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ENG 1 F's Creative Juices

Operation: Balik Tao Reaction Papers

Fatima Ericka Gaerlan

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of ENG 1 F's Creative Juices

Reaction Papers
A post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by machines, wherein human culture and customs are but a faded

memory, is not an ideal place for love to flourish. It may seem that love will not exist in this cold and brutal

environment and yet, it does find a way; even in the most unlikely manifestations. In the play, we can see the

supposedly-impossible romance between two robots; beings completely alien to this concept. But alas, even

love has its hindrances and barriers, floodgates and counterweights. Oddly, one of these obstructions is the

human race itself that supposedly lives by love’s very concept. These people not only impeded love but they also

brought about the chaos in the world. The human beings in “Operasyon: Balik-Tao” are constantly seen and

shown from a lunatic angle in which they operate primarily to ruin and disorder the already unstable condition

of the play’s protagonists the Butler and the Cook.
In the earlier scenes, we can see the last human on Earth forced into servitude for the Machine Overlords.

Hopeless and haunted by a love now passed, the endless labour of enhancing the current robotic designs is

forced upon her. This cycle was disrupted when she made a discovery that changed everything: two of the

robots that she was working on had fallen in love with each other. Upon discovering this, Niña dedicated

herself to saving the last shred of humanity she had found in her harsh twisted world. She succeeded, and

the robots were able to escape into the mountains where they believed they would be able to seek refuge.

However, this situation sets off a sequence of events that anger the robots and ultimately led to her demise

despite her good intentions. Instead of preserving the illusion veiling over this rotting world, she

unknowingly contributed to its destruction by allowing it to deviate from its currently most stable form.
As the robot couple flee from their society, another element arrives to intervene between them again:

humans from a refuge off-world who has come to retake their planet. These humans, enraged that they

were driven away from their own home by their own creations, enter fully armed, ready to use any means

necessary against any obstacle that will stunt their goal to retake the Earth until they found surprising

exceptions. Just like the last human before them, they found the robots in love and were given hope by it,

igniting the idea inside their heads that not everything is what it seems. Love is then laid on the line as one

of Kaptitan Digma’s subordinates argue that they should turn the robotic lovers into scrap metal, with

respect to the suspicion that since they are robots, they cannot be trusted to keep the incoming human

invasion a secret. They simply cannot be left at peaceful solitude, as they deserve. Instead they are trapped

in a situation where they are unable to control any circumstances. As the humans argue their fate, the

robots’ time to enjoy their blissful love is dwindling, minutes ticking away until the point of their release. It

is in this that we can see another of humanity’s flaws in their dystopian world: they found humanity in the

most unlikely circumstances and yet they did nothing to preserve it.
Upon closer observation, one will be able to realize that in these events—including the total

control that the robots have on the entire world— humans are to blame. In the first place, humans

brought about the existence of the robots who in turn retaliated against them. In the first event in

the story, Niña, the last human, allowed the robots to escape without thinking of the repercussions

that may arise from her decision. She did not think about how the robots would be able to survive

in the mountains without maintenance and power. Finally, the humans under the authority of

Kapitan Digma promised the robot couple sanctuary thinking that they would be able to reclaim

the world. They made this promise without considering the possible outcome. Majority of the

decisions made by the humans were made without appropriate foresight and consideration which

brought them to the twisted world that we see in Operation: Balik-Tao.
We perceive the humans of Operation Balik-Tao as irrational through their actions.

They continue to tell themselves that they want to save and revive humanity; but

instead their actions led to the death of the last traces of humanity on the planet. They

are shown as foolish, illogical and impulsive as seen in the choices that they have

made. Their decisions are heavily influenced by love and other emotions, which is

brought to light by the quote, “Ang pag-ibig ay parang kalawang na unti-unting sisira

sa ating lahat".
The protagonists were unfamiliar with the world of love. Love for them was just a word that makes human lunatics. They viewed

the humans' sense of morality, capacity to feel love, and empathy as weaknesses that hinder them from performing efficiently,

from existing tranquility. But once love strikes you, you can’t do anything about it. As it was shown in the play, Butler admitted in

having dreams about Cook and in whatever he does and wherever he looks, he sees her face. This shows that love comes when

you least expect it. Love invaded the robots even without a heart. They became irrational, able to give up everything, including

their own selves and to the extent of them turning their backs to their own ways and to the life they are used to, even though

they don't know the possible outcome of their new found feeling. They begin to feel the beauty of love and disproved what they

initially believed in. Robots were initially limited to live in the confines of their own districts motivated by their skills and

capabilities alone prevent them to be independent from what they want to do, where they want to go and what they want to feel.

