Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Rain

The moment we finished our forum after the rainy afternoon at Commonwealth, I practically dragged myself and collapsed asleep to the couch.

It was such an exhausting day, and it rained for a quarter of the part of our four-hour venture. We got rained on, and was battling weather lethargy. The youths we have invited have left us to bathe in the rain, and we were scattered all over the community seeking shelter until it stopped. Situation lost control. I thought it would be a disaster, really.

It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but I was surprised at the bigger number of people who gathered.

My highlight for today was how Rai and I approached the tambays. AKA the big group of intimidating, half-naked guys beside the court. These past three days, Rai and I never approach them on our own, but ask one of our guy teammates to handle them. But today we were left alone, and they were calling us (if you knew better, you would not respond, right? But what if you are there to reach out to them? Certainly not). So we decided to approach them.

It was better than we hoped. These guys are all tough. They smoke, cuss at children and are even feared. But today they prayed with us and even said that they will be the one to share what we shared to their other friends. Amazed, again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Revisiting Old Balara

Today we went back to our first barangay, the first one visited . Last Monday, we met three groups of people, (1) Fredi, Jeannelle and Reggie, (2) Precy, Charlene, Christine, Alfred and Rose, and (3) one more girl whose name I forgot, sorry.

The first group was unavailable. The second was game. They were a group of twelve to fifteen-year-olds. Rai and I asked them how they took the story, and if they knew someone who needs to hear the story. It was funny because they kept telling us, "Go talk to them, they are sinners! /makasalanan yang mga yan". Okay... :))

In the end, Rai and I decided to split up to maximize our sharing. And we did. On our one, we were able to share to five people in a span of a few minutes. Almost everyone were game in the invitation for merienda, where we gave them a chance to get to know other people. Our group was the biggest! We were surprised at how lucky we are to meet these people. At first we just saw them buying ice on the street, and now they lead us to their friends and even tell bits and pieces of the story to them. :)


  • Rose telling me, "Ate, ever since I met you last Monday, I stopped cursing,"
  • Cesar nearly in tears asking, "When will you come back?"
  • Precy, tearful too, saying "I'll miss this"
Tomorrow will be our last day in the second community in Luzon Avenue. I wonder what we will experience. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trading our Sorrows

It was the most challenging experiences yet.

Whenever I commute, I transform into a defensive, vigilant and even borderline ruthless girl. I feel like I'm in such a threatening position and I needed to preserve myself, constantly watching over my shoulder, suspecting the person beside me is trying to take advantage of me, securing my place in the vehicle. It was survival instinct. I believe it makes me come home safe every night.

So those feelings rushed upon me as we walked towards the barangays in Commonwealth. Half-naked men playing basketball, kids running all around, and parents watching us with suspicious eyes, not to mention the increased likelihood of crime an the unpredictability of a narrow-pathed community. No doubt, it was time to switch on defensive mode. But I was not there just to get from one place to another. I was there to share the Gospel. Translation: let my guard down and be vulnerable to rejection and rudeness. The defender inside me is shouting "Why? Nooooo!"

Rai was my partner, but we were both aware of how we were delaying approaching people. Until we finally mustered enough courage to enter houses to find youths to talk to. It was easier from that point on. Eventually we got used to asking people if we could talk to them. Nothing was ever predictable in every conversation you engage in. Yesterday, the first two groups we shared to shed tears and were really honest to us. One has an affair with a married man, while most usually had issues with disrespect with parents. A lot of the youths from Old Balara, Purok 1 stopped schooling. It made me really sad, knowing that I have graduated already and some people can't even afford to do so. Some youths are looking for jobs, like me. If graduates like me are having a hard time, what more for someone who never reached college?

Some of the pairs in other teams experienced persecution, where kids would chant church songs and shout to the people, "Hey check them out, they can give you better lives in a sec!" Patience was tested, fears were faced and discouragement was endured. We are humans. We are aware that we can snap, we can be terrified and paralyzed in fear or even get hurt by what we are doing. But what was amazing is that we kept going anyway. Maybe a little wounded by the experience, but still hopeful.

