Thursday, December 31, 2009

IMBA!

photo shot by Jethro

Tomorrow we wake up to find December called in another name, planners and calendars thrown out, drunk and tired people asleep till noon, and paper and powder on the streets as remnants of what has been the night before. Everything will be just a day older.

But tonight there will be lights up the sky, neighbors pouring out on the streets jumping and throwing firecrackers, friends greeting each other, a table full of festive food. Between the time of yesterday and tomorrow, I have today, December 31, the last day of the year to think about what has happened 525, 600 minutes ago. What made my year were certainly an overflow of "new". It was never the same as the previous year. I can see it myself: THIS YEAR WAS WAAAY BETTER.

Hope 2010 will be too! HAHA. :D Happy New Year! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eve

photo shot by Wesley

2:30 AM onwards is starting to be my bedtime.. There's something about the night that brings people closer. Nighttime is associated not only with peaceful sleep, but also with crimes, accidents and vulnerability of alcohol, parties and blood. It takes trust and effort to stay with a person late at night, sincerity that you never have during the day, intimacy and deeply-felt emotions, maybe even irrationality (because of the time?). Remember how in school, the real time when you and your classmates bonded was when you were staying overnight finishing a project instead of seeing each other daily? That's why I really choose nighttime to get things done.. homework, reviewing, being with people. I'd rather be out or awake at night and asleep in the morning.


*****



By Jayesslee on Youtube. My current favorite. :) Check out their Officially Missing You cover



Three days left before Christmas! My friend who browsed through my camera found last Christmas' pictures (yeah, they're still there even though I've uploaded it). I'm at awe when I am reminded of what Christmas was like last year, the people I was with during December such as my dormmates, and the things I was doing, like going on an overnight for presswork and sleepwalking because of fatigue. :)) Now the people and what I'm doing are different. Sometimes, we just can't help rediscovering ourselves and our friends. I'm surprised at how much relationships and trends have changed -- improved or otherwise. And I am even more thrilled of what will happen next year. I just realized that happiness is a choice. But we depend it on events, people, things that change. God is called the rock because if one place our happiness on him, we place it on ground that will never change, only rediscovered over and over again. My Christmas wish is that I learn that, because I kept placing happiness on people when they won't always satisfy me. Only Him... MERRY CHRISTMAS! :D

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pre-Break, Post-School





This week was one of the best, primarily coz there was less academic work but school is still in the picture. Last Tuesday was my exam in Stat and the Oblation Run. When the drums started beating, it was hard to concentrate! Haha good thing I was almost finished. That was basically masked and naked fraternity guys running around Palma Hall, carrying placards of what they're advocating.. a form of protest. Though it's an annual tradition, everyone was still wide-eyed, smiling. Christmas shopping afterwards.

We attended the simbang gabi in Ateneo last Wednesday just like we did last year. Then yesterday was another annual event in UP which was my first, the Lantern Parade. Every college has floats and lanterns, but of course the finale was Fine Arts. They had this huge white elephant float, giant halo-halo float, a very long blue dragon float, and a float looking like Manny Pacquiao and Aling Dionisia. What the. Haha. Afterwards we went to UST for Paskuhan, counting down to the 400 days before their 400 years. There were celebrities and a lot of people, everyone waiting for this Amazing fireworks display by midnight. :D

School has ended this year, but that doesn't mean we won't be busy.
Broke, maybe.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Death by Kindness


At about 11:30pm me and my friend will be leaving for another party and you had that look of pain-slash-disapproval on your face. If you were a parent, I could've sworn you wouldn't allow me to go, but you are not, so you just tried your best to walk us out without stopping us. You quietly say, "Don't drink and take care," advising to take a cab instead, but I say that we don't have the luxury so we'll just commute. As we were walking to the station to find our way to a place we don't know before, I felt the thrill and the irony of what we were doing, and I felt sorry for your concern, I wish you weren't because you'll be disappointed.

We ride back to school. Despite the lateness it was still traffic, lampless streets, gates closed, there were no jeeps inside, we were texting our friend for mixed-up directions, rode jeeps after jeeps, crossed roads, asked for directions from strangers, and finally got financially fooled by the taxi driver before we got there. The event was finished by the time we arrived, people are on the dancefloor. Of course it was smoky and our pal from there asked us to drink (like what friends do?). Meanwhile, you were telling me to take a cab on our way back and you'll pay for it, to text the plate number of the cab, and constantly, to go back because it's late already. I don't know if I should be mad for the seemingly disturbing texts, but I wasn't. It was a late night just like any other late night but you make it look like a big deal and for that I was thankful.. in a weird way.

By the time we took a cab back, I felt ashamed when you got out the gate and looked at the taxi meter and paid. I was laughing for that and you thought we were drunk but we aren't, we didn't even drink a lot. I was even ashamed that I probably smelled like cigarette, and so at the washroom I changed clothes and put perfume on my hair and skin like it was filth I had to wash out. Everybody watched the movie lying at the carpeted floor of the AV room and sometime at 3am, fell asleep. A friend shared a blanket but it was hard without a pillow under the head. Then as if somebody read my mind, someone put a pillow on my head. I mumbled a half-awakened thank you and went back to sleep. At the morning, I discovered the pillow was yours.


Thank you. Why are you so kind?



picture from here

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bottomline Is



Margaret Atwood said that there is basically a single predictable ending. Only, the writer chooses to expand the plot to keep you hanging on. Weird as it may sound, I used to like stories that are good all the way. I hate twisting plots. HAHA. But now I realized that really a good story consists of an up and down motion. I loved today because every single hour is filled with just that, from school hours: Stat, PE, Kas, Span, to breaks, the in-betweens, to the kris kringle and to a presentation practice by nighttime.

