Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grace




We are nobody
But we are nobodies with Purpose;
We are not trying to grow up
But the Sunlight and the rain
And the fertile soil
Grows us up,
And each petal is not wrinkled from effort
But are smooth and bright.
Soft,
Vibrantly dancing in the breeze
Fierce
Neither with effort
Nor with care

Eternal, nevertheless

Friday, January 28, 2011

30/30 Got Too Lazy

Can I just say that the 30 Day Challenge is really boring me? Haha. I mean I'm blogging to take my mind away from things and then it asks me of my views of drugs, alcohol and religion. So what's next, my views on politics? Haha. 6th day is going to be the last. :)


1. I think with my fingers on the keyboard, not a hand on my pen
2. I won't be offended if someone calls me "ambitious" (ambisyosa in Filipino, a derogatory term for some reason)
3. I canNOT speak with a crush when he's not my friend. Running away/looking down when I see him is a better way to describe what I do
4. Do not be affected when you wave and say Hi and I look straight past you. My vision is really bad. Except when a crush is within a 50-meter radius
5. I usually have one crush at a time, by the way
6. I used to be really good at drawing that my grade school teachers advised me to take up Fine Arts. Now the talent is almost GONE
7. Saying "hello" and "goodbye" is really important for me. When a person says it often enough, I'd consider him or her a close friend, deep down
8. I like "going somewhere". I am in need of flexible activity buddies. I wish I could find an ultimate friend who can go wherever I want to and has the cash or time pr parental permission to match. Haha
9. I also like staying at home, and don't mind being home alone
10. I have this Tinkerbell complex (a term I coined) where I need someone to believe in me. Sometimes I think I could be this great person if only somebody believed (aside from myself). I also think this need is valid
11. Non-fiction over fiction, all the time
12. I like being a leader of a team because I am good at motivating
13. Challenging Profs bring out the best in me, but not in an over-competitive way
14. Since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to be a saint :)
15. I love, love photos
16. Please don't come near me when you're a guy who likes collecting girls because I might end up not being a friend at all
17. You can say that I don't watch TV. Haha
18. My ideal guy is active, never passive
19. I transfer schools often, maximum year is three. I've tried exclusive school, male-dominated co-ed and female dominated co-ed and equal co-ed.
20. Sometimes when I'm walking on the school corridor, I wanted to stop someone and compliment them on how nice they look
21. A person's testimonial never fails to amaze me
22. Old places make me feel at home--churches, libraries, museums. Modern, luxurious places does too, hotels, resorts, especially when they have an overwhelming sense of peace and potential
23. I love my family: father, mother, two brothers
24. Waking up to a grand breakfast prepared at home during an unhurried morning is PRICELESS
25. I've been conditioned to see law as my safety net to having a secure life. But I'm starting to see it as an opportunity instead of an end in itself
26. One of the songs that changed my life was Hillsong's Hosanna, especially that part of the lyrics that said, "Break my heart from what breaks yours" Summary: that was the time when I was deeply brokenhearted over someone whom I put at the center of my life, then I realized that God felt the same brokenheartedness over me. Eventually, that's how I accepted Christ
27. Few games I'm confident (maybe arrogant) in playing because I'm kinda good at them: Perdigana chess and Counter Strike. Games I slightly suck at but won't tire of playing, volleyball and ultimate frisbee
28. I've kept letters since fifth grade, documented my high school life
29. I like wearing heels but I usually wear slippers, and I don't like hearing people say that tall people should not wear high heels. Haha. I'm not tall, just above average, and it's not an excuse to keep away from heeled shoes
30. UP is one of my most favorite places! Just being here makes me really happy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4/30 Religion


My thought on religion before is that it can serve as a vehicle away from God. Haha. There was a time during my freshman years in UPLB that I hate passing by the church (place), where my dormitory's at, because I was alienated by traditions and formal relationships. I didn't like the cycle of kneeling and standing, I didn't like priests, the list goes on and on. I thought of changing my religion into my friend's because theirs seem to be a more relational religion. When I transferred to Diliman, which was supposedly the time that I would become Protestant so that I could afford to go to their church, I learned that I don't have to change religions at all to be close to God. But I needed a church (people), and it was given to me.