The team-talk after every visit cushioned us and reaffirmed that this was not about us, but about God. It was God they rejected and not us. And that the only thing that gets us going is the vision of a changed community. After all, what is impossible for a God whom we know have changed our own hearts?

Indeed, the fruits were overwhelming. Our group was divided into two for two barangays in Commonwealth per day. Yesterday, a total of 94 Commonwealth youths heard the Gospel, and today, it was 125! Including parents of one of our teammates. Amazing isn't it? I can't imagine it was possible with all the frustrations, rejections and disappointments. But it was. It keeps us refreshed and, well, HOPEful. Truly a work of a supernatural being.

Thank you, Lord, for letting us experience this!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Commute Museum

I never enjoyed commuting as much as when I did tonight. Profound thoughts sprung as I hopped from trains to buses to tricycles. I love commuting like this, where you experience no traffic, but had plenty of time to walk and think and gaze at the city lights. I wished I could marvel at them for as long as I can. And it also made me think about life in general.

The vehicle passed by probably hundreds of business establishments -- small and big. Hundreds of people hounding for a ride home where their family or their cold bed awaits. Houses nestled near the banks of the river, and seemingly abandoned houses with broken windows covered with the metro's dirt. Individuals catching the evening bug that got them thinking about life and family and the big area of "what's next". Really, the world is like a museum where you are both a spectator and an artifact. You look and the world looks back.

The commute didn't spare me from thoughts about myself. Earlier we had a training for vision-casting, and I was able to actually verbalize unprocessed thoughts. That you know were you want to be, but know not how to get there. That you know you are meant for more, but you don't know where the more comes from. That you know there is a road unexplored and away from your current path, that you wanted to pursue but are too afraid to do so, fearing that you will make mistakes and waste time and lose. Maybe moving away from the path isn't even an option. But you just continue trudging in it anyway.

I don't want to label these as quarter life crisis. It's far from a crisis, really. I am glad I'm overwhelmed with these thoughts. I think the QLC is about having nowhere to go. Right now, it's just having so many paths before you, some closed, some foggy, some rough and others too easy. The abundance of it all makes me feel thankful... and confused at the same time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Daily Dose of Cheeziness

Mushy movies. I cringe a little and try to hide the mushy tears or the mushy blushes during the mushy moments. There is something in them that makes us cringe – intimacy, utter closeness that makes you want to pull away or push other people away and go back to being serious.

There is something magical that happens during the tender moments of a tight, all-encompassing hug, or a long-awaited kiss, or a teary no-holds-barred apology, or a confession of feelings bottled up for years and years. There is something unstoppably released – tears combined with love and a sense of walls cracking and even giving away.

Have you experienced such thing? If you are on a relationship, you probably have (it’s the stuff of mushy movies). But you could equally have it with your friends and family. I know I have.

One moment I had was with Trizia, and I keep reminding her of this. Haha. It was the time when I was supposed to lead a song for the S’mores Party and I felt that nobody was cooperating. We were practicing and the people were eating corn or have not studied the chords. I was shaking in disbelief and anger that I actually walked out, to come back when I am better.
Anger was usually solved that way, until she chased me outside. It was so dramatic. I didn’t want her to chase me. All I ever wanted was to be left alone and deal with the anger by myself. Lick my wounds, let it simmer. But she didn’t quit the chase, until she caught me despite me pushing her away, and whispered sorry, and I cried. We were in front of the building where Drew’s was, and we were crying. I wanted to stop crying because it was so mushy, so ridiculously corny. But I felt the alleviation of the burden. I heaved a deep sigh of relief and felt better.

I have also experienced it with Dad. We are both proud and headstrong even until now. We had a fight where he hurt me physically (it didn’t hurt I think haha). And even though I know I was wrong, I didn’t show any sign of remorse. I was determined to not talk to him forever in order to make him suffer. And because if I was him, I wouldn’t talk to me, either. Until the next day, he came home from work with a white teddy bear, and he hugged me. And all I did was sob in his arms. Proud as he is, he knows how to apologize, and it always caught me off-guard because that is where our similarities end.

