Friday, December 28, 2007

Edges


We picked up my dad from Sta. Ana, Cagayan this Christmas. If you look at the map above, you'll find Sta. Ana at the north-eastern tip of the Philippines. When we went to San Vicente,
I found it hard to deny that we were, indeed, at the edges of the Luzon mainland.

The weather was bitterly cold and, while we were there, the rain wouldn't let up. There was always a layer of mist covering the beach, making it a mystical shade of white-gray. On our last day, I went out with my mom and nephew to the beach, despite the cold, strong winds, and light drizzle. I stood there, on the brown sand, letting the waves lap at my feet, watching my nephew throw rocks at the unaffected sea.

It was an odd feeling, standing there at the edge of the ocean, feeling the sand getting sucked by the current back to the briny deep. Small stones and sharp edges rushed past my feet as I thought of where I would end up if I got sucked in, as well. If I took a few steps forward from where I was standing, the waves were certainly big enough to do just that.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How Do You Fall in Love?

Someone asked me that question last night. And no, that person wasn't asking about circumstances or methods, that person was asking about how I would know if I were in love. That person wasn't asking in general, either. The question was only for me.

I had answered with a cheesy freestyle poem that I wrote right then and there. I really don't know why I bothered to put it in that way or if I subconsciously stole it from some other writer who writes cheesy freestyle love-love schmutz. I mostly got it from a line I told someone a long time ago, "If I knew the reason why I love you, then it would be easy to find a reason not to love you." In any case, my first answer to the question was this:


If I knew the "who"s of who I would fall in love with,
I would not need to pine for that person anymore
If knew the "when"s and the "where"s,
I would not need to search anymore
If I knew the "why"s;
Then I would find the reason not to, anymore
If I knew the "how"s;
I wouldn't fall in love anymore.

To put it simply, if I were to be completely honest, the only answer I would give to that person's question would be "I don't know". How do I fall in love? Like most people, I would say that my heart beats faster at the sight of the one I love. My cheeks become flushed at the mere thought of him. My mind is always filled with thoughts of him and his mere presence makes me happy. Unfortunately, these very things are also indications of an infatuation. How to differentiate love and infatuation from each other is a completely different matter, if one considers these two things different at all.


I believe that we cannot choose the people that we develop strong feelings for, whether those feelings be love or infatuation. But, regardless of this, I also believe that falling in love needs some kind of decision. Two years ago, I would have told you that the key to falling in love is "social distance" and "attraction factor" (the former being explained by my Proximity Theory of Relationships and the latter being a basic necessity of falling in love). However, I've given up putting emotions into these pretty little boxes and tying them up with neat little bows. It's just more fun to see how wonderfully chaotic and illogical feelings are.

So, leaving that tangent, we go back to the question. How do I fall in love? I don't believe in love at first sight because I don't believe we fall in love in an instant. The realization that we are strongly attracted to a person takes a while to set in, at least for me. Once it sets in, the decision to accept these feelings takes an even longer time to make. Only the decision, the transition between "I don't know how I feel..." and "I'm in love!", is seemingly instantaneous. But, like other "Eureka!" moments in our life, it is not, really.

And, falling in love is a continuing decision, in my opinion. I've fallen in love three with three men in my life, but I've fallen in love countless times. At different points in time, I find myself reevaluating how I feel, checking if I still love that person. For our relationship to be meaningful, at those moments, I decide as often as those moments come, that I am still in love.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Birthdays and Murphy's Law

The ultimately pessimistic Murphy's Law says
"Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong at the most inopportune time."
So, when is the most inopportune time for all of hell to break out of the proverbial Pandora's box? I suppose, for a lot of people, it would be their birthdays. Yeah, you know, that one day in the year that you firmly believe is yours despite the fact that you probably share it with, like, 19,125,683 other people in the world.

But really, that's not my point.

On November 22, my brother celebrated his 26th birthday and Murphy's Law decided to pay him its usual birthday visit. There was a typhoon, the car he was using broke down and had to be towed, and my mom and I came home late with his birthday dinner cause of horrendously heavy traffic in Makati. You'd think that despite his birthday track record, he'd be used to bad luck on his birthday. His birthday mishaps has ranged from not getting picked up from school (he was in kinder) to falling off a horse (Tagaytay, when he turned 11) to having an infected ingrown toenail that needed to be operated on(when he turned 21). But, I guess, having a lousy birthday never gets old.

Yesterday, Ivan celebrated his birthday amidst the national crisis of coup d'etat and lousy gray weather. He left the house right before it started raining and got soaked. The people whom he was supposed to celebrate with couldn't come because of the coup and to top everything off, we couldn't stay out too late because of the curfew. Again, despite the fact that he had lousy birthdays before because of storms and such, I suppose it must have sucked to be ODed on Murphy's Law.

But, when things go infuriatingly wrong, there's also a saying that when you've hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up (and what's more "rock bottom" than becoming the poster child for Murphy's Law on your birthday?) My dad came home from Cagayan Valley and the family had a luxurious lunch at the Manila Penn to celebrate my brother's birthday on November 25. He got money to construct enough fishtanks to make our house look like a mini version of Ocean Park, Hong Kong and he seems to be doing much better now.

On the other hand, today, Ivan and I went out on a date. We went for a dip in the condo, we had lunch at Fazoli's, his favorite restaurant, and we had his favorite frappe from McCafe. It was a long afternoon date that I hope made him feel better about the birthday gift Trillanes gave him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sexy Test: I Scored 46

I swear, the birthday of the person who made this falls on September, but I still scored pretty well, so here ya go! ^_^ I put an (x) beside my answers. Oh, I didn't make the two minutes, though. I wonder if I'll still have good luck. LOL.

GET A PIECE OF PAPER AND PENCIL NUMBER IT 1-11 (NO CHEATING) SEE YOUR RESULTS AT THE END OF THE TEST.

1 .WHAT SHADE OF HAIR DO YOU HAVE?
a) dark (x)
b) light
c) middle

2. OUT ON A DATE WOULD YOU WANT TO:

a) go to a party
b) go out to eat (x)


3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR OUT OF:

a) pink
b) yellow
c) blue
d) turquoise (x)

4. PICK YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBY OUT OF:

a) talking
b) dancing
c) taking long walks (x)

5. IF YOU COULD PICK A STORE OUT OF THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WOULD IT BE?

a) Hollister
b) Old Navy (x)
c) Abercrombie

6 . WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE OUT OF THE FOLLOWING?

a) Hawaii
b) London (x)
c) Florida

7 . IN THE SUMMER WOULD YOU RATHER GO...

a) to the beach
b) somewhere cooler (x)

8. WHAT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY MONTH?

a) January
b) February
c) March
d) April
e) May
f) June
g) July
h) August
i) September
j) October
k) November (x)
l) December

9. WOULD YOU RATHER:

a) chill at home (x)
b) go out with friends

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE INSTRUMENT OUT OF:

a) guitar (x)
b) bass guitar
c) drums
d) the triangle

11. NAME A PERSON OF THE OPPOSITE SEX
Ivan


* *ANSWERS** ^_^

1 .
a) dark= sexy [5points]
b) light = sweet [2 points]
c) in the middle=hot hot hot[5 points]

2.
a) go to a party = playful [2 points]
b) go out to eat = romantic [5 points]

3.
a) pink = cute [2]
b) yellow = loud [3]
c) baby-blue = cool [5]
d) turquoise = sexy [5]

4.
a) Talking = active [2]
b) Dancing = determined [2]
c) Taking Long Walks = daring [5]

5.
a) Hollister = tasteful [7]
b) Old Navy= laid back [9]
c) Abercrombie= stylish [5]

6.
a) hawaii = you like being around people [2]
b) London = You are quiet, and like the cold [2]
c) florida = You like to party! [5]

7.
a) beach = tan, likes the sun [5]
b) somewhere cooler = pale and original [2]

8.
a) January = popular [5]
b) February = lovely [2]
c) March = rebellious [5]
d) April = playful [5]
e) May = happy [5]
f) june = chills a lot [2]
g) July = smooth [3]
h) August = fun [5]
i) September = lovein that heat [10]
j) October = out-going [3]
k) November = pimpin' it [5]
l) December = warm [3]

9.
a) home = quiet, romantic [3]
b) go out with friends =crazy [5]

10.
a) guitar = eye-catching [5]
b) bass-guitar = mellow [2]
c) Drums = crazy [5]
d) Triangle = simple [2]

11. This person will fall in LOVE with you!

SCORES!!!!

