Friday, December 17, 2010

New Philippine Bank Notes

I really like the design of the new Philippine bills! The colors and the symbols they portray inspires a want for change for the better. Take a look at the slide show and see for yourself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scholarship in Korea, 2011

Sejong University is offering a full tuition scholarship grant to qualified graduate and undergraduate students starting March 2011 (graduate studies) and March 2012 (bachelor degree).

Grantees will also be provided with accommodation and a stipend of 400,000 KRW per month.

Interested applicants must have demonstrated English proficiency based on the following table:
TOEFL (PBT) - 600 pts

TOEFL (CBT) - 250 pts

TOEFL (IBT) - 100 pts

IELTS - 6.5 pts

Sejong University will give priority to students who are interested to pursue studies in the following areas:

1. Hotel and Tourism Management
2. Business
3. Natural Sciences
4. Engineering
5. Physics
6. Biosciences

Interested applicants must submit brief résumé /curriculum vitae to Mr. Mylo Fausto, Cultural Officer, Embassy of the Philippines, through email address:

not later than 20 December 2010.

-from PiKo (Pinoy Scholars in Korea)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Olive Oil for Dry, Flaky Skin

It's October now and the weather has started to get belligerent towards the skin. The absence of moisture in the air, meaning it would absorb existing water from the skin, definitely made my skin feel itchy, uncomfortable, and rash-prone (you know the tiny red dots that look like ruptured blood vessels). I tried using Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Nivea to keep my skin moisturized especially after taking a shower, but the effect only lasted so long as my clothes haven't rubbed and stripped the creams off my skin.
Two days ago, I went to Home Plus, a local Korean supermarket, and tried out one of the skincare tips I read online: slathering olive oil to the skin would make it feel supple and moisturized for a longer time than paraben-infused lotions. For just under 6,000 won (around 5.50USD), I could practically rid my cabinet of moisturizers as a bottle of extra virgin olive oil would do pretty much all the moisturization I need.
It's my second day using olive oil and I've noticed that the skin on my arms and legs has lesser fine lines due to dryness. The complexion too has improved from being dry, pale, bambooish white to somewhat pinkish-white. I could swear on olive oil for its benefits!
Korean winter, bring it on!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Chuseok to Remember

Chuseok was a definite week-long break from the monotony of my university life. Not only because I had to go to Daejeon from Seoul, but moreso because I had to brave the knee-high flood in Bucheon area. It was beyond my imagination that Korean streets could be inundated with much water that subway lines need to be closed. But I had to go to Seoul station to catch the express train (KTX) bound for Daejeon. With my feet soaked in muck-smelling water, I went to the Green Line via taxi. It took me about an hour to reach the Light Blue Line, as I can transit from there to Seoul Station. But lo and behold! The Light Blue Line was also closed. Without any choice, I had to literally criss-cross Seoul City's interwoven subway lines so I catch the KTX on time. I didn't. I arrived in Seoul Station two hours behind my time of departure. With my feet icky with flood water and jeans dripping with ewwweness , the thought of just going back to the dormitory had predominated my mind. I had to rebel and I had to win over the situation. Another 22,900 won was painfully extricated from my wallet and I got off Daejeon Station half-irked, half-happy, but a total survivor.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Stick the will Definitely Stand Out!

I caught this curious Korean alternative to Meiji's "Yan-yan" off the shelves in Home Plus. It was just too compelling to not take a photo of this! :D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Looking for a K-drama to watch this month?

Click here for Life is Beautiful episodes. It's a human drama--meaning 'Areumdaun Saesang' is heavy on narration--but it paints a good picture of what Korean family life is. The cast portraying three generations living under a single roof on Jeju island would not let the steam go down in the series. It even includes a flare of modernization introduced in a rather closed-minded orientation of Koreans by introducing a gay main character, discussions of divorce, and abortion.
The drama is really inspiring by giving viewers a sense of how strong a family can hold on despite its internal issues and intricacies.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Diskoreamination against Filipino English Teachers

Filipinos still can't teach English in South Korea. To the talented English teachers of the Philippines, please teach Filipino kids instead.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

China Orders "English Cleanup Drive"

I never thought that Chinglish could give more laughs than Konglish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Korean Cosmetics Shop, spread the word!

Shop here for SkinFood, The Face Shop, BRTC, Skin79, and other brands.


*All the pre-ordered products will arrive in the Philippines on July 7, 2010. Shipping will be on the next day, July 8, 2010. Pre-ordering is from May 1-June 20, 2010.
Expect your order to arrive at your doorstep in two to three working days. For queries, contact the seller by sending an email to:


*Item price + 90Php for shipping in and outside of Metro Manila.

