Female Detective Conan (Dream)

I dreamt that I was with two other friends – a male and a female. I knew that they were my friends, but I was pretty sure after I woke up that they were not one of my friends in this physical life. We went into an abandoned and dilapidated building, and I am not sure what our reason for going there was. It was an abandoned building, yet there was a female security guard sitting near the open door. She eyed me as if she could see through me, and told my companions that if they were seeking for mysteries to be solved, they would surely be best friends with me because I was blessed by “God” with the most talent in criminal investigations. I have other skills in life but she said that I definitely have that spy-like talent and that’s where most of my potential is. As she was speaking, I see English subtitles in my dreams, as if the dream itself was a foreign movie that still needs translation. When we stepped inside the building, we saw a pool of pale blood in the floor, and the blood was dripping from the ceiling. The guard mentioned two possible suspects, and referred to me as the one who could most possibly be able to solve the case. Me and my male friend went up the stairs, and followed the trail of blood. The guard looked like a nun this time, and still kept on talking as I was trying to figure out the situation. The more I went up the stairs, the more eerie it felt. I looked at my male friend and felt that the murderer was nearby. I told him to come down the stairs with me. When we reached the ground floor, I looked at the stairs again and saw a man with an ominous aura. I was pretty sure that that was the man we were looking for, but he was too scary to be reckoned with. Without saying what I saw, I told my friends to run and we ran away from the old abandoned building. 

A Seven-Year-Old Girl's Dream Come True

I distinctly remember him from when I was still in first and second grade. I really felt like I could not reach him; because I was seven while he was ten. When all of us played street games, my sister and I couldn’t match them all for they had longer limbs and taller statures compared to us. Our brothers of fourth, fifth, and sixth grades really gained my admiration, because they acted like they were more mature than the five of us who were in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Age differences really matter during childhood, and are very physically evident. JR was really special in my eyes, although I may have not really admitted it to myself back then, because he had this cool vibe in him, he walked slowly like a boy already going through puberty, and I liked his face. He was not really classically handsome, unlike Claudio who was really good-looking and looked like Harry Potter, but he looked really kind and understanding and open-minded. Once, when I was forced to ride with them in their tricycle, he looked at me with a warm smile. That kind of smile stayed with me for a long time. However, it was a smile that did not mean that he liked me romantically. Maybe it was a smile that said that he liked me as a playmate, as a girl younger than him. It was a distant kind of smile, the kind that secretly says, “I wish we were close.”

Out of all the boys that I have played with during that time, he had the most appeal. There’s just something about him that I could not pinpoint. I don’t know what it is, but I recall that whenever he was around, I suddenly freeze, turn into an ice queen, and become conscious of my actions. He was my childhood crush. Well, he was one of my childhood crushes, but he was the most special of them all because he  turned up during the happiest time of my life, which was during the time of Britney Spears, Westlife, and Stephen Speaks’ “Passenger Seat”. It was the most nostalgic time of my life. It was because of our parents that we could play with each other. I was really close with his younger brother because we were of the same age, but I just wished that it was him whom I was close to instead. I was so attracted to him. There was something soulful and mysterious about him that just made me want to get to know him better. Until I grew up into a teenager, I still remembered him as someone that I had a crush on before. And every time he popped into my mind and I wondered how he was, I just shrugged it off and thought that he probably already had a girlfriend, or had so many girlfriends and admirers. He was that appealing. He had that quiet charm that makes girls gravitate to him mysteriously.

Flashing forward twelve or thirteen years later, we saw each other for the first time again. And there are only about forty-eight hours left before Christmas Eve, the time when I plan to say yes to him to be his girlfriend. Our fathers also have met eye-to-eye again, talking about their children’s relationship and other matters. The seven-year-old girl in me still finds it hard to believe that the boy that she was only admiring from afar is now asking for her hand. That boy from her seven-year-old romantic fantasies is now carrying her like a princess, showing her around the city with his motorcycle, having a date with her on a night in a park full of Christmas lights, eating with her outside, holding her hands while walking at the baywalk, and showing her off to his big family. We owe everything that happens now to our happy childhood with each other. 2002 to 2004 are the best years ever. It’s also good that we only happened to see each other after twelve years because I have grown prettier, he has grown bigger and handsomer, and we have both matured and left behind some bad and childish habits. The seven-year-old girl in me feels very lucky for what is happening now, and very thankful although her desires were only granted by the universe a decade later. Who would have thought back then that we will still (he said that he was also equally interested in me back then, it’s just that we were too young) be so attracted to each other and get along so well, especially in a romantic way? 

Response to Gloria Anzaldua’s “Speaking In Tongues: A Letter To 3rd World Women Writers”

I am a third world woman.:)

Dear Gloria,

Women like you make me proud of being a mujeres de color. There’s nothing wrong with it. The struggles of women of color are unique and are something that the white women cannot understand. These struggles that we eventually overcome make us learn some things in life that white women don’t know. These kinds of struggles make all women of color understand and lean on one another. We share the same kind of sentiments against a patriarchal world that is dominated by white men. In this profoundly sick society, it seems that it would still take a very long time for third world women to rise from their very low position in society – and yet, I still agree with you when you said that at the end of the day, blaming everyone is useless and that we are all responsible for ourselves. I know how true that is because as a third world girl in a third world country, I’ve suffered so much from my own inferiority complex and the consequences of having it was slapped into my face the moment I first stepped into this university. But bit by bit, I have overcome this and helped myself to become better. I’ve accelerated a few steps in the ladder of life because I have helped myself.