UP TO 17= LOUSY GET A LIFE MAN

18-20=OKAY

21-35 = Rather SEXY!

36+=REA AAAAAAALLLLLLY HOTT... SEXY !!

NOW REPOST THIS IN THE NEXT 2 MINUTES AND YOU WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK WITH
YOUR ANSWER FOR NUMBER 11.

REPOST AS: " SEXY TEST I SCORED ___

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Contradiction?

I was forcing myself to get through my last two minutes on the stepper at the gym yesterday when I remembered something the priest said during his Sunday homily. In so many words, he criticized people for being afraid of death as death is currently the only way for a Christian to go to Heaven (that and the second coming, but we don't know when that's happening, do we?). He surmised that people tried to "stay young" because they were afraid of facing the idea of death. He then said that concepts like anti-aging, age-defying and going to the gym were testaments of how people are afraid of death. He said that doing such things were signs that people did not want to die because their desire for Heaven is not strong enough.

But, to be honest, I think the priest missed the point of the "theme" of Sunday's readings (2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:16 - 3:5) and Gospel (Luke 20:27-38). I think the message of the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time is that enduring suffering and dying in the name of faith, martyrdom, is glorious. Paul encourages the faithful to endure and pray and look forward to the day that they are delivered from those who persecute them. Suffering and dying for your faith as the seven brothers and mother in the first reading did is glorious and would take one to Heaven; purposelessly dying does not do that. To stress my point, I quote Paul from the second reading.

"Brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith."

If God wanted us to suffer, if we were meant to suffer, why would Paul ask for deliverance from the unfaithful persecutors? Even Jesus asked for deliverance as he agonized in Gethsemane, thinking about his oncoming sacrifice. As for "staying young" and seeking death, it's also in the Bible that our bodies are temples of the Spirit. I believe we have the responsibility to take care of this temple, both physically and spiritually.

To end this, I will quote what Jesus said in the gospel.

"Even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."


That said, while it is not wrong to die for Christ, we should not seek for death. So long as it is not yet our intended time and day to return to him, we should strive to LIVE for Christ. We should take care of ourselves so we are able to fulfill our mission given to us during the "Great Commission". We were not born simply to die, we are born to glorify our Creator.

At least, these are the things I believe.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Workplace related Sevens

I got these from the November issue of Readers' Digest and thought they were interesting. While I'm not sure how applicable they are to the Filipino workplace, I thought it would be good to share the tips anyway.

7 Rules to live by when using your work computer

Know your company's computer use policy and comply with it.

Assume that you're being monitored and behave accordingly.

Never bad-mouth your company online.

Don't use personal email accounts or post to a blog.

Avoid transmitting any message that could embarrass you or others if made public

Don't think instant messaging is less permanent than email.

When surfing the Web, never click on something flagged NSFW (not safe for work).

I only know of two or three companies that monitor the online habits of their staff. The article this list came with cited examples of people getting fired for their seemingly "harmless" activity. It's a fun read. While Filipino bosses are generally more tolerant, it's always a good idea to be safe and informed.

The ironic thing about this is that half of the people who will read this post will be doing so at work. LOL.

Okay, onto the next seven. Well, seven days to be exact. It's from the RDYou section of the same issue. The title of the article is "Which is the best day..." and relays which days are most suitable for which office activity.

Monday - Delegating, organizing, and setting goals

Tuesday - Online job hunting

Wednesday - Brainstorming sessions and projection of future plans

Thursday - Ask co-workers for things, ask for a raise

Friday - Confrontation of colleagues with grievances, be more cautious

weekend - well... rest.

That said, I will wait for Tuesday to resume looking for a job.

Note: Above are merely key points in the RD articles they came from. I suggest you read the actual article from the magazine. ^_^

Sunday, October 28, 2007

End of Chapter

Allow me to be sentimental for a while. I'll come up with narrations when I feel like it, later on. =p
-
Not surprisingly, it wasn't until I watched something sappy that all that had happened within the last two weeks came to coherent form in my head. It was one simple exchange:


"What time does your train leave?"

"At around 930, I think. I already have my apartment cleared out."

"Oh, is that so? So where are you going to spend the night?"

"He's staying with me for one last time... one last time..."


Suddenly, I was back at Los Banos, having dinner with my labmates. It was around 11PM, of October 24th, the just at the end of the first day of the SPP Congress. I was set to go home the next day, after lunch and the other members of SanD were asking me to stay the duration. But, when I think back, one sentence jumps out at me:


"Heto na ang huli nating pagkikita, uuwi ka pa ng maaga." (This is our last meeting and you're going home early.)


At that time, I had laughed it off as sentimental nonsense and even said that "We'll definitely see each other again". It's only now that it dawns on me that the person who said that now works and lives in Zamboanga. It's only now that I come to realize that, even if I stayed with the lab for my master's degree, the others wouldn't necessarily be doing the same. That, the next time I go back to the lab, things would be drastically different, even if the same people are there.
I remember the happiness and sense of accomplishment of the people who had graduated before me. I'm just like them, I felt those very same emotions. And, perhaps, I should have written something when I was in the height of those emotions. I know I wanted to. But, back then, I couldn't find the words. I was at a turning point, and even if time was moving at the same rate as everyone else's, I was accelerating. I was changing direction. The world was spinning so fast and I got caught in its whirlwind. The pre-defense fear and anxiety, the post-defense joy, the hectic pace of SPP preparations, I never got to savor these moments. I never got to appreciate how these things changed me.
As I laughed and joked around with my labmates, as I discussed plenary talks and future research projects with my adviser, as I silently said my farewells to an old friend, I didn't have a chance to look at myself. Then, for the first time, I realized that it looks like I grew up...
...even a little bit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Warm and Cold

I read this from a friend's blog and it made me smile. I felt that it needed to be shared, so here we go.

last Monday i was going down the long flight of stairs from the train station, right smack into the heart of the busy, congested highway that is EDSA. at the bottom of the stairs i noticed this one street vendor and one taho vendor having a hurried conversation. it went something like this:

Street Vendor:
[extending a plastic containing packed lunch to the other] kunin mo na o.. (you
can get this..)

Taho Vendor: hindi na, ayos lang.. (no, it's fine..)

Street Vendor: eto naman, sige na! (come on, take it!)

Taho Vendor: [fishes out a couple of coins from his pocket and shoves it into the hand of the other guy]

Street Vendor: sus, wag na! sayo na yan. (no need. just take it, it's yours.)

at that point they were already out of my sight. i dunno if the taho vendor paid for the food that was being given to him or not. but i found myself smiling after that. i'm not aware of the set of circumstances before that scene but it's very nice to know that amidst the poverty in our country some people still care enough to share what little blessings they have. it's strange, though, that i found this display of charity among people both from the lower classes of society while those who are much more blessed choose to turn a blind eye to the plights of the less fortunate.but thanks to those two guys, i think there's still hope for us after all.

Before reading this blog entry from Donna, I heard over the news that a tricycle driver returned an envelope containing P80,000 plus a check to a lady working in a music store. Ate Letty commented on that news segment

Ate Letty: Sana maraming taong ganyan. (I wish there were a lot of people like that)

Me: Marami naman eh. Marami nga lang rin na hinde. (There are a lot of people like that. But there are also a lot of people who aren't.)

Yeah, I know, that's not the nicest thing I could have said, but I was just stating the fact.

Much earlier in the day, Ivan and I were talking over pizza. I was complaining about how expensive the simple act of producing the bound copies of our theses was. He brought up that I had yet to collect (blank) amount of cash from this guy who I couldn't even find. "Yun pa lang, sobra-sobra na para sa thesis mo" (Just that [money] is more than enough for you thesis). I told Ivan that I had long let the money go and he was telling me that I shouldn't trust people so easily (to his credit, he did say that it wasn't really "good advice", but was more practical).