Item selection and Payment:

*You can choose any product you want by posting a comment on the item photo: "I want [quantity]".
*You need to pay 50% of the total price of the item(s) anytime from now UNTIL June 20, 2010. The remaining 50% is to be paid on or before July 7.
*Your item will be shipped as soon as full payment is confirmed.
*Please send your payment to:
Aidyn S. Dagandan, savings account: 3166-1359-61, BPI Alabang Branch

Monday, April 26, 2010

60th Anniversary of the Korean War

written by Prof. Abagat*
published in JoongAng Daily

[Pinoy voices] The Filipino warriors remembered
I never knew about the heroism of the Filipinos who sacrificed their lives during the Korean War.
April 26, 2010
I was on my way to Daejeon to give a leadership seminar to the officers of a community of Filipino workers. On the train, an elderly Korean lady, maybe in her late 70s, asked my friends and me, “Eodiseo osyeosseoyo?” (“Where are you from?”), maybe because she noticed we were speaking in Tagalog, so we introduced ourselves as Filipinos. She then started thanking us, the Filipinos, for helping Korea during the Korean War. She started recounting stories about the Filipino soldiers who came to fight during those turbulent years. She said that Koreans are indebted to us, the Filipinos.

On another occasion, I met an elderly Korean priest in his early 80s who was originally from North Korea but had to escape during the war and managed to come to South Korea. On his way to the South, he met a Filipino soldier. They became good friends, and with the soldier, he smoked his first cigar.

Honestly, before I came to Korea I never knew about the heroism and gallantry of the Filipino soldiers who participated in and sacrificed their lives during the Korean War. I had never heard any of my history teachers lecturing about this in my classes or my grandparents telling me stories about it. I believe other Filipinos as well as Koreans, especially the members of the younger generation, are as ignorant as I regarding this historic act of heroism by our Filipino soldiers and the 60 years of friendship between the Philippines and Korea.

My encounters with these Koreans made me want to discover more about these unsung, unrecognized and underappreciated heroes. Some day, I promised myself, I will meet them in person and listen to their stories.

The Philippines was among the first countries to respond to the United Nations’ call for aid when South Korea was invaded in 1950. A send-off rally for the 10th BCT (Brigade Combat Team) was held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Sept. 2, 1950. The Philippine flag was handed to Col. Mariano Azurin, the commanding officer of the battalion. The book “The Fighting Tenth” by Mariano Manawis quotes His Excellency, President Elpidio Quirino, during his send-off speech as saying: “Today, we begin to write a wonderful page in our history. Many of you have fought on our own soil to secure our freedom. You now go forth to a foreign land to fight for the preservation of that freedom.” The gallant soldiers left Philippine soil on Sept. 15, 1950, and landed at Busan on Sept.19, 1950.

Last year, Korea and the Philippines launched a year-long celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Philippines-Korea Bilateral Relations. One of the highlights of the launch was a screening of the movie “The Forgotten War,” directed by Carlo Cruz. This movie intensified my desire to meet veterans of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea.

Months later, I met some of the PEFTOK veterans over several occasions. I had such an inspiring encounter with these brave and courageous men. Despite their age, they were excited as they shared their difficult yet inspiring fights, against all odds - the cold winter, lonely Christmas, homesickness and death.

Col. Francisco Tamondong from Pangasinan, born in 1923, was part of the 10th BCT. He was at the prime of his youth when he joined the battle. He left his family behind because he was ready to fulfill the call of duty. He was literally one of the first overseas Filipino warriors in Korea, because he, along with two other soldiers, belonged to the first group of fighters, who first came by ship and brought 17 tanks to be used for the war. When I asked him what sustained his courage and allowed him to go on with the fight, he said, with teary eyes and a trembling voice, “Whenever I looked at the Philippine flag, I thought about my country. Then I regained my courage and the strength to continue the fight.”

Col. Jovencio Dominguez, born in 1931 and also from Pangasinan, belonged to the 19th BCT. He was only 19 years old when he joined the troupe sent to Korea. His motto, “He who does not learn to obey does not hope to command,” served as his inspiration. So despite his homesickness, he managed to fight. “Letters from family and friends,” he said, “sustained our morale .?.?. So all of us were always excited to see if there was mail for us.” Prayer was also a great help, he said. With the spiritual guidance of their chaplain, they were strengthened.

