Communications Theory: GENERAL PROPOSITION


This may be the most important proposition of all. The idea is that one does not ‘send’ a message but rather a gives a set of signs which have to be decoded by the person being communicated with; these signs can make sense to the person only in terms of  the way in which she interprets, or decodes, the signs. A ‘successful’ communication then is one in which the communicator has encoded the message in such a way that the communicatee will decode it in the context, and in the meaning-terms which are compatible with the sender’s intentions. Communication thus requires that the communicator understand the comunicatee’s conceptual frames, her understandings of shared contexts, the meaning of the signs in the message to her.

A scene from Wicker Park that matches this general proposition is Matthew and Lisa’s scene at Luke’s shoe store. When Lisa entered the store, Matthew thought that that was now his chance to talk to her, and so he grabbed it. Unfortunately, he felt upset when (he thought) he blew it off.

Here’s their conversation after Luke implied that there’s no shoe size available for Lisa (atleast for the pair of shoes she was eyeing):

Matt: Not… you know… not necessarily. We can order these for you. Special order.
And, uh… I can, uh, if you leave your number, I can give you a call personally when they come in.
Lisa: Do you normally spy on people?
Matt: What?
Lisa: Are you really gonna tell me that you’re a huge fan of modern dance?
Matt: Look, I’ve never done anything like that before.
Honestly… could you let me take you out for a cup of coffee and explain?
Lisa: I don’t think so.
Matt: I’ll stay on my side of the table. I promise.
Lisa: Just call me when the shoes come in, okay?
Matt: Listen, I’m not what you think I am, okay?

With that, Lisa left the store and Matthew felt dejected that he just lost his chance to her, but that was until he read the note she left for him. On the shoe box, there says

Tomorrow night.
6p.m. Café Tangiers on Kinzie. . .
Now you won’t have to follow me!

Lisa left that note without any explanation, but fortunately, Matthew was able to decode its context. She did not actually ‘send’ the message, but the way he interpreted it was compatible with her intention. By then, Matthew knew that it was the sign that Lisa was giving him the chance to get to know her.


Last February 24, 2017 (Friday), my group and I went to a certain orphanage to appeal for a ‘Needs Assessment Survey’ as a requirement in our NSTP subject. I did not expect that the conversation with the Program Manager of the orphanage (that consists of the orphaned, abandoned, neglected, foundling, and surrendered children) would leave me such an impact.

The talk I had with her (the Program Manager), opened my eyes to the fact that there are children suffering from psychological illness due to the abuses their parents did to them. She did not allow us to interview the kids because she was afraid that our several actions and/or questions would trigger some of the memories from their painful experiences on the hands of their own parents. When their memories triggered, the children will throw tantrums, hurt their siblings or anyone at the orphanage, which they cannot control and they will have to rush them to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

I am upset at the thought of: how could their parents leave them. It really hurts to think that there really are people who could attain to leave their baby, their toddler, their child!  And it hurts me more to know that they even battered theim to the point they are traumatized and has to undergo a continuous psychological therapy. It is hard to imagine that they can take beating-up humans with such a small body frame! The children cannot even defend nor protect theirselves!  They (parents) did not just abuse their kids physically… but also emotionally. Their harsh treatments etched on their children’s minds, just like how their scars carved on their bodies – and each scar contains the different stories of their dark pasts that leave open wounds in their hearts.

I admit I really pitied them (that they have to experience those), and I was horrified by their parents’ actions. I was just truthfully glad that there are people who are reaching out and helping others even though they are not even blood related. While talking with the program manager, I saw with my own pair of eyes, and felt it in my heart how she care and love all the children in the orphanage while she was telling and explaining me their circumstances. And with my own pair of ears, I heard how she sweetly called them ‘anak’. It made me happy how the people in the orphanage want to help the children in mending their wounded heart. I know that one day, with the help of the people who love them unconditionally, all the bitter memories those children have will be covered by the sweet memories.

I wish that someday, no matter what happened, no matter what life brings to them, they will continue on living their life with full of love, positivity, and happiness. 🙂

If it is good, remember it. If it is bad, learn from it.

We build a lot of experiences and memories. From now on, let’s build a lot more memories and experiences.

[…] We’ll do good.

[…] I don’t know how we were in 2016, but we will do good in 2017. Let’s do good […]”

– B.I (iKON)

B.I once again made me realized things: no matter how I did last year, what matters now is that I can (once again) do good this year; that drowning from the bad things that happened won’t do any good to me, so I just rather learn from it and continue on making a lot more experiences and memories that will definitely help me in my future.


Wicker Park

Wicker Park is a 2004 American psychological drama/romantic mystery film directed by Paul McGuigan.

Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. The ordinary could be just as beautiful. -Matthew


Matthew (Josh Harnett) was having a business meeting in a restaurant at Chicago when he excused himself for a phone call break. Waiting outside the phone call cubicle, he thought that he heard and recognized the voice of his ex-lover, Lisa (Diane Kruger), who without any traces, suddenly vanished from his life two years ago. Hearing her voice struck him that he still wanted her, and he wanted to know the reasons behind her, leaving him all of a sudden. So, as if he almost forgot that he already had a fiancé, Rebecca, he put his career on the line by choosing to run after Lisa over his scheduled business meeting at China. As Matt was tracking down the real love of her life (Lisa), he unexpectedly encountered a woman named Alex (Rose Byrne), who is unknown to everyone else, had an obsession of him. Alex, being the crazy-in-love she was, faked the persona she introduced to Matt, and fabricated stories to prevent Matt and Lisa from seeing each other ever again so she could have Matt all by herself. Matt on the other hand, found Alex more and more suspicious, and he sooner than later sees through her lies. As Alex’s real identity was exposed, she then revealed and admitted that she was the root of Matt and Lisa’s miscommunication and misunderstanding, which leads to their unofficial breakup. Finally, after the nonstop finding of Lisa’s whereabouts, Matt found her at the sea of people at the airport and they reunited after the two long years.


