Connect with us

Blogs

More than literotica: Why fanfiction is still a valid genre

We all know fanfiction is an open book typically concocted with steamy and intimate fantasies but does that mean that consumers and producers of fanfiction are simply lustful and alienated teenagers away from reality?

Published

on

Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb

Back in a creative writing class in senior high, our teacher asked us if we’ve ever tried writing or reading a second-person point-of-view story. Hearing this, my class gushed in embarrassment, laughing hysterically and surrendering in guilt as they admitted to being patrons of One Direction slash Harry Styles slash Y/N (Your name) fiction on Wattpad and the like. 

But I kid you not, despite the eye-rolls and cringe the word and members of the community receive, fanfiction is more than a lovesick teenagers’ fantasies-induced avenue. 

Fanfiction refers to fan-written stories that feature characters derived from pre-existing films, shows, books, plays, and anything under that umbrella. It’s a fairly polarized sphere, heavily influencing the world of literature, with mixed verdicts from folks who admire it and detest it. But one thing’s for sure, once you fall into the rabbit hole of fanfiction, it’s quite difficult to climb back up. 

We all know fanfiction is an open book typically concocted with steamy and intimate fantasies but does that mean that consumers and producers of fanfiction are simply lustful and alienated teenagers away from reality? 

It’s still a valid and artful genre built by the minds of innovative writers, requiring quality and artistic writing, incorporating soul and possibilities while keeping in touch with the systems and logic of another world, attempting to stay true to the characterizations, and is open to critique and interpretation.

Such generalizations and stereotypes of fanfictions, its writers and readers, may be true but also some not.

A daycare to rest homes for writers

Photo courtesy of Christin Hume on Unsplash

Before fanfiction was bottled into this generalized can of icky projections of fantasies, it’s important to know that fictionalizing oneself also consists of imaginative and substantial aspects that weave fiction with culture and civilizations. Plus, it has already been a practice years ago — even by the literary gods themselves. 

In fact, the canonical literary classic The Divine Comedy is a self-insert story. Author Dante Alighieri reimagined himself as a character who meets various philosophers in his own version of Hell, Dante’s Inferno. Shakespeare also sourced his titular classic Romeo and Juliet from a narrative poem written in 1562 by Arthur Brooke entitled The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. Without them fictionalizing these, we would not have these renowned classics today. 

It’s not just lazy writing. Many writers, including myself, have started out as fanfiction enthusiasts — from learning and devouring different rhetorical devices and imagery, applying them not only in creative writing but in general academic writing, and having conversations. In the present digital community, you’d find these writers thriving mostly in the Big Three fanfiction sites, namely Archive of Our Own (AO3), FanFiction.net, and Wattpad, which are free platforms where enjoyers can upload their works while following community rules. 

Perhaps the majority of these fanfiction torchbearers, young teenagers, are simply hormonal nobodies grappling with puberty, crushes, and love. But take a closer look because they come from various ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. From their compelling writing styles, quip characterizations, and eloquence in responding to constructive criticism, you’ll find yourself hooked with their works. 

A community to sharpen one’s expressiveness and articulacy, fanfiction is a comfortable space filled with learning, improving, and enjoying. It’s both a process and product of experimentation accompanied by more liberty in exploring different writing styles, analyzing pop culture, and embracing an active and holistic environment with like-minded individuals. 

Destigmatizing taboos from school and boomers

Photo courtesy of Oliver Thomas Klein on Unsplash

Content warning: Mentions of pornography, non-consensual sex, abuse, and fetishization 

From societally censored topics, fanfiction writers also channel the freedom to directly or indirectly tackle topics that are censored or evaded in institutions meant to enlighten us.  Although the purpose of sexual content is meant for entertainment in fanfics, its profanity may have served an accidental purpose, sex education. To a significant portion of readers and me, fanfiction unexpectedly and beneficially introduced us to taboo ideas such as birth control, masturbation, consent, contraceptive use, pregnancy, and queer relationships, among many others. 

Though it is still not sufficient for proper sex education, as we should still demand it from its respective structures, there is cognitive dissonance in allowing us to understand which is right and wrong, such as the negative elements that seep into fanfiction such as the romanticization of abuse and harassment. 

