Safe Haven

Personal Anecdotes - Random Literary and Prose - My Personal Blackhole. Literary heals a broken heart - - little by little, every single day.

1) Declining 5S culture in TIP
2) Declining cultural arts inclination of TIP students
3) Filipinos receiving global commendations
4) Impressing your professor
5) Alcoholism
6) Juvenile delinquency
7) Wayward students

Feature articles are write-ups that delve on a variety of issues, experiences, opinions and ideas. Its main purpose will vary depending on the media it is meant for. For example, as writers for the TIP Voice publication, our readers would come from the TIP community, particularly, our fellow students. Our main objective is to tackle topics or issues that will capture their interests or points of view.

It differs greatly from a straight news story in a manner that it explores more on an issue, gives depth to it and adds a certain ‘feel’ that the mentioned article type cannot provide.


1) Creativity – It is an important element that allows the writer to create a story virtually at will.

2) Subjectivity – This is when the writer injects his own thoughts and emotions.

3) Informative – It is constructive information of an aspect of life or situation that may escape coverage in hard news stories.

4) Entertainment – ‘color story’ aimed at capturing the mood of an event.

5) Imperishability – Its value does not diminish with time and rarely suffers from deadline pressure.


Correct spelling and appropriate usage of words are MUSTS in feature writing. It is important for a writer to have a ‘feel’ for words – an ability for choosing the right word to use in order to convey his intended meaning correctly. Too much usage of highfalutin terms, oftentimes, ruins your article, especially if your target readers are students. It is okay to use a few but overdoing it will only make you lose your audience.

Types of Features

Personality profiles: A personality profile is written to bring an audience closer to a person in or out of the news. Interviews and observations, as well as creative writing, are used to paint a vivid picture of the person. The CBC’s recent profile of Pierre Elliot Trudeau is a classic example of the genre and makes use of archival film footage, interviews, testimonials, and fair degree of editorializing by the voice-over commentary.

Human interest stories: A human interest story is written to show a subject’s oddity or its practical, emotional, or entertainment value.

Trend stories: A trend story examines people, things or organizations that are having an impact on society. Trend stories are popular because people are excited to read or hear about the latest fads.

In-depth stories: Through extensive research and interviews, in-depth stories provide a detailed account well beyond a basic news story or feature.

Backgrounders: A backgrounder--also called an analysis piec--adds meaning to current issues in the news by explaining them further. These articles bring an audience up-to-date, explaining how this country, this organization, this person happens to be where it is now.


Now that you know what a feature article is, how do you begin writing one?

1) Know your target audience. In this case, the TIP community serves as our main reader. Anything that you think will capture their interest or inspire them can be used as your main subject for a write-up. For example, the sudden surge of oil prices (as what happened in the first few months of the year) may be used as your topic for your article. Majority of the student population are commuters. They are also affected by the inflation of oil products and services because it might also cause the increase on their usual fare.

2) Timeliness. Since we have a limited audience (and space for that matter), it is important for writers to consider the timeliness of an issue. This refers to the appropriateness of a topic with respect to the period it will be published. A good example would be choosing to write about topics related to love or other matters connected to it for the February issue.

3) Choose a topic. The inspiration for a topic can be found almost everywhere. But since we are targeting the TIP population, it would be best to center on things that they are interested with.

4) Research well about your chosen topic. It is important for a good writer to have substantial records and information to use for his article. Facts establish the integrity and solidity of an article. These will also help you out to bring out the particular color or feel that you want to put in your article. Do not just rely on the topic you are going to make a write-up for. You may also gather data about other matters related to it. Interviews from different people significant to your topic will help you a lot as go about your article. It will give the readers a clear picture of what is going on in your article and help them establish your ideas in their minds.

5) Choose your angle. Topics for a feature article are usually broad. It would be better if you narrow it down to a certain point that is directly connected to your readers. In order to illustrate this, the subject on oil inflation can be further narrowed to its effects to the students. You may choose to interview a student who has a father driving a jeepney, taxi or bus.

6) Do not underestimate the power of an outline. After making a thorough research, sort out your facts. Arrange them according to their significance with respect to your angle. Organize your ideas. Do not sloppily place them on your article just to be able to pass a write-up. Poor organization of data leads to a bombardment of ideas.

7) Do not forget to indicate subheadings. Transition is an important factor to consider in feature writing. Subheadings help a writer to establish the smooth flow of ideas. These separate different concepts from each other.

8) Nail your point in your conclusion. Leave something for your readers to ponder on. You may end your article by using an interesting quote, connecting your conclusion to your lead or providing a future outcome that may be seen for your issue tackled.

Please visit for more details regarding the Blundell Technique.


Sometimes, some things are better left unsaid.

There are times when talking about your feelings is not the best thing to do. Though most people would advice that speaking your heart out is the best remedy, the truth is, even being honest with what you feel is not the best thing decision to make --
especially, when the people around you, particularly those you are expecting to give you comfort, are also hurting just like you.

Sa maraming pagkakataon, pinipili ko na lamang manahimik at hindi magbanggit ng anumang bagay na patungkol sa'yo dahil masakit talaga. Hindi naman kasi ganoon kadaling ibalik ang buhay mo sa dating takbo nito matapos mawala sa iyo ang isang tao.

Ipokrito lang ang magsasabing ayos lang siya kahit na alam niyang mahalaga ang taong nawala sa kanya. Plastic lang ang magsasabing hindi siya nasaktan -- kahit na alam niyang gusto pa niyang makasama ang taong iyon sa mga susunod na segundo, minuto, oras, buwan at taon ng buhay niya...

