, one should not “bastardize his morals” and attach a price to them, as they admit to no price and only to dignity.

At the same time, conscience has an active characteristic in that it not only tells us whether an act is right or wrong, but also nudges us towards the search for doing what is right. As this conscience is an operationalized representative of our graced reality and graced imagination, acquired through prayer, our conscience acts in accordance under the natural impulse of our nature to become what it ought to be. Like prayer, conscience is in aid of our quest to search for the truth of life, the truth of what one ought to be. As such, conscience imposes upon ourselves an obligation. Because this conscience is part and parcel of our flow of being, we can say that our conscience is autonomous when fully developed, in that we legislate laws for ourselves and do not allow ourselves to be controlled by heteronomous laws, yet their laws are the very laws we appropriate for ourselves.

It is interesting to note that both conscience and morality have their own three respective stages of development. Notice the steps they take as we compare and contrast them side by side in the next few paragraphs.

Forming a Christian conscience is clearly not done overnight, but gradually. The Christian starts from moral immaturity of having things done instinctively: there is no careful deliberation on one’s morality. This instinctive role played by our conscience is a priori to discovering our flow of being. We act in a way we do not latently comprehend, and as such, our conscience at this point is merely instinctive.

On a different but similarly immature plane, the only reason one performs moral duty is because of hypothetical imperatives. This is the first stage of morality: moral childhood. One would act morally only to avoid punishment, or only to gain reward. Clearly, morality, being an end in itself, should be done for the sake of morality, but to start someone towards this road, one must take the first step of moral immaturity. Children are very much guilty of this, but come to think of it, most politicians are, as well. They would do their moral duty as a means towards another end, or they would perform moral duty only because it is convenient not to do otherwise. This is clearly not true morality, as it prostitutes one’s morals.

On the second level of conscience, that of morality, we realize that conscience is a binding factor. It is something we freely exercise, yet upon exercising it, we are bound to what we have exercised it upon, if we determine it to be right. For instance, our reasoning freely allows us to conclude truly that 1+1=2. While we are free to arrive at that conclusion through pure reasoning alone, we are then bound, as a rational being, to accept no other sum for 1+1=2. We are now obliged to acknowledge this truth that we have determined for ourselves. Obviously, our conscience in the stage of morality is more of the same. Because our conscience is our flow of being in action, we end up being called by God in the direction we primordially are already taking. In determining this call, we then oblige ourselves towards it, though “vocation” would be a better term for it. This power of obligation towards our vocation is simply not from without, but from within, as it is our conscience that takes us here. It becomes our responsibility, thus, because our conscience is that which obliges us, hence, we are autonomously, freely obliging ourselves. Is this what we would call “making things hard on ourselves”? Not at all. It is more of “being the captain of our soul”. We answer God’s call freely, yet upon heeding it, we oblige ourselves to it by our own desire. As such, this is clearly a transcendence from being merely instinctive. As such, the human being is ideally subject to his own choice.

The second stage of morality, on the other hand, is the process towards true morality: habituation. This Aristotelian concept essentially tells us that we are beginning to realize the value of morality in and by itself, and as such, we begin to relish the good in doing what is right. Our actions of morality are no longer random and indiscriminate acts of goodness, but are coming from a stable state of character, our hexis. As such, we are beginning to learn what it means to be truly virtuous, as it is not merely a mechanical repetition of good acts, but a habituation of finding the mesotes in any given situation, working towards one’s flourishing or eudaimonia. Refer to Marcelle’s elucidations on Philosophy, thesis statement numbers one to 4, in case of any confusion on these terminologies. Thus, there is now a sense of permanence in one’s moral character, and even fidelity. Aristotle would term this man as “on the way to virtue”.

The third and final stage of one’s conscience, being fully and permanently right, can exist only in faith. Faith itself, by its nature, is a search which is certain that is on the right way, and a hope which is firmly confident of success. This explains why in the Bible, Christ believes that “Faith can move mountains”. As a quest for deeper understanding and a s a confident reaching for things not yet fully possessed, a living faith is thus ever a prayer, a stretching out for fuller communion with God. We realize, therefore, that conscience follows the same path! Only in being like a prayer (As Madonna would say.), only in being a quest for the transcendent, can we possibly realize the full maturity of our conscience. We become like dolphins trapped in a human body, longing to know who we truly are, and longing to return to the deep blue sea.

Life as a quest and a progress towards something completely transcending us and our power cannot be reached except by God’s grace, received from Him in faith and hope. Only a conscience enlightened by faith, anf functioning in hope and love, can make this power and grace of God so operative in life that life’s quest can become successful. Thus, if conscience is to function fully as fait, the Verbum Dei (Word of God) must be ever alive in our hearts, and always in the forefront of our conscience, not merely an afterthought or a subconscious desire that we cannot sustain actively. Only through constant, explicit, and devout prayer and fervent listening to the Word of God will our conscience ever function in full maturity as faith operative in life and faith working in love.

