It’s All On You, Kids.

It’s that time of the year again.

You’ve all been training for this since Day 1. All those early mornings, those sleepy hazes where you’d stumble around just to get out of the house, the unwanted workout on the grimy parking lot floors, those Hell Days, those hours cooking in the sun to get the choreography down to a T. They all come down to this.

This is why your officers yell at you, make you work, push you to your wits’ end. This is what you’ve been shaped up for. It’s been a long journey, but it’s finally here.

We’re in a pickle, us. People make their assumptions and accusations on what we do and why we do it. There are people who don’t believe that you guys can do it. Who think you stupid to even join our little group. Who think you can’t pull off the inevitable victory.

This is your time guys, and believe me I know it’s a heavy burden. We’re all relying on you. Your staff, your officers, your alumni cadets who’ve taught you everything they know, The name of De La Salle University ROTC itself rests on your shoulders. Win or go down fighting. Aim for the stars and nothing less. I’ve had the honor of watching you guys work yourselves to the bone. And believe me when I say that win or lose this weekend it has been my honor and privilege to see how you’ve all turned out.

Don’t let ROTC die, kids. Give them all a reason to keep it going. Let them see through the fruits of your labor that the Reserve Officers Training Corps is something what it is: The Ultimate Frosh Experience.

Semper Fi, Cadets and Cadettes of 247th DLSU NROTCU. It’s all on you kids.IMG_7283 IMG_7292 IMG_7376 IMG_7384 IMG_7483 IMG_7913 058 072 141 207-001 001 051 063 093  172 196 262 001 058 065 079 098 206 223 244-001 313 449  IMG_7167 IMG_7170 IMG_7289 IMG_7316 IMG_7376 162 223 242 279 285 IMG_7357 IMG_7364118532

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Seeing Double

It’s a funny thing, all members of society seem to want to be equal and accepted. It seems that everyone just wants to live in a utopia where everyone is the same no matter the color of skin, religious belief or sexual orientation.

…..Really?

There seems to be a glaring flaw in everyone’s viewpoint when it comes to social acceptance and it’s come to my attention as a member of today’s generation looking at the structure of today’s generation that one major flaw is the double standard. Whether it’s about race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. People always hate generalizations unless they’re part of a positive grand sweeping generalization. I’m not going to get into race or religion I’m not exactly in a position to discuss that type of stuff. What I want to talk about hits way more close to home for me as a man.

Let’s start with the recent Bench “Naked Truth” Fashion show. And no, I’m not going to discuss Arnold Van Opstal’s washboard abs. I’ll leave that to “dignified” news programs that seem to consider things like Derek Ramsay taking a piss or what Ryzza Mae Quinto had for breakfast this morning as legitimate news stories. I’m going to discuss the “controversy” of Coco Martin and his Pet. For those that have been spared from the lunacy, let me ruin your solace. Coco Martin participated in the Bench show with a woman on a leash walking on all fours like a dog. Now while I’m sure those who didn’t have a problem with it found it entertaining or artsy, the feminists and the white knights who somehow lost the ability to change the channel or turn off the TV, to put it respectfully, collectively lost their shit.

On the left: A symbol of misogyny and degradation to women. On the right: ...?

On the left: A symbol of misogyny and degradation to women. On the right: …?

Now I’m not saying what Coco Martin did was right. Quite frankly, it’s not my thing and as a person with at least half a brain stem I didn’t even watch the damn show. But let’s be honest here the ONLY reason why he’s in this much hot water is because it’s a WOMAN on a leash. And I’m sure that there are feminists and/or guys that decided to be smart and just change the channel or turn off the telly. But in for a penny, in for a pound since we’re generalizing already let’s press on. If the roles were reversed THIS WOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE. In fact I’m willing to bet that if the roles were reversed it feminists would have twisted it into some example of female empowerment.

Oh and here’s a video of Sharon Osbourne laughing about a guy who got his manhood cut off by his wife. Because if it was a story about a woman getting her vagina mutilated by a man there would be Hell on Earth.

Once again, I’m not saying what went down was right, and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t get upset. But get consistent. If people are going to go after what female degradation, then go after male degradation as well. Quit being phonies about it and get equal. Also, if what’s being shown on TV or being broadcasted in media doesn’t suit your taste? Don’t watch. Simple as that. I don’t like horror movies, therefore I didn’t watch The Conjuring. I don’t like concerts, so I don’t go to them. My friends and I despise fashion shows, so we didn’t watch the Bench Fashion Show. And guess what? If enough people bucked up and turned off their TVs and livestreams, or if they changed the channel, any smart businessman would change the product due to unpopularity or go away entirely. Consider it the same way as heckling a live performance. If you don’t like it, LEAVE.