The truth is, I think most people aren't cold beacuse they're heartless; most people are cold because they feel as if there is a need to be. I have the luxury to be warm and giving because I have the extra cash or time or whatever that enables me to be so. For a lot of people that I know, Ivan included, they lived to learn that every centavo they have must be put to good use and accounted for to benefit the family. When that tricycle driver comes to a rough patch, someone might tell him, "Eh ikaw naman kasi, bakit sinauli mo pa yung pera. Ngayong kailangan mo, sino'ng tutulong sayo?" (Why did you return the money? Now that you need it, who will help you?).

So what should we have done?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Searching

This is one of those entries that I wrote because I felt like someone needed it. To you who has transferred from job to job or course to course; to you who has gone through a string of unhappy relationships; and to you who constantly wanders in search for happiness, I hope this makes sense to you.

All living creatures spend their lives searching.

That is just how it was meant to be. The simplest of creatures seek out sustenance. The most primitive of plants look for the sun. Animals search for food, habitat, and mates. All things search for their niche. As the creatures become more complex, so do their needs and the things that they look for.

So why should we humans, the most complicated of God's creatures be exempt?

We humans, like our evolutionary ancestors, spend our lives searching. Beyond food and sun and habitat and mates, we look for things that are more difficult to find. We search for purpose, meaning in life, love, and even God. We shouldn't be ashamed to search when that is what is natural for us to do.

(Yeah, abbreviated. Not thinking straight... Will try to come up with something more usable when all the stuff I need to finish are finished. ^^)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dream : What If?

At some point in time, we make big decisions that affects the rest of our lives. When I was 12, I made one such decision. And so, I left Poveda to become a student of Philippine Science High School.

While I often wonder "what if?", I never did ask myself what if I never left Poveda. I don't really know why I never second-guessed that decision. I don't even think I thought much before making my choice. I figure that maybe the reason why I never thought of what my life would be had I not attended Pisay is the feeling that I was too young to have decided otherwise (although I did make the decision to move from St. Paul to Poveda much earlier).

So, why am I bringing this up now? A couple of nights ago, I had a dream about how my high school life could have turned out had I not left for Pisay. It was a very peculiar dream bringing back memories of people and things that had not crossed my mind in over ten years.

The setting is fourth or third year high school.

I had just gotten out of class. I was finished with IW and was headed for the cafeteria. Why I was doing IW in class, I have no idea. The IW card was, apparently, fairly easy for me. It was an English one and I think I wrote well in my dream. I was in a hurry because I had a somewhere important to get to. Someone caught up with me as I briskly walked down the hall. Rianna was a friend that I often hung out with, but was not particularly close to. We were classmates and often seat mates, and we worked well together in projects, but beyond that, we had absolutely nothing in common. I even had the feeling that she was simply tolerating my presence. She was asking me something about our Physics lab report. I was hurriedly explaining things to her, as well. In my dream, people made it very clear that I excelled in science. Rianna said something about our groupmate Aileen and I merely nodded.
As Rianna and I walked, several people wished me luck. A number of others told me that I was already late. I picked up the pace and began to run after Rianna parted ways with me. When I got to where I was going, I found myself in a gymnasium full of people. Someone handed me a tennis racket. It turns out, I was one of the top tennis players in the school. I was already wearing my PE uniform and Jill and a younger student named Michelle were already playing. They told me I was up next. I don't remember how the game went. I had a good feeling afterwards, so I assume that I won. The last part of the dream had me going to lunch alone.

So there. That's the dream. I hadn't thought about playing tennis in a long while. I haven't touched my racket in years. Rianna, Aileen, Jill, and Michelle are people I have not seen since my elementary school days. I wonder what triggered this very peculiar vision.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Muddy Pants and Rainy Days

I was answering another meme from Friendster when I remembered something someone from my past once said:

Everybody deserves a second chance, but a third chance? I don't think so.

I'm the type who would disagree. I don't believe in closing your heart to people. To those who know me best, it probably sounds hypocritical. I know that I tend to hide or run away from those that hurt me or scare me, but when they seek me out, I do my best to open up and learn acceptance. In short, I am always open to the possibility, even if I do make myself scarce.

-

Choosing the company of friends is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans.


While shopping for pants, Ivan once mentioned that jeans become more comfortable as they get older because the denim becomes softer and the materials "memorizes" the shape of your body. I wonder how some people can easily throw away a worn out pair of jeans. Even if I have a lot of denim jeans in my closet, there is a pair that I really like to wear. They're comfortable and always seem to fit right, even on days when I feel like my body chose to absorb all the humidity in the country and bloat me like a drowned frog. Recently, however, I realized that even my favorite pair of pants can make me feel downright uncomfortable and irritate me to no end.

Typhoon Egay had just started pulling into the area the rainclouds carried by the southwestern monsoon. Rain drenched the entire Metro and the long road from the jeepney stop to the lab was no exception. Because I knew I was in for a long a difficult day, I chose to wear my favorite pants. Unfortunately, as I walked from the jeepney stop to the lab, the hem of the legs of my pants got splashed with mud and were all grainy and wet. The sensation of damp mud-caked denim rubbing against my ankles is one of the sensations that I hate with a vengeance. Needless to say, I was in a bad mood and was seriously regretting wearing my jeans by the time I got to the lab. I wondered why I didn't choose to wear something else. In the midst of my frustration with the wet jeans, it struck me that the problem was quite minor and could be solved quite easily. I simply had to fold the hem of my jeans so that the wet part wasn't touching my ankles. If I had worn a skirt, then I would have had trouble with the wind and if I had worn shorts, I would have been cold.

Pagbasbas ("Blessing")

Lyrics by Rene Javellana, SJ
Music by Jandi Arboleda and Manoling Fransisco, SJ

This is a very upbeat Recessional Hymn. I just like its sound. It's characteristic a characteristic song of supplication. I prefer "Humayo at Ipahayag" in terms of message, but this is good, too. I'll try to translate the lyrics, but I'm not very good at translating. ^^

The title means "Blessing" as in the verb, not the noun.

-

Panginoong lumikha ng kalangitan at lupa,
Lord who created the sky and the earth,
Ang sansinukuban ay 'di sukat sa 'Yong kadakilaan
The universe does not measure up to Your greatness
Ano pa kaya itong abang tahanan?
What more this humble home?

Ngunit Ikaw ang Ama na sa ami'y nagkalinga
But, You are the Father that nourished us
Sa harap ng 'Yong dambana
In front of Your altar
Kaya't sa samo ng madla, magdalang habag Ka
So at the plea of Your people, bring mercy (yeah, this is painfully loose)

Pumanaog ka, Poon, sa tahanang laan sa 'Yong kaluwalhatian
Descend, Lord, into the home meant for Your glory
Puspusin Mo ng biyaya ang dumudulog sa 'Yong dambana
Shower with blessings those who come to Your altar

You Are Mine

by David Haas

This is a very beautiful song that I like hearing. It's sung during Communion. It's reminiscent of two other favorites of mine, "Here I am, Lord" and "As the Deer". It speaks of Christ's gifts to his people, like "Here I am, Lord" and of our unquestionable need for God as in "As the Deer". My favorite line here is "Stand up, now; walk; and live", words that I have yet to heed, but I want to follow one day.

-
I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you all from your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still and know I am here

I am hope for all who are hopeless
I am eyes for all who long to see
In the shadows of the night
I will be your light
Come and rest in Me

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine

I am strength for all the despairing
Healing for the ones who dwell in shame
All the blind will see
The lame will run free
And all will know My name

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me,
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine

I am the word that leads all to freedom
I am the peace the world cannot give
I will call your name
Embracing all your pain
Stand up, now; walk; and live

Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me,
I will bring you home
I love you and you are Mine

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nostalgia (Part Two) : Behind Class Pictures

I hated class pictures.

