JAPANESCAPE: Fukuoka, Oita, Saga, and Nagasaki in 4 days

Hello guys! This is a very late blog about my Japan trip in Kyushu last year, so I am so sorry for the late update. Anyway, I hope this blog finds you well especially if you are eyeing for or planning to go around Kyushu and don’t have an itinerary yet. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas.

♡ So here goes my story ♡ 

My ticket to Japan is only for 4 days and 4 nights. It’s quite short, and I couldn’t stay longer as much as I wanted to, so I made a pact with myself and just made sure to make the most out of those 4 days. So while my travel buddies didn’t want to move around Japan that much, I forced them. Instead of just staying in Fukuoka – our point of entry – I pushed to visit Oita, Saga and Nagasaki as well. We spent one day and one night at each place and really explored them till our hearts are satisfied!

Now, that strategy might look a little tiring and make you think that exploring one city in all 4 days is the way to go, but trust me, it’s worth it. Yes, I had to drag my luggage each time I checked out from one hotel and checked in another (which is truly a hassle), but I think it would have been a bigger waste of my time, money, and experience to just stay in one city and be surrounded by buildings all day (I can always see buildings in my own city if I wanted to). So I did not regret my decision.

But anyways, my expenses for the whole trip was pretty low compared to what I expected.

Travel Tax      1,620.00 ₽
Round-trip Plane Ticket (c/o Cebu Pacific)      4,000.00 ₽
Nagasaki One Day Tram Pass          250.00 ₽
Northern Kyushu Rail Pass      5,000.00 ₽
Others          500.00 ₽
Kashima Honkan      1,750.00 ₽
Nogami Honkan          720.00 ₽
Sunlife Hotel 2.3      1,375.00 ₽
APA Hotel Saga Ekimae      1,750.00 ₽
Food      2,300.00 ₽
Entrance Fees      1,500.00 ₽
Omiyage      2,500.00 ₽
TOTAL    23,265.00 ₽

First night in Japan: Fukuoka

Hotel: Sunlife Hotel 2.3

Since Fukuoka is our entry point from Manila to Japan, we stayed there on the night of our arrival. Our plane touched down around 8pm so we took the night free shuttle ride to Hakata Station where we exchanged our Northern Kyushu JR voucher for a pass. (To those of you who don’t know, Northern Kyushu JR Pass allows you unlimited train rides in Northern Kyushu for a specified period of time depending on the amount you purchase.) As soon as we got our pass, we went straight to Sunlife 2.3 Hotel – our hotel – which is just a strategic 2 minute walk from Hakata Station and dumped our stuff. And then we went out for a night walk around the city where we saw tons of college students and employees hangout with their friends and lovers on the streets. We even had a midnight dinner near the station and guess what! Apparently, tons of Japanese employees do the same thing. It’s not for midnight fun, but really just for a midnight dinner before going home. How’s that for a start!


Midnight dinner ¥350 (₱175)
Sadly I forgot the name of the place, but looking at that background, I can read that it’s a Chicken Champon food place.

First Day: Beppu, Oita

Hotel: Nogami Honkan
Destinations: Beppu Hell Springs, Yunohana Huts in Myoban

In our first full day trip, we went to Beppu in Oita which is the Onsen capital of Japan. When you go to Kyushu, make sure to go there because a Japan trip will not be a Japan trip if you don’t try soaking in an Onsen even once and there is no better place to do that but in Beppu!  If you came from Fukuoka, it is just an hour and a half or so train ride from Hakata Station.

We woke up very early in the morning to catch the first train. 6am in the morning and we were already out and about. It was very nice because even if we didn’t know the people around the place, as soon as we met eyes with them, many, especially the elder ones and those having their early morning jog greeted us “Ohayou! (Good morning)” with smile on their faces. A great way to lighten up our day!

A bit of a side story here and a very important one if you will ever visit. When you ride the train to Beppu, don’t get shocked if at some point the people sitting around you stand up and turn their seat around. You might think that the train will back track and go back to Hakata (because that was our reaction and we were laughing crazy), but no. The train will shift lanes to go to Beppu. So don’t panic! If you don’t know how to turn your own seat, just follow what everybody else will do. There’s a knob at the corner of your seat that you can hold to turn it around, and there’s a pedal under the seat that you have to step on while you turn it. But if you don’t know how to, most likely they will help you just like they did to us.


Seats in the Sonic Limited train to Beppu, Oita (with the knobs)

As soon as we got off the Beppu Station, we immediately went to the Ryokan we will be staying at to drop off our luggage. We checked in Nogami Honkan Ryokan which is just a traditional Japanese inn only 5 minute walk from the station. It is a very convenient place to stay at because it is part of the “tour the city” promo in Beppu. That means we got a very huge discount of 40%! If it’s your first time to check in their place, they also give you 1 hour private Onsen bath! That is so great especially if you’re one of those people who want to experience the beauty of soaking in an onsen without having to be stark naked in front of other people. I highly recommend this place if you ever want to visit Beppu.

Right after we drop off our stuff, we went back to Beppu station to go to the Tourist information desk. There I conversed a bit with the English speaking tourist guide (in Japanese because he’s such a bully when he learned I study Japanese). He helped me with my travel itinerary for the day.

If you14449007_10205180281785755_5080323587739954296_n are a student in your home country, I suggest you bring your school I.D. with you because if you are a student, they will give you a discount for the 1 day bus pass in Beppu.

 Here’s a picture of the 1 day bus pass, plus the bus time table the tour guide gave me.

With the bus pass, our first stop is the Jigoku Hell Springs Tour!

Jigoku Hell Springs are top places to visit in Beppu. There you will see springs boiling in temperatures higher than 100 celsius. They have different components so some of them have different colors. Some are blue, red, and gray and are very amusing to look at.


Chinoike (Blood Pond) Hell




Me, my colleague and her cousin at the Teppan restaurant in front of Chinoike.


Yummy Yakisoba for only ¥400 (₱200)

After our hell springs tour, we went to see the Yunohana Huts in Myoban. Inside the huts, they grow Yunohana crystals from the hot springs minerals. These crystals are said to be good for your skin.


After the Yunohana tour, we went back to the main part of the city to buy food in the kombini (convenience store) before we headed back to the ryokan and rested. We watched TV (in Japanese because we’ll feel the Japanese spirit that way) and prepared for bed time. While my travel mates were asleep though, I went to the private onsen to experience my first ever Japanese onsen bath! I was really nervous because I was scared someone might barge in while I was bathing but I’m thankful that did not happen. xD


Picture of me wearing a Yukata on my way to the private Onsen at 12mn! Sorry no picture in the onsen because… you know. Stuff. 😀

Just like I did, I suggest have your private onsen bath close to midnight because by then everybody else is asleep and there’s less chance that people might accidentally see you naked in the private bath like what my colleague experienced. It also helps you sleep better if you’re refreshed.

The very next day, I woke up to the sound of crows doing their “ka..ka..ka” sound. It’s a very unique experience because never in my life have I ever been woken up by crows. Only in Japan. And it’s cool! Also, when we checked out of the ryokan and went straight to the station to go to our next destination, we were impressed to see crows crossing pedestrian lanes as if they know traffic rules. It was hilarious!

Second day: Saga adventure

Hotel: APA Saga Hotel Ekimae
Destination: Yoshinogari Kouen

Saga, in my opinion, is the best place among all four of the prefectures I visited. I like its rural ambiance and its the one that made me feel like “Wow! This is really Japan! And I feel like I’m a real Japanese!” However, this is also the hottest place I visited. I really got tanned skin in the one day I stayed there (mainly because we walked around the town for hours under the scorching sun at noon but still! HOT!). I liked the whole experience though because it really felt like an adventure.

From the Beppu Station we rode the Sonic Limited train again back to Hakata, and then from Hakata we rode the JR Nagasaki Line to Saga. As you already know the routine, we dropped our stuff at the hotel of our choice which is the APA Hotel Saga Ekimae, just a 5 minute walk from the station. And then we went back to the station to catch the local line to Yoshinogari Kouen – our first and only destination in Saga.

We spent a total of 4 hours in there because it’s such a huge place! 4 hours and we still haven’t seen everything in it! That’s also why I became so tanned! 4 hours under the sun but that’s okay because it’s a Japanese sunburn anyway. xD


Picture at the entrance with our straw hats (I guess for protection from the sun)

Yoshinogari Kouen is an outstanding archaeological site that showcases a large settlement from the Yayoi period (300BCE to 300 CE). It features several pit dwellings, store houses, and thousands of tombs. This place definitely brings you back to the past and is almost like a time capsule.


Inside a Japanese pit dwelling with my Japanese mannequin friends, waiting for my turn to have my hair fixed 😀


Strolling around the park and look how dark I became. Nice skies though.


Walkway to the huts in Kitanaikaku


These sharp objects, the huge pit between them and the gates used to prevent thieves, invaders, and outsiders from entering the properties.


More pit dwellings and an elevated store house at the back


An unearthed tomb. The remains of the person is placed in a jar and then the jar is buried.

After a long tour in the Yoshinogari Kouen, we went to a nearby supermarket and bought our Omiyage (take home presents for our families). A very cool experience too because we didn’t expect Japan to be super automated in everything. We expected their advanced technology, but we didn’t imagine that their cashier personnel don’t accept cash payments (like they do in our own home country). Apparently, in Japan, the cashier personnel only job is to swipe the items to compute the price! You have to be the one to get your own plastic bag and put all your purchases inside. As for the payment, you put it in a slot machine and it gives you your exact change. That was so shocking to our senses, but that was really awesome!


Me and my colleague outside Morinaga Supermarket with our Omiyage!


A shot in front of the Yoshinogari station before we go back to our hotel

That night, I went out of my way to go shopping for a retro game my brother asked me to buy. I gambled because I didn’t know how to go to the game shop especially at night. All I had as a guide was a piece of paper with a screenshot of google map filled with Japanese characters that I didn’t understand. I managed to get by though. How? By counting how many stoplights there were in the screenshot! HAHAHA! Worse, it rained hard. The paper got wet and the colors all blurred. I felt screwed. But good thing I managed to count the number of stoplights there were in the map before the tragedy happened. There were 32! So 32 stoplights later I arrived at my destination, soaking wet from the rain because my umbrella sucked. Good thing I got to buy the thing!


The shop. The HEAVEN! It felt like heaven seeing this after all the things that happened.


The freaking thing.

Third day: Nagasaki

Hotel: None

My legs hurt. My feet hurt. I hurt all over from all the walking the day before. But I’m still happy because again, it’s a Japanese pain! And I was willing to endure more pain. From Saga station, we went to Nagasaki via the JR Nagasaki line. And once in Nagasaki, we looked for our other travel buddies that we were supposed to meet up with over there. We went to the APA Nagasaki Hotel Ekimae where they were staying, and then from there started our ultimate Nagasaki experience. (By the way, we didn’t reserve a hotel in Nagasaki because we’ll go back straight to Fukuoka that night – where our next and final ryokan is. Next day is the last day.)


In front of Nagasaki Station (We don’t look like it, but believe us we’re excited for the day!)


Group pose near Nagasaki Station

We bought our 1 day unlimited tram pass at the station and that’s what we’ll use to tour the whole of Nagasaki in a day. We actually managed to go to all sorts of places with that pass. It was so worth it. I think it was just  ¥500 (₱250).


At the foot of Nagasaki Peace Park where the beautiful flowers are


The Nagasaki Peace Statue


Professor/workmate inside the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum


Shots of the Nagasaki ruins after the atomic bomb hit


Pictures of diseases that killed many people in Japan as an after effect of the atomic bombing

After our 2 hours tour inside the Nagasaki Bomb Museum where most of the important things to see in Nagasaki are, we had or lunch at the Chinese town where we had the famous Nagasaki Champon!


Picture picture first at the Chinese restaurant before eating our Champon 🙂


After our Champon eating experience, we had some ice cream for dessert and took a picture in front of the Chinese town gate before we head of to our next destination – Dejima.


Picture of us while we’re getting lost and couldn’t find out way to Dejima HAHAHA At least we got a nice picture near the dock? 😀


Finally found Dejima and got greeted by my Samurai boyfriend? xD


The Dejima Model inside Dejima


Taken inside an old storage house in Dejima


Finally, to conclude the Nagasaki tour, we had a dinner before we parted ways. We went back to Fukuoka that night where we had our reservation in the Kashima Honkan Ryokan 15 minutes from the Hakata Station.

