Sunday, March 27, 2011

Step by step procedures

Bureaucratic processes (commonly taking the form of university enrollment, job application, student driver's license acquisition... basically most of the requirements to move around the modern world) terrify me. I am always afraid that something would go wrong. In my imagination, they would shout, Why is the background of your 2x2 picture red?? Didn't the requirements say it should be blue?! You should have listed down the building, floor, room, cubicle and table number! How stupid can you get? This transcript of record was a year ago, have you checked the calendar lately?? Is it 2010?! There are only 9 signatures here, you need to get 9 more from this and that department by the end of the day! The clerk forgot to stamp it, RETURN to the office! Sorry, you missed the deadline, come back again next year! And I'd scurry to the corner defeated. Terrified, I say. No exaggeration here.

Not mine!

Yesterday, I almost wished I was a minor so that Mom could come with me inside the DFA. It was my passport application and I'm turning 19 the next day so I had no excuse to be "too young". But it was my first time. I sit amid my countrymen from all walks of life. Then a terrifying thought came over me. I wasn't wearing a collared shirt! Isn't this supposed to be an interview? I glanced at the necks of the people in front of me, then beside me, and for some reason, majority of them were wearing collared shirts! Even the kids! But the website didn't indicate any attire! I'm pretty sure I did my homework the night before. I searched for the exact place, the new location of the processing part of the DFA, listed the exact instructions and even arrived an hour before my appointment. Nothing should go wrong.

All the frantic Murphy's Law-verifying soon dissipated as the lines moved gradually. I spent hours shifting seats but UP life has heightened my threshold for line-impatience that I could manage. When the first window entertained me to verify my documents (two hours after my appointment time), I was surprised that the person behind the window did not interrogate me or anything (after all, it was not an interview, it's just a window, but at least he didn't say "How do I know if you really are Samantha Coronado? Do you have 6 more IDs or your Certificate of Baptism or high school diploma to prove your identity?" Voices in my head, yes). Instead,

Person: *after finishing checking* Ano course mo sa UP?
Me: Sociology po.
Person: *laughs* Naku, hindi ba yun yung mga nagrarally?
Me: ...actually!

Then the line for payment, then the queue number where 300 people will be called before me. Quite detail-oriented, I did a little test computing the average time that people get called. Result: One person in one minute! So would that be 300 minutes before I get called? That's cool. I called Mom so we could have lunch and when I returned (afraid that my number got skipped), there were still 200 to go. But the calling was faster. This time, an average of 4 people per minute, one every 15 seconds! My turn came and the encoding and picture-taking went smoothly. So there was no interview, really? I'm out!

The passport will be delivered in mid-April. My support raising status would be slow but steady. So far, so good, for Hybrid! The God of details is in charge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yesterday is Thursday, Thursday

Past six days were crazy with papers that I don't really know how I managed to survive from deadline to deadline. But I did. And I also will, next week. Until the sem is finally over. But aside from the busyness of life, there were also plenty of celebrations amidst all the hard work.

Shaina's birthday, Thursday last week. This was the year that I got to know her more as a sister. Best in California Maki?

Friday, Socio 182 (Qualitative methods) despedida party for Ma'am Saroca. She's really one of the best Profs I ever had. I learned a ton about writing research papers because she's extremely strict about them--plagiarism, citation, drawing on resources. It's a headache yes but my grade in the paper was 1! Best in Food Preparation Award. Marlon/Cooking master boy cooked the salad, pasta, the Rosemary and Terriyaki chicken and Mango float *drool*

Saturday, Trizia's debut! Extremely fun, with the jamming, lantern-flying and the Hawaiian outfits. Best in Champion Look (see pose below)!

Another farewell party at Sociology 113 (Socio of the family) on Tuesday. Same prof! Ma'am Saroca! Haha. This is the class I learned the most at. I swear. At least I have a say about domestic violence, labor migration, sexual double standards, social construction of Filipinas, et cetera. More feminist stuff. Best in Subject!

Same day, Trizia's surprise! Definitely Best in Cake (see dolls below, their dresses are edible. Amaaazing.)

 And just today...


