Monday, August 18, 2008

Tuition fee increase

I am deeply saddened by the realities that haunt the average Filipino student nowadays. The cost of education is now so lavish that it forces students to drop out or gamble to the cheaper but incompetent schools for diplomas’ sake.

In line with the recent rising of the commodities of living, education too has skyrocketed from affordable to extravagant. It is almost unbearable for an average Filipino family to cope up with a 250-300% percent increase on tertiary education cost this school year and I am fearing that this year’s sudden and untimely tuition fee increase would increase the number of out of school youth within our country due to the incapability to finance tertiary schooling, thus, would become again a grave problem if these youths will subject to delinquencies.

Our school had not increased in it’s per/unit price, but who knows, we may be waking up next morning and knowing the worst that our school too has implemented this kind of inequity.

Rumor has it that USM will have the tuition fee increase in the near future, maybe next year, or the next two years, but whatever moves our school will take will dictate its fate as the once Affordable and quality school.

The reaction of enraged college students all through out the Philippines was heard in this past month’s protest-rallies, saying that education is a right and condemns the anti-student treatment of the GRP.

The ordinary Filipino student is now torn between choices of a Private school education or an SUC’s type of education, but it’s hard to choose now, because both are subject to tuition fee increase that leaves their Fathers and mothers flat broke with the biggest slice of their seemingly mediocre salary going to the educational cost of their children.

The government is said to have no power in controlling this kind of serious issue, CHED announced that they can only appeal to their (private school owners) social responsibility not to hike their tuition fee too much. And this would mean that government SUC’s would witness a flooding of transferees form the private school sector from now on.

I would like to suggest to the concerned persons of this sudden TOFI tuition fee increase, that if you want to get this done, you must first do your obligation of raising the standard of living of our parents, so that they will have money to send us to college.

We understand that the world has changed, and we also understand that you need this tuition hikes to compensate your academic maintenance of schools, but your hasty acts will cause catastrophe to the majority of students who came from the bottom of the middle class line in our caste-like system of society.

This is a plea to the Philippine government to realize the huge subsidy that is allocated for education; we can’t merely feel the improvements that you always propose and yet you just sit there and wait for your large salaries.

It is really dangerous to run a “dumb” country, its even more dangerous if the ones who are tasked to do their jobs to educate, does the dumb thing of neglecting the educational crisis of the status quo.

Education is important, who said it is not? It is our mere escape to our nations lingering poverty, it is the sole treasure that our parents can give us, and they are willing to shed blood and sweat just to send us to one school where they could happily see us finish. It’s sad to see that tertiary education nowadays has become commercial, public schools that are supposed to tend to the needs of the Filipino students, concentrate now to the profit of what they can get in return of their decreasing level of proficiency.

I say that this whole Tuition fee increase is no doubt a step back to the development of our ever beloved country; they always say that we are growing economically; we are not, the only thing that’s economically growing, is the politicians’ wallets and pockets. How can they ever change the incompetent educational system? If they themselves cant abstain from their thievery? How can the “pag-asa ng bayan” change the nation, if they are not able to have proper education due to poverty?

Tuition fee increase makes them even poorer, makes us even more burdened.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Silence is the only abstract thing surrounding the gallant dance and dining hall of dukes, duchess and other royalties after the last ringing of a note beneath his firm but exhausted fingers. Amazement struck the royal audiences in a way that it made their jaws hung from their faces from the astonishment of the swift event that took their breath away, Entranced, when he stood in his piano stool and bowed with grace and nobility on his sweat-soaked coat with perspiration trickling from his face due to the vigorous body language he just used, as if he was in a circus performing a seemingly impossible feat that left the audience dumbfounded.

The audience, still in the realm of silence from the ethereal moment of inhuman representation of talent, gazed at him with focus as he tread the side of the black grand piano where an unlit cigarette waited, he picked it up and lifted it overhead, introducing it to the royal audience with profound certainty, there was a sudden feeling of uneasiness and intrigue in his deed, indeed, as he opened the hood of the grand piano and dipped the cigarette into a piano string, and what happened was not expected by many, at first, they thought it was a ridiculous act, but the presence of smoke and a bursting sound defined it all, he lifted the lighted cigarette and presented it to the royal audience in a triumphant and delightful way as to prove that something wonderful has happened.

All again was consumed by stillness and the noiselessness of that point in time, for it was quite impossible to light a cigarette with a piano string, but he did, he lighted it from his music, so sublime and so intense that it made the piano strings transform into fiery strips of almost red hot matter that lighted the cigarette, which also left his vanquished foe in the comfort of his seat break down in tears, for he was never been so humiliated in his life, until now, not believing the things that had happened.

A burst of applause just sprang out of nowhere, and the hall is suddenly an ambient of ecstasy from a crowd, so overwhelmed by the extraordinary performance that they had never seen or heard before. While holding the burning cigarette, he gained the admiration and appraisal of all, and undisputedly declared the winner of the duel against the greatest pianist of New York.

