Memories worth treasuring

I was slapped by reality when I saw my friend, blockmate, and all around good guy Neil, temporarily check out of our dormitory just this morning. He is leaving for Pampanga because he has no more business here in the university. The semester is ending, well, it just ended for him and many others who had already checked out. And I’m still here in the lightless part of the corridor inside our dormitory going through social media and contemplating about life and about how I’m all alone now.

My roommate, his adorableness Sammy is in Laguna with his family. His uncle arrived and he is more than excited about it. It has been an awesome semester with his company every night even though the first few nights were really awkward. We did manage to find our voices and talk to each other about many things in life. A few nights into our talks at night I think he already knew me by heart. I think he has a radar of some sort somewhere that can easily detect my mood. He would tease me a lot because he knows that don’t get irritated that easily and he finds it amusing. He is very sarcastic too and I’m really gullible so you can imagine what fun he has when he teases me. He said a few times before that he’s very jealous but I find it hard to know if that’s really true. He said it himself that he fakes emotion quite easily. I still cannot testify to that. And another thing is that he quickly becomes attached to a person, as he said again. I can partly see that with a few instances that I choose not to mention here. It’s quite public and he might read my mediocre blog. He’s great. He gives me my space, I give him his. He is sensitive, in a way. It’s like I’ve known him for many years now when in fact it has been only a few months. I’ve finished his temporary check out form for him because I’m a really good roommate and I’ve clean our room too. I’m such a good friend.

I really felt that we were done with another chapter in our lives when our little group of quirky people gathered together to eat out last night. Though Sammy was not present we still enjoyed each other’s company. Marc, Neil’s roommate and also a good friend of mine, treated us dinner as his very late birthday celebration that we did plan before but didn’t actually happen. We were catching up together with Kuya Davis who is our leader of some sort. It’s a bit complicated because it will lead  to another list of stories. But he is our Kuya in the UP. Marc already checked out and we did say goodbye to him last night. I can see that he still wants our company like we do of his. He turned to see us leave a couple of times. It’s just sad to see someone leaving. This is why I hate goodbyes, it’s sad.

After that, me, Neil, and Kuya Davis decided to hangout some more inside UP. Kuya Davis invited more people to join our already fun night. We played monopoly until midnight under faint lights of the carillon tower. It was my first time playing the board game and it was so memorable. We had snacks, good laughs, and good people. I’m really thankful for a night full of memories. I think that life should be really spontaneous like what happened last night. We didn’t made plans. We just went with what we thought was fun and it did deliver. What I realized about this semester is to live freely, don’t be bounded by doubts. Value relationships and invest time and effort in them. It’s very fulfilling to have people around you who value  your company as much as you value theirs. We won’t know when our last bonding may be, our last goodbye, and spree of laughter. So, treat it like it’s the last every time. I love these people and I really value their friendship. We just met a few months back but it seems that we knew each other beyond the years of our lives. Be thankful because I am.

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Good times

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The boy who liked books

I finished reading this amazing book! It’s called ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. I read slowly so I think I took more than a month to read it. It was by Stieg Larsson who unfortunately passed away last 2004. This book I’m talking about is the first book of the ‘Millennium Trilogy’ of crime novels. He was Swedish and so the setting in the book is in Sweden, naturally. What’s fascinating about this book is that it was published after Larsson died. It is said that he wrote the manuscript for the three books in the crime trilogy for his own pleasure. They were left unpublished until they were discovered. I wonder what kept his from publishing his brilliant work? The book was nothing short of amazing. Maybe he didn’t for people to flock over him whenever he goes out for autographs and pictures. Maybe he just really liked writing.

