Archive for March, 2006

So. If you don’t live under a rock and if you weren’t born yesterday, you probably noticed how it’s been raining cats and dogs lately. I cleaned my rubber shoes yesterday hoping it’d dry up in time for our mountain climbing tomorrow, but noooo. The rain ruined it all. And I don’t have clothes to wear because it’s been–raining! Oh rain, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… Nah-aaaahhhh!!!

Societal Imbalance. Some news item got me really infuriurated last night. Some residents of the Dasmariñas Village in Makati are complaining about a main electric transmission line near their homes, saying it’d expose them to too much radiation and would therefore be harmful to their “health”. The problem, however, is that transferring the transmission line some place else would cost the electric company billions of pesos. And the really infuriurating part is this–if the transfer would take place, the company would be forced to increase their rates. In turn, the transfer of the transmission lines would be shouldered by millions of poor Filipinos who really don’t give a damn about some pesky transmission line disturbing some filthy rich people’s homes.

I hate this imbalance. If these residents are so concerned about that freaking transmission line, why don’t they just move their freaking houses/mansions/palaces elsewhere?! They’re rich anyway! They don’t have to let poor people shoulder their “concern” for their “health”. Reality check, people! You’re not the only people dying in this world! There’s even news of a possible metro-wide blackout if the transfer takes place. Rich people. How I loathe them…

I can’t wait for summer classes to start.

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The pen is mightier than the sword.

Or so they say. Dr. Jose Rizal proved the pen’s majestic power and made him the country’s national hero. He etched his mighty words into the minds of thousands of Filipinos that had lasting effect up to this day.

But something got me thinking. Is the pen really mightier than the sword? What power does the pen wield? Sure, it inflamed the hearts of many Filipinos to fight the Spaniards before, and people are being charged with “inciting to sedition” nowadays because of the government’s paranoia of these mighty pen-weilders. But where does the power of the pen reside?

We were taught that words are nothing but vessels, a mere carrier of meanings one wants to impart. Words are mere devices used to capture a moment’s worth of experience; just like a photograph, it depicts permanence but fails to capture the true essence of an instance. No matter how much words you put in paper, it will never be tantamount to the real human experience.

The power of the pen doesn’t reside within the words written on a blank sheet of paper. The power of the pen goes beyond the spelling and the grammar of the words and the sentences; it goes beyond punctuation, style, format or any other technicality. The power of the pen is not within its ink, or the value of its case, or the material of its finish. The power of the pen doesn’t vary in degree if the pen is a quill, a ballpoint or a fountain. The power of the pen is more than any of these.

For the power of the pen lies beneath the words, it lies within the meaning, the essence, the embodiment of the one’s thoughts. The pen is an extension of one’s mind. It is a vehicle where great thoughts and magnificent ideas flow and land on paper. The power of the pen lies within the unspoken belief which travels not by mouth, but by ink. THe power of the pen can move people to tears, make them take action or enthrall them to fall in love. The power of the pen is boundless, it has no limitations, only one’s imagination.

So, is the pen mightier than the sword? You bet it is.

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Internet no more. I went to Globe Telecom Plaza yesterday to file our application for Broadband. Prior to my going there, we’ve already prepared all the things necerssary for application — Globe Gentxt, authorization letter and all that. The lady by the counter made me wait for like, an hour, while she was doing something in the telephone. When she got back she just told me, “Sir, hindi po serviceable yung area nyo eh…” and I was like… totally silent I couldn’t even utter a single word. I wanted to curse her for having me wait that long only to tell me that! Huh! Lesson learned: don’t be a victim of flashy advertisements!

Love? Why Not? Last night a dear friend and I were talking and he kept on insisting why I haven’t pursued a relationship with another close friend yet. Napaisip ako kung bakit nga, pero paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa kanya na hindi ko naman mahal yung tao, at baka kapag tinuloy ko lang eh baka makasakit lang ako kasi walang sincerity. Tapos napaisip ulit ako, bakit nga wala pa’kong nagiging girlfriend? Haha… napakaweirdong tanong para tanungin sa sarili, pero siguro kasi masyado pa’kong attached sa sarili ko. Kumbaga hindi ko pa kaya na mabuhay sa mundong ito na may kasamang isa pang tao. Hindi ko pa kayang magdesisyon na isasa-alang-alang ang desisyon ng isa pang tao. Hindi ko pa kayang kumilos nang may kasamang isa pang tao kasi mas gusto kong kumikilos ako nang mag-isa. I’m not past the selfish stage yet that’s why I haven’t found “someone” yet. Masyado kasi akong “magaling”, gusto ko kapag gagawa ako ng isang bagay dapat everything falls into place. At masyado pa’kong takot mag-take ng chance. Hindi pa nawawala ang pagiging not-so-risky personality ko. Ayoko pang masaktan. Kaya hangga’t sa makakaya, studies na muna.

Mainit. Pero malamig dito. Sumasakit na mga mata ko. 11am na kasi ako nagising kanina. Hayyy yun na muna. Wala pang exciting na nangyayari. Bye!

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Allow me to reiterate. It’s hot.

We’re on a roll. Facilitated a semi-recollection with Kuya Gary, Ron and Mikky at Las Piñas yesterday. I’m loving this whole facilitating thing. It appears like we’re professionals at it already but we really are not. Haha… we just do what Kuya Gary tells us to do. But what’s good is we’re able to help people, young ones at that, get close to God, even in a very subtle way.

