What if Juan Day

“Pero sa ngayon, eh kinakaya parin. Pero sa gaano katagal? Ha, sa totoo lang, di ko rin alam.” (one of DLSU HTG’s lines in their DuLa Salle 2k14 promotional video)

August 16, 2014 – I was very fortunate to witness DLSU Harlequin Theatre Guild’s talent and creativity as they manifested it through their 4 plays 1 show created by its own members to raise awareness in climate change through surrealism and dystopian depiction. The play was titled, “Juan Day”, shown at William Shaw Little Theater.

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Philosophy In Animal Advocacies

Last August 15, Friday, I was lucky to have attended a lecture on the “Philosophy In Animal Advocacies” at Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium that featured three of De La Salle University-Manila’s very own, exploring different philosophical wonders in animal advocacies.

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Philosophy In Animal Advocacies

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“Where Was I?” – Leonard Shelby, Memento (2000)

One word: lost.

 Last week, we finished watching a mind-boggling film by out-of-his-mind director Christopher Nolan. Basically, Memento revolves around Leonard Shelby who suffers a condition where building and grasping onto new memories is nearly impossible. The last thing he remembers is his wife’s murder prior to his head accident leading to short-term memory loss. The film’s narrative backtracks Shelby’s recollections while another moves forward in time. Generally, the movie’s complexity required a person to be in the right mind in order to understand the muddled sequences of Shelby’s mind.

Leonard Shelby and his condition

Leonard Shelby and his condition

Going back to my earlier statement, I was lost. The movie ended with Shelby saying and I quote, “Where was I”. I ended the whole film lost and with great awe. I was lost for words; lost in my thoughts whether I was experiencing another inception and deception of reality, lost in the truth behind our memories. However, I regained consciousness when the questions that I formulated and based from the movie were answered established from my own resolutions. Throughout the duration of the whole film, I was able to devise four questions and I would like to share with you the two good (and sensible) ones. 

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Bloodbath: A reaction

Dr. T. Pegelow Kaplan as he shares his research to DLSU-M students

Last July 24, I was lucky to have attended one of Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan’s lecture for our INTFILO alternative class. The discourse Dr. Kaplan, a fellow from Davidson College, shared with Lasallians was entitled, “’We Must Name Genocide Genocide’: Left-Wing Protest Movements, Transnational Imageries of Mass Murder, and the Remaking of Memory in West Germany and the United States, 1951-1983”.

To be frank, he gave a lengthy dialogue with minimal pauses and mentioned terms I have never encountered making the whole talk ‘heavy’ for me. However, I managed to understand at least some, if not all, points of his lecture. What captured my attention (and I’m sure this also captured yours) was the word “genocide”. Genocide is the deliberate killing of a specific ethnic group or nation, and according to most history books, this word spread like wildfire during the Hitler regime where Jews were facing mass extinction under Hitler. Dr. Kaplan succeeded in shedding a light on this point since what I know about the Holocaust, Nazis and in that field of matter was verified by his lecture. I would not go into deeper detail regarding the precise dates and proceedings as I would like to share with you my discernment on the speaker’s talk.

For one, Dr. Kaplan mentioned that scores of Jews were killed in gas chambers installed at extermination camps in Auschwitz. This made me feel uneasy since after having experience watching Holocaust documentaries, I know what he was talking about. It was repulsive. Gestapo, or the German police under the Nazi rule, would send Jews to concentrations camps. They would let the Jews labor and starve to death; survivors or remaining Jews would then be stripped off of their garments and be strained to go in these constricted chambers forced to inhale whatever gas is present. The fact that they were Jews separated them from being ‘human’. Gruesome as it may sound, this was a piece of the very dark history Jews met. Dr. Kaplan explored a great deal on this point and expounded that genocide should not only be referred to the Holocaust episode but also other events eradicating individuals.

One of Auschwitz's gas chamber where presumably 500-1000 Jews were held

One of Auschwitz’s gas chambers where presumably 500-1000 Jews were constrained

Consequently, what I have absorbed is that genocide or mass murder had three main outlets: political protest, memory, and visual-non-visual languages. I am unsure of the latter but I would like to emphasize my argument on the former: political protest and memory. Genocide is a protest of sorts because it exhibits violence. Not only is it an instrument for political propaganda but it can also be a weapon used for mass destruction. Dr. Kaplan varied interpretations regarding this through citing SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) protests or resistance, the People Power Revolution under Marcos government, and massacres during the Vietnam War. Likewise, genocide correlates with memory since it becomes a tool for populaces to annihilate what is remaining of a race, and that is the memory. Through genocide, another race can integrate into another its culture, influences and such since the memory of the original no longer exists. Activism also coincided with genocide during the height of crimes involving this subject when the mass decided to oppose this kind of protest and violence which then lead to obstruction of the greater parts of Western Europe. As I deduce it to my own understanding, genocide is power. Once power falls into the wrong hands, the damage is irreversible.

I came into realization that genocide during the Holocaust stretch was beyond our own understanding. If we look deeper inside Hitler’s mind, we can never decipher why he started this mass murder. Whether it be political reasons or personal intentions, the truth now lies with him in his grave. I apologize for my opinions since I based genocide mainly on its most popular example. I do not intend to force you to believe what I do but this was what came out of my own grasp the moment Dr. Kaplan shared his research with us.

