Mera Joy Aniolga

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

The Line That Divides

In Current Events on September 13, 2011 at 9:24 am


We take beauty pageants seriously, way too seriously! Considering how good we are at it, I think, it’s all worth it.

I noticed that for several years, we have been so close in getting the title but still no luck. I think it’s the product of the seriousness that we put into beauty patents.

I mean, whether they win or not, they’ll end up endorsing this or that, or having a movie or so.

I thought she’d win. I mean she is from UP, a consistent honor student and all, I was expecting her to win. But she didn’t. And it’s okay. I mean, life does not end there. I mentally supported her but I did not go out of my way of say waking up early and tuning in to monitor the results.

I was supporting her because she is a Filipino and she represents the country. Her answer is okay with me I mean, if that is what she wants then so be it. Why answer pretentious stuff just to get the crown?

I find it funny how others blame the Filipino Judge Lea Salonga for asking a very easy question to Miss Angola and all that. Hello? Are you people aware that these questions are pre-written?

I am not in any way disheartened or disappointed, maybe my indifference about beauty pageants makes me feel this way. But for me, Miss Universe is just like a regular Pacqiao fight, I am happy if he wins but if he doesn’t that’s okay.

I guess not everyone in this country takes The Miss Universe Beauty Pageant way too seriously.I see it for what it is, entertainment. That is what we need to learn as a country. Distinguish the thin line that divided entertainment from life, from politics and everything else.

Even if Supsup won the crown, nothing will change. we are still one of the poorest countries in the world, politicians will still be corrupt and the price of gas will continue to rise.

Let us all move forward with our lives, be happy for Miss Angola and hope for a better result next year.We have pressing have more important issues to to address other than beauty pageants.


Run Mera Run

In Current Events, Event, Personal on September 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Mannie Pacquiao, this man boxed his way to the top. He started as a construction worker, an amateur boxer, a mexican beater ( Is there such a thing? But it’s obvious that he was able to beat every Mexican boxer there is. ), a singer and a politician.

Now there is this news about him running on the next Presidential Election on 2012. I think there is a great chance that he will win. I am positive that he will win. Considering how FPJ, the King of Philippine Cinema allegedly won and was robbed of the presidency by the most hated president of the country, PGMA, I think Mannie Pacquiao will win.

I am not jaded or anything but I just know how the masses think of him. He has the money and the fame which is pretty much the only requirements needed in order to succeed in having a political career. I am not saying that most politicians here are that way. There are smart ones, there are ones who genuinely care but then again, they are just some. Most are actors, rich kids, famous people with famous parents, athletes and all that.

I am proud to be a Filipino. My backpack is evidence of that pride, it has a flag. I travel to promote the beauty of my country. When I post pictures on the net, I want local and foreign travelers to feel the urge to see the place that I have been to that way they get to help the tricycle drivers, the vendors, the souvenir shop operators and so on.

I don’t want to see a Philippine ruled by an ex-boxer, let alone live in it. I am not even bothered by his intellect, educational background or English speaking skills but we would be the butt of all jokes if we make a president out of a retired boxer. America didn’t make a president out of a paraplegic Mohomad Ali. Well, Mohamad Ali has the decency not to run.

I use to not have a solid plan. I use to live from one target to another but if this is the case, I am now saving up for 2016. I don’t mind working in other country in a job that I am not satisfied with. I don’t mind the cold weather if say, I go to countries with Winters or extremely hot weather if say, I go to the middle east. I am willing to sacrifice the comforts of home in exchange of not seeing and hearing him on every kinds of mass media for 6 years.

I will save up, I will enroll in courses like housekeeping, welding, anything at all. I will leave home where everything is for free, even the cotton buds are free. But I will be back when his term is over unless of course he becomes some kind of a GMA who extended her stay whether we liked it or not.


In Current Events, Event, Personal on August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

Steve Jobs resigned from Apple and I am deeply saddened by this news. It’s not that I am a die hard Apple fan or that I fear the delay of iPhone 5. I have an iPad and I don’t plan to purchase any Apple product soon.

I know he is rich and all the last thing that I need to feel about him is be sorry. But if I set capitalism aside, I have nothing but sympathy for this guy. Shoot me!