Day 4: Fukuoka Misadventure in the Last Day

Hotel: Kashima Honkan

Day 4 is our last day in Japan, and this is the day we dedicated to Shrine hopping. We went to several shrines before we made our way to the Canal City – a huge place to buy all sorts of stuff. It’s basically the biggest Mall in Fukuoka (and maybe Kyushu?)

This day was the most troublesome day though because for some reason we lost our maps. We relied on internet connections that we could connect to throughout Fukuoka just to find our way. However, I can’t say that this is a bad day, since it was pretty fun. HAHAHA We thought we’re lost but our destinations were always just in front of us.


At the Shofukuji Temple, the first ever Zen temple in Japan


Tochoji Temple belongs to the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. It was founded in 806 CE.


In front of the huge Canal City planning to buy more stuff to bring home


Food trip at KFC in Canal City. No rice D; Why is there no rice! The lemon juice was good though! After this, we went back to our ryokan to check out. (Sadly, it’s time to leave Japan! And I still didn’t want to go back!)


Workmate preparing her stuff before we leave


Last shot in Japan. The stairs with all the slippers. Proof that in Japan people leave their outdoor shoes and slippers outside.

And that people, concludes my first ever experience in Japan. I wish I could go back again. There are still a lot of things I want to see there that I haven’t and if given the chance I will gladly take another flight to go there.

Hopefully, with this I convinced you to visit Kyushu? By the way, my total expenses (everything included) is just ₱27,000 or roughly $546! I think that’s already very cheap but I was still able to make the best out of my stay. So I think you guys will also have a lot of fun in Kyushu if you choose to visit.

But anyway, I was so happy and I loved the experience!



Living with an ISTJ Dad as an INFP

To give you a mini introduction to this article, here is a rare photograph of my ISTJ fanboy dad copying a signature pose of his favorite TV couple, who in my sophisticated and class INFP opinion aren’t so great anyway, but somehow they turned my dad into this:

20150924_135607This is a picture of a camera that has a picture of my dad actually

To those asking why I had to show this picture, let me answer your question. It is to make a point. It is an objective caught on camera proof that ISTJs aren’t always prim, proper, serious, and strict. They can be dorky and I strongly believe that they put a lot of effort to make people laugh – even as far as making a humiliation out of themselves in front of a camera. And just in case there are some skeptics out there, no, that photo is not staged. He did that on his own.

Now let’s go straight to the point.

A lot of people on the MBTI online community have been wondering what it is like for an INFP to have an ISTJ dad. In a lot of forums I read online, I saw this repetitive reference to INFP-ISTJ relationship as the ‘worst possible combination’ and ‘road to hell’-ish kind of team up. But not a lot of things were written about an INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship, so I am here to write one for you by talking about my own experience as an INFP.

A word of reminder: I am not saying that my own life experience having an ISTJ dad is reflective and indicative of all INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship out there, but what I am saying is that there could be some sort of pattern, since type relations aren’t really completely different in a lot of aspects.

So without further ado, here are some things I’ve observed in the 22 years I’ve lived with my ISTJ dad and a glimpse of some of our INFP-ISTJ interactions.


Two weeks before my graduation from college, I entered what they call an INFP hermit state, and just withdrew from life, obligations, and everything stressful. I cut all connections with my family. Back then, I didn’t see it as a hermit state, but now I just see it that way, but anyway. For 2 weeks I didn’t go home. I stayed with my 13 year old cousin and hangout with her in her room talking about child stuff and celebrity crushes all day long because I guess I wanted to chill and not think of ‘the adult world.’ You also sort of see here how I do not have friends to go to, so yep, I hanged out with a 13 year old. It might also be good to note that my cousin lives with her family on the second floor of our house, while my family lives on the first floor. So yes, again, you see now how hermit my hermit mode was back then. I just went upstairs and never went down and that’s what I meant by “I am a hermit.

In the middle of my childish play, my sister went up and told me that dad was looking for me. I didn’t know the reason, but since dad never looks for me, I figured it must be something important and urgent. So I went down. As soon as I saw him he told me, “Sit down. Let’s talk about your future.

DUN DUN DUN DUN I just stared at him wide-eyed. He took a piece of paper and a pen and told me to write my weaknesses and my strengths. He told me to freaking do a SWOT analysis of myself to figure out what I’m supposed to do and what I’m supposed to be. Can you imagine that? I’m at the middle of my transformation from a college graduate to a hermit, and he called me back to Earth to talk about my future life. As an INFP, I generally don’t like it when people force me, or even try to tamper with how I want to live my life, so naturally I got a bit mad deep inside. I patiently satisfied his desire to help me though by answering his questions diligently, but in truth my heart was just like UGGGGH. Of course because I showed cooperation and patience, he felt comfortable running things for me. He sent my resume to a lot of companies and non-governmental organizations. How the hell that happened? He asked for my email address and password. That just didn’t sit right for me and I was so irritated. He even sent my resume to a group that works against rebels in a place where bombings and shootings frequently happen!

That people, is just one of the many things that frustrates me as an INFP to have an ISTJ dad. They can be controlling and demanding, and a lot of times they wont even consider how you feel. I therefore conclude, that MBTI descriptions of ISTJs on how they are strict and ‘practical’ minded without regard for people’s feelings, can be true for a lot of cases.

What I like about what dad did though was that he asked me to sit with him and explore my strengths and weaknesses, because that showed me that he’s not just over all dictating me what to do but actually considered my capabilities objectively in the process. What I don’t like is, once he had decided what jobs fit me based on the profile we came up with, he just stopped listening. He suddenly turned from an open-minded person to a closed-minded person. He even decided I must be a lawyer even if being a lawyer is something I wont ever think of in my life. 

However, now I appreciate the sincere effort he did for me. Because now that I grew up -hopefully I really did- I already see the importance of staying on track. It was wrong of me to just withdraw from life and not face reality. A lot of INFPs tend to disregard practical aspects of life in favor of comfort and ‘good feelings’ and that is something not advisable in my opinion. For that, I think it is good to have an ISTJ around to ground then and help them grow into mature responsible human beings.


As an INFP, I rarely clean. When I clean, I become scary and want to change everything in the house, but as a general rule, I don’t. My dad however, cleans everyday. He cleans more than my mom. He cleans more than any helpers I watch on TV dramas. He cleans more than anyone. I don’t know if he’s like that because our whole family is filled with lazy bums like me, or he really just likes to clean. I used to think he was mocking us all in his brain as he cleans and saying “You!! All of you!! You’re useless bunch of craps! I am the only responsible one here!” But as time went on I learned that as an ISTJ he really just likes order, and that the rest of my family are really just bunch of lazy people. He must have been very frustrated raising children who don’t see value in a pristine and relaxing environment. The frustration is so apparent because he treats our house like a corporation or a public place that needs signage. On top of the sink there’s a note “Wash the dishes.” On the wall near the toilet there’s “Flush the toilet.” Near the door “Shoes go here,” etc. etc. So can you imagine the house? I used to think he’s exaggerating, but now I think it’s just right. Because my NF family is just very hard to discipline! At times like that, I really just thank dad for not living in a different house just to not deal with our mess.


Back in college I had this subject called Philippine Politics and Governance and in that subject we were required to make a poverty alleviation program for our poor community of choice. I was the leader of our group and the draft of our program that I made was really good in my opinion. As a shy INFP though, I do not show any of my works to family members. I keep my school stuff to myself. But one night when I checked my program folder, I saw a bunch of yellow paper sticking out. So I read. And there I saw a letter from my dad. Well, somewhat a letter, but a letter nonetheless. It went like this “You really write well, sister (He calls me sister). I am really proud of you. I think your program is good but -there goes the but- it lacks substance. I hope you don’t see this as criticism but as areas for improvement.” Nice right? Sweet of him. But then as I read on, I saw no positive feedback at all. Just negative things he saw and his list and suggestions went on and on and on. He filled 3 long yellow papers back to back in font 6 with suggestions. Basically, I felt like he was trying to tell me to change everything. In my head I was like “You said it was good!” But it seemed like it’s not good at all. It didn’t help that the introduction was the only consoling part of his letter.

It was nice of him. I appreciate it. I even include that letter in my little treasure trove at home just so that I can be reminded of my dad’s kind gesture. But I couldn’t help but just feel bad for the way he does things. I guess that’s just him as an ISTJ -focused on facts and improvement- and I am just naturally reactive and emotional as an INFP.

Nowadays I’m no longer like that, but in the past I was just really frustrated with him. We did not have a good past, and that’s too personal to say here, but things compounded and my view of him just wasn’t that good.

But ever since I grew up and I stumbled upon MBTI, things got better and I can now understand where he’s coming from. I can now appreciate what he does now for the family much better, and my respect for him keeps on growing day by day. If you look at his picture at the beginning of this article, my dad now became less strict. He started to loosen up and he’s now very fun to be with. I don’t know if it’s because I told him about MBTI and now he’s learning from it, but what I can see that he’s getting better.

As conclusion, I am going to say that INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship can be a very tough one, especially for a female INFP who has an ISTJ father. She might feel choked, restricted, and like she doesn’t have complete sovereignty over her life choices. INFP and ISTJ temperaments and their different ways of thinking and dealing with life can clash too and meeting eye to eye can be a major problem. However, if they take a step back and try to understand the other person’s perspective – it doesn’t matter who does it – things can be better. The good thing about MBTI is that it gives a platform and a blueprint of how another type acts, and people who know their MBTI type can focus on fixing the negatives they have.

It is very important therefore for people with INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship to study each others profile. MBTI is a tool to bridge gaps and create understanding. It isn’t a tool to decide that “Hey, these two types suck together so they might as well live on opposite sides of the Earth!” INFPs like me must learn to appreciate the realism ISTJ offers. They should see the good in ISTJs step by step realistic approach to life. They must learn to recognize  their duties and fulfill them like responsible beings. For ISTJs like my dad, they should learn how to ask permission before they decide what an INFP should do. Don’t apply for a job for your daughter without telling her. Don’t tell her to go to Law if she doesn’t want to -by the way dad did tell me to go to Law- because if she wants to be lawyer, she will be a lawyer. Learn to focus on the positives of a person sometimes and not just the negative parts of them that needs improvement. Don’t be too stuck up on duties, and learn to let loose just like how my dad did it in that humiliating picture.

As my last word I am going to say, that an INFP-ISTJ child-parent relationship isn’t that bad. It is actually a good pairing since INFP and ISTJ have the same functions, though virtually different in order. INFPs’ strength is ISTJs’ weakness and vice versa. They balance each other out. All the work left is to learn how to find that balance.

Me as a kid and my camera shy ISTJ dad

How I Got into Graduate School with Anxiety: The Application Period Indecisiveness

I’m guessing the reason you’re reading this post is either because you’re having anxiety attacks over your low confidence and your indecision to apply for a masters degree or because you find this chapter in my life interesting and sort of want to know what went on. But whatever it is, I’m here to show you how I applied for a masters degree in the best university in my country, with crippling anxiety eating me inside and out. And hopefully by the end of this article I get to convince you to just GO AND GET THAT MASTERS DEGREE even with the antagonizing anxiety in your mind, or, better yet take out that anxiety; throw it out of the window, and again GO AND GET THAT MASTERS DEGREE!

Panel Interview Day: Picture taken at a stop while waiting for a cab

Look at how nervous I am in that picture! HAHAHA Anyway, without further ado, let me tell you something about my anxiety to provide context to this post and I will tell you what I think about it.


Whereas others graduate from college already quite sure of what to do next in their lives, I am one of those -hopefully not majority- of people who actually have no idea what to do next. In other words, I am in the lost-in-the-valley-of-darkness-and-despair squad. Yes, I successfully survived college and yes, I had a very cool course. But it’s Humanities and it’s a very broad field of study that by the end of college I didn’t know exactly where to stand! I thought I could go for literature, but that doesn’t have much practical impact; I could go for art but that’s even less practical. I could go for history but that demands much reading and memorization. The long and short of it, I JUST couldn’t decide! I saw every possible downturn each decision could lead me to and it crippled me for 2 years! I just worked and worked and worked while at the same time procrastinating on deciding whether to go and specialize on something in graduate school or actually start and live life on meager income hoping to get recognized one day for my Shakespearean acts or Van Gogh-ish art. In the end of it all, I thought “What the shocks am I doing?? I’m not being cautious and analytical here. I’m just being plain scared, gutless and lazy!” Gosh I swear it brought much self-deprecation and anxiety.

