Thursday, September 29, 2011

Woman of Strength



Right now, I have just been shared a true story about a woman's courageous heart. The heart is a woman's strength. She can relate to people easily, can speak their language with utter sincerity. She is able to shower her love to a lot of people and can change the hearts of the men around her. She is capable of handling difficulties with diligence and perseverance. But it is also the heart that is a woman's weakness. One of her most vulnerable points. It can both harden too stubbornly or soften too easily.

But not for this woman. Her heart is with God.

If you come to think of it this woman had the choice to play along with a guy she likes. The feeling is almost mutual.. But she has set standards for herself, convinced that she would break any relationship off if both parties are not growing in Christ and if she feels that she would want to spend more time with the guy than with The Guy.

Our God is a jealous God that he pointed out that lately it has been the latter for her.

This woman could have easily shrugged it off. Don't bother. Maybe there's a chance, maybe they'll grow into each other better later. Maybe it would make sense later. After all, he's a nice guy and they're not doing anything wrong. It's a comfortable situation. But she doesn't give these lies a chance and takes a stand.

It was not easy. In fact it could probably be one of the most difficult things to do. One day she spoke to him about it, with gentleness and hope and tears and pain.To finally end it and pursue the direction that she is going with. With God. And pray that he would pursue Him first before he pursues her.

I STILL cannot fathom the strength she does this with.
I wish I could be as strong.
We can be strong in our weakness.
We may not be strong women, but we are women of strength.
Her decision AWED me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Near Endings

Came to school today right after the typhoon Pedring. UP was a mess. Leaves were everywhere, and the tree near FC fell on top of the waiting shed, almost uprooted. Suspension of classes was only from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., which I think is a ridiculous idea/excuse. It was a ghost town out there and the Prof didn't even arrive. Went to school for nothing.

As more requirements get delayed, they get to be more cramped together. Last week, it was the Strike Back against budget cuts. This week it was Pedring. Next week I'll have two exams and possibly two reports (academic typhoon?).

I've been aching for this semester to end, the same way I've been aching for a lot of semesters to do so. It's weird how I'm planning to extend my college life while also dying to finish it.

Tonight Dad came over and told me that he was about to buy a water refilling business, but there was nobody to manage it. If I could, I really would (for experience, that is). Playfully, I suggested that I take a LOA (leave of absence) next sem and then come back the next school year. Seriously, if he considers it, I would! Which again, is WEIRD.

I'm not the type who wants money right here, right now. Doing what I love is more important to me. Experiencing what excites me, challenges me or makes me think I'm making a difference. The cash is just an add-on. Now, to find that thing... maybe I should end college life as soon as possible. But how? There's no pretending that a certain cluelessness resides in my heart. Sure you'll learn it when you get there. Sure it's perfectly normal to not know everything. But I. WANNA. KNOW!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pavements Chased

It was the first hour of the morning.
At 1 am, I was scavenging through folders
Sifting through papers
Digging up a pile of books
while Dad was inside his room, asleep.

I have read too much that day:
Sociology and Demography
The Holy Bible
the newspaper
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
my brother's book of poems

So many thoughts raced through my head,
I had to search for a notebook to write them all down

It has always been like this.
What keeps you awake at night is most likely
what you're passionate about.

I already have an idea of what, or who, I'll be in the future (for now)
I'll be a businesswoman and an investor.

The dream has changed so much through the years.
At first it was a nun, and then it was a saint
For a day it was a teacher, for years and years it was a writer. (until now)
As I matured, it transformed into a lawyer
Now as I draw close to my college graduation, it's that,
A businesswoman and an investor.

There are times,
drowned in a pile of books,
that I wish I could pursue it at once.
The Dream.

And then I realized, I already am in pursuit!

The field is exciting, vibrant and never dull
To achieve the best possible results
To reach the most number of people
To get the biggest rewards, be it monetary, happiness or just more leisure time
is what made me choose it.


Here's one of my favorite stories :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear parents,

Is it okay if I ask you to stop pressuring me to graduate? It is so easy for you to say that I take a full load next semester, but do you even have a sense of how difficult that would be? Eighteen units of electives and I'm over the edge and uncertain about my grades all the time. I don't know if commuting has ever been difficult for you, but it is for me. Waking up at 6 AM is difficult after you sleep at around 4 AM. The late calls and absences are not very easy to bear. The traffic at night is unbelievable. The pollution, the many times I almost fall off my seat when my butt can barely make it to the 2-inch of space, the risk of bringing valuable items in such a criminal environment, the fatigue after going home and then having no appetite to even eat dinner after the dreary hours of commute.