Underneath the lens of heteronormative mainstream media, female teenagers and LGBTQ+ teens turn to fanfiction, an unstigmatized and comfortable space to explore sexuality. Jacqueline Risch wrote, “Unlike typical porn, which centers itself on the male gaze, fanfiction helps broaden the perspective of sex to include female and nonbinary pleasure for those who may not be in a heterosexual relationship.”

Lindsay Mixer conducted a study that explored the relationship between fanfiction with sexual development and gender identity. At fifteen, she gravitated toward characters tagged as bisexual in stories that did not focus on romance such as Harry Potter, Avengers, Star Trek, Teen Wolf. She writes, “[D]ue to these pieces being shared for free, they are outside the capitalist models driving commercialized media, allowing the writers to explore a wider diversity of identities and storylines for LGBT+ individuals.” 

Sexualization of real-life people 

Screengrab from Google Search, FOREVER YOUNG, and Sonyeonstan from YouTube

On the flipside, Mixer’s paper concludes that, although fanfiction has its benefits in facilitating gender and sexual identity, it’s still crucial to point out which ways adolescents and young adults are being exposed to explicit sexual content, and how these are affecting them. 

Let’s be frank. All of us had probably read a fanfic that stars our favorite real-life ships. From bumping into Jungkook at a coffee shop, not knowing he’s from a popular boy group, or to making actors Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton snog in the Room of Requirement, maybe it’s not too bad to take a spoonful of these pipe dreams. Some fans, however, produce steamier and more graphic content like ‘dirty imagines.’ To some, these edited videos, photos, and stories of their idols or celebrities kissing, or even worse, propped in perverse positions are perceived to be harmless just because they’re made up. 

However, it’s dehumanizing to picture real-life people as objects, fetishizing minors and grown men, let alone to be done by a thousand strangers. Critics in South Korea, where multiple K-pop members are prey to inappropriate sexualization and imagines, have called for a petition to penalize those behind “real person slash (RPS),” which is a sub-genre of fan fiction that include celebrities of the same sex. What’s worse is how vulnerable underage idols are too, which has been a concern among the idols themselves too. 

Another irritatingly prime example is the infamous Harry Styles fanfiction which even had a  movie adaptation, After. It received mixed reviews, much like when 50 Shades of Grey came out, as it depicted Styles as a hostile, randy, macho bad boy who meets the main character Tessa in college. The series wasn’t supported by many Directioners too, as several people thought it glorified rape and abuse culture. A fan also petitioned to halt the adaptation of the film. 

For author Anna Todd, her intention was not to hurt Styles or anyone’s feelings, unapologetic. 

Even with her ventures to rename him to keep it “lowkey,” it’s still odd to think how it got the go signal for publishing. Just because Styles hasn’t made a comment on the series, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel iffy and uncomfortable with thousands of strangers reading him as a misrepresented sex addict with personal issues. 

The same applies to celebrities, anyone synonymous, or people we know in real life, who seem to be untouchable and out of our reach. Fanfiction is never a card to fetishize anyone saturated at all in an unwanted and promiscuous light. 

“I can fix him”: Toxic masculinity and she’s not like other girls syndrome

Artwork by Shruthi Satyanarayana and screengrab from the Kissing Booth and Pop Fiction Books

To continue enumerating the many red flags After radiated, Harry, now renamed as Hardin, in the official book and fil, has memeable compilations of him on YouTube: shouting, punching, throwing a fit and things, cursing, and the like. Asides from getting secondhand embarrassment for his character’s actions, what screams louder is the frailty and toxicity of the male ego.

I can go on with a hundred stories following the pattern of the premise being: a bad boy is changed by a good, nerdy, eccentric girl. Heck, even though they’re so overused and cliché, they still work because they get signings and screen adaptations such as The Kissing Booth, Talk Back and You’re Dead, Diary ng Panget, and She’s Dating The Gangster. 

In my Pop Fiction local fiction pocketbooks, my stained copy of She’s Dating the Gangster had an interesting question and answer portion, which forever blew the mind of the 11-year-old me — in a bad way. The author was asked why girls tend to love bad boys and she responded that there is this sweet idea that they’re capable of changing their hearts. My younger self unsuspectingly swooned and if I could take back time, I would. 