Hitler, a face of tyranny

Hitler, a face of tyranny

In summary, Dr. Kaplan’s talk last Thursday was heavy but very eye-opening and enlightening. I found a hard time understanding it at first but when he broke his research into parts, I started to regain consciousness.

This reaction post was stimulated by Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan’s ‘We Must Name Genocide Genocide’: Left-Wing Protest Movements, Transnational Imageries of Mass Murder, and the Remaking of Memory in West Germany and the United States, 1951-1983′.

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“A” (INTFILO Creation Story)

There was none.

A void of empty space, darkness and nonexistence.

The black void

Until, a being came into existence out of the clashing darkness. Imagine the very fabric of anonymity opposing each other against a battle no one will win. He was called “A”.

“A” was standing in blackness; he saw nothing but the mere reflections of light that came from his eyes and onto his ethereal build.  He wandered about. He blew air through his nose and noticed that the air that came from him rippled the light that glimmered from his eyes.

He blew through his nose with great force that the light from his eyes glittered across the powerful air and created a huge ball of fire and brightness that illuminated the void. He called this the “Sun”. It emitted light so much that “A” was mesmerized by it and decided to touch its rays. He burned his hands in the process and pieces of his burnt spirit fell into the void. Since “A” was filled with curiosity and innocence, he chased the burnt pieces of his spirit and the speed he made created the framework for time.

Meanwhile, the pieces of his burnt spirit swiveled so fast while hurdling through space that it turned to asteroids, comets and meteorites that we now know of. Most of its colors are red, amber, brown or grey because these colours resemble the skin of “A”.

“A” grew tired of chasing so he decided to rest for a moment. He noticed that even if he sat with his legs on top of the other, he continued to fall from the void. Thus he decided to counter that force by blowing strong air through his mouth and under his feet. The hefty ether made “A”, the asteroid, comets, meteorites and the Sun halt to a position. “A” accidentally created gravitational fields for each. That is why; the Sun has a stronger gravitational field than ours because it was closer to “A” before the creation of our world.

“A” rested for decades until he regained his energy back. He witnessed the beauty of his creation but was not satisfied. He still felt empty. Hence, from the luminescence of his eyes, he removed his rheum/eye crusts and flicked them across the Sun. These eye crusts slightly burned radiant and they fell into orbit as they skimmed across the Sun. These formed the stars the twinkled in the night sky.

Witnessing the splendor of the tiny little stars he created, he realized what use would it be if it has nothing to shine its glow upon. So from his skin, he pinched a little. From his tears, he scooped a drop. He held these two materials in his hands and blew into them. He divided them in uneven portions and rolled them into balls. “A” threw them across the universe and formed the planets. Some went near the Sun because of the Sun’s strong gravity while the others flung far away. That is why, we only recognize eight planets because these eight were the ones who held onto the Sun’s warmth and strength.

“A” gave himself compliments for his creation for they were good. However, he noticed a planet that was somehow bare. It was filled with water, mountains and vast stretch of lands. Although it manifested glorious landscapes, “A” felt that this planet deserves someone to take care of it. So out of his own blood, hair, and nails, he fashioned what he called ‘human beings’. He did not form them into his image and likeness but into something more majestic than his.

He gave them a part of his spirit so that they could live and think. “A” wanted them to not only survive in this planet but also live, as they want it. Noticing that the humans were fine with his creation and existed through the waters and land, he decided to also give them the gift of religions so that they may believe in him, their creator. “A” began to grow weak when he was almost on the verge of giving them the religions. The signals “A” sent through the transmitters in the humans’ brains at different parts of the world were feeble. That is why, humans received different interpretations of religions and formed altered beliefs from them.

“A” was sad on how things turned out. Humans became intellectual but divided. Out of sadness, “A’s” eyes started to fill with darkness instead of the usual luminescent glow. His ethereal self started to crumble. “A” grew weaker and weaker as centuries passed so he decided to store himself in the Sun. He knew leaving humans alone and curious would leave them destroying each other but he had no choice. It was either him decaying and exploding into destructive matter, or the humans living. He had no choice.

At his last bit of power, he created everything that the humans might need. “A” loved them so much that he imparted with them more stars, comets, and other celestial bodies to wonder upon. “A” knew that this would make them search for what is out there. “A” knew that this would make them search for him.

He also devised other celestial beings with human-like abilities. They would be the guardians of the universe, specially guardians of the humans. That is why; aliens or unidentified flying objects visit us as a sign of checking on us and guiding us through history. Evidently, the aliens manifested their guidance when we built the pyramids and when they left crop circles for us to remember their presence.

Even in weakness, “A” thought of us. He began to quickly store himself inside the Sun before he exploded. Thus, the Sun provided us life and warmth through billions of years because that is “A” still taking care of us even after his great fall.

by SANCHEZ, Izza Anamiel V. | NO3

Inspiration:
The Divine Creation of God, Christianity’s belief

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Introduction: Starting with an oxymoron

The first term kicked off last May 21, year 2014. What more than to start my new life as a college student with oxymorons? Here’s a short literary overview of how my first two days as a Chemistry major at De La Salle University – Manila (DLSU-M) went:

I was found missing in a sea of awfully great individuals

Most of  my professors were deceptively honest

Dull roars and deafening silences buzzed the air

I’m years still before the living end

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