I'm not photogenic. I stopped being photogenic the moment puberty set in and all the childish cuteness innate in all children mysteriously vanished underneath the acne and the awkwardness of an adolescent identity crisis. The moment I realized that my two front teeth were too big, that my face was too oily, that my nose was too fat, and that my hair comes to life to disarrange itself the moment I step away from the mirror (yes, that crucial moment I looked at my fifth grade Confirmation picture was a rather devastating one for my self-esteem) was the moment I started to refuse having my picture taken. Unfortunately, the excitement of my classmates whenever class picture day came was infectious and I often found myself very much present, disgustingly willing, and almost morbidly drawn to pose for the class picture. It's almost masochistic how I torture myself during the formal shots, agonizing ("agonized", such a fitting word to describe how I usually look during the formal shots) about how to pose for the "candid shot" (why the heck do they call it a "candid shot" when it's so obvious that our poses were over thought?).


Oh yes, I firmly believed that class pictures were hell spawn.

Keyword: believed.

I recently came across my high school class pictures. I still hate how I look, but now that I'm older, I realize that all my other classmates kinda look stupid, too. Caught up in my teenage angst, I never saw that everyone else was pretty much caught up in their own angsts to care about my angst. Oh, that's the most times I've used the word "angst" in one sentence.

Anyway, insecurities aside, I came to see details in the pictures that I would never have noticed before.

I never realized how obsessive-compulsive I was about taking note of details until I saw how I wrote the full names of all my classmates (row by row, from right to left) and the list of class officers at the back of each picture. Reading the roster of officers, I realize how we were maturing in our choices as shown by the people we elected.
As freshmen, our class elected those whom we recognized. Ian, Emerald 2001's (Eme '01) class president, was elected because people knew him from the batch council elections--rather, people knew his flashlight from the batch council elections ("This is our light, we are this flashlight", seriously, wtf?). Noelle, the VP, and Michelle, the Secretary were female heartthrobs. But, can you really blame us? We didn't know the people we were voting for.
As sophomores, we chose those whom we identified with. So, Jasmin 2001's class president, Jay-jay, was elected because she was nice. Our secretary and PRO Edmyr and Gerry were elected because their friends supported them. We already had impressions about these people. As accurate or inaccurate as these impressions may be, it was all we had so we relied on them.
When we were juniors and seniors, we began looking at the characteristics of those we voted for. Fides, was known to be very responsible so I wasn't surprised when she came to lead Strontium 2001. Papic was also very much qualified to become Charm 2001's president with her pragmatic and diplomatic nature. We stopped voting for who was popular and we began seeing who was suited. We already knew each other long enough to decide who would do well in what role.

Now, aside from people, I apparently also listed down some of the projects we did as whole classes. Class projects are awesome. I always enjoyed them because of the amount of interaction they involve. I always loved them because our teachers were easily wheedled into allowing us to "practice" during their class period.
Our first class activity was a presentation for the acquaintance party. Some of my classmates danced to Hansons' "MmmBop" (is that the actual title?) and Basil, Ferron, and I led the cheering squad.
Freshman year, we also had our English play. Our class did "Little Women". I remember how annoyed Ma-Anne and I were when we were assigned to write the script, but a small group of people suddenly declared that we were going to use the script they got out of a literary magazine. The lead characters were given to that group of girls and their crushes. I was part of the props committee, helped design the sets, and provided costumes (I was doing my best to cooperate!). I was also given the role of Marmee and Ma-Anne became an extra in a dance scene. For my role as the mother, my hair was covered with an entire container of baby powder which took me two days to wash off and made me look like "Jo"'s younger sister with premature lightening of hair. When our play tanked (as most high school plays do), Ma-Anne and I, being the biatches that we were, couldn't help but gloat.
Jade did a fantasy-adventure thing. I didn't get to see Opal's play, but I do remember that their smoke machine didn't work properly.
For Filipino, we did a "comic book" of Noli using photographs. I posed as Maria Clara. Reporting about Rizal's life gave me the role of Osei-san ("...she was a very obedient woman...") and Josephine Bracken ("...they were married in the eyes of God...") This was the heyday of the Fair Pair and, if I remember correctly, it was also a class effort that JM and Maya won second place at the Fair Pair. Basil said we should aim for second place because of the pedicab ride around the fair grounds was a prize exclusively offered to second place. (First place was the second year couple, half of which was Jacqui, a girl I would encounter again in college)

Sophomore year, we had these weird art exhibits from Sir Cipriano. We first had this wire-art exhibit where we used copper wire and soldering iron to create "sculptures". Sir Cipriano also had us cover the second floor windows with sparkly sequin designs. This involved sticking sequins one by one on the windows using oil (so it wouldn't be permanent). Stupid freshmen at that time used to run their fingers through our hardwork, thus destroying days of labor in seconds.
We also had our Val. Ed. movie, which caused major blow-ups between people for various reasons (Yay! for class "open forums" to air out our differences and Yay! for me playing the cliched bad girl in a denim jacket with a cigarette and without a bra). At about the same time, the math exhibit was being constructed. I think we made the Op Art exhibit. I'm not too sure because this was the year that I was far too busy with the student alliance.
For Fili, we did a half-class production.

Junior year was the infamous Ramayana year. Dan and I played the lead roles of Ravana and PresentSita while Marlon ("What an ugly demon!"), Dexter ("Surely is"), and Isabel played Rama, Lakshmana, and PastSita respectively. We were hanging out in KC's dorm room 9our favorite hangout next to the third floor front lobby girls' restroom) and I remember KC commenting that Vlad made one good looking Ravana and Ma-Anne complaining that Pocholo was too dark to become Ravana. Celine, on the other hand, was ranting about how "blood" was not pronounced as "blaad" and Donna, well, I don't think she liked her role as the golden deer.
This was also the year of the Literary Magazine, which Mia and I compiled and edited for Strontium. I wrote a Choose your own Adventure story about a secret lab under the Pisay campus for this. We crammed for the Literary Mag so bad that in the end, instead of a magazine, we had a bunch of paper stuffed into a plastic envelope and clamped with a, well, clamp.

Senior year was Iliad/Shakespeare year and also the year of the failed "Les Miserables" musical. I had multiple roles again. I was the scriptwriter and sets designer, which were roles I was used to. But, I also had the unenviable job of acting coach to Marlon ("Heeeeektooooor!") and Raffy ("Here's tesselation, son of Peleus, the vurst for you.") I also played another mother role. I played Andromakhe, Hektor's tragic wife.
This was also the year when batch 2001, for the first time, had finalists in the Paskorus. Burns, though he was from Muon, helped us out and played conductor. We changed our requisite OPM song from "Mr. Cupido" ("Minsan siya ay nakausap, ako ay parang nasa ulap, nang ako'y kanyang titigan, sa puso ko'y ano'ng sarap...") to "T.L. Ako Sa'yo" ("Di ka guwapo ang pangit mo!") last minute. We also sang "Diwa ng Pasko" ("Zoom-zoom zoom-zoom") as required by the mechanics, but a number of boys couldn't memorize the lyrics. Someone (Papic or Burns, tsk tsk) suggested that if they forgot the lyrics, they could simply say "Watermelon Bubblegum". Marlon and Gerom, who were both in the front row and who both forgot one too many lines, unfortunately caught the attention of the judges ("Yung ibang lalaki dito sa harap, hindi namin alam kung ano'ng kanta ang kinakanta"). Needless to say, we lost. But, we sang at the front lobby, quite satisfied with ourselves as the judges passed. We knew that our "TL ako Sayo" was much better than the winner's "Bangga ka 'Day". After that, we went to my place cause it was a day after my birthday.
Senior year was also the year of research projects and that darn Physics exhibit (Marlon in Wonderland) where Despi played a creepy looking doll and I played a sexy feline. It was an extremely stressful end of the year for me. Yearbook, Dalumat, Les Miserables (I was the managing director), and acads weighed heavily on me, but somehow, I finished.

Come to think of it, every year, people found themselves fighting over class productions. At the end of every year, the class was closer than ever. Without those projects, the relationships wouldn't have formed. And, if the people had been different, the projects wouldn't turn out the way they did. At the back of my class pictures, I didn't ask people to write me dedications, I took note of the facts and details. Somehow, these told me things that we didn't look into when we were still there.

On Prescription/Memorized Prayers


I'm not sure how accurate this post will be. I'm neither a religious nor socio-cultural expert. I am just stating and analyzing observations that I have made throughout the years.

