March 22, 2014

The Start of Cameras

Photography can be considered as technology’s most creative way of sharing and documenting knowledge. This infographic shows the evolution of cameras from pure scratch to the advanced innovations we now have. Starting with basic concepts of the eye’s perception of light, we now belong in a generation of selfies and a society of quality filming.

Monica P. Tiongco
2013 - 21566

March 20, 2014

Reaction Paper: Imelda (2003)

Imelda Marcos has always been viewed as the most extravagant political figure the Philippines had ever produced – warranting the word "imeldific", meaning extravagant, to her name.

As the First Lady of the former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, she enjoyed a certain degree of power and authority. She organized a number of lavish public events that cost millions of dollars in public funds. She also had a hand in committees that promoted art, culture and literature, and had several structures built for these undertakings, which then was not the real priority of the state.

As history shows, Imelda was indeed overly and excessively indulgent in all her minute details life has to offer. She had a vast collection of shoes, clothes and jewelries. She also traveled a lot to other countries all at the expense of public funds, and ultimately, the Filipino people.

I couldn’t help but pity her and at the same time, feel outraged, as I watched her defend their family’s atrocities to the nation. She also showed some signs of mental instability with all the superstitious and somewhat senseless beliefs she discussed and adhered to in the interview.

Her answers lacked clarity and rationale, and was met by laughter of the audience. Perhaps it was her refusal to believe that she and her husband were indeed the villains in their regime, despite the glaring proofs still evident in our present society.

Maybe it was traumatic, even for her, to have experienced and taken part in extreme cases of human rights violations, and these atrocities still haunt her to this day.

The Rhetoric of Cancer: Live with it

              In the Documentary of the Rhetoric of Cancer with Andrew Graystone, He defines what his rhetoric on cancer is. It is in contrast with the usual way of cancer in which we define cancer as the “enemy”, a “monster”. With these set in mind, we would say that those who have cancer are “battling” it. Andrew Graystone’s rhetoric on cancer is to live with cancer and accept these cancer cells like your own body. It’s been a norm that people comforting cancer patients by encouraging them to be brave, to win the battle and to survive.

               I would see two sides of a coin. The first would be fighting against cancer. The second would be living alongside cancer. The former, as I interpreted Andrew’s words, was something similar to personal struggles. It is something that you do against yourself. You would fight yourself and living like that is something anyone would not enjoy and it would mean struggling though life. As others say “You are living the life if you are having fun”, Struggling through life’s the opposite.

               However, that is not the only way we can speak of cancer and how to deal with it. The latter as the main topic of the podcast was something optimistic. It is living with what cancer is defined as an “enemy”. With this in mind, people with cancer would just happily live their lives with cancer, not wasting any moment on struggling against one’s self. Normal people are fortunate that they have all the time in the world to enjoy life and to have fun. I cannot say that people with cancer have a time limit, however with their condition, it is hard to enjoy life and we cannot say when we are about to die. Personally, I have met people who have cancer and I see them still smiling and enjoy their lives to the fullest. I know all of us would want to live life without having regrets. The biggest regret I could think of is not enjoying life. As I speak for those people with cancer, I would impose a message to live life as yourself, and not against yourself.

               Just live life with it.

March 19, 2014


"Welcome to the world, my son.” Dr. Newman exclaims, as he screws the last bolt into his newly made robot atop his workbench.

Dr. Newman is a renowned scientist for the Robotic Engineering of Genetic Grafters – a euphemism for human-makers.

In the thriving and competitive community the world has become, humans had to find ways to make their offspring better and more adaptive in responding to demands for work efficiency amidst their actively growing economy.

One great president was not enough. One great thinker was not enough. One great innovator was not enough. Everyone had to be great. Everyone had to be the best thinkers. Everyone had to be innovators.

