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Janine Ferisse Galgana
08 October 2011 @ 11:50 am
This week, it was interesting how we were able to discuss the media theories regarding women. From our discussions, I realized that the way people view women in the society is largely dependent on how the media presents them. 

Take Barbie as an example. As a little girl, I definitely adored Barbie for several years. I would force my parents to buy me several dolls along with living room, dining room, and bathroom sets, and also assorted clothes for me to try on every doll. I grew up thinking that Barbie is the role model, with her perfect hair and perfect body.  I thought that to be the ideal woman, I should be like Barbie who takes care of the children and knows how to move around the house. Although this is true, it still somehow unjustifiable how the media is able to hone our perceptions about women, especially when it comes to more sensitive examples, such as:
Unfortunately, women are often objectified to satisfy the needs of men. If that's not enough, women, in return, submit themselves to this kind of thinking. Most women justify this scenario by trying to live up to what is expected from women based on what the media dictates. They buy products that promise whiter and younger skin, and also have their bodies undergo different surgeries just to achieve their desired vital statistics.

It's heart-breaking to see how media and technology have caused such degradation on the confidence and contentment of women. As one of the theories says, the call for change should come from the members of the marginalized themselves, so how would that happen if we'll only sit back and conform with these situations? 

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Janine Ferisse Galgana
01 October 2011 @ 09:37 pm
WOOOOOOOOOH! GO ATENEO! 4-peat!
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This week, we were able to talk about two of the Critical Media Theories. One of these is the Public Sphere, an aspect of social life where issue are discussed and negotiated. In today's fast-changing world, there are so many things that could be talked about to elicit good and fulfilling conversations. In relation to this, it's nice to know that people could turn to these public spheres to voice out their opinions and ideas on issues with social relevance, or just about anything under the sun.

In class, physical examples of the public sphere were discussed, such as coffee shops, salons, and barber shops. Indeed, these places are good avenues for discussion. The coffee shops provide ample chill ambience that gets people in the mood to chat over frappucinos or lattes. Likewise, salons and barber shops pamper their customers, allowing a relaxed atmosphere to radiate on everybody. 


Last week, I was running late for my 7:30 am Accounting class, so I decided to take a cab to school since it was also raining pretty heavy that morning. On my way to Ateneo, I was silently sitting inside the cab when the taxi driver broke me away from my daydreaming. Apparently, he said something which I failed to catch, and it wasn't until his third sentence that I realized what he was talking about: UAAP basketball. He mentioned the usual stuff about the Blue Eagles being a strong team and all that. Trying not to be impolite or anything, I decided to go along with the conversation. I started sharing my views about the topic. I talked about my favorite players and how this basketball competition could boost our school pride. Without noticing, we were digressing to other topics and the conversation just went on and on, until we arrived in katipunan and it was time for me to get off.

I'm sure that this happens frequently during cab rides, and it gave me the idea that this very arrangement could also be considered as a public sphere. I mean, the 'ideal situations' indicated in the theory - all opinions should be considered legitimate, discourse is not one-sided, and unlimited access to information with equal participation in discourse - are met in this scenario. My discussion with the cab driver was very natural, which enabled us to just voice out our opinions about the UAAP. This just shows that it's possible for us to find a public sphere just about anywhere, and it what's good is that this gives us the feeling that there will always be people who are willing to listen to whatever we might want to say.


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Janine Ferisse Galgana
24 September 2011 @ 09:41 am
The title of my blog translates to 'I really really like K-pop'. =)

I could vividly remember how my addiction to Asian entertainment started. I was in fourth grade when ABS-CBN channel 2 bought the rights to air Meteor Garden, a hit Taiwanese television drama which is an adaptation of a Japanese manga (comic book). I would always tune in on the television to make sure that I don't miss a single episode, since DVDs and online streaming weren't available at that time. It was a gamble on the part of the network, since this was the first try in the Philippines to have the country exposed to media from another Asian country. We've had shows from other countries before, but they're just usually Mexican telenovelas starring Thalia. With the succes of Meteor Garden in the Philippines, ABS-CBN's rival network got taken aback. GMA 7 needed to fire back, so they aired Autumn In My Heart, the first Korean drama to be shown in our country. The rest is history.

For some reason, I've developed an overwhelming amount of fondness towards these dramas. I strated listening to the songs which are part of a show's soundtrack, leading me to the world of K-pop, the term used to refer to Korean pop music.