The third and final stage of morality, in contrast, is full moral maturity or moral adulthood. Here, one’s morality is already second nature, and one’s morality has truly become an end in itself, and not merely a means to an ulterior motive. Morality now no longer admits to any price and has become something of utter dignity. Thus, one is now acting morally for the sake of acting morally, following a categorical imperative at all times, that is doing the morally right without asking why.

All in all, this development of one’s conscience from instinctive to morality to faith is clearly a gradual transition that is made through the grace of the Holy Spirit. None can explicitly expect this transition to be made so swiftly, as this conversion of one’s conscience towards full maturity is a daily process, and in our fulfillment of it, by realizing our conscience as one of faith, we also recognize that we are being given a new life in Christ: one that gives us hope in something far better beyond us. We are then called to meet the transcendent. We freely choose to subject ourselves to our own moral duty; a moral duty that is universally accepted by all. As such, we responsibly act out our conscience, knowing full well that this is what we chose for ourselves, and as such, in avoidance of a spiritual and consciential anarchy, we follow the moral duty we have tasked ourselves the responsibility of.

Thesis Statement 3A: Personal primordial commitments develop through widening horizons involving breakthroughs into deeper meaning, values, and freedom. They are gradually formed within the universal human quest for self-identity, clear purpose in life, overcoming guilt and evil in the world, trust/hope in salvation, unity, and friendship.

It is quite clear that our personal primordial commitment is already intrinsic within us. We recognize the fact that the issue with a primordial level of commitment is not something that we consciously choose, but something that is already within us. As such, we might say that this is our flow of being. It’s not up to us to choose this primordial commitment or that primordial commitment, but it is up for us to recognize that we already have one, and it is our task to discover it, then accept or reject it, and upon accepting it, developing it. This is akin to the Oracle’s dialogue with Neo in Matrix Reloaded.

Neo: What choice will I make?

Oracle: You already made your choice before you came here, Neo. It’s up to you to understand why you made that choice.

Thus, in knowing our flow of being, we then act accordingly to develop our primordial level of commitment into something deeper. The flow of our being is one that we possess a priori any reflection or any notions in our mind. This development requires specific steps and actions, and as such, is to be guided by our conscience: our subjective norm of morality that is not merely an arbiter of what is right or wrong, but more importantly, our subjective compass that takes us into the direction of our flow of being. This primordial level of commitment is similar to the psychological concept of one’s “intentionality” in that everything one does is consciously or unconsciously geared towards his all-encompassing intentionality. What does a thing mean to us in light of our flow of being? Is eating meat for the ascete merely eating meat? What values do we prioritize? Does the Christian still place high premium upon worldly riches or the gains of eternal life? How then do we exercise our freedom horizontally by doing things given our status quo, and how do we deepen this through our vertical freedom, insofar as we shift our horizons itself in pursuit of a new primordial level of commitment?

While similarities between one’s primordial commitment and one’s fundamental options exist, they are not entirely the same. If anything, the primordial commitment steps even beyond the fundamental option because it encompasses one’s full being and not just one’s moral life. Everything one does has to consider one’s primordial commitment, in whatever facet of life it may be. Moreover, one’s primordial commitment is in great need of development- slow development over time, in fact, so that this primordial commitment can actually move even further within us.

Subjective though our compass may be, it still does not deny the fact that our subjective norms still fall in line with universal moral laws, which enlightens us to the realization that this development of one’s primordial commitment should take place in every human being. All of us are tasked with a universal quest. In our desire for self-identity, we turn to prayer: “Who am I? What can I be?” We search for ourselves, and as such, we ask for a graced reality and a graced imagination which our conscience operationalizes. Through prayer, we are given insights on reality, and insights on what could possibly be, and our conscience puts these insights into fruition.

In finding who we are and what we can be, the purpose of life is bestowed upon us: we are enabled to know who we are and where we wish to go, and our choices, which enact the freedom that they are ground upon, furthers into a special choice, a promise, or commitment, that is the barometer of their choices. Our commitments, furthermore, when grounded upon the great humanizing goods of love, friendship, and communion, will bear more of the same, which results in a constant act of self-donation. Self-donation is the negation of self-absorption, which involves a commitment to the self, oblivious of all others. This brings about guilt and evil, which genuine self-donation overcomes, as in our donation of ourselves, we enact the ethics of hope: we don’t promise to be saviors or messiahs, but in spite of our own holocausts (we as wounded healers), still bring hope in the promise of a better tomorrow not merely physically but more so spiritually.

