Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Have Already Voted!

Yesterday I cast my vote for the national elections in the Philippines via OAV, or Overseas Absentee Voting here at the new building of the Jeddah consulate. The voting process was very easy, there's not a lot of people who voted that day, so there's no queue.

Before I proceeded to the polling precinct, I searched first for my name in the list of voters, this is to make sure that I am really a registered voter in Jeddah. While searching for my name, a man came up to me and tried to help find my name, which I thought a gesture of kindness, but then after I found my name and my sequence number, he secretly showed me a piece of paper with a name of a candidate from his hand, perhaps a senate candidate or a party list candidate which I didn't quite read.

After searching for my name and sequence number, I went straight to a small room where the actual voting takes place. The 2 members of the BEI (Board of Election Inspectors) who take charge of the precinct asked my name, sequence number and my ID. After checking, they gave me an empty folded ballot. It only took me less than 10 minutes to vote for president, vice president, 12 senators and a party list group. After I completed writing my candidates on the ballot, I dropped it inside a small brown paper box (and posing for the camera while doing it. lol!).

It was a great experience. That was my first time to vote outside the Philippines and only my second to vote in any elections. I've done my part. I really feel that I've fulfilled one of my duties to my country, I just hope that everything turns out the way it should be.

I Voted And Insist It To Be Counted!
(A Friend's Blog Post) 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm Reading: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

The 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland and was directed by Victor Fleming is one of my favorite films of all time. I can't remember how many times I've watched the film. One of my favorite scenes was when Dorothy and the Scare Crow purposely angered the apple trees so that they may throw apples on them because they were hungry, that's the part before they discovered the motionless Tin Woodman.

The film as we all know it, was adapted from the children's classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L.Frank Baum, which was first published in 1900. The other day, I just finished reading the book which I bought from a local bookstore here in Jeddah. I know it sounds funny, but it was my first time to read it, and I was so amazed on how different it was from the 1939 film.

While I was reading the book, I was shocked to learn that there were no Ruby shoes, instead, a pair of Silver shoes, then I told myself that maybe I was reading the wrong book or maybe they'd made mistakes with the printing of the book or something. I felt so stupid, I mean the book was over a century old and it's only now I found out about the shoes.

There's a lot of chapters on the book that was not included in the film, like chapter 9, entitled 'The Queen of the Field Mice', which I was shocked to learn that even if the Tin man believes that it's wrong to kill  pretty, harmless creatures, (like the field mice),  he didn't think twice to chop off the head of the wildcat. In chapter 12, entitled 'The Search for the Wicked Witch', the Tin man again demonstrated his murderous instinct, by chopping off the head of the wolves, but of course he did that to save his friends. Hhmm...maybe the Tin man was hiding some dark secrets?

Another chapter in the book that didn't make it in the film was chapter 20, 'The Dainty China Country', where Dorothy and her friends passed while going to the country of the Quadlings in the south. In the 'Dainty China Country', everything is made of china from animals, to houses, trees and even the people there. They (Dainty China people) have to be very careful in moving because they may easily break.

Chapter 22, 'The Country of the Quadlings' is another chapter that didn't quite make it in the film. This is the place where Glinda, the good witch of the south lives, where the bridges, fences and all houses were painted  bright red.

Aside from those chapters, there are also a lot of characters that was not in the film, like the Kalidahs, monstrous beasts with bodies like bears, and heads like tigers, living in the big dark forest that they passed while on the road to the Emerald City. Scary creatures! Another characters  in the book that are not in the film are the Hammer Heads, they are short and stout and have big heads, which were flat at the top and supported by a thick neck full of wrinkles and they do not have arms. And the queen of the field mice, a very important character that was not on the  film. Without the field mice, the cowardly lion would have surely died in the deadly poppy field.

So far, those are the 'discrepancies' that I've noticed between the book and the famous 1939 film. Although while reading the book, I didn't read about the horse of different colors and the funny apple throwing apple trees. In the film, I've noticed that they mixed everything up, like the good witch Glinda, who's supposed to be in the south, and the flying monkeys that follow the every command by whoever possesses the Golden Cap. I recommend that you read the book, so that you'll understand fully some of the scenes and the history of the characters in the film. Both the book and the film are just amazing!

The Wicked Witch Of The East (And Of The Far East)

While reading the book especially on chapter 2, 'The Council With The Munchkins', I can't help but compare the Munchkin  land to the Philippines. When Dorothy arrived in the Munchkin Land via the tornado inside the house, it was the happiest moment in the lives of the munchkins, because they were liberated. The Munchkins thought that Dorothy deliberately killed the Wicked Witch of the East by letting the house fall on her.

I honestly believe that something similar to this will soon happen in the Philippines, but not as a house falling on the wicked president but of different kind. Gloria, or I must say, the wicked witch of the  Far East, has done a lot of bad things against the Filipino people, and her life will  not be enough to compensate them. I shouldn't be speaking of such bad things, but I can't help it. Her time will surely come, and maybe when that time comes, we can all sing joyously, "ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead!"