#get it together Alfonso!
these are the houses I have to work with... there’s a reason I can’t pick a theme and be happy
island theme suggestions Very Welcome if anyone else has ideas...
Alfonso and Clara Voxx, sly and melodic portuguese-spanish masked twins of different roles. These two play cards and sing, and are also part of a private organization, which are definitely not putting these two in a puppet match against each other...
Yes I am completely aware that I put Alfonso on the wrong bench my artistic brain isn’t working properly
-Clara is nicknamed “The Endgame Prosecutor.”
-Sem trapaça!=No cheating!(Portuguese)
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Age :: 34+
Job :: Open, but something high-earning
Versatility :: Open
Faceclaim :: Tom Hardy, Kellan Lutz, Michael B. Jordan, Miguel Silvestre, Lewis Tan, Simu Liu, Theo James, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Alfonso Herrera, Charlie Hunnam, Jake Gyllenhaal
Remi is three years younger than his sister, and was 18 when he started to have sex with her new boyfriend. The two have kept it casual for over a decade, usually meeting for a hookup every few months, definitely every family holiday, and anytime the married man found himself in need of Remington's help scratching an itch. Their little arrangement is probably just a little bit of forbidden fun for him, because he does love Remi’s sister, but falling in love with the “straight guy” he casually fucks was a struggle Remington eventually lost.
He and Remington took a trip to the camp together for the summer - boys only - as a way to be a little more
Age :: 40+
Job :: US Senator, open state
Versatility :: Open
Faceclaim :: Jensen Ackles, Shemar Moore, David Boreanaz, Paul Rudd, Brian J. Smith, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Consuelos, Martin Cummins, David Harbour, JD Pardo, Skeet Ulrich
A Republican colleague of his father from a neighboring state. Unmarried and closeted. He and Remington have been having secret rendezvous for a few months. Remi could see himself with a guy like this, but he’s getting tired of being everyone’s secret fuck. There’s huge potential for romance and a happy ending, but the senator is pretty sure his career would end the moment he stepped out of the closet.
Neither knew the other would be at the camp this summer. This guy’s been a camper for several years.
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EPISODE 5 - TO CRAUGH (TM)
So, I already watched this week's episode (I had my hopes high since I read somewhere that it was the best of the season... oh boy, if this is the best, I don't know about the worst...).
I will be doing my sum-up some time in the afternoon-evening, since I have a busy day at work today.
Let me say 2 things:
Minerva is recalled once more.
Arnaud and Amy already have more screentime than Bruno last season.
Bonus thought (specially for @mereth): at the end of the episode, Pol says he is not going to fall in love EVER... Just indulge me in proving him wrong :-P.
OK, ready or not, here I go, you can't hide...
First edit, intro:
Angel is working at the Satanasa (waitering not so well, to be honest).
He and Pol meet up to go together to the Philoparty. Pol arrives at the bar with Bolaño and introduces her to Dino, who is already charming her. Seems like Pol has told him a lot about her. (Truth to be told, it's just AWESOME to see Poncela and Pujalte together...)
Pol and Angel leave for the party in Pol's bike (very resemblance to the episode 8 temp 1 scene after he gets the bike and after Bruno leaves... yes, I have to squeeze Bruno somewhere... your problem, not mine!). Pol is eager for things to come back to normal. He wants to tell everyone about the HIV.
They get to the party (all dressed up in Louis XV and Marie Antoniette costumes...). They put on some costumes.
Biel is already there, as well as Arnaud, Amy (I don't know why but yeah.... and Pol is really happy to see Amy, don't know why either) ... and Oti appears going down the main stare like a queen.
Rai's palace. Rai wants Alfonso to iron one of his shirt for the party before going home (Alfonso was just leaving but has to stay to do it....).
Some Vicky and Alfonso bonding.
While he is ironing the shirt, he opens a closet to find all the suits and clothes and watches and hats from Rai's father.
Bolaño and Dino talking and the Satanasa. Really the best part of the episode. They talk about life and kids and stuff... If you had to watch just one part of the episode, I'd chose this one and the one with them at the park....
Back to the Philoparty. Oti wants to take part at the Plato's Symposium debate at the end of the school year.
Biel is A JERK. I preferred last season's Biel. He is really stupid this season.
Oti gets mad with Biel because he thinks he's better than her.
They are going to do a high heels race... all very original and new *sarcastic cough*
Rai arrives and he is very uptight and defesive towards Pol, who is trying to make peaces with him for not having been around or in a good mood for quite a while...
Pol doesn't understand what's going on with Rai.
Biel goes to appologise to Oti. Blah blah blah... Biel wants to have sex with her again. Blah blah blah... I don't really know if Oti says no or maybe...
Vicky has vertigo (like meeeeee!!!! it really sucks when it happens!! I pitty her so much). Alfonso has to stay to take care of her. He tells her that he also suffers it. More Vicky and Alfonso bonding.
Back to the party. Normally, I don't say anything about these things but this one is fucking outrageous. Amy is saying that rural Spain reminds her of Arkansas but Cataluña has so much personality... So, fuck you Hector... I mean, Amy....
