Monday, December 5, 2011

Thesis Journey 1: First Visit

*hereby called the TJ series

I thought maybe I can share a few things about my thesis journey, just based on observations of course.

Today I went to Rizal Provincial Jail (RPJ) to inquire. I have zero contacts inside, and I went alone. Anyone would have thought a teenage girl going to a jail would be a wrong idea, and as the tricycle ride halted to a stop, I said a silent prayer because my heart started fluttering in my chest. What am I doing here?

The guard in front wondered if I was there to visit a prisoner. I told him otherwise and he pointed me to the desk officer inside the building. Some men resting on the way (whom I think are in camouflaged uniforms) said a different kind of "Hi Miss" ~the one that's not polite, and I put my poker face on to mask the frown.

The desk officer told me to write a request to the governor addressed to a police superintendent before I could get access to interviewing inmates and the personnel. And before I knew it, the trip was over.

On my way back up, the same resting guys said "Hi." again.

No doubt about it, the prison system may very well be a "macho" arena, the one that maybe I should not be going to. It can be said that in our country, we find it hard to trust policemen, or those in authority. They seem to have too much power for them to handle. But I try not to say the final words.

Recently I photocopied Raymund Narag's account on the QC Jail and the photos are not very pleasing: men stuffed into overcrowded and even filthy cells. I try to desensitize myself from all of these. I have always thought that prison life is hell, maybe similar to what the rest of society thinks. For one thing, it helped me appreciate what I escaped (hell itself, yes). And for another, I thought maybe there's hope in its nooks and crannies of the prison that I might find throughout this study. To be honest, it is exactly what I am looking for.

Maybe I'll get disappointed. Maybe become hopeful. Maybe as a woman, they would treat me differently. How different, if positive or negative, I do not know. To be objectified, discriminated, belittled or confided on, I'm  not sure. It's too early to tell.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Attempts at social relevance

Yes yes. 

Personal blogs are good for people who are trying to figure out their personal problems, and I agree. Writing has always been my way of dealing with issues that my brain found too complex to even think about quietly.

I am glad that this blog has helped people think. And also, I wanted to help people in a more ~*socially relevant*~ matters.

I'm sorry for the fickleness but I created a new blog! hahaha.

This blog will be kept, but the URL will be changed next year. I know I should be focusing on my thesis. To be honest, it was so difficult to focus. Really. It has crossed my mind that I may not be able to finish it, but it's too early to conclude.

Tomorrow I will head to Rizal Provincial Jail and see what I can gather, and probably the light bulbs will work by that time that I'd be able to write something substantial and not substandard. Believe you me, I wanted a thesis with ~*social relevance*~ and I hope that is exactly what I will accomplish. I won't settle for a mediocre thesis, but I do hope that I would be able to write it THIS semester.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindness Girl


When you encounter something WILD,
magical or dazzlingly captivating
you just fall silent and stare at awe
guards down
hearts on sleeve
overflowing with JOY
breathless.

Oh what would life be if every moment is like that?

***

~my feeling towards Kindness Girl's blog as I saw her on Oprah's magazine.
Made me wish my blog was like hers.
What a heavenly concept!

When I first saw the "birth" photos, I trembled
when I first saw the family photos of hugging, I shivered
when I first saw the generosity towards strangers, I wondered
Then I realized

Kindness may have been something that people are not used to these days

them, including myself, and maybe, a lot of other people around me. My immediate circle
Isn't that sad? To crave for kindness but not ask for it or not give it
when life is clearly too shot.
To bother so much about pride and "cheeziness" even though you know deep inside
a frozen heart could melt?
a life could be changed?
wounds would be healed?
gaps will be bridged?

I wish my own heart and life and wounds and gaps would.
And too little action is done about it
(in fact more is done to worsen conditions)

"I try to avoid humanity apparently, which only ends up exposing just how human I really am." ~Kindness Girl

I want to start this project in my own life.
And see the results on others before my time is up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do you smell that?