• the broken heel of Lisa’s stiletto – the stiletto symbolizes her as the mistress, and the broken heel was representing her emotionally broken state.

steam from Lisa’s bathroom – it was the sign that there was an upcoming steamy scene.

• Alex’s stage makeup  – it represents Alex’s facades. She was fabricating stories and double facing Lisa, Matt, and Luke.

Alice’s Companion

[Semiotic of a ballpen]

Alice was a lady who had a lot of friends, but does anyone of them really know her well? Does anyone of them can see through her bright smile? Does even her best friend, Hannah know more about her? Can she see through the beautiful barrel Alice was hiding herself in?
Alice and Hannah’s family were neighborhood friends, which made the two of them best friends. When Alice’s parents died in a car accident when she was just 13, Hannah’s parents decided to adopt her and treat her like their own (daughter). Alice and Hannah reached the point where they were already like sisters – the latter had no problem sharing everything and every story she had to the former, but the former is the exact opposite. Alice may be a kind of bubbly girl but she does not feel like expressing herself to anyone else, not even to her best friend. She rather write and rant on her diary than share it verbally. It has always been the company of her pen and paper she felt comfortable the most. Even though she liked it that way, that does not mean she does not like the company of other people, especially Hannah’s family. Alice did not stay in Hannah’s family’s house for forever – she moved out and lived independently when she graduated.

Years passed by and Alice became a writer for a variety show where everyone admires her. It was because of her creativity that made the show achieved its consistent high rating. In her work, aside from being creative and a bright writer, she was also known for being approachable and such a nice person with a nice smile; and for being the ‘girl with the purple ballpen.’ Wherever Alice went to, she always made sure to bring her (specific) ballpen with her – she had been using it for 13 years and she wanted it as the only one she will use for writing and signing.

People around her praises how compatible she and her ballpen was – how the purple barrel of her ballpen looks so nice that suites her beautiful face; how even the color purple represents her personality, and how its black ink looks so fine on a sheet of paper whenever she write down her wonderfully created scripts. For Alice, it was not the compatibility of her and her ballpen that made her love it, but because of her parents. Her parents knew how passionate she was on writing and that certain purple ballpen was the last birthday gift they could give to their unica hija before they die; and that is what made Alice treasure her pen – she wanted to use it until her last breath.

Her parents may have died; her best friend may be married and have  a family of her own; she may lived by herself, but no matter what her circumstances are, she always made sure to keep positive in her everyday life. She smiled all the time. She always sent her co-workers who are also her friends her bright smile that signals them that everything is doing great in her life. Therefore, the day the news reached them: Alice being dead… left them flabbergasted. That was the point when the people who know her thought that all the smile and laugh she showed them was just to window dress her pains so they will not worry about her.

She never told anyone about her cancer but her pen and paper. Hannah found her dead in her room, when the former decided to check her out when she did not answer all of Hannah’s text messages and phone calls.

Alice knew she was going to die anytime soon, but she did not let it pull her spirit down. She decided to spend her remaining lifespan by making other people happy, with the help of her ballpen. Every day and night she tried and thought hard of humorous and wonderful scripts and skits for the variety show that would surely make the viewers smile and laugh, and feel the good vibes. Even until her final breath, she was thankful for her ballpen for helping her fulfill what she wanted before she left this world.

Hannah, after visiting Alice’s funeral went straight to the latter’s apartment. As she enter best friend’s bedroom, what caught her eyes first was the purple ballpen lying on the bedside table. Upon reaching for it, it crosses her mind that she never saw it ran out of ink and never saw Alice refilling it nor change its ink chamber. Hannah noticed a letter envelope – addressed to her, and recognized her best friend’s penmanship. She cannot help but shed tears, and using Alice’s ballpen she tried doodling hearts on her best friend’s letter to her, but to her surprise, not a single ink came out. Since Alice’s pen was not transparent, Hannah decided to pull out its ink chamber only to find out that it already ran out of ink. She cannot help but gasped and say, “Did you run out of ink the same time your owner ran out of breath?” Feeling defeated, Hannah threw herself on her best friend’s bed only to stare blankly at the ceiling, but later on talk by herself, “You know Alice, you are just like your ballpen, particularly the ink. You don’t let anyone know how you were doing – you keep on hiding yourself in your barrel. What you only show us was how great you were on the outside, but you never show us nor tell us how you struggled inside.” Hannah’s tears flowed uncontrollably down her face while she added, “I am so sorry Alice. I will not blame you. We cannot blame you. It’s also our fault that we bought all of your facades. What we also only chose to see was your bright smile, and how great you are in terms of looks and talent, but none of us concernedly check if you were running out of ink… we only checked on you thoroughly when you were gone… only to find out that you were battling cancer for years.” Hannah gripped the ballpen near her heart and continued, “I am so sorry Alice, I wasn’t a reliable best friend and a sister. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to put this companion of yours in your casket. This is yours and will only be yours. This accompanied you when you were alive and will still accompany forever – wherever you are. I love you, Alice, till we meet again.”