There is nothing sweet with Noah banging the hood of his car, howling at Elle to get in the car. And there’s nothing kilig about Kenji guilt-tripping Athena by jumping from a building so she could agree on a dare. When non-canon Tom Riddle described the Y/N’s scent as earthy and natural, unlike other girls’ ‘heavy and flowery scents,’ I thought it was the most poetic thing I have ever read. At age twelve, I couldn’t care less if other girls didn’t like me, as long as this bad boy who was so hard to get liked me back. 

It’s popular fanfiction tropes like these that cement the idea women are therapists for men. The toxicity of men is infested by depending on the quirkiness and rectitude of a girl who is willing to set aside her own development to fix them. But who is to blame, but the tropes in the oeuvre of popular media favorites that might have instilled the idea that we just had to set ourselves aside from other girls our own kind as the enemy. 

There’s this Tumblr post that foamed along the lines of, “Jane Austen’s women let the men fix themselves first if they know what’s good for them.” Luckily, there’s this visible shift in how we’re gradually outgrowing the “not like other girls” phenomenon, finally cringing at our past selves who might have acted that way. 

Wander, but ask the important questions 

Photo courtesy of Laura Chouette on Unsplash

To reiterate, fanfiction has its flaws. In the words of Henry Jenkins, “Fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration: if media content didn’t fascinate us, there would be no desire to engage with it; but if it didn’t frustrate us on some level, there would be no drive to rewrite or remake it.” 

In the first place, we came to this free and accessible avenue to escape and breathe. If we were unsatisfied with an ending or a ship, fanfiction welcomes us with open arms to endlessly search for prompts and headcanons. With the tugging of ‘what ifs’ in every fictional universe, this written form swallows us in different ways. 

Nowadays, what commonly sells is shock value. It’s easy to glide from accountability when sloppily writing violence, trauma, and abuse to only entertain or disturb an audience, leaving this open to their “artistic interpretation.” But still, to allude to Spiderman, with great reading and writing comes great responsibility and cultural and historical sensitivity. What we choose to read and write must also help us question its ethicality and who is affected; why and how? Do these stories positively reflect our values and the persons we aim to be? What message are we trying to convey? And how would these impact the way we treat ourselves and others? Especially in fanfiction, a sphere dominated by younger audiences. 

If you’ve enjoyed After, that’s great. We can still enjoy pleasurable adult-themes elements at our own discretion. But instead of romanticizing the tenets which shouldn’t be romanticized, namely toxic behavior and objectifying existing people, we must also consider when these go beyond the belt. To me, the real romanticization can go into other elements that matter such as platonic endearment and the mundane yet electrifying events in stories.  

Unironically keep the healthy and wholesome nostalgia 

Photo courtesy of Elitsa Deykova on Unsplash

On days when loneliness churns heavily, I release my emotional baggage as a writer and reader, by the concessions of my comfort characters, living in AUs where one doesn’t have to die. It shouldn’t be undermined as this sickly genre when it’s a starter and breather for those seeking comfort in sympathetic stories, thought-provoking characters — in hopes of finding excitement in rumination, solace in the dark, and everything in between. 

Clearly, our palate has matured over the years. Most of the current books I read and own in my twenties are plots where nothing extraordinary happens to the average lives of unlikable characters — written by, as they say, real writers. Nothing my younger self would habitually enjoy. 

However, even if I have no plans of reading my dusty pocketbooks with lovey-dovey animated covers now or soon, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of them because of their sentimental value and some lessons they taught me. No matter how ridiculous some plots have been, I consider myself fragmentary without them. 

After all, these are pages that brought my preteen self to staggering places and novelties of comfort, when the decaying world back then couldn’t. 

When writing and reading feel like mundane chores that are constricted within the four corners of the classroom, you can always wander into this creative domain of enjoyment and escapism. 

Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro
Blogs Editor, Blogs Writer | + posts

Comments

Blogs

2022 Elections Playlist: Tayo ang Kasaysayan

Sa darating na halalan, iboto ang alam mong titindig para sa karapatan nating lahat.

