Drunk Ukulele Sessions (Episode 1)
Boys Do Fall In Love (Robin Gibb)
Hola, ladies and gents. First of all, I am asking for your forgiveness for turning this blog into an Instagram dumpsite over the past few weeks. I have run out of things to blog so I decided, for the mean time, to just share some of those pictures with you. But I have also promised to return to ‘regular programming’ soon so here we go.
As some of you may have noticed, my blog Juan Republic has been ‘dead’ for over a long period of time. I am no longer as active as in 2010 and early 2011. I just occasionally post my thoughts and two cents on various issues and current events. I told myself that if ever I ‘resurrect’ this blog, I will do something new.
And this is where the idea of uploading a series of video blogs come. Since my ‘mojo’ in writing hasn’t returned yet (naks!), I decided to just turn into another medium of communication to share my thoughts and to express myself which, are the very essence of Juan Republic. I love to talk (I’m a high school teacher) and I love to do stuff in front of the camera (sans the indecent stuff) so I decided to turn into video blogging. (In fact, I already made one during the height of the Janine Tugonon-The Script vocalist issue)
Also, while on an indefinite ‘Tumblr hiatus’, I turned my attention and energy on learning how to play the ukulele. I got this last month from my father after he came back from his trip in Cebu City. the one I have is just a 350-peso ukulele but I think it’s a great start to learn the instrument.
After weeks of playing, I have learned a handful of songs and it pushed the ‘pasikat’ in me to share some of the them on YouTube. And this is where the concept of Drunk Ukulele Sessions was born.
Drunk Ukulele Sessions is not exactly me, drunk, playing a ukulele in front of the camera (though I might do that soon because I swear, I sound better when I’m drunk). I just named it as such because my uke sounds ‘drunk’ - in the broadest sense of being drunk. And because there is honesty, there is truth, there is a heart whenever one is dead drunk (Remember the Latin dictum In Vino Nobis Veritas?)
For the first episode of Drunk Ukulele Sessions, I decided to cover Robin Gibb’s ‘Boys Do Fall In Love’. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to play in the uke, this song holds a significant part in my heart. I grew up listening to this song from my uncle’s boombox and I frequently sing this song in College during some of our jamming sessions (This was the time when Parokya ni Edgar covered this off their album ‘Solid’).
So, I hope you enjoy watching this video and I hope this doesn’t damage your eyeball and your eardrums. Don’t worry, the next episodes of Drunk Ukulele Sessions will hopefully sound better. I will start saving for a high-end ukulele and other recording gears. Ka-career-in ko na ‘to since I don’t think I have a future playing the guitar and piano. Haha!
Jake Shimabukuro, during one of the TEDx talks, told that the ukulele can be an instrument of peace. Only a few people consider the uke as a ‘serious’ musical instrument. I long to see the day when people of all ages are playing this instrument, spreading the message of peace.
Let’s all get drunk and play that ukulele!
It’s the time of the year when we salute the women whose womb brought us and whose breasts, we nursed. We have different and unique yabang stories about how great, cool, and loving our mothers are.
How cool was your Nanay? What’s your story? I have already shared this to my old readers for the past two (2) years but let me share this again to you, my own yabang anecdote about my beloved Nanay. This story never gets old for me:
The year was 2010. After months of being a bum after quitting my work as a researcher in UP Manila, I landed a job as an editor in a publishing company. And since I learned about the Eraserheads: The Head Set earlier that year (when rumors began to spread like wildfire on the internet), I made a vow to myself to allot a portion of my paycheck for the box set - no matter how expensive it would cost me.
The Box Set was released on September 9, 2010 - and I still haven’t received my paycheck. I was in panic. Since the box set is limited, I feared that I will not be able to buy myself a copy. I also feared that the box set will not be available here in the Southern Luzon area (you know, some music materials are just too Metro Manila-centered).
I received my paycheck by mid-September and the first thing that I did was to go to the nearest (and only) Greenwich here in Los Baños. I asked the crew if they have the Heads Set. And the rest was months of nostalgia, rockin’ with the Eraserheads.
As most of you who have the Heads Set, the box includes a coffee table book/ lyric sheet/ photo album (I don’t know how to exactly call it), complete albums, EPs, and a DVD, and the Heads Set Shirt.
Now, the Heads Shirt came in free-size-one-size-fits-all-that’s-a-fuckin’-fashion-discrimination! And if you who know me personally, you know that that shirt will not fit me - and I rarely wear body fits (bakat ang man-boobs pare!). So I decided to just hang it in my room for art’s sake, for bragging, and for future self-centered consumption (I just love to use that word).
Months went by and the shirt still hangs in my room. One day, my Nanay entered the room and asked me: "Aanhin mo yan kung hindi mo isusuot? Sayang lang ang Php 2,500 mo."
Jokingly, I replied "Kapag pumayat ako, maisusuot ko na yan".
"Ipahiram mo na lang muna sa akin. Ako ang magsusuot.", she replied.
At first, I was taken aback. My Nanay will wear an Eraserheads shirt? Is she trying to be bagets or what? I can accept it if my father wears this shirt (because he is jeprox and young at heart) but my conservative Nanay? She got to be kidding.
I asked her, "Seryoso kayo?".
"Oo nga!", she replied.
And she removed the shirt from the hanger, went to the other room, and wore my shirt. And it fits her perfectly. Panalo!
This is the modern world where being fit and sexy is in and being fat with man-boobs is a big no. It’s just so unfair for us fatties. Come on self-proclaimed fashion experts! There are more of us who are not sexy, fit, and macho. The world is full of non-sexy and non-fit individuals. You should consider us whenever you make these shirts.
Okay, enough of the ranting. Alam ko namang olats ako diyan at kailangan ko na talagang magpapayat. Hindi na din kasi healthy.
I have cool parents. It’s good to see them having the same trip and vibes as ours. They borrow and listen to my CDs. They watch the same TV series as mine. And they both love the Eraserheads.
Nanay, you can wear that shirt forever if you want to. It’s all yours. I can buy you more Eraserheads shirt if you want to. Keep your cool. I love you po! :’)
I don’t have a perfect mother - we all are. And sometimes, whenever I lose my temper or just under the weather, I treat my mother’s imperfections as a curse. It has always been my temptation (and I am struggling to fight it day after day) to look at my Nanay’s imperfection as something that the universe has conspired to punish me. And I hate myself for that.
But whenever I hear her story, I understand her. It’s inspiring to hear the stories of her youth. I almost cried when I heard that she has to stop going to school for a year because of her health conditions and how she struggled to be a working student and pay for her own school fees. I laugh whenever I hear her stories of youth, crazy office tales, and day-to-day experiences. Hearing her story made me understand my Nanay more. I guess I have to hear from her more in order for me to view her imperfections as a blessing. How about you? When was the last time that you had a heart-to-heart to your Nanay?
When I was young, I hated my mother for not letting me listen to the music of the Eraserheads. She always treat it as a noise and not a real music.
But now things have changed. She sings with me whenever I play Eraserheads (and Beatles) songs in the guitar, ukulele and the piano. She even borrowed some of my CDs to listen in her computer in the office. And the last time I heard, she’s also singing some radio pop hits (some of which I have never heard of). How cool was that?
I guess music, being the universal language, helped us to understand each other.
And the last time I checked, my Eraserheads shirt is still in her closet.
Thank you, Nanay, for all the things that you have done for us. Thank you for being a good mother, a good wife, and a good friend. I am sorry for being a pain in the ass sometimes (or most of the time). that is how I show my tough love (Nuks!).
May the Good Lord bless you with good health and a happier life. Madaming rounds pa ng Scrabble ang lalaruin natin at madami pang bote ng alak ang patutumbahin natin.
To the womb that bore me, and the breasts at which I nursed, I love you. Happy Mother’s Day po, Nanay!
This is not a rip-off or a critique of Rick Warren’s classic opus, The Purpose-Driven Life. This is the story of my midichlorian-infused journey to the galaxy of far, far away aboard the Millennium Falcon with The Force as my guide.
Okay, that sounds too geek.
Every once in while, a great fictional saga is born and made. Classics such as James Bond, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman are just some of the well-loved series by different generations of fans, geeks, and movie buffs.
Among the above-mentioned series, there is one that always stands out for me among others - Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan. Call me a geek but seriously, I am a die-hard fan of the universe created by George Lucas. I am also a Harry Potter fan but my obsession with Star Wars started when I was young long before I discovered the magical world of Harry Potter.
But I am not into the story of a dramatic young lady who is obsessed with a sparkling vampire. I will just leave it there for kids to devour.