These moments are so tender, and we have a soft spot for them. It melts something deep inside, or warms up our soul. But whatever it is, no matter how overrated it is, or how the blockbusters have made billions playing it up, we all need it. On a daily basis.

We need to know we are loved, cared for and appreciated. We need to know that people will still love us no matter what awful things we do. We need to know that there are people who will confront your evils and still accept you. Despite the world teaching us otherwise: that we needed to look out for sharks who will eat us if we don’t pay attention. We have a boss to impress, or children to discipline. We have

My prayer is that I learn to be cheesy enough. It’s an understatement to say I am not used to it. In fact, I am allergic to it. I tiptoe around apologies, appreciations and confessions. I would rather be on good terms with others instead of lurking into the deep and muddy corner of intimacy. I would rather peer above my walls than break another’s.

But I really wish I would learn it. A lot of people have demonstrated such kindness to me, and I can’t even be like that for someone else. I hope I can view love not as mushiness, but a need that has been so obviously deprived of us.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Attack and Defense

During this short time that I have been at home, going on vacation and delaying employment until June, I have found that God has been teaching me an overwhelming number of things. I have come to realize my wickedness. This is not some sort of self-demeaning tactic. It was the truth that I tried to hide under the carpet of propriety and normalcy.

Who I really am is a rude, disrespectful, proud daughter. I do not deny that I have been kind and forgiving, and that I actually have changed a little. But that is clearly not my work. It was not intrinsic. It was the work of someone powerful enough to change people even when they think they are hopeless.

Here comes the history part: When I was young, my parents would note how I show no remorse when being disciplined. I never cry and instead look at them straight in the eye as if saying “Is that all you got?” These words came from my own father, and it was exactly I was thinking at that time. I will never give them the satisfaction of seeing me cry. It was claiming that I am right no matter how much they insist I am wrong. No hitting or lecturing would change it.

So now you see how deep this wall goes.

I was never quite afraid of my parents. There are times when I shut up when they are angry, but I have always thought that I could withstand and answer whatever they throw to me. There is no way I will surrender.  I was righteous, and they are dysfunctional and needed correction. A classic example of thinking you’ve grown up wise at the age of fourteen. I actually thought I could live pretty well without them.

Imagine how greater that feeling is now that I have actually grown up. God has changed a huge part of my life. For example, I never give in easily to irritability or I began to show my softer side by telling them whenever I am worried or sad. That in itself is phenomenal because I never quite learned to do so before. Until now, crying in front of other people is something I loathe. How weak, defeated and ugly I must have looked. Saying sorry is terribly difficult because in my whole heart, I was right. Apologizing would only diminish that. I always thought that choosing pride over people is cruel. But in my actions, it is pride that always takes hold of me.

 In perception of other people’s guilt, I never quite learned to be submissive. I was always on my guard, protecting myself not from evil thoughts, but from love.

My presence is characterized by a bolted door lest someone see me at my vulnerable point, a diary or a blog containing everything I wanted to tell people but never will, or tears that will never be seen by another person’s eyes. Even admitting this right now, is painful, because I am not used to it. I should always project that I am doing well even though I am twisting in pain and guilt. Let other people throw their pretensions away first and that is the only time I, too, will.

How far off is this thinking from Jesus? He who, by taking form of a person, became weak and vulnerable. He who washed dusty feet. He who dined with society’s most wicked. He who noticed the poor and the marginalized. He who talked to outcasts. He who was a friend to sinners. He who was pierced and hung to death with a bloodied crown on his head, at the most humiliating sight in front of His father for a crime he never did but chose to take anyway.

How could my self-proclaimed righteousness ever surpass what He has done for me, and for the people I sinned against? What right do I have to raise my walls beyond the reach of people so that they will never make a mistake of thinking they could even affect me? Who am I to not forgive others or to not think that I also needed forgiveness?

