My Philosophy 10 Experience

For a good example on living out love, we don’t have to look very far – my Philosophy 10 class this semester has been a good example on how to live out love. To be honest, Philosophy 10 is not how I imagined it to be. It has proven to be more demanding than I expected. In fact, perhaps I can be permitted into making a (false?) analogy: Philosophy 10 is love.

Love is always unexpected. We may have certain expectations on love, but all these are blown away and surpassed once we experience it. This is just like my experience in Philosophy 10. Before the semester, I imagined a class full of awesome lectures, after which students would debate heatedly on the topic for the day. I imagined a serious classroom full of intellectually riveting arguments. But did I get any of these? Not really. What I did get was a classroom full of friends, whom I have shared a lot of memories with. What other GE makes the class stand in a ring for a “dance-off”? What other GE has a professor that constantly pressures and inspires his students into giving their very best (with a few baits of bonus points)? What other GE has 2 field trips, the first to make the class bond, and the other to give love for the elderly? Sure, I may have felt that Philosophy 10 was too demanding or costly at times, but looking back at it all, I can see that it has been a worthwhile learning experience. So, while my expectations may not have been met, I can still say that Philosophy 10 has been worth the trouble, and that I have grown as a person because of it.

An Adventurer’s Shoes

After a day of quests, an adventurer was flying home, aided by his magical shoes, when fatigue overcame him.  Looking around, he spotted a leafy tree and swooped down to rest.

However, being immensely tired, he had failed to notice the hungry eyes that had followed his descent.

It was a dwarf, who exclaimed, “I must have those shoes! Only then can I escape that suffocating mine and go on wonderful adventures!”

An hour later, the adventurer woke up to discover that his shoes were gone.  Lost and with no means of returning home, he almost sank into despair, when a bell-like voice suddenly spoke to him.

“Through yonder valley, near red-leaved tree, seek and ye shall find your heart’s desire,” proclaimed the voice of the fairy, before she smiled and vanished.

Doing exactly as she said, the adventurer journeyed for three days nonstop, before he located the tree.  As he staggered close, a peculiar sight met him.  He found his shoes, but they were on a pair of short legs that waved and protruded from a newly-made hole in the tree.

After retrieving his belongings, the man quickly flew back home, leaving the sorry dwarf to his sorry demise.


Quickwrite: Misunderstood

The boy goes off to school with a large grin on his face, ready and raring to face the day with all its joy and excitement, but as soon as his grandparents drove off in a cloud of covering dust, this face was quickly shed off as he sees his new group of supposed friends hanging out by  the garbage dump, where they stayed for the whole morning until lunch, when they grew hungry and politely oh so politely asked the boy for some money, after which they ate and left the boy to his lonesome, who stayed for five minutes more before going back home, where he, with a shivering body, a recently bloodied and torn uniform, and a fresh black eye, worriedly limped past his home for the umpteenth time, desperately searching for an unwatched entrance that was as close to the washroom as possible, as he thought of an excuse to tell his ignorant, close-minded and controlling grandparents as to why he had lost all his lunch money, believing that they would never understand him anyway.

Justice Poster

by Brian Lim and Mario Onglao H4B

Picture from:

My Top 3 Ideal Jobs

1.) Professional Video Game Tester

Imagine being able to go to work in your own home, with no one to boss you around, and no one to watch you do your work.  No one to bother you, nothing to dictate a dress code or a set of regulations.  Total freedom.

Imagine being able to do work that you actually enjoy, and that you can do with a smile on your face.  Even though your eyes will be exposed to massive waves of radiation…you wouldn’t care.  It’s your passion – your eros.

Well, that is the job description of a professional video game tester.  Honestly though, it’s not going to be an easy walk in the park.  You’ll have a lot of deadlines to catch, a lot of games to go through.  And, possible, you may not have enough time to seriously enjoy the game you are testing.  With all these negative connotations that accompany the job…it’s starting to look really bad, but, if you are a true video game fan, you wouldn’t care.

To keep this job, a few conditions must be satisfied.  You must possess enough knowledge  to criticize video games objectively and constructively.  Your eyes must be sharp enough to catch any bugs that flicker across the screen.  Most important of all, you must possess true love for the world of video games.  From endless days filled with television radiation to painful blisters on your fingers, all these must be overcome by your love for games.

