Posts Tagged ‘university of the philippines’

the center of the world

A couple of weeks ago our class on creative non-fiction writing discussed essays on New York City. Our professor, Dr Cristina Hidalgo, told us that many writers spoke of NYC as “the center of the world”. “I’d say UP Diliman is the center of the world!” she said with a laugh.

Which got me to thinking – she was right. Wherever you are is the center of the world for you.

When class was over, I decided to walk around campus a bit.

Beside the Faculty Center is the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum. Right next to its entrance is this fantastic nommery – The Museum Cafe by Cafe Iana (which is at the College of Music). Their butter-rich silvanas melt in the mouth, I promise you.

I acquired my pre-loved Kindle 2 only a couple days before. I explore how it works while enjoying pasta and a cup of brewed coffee. A huge yellow umbrella deflects the sun’s mild rays as I survey an oasis of emerald. It is cool, so cool on my eyes, that even the restless stirrings of my soul are stilled for the moment.

My cup of coffee is adorned with chocolate syrup feathers on steamed milk foam. The brown sugar glitters like crushed gems. I hesitate to drink and destroy the art. But I have seen it, it will always be in my mind’s eye, and the photograph I take lets me share the beauty I see with others.

After the meal, I walk a route familiar from undergraduate days, from the Vargas Museum past the Faculty Center and Palma Hall to the Main Library.

No one from UP calls Palma Hall that. It’s still ‘AS”, short for “College of Arts and Sciences”, which it housed before CAS was split up into the College of Science, College of Arts and Letters, and College of Social Science and Philosophy.

I look up and see a lacy tracery of leaves against the sky. There is always something new to see wherever you are – the trick is to change your angle of vision. Tilt your neck upwards, sideways, this way and that. Risk a stiff neck for a never-seen vista, a novel image. Be open to wonder. Squint. Use your imagination. Look at something upside-down. Experiment, marvel, accept.

Beside the Main Library is a new cafe – Bulwagan Cafe. I must visit it next time and see what caffeinated goodness they have to offer.

On the  front steps of the library are students. I hear there are some inside too, sometimes.

Across the library is a verdant bamboo grove. Beyond it is more grassy expanse, more earth and plants and wee creatures.

As dusk falls, the lamps across campus flick on one by one. I cast a glance back, and spy a lone orange globe glowing amber against the deep green of trees.

Past the library are more trees, lamps, and people for whom this campus is the center of the world, as it is mine this lazy hazy dreamy twilight time.

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dulaang UP’s 35th season playlist

From my friends at Dulaang UP, an announcement on their latest season of stage plays:

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (Dulaang UP), the University of the Philippines’ official performing theatre arts group, launches its 35th season with the theme “Return Engagement: Plays Deserving a Second Look” on July 22, 3:30 pm, at its improved home, the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, 2nd floor, Palma Hall, Diliman, Quezon City.

Various DUP productions will be restaged, among them Orosman at Zafira on August 11-29, a musical hailed as 2008’s first great production with Dexter Santos as director and original music by Carol Bello;  Shock Value..Take 2 on September 14 –October 3, which adds a new chapter to this exciting comedy that mirrors the  wacky and controversial truth about showbiz life, with Floy Quintos as playwright and Alexander Cortez as director;  Isang Panaginip na Fili on November 24-December 12, another powerful and compelling post-modern musicale of Rizal’s El Filibusterismo and nominated as the 22nd Aliw Awards Best Musical production  under the direction of Floy  Quintos with Cj Javier providing the music; and Amphitryon on February 16 to March 6, in a Filipino translation by Jerry Respeto based on Heinrich Von Kleist’s play with Josefina Estrella as the director.

Also, UP Playwrights’ Theatre on its 22nd season will present Floy Quintos’ new play Fake on May 4-13 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan with Dulaang UP founder Tony Mabesa as director. Aside from these theatre productions, Dulaang UP has two upcoming fund-raising efforts: Backstage Sale with various Dulaang UP artists on July 27-30 at the College of Arts and Letters New Building and the launching of Friends of Dulaang UP on July 22.

