Monday, April 12, 2010

About the Author in General.

My name is Marika Editha Callangan, author of this ‘sub-blog’, my main blog being PROJECTRIKA. I was born here in the Philippines on June 6, 1990, but migrated to Tokyo, Japan when I was age 3. My kinder years were spent in Tokyo Union Church in Ometesando and my grade school years were spent in Santa Maria International School in Nerima. Because of being exposed to an American-based schooling system, English has always been my first language, and I never really took the time to learn the Japanese language. Then when I was in Grade 6, my mother decided for me and my brother to return to our country of origin so that we could learn the Filipino language, the Filipino culture and the Filipino way of life. I learned most about what I can about the Manila and the Philippines as a whole in my alma mater, Colegio San Agustin, Makati. Again, because of my language setback, I was first placed in the “Foreigner’s Class” and so, most of my closest friends up to now consists of Indians, Iranians, Koreans, Americans, and multiracial people. Right now though, I am currently a third year college student from De Lasalle University – Manila, taking up major in Communication Arts and I really love how the setting I am placed in so diverse because there’s so much more you can explore and there’s so many people you can have the chance to meet. And this is always such a wondrous feeling.

When I was 4 years old, my mother placed me in a ballet class. 3 months later, I remember screaming and thrashing about how I hated ballet and how I never wanted to enter a ballet studio again. When I entered Santa Maria though, where part of the curriculum was dance classes, I suddenly found myself loving to dance and I remember begging and convincing my skeptical mother about how she should enroll me in the afterschool dance classes, just to give me something to do. She agreed and I have been dancing since then. When I arrived in Manila, I was so frustrated because I didn’t know where to dance anymore. The dance clubs in school always disappointed and frustrated me to death. However when I was in 2nd year high school, I was able to discover STEPS Dance Studio and danced there for 2 full years. I first took up Jazz classes and then Modern/Contemporary dance and finally Ballet. Our concerts would be held in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, both the Little and Main Theater and I always loved the old grandeur of that theater. It was a sacred placed for me. STEPS gave me the opportunity to meet another wide range of people, and there I met my first boyfriend there, who completely gave me my first major disappointment in life ever. After that breakup, I somehow ended up leaving STEPS and not returning. I took a break from dancing during my senior year in high school. When I entered college though, I auditioned for the La Salle Dance Company – Jazz (under the Cultural Arts Office) and got accepted. I returned to dancing and remained with the company for 2 straight years. But in those 2 years, I underwent much hardship, pain and lessons that extended from the dance floor. I have never known, seen and endured so much betrayal and corruption. There, I also met a different set of people who taught me so much about life and who taught me the different sides of how people can be. Because the damage was so heavy, I left the company and never danced again. I realize that I am still traumatized by all that happened by the actions that I do and how I think and how I go about things. I have changed so much because of everything that’s happened in the previous year. Although I no longer dance, I used to the time to discover more about myself and I found that I have an exceptional love and talent for fashion. It’s something that I realize was always a part of me, something that not everybody understands but something that I appreciate.

I learned most about life here in the Philippines. I have long realized that I am someone who is not really meant to fit in a crowd and that no matter what I do I will always stand out. My personality was molded in this country, and I am stronger woman today than I was yesterday. I am independent, blunt, liberal, passionate, random and animated. I say it how it is, and I express myself through my fashion. I especially love to laugh at everything and nothing. I love the little things most people take for granted because it makes you appreciate life so much more. I love exploring and finding random things. I love trying out new things and finding many ‘first times’. Someday, I’d love to travel the world and meet different kinds of people and learn from them. Words move me and people can make a difference in my life. People say that I am such an interesting person. But I am only interesting because I am interested and I think that’s always important when it comes to dealing with life. Being apathetic and ignorant makes you miss out on life. And living in fear restrains you. So I live day by day to the fullest, letting everything come my way because I need to experience everything, good and bad.

“The unthankful heart…discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” – Henry Ward Beecher


Life is a drama. And we’ve probably had our fair share of watching teleseryes and dramas. Teleseryes exceptionally attract us with the way it can relate to our lives. The storylines are something we have either experienced, or yearned for. Teleseryes teach us something about life and tell us something about ourselves. No matter how much we deny it, we love the cheese; and what is presented is something we all secretly want in real life. Let’s face it, we all want to be in love and we are all in search for the one we are meant to love.