However, there’s one petty thing that I have noticed – and yet it’s something that you should remember too. You talk about the Asian women as if being “Asian” is limited to the chinks like the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. You forgot the Filipina women or any other Southeast Asians of the Malayan race. We are Asians, too. J However, we should not let racial differences deter us from helping and understanding one another. Because even among third world nations, there is still a sense of “I-am-better-or-less-than-that-race”. Skin color is just an illusion. It’s merely melanin, merely pigmentation, and it does not reflect what kind of souls we have. Chicanas or Latinas are not better than any race, like for example than the Filipinas, just because they look prettier. Third world women share the same kind of struggles no matter how much we pinpoint the differences of our heights, noses, skin colors, or beauty. Chicanas, Latinas, and Filipinas owe a percentage of their appearances now to the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers – but instead of comparing ourselves with each other like we often do, it is better to just hold each other’s hands, look into each other’s eyes, and sympathize with each other as the third world women of this planet.

And as much as we hate putting the west and the orient into a binary opposition just like in the “Orientalism” by Edward Said, it has long been done since the European colonizers have differentiated themselves from the “orient” and justified its colonial conquest of it through its “otherness.” Right now, we hate labels and we aim for equality. However, orientalism has made such a great impact that, right now, we can firmly say that white women are utterly different from us, and their western version of feminism do not, in fact, address the struggles of third world women like us. These white women writers still cannot reach far deeply into the souls of other women since they weren’t deprived and unprivileged like us in the first place. We all contain the divine feminine energy within us, yet there is still a wide and empty gap – a gap made by the division of the world into the occident and the orient, and into first, second, and third world countries.

Like what you have pointed out, our speech is inaudible here in a sick world in which white males rule the world. You said, “We speak in tongues like the outcast and the insane.” We are the untouchables in the international caste system. We are dirty. We are whores. We are uneducated and ill-mannered. White people always rob us of everything – from then until now. We provide the labor and man power while they enjoy the luxury that resulted from our blood and sweat. They rob us of resources and ideas and of means to make our own nations prosper. They want to own the whole world. And our state as women looks very hopeless, since we are still doubye colonized. Not only are we subjugated by the first world; we are also subjugated by this patriarchal world. For thousands of years, we have been silenced. Now, it’s time for the third world women to speak through writing, and pour their souls out for the world to see and feel. We have to express. We have to speak out. We have had enough.

You ask, how dare we have the right to write? You say, the whole world would not even try to give importance in whatever we have to write unless we bleach our skins and write right-handed. However, the western logic that schools and universities have used to brainwash us is not the thing that makes writing beautiful. It is not even through literary criticism done in classes. It is through reaching through the depths of our soul, being honest with ourselves, and treating the readers as if they are merely humans who understand human suffering in this universe. I have loved writing about anything, especially about myself, ever since I was an elementary student – and I have excelled in subjects that require writing. I even wondered before why some people find it hard to write essays and feel insecure whenever they have to write in English. But lately, I realized that writing is not a logical skill but it is the ability to share your heart and soul through paper, as if you talk to your childhood friend who knows who you really are and judges you not. It is through writing that we reach our subconscious mind, the part of ourselves that we have repressed, our innermost thoughts, and our alter ego that we think the right-handed world would deem insane. Writing is about expressing who we really are, and not about impressing other people with our way with words. Writing for the purpose of impressing others makes the literary work empty, a fake, a hypocritical one. It would lack the thing that touches the souls of other human beings because it came from the head, and not the heart. It is the heart that speaks through us through writing. Perhaps that is also why we love reading journals and diaries of other people. It is the rawness and authenticity of the person that should come out through their writings, because we have no other thing to offer the world but who we really are.  

There is no separation between life and writing. – Gloria Anzaldua

I like it when you said that there is no separation between life and writing. As writers, we need experience so much in life in order to produce an authentic and soulful writing. Otherwise, it would really be too hypocritical. I, for example, cannot write in the point of view of a divorced woman because I have never been married. However, I can write through the eyes of a child because I have experienced childhood and I always go back to my past happy memories and traumas. No topic is really too trivial, as long as what you say really comes from you, your soul, and you really know what you are talking about. Pleasing other people, or the world at large, should never be a concern in writing. Otherwise, we would be inhibited in our thoughts and writings, and would therefore make our writings inauthentic. I personally think that we should forget about being politically correct. We should, as humans, express the truth of who we are, whether or not some people would be offended by it. Our personal freedom in writing is more important than making people feel at ease by suppressing our true thoughts and feelings. We need more humane writers who write with their hearts and do not depend so much on logic. We have to break free from the logical rigidity that the current educational system perpetuates. We are humans. Writing should come naturally from our hearts, not from a space of obligation or duty.

We get surprised by what we write sometimes. Sometimes we sound too wise, immature, or whatever. But it’s only our suppressed selves that come out. Every one of us has something to say to the world. Do not suppress it. We are given voices for a reason. Use it. And as third world women, I think it’s time to come out of our wooden huts and say or write whatever we want regardless of what the white and patriarchal world would say. Sometime in the future, I know that bit by bit, the third world women will step up into the world and become heard – either through public speech or writing. Someday, we will come out of being merely subalterns. Our skin colors would mean nothing but melanin. Anyway, thank you Gloria for your attempt of waking up third world women, especially the writers. We have something to express and we should not be ashamed of it. Thank you for your bravery, and may more third world women be awakened too.


Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett)

This play is a masterpiece; as it is useless on the surface, but it contains a hell of a lot meaning than what it apparently shows. The tragedy is internal, and the comic parts are contained in the dialogues. I personally find Lucky the funniest of all the characters, and later I will explain why. For me, this play is about being stuck and moving on, waiting or believing in something that doesn’t exist, and the “speculations” that time is not linear. It seems to me that the tragic element in this play is not in the environmental factors or circumstances, but in the internal issues of the two main characters, who are Vladimir and Estragon.

Essentially, Vladimir and Estragon are “stuck” with each other. They do enjoy each other’s company, but there were times when they considered taking different roads and moving on:

“There are times when I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for us to part.”

“Wait! I sometimes wonder if we wouldn’t have been better off alone, each one for himself. We weren’t made for the same road.” (Estragon)

The sad, and sometimes irritating, part about this is that they were aware of their need to part and move on, and yet what hinders them is the arrival of Godot, which I believe they have been looking forward for almost a century now. It reminds me of the “second coming of Christ,” the event which is very popular with Christians, as they say He would judge every one of us and save only those who are worthy after an even which is kind of like an Armageddon. When I was in high school, being in a phase of identity crisis, I changed religions like clothes because I wanted the absolute truth. There was a time where I lived my life thinking that Christ could come tomorrow, and I should behave like a spotless saint. Looking back, it was really hard because I lived my everyday life in anxiety and perfectionism, but tah-dah! Five years later, I did not believe in an authoritative god anymore. And now my life is so much better.

Vladimir and Estragon wasted half a century waiting for something that did not really come, so they were stuck in a cycle or a pattern of being idle and dependent on that something more powerful than them, portrayed in the identity of Godot. I remembered something said by Vladimir: “There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.” We always blame our external reality for something that is totally internal. However, the two believed, or were made to believe, that their next move depends on Godot, and not on themselves. Religions act just like that – telling people to offer everything to the Lord, making them develop a “bahala na” mentality, when in fact we are all in control of our destiny. Vladimir and Estragon are like cripples who need Godot, who is probably non-existent, to push their wheelchairs in order to move forward in life. Humans were not made to have feet in order to act like cripples. Our decisions and directions in life are entirely our own, because not everyone is made the same and for the same purpose.

Anyway, Lucky is such a funny character because he just danced and blurted out the things that he had thought. At first, I really thought that he was a cute pig because Pozzo treated and called him like one. I just knew that he was a slave because my classmate told me. I laughed so hard when Lucky started shouting this kind of nonsense:

“Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattman of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire…”

I found it funny because I really thought Lucky was a pig, and he just said some things like a human. His nonsensical chatter just added to the intensity of my laughter, as I thought he was a character made to be idiotic and mentally ill. However, I was inspired by what Lucky said because it seemed like he was channeling an alien entity, because his words did not really make sense, and because as I was reading the play, I was also up to “automatic writing” wherein we let go of our conscious mind, we write on our non-dominant hand, and let our pens just move through the paper without judgment. For some people this is a creative method, for some this is a way of channeling spirits, and for some this is a method for self-awareness. If ever you are familiar with the Psychic Twins, they also use automatic writing in their predictions. And for this reason, Lucky is a dear character to me. Also, reading his nonsense, it seems like the play has religious or spiritual allusions. But nonetheless, may what happened to Vladimir and Estragon be a lesson to us to just always move forward in our lives and sculpt the future with our own hands. 

Automatic Writing #1

Because may mga taong baboy that we do not give the chance take basket bring oranges ‘cause there are lots of plants that need that kind of special attention and loving care but the sparks from their eyes signify a lot better than who they really are because sometimes things get worse when everything else fails in the world but no one else comes close to you than the spirit of your pig that walks down the road and milks some turkeys and makes them go aah! You know it when you look into the eyes of a liar and bring forth the things that don’t make sense. People think that they have figured everything out but no they don’t and it’s something frustrating for someone with a sensitive soul and chances are things usually get better after some days of no care at all yet something still remains the same we are no longer the babies that used to be cradled at night, since things change and we do not need them anymore. Anyone has something to say about what the world has to offer, but many times we just get something that we don’t want and we end up with regrets. 

Uncle Vanya (Anton Checkov)

This play doesn’t seem like a comedy to me, or at least like my idea of a comedy, since it is not funny and it doesn’t have a happy ending. There may be some funny elements yet I cannot remember one, because the feelings of hatred, fear, and regret dominate the play. This play also contains the elements of madness and melancholy which are common characteristics of Russian literature, as I understand it. The themes that I noticed are people’s aversion to old age, how youth and beauty go together, the importance of beauty in women, and the modern Russian history. I am not sure if Checkov was present at the time when the Russian monarchy fell and the Bolsheviks took over Russia, but I can see that the struggles presented among the characters here somehow reflect the modern Russian history.