To concretize this primordial level of commitment’s development, let us look at the Dakota tribe in the “Kinship Appeal”. They never considered themselves the saviors of their tribe or their kinsman’s murderer. Instead, they lived welcoming to all as wounded healers; they took him in as one of their own in unity and in friendship. So maybe they weren’t Christian, but their language, while different, meant the same thing to all of us. God the Father places us in His totality: the Dakota tribe saw this murderer as part of a greater whole that they must learn to love and accept. They were willing to meet the transcendent, knowing that they are part of a bigger picture. God the Son shows us how truly to live a human life. Truth has shown the Dakota tribe how to live a truly human life, knowing that this man has killed their kinsman, but the truth that vengeance will not solve anything showed them how to treat this man. God the Holy Spirit empowers us to go beyond our fallen selves. The Dakota tribe were given the grace to act as wounded healers who accepted this man in spite of these wounds and thus transcend themselves.

Clearly, the Dakota tribe had a primordial commitment towards community. Instead of being self-absorbed and persecuting the murderer, their self-donation to this murderer in their kinship appeal has been an act in accordance with their primordial commitment. In making him one of their own, they shifted their horizons to include him, and widened these horizons by placing such great meaning, value, and even freedom upon him. Both dimensions of their freedom were called into play by this acceptance. They, through a graced imagination and reality, were guided by their conscience to recognize that they were a family, a tribe, and they were meant to welcome this murderer as one of their own.
In deepening this commitment, they humanize him, and make of themselves a true commitment that encompasses all of them. Yes, they had their own little holocausts, but not in spite of these wounds but through them did they find it possible to make him one of their own, overcoming his guilt, proving that love is far stronger than hatred. They have formed a tribe of love, friendship, and community. Clearly, their commitment has developed from but a tiny spark from within their primordial level of commitment, a mere mustard seed that has grown to be among the greatest of all trees, just like the kingdom of God.

Thesis Statement 4: Growth toward permanence in Christian commitment comes through the gradual deepening of the roots and enhancing the quality of all our commitments. This entails focusing on the Paschal nature of their core: authentic love.

For Christians, authentic love is grounded in a personal relation to Jesus Christ, actualized by the Holy Spirit within His Body, the Church and developed through Word and Sacrament: studying, praying, and living His “Good News”, supported and inspited by a full sacramental life.

The word “commitment” is usually connotative of a romantic relationship. However, this is quite an injustice to a very all-encompassing term, as it covers more than the romantic aspects of relationships. Throughout this semester, we have realized that a commitment is a special kind of promise, and one whose basis must be upon something that is inexhaustible, specifically, the great humanizing goods of love, friendship and communion. What we need to discuss now is the actual growth involved in the commitment itself, and merely the process in vague terms, or the steps from a primordial commitment to a full-blown one.

Clearly, the first problematic about a commitment, like any of the usual romantic commitments we make, is the problem of permanence. A couple who has lasted for nine years as boyfriend and girlfriend has no genuine edge over a couple who has been together for only a year. Being with one another for so long a time is no guarantee that they will be together forever, or at the very least, be guaranteed of marriage. These things happen. Commitments are broken, and people tend to question why such seemingly strong commitments end up falling apart. Married couples of fifty years one day wake up and realize that they don’t know the person they’ve been lying in bed with for the past half century. Where do these commitments go wrong?

We have to realize that commitments aren’t simply promises made with nothing being invested into it, and with no upkeep cost. One’s growth towards permanence in Christian commitment has to come through the gradual deepening of the roots and enhancing the quality of all of his commitments. How does one do that? We have already discussed the Dakota tribe. We know full well that the deepening of their commitment came in spite of their cares and tribulations. They were clearly wounded healers. Their commitment towards welcoming their slain kinsman as one of their own was deepened by their radical exercise of their vertical and horizontal freedom: they shifted horizons to welcome this new kinsman, and widened their horizons because of what he had to bring to the table. Was this a commitment out of pure compulsion? While a strong sense of compulsion could indeed make a permanent commitment, should we make it the basis? A genuine commitment that would bring about the great humanizing goods should really be based on something deeper than mere compulsion. Basing a commitment on something other than the best ground for commitment is a Draconic way of maintaining social order.

What indeed is the best ground for a commitment? We’ve given the great humanizing goods, but for our purposes, let us focus on the Paschal nature of their core: authentic love (After all, love is a word broad enough to encompass friendship and communion.). There are many varied acts involved in authentic love, and among them is a kind of dying. When one commits himself to someone, he is still himself, yet he is also now inextricably linked to whom he committed himself to. As such, one must “die” to himself: avoid any reversion to his individualistic considerations a priori to entering the commitment. In the ideal commitment that is freely entered, our dying entails yielding our claim to another over ourselves with regards to our own respective future. It’s no longer purely what Marcelle intends to do. It’s now what Marcelle and Grace intend to do. Here, we recognize a basis of obligation in the being of the person of the other to whom we commit ourselves.

