I won’t give up dreaming. If I can’t realize it now, I’ll work for a future where that dream can’t be harmed and where it can grow. I’ll plant the seed today so that even if I may not live to see it, my children can see the tree all-grown.

(Tree of Hope by InertiaK on DevianArt)


Flying Cars, Robot Maids, and Laser Guns| A MUST WATCH AND READ| SPREAD AND DO CHANGE!

Hi guys! Here is a piece written and delivered by a good friend of mine! His message cannot be more timely! I won’t talk much anymore since his message is the focus of this post! Please! Spread this! And inspire and do change in your own little ways too! “Every single grain, drop, iota, and atom counts!”


Flying Cars, Robot Maids, and Laser Guns


Alfonso Manalastas (Computer Studies Program)

When I was much younger, I imagined a future world that spanned a colony of concrete skyscrapers, the sky flooded with flying shards and splinters of steel, life slowly dissipating, and the sun nowhere to be seen. This is a fault that cannot be attributed to my once naïve mind, oh golly, no. Being born in a generation saturated by Technicolor images of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” aired in primetime, coincidentally at the height of the “Back To The Future” franchise that depicted a highly futuristic 2015.

2015 is but a few months from today.

You see, as a young boy, I thought that by this time the world was going to be swell, and majestic, and awesome in every sense of the word. I thought that by this time, we would see flying cars that travel faster and higher than commercial aircrafts we see today, ones that could literally cross-continents in a matter of minutes. Like if you want to have Breakfast in Paris, no problem! Lunch in Italia, why not? And if you’re in the mood for something more exotic, you can always go to India for dinner.

Robot maids will be scattered about everywhere, all at our command and disposal, each one of them specifically designed to cater to all our wants and needs, like “Uh, excuse me sir. Would you like to have some tea or some wine?” Right? And oh shucks, who hasn’t dreamt of shooting laser guns? They’re exactly like regular guns except they shoot lasers!

But standing before me is a completely different world. I see right in front of me an audience filled with people who have perfectly capable hands, eyes that beam of dreams, with thirst for life, and curiosity for knowledge. But outside the very walls of this institution, all I see is a wasteland. A dark, concrete abyss, remnants of what used to be a paradise. And then I begin to realize that maybe the problem isn’t that the world did not turn out as I hoped it would be, but that as a young boy I believed that in order for the world to be swell, and majestic, and awesome in every sense of the word, that all it needed are flying cars, robot maids, and laser guns.

Our generation is fixated on the concept of progress so much that even as young boys and girls, social constructs have implanted a certain algorithm in our minds making us believe that in order to create a perfect world, that technology, industry, and even warfare is the only way to go.

Now, my young travellers, allow me to deconstruct that algorithm for you:

One: every member of the Urian population bears with them a piece of plastic called an “ID”. Under each is the caption “I am an Urian, I grow trees.”

Two: each one of those Urians spend hours falling in line to get their ID pictures taken, making sure that their faces turn out as beautifully as they could ever hope for. We spend so much time doing that instead of, well, actually growing trees.

Three: a total biomass of 42,000 square feet of coral life is destroyed after a ship skims through the subterranean ecosystem in the Tubbataha Reef.

Four: approximately 350 endangered sea turtles were found dead in a Chinese vessel a few miles off the coast of Palawan.

Five: all 298 passengers on board were killed after an aircraft was shot down the Ukrainian skies by a man-made weapon.

Six: On November 2013, the Western Black Rhino was declared to be officially extinct.

Seven: According to conservationists if nothing is done, the Northern White Rhino and the Javan Rhino will soon follow.

Eight: The primary source of their extinction? Murdered by us humans.

Nine: Miss Earth, to us, is a woman who strips down to her underwear and parades her half-naked body, her porcelain white skin, and her 20,000 peso hair and make up professing to us nothing but generic sound bytes about how important the natural environment is as if we don’t know that already.

Ten: Let us ignore the fact that the Miss Earth beauty pageant is a project that costs millions and millions of money that could have been otherwise been spent in actually making a difference.

Eleven: Welcome to the pornography of environmentalism where to represent planet earth as its human embodiment, one must be intelligent, beautiful, and have a vital statistics of 36, 24, 36.

Twelve: In Israel, it is normal for people to gather around in tents with food and beer on hand as they watch bombs fall over the shores of Gaza to the sound of dying children, kind of like watching fireworks on a bright New Year’s Eve.

Thirteen: The year Israel began to attack Gaza, over 1000 people died.

Fourteen: The year the Al-Qaeda struck America during the 9/11 terrorist attack, 2,900.

Fifteen: During the Holocaust, 11 million.

Sixteen: Blood diamond in Zimbabwe.

Seventeen: The Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Eighteen: The Korean War.

Nineteen: The Vietnam War.

Twenty: The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Twenty-One: When will we ever stop destroying everything around us? We are supposed to be a community.

I have been alive for 21 years. It means that for 21 years, I have seen the world wronged 21 times. But as I grow older, I refuse to accept that the world has no hope. I refuse to believe in flying cars, robot maids, and laser guns, and instead, I choose to believe in our sense of community, in our respect for all forms of life, and in our ability to inspire human compassion. Because standing before me is an audience filled with people who have perfectly capable hands, eyes that beam of dreams, with thirst for life, and curiosity for knowledge. All I see are Urians dedicated to keeping out past from defining us as we move forward in our conquest towards molding community and sustaining ecology.