Globe-alize. I bought a Globe sim this morning. New number’s +63916-FOX-BUGG. Update your phonebooks, people!

Summer’s Dull. I wanna go to the beach. Summer is boring me out to eternity. I wish we have DSL at home (for the nth time…). I wish I have a laptop. Oh! By the way, I’ve already made “pasaring” to mommy to buy me a laptop. Hehe… now all I gotta do is keep it constant so that she’ll be so irritated she’ll buy me one. Or not. I want to go to the GYM. I wanna get thin! Haha… wonder where this drive to slim down’s coming from? Must be the TV.

I’m out. Of Words. And I’m out. Literally.

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Gaaaaad it’s so ineeeet these days! And I’m not gonna stop reiterating because it really is! Gaaad it’s like the whole country’s in one screwed-up fever, kaya “Mommy, I feel hot! You are hot!” ang drama! Kool Fever plsssss! Haha… gagana kaya yun even if you don’t have fever? Ang mga may bangs, resorting to headband! At twice na ang pag-te-taking a bath dahil sa kadiring malagkit na sweat all over the body!

Kami na ulit. Reunion kami ni Ate Tin kahapon. After a long long long long while, kami na ulit. Hay grabe na-miss ko si ate. I went to Makati Science High School with her kahapon, mag-re-rector kasi siya ng isang batch ng DWTL doon, kaya in-orient namin yung mga participants. Sobrang excited ako sa Days ni Ate Tin, kasi talagang alam kong makaka-OA ako ng trabaho dito. Dun kasi sa “legit” na days (meaning yung BuskoDays talaga), mahirap pumorma, at least dito makaka-OA talaga ako, ka-close ko rector eh! Hehe… walang martilyong mamumukpok, diba Ron? =P

Kanina we and Carlo went to Divisoria para magpa-print ng shirts. It was my first time there and boy, iba in-expect ko. Siguro dahil hindi lang in-season pero akala ko sobrang dami talaga ng tao don hindi ka na makakalakad. Hindi pala. Hehe… may room pa rin naman pala for walking. Pero grabe all the presyo there are like bagsakan! To the max! I promised myself and told mom dun na lang ako mag-shopping ng clothes. Wa nang paki kung panget ang quality or what, kaysa naman pa-inot-inot ang bili ko sa malls diba?

Hectic Summer? I want to keep myself busy this summer. And when I mean busy, UBER busy. Kaya nga o-o-A-an ko sa Days ni Ate Tin eh, talagang effort na ‘to. Ayoko ng idle time, as much as possible. Kung kaya nga lang kumuha ng summer job, why not! Eh kaso may pasok na’ko sa April17 eh so that only leaves me with more or less two weeks of free time. I’m still not sure kung saan ako i-a-assign for my NSTP pero sana somewhere near lang, like Makati or QC, sana wag dun sa places I haven’t even gone to before.

Another reason kaya gusto kong maging busy eh para tumuloy-tuloy na ang pagpayat ko. Haha, selfish eh noh?! Inde, kapag kasi may ginagawa ako nakakalimutan ko nang kumain, it’s both good and bad pero since lent naman, papasa na ang one meal a day, diba? Isa pang rason ay dahil gusto kong umiwas sa “temptation” hangga’t sa makakaya. Madalas kasi aatake ang demonyo kapag idle ka. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, sabi nga ni Don Bosco. Kaya as much as possible gusto kong maging occupied.

Kill me now… sort of. Tae talaga. Paano ko ba masasabi sa dad ko na tumigil na siyang manigarilyo? Hindi naman pwedeng I’ll just come up to him and say “Tumigil ka na!” dahil alam kong hindi naman ganun kadali yun. I wanted to make a point, yun talagang kahit hindi ko sinasabi na tumigil na siya eh titigil talaga siya. Kagabi, habang naninigarilyo na naman siya sa baba (hindi ko alam kung nasaan din ang utak nitong ama ko eh, “hot air goes up, cold air goes down” diba? So para man lang courtesy sa mga natutulog lalo na sa’kin na sobrang apektado sa paninigarilyo niya, sana sa rooftop na lang or sa labas siya naninigarilyo diba?), nakaisip ako ng paraan.

Naaalala ko kasi na mayroon akong Acute Bronchial Asthma. Acute kasi hindi siya madalas umatake, at noong bata pa ako huling inatake. Ang wish ko sana, sana umatake yung Bronchial Asthma ko na ‘yun. Pero hindi lang tipikal na atake. Yung tipong atake as in ATAKE talaga na tipong isusugod nila ako sa ospital at Emergency Room ang drama! Haha! Tapos sana madala ako as ICU tapos magiging Sever Acute Bronchial Asthma na sya. Haha… okay lang din ma-coma pero malayo ata? Haha… pero in spite all these, gusto ko pa rin ma-save siyempre. Hehe… ayoko pa mamatay noh! Yun lang ang naiisip kong paraan para mapaisip ko ang tatay ko na tumigil na sa paninigarilyo. Para rin naman sa kanya yun. Pero primarily, para sa’kin, kasi sawang-sawa na’ko sa usok ng sigarilyo.