Pol is trying again with Rai but he's just as hurt as before.
Biel is drunk and talking about love vs sex.
Back to the Satanasa. (Mejor frase de la noche: "¿no te encantaria tener un "cal" en español?" :-D :-D :-D) Dino wants to do a makeover to Maria.
Back to Rai's home. More Alfonso and Vicky bonding but Vicky catches Alfonso trying one of her husband's suits and gets mad... very ridiculous all...
Back to the party. Everyone is drinking too much, including Pol. Biel tells Rai that he had a thing for MINERVA. Biel doesn't have feelings for her anymore but Rai does.
Maria's makeover. She looks really pretty. They have a heart to heart about their hopes and wishes...
Party again: Pol is drunk and so is Rai. Rai feels isolated by Pol because he hasn't been around lately. He's even "jelous" of Axel and Rai ends up in the patios' pond, all wet.
Pol tells Oti that he doesn't feel alright and he thinks it's because of the medication, so he has to tell her.
Rai calls Alfonso to bring him some dry clothes to the party and asks him for Pol's clothes because otherwise, it would take too long (Hector had to have an excuse for Alfonso to sneak into Pol's drawers and find the pills... which of course, he does).
Pol tells Oti and she asks him if that the reason he's not with Axel... he just nods.
AND HOLD YOUR FREAKING PHONES!!! Pol says: "Thank god we didn't fuck that day at my house...." mmmmmmm.... hello???? you know who you fuck in those days at his house....????????? YES, EXACLY, VoldeBruno... This is ridiculous.
Back to the conversation. Oti tells him that she'd love for him to fuck her now. Pol looks at her and, surprise, she introduces him to the term "condom", which apparently, Pol has forgotten it exists. Oti tells him that for her he is the same person and that she is proud of her friend...
The high heels race, which Biel wins.
And one more punch to the gut: A "La casa Azul" song sounds... I hate you, Hector.
Pol's room. Alfonso asks Gloria if she knows what the pills are for and why Pol hides them. They look at the name in internet and they find out what they are for. Alfonso is really really angry/sad. He wants to confront Pol about it but Gloria asks him to wait for him to accept it and once he has it assumed, to go to Pol and ask him.
Back to the end of the party, they decide to go to the beach to see the sunrise.
Pol and Rai are friends again.
Maria and Dino having chocolate con churros for breakfast.
Alfonso cannot sleep.
Maria and Dino having another amazing conversation. And here is where the episode title comes from: Dino making Maria cry and laugh at the same time: TO CRAUGH.
At the beach, they are all talking about nonesense and planning to travel and to go to Argentina to see MINERVA (another punch!). And Oti tells that they are going to fall in love in each country that the go to. Pol is really pensive and out of it, AND THAT'S WHEN HE SAYS: "I will try not to fall in love. It's better being around friends".
And final punch in the gut: again "La Casa Azul"....
Ok, so so so many wholes... but the bigest one is 1'78 meters, slender, beautiful as fuck and it responds to the name of BRUNOOOOOOO. I even have a pic, Hector... look.
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This is for Dany-Haters: Daenerys Targaryen and Isabel of Castile two great Queens
Not long ago, I watched the Spanish TV series called Isabel of Castile and it was probably the best historical drama I have ever watched. Those who want to go on how great the political plotting is in GoT are fooling themselves. This show has far superior writing. Not only that, but it also manages to write a world in which women are suppressed, but at the same time giving them agency.
Now back to the show and what it has to do with Daenerys Targaryen. Well, I think Isabel of Castile, or better said Isabel of House Trastamara has a lot in common with Daenerys Targaryen, but to that point, I will come a bit further down in the text.
First, I want to introduce who Isabel is because some people might not know her. Well, I am sure most know her by the mention of Cristopher Columbus who got money from her to fund his expedition to the New World.
Isabel of Castile was the daughter of King John of Castile and Isabel of Portugal. King John had an older son by his first marriage Henry and Isabel and her younger brother Alfonso were born from his second marriage to Isabella of Portugal. To put it kindly, John was not a very good King and he was dominated by a favorite of his, although there is a whole history behind that guy that I do not wish to elaborate on. Well, Isabel was very young when her father died and after King John bit the dust his oldest son Henry became king, and Isabel, her mother, and her brother were essentially sent into exile and forgotten for many years. Not only that, her mother was mentally unstable. Not a very stable or happy childhood for someone who was basically third in line for the throne of Castile at the time.
Well, her brother Henry was also a weak king, but not because he was particularly cruel, but because he simply was unable to keep his shit together (Robert Baratheon comes to mind). That half the realm thought his daughter Juana was not born from his seed only added to the fragile situation. Well, eventually Henry did get his brother and sister back to court, but more to keep them as "hostages" in fear his own nobles might put them up as pretenders against him, which did actually happen. The nobles gathered around young Prince Alfonso and there was war and then a betrothal between Alfonso and Juana, which ended with Alfonso's young death (some think he was poisoned) and left Isabela as the heir to her brother Alfonso.
And Isabel made full use of that chance. Not only did she make herself queen, but she also usurped her niece's crown and chose her own husband Prince Fernando of Aragorn.