-

Before meals, I always pray. Depending on who I am with, I pray differently. Whenever I'm with my nephew, we sing the Prayer Before Meals song:
"God is Great and God is good,
Thank you, God, for our food."
Whenever I'm alone or with my parents, we pray the prayer before meals that I learned when I was young and they learned when they were young:
"Bless us, O Lord
And these, Your gifts,
Which we are about to receive
From Your bounty
Through Christ, our Lord
Amen."
When I am with my non-Catholic Christian friends, we don't use these prescribed prayers that Catholics commonly use. With my friends, our prayers are a bit more organic, more customized to our specific needs, so to speak. Although we follow the "ATS format" (Acclamation-Thanksgiving-Supplication, no Confession/Contrition, because the prayer leader cannot be contrite for the sins of his/her companions), the prayers we pray as friends are rarely the same.

Protestants [1] do not have "memorized prayers". Now, I don't believe that there is a right way and a wrong way of praying. I believe that a prayer, memorized or not, so long as it is spoken from the heart, is still the most effective way of communicating with God. But, when faced with the question why Catholics must pray memorized prayers, I found myself giving my own theory on the matter.

Catholics focus on the community. We are constantly reminded that we are part of the "Body of the Church with Christ as our Head". With our memorized prayers, Catholics can echo the prayers of other Catholics from other parts of the world. We "believe in the Holy Catholic Church" as much as we believe in "God, the Father Almighty", "Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord", and the Holy Spirit. On a less spiritual level, I attribute this focus to the age of our religion. Catholicism, being the oldest Christian religion, was born at a time when men focused on the community. On the other hand, religions formed during the Protestant Reformation [2] focus on the personal relationship of the individual with God. I am often asked if I have accepted Jesus Christ as "my personal Lord and savior". As we do not memorize litanies to repeat them in different conversations over and over again, so Protestant brothers and sisters do not memorize prayers.

I was in high school when we read Homer's Iliad and my English teacher said that "epics can no longer be written in this age of novels" (I think she was quoting someone). People are now more focused on their own philosophies and ideals. When writers write, it is of their personal thoughts. Once upon a time, man could not separate himself from his community. When a writer wrote, he wrote about the philosophies and ideals of his community or race. The differences in the literary styles of the eras show the differences in the mindset of the people. The differences in the mindset of the people who established the different religious institutions created the differences in prayer practices. This is, of course, only my humble opinion.

Please allow me to make it clear that we Catholics do not ignore our personal relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Similarly, though it is not their main focus, Baptists also believe in the church community (else, why would there be such a thing as Baptist religion?). There are just different focuses, and therefore, different practices and approaches towards the one goal of salvation.

-

[1] I really hate that word. It's so medieval. Unfortunately, it is the only term I can think of at the moment.
[2] wiki said "The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. The reformation ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. It also led to the Counter-Reformation within the Roman Catholic Church."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam

I'm adding a new label : Reflections of Faith.

This is my sad attempt at trying to bring focus to my Christian life. Ivan sent me a "Read the Bible in a Year" program and I'm already four days behind schedule. So, maybe writing about it in my blog will make me take this a bit more seriously.

That said, here's my first entry under this category.

-

The dry spell afflicting the Filipino people, particularly the Luzon region, threatened to bring about many bad things: shortages in rice supply, water shortages, power shortages, etc. However, this also brought about one good thing. The dry spell once again brought the Filipino people together in prayer. Catholic churches all over the country recited the "Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam" (I guess it means "Intercessory Prayer for Rain"). I thought it would be interesting to put the prayer up so people could read it:

God our loving Father, creator of our earth and of the universe, and all the wondrous elements of nature that sustain your living creatures, we humbly ask you to send us the rain that our country needs so badly at this time, to irrigate our fields, to stave off a power shortage, to provide water for our bodily health, and to refresh our parched lands. At your command the wind and the seas obey, raise your hand Almighty God to commence the normal rainy season that has now been long delayed so that crisis may be averted.

Merciful and generous God, open our eyes to the richness and beauty of your creation and instill in us a deep love for this earth and all that is in and around it. Teach us to be wise stewards of your creation so that we may always use them responsibly and protect them from abuse and exploitation. At this time of crisis, dear Lord, move us to share more, to serve more and to love more.

Loving God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you entrusted the Filipino people to the special care of Mary our Mother, listen to the prayers that we bring up to her, our Blessed Mother, to intercede for us, for the protection of our land and our people, whom she loves.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unty of the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.



Just to make things clear, however, I am not attributing the miracle that was typhoon Chedeng to Catholics, only. If I'm not mistaken, other people prayed for rain, as well. The indigenous people did their rain dances and appeals to their gods, too. This shows how powerful the prayers of a people are. This also shows what can happen if a people stand together and aim for something.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Strange Coincidence or Answered Prayers

Only recently, I told Ivan that it was getting harder and harder for me to rely on faith above all else. I remember saying that, like Thomas, the Doubter, I needed more tangible evidence of God's presence than most people because the little things that were making me insecure and depressed were slowly making me embittered. I didn't need to be rebuked about not having faith, I needed a more delicate approach.

Yesterday, at church, I asked for God's help. I asked that whatever little faith I once had be salvaged. I asked for guidance and for peace of mind. During the homily yesterday, Father Nolan said that those with little peace of mind often slept fitfully. Right before the mass ended, we recited the Oratio Imperata, which was an intercessionary prayers for rain to help ease the effects of the dry spell in the country. That night, I wasn't really surprised that I tossed and turned in bed.

Ivan told me that some prayers took time to be answered. Apparently, some prayers didn't take long to answer.

God quickly answered both the Oration Imperata and my own prayer in the most amazing way. Before I left for school, I had an inkling to bring an extra shirt. I didn't know why, but I felt like I needed to bring one. So, I tossed an extra shirt into the car and made my way to school. It started out as a sunny morning. I visited my adviser in his office and as I walked to the building, the sky slowly darkened. By the time I got out of the building, it was drizzling. I decided to let myself get drizzled on, after all, what harm could a little bit of rain water do?

I was halfway between the building and my car, which was parked in a fairly distant parking lot, when thunder suddenly rumbled and rain just poured in buckets. Despite my making a break for my car, by the time I got there, I was soaked. I berated myself for being so careless and not bringing an umbrella. As I drove to the lab, which was a less than a five minute drive from my adviser's office, the rain suddenly tapered off to a drizzle. When I parked my car, I remembered my extra shirt and I suddenly found myself laughing.

If I had left my adviser's office a minute or two later, I wouldn't have gotten caught in the downpour. I wouldn't have gotten wet. I wouldn't have needed the extra shirt I had been compelled to bring. I found it amusing, as simple a miracle or a coincidence it might be.

God had answered the people's prayers and mine with one storm. Or, maybe, it was just one big coincidence. But, somehow, it still made my day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Activities for Pisay Alumni Homecoming Week

So I'm doing my good deed for my godfather, the president of the PSHS Alumni Association, and am advertising through any means possible the activities for Pisay's Alumni Homecoming.

Because I deliberately make myself scarce, I wonder how many Pisay Alumni will get to read this through my blog. It's not like they make themselves known. But, it never hurt to try.