I think I do!








It's almost Christmas! :D

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Moving Out. Soon.

gives me hope :)

It's the second day and I have three papers to write.

The anticipated heaviness of this semester is becoming more and more evident. Even as Dad came by tonight, he agreed for me to look for a place to stay within UP since I took up full units with thesis. He went on "encouraging" me or justifying "his" decision for me to take up full units (haha). Although I don't 100% believe in every word he said, it is comforting to have my Dad to cheer me up. I really wish we lived in the same house, though. It would really make things lighter for me. And now I am going to have to move out.

Tell you what, I think moving out is a great idea. About time! I heard in the US they let their children go as soon as they are 18, and I'm 19, and I don't want to be a kid until I get a job. I want to experience grocery-shopping for myself, dealing with the laundry, paying bills and all those adult things I'd probably grow tired of in a span of, what, 40 years? if I am lucky. Haha.

And truthfully, I want to stop commuting every day :( The pollution, the heat, lack of transportation, passengers, probability of encountering criminals, time spent in traffic, fatigue. Flush those down. I want to be able to jog at night, sleep during break times, eat dinners with friends and be on school as early as I wake up!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First Day and Craving for more

Well what an interesting day it was.

One of the subjects I was dreading was MBB (1) because it starts at 8:30 (2) at a distant building where I had to take another jeep and (3) basically because it was molecular biology. As such I was just a few minutes late. The Prof looked stern and even scary, but I slumped over to the first row of seats (Heard it does wonders with your grades). What caught on was a debate, short essay every meeting to be drawn randomly equivalent to your long exam. When I thought he was the terror type, he started calling us one by one. I found out that the class was highly diversified. We had Fine Arts, Education, Creative writing, Computer Science but most students came from various categories of Engineering (Materials, Mining, etc.) No Biology though. Sociology, says he, has a special place in his heart.

He started weaving cellular automata, gene sequencing, bionics and paternity cases in the next hour and 30 minutes. It was so particularly interesting and challenging at the same time, to hear science terms. I get easily impressed by those to tell you the truth. And already we have an essay to write, which he instructs, should pattern with our disciplines. Great!

*absent Profs, few enrollment steps, meet-ups at SM North, Tere's birthday celebration*

Behind the scenes. Taken by Wesley







Invited Wesley to tag along

Fast forward to tonight where we had unlimited platefuls of cakes and cupfuls of coffee (and foam) from Cravings' Grand Cake and Coffee Festival. All free. We were obviously college kids under-dressed for such a tasteful event. But no matter. I love how we made the Photobooth livelier than it ever will be. :)

And yes, today was just the first day of classes.

PS. I got a paper to write! And practiced some Photoshop techniques tonight thanks to Helga's tutorials.

Original Photo (looks good enough eh? I didn't even have a tripod :)


Following this



Then following this


Very hippie-lookin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fresh semester

Enrollment was exhausting, with every sense of the word. It was a bad choice to wear new shoes on an all-day affair of falling in lines, waiting in traffic and walking to and fro buildings/offices/people. Bureaucracy at its worst.

The night before, I was tossing and turning in my bed. I couldn't sleep because my heart was fluttering inside my chest. Worry. I was tempted several times to jump off the bed and start running around the house (kinetic tendencies) and keep still, try to get some sleep to wake up at 5 A.M. Kept saying to myself, "All is well, all is well, God I trust you," until some of the fears dissipated and I fell asleep.

Well, tiring as it was, it was also grace-filled! On my way to school my blockmate offered an MST subject because she'll cancel it. Two more offered their slots. For my thesis class, the Prof I was eyeing refused, so I had to take another one. There are some points that scare me. My MST class was Molecular Biology a.k.a. subject I don't think I'm good at/need. And my thesis adviser usually asks her students to write in the Filipino language, which, shamefully, I'm also not good at (*tears*).