The night brought a promising memory to those who had witnessed and heard music at its best, the piano duel between New York’s best and an under-rated prodigy of the ship Virginia, All left the hall that night with jolted emotions and a happy spirit from both delicious performances of superior proportions, but this night belonged to the underdog, the ships own pianist.

Who was he? Who is this sickly looking man that defied it all and owned the show? The man who is employed as a pianist? The man they usually see in the hall, playing unheard pieces of music? The man, whom they say, has lived his entire life in this ship.

It was about three decades ago, when this ship was brought to life by a world renowned shipyard in England in 1900, with its creation was a promise of a lifetime when upon its inauguration and first transatlantic sail from Liverpool to New York as its route of commerce, was a baby left in a deck by his mother, It was a question why did his mother left him, of all the things that God has made, this poor little cradle of clean linen cloth was left in the mercy of strangers, But life suddenly found its way on him, for he was found, reared and loved by a crew of the ship who happened to be a coal worker on the ships engine compartment, He named the baby, after the turning of the century, Nineteen Hundred.

Nineteen Hundred grew in the setting of the ships working class; they treated him well and brought him up with the proper love and care that he needed. His foster father, an African ship laborer, loved him so much, despite the color of his skin. All the years that they’ve spent with each other molded the kind-heartedness and gentleness of Nineteen Hundred, but like all things, everything must come to an end, his foster father had an accident in the workplace and died. The grieving juvenile was left in the guidance and company of his foster father’s colleagues.

Nineteen hundred replaced his foster father’s job as a coal laborer; even in his child body, he endured his job’s physical demands and loved his work. Life really has its purpose on him, for every night when all the passengers are at sleep he wandered in the upper decks of the ship in the royal class’ hall and ate the left-over food and drank the left wine, but the most important thing that he saw that made him legend, was the grand piano.

Since then, his passion for the piano’s sound grew naturally, for having not studied music; he was able to play the piano every night when all was in slumber, and developed his own musicality by applying his emotions to every press of a key in the piano, thus, harnessing the strong emotions of humanity, then all became impromptu to him, all was to enjoy.

When it came to pass when he was already at the most active stage of his life and was able to get the attention of the captain by his sheer talent of music, he was then promoted as the ships pianist, playing every night on the royal dancing and dining hall.

Life was going fairly well on him, he was happy with his job and he loves what he is doing, until the day he fell in love with a passenger in the middleclass part of the ship, he found her one morning, when he played in the middleclass tavern of the ship, as if earth had been so kind to him. He approached her and talked to her, she fell in love too and they both fell in their cabin love nest and talked some more. How Nineteen hundred wished those moments never ended.

Morning came and the statue of Liberty stood colossal in the morning fog of New York. The girl left earlier but made a note for Nineteen Hundred, Choice was bitter for Nineteen Hundred, for he was torn between his love and passion onboard, He was about the follow the girl in her given address in New York City, but it was a hard decision, He was on the ships bridge to dry land, just one step and he is off the ship, he paused a bit; he turned, took his hat off and threw it in the air, he climbed back and chose to live with his passion, the ship, and family.

Every now and then he would play in the ship with pristine and original music of his own creation. He played on the royal deck, on the hall every evening and played on the middleclass during mornings and afternoon. All loved him; all cared for him, his music inspired all the people aboard, as if he was the ships most treasured investment of happiness and grandeur. He never ceased to play the kind of music he was endowed with, so prodigious and pacific. He was able to hone the different emotions of the people aboard Virginia, and with that stature, he became legend.

It was a glorious and colorful life for Nineteen Hundred, having defeated the grand pianist of New York, having induced smiles of delight of the million transatlantic voyagers of the ship Virginia, and having been heard the life in the notes beneath his hands like the waves dancing on Atlantic breeze. He now realized his purpose.

As the years grew rusts on Virginia’s maritime metal, so as the life of Nineteen Hundred. The ship is now old with barnacles growing all over her rusted parts, exposed in the coldness of the sea. She had reached the most ripened stage of her maritime service to the immigrants and voyagers and is now ready to be disposed in the bottom of the sea. Her years had now passed.

Now, in the empty hall filled with wooden boxes, boxes that seemed to be the end of everything, there lay Nineteen Hundred. He was wondering why there are so many boxes, from the captain’s bridge, to the docks, to the Mast, to the different decks, where activities are supposed to be tended, and the cabins, boxes fill them all. Nineteen Hundred reclined on one in the empty and rugged hall. He is full of soul as an Eagle gliding freely in the eastern coast, reminisced every chapter of his life, like the rolling credits of a cinema, He reminisced all of the happy moments in the once glorious ship, His Virginia. The ship that begot him, the ship where he lived his passion for music and friends that he loved, those were remembered.

And as he straighten up in his recline on the a box, he placed his fingers in front of him, imagining something, imagining the grand piano where he once made life with, pressing and feeling it, In his mind he played the tunes that defined his happiness, it produced an ample amount of teardrop on his eyes that streamed down from his pale face. Playing on his mind, the last composition, the last performance without an audience, the last notes borne of his sublime fingers, it sounded beautiful, so perfect that rung all over the ship. In his mind, it was all too fulfilling; he gave out a lasting expression, a smile, as if he was on a trance, and then at last, a sense of fulfillment.

