That's what she said

Thursday, March 31, 2005
6:23 PM

Excellence


i'm such an 80s whore. :D "Ohh.. we're livin' on a prayer!"

finished our eval last tuesday, passed it yesterday.
finished our ad campaign yesterday, passing it on saturday.
finishing my j103 analysis right now.

summer is so close!!!

i'm so excited.

i'm YMing with my blockmate she. I so miss them, and how with them, life is infinitely much simpler. I miss hanging out at Rob Place with them and boy- hunting. During those days, my taste for BOYS was definitely much, well, juvenile.

romance was so abstract back them. its joys could only be compared to the joys of eating ice cream during july. (redundant yet still great) two years later, i'm here and i feel like i've grown ten years.

sometimes i actually have to exert effort to be carefree. how ironic can you get? i am so lame!

and just when i noticed that, hey! i want to be a kid some more, circumstances prod me towards the opposite direction. no i can't act high school any more. i have to graduate. i have to work. i have to earn money. and i have to fulfill the expectations i and others have of myself.

which is: do everything with excellence.

this is such a beautiful thing to ask of oneself actually. the moment you choose to do something, do it with excellence. mediocrity is ugly. failure is even worse.

see here, no one can force you to do someting you don't want to. so the moment you get into something, you have to do it in the best way possible. you owe it to yourself.

but then of course, you have the option to define/redefine what you think is excellence.

---

still, i want to be a kid. everyone knows that i had the option to graduate on time. but i chose to get delayed a bit. i felt that i "deserved" this extension. do i?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005
11:40 AM

finally got around the firewall ate racqs put up against friendster. :) wala lang. would just like to update because i need that extra time to talk to myself.

so much has happened over the past week or so. not really outside me, but more within me. many thoughts have passed my mind and transformed the way i think about myself and other things.

anyway, here's a rundown of my remaining academic requirements:

J103- final paper and finals both on the 29th of March
J122- closed!
J151- ad campaign and presentation on the 2nd of April
J152- evaluation of the Sun Cellular PR plan
J200- konti na lang!!!

haha. i've chosen not to rush my thesis in time for the end of this sem. what for anyway? i'm not marching this april. i'd rather take my own sweet time and relish the production of mi ultimo adios. i want it well written and logical. and most of all, i want to be able to look back ten years from now and not cringe!

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005
4:00 AM

finally, some privacy to write.

my family likes to peer over my shoulder sometimes, which i don't really appreciate. but what the heck! if it's brought about by close familial ties then it musn't be that bad, ait?

my sister's now okay. she's happier than ever, which is really a pleasant surprise. she's learned how to laugh at herself and her illness and the big bandage on the bottom right part of her tummy. watching her go about her day is such an amazing experience. it shows how wise she is, wise beyond her nine years.

***

almost all of my friends are going on their final stretch, and facing and anticipating the shift to the "real life". good luck, kids. describe it to me when you get there.

?!? I do feel reality stalking my bohemian lifestyle (what bohemian lifestyle?), but not as much as the other seniors do. I won't be finished this semester because I'll be taking my last wo subjects this summer. (STS and a Polsci elective)

My greatest apprehension: Not landing a good job. Although i've brainwashed myself into settling for a call center job if worse comes to worst, i'd still want a media related job just to tell myself that 4 years in college weren't wasted.

My greatest fear, carrer wise: That employers would discriminate against a 19 year old professional wannabe. Yep, i am graduating at 19. And i bet that whereas in the past my young age solicited gasps of wonder and amazement, this time its going to give me employment headaches.

well, let me be off to finish my j 103 news analysis. i'll leave with this-- my j 103 column on the MMDA.


