Okay, Now What?

When something good happens to you, you try to keep holding your breath and make sure you’re not celebrating too much or too soon.

You brace yourself for what’s coming next because you know this drill all too well. You know that there is always something bad that’s gonna happen in the midst of the celebration… It’s as if life keeps tabs on you and you can’t have more than a day’s worth of euphoria because somewhere along those good and right lines beckon troubles.

Somewhere in your bubble of happiness, a dark cloud of bad news is lurking around, waiting for you to fall right off your guard and into the dismal place called complacency going further down the hole of oblivion before it sneaks up on you and gets you running through the tunnel of fear–again.

You play this so often that you crafted a name for it–your favorite hide-and-seek game.

You hide behind your metaphors, run around the bush when someone asks how you’re doing, escape to the familiar comfort of your old habits you thought you still need, try to keep your cool, act like you don’t care, pretend everything’s fine until you’ve convinced yourself that you are safely hidden from your fears and that you don’t really feel anything anymore. Your body numbs itself as a defense against pain. Yes, cover up the pain with those photos showing your big fat shiny smile. But don’t beam too much… some people would suspect there is something shady behind it.

And now, life has finally caught up on you and here you are again playing Peek-a-Boo, but not the kind that you want to giggle over when you hear the words, “I. SEE. YOU.”

Because when reality enters the room, punches you in the gut and glares at you as if to say, “Haven’t you learned your lesson yet?”… That’s when you scream inside and with shaky hands, fidget on the keyboard and inflict the world with your story nobody really cares about just so you can feed your selfish desire to get attention.





Is Calling Taylor Swift ‘Ugly’ Being an Anti-Feminist?


I still haven’t forgotten how I was branded an “anti-feminist” not because I burn my bras and rallied on the streets telling feminists to fuck off. Even more so not because I petitioned on the local government to torn down monuments of heroines and replace them with the ones bearing a phallic symbol like the obelisk. Trust me, I didn’t and would never want to.

             Calling Taylor Swift Ugly

But guess what? I was labeled to be against feminism because I said Taylor Swift looks uglier now than she was back then.  Okay, maybe I was being stereotypical for preferring Taylor Swift having long curly golden hair, not that I hate women with short hair and think they are all ugly. Maybe I just particularly like Swift’s curly-hair days so much that I can’t seem to accept her new bleached, cropped hairstyle.

Well, it’s not just the hair, really.

I mean, she just changed a lot in a way that shattered that sweet innocent girl-in-sparkly-dress-and-boots country singer that I came to love in the first place. And if you have been an avid Swifty fan, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, this is my opinion about her because 1.) I have opinions and I’m not afraid to voice them out (for heaven’s sake this is why I have blogs for), 2.) I was a Taylor Swift fan which still entitles me to differentiate her looks from what she was and what she is now, 3.) I have preferences and my own standards of beauty that 4.) I was just absolutely honest about what and how I really think about Swift.

What does Taylor Swift symbolize in the first place? Does she represent the whole of the female sex so much so that it is diabolical to offend her (or the gender she represents) by saying she is not beautiful? And ever since when did being ugly steps on the rights of women to equality?

How, in all this, did I just become an anti-feminist? In what way did I offend my own sex? And what is being a feminist really about?

Which leads me to my next point:

             What really is feminism?

So finally, I pulled myself together and thought about it deeply. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe  the reason why I was termed an anti-feminist is because there is a new definition of feminism creeping its way to topple down all four waves of feminism.

If you’re not a Literature or English major and have never stumbled across the four waves of feminism (that’s still highly likely even if you claim to be a feminist), let me shortly elaborate to you the intricacies of the four waves of feminism so we’ll be in equal footing. After all, that is what we, feminists, all craved and fight for–EQUALITY.

So let us be in a singular understanding.

Okay, so the first wave of feminists were just more on the political aspect which basically sought to give women equal political rights as men enjoy (like voting rights). This movement started around the late 19th century and continued over the course of the early 20th century.


And no, it’s not true that the first-wave feminists were the “amazon type”, you know, the ones going after overthrowing men, as the general notion goes.

The second wave of feminism began in the 1960s  and rowed on a larger ocean of issues where overstepping women’s rights is involved, like sexuality, family, and workplace. This is probably the start of actually giving attention to sexual abuse, domestic violence, (marital rape, if you must add) and  stuff like that. The highlight of it all, though, is the equal rights with men in terms of wages and positions.


The “girlie feminism” is what unconventional feminists like Martha Rampton call the third wave of feminism. The third wavers defy categorization by putting labels on things and people so they don’t settle even on being called feminists.

Their movement is to shatter gender barriers that the second wave feminists fail to tear down. Since voting rights are established for women and more female workers get into public office or hold white collar positions, there’s not much to rally on the streets about that anymore. Or so they think.

London: Women march against male violence

So, they work on less important (sarcasm intended) but equally brutal discrimination against women–more on rape issues and to some, women’s abortion rights (disregarding the fact that the unborn children those women who would decide to get abortion could have been girls as well with just as much human rights as their supposed mothers enjoy).

