Wednesday, January 23

Perspectives

Neu Roses: Continuing Conversations

Neu Roses: Continuing Conversations

Perspectives
IT HAS been a year since the Department of Health officially launched a national hotline that will provide help to people with mental health concerns. The project is called HOPELINE, a 24/7 crisis support hotline for depression and suicide prevention. People behind the phone are trained by professional psychiatrists and psychologists who have undergone intensive training to answer callers in times of need. However, I have encountered many stories circulating in social networking sites, reporting the hotline as inattentive. One user stated that the line becomes busy in the early hours of the morning, while another claimed that her responder hung up the phone when she was crying so hard she could not speak. These were only some of the reports that Twitter users raised against the HOPELINE...
On Lack of Discourse on Certain Things

On Lack of Discourse on Certain Things

Perspectives
THE TRAIN stops at my station and I move along with the crowd that walked like zombies. But I forgive them; it was a long day after all. The streets around Tayuman station is always busy even at night. Vendors who sell goods are littering the streets, and stores are open, welcoming people in. It is a long walk on the way to the jeepney station that I’m supposed to ride to our apartment, but this is the norm so I’m used to it. But nothing is supposed to be normal that night. It was unnerving to see the business going as usual. It was unnerving to see people walking as if nothing happened. It was frightening to see that everything was normal when just last night, a man was shot dead in front of a gasoline station near the jeepneys I’m supposed to ride home. His blood that pooled around hi
Best bad decisions

Best bad decisions

Perspectives
I have a history of bad decisions. In a little town where most people tend to pursue teaching or tourism in college, I stood out when I wrote that I wanted to become a journalist in our class yearbook. I was dead serious. I had to get out of Lupao—where rice fields and cows crossing the roads are common sights—if I wanted to be successful, my parents told me. So they sent me to Manila, hoping the University of Santo Tomas (UST) would provide me quality education and render me highly employable. At 15, I left my hometown with a heavy heart and a big city dream. But it was probably a mistake. Get out when you still have time, someone told me. You don’t want to be a sad adult who hates her job and her life. Journalism is not a well-paid career. Do PR instead. I’ve heard all the
The (Strange) Girl in the Jeepney

The (Strange) Girl in the Jeepney

Perspectives
I’d like to think I relate to Rachel Watson, the protagonist in Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, on a certain level. In the novel, Rachel creates her own story of a couple she sees every day who lives just a few houses down her old home. In the same way, I weave stories of people I sit next to or across from in jeepneys or LRTs: the woman in a turquoise shirt frowning at her cellphone might have just received a confusing text from her husband, the girl in her wrinkled school uniform staring blankly outside the train window might have just failed her Physics finals, and the tall man in a black suit with swollen eyes might have just gone to his mother’s funeral. Whatever it may be, everyone has their own way of coping with a difficult situation. For anyone wondering, here’s the
The Moth and the Flame

The Moth and the Flame

Perspectives
Before stepping into college I fell into an illusion that I was good enough to enter a university I had set my eyes on ever since. But, that illusion came to an end when I failed its famous admission test. I felt like a failure, not just to myself but also to the people counting on me, especially my parents. Little did I know life had different plans for me. Like a young moth, I started wading through the options that I had left: I evaluated my strengths and weighed the practicalities of all the things I could do to atone for what felt like my life’s biggest blunder. And then I got in AB. Still, I shifted my curiosity around the dazzling things I thought I was good at: singing, writing poetry, hosting. Yet again, I failed. Until I found the Flame-- and have stayed there s
To more empowered Artlets

To more empowered Artlets

Perspectives
The deadline of submission of the final column has already passed, and I was still squeezing myself to put my vague and mixed feelings into words. Writer’s block, they said. I hate it when it happens at crucial moments. Bahala na. With this column as the mark of my departure from the Flame and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), I could not help but look back at what transpired during my stay here while simultaneously carrying different roles – friend, student, officer, scholar, writer, and editor. All these have brought some realizations, and I might as well share two of these to you, dear Artlet. i. I felt fortunate when I learned that I would enter UST as her scholar, however I had never felt inferior when I first sighted how smart the Thomasians were. What if I don’t even s
Awake

Awake

Perspectives, Uncategorized
I admit I am at a loss for words for a proper goodbye. This column was already way past its deadline. For an unknown reason, I could not seem to find anything to share on my last chance to write this column. I could not choose what memory or lesson to highlight, so that I could share something relatable to our readers. If there is anything that I aim to do, it was to make my last entry remarkable. My inbox notified with an urgent reminder from our managing editor, requesting me to pass my column already. My mind (which is used to “clutch gaming” or cramming) suddenly decided to get ahold of itself. I hope that the following paragraphs will resonate to every Artlet’s experience and that they would be able to get something out of it, to say the least. I have a confession to make: I
Shot in the Dark

Shot in the Dark

Perspectives
It doesn’t seem like she knows what she’s doing,” someone once said about me. Upon hearing this, I was not sure what upset me more: the fact that she was talking about me in third person while I was right in front of her, or the fact that she might have been right. I did not know what I was getting into when I entered the university as a Journalism major. Before I saw my results, I never even considered the course because I used to be one of those people who took the proverb: “Ignorance is bliss” too seriously. I did not have prior experience in running a publication or joining press competitions, and frankly, I tuned out journalism lectures in high school the same way I tuned my ears out whenever the news was playing on TV at home. I was astounded when results of the entrance tes
Write! Why don’t you write?

Write! Why don’t you write?

Perspectives
To diffuse the power of the author, to dismember texts with incursions and applications of criticism, in Literature, we were trained to unbridle our intellect and infuse it with the spirit of action in the form of praxis. In praxis, one is called to move. Untangle. Unchain. Slice through. And sometimes, even, to explode decrepit oppressive systems where feminists and my queer kinsfolk undo gender, where class systems are rattled by active-activist movements, and where the pluralistic Orient is given the chance to gaze back at the imperial West. Literature has the power to save us. Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo once did by serving as the catalyst to incite the Filipino people to action. The warm light of language will guide us out of Plato’s cave. Yet there are t
Leaving my lenses

Leaving my lenses

Perspectives
Magjo-journ ka? Hindi ba dapat magaganda lang yung mga journalist?” That was what a high school teacher once told me when I boasted that I wanted to pursue journalism as my college course. She blurted that out in front of her co-teachers which made me more embarrassed. I wanted to slap the cup of water she was holding but I also wanted to graduate and so, I just faked out a small laugh. I am not flawless, I have the extra pounds and I tend to stutter in public. Maybe she was right. Maybe journalism is not my cup of tea and that I was just forcing myself in it. But the 16 year old Janine persisted and ended up taking the course. Four years after, my diploma is slowly coming its way into my hands. Here I am, writing my farewell column not only as the Photography Editor of the Fla