Some things still haven’t changed

I’ll be renewing my passport later this month, so I was reading an old post I wrote about the passport renewal process here. It’s amusing to see that there were “technical difficulties that cause a delay in the processing of passport applications” back then, which I heard remains true today, five years later. Why technical problems still exist today, I’ll never know.

August 04, 2015 by Lynn
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Birding in La Mesa Ecopark, again

And by again, I mean this is another post about birding in La Mesa Ecopark, not that it’s our second time there. I don’t know how many times we’ve gone there to bird, but it’s definitely way way way more than two times. We’ve met quite a few birders already, like a group that came from Singapore, another one from Bulacan, and another one from Manila. It only just occurred to me that La Mesa Ecopark is quite a long trip if you’re coming from Manila.

I’m going to try to start writing in this blog again, and I figured posting bird photos is a good way to get the ball rolling. These are just some of the birds we’ve seen in the park, and hopefully one of these days, we can see a guaiabero.

Waterhen, La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City


Hooded pitta,La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City

Hooded pitta (with breakfast!)

Common kingfisher, La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City

Common kingfisher

Collared kingfisher, La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City

Collared kingfishers

Barred rail and baby, La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City

Barred rail and baby

Coppersmith barbet, La Mesa Ecopark, Quezon City
Coppersmith barbet. I have better pictures than this, but I like how it’s posed in this one.

August 04, 2015 by Lynn
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That DOH anti-teenage pregnancy video

There are so many amusing things about this video. For starters, I just love how it demonizes sex and calls the young people who engage in them “gaga” and “bobo.” I especially love how it advocates waiting until you graduate from school before you have sex and the way it says absolutely nothing about protecting yourself from pregnancy and possible diseases. It’s also funny how it presents that guys are the only ones who are hankering for sex and that the responsibility of making sure that they take things slow falls solely on the girl. Even better is how it focuses entirely on heterosexual sex. And it’s even more amazing how the singers pronounce “chillax” as “cheeeellax.” </sarcasm>

December 10, 2014 by Lynn
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Unpopular opinion: Bench did not need to apologize for “The Naked Truth”

I’ve had some time to chew on the issue, and I think I’ve finally sorted out what I think about the whole thing. Basically, people here are raising hell about the recently concluded fashion show by Bench, a Philippine clothing company. The show mainly features underwear and denim, but naturally, the underwear bit gets many people excited. How many chances do they get to see their favorite celebrities in nothing but underwear, after all?

Prior to the show, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines has already expressed outrage over the taglines on the billboards announcing the event, like “Come play” or “Bare your soul,” prompting the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to make the rounds of all such billboards to cover the “offensive” lines in red.

There were some comments about the show expressing dismay that the celebs and models were baring their bodies, which I find laughable. The show is mostly an underwear fashion show, after all, and I don’t know how effective it would be if the celebs and models who were modeling underwear were fully clothed.

The part of the show that really had people shaking with rage was the one where actor Coco Martin was leading a woman onstage on a leash. Women’s groups, among others, condemned this as demeaning, dehumanizing, and objectifying. In the face of such outrage, Bench issued an apology and promise to do better and be sensitive next time.

Personally, the only thing I think they should apologize for are the more or less homogeneous body types during the show, poorly designed clothing, and for thinking it was a good idea to have Coco Martin pretend to be a dom.

Years ago, I would have joined in the condemnation of Bench for their show and that specific portion with Coco. Today, I just find it mildly amusing, as I’m aware that all it has are mere inexpertly applied tones of BDSM, as the real thing would most likely shock people. (And if someone tells me that that sort of thing should not have been done because we’re a good, conservative, Catholic country, please do me a favor and shut up. For a good, conservative, Catholic country, people are strangely unafraid of committing abuse and being unfaithful, and our politicians are perfectly happy to rob us and kill their opponents).

And if people really want to get angry about the objectification of women, get mad at car shows where women are needlessly put on display alongside cars. Get mad at the annual FHM 100 Sexiest event, where a lot of the models look stunned and slightly afraid in the spotlight, and where they engage in many acts specifically geared to satisfy the male audience. Get mad at beauty pageants for still forcing women to compete on the basis of their looks, and stop calling the candidates role models and stunning examples of what Filipinas should be like.