For further details, please call telephone numbers (632) 9261349 and 9818500 x. 249 and telefax (632) 4337840.

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pop goes the world: a culture change is in the wind

POP GOES THE WORLD By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 8 July 2010, Thursday

A Culture Change Is In The Wind

Even before his proclamation, when it became clear that one Benigno Aquino III won the most votes in the recent national elections, a torrent of well-meaning advice and suggestions by way of mass media flooded him, most of them having to do with much-needed societal and governance reforms.

In the newspapers, on TV, and in the social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the issue of government corruption tops the list of items that need to be addressed. Commenters unite in saying, “President Noynoy, crack down on the corrupt!” For changes to occur in the structure, the leader has to bring them about both by mandate and by example.

It is inspiring to see how P-Noy started with simple changes that had a personal impact – no wang-wang (sirens) and other traffic privileges for himself; no more presidential plane, he says he can fly commercial (in contrast to his unlamented predecessor who was prevented from buying a P1.2 billion executive jet by public outcry). He arrives early for appointments and beats traffic by leaving his house earlier than he’s used to.

It is appalling to see how the new vice-president, Jejomar Binay, was caught by news media blatantly ignoring traffic rules by running a red light and turning left on a “No Left Turn” street. His comment? “But I didn’t use wang-wang.” He also said that even if he left early, traffic would have been heavy anyway. Yeah, right. Seems to me someone just doesn’t want to give up the “privileges” he’s been used to. Ignoring the rules mandated for others sets you apart from the majority and makes you feel special and powerful. Insecure much?

Binay with Erap on the campaign trail in 2010. Image here.

P-Noy has been criticized for focusing on “insignificant” matters while bigger issues require solutions, now na! Come on, give the guy a break. It’s his first week on the job, yet already his actions have triggered a perceptible shift in the culture of privilege. Hope for fairness has lifted many hearts. Ordinary citizens are using digital technology to take pictures and videos of wang-wang and traffic violators and uploading them to the Internet. Perhaps public shaming will result in a change of behavior. For a test case, we’ll see if it has an effect on V-Nay.

University of the Philippines communication professor Dr. Joey Lacson calls this “a shift in the communication environment” – policies emanating from the top will trickle down and bring about changes in society, where new knowledge and awareness may lead to a change in attitude and practice.

Yet how effective as a catalyst for behavorial change can P-Noy’s example be? To return to the issue of endemic government corruption, will the way the president lives his life be enough to foster better behavior among unscrupulous government officials and employees?

My sister Aileen arrived for a vacation last week from Dubai, where she has been based the past 15 years or so as an overseas foreign worker. She went to the National Bureau of Investigation in Quezon City the other day to obtain a police clearance and was dismayed to see the shabby building, obsolete fingerprinting equipment, and long lines that snaked in three coils to another building. “On what does the NBI spend its annual budget?” she asked.

At Window 1, she was required to pay a fee for the clearance. At the next window, she was assessed another five pesos for “fingerprinting”. “The man taking the money,” she said, “had stacks of coins in front of him. And he wasn’t behind the counter. He did not issue a receipt. What was the extra five bucks really for and why is it not included in the amount I was charged at the first window?”

Fixers asked for P350 to enable her to jump the line and get her clearance faster. They swarmed around her and the other people in line as security guards and employees watched, obviously aware of the system. Since they do nothing to stop it, it leads one to assume that at least some of them are in on it too.

I rode a cab to school yesterday. The taxi driver, Virgilio T., complained that when he went to the Land Transportation Office at N. Domingo to renew his driver’s license, he was told to return after ninety days for the card. At the same time, he was approached by a fixer and told that for a fee, he could get his license in just two weeks. “If they can print the card in that short a time,” he said, “why do they make us wait three months? Why do they have to extort money from us for them to do their job?”

These are just two instances of how deeply embedded the culture of corruption is in government, at all levels from top to bottom, the difference being a matter of scale – the big fish take billions from government contracts, the small fry are content with the steady trickle of coins.

How do you tweak the communication environment in this situation to bring about a positive cultural change? For starters, P-Noy and his team need to craft clear policies that spell out the types of unethical behavior and their corresponding penalties, then strictly enforce them without fear or favor. Consistency in implementation is necessary for credibility.

