For the love of the written word

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

How to Polish It Off in Front of the Camera Without Really Trying


Going viral recently is an interview of this famous sexy actress turned senatorial candidate by a veteran journalist. Reading the transcript of the interview was not as awkward as watching the footage of the exchanges between the actress and the journalist. It makes people think: What kind of candidates are we exactly getting?

While I have never ran for public office, it is my personal view that candidates should NEVER attempt to face the cameras without keeping in mind a few pointers:

  1. Remember that journalists may not be forgiving when they punch in the questions, so be prepared to take (hard) questions. Study if you must!
  2. Politics is not acting. You can’t fake it (or you can try to, but it will show). Have personal views on political and social issues. These are one of the most often asked questions by journalists. Mean it.
  3. Draw up your platform. Journalists will always ask this because this is what constituents need to know. Know what your political party’s platform is (of course, Philippine political parties don’t really have an ideology or strict political platform to base their stance with, but that is a different issue altogether). You just cannot show up on the boob tube and radio and simply say you have the heart and willingness to serve. Is this idea still selling with the public?
  4. If you get stuck in a question, just eat humble pie and be simple. Do not look like you are squirming in your seat trying to find the answers. Be straightforward. You the owe the public some decorum for watching you on tv. Try to look smart at least. Study how seasoned politicians like Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama respond to sticky situations.
  5. Talk to the viewers, not just the journalist. In interviews of veteran politicians, you will find them responding to the reporter but are actually talking to the viewers. It’s the whole package—the response, eye contact, and body language. One running for a high public position should exude this confidence and aura of reaching out to the public. You are not just explaining your views to the interviewer; you are presenting yourself to the public.
  6. People are SMARTER now.  The public may be forgiving, but be prepared to become the butt of jokes for weeks.
  7. PRACTICE public speaking PLEASE! Rehearse anticipated responses to common questions. Some candidates get an image counselor and spin doctor for this. If you belong to a political party, see how your party can help you develop this. If not, get help from professional public speakers.

Let me just capture some of the funny remarks on Twitter.



Hope we don’t find a lot of these in the months to come.  No offense to the candidate, but what was she thinking?


Dear John: Capturing Love through Letters

dearjohnnI watched a love story recently, Dear John, a movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same title. The movie tells the story of a soldier (played by Channing Tatum) who met college student Savannah (essayed by Amanda Seyfried) at a beach during one summer. After spending time together the whole summer, reality bites them as they go their separate ways (he back to military service, she goes back to school). They promised to write each other, promising the other to “tell everything” they can. And so a lengthy correspondence happens between them during a long period of time, until Savannah breaks off. Heartbroken, John burns all her letters, closing a decisive chapter in his life.

What I like about this movie is the exchange of letters between the two characters over a period of time, despite the availability of the internet and mobile technology. But then again, John and Savannah didn’t have a choice, since John’s foreign missions often led him to remote areas where internet connection is poor. And this makes this story very poignant for me.  They took time off their respective duties to write.

As I had written in my past article, the art of writing letters in longhand is a lost art. More people are turning to faster means of communication, and I don’t blame them. Everything is moving faster in this day and age that we want to pass on information quicker than we can lift a pen. Between young couples today, they prefer sending text messages (even icons!) to evoke feelings and professions of love than, you know, just writing it down on paper and handing it to the person you love.

What young people probably do not realize is that writing in longhand shows more sincerity and effort than sending emails. It is more personal, more thought-driven, and for me, sentimental. I will choose a haphazardly written letter every time over a piece of email that has been composed beautifully, font and design included.  Sending emails is a cut-and-paste thing.  Of course, there are emails that may just be as emotional as a letter done in cursive, but then again, it’s something that’s easier to do.

So as much as we can, let’s write letters in longhand. It doesn’t have to be a long composition—a short note will do. It evokes the feeling that you truly care for the person to take the effort to send him a note.

The Way to Eternity


I left this Earth, weightless that I–

Flitted like the gentle wind under the sunlight.

I found myself crossing to the other side—

Eager to find beyond death what might.

Source: Creativefan

Source: Creativefan

On the road side still I find an old man,

Whose face was old as Father Time.

I asked him “Which way to Eternity should I go?”

“You go that way straight and take your time”.

Heeding his words, I trudge along the path

Which seemed narrower and thornier the farther I go.

Even in this state, weary was I

I worked my way as clouds moved to and fro.

Just a while more what seemed ages to me,

A little girl, not quite five, sat on the side

“Which way to Eternity little girl?” I asked.

Thinking that I might go far and wide.

“Walk just a little more, you will find at the end—

what you are looking for. Be happy at last!”

Joyful was I that would finally find—

The reward of all my good deeds past.

But as I walked farther still to the light I fond

The road paved with thorny bushes still.

The cobbled road barely fit my feet

To climb the narrow road uphill.



Lo up top, I find a well at the end of the road.

And sat on the edge to search what I can find.

Is this Eternity for me, to find a well?

Is this my reward for the life I left behind?

Not a second to lose an image appeared

The Gentlest Soul appeared to me.

“My son, have you failed to see Eternity–

As you head along the narrow way?”

“You’ve met Peter I see, to whom the Church I gave

And the child you met along the way

Is the innocence you’ve set your heart during life

To lead you to the reward you say.”

For an instant there I realized that—

The Soul who met me on the well was Christ!

I kneeled to the ground and kissed His feet

Realizing finally that I had hit the prize!


“My son, I was with you for ages since–

And waited for this day to come.

Eternity is here, with Me, and now.

Receive your reward as you are home.”

As I tell you in your dreams dear friend

What eternity has been like for me.

Build your blocks of eternity on earth

And be joyful what on the other side you shall see.

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