Babu na ang da who! Yun na lang muna. Ang boring ng buhay ngayong summer. Gaaaadd I wish classes would start already. Hope your summer is not as bad as mine. Gusto ko mag-swimming, pero not sa Laguna puhleeaaassseee, the pools there are hot springs sa init! Haha… sana makapag-hotel ako, para masaya. Hehe…

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Ngiti. Galaw. Hawak. Taas. Upo. Tayo. Kampay. Kaway. Talikod. Tingin. Simangot. Galak.

Isang segundong sandali na habambuhay tatagal. Isang nakaw na sandaling habambuhay uukit. Sa apat na sulok at apat na gilid. Kuhang-kuha ang tamis, ang ligaya nitong sandali.

Isang segundong sandali na kailanma’y ‘di mawawaglit. Isasalin at ipapasa sa mga batang paslit. Kahit uugod-ugod ang sandali’y buhay pa rin. Alaalang nakakamit, minimithing abot-tingin.

Isang segundong sandali sa alaala’y gigitgit. Isang segundong sandaling pamalit sa kapalit. Isang segundong sandaling hahawakan pagka’t ‘di kayang ilihim. Sa puso at isip, ‘di kayang isingit, kaya’t sa isang segundong sandali ito muna’y ipipilit.

Gaano man kalagkit ang tingin sa sandali, kuha man nito ang tamis, ang tawanang walang tigil, ito nama’y nagkakahon, nagnanakaw ng ngiti, naghihimpil, naglilimita, ang isang segundong sandali.

Pagkat sa ating isang segundong sandali, hindi kuha ang anumang nasa likod ng mga ngiti, hindi abot-tanaw ang larawang nakapinta sa dalampasigan, ang alapaap at himpapawid na nakapinta ang mga ulap, ang araw na sa dapit-hapo’y muling magpapaalam, ang mga taong sa gabi’y uuwi at titila, ang mga ito kailanma’y ‘di natin kapiling, pagka’t ang isang segundong sandali ay isang nakaw na sandali.

Isang nakaw na sandali na pilit igigitgit–sa apat na sulok at apat na gilid.


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Naive as a creature of this forsaken world, I stumble upon an unsuspecting form of machinery. Coated in its unusual metal finish, it sported a remarkable plain architecture, so bare a structure that it gravely fails to identify itself, nor its purpose of existence. With my innocent mind I inspect its body, carefully examining its structure, make and form. I ran my fingers through the empty divide that seems to separate the machine into two. I pressed my ear into its sheer metal finish, and I heard clangs and hisses and many other incomprehensible sounds. Beside it, I spotted a minuscule device that seemed to operate the machine. It consisted of symbols I knew I have seen before, but can’t seem to remember. I pressed one of the buttons, and then I grew flabbergasted.

The top of the machine lit up with unusual symbols I can’t seem to comprehend. It seemed to tick like a clock, one lighting up after the other. I heard sounds from beneath the metal barrier, sounds of something moving. After a few seconds, the empty divide that separated the machine into two grew larger, larger and larger, until it revealed an empty space right in front of me. It seemed to be a portal, a small room. I entered the room, and examined it for a while. The room was brighter than outside, and buttons with the same unusual symbols were mounted on the wall on the right side of the room. As I looked around, the small room was of the same metal finish, only its floor was more of wood than metal, but I can’t really distinguish between the two. With my curiosity growing bigger by the minute, I pressed a button on the wall. The empty divide started to faint smaller and smaller, until I couldn’t see the place where I have gone before I entered the machine. The machine seemed to make an upward motion, as my feet can feel it moving. I almost grew sick but I contained it for the meantime. When the machine stopped, the empty divide once again grew larger, revealing something that for the second time, made me grow flabbergasted.

The metal machine with great metal finish, strange symbols and wooden floor, took me to a very strange place, a place I’ve never been to before. If I may say it, it brought me to a new world, a world different from where I have gone before I entered this strange metal machinery. In my mind, I started to ask questions.

“Where am I?
“How did I get here?”
“What was that machine for?”
“What is this place?”

With my childlike gaze, I approached a fashioned creature attired in the most unusual manner, gadgets and stuff hanging from it. I tugged and pulled on its attire, and it looked down on me. I pointed at the strange machine I have just alighted, with the empty divide still wide open, and then it gazed at it and gave a hearty laugh.

“Where did you learn to use the elevator, young child?”

So that was what that strange machine was called.

“That Strange Machine” is one of the few short short stories I’ve been storing in my hard drive for many months now. This afternoon, I decided I should post it because I found meaning in it already. When I wrote it way back November 2005, I really had no intention or meaning I wanted to impart. This afternoon, however, I was stricken by the idea. In a nutshell, I was able to understand my own work, 5 months after. Weird. I never thought it actually meant something.

Anyway, “That Strange Machine” is an irony (my favorite!). It talks about innocence and maturity at the same time. The experience of the character is mainly innocent, but the discourse (the way he re-tells the story) is very much mature. Let’s just say I can very much relate, being in this stage called “adolescence” and all. I’m really in a battle between childhood and adulthood, between being childish (or carefree) and being mature. And “That Strange Machine” shows just that. Hope ya like it. ^__^

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So, my first year in College has just ended. It was a scary year, owing to the fact that it was, after all, my first. There were quite a few adjustments made, many in fact. So many things done. So many new people met. Nothing can equal such an experience, no amount of words from people my senior can capture what really is College, in all its essence. And in the same manner, I can’t really leave people who are now about to enter College with a lasting reassurance that it’ll be one smooth ride; you just have to take the wheel, drive on your own and see for yourself.

