the Yellow Curtain in Frozen:

a character analysis of Elsa

I know everyone else has probably seen this movie ahead of me because I missed it on the big screen and was too stubborn to watch anything below a glorious 1080p HD resolution, but guess what. I watched it the other night (while chewing on my finicky pride rather than a butter flavored popcorn) in a tolerable 720p version. Ahoy to my fellow pirates! Something that began as a feel-good movie for a dismal insomniac ended up in my list of movies my kids will watch. Read on to know why (though I’m pretty sure you’ve already got a pretty good idea)

It subverts the biggest fairytale stereotypes that ever graced the pages of our ancestor’s children’s books.

       (Initially, I was going to write about my own characters and stereotypes analysis, owing to the lessons in my Genders class last term but I got lazy, meh, so I will just tell you about my first thoughts about the movie and an analysis about Elsa)

Let me start with the very first thing that came into mind as I watched helplessly while Elsa’s parents kept her in isolation and distressing solitude — Yellow Wallpaper.

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Dreams, goals, and what lies ahead—words I’m sure everyone knows. It’s ironic how such simple terms make up a phrase that could compel us to walk along different paths in order to find what we’re looking for. I, for one, have been searching all my life. And in my seventeen-almost-eighteen years of existence, I’ve reached several destinations only to find out that each one is just another crossroad, another question on which path to take next.

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This big telly at the airport greeted us with our awkward, Japan-Japan poses.
WARNING: long and dramatic post ahead. 

For those who didn’t know, I went to Japan for a 17-day Sakai-ASEAN week program as a Philippine Cultural Ambassador, or Minkantaishi. Delegates are selected annually per batch by Hieida-sensei, our Japanese language professor and the president of the Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE). The main criteria was Japanese proficiency (though admittedly, mine wasn’t enough to fit the job description, with my gibberish Nihongo and all) and a sense of leadership. Thankfully, me and Roman were chosen to represent the country this year.

In a nutshell, we taught some aspects of the Filipino culture to Japanese elementary students, participated in forums, went on tour around the cities and stayed with our host families. Of course, shopping’s a given, considering that we were given 30,000 yen as pocket money. Sweet.

…but you know what’s sweeter? The fact that the whole program was funded by the Sakai City government. Meaning: everything was free.

Well, almost. We had to pay for our commuting and food expenses, naturally, and also some of the activities. Even so, the dough was enough to cover everything, plus a generous amount of shopping and pasalubong.

To be honest, I’m really quite unsure of what to feel now that we’re going home, because even with all the failure, heartbreaks, and the gradual build-up of disappointment, I have to say that this experience is one of the best I know I’ll ever have. If anything, it made me a better person. I felt the value of appreciation and delighting in the simplest joys. I learned to be conscious of my own imperfections and how I should strive to improve them. But above all, I got to spend two weeks with a family, so different from mine, yet inspired me all the same.

So, in hopes of preserving this beautiful memory, I began to write about my emotions and inner conversations. Because perhaps, reading this will bring me to happy tears, twenty years or so from now.

Feel free to look around as I share my adventures through the lens of my camera.

…and hi, so soon.
From the plane, to the bus ride ‘home’

I remember the first night I came here, my thoughts wandering, struggling to form a silhouette of how my host family would look like. As Mr. Matsubara assisted me with my luggage, I vaguely heard my heart beating to his every syllable as he called the Ohta family. When they came out to welcome me, I hastily scrambled for words, recalling what I had memorized on the plane. We then bade goodbye to Mr. Matsubara, and Mr. and Mrs. Ohta offered to help me with my bags. Knowing that they were well in their 60’s, I told them I was fine with carrying both by myself. So, that was how I first saw them—a kind, elderly couple who, like most Filipino senior citizens, should not be carrying anything heavy—well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

You can imagine my worries when Mr. Ohta carried my heavy luggage all the way to the second floor. But as the days went by, I realized how this elderly couple is actually physically younger than adults in their 50’s back in the Philippines. お若いですね?

It’s really sad, you know, writing about this. All the good memories flowing through my head, coinciding with the sinking feeling of having to say goodbye. I will never forget how Mrs. Ohta makes three, healthy meals a day for us, or how she showed me how to use the toilet (don’t get me wrong, Japanese toilets have all these weird buttons.) Of course, there’s Mr. Ohta who talks about politics and economics during dinner, all in difficult Japanese vocabulary. Oh if only you could see how lost I was trying to decipher what he had meant, happily giving myself a pat on the back when I finally do.

But I guess what pains me the most is that despite how little time we had, these people made me feel like family, and that I simply had to leave so soon.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15➤➤

The future in gold and copper

It’s been years since I last gazed upon the Manila Bay horizon.

On this particular night, I sat along the sea wall with two of the people who belong to my past and present. They reminded me well of who I was, the little girl I used to be, and what had become of me now.

This evening was a nostalgic journey of walking along the road I used to pass by everyday as a highschool student. I’ve walked that way countless times with different people and different memories. Three years back, Christiane and I would go home together, always at a safe distance from each other. Never touching, barely looking. But tonight was different. Continue reading

15 Things I like

•1•
Muji pens

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I swear I’m going to buy Muji gel ink pens in all the colors available! They’re really nice, and the ink doesn’t skip (I dunno what to call this, but it’s when the pen doesn’t write properly, lol). The only downside is that it tends to run out of ink fast. Still, it’s worth it, considering that it’s just the way I like it—simple and functional.