Currently, I'm going to do a study on religion, specifically on the Catholic church, no longer to criticize but to understand its dynamics (I don't consider myself Catholic by the way, but I considered that the bulk of Filipinos belong to this religion). In my subjects, I feel that there's a lot of religious persecution. When talking about patriarchy in the Philippines, sexual repressiveness of women, colonial mentality, even domestic violence, it was so easy to say, "Oh, that's because of Catholicism", without further exploration of which part of Catholicism perpetuates this and how, being 82% Catholics, we participate in these issues. When we are alienated by a Catholic religious practice, like I used to be, we tend to hate Catholicism and all Catholics, not realizing that hey, your birth certificate says your Catholic. Religious beliefs belong to a continuum, we either accept or reject some beliefs, but not everything. So I would like to point out in the study that people participate in the social construction of their religion. They are not passively identifying with things such as papal infallibility, contraception as abortion, fundamentalism, etc. I wanted to know how much they follow what their religion or religious leaders says, considering that some of its practices are cultural. I wanted to know their motivations, like, for not agreeing with the RH Bill. This sounds a bit weird in this, but I feel like I'm onto something with this study. Hopefully this would shed some light on beliefs as being personal more than collective. Hopefully, this would lessen hasty generalizations and judgment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3/30 Them Things


There are things that are easily abused (misused, excessively used, you get the point), and these are two of those. I wouldn't take drugs except those that the doctor recommend. On alcohol, I have quite a story. 2009, I got drunk for the first time and wrote about it and it hit the newspaper (not the school paper! The newspaper). Weird thing is, while you're proud to have it published, the topic isn't necessarily something you will brag about. But I had to be honest with myself. Writing is actually the way I deal with things. When I hit the publish button in this blog, it means that I have dealt with these feelings. I have accepted and acknowledged them and am unashamed about them, no matter how shameful they can be. In fact I always pretend that nobody's reading what I'm writing, though deep inside I am afraid of judgment.

I had my parents read the article. They joked that there would be no drinks in my debut back then (I said, SURE!). A friend from my former school, UPLB, messaged me saying "Lasinggera ka pala ha!" and other jokes that I wouldn't necessarily consider as compliments even with the congratulatory tone. And my churchmates as well, whom I've just started to get to know then. I remember giving it to Ate Sarj and Ate Flo, almost not wanting them to read, but giving it anyway, and being so relieved that after they did, they smiled at me, asking what I thought about it. Now that's the first time that someone asked what I thought about it instead of telling me what they thought about it. Haha.

My family and friends toasts to vodka or red wine during the holidays. But I'm careful to not put myself in a position where I'm open to abuse, self-abuse, which is really what an abuse of any substance is. That's about it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2/30 Years From Now


Funny thing is before the sem started, I kept this Personal Vision notebook--a Spongebob covered, eight-peso worth notebook from Divisoria where I kept everything during Square One 2010 and the sem break. Because this is the question that I find hard to answer on top of my head, I read the random scribbling of personal goals, with time span in five years. This is embarrassing, but here it is:

Five years from now, I'll be having my own car (AKA my ultimate goal). I'll be serving my church, making time to attend students' worship services. I'll be a leader of a small group in the workplace. I won't have a boyfriend yet, but if I would have a relationship, it would not spring from my own neediness but a deep desire to serve and be loved. I'll be a daily runner, vice-free and healthy. My family is away from me, but we have a good, personal and independent relationship. I'm not afraid to show them my love. I have been visiting many places in the Philippines--Bicol, Palawan, CDO and the Banaue Rice Terraces on top of all (I was about to go to Hundred Islands next weekend but it's my cousin's debut :-( ). My good ol' friends and I have a good relationship. We'll be talking about abundance, success and be thankful to God that we are blessed. We'll be exhorting each other and supporting each other at work. I'll be studying law (hopefully in 10 years, I've finished and that I take the Bar only once!), taking each lesson to heart as something that could potentially help people. It will be a labor of love and intellect instead of an earning business. I'll be writing journals related to my course, and will also be cited in other journals. Flaired would still be existent and would appear in department stores and even its own branches nationwide, recognized as a high quality product in the Philippines. I'll be writing non-academic books as well, publishing His story in my own life. I'll be helping to plant churches in other campuses. I'm financially secure and I enjoy shopping (see that this is not in future tense HAHA). I'm free from any debt and will be using money as an energy, a means instead of an end. I'll be attending conferences from various lines and fields to develop intellectually.


When I read it this morning, I nodded my head, realizing that "Yeah, this is pretty much it!"

1/30 Singlehood


I guess for most people this is such a taboo topic, a rude question for the un-partnered. "How's singlehood?" Haha. Mark the sense of contempt that spread across one's face, or a glum one, or maybe none. Really, how do you answer that when it's been that way for a long time? Or since EVER? For me it's much like asking an average college student, "Why don't you have a car yet?": Well, I'm still waiting for it, still saving up for it, canvassing for the best-priced, learning how to drive, don't need it yet, sure wish I have one now, probably won't be able to handle maintenance, afraid of car accidents, will get one in the future anyway when I can afford to, et cetera.