But amidst all the careful warnings of people who have already gone through such a stage, Freshman Year in College really is all up to you. Actually, LIFE IS all up to you. You decide what kind of ride it’ll be–slow, fast, drag-race, whatever–it’s all up to you. No amount of coaxing or frightening from other people can influence on what you make out of your freshman year, because no matter how much they wring words to your ear, it’s your actions that will justify your choice.

I tried to live two lives in College. There was school life, where the geek inside me lived within the four walls of the library surrounded by books and notes, cramming for an exam; then there’s my home life, where the homebody within me lounged about in front of the PC or the TV gulping whatever food’s available. These two lives mainly emerged from the fact that my school is two cities away, and that everytime I go to it I feel like an entirely different person.

If Hale has a “Tollgate” that separates their celebrity lives from their normal lives, I, on the other hand, have “Quezon Avenue Station” that tells me, “Hey, time to live your other life. Peel off that skin and take on a new one.” That MRT station is a homage to many feelings. Most of the time, I feel anxious within the confines of the station, because the drive to change is always there. It’s coercing me to leave all my home worries behind lest I want to get distracted at school and vice-versa.

But something that could blur the fine line between the two lives I lead is the people that I meet, everyday, as I live such lives. During my first semester, I had a really hard time finding friends at school, maybe because I was too anxious to let go of my past. I never wanted to let go of my carefree High School days with my barkada. That made me not want to get attached to anybody, because I feared that someone else might replace them, and I didn’t want that to happen.

But during the next semester, I found a little comfort in knowing that no matter what, my barkada’s there, and I’m being a little bit unfair to myself if I don’t give it a go with making friends. And so I did. I’ve found friends that I would want to treasure forever. But that’s not to say I’m replacing my barkada or anyone for that matter, they’re just added to my treasure box of life’s little gems. I have two lives, remember?

The downside with having close friends in my situation is the fact that we study in a semestral basis and an “academic freedom” to boot. Which means, whoever I spent the last 6 months with most probably won’t be the same faces I’d interact with for the next 6 months. It’s a pain to say goodbye to such wonderful people, but that’s how things had to be. It’s either you lull in the memories of your past or move on and make friends anew. The system leaves you with no choice. But then again, you can always bump into them one way or the other. At least that’s a consolation.

But, more than anything else, the greatest lesson I’ve learned in College is that I have to be myself all the time. Pretending to be somebody or something else only adds up to the stress of schoolwork when you get home.

When I stepped in College, I told myself I’d take a back seat for a while, since I’d be spending time with people way out of my league. I wanted to be the follower this time, and not the leader. I wanted to be the mediocre mindless student, and not the goody-two-shoe diligent one. I wanted to be the bad-ass noisy classmate, and not the civil, silent one. For once I wanted to be someone other than what people expected me to be. Sure, it was fine for the first few days, having been noticed by the professor every once in a while. But the fun soon wore off. It’s as if the system drove me to live that life I refused to live. There came times when nobody would assume the part of the leader, and I’d force myself to jump in just to save the group. There were times when I wanted to sit around in boredom, but the thought of a next-day exam would be the only thing I could think of. There were times when cracking jokes and insulting classmates put me on a pedestal, but I soon noticed how many of them wouldn’t take me seriously, and I didn’t want that. Maybe there was a reason people expected that of me, because they saw those things in me. They saw something far from what I’ve been projecting all these times, that’s been the root of their expectations.

When you’re in College, you’ll discover yourself. It’s the “outside world” so to speak, especially if you study in a University like mine. In College, you’ll find everything you learned in High School more valuable than ever. In College, you’ll be able to use them to help you in surviving this really difficult phase in your life. But even if you know it’s difficult, having the will power to finish and keeping an eye on that goal (that diploma which is your ticket to your career) will surely earn you what you’ve worked for. Also, don’t forget to pick a few pebbles on your way, they’ll help you find your way back when you’re at the top. And don’t forget that you are weak because you are a person, and the only place where you’ll get strength to battle all those late-night reviews, term papers and exams is from that person high up above.

To the Freshermen (I refuse to be de-labeled as being a freshman) of 2006, welcome to a new life and God Bless you on this wonderful journey! Always remember, never let your schooling interfere with your education, for learning is more than just the lectures inside the four corners of the classroom. ^__^

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Near MRT Quezon Avenue Station. In front of 7-Eleven. A man dressed in a thin yellow shirt and denim shorts sits at a standstill amidst the tilting of his rather small chair. By his left hand he holds a placard over his head that says “TB Patient, No Food Support” and a small plastic container by the other. He sits in the middle of the sidewalk, head bowed down as people pass him by, reads his sign and looks away in apathy.

Molino, Bacoor, Cavite. In a Bus Company Parking Lot. Sitting by a chair in their two-meter-wide home, a woman by her 30s relives the day she almost died in a stampede. Her eyes grow weary as it wells up with tears that never fell, while she tells her story piece by piece to those who seem to care. She relates how she and her husband wants to go back to the province to start a new life, and how a meager few thousand pesos would mean a whole lot.

Now I believe in the saying that “It takes one to know one”. Ignorance leads to indifference and apathy. Not knowing the matter at hand will, most appartenly, lead to non-action. Just seeing these two people and knowing the story behind their gloomy faces made me rethink my take on poverty.