Next, P-Noy needs to be true to his policies by living a squeaky-clean life and continuing to be a good example, to enable changes in organizations to occur via the trickle-down effect. It’s a tough act, but then who said being president was easy?

We as citizens can to do our part by not giving in to the desire for convenience by refusing to engage in graft and by exposing the corrupt. Like P-Noy, no more wang-wang, no more fixers, no more getting out of traffic violations by showing the card of this or that government official. Or showing the face of a government official – that means you, V-Nay.

“A change is gonna come,” sang Sam Cooke, and we can share that optimism, for we can already feel the winds of change blowing. How refreshing they are.    ***

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UP-CMC media watch: against forgetfulness

Statement of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication Media Watch on the Hundredth Day of the Maguindanao Massacre (2 March 2010)


A hundred days have passed since the massacre of 57 men and women, 32 of them journalists and media workers, in Maguindanao. While the principal suspect has been indicted, his petition for bail has been the subject of near-hearings and postponements, in a portent of things to come that’s not encouraging for the demand for justice for the victims.

The demand for justice is in danger of foundering on the shoals of the technicalities that– together with police collusion at the local levels in the killing of journalists, overworked prosecutors who fear for their safety, and the involvement of local officials and warlords— constitute the weaknesses of the Philippine justice system. There is also the information, relayed by one of the private lawyers helping prosecute the case, of witnesses being bought if not threatened, and of relatives being offered amounts that few mortals in the Philippine community setting can refuse in exchange for withdrawing their complaints.

Add public indifference and resignation, and the mass media’s own short attention span and susceptibility to the lure of reporting those events that help boost ratings and circulations to these problems and issues, and we have the potential for the massacre’s not only going unredressed, but what’s probably even worse, forgotten.

Forgetfulness is among the worst vices of a people whom the media have failed to provide information crucial to their lives. And yet, forgetfulness is the sure guarantee for the repetition of such atrocities as the Ampatuan massacre, the human rights violations–such as the Morong 43 atrocity that victimized, among others, former CMC Student Council Chair Jacqueline Gonzales–that continue to haunt this country, and the constant peril of authoritarian rule.

The schools and the media are among the institutions crucial to the fostering of the imperative of keeping in the public mind the need for justice in the Ampatuan massacre and for the making of a culture of remembrance. As we enter the fourth month since that atrocity, the UP College of Mass Communication renews its pledge never to forget and to continue to remind the public as well as its constituencies—its students, faculty and staff—that at this point in Philippine history, only the pro-active engagement of a militant people and a truly free and responsible press can prevent the many crimes that haunt this country from going unpunished and repeated.

Dean Roland Tolentino

: Dean Luis Teodoro, Dean Nicanor Tiongson, Dean Georgina Encanto

FACULTY: Prof. Rachel Khan, Ms. Lucia Tangi, Prof. Marichu Lambino, Prof. Rosa Maria Feliciano, Prof. Lisa Carmelita Justiniani, Prof. Jane Vinculado, Prof. Melba Estonilo, Ms. Roxanne Cipriano, Prof. Alfonso Deza, Dr. Lourdes Portus, Dr. Jose Lacson Jr., Prof. Eduardo Lejano Jr., Prof. Roehl Jamon, Prof. Patrick Campos, Prof. Yason Banal, Prof. Danilo Arao, Prof. Elizabeth Enriquez, Prof. Libay Cantor, Prof. Lourdes Simbulan

LECTURERS: Ms. Daphne Canlas-Tolentino, Ms. Irma Mutuc, Ms. Almond Pilar Aguilar, Mr. Jose Reuben Alagaran, Ms. Malou De Guzman, Mr. Jose Gutierrez III

STAFF: Gina Villegas, Berinice Zamora, Arnel Aga, Raquelita Bacarra, Clarissa Concepcion, Marianita Cinco, Placida Sodoy, Irene Balucos, Luis Olid Jr., Virginia Rigo, Norma Dampil, Fortunata Mendiola, Romeo Perdigon, Ruben Serrano, Jonathan Beldia, Florencio Palma, Guillermo Lectura, Reynaldo Villaruz, Armando Hirao, Luzviminda Ileto, Janette Pamaylaon

