Morning Calm Indeed

It has been more than half a month since I arrived here at Gwangju, South Korea which was enough time for me to have tons of wonderful adventures. Our classes have not yet officially started that is why we have a lot of time in our hands to go out for trips.

What has made my stay interesting so far is the opportunity to make friends who came from different parts of the world. The diversity of our group is very enriching to both mind and soul. It is amazing and fun to share different cultures with each other.

Before I came here, I always wondered why it was called the “Land of the Morning Calm.” I never knew it was somehow self-explanatory. Back in Manila, I was used to waking up at around seven in the morning and find the streets very busy. But here, even though Gwangju is a metropolitan area, I wake up at seven and find myself in a , literally, calm morning. Most places open and
most people are out on the streets at around nine in the morning. Their days start quite later compared to Manila, but their nights are just as long. Nightlife is not something to worry about if you are a party animal.

The weather is another thing that makes me love Korea even more. During midday, when the sun is at its peak, it can get hot when there are not much clouds up in the sky. But the wind still blows a cool breeze so by just staying under a tree’s shade one can already avoid the harsh heat of the sun. Or there is always a coffee shop around the corner to enjoy a cool drink or some desserts (and free WiFi of course).

Reading about South Korea having the best internet connection around the world is not just propaganda. Experiencing its high-speed internet connection firsthand is just astounding. Streaming music and videos, uploading photos and sending mails are so fast you save a lot of time to enjoy more activities. However, it is definitely not perfect so some connections — especially WiFi — can get a bit unstable sometimes.

I’m so stoked for more wonderful adventures ahead of me here in Korea. Definitely, this is a country I would recommend everyone to visit at least once in their lifetime.

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Dying In A Womb

A community, an organization or an institution serves as sort of a home during adulthood. It teaches us about culture, financial independence, socializing, ethics and morality. Somehow, it molds us into who we become as a person.

This community also serves as a guide. It assists us in discovering the world beyond it and how we can cope, adapt and adjust when the time for us to step out there and stretch our lives further comes.

But wherever there is light, there is shadow. In our community, we can never find ultimate peace. We also learn that the world works both ways, a balance of good and evil should always exist. It may also teach us — either intentionally, unintentionally or both — that danger lurks in every corner waiting for the perfect time to strike.

Fear is forever instilled in our genes. We will never escape its clutches. We sometimes find ourselves playing with knives thinking everything is in our control until we cut ourselves and see blood gushing out from the wound.

Slowly we realize that the world is a sick place. We become scared of what our future has in store for us. What we must learn is to face our own fears in order to properly adapt with the way the world works. This is the reality we may ignore but can never run away from. It will eat us up alive if we let our guard down.

This is our world. It nurtures. It tortures. Living in it is like dying in a womb.

Her Movie Poster

Technology, Love and Social Norms

(A sort-of review of the movie Her)

A disclaimer of some sort: Please do not let my little knowledge of film bother you in anyway when I start to blabber about technicalities about the movie Her. I am not a renowned film critic so please do not contemplate too much on my points and think that I am such a know-it-all who likes to persuade everyone else with my opinion as absolute truth. So yeah, if you agree then great, if you disagree, I am always open for other people’s opinions because I know mine is not the universal truth.

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It boggles my mind how society manipulates our minds and tells us that things like this or things as such are considered normal — or abnormal to some extent. Even the emotional aspect of our lives are dictated by the norms of society: a man can only love a woman; you achieve happiness when you get married; a celebrity’s plight should cause the whole world sadness; and the list goes on. I wonder if there is a possibility in the near (or far) future when social abnormalities are the new norms that everybody accepts.

After watching the movie Her, I contemplated on some parts of the movie which, based on my mind formed by the current social norms, seem awkward. When Theodore told his friend that he was dating his operating system (OS), Samantha, his friend’s initial reaction intrigued me. She might have thought it was weird the first time but she asked deeper stuff as if he just revealed that he was simply dating a celebrity or something. They talked about Samantha as if they were just in a long-distance relationship. Of course I personally felt awkward. Although, considering that the movie was set during the not-so-near future, I guess it would have made some sense on the social norms of their time.

Honestly I really liked the story, how it deals with the concept of love and reality, how it tackles the idea of breaking the norms and things that bind us to being one-dimensional beings instead of becoming real multi-dimensional humans. For me, the film would have been good literature.

However, I can’t generally say that I loved the whole of it. I felt like it lacked some more push on the feelings section. There were parts of the movie which could have nudged the audience’s feelings to reaching its peak, but when you feel like your tears would break free any time soon, the moment just stops and you’d feel, for lack of a better term, disappointed. There were also some shots which, for me, seemed out of place. On their own, they were really good shots, but we do not just put pretty things together and think it will appear pretty as a whole right?

Overall, I’d give the movie a score of 7/10. The story and concept would surely capture your interest and it will somehow pinch a part of your heart. Some parts of the technical side may have lacked little things but I would still recommend it as a movie to watch. Also, who wouldn’t want to hear Scarlett Johansson’s sexy voice, right? 😉

Why Terror Exists

Recent news tell us about bombings, explosions, and a lot of other stuff done by terrorists. Why do they do it? What motivates them?

The human psyche is such a complicated thing to understand. However we try to solve certain matters or predict certain patterns concerning how the human mind works, it’s just quite unachievable.

I have been wondering for so long why there are people who just simply love spreading terror among their fellowmen. Does it give them that schadenfreude-type of pleasure? But I cannot seem to comprehend how the proliferation of terror is justified.

Some say, the negative exists so that we can appreciate the positive more. Like sadness, so that we can really feel how wonderful true joy is. Or like evil, it exists so that we understand what is good and be more appreciative of it.

So I wonder, does terror exist so that we can fully appreciate comfort and safety? I think it only leaves us even more terrified knowing that it exists in this world and that, ultimately, comfort and safety are too far-fetched.

It is truly hard for me to understand why terrorists do what they do. And maybe I will never be able to fully comprehend their motives or their goals for doing such terrifying acts. But I hope that somehow, some day, terror will be less of a worry of this world so that we can finally achieve — like what most beauty queens used to say — World Peace.