Posted in My Students' Space

All Aboard to the Feels Train

(by TRICIA MAE MALICDEM, ABM – 1 Student from Mangaldan National High School, Pangasinan)

You probably have heard of the new zombie film called “Train to Busan” and you may or may not know that it is actually the first zombie movie of South Korea. But what’s more interesting is the fact that it has an audience record of an increasing number of over 10 million theatergoers despite the fact that the whole film was in Korean! Well of course subtitles were used throughout the movie but still this is an astonishing feat.

I myself do not have any interest in zombie films and I did not even have the slightest motivation to go and watch the film. And yet in one way or another, my older sister, who is hyped about anything South Korean and a zombie enthusiast, eventually convinced me to watch Train to Busan with her. And for the very first time I am so glad that she did because I can say that this zombie film gave me a whole level of respect for this genre. This movie was definitely not just a zombie film, it had something else.

The story started with a quite realistic scenario. Father and daughter, Seok-Woo (Gong Yoo) and Soo-An (Kim Soo-Ahn), are not getting along well with each other. Because of her parent’s circumstances and the fact that Seok-Woo is a busy fund manager in Seoul, Soo-An can’t help but feel lonely. On the night before her birthday, Soo-An insists on seeing her mother for her birthday even if she had to go alone. Seok-Woo did not permit this idea and had no choice but to go with her. So early the next morning, they board the KTX train for Busan at Seoul Station. However just before the KTX train leaves Seoul Station, a zombie infected girl jumps onto the train. With an infected on board and the horrible virus spreading like wildfire Seok-Woo, Soo-An and the other passengers on the KTX train must now battle and risk their lives on a journey that they could never have imagined.

That thought alone is already quite horrible for me but it’s different for others, they find it exciting. I expected rotting bodies, blood splatters and gut sinking gore scenes just like any other zombie film that my sister forced me to watch with her. And yes they were definitely shown but it was in a level that I can tolerate and the gore scenes were not overdone yet still remained the thrilling adrenaline rush.

In terms of movie aspects, the part that really had an impact on me the most was how great everyone’s acting was and how it was executed. From the main actors down to the mindless zombies, all of them really did a great job. The zombies were most definitely frightening not just because of their gruesome looks but as well as they were really fast and were literally sprinting compared to zombies on other zombie films in general who were very wobbly and slow. Aside from the lovable main and second main characters, Yong-Suk who is a businessman and that one character that everyone hated was also played very well by Kim Ui-Seong. So much that the movie theater would be filled with countless profanity almost whenever he was shown. Let us not forget the tear jerking scenes which really shook me and I swear that if it were not because of my sister bawling in the corner of her seat, which for me was quite hilarious, I would have shed endless tears.

Speaking of tear jerking scenes, the background track music really played an important part in making the scenes more effective. It really sets the mood for the variety of scenes showed whether it was action packed, slow paced, suspense, heart wrenching, etc. It also emphasized the rollercoaster of emotions felt throughout the film where a tear jerking scene can suddenly turn into an action packed scene and vice versa. Out of all the background track music, two particular pieces really captured my heart. They are “Goodbye World”, an amazingly moving piano piece, and “Aloha Oe.”

Goodbye World really gave a lasting impact on me the most. Even though more than a week has already passed once I play it, my tears would start falling. On the other hand, Aloha Oe was really a major punch back to my childhood because of the cartoon series “Lilo and Stitch”. I really appreciate the use of Aloha Oe in the movie and as well as what it symbolized.

However even with all of these, I still cannot help but find some possibly “lacking” aspects of the movie. One of which was the lack of character background which for me was actually quite understandable since the plot was focused on the actual process of survival rather than each of the character’s personal issues. Another example is the lack of information about the zombie virus. The movie did not elaborate the actual reason on how and why this horrible virus spread throughout the mass.

I was not quite content with the ending as well. My speculations increased on what the life of the survivors would be, what they felt after all of that, the people who are living in Busan and much more. Fortunately, there was actually an additional piece of film entitled “Seoul Station” which is said to be the continuation of the movie.

And allow me to say this again, Train to Busan is certainly not just any other zombie film. Its connection to reality was very special and left me thinking deeper than I ever thought I would in a zombie film even more than the popular zombie movie “Warm Bodies”. Setting the zombie ordeal aside, I was left with the impression of pure human emotions. Like how we humans can be consumed by fear and greed which was shown by the passengers of the train where their own life was seen to be “more important” than the life of other passengers; how our unconditional love for our family proved to be so powerful enough to make very big sacrifices which was shown through numerous heart wrenching deaths; and how us humans progress and change for the better as we strive to make connections with other people’s hearts. There are actually a lot more but for now I’ll leave the rest for you my dear readers to think about it.