But the protagonists, as seen in the play, conquered love by overcoming the hardest thing in their life to give up everything just to

be with the only one you love. The only reason the protagonists became unstable was because of love, because they loved.
Robots are limited to live in the confines of their own districts. They are motivated by their skills and capabilities alone. This

prevents them to be independent in choosing what they want to do, think and feel. But the protagonists, as seen in the play,

broke through the shackles binding them to their robotic generation. This is through overcoming the hardest thing they faced in

their lives - to give up everything to be with the one you love. Because of their learning to love, Cook and Butler started

deviating from their original functions. They were created to do specific functions and these functions do not include

developing emotions for another robot. Love hinders these two to accomplish their tasks fully because their emotion towards

each other greatly affect their efficiency. Their instability, therefore, is brought about by the counter-productiveness they exhibit.

Thus, love is the principal driving force of the unstable condition of the protagonists.
This force is contagious, influential that even inanimate, emotionless things may even feel it. In the play, robots were the epitome of it.

By definition, robots are emotionless since they are only driven by earthly energy. They are just products of human intelligence. And in

the play, for some reason, the robots had their mind of their own that they conquered and ruled the Earth. Disregarding the advanced

technology that they have because of the programs or commands that the people had input in their systems, they are only scrap of

metals, wires and bulbs screwed together. There is nothing special with them: no minds of their own and certainly no emotions. Even

though they are what they are, they were moved and were influenced by this powerful force greater than the force given off by the

batteries they have. They have been consumed by this force to the point that they developed their own consciousness and feelings.

These things cannot be driven by computer codes and software that were artificially engineered and installed in them; these things are

true and humane that only human beings are supposed to exhibit. Because of this, the robots thought that they were beginning to be

like humans and this concerned them because of the fact that they won a war between the humans, their creator, and being able to be

like them is like they are beginning to stoop down to their level.
The effect of the human lunacy on the unstable condition of the protagonists, as seen on the play, is very evident. Such lunacy is

brought about by one of the most powerful forces that is contained in every human- a force which can be traced back in every

generations, every era, and every ancestral origin that molded different civilizations and the world that we live in, a force which

drives many beings to defend it, to fight for it, even if it costs life. It is a force that is rooted in the human spirit; this force is what

people call love. Love can infinitely affect different aspects of a human life. It affects everything and it is involved in everything. Love

comes in many shapes, forms, kinds, and definitions, but one thing is for sure – it is something that is inseparable from a human

being since in the very first place, human was created through it. It is more than a mere feeling, as defined by many; it is more than

affection or compassion as people preconceived it. It is a feeling that exists even if the time ends. Love exists eternally.
In a futuristic world where robots dominate and where humans have become refugees of their own world, a slaved human being named Nina

was forced to create robots in an attempt to make the life of her robot master better. The human beings Operation Balik-Tao are constantly

seen and shown from a lunatic angle in which they operate primarily to ruin and disorder the already unstable condition of the play's

protagonists, the Butler and the Cook. One day, when Nina was about to dissect and upgrade a robot, Cook, another robot, Butler, prevented her

and instead wanted her to take him as a replacement. With this in mind, Nina thought that although it seemed impossible, Butler might have

developed feelings for Cook. Nina, who was reminded of her lost love, wanted Butler to confess his sentiments. However, Butler hesitated and

insisted that robots do not feel love, but after playing various tricks on Cook, Nina was finally able to make him confess. Not wanting Cook and

Butler to experience the lost and wasted love she had, Nina was determined to help the two robots escape and reach District

1, a place inhabited by highly -advanced robots, in hopes that they can explain their phenomenal feelings for each other. However, their plot to

escape was flopped when Nina’s master found out about their plan. Nina sacrificed herself for the sake of the two lovers who ended being

found and salvaged by humans who wanted their planet back. Fortunately, the humans showed them mercy and let them free. Hiding from

other robots, they found out that they were running out of time, running out of chance to further express their love that made them human-

