A short stint as Editor-in-Chief

I’m no crazy young EIC for any magazine or newspaper as the title might suggest, but we did create a little one-time-only magazine as a final project for a major elective. We were grouped into different teams, each tasked to create a magazine that was socio-economically relevant.

And that we did.

While everyone got to have five people to share their burden with, our team only had four people. I’m not entirely sure who said it, but it was because we were all pretty competent people that the professor deemed us capable of managing a whole magazine with just the four of us. We did manage it, with 2 days of me having stayed in school for the first time past midnight (that was not Cookout related). It was kind of scary because the computer lab is haunted, but I never felt anything out of the ordinary, so I guess I’m relatively unscathed from hauntings.

Before I forget and get carried away though, here’s the link to our output (which has a QR code that links to the PDF copy of our output; not the printed copy, of course):


Anyhow, back to what I was saying…

Aside from being scared of seeing some strange apparition, I was also extremely scared of failing my team. As I was the EIC, every single little detail that could go wrong or I may have overlooked will be completely my fault. This was a huge burden on my shoulders and it caused me great worry. On top of that, I was also writing and helping with the final layout. It was stressful, to say the least.

But somehow, I found it exhilarating.

I didn’t really think I could survive, but I did. We did. Our team did amazingly and was the first to receive a “nice” compliment from our very meticulous and detail-oriented professor. It was a great honour and something of which I am proud of for my team.

She liked the layout, the photos, and where we headed with our articles. Save for the missing captions on all of our photos, I can hazard a guess that we kind of did pretty alright in her eyes. But throughout this whole process, I felt like I did nothing. I mean, I was there for each step we took and I also managed the printing, alongside getting the PowerPoint and website ready (including QR codes and Flip Book needed), but because there was no “concrete” output I made that was all my own, I felt like a useless hack who just rode along.

Am I just really hard on myself? Do I have a heavy bout of impostor syndrome?

I did lead the team and was there all throughout the way as best as I could…

Well, maybe I’d manage well working for a magazine or newspaper if it were just to get articles by the deadlines. I could even do well helping out with the layout and the photos. But I might not be cut out to be an EIC, until I can prove myself worthy of such a title…

Still proud of my team for what we achieved though, no doubt about that.


Featured Image: That was NOT taken by me, but was the cover of our magazine.


These are just my thoughts from a post ABS-CBN made some weeks ago:

Why not try making your own original story first with a good plot based on ACTUAL Philippine folklore that’s been researched into with as much gravity as that in which J. R. R. Tolkien did for his amazing works? The Silmarillion alone is an extensive narrative that looked into the inner workings of Eä and would be necessary to read through to create any film that’s based in THAT universe for it to be legitimate at all.

As it has been mentioned in Variety’s article “16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Making of ‘Lord of the Rings’” (http://variety.com/…/lord-of-the-rings-making-of-backstory…/), “A production team of over 2,400 and 26,000 extras worked on the films for five years.” 64 miniature sets were created, with “some so detailed that the larger ones were known as “bigatures”.

Even Peter Jackson, the director of both film trilogies based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, said as much behind the work required to recreate the literature; “I had to create the most believable world I could. The decision was to make it feel very historical, with the levels of detail creating the illusion that the viewers were immersing themselves in a real world”. Their budget was ginormous, reaching $281 million (Source: https://variety.com/…/hobbit-trilogy-has-cost-561-million-…/).

Since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a universe based on Norse and general Germanic mythology, as well as Celtic, Slavic, Persian, Greek, and Finnish mythology, it’s justifiable that the actors they used for the original trilogy (and the succeeding cinematic trilogy created that was based on the prequel “The Hobbit”) were all of Caucasian descent; it just made sense.

Remaking it in the Philippines would be a great insult to J. R. R. Tolkien’s memory, his son Christopher Tolkien’s efforts in editing most of his father’s posthumously published work, and to the rest of the Tolkien fandom, especially considering the current production quality of Filipino films (which isn’t bad, but it would be a great let-down for the massive diehard fans of Middle Earth if it weren’t up to the international standards of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”; it still needs a lot more work).

The Philippines has a rich oral and literary narrative if people were to just dig it up and research about them (or even just consult the experts who’ve been studying the subject for so many years who have many great ideas themselves), and it’s just there wasting away instead of having more people attempt to preserve it by putting it on a medium that’s most accessible for the general populace. Why look outward, when we have so many stories we can tell right here in our own country? Maybe do something similar to what J. R. R. Tolkien did to create his extremely rich world and do research into the many different parts of the Philippines (actual REAL linguistic and regional-cultural research, and not just a quick surface allusion) to create something even more original than LOTR.

The Philippines has a great talent pool for this sort of thing that’s just being side-stepped in mainstream media for whatever can bring in the big bucks. We have the capacity to create something as great as Lord of the Rings and even Game of Thrones, if only the right talents were tapped and if sacrifices were made to create the art Filipinos deserve.

For what are proper films and TV shows, but art that reflects a society’s culture.

Please, let’s not have our media be more of a laughing stock than it already is.