Maj. Maximo Young, born in 1922 in Cebu, belonged to the 10th BCT. With joy and excitement, he talked about how they picked apples, plums and chestnuts to feed themselves. He also remembered how Korean children treated them. “As we began to immerse ourselves in the Korean way of life, we could see children who, regardless of their age, never showed any fear or indifference to us soldiers. Perhaps, though they were young, they already knew that we were defending them from [communist] aggressors.”

When I asked them about their wish for the future, all of them said that they wished that more people, especially the young generation of Koreans and Filipinos, could be made aware of this important part of history, and that the ties, friendship and collaboration between the two countries could become stronger so that the long-standing relationship would not go to waste.

These are just some of the revealing and memorable accounts of the gallant and chivalrous men who faced death to defend South Korea from communism. They deserve our heartfelt recognition and appreciation. As Korea and the Philippines celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War this year, may we recall the memories of the past with gratitude in our hearts, and look forward to a better, more peaceful future between the two countries.

*The author is a professor of the Catholic University of Korea and a member of the Phil-RPG.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Job Opportunity in Japan (sic)

Teach in Japan this April.

Current open positions:
290.000 yen x 10 months.
April 100.000 yen.
August 100.000 yen.
Total 3.4 million yen.

Mon to Friday.
Jr high schools / ele
One year from April 2010. To march 2011.

Start april 16. Must relocate.
Can sponsor visa but must have visa.
Can assist in housing.
Native speaker.
Experience is important.

If match with conditions please reply with 1- name. 2- Nationality. 3- Visa type. 4- Expire date. 5- Experience. 6- Phone number.

Send your application to:
Only applicants who are willing to relocate need to apply.

Friday, March 19, 2010

South Korea Scholarship

대전대학교 초청 국비장학생 프로그램

Korean Government Scholarship Program
for Graduate Students 2010
Study at Daejeon University

Scholarship : Airfare, Monthly Allowance, Research Allowance, Relocation Allowance, Language Training fee, Tuitions, Medical Insurance etc.

Duration of Scholarship : 3 years(2010-2013)
(1 year Korean Language Courses + 2 years Master degree Program)

Available fields : All majors of general graduate schools

Admission Requirement
■ Both applicant and his/her parents must be citizens of the foreign country.
* Applicants cannot have Korean citizenship.
■ Applicants should be in good health, both mentally and physically, to stay in Korea for a long period of time.
■ Should be under 40 years of age as of September 1, 2010 Hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree as of September 1, 2010

■ Should have a grade point average (G.P.A.) at least 2.64 on a 4.0 scale, 2.80 on a 4. 3 scale, 2.91 on a 4.5 scale or grades/marks/ score of 80% or higher from the previous attended institution

■ Eligible Countries
Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Cambodia
Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Laos, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Morocco, Brunei, Senegal, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Angola, Ecuador, Jordan, Ukraine, Kenya, Columbia, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Turkey, Tunisia, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Hungary, Yeme, Guinea, South Africa, Nicaragua, Germany, Democratic Republic of Timor- Leste, Liberia, Romania, Mali, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Slovakia, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Haiti, Afghanistan, Algeria, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Honduras, Uganda, Iraq, Iran, Jamaica, Zambia, Chile, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Australia

Time Line

● Application Deadline : 26 April, 2010
● Phone Interview : 29-30 April, 2010
● Scholarship Announcement : Early in June, 2010

Submission of application documents

● Applicants may download the application form as below banner.
● Applicants must submit the completed package of required documents to Daejeon University via mail and email.
◆ email -
◆ Address - International Office, Daejeon Univ. 96-3 Yongun-dong, Dong-gu, Daejeon, Korea

● Until When : 26 April, 2010

● Person in Charge : Chang-sun Pyo (,Chief Officer
Hwa-yeon Choi(,Program Officer

● Tel : +82-42-280-2489, 2125

click here and here for application docs

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Petty Things I Hate

1) Mum says don't talk when your mouth is full. It's different from when you have to sneeze. >.<
2) When an eyelash gets into my eye and disappears without a trace
3) Things falling from my grip
4) Inhaling an insect or a tiny object and feeling it in my throat
5) Inhaling magic pops candy and it popping in my nostrils. pretty nasty
6) When my skin feels itchy but can't locate the source of the itch
7) When my cowlick can't get disciplined by gel
8) When in a public area and a booger gets detached from the walls of my nose. Breathe slowly.
9) When I insert a thumb drive the wrong way into a port
10) People playing the same song over and over again

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Interesting Body Tricks

1. If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.

When you were 9, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here's a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

2. Experience supersonic hearing!

If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identify that song playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.

