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The age of online youth publications

THE Internet has proven to be an effective medium that weaves both self-expression and artistic experimentation.

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THE Internet has proven to be an effective medium that weaves both self-expression and artistic experimentation. Given the wide range of available platforms to select from, many young people nowadays have utilized cyberspace as a venue where creativity is allowed to flourish without restraints.

Individuality aside, collaborations have paved way for the burgeoning scene of youth-driven, online-based independent publications. This movement has garnered so much attention that it has not only honed aspiring artists, photographers and writers in the past years, but also maneuvered them into working for the actual publishing industry.

Stache

Stache Magazine, dubbed as “the magazine for and by the creative youth,” is the brainchild of Maine Manalansan, who wanted nothing more but a platform for underappreciated Tumblr artists.

It was during a career orientation workshop in the university she was attending that prompted Manalansan to first act on the idea of establishing her own magazine. Then a 17-year-old Business Management student, Manalansan found her career preference veering away from the corporate world. Instead, she chose to become an editor-in-chief. Two months after, in December 2010, Stache released its maiden issue.

Stache has gone nowhere but up ever since. In a way, it spearheaded the local online magazine movement. It even bagged Young STAR’s Future Perfect Blog of the Year in the 2013 Globe Tatt Awards.

However, Stache rocked its following last April 2014 by going on an indefinite hiatus, capping off three years with a black-and-white-themed issue.

“I think we just needed a break because three years of creating a magazine and getting no compensation for it is a tough job especially when you’re fresh out of college,” Maine said, who currently works as editorial assistant for Young STAR, the Philippine Star’s youth culture section. “Art is good but you can’t do art for free forever.”

Despite this, Maine assures that something exciting is on the works for Stache.

You guys will know about it soon.”

Elision

Admittedly, Elision was intended as an alternative from mainstream publishing and its inability to cater to the needs of “passionate and intellectually-hungry youths.” So with the help of four other friends, editor in chief Fiel Estrella pioneered the Tumblr-based webzine.

Fiel describes Elision’s content as “an outlook of the modern Filipino youth.” Initially focused mostly on music, the webzine eventually expanded its coverages to the arts, literature and popular culture. While most of their features comprise of foreign personalities, they make sure to include local figures every once in a while, like blogger Camie Juan, singer-songwriter Luigi D’Avola, and indie folk band the Ransom Collective. “We’re definitely not trying to be esoteric. Our issues always have a little something for everyone, whatever their current state of being is,” says Fiel.

“I hope Elision evolves wonderfully while staying true to its nature. I want to dive into intersectionality and give voice to all kinds of people.”

Manic Pixie Bakunawa

While it’s become a common notion that literary journals nowadays are curated by the likes of scholars who make the medium quite inaccessible and unapproachable, we’ve got Manic Pixie Bakunawa (MPBK), which in contrast is run by fresh college grads to thank for opening its doors to young artists and litterateurs looking for a place to exhibit their works.

Editor in chief Raf Nakpil shared, “MPBK was inspired by the fact that I really, really want to be able to write and tell stories as much as I can.”

The online literary journal took its name from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character trope, depicted as a quirky and enigmatic heroine deemed likeable for her confidence in expressing herself.

He related, “Seeing as we’re a literature [and an] art channel, we thought that approaching literature or art however we would like was a really good way to do so.” On the other hand, the Bakunawa part references to a sea serpent in Philippine mythology and embraces a sense of cultural heritage.

Having launched only last September 2014, MPBK has built quite an impressive following. For the coming months, Nakpil tells readers to expect “lots of stories, good art and some fairly interesting blogs.”

The Thing Online

At first glance, one would misjudge The Thing as a local homage to Rookie Magazine, similar by how their target demographic comprises primarily of young women. Editor in chief Gaby Gloria remarks, “I’m flattered that people would even think of comparing (Rookie) to The Thing, (but) we’re trying to break away from any comparisons though.”

However, a female audience was only the initial setup. The Thing has gone on to cater a wider demographic, which now includes even male readers. “Our articles are geared towards interests and real stories,” says managing editor Patricia Chong. “There isn’t exactly some kind of brand telling you that some interests are really for just girls or just guys.”

From popular culture, literature, sports, and even science, there’s one word that best describes The Thing: diversity. And that’s exactly what constitutes the core value of the magazine which, according to Gaby, has become more of a community open to exploring various interests.

“We want to be a place where people can read about what they like, and for them to find their own thing.”

Rumination

To ruminate is to think about something deeply and according to Julianne Suazo, and that’s exactly what the people behind Rumination Magazine do to produce challenging content for their readers.

Julianne, editor in chief, was interning for Candy Magazine when she realized her ardent love for writing. Rumination had always been on the back of her mind, but the only impediment was her lack of drive. Pushing her to make the magazine materialize was her friend, associate editor Cedric Reyes, who asked Julianne during a 2 a.m. conversation, “Why not now?” And Rumination took off from there.