And she kept that crown. At all costs and it was probably the best thing that could have happened for Castille.
Now you may ask...how is she similar to Daenerys?
Both grew up in exile and in an unstable environment. Neither was prepared to rule and had to overcome great circumstances to achieve their goals.
Was nearly bartered off to some questionable individuals in marriage (her first betrothal candidate was not a very pleasant choice) and she had luck that he died before he could marry her or she might have most likely been raped and abused like Dany was by Drogo.
Took the crown from her own niece whose birthright was questionable (like many people think she will do with FAegon who thinks he is Rhaegar Targaryen's son), though said niece had the support of Portugal and some powerful Castillian nobles. And yes, people died for that crown. Dany-haters might now say what a selfish bitch. Well, no one thought about it that way when it came to Isabel. She had support and she won that crown and no one called her mad for it or entitled or any other bullshit, not even the men around her.
Spent the first years of her reign basically fucking up the noble's privileges. And not all of them were happy about it. But while she used force and violence she still brought back order to a realm that was in chaos for all these years. With the help of Fernando, I might add! I think he was a dick, but he was a very cunning dick!
Had a difficult and at the same time relationship with her husband Fernando: was known for cheating (Hizdahr) and did in fact try to take some of her power now and then, but never really succeeded in it. Only after her death he basically ruled in the name of their mentally unstable daughter, although some think he basically made that shit up to take control. No one will ever know.
Installed the Inquisition and had people burned. Omg...What a madman Isabel must have been, no? just like Dany! Well, the Inquisition was a political tool and a religious tool and while they might have burned people, they also had the most forward-thinking way of conducting a trial compared to the rest of medieval Europe. You know, because burning people alive was probably one of the less painful ways of being executed. In that sense, I am only bringing that up because I often read by antis how Dany will be hated for having flying weapons that burn people alive. No, because medieval lords at the time had canons and early guns as well and no one called people who used them mad. in fact, these medieval lords loved any sort of weapon of mass destruction that could make them more effective in war.
And to the last point: Isabel was largely responsible for the colonization of parts of the New World. Well, now you must say. Of course, she was a horrible white imperialistic bitch like Dany who is torturing these poor slavers and forcing her evil rules upon them. Well, Isabel was first of all no fan of slavery and spoke out for recognizing the Natives as people with rights as any subject in her realm. Of course, after her death both Fernando, her dick of a grandson Carlos, and the rest of his lineage ignored that wish, but what can you do? Intentions count for something by my estimation. Another fun fact about her: once a guy brought her slaves and she set them all free and was super disgusted by the idea of having men enslaved.
And I bring up these similarities because for all the things Dany is hated in this fandom Isabel was valued and admired by her contemporaries, despite being a woman.
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Paranormal Hitmen #3
Paranormal Hitmen #3
Behemoth Comics 2021
Written by Brett Murphy
Illustrated & Lettered by Wilson Gandolfo
Coloured by Matt Kund
The Paranormal Hitmen have arrived in the Afterlife! Alfonso Carboni is on a mission to find the ghosts that would like to have their revenge on Gene and Devon. Will Gene and Devon be able to stop Alfonso Carboni while saving Darla and Tori? Who is the mystery man helping Gene and Devon? Take a trip to the Afterlife!
This is the best book you aren’t reading right now. You have no idea just how good a buddy comedy this really is if you aren’t reading this and it has so much more going for it than you could possibly begin to comprehend. Yes they are hunting and killing ghosts now instead of people and that’s where things start to get interesting. This issue is the one that solidifies for me just how damn good this is because it kind of ties together all of the threads that we’ve been seeing into the main one. This causes the whole tension aspect to rise and I’m sorry but it is delicious in how it keeps us guessing.
The way that this is being told is sensational. The story & plot development through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. I like the unexpected moments that happen throughout that ties the boys lives into what they are currently doing. The character development that we see is amazing and it’s fun to boot as the dialogue we see is so incredibly on point. Plus how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter keep them feeling like real guys. The pacing is superb and the way that we see this taking us through the journey is beautifully done.
I really like how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story grow, strengthen and evolve as well as merge in some really wonderfully weird ways. Past, Present and Future all tie up in what we see here and with Gina doing her thing the intrigue factor skyrockets past the atmosphere. The way that everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow is really spectacular and then to see how it also moves the story forward is delightful to see.
The interiors here are fantastic. Yes it has this cartoon style to it and making this an adult animation film would be the most brilliant thing to see ever. The linework is sensational and how it’s utilised to create the detail work is marvellous. The city we see in the Afterlife as a pin-up is to die for! It is gorgeously rendered and the detail and the colours are brilliantly chosen. How we see backgrounds being utilised and how they work within the composition of the panels bring us this great depth perception, sense of scale and that overall sense of size and scope of the story is masterfully done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a stupendous eye for storytelling. The colour work is beautifully rendered as well. We see different areas with different techniques for laying the colour down and the hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is rendered extremely well.
I’m really impressed with how we see this being written and how there is so much more depth and complexity to this than I thought I’d ever see. It started out with this feel of being something else and with each issue it morphs into something else that is stronger, more interesting and dynamic. Behemoth has some great titles that are quirky yet solid so I really think you need to take a chance and ask your store to grab these for you!
