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Little Tinker Fairy Speaks On: The Issues Revealed in Philippine Culture

(a Philippine History term project by Kimberley Rose M. Rodolfo, II – ABCAM)

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NEOCOLONIALISM

Neocolonialism defined in Merriam-Webstr dictionary is the economic and political policies by which a great power indirectly maintains or extends its influence over other areas or people. We’ve been a colonized country for hundreds of years that it has been a challenge on how we can build up our own administration. Up until now we still pattern how the government works from the western culture, which is in the form of economic, military and socio-political. When will the Philippines be independent if until now, we cling our dependence to the “richest country” in the world, the United States of America?

Also, neo-colonialism is defined to be an economic imperialism. This is evident with how the way the finances and businesses in the country work. For one, we are mirrors of how business transactions and taxes work in America. I also remembered the time when the USA is in deep economic crises and so do we, even if it is said that we are an “independent country.” Also, economic neo-colonialism reflects on how monetary currency works in the country. It greatly affects how our Overseas Filipino Workers or OFW earn their salary which is intended for their relatives here. If it isn’t for this principle that our country possess, there would be constant values and our fellow citizens will not be greatly affected with the never-ending changes. Another Western-influenced neo-colonialism perspective that is massively evident to our country is its cultural implications. I would specifically center this aspect in how the media works in our country. Films and other television shows are like patterned in the American culture. Only few movies features the family values for today, most movies are centered in action and intimate relationships. Also, our music changes which before we are known for love songs. As time changes, new genres and forms are starting to arose.

In the end, I still find our country dependent to the largest and richest state in the world. True enough that we have created, devised and improved our own government firm and we abide by the stand that we are an independent country. On the second thought, we still pattern how our country works in how western people think and moves. Maybe, (just maybe) we will be considered as an independent country if we free ourselves from the influences of other culture, specifically the elimination of neo-colonialism thought of the American colonialism.

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RELATIONSHIP OF CHURCH AND STATE

Haven’t you been once torn apart of choosing over your faith before law? Or law before faith? This is how the Philippine works and torn apart because of two contrasting beliefs and opinions. There was a massive separation of church and state when the Reproductive Health Bill was passed in the court. The country was divided in pros which seek to control over the uncontrollable state of population growth. They believed that through contraceptives, citizens of this country will be wise enough in terms of family planning. And because of the growing cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD, it will be a stronghold to the protection of the citizens’ health. On the other hand, the cons are more of those who believed that using contraceptives is a sin and evidently against the will of God; for they believed that it has a far greater purpose and use of such contraceptives will cause corruption to its reason and sanctity, therefore losing their control over life.

We cannot deny the fact that the greater numbers of the Philippine population are Christian. This is rooted from the colonialism brought about by the Spaniards. Also, it is most of the time the reason for the Filipino people to find their common ground. It is where we find faith and stronghold to challenges that torn us apart. On the other hand, the state that provides the law for organization is also the cause of our unity. It is where we find understanding and respect to other people’s lives. It is where we find discipline and establish orders and coordination.

These two are the root causes of how we are united as a country and how we find our common ground towards development. But it is deeply seen and felt the division for there are times, most of the time; the we have our differences in beliefs and principles. Although, this might be a great challenge, it is also the reason for us to be united and understand what one side seeks to achieve because in the end, it is the country and the citizen’s welfare that they both want to reach and attain.

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 OCW/OFW AND BRAIN DRAIN

How much from the graduating population seeks to find their future jobs overseas? How many people wait in long lines just to apply for international jobs? How much professional does the country loses?

OFW stands for Overseas Filipino Workers. These are the Filipino citizens who work outside the country for the sum of money. Most of them yearn to earn to send a larger amount of money to their families in the Philippines. On the other hand, OCW stands for Overseas Contract Workers which is somehow related to OFW but this time, these are the workers with existing work contract abroad.

To the pursuit of earning more outside their country, this caused the lack of professionals in the Philippines. Have you ever wondered why there is a low quality of or lack of nurses in this country? It is for the reason that a huge number of graduating nurse students seeks to find a job in other countries to earn more. Also, most of the professors here in our country travel overseas instead of dealing and educating the next generation of Filipino professionals here in the country.

