I love my course (BFA AM) to death! I don’t care if I’m the only `10-`11 Ateneo qualifier who chose that course. I still love it.
I hate Chemistry. Not only that, I’m pretty bad at Chemistry. How will I cope flanked against Chem-loving folk of BS Food Tech in LB?
What’s a 4-jeepney commute compared to a long bus ride?
My Dad doesn’t want me to go to LB.
I’m not sure how long I can last living by myself so far removed from my family.
I can go to OrSem with Bea! And we’ll be in the School of Humanities together! And there will be plenty of Theresians in Ateneo. :) Which is comforting because I’m pretty sure I won’t know anyone in UPLB.
I can talk to my sister everyday after I go home from school.
If the schedule is right, I’ll have a commuting-partner in Ate Maggie.
The best grad gift I can get is a snazzy new cell phone. And probably lots of clothes from my cousin.
I already know my way around Ateneo, more or less. Another thing I owe to LSC.
One acronym: UAAP! UPD is the UP System’s representative for UAAP so I won’t be catching much basketball games and general feeling of overflowing school spirit if I go to UPLB. (Not that the latter is even in UPD lol)
UP is UP. How many people can say, “Hey, I passed the UPCAT!”? (4 in my class, I think)
I can learn how to be independent and tap my responsibility and self-discipline if I go to UPLB. I’ll be far removed from anyone who can help me saing rice and keep my room tidy, so it’s high time I learn those things myself.
I’m basing my Chemistry anxiety on my Third year experience heralded by a less-than-competent teacher. Maybe with better instruction, I can exercise the ‘Chem’ part of my brain…
…and if I can’t, I can always shift to another course (after 1 sem)…
…and then transfer to UPD after a year if I’m still miserable.
Food Technology is something new. It won’t be the same old Chemistry and the same old lab experiments.
It’s around P90,000 cheaper (and lighter on my parents’ load) if I study in UPLB.
I still don’t have to do my laundry. Yay!
I get a laptop if I go to UPLB to take advantage of the library’s WiFi.
I can get a “College of Agriculture” t-shirt if I study here! I don’t know why, but I find “College of Agriculture” unbelievably cute.
I may not have much love for it, but Food Tech is a great course. And I’m pretty sure I’ll end up losing loads in loads of weight—Microbiology classes coupled with dorm food and endless campus walking (UPLB is 15,000 hectares big!) seems like a great weight loss regime.
“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.”—Neil Gaiman (via spiritbear) (via fuckyeahgaiman) (via wideeyedskies)
You start to think that maybe you've steered your life in the wrong direction when you have to stay up beyond 11:55 pm to read a timeline regarding Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT, or "terminator technology") for a subject (is SEG even a subject?) you're not going to get graded for.
But, y’know, it’s debate. It’s hardcore. I just don’t know if I am.
“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion—I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyred for my religion. Love is my religion. I could die for that. I could die for you.”—John Keats
If I were to write “Solitario” again in English, move to New York and have it staged Off-Broadway or even on *wait for it* Broadway, I would need to have a cast. And although I have not encountered an actress whom I hate enough to play Ella, the girl who gets killed in the first scene, I am pretty sure I know who my lead is going to be.
Mac is a depressed and angst-ridden little creature who feels so lonely that he ends up isolating himself, and upon realizing this, kills himself in the end. (Err yes, I did tell you he was depressing, right?)
Who better to play a depressed and angsty creature than the wonderfully amazing Tony award-winning actor, John Gallagher Jr.!
I do believe this is an amazing idea. Not only will I have an amazing actor to play one of my characters, he is also quite good to look at. Maybe I should make the play into a musical? It’d be like a Spring Awakening part 2, or something. LOL. Although, Lea wouldn’t be Ella because I love her too much.
So now, back to the real world.
If you get Sienna Miller as Ella, I’ll love you forever and I’ll buy you something expensive. :)) (By that time I expect to be living in Buenos Aires or Madrid, organizing art galleries and drinking wine with Delpo or Rafa lol) You can even rewrite the part for her! Make Ella a cougar because Sienna looks so damn old anyway.
A forewarning: This is a really, really (really really really…) long post in which I lament the raised eyebrows I get when I tell people that I want to major in Art History in college, followed by a lengthy justification as to why Art Studies is a great thing to major in and it could actually save the world or something. I’m just warning you of its length, because it would really suck if you started reading it and got turned off by its grandness (harhar) and stopped reading in the middle because my ending’s pretty good (although if you do end up doing that, you owe me a Like and know that you missed out on a synthesis and the all-important closure). So you have to decide now if you want to read it or not. Cheers! Okay? Let’s start!