Isabel: This is the best adventure I’ve ever experienced in my life! And do you know what makes it the best?
Alfonso: No... Tell me!
Isabel: That I get to live and go on adventures like this one with my best friend.
Alfonso: I’m your best friend? I’m your best friend! Promise we will stay best friends forever so we can have lots of adventures together! Even if we get spilt up, we will also find out way back to each other no matter what.
Isabel: I promise! Forever. A promise can never be broken!
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Season 3, Episode 11- Michael
(Written by: Ryan Murphy) (Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
Episode Rating: 8/10 rock salt slushies
Star of the episode: Sebastian Smythe & Santana Lopez (they both slayed this episode)
Quote of the episode: “Kurt this isn’t violent, this is clever. I taped it to my under boob...” -Santana Lopez
Best moment: The Santana & Sebastian face-off
Slush-O-Meter: 2 - Blaine slushied by Sebastian/ Santana slushied by Sebastian
Song Rankings: (incredible performances all around)
1. Smooth Criminal - Santana Lopez & Sebastian Smythe
(Literal perfection/ the cellists kill it, Santana & Sebastian’s voices slay, the tension between them is everything/ two hot alphas facing off yes please 🥵)
2. Bad - New Directions & The Warblers
(so so good/ New Directions vs. The Warblers in a parking garage/ the backup vocals are on point/ I can’t get over how amazing Santana vs. Sebastian is/ I love it all so much ❤️)
3. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ - Blaine Anderson with New Directions
(Super fun/ Blaine sounds great/ I love them all dancing throughout the school and when they get to the stage and they’re all dressed in different Michael outfits 👌🏻/ all their dance moves ugh yes)
4. Black or White - New Directions
(another fun Michael performance/ Artie & Santana are just meant for Michael/ it’s sweet when the Warblers join in/ I also love when they are dancing and their head morphs into a different glee club member, I found it really cool)
5. Human Nature - Mercedes Jones & Sam Evans
(Samcedes ❤️ - we needed more of them/ their voices sound so good together/ Samcedes kiss at the end aw)
6. I Want You Back - Dalton Academy Warblers
(this performance should have stayed in the episode/ I love Sebastian and his voice/ the Warblers always slay/ New Directions’ reactions are too good)
7. Scream - Artie Abrams & Mike Chang
(This is really fun/ I love dream sequences where Artie is able to dance/ Artie & Mike are an underrated pair/ Mike’s voice in this song yes)
8. Never Can Say Goodbye - Quinn Fabray
(Faberry sexual tension right before she starts singing I mean.../ Quinnie baby ❤️/ she’s such an elegant beauty with a very classic voice/ a rare Quinn performance is always a treat)
9. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You - Finn Hudson & Rachel Berry
(Finchel’s voices together complement each other so well/ I enjoyed it)
10. Ben - Kurt Hummel, Rachel Berry & Finn Hudson
(pretty & simple/ this song is just weird to me/ it’s sweet how they’re singing to Blaine though)
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Aldea Ventures creates ‘hybrid’ European €100M fund to invest both in Micro VCs, plus follow-on
The historical trajectory of venture capital has been to move to earlier and earlier finding rounds in order to capture the greatest potential multiple on exit. In the US, we’ve seen an explosion of Pre-series A funds, and similarly in Europe. But there’s been an opportunity to tie a lot of that activity together and also produce data that can feed into decision-making about growth rounds, further up the funding pipeline. Now, newly-formed Aldea Ventures intends to do just that.
Today’s it’s announcing a €60M first close of its Pan-European fund with the aim of reaching its target €100M first fund. The idea is ambitious: to invest in 700 startups across Europe, but with an unusual, “hybrid” strategy. First up, it will operate as a fund-of-funds, investing in up to 20 early-stage ‘micro VC funds’ across Europe. Second of all, it will act as a co-investment platform from Series A upwards. So far it has invested in London-based Job and Talent and most recently, Copenhagen-based Podimo.
The model is more common in Silicon Valley than in Europe, so Aldea Ventures hopes to capitalize on this trend as one of the earlier players with this strategy. Aldea is also effectively stepping into the gap where corporate VCs in the US would normally fill, but in Europe is generally a gaping hole.
Aldea Ventures is led by managing partners Carlos Trenchs, formerly at Caixa Capital Risc; Alfonso Bassols, previously at Nauta Capital; Josep Duran, formerly with the European Investment Fund; and Gonzalo Rodés, Chairman. Aldea Ventures is partnering with Meridia Capital, a leading Spanish alternative investment fund manager.
Carlos Trenchs, managing partner of Aldea Ventures, said: “We believe Europe will continue to grow in influence and play an integral part in the next decade of technology… Our dual model as a fund of funds and co-investor into scaleups is the first of its kind in Europe. Seen only in Silicon Valley until today, we’re putting this model to work to fuel the next generation of growth across the European ecosystem.”
Aldea will look for five factors to selecting micro VCs: the firm’s thesis (specialist, thematic or generalist); location (pan-European or local); the experience of the partners; the size of the fund, and whether the fund is emerging or established. The fund will also take a long hard look at AI, Blockchain and DeepTech companies.