Basically, I like K-pop because:
1. The korean artists - solo performers, boy and girl groups - always render an awesome perfromace. They always sing and dance in a synchronized manner. Besides, they undergo a minimum of 5 years of training before their public 'debut'.
2. I love how they have different concepts for every album. In Korea, it's natural for artists to go on a hiatus, only to have a comeback with a different album concept which is reflected in their songs and outfits.
3. I find the melody of their songs catchy.

People who do not share the same views about K-pop would always ask me the same thing: How can you like it when you don't even understand the lyrics? Fortunately, after our discussion of the Uses and Gratifications Theory during Comm class, I realized that I just might have found the best answer to this question. The theory talks about the active audience, and it said here that intentionality is one of the activities in which media consumers could engage. Yes, I don't understand the lyrics of the songs unless I search for the English translation online, but this actually makes it more appealing for me. (Whaaat?)

Before you think of me as weird or anything, let me explain myself first ^_^. Going back to intentionality, it said that it occurs when people's prior motivations determine their consumption of media content. Relating this concept to K-pop, I'm able to give my own interpretations of the Korean songs I listen to depending on how I'm feeling at a certain time. I could freely associate with or connect the songs to my own emotions. K-pop gives me the freedom to consume it in the way I want, totally reinforcing the idea of intentionality.

The fact that I love K-pop doesn't mean that I don't patronize our own forms of media anymore. It's just that I'm able to find comfort and enjoyment in Korean music, and it also cultivates my interest in exploring other cultures.

P.S. I took Korean as my FLC, and I'm really thankful that I did, since I'm able to learn and have fun at the same time.
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Janine Ferisse Galgana
10 September 2011 @ 09:54 pm

Due to academic requirements and other personal issues, I've been feeling so stressed lately. That's why I try to keep my sanity by watching Big Time Rush, a Nickelodeon television series. Honestly, I need outlets like this to ease away the pressures of everyday life. Okay, go on, call me childish. But still, I don't really mind because this show never fails to put a smile on my face after a tiring day at school. =)


Basically, the show revolves around four hockey players from Minnesota. One of them, Kendall, got discovered by an album producer and was offered a chance to move to Los Angeles and become a famous singer. But because the four of them are inseparable, Kendall insisted that if the album producer wants him to come to Hollywood, he should also take his friends and turn them into a boyband. Voila! The band, Big Time Rush, was born! Each episode is packed with disaster adventure as they go through the whirlwind experiences of teenage Hollywood stars. 

But before their debut, their record company had to brainstrom for the concept or image that would be appropriate for the band. They tried on different clothes to match a certain image, as seen from the photos below:





This actually involves marketing decisions, and I find it highly-related to our lesson this week, which is Organizational Culture Theory. The dilemma that the group and their handlers had to face could make or brake their entire Hollywood career. They contemplated on these concept choices because they need to decide on which image would cater to the interests of their target market. The idea of org culture is definitely at play here since they were trying to understand the preferences of a particular group of people, which is the teenage bracket. 

Obviously, if the record company was planning to launch entertainers that would generally be patronized by older people, let's say those in the parent age, they wouldn't have signed contracts with four teenage hockey players. Instead, they would've searched for artisits who could possibly catch the attention of the people coming from their target generation. 

Indeed, the ability to analyze and understand a group or oraganization's culture is very useful. We'll be able to explain their behaviors and gain better insights regarding their shared experiences. This paves the way for outsiders to take a peek at a group's collective constructed reality. Through this, the people could comprehend why members of a specific group act this or that way, prefer this over that, and so on.

I'm pretty sure that this mindset doesn't only work in the field of marketing, but also in our interpersonal relationships. Let these insights help us in bridging everyone together, instead of  further amplifying our differences. 

P.S. Nickelodeon sure has effective marketing skills. I'm going crazy over this show/band!


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Janine Ferisse Galgana
03 September 2011 @ 06:40 pm
It's 6:14pm and we're running late for Therese's party. Oh well, I still need to write my entry for this week!

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We've been discussing about the Structuration Theory this past few days, and the concept of power has been included in our lesson. One particular type of power has caught my attention, and it is referent power. This one is define to be the kind of power that could induce compliance through previously established relationships. When I first heard about this, the idea that instantly came to mind was that of 'utang na loob'.