And then there was this constant pressure from my dad to take up law, which is cool but it seemed too demanding and stressful in my imaginative assessment. Mind you, I seriously considered that as an option for months that one day I consciously caught myself subconsciously thinking that maybe I should just get into Law and if things don’t roll out the way it’s supposed to, I can always just blame dad for pushing me towards the wrong path. But NO, I didn’t want to do that because that wasn’t me. That WAS my freaking anxiety turning me into such a lunatic trying to shift blame towards my dad. So I didn’t. I didn’t go to law. If I ever go to Law, I thought it ought to be out of my own accord.

Now, let’s stop. That’s all I have to say about my anxiety because if I continue, it’s not going to end and I just don’t want to get there again. But then you see the picture here, of a crazy woman talking herself in and out of a decision. Even now that I look back at it, I get headaches at how much BS I put myself into. I don’t want that to happen to you. So if you are undergoing that same thing, please, just snap out of it. Anxiety is not there to help you. It’s there to stop you from thinking straight. You are not saving yourself from possible pains of wrong decisions, because the truth is, you are hurting yourself now!


As cheesy and simple as it gets, and you might think “What’s the point of this long article then?” because of my simplistic advice, but the script people in your life recite every time you rant to them about how stressed you are, and that little inner voice from within you that tells you to just relax, ARE RIGHT.


Have faith.

That’s how I did it. It did not get rid of my anxiety and I’m not saying it will get rid of yours. But it made me move out of faith that the chance things might go in favor of me is just as big as the chance things might go against me. It pulled me out of that little dark corner I chose for myself and moved me closer to the center stage where all the real action happens. One quote by Jens Voigt that encapsulates this point is this:

If you try, you might lose. If you don’t try, you lose for sure.”

I think that sentence alone can bring sense to anyone who reads it. But I know that it’s easier said than done. One thing I realized from my two years of immobility and indecision though and it totally jives with that quote is that, it never gets easy unless you realize that having doubts isn’t any easier. So I highly suggest that you stop overthinking. By now I think you’ve already thought everything that can possibly be thought of, and trust me you wont get any further than that. All you have to do at this point is ask yourself a few questions, and try to answer them as simple as you can. Don’t worry too much and just answer.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I ultimately want in life?
  2. What should I do in order to get that want?
  3. If I get that, will that lead me towards happiness?

If the answer to number 3 is yes, then go and do it. It doesn’t matter what your answer in number 2 is, just do it! Of course there are proper ways to get what you want, and you ultimately should follow that. But what I’m saying is, if things don’t go well in your first attempt, or if you’re not that good at number 2, then don’t stress yourself over it. Just go and go and go for the goal! That is so much better than thinking “Oh but this might happen, and what if that happens, and what if I fail, what if they laugh at me etc…” Of course I’m not telling you to be reckless and stupid, but don’t be too cautious either. Extreme cautiousness, I’ve realized, is just another word for fear. And the last thing you want to happen is to be paralyzed by fear.

I am not a psychologist, but I do try to read psychology and neurology stuff -partly to make sense of my own anxiety, partly out of pure curiosity – and from the stuff I read, indecisiveness and fear of the unknown is nothing but a negative use of a wonderful psychological gift. The ability to see future possibilities and opportunities. Instead of looking at the vastness of space as an exciting playground full of wonderful rides, fearful people see it as million structures that ‘might’ kill them. Both can be true in reality. Carousels might suddenly break, Ferris Wheels might suddenly roll out of it’s course. It’s east to be scared by those scenarios. But the thing that should be asked is, “What are the chances of that happening?” To fearful people, the chances of negative things happening are magnified and exaggerated. To them the chances of the Ferris Wheel to roll out of its course might actually be 6:4 or 9:1 depending on the severity. The key thing here is that at the same time, it might actually not happen at all. This is just an analogy, but you get what I mean by it.

Another thing I also learned is that, seeing possibilities of what could go wrong and what could go right is a mental activity. There are regions in the brain that work in order to assess those possibilities and causalities. But the process of deciding what to do, or when to act, isn’t a purely mental process. It actually involves gut feel or instinct. The decision making process therefore, involves not just what the most logical thing is to be followed but also what is wanted and desired. So when you feel anxiety and it cripples you, and you think you’ve already reasoned your way in and out of your situation, the next kindest thing you can do for yourself is to follow your gut. Most of the time, if something is truly what you want, you will instinctively go for it and your mind will gravitate towards it no matter how long it takes.

If you do decide though to not follow what you want despite what your mind, heart, and soul tell you so, then don’t stress over not getting it. There is this other saying and I forgot who said it, but I’m quoting it anyway:

“If you don’t fight for what you want, don’t cry for what you lost.”

I think that’s very powerful and eye-opening. Whatever your decision is, accept the consequences. Live with it. Whether you decide to wallow in fear and anxiety or choose to have faith in yourself and do the locomotion, is up to you to decide. But one thing is true. Fear is only in the mind, and you are bigger than your fears.


As for me, I still suffer from anxiety and constant worrying. But I already know that fear is nothing but a devil in my brain making me believe untrue things. What I did to get out of the rut? I just made a leap of faith. I applied for an MA program in Asian Studies. At first I felt restricted applying to just one course. I thought it might actually limit the stuff I want to do in life. I want to paint. I want to sing. I want to be a psychologist. I want to be a lot of things. But at the same time I also love learning about Asian culture and studying everything about Japan. It used to scare me to apply for Asian Studies because I felt it’s the same as closing doors for other exciting things, and I might actually not be successful in that chosen field either. But now I know that Asian Studies isn’t taking me away from doing all those things I want to do. It’s a step towards one of the things I love. I learned that I can’t do everything all at the same time and that I have to prioritize. I can sing and paint on the side. Nobody is stopping that. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t specialize in Asian Studies. It’s just a matter of choosing what I want and doing it. Sticking to my guns. Who knows? After it, I might study art next! Or psychology! Or literature!

See? The difference now is that I see things as possibilities and not detriments. And I’ve never been any happier. I still am a worrier, but I’m the best me in the last two years. I’m happy and very proud of that. And guess what?

I used to think I wont get accepted in my school of choice especially for a MASTERS degree, because I thought I suck and I’m not that smart to get in the BEST school anyway. I’m introverted. I’m awkward. I’m all sorts of negative things. But I got in! Despite my lack of confidence in my essay exam (which I never got to see the result), and despite the frantic beating of my heart in front of panel interviewers, I got in. They thought I qualify and they think I am awesome. Would you look at that! If I chose to wallow in anxiety, I wouldn’t even have submitted my application form months ago and I wouldn’t be where I am now. A MASTERS student!

My little experiment on that day, awkwardly and hesitantly getting a cab to go to the university to submit a freaking ‘trash’ of a Curriculum Vitae, proved that anxiety is just anxiety. Fear is just fear. And they are unreal.

So if you’re still thinking you’re not fit for a graduate program, trust me. Just do it! You wont lose a thing. There’s only something to gain.


Why Duterte is NOT the Trump of the East

Two weeks ago in Last Week Tonight, the host of the show, John Oliver, made a very controversial statement against the ‘by then’ Philippine presidential candidate, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. In the video that went viral on Youtube, Oliver said, “If you think Trump is bad, wait till you meet Rodrigo Duterte,” and then he gave out little snippets of hour long videos as proof to show why he believed so.

For the record, Duterte has been the figure of ridicule for months ever since he filed his certificate of candidacy last 2015, and now that he’s already the presumptive President of the Philippines, he’s still the target of criticisms and black propaganda. Prior to elections, tons of foreign sources already declared him the Trump of the East. It was not a new thing, but John Oliver chose to join the crowd and was actually the one who started a wild uproar among Duterte supporters. Whether what these foreign comedians and news anchors said were true or not is up to debate, but I will give my two cents of thought and say that “NO, he is not like Trump.

In the mean time, here’s the said video from Last Week Tonight:


I would like to comment on the things John Oliver claimed in this video, but I’m afraid this episode is too opinionated and biased to even be taken seriously. First of all, he said Duterte is like Trump, but did not mention any significant comparison between the two. He just smeared Duterte’s name with stuff people already know, and there was no explicit comparing and contrasting. If it was in any way implied, it also seems like his view of Trump is erroneous. Don’t get me wrong here. To be honest, I don’t like Trump either, but if calling Duterte homophobic implies that Trump is homophobic, then Oliver is being unreasonable. He cannot just make conclusions out of sarcastic and satirical comments he made up himself. What his video did was just to ridicule Duterte, and it did not make any real substantial addition to human knowledge. It makes viewers dumb and makes them used to sarcastic uneducated comments. But anyway, since John Oliver is not the only one to liken Duterte and Trump, I’m going to cut him some slack and just focus on proving my stand. What follows are popular comparisons I found in several sources, and then my rebuttals.



Yes, they are both dangerous beings; just like you and me. The real question is how are they dangerous? It’s a question people haven’t asked. Who will they endanger? In the case of Donald Trump, he thinks that the presence of immigrants is what causes criminality. That is an erroneous conclusion. Though it is true that there is correlation between immigration and criminality, most of those cases are in the form of terrorism and racism. That doesn’t mean that it is immigrants alone that cause chaos and problems in the U.S. Donald is just being racist, and does not really understand what criminality means or where it stems from. He is dangerous to all immigrants – both the innocents and those guilty of crimes. That is something scary.

Duterte on the other hand is dangerous to the criminals. He said in all of his sorties that he plans on eradicating criminality by getting rid of the criminals. Now, how is this different from Trump’s idea of criminality? Pretty obvious. While Trump said it’s the immigrants that cause criminality, Duterte said it’s the criminals that cause criminality. It is pretty straightforward and if anyone dares to argue that it is false, then I wont know what else to say. Is there anything wrong with eradicating criminals? If there is, then it means that there’s nothing wrong with their presence. They might as well live in our houses and let them live in disharmony with the rest of the people. Let them kill who they want, rape who they want, and rob who they want. No action should be made to stop them. We might as well get rid of prisons. But we know that’s not how things are supposed to be. So why this uproar against Duterte’s statement? It is a realistic and simple solution. If the problem lies with how the eradication will happen, then all I can say is that it doesn’t kill to make some research. It wont hurt to watch more videos of Duterte instead of getting satisfied with snippets of information biased media and anti-Duterte institutions provide (much like John Oliver here). During face-to-face situations, Duterte’s order is the same as the order to the police since time immemorial. Nothing new. Arrest the criminal and if he resists and threatens the life of the police and/or the hostages, then shoot him. Law allows it. If the criminal surrenders, then good, he wont be killed. If he’s released and does the same crime for over two times again, then that’s the time Duterte would impose death penalty, if ever law would allow death penalty after it’s proposed to be implemented. The reason is simple. A person imprisoned for the same crime for over three times, would most likely not change ever. The lives of the innocent must be preserved and unrepentant criminals have to suffer the consequences of their actions. If they don’t want to die, they better shape up. Pretty simple.

So, yes. Duterte is VERY dangerous. He’s very dangerous to the criminals and the rule breakers. And there’s nothing wrong with that.



True. I wont deny this. They both swear a lot and say contradictory things. Being presidential candidates, these two people have to be cautious of the things they say. Public servants have a certain code of conduct to follow. They must have etiquette and finesse. Both Duterte and Trump seem to lack this quality and don’t show signs of ever changing at all. Honestly, it bothers me. Now, I don’t know about Trump why he is like that, but I can at least speak for Duterte. He lived in a tough neighborhood, and in the Philippines even the not-so-tough neighborhoods are used to cursing. Cursing is part of the day to day life of people and sometimes when someone curses at you, you don’t mind it anymore. You listen less too if it’s just an interjection. In the case of Duterte, he’s been dealing with criminals for decades. I can deduce that if he’s been exposed to criminals for so many years then there’s really a high chance he’d learn how to curse. Criminals can kill you, and they can get in your nerves. Especially in Davao where Duterte came from. Davao is in Mindanao, and Mindanao is a chaotic place full of terrorists, rebels, and hostage takers. To be exposed in a place like that can make wonders to one’s vocabulary. Now, Filipinos in Manila and in other parts of the Philippines who are not used to Davaoeños  and Visayan mouth, are shocked. That’s understandable. There never was a Visayan president before. There never was a day-to-day-criminal-terminator in the palace, and the Filipinos aren’t used to it. They are scandalized. What I think is that, Duterte has to acknowledge the differences and act appropriately. I think he is a smart guy and with that, I think he has the capability to control his mouth. Though personally, I don’t get offended by his cusses at all. It’s very funny. But maybe that’s just my general appreciation of humor.