Aside from enlistment, I had to take care of paperwork for graduation. Seeing my load, I texted my parents if they would allow me to graduate in the summer instead. Remove three units so that I could focus on my Thesis (aaand other electives). It was just two months. And too much load, with thesis to boot, might end up disastrously. But it kind of pained me that they didn't the difficulty, and all they saw was that it was an additional expense. It wasn't even much of an expense. Let's just say that the fatigue, blistered heel and disappointment almost got me. But at the end of the day, when I got home and took a good nap, I thanked God for the subjects and could only pray that he would get me through this semester. Not by barely getting by. I really, really wanted to excel. There are just too many things to think of.

College is such a pressure cooker.


What would I want this sem to be?
Nothing like that.

Fresh inspiration

She made it :)
I almost forgot.

I never got to blog about Square One yet, because right after it we had no Internet. But just today, as she walked in the door with a glow on her face and a lingering "Hello!!", I remembered one of my highlights in the event. A person. My follow-up, Cha. Haha.

I met Cha just last semester. She's a freshie, and I blogged about her once here. I was a bit ecstatic when she chose to go and even invited her sister from another school to come (though her sister didn't make it). The fact that she even changes her profile picture for the event she never knows was amusing. She is not familiar with most of Stillwaters because most of the time it's just me that she talks to (which really reminds me of myself with Ate Rai before). To spend five days with strangers on an event you haven't tried before could easily make one fall silent in the corners all throughout, but I'm glad she wasn't.

There were times during the training that I get overwhelmed. The facts are macro, nationwide and, in my mind, difficult. But then I looked at her as she was sitting beside me. There she was, wide-eyed and excited. "I can't wait to go home and try this!" And all of a sudden I get her drift and get excited too!

Even as we prayed, even during downtime on our bedside just sharing stories about our families, even as she quietly listened to the "grown-ups" (US! oh my. haha) talking late into the midnight about issues, I saw from her an irreplaceable eagerness to jump in and just do it without second thoughts. Blessed to be with her during Square One. I like how I didn't get to be the "Ate" all the time. Like, she can speak like I'm just one of her peers and I can be myself and reason with her. She can ask questions without worrying about politeness, and me, maturity. I think that's really important. And there's more, I'm sure, when the semester starts. We've made exciting plans and we are accountable with each other for it. =)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Confessions of a terrified Senior

My aura is calm and collected as they talk about me over the dinner table.
"Sam's going to pay the bills for you soon, Mom" my brother joked.
"Oh yeah," Mom says back. "She finally have something to contribute at home,"
I roll my eyes and smile.

The movie Post Grad was on HBO.
I asked my brother to change the channel so we could watch Salt on Velvet.
He insisted on watching the movie. "It's for you, don't you find it relatable?"
I gazed at Alexis Bledel's blue eyes and went back to my room.

I received a reply from my Professor when I e-mailed her a follow up on my grade
I had to sigh when she said I passed (and the grade was good!)
But a knot was tied on my throat when she said I have to settle a few things at the registrar
for her to key them in

I have just two subjects to enlist
Before my college life ends, for now. That's if things go well. If...

One is MST, which is a golden type of GE. Hard to find and sought-after.
Another is my Thesis, which shouldn't be as golden, but I wanted another Prof.
Her class that is already full, not the other Prof with available slots.
I have a resolve on what I was going to write in my thesis, which was on the said Prof's field
But first, I had to GET. IN. HER. CLASS. by tomorrow.

And not to mention that next week, I should pay for graduation photos
November is the month of the shoots
And I'm hoping breakouts would be dormant
As I "stress" about graduation, thesis, commuting again ~enjoying the last sem

The reoccurring desire to just back out and leave graduating for next year where I have plenty of time to think about my future, what I'll do with my life, and many people to graduate with, to go through it with me. Maybe it would be better you know, than being thrown out of school with a diploma but not a plan to follow. Well, whatever goes according to plan?