I blame my obsession with Star Wars to my father. Back when I was still a little kid, he introduced me to the epicness of Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader. I can still remember how he brought home cutouts and scanned pages from the magazine about Star Wars (This was the time when scanners and colored printers were just a new technology, for common people at least.). He even gave me printout of all the characters - from the whole Jedi council to the Ewoks - pasted in an illustration board and covered with a plastic cover. The internet was a new technology then and the graphics were not as good as it is today so I consider those cut-outs as a priced gem.
That’s how my obsession for Star Wars started. I am thankful to have a geek and cool father (Sometimes I think he is a Jedi in disguise, a man conceived by the midichlorians themselves. Seriously).
And today, May 4, as what most of the Star Wars fan knew, is Star Wars Day.
Star Wars Day (also sometimes known as Luke Skywalker Day) because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase "May the Force be with you" is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” (May 4th) on this day.
A few months back, I wrote about my obsession with covers and front pages of magazines and broadsheets. I decided to check the TIME Magazine cover archive and found this interesting covers on Star Wars and Science Fiction. What caught my attention was this favorite cover of mine which was released on 2002, when I was still in High School:
This was released prior to the showing of the second part (chronologically fifth) of the Star Wars saga. This issue contains a complete guide to the Attack of the Clones - from characters to space ships and other vehicles.
Due to my obsession for the series, I made something, uhm, dark back in the day. I nenok-ed this issue in our library and cut the pages dedicated to Star Wars. I think the dark side of The Force forced me to do so (insert evil grin here).
So much for my mission to destroy the Death Star.
This particular installment came as a surprise for the fans of Master Yoda - myself included - when he, for the first time, used his light saber to fight Count Dooku. and I tell you, that was one of the most memorable sword fights in movie history.
Browsing the archives of Time Magazine’s website and the web for Star Wars-related stuff brings back good memories of my childhood as a little Star Wars fan, sharing the story with my father. And I think this will last until I grow old, and probably, when I have children of my own.
The acquisition of Lucas Films by Disney Pictures and the recent news about star wars episode 7 made me stoked and screamed like a teenage fan boy. And to add to my excitement, I heard that SciFi genius JJ Abrams will be directing the next trilogy. How cool was that? I can’t wait for 2015 to see that movie.
And just so you know, young ladies who know Order 66 have an edge to me. Shall we talk about Star Wars over a cup of coffee?
Happy Star Wars Day everyone! May The Force be with you!
- John Williams is the Man - In celebration of Star Wars day, here’s an a capella tribute of cinematic themes dedicated to composer John Williams - composer of the themes of Star Wars, Jurrsic Park, E.T. among others. The lyrics of the song contains some of the parts from the Star Wars series.
- I Sense a Disturbance in The Force - Something that I made and wrote back in 2010 - my favorite Philippine Senator meets the Sith Lord of the Galactic Empire.
- Star Wars Day Advertisement: Say No to The Force - A not-so-friendly reminder from the Galactic Empire
Isang basong tubig galing sa poso inutang na kanin at malamig na ginamos
kaunting asin sa plastik na platito busog na bay, puwede nang magtrabaho Sa aking balikat ay papasanin tatlong-daang kilo ng asukal limandaang sako ng denorado sanlibong kaha ng delata sampung tonelada ng arina
Kalawanging bubong, pader na may butas posteng pilay at sahig na paduyan-duyan ang aking palasyo’y pagkatibay-tibay pero puwede na ‘pre - tuloy ang hanapbuhay Ngayong araw ay tatapusin ko isang subdibisyon, limampung hektarya tatlong dosenang mansyon na magara higanteng gusaling likha sa semento kilo-kilometro ng kalsada
Oo, kay tamis ng buhay oo, kay daling umasenso hangarin ko’y makatikim ng kaunting hayahay subalit kailangang ipagpatuloy ang hanapbuhay Pagkat walang ibang makagagawa nito paandarin ang makinarya bigyan ng buhay ang industriya patakbuhin ang ekonomiya padayunon ang pagpangita
Isang awiting obrero, para sa mga obrero, sa araw ng mga obrero.
May isa akong tweet na nabasa noong panahong wala pang masyadong jologs sa Twitter, mula yata kay ginoong Ramon Bautista. Kung gusto mong magkaroon ng inspirasyon sa araw-araw, pagmasdan mo daw ang mga ordinaryong taong pumapasok sa kanilang mga trabaho tuwing umaga.
Oo nga naman. Madalas, puro reklamo tayo sa hassles ng buhay. Puro reklamo sa trabaho at pag-aaral. Puro hinaing sa kung ano ang mga bagay na meron tayo. Gayong marami sa ating mga kababayang obrero, halos mamatay na sa trabaho na magkaroon lamang ng marangal na pagkukunan ng ipangtutustos sa kanilang pamilya. Ganoon ba dapat ‘yun? Kailangang mamatay upang makabuhay? Isang napakalaking kabalintunaan.
Hanga ako sa mga obrero, lalo na yung mga (mababa pa sa) minumum at arawan lamang kung sumuweldo. Tapos, hindi pa mga permanente at puro kontraktwal. Sila yung mga taong pinaghuhugutan ko ng inspirasyon para hindi sumuko sa buhay. Nakakahiya nga sa kanila. Ako na nga itong nakatapos at nasabing mas may pinag-aralan, ako pa itong tatamad-tamad sa trabaho. Paano kaya kung nagbiro ang tadhana at iyong skill at knowledge ko ay nasa kanilang mga masisipag? Napakalayo na siguro ng narating nila.
Kung hindi lang sana kalakaran dito sa atin ang kontraktwalisasyon. Kung ang trabaho ng mga obrero ay permanente at hindi na mamomroblema makalipas ang limang buwan. Siguro nga, metaphysicaly speaking, sa mundo ng negosyo at Kapitalsmo, maituturing na ‘necessary evil’ (o kinakailangan talagang umiral dahil ito ay nasa kaniyang natura gaano man kasama ang epekto) ang kontraktwalisasyon. Pero naniniwala akong hindi dapat iyon ang kalakaran sa tunay na mundo.
Isa sa mga paborito kong kanta ay ang ‘Padayon’ na orihinal na inawit ni Joey Ayala (na muling binigyang buhay ng Rivermaya sa kanilang album na “Isang Ugat, Isang Dugo”). Napakaganda ng mensahe nitong nagbibigay buhay sa manggagawa na huwag susuko at ang kanilang importansya sa lipunan.
Ang ‘Padayon’ ay isang salitang Bisaya na ang ibig sabihin ay ‘magpatuloy’ o ‘tuloy lang’. Sa katunayan, ginawa ko na ito bilang aking personal na ‘mantra’ at motto sa buhay. At kung hindi ka kabilang sa 85% ng mga tagasubaybay sa blog ko na hindi naman talaga nagbabasa (at may attention span lang ng dalawang talata), malamang ay napansin mong madalas ko itong gamitin sa aking mga naunang akda.
Ngayon ay Kapistahan ni San Jose, ang manggagawa. Siya ang itinuturing ng Simbahang Katolika na Patron ng mga obrero, ng mga manggagagawa. Ngayong araw din ipinagdiriwang sa buong kapuluan ang Araw ng mga Manggagawa o ang Labor Day.
Noong bata ako, itinuturing ko lang ang ika-1 ng Mayo o Labor Day bilang araw ng protesta ng mga aktibista at iba’t-ibang mga unyon ng manggagawa na kung misan, mapapa-“Punyeta!” ka na lang sa kanila dahil nagiging sagabal sa daloy ng trapiko, maingay, at parang mga ngawa lang nang ngawa na wala nang ginawa kung hindi magreklamo.
Pero kahit minsan, naisip mo ba na kung wala ang mga “maiingay” na ito, ang mga raliyista na nagreklamo, ang mga may hawak ng placard sa kalsada na dahilan kung bakit ka naipit sa ga-impyernong trapiko, hindi dapat natin tinatamasa ngayon ang ilan sa mga pribilehiyo bilang mga manggagawa? Kung wala ang mga nakipaglaban na yan, wala tayong weekend, overtime pay, social security, sick leave,health benefits, at iba pa?
Imbes na magreklamo dahil nahuli ka sa pagpunta sa mall para manood ng Iron Man 3 ngayong holiday, magpasalamat ka na lang kahit papaano.
Isa sa mga pangarap ko para sa ating Patria Adorada ay ang dumating ang araw na ang Araw ng Manggagawa ay maging isang araw na punong-puno lamang ng kasiyahan at pagdiriwang. Walang protesta. Walang sinusunog na effigy. Isang araw na pinapangaralan at pinasasalamatan ang lahat ng mga dakilang manggagagawa.
Mabuhay ang mga dakila at masisipag na obrerong Pinoy! Padayon!
- NagResignAko.com - Kaunting katatawanan mula sa iba’t-ibang istorya ng mga manggagawang nagbitiw sa kanilang trabaho. Akala mo ay pinaka-impyerno na ang trabaho mo? Bakit hindi mo ikumpara sa kanila?
