On the Extrajudicial Killing (of Darlings)

I’ve seen the movie Kill Your Darlings, but this post is not a review of any sort. I just want to react to a post I’ve seen on a certain Facebook page. Here’a preview to give you an idea:

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Source: Writers World

On Writing Without Fear and Editing Without Mercy

Ever since I started writing (like since grade school), I’ve always hated my darlings. Of course, I didn’t know it before, but I became aware of this when I saw the above photo on Facebook. Thanks to this post and the writers who agreed on the comment section, I know I’m not the only one.

Here’s the thing: whenever an idea hits me, like a really good idea that I think would make a great blog post, I’d try to put my words into writing immediately, given there is a pen and a paper or if my laptop is with me (I have no smartphone kasi, huhu poor me). And then I’d get excited to the point that I’d skip meals or disregard my to-do list for the day because I know that I write my best pieces when the idea is still fresh in my head.

Unfortunately for me, I get scatterbrained most of the time and so I always end up staring at the blank space of the WordPress site for ages. And then I’d give up because according to my #SpiritAnimal, the late Charles Bukowski (you know, the drunken poet who spent the latter part of his life drinking and writing), if it does not come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it.

Sometimes, I get lucky. Sometimes, my body coordinates with my brain and I become so dedicated and eager and passionate and excited to produce the best work of my life. As my workmate said during her Blogging 101 workshop, one should write without fear and edit without mercy. And then I found out that most writers disapprove of this one trick that I’m doing.

On Editing While Writing

One of the things I discovered when I worked as a copywriter is that one should not edit while writing. And like what I do with my other discoveries, I carefully put it in a box in the corner of my mind, left it there, and never opened it. Not once. Not ever. Welcome to my life.

I think the best writing comes from within. I also think that writers have their own creative way of writing their best work. And I think I create my best work when I follow this trick: I edit while I write.

The result? My 1,000 words become 500. My forever struggle: to delete or not to delete? Because sometimes, a really good idea hits me but I know that idea should be reserved for another post. I guess that’s one of the eternal struggles of writers: to write a short yet effective piece.

On the Extrajudicial Killing (of Darlings)

To make the long story short, killing my darlings has become my technique to write a good piece. I know I should proofread and edit my work before I post it, but as I already edit while I write, I don’t even look at the final output because when I do, I don’t see a masterpiece; I see trash [1]. That’s how it works every time.

Fun facts:

  1. I love the idea of writing, but I always end up hating my posts because [1].
  2. I’ve never been confident enough to share my posts with others, especially with my fellow writers and bloggers.
  3. I am constantly tempted to delete this blog because I don’t want other people to see my darlings (which I hate).

As long as I reach the bottom of the page and know that I’m done explaining myself to the world, that’s it. Sure, I always (as in ALWAYS, as in FOREVER) hate my posts when it’s already out there for the reading pleasure of the grammar police, judges, and readers, but thanks so much for the photo above, I am now slightly more confident that I have edited (or killed) my darlings enough. Here’s to the extrajudicial killing of our darlings! #EditPaMore

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Humans of Rizal Park: A Hashtag Squad Goal

My workmates inspired me to create a blog and in return, I invited my college friends to create their own. Mission accomplished. Ha ha.

So, one rainy day in the middle of December, I was wallowing in depressing thoughts and drowning in the pool of my own misery when a fucking wonderful idea hit me: a project that my bored college friends and I would enjoy. And because I am so creative and original, I made a blog that’s so uncreative and unoriginal: Humans of Rizal Park. If it rings a bell, that’s because we borrowed the idea from Humans of New York.

 

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HoRP’s Mission Statement

 

In this blog, we feature slice-of-life stories and portraits of… (for more information, visit our blog). Why Luneta Park? Why not Humans of Manila? Humans of Manila already exists. And to answer the question why Luneta Park, check out our About page.

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Preview of HoRP’s Blog

 

This post is my way of introducing our hashtag squad project (and inviting you to follow our blog hihi). The project started last December but as my hashtag squad had been busy for the holiday season and had post-holiday blues (don’t we all?), we were only able to officially launch the blog and Facebook page yesterday.

I seriously can’t contain my excitement right now so I’m leaving it here. Please also like our Facebook page and spread the love! Thanks in advance, beshies!

11 Awkward Moments Every Introvert Can Relate To (Published on Introvert Diaries)

We introverts love solitude beyond words and social interactions wear us out. Here are 11 classic examples of why we prefer to be alone than face the crowd:

1. That awkward moment when…you arrive at a party full of strangers and you instantly regret going.

But you can’t leave because that would be awkward and you don’t want to attract more attention so you just daydream about snuggling up in your own room with a good book in one hand and a glass of wine on the other. After all, we introverts can’t sleep until we finish the next chapter.