For one, he is the epitome of “follow your heart and everything will turn out right” kind of life. I don’t know if geeks here in my country, being a 3rd world can afford that kind of luck. To be a drop out of say AMA computer college and succeed like Steve Jobs did. I am not trying to question the talent of computer people here, I have always believed in the genius and talent of Filipinos but when it comes looking ahead, say setting up a company or something like that, where will an AMA dropout genius get the funds that he needs?Again, we have to blame our government for this. But I am not talking about inequality of life. I am here to salute the passion of the man behind Apple and Pixar.

He did not die and though my Facebook post may seem like an obituary for him, I feel like the resignation killed something in that man. A spark, a fire, a passion. I am mourning for that loss. I feel bad that a believer in dreams, destiny, karma and everything else in between has to feel this way.

I imagine Steve jobs crying, depressed and wanting to die. Not because he lost power, stocks, control or anything like that. Nothing financial but more on the fact that he no longer has the same power over something which defined his life. Something which money can not buy. It’s the fulfillment that a mother gets when all her children grows up to be good citizens. Imagine telling this mom that she no longer will be the mother of these kids that she raised. I think that is how Steve Jobs is feeling right now.

I may be romanticizing this and that. Maybe I need to learn about his other side if there are any but I choose to settle for the Steve Jobs who went to hell and back, slept on the floors, ate free meals at Hare Krishna Temples, went to India, survived cancer, followed his heart and lived to tell the tale.

His legacy may be forever tainted with Apple but for me, it’s his passion that will leave a bigger and better mark in this world and not just in Silicon Valley.

To Steve Jobs:

Dude, to burn out may be such an awful feeling and I feel bad for you. But I just want to let you know that you have been an inspiration to a lot of people. I am a fan of your genius but I am a follower of your PASSION.

I will never listen to other people, I will never live my life for others and I promise to pursue what I love. I will connect the dots and look backwards in my old age for I know that just like you it will lead me to the right path.

Maria Clara: Fact or Fiction?

In Current Events, Personal on August 20, 2011 at 3:29 am

Maria Clara is a fictional character created by Rizal. She is the love interest of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra. She is also the epitome of prim and properness. The former may not be that known to everyone but the latter is as bright as day. When one is compared to Maria Clara, she can either be as virginal as a saint, that is if the comparison is positive or as dirty as a ho, that is if the comparison is negative.

In a world where everything is as fast as lightning, can Maria Clara even exist? Playing hard to get is so-Maria Clara. Yes,it may be sweet and all but really, what is the point of pretending not to like someone when the truth of the matter is you are head over heels in love with that person? Going after a guy that you like is so unlike Maria Clara. Girls should wait,guys should do the move. If the girl becomes too aggressive, she becomes a flirt or worst, slutty

Just like a coin, there are two sides to Maria Clara. One is that of a prim and proper lady and the other is that of an imprisoned person.

The prim and proper Maria Clara lives her life in such a way that no eyebrows are raised. She sticks to the norms. She goes to church because it’s expected from her to be there. She lowers her voice because she was made to believe that a lady speaks in no other way than that way. She waits for the guy of her dreams to court her. She believes in the sanctity of marriage and so on.

To be a girl in a country that is chained in morality, religion and hypocrisy is tough and sometimes confusing. You sing along to Spice Girls and live the “girl power” thing but if you openly woo a guy, you raise people’s eyebrows. You were told that men and women are created equal but if a guy philanders, it’s acceptable because he is a guy and if you have an affair behind your boyfriend or husband’s back, you are criticized. Where is the fairness in that?

Being a girl alone is a struggle in itself. To be asked to pattern one’s behavior on a fictional character is baloney. We have to recognize the difference between fact and fiction. Maria Clara is not real, she is nothing but a product of Jose Rizal’s imagination. Don’t judge women based on Maria Clara, you don’t want to be judged based on Edward Cullen, don’t you?

Not Happy When It Rains

In Current Events, Personal on June 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Shirley Manson may be singing her heart out about feeling ecstatic when it rains and when its complicated but in my case, it just won’t work. That’s what makes her a”Shirley Manson”, she has the ability to feel happy when its raining. I am taking the song literally, I know.

I love the sun! I don’t mind the heat as I can go on my daily activities in life with a bearable or even an unbearable heat as compared to the depressing cold. I am not the depressed-emo type of person but rains and cold weather gets the better of me. My boyfriend who happens to be a Nurse tells me its the absence of serotonin that gets me down. Serotonin comes along with the sun. Its absence during the cold and rainy times is the culprit as to why people feel sad. I think this is also the reason as to why most people feel overly emotional at night.