Madalas, tumatahimik lang ako lalo na sa mga pagkakataong naiiisip kita. Mas gusto kong sarilinin na lang ang mga panahong sumasaglit ka sa isip ko.
Palagi kasi nila akong sinasabihang emotera at walang ibang alam na emosyon kundi ang kalungkutan.

Marunong din naman akong maging masaya at tumawa, subalit, hindi sa ganitong pagkakataong gustong umiyak ng puso ko. Pakiramdam ko, kalahati ng pagkatao ko ang nawala simula nang umalis ka.
You complete me in so many ways, more than you could ever imagine.

Yet, though I fully acknowledge your role in this part of my life, unfortunately, the words would never find their way to you. Sometimes, I want to ask God if you have computer or LAN connections in heaven.

Hindi na ako nagsasalita. Hindi na ako kumikibo. Pero, ano naman ang gagawin ko kung ang mga tao sa paligid ko na ang pilit nagpapaalala sa akin ng lahat? Kung kahit pinipili ko nang hindi ka banggitin ay sila naman ang pilit naghahalungkat ng lahat kahit alam nilang nasasaktan ka sa ginagawa nila?

I wanted to scream, shout and tell them to get their heads off my life yet, for some reason, I do not possess the courage to do that. Paano ba nila maiintindihang ayoko nang ibalik ang nakaraan? Na katulad nila, gusto ko na ring bumangon mula sa pagkakalugmok upang ipagpatuloy ang buhay ko.

Akala nila, nakakatulong sa akin ang pag-uulit-ulit nila ng pangalan mo. Ang hindi nila alam, dahil sa ginagawa nila, mas lalo tuloy kitang hindi makalimutan.

Isa lang naman ang gusto kong mangyari sa mga oras na ito -- ang makatagpo ng isang taong pwede kong yakapin at iyakan. Isang taong pwede kong sabihin ang nararamdaman ko.

Nasasaktan kasi ako. Ang sakit-sakit na sa palagay ko, hindi naman nagagawang ibsan gaano man katagal o kabilis tumakbo ang panahon.

Time itself cannot lessen the pain. But, it helps you get used to it, until you finally get to learn how to live with it, bear with it and suffer without having to destroy yourself and your life.
Pero, sa mga oras na ito, wala akong makitang taong pwedeng kong masandalan at maiyakan. Ang mga taong madalas kong kasama ngayon ay marami ring mga problemang pinapasan.
Ayoko nang dumagdag pa sa dalahin nila.

Natatakot akong magsabi sa kanila dahil malamang, pagtatawanan lamang nila ako at hindi paniniwalaan... Sanay na kasi silang ganito ako. Ano bang bago?

Kahit umiyak pa ako ng dugo, wala na ring halaga iyon sa kanila.

Sana, kahit man lang sa panaginip, ay makita kita.

Please. Just this once.

(Raphaelle I.N.J.)


Cherry Ann A. Rubio
B.S. E.C.E., 5th year

The only joy in the world is to begin. -- Cesare Pavese

The first taste of absolute independence occurred to me on the 21st year of my existence.

It all happened out of necessity. Being new in the position, I had to cooperate with my fellow editors in editing the galley for our latest issue. Our meeting place was set in Bicutan.

The most convenient way to arrive at my destination was riding the LRT from our home. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be my first time to ride the LRT all ALONE, without even a friend to accompany me on the way.

With all the courage I have mustered, I tried to act unaffected despite the fact that I was scared and uneasy on my seat. The uncertainty of whether I would be able to arrive at my destination unscathed made me queasy. It was a good thing that somebody announces what station we will be in the next few minutes. If not, I would have to depend on my own instincts.

The same situation applies to the current situation of the Philippines. In a democratic country like ours, it is very ironic to talk about a kind of freedom whose essence cannot be completely felt.

Think about the proposed right of reply bill gagging the freedom of expression, extrajudicial killings of media men, attempts of changing the charter and masses striving to free themselves from the fangs of the monster called POVERTY.

Think about the influences imprinted by the colonizers on the minds of the Filipinos. Think about the volatile and vulnerable situation our economy is currently experiencing. Our economy is especially dependent on the outside forces that may either make or break it.

Relating this to my first experience of riding the LRT alone, beginners are usually scared of taking that first step forward. We are scared of making that first move towards complete liberty. If this country is truly democratic and allows each Filipino to freely exercise his or her rights, then there would be no people marching on the streets shouting to the top of their lungs in order for their voices to be heard. They have the right to peaceful assembly yet policemen treat them inhumanely.

There would be no Filipino chained by the shackles of poverty and ignorance, no stomachs grumbling of hunger or workers treated like slaves in their own country.

Oh well, enough of this ironic freedom talk. Perhaps, we need to wait for a few more years before the country reaches its true state of democracy.

* * *

First time voters are now feeling the pressure of selecting the right people to hold the seat of power. People from all walks of life are upholding the importance of using the right to suffrage. However, it is disheartening to know that it had to take many years before people came to realize the essence of placing a name on the ballot. It had to take a hundred mistakes, thousands of lives, and centuries of cultural, political and social decline before Filipinos decided to act, make a change and stand up for their rights.

With all the efforts extended by the media to protect the credibility of votes, let us just hope and pray that in the coming 2010 elections, we are able to choose the right candidate not on the basis of the number of hours or days that an advertisement of a political figure is shown on the screen, coercion from outside forces telling you whom you should put on your ballot, and endless promises from sweet-talkers. As individuals entitled to hold the future of this country, we must not let our choice be affected by other people to avoid regrets in decision-making.

I once regretted letting other people influence my vote. On my first attempt to practice this right, I had written a name said to be the least evil among other candidates. Now, as time progressed, the least evil turned out to be the worst evil that existed. If you want proof, try visiting our barangay sometime.