2016-03-18_10 35 15_Digong


No. Maybe this is true for Trump. But for Duterte it is not. Trump is a businessman. That’s been his career for so many years. He’s a TV personality and a business person. He didn’t have anything to do with politics in his life, except now that he’s running for presidency. Duterte on the other hand, was once a prosecutor. He was the officer in charge in Davao back in 1986 after the People Power Revolution. He became a congressman, a vice mayor, and a mayor. He was never out of politics. Because of his exemplary job as a mayor in Davao, he received the Outstanding Local Government Highly Urbanized category for three times. He was also offered the Outstanding Mayor award but he refused to accept it saying that he just did his job for the people. Under his watch, Davao City turned from a hell plagued with constant battle and surge of terrorism into what we now know as the 4th safest city in the world. He’s a public servant at heart. He’s done tons of things all his life, and people in his city love him for it. He cannot be compared to Trump because of this. Whoever said Duterte is a political outsider just because he’s never become a senator or a vice-president before must have something lacking in his brain. Just because a person does not have a big name in politics doesn’t mean he’s a nobody. Current system attribute political influence on affluence and power, and not because of merit. It’s a sad truth. But then in the end, Duterte doesn’t have to be a big person to do great things. As a humble mayor of a forsaken region in the Philippines, he did more good things to his constituents than any national administration. So, do not ever lump him with Trump in this matter. Duterte could care less about business. He’s not pro rich but pro poor. He is not like Trump.

davao pictures rody duterte at park


This can’t be more wrong. Trump is a racist. Duterte is not. Trump discriminates Mexicans, Muslims, and basically any type of immigrants. Duterte’s dream is for the Philippines to be united and to stop the discrimination. Be it tribal, religious, sexual orientation, and social class; he wants equality for them all. He explicitly mentioned in tons of his videos that he dreams of the day when a Catholic can be neighbors with a Muslim and not look down on each other. He expressed his respect for the choice of people who don’t fit in the female-male status quo. He wants peace between Moros, Badjaos, Marano, Tausug and all the other Filipino ethnic tribes. He also wants to form a peace treaty with the CCP rebels and assimilate them in the country. He wants to give them posts in the government because to him, even the anti-government groups have voices that need to be heard, and skills that need to be utilized. He is a fair and just leader. He is no where near what media claims him to be. He is not like Trump.


True. Both of them can be very offensive in their speech. I wont deny this. I think Duterte has a tongue just as sharp as Trump’s, if not sharper. Duterte’s words can kill, in other words. I wish he can do something about this, because it is not good at all. But then whenever I try to put myself in his place, I understand why he speaks like that especially during the last days of the campaign period. If he’s already a straight talker in the past, all the things that happened to him recently made him even worse than just a straight talker. Every day during the campaign period, people made issues about him and accused him of things that have no proof. Because he’s number 1 in the survey polls and all his opponents were lagging behind, they all ganged up on him and made him look evil so that his rating would stumble and fall. They accused him of corruption, of hiding things from the people, of having secret properties and hidden bank accounts, of extrajudicial killings, of being in cahoots with China and so on. The media let black propaganda commercials to run for days, directly attacking him. They used children to appeal to the conscience of the voter population not to vote for him. The Catholic Church gave out official statements to the Catholic community that voting for him is against the teachings of Christ. One opponent, Mar Roxas, called for “unity against the threat to democracy,” and called for other opponents to concede so they could combine forces to topple down Duterte’s numbers. During presidential debates his opponents constantly used the words “killing, violence, brash, evil, dictator” to refer to him too. Maybe there are people out there who’ll be calm and composed when in the midst of adversities like this and maybe Duterte just didn’t have that much patience. Whatever it is, what happened to him was a reaction to the tons of stuff people threw at him. I am not defending his behavior here though. I’m simply trying to understand where he’s coming from. And whatever is going on with Duterte, I don’t think it’s something to be compared to Trump. I don’t think other candidates gang up on Trump face to face. I don’t think the Catholic Church butts in and campaign against him so religiously. I don’t think he got half of what Duterte got. Trump’s main opponent is the people. Duterte’s is the current corrupt government and the elite sophisticated masses who don’t have any idea about the plight of the poor. That’s something hard to beat. Furthermore, I actually think it’s time for the Philippines to have a leader who’s not afraid to uncover the rotten eggs of the system in the harshest way possible. The Filipinos are already so contented with their pathetic way of living that they want to believe they’re doing well when they’re not. They are so proud of being compared to a “swaying bamboo” that bends low when strong winds come. They think their very submissive nature helps them when in fact they’re being treated like dirt. It’s time to have a leader that says “Shape up, people! You are not ***** for ***** sake!” 


This is true too. However, it is the driving force that differs. Trump is just that. Reckless. Irreverent. He speaks about politics and economy as if he’s been a politician for so long. He doesn’t have enough background and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about most of the time. Duterte is a different story. He has been on the job all his life. He knows exactly what works and not. He knows exactly how to do what needs to be done and in the most efficient way possible. If he appears reckless, it’s because the people who perceive him as reckless actually have no idea what being in politics means and how real service is like. The way Duterte governed Davao is completely different from the way the government governed the rest of the country. Philippine government didn’t care much for the people and it let it survive on its own with little intervention. Duterte isn’t like that. He extends his hands in everything and he is hands on. People are just not used to his style. From what I can tell though, people in Davao like his ways and they love him very much. So to me, people who barely know him just see his decisions as reckless because they don’t know what’s going on in his head and why he’s so sure about his plans. Maybe, just maybe. Maybe he’s so assured because he already saw that it works. I am not saying being irreverent and reckless is right. I’m just saying maybe he’s seeing things we don’t. And it’s understandable. He’s not yet the President. We wont know all of his plans before he even gets proclaimed.


I highly disagree. Trump is racist because he gave derogatory and discriminatory remarks towards people of several races, going as far as saying that he will either eliminate them or deport them. Duterte is not like this. There’s not even one drop of racism running in Duterte’s blood. His family came from different groups so he understands the struggles of tribal discrimination. He openly said in many of his campaign sorties that he sees all ethnic groups and all races as equal. His belief in equality extends to other issues too. He cares about the poor, the rich, the Muslims, the rebels, and even the criminals that he wishes to eliminate. He gives free rehabilitation services to drug addicts who willingly want to live a good life. He gave them livelihood of all things. He upholds the dignity of women by not letting them wear very revealing clothes. He separates female inmates from male inmates to avoid problems. He aims to remove age restrictions when applying for work. And he has tons of other things that prove he’s a man of unity and equality. He is not a racist. He is not like Trump.



No, no, and again no. I don’t know about Trump’s true spirituality. I just know he had his problem with the Pope regarding Pope’s comment about him not being a Christian for building walls instead of bridges. I’m a Catholic and I also want to uphold respect of the Church, but I don’t see anything wrong with Trump saying that the Pope was “disgraceful” in making assumptions about his faith. Nobody is right in making assumption about somebody’s faith. Not even the Pope. However, I do think that Trump went a little too overboard on the matter and added things that might as well be left unsaid to avoid further conflict. In that regard, I’m neutral. I don’t think the Pope was right in speaking so easily about a person’s faith. I don’t. And of all people, I didn’t expect the Pope to. But clashing with the Pope isn’t the same as losing respect towards religion. The Pope is the leader of the Church, but he is not the Church. He’s also a human being. He can make mistakes and he can hurt people. He’s not exempt from the rules of decency and respect.


When it comes to Duterte’s issue with the Pope though, it’s a different thing. Media makes it look as if Duterte cursed the Pope for causing traffic in Manila when in fact he was just cursing the traffic for making things more complicated for the people. It just so happened that the Pope was the reason for the major traffic. The Filipino people (and the world) for some reason are just so overprotective of their spiritual leader that they don’t care anymore what the context of the situation is. They just want their leader to be respected. Hate to break it to them but that’s not how it works. We all have to understand situations for what they are, and not because our emotions are aroused and can’t think properly anymore. The conflict became worse though, because more and more priests made a huge deal out of the misunderstanding. They added more fuel to the fire. It did not help Duterte’s relationship with Church leaders. For some reason, the Catholic leaders also campaigned against Duterte and tarnished his name. Of course Duterte would react to this. It’s normal. I don’t see why people would see this as disrespecting the Church and/or religion. If a priest rapes you (and this is what happened to Duterte), would you love the priest for it? You wont. If the Catholic leaders lambast you in media and openly talks evil about you during Sunday mass, would you thank them for it? You wont. Duterte just reacted as a normal human being with self-respect would. He wasn’t condemning the Church. He was talking about the wrong actions of some of its leaders. And now that he’s already presumptive president, here comes the Church asking for favors from him. What would he feel then? Of course mad. So I don’t understand why people say he’s a person who doesn’t bow down to his faith. He’s a man of faith. He believes in God. He respects all religions. He just doesn’t believe the hypocrite priests and bishops he encountered. If we look back at his statements before, he said he upholds religious freedom, and he supports the brotherly relationship of many religions. He’s a sensible man and he respects what people believe in. But he’s uncompromising and he wont shut up when there’s a need to talk. That’s the type of man that he is. Now if these days Duterte is so mad at the Church, it is because the Filipino Church brought it upon itself. The leaders have murdered his name so much and did not feel any remorse. Not a single sorry from the Church. But it is Duterte who’s asked to say sorry so many times when he haven’t done anything wrong. There’s no justice there. Just favors. And it is not good. So again, Duterte respects religion and he respects God. He just wont tolerate people in the wrong, even if they’re wearing turbans or mass clothes. This is why I can say again with conviction that Duterte is, in this manner, not like Trump.



I don’t know what to think about this comparison other than it’s dumb. Trump is rich. He’s a businessman. His family is rich and they are very privileged. If Trump doesn’t understand poverty then let’s attribute it to that. Moreover, America is a first world country. Meaning it is one of the greatest economy in the world. In that regard, there could be poverty in America but it’s not comparable to the poverty here in the Philippines. If Trump doesn’t know poverty, then it’s because American economy is not “that bad” and even with being not “that bad” Trump is actually very rich to actually know what “that bad” is like. Duterte on the other hand lives in a third world country. Third world means it’s down in the dumps. It’s economy is very weak and the people in it very poor. Even if we say that the Philippine economy is doing better these days, it is still a third world country and over 30% of the population live under the poverty line. What’s worse is that Duterte lives in the part of the country that only receives a very small chunk of the national budget (because it’s considered unimportant by the pro-Catholic and metro minded government. Now what does that mean? It means Duterte must know poverty. He gives all the he got to give his constituents better lives. He’s not corrupt, and he lives with meager income. He lives in a very simple home. His campaign clothes and shoes are the same stuff he used for so many years. His cellphone is as outdated as it can get. His bank account only has P27,000 – way smaller than a lot of us. He used his hands when eating and he doesn’t like very fancy food. He walks on the streets like a normal person, and he drives taxi at night to check if peace and order is implemented in his city. He’s a very unassuming and humble man who spends his life for the people and not for himself. He understands poverty. I don’t even know where that comparison with Trump came from. 



With this post, I hope I clarified some of the things going on in the internet these days. I really don’t like it when people compare Duterte to Trump, especially those who know nothing about Philippine politics. Foreign news anchors and comedians should learn how to research better and look at things using the Filipino point of view – preferably an unbiased one. There’s obviously language barrier here and in every translation, miscommunication happens. Duterte speaks mostly in Tagalog and in Bisaya – both language Americans don’t know about – so they have to get a real good translator before they make episodes with erroneous information and translations. As media-men, comedic or not, they have the responsibility to give out real unbiased information. Also, it would be a big help if they will stop getting 5 to 6 minute snippets of 1 hour or more speeches of Duterte. The snippets remove the essence of the whole speech. That’s precisely what causes problems.

So I’m going to end this very long post by quoting what Duterte said to media-men who try to bring him down with erroneous reporting. I hope this helps in clearing up issues:

It was really wrong for them to adapt, it’s not even a yellow journalism, it’s [garbage]. They could have checked, they could have checked. That is the moral responsibility of publishers of newspapers. You have to check. Do not print garbage that are given to you for the sake of sensationalism. I don’t know why they have to do it that way. They would not complete your story if it’s like that. They cut it and they released it incompletely, they don’t even say whether I was relating to something. They might pretend to take the moral stand but they don’t.

