Archive for June, 2011

….on Same Sex Marriage

Posted in Introspection, Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 by otakujade

So, you are at this point allowed to call me a hypocrite….

Those close to be know that I like yaoi (anime with male-male relationship) and sometimes I even read slash stories but this is really something else – something that’s so beyond fantasy. I have nothing against love between same sex….I mean it happens, right? These days they have a lot of explanation why a boy/girl turn out gay. Mostly, explanations tell us that its not really their fault…some are just inclined or are simply genetically born that way. We can’t blame them.

However, allowing them to marry someone of the same sex is an entirely different thing. As married couple we would have to give them the same privileges as any married couple – like adopting a child. In reality, I have nothing against that too. I mean, two people of the same sex can raise a child properly, sometimes even better than some heterosexual couples, provided that they do not allow the child to be oriented with their sexual preferences at an early age. I know that it would have a huge effect on the child having same sex parents and they would get teased but with proper guidance that child may be able to cope.

What I am against is the blatant display of “gay-ish” behavior. I have lot of gay friends and if you look at them you’ll just see two men walking or talking or rooming together – what they do behind closed doors and away from public eyes is their business. I guess in a way I am more inclined to the Japanese way of treating the subject. For years, Japan is a gay’s dream land. There they are accepted, and sometimes even wooed.  However, they keep their relationship private and well hidden from public eyes. “Hostos” are very successful in Japan. Men are open to relationships with other men (in secret).

So I guess at the end of the day, I can accept the idea of same sex marriage but I am against them demonstrating it in public. That is the logical, practical side of me talking right there. Now if you ask my moral side of course I don’t agree with it. Women are made for men; our bodies are designed for each other…its how God intended things to be and it’s what’s natural.

Now, you might ask why I started to get an opinion on the subject all of a sudden….well, here’s the link to the video my dearest ‘kohai’ posted and this got me going….  video here


Remembering Rizal…

Posted in Books, People, Random with tags , , , on June 19, 2011 by otakujade

I have always been an admirer of Dr. Jose Protacio ‘Rizal’ Mercado y Realonda or simply Jose Rizal. I was 7 years old when I first heard his name…it was part of our history lesson of course to learn first and foremost the ‘nationals’ – national tree, national flower, national anthem, national fruit, national bird, national animal…and of course national hero. However, it was in my 2nd year in college when I truly began to appreciate our national hero and I have been a great admirer of him since then.

A lot of people question the choice of Jose Rizal as the Philippines’ national hero simply because he was not involved in the ‘Himagsikan’ (revolution) or that he didn’t take up arms like many of our national heroes like Andres Bonifacio. However, as my Rizal professor (sorry sir but I completely forgot your name) once said, Rizal may not have taken up arms like Bonifacio but his influence through his writings, discourses and other peaceful means, extends beyond age, borders and culture. Rizal was an intellectual. He is one of the few people in this world that can claim to be both a polymath (a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas) and a polyglot – someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages. Although many of the scientists in the past are polymathic…few intellectuals can claim to be polyglot. Now, we call people who speak 2 languages (like most Filipinos – English & Pilipino) as bilingual; we call someone who speaks 3 languages as trilingual (some Filipino are such – English, Pilipino then  either Spanish, Japanese or Chinese); and we call people who speak more than 3 languages but not more than 6 multi-lingual. Polyglots are conversant and fluent in more than 6. Rizal, however, is conversant in 20 languages and 7 local dialects.

Aside from his many intellectual prowess (he was an inventor, an opthalmologist, a scientist, a philosopher, a writer, an ardent traveler,  a poet, and an artist), Rizal also lived a very interesting and colorful life. I have always wondered why when they make a movie out of his life they always center on his political exploits or they sought to put color into this part of his life when in fact Rizal’s life is already as adventurous and colorful as anyone could ever wish life to be.

His life is one of the most documented of the 19th century largely because vast and extensive records made by and about him. Most everything in his short life is recorded somewhere, being himself a regular diarist and prolific letter writer, much of these material having survived.