The first man is a beggar I see everyday when I go home from school. It’s usual for people to see beggars in sidewalks, but this old man is different. He’s different not only because he carries his placard, but because he’s persistent. I see beggars near MRT Quezon Avenue Station everyday, but the next day, they’re most probably gone. This man, however, he stays. Every single day. I’ve been seeing him for a week now, and every time I see him, I get hurt. I get hurt because first, I feel his pain. He’s a TB patient and he has no food support, he probably hasn’t eaten whenever I see him for his can is always empty when I see it. But more than getting hurt from empathy, I get hurt because I wasn’t able to do anything to help him.

Just this afternoon, I expected to see him in his usual place, holding his placard up high with his face down. But he wasn’t there. He wasn’t at his usual place doing his usual thing. I looked around for him but he was nowhere to be found. Walking a few steps later, I found him near the Parking Lot of McDo, standing, leaning at the concrete, his hands clutching his can. I looked at him and just couldn’t bear the pain. I wanted to help him. I wanted to give him money. But selfishness overpowered me. I wanted to talk to him and ask how he’s doing, but shyness became me. I wanted to take him to a snack but something inside made me not do it. I feel so bad up to now, because I really want to help that man but so many things are keeping me from doing so.

The second person is someone we interviewed for our research in Journalism. They were a poor family of six and she almost died in the stampede, thank God she did not, otherwise she’ll be leaving alone her family of small children. I was so moved by her story because their simple request was just to be able to go back to their province to start anew. I asked them how much it’d cost to go back there, hoping I could lend a helping hand just to make it happen. But their answer only hurt me, because, again, I wasn’t able to help them financially. A kid like me only has enough to thrive for a day. But still, there was this longing to grant their very simple wish, just a few thousand pesos to sponsor a family of six’s travel back to their province.

I learned that you really have to look at something face to face in order to understand it. You have to immerse yourself in the situation, and no amount of lecture in the classroom can define what something really is.

These days, I have looked at poverty in the eye. And it made me rethink my situation. It most definitely put things in perspective. I know I’m still blessed because I know I will still be able to live the next day. But these people, they’re just counting the days, hoping that tomorrow will be better than what they have today. Their wishes and dreams are simple, and it made me think about my own wishes and dreams. If only I could just make their lives a little bit better, that way I won’t be feeling this guilt that’s been consuming me for so many days now, especially when I see that man everytime I go home.

I want to do something. I really hope you can help me think of what I can do. I know I can call foundations and such, write to this agency and that, but I want to be open to every option and find the best one. It’s not right to say that the youth today has no say in the situation of our country, it’s just that we’re not presented with the proper and enough options to choose from. I would like to be educated on the options I have to help these poor people, so that with my own means I can help alleviate poverty, even in the smallest of ways.

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Hindi ko naman alam.

Nag-email ka pala kahapon. Ah, oo! Naaalala ko na. Nabasa ko nga yung email na ‘yun. Ikaw pala sender nun? Hindi ko kasi nabuksan eh. Virus ata? Ewan. Wala atang naka-install na program sa PC ko. Sana nagpadala ka na rin ng installer. Hindi ko tuloy na-open.

Ano ba ‘yan. Bakit ayaw mo pa rin i-send yung installer? Ano? Padadalhan mo lang ako nang padadalhan ng “virus”? Ayus ka rin ano?! Pasalamat ka 1Gig na ang Yahoo ngayon! Eh ba’t ba kasi ayaw mo pa ipadala yung installer? Kung pinapadala mo na sana na-o-open ko na diba?

Ayan. Yung ka-friendster ko pa tuloy ang nag-send ng installer! Open na. Aba, virus nga! Shet! Mag-a-antivirus ba’ko? Ummm… ‘di ko ‘lam! Haha… bahala na. Sige padala ka lang ng virus. Di ko na maintindihan gagawin ko sa PC ko eh.

Naaalala mo nung nagkasabay tayo sa isang chatroom no’n? Haha, tuso ka ah! May pa-invi-invi ka pa nalalaman. Huli ka tuloy, napa-online ka nang ‘di oras. Hehehe… pero, ‘di ko nasabi sayo no’n, ang ganda ng avatar mo! Sobra.

Minsan nagkasabay ulit tayo sa chatroom. Nakita kong nag-enter ka, matagal na kasi ako dun. Pini-M kita, sabi ko “hi”. Sabi mo “hello”. Sabay logout. Bastusan?

Tapos nitong huli, sabay tayo naglogin. Inaantay kong i-message mo ‘ko. Walang dumating. Naghihintayan lang ba tayo ng PM? O sadyang pakiwari mong invisible ako? Hindi naman ako invi. Wala lang akong status. Pero, di mo pa rin ako minessage. Feeling ko tuloy, kahit hindi, invisible ako. Nag-logout ka. Ni “Hi” wala.

Sana, sa pagsubok mong i-disconnect ang sarili mo sa buhay ko, may magandang dahilan sa likod nito. Wala man akong ginawa sa virus na pinadala mo, alalahanin mo, nasa iisang network lang tayo. Iisang LAN, iisang Network Neighborhood. Magka-friendster rin naman tayo. Sana kahit dahil dun man lang, i-message mo’ko.

Kahit wala akong gawin sa virus mo.