Most “old” people are unhappy because they already lack the things that they have or can do when they were still young. This unhappiness mostly comes from reliving the past and not accepting that all we have now is the present moment. In this play, almost all characters worry about their old age, but the two most worried about it are Alexander Serebrakoff and Uncle Vanya. Uncle Vanya said, “If you knew how I lie awake at night, heartsick and angry, to think how stupidly I have wasted my time when I might have been winning from life everything which my old age now forbids” – while Alexander said, “Oh, it is dreadful to spend every moment grieving for the lost past, to see the success of others and sit here with nothing to do but to fear death. I cannot stand it! It is more than I can bear. And you will not even forgive me for being old!” Both of them regret that they cannot bring back the good old times and they resent their old age for it. It almost seems like the youth have the most opportunities for happiness, success, or other good things in life than the people of other age groups. Somehow I also feel like a failure for just following my heart at this time of my life and delaying when I should climb up the ladder for worldly success. But Marina said something about old people which makes me feel bad for my deceased grandparents: “Old people want to be pitied as much as young ones, but nobody cares about them somehow.” Perhaps regret and wanting to bring back time is just normal, and it’s just that we naturally feel the need to chase back the past when death is nearly approaching. However, everything is just a matter of perspective anyway; some people are even sick of this earth that they envy old people whose lives are already ending.

The next thing related to youth is beauty. In this play, Helena and Sonia are two polar opposites because of the superficial fact that one is pretty and the other is ugly or plain. Beauty is oftentimes the quality that is noticed in women because youth and beauty are the things that make women desirable – and it usually doesn’t matter whether they are rich or not or are skillful or not. For men, the things that make them desirable to women are money and power. Between Helena and Sonia, Helena has the upper hand since all men in the play are in love with her and her beauty. She was already married to the professor and yet she still had two other options for a mate. Sonia, on the other hand, only loved Astroff with all her heart but the man feels no desire for her. For females, it is really advantageous to be born a beauty than a Plain Jane because women themselves are not permitted by the patriarchal society to be on top; and beautiful women have better chances at latching on to richer and more powerful men that can give them the comfortable and happy lives that they want.

Since Helena and Alexander were portrayed to have comfortable lives while Uncle Vanya and other people toil for them, they might represent the Russian monarchy while Uncle Vanya and the others represent the poor peasants and the common people. As time went by, the people in the house realized that Helena and Alexander were only burdens that make other people’s lives miserable while at the same time they are regarded with high esteem. Astroff said this about Helena:

“A human being should be entirely beautiful: the face, the clothes, the mind, the thoughts. Your step-mother is, of course, beautiful to look at, but don’t you see? She does nothing but sleep and eat and walk and bewitch us, and that is all. She has no responsibilities, everything is done for her – am I not right? And an idle life can never be a pure one.”

I am not an expert on Russian history but I know a little about it – and this part is the realization of the common people that the Russian monarchy is not serving them anymore, and their anger at the monarchy acted out by the Bolsheviks was reflected in what Uncle Vanya said to Alexander:

“We used to think of you as almost superhuman, but now the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see you as you are! You write on art without knowing anything about it. Those books of yours which I used to admire are not worth one copper kopeck. You are a hoax!”

It basically means that the last of the Romanovs became nothing but a mere ornament for the Russian empire because Tsar Nicholas II was a bit useless for a king, and Russia was really in turmoil at that time. They went through the transition phase wherein the people wanted to eliminate the social hierarchy that monarchies bring forth. And because the gap between the bourgeoisie and the masses is so huge, these elites that govern nations cannot really address the real problems of the people. It is reflected in what Alexander replied to Uncle Vanya after he had vented out his anger:

“What did I know about such things, Ivan? I am not a practical man and don’t understand them. You might have helped yourself to all you wanted.”

The oppressed people are often blamed for their misfortunes, but we must also remember that the power is not in their hands in but in the hands of the elites and national authorities. Well, sometimes we also have to blame ourselves, but our power is very limited. We live in a world full of contrasts and binary oppositions as our souls wouldn’t understand white unless it experiences black and so on. Like Alexander and Uncle Vanya, we cannot stand some people for some weird reason because they reflect some unacceptable things about ourselves or the universe just wants us to grow. And yet sometimes, things or people that give us headaches just make us realize some things and they do not serve us in the long run, so parting ways is better, just like what happened in this play. Some things that bring about our own destruction come and go in our lives, but we can always redeem ourselves in the end. Old age is not an excuse to be idle and mope about our misfortunes because it is never too late to start all over again. 


People do not see the strength in my personality. I can never be strong for them. (Not that I'm complaining lol.) For those of you who understand astrology, I am mostly made up of water. They say that the moon is strongest in Cancer and I have that. My venus, mars, and pluto are all in the sign of Scorpio – those are very powerful placements and yet people do not see that. Scorpio is water, but it’s a silent but deadly placement. And because of the dominance of the water element in me, I am a seething pool of emotions. The second most dominant in me is earth. Because of these two feminine elements in me, I am very passive, emotional, intuitive, and “fragile,” as people say. The air elements in me are just in my sun and midheaven. I lack the fire element and I think that is the main reason why even the slightest hint of strength cannot be seen in me. I am the typical feminine woman whom people feel the need to cuddle and nurture.