The book was  quite thick and the chapters of it was not I expected them to be. The chapters were long and had partitions and transitions between scenes. At first, it was all a blur to me just like when you’re reading a book. I couldn’t understand what was happening but I continued to leaf through the pages and I saw light. It was cleverly plotted and the mystery is mind blowing! The mystery was a nutcase and the characters managed to discover the truth behind it all. I don’t know if people in real life are capable of doing the things that the characters went through just to find the truth. The journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, was really intelligent man whose reputation was greatly scared by a recent controversy regarding an article published in the business magazine Millennium which he partly owned. He was charged with libel and was offered a job an wealthy industrialist to solve a 40-year old mystery. The plot is so extensive that it is really hard to describe it all in a paragraph or so. So, where does this girl with the dragon tattoo comes in? Is she real? You’ll just have to read it for yourselves my friends.

And another thing is that it has already a movie adaptation. Your imagination can be realized immediately after finishing the book. I am craving to watch it but I can’t find time and a stable internet connection because I want to stream it online. And there are still two books to be obsessed about! I need to fill my veins with more crime and mystery. I really recommend these books if you enjoy reading!

It's the book cover

It’s the book cover

My escape

I have been a fan of TV series, not of local shows at least. I like how creative people can get when making TV shows abroad. They’re very bold when it comes to the themes and scenes and there are no phony scenes at all. TV shows here in the Philippines have a rotating roster of the same actors and actresses that kinda gets boring at times. And almost every show is  love story-based which I like to leave with the movies. Why don’t we get comedies at primetime? Or mystery? Or kid shows? That’s what I like about series abroad, their diversity. And there are different people in shows unlike here where major entertainment companies monopolize the shows.

I got into Melissa and Joey before but now I don’t have means to watch it. I would laugh ridiculously in our living room last summer because of that show. I’m not easily impressed by the way. They have their own charm and it gets into you easily. The script is awesome and you can easily relate to it. The punchlines are candid and I think the actors are naturally funny even off screen. I like the character development and I think they’re very humble about it. It’s a comedy turned love story but the comedy part is overflowing! The jokes are witty and I promise if you have any sense of humor you will love it like I did.

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A few months back, my roommate and our blockmates are going gaga over a new TV series and I ignored it. I don’t like to go with what is trending that quick. I want to find my own thing on my own. I know that I’m being dramatic. So, that went on for quite a while and then my roommate is convincing me to check it out. I was doubtful at first but I decided to watch the first episode of the first season and boy it was beyond amazing! The show is titled How to Get Away with Murder. I got hooked instantly and watched episodes every night. I managed to keep up with my roommate and he would drop spoilers here and there whenever he sees me watching it. It’s about lies, murder, sex, law, and manipulation with a very very good casting and superb script! I can just sit all day and watch it forever. It’s that good! And what I’m saying is just an understatement. You will know what I’m feeling if you, yourself watch it. The turn up of events are so unpredictable. I am always very vocal when I’m watching the shows because I can’t even contain my emotions. And now I’m on the second season and there are so many questions. The show is now on hiatus and they will resume broadcasting in February, I think. I can’t wait! I need answers! If you are up for an emotional roller coaster, thrill, and mysteries I greatly recommend this show to you. And here I am hoping for more episodes. These are my escape from stress and problems. You should find yours too!

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER - ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" stars Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Alfred Enoch as Wes Gibbins, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom, Billy Brown as Nate and Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” stars Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone, Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo, Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt, Alfred Enoch as Wes Gibbins, Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh, Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom, Billy Brown as Nate and Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

Through the lens of a Iskolar: Final Exam Prompt

Why is Oble, the statue in front of Quezon Hall in the University of the Philippines Diliman whom is looking up and spreading his arms, stripped naked with only a fig leaf perhaps covering his privates? Many people are not aware of the reason why, the reason behind it. We are seeing him as a symbol of the UP system because he can be seen in most of the campus of the UP system. But, what does he really symbolize for he to be present in almost all the campuses?