In the context of Filipino tradition, utang na loob refers to that sense of appreciation a person feels towards another because of previously granted help or favor. It could either be financially or in other ways such as acquiring a job or getting help in life-threatening situations. In my opinion, this kind of power is the most delicate one since it deals with personal human relationships. It's also the kind of power that couldn't be easily overlooked, since a person owes the another, probably even his life. Let's face it, we Filipnos tend to give utmost importance to this utang na loob because it's already natural in our culture. 

Yes, this kind of power could come in handy, especially for those people with wide connections since they're the ones who usually have the capability to immediately render help. But it's also dangerous sometimes, when these people make use of their power to have the individuals who owe them do things that are against their principles. It's really hard to say no to a person who lend you money when your mother needed an operation to save her life, right? 

In our society today where everyone's striving hard to succeed in life, it's crucial that we all exercise our rights and powers effectively. But we just have to make sure that we don't step on other people along the way. 


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Janine Ferisse Galgana
27 August 2011 @ 05:15 pm
Woohooo! Long weekend ahead! It was also fun to start this mini vacation with a bonding time at Mercato with friends. Thank goodness for this break, I hopefully will be able to do some catching-up with school requirements and most especially, sleep. Hurray! 
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I'm a proud High School Musical fan. I know the films by heart and I've memorized most of the songs used in the movies. Maybe a big contributing factor to my fascination for this franchise is the fact that the first movie came out when I was in my freshman year in high school. I had a strong sense of attachment to the storyline, since I was convinced that I could relate to what the characters are going through, for I am also a teenager who's trying to find her way through a jungle called high school. Believe it or not, as embarrassing as it may sound, I felt that I had this some sort of connection with Vanessa Hudgens' character, Gabriella. =) 

While our Comm 11 class was discussing the introductory part of the Structuration Theory, a certain song suddenly kept playing in my head, and it's from High School Musical. The photo above is a screenshot from the movie, and it's a cafeteria scene where they were performing the song Stick to the Status Quo. I find it highly-related to the topic, since the song talks about systems and norms. A basketball player confesses his love for baking, a braniac reveals her interest in dancing, and a skater dude admits his enthusiasm in playing the cello. These confessions are countered by others, saying that they should not mess with 'the flow'. From the title itself, the song basically mirrors how things work in reality: we follow rules, common beliefs, and shared values. In other words, we follow structures.  

Structuration is defined as a process that enables the creation of 'structured' behavior. For a society to function efficiently, things need to be placed in order, or arranged in a certain way that is generally acceptable to people. These structures consist of repetitive or patterned behavior, which, in turn, produces expectations or norms. Considering the said song, it is kind of unlikely for a basketball player to be interested in baking, right? And also, we expect a nerd to be focused only on academics, not on dancing too. These expectations would seem practical, since we are all used to following the beliefs that we've carried since our childhood. But then again, these tend to make us compartmentalize people into distinct categories, producing unintended stereotypes.

Structures are a necessity and all that. They promote harmony and order, and they ensure an organized flow of things. But when is it acceptable to say no to the status quo? 

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Janine Ferisse Galgana
20 August 2011 @ 10:39 pm
It's been a long time since my last post! I'm just so happy to have made it through the midterms week. And, hurrray! I'm finally 18!  =)


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Back in my previous school, I've always had pretty much the same set of classmates each year from grade school to high school. This made me establish strong ties with the people I was always with, and it also paved the way for me to find my closest friends. So when it came to group activities or projects, I didn't have to worry about familiarizing myself with my groupmates since all of us have known each other for years. 


I've always seen this as a positive thing, since having my friends as groupmates would entail benefits. First, there's no awkward atmosphere at all. We've all gone past that stage where people are still calculating each other's behavior. We are comfortable with everyone, to the point that we even view our class as our second family. Next, this familiarity also gave us an idea about the strong and weak points of one another. We knew who can sing, who can dance, who can draw and paint, and many more. We used this knowledge to utilize our talents, and also for a more effective division of labor. 


It's just recently that I realized how this could also be a huge disadvantage, if we consider the idea of groupthink. Since we usually had the same interests, there was little room for diverse inputs. Our ideas would often just overlap, sometimes resulting to monotony. And also, since we're all friends, we didn't want to stir awkwardness and cause conflict by challenging the opinion of one another. Instead of freely questioning our views because of our closeness, we were even cautious in dealing with things, like we couldn't afford to have arguments. 


