Sunday, June 16

Perspectives

Looking at my ‘Invisible Hand’

Looking at my ‘Invisible Hand’

Perspectives
SELF-INTEREST is what drives human behavior and the economy at large to work in the most efficient and fair way. Adam Smith, the Father of Economics, called these natural economic forces the “invisible hand,” something we do not see but moves us. As I end my term in this publication with this writing, I will get out of the ceteris paribus assumption and look at my invisible hand that moved me all throughout those four years in my college life—nothing is constant, only uncertainties and challenges. My college education hung on the edge of a cliff, as finishing it in this University was uncertain. I can still remember how my parents were halfhearted to enroll me in this royal and pontifical university since we did not have enough finances to sustain my four years of studying here. B
A Multi-front Battle

A Multi-front Battle

Perspectives
“WATERLOO - I was defeated, you won the war,” were the first lyrics I carelessly sang in class (if I recall correctly) during my freshman year. I was fond of listening to ABBA during the early hectic days in college. This song in particular is about defeating your weaknesses. However, my college life was not about the tendencies of defeat in spite of all the challenges. Instead, it was a battle – the most unexpected battle I fought (so far). *** “What’s the name of the game? Does it mean anything to you?” When I was deciding on which degree program to take up in college, I was lucky enough that my parents were supportive with the idea of me choosing a liberal arts program. On the first day of my University life, I unknowingly entered a battlefield. In the process of learning, t
Cacoethes Scribendi

Cacoethes Scribendi

Perspectives
THIS YEAR is a blur. Compared to the first three years, I felt like I aged, balancing acads and extra-curricular activities. For the past months, it was as if my life was nothing more but writing, compiling papers and research, proofreading articles, and reading reviewers. I go home and dive straight into bed, immediately feeling the weight under my eyelids, and dozing off the moment my body hits the covers. It provides a stark contrast to my first year self, who managed to read books late at night and burn the midnight oil. It was literally weight lifted on our part as seniors, for gone are the days we are hunched in front of the computer, pressed to finish last-minute requirements. It is with a great joy to bid goodbye to caffeine-induced days, to the nauseous feeling caused by being
Staying Afloat

Staying Afloat

Perspectives
FOUR YEARS ago, I entered the Communication Arts program wanting to be a film director. I wanted to make movies that made a difference—at least half of my then new blockmates also did. UST was not my dream school, I was planning to transfer to UP on my second year to take up Film but that obviously never happened. I slacked off in my studies, making an excuse of what we would call the “adjustment period.” During the second semester of that “adjustment period,” I drowned in frustration as I was one of the handful of students randomly chosen to fail at a particular subject. I could not understand how my professor gave me a grade of 60 during the preliminary period. I was always present, I answered during recitation and in most of my activities I got high scores. I had other blockmates who ha
Synesthesia

Synesthesia

Perspectives
IT FEELS surreal to finally be writing a column for the Flame. And not just any column, but a farewell. It’s that moment that tells me: Yes! I’m finally leaving. Don’t get me wrong. I love UST, and I love the Flame. But unlike most who become melancholic at the thought of leaving behind the alma mater, I look forward to the moment with joy. Surely, we must have known that our college life would eventually end somewhere. Mine must end here. Four years ago, I would have never believed it if someone had told me that I would eventually become who I am today—Art Director, for one. When I first took the qualifying exams for the Flame, I was so nervous and disoriented that I woke up late and forgot to bring art materials—not even a pen! I ended up borrowing a pencil from the writer beside m
When Banners Become Cloaks (or Whips)

When Banners Become Cloaks (or Whips)

Perspectives
 ALMOST FOUR years ago, former Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) Treasurer Mark Gil Quitoy stepped down from office. Surprisingly, it did not call the attention of Artlets. Only a few people knew what really happened that led to his resignation. According to a reliable source who only spoke on the condition of anonymity, the former Students’ Democratic Party (SDP) stalwart resigned after he mishandled the council fund. Despite this, the Board of Majors (BOM) did not conduct an inquiry, as they let their Speaker coordinate with the Executive Board. My source believes that “their (ABSC and BOM) goal [was] to resolve the matter in utmost ‘quietness.’” “But we (other BOM members) failed to realize [that] there could be an agenda as to why they were containing the issue, given that
Demandatory

Demandatory

Perspectives
“AT LAST” were the only words I could say when I learned that the verdict on the case of the missing council fund was handed to concerned parties—that is, the former student council president and treasurer are banned from getting certificates of good moral character for their “gross negligence” of responsibilities, among other sanctions. This is good news for the Artlet community. While there is still no definite answer as to who actually took the money, it is reassuring to know that there were actions taken, however belated, to serve as a warning for students who might get involved in similar cases in the future. But as I acknowledge the administration’s efforts to seek justice, I dare say that had it not been for the attention given by campus publications like the Flame to provide
Resist or Assist?

Resist or Assist?

Perspectives
THE UNIVERSITY seemed resistant to change as majority of the Thomasian community expressed their opposition to the proposed flood “detention basin” underneath UST’s football field after President Benigno Aquino III made an innuendo to a “big university” in Manila rejecting the said proposal—referring to none but UST—during his last State of the Nation Address. The catch basin project was initially proposed in 2011 by the Department of Public Works and Highways to end perennial flooding in Sampaloc and suburb areas by creating a retarding tank that will serve as storage for water during heavy rains. UST, however, refused to it citing security concerns, possible disturbance of its regular activities, and historical and heritage standpoint. While it is unfair to say that UST was self
Pampering Political ‘Pampams’

Pampering Political ‘Pampams’

Perspectives
IT'S THAT time of the year again where we would bring out the dusty Christmas decorations after keeping them in a box for a year from our bodega. The streets would glow in green and red, markets would be filled with parols, Santa and Rudolph would be seen lighted up in the houses of our neighbours, and politicians’ faces would dominate banners greeting us a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Filipinos love the idea of Christmas—a season of forgiveness and sharing. And so, we don’t just celebrate it on the 25th of December but we start to feel the Christmas vibe as soon as the calendar shifts to “-ber” months. Politicians take this time to introduce themselves to the public by handing out free gifts, attending public gatherings and printing their faces to almost anywhere—mugs, t-shi
More Than Clamor

More Than Clamor

Perspectives
ONE OF my professors described the Faculty of Arts and Letters as “a microcosm of the society.” We are alive with political intrigues, watchful for unjust system, and most of all, freely immersed into discussions about social issues to let ourselves be aware of what is really happening outside the four walls of our classrooms. We are a versatile crowd. Crafty, empowered, and well-versed, we are the most vocal of all colleges in the University. We promote intellectual liberalism. Being a part of a liberal arts college, we are equipped with general knowledge which helps us understand how the society works. Aiming to encourage interactive discourse inside classes of any subject, we cannot help but feel almost cynical about everything. Wrongdoings within and outside the university do not o