2
Pretty notebooks with yellow-ish paper

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I almost never buy notebooks with white paper, unless I absolutely need to. I just love notebooks like this one! Actually, this was a gift from my friend during my birthday. It’s so cute, I never used it. Mehehe :’) I have a lot of yellow-papered notebooks at home which I have as my collection. Also, another reason why I like this so much is because it isn’t ruled. I tend to not follow the lines on notebooks anyway, so I prefer unruled ones. By the way, if you want one like this, the artist who made this is indicated on the lower right photo.

3
Origami

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This was given to me by a friend during high school. It came with Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which are obviously gone by now. I was planning on making my own origami, but since I don’t have much time, I just used these ones. Well, they’re pretty anyway, so why not? Next time, I’ll try taking a photo of Tori, the chicken origami I gave to Christiane 🙂

4
Photos

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Whenever I go to Timezone with my friends, I always make sure to take a picture at the photobooth. Here are some of the photos I’ve collected so far. (Of course, they’re still sort of private, so I purposely made them out of focus.) I made a promise to myself that from now on, I’ll try to take more photos to immortalize those wonderful moments.

5
Cute post-its

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Along with yellow-papered notebooks, I also collect sticky notes or post-its. Like the notebooks, I never use them unless I have two or more of the same kind. I only included some of them here because I got lazy, haha! The last time I fixed my collection, I realized that I have a few to spare so I decided to give them as freebies in my shop. Half of those above were given by my lovely friends ♥

6
Hair Ribbons

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Hair ribbons like this one are just so cute! I’d love to have a lot of these, but I honestly don’t know where to buy them 😦 Most of what I see are either “jeje” or too expensive. Well even if I do have a lot of them, I won’t be able to pull them off as cute as the one above because I have a lot of baby hair and they’d be poking all around. Trust me, it makes me look like I just woke up and didn’t even bother taking a bath. *sigh

7
Polka-dotted dresses

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I know polka dots are a New Year’s thing, but I love wearing them even if it isn’t New Year yet. They’re so adorable, like cute babies or something. I’m actually thinking of buying a lot this coming Christmas, so I could use New Year as an excuse to wear polka dots anytime I want (in January, at least). Oh, diba?

8
Stylish pen cases
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When it comes to pen or pencil cases, I look for simplicity and functionality as usual. I like the zippered ones that are made out of cloth because they look stylish and somewhat cutesy. The one I have now is from Kara Nina, but it’s kind of old already, so I didn’t bother taking a picture. I’m planning to replace it with a similar type, but with a different design. Still from Kara Nina, of course. I love the designs, and they aren’t even that expensive. I’ll take a photo once I’ve bought a new one.

9
Really thin mechanical pencils

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I have small hands, and I find it difficult to grip the mechanical pencils here in the Philippines. from what I’ve noticed, most of the ones sold here are a bit too big for my hands (Plural. Yes, I’m ambidextrous). That’s why I was really happy when two of my Korean friends gave the thin mechanical pencils pictured above. I included the big one that was given by my friend from Japan as a reference so you could see how thin the pencils are. I also love the pink one because it’s scented! I’m hoping to collect more from other countries 😀

10
Cute stickers

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It’s kinda ironic that I like buying cute stickers, notebooks, and post-its, yet I never use them. They’re just so cute! I feel like it would be a total waste to use them. Maybe one day, I’d get over this craze and finally decide to create a scrapbook or something, just so I could use them instead of letting them rot to eternity.

11
Skullcandy earbuds

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I’ve always loved Skullcandy earphones. They look really nice and aren’t as pricey as other earphones. The one on the left was the first one my dad ever bought for me, though I think it was green instead of blue. The other one is the most recent one that my dad gave me, but it got broken just a few weeks ago 😦 Actually, only one side was broken, but I don’t think I’d still be able to fix it. And since I’m too kuripot, I’ll just wait for the day that I get a new one. Hehe

12
Hand creams that smell like baby powder

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Baby powder smells so clean and fresh. That’s why I like hand creams with the same smell, just like this Missha hand cream that my Korean friend gave me as a pasalubong when he went back home. In case you want to know, the exact scent is Peony Rose.

13
Tony Moly nail polishes

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I find Tony Moly nail polishes great, so I buy there. I haven’t really tried a lot of brands,  but since I’m already satisfied with this one, I didn’t bother anymore. The one pictured here is my favorite among all the colors they have. This one could be used as a base coat or french tip. It looks very clean and simple, not too intimidating like other loud colors are. They’re a great find at only 90 pesos.

14
Soft pillows

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There’s nothing like a quiet room and soft pillows after an exhausting day. There’s actually something called pillow lust (look it up at the Urban Dictionary). It’s when you’re a student and you’ve been studying for so long, you just want to slam your face into the pillow and doze off. It’s exactly how I feel right now while finishing this blog. Good thing I’m almost done; I’ll have that pillow lust satisfied in no time.

15
Keyblade
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Kingdom Hearts was my childhood game, so I guess you’ll understand why I like things that are shaped like the Keyblade. I used to have a necklace of this during high school, but I have no idea where it is now. I also tried making one, which I’d rather not talk about. Haha. Anyway, whether it’s a Keychain, a necklace, or any replica, as long as it’s a Keyblade, it’s sure to catch my attention.

*DISCLAIMER: I do not own photos number 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15. They were used for illustrative purposes only; all rights belong to their respective owners.