Machiavellian

Thrice a week, I face the prospect of getting rammed to an early death by speeding vehicles as I attempt to cross Marcos Highway in Pasig to go to the gym. This is the ironic price I pay for wanting to be healthier.
At least once a month, for the past four months, I’ve found myself at the corner of Aurora Avenue and Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, wondering at the curious sight that is this: a small pink cubicle where men relieve themselves, placed under the busy stairway of a blue and pink pedestrian overpass. Don’t the men fear for their privacy?
The Metro Manila Development Authority has made crossing the street both deadly and easy. In a stroke of inspiration, the MMDA closed off almost all the intersections in the metropolis as a “solution” to the traffic problem and replaced these with U- turn slots. In some cases these led to heavier traffic. In some cases they were qualified successes. But whichever was the result, the unrestricted flow of vehicles has made it harder and more dangerous for pedestrians to use the road—problem number one.
The solution to the solution? The agency constructed gargantuan pedestrian overpasses, hence, problem number two.
But closing off intersections is infinitely easier than constructing overpasses. And that brings us back to problem number one.
Although politics is said to be a national pastime, rarely is a government office this socially pervasive. In this country, where everything seems to be viewed just like a spectator sport, the MMDA is personally intrusive-- almost everyone has a story with it as a character.
Maybe it is because identifiers are everywhere. If you stroll around the metropolis, you could not help but see pink signs hoisted on top of poles, teaching urbanidad-- urban decency. Patches of colorful geometric shapes labeled “MMDA Art” adorn walls, flyovers and MRT posts, conspicuously in the place of graffiti.
The MMDA presence is felt everywhere except in the cities of Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila. It is turf protectionism, says MMDA chair Bayani Fernando. But the cities’ mayors say that they simply oppose Fernando’s brand of law enforcement.
Which is what? Bayani Fernando has an almost legendary reputation for making the city of Marikina, where his family has been in power for decades, internationally acclaimed, prosperous and a model for sustainable development. Its river used to be where “salvaged” bodies were dumped, and its dark corners where women were raped. With an iron fist, Fernando turned Marikina around.
A side note: curiously, the MMDA has become Bayani Fernando. There is an odd correspondence between the man and the institution, which says a lot about how he handles his agency-- hands on to the point of passing on his personality. You don’t say the Department of Justice and think of Raul Gonzales instantaneously.
In the MMDA’s case, you do think of Fernando. And the agency has acquired his iron fist, through its embattled projects. With the aims of beautifying Metro Manila, looking for solutions to traffic and instilling public discipline, Fernando and the MMDA have tried cutting down old acacia trees to widen roads, dousing erring pedestrians with wet rags, and pouring kerosene over the wares of sidewalk vendors.
In the process the MMDA has collected an army of enemies. Environmentalists criticize the agency for killing off whatever greenery the metropolis had. Human rights activists disapprove of his embarrassing and inhumane solutions to problems (i.e. the wet flag campaign), sidewalk vendors and their sympathizers fume at how Fernando and his office treats them, driving and scaring them away with impunity.
Fernando and the MMDA have taken it upon themselves to educate the public and to discipline it as one disciplines an erring child. Fernando has acquired a father/teacher image—lecturing about urbanity, discipline, and even social morality. This sounds too high and mighty to me, considering that his methods, albeit creative, are all questionable—I have never been a fan of the Machiavellian principle “the end justifies the means.”
I am one of the people who think Fernando is a despot, but I find that I cannot criticize him as much as I do other public officials. I cannot accuse him of sleeping on the job, or of being inept or of giving up on the problems that have stumped the many that came before him. Despite all the mistakes he has committed, I console myself with the fact that he does this with the vision of an improved Metro Manila in mind.
But above and beyond the question of whether MMDA policies work for the development of the metropolis, is the question of what development really is. The MMDA’s brand of policy making—all ends justifying all means—is a dubious way of achieving development.
In the final analysis, I believe one question needs to be answered. Does the promise of urbanity and development—whatever it is-- exonerate inhumanity?It does not. The post of MMDA Chair is the post of a public servant. The business of public service is something that the policies of the MMDA, under Fernando’s mantle, have repeatedly run counter to. The wet flag policy is a disservice to those who get wet; the brutal campaign against street vendors is a disservice to the street vendors themselves. That democracy is the rule of the many is true. But that does not mean that in democracies the minority is stripped of its rights. However few and thoroughly branded as lawbreakers, they are still part of the public that the MMDA is mandated to serve.

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What about me?

business reporter who hates math. ate to two biological siblings and numerous adopted ones. in love with ice cream and ampalaya (NOT taken together). soul at rest. badly in need of a trip to the beach.


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