I am not the anorexic type and I would give my arm and leg to be identified with Shirley Manson but I guess when it comes to raining, I can relate more to Karen Carpenter whose spirits are down at the dumps during Rainy Days and Mondays.

In the future?

In Current Events on June 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm
On the right is the mother and son tandem of Marlene Aguilar and Jason Ivler. On the left is the mother and son tandem of St. Augustine and St. Monica.
I can’t help but compare these two mother and son tandems. Jason Ivler is now in jail for killing over traffic problems. His mother, Marlene Aguilar is his staunch defender. She even challenged the father of Jason Ivler’s victim for a fist fight at the famous, Elorde Gym. That’s how crazy she is. But she is just a mother performing her role as a mother to her son who needs her. Good or bad, guilty or not, Jason is her son.
St. Monica they say became as saint because of the deep faith that she developed because of her son’s way of living. St. Augustine is a classic example of a bad turned good person and I find it funny and heart warming at the same time how his mom turned out to be a saint simply by praying for her child’s conversion.
Who knows 100 years from now, we may be having St. Jason and St. Marlene.

Fan Boy or Fan Girl?

In Current Events on June 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

This is a really old photo of Michael Jackson and Vilma Santos. This was probably taken during the70’s back when Vilma was still young and Michael was still black.

This picture made me think of two things:

Was Vilma Santos a Michael Jackson Fan?

Was Michael Jackson a Vilma Santos Fan?

If you are from the Philippines, you know how popular the woman that Michael Jackson is hugging in the photo. She is now a politician but she still makes movies. 

Now if you’ll considermy third question:

Could it be that Lucky is MJ’s  son?

Enough of my stupid imagination.

RIP MJ, its been two years. You will always be remembered. I will always be a fan.

Smillin’ at the City of Smiles

In Current Events, Event, Travelling on April 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

Bacolod City is one boat ride away from my place, Iloilo City. It is referred to as the “city of smiles”. This tag line for Bacolod is due to the Masskara Festival held in the city every month of October.

Last month, we went to Bacolod to have an educational tour. Well, it is not really an educational tour, but we visited museums and other “educational and historical” places that I decided to label it as such.

I went to the Iloilo City Pier at around 4pm. Before that I already called up Ocean Jet and inquired about their last trip. Mind you, there is a different pier for ferries going to Bacolod and there is another one for ships going to Cebu and Manila. The receptionist told me that it will be at 5:45. I think, among the other ferries, Ocean Jet has the latest last trip. They also have a promo where if you buy a round trip ticket, you only pay half of the second ticket’s price. The best thing about Ocean Jet is that they offer free wi-fi in the ferry itself. I don’t know if other ferries offer this well.

It was dark when we arrived at Bacolod, we hired a “trisikad” to take us to SM City Bacolod. There is no need to ride a taxi if you are from the pier going to SM City because it so near, you can even walk going to it. We were so hungry when we arrived that we immediately thought of eating. The food court was half full-half empty, good thing. It is not as jam-packed as other restos in the mall. We decided to eat at Junie’s. The food is familiar as there is also the exact same food stall here in Iloilo.

After that, I called L Fisher Chalet as I made a reservation there via email. I was not able to get a confirmation reply that is why I did not take the risk of going there automatically. I called their front desk but no one seems to be on duty so I called other hotels as well. It is a good thing that I have a long list of hotels and inns numbers in the city; I was able to call and inquire. The telephone booth costs one peso for every 3 minutes, I spent about 10 pesos before I finally made a decision.

The last time that we went there, we stayed at the Pearl Manor. Unfortunately, I do not have their number so I was not able to inquire. (Take note: I’m the type of traveler who prefers to make prior reservations and inquiries rather than go straight into the hotel and be surprised in case there are price changes, address changes and so on.)

This time, we stayed at the Bacolod Executive Inn Hotel. It is located near the San Sebastian Cathedral. From SM, it was just a 5 minutes walk. We passed by the Manokan Stalls, the city plaza, the Church and La Consolacion College. We paid 999 for a double room with WI-FI, Air conditioning, Personal Ref and a window wide enough to see other buildings as well as the tip of the San Sebastian Cathedral. The room boy was nice enough to let us transfer into another room when we complained about the weak wi-fi signal.

