Saturday, September 29, 2012

Analysing a text like an essay

I love watching Youtube videos. It's even better when I watch Youtube videos of my favourite Youtubers, particularly WongFu Productions. I watched one of their videos titled "Textreme" a while ago, and I found it very realistic because this shows how we respond to texts we get from people we are interested in. Watch the video below to find out:

I won't deny that I do this sometimes, but I consider some circumstances on why I analyse a text before I send it. And besides, it's not like the person who will receive my text has no other things to do or doesn't have a life to live so he or she would rather wait for my text. Because we shouldn't rely on our cellphones too much.
On the other hand, sometimes we do need to think carefully of our texts especially if we're sending it to a superior at work or employer. So we don't text them like we're texting our closest friends. 

At the end of the day, it's all about being responsible on how one communicates--be it in text, call, social networking sites, the rest of the internet world, or in real life. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adapting to discourses

   A former alcoholic leaving rehab for the first time, after spending one year being away from his family and friends. He is terrified of what others will think of him. What will people think when they see him? How will people react if he's talking to them and he mentions his experience? He doesn't know how to adjust and return to the person he used to be.


   I was reading an article for my Composition Studies class back in spring this year when I came across this sentence that was salient to me.

Acquiring the ability to function in a dominant discourse need not mean that one must reject one's home identity and values, for discourses are not static, but are shaped, however reluctantly, by those who participate within them and by the form of their participation (1318).
   This sentence was very relevant to me because I can relate to it based on my experience. If I apply it to my life, the dominant discourse that I am functioning in now is this foreign land and culture that is becoming a comfortable zone. Just because I live in this place and culture doesn't mean that I should forget my identity and values. The discourses I learned while growing up in the Philippines and the new discourses I am learning here in Canada are both not static. These discourses are shaped on how I participate in them.

    For example, if I compare the 19-year-old me when I first arrived here to the present me, I would say that I've grown. I've grown a lot. I became a better person. I became more open-minded, and I have gained more confidence compared to the shy, quiet, and soft-spoken 19-year-old me. Four years ago, my routine was school, work, and home. Now, it's school, work, home, friends, and more friends. I have met different people over the years and I'm glad that I still see some of them now. Despite getting used to my "new" life here, I still want to maintain the values I learned and acquired when I was growing up in my former country because they keep me grounded.


    A student transferring from university to college. A military person coming home to his or her homeland after living in a war-stricken country. A toddler adjusting in a day care after living at home with parents. Losing a loved one you have lived with for so long, that it's difficult for you to adjust without this person. 


         Delpit, Lisa. "The Politics of Teaching Literate Discourse." The Norton Book of Composition Studies, Ed. Susan Miller. 2009.

Friday, September 14, 2012

K-pop and hip hop

Big Bang in the old days from left to right: TOP, Seungri, Taeyang, Daesung, and G-Dragon

   I never imagined that K-pop would become this big. When I was introduced to the genre three years ago, I wasn't interested in it all. However, K-pop is such a strong force that made me listen to it again and again. Take PSY (싸이) who sang the famous Gangnam Style (강남 스타을). Big Bang (빅뱅) and 2NE1 (투애니원) became my favourite groups, and they're the only ones I really liked. There must be something about their talent agency, because Big Bang (빅뱅), 2NE1 (투애니원) , and PSY (싸이) are all in the same agency, YG Entertainment.

Big Bang Alive Album Promotional Poster

 2NE1 photo

   These artists are very popular in South Korea. Idol groups (or K-pop groups) are the most popular because they look good, sing, and dance. PSY, who's real name is Park Jae Sang (박재상), is also a rapper. He was already familiar to me because I see him when I watch YG Family interviews, but I never noticed him until I listened and watched his Gangnam Style (강남 스타을) music video. I'm not surprised if it has more than 160 million views because it's really a catchy song. Here's a live performance of the song at the Summer Stand Live Concert:

    I still don't know yet whether I'll get tired of listening to this song or not. I don't listen to it everyday, but the song and dance routine are so catchy that I find myself listening and watching it once a week. To anyone who is introduced to k-pop for the first time, PSY is a good example. After PSY, you can start exploring the different idol groups. And because I'm biased, listen to Big Bang and 2NE1 first (but more on Big Bang). After listening to these artists, you can then begin expanding and pick your idols. You can try these artists: Se7en, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, and Girls Generation. There are a lot more idol bands out there (and I mean a lot), but since I'm not familiar with them you can just visit allkpop for your K-pop idol needs. 

Big Bang performing "Fantastic Baby" at SBS Inkigayo and being their playful selves

2NE1 performing "I Love You" at SBS Inkigayo
YG Entertainment

    I'm not too familiar with the Korean hip hop scene either.  Big Bang does hip hop too, but not every song. I only know two hip hop artists, and they are Epik High (에픽하이) and LeeSsang (리쌍). I can't remember how I was introduced to Epik High; I think it was because I used to spend a lot of my free time listening to Korean artists on youtube and Epik High was on one of the recommended videos. I don't really listen to them, although they do have good songs. Here's Map the Soul (Worldwide version)

    As for LeeSsang, my friend Borj introduced me to this hip hop duo months ago, but I never got into them. Probably because my friend didn't show me this song until my other friend showed it to me:

   Though Epik High and LeeSsang are both good hip hop groups, I prefer LeeSsang's songs (Don't worry Tablo I'll always have a soft spot for you ^__^).