I am tired of people telling me to stop being like this. I am tired of people telling me to stand up for myself even just for once. I know how concerned they are, but seeing my personality as a flaw is like a total rejection of my entire being. They do not how much strength is needed to have intense emotions and face them daily. They do not know how much strength is needed to accept the emotions that are deemed negative and feel the lessons that they bring. It’s true that we are already adults; I am twenty now but I still feel like a child. Some people also think that I look younger than I really am. For some people, it is a blessing. For some people, it is a sign of underdevelopment. But we must also remember that everything is a matter of perspective, and no two people see things exactly the same way. People always tell me that I am too sensitive, but I personally think that it is wrong to judge other people based on the way you judge yourself because you haven’t walked in their shoes. You cannot push them to change immediately into the “perfect” person that you want. I am not perfect. I don’t even like admitting my faults because of all the people, I think I will be the most affected. I will be the most injured person even when all of us are just pinched with the same degree of pain.

A fragile person is fragile. This is not even a problem to other people, but I just want people to know that there is nothing wrong with being fragile. “Strong” people have fully-developed masks and guards that they wear for the world to see, while fragile people like me do not wear any armor. People easily see and feel how we feel and there is nothing wrong with that. We are humans, and not robots, after all. Just imagine the pain and discomfort of being inauthentic, suppressing emotions, or trying to project another identity. Fragile people like me do not feel the need to do that. If the world wants to harm us, then let it harm us. No one can stop us from crying anyway. And I also want to say that not crying in the midst of turmoil is not a sign of strength – in the same way that crying is a sign of weakness. Emotional honesty is being true to oneself. People tell me to be more logical, especially when things are falling apart, but I cannot use logic to suppress my emotions. When I feel bad, then let me feel bad. I am a free person. And I am honest with myself.

Astrologically speaking, I think this is largely due to my moon in Cancer, adding to the fact that I am a female and I have an access to the divine feminine energy. The moon, as well as my surroundings, affects me greatly. People even say that I am very palpable – I can feel everything and they can feel me as well. When I am greatly depressed or afraid, these energies easily spread around. Perhaps the same thing applies when I am so happy or excited. This is why they say that the moon is strongest in Cancer. Personally speaking, a defective person is someone who doesn’t know how to feel. It doesn’t matter to me whether they exude strength or appear strong, but only feeling positive emotions and rejecting the negative ones in order to please other people is a big problem. The modern scientific world almost only values the logical mind, and the sees the emotions as mere distractions, but any spiritual teacher will tell you to your face that that is wrong. The heart is its own being, and it is more powerful than the mind although they should go hand in hand. But for those of you who are fragile like me, just embrace who you are and just forget about what other people say, even though I know you will sulk for a little while, because our emotions are our connection to our divine inner truth. 

Little Boy

The heart betrays another
As it found what it lost behind–
The childish dreams,
And memories suppressed
By the school-trained mind.

It found its own reflection
Through the once little boy
She used to stare at coy,
Smile at innocently,
And long for silently.

The heart feels remorse
For as a snake,
That she is becoming right now,
It needs to shed skin
And leave behind the mistake
Who used to hold her hand.

It feels the need to hold
The boy’s waiting palm
And get goodbyes told
To the one stiffly grieving
From the sharp infidelity sting.

The little boy from the past
In the heart buried deep
Throbs relentlessly as if
It wants to get out fast,
Making her turn the page
To a new chapter in her life.

Authenticity and Hypocrisy in "Tartuffe" by Moliere

“He who flatters me is my enemy, who blames me is my teacher.” – Chinese Proverb

Tartuffe is a very good example of a hypocrite; and it’s interesting that he was portrayed as a religious hypocrite because most hypocrites in the world are in the religious or spiritual field. Since we were children, we were already molded by our parents to pray to Jesus and be morally upright, or else they would punish us, or they would withdraw their love, or we would be universally condemned by being put in hell. Therefore, for most of us, being seen as a religious person is one way that people will think well of us or love us. However, as this play shows, hypocrites are the most dangerous creatures because while you are charmed by them, you’ll never know if they’re having sinister plans in their minds.

Besides the general character of hypocrisy shown by Tartuffe in the play, women were also portrayed as hypocrites since the patriarchal society has these standards on women that they should be virginal, passive, pure, and acting only behind the scenes. If women act otherwise, they would be frowned upon, ridiculed, labeled as whores, or be less likely eligible for marriage. I love what Dorine said about Orante, a seemingly virtuous woman:

“O admirable pattern! Virtuous dame! She lives the model of austerity; but age has brought this piety upon her, and she’s a prude, now she can’t help herself. As long as she could capture men’s attentions she made most of her advantages; but, now she sees her beauty vanishing, she wants to leave the world, that’s leaving her, and in the specious veil of haughty virtue she’d hide the weakness of her worn-out charms. That is the way with all your old coquettes; they find it hard to see their lovers leave ‘em; and thus abandoned, their forlorn estate can find no occupation but a prude’s. These pious dames, in their austerity, must carp at everything, and pardon nothing. They loudly blame their neighbor’s way of living, not for religion’s sake, but out of envy, because they can’t endure to see another enjoy the pleasures age has weaned them from.”

Unfortunately, this is true in women. In fact, women are more judgmental of each other than men are of them. In the harsh world of women, they constantly compare themselves to each other as if men are too scarce and they have to be in silent competition with each other. What I will say may be degrading to my own sex, but a woman’s weapon is really her beauty. The more beautiful a woman is, the more potential she has for success. We mostly rely on beauty and charm for our livelihood. Mariane also said something that shows how society expects women to be like a still pretty flower in relationships, that they should let honey bees get attracted to them and not the other way around:

“But shall I publicly refuse and scorn this match, and make it plain that I’m in love? Shall I cast  off for him,  whate’er he be, womanly modesty and filial duty? You ask me to display my love in public…?”

