Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of shame and violence against women

When one see stories about women getting battered in the news, you kind of feel like the problem is far from you, like it isn't something you need to worry about. There are so many victims who've been getting hit for years yet choose to stay silent in order to keep the peace, to keep their family together. I think lowly of them; "Why wouldn't you speak up if there's a problem?" those are my thoughts. Until I realized just recently, after getting assaulted yet again, that I'm just the same as those women who have been suffering through the violence. I've rationalized away the things that have happened and are still happening to me. I tell myself, it's not that bad, right? I mean it was just a push or a shove. Or it was just a one time thing.

It's much harder to admit the problem when the one who has been raising his hand against you is within your own home and family. The first time it happened was when we were teens. I, being such a headstrong person since I was young, fought back to said person by telling him I need to use the computer and I don't always have to adjust to his time. That was the first time he struck me across the face with a towel. I ran and locked myself in a room because he was raging outside and might hurt me further. I called my relatives over because I was afraid. The relatives came and took me away, but they kept telling me about how I should not have angered said person. I should not have answered back.

 Years later, I am in college. In Ateneo they teach us to speak up, fight back and stuff, which I may have taken to another level, getting into arguments with my titos and titas here and there. Said person, since then, has established in me how everyone can't stand my pride and should learn to listen. I argue with him about this on several occasions. On one of these occasions, he rages and hits me again by throwing things (not really heavy things, more of like stacks of paper or a book), telling me I've become like my father. I never tell anyone about this. So it became clear to me that his tendency toward violence has not gone away. During the last five years, I've been working in and out of companies. To which said person's gripe is that I complain too much and have too much pride (much of which is true), thus, I need to learn how to just accept things and work hard. He said I am becoming like a typical Atenean who thinks the world owes me something. Of course I still have something to say to those things as well, being the argumentative person that I am. But some two and a half years back, he lost his temper again and slapped my jaw with the back of his fist, which became the turning point for me to start learning Muay Thai in order to defend myself next time such a thing happens.

The funny thing is, said person conferred to me that he has been shouting at his now ex-girlfriend, the way he has been shouting at me. I warned him that it's not just that which he'll end up doing to future relationships. He will hit them, too, the way he hit me. He said he doesn't remember doing such a thing to me. In any case, what could have prepared me for last night? I always thought that as long as my mom is around then he will not raise his hand against me. But he did. He pushed/shoved me while I was preparing for bed because I was not agreeing to his words; he even punched a hole in our door. What is that? Was that supposed to be my skull?

Why am I posting this in public? Because the few times I spoke out about this, I've been told by family that I must have done something to anger said person. I have a way of speaking that is too mayabang and mahangin, that's why I have been treated this way. This means I have no protection. Who can stand a headstrong woman, after all? Am I even a woman? Probably not--there have been too many times when I' ve been told "para kang hindi babae" by family.

Believe me, I try to be more womanly by learning to cook and clean and stuff, but my argumentative side has been so stubborn, it makes me wonder if it's even possible to kill it at all. Will I be disowned after posting this? Will I shame myself like some Deniece Cornejo (not that I believe her statements)? Whatever will happen to me after posting this, I am putting this out there just in case something does happen to me (because it's that bad right now and I'm receiving angry texts even at the moment because someone actually did something to defend me without my permission).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beauty Finds: The Body Shop Strawberry Beautifying Oil and L'Oreal Mythic Oil

I guess oils are becoming the in-thing these days, eh? At first, there was the virgin coconut oil craze. I'm still taking VCO now and then to help with my immune system. But the taste is just ugh. Then there's olive oil and argan oil...

Anyway, my hair's been dry and brittle ever since I started perming it. I don't like my stick-straight hair because I generally feel it's gotten boring. I tried the readily-available grocery brands like Cream Silk and Dove conditioners, but my hair's just been dead. I also felt guilty having to go get powerdose treatments in the Salon. They're busting my wallet. I went out to get something salon-strength instead, and the one I chose is L'Oreal Mythic Oil because I've heard so much about the miraculous argan oil. Short of being a miracle, my hair's back to it's pre-treatment shine after just three applications of the Mythic Oil masque. I use it at least once a week and that's enough. My curls tend to loosen when I've freshly applied this masque, but no worries since after a few shampoos, the curls get back to their old spunk.

Pros: Effective! Uber thick formula means a little goes a long way. Zero tangles and 80% less frizz. Makes hair shiny, too. Plus it smells great for hours.

Cons: Expensive! P1100 per jar depends on where you get it.

The next thing I tried, this time for my dry skin, is this thing called a beauty oil. Body butters are too icky and heavy for me so the one I have at home has just been lying there for months. (Maybe I should throw it out... but I dunno. I just got it for free).

I was choosing between The Body Shop's Moringa Beautifying Oil and the strawberry one. I was tempted to get moringa (malunggay) because I've seen it do wonders when I used Human Nature's astringent back then. However, I didn't like the sampaguita-like smell of the moringa oil, so strawberry ultimately won my heart. This oil is amazing! I don't know how oil can be NOT oily. It's not an emulsion so I assume this has some additives that make it lighter than its pure form.

Pros: Got it at 25% off. Smells sweetish but not overpowering. Easily absorbed (see pic) and multi-purpose. Can be used for body, face and hair. Not sticky at all!

Cons: None. This one's worth your time and money. Can't wait to try the other variants...except the moringa one. I can't stand floral scents.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CCP launches 38th literary journal on 45th year

City of Pasay, Metro Manila – Seventy-one writers who authored a total of 147 literary works are featured in the 38th issue of the official literary journal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Ani 38 themed “The Human Body/Ang Katawan” covering the period of 2013 to 2014 will be launched on October 15, 2014 at the CCP Promenade at five in the afternoon. The CCP Intertextual Division, formerly the Literary Arts Division, produced Ani 38 in time for the 45th anniversary of the Center, which will officially start in September.

Intertextual Division head and Ani editor-in-chief Herminio S. Beltran, Jr. explained that the “concrete” theme of Ani 38 resulted from the common comment of writers who composed the Ani 37 issue. They found the latter’s theme of “Cleansing and Renewal” as abstract.

“Undoubtedly concrete as it is, it may not be all that new however as a topic in creative writing,” said Beltran. He added, “We therefore kept it open to related sub-topics, such as the stages of the human body from birth to death; the situations and conditions that affect it, namely, illnesses and wellness; bodily functions, and activities the body is capable of – all of which deal with human experiences that make for a wealth of materials for the creation of narratives and metaphors.”

The 71 authors who submitted works in Filipino, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Ilokano-Baguio, Akeanon, Bikol, Pangasinan, English, and Spanish in Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan are as follows: E. San Juan, Jr., James M. Fajarito, Melchor F. Cichon, Nonilon V. Queano, Mark Joseph Z. Arisgado, Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., Frank G. Rivera, Santiago B. Villafania, Hope Sabanpan-Yu, Jim Pascual Agustin, Joel Vega, Francisco Monteseña, Luis Batchoy, Jojo G. Silvestre, Ric S. Bastasa, Alma Anonas-Carpio, Johann Vladimir Jose Espiritu, Denver Ejem Torres, G. Mae Aquino, Kristoffer B. Berse, Wilhelmina S. Orozco, John Enrico C. Torralba, Catherine Candano, Glen Sales, Tilde Acuña, Shur C. Mangilaya, Anie M. Calleja, Victor N. Sugbo, Gil S. Beltran, Junley L. Lazaga, John Carlo Gloria, Anne Carly Abad, Louie Jon A. Sanchez, Kervin Calabias, Eilyn L. Nidea, Celine Socrates, MJ Rafal, Nestor Librano Lucena, Edgar Bacong, Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo, Phillip Yerro Kimpo, Marlon Agbayani Rodrigo, Manolito C. Sulit, Raul G. Moldez, Filipino Estacio, Mark Angeles, April Mae M. Berza, Glenn Ford B. Tolentino, Allan Lenard O. Ocampo, Ma. Cristina L. Barrera, Mars Mercado, Ernesto Villaluz Carandang II, Mario Ascueta Aguado, Noahlyn Maranan, Raul Esquillo Asis, Shiela Virtusio, Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera, Jr., Mar Anthony Simon dela Cruz, Iö M. Jularbal, Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin, U Z. Eliserio, Genaro R. Gojo Cruz, Dolores R. Taylan, Voltaire M. Villanueva, Gege Sugue, Luis P. Gatmaitan, Elyrah L. Salanga-Torralba, Ma. Rita R. Aranda, Lorna A. Billanes, Perry C. Mangilaya, and Bernadette C. Tenegra. Betty Uy-Regala is the managing editor and launch coordinator of Ani 38, and Rommel Manto is the layout artist and designer of the publication.

During the launch on October 15, Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan will be sold at a discounted rate.

The Intertextual Division, led by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr., is comprised of Giselle G. Garcia, senior culture and arts officer; Jasmin Tresvalles, culture and arts officer; and Nestor Librano Lucena, clerk.

For updates on Ani 38: The Human Body/Ang Katawan, like us on Facebook: CCP Intertextual Division Programs; follow us on Twitter: ccpintertextual (ccpintertextual) on Twitter and on tumblr:; or email and

Rommel Manto created the artwork used as cover of Ani 38.