My lamentation is that some people are abusive of their right. It’s as if they have to limitations to destroy just because it is election time. If they want it that way, then that’s okay but I would like to remind them that it is not good.

– Rodrigo Duterte

NOTE: Pictures used here are all taken from the internet.

Toradora Review: No Holds Barred

This is a review about the romantic comedy anime TORADORA. For the record, I like this anime so much and I want to speak only of good things about it, but I don’t intend to be biased here nor fool you to thinking that it doesn’t have any flaws; because there is a lot! So this is going to be a nice cute review at first, and then a cold and harsh one. With that said, if you are a Toradora fan, be warned and don’t take this to heart.



It is a story about a nice, diligent, and homey boy named Ryuuji who’s rumored to be a heartless delinquent because of his scary eyes. He’s in love with Minori, a bubbly and dutiful girl in his class. This girl has a best friend named Taiga – a hot headed, short tempered, and small girl who likes to breaks rules (and bones?) when she’s mad. Basically, she’s the real delinquent of the story. But deep inside, she’s a very nice and sweet girl. Safe to say that she’s a typical Tsundere character. Taiga is in love with Kitamura, who happened to be Ryuuji’s best friend. From this you’ll see that it is like a Cris-cross version of a love triangle. Here’s a chart to help you visualize stuff:



One eventful day, Taiga decided to confess her feelings to Kitamura. She wrote a love letter for him and mistakenly put it in Ryuuji’s bag. Out of embarrassment for making a fool out of herself, she decided to sneak in to Ryuuji’s house that night and beat his head till his memory is all gone. However, with some luck on Ryuuji’s side, he told her that he hadn’t read anything about her confession because the letter envelope was empty.


This almost fatal meeting led to a series of funny events. Taiga and Ryuuji decided to help each other win the hearts of each other’s best friend. Unfortunately for them, time passed by and things didn’t go as they planned because Kitamura was in love with another person, and Minori was too focused on her life goals to care about love. Minori also somehow pointed out that Ryuuji and Taiga are better for each other, even if she’s in love with Ryuuji too. In the end, Taiga and Ryuuji became lovers. AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!! ❤


Well, it is an unusual and interesting plot. Personally, I love how they defected from the boring and overused Shoujo plots where the guy is in love with the heroine and he has a rival who’s also trying to win her heart too kind of shiz. Those plots make me wanna puke from blandness – like seriously. It is not everyday that I see a very motherly male character (with a scary face) like Ryuuji fall in love with a sadistic and turbulent miniature woman. There is also very few anime that establish friendship between the two main characters, where they join hands in trying to win the hearts of their loved ones, and then beat each other up if they fail. It is cool to see how the funny plot all throughout, made way for a very cheesy and unexpected romantic ending. To me it is a breathe of fresh air, and I salute all the people who brought this piece to the world.

I’d say that the ending was kind of predictable though. To unassuming people, they might dismiss early hunches that Ryuuji and Taiga will ultimately end up together, but I am going to take a guess here and assume that everyone actually knew what the ending was going to be. What I did was pretend like I didn’t know what was going to happen, but then I was right in the end. The bit that I didn’t expect though was how cheesy and romantic it became. I thought it was gonna be a hilarious ending where they confess their feelings and where Taiga beats up Ryuuji for making her uncomfortable. But in the end what I got were wedding proposals, kissing and looking at the night sky. It was tremendously cheesy that it made me blush and annoyed at the same time.

I also appreciate the effort of the writers to try and depict reality in the anime. It is not like most stories where guys are all head over heels in love with just one girl. That’s not reality. Reality is that sometimes people we like don’t like us back, and sometimes we fall in love with the person we least expect to fall in love with. Sometimes in life we choose our bigger goals over love. Sometimes we let go of who we love in order to make them happy. This story showed all those things. In my opinion, the maturity is amazing. How the anime balanced mature topics with comedy is also something I still WOW about. I rate this plot very high because of this.

However, there is something about this anime that I am annoyed with to pieces. The character of the characters. Not that I want all characters to be all saints, but these are my reactions.


In anime, when we say charas, we mean personality. And I hate to admit it but the personality of Toradora characters annoy me a lot. Some annoy me more than others, but nevertheless, despite redeeming qualities, I’m annoyed with most of them.


RYUUJI Here’s a guy who’s in love with Minori but have no guts to directly ask her out. Instead, he used Taiga to get close to Minori (in the hopes that with friendship they’d fall in love). Now. Is there something wrong with that? Of course, none. None yet. The problem lies in the fact that while he was slowly getting closer and closer to the heart of Taiga as the story progressed – understanding her personal problems and inner struggles to the point of emotionally getting attached to her – he still went after Minori. He continuously and consciously sought to have a relationship with Minori. Some might argue with me here and say that he’s just being loyal to his original goal because he’s a loyal man. Well, that’s a way to think about it. But he was obviously falling deep in love with Taiga. He didn’t go out of his way to recognize this fact. He was basically stringing Minori along instead of just acknowledging the fact that he didn’t love her the same way as Taiga. Don’t get me wrong. I like Ryuuji’s caring and homey character, but he’s way too nice that he seemed to not know when to stop being “too friendly” with someone. At least he did not acknowledge Ami’s moves, because if he did I’d hate him and wont have any mercy for him. But even with Ami he sort of frustrated me. When someone openly flirts with him like that, he’s supposed to tell her off and be firm. But he did not scold her nor straighten her up. This tolerance to flirty moves is sort of reflective of his relationship with his mom too. His mom is basically a hooker, and he was supportive of it. He did not – even in one second – express disagreement to her job. He was even making her drink stuff for breast size enhancement. I just don’t understand it. LIKE WHAT??


TAIGA This one is a typical Tsundere character. She is highly emotional deep inside but she has a very strong mask that covers her real self. I find nothing wrong with that. It’s normal to have characters who are inwardly fragile but outwardly invincible. Her small stature makes the strong character balance out too with her soft side. However, I do not see the point in reckless violence. Her initial anger with the world seemed unfounded. Yes, she had a bad family background where she thought people don’t care about her, but I don’t see why it was enough trigger to make her violent. She also seemed to have some weird self entitlement where she thought people must respect and value her view on things without much question. It’s like she thought she had control over everything. She made Ryuuji her baka-chihuahua and personal maid. She tried to beat up the student council president for not reciprocating Kitamura’s feelings. She decided to leave when she wanted to and came back when she wanted to. She was basically turbulent and messed up when dealing with people other than Kitamura. Kitamura gets the good Taiga, while everybody else suffers her emotional roller-coaster. What’s weird here is that, her feelings were all bottled up deep inside and wont come out purely as it is. It came out violently and with more anger than pain. If you look at it, her reason for being that violent and emotional wasn’t even the fault of her schoolmates. It’s her own struggles. But she dragged everyone. Another problem I see is that she knew Minori also liked Ryuuji but she didn’t even question why Minori let go of Ryuuji so easily. As soon as Ryuuji was there confessing to her -emotionally charged and all- she just accepted it. She could’ve at least discussed it first with her best friend. But no. We don’t know what was going on in her head. All we know was that she was a bit sad but took Ryuuji in anyway. Was it mental telepathy between her and Minori that they don’t have to talk to each other seriously in order to understand each other? They just know each others motivations and then just go with it? I don’t know. It really puzzles me. But then since she’s Tsundere, I’m tolerant of her ways and I can sort of let them slip. I guess the fact that I’m puzzled about her character is actually a good indicator that her personality is as well hidden as the anime wants it to be. That’s a good thing.


MINORI The one I dislike the most in the story. Her character seemed fake all throughout. It’s like she was fooling herself and fooling everyone. Her annoying voice was so forced and sort of gave off the feeling that that’s not really how she would talk if she was being real to herself. It seemed to me that her real personality is flighty, directionless, and light. It leaked out and was all over our faces that it’s impossible not to notice. But she kept on faking it and pretending like she got all her stuff together and all are planned. Maybe she did have plans and she followed them, but I don’t think it was because she was a dutiful and real disciplined person like she tried hard to be. She had motivations why she acted that way. She had reasons to fake herself. Whatever it was, it’s fine. There’s nothing wrong in trying to be responsible and all that. If that’s her life goal then I understand. But she could have done it without being too sketchy and fake. In my opinion, if she liked Ryuuji, then she should’ve tried her hand with Ryuuji. I can’t pin point if she’s truly being selfless for Taiga and that’s why she let go of Ryuuji, or if she was just feeling sorry for Taiga. If it’s the latter then I lose all respect for her. If it was real selflessness though, then I salute her. But that’s the thing. She seemed like she’s fake so there’s no way for me to know if she’s truly selfless or not. I don’t appreciate false characters at all. Her difference with Taiga is that Taiga sticks to her feelings. This girl doesn’t.


KITAMURA Well I have not much to say about this guy. I don’t particularly look forward to seeing his character, and I think he could be replaced by any other character and the show will still work out. However, he’s the only character in the anime that is consistent. He’s pretty straightforward and he doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not. He’s true to himself. And this is the kind of character I respect. Granted, his character was boring to me but he’s the only one who did not cause me aggravation.


AMI is another character I don’t like. I don’t like flirts and when I see one, I know. She tries to be all cutesy, sexy, and innocent so that everyone would like her, but in truth she’s someone who wants to be loved purely and respected. It’s odd, since there’s no way she’ll get true appreciation and love if she’s being fake and seducing people. However, I prefer her over Minori. Why? Because in the end Ami became true to herself. She tried to get what she want and even if she didn’t get it, she knew she tried. I respect people like this more than people who stick to their altered version of themselves. I might sound like I really hate Minori here, but I don’t. I just don’t appreciate her.



There is no such thing as a perfect character. And in stories, characters must have imperfections or else the story will be boring and nobody will watch it. So yes, I guess it’s fine for Toradora characters to have flaws no matter how annoying those flaws are. I could probably say I wouldn’t want it any other way. I respect the writers and I admire the plot. In truth, the overall moral dilemma in the story actually made it more interesting to me. So that’s a thumbs up! However, I can’t help but think that this story sort of has an imposing nature that tells you to accept the reality as it is and accept the characters for whatever decisions they make  no matter how stupid those decisions are. It sort of makes you want to be comfortable with their flaws and embrace them. In a way, that’s a good thing. It’s like life. You have to accept your flaws. But then oh boy, I can’t help but have bad vibes in the way the flaws are presented. Could it be intentional? Was that the intention of the writers? I don’t know, really. If it was, then in fairness, it’s working. It’s triggering annoyance in me. If not, then I guess it’s a personal effect on me particularly as a viewer. I’m sure other people out there might disagree with the stuff I say here. That’s fine. My opinion is not all there is to it.


I guess the theme of this anime is self acceptance. All the characters, in one way or another, have hated themselves and tried to be who they are not. Most of them are not true to their feelings, to the things they want to happen, and they all give an effort to either mask their true selves or fake it. That’s it. Mask it, fake it, and deny it. I think what the anime is trying to do is to show people that everyone has flaws and that it is fine to be flawed. No need to stress over it. It is okay for their flaws to be out in the open so that they can find who will love them despite their imperfection. It is way better than people loving them for the fake persona they introduce to public. Ultimately, I think that’s what the anime is all about. However, I really have trouble with this “message.” While it is true that we must accept our flaws, we shouldn’t let them stay as flaws. We got to fix them. In the anime, only Minori ever tried to address her flaws. Ironic isn’t it? I don’t like her, yet she’s the only one who tried it consciously throughout the length of the anime. Well, I appreciate that part of her really. But I think she took it to an extreme. Anyway, back to topic! It is a nice theme actually. Pair it with the mature points in the anime and it’s almost dramatic despite its status as a comedy.



I love the anime. It is one of my most favorite anime of all times. I’d say it’s part of my Top 5, thanks to it not being a cliche anime like tons of Shoujo and thanks to it not being a plain forced comedic show. I love the seriousness that comes with the comedy and the dark quality that comes with the funny scenes. If you’ve never watched it and you’re intrigued, I highly suggest that you watch it and see if you’ll agree with the points I mentioned here. Actually, even if you’ve watched it already before, I also suggest you review it again and see if you’ll spot the stuff I said. Overall, I think it is one of the best comedic anime ever. Maybe next to School Rumble and Ranma 1/2? Not sure exactly, but yeah! One of the best, definitely. 

Thank you for reading!

Is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte an ISTJ?