Overall, Train to Busan totally blew up all of my concerns on the fact that it is a zombie film even though the concept is not new to us, it showed a unique and refreshing take on this genre and I absolutely came to adore it! It even proved to me that the film is not just about gore and thrills that you would normally expect on this kind of genre, it gave me even more than that.

I highly recommend it to everyone not just zombie enthusiasts but as well as my fellow “scaredy cats” and people who cannot take on gore to give this movie a chance. I assure you, your time will not be wasted and I hope it will give you a better outlook on life. I also encourage the people who may have already watched this movie to give it a much deeper outlook and meaning on what the movie is trying to convey to us. 10/10 would watch it again!

Posted in My Students' Space

Getting over the Ghost of the past with McDO

(by ANA MARY VISPERAS, ABM 1 Student from Mangaldan National High School, Pangasinan)

When destiny meddles in the picture of an almost perfect couple, the harmony shifts from upbeat to gloomy. The endless magic seems to fade away with the passionate love. From uttering the single word “breakup”, worlds are altered and ruined.

The past of yesterday never dies. It creates ghost that haunts worlds within the ongoing life. It is undeniably true that breakup is a typical scenario that holds the past from fading. It haunts down those people who are used to be involved in the said relationship.

At least that was highlighted in the last viral hugot ad of McDO, “Tuloy Pa Rin” banging the social world in June 4 and gaining about 7 million views on Facebook and YouTube.

The one minute ad had summed it all. From an ordinary scene to a deeper story behind the girl’s past.

It tells the story of this one normal average girl holding a tray of food in a fast food chain looking for a vacant spot. She has the spirit of happiness painted on her face when a vacant place got her attention. However, the curve of her lips began to turn into a grimace when that site became too familiar to her. She paused and gazed at it. Then she saw something. She was again on that day, the most heart-breaking day. She was watching a girl and a boy sitting on that spot. They were intently talking and the girl started to shed some tears. The boy got up but the girl’s face was pleading not to. She even tried to stop the boy and held his hand. But the boy mouthed “I’m sorry” and he parted the girl’s hand from his. He left the girl without looking back. Pain was written all over the girls face. She began to sob uncontrollably. And everything faded away in that spot. There she was again starring her own self. Once again, she was being hunted by the ghost of the past.

After remembering the past, the girl chose to sit again in that spot where it all happened. As Krystle Jove Yague sings “Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko, magbago man ang himig ng puso mo.” in the background, the girl chose to continue her life again and enjoy the moment of eating the new burger McDO.

If not for the best acting skills of Elisse Joson this commercial ad would have not been successful and effectual. Elisse, 20, was crowned by the netizens as the queen of hugot. Since the released of this ad she has been receiving many complements and attentions from different people. And now she is currently starting to bloom in the         world of actors and actresses with many upcoming projects.

The competence of McDO and the beauty of the plot was wrapped up in this one. This commercial ad was not only to persuade people to try the new burger of McDO but also to implant new values to the viewers.  It serves as a good inspiration for everybody not only for the broken hearted ones, to cope up and continue living in every circumstances.

It introduces to the people the true essence of change that when change steps in the scene of life, nobody can cease the inevitable from happening. However, change beats off the crummy past of life and welcome things for the better.

 

Failed Relationships

            It portrayed the number one enemy of relationships, failure. With the boy leaving the crying girl behind it was already understood that they had a failed relationship whatever the reason is. It captured the unbeaten issue about breakups in the society nowadays.

On-going relationships of teenagers are considered the most critical stage and closest to fail. Teenagers are still in the transitional stage of achieving full maturity. They are not capable of producing strong foundation for it.  They tend to have a change of feelings emotions. They usually mixed infatuation and love feelings.

“Breakup” usually pangs almost of the teenagers. For them it is the most painful part and risk on being in a relationship as it is seen in the girl’s reaction. Acceptance and moving on is not an easy thing to do. Nevertheless, mostly of them believe that no one deserves to be hurt.

Just like in the scene, how it was easy for the boy to totally end their relationship and leave the girl behind, teenagers’ present ideology of breakups is that they speculate higher probability of break ups in each of the people’s love life. Every time teenagers see lovebirds around they become bitter and predict their separation date or worst they shout out “Walang forever!”.

 

Art of moving-on

The moment the girl sat in the chair, ate the burger and smiled again she already hugged the new changes in her life. It is the art moving on.

            It takes courage to love as well as to forget the painful past. Forgetting means accepting that everything is already over, no rewind, no continuation and no what if’s.

Healing needs time. The girl in the commercial actually have not yet recovered from the breakup, even so she is willing to. It takes a long time to fix back the shattered pieces parts of the heart but eventually in the end, everything will be healed back.

