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 (
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


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. :) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Great

During times when I don't trust myself, I can believe in God. :)

My learning of the day as I received 1.25 for my exam in Sociology of Development. The Prof was hard to please. Every week we have about two readings of maybe 40 pages each, and then we would react to it also  by writing a "memo", every week. Even after positive comments and check marks and "good" marks, I would often receive just 1.75. Once, 1.5. Today, my exam blue book was returned to me filled with red underlines and circles and side comments all over the essays that reached up to the last leaf (call it "concentrated score", where there are a few points given but high stakes). GASP. But then I saw it: 1.25! Almost doubted if it was 1.75 but it was 1.25! Found out it was one point away from an UNO. Haha.

There are so many times I felt over the edge academically. Like that one night I stayed out until 1AM the night before an exam, and I got more than perfect the next day. Or that oral exam where the Prof told us by the e-mail that we would "pick" two topics out of the eight, only to find out "pick" didn't mean choose, but literally pick a paper out of a hat that will represent the corresponding topic! So I only studied 2 out of 8. Miraculously, I "picked" those two! What are the odds, right? :)

And many, many more.

Over and over, God just proves that even when you don't believe in the circumstances, or even yourself, you could still believe in him. It sounds like cliche, but when you see God's promises and goodness come alive, you will always be at awe!

What else shall I fear? I thought. Daunting circumstances just brings out his mighty power to catapult you over to the other side.

Thank you Father!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Feet on the Ground

Floor covered with papers about ecology, demography, physical anthropology... everything I never wanted to read at midnight as I make up this presentation.

Confusion. Fighting back replying and ignoring. And closing tabs of pictures. Trying to convince myself there is no hope and that it could not be. I'm better than this. Yet my fingers fought back at closing tabs.

Torn between taking graduation photos this month and taking up extra units next year. Weighing the pros and cons nonstop but having no clear answers. Thinking if I'm moving out of fear or out of faith... or out of stubbornness, or out of practicality. Wanting to know the answers, yet not wanting to decide as soon as possible. Praying ceaselessly for God to give me answers. Doubting myself if I am just waiting for a time that will never come. Who is ever ready all the time? What if? What if?

Finishing this report that isn't due until two days from now. If that isn't procrastination, then that's a poor way of spending time knowing that there are two upcoming exams this week as well. The semester is about to end. I have all the list of what I'm going to do when I have the time.

Blaming the punk rock music of my youth, and the diary-writing of my childhood for being too emotionally attached to my emotions. To having the need to write about myself than actually dealing with myself. (Had I been less expressive in private, these wouldn't have been surfaced) Now I wanted so much to be devoid of feelings and move forward with my guts and brains in the driver's seat instead of my less than mature heart.

Six months until I hit the big 20. Younger than most people in my batch, but a lot younger than I need to be. Second decade of earth-living. Around 1/4 of the average lifespan of a woman. Supposedly having my whole life in front of me. Yet I'm being pushed to that "life" increasingly. Of independence, adult responsibility, heavier consequences, social pressure and "maturity", whatever that means. The child inside me is terrified. The outer woman is crumbling.

Grow yourself up! I commanded the girl in the mirror. Stop thinking too much about yourself. Stop bothering about this and this and this. Start thinking about that and that and that. There is no time. Your childishness is about to come to end. Could you even breathe one second without it?

Undress your current infancy. Undo your silly crooked smiles and clueless gazes. Leave that drama. Drop that ridiculous sweetness and hilarious fights. Take off your shyness and innocence. Take this new suit called adulthood. The hat of independence and shoes of hard work. They may be loose on you right now. But don't worry, you will grow into it soon enough. In time, it will fit you like a glove. And you will never look back except when you laugh at those diapers. In a few years' time. But don't wait.

RIP, Childhood