The Dynamites sounded!

-Gerald Galindez

A feature on the movie, The Legend of 1900


5:19 pm

Monday, July 21, 2008

Apology of the Pope

“Dear friends, may this celebration, in the presence of the Successor of Peter, be a moment of rededication and renewal for the whole Church in Australia!

"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that as their pastor I too share in their suffering.

"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church's witness. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.

"In these days marked by the celebration of World Youth Day, we are reminded of how precious a treasure has been entrusted to us in our young people, and how great a part of the Church's mission in this country has been dedicated to their education and care.

"As the Church in Australia continues, in the spirit of the Gospel, to address effectively this serious pastoral challenge, I join you in praying that this time of purification will bring about healing, reconciliation and ever greater fidelity to the moral demands of the Gospel.”

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Babae sa breakwater

When the title crossed my senses,( I was high school back then, active and kicking, reading the daily newspaper and getting insights about the world ) i got stereotyped impressions about this Filipino Movie, I thought this was just another cheap rated-r and nonsense movie, so i did not dare watch it.

5 years later...

Me and my classmates planned have a film-viewing gimmick, so without my intercession, they've rented it "Babae sa breakwater" i couldn't even believe it, i was disgusted.

1 1/2 hours later

I ate all my resentment and pride, it really wrong to judge a movie without first seeing it and I'm ashamed of myself that time and at the same time was amazed about the Movie.

A real cinematic gem

As the quality of Filipino movies deteriorate, there are still those few who can pass my standards, the educated viewers standards. This movie exposes the societal realities of Manila, the poor folks, vagabonds and beggars of the breakwater, the daily scenarios there in every day. This movie was successful in conveying the true colors of the real happenings, the odd realities of beggarship. Together with its most creative direction (a brilliant mind), it
surpassed the standards of a Filipino movie, with twists and turns in the storyline from the start to the end. With magnificent actors who love their arts and sacrificed in the movie
( did professional job) for the sake of bringing quality cinema. With the Lead actress, i cant say anything about her, but she really deserves the awards, the movie deserves awards.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moses dies; Charlton Heston

Almost every year during Lenten season, I never missed seeing a free cable telecast of the movie "The ten Commandments", a lengthy movie about Moses' freeing of the hebrew slaves out of the bondage of slavery. I really never get tired of seeing this movie over and over again, maybe because there is something in this movie that is special. Upon hearing the news on April 5, 2008 that was Monday, that the lead actor (Moses) , Charlton Heston, dies at the age of 84
I was again saddened, because not only did we lose a classic figure, but we lose a great person.
Who can ever forget his exceptional performance in "the Ten Commandments" and "Benhur"
Set the some standards on the quality of the art of acting, He really has become one of the pillars of cinema and there can never be another like him.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lightning Crashes

Artist: Live
Album: Throwing Copper
Year: 1994
UK chart: 33

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
her placenta falls to the floor
the angel opens her eyes
the confusion sets in
before the doctor can even close the door

lightning crashes, an old mother dies
her intentions fall to the floor
the angel closes her eyes
the confusion that was hers
belongs now, to the baby down the hall

oh now feel it comin' back again
like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind
forces pullin' from the center of the earth again
i can feel it.

lightning crashes, a new mother cries
this moment she's been waiting for
the angel opens her eyes
pale blue colored eyes, presents the circle
and puts the glory out to hide, hide


If there was any band of the 90's whose quality of music influenced much of the youth that time, It was Live. "Lightning crashes" is considered to be their most pristine and biggest hit of their marvelous career. this song is conceived with so much soul and solemnity in line with its exceptional poetry by the frontman Ed Kowalczyk. Ed's soulful and dramatic (baritone-like) voice perfectly blended with the songs melody of sadness, the effect is a total gloom, entrancing and reflective.

The lake house (il mare)

This is a really the most unforgettable movie I've ever saw. Its really odd when you watch a movie, then an hour or two later you're just covering your face with a pillow because you don't want somebody to see you crying, i was crying really hard that the pillow became damped of tears of i don't really understand is it of joy or sorrow, I mean there's really nothing wrong in crying, but to cry because you really appreciated and sympathized with a cinematic masterpiece, its really a glorious feeling.

This movie is a real tearjerker i tell you, not only for it has a kind of tragic ending (its not really tragic) but the events evolve or change fast, that you wont even anticipate. you will be astonished by its storyline or plot (wikipedia). This is a tale of two souls trapped in their own individual time 1998 - 2000, through a magic letter post on a house on a lake where they exchange letters beginning from friendship then evolving into a really entrancing love, the task is theirs for them to unite with time as their wall. you will be surprised in the flow of the story, even me, i have cried hard for this movie. of all the bag of movies Ive seen, this really hit the spot of my emotional side.