"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

words to ponder

"I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale." -- Marie Curie (1867 - 1934)

"Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to be involved with them. Love is not a bandage to cover wounds." -- Hugh Elliott

"This thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down." -- Mary Pickford (1893 - 1979)

"Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination." -- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)


What is Maturity?
from Courage to Change: One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, page 63

Knowing myself.

Asking for help when I need it and acting on my own when I don't.

Admitting when I'm wrong and making amends.

Accepting love from others, even if I'm having a tough time loving myself.

Recognizing that I always have choices, and taking responsibility for the ones I make.

Seeing that life is a blessing.

Having an opinion without insisting that others share it.

Forgiving myself and others.

Recognizing my shortcomings and my strengths.

Having the courage to live one day at a time.

Acknowledging that my needs are my responsibility.

Caring for people without having to take care of them.

Accepting that I'll never be finished -- I'll always be a work-in-progress.

owww...does this mean i have maturity? huh?! whatever made me think so... napaisip pa tuloy ako.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

giving ourselves a break: laguna trip

it all started with us thinking of getting away from our experiments even for just awhile. with "us", i mean my labmates and i. it was already the 21st day of december, and there we were, still working hard in the lab when everybody else was already enjoying the holidays. we felt we really needed to take a good break away from our toxic samples; and jen, my buddy in grad school, presented this enticing idea of us going to los baños, laguna.

the idea was cool and the plan was rather simple: leave manila for laguna by late afternoon or early evening of december 22, spend the rest of the night swimming in a hot spring resort in calamba, and then walk up to the mudspring of mt. makiling in los baños, laguna the following day -- just what i really wanted to do and have: out of town trip and a happy dose with nature. hmmm...

however, when the plan was conceived, jen and i were the only ones from the lab who were really sure to go. lorie, my current lab partner and an undergrad, was excited about it but said she still needed to check with her mom if she could join us. bau, our shono girl and also a grad student, had to be informed about the plan through sms because she was roaming somewhere in divisoria and had no plans of reporting to the lab that day. the semicon kids, our apprentices, and the rest of the semicon people were homebound and couldn't be dragged for the trip.

that night, i invited five of my friends to join us, and jen invited her own friends, too. of the five i invited, only three had the decency to reply: one was interested but had to decline because he, too, was homebound the next day (pa-iligan pa talaga, syet, nainggit ako!); and two expressed they wanted to go. i don't know about the other two. jen's friends couldn't come with us. given the short notice and vague itinerary, that's not so bad.

so who went, after all?


that's me, yoni a.k.a. the geeemail, jen and lorie

i'm sorry, i'm currently too lazy to go on editing the pics that go with this post. anyway, that picture above was taken inside a cozy room in victoria, laguna. how we got there is definitely part of the story!

when we arrived at calamba at around 10pm, we found out from male strangers that the spring resort we were going to was already closed down due to bankruptcy. since we haven't really thought of that possibility prior to arriving there, that left us with no fallback. that also left our thinking temporarily clouded. to make matters worse, the strangers swarmed around us like flies. sounding like drunkards shouting bets, they kept on saying that we should go to this other spring resort were we can stay safely for the night. with what they were doing, they felt they were trying to help; with how they were acting, we felt they represented danger.

with no guy among us and knowing that only jen has proper self defense training, i knew it would be difficult for us to stand a chance if worse came to worst. i reminded jen that we were outnumbered. all four of us knew that we needed to get out of that situation fast. in order to get away from the annoying "advertising" beings, we rode on a passenger jeepney that would take us to los baños. unfortunately, the strangers didn't hear us when we said we were going to LB, and they took a ride on the jeepney with us, all of them not even taking a seat inside the rather empty vehicle so they wouldn't have to pay... grrrr... we had no clear plan what to do next, but riding on the jeepney was definitely better than standing out there in the dark side of the highway with them annoying people. as luck would have it, we saw a silver lining...and it was right there even way before we alighted the bus that took us to laguna.

jen's childhood friend, her kuya jason, was on the same bus. he was bound for home, we were bound for adventure. when our adventure took a rather disturbing turn, jen's kuya jason was kind to help us out. we bade him goodbye when we got out of the bus in calamba, and we soon said hello to him again when he met us in los baños, where he got out of the bus after learning of our plight. we were already scared shitless (well maybe not really scared shitless, but still scared. so, going to other spring resorts never became an option that night). kuya jason took us with him to their home in victoria, laguna. he was really kind. he even paid for our fare, for christmas' sake daw, dyahe talaga, i felt like a halfwit. his family's accommodating and really hospitable, too, considering that we arrived there without proper notice. (with "his family", i mean the entire clan...as in, sila na jud, hehehe.)

...and that explains why we were able to spend the night in a cozy bedroom with an equally cozy bathroom without shelling out any of our pesos. we had food, too!!! from espasol, to calamay, to breakfast with hotdogs, fried fish, red eggs, and rice -- all yummy. not only that, their house is very near the big lake! ahahaha... ang swerte nga naman...

the shadow of four cast on the lake

the baby shark from the big lake

well, actually, it's not a baby shark. we just called it baby shark, because kuya jason, whose hand appears in the pic, said it looks like a baby shark.

the lake, which looks like a sea due to its vastness, is home to many snakes. here, kuya jason is holding a small one. the snakes bite but their bites are not venomous enough to kill, just enough to make the victim feverish. still, venomous or not, snakes are snakes! ...and that explains why i'm almost hiding in the pic. ha ha ha!

the place is really beautiful, that's why our backgrounds look postcard-perfect. thank God, napadpad kami dito!!!

and a monarch butterfly!

after thanking our hosts for their kindness and hospitality, we left victoria with a bounty of yummy espasol to go on with our trekking plan in los baños. we arrived in LB at around 9am and immediately started hiking after we got out of the jeepney. the path leading to the mudspring was gently sloping, so the climb wasn't really that difficult. we sang songs in between talks and laughs while walking, and i took pictures from time to time.

my hike buddies: jen, yoni, lorie

just a short stretch of the path that took us to the mudspring

you have to love this. at first i thought the flowers we saw on the path were orchids, it turned out they were gumamelas (hibiscus). with the way they were scattered on the ground, it looked like they fell down straight from the sky. ahhh, but for this picture, we deliberately arranged them that way, hehehe!