It is during this time that it becomes real to me that being a follower of Christ never meant that I am kinder, more generous or just that the average person. For me, it only meant that I have become so hopeless that I call an S.O.S. to the only person who can fix it for me. That my walls and my armor have become so thick that I can’t even help myself. That I can’t even take them down to save my life. And how dependent I am of rescue from a Savior, no matter how I hated the image of a damsel in distress. In perceiving other people’s guilt, I have forgotten that they, too, are innocent and but victims of my own and this world’s wickedness.

O Lord, forgive me if I have been ahead of myself. Forgive all these years of thinking that I am right and that the world needed my correction. Forgive my rudeness and disrespect. Forgive my pride and the walls I have built. Forgive the pain I tried to hide, but instead, channelled to other people. Forgive how impenetrable I have become. Forgive the masks I wore and the call for help that I never sounded. Forgive me if I ever thought that your grace is a small price paid. Thank you for making me realize how wrong I am. For once, it is refreshing to think that I have gotten it all wrong. It became easier for me to stop running in circles and start allowing your power to heal me and teach me new things about myself and about other people.

Help me Lord as I deal with my oldest demons, my trickiest lies and my hesitant heart. You have conquered my sins and through You, I can conquer it too. But it meant dying to myself and going against what the world has taught me, what I have learned from the world, to learn from You.

I need you, Lord, to come to my rescue. I need you Lord to change me. I need you to stand by me whenever I am tempted to raise my eyebrows, turn my back and insist my way. Help me to not be selective of the people I become humble to – be it sinners, haters, judgers and more. Help me not to rely on other people or my own wisdom. Break my heart, O God, whenever I try to take the steering wheel away from you. Help me whenever I needed to learn things the hard way. Help me in the difficulties of learning and obeying. May I look back next time with a testimony of how difficult it was to forgive and be vulnerable and how it was possible to be overcome.

Thank you Lord for being patient enough to make me understand. Saying this right now, it helped me to relax and release the weapons and armors that I have accumulated. You can win this battle, God, if I let you do the fighting. You have won for me.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yuppies Service

Today was my second yuppies service. Can I just say that these were essential parts of my week? I started two weeks ago, skipped because of the Pangasinan trip and then went again today.

The people I'm with are the alumni, graduates and some students from Tuesday housechurch. I love how it was a peer relationship, and that we have to drop the "ate's" and "kuya's". Although at the beginning, it was difficult to call the person you respect so much by their first name. Haha. I think I'm more concerned about how they feel. And somehow there's a guilt feeling from all the socialization I got haha (i.e. feeling disrespectful). But in reality, I liked it that way. I think it would be better for them too, since they did not need to act like grownups/or maybe... a chaperone. Like they could admit difficulties without the pressure of being a role model. We only have one role model anyway. :)

Most of all, I loved how I could relax, as well. Sometimes during services, I wanted the younger ones to speak up so I don't share as much. I also like the fact that people in the service are either working or about to work. Post-graduation or workplace concerns are easier to understand.

Post-grad / workplace concerns examples:

1) Bad job recruiters
2) Workplace politics
3) Thoughts about money, salaries, support, income, etc.
4) Office environment

AKA things that are new to me. And I should ponder about.

Such a blessing it is to have people to go through these with. At the same time, I can't wait to invite friends and colleagues to have a Church that will also guide them through work.

Also, I have just begun applying for jobs. I needed a vacation and I got it. Warm up over. Here we go! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Crying for friends

Fancy Crepe was the place where Rai invited me for an SR appointment. I asked my friend to tag along with me, never mind if support raising for missions is new to her.

In the end, my friend cried. And tears welled up in my eyes, too, because of what she told me earlier at Moonleaf.

The scenario was same with mine, except that she got it... worse. And I can't bear the fact that she keeps it all inside. Rai asks her why, and she said she didn't want to share. Because she's not yet ready. That made me even sadder.

When we reached another place, I had to lead the song. I love leading songs. I love singing to God. But when I got to the second song, I couldn't sing because I was crying.

It was kinda sad that I can't because I love the song, and the worship team was playing out loud despite not having a voice. At that time I really tried to sing, but I was just crying for her.