3. Overcome your most primal urge!

Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about Jessica Simpson. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. For best results, try Simpson's "These Boots Are Made for Walking" video.

4. Feel no pain!

German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

5. Clear your stuffed nose!

Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternately thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone, which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds, you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.

6. Fight fire without water!

Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Star-poli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity's in your favor.

7. Cure your toothache without opening your mouth!

Just rub ice on the back of your hand, on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50 percent compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

8. Make burns disappear!

When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly, Dr. DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

9. Stop the world from spinning!

One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance—the cupula—floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

10. Unstitch your side!

If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then tugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

11. Stanch blood with a single finger!

Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed—if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums—just behind that small dent below your nose—and press against it, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

12. Make your heart stand still!

Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

13. Thaw your brain!

Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. "Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too," says Abo. "In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache." The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

14. Prevent near-sightedness!

Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. "It's usually caused by near-point stress." In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and, after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles—like the eyes—into relaxing as well.

15. Wake the dead!

If your hand falls asleep while you're driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It'll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less than a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don't let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

16. Impress your friends!

Next time you're at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He'll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that's a half inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will fold like a house of cards. By misaligning his hips, you've offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain senses that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body's ability to resist.

17. Breathe underwater!

If you're dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first—essentially, hyperventilate. When you're underwater, it's not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it's the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidic, which signals your brain that somethin' ain't right. "When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity," says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. "This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen." It'll buy you up to 10 seconds.

18. Read minds!

Your own! "If you're giving a speech the next day, review it before falling asleep," says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

got this from stumbleupon

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Catholic University of Korea (CUK) Scholarship for Graduate Studies

The Catholic University of Korea Graduate Program for Philippine Students
Application is now open. Deadline is on March 7, 2010.

- To provide top-level students from the Philippines with opportunities for higher-education in Korea
- To enhance the globalization of the CUK campus by creating a more diverse atmosphere
- To promote international exchange in education and mutual friendship between Korea and the Philippines

- Around 25 students

Recruitment Plan
1. Entrance period: Fall semester, 2010 (September 2010)
2. Programs: graduate program
Department and Majors
- Business Administration
- International Studies – American Studies, Chinese Studies, International Relations, International Trade
- Public Administration
- Computer Sciences & Engineering
*As for the science and engineering departments, students admitted with undergraduate degree in same or related majors
*Information, Communications and Electronic Engineering

The opportunities for admission to other majors shall be extended in the future.

3. Language of Instruction: English
A minimum number of courses about Korean language will be offered.

4. Eligibility
Program Eligibility
[Graduate] Nationals of the Philippines
Graduates or graduates-to-be of college (undergraduate program)
(as for the graduate-to-be, the student must be able to study from September, 2009 in CUK)

5. Screening
The screening will be conducted on the basis of overall evaluation according to paper screening and interview results.

1. Exempt from tuition and on-campus residence fee during the whole study
§ Graduate program: 2 years

(※ On condition that the applicant shall meet GPA of over 3.0 in a scale of 4.0.)

2. Monthly payment is available for the students who work part-time jobs on campus (such as English Assistantship).

3. Round-trip airfare provided

4. Internship opportunities at local companies arranged during study (as for candidates)

5. When the applicant completes the degree in CUK, Job opportunities with Korean companies may be offered

6. When the applicant acquires a Ph.D. at CUK, a job opportunity as a teaching staff at CUK will be offered

Application Deadline:

The end of May, 2009

Required Documents
1. Application for Admission (CUK Form)
2. Study Plan and Personal Statement (Free Form)
3. A copy of Certificate of college graduation (or certified expected graduation form)
4. A copy of college official transcript of whole year (all the ranks and marks must be included on the transcript).
5. A recommendation letter by teacher or professor serving as relevant department head
6. Proof of Foreign Status (i.e., A copy of the first page of passport)


For further information, please inquire to Office of International Affairs

Address: Office of International Affairs, The Catholic University of Korea
Tel. No.: + 82-2-2164-4116, 4957
Fax No.: + 82-2-2164-4751

Click here for more information
Download the application form.
Download the application for admission.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Thumbnail of the Future: Thoughts on Avatar (movie)