A leader must be a terror to the few who are evil in order to protect the lives and well-being of the many who are good.
~~ Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte


The internet these days is full of articles about 2016 Philippine presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. Twitter, Facebook, Google and even online news sites are littered with posts about his authoritarian, brash, and insensitive language; his impatience for impractical theories, his stick to the fact attitude, and the heavy weight he puts on law and discipline. Some of the articles and posts are in favor of him and some are against him, but one thing is for sure. Everyone is intrigued about his personality and his way of viewing society and politics.

In order to dismantle the complex and tangled nature of Mayor Duterte and understand him for who he is, I will talk about his personality type in this post. I will use the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) as my basis of discussion. However, there are some disclaimers. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has never taken the MBTI test so I could be wrong in typing him, but from my years of reading and research, as well as my intuitive understanding of his nature, I would make a hunch about his personality type. You can tell by the end of my post whether I typed him wrong or not.


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator divides humanity into 16 personalities and one of those is the ISTJ, “The Logistician.” Based on observation and immersion to tons of videos and clips of him talking about his platform for presidency, I was able to narrow down his personality to an ISTJ.

Here’s my reasoning behind it:

1. ISTJs’ defining characteristics are integrity, practical logic and tireless dedication to duty. They are a vital core to many families, as well as organizations that uphold traditions, rules and standards, such as law offices, regulatory bodies and military.

Almost, if not all, of Mayor Duterte’s videos show his dedication to his duty as a Mayor of Davao City and as a lawyer. He is a person who values traditions and history. Many of his sorties are littered with personal anecdotes about his life back in the days of Martial Law and during the time of Cory Aquino. He also talks about events in history like the time when the Spaniards first came to the Philippines and fought against Lapu-Lapu, how they established Christianity in the Philippines, and how the Muslims in the country suffered since then. He justifies his thought and his decisions based on past events and evidences, and uses the current rules in order to execute them. There is no wonder that as an ISTJ he decided to be a lawyer and became very vocal about his plans for the military.

2. People with the ISTJ personality type enjoy taking responsibility for their actions, and take pride in the work they do – when working towards a goal, ISTJs hold back none of their time and energy completing each relevant task with accuracy and patience.

He owns up to his words and actions. Whenever he says something, it doesn’t matter if it is a nice or a bad remark or if people hate him for it. He says that he means every word he says. He knows how to claim responsibility and he does not fear criticisms. When he gives orders to the police regarding drug raids and confrontations, he tells them to do what he tells them to do and if they get in trouble in court he says his instruction to the police is, “Tell them it was Mayor Duterte’s order.” He is also a very active public official who acts on time. After the Yolanda typhoon hit Leyte, he immediately assembled his men and the Davao 911 Response Team, to go to Leyte and help the calamity victims there. When it comes to crime and drug trafficking, he does not waste time and effort. He tries to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as he can.

3. ISTJs don’t make many assumptions, preferring instead to analyze their surroundings, check their facts and arrive at practical courses of action. ISTJ personalities are no-nonsense, and when they’ve made a decision, they will relay the facts necessary to achieve their goal, expecting others to grasp the situation immediately and take action. 

As an ISTJ, Duterte always talks about facts and does not care about things that have no basis and/or practical value e.g. snide and remarks of other presidential candidates, opinions of reporters and officials who have nothing to do with his candidacy etc. The courses of action he takes are almost always practical too. He is a realist and looks at life exactly as it is in reality. “When a person is hungry, give them food,” is the kind of logic he has. In the second presidential debate he asked one of his opponents what they would do if one morning something bad happens in one of the contested islands in the West Philippine Sea. This showed that his concerns are almost always on the practical side and his solutions are also practical. Compared to the answer of his opponent who talked about solving the issue in a theoretical and abstract manner, he showed that what he can deliver is a fast and effective solution.

4. ISTJs have little tolerance for indecisiveness, but lose patience even more quickly if their chosen course is challenged with impractical theories, especially if they ignore key details – if challenges becomes time-consuming debates, ISTJs can become noticeably angry as deadlines tick nearer.

This is an obvious trait of the mayor. He always talks about government agencies that “Think too much, speak too much, and do too little.” He keeps on having litanies about how customs is not doing it’s job properly and how it is behind all the manipulation of processes which do not serve the public but merely provides some officials with money in their pockets. He talks about the poor handling of the government of the Philippine resources, the flaws in the economy, and the failing pillars of the criminal justice system. In one of the presidential debates he attended, he even openly criticized the apparent indecisiveness and slow action of one of his opponents and lost his temper in the process. Clearly, as an ISTJ, he has little tolerance for debates and would rather just do things instead of argue about them.

5. When ISTJs say they are going to get something done, they do it, meeting their obligations no matter the personal cost, and they are baffled by people who don’t hold their own word in the same respect.

There is no proving this point further. Duterte said this very line over and over again in the last few months. “When I say I will do something, I will do it. I do not care if I die. I will die doing it,” is his favorite line. He also showed that he cannot respect the current Philippine government for lying to it’s people. He also condemns officials who swore that they will serve the people but ended up stealing money from the budget of the Philippines; budget that came from the taxes collected from the people.

6. ISTJs have sharp, fact-based minds, and prefer autonomy and self-sufficiency to reliance on someone or something. Dependency on others is often seen by ISTJs as a weakness, and their passion for duty, dependability and impeccable personal integrity forbid falling into such a trap.

This is obvious. Duterte never showed fear to America or any other country. He keeps on talking about how in his government – if he ever becomes president – he will push for the self-sufficiency of the Philippines. Though he says that he will highly encourage other countries to invest, he also does not want the Filipino people to be reliant to the resources and the powers of foreign countries. He pushes for the Philippines to have it’s own industries, own plants, own pool of resources etc. in such a way that if by any chance other countries turn their backs from the country, it can survive on it’s own. He also shows little tolerance to policemen who keep on asking for others’ opinions before they act. He says that he tries to make his instructions clear such that everyone can make decisions fast and without need for too much dependence. It’s the same for the employees in his office.

7. ISTJ personalities adhere to established rules and guidelines regardless of cost, reporting their own mistakes and telling the truth even when the consequences for doing so could be disastrous. To ISTJs, honesty is far more important than emotional considerations, and their blunt approach leaves others with the false impression that ISTJs are cold, or even robotic. People with this type may struggle to express emotion or affection outwardly, but the suggestion that they don’t feel, or worse have no personality at all, is deeply hurtful.

Duterte reports his mistakes and failures and he does not feel burdened by them and/or ashamed. ISTJs like him talk about their mistakes in a narrative and do not try to seal any facts behind even if it makes people around them mad. They are blunt and can sometimes forget the feelings of the people they are talking to, and this is often mistaken for heartlessness and stoicism. It could hurt them immensely if people criticizes this bit of their personality, but what is important to them is to lay down the facts, to present the truth, and to just do things according to the truth. They want to be respected for that attitude. One good example for this is the issue with the Pope. He cursed out of anger, and angered a lot of people. But to him he was just talking about the bad traffic in the Philippines at the time the Pope was in the country. Another example could be the rape joke. People got angry with him, but to him, he was simply narrating what happened during the rape incident and openly told the public of his exact unfiltered thoughts back then. According to him, the whole point of narrating was to make a point. And that is to show how quickly he acts whenever he faces difficult situations. It was never about the rape joke, and if he hurt anybody, it was just him and his mouth. In my opinion, it was more because of his ISTJ personality.


Honest and Direct – Emotional manipulation, mind games and reassuring lies are all against the ISTJs’ preference for managing the reality of the situations they encounter with plain and simple honesty. If there is anything sure about Duterte, it is that he speaks what exactly is in his mind. There will be no guessing about his motives. Everything is out in the open. People wont have to be constantly squeezing their brains in trying to make sense about him. What they see is what they get. There is no fooling around.

Very Responsible – “ISTJs’ word is a promise and a promise is everything,” is probably the best sentence to describe an ISTJ’s sense of responsibility. This is a great strength for Duterte because this makes it clear that he will give his all in order to provide the Filipino people with the type of government they want, with the type of leadership they want, and with the kind of country they want. I cannot speak with regards to his promise of eradicating criminality in the Philippines in just 3 to 6 months, but one thing for sure is that he will do his best to meet that promise.

Calm and Practical – ISTJs believe that if they lose their temper, all their efforts are wasted. So they try to keep themselves on the ground and try to solve things as soon as possible before things even get out of hand. This is a great strength for Duterte because this is a trait other presidential candidates lack. They all talk about studying and reviewing situations and theoretically and abstractly creating solutions, whereas Duterte is already on the move, trying to solve things as they come, based on practical experience and backed up with facts.

Create and Enforce Order – “Structure and rules foster dependability; chaos creates unforeseen setbacks and missed deadlines,” this is one of their guiding principles. Duterte believes that in order to be effective, people need to know what is going on around them and why. In order to achieve this effectiveness, he tried to establish rules and guidelines for people to follow in Davao and he seeks to implement the same rules in the whole country if he ever becomes president.

Jacks-of-all-trades – ISTJs are good at remembering facts and details and this helps them learn many things about different subjects. They easily pick up new information and apply them practically to given situations. This makes them very efficient and effective in anything they put they mind and heart into. In the case of Duterte, this trait can be a very good tool for him in his presidency.


Stubborn – Facts are facts and sometimes ISTJs get stuck with facts. As an ISTJ, Duterte should learn how to identify moments wherein facts alone will not supply all the necessary details e.g. in matters of morality. He should learn how to spot his blind spots and fix them.

Insensitive – They are blunt and honest. Though this is a good trait, sometimes it can hurt people. Duterte should learn how to speak to people properly. As an ISTJ who values discipline, for sure he can learn how to talk to people nicely and still be honest with them.

Always by the Book – They are rule followers. They do not enjoy doing things that are not in accordance to tradition and to the law. The problem lies when there is need for ingenious and creative ways of thinking. ISTJs might feel uncomfortable treading on new and unfamiliar territories. It is necessary for people like Duterte to open up their minds to new ideas and accept changes if necessary.

Judgmental – To ISTJs like him, opinions are opinions and facts are facts. They find it hard to trust and respect people who refuse to look at the facts and give more value for opinions and subjectivity. This could be a potential pitfall for Duterte if he never listens to others’ point of views. ISTJs like him must balance their own judgments with the judgments of others. In my opinion, this is why Duterte needs a reliable Vice President who will offer him alternative point of views. It would be best if he is surrounded by people who have contrasting personalities from him so that they could create a more holistic and balanced team up.

Often Unreasonably Blame Themselves – Because ISTJs are very self-reliant people, sometimes they have a tendency to do all the work themselves and fail to ask other people for help. There are times when they reach their peak and collapse from all the responsibility; in which point they tend to blame themselves for all the failures that may come. It is necessary for an ISTJ like him to have a good working system where tasks are divided in equity among people in order to ensure that everything will work properly. In the case of presidency, Duterte wont have much problem with this because everyone in the government have their own workloads.

That is my reasoning behind typing Mayor Duterte as an ISTJ.

Given that, I would like to say that ISTJ is one of – if not the most – responsible and honest types there is. I believe no other presidential candidate has this as their personality type. Miriam Defensor Santiago could be one, but I would type her more as an ESTJ than an ISTJ. ESTJs are the more extroverted version of ISTJs.

This would mean that if we choose Mayor Duterte to be the next president of our country, then we can be sure that we will have an honest and responsible leadership. This is not to say that it will be a perfect leadership and that the other candidates cannot offer what he can offer. This only means that being an ISTJ, he has unique set of strengths in some areas that others might be lacking. These strengths should be studied and considered when it comes to voting.

I would also like to point out that all MBTI types can contribute something good for our society. Though Jejomar Binay, Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, and Miriam Defensor are not ISTJs like Duterte, they have strengths that Duterte might be lacking. Therefore, this election, I wish that we look objectively at both the good points and the bad points of our candidates carefully. I will try to make a post about the personality types of other candidates as well.

Now, do you think Duterte is an ISTJ?
Kindly comment your thoughts below.

(For further reading about the ISTJ personality type, click here).

Dream, Dream, Dream: Me as an INFP



Over a year ago, my best friend asked me to take an MBTI test just for fun. It is the kind of test that tells you what makes you tick, how you think, and which things you are naturally drawn towards. You may think of it as some sort of slambook that you have to answer and then by the end, generates a type code and that type code is your personality type. At first I refused because I found it boring and troublesome, but being a flighty and wish-washy person that I am, I ended up taking it anyway after some forceful nudge to the right direction. The result? I’m an INFP, the Dreamer.