"Take up my cross and follow you Lord" the lyrics said. And I just wished it would be true for her no matter how difficult it is.

Still, it was one of the best song leading experience I had. Even though I literally didn't sing that much and I had to apologize to the worship team. But I'm glad I cried, although I didn't say why and I tried hard not to show it.

I just wish that the freedom to cry would also be available for her.

You could cry, you could demand, you could admit hurt, you could be vulnerable.

Don't ever think that you have to keep looking tough, because it makes you even more weaker on the inside.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy birthday Bro!

Our attempts at meme-making fails. Thank you, cellphone camera.

Today we celebrated my Kuya's birthday. it was pretty low-maintenance. Kinda like him haha.
We just ate buckets at KFC. Of all places.
I expected it to be some place we haven't eaten before.
But well the birthday boy rules today.

As what Von mentioned, there are post-grad levels

1) Graduation
2) Celebration
3) Vacation
4) Starvation
5) Application

6) Rejection *circumstantial*

I'm probably at the Starvation level
More and more I feel the need to find a job.
Also, I've been challenged to support missions, and I gladly will
And I am planning to move out
even though I don't really know how to say it to my parents.

I've been sleeping around (not what you think).
Overnights at friends' house
just to go earlier to an appointment or save transportation costs.
Or opting to eat cheap food, ride non-aircon buses and walk
because I don't want to dip into my savings.
See, I'm financially independent.

And recently unemployed. HAHA. I quit my first job,
which is doing foreign research, getting paid hundred dollars at home.
And authoring 50 pages for 2 weeks.
So as to focus on having a job that better fits society's ideas.
Something office-entering, team-playing and hierarchy-bottoming (huh?)

So, all right all right!
I'll have to adjust my application methods and start looking for a new job.

A job, a house and a source of income
Should not be as hard. But it will be if the standards are high.

Wish me luck
Or not, coz

God provides :)

In fact I can give a gift to my brother, which is the only gift I know to give guys:
Allowance and salary-free.
A white one with a print-stripes of letters, with red circles around it
Like some editing work on a shirt.
Coz he's a poet,
and reading his poems make me feel ashamed of my poetry-writing
A man of written words
Sweet, thoughtful, cynical and funny.
Happy birthday, Bro.

I have never been broke in my entire life.
And I will never be.
Sometimes my mind needs to catastrophize a little before it moves on.
Let me be. :))

Monday, May 14, 2012


Butt-flattening six-hour ride to Pangasinan
Wide and beautiful house to stay in
A generous host
Palarong Pambansa and meeting the legendary Elma Muros
Sunset and fresh air
Wide, un-commercialized beach that's of walking distance
Tunes playing at the magnificently architectured capitol
Nearby parks and sights
Pork binagoongan dinner and karaoke
And a comfy bed to go home to and share horror stories on

Chururuts' first day in Pangasinan.
With Sam C., Sam P., Rose Anne, Micah, Reish and Klark.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To the woman who slept inside my hospital room,
who bore my hysterical cry when I was sick,
who texted "I'm proud of you" when I passed
who went the extra mile to celebrate my debut
who helped me put my make-up on during my graduation
who cooked for me as she comes home tired
who never fails to text me whenever I'm away
who permits me to experiment with make-up on her
who sends me spam e-mails of quotes
who printed my papers, secretly read them and praised me
(even as it got a 5 from my professor)
who came with me to claim my prize in an essay contest
who ran through the lines with me as I practice for a theater play
who secretly tells her colleagues about me
who says it's not a problem that they don't come up onstage
who goes all-out in giving Christmas gifts

Thank you.
I love you! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Medium Ash Blonde Hair

Dyeing has always been one of my greatest fears because I have heard a handful of horror stories about it. This includes my Mom looking like she's 20 years older, in a color that matches her skin tone so much it actually looked like her hair is thinning (but don't tell her okay. Now it's absolutely gorgeous!), friends looking tanner than they intended to be and other outrageous attempts at "reinventing yourself".