It was no surprise that for most of us who have been religiously following the happenings on the cyber world (half of which are journalists and the other half are bored individuals like me) - whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr - that President Aquino made it to this year’s list of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. The news came last April 18 at 7:03 PM, Manila time.
In response, President Noynoy Aquino said that he was merely the “face” of the Filipino people, that the recognition is due to his countrymen and of the whole country and that if success was achieved, it would be the success of everyone.
As most of you know, I have always been fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. So when the list came out, I eagerly waited on who would be on the cover of TIME’s special issue.
An hour past midnight earlier, while waiting for the developments on the manhunt of the marathon bombing suspect in Boston (and while waiting for my 'Homeland' episode download to finish), I dropped by the website of the Philippine Daily Inquirer to see if they have already uploaded their page one for today. As I looked at the digital format of the front page, aside from the photos of the two Boston bombing suspects, I saw the photo of President Aquino in an apparently, a cover of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
But here’s the catch: The cover looked fake and the photo of President Aquino that was used was one of his, excuse me, unflattering photos. I immediately searched TIME magazine to verify its authenticity and lo and behold, it turned out to be fake. The cover for this year’s special issue is Jennifer Lawrence. Not President Aquino.
So what? Some trolls and pranksters probably made that “false cover’ to fool on people. But here’s the thing, it landed on the cover of one of the most respected broadsheet in the country (and they have repeatedly said that they are the leading broadsheet in the country, which, I believe by the way). The fake TIME Magazine cover landed on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. What a shame! (I later discovered that this fake cover came from one of the memes of Showbiz Government, a satirical Facebook page. Good job guys!)
I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.
It has been a buzz in the social media that the Inquirer is “too yellow”, a broadsheet that is always in favor of President Aquino. In fact, my (new) favorite blog, The Spin Busters, describe the Inquirer (or PDI) as the President’s Daily Inquirer. The Inquirer later apologized in a tweet saying that it was an honest mistake. But here’s the catch, they also said that they wish it was President Aquino on the cover. With that being said, I think it is evident that there is no statement “more yellow” than that.
I once worked for the publishing industry and it is a mortal sin among us to run and print non-factual information and materials. Though my previous job is not that of the news industry (I worked for a private company publishing textbooks), this broadsheet, In my opinion, with their hundreds of employees, should have exercised diligence in publishing their paper. Now that the boo-boo has been published and distributed nationwide, I think this broadsheet has lost a bit of their credibility. That’s the price you pay of falling for a troll’s trap.
Going back to President Aquino’s statement that he is the face of the Filipino people, I cannot but take a look again at his unflattering photo. The trolls have successfully used the President’s signature “nganga” image. In the local pop culture, “nganga” - or the act of leaving your mouth wide open - has a connotation of emptiness, laziness, tardiness, and stupidity.
If this is the real face of the Filipino people, then we are travelling not in a promised Daang Matuwid. We are in a Ngangang Matuwid.
- Inquirer: Fake PNoy Time Cover “Honest Mistake” but… - The Inquirer’s yellow apology and their list of past front page boo-boos. (Rappler.com)
- LOL! Yellow Paper falls for fake TIME Magazine cover - The Spin Busters’ satirical blog entry about the latest victim of Facebook trolls
My Two Cents on the Janine Tugonon Issue
Over the past 48 hours, the Philippine social media went abuzz on probably the most important and most essential issue that this country has to face since Kris Aquino’s ‘resignation’ from her TV shows - Miss Universe 2012 First Runner-Up Janine Tugonon’s breakup with her boyfriend.
And of course, just like every other important issue here in our country, the Filipino people, through the power of social media, need to react. Numerous tweets have been posted. Hundreds of Facebook posts have been repeatedly liked and shared.
And to add insult to the injury, I will give my two cents about the topic. For a change (and because a handful of blogposts have already sprung up like mushrooms) I recorded myself while trying to convey a thought-provoking point.
Don’t worry, this video runs for only 40 seconds.
Done watching? Good. Can we please move on to the next issue? How about the elections? How about our claim to Sabah? How about the conflict in West Philippine Sea? How about the Ampatuan Massacre? No? Okay.
Yes, this is the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Today
Since the advent of my bumming in our school library and in my parents’ office library, I have been always fascinated with covers and front pages of various local and international broadsheets and magazines. In fact, it is my daily habit before starting a day’s work to browse and to look at various front pages and covers whether it be in print or in digital format. I consider it as an exceptional art and as a part of history as well. (See my blog’s archive for some of my articles written in the past regarding that matter).
One of my favorite websites is that of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has been my favorite broadsheet since those bumming days in the library. But it is no secret here in my blog that I have a love-hate relationship with that broadsheet. Though I have repeatedly praised some of their creative front pages (like the false cover and the bloodied cover for the Philippine Independence Day celebration), I have also criticized (if not make fun of) some of them. to name a few, there was the juxtaposition failure, their tabloid-esque layout, and the headline that’s more appropriate in the entertainment section.
Earlier this morning, I woke up to the sad news about the Boston marathon bombing. While reading articles from foreign news outfits (like the Associated Press, Hufftington Post, and The Atlantic), I decided to pay a visit on some of our local news websites to double-check the facts and figures and at the same time, to check their banner stories for today. Lo and behold! It’s our favorite Presidential sister headlining today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
I have nothing against Kris Aquino being the top tax payer. I have nothing against Kris Aquino being Kris Aquino. In fact, just like Lourd De Veyra who has repeatedly wrote about her on his This is a Crazy Planets column on Spot.PH, I have also repeatedly wrote (satirical piece and praise) about her (with this being my all-time favorite). What moved my palm into my face was the fact that she conquered the front page and that she and her multi-million tax is today’s banner story for the respected broadsheet.
But of course, I have nothing against the story showcasing this country’s top taxpayers. As what every students in College learned in their taxation class, taxes are the blood that supports and gives life to a country. We need taxes. We need efficient tax collection. We need to penalize those who do not declare their taxes correctly and those who do not pay them. But unfortunately, with our favorite Presidential sister being this country’s top taxpayer, we also need to know that fact. Or do we really need to? Have we had enough of her life and her stories? Is it necessary for the Philippine Daily Inquirer to shove her story in our faces?
But maybe, just maybe, it was a slow news day yesterday and the biggest story (at least, based on their discretion), is Kris Aquino’s. I have seen this story being repeatedly tweeted yesterday but I did not expect it to land into the Inquirer's banner story. Well, with their history of previous facepalm-inducing front pages, I was not completely surprised.
Enough of my disappointment. I miss doing this in my blog so let me do this once again - dissecting and giving the items on the front page a bit of scrutiny, sarcasm, and humor. Here we go:
- NKKLK! - According to the news, Kris Aquino, with her three television shows and tons of product endorsements, paid almost 50 million pesos in taxes in 2011. Aside from me, who among you thinks that you can earn that amount until your retirement? Why not? Explain using the BIR form no. 1700.
- "Daang Maalog" - Yesterday, President Aquino rode the locally-developed monorail at UP Diliman for a test run. He described the ride as “bumpy” and the tracks “wavy”. And according to the resident trolls, er, readers (who leave their comments via Disqus) of the the Inquirer's website, that ride perfectly describes this administration's “Daang Matuwid”. Boom!
- Beauty. And brains. - I failed to catch last Sunday’s Binibining Pilipinas Gold (because I was busy watching the Jose and Wally concert on the other channel). But do you know what’s more gold? Twitterverse. And the tweets, comments, and reactions on the pageant, the hosts, and the contestants. Twitterverse was so awesome the pageant itself became so boring. Anyway, congratulations to the winners and to the aspiring beauty queens who are planning to join next year’s pageant, please don’t forget to bring Mongol pencil no. 2.
- Practice what you Preach. - Pope Francis told Priests to practice what they preach. This news item has a special place in my heart. It is not a secret here in my blog that I almost became a Priest. But I was too awesome, er, badass so they have to send me out of the Seminary. (How badass? Let’s just say that I wrote this controversial piece entitled “Of Sacerdos and Politicos: A Comparison Between Priests and Politicians”. Read on!)
- Smart Communications is the number one corporate taxpayer. I guess Globe Telecom, as usual, is having a problem with their network at the BIR Office.
It has been ages since I last wrote a decent blog entry. My work as a high school teacher - and the real world - drove me away from my love of writing and sharing my thoughts and a part of my crazy imagination here in my blog.
But I guess, I have had enough rest. It’s time to resurrect this blog and once again, share stories and opinion with the rest of the Tumblrverse and the interwebz. I hope I am still welcomed here in the blogging community.
Brace yourselves, it’s gonna be a fun ride.