You know what? I don’t have a quickie definition for the fourth wavers. They go along with everything else from technology to post-modern lifestyle–oh what’s the word for it?  Complicated.

The fourth-wave feminists are whatever they want to define themselves.

Their movement is combined with all other words with “ism” there is–racism, ageism, classism, ableism, fascism… well, you get the idea. This kind of feminist movement doesn’t want to stick with fighting for “just women” and decided to bring along its other  equally exploited and desecrated neighbors of “minority.”


So much for breaking barriers, third wavers.

But what if the “feminists”  evolving now are those who find the slightest bit of derision a call for war, not only between sexes, but within it? One that is founded in the fabric of teenage sensitivity and emotionally-unstable fangirls surging the tide.

The thing about this emerging new wave of feminists is that it craves attention and authority in epic proportions. Political correctness is no longer enough. If you say something as bad as recognizing a fault done by one particular person (make no mistake about mentioning a celebrity or a celebrity itself doing the act), you will be branded for life to be someone who is against a movement that’s about protecting and fighting for rights.


The fifth wave of feminists, as I would now call them, would have to be the people holding power by pointing out those who don’t go with their thwarted “principles” exaggerating a fault, allowing too much leniency towards what the members of “minorities”  do even if it’s immoral, but condemns people outside the majority for the slightest humanly tendency such as name-calling. Debate is even out of the question, with the sense of anything-you-say-will-be-held-against-you threatens or pays people their silence.

These people are what Lupe Fiasco said the “truth is what they say is.”

              Beauty defined

So going back to calling Swift ugly, the question begs to be asked, what is beauty anyway?

Some would say (of course),

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

This written-to-death line about beauty strikes as the passive-aggressive statement that as cliched and redundant this may sound, beauty is really THAT subjective. For instance, I just googled in the word “beauty” which unsurprisingly directed me to roughly a thousand results.

I’m kidding, it actually says “about 2,770,000,000 results.”

That just says how varied our views and opinions are about beauty. We all have some kind of perception and standards to beauty. And these concepts change, too. Like how fair-skinned people are generally attractive in the Orient while tanning is the definition of sophistication and charm in the West. Not necessarily the best adjectives I could think of, but you get the point.

Ethnic Beauty

The truth of the matter is if we sum up all cultures’ definition and concept of beauty, none would fit the word. It is not even dignified enough that women always feel the need to be pretty.

Feminism is throwing in the towel at the idea that to be feminine means to be pretty and if you’re called ugly, you’re out of that gender categorization. It is rather convincing the latent truth that to be feminine doesn’t mean you have to be beautiful. You just have to be you and let other people deal with it. Or not. Either way, you shouldn’t let others tell you off for expressing your thoughts and opinion about something that you either find attractive or not.

If I say, oh look the pigeon’s feather is not colorful so I think it looks uglier than a parrot, would you brand me as an anti-animal rights’ activist?

So many things have changed (largely for the better) ever since feminism was born hundred years ago. More than anything, I am happy to be a feminist and my preference and opinion about a particular celebrity and what beauty means to me doesn’t change the fact that I am not against women’s rights.

Let’s move on.

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks

5 Smart Ways to Avoid Unwanted, Unsolicited Small Talks


Anywhere you go around the world, you’ll get to meet at least one or two of their species. They are scattered in the crowded corners of the universe and exist in the least parts you thought they would. Whether you are riding a bus, a train, a plane, or you stroll in a park, the market, the mall, and even during holidays and in between family gatherings, you can be sure to rub shoulders with them from time to time. I call them the “small talkers.”

Have you ever had to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? If yes, how did it go? If no, good for you. I have had several experiences to know how exasperating it is to endure an unasked for conversation with someone I barely knew. And yes, even the awkward exchange of pangangamusta (social pleasantry) with an old friend can cause me an episode of panic attack.aaeaaqaaaaaaaayaaaaajdy0ztm3njhklta4ytctndjiys1imgjmlti5ntvkmjfin2m2yq

The bad news is nobody is exempted from meeting people whose apparent trade in life is to initiate and perpetuate unwanted small talks that are usually just one-sided.  And the thing is, you hate those insipid chats—you’d rather get lost in your own thoughts, read a book, listen to your iPod or play video games than engage in their hobby. But at the same time, you also don’t want to just walk away, so you just suffer silently. But you can do more than that—way more.

Carefully follow these few tips on how to avoid such unpleasant pleasantries.



Don’t make eye contact. Stand on one foot bearing your weight and start tapping the lazy foot rapidly like you’re waiting for the bus while running late for a final exam. Check dirt on your nails, which are not there. Nod your head fast and frequently even before they start on another line. Scratch parts of your body that don’t itch. If you are wearing a watch, take an “accidental” look at it and mention you remember to do something urgent.




Give them a taste of their own medicine by over talking. Take all the chances you can get and don’t let them beat you to the next sentence. When they are trying to cut you off, change the subject—and do that very often. Don’t let them interrupt you by interrupting them.