This necessity ushered in the first generation of robotically manufactured humans. They were superior in every humanly aspect and proved to be a successful project. They quickly rose to key government and corporate positions and brought radical change to their society. Soon after, many countries adopted this technology and worked to improve it for the use of every family. Crimes, poverty, discrimination, environmental issues and wars have just become century old stories. There was social equality and justice in the thriving utopia the world has become.

Dr. Newman just finished working on “Sapien”, his newest genetic grafting robot, whose processor has been modeled to his very own brain.

“Many have expressed their concerns against your newest project, Dr. Newman. Are you sure you have the necessary safeguards to prevent that model on not working in favor of us?” Mr. Dwight, CEO of the Dwight Robotic Manufacturing Company, asks with a hint of skepticism.

“Robotic takeovers, zombie apocalypses, and whatnots were the crude scientific assumptions of the future that our ancestors used to express with their old films and their little flip-page reading materials. It’s the age of dynamism, my friend. Aren’t we generation seventy-eight? Let’s show the world the greatest innovation they’ll ever see before we retire.” Dr. Newman then reaches out and pushes the button to start up the robot. “After all, in order to make the best possible human, the creator must be highly familiar and sympathetic to it.”

The robot begins drawing the human organs and restructuring them. Mr. Dwight walks out of the lab, leaving the doctor with his beloved creation.

The first sample human product of Dr. Newman’s machine instantly became a hit sensation for the people. He proved to be the best in every field – a standout in an already perfect bunch.

Everyone wanted to adopt a genetically grafted offspring from Sapien. Despite protocols restricting products from being released into the market without having been tested flaw-free until retirement, the company decides to lift those to give way for the uproar on the demand for the products of the latest genetic grafter.

Generation seventy-nine is seen to have a minor character flaw a couple of years before the last of work-active members of generation seventy-eight will soon enjoy retirement. They were unusually sympathetic to robots. Cases have emerged of Sapien’s humans harming others, even their family, if they treat robots and machinery badly or even just speak ill of them.

Conflict soon erupted between the old generation humans and generation seventy-nine humans at the prime of their maturity. Old generation humans quickly scrambled to manufacture weaponry and use their weapons to exterminate the new generation. They were met with greater and more advanced technologies, as the new generation repels them.

As the third generation of Sapien’s creations are in production, the old generation humans are left hiding and resorting to manual reproduction – usually failing due to their artificial nature and old age.

Meanwhile, in Dr. Newman’s old lab, a voice over his old workbench whispers, “Welcome to the world, my son.”

Which is preferable, to fight cancer or to live with it?: a reaction on The Rhetoric of Cancer

The ‘Rhetoric of Cancer’ shown how different cancer patients and experts define cancer. Some says it is a “battle” or a “struggle” to fight for, and an “enemy” to eradicate. Others, including the main character of the podcast Andrew Graystone, vision cancer as something that is part of life for those who experience it; that it is a part of the body, part of their human process. He further said that living with it and accepting it, cancer, is better than treating it as a battle.
These shows that language whether on what medium it may be it is always conventional, that different kinds of people interprets and see that thing in different ways depending on what and how they experienced such a thing, also depending on the level of awareness and knowledge they are taught.
Treating cancer as a part of some people’s body and to live with it is a positive attribute to oneself. This optimistically strengthens you and removes stress along your struggle because you being ignited with optimism, that this is part of the process of living, a normal struggle of life and there is nothing to fear with it. As what Graystone’s Christian theologian mentioned that being part of the process of life is to come and go, that we are meant to die at some time, and nobody is exempted to that, it’s just that there are who die earlier than the others, and so you don’t have to dread of experiencing it--the cancer. It might be the way nature or god or whoever it is wants you to end your journey in life, and end is inevitable, it is constant so there is nothing to be scared about having that disease. You have to live with it as what Graystone pointed out. Never stress out yourself by it because it,stress, might makes cancer severe. Go on with your normal way of living and when the time comes that your travel in this world is about to end then accept it. For me, why waste time on going too expensive treatments if at the end you will still die? Better live prosperously, and treasure the time left, make the best out of it so that when the time comes that you have to say goodbye you can say that you enjoyed your last moments in the world, that you never regret how you spend your last days, months, years, and moments in earth because you did things normally and never wasted it.
You might say it is so easy for me to say thereafter because I have not experienced myself having cancer, that I don’t know what it feels begging for more minutes, more days, months, years to live. My stand on that is that I am not stressing that those with cancers must not look at it as a fight, that I am for with Graystone that you have to live with it, I also acknowledge visioning cancer as a fight and struggle. In life we share moments with people, and when we leave in the world we leave grief to those loved ones we have. They are the one who will mourn and not you, they will be the one who will tear and not you. The point is that fighting to overcome or postpone cancer is more than fighting for yourself but it corresponds to fighting for your loved ones as well. To fight against it doesn’t mean literally to defeat it for the rest of time but it could also be to hinder and stretch the time left. Perhaps its more on fighting against emotional frustrations that the illness may bring more than fighting physically.
Living with doesn’t mean you need not to fight for it, you have indeed need to fight for it. Fighting isn’t not just barriered on treating the illness but also hindering it, limiting its effect on yourself maybe by eating healthy foods so that by the time when the illness is too acute, severe, and is already malignant you are already prepared and your loved ones as well. Living with it and fighting it, the cancer, must go in both ways, they must be considered in the journey of having cancer.

