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‘god’ is a Woman and her name is Imelda Marcos

Lauren Greenfield’s ‘The Kingmaker’ painted an image of Imelda Marcos as she is, in the epicenter of the dark chapter in Philippine history.

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Screengrab from The Kingmaker official trailer

There is an insurmountable amount of paradox in watching Imelda Marcos in Lauren Greenfield’s The Kingmaker at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP); a thought my friend and I agreed to as we were entering a dark room 10 minutes into the film. There was no sight of distraction from the people that we passed by for they are clearly fixated on the loquacious subject. The building that now houses Greenfield’s masterpiece was among the surges of institutions built under the belt of the Marcos regime that has probably gained him the heart of the Filipinos, deeming his infallible greatness. Later, the “legacy” was continued, with lady Marcos manning whatever work needs to be done to keep their name relevant, and the film, sadly, proves her success. 

Inevitably, Greenfield’s lenses showed how bountiful the Marcoses had lived, especially Imelda, during the height of the man’s political career. Their marriage has clearly trudged through familial grounds as it showed how the lady Marcos was an active pursuer of whatever she deemed worthy having for the Philippines, an act that she completely settled as a matriarchal instinct.

“That is the spirit of mothering,” she stated. “You cannot quantify love.” Her words equaled as a retort to criticisms of her excessiveness and we learned that saying promises of love was also excessively given, thus tangibly proclaiming it in the form of constructing bridges – in the name of love and people’s taxes, the origin story of the San Juanico Bridge.

The Kingmaker painted an image of Imelda Marcos as she is, in the epicenter of the dark chapter in Philippine history, whether through the mundanely fixing herself and asking how she looks, through parading the shell of the woman constructed through time – a loving wife, a supportive right hand, “a mother of not just the country but the world” – through every syllable that eventually forms a contrasting hollow weight to her words.

“I will complete paradise for the Philippines,” was stated in an almost queenly decibel as she talked about the erection of the Calauit Island back in 1976. Paradise for the Philippines, at least in the vocabulary of Imelda, was bringing truckloads of African exotic animals. It proved to be an overnight process, a passing idea without careful thought for paradise was also the eviction of hundreds of indigenous families living on the same island. Today, paradise is the dissolving coexistence between man and animal after maintenance by the Marcoses were halted.

Paradise – paraDIES – is what they left on the Filipino people after two decades of setting up the sanctuary which they thought the Filipinos would so easily take and they did, along with the wick of fire that started the demise of the country.

But Imelda, tauntingly languid Imelda, insisted the Philippines lived its great heights during their regime. Stories of development were laced with the Marcos name, and she recalls how the country has lived in a peaceful state during the Martial Law. And she is bound to call the shots again, with the help of her son, Bongbong, and her daughter, Imee.

The saying – “Perception is real and the truth is not,” lives on heavily with Imelda and her purposeful narration of history. Her narration, however, also has a life of its own as it takes on a different course from reality, keeping some details completely caged in the dark, along with thousands of shoes she kept in her closet. These revisions are taking an inkling to information being propagated in print and online, clothed as what those susceptible to vulnerability should only know and should conform to: the Marcoses’ version of history. Yet again, the haunting testimonies and stories of the survivors – of how the San Juanico Bridge was not just used as a symbol of love but a moniker for a devise of torture – proved them wrong.

The film has nearly encapsulated what type of a person she is: one that digests excessiveness and luxury by filling all the ugly pools of the country with the most alluring things, and her own truths, hoping to blanket corruption in the most interesting manner. Behind the architects and lavishness which the Philippines was showered with dawned how they served as forefronts to the most elaborated crime in the history of the country.

In an interview with The Guardian (2019), the award-winning filmmaker/photographer recounts how her documentary got a surprise ending. “It wasn’t until Duterte won that I really saw the return of this sort of dictatorship and the movie got an ending.” She echoes the same sentiments with another subject of Philippine’s history, Benigno Aquino III, that those who cannot remember history are bound to repeat it.

Throughout the end of the film, students and Filipinos in the precipice of society, were obviously in reverent prayer for a redemption, and the nostalgia of what was once a great country served as their grounds in keeping the Marcos name alive.