“Rumination goes beyond showing what’s aesthetically pleasing or talking about what’s the new ‘in’ thing,” Julianne said. “We talk about things that are haven’t been necessarily made known to the public yet.”

She also encourages Rumination readers to look out for “fresh new faces and fresher contents.”

 

These publications all fall under a common denominator — that is the love for craft and culture. It just proves how far the youth could go to follow their passions and exert all efforts to allow such things to continue, never minding the lack of financial funding and reward.

If the five we’ve listed above failed to suffice to your appeal, also check out ADHD Magazine, Kamusta? Magazine, Ursus et Cervus, and Yuckzine.

 

Photo courtesy of StacheMagazine.com

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‘Yoko’ by Eraserheads is Relevant Now, More Than Ever

This is how the iconic 90s Filipino rock band Eraserheads described their experience with the Citizens’ Military Training program through ‘Yoko’ back in the days.

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Photo taken from Bandwagon | Edited by Daffy Bara

After 17 years of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program being rescinded, Congress is now fast-tracking the passage of a bill that would make the program a requisite again, at least for grades 11 and 12.

It has since been answered by condemnation and protests from student and youth groups, especially from Thomasian students whose fellow Thomasian Mark Welson Chua suffered from its abuses for simply ratting out the corruption inside the UST ROTC system.

With President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 2232 on Monday, July 3, requiring senior high school students to undergo the ROTC program, ‘Yoko’ by Eraserheads captured today’s youth’s sentiment against the bill’s passage making it relevant now, more than ever.

Behind the song

 

“Nasayang ang maghapon, ano ang napala?
Basura sa utak, sunburn sa batok at noo
Nagmamartsang parang gago sa ilalim ng araw
Baril na kahoy pinapaikot-ikot parang langaw”

 

Seems familiar? This is how the first verse of the 1995 hit ‘Yoko’ went as the iconic 90s Filipino rock band Eraserheads described through the song their experiences in the Citizens’ Military Training (CMT) program back in the days.

Written by drummer/vocalist Raymund Marasigan and performed by Eraserheads, ‘Yoko’ or a Filipino slang for ‘Ayaw ko’ meaning ‘I don’t want’ talks about contempt for “unnecessary and routinely outdoor activities, blind obedience, false sense of nationalism, and abuse” inside then-CMT (a.k.a. ROTC) program, a college counterpart of the infamous Citizens’ Army Training (CAT) program in high school.

Released as part of Cutterpillow in 1995, ‘Yoko’ was said to have contributed to the call to abolish the ROTC program back in the 2000s as students’ clamor pressure Congress through demonstrations and parliamentary struggle.

Cutterpillow, the band’s third studio album, is still one of the biggest selling album in OPM history. It sold more than 400,000 copies (the record turned Gold on the day of its release, and Platinum on its first week). It was the fastest selling album in the 90s era.

Eraserheads is known to have introduced classic songs such as “Huling El Bimbo”, “Overdrive”, “Kaliwete”, and “Huwag Mo Nang Itanong” in the OPM arena.

Now that ROTC is making a comeback, let’s make sure that they hear our calls, if not in the streets, through songs of Filipino band legends they’re definitely into.

You can listen to the full song on Spotify.

 

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8 Apps that will kick start your university life

Still struggling to keep track of your deadlines? Check out these 8 apps that can help “Marie Kondo” your student life in order.

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Let’s admit it–it’s either too bulky to bring around or too hassle to maintain your favorite bullet journal or planner, especially if you’re a student whose time is consumed by the horrible metro traffic. But with only our smartphones in our hands, it is much easier to track and manage your study schedules and to do lists.

As we’re about to face again the looming deadlines, don’t forget to equip yourself with these apps to help you kickstart your semester.

Google Calendar can help you keep track of your events. Giving you the option to view your personalized calendar in daily, weekly or monthly spread, you can easily see your schedule with just one glance. You don’t need to worry about forgetting a single thing because users can set an alarm to remind them at various intervals.

   

Unlike the first one on the list, Ike is more comprehensive in classifying your goals. The app is designed after the Eisenhower Matrix which categorizes each task based on the importance, urgency, and aspect in life that you want to improve on. With the four categories, Focus, Goals, Fit In, or Important, you can easily set your agenda

All of us have been victimized by the “pahinga lang ako ng 5 minutes” because the next thing you know, you’re endlessly scrolling through memes for the last three hours.

This app utilizes the Pomodoro technique where you will use a timer to break down work into intervals with short breaks. With the help of Forest, tracking productivity is at the fingertips of the user. The user can decide how much time he/she wants to be focus. And to motivate you more, for every completed task, a tree will sprout in your forest.  However, if the user gets distracted by notification and leave the app, the plant will immediately die.