Pretend to give them a chance to speak, only to cut them off again. This way, they’ll get irritated the same way you do when they’re the ones giving you the talk. Discuss taboo topics like religion, politics, sexism, and racism.



Act like you have a stomachache, headache, backache, brainache, etc. Or start to get busy with your phone and press the song set as your ringtone and mock a phone call.


Remember who the small talkers are and avoid their presence as much as you can. If you see them approaching, don’t look in their way and start walking towards the opposite direction. But if luck is not on your side and you can’t avoid to bump into them, give a quick “hi” and walk fast.


But what if you’re still not in luck and it seems the universe is conspiring against you that you happen to be just stuck and cornered in, say, a jeepney or a bus? Just look at the window and casually say, “oh, look, there’s my stop right there.” Then call the driver’s attention to drop you off the hook.


The last and probably the least horrible thing you can do to escape from small talkers is to tell them nicely.

Say that as much as you want to talk to them about the job you landed in to, the accomplishments you have achieved so far, or how fair the weather is, tell them you also have other better things to do like write a novel, sleep, and brainstorm for ideas on how to change the world and stuff.



But of course these are not the advisable exact words that you should say. Try to be more creative.

Craft socially acceptable phrases and words to feign concern. You can hide these words under more polite terms and wrap them up in pretty packaging called implied sarcasm and sugar-coated euphemism.

Most people don’t get the irony anyway. Anything you can conjure at the rare moment of colossal ingenuity you can muster would be enough.

So yeah, try to follow these nuggets of admonition and you will be sure to get by and get around these atrocious situation of awkward conversations.


I’m Fine, And You?

“I’m Fine”
It’s one of the most well-fabricated lie that not only you buy into, but also sell to others.
“I’m fine.”
That’s your default statement when someone superficially (or even sincerely) asks how you’re doing.
“I’m fine,” you say.
It’s not because you are the kind of texture that is opposite to rough—as the word “fine” denotes. It’s because you don’t want others to know how rough your day has been. Or how roughly imperfect your life is. So you say,
“I’m fine.”
I’m fine. Embedded in this two-word sentence is an infinite unspoken sentiments you don’t want others to know. Sometimes you say “I’m fine,” just to stop the person from asking how well you’re doing because the truth is, you’re NOT doing “well” at all. So you say, “I’m fine” even though inside you’re hurting. You say you’re “fine” even though you’re dying to be heard what’s bothering you. You’re “fine” because no one cares enough to know what is not making you fine at all.
You say…
“I’m fine…”
When you actually mean is…
“I’m having more troubles that I can handle, and my life is a mess. I don’t know what to do. I’m devastated. But there’s nothing you can do to help me or stop the pain. There’s nothing more you can do or say except to ask if “everything’s fine.” I’ll save you the trouble of asking. Stop you from even going to the worry-zone. That is, if you actually are worrying. I don’t want you to think I’m weak or weird. I want you to picture me as someone who is “cool” and “strong.” I want to imprint in your tiny little head that I am the kind of person who has it altogether. That I don’t need your help. That I don’t need your sympathy because no one is really truly sympathetic. Sympathy is a human error—apathy is what we are best at. So I’ll let you foolishly think that I have everything under control when in fact panic overwhelms me and it has ME under control. You don’t need to see this side of me that is crumbling into pieces because I’m SO.NOT.FINE. Besides, I don’t really see that sincerity in your eyes to say that you’re even interested in my hell of a life when you ask me how I’m doing. And even IF you are interested—I said, IF—I don’t want to drag you into my Calvary because I know you have a Calvary of your own that’s dragging you way down. You have enough problems to solve yourself. So trying to fix me is like a withered-winged bird trying to help a drowning fish. I want you to have that idea of me as a person who is his/her own man. Or woman. I don’t need you to be troubled by MY troubles and anxieties. And do not even think for one second that you can just crush this great big wall I’ve painstakingly built around me. So I won’t tell you what’s killing me inside. I’ll just leave you a simple answer that would suffice your attempt to make a conversation and make you feel you don’t suck at it. We both just want one thing anyway—to get these pleasantries over with. And probably get past each other’s expectation of ‘small talk.’ So we can move forward and talk about things that really matter—like, the weather. But never ever dare to make personal inquiries about me and what’s gripping my heart at every beat. And yeah, this IS my way of saying…
I’m fine. How about you?

The Letter I Wish I Received

Dear Elementary Pupils,

Please don’t take your Math lessons lightly. Pay careful attention to your teacher when he’s teaching you how to solve the freaking fractions which you thought aren’t as important as knowing how to divide a pizza among hungry friends. Don’t ignore the lessons you learned about how to convert fractions to decimals and percentage or vice versa when you reach the age when you think dollar conversion is of much importance. Don’t neglect your lessons on how to calculate your father’s age and/or the average of you and your siblings’ ages because they make sense in building relationships, really. Don’t discard your memory of how you solved the measure of distance and speed of a vehicle when you’re at the point of your life wherein all you wanted is how to own a car and break the speed limit.