Everybody who knows her says she's a gem of a Professor. In Journalism
Will her class inspire me to actually continue taking up more units?
Nevertheless, again, I'm sticking with Operation Graduation. Unless

I need some reassurance, and I know that it's not what I should be looking for.
"All is well," the Three Idiots taught.
Glad I watched that movie coz right now, my heart is pounding and my mind is worrying
Looking for answers,
to make ends meet,
favorable circumstances
before the curtain closes and another sem begins. And ends pretty soon.

Which, the former, is a day from today by the way.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The photo that made me stop and think

This has been what I 've been brooding on for the past ten minutes. The things that we can't change that ended up changing us. There are countless examples. And from your own experience with life, I know you've had a couple.

He didn't like me, and if anybody asked if I loved him, I'd lie. I can't make any person love me. Although it has crossed my mind that if only there was some love potion available, I'd most certainly avail of it and use it only with one person. But that can't be. It's a no and I have to live with it. And it ended up changing me. Through the grief, the tears, and the moving on. It's something you never know you could handle. And it's what led me to God.

I didn't get to shift. I used to hate my course a lot. Blamed my parents for the mentality that shifting is a waste of money but not a waste of enjoyment. All the reading and abstractness and even the fact that you have to think about a lot of things, a lot of individuals, a lot of societies. That you can't generalize and you can't prescribe when you're the type of person who's looking for a step. The criticisms over perfect ideas, the paper that made my Mom so proud by my Prof failed (true story). The secret wishes that I chased Journalism or took up business courses. But Sociology has taught me how to write and view the corporate world in various angles too. And I can say that it's almost easy to make opinions out of things because of the discipline.

There are just so many: the fact that I'm a girl so that my parents made me transfer schools a lot (since the boys are in San Beda, but I got to mingle with different kinds of students like me), the fact that Mom chose to teach in San Beda that we moved from Cavite to Rizal (where I met my dear friends by the way), the fact that I had to spend a year in Los Banos (which was way beyond memorable even if it was just a year), the fact that not everything was given to me in a silver platter that I had to think of creative means to achieve and get what I want.

It's just a clear sign that God is more in charge than us. He can change us more than any adaptive methods we apply in life. He can put us through anything: loss, envy, grief, pain, success, contentment, fulfillment. The things we can't control, but the things He does. Life holds no guarantee that it would be a effortless. God will show us the way, and it is not necessarily according to our expectations.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Spell Awkward: Conversations with Profs and Male Species

What a sexist sounding title, aye? Sorry. That was just the exact words that pop into my mind when a self-destructing thought came to me one night: I could never talk naturally to guys whom I am never comfortable with. It's almost same as talking to Professors. I could talk to strangers on the phone, meet them personally without knowing their names or faces when I approach them. But with Professors (a capital P ~what a reflex) it's like there's a whole sense of awkwardness and shyness as if you are about to waste their time in the next minute that you plead your case. It's like I end up bowing at every word I speak.

With guys I'm not close to, it's the same. I try not to impress anyone, but some people seem to just have that "Impress Me" banner on their foreheads. Sometimes there are guys who are just out to joke. But when I ask a "real" question, like "How was *_insert topic here_*?". When the tone isn't funny anymore, when I'm looking for "real" answers, they just back off. Scared off or give a "funny" answer. Sometimes I wondered if I was too personal, that it sounded like a heart-to-heart or something that girls are used to and guys are not. But I dismiss the thought, concluding that people who can't talk to me seriously isn't worth my time anyway.

Then there's the feeling that you are stepping on their ego by "probing". It's not really probing, at least for me. But I just like asking personal questions that maybe it's too personal for some, that it comes off as an insult or something. Like when non-close-to guys share about their problem. I'm afraid of asking questions because it may seem like you're driving the screw harder, wiping shame to their faces by making them elaborate or repeat. Does the "listening ear" apply only? People only need someone to listen to them? Well, uh... okay... but... It's the same as watching a movie and expecting the audience to shut up and just enjoy the show. For me, it shouldn't be that way. I know you're there to enjoy and you probably bought they tickets to relax your mind. But hey, your brain's working and they're probably feeding you stuff without your permission. /Or sometimes people just need a hug.