And before you give me the, “Well, it’s just not a level playing field.” argument, think about this: You don’t put out a fire by starting your own.

Done calling me a misogynist and a sexist? You actually made it to the end of this blog post? Good for you! here’s a video of bacon sizzling as a reward.

Hazing: It Takes Two To Tango

The usual premise applies: These are just my opinions, what I say is just what I personally think, blah, blah, blah…Quite frankly if you’re a regular reader, (in which case I am so sorry.) you should already know by now that I’m NOT someone you should be taking your social cues from.

In the midst of the chaos and ballyhoo of everyday life, one news story that stood out was one a student of a nearby college from where I study, who last week was one of the unfortunate victims of a fraternity hazing ritual that ultimately led to his death. As I type this, investigations are allegedly underway and people are changing their profile pictures and Sharing statuses in protest of frat hazing.

In my opinion though, I’m pretty sure there’s a two-way strait that most people aren’t seeing.

I don’t know him personally. I don’t know how he thinks and how he acts. All I know is he was a college student and a former ROTC guy. But I’ve also never pledged to a fraternity. And believe when I say I’ve been invited, and have blissfully declined. So while I am saddened at the idea of someone becoming a victim of something as pants-on-backwards stupid as joining a fraternity or sorority, quite frankly I also have no sympathy for anyone gullible enough to join and unable to figure out for themselves that anyone doing anything that even seems like a hazing ritual is not someone who one should be associating with.

Don’t get me wrong though. I HATE the idea of fraternities and sororities. I have no desire to associate with anyone involved in fraternities or sororities because I feel that their ideas of unity and belonging is backwards and their “tests” are just their means of taking their day out on random strangers. Likewise, I also have little to no sympathy for anyone dumb (And yes, I will use the term DUMB.) enough to not figure out that taking a paddle to the ass from anyone aside from your parents when they punish you for doing something bad, or taking any cumbersome object to the nether-regions is NOT A GESTURE OF COMPANIONSHIP.

And I know I’ll most likely get a bombardment of comments saying, “Well, it’s not that easy to just say NO.”, “What about peer pressure?”, and “Don’t generalize frats, sororities, and/or people who join them.” A couple of things:

1.) Is really IS easy to just say NO. Just do that moron thing most people seem to neglect: THINK!!!
2.) I have this saying, and it’s a twisted version of a classic quote: “A person is only as good as the company they keep.” If your current friends are the types that would take a hot poker to the rump or doing anything dangerous for the sake of “fitting in”, then maybe you should entertain this crazy idea of finding new friends (I know, crazy right?)
3.) No, I will NOT stop generalizing. I think that fraternities and sororities are disgusting groups who try to hide their barbarism through wearing a mask, and I also think that anyone who tries to join is just gullible and should understand just what they’re getting into. And anything contrary is just exceptions to the rule in my book.

I refuse to buy into a culture whose idea of “belonging” is a hazing ritual, and I also don’t buy into anyone’s excuse for joining such ilk. Please, just THINK. It saves lives. Especially yours.

Charcoal Sketches

I’ve been working with some charcoal for the past few weeks. Here are some of the results.

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion  Current UFC Middleweight No.1 Title Contender 21-4-0 Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
Current UFC Middleweight No.1 Title Contender
21-4-0
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida

TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao

TJ Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 1.

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 1.

Former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion  2004 PRIDE FC Heavyweight World Grand Prix Champion  34-4-1 (Personally, the greatest Heavyweight in MMA History) Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko

Former PRIDE FC Heavyweight Champion
2004 PRIDE FC Heavyweight World Grand Prix Champion
34-4-1
(Personally, the greatest Heavyweight in MMA History)
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko

Bob Marley

NSTP-ROTC: A Look Back

“Do not regret what is done.” -Miyamoto Musashi

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It was kind of surreal seeing this posted around campus. I mean, it feels like it was only yesterday I got the notice that I was approved to take ROTC back in Term 2 of my first year in college. And as much as I loathed waking up at 5am every Saturday to go to school, I have to admit, ROTC grew on me.