The work has just begun.


Us…Strangers|T.O.A. |World Lit. Reflect. “Mulan” (FIN)

(A/N: First part here)

The story of Mulan begins with Imperial China being at a state of emergency following the Huns’ breach of the Great Wall.  Despite being faced with an enemy whose reputation of ruthlessness and brutality preceded them, it was a time when the Chinese so strongly believed that to cower in fear of the enemy or to decline the Emperor’s summon would equate to having no sense of honour. Defending China meant defending their villages, their livelihood, and most of all their homes.

But what could Mulan do? Her ailing father, determined to honor and protect his family, had strongly forbidden her protests and commanded her “to finally know her place”. It was these final words of reprimand that only aggravated Mulan’s already broken heart. Earlier that same day, their people’s matchmaker had publicly declared her to be nothing but a harbinger of shame to her family- a word that was almost as absolute as a Prophet’s speech.

But despite her sorrow from the “verdict” on her fate, Mulan’s determination to protect her family in whatever way she could was unwavering. Her “shame” only drove her to work with whatever she had. And work she did, with all her best.

Yet at the same time, Mulan could not make it alone. And this is where the beloved character of Mushu, the once-guardian-dragon came in! (Plus a very “lucky” cricket, if you may!)

Mushu was himself an outcast, a familiar made stranger due to the one mistake he made that lead to the untimely demise of one of Mulan’s ancestors. From guardian to virtually the spirits’ alarm clock, Mushu in the beginning seemed to be sealed to his fate. However, in ingenious ways, Mushu came and indeed acted as a true guardian, but one whose character fit very well to the overly eager Fa Mulan.

Mushu gave Mulan the redirection when she needed it and the “invisible” hand that worked behind some very pivotal scenes that if they had happened otherwise, the story may have worked out very, very differently. Perhaps through his mistakes, his concern for Mulan’s safety slowly and evidently came before any self-interest he had in bringing Mulan back in ribbons and medals. The storyline welds these similar, yet at the same time starkly different characters in a very interesting way. And as it closed, the outcome was, for sure, the opposite of what was “written” as their fate.

Perhaps, it was their situation of being individuals whose minds ran differently than those around them that pushed them to work not to assimilate themselves completely, but to stand firm on their own and all the while being in harmony with the society they call home. Others would probably resign to their fate, but here we have two people struggling against the flow whenever they see it going on the wrong direction. Indeed people like Mulan, are people that you won’t just meet in every dynasty!

Perhaps, we can then surmise that our fate isn’t completely absolute in being unchangeable. Perhaps we could start to see “fate”, through the story of Mulan, in associative manner? The type of fate that awaits as a consequence of the direction of life that we chose, and the actions and choices that we take within the limits we’ve been given. Perhaps by first utilizing what we are given, we could find the purpose we should be fulfilling.

Perhaps amidst the hardships, we should start seeing these dark events that unfold in our lives as something that redirects us or shifts our footing in case we had taken the wrong steps? Or maybe these adversities are meant to unravel or strengthen traits we have, but may not have given value?  Perhaps these are the imbued lessons when the Emperor told Captain Shang, “The flower that blooms in adversity, is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

Perhaps these thoughts are what the writers, who adapted the legend of Fa (Hua) Mulan, intended to stir into their viewers- that it were “strangers” that strove for principle and selfless dreams that have always moved the mountains throughout history, despite the “norms” set about by the times and places they lived in.

Us…Strangers | T.O.A| World Lit Reflection: “Mulan”

A/N: YES..! I’m back 🙂 Pretty busy. But found my assignment in my  “World Literature” class as a reason for me to get into writing again! I really didn’t know that one of my childhood favorites was actually based off a Chinese literary classic , “The Ballad of Mulan”…! Literature is really exciting, if you take it from a much more different and deeper perspective! So here’s the first part. Working on the rest ^_^

“…So blessed are the strangers.”

It’s been years since I first saw the animated film, “Mulan.” And ever since then, I was always captivated and inspired by her story. However, I just realized how I’ve never given much thought as to why…

What is it about Mulan that has many people enamoured to her account up until today? What of its essence has enriched me?

Is it her almost reckless courage and passion that drove her to the measures she took in order to protect her family? Is it the image of a woman, so different from her time and that broke the societal boundaries set upon her?

Many stories like Mulan’s have been written, but they speak about different times and places. However, they also tell of the same type of person- a “stranger” within his/her own people, well ahead of his/her time and doing the “unthinkable.” But each story is still arguably unique, just as how the Brenda Chapman’s story of Princess Merida of Dunbroch* is different from Walt Disney’s adaptation of China’s  “Mulan”.

Looking in retrospect, stories that have been endearing to us aren’t really because of their face-value facts that we can often pick-up in the first go. Usually, these “special things” come after returning to them for the umpteenth time. Some stories even take years in pages just for the main gist to be unravelled! The same thing  goes for “Mulan”- I believe that its “gem” (at least for me) lies beyond the just your popular “tale of the empowered female” storyline.

I believe Mulan’s gem, lies in the themes of “purpose” and “destiny”.

A/N: How about you? Share below 🙂

 *Brave, 2012