I don't know if you have the sense of doing what you like but never being permitted to do so. You have always, ALWAYS emphasized independence. And yet when we decide for ourselves what we wanted to take, you never give us the freedom to do so. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate you giving me permission to go here and there. But your lack of support, even the desire to support, is disheartening. What is independence without support, but rebellion?

You have always said how you were proud that I can work things around the things I want without asking for your help. But the mere fact that you don't want to help is damaging in itself. Lots of kids have parents who have less and yet support their children all the way. With me, it's just like you want to deprive me of privileges on purpose because you wanted to enjoy yourselves/wanted less burden/wanted me to "learn". That bitterness from your own circumstance is exactly what's keeping me within mine. Sometimes I think I was better off with more supportive parents. Maybe I would have gotten this, learned this, reached this, with their support. It is a thought unfair to you, I know. I can't help it sometimes.

If there is anything I learned about the independence you so emphasized, it is that decisions are mine to make. I am not going to graduate yet. I am going to move out the house and live on my own. I am going to graduate in 2013. If you are not there to support my decision, it will be okay. It is understandable, since you are the stakeholders. You are the ones to spend the money. But this is my decision and as always, I will try to find my way around it, supported or otherwise. The world has dramatized adolescents' search for independence. But right now, it is just a matter of applying what you have taught me, what I have learned through the years. In that case, I have you to thank.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pep Swag

The blabbing never ceased since this afternoon. Over Twitter. Over Facebook. Now here at Blogger!

From the UP Pep page
This was by far the best performance I've seen from the UP Pep Squad: A Pop routine inspired by Madonna. The team, always uniform in their hairstyles (bob in 2009, pixie in 2010), ALWAYS setting the trend and raising the bar higher every year, decided to do away with the Pinoy theme this year and dyed their hair platinum blond! No wonder a few weeks ago, we saw groups of bleached girls walking around the campus! It certainly had that intimidating and surprising effect!



The so-called "Pep Squad ng Bayan" performed in black costumes, which just made them look like characters right out of an anime. The crowd wore black as well. I hope it's for the advocacy against the P800M budget cut in UP. Last week, we wore black on school days for that (when will they ever stop cutting our budget? :|).

Photo from Yahoo
I didn't get to buy tickets, so I went to last Friday's Pep Rally, which is strictly for UP students only in order to protect their routine. From the moment I saw it I already predicted that they will win. Without a doubt! They just incorporated a lot of moves and mixed them altogether. Example, a simple move like a split. They made the split upside down in the base's shoulder, threw the split in the air or split while doing a handstand on top of the pyramid. Things like that. Lots of things like that. The performance live was FLAWLESS. Completely flawless down to the last seconds of their feet reaching the ground (although there is one lift that "almost!" failed).

We suck at basketball games, everybody knows that. So Cheerdance is really our main event! We've been Champions in two consecutive years and every year they just keep on lookin' better. Imagine how we owned the place: we won the Stunner award (photogenic performer?), the Group Stunts (6-people routines, which was SO unnecessary by the way) and the Cheerdance itself! Our fourth in five years!


Credits to the other teams as well, they performed really well. My favorite has always been Adamson University. I don't know why they don't win :( FEU did a stunt I couldn't forget and DLSU's Robin Hood-ish costume was such an eye candy (but to be honest, I don't know why they placed :|). Ateneo and FEU had the same Bollywood theme. And UST making the sign of the cross with Gregorian chants was a bit awkward. A friend said they even had a priest in the performance! But the sore-loser act they did was cheering themselves while UP was being awarded. Nothing against UST, but it was an obviously rude act that just made them look worse. Bitter. Overall, it was the mistakes that shaped the grade and the lack (?) of it caused us to bag the title! Haters gonna hate.

Now to give you a low-resolution video! Note the Gingerbread man-stunt (uh... the one where they rolled like a Vitruvian man), the FIVE-PERSON PYRAMID that no one in the competition had done, the level of difficulty, the dance moves!. Can't stop praising their effort, talents, skills, unity, flawless stunts, spirit and excellence! Just watch!



Here's the more high-res one! But embed is prohibited so click it!
Made me proud to be Iska.
Congratulations UP Pep!

A scrub is a guy that can get no love from me

I hate generalizing. When guys generalize how girls are, it irritates me, because I know not all girls are the same. So I'll try not to generalize guys as well.


NeYo composed this song "Boyz" for Beyonce, although she didn't use it. One line says, "I swear sometimes boys can be such a mess." The lyrics rings true. There is a certain type of guy that annoy me. Namely, the "macho", flirtatious, "chicks-dig-me-like-chocolate-bars" type of men who surround you and try to make you fall for them AS IF they're adorable things. Operative word: Try.

