Either I've been spending too much time online, or Halloween has become such a big deal here.
"It has always been for a lot of us," newly-liberated Dee
told me. "Always dreamed of going trick or treating as a kid. We're becoming more Westernized."
Perhaps. But I don't remember this happening when I was a kid. Is it because we're all grown up now, and we live such hectic lives, and we need to destress by wearing costumes, putting on make-up and acting like we're completely different people?
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Since when did all of you care about bullying?
Yes, I am being cynical. And yes, perhaps, I'm operating on another bout of self-pity. But really now. Since when did all of you care about bullying?
Lately that has been a buzzword of sorts. And I'm not just talking about all of those news stories from the United States, about a bunch of suicides from people who have been bullied by their peers. You know, those stories that try a little harder to get something inspiring out of something as sad as death. Oh, it's sad he had to commit suicide. He's actually such a nice person.
I'm also thinking of all the talk about bullying here in the Philippines - of a bill, filed by a senator whose name slips me, aiming to squash bullying in Filipino schools once and for all. Or all of those reports in the media, advising parents about what to do if they think their children is being targeted by bullies in school. If your child's grades are flagging, and he's getting more anxious about going to school, be worried,
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So, you've probably (emphasis on probably) read my last blog entry
about my trip to the mall. You know, that trip where I spent a good chunk of my time getting frustrated at the lack of things I could buy, and a bigger chunk of time waiting for my brother to finish replenishing his social life quota.
I absolutely ran out of things to do at around three in the afternoon, so I decided to just hang out at the CBTL
branch nearby. It was a weekend, so I had a hard time getting a seat, but I ended up taking one of those lounge-y cushioned seats for myself and my newly-bought magazine. One large order of their double-chocolate drink later, I was settled in.
The cashier, by the way, was cute. Yes, I am going there.
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I was at the mall yesterday, at the record store, feeling very frustrated, as always. On the new releases shelf: earworm-inducing tween pop, generic American pop-punk, and acoustic covers of songs. Oh, and since it's almost Christmas, we get "party mixes" featuring this year's hits lovingly sequences with Jingle Bells
. Considering my love for British indie rock and not-so-quirky female vocals, it just does not cut it.
It's hard to be a self-respecting music fan nowadays. I know, that line sounds pretentious, maybe completely dismissive of the fact that Justin Bieber
runs the world - I wouldn't complain if she fits my not-so-quirky female vocal idea - but think about it. If you want to listen to music that's more challenging than the faux-dubstep, faux-urban pop that permeates the airwaves today, then you're not in luck. Sure, they also stock Arcade Fire
(because their Grammy
win forced them to), but it's just one stripped-down copy against the rows of shelf space devoted to suddenly-popular but still-shitty All Time Low
. And don't get me started on Korean pop, which should be good on its own, but is owning too much space considering their fans are only a screaming minority.
So, if you want to listen to something else, you end up downloading illegally. I'll admit, I've done my fair share, too. But I love listening to the Manic Street Preachers
, and I have not seen their last three CDs in stores here in the Philippines. And All Time Low, despite their popularity here, will never be as good. (Disclaimer: I'm not ripping those boys apart - my two siblings are big fans - but my sister will readily admit that they're generic American pop-punk.) And any amount of praying that the record stores here will open their eyes and realize that there's a bunch of disenfranchised people who love their music and are willing to pay for them will do you no good.
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Over the weekend my dad and I returned to the cemetery, to light a few candles for my late grandmother, and to give our new pet dog - a month-old Lab, whose entry I didn't know until it actually happened - a chance to walk in some actual grass. The trip was a bit hastily-assembled, because when we got there we realized we forgot to bring seats and refreshments for the three of us. We ended up winging it for two hours: no water, lots of wind.
And since there's no use for sitting around - oh, and there's the dog, who my mom named after Rafael Nadal
- I had to walk around the cemetery. Well, memorial park, to be more specific, and to make your mental imagery less creepy. You don't get monuments squeezed in as little space as humanly possible; you get grass interrupted by tombstones. Or tomb tablets, whatever. And when you get tired of walking around just to get your pet dog to follow you, you read all that's written in those tablets.
The clan had this little conversation a week after my grandmother died, about what we would put on the tombstone. We ended up with a Bible verse (that refers to a "him", but I'm sure it can be interpreted, if not rewritten, otherwise - I'm no fundamentalist) but the running joke was this plan to have one of my grandmother's more memorable statements written down there. It was said, apparently, during a visit to my grandfather's hometown in Ilocos, when she was looking at the flowers there, and noticed that they look more vibrant than the ones here.
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