The class of A51 proudly presents, “Ikaw Lamang ang Mamahalin”, a love story between Ysabel and Miguel, star-crossed lovers separated by fate. Ysa is made to leave the country when she is accepted in the University of Washington as a scholar. She leaves her most beloved Miguel behind, keeping the relationship alive despite the distance and returns 2 years later. However, Miguel gets delayed in picking her up and their paths miss each other. It comes to the point where fate completely plays a trick on them when Ysa is met in an accident, with the end result of her losing all her memories. She falls under the wing of Eli, the one who caused the accident. He takes care of her and becomes her closest comrade in her new identity, while Miguel continuously searching desperately for his lost love. Will he ever find her? Will their paths ever meet again? What do their destinies hold?

“Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin” will make you smile because you can’t help it, and cry because you can see how cruel fate plays around with these lovers. The characters are instantly loved, people who we can relate to and you’ll be wanting to know what will happen next and how the story will unfold. It is a drama that will surely touch your hearts and make you search for your own true love as well!

“Minsan pakiramdam ko ako ung nawawala at hindi si Ysa… – Miguel Velasco

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Because ever changing times and a fast-paced, technological world, the death of print seems imminent. We now wonder if there will ever come a day when print media truly perish, to be a forgotten notion, a “once had been” in the future. Honestly, I believe that print media will never die, nor is it dying. So long as words remain present, print media and print in its entirety will never die. I am 90s girl, and 90s people are usually caught between the advancement of technology and holding onto tangible, old things. Because of this, I personally have a love for print, for books and for concrete, real things. The Internet is amazing in a way that every thing is given to you at the snap of your finger, archives are there for you to refer back to and to browse on, and basically, everything you need the new media can surely provide for you, guaranteed. But in a way, it’s so limiting and so frustrating because the world is presented before and yet the barrier lies between you and an inanimate computer screen. People sometimes forget that flipping actual pages, rather than trying to conquer eye strains is so much more effective. And that thing with the new media is that it is mostly full of images. And words lessen and lessen. And that is most frightening thought. For like mentioned earlier, the loss of words would entail the loss of print media in its entirety.

But no, print, as of now, is not dying. In fact it is evolving and ever-changing as well to keep up with the times. It’s all moved on to the Internet, print media is still there, providing us with the things we need on a daily basis. Print media is just becoming technological and advanced. Everybody now has no excuse to ignore print media because it has been laid out for all the world to feast upon. It is just ashame that it cannot be anymore concrete, but I think that so long as there are people like me, who cannot comprehend life without books and words, are out there, the antiquated versions of print media will always remain alive for the world to know about, no question about that.

People say today is the era where print media dies. I beg to differ. No force can kill the importance and purpose of print media. Imagine a world where it’s gone, everybody will just turn into mindless blobs (literally), the children will never know of amazing, useful things for life and everyday and the world will seriously fall apart because people don’t know how to read, write, appreciate words and flip pages. What a shame that would all be. And what a terrible world we’ll live in.

Don’t kill it. Or you’ll kill youself.


(From T-B: "Heartbreak" starring Gayle Peneranda, "Defining Turtles" featuring Mikhail Banzon, "What Happens When You Leave Skateboards in 2105", a special collaboration with Monica Villarica")


Last month February 2019, the recurrence of a supposedly resolved issue surged forth with a force as the Department of Health distributed free condoms on Valentine’s Day as part of their campaign to prevent the spread of the escalating disease, HIV/AIDS. This act, in result, caused violent reactions from the clergy, proclaiming that the distribution of these condoms was an “immoral” act, headed by an also “immoral, non-Catholic” government official. The condemning of artificial contraception, as a supposed means to prevent disease and save life, is a clear cut example of the Church meddling with the political state affairs.