From the first training “Hell” day, I was in the Light Duties unit due to asthma. Basically, my job was to either sit around and do menial labor for the staff, or watch the cadets and cadettes train. So I said to hell with that, and volunteered myself to bring my camera every Saturday to document the training sessions.

Fast forward to Term 3, where I truly saw the mettle of the 247th Corps be tested. In preparation for the National and Local Annual General Tactical Inspections (NAGTI & LAGTI). From sun up to sun down, I had the privilege of going around the Jose Bonifacio Naval Station Parade Grounds documenting the training. From the R&A and Model rehearsals to the Medics and SPs doing their thing, I was exposed to something I don’t think CWTS can top: The fierce bond that each member of every Unit to get their batchmate through each task at hand.

We all started out as strangers. In ROTC, we were hard-pressed to find a blockmate, let alone ANY familiar face, because most of them went to CWTS. But it really astonished me how despite this, in the end, there was a fierce bond with not just every member of each platoon, but how the whole 247th Unit just opened up to each other as a whole. We went from strangers, to friends, to family. And I am thankful that I got to witness it firsthand.

I don’t have the same experience or stories the other units have had with the other Light Duties because I mostly spent my time away taking pictures, but I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the Staff (Who may not see this.), the Officers, And every single member of the 247th DLSU NROTCU for allowing me to do what I do. I joined ROTC for one reason: To continue what I’ve been doing since CAdT back in High School, I was the Corps Photographer then and thankfully I was allowed to be Corps Photographer now. I never wanted to be the Light Duty cadet who just sat around and watched, I wanted to be one of those LD cadets to, despite the condition, made himself useful. I can’t describe how much it made documentation so much lighter whenever someone in the Corps asked for a photo, or struck a pose in the middle of rehearsal just for the sake of posterity.

I want to share something my High School commandant said during our CAdT graduation last year: “Ad Astra Per Apsera: A Rough Road Leads To The Stars. Though the road may be rough, you will never travel alone.” It doesn’t matter that we didn’t win the championship in LAGTI, what matters is we’ll never travel the rough road again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I still have “In The Navy” stuck in my head.

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C./Pvt. ALPHONSO RAFAEL TAN ANDIN, LIGHT DUTIES

Children of the Cord

My kingdom for a horse.

First off, I want to mention that what I’m about to say is my opinion. I have no right to dictate how a child should be raised and how a parent raises their spawn. So while it astonishes me that I love in a world where I have to make that disclaimer, if you’re the type that’s easily offended by opinion, then stop reading NOW.

From the time I was a toddler to when I’m a turning-20 man right now, I’ve never been into technology. The closest thing I have to a fancy gadget is my phone. My cameras? Dad’s. Laptop? Sister’s. Being born in the 90’s the things that entertained me when I was a kid were LEGOs, dinosaur books, Tamiya model kits, RC cars, the occasional cartoon, Sunday comic strips, and playing OUTSIDE.

Sadly, LEGOs, dinosaur books, Tamiya model kits, RC cars, the occasional cartoon, Sunday comic strips, and playing OUTSIDE have been replaced by Temple Run, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, 2Fuse, Dumb Ways To Die, and Flappy Bird. Somehow, being a kid went from conquering imaginary kingdoms with sticks to getting latched onto a gadget the moment little Tyrone or baby Keisha popped out of their mom’s box.

I have no right to judge you as a parent, but I do wish to know why a someone would bestow upon a child an iPhone or a tablet before anyone’s even sure he’s potty trained or mastered tying his shoelaces by himself. I want to know why any self-respecting parent would anoint their hellspawn with a gadget before she learns how to color inside the lines. I want to know why a parent would rather distract a child with pixels and a screen rather than send them outside to LIVE A LIFE.

I understand that we’ve reached the digital age where just about everything under the sun is online, and we’re most likely two inventions short of pretty much printing our food and being able to eat them when they’re fresh out of the printer. But sadly, it’s escalated to where giving children expensive gadgets isn’t a PRIVILEGE, it’s a RIGHT.

See, when I was growing up, I wasn’t just given things willy-nilly, I had to EARN them. The very first gadget I ever got was an Olympus camera, because I got 2nd honors during first grade. After that, it was 5 whole years without any fancy gadgets because I let my grades slip and caused trouble in school. It wasn’t until  I wasn’t just given shit, I had to essentially pay for them in my academics. The gadgets I have now? They’re not rights, they’re REWARDS.