Published

on

Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb

Sa dinami-rami ng mga pangyayaring nagdaan sa loob ng anim na taon sa ilalim ng administrasyong Duterte, hindi na lamang ito isang karapatan. Responsibilidad na natin ang pagboto. Kahit sino ka man, kahit anuman ang estado mo sa buhay, kailangan mong bumoto. Hindi lamang para sa kinabukasan mo, ngunit pati na rin sa kinabukasan ng mga taong nasa paligid mo.

Para sa darating na halalan, gumawa ang TomasinoWeb ng 2022 elections playlist kung saan mapapakinggan ang mga kanta ng Eraserheads kasama sila Francis Magalona, Gloc 9, Ebe Dancel, at iba pang mga pangalan sa larangan ng OPM. Hanapin ang liwanag sa dilim sa mga tanyag na kanta ngayong darating na eleksyon. 

Iboto ang alam mong titindig para sa karapatan nating lahat. Nagkamali man noon sa pagpili ng mga pinuno, ito ang pagkakataon upang ihalal ang tunay na nararapat. Tandaan na nasa atin ang panahon.

+ posts

Comments

Continue Reading

Blogs

It’s time we talk about fetishization in BLs

There and then, when the object of production becomes subsumed into the gaze of only those who do not own the narrative and, by extension, to sell under the status quo, these stories translate to sheer fetishism. Same-sex relationships are only seen under stereotypes and cookie-cutter characteristics. 

Published

on

Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb

In the early days of lockdown, everyone was strapped in their homes for what would become a global health crisis. 

With time ticking ever so slowly while the world seems to collapse, people turned to entertainment to catch slivers of hope and in a time when our feelings swing unabated from anxious to sad, to fearful, to bored.

As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed one afternoon, I chanced upon this post about two young, good-looking Thai best friends (later, I learned that they are apparently love interests). People in the replies were gushing over them, of course, I had to poke around. I let it rest in my mind, at first, going on with my usual routinary, monotonous day in quarantine.

A week passed by and Bright and Win, “two best friends”, or, lovers’ names, kept horning in my feed, even on Facebook. Friends, through direct messages, kept telling me about it as well; how it was so refreshing to see a queer love story on a mainstream platform with so many fans talking about it. To put an end to all these virtual pressures, I had to check it out myself. In short, I fell into the Boys’ Love series wave.

I finished binge-watching one BL series after another. Sometimes, I’d sandwich one show with another to speed up my viewing time. Often, I’d pair it with films and other forms of content.

For me, after watching BLs, apart from the usual kilig and jitters, I feel a sense of novelty. Yet somehow I still feel discontented with what I saw. In other words, unrepresented. But before I take a deeper dive into the world of BL, I think it’s good to have a quick history lesson about it.

From yaoi to BL

Screengrab from MyAnimeList

The origins of the BL phenomenon as well as its roots as a literary genre come from Japan — primarily in its anime and manga literature — that thematizes young male homoeroticism between two men. 

Commonly referred to as “yaoi,” the genre began as fan works written by female fans from a personal interest to push the boundaries of comics at the time. 

In fact, the literary genre has been so that the term fujoshi, which translates literally to “rotten girls,” or female anime fans who enjoy and often obsess with male-to-male romantic relationships in the works came to light. This already gives us an idea how this grew as a spillover effect to the current forms of BL not only in Japan but also Thailand, China, and the Philippines. 

In its early days, it presented only fan works showcasing platonic relationships between male characters in the form of parodies. The magazine June is attributed by literary and media scholars to be the earliest iteration of the theme since it was one of the first magazines that published male-on-male tanbi literature in 1978. 

As time progressed, the proliferation of Japanese yaoi manga that was intended for women audiences and consumption converged with queer desires and transnational fandoms, generating a diverse, new set of platforms (music, films, and series) catering to broader audiences and creating more sundry narratives.

With this, I think it already gives us an overview of the problem with BLs in general, and, perhaps, it also handed me the answer to my iffy-ness with it afterward. While many developments have been made in the genre, I still do believe that BL has carried over remnants of its prime form: the intention to “sell” queer narratives to non-queer individuals who consume this content.