Trenchs explained to me during an interview that “we will have exposure to seed capital in different geographies with the 700 companies, and we reserve the other half of the fund to invest directly on the growth stage in the best performers in their portfolios.” This, he says, will establish a roadmap from direct investing all the way up to later-stage rounds.
Aldea has so far made investments into six micro VCs; Air Street Capital and Moonfire in London; Helloworld in Luxembourg; Inventures in Munich; Mustard Seed Maze in Lisbon; and Nina Capital in Barcelona.
Nathan Benaich, Founding Partner of Air Street Capital, commented: “Investing in European AI-first companies is a huge opportunity, with almost one-quarter of top global AI talent earning their university degrees here.. Our partnership with Aldea demonstrates a shared conviction that specialist managers with deep sector-specific knowledge will accelerate the success of tomorrow’s category-defining European companies that are AI-first by design.”
There’s clearly also a data play here because Aldea is likely to end up with a lot of data across companies, sectors and also across various stages.
And that was confirmed by Trenchs: “We want to make the VC world more transparent. If you have the 700 companies, in a few years from now, we’ll be able to collect a lot of data about what’s going on at seed stage in European valuations, geographies and sectors. Our intention is of course to use it as intelligence.” He also said the firm intended to share a lot of anonymized data with the wider European ecosystem.
“There is a funnel of few thousands of companies that get funded, but only a few make it through the funnel. As investors, we are looking for venture capitalists that can transform their seed portfolio into a portfolio that graduates from Series A to Series B,” he added.
from TechCrunch https://ift.tt/396gvoK
A ‘vaccine’ for illiteracy: Fighting an invisible epidemic
#PHnews: A ‘vaccine’ for illiteracy: Fighting an invisible epidemic
MANILA – Ryan V. Uy is a wanderer, public speaking coach, illiteracy terminator. His advocacy to put an end to illiteracy in the country is an inspiring story in these challenging times.
Ryan left his hometown in South Cotabato when he was a teenager. Back then, he was already a DJ at a local FM station and worked part-time as a professional emcee and a trainer in public speaking.
He roamed several cities in the country, taking up different jobs and confronted different challenges, but ended up in Manila in search of a better life, only to be mugged the moment he arrived.
Since then, Ryan’s life in the big city has been extremely difficult. He was jobless and lived on the streets with other people with the same plight, facing constant hunger and grappling with hopelessness.
“I witnessed with my own eyes how some of my good friends on the streets started losing their sanity,” he said.
Ryan somehow survived.
Spending what little amount he earned for food, Ryan, who was fond of reading, once saw a book sale and stumbled upon Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
“I was never the same after I finished reading that book,” he said.
Encountering the Filipino literacy problem
With his resilience, Ryan, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science and English that he earned from the Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City in 2006, was able to build his life back up and continue working as a professional speaker.
Based on his life experiences, he became a speaker in seminars that covered a wide range of topics, among them personal development, program implementation efficiency, language and communication skills, and career development.
He was also behind the establishment of several public speaking and debate clubs of many schools in Cavite province. This led to the first Cavite-Wide Asian Parliamentary Debate Championships.
Eventually, Ryan was able to establish his brand of reading and communication skills development to Filipinos nationwide, through his organization called New Horizoom Academy.
While working in New Horizoom Academy, Ryan was shocked when he encountered Grades 3 and 4 students in a private school in one of the cities in Cavite who still had difficulty reading.
When he asked the teachers to bring in their “worst cases” and apply all the programs, methods, and interventions, they were all unsuccessful.
Ryan visited numerous schools and found out that the country’s education system needs a generally prescribed, comprehensive, and sustainable reading program.
The illiteracy terminator, Ryan V. Uy teaches day care teachers how to teach basic reading in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on Oct. 15, 2020. (Contributed photo)
While teachers are passionate about what they do, they suffer from their excessive workload and need more support. And without the right tools, Ryan said teachers would not get their desired results, no matter how hard they tried.
“Hiring consultants who have diplomas from schools in America won’t help solve the reading problem in the Philippines. Learning institutions, including the Department of Education, must hire curriculum developers who have worked widely and closely with real students who are considered as worst cases. Proposed solutions must be (a) reflection of the real situations on the ground,” he said.
When it comes to solving problems and making real change happen, Ryan said one must first identify the problems and come up with solutions, through trial and error.
“So, I decided to take the bull by the horns. We tossed the usual reading books aside and decided to build our reading program from scratch,” he said.
The illiteracy terminator
And so, Ryan set out to work on his program.
Instead of helping out the usual “average students”, he went out of his comfort zone to focus on struggling students and worked with them for hours.
“I decided to create one that can deal with worst cases of non-readers. I figured that if the program we were creating back then could help learners who were classified as ‘worst cases’, teaching the rest of the learners will be a much easier feat. As it turned out, we were 100-percent correct,” he said.
Ryan was able to see one of the major problems behind the failure of the old and existing programs.
Many of the current reading strategies, he noted, do not effectively pave the way for language development, including the use of the Dolch word list.