I thought I was in for such horror story because the color I wanted to choose was blond. It was either platinum blond or ash blond. Which if some of you would imagine, would look like some wannabe K-popstar. But I dreamed that it would look like this:



Not bad since these people are more or less near my skin tone and they pulled it off. Besides, I'm quite confident that I could (!). Alas, yesterday was when the quest for being a blondie ends, at F Salon. Now looking downright chestnut or auburn in the sun.

And so-so indoors:
Well hello, obligatory sunglasses picture*

Another one off the list!

I still have my blonde dreams. But for now, lemme try this color :)

May 1: New Found Love, Make-up

My recent interest is what should have come when I was fifteen years old (I'm a late bloomer, what can I do?):


I never even put powder on my face until the last months of high school senior year when a pretty friend kindly advised me to. And in grade school I was known as the girl who never combed her hair.

Anyway, I recently attended a make-up workshop by Marj Sia. I have really admired this artist ever since I saw her work from Tricia G.'s blog. It was my idea of make-up artistry, that does not only entail basic, everyday looks but really experimenting with colors as if the the face was a canvas.

I wish I took the Package B by the way. AN 18-SHADOW PALETTE. WHY.

The workshop was really expensive, by the way haha. I just plunged into it. Included in the package was a make-up brush set and a lot of freebies such as Nivea sunblock (which I found out was worth P510!), Dove shampoo, Freshlook daily contact lenses, Extremefinds bracelet (which I lost during my commute :|) and SugaRush cupcakes. They're awesome. You need to see them:

From Marj's site
And now all I can do is watch Michelle Phan videos on Youtube. I have known her beforehand, but whenever I watch her videos, I could not remember anything afterwards because it was like she was using make-up-speak that I cannot comprehend. Now, I'm happy to say that somehow I can! Also, I have been reading product reviews from Liz Lanuzo, which I find very helpful because she puts the pros and cons of products instead of praising them blindly.

Now this poor girl, refusing parental allowance and without receiving her first salary, purchased a small eyeshadow palette today, and have managed to resist to buy foundation. I am going to be a penniless made-up girl at the rate I'm going. Who cares! Minsan lang ako maexcite ng ganito. Haha.

Later I'll post some photos as I make a mannequin out of my mother. ;) <3


April 26: The Avengers

Yesterday, Ate Toni, Ate Danes, Kuya Jouise, Nikki and I watched the Avengers
Premier, and 3D! :>

I haven't been a fan of the Avengers. I don't even know who they are,
since I am more familiar with the Justice League.
I didn't know The Hulk, Ironman, Captain America and Thor belong to a team!

My favorite Avenger?

THOR. :>
Or maybe, just Chris Hemsworth.

Then, at the same place after the movie (the art of coordinating your outings haha),
I met with Russel and JC for dinner at Flavors of China

I just realized that we are graduates already!
Thus the talks on employment and other plans.

Even though we were just three, it took us all night
that I actually had to run to catch the last trip!

Talk about the stress of living long distance.

But still

Totally worth it. :)

April 23: Graduation Day

I looked like a debutante on my graduation.
And that's exactly how I liked it to be!!

I'm a sucker for romantic, wedding looks and my outfit was really last minute.
How last minute?

Let's just say Mom and I dropped off the mall about 10 minute before it closed.
We chose two dresses. The first one, I wasn't as pleased but it was okay.
But despite the rush, I insisted on trying the second one even though it didn't look good on the hanger.

Turns out it was gorgeous!

I bought my shoes the night before my graduation.
Mom lent me her golden pouch and pearl necklace
worn with the signature "sablay" from UP.
I'm glad that in my last three graduations, I always wear a white dress instead of a toga!

If you would remember correctly, I worked hard for UP so that I would not wear uniform. Haha.
Ultimate treat! :)

Mom and I did my make-up on both college and university graduations.
It was frustrating at first because we both knew nothing about hair styling.
But well the curls looked decent to me, despite the wild tips.

On my second graduation, I decided to simplify and wore this origami earrings.
I know it's casual, but what the hell, I bought it the day I received my diploma
and it signifies freedom! Three years of victory: elementary, high school and college!!