Looking back, I'm able to apply these scenarios to my past experiences with my friends. I remeber one example in particular, the one where we had to construct a scale model of a house for our Architectural Design project. When we were brainstorming for the said model, everything seemed pretty easy since our discussion went smoothly. Everyone agreed to whatever suggestion one pitched in, so we really had no problems. But come the actual construction of the model, we started getting irritated when things didn't go as planned. Suddenly, people started making we-should've-done-this-or-that remarks. 



I guess these are all part of working as a group. The members just have to learn how to balance the pros and cons to make the most out of the whole process. Personally, there are tasks which I prefer to do alone, but I also think that some things are better done with the company of others. After all, as cliche as it may sound, no man is an island. 
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Janine Ferisse Galgana
The title of this blog entry was actually taken from Who Says, a song by Selena Gomez. Thanks, Selena, for somehow helping me with this post, and for dating Justin Bieber (Sarcasm in da house, yo!).

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I must say, learning about the Uncertainty Reduction and Social Exchange Theory is really fascinating. I’ve never even thought about these concepts until now, and it’s interesting to note that these do apply in our daily living. Among all the subtopics discussed in the two theories, the Comparison Level managed to catch my attention, probably because it plays a crucial role in how a person sees one's self in relation to others. 

The Comparison Level is defined to be the standards a person use to determine the rewards or benefits that he should receive from a relationship. In other words, it is what we think we DESERVE. The concept of self worth then comes to play, and this greatly affects our communication with the people around us. 
 
As we walk this earth one day at a time, there are times when we question our worth as we compare ourselves to other people. We would meet people who seem superior to us in different aspects such as physical appearance and social class, to name a few. This scenario is evident in films and television shows, and many of us could totally relate to their situations. This also applies not only to friendships, but to romantic relationships as well. 
 
Let's be honest. Whenever some of us see an unknown couple hand in hand while walking down the street, there are times when we inevitably assess them and make a few comments which we either keep to ourselves or share to the people we're with. Usually, if the boy or the girl isn't as gorgeous as the other, we would say, "Hindi sila bagay" or "Lugi naman yung isa". This could oftentimes be an issue in relationships, especially when one gives importance to what other people think, and also when one gives in to his/her insecurities. 

 Although we might not notice it, the idea of self worth dictates how we act or behave around people. It is an integral part of us as human beings, since how we view ourselves determines how others view us in return. Indeed, it's something we should really take into consideration, since it plays a very important role in our everyday communication with one another. There's nothing bad in appreciating other people, but it would be dangerous to lose your appreciation of yourself in the process. Yes, life could be unfair at times, but learning to see the good things about ourselves could somehow help us get by. At the end of the day, only you have the power to determine what is rightfully yours. As long as you don't step on somebody's toes, you're good to go!
 
So.. when was the last time you felt good about yourself? Go ahead, smile, and give yourself a pat on the back. In one way or another, you deserve it. 
 
 


 
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Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
Janine Ferisse Galgana
16 July 2011 @ 11:59 pm
Before I move on to my entry, let me share how happy I am right now. Spent yesterday afternoon playing Monopoly with Vic and Joseph in Trinoma. After being devastated because of my horrendous loss ( I was broke beyond redemption), I finally got to see the final Harry Potter movie! I really thought that nothing else could add to the joy that I felt because of the film, but today was actually equally better. I really had fun during our first NSTP+ insertion because I was able to bond with my classmates and I also met my two tutees. It was also very fortunate that my best friend managed to get us tickets for the AdMU vs. DLSU game one, and it was a good match! I was screaming and cheering like crazy. 

If only  things like these would happen regularly every weekend, I definitely won't mind going through stressful school days.

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People, by nature, desire consistency.


Over the summer, I was able to read Delirium, a young adult novel by Lauren Oliver. Before, whenever I search the internet for possible good reads, the flashy book covers catch my attention first. But as I grew older, I paid more attention to the summaries, because it's simply the most logical way to determine if the book could actually appeal to me. Fortunately, Delirium didn't fail to do so. 