His European friends kept almost everything he gave them, including doodlings on pieces of paper. In the home of a Spanish liberal, Pedro Ortiga y Pérez, he left an impression that was to be remembered by his daughter, Consuelo. In her diary, she wrote of a day Rizal spent there and regaled them with his wit, social graces, and sleight-of-hand tricks. In London, during his research on Morga’s writings, he became a regular guest in the home of Dr. Reinhold Rost of the British Museum who referred to him as “a gem of a man.”  The family of Karl Ullmer, pastor of Wilhelmsfeld, and the Blumentritts saved even buttonholes and napkins with sketches and notes. They were ultimately bequeathed to the Rizal family to form a treasure trove of memorabilia.

However, being incurable romantics as the Filipinos are, we are greatly fascinated by his many loves.  Historians like to called them “Rizal’s dozen” when it fact there were only 9 women with home our national hero was linked to.  And in order of their connection with Rizal they were:

Segunda Katigbak
Segunda Katigbak was his puppy love; Rizal’s first love. She was from a prominent family from Lipa, Batangas and was sent at an early age to study at the best school in Manila at the time – the Colegio de la Concordia. There she became friends and classmates with Rizal’s sister Olimpia. Rizal became very infatuated with her and wrote her many romantic letters. Unfortunately, his first love was not to be because Segundwas engaged to be married to a town mate- Manuel Luz.

Rizal wrote of his first love: “Ended at an early hour, my first love!  My virgin heart will always mourn the reckless step it took on the flower-decked abyss.  My ilusions return, yes, but indifferent, uncertain, ready for the first betrayal on the path of love”.

Leonor Valenzuela                                                                                                                                                                                                                   After his admiration for a short girl in the person of Segunda, then came Leonor Valenzuela, a tall girl from Pagsanjan. Rizal send her love notes written in invisible ink (salt dissolved in water) that could only be deciphered over the warmth of the lamp or candle. He visited her on the eve of his departure to Spain and bade her a last goodbye.

Leonor Rivera
Leonor Rivera, his sweetheart for 11 years played the greatest influence in keeping him from falling in love with other women during his travel. Unfortunately, Leonor’s mother disapproved of her daughter’s relationship with Rizal, who was then a known filibustero (someone who goes against the norms, a radical, a free-thinker; during the time of the Spaniards a filibustero in the Philippines is someone who goes against the teaching of the catholic church).  She hid from Leonor all letters sent to her sweetheart. Leonor believing that Rizal had already forgotten her, sadly consented her to marry the Englishman Henry Kipping, her mother’s choice.

Consuelo Ortiga
Consuelo Ortiga y Rey, the prettier of Don Pablo Ortiga’s daughters, fell in love with him. He dedicated to her A la Senorita C.O. y R., which became one of his best poems. The Ortiga’s residence in Madrid was frequented by Rizal and his compatriots. He probably fell in love with her and Consuelo apparently asked him for romantic verses. He suddenly backed out before the relationship turned into a serious romance, because he wanted to remain loyal to Leonor Rivera and he did not want to destroy his friendship with Eduardo de Lete who was madly in love with Consuelo.

Seiko Usui (affectionately called by Rizal as Osei-san)
Osei-san, a Japanese samurai’s daughter taught Rizal the Japanese art of painting known as sumi-e. She also helped Rizal improve his knowledge of Japanese language. If Rizal was a man without a patriotic mission, he would have married this lovely and intelligent woman and lived a stable and happy life with her in Japan because the Spanish legation there offered him a lucrative job.

Gertrude Beckett
While Rizal was in London annotating the Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, he boarded in the house of the Beckett family, within walking distance of the British Museum. Gertrude, a blue-eyed and buxom girl was the oldest of the three Beckett daughters. She fell in love with Rizal. Tottie helped him in his painting and sculpture. But Rizal suddenly left London for Paris to avoid Gertrude, who was seriously in love with him. Before leaving London, he was able to finish the group carving of the Beckett sisters. He gave the group carving to Gertrude as a sign of their brief relationship.

Nellie Boustead
Rizal having lost Leonor Rivera, entertained the thought of courting other ladies. While a guest of the Boustead family at their residence in the resort city of Biarritz, he had befriended the two pretty daughters of his host, Eduardo Boustead. Rizal used to fence with the sisters at the studio of Juan Luna. Antonio Luna, Juan’s brother and also a frequent visitor of the Bousteads, courted Nellie but she was deeply infatuated with Rizal. In a party held by Filipinos in Madrid, a drunken Antonio Luna uttered unsavory remarks against Nellie Boustead. This prompted Rizal to challenge Luna into a duel. Fortunately, Luna apologized to Rizal, thus averting tragedy for the compatriots. Their love affair unfortunately did not end in marriage. It failed because Rizal refused to be converted to the Protestant faith, as Nellie demanded and Nellie’s mother did not like a physician without enough paying clientele to be a son-in-law. The lovers, however, parted as good friends when Rizal left Europe.