At the end it’s still the decision and interpretation of someone that will prevail. There are different ways as what I said earlier on defining things and so do language of cancer. You may treat it as a battle, as an enemy, or a part of normal process, it is up to you because you are the one who experiences it and not anybody else. The struggles, the pain and everything you feel are all felt by you and not by others. Deep inside there are things that only you could understand, and only you could feel that it becomes hard to explain. So whatever approach you have make it. But if you need advices and encouragements, better listen to the podcast ‘Rhetoric of Cancer’, it will help.

March 18, 2014

The Imeldific Figure

Maybe the history I’ve known was not precisely unbiased among the different faces of the Marcos regime, but I couldn’t still quite picture myself getting ever in their favor. We were made familiar of the human rights violations, mass slaughter and plundering cases during the Martial Law. Also, almost all, if not all, of the infrastructures established at the time were credited to the World Bank. The former dictator, his family, and his cronies even had a substantial amount from these projects. For getting hold of the legislature and judiciary businesses, the succeeding republics have wasted a big amount to pay for foreign debts. People not knowing about these could have been because Marcos also got hold of the media. This was the kind of politics the Philippines had experienced. 

Through all the phases of his presidency, beside Ferdinand Marcos was his wife, the First Lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos. An intelligent, responsible man marrying a beautiful singing lady appeared to have gotten the sympathy of many Filipinos. They were a perfect couple, some might say. True enough, Imelda has been his key to winning the elections. They campaigned together and Imelda has done things even beyond her role as the wife of the president. 

Maybe it was her unfailing and almost unchanging readied answer to every Filipino’s doubt that made me hesitate to believe in her motives. Beauty was the absolute solution she would say for all of our national dilemmas. Just how does she expect beauty to solve problems when people are experiencing hunger, poverty? She would always say that beauty is the most important and should come first all the time. But has she thought of all those who can do nothing but to look up into her laced gown and feel the big difference between them? 

She has lived an Imeldific life—extravagant, changing shoes everyday when there are kids who don’t even have a pair of slippers. Her obsession to beauty has paved the way to uncertainties of whether she managed to have a cultural center, a hospital built for the people’s sake or for her personal gratification. It was funny how self-conceited she was, giving away pictures of her faces to people. She may have thought too high of herself that she confidently speaks of how beautiful she was to have hundreds of suitors lining up. 

Imelda has received diverse judgments from people, yet one thing I can conclude about her is her strength, her guts to withstand every turn they had to make as a family and she as a woman.

Monica P. Tiongco
2013 - 21566