So what is that?

INFP stands for (I) introverted,  (N) intuitive, (F) feeler, and (P) perceiving. It is one of over 16 personality types there are and it takes up only 4% of the world population. Imagine how rare that is, but I am one and I find it awesome! 🙂 In MBTI parlance, they say that INFPs are “The Dreamers” of the world because of their highly imaginative, idealistic, and out of this world minds. Some of the popular INFPs in history are William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.K Rowling. Do you notice how all of them are romance and fantasy writers? That surprised me because I’ve always been fascinated by these people and their works and I dream of writing something great too one day. I just don’t know if my future works will be as popular as theirs, but I can dream, right?

tumblr_njw2dgTnt81t5pspuo4_400.gifKim Tayeon (SNSD member)

My attraction towards them makes sense now that I know we share the same personality type. Other INFPs in the entertainment arena are Kim Taeyeon, John Lennon, Johnny Depp, Andrew Garfield, Robert Pattinson, and Stephen Colbert.

Now, down with the long introduction. Today I will share with you some characteristics of an INFP that I relate to very well. And as the title of this post suggests, I will show you what it is like to be an INFP 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month and the list goes on and on forever.

  1. They are usually good listeners
    True. I can survive a day just listening and without talking at all. Listening is like my main mode of gathering information, and I pick up clues from the tone, the pitch, the drags and the vocabularies used by a person. Whenever I am in a conversation, I let the other person speak their brains out until they’ve exhausted everything (like I let them monologue). They’ll just hear me say “Ah… Oh… Is that so? I see… Really?… What do you mean?…” etc. It’s the same when people are telling me their problems. I just sit there and listen and offer my ears. And then after that is the time for me to talk or give advice. HOWEVER, when it’s my time, I tend to monologue too and I sort of expect my time to talk to be respected. ^^”

  2. INFPs have the ability to see good in almost anyone or anything
    Yes. Even the bad stuff. Weird right? Of course, it’s not something like “OMG That person totally killed that cop! He’s so nice!” It’s more like “OMG Why did he do that? Doesn’t he have a heart?” but with a follow up. I ask myself what makes that person do what he did. I look for redeeming features of that person, and then at the end of the day, I see that he’s a person too and deserve a bit of love… or something. I know some people would be baffled as to why I even attempt to make sense of others’ bad actions, but it’s not something I consciously do. It just happens and I can’t help it. HAHAHA


  3. INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder
    In other words, old souls with childlike wonder. We swing back and forth between very small and trivial but intriguing things like; how marbles are made, why Doraemon is blue, etc. to how cognitive development affects the attitude of people toward social interactions, and how different law is to moral philosophy. You may think that everyone gets intrigued by these things and have the same kind of wonder, but you have to trust me. The number of times my brain switches interest in a day isn’t like anyone else. It’s literally like that of a child. One moment the attention is with the blue toy and just one second later it is with the other one. The range of my interest is quite interesting too. I can be as childish as a child, playing with toy guns and watching cartoons for 5 year old, and I can be as old as the Earth wondering about the deepest meaning of life. People sometimes call INFPs “The Hermits” because of this. However, compared to an ENFP (another personality type that’s pretty close to an INFP), I can control this shifting better and can focus for a long period of time if I CHOOSE to. ^^


  4. Likely have spontaneous, wild streak
    Maybe. I notice that sometimes I just decide to do things even if I haven’t planned them carefully. But I don’t think this is because I want to experience the thrill of spontaneity. I think the reason is because sometimes I feel like no amount of planning and thinking can ever guarantee the smooth flow of anything. Most of the time, I worry about how things will turn out if I decide to do things in one way and how different it would be if it’s done another way, but the worrying doesn’t bring me anywhere near to the answers. They just stress me out. So when the point comes when I have to make a decision, I sometimes just choose what feels right. I guess that’s the kind of spontaneity I have. However, I am a big worrier and I do try to plan things way ahead.


  5. Often delay important decisions
    TRUELALU! I don’t like closing doors to any possibility. I somehow feel bad thinking about dropping one choice in favor of another, because it is like letting go of something that have great potential. This is why when it comes to big decisions in life like; what course to take, what job to apply for, who to fall in love with, and when to marry, those things stress me out big time. Of course if I am forced to choose because of time constraints, I make decisions right away, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no regret going on inside me. I grieve for the lost possibilities. If I am given enough time to think though, I use the time to weigh all possible options and the pros and cons. But really, the usual scenario in my head goes something like, “I am studying culture and history now, but I could be painting right now too if I just chose to enroll for that art class.” ^^”

  6. Focus on the big picture rather than the nitty-gritty details
    Uhm, maybe. I think that’s the general picture of an INFP. But personally, I give value on both. I guess I put heavy value on the big picture for the most part. In any situation I always try to zoom out and get a general idea or a bird’s eye view of any situation and judge from that, but as soon as the judgments are made, I counter check by cross referencing and zooming back in to the picture. I try to get as much information as I can and see if my judgments are correct and then I reevaluate. I wont say that this is what I do all of the time though. There are many situations when I just stick with the big picture and focus there because I think there’s no need for much scrutiny. So yeah, I guess I do look at the big picture more often. HAHAHA I just negated myself! WEEEW! Way to go!


  7. Like chameleons
    Some call us shape-shifters. When surrounded with talkative people we try to match their level of talkativeness (if that is even a word) by doing a lot of small talks and giving many side commentaries. When we are surrounded with quiet people who seem like they don’t wanna be bothered, we don’t talk at all. When expected to be lively, jolly, and chatty we try to look excited and animated. And when expected to be serious and focused, we go all obedient.
    Some people say that it makes it hard for people to know whether INFPs are extroverts or introverts because of this quality.

    In my case, I don’t think I’m good at shape-shifting. I try my best to look as animated as possible if need be, but people still sense that I’m a reserved and shy person. It can be so easy to spot that I’m trying hard to connect. It’s natural though. I’m a real introvert and I can’t fool myself to think that I am not one. Even better, I don’t feel like fooling others to think I am what I am not. The only purpose for shape-shifting or blending for me is to relate to others when it’s really necessary and unavoidable to interact.

  8. Feel like they are never enough
    Every second of every single day, yes! I always feel like I’m doing a mediocre job. It doesn’t matter if people tell me that I did great or that I shouldn’t worry about my performance, I still feel like I didn’t give it my best. It’s like there’s a blurry line between my industrious self and my lazy self. There are days when I really don’t care about being productive and I just lay around like I have all the time to slack (imagining stories and philosophizing in my head), and there are days when I’m so pumped up and I feel like I have to accomplish something. And because I perceive myself as lazy, when the busy days come, I don’t notice anymore whether I’m doing things the right way or if I’m overexerting myself. Simply put, I never know whether I’m giving it my all because I don’t have the right gauge. What’s worse is that, I am very development oriented. I try to perfect my values, outlook, beliefs, and philosophies and I try very hard to abide by them and when I don’t I get depressed and feel like I’m a failure. Though people see me as nice and some even think I’m too kind to be true, I feel like I am not. That’s a sad thing, really.


  9. Simple things can make them irrationally happy
    Yes! Sunlight, a small flower growing on a cracked pavement, a stray cat playing with another stray cat, the warm feeling of a freshly photocopied paper, the smell of a new book, successfully cracking a funny joke for the first time, you name it! They all make me smile and close my eyes in satisfaction. I’m not exaggerating. Some other things even tug my heart at the very core and make me tear up. Other people wouldn’t normally feel happiness seeing things like that. Maybe they do for a split second, but to me the feeling lingers and the images stick for days. If they call that irrational happiness, then irrational happiness it is. But to me it’s nothing close to that. My reason for being happy seeing things like that is because to me, it is the simple stuff that counts; the normal day to day things that you see but don’t normally notice because of all the hustle an bustle of life. My eyes zoom in to them, and everything else fades in the background. At that very moment, where my eyes landed, is the only thing that matters.


  10. Have an extremely odd sense of humor
    I have long realized that I am not funny, so I never joke now. I can’t crack knock-knock jokes, pick up lines, or any kind of joke at all! Heck, I don’t even know if I sound funny to you right now because I’m trying my best to make this post as light and funny as possible here. But I’m guessing it’s not working. To be honest, I have no idea why I never had the talent. If practice makes perfect, then it sure is not true for me. Maybe because I am way too honest and can’t say something that don’t seem true to me. I can’t poke fun on others either for the sake of joking because I’m afraid of stepping on the wrong foot. If I have a sense of humor at all, then it is on some different level. I can be quite sarcastic, and often morbid, depending on who I am with. And that works sometimes. And the keyword here is “sometimes.” I guess my style is bending the truth in order to bring out the truth and create reaction to who I’m talking to. But the result is almost always not funny. I mean it to be funny, but people seem to think I’m being serious. Well, my forever serious demeanor is hard to break in the first place so I can’t blame anyone. But yes, to people I’ve known for a very long time I can be funny “sometimes.” On the other hand, I easily laugh at jokes of others. No matter how poorly delivered they are, I laugh like there is no tomorrow and people just wonder why I am laughing. I even laugh at my own failed jokes.


  11. Highly imaginative and artistic
    Yes, but not in the sense that I create fantasy worlds and alternate universes. I am not a fan of Star Wars, Superman, Spiderman and all those wild hero stuff and I never caught myself creating stories like that in my head. I am imaginative in the sense that whenever I want to, I can create beautiful images and scenes in my head and I can, in some extent, make art out of them. Most of the time I can think up of many scenarios that could happen when someone “spills milk on someone else’ shirt” for example. The thoughts come quickly and without much effort. That’s my brand of imagination. However there are many times when I am tempted to write short stories or novels (I have characters and settings in mind), but I just never do it. I don’t know if it’s lack of passion or laziness or just procrastination. But whatever it is, I always have that small part of me that is always itching to write. Maybe not stories like Spiderman or Superman, but definitely something extraordinary. (In MBTI though they say INFPs like imagining stories with super powers)


  12. Deeply concerned with personal growth
    Yes. I always try to read more and more books, feed my brain more and more knowledge, correct my attitude and my actions, and study my point of views. I don’t know why but I feel like I’m disintegrating whenever I am doing nothing to improve myself. I feel incomplete and worthless. I don’t know if it’s my ego that’s working or if it’s just that I’m really into self-development. It could be ego for all I know but I don’t know. HAHAHA What I do know is that I try my best to be the best that I can be and there’s no way I will be contented in any other way.


  13. Always looking for deep meaning
    Yes, yes, yes. I don’t take things literally. I always look for some underlying meaning in everything. For example when a friend asks another friend what their opinion is when it comes to same sex marriage and they get the answer that they’re looking for, they often get contented with the answer and accept it as it is. Whereas I end up with tons of new questions to ask. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I will ask those questions, but for sure I will have those questions in my head for future reference (or I might try to answer those on my own). In chances when I do decide to ask those questions, then a debate will ensue and who knows what happens. HAHAHA One thing for sure is that I always look for something more and something deeper. Most of the time the search for meaning is just my way of understanding how the world works and the life of people around me.


  14. Open-minded and flexible to a fault
    HA! Ask my friends if I am open-minded. LOL I don’t know. Maybe I am, maybe I am not. Some would say I am, some would say I am not. I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that when I have strong opinions about something, it takes a lot to shake me. This doesn’t mean that I wont ever change my mind about them. It just takes a lot of shaking for me to change my thoughts. Because the fact that I have strong opinions means I must have thought a lot about that thing already and I have already formed judgments. When it comes to issues in which I do not have strong opinions, it just means that I am open to any idea and counter ideas. So in that sense, then I am open-minded. People are free to tell me what they think and I will see their points without any perceived bias. HAHA It’s the same with flexibility I guess.

    One example I can give is my top choice in presidency. Duterte, one of the 5 presidential candidates in the Philippines, is a very strict person who values strict discipline and law. However, he is also someone willing to kill law breakers. Killing is against my core values and I despise it. To me, a president of a country should be a good moral leader to his people and killing is never moral. That is why I never wanted Duterte to be the president of my country. However, I saw that clearly there are people who support him (and there are a lot of them). This intrigued me and in my search for answers, I saw that people nowadays are thirsty for peac
    e and order. Despite my very strong faith that killing criminals are bad, my thought is somehow changed to “Killing innocent people is worse,” and this made me consider him. I still hate killing, but I now see how he‘s the best choice among the other candidates.


