A couple years back I wrote a draft for a post called “If Fonts Were People.” I wanted to personify the fonts that I use, but the task turned out to be a little too ambitious for my skills. Here’s a snippet:

It’s the font. My productivity relies heavily on pretty fonts.

Cochin has been my go-to recently. Cochin is pretty and petite, like a quiet chinita with perfect posture and who clips her bangs to the side. She dresses sharply like she’s always en route to a corporate meeting. And if you say the right things, you will see the stern sweetness in her smile. That’s what I long for when I write: I want the words to smile.

This is from another unfinished piece “On Overthinking.” It was prompted by an old conversation with a high school friend about the Twilight Saga. I told E that I didn’t like the overuse of adjectives and adverbs in the book and she said, “Hindi kasi kami gaya mo, Jols; we only read for fun.” That statement stayed with me, man, and here’s a sneak peek to my rather bitter comeback:

Somehow this is the hardest to explain to people: that criticism is not the enemy of enjoyment. It is possible to enjoy a superhero movie and recognize how the entire god damn thing celebrates American centrism. One can enjoy reading Filipino pocketbooks — those sappy formulaic tales about a probinsiyana who tames a Lamborghini-riding Makati businessman — but still acknowledge their questionable portrayal of men and women alike.

But I also see that, yes, people are interested in books for different reasons. I understand that everybody is entitled to their preferences and that sometimes, it’s best to just keep quiet and avoid ruffling some feathers.

Now who do I share my pretentious musings with? And why am I even problematizing this?

I also have a draft called “The Great American Exit” which I wrote when the US failed to qualify in the 2018 World Cup finals. They lost the last match to Trinidad and Tobago, a country that is literally and figuratively smaller than the US. I didn’t bother finishing the piece because I was burdened by the necessity to explain how the World Cup qualifiers work — tinamad ako in short.

But the American absence in the biggest sporting event is to me one of the many reasons why international tournaments can be more than just a fancy, consumerist show. In the World Cup arena, a political superpower is virtually an underdog when pitted against champions like Chile and Brazil. And in a span of 90+ minutes, the Colonized can easily conquer the Colonizer — Brazil over Portugal, Argentina over Spain. This minor glitch in the system spells a fleeting subversion of existing power dynamics that may only be symbolic but is nevertheless powerful, especially to the morale of the people.

The last CONCACAF spot went to Panama, a country famous for their canal and for rich people’s offshore accounts. Panama qualified to the finals for the first time and their government declared a national holiday. This news bit oddly reminded me of the rumored One Week Walang Pasok in college in the event that our men’s basketball team wins the championship trophy. #asa

Finally, here’s an excerpt from my pseudo-review of Irene Villamor’s Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story). I still want to write a fully cohesive piece on this film but I’m struggling to organize my notes.

It is precisely the parenthetical reminder in the title that compels me to pay closer attention to Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story). The textual framing calls attention to itself. It is gimmicky, sure, but it is also an unveiling of directorial intent and an invitation for the (overly attached) viewers to examine what exactly makes a love story.

From this examination stems what I deem to be the film’s ambition. Sid & Aya centers on the familiar Rich Boy Poor Girl pairing, but it swerves around the typical trajectory of meet-cute to happily-ever-after. Sid & Aya instead parses a familiar premise and ultimately deconstructs the cross-class romance formula.

The attempted film review was written last January while the rest were written over a year ago. I just stumbled upon these drafts while scouring my documents for my resume and I thought hmm maybe I should share them.


  1. yin

    Snippet 1: Personifying a font – what a creative idea. Cochin is one of those girls I probably envy but can’t hate.

    Snippet 2: Criticism is not the enemy of enjoyment. I will write your sentence and meditate on it. It’s a reminder to sensitive, people pleasers like me who lives with people who ask questions, give criticism and engage in debate. I have to remember that they don’t mean to antagonize me and not everything is about me! Haha. Narcissa.

    Snippet 3: I appreciate your sharing this bit because I get some satisfaction when the US (or North Am or the entire West in general) becomes the underdog even in small things like…uhm food. Mas masarap yung Jollibee Chicken Joy kesa sa chicken dito. So far sa na-try ko ha. Lol.

    Snippet 4: Papanuorin ko na ang Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story) if makaka-access ako. I’m curious kung paano nila dineconstruct yung cross-class formula!

    So yun, may value ang pagshe-share ng snippets even with unfinished writing. Happy Fridaaay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      Ako naman Cochin is the girl I aspire to be. I’m just too lazy get into the habit of wearing pretty clothes, haha.

      Same, Narcissa din ako haha. Hayskul pa ‘yang usapan na ‘yan pero to this day feeling ko kailangan kong ipagtanggol ang take ko hahaha.

      Gurl kahit nga ‘yung KFC sa atin mas masarap sa KFC dito. May rice pa! Haha.

