Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Escapist

A girl sits quietly on a room with twenty other students. Listening to the older person on the platform, writing with a black pen on a white board. Explaining random terminologies and relationships between the incomprehensible jargon that was supposed to earn her a living/give her a bright future in a few years. Suddenly a huge, supernatural hand busts the windows and picker her up from her seat. She was waiting for this moment, to be carried away by an unstoppable being, just like comics, leaving the dreary classroom in shock and shattered glass.. But all they can see from the abducted girl was a satisfied, even ecstatic, face.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

After-school Training


Last night was my second night jogging with friends. We're going to join A Run for the Pasig River next Sunday. They started training last week, but being too engrossed watching chess games, it was only yesterday that I joined. And yay! I conquered the acad oval (which is roughly about 2.2 kms), jogging non-stop. What a feat for someone who only lasted 1/4 of it the first time! I really aimed to finish at least one round so that next time I would know that I could do more. The biggest battle was to think that you couldn't even though your legs could still move. What really helped was the breathing part (my own rhythm was jog-jog-jog-exhale, I dunno if I did it right), and of course, friends to warm up and cool down with. Hopefully on the day of the run we'd finish without stopping too.

Oh and the event aims to break Guinness World Record for the largest number of participants in a footrace, targeting 120, 000 runners. Altruism at its best. Hahaha. Join now!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

From Various Angles

Without philosophizing anything, I think ~*art*~ is a fruit of conscious effort. An act of appreciation of areas of life that otherwise can never be given a second look. It brings me back to UP. Lots of photographs have already been taken inside the sprawling campus yet I never notice most of them. Until I've seen a photograph of it, I realize some of its quiet nooks and crannies have been a haven of inspiration for somebody.

Consider a photo of the life on the streets. When you see a painting or photograph of dusty jeeps, makeshift houses made of scrap wood and children knocking on windows, you see the certain "beauty" or "reality" that it has. But when you see it with your own eyes, you would most likely turn them away from the scene, from the more raw part of its reality that is devoid of anything beautiful--at least, for you. Perhaps the photographer did a better job than your eyes. Perhaps he adjusted his lenses and edited the colors and lights and tapped on technology to bring out the beauty that it did not initially have. But I would agree more that his human eyes are more powerful than his technologies: the fact that he saw the potential of this seemingly hopeless scene, he brought hope of pointing out that rubble could be a fountain of appreciation.

Maybe art is but bringing hope, something we should do everyday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

If There's such thing as Heaven Week


A week of dinner and friends. Of tears for absence and apologies. A week of classes, exams and lunches. Of listening to problems and struggles and carrying each other on our backs. A week of pinky promises, giggles and secrets. Of new-found crushes and heartbreaking realizations.. Of God and His busy hands.

Now on to the next--the semester is running out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Invisible Strings

Today I woke up with my first dream of him. The second day we talked. Already he has become unforgettable, soliciting a love that is exceptional for a person like me, who has lost all faith and gained unattainable standards in the field. Perhaps, abandoning it altogether. Never mind that he has the attention of other girls. What I found in him was unconditional. Before he left, he put a headphone on my ear saying that it was a song that he attributes to me. I listened, and the tune in the dream surprised me. The song was "The Only Exception", something I haven't been hearing for months. And this morning, I realized that this was probably what he was to me. Right now I do not feel the need to be cautious. Hopeful, maybe. I'm hoping that he never has to leave.

FICTION

Where was her Note?

Arturo Luz. Chair with Table and Lamp. 1957.



At that place they've known, she arrived only to find it empty. The day before, she knew succumbed to fear. She already saw him filled with emotions. And she did not dare ask how he's been dealing with issues. Today things will change: she will show him that she cares.

But he was nowhere to be found in that place they've known. Another person arrived, crying. Another person dropped by, reading a note from him. What is going on? She caught him passing without glimpsing that place they've known.

The fact that he didn't say goodbye stung. Perhaps she didn't matter as much as the others. She wanted to chase him, to catch him and ask for an explanation. But she stayed on her place, muffled with ignorance and exclusion.. and hurt.