This is a copy of the email that I was sent. Of course, for security purposes, I removed the email addresses included therein. For more information, you're either going to have to email me or post a comment. =p

-

Hi! This is Cielito (Ciel) Habito '70, current President of the PSHS Alumni Association (PSHSAA) and of the PSHS National Alumni Association (PSHSNAA). May I request you please to forward this message to your batch e-group as we in the PSHSAA Board would like to have maximum dissemination of this message to the PSHS Alumni. Maraming Salamat!
Dear Fellow PSHS Alumni,
As you may have heard, the PSHSAA is lining up two major fund-raising activities for the week of the annual Alumni Homecoming, namely:
1. The Pisay Cup Golf Tournament on August 28, 2007 (Tuesday), to be held at the Navy Golf Club in Fort Bonifacio. Please visit www.pisaycup.com for details. We are enjoining all PSHS alumni golfers and friends to support this activity by (a) coming on August 28 to play, and/or (b) helping us solicit sponsorships (the website has ready-to-print sponsorship kits and covering letter -- let me know if you will need our original signatures on the letter, which can be arranged). We have set fundraising targets for the different clusters of batches, and obviously, the more funds we raise, the better we will be able to support our forthcoming projects to benefit PSHS and its alumni. (I shall be writing you later on details of upcoming projects.)
2. The PSHSAA Alumni Concert (dubbed pisay@43.cometogether: I Am What I Jam) to be held on August 30, 2007 (Thursday) at 7:00pm in the AFP Theater at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. This concert will feature performances by talents from the first eight PSHS batches (batches '69 to '75), along with special performances by "celebrity" alumni like Gen. Hermo Esperon '70, Dr. Rey Vea '69, Dean Rowena Guevarra '80, Fr. Jim Achacoso '70, yours truly, and others. Himig Agham, the PSHS student choir, will also be performing. This promises to be a night of great fun, fellowship and music (not in order of importance!) all in the spirit of reliving our PSHS memories while helping raise funds for our alumni projects. Talented and enthusiastic alumni from batches '69 to '75 are already rehearsing their performances for the concert. (For the later batches, don't despair: We expect later batches to be featured in subsequent alumni concerts, which we envisage to be an annual project of the PSHSAA.)
We are now distributing tickets for the concert to batch representatives, and in this connection, I would like to solicit volunteer contacts among the batches to PLEASE distribute and sell the tickets to their batchmates and families/friends. Patron (P500), Sponsor (350) and Regular (P200) tickets are available. We are especially asking each of the performing batches to take care of selling 150 tickets per batch (20 patron, 30 sponsor and 100 regular). Batches '76 and up may please contact me or Jun Sabug to get your tickets. We implore you for your support, participation and attendance in this concert.
May I also inform you that the PSHSAA is co-sponsoring with the PSHS Foundation the premiere screening on August 24-25 of the film set in our alma matter, "Pisay" by Aureous Solito '86 (also known for his other award-winning films "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros" and "Tuli"). Screening will be at The Block in SM City North EDSA. Tickets may be obtained through the PSHS Foundation (Tel. 924-0655) or through PSHSAA (contact me or Jun Sabug in the e-mail addresses above). Your support for this film is also strongly enjoined; it is already reaping accolades from the critics, being one of the featured films in the ongoing Cinemalaya Film Festival.
Mark your calendars: "Pisay" premiere on August 24-25, Pisay Cup Golf Tournament on August 28, and the pisay@43.cometogether Alumni Concert on August 30.
All these culminate on Alumni Homecoming Night on September 1 at the PSHS Gym, with Batch '82 as silver jubilarian hosts this year.
Sa ngalan ng inyong PSHS Alumni Association, inaasahan namin ang inyong tulong at paglahok!
Mabuhay at maraming salamat,
Cielito (Ciel) Habito '70
PSHSAA/PSHSNAA President

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nostalgia (Part One) : Flag Retreats and the Pisay Hymn

The ending of Solito's Pisay had the main characters singing the English version of the PSHS Hymn during their graduation. Despite my feelings towards my high school experiences, I could not help but feel nostalgic. As I watched the students on the screen singing, I was briefly reminded of a scene in JM Barrie's Peter Pan wherein Peter tells the audience to "clap if you believe in faeries" in order to save Tinkerbell. While Peter's words compels you to clap, seeing those kids sing me want to sing along.

-

During my second year in Pisay, I was somehow got myself the position of Student Alliance Secretary. Because I was a freshman (and the younger sibling of a known bully ^^;;) when I became a candidate, I narrowly won against an opponent called "Abstain". But, win I did, and that year I spent pretending to be a bit more responsible than I really am is part of my history. I had little love for that position as I was a shy girl who had no passion for administrative work, but I have fond memories of it, as well.
Because I was not a stellarly punctual student and missed the Monday Flag Ceremony without fail, my peers in the Student Alliance stuck me with the responsibility of conducting the weekly Flag Retreat. I often held it alone as Ate Thea (President), Ate Steph (Treasurer), and Kuya Mike (PRO) had CAT while Kuya Eric (Vice President) had soccer practice. Conducting the Flag Retreat meant making the end of the week announcements, singing the Philippine National anthem as the Philippine Flag was lowered, and singing the Pisay Hymn as the Pisay Flag was lowered. This is why I know the Pisay Hymn by heart.

Because I was alone, I had to recruit my friends William, Jomar, Joseph, and Vladimir to help me lower the flags while I sang the necessary hymns. During one of my first Flag Retreats, whoever was lowering the Pisay flag lowered it too fast. His partner told him that the flag was going down too fast and so whoever was in charge of the Pisay flag reraised it and lowered it again, thus creating the "dancing flag" phenomenon. I got a rather interesting scolding from the S.A. adviser Mr. Curaming after that.

Later on, in the middle of the year, in accordance with the Centennial Celebration of Philippine Independence (1998), they made me use the Tagalog version of the Pisay Hymn. It took me two Flag Retreats to get that Tagalog version right. Now, its ingrained in my heart.

It's weird. I kinda miss conducting Flag Retreats. Embarrassing as it was back then, I realize now that it taught me how to leave my comfort zone in order to do what needed to be done.

-

These are the Pisay Hymns that I remember:

PSHS Hymn
by Mario Taguiwalo (PSHS batch 1/1968 yata)
(hahah... small world. I know this guy. he's my mom's friend)

Philippine Science High
Thou stands above with thy thoughts that lift
And fit all thy sons with wings
To lend us flight in the sowing of our gifts

Oh, Philippine Science High
Thy wisdom arms our youth
As we reach for our dreams, as we strive for our goals
As we search for the untarnished truth

Philippine Science High
The PSHS in us will grow
And go as we wonder o'er
The crests and troughs of the sea of life that flows

Oh, Philippine Science High
Thy light our beacon be
In our path through the world, in our fight for the right
In pursuit of a glorious thee.

PSHS Hymn (Filipino)
translated by Stephanie Balois et.al. (Batch 1999)
(sorry, can't remember the others)

Philippine Science High
Patuloy mong itinataas
Kaming 'yong mga anak
Sa paglinang ng aming kakayahan

O, Philippine Science High
Dunong mo'y patnubay
Sa aming pangarap, sa aming hinahangad
Na katotohanang lantay

Philippine Science High
Sa aming puso'y lumalago
At sa'n man magtungo,
Magpapatuloy sa dagat ng buhay

O, Philippine Science High
Liwanag mo'y tanglaw
Sa amin ay gabay sa landas ng buhay
At dakilang minimithi

-

Nyahahaha... feel free to correct me if my memory did not serve me correctly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When I die, I will be smothered in fire and brimstone...

... shoot. Ouch.

But, I guess, that's hell for ya. And, if I go there, that will be the deadly sin that I will be paying for. Where'd that come from? Well, I took Tickle's "Seven Deadly Sins" test and here's the result :

You're less sinful than the average person. Still, everyone has their weaknesses, and the sin you're most guilty of is
Lust

Basically, this is my weakness. I scored a 7 on the Lust meter while the average score of takers is a bit above 3. Hahah... anyone who knows me will not be surprised. In Gluttony and Sloth, I also scored above average (higher for Sloth than for Gluttony), but not overly so.
So, according to Tickle, I need "Temperance" for my Lust, "Enthusiasm" for my Sloth, and "Restraint" for my Gluttony.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Most Personal Survey Ever

I got this from Friendster (again) from one of my cousin's posts.

1. who were you with last nite?
- Ivan

2. What woke you up this morning?
- my cel's alarm

3. Where are you?
- our house.

4. Is tomorrow gonna be a good day?
- we hope for it, but we don't expect it.

5. Did you kiss or hug anyone today?
- yup.

6. When was the last time you cried?
- awhile ago, when Bumblebee was being restrained by Section 7. But if you mean serious tears, it's been quite a while.

7. Ever thrown up in public?
- yeah. i was three and reallyreally sick. but it was a hospital, so it was okay.

8. Passed out because of alcohol?
- nah...

9. Would you take a bullet for anyone?
- i would take more than that for a lot of people the same way i would give just that to others.

10. Where would you like to live?
- i'm happy where i am, at the moment.

11. Made out with anyone on your top 8?
- top 8?

where's 12?

13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
- a writer/comic book artist.

14. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- same time? i figure i'd be checking test papers or making an exam. yes, i picture myself as a teacher.