When you talk about singlehood, it's a talk about "not being in a relationship" instead of just that, singlehood. We don't ask committed people, "Why are you in a relationship?" because it's a naturalized state. But for me, (finally about me haha) singlehood is a normal state. My normal state. It's been that way for most of my eighteen years of existence except for two months in high school, which might not be much for most people. But singlehood is "normal" for me. There are pressures that I don't necessarily fight. Love songs, flicks, happy, happy people. Pictures on Tumblr. The air of February, to mention a few. There are warnings that I don't necessarily internalize, like heartbreaks and jerks (which I have learned to avoid, maybe completely). But I've spent years being single that I won't bother crossing the bridge only when I get there. I've gotten used to it. So it's just okay. It's not like my heart is not beating while I'm at it. There's no need for a reassurance that God has a plan for me. He does! Right now! So stop asking that question! Lol.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On Sleepovers

Promo stuff, me and Kri

One of my luxuries as a daughter is that my parents usually allow me to stay overnight at my friends' place. Almost a hundred percent of the time. Of course I don't go to overnights like every week. But when I will, they always allow me, trouble-free, guilt-free (though I still feel the strain). Sometimes it's as if I'm not asking for their permission anymore, but merely telling them where I'm going. I'm always thankful for that, considering that some girls are not allowed by their parents. Never ever have I taken it for granted, especially how they tell me to "Have fun."

Things may be different if Dad's in the house though. Haha (my parents aren't separated, just physically due to work). One time when he was here, he kept on texting me to go home early, with a "please" (not the stereotypical iron-hard-rule-father, he's sweet), which is something I appreciate as well. I value their trust deeply. Freeing me to go to sleep-overs somehow made me a lot more responsible, instead of the other way around.

With that, last night was the longest movie marathon I've ever been to. Hahaha. The cliche girls-on-mattresses-pigging-out-on-popcorn-and-chips-and-softdrinks-all-night-watching-some-chick-flick. Feels good. :)

Stumbled upon in Tumblr. Hmmm

Monday, January 17, 2011

Study Habits for Owls

For someone who considers herself non-academic (in the sense that grades aren't the top priority), I sure do a lot of studying lately. Ha-ha.

I always wonder why I can't seem to study at school. I fall asleep inside libraries, I read with my eyes (only) when I study with people, I suck at group studies unless I'm the "less knowledgeable one", I find it hard to focus when the instructor isn't engaging. Then upon observing myself tonight, I noticed how a beautiful mess studying could be.

Midnight is the study hour, as is the case for most teenagers I know. Tossing and turning around would happen during the evening. Getting down to the materials only comes when the rest of the house is asleep. No TV from Mom's room, no people lingering doing their routine, no noisy buzzing. I'd prop up my legs on the glass dining table, wearing a jacket and 'house' shorts, my hair tied in a bun with a headband preventing even a single piece of stray hair from reaching my eyebrows. I'd occasionally squirm in my chair, occasionally stand up when an interesting thought pops up, pace back and forth and around the house, talk to myself and develop the idea. Then, go back to the table to read again. I'd be writing notes and highlighting and eating toast and finishing the whole text, 60 pages tonight, in one sitting.

This is how I focus. It really works, but don't try it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

XL

What excites me the most? It is knowing that I am part of something bigger than myself. Most of the time I question if things are "worth it", and when I judge that it's not, I would stop investing my time, effort and resources on them, or at least do things half-heartedly. However, the judgment is not always correct. Lots of things that are "worth it" start small, until a snowball effect applies and it becomes part of something big and bigger. This is the idea of doing things at the margin, as economics would say. The margin is a small space, but when you add them together, it becomes huge. Same thing goes with behaviors that become habits. My point is that the past week I realized how little things could mean a lot, especially in discipleship groups. There are these five amazing young girls who share their life and thoughts to me and who look up to me as an "ate", and it just blows my mind away. But what amazes me more is how much lives can change in what God does in our weekly encounters.

This week I had the itching desire to ask some of them about their commitment, not that they are not committed. I just wanted to know if they see themselves as part of "something big" or if they have not gauge their lives into the reality. It's not the easiest thing to ask people if they see the big picture. I don't like people to be afraid my ideas, I don't like putting people into the hot seat, I don't like pressuring people unnecessarily, but this question will leave me restless until I ask it. The responses I got blew my mind away that it seemed surreal. Once again I am reminded that I am part of this "something big" that have changed their lives, that have changed my own and that is continuing to change others' in my generation. There is no doubt about the immensity of the business of God's kingdom.