I know, I look like a peasant lass. Who cares? It's my birthday (in advance) and I'll look gritty if I want to. HAHA. (Note: Yesterday was clan gathering! I got bruises on my arms and scratches on my knees because of playing volleyball and soccer, I came home that night feeling 10 years younger and woke up feeling like an old woman about to turn 100. Trufax) 

there were flowers and messages and cards and gifts, and although I make look so stressed right there  course, I feel so much appreciation here that I could still remember all their messages. I also met with two of my high school friends that night.

So, with all that happened, did I mention that I was busy? Yes. Not just with academic stuff. :)

More updates on personal stuff later.

My real birthday is still coming on Sunday. ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

What the Folk

Do you know Freddie Aguilar?

He's the famous guy from the 1980s who looks like WWE's Undertaker, with a fedora hat, black trench coat, and long hair. But instead of permanent eye-rolling in the midst of artificial smoke, he wields his guitar to sing Filipino folk songs, which is a genre that I only recently acknowledged to like. It's not easy (Haha). To others, it would sound baduy, but fur realz, ever since I've chosen to study him for my last paper in Socio 179 (the subject I dread the most), I downloaded all his songs, created his own playlist on my iPod, and was kept motivated to write something that would contribute to studies about contemporary songs.

By the third year in college, professors are expecting you to think about your thesis. I already have one thesis recommendation from my Socio 182 paper. But my Prof in this subject also said that a paper on Ka Freddie would be good. At one point it almost felt like I was a Music major because I keep going to their College to research (to no avail, if you're asking). I'm not familiar with musical...things, but Ka Freddie writes a rich text on Filipino society that intersects with typical elements of Filipino life, such as family, Christianity, love, nationalism (especially during EDSA) and compassion for the oppressed. I.AM.SO.EXCITED. to take a closer look at his works.

But my Prof expects me to write in Filipino, in the same way that the research subject composes Filipino songs. I speak Filipino all the time, but when it comes to writing, my fingers automatically type in English! So it's a bit of a challenge. And, she wants my paper to be in CD form, as some sort of audio-visual "paper". Again, I know nothing about movie-making, let alone Photoshop. Three weeks left, the clock is ticking. Let's finish right!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hope of All Hearts

Lately, I've been challenging myself to do uncomfortably awkward things, which to me, translates to hanging out with people I don't usually hang out with and doing things I don't usually do. For some reason, the fact that I'll probably be graduating next year  (using "probably" because I'm not sure if I want to just yet) hits me. Last Friday, CCC had a kick off for graduating students, and I just realized how most of the experiences in college will be over, written only in memory and paper as a passport to the next level--whatever that next level is. And the comfort zone that is the University and all the friends there will be gone.

I've gotten used to hanging out with Christians, which to me is one of the best things of all. It's like being with long-time friends even though you just met the minute before, because there's one Person that binds you. Last night we watched the Planetshakers concert, and I was in a car on the way home with people I just met that night (common friends). On normal days, I wouldn't do that--safety concerns, being a girl and all that. But the fun thing was that, as we speed off the highway, they were tuned to radio that mentioned verses and played soft music. I just thought right there that that is the life I wanted.. a life that is, in a sense, holy. But I also realize that the thought's a mere helmet to the impacts of life. We live in a world that is broken. It's not that we have to become used to it, but we should establish ourselves within that world and find ways to grow in it at the same time. Find hope. By the time college is over, that "establishment" would be left on its own. Can it stand the world?

One of the things that is well beyond my comfort zone raising. I've never done it before. During the past Square One's and the past Hope, I didn't ask for support, but get everything from my savings. But I realized that the reason why I do it is because I hate asking too much from people. I didn't realize that in supporting me financially, they are also supporting me--and the cause--spiritually. It was their chance to invest in the mission, and I prevent them from doing so. So last Thursday, I met with a friend and opened this ministry-partner possibility for Hybrid. I tried not to awkwardly "dance around" the subject but instead be purposive. Not the best appointment ever, but there's always the first time. I'm still expecting hardwork and mind-blowing results.