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Freedom, Liberation, Independence, Sovereignity. No matter how you say it, it means only one thing: I’M FREEEEE!!! Well, at least for the time being. Only 2 reaction papers and 1 portfolio’s holding me back from lulling under the summer heat, but for the meantime I’d like to get my 10 hours or so of sleep that I’ve been missing for the last semester. Hehe… I’m gonna miss my Comm3 classmates so much! Especially Karen, and my object of affection! Sigh… bakit kasi kung kailan tapos na ang sem tsaka pa na-confirm ang emotion? Tsk tsk tsk… too late na. Sana mahanap ko pa sya sa friendster. Makuha ko man lang full name niya or YM.

Hindi ko alam kung bakit ako na-gravitate sa kanya. Siguro sobrang humanga ako kasi ang galing niya sa play. Hay baka naman infatuation lang ito? Ewan. Pero sobrang napangiti niya talaga ako tuwing sasabihin niya ang “Che!” na linya niya sa play. Haha… siguro natutuwa lang ako kasi na-realize na niya ang kanyang full potential noong play. For the past speeches kasi medyo mahina ang dating niya, pero this time, sobrang napa-“WOAH!” ako. Hayyyy… kaya bigla ko tuloy nasabi kay Karen, “Karen, mahal ko na ata siya!”. Aba ayun, ang Karen, nagtatatalon sa tuwa. Pero tapos na sem eh! Bad trip talaga…

Dinner for 5. Had dinner with fellow UP BuskoDayzers a while ago at Mang Jimmy’s Balara. It was my first time there and the food was so good! I ate only a little, though. I don’t know what’s with me these days. Is it pressure? I’ve lost my appetite big time. Most of the time I only eat one square meal a day. Am I anorexic? (Dude, impossible.) Well there’s a bright side to it, at least most people are noticing my jawline…

Alam niyo ba na may asawa pala si Oble (Oblation Statue)?! Oo! At kanina ko lang din nalaman. Tinuro ni Ate Anne. Doon siya sa may Balara, sa rotonda. May hawak na banga. Kaya lang, anulled na ang kasal nila kaya sa likod na lang si Obla (Oblasyon). Hehe… ang bagong jowa ni Oble ngayon ay ang dalagang naghuhugas ng buhok sa may checkpoint. Check it out!

The Intimidation is always there. Ewan ko lang ah, pero kapag kasama sa grupo itong particular na taong ito (Ron and I call him one of the “hammers”), sobrang natatahimik ako. Like kanina, okay naman nung kami pa lang nina Ate Anne ang nag-uusap. Ang daldal ko pa nga eh. Pero nung dumating siya, natahimik na’ko. Bakit kaya? Sobra kaya ang intimidation ko sa kanya? Eh san naman nag-roo-root ang intimidation na ‘yun? Matagal na kaming magkaibigan nitong taong ito pero never kami naging close. As in. Facade lang lahat.

Summer na! I want a new layout. Sana naman diba nakakabit na yung internet sa bahay?! This time lalakarin ko na talaga to the highest level. Paparaanan ko na yun kahit anong mangyari! Hindi maaaring summer at walang internet!!! (First summer nga pala namin sa new house! Exciting!) I’m out.

Welcome to a season of endless idleness and boredom. This’ll be one great summer! Wahoo!

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Pumaparaan. Yan ang ating word for the day. Kung itra-translate sa english, it means “making way”. It’s a slang because wala naman talagang proper term na “pumaparaan” sa tagalog. The correct term is “gumagawa ng paraan”, kaya apt sa english translation.

Anyways, bukod sa denotative meaning nito, maraming contextual meaning ang “pumaparaan”. Among its synonyms are “sumisimple”, “lumulusot”, “nag-iinovate”, “sumisipsip”, at ang denotation nga nitong “gumagawa ng paraan”. Basta you can use this term in practically anything na related sa “creativity” or “making ends meet”.

Ito ang ilan sa mga situational examples kung saan tamang gamitin ang salitang “pumaparaan”:

Kapag sumisipsip sa prof…
Sa Play…
Host: Sino ang pinakaguwapong prof sa ating campus?
Contestant: Sino pa edi si

Kapag nakalimutan ang linya…
Toni: May nais akong gustong sabihin sa inyo, mga housemates, o diba nais ko na gusto ko pa! So talagang gustong-gusto kong sabihin sa inyo ito…

Kapag wala nang magamit…
Ate Mau: Naku ubos na ang funda (foundation) natin! (sa make-up)
Kuya A: Pulbos na lang, keri na yan!

Kapag sumisimple sa crush…
Bryan: O sino pang walang kisses? (pertaining to chocolate kisses)
Karen: Ako, pahinging kiss!!!

Ayan… sana may bago kayong natutunan!!!

(to the tune of Sam Milby’s “I’m Falling in Love…”)
‘Coz I’m Boiling In Wahahahahaha-ater…
Katatapos lang ng play presentation namin sa Comm3 kanina. Last day na rin namin ng klase. Ngayon ko rin nakuha yang “pumaparaan” na yan, kaya sobrang naaliw ako! Pero ang lungkot… kasi sobrang saya! Sobrang saya ng klase na to kaya nakakalungkot na tapos na siya today…

Anyways, kaya ganyan ang title kasi sobrang na-inlab na ata ako sa isa kong classmate dito sa Comm3. Dati, jino-joke lang ako ni Karen sa kanya kasi may na-mention ako na na-miss ko itong classmate na’to kasi 1week ko siyang hindi nakita. Pero noon, sobrang joke lang yon. Kanina, sobrang napahanga niya ako sa galing niyang umarte! At ang ganda pa ng suot niya! Sayang hindi ako nakapag-babay sa kanya, nagtanggal pa kasi ako ng Lion makeup eh! Asar! Ngayon mang-s-stalk na naman ako sa Friendster… hehe!