Going back to Tartuffe, we generally hate hypocrites like him. Personally, I hate hypocrites because most of the time, they are the ones who cannot tolerate other people’s imperfections. That is because they themselves cannot permit themselves to be imperfect, or to fall short of their expectations of themselves. Tartuffe is horrible because he uses flattery and he tries to act like Jesus Christ, all clean and spotless. But the truth is that everyone is dirty. No one is clean and white. We are just humans, and I’m sure that we are all allowed to make mistakes. And another sad truth is that we are all hypocrites. Or some of us may not be, but I’m sure that every one of us has been a hypocrite at some point in our lives.

Cleante and Dorine has said some things about how hypocrites make a vain show so people would recognize them as the identities that they wanted for themselves:

“There are false heroes – and false devotees; and as true heroes never are the ones who make much noise about their deeds of honor, just so true devotees, whom we should follow, are not the ones who make so much vain show. What! Will you find no difference between hypocrisy and genuine devoutness?” (Cleante)

“Such vanity but ill accords with pious living, sir. The man who cares for holiness alone should not so loudly boast his name and birth; the humble ways of genuine devoutness brook not so much display of earthly pride. Why should he be so vain?” (Dorine)

All inauthenticity is about wanting to look good, and pleasing other people. It is driven by the ego’s need to be admired. “Should” is the absolute enemy of authenticity; for example, I feel like I should be a boisterous and confident person because they usually charm other people and they easily get their way in life. However, my inner self feels pain or discomfort whenever I try to pretend to be something different than who I really am. Because in reality, if I’m going to be really honest with myself, I like solitude, I pick my friends, I don’t like the spotlight, and I am gentle and weak. Most hypocrites are scared that people will not like the true them, and so they try to mold a different-looking mask for themselves to hide their brittle souls and expect people to admire the mask that they have made for themselves. For me, it is natural that we are driven by our egos, but sometimes we have worn our mask for too long that it starts to become a part of our faces, and we don’t know who we are anymore. Most people hate hypocrites because we can always feel when other people say or act differently from what they feel – and that makes them so dangerous. However, when we permit our authenticity to come out, when we try to be open and vulnerable, we permit other people to be comfortable with themselves as well and other people will also be open and vulnerable in front of us.

Childhood Crush

Two years ago, I wrote about what my idea of a perfect love is, and I said that preferably my future husband has to be a childhood friend or something of that sort. During that time, I also remembered trying to recall any childhood guy friend and almost no one came to my mind. I thought I was just being idealistic when I was writing that blog post, but it turns out that my subconscious mind was leading me to write things about myself that I may not recall but the universe knows about. Because recently, fate has led me to talk to a childhood crush and a family friend whom we haven’t seen for a very long time.

Almost everything in my past blog post came true to life, except the part where marriage enters. Life has forced us to take different directions in life; and now we ran into each other after almost thirteen years. We have matured physically, mentally and spiritually – yet I can feel that his essence still remains. He is still the boy that I have played with before. We talked about the childhood memories that we have shared, and felt deep nostalgia. Three families were close back then – his, mine, and another big family. Back then, I could only look at him from afar. He was three years older than me, so I approached his younger brother more. However, he was the one that I was really attracted to. I couldn’t say it nor show it since I am a female and I was so young back then. He emits this aura of total acceptance and that’s what I liked most about him.

However, because nowadays I can’t help being transparent and authentic with my feelings and thoughts, I told him my deep secret that I liked him when we were children. Most men whom I admit my vulnerable feelings to act disinterested after a little while, and see me as inferior afterwards. Luckily, this childhood crush was surprised by what I said, and I was also surprised at the same time when he said that he felt the same thing towards me. He said that he was always excited to go to our house or to go to the church that we used to go to because he could see me. He even thought that I was maarte because I did not like going near the boys often, but despite that, he still looked forward to see me. After a year or so, our families minded their own businesses maybe because the children were growing up and had to pay attention to other things. He said that as he grew up, especially when he was in sixth grade, he looked for girls like me to be his crush. But he didn’t find one, he said, because there was nobody like me.

Now he said that he regrets not saying his feelings earlier because now I have a boyfriend. However, I think that what has happened really ought to happen; and just talking to each other again in our twenties is just right since we wouldn’t know what to do to each other if we confessed to each other as kids. His confession really made me happy, since it meant that the seven-year-old me had an admirer and it was my own crush. The other thing that makes it more beautiful is the fact that we liked each other and never knew it. Now all I know is that baka maiba pa ang ihip ng hangin, and what the road ahead may offer is unknown. At least now I have a proof that love should not be rushed, that we should let it take its own course, and that what’s meant to happen will happen. I have a boyfriend now who loves me so much, and who knows who I will marry someday? :)

Islam and Science

Youtube link of the BBC documentary, Science and Islam: [link]

After watching this BBC documentary series, I realized that I have really underestimated Islam and the Muslims. I am not proud of this but I thought they were just a group of people that liked to bomb and terrorize things. Little did I know that “algrebra”, “algorithm”, and “alkaline”, were Arabic words, and that the Hindu-Arabic numerals (although it’s already obvious) came from them. I was also amazed that their religious belief that “God did not send down a disease without also sending down its cure” led to their intensive research in medical science; since most of the time, science is thought to be not compatible with religion or spirituality. Another thing that I liked most in their discoveries shown in the documentary is about the four kinds of fluid in our body and the four temperaments that correspond with each bodily fluid. Too much blood in our body makes us sanguine, too much phlegm makes us phlegmatic, too much yellow bile makes us bilious or angry, and too much black bile makes us melancholic. I just like how they approach science as interrelated with other fields of knowledge, because science, as I see it nowadays, sees itself as its own institution.