Others met and reasoned in that place they've known. She sat beside them and sang her piece. They told her stay out of it, you are not involved. Stung, she persisted. And they hushed. Other ignorant persons came and looked for him. "Where is he?" they asked. "He left," (quite literally). "Did he pass by?" they asked. "He did," (without pausing for a second). It was tough playing guessing games out of an absentee's emotions. But she will persist. And she will wait, in that place they've known, when he will come back.

If he didn't... oh, he will. He has not said his goodbye yet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First and Last

Jose Joya. Granadean Arabesque. 1958.
FICTION

Do you remember that one fine day when the wind was blowing steadily on us, and suddenly your humble little folder crashed on the ground, bursting hundreds of soft papers on the dusty road? How I picked them up and stared in awe at your secret world of colors smeared on the cheap canvass with a magic brush? How you stole them from my sight and in embarrassment shoved them, all crumpled, in your bag? "You paint good," I said. You looked up in disbelief.

Maybe I could show you the portrait you made of me for graduation the year after that. The one with a little note that says Thank you. Your first painting of me. And the first painting you showed willingly to another person's eye. We were saying goodbye and I told you that you should keep doing this, you're good at it! You smiled sheepishly. Half-heartedly, or so I thought, you nod.

And how every time you signed up for conferences, every time you won a prize, every time you earned recognition, I was there to congratulate you. Through enthusiastic letters and conversation at least. Until you really got good at it that I could no longer understand what your were saying--the techniques of strokes, the variety of effects, the pigmentation and brushes and canvasses and styles unheard of. Until I understood no longer, at all. Until we gave up communicating altogether.

Until your creature is in front of me now and I still stare at awe, for the nth time, like a proud mother, but really just a friend. But really, just a stranger.

You don't remember me, do you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Watched, Read, Seen

This week has been satisfying for the heart and the brain. Saturday:


This movie is a surprise LOL tear-jerker, especially for those who have parental issues. Sounds far from the evil villain plot? Not really! Then on Sunday:


I finally finished reading this, categorically, "high school" novel. I love everything with an award. But the story is quite pointless. I got the story. I never got the point. Instead of an escapist story, it's a "returnist". Still, an accomplishment to have read Lois Lowry twice. Still, it's children's literature. Move on, Sam. And this afternoon, Monday:



I met with some friends at the Ateneo, and boy was I thankful that they allowed non-students inside the Rizal Library. Oh. I love museums and art galleries as much as I love theater plays and big, full, labyrinth-esque libraries. I might as well live inside them. And if I had a super dream house, it would certainly look a lot like those spaces: wide, silent and with a mysterious, whimsical air about it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Daughter

The man a guy should answer to

"Miss you anak. Wedding na ko, saw the little flower girls and I remember you nung flower girl ka haha kasal ni Tita Keng nun. You were so alert and alive. We have pictures nun. Miss you now that you've grown up, di na kita makalong haha. Hay how time moves so swiftly. Be a good girl, you'll be on your own soon. Just remember Dad loves you so much. Miss you a lot."


I woke up to this message from Dad. It's been a month since I last saw him. The arrangement of my family is pretty crazy: Mom and I in Rizal, my two brothers at a dorm in Manila, and Dad with our helper in Cavite. We've been physically separated since third year high school (that's about four years) because of my parents' work. Nevertheless we remain close to each other, especially when all of us go home, which doesn't happen a lot because of the distance and our schedules. There are really times when I miss our togetherness, most of all during dinners--when all of us are on the same table and laughing. I guess ever since all of us went to college and when I celebrated my debut, my parents are pretty sentimental about us growing up.

One thing I appreciate is Dad's expressiveness of his love in simple, direct ways, in ways that could contradict the male pride that he has. When I was at the dorm in Elbi and my grandfather died, he called me, silently sobbing. I thought that he'd forget about the incident because it's pretty embarrassing, but he didn't. I have longed to have a heart like Dad in that aspect.