It is good that the Dolch list uses sight words, but because it was based on American teaching styles and language phonetics, it does not come naturally to Filipino kids. Most of these words and sounds have no practical connection to a Filipino child’s understanding of their world, so it becomes mere memorization of words and sounds.
Because of this teaching style, even when the students are able to read and write, they would still struggle in comprehension and expression.
Without real understanding of the words and syllables, there is no retention, and it is thus not sustainable.
A reading session with a 16-year-old differently-abled second-grader at 7-11 in Barangay Sungay East, Tagaytay City. (Contributed photo)
Based on these insights and observations, Ryan developed his reading program.
Initially, it was a success but as he encountered more students with different problems and needs, he also tweaked his program based on his experiences with them.
Luckily, Ryan was also able to receive significant help from one of the Department of Education (DepEd) coordinators, who knew the situation on the ground.
She shared her observations and recommended a unique approach to solving the monstrous illiteracy problem.
With her help, Ryan refined his program, aka the “Illiteracy Terminator”, as he incorporated all her suggestions.
“The thing that came out after we stirred all our insights together was nothing short of magic. We knew back then that we’ve discovered something of great significance. It wasn’t a walk in the park. We had to go beyond the extra mile. We had to burn the midnight oil. But, as they say, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory,” he said.
Eventually, it got to the point where the success rate of the program during trials was already exceeding expectations.
The Illiteracy Terminator is ready and it is about to terminate the invisible epidemic that is illiteracy.
While other programs produce results that would take several months, or in some cases, even years, Ryan’s Illiteracy Terminator unbelievably produced significant results in just a few days!
The main difference between the Illiteracy Terminator and other programs is that it helps Filipino students crack the literacy code within days. In a few weeks, they become independent readers.
It is a full-circle literacy program that deals with the practical difficulties in reading, and it numerically and objectively quantifies each student’s progress.
This way, both teacher and student could easily keep track of their obstacles and successes, having more control and insight in their learning experience.
Light of literacy
Ryan never stopped modifying and fortifying his program.
Instead of sitting in an air-conditioned room and strategizing how to improve his program, he spent countless hours working with countless students considered as the “worst cases” or the “hopeless” ones.
“In spite of the extraordinary results we’ve had, we look at the program still as a work in progress. For us, our program is a masterpiece in the making – not just another job requirement with a deadline,” he said.
Using this ingenious program, Ryan and his team started in public schools in the cities of Cavite.
One of their most memorable experiences happened in Alfonso, Cavite in September 2019.
One of the school district supervisors in the province asked all school heads in their municipality to bring their non-readers to the district office.
When they got there, Ryan and his team taught the teachers how to operate the Illiteracy Terminator. This was to ensure that they apply the process correctly.
However, before the session, Ryan asked details about the students the teachers decided to bring in. They had one thing in common – for various reasons, they were all regarded as irremediable and the worst.
“As if it just happened yesterday, I could still remember a kid who was too scared that she was shaking pitifully. While waiting for the impending results, the apprehensions were so strong that we could almost touch them,” he said.
Despite the uncertainty and tension, the anxious little girl and the other students quietly went through the entire process, as the teachers patiently applied Ryan’s prescribed steps.
Suddenly, the onlookers went into joyous applause when the anxious little girl began to read her first set of words.
Ryan V. Uy, founder of Horizoom Learning Solutions and author of JOYRIDE TAYO SA PAG-BASA and SPEARS (Speech & Pronunciation Enhanced Accelerated Reading System), pose with Mayor Corie Poblete of Silang, Cavite, district supervisors, and reading coordinators after the turnover of reading materials for 6,000 struggling readers and non-readers at the Silang Central Elementary School on Sept. 15, 2020. (Contributed photo)
Her teacher teared up in joy as she embraced her. She went up to Ryan in gratitude and said, “Sir, I thought she was hopeless.”
“The spark in their eyes and the smiles on their fragile faces never fail to make my eyes well with tears. At first, on our part, it was really a nerve-racking experience. But the experience of seeing those kids step into the light of literacy for the first time is just surreal,” he recalled.
Ryan said this was just one of the countless beautiful stories of children experiencing the light of literacy for the first time.
From the dark to the world out there and beyond
With this discovery, Ryan was able to help countless children see the light of literacy and communication.
“Illiteracy is a dream killer. It dooms people into a life of poverty and crime. Education, employment, and business opportunities around the globe are language-intensive,” he said.
Today, he said, the English language is the formal and professional language used in most institutions in the country and worldwide.
But many Filipinos struggle to read, write, comprehend, and express themselves using this language.
With Ryan’s reading program, which highlights the practical language value of words, students and young learners will start developing their proficiency in English early.
He explained how the decoding process in reading is the most important step for a child to develop good comprehension and expression skills later on.
“Now, if we want learners to develop better comprehension, they have to get out of the decoding stage as soon as possible – the earlier, the better. Efficiency in comprehension can be compared to efficiency in boxing. The earlier you get into something, the better you become at it,” he said.
As many students from private schools also struggle in these areas when entering college, Ryan has set the groundwork for the illiteracy termination in the country, hoping that many would rally his cause as a true service to Filipinos.