The Oblation statue symbolizes selflessness which is done by offering oneself to the country. He lifts his body to the sky and lets the country benefit from whatever he has to offer. He is stripped of his clothes because he gives his entirety to his motherland without him being insecure. This idea of the statue was first conceived by Rafael Palma, UP’s fourth President, and was based of the on the second verse of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Mi Ulitimo Adios which says:

In fields of battle, deliriously fighting,
Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret;
Where there’s cypress, laurel or lily,
On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom,
If the home or country asks, it’s all the same–it matters not.

With this idea of selfless devotion to the country always present in the grounds of the university, it is expected of the students to do their part in nation building and development. The University of the Philippines is the country’s premier university and fosters academic excellence in all the fields that it has graduates in. It being a public institution that is funded by the government, students from the university get subsidized tuition fee which also depends on the socio-economic class of the students. Ultimately, students are called “Iskolar ng Bayan” or scholar of the nation for this reason. And it sure does give them a lot of responsibility because the people’s taxes are invested in their education for they are the best and the brightest.

With all this said, a iskolar should really reflect on the symbolism of the oblation statue especially when it all comes to where they will hone and offer their knowledge after they graduate. There is this invisible expectation that is ever omnipresent in the university that a student should selflessly serve the country and pave the way to the development. Hints from professors are ever evident regarding this matter. Iskolars should be the light in this dark situation where our country has always been. This ideal should be more emphasized now more than ever because of modernization and other factors that may influence them to look for jobs abroad. Instead of giving in to temptations abroad there must be a hunger for change within Iskolars ng Bayan for the nation to improve for the better.

Foreign influences are everywhere and so is the continued expansion of information with ease of access. These two are huge facts that is really hard to ignore and are affecting our country exponentially. These issues should be confronted with knowledge and experience. These situations are where the iskolars should stand and be the front liners. They are expected to represent the country with intellectual prowess. They are the fighters, defenders, and rescue officers of the country. They are the selfless warriors of tomorrow with all the contemporary ideals and wanting of a Filipino. We do not what to see continuous spike of brain drain in the country, do we? It is an issue and will continue to be one if we keep on ignoring it.

Not only are the iskolars responsible for the nation but the Filipinos as well. If we do our part and do them effectively with a common goal in mind, regardless of the outside factors that may affect our judgement we will achieve our goal. We shouldn’t just sit back and watch others do their jobs. We are better than that, we are Filipinos. No matter what perspective we look at it, it ultimately boils down to us and how we help our nation. The information superhighway is always alive and growing, foreigners are helping us and making strong relationships with us, and we have a huge working force. So, why not utilize it all to our best advantage? Make intelligent decisions that will not only benefit us but our fellow citizens. Iskolar ng Bayan or not, Filipino or Filipino at heart, if we have one goal and that is to help our people and country we can make radical change if we really wanted to. Look through the different lenses of life, find a new perspective.

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Selfless and proud!

Be informed: Definition

I’m used to all this technology that the world is having now. What I’m talking about is the rise of computers. Sure there are other platforms that I rather not mention because of the immense variety of it but ultimately they all have computers inside of them so that they can function flawlessly and with unimaginable accuracy. Computers are even taking away people’s job. And starting I’m to worry if I will be replaced by one in the future. So, what’s fascinating are the things you can do using a computer which we are all very much aware of. We, normal civilians, mostly use computers to communicate in real time without all the awkwardness of personal interaction. It is a tad bit more ideal for me,at least, because I am super awkward. So, we do get trends spiking up and down in social networking sites and I have this small processing capability when it comes to what’s “hip and new.” Fads are everywhere and everybody is making sure that they will be the one who will set of the next one. I don’t do that.

So, I can still remember when “memes” where starting to pop up in my Facebook wall. I have to admit it that they are funny and kinda never gets old. According to ‘Emme’ from Urban Dictionary, a meme is “an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media).” It’s something that is trending and spreads very fast in the internet and even becomes more popular if it’s witty and funny. In the same website, Lord Grimcock said that it is “used to give a bit of pseudo-academic gravitas to stupid viral shit.” These are a few things to put it in words. It can be a picture or even a video if people are feeling particularly creative.These are like Chanel bags of the internet, maybe some are even head turners and some are imitations.