Suzanne Jacoby
In 1890, Rizal moved to Brussels because of the high cost of living in Paris. In Brussels, he lived in the boarding house of the two Jacoby sisters. In time, they fell deeply in love with each other. Suzanne cried when Rizal left Brussels and wrote him when he was in Madrid. – “After your departure, I did not take the chocolate. The box is still intact as on the day of your parting. Don’t delay too long writing us because I wear out the soles of my shoes for running to the mailbox to see if there is a letter from you. There will never be any home in which you are so loved as in that in Brussels, so, you little bad boy, hurry up and come back….

Josephine Bracken
In the last days of February 1895, while still in Dapitan where he was exile on his return to the Philippines, Rizal met an 18-year old petite Irish girl, with bold blue eyes, brown hair and a happy disposition. She was Josephine Bracken, the adopted daughter of George Taufer from Hong Kong, who came to Dapitan to seek Rizal for eye treatment. Rizal was physically attracted to her. His loneliness and boredom must have taken the measure of him and what could be a better diversion that to fall in love again. But the Rizal sisters suspected Josephine as an agent of the friars and they considered her as a threat to Rizal’s security.

Rizal asked Josephine to marry him, but she was not yet ready to make a decision due to her responsibility to the blind Taufer. Since Taufer’s blindness was untreatable, he left for Hon Kong on March 1895. Josephine stayed with Rizal’s family in Manila. Upon her return to Dapitan, Rizal tried to arrange with Father Antonio Obach for their marriage. However, the priest wanted a retraction as a precondition before marrying them. Rizal upon the advice of his family and friends and with Josephine’s consent took her as his wife even without the Church blessings. Josephine later gave birth prematurely to a stillborn baby, a result of some incidence, which might have shocked or frightened her. Some historian claim that it was Rizal playing a joke on his pregnant wife which her to miscarriage however this claim was very verified.  He named the baby ‘Francisco’ after his father and buried him in a lot outside their home in Dapitan. 

…..I have decided that I will stop here for now, Rizal’s life is much too complicated and comprehensive for me to be able to do justice to our national hero in just one writing so I shall stop here now….and tackle his other exploits in my next blog…

Question: About AVATAR the movie…

Posted in Movies, Random with tags , on June 13, 2011 by otakujade

So, I didn’t watch AVATAR the movie the time it was being played in cinemas here; I didn’t want to…but now I was able to see (and I do admit it was good movie with awesome CGIs) I am filled with one question that until now I am unable to figure so I am hoping that someone…someone who would read this blog would be able to answer my question. So here goes….


Now, I fully understand the premise..the film was set sometime in the future (2154) and the humans have developed technology enough to travel through space to another galaxy. Pandora was an Earth-like habitable moon inhabited by the Navis – a 10 foot, blue-skinned, humanoid but the atmosphere was poisonous to humans. However, it is rich in rare minerals that greedy humans (as always) want so they invented a way to middle with the natives of Pandora to study it’s biosphere and maybe be allowed to acquire the minerals.  Thus, came the Avatars, the Navi-human hybrid bodies that the humans control by transferring their consciousness into. This is where by confusion began…

For the Avatar to move among the Navi and be able to feel and communicate with Eyra (Navi-god) it has to be organic – not sythetic, not plastic, and of course not robot. Got that one. So it is “HYBRID” therefore it must have been genetically created (like the Dinosaurs of Jurassic part) meaning part of the gene would have come from humans and the other half from Navi. And they are probably developed in test tubes…..but even genetically engineered creatures have their own consciousness. So how can consciousness be transferred to that host body?

The only explanation I can think of is they were able to develop a system wherein the body (hybrid) that comes out – comes out as an empty shell. It has all the mechanism but without the faculties. However, the movie does not explain this…unlike with Jurassic Park they explained by the animals are all females…and how they were able to substitute the genetic code of frogs to incomplete DNAs.

So what I want to know is…what constitute the make up of the Avatar and why or how was it created so that it becomes an organic being without consciousness?