As these leaders battle it out on the grounds, one never really thinks about the onlookers watching on: the people of this very Catholic country. Seeing the blur between these two powerful forces, the nation is, in effect, confused. Who is it that we truly follow? What is morally right in this world we live in? What and who do we condemn? What must we do? Come to think of it, most people in this country are uneducated and unable to comprehend what these powers are even battling about. They do not understand that they are slowly being taken away the right to have options regarding family planning. As the Church continues to pursue their quest to eradicate all things artificial, they are slowly taking away our right to the basic human nature to have sex without endangering our own lives.

Certainly, the Church has a vital purpose in society. Its main task is to enrich the nation by instilling moral and ethical values onto a society full of mayhem and corruption. Their law is imperative as well, that we must understand. But in this modern, ever changing and complex world, are their doctrines still applicable to us?

The separation of the Church and State must be established. Biblically, Jesus clearly states its independence from each other, one serving a nation in preparation for an eternal salvation, the other for temporal order on Earth: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:17). According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article 2, Section 6: “The separation of the Church shall be inviolable.” These statements are clear. The Church is there specifically to mold our spirituality in order to create a balanced society. The State is there to govern us by upholding laws that should benefit us and preserve our rights as Earthly beings. They are two different powers, whose roles can only be mixed to a certain extent. And even if the Bible also state (Roman 13:1), that the Church’s power is placed by God, thereby overruling governments, abiding and supporting state laws should not be forgotten. The State, therefore, should not curb to the whims of every bishop that would threaten their position in power because according to the 1987 Constitution, Article 2, Section 15, the State too has a vital obligation to the society: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

According to a recent article by Ricky Poa, writer for the Inquirer, he writes that the Church believes that the distribution of condoms should be condoned because it promotes promiscuity. It desensitizes the morality of any Catholic person. To say that artificial contraception isn’t vital in preventing pregnancy and disease is a mythical thought. For overpopulation truly isn’t existent here in the country, it is the unequal distribution of wealth among the people. Japan, for example, is a first world country whose biggest problem is its low birth rate. If overpopulation should ever be our problem, it is to these First World countries that we should pattern ourselves to. The best thing that our government is tasked to do is to keep the importance of the nation’s values and not further demoralize them by offering “anti-life” methods such as the condom.

But while each make highly acclaimed points, one must think that the Philippines cannot be patterned after a First World, for the Philippines is not a First World – for one, we are struggling Third World country who cannot even distinguish the separation between the Church and the State and for another, Japan is a country that already openly promotes sexual activities, artificial contraception and promiscuity. Their birth rate and disease rate are low because they make use of contraception. The Church claims that contraception is immoral because it promotes promiscuity, but a condom is a mere “tool” that cannot be claimed to be good or evil. On how it is used is what makes a mere “object” morally repulsive. And so we turn to man itself. The Church is stating that the morality of man is frail and fickle. This clearly makes another statement that makes us conclude that the Church isn’t doing their job right, which is to enrich man through moral values in order to create a balanced society. Why attack the immovable tool? Why not instead seek programs to better enrich the morality, preach onto the people about what is truly right and what is truly wrong, instead of corrupting their minds even more by destroying the name of an official merely doing her job for the sake of her people?

Both powers are equally powerful by their own right. So powerful are they that they can corrupt the minds of an entire nation, keeping them uninformed about the true issues that go around society. But the people here in this Third World country are entitled to be given the right to have choices, plural. The rates go higher each day. The State, meanwhile, is too corrupt, too weak, vying only for their own position and power, to oppose against the Church. For without the Church’s support, they no longer have a position to sit on.

What the people must do now is to educate themselves in order to be able to fight for their rights, powerless though we continue to remain. This is what we need, and we cannot allow for our disillusioned leaders to think otherwise. As we live by a democratic system, why does it seem that our very own leaders (both State and Church) opt for a whole nation to remain in ignorance and remain unable to think for ourselves? We must allow ourselves to be able to think on our own, for our great powers offer us no help at all. Being able to think requires education for all, rich or poor. It is every individuals’ right to be educated in order to preserve our own lives and to attain true freedom. That is the very definition of “pro-life” and anyone who doesn’t give us the right to do that must have their heads severed off.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Learn the ways of fitting in any crowd, no matter the age bracket, time or place!