Tonight was also my church's kris kringle. The twist: you can either "steal" someone's opened gift or open a gift yourself. I stole someone's gift, then that object got stolen from me, then I chose to just open a gift and I opened a really depressing gift---some tissue paper holder that looked like a dog's shirt. And something with a passage you're supposed to hang on walls. OWWMANN. Obviously, I didn't like it. But I'm stuck with it because nobody would want to steal it.. :(

The ending? Friend stole it on purpose so that I can be given a chance to have a better gift. What the... Kindmuch! So I stole the book The Giver coz I haven't read it yet, but in the end, it was stolen and replaced with a really pretty hardbound journal (exactly what I needed to make a comeback to the notebook method :]). So all that winding up... ended nicely. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STEALING. I almost wanted to cry and take it back and be ashamed of quietly hating it. Hahaha.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December

HELLO! December brings the Baguio feeling. I wanna wear boots to school, no matter how wannabe that sounds. And I'm trying to save up just now for Christmas presents. I love coming home late because of the cold, music, Christmas lights and people. The holidays are the best. :) It seemed that even Profs share the spirit by dismissing us early and not giving us work for the vacation (well so far) and everyone is partying and having fun.

I'll be spending Christmas day in Cavite. Sigh. If I have one wish, I wish we'd spend it somewhere else... somewhere with snow? Haha. I also hope all the tradition would work out traditionally. You know what I mean, that there are no calamities, fights, accidents or bombings. Coz while celebrating, everybody feels and expects to be safe..

Friend came to the house tonight. Remember the semi-permanent extensions? They didn't work out. One morning it looked like my hair had a rat for breakfast--can't straighten the ball out! It happened in the middle of the week, good thing we were able to remove it before I'm off to class. People are really getting weirded out over my weekly-long-short hair. Now he came to give me a replacement... clip-ins, which looked prettier. :) We took pictures for his site and he had me try on the curly and super-long ones. Oh wow. Perfect. But I had the simpler version of a 20" straight that's curl-able anyway. Perfect timing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Broken Rose-colored Glasses


In Literature and Society, Salvador Lopez was saying that time will come that a writer would want to crumble his Ivory Tower and write something that could serve a purpose. One day, he'll get tired of writing about beauty and pursue something more realistic and truthful. I was eager, when I joined a publication, to write about something really beautiful. And then as I was already faced with the task, I realized that writing about beautiful, imaginative stuff worthy of being called Literature (with a capital L) is not-so beautiful coz it seemed devoid of common sense, ignorant (meaning, ignoring) of the obvious, untimely for what is currently happening, limiting its power to truly affect people and make sense.
..

It sucks to be interpreted way before you explain. To be built a wall or painted an image before you speak. It's hard to have so many people assuming what it's like. We cannot love what we do not know. But most people who surround me are allergic to the word God and are doubtful of me joining a church.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reality for a Change

Literally, unfortunately.


I'm starting to hate this blog because of its optimism. Guess when you're feeling angsty and confused, seeing this green page screaming with "Think Positive!" can get SO annoying.

I got issues to deal with, and the issue that's been bothering me for months now is something of the heart. LONG STORY. Bottom line is, I'm starting to hate love songs for no particular reason, and there is a twitch every time I see people happy together because I think, why can't we? What a stupid feeling. But that's the (ugly) truth. Why can't things work out well after you put a huge amount of effort for it?

I watched New Moon tonight and thought the script and acting was sloppy. Of course, like any reader, I'd say the book was better -- but only for a small difference (I know I'd still read and watch Eclipse anyway). The story was supposed to be about two people who'd do anything for each other. But the relationship was challenged by themselves. I guess that word always exists when you want something or someone so bad: Challenge. A great, big challenge that may or may not be worth it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Distractions

My old "painting" at the dorm, back when I was GC. Haha!

First week of school is well, although I can't deny the fact that this is probably one of the hardest sems I'll have. One of the most stressful too, because everyday my dismissal is at 5:30pm, and at that time it's hard to find a ride home.

SOCIAL STATISTICS
Embarrassingly, I have no background in Stat. HAHA. I had two schools during high school, first one had Stat on its third year curriculum, and the second one had Stat on its second year. So, I missed both! But I'm glad I have math this sem. Good luck..

THEORIES
This gives me headache. Last subject during Fridays and afterwards, though we haven't seriously discussed yet, I feel dizzzzzy.

LITERATURE AND SOCIETY
We've only met once. Let me see tomorrow. I think the Prof is cool, and she has a lot of former students in the class. Maybe they really picked her, so that's a positive sign. I know no one in this class yet.

SPANISH
I'm glad I've studied Spanish before, and my seatmates are cooool. :D

LATIN BALLROOM
It's just fun that for a change we wear skirts and 3-inch heels during PE. The Prof is internationally prominent, and we are required to watch Philippine Star Ball during Feb before Valentines' Day. It's a formal event. WEE. I just wish I'd learn how to dance Rumba, Jive, Cha cha cha and Samba coz his subject is a bit strict. With reports and exams before moving on. Oh noo. Haha.

KASAYSAYAN
Yay. It's been a while since I've studied Philippine History. Maybe this time I'll get to know it better. I need it for completion of Philippine studies and it's also a requirement for law in UP. Hope I ace it. My prof is my prof in SOSC 3. Now I know how differently he approaches things. It's a bit harder that way because he often calls my name and I must not get embarrassed. Maybe I should get used to it.

Sem so far? Not so good. I need study habits. Maybe a time off Internet is good, but of course I get busy with other things.. Haha. Christmas is coming! :D I'm also thinking of something very sad these past weeks, but I can't put it to words still. Coming soon.. :\

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The World is Flat.. NOT



I think I used to be good in drawing, but not so now. What I did learn about it is that the stuff you draw should look 3D. It should look real, you should be able to imagine it moving, or its sides and curves and details. When you draw an arm, for example, it should not only be a simple straight line below the shoulder. It has curves and creases by the elbows. You can only draw something well if you can visualize it in your head. Our imaginations are not detailed, though. Sometimes we need to see what we are going to draw with our own eyes.

