Friday, November 30, 2012

Senti over Multiply

So maybe four months after it was announced, it was only now that I'm lamenting over Multiply. My highly-documented high school to college transition years are about to be flushed tomorrow and I can't help, as I save thousands of photos manually, being a little sadddddd.

Looking back at the photos, I just realized how few people really stay. When I was in grade one, the catchphrase "Friends forever" was quite trendy. In fact, we said it all the way to grade school, until it became too corny towards the end of high school. We planned on living in the same village as each other, and our children would grow up together and we would own horses and ride them at sunsets (for real, haha).

Now the expectations for friendships are a little bit lower, to the point of not expecting at all. With fear and a little doubt, we say, "I hope we will be friends forever".

This kind of perspective about life -- the fleetingness of it -- reminds me of my feelings towards death before. I wasn't very scared of death because it would only be a momentary state. But the last dot of your biography while others' would continue is kinda sad. You won't be there to see your friends succeed, your family grow, your career blossom, or your country prosper (and all the other negative counterparts). Instead, you'll just become a passive ghost that ceased to exist. And your cold body will have no choice but to be completely fine with it. All that will be left is some marble grave to prove you were born.

The braces removed, the outdated fashion senses, the awkwardness of growing up, the frequent nights spent in various other places, the comfortable overstays, the yearly birthday and Christmas celebrations and summer vacations, the slow movement of people away and towards each other. What will stay? It's kinda sad realizing the fact that the people you're with now will probably in another place with another group of people in a few years. And that at some point, you'll be completely fine with it. All that will be left is some digital file to prove you've been together. "Life goes on" can be a creepy comfort.

Speaking offff. Since Multiply's SN features will be terminated tomorrow, I have a few hours and two other things due tomorrow. No choice but to really suck it up and save the files quickly. Oh Multiply. All the mysteries of post-maturity (?) gone. It's so sad for a person who never wants to forget (and who has kept decade-old letters) but I guessss, I'm left with no other choice. Mourn with me.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Photo walking thanks to Yam's cam.

How refreshing it is to spend a weekend differently.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cafe duties

Tengo mucho cansado!

I have more sympathy with helpers and workers now. Tonight was my second night at the cafe. It's not out of compulsion to be there, actually. But we want to take a bottom-up approach to restaurant management (haha). Mine is during dinner time, straight out of work.

I didn't realize how back-aching washing dishes was. HAHAHA. Seriously. I could go for many games consist of running, but making sure the bowls are clean are quite challenging. :| At least I learned how to make their salad and vinaigrette. I could possibly have a contribution for Christmas Noche Buena (hahaha).We stay there until the store closes, working closely with the ate's, and that's when we run through what happened through the day.

Somehow I feel like a researcher -- doing kinda like what I do at school. Observing the inefficiencies, when the rules are not strictly followed, the missing pieces that could have made things easier, and the feelings of the people working together. Let's just say that it's not perfect. Sometimes I feel like sending out survey forms and making recommendations by the end of the day :)) Still, that's why we're there!

Also, be patient and extra kind with waiters, dishwashers, cooks, and your house helpers. Their tasks may not have required a college degree, but it is in fact more difficult work. I can't even imagine doing a full shift at a restaurant without getting sick the next day. And they're getting paid peanuts for it. Their worth is not attached to their work. Be kind.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


A lot of times I feel like that little guy up there. When I have the free time at work, I blog and read... and dream. Today I was going to be given my own calling card, and I'm not sure if I will rejoice. Now that we have two new teammates, it was hard not to think that there's a way out.

But I'm not going out yet.

Tonight after work I went to the cafe for some shift. Hardly was able to do anything there because it closes at 8 and I arrived at 6:30. There was a lot of things to fix. The space was small and the staff were few for some elaborate reorganization. Basically, watching Ate make the salad, taking the food to people (which was weird because I'm in more or less formal attire), washing some dishes after, and nibbling at some food was all I did. Haha. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. And look forward to actually learning how to cook.

Walking home left me plenty of time to think. I felt like some college kid doing a lot of extra-curriculars at school. Watching the huge houses at our village makes me think about home. I wish my parents were here. And I imagined coming up to one gate, entering the door, finding food on the table and my family watching the television. Then climbing up my own bed in my own room to shed off all the work callouses for some good rest. My Dad was one text away from picking me up and my Mom was right across the table to listen to what happened today. It was almost real and I wished it was real. But it was a bit close to impossible. They are settled in Cavite, with their jobs and so was my older brother, with his studies. Seems like there was no other way. They simply can't leave just because I wanted to stay here. The same way I didn't choose to stay at home back there. But I'm still thankful because I could at least imagine it. That it was possible to be in that kind of family set-up, only the circumstances would not allow it. Sometimes I wonder if it can still happen... But maybe there's still hope.

How was your Thanksgiving?

This may not last but this is now,
So love the ones you're with

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What's wrong with "You can do it"

this is a rant. you've been warned.

My parents have a high regard for me. And that has always been my problem.

It's not that their standards are too high and they are forcing me to reach them. In fact, they let me be most of the time because they trust me. Which means, I'm always left alone because they think that I can fend for myself even if they could afford to help me. Which in turn, forces me to become independent. So, I'm "independent" because they have already rendered themselves undependable.

Sometimes I hear them saying to people that they are... somewhat proud of me. "Sam went to Indonesia without asking us for support. There were times she forgot to ask for allowance for a week and she survived. She bought her camera without asking for a single cent. She finished 18 units with thesis and her course for four years because we said she'll have to pay for the extra semesters if she extends. Now she's working and we never gave her anything right after graduation day."

In my mind I'm rolling my eyes saying, "Because you don't -- and won't -- give me anything."