BES!!! Shout out lang. Ignore na that freak! I know you’re smart enough not to stoop down his level. Wala lang magawa yan. Bakasyon na siguro. Baka tiga-Mapua? Hehehehe joke lang… in any case, wag na pansinin! I labsha bes and that’s all that matters, diba?! Kaya smile na!!! ^__^

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Guess who’s back?!
I’m back! I know I haven’t gone away but I’m back! To make things real quick and simple, the “old” JM is back — spiritual, God-fearing and God-loving. For the longest of time I have trudged without talking to Mr.God. Imagine that? Almost a year without this great man in my life! I don’t know why but Kuya Gary said all of us really have to go through that phase in order for Mr.God to be more personal with us. In any case, I love Mr.God so much!

‘Pag Lasing Nga Naman…
Haberdey Dio!
Birthday ni Dio today so Happy Birthday my dear friend! Sorry sa hindi ko pag-intindi sayo. Pagpasensyahan mo na ang kaibigan mo…

Anyway, we prepared a special candlelit dinner for him and his girlfriend, Bea, right at the comfort of his own home! Kinuntsaba namin si Tita Malou, Dio’s mom, into letting us “invade” their house ala Queer Eye (without the makeover, it’s more like–disaster! :P). Friday planned practically everything, although, as expected, not everything went as planned.

I was supposed to be late by a couple of hours but our play practice ended quite early. I arrived at the Manrique Residence at around 2pm, asked Tita Malou if they’re there already, and found out I was the first one to arrive at the venue. Because of that, me and Tita Malou got a chance to talk a little about life, since her husband (Dio’s dad) just recently died.

Anyway, after 48 years, the fellas arrived and I was surprised–kinda–because we were complete, save for Pao at that moment. They had all the groceries with them and so we all began to prepare.

Because I said I was going to be late, they put me on a waiting job. Lorenz was supposed to cook, By Peli and Yves for the background music and Pao for the dishes. But because I was early, I practically did all the cooking with Lorenz. It was a really fulfilling experience, since it was my first time–allegedly–to “cook” as in really cook, not just “fry”.

We waited for almost an hour and then Dio came and he was surprised–more like, I was surprised I accidentally saw him while checking out who was at the door–to see us all there. Bea was also there and he was also surprised because, if I remember it right, they had an argument hours before.

We had fun hanging out at the kitchen of “Lady Ham” (Friday) and serving our very special friend, Dio.

After the party, we had a little por da boys, they all gobbled up Red Horse while I was contented with my San Mig Light. I don’t know why but after finishing the bottle I turned red all over–as always–and everybody was telling me, “Lasing ka na! Lasing ka na!” while I kept on telling them I was not, since I still had composure then. They always retorted “Ganyan talaga pag lasing, in denial!” but really, I don’t know how a “drunk” feels or acts so I don’t know if I was really tipsy that night. Basta hindi ako lasing!

When we got home, I got a really enlightening text message from someone anonymous. I found later that it was one of the people in the barkada. Why is it that when someone’s drunk parang lumalabas na lahat ng tinatago? Like weeks ago, may tumawag sa’kin na friend na lasing tapos ayun nagdadadrama! Ngayon naman, eto ulit! Pero hindi ako naiinis or anything, sobrang natutuwa pa nga ako eh. Kasi dahil sa lasingan na yan nagkakaayos kaming magkakaibigan! May advantage din pala ang pagiging lasing! Hehe…

The best part of the day was not the food, the laughter, not even the alcohol! The best part was–kumpleto ang buong barkada. Kumpleto ang AbImTuMaPaPeDeSy, and for the longest time ngayon lang kami hindi nabungi. I had doubts kung mangyayari pa ulit ito–pero natuwa talaga ako na nangyari sya. Hindi ko ine-expect. Totoo pala yung sabi nila, yung barkada mo nung High School, barkada mo na habang buhay. I’m so glad I’ve found the right barkada! Hindi man kami perfect, at least we try to be complete for each other kahit papano. I love my barkada soooo much! Kaya yung mga high school pa diyan, piliin nyo nang maigi ang sasamahan niyo. Okei?

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When I entered the university not more than a year ago, I enrolled myself in a particular class that caught my curiosity and attention. I knew I wasn’t supposed to take electives just yet but my advisers gladly approved my request to take this certain course. In fact, they were more than happy to see a freshman like me take a course like it; they said it’s very rare of new students to do such a thing. I really didn’t know the specifics of the course when I enrolled, but I signed on nonetheless.

During the first day of classes, I found myself isolated from my classmates since I was the only freshman in the classroom. I found myself intimidated when I learned most—if not all—of my classmates were upperclassmen. I was so intimidated that even before the professor arrived to start the lecture (if there’s such on a first day), I walked out of the classroom with a promise to drop the course as soon as possible.

Upon enlistment for the second semester, this certain course caught my eye once again. It’s as if it’s following me around like Mary’s lamb, for I chanced upon it while looking for other subjects to take to complete my units. I asked myself if I should enlist in this course yet again, and found myself debating for almost an hour. With much hesitation and internal pressure, I decided to take the course anyway; after all, there’s no harm in trying—again.