High demands and higher income offered triggers the hope of working overseas. I cannot blame these people for they believe that the value of their work is deserved to be paid for its worth because if they stay here for long, there will be no hope for an increase to employment fees. In my opinion, the government should face the consequences cause rooted from financial issue. If there is equal distribution of payment and work value, less Filipino professionals will seek to train their knowledge overseas, thus, an increase to employment and decrease to the amount of brain drain.

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COLONIAL MENTALITY

GOYA or HERSHEY’S? Well indeed, this question from the day’s reporter struck into my nerves. My immediate answer would be Hershey’s. It is not for the reason that it’s more tasteful than GOYA because in my opinion, there are no differences in terms of its taste, both came from the same ingredients. But why do I even choose International Brand over Local Brand? Believe it or not, it is the same if you are to choose Havaianas over a local unbranded slippers made in the country. As long as you have the budget, I bet you would choose Havaianas.

An article blog by Jake entitled “Colonial Mentality (Weaknesses of the FIlipino Character)” said, “Filipinos have a colonial mentality which is made up of two dimensions: the first is lack of patriotism or an active awareness, appreciation, and love of the Philippines; the second is an actual preference for foreign things. Filipino culture is characterized by an openness to the out-put side —- adapting and incorporating the foreign elements into our image of ourselves. And yet this image is not built around a deep core of the Philippines history and language. The result is cultural vagueness or weakness that makes Filipinos extraordinary susceptible to the wholesale acceptance of moderns mass culture which often western. Thus, there is preference for foreign fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, technology, consumer items.”

I wouldn’t negate his statements for this is true. Branding became a source of lifestyle identity. Today’s unruly reality states that nobody wants to feel inferior over the other, thus, we bring it through material things. This then cause the decrease and deprivation of our local market. We, Filipinos will choose over the western brands for they believe that it is more reputable than products and services offered and made in our very own country. The devastating reality has caused lower economic values in local brands, thus decrease in demands.

If we are more educated and made aware of these possibilities, this might help improve our colonial standards. For products and services offered here in our country is no different from those made in other countries. We should start to look into values brought about by its creation rather than values written in price tags. We should start to ground our lifestyle not from its market values, but rather the pride we bring to these products.

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LGBT ISSUES

“ Ang ipinaglalaban ko lang ay karapatan. You know, ang hinihingi ng mga bakla ay hindi naman doon sa sobra sa karapatan ng tao. Ang hinihingi lang ng mga bakla ay EQUAL CHANCES, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES, EQUAL LANG.” -Boy Abunda (PEP.ph)

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. It is widely known as a community of Gays. There have been massive issues that involves the right of gays, most especially their acceptance in the society and their fight to acceptance. STatistics shows from the global survey by Inquirer.net by Philip C. Tubeza that among 39 countries covered by the global survey, 17 countries accepted homosexuality. The Philippines in that cased ranked 10th as the most gay-friendly country in the world. Although the ranking is high, is it enough to consider that we accept the “third sex” in the society? Also, statistics shows that among gay-oriented sexuality, in 2010 most suffered from verbal abuse, physical asault and homopobia.

Some of us accepted the gay company for we find the notion that they exist to make us laugh, but no. These demographics brings about professionalism and pride in our country. Take consider those who excel in the fashion and beauty industry like Ricky Reyes for his successful beauty salon and the internationally acknowledged fashion designer, Michael Cinco. In the marketing business, there is Joel Cruz who is now a mulit-billionaire owner of the international perfume brand. They should be accepted in the society because they are equally created, and as a Christ-centered country, we should accept them in the society and eliminate stereotypes and isolation just because of a “confused” sexual orientation.

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Little Tinker Fairy: A Decade and Eight

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Once in a young lady’s lifetime will she turn eighteen. We believe that this stage opens the door for maturity, hence, to be of legal age. “With great power comes with great responsibility.” It is the time of which the world she lives in lets her be. Her life depends on the choices she makes because she knows what is right for her and what’s going to make her happy.