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I just can't

I just can’t

So, I’d like to say now that there are also terms that people easily get confused with aside from trends in social media. Like in what I’m majoring in, Library and Information Science. The title, at first glimpse screams LIBRARIAN and LIBRARY which is more than that truthfully. This is a very diverse degree program that can lead up to fields like medicine, law, information system, archival work, and of course librarianship. It’s too difficult to explain what I’m majoring in to a new acquaintance because of it’s diversity as I’ve said. It focuses of the integration of information technology to the work in the library and other information centers. A common question that I am always ask is “Where will you work?” The answer is anywhere. I’m kidding. But there are numerous job opportunities for us as long as there is information that needs to be organized and sorted out to be able to be accessed with efficiency. Organization has it’s own science, you know? It has its own body of knowledge. And you must fear us because we are planning to dominate this world!

I thinks that we must know definition of words first and foremost. It’s a sign of development within ourselves. Would it hurt to pick up a dictionary or even search the web for answers to questions that are bothering you? I think not. Do your thing lazy ass. It helps.

I laughed too hard here

I laughed too hard here

 

Trust your imagination: Painting description

I had the opportunity to go to Vargas Museum with our English 1 class to make observations of art works and describe them. We were to choose two art works and were tasked to describe them as if painting a picture to the mind of our readers. I tried listing down adjectives that pop up when I scrutinize the paintings I have chosen. I did close my eyes quite a few times to help me picture the pieces more and these are the results:

  1. The solemn facade of an age-old church is where a mother wearing a veil and a long skirt and holding a sleeping child in one hand is residing. You can see in her face the strong devotion she has for Jesus Christ in the crucifix just above her because she is kneeling her one leg leg and the other one is acting as a support. She is gently touching His feet with a handkerchief using the hand unoccupied by the baby and at the same time she is looking up to Him. This scene can be seen within a golden-framed oil painting by Vicente Rivera Y Mir. It’s overall emotion is heightened by the choice of slightly dark colors and his use of bold stokes which is making an illusion that the scene is happening just before dusk when most people seek hope and reconciliation in churches.
  2. Chaos fills one of Fernando Amorsolo’s oil painting on hardboard but with subtle finesse in each of his strokes. As suggested by it’s title ‘Rizal Avenue Fire’, the work shows a once bustling commercial area turn into a depressing picture of destruction. The dark colors used provide a gloomy vibe together with the shades of reds and oranges on the left side of the painting leaving the impression that the fire is in the process of subsiding. There are debris scattered everywhere which are not easily distinguishable from each other because of the pixelized feel to it. Transmission lines are also totaled and no human presence is observed which is most likely to occur when such tragic events happen.

Questions

I’ve been drifting in space for sometime now. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve surely bitten more than I can chew. Admittedly, I’ve seen this coming all along and yet I went with it. I guess I’m that stupid or maybe this is something that I should put up through for experience sake. I can see myself passively passing by all the familiar scenes, I stare blankly. I’m too tired to even care. I have this high on hormones that makes me do cynical things that I honestly am not ashamed of. I’m numb from too much drama, too much emotion.

I am worked out from disappointments. I’ve been brushed off too much to even care anymore. I shouldn’t be feeling anything now if I didn’t care but I still do. Can you even control not caring? We say that it’s all in the mind for things like paranoia and I guess it is what I’m feeling right now. It is indeed in the mind but you cannot do anything about it. You make excuses, fake emotions, fool yourself over and over again. I’m beautifully damaged and I still manage to face all the world is throwing my way. I don’t know how I do it, I just know that I seek survival. I won’t survive if I let fears and doubts rule my thinking.

