Thursday, December 20, 2012

THINGS FALL APART: The Social Scientist 2nd Anniversary Special

The year started with a personal crisis for this blogger. And I seriously felt that the world would end.

Hence, I couldn't blog about anything during the first three months of 2012. I was caught between a rock and a hard place, about choosing between a bad romance and self-respect. At first, I chose the former, banking on the prospect that things will change for the better. And it did change—for the worse. More than a month of space turns people and things around; and ideas we always thought as perennial would turn out to be fleeting and effervescent, like soap bubbles that suddenly pop in the air. At the end of it all, I chose self-respect and began an excruciating and tense walkabout into the uncharted future.

By April, I was writing again; and I began with a commentary on the edgy relationship between President Aquino and the media regarding what seemed to be the latter’s focus on the former’s misses instead of gains. One could easily conclude that such tension would pave the way for PNoy’s rating to drastically slide, but we know he has rebounded from the backlash and now enjoys the highest approval rating among all presidents to date.

However, if there is one group that is perpetually angry at the government regardless of who is in power, it's the extreme left. We've heard a lot from them this past year, during their annual Labor Day rallies (Day of Hate) and during our coverage of the Asian Development Bank Summit last May. My other blog, Pilipinas 360, dug deeper into the division between the moderate and extreme left (A Tale of TwoLeftists) at a time when party list groups Akbayan and Anakbayan were bickering about which party truly represents the marginalized.

One of the most followed posts this year is my commentary on the issue of Chinese aggression in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. I reiterated the need to act tough in claiming ownership of the Spratlys Islands and defined tough actions needed to support our claims. In the face of Chinese imperialism in the West Philippine Sea, this administration has stood its ground and found its voice without stoking so much tension. Another sought after post talked about Lady Gaga's concert in Manila (Medieval Voices) and this author's criticism of various religious groups who sought to derail the event through mass protest.

From June to October, my posts have become rare once more, settling for only one or two posts a month due to adjustments with this new job I have and a relationship which I finally closed and sealed with finality. Mostly, I talked about topics close to my heart such as teaching (Nobody Likes a Terror Teacher), language (Mother Tongue and the Case of Taglish), and my visit to the Manila International Book Fair. Only when Jessie Robredo tragically died in a plane crash in Masbate (Robredo: The Magsaysay of Our Time) or when cyberspace went berserk after the passage of the Anti-CyberCrime Law (Caught in a Web of Crime and Rights) did I make any posts of national concern.

Many thought the end of the world would happen tomorrow, December 21. For me, it ended on November 19 when I found out that my ex-girlfriend had replaced me in just a span of 5 months. But just as the Mayans predicted, it wasn't an ending in the literal sense but rather a change in consciousness. I was single again and with a renewed consciousness in life, love, and relationships which manifested in my posts such as The Perfect Bow, Imagined Relationships, and The Incredible Lightness of Singularity. It was also at this point in time that I made the crucial decision to reveal to you, my readers, my true identity. Hence, a blog which began as a mere social commentary on Filipino current events and issues had also become a gateway to the personal life of this writer. Am I worried of the impression my readers now have of me? I cared less about this question.

As the world approached its purported end date, I made three posts on three topics which I truly enjoyed writing about. The first is on the implications of the US elections to Filipino society. In this blog, we've seen a lot of implications being explored upon and I hope to explore more of these in the coming year (if the world does not end tomorrow). Another post is my review of John Green's “Paper Towns”, an awesome book about the life and love of a geek (I guess all John Green books are). Being single gave me the luxury of reading more books and I'm in my third John Green book already which I plan to review and write about this month. Lastly, my post on Manny Pacquiao's recent loss to Juan Manuel Marquez (Even The Best Fall Down). It sort of epitomizes the entire experience I had this year, how despite my talent and intellect, I had my share of pitfalls too relationship and work-wise (A Long Awaited Call).

And so despite what seemingly felt like the end of the world, here we are still breathing, writing, and trying to be strong and wiser in between. I might have been too dramatic for everyone's comfort so pardon me, my dear readers. Just like me, I'm sure you've picked up lessons in my ramblings and musings this year. In every catastrophe, whether actual or imagined, there are lessons worth looking into and applying. I came out of the wilderness a changed (if not a better) person. I hope you can say the same for yourself, dear reader.

As the year comes to a close, I ask that you keep up with me and my adventures just like Dory in Finding Nemo. In both the virtual and real world, nobody wants to be lonely; and so I ask that we interact even more through this blog. I promise to keep on enriching your minds with unique and better posts, and share with you relevant experiences we can all learn from. Let 2013 be the start of something new, better, colorful, vibrant, and everything nice for this blog and its readers!

Happy 2nd Anniversary, THE SOCIAL SCIENTIST!

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