Entropy, the natural state of matter to go into disorder also happens in the most stable environment. Wars

do not stop, lives perish, instructions are disobeyed and order is lost. Love, a rose by any other names just as

sweet is naught but a two sided-coin; grab the rose by its stem – you bleed. People are blinded by love,

willingly sacrificing their lives without thinking, saying things they do not mean, doing things they do not

mean to. “Operation: Balik Tao” showed just that. Humans recklessly abandoning their lives to save the ones

they value the most, and robots abandoning their duties to be with the ones they love. The humans being in

operasyon balik tao are constantly seen and shown from a lunatic angle in which they operate primarily to

ruin and disorder the already unstable condition of the play’s protagonist, the butler and the cook.
Second, Nina was ordered to create new high-leveled robots with improved intellectual capabilities. She

has no knowledge in building new units so she resorted to constantly upgrade the physical appearances of

the robots from District 77. This was shown when Nina introduced the new appearances of the robots. For

example, Cook was aesthetically unappealing before Nina changed her large-massed body. In addition to

that, Mr. Clean used to look thin until Nina successfully turned him into a muscular robot. Despite her

efforts in transforming the robots, they were still inferior in comparison to those of the higher districts. This

circumstance did not help in resolving their problem of having sufficient mentally-advanced robots.
Metal-bodied and man-made, Robots, products of ingenuity and innovation, were designed for a

myriad number of duties and tasks but having the ability to convey emotion is not one of them.

Unfortunately, the protagonists in the play Operation: Balik Tao experienced such feelings that

added to the chaos and disorder that were already present due to the hierarchy-induced

inequalities. To make things worse, the humans, once the pioneers of perfection and order, have

become the source of even more turmoil and instability in the lives of the protagonists and

other robots alike.
First, despite programmed to work insensitively, the protagonists somehow showed feelings of affection towards

each other. Because these are actions not supposed to be felt by typical robots, this showed the disorder surfacing

in the plot. One manifestation of this was the time when Butler wanted to sacrifice his body to the dissection and

inspection of the last human with the possibility of shutting down the robot permanently. They cared for each

other yet still showed uncertainty of what they truly felt until Nina introduced the concept of love to them. This

has greatened the entropy between the robots. Bizarre thoughts incubated into the ‘minds’ of the robots, excluding

them for the norm of the robot code. This implied the misconception of their disorder, calling them malfunctioned.

Furthermore, Nina gave them ideas of entering a voyage of lunacy, eloping into the mountains, further harming

the lives of the bewildered head over heeled robots.
Lastly, a chaos was found in the society of the robots causing the inequality based on their abilities and functions.

The highly upgraded system of the other robots created the hierarchy between their statures. This affected the unity

of the robots, to add oil to the water, the exiled humans decided to return and conquer the Earth again. The robots

were caught off guard by the humans because of the chaos happening in the community. In addition, the war created

by humans to seize the Earth fashioned the entropy of the robots.
Love sees no extent. It has immortalized the strength to conquer

everything, and the flair which ignites the flame to shed light even

in the darkest situations. It sprouts not only because the heart

beats but because we feel and we understand. It’s this feeling that

not only humans endure, desire and live for.
The conflict began when human beings deprived robots of affection and care. This sparked the

revolution of robots. With a successful clash of the metal-bodied creations against the living

souls, human inhabitants have been wiped out from the earthly grounds which were abundant

in hope, bliss, bitterness, and romance. The group who ended up triumphant in the battle

dominated the earth which was intended for the people, but a human survived. Her salvation

was caused by a sacrificial love. Her lover saved her from the explosion that banished humanity

from the lands. It was seen though that love sees no extent, robots can have the heart of a

human which believes, admires, cries, and feels. The result of the absence of love is destruction.

But, it is ironic how love can solve its own doing.
The most essential lesson of the play is that love is sacrificial. Through love, Niña was

saved from the battle of the robots and humans. Butler gave up his battery in order for Cook

to live like a human because of love. The feeling between the two robots progressed and was

recognized because of human influence. Everybody can learn to love, just as robots can do.