“Illiteracy doesn't stand even the slightest chance against our program. With God's help, we can get rid of this invisible epidemic within a few years,” he said.
Ryan said his group is now in talks with several local government and education officials who similarly value early childhood reading as an important part of educating students, particularly young learners.
“If we want our country’s future to be bright, we have to start leveling the playing field. We have to start early and give everybody equal opportunities to succeed in life. Acquiring literacy is the first best step towards a better Philippines,” he said. (PNA)
(NOTE: The writer, Louis P. Morente, is a psychology graduate and former vice president and president of the student council of Kalayaan College in Quezon City. He has worked with the Philippine News Agency for several months as a correspondent before entering college.)
* Philippine News Agency. "A ‘vaccine’ for illiteracy: Fighting an invisible epidemic." Philippine News Agency. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1133390 (accessed March 14, 2021 at 04:45PM UTC+14).
* Philippine News Agency. "A ‘vaccine’ for illiteracy: Fighting an invisible epidemic." Archive Today. https://archive.ph/?run=1&url=https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1133390 (archived).
It was my first week into my new job that I meet Barney. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much of a low-art asshole he was. One thing they didn’t tell me about being hired to work in this place was to not be myself or have dissenting views.
Only a couple of weeks went by and I started to see how bullish and intrusive Barney was. Ordinary conversations became interrogations. Barney became easily fascinated when he asked me about myself, my point of view, or what my stance was on certain people or subjects. So fascinated that it got annoying real quick. For instance, my co-workers were talking about this since long-forgotten reality show The Jersey Shore. As usual, I could care less about pointless things. I was minding my own business doing my job until I was caught in his crossfire.
“So, tell me. What do you think about Snooki?”
“What?You’re kidding me. Tell me you wouldn’t want a piece of Snooki.”
“What?! You’re serious!”
“No. I don’t care for her.”
“C’mon! You’re serious, right? Everyone thinks Snooki is hot! You don’t think Snooki is hot?”
“So…you’re saying that you don’t find Snooki hot.”
“C’mon. What are you? A homo?”
Let’s take the time and run through this. Barney asked me a question and I gave him an answer. Simple as that. He wasn’t happy with my answer because he expected me to say what he wanted to hear. I shattered his expectations. Instead of letting it be, he kept on persisting me for re-assurance because his small implosive mind couldn’t take it. He also assumed to speak for everyone that some non-factor was hot, confusing opinion with fact. When I ultimately refused to give in, he insults me. As the old saying goes, ‘the television is always right’.
Because of this, Barney the One-Trick Pony™ constantly (and falsely) accused me of being gay. He went as far as trying to set me up with one of his lady friends. He even went further in lecturing me on why I needed to be married and why I should carry on the family name.
That was my mistake. I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I leave myself open to this and Barney turns into this Long Island ‘muthuh’ who endlessly criticizes others because they don’t live up to their standards. But he was no normal muthuh, he was a six-foot-three 350-pound 45-year old has-been who lived alone, had no girlfriend, and was very much into queer jokes, six-packs of beer, and phone sex which he openly disclosed to me while I was having lunch.
Perhaps if I criticized Barney on wearing an old, faded, crackling football jersey because they’re pathetic legendary losers who consistently fail to make the playoffs, he would be greatly offended. But I don’t do that to people. Unlike him, I have some sort of respect for others. I also can’t imagine if I called him out on his low-brow world of 1-900 numbers, bathroom stall writing, and online porn; because no one should ever put another person’s manhood in question of someone who watches sports, guns down a twelve pack, and relies on cheap obvious women. God forbid.
Another Sunday, another weekend to disrupt my life and throw away beautiful blue skies, green grass, and white clouds to go to work; to deal with the curious public and an even more curious group of co-workers. When I mean curious, I mean ‘violating my privacy to the point it’s disgusting’ curious.
As usual, anything and everything about everyone working behind the counter is mined, revealed, sensationalized, and talked about for weeks if not months at a time. Whereas cameras are everywhere where I work; their plastic domes, tinted lenses sophistication, and inability to talk have absolutely no effect. But human nature is so cunning and so complex that my co-workers are an even bigger threat. They do everything they can to make other certain co-workers uneasy and destroy whatever sense of boundaries, privacy, space, or etiquette they were supposed to have all for a laugh or two. Our. God. Given. Right.
Elvis, who is best friends with Barney, is one of the most insipid, obnoxious, and mentally bankrupt individuals I have ever met. He always seems to strike up random conversations with me at the worst possible moment, which is usually when I’m working. If it’s not about something I’ve gotten over or experienced days, weeks, or months ago, it’s always the same stale repetitive boring questions. “So, how’s your dad? Is he still staying home? Still watching Maury? Does he go out? What does he eat? Do you guys go out? Where do you go? Do you have fun with your dad?”
Sometimes as I’m having lunch alone in the break room in complete silence, he would sit down with me, uninvited of course, and start asking me those rapid-fire series of pointless questions that are below me because I moved on from that game decades ago. “So what’s in today’s paper? What happened? Anything good? What’s this headline say? Hey, would you fuck Amana Bynes? You wouldn’t? Why not? Are you OK? Why are you feeling annoyed?”