'Kay, I just made that up.

Thank you to these people! And the people who wished me well!!


And to all those who did not graduate for four years, never ever feel bad.
Sometimes I feel jealous because they are all going to have a party next year. Haha.
And sometimes, well okay I admit, I feel bitter about not having honors HAHA
Di makaget-over.

April 22: Let Me Finish

Monday, May 7, 2012

April 20: Thank you, Dad

Dad: Ilan sa mga batchmates mo ang ggraduate?
Me: Actually konti lang Dad.
Dad: Sabi nga ng kliyente ko, 4 and a half years daw talaga ang college sa UP kasi hinihiwalay yung thesis.
Me: Onga eh, mahirap ang 18 units with thesis.
Dad: Pero nakaya mo diba? It's all in the mind.
Me: But 'di ako laude.
Dad: Okay lang yan.
Me: Halos lahat sa college namin cum laude. Exception talaga pag di ka cum laude.
Dad: Ah okay lang yan. Magiging successful ka naman.
Me: Right.

Dad: You remind me of your lolo when you wear that ring.

"Happy happy birthday to my one and only daughter. Just wanna tell you that I'm so proud and privileged to have a caring, loving and achieving sibling like you. God in his goodness and grace has gifted me with a daughter whom I love so much. May all your dreams and wishes come true as you enter another phase in your life as you graduate. Me and your mom will always be here for you. When your mom was pregnant, I asked God to give me daughter. Never thought he will give me a wonderful gift of person like you. Couldn't ask for more. I love you anak and I will always be here for you."

That look on his face when we commuted for the first time together. He parked his car somewhere in Baclaran saying that the traffic make it impossible for him to get to his destination on time. We rode the LRT. He looked so worried and actually asked me to go to the female area, and I'm like, "Dad, I commute everyday". Then he'd ask me to go to the spot with less people and glance over his shoulder to see if there are bad guys. The way he prods me to eat breakfast even though my college life has an underlying theme of skipped breakfasts. How he drives the long way to take me off my destination and lets me hang out in the office even though I'm just there for the Wifi.

It's weird. I haven't gotten used to having Dad around so much. And I feel so thankful God gave me an opportunity to spend more time. :)

April 19: Sent Off

It sucks not to be cum laude. Haha. Not that most of my blockmates are. Sometimes I'm tempted to think that I could have been cum laude. There is a tendency to say "Hey I'm even smarter than him/her" but that's plain unfair. Cum laude standing does not necessarily measure intellect but diligence. And I can't claim that in college I have been so. Oh well, I'll be successful anyway. :))

I have just come from my second HOPE ocular. It was so tiring. I am amazed at Kuya Mark's patience and friendliness. He talks to everyone. Like a mere mortal I tend to ignore street vendors, drunkards, tambays or children, but this guy extends his hand to everyone. It dumbfounded and exhausted me as I realized how much I'm suffering in the non-prejudice department.

Last night the ladies had an overnight, but not after a surprise send-off party for us graduating students. Still not sinking in, though. And tomorrow's graduation. Haha. I love my church. They have been an answered prayer for me, and I just feel like myself around them. I can be silly, corny, serious, proud, inspiring, confused and smart around them. I love themmmmm. They gave us tiaras and sashes since the graduating batch are mostly girls. At first I felt sad because most of my friends are graduating in 2013. My ex co-leaders, my 2008 batchmates who are on five year courses, high school batchmates who are in UP and other delayed transferee batchmates. Initially I felt scared at the thought of facing the real world with few comrades. But this is a blessing, I guess. Whatever I will face, I can teach.

The ladies had a talk before we slept. I love how we can go bare around each other. We can cry, comfort and think through things together. I definitely look forward to go to the Yuppies housechurch since most of them are my friends already. I should really drop the "Ate" and "po/opo" but it's just part of me even though I can sense that we're just peers. Thank you Lord for these ladies. Smart, sweet and brave girls.

1 Day till Graduation.