and this is the reason why we came...the mudspring!

see the smoke? it's hot and acidic, and it definitely smells sulfuric! on the other side (not shown in the pic) of the mudspring is the blok-blok. the four of us called it blok-blok because it's the distinct sound the smelly mud makes.

the marker behind us says,
"This site is one of the mud pots left on Mount Makiling, an inactive volcano. A mud pot is a type of hot springs that is formed when due to volcanic heat, sulfuric acids break down surrounding rock into clay. The clay mixes with water to form mud that is very hot (~80 degrees C), sulfurous (~50mg/L), acidic (~2 pH), and varying consistency and color."

all in all, we must have walked 10 kilometers in going to and back from the mudspring. we didn't run out of breath, but we sure did get really tired legs after 5 hours of walking.

ayyyy, wait. i almost ran out of breath, but not because of the long walk. an unhealthy dog kept on following us while we were on our way, and my "dog-phobia" made my heart beat way too fast than normal, thereby draining my energy. i even absent-mindedly dropped my digital camera at some point. it was a good thing, yoni saw the cam lying on the path after it left my hand. ang phobia nga naman...! muntik pang mabiktima pati cam ko, grabe na.

p.s. the best adventures are those that are not planned.

i would love to go up mt. makiling again, and the next target would definitely be peak 2! next time. next time... and wherever peak 1 is, if i get the chance, hindi ko aatrasan!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

post-birthday post

"happy birthday to you (happy birthday to me), happy birthday to you (happy birthday to me), happy birthday (happy birthday), happy birthday (happy birthday), happy birthday to you (happy birthday to me)"

i turned twenty two yesterday. i'm now twenty two. bow.

out of the 380 friends in my friendster list, 10 greeted me with personal messages. that's not so bad, considering that people nowadays no longer bother to check their friendster accounts like they used to.

out of my 12 physics major-classmates/batchmates, 6 made it known to me that they remembered my day. i don't know what happened with the other six.

in correct order, these are the people who sent me text messages to greet me happy birthday: blue, randy, hazel, yoni, kurt, papang & mamang, ilian, jericho, rose, tita emie, my cinema buddy sealdi, vl, nikki, tita binbin, tin, tita yenyen, benjie, micmic, my best friend shella, ivan, johncy, julius, kuyang, naomi.

blue sent in her text meesage out around 1:20 am. randy, who spared more of his credits to send a picture message, almost cursed blue for taking away the "first-to-greet-on-the-day" honor from him, mwehehehe. my bestfriend who used to be always the first one to greet me, managed to key in her message only after 6 pm. i thought she forgot, but it turned out she only ran out of load credits and didn't have the chance to reload until after about 6 o'clock.

since i'm currently away from most of my friends and family, those who were able to greet me face-to-face are my relatively new friends who sung with me the birthday song during our christmas party yesterday.

i got tired after the party so i just took time to sleep from 3pm to 7:30pm. after that, i treated myself to greenbelt 3 where i watched the awesome fireworks display and made myself a couch potato in one of the cozy cinemas.

no, i didn't go out with my friends. you see, when you have many sets of friends, it's so difficult to make them come together. for my case, it's so complicated. i think spending time with all of them together in one go would only bring out my almost-always-hidden multiple personalities, hahaha! it's too dangerous, i think.

during my 21st year on this planet, i...
  • ...went home to iligan 4 times. that means, i spent money on airplane tickets for 4 round trips, which translates to 8 airplane rides. in fact, i'm talking about more than 8 plane rides considering that, at one time, the plane took the hellish manila-cagayan de oro-mactan-cagayan de oro-mactan-cagayan de oro-manila route.
  • ...parted ways with my 09174883419 subscriber identity module because it just simply stopped working one fine day.
  • ...lost my walkman and my cellphone on separate occasions. both items have sentimental value. i bought them with my allowance from DOST and they served as souvenirs of my scholarship.
  • ...started this blog! yehey!
  • ...mustered enough courage to let some of my self-made, well-crafted guards down (read: i ate more pride, believe it or not), hahaha.
  • ...reached baguio city alone. what a personal accomplishment!
  • ...filled the "special" notebook i have been writing on since 2002. it's so special that, so far, only i have read it! mwhehehehe... but it's meant to be given away, so i'm gonna give it away. who wants to have it? by the way, i started on a new one, too!
  • ...was able to spend wonderful days in tagaytay and had a reload of my inspiring and rejuvenating 2002 and 2003 tagaytay experiences.

  • for my 22nd year, i will...

    oh, we'll see.

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    how deep...

    "Loving is a matter of timing...
    it is no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.
    -- from the movie, 2046

    Friday, December 10, 2004


    a text message from a friend:
    wt f ur 2kng 2 me @ 12mdnyt n ur rum nd ur cp rng dwnstrs, i 2ld u 2 come bak nd u promisd; d prson on d fon 2ld u dat i died d previous nyt. wil u go bak 2 ur rum as u promisd?

    translated from text speak, that's "what if you're talking to me at 12 midnight in your room and your cellular phone rung downstairs, i told you to come back and you promised; the person on the phone told you that i died the previous night. will you go back to your room as you promised?"

    of course, i would go back to my room. but, would i go back simply because i promised? i know that my honest answer would be a no.

    a promise can be fulfilled not because of the promise itself

    there's a lot i can say about the given "what-if scenario" to present and/or explain my views.

    first, if i were talking to a friend in my room and my cellphone would ring, i think that i wouldn't think of going downstairs to answer the midnight call if the conversation i'm having is going so well. i'd let the phone ring 'til its gonna empty its battery, and carry on with my conversation. if ever i'd decide on answering the call, i would ask my friend to go downstairs with me. from my point of view, a call made at midnight (especially if there's no special occasion like birthday) is not normal. i'd need a back up, hence, the friend has to go with me. besides, my cellphone would unlikely to be downstairs. yes, my room at home belongs to the second level, but i don't leave my cellphone "downstairs".

    second, i think it's quite unfair for my part if the friend would ask me to "come back" when he/she already knows that he/she is already dead. if the person is someone close to me, then he/she would know that i would feel that way, and wouldn't even think of asking me to do something like that.

