As you all know, I’m currently in self-exile and one of the things that I hoped to accomplish during this extended me-time is to learn a new language all by myself! I looked at different languages from around the world and tried to figure out which ones I can really get around to using. As of this moment, I’m pretty fluent in Filipino (Tagalog) and English with a little bit of Spanish, a combination that’s not entirely rare in the Philippines. I considered French but it’s too fancy for my taste. German is too harsh sounding, at least to me it is. Chinese and Japanese both involve studying a completely new and different alphabet and that doesn’t look too inviting. Besides, even if I do study a single language I’ll only be able to use it if I go to its place of origin and that’s not really practical unless I want to make a career out of being a linguist. So I needed a language that I can use anywhere in the world. That was when I discovered Esperanto.
If we all study Esperanto as a second language, people from different countries can speak in equal footing because we’re all using a language that is of second nature to all participants.
In 1887, a hopeful Dr. Ludwig L. Zamenhof, under the pseudonym Doktoro Esperanto (Dr. Esperanto), put together the “artificial” language Esperanto in his book entitled Unua Libro. Esperanto, which means ‘one who hopes’, hopes to be the first auxiliary language of the world. What the hell is an auxiliary language, you ask? Say, for example, you saved enough money to finally quit your job and go to that backpacking trip across Europe you’ve always daydreamed about. In preparation for this lifelong dream, you studied French, Spanish, Greek, Italian, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, and Polish because you wanted to be able to speak well with the people of the countries in your itinerary, and maybe because you were just so obsessive-compulsive. Now imagine if there was just one language that you can study and still communicate well with the different peoples of the world. Just one language? Hell yeah, sign me up now! That was the idea behind the formulation of Esperanto. No, the backpacking trip wasn’t part of it, but the concept of an international language was. If we all study Esperanto as a second language, people from different countries can speak in equal footing because we’re all using a language that is of second nature to all participants.
So anyway, I discovered this little tutoring website which offers an email correspondence with a certified Esperanto speaker. After you sign up for the course, you will be assigned a “tutor” who will help you with general stuff and answer some of the questions you have that isn’t on the course. At the end of each lesson, there are exercises which you have to answer and then email the answers to your “tutor” who will then check if you got them correctly. They’re just basic courses but the website also offers advanced courses for those who already has some background in speaking Esperanto. After the ten lessons, you get to print out this cute little certificate which means you have completed the course. Then you can give yourself a nice pat on the back and continue on to the advanced courses.
Why is this important? Besides the noble objective Esperanto has since its inception, I also plan to use it as the official language of an underground anarchist society in the novel that I’m writing. Esperanto was formed with hopes that someday the world would be united enough to speak one language and this cool motive definitely qualifies Esperanto as a Rocket Powered Stuff. Kudos to Dr. Zamenhof a.k.a. Dr. Esperanto and continue reading my blog for more Rocket Powered Stuff from around the world.
I have recently decided to exile myself to a remote village in Cavite for selfish reasons. I had a room in Cainta, Rizal but I locked it up and packed my bags so I can be here. I wanted to get away from all the influences around me in the city, I figured if I remove all these things I would know who I am better and know myself better I did. For example, I have been living with the knowledge that I can’t reach my toes while my knees were straightened out, apparently I can and I just wasted all these years depressed because I was the only boy in PE who couldn’t. But I’ve come to discover more important things than just that and I’m not going to talk about it. Because as soon as I knew myself better I bored me so I decided to think about my future instead.
I want to be a writer. A really good writing writer. I have an idea for a novel that I want to write and so far I have started working on it. Right now it’s still inside my mind but self help books (which I’m not going to plug because they’re not paying me) say that knowing what you want to do is step one of having a clear future. So I’m on step one. It took me several weeks to take that step but the old Milo slogan says great journeys begin from a single step, or was that Confucius? Anyway, it doesn’t matter because I took it and that’s that. You can expect plenty of updates about this on following posts.
When I left Cainta, I took most of my clothes with me and left the other bulky stuff like my dresser and my TV because it’s such a hassle to ride the bus with those things with you. Unfortunately, I also left my old clothes in there (the dirty ones which I never got around to washing) including my favorite Superman shirt. I don’t like Superman. I just like that shirt because it’s blue and that’s my favorite color. I found out it wasn’t with me two weeks after I got settled in my new house in Cavite and oh boy was I mad at myself. I was riding my bike one day through the fields and it just hit me like Invoker’s Chaos Meteor: “Where’s my Superman shirt?” I went back to Cainta but I met my old friends and we went out and they weren’t gracious enough to remind of it so when I got back to Cavite, I realized I left it again.
During the past few weeks I was writing something for the Graphic/Fiction awards because I needed an excuse to look busy so I wouldn’t have to do household chores. I wrote something two years ago about the old Filipino legend of the fireflies and I thought it was good enough to be submitted but it was around 8600 words and there was a 7000 word limit to the contest so I tried to cut it short which was a complete waste of a good three weeks. Then I wrote a new story about an anti-social fairy and a manic-depressive boy in Marikina but that was over the limit too so I scrapped the idea. Then I showed my friends something I wrote one disturbing afternoon while I was listening to Coheed and Cambria’s song, Mother Superior, about a guy killing his best friend and they liked the homicidal story better than my other attempts so I ended up submitting that to the contest. The story was so R.L. Stine I’m not even anxious to win.
Then I made a new resumé for myself which was pretty embellished so I liked it. I’m planning to work at some coffee chain and I’m going to use that to get in.
Wish me luck!