Why am I saying this? And why is that video up there? HAHA. I'm addicted to Super Junior's It's You. SJ is a Kpop group. And before you agree with my Mom and younger brother (who finds liking them silly, who probably thinks their faces are the same and who doesn't bother seeing their music videos), you should see them. Wrong visualization = wrong drawings. Same goes with everything. It's the good old rule about book covers. :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

Sem Starter




Sembreak was full and my pocket is not. HAHA. One time I was even asking money from Dad to go to the Internet cafe. Poverty. HAHA. Having no internet compelled me to read three novels last few weeks, Stephenie Meyer's New Moon and two Mitch Albom novels (boring Five People You Meet in Heaven and good For One More Day) that was lying around the house. Mitch Albom is really into topics about death and dying. I wonder why. I got to see my grandparents of both sides too. Well, at least one's grave.

Yesterday I came from an overnight at a friend's house and it was a really nice and last carefree day. I also had my hair extensions attached by another friend before that, and I'm still on the process of getting used to them. Some friends blogged about their first sem, but there's something about last sem: I tended to forget its details even though I know what happened. This is probably one of the good things about college: Always new.. subjects, profs, classmates, twice a school year. Just when you thought a sem has gone bad, you have a new sem to face. The sad part is that it's hard to look for permanence, but I have found lots of people that will stay. Eyes off endings. First day tomorrow! :D

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thriller


As much as I'd like to spend it in Halloween costume parties or night-outs with friends, I have to stay in Cavite and go to my grandfather's and greatgrandmother's grave in Laguna and Novaliches (respectively) for the holiday. Pretty boring. This is where the raw ghost stories are told. I wish our province was somewhere not-Luzon, like Capiz or Davao, so that I could really hear and maybe *be careful what you wish for?* see local ghosts! Manananggal, tiyanak, kapre, white lady, etc. Those things my Lola tell me but I wouldn't believe her. These have captured my imagination as a grade-schooler when I read the book True Philippine Ghost Stories and as I had my childhood delusions of having third eye.

I find it amusing to notice that every country has a different concept of what is scary and terrifying, as seen through their movies. East Asian ghosts are powdered white, dark-haired and dark-eyed with some creepy stories of loneliness before death. Americans have bloody ghosts with gruesome death stories involving metals (you name it, saw, nails, roller coater rides, airplane crash, knives, etc. Haha pretty industrial). While Filipinos hilariously depict their ghosts wearing our grandparents' clothes, barong and saya, anything involving old people and their stories during the war, with blood stains all over their clothes. Hahaha. These ghosts represented some of our fears of death while we're alive -- dying lonely, violently or old -- maybe that's why we find them supernatural creatures frightening. XD

Now I'm heading home and I'll be watching those Halloween special stories like I do every year. Though I wish next year I'd spend my October firsts outside. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Love and Belonging


Last four days I spent in a my first Church camp in Antipolo, and I spent it with my schoolmates who are now my churchmates and I have never laughed and cried so hard before. :)

I currently don't have a picture because there is no Internet connection at home (will post later), but to just summarize what I've learned within those days: among all our needs, the spiritual ones tend to be the most neglected. Sure I have relayed stories of my family life, friend-life, love life, academics life, etc. to others, but my Christian life remains just a shadow. By Christian, I do not refer to the religion or the institution of the society, but the very basic belief that Jesus saved us because of love.

Last Sunday night I made a last minute decision to be baptized into my Church. I said in my shaky testimony that I have been on an on-off relationship with God and I wanted that kind of relationship to end. He's been urging me to come back to him by taking away the things that I leaned on instead of him and taking the praise away from myself to Him. It's easy to be self-centered, to think that you've done every good thing that has happened in your life with your own hands. And once you face failure, again it's easy to blame yourself or somebody else without even thinking that that failure may have just been an obstacle removed and that victory is just another blessing. Being a Christian is a blessing because I realized that I have been blessed SO MUCH that my troubles are all minor and worldly. Now there is this urgency to share this spiritual happiness to everyone because believing in God is not a once-in-a-lifetime emotional experience of some sort. Nope. It's just everyday thankfulness.

Today, lots of people think that "religious people" are close-minded. I am one of those. But I did not see that I was also being close-minded by thinking that way. Declaring that you're a Christian would fit you into a stereotype of a fanatic angel who's too good to be true. I was afraid that if I told my family or friends about it, they'd say I'm all "banal" when it's not like that at all. When I met my churchmates, I saw that we came from a hodgepodge of personalities who have different intelligences, gifts and struggles. It's amazing. I am just at awe at how they have helped me to be closer to God. And I feel excitement over what is going to happen next sem as I spend my time with Him and them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Put a Ring on It


"Ngunit, pano naman ang aking gagawin!
pagkalaki-laki ng aking paggiliw
kung siyang lalaki'y mailap sa akin,
ako pang babae ang palalapitin?

"Ako'y Pilipina at anak-silangan,
hirating magtiis, sanay na maghintay;
ang ibig lumapit, ako ay lapitan,
ang ayaw lumapit, di ko kailangan."

Kapag ang dalaga nga nama'y nagkusang
mag-alok ng puso sa isang binata,
kailangan munang mundo'y masaliwa:
ang sama'y bumuti't ang buti'y sumama.

-Lope K. Santos, Isang Binatang Tulog


I was leafing through the book Gender Issues in the Philippine Society and got really amused by this poem. Indeed, though we can claim that times have changed and there is already a thing as girl-courting-boy today, in our admittedly traditional and patriarchal society, if a woman does 'The Proposal', she is either seen as a Promiscuous Girl or a Miss Independent (usually the first one), for the simple reason that.. it's not the norm.

