Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I'm busy consolidating the notes for my historical paper and it seems that there are still some gaps in the information that I have gathered...parang swiss cheese, my goodness...

Although I am confident that I could begin writing the paper tomorrow, as my thesis and outline are already well-placed, there are just some bits and pieces missing to buttress the conclusions that I would be putting forth in my paper.

'ika nga "the Devil is in the details"

And one cardinal rule given by Ma'am in the lectures: "If you yourself are not convinced in the arguments in your paper, eh paano na lang 'yan kung ako pa ang tumingin d'yan?"

The solution: magbabad sa library buong linggo


Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Couldn't Help Myself

if impulsive buying is a crime, then I'm GUILTY. GUILTYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

"Quid pro quo, Agent Starling...quid pro quo..."

"Remember, remember the Fifth of November. Of gunpowder, treason, and plot..."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweeney Todd!

yes, this is a musical...I remember the only other musical (or movie-musical) I watched was "Chicago" and boy was it good. This time, Johnny Depp sings! Throat slashings! Blood! Cannibalism! This one you've got to see for yourself...not for the faint of heart or those with weak stomachs...

This scene I'm featuring is GP however, Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett contemplating what to do about Mr. Todd's first victim...

did you get it? hehehe

Monday, January 14, 2008


my forays into the legislative archives in the house of representatives have done much to actualize some of the discussions we've had regarding historical research since last semester. it seems that the most effective way to learn how to conduct historical research is to actually DO it (with the ample preparation and theoretical foundations laid out of course) and it is in the "doing it" part that I come face-to-face with many of the points that ma'am diokno would often emphasize:

point #1: you think you've got your topic all figured out, but sometimes the immensity of history could get the better of you

OK, this is where most of us had a problem at the onset. Even during the making of our research proposals we'd encounter problems caused by our topics themselves. For example, one of my classmates figured that he could conduct oral interviews as a basis for his research paper, two lectures on oral history later and he's wondering if he went way over his head with his topic. (and chosen method of data-gathering)He remarked to us, "Hirap pala mag-interview no?"

Personally, the problem I encountered with a text and document based research is that the immense data that you could gather could cause you to go off on a tangent and soon you'd find yourself reading an article that isn't even related to your topic, instead of skippinf ahead to the part that's relevant. When reading newspapers in the 40's i often spend more time poring over the advertisements and the comics. It's just that the things you find out about a period almost 4 decades ago are so interesting. It was indeed an effort on my part to rein myself in and not let curiosity (or too much interest and enthusiasm) get the better of me.

that's why a clear and ordered proposal is needed so that your topic is clearly laid out, your points carefully delineated, your time frame sufficiently established, and your sources easily accesible so that your won't find yourself in the middle of your research work asking yourself, "Why am I doing this, again?"

point #2: history is so immense that unfortunately only a small fraction of it gets remembered and recorded

this is what I think poses a great challenge in my research.my search for sources in the archives of congress have yielded a considerable amount of valuable primary evidence. BUT! some pieces of evidence are missing...and unfortunately I confirmed that most are lost with no hope of retrieval.

Like a committee report that I read about in the Congressional Records. I requested said committee report along with transcripts of committee hearings and several folders later, I did not find said committee report. Archivists told me that this is not an uncommon case for old files since it was only recently that they implemented a newer filing system. That, and the fact that the Congress had been subjected to a number of address changes could count as a reason for the loss of said document. Sayang...

I count myself lucky that even though the documents of committee meetings for 1961 are few, those that survive pertain to the time period that I was researching. Imagine, for the whole year of 1961, March lang nga transcripts of meetings ang available and in some transcripts there are glaring ommisions especially of crucial evidence -- hambal sang archivist basi classified info...

And how's this for serendipity? -- tucked away in a folder containing info unrelated to my topic is another transcript of a meeting regarding communist infiltration of student orgs during the 1960's! just what I was looking for! unfortunately page 1 was missing therefore I have no idea on the exact date of said committee meeting...I would have to look for clues within the text of the transcript to divine the said missing info.

Point #3: Most often, pieces of evidence have a tendency to corroborate each other. This is important in ensuring accuracy in the historical study.

I think that I could use this point to my advantage given the lack of some significant primary sources. Newspaper reports usually recap the discussions of previous committee hearings. Privileged speeches of congressmen oftentimes refer to facts and events related to the committee hearings. There are still a number of witnesses who are alive and coherent enough to be interviewed. So all is not lost. Depende lang 'yan kung gaano kasugid ang mananaliksik hehehe

A side note: It's seems that my decision to take spanish lessons are paying off. Ran across a transcript wherein the committee was interrogating a witness -- in spanish. and I'm glad to say that I understood what I was reading. well...almost everything. which was a good sign since I recall last sem when I read a congressional debate in spanish I couldn't make heads or tails of what they were saying. Now, several lessons on spanish grammar later, I could understand about 40% of the text hehe.

