the masochists in all of us

filipinos (ok some of us) love to be tortured. or subjected to something painful. in short, we are all masochists, one way or the other.

take politics for example. we always complain about the quality of our leaders from the president down to the barangay councilor, and yet we keep on electing the same set of politicians and their relatives.

just look at the senate. how many of them are first time senators (in other words we keep on electing the same set of senators every time that's why we keep on having the same old problems in the country and in government) and how many of them deserve to be in that respectable institution where the country's intellectual elites used to debate the boiling issues in the country and overseas in the interest of the filipinos?

yet, every election, same faces, family names, spawns of dynasties keep on winning and getting elected. same celebrities, sports heroes, b-movie stars and others keep on thriving.

then there's the issue of the airline. every peak season (christmas, holy week) for flying, hundreds of people complain about delays, cancelled flights, crowded airports, bad customer service. yet we keep on patronizing the same airline known for its inefficient and lousy customer service or disservice simply because it sells the cheapest ticket. (but i tell you, the hassles are not worth it!)

yet, we keep on traveling all at the same time when we know that everyone will also be flying out. yet we complain. we never learn.

(can't you schedule your travels and homecomings on days/weeks/months that won't coincide with the christmas and summer rush? i do mine in between and it's so far been lovely. no long lines at the airport, no snooty people at the airline and immigration counters.)


the same case with the annual metro manila film festival. the intellectual snubs (and those pretending to be like myself) and highly cultured individuals, and those who actually patronize this z-movie film fest, keep on complaining about the quality of movies shown at this time of the year. yet, some of us keep on watching and supporting this annual torture-your-senses and dumb-your-brains festivity.

there are even those who actually protest the winners of the awards given on christmas day when most of us just don't care anymore about any of the local awards, except those handed out by cinemalaya.

if we all boycott this annual insult to our collective intellects, then for sure the organizers of this festival and the producers of these subpar movies will stop this insanity.

instead of watching the dozen or so filipino movies shown every christmas and new year, we should find other ways to enjoy the season without surrendering our hard earned cash just to be subjected to two hours or so of torture inside the cinema! (add to that the hours spent queueing up just to buy the tickets, and then the popcorn and cokes.)

because mahatma gandah always has your interest in her tortured soul and spirit, she has come up with a list of activities and places you can visit in lieu of watching the mmff (metro manila film fest, gagah!).

- visit the national museum at the old senate complex. there are noteworthy works of arts there that deserve our attention and appreciation. what's more, the entrance fee is minimal and on some special occasions it's free. this is your chance to get acquainted with our rich culture, arts, traditions. the better way to purge those trashy subcultures that you imbibed all year through by watching local soap operas, entertainment shows including the "news".

for more information about the museum, please visit their website here.

- take a throwback trip to intramuros, and drop by the intramuros park where our hero jose rizal spent his last days on earth inside a cell. the cell has been converted into a museum and you can actually see some of his clothes, furniture, books that he wrote like noli me tangere and el filibusterismo.

the park has a nice view of the pasig river (if that's your thing), while intramuros still evokes the old world charm of the spanish era with cobbled stones, calesa and old churches like the manila cathedral (my favourite) that will remind you how rich our cultural heritage is.

- enjoy the famous manila sunset along roxas boulevard, or at the harbour square while sipping your favourite coffee and tea brews at starbucks (that is, if you can stand its sometimes unruly and entitled clients, mostly students talking noisily with "putang ina!" in between sentences, and those who are playing cards as though they own the place!!).

(it's easy to find harbour square; it is right across the ccp complex on roxas boulevard.)

- read a book. i recommend eleanor catton's page-turner of a book, the brilliant the luminaries. the book won the two thousand and thirteen man booker prize, making ms. catton the youngest (at twenty eight) to win the coveted prize. it's unputdownable, i tell you, that i belabored to finish the eight hundred plus pages in three days. it's that good! then you will re-read it again for some clues that you missed.

(for more about the book, check this out:

- clean up your flat. your desk at the office. throw away things you no longer need, give away clothes and bags and shoes you no longer use. make way for the new!

remember what your kindergarten teacher used to tell you -- cleanliness is next to godliness.  frankly, i have no respect for people who thrive on filth!

- travel. if you have a bit of money, go to tagaytay, baguio, or if you have more, hong kong, seoul, bangkok. and if you have a lot, then go all the way to paris, turkey, venice, zurich, crete. goodness, explore the world instead of buying those stupid gadgets that do nothing but make you a slob, socially irrelevant, a zombie and slave to those useless games that you can no longer have a decent conversation!

i tell you. i have an old nokia phone which i bought very cheaply at less than three grand. but i bet my life is more exciting than those carrying iphone six because they do miss a lot of things happening around them simply because their eyes are always on their phones. too, they are more paranoid because they have to guard the expensive phone with their life. all the time!

no. i don't want any of that.

if i have extra money, i'll spend it on looking great (spas, new clothes, facials) and on exploring the world. isn't it about time you stop relying on those junkets given by your favourite corporate sponsors?!

that's all!

have a lovely two thousand and fifteen lovelies. here's hoping that the new year will bring us better, more watchable films even only at the annual cinemalaya!

(ps: some photos in this blog post are taken from the internet and different websites. no copyright infringements intended. please inform the blog author if you want them taken off. thank you.)


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