It's also not a very "Filipina" image to display, according to the poem, to be the one to make the first move. But what exactly is a "Filipina"? Is it Rizal's dream girl, Maria Clara? Is it Mars Ravelos' superhero, Darna? Is it Cory Aquino, the housewife turned President?

All I know is that the general idea, the social construct that is a "Filipina" is a female role model who does positive things to the country. It's debatable if she's conservative or not coz how can you possibly make anything happen if you're conservative? You can only NOT make things happen.. Personally, I think there's nothing wrong in being an initiator with the matters of the heart. Although, I don't think I will do the same thing for myself. ^_^' ..At least for now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Global WarNing


Climate change, more than the significant physical and chemical changes that occur in the atmosphere (in my own terms), will never be given much attention if it didn't affect human lives. Even though it is climate that changed, this phenomenon has both social causes and social effects.

One structural social cause is industrialization with capitalism. During the 20th century, plenty of trees have been cut for coal, mountains cleared for mining, lands for building subdivisions and at the same time worldwide production increased as we perceive that we need to consume more stuff (a factor perhaps is the media), to buy appliances that produce CFCs, cars that emit carbon monoxide, non-biodegradable but "disposable" things, cheap materials with the illusion of saving. A month later these would probably end up dumped in some landfill or a river. Then, the physics and the chemistry of Mother Nature do their jobs that create "natural" disasters. And this is just a simplified equation using simplified vocabularies of what is happening today.

Social effects are even easier to name because they are observable. Few millimeters of rainfall and our streets are flooded due to our "auto-clogged" canals, the soil erode downwards because nothing could hold them together, causing dangerous land slides to those who are living at the foot of mountains, air is filled with smoke that damages our health and the environment that we use for our own livelihood. It affects the economy, people blame the government, different organizations call for environmental education, companies start a "green revolution". Even though we know that these are too little too late, it is better than exerting no effort to address this issue. If climate change has both social causes and effects, then there should be a social change that accompany it.

I remember my class adviser in sixth grade angry because our room was filthy and noisy while she was gone. With chalk, she wrote some block letters that forms the word INITIATIVE, telling us that it is important that we learn that.. the capacity to do things without having to be prompted. Everyone should learn that lesson too for we do not know what kind of "prompt" the earth would give us. Let's not dig our own graves. And in my case, I don't want sequel of An Inconvenient Truth.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Final Countdown

What's left of it.


Technically, we have no classes anymore. But we do have exams and papers that are due this until next week. I really I have to utilize my free time to finish everything as early as possible, so that I'll have a seemingly longer sem break! :D

Philippine Contemporary Issues paper: Homosexuality
700 words to go. I've talked about the Filipino culture with regards to homosexuality and the various institutions in the society that influences it. I love it but I don't know how to conclude it. Trying to look at this issue in as many dimensions as possible to produce something that hasn't quite been written yet, something utterly DEEP. I'm a bit desperate at getting the approval of my Prof here because he's such a competent person. He wrote a note at Facebook about the structural mistakes that lead to the aggravating of situation during Ondoy. The article says a huge part of Marikina and surrounding areas (where UP should the border) should have been reservoirs only according to the frost plan of Manila in 1941. Instead, schools and commercial homes were established there. The article caught the eye of the media and is said to probably be used on TV. IMAGINE.

General Sociology: (No title yet) (Somewhat the "societal forces" that influences UP voters on why they vote or not, contrasted with Filipino voters)
Group paper, I don't like group papers. You have to wait for everyone to finish. But it's probably better in this situation because it has the usual "Four Chapters". *OH NO!* Ever since I got a barely passing grade in the exams of this subject, I've grown to dislike it. One should really never underestimate any subject with a word "General" on them. -_-

Aside from those papers, I have an exam in Philippine Institutions, orals in Gen Socio againnnnn and a paper still in Gender and Sexuality, but I'd rather go to class and see my classmates again :'( I saw my best friend in the class testerday
morning and how I missed it! Time flies. Sem is about to end. I have heard of many plans on how I'm going to spend the 3-week vacation. Hope my blog would be filled with good stories. I've also pre-enlisted some subjects already and I SWEAR next sem to never be a mediocre. Adjustment period's over. It's time to get down.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wait no More

They say the future arrives an hour at a time.



I don't know why I prefer shopping by myself if it's for myself. Guess I'm such a fitting-room person, and waiting is a hard task for anyone.. My own mother knows I tend to lose the sense of time, hydration, body pain, hunger, toilet urges, and sense of companionship when I shop with someone.. Unless it's shopping for somebody else (such as buying Christmas gifts). So most of the time I just go off alone, and so far it's better that way. On the other hand I think of people who might be fun to be with when I go shopping.. :)

***

Last Sunday my family voluntarily reunited for my younger brother's retreat ceremony. What I liked in that evening was when my Kuya and I went to the parking lot because we weren't needed in the last program. Suddenly, beside the car and underneath the stars we were talking about our plans for the future. College courses, organizations, post-graduation scenarios, our parents, work, law school, where we'll live, public involvement, companies, even marriage! So serious yet so understandable. So.. first time. In the middle of it, I wanted to interrupt him and say "Wait, let's not think about those things yet coz we're still too young." ..Maybe that's because you always see your siblings in a childhood-friend context. Then I remembered that maturity starts with the mind and it's such a poor excuse to be "young" to dismiss things. So on we went with the conversation.

Now I know that we really are aware of a lot of things.. But we are taking our time. (Hmm.. Just. Like. Shopping.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Endings

*One night and one more time! Thanks for the memories* -FOB


I have just came from our PE Cheerdance recital tonight called Dancing in September (I know it's October already, delayed by the typhoon:). We practiced a few minutes before our turn and then danced in a jiffy. After our performance, we were like screaming and hugging. It's over and it's goodbye! I really loved this class coz it taught us how to do rolls, cartwheels and lifts, which nobody knows how to do. Our last meeting as classmates brought me to the mood of gratitude for this sem, which is my first in the campus.