I’m still looking for that something that seems to be missing within me. I guess that I’m very far from finding it but at least I recognize that I lack something. I think that I won’t really find it, maybe I’m just assuming non-existent things. Maybe there’re nothing missing. Maybe I’m complete from the beginning. Maybe I’m just fooling myself for me to have a goal, a purpose for my existence. I’m not having an existential crisis, I am simply trying to figure out things. I don’t know if I should continue with all the questions. But I’ve been taught to question everything then why wouldn’t I do it when the purpose for life is being talked about. Societal norms get into me. Even if I say that we are entitled to our choices, our choices are still limited to what society thinks if right. How can we really be free? Why are there boundaries? Why are there divides? Differences? Why are you even reading this?

Great responsibilities

I always have wondered about what are politicians’ motivation for running in the election. Have you ever seen the list of the nuisance candidate for president? It’s long. But why call them nuisance in the first place? Is it because people find them not qualified to run for a position because of some factors like educational background, power, influence, network, etc? They were qualified and they wanted to run, that’s it. The qualifications are quite simple in the first place. If people were just to limit a person and say that he’s act of running for a position in the government is ridiculous then the qualifications should be then changed according to the taste of these prejudicial people. Change the qualifications then.

It just came to me that so many people want change and maybe their way of achieving it is by taking it by their own hands to make sure that there will be progress. Maybe they are just tired of waiting in silence and watching politician after politician promise development, a better future, higher income, and the same things happen over and over-corruption. Who would blame these people if they are tired of all the bullshit that the system is giving away? I, myself know that there should be limitations to acts of misconduct and manipulation. The people are not that stupid.

I may be wrong with these allegations but the country needs help. Everybody lets greed take over when they can do whatever they want with money because they can and they then make sure that they will. Many young dreamers out there always say that they want to help their families, become the president someday to help the Filipino people. What is happening to this dream now? Are we so selfish that we make our self interests first in line before other’s? That we should rise first above all and not rise together? This is the mentality of some politicians. They are so full of promises in the beginning and then executes their hidden agendas when they have the power.

I will not yet be voting for this coming election in May. It relives me because I think pressure lies upon my shoulders as a voter. You will help decide the future of this country through your judgment and choices. You will help steer the Filipino people in a future that rest upon the leaders you choose. I think that we should choose with great care and fair judgment. We are talking about our nation here, our lives, our family, and our future are at stake. People should know that at least. Make your vote count people.

Home is where the heart is

I went home to Mindoro this week. It has been a long time since I was there. I was forced to stay in Metro Manila since early July because of the registration processes about college. So, I missed the place and especially the people. It was also my first time travelling alone for 4-5 hours, back and forth to be exact. I was really anxious because I tend to get paranoid about things. I would occasionally check for landmarks that say I am going where I’m supposed to be headed. The big city can be scary.

Enough with all this anxiety issues. To make the long story short about my wonderful commute, I managed to get home safe, hungry but safe. So the waves were in my favor last Sunday and it was a beautiful day. It’s a good time for swimming but I don’t know how to swim and don’t particularly want getting soaked in salt water. There were a few tourists that I saw, maybe taking a breather from all the stresses of the city. I would say that our place has it’s own charm to people and keep coming back for more of it. It’s not that modernized like Boracay and life is still simple but the charm is something else. So, I arrived in the afternoon famished. Good thing my Mom and brother are home so there’s food. I ate like a barbarian. I couldn’t help it. After that I settled down and went around. There were some differences, the plants have obviously grown, moss littered the flooring outside. It’s minimal, really. And I did miss the place.

After I arrived, I directly went to my grandparent’s house to check on them. They both kissed me in the cheek. I can see that they did miss me. Lolo is still feeble but enjoys long walks to his garden. He wants to keep moving. It’s like he is not alive when he is not working. He trims grass, water plants, fix fences, fetch water to water the plants the next day, and he just walks around slowly. He’s a nice old man. Lola, well, I think she lost weight. She wasn’t like before. Maybe it’s the teleseryes at night. She watches a lot of TV at night but sometimes falls asleep in the middle of them. Maybe it’s her recreation and escape from working in the morning. She cooks, cleans the house, water plants, sweep the yard, wash clothes, and do most of the chores. It has become a norm to her to do that, I think. She works hard everyday and so does Lolo. They’re a lovely couple even though they argue sometimes. I missed them and I help them out as much as possible. I run errands and help in some of the chores especially last summer. Admittedly, I missed doing chores.