 

Reality check

            It is not afraid to be bold, too. The Tuloy Pa Rin featured only realism in the context. It chose to encase the subject breakup, moving on and change usually youth had been experiencing.

In just one minute McDO was able to project the youths going on dilemma especially girls. Most of the viewers who shared this, hit the like button, or watched it  many  times are usually those who can relate and feel they are in girl’s shoes. Broken-hearteds as people label and call them.

The girl’s scenario was all too common and familiar for the other girls. It was an insight of the heartbroken leagues in the reality on how hard it was for them to take in the breakup decision and pass through the stony process of moving on. They were considered to be a damsel in distress.

Even so, the girl’s change of mood was the representation of all the girls bravery in facing all odds. They can withstand getting dumped in a relationship. They can smile again even with an aching heart. They can live without the man they used to love. And above all, girls could eat again in their favourite food chain bearing the changes in their life for the better without a man beside them.

  

Optimism

Sanguine position is spotted in this viral ad. Though it was focused on relationships, the side of change was also shown.

How McDO introduce its new burger was impactful. It did not only hit the meaning “Try the new burger McDO it is mouthwatering!” but also the line “When change happens, it can be for the better.” It was clearly have not been for selling purposes only but also for delivering a great lesson in life to the viewers.

The ad was indirectly giving all the people a hint of happiness in life. It was giving the idea that there will always be a yesterday and tomorrow.

In life, change is inevitable. However, the beauty is seen in the eye of the beholder. Change is on the matter of perspective, it can be for the better and worst. It’s only up to person to decide.  And this ad suggests the first option, optimism.

Instead of looking back for the past, people should see the life a head. Change should be look at as an option of bettering things not as laments of past. Past tense is past tense, no more regrets. Move on and welcome change, this is the greatest way to kill the ghost of the past. People should haunt it down first before it haunts them through the reality.

Among all the commercial ads of McDO, “Tuloy Pa Rin” is the most worth remembering one. It has a great combination of artist, singer, director, background song and plot. It has a beautiful concept that it even beats off the current commercial ad of biggest stars in the industry of acting, Marian and Dingdong Dantes.

Posted in Pieces of Poetry

Matured

Masaya ang pagtanda

Kung may pinagkatandaan ang isa.

Hindi na siya pinapaikot

ng mga salita, ni magpapaikot man ng iba.

Hindi iginigiba ng masasakit na lihim

o naglilihim ng pagkakamali.

Pinapatibay ng mga punyal na matatalim

na sa likod niya’y nakabaong malalim,

o nagpapaulan man nito

sa dibdib ng iba.

Kumakapit lamang siya sa totoo,

Hindi sa pandaraya,

hindi sa kasiyahang

sa huli nama’y guguho.

Posted in The Road to 30: Moving Forward

Day 2: Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Many say truth hurts. I used to say, no it doesn’t but it liberates someone. But whatever it does to someone, one thing will remain constant – it can never be hidden.

I have battled against negative thoughts for months. Everyday I would observe some people’s actions and words, would even stalk them on their social media accounts to fish for details that could back up my assumptions. Every time, I would end up having more negative thoughts of me being betrayed by the very people I love. Every time, I would embrace the pain caused by these thoughts. There were nights when these thoughts lulled me to sleep. There were days when I woke up hating myself for entertaining these thoughts and vowing I won’t let them in again…I hated myself for entertaining negative thoughts, for thinking badly of some people…only to find out that my thoughts were actually real and that I was right all along.

I was indeed being betrayed. That in itself is already painful. But when the people involved are those who once called you “my best friend” or “my love,” and those you grew up with, the pain becomes more unbearable.

Whatever their reason is, I don’t want to know anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to hear their explanation or that I don’t want to give them a chance to apologize. It’s because there is no amount of explanation that would be valid enough to justify what they did. You don’t betray someone and say “I didn’t have a choice” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.” You betray someone because you want to satisfy your own longings, whether they’re selfish or otherwise, and there are no words that could soften or cover that fact or the impact of what you have done.

Many say truth hurts. I used to say, no it doesn’t but it liberates someone. And now, I’ll say, it will soon be a part of the past. I may not forget it. But I definitely have learned from it.

Posted in The Road to 30: Moving Forward

Day 1: Yearning for Healing

I had my first serious heart break when I was 16. After that, I prayed and fervently asked God to shut the doors of my hearts so it wouldn’t be deceived again by anyone.

When I was 25 and thought I was ready to really fall in love, I said yes to a man whose spiritual beliefs are really similar with mine. I thought, he was an answer to  prayer. But after a year, I got my heart broken. He decided to end our relationship – the first real relationship I ever had with the words “you will meet someone better.”

