Category Archives: Reactions

The Enlightened in the Filipino Hearts

Credits to:

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A reaction paper to: Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

Ilustrado, aside from being written by a Filipino author, is a novel full of the culture and characteristics of a true Filipino, despite having the protagonists being raised up in other countries. After all, having the culture of a Filipino doesn’t necessarily mean that one had to be reared in the motherland.

First of all, Ilustrado had masterfully depicted how Filipinos loved the idea of having something to be learned. Though not explicitly said, the book actually had some interesting insights about life that would make us all thinking. One of these lessons is the frequent parent-child relationship that comes tearing apart at the start of the novel. It was when Miguel Syjuco had run away from his grandparents. But, as with the parable of the lost son, parents really do cannot resist their children, and would welcome them with open arms if they come back with repentance (the same as when Miguel had returned home. If I remember, his grandmother had become excited and met him with open arms. Proof: “The two of them struggle up to meet the child whom they thought they had lost. He [Miguel] is unable to find the words he practiced. He discovers he would not need them after all.” Ilustrado, page 289)

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Credits to:


The next characteristic of the novel is the isolation. Even from the prologue, it is evident that Crispin Salvador had been an exile due to his beliefs and boldness regarding his writings – an isolation that had caused Crispin to become what he had become: a determined author against the black aspects of the country, despite being lonely about his being an exile.

The last characteristic present in the novel is the affirmation of nationalism. We Filipinos have a tendency to write what we hear about, or what our society is. Writing is like our own gateway to freedom, though sometimes we are being hindered by others who are against the writings. And through this writings, people who read it can be informed and so reformed about the society, and we, as countrymen, become one in heart and goal: to go against the matters that hinder our society from the bright future awaiting.


The Culture Behind the Identity

The Culture behind the Identity

Reaction paper to: A Rhose by Any Other Name (by Matthew Sutherland)

             When speaking about culture, the majority’s thinking would tend to be inclined on the tribal groups of their country – on the way they live. But on a deeper understanding, culture is more than just a piece of colorfully woven clothing, intricate carvings or jewelries, or even the ritualistic behavior the majority had now admired as history. Culture digs deeper…deeper to the way we socialize, the way we act, and the way we go through our daily life. 

            Filipinos are always noted to be very creative, from the clothing that they have woven; the jewelries that they have worn, the native tattoos spread on the arms and body of the male warriors.            

            Who would have thought that this creativity would become of use even in naming their children?            

           Come to think of it, I do believe that, since we are Filipinos, none of us haven’t encountered a person possessing this kind of “unique” name. The names that, though sometimes we make light jokes about it, we continue to call our comrades, the “dessert” names, “Cute” names, and “Doorbell” names. (I personally have a “doorbell” pet name that my mother uses to call me: Nini. I know it sounds a bit funny but still, I’m proud of it)            

           In our Psychology subject, it was being discussed that a Filipino has an average of 5 pet names: a different name from each person we encounter (family, friends, and classmates). But behind all that, it all shows the rich culture that we Filipinos have inherited from our ancestors: a culture that caught the eyes and ears of Mr. Matthew Sutherland. On the article, he was greatly amused by how we Filipinos stick to a “theme” regarding names. It only implies our unconscious desire to be “unique” and “one of a kind”. 

           Of course, who would forget the infamous, technically unnecessary “H”? The “H” that makes it seems that the name is “breathy” when one pronounces it. Jhun-jhun, Mhay. (In my mind, it sounds like:Ju-hun-ju-hun and Me-hey) Again, if discussed in a deeper perspective, we want uniqueness (though it doesn’t seem to be so unique anymore nowadays, but still, I know we get the point).            

          I know that sometimes we tend to be ashamed of the names, or rather, pet names that we possess. But then, our rather out-of-this world culture always seems to attract the attention of our foreign friends, with them being greatly entertained and engrossed in our characteristics. If that is the case, then why be ashamed at all? Remember that our names are a part of ourselves, and it not only speaks about us but also about our rich heritage, so let us all carry our names with heads held up high, for it is our brand as a Filipino.


love daw


            “In short, we learn how to ‘love’, how to express and expect it, by reading about it, or by hearing it on radio or watching images of it on television and movies.”

                 – The Ideology of Love (Randy David)

Reaction paper to:The Ideology of Love

            The article speaks about love and its “different” faces, from the past and the modern perspective. Unfortunately, agreeing to what Nietzsche had mentioned, I totally disaccord on the modern semantic of love. It is not about what we know (as mentioned on the excerpt above; notice the quotation marks on the word “love”.); it is about what we feel towards a person whom we already know on a personal level.

But, as the topic of the article has said, love is sometimes used to “define” the situation in which marital relationship is being used to cover up for some other reasons, like maintaining a social status or compensating for a mistake, let’s say, to prevent having a child out of wedlock. However, as I have observed, most of the people involved in these kinds of marriages only end up getting separated. If you ask me, I can frankly say that this kind of situation cannot be considered as love, true love.

Furthermore, in contrary to what Niklas Luhmann said in his book, I believe that love’s definition is something that cannot be changed no matter how much time passes. It is not some term that we could make up a meaning to just because we feel like it, or just because it is the current rule of the thumb. Biblically speaking, it is said that God is love. If we are to connect what Mr. Luhmann said, is it logical to say that God’s nature changes over the course of time? Hebrews 13:8 says “He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

But, there is a certain point of Luhmann that I acknowledge: “Love basically refers to a sharing of personal worlds by two lovers while conceding to each other the right to their own world.” It simply means being able to understand each other mutually, yet having the respect to each other’s decisions and privacy. It is not being a “heartless dictator” when it comes to your partner’s personal life, going so far as to control the decisions of the other. Continue doing that and I assure you, you will have a very excellent relationship, one that has frequent quarrels, physical and emotional damage, and will eventually lead off to a “Hey, let’s just end this.”

It is very saddening to know that nowadays, the word “love” is being equated with infatuation and lust, whereas infatuations only lasts for a few moments and lust often leads to horrible results when acted upon. I may not have an actual experience in a “romantic” relationship, but I learn enough from what I observe of the real world, not of the rampant television shows. Of all those people that I have seen, I concluded that true love does not bring about regrets and sufferings. It does not fade away even if the wind of trials crosses its path. Moreover, it is not rash in making decisions. True love waits, persists, and rewards you know.

1st Corinthians 13:4-7

“Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.”

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