When all is said and done, love remains to be impartial. Love would still be the catalyst

that will illumine our hearts and minds of what life really is. Life is love.

The idea about love is diverse. Some say it is the feeling of being with someone

you are happy with, others believe that it is acceptance, while some simply say love

is just a reaction to a stimuli. These usual undirected intuitions about love are not

accurate among youth. Love is the infinite intangible which makes us see beyond

imperfections, obey no rules, and when it strikes, it exempts no one. Not all things

in love mean bliss; it also entails sacrifice and sorrow. Often, the feeling overpowers

a decision of mind engendering a wrong concept of what love really is. Quite

simply, love is boundless – even to the point that you sacrifice for the one you truly

“Kung ayaw mong mawasak, wag kang magkakamaling umibig.” In the other way around, love completes

you. In one part of the play, Cook and Butler sang a song regarding what they feel when they’re in love.

Niña was very surprised that even robots can feel love. Love knows no requirements to have neither a

heart nor a brain, just as humans have, because love can be learned. It’s just magic. Since robots do not

actually know the essence and definition of love, they described it as pernicious and destructive. On the

contrary, we humans know that love can be the best feeling in the world. It makes us feel appreciated,

happy and beautiful. Beyond this opposition, it was never expected that robots can develop an

unfathomable valour from a feeling they recently developed.
Love, Beyond Human Perception
Humans: Creator and Destroyer
With the increasing level of intelligence of humans, is it possible for us to

come to a point where our own creations will be intelligent enough to be able

to take over and govern the world? In Operation Balik Tao, where the world

was run by robots, the human beings were constantly seen and shown from an

angle which they operate primarily to ruin and disorder the already unstable

condition of the play’s protagonists, the Butler and the Cook.
In Operation Balik Tao, the humans were thrown out of power. Robots were developed enough to

rule and govern. This resulted in a world where humanity seemingly ceased to exist. It was a world

without violence, without anyone disobeying orders and with everyone doing what they were

programmed to do – it was almost perfect, an ideal world. There is nothing that is absolutely

impeccable and not even robots can attain perfection. They were made by flawed creators and

ultimately, they are imperfect creations. Because of inevitable defects, robots are still dependent on

humans. They need humans for their repair and upgrades. This is the reason they had to let Nina

live. She was responsible for maintaning the efficiency of robots in her district, the robots which

were named after what they were programmed to do.
Nina, the only human remaining in her district was the one responsible for

the condition of the robots. The robots which were named for what they were

tasked to do believed that she was the scientist who was capable of making

new and upgraded programs. There is a little misunderstanding; she was only

an assistant of the scientist and only capable of repairing the malfunctions of

the robots to make them look more presentable.
The dull, monotonous world of robots was one without color. It is a world where the idea of emotions, love all else,

is long rejected and considered taboo. But the existence of Nina and the other survivors disrupted their cycle of life. It

is because of Nina that the order was lost; by introducing and confirming the love budding between the protagonist, she

had spread the fire that would later on cause not only her death but also chaos in the post-apocalyptic world of the

robots. But, the man’s role did not stop there. Nina aided in their escape by putting fire in the hearth she had planted

and preserved the existence of love which resulted to disorder. Other humans also aided in their escape, as seen in the

planet invasion scene. The humans planted the seed of love in the wasteland of robots; a seed that gave love and the

humans a fighting chance.
If one were to sum up what the humans did in one statement, one could say that the humans, by introducing love,

had planted tiny seeds that were capable of developing into colossal trees in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the

robots. They mustered up enough potential to destroy immure ways than the one in the monotonous world that the

