the youth of today

Now that I’m entering my 30s, I’m finding out that one fun thing about being almost-old is having the “right” to say things like, Hay, ang mga kabataan nga naman ngayon (What’s with young people nowadays)… and then rant about how the younger folk are indecisive, apathetic, lacking depth, irresponsible—you know, all those things grown-ups used to say about me and my generation not too long ago.

While such observations about the youth may hold some truth, we have also seen that when their imagination is captured and their boundless energy properly directed, the youth can be a powerful catalyst for positive change.

The “interfaith” rally today in Makati calling for President GMA’s resignation did not have a shortage of participants from the youth sector. One particular group that was featured in the evening news had me laughing out loud—not in mockery, mind you, but in sheer admiration of their youthful spirit. As the report showed, it had started to drizzle during the rally. This prompted some creative young protesters to chant, “Rain, rain go away! Isama na si GMA!” Haha! How clever is that!

Weeks ago, just when whistle-blower Jun Lozada had come out in the open, I saw a “man-on-the-street” interview of a female college student. I suppose the question was about the youth’s response to Lozada’s sordid account of massive corruption in government. With fire in her eyes, College Girl declared, “The youth of today are not apathetic. We will not tolerate a corrupt government. If necessary, we will not hesitate to take to the streets carrying our tarps!”

Tarps? I did not get it at first, then I burst out laughing! Oh yes, placards and streamers are soooo yesterday. Tarpaulin banners or “tarps”. Now there’s a cool thing to brandish in rallies. And they’re waterproof too. Talk about being hip and practical!

Okay. This is just me warming up to being on the other side of the age demographic fence 🙂


‘welrusten’ – i think

My coworkers and I took a visiting Dutch guy to the TriNoMa mall tonight. Over crepe and hot drinks, he asked us about the Tagalog translation for good night. And we were stumped. The closest we could come up with was magandang gabi—which is actually good evening.

Hmm… Ano nga ba?

He ended up teaching us how to say good night in Dutch instead. If I remember correctly what he wrote on the table napkin, it’s welrusten. Now remembering how it’s spelled is one thing; getting the pronunciation right is quite another. I tried hard but couldn’t quite get it right.

I remember from one of my college classes that past a certain age, we become deaf to certain consonant sounds that are not in our native language. Maybe that cut-off is thirty.

One more week to go before I say welrusten to my twenties and wake up to a new decade.

(Got a text from my Dutch friend after posting this entry. It’s “welterusten.” I knew it didn’t look quite right! Aaagh.)

all in 2020

Imagine this. Tech experts predict that, based on Moore’s Law, by 2020 it is possible to have a portable storage gadget, say an iPod, with a capacity large—no, humongous!—enough to hold every movie, every TV show, every sound recording ever known to humankind.

Wow. Something about that prospect seems scary. What exactly, I can’t quite put a finger on it yet…


If you’re like me when you go see a movie, you make sure you don’t miss the trailers before (or after) the main feature. Trailers are works of art all their own—so much fun to watch, dangling before us the promise of adventure, drama, or what not. Of course, in function they’re nothing more than ads, the perfect marketing ploy to keep us movie buffs coming back to the dark room: We see a coming-soon film that catches our fancy, and we declare, while licking popcorn cheese stains off our fingers, “I am so gonna watch that!” That’s exactly how it was for me when I saw the trailer for Vantage Point last month.

This weekend, I finally saw Vantage Point, starring Dennis Quaid, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox, and Forrest Whitaker. And I’m still trying to catch my breath. The last time I had to remind myself to breathe in front of the wide screen was while watching Matrix 2’s breathtaking freeway chase scene. (I still get dizzy thinking about it!)

The drama and action of Vantage Point are so palpable I had goosebumps and a lump in my throat almost all throughout the film! I’m no film critic, but I think I know good storytelling when I see one. And this one’s fantastic! Although I think the ending wasn’t able to measure up to the bombastic start and middle, it did tie all the loose ends in a beautiful knot that could leave your mouth gaping, while your pulse is still elevated from the previous scenes’ adrenaline rush. I guess there has to be a point when the wild ride ends and your blood pressure normalizes. Otherwise there’ll be reports of heart attacks in cinemas worldwide!

Don’t wait for the DVD. Go spend your hard-earned moolah on this one. It’s so worth the ride—if only for when the tiny hairs on your nape stand on end every time the bomb explodes! While you’re at it, don’t miss the trailers.

a friend’s psalm

A sleepless friend on the other side of the planet shares a Psalm.

Psalm 103

Of David.

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

And half-a-world away I say, “Amen!”