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UP community protests

UP Community Protests Denial of Tenure, Large Class-Size Policy, Other Issues

By Danny Arao

Concerned University of the Philippines (UP) students, faculty, REPS and staff will hold a protest action on 29 January 2009, Friday, 8:00 a.m., as the Board of Regents (BOR) holds its meeting in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City. Simultaneous protest actions will also be held in the campuses of UP Los Banos (UPLB), UP Cebu, and UP Mindanao.

Various issues related to governance will be raised by the protesters. They support the tenure appeal of Prof. Sarah Raymundo of UP Diliman and the continued stay of Dr. Jose Gonzales as the duly appointed Director of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) of UP Manila.

On the other hand, UP Los Baños faculty and students denounce the January 4 memorandum of UPLB Chancellor Rey Velasco ordering the implementation of a large class size (from 160 to 350 students) for ALL foundation and general education courses in UP Los Banos starting June 2010.

In Cebu, the faculty and students are against the unilateral decision of UP Cebu Dean Enrique Avila to suspend the acceptance of applicants for the admission test of UP Cebu High School scheduled on March 6 and in effect laying the grounds for the abolition of the high school unit of UP Cebu.

Protesting UP Mindanao constituents are supporting the appointment of a new Chancellor of UP Mindanao instead of reappointing the incumbent whom they believe has not fulfilled the requirements for democratic governance in the university, particularly transparency and accountability.

Contact persons:

Prof. Mykel Andrada, All-UP Academic Employees Union: (0927) 474-1362
Arnulfo Anoos, All-UP Workers Union: (0939) 194-0878
Prof. Danilo Arao, CONTEND UP: (0908) 866-ARAO
Jaque Eroles, UPD Student Council: (0915) 328-0878

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avant-garde filmmaker is UP gawad plaridel awardee

from Prof. Danilo Arao, UP College of Mass Communication

Independent filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik is this year’s recipient of the highest award given by the University of the Philippines (UP) to a media practitioner.

He will receive the 2009 UP Gawad Plaridel for his outstanding contributions to independent filmmaking on July 10 (Friday), 2 pm at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute. UP officials will give him a trophy sculpted by National Artist Napoleon Abueva. As part of the ceremonies, he will also deliver a lecture on independent filmmaking.

The event is open to the public.

Inspired by the progressive ideals of Marcelo H. del Pilar (nom de plume, Plaridel) of the reformist newspaper La Solidaridad in the 1890s, the annual award honors a Filipino media practitioner whose professional integrity and commitment to public service are reflected in his or her exemplary achievements in print, film, radio, television or the new media.

Kidlat Tahimik was chosen for his excellence in the art and craft of cinema, as well as for pioneering efforts in introducing Philippine independent filmmaking to a global audience.

His independence as an artist is reflected in the non-commercial nature of his films, inspiring budding Filipino filmmakers to follow his example and to listen to their “inner duwende (dwarf).”

He joins past UP Gawad Plaridel awardees Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004, Print Journalism), Vilma Santos (2005, Film), the late Fidela “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006, Radio), Cecilia Lazaro (2007, Television) and Pachico A. Seares (2008, Community Journalism).

Established by the UP College of Mass Communication, the UP Gawad Plaridel is supported by Coca-Cola Company and Unilever Philippines.

For verification and other details, please call Irene or Lynette at 920-6864 or 981-8500 local 2668 (UP CMC Office of Extension and External Relations). You may also send an email to upgawadplaridel [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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basic fountain pens 2: storage

Once you start sliding down the “slippery slope” (as University of the Philippines professor Dr. Butch Dalisay calls it) of fountain pen collecting, you will need accessories. You don’t just collect the pens. Or the ink. Or the fountain-pen friendly journals and pads. You also need the proper storage paraphernalia to keep your collection in.

