It’s the semestral break in the Philippines! Filipino students refer to it by its obvious abbreviation, “sembreak”. With much of the Philippines’ youth now free from the oppression of paper deadlines, exams, and 7 a.m. classes, what are they to do with all this free time?
In the age of ubiquitous internet access, social media, and smart mobile devices, it seems inconceivable that boredom could ever set in on the average 16- to 21-year-old today. Of course young people love lots of sleep and food. So that accounts for, maybe, half of the 24-hour day? That leaves 12 hours to burn. What to do…what to do?
Assuming there are only so many selfies one could take in a day, there has got to be something kids could do to put all that youthful vigor to good use. The trouble with Filipino kids is that most of them don’t have a whole lot of money. So they’re really not much use to Philippine business in general. The best they could do is nag their parents to get them the latest H&M rag. But beyond that, all they really do is take up mall space during their free time.
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Movies are a good cheap thrill. Coincidentally, a lot of what’s showing this week are thrillers. There’s Gone Girl, Annabelle, and Dracula Untold. Pretty good coverage for horror and suspense topics — a marriage from hell, the latest take on childhood fears of creepy dolls, and the old classic reprisal on the life of Prince Vlad. Stuff for the Philippines’ idled youth to think about, definitely.
A good thing sem break could bring the grownups is relief from traffic congestion. Just how much traffic do Filipino students contribute? We’ll wait for the numbers to come in over the next few days via our grossly-unscientific research on this over Twitter. The number of tweets of exasperation coming from motorists stewing in their morning and evening commutes should tell us.
Too bad most kids nowadays would have no idea who Monica Lewinsky is. She’s the girl who left knee marks on the carpet underneath the presidential desk at the White House’s Oval Office back in the mid-1990s. Inappropriate to say the least. Why’d I bring her up? Because she’s now on Twitter, @MonicaLewinsky. For real. That blue check mark next to her account profile says so. Her first tweet sez it all, short and sweet: “#HereWeGo”. The life and plight of Monica Lewinsky is a good topic to ponder over the break. She’s the original viral scandal to end all viral scandals. And it all happened long before the age of Facebook and Twitter!
Speaking of Americans, it so happens that there is also that on-going media and activist circus surrounding another scandal involving a US Marine and a Filipino transgender. That’s another vacation activity the Filipino youth could also get themselves involved in. The great thing about today’s technology is that it affords people lots of options to participate in activism. Obviously, social media activism is a very viable option for today’s youth. Getting onto the Twitter hashtag #JusticeForJenniferLaude is a good start to getting onto this scene. “Jennifer” by the way is the preferred name of the late Jeffrey Laude (26) who was allegedly killed by jarhead Joseph Scott Pemberton (19). A simple murder case, if you think about it. But its association with US “visiting forces” and his being a transgender gave our resident “progressives” lots to work with.
While we’re exploring the activist front, consider the whole brouhaha around Vice President Jojo Binay. For all of five seconds. Yeah, leave that to the “grownups”, the showbiz has-beens, and the social media wannabes. It’s boring and the issues at stake are so last Century. After all, how many of these corruption “cases” involving top politicians ever get resolved? Considering that the tool of choice to “investigate” this is another one of these idiotic Congressional “probes”, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Best is to just find a way to have fun during the break. After all, next semester is another semester. Without that college degree, you can kiss your dream of buying that Mercedes Benz goodbye. So party hard and then study hard kids!
Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.