I was also very interested with their art of alchemy and astronomy. I am not a fan of chemistry, but these ancient practices including astrology, which I try to study in my college years, are very intriguing since they were associated with black magic or the occult. These ancient sciences also are not as snobbish as the modern science, because they relate their sciences with the divine. Planets, comets, moons, and other celestial objects were named after Greek and Roman deities and that, for me, speaks a lot. They were even endowed with the personalities of these deities as if they were the gods themselves. Today we hear about mercury retrogrades, galactic alignments, another earth which is fourth dimensional – and if only ancient scientists would examine this, they would not be biased whether this would be seen as only superstitious and non-scientific. I love astrology – be it western, Chinese or Vedic; and I love the fact that it relates to science, history, and literature (Greek and Roman mythology).

I think I did well in mathematics and science when I was in elementary school; but when I got into high school, I started to hate them both. I couldn’t see their importance, and how they make us appreciate the universe, because they seemed to me as snobbish bodies of knowledge that only geniuses could understand. That’s how we were conditioned anyway. However, as I watched this documentary, I started to appreciate those hated subjects and I just accepted that I wasn’t meant to be in those fields but it doesn’t mean that I have to have aversion to them. Also, most of the time, the ones who discover things are Asians, but the Westerners are the ones meant to be in the spot light. It is sad that the credits go to them, and that the world only recognizes them, when in fact they owe a lot to the Asians. If only colonization did not happen to Asian or non-western countries, maybe we still have a chance to be at par with the first world countries now. I think science is also responsible that there are hierarchies among nations – because science and money go hand in hand. And science is nowadays is being held in the neck by the western world. 

Religion and Anti-Semiticism in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice"


As I was reading this play, I have somehow discarded some parts of it because I noticed how this was mostly about Jews and Christians, how Christians are better than the Jews, or how Jews experience discrimination from almost the whole world. At this time of my life, I get exposed to different literary works that have anti-semitic elements and I just wonder why the Jews get so much hate around them. I just cannot see a “clear” reason why they have to be exterminated, discriminated, and hated so much because as far as I know, they haven’t committed a grave crime to the world; but they always play the role of victims in history. Of course, this kind of thing affects me, because I (as well as most of us) have been treated as an outcast and hated for no valid or deep reason. Plays like this only confirmed by belief that religion may be needed by some people to have something to believe in, or be guided in some way, but it is more useless, dangerous, and harmful that it is benefiting humankind. Religion was beneficial, maybe during the ancient times – but speaking of spirituality, I think the humankind is already ready to graduate from the “kindergarten” stage which is religion. We can break free from it if we want to, especially if it does more harm than good.

The “Merchant of Venice” definitely had funny elements in it, like the flawed suitors of Portia, the Gobbo father and son, and the disguises of Portia and Nerissa – but overall, the play was not very entertaining or amusing for me. Instead, I regard it as a kind of revolutionary work, a play that uses too much discrimination perhaps not for the sake of encouraging more anti-semiticism but to call for revolutionary action to stop the sufferings of the Jews. It was too much. And just like what Shylock said:

“Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what would his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.”

However, even if Shylock was permitted by Shakespeare to say that in the play, he was still in a very inferior position, and it was portrayed that his only way to salvation was to be a Christian, just like what Jessica, his daughter, said: “I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.” Religious dominations are very evident in the play that it somehow overshadowed other interesting aspects of it like how Portia’s challenge to her suitors was very Grimm’s fairy tale-ish and so on. If I am permitted to be very honest here, this is very maddening. I do not like the idea that the proliferation of most religions in the world was fueled by the resistance to hell and punishment. It is not religion that can save us but our own selves. Religion has its good aspects, but it is mostly used to control people, historically speaking. Bad people can have a religion and still be bad; and good people can choose to not have a religion and still be good. And from what I see, religion, as portrayed in this play, divides people instead of unites them. Every single one of us, even a small bug or a blade of grass, came from one Source. We all are essentially the same – only that each of us chose a different physical expression in this world. The separation that we see or feel from each other is basically just an illusion. We are interconnected. Therefore, if what religion teaches us is to be in enmity with other people who do not share the same religion as us, then we are being told lies. Whether you be a Jew or a Christian, you have a soul and innate divinity within you as a result of coming from a divine source. 


I keep talking to statues
That cannot look me in the eye
Smiling in their own little world
And taking no notice of me.

I keep reaching the moon
In its celestial throne
That I stare at in the night
And not stepping down for me.

I keep longing for the prince
With his radiant smile
Preoccupied with princesses
And just passing me by.

-- A. C.