We are night people and Bacolod City comes to life at night. We took a jeepney ride going to Lacson Street. It is said to be the longest street in the city, it is also the home of establishments like McDonald’s, Starbuck’s, Pendy’s and many others.

The next day, we went to Silay City. It was a 30 minute jeepney ride away from Bacolod City. We went straight to the famous El Ideal. It is said to be the oldest bakery in Negros Occidental. The people there are nice as they even gave us direction in going to Balay Negrense. People or shall I say tourists there are in and out of the door. The bakery has an old world charm and I think it is one of the main reasons why people come there. Next stop, we went to the Plaza of Silay City. It is very clean and you can see a lot of people there. They say that Silay is the Paris of Negros and if you are in the Plaza, you will have no choice but to agree with the said label. There are a lot of old houses there. I assume that “hacienderos’ must have owned them.

We went to one of the most famous old house in the city of Silay. The Balay Negrense is an old house of a former governor, I believe. Just like any other old house, it has two stories and very big rooms. The moment you are inside the house, you will get the feel of living in the 1900’s. You also get to familiarize with the typical parts of the house during that time. They have “azoteas’, “pantaw”, “platera” old model refrigerators, old microwave ovens and so on. Some say the house is haunted, I don’t know whether its true or not. All I know is that this house is filled with memories, antiques and old world charm. Entrance to the place is 50 pesos.

Another house worth checking out while in Silay is the Hofilena House. It is one block away from Balay Negrense. You need to make prior reservations if you want to come there, another option you have to be lucky enough to spot the owner/caretaker so that he can invite you to come over. My friends who came there 5 months prior to my visit were lucky enough to spot the owner. They were able to check out his collections and antiques. Good for them, bad for me because I was not with them when they got lucky.

After Silay, we went back to the City. We went straight to the Negros Museum. It is located just at the back of the Capitol. The entrance is 50 pesos but you are not allowed to take pictures while inside the museum. That rule sucks as there are a lot of beautiful paintings as well as a massive doll collection that is worth a thousand clicks. The museum will help you understand the history and culture of the place. If you want to understand Bacolod, you simply have to go there.

After the museum, we went to have a snack at a nearby mall whose name escapes me now. It comparable to the Marymart Mall here in Iloilo City as there is a lot of counterfeit goods for sale in this mall. Though I must admit, the outside appearance of the mall looked classy and expensive.

It was now near sunset so we decided to go to the Ruins in Talisay. Talisay is like 15 minutes away from Bacolod City. The Ruins is very famous among local and foreign tourist. As a matter of fact, it was even listed as part of the Top 12 Must See Ruins in the World at a site whose name sounds like or (So sorry for forgetting!) They say the Ruins is more beautiful during sunset and indeed it is.

You can go to Talisay’s town center and hire a motorcycle to take you there. However, in my case, I just looked around and happen to see the sign “TO THE RUINS” while we were still in the jeepney. The sign is right next to the Pepsi Plant. However, the Ruins is far from that sign, you have to walk a loooong way first before you reach it. Lucky for us that the locals there offered to give us a tricycle ride going there. The Ruins is said to be burned by the owners in order to prevent the Japs from taking over the place. In way its like a sign of the owners “patriotism”. Today, the Ruins is perfect for weddings, playing golf or to chill after a long days work. It has a bar, a mini golf course and a souvenir shop intended for visitors who want to stay a while, to play, take pictures or to simply unwind. Entrance to the place is about 50 pesos as well.

We spent the nigh at Lacson Street, sipping coffee and eating sweet treats of Bob’s. The cafe is said to have been originally from this city. I don’t know about that, but I’m sure that they have one of the best coffees in Bacolod City.

On our last day, we decided to have some sort of “mall tour”. We were already familiar with SM City Bacolod, Lopue’s Mandalagan, Gaisano, Mayfair and Robinson’s. We ate at Pendy’s. It’s famous because of its Half-moon cakes and Napoleones. For most people there, it is considered to be an upscale restaurant, probably because of its price and the accreditation posted on its walls.