Then last Friday, I hung out with my coursemates, like, for the first time? I'm close to them individually. But on a group level, not so. I realized some things in that lunch. And I just pray that God would use these relationships.

At the same time, some collegemates (as in CSSP) and I will be forming an organization on career assistance (still unnamed!). The funny thing was, I was a founding member and I don't even know my co-members. I don't think anyone knows everyone because the membership was by invitation. I was invited by a classmate in one subject because they needed some sort of representative for each department, which for me was Sociology. I don't have any other org than CCC because I despise application processes, but I really like starting groups and I like their cause so I'm giving this a try. Now, I don't see myself doing resumes, wearing corporate attire and company-hopping for application anytime soon as part of finding my career. Again, it goes back to the "I like starting things" (entrepreneurship and management things) and "I hate application processes" (resume/job fairs) and "Awkward outsider" (trying out with a bunch of other applicants, proving you're the best, pleasing people) discourse. But that's just my mentality.

Yesterday, we went to Planetshakers' concert! Yay. It was the second time I went to a worship music-concert with no significant knowledge of the band's song, let alone the band itself. Haha. Learning on the spot? :) You would think, "How would you be able to enjoy the songs when you haven't heard them before? How could you sing to it? How could you cheer for the band?" But I memorize songs pretty easily, so it's fine. IT WAS FUNNNN. I love these things, you know. Music and dance ministry.

Let's call on the name of God for Japan's recovery, and that countries would rush to help them during this time of crisis. Please pray that the threat of another tsunami in the same coastline would not materialize, please pray that there would be no radioactive explosions, please pray for the aftershocks to cease, and for the government, for the rescuers and for survivors. For mercy and for hope. Let the next wave for Japan be a wave of prayers, aid and healing.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I guess this blog isn't as updated as it used to be! Busted, Loverage, post-Valentine's surprises, Pyromusical stories were not published. Haha. About by CWTS, for the past Mondays we have been going to different barangays in Quezon City, which is a place I'm totally unfamiliar of (never been there since two years ago, and it's within the triangle of UP-SM North-Trinoma... Haha), conducting community education against sex trafficking of children. Do sign this petition, it would mean a lot. It was an unusual experience because we got to the grass roots of the local government, which is closer to the people than anything else. To me, it was sort of like evangelism. The importance of leaders have always been emphasized, because they have a huge influence that touch a number of lives. Don't get me wrong, we didn't have the best experience. Sometimes we go to a barangay and there are no people to instruct to, sometimes we wait for a long time before people gather. But it was a rewarding experience, especially since it came from the voice of the youth. As we are showing the visual aids and answering their questions, I realize how the learning worked both ways and how the conviction within us, as future leaders, is strengthened.

Then last night I watched UP Streetdance's Reconnect. I have known before that they are a Christian org, but I was surprised at how it was a public thing! In the beginning, there was a prayer, which is an uncommon practice for a public gathering in UP (I've heard from Ate Cha that they were once banned at the UP Film Institute because there was preaching). And during the last part, they were rapping and dancing to the tune of worship music. Dance ministry!! On my way home, I was pondering about this when I passed by a Bible School. They painted their walls with verses that are similar to what we share. And it can be seen from the highway, just behind the waiting areas of people and I just realized, wow Lord, you are everywhere... Famous!

Friday, March 4, 2011

An Ample Time to get Lost

Now that the bigger "brain" storm has passed, I am left with more time to spend. One of the times I cherish is the time to walk in circles and go to places where curiosity and awe lead the way.

I like getting lost inside big malls where there are just so many interesting shops to get into, so many eye candies and so many choices. I don't buy everything I find pretty, but I make a mental bookmark on them and remember them when I get home.

I like getting lost inside libraries and bookstores. All those titles in paperbacks and hard covers. The authors and themes and finding a gem beneath the see of books.

I like getting lost at thrift shops. I like the mystery and the element of the unknown, the out-of-the-box. And the fact that you never spend too much. I go inside shops of expensive brands. But when I go "downtown" I find something more interesting and catchy buried beneath all cloths or the darkest corners.

You only have to know the right places. Most of the time, nobody has heard of them.