The only "relationship" they know are flings, and their definition of commitment is texting you every night hoping to get your response little by little. Who cares about your issues, coz all they want is to go close to you, physically and emotionally. I can smell them from a mile away. And though it makes me feel guilty that I've probably judged them easily, their actions just prove me right.

Recently I was surrounded with such kind of guy. It is not me to lead someone on (anymore). There's no way around guys I don't like: if it's a no, it's a no and I could tell it from the start. But this particular person was a friend until he started acting weird. All of a sudden making suggestions, being jealous (e.g. asking who I go home with, or who was the guy friend I introduced) and continuing at it, all the while saying he's crushing on someone else. Terrible. There are LOTS of other guys I know and see doing the same thing. Getting close to girls, teasing/flirting with them, trying to get them to themselves while doing the same thing for other girls. It is so difficult to see them "in action" without raising eyebrows.

The cliche that good men are hard to find is true. Dad says so. Dad's annulment clients say so. I hope I'd be able to guard my heart against such men. Not to love them and not to completely loathe them at the same time. What could you do to help them? Maybe one would be to let them know that other girls won't buy it. Other girls like me. I hope there's hope for them. I don't know why they're such jerks. But I definitely wouldn't want to have anything to do with them.


Please, please listen to this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Slumph

It frustrates me how I'm too involved with one thing and too un-involved with another.

Wish there was some way to balance this.

I follow my heart a lot that there is a huge tendency to neglect structure with the slightest emotion of unwillingness or the perception of not gaining satisfaction with a job.

An example is in organizations and course-related activities which gives opportunity for leadership. On normal days, I could take it seriously and finish a project. But sometimes, I don't see any rewarding motivation to do so that I don't involved myself altogether.

I LOVE going all-out. I do that for some other things,  but I'd also like to do it to things I don't like/usually like.

Lord, help me get out of this. Guidance, obedience, responsibility!

And yes, a symbol of giving it all

(Looking UP stills)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Umph

Something I saw over Twitter: "The only difference between try and triumph is a little umph!"

Lately there is this growth pain/growth itch welling up from the pressures of finishing this semester, finishing college life and starting anew AGAIN. Has it really been three years ago that I was a freshman? I cannot believe it. I entered college as a 16-year-old and now I'm 19 and those three years feel like decades ago (which is a good thing, actually)! Now there are new issues to face such as will I graduate next semester? Will I apply for a job? Will I pursue the vague dream of starting a business? Will I take up extra units to learn? What the heck will I do afterwards? Do I have to earn money or earn experience first (or both)? What will "take me there"? Add that up to my parents' desires and my fear and cluelessness and idealism.

Entering the league of the 20-year-olds in 6 months is terrifying.

Jesus related to the parable of the Talents something like, "Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful with the little, so I will give you more." (sorry, too dizzy to research) It struck me that all the things I have NOW (AKA the "little things") like academics is something I take for granted. Undeniably, there is a hedonistic part of me that only wants to do what she enjoys doing and forget the rest. That can't be right.. So now I'm trying to obey him by being faithful with the details. Thus staying up at 2AM reading for my term paper in Anthropology (interesting stuff), and then tomorrow be studying for an exam, and the day after that, actually constructing the paper. While handling all other things.

I thank God for a busy life. But more important, I pray for a well-directed one.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Second Chances



Is it me or is this a season of break-ups? In the past weeks there has been break-ups from people I know. Some of these relationships lasted in the span of months, others in years, which is seemingly forever. It affected me so much because it made me think of the grounds of breaking up a relationship.

I've only had one relationship from the past and I don't even consider it significant. My lesson? The two people who are supposed to be "in love" can be quite shallow. Completely shallow, to some extent. Fighting over opinions on television shows, favoring friends, doubt of feelings or just a word/action interpreted differently. Scenes of walking out, harsh text messages and bad mouthing... the drama of it all, included; especially if you get back together to repeat the cycle. These certainly came as unexpected. My friends wouldn't put me through those things, so why would someone who frequently says "I love you" do so?

There are times I try to consider someone who might be capable of sustaining a commitment (someone I like), but it just doesn't happen (A lesson on guarding your heart). Sometimes to simply love someone is easier than to have a formal relationship. There would be more understanding, forgiveness, working things out and believing in each other than expectation or disappointment from what a boyfriend or girlfriend should be.

I'm not invalidating these break-ups. A lot of times it's better even if it SORES. There is something good about separating if it gives people a time to think, reconsider what they are looking for and what they should be working on. But not to seek the same type of "love" in another place with another person. Obviously, I'm no love guru or expert. Just someone who desires to invest in things that last.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Randump

1. Spanish is crazy.

Never appreciated English until now. The Spanish language has conjugations on just about everything. Like when you are commanding, it is different with verbs ending with -ar, -er and -ir. When you are commanding with respect, it's also different. When you are commanding negatively (e.g. "don't") there is another set of conjugation! Geez. Still, gonna work hard to be fluent in it.