* * *

Despite the constant persuasion from my fellow staffers to join writing contests, I only gave in on the fourth time that I was asked to try.

The Blas Ople Essay Writing competition was my first attempt to join a writing contest in TIP. Eventhough I did not win the first prize, it was a learning experience for me.

To be honest, I had doubts pursuing my entry. Had I not considered the efforts we made to find the information needed to write about Sen. Ople, I would have backed out. The fact that we chose to go to the Department of Foreign Affairs library on Quiapo Day (there were no classes then) made me change my mind.

It was exactly on the day of the deadline that I started doing my draft for the contest. By 12:03 a.m. of January 27, I passed my work with fingers crossed (literally) and all hopes of being recognized gone into oblivion. I just need to give justice to the efforts we made.

“Hangga’t may oportunidad, sabak lang ng sabak. Subok lang ng subok. Hindi naman mahalagang manalo tayo. Ang mahalaga, sinubukan nating sumali at tayo mismo ang gumawa ng paraan para lumago ang kakayahan natin sa pagsusulat.”

These words boosted my morale even further. It was funny that it had to take a Conrado Macapulay, Jr. to convince me that winning was not the most important thing in the world. It is in your effort to do things that the impossible are made possible.

To the first editor who believed in my potential and who persuaded me to become the writer that I am today, I dedicate my first column to you.

But then again, you have finally succumbed to the pleas of Hypnos.

Sssh… Silence. You need to rest.

In pace requiescat.

Kanina, matapos ang isang oras nang nakaaantok kong klase sa kabila, bumalik ako sa aming luklukan upang mag-aral para sa pagsusulit ko bukas. (Nosebleed!) Hahaha!

Wala akong balak mag-senti pero ganun ang nangyari.

Habang kasalukuyan kong binabagtas ang daan patungo sa opisina, napasulyap ako sa kalangitan. Napansin ko ang dalawang bagay -- ang buwan at isang bituing tila nagmamasid sa kagandahan nito.

Hinihiram lamang ng buwan ang kanyang liwanag sa araw. Samantalang, ang bituin ay kayang magbigay-liwanag sa sariling pamamaraan nito.

Umiikot ang buwan sa mundo habang ang bituin nama'y umiikot sa walang partikular na patutunguhan. Palibot-libot lamang ito sa kawalan, sa paraang gusto nito nang walang inaalalang anumang bagay...

Napaisip tuloy ako. Tayong dalawa, parang tayong dalawa ang buwan at bituin.

Ikaw, nabubuhay ngayon dito sa mundo sa pamamagitan nang paghiram sa mga alaala ko. Ang bawat paghinga, pagtawa, pagkilos at buntunghininga -- tandang-tanda ko pa ang lahat ng mga iyon. At sa tuwing maaalala ko ang mga bagay na iyon, hindi ko mapigilan ang pagguhit ng sakit sa puso ko.

Oo, siguro nga, dapat nakalimot na ako. Pero, paano ko gagawin iyon kung lahat ng bagay at taong nakapaligid sa akin ay walang ginawa kundi ipaalala ka? Naalala kita sa bawat araw at buwang lumilipas sa buhay ko... At kahit pinipilit ko ang sarili kong manatiling manhid at walang pakiramdam sa mga pagkakataong bumabalik ka sa isip ko, hindi pa rin ako nagtatagumpay.

May mga araw na hinihiling kong sana, magkaroon na lang ako ng amnesia. It was said that there are only two things that can erase memories -- AMNESIA and DEATH.

And I know that I still have a long life ahead of me. I do not wish to live each second in misery and agony.

Sawang-sawa na akong umiyak. Subalit, ano ang magagawa ko kung iyon ang pinakamabisang lunas sa sakit na nararamdaman ko ngayon? May maibibigay ka bang gamot para maibsan ang lungkot ko dahil nahihirapan akong mabuhay nang wala ka?

Bakit mo ako iniwan? Alam kong isa akong bituing magagawang manatili sa mundo kahit wala ka. Hindi ko kailangan nang kahit sinumang masasandigan upang magpatuloy at maging masaya.

Pero, alam ko sa puso kong kasinungalingan iyon.

Dahil, kailangan kita.


Alam kong ayaw mong nalulungkot ang mga tao sa paligid mo. A yaw mong may umiiyak. Ayaw mong may nagdurusa.

Pero, masisisi mo ba ako kung kasalukuyan akong nahihirapang ipagpatuloy ang buhay ko dahil wala ka?

Sabi ko pa naman sa sarili ko, hindi ko kailangan ang kahit sinuman para mabuhay. Hindi ako aasa sa kahit sinuman para maging masaya.

Pero, binali mong lahat ang plano ko. Sinira mo ang mga bagay na matagal ko nang sinusunod at binibigyang-pansin.

Asan ka na ba? Naririnig mo ba ang mga dasal ko riyan sa langit?

Lord, please. Pakisabi sa kanyang mahal na mahal ko siya.

Bigyan mo po ako ng lakas na mabuhay kahit na wala na siya...

Idiosyncrasy -- a word used to describe an odd behavior or habit done by a person.

Una kong nakita ang salitang ito sa isang libro sinasagutan ko noong elementary pa lang ako (if I'm not mistaken, Grade 4 yata).

Isa sa mga idiosyncrasy ko simula pa noong bata ako ay ang palagiang pagbibitbit ng bag saanman ako pumunta. Madalas nga akong sitahin ng Mama ko dahil dahil daw para akong abnormal na laging may dalang bag kahit hindi naman papasok sa eskwelahan.

Sabi niya, ugaling matanda raw ang pinaiiral ko. Mahilig sa bagahe, pagtatabi ng mga abubot at mga bagay-bagay na ipinapalagay niyang 'basura.'