    Sooooooooo….. Yes! This concludes my very long post about my MBTI type. HAHAHAHA Congratulations for reading down to here! I am not popular so I’m sure not a lot of you would read up to this part, but MEH! I wanted to write so I wrote xD I hope you enjoyed it.

On Noble Character and Hypocrisy

Lately, I’ve been having ominous thoughts about the upcoming presidential elections in the Philippines. All the candidates seem to have fatal flaws that make them undeserving of the title President, and thus, here I am now with plenty of horrible visions of the country in the next six years! The main problem I see – and it scares me to death – is their open and public hypocrisy that they try so hard to mask with fake noble character.

Candidate number 1: Jojo Binay, the current Vice President of the Philippines and former Mayor of Makati City is a certified corrupt official with tons of unexplained wealth. Despite of his claim that his hands are clean and that he understands the burden corruption has for the poor being that he was also penniless in the past, proof shows that he has hundreds of bank accounts overflowing with money, plenty of mansions not registered in his SALN, and that he has been sipping what he can from the budget of the people for so many years now. And yet, millions of people still believe the crystal clean heart he displays on media. I certainly would not want this kind of person to be my leader, and I do not understand how people seem to be so gullible and naive to even listen to a word he says.

grace-poe_0Candidate number 2: Grace Poe, who left her citizenship as a Filipino in favor of the American life, an adopted child of an action movie actor who also attempted to run for presidency, is now running for the same position her father did and claiming to be the mother of the Filipino people. There is nothing patriotic in ditching citizenship in favor of a foreign one and there is nothing patriotic in ditching a new citizenship in favor of an old one just because of a new life plan of being a president. What makes it worse is that she claims to have left her Filipino citizenship because she loves her husband and kids and America is what will give them happiness and comfort, and that she now chooses to return because of her love for her mom. It is so obvious how she tries to make everything personal, and yet the very first things she does in every decision she makes is to do something for the advancement of her career and conditions. She wraps things in the guise of wanting to serve the Filipino people whom she consider as her real family, and yet almost always she is only serving herself. She is not poor. She was never poor so she could not fool me to thinking that she is like the thousands of people who go to America for a good life. I am not dumb and I expect people to be the same. And yet again, just like in the case of Binay, this patriotic motherly figure is so popular with the masses — and it just is utterly despicable.

374bf5_af6fcff4d90b4a79910af43740ca8331Candidate number 3: Mar Roxas, who does not talk about any well-thought platform or plan at all, but instead chooses to tell the people that he believes the power of the former president and will just continue what he did (which in my opinion is a stupid move given that the past administration is the worst ever). A man whose campaign materials scream back-lashing against his opponents instead of selling his capabilities and merit to be a president. However, unlike the first two candidates, he did not have any major controversies in the past. He simply seemed to be the quiet “I’m just doing my work” kind of man. Despite this, he did not have much supporters but instead had thousands of haters who see him as a crocodile trying to disguise as a sheep. You will see him everywhere! In the market and in the streets, trying to help the people but with full media coverage. Off cam, you will see no trace of him. But then again, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he has lots of minions that support him.

Senator Mirriam Defensor Santiago pose questions to Ruby Tuazon during PDAF Senate Hearing. Photo by Tony Pionilla

Candidate number 4: Miriam Santiago, a female lawyer who is known for her blunt yet witty mouth. She likes fighting against other government officials and loves to give uncensored opinions about all things happening in the country. If you ask me, I think she’s a better fit for the presidency compared to the first three I listed. I can see that she’s smart, she’s honest, and she will do what she can with her powers. However, it is unfortunate that this woman (who people sometimes see as crazy or mental) is currently fighting a 3rd stage cancer. I do not think she is capable of working for this reason. If you ask me, I’d prefer she just use her time resting and enjoying life with her family. Presidency is stressful and it will be too much for her. I do not at all claim that she’s free of hypocrisy though. I just do not see much of it or anything of big significance to note.

Mayor-Rody-Duterte-president-20161Candidate number 5: Rody Duterte, the last candidate in our list. He is a publicly known badmouthed womanizer and to the shock of the other candidates, he does not deny it. He even flaunts it on camera as if mocking his opponents for their lack of honesty and transparency despite their angel-like behaviors. However, his opponents use his womanizing and cussing to attack his character and morals. They say he does not deserve to represent the Philippines internationally and that a president must have good character to rule. Despite the attacks on his personal lack of class and finesse, his track record of being the mayor of the province of Davao for more than 2 decades show that people in his place like him. They say that his badmouth serves as comedy in a rather poor and brutal world and his way of implementing laws is the best they’ve seen as of yet.

However, this man has a very big issue wrapped around him. Even if his people see him as a hero, people outside of his rule call him a murderer. Why? He has a very strict leadership style that makes people cringe in fear. He says that “[He] is angry and [he] does not want criminals to live,” and with this he eliminates criminals and gives the police the power to do so. The reason behind this reasoning is that, the Philippines is already filled with criminals and nobody follows the law anymore. It is a chaotic place with lots of fighting, killing and stealing. According to him, he is simply eliminating those who pose threat to peace and order. If you ask me, it is only just. I am not campaigning for him or anything, but I think he is the leader that the Philippines need today. We Filipinos do not need yet another corrupt leader. We do not need yet another liar leader. And we do not need an American president! We need a Filipino leader who does not lie to our faces and who does not steal from us. We need a leader who is straightforward and tells us exactly what he will do for the country. And none of the other candidates can do this other than two – Miriam and Duterte. But as I said, Miriam is out of the question and I’m going for Duterte.

People call me pro-murder and a minion of the dark side because of choosing this person. But I know better. I’m not voting a man who murders innocent people. I am voting a man who protects innocent people from heartless criminals. I am not pro-killing and most people I know would say I have a pure heart that aches even for the outlaws and the misfits, however the times have changed and I do not think we can afford to lose more innocent lives. The number one problem in the country aside from poverty is criminality. And Duterte has good plans to solve both. One can’t be solve without the other. I will only listen to men like him who has good strategies and know exactly what the people need. I will not listen to a corrupt man, because he will only steal more money. I will not listen to an American woman who from the outset showed lack of love of country and fellowmen. And most certainly I wont vote for a sheep-faced crocodile who does not have plans for the country other than following the footsteps of a former president who’s leadership failed on a massive catastrophic level.

This presidential election made me think a lot. It posed a lot of moral questions in my head that I thought I already knew how to answer before. Basically, it made me feel like I’ve been standing on a shaky moral ground for so long while thinking that I’m safe and sound.

I’ve always been angry of hypocrites. I do not like it when people judge others based on moral, ethical, and judicial rules when the truth of the matter is they are unethical, immoral, and law breakers themselves. Hypocrisy is a very dangerous thing. It makes a person blind about his own faults and flaws and it makes him feel like he can justify all the crimes he committed as long as he can find someone else who is doing worse than he is. It makes him see others as enemies, threats, and tools he can use to hide his own scars. And worst of all, it gives a person a false sense of superiority and entitlement. This happened to Mar Roxas. He accuses others of ruining his name in the candidacy, and he says that he does not commit the same acts. But his promotional videos all over the television, internet and radio stations have no content other than giving hints on “who did this bad thing… and who did that bad thing…” He has nothing else to offer other than his hypocrisy. If he does have good qualities to offer the people, well, he is not showing any of it. That’s what he should be working on.

Another thing hypocrisy does is that eventually it turns people into liars. Some hypocrites do not realize that they are hypocrites. Sometimes they have their own beliefs that they try to adhere to and it’s those belief that make them see themselves as morally upright. But the moment they criticize others for not being as good as them, their moral stance becomes shaky and they often fall. The fall, as it keeps on repeating, turns them into hypocrites and their hearts eventually harden. At first they would only notice their new found talent in hypocrisy, and then next they will be comfortable with it, until they feel safe enough to navigate and use it for their advantage – lying. This is the burden of Jojo Binay. He talks about his great and noble character, his long-ranged vision and dream for the country, his anger towards people who take advantage of the poor, but he is a corrupt official. It is proven and there is no question about it. But of course he denied it, because according to him he is a good person and can’t do such a thing when he understands very well the plight of the poor. Hypocrisy at its finest. No doubt that he is still denying it and I can tell that he always will. No shame. No guilt. Just one man and a lying heart and mouth. This just leads me to believe that no one really can ever be able to claim that they have good and noble character unless they are able to live their life without hypocrisy. Hypocrisy after all, is seeing the bad in others, when one is bad himself. A good person can’t ever be a hypocrite.

1780851_229341123918492_480604856_nNow this leads me to look at the president that I chose to vote – Duterte. Is he a hypocrite? No, I do not think so. He does not deny his flaws at all and he does not attempt to judge others of things he is guilty of himself. But can I say that he is of a noble character? I can’t say so either. A womanizer and a dirty mouthed person is not the perfect picture of a noble character. It is far from it and I wont even attempt to idealize and defend his behavior. However, I could say that despite his womanizing and cussing around I am amazed with his honesty and transparency – a character all the other candidates do not have. Duterte is not perfect, nor is he the typical diplomatic leader who is clean looking and always ready to rub cheeks with other politicians. But he is better than angel-faced candidates who keep on denying the dirt on their faces.

Other people might argue – like others already did – that I am looking at things on the wrong perspective. Mar, Grace, and Poe might not be of noble character but they have finesse while Duterte doesn’t have both. But I beg to disagree. I do not think a person who lies and fake beautiful smiles have finesse.  If anything it makes them worse than they already are. Those who think bad character covered by cheesy and mouthy grins is attractive and more deserving of presidency might actually be delusional. The way I see it, an honest person is less dangerous, and the fact that they are honest might actually mean that they think being open about their flaws wont have any bearing on their chances to win. This might actually mean that he is confident about his ability to perform well. Besides, when it comes to presidency, though good moral character is highly valued, it is the capability to deliver good leadership to the people that is most important. I do not think hypocrites can ever say that they could be good leaders, because they are flawed from within and they are letting it grow in there. Honest people have no inner burdens to carry and can only focus on what needs to be done. I do not doubt Duterte’s ability to stir the Philippines to greatness. He is capable. He is just. He knows the value of the law. And he is honest to the people.

Others question the way he disciplines people. That he kills criminals and sends tons of people to jail. But what kind of society do people want then if they do not want the criminals to be sent to jail? Do they want to walk around the streets not knowing they are surrounded by them? Not knowing if they will be attacked? Duterte just prevents that from happening. At first glance, yes, it seems like the way he works is a little too scary. It also seems immoral to kill people even if they are criminals. And in a way, I can’t blame people for doubting his character. But in the society in the Philippines these days, criminals no longer feel guilt. They are no longer scared, because they can just bribe the police to free them. There is no real security. Murder, rape, kidnappings and stealing are rampant and very hard to control. It seems like it’s almost impossible. It’s like the country is destined to collapse and disappear to nothing. There is no hope and if Mar, Binay, and Poe win, it will be like a death sentence to the country. I stand by my belief that criminality must be stopped and that peace and order must be a priority. It is not that the lives of the criminals are not important. It is just that the life of the innocent must be protected at all costs. It is for the lesser evil. Besides, it is not like Duterte is calling for a bloodbath. He is giving everyone the equal chance to change. And that is really what the new presidency must be all about. Change.

The Parasite

There is a very deep hole inside me
And that hole is where you live
You ate most of it, most of that, most of
my heart, like a parasite
I never permitted you to stay

But you just won’t come out
No matter how many times I ask you to
An intruder, a parasite, a thief,
or what are you?
You get everything you can get from me

And you leave me nothing
Now I am dying, and like a parasite, a thief
You do not care, and never will
You feast on my heart,
feast like there is no tomorrow.

Before I knew it you lord over me
The heart, where it was once is now your throne
You are my emperor, my king,
everything I can look up to.
You are the sun, the moon, the stars above
And I have no idea why you became everything
Or why I am even saying this

I am wondering. When did you ever get the rule
Of my brain, which never agreed to what my heart says
Of my soul, which never knew you
Of my being, which is not supposed to be yours

From the start, where everything was planned
Or am I wrong? Are you even a parasite? Or maybe
From the start, from the beginning you are my lord
From the start you’re supposed to be

In there. In that hole you made
The heart, where it was once has always been your throne
Emperor, king, everything I can look up to.
The sun, moon, star,
The parasite that you are.
Am I delusional? Or is it that
You are destined to be my heart.