Other than PE, my Wika Kasaysayan at Kultura and Gender and Sexuality classes finished this week. Last Thursday, my latter class had a mini-farewell party, we brought pizza and sodas while Sir provided the ice cream. This is the class where my group made a skit instead of a report, one was Mike Enriquez, I was Kris Aquino and my friend is Dr. Jack Q. Lero, and our Prof said in the end that it was the most commendable. =D I learned so much about sexual science in this class, met the coolest classmates too. Everybody is at ease with each other. We have really interesting stories to tell about interesting topics -- homosexuality, pornography, gender equity, attraction, love and the human anatomy. FIL 40 also finished, and I cherished that class too, those three meetings we were in the room figuring out if Ma'am will come to class. :))

Funny thing was these three subjects I got by chance. Every semester, new sets of people are brought to our lives by some random system, yet I found myself enjoying this one. Short term was never irrelevant because life's most memorable moments are just that.. moments. It's kind of like having three High School graduations right now. Friends really make school worth the effort. =)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sweet Day

Happy birthday Ma.


Today my exams in SOSC 3 did not push through. Instead we were given an assignment for two weeks, and on Thursday we're going to have a farewell potluck. S-weet! I really loved that class, "Exploring Gender and Sexuality". It really influenced me to take a closer look at a topic so infrequently discussed. SOSC 3 never bored me from Day One, as I have the most open-minded and funniest classmates and one good friend. Looking forward to Thursday. :D

In STS class, our group leader interrupted my eating-inside-the-auditorium because I was tasked to be his assistant and the timer for the groups because he was assigned to be the host. At first I was like hey, I wanna sit down and eat and watch the groups. But then I just picked my butt up and it turned out to be better because we got to talk, and I got a something to do instead of just bumming around my seat sleeping. I admire his theatrical confidence so much, his eye for detail and despite of that he's for-real.

After that class I went with an ex-blockmate to have a look at her boarding house. The rent costs P1500, inclusive of the electric and water bills, and has free cleaning. WOW. Where can you find a deal like that? The house had a good location, just inside UP and it has a gate before it, making it safer. I think it's less flood-prone too. But the house itself doesn't look very good, aesthetically. The walls are made of plywood and kind of empty, but it's bearable considering that Rizal is just a jeep away just in case. I will consider how much I want to be a little bit independent at the cost of inconvenience.

Dad visited us here to eat out for Mom's day. Mom was on a light mood and Dad gave me extra bucks before he left telling me to spend. Yes he specified to spend because he knows that I can save a lot. I really am not a saver! I just want a car ASAP. Haha. I was thinking of not having a normal debut celebration since last night. What if I just spend it with an institution or with my distant relatives? Anyway, that's for later. More blessings to Mom! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

To-do Lists

Ever felt frustrated when you think of your goals?


I have, and it makes my headache whenever I think of it. Questions just keep popping up: Is this the right course? What will you do after you graduate college? What will your career be? It's so hard to find the answers because everything is uncertain and has no guarantee. In the meantime, here I am with a mound of schoolwork. I have to finish this semester nicely in the hopes of keeping up with my grades when I was a freshman (not that it's "record-high". Just the feeling of having to exceed your own standards), and I have to make the next semester even better because I didn't quite enjoy my free time this sem. I guess I was too afraid of getting too busied up that I avoided the extra-curricular activities that "called" me. I should really have a sort of Bucket List every semester, because I tend to short-cut things, which is no fun at all.. Never liked the feeling of having grass growing under my feet. :|

Long term, I don't know what the future holds for me.. Who does? But I sure want to have a good future. A verrry good one. I'd like to believe that it's up to me even though there may be outside forces, because I'm dying to make sense out of myself. We have different definitions of what "success" is, but initially to me, success is being independent. I don't think I'll take so much pride of having a great car or a house if it was bought to me by my parents. The feeling of liberation and competence just makes me ITCH.

PS. I found the song below in my iPod, I don't know who put it there. Nice lyrics. Title is like that of a love song, but it's more of about self-actualization. Play!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Caught in the Sexuality Web

Go dress them boys pink and girls blue.


These past few days I was thinking of a good topic for my Philippine Contemporary Issues paper. Just now I chose Gender and Sexuality because come to think of it, everybody has genders and sexualities, but it's a neglected topic because it looks "personal", when actually both are heavily influenced by socialization. I think studying gender and sexuality would say a lot about the degrees of our collective consciousness and self-expectations.. :]

Locally, the Philippines is a very patriarchal society. That's probably why it seems it's better to be tomboy than to be gay. The machismo endorsed by the media as well as the sexuality beliefs from our own families restricts people. It subjects one to a prison bar that is gender even before the society gets to know the other characteristics of the person. In fact, even tangible stuffs are given gender, such as cars and flowers. I remember a guy friend asking for a mirror, and I told him the only mirror I got is from a compact powder. A compact mirror is "female", that's why I didn't give it to him easily. See that? If you step out of the box, most likely you'll judged by the society and those who strictly conform by it. It has effects on our choices, and our choices determine a huge part of our life.

I'm glad anyway that our views of homosexuality are somewhat improving and that the issue is getting to the mainstream. I've recently watched the local movie entitled In My Life, and it impressed me at the level of acceptance we already have, and it also focused on the "ever-crucial" concept of family. Sexuality issues used to be an off topic even for myself. But now it's an interesting field we can truly learn a lot from.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't Stop because it Doesn't

Prepare for trouble, make it double.


I'm currently in Cavite with the whole family. We are lucky that our house here too was untouched by the typhoon. Another typhoon will be entering the Philippines, already named Pepeng. I still can't get over the fact that Ondoy has been affecting everybody from Mega Manila. Its aftermath is still in the headlines of newspapers and TV shows, like President Arroyo opening the Malacanang Palace for evacuees and Conrado de Quiros remarking, "It is in times of disaster that the Filipino ceases to be a disaster." That quote stuck to my brain the whole day because it is a positive remark about our nation. As Michael Tan's article also said, from bayanihan came kabayanihan (from community spirit comes heroism). It's nationalistic.