What's unfair is that they are completely different with my brothers. Sometimes when it's late and traffic they would go to Manila to fetch them. And yet they let me be when I'm stuck in traffic. They buy them all sorts of stuff -- clothes, basketball shoes, and the likes because they use their money for other things. And me? They think I have my own taste, I'm good at budgeting, and I can buy my own things so they skip me. And to think that I'm the only girl. I feel like an adopted child (no offense).

It's like they give me these challenges because they know I will overcome them. And I am left with no choice but to overcome them, which amazes them so that they give me more challenges. It makes me feel like an athlete more than a daughter. That I have coaches instead of parents. I'm at a loss with knowing what to do. It seems like for them, me asking for anything... anything... meant defeat.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What can you see?

That seatmate you've had since the start of the semester
The officemate that always seemed too cranky to chat with
The guy who sweeps the dog poo of your landlord daily
The store owner that smiles at you when you buy Nova again

The laundrywoman that reliably gives back your clothes on time
The house help that has been around for years
The achiever you're too intimidated to introduce yourself to
The old schoolmate that you haven't kept in touch with for a while

The friend that you haven't forgiven yet
The pastor that gives meaningful sermons weekly
The roommate that sits quietly in front of the laptop for hours
The parent that picks you up and drives you home

Sometimes we forget that we live in such a small world with such a finite time
And become satisfied with the silence, the anonymity, the brief meaningless interactions
that could easily be replaced a livelier, more familiar, more repetitive one.

We forget that people have stories to tell and friendships to share
if only you have given them a chance.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Unexpected Friendship

She's probably one of the people whom I'm most comfortable talking to. Without pretensions. We can laugh at evil things and reveal the more sensitive ones and insult each other and have both idle and intense conversations. We never had fights before, I swear. And it's always like I can tell whatever it is on my mind--good and bad--and she won't judge me. Add that to the common ground of Sociology and Christianity.

If it wasn't for church, I swear she wouldn't be my friend.

I remember when I first saw this photo, I couldn't stop laughing!

That's her on the leftmost and me on the rightmost. Apparently, she was my groupmate when we were freshies at IT 1 (information technology) and we didn't even talk and I can't even remember her being my groupmate. We're blockmates but we never spoke a word to each other on our first year. Guess I was really snobbish then. And she has a sorority for sisters. Or maybe it just wasn't time. This was the story of "How I Met Her/Stillwaters" (HAHA yuck ang cheezy). But bottom line is, I am 100% sure that we were not going to be friends until God intervened.

We didn't start out as "hey we're gonna be BFFs" or something. It was just week after week of showing up for Bible studies even though we, or at least, I was half-hearted. It wasn't also like we thought we needed a church. But we did, and it was during Square One that I realized that. And that I was glad that I had this person to go through transition with who has a lot to learn as I do. And who has to battle with the same classes as I do.

Now she's inviting me to speak for her organization, and it amazes me even more that friendships can continue after college. I've been so used to transferring schools and changing addresses that I never expected people to stay. So when they choose to stay, I feel really blessed because I know that this person really does love me. The choice. Haha. Lord I hope we do stay. Aaaand she's going to treat me to gelato soon YAAAAHAHAHAHAHAYAYYYYYYYYY. FOOOOOODDD... ICECREAMMMM. LOVEEE. okay.

So yes. Three years of being blockmates and sisters. Partners in crime and vanity shots. Dates and Bible studies. Disciplers (wow I miss that word) and leaders. It helps to have a friend who's not afraid to be as crazy as you truly are underneath. I'm proud! Thank you Lord for gifting me with a friend like Tere. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Protective and Possessive

*post inspired by a conversation with a sister. You know who you are ;)

Have you ever considered that you are protective and possessive?

Surely, those words have a negative connotation. Images such as a selfish, manipulative, jealous spouse comes to mind, or maybe a parent who cages his child afraid that harmless play might pollute him or a school system that shelters the mind by suffocating it. I'd hate to be that kind of protective and possessive.

But there are protectiveness and possessiveness that are actually good. A mother protecting her young is an example. She is on the lookout for predators and keeps a close eye on her babies, ready to pounce any moment should a threat materializes and attempts to snatch her young away. If you see this picture, you wouldn't think that she is being selfish and manipulative. Instead, you think, how precious must her child be for her! What a loving instinct.

I realized that protective and possessive is also sometimes what I feel for my brothers and sisters (you could call them my friends). Sometimes you just get overwhelmed by the fallen-ness that you wanted to protect the good thing.

That when you see them persevering, you're just all cheers and applause! And if you see them struggling, you just want to give them encouragement and counsel. It's like cupping your hands around the fire that your brothers and sisters have because you know it's a cold world. And it's not because I was never "lost" or am in a higher position to do so. Maybe it's because of the realization of each other's vulnerability during the journey. In cupping my hands around their fire, I also receive warmth.

One of the most striking verses I ever read was

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
-James 5:18-21

I have pondered from Aniday's retreat that accountability meant "pushing and pulling". Pushing meant encouraging people to run towards the same goal, and pulling should they start losing sight of the track. To me, a person who says, "You're free, you're having fun, and you have rights, so I'll let you do what you want" doesn't make a good friend. Good friends want to drill things into your mind, reason with you, and slap you in the face if you need it. Out of love, of course. I love those kinds of friends, and I want to be able to say that I am that kind of friend!

Jesus was that kind of friend. Only a gazillion times better, because he does it also to those who are not his "friends" yet.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
-John 10:11-16

How protective is being willing to lay down one's life should enemies come to threaten friends? How possessive is going out to the wilderness to seek out and bring into safety the strangers who are yet to know you? Jesus does that. He's amazing.

Pray that I feel the same conviction for people who are not my friends, too. To be able to say about anyone, "Hey enemy, back off coz this one's ours!"