It's just that I'm a wordy girl and I like to hear stories and the only way I could consider you a friend is when you share a part of you to me that you wouldn't share to a total stranger. What would be the difference between me and another person right? It's just that I crave for that real good "talk" where guards are down and honesty is up. That "moment", that bonding. It's just that I'm a "friend" type. I ask. I talk. I listen. Again and again. And if people find it weird and uncomfortable, so do I. ~Why, I do not get them!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Let's rewind a little. Same day, one week apart.

The end of my semester fell on a Friday, which means by the end of the day, there should be some form of a celebration. And there was! It was Cha's advance birthday celebration and Friday Night Lights held at the CS Amphitheater. Cha is like the "Man of the Sem" for me. It's incredible the strength that we/he had to withstand this semester. And it was my first time at the CS Amphi. Or at least, first time to be there at night where there are amateur high school-college bands, sparkles and fireworks. Not to mention *gulp* Up Dharma Down! Fan-girling all the way to taking this picture with her. Notice our doggy smiles.




Next Friday, after about a week of having no school to attend to, and the Square One lurking for the next week, Lyka, JC and I went to Good Times. I'm not a party girl type, but I liked the theme of this one. Going to parties has always been tedious for me since:

1) You have to dress up, undeniably
2) You have to get there dressed up, since bringing clothes is a hassle.
3) The effects of alcohol on people and... the floor (read: sticky/spill/vomit/etc)
Lastly, the sight of some of the ladies turning slutty. Sad and real.

The rules of this party? Dress down, chill out to indie music and 90s music. Three things that I like :)

Colorful/confetti-powdered dancefloor!

Was there booze? A lot. Scattered all over the place if I may add. Did I get some? Yes. I admire those who don't drink. Like Camz, whom I have seen just yesterday. I don't get drunk consciously (as there are those who do, for the show), but I wish that I could eradicate it even though it's not even a habit. I know that it's not drinking per se, but the occasion to drink that is the factor. Once in a while and no drunkenness is good. I'm not about to lace this with feelings of guilt. It's a celebration. :)

Let the good times roll :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Nature-themed

I believe that we are a little more crazy when we are with the people we're most comfortable with.

Two days spent with the family from Hallow's Eve till All Saints' Day

The smile on my brothers' faces

Dinner-cruising over Manila Bay



Paid our visits to my great-grandmother. A decade-long tradition.
Saw our kitties again back home :)
Nature-tripping. My favorite 
The zoo, as well
Went to Island Cove and fed the crocs
Ate at a "dampa" ~ house on stilts over a fish pond

Thanking God for at least a few days of being complete as a family.
The adventures of our youth, still timeless as we are growing up
Praying that as we separate on the semester, we'd hold on to these moments
And look forward for the ones coming. AKA. Christmas! :)


Storybook Heroes



There is that lingering thought that can't seem to pass
despite the tears, the wrong feelings, the ironies of life
I can't stop the smile that spreads across my face
The beauty seen by my eyes
A sigh that escapes my lips,
"Life is good. I love my life"

Perhaps now is the time that I start sharing a few stories
written by God in my heart and the hearts of people I know.
If there is one thing I know I'm a little good at,
it is writing stories
Non-fiction that is as better than any fiction you can imagine
Now watch me as I turn
into a storyteller. ;)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quiet Anticipation for Square One


In about 30 minutes, the day will come that Square One will commence this year.

I know, I still carry with me the trails of The Hunger Games that makes this event sound dangerous or excessively/anxiously looked forward to. But maybe it is.