Birheng Maria

Dream Nude by Arthur Braginsky

Mahinhing lumalakad si birheng Maria
Na laging nakayuko at matipid ngumiti
Kung saan patungo ay isang misteryo
Isang lihim na tinatago ng nakatikom na bibig.

Sa oras ng paglabas ng buwan at mga tala
Ay kasabay lumalabas si birheng Maria
Pati ang apat na mga bulubunduking
Humuhubog sa mala-sedang katawan.

Kasabay ng pag-aalulong ng mga lobo
Ay pag-ungol ng babaeng gabi-gabi’y may kasiping
Maaaring sa umaga ay nahihiyang sumayaw,
Ngunit saksi ang gabi sa kanyang paggiling.

Sa itaas may sumisipsip,
Sa ilalim may labas-masok
Kung minsan pa’y may sinusubo
Sa ibabaw ng malambot na kutson.

Sa araw-araw na pamumuhay bilang birhen,
Sa dilim na lamang naghahasik ng lagim
Sapagkat kapag naibunyag sa buong mundo,
Tiyak aalipustahin ng mga kapwa hipokrito.

Mandragola by Machiavelli (commentary)

Madonna Lucrezia

          To be honest, but not trying to offend anyone, this play does not seem like a comedy to me at all. I do not even know why some people find it funny because reading the play, I only got exposed to the ugly realities of the world that I am deliberately avoiding my focus on. And I admit that I am a pretty serious person, because I really pitied Messer Nicia for being made a fool by everyone around him. This is a masterpiece, as most people say, but I find Peace by Aristophanes funnier because of its vulgarity, disgusting elements (like poo or dung beetles), sexual jokes, and lots of idiotic characters. It was just so crazy. Mandragola is a comedy because it ended happily, but maybe it just hit an open sore in me because I am a pretty jealous person and I loathe infidelity in all forms. But it’s good nonetheless; it’s just that this is not my type.

Again, I cannot help but notice the sexism in this play. It was normal during Machiavelli’s time, so I will just state them and say a few things but not put any hateful comments. Also, I think that it’s interesting to see women in men’s point of view, especially during the time of this play wherein men were not yet hushed by feminists.

Maybe men just have a need for dominance or leadership, needing women to aid them fulfill their desires, as Callimaco said, “…I would rather not be married if I couldn’t persuade my wife to do what I wanted,” and Nicia, “I’ve done everything your way, now I want you to do it my way. If I thought I wasn’t going to have children, I would rather have married a peasant girl than you.” Also, these men think of women as really inferior to them, less intelligent, burdens, and are only existent because of their duty to men. Siro’s statement, “Women can usually be sweet-talked into anything,” seems like an insult to women’s intelligence, as if they were dummies and flattery is the sacred secret into manipulating them, but women are just emotional creatures and they love anything sweet, loving, and beautiful. Furthermore, Friar Timoteo explicitly commented on women’s brains: “And in the end, women don’t have much of a brain; and if there’s one who knows how to put two words together, it’s broadcast at once, because in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king.” It saddens me how feminine demeanor automatically equates to being an idiot and how some women need to act masculine in order to be recognized as capable or intelligent.

Another thing that fuels women oppression is using the Bible to justify sexist deeds. The Bible is a pretty patriarchal book, and I very much doubt that everything that’s written there are pure truths. I know that Jesus would not like the concept of women subordination either. As Friar Timoteo was consoling Lucrezia and persuading her to have sex with a stranger, he said this:  “Besides this, you have to consider the purpose in all these things. And your purpose is to fill a seat in paradise and make your husband happy,” – and he even used the example of daughters of Lot having sex with him because they thought they were the only women left in the world. Also, nowhere does it say in the play or in the Bible that it’s a duty of a man to please his wife; and yet a woman is obliged to obey or please her husband like a servant. In addition, Sostrata, Lucrezia’s mother, told her, “Let yourself be persuaded, my girl. Can’t you see that a woman without children has no home? When her husband dies, she is left like an animal, abandoned by everybody.” It puts women in permanent dependence on men and it can be seen that women are “mostly” valued for their reproductive abilities, like pleasuring men during a sexual intercourse and conceiving children.

However, Friar Timoteo said something about women that pleased me:

“Women are the most charitable people in the world, and the most annoying. If you brush them off, you banish both annoyance and advantage. If you entertain them, you end up with annoyance and advantage together. And the truth is that where there’s honey there’s flies.”

As shallow as it may sound, I like how the word “honey” was used to pertain to women. Nevermind the flies, but to know that the female species bring sunshine and sweetness to life is enough for me to appreciate my own sex. Women are said to be very contradictory, but everything else also is. Everything. However, I think that women’s contradictory-ness is more obvious because for thousands of years, we have been trained to be suppressive to appear virtuous and feminine in order to cater to the needs of men. Sometimes our true selves just resurface because it’s exhausting to pretend to be a happy beauty queen twenty-four hours a day. We are just humans.

I only commented about the feminist aspects of the play because for me it is the most obvious – but to sum it all up, this play is mostly about fraud. Fraud in every aspect of life, especially in the Church. Religious authorities mostly have the darkest and ugliest secrets underneath their saint-like personas. For many years, human lives were governed by laws and religious commandments that set the standards for what is acceptable behavior and what is not – that is why most of us resort to underhanded techniques like manipulation, lies, and disguises because we cannot directly get what we want. For entertainment value, I like Peace more; but for moral value, this play wins. 

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