Once you have a certain number of pens, you will find that you will tend to prefer some of them for regular use. The rest of your pens need to be stored properly to preserve their condition. Be sure to keep your pens away from sunlight, humidity, extreme temperatures (the freezer is not an option) and pests (mice, inquisitive family members). Some storage suggestions:

1. Pen boxes – These may be of wood, fabric-covered cardboard, or other materials, and look like treasure chests. Some have grooves inside to accommodate the pens, others elastic bands to keep them in place. Boxes are perhaps the safest kinds of storage.

2. Pen cases – these are available in leather, faux leather, vinyl, nylon, and fabric, and zip up all around. They have the advantage of being portable in case you want to bring your collection to penmeets. Some models have elastic bands only; others have both bands and tube pockets that go halfway up the pen.

A leather Conway Stewart 40-pen case.


A velvet flap (left) keeps the pens separated from each other. Elastic bands hold the pens in place. The case is lined with velvet to protect the pens.

It is also important to find a good place in your home to keep your collection pen cases or boxes:

1. Shelf – pen cases and boxes must be placed out of reach of curious people who might play with your “pretty bolpens” when you’re not around.

2. Closet, drawers, etc. – a good option, as long as they are not too humid.

3. Home safe – perhaps the best place, especially if your collection runs to limited edition diamond-encrusted Mont Blancs, but the inconvenience in accessing your collection may prevent you from fully enjoying your pens.

In general, collectors are also users. Users may carry one or more of the following types of pens:

1. Road warriors – sturdy and reliable pens with firm nibs for general purpose use: note-taking,  sketching/drawing of diagrams and flow charts, and drafting of presidential candidacy speeches and pre-nuptial agreements.

2. Special purpose pens – pens with stub or italic nibs for addressing invitations and greeting cards in calligraphy; refillable highlighters or italic pens filled with highlighter ink.

3. “Play pens” – pens for doodling with during long boring meetings that require only half a brain for participation. These include pens with fancy nibs like music nibs for executing extravagant flourishes; “wet” writers with wide nibs that gush ink like geysers and allow you to appreciate the color gradations and texture of the ink; and flexible pens for practicing calligraphy and seeing how wide you can get the tines to spread before they deform.

These “daily pens” may be carried in your bag in smaller pen cases, of which there are many on the market:

1. “School” cases – these range from the plastic, cartoon character-adorned pencil cases of our childhood to modern nylon zip cases, all available at office and school supply stores.

2. “Corporate” pen cases – Fino Leatherware (Manila) makes beautiful leather pen cases, perfect for one or two pens. These are found in leather goods sections.

3. Fabric pen wraps – these have  tube pockets and ribbon ties to secure the scrolled wrap.

4. Specialty pen cases – these are designed with the collector and serious user in mind, and are available online or in pen shops abroad. One option that is sturdy and tends to reduce the rubbing of pens against each other is a smaller version of the large leather pen case.

It is important to remember when choosing a daily pen case to get one where there are loops or bands or other means to keep the pens separate from each other.


A typical 12-pen leather case, closed.


A leather flap on the right side keeps pens separate.


There are two elastic bands per pen.

Whichever storage and carrying method you use, choose the one that feels right for you and works with the way you do and arrange things.

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on communication: musings on identity

These are random musings on the identity of the practitioners of the discipline I study and practice – communication – and, by extension, my own identity.

Warning: The following material may be incoherent, difficult to follow, and irrelevant, but mostly it will be boring. Feel free to read something else on this blog, or switch off your brain.

Those who read this entry to the end without falling into a coma induced by the inchoate ramblings of an overactive imagination obsessed with trivialities may or may not be rewarded with concepts for further discourse. Please feel free to post your comments, ideas, or violent objections. Thank you. The End.

Problem Statement: What is the most appropriate word or term that may be used to label students, scholars, and researchers in the academic discipline of communication?

Specific Objectives:

1. To describe the terms currently being used;

2. To discover other words or terms that may be used.

Review of Related Literature:

From semiotic theory, a word or symbol (signifier) is arbitrary and not necessarily related to the concept or thing  it is attached to (signified). As Gertrude Stein said, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” In his Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare penned, “That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet”.