I don't know what to expect. Last year I had so much fun handling the Programs, this year I "mentor" the head but I hardly do, really. Jva is as OC as I am. So still, I'm clueless about what's going to happen this year. If it were up to me, I don't really want to get involved with the details. I want to be surprised, caught unprepared or awed. These are expectations. But they always come to reality anyway even though you try to not expect anything.

How unprepared am I? Well it's almost midnight and I haven't done any packing. HAHA. I don't know. I'm not prepared physically and spiritually, if you count it. My mind wonders about what is going to transpire, but the best of me says don't bother.

Two years ago this event changed my life. Significantly. Now I'm back carrying a different load, different burdens, different conflicts. All the same weight. All the same weighing me down, though this time I know I'm not about to break. Not even close. Pray for the next days to be meaningful and life-changing as it were the first time. Square Three here I come :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Built to Last

Now that my formal schooling (or at least four years more than my parents are required to do! Haha) is almost over in one or a few semesters, it made me reflect about my whole schooling in general. I have heard various answers from a lot of my friends when asked where they wanted their kids to study in the future. Some at exclusive schools, co-ed, science high schools, sectarian schools and some home-schooled. I don't ever think home-schooling will ever be an option for me. :) I have just formed wonderful friendships through the years. They may not have lasted as long as I wanted to be *Remembering my first grade friend and I promising we'll live next-door each other with our horses on the same ranch*, but they were good while they lasted. They made my life more adventurous than I intended it would be.

I transferred a lot, for some reason. The primary reason would be because I'm a girl. Haha. My mom taught at San Beda, an ex-exclusive school for boys. So the boys, my brothers, had their benefits in Manila, while I spent three years in the province, three in Manila, two in an exclusive school in Manila and finally, in San Beda the last two years. In college, I spent one year in UPLB and now I'm on my third year in Diliman.

There were friendships formed and shattered during those years. Childish love stories that were never continued. Goodbyes to barkadas *the sweetest was in CHS where my "Kakosa" made a special notebook for me stuffed with photos and quotable quotes and dedications... a hodgepodge of memories to bag as I transfer!* Visits to old places *like our dorm* and more. I've kept all the letters my friends gave me since fifth grade, all in an old black bag hidden in the nooks and crannies of our house. So imagine almost nine years' worth of garbage (crawling with tiny spiders). Haha. Now that we've grown up, we don't necessarily look at our friendship the same way as before. Which is actually good! It means we really grew up. We changed, we met new friends, had new stories, experienced different things. But I am also glad that there are the ones who stayed, or those who never really left *like when you see each other in the middle of one place you just gush and give each other a hug and doggy smiles asking about how life is*.

Oh, hilarious barkada names of our youth. In CDGC, it was the bands who stood up against bullies. In LCC, it was SHE and GALS, with our dream names *mine was Sabrina Maxine Goldberg ~what on earth!* which was like a United Nations thing during lunches. One was Korean, the other Taiwanese and I'm Filipina. In CHS, it was the sweetest KRS*squared*+G. Weird eh? :) In high school, well we never really had names, but now it's 35plus. Hahaha. In college, it was the dormies. We had lots of names. Sometimes it's batch '03 (though we're '08 haha), corrupt-corrupt, etc. My block was called B3, I remember my core friends in the block during my first year! I just forgot if we ever called each other names. At Church, there's the generic name of Thursday. And then the DG. It wasn't really separate from Stillwaters in general. The classmates from different classes that have come to accompany me, the organizations I applied to, some deferred and others continued. The groups within classes that have found to be useful one way or another. The strangers and teachers and extra-curricular and after-school activities.

I never wanted to have a best friend since I have had A LOT of best friends through the years. So it's really touching to be considered someone's best friend that it's sad when you either can't return it or you know it won't be for long. But again, fun while it lasts. here are the two recent photos. One I made for JC's birthday, and the other Tere made out of boredom. Some of my current friends. Things will change, but I'm pretty much confident I got friends to back me up. Can't believe I'm saying this but Thank God for school! It wasn't really just the academics.