Professors, in the view of a student, are established beings meant to be placed in a high-pedestal – a very far distance away from them. The rift between student and teacher, although unspoken, is quite visible. Whether it may be due to implicated authority, the age bracket or simply just common sense social norms, the reality is this: No matter where you’re located, the same social principles apply. If you’re not cool enough, you’re out. And this social reality may be seem even more difficult on the part of the professors causing to feel the slight ounces of isolation in the very own academe they are meant to be a part of.

But of course, there is no problem that cannot be solved! If you’re feeling isolated, then why not just dive in head first in the crowd? It’s simple, it’s easy and here are a few tips on making the crowd your own:

1. Wear the “right” clothes – Because it’s not 1979 anymore. To wear the most tackiest clothes in a 2010 modern setting would be close to murder and no student would want to go anywhere near you.

2. Eat in the “right” places – It’s all about being seen. If you’re always in a particular place, students find themselves more familiar with you, therefore the chances of them thinking you’re interesting, cool and amiable are very high.

3. Do not, for the love of God, crack ‘jologs’ jokes in the middle of class – They’re not funny. And laughing to yourself in the middle of discussion is seriously a pointer for a student to call the mental asylum for you.

4. Make a Facebook account – Students love to see what their prof is up to and Facebook is the way to go! If you’re cool and in tune with the times having one will be beneficial to you if you want to reach out to your students and vice versa.

5. Do not hang with the “terror profs” – This will just make the students veer away in fear from you, instead of achieving the goal of attracting them to you.

6. Take genuine interest in your students – It’s like how a parent gives attention to a child, students like it when teachers take interest in them. In the end, they will do the same and feel comfortable to approach you whenever they feel the need to consult you.

7. BREAK SOME RULES – Do not be a prissy, uptight professor that abides by the rules word per word. Students like it when their teachers are easygoing people; lenient but with sense. It captures their attention and makes them feel as if you can relate to them.

8. Make your own crowd – If you really can’t blend in with the students, no worries! If you’ve got a bunch of other isolated colleagues amidst you, gather them and form your own crew to show off to the world! It’s not just the students who can form cliques around campus, so can you!

9. BE COOL, DO NOT DROOL – Acting like a fool will only get you laughed at. Basically, just be yourself – confident and interesting in class and out. That is the best way to capture the attention of the students because believe me, they notice everything.

It doesn’t take much to fit in. It’s all about character and confidence. It’s about being sensible and being interesting. Whatever setting you’re placed in, whatever your age may be, if you have that particular charismatic aura, you’re in or even better yet, you’re on top of the crowd. Fitting in anything doesn’t take so much effort. Don’t force it, don’t overdo it and don’t be ridiculous. Just be yourself and the students will look towards your direction. That’s a fact.


By: Marika Callangan and Monica Villarica

In the modern world we live in, cancer chooses no particular person. Anyone is prone to cancer. Today, breast cancer is the number one cancer among women now. Yet in a country wherein access isn’t available to everyone, prevention to certain cancers that can be curable are as unattainable as well.

Remi Niola, who comes from the Degenerative Thesis Office, NCDCC, briefs us on the recent outbreak on statistics regarding breast cancer, “There are many causes to breast cancer, na hindi lang na-iinherit, hindi lang ang edad, may mga ibang factors din kelangan isipin katulad nang iyong lifestyle, ang timbang mo (ang paggiging obese), ang pag-iinom ng alcohol at paninigarilyo, at ang pag gamit nang contraceptive pill, at iba pa. Kelangan isipin ang mga ganung bagay.” Because of lack of information on early detection and prevention, cancer still ranks 5th among the top 10 leading causes of death in the Philippines, with breast and lung cancer accounting for 30% of all cancer cases, according to records from the Department of Health.