“Nang mag-aalas tres na ng hapon, sumigaw si Hesus, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?’ na ang ibig sabihin ay, ‘Diyos ko, bakit mo ako pinabayaan?’ “ - Mateo 27: 46
Marahil, karamihan sa atin ay nakapagtanong na minsan sa ating buhay ng mga katagang “Diyos ko? Diyos ko? Bakit mo ako pinabayaan?”
Sa mga puntong iyon ng ating buhay ay para bang nararamdaman nating wala ng Diyos o kung meron man, siya ay natutulog at nagpapabaya sa atin. O isang sadistang hinahayaan na lang ang kanyang mga nilikha na maghirap, magkagulo, at lamunin ng problema.
Totoo nga bang may Diyos? Totoo nga bang hindi natutulog ang diyos? Pero kung totoong nandiyan siya, bakit niya tayo pinababayaan?
Hindi kaila sa atin na sadyang mapagbiro ang tadhana. Dumadating ang mga pagkakataong para bang tayo na ang pinaka-abang tao sa mukha ng lupa. Na kahit ano mang bagay ang ating gawin para ito ay masolusyonan ay tila baga wala pa ring kahihinatnang malinaw na solusyon sa ating mga problema.
Dito pumapasok ang buhay at kaisipan ng kawalang pag-asa. Naiisip nating “Diyos nga ay walang pakialam sa akin at hindi ako tinutulungan, ako pa kayang hamak na tao ang makagawa?” Dito pumapasok ang buhay sa kadiliman. Ang buhay pagpapabaya. Ang buhay na malayo sa Diyos. Ilang beses na nating inakusahan ang diyos ng pagpapabaya sa atin? Kawawa naman si Lord, kahit walang sawang nagmamahal, lagi na lamang sinisisi sa mga hindi magagandang nangyayari sa buhay ng tao.
Ito ang isang klasikong halimbawa. May mga taong nasa banig ng karamdaman na halos isumpa na ang langit at lupa at ang Manlilikha. “Diyos ko! Bakit niyo naman ako binigyan ng ganitong sakit?”, marahil ang ilan sa mga linyang kanyang bibitawan. Ngunit naitanong na ba niya sa kanyang sarili, ano ang aking ginawa kaya ako nagkasakit? Ano ang aking naging lifestyle kaya ako nagkakaganito ngayon? May mga taong sinisisi ang Diyos sa lung cancer, chain smoker naman ng halos 40 taon; may mga sinisisi ang Diyos sa sakit sa puso, walang preno naman kung kumain at hindi nag-eehersisyo; sinisisi ang Diyos dahil sa karamdamang kung minsan - o madalas - bunga din naman ng sariling pagpapabaya.
Dahil sa mentalidad na “wala namang diyos” (kahit meron naman talaga) ay nabubuhay tayo sa isang buhay na walang direksyon at walang kaliwanagan. Sa pagtahak natin sa ganoong klase ng “trip” sa buhay, hindi maiiwasang may mga tao tayong isasama at hahatakin doon sa “kakaibang trip” na iyon. Imbes na maging tagapagdala ng liwanag at pag-asa, dahil nga tayo ay nabubuhay ng malayo sa Diyos, tayo ay nagiging instrumento pa upang mapariwara ng landas ng iba. Imbes na tayo lang ang nakakaramdam ng “pagpapabaya ng diyos” (kahit hindi naman talaga), ipinaparamdam pa natin ito sa iba. Ilang beses na ba tayong naging instrumento para ang ating kapwa ay “mabuhay sa kadiliman?”
Bakit nga ba kapag tayo ay malayo sa Diyos, tayo ay nabubuhay sa kadiliman? Ito ay sa kadahilanang Diyos ang siyang nagbibigay ng liwanag. Diyos ang talagang nagbibigay ng ilaw dahil ang Diyos ang ilaw, ang Diyos ang liwanag (1 Juan 1:5). Mas maliwanag pa ang diyos kumpara sa ilaw na ibinibigay ng Meralco. Mas Masaya, mas maganda, kapag may liwanag ang buhay. At ang liwanag ng buhay ay atin lamang makakamit sa diyos. Walang ibang nilalang ang makakapagbigay ng ganap na kaliwanagan bukod sa diyos (katunayan nga, ang Diyos ay hindi isang nilalang dahil wala naming lumalang sa kanya). Kung kaliwanagan ng buhay ang kailangan mo para sa madilim mong buhay, Diyos ang kailangan mo.
Sa katunayan, kapag dumadating ang mga “kadiliman” sa ating buhay, hindi naman ito talagang ganap na kadiliman. Sabihin na nating, isa lamang itong “kulimlim” ng buhay. Kung atin itong ikukumpara sa ating buhay at Diyos ang “araw”, hindi naman talaga nawawala o nagpapabaya ang Diyos, “nakakubli” lamang siya sa likod ng mga ulap ngunit hindi siya nawawala. Kung inaakala nating nawawala ang araw, o nawawala ang Diyos sa ating buhay, iyon ay isang pagkakamali. Tayo ang nawawala, hindi ang araw. Tayo ang lumalayo sa Diyos, hindi Diyos ang lumalayo sa atin.
Hindi naman kaila sa atin na may mga taong hindi naniniwala sa Diyos. At may mga taong walang pakialam kung may Diyos ba o wala, basta’t mabubuhay sila ayon sa kanilang kagustuha at kaginhawahan.
Minsan ay naitanong ko sa isang kakilala kung bakit hindi siya naniniwala sa Diyos. Sinagot niya akong, kung may Diyos, bakit may paghihirap? Bakit may nagugutom? Bakit may sakit? Bakit may namamatay nang hindi ma lang nakatikim ng hustisya at kaginhawahan sa buhay.
Kasama sa pag-aaral ko sa Pilosopiya noong Kolehiyo ang pag-aaral tungkol sa katotohanang may Diyos at ang problema ng imperpeksyon at kasamaan sa mundo. Madali sa aking intindihin kung bakit nangyayari ang mga ganoong bagay. Hindi naman kasi kayang ‘kontrolin’ ng Diyos ang kalayaan ng tao. Binigyan niya tayo ng kalayaan - o free will - bilang mga nilalang. Malaya ang tao na gawin ang gusto niya. Ika nga, maituturing na free will ang ‘kahinaan’ ng Diyos.
Ang mga paghihirap, pagkakasakit, at mga trahedya ay hindi dahil ito ay ginusto ng Diyos. O dahil walang pakialam ang Diyos. O dahil wala naman talagang Diyos. Ito ay dahil tayo ay may kalayaan ang tao. Maaaaring ang paghihirap ng isang tao ay bunga na din ng kapabayaan at pagsasamantala ng kapwa niya tao.
E bakit pa kinakailangang magkaroon ng mga “kulimlim” na parte ng ating buhay?
Ang buhay ng tao ay hindi palaging puno ng kasiyahan. Natural sa buhay ng tao na dumadating ang mga problema at pagsubok ng buhay. Ang mga pagsubok na ito ang nagdadagdag ng “kulay” at ganda ng buhay. Masyadong “patay” ang isang buhay kung pare-pareho na lamang ang kulay at lasa nito.
Paano nating masasabing masaya ang ating buhay kung wala tayong punto ng pagkukumparahan nito (point of comparison)? Nakakasawa ang isang buhay na punong-puno ng kasiyahan at walang halong kalungkutan. Perfection is boring. Masasabi kasi nating mas nagiging ganap ang kasiyahan ng buhay kung ang kasiyahang iyon ay ang pakiramdam ng tagumpay ng paglampas sa pagsubok ng buhay. Nakakaumay ang palaging matamis na buhay. Paminsan-minsan, kailangan din nating makatikim ng maalat, mapakla, at mapait na lasa ng buhay.
Ang buhay ay parang tiklada ng piano. Hindi lamang puro puting tiklada ang ating pinipindot, kinakailangan din nating daanan ang mga itim na tiklada. At alam ng mga musikero na ang kombinasyon ng mga itim at putting tiklada – na parang kombinasyon ng kaligayahan at kalungkutan ng buhay – ang siyang mas nakagagawa ng kaaya-aya at de kalidad na tunog.
Bukod sa pagbibigay ng lasa at kulay ng buhay, bakit kinakailangan pa nating maghirap? Bakit pa kinakailangang magbigay ni Lord ng mga pagsubok ng buhay?
Ang diyos ay diyos na kahit wala ang mga nilalang. Hindi dagdag o kabawasan sa pagiging Diyos niya ang mga nilalang. Kung tutuusin nga, hindi na niya kinakailangan pang lumikha dahil diyos na siya. Ngunit dahil sa kanyang pagmamahal ay nilikha niya tayo. Nilikha tayo ng Diyos dahil sa pagmamahal niya sa sanilibutan. Bilang mga nlalang, natural lamang na ibalik natin ang pagmamahal na iyon sa diyos na siyang unang nagmahal at lumikha sa atin.