But let’s not stop there. Get mad at commercials too for telling women that their underarms are too dark, that their hair isn’t long, black, and straight enough, that their skin is too dark and they should have a rosy white glow. A brief moment of onstage dom/sub play-acting–or indeed an underwear show that lasted less than three hours–is less dangerous than the messages being forced down our throats every day.

September 24, 2014 by Lynn
Filed under: Hmm | 1 comment

So. The Fault in Our Stars.

I gave the book to my friend as a gift a few years ago, and I’ve had a digital copy since forever, but I only started reading it a couple of days ago and just finished it tonight. It’s not a bad book. Not extremely well-written; its strength lies in its subject and the characters, although I felt that there were such a lot of lines that you don’t really think would ever come out of people’s mouths, and a lot seem quite like wishful thinking. But then again, this is a book after all. I’m not familiar with John Green’s work, so perhaps that’s just his thing.

This line is particularly stellar, though:

…the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.

June 11, 2014 by Lynn
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Dress codes, pfft

In light of the outrage over school dress codes targeting female students in the U.S. and the ongoing battle over ownership of women’s bodies, I’m sharing this old post I wrote a couple of years ago. Here in the Philippines, many people still think that women should dress “properly,” that is, “conservatively” if we want to avoid lewd gazes and comments. The concept that men should learn to control themselves still hasn’t caught on here, as many people continue to ardently defend the idea that guys will be guys and that they are slaves to their urges.

June 07, 2014 by Lynn
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Check local birders, will you, DENR-NCR?

Because you said,

Among the rare bird species found was the Black Naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), which can be clearly defined by its bright yellow mantle and black stripe from the eyes to the back of the head.

Duuuude. The black-naped oriole is a common urban bird. You only have to go to UP Diliman and La Mesa Ecopark to see quite a lot of these birds, usually hanging out in twos or threes. They’re even in my neighborhood, typically singing in the early morning and swooping around all day. 1

  1. I’m not a super birder and I don’t want to be smug. But I feel like this is something basic that DENR-NCR should at least know about.

June 03, 2014 by Lynn
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What must be going on in the heads of Filipino Directioners these days

The second show has been announced, a lot of tickets have been sold (if not sold out yet), and now the long long wait begins for the show. Here’s what a lot of Filipino Directioners are most likely thinking of.

1. Boy, I hope they don’t break up before they get here.
2. Boy, I hope none of them dies before their concert.
3. Boy, I hope I don’t die before their concert.
4. Basically, I hope nothing comes up in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the concert that could potentially prevent me from going.

May 28, 2014 by Lynn
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I need to be physically restrained so I won’t eat this all day

I try to eat more yogurt because that stuff’s good for the belly, but if I had to be honest, I couldn’t stand it. Today made me change my mind, though. I sliced some mangoes, stewed them in butter and sugar until they were somewhat soft, and then I poured them all over a cup of plain yogurt. The result: the only yogurt I’ve legitimately fallen in love with. Will try it next with bananas, peaches, and pineapples. Sure the butter and sugar likely made it less healthy. But at least I know that they’re the only stuff I added to the fruit.

May 26, 2014 by Lynn
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The One Direction concert ticket buying ordeal a.k.a. one of the worst experiences that a person could ever experience that isn’t rape, death, slavery, famine, and other big important things

This post deserves a new category: OMFG

The formal announcement from the event organizers through One Direction Philippines came on May 19: the boys are indeed coming to the Philippines on March 21, 2015 for a concert at the MOA concert grounds–and tickets were going on sale on May 23. Cue the outrage. The ticket selling date came much too soon; many people couldn’t scrounge up the money in three days, and the concert’s practically a whole year away. Couldn’t they start selling in December or some date closer to the concert itself?

I suspect they couldn’t: I imagine One Direction’s management wants to make sure that bringing the boys here will be worth it and that tickets really will be sold. They needn’t have worried or doubted the 1D fandom in the Philippines. As early as 2 p.m., May 22, people had already secured their spot in the line, ready to pull an all-nighter. The number of people lined up grew throughout the night.