This is pretty much the level of stupidity I endure every day working with Elvis. As if I don’t get enough unwanted unsolicited dumbstruck comments and unneeded questions from customers, I end up having Elvis’s display of genius come to me. It’s very hard to avoid. We’re only a few feet from each other at all times but somehow dumb is so generous where I live that there’s always more to go around and share. It wasn’t until very recently that a red card was pulled right in front of my face that made me dismiss him and write him off totally.
One Friday morning before work, I took Cath- to a salon to go get her cut for her sister Cheree’s graduation in Pennsylvania. My assistant manager Alphonso gave me a very rare Saturday off. It would have been ideal for both Cath- and I to get together for Saturday but it wasn’t possible because that was Cheree’s graduation day. Take one in the loss column. The following busy Sunday at work, Elvis once again pitches for conversation towards me.
“So, uh, how was work yesterday?”
“I didn’t work yesterday. I was off.”
“Oh, really? Off on a Saturday?! How did you end up getting off on a Saturday?”
“I don’t know. Alfonso just scheduled me off for Saturday, I guess?”
“So what did you do on your Saturday off?”
“Well, nothing really. I just went to the gym then stayed home for the rest of the day to relax.
“Wow, you went to the gym and that’s it?”
“Yeah, it was miserable out. Then again, all that didn’t matter as my friend was in PA for a graduation.”
“Was your friend a guy or a girl?”
“…it didn’t matter. Nothing really happened that day.”
“Was your friend a guy or a girl?”
“Why are you asking me this again? Why does it matter who I hang out with?”
“Was your friend a guy or a girl?”
I shook my head at Elvis, exhaled, and walked away from him. Next week we will play this game again, but for now I just saved myself from another round on endless embarrassment and unwanted humiliation.
That is why I can no longer talk to people anymore. It mattered so much to this fucking stumble. Elvis was looking to once again take something personal of mine and turn it into a front-page headline for the entire department to throw around, make fun of, and blow up as the workplace news story of the week. Because we’re so needy for excitement and self-gratification that we have to know every little thing that goes on in other people’s personal lives, in this case for my co-workers to use it against me.
This seriously took off on me. Our own mini-NSA-in-training Elvis was really that fascinated as to what gender my friend was. That meant so much to him. He really wanted to get off on the fact that I spent time with a female since the only things that take up real estate in his mind are getting plastered on weekends and “hot girls”, according to him. OK, so what else does he want to know? Did I sleep with her last night? What was she wearing? Was she a Ginger or an Asian? What positions did we do? How long did it last? What exact words did she scream out? Was it good? And did I kiss her goodnight, make her breakfast, or just get dressed and run out of her house? Do I get $100 for every correct answer?
How would Elvis like it if I would stop his world every five minutes to ask about his everyday mundane life of nothing? Would he appreciate it if I would distract him endlessly with pointless questions and ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers? Would it annoy him to no end if I intruded into his personal life only to ridicule it along with all of the other co-workers around? Should I ask him about the photos his friends took when they drew cocks on his head while he was plastered drunk at a party? Or when was the last time he touched a girl or when had any female gave him eye contact? I wouldn’t think so, either.
Questions. I gave up on them. I no longer have the time, care, or patience to tend or answer them anymore. I don’t deserve to stand in one place with my life being put under a microscope as undeserving people around me are dying to know a lot of things about me that will never pertain or affect them.
I mind my own business doing what I need to do for the day. I only focus on the bigger, more important things at stake. They stand there and start asking me questions about my personal life as it is so special or urgent. It’s not, really. It’s just a little different than others. What could I tell them? They feel unusual enough to stop at every answer and act like they’re so surprised. Really, what is such a big deal about the mundane things in my life that catch them off-guard? Obviously they’re un-accepting and shallow-minded, the blinders they wear have not been widened.
I had gotten tiresome of their interview sessions. I stay away and I do, but only for a while. I have been told to ignore them, to not answer them. I do take the advice but these downturns push harder. They ask and ask and ask and persist to no end until I give up and hopelessly answer because I know they will never stop if I don’t. Somehow my answers complicate things even more for them so the hits just keep on going. It’s a lose-lose situation.
The difference between me and them is that I understand and they don’t. I respect people for who they are because I understand. I have it all figured out so I don’t need to ask any further. Barney and Elvis’s child-like fascination with my life want me to “get with the program” because they don’t get it the first time. Conversations aren’t worth having with certain masturbatory people when they clutch and pull themselves over the answers they are given.
I’m not a celebrity and I never asked to be one. I never asked for them to make me special. I never asked for a circus surrounding my life and I never asked to be put on the hot seat. I don’t need them questioning every move I make in my life when there are better things during the day I need to focus on. I don’t have to answer to anyone if I don’t want to. I don’t need to pay attention to the feeble-minded and uneducated to constantly disrupt my day and waste my time. I have way more important things to worry about other than to satisfy simple minds who can’t figure it out and worry about things that have nothing to do with them. They truly don’t deserve the attention, therefore they will be forgotten about.