---contains spoilers---

-----contains spoilers------

A Thumbnail of the Future

Most of us do realize that environmental destruction is real, that global warming is more than a green political rhetoric. The Earth is crashing down at a rate faster and deeper than at any other point in history, and it is exactly because of this prolonged fall and unfathomable depth that we are bereft of inspired action.
Yesterday night I went to the cinema with friends and saw Avatar in 3D. I thought it would just be another humdrum doomsday flick playing on human vulnerabilities by the forces of nature. It was, in fact, the opposite. It wasn’t nature picking on man. Viruses didn’t convert homo sapiens to homo ergmonsters or the quakes flattening the White House. What was portrayed in Avatar is nature, which is a mother, someone who does not take sides, preserves balance, and lives with and within harmony. For those who have seen the movie, or even just the poster, might have predicted the end in the first few minutes of the movie. The plot is easy to regard as linear, yes. I thought it was. But I also thought that Avatar knows exactly what it is and what it wants to convey to the audience sans the convolution of artificially concocted cerebral conversations. It mission is clear and it did not let even the most brilliant visual effects overshadow it.
Avatar is another wakeup call to those being called but are still walking half asleep. For this reason, films with environmental undertones should never be dismissed.

For two and a half hours I ran throughout Pandora, meeting creatures modeled after civil savagery (in which description humans fit hand in glove), seeing bioluminiscent trees whose roots have grown deeper than my thoughts, meeting Jake and Grace reminding me that even the most callous ecological plunderer could put a stop to the death of birth. It was a long rough run but it was nothing like treading on a thin fracturing crust for three flat hours or escaping a humongous tornado that seems to possess a face recognition technology. While watching the movie, my seat was converted into an avatar capsule, merging me with the movie and the symbolisms it holds. First, there are the Na’vis, people of Pandora. They are the Tutsis. The Aetas. The minority. It is in their land where a mineral called unobtainum that sells for 20million USD can be mined. The Na’vis believe that every single creature is connected by a force called Eywa. And there are the humans who, after killing their mother, are now living in space in constant search for energy. Trite as it may seem, the plot just revolves around how humans can drive away the Na’vis from their ancestral land in order to obtain the unobtanium (sounds pretty much like the article “Dam Nation”). In order to avert conflict between the two species, Grace, a senior scientist, created a Na’vi that can be neurologically linked with a person. Instead of a human walking through the unwelcoming forests on Pandora, the Avatars, physically stronger and abler than a human body is, are sent instead. The paraplegic Jake Sully was given his late brother’s avatar and was sent onto a mission to gain the trust of the natives, with an ulterior motive of persuading them to move out of their ancestral home. Jake had to learn the culture of the Na’vis. He spent three months in the forest and has successfully went through a number of rites of passage. Eventually he developed a strong affinity with the Na’vis. He gave up the mission, even if it means not being able to get his legs back. As it became for him, his life as a human is the dream and living as a Na’vi is the reality. He found his self in his avatar.

About Pandora
In Avatar, the Earth was not portayed as a fickle-minded mom that just kills on a whim by splashing its babies with lava or throwing at them flying kisses at 400 kilometers per hour. The Earth just restores balance. That means balance should first be offset and only then will nature act to reverse a tremendous pollution, or in the case of the movie, to suppress the mechanized warfare initiated by the humans. Eywa possesses a power to do that. Toruk, the huge predatory bird effectively embodies nature’s impartial and benign destructive power, and that which Jake harnessed to lead the war against the humans, and that which he let go of after the war has ended.

About the Love Story, Life, and Death
-Neytiri should not have had mated with Jake because she was already binded with another man. I suppose there should also be a ritual for that (arranged marriage). Given that there is, then she she must have violated Eywa’s biddings. One more thing, it was under an “Eywa” tree that they did ‘it’. >.< So yeah, a little bit of uneasiness in there.
-It is defensible to kill another living thing in self-defense, but it is never a reason for joy that the other has survived. Perhaps the attacked has placed himself in direct opposition to an erstwhile unaggressive yet territorial creature. Remember, human encroachment to forests and habitat destruction result to a cobra-infested sofa.
-At first, I felt that dying was not given its due ceremonial response in the movie, and the feeling was reinforced when Tsu’tey was shot and fell off his banshee. Was it easy to just rub off characters in the movie even if it occurs en-masse? And then I realized the movie does not focus on individual lives being reclaimed by Eywa, but about life that all sentient creatures on Pandora share. The death of the Tree and of any grander cause must be worse than any individual death that has ever occurred in the encounter.

I felt quite disturbed when the humans were exiled from Pandora (back to where they came from perhaps) because I thought greed stops at nothing. If the humans are after an energy source then that means the humans on Pandora aren’t the only ones left. They must be supplying a population that’s large and is militarily ready to strike the Na’vis back in a moment’s time. Do you think the humans would assail Pandora again? Or would have they learned an invaluable lesson about harmony and life?