Imagine a setting wherein people consider love as a disease. Pretty intriguing, right? Also called Amor deliria nervosa, love is presented in the book as a taboo, something that is improper and unacceptable in society. In the story, people are warned about the symptoms of this disease - preoccupation; difficulty focusing; dry mouth; perspiration, sweaty palms; dizziness; and disorientation - and if these apply to you, then you are undoubtedly infected.

Fortunately, there is a cure, and the government requires every citizen to be cured upon turning eighteen. A person's memories after the cure has been given won't be as vivid as they used to be before his/her operation. In fact, the cure is like some sort of brainwashing, and you would actually lose your ability to feel. Despite this, everyone is made to believe that this is the right thing to do since this disease has caused damages in the past; they say that love brought out the worst in people - anger, fear, and jealousy were all over the place. So in other words, the cure is the key to the 'perfect' society. 
 
To achieve this 'perfect' society, the governme
nt dictates how one is supposed to live his life. The government's the one who decides what career he should take, who he should marry, and how many kids they're going to have. Of course, people don't complain, because they've been robbed of their freedom since the day they got cured. And besides, everyone thinks that this is the ideal way of living - a life without love is a life without pain. Peace, order, and assurance will surely prevail. 
 
The protagonist, Lena Haloway, is looking forward to the day of her operation because it would finally free her from all the pain caused by losing her parents at an early age. Just like everybody else, she believes that the disease has no place in society, and that the cure is a gift from the heavens. But only a few months away from getting cured, Lena unexpectedly does the unimaginable: she falls in love. 

While reading the book, I was able to feel the dissonance in Lena's situation. Falling in love is totally inconsistent with the beliefs that she has carried all her life. Growing up, she was taught about the dangers of the disease, but never in her wildest dreams has she imagined that she would someday get infected. Like any other human being, she desperately tries to get rid of the dissonance. Lena forces herself to push her feelings away, or forcefully misinterprets the elements involved in her situation. I can only imagine how hard it is for her. 

Just like in real life, we always seek assurance. We tend to look for the easier things and those which would not make us feel uncomfortable. We are often afraid of decisions, especially those that have the power to change our situations drastically. We cannot blame people from sacrificing great things for the sake of consistency since not all of us are brave enough to go out of our comfort zones.

But given the choice, would you take the cure to EXIST, or would you refuse it to LIVE?
 
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Janine Ferisse Galgana
09 July 2011 @ 11:50 am
Despite my previous post, I eventually watched Transformers 3 with my parents. Okay, I'll admit it. The movie's actually great. Shia Labeouf <3
 
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All body movements have "meaning potential".


I'm not really sure why, but for some reason, this statement really struck me. I guess it has something to do with the fact that one of language's powerful aspects could be contextualized in such an effective way with just a string of six words. Wow. Believe it or not, I found myself nodding in affirmation when I first read the said sentence. It's already common knowledge that language is indeed a powerful tool: we use it to convey messages and express what we feel. But, what if, this very same useful tool also has the ability to give away what we do not intend to show, and deliver what we do not really mean? 
 
A classic example is someone crushing on another. Though we do not really intend to show it, our body language unfortunately fails us most of the time. We become extra-clumsy, our bodies become rigid, and we can't quite decide on our facial expressions whenever we're in that person's presence. Very grade school-ish, right? But apparently, these things happen without us even noticing, without us even consenting. 
 
Let's face it. It's also natural for us to over-think, especially when it comes to matters related to someone  we are interested in. There's a great tendency to decipher the person's actions, like everything's supposed to mean something. A simple smile, a nod or a quick glance at our direction make us feel all giddy inside. This scenario is very prevalent in movies because it really happens in real life. After much analyzation and thorough inspection, we come up with the ultimate assumption: I think he/she likes me back. Maybe yes, maybe no
 
Since body language is an integral part of our everyday communication with others, we just have to accept its flaws and the consequences these may bring. We have to keep in mind that as sensitive humans, we are responsible for our actions and behavior. Intentional or not, we must refrain from doing things that could mislead the people around us, which may give rise to conflicts and complications. Who wants to be stuck in awkward and tight situations, anyway?
 
But then again, a little mystery won't hurt, right? Decoding or interpreting another person's body language every now and then adds thrill to a rather monotonous day. We may not be professionals in psychology or other technical fields, but understanding how others behave is one of the interesting ways one could learn about another.
 
 Language, you fascinate me. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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