May mga pagkakataon kasi na sa kadahilanang masyado na tayong nagiging makasarili bunga ng ating tagumpay, nakakalimutan na nating magpasalamat sa diyos. Paminsan-minsan, kinakailangan tayong “kalugin” ng diyos upang magising tayo sa katotohanang mayroong diyos na pinagmumulan ng lahat ng tagumpay at ganap na kaligayahan.
Gayundin naman, ang Diyos ay umaakto bilang mga “traffic signs” sa “highway ng paglalakbay natin sa buhay.” Huwag natin itong ituring bilang mga balakid sa paglalakbay sa buhay, bagkus, ituring natin ang diyos bilang isang gabay upang makarating tayo sa ating paroroonan ng ligtas. Dahil sa bandang huli, Diyos din naman ang patutunguhan nating lahat. Ang diyos ang simula at katapusan ng lahat ng mga bagay. Siya ang Alpha at Omega ng sanlibutan at ng ating mga buhay.
Ang plano ng diyos para sa kanyang mga nilalang ay palaging “happy ending.” Kung sa istorya ng buhay natin ay para bang gusto na nating sumuko dahil sa mga pagsubok at problema nating hinaharap, alalahanin na nating hindi pa iyon ang “happy ending” na itinakda ng Diyos para sa atin. Iyong mga iyon ay ituring nating “pampagana at pampaganda” ng istorya ng ating buhay.
Sa bandang huli, nais kong sabihing hindi naman talaga nagpapabaya ang Diyos.Kung sa tingin nating parang “nilalayasan” tayo ng diyos sa ating buhay, sana ay sumagi sa ating isipan na “nagtatago” lamang ang Diyos ngunit palagi pa rin siyang nagmamasid at gumagabay sa atin.
Nawa, ang ating isigaw sa buhay ay hindi ang “pagpapabaya ng diyos” kundi “DIYOS KO! DIYOS KO! SALAMAT AT HINDI MO AKO PINABAYAAN!”
Ano pa mang mga pagsubok ang dumating sa atin, kakayanin natin ito dahil alam nating may plano ang Diyos sa atin.
Pag-ibig, pagkakaisa, at pagmamahalan ang nawa’y sumaating lahat. Padayon!
This was originally written in 2009 but I tweaked it this year to tackle the issues of today. I decided to repost this one to reach wider audience. Have a blessed Good Friday everyone!
I love being a high school teacher. Though this job is not financially rewarding compared to my previous jobs, I have never been happier with my job. Actually, I don’t consider it as a job. I consider it as a passion, as something that I enjoy doing.
But my time is running out. I don’t intend to be a high school teacher forever. I have to decide whether to chase that long-time Law School dream or not.
May the universe conspire to show me the path.
"It’s Ash Wednesday. Let us spread the #ashtag"
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates Ash Wednesday. This day marks the beginning of the Lenten season, or the 40-day period of fasting to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection (Paschal Mystery). It is the season where we are reminded to repent from our sins, to fast and abstain, and to do charity works for the poor and needy.
It is an open secret here on Tumblr and in my blog that I am a former seminarian (or more appropriately, a seminarian on regency or break). I studied in the Seminary for eight years - from high school to college, and I have been writing reflections about Lent and being of service to the poor and the needy since I was twelve (I entered the seminary at a young age, so there goes the explanation).
But there is something that I have to confess to you. Something that whenever I remember those events, I have a mix feelings of being ashamed and laughing at it. During my first years in the high school seminary, I look at Ash Wednesday as a punishment. You see, even the required age for fasting and abstinence is 14, there are no exemptions in the Seminary (for obvious reasons, of course). I treat Ash Wednesday then as a ‘hunger strike day’ for we are only served one full meal during the day without merienda. And if you personally know my eating capacity, you will know why I despise a meal-less day.
As I grow up and as I learn more in the Seminary, my perspective has changed. And I should, because Seminary is a place of formation - spiritually, academically, socially, and formation as a mature, young man with the direction to the Priesthood. And even after I left (or shall I say, after being advise to leave) the institution last March 2009 after graduating in Philosophy, even now that I am living in the real world away from the comforts of her confines, I continuously live (and share) most, if not all, the things that I have learned inside. There are no clear indications yet if I would return and pursue my Theological studies but the important thing is, I should and I must strive not to forget those good things.
Last night, I planned to attend the Ash Wednesday Mass at the School. But since I have to leave early for Tagaytay City with the parents of some of our fourth year high school students on retreat, I just decided to hear my Ash Wednesday Mass at the retreat house since it would be the retreat’s culminating activity.
The Holy Mass went as usual and, God forgive me, I wasn’t able to hear something ‘new’ from the Priest who presided the Mass. Maybe because I have repeatedly taught the message of Ash Wednesday and Lenten season to my students and the Priest earlier said the same. Coming home from Tagaytay, I decided to open my blog’s archives and look for last year’s Ash Wednesday homily that moved me.
It was the homily of Fr. Thor Villacarlos, former Parish Priest of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish inside UPLB.
He started his homily sharing a stuff that he found on the internet. He said that a particular Christian denomination put up in their website that a mixture of ash and water burns the skin. As most of us know, the ashes being placed on our foreheads is a mixture of ashes (from the palms used on the previous year’s Palm Sunday) and (Holy) water. He consulted the Chemistry Professors of the University and they told him that yes, it is possible to burn one’s skin by a mixture of ash and water (he told us the name of the chemical compound but I forgot it) but the ashes used on Ash Wednesday have a very minimal effect to cause burning. So are they bluffing? Or scaring the faithful? We don’t know.
Why put ashes on our forehead? It is a reminder for us that we came from dust/earth and we would return to it after our death. Faher Thor told us that the mixture of ashes and water is very symbolic since ashes represents a lifeless man and water, the breath of God that created us (if you read the book of Genesis, this will be quite familiar to you). When God breathed to the earth, there was life.
So what is the challenge for us? Father Thor told us that when the Priest (or the Minister) put ashes on our foreheads, this is a invitation for us to ‘return to the earth’. It is an invitation for us to be stoop down from our level, be ‘dirty’, and to be humble. After all, humility came from the Latin word humus which means earth or soil.
But how could we do that in these modern times where everything is fast and everyone is busy? That is where fasting and abstinence would enter. Fasting and abstinence is not just eating less and abstaining from meat. It is also doing less the things that we find addictive - television, alcohol, cigarettes, internet, and everything considered as ‘excess’ and not an essential. And when we have a free time after abstaining (and fasting) from these, then it would be the time to go back to the earth and be dirty.
And after all of these, during the celebration of the Easter Vigil (or the end of the 40-day preparation) and the blessing of fire and water, it is there when we would burn ourselves and walk to God, our savior. So basically, those who posted that a mixture of ashes and water will burn us, is in a way, correct.
Seminarians are known to Priests as omniscient creatures (it is a inside joke actually). I am guilty of this when I was in college since there are Priests and speakers who give us something that we already know and I (together with most of my brothers) would just fake our attention, pretending to be listening. I know, it is a sign of being proud and not being humble.
But I have learned my lesson. Though I cannot say that I am totally doing it, I chose to listen and digest what Father has given us. I have learned that yes, we know things and sometimes, it is our expertise, but we should always be reminded. And we should see things from other people’s perspective.
The Season of Lent is about preparing ourselves. It is the period to give up something and be of service to the needy. Actually, as I have mentioned above, some of the things that we have saved during this season should go to helping the poor and the needy. Some would say that this is hypocrisy on our part, but should it be? I think doing something good at least during a particular period of a year is better than having done nothing at all. And as long as you know what you believe in, as long as you are steadfast on your faith, no hecklers, trolls, haters, and non-believers can shake you.
This is a period of giving up our excess. What would you give up? for me, I think it wold be extra rice. Aside from helping me lose wight, it will help those who are in need by giving them what I should have eaten for my excess consumption. (Lent, as they say, is the best way to lose weight and be of shape.)
In these modern times, is the celebration of Ash Wednesday still relevant? Yes. We need it more during these times when we seem to just think of ourselves and our personal gains.
Earlier at the Ash Wednesday Mass at the retreat house, since the Priest has no one to assist him, I volunteered to render my services as a sacristan. I have avoided in purpose to do services in the Mass after my ‘eviction’ from the Seminary since I want to see things ‘from the opposite side’ and ‘from a different perspective’.The last time I rendered service at the Holy Mass was on April 22, 2009, as a Lector, during my cousin’s wedding. It was also the last time I wore my cassock. It feels good to be back at the Sanctuary, serving the Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Coincidentally, I was also mistaken as a Priest by some of the Augustinian Nuns at the retreat house. I politely said ‘No I’m not’ to the Nuns and told them that I am one of the students’ teachers. I was surprised to hear their next words. They told me that I have an ‘aura’ (or a ‘vibe’) of a Priest. I just stood there, speechless, and thanked them afterwards when they promised to pray for me and my return in the Seminary.