And now, I was about to turn 30…and many might think I have already found someone better and is already happily married…but no! For the third time, my heart is again in a dark place, nursing a pain caused by two years of ‘special friendship’ with someone who introduced me to so many car-related stuff, Mexican food and other crazy yet interesting things. Or maybe, it is only I who thought we had something special. It was the kind of special friendship you thought would eventually blossomed into something greater…something like many younger people now call “forever.”

Honestly, I can’t think of any poetic line to express how I felt and still feel right now. I can’t find a metaphor or any object correlative to which I could compare what I’m going through right now. But I could sum it all up in just three words – I. WAS. HURT. (And I still am.)

Weeks before I started writing these words, I spent a lot of nights crying and days wondering if he’s also affected by the thought that our special friendship (or whatever it is that we have)  is about to come to an end. The worst part is, my pain was never acknowledged. I was trying to understand it and battle with it…and I was doing this all by myself. I was feeling sorry for myself, for assuming things that are way beyond what I should assume, I was sorry for everything I need to be sorry for…and all I got were the words “No, don’t be sorry” when the truth is, I was waiting for “let us not end this.”

He once said I’m strong and that I am a fighter. But a real fighter needs to choose her battles; and maybe, this is one battle I have to say ‘no’ to. This pain needs to end at some point. I don’t want this pain to call my heart its ‘home.’ A friend once told me that healing is not an easy process and that no matter how hard we try to make it fast and light, it’s never going to be like that. However, I know it has to start, and I want it to start NOW.

Posted in Pangasinan Poetry

Eksamin

Panaon la ngola’y eksamin.

Onkumanet la lamet iray moling,

Usdungan so tepe-tepet ed papel

tan miusilan ed oras

legan ya dedegkemen

so ebat ed nonot

a singa la timban apano ed pikakabat.

 

Tik tak! Tik tak! Tik tak!

A, B, A, B, A, B

ampano D.

 

Tapok-tapoken ko’y pagew,

patelek-teleken so bolpin

ed limak lan ambetel.

 

Tik tak! Tik tak! Tik tak!

Pasado kasim odino bagsak?

Onlabas so oras

balet ag nayarin napalabas

so pankanawnawan makasapat.

 

 

 

 

Eksamin

Panahon na naman ng pagsusulit.

Kukunot na naman ang noo

Yuyuko sa mga tanong sa papel,

Sa oras ay makikipaghabulan

habang pilit dinadakma

ang sagot sa isip

na tila timbang puno na ng nalalaman.

 

Tik tak! Tik tak! Tik tak!

A, B, A, B, A, B

di kaya’y  D.

 

Hinihimas – himas, kinakalma ang dibdib,

pinapaikot-ikot, pinasasayaw-sayaw ang bolpen,

sa kamay kong nanlalamig.

 

Tik tak! Tik tak! Tik tak!

Papasa kaya o lalagapak?

Lumilipas ang oras,

pero hindi maaaring mapalipas

ang pag-asang makaalpas.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Pangasinan Poetry

Simpenan

Tinipon kon singa akop na buer

so amin a linmabas a taon,

walaray nilimbos na elekan,

arum abenditaay lua.

Nalmok irad nankakapigan suyok,

Diad kaho’y sapatos,

Pati’d dalem na abalegan lan kawes.

 

Duyaw a lason parad nilapir a buek,

eksamen ya apanoy ambalangan ekis,

tan inggulis ya totoo’d papel.

Daan ya kuritan, balitok a medalya

Amogmog lan libro’y Adarna,

Aputot a porselas, nansupotay mani,

tikit na inmunan aluganan a bus,

kinatkatlin kampuso.

 

Tinupik a singa melag a pulyeto,

so amin a linmabas a taon,

pian anggaman panon kabelat,

sarag kon iseksek lamet ed pusok,

awiten inerman

so ontumbok ya pituyawan.

 

Taguan

Inipon kung tila sangdakot na buhangin

ang lahat ng lumipas na taon.

May mga napuno ng tawanan,

napatakan naman ng luha ang ilan.

Natagpuan ko sila sa bawat sulok,

sa kahon ng sapatos,

At ilalim ng mga nalakhan nang sinusuot.

 

Dilaw na lasong para sa natirintas na buhok,

pagsusulit na pinapula ng mga ekis,

at mga naiguhit na tao sa papel.

 

dating talaarawan, gintong medalya,

gulanit nang libro ng Adarna.

Napatid na porselas, pinagbalutan ng mani,

tiket sa bus na unang nasakyan,

At mga pusong ginupit sa papel.

 

Tinupi kong tila maliit na babasahin,

ang lahat ng lumipas na taon.

Upang gaano man kabigat,

maisisiksik silang lahat sa puso,

mabibitbit saanman,

lugar na susunod lakaran.