2. That awkward moment when…everyone around you is worried if something is wrong.

Truth is, you really were fine until they asked the million-dollar question “Are you okay?”

3. That awkward moment when…someone you hate won’t stop talking to you but you don’t want to be rude.

And you keep looking around, sending telepathic messages to your friends, waiting for someone to save you from your misery but this person keeps on talking and talking so you just sit there and look that person in the eye with your resting bitch face on.

4. That awkward moment when…your friend invites you to a party and pinky promises that you’ll have so much fun.

And you want to ask her what’s her definition of “so much fun” because yours is to stay in bed playing video games or watching your favorite TV series while devouring a box of scrumptious pizza.

5. That awkward moment when…everyone keeps pointing out why you’re being quiet.

It’s lunch time and the entire squad is sharing stories of their adventures last Friday night and you’re sitting there, eating, and they keep asking why you’re being quiet. You’re like, “What? Am I supposed to tell you what happened to the girl I kissed in my dreams last Friday?”

6. That awkward moment when…you and another introvert are stuck in an elevator and you don’t know how to fill the silence.

“Hi.” “Hi.” *forced smiles* *awkward silence* “So, uhm…gotta go.” “Yeah, sure.”

7. That awkward moment when…people try to spark a conversation while you’re reading.

And you want to throw that hardbound book to their direction but you suddenly remember how precious that book is that you’d rather listen to them for hours than hurt your book.

8. That awkward moment when…they ask about your favorite author and you can’t stop talking.

Because after so many conversations that kept you sitting in the corner without a word, you are super excited right now and this left them all rather surprised.

9. That awkward moment when…everyone is having a conversation but you’re lost in your own thoughts and not listening to a single word they say.

Everyone is all smiles and you are there in the corner, not listening to their conversation, wondering how your cousin could have grown so fast because the last time he was there he was like a baby and now he’s all grown up and then your aunt asks you how are you but you didn’t hear her and suddenly all eyes are on you but you have literally no words.

10. That awkward moment when…your crush starts flirting with you but you don’t know how to flirt back.

Your inner Taylor Swift is singing “Sparks Fly” and you want to just grab and kiss him because the moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived but you just sit there and freeze.

11. That awkward moment when…you need to recharge your introvert battery but your relatives are coming over for dinner.

introvert awkward moment

This was originally published on Introvert Diaries

4 Things Single Introverts Can Do on Valentine’s Day (Published on Introvert Diaries)

If there is one thing that all introverts can agree on, it’s that we love to be alone. However, there are days when we feel this acute loneliness and it is especially hard to ignore this feeling during Valentine’s Day.

On this day, couples are everywhere and the mere sight of them doing romantic things together may trigger the FOMO. Here are things you can do to crush the fear of missing out:

1. Date Yourself

Who says only lovers can treat themselves on February 14? You can cook your favorite meal or experiment with a new recipe to spice things up a bit. If you are not a fan of cooking, you can order from a cozy restaurant that you haven’t tried before then have the mouthwatering food delivered right to your doorstep. This way, you can devour a delicious meal on your own sans the struggle of dealing with the crowd.

Sounds good? How about you turn that television on and watch your favorite film or series? It doesn’t have to be romantic if you don’t want it to. Just focus on the scenes and savor each bite of your food to wash out any feeling of loneliness and you have a good chance of actually enjoying the day.

2. Do Your Best Work

If you are going to spend the Valentine’s Day alone, why not make the most out of it? One way to feel good about yourself is to do what you love doing best. Are you the type who loves getting lost in the world of fictional characters? Or are you the introvert who loves making those fictional stories?

Whether you are a bookworm, a writer, an artist, or what have you, do what you love doing best and forget about everything. Keep the idea of Valentine’s Day out of your mind, channel your spirit animals, and focus your energy and attention on your work. Who knows, you can even do your best work on this day.

3. Challenge Yourself

Most introverts are confined within their own comfort zones, always unsure of whether or not to try new things. This Valentine’s Day, it’s time to unleash your inner beast. Try doing something different. Think of an activity that you can do on your own that does not involve too much social interaction.

Finish that book in one reading. Start writing the book of your dreams. Paint that new–generation Van Gogh masterpiece. Organize a DIY travel project, visit the beach, hike the mountain—you name it.