    third, if i were told over the phone that a friend died, would i believe right away? of course not! i'd try to assess the information. who's calling? if the person died the previous night, why inform me (of all hours) at midnight? after all, it could just be a prank call.

    but then, okay. what if i take the "what-if scenario" as is? would i go back to my room as promised?

    as i've said, yes i would... but not simply because i promised.

    in the given scenario, the promise was done right away and without much thought... and i can see the logic in that. the act of promising to go back to my room is easy to make. why is it easy to make? because it's easy to fulfill. why is it easy to fulfill? because it's natural for me to do just that: go back to my room. come to think of it, if i decide to go out of my room for awhile, i would naturally go back right away if i left my friend there (leaving a friend inside my room is highly unlikely, by the way). besides, my room is my own territory, my turf, my comfort zone. whatever happens, going back there does not involve effort or much thought, it's as if it's as natural as breathing. if a friend is waiting there, all the more reason that i would go there.

    but what if the friend is "dead"? would i go back after knowing such info? yes, i'm going back. but i'm sure that my going back there would not be primarily driven by the promise. maybe it would be primarily driven by curiosity (to see if the friend is still there), maybe by the need to be in a place where somehow there is comfort, maybe by the need to be where i last "saw" the person...

    see what i'm getting at?

    i'd still be fulfilling the promise, but not because of the promise itself.


    but what if going back to my room's not natural for me? what if the promise involved going far from a comfort zone instead of going back to it? what if the promise wouldn't be that easy to fulfill? would i still keep it?
    i'd try to move heaven and earth.


    i would try to move heaven and earth.

    Saturday, December 04, 2004

    the countdown

    2 weeks to go... and it will be my birthday.
    3 weeks to go... and it will be christmas.
    4 weeks to go... and it will be new year.

    as simple as that.


    look, it's familiar!

    carla, miezel and i in one of those kiddie corners, mwehehehe...

    duck tales, reloaded...hahaha! so cute!

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    quotes from exupéry's the little prince

    chapter 1:
    Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

    chapter 2:
    When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey.

    chapter 3:
    "Straight ahead of him, nobody can go very far..."

    chapter 4:
    Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.

    To forget a friend is sad.

    chapter 5:
    ...seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth's darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin--timidly at first--to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun.

    chapter 6:
    "You know--one loves the sunset, when one is so sad..."

    chapter 7:
    "If someone loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there...' But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened... And you think that is not important!"

    chapter 8:
    "The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her... I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little strategems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her..."

    chapter 9:
    "Of course I love you. It is my fault that you have not known it all the while. That is of no importance. But you--you have been just as foolish as I. Try to be happy..."

    chapter 10:
    "One must require from each one the duty which each one can perform."

    "Accepted authority rests first of all on reason. If you ordered your people to go and throw themselves into the sea, they would rise up in revolution. I have the right to require obedience because my orders are reasonable."

    "Then you shall judge yourself. That is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom."

    chapter 11:
    Conceited people never hear anything but praise.

    chapter 12:
    "The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd."

    chapter 13:
    "When you find a diamond that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you discover an island that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you get an idea before any one else, you take out a patent on it: it is yours. So with me: I own the stars, because nobody else before me ever thought of owning them."

    chapter 14:
    "That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful."

    chapter 15:
    "What does that mean--'ephemeral'?"

    "It means, 'which is in danger of speedy disappearance.'"

    chapter 16:
    The Earth is not just an ordinary planet!

    chapter 17:
    "I wonder whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again..."

    chapter 18:
    "Men? ...I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult."

    chapter 19:
    "What a queer planet! It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them..."

    chapter 20:
    "I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees--and one of them perhaps extinct forever...That doesn't make me a very great prince..."

    chapter 21:
    "...if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world...if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."

    "One only understands the things that one tames. Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me..."

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

    "Men have forgotten this truth. But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

    chapter 22:
    "No one is ever satisfied where he is."

    "Only the children know what they are looking for. They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry..."

    chapter 23:
    "If I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water."

    chapter 24:
    "The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen."

    My home was hiding a secret in the depths of its heart.

    "The house, the stars, the desert--what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!"

    chapter 25:
    "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."

    One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed...

    chapter 26:
    "All men have the stars but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"

    "In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night... You--only you--will have stars that can laugh!"

    "And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, 'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!'"

    chapter 27:
    Ask yourselves: is it yes or no? ...no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!

    the frog massacre: not your ordinary froggy tale

    before anything else, let me make something clear: it could be that in this post, i'm really talking about toads and not frogs, or both toads and frogs. i grew up thinking that toads and frogs were just the same because... toads and frogs, in my native tongue, are all referred to as baki^. ehem.

    the day the sophomores in my high school killed
    more than a hundred frogs was when i knew that
    i wasn't meant to be a medical doctor.

    it used to be that i played with frogs as a child. not only i, but also my brother and our kid neighbors who started it all. we were kinda brutal with the frogs. i remember that one late afternoon, we were boiling water using empty milk cans placed on top of our make-shift “cooking area” (three stones surrounding a fire) in the grassy part of our purok’s make-shift basketball court... when...

    as if possessed...
    one of our playmates casually held a frog by its hind leg
    and dipped the poor creature into the boiling water.

    even though we were initially a little bit shocked at what he did, we tolerated the brutality and even helped him in looking for more frogs to unceremoniously boil. the next morning, five, maybe, six or seven frogs were lying dead in our “cooking area”. geez!

    okay, enough of that childhood story... let’s move on to

    the real frog massacre

    during our second year in high school, one of our science subjects (we had two, by the way) was biology and part of the course work was dissecting a frog. so, one day, all of us sophomores in that high school were required to bring a frog to dissect during our respective bio classes.

    i remember bringing my “poor victim” to school inside a shoebox. i had it caught the night before “die-section” day somewhere in pala-o, because during that time it was quite difficult to look for frogs in my own neighborhood in tambo. the “victim” was big and hideous-looking... quite a monster for a frog (yikes!) that even my father agreed with me when i pointed out that it was very ugly.

    during our biology class, my classmates and i took out our frogs for our teacher and the student teachers to see. i was never the type who would go a-shrieking at the sight of spiders or cockroaches, and i could touch a beetle, but a frog(???) waaaaaaaaaa... around that time, i already put my “frog-holding/frog-boiling” past behind me!!! hahaha... however, each of us taking bio had no choice but to deal with (read: hold) our frogs...

    we were instructed to pith our frogs, secure them on our respective wooden blocks placed on top of the 3 long laboratory tables, and begin dissection.

    woweeee... dissection...
    it sounded fun and interesting...