Today I was clicking through different tumblr blogs and I stumbled upon a list of reasons why tumblr is no longer a legitimate blogging platform. One of the standout reasons mentioned is that people cared too much about tumblarity, and opt uploading cheesy picture-texts about overcoming breakups over writing beautiful prose to get more Likes or Reblogs. I was hit with a strange sense of guilt because in all honesty, I’ve never written a legitimate entry for my tumblr yet, but probably not for the reasons mentioned (I’m writing it off to my innate laziness). But who knows, maybe my subconscious cares very, very deeply if you guys (umm, all six of you?) like my posts. So in order to prove my subconscious I’m boss, and to absolve myself of any guilt I may or may not be feeling, I’m writing an actual entry for once… and long may the habit live on (although I highly, highly doubt it, considering my legendary laziness… probably in the full swing of FINAL HELL WEEK when I’m procrastinating, expect an entry then).
My sister and I joke all the time about how we’re bohemians (in the Beat Generation sense of the word, not the Nicole Richie fashion term), and that we’ll spend the next few years after both of us graduate either motorcycling through the Philippines in a 9-month long eye-opening journey only to come back to the splendor of Manila as socialist revolutionaries. Another option is that we’ll live like hermits in the far reaches of society, attempting to imitate how at one with nature the Chinese poets were.
I jokingly accused my sister once of fitting like a glove in Alphabet City before its gentrification, so in place with the artists, writers, filmmakers and anarchists so prominently featured in one of her favorite musicals of all time, Rent. She chuckled and hit me back, saying “Ikaw rin kaya!” And she was right. I wouldn’t be as in deep in it as she would be, probably smoking weed with the other deep souls and Ben Whishaws of the world, but I’d be mucking around with the philosophers slurping down coffee faster than the frantic waitresses can refill our cups, all in our group trying to find the meaning of meaning. (Just so we’re clear: The weed thing is a joke, okay? Don’t smoke weed, kids.)
These are interesting notions we like to have a laugh about because it seems so out of place in the Philippines, where responding “Art Studies” to the question “Anong course mo?” will be met with long, awkward pauses and raised eyebrows. With the reaction I get, it’s as if I’ve just answered, “I won’t be going to college. I’ve decided to become a stripper.” I try to sidestep the awkward pause by simply answering, “something in the Humanities,” but I’ve long since stopped after figuring out that most people I’ve had a chat with about college majors have no idea what the fuck the Humanities are. If I get one more, “Oh, something to do with human rights, then?” I’ll likely hit my head in a very hard surface.
You have to continue reading now, because you’ve already started, and considering the forewarning above, that’s practically a contract, or at least a gentleman’s agreement (gentlewoman’s?). So, read, read!
No, not really human rights. To be honest, I’m a bit wounded by the blank space in my contemporaries’ minds where the subjects under Humanities should be. After all, doesn’t Ateneo have a College of Humanities? Didn’t everyone in my year level spend the entire summer thumbing through Ateneo’s Course Description booklet trying to decide which of the courses struck our fancy? Did they see AB Philosophy or BFA Creative Writing, said “Meh,” and kept turning the page until the College of Humanities—which was the first college featured in the booklet, mind—was so far gone? I’m wounded because if I could muster looking through the John Gokongwei School of Management course list (really, what the fuck is Information Systems Management anyway?), they could muster through reading about the Humanities.
Not that further elaboration of what falls under the Humanities steers the conversation to any better direction. They next question is almost always (scratch that, always), “Anong trabaho mo dun?” which never fails to hit my like a ton of bricks (said in a Sookie Stackhouse accent, btw). I don’t cower from that question because I don’t think it’s at all relevant; in fact, the opposite is true. I cower from it because it’s just so damn legitimate. It’s a question that not only haunts me in my sleep, I also ask it to myself over and over again when the last few minutes of Double Physics starts to stretch on. What the fuck am I going to do with an Art History degree? Jesus, I don’t know. Stop asking me.