Marahil, sa mura kong edad, nagawa ko nang malaman kung ano ba talaga ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay. Gusto kong maging isang manlalakbay. Gusto kong makarating sa malayong mga lugar na tanging sa imahinasyon ko lamang maaabot.

Hindi magawang maintindihan ng Mama ko kung ano'ng klaseng ugali ba ang mayroon ako at kung ano ba ang mga dahilan ko sa paggawa ng iba't ibang bagay sa mundo.

Subalit ngayong unti-unti ko nang binabasag ang aking katahimikan, nagagawa niya nang maunawaan ang daan-daang nakatagong sakit sa aking puso at isipan.

(Masyado na 'ata akong nalalayo sa paksa ko.)

Mahilig akong lumibot sa bawat sulok ng aming bahay. Sa katunayan, nahihilo na nga ang mga magulang at kapatid ko sa kaiikot ko. Dinadaan-daanan ko sila na para bang walang ibang tao sa bahay namin kundi ako lang.

Naiinis din si Mama kapag ginagawa ko 'yun. Para raw akong siraulong ikot ng ikot at lakad ng lakad na wala namang patutunguhan.

Subalit, lingid sa kanyang kaalaman, maraming lugar na akong napupuntahan sa ginagawa kong paglilibot. Umaabot ako sa Parthenon, Europe, Greece, at ilang probinsya sa Pilipinas nang hindi nila namamalayan.

Ang paggamit ng imahinasyon ang tanging gamot ko upang makatakas sa kalungkutan ng aking mundo. At bagama't nais ko sanang may makausap upang matulungan akong tumakas sa bilangguan ng hinagpis, wala akong makitang taong mapagkakatiwalaan nang itinatagong sakit ng aking puso.

Akala ng marami, masaya ang aking kabataan. Madalas akong tumawa. Ngunit, sa likod ng matitinis kong halakhak, ay isang pusong lumuluha at humihiling na sana, sa paglalakbay ko sa ibang sulok ng mundo, matatagpuan ko ang isang taong tulad kong nahihirapan at nagdurusa...

Sana, matagpuan ko ang isang kaluluwang handang iabot ang kanyang kamay upang ilayo ako sa mapanglaw at mapanlinlang na mundong ito.

Sana, hindi ko kinakailangang itago ang laman ng puso ko at magpanggap na matatag sa kabila ng katotohanang nais nang bumigay ng pagkatao ko.

Hindi ako malakas. Hindi rin ako matatag.

Lalo na kung ang pinag-uusapan ay walang iba kundi -- IKAW.

One lonely soul. Naaalala kong minsan, isang gabi, hindi ako makatulog at pinili ko na lamang magsulat upang maibsan ang kalungkutang nadarama ko. Sa isang sulok ng madilim kong kwarto, naglalakbay ang aking diwa sa isang malayong pook; isang lugar kung saan makatatagpo ako ng isang kaluluwang tulad kong nalulunod sa kalungkutan.

Gusto kong tumungo sa lugar na iyon upang kahit papaano'y mabawasan ang bilang ng mga taong tumatangis at nahihirapan ng tahimik. Bilang isang taong dumaraan sa ganoong uri ng sakit, alam kong hindi madaling dalhin ang isang bagay nang nag-iisa. Kailangan natin ng kasama.

My idiosyncrasy seemed to be the only way for me to escape this precarious and pretentious world.

Many people would reach out their hand to you and try to comfort you. Some would even profess their love for you or even promise an eternity with you.

But then, promises, often, are meant to be broken.

And not ALL  people who tell you they LOVE YOU truly mean it.

I have met many people who promised to be with me to love me. I have met some who have said they value my friendship and time. But most of these people tend to stay by my side because they can benefit from me.

Kailan kaya ako makararating sa pinapangarap kong sulok ng mundong iyon? Kailan kaya ako makararating doon upang mahanap ka?

I hope, it doesn't have to take a lifetime to search for you.

"Sa dinami-rami ng mga pangalang isinulat ko sa papel, ikaw lang ang bukod-tanging isinulat ko sa puso ko. "

Pero, mali ako. Dahil hindi lang kita basta isinulat sa puso ko. Iniukit ko ang bawat isang letra na tila ba isa ka sa mga taong bagama't dapat ko nang burahin ay hindi ko na magagawa pa. Nakaukilkil ang bawat titik sa aking puso sa pinakamariin at malalim na paraan.

Hindi ko maintindihan ang sarili ko. Alam kong mali ang ginagawa ko pero para sa akin, tama ito. Sabi nila, ang pinakamabisang paraan upang makapagsimula nang panibago sa buhay ay ang talikuran ang mga alaala. Ngunit, papaano ko magagawa iyon kung ang buhay ay walang iba kundi IKAW? May silbi pa ba ang pagbabago kung hindi rin lang naman kita kasama?

Siguro, kung maririnig mo ang mga sentimyentong ito ng puso ko, wala kang ibang gagawin kundi ang pagtawanan ako. Ang cheesy kasi, eh! Pero, wala na akong magagawa dahil ito ang totoong laman ng puso ko sa mga oras na ito. Maging hanggang bukas, sa susunod na araw o maging sa mga darating pang araw na hindi ko na mabilang.

Namimiss na talaga kita. Tuwing umaga, kapag papasok ako sa eskwelahan, hindi ko mapigil ang sarili kong maisip kita. Hindi maaaring kahit sansaglit ay hindi ka sasagi sa isip ko. Pero, wala akong pinahihirapan kundi ang sarili ko...

Dapat na kitang kalimutan pero paano ko gagawin iyon?