Just to add a caveat as well, while this is already the case for male homosexual narratives, much more whittling in terms of representation and focus is experienced by Girls’s Love or sapphic stories. Usual storylines would not even delve on their quotidian queer realities but instead highlight sex not to empower but to fetishize and become objects of sexual pleasure.

There and then, when the object of production becomes subsumed into the gaze of only those who do not own the narrative and, by extension, to sell under the status quo, these stories translate to sheer fetishism. Same-sex relationships are only seen under stereotypes and cookie-cutter characteristics. 

Towards a progressive gender politics

Screengrab from Hello Stranger/Black Sheep

How do we then draw the line between genuine representation and plain fetishism? 

I believe that the answer to this lies in the intent and the effect on its audience. With BLs’ audience getting broader, the responsibility to shift to more inclusive, gender-sensitive, and socially aware is all the more apparent. 

Of course, we can’t deny the roots of yaoi and BL. And progressive gender politics cannot be realized in a snap of a finger. What I’m saying is that perhaps it’s time to push the envelope away from stereotypes that fetishize queerness.

For BLs form and content not to develop and be swayed to the progressive causes, such as representation in media, are refusals to recognize issues that the subjects face in the context of their true environment outside of fiction. To refuse fetishism is to promote criticality and elevation of queer societal discourse.

I still do enjoy BLs, especially new releases. I just wish that moving forward, we can challenge dominant narratives, and realize our imagined aspirations. Else, we’re stuck and the genre’s progressive potential to forward causes and cultural development won’t come up to scratch.

Paolo Alejandrino
Blogs Writer | + posts

Comments

Continue Reading

Blogs

April 2022: A new chapter approaches

Even amidst all this chaos, as what Jodi Sta. Maria said, ”papunta pa lang tayo sa exciting part.” While waiting for the new chapter to arrive, let’s look back at the events of April 2022.

Published

on

(Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb)

As days get dangerously hotter, the unpredictability of March bleeds into this month as the election season nears its climax. Thomasians also choose their next leader, both for their student councils and their country. Even amidst all this chaos, as Jodi Sta. Maria said, ”papunta pa lang tayo sa exciting part.”

While waiting for the new chapter to arrive, let’s look back at the events of April 2022:

1. Thomasians elect new CSC, local student council officers

(Photo by Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb)

UST students elected a new set of Central Student Council (CSC) and local student council officers last April 4.

Garnering 27,809 votes, former Civil Law Student Council president Nathan Raphael Agustin became the new CSC president. 

Agustin faced possible disqualification due to the non-issuance of his temporary transcript of records, which is a requirement for candidacy. 

Meanwhile, College of Education’s Francisco Mayuyu, UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy’s Benjamin Amper IV, Faculty of Arts and Letters’ Dale Dale Ignatius Marollano, and Conservatory of Music’s Rhojen Sianda are the new secretary, treasurer, auditor, and public relations officers, respectively. The position of the vice president remains vacant.

The elections were also held online through an electronic polling system like last year. This year, there was also a higher voter turnout, with 30,924 votes cast compared to last year’s 28,848.

The UST Central Commission of Elections proclaimed the officers for AY 2022-2023 on April 26, where it also affirmed Agustin’s win after facing a disqualification case.  

2. Provincial bus operators, commuters bemoan new window hours scheme

(Photo courtesy of Russell Palma/The Philippine Star)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) implemented a “window hour” scheme to facilitate the return of provincial buses on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Based on the agreement of MMDA and provincial bus operators, buses with private terminals in Metro Manila can traverse EDSA from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. 

The buses should also terminate their routes at the North Luzon Express Terminal and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange outside the window hours instead of their terminals.

The announcement confused bus operators, announcing that they would only operate during the window hours set by the MMDA. Commuters were also left stranded at terminals in Metro Manila as the buses cannot go directly to its private terminals.

People also lamented online over the window hour scheme, expressing how commuting to Manila became more difficult. Some lawmakers also want a House probe on the said scheme for the “significant delay and convenience” it caused.

The  Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) distanced itself from MMDA’s scheme, saying that the agency is not “privy” to the agreement’s details.