For years, I have turned away from the possibility of returning to the Seminary to continue my Theological studies. Maybe because I am ‘enjoying’ my life outside the Seminary’s confines. But what if these events are God’s way of waking me up from a deep sleep of denial? Of hardheartedness? Of not answering his call - again?
Personally, this Lenten Season is a challenge for me to pray hard(er) and to discern what path to choose in my life. But for now, I will try my best to live and share the message of the Lenten Season to my family, friends, and students. I will strive to give up my ‘excess loads’ - sin, self-centeredness, pride - and to burn myself with love, passion, and dedication to share God’s words and message.
How about you? What would you give up and burn this Lenten season?
Today is the beginning of the Lenten Season. Let us spread the #AshTag. Vaya con Dios!
Photo Above: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle celebrates Mass on Ash Wednesday at the Arzobispado de Manila Chapel in Intramuros, Manila on February 13, 2013. (Photo courtesy of Noli Yamsuan/Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila)
- The Word Exposed: Ashes - Manila Archbishop Chito Tagle’s catechism and reflection about Ash Wednesday. This is very informative.
- Tagle: It’s fasting, not diet -Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminds Catholics about the value of fasting.
JUANREPUBLIC WAS HERE. In an exclusive Seminary in the heart of a first class city in Batangas, in the chaotic tumblrverse, in a private school, teaching. newbies may not recognize him but as we relive the best days of tumblr which is roughly three years ago (yeah the now generation suck, like big time), we got the chance to dive into the life of a tumblogger well known for his blogging style that just makes everyone of us put him in that fictional pedestal. Kpop fans, Hipsters 2.0, Jejebloggers, CheckBloggers, Punch drunk sons of b*tches, kids…meet Brother John.
Kelan ka nagsimula mag tumblr?
It all started on one hot morning of January 6, 2010. I was bored. And irritated. I quit my job in Manila as a researcher and I have yet to look for a decent, new job. I need to do something productive to keep my sanity
Paano mo na discover ang tumblr?
I was a slave of Multiply then. Actually, Juan Republic is originally from Multiply. Then I discovered Tumblr from some of the users there. The tagline “the easiest way to blog” finally made me decide to transfer for a ‘bigger audience’.
Gaano ka na katagal nagta-tumblr?
Look at my answer on the first question and do the Math. Haha! (Kupal Mode:ON)
Tumblr back then, maaari mo bang ikumpara sa kung ano ito ngayon? (in all aspect haha)
I joined Tumblr during the last, dying days of Tumblarity. Kaya kahit wala naming saysay yung post, sige lang para tumaas ang Tumblarity. Uso yung “Reblog if” posts. Uso din noon ang ‘typography’ sa Tumblr (na Word Art lang daw sabi ng mga hardcore graphic designers). Tapos nauso din yung pagpapalitan ng fan sign at pagpapasalamat sa lahat ng nag-follow (with matching screen cap pa). yung #TTH tag noon, titillating, hindi katulad ngayon basta na lang makapagbuyangyang ng phallus, mammary glands, posterior, at vulva.
Gusto ko ang Tumblr noon kasi sincere pa ang kuwentuhan ng mga users. Kung may issue man, hindi ganoong ka-baba ang level (imagine Allan Peter Cayetano and Manong Johnny Enrile mudslinging level last week sa Senado, parang ganun.). Open sa isa’t-isa ang mga users kahit hindi pa nagkikita sa personal. Generally peaceful kumbaga ang relationship ng mga Tumblristas sa isa’t-isa.
Pero nagbabago ang panahon. Yung mga estudyante dati na nagiging hingahan ng sama ng loo bang pagba-blog sa Tumblr, mga young professionals na ngayon. Yung iba na nagsawa na sa pagba-blog. Yung iba, nakahanap ng buhay sa labas ng internet. Kaya yung mga inabutan ko noon na nagging ‘kaibigan’ ko online, wala na.
Pero ika nga, as in all war and tragedy, life continues. May mga dumarating, may umaalis. Sa pagdaan ng panahon, may mga bago akong ‘nakikilala’ sa Tumblr na sensible din naman ang mga kuwento. Sabihin na nating nagta-transcend ang satisfaction na nadadama ko sa Tumblr.
What’s with the url?
Ang pangalan ko sa totoong buhay ay John. At ang Tagalog/ Espanyol sa John ay Juan. Ako yung klase ng tao na pakialamero pagdating sa mga usaping Bayan, panlipunan, pulitika, at kung ano-ano pa.Sa dalawa lang halos umiikot ang mga posts ko. Tungkol sa aking sarili at sa mga usaping socio-political. Kung iyo itong aanalisahing mabuti, uuwi tayo sa dalawang salita. Ang blog ko ay tungkol sa aking sarili (Juan) at sa mga usaping socio-political (Republic). Kaya naging Juan Republic.
Isa pa, medyo katunog kasi ng One Republic. Hindi yung banda ang tinutukoy ko. One Republic in a sense na tayo ay nasa ilalim lamang ng iisang republika. Na tayo dapat ay magkaisa. Na tayo dapat ay magtulungan. Natutunan ko yan sa kakapanood ng Wonder Pets during my tambay days. (Anong kailangan? Magtulungan!)
At panghuli, dahil may nauna na sa mga pangalan na BayaniJuan (ng ABS-CBN) at Eraserheads. Biro lang. Pero pwedeng seryosohin.
Madalang ka na sa tumblr ngayon. Pero kapag nagpost ang Juanrepublic, talagang malaman at may sense talaga. Tungkol saan kalimitan ang blog mo?
Madalang na nga. MEdyo busy na sa tunay na buhay e. Walang particular na tema ang Juan Republic pero dahil madalas akong magsulat (noon) ng komento at satire piece tungkol sa mga napapanahong isyu, naikulong ako sa imahe na ang Juan Republic ay isang socio-political blog.
Pero nagpo-post din ako tungkol sa musika, pelikula, libro at siyempre, ang paborito kong showbiz. Pangarap ko din kasing maging showbiz writer e. Haha! Uy, salamat sa pagsabing may sense ang blog ko. Pangatlo ka nang nagsabi niyan. Yung unang dalawa ay ang nanay at tatay ko.
Ano ang pinagkakaabalahan ni Juanrepublic ngayon?
Busy ako ngayon sa trabaho bilang isang guro sa High School sa isang private school kaya bihira na akong mag-blog. Mala-Curacha kasi kaming mga guro e. (Matanda ka na pag na-gets mo yung joke). Tapos kapag free time ko naman, nagbabasa ng libro, nanonood ng pelikula at TV series, at tumatakbo sa UPLB Freedom Park para maibalik ang alindog kong nababalot ng makapal na layer ng lipids.
Nag aral ka sa St. Francis Major Seminary. Tell us something about it. What course? Was it planned? or something you really wanted? The experience and all the drama.
Open secret dito sa Tumblr na ako’y isang (dating) Seminarista. I think, alam ‘to ng karamihan sa mga matiyagang nagbabasa ng blog ko noong 2010. Hindi lang ako sa Major Seminary nag-aral. High School pa lang, nasa Seminary na ako sa St. Francis de Sales Minor Seminary – mga 5 tumbling mula Robinsons Lipa at 3 Tumbling mula De La Salle-Lipa.
Grade 6 pa lang ako, nagsabi na ako sa parents ko na gusto kong pumasok ng Seminaryo. Dala na din siguro yun na mahigit sa kalahati ng buhay ko, kasama na ako ng mga Pari. Sakristan kasi ako noon. Kusang-loob ang pagpasok ko sa Seminaryo. hindi ako pinilit ng mga magulang ko.
Contrary to popular belief, Masaya ang buhay sa Seminaryo. Oo at medyo malungkot dahil walang babae at once a month lang kami kung lumabas at umuwi sa bahay naming, nandoon yung saya dala ng pagkakapatiran. hindi lang puro dasal ang ginagawa doon. Normal din kaming mga binata. Naglalaro, nanonood ng TV, nagsusuntukan (LOL!), nag-aaral, at nakikihalubilo din sa ibang tao. Sa katunayan nga, mas lumawak ang ‘network’ ko nung nasa Seminaryo ako dala na din ng palagian naming pagtuturo sa mga estudyante sa labas, pag-a-assign sa amin sa iba’t ibang Parokya, at iba pang gawaing Pastoral.