This time, I wasn’t as intimated as I was during the first semester, since there were quite a few freshmen like me who signed up for the course, too. The professor swiftly arrived and words started coming out of his mouth as he approached the table, “Thank you for taking this course; today, as expected, we’ll only fill up your class cards and I’m telling you now,” with this he picked up the chalk and wrote these words on the board: “Attendance is optional”. He underlined the sentence twice and the whole class started to scream wildly in jubilation. Where else can you find such a class where attendance is optional? It’s a surefire “uno-able”, as university jargon would say. The professor went on and on saying, “Yes, attendance is optional, but let me tell you this: I expect highly from you for you are a fortunate lot of your generation. Other students from other universities look up to you, and it is not only my expectations you should live up to—more like, exceed—but also theirs and those of the people who worked their asses off just to put yours in this dingy four-walled classroom, if you can call it that.” With a thud from his fist to the table the whole classroom went quiet, and he broke it again by saying, “Class dismissed.”

After class, I really thought hard about my situation. Attendance is optional in the class but people expect highly of me. I pondered deeply upon the words of my professor, trying to comprehend how such words ended up in such a sentence.

A delinquent student that I am, I abused the “no attendance” privilege of the class. I skipped every meeting after the first, because most of the time I would end up going home, lounge about with my friends or go malling with my barkada. I never really considered going to that class, and guilt wasn’t upon me because attendance is optional anyway.

On certain occasions, I would pass by our classroom but won’t enter to attend class—I would just peek in and would see the faces of my classmates. I didn’t find out the lectures and wasn’t able to know what the course was really about. In a word, I was really apathetic as to what this course had to offer and its bearing to my academics. The mere fact that I enlisted in this class gives me an “uno” in my class card, and that was all I needed to know.

When the semester was about to end, I received a text message from an acquaintance in the class informing me of a make-up class on a certain Thursday. I attended the make-up class albeit the numerous absences I incurred, which didn’t matter anyway. There we talked about our last concrete activity as a class, so as to have a symbolic cap-off of the school year.

The next day, we carried out our plans about our cap-off. Prior to it, we prepared all our materials, made all our attires and practiced our songs. We assembled at our classroom and made our way around the university, with various onlookers, passersby and vehicles stopping for a few seconds to witness our show.

It was the first time I attended a lecture of the class and it had me regretting the many times I missed it to pursue another agenda. I regret the most times I abused the power given to me not to attend the class, and now I realized what I have missed. It was frustrating at first but I only had myself to blame. I continued asking myself, “why only now? Why have I missed so many of our meetings?” Questions, rhetoric as they may seem, can never be answered. It was my fault for not partaking in the activities of the class, and now I reap what I have sown.

It was the first and last time I attended a lecture of the class, and whatever grade I might get out of it, it’s most definitely upon my professor’s discretion. I regret the many times I missed class, but I cherish this one true moment that I partook in such a cause, even though some people may say it’s worthless and would most probably bring us nowhere. It was the first and last time I attended the class, but I promised myself to live out what I learned out of that single lecture all throughout my stay—and even longer—in the university.

The class is called MOB101. The classroom is U.P. Diliman, and the professor is the Oblation. The course description read “Student Activism” and the grade is always 1.0, just as long as you live out the true meaning of the course. Attendance in class activities is optional; for what’s important is that your heart is powered and flamed by the ideals taught by the professor—may it be inside or outside the four walls of the classroom.

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An audience of none. I’m done with my Comm3 speech already but what really frustrated me was the fact that I spoke to a group of only 6 people. Much props to Karen for staying and listening to my nonsense rambling but I was really frustrated. Have you ever experienced doing a speech to only a few people?! Now I know how resource persons feel like when only a couple of students show up at a symposium. In any case, at least it’s done and over with.

Conservatism Kills. Yesterday we interviewed one lady for our Journ100 Research Paper regarding the Wowowee stampede. Prior to the interview, we scheduled our trip the next day (today) to Cavite for another series of interviews. My two other groupmates (both female) proposed that since it’s one of them’s houses in Cavite we’re going to stop over on, the other one will be sleeping over so that there’ll be not much hassle. I asked them how about me? And they just said I’ll be commuting home. I asked why. She said her parents won’t allow her to let a guy sleep over at their house. I asked her why again. Because her parents are conservative. Curse conservatives (only the irrational kind)! It’s as if I’m a serial rapist or something. For crying out loud it’s a freaking RESEARCH PAPER and I’m not even the type who pursues girls at this stage. It’s purely academic and yet they didn’t allow me to sleep over. It’s so much of a hassle for me. Curse the both of them! I’m a human being, too, hello?! I also need to sleep and get lots of rest! Now I’m confined in this computer shop continuing our research. Damn it.

Define Pressure. This morning, since my appointments ran on top of another, I had to rush some things in order to get to another. I freaked out when a very much-needed email wasn’t sent to my inbox by a groupmate. Then add to that the mindless ranting of yet another groupmate the other day. There’s a reason why I don’t work in groups. I have my own way of scheduling things (cramming) and I have my own approach in finishing them. But with groups, you have to keep up with other people’s schedules and most of the time, even their moods. I was just a bit pissed off by the drama the other day but that’s over. I salute my one groupmate for catching the project when it almost fell! 100 ka sa evaluation, pramis!

Poverty. Will talk about it another post. I’m just moved to compassion today. Immensely.

Hope you’re having a nice week not as much as I do! God Bless!

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