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March 2021: A dimming light at the end of the tunnel?

With the country seemingly going back to square one, we cannot blame people’s dimming hope for the resumption of normal life this year.

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(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Cellona/ABS-CBN News)

It has been a year since face-to-face classes were suspended and the country was put into lockdown. But all saw a light at the end of this dark tunnel with the arrival of the vaccines. It’s a shame that this light flickered out as soon as it arrived. With the record-breaking number of cases and the endless imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), our hopes of safely going outside dims every single day.

Here are this month’s top headlines:

1. Covid-19 vaccines arrive in the Philippines

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Cellona/ABS-CBN News

After delays, the country officially received its first Covid-19 jabs. The first doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca doses arrived on February 28 and March 4 respectively. The Sinovac vaccines were donated by China, while the AstraZeneca doses were donated by the World Health Organization’s Covax Facility. As of this writing, the country has received 1 million doses of Sinovac and 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. However, the country is yet to receive the purchased vaccines.

Despite vaccine arrival, people are still afraid to inoculate themselves. According to a Pulse Asia survey, around 61 percent of Filipinos are hesitant to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. Only 16 percent are willing to be vaccinated, while 23 percent are unsure.

 

2. KZ Tandingan sings “Gabay” for Disney’s ‘Raya and the Last Dragon

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon Will Debut on Disney ...

Photo courtesy of Disney Philippines

Singer KZ Tandingan became the voice behind Disney’s first Filipino song, “Gabay”. The song was for the movie Raya and the Last Dragon,’ a Disney flick heavily inspired by Southeast Asian elements.

Set in the land of Kumandra, five tribes fight for control of the orb protecting them from evil spirits petrifying people. The warrior princess Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) seeks the mythical dragon Sisu (Awkwafina) to help her village that is turned to stone.

For Tandingan, she felt “very grateful and very proud” to sing a Disney song in Filipino.

3. “Bloody Sunday”: Nine Calabarzon activists killed in police crackdown

Photo courtesy of BAYAN

After President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the military to “shoot and kill” armed communist rebels, nine activists were killed and six were arrested in police operations across the Calabarzon region on March 7.

This crackdown was one of the biggest police operations against activist groups. 

After the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, families of the deceased were blocked from claiming the bodies from the funeral home. Several groups pointed out that the operations were reminiscent of the notorious “tokhang” operations done against suspects related to illegal drugs.

Senators slammed these killings, calling it  a “very disturbing” operation. Sen. Leila De Lima also linked Lt. General Antonio Parlade, the general who red-tagged Liza Soberano, in the police operation due to his position as Commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command. A Canada-based human rights organization also urged the Canadian government to end military support to the Philippines.

4. #DutertePalpak trends on the country’s lockdown anniversary

Photo courtesy of INQUIRER.net

The Philippines, a country with one of the longest lockdowns in the world, is now in its one year of quarantine.

After the suspensions of classes on March 9, 2020, President Duterte placed Metro Manila and later the whole Luzon in ECQ. As the country neared its lockdown anniversary last March 15, 2021, #DutertePalpak trended on social media, calling out the Duterte government’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The hashtag continued to trend as tax-funded media People’s Television Network (PTV) ‘accidentally’ used #DutertePalpak in one of their tweets. The network attributed the mistake to “autocorrect”, later apologizing and sanctioning workers behind the post. 

5. Beyoncé, Taylor Swift break Grammy records

Photo courtesy of Page Six

Who runs the music industry? Girls.

With their Grammy Awards wins, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift made history as the most-awarded female artist and the first female to win Album of the Year thrice, respectively.

Beyoncé won Best R&B Performance with the song “Black Parade.” She also won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song with Megan Thee Stallion for the song “Savage,” and Best Music Video with “Brown Skin Girl,” which she created with her daughter Blue Ivy.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift won her third Album of the Year award with her quarantine record, “folklore.” She became the first female artist to win the award thrice, and the fourth artist to do so. Swift won her first AOTY with “Fearless” in 2010 and her second with “1989” in 2016.

6. Chinese ships in Julian Felipe reef prompt PH to file diplomatic protest vs China

Photo courtesy by Philippine Star

Chinese intrusion on Philippine waters still continues.

On March 21, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against China after the Philippine Coast Guard reported about 220 Chinese militia ships in Julian Felipe (Whitsun) reef. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. filed the protest with the recommendation from National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

China later denied the protest, saying that the reef belongs to China’s Nansha district. They also called the reef by its Chinese name, “Niu’e Jiao,” and said that the ships are fishing vessels moored due to bad weather.

Earlier reports also confirmed that Chinese ships were spotted on Julian Felipe reef as early as November 2020.

7. “Snyder Cut” premieres after four years of fandom clamor

Justice League Snyder Cut darkseid

Photo courtesy of HBO Max

After the 2017 release of “Justice League”, fans and even director Zack Snyder clamored for the release of the “Snyder Cut” as the original movie flopped for DC Comics fans. Four years later, their wish was fulfilled

The “Snyder Cut” is Snyder’s original version of the film. Back in 2017, he was the director of the “Justice League” but left early following the death of her daughter. “Avengers” director Joss Whedon then took over the film, making it a mishmash of two styles which made moviegoers confused.

The “Snyder Cut” runs for four hours and is shot in black and white. Critics also praised the revamped version of the film, saying that it is miles better than 2017 “Justice League”.

The film is available on HBO Max for a limited time.

8. Cargo ship blocks Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is blocked by a large container ship in Cairo, Egypt, 24 March 2021

Photo courtesy of BBC

If you are having a bad day, just remember that you did not block the Suez Canal with a gigantic cargo ship.

On March 25, the cargo ship MV Ever Given was stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal, a shortcut that 10 percent of ships worldwide use to navigate around Africa. 

According to the owners of Ever Given, a sandstorm tipped the cargo ship sideways, wedging the ship at both banks of the canal and creating one of the biggest maritime traffic jams in recent history. The blockage will delay product flow from Europe and Asia.

9. Covid-19 cases surge, breaking records

Photo courtesy of Darren Langit/Rappler

On March 12, Covid-19 cases reached over 4,000, the highest since September.

13 days later, the country broke its highest record with 8,773 new infections followed by another record-high 9,838 cases on March 26. On the same day, active Covid-19 cases reached nearly 110,000, with the total cases breaching the 700,000 mark.

As of writing, it is currently the 16th day where Covid-19 cases are above 4,000. Earlier, the OCTA research group warned that daily Covid-19 may reach up to 10,000+ cases by the end of March.

10. President Duterte reimposes ECQ in “NCR+”

(Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb)

On March 27, President Duterte put the Greater Manila Area or NCR+ (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal) in ECQ after the recent surge of Covid-19 cases. The ECQ will take effect on March 29 and will last until April 4.

Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases put NCR+ in the General Community Quarantine “bubble” until April 4 to tackle the Covid-19 case surge. 

Under ECQ, essential services such as hospitals and supermarkets will remain operational. Public transport is also available with limited capacity and cash assistance will be provided. 

With the country seemingly going back to square one, we cannot blame people’s dimming hope for the resumption of normal life this year.

May this serve as a reminder for the Filipino people to make the people responsible for the worsening of this crisis accountable. This experience should be a guide for us in choosing our future leaders in 2022. This dimming light  will reignite through the fire of collective action, letting no one treat us like how we Filipinos are treated in this coronavirus pandemic.

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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  #Quarantrends: What took over the internet amidst the quarantine

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