Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tag: June 10, 2008

Roll call

NATURAL calamities, absurd executive orders, coup threats, holiday economics and school occasions aside, a classmate once asked me: what is the most “convenient” and “effective” student-initiated recourse to prevent a regular class from unfolding at the professor’s expense?

Welcome to the real world

SENATOR Miriam Defensor Santiago has protested a report by abscbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak that described her nomination in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as an uphill climb. She accused the network of political blackmail since she is chair of the National Power Commission that is investigating Meralco for the high costs of power distribution. The electricity firm is managed by the Lopez family that also owns the network.

In the report, certain sectors raised questions about Santiago’s chances of making it to the ICJ. Questions were also raised about her qualifications and her close connection with President Macapagal-Arroyo, who has reportedly vowed to put Philippine support behind the nomination.

Network news bosses have denied they were “blackmailing” Santiago. We’rejust doing their job, they said.

Pahimakas

UMAANDAR na naman ang ugali nating “ningas-cogon”

Dumaan lamang ang mga buwan ay may mga panibago nang usapin na bumabagabag sa ating bayan. Ito ay sa kabila ng hindi pa pagkaresolba ng mga nauna nang isyu.

Isang halimbawa na lang ng mga isyung ito ay ang ZTE scandal. Kung ating magugunita, naging laman ito ng mga balita noong unang tatlong buwan ng taong ito. Muling dumalas ang mga rally na tumutuligsa sa katiwalian, na naging madalang na mula nang pumutok ang tangkang kudeta noong 2006. Nagpatawag pa ang Senado ng mga hearing upang imbestigahan ang mga detalye ng naunsyaming kontrata sa pagitan ng gibyerno at ng isang kompanyang Tsino.

Sa loob ng karsel…

TULAD ng dati, dumungaw siya sa bintana ng selda upang muling silipin ang papalubog na araw nitong hapon. Pumupusyaw na rin ang aking pag-asang makakalaya pa ako at makakapiling si Selya habambuhay, bulong niya sa hangin. Muli, namumugto na ang kanyang mga mata ng mga luhang ulit-ulit nang pumahid sa pisnging natuyot sa paghihintay ng sariwang halik ng kanyang minamahal. At saka siya nagdamdam kung bakit tila mas pinahalagahan ng kanyang Musa ng Pandacan ang pilak ni Mariano Capule kaysa tapat na pag-ibig na alay nitong makatang Bulaceño, gayong bunga lamang ito ng pag-iimbot ng mayamang don na maangkin ang hindi nararapat sa kanya. Hanggang sa napagtanto niya na nakasasawa nang paalingawngawin lamang sa loob ng apat na sulok ng selda ang kanyang mga pighati at ipinangako sa sarili na kanyang isasatitik ang pait ng kanyang karanasan upang gawing simbolo ng kawalang katuwiran dito sa mundong ibabaw.

Sa Kagubatan ng Isang Lungsod

MULA SA dating luntiang paraiso, napalitan na ng mga nagtataasang gusali at pasikot-sikot na kalsada ang kagubatang kinalalagyan ngayon ng lungsod ng Makati. Kasama na ring nagbago ang mga gumagalang mababangis na hayop na napalitan naman ng mga “dambuhalang hayop na nagkukubli sa kani-kanilang opisina.”

Ito ang naging tema ng nobela ni Abdon M. Balde, Jr. na Sa Kagubatan ng Isang Lungsod (UST Publishing House, 2002). Sa likod ng mga pagbabagong pisikal ay may mga ugali pa ring nananatili at nakukubli lamang ng mga nagbagong anyo. Bagaman at nagtapos ng kursong BS Civil Engineering, tinahak ni Balde ang daan ng isang manunulat. Bukod sa pagkakapanalo ng ilang Palanca Memorial Awards para sa kategoryang maikling kuwento, nanalo na rin siya ng dalawang National Book Awards para sa mga nobela niyang Mayong at Hunyango sa Bato.

Midnight hauntings and daytime fantasies

TALES of Enchantment and Fantasy (Milflores Publishing, 2008), a compilation of 20 short stories edited by former Varsitarian editor in chief Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, sprinkles supernatural twists and hilarious out-of-this -world encounters on mundane activities.

Today’s writers again prove themselves innovative, amusing and full of new flavors by unleashing their inner child through exploring the recesses of the human imagination.

Starting off the collection is F.H. Batacan’s “The Gyutou,” a story about a knife and how it serves a noble wife and her kitchen. The knife, together with all the other utensils, is fervently cared for by the wife.

After the wife separates from her husband and moves out of the house, the rest of the utensils start seeking revenge for their master by giving the husband’s young concubine a hard time at the kitchen.

Unwanted wanted

ENTRAPPED in a mighty hug, the mother and her young struggle
to untangle the tentacles of an octopus. So tight is its embrace
that her might vanishes. In the dim light, her misty eyes
search along the corridor for an armored knight.

Her children’s cries are drowned by the beast’s warning:
“Submission makes it painless, reluctance sets hurdles,” resounding
in every corner, giving chills to every child. In an instant, hope
is heard in between a child’s sobs.

In a web, a man swings by over her. He takes
her out of the captor’s embrace and shields the little. His fists
blast away at the villain’s slimy limbs. While she,
regains her beauty and composure.

The hero unmasks himself, and stretches out his hand,
yet, she, seeing through his stare, screams out loud.

New solutions to old problems

POLLUTION, allergies, cancers, and board exam leaks are but some of the issues faced, analyzed, and discussed by budding Thomasian researchers in their own group or individual undergraduate theses. Here’s Varsitarian’s rundown of the more notable theses from the natural and health sciences of Batch 2008.

Chemical Engineering: Bitaog as Bio-diesel

Aiming for the alleviation of both economic and environmental global problems such as oil price increase and climate change, Juan Paulo Antonio, Alden Ferdinand Fabros and April Shower Mendiola, coached by their thesis adviser Maria Natalia Dimaano, examined Bitaog, a non-edible but locally available agricultural crop, as a viable substitute for diesel fuel through their thesis titled, “Extraction, Transesterification and Characterization of Calophyllum inophyllum (Bitaog) Seed Oil as Potential Source of Biofuel.”

Showcasing the wonders of Philippine seas

IMAGINE an encounter with a real shark, a rendezvous with a live stingray, or a date with seahorses and starfishes, right at the heart of the metropolis.

With the opening of the country’s own Ocean Park oceanarium last March, Filipinos can finally get a chance to admire the country’s underwater fauna. Situated behind the Quirino Grandstand by the Manila Bay, the facility boasts of 250 species of different water creatures on display, 95 per cent of which comes from Philippine waters.

The oceanarium is only part of a fusion concept facility that characterizes Manila Ocean Park. One of the first in the world, the facility will include a marine-themed hotel and mall which are both set to be finished within the second quarter of 2009.

The animals are showcased in seven exhibits, named in Filipino to show national pride.

Cool techies for the new school year

STARTING a new school year means facing new and old daunting school scenarios, which are too often stressful and discouraging. But now, with the help of the latest and most innovative gadgets for your scholastic and recreational needs you may breeze through all the strenuous examinations, school projects, and homework.

With the increasing demand for computer use in academics, bringing bulky laptops to the classroom may exact a heavy burden. But with the arrival of Apple’s MacBook Air, which weighs approximately three pounds including a 13.3-inch widescreen display and a 1280 by 800 screen resolution, carrying a digital notebook will be a piece of cake.

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