No doubt about the immensity of academic work I needed to do, too. :) PS I barely have time for anything else. I don't go anywhere during the weekend without feeling constrained or guilty about not sitting down and studying the whole day. Crunch time!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Please pray for my former classmate, Jennifer O. Pangilinan. She's been diagnosed with bone cancer, her legs amputated to prevent the disease from spreading. This was difficult news to receive. Not everyone expects cancer during their teenage years. My grade school friends, whom I have not seen in years, and I will be visiting her. I wanted so bad to see her, even though we have not communicated for a long time. Will be praying for her, for hope for better things to come, strength to undergo the medical procedures and joy despite all circumstances, as well as financial provision for her family. Please pray for her, too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kicked to the Dirt

This week, my heart felt incredibly heavy. I know that everyone is hyped about the "new year, new beginning" thing. I was optimistic about 2011 actually, until this first academics week. I didn't know that I would be the one who would sow in tears. My prayers sprung from hurt, shame and fear, pouring down my eyes. There's just this feeling that no matter how hard I try I will not please these people, that I don't meet their standards. That I have done a lot and did not get a lot. In my blockmate's words, entering the classroom (so yes, this drama is academic) makes us feel like I've done something wrong already, and we're sitting waiting to find out what it is. How awful!

This is a terrible situation when I don't even know if you could get better. After all that, I couldn't bring myself to be confident on what I can do. The "believe in yourself" cliche seemed like a joke (and if I come to think of it, it may just be, being far from perfect). Throughout most of my life I believed I can do certain things well. But if you relied on what you hear from people, it wouldn't be true all the time. Truth is, other people would find my work great, others would find it extremely terrible. It changes. And it can improve. Everyone is in the field of passing standards, including myself. I can't deny that. I'm just praying now that God would reveal his faithfulness to me, that in passing standards, it wouldn't be all that I am after, but a completion of my ministry. This sounds helpful right now, but in reality I am in desperation. I need God to help me out of this mess.

I already know what my year verse is, after it was asked last Wednesday. Philippians 4:6-7 without a doubt.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Monday, January 3, 2011

School Huhucry

Idon'twanttogotoschoolyetIdon'twanttogotoschoolyet
Idon'twanttogotoschoolyet Idon'twanttogotoschoolyet
Idon'twanttogotoschoolyetIdon'twanttogotoschoolyet

RANT! :))

Sigh. I don't think I'm ready to go back to academic work. Already the new year's planner is panting from the deadlines. There are so many things that I want to accomplish. But what I want to accomplish is not the top priority. Isn't that sad? I've been thinking lately, Law or No. It doesn't hold the same glazed idea on my mind. In fact, to be a lawyer, my main motivation is to be secure. Take whatever your parent/s took, not knowing if you want it for yourself. But do I really want to be a lawyer? I want to study law, but do I want to practice? To write documents, litigate, appear at court in formal suits? Not too cheerful about those. It might seem too stressful (of course!) I think I know already where I'm passionate at. Shh. =)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Great things start from small beginnings?

So last night didn't go as bad as I thought it would. When I returned, my parents were out to buy supplementary media noche and came home on a good mood.. and food! Like last year, we didn't play with firecrackers, which is better, because we get to watch DVDs. Before I knew it, the neighbors' Judas' belt started exploding. "Happy New Year!!"  It looks like we'll have a new tradition. The "crazy dance": for fifteen minutes straight, we would abandon all shame and dance until we're drop on the couch. This has two purposes--to bounce off what we ate that night and to get the good vibes from each other. That's a better tradition. :)

I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolution until this year! So let me share just some of the things I listed:

1. Eat one fruit a day
Last year I got sick plenty of times, which is unusual of me. Haha. I only get sick on the average of two times per year. So to be at my best shape, I would commit to doing this, to keep the sniffles away.

2. Give more (creative) gifts
THIS.
Everyone deserves something for their special day.


3. Talk
To strangers, to friends, to family. Not just talk but communicate. Something deeper. Not just small talk. Usually, I have this so-called "fear of annoying people", not wanting to interrupt them if they are busy/want to be alone/not in the mood. But I'll give it a shot, every time. Every day.

4. Sleep and wake up WAY earlier
Acknowledging the almost impossible. But I don't want to be late for school because of distracting things. So I will I will I will try.

5. Explore new places
One trip a month. How's that? Haha. So I'll be asking my friends if they have field trips... maybe I could go. Hahaha. On a smaller scale, this could be eating at a place I've never eaten before, a shop I've never looked into, a road never traveled.

6. Learn Photoshop
Seriously, what kind of 21st century person am I? I'll scout for anyone who could give me lessons. ANYONE. Lol, look at this. Something I made.



7. Save money for various purposes
Various is as various as it can get. More or less, the amount would be P80 a day. I'm not sure if I can afford to do that on weekends when there's no allowance, but this saved $$$ would be spent and saved. This is for the present and the future.

Will be asking people of theirs, when I see them. Next picture: SCHOOL WORK 2011. =)