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.