Communication scholars and academics may then call themselves whatever they like. The usual terms are “communication” + “researcher”, “scholar”, “professor”, and “theorist”, leading to unwieldy, two- or three-word terms to describe the person. Whereas scholars from the other sciences just add the suffix “ist” – anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist.

Twenty years ago, the identity of the communication field itself was in flux – was it part of the humanities, or the social sciences? It had the uncomfortable position of straddling both worlds. In recent years, though, there has been a paradigm shift in the field, in that it is being touted as a social science, and thus on par with the others.

In fact, some communication scholars go so far as to say that communication is the pre-eminent discipline in human studies, for, they say, communication is the glue that holds society together, and that no human interaction may take place without communication.

Young gentlemen engaged in mediated communication. The photo serves a model for the popular SMCRE communication model: source-message-channel-receiver-effect. (Img: Net)

So why can’t communication scholars/researchers be “-ists”?

“Communicationist” is ungrammatical and awkward, though some people do call themselves that. Other sectors of the discipline are promoting the use of the word “communicologist”. The International Communicology Institute defines communicology as “the science of human communication”. This refers to communication as “one of the human science disciplines”, using the “research methods of semiotics and phenomenology to explicate human consciousness and behavioral embodiment within global culture.”

But does it matter what communication scholars call themselves? “A rose by any other name…”

Taking into account the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, yes, it does matter. The hypothesis postulates that “a particular language’s nature influences the habitual thought of its speakers”; by extension, what a person calls himself may influence his self-perception, which could then impact his behaviors and actions.

Findings and Recommendations

Apart from “communicologist”, there do not seem to be other terms being proposed. However, use of the term has not caught on globally. In the Philippines, the term is being used by some Organizational Communication scholars at the University of the Philippines-Manila. As far as it is known, it is not used by those at the College of Mass Communication in UP-Diliman nor at the College of Development Communication at UP-Los Baños.

The terms “communicology” to refer to the discipline and “communicologist” to refer to its scholars and researchers has the advantages of being simple, easy to remember, easy to spell, and convenient. It has the added value of, by use of the suffix “-ist”, of putting at par by implication the discipline of communication with the other social sciences where it belongs, according to communication scholars themselves. Therefore, it seems only logical and reasonable to adopt these terms.

In the Philippine context, adoption of these terms may be facilitated through the consensus of the communication departments in universities and colleges across the country. But because there is no association of communication scholars in the country (such as the United States’ National Communication Association or the global International Communication Association) it is difficult to see how issues such as this may be addressed.

Philippine communicologists should therefore seriously consider establishing such an association, not only to accommodate and promote discourse among themselves but also among scholars from other countries.

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best tricks with favorite things

I spent a couple of hours at Starbucks (Yupangco Makati branch) waiting for my sister to finish lunch with friends. It was her last day in Manila; I was to take her to the airport in the late afternoon so she could catch a flight back to Dubai, where she has been based for the past ten years.

I had some of my favorite things with me to pass the time productively.

The coffee is a Double Tall Dark Cherry Mocha nonfat, no whip, one Splenda. (“Are you sure you still want the Splenda, ma’am? The syrup is very sweet…” I always add one Splenda when I take an extra espresso shot.) The caffeine jolt is necessary to jump-start my brain.

The book is the ninth edition of Theories of Human Communication by Stephen Littlejohn and Karen Foss. It is one of the bibles of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication. It explains around 126 theories, give or take a few. I read and re-read chapters when I have free time.

The mobile phone is a year-old Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. They didn’t have the pink one when I got this one, which I would have bought for the color. I prefer skinny candy-bar phones, which I can easily hold in one hand for texting. I dislike clamshell and slider types, because the more moving parts there are in a gadget, the more parts there are that are likely to break.

The fountain pens are my daily road warriors. Lacking a proper pen case that can accommodate the six or eight pens that I rotate on a monthly basis, I use a plastic Waterman case that the red Hemisphere came in. Yes, I know, it’s not the best thing for the pens, they’ll scratch each other, but it’s only temporary, I promise.

The purple leather two-pen case is a Christmas gift from my friend Leigh.It’s adorable, just as she is.