3. Holy Week activities resume after two years

(Photo courtesy of Kenneth Cedric Landazabal/TomasinoWeb)

After the coronavirus pandemic halted Holy Week activities for two years, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) allowed the resumption of Visita Iglesia, Salubong, and processions this year.

Visita Iglesia is a tradition of visiting at least seven churches during Maundy Thursday or Good Friday in remembrance of the Stations of the Cross. Salubong, on the other hand, is a reenactment of the meeting of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ after the resurrection.

The CBCP advised devotees to place religious images in motorized vehicles instead of carozas pushed by people and shorten the procession routes. 

Although, the Department of Health reminded the people that kissing and touching religious images are still prohibited. Minimum health standards are also still in place even as more areas shift to COVID-19 Alert Level 1, the lowest quarantine classification in the country.

4. UST becomes fifth top-performing law school in “historic” 2020-2021 exams

(Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb)

The University became the fifth top performing school in the cluster of schools, with more than a hundred first-time takers in the 2020-2021 bar exam.

The Supreme Court (SC) announced on April 12 that UST has a passing rate of 93.05, or 201 passers out of 216 takers. 

This year’s Bar Exams gathered a “historic” 11,402 examinees, as the SC suspended it for two years due to the pandemic.  

The Bar Exams were also held digitally and locally for the first time. Coverage was also shortened, with only two testing days instead of the four-Sunday Bar Exam.

5. ‘Agaton’ onslaught leaves 224 dead, P3 billion agricultural damage

Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard

Tropical Storm Agaton flooded several parts of the country, leaving 224 dead and  P3 billion in agricultural damage.

“Agaton” formed inside the Philippine area of responsibility and intensified into a tropical depression on April 9. It made landfall on Basey, Samar, in Eastern Visayas on April 11.

The intense rainfall flooded parts of Visayas and Mindanao, displacing over two million people.The Department of Agriculture also reported that “Agaton” left around P3 billion in agricultural damage, affecting the livelihood of 67,586 farmers and fisherfolk.

6. UAAP opens its doors to live audience after two-year hiatus

(Photo by Corinne Vizconde/TomasinoWeb)

For the first time in two years, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) opened its doors to a live audience last April 5. 

After initially starting Season 82 of Men’s Basketball through a “bubble” setup, the UAAP announced on April 1 that it would accept limited spectators, provided that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and follow minimum health protocols in place.

As of the writing, the UST Growling Tigers had three wins and 10 losses and was also out of the Final Four race after losing to the NU Bulldogs on April 26.

The Women’s Indoor Volleyball Tournament will start on May 5, with the Growling Tigresses opening the season against the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

7. EJ Obiena to carry PH flag at 31st SEA Games

Photo courtesy of Jerome Ascaño

After missing the World Athletics Indoor Championships due to the Philippine Athletics and Track and Field Association’s (PATAFA) non-endorsement, Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena is set to be the country’s flag bearer at the 31st South East Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This announcement came after Obiena and the PATAFA found closure after the Commission of Audit cleared the former of his liquidation issues.

PATAFA also endorsed the pole vaulter for the SEA Games and the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

The Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino revealed they nominated Obiena and Olympic gold medalist, Hidilyn Diaz, to carry the Filipino flag at SEA Games. Although, only one flag bearer is allowed per country.

The weightlifting star gave the other thumbs-up, emphasizing that Obiena is the “story of every Filipino athlete who fights to bring home pride and glory to the country.”

Obiena is one of the 656 Filipino athletes competing in 39 sports in the SEA Games, which will run from May 12 to 23.

8. Thomasian groups endorse Robredo-Pangilinan tandem

A month before the May 2022 elections, more Thomasians supported Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan’s bid for the two highest seats in the Malacañang.

Last April 2, six out of eight UAAP student councils, including the UST CSC, endorsed the Leni-Kiko tandem after the respective council’s mock polls.

Over 7,200 UST alumni also endorsed the tandem as both have “demonstrated integrity throughout their entire political careers.”

UST faculty members also backed Robredo, who said their students “can look up to and emulate.”

Last December 2021, several alumni, faculty, and students launched Thomasians for Leni Facebook page.