Our last stop was the recently build Pope John Paul Building. We were not able to come up there but we took pictures of it. It is a 7-story building, with glass walls. On the glass walls are pictures of the late Pope John Paul II, at the top most part of the building is a huge cross. I don’t know what the purposes of the building is but if my instincts are right, it’s probably for pilgrims who want to pray the “stations of the cross” there, just like a modern version of Guimaras’ Balaan Bukid.

When we arrived at the pier, we were already “chance passengers”. At first there were only the 3 of us and the woman sitting next to me said she bought the promo ticket as well. I thought it was just a coincidence that we both have same tickets and same fate as chance passengers. However, as the time of departure came closer, the more people arrived with the same fate as mine. Same promo tickets, same fate as chance passengers. I think, it is like a marketing strategy on Ocean Jet’s part. It is a good thing that we were able to ride the ferry and go home safe after a long wait at the pier.

Repost from Old Blog.

Witness the Controversial Crucifixion Re-enactment in the Philippines

In Current Events, Event, Travelling on April 23, 2011 at 8:32 am

Summer in the Philippines is not only synonymous with beaches and fun, but also with the Lenten season. For approximately 73 million Catholic Filipinos, this is a special time of the year when penance and sacrifices are made prior to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They say Filipino faith can move mountains, and in some cases it can even influence them to nail their hands to a cross or be cut by whips in order to endure and feel the suffering of Jesus. It may sound a bit weird, but Filipinos take the word sacrifice very seriously.

Every Good Friday, thousands of locals and tourists flock to small towns throughout the Philippines, such as Pampanga or Jordan, to witness the re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixio. This is known as “Pagtaltal sa Guimaras” where Christ’s Passion is acted out. This includes the last supper, scourging at the pillar, carrying of the cross, the seven last words up to the crucifixion. The practice of crucifixion itself is controversial and not encouraged by the church—willing participants have their palms nailed into a wooden cross. For over thirty-three years the crucifixion re-enactment has been taking place every Good Friday and ends at 3 p.m. when the person portraying the role of Jesus is nailed on the cross. This because according to Catholics, 3 p.m is the time of Christ’s death.

The people who portray the role of Jesus during the crucifixion re-enactment say they do it for sacrifice, personal penance, good will and blessings. Over the years, different people have portrayed the role of Jesus, including females and even visiting tourists. Whether you’re Catholic or not, the crucifixion re-enactment is a shockingly bold introduction to the Filipino faith.

The crucifixion re-enactment happens every Good Friday, two days prior to Easter. Alternatively, if you are visiting outside of Lent the best time of the year to visit the Philippines is during their summer season. From January to June the sun is at its highest, the beach is at its coolest and the weather is at its finest. Summer season is synonymous with celebration in the Philippines, and there are hundreds of fiestas being celebrated all over the country. January is also the time when the famous Dinagyang Festival is held in Iloilo city.

Make the most out of your Philippines’ Good Friday experience. Check out the Balaan Bukid first before going to Jordan, Guimaras to witness the crucifixion re-enactment. Get there as early as you can—between 5:30–7:00 a.m. is a good bet to get to the wharf and secure your seat on the ferry. Arriving later will mean that you take the risk of staying in line under the sun’s scorching heat. Bear in mind that both local and foreign tourists visit here.

This is a re-post of my article at The Circumference.

How Good is your Friday?

In Current Events, Event, Personal on April 23, 2011 at 6:31 am

Being the only Catholic country in Southeast Asia, Holy Weeks are much of a big deal to a lot of Filipinos.

For the die-hard catholics, it means never-ending church-hopping, retreats, prayer, reflection, processions and the like.

For the kids, it means bad TV. Good thing we have cable these days. In the past, children have to endure Spartacus, Cleopatra, Noah and the like, from Thursday to Saturday.

Jesus died, so all the saints are covered up. Weird huh!

For others, it means vacation. As I’ve said, Holy Weeks are a big deal so businesses are closing down in most cities. Iloilo may be an “urbanized” city but good luck in finding a good brewed coffee on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

As these establishments are closed or 2 days for so people grab this chance to go home to their provinces. Some go to the beach. While tradition suggests that the only time to celebrate and go to the beach would be on Easter Sunday also known as “Domingo de Paskua”, others go the beach in as early as Wednesday. Boracay for instance is at its peak season during the holy week.

Different strokes for different folks. In life as in faith, to his own indeed.