Kulang ang espasyo kung iku-kuwento ko lahat kaya kung may oras ka, basahin mo ang maliit na bahaging buhay Seminaryo ko dito: http://juanrepublic.tumblr.com/tagged/seminary
I have always been curious about this. What is your take on RH Bill? What can you say about the Catholic Church na laman ng balita, kaliwa’t kanang isyung panlipunan na kinasasangkutan nila. Living in a seminary for a couple of years at mulat sa kanilang pangaral, are you with them or what? May mga nabago ba sa pananaw mo, and if yes, ano yung mga yun? (sorry kung ang lakas maka Tito Boy Abunda ng tanong hahahah)
I’ll go straight to the point. I’m against the RH Bill/RHLaw.. 2003 pa lang e kasama na ako sa mga uma-attend ng symposia/prayer rallies tungkol diyan. Yes, you can call us bigots or whatever but we’re just fighting for what we believe in. Here’s the thing: Nasasaktan ako kapag pine-personal ng mga critico ang Simbahan, ang mga Obispo, at ang mga Pari. Na para bang wala na silang tamang ginawa. Hindi naman yata makatarungan yun.
I have always believed na walang extremes ditto. Hindi porke’t tutol ang Simbahan sa Reproductive Health Law ay gusto na niyang mamatay ang mga Kababaihan. May mga certain provintions lang talaga sa batas na tinututulan ng Simbahan dahil labag ito sa kanyang turo.
Paano na ngayon? Naniniwala ako na hangga’t may mga Pamilyang maninindigan at may mabubuting Kristyano/ Katoliko, kahit may batas na ganyan, mapapanatili pa ding sagrado ang buhay ng tao na ipnaglalaban ng Simbahan. It is my duty as a Catholic/Seminarian/Religion Teacher to teach what the Church teaches and to pray for other people. I thank you.
The Philippine Politics in 3 words.
1. Entertainment. 2. Business. 3. LOL! (LOL! is a legit word, right?)
Nasaan na ba ang bansa sa pamamalakad ni Pnoy? Nasa tuwid na daan na ba tayo? Your take on the current administration.
Mukhang tapos na si Kuya Noy sa pagpapasaring sa nakaraang Administrasyon. O baka nagpapahinga lang dahil medyo tahimik din naman si Madam. O dahil malapit na ang Eleksyon kaya he’s playing safe para makalusot ang mga bata niya sa Lubricated, este Liberated, I mean Liberal Party.
I have always given this Administration a chance. Medyo okay naman si Noynoy with the exception na nakakaapekto sa pagtahak sa daang matuwid ang espesyal na trato niya sa kanyang mga Kaibigan, Kaklase at Kabarilan (KKK) at may mga ipinangako siya noong kampanya na hanggang ngayon ay olats pa din. MAsasabi kong nasa daang matuwid tayo kahit papaano. MAdalas nga lang mabalahaw dahil malubak.
People you look up to in the government and why?
Manong Johnny Enrile (Medyo mahaba yung explanation, basahin niyo na lang ditto http://bit.ly/10UhOKD), ang namayapang Jesse Robredo (given na yan), Sen. Miriam Santiago (for her insane wit), Sen. Johnny Flavier (for his simplicity) and Tito Sotto (not as a Senator but as a member of TVJ. HAha!)
Linya ni Rizal kung nabubuhay pa sya.
Siguro, yung “Ulayawan sa Azotea” na Chapter sa Noli Me Tangere, magiging “MOMOL sa Azotea”.
Favorite local film.
I consider ‘Ploning’ as an all-time favourite. Hands down ako sa pelikulang yun.
Worst local film.
With due respect to the employees, “When Love Begins”ng Star Cinema. Yung kay Anne Curtis at Aga Muhlach! Nahila lang ako ng mga Pari nung pinanood ko yun sa Sinehan. Halos isumpa ko yung pelikulang yun pagkatapos! Simula noon, hindi na ako nanood ng love stories at iba pang mga pelikula from Star Cinema.
God lost hope to our local entertainment industry and summoned legions of angels to abduct all the worst actors. Your top three on the list.
Yung Governor naming na gumanap na Asiong Salonga at El Presidente (Peace po! Paborito ko yung pelikula pero awkward ang acting niyo e.), our favourite Presidential Sister (I love her as a TV host and being ‘her’ but not as an actress), and practically all the bida(s) of GMA-7’s afternoon soap operas. Haha!
Linya ni Lino Brocka kung sya ay nabubuhay pa.
“Sigurado kayong highest grossing movie of all time ang ‘Sisterakas’? Punyeta!” (Opinyon ko lang yan ha? Haha!)
On a scale of Taylor Swift to Pepe Smith, gaano kadami ang OPM songs sa playlist mo?
Siguro mga Mike Hanopol. Haha! Medyo madami ang OPM songs sa playlist ko. Mostly mga paborito kong banda na kinalakihan ko at yung mga pinapakinggan ko nung College at yung mga bago kong nadi-discover na independent groups and artists.
Bilib ka ba sa Original Pinoy Music?
Sobra! Gasgas na kung gasgas pero world-class ang talent ng mga artists at musicians natin.
Favorite solo artist, and local band.
Wala akong masyadong paboritong solo artist e pero dahil nag-solo na sina Ebe Dancel at Rico Blanco after leaving their respective bands, siguro ay sila.
And as for the group, one does not simply name his favourite band. Pero kung patayan na talaga at hihingian mo ako ng top five, siguro ay Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar, Orange and Lemons, Itchyworms at Sugarfree.
So you love The Beatles.
Sobra! I have a separate Tumblr blog dedicated to The Beatles (Beatle Republic). Siguro, influence na din ng Tito ko na araw-araw na nagpapatugtog ng mga kanta ng Beatles. Kumpleto sa playlist ko ang lahat ng albums at pelikula nila at meron akong songhits, coffee table book, at guitar picks (from Cheng, @iamepic of Tumblr) ng The Beatles. Before the end of the year, plano kong bumili ng Beatles Anthology book at box set ng The Beatles.
Three tumbloggers you look up to, and why?
@ellobofilipino – I always have a high regard for journalists and the peole working on the news and broadcast industry (dahil siguro isa yun sa mga frustrations ko). Sir Kim’s thoughts and two cents on issues and other stuff helped shape the Juan Republic that you know today.
@iwriteasiwrite – His description says it all – “History. And Stuff.”. He makes history more interesting with his posts. Actually, mas madami pa akong natutunan sa posts niya tungkol sa History kesa sa nung nag-aaral ako. Haha!
@thedailywhat – Is this counted? Because all I need to know about the innernetz and stuff that are essential for my cyber survival are posted here. Haha!
Fearless forecast for Tumblr Philippines 2013. Mas dadami ba issues? may mabubuntis ba kakaTTH? Magkakatumblr ba ang Chicser? etc.
Most of us ‘Tumblr oldies’ have ‘outgrown’ this platform. As I said before, madami na ang nawala, madami na ang hindi active. I’ll just leave Tumblr for the kids to enjoy. I can’t think of a forecast for this blogging platform dahil ako mismo ay hindi na masyadong nakakasubaybay sa development ng interface, ng drama ng mga tao, at sa mga isyu na wala naming kuwenta pero pinapalaki pa.
Isa lang ang masasabi ko, may buhay sa labas ng Tumblr.
5 things we don’t know about you
- I won in a singing contest when I was in first year High School. I sung “Pagdating ng Panahon” by Aiza Seguerra. Usong-uso kasi yun noon! Haha!
- I am in an acoustic band named Double Espresso. I play the percussions.
- Les Miserables was my book report in first year High School. Yabang ano?
- I fucking hate Clubs. I prefer gin-bilag-at-gitara-sa-terrace-ng-bahay old school inuman. O kaya yung may “combo” na tumutgtog. (LOL!)
- I don’t like to dance. You can ask me to sing or host an event but I would never, ever, dance. With the exception of course if it is a case of life and death. Or if my salary depends on it. Haha!
Today is the twelfth anniversary of the conspiracy that ousted Former President Joseph Estrada from Malacañan Palace and put Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the helm of power in January 2001. We commonly know it by the name of EDSA Dos. And no one seems to give a damn to throw a celebration.
I have been observing the internet (Twitter, Facebook, and news websites) the whole day and only a handful posted stuff about the day that changed our Political history. I searched the word “EDSA” on Twitter earlier and I only saw less than 10 tweets (mine included) about EDSA dos. GMA News’ YouScoop tweeted a query, asking their followers about the lessons of EDSA dos but that was it. The results are mostly MMDA’s traffic update on EDSA and some commuters’ rant on how horrendous the traffic situation at EDSA is.