      Gusto mo ng copy ng Sid and Aya? Hehe. 🙂 Alam mo legit question: paano kaya natin masusuportahan ang pelikulang Pilipino mula rito? Ang layo natin e. Wala tayong access sa sine at sa DVD’s, pati na rin sa streaming services na exclusive sa Asia. Hmm.

      Isa pang question: saan na po ‘yung third part ng IGTV episode mo on Alone/Together? Nag-enjoy ako sa first two episodes haha. Gustong-gusto ko ‘yung paghimay n’yo kay Greg, talagang may insight pa sa delayed annulment hahaha. 😛


      1. yin

        Magpapahiram ka ng copy? Shooor! Yung sa mga pelikula, yun pag may screening dito pinapanuod ko nalang sa sine to support pero yun nga limited. Tapos sa DVD naisip ko sya before na sana business idea sya to distribute originals dito pero di ko naman pinursue or wala pa akong nahanap na puede bilhan. Hmm!

        Haha yung sa IGTV sige i-eedit ko na. hahah. Oo may insights din kasi galing sa friends namin na nakapanuod. Cringey pa rin for me to watch pero start somewhere at fun talaga maki showbiz. hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jolens

          May digital copy ako, haha. DM ko link sa Insta?

          Naku kung magbebenta ka ng DVD’s bibili ako! Isama mo na rin mga libro! Ang mahal kasi ng international shipping e, ‘no? Hanggang ngayon may cart pa rin ako sa Ateneo Press website na hindi ko chini-check out kasi mas mahal pa ‘yung shipping fee sa cost ng mismong books. Bwiset, haha.


          1. yin

            Yes please! Yay digital! Haha oo nga noh. Plus may customs pa. Kklk. Okay, naka lista sa not-yet-started-projects. Haha. OR if anyone out there is interested, nandito kami naghihintay. Lol.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Mitch

    I don’t know why, pero natawa ako sa Twilight saga. I never noticed the adverbs and adjectives. My gripe against that book was more on the characterization. I tried reading New Moon back in college since a very good friend was gushing about it but I almost threw the book away because I can’t stand Bella. Haha. I agree about overusing adjectives and adverbs though, but it’s more bearable if the story is actually enjoyable. I remember J.K. Rowling was quite fond of them in HP books. 🙂 Anyway, do you read Tagalog romance novels, the PHR type? I do, too! Hahaha. You can share your “pretentious” musings to me, especially if they’re about books. 😀

    I would have loved it very much if you finished the football piece. I want to read more! I like the way you pointed out the reverse of fortunes between the colonizers and colonized. Haha. So true. Although in terms of the football world, Latin America reigns supreme. Have you seen that long-running joke about England inventing modern football and the Latin Americans perfecting it? Or something that goes that way. I always find it amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      True, I also didn’t like the characters! Bella was in love with Whatshisface because he glowed or something? Ewan ko, haha. Bessy (@besscelf here in WordPress) once shared a video essay defending Twilight. It has some good points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O06tMbIKh0

      Yes I do read PHR! I used to read a lot of them when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure I learned more about sex from those books than from my own parents, choz! 😛

      I have read about that (Latinos perfecting football) but I haven’t seen it in joke form, lol. If Ajax beat Juventus and they end up going all the way to the UCL finals then I might write a football post again. That’s going to be one heck of an underdog story! Exciting ‘teh! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mitch

        Ay, I’ll try watching that later! Haha. It will be interesting. I guess Twilight can be an enjoyable read for many people. Not our cup of tea lang talaga siguro.

        Haha. Omg. Same! I read them in grade school. Mga Martha Cecilia days pa. Waaah. Uy, mas effective nga ang mga yun na sex “education”. 😂

        Aw. You’ll be rooting for Ajax for sure? I’m with the Italians because it will be good for Serie A if they make it further. Although mukhang di naman super underdog ang Ajax? I mean, they’re one of the most successful teams sa European competitions. They lost that glory nga lang after the 80s. I think they even have more European titles compared sa Juve. But it will be nice if Ajax can bring back those glory days. 😄 Looking forward to that football post!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jolens

          True, baka ‘di lang talaga natin type. But of course there’s nothing wrong with liking Twilight naman. The video actually raises a good point: there’s lots of books out there that are just as shoddily (?) written but they do not get as much hate as Twilight.

          I’ll be rooting for Barça! Hehehe. Serie A already has Ronaldo so pwede na ‘yun! 😛 Siguro Ajax has more trophies from the olden days (haha) but this current Ajax roster is still the “smaller” team for me. They’re so young e. The average age of their starting 11 is 23, I think? And Juve has been in the CL finals in recent years so it’d be really nice if we get a different match-up this year. Tapos Ajax-Porto pala sa finals ‘no? Saya! Hahaha. 😀


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