2013 is my year and I turned 18 last September 23 but we celebrated my party last September 21, 2013. But before my big night, my parents and I decided to plan six months ahead. It started off with a very tricky question from my papa, “brand new car or party?” During that time, I thought of picking the brand new car but I remembered that I already am driving his car. It took me a long week to decide and think about it, and surprisingly I choose the party. When I started saying this to my mama, she told me that they were planning to give me money for myself – for shopping. I still wanted to have a party – and mama too – because it’ll only be once  that I’d be with my family and  friends to celebrate a good life.

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The first three months of preparation was tough. We had to decide on who to invite because our initial plan was to bring 120 people. It was hard for me to limit who will I choose to invite because we have family friends and acquaintances who were expected to come. Then, we ended up changing our plan to 200+ head because of family reasons.

Aside from the invitations, I had to come up with a “theme.” I first thought of a “candy land” Katy Perry’s teenage dream inspired birthday party, but I thought it didn’t mean something to me. (I’m not the sweetie type). Also, I tried thinking of a Parisian party but it was too limited. We can only place things that are related to Paris. It came to me that why not a Grecian type with white robes, wreaths and Olympus-inspired venue, since I’ve been a Greek Mythology fan back when I was in highschool. I realized that I wasn’t the “cultural” or formal type. I planned up the other way around. I reflected on who I really am in the first place. I was the bubbly, exploring, open and ever-changing type of person – I think in a positive way. Then there was this website, http://www.debutideas.com where I found various choices of possible party themes. Of course I scratched my previous choices and I ended up choosing a BUTTERFLY GARDEN THEME.

According to Debut Ideas!: “Choosing a butterfly theme for your party can both be refreshing and dramatic. The debutante is similar to the butterfly in the sense that a debutante goes through changes in her life that are similar to the metamorphosis that takes place when a caterpillar changes to a butterfly. The debutante now becomes a woman.  She is now all grown up and ready to take on the world.  Just like the butterfly, she has grown beautiful wings that will help her reach her dreams.  Butterflies are very interesting creatures.  Similarly, there are a lot of things you can do to make this theme interesting and memorable.”

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Since it was a butterfly party, my INVITATIONS had to carry the theme. With the help of my aunt, Moriel Domondon, we had the most colorful and butterfly-ish invitations. Its amazing how the Amis Print were able to come up with my requested butterly design with various colors and quirky texts. I love the most the parchment envelop and butterfly stickers that look so classic, simple and girly all at the same time.

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After ending up withe the perfect theme, how I puzzle it up is even harder than I thought. We started off by deciding for the VENUE. The first and only thing that came into our (mama and my) minds is an open-garden pavilion. The nearest possible place would be at Tagaytay City. Mama spend almost a month to look for a venue and ended up with a lot of choices. I must say, she’s the meticulous one and I wish I had it in me too. I’m the type of person that if its goo, let it be or that’s it! Anyways, she found this peaceful and breezy pavilion at Pacific Grove Clubhouse and Suites, Magallanes Drive, Tagaytay City. The Pavilion was huge enough for a hundred persons to fit in, plus they have this pool side down the Pavilion that can handle another hundred. What I loved the most about the place was their rooms that is completely comfortable.

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Then after looking for a garden-feel venue, we had to look for catering services to prep up the place. With my mama’s good radar on reviews by the net, she found the TOPS CATERING SERVICES for Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. My mother did all the contact but I was part of the design and planning. Since it was a Garde-Fairy party, we requested to replace the (supposed to be) balloon decorations to fresh flowers. Initially, we thought of having a baby pink and fuchsia motif, but I thought it was too cliche and almost every lady like me who had a party choose pink or red for their parties. Then I decided to make it a pastel-colored fairy garden theme. The colors were specifically baby pink (my favorite color, of course), mint green, lavender, yellow and pastel blue. Good thing that even we had to scratch two previous color plans, they were nice to accept my not-so usual demand. The food selection was completely decided by my mama, but I said I like chicken best and asked to specifically add fruit salad for my dessert because I love it. My papa bought the all-time favorite Filipino party food, litson. The 3-layered chocolate cake was so good and it even had custard in the middle (that was my favorite part)  and the adorable Carousel and Ferris Wheel cupcakes was an eye-catcher by the table.