Esta bien que estudio espaƱol yo. hahaha my half-assed effort at saying "it's good that I am studying spanish" wonder if it's correct though -- I'm still a long way toward crafting a good sentence in spanish. hehe

whew! three more weeks to go before we have to turn in our research paper...and I'm still stuck in the data-gathering stage. Nakupo! we need to speed things up a bit...wish me luck!

My Inner Critic

I have classes early this morning yet I can't sleep because of some f*cking karaoke fest going on nearby. So para makabawi, I unleashed my inner critic and subjected these hapless voices to my own personal roasting hehehe

Comments I wish I could scream out loud...

1. Libagon! (sintunado!)
2. Out of synch ka!
3. Videoke na 'yan di mo pa makuha ang lyrics? Kung hindi ka pa naman ubod ng tanga! Bwiset!
4. If you can't reach the high notes, don't even bother singing "Alone" by Heart. Sinisira mo ang kanta 'langhiya ka! BTW, Celine Dion's version sucks!
5. The peopla are cheering not because they love your rendition. To be honest, it's horrible. They're just drowning out your hopeless rambling. That, or your horrendous voice has driven the crowd insane...
6. Wrong pronunciatiooooooon! Mag-aral ka ng Engliiiiiiiish!
7. If you wanna be a soprano that bad, better...(graphic description of a medical procedure)
8. "One in a Million" 'ka mo? That's apt, because if I were to judge your singing that's the score I'd give you: 1/1,000,000

and finally (and most fitting given the circumstance)...

9. Kung ayaw niyong matulog, magpatulog kayo! 'tangina nyo!

oh my God...now they're having an impromptu beauty pageant...when will this torment end? huhuhuhu

[ditch's note: I'm getting rid of the Stand Alone notations at the end of my posts related to UP life/Manila life. I'll just label my posts 'stand alone' from now on. Hirap kasing tandaan ang series ng numbers in my old scheme eh. hehehehe]

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Are you a "Zero"?

This is the first episode of the "Heroes" parody entitled "Zeroes", available on youtube and on the Heroes website...

hahahaha it's midnight and I'm laughing my ass off!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Waaaaa-aaaaaaahaaaaaa-aaaaahaaaay? (Part 1)

I saw this compilation of the 25 top sci-fi movies and TV show on the Entertainment Weekly website that listed some of the most memorable shows and movies of the sci-fi genre over the past 25 years. I was glad that some of my personal choices made it to the list -- The X-Files, Heroes, Back to the Future, Aliens (though Alien was better, but the cut-off year of the list was 1982), Terminator, Total Recall, Pebi's fave Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Battlestar Galactica (the "re-imagined" series), Star Trek: TNG (yay!),The Matrix, even the cartoon Futurama.

But what concerned me was the glaring omissions in the list. One probable cause may have been the decision to lump together movies and tv shows -- thus, the limited number of slots. So, for a wider scope of sci-fi material, I humbly offer you my additional best of the best. Some of these were actually featured in the EW website as a list of "glaring omissions" from the list. how nice naman of them...


1. The Fifth Element - who could forget this masterpiece of Luc Besson (who directed my other favorite movie -- Messenger: Joan of Arc)? Now this is science fiction with style -- with the costumes designed by the renowned Jean-Paul Gaultier. Memorable Moments: "Leloo Dallas...multi-pass!"; Chris Tucker playing an obnoxious, shrill-voiced, sexually-ambiguous character; Gary Oldman playing the villain, the lumba-lumba aliens who look like metallic penguins; the "cellular reconstruction" of Mila Jovovich which gave way to Mila Jovovich in nothing but body tape covering the "essential spots" hehehe; Bruce Willis going "out of his element" playing the character of Corbin Dallas with a mixture of tough-as-nails yet slightly "bangag" personality; finally -- the Diva Song. Astig!

2. Resident Evil - NO, i do NOT have a thing for Mila Jovovich! But this is one of the better movie adaptations of a video game and the best of the trilogy so far. Best moments: Mila Jovovich naked in the shower (why is she naked or scantily clad in almost every movie I've seen? not that I'm complaining...); her fight with the zombie dogs; the laser corridor which sliced and diced the SWAT team that entered it; the voice of the computer program; and the sewers filled with walking, flesh-eating zombies -- imagine MRT during rush hour, and everybody is dying to tear each other apart and feast on human flesh.

3. Minority Report - the actress playing the precognitive was great! Though personally I would have preferred the ending to be a bit darker...Tom Cruise forever in stasis...ha!

4. Dark City - a man begins to discover that he has powerful psychic powers...and the world that he thought he knew is not what is seems...Fave moment was when the lead character wanted to touch his wife from behind the glass panel of the detention area...and the glass just broke when he leaned over to embrace her (or was it kiss?). And the "men in black" who all look a bit like Nosferatu...especially the kid...weeeeeird!

5. Alien vs. Predator - no high-profile stars here so the focus was on the extraterrestrials. I have a nagging feeling that Predators are Rastafarians for some reason...Fave moment: the aerial-twist and backstab performed by the Predator which made me go "Yeah 'mon! niiiiice..."