I repeat (once again), I have no right to dictate how a parent should raise their child. I can only make suggestions. So here goes: How about you take that iPad, iPhone, Galaxy Note, and Google Glass away from your kid and send him outside with a basketball and tell him to shoot some hoops. Put her in some fitting clothes and send her to dance or ballet class. Put the twins in gis or boxing gloves and find someone to teach them self defense. Instead of raising a drone, why don’t you raise a HUMAN BEING? Go do that so you’re not one of these poor excuses for parents worrying and wondering why their little Jimmy isn’t as sociable as you wanted. Well gee, Mom and Dad. Jimmy seemed to be such an adventurous, outgoing, boisterous little boy with all those hours he’s been huddled in the corner, face buried so far into that iPad screen he’s French kissing the Apple logo on the back of it.

Don’t raise a drone, raise a little boy or girl. The world’s brainwashed as it is. Let them go outside and live their lives. They’ll stumble and fall sometimes, but that just comes with the package of being a kid (Hell, being a human being.). They’re only kids for so long, and in no time at all they’ll be looking for a college, earning a degree, and raising kids of their own. So make sure they make the most of BEING KIDS. The fancy trinkets and gadgets? They’re not RIGHT. They’re PRIVILEGES and REWARDS. That iPad, iPhone, Galaxy Note, and whatever else you’ve probably got your child obsessed into right now? THAT’S what CAN (and SHOULD in times of failure) be taken away from them (until they improve themselves), not their childhood.

If this doesn’t happen NOW, then who’s truly failed here? The kid for being thrust into gadgets at 3 years old? Or the parent for raising a brainwashed robot, not a child? I want to know, can you show it? I want to know about these children of the cord.

Why I Think The MRT/LRT Price Hike Is A GOOD Thing

For 14 years of my life I’ve had a driver bring me to school every weekday. But now that I’m in college I have to commute. And with a taxi cab and a bus being a bit too risky and hazardous these days, I have to take the train. Taking a train, whether it be the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) or the Light Railway Transit (LRT) is never a fun experience for me. The lines, the dust, the crap trains, and dealing with the people who can’t take a hint when the train is clearly full are never enjoyable things to have when commuting.

But what do you expect from low fares from something that started on loans?

Recently, the people at the Department of Transportation and Communication(s) (DOTC) announced the proposed new fares for the MRT and LRT. And not an hour went by before I had friends and acquaintances bombard my Facebook and Twitter News Feed with complaints, rants, and negative reactions against the higher prices, and the media (being the media), releasing stories that stirred the usual knee-jerk reactions from commuters. I’m willing to bet that while 99% of the Filipino commuters gripe and spew vitriol about this matter, there’s the 1%, me included, that’s saying, “It’s about damn time.” And I think it’s about damn time that the 99% need to buck up, swallow their pride, grow a set, and just pay up if they ever want to get better quality experiences on the transit.

Why do I believe the hikes are a good thing? Six simple words: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

It’s pretty simple that 90% of the time, cheap prices mean cheap service. I think I speak for anyone with enough time to think this all through that this applies to the transits. The MRT and LRT lines were started on loans. And in today’s ways of life, 10-20 peso fares are never going to be enough to pay off the interest alone, no matter how many people take the train everyday. “So why not ask for another loan?” Caloy, since when did compounding the issue ever help solve anything? The higher prices are going to be set to not only pay the debt quicker but to improve the quality of the trains better to meet certain demands and expectations that come with the more expensive trips. You want better service? Be prepared to sacrifice some conveniences.

Think of it this way: The North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways used to be chockful of things to be pissed off about. But since the prices of toll fees have gone up, the service improves sensationally. 2-hour drives shortened to one hour or less and life on the expressways improved greatly because higher prices mean bigger demand for better service. So what does this mean for the trains? It means that with the higher priced fares, the people are in better positions to expect better service. Spending Php100 for a one-day ride means that the service needs to be better to reel in more income for the DOTC. Because while higher prices means more demands, it also means less room for excuses.

I also have my list of wants for the trains. More security, cleaner facilities, more organized stations, better quality trains, zero tolerance for any moron that tries to push his/her way into the trains like some kind of jackass, etc. But unfortunately, improvements require sacrifices, and that means more money from commuters. So sorry, folks. It’s pay up or shut up, if you want any improvement to happen at all.