And there too is my Mom and brother. They’re the same. They would often have arguments, may it be about academics or my brother getting home late and hanging out with friends. They had classes when I went home so I was alone at home during the day. That didn’t make me more productive regarding my responsibilities. After all I had the TV and internet all to myself. Who would  even be productive if that’s the case? So, we would be in front of the TV after they would arrive. Watching the news, catching up, commenting about how politicians are corrupt, worrying about all the worries of the world and yes, talking about the Alma Moreno interview, it was more on the laughing side. My Mom would be carried away with these stuff and continuously laugh about it for some time. She felt embarrassed watching the video and so did I. She manages to ridicule on the topic and we would all laugh. It’s bad but she knew that people will talk about her when she agreed for the interview. We are not saying that we are smarter, it’s that just she was unprepared and had delaying tactics that didn’t work on Karen Davilla. We would also laugh about anecdotes from school. My Mom has a lot of them and would always make me tear up with laughter. And my brother, well, he likes sports and would occasionally change the channel. He’s really smart. He just doesn’t have confidence about what he can do. He would rant about things, joke around, and tease me. Boy, I missed these people. I do have my roommate in UP and he’s amazing but family is different.

I’m not back here in UP and am barely doing my requirements. I know that I should get a move on, I’m trying. After this week, I’ll get a huge load of my shoulders and I can say that I’m able to survive here and after sometime get back to Mindoro. I would really spend my time well by then.

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The beaches are still gorgeous in Mindoro. Photo credit to Nuggi Vemmer

Bad turned good: It’s a matter of perspectives!

I totally hate brownouts, blackouts, and the like. Being an internet person and all, I don’t like them at all! For you people in the big cities, it is seldom experienced because of businesses, hospitals, and institutions which are power dependent. As for the minorities, especially here, it is dreadful, literally . If a sudden change in the weather is observed like a drizzle or cloudy skies together with a little wind, expect a shitty power interruption! Every time! Sometimes our lights would be like Christmas lights! On, off, on, off, and freaking on again.

But I saw a different side to this annoying problem. All the good memories came flooding in 😀 The childhood days slowly unfolded because of another brownout recently 🙂 I just saw myself listening to old stories and “tsimis” in the porch with my relatives. All the laughter, smiles (even though it’s dark), and the bond strengthening. With the aid of a cloudless and well lit up sky, I was smiling in a corner reminiscing.

I remember how my Lolo told us how he managed to get himself to school. He stopped for 2 years just to support his college education. He would go fishing, run errands and other stuffs. He also told us about how his father encountered mystical creatures while working. Aswangs, tyanaks, a mysterious ship (without a crew) that would light up the sea and the whole barangay back then when no electricity is available, and other mysteries that is now part of the past and is passed from generation to generation of story tellers.

My Lola on the other hand would tell about her big family. How she grew up and the fun of having many siblings. She said that we are lucky enough today because our parents can send us to school and how she only manages with a 5 cent allowance in her elementary days. And the enders are always our childhood mishaps, our silly mistakes growing up. Those never get out of style and never gets old 😀

Instead of planning an assassination to the electric company screwing my day I would calm myself down and do something productive with my time. But when I need to do something really important and it requires electricity I throw horrid words their way! Hahahahahahaha! I’m just kidding but I really do that a lot. With this, I strongly believe that everybody needs a break from all of the electrically dependent stuff. You should try it, it’s fulfilling and good for you. We need a brownout every once a while, like once every six or seven months! Hahahahahahahaha! 😉