Sure, this job is fun, but it’s not exactly perfect.  Money would pose a problem, and your social life just practically committed suicide.  If I had this job, I wouldn’t enjoy it that much, and my future may be in jeopardy.  However, that’s only because I am not that much of a die-hard video game fan.  I lack the most important requisite of the job.

2.) Random Inventor

No, you cannot take out that “Random”; that’s part of the job description.  You must be random, and what you invent must be random…in a way.  Of course, you still have to have some goal in mind, but no boss would force it on you.  The idea comes from within, and you have absolute freedom.  Will you spend your days cooped up in a lab, surrounded by massive mounds of spare machines parts and rough, barely understandable drafts?  You could, if you wanted to.  You will still be able to go out and have a social life, though.  So no worries.

This is my ideal job because I love, or at least think I love, machines.  I love trying to see and understand how things work, and that is what this job is all about.  You must possess enough curiosity capable of killing of all feline species in the whole universe to be able to stay in this job.  You must have the perseverance and dedication to improve upon your ideas and drafts.  You must possess the self integrity needed to be able to plow through 99 failures just to attain one masterpiece.

3.) Civil Engineer

A job where you build infrastructures for a living.  In this job, you will have to apply various Physics concepts to maximize the materials and circumstances given to you.  The lives of a million people literally rests upon your carefully planned out project. As such, salary is considerably high, as you will be handling the construction process of all your projects.

I think this is the ideal job for me because I like Mathematics, especially how it is applied to real life.  I also like thinking about the possible situations that infrastructures may undergo in the future.

To be eligible for this job, one must possess the Mathematical skills, as well as sufficient knowledge of Physics.  One must also be familiar with the different properties of the different materials that can be used in construction.


I believe that work is not just about earning money; rather, it is about being able to work with passion in your life.  Monetary incentives can only push a man so much to do his tasks the best he can.  Work must be filled with passion, and not be forced upon anyone.  This is because if passion is present, you will not mind doing the same thing over and over again.  Be you a game tester, a random inventor, or a ___, if you have enough passion, life becomes full of meaning.  This is another aspect of work; it must lead to a meaningful life.  No one would dedicate their lives to something which has little value for them.  However, work is not just about your own wants, it’s also about what others need.  True meaning in life is often found through acts of care and sacrifice for those around us.  Work is for the self and for other people as well.

Odysseus vs Swine

(Picture from:

Imagine being away from home for 20 long years, and after all your toil and sacrifice, coming back to find your house inhabited by swines and lowlifes who are trying to woo your wife.  You see them smile and laugh joyously with their wide, toothy grins that are encrusted with months-old leftovers that they took from your own supply.   They stole your property,  harassed your loving family, abused your innocent servants, desecrated your humble abode, and so much more.  What will you do?

This is what Odysseus experienced after 20 years of loneliness and isolation.  The moment he expected to find joy and comfort, he instead found indecent men sullying his house.  So what did he do?  He killed them all.  He was not a pushover; he was not forgiving.  Being wronged, what else could he do but fight for his own rights?  In this manner, he shows how the Greeks had the mentality of “an eye for an eye”, or how everyone gets what he deserves.

When Odysseus acted upon this justice, he, however, did not let anger take control of him.  He calmly devised a plan that would ensure victory, showing the cautiousness and intelligence that set him above the rest.  He first surveyed the situation, with a little makeover from Athena.  Next, he talked to the Telemachus and the swineherd to ask for help in the upcoming slaughter.  He did not act out of plain emotions; he did things with certain victory as his goal.

Another factor that affected his ascertained victory is the will of the gods.  Without Athena’s help, it would have probably taken him a longer time to reach Ithaca, and who knows what events could have transpired during this time.  Blessed with her divine protection, he reached Ithaca safely, and was able to venture into his own home without being recognized by anyone.  His reunion with Telemachus was also brought about by her divine intervention.  As we can see, the gods controlled everything during the Greek era; their anger or love for you determined how your life would play out.  Fortunately for Odysseus, with his intelligence and cunning, he won over Athena’s favor, which proved to be an essential factor in his journey.