So why is the Humanities such a gods-forsaken branch of knowledge in our country anyway? The root of our problem, Watson, like most of our problems, is our nation’s poverty. The poverty in our country is undeniable—four years of PALIHAN taught me that much. In the Philippines, people, which ever level of the social stratification they might belong to, never stop thinking about money. It’s what we get for having to drive around even our supposedly affluent capital with slums flanking almost every street, loose with wide-eyed street children tapping on our tinted windows, asking for our change. The result is that no one wants to land a job with such a small promised income. Who wants to be a writer when you can be a nurse and go abroad to earn dollars or pounds? Who wants to be an indie filmmaker when even Film majors can line up and earn a monthly 5-figure salary from call centers? Are there still even poets these days? What the fuck is philosophy anyway? Even the bright-eyed youths of the middle class choose to be lawyers, doctors, accountants…
Poverty not only discourages a fresh generation from further expanding the Humanities, it also dwindles the general public’s appreciation for it. Honestly, when was the last time you went up to the Filipiniana section of Fully Booked and bought a book penned by an up-and-coming Filipino writer? Heck, when was the last time I did that? Remember the Virginia Woolf reference in Filipinos are Not Book Lovers? When was the last time you visited a museum? If I walk in Starbucks, it’s hard to strike up a conversation with a random person my age on the literary value of To Kill a Mockingbird, but when Twilight is mentioned, everyone wants to get in on the conversation. My sister’s professor asked her class one day if any of them were familiar with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. She was the only one who raised her hand. In a college class. A Christmas Carol. See?
The general public in the Philippines have other more important things to focus their energies on. You know, like food, and staying alive. And the education of their children who will one day become nurses, accountants, call center agents, flight attendants because they’ve never visited museums or read classics either. Our population has become unlearned. Familiarity with classics and museum-visiting has become a rarity. What’s culture to us anyway when the minimum wage hasn’t changed despite the ongoing campaigns to increase it ever since I was in Prep. I’m graduating high school now. And you know culture isn’t really a point emphasized on when the last state leader to become a patroness for the arts’ last name was Marcos. It’s pretty alarming.
What’s worse is that the quality of the art available to the general public has become increasingly unworthy of even being called art. Take for example the entries for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. All of them were either chick flicks or popcorn movies. Last year Baler was a commercial-art film, and it was pretty good. The year before last year Banal was good. This year? Entries like Ang Darling Kong Aswang and Panday definitely pale in comparison. The best we got this year was probably Mano Po 6: A Mother’s Love, and it’s writing was allegedly soap opera-y. They’re not exactly comparable to, say, Blowup, or even Annie Hall. The “art” has been, forgive the term, dumbed down to meet the wavelength of the general public in order to sell it to them. Indie films can be viewed for free at Robinson’s, but who goes to those anyway?
The pieces of art, most notably in the visual arts, that do maintain their quality are locked in for viewing only to the higher throngs of society, the Lily Basses of our country. They’re the only ones who can buy them after all. Even a secure member of the upper middle class wouldn’t spend money on a painting—an iPhone, an HDTV… but not a painting! And herein enters the all too true irony that surrounds art. The art itself is revered—it’s deep, it’s expresses, it means something. But the artist who painted it, created it, and slaved over it more often then not lives in poverty (not extreme, but still..). It’s the epitome suffering artist. There’s a reason behind the typecast, you know. Constable, Pissaro, Rothko… they all toiled through it.
So yes. I can see their eyebrows raising and their shocked eyes and I do know that opting to study something as seemingly daft as Art Studies can strike you as irresponsible. And I suppose to some extent it is, and I can’t deny that my youthful idealism is not chiefly responsible for having my hand write down AB Art Studies on my application form. But as a response to their reaction, I begin with this downright overused phrase, especially since we’re speaking of the Humanities: You just don’t understand. Second, let me quote John Keating from the Dead Poets Society (har, I reblogged this earlier but I just have so much love for it!):
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering -these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love -these are what we stay alive for.”
The way I see it, the Philippines’ passion is slowly being traded in for practicality. And that is such a sad thing. Yes, accounting is important because the Lord knows that our country needs more honest accountants. But so is literature! Because even according to my here-and-there Filipino teacher whom I disagree with most of the time, literature is the embodiment of our ideals as a nation. In short, it’s us. And that isn’t just literature. It’s every single piece of art sculpted or painted, every word in poetry, every published thought in writing, every script spoken aloud in front of a camera or an audience. Do you really want Ang Darling Kong Aswang to be you?
I may not know what I’m going to do with an Art History degree yet, but my bright-eyed youthful idealism knows why I want to earn it. The gap between the art-appreciating Lily Basses of the population and the Filipino middle class needs to be bridged. Filipinos need to be able to come into a museum without feeling guilty that they’re cutting down money from their food budget. Filipinos need to be able to allot money from their iPhone funds to buy A Christmas Carol, or see a National Museum exhibit, or watch a PETA theater production that isn’t required for school. If I were good enough to be able to curate an art exhibit, this will be on the top of my priority list. Art for the people by the people.
What do you think about opting for passion over practicality? Penny for your thoughts?