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Brimming with God-complex, “I am the light in the dark” Imelda and her streaks of followers proved her to still be a placed as a powerful, sentient being, capable of loving and being loved. Even if the love is in the form of handing out a thousand-peso bill to “buy candies” (suspectedly, from the billions of pesos they corrupted from people) to a cancer patient in the children’s ward. Yet again, the act would still give her millions of reasons to let her family be handed the opportunity to rule in the proverbial loveseat which they have never abandoned.

The Kingmaker is framed through recounting the stories of the past in various narrations, of the history which we are now just grappling through the form which it had been immortalized. Its message, though, is a raging reminder that history is happening, and we can either choose to let it unravel or let it become just a painful remnant to continuously scream cries of “Never Again.”

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Thomasian musicians to add to your playlist

With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists.

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The rise of Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and other music-streaming platforms paved the way for more artists to share their craft with a broader audience. It is now easier to promote your material through social media, while people can seamlessly listen to your music through different audio platforms on-demand without splurging too much cash. A basic subscription plan lets anyone stream all the music they want and play your songs on repeat. With this boom in the music industry through technological advancements, artists are inspired, now more than ever, to produce more music and give sick beats to avid listeners.

Here is a shortlist of Thomasian musicians you can stream on your music platforms.

1. Al James

(Photo courtesy of Jilson Tiu)

Before he was front and center in most gigs and before his music was blasted through the speakers of bars, Alvin James Manlutac, famously known as Al James, also sat in the rooms of Beato as a student under the College of Fine Arts and Design. In launching his first hit, he also doubted himself because he knew his style did not follow hip-hop norms. But fast-forward to today, his crafts are among the most famous songs played in the nightlife scene, as well as in casual get-togethers with your friends.

Manlutac permeated the fine line between underground and mainstream when he released his song ‘Pahinga,’ gaining more than 7.3 million views since its release three years ago.

Screengrab from Presko Life PH

2. Migo Señires

(Photo from DBTK)

Like Al James, Migo Señires also spent his college days in Beato, studying Advertising Arts in the College of Fine Arts and Design. They are both a part of the Baryo Berde crew, a multi-talent collective that fixates on culture and art. 

Señires released his song, Kara,which garnered more than 141,000 views since it was posted on his channel. He claims that he wrote it for the younger people who forgot their roots and the older ones who get frustrated when they can’t keep up with modern times. 

3. Schumi

(Screengrab from YouTube/Schumi)

When he is not walking around the halls of Ruaño, he may be singing center stage. Albert Guallar, famously known as Schumi, has been catching ears in the local hip-hop scene. He first started producing music and uploading it to SoundCloud, which then garnered the attention of people who had an interest in hip-hop. In an interview with TomasinoWeb, he said that his Schumi persona — writing music and such, is his gateway to express his emotions. It was an effective venue to vent out feelings of heartbreak and sadness, which, in this instance, was his breakup with his girlfriend. 

Schumi’s hit song ‘Bakit Why Not’ talks about breaking norms and protesting against some stereotypes like gender roles. Its music video has amassed more than 10 thousand views within two months of its release.

 

 

4. Himig Borhuh

(Photo from Himig Borhuh’s official Soundcloud)

From walking around the halls of the Albertus Magnus to being in the spotlight of #USTPaskuhan, Himig Austin Borja, a Music Technology student from the Conservatory of Music, has been making a name for himself. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he said that he didn’t really envision himself to major in music since he was inclined to sports and was a basketball varsity player during his high school years. He also did not expect his hit song, ‘Watawat,’ to become well-known and was surprised that lines from his song became widespread after its release.

Himig Borja’s ‘Watawat,’ featuring Schumi, was a song that garnered attention during the last UAAP season. The line ‘ang medalya at korona ibalik na sa España,’ reflected the community’s yearning to secure another championship and showed the support Thomasians have for all our sports teams as well as the pride we have for our school. 

5.  Adrian Aggabao

(Photo from Adrian Aggabao’s official Instagram account)

Adrian Aggabao, popularly known as ‘Don Bao,’ is a Raymund’s local from the College of Commerce and Business Administration. Like Schumi, his music career also began when he started publishing his music on SoundCloud. Since then, he has secured multiple gigs during his downtime. Most of his music speaks about social realities and what’s nice about it is that he has his family as his inspiration. 

Don Bao’s song ‘Pasanin’ emphasizes on the lessons that a life filled with struggles and obstacles brings. Having dropped this first video on his Youtube channel about a year ago, it has garnered more than 2.3 thousand views. 