Armed with these things and in between downing gulps of coffee, I wrote entries in my ”communication diary”, a large Scribe (Moleskine knock-off) notebook covered with olive silk. The diary is homework for our Communication Research 201 class with Dr. Joey Lacson and must be entirely handwritten. I used a different pen for each entry, so the words pop off the pages in a whirl of colorful inks – Private Reserve Naples Blue, Caran d’Ache Sunset, J. Herbin Cyclamen Rose, Pilot Iroshizuku asa-gao (morning glory blue).

I also texted the entire Board of Directors of the company I work for, telling them that it was a year since they hired me and thanking them for giving me the opportunity to work with them. After that I cleared my messages and deleted unnecessary files, freeing up valuable storage space for data.

I snapped photos of my pens using my mobile phone camera to use as my phone screen wallpaper.

From time to time I would jot down meetings and other reminders in my planner, while at the same time listening to too-loud conversations of other patrons rather than tuning them out. It’s not eavesdropping because they are talking loud enough for others to hear. As a communication student, it’s one way of observing communication behavior in the field.

One young woman, a self-proclaimed frequent traveler, complained to her friend in the colegiala accent of privileged female private Catholic high school students about losing her baggage on a flight to Paris. “It was the first time, and I never though such a thing would happen to me,” she said. “Don’t take anything for granted.”

At another table, an elderly man sitting with eight friends was telling them about a recent golf tournament he played in. “I played eight holes then almost collapsed,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling ill or anything. It just shows that anything can happen, even the least expected.”

My two hours at the coffee shop were well-spent. I completed several important tasks, relaxed in soothing surroundings, and was reminded by others of an important bit of wisdom – “Never take anything for granted.”

Multi-tasking with things that are chosen carefully with functionality foremost in mind helps you be more productive. Find out what things work best for you given your own particular way of doing things. What’s good for someone else might not be what’s right for you.

Once you’ve found out what kind of tools you’re comfortable with and make you more effective, stick with them, while still keeping an open mind on new things. It’s not a case of old dog, old tricks, but rather old dog, best tricks.

When my sister texted that her lunch was over and she was on her way to meet me, I packed up my favorite things, drained my coffee cup, and walked out the door with a sense of accomplishment. Now that felt good.

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wow, so plenty of paths and trees in UP, parang jungle, i swear.

Last Tuesday I was at UP, noh, the one in Diliman. Yeah, ‘coz I had to get my ID na talaga, kasi the ones they’re giving out this year have the UP Centennial logo, it’s really cute talaga.

I looked for the OUR pa – you know, the Office of the University Registrar – kasi that’s where we have to get the ID daw. Then I got lost trying to find it ‘coz the last time I was here in UP was antagal na talaga, noh. I don’t even know that OUR, I swear. Someone told me nalang to ride the Toki jeep.

So I waited for one near Shopping Center. Grabe, there’s a “free ride” Toki pala. So kahit it was hard for me to make sakay on the jeep ‘coz I was carrying a lot of books, I rode it pa rin.

But all the other passengers got down before I did. Tapos me and the driver nalang were left. He drove the jeep to the Math building na, gosh, it didn’t exist when I was an undergraduate, I swear! He let me down there and told me to walk.

I said, “Why naman, mamang driver, will you make me walk? I might get lost pa!” He told me, “There’s a path there. Just follow it. Then ride the Ikot to OUR.” Wow, he spoke in English, galing talaga the drivers in UP.

So I looked for the path. Wow, meron nga. All paved and everything, with lanterns pa along the way. So sosyal talaga.

So many plants everywhere talaga, also trees. UP must be vegetarian, noh? Galing the architecture, even the paths are nice, paved in a herringbone pattern and parang origami with the tuklap-tuklap, I swear.


I even saw a bridge! Wow! I couldn’t believe it!


O, see, there’s a waterfall effect pa. Galing talaga, noh!


Nice in UP, noh? Parang gubat, I swear. But you have to make lakad-lakad nga lang all over the place to see the things like this. So don’t wear high heels or wedge sandals ‘coz you might make tapilok, then you’ll be wa-poise, yaks!

taste more:

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