Para akong mamamatay kung tuluyan kitang kalilimutan...

Can Love Really Kill or Is it Too Much Love? (Updated)

Do you believe that too much love can kill you? Or is there such thing as too much love? Do you remember this post?

Well, a lot of those who commented said they like the shirt's design. So I'm giving away shirts! But of course, it's not as easy as just throwing it away to you guys. hehe. You have to do a little work to get it. Yes, this is a contest and I am inviting you to join.


Monz Avenue has now reached its 8th month in the blogosphere! Thanks to you.

As my way of showing gratitude for the continued support that you have shown to me and to my blog, I am running a contest. Oo na, gaya-gaya na ako. Peru eto uso ngayon eh. Hahlols. ^_^

I Need Sponsors!

Be a sponsor. Just leave a comment or send me an email at

So far, the Sponsors are:
* Chad of who offers cash through Paypal
* Rhona of who offers cash through Paypal
* Reesie of who offers cash through Paypal
* Jehzeel of who offers cash through Paypal
* Jerick of who offers ad space at his site
* Bogcess of who offers cash through Paypal
* Mars of who offers cash through Paypal
* Winkie of who offers cash/E-load
* Cris of who offers cash/E-load

(Ulit lang.)

Benefits of being a sponsor to this contest:
* You will own an AD space in the sidebar of this blog.
* The participants of the contest will include a link in their entry-posts to your respective blogs.
* One T-shirt for each cash sponsor.

To be a sponsor, you can donate cash through Paypal. Cash must be at least $8. You can also offer ad space. However ad space must be at least 120 x 150 pixels, a space good enough for small icons or small banner.

Terms and Conditions for the Sponsorship:
* For sponsors who would donate at least $8 to $12 cash through Paypal or Credit Card, in return, you will receive one T-shirt (size of your choice) and a 150 x 120 ad space in my sidebar (or as big as that OrphicPixel image in the sidebar) until December 2009.

* For sponsors who would donate cash ranging from $13 to $20, in return, you will receive one T-shirt and a 150 x 120 ad space in my side bar
(or as big as that OrphicPixel image in the sidebar) for one-whole year. (From July 2009 to July 2010)

* For sponsors who would donate $21 and above, in return, you will receive two T-shirts and a permanent 150 x 240 ad space (banner) in the sidebar.

* E-loads or Philippine cash is also accepted (at least Php 300). Please contact me for further info.

The mechanics:
• Make a post about love, too much love, unrequited love, unconditional love and any kind of love that you could think of.
• Put this shirt design image (see above picture) anywhere on your post. The shirt image must have a link towards my blog. Note: Failure to do so disqualifies your entry.
* Include the links of the sponsors in your entry/post.

Should you wish to join, first, please go to this link and vote for this T-shirt design. Click here. Actually, this is optional but I'd appreciate it so much if you'll register to that site and vote for this T-shirt design.

Please join me celebrate by joining the contest. I'd appreciate it.

Join now! I can only accommodate 10 participants. So hurry!

Criteria for judging:
* Number of comments on your entry/post.
* Number of incoming links from your blog to my blog through that T-shirt image in your blog post. Let me know if this is not clear.
* Number of votes: I will put up a poll in the sidebar with the names of the participants after the 10 is completed.

Prizes (Tentative):
* All 10 participants will receive a shirt.
* $15 for the Ultimate Winner.
* $8 for the Voters Choice Awardee
* $8 for the Most Commented Poster

* I reserve the rights to change or increase the prizes. This information is still subject to change until July 20.
* Deadline of submission of entries is on August 3, 2009. The contest will close on August 7, 2009 and winners will also be announced on the same day.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4

June 27, 2009

(Ang likha kong ito ay para sa pinakagwapo, pinakamabait at pinakamaalalahanin kong anghel na kasalukuyang ipinagdiriwang ang sana'y ika-21 niyang kaarawan ngayon. Kung nasaan ka man ngayon, tandaan mong mahal kita...)

"There's never a wish better than this,
When you only got 100 years to live."

Hindi na mahalaga ang oras para sa akin ngayon. Basta ang alam ko, humihinga ako, nakalalakad at tumitibok ang puso hindi para sa kaninuman -- maliban sa sarili ko. Napapagod na ako.

Bagama't pinipilit kong pagalin ang sarili ko sa pagganap sa mga responsibilidad ko, dumarating ang mga oras na inaakala ko sanang madalian kong paghimlay tungo sa mundo ng panaginip ay nahahalinhan ng ilang minuto nang pagluha.

Hindi kita makalimutan. Oo, alam kong apat na buwan at dalawampu't tatlong araw na ang lumilipas simula nang mawala ka. At marahil, kung nagawan kong malaman ang eksaktong oras kung kailan mo kami iniwan, pati iyon ay isasama ko sa pagbibilang. Apat na buwan at dalawampu't tatlong araw -- ganito katagal na palang nalulunod ang puso ko sa kalungkutan.
Tinutupad ko ang mga ipinangako ko. At isa lang ang tinitiyak ko sa'yo -- hindi ko ito ginagawa dahil sa napipilitan ako. Ginagawa ko ito dahil gusto ko at ginagampanan ko ang aking tungkulin nang may buong pagmamahal, pag-iingat at pagpapahalaga. Marahil, nagsisilbi kang inspirasyon upang mas pagbutihin ko ang aking tungkulin. Ngunit, kung narito ka lang sana sa tabi ko, marahil, magagawa mo akong gabayan at tulungan lalo na sa mga panahong nagkakaroon ako nang pag-aalinlangan at pangamba.