    ...and it was(!) despite the fact that...

    rendering my frog unconscious by pushing a needle through the prominent part of its head was not easy. my “victim” kept on struggling and...

    i was really tempted to give it
    a strong punch on the belly just to make it stop moving
    (*whispers* just like what the bad guys
    do to helpless damsels in the movies, hehehe.)

    until now, i don’t know if i really succeeded in pithing it, but i managed to secure the sorry frog with its belly-side up on my wooden block by driving nails through its limbs (just like crucifixion). quite brutal, i know, but i was just following instructions. after that, i proceeded on opening up its belly by running the tip of an improvised scalpel (a broken shaving blade securely attached to a bamboo stick, go figure!) through the skin. it still wasn’t easy, though it was something i looked forward to.

    mwahihihi... a frog with an open belly,
    froggy entrails to see... mwehehehe
    ang saya saya!

    i had to use surgical scissors just so i could neatly open up the frog and see its insides: heart, liver, whatever... and lo! the sight of my frog’s insides was ghastly! the heart was looking okay, but the liver(???) waaaaa... it looked liked my “victim” was suffering from cirrhosis! poor froggy. i looked at the insides of my classmates’ “opened-up” frogs and most of the livers were “neat”-looking, but my frog’s liver resembled that of a chocolate cookie sprinkled with small peanuts!!! yikes! despite my tolerance for yucky things, i almost vomited at the sight of it, and i was sorely tempted to drown the “tasty-looking” liver with isopropyl alcohol!

    anyway, after opening up our frogs, and seeing and identifying their insides, came the task of clearing our working tables. after removing the frogs from the blocks, they were unceremoniously dumped into one huge plastic bag. just like that.

    i remember blood oozed out from one of my frog’s front limb when i removed the nail. i remember my frog still attempted to move as if to jump when all four nails were finally removed. i remember handling it as if it were a bomb ready to explode anytime. i remember feeling relieved when it finally left my hand and fell inside the plastic bag where my classmates’ “victims” were already dumped...

    and i remember realizing that if i have a problem dealing with an opened-up frog, what more with an “opened-up” person?

    the day i was able to perform my first dissection was the same day my dreams of becoming a medical doctor died.

    well, that was my “die-section” experience. i know that despite the “yucky-ness”, i enjoyed it and can laugh about it now.

    sophomores in other classes went through the same froggy ordeal that day. there were about 200 of us, so that means

    about two hundred frogs kissed their lives goodbye that day.

    yes, about two hundred innocent frogs... denied of their a-croaking and a-leaping existence...

    until now, i don’t understand why two hundred frogs had to be dissected. i only know that a lot of us said goodbye to our dreams of pursuing medicine because of that activity.

    ask sealdi aka the volcano aka kinilaw... sealdi who wanted to be a surgeon. now, she’s nowhere near becoming a surgeon: she graduated last year with a degree in english studies (anglo-american literature), and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning. go figure!

    tsk... tsk... about two hundred frogs...

    about two hundred frogs... massacred by young ones -- young ones with delicate cerebral matters, the celebrated specimens-of-choice of our high school’s mathematical and scientific powers that be.

    this post is dedicated to kerokerokeroppi and kermit, and is written in memory of their (approximately) two hundred relatives who unfortunately got murdered in school year 1996-1997.

    Monday, November 29, 2004


    because dreaming is free...
    because dreaming is for you and me...


    as a child, i often looked up to watch the night sky.
    the stars a-twinkling up there have always attracted me
    and have always kept me thinking of possibilities and of impossibilities.
    they fed my imagination and fueled my curiosity...
    and i made so many of my wishes upon them,
    and hung a thousand and one of my dreams up with them...

    When you wish upon a star
    Makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires
    Will come to you

    i admit without shame that until now i still wish upon them.
    no, i don't wait for the "falling stars"...
    when i look up at the night sky,
    i discreetly choose the first star that catches my eye
    and wish upon it the first wish that i could think of at that moment,
    absurd or not my wish may be...

    If your heart is in your dream
    No request is too extreme
    When you wish upon a star
    As dreamers do

    not all of my wishes can come true, i know.
    but i've never thought of stopping myself from wishing...
    because they keep me going, they keep me hoping...

    Fate is kind
    She brings to those who love
    The sweet fulfillment of
    Their secret longing

    i'll not lose anything if my wishes don't come true,
    but i have something to gain if they do come true...
    and that's the comforting thought with wishing.

    Like a bolt out of the blue
    Fate steps in and sees you through
    When you wish upon a star
    Your dreams come true

    sometimes, you get to remember that the songs you heard as a child can do wonders for your (and probably, other's) days. sometimes, too, being a child at heart ain't so bad for the soul.

    note: words in italics are lyrics of the song when you wish upon a star from walt disney's pinocchio.


    i'd like to have a pair of this...

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    measly two cents

    sometime ago, somebody actually had the nerve to write me this:

    its quite obvious that youre pretending to be smart when in reality youre a nobody pretending ot be somebody since reality cant accomodate a nincompoop like you.

    and i didn't stop myself from retorting. my reply went this way:

    hmmm... what's quite obvious? that i'm pretending to be smart when in reality i'm a nobody pretending to be somebody since reality can't accommodate a nincompoop like me?

    whew! that was quite long, but what do you really know?

    false: youre pretending to be smart
    i'm not pretending to be smart. whether you like it or not, i'm smart.

    true: youre a nobody
    you got this right. i am a nobody.

    false: youre a nobody pretending ot be somebody since reality cant accomodate a nincompoop like you
    i am a nobody and i am being myself. if you're so right and reality can't accommodate a nincompoop like me, then why am i still around? hmmm...

    besides, what gives you the guts to call me a nincompoop? geez, you don't even know how to spell accommodate.


    p.s. accommodate. a-c-c-o-m-m-o-d-a-t-e. accommodate.