For those who travel from their hometown all the way to the University, turn your wasted time being stuck in traffic to a productive study session in your phone. Quizlet allows the user to assess their knowledge and retention of user through flash cards where the front contains the term and in the back is its definition. Various quiz types such as written, matching type, multiple choice, and true or false questions are also featured in this app.

Ace that paper that you’re about to write with Grammarly Keyboard. This app can detect grammatical errors from spelling to punctuations, while you’re typing! This nifty app can be used in various applications such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter or anywhere you need to type on.

It is disappointing to say but daily student life would never be complete without spending hours of traffic congestion in España–and it would be a much burden if you have a group paper to pass but guess what? You’re still stuck there.

But thanks to this old trusty pal, Google Docs, you can write that paper even with just your mobile phone. Your progress will be safely stored in the Cloud and your group mates can easily track your revisions.

Truth be told, Thomasians can never run out of places to eat–but after all that endless munching, our stomachs’ next stop is to find that perfect bathroom. BGPOP and Central Lab is the place to be, but when we’re out of our comfort places, San Bidet? is here to save the day. This app will guide you to the nearest toilet with that sweet bidet.

For someone who did not grow up in Metro Manila, getting to a specific location could be a struggle (not to mention if you are kind who does not have a sense of direction swear it could be trouble.) But with the sakay.ph app, just enter your destination and ta-da you will see the comprehensive information on how can you reach your destination whether it is via jeepney, bus or train. It also provides how long it would trip would take.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 New Year’s Eve traditions that only Filipinos can understand

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Art by Jessica Lopez

It is truly in the heart of Filipino tradition to celebrate New Year with an extra level of effort and extravagance. From the endless varieties of food set on our tables, to the myriad gatherings of family and friends, up to the ear-splitting explosion of firecrackers and fireworks that trail the night sky, we definitely know how to party hard.

But this celebration would never be complete without the bizarre yet unique traditions that most Pinoy households take part in just to ensure good fortune for the coming year.

 

  1. Round fruits = ka-ching!

Who can miss that basket of round fruits your mother set at the center of your dining table? Beware though, trying to steal a fruit or two may bring you misfortune in the form of an angry mother.

In both Filipino and Chinese traditions, circles are symbols for prosperity. Because of this, Filipinos generally decorate their dining tables with varieties of round fruits such as oranges, grapes, watermelons, apples and many more.

  1. The family that eats sticky rice together, stays forever

Biko, puto, tikoy and the like are staple food for any Filipino feast, especially during Christmas season and  New Year’s Eve. But aside from it being commonly served in celebrations, sticky rice or kakanin symbolizes a sweeter and stronger bond between family members.

  1.  Noodles for a longer life

Noodles are also a staple food we usually see during our New Year’s feast. This tradition of eating noodles during Media Noche, which is said to be adopted by the early Filipinos from the Chinese, is thought to bring good health, longevity, and good fortune for the next year.

  1. No chicken and fish dishes during Media Noche

According to elders, serving chicken and fish dishes during the midnight dinner entails bad fortune for the next year. For most Pinoys, avoiding chicken and fish prevents them from being situated in the adage – “isang kahig, isang tuka”, which means that one will earn just enough for a meal and nothing more.

 

  1. Coins inside the pocket

Another thing that Filipinos do to attract money is keeping coins inside their pockets and shaking it when the midnight falls. Another thing which surely every child anticipates is the “money shower”. You might remember the times when your parents carried a handful or bagful of coins in their hands and sprinkled it onto the floor in every corner of your house which you and your siblings would snatch from afterwards. Both traditions are intended to bring wealth, and symbolize the continuous flow of money into one’s household.

 

  1.  Jumping in the hopes of putting on a few more inches

No one would probably want to miss out on a chance of adding a few inches to their height, especially if all it takes are few jumps when midnight strikes.

Every year, you always see children jumping (and even a few college students) as high as they can with excitement plastered on their faces. This jumping-during-midnight is mostly  done by little kids, though, there are still adults who might feel the need to do it. Those who practice jumping are believed to grow taller over the course of the year.

 

  1.  Wearing clothes with polka dots

As with the belief that round fruits will bring prosperity, so will dressing in clothes with polka dot patterns. Usually seen on children more than adults, the polka dots are said to resemble coins, and thus stand for good fortune.

Maybe we can try add polka dots to our daily wardrobe and somehow un~broke~ ourselves.

 

  1. Ear-splitting firecrackers and firework displays

Celebrating New Year wouldn’t be thrilling without the presence of loud booms and cracks of various fireworks in the sky and on the streets. Setting off fireworks is believed to drive away evil spirits, ensuring that they’re nowhere near people’s homes as they usher in the new year. Consequently, the streets during New Year’s Eve often come close to feeling like the middle of a warzone, but that’s never gotten in the way of any Filipino’s celebrations. Just be careful on those firecrackers though, you might need those complete set of fingers in the future.

Filipinos truly know how to welcome the New Year in their own way. Although some may appear strange, it just make every occasion even more exciting and memorable.

 

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