The Great Balancing Act

Life is a difficult balancing act. From the moment of our inception until the present, and even until we breathe our last, we must continue on balancing the potential weights of our life.  These weights may be social, financial, spiritual, or even physical in nature. Nevertheless, they are factors of our life that we must strive to keep up with in order to live out our journey.

Such an example exists in the balance of love: in eros and agape. Our love for neighbor cannot overshadow or destroy our love of self, and vice versa.  Both must complement each other, thus improving the person as a whole. Love is not selfish, it is not only about what you get from the relationship but what you can do to develop each other’s spirituality as well.

In addition, we have to defy the norms that society has imposed on us. Even if this is like defying gravity, it is not always impossible. We must exercise our true freedom in judgment in everything that we do. In addition, our vocation, or our commitment to doing what we are good at, improving ourselves at the same time, for the betterment of society, is something that a human person must. Even though it is a really difficult thing to do, we must never give up in our quest, for the end result will ultimately be something worth marveling at.

Amidst the hardships that life offers to us, it is ultimately our choices, our vocations that shape who we become in the eyes of God.


Group of Brian Lim, Joshua Collado, Mario Onglao

Synthesis: Freedom Forcefield

Freedom Forcefield


Whenever people think of freedom, they imagine vast images of birds soaring into the endless sky, so why did I pick a force field, which commonly represents suppression or containment?  I chose a force field because, rather than being used to suppress, a force field is actually used for protection, for detachment from the outside world.  This picture shows a woman being able to go her own way, with a smile on her face, whilst not letting the outside world, represented by the insects, affect her.  In this manner, freedom is also expressed because freedom is about choosing to do what is good, even though the whole world may be against you.  Freedom is about being able to sustain your own image of good no matter what forces buffet you.  However, this picture is incomplete as freedom can only be called true freedom if it is used for the greater good, not just for personal gains.

Perseus: Beating the Odds

Whenever I think about Greek Mythology, images of jealous, angry and interfering gods flash through my mind.  I visualize gods running around, falling in love with human women and generally causing trouble. However, this vision of Greek Mythology is one-sided, for it is not just about gods abusing their powers doing whatever they want to do; from their crazy antics comes forth the aspect that most people love about mythology: the quests.  Like Newton’s Third Law of Motion, for each and every moment of godly recreation, a demigod is born who will go on a journey, a quest, to save the world.

Demigods are half-god and half-human heroes who, from birth, are destined to perform great deeds that no  pure human can accomplish.  I’d like to talk about one particular demigod: Perseus.

Perseus was the son of Zeus, the god of lightning, and Danae, a beautiful princess fathered by King Acrisius.  Before Persues was even born, there came a prophecy that King Acrisius would be killed by the son of his daughter, and so,when the news came that Danae had bore a son, Acrisius did what every paranoid father would do; he stuffed his daughter and her infant son into a coffin, and chucked them into the sea.  However, be it through luck or divine intervention, they managed to survive long enough to reach Seriphos, the kingdom of King Polydectes, where they were taken in by a fisherman, Dictys, who was also the king’s brother.  With a strong and simple model, Perseus grew into manhood.

One day, Polydectes heard about the beautiful Danae (for a king, he’s pretty slow with the news) and immediately fell in love with her.  Too bad for him though, Perseus stood in the way and was against it; Polydectes had to get rid of him.  Thus, pretending to be in love with a different woman, Hippodameia (poor girl), he asked every person in his kingdom for a wedding gift, knowing full well that Perseus had nothing to offer.  With a little pressure from the king, Perseus found himself stupidly promising to get Medusa’s head as a wedding present.

This quest would have been impossible for normal humans, but, luckily, Perseus was no ordinary mortal.  With gods for his uncles and aunts, Perseus pretty much had everything planned for him.  Sometime on his journey, Hermes and Athena flew down from the heavens and told him exactly what he had to do.  Go to Atlas, who will point you towards the Graeae, who, with a little persuasion, will tell you how to find the nymphs who will give you what you need to kill Medusa.  As a parting gift, Athena gave Perseus a mirrored shield while Hermes even gave Perseus a sickle of adamant and a pair of winged sandals to boot.