9. Several presidential bets hold joint Easter press con

(Photo by Lisa Marie David/Reuters)

Presidential aspirants Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and former defense chief Norberto Gonzales held a press conference on Easter Sunday to “call for unity.”

In the presscon, both Domagoso and Lacson hit Vice President and fellow presidential candidate Leni Robredo for “fooling” them at the unity talks before filing their certificate of candidacies.

Domagoso urged Robredo to “make the supreme sacrifice” of withdrawing from the 2022 polls as he claimed that her rivals had a better shot of winning the presidency against Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who was the top candidate in surveys.

Lacson also said Robredo rejected his unification “framework” as it required the latter to drop out of the presidential race if she lagged behind the polls. 

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Ka Leody De Guzman chided his rivals’ Manila Peninsula presscon. He also rejected their call for Robredo to withdraw.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao was also invited but did not show up at the presscon, much to the relief of his campaign team.

On the other hand, Robredo asked her supporters to intensify their campaign for her candidacy and for them to be unswayed by emotions after the tirades against her.

Several netizens urged others to ignore the presscon as it coincided with the surprise reunion of K-pop girl group 2NE1.

10. Scientists stage worldwide protest against climate crisis

(Photo courtesy of Brian Emerson)

Over a thousand scientists from 25 different countries staged the “Scientist Rebellion,” a worldwide protest against climate change and the inaction of governments to address it.

The protest followed the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report stating that the world needs to deeply cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 to avoid “irreversible” environmental damage before 2100.

The protest went viral after National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist Peter Kalmus and other experts were arrested after chaining themselves to JPMorgan Chase & Co in Los Angeles, California, a top financier of fossil fuel projects.

“We’ve been trying to warn you guys for so many decades that we’re heading towards a fucking catastrophe, and we’ve been being ignored,” Kalmus lamented.

Many pointed out his call to the events of the movie “Don’t Look Up,” a satire about climate change and how the world ignores scientists and their findings.

The protests made the #LetTheEarthBreathe campaign went viral, prompting many to do little acts to help reduce their carbon footprint, from deleting unwanted emails to using search engines like Ecosia, which promises to plant a tree every day 45 searches.

Although some climate activists pointed out that systemic change can better save the environment, the top 10 percent wealthiest people in the world are responsible for 34 percent of the global carbon emissions, more than double what the 50% of the worldwide population in the low-income bracket produce.

11. 2ne1 rocks Coachella with reunion performance

Screengrab from Coachella’s YouTube page

K-pop legends 2NE1 surprised Blackjacks worldwide after their surprise return performance after seven years at the Coachella Music Festival last April 17.

After 2ne1 leader CL’s performance in the 88rising’s Head In The Clouds Forever, she went off stage, coming back with fellow members  Bom, Dara, and Minzy.

In a Billboard interview, CL revealed that the intention behind their performance was “simply” for the group, serving as a “celebration.”

K-pop fans also felt a wave of nostalgia, pointing out how 2ne1 remains iconic even after all these years. Fans also rejoiced after witnessing the return of Bom’s red hair, Dara’s wild hairstyles and Minzy’s dance moves.

The group debuted under YG Entertainment in 2009. The group disbanded in 2016, after their last performance as a group at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards.

12. ‘Your daughter’ remix goes viral

Screengrab from AC Soriano’s official Twitter account

Papunta pa lang tayo sa exciting part.”

A new earworm arrived in town as netizens were left repeating the  “your daughter, is sleeping with my husband” remixed monologue in the show “Broken Marriage Vow.”

The remix came from social media content creator AC Soriano’s (@ItsAC’sLife) one-man show featuring the roles of actress Jodi Sta. Maria called “Jodi Sta Maria: The Unauthorized Rusical.”

AC, who was also known for impersonating actress Toni Gonzaga’s political performances (as “Otin G”), lipsynched to Doc Jill’s dinner revelation scene mixed with Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction.”

The “Unauthorized Rusical” entertained more than 12,000 live viewers, including Jodi Sta. Maria herself. The actress even performed the acapella version at the show’s virtual media press conference.

Ian Gabriel Trinidad
+ posts

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending