Dinagyang

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 7, 2010 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

Dinagyang

 Isa ka Sabado ako nagdagyang.

Nagkadto sa Smallville, ginkalimtan ngalan ko.

Nagbugtaw sa Queen’s Court, daw ginamartilyo ang ulo.

Isa ka Sabado ako nagdagyang.

Duha na ka bulan, wala kagamit with wings.

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Dekada 70 and Women

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2010 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

While cleaning my room today (ok fine, while attempting a.k.a. planning/looking around and deciding I should clean but then came up with an excuse not to do it) I came across one of my history books, “The History of the Filipino People” by Agoncillo. For some weird reason, just looking at the book gave me the urge to watch a Filipino movie. I gave  in to the urge and settled with Dekada 70. I went for the movie not because I’m a Vilamanian (Vilamasian?) but because it was the fastest to stream (God bless the generous souls who post free movies on the net).

Anyway, the movie Dekada 70 is an adaptation of a novel with a similar title by Lualhati Bautista. The setting is in the 70’s during martial law and is a portrayal of the times as seen through the eyes of its main character, Amanda. Amanda is a middle class housewife with five sons. The movie shows the things that occurred in Amanda’s family with the Marcos’ regime as a background for the conflicts happening within her household.

 In the movie, one can see that the gender roles and division of labor has been divided between men and women and that it’s a big NO to try and cross the said division and take on the roles which are supposed to be for the other gender.

Take for example the scene wherein Amanda’s husband and his friends are discussing a book: the moment Amanda contributed an opinion concerning the said author of the book there is instant silence. An awkward silence which is tantamount to the men expressing their surprise and outrage that a woman would know about said book and would go as far as to comment about it.

There was also an instance when Amanda asked her husband if it were all right for her to work. Her husband becomes angry and asks her why she would need to work when he was able to provide for them. He then leaves in a huff after a tirade following the question. The scene can be interpreted as the man not angry because he thinks that he can’t provide for his family but as the man is angry because his wife, a woman, someone lower than him in their society, would have the audacity to compete with him in the financial world to earn a living. The scene makes one wonder at the husband’s reaction: why does he not want Amanda to work? Is it because he thinks people will think that he is not able to provide for his family or is it because he is afraid that his wife would surpass him in her work and might bring home a higher salary?

 In the movie, I’ve also noticed that only the women enter the kitchen, and are seen doing chores. The men on the other hand are always outside and should they have scenes inside the house, the scenes would be either be in the bedroom, dinning room or living room. This can be seen that during this time  (or perhaps until now) men were not expected to play a big role in the home and in the family. As long as the father provides financially for the family and teaches his boys sports and about sex then he is already a good father. The mother on the other hand must take care of the home, facilitate the maid, fix the meals, worry about the children and keep an eye on their moral upbringing.

 Amanda was both a mother and wife (in this order) and she had to play a difficult dual role not made easy by the fact that she lived in a time of great turmoil. It was difficult for her to stay at home and wait for things to happen around her because she was a strong woman forced into a role of docility. Most of the time she felt out of place when her family conversed because she was the only woman in her family. As a mother she had to deal with sons who did not deem it necessary to confide everything to her, only coming to her when they were in dire straits. Yet she dealt with them all in a manner wherein everything ended up all right for them, even if it wasn’t for her. As a wife, Amanda had to deal with the demands of her husband. Her husband was a man who did not think it necessary for a woman to have her own opinion or believed that a woman ‘s self worth could not just be based on her family. Despite everything, Amanda was able to survive and at the end come to terms with her husband.

 The political situation of the time also was a factor to the shaping of gender roles. It was at this time that Martial Law was enacted and there were also the presence of the American military bases. Because of Martial Law, women became active participants in the fight against the Marcos regime. The role of women (particularly of the young) was slowing changing. Women were no longer confined to the home. Some took to the streets to march in protest, others going as far as to join the fighting in the mountains. Also, with the establishment of the military bases, women became a commodity. The Americans were looking for entertainment and a lot of “night clubs” sprang up near bases. In these “clubs” men could pick up prostitutes for a price. With this, the Filipino woman’s image was changed drastically from the Dalagang Pinay into the International Whore.

In my opinion, women’s role has changed since Dekada 70. Women of today are no longer constricted to the home. We are now allowed to voice our opinions and are not required to just stay quiet when men converse because what we say now has weight. The men of today would not dare to brag about their sexual conquests or future sexual conquests in front of women in fear of being made fun of. The woman of today, although not as free as she would want to be is still a lot better off than the women of Dekada 70.

Another realization that came to me after wathing the movie was that that there are so few movies out there that do justice to the books from which they were based on. Dekada 70 is one of those movies which will disapoint the novel’s readers. I should know, since I have had the good fortune to have been able to read the novel a couple of years back and I must say that the impressions the novel has left with me barely compares to the movie. In the novel, Amanda is given a voice, narrating the story. But rather than just narrating the novel, Amanda, on a side note gives out her opinion on certain matters and shown to be a philosophical woman, questioning the norms society imposes.

Take for example the scene in the movie wherein Amanda is cleaning and her husband calls her. She tells him that she is busy and despite the number of times her husband tells her to come up she ignores him. After she has finished with her chores she goes up to her husband and asks him why she was being called. Her husband replies with a huff that he has lost interest. The innuendo here is that her husband was horny and was wanting to have sex but did not say it outright and maybe Amanda got it, or maybe not, but when she comes up later her husband had already lost interest. In the novel while Amanda is doing the laundry her husband calls to her and tells her to go inside. When she asks why, her husband tells her to just come in because he was in the mood. She asks in the mood for what and he ends up irritated with her. After this scene, the readers are given a glimpse into Amanda’s mind. She asks herself the question why is, that when a husband is in the mood for sex, he assumes that his wife would cater to his mood? She also wonders why is it that it is only the man who is allowed to voice out his desire for coitus, but not a woman? She then wonders at how her husband would react should she be the one in the mood for coitus.

I suppose to some extent, the producers did try. But they dramatized the novel to an extent I did not like. Then again, not many people know about the book. Ironic that a Filipino writer only gains popularity when her/his book is made into a movie, even then some still do not become popular. A lot of Lualhati Bautista’s books have been made into movies, yet not many know about her.

The TRUE Religion

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

Saladin: Worthy man, I have heard from many people that you are very wise, and that you have a deep understanding of God’s ways. So I should very much like to know from you which of the three Laws you think the true one – Judaism, Mohammedaism, or Christianity?

Melschisedech the Jew: Each of them thinks it has the inheritance, the true Law, and carries out His Commandments; but which does have it is a question as far from being settled.

– The Third Tale on the First Day, The Decameron

Googling and invisibility.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

I remembered the movie “Wanted” and how the main character would google his name, just to see whether he does exists online. Everytime he would do so nothing would appear. I had nothing to do so I did something like it: I googled my name. A few things appeared. Average things. I exist.

I googled the name of my exs. No, I didn’t do it because I was feeling like a stalkerish ex-girlfriend but rather to see how things were going for them. Was I surprised. I found out a few things I didn’t know about them while I was still going out with them (not at the same time of course): 1. P sings. He actually CAN sing. 2. G still looks good. Really good. 3. J doesn’t have anything which refers to his current status in life. This sounds mean, but I was sort of expecting him to gloat about it. 4. R absolutely has nothing on him on the net. Frankly, this isn’t really very surprising considering that R likes to stay in the background. The guy’s a lurker.

 Other than finding about said boys (I’m not sure I can really call them men. Well, J seems to be the closest to the description) I’ve also found out something. It can be incredibly frustrating when you can’t find information on the person you’re googling. I felt that way when I was googling R. Oh well.

Getting all philosophical here, what does being on the net have anything to do with our identity? Does it mean that if we don’t exist on the net we don’t exist at all or are invisible. I don’t know. But the idea just struck me now. What if it’s by choice that we don’t exist online? Does this mean tha we ourselves are working towards invisibility? I don’t know.

Thesis Acknowledgement

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

Acknowledgements

In the making of this thesis and for making this thesis possible in the first place, I would like to thank a couple of people:

First, I would have to say thank you to the Big Guy Up There. You created the world and made anything and everything possible. You gave some incredibly tough exams but having taken them and passing (at times barely) has made me a better person. Plus, you gave me great study buddies who stuck with me despite my tantrums and overall grumpiness. The polishing you gave me is much appreciated.

To Mama and Papa, thank you. I just have to say that I am amazed that despite all the heartaches and headaches I have given the both of you, you have continued to love and support me. I might not win the Best Daughter Award but I’m sure the two of you would Best Parents award if there ever was a contest like this. I love you and thank you for not giving up on me.

To my ever patient and ever generous thesis adviser Dr. Alice Tan-Gonzales, thank you so much ma’am for everything you have done for me. I know I’ve raised your blood pressure a couple of times, and I apologize for that. Words cannot describe our gratitude for what you have done for us. Thank you! Thank you!

To my Sisu, thank you for taking over my responsibilities. I’ll make it up to you someday. Eventually. Maybe. I love you Sisu!

To Kaka and Yanyan, I cannot ask for more affectionate siblings. I’m sorry that I missed out on a lot of things. I can now finally watch the two of you grow up.

