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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

I’ve liked Up Dharma Down since I saw their video “Pag-agos” on tv. I was very intrigued because I didn’t see any credits during the first time I saw it. Until the day that no one told me it was Up Dharma Down, I had no idea. “Pag-agos” was interesting not only because of that, but it was the singing, the lyrics and the overall feel of the song that got me hooked.

After that I started hearing their other songs on the radio too. I think that from Fragmented, their first album, I heard “Maybe,” “We Give in Sometimes” and “Oo” 🙂 The last one seemed to be quite popular. Must be because a whole lot of people could easily relate with the lyrics of the song. A song talking about a person’s love story. Not necessarily a happy one at that.

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There are no brands here in the Philippines so local lolitas must be resourceful. Some of them who have been making clothes and accessories for themselves seem to have opened online shops, knowing that there are kindred spirits who share their interests. I’ve bought some products from some of them already and I’m glad to have their products because they are not only pretty, they are well-made. There are also clothes being sold in malls and vintage stores that look victorian enough for lolita fashion so that you could coordinate them well and be happy with what you get within reach.

Shopping on Multiply
dark blue flared skirt - front
a commissioned skirt. from OneFreeKiss.

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These days I’ve been busy crafting at home. I guess that’s because the weather is not friendly enough for going out and taking pictures. I am sad that I can’t bring out my cameras much these days. 😦 But now that I have a sewing machine at home, I am more inspired to try out sewing and as you can see, I already did that 😀 I sewed my first skirt using flocked cotton cloth.

Since last year, I’ve been chatting a lot with Oui and Jonette about Lolita fashion. I love talking about it with them because our ages aren’t too far apart. We’re also not exactly the small and petite kind of women so we have similar dilemmas when it comes to wearing Lolita fashion. Throughout those times, I’ve gotten really interested in sewing my own clothes. However, I just started learning how to sew with a sewing machine a couple of weeks ago so that’s not possible at the moment. Jonette has been sewing and has been influential in this hobby of mine. She has sewn some really cute skirts already and she even made a tricorn hat for a party she went to.

I was glad that Jonette agreed to make me super scarves (a funky one and a cute one), skirts (one inspired by the Regimental Stripes skirt of Victorian Maiden) and a petticoat. 🙂 I really believe in her crafting skills because she’s got a creative mind and hands that never seem to stop practicing. When we chat, she shares her ideas a lot. And she even taught me a way to sew a gathered skirt. (I thought I might mess it up so I did something simpler for my first skirt.) She’s also nice and is very generous in giving hints, as well sharing links via Plurk. I love the way she thinks: she doesn’t believe in being selfish about her knowledge and skills. And for me, that’s awesome.

Jonette has her own dreams and I want to support her as a friend, even if we mainly just talk online. She is a crafting buddy and a confidante and a source of inspiration.

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Before I forget, it’s Eiga Sai time. Too bad I haven’t been feeling well and Eiga Sai at the Shang has already started. Oh well. In any case, there are still some movies to be shown until August in CCP.

EIGA SAI JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL 2008
SCREENING SCHEDULE
in Shangri-La Plaza,
Cultural Center of the Philippines
and UP Film Institute, UP Diliman

Shangri-la Plaza
Eiga Sai 2008 Screening Schedule

July 8 (Tue)
7:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

July 9 (Wed)
2:00 PM
Hanging Garden

4:00 PM
Canary

6:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

8:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

July 10 (Thu)
2:00 PM
Hanging Garden

4:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

6:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

8:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

July 11 (Fri)
2:00 PM
Canary

4:00 PM
Hanging Garden

6:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

8:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

July 12 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

4:00 PM
Canary

6:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

8:00 PM
Hanging Garden

July 13 (Sun)
2:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

4:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

6:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

8:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

J-POP ANIME MATSURI
Eiga Sai 2008 Screening Schedule

July 26 (Sat)
4:00 PM
Chibi Maruko Chan (Movie)

6:00 PM
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

8:00 PM
Chibi Maruko Chan (Movie)

July 27 (Sun)
2:00 PM
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

5:00 PM
Chibi Maruko Chan (Movie)

8:00 PM
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
Eiga Sai 2008 Screening Schedule

Aug 7 (Thu)
2:00 PM
Canary

5:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

7:00 PM
Hanging Garden

Aug 8 (Fri)
2:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

5:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

7:00 PM
Canary

Aug 9 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

5:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

7:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

Aug 10 (Sun)
2:00 PM
Chibi Maruko Chan (Movie)

5:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

7:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

UP Film Institute, UP Diliman
Eiga Sai 2008 Screening Schedule

Aug 11 (Mon)
4:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

7:00 PM
Linda Linda Linda

Aug 12 (Tue)
4:00 PM
Juvenile Jungle

7:00 PM
Hanging Garden

Aug 13 (Wed)
4:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

7:00 PM
Canary

Aug 14 (Thu)
4:00 PM
Canary

7:00 PM
We Shall Overcome Someday

Aug 16 (Sat)
4:00 PM
Chibi Maruko Chan (Movie)

7:00 PM
A Stranger of Mine

This schedule was taken from the Philippine Art Scene blog. 🙂

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I like Japanese things: Pinky:St dolls, bento boxes, manga, craft magazines, etc. One of my friends and her friend has set up an online business for people like me. Though of course, I didn’t order Pinkies anymore because I have HLJ for that. As for magazines, I thought it would be great to try out their service. They already have my copy of the Gothic and Lolita Bible on hold and have yet to bug them about delivery costs if I go by Kokubin just to be sure because of the weight of the mook/magazine/book. If you’re getting curious, check out their blog on livejournal called Sashimi Deshou.

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I was in Mangaholix last night after meeting my friend Renee in Bo’s Coffee. (We fangirled over L’arc en Ciel before I checked out the cosplays and stuff inside the convention hall! Hah!) Even Rie (my Pinky) was fangirling before the con…

Rie and Natsumi with Renee's Hydepod

Anyhow, on to the pictures from Mangaholix. I only got pictures of people walking around and those who were having photo-ops with people using awesome DSLRs.

Jac Ting Lim was there! Asuka Picture 255 Picture 258

Rozen Maiden group shot Bleach group One Piece + Bleach group

Not that much pictures. In any case I must add that I loved a particular Lolita outfit:

Picture 268

I am not sure if her dress is branded but it looks it. Anyhow, I was too shy to ask. I just had to take her picture even if her headpiece was already off her head. I think the rose just made her look even prettier.

Other high points of the event: Urbandub had 4 songs. They played towards the announcement of winners. Awesome! I got the autographs of Lalay and Gabby of Urbandub. Ureshii~! I wish JM was there because he’s the one who enjoys their music than myself.

I’d like to cosplay again one of these days. Waah~! I had fun in Mangaholix and will love to go to another con one of these days. 🙂

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On reading

A friend and I met up earlier for coffee and we ended up talking about writing and literature in general. There’s this thing about writing and books that I end up talking with her about them.

Anyhow, there’s this issue with “Ibong Mandaragit” recently and I just learned about it from her and other blog entries I’ve read the other day. Some people seem to think that it’s high-brow literature, others don’t appreciate it, etc. I personally haven’t read the book but I could sense that there are several points of view that are not able to meet. I won’t try to make them meet though simply because I don’t think I have the authority to say how these points of view will meet.

From what I gather, Ibong Mandaragit is difficult to read. I am thinking that it’s because of the language. If you think about the language barrier, it becomes a big issue. And it’s not just because of the proliferation of txtspk (textspeak) and kolehiyala english. There really are changes in the Filipino language that would make other works aside from Ibong Mandaragit seem too hard and even archaic. A list of words and notes at the back of the book could help students understand the text better, IMHO. Moreso, a teacher who will guide his/her class through the text would be able to facilitate discussion and an exchange of perspectives with respect to context and history could clarify things.

Maybe it’s the method of teaching which should be modified in order to bridge the gap between the two generations: the present-day students’ and the writer’s. I recall the summer I had to read Beowulf for an English class. Our professor gave us history lessons in order to make us understand the background of the text. She also read aloud certain parts of the text and gave her commentaries and asked us questions too. It might not have been the most interesting class (and being so early did not help one bit) but I didn’t hate Beowulf despite the difficulty I had reading it. Oh and I also had other readings in Middle English which were painful to read so I could relate with what could be called nosebleed moments. The Noli and El Fili were also difficult to understand and I even had the experience to try and tutor someone in Filipino class because of that. I had to review El Filibusterismo and history because of that. It was difficult because the tutee was not well-versed in Filipino because he grew up speaking in English in school and at home. That didn’t mean that we gave up. It meant more effort. The problem is, as I see it, if we don’t help each other understand the text, what will happen? Nothing.

But I swear, language does matter. If we don’t understand the language of the text, or find a way to somehow read the text, we won’t be able to figure out the beauty within the text. Sadly, Filipino is not a strong point in our educational system. Our textbooks are in English and in my experience, my parents have been speaking to us in English even when we were kids and they were buying us a lot of books in English. As you can read, most of my reading experience is in English. Maybe that’s part of the reason I could relate with Connie’s frustration with reading the text.

Right now, I am thinking that the text is its own self. And sometimes our understanding or appreciation of it may reflect our own personal experiences and biases. Right now, I can’t say I’ve been reading a lot so maybe this argument is weak. But I miss reading and it hurts me a little to read blog entries and comments about what should be deemed is literary and how they should be appreciated. I also felt a little annoyed by calling Connie’s blog entry as anti-Filipino. I think that’s being too simplistic when she was writing in the context of her helping her daughter read the text. (Though I suppose she sounded too simplistic by voicing out her opinions about certain literary works.)

I don’t really read a lot of best-sellers or what could be called classics (in whatever language). Then again I haven’t been keeping track. But I’ve observed that my preference varies from time to time. I currently prefer chick lit and manga. And it doesn’t mean that I read the known titles. I might be reading what’s deemed as trash or maybe people have no opinion on the matter. I read for the sake of finding out what could suit my mood and give me something back. (Though one might argue that if you never really wanted to learn something from a book, you won’t find any.) Even what’s seen as trashy Filipino romances could have relevance if you give it a chance — probably 30 minutes to an hour of reading time. There’s no one stopping you from reading or from liking or hating certain texts. But what have you learned from reading? What did you have to learn in order to understand it?

It probably boils down to our perspective when reading. Maybe we should all sit down and think about that for a while.

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