2. Party in the...

Channeling Miley is easy. Sultry long hair and grungy clothes and you're good to go. Did this for my org's photo contest. I think I prepared too much. HAHA. The theme was "Annoying teen popstars", so Miley, Selena, Demi, Rebecca Black, Bieber and Aaron Carter were there. Did the styling. CJ the hair :)





3. Contest

I don't know much about marketing but currently, we're trying to explore the things you could do to promote online. I'm a bit excited at finding other ways of doing so. So far this is it! :))


4. Anthro term paper

Finally! I was having a hard time figuring out what to research about. Right now, it is how UP students think they dress and how they actually dress. Simply, I'm going to interview a few students in my college, asking them, "What do you think UP students usually wear?" Their answers will hypothetically be, "house clothes". But then, I'll take there photo to analyze if their answers reflect their actual appearance. And will compare this across 50 people. Exciting, isn't it? *can't believe I actually said that about a paper*

5. Look UP

Why we're not gonna graduate anymore
Ate Toni invited me to be part of her prod again. Haha. Third. First one was "Lingon" about a psychological trauma of a rape victim. Second was "Sulat" a 2-minute McDo commercial-ish cheezy stuff. Now it was "Looking UP", if I'm not mistaken. About a freshie digesting the UP campus, with Paramore's background music. Haha. Making these was so much fun.

That's it. I'm on an Internet hiatus.
Gonna go partying in the USA

yeah..eeh..eeeh!
So many photos like this. Haha.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Forks on the Road



Outwardly it comes off as fear, anxiety, even cluelessness. But actually, deep inside, I'm pretty confident, excited and optimistic about how my so-called life would turn out. Even though, of course, I don't know how! Right now I'm just a sponge absorbing everything and venting the tensions out.

If I would write to my 13-year-old self, I would tell her all the wild things that happened that she never even dreamed about. But what if my...er... 30-year-old self writes to me? What secrets would she tell? What names would she drop? What adventures would she promise me?

Ever since that last weekend when my family started pushing me to really graduate, I began to look at things differently. Over the corridors of Palma Hall, the trees of the Acad Oval, the taste of street food combos, the smell of newly printed readings and the feel of the old wooden chairs of the university, I began to ponder about life after college. What is life, post-grad?

What's making sense to me is that reason why there are thousands of books about how you would live your life is because we have different ideas about fulfillment, because we experience it uniquely. What is success to a student like you may not be what success is for a businessperson, a religious authority, a doctor, a parent, a farmer, an elderly, a politician or a patient. We share a common humanity without the uniformity of desires, at least operationally. We have different ideas of how we would be satisfied, but we know that satisfaction is what we are looking for.

I remember getting extra "pogi points" if you can call it, with two of my professors. One was in Psyche when I was a freshie. She asked everyone what they would like to be when they grow up. I said, "Work in the UN" and she immediately admired the dream (it was sincere) saying that students willing to help are of the rare kind. And then my Spanish 11 Profa, after asking us to partner to ask "What would you like to be in 10 years /in Spanish" and I told my partner, "to be a missionary". And from then on, my Profa being a missionary as well (I didn't know then), she invited me over lunch and expressed support.

I am not completely clueless about the future. I know what I want and not want. I want:
1. A lot of time to spend with people, a time to travel and experience the world
2. An environment of competence, potential, innovation, support, growth, and not competition, ruthlessness or endless hierarchies to fight to be on top of the ladder. Abolish the ladder-mentality shall we?
3. Abundance instead of just money. To be honest, I was never completely in need of money.. I always had savings though I don't save that consciously. So I could live with little and still get a lot out of it (As they say, it's not how much you have but how you handle it. I believe that. I'm good at it. Haha)
4. Fulfillment instead of just getting things done or beating deadlines (e.g. school :|)
5. Contribution to the community, service, learning
6. Communication...in the form of pictures or articles. I really, really, wanted to have a career in writing.

And more. If I could, I'd lay an elaborate plan of everything else! For sure it does not involve a lot of clerical work. It wouldn't feel like mere employment.

There's just this sense that you were made for so much more. To me, it's more than the four corners of an office. More than the pile of paper and the laptop or computer. More than the same staff everyday. This is my idea of fulfillment. Life is short. I don't want to be a small fish in a big pond: insignificant, easily replaced, comes and goes, judged by face value, disposed when relatively inefficient, tasked to do just a certain amount of things, paid for labor and nothing else. If they call this idealism, well, I got tons of it since birth and I believe that's what will make me "rich".