Cancer does not develop overnight. The tale of Emily Lopez depicts the terrifying permanence of a life taking disease. Emily is cancer patient, age 31, a loan processor from Philippine National Bank, Tokyo Branch. She is the typical modern woman who engages in different vices such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol. She had been abusing her body without her paying much attention to it. It all began with a little lump, wherein the Japanese doctors told her there was nothing for her to worry about. Not really knowing much about the symptoms or effects of breast cancer, she continued on with her life until things started to take a major downhill. Seeking new medical attention in the Philippines, she was then diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Emily underwent an excruciating operation and chemotherapy. It would be safe to say that she did survive this frightful ordeal – at least, until she got pregnant 3 months later. Being pregnant entailed her to completely stop her chemotherapy because of the harmful effects it could do onto the fetus and her stopping chemotherapy gave the cancer cells a chance to come back. Because of her returned sickness, the doctors were forced to do operation on her, resulting to the baby being born on the 6th month, 3 months early from its due date. The baby was born safe, its life support coming only from the incubator. Meanwhile for Emily, the chemotherapy caused a complication, resulting to her developing leukemia, a cancer of the blood. She underwent chemotherapy for that as well, but instead of getting better, she developed an infection in the brain, meningitis, which is the inflammation of the membranes of the brain, the spinal cord and the fluid it is bathed in, the cerebrospinal fluid. The aftermath of this monstrous inflammation was an operation in the brain. The brain being completely damaged, all her organs collapsed and all that awaited for her was death. Her body merely hung onto several life support machines. Most of her family members and friends held on to the hope that she would still pull through. Others believed that it was only a body that was there before them, her soul completely far away from them. Finally, Emily’s life blew out at long last, saving her family the painful decision of committing euthanasia.

While we may know many stories wherein women are survivors of cancer, those who did not must not be forsaken either. They are there to serve as lessons for us, that we must not take our lives for granted for serious consequences lay ahead, whether or not they may be breast cancer or some other illness. Living in a fast-paced world, we tend to abuse our bodies. Cancer develops under too much stress and vices. Too much of everything is never good. Perhaps, if Emily lived her lifestyle a little differently, or if she had been more knowledgeable about the cancer, perhaps things would have taken a different path.

While there are many medical solutions to detecting breast cancer such as breast cancer self examinations and screening, knowledge is still the ultimate power. If people knew more about the cancer in full detail, preventive measures can be taken towards themselves.

These facts imply an important message to women everywhere: not one is exempted from this cancer. To take little things for granted is unwise to do. That is how we can prevent ourselves from going through the same thing Emily did. We must take care of ourselves in order to save ourselves.


TAFT AVENUE Burgundy Transpacific Place, infamous for crime thefts, has finally thought of the best way to prevent it while assuring their tenants of their safety: the biometric security system.

With the required registration among all tenants starting October of 2009 and finally its official implementation during January 2010, this new system serves to control tenants and visitors’ entry and exit of the building.

Each tenant is required to register their details, their fingerprint and their face into the building’s security computer unit. This is done so that, when they enter or exit the building, their fingerprints are registered on the scanner for the guards to monitor whether the tenant is within their unit or not. If the tenant is not within the premises no visitor is allowed to go up. Visitors, if they frequent often to a particular unit are required to register in a separate computer init in the main security desk at the lobby. If they do not frequent often are required to register manually in the security logbook.

This new biometric system has raised some opinions from a variety of people. Most do not like the hassle of registering themselves in a computer unit.

Mashadong kumukuha nang oras kasi. Nakakatamad. Kelangan pa mag-bayad!”, says Katie, a tenant of the building.

…Parang nakakasagabal sa amin. ‘di na pwede basta-basta mag deliver. Nagtratrabaho lang naman kami eh,” says Erwin, delivery boy for Sevenstar.

Ang hassle nito eh! Paano kung nagmamadali kami? Ang hassle lang,” complains an anonymous male tenant of the building.

However, while some disagree with the implementation of the new system, positive feedback is also gained from this new technology:

It’s better now. Safer,” says Luisito, a resident of Torre Lorenzo visiting the premises.

“I feel more assured now. I always feared my laptop would suddenly disappear as soon as I get home, based on the stories I’ve heard before!”, Jessica, a resident of the building, says.

Wow ha. Hanep ang Burg na now. Umaasenso! Mas okay ang ganito,” comments Lucky, a resident of Kassel Towers visiting the premises as well.

The reason why there are seemingly many contradictions coming everywhere is because the tenants have not adjusted to this new system,” Engineer Laila Valdez, Head of the Administration Office, reasons out. The Admin hope that in due time, everyone will be able to adjust to the latest installment because it is there to serve them and assure them of security.