    Friday, November 26, 2004

    watermelon art

    i like 'em juicy, i like 'em sweet, and i like 'em like these...

    click here for more!!!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    quotable quotes

    "Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer." -- Ed Cunningham

    hmmm...this got me wondering. just how many of the people i encounter everyday really want to know my answer to their how-are-you's? come to think of it. if i tell them i'm okay even if i'm not, most of them seem not to realize and only a few dare question or challenge my answer. it's safe to say those few people are the real ones.

    for them who truly care and them who really give a damn: hug me next time, hahaha!


    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei
    amen. i dare not question this one. let's leave it at that.


    "If you think that praise is due, now's the time to show it 'cause a man can't read his tombstone when he's dead." -- Anonymous
    hehehe. that means say what you have to say now...or (to quote that line from the movie, my best friend's wedding) "the moment just passes you by".

    this makes sense but... i still have a problem with it. blame my pride. while i don't wanna regret not being able to say the good things that i wanna say to a person while he or she is still alive, i seldom get around to letting the person know.

    maybe it's true that i cannot readily give what i do not willingly receive.


    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    in this world, what is required of us is to be the best that we can be. and how do we go about becoming our best? read the quote and live it.

    only in making the best out of the situations we are in can we push ourselves to become better, and then, later (probably much, much later) become our best if we really try.


    "To be a star: you must shine your own light. Follow your own path and don't worry about the darkness for it is when stars shine the brightest."
    ever since back then, i've liked stars (those a-twinkling heavenly bodies up there, not them entertainment personalities in the boob tube). i don't exactly know why. perhaps it's because when we draw them, we almost always represent them with the oh-so-cutie look in yellow.

    i like yellow... and i like stars. bow.

    i know, i know. i didn't actually say anything about the quote. i merely shared my fascination with stars. hehehe...


    "A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success." -- Anonymous
    that is to say... why notice me only now? where were you when i was struggling and needing a push?

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    something worth sharing

    Don't date because you are desperate.
    Don't marry because you are miserable.
    Don't have kids because you think your genes are superior.
    Don't philander because you think you are irresistible.

    Don't associate with people you can't trust.
    Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend.
    Don't dictate because you are smarter.
    Don't demand because you are stronger.

    Don't sleep around because you think you are old enough and know better.
    Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
    Don't sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
    Don't stagnate!

    Don't regress.
    Don't live in the past.
    Time can't bring anything or anyone back.
    Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr/Mrs Right.
    Don't throw your life away on absolutely Mr Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

    Learn a new skill.
    Find a new friend.
    Start a new career.
    Sometimes, there is no race to be won.
    Only a price to be paid for some of life's more hasty decisions.

    To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
    To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
    To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
    Don't bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

    To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can be.
    Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
    Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons.
    Don't abandon your responsibilities but don't overdose on duty.

    Don't live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
    Be true to yourself.
    Don't commit when you are not ready.
    Don't keep others waiting needlessly.

    Go on that trip. Don't postpone it.
    Say those words. Don't let the moment pass.
    Do what you have to, even at society's scorn.

    Write poetry.
    Love Deeply.
    Walk barefoot.
    Dance with wild abandon.
    Cry at the movies.

    Take care of yourself. Don't wait for someone to take care of you.
    You light up your life.
    You drive yourself to your destination.
    No one completes you - except YOU.

    It is true that life does not get easier with age.
    It only gets more challenging.
    Don't be afraid. Don't lose your capacity to love.
    Pursue your passions.

    Live your dreams.
    Don't lose faith in your God.
    Don't grow old. Just grow YOU!

    When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.

    - Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

    this is copied verbatim from one of the e-mails i received today. i don't know if this is really by rick warren because while i do have a copy of the purpose driven life (given to me by a friend), i really haven't read the book yet. nevertheless, i believe that this is something worth sharing (just as the title of this post says *winks*).

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    my A-Z happy doses

    a - anecdotes, adventures, art, affirmation, amusing e-mails and text messages

    b - breath-taking sights, being able to inspire other people without really trying, bonfires, beaches, blogging and blog-hopping

    c - christmas, cool movies, childhood memories

    d - dreaming, daydreaming, december

    e - experiencing new things

    f - family, friends, face-to-face conversations, funny retorts

    g - good reads, get-togethers, geniune appreciation

    h - heartwarming notes and letters, hearty laughter, hugs, home

    i - ice cream, interactions

    j - jokes, jackets, joyrides

    k - kind deeds

    l - lechon, love, learning, long talks

    m - my birthday, moon-watching, mountains, meeting wonderful people

    n - nature, nice realizations

    o - original ideas

    p - pleasant surprises, profound stories, pools

    q - quirks, quality time

    r - reading

    s - skittles, sweet gestures, stargazing/sky-watching, smiling faces, soothing massage, scrapbooks, sunrise, sunset, small-green-sour mangoes

    t - tosp, the way he looks and smiles, trips, trekking and spelunking

    u - "unearthing" long-forgotten things

    v - volunteering

    w - wildflowers, wonderful thoughts, writing, weirdness

    x - x-factors

    y - yellow cab pizza, you-(probably)-know-who, ym conversations and conferences

    z - z...zzzz...zzz...