Grab this opportunity to take one item off your bucket list. Does it involve kissing a stranger? Or perhaps you have been thinking about hitting up your long-time crush? Go ahead. You will remember this day not as Valentine’s Day but as the day you overcame your worst fears.

4. Celebrate Self-Love

Contrary to the belief that Valentine’s Day is the day of lovers, it is actually a day to celebrate love in general. We introverts are used to being alone—in fact, solitude is one of our favorite words in the dictionary. But when the thought of being a Singleton strikes you on Valentine’s Day, it’s best to remember that you are a strong, independent human being that can handle things on your own.

We know it sounds cliché, but the first step to learning how to love others is to love yourself. If you’ve been busy at school or work, you can take this moment to contemplate about your accomplishments, your dreams, and even your fears.

Have you been entertaining negative thoughts lately? Create a game plan that will help you become the best you can be. Lastly, always remember that no one can help you but yourself. Celebrate self-love this Valentine’s Day and you’ll thank yourself for it later.

This was originally published on Introvert Diaries

To the Twenty-Something Girl Who Thinks She’s Fucked up… (Published on Thought Catalog)

We know that you’re starting to see that life isn’t always what it seems. When you were younger, the world was black and white. The religious people were the good people; the atheists were the evil ones. The people who knew the Bible like the back of their hands were the saints; the people who held alcohol and cigarettes in their hands were the sinners. Girls should wait until marriage before they let a man deflower them; boys should fuck as many girls as they want once they’re circumcised.

Now, you’ve read too many books, have watched too many movies, and have met too many people. Now, you have seen more of life. In your eyes, the world is now blue and gray.

We know that you often wonder why things don’t always go according to plan. Back in college, you thought you had it all figured out. Your goals back then were as simple as to graduate on time and to find a high-paying job related to your degree. You did it. You got your diploma, you found a steady job. The pay was not as high as you expected, but you still earned more than some of your friends did. Your friends were not happy but you were. A year later, you realized that money is not always equal to happiness. You envied your friends who pursued their passion and were content with their jobs but did not earn as much as you did.

Now, they are happy and you are not.

We know that the FOMO struggle is real. Your friend posted a photo of his newly bought iPhone on Facebook with the hashtag #feelingblessed. Your classmate, who’s a year younger than you, shared photos of her on Instagram in her condo unit while sipping her venti-sized Starbucks coffee. Then there you were, browsing your newsfeed while your friends were checking in five-star hotels near white-sand beaches, sharing photos of them at the peak of a mountain, or spending their weekend in the happiest place on earth.

Now, you think you’re fucked up because you can’t travel to cool places like they do and you can’t buy the cool things that everyone is buying. Now, you’re feeling blue because you’re already in your 20s but you haven’t achieved anything yet.

We know what it feels like to think that your life is fucked up. We are the Clementines of this generation and there’s nothing wrong with us. We know how hard it is to stay positive when there’s so much on your plate and when everything is simply too much for you to handle. We know how you feel when someone tells you that you’re too young to suffer from depression, that you’re just being too melodramatic, that you need to get your shit together, that mental health is just a state of mind, that there’s more to life than crying yourself to sleep, and that you’ll get over it. Fuck them all. But if you think you are the only one fighting this fight, then you are wrong.

We know what it feels like to think that your life is fucked up and we are with you because we are you.
We are you because we live in the same generation when social media defines our very existence, when the FOMO struggle is real, when everyone is trying their best to be cool, when everyone is rushing in, when everyone is feeling some kind of pressure, when everyone is dealing with depression.

To the millennial who’s reading this right now, you are not what people see on your social media. You are not the statuses that you post or choose not to post on Facebook. You are not the photos that you share or choose not to share on Instagram. Your life isn’t limited to 140 characters. You are not your job, your salary, the coffee that you drink, the places that you go to, the clothes that you buy. What you are is young and free. You deserve to be happy. All those fucking things do not define you; the way you treat others does.

To the twenty-something fucked up girl looking for peace of mind, you are not alone. No man, no counselor, or no other person can save you; only you can save yourself. We know that it might take a while—it really does—but things will become bearable. Not better, only bearable. And when the time comes that you find what calms your mind, life will still throw you a curveball. Bear that in mind. Things will still be as fucked up as they are today, but if you ever find yourself stuck in this situation again with no one to turn to, don’t suppress your emotions. Let yourself suffer.

Break down. Cry. Remember that the first step to letting go of pain is to feel it.

Things will become worse than they are today and that’s okay. You are invincible, woman, and that should be enough for you to keep going.