This inspires me to scan other friendship photos and add them here :) Thank God also for the new scanner. Haha.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Hunger Games

Credits on the photo
The characters!! By Sabrina Vincent (http://slovly.com)
Katniss and Peeta. District 12's tributes to the Hunger Games

The first time I heard about Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, it was overflowing with praises from people whom I know has good taste, including my Mom. Imagine my (cruel) anticipation when she brought it home in the middle of Finals week. Haha.

Finished the book yesterday, almost in 24 hours. 24 gripping hours. And I was even travelling back to the province. At the train, at the bus, over dinner (ignoring Dad), inside the bathroom and until 3 AM in my room. That's how gripping it was. The heroine Katniss Everdeen was all the survivor I wanted to be. And everything Bella was not. Haha. Irish was right, it was very "sociological", almost pointing at capitalism's specialization, tendency towards exploitation. It illustrated hegemonic ideologies, modern-day cannibalism, core-periphery structure and more. It's as page-turning as it could be.

But I must admit it had its flaws, and obvious ones. For one, the Hunger Games was highly descriptive, as it was told in first-person POV. So you wouldn't know what the other contenders did or are doing unless Katniss perceives them. The romance between Peeta and Katniss was purposefully fabricated, since the Games were televised and it's probably one of the means for the to survive, and they're not really in love. Nevertheless, the staged romance was a bit sloppy. Maybe Collins should take note of how Stephenie Meyer mesmerizes teenagers, since she already had the action part. I didn't know what the focus of the book was as well. The romance, the Games, the political revolt, the media (with its excessive leaning towards showbiz: the gourmet meals, the costumes for public appearances, the interviews were misleading. Was she really a heroine or a rogue switching sides?)

The ending, oh the ending, came abruptly. It's like the whole almost-400-paged story shifted within the last three.

Nevertheless, tonight, in sickness and urgency to sleep early with many other things to do tomorrow, I'm holding in my hands the sequel, Catching Fire. First few pages, still gripping and I might just finish it before Square One! :)

PS. And look what I found!! They're making it into a movie :D


With the wizards out of the way and the vampire sagas about to come to an end, we might just have a new young adult craze to patronize. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Love

Behind two closed/slammed/locked doors lie two different, similar persons. What happened earlier was a blur. A flying object against the door, screams and then, silence. And then, a complicated hate.

On the door to the right was an older woman. Beautiful. Striking, even. Intelligent. And she works so hard for the things she doesn't have. One look at her and you will see both beauty and madness.

On the door to the left was a teenager crying bitter tears. In anguish, wanting to get away. She was ahead of her time, trying to break the traditional roles set for her.

Entirely different are their backgrounds, entirely different current circumstances. What they've been through, who they spend their time with. Their womanhood, their hopes, their dreams, their failures and moments.

Yet the two are peas of the same pod, though they may not know it. A communication break down lies in two people's decision to not do anything. They aren't used to rolling up their sleeves... to reveal their hearts. Crying in front of everybody and confessing hurts is something they always do, in private, in writing or even in conversations with other people. They can't seem to break an invisible wall of pride and vulnerability even if their relationship depended no it..

Each had relatively few practice. Both had to learn someday soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Given Grace


Such a sweet girl with a sweet smile and a sweet name.

I cannot fathom what she has gone through during the last moments of her life. The terror, the pain, the struggle, the fight. The blood shed. The horrifying encounter with two men walking on her way home. Like many college students in UPLB, she was trying to get by finishing requirements. She just turned 19 and away from home. She wouldn't have thought that this would be her fate. The longest hours of her life. The final ones.

The hand cuffs on her wrist that was meant for a criminal and not an innocent girl. The handkerchief on her mouth that was meant to wipe tears and not taped prevent her from screaming. The stabs on her back were wounds she didn't deserve. The bullet through her forehead. Raped, most probably, and dumped coldly into a canal. The prowling predators at 3 in the morning missed their prey, so they took this girl as a substitute. They should've just taken her iPhone and laptop. Instead they also took her life.