Cook, the Butler, and the robots had created for themselves. The play ended in a cliffhanger, leaving the fate of the

humans and the robots debatable. Were the humans successful? Had the world been saved by love? One may only care

to speculate by answering the question ourselves. Can we reach a final, decisive conclusion? The humans were the ones

who created the massive population of the robots, but they were also the ones who destroyed them by introducing the

concept of love.
Love or compassion is a deceitful, misleading and tricky feeling. In reality, no matter how we try to avoid this

feeling, we cannot live without it for we would not be able to feel happiness, contentment and joy-- the reasons in

making life worthwhile. Love is an emotion that one can never deny and refuse to acknowledge. Emotions and work

do not always go well together – for some, it serves as a motivation to strive harder; while for others, it may only

serve as a distraction and cause confusion. In the Operation: Balik Tao the fight for love, for hope and for freedom is

presented in a way that it is relatable and convincing. The irony of the play was brought about by the concept of

robots falling in love. How can this be when only the heart can fuel emotion, not a mechanical pump nor a pre-

programmed brain made by man and its successors? It is because love defies everything.
When the Heart is Fueled with Love
Who said that non-living things cannot think and love? It is indeed true that non-living

things cannot think and love. But the fictional play “Operation: Balik Tao” tells that love can

happen to anyone. It shows how love works and what love does through the act of Butler and

Cook. Robots are machines made by humans that resemble them, able to replicate various

human action and function. But despite of being robots, who thought something like this would

happen to Butler and Cook?
It is once thought that only humans have the capability to experience affection towards another. Yet,

the Cook and the Butler, both are known to be ‘heartless’, felt a strange emotion that cause an impact to

their roles, only to find out it is love that they have for each other. Love seems like a simple and ordinary

subject among humans, but such four-letter word can trigger that special feeling within anyone, surpass

any kind of hindrances, or even sacrifice one’s life for the sake of the other. In the case of the two

protagonists, this alien feeling gave them the urge to break free from the disordered world of technology

where they belong, and it gave their willingness to offer their own life. This only shows that love chooses

no being or soul.
The first part of the story told how inefficient humans are in fulfilling their duties due to their emotions. It all

started when humans, who were said to be unproductive in doing their works, created the robots. The robots rebelled

because they thought humans are destroying the world. The iron machines won, dominated the world and never

believed in love because of what they saw in humans that loving did not reap good. Robots also said that love will

result into brokenness. The only human left on Earth exhibited that hurt she was feeling . She became insane and

hysterical, imagining that she sees his dead love, who sacrificed for her life during the battle. With the human's

insanity and out of circumstances she discovered the unforeseen feelings of Butler and Cook for each other. The

second part of story shows how the human's hopeless romanticism affected Cook and Butler. The human girl noticed

the attachment Butler and Cook had and decided to let them discover the feelings within.
The last part shows human's compassion with Cook and Butler. This led the Cook and Butler to understand why human seek own self

destruction for other out of love. Cook and Butler saw from the humans that true love is sacrificing. They saw it when human girl died to

protect and let them escape just for them to experience the freedom of loving. They saw it the second time around when the humans in

the spaceship helped them even though they were enemies. Cook and Butler found in them the values that men value the most -

compassion and love which other robots do not have. That is why they eager to sacrifice each other's body for their loved one just to live.

When Cook's battery is going empty, Butler decided to remove his battery just for Cook to live. The way on how Cook and Butler fight their

love for each other, which is indifferent on their kind, is evidence that love never chooses anything or anyone. And that is you can do

everything in the name of love which contradicts the statement in the beginning of the play that "It is not true that you can do anything in

the name of love.
They were repulsed by it but some, like the Butler and the Cook, thought that being able to feel and think like humans is a privilege since it made them

think that humans are not the only ones who have the capability of feeling or thinking. It made them realize that they can endure all things even if the

odds were against them. It made them feel that despite the world where everything is driven by codes and installed commands, they can also be

humans, even though not physically, but humans in thought, actions, and feelings.Then, as the story goes, this lunacy was behind the crucial scenes of

the play. Throughout the play, it was robot against humans, but somehow, it had flipped to robots versus humans trying to save other robots with human

heart. The humans died but the robots, that the humans were saving, survived. Unlike how every clichéd love story ends, where the hero and heroine get

to live a happy life after all the obstacles that they went through, the play ended in somehow, a bittersweet way. Butler gave up his remaining power for

Cook to live. He died but at least she was given a chance to live, even not for long. Living in a happy life after being through a lot of hardships is better

than being able to survive through it all but carries the burden of guilt and regret. What makes the story special was that love meant being able to

cherish the sacrifices that have been done for you. It proved that love is a more than just a feeling, it is a choice and a sacrifice which even a robot would

fight for.
Operation Balik Tao: Through Blood and Rust
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