Just Thoughts Triggered From A Video

Thoughts during/after watching this video on YouTube:
It would be wonderful if most depictions of masculinity in films and television shows were to change. The prevalent trends today limit male heroes with roles where they either are “autonomous, brazen, and physically strong” or are “witty, boisterous, and charismatic”. When it comes to vulnerability? They’re supposed to hide it.
“We learn to easily forgive aggression and arrogance in men but to take exception at presentations of humility or sensitivity. We’re accustomed to seeing men who are quick to violence and slow to diplomacy.”
Says quite a lot about the values being taught to men through the media really…
Being sincere, nurturing, emotional, and sensitive, where “sensitivity is framed as a strength rather than a weakness”. That’s what Newt shows. And it is pretty refreshing to see a main male character depicted this way.
Contrary to popular belief, vulnerability is not “weak”. Rather, it is a strength to even show vulnerability as it takes a whole lot of courage just to BE vulnerable.
Anyhow, long story short. I am truly thankful and blessed for the sensitive men in my life. Also, media kinda sucks when it represents the genders.

Just Thoughts…

Does everything I do have to have some sort of academic purpose just because I’m a student?

That question is something that has entered my mind thrice now; first was on Friday (Chinese New Year holiday when we went to Carcar to pick up our shoe orders), second was yesterday (Saturday; had a makeup class), and third was today (Sunday; read a book, wrote a little, went to church, went home, worked out, then read/wrote).

On each occasion, I was involved with something I was just doing as a past-time. Hobby, if you will. There really was no relation between what I was doing with academics. I just felt like working on those hobbies at those times.

I know it seems odd that I enjoy some of the things I do on my own time without anything grade-related motivating me to do it, but it’s true. I just feel like working on my in-progress-hard-af-to-focus-on manuscript, taking random photos with my DSLR, reading a book that’s not part of a class’s must-read list, blogging about nothing, and working out whenever I want, wherever I like.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that what I do at times has nothing to do with my academic career and this sort of thing should be more of a norm (maybe it’s just here) that people let people be for what they want to do without unnecessary commentary and/or questions.

Closing message: Your life now (as a college student) should be more than just your academic struggles. Sure, it can get tough at times, but don’t get so hung up on it that it becomes an obsession/only thing on your mind. Put in some of the things you enjoy doing into your life as well and come out of college having not only good/semi-okay grades, but actual hobby-like-things you can continue past college.

Also, grades aren’t everything.

A Pet Peeve

I find noise intolerable most of the time, if not all the time. And when people raise their voices, I just find it such a pain. Background noise is fine, but when many people compete to be heard, it’s just too much for me to handle.

Competing to be heard isn’t going to lead to a nice environment. It will just create a place of noise with very little respect for others who are also speaking.

A pet peeve right here, senseless noise is.

Musicology 007

Are we truly ever free? And when we choose to actively disengage from everything society dictates, are we not still trapped, but in a different way? Isolation from everything?

Those are just a snippet of the questions that ran through my mind when I heard this song.  And true, these questions have always been in me, but they resurfaced yet again, thanks to Katy Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm”, featuring Skip Marley. So here’s to some pondering.

“Are we crazy / Living our lives through a lens”

This most likely pertains to living through the camera and through digital devices, which is quite common now in this generation. What I mean is that for every single little moment, sometimes we don’t get to savour them anymore in an organic manner due to constantly documenting them, filling up one’s newsfeed with selfies and pictures and giving off this image of a life that is so picturesque. Is it a forged perception of our personal lives or is it actual reality?

It’s like we’re our own paparazzi really…Is it a form of self-worship and obsession in maintaining an image by placing oneself in the limelight of a social media platform? Or it could be that we’re just sharing our lives with those who matter to us with no ulterior motives. It is our right and we have the freedom to do so, after all, but does it not come to a point wherein it seems almost like a trap in its own shape and form?

Social media has become such a huge influencer that I just have to quote yet another song here.

“Wrong information always shown by the media / Negative images is the main criteria / Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria / Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema” (“Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)

Information overload. Difficulty in triangulating sources. Fake news. Amorality. Degradation of values. Sex successfully selling. Propagation of the sexual objectification of men, women, and children. Rampant pornographic visuals, cyber-sex and human trafficking…

“Dance, dance, dance to the distortion”

The power media has is scary. While it can inspire, it can also hurt. And that hurt can be so deeply entrenched in society, we can become blind to media’s intoxicating effects, carrying down into history.

Many times I hear of people wanting to remove themselves from societal influences, but can we really say we successfully have done so and aren’t affected by the dictates of what we should all look like? How we should act? Doesn’t the fashion industry control our perception of beauty, what makeup to buy, and what clothes to wear (I will NOT go into consumerism right now)? Don’t magazines and articles and TV shows and music dictate how we should run our lives and relationships?

I could continue on with this point really, citing and adding more onto my EE during IB, wherein I delved deep into fashion magazines via linguistic analysis, but I truly need to study right now…

“Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity / Whatever happened to the fairness and equality / Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity / Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity” (still “Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)

I don’t really intend to put any finality in this directionless post with some huge point, as these were just questions and thoughts floating around in my head that urged me to put them down into words since I need to really study for an upcoming exam (but these said questions and thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone to concentrate on studying), but I do choose to finish this off in an open-ended, inconclusive manner. These are, after all, incomplete thoughts and questions with so many answers, that I doubt I’ve covered everything that needs to be covered here.

How much influence does the media have on you and me? Have your values altered over time because of what it tells you to focus on and what it says is right and wrong? Are you and I hypocrites? How deeply enslaved are we by the system?

Social media and the media truly have made the world smaller, which is truly its strength, I’ll give it that. But at what cost?

Anyhow, “We’re all chained to the rhythm” (unless you disagree).

“So put your rose-colored glasses on / And party on”

P.S. Props to Katy Perry’s new song (that features Skip Marley), as well as to Black Eyed Peas’ classic song


Yours truly,

RaMarAl, an overanalysing Mass Communication student