The LaSallian Menagerie (July 2005)

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    1/7VOL. XLVI NO. 2 JULY 2005

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    FO

    OODMOVIE

    TV SHOW

    RATING:

    RATING:

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    ER PHOTO:NE REYES

    ER IMAGING:MICHAEL JAUDIAN

    OUT:MICHAEL JAUDIANS DE VERA

    It all started in Katipunan (thats Eagles turf for you and me), where everyones sweet tooth finds its refutheir irresistible doughnuts and mouth watering dips people just cant get enough of these sweet treats. Mawhy owner Cello Santos just had to open another branch, which incidentally for La Salle students , is just astreet. And with its bright and lively orange-and-white color scheme illuminating that patch of dark area juthe North Gate, its definitely hard to miss.

    Cellos Doughnutsoffers a total of 12 flavors, from the traditional (chocolate, cheese, honey-glazglazed, peanut butter, caramel, strawberry, candy sprinkled, and chocolate sprinkled) to the unique (Oreo, M&Ms). Aside from that, Cellosalso offers tiny square shaped bread called Pillowsand curved pieces of breCs. Dips are definitely recommended, making their pillows and Cs go from the normal tasting honey glazedcentric taste. Just like in the doughnuts, there is also a wide variety of dips to choose from - toblerone, nutchocolate, white chocolate and strawberry.

    Once an order is placed, the crew sees to it that they give their customers the freshest batch of newdoughnuts that they have. So once the doughnut touches the customers mouth, one can feel the softness of tjust right enough to indulge in a few seconds of heavenly feeling. The sweetness of their flavors is also menough not to make the customers want to drink water every time they take a bite.

    Though this restaurant bears the imposing aura of a posh doughnut shop, it is surprising to note prices are not far from the prices of their competitiors, such as Go Nuts Donutsand Dunkin Donuts. A box ofcosts P90, with each donut costing only P16. A box ofCs, containing 6 pieces, costs P60, and an additiomakes it P90. A bag ofPillows, containing 20 pieces is only P90, and if added with a dip costs P120. Their cheeis another great aspect as well, greeting their customers once they enter the store. It has such a lively atwherein students can take their mind off their studies and just unwind.

    However, being newly opened, there are still areas that need improvement, like the occasioanl inaof their offered concoctions. But with a little more consistency and steady supply of their products, Cellos isnot far from living up to its slogan - Loving it everyday!

    -Rosanna Gu

    Looking for a different ice cream experience? This new ice cream bar with prime locations at Ghills and Eastwood City offers just that. A new approach in the preparation of its ice cream aintroduction of refreshing ice cream concoctions are the main attraction of Floyds Ice Crea

    Their innovative Floydstone or frozen granite stone which is used in mixing the ice concoctions was a first in the Philippines. First, customers pick their choice of ice cream (from Fruits in Ice Cream) and smoosh-ins (toppings) like Marshmallows, nuts, m&ms, orchoco chips, etc. It is then mixed in the Floydstone and Viola! You have your own unique iceconcoction! You could even have a name for your own creation to be included in their menuFrozen Thrills and best-seller concoctions like the Yin & yang, Almondine, Chocolate Bliss dulce Vita are definitely must tries. This ice cream bar also offers shakes like fruit-flavored smies, milkshakes and parfaits. There are also cakes transformed into ice cream cakes like Turfrozen tiramisu, mango torte, mud pie, cookies & cream and many more! They also have dipie desserts to complement their wide range of ice cream varieties. Aside from cold dessertalso offer puttanesca and carbonara pastas and different crepes. The price range is also affowith a budget of around a hundred to two hundred bucks, you can definitely try a couplebest selling concoctions in this bar - a nice alternative to your usual frappucinos.

    The interior complements the overall inviting feeling of the bar perfect for shoppewaiting movie-goers. The location is also perfect especially in Eastwood where it is situatethe movie house. This is the perfect ice cream bar for those in quest of a sugar rush, you canget tired of the varieties that this bar has to offer. Satisfy that sweet tooth with all the posscream concoctions you could ever think of!

    - Angeline M

    It is now a matter of time before the thrilled facesof young teenagers and J.K. Rowling enthusiastsare seen back at the theatres for another wild ridewith the famous wizard. Yes! Harry Potter is backfor another encounter with the mysterious, darkand magical world of Witches and Wizards in thepromisingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Themain cast is once again reunited with Daniel Radcliff(Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and EmmaWatson (Hermione Granger) ready for the kicks.

    The start of the film sets the tone for the

    whole movie and is obviously written to follow andeven polish the steps of its predecessors. Harry,now 14, is frequently haunted by the same dreamthat leaves him hanging and keeps arousing hiswizardly incredulity. This movie takes on the chal-lenge of the fourth book which is filled with themost details about the struggle between Harry, hisfamily and You-Know-Who. No wonder there wereeven plans of breaking this movie into two, but theproducers and crews were adept at sticking to usualconventions by finishing the whole book instead.This time, the dark Lord Voldemort, played by theprolific Ralph Fiennes , (Maid in Manhattan, TheRed Dragon) will now appear in the flesh, togetherwith a more active group of Dark Eaters roamingHarrys world in search for victims. Pulling free fromhis hapless disposition while attached to the back ofProfessor Quirrels head in the Sorcerers Stone, hisrise to power is surely an exciting watch.

    The three movies differ in their focus and em-phasis. Although the movie is boasting a wideningarray of new characters, it may be problematic inallocating more airtime for the leads. Then again,

    the movie will not only reflect the storys escalationtowards more action and a wonderfully complicatedplot. Instead, it also develops the broadening per-sonalities of the three main characters. Ron Wea-sley, with the ever bothered look on his face, haschanged since the first movie. Perrenial bookwormHermione Granger also develops a love interest inthe form of Quidditch star Victor Krum (StanislavIanevski). Harry, on the other hand will again bewrapped up in so many things that it makes himlook like the most popular kid in Hogwarts, but, he

    supposedly isnt.Particularly appealing here, of course, are

    the special effects and creature designs by NickDudman who also worked in the previous twosequels. Again, the beauty of the movie lies in theidiosyncrasies absent from the Muggle World. Theunderwater siren, dragons, other mythical crea-tures and of course, Horntail the pet, are amongthe films amazing concepts and highlights. On theother side of Hogwarts, and lightening the movie abit is Harrys continuing Quidditch exploits, and hisgrowing crush on Cho Chang (Katie Leung), whichpromises a lot to the young at heart.

    With a budget of $170 million, and prominentdirector, Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral)in the helm, this movie is packed with ripe adven-tures and a mixture of Rowling formula that havewon the imaginations of readers. Heres anotherproof of how Harry Potter sequences just keepson getting better.

    - Nancy Chua

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireD: Mike NewellS: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, EmmaWatson, Ralph Fiennes

    Welcome back to Kansas, Toto. Last seasonsSmallville left Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum)being rendered unconscious by a glass of poi-soned whisky, Lana Lang (Kristin Kruek) flying toParis, and Clark Kent (Tom Welling) himself gettingsucked into the cave.

    This time around, the fourth season evolvesfrom focusing on Clarks relationship with his

    adopted family and deeper into the Supermanmythology. It all starts in the middle of things andright away introduces a new character in the formof - gasp! - Lois Lane (Erica Durance).

    The central storyline this time is the searchfor the three elusive Kryptonian artifacts that bringabout infinite knowledge and power to those whocan possess it. Greed and lust for power lead thecharacters to all corners of the Earth in search ofthe artifacts. Along the way, we meet Lanas mys-terious boyfriend Jason Teague (Jensen Ackles)and his mother Genevieve (Jane Seymour) whohave motives of their own. Likewise, the traditionalSmallville Freak of the weeks new and old return.

    Clark and gang enjoy the rigors of senior year whilepondering with moving forward.

    This season boasts great performances fromTom Welling, Allison Mack, and the newcomer EricaDurance. The scheming Luthors steal the show withthe best performances in the series. Also memora-ble are Clarks parents played by Annette O Tooleand John Schneider who provide some of the best

    scenes despite their shortened appearances. KristinKreuk is sadly left with weak stuff but neverthelessmanages to hold her own. The production valuesare great, using beautiful lighting techniques andeffects that local fantaseryes can only dream of.

    Unfortunately, the overall story still suffersfrom plot holes and forced subplots. Supermanpurists might also be turned off by Lois Lanesearly introduction into Clark Kents life. All in all,Smallville Season 4 pales in comparison to a ratherstrong third season, and it leaves viewers on theshort end of the stick.

    - Franz Francisco Chan

    t be fooled by that dainty damselg our cover. We havent gone Cos-tan.nor have we invoked the ma-t spirits of Brini Maxwell and Marthat.gid social norms are indeed one of thenfathomable contributions of mankindrded history. Admit it or not, weven forced to conform to an establishedrd of order. But more often than not,andards have not only divided classes,yve also made individuals subject toand prejudice. But we tend to forgetere is more to a person than copyinges from magazines and drinking wineised pinkies.for this July, Menagerie focuses on go-ond superficial facades and glorifyingelf-identity.r our Cover Story, we analyze man-ever-present fixation on beauty vis--vis

    pino societys obsession on beautynts. For the Lounge, weve been givennor to feature the DLSU Communica-epartments very own Dr. Clodualdondo, Jr and his entry to the upcomingalaya Festival, Pepot Artista. For ours Forecast, our writer predicts how theoming of subcultures might eventually non-conformity becoming the veryis rebelling against. And finally, forCentavos Worth, one of our newestshares her thoughts on how not be-

    ncil-thin should not be a hindrance tollment.with that, I leave you an excerpt

    irector Baz Luhrmanns modern-dayerata, Everybodys Free (to Weareen):joy your body, use it every way you

    dont be afraid of it, or what otherthink of it,its the greatest instrument

    ever own

    Juan Carlos ChavezMenagerie Editor

    Floyds Ice Cream BarLocations:-Kiosk 5, Cinema Lobby, City Walk 2, EastwoodCyberpark, Libis, Quezon City-2nd floor Promenade, Greenhills CommercialShopping Center, San Juan

    Smallville Season 4(Studio 23, Tuesdays, 9:00 p.m.)

    RATING:

    Cellos Doughnuts and DipsBurgundy Transpacific Place, Taft Avenue

    rs Note Rant n Rave

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    The LaSallian: How did you come up with the idea forPepot Artista?Clodualdo del Mundo: It all started many years ago,during the school year of 1970-1971. I was the only stu-dent in a screenwriting tutorial class under Nestor Torre. Iwrote the screenplay for Pepot Artistathen. Maybe I wasinfluenced by 400 Blowsby Francois Truffaut, in which adelinquent boy, is the main character. Then I thought ofmaking some commentaries about the film industry at thattime, so I created the character of a boy who wanted tobe a star. It all started there.

    TLS: You mentioned that you wanted to make a commen-tary. It was set in the seventies yet produced now. Howhas the message changed over the years?CDM: I revised the screenplay, so the subject covers awider area. The commentary goes beyond the filmmak-ing industry. I think the theme has now become about the

    excessive interest of Pinoys in entertainment, and makessome comments about the entire society.

    TLS: How realistic is the film, or did you treat it as anexaggeration?CDM: Its a comedy, so theres a lot of exaggeration inthat. It was set in the early part of the film when the motherlights a candle and drops candle wax on the boy - thatsan exaggeration already that sets the tone for the film.

    TLS: Was Pepot Artistayour first choice when you submit-ted it for Cinemalaya?

    CDM: Yes. I forget now the details, but I thought of it atonce, when I learned about the festival.

    TLS: What can you say about the selection of other entriesin Cinemalaya?CDM: I think its going to be a good festival. There aretwo other films that are made by LaSalle graduates. RicaArevalos entry is ICU Bed #7, which stars Eddie Garcia.And the other film, also by LaSalle graduates CorinneJimenez and Mario Cornejo, made Big Time. Ive seentheir films and theyre very good. I know the other p rojectsin the festival, I think theyre good. Theyre very differentfilms, so its going to be an exciting festival. Also, theyrenot formulaic films, or genre movies. There are as manykinds of films as there are filmmakers.

    TLS: How involved was Cinemalaya in the productionprocess?CDM:

    They just monitored the production, finding out howit was going. Periodically we had to submit some r equire-ments, like unedited footage, stills from shooting. At least inmy case, they did not inter fere with the production itself.

    TLS: Why did you decide to try your hand at directing?CDM: Ive wanted to direct since I got interested in films.Id done short films, and videos when I took my masters inthe early seventies. I also made a 16 millimeter film docu-mentary. I shot it myself and I edited it myself. But therewas no opportunity for me to direct in a full-length movie.The only opening I got then was as a scriptwriter.

    TLS: Screenwriting is a very privateroutine as opposed to directing. Howdid you manage the shift?CDM: There was not so much adjustmentthat I had to make because Ive directedfor television, educational television, likeSineskwelaand Math-tinik. Ive workedin film production and television produc-tion so Ive worked with people. So it wasnot a problem.

    TLS: Whats your screenwriting proc-ess?CDM: How do I write? Well, in this par-ticular project, maybe its been a part ofme so much that I did not have to thinkabout it too much. I just relied on what-ever was happening around me, andflowed with the events. I knew the storyby heart, I knew the characters by hear t.In revising the screenplay, I just let it flow.

    And when I saw things around me, likefor example, a birdhouse on a rooftop. Isaw it while I was looking from a buildingoverlooking Leveriza, and I just thoughtit might be a good detail that the boycould be taking care of pigeons. It all fellinto place, and I was able to use it as animportant detail in the story.The idea of using Biyaya ng Lupaas areference was not in the original screen-play, its in the revision. It just came to meout of the blue, and I thought I could usedetails in Biyaya ng Lupa. For instance,the mother being one of the actors whoappeared as an extra in the film or oneof the children being deaf. Those refer-ences just came out of the blue, a nd I justflowed with the events.

    TLS: What about your directorial style?Was it also as subconscious?CDM: Maybe not, because I had tomake decisions on the set. I had to con-sider problems that we encountered onthe set and I had to make adjustments.But I just wanted to make things as simpleas possible. I didnt want to call too muchattention to style. Its not a flamboyantstyle, its not an MTV-ish style. I guess Iwas looking for a simple, functional style,an almost absent style. That was what Iwas aiming for.

    TLS: Of all the films youve been involvedin, which is the most personal to you?CDM: I guess the documentaries thatIve done, especially Maid in Singapore.I shot it during my stay in Singapore.Pepot Artista is close to me because Ivewanted to do it since the seventies. So if

    only because of that, its more personalthan the others. And I directed it myselfso I have more control over the film.

    TLS: What are your hopes for PepotArtista?CDM: I hope that it will be shown to agreater public. We plan to bring it to thedifferent schools, and to find other venuesto show the film. I just want to show it todifferent audiences and hopefully theyenjoy the film.

    Pepot Artistamay be an inspiringtake on achieving ones dreams, butDr. del Mundo is living proof that it is,indeed, possible. It may have taken himthirty-three years to do so, but the waitwas well worth it.

    A New Path For Dr. Doy

    It seems hard to believe that Dr. Clodualdo del Mundo,Chair of the Department of Communication, after aboutthirty years of working for the film industry, had not quiteachieved his dream until now. Having worked with legendssuch as Lino Brocka, and writing screenplays like Maynila,Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag and Bayaning Third World, he hasfinally gotten the chance of directing his first feature film,Pepot Artista, a story he had conjured up long before any of

    his other achievements. Enter Cinemalaya, a festival that hasgranted first time directors with P500,000 to produce a film.Dr. del Mundo is one of the nine finalists in this festival andhis film is among the more highly anticipated ones.

    AboutPepot

    Dr. Clodualdo del Munddebut for a feature film isa story about a young bstardom. Set during theyears and a time when bbeginning to reign over wstories, the film brings us agic homage of the Nora AuIII love team, as well as a cto the 1959 film Biyaya n

    Pepot (Elijah Castillo), ten who delights in mischiesells comic books to help wfinancial struggles, dreammore than richness: a desto become a movie star. Defrom has-beens and fail his mother (Rio Locsin), aat a fair, played by Bituin

    Jeffrey Quizon he continthat greater opportunitiesfor him. It arrives at a chaof a film shooting, with ckids as extras. Pepots adhim realize that the world ifor him, and the artificial wfor isnt quite at his arms

    Highlights of this film idrive to earn enough monbreak; the rather unconveof his parents; and the unclichs every boy goes being bullied to having cning away. The films apenhanced with cameos frIII himself, Jose Javier Villame, and Tado Jimena female teacher reminiBukol), among others. A cocal, and a period film comArtista relives a genre thain current Filipino cinemaremains marketable to all amore so apt for todays Fat a time when the film into be dying, brings op

    obsessive leisure that is aculture. This, as well as thfact that every Filipino dreaand fame, gives enough Pepot Artista is worth wat

    Catch Pepot Artista at the followingscreenings: July 13 9:30 PM CCPStudio Theater; July 14 1:00 PM CCPLittle Theater; July 16 9:30 PM CCPMulti-Purpose Hall; July 17 7:00 PMCCP Little Theater

    PHOTOS BY ERIC SIY AND APRIL DE GUZMAN

    ANJELI PESSUMAL

    Lounge

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    Truth, beauty, freedom, love. The unforgettablewords that immortalized Moulin Rougeinto 21stcentury cinema ring of a very old tune. Years

    ago, French women danced to the can-can to cel-ebrate these four declarations. After so many years,truth and freedom and love have eluded most of thehuman species, but beauty has always remainedinvariable. It has found its pedestal in history, fromthe legendary Helen of Troy to Chen Yuan Yuan ofChina, whose legendary beauty indirectly openedthe flagging doors of the Ming Dynasty for the Man-churians. Renowned beauties have all played crucialroles in the politics and economics of everyday life.Whichever way it is put, beauty transcends all racesand all time. It is no surprise then that since the firstMiss Universe crown was put on then 18-year oldFinnish Armi Kuuselas head in 1952, the world hasopened new perspectives in defining beauty, andinevitably, brought a string of controversies with it.

    Birth of BeautyWhen Americas Neil Armstrong set foot on

    the moon, the whole world witnessed history in themaking. But when Gloria Diaz was crowned Ms.Universe, it was a mark of a new sensation that fas-cinated Pinoys more than laying eyes on the newestscientific breakthrough. Year after year beauty queensbecame the most anticipated inventions that gavechallenge, from trainers to fashion designers. Filipinoslove to idolize. Who would forget Miriam Quiam-baos famous fall? Hilarious? No, it was confidenceadded with grace, as the country sang in praises.

    Filipinos have always had a thing for present-ing their best foot forward, something manifestedin the tradition of hiya, of hospitality and of fiestas.We want to look good because we are attractedto anything that looks good. We know that aboutourselves, albeit implicitly, and so we find ourselvesdrawn to anything visually impressive. That meansbillboards (check out EDSA), movie special effects,and yes, beauty pageants.

    Beauty is an obsession the world over. AndPinoys know that the most interesting things neednot be the most unique ones when they switch ontheir TV sets. Eyes get drawn by attractive womenparading their glorious assets. Men gape, womencompare, and children start internalizing beauty.

    Filipinos predilection for beauty pageants go beyondthe traditional obsession with lipsticks, powders, andthe occasional blush. It has a deep-seated history as-sociated with the television culture that sprouted aseries of beauty queens and failed wanna-bees.

    When Maria Clara Danced on Center StageOne of the basic cultural conundrums of Filipi-

    nos is that they are perpetually enthralled by beautyqueens. The beautifully made-up face, the mestizalook and flawless accent, and yes, the immaculatedress, make them seem so unreachable. And all the

    more appealing. Its no wonder why most of the youthtoday aspire to be models or beauty queens. A lot ofpageantsthe Mutya, Ms. Earth, and Bb. Pilipinas in fact, exist to give them hope.

    Its clear why a hard-up people like our ownaspires for instant stardom through beauty pageants.There is much prestige attached to even just gettingin the Top Five of any renowned pageant as it opensso many golden gates of opportunities for a quick liftup the social ladder. Think of Charlene Gonzalesshowbiz career, and Gloria Diazs and Margie Mo-rans high-profile marriages to politicians. Youll seethe same Cinderella-like escape that makes beautypageants so dazzling. And sometimes, it can befunnier than you think.

    Amidst the spectacular event, its dazzling paradeof candidates awaits the vital part of the evening thequestion and answer portion. But why do eyebrowsturn down all of a sudden? Its not because of beautyqueens incapacity to answer questions critically,but language usage is one vibrant that we all oughtto give a thought. What could be used to expressviews in maintaining culture-sensitivity has becomeunfavorable or least acceptable. Why then do wesettle to either of their lousy answers on the pageantnight or their comical quotes in TV interviews thathas seemingly become an oddity? Our vernacularlanguage will not make us any less deserving.

    The Lottery

    For many young girls who flip their remotes tobeauty pageants, there is a raging question burgeon-ing on their subconscious: Are beauty queens madeor are they born? Beauty is a very subjective factor.But in pageants, there has to be a fairest of themall. Aside from the usual training sessions, one ofthe first steps towards taking part in beauty pageantsis enrolling in beauty schools. In countries such asVenezuela and India, children are taken to beautyschools as young as five years old. That explainsthese countries constant semi-final streak. Accordingto Andrea Elrington, Miss Belize Universe 2005, Idont think its a lack of intelligence or beauty withthe other countries, rather a lack of preparation thatsnecessary to come here (Miss Universe pageant) andcompete at such a high level.

    Thanks to Gregor Mendel, genetics can tell us

    that most of our inborn traits are passed on to us bio-logically. That especially refers to physical features.So it then means that if you are pretty, you were mostlikely born that way. But, whos to say whether yourchromosomes produced what is beautiful? Beautyis said to be in the eye of the beholder, so it alsohelps to be born with your beholding society declar-ing you beautiful.

    So, which ones which? The stage is set, thejudges on to their picks, and the audience, eachholding on to their bets. Enter into a world wherelooks are anything but a standard, set! But with all

    the perfection there is, and of all the shades of beautyit has, there is still that defining factor to fit the onecrown and stand out. Its the cutting edge and its notjust a matter of putting in ones confidence. Giventhat perfect face and that body shape af ter weeks ofpreparation, they definitely have what it takes. Butother than that, it reall y is the defining moment ratherthe X-factor. In a night where everything seems justright or just so, decisions keenly arrived at with win-ners fatefully chosen. No questions asked! It may bethe night for the rest of their life, the title, the prestige,and the crown that goes to one, all given in a singlenightnow call that lucky!

    Beauty in Full Circle

    As the simple adage reveals, theres no suchthing as perfection. But it absolutely doesnt stop usfrom working our ways to it. The world has becomeone vanity fair and that does not limit to womenalone. That explains why the cosmetic industry has al-ways been on the rise these days. As much as societyattaches the sense of confidence to beauty, this capitalword has become basis in increasing ones self-worth.Our social norms dictate that our appearance is areflection of our well-being. Beauty has come alongin this form and for everyones grasp for perfectionit will remain a paradox, therefore possible.

    In the 21st century, the fashion industry rules thecosmetics, clothing, and many consumer industries.Today, the words face value connote a differentmeaning: plastic surgery, Botox, and Diamond Peelsare the sassy womans guide to looking good. Asthe tricks of the trade become more and more wide-spread, a womans intelligence becomes a muchsought after asset. People today are more appre-ciative of a good head between ones shoulders. Intodays standards of beauty, any of the black, white,or yellow races can be branded beautiful.

    What is important is invisible to the eye. One ofthe truest declarations of Antione de Saint-Exupery sLittle Prince. And, what is perhaps the most invisiblebeauty lies somewhere inside. Take the BinibiningPilipinas pageant. While it is the search for MissUniverse, International and World contenders, whatmost people dont know is that its original purposewas to raise funds for various philanthropist causes.Beauty then means having not just a pretty face, but

    a heart and soul, too.Real beauty changes the tides of time; it toucheshearts, minds, and souls. It changes the world, andbrings forth new perspectives. True beauty withinreminds us that despite the worlds madness, westill have reason to hope for change. And this isperhaps one of the deepest roots of our fascinationwith pageants. Deep inside, we all realize that truebeauty enlivens what is now lost truth, freedom,and love.

    Unearthingthe Tiara

    ALEJANDRO ALMENDRAS IV,

    KRISTEL KAYE CHUA, AND NICOLE TANGCO

    There is much prestigeattached to even justgetting in the TopFive of any renownedpageant as it opens somany golden gates ofopportunities for a quicklift up the social ladder.

    PHOTOS FROM GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH

    er Story

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    When I was once asked to write about my nail care habits, I thought the ques-tion was pretty elementary. All it involved were a pair of clippers and dirty

    nails, after all! I thought I did a good job of keeping my nails tidyuntil my olderclassmates started sharing up front the rigorous processes of the manicure andthe pedicurenice names for otherwise r elentless regimes of cutting, filing, buff-ing, and French tips. When my turn came, I clutched my paper tightly and shovedit to my face. For the next few minutes, I bluffed my way out of embarrassment,trying to recall the evasive details of an imaginary pedicure.

    To me, taking care of my nails was a simple task. Hey, what was I to do? I wasa giddy 9-year unwittingly trapped in a branding institution for all that was primand proper. And when youre a little kid who dreams of nothing else but a summer

    of lazy cartoons and playground exploits, this was the ultimate nightmare.

    Raise Those Pinkies!For the next few weeks, the model-instructors of the image-empowerment-slash-

    modeling agency did their best to camouflage my rowdiness into every appear-ance of ladylike refinement. Predictably, I did not have the greatest time, but whatfascinated me was how everyone else in the room seemed to have been enjoyingall thiseveryone, that is, but me. Had I seen The Stepford Wives back then,I would have better understood what these nice folks were trying to make of me.

    I have nothing against learning my good manners. But manners are one thing,rigid social etiquette, as I would call it, is another. Manners involve showing

    MindYourManners!

    respectful behavior for the people aroundyou; rigid etiquette requires highly struc-tured behavioral patterns that scream:Im royalty! Manners are about hold-ing up your wine glass and drinking asnoiselessly as possible from it; etiquette isabout clasping your fingers around yourwine glass and subsequently raising yourpinky at precisely the right angle.

    Strict practice of this kind of etiquettecan project an inhuman sort of perfec-tion that is noticeably wanting in regularpeople. Artificial would be best suitedto describe it. Not to mention that thisstiff, methodical culture is so far fromwhats familiarly Filipino. Filipinos havea very expressive culture that imbibes anatmosphere of friendliness and warmth.In the older days, it wasnt much of aproblem when someone walked funnyor dressed up baduy. It wasnt a big

    deal whenever we chose to eat dinnerwith our bare hands, nor did anyonemind when we cackled heartily at agood joke. What mattered most was thesense of community that we fostered andthe ease at which we could express our-selves in our everyday dealings. Rigidetiquette, on the other hand, is more of aEuropean outgrowth, stemming from thestiff decorum of royal courts and statelyhouseholds. It adheres to a strict codeof conduct that one must follow based ongender, social standing and age, amongothers. Theres a specific way to do eventhe simplest of tasks, from walking totalking, and sitting. Talk about sponta-neity! In such a culture, self-expressionis curtailed in favor of keeping up withsocial expectationsand appearances.Those bows and curtsies that little earls,dukes and princesses were taught in theold days are all part of their everydayrounds of procedural etiquette.

    Of Mushrooms and ChampignonsSomehow, people are eager to prac-

    tice social etiquette that would undoubt-

    edly give them away as upper class folks.And to a growing number of image-conscious Filipinos, anything Europeanqualifies as classy and sophisticated.This does not exclude my classmates,who giggled and bounced in excitementwhen one of our instructors taught us howto pronounce the French word cham-pignons. Henceforth, they refused toutter the word mushrooms. That day,I heard champignons more times than

    I had ever heard it before that.More and more, urban Filipinos are

    easily falling prey into the clutches of theWestern invasion. Sure, globalization isa modern boon thats brought more thanenough things onto our shores to conjureup never ending tides of oohs andahhs in fascination. But increasingly,people are starting to set aside whatsinherently Filipino in favor of whats bla-tantly foreign. And no, this doesnt justapply to consumer goods on supermarketshelves and shop racks. Nowadays, theperfect image has actually become theEuropean image.

    An Ode to PerfectionUrbane culture has never been more

    obsessed with delicate refinement.The world is becoming more and morecritical of the way you dress, talk, and

    behave. These are the criteria that willultimately determine how many friendsyoull have and how far along the popu-larity track youll get. Hence, more andmore etiquette-branding institutions andmodeling agencies are cashing in onthe image-conscious culture of todaysyouth, each enticing gullible teenagers tojump into the bandwagon with promisesof supermodel makeovers and artistaprospects.

    But how perfect can we really be-come by adopting a lifestyle thats so un-natural to us? How can we be so proudof ourselves by turning our backs on ourcultural identity? How much longer canwe go on laughing at the stubby, uglyduckling who thought he was a duck,when were the ones blinded by ourpretentious vanity?

    During my short summer vacationstint at the image empowerment center,the only part of me that got empoweredwas my sense of spontaneity. It makesmore sense to call that place the eti-quette refinery. Over there, I was taughtthat the only way to be able to project an

    aura of confidence and refinement wasto sit down a certain way, walk a certainway, and pick up my drinking glass acertain way. Theres nothing wrong withadhering to this rigid etiquette and for awhile back then, I tried to do just that.But I didnt feel comfortable holding myhead up high for too long. Maybe Imnot meant for royalty. But for me, Im asperfect as anyone of them can ever beIcan always be sure of that.

    What aspect or quality abself are you most proud to

    Being a fashionistaclearly see my mood and through my clothes.

    Chr

    I am an individual whoto rise up again despite frusfailures. I have God to tha

    Ace Labu

    I am very much proud opersonality. It gives peoplethat I am capable of greateI appear to be.

    Geneve P

    I m p roud to poconfidence both in carry

    and in expressing my viewit, I gain the respect of othats something I considefulfillment.

    Carlo Ja

    My smile, because it bother peoples day.

    Ang

    Im friendly, resourcefulBecause of these qualities,hold my chin up high andstand out especially in dothers.

    Bien Morales, IV

    Being a good listenercan help others release theand even relate with their

    Pao Gatmai

    I love that I have onesense of humor. I considebe able to bring happinepeoples lives and somehthem and make even th

    difference. Athena Bonc

    I am a street smart pwisdom that I possess was nfrom any written text or lecstreet smart makes me diskarte.

    Brix Aqui

    anners involve showingspectful behavior for the

    ople around you; rigidquette requires highlyructured behavioraltterns that scream:m royalty!

    ANNE LORRAINE NG

    CONVERG

    COMPILED BY DIANNE MARG

    PHOTOS BY LUIS DE VERA

    he Beaten Track

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    ubcultural StyleIn the movie Madagascar there is a character namedGloria the hippopotamus. The hippo is known as one ofthe biggest and laziest animals. However, Gloria couldstill stand tall and be proud despite her not being too goodlooking and lazy. She knows its what on the inside thatmatters which gives her a high level of confidence. A lotof people think the same way she does, then again a lotmore dont.

    Going ricelessBeing overweight 90 percent of my life, I know how it

    feels to realize that sometimes size does matter. I havetried to lose weight but it never worked, except for nowsince I am on the riceless diet. I am proud that I have notlet rice touch my mouth, then again I hate every momentthat I see it in front of my face which is every minute ofwhen I eat. I will not be a hypocrite and say that I neverwished that I were thin. I have been teased a lot of thethings from the simple fatty to the sometimes hurtfulTitanic. I cant get proper clothes in my size and settlefor anything that fits. People always tend to think differ-

    ently of you. They think youre lazy, dumb or that youredepressed. A fat person most of the time has to be ableto prove his/herself and show that he/she isnt as lazy asone would think. People stare and you dont get treatedthe same way other smaller people would.

    Im no DUFF!On the other hand, I would still have to say being fat

    isnt as bad as it seems. Its not the worst thing that couldhappen. I agree it does have some health risks, the reasonwhy I am on the evil riceless diet. Ive got no problems atall floating in a pool. When I cross Taft, Im safe becauseonly a blind person can hit me, and if I do get hit I haveenough cushion.

    Are we depressed? No! The overweight people who Iknow are some of the funniest and happiest people that Ivemet. Every group of friends has a fatty and most likelythey are the life of the party. They wouldnt care if they

    were to make a fool of themselves in front of a thoupeople their self-confidence is amazing. I remember on a TV program having said Every good looking ga DUFF. (d ugly fat friend). She is the friend who kwhether a guy has good intentions or not.

    For me, its because we can know if the guy will sthere years from now when she is overweight and heis sagging. We know its the inside that counts. Fobeing fat or having any unwanted physical feature acincreases ones confidence, we get so us to the insultit does not bug us anymore. We realize that we are jgood or even better than the people who insult us.

    Riceless = PricelessPeople just dont get it, the only difference betw

    a thin and a fat person is the size. Society makes it like its a crime to be overweight which pressures pto resort to eating disorders like bulimia and anorIts not just about being overweight. Individuals seethink that if youre short, or y ou if dont have a good or anything else then youre just plain ugly or you

    good enough.Individuals who hate the way they look for any re

    should learn to appreciate the brighter things in lifeenjoy the cheap thrills.

    Being riceless isnt just about a diet its doingthing just to look good in hopes that life would be and perhaps you wouldnt be considered ugly. It sclich but people should just go back to the old saDont judge a book by its cover and enjoy the things life has to offer.

    In the end of it all, is the result of being riceless priceless, cant we just make life priceless now?

    Which reminds me of an Indian song where metold the advantages of having a wife who is tall, dafat. (A line in English) Even a husband whose wifeshould consider his wife great, because he does not a bed.

    Riceless

    MARIANE LOURDES PEREZ

    PHOTO BY K

    As more andmore people

    become part ofese subcultures,

    thereforeoutnumbering

    nstream society,nformists mighthen become thenew subculture.

    ROSHAN NANDWANI

    ARTWORK BY IAN ROMAN

    Since birth, our genetic configu-rations have predestined us intobecoming one-of-a-kind. No twopeople, save identical twins, havethe exact same genetic makeup.Yet we know that despite this threein a thousand1 phenomenon, thesimilarities between twins areoften only in the physical. So, ifwere all different, why do westrive to conform?

    GGPM (Gaya Gaya Puto Maya)In the 1950s, social psychol-

    ogist Solomon Asch conducted aso-called visual perception ex-periment. Asch showed subjectstwo Exhibits. Exhibit A was a line.Exhibit B was a set of 3 lines ofdifferent lengths. Asch then askedtest subjects which of these lineswere of the same length as thefirst. Piece of cake? Well, prettymuch, as 95% of the observerswere able to do this accurately(in a separate test)2. However,when Asch placed subjects ina group, with 6 other confeder-ates who were asked to give theincorrect answer most of the time,the average subject conformedto the group response on 32%of the trials, while 74% of thesubjects changed their minds atleast once3.

    This change in attitude iswhat sociologists identify as con-formity, a yielding to social pres-sure even when no direct requestto comply is made. Sociologistsidentify many factors that bringabout this groupthink, amongthem are factors we can identifywith ourselves- social support,acceptance, and the need forrespect. Inevitably, it is easier toconform than it is to stake yourown claims, which is sometimespositive as bonds people by

    giving them something to relateto. However, when people losetheir individuality in the rush toconform, then perhaps all thisfollowing may not be to our bestinterests.

    Light and DarkBut however novel the con-

    cept of non-conformity may seem,it is important to remember that

    there are people who have beengoing against the flow for years.Unable to find fulfillment in thelarger societal context, thesepeople form their own meaningsystems, and lifestyles, resultingin a distinct subculture.

    Goths, Punks, Nerds, ArtsyTypes, Hippies, Grunge, andMetalheads, are just some of themany subcultures identified bysociologists. But, what is moststriking is that a lot of us are ver yfamiliar with the elements thatdistinguish these groups. Thirstyfor fresh perspectives, societyhas often taken ideas from thesesubcultures, incorporating theminto the mainstream culture. Influ-encing fashion, movies, music,literature, and perhaps evenincreasing in size, these idi-osyncratic groups are have trulymade themselves indispensableto popular society.

    Punkd!The Internet, as well as other

    advancements in communication,has opened us to a world of limit-less information. Consequently, ithas also made it easier for us toourselves freely share informa-tion, a lot of which may be aboutour personal selves. Add to thatsocietys continuing adherencetowards concepts of diversity, tol-erance, and political correctness,

    and you have the perfect petridish to grow a world that trulyembraces individuality. And whobetter to lead the pack than thosewho have been going against theflow for years?

    Research has already shownthat demographic diversity pro-vides a lot of benefits in highereducation and the workplace.So if demographic diversity is

    good, then wouldnt the culturaldiversity offered by subculturesbe healthy for society as well?And if demographic minoritiescan be protected by laws enactedby some countries, like those onAffirmative Action, shouldnt therelikewise be laws protecting theright of minority cultures?

    Although it is much easierto do your own thing now thanit was before, society still pre-fers to keep its members in linethrough traditions, norms, andthe like. But if and when societydoes decide to throw out the oldrulebook, or at least loosen thereins, so to speak, will we still beas eager to be different, or willwe actually crave a more rigidsocial structure?

    The answer to that questionis simple. We will always cravewhat we do not, or cannot have.So in a world dominated by con-formity, subcultures will be thosewe may now consider as deviant.But soon enough, as more andmore people become part of thesesubcultures, therefore outnumber-ing mainstream society, conform-ists might then become the newsubculture. In a world filled withmore people who are deviant,looking just like everyone elseis sure to be the next big thing.Uniforms anyone?

    Individuals who hate the way they look forany reason should learn to appreciate thebrighter things in life and enjoy the cheapthrills.

    less Forecast 25 centavos worth

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