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(My Fairy Garden stage)

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(Centerpiece per table)

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(Carousel Cupcake)

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(Ferris Wheel Cupcake)

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(Blowing my lovely 3-layered chocolate cake)

What’s a pastel Garden party without the perfect dress? My first GOWN is proudly designed by mama and yours truly. She thought of the skirt and I was responsible for the top. Instead of the cliche pink gowns, we decided to go with our theme with various colors. With a long process of looking for gown inspirations from the internet, we ended up with the perfect Barbie Mariposa – butterfly fairy gown. To complete the look, mama thought of making me wear huge wings so I would really look like a fairy ready to fly.

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The Second Gown was rented from a gown rental shop located at Sta. Rosa Laguna. I love how detailed the top beading was and the fluffy ruffles for the bottom.

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What’s the perfect dress without the daintiest pair of SHOES. It was funny because it was the first time I wore heels (I swear in my whole eighteen years of existence) and it wasn’t that painful at first but when I took it off, after five hours, I can barely walk straight. Well, there’s still a time for first times. My pink, bejeweled heels are from CELIN  and I love it because it was from their Memorata Collection which are featured from the famous television SOAP drama, Ina Kapatid Anak starring the lovely Kim Chiu and dazzling Maja Salvador. The best things about my heels was its light to wear and carry, it fits perfectly and its color baby pink

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What’s with the perfect #OOTN (Hashtag Outfit Of The Night) without prepping my face with a little MAKE-UP. I had my make-up put on by 7 in the morning because of my parents’ church wedding by the amazing Froilan Erik. It was my first time experience their renowned airbrush make-up that surprisingly transformed me into a lovely Dyosa. Plus, even though it was raining the whole day, my make-up lasted up until 10 in the evening with minor retouches.

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The master of my debut program, our HOST was Kuya Mar. He was so sweet ever since I met him in the morning and all I heard was compliment from him. Actually, we wasn’t supposed to be our host because we had someone, but luckily it was his wedding day too so he couldn’t come. Kuya Mar was indeed a blessing for us. My parents met him just a week before the 21st and to think we have to cram for my planned program flow, but thank God he was so patient and even fixed the program flow during the event. What I admire was even though he was talking literally the whole day for my parents’ wedding, he still have the energy to smile and be bubbly at night. He set the mood so light although the rain was too heavy and breezy.

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Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. I think the best-modern souvenir nowadays is a PHOTOBOOTH. Luckily, with my mama’s internet powers (HAHAHA) she found WISHES AND DREAMS PHOTOBOOTH with their quirky props, layout and backdrops. They were so professional that even the line was heavy and long, they still manage to smile at the vain people in front of the camera. I won’t forget how sweet ate Khrizzy was when she took a picture of me because she thinks I was so pretty (hashtag kilig). They made group pictures exciting and fun,

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Who would’ve caught all these perfect moments without the PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS who were everywhere? For the lack of a better term, they were so jiffy on taking every smile and every move I made. I never thought I looked that happy when I saw the complete set of pictures they uploaded and sent. It was even surprised how they made the set look so bright, although the rain was heavy. Even before the 21st, they took my pre-debut photos two weeks before the big night so I insisted that I wanted them to take photos on my party. I wasn’t wrong, they really are amazing. Imagine how for a few hours, they took almost a thousand of high definition photos. Thumbs up to A&A Photography.

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(Pre-debut photoshoot with Kuya Jaypee and his team at Hill Creek Gardens, Tagaytay)

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(Before-party photoshoot with Ate Mhean and the team at Pacific Grove, Tagaytay City)

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(Candid shots from the party)

Most importantly, none of this will happen without my parents who did everything they could just to plan and make my dream come true. To my family who supported my all the way, from a little girl who likes to eat stick-os and choco-choco to a young lady ready to bravely face the world ahead of her, thank you very much. To our friends, you’re a part of my family. Without you, there will be no confidence and comfort in me. Thank you for bringing out the best butterfly in me.

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Love always,

Kimberley

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PHOTOS BY: A&A PHOTOGRAPHY

www.aaphotographyph.com

https://www.facebook.com/AAPhotography2011