Perseus set of on his predetermined journey, and accomplished everything.  He found the nymphs who gave him an invisibility cap and a magic pouch.  So, with everything he could possibly need, he donned his cap and ventured into Medusa”s lair.  When, luck of lucks, he found her asleep!  Better safe than sorry, he, still invisible, used the mirrored shield to watch her reflection, and slowly crept up to her.  Slash.  End quest.

As he flew back towards king Polydectes, he stopped by Larisa and participated in a small sports contest.  For some reason, he misfired and flung the discus into the throngs of people, hitting someone on the head, instantly killing him.  What a coincidence! This person was no other that King Acrisius, Perseus’ long forgotten grandfather.  In the end, the prophecy still managed to fulfill itself.

After this little detour, he flew on towards King Polydectes.  When he landed, he found out that his mom had been abused in his absence.  In his anger, he charged into the palace, shouted, “Let all who are my friends shield their eyes!”, and held up Medusa’s head.  Amazingly, every single one of his foes immediately got turned into stone.  With all his enemies dead, Perseus lived happily ever after.

Perseus was one babied demigod.  From birth until death, he managed to miraculously live through challenge after challenge.  He survived being lost at sea inside a wooden box, and was saved by a fisherman.  On his quest, he was constantly being guided by gods and other immortal beings.  After finishing his quest, as an added bonus, he even accidentally fulfilled the old prophecy that was the source of all his troubles.  Coincidence? I think not; it was divine intervention. His story is an example of how the universe goes out of its way for one person, for the fulfillment of a prophecy – a classic case of Deus Ex Machina.

Perseus’ character and situation is reflected in our present times in a piece of fiction that has recently grown quite famous, the Percy Jackson series.  Percy was named after Perseus, and is also a demigod.  He was named as such because Perseus was the only hero to have had a happy ending.

Aside from Percy Jackson, Perseus is once again seen in the recent movie, Clash of the Titans, a movie loosely based on the story of Perseus.  While the stories may differ greatly, there beginnings and ends still have one common theme.  Through all odds, both Perseus manage to come out on top and live happily ever after.  In the movie, Perseus’ love was revived towards the end as he managed to stop the destruction of Argos.

Through the ages, Perseus’ characteristic of uncharacteristic luck is still remembered and sought after.

Back to the Basics

Ever since video games first came out and wowed us, they have gone through various evolutions to become what they are today: visually and acoustically mind-blowing.  In fact, this is the common trend; throughout they years, video game companies have been competing to make games with better graphics, clearer sound quality and captivating stories.  From time to time, however, we see games that deviate from this trend, games that focus not on making use of technological advances we have today, but on age-old, but awesome, ideas that have been forgotten throughout the years.

Some people think that companies do this to take advantage of the nostalgia that old players still feel for the old games.  One could say that people think that the companies are only “jumping on the bandwagon” and banking on sentimental feelings.  This may be true, but I’d like to believe that companies go back to the basics not only because old fans will buy it, but because new fans will be able to enjoy it as well.

The old games had substance; they did not need mind-blowing images and audio tracks to make ancient video game fanatics squeal like little girls when the releases came out.  The old games, while short on visual oomph, were chockful of tantalizing ideas.  By going back to the basics, present companies can make use of these forgotten ideas and, when combined with visual art developments, turn them into something that kids of today can still enjoy and love.

Let’s look at this game, Chocobo’s Dungeon 2.  When I was still a child, I had this game for the Playstation One console, and I loved it.  This game is still my favorite game to date, even though it is archaic, and I am sad to say that  through the years, no game like it has ever come out.  It felt like a waste.  Here they had a good game with innovative ideas, and they weren’t even going to make use of it?

Until now, that is, with the release of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo’s Dungeon.  This game plays out similarly to the old version, except now it has more appealing graphics and sounds.

However, most players have never even played the old version, so this game appears to be something that is different and new, not a souped up version of the classic game.  New players would still be able to enjoy this game, because that’s how awesome it is.  Square Enix makes use of the classical ideas that I love and bring them into our time today, where people can still love them.

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