A calamity like this strikes only occasionally, but not everything is romantic after the tragedy. There are stories of overpriced medicines and funeral parlor services, as well as public officials postponing help until the media comes to cover them, and politicians advertising themselves to the poor typhoon victims. I don't know if that is genuine helping or being opportunistic!

Anyway, Dad plans to have his own relief operations on Saturday somewhere in Cavite. I wanted to help in the distributing itself, to be deployed in the field, but I also have to go home to Rizal since there is a possibility that classes will resume next week. We are not very rich, but Dad has this thing about helping other people without expecting in return probably because he came from a poor family. These deprivation stories are quite predictable, as many kids of my generation have been bombarded by them since childhood. Mom and Dad have built our home without help from relatives -- from their wedding, their home, their careers to how they managed our household. If I should learn something from the repetitive and almost annoying stories, it is that we carve most of our destinies with out own hands. And that carving happens everyday. Nothing should ever come to waste even if circumstances aren't always favorable. Filipinos should learn that lesson too (and I'd like to think that most of us already have).

Pray that Pepeng won't further knock us down..

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Invisible Rainbow

Saw helping hands today.



The sky was clearer this morning.. a perfect time for relief operations to start and survivors to start measuring up how much they have left. I went with a friend to volunteer at a relief operation at Ateneo. I don't know anyone else coming at the relief operations of my school so between a choice of not helping and helping I chose helping. Anyway it will benefit someone regardless of what school one participated. All the time I was imagining what is going on in UP and some other schools. I wanted to have a clearer vision of how many people chose to help and how much they are able to donate.

The highways were really dusty as the eroded soil hardened under the sun. It looked like a scene from the Wild West when the wind blows. You could see the mud marks on walls and post-submerged abandoned cars. Garbage were naturally left hanging on the walls, the stores beside the roads are either closed or cleaning up, and the concrete plant pots were at odd places. This is reality right before my eyes after three days. Now it's not that hard to imagine for me the damages of this typhoon.

First we went to the hypermarket to buy groceries. The sardines and noodles shelves were almost empty and I wanted to take a picture of it if it wasn't too naive. Such a rare sight. Long lines were at the counter, carts and baskets were filled to the brim and I can only imagine the profits made by supermarkets for that. Everybody else seemed panic buying, or whatever it is called, relief-goods-shopping, after the storm. I was glad to see that some people are able to put away a part of their time and money to answer a call.

Then when we arrived at the gymnasium of Ateneo and there were a bunch of students who took the boxes out of the car. The next thing I knew my friend and I were at the rice area, and we started putting rice inside plastics together with the rest of the volunteers. It was a bit back-breaking and it hurts when I knelt on the grains. Next we tried sorting out clothes, which was the dirtiest job because we opened boxes of clothes that smelled like strong mothballs. Hard to breathe, but we were able to finish the job there. There were mountains of clothes! How exciting. I imagined jumping on top of it but yuck the smell would cling on me. Haha. Then, on the toiletries, we were asked to count how many packs are inside the box and put a tape on each of them. After three hours of doing those, we got really tired. But I'm glad I participated instead of just bumming at home finishing my paper. Before we left there were 2,500 volunteers that time in ADMU. How about the rest of the Philippines?

Now, schools all over NCR and Region IV don't have classes until Friday. That's a long stretch of vacation and I personally don't want it. I want a long semestral break, but this extension is a way to give time for others to recover. I hope we all recover. Lots of things have been down due to the flood, such as businesses whose goods are damaged, and of course people who may have been starting to rebuild their lives from scratch. But I believe there is hope.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Offense Mechanism

Can't stop the rain. So there's only one thing to do.
Picture from: 22.media.tumblr.com



I always want to run away from reality when I'm commuting it's raining and there's no ride. Sometimes I want to escape not the location, but the time, as I was doing a 16-paged final and praying for the sembreak. In Cavite, the Internet Cafe was my safe place where I "runaway" to escape the toxicity at home. In Rizal it was anywhere and not going home early. Last year in Laguna it was at Ristretto a coffee shop where my dormmates hang out and pretend we don't have exams the next day. And when I return home I always feel better, and the people around me feel better too because the ill-feeling has passed.

Now hundreds of Filipinos are affected by the typhoon Ondoy and they have no house to come home to. Many people and animals alike are killed by the flood, families have destroyed homes, damaged possessions, even missing members, and other realities that we wouldn't blame anyone if they wanted to escape from, or wish they could turn back time, or question why it has to be them, or blame themselves, or point fingers at the government, or any other feeling of regret or waste. After seeing the pictures and hearing the stories of my friends, I don't even know how to react. But if I should know one thing from past events, when this type of hard reality strikes, escaping could really work to our disadvantage. Without the survival instinct increasingly required to respond to what's happening, one may slip and lose more important things, taking other people with them.

I was relieved at the story of my friend who lives in Marikina and they were able to let go of their house and take pictures of their living room after it was completely submerged, and their family was well intact. It impressed me so much at how their presence of mind really pulled them through, how her mom destroyed the windows and how a single ladder saved them. I haven't imagined myself in the situation, but knowing that it's not the end of the world after the plywood walls have wrinkled, the floor is thick with mud, the appliances floated around and school books have been washed away, it makes me think that maybe I won't lose my wits afterwards.

I hope that at least the spiritual and emotional recovery would come soonest to those who are affected by Ondoy.. Here's "let's-pick-each-other-up" news story. Our Prof urged us to read and share it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's Personal becomes Social

In a public position, do you think only of yourself?