He also has always emphasized the importance of independence, since it was what got him through during the tough times of his childhood (HOW MANY OF YOU CAN RELATE TO "NUNG BATA AKO..." STORIES?). And as I was going through my Christian life, I realized that that independence has been my problem. I never liked authority and never thought of men as people I could depend on. But I can see now that the emphasis on independence could change. I've found a hope on Jesus. He was never independent of His Father, in fact, He was the complete opposite. I will keep praying that Dad will also find a new Father figure. It's possible, right? :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Answered Prayer

Ate Rai, Tere and me about a year ago
I can't help being nostalgic as I remember exactly how last year's semester went. It was the beginning of God's plan for me to have a church--something I've been wanting since childhood! This year, I spend most of my time with my churchmates, and while I may tend to take this everyday-occurence for granted, I'll always remember the whole year of spending birthdays, jamming, swimming, approaching strangers, helping out communities, praying for each other, sharing food, partying and talking intimately about our walks with God. These are truly treasures that I cherish! Something that I didn't expect in my stay in UP!

That summer before my transfer in Diliman from UP Los Banos, I created a blog entitled "The Calling", which  despite my hesitations, stubbornness and doubts, described my frustrated spiritual thirst. I wanted to belong, specifically, to a Christian community.. or any spiritual community of some sort! I never had one growing up. And God answered this prayer immediately: during my very first day in UPD, He introduced me to Ate Rai.

First days are days when Profs do not usually arrive, and so I ended up noticing this girl with a long hair as I was going out of the washroom, this girl sat down next to someone familiar--Theresa, my blockmate from UPLB whom I never spoke a word with the year before. Being alone and not wanting to look like a loner, I asked for permission to sit with them for a while. They agreed, and we all stared  silently at the lobby filled with people who knew each other, people excited to see their friends and classmates, but we were strangers in  this new place. I wondered at that time how I would fit in such a place.

Then I started to notice this pretty girl checking us out, maybe finding one of us familiar. She approached us, introduced herself, and showed us five pieces of pink Post-its, asking us what we thought about the words written on them. Soon, she asked for our number. I hesitated. Someone had approached me earlier asking if I wanted to be part of their org and I gave a fake number (actually, my mom's). I was about to do the same when I thought, Hey, a spiritual community daw, this was what I was blogging about a few weeks ago... I'll give it a try! And the rest is history.

Tere and I found ourselves consistently attending Bible studies, although we never consistently took part of any activity of the church. By the end of the semester, we realized how close we got, from strangers to sisters. "Orchestration" was all the word that could described it. Ate Rai invited us to her church's sem break camp called Square one, where God introduced us to the bigger picture of His church--Stillwaters--or, more people in love with Him! It was the beginning of building friendships with His children. :)

How and why did I accept Christ? Well, that's a different, more exciting story. ;)

Us, December 2009


August 2010
January 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Makes me Smile


My crush, Lee Taemin of Shinee. He's quite a dancer. You should see their new video! Shinee has always been my favorite ever since Ring Ding Dong, Replay and now Lucifer! Taemin definitely stands out, especially that he smiles a lot. I like guys who smile a lot. =)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Toploaders

Have you ever taken a ride on top of a jeepney? Docking when the trees and live wires come near? Screaming while going through zigzags? And holding tight when the roads are rough?

For a field trip, my PI 100 class (Rizal) hiked toured and hiked around Dolores, Quezon. Really enjoyed the overnight stay with my group called Ely Buendia, most of whom were upperclassmen. They were great and our trademark was, we were always last. Last to hike down from Mt. Banahaw, take a bath, to have our turn during reportings, eat lunch or dinner, etc.

While I can really say that the trip was enjoyable, I wouldn't advice for someone fainthearted to take the same. THIS TRIP WAS EXTREME, MAN. My body's experiencing aches and pains, and tomorrow I'm pretty sure it would continue. Also, I'm going to be on a shorts hiatus for a while:

Drenched and wounded
Our guide
Not my group, but the other people on the roof