Nanganga pa ako. Alam kong baguhan lamang ako, subalit, nais kong ibigay ang isandaan, hindi, dalawang daan g porsyento ng aking sarili upang hubugin sila. amraming bagay ang nagbago simula nang mawala ka. Ngayon, natagpuan ko ang sarili ko sa pagitan ng mga alalala ng nakaraan at kasalukuyan. Natatakot akong humakbang pasulong pa... Ayokong kalimutan ka.

Minsan, iniisip kong baka nagpapahiwatig na ang Diyos na malapit na tayong magkasama. Minsan, kahit ako ay nahuhuli ko ang sarili kong parang nagpapaalam sa iba. Kanina nga lang, niloko ako ni Mama na patay na raw ako nang sinusubukan kong matulog. Paano kung isang araw, matulog ako at hindi na magising pa?

Ano ba ang naramdaman mo sa biglaan mong pagkawala? Natakot ka ba? Umiyak ka ba? Nasaktan ka ba?

Ayokong makita ang reaksyon mo nang makita mo kaming umiiyak para sa'yo. Kung pwede sana kapag naulit sa akin ang nangyari sa'yo, gugustuhin kong dagliang mabura ang alaala ko. Ayokong ako ang maging dahilan ng luha at sakit na mararamdaman ng mga mahala ko.

Malapit na ba? Sa totoo lang, wala talaga akong ideya. Basta ang alam ko, sa mga oras na inaakala kong huling hininga ko na, magigising akong muli sa isa pang panibagong araw.

Maligayang kaarawan sa'yo. Patawarin mo ako kung hindi kita nagawang dalawin ngayon...

(Raphaelle I. N. J.)

May 15, 2009

Love is a salve as the summer breeze,
gently cooling, softly whispers to ease.
A moment's battle, an hour's struggle,
All vanish in a mother's cuddle.

I hear mother's whisper caressing me tender,
The warmth in her bosom providing shelter.
Lull me to slumber, hold me forever,
In a world of deception, confusion and terror.

-- Minsan, dumarating sa buhay natin ang mga panahong sana ay maaari pa tayong bumalik sa sinapupunan ng ating ina. Sa kanyang sinapupunan, mararamdaman natin ang pagkalinga at proteksyong walang kasing init at hindi napaparam.

Kung sana, pwede lang tayong maging mga sanggol habambuhay... Ngunit, kung mangyayari iyon, sino naman ang mag-aalaga sa ating magulang kapag sila ay tumanda? Pipiliin ba nating maging palaasa at humihingi ng tulong sa iba? Hindi ba sila magsasawang alagaan tayo habambuhay?

Dapat matuto rin tayong tanggapin ang mga pagbabago. Kaya nga tumatanda ang tao. Kaya nga nagkakaisip at gumagawa ng mga sariling desisyon.

Ayokong umasa habambuhay sa mga magulang ko.

(Binuo noong Mayo 15, 2009 habang tahimik na nakaupo malapit sa labasan ng eskwelahan. Kasalukuyan namin noong hinihintay ang pagdating ng isa naming opisyal bilang pagtupad sa obligasyon namin sa publikasyon.)

A soft breeze blows through the trees,
As they silently witness my flowing tears.
When all of a sudden, tiny creatures with wings,
Caught my eyes as they move in such magical gleam.

I heard Mama's voice softly calling my name,
Such gentleness slowly healing this immense pain.
"Child, listen. Fireflies are the closest resemblance to the stars,
Hold them closely and they'll give such glow and warmth.
For spirits, like stars, watch over us every night,
Seeing them needed not the eyes but the heart."

I felt the cool touch of the wind on my skin caressing light,
Mother, is that you hugging me tight?

--Children are the best inspiration I have for making literary works. Nagkataon lang na isang araw, habang nagmumuni-muni, naramdaman ko ang hinagpis ng isang batang nawalan ng ina. At naidugtong ko ito sa isang senaryo kung saan nasa isang malawak na parang ang bata isang gabi at nanunuod ng mga alitaptap.

Matagal ko ng gustong makakita ng mga alitaptap. Sana, makakita rin ako nun... Kahit minsan lang. =)

-- Ito ay sinipi ko mula sa isang kapwa blogger na si Nhel Bryan ng

Editors Nikki Alfar and Vin Simbulan are now accepting submissions of short fiction pieces for consideration for the anthology "PHILIPPINE SPECULATIVE FICTION V".

Speculative fiction is the literature of wonder that spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror and magic realism or falls into the cracks in-between.

1. Only works of speculative fiction will be considered for publication. As works of the imagination, the theme is open and free.

2. Stories must cater to an adult sensibility. However, if you have a Young Adult story that is particularly well-written, send it in.

3. Stories must be written in English.

4. Stories must be authored by Filipinos or those of Philippine ancestry.

5. Preference will be given to original unpublished stories, but previously published stories will also be considered. In the case of previously published material, kindly include the title of the publishing entity and the publication date. Kindly state also in your cover letter that you have the permission, if necessary, from the original publishing entity to republish your work.

6. First time authors are welcome to submit. In the first four volumes, we had a good mix of established and new authors. Good stories trump literary credentials anytime.

7. No multiple submissions. Each author may submit only one story for consideration.

8. Each story’s word count must be no fewer than 1,500 words and no more than 7,500 words.

9. All submissions must be in Rich Text Format (.rtf – save the document as .rft on your word processor) and attached to an email to this address: Submissions received in any other format will be deleted, unread.

10. The subject of your email must read: PSF5 Submission: (title) (word count); where (title) is replaced by the title of your short story, without the parentheses, and (word count) is the word count of your story, without the parentheses. For example – PSF5 Submission: Meeting Makiling 4500.

11. All submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter that includes your name, brief bio, contact information, previous publications (if any). Introduce yourself.

12. Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2009. After that date, final choices will be made and letters of acceptance or regret sent out via email. Target publishing date is February 2010.

14. Compensation for selected stories will be 2 contributor’s copies of the published anthology as well as a share in aggregrate royalties.

Kindly help spread the word. Feel free to cut and paste or link to this on your blogs or e-groups.


Nikki Alfar

Vin Simbulan


--Nais ko pong humingi ng paumanhin kay G. Nhel Bryan. Nagkamali po ang pangalang nailagay ko sa una kong post nito.

The Road to Greatness

Survivor. Achiever. Great Mentor.

To many, he was one of those politicians who kept the ball rolling for the country. Author of the Labor Code, made possible the way for the country’s close ties with the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and presided over the 60th General Assembly of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, indeed Blas Fajardo Ople Jr. had proven to all that the once poor boy of Hagonoy, Bulacan would find his way to greatness despite the hardships he encountered in life.

Who would have thought that the once young boy, who sneaked frequently in their backyard to read his books, would grow up to be the government’s most enduring statesman making his way gracefully through the Magsaysay to Arroyo regime? Who is Blas Ople behind the endeavors he had received?

When asked about his secret formula for success, he simply replied – hardwork. True enough, Blas was inspired by the very example of his father who was a humble boat-repair man. This he showed through his exemplary work as the labor secretary of former president Marcos and foreign secretary of the Ramos administration.

“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction," according to Charles Kendall Adams. To go beyond everyone’s expectations was what the former senator and Senate President lived up to. He continued his goal of giving quality public service to the people.

At a young age, he had manifested advanced mental aptitude. Though he often transferred to different public schools in his town due to poverty, he still managed to graduate as the valedictorian of their class. The war had also intervened with the smooth flow of his life and education. In spite of all of these, his classmates still found him to be different from the rest of them.

Gabriel Morales, Ople’s childhood friend would fondly recall an incident where his buddy chose to save his ‘treasure’ despite the chaos filling their town during the war. While everybody ran in order to save their lives, he went behind and carried his heavy burden which was his books.

“My books were as precious as my life,” the former foreign minister would say. Knowledge is power, this he proved true. He was a college dropout yet local officials such as Carlos P. Romulo and former president Marcos valued his opinions and advices.

In a letter to Ople in September 1983 by Romulo, the once United Nations General Secretary, “You have risen to where you are now without the academic training that all of us had undergone. You have made up your excessive training which is shown in your speeches and the extemporaneous discussions in the Cabinet. I put all this on record for whatever future use you may make when your services are required for leadership in our country.”

One must never really let his schooling interfere with his education as Adam Smith quoted. Most of Blas’ intelligence and smart decision-making can be rooted to the many experiences he encountered after going out of the four corners of the classroom. He first worked as a stevedore then a desk man for the Daily Mirror before finally becoming a columnist for the said newspaper.

I had my own failures and I can no longer boast of my transcript of records as the evidence of my mental aptitude. But, as the former senator made me discover, I can also be a self-made person relying not much on the content of my textbooks and researches as my guide to achievement. He was nobody to me when I was still in high school. Yet, the more I read about him, the more I saw the similarities we had in life.

I am also a transferee. Although, I can no longer attain that cum laude title, I still believe that the institution I am in now is not the only venue where success can be found. Opportunity knocks when you least expect it. It finds you even if you are afraid to see it.

A self-made man – this is Ka Blas. Imelda Marcos always told in her interviews that the said senator had no one but himself to thank for his prolonged stay in the government post. His sincerity and devotion to his work was overwhelming. Integrity and dedication – these marked Ople’s character. The fact that he was chosen to become a member of the drafters of the 1986 Constitution showed how even former president Aquino expressed great confidence in him.

It is truly difficult that a man despite having all the power and fame in the world would choose to remain as the man he was before without the glory and the honor. Ople was one of the few officials, who were never charged of malfeasance or misfeasance. Power is intoxicating yet this Bulakenyo never thought of becoming one of those traditional politicians.

“A public servant in a democratic society must learn to take criticism in stride. Throughout a long public life, however, I have found that much of the personal criticism of a public servant is rooted in peer envy and jealousy, as though they have to avenge their own failures and frustrations on a more successful colleague. In such cases, it is right to ignore the critics and let them stew in their own poisoned juices of envy and jealousy,” Ople remarked. And this message does not only apply to politics but to every situation we Filipinos have. We, due to our envy and discord, tend to pull down our fellow countrymen when they have reached the top thinking that ruining their reputation would make us greater than them. However, we must remember that destroying other people does not make us rise above them. It only makes us smaller and unworthy of other people’s respect.

An influential figure – the mere fact that Ople succeeded in having descendants who would propagate his principles and ideals made evident his ability to make people see his vision. This is my first time to know him better. And whether I would live up to be like him or not still remains to be seen. Yet, the truth that he had influenced my life in his own little way cannot be disregarded. He had taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life – to remain firm and strong for your ideals despite the fact that you are tested beyond your limits.

Blas Ople’s greatness continues. Not even the fangs of death can surmount an unconquerable soul.

-- And so does Conrado Macapulay's legacy, too.

Posted by: Raphaelle (I.N.J.)

I offer my silence to you.

You will always be remembered.

We love you.

Sweet dreams, my beloved EIC!

Conrado Abrugar Macapulay, Jr.

(June 27, 1988-February 16, 2009)

In pace requiescat.