Yesterday I came in General Sociology class late, and the reporter is in front ready to read a batch of quiz questions. When I sat down, my left and right seatmates quickly placed a sheet of paper in my armchair in unison. Half of me wants to note how thoughtful they are, and half of me wants to laugh harder because they already kindly think of me as a.. *gulp* PARASITE! :))

When I hear the word corruption, I used to have an image of Erap Estrada embezzling millions from taxpayers through jueteng or cronyism because corruption is such a secret issue. Nobody knows for sure if what we/they do is legitimate or not. The pork-barrel issue, the red tape, etc.. we do not know if they are actually means of corruption or development. But I learned a lot when we reported about that in Philippine Contemporary Issues. Different countries have different laws and ideas of what corruption is, but the bottom line is that corruption betrays public interest for private gain. An example is bribery. When you want to, say, get a driver's license, you'll always find someone outside (in an LTO officer get-up, even) who's ready to give the documents to you without ever falling in line, but it comes with a certain price. Even though it looks simple or a part of the culture, that is corruption.

Mr. Prof pointed out that some corrupt countries have good economies because they reinvest the corrupted money on infrastructures or businesses in their country. While in our case, corrupt politicians buy properties and secure bank accounts outside the Philippines using the taxpayer's money, taking the capital OUT of the country, benefiting nobody else but themselves. Clear picture? Well, it shouldn't be.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nearsightedness

Lately lots of things have been neglected.



These past few days I haven't been able to have FUN because the semester is almost over and every Professor is giving all they got. Today I skipped my first class because I needed to study for another subject's oral exam. Oral exams do not work for me. I have a hard time explaining myself verbally because it is a factor that I have to appear like I know what I'm saying. And especially because I know I'm talking to someone who clearly knows what the topic is about and perhaps is waiting for me to look like I'm bluffing (dramaturgy). I didn't even use what we learned from class, only stock knowledge from other sociology classes. In short, I may have screwed it up. -_-

Since this morning I've been depressed/annoyed/emo because of the black hole people surrounding me. I skipped other things, as I was supposed to tour at a blockmate's dorm after classes to see if I could live there. And the day didn't work out right as well because of that shitty oral exams. The only happy point of the day was that we watched "The Science of Sex Appeal" in our Gender and Sexuality class. Quite amusing to know that what we actually find attractive can be attributed to what we want our offspring to be. Example, we are naturally turned-on by the smell of someone whose DNA possesses an immunity from a sickness that we do not have. So most likely our offspring becomes at least more superior, health-wise. Etcetera.

Before I went home I made an impulsive decision to have a haircut since it is one of my picker-uppers and because my hair is starting to look like an untrimmed plant shooting strands in all directions, if you know what I mean. So here I am (learned just a while ago) with a stacked bob. I guess I'll pass making my hair long until next year. I feel better now. :]

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's (not supposed to be) Complicated

Too much focus on the red dot.


It doesn't take a genius to know that imperfect people produce imperfect relationships. That's why it frustrates me sometimes when related individuals expect too much of each other because I don't believe we were made to be criticized constantly. Once friends or partners expect you to bend over backwards to please them, it's wiser to walk away and come back once their delusions are already gone...

:)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good Morning!

Looking forward to this every single day.



Last year at the dorm when I wake up, I take something cold out of the communal ref, reheat it, serve it to myself, eat with the plate on my lap and wash the dishes afterwards. Or if I have the time, grab my jacket to buy something from the outside and take it back to eat with my dormmates. And if I don't, skip the meal and head straight to class where I can buy food on the way and eat in the classroom.

But now I don't have to, because I'm living at home. How glorious it is to climb down the stairs and see that someone actually thought I might be hungry. The most important meal of the day indeed, and the first sign of "humanness" the everyday drone of life. =D

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Little less of a Metalmouth

At last, no more slicing before eating. :]]


Today we went to the dentist to finally remove my braces. I've been aching to have em taken off since last, last week but due to my busy schedule I wasn't able to go. And now I was! Yeay. The dentist put a crown on my other teeth because she pulled one off so that the rest can have ample space to show themselves. Throughout this brace's batch, I've had three teeth uprooted. THREE... I went through anesthesia needles and painkillers. Sometimes I think that the dentist is overdoing it, that she isn't following the laws of nature, but of course I'm not the one with the diploma and years of experience. I felt my teeth with my tongue and it was so new, so smooth without the metal cubes and wires and when I checked it out in the mirror -- first time in three years -- they looked great..! I didn't know that. Thank you Ms. Dentist. :]

We have to wait for a few hours as she was ordering (or making?) my retainers because my teeth still had an overjet, a slanted overbite, and the former is used to correct the latter. So Mom and I went to the salon to have our nails done first. We came back and it was Helloooo retainers. This isn't my first time. Grade 4 I had braces too, removed by Grade 6. Then retainers during 2nd year high school. But I didn't wear em a lot. My dentist noticed and I'm back to braces by 3rd year. And now 2nd year college, removed and back to retainers. OKAY THAT'S BASICALLY my dental history. Never will I neglect my retainers this time. I don't want to repeat the process.. *beams*

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Local Throne

One wise voter just isn't enough.


Our Philippine Institutions prof told us before that she hated our classroom interior, which is like a wooden mini-auditorium, with a thick platform and a meter of distance from our chairs because according to her it looks very authoritarian. "When you go inside this room, why do you not go and sit on the teacher's chair?" she thought aloud, "Because even though you may not be conscious of it, you know that this chair is a sign of my authority over you." True. That would be much-ado-about-nothing for a some people. But in sociology, this perspective can be called Symbolic Interactionism. It's no wonder why we have a word called Seat of Power.