6. BarbaCola

(Photo from BarbaCola’s official Facebook page)

From UST Musikat’s band pool, the band BarbaCola was formed with Renz Jerique from the Faculty of Arts and Letters on vocals, Raja Rayas from the College of Education on bass, Cedrick Santa Cruz from the Faculty of Engineering on lead guitar, and Raemonn Petr on drums.

BarbaCola’s song ‘Senseless’ runs along with the themes of alternative and indie genres, mainly focusing on the ups and downs of love and how it is a war that one might not survive.

7. VFade

(Photo from Patrick Valentine Cabanayan’s official Facebook account)

Patrick Valentine Cabanayan, more commonly known as VFade, hails from the College of Science under the Department of Mathematics. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he stated that his interest in music developed when he was in Senior High School, specifically during an apprenticeship under the Music, Arts, and Design track. He tried out music production and also ventured into rapping. 

His song ‘Andito Lang Ako’ expresses love and affection for a significant other. The song itself embodies the wide array of emotions one might feel when in love and how some minute details in the world seem brighter in the presence of strong feelings of attraction.

8. OMEN, Carty and Ballen

(Screengrab from YouTube/OnlyOneOmen)

All coming from the same Advertising Arts class in the College of Fine Arts and Design, third year students OMEN (Ron Flores), Carty (Zack Garcia), and Ballen (Allen Agulay) recently made their brainchild available to the public. The trio, who consider themselves brothers from another mother, has collaborated to release a new song entitled ‘Karma Comeback.’

As a collective, they claim that they made the song ‘Karma Comeback’ for fun since quarantine made it hard for them to bond and share their sentiments. By collaborating, they delved into their passion, music, art, and dumb sh*t, as they say.

Thomasians have always been present in every field, more prominently in the music industry. Their growth as artists and musicians will be exponential if we continue to support them and their work. With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists. 

 

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How to apply clown makeup

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free?

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(Artwork by Patricia Jardin/TomasinoWeb)

When Miles Edgeworth said, “You are not the clown. You are the entire circus,” I felt that.

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free? It’s the first day of April and what better way to commemorate this annual holiday than putting on your best clown makeup! From McDonalds to your local emoji, we’re here to help you channel that inner Boo Boo the Fool in you. 

First, make sure your skin is prepped nice and clean. Bold assumptions and hasty generalizations usually make a good base. These tend to last longer because you refuse to take them off. You can use your two fingers, a sponge, or your foolish thoughts to apply it evenly. 

Now it’s time to build on those assumptions and paint your canvas. Start off by carving out spaces on your eyes and mouth where you will be applying the colors. Depending on your preference, you can choose to paint the eye with the same color or two different colors. When deciding which color, be quick and impulsive. Then, remember to paint it with inconsistency just like your thoughts and words. 

The cheeks and mouth will be red. Luckily, there are a variety of rouge shades in clown makeup. We recommend using the palette “Red Flags,” which you can get for free when you use the code “NOLABELS” or “CAN’TCOMMIT” at checkout. Color in your cheeks with a soft red color, perhaps in the shade “Here for a good time, not a long time” or “Only talk about themselves but never ask about you.” Don’t spend so much time blending because the key here is completely ignoring it.

The mouth is the highlight of clown makeup. Our tip is to overline your lips to the degree you overthink. You can then go ahead and color it in, but this time with a more intense shade of red. The shades “Entitled,” “Manipulative,” and “Caught cheating in 4K” are the most tolerated in the clown community. 

Accentuate the details of your look by making outlines around your eyes and mouth. Again, depending on the look you’re going for, you can make the outline as thin as your chances with that person you’re simping over or as thick as your audacity to get back with your ex after getting off a 3-hour phone call with your best friend who clearly told you not to. 

Of course, we can’t forget about the cherry on top and the crowning glory of clowns: the wig. There’s a wide variety of colors you can choose from but select a wig that will fit your head and perfectly cover up all your tomfoolery, bamboozlement, and wishful thinking. 

If you have cash to spare, throw in a costume and some oversized shoes that will help you jump into conclusions better. Don’t forget to pop on a red nose and voilà! The circus is complete. 

The art of clownery is one that is hard to master, yet the community keeps growing. And that speaks volumes. Clowning isn’t just a coping mechanism, it’s a cultural reset, a lifestyle, a reason to breathe, and an escape from this cruel world. 

Most importantly, it’s harmless because the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Happy April Fools‘!

READ  Repeating the bloody history

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