January 26 was a very memorable day for me. My teacher in Communications 2 gave as an examination that we should answer in one hour. Here is the question:

Using the U.S. standard for digital transmission, follow the encoding and decoding stages of the signal defined as V(t)=100sin *(omega)ct + 8 sin 3*(omega)ct with the frequency of 30 MHz, using the minimum Nyquist sampling rate Fs-(19/Fs) with step size of ADC or DAC given as 2.4 *(micro)V

(O 'yung mga ECE d'yan pati mga hindi ko kapwa ECE, sabay-sabay tayong dumugo ang ilong!☻)

I looked closely at the white board wondering if my eyes were fooling me or not. Holy Guacamole! What does he mean? It took me some minutes before I completely deciphered what he was asking us.

I tossed and turned on my seat and creased my forehead deeply trying to figure out a way of solving the problem. But the question was, what are we supposed to look for anyway???

Then suddenly, a brilliant idea came into my mind!

This is digital transmission and ideally, we should be converting a signal already in the digital form. However, we were given an analog signal. Therefore, we were left clueless on how to start answering the problem!

And since I can no longer think of a wonderful idea, I decided on commenting about the exam. Read the following lines carefully:

"Wala naman pong U.S. standard, eh. U.S.-Japan po at 'yun ay ang A-law." (Ok, so I admit that I was wrong about that! It should have been *(mu)-Law! Stupid me! And I had the guts to comment about it! (*_*))

I also added, "Sir, hindi 'to pwedeng i-transmit! Digital transmission nga, 'di ba? Bakit po analog signal ang ibinigay n'yo??? (-_-)**

Well, to be honest, I didn't mean to sound rude at that time. Like a curious child, I just wanted to know some things. But since my teacher doesn't know me well, I think he misunderstood my point why I wrote about the said observations.

The next day, January 27, I spotted him in front of the EE/ECE department together with my previous teacher last semester.

He told me he read my comment and tried to clarify some issues. Well, I just laughed it off thinking that it was ok for him. He was even smiling at that time. Naive me never thought that he was somehow irritated with me because I never really had any bad intention about my doing.

It was last Wednesday of January 28 that I received my test paper. He placed a comment there saying,

"Ineng, ganito kasi 'yan! Pumasok ka on-time para alam ang gagawin1 Simple lang 'yan, hindi mo lang naisip! Ok."
Love lots,
Bernie =)

He even told the class about my doing. Anyway, he also explained the solution to the said examination. It seemed quite simple but if you are not the bookish type, you may have difficulty understanding some of the terms which he mentioned during the discussion.

I thought that was the end of it. I was laughing inside the classroom because of my dirty little deed. But, to reiterate what I have said, I never really had any evil motive in mind regarding my doing. I just wanted to clarify some things because I was puzzled.

It was when I went to our office in Casal that I learned he was quite frustrated in me. He said that if you are a Voice staffer, then just continue being a Voice staffer.

Well, maybe I was being negligent with my studies. But TIP Voice is not the ONLY reason for my negligence. It was better if he said that I was not studying because I lost interest in it. But mentioning Voice in the middle of a situation you hardly know?? My God! Why do people keep blaming Voice for my shortcomings???

I am so fed up with people, including my parents and colleagues who keep telling me I should leave the ONLY THING THAT GIVES MEANING TO MY EXISTENCE BECAUSE IT IS USELESS TO PURSUE IT. Why can't they just let me be? Don't they really want to see me happy?

--Jesus, I completely put my faith in you. (I.N.J.)

*Sorry, I do not know how to put special characters in my blog so I opted to write the Greek name instead.

Who Am I

By Casting Crowns

Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wondering heart.

Not because of who I am.
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done.
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord you catch me when I'm falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again
Who am I?
That the voice that calm the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

Not because of who I am.
But because what of youve done.
Not because of what I've done.
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord you catch me when I'm falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.

Not because of who I am.
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done.
But because of who you are.

>> There were a lot of things that happened in my life. I stumbled, fell, lost hope, found desperation and sought for salvation. I have found the missing piece in me and have resolved the darkest, labyrinthine questions in my mind. I almost reached the zenith of my aspirations, but, God decided that I must be humbled. From the coveted place that I have long wanted, I was pulled down by the Lord so that I might be able to see the suffering of the oppressed and the lonely. What I have considered to be a time of darkness and sorrow turned out to be a moment of enlightening and hope. He has found me. And now, I know he will never let go of me. I put my whole trust in Him alone. In Him alone.

About Me

My photo
++ literary emo ++ lover of Apollo ++ MISANTHROPIST ++ certified INTROVERT! ++ writer ++ lover of letters ++ lunatic ++ descendant of Thanatos ++ rival of Nyx ++ archenemy of Hypnos ++ reader between the lines ++ fantasizes of visiting the Louvre Museum someday ++ wishes to defeat Marco Polo's record on circumnavigation ++ daydream traveler ++ gothic muse ++ dark angel ++ mental succubus ++ walang pakialam sa mundo (maliban sa mga taong importante sa akin)++ HATER OF PRETENSION ++ artistic ++ autistic ++ may sariling mundo ++ creator of her universe ++ loyal

On Raphaelle's Wings

RAPHAEL is one of the seven guardian angels who protect mankind and follow God's plans.

While some people believe that he was the angel meant to give luck to cockfighters and betters, Raphael was actually there to guide and heal the brokenhearted.

Thus, Raphael meant "God heals."

This is my corner amongst the sea of many identities and characters.

This blog contains the many thoughts, questions and ponderings that my mind held for so long.

So, sit back, relax and prepare to take a flight.

Let Raphaelle's (my female persona) wings take you on a journey beyond compare, to a faraway land you sought to conquer, touch, see and hold.

Chinggayan Corner!

Lovers of the Misanthropist

Proud to be One!

Search This Blog

Venerators of the Fallen

Come One, Come All! Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!

free counters