Well, in the same class, and in the same context, we discussed the most powerful local Seat of Power that would be given next year, which is the presidency over the Philippines. Election time brings us face-to-face with our previous decisions and the problems that have remained unaddressed and could possibly be solved (or not) by the next administration. So far, I haven't found a candidate that is 100% deserving of the position (some has self-interest and passivity written all over them. e.g., Erap). Each of them have their flaws, of course. But none of them can still prove that they will use their power to govern properly. Sometimes I even think that the next-best President is somewhere behind the eyes of the media.

Even though the next President may be a representative for change as Obama was in the US, and safe to say, Aquino in the local setting, still, whoever the "agent of change" is, he or she would still need to go through a very traditional system during the campaign period and election. There is a huge possibility of cheating and violence as we have repeatedly observed before. The Agents of Change would have to follow the same old failing system, and this could probably eat them up and make em succumb into repeating the cycle of politicking all over again. On a hopeful note, if ever they remain steadfast to their visions, let's hope their visions are clear and correct. We need a political revival.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Post-Anticipation

Friday is my next big day



Finally....... This is the day I've been waiting for, the day that the debate is done and over with. If you ask me what happened, well it went fine. I don't know if well. The opposition has a lot of issues we could point out. They mentioned the issues about the poor and accessibility of hospitals, but they failed to give solutions other than the government increasing budget. How exactly will they increase the budget? But their words were sensational.

Our group has had a lot of points to answer from our classmates since really, privatization is critique-able in this setting. My groupmates were able to answer and rebut (I'm the first speaker so I got no chance), but I don't know if we were convincing or persuasive enough. I'm glad our Prof also made points on the other group since nobody else seems to question. Perhaps one way of looking at it is once you mention "for the poor" it's already correct. Nevertheless, I think we did a good job, content-wise because we have proposals and policies and not merely ideologies. It's done and over with. Everybody did their best and I'm honestly glad.

When the class finished I treated my friends to Sylvanas. HAHA. What, sounds cheap? Yes it is, relatively. Haha. I haven't treated anyone big time since my birthday with dormmates last March. And I guess I'm too relieved about this debate that I volunteered. Thinking back, because I have a bit of an ambitious streak, I want to be the Best Speaker in the debate. It would be the greatest incentive and the guarantee that all these sleepless nights and putting away other academic stuff is worth it. But whoever wins and doesn't, I don't really mind.

Dad's home. He, Mom and Ral went to some mall but I wasn't able to follow due to my late dismissal time. When I arrived home, he ordered pizza since he noticed that my hair was a mess. HAHA. Oh no. Well I'm glad he's here. It's been a while. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Parents @ FB

"So this is what she's been up to." :)



Lots of kids don't want to add their parents in Facebook. I know, because it's weird and there's a lot of information flowing all over the social networking site (hereby called SNS). Pictures during parties, the type of quizzes you take, your posts or statuses, the games you waste your time on (AHA!! moment for parents), etc. I thought I would never have to worry about that since Mom has a distaste for such SNS fad and I know my Dad would never ever ever have one unless some fan creates one for him. So imagine my amusement when I saw Mom's name on my friend requests and she hasn't mentioned she'd create one. :D I've long told her to open a blogsite but she said she didn't have the time. Hope that would follow.

I think it's okay. Didn't hesitate to click Accept. I know I wouldn't get too conscious of what I put in there because she's my mom.. Perhaps she's known me from jerkhood. I also hope she updates it even though I'm almost sure she wouldn't (hey, anything could happen). Maybe it's also a step for her to know what I've been doing and my weird habit of face-in-the-monitor-every-night world.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Biggest L in the VMAs

*Do you understand body language?*
Pic from http://beat.bodoglife.com


A loser is someone who didn't win in a competition.
A Loser is someone who's "lost it".

Losers sour-graping and ranting about their fate are some of the stuff that I never dreamed of hearing. Most of the time I just nod my head to get it over with or attempt to correct them. But most of the time too, they just wouldn't listen to anybody except another Loser on their side. When they start criticizing the winning team (or person) and elevate the quality of theirs or their bets, I just don't see the point, especially when the results are out already. Sure, it can be a point to explore the results and analyze and perhaps put some action on it to really challenge the system. But mere destructive opinions should be dealt with personally, and a lot more maturely.

The act of Kanye West rushing over to the stage to express his opinions, while Taylor Swift was delivering her speech, is an act of a Loser. And yes, I'm labeling him. Did he think his prestige and his seemingly "heroic" act of saving the face of Beyonce were enough to change the results from a million voters and make his bet win? I don't think so. In fact, he only made a fool out of himself.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Issues

We didn't win by the way. Err, does it matter?


I wasn't supposed to enjoy this weekend. I was supposed to stay at home, stay late finishing a report, a group paper, a debate script and be out complaining about it. I've done a little bit of everything. Started the Powerpoint, researched for the paper and outlined my speech. And at the same time I was able to go out, to go on an impromptu-DVD-watching-suddenly-turns-sleepover and watch the UAAP Cheerdance Competition after. Now I really have no time except tomorrow after make-up class (day of the debate), to finish the report and paper.

I REALLY HOPE WE WOULD WIN THE DEBATE! Our motion is pro-privatization of public hospitals, and in general, it is a UP ideology to stay out of privatization because it would promote capitalism, which according to Marx alienates workers. Also they say that it is the government's task to subsidize our health concerns, and to make it attainable and accessible to the poor. Hmm... Question is, Are they successful in doing so? >:)

It is a common belief (I don't know if a truth) that privatization would benefit capitalists only. Yet according economic theories, privatization would basically lead to efficiency and lessen the burdens in the government's hands. It doesn't always happen and there are a lot of examples of deteriorating privatized entities. Privatization isn't a panacea to our problem of poverty. But it does have merits that improve our way of life.. And that's exactly what I should be convincing the class about. There may be a lot of points from the class, and I'll be speechless, or anything else. But... If I want to be a lawyer I really should practice debating.

Good night. Today is a good one. I hope it's a sign that tomorrow's going to be a good one too. :)