The grandfather who spoke against his own grandson in the name of "the right thing to do". The two suspects now in custody. The swiftness of it all. The hundreds of candles lit on campus memory of a life cut short. The justice that is needed to be served.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Treasure Chest

Hours passed as me and a guy friend talked about random things until about 2 a.m. Things like college life, work life, love life. College life was a mere dot. Work life, a whole set of question marks. And love life? Well, it's that charcoal mark on the paper that was erased a few times until there was nothing written.

I guess for young people it is easy to crush on just about everyone and move on when the infatuation fades. It's true. I had my own share of "conquests" before I settled for something (or someone) more. Sadly, he broke my heart (it's not even a relationship, he didn't even know. *haha*). And although for the longest time, I was in the process of fixing my eyes on the real prize, I can't help noticing how our spoiled wants compromise our true desires. It is so easy to settle for someone who is beautiful, gives us attention, treats us kindly or simply strokes our ego.

It is even more difficult to face that this can happen later on in life... After we have found "The One", got married and settle down. I guess the taken-for-granted reality is that adults are not supposed to be in love with someone else anymore. It's better if they are not. Heck it is BEST. I have heard of stories of couples and parents staying together and in-love happily. It was just so difficult for me to imagine after what I have seen and experienced. If love life, which is supposed to be the pre-requisite of married life is messed up with dramas of unfaithfulness, lack of emotional stability, immaturity, neediness, shortcomings, loss of effort and many, many more, I don't think it is going to improve when there's a ring on your finger and another surname after your first (although, studies show that cohabitating couples are more likely to divorce when they marry than married couples who didn't cohabitate. Something about idealism). More and more I understand how God can glue people together because on our own its difficult.

Actually, single blessedness would be okay, or even be a blessing for me, if the other choice would be a failing marriage. I know we are supposed to go through tough times together with the people we love, and seek restoration and be patient. In fact, maybe I'm just saying this, but when I get there, I would probably pray for my husband to rise up than leave him. But in foresight... I really wouldn't want it that way. I don't want to carry another burden which the other person should carry, or we should be carrying together. I need cooperation. I don't want to deal with issues of "unfaithfulness, lack of emotional stability, immaturity, neediness, shortcomings, loss of effort and many, many more" alone. I wanted so much instead to have a teammate or a partner in life. Nevermind that he may be imperfect, crazy, stupid or wrong for many times, for as long as he exerts effort to keep us together, and this effort outweighs the unintended mistakes.

If I would have an expectant heart, it wouldn't be that I would be married someday just like everybody else or just like the movies. I am not looking simply for marriage. That's easy. Go to Vegas. But I am looking for a person who is ready stay and grow with me under its banner. Like many girls, I have my far-fetched hopes and dreams. But like many girls who grew up, I saw that it could also be torn apart. Growing up, I am finding out how faith in God needed to be stronger. The risks are greater. Entrusting your career, which is what you will literally work on for years and years? Entrusting your civil status, which is supposedly will mold the family you will nurture someday? Entrusting your heart, which holds all your secrets and treasures? That's a big investment. I trust that it will pay more than in dividends in the years to come.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gifts


1) After a day of having only two hours of sleep, reviewing for an ultra-difficult major exam,
someone tells me I actually look "refreshed" :)





2) Despite busy schedules and lengthy to-do lists,
time still affords me to go to several birthday celebrations :)

Hi, this is my uber gorgeous mom btw. Guess what her age is ;)


3) Even though I'm strapped of cash this semester because of contributions and eat-outs and though shopping was extremely rare,
I can still buy expensive books for leisure (, not complain about allowance? haha)
and donate clothes. :)


(The books I choose over Twilight/HP/other teenfic)

Amazing right? Not having much sleep, time, money
yet being able to be beautiful, celebrate, give and afford.

God is generous. :)