    If this is your first time listening to k-pop and Korean hip hop and you don't understand Korean (or 한글) and would like to appreciate the song better by understanding and knowing what the words mean, you can look them up (or Google them). There are a lot of fansubbers online, and they're wonderful fans who are willing to translate Korean, Japanese, or Chinese songs for us who don't speak these languages. Just like Gangnam Style, I was able to appreciate it more after I googled the translated english lyrics. Same with Big Bang, 2NE1, and LeeSsang. So to anyone who's new to k-pop and hip hop, good luck! There are so many choices out there. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

tweet, tweet

   I told myself a year ago that I'll never set up a Twitter account. I knew that would never happen of course, because I *sort of* knew that I was accepted in the Creative Communications program at Red River College and a Twitter account is required for all students.

   So now I have a twitter account. I posted my first tweet and started following the people I want to follow. Let's see what happens.

I got this photo here~!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Welcome (back)!

   So for my Public Relations class I have to put away my anonymity and show my face to the world. Since I started this blog, I've always been professional in my posts that's why I decided to stick to this blog until the end instead of setting up a new one which would be another account for me to keep track of.

   When I first set up this blog back in July 2009, I was in my early 20s; my older sister influenced me to start a blog because she also started one in January (but she doesn't update it anymore--she only posted like a couple of posts and that was it. Her excuse was that she didn't have "time" and blogging wasn't for her. Meh. Excuses.). I think what inspired me to keep writing and updating this blog was Dramabeans, a blog about Korean dramas. I've always loved watching Asian dramas and films, and when I realized that I could write about them, I thought, why not set up my blog so I can write about them? So don't be surprised if you find me randomly posting about Asian dramas because those shows keep me sane. I used to watch American tv shows when I was in the Philippines, but when Meteor Garden was shown on Philippine tv for the first time in 2003, that got me into Asian dramas that ranges from Taiwanese (which I rarely watch), Japanese, Korean, Chinese (mostly films), to Thai (mostly films too). But don't worry, these are not the only shows I watch. I also watch period dramas, and that comprise mostly of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell's novel adaptations. Downton Abbey is next on my list, but I just don't have the time to watch the series right now. And lastly, I used to write recaps about Detective Conan (and if I have the time, I'll write about them). I like animes, and I've been watching them since I was young so I'm familiar with animes like Dragon Ball, Yuyu Hakusho, Ranma 1/2 (my favourite anime of all time), Fushigi Yuugi, Fruits Basket, Hana Yori Dango, Naruto, One Piece, Flame of Recca, and other animes that I can't remember at the top of my head.

   But when I don't write about my "addictions" (as what I call them), I write about myself. No, I don't write about how amazing I am (ha!), or what I had for breakfast this morning, or what my typical weekend is like. I never write about those. I'd rather just keep those thoughts to myself and never share them on Facebook or Twitter. I value my privacy, that's why when I started this blog my user name was "luraaa" and my old profile pictures here were either an anime character or my shadow. But I changed my user name to my real one (i.e., Lora) because... well, I don't really know why I did that last year. I think it was because I wanted my audience to know who I am so they'll know that I'm not a troll? Anyway, I can't remember the story behind it so let's change the topic.

   Whenever I talk about myself, I talk about my experiences and thoughts as an immigrant. I was 19 years old when I left my entire life and moved to a new place to live permanently. I didn't have a choice; my parents made us move here even though in Western standards I was already an adult and I could make my own decisions. But I didn't, and I let my parents decide my future for me. It was a decision I didn't regret, and I would never blame my parents for making me move here to Canada. I was forced to make a lot of sacrifices, but it's alright. I'm still in the process of transitioning, but a few years have already passed and I've built a few relationships here that are comparable to my old relationships back home.

   And that's exactly why my blog is named Homecoming. The Philippines was my home--it still is, it's just that my feelings about this country are changing as I spend more time and live my life in my new home--here in Canada. But even though I consider Canada my new home, there will always be a part of me that will go back to the place where my life started--and how I became the person I am today--my native homeland, my first, former and forever home, the Philippines. A place that will always welcome me despite my love-hate relationship with it.

   I guess it's time to continue being professional and more personal as I relaunch my blog and change it to a professional blog named Lora's Homecoming

Oceanarium Park in Manila: my cousins, siblings, and I went here when we visited the Philippines in summer of 2010. 

Oceanarium Park

 Balanan Lake, Negros Oriental: a lake on a mountain

Taal Lake, Tagaytay City: Taal Volcano on a lake
   With sights and places like this, who wouldn't want to go back? I haven't even explored the underground caves, blue seas, and hundred islands in the Philippines yet, that's why I'm definitely going back there. 

© photo credits: the first three were taken by my brother Kervy and I took the fourth. All pictures were taken during our 2010 summer vacation