This was originally published on Thought Catalog and featured on Mogul

Forget Taylor Swift, Lily Allen Is the Real Queen of Ex-Shaming

I hate the fact that Taylor Swift is getting all the media attention for being that singer who bashes her ex-boyfriends through her songs while Lily Allen is sitting pretty for getting away with her boy-shaming schemes because honestly? I think Lily Allen is the real queen.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a die-hard Swiftie and I love Lily so much that I almost considered her as my spirit animal when my boyfriend acted way too cute that I wanted to punch him in the face. But if you’d ask me who could write better spot-on, boy-bashing songs than Taylor, I’d say it’s none other than the fucking classy British singer, Lily Allen. I mean, how many times did Lily drop the F-bomb in her songs to describe how fucked up those dickheads were? If you loved Amy Dunne of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, say hello to our new queen.

Allow me to enlighten your dumb ass.

Not Fair

Just when you thought you’ve found the man of your dreams
Here comes the #BigReveal that will make you think twice about him
Sure, he treats you with respect, but he never makes you scream
Poor darling, let the lyrics do the talking:

I lie here in the wet patch
In the middle of the bed
I’m feeling pretty damn hard done by
I spent ages giving head

When we go up to bed
You’re just no good
It’s such a shame

You’re supposed to care
But you never make me scream
You never make me scream

If you’re like the woman in this song who cares about her sexual pleasure, you go girl. Because according to Sofia Jawed-Wessel, “A woman who prioritizes her sexual needs is scary, because a woman who prioritizes her sexual needs prioritizes herself. That is a woman demanding that she be treated as an equal. Sounds like something that Amy Dunne would say, right?

Listen to the song here.

Not Big

When you and your beau didn’t come undone, there’s no better revenge than to tell the world how he didn’t make you come. Not Big is every girl’s anthem when paying a special tribute to that poor Lil’ Billy. That’s worse than savage if you ask me.

Alright, how would it make you feel if I said you never made me cum?
In the year and a half that we spent together
Yeah, I never really had much fun

I’m gonna tell the world you’re rubbish in bed now
And that you’re small in the game

You’re not big, you’re not clever
No, you ain’t a big brother
Not big whatsoever

Shots fired. And in case you’re not satisfied with the small-penis-shaming that happened over there, here’s more (also, imagine Amy Dunne speaking to Nick while reading this and slap me if didn’t creep the hell out of you):

I’m sorry if you feel that I’m being kinda mental
But you left me in such a state
But now I’m gonna do what you did to me
I’m gonna reciprocate

Is that you, Amy? Listen to the song here to find out.

Smile

I don’t know about you, but if my man cried in front of me after cheating on me, I’d feel bad at first but I’d be glad to see him drowning in the pool of his own misery. Ha ha. Read on to find out what Lily thinks:

At first when I see you cry
Yeah, it makes me smile, yeah, it makes me smile
At worst, I feel bad for a while
But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile

Stop wallowing in self-pity, girl and listen to the song here instead.

Fuck You

Sick and tired of that asshole who 1) has a tiny mind 2) thinks being gay is not okay 3) is a racist 4) is slow-minded? We’ve found your soon-to-be-favorite song. Fuck You is one classy, stylish way of cursing your ex because the singer is British and, let’s admit it: everything, even curses and swear words, becomes classy when spoken in British. And in case you’re forgetting, it’s Lily Allen, dear sir, so it sounds extra classy. *winks*

So you say
It’s not okay to be gay
Well I think you’re just evil
You’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

You say, you think we need to go to war
Well you’re already in one,
‘Cause it’s people like you
That need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew

‘Cause your words don’t translate and it’s getting quite late
So please don’t stay in touch

Repeat fuck you 10,000x

So I almost literally wrote the entire lyrics there except for the lines below. I’ve got some revelation for you:

Do you get
Do you get a little kick out of being slow-minded?
You want to be like your father
It’s approval you’re after
Well that’s not how you find it

Did you think of Amy while reading those lines? Because I did. Except that Nick Dunne did not want to be like his father (he just naturally became one when he began hating Amy). Creepy, huh? Now listen to the song here.

If you’re bothered by this post’s level of sarcasm, fuck you. It’s about time we girls get real about the dickheads in our lives and thanks to Lily Allen, we can just dedicate these songs to them instead of publicly shaming them (as if the former is different from the latter).

I don’t care what you think, but for me, Taylor Swift and Lily Allen are two of the most feminist singers in the music scene. If you’ve watched or read Gone Girl, you’d agree with me in this statement: Flynn, Allen, and Swift would make influential ambassadresses for a feminist movement.