6. Dune - I haven't seen the original movie which was released during the 80's (where Sting played one lead character - was he a Harkonnen?) haven't read the book by Frank Herbert...but the recent TV movie adaptation of the book caught my imagination as I saw an interesting subtext...how local customs, traditions, and myth can be co-opted to serve political ends. Reading Ileto's "pasyon and revolution" further convinced me that there is ample evidence to suggest that myths and folklore could spark a revolution in a society repressed by an oppressive regime. (grabe na relate pa sa phil history ang sci fi!) Fave stuff: the "weirding way"! and the voice-hypnosis thing that Muadib/Paul Atreides and his mother does.

7. Akira - now this is where I think EW had a bit of a bias for western-sci fi. Despite being an animated film, Akira marked a revolutionary approach in anime and the cyber-punk genre. Japanese anime could be approached and analyzed in varied levels -- you can go as superficial or as deeeep as you want. and Akira provides a sh+tload of stuff to deconstruct and analyze. Favorites: The killer stuffed toys backing off at the sight of blood, the shriveled toddlers with immense psionic powers; and the cool bikes those gangsters were riding.

8. Ghost in the Shell - Motoko Kusanagi...the name above every name hehehehe. Na-addict sa movie kag sequel, pati sa anime series na-addict man. Check out the name of this blog and go figure...favorites: scuba diving android, perfectly rendered san miguel bottles, the cloaking device and the chase scene; motoko versus the tank-robot

9. The Forgotten - Julianne Moore in a sci-fi thriller that delves deep into the resilience of human memory -- and a mother's connection with her child. Favorites: people getting sucked into the atmosphere after they've figured out some aspect of the "experiment"; Julianne Moore's line: "I have a son...you sonofabitch!"

10: Star Trek: First Contact - Alice Krige as the Borg Queen...yummy...

Any movie I missed? do check out the Entertainment Weekly list on their website and see if you agree with their listing...

Next time I'll be giving my own list of top sci-fi TV shows...next time lang ah...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Push the Limits

somehow I thought I should put this video on my blog...enjoy. hehe

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Christmas Break Awards...

summary of my christmas break as an awards show. And the award goes to...

Best impersonation of a dog - my niece Irene. Arf!Arf!

Greatest Quote - the great Febrian Ditchella: "Bisan indi pa ko ya mayor, ma-asal na ko ya nga daw mayor na ko! Teh, pirde sila eh..."

Greatest family moment - in the car with Manong, me, Mama, Brian Erl and Diding. It could've been a TV sitcom -- complete with opera-style singing of the 'Santos nga Misa'..."mangamuyo kitaaaaaaaa..." this was where the Greatest Quote was uttered. there's nothing like extremely funny --oftentimes meaningless -- family banter while weaving through the terrible Bacolod traffic that Friday night when I arrived from Manila.(turned out there was a midnight sale in Robinson's and a car accident along Lacson) We turned what could've been a long, grumpy ride into the "The Ditchella Family Half-Hour Show" hahahahaha

Best "Senior" Moment - Mrs. Erlinda Ditchella. A dramatization follows:

scene: departure area, Bacolod Airport. I was waiting to board my flight to Manila...when suddenly my cellphone rings

Ditch: hello, Ma?

Mama: (in an intense, panicky voice) Hello 'to? baw nabilin gid bala ang isa mo nga sapatos!

Ditch: Ang ano nga sapatos, Ma?

Mama: Ang imo bala high-cut nga sapatos. Ginputos naton to kagab-i pero nabilin!

Ditch: Ha? di bala daw nabutang mo man 'to sa isa ka bag kagab-i?

Mama: (pause) Ay Oo gale no? (laughs) Sige ah amo lang na (continues laughing)

Ditch: (laughing) Sige Ma, text lang ko kung ara na ko Manila...

Mama: Tawag ko da karon! (still laughing) Ay ambot ah...sige bye!

(end scene)

Newest Phobia - Fear of Barracudas. anybody care to come up with a scientific term for this? My nephew Brian Erl had been playing way too much "Feeding Frenzy" on my PC. Plus, he just discovered Warcraft and was making his way through the initial campaign missions...hope it doesn't become a habit...hehe

Best Dessert - the HOT MOMMA MOCHA MANGO FLOAT by the great Alon Song

Newest Debate - Mrs. Erlinda Ditchella (affirmative side) vs. Michael Ditchella (negative side). "Resolved that mapagunting na buhok si Michael kay kalaba na ka-ayo." Affirmative side: "Pagunting na!" Negative Side: "Indi ko!"

Best DVD marathon - a tie between Heroes Season 2 and Eureka Season 2

Best Christmas Eve Movie - "Accepted" starring Justin Long. Saw it on HBO. Had me laughing my ass off on Christmas eve...

Best New Year's Eve Movie - "Cars" on the Disney Channel. Palupok kamo da ya kay malantaw ko di ya mga racing cars nga gahambal hehehehe

Most Anticipated Work - completion of my research paper for Kas 199.2...and so it continues...

Stand Alone 1.32