So long as the commitment sustains this other-regarding characteristic, one’s ambiguities over permanence need not be problematic. It becomes problematic when one begins to focus on himself more, and the cost of the commitment and the dying involved in this commitment. These are self-regarding notions that we must not succumb to, as they take away from us the realization that neither “dying” nor permanence can be just consciously willed, insofar as they are more aptly consequences of the love that generates the commitment.

Permanence scares us because “forever”, contrary to what Sarah Geronimo believes, seems to be such a long time. The mistaken notion here comes in that “forever” is an aspiration to persevere, as Nicole and Ewan put it, “Come what may”. A commitment is a path taken towards becoming: not a static moment that is cemented to last for all time. All parties involved in a commitment are called to grow in the commitment, and not merely to stay as they were, not to wish that they would always “stay the same” (No thank you, Joey McIntyre). In a genuine commitment, one should become, and the only thing that should stay constant is the desire to continue growing in the commitment together, and to share this becoming with the other. The commitment implies that one will “bring” one’s becoming to the other, and not necessarily that this becoming will always take place together.

Our image of permanence is that a permanent commitment is a once-and-for-all choice. Forever to us connotes fixity, a staticness of one’s being in refusing to grow and instead maintain the status quo. Many people resist commitment because of this notion. They think that a commitment is such that one drops everything and just stays in a moment of eternity. It appears to be counter-productive, and even a threat to spontaneity, hence the common excuse of “I think I have to move on beyond this commitment” as a classic break-up line. A genuine commitment would reply “Why can’t we move on together?” Permanence does not entail fixity: in fact, renewal of one’s commitments is often a way of strengthening them, which belies any notions of rigidity in one’s commitment. Once his life has taken a definitive direction, one should be more, not less, capable of growth, as their sure-footedness will enable them to make choices that yield fruits of growth in their being. Without being rooted, a tree cannot grow. This analogy of rooting the human being’s life into something like a genuine commitment will not hinder but actually foster growth.

Social conditions also give us difficulties with commitments. In today’s hurly-burly world, transiency and flexibility are key characteristics of people who are in demand. With people always on the go, commitments tend to be seen as an obstacle to success. Do we even have to wonder why people look at Marcelle in shock when they discover that he’s been committed for the past four years? In today’s social conditions, one’s place, one’s profession, and one’s family are no longer as lasting as they once were. As such, another classic breakup line is that “This commitment is tying me down.”

Thirdly, our history as people of permanence is something that is rapidly disappearing. Great minds like Marx and Hegel and Sartre have been espousing new ideas that radically seem to contradict permanence. Sartre, in particular, was a full-blown humanist, who believed in absolute freedom for the human being. Commitments, in this respect, did not have much value to him, as it seems to restrict one’s freedom (Outside note: But we have proven in fact in thesis statement 10 of Marcelle’s Philosophy orals that through similar argumentation, it doesn’t. Also see the transcript of Marcelle’s oral exams for further insights on this.).

Thus, only love can truly maintain and nourish an interpersonal commitment, and only the lack of communion and genuine growth in this commitment can validly make us question the need to persist in the commitment (Though the claim that communion does not exist is more prevalent than the actual non-existence of this communion.). Moral duty may be committed through pure obligation (Preferably self-obligation.), but it is less than ideal if the same kind of grounding is the source of an interpersonal commitment.

For Christians, authentic love has to be grounded in a personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He shows us how to live our lives through His example, which is the growth of a commitment par excellence. As the source of truth, it is Christ’s example, the example that we get to know and comprehend more and more through our personal relationship with Him, that becomes part and parcel of our life’s compass (As the conscience can and will appropriate this once it manifests as the flow of our being.). The Holy Spirit gives us the grace to act accordingly and to operationalize the example given to us by Christ, and we do it within His Body, the Church, as we also commit ourselves to His Church.

Here, communion and genuine love blossom, and we develop it through the Word and Sacrament. We realize that, as we saw in Sacramental Sexuality, the goods of the commitment we enter are not merely means to a further end, but positively good in and by themselves (Hence why sex for pleasure demeans it as merely instrumental, etc.). We study, we pray, and we live out His Good News, the very retelling of Christ’s example for us of how we are to live our lives. We are supported and inspired by a full sacramental life by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, who reminds us that in spite of our imperfections (Unlike Christ.), we can still go beyond our fallen selves through these sacraments.