TJ, Macy, and I couldn’t line up earlier, so we were there at 5 a.m., at which point the lines were already so damn long. Long story short, Macy and I were inside the Arena’s lobby a little before 10, and we got inside the Arena Bowl before 2. We thought we were home free until we noticed that the line wasn’t moving at all. It took ages before it started inching along with some regularity, and we finally got our tickets–though not the VIP ones we were hoping for–after 5 p.m.

Fucking 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, outside, people were suffering in the heat, tempers were rising, tears were falling when people heard that some tickets have already been sold out. TJ reported that there were some scuffles and a lot of crying kids and angry parents.

All in all, it was an experience that I will never repeat and I will never do for any other band or person ever again. Buying a concert ticket shouldn’t have to take more than 12 hours, but I’m pretty glad we were able to get good tickets anyway–made the +12 hours worth it.

What the One Direction ticket selling organizers got horribly, horribly wrong

The biggest mistake they made that I can think of is being unprepared. I can’t say they underestimated the crowd; they said in their announcement that 15,000 people are expected to show up at the event. If they’re expecting that many people to show up, they should have ensured that they have enough people to control the crowd and guide the people. In addition, there shouldn’t have been only eight fucking counters inside the Arena Bowl and the concourse for the other tickets. I kept saying, “Two rows of 10 or 12 counters! One row on two sides of the arena! Don’t make people form a snaking line! Make them queue at each counter, and if they can’t fit yet, then that’s when the others should wait as part of one big line!” One dad was even saying that cash and credit card transactions should be separate, which makes more sense, because cash transactions are faster.

They also should have limited the maximum number of tickets per person to two, not five. Less chances of the tickets running out, less chances of scalpers buying up as many tickets as they can. Apparently, scalpers would immediately sell the tickets the minute they exited MOA Arena; VIP tickets went from P17,800 to P21,000-P23,000.

Another mistake is that we didn’t hear from the organizers. Inside the lobby, there were sporadic announcements about ticket availability, and then someone announced that they were requesting management for a second show. After that, we didn’t hear from at all. It would have been moderately reassuring if they would show up occasionally to tell the crowd why the lines weren’t moving and what they plan to do to make everyone’s lives easier.

What the organizers will probably get wrong the day of the concert

They’ve already made a mistake by choosing the MOA concert grounds. It’s a flat, level surface, and people with the cheaper tickets will not be able to see anything much from where they’ll be sitting. According to a common on the 1DPhil page, “magkakariot” if they just use the monobloc chairs. It’s very likely that many people will be unhappy. Why pay any amount at all if all you’re going to see are people’s heads or their backs?

One thing I think they can do is to create elevated seats for the people in the back, giving everyone a fair shot at getting a look at the boys. I don’t think that’s very likely, however. BUT. SM can construct an entire building in a year. A seating section in 10 months shouldn’t faze them at all. And make sure they’re proper seats that people can’t dislodge and throw at the organizers. Get the fuck on it, people.


Over at the 1DPhil Facebook page, there are more than a few people saying that of course the VIP and Diamond tickets were sold out first, because it’s only the rich kids who aren’t real fans anyway who are snapping them up. To that I say, that’s completely untrue. Blame the scalpers who would go in in threes and buy five tickets each. Aside from those assholes, based on the VIP/Diamond crowd I saw yesterday, it was a mix of happy hardcore fans–who were seriously unhappy 1 to know that the tickets they wanted were gone–and parents and older relatives who are doing their best to get tickets for the kids in their families. So enough of the rage at the “carrot fans” and “fake fans.”


Many thanks to Macy for just being so cool in line and for urging me to go on when I felt like walking the hell out of there. But most of all to TJ for waiting outside for us in the heat and the crowd even though I know he was thisclose to losing his shit and was angry about the whole situation the organizers put everyone through.

  1. That’s an understatement.

May 24, 2014 by Lynn
Filed under: OMFG | Leave a comment

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