SISSONE (see-SAWN) – named after the originator of the step. A jump from both feet onto one foot with the exception of sissonne fermée, sissonne tombée and sissonne fondue, which finish on two feet. Sissonne may be performed petite at 45 degrees, or grande at 90 degrees.

***

Pope John Paul II’s death last April 2 sparked several events which I found difficult to ignore:

1. I heard about St. Malachy and various other predictions on the end of the world from the mouth of 13-year-olds. (This is where I learned that I’m supposed to shut myself in a room, with a lit candle, look nowhere else but the altar and wait. Soon.)

2. The entire Filipino nation seemed to have united in mourning for somebody really prominent, the first time it happened since Nida Blanca’s and Fernando Poe Jr’s deaths. Except that afterwards, there weren’t garbage for the Metro Manila Development Authority to clean up.

3. The Philippines gave birth to “Pope jokes.” (Bakit madaming bading sa Pilipinas…”)

4. Prices of petroleum products increased further.

But less than a month into mourning for Karol and a few days after hollering “Habemus Papam!” for Pope Benedict the XVI, I see everything is back to normal:

1. Now they’re saying people will die after seeing “Ring 3.” From laughter.

2. Petroleum prices are still going up. (Veteran radio announcer Jo Taruc of DZRH was spitting mad at the oil companies. Except at Petron, one of his radio station’s leading sponsors.)

3. The nation is back to quarreling. Poverty, labor, racial issues, etc. are the never-ending topics. To quote somebody, the government must now use its elbows and think. Even former President Corazon Aquino talks of upcoming insurgencies, which she had during her time.

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4. Filipino-style crab mentality is again prevalent, with Filipino workers abroad as models. Pulling their fellow men down at a glimpse of even so little as a pending success, or a peek into their salary rates. This, according to some migrant workers whom I’ve met recently. What a shame. I thought Filipinos were deployed all over the globe for the government’s secret mission of dominating the universe. Now they end up dominating each other.

***

I recently finished a review course for my upcoming International English Language Testing System exam where, apart from acquiring a skill on how to go around mundane questions, and starting an obsession over the creation of an International Filipino Language Testing System, I was rudely awakened into the reality that so many Filipinos wanted so much to get away from the country, permanently. And for all the wrong and ill-thought reasons.

“Napapagod na akong maging Pilipino,” said “classmate” Frizzy, a medical technician, said during a break. Then I coughed out my burger.

The Philippines may be down in the dumps right now—poor as a mouse and all that, but it’s not because we are Filipinos.

What Frizzy said strengthened my resolve to come right back here after I finish further studies abroad and prove her wrong.

If I get my scholarship, that is.

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