Best, Wilbie, Lei, Leng, and Anna: You guys are the reason that the therapy I need for my childhood trauma is not too extensive. Cheers!

I would like to thank the teachers who taught me life changing lessons: Prof. Tita Torrio, Dr. Henry Funtecha (God rest his soul), Prof. Joseph Loot, Prof. Rey Carlo Gonzales, Prof. Alfredo Diaz, Prof. Jonathan Jurilla, Prof. Jayne Barcelona, Dr. Rex Sadaba, Prof. John Ryan Recabar, Prof. Mary Lyncen Fernandez and Prof. Susan Tosalem. Each of you, whether you aware of this or not, has imparted some profound knowledge. I am much obliged. 

To Eduard, Benz, Jean, Meloi, Rosarie, Inday and Soule we have been through a lot. Kaya gid naton ini. Salamat gid sa tanan. Kag kung may ara pa sang mga sakit-buot nga nabilin, kalimptan ta na. Let’s move forward! Go! Go! Go! Love ya all!

To my Miagao family: Daddy, Mommy, Tiay Shiela, Tiay Sheena, Tiay Kring, Tatay, Nanay, my twin Karat, my special Special, Erlyn, Candy, Ayeng, Jobolei, Kit, Aivan – Thank you for being my family of friends. Cheers!

Para sa Samahan: Adolf, Emdy, Edz, Pai, Cherry Cherry Bum Bum, Dada, Danskie, Gui, Princess, KF, Tita Melds, Bea, and Resty. I will always remember the nights we got drunk on iced tea, Pepsi and laughter. I will never forget the karaoke videos and scores. You made things fun for me. Thank you for making me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry.

Marty, you are the older brother I never had. Thank you for taking care of me. Tita Sonia, thank you for giving birth to Marty and always supporting him.

Nesser and Gudai, salamat gid sa pag ampon sa akon. Be strong. Always love one another.

My beloved UPV Capizeños, you are a joy. I expect great things from all of you. Asa, Cliff, Kate, Ela, Benz and Iana keep the organization alive. Remember, we are a family and always will be one.

To Sidney and Ging Ging, thank you for crying with me and letting me cry with you. I love the two of you so much. Keep each other strong. Sid, resist the urge to hit JC.

Crisie, Michael, Jayvee, Oielie, Porkie, Tanda and Torshie. Wala lang, kamo gid ang una ko nga barkada diri. Live on Broke Crew!

Dax, thank you.

Angel, I’m glad we met. I’m glad we talked. I’m glad we stayed together. Thank you for keeping my secrets and letting me keep yours. I love you.

In my five years here in the university (two as a Political Science major, two and a half as a Literature major and half an academic year as a Literature-History major), a lot of people have come and gone. Some of them have barely scratched the surface of my being, while others have dug roots so deep that for them to pull out now would definitely damage me. For those I have not been able to mention, thank you so much. You have all been a part of me.

Cheers to life!!!

Virginity, extra-maritals, Masturbation and Porn

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2009 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

It is a sad fact that we live in a sexist society. In this said society, double standards are the norm and what is looked upon as something a man would be proud would be a woman’s downfall.

Take virginity for instance. Men are expected to lose theirs sometime in their teens but women are only to be rid of them once they are married.

There is also the idea of extra-marital affairs. It is considered normal for men to keep a mistress and they are praised for otherwise keeping their fidelity. but should a woman stray and decide to keep a lover she is looked upon with disgust by society and is made an outcast.

Masturbation. It’s normal for boys to do it and is even expected of them. But have you ever heard a girl openly admitting that she masturbates? I seriously doubt it.

Porn. It’s a given that the male genders watch porn. Nobody raises an eyebrow when they see men (boys) watching, buying, downloading, borrowing, etc. porn. Have a woman doe the same thing and I doubt she’ll get through the ordeal unscathed.

It’s sad. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Sex Videos and the News

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2009 by Rica Cristina Baldomar

I don’t like to watch the news and tonight, I’m reminded why. On tv they were discussing Haydon Kho and Katrina Halili’s sex video. By the way they were going on you would think that some catastrophe happened or that there was coup de etat or something of equal gravity.

The thing about it here is that it is just a sex video. Thousands of videos are made each month yet we don’t raise an eyebrow and here comes this video about some actress and a plastic surgeon’s lover and the country goes haywire.

I am appalled at the idea that  people have used said video to have to the limelight centered on them. What is wrong with you sick people? There are things out there that more important than a movie of two attractive people getting it on! The news is sensationalizing something which should be left alone! What makes it worse is that they have dragged politicians into the whole sordid deal.

It’s a sad day indeed when scandals matter more than real news. A sad day indeed.