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    the little voice

    when i woke up this morning, i checked my celphone for new text messages and found only one. still sleepy, i sent a reply and then went back under the covers to sleep but...

    the litte voice: oist! oist!
    me: shhh... go away.
    the little voice: oist! wake up!
    me: just go away! let me sleep. puhleez. i'm still sleepy.
    the little voice: hey, the sun's already up. wake up! what a lazy kid you are.
    me: imp! i'm not lazy. leave me alone! my brain's in such a disarray because of you.

    of course, the little voice didn't leave me alone. instead...

    the little voice: hahaha! you think you're so cool? you had a grammatical lapse there.
    me: goodness! i can't believe i'm having this conversation... you're mental!
    the little voice: yeah, i am. so what? you still made a mistake there.
    me: be easy on me, will you? stop bugging me with merely thought up grammatical lapse.
    the little voice: it's not thought up. you sent "i can't watched..." rememberrrrr?
    me: oh, you mean the reply message. no, i did not! you're just desperate to get my attention. now, stop this and let me sleep.
    the little voice: our friend's gonna laugh.
    me: my friend's not gonna laugh. if indeed i made a mistake there...
    the little voice: i told you, you made a mistake there.
    me: oh, come on. if indeed you're right, a grammatical lapse IS NO BIG DEAL! get lost! i just wanna sleep.
    the little voice: yeah right. fool yourself. it's no big deal, i agree.

    what a nagging litte voice! i ended up throwing away the covers to send another text message, somewhat apologetic over something i'm not really sure i did. after that, little voice seemed to have found peace so i was able to go back to sleep and had a second trip to dreamland.

    the little voice: hello! wake up now!
    me: oh no! stop prancing... you're not supposed to be here. not in my dreams!
    the little voice: does it matter? i'm here. what now? wake up!
    me: you're really such an imp!
    the little voice: whatever! you're an imp yourself! you ought to wake up now. it's already 10:30 in the morning. wake up! wake up!
    me: so what if it's already 10:30? it's sunday! go away. stop bugging me!
    the little voice: you've been ignoring me all week!
    me: ...just doing the right thing, imp.
    the little voice: how could you? i gave you all the space you needed. now that i'm back, tsk...
    me: what are you? who are you? my schizo self???
    the little voice: hahaha, who me? your schizo self? you're mental!
    me: now, i'm the one who's mental! know what? now, i think you're my schizo self...
    the little voice: funny, if you think that way. i'm loving this. i'm really loving this!
    me: that's it! that's it! goodbye! i'm outta here. see? i'm waking up.
    the little voice: hey wait! don't leave me here.

    and so, i got rid nagging little voice just by waking up. well, that's what i thought... because after hours of her silence...

    the little voice: really a slow day, isn't it?
    me: oh no! not again!
    the little voice: you ought to do some organizing.
    me: shut up! i already know that!
    the little voice: i really like you when you're pissed off like that. you look so... you? yes, you look soooo you.
    me: who says i'm pissed off?! you're such an imp! you ought to be exorcised!
    the little voice: hahaha, pikon... but i do mean it. you really should do some organizing today ...and tomorrow, too. tomorrow's a holiday, after all.
    me: i said shut up! you're merely stealing my thoughts.
    the little voice: be kind to me. i'm actually trying to help.
    me: why don't you just go away?!
    the little voice: have me excorcised first.
    me: duh!
    the little voice: see? you can't! what a weakling.
    me: you're wrong! i can! and i'm not a weakling. so get lost, get lost!
    the little voice: i won't! i can't. i know you'll miss me like you miss the ones before me.
    me: what?! what do you mean by that???
    the little voice: sssssssshhhhhhh.... look! the moon's so big tonight. it's nice to look at, isn't it? i know it's just a crescent now, but it really looks big. haaaay...

    what a little voice!

    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    recommended read

    "I didn't know how badly I felt about this life until then. Now when you look at me so kindly, I know for sure I don't like this life. I just want to do something like crawl with you and nibble grass." -- Yellow

    HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS by trina paulus

    "this is the tale of a caterpillar who has trouble becoming what he really is. it's like myself - like us... a tale partly about life, partly about revolution and lots about hope for adults and for others (including caterpillars who can read)... a different sort of book for everyone except those who have given up completely (and even they might secretly enjoy it)"

    first published in 1972, hope for the flowers is an illustrated book with simple words and yet very profound. it can be read in 5-10 minutes. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

    "in character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    some blog-worthy things from my desk...

    what a gwapo must be

    "strong yet gentle, powerful yet sensitive, has a great career yet helps clean the house and raise the children, in control yet cries, and a sex expert who's only been with one woman"

    hehehe...i got that from somewhere.


    the notebook

    the movie version of the notebook is disappointing. it is not able to evoke the same emotions the book version does. the actors, except the one who played allie's fiance, didn't give justice to their characters.

    just read the book. forget the movie.


    me, myself, and i

    i love myself because...just because.


    fahrenheit 9/11

    "we don't need no water, let the motherf***er burn, burn motherf***er burn" ...

    hahaha, and you thought my vocabulary isn't that colorful! blame fahrenheit 9/11 for bringing that out of me (again). i watched it (ten thousand years ago?) and i liked the soundtrack.

    "keep on rockin' in the free world, keep on rockin' in the free world..."

    more than that, i enjoyed watching the film. michael moore's so naughty; fahrenheit 9/11 was enlightening as well as entertaining with a tinge of being disturbing (i really detest hearing about innocent people dying or suffering because of some too f***ed up warmongers who can't even send their own blood to the battlezone). however, moore showed lots of his biases and most of them i chose to tolerate; but not when he showed too much prejudice in introducing the countries comprising the coalition of the willing.

    i know what point he was trying to make, but i don't believe it was necessary for him to depict the republic of palau, costa rica, iceland, afghanistan, etc. to be sooooooo backward and primitive (because they're not). it was consuelo de bobothat he spared the philippines (or was it just cut????) from embarrassment there, hehehe. during the coalition of the willing sequence, i braced myself for the moment the philippines would be mentioned; fortunately (read: to my relief), it did not come.

    i enjoyed fahrenheit as much as i enjoyed watching the documenatry imelda. don't get me wrong though. the two documentaries are far from similar.

    i don't deem fahrenheit to be that good for a documentary, considering moore's obvious biases. however, the clever playfulness put into it and the amount of information (which the television channels don't broadcast but the movie dared to expose) make the presentation worth watching.

    i believe dubya gave moore the very advice he needed in order to come up with his version of fahrenheit: "Get some real work". moore did... by keenly following dubya's story. hahaha!

    "fool me once...shame...shame on you."

    before i forget, the bush-etc.-etc.-blair cowboy/ranger-sequence with ala-marlboro theme background was funny.



    this one was overheard by someone in mcdo philcoa:
    "Wow! Nice bag! Where did you bought it ba?" (olats!)


    get-rich-quickly tip

    the Q: can anybody give me some tips on "How to earn your first billion before the age of 25"... i know someone who needs it.

    my A: sell your soul ASAP! ...and be a faustus, hahaha!


    an interesting read

    ever read or heard of the book, FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by EDWIN ABBOT? i think there's a downloadable version of it.

    anti-feminist tones aside, it's an interesting read about dimensions (i.e. the lives and interactions of beings with different dimensions and shapes). there, the possibility of a 4th, 5th...nth dimension was mentioned and yet... it was written in 1884(!), waaaaaaaaaaay before albert einstein's heydays.



    careless and "lucky" being that i am, i've been involved in lots of accidents (motorcycles, carabao, canals, bicycle, tricycles, swimming pool, ladders, coconut log) and have my own share of "battle scars" and had the associated pains.

    i was not yet 5 years old when i experienced my first motorcycle and swimming pool life-threatening mishaps, so my dumbfounded and crying reactions to those two are understandable...but for every accident experienced after those two, i found myself being able to immediately help myself out of the situation, talk (in my signature hyper manner) and laugh heartily even if my mind is going "@#$%! mong tanan! sakit kaayo, katawa pa ra ba jud og apil! na...na...na...."

    i guess, i learned to adapt....accident-prone (how about "accident-friendly"?) kasi.

    ...and most of my accidents were, in one way or another, consequences of (what-else-but) stupidity.


    the enemy

    my enemy has a name...nostalgia! and i met her the moment i left the comfort zones.


    low grades and suicide

    formal education is something, but it's not everything. grades are something, but they're not everything... and so on... besides, if you die, nobody in hell or heaven will care if you had 1.0's or 5.0's in your academic subjects.

    if you commit suicide, you're just making a confirmation that you, indeed, are a LOSER! plus, you just won't be tarnishing your reputation, but that of your family, especially the ones who reared you (for the majority, parents) as well. THINK!



    sometimes you feel so good that when you write about how you feel, the words you use are not enough to capture how good you're feeling.

    sometimes you feel soooooo bad, you simply end up not being able to write.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    letting go

    and the axe has fallen...

    how then can i not cry?!

    i am tired of pretending that i'm still strong even in times when i no longer am.


    "I hope that someday when we're not roommates anymore and we bump into each other, we can still sing our hearts out and talk about what's in them." -- weng

    my roommate for over a year moved out of our room before i could even get back from iligan. the note that awaited me said,

    "had to move my things out. will be back real soon and hope to see you then. i will miss you but i know this is not goodbye yet. hope you will also like your new roommate..."

    i will miss you but i know this is not goodbye yet. even so, i'm bound to cry. i already did.

    two nights ago, her text message informing me that she's traveling to diliman from bicol was followed by another telling me that she's moving out because she has found work in los baños. i didn't realize my tears started falling then...until my shirt got a share of my tears. how can you stop the inevitable from happening, anyway?

    now, i look at the other side of the room and it's empty. gone are the many pictures of smiling faces, paul mccartney and the beatles. gone are her books and files on the shelves when it used to be her side of the room that's teeming with those. i could not joke anymore about the models (those smiling faces that used to adorn her wall) being probably dead. most of all, no one's gonna sing me songs like she does. i didn't mind being her victim of lss (last song syndrome) and i got through the weary days singing along with her. waaaaaaaaaaah...wala na akong breathing radio!!!

    things will never be the same, i know. even so, life goes on. things were bound to happen this way, anyway. (they just came too soon.)


    i am glad you happened. go well, weng... and thank you. see you around. when the time comes, invite me to your wedding. you're right. this isn't goodbye yet. we've got unfinished business: we still haven't gotten around to having our shirts printed and buying our hoodies (*winks*). i'll surely miss singing rent's "would you light my candle?" and heartily laughing about it with you.


    oh mai, i'm feeling so alone again.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004


    home, for me, is a combination of a taxi ride, an airplane ride, another taxi ride, and a bus ride away from the dorm. last weekend, i headed for that destination with three bags bursting to the seams... TWICE.

    now, the story…

    going home is a welcome thought after five months of being away, and i was naturally optimistic earlier that day, which was last saturday. but lo!

    my luck!

    the first leg of my trip went awry! the taxi ride from the dorm to the airport, which could eat up a little more than 30 minutes on a good day, took almost two precious hours. putik na traffic! why, oh, why.

    by the time i arrived at the check-in desk, the supervisor wouldn’t let me in because “all seats have been taken”. apparently, they gave up my seat and the seats of all others who got caught in the @#$%@! traffic 25 minutes before i got to the airport. yeah, 25 minutes too late. parang kanta! buhay nga naman! my luck! the flight was scheduled to depart at 1:15pm and my taxi got free from the traffic at 12:50pm. like i had the choice?! oh boy. added to that, the 1:15 plane was the last flight that could take me to cagayan de oro that day. oh boy times two. i was really pissed...and at no one in particular. the experience was like an irritating déjà vu.

    i don’t like airports!!!
    they always make me feel miserable.

    anyway, back to the story. there i was, suddenly feeling as if the entire world finally closed in on me but not quite. along with the other “latecomers,” i was advised to rebook. as i walked to the other building for the rebooking, i felt the weight of my bags. i didn’t realize how heavy they actually were until that time when i had to contemplate the sort of luck i was having.

    at the other building, i had to wait for my turn before i could schedule another flight. in fairness, they have a nice queuing system… but being assigned the number 92 when they’re still at number 20 wasn’t something to be feeling nice about. i was hungry, i was tired, i was feeling drained, i was sleepy and i still had to wait before i could go back, despite my own liking, to the dorm with its deserted and loneliness-inducing sembreak atmosphere! some test of patience!!! after i informed some people about my weird luck, roommate’s text message came through to comfort me and to remind me that it’s a weekend. tsk. tsk. tsk.

    trust murphy’s law to manifest itself on my life if it’s a weekend.

    i don’t know how long i waited for my turn at the airport’s booking office. it must have been quite long as i forgot about being pissed and eventually moved on to noticing how disgusting the airline’s lady employees’ uniforms look. (oh, the style was okay, but the cloth looked like it was ripped straight from some old table. hahaha.) their janitors’ uniforms even look better, trust me. by the time i got a rebooking and got back to the dorm, i realized that the traffic i encountered earlier that day cost me about PhP600 (about 200 for the taxi ride to the airport, 200 for the rebooking, and another about 200 for the taxi ride to the dorm.) i lost PhP600 and got nowhere near home. tsk. tsk. tsk. para na rin akong na-hold up ha.

    i refused to be further put down for the rest of that day. after depositing my bags in my dorm room, i left for the mall, determined to relax and enjoy the rest of the day despite my sleepiness. at the mall, i splurged on food (yeah right! better believe this) and went to see sky captain and the world of tomorrow. later in the evening, i went to greenbelt with cinema buddy to watch run, lola, run. (naaaa... i didn’t spend the rest of the day trashing and throwing fits.) by the time we got back to the dorm, i only had about 2 to 3 hours before heading for the airport again. my flight was leaving at 5:10am, first flight to cagayan de oro. determined not to miss another flight, i left the dorm still sleepless at about 2:10am. by 2:35am, i was back at the airport and was welcomed by its misery-inducing atmosphere despite its state of the art facilities. i immediately checked in and spent the next few hours catching some sleep while waiting for boarding time. hmmm...i was almost home. gamay na lang kulang.

    my plane ride was okay. it made me notice again how black the cloud over manila is. it’s a disturbing sight. shucks. i also had an aerial view of mayon volcano, with its almost perfect conical shape. actually the volcano stands out from the rest of bicolandia as it is the only mountain which looks symmetrical from above. by the way, i was given a window seat and the seats next to me were empty, so i had the three seats all to myself, bwehehehe... that made sleeping more convenient. i went zzzzzzzzz some minutes after we took off.

    i arrived at cagayan de oro at about 6:20am. after claiming my bags, i went out of the airport’s arrival area and chose a cab to take me to the bus terminal.

    “200 ra ba ang minimum namo dinhi”.

    just when i thought i finally ran out of my weird luck, the driver told me that the minimum fare’s PhP200! “taka ka lang! dili oi!” was my bratty retort. stupid driver for trying to make me stupid!

    driver: lagi, miss. 200 jud.
    me: hala! ayaw ko binuangi. taka lang man ka oi!
    driver: 200 naman jud. magansi man mi kung mas ubos pa ana.
    me: dakong binuang! ako pa jud imong binuangan. miski pag metrohan, dili jud na moabot 200. please beh!
    driver: sige, sa lain na lang ka.
    me: maayo pa, kay maglalis lang ta anang 200. taka lang jud ka.

    and so, the driver, who insisted on carrying one of my bags despite my protests, led me to another taxi. upon dropping the bag at the back of the taxi he led me to, he said “miss, naa kay traynta dinha?” to which i retorted “para asa man ng traynta?” without answering my query, he walked away scratching his head. he must have finally understood that he couldn’t make me shell out money just like that. apparently, the thirty pesos he was asking for was for labor services. hello???! had he not stupidly insisted (much to my discomfort, by the way) on carrying the bag, i would have carried it myself! hay naku! an extortionist driver in broad daylight. first, he had the nerve to tell me the minimum taxi ride to the terminal costs PhP200. then, he had the nerve to ask for PhP30 for carrying a bag i could single-handedly carry. drivers like him ruin the reputation of cagayanons. shame! it was a good thing the other driver didn’t make me pay 200, even confided in me that 200 is really an exorbitant amount, and was even shaking his head when stupid extortionist driver asked me if i had 30.

    mabuhay ang mga drivers na may dangal!

    a bus ride after that, i was finally back in iligan. 9:10 am. then, at about 11 o’clock, i traveled to lanao del norte with my family to visit my grandparents. i didn’t realize until then how weak my lolo gary has become. he's weaker than the last time i saw him. he cried upon seeing me. he cried some more when he saw my other cousin whom he also rarely gets to see. seeing the grandchildren he rarely sees lately must really be too overwhelming for him. tears could now easily take over his once tough-looking façade. i hope he gets to live a lot longer. a kind great man like him ought to live longer.

    “you got home to be sick.”

    how nice. that was the text message i received from cinema buddy after i informed her of me being sick and befriending the bed. looks like she’s right. as another friend would say, “you’re home, you’re sick. you’re... ”homesick”? he he he.” i think this must be due to the vitamins and the food supplements i have been taking in since i arrived home. somehow, my system is no longer used to them and must be adjusting this way. i’m sick. i’m sick.

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    written in crayon

    my side of the room has this collection of blue and yellow post its, torn pages from a notebook, small greeting cards, and other what-have-you's -- almost all of which bear my roommate's handwriting. you see, my roommate usually writes me notes and that's something i really appreciate. she writes to tell where she's going, who she's gonna spend time with, what she's gonna do, what she's feeling, what she just learned, and the things that she knows i would want to know and be informed about (basically just anything under the sun which we both care about even if other people may find them super trivial).

    last wednesday, october 20, she posted this 8.5" x 11" white bond paper on my cabinet door. her cool crayon marks said:

    Why I like my roommate:

    1. She's smart and she knows it and she doesn't brag about it.
    2. She has a sense of space and respects it.
    3. She has a sense of humor and shares it.
    4. She has a sense of empathy and lets me know when I need it.
    5. She's nerd and weird and doesn't make a big deal out of it.
    6. She puts up with my sappy-ness.
    7. She puts up with my fashion sense.
    8. She puts up with my insomnia.
    9. She sings songs with me and gets excited about it.
    10. She likes Conrado and Ate Lourie.
    11. She said she'll get sad when i leave ahead of her...

    naks. heartwarming. fun. worth sharing. perfect timing. a little bit breaking, too. it's already the end of the semester. roommate and i don't know for sure if we'd still be sharing room next semester although we're both praying and willing we'd still be.

    the note she left on my laptop today said:
    Bon Voyage
    sana magkasama pa tayo

    our room now feels deserted, just like the rest of the dorm. i am alone as i type. roommate is currently in los baños for work. i may or may not see her before i go. i'll be leaving for home tomorrow.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    blasts from the past

    last night, cinema buddy and i's talk about ninja movies that we used to watch when we were li'l kids paved way for what i'd refