I’ve relocated myself here temporarily while my domain (orsimplycza.com) is down as I search for a convenient host.
Here are my comments on a video I saw of an episode of the ABS-CBN show “Bandila” featuring a flesh-eating sickness purported to be “spreading in Pangasinan as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed. While watching, I had the following comments:
- There is no doubt the sickness does exist; there are accounts of such diseases occurring worldwide. The province of Pangasinan is 5,451 square km large and has a population of roughly 2.7 million. However, only two afflicted people were featured in the episode. In my opinion, this is not sufficient proof that the illness is actually spreading. If it were, there would be legitimate reports addressed to public health institutions, along with concrete statistics coming from medical professionals on the prevalance of the disease, as is the case for most “outbreaks” of common diseases like dengue, malaria and flu. How come the only cases on the show appeared to come from remote areas? These might be merely isolated cases.
- How can we be sure that both sufferers are indeed afflicted with the same illness and not just similar diseases? Only the second patient reported that his skin was turning “scaly.” The first did not mention this symptom.
- Having said that there are accounts of this disease hailing from other places, both locally and across the globe, I am not so keen to think that the disease is as “mysterious” as we are led to believe. Remember the Tree Man? (probably not the same disease, however, the important thing I’d like to cite is that Tree Man is not alone in his condition; despite being the most popular, other cases have been documented!)
- Were the disease actually “spreading,” some studies would have been conducted to at least determine its prognosis if the cure remains elusive.
- From time to time, I would catch a glimpse of a non-spreaking person (presumably a crew member, or the correspondent herself, based on the frequency of her apperance and places she appears), dressed in protective clothing from head to toe. I’m not saying protection is unnecessary when embarking on the “unknown.” It is always best to undertake precautionary measures especially when one’s health might be at risk. However, in her case, I felt this was overkill. While the man and the woman shown did appear to be in bad shape due to the manifestations of their respective ailments, none of their caretakers were dressed as such. This leads me to suspect that the shower cap, lab gown and gloves were all part of a gimmick staged to create an impression that the disease is communicable when in fact, the caretakers would freely touch the patients’ wounds. These patients come from poor families and admit that they cannot afford treatment, let alone preventive medicine. This would have been a giveaway sign that that the disease is not infectious and therefore would not easily “spread” as purported.
In addition, I felt that conspicuous placement of a Twitter hashtag (#MisteryosongSakitsaBandila) on the top left of the screen (the first point of fixation of one’s eyes in the natural reading direction!) was intentionally done to draw comments from people who would have something to say on the subject. In April 2013, a certain Indian prophet by the name of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj delivered a prophecy at the Cuneta Astrodome, containing the following statement:
“The Lord says there is a place called PANGASINAN. The Lord says it is in the northernmost part in your land. From there a grievous disease will spread all over the world. That will consume the flesh of men; all their upper (outer) skin will begin to decay. It will pierce through the bones. The fear of this disease will spread all over the world. The Lord said that this (disease) will begin from the Philippines.”
Incidentally, many of Selvaraj’s followers reacted through popular social networks. Most of the comments I saw on Twitter were from people encouraging others to pray, quoting Bible verses. While I do not see anything inherently wrong with this manner of “expressing opinion,” I believe that people could be more critical about processing information and learn to seek scientific basis before making conclusions.
It all boils down to one thing: sensationalism. This Bandila report is oversensationalized as it appeals to religious beliefs to get hold of viewers’ attention. In a way, this is exploitation of the masses who consume and digest any form of information presented without much mental processing. However, it cannot be passed off as the viewers’ fault as it is the presentor’s responsibility as an agent of communication, to be accurate and truthful in his/her reporting.
(Originally submitted as media monitor, to Prof. Marichu Lambino / Communication 110, UP Diliman)
I had you five times yesterday.
You were not particularly sweet, but boy, were you comforting.
I was curious about you. I reached out towards you – with just the right blend of indifference and conviction.
I did not want you. In my head were all these reasons not to let you in my life, reasons valid in any situation.
It was an irrational decision. Then again, the move was as good as never having decided at all.
I held you between my fingertips and as your faint light burned, I took you into my system.
But you never reached so deep.
You were through before I could feel you.
I did not want you, but I wanted to feel the entire you. So I reached for you once again.
I never craved you. For a long time, I was fine without you. I could have lasted a much longer time without ever getting a taste of you again.
I never missed you, but a small part of me missed the experience of you.
Once again I struck up a flame for you.
You burned. But you would always burn out before I could fully enjoy you.
Perhaps you were never meant to give me enjoyment. But I was happy, if only just for the time that you kept me company and you stayed alight.
I immersed myself in your flavor: a flavor so empowering, it took hold of my senses. While the thought that I could reach for you at any time of my choosing made me feel so potent, I was a slave to you in that you always dictated how I felt. I surrendered myself entirely to you – and that, in turn, would give me a feeling of freedom. Freedom so real, so natural, yet devastatingly untrue.
You were always true to me. It was an act of honesty, every moment we committed to one another. I always knew you’d slip away before I’d had enough of you. I didn’t care.
You were wrong for me in the first place.
I had you five times yesterday, a few times a long way back. Perhaps those times will never be enough, because of what you are. I can change such that I might let myself have less or more, or none at all; but in spite of me, you will hold on stubbornly to your nature.
You are the same regardless of whom you’re with. Perhaps it is the constancy you carry with you that makes you so appealing.
But appeal is just that – appeal. Nothing worth craving, and certainly nothing worth risking an addiction.
For who I am, and what I can do, matters more than what you are. Soon enough, you’ll be gone from my life as quickly as you had entered.
And it will be as if I never knew you at all.
(Title borrowed from The Platters’ “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”)
So be thankful, for all the blessings. Even for the pain, which may be a blessing in disguise without your knowing.
Be thankful for everything.
Friendly tip: A map would come into good use for this endeavor. (Map of UP Diliman, via Google Image Search)
So you were unable to get those subjects you wanted, and now you’re forced to prerog. You’d very much like to, except you don’t know how. To make things worse, some trippy senior might have even told you a horror story of how prerog is likenable to having to stand before snarling teachers (aka executioners) who don’t appreciate the fact that everyone’s already at the gallows and you still have to set a schedule for the torture chamber, and having to scream “Abracadabra” before a wall that you just saw slam shut in your face. In reality, prerogging is easy if you know the procedure (and if you’ve got a hint of strategic spark in you), and through a short series of steps I will show you how. This article assumes two things: that you are currently a student in UP Diliman, and that you were unable to get the subjects you had indicated on your pre-enlistment “survey demand form” during the first, second, third, fourth, on to infinity batch run.
(For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “batch run,” it is a multi-leg marathon scheduled weeks before the scheduled enrolment date wherein UP students are assigned numbers and made to race to the finish line. At each leg of the race, random numbers are picked as winners. Not literally, of course, though I would personally argue that there is a great amount of accuracy in that description.)
First of all, let’s get down to a definition of terms. “Prerog” is short for “prerogative,” a term in the English language which means “an exclusive or special right, power, or privilege” (Merriam Webster Dictionary), because Filipinos love word contractions and UP students like to provide nicknames for commonly used terms such as “Isko,” for Iskolar ng Bayan, “Oble” for Oblation, “Acad Oval” for the Academic Oval, “Peyups” for UP with an 80s twang, and other terms that are supposed to sound mighty cool and give the impression of UP students having some kind of a Parseltongue of their own. As a matter of fact, they even give pet names to their much adored subjects under the assumption perhaps that these subjects would love them back: for instance, Eng’g (pronouncedsimply, eng. Say it twice and that’s what you are when sitting in class). In UP, to “prerog” means basically “to sign up for classes that have vacant slots, or that haven’t been filled up yet, at the college offering them or from a teacher who can create a slot for you if you got that swag.”
So how do you prerog (and enrol)? Follow these easy steps and you’ll find doing so is as easy as falling asleep in your seat.
- Enrollment requirements (Form 5, ID, Other Documents Needed for Assessment)
- Leisure activities that do not require vast spaces or athletic courts, but are guaranteed to help pass time
- It is understandable that you are still in summer/sembreak mode, but this is a special occasion and you must get to campus early on the date of enrollment. (How to know if you are on time? If you see a star in the sky that is not the sun, you are just on time. If it’s impossible to tell because if it’s cloudy outside, another way to tell is if Manong Guard is wearing a navy blue uniform or he is in a dormant state/not even there at all)
- Set up camp. Installation of tent is optional, depending on which college you are camping by. Bonfires will not be allowed so if you brought marshmallows you will have to eat them unroasted. Take in a substantial breakfast that is heavier than a pack of marshmallows.
- While waiting, know the subjects you were not able to get and make a mental list of what you want to take as replacement. (Tip: do not take a GE that unknowing freshman clamor to get; you’re not likely to be accommodated. Try for subjects with less “popular appeal” for sure slots, and a less mainstream peg altogether. If it’s a PE you’re lacking, you might have better odds and less stress all throughout the semester if you opt to take mah jongg, birdwatching, or Scrabble.)
- Follow the procedure for enrolment determined by your college, and get your CRS subjects validated at the Office of the University Registrar (OUR). What you will have now is your (incomplete) Form 5A.
- Your journey begins. Make a dash in Olympic record-setting time to the college offering the first class you intend to prerog for. (Tip: prerog first for the more appealing/high-demand subjects because slots are likely to run out sooner! Duh.)
- Follow the signs indicating the procedure for prerogging, assuming you are a UP student and can follow directions. (Note: you will not see the word “prerog” anywhere, but you will be aptly guided). Lines may be long, so make sure your camping equipment is ready and food supply remains high.
- The last (and likely the only) step you’ll encounter will be the e-prerog. This is the moment of truth. On a computer screen you will see which classes have vacant slots and all the info corresponding to it. If the schedule fits yours, just your luck. All you’ll have to do is agree to sign up.
- If all fails, your last option is to hunt down a teacher. Sometimes it is okay to wait. Beware of monsters. They are really more afraid of you.
- Repeat steps 5-8 for the next subjects you will be prerogging.
- Check the time. Is it past 7AM? Better think of things to do and places to go to pass time, for the guard at the OUR will tell you to come back in the afternoon. Is it past 3PM? No hope, come back the next day.
- Get a number, line up patiently, fall asleep in your seat.
- When it is your turn at the window, submit your Form 5A, now adorned with the subjects you have prerogged for. Your blood and sweat, your pride.
- Sit down again and wait for your name to be called. By the time you have to go to Window 5, your Form 5 will have been printed.
- Proceed to payment at the designated center, which will be in any building except for the Cashier’s office. You may now take all the time in the world. A newly introduced option to pay online (aka at a bank) will significantly reduce the emergence of unwarranted campsites.
- Congratulations! You have now managed to prerog and enroll!
DISCLAIMER: Procedure may differ in some respects depending on which college you belong to. I happen to be a student at the OUR, or a cross-registrant from some other campus too cool to be taking any subject there.
I was supposed to have packaged this off as an actual “how-to” article and submit it to a genuine How-To site, but then I thought against it because apparently it would be too cool for one as well.
Found this lying around on my desk. Just a little reminder :D