How come nobody commemorated the events that happened eleven years ago at EDSA Shrine? Maybe because we are too busy celebrating the Sinulog Festival and the feast of the Santo Nino. Maybe because some of us choose to watch and discuss Les Miserables and Ricky Lo’s interview with Anne Hathaway instead. Or too engrossed with the Atimonan, Quezon shooting and the US Warship that destroyed a part of the Tubbataha Reef.
Or is it because EDSA Dos is considered a nightmare, a dark part of our history that should be forgotten and should never be repeated again? Maybe yes.
Where were you eleven years ago?
I was eleven years old then, a graduating student in Elementary. The last days of the impeachment trial and the mass protest in EDSA Shrine coincided with our third quarterly exams. Prior to that, whenever I go home early from school, I see to it that I watch the impeachment trial. I can still remember how my classmates and I would horse around, imitating the Chief Justice, the Prosecution, and the Defense Panel. The words Objection your honor, overruled, and sustained became a part of our daily conversation.
I remember watching the controversial voting whether to open the second envelope or not with my father. I can still recall how Senators Pimentel and Drilon hugged each other and in tears, how Senator Legarda wept, how Chief Justice Davide removed his judicial robe, how the Prosecution panel resigned and walked out in disgust, and how the aunt of our current President, Senator Tessie Aquino-Oreta danced a la dougie in jubilation. Minutes after the controversial decision, the streets are filled with protesters, the car owners are blowing their horns, and the members of the crowd in EDSA Shrine, increased in number.
The next day, I remember my father putting up a printout of JOE’S COHORTS in the windshield of our car as a sign of protest. It is a mnemonic of the Senators who opposed the opening of the second envelope - Jaworski, Oreta, Enrile, Santiago, Coseteng, Osemeña, Honasan, Ople, Revilla, Tatad.
Text messaging was a new technology then (there were no unlimited text and calls promos though) and it also helped to spread the message to gather in EDSA Shrine and force the President to step down from office. As expected, ERAP jokes became rampant to taunt President Estrada. The Senators who opposed the opening of the second envelope were also not spared from taunts and heckling. Some of the famous lines then which I can still remember are Tadtarin si Tatad!, Oreta Dancing Queen!, and Ninoy Aquino’s photo with the lines ‘My sister is not worth dying for’.
The protest to became festive with artists and bands performing at the stage and with the presence of, uhm, some artistas. (The most memorable personality then was President Estrada’s friend, Nora Aunor, who joined the crown on calling him to resign). But if there is one song which I can associate with the protest, it would be Sam the Sham and the Paraoh's 'Wooly Bully’ which the protesters sang as 'Huling-huli! Si Erap! Huling-huli!
Though I was not present with the protesters during that time, for obvious reasons, I made myself updated by constantly tuning in to news programs on television. And some of the memories were still vivid because when I was in high School, my tambayan is our library and I have repeatedly read this coffee table book:
The President was twelve eleven years ago today and his Vice President succeeded him - with the help of the high-ranking military officials, political and business elites, and the Catholic Church led by Jaime Cardinal Sin. Conspiracy, as they say, to oust the President extra-constitutionally, a de facto coup that led to the proclamation of Gloria Arroyo.
In the later months and years, Erap would be arrested, EDSA tres would happen, Erap would come out saying he was forced to sign a resignation paper during the height of EDSA Dos, and Gloria Arroyo would become the infamous President that we know today.
Was EDSA Dos a historical success? No. Did it play an important part in history? Maybe, but what we learned more are lessons for the future of our country.
A contemporary Filipino writer who goes by the pen name Bob Ong, wrote something about EDSA Dos in his book Stainless Longganisa. He compared the protest in EDSA to drinking antibiotics to cure a disease.
He wrote that it is wrong to immediately go to the street to call for the resignation of a leader - or to immediately drink antibiotic without first consulting the doctor. Time will come that the bacteria would become immune to antibiotics and it would be more difficult to cure the disease. Just like the cancer of our society, the more we use the usual way of cure, that is, to march in the streets and call for change, time might come that the usual way will no longer work for us. And worse, during the time when we really need change.
Many of the prominent personas involved during the EDSA Dos have already expressed their regret on being a part of that event. And maybe, most of the participants in EDSA and in key cities of the country who helped, in a way, put Gloria Arroyo into power in 2001 did the same.
It is said that we cannot change history, and that there are no ifs in it. But we can always carve the future of our country. May the lessons of the events of yesteryears be a guide on making a better future for our country.
Today is the twelfth anniversary of EDSA Dos. Did it already become a repressed memory? Do you still give a damn about it?
Today is the twelfth anniversary of the EDSA Dos. And no one seems to gives a damn to throw a celebration. And I don’t think the woman who replaced Joseph Estrada, who is now detained at the Presidential Suite of Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center, is celebrating either.
- When Last the Military Withrew Support (2006) - Dean Jorge Bocobo’s (and Amando Doronilla’s) commentary and chronology of events of the EDSA Dos. Some of the details here are unknown to me until now. This is a must read.
- The Stupidity of EDSA 2 People Power Gulbles Relived (2008)
- 'Never Again', says girl holding Bible at Arroyo oath-taking - Remember the girl who held the Bible during Arroyo’s oath-taking in 2001? (This is a thread of comments. Please refer to the post of ‘dokdok’.)
The editor and the cover, during the photoshoot (Dec 23 2012)
What an honor to stand beside Bro. John (tumblr’s @juanrepublic) —-at St. Francis Major Seminary, Lipa City Batangas
Don’t forget to check out Tumblr Magazine’s January 2013 cover, featuring @juanrepublic, for our Annual Power Issue
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
December 23, 2012, I really have to wake up at 8am because it usually takes two hours before I finish fixing myself. The plan was simple. Meet this tumblr fameux and get this photoshoot done, then head off to ATC for the year-ender meet up. But then i realized, you can’t just put an icon on a specific time frame. I was left with no options but to fall under the satisfaction of meeting “juanrepublic” in person for the second time around and clear my schedule that day.
I was waiting for him at a shopping mall in Lipa Batangas. He was right inside the video store looking for that Ely Buendia album. At the back of my mind, i was practicing how to approach this guy. He was of course, older than me, yet he’s very energetic and jolly. The plan was to have the cover photo taken at a photo studio inside the mall, for a change. And in a montage of four photos with Bro. John posing in 4 awkward expressions, the photographer asking if the shots were okay, and me, looking at these Angel Locsin photographs posted on the wall, trying to figure out what Bro. John’s pose will be. The guy was very cooperative, just having fun.
Right after the digital encounter at Tronix, we went straight to grab a lunch at BeeGees, one of the famous Lomi House in Lipa Batangas. Juanrepublic, or Bro. John as we call him, was never a stranger in Lipa batangas. Especially in our barangay. The seminary where he studied for years was just right on the opposite street to where i live. That brings me to my grade school and highschool years where we attend our afternoon religion classes. I know for sure, that Juanrepublic was one of those ‘Seminaristas’ that will go room to room to teach us.
This January 2013, we bring back the issue that features the icons on top of their game. For this annual issue, from last year’s cover @amateurdreamer Rain Malicsi, we give the spotlight to John Emmanuel Leviste-Ebora, or as we all know him, @juanrepublic. The man behind those in depth blog entries. Religion, Media, Politics, Pop cult, Beatles, and everything under the sun.
In this issue, we go back to where Juanrepublic learned the meaning of life, the life inside and outside the seminary, the days when he was an active tumblogger, the glorious days of the crazy dashboard we all miss. Before every bullsh*t you guys pasted on that tumblr dash, he was here. He was here before tumblr tweens dominated tumblr. Juanrepublic was here. Respected, and still rightful to the fictional term, tumblr fameux.
I was about to go to ATC that fine afternoon, after dropping Bro. John to Robinsons Place Lipa. But assuming that i won’t be able to be there on time, i just savored the fun we had, me, my bestfriend James Makalintal, who was our photographer that day, and Juanrepublic himself. We were driving with empty gasoline, decisions hanging, and ended up post processing the photos. There are a lot more meet up coming, but the chance to see a tumblr icon like Bro. John, two words. Halley’s comet.
For our maiden issue this 2013, we give you a roster list of things, icons, the cream of the crop, the honchos, the ones on top. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue. To our supportive followers, readers, contributors and everyone that keeps the fire burning for Tumblr Mag, our sincerest thank you, and may we embrace this year with high hopes, great expectations and a better and more powerful version of ourselves.
This is a personal blog where rants, raves, and everything in between is written and posted.
About the Blogger: His name is Juan, a frustrated writer who hails from a sauna town at the foot of Mount Makiling. He spends his being an overworked and underpaid High School teacher and being a self-proclaimed superhero who is dreaming and trying to make a difference, one post at a time.
For correspondence, please email me at email@example.com
You can also find me at these websites:
My Lakbayan grade is C-!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!Created by Eugene Villar.
"Speak now or forever hold your peace.."