Capping Off the Year With Great Local Movies: An MMFF 2016 Roundup (Part 1)

Big props to my aunt, I was able to see seven out of eight MMFF movies this 2016. I actually have a few things to say about the entries for the previous year’s most anticipated film festival but first, let me share my thoughts about the MMFF restructure.

#Reelvolution: Change Has Come to MMFF

2016 has been a year of change for the Filipino people and the MMFF took part in this country-wide revolution. I know this is a big leap for the MMFF crew, and so I take my hat off to the brave people behind the curtain who broke the annual tradition of parading commercial (garbage? loljk) movies on the big screen.

MMFF: “December’s Most Awaited Family Affair?”

The only thing that I didn’t like, though, was the fact that they didn’t include a family-friendly movie on the list. Yes,  I’m one with the MMFF committee in picking these micro-budget films. I have nothing against the lineup. In fact, I actually loved the movies and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them for the years to come.

Sadly, the event is, to quote the admin of the MMFF website,”December’s most awaited family affair.” If they claim the festival to be a family affair, where were the family-friendly films? Oddly enough, the 2016 MMFF  lineup made it impossible for kids to enjoy their movie experience. Oddly enough, the 2016 MMFF lineup deprived the Filipino families of what has become a family tradition during the Christmas season.

Let’s take my aunt’s situation as an example. During the previous years, she, her husband, and their three lovely daughters were able to watch almost all entries because most were either rated G or PG. This time, the only movies they have seen were Saving Sally and Vince and Kath and James.

Sure, Vince and Kath and James and Sunday Beauty Queen were rated G, but who would pick SBQ for the entire family? I can’t say much about Vince and Kath and James because I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s a love story, not really something that brings a family closer together. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank and Oro were rated PG, but I doubt kids would take interest in those films.

When my friend Eca and I watched Oro,  two mischievous little kids sat beside us and all they did during the entire screening was to repeat the lines of the actors and actresses (they were so cute I almost punched their daddy in the face). Apart from being noisy (and annoying), these poor kids even attempted to drink my iced tea while I was busy watching how the villains killed a dog in a controversial scene. The point is, although these movies were rated G and PG, kids as young as nine years old wouldn’t enjoy their movie experience if they couldn’t relate to the story. Even my 12-year-old cousin didn’t enjoy watching the movie.

My heart goes out to all the Filipino families who had a hard time choosing which films to watch this year because, let’s face it, most of the entries were not family-friendly.

Quality Over Quantity: The Battle Between Art and Entertainment

Personally, this restructuring thing that the MMFF peeps did was indeed a risky move but I think it’s worth it. Judging by how powerful and influential social media is these days, this #Reelvolution of MMFF could be our first real step toward our journey to an improving industry that produces high-caliber films.

As a MassComm graduate, I have always dreamed of the day when the masses would finally appreciate the beauty and quality of independent films. After all, art and entertainment do not always go hand in hand–an art film can be entertaining but an entertaining movie isn’t always a work of art. Sometimes, moviemakers create films not because they have an interesting story to share, but because they want to make money out of their blockbuster films.

When I first heard about the MMFF restructure, my first thought was “finally!” For me, it’s about time a film festival as big as the MMFF acknowledge the underdogs in the film industry. The mission of the organization, after all, is “to encourage the production of quality Filipino films,” not to produce crowd-pleasers that the masses a.k.a. poor Filipinos are bound to enjoy.

Welcome Change: A Message to Big Production Companies

If there are a few things that big production companies can learn from this year’s MMFF slate, these are: welcome change, fuck the formulas, and don’t be afraid to take risks. If you have seen Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2, you’ll know what I mean.

Now, if the MMFF continue to stick with this #Reelvolution trend and choose to curate films based on quality (subjective as it may seem), the only way big franchise films (like Enteng Kabisote, Shake, Rattle, and Roll, Mano Po, and Vice Ganda films) can make it to the slate is to adapt the new (reclaimed?) face of Philippine cinema that focuses more on top-grade films and less on commercial garbage.

All in all, my MMFF 2016 experience was definitely one to remember. I have to say that there’s no better way to cap off a good year than to watch great local movies like the ones included in this festival. It was like binge-watching independent films at the Cinemalaya film fest. Only this time, I had to deal with annoying parents who had the guts to bring their kids inside the cinemas but did not have proper movie theater etiquette.

Stay tuned for my next blog post ‘cos I’ll be writing a review for each film (except, of course, for Vince and Kath and James, which I refused to watch because 1) it’s too hype and overrated 2) I have no moneeeeeh na po huhu).

To be continued…

*Featured photo source: MMFF Website