Thursday, February 13, 2014

Article - My hometown: Proudly from Cubao

When I was younger, a teacher did the usual thing for homeroom: She asked us to write an essay about our hometowns. At the time, I did not quite understand the question, but seeing as to how answering it truthfully would have been more trouble, I simply talked about how my father used to bring me to Sta. Ana, Bulacan during the weekends. He brought me there so he would have company while he did business with a cooperative that he had helped set up.

In the essay, I talked about how being in the province, playing with the kids, fostered a sense of rural living, of how to live simpler, and with less of everything modern. While Santa Ana was not my hometown, I wrote that it might as well have been, because that is where I spent many weekends.

It was a nice, heartfelt essay that got me a good grade.

But you see, it’s totally false. Santa Ana is not my hometown.

The problem I had, when I was thinking of what my hometown was, was the notion I assumed the teacher to have: a hometown can’t be where you live in the city.

But really, that’s my hometown: I am proud to be a guy from Cubao.

Read the full article at The Philippine Online Chronicles

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Article: Do we still dream the American Dream?

Like many Filipinos, I’ve experienced the following scenarios:

1) “Why don’t you go migrate to the USA?” ­ – I used to be asked this question whenever I would attend a family reunion, or whenever a family friend would come back after years of living in the United States. I have to admit, I usually just smile and say that it’s not in my plans. However, whenever I hear a retort that can be paraphrased as “nothing will happen to you here in the Philippines,” I sometimes cannot help but answer back with something intentionally hurtful. This has caused much embarrassment for my family, but certainly not to me.

2) “If we were in America, (insert relevant information) would never have happened.” – Sometimes, I have to agree with the statement. Sometimes, I don’t. However, the idea of always being compared to America (specifically, the U.S.A.) can be a rather annoying thought at times.

It’s as if one of the best options if you live in the Philippines is to leave it all behind and go to the country’s former colonial master. And yes, that sounds about as bad as it plays out when written down.

Read the full article at The Philippine Online Chronicles.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Article - A cold snap: A few weeks of Baguio weather in Manila

It used to be that if we wanted low two-digit temperatures, we had to go to Baguio, which is situated up in the mountains, or, in order of being ever-closer to Manila, we would go to Tagaytay or Antipolo. That’s because these places were higher up, and it should be said, they weren’t as large or as developed as the cluster of cities that is Metro Manila. However, that’s not to say that Metro Manila didn’t have its cold days – after all, the idea of cool December nights and simbang gabi is a living tradition.

As many people have noticed, Metro Manila went through a very cold set of days in the beginning of 2014 – so cold that even during the day, people didn’t need to use electric fans or other mechanical methods of cooling off.

For now, it’s a good idea to just keep on enjoying our weather, because what we don’t know for now is if summer will be even worse (as some people believe that a colder January will make for a hotter summer), or if summer itself will also cool down a bit.

Read the full article at The Philippine Online Chronicles.