15. Who is your number one on myspace?
- no myspace

16. Have you kissed anyone on your top friends?
- huh? i've kissed one close friend.

17. Who was the last person that left you a comment?
- My cousin, Kuya Dex.

18. Do you like candy necklace?
- eeeu... pure sugar. no.

20. When was the last time you fell over or ran into something?
- a couple of months ago, I turned out the lights in our main living area and walked right into one of the main support-posts of our house on my way back to my room. (Hey, it was dark!)

21. Do you listen to music every day?
- no.

22. What was the last thing you ate?
- Meiji Black chocolate.

23. Are you a fast typer?
- I've never really thought about it.

24. About how many people have you liked?
- Like or Like Like? I've liked a lot of people in my life, so much so that it would be stupid to count. I've like liked about four people in my life.

25. How many have you thought you loved?
- Five years ago, I would have answered four, now, I will say three.

26. What are you doing this weekend?
- bum around.

27. What's your favorite type of soda?
- cream soda or root beer

28. Have you ever won an award?
- Awards for being amazingly well-behaved aka the "suck up" award.

29. What do you want to do right now?
- blog about a certain something or sleep. I can't seem to do either.

30. Are you listening to music right now?
- *shakes head*

31. When were you the saddest in your whole life?
- I don't know. Sadness is either alien to me or so familiar that I don't bother with degrees.

32. What time is it?
- 1.24

33. Do you use EBay to buy or sell?
- nope

34. What makes you mad?
- little things irk me, but big things seem to be much easier to forgive.

35. Have you ever had a song written about you?
- eheheh.... yeah, by me.

36. What song makes you cry?
- the "Llama Song", "I'm My Own Grampa", and the Biogesic radio commercial's "Bagay ba sakin ang kulot". they make me cry so hard and beg for the person singing it to please either stop or drop dead.

someone from the sidelines: But you're the one who always sings those songs.
me: Yeah, so? What's your point?

37. What song makes you happy?
- Kiss from a Rose by Seal, Elegy by Ken Hirai, TRC's Kaze no Machi he... wait, the latter two make me angst, not happy, but whatever...

38. What do you like to listen to before you go to bed?
- the humming of the air conditioner telling me that the room temp will drop considerably soon.

39. Do you have a job?
- researcher. *ish shot*

40. What makes you happy?
- what make me think long and hard.

41. What's the next CD you're going to get?
- blank ones for my thesis files. XD

[Height:]
5'2"

[Hair:]
black

[Eye Color:]
brown

A word to describe 2007:
r/evolutionary.

Summer 2007:
boring.

Honestly, do you miss 2006?
i will, but at this point, not yet.

Aureaus Solito's "Pisay" movie

If I had known that I would be visiting high school, I would have dressed more nicely.

By Fate, hitsuzen, coincidence, or God's plan--depending on what you personally believe in--I bumped into an old high school friend yesterday afternoon. Naturally, as one does with old friend we have missed, the two of us proceeded to create flashbacks about our lives and the lives of our common friends. Later on, I ended up connecting with a few more people I wasn't expecting to reconnect with anytime soon.

Bumping into people from my past is an uncommon experience for me, generally because I hide from said people. Anyone who knows me would know that high school is not my favorite place on earth, which is ironic because it's probably one of the places I am most attached to. It says a lot about the very things that are most valuable to you : you can hate them because of the pain they cause or you can love them because they give you pleasure, but either way, you can't let go. This is probably why I'm angsting before actually putting in the real reason for this post.

I would like to invite everyone--particularly, those from Pisay--to watch Aureaus Solito's "Pisay". Solito is the man behind "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros".

From the Quixotic Quests of Q the Conqueror, the movie's storyline is described as such :

Amidst the chaos of Martial Law in this Third World country in the 1980s, eight teenagers in the top high school for the sciences discover themselves as they go through the joys and pains of adolescence. They were the top two hundred students from all over the Philippines who passed the examination for the Philippine Science High School, which was created for the purpose of giving an education highly enriched in the Sciences to exceptionally gifted Filipino children. Selected from the best and brightest from all over the country, they endure college-level courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics from their sophomore year onwards. Those who can make it are hailed as the future science and technology leaders of the New Republic, those who don't are deemed unfortunate victims of natural selection. They all learn however that they are neither isolated from the real world, nor are they exempted from living real lives. They find the world outside, erupting into the People Power revolution in 1986 against the Marcos dictatorship, being replicated within the school as they struggle to graduate, contend with teachers, classmates, family, school officials, and a new classification to segregate students meeting the high standards of excellence from those who do not.


It's may not be our high school, but it's about our high school. So, in case you're interested, the schedule of shows taken from the same site is as follows : (you have to scroll down a bit, cause Blogger hates me)



























21 Jul/Sat 03:30 PM Venue 1CCP Main Theatre / Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo
22 Jul/Sun 09:00 PM Venue 4CCP MKP Hall / Bulwagang Alagad Ng Sining
24 Jul/Tue 09:00 PM Venue 1CCP Main Theatre / Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo
25 Jul/Wed 09:00 PM Venue 2CCP Little Theatre / Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino
26 Jul/Thu 06:15 PM Venue 5CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute
27 Jul/Fri 10:00 AM Venue 1CCP Main Theatre / Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo
28 Jul/Sat 03:30 PM Venue 2CCP Little Theatre / Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino



Edit: From Cinemalaya website :

Ticket prices for Cinemalaya 2007 will be P100 for regular screening of competition and exhibition films; P300 for a Daily Pass valid for one person and good for 5 screenings; and P950 for a Festival Pass valid from July 20-29 for all screenings. Cinemalaya Congress Fees are set at P500 package for 2 days; P300 a day for non-students and P250 a day for students. Discount of 20% for senior citizens will be available. Group discounts of 50% will be offered to teachers. Discounts will also be given on bulk ticket sales.

For more information, please call the CCP Media Arts Division at tel. no. 832-1125 local 1704-05 or visit the CCP website at www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I am the Supervillain Poison Ivy

Christine and Aileen used to call me Kurama, and now this. *goes off and tries to turn a rose into a whip*

-

Your results:
You are Poison Ivy


































Poison Ivy
58%
The Joker
58%
Green Goblin
56%
Mystique
52%
Lex Luthor
47%
Riddler
44%
Dr. Doom
44%
Mr. Freeze
43%
Magneto
43%
Catwoman
42%
Kingpin
42%
Apocalypse
37%
Venom
36%
Dark Phoenix
30%
Two-Face
28%
Juggernaut
20%
You would go to almost any length for the protection of the environment including manipulation and elimination.


Click here to take the "Which Super Villain am I?" quiz...

Reminiscent of First Times

The first time I ever went to a club was at the end of 1999. I was 15. My brother and Ron, the nephew of my mom's friend, took me to some club in Makati. My brother ordered a margarita for me and left me to my own devices at the bar. No, he didn't leave me there, he stayed right by my side nursing a beer. He just didn't talk to me. The music was too loud, and I'm really just a wallflower at heart.
After that, my brother and I returned to our hotel, the Somerset Olympia and he called his girlfriend and I called Jomar. My then best friend pretty much congratulated me for getting a life right after greeting me a happy new millennium.


The next time I went to a club was shortly before my high school graduation. It was during the Christmas season and my parents insisted I go out and have fun with the kids of their friends. We went to Eastwood; to some place that's closed now. I was with a bunch of people that I had just met and they got me my first bottle of beer. Tobi, one of the guys, and Ate Caren and her girlfriend, took care of me, making sure I didn't get myself stinking drunk. I had no intentions of getting myself smashed so they didn't have a big problem.
After that, Caren found out I had a crush on Tobi. She had a good laugh and my only thought was "big fucking deal" cause a crush really didn't mean much at that time.


The first time I got tipsy was in Iloilo. It was the night before my first SPP presentation and I was so freaked out that I decided to get myself drunk so I would just pass out. I was with a few friends from college. But, I couldn't bear the thought of losing it, so I just got myself tipsy and stopped when I felt my inhibitions slip. Two nights in a row of fitful slumber followed by another late night, a slight fever, aspirin, and a bottle of beer is a cocktail that equates to mild inebriation.
Rene and I took a cab back to our hotel and, after regaining what we could of our senses, he sent me off to bed.

Tonight, at The Bedroom in Eastwood, it wasn't my first time anything. Fine, it was my first time to try the hookah (shisha, here), but that was a lot like breathing in the fumes of one of my fruit teas. As I sat there with the daughters of my father's friends, I couldn't help but think of all the other times I went out to spend the night with people. I was feeling a lot of the emotions that I felt during my first times. I was a bit hesitant with everything, insecure, and out of place. It's weird considering I was one of the oldest in a group which felt right at home.
We returned to their hotel, at Holiday Inn in Robinsons' where I rejoined my parents and went home. The feeling of the alcohol coursing through my system was gone way before the aftertaste of the beer was. I'm almost disappointed. Somehow, I wished that would help me sleep.

Of Losing Control

Perhaps I'm just prudish, or maybe too sheltered. Or perhaps, it's the slow rise of all the negative thoughts that I chose to bury at the back of my mind rising to the surface like the bubbles of my beer that makes drinking at night unappealing to me. I've never been helplessly inebriated. I've been tipsy once, and that turned out so magnificently that I decided never to let it happen again.
I have control issues. I like keeping control of my thoughts. I've never let go of that control; not even as I watched my car spin out of control after being rear ended by a jeepney at an intersection.

I know I've mentioned that before.

But, as much as I don't like to lose control of my conscious thought, I often lose control of my emotions. I've gone into a tailspin that I couldn't seem to get out of. And, in the haze brought about by these emotional crashes, I sometimes choose to lower my inhibitions in order to lessen the excess baggage and somehow get a grip.

Such is the irony of life.

To be honest, sometimes, I wish I could let loose and be carefree instead of paying for so much control with the irrevocable consequences of feelings that need to be set free under all the pressure of controlled thought. And, for that reason, I find myself envying the helplessly inebriated, sometimes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Ultimate Yaoi-Level Selector Quiz!

I figured I needed to post something lighter before the month ends.

*Reviews this month's angst*

Yeah, I definitely need to post some nonsense. At the rate things are going, I'm beginning to think that if I look back on my writings ten years from now, my thoughts would be, "Whoa...now, why didn't I kill myself again? Oh yeah..."

Well, angst is angst, but let's write something funny.

-

I was having a conversation with someone (oh, you know who you are) last night and ended up with the most wrong yaoi-ness thoughts in my head. So, after going back to the Ultimate Yaoi-Level Selector Quiz Results I began to apply the results to some of my friends. So, to be discreet, I will use colors to describe the guys and see how they will pair up.

(This is the part where I burst out laughing and fall of my chair.)

*ahem*

So, White is a Gentleman, which is 75% seme. Pink is Nature's Mistake, which is -80% seme. Yellow is a Housekeeping Uke, which is -90% seme and Brown is The One in Complete Control, which is 200% seme. Red is, well, Not Yaoi at all. That said, we get the idealized pairings:
  • White may be paired with both Pink and Yellow, which I find a bit funny.
  • Brown can have any of the other three, but should really teach Red a thing or two. Or maybe White should do that, being the gentler of the two semes...
Now, if you want to know what a seme is, click here, and if you want to know what an uke is, click here. The uke link is a bit more helpful. But, anyway, if you think you're one of the guys listed above, don't bother clicking these links if you know what's good for you.

*blinks*

Y' know, this post just seriously disturbed me, but what the hell?

(This is the part where I tell myself to go to bed and sleep because lack of things to do has driven me insane.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Shallow Pride

This is stupid, but I needed to write it down, anyway.

I've never considered myself a good writer. A passable one, sure, but a good one? No, never. The thing I prided myself most about was my imagination and ability to conjure stories that I could fit into any fandom. I enjoy writing these plots out and receiving some kind of acknowledgment that whatever crap I come up with made someone else happy.

I can't believe not getting reviews is upsetting me so much.

I've never been a good student. Gods... none of my high school teachers would ever describe me as a good student. I was a passable student, after all, I got to college, didn't I? But I was not a good student. I don't like the structured learning of school where you are forced to learn at someone else's pace at someone else's time. What I prided myself to be was a good learner. I enjoy learning new things, I am inspired by new concepts, I enjoy sharing that knowledge.

I can't believe my GWA is upsetting me even more than usual.

I've never seen myself as a good person. No, I'm an okay person. I'm not outrightly evil, but I'm no saint, either. My friends may describe me as a good person, but, damn it, I'm as selfish and self-centered as they come. And, quite frankly, I don't deserve more than half the praise. The only aspect of me I have always been proud of is my compassion. I could feel someone's pain and empathize. I enjoy the feeling of having made a person smile or allowed a person cry on my shoulder.


This, that I am upset because I seem to have lost feeling and care, I can believe.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Elegy and Angsty Ukes

While watching Animax the other day, I heard a song called "Elegy" by Ken Hirai. There was something about that song that seemed to speak to me. It was strange because despite the fact that I couldn't understand the lyrics, it made something inside me stir. It stayed in my head even as I lay in bed that night. I don't understand Japanese. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I can't understand a word of it.

But that song... it felt like something that I would sing to you.

Never mind that neither of us spoke Japanese, the emotion it evoked in me was enough.

-

Last night I took the Ultimate Yaoi-level Selector quiz in Quizilla for fun. My result was Angsty Uke. I laughed so hard when I found out because *points at the blog description* and because I've always known I wasn't meant to top. I'm too emotionally unstable.

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Now, what's the relationship between these two things? I looked up the lyrics of Elegy earlier today and discovered what the lyrics meant. It turns out that it's a love song written from a woman's perspective. It's a song of surrender. It's a song of urgency. It's also a song of the sad uncertainty of tomorrow.
I’ll dirty you with my hands, with my hands
And drown in you again and again, again and again
Our two backs together gives me anxiety and happiness
That comes in waves, penetrating me
If this love’s going to die someday
Tear me apart now with your love

That's part of the song. Go figure. It's translated Japanese, so it's not supposed to make a lot of sense upfront and without a little thought. But, as with all sad love songs, if you're in love, you can relate to them. I just found it weird that I related to it so well before understanding the words.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Disappear for a while...

...I did that on purpose.

People don't really notice that you've been gone until you come back; unless, they know you're going, of course.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wish

I wonder if my wishes are too complicated or too impossible to fulfill or if this is just God's way of telling me that there are some things that are just not meant to be.

We Catholics have so many superstitions, one being that visiting a new church warrants you a wish from the patron of that church. I wished for the same thing over and over again with every new church I ended up in over the past eight days. As I stood in front of the Trevi fountain earlier tonight, my fingers clutching tightly on a small coin and praying for the same thing to come true, I began to wonder what I was doing wrong. I wondered long and hard if it was worth it: to wish again and to be disappointed again.

And then I threw the coin over my shoulder.

I don't even know if it touched the bottom of the fountain, but, to be honest, I've given up hoping. It doesn't matter anymore whether you're crawling on the dirt or soaring in the sky.

Just pick yourself up and move on.

(Yeah, I know, ambiguity sucks, but bear with me. I've been a bit down for a while now. =) )

Thursday, April 19, 2007

We Were Lovers, OST Gankutsuou

Harsh words were said
and lies were told instead.
I didn't ever mean to make you cry.
But love can make us weak and make us strong,
and before too very long.
I was totally in love with you.
I bathed in you.
Lost in you, captivated by you.
Amazed by you, dazed by you.
Nothing can go wrong.
Nothing can go wrong.

So tonight I'll sing
a song to all my friends.
Also to those we won't be seeing again.
To those I knew and those I still adore
and I want to see once more.
I just pray that you will love me
and trust me.
Laugh with me and cry with me
spend those silent times with me.
Love me evermore.
Love me evermore.

You and I were lovers.
Our dreams were not soured by life.
And then my friends betrayed me
meant you never would be my wife.

Harsh words were said
and lies were told instead.
I didn't ever mean to make you cry.
But love can make us weak and make us strong,
and before too very long.
I was totally in love with you.
I bathed in you.
Lost in you, captivated by you.
Amazed by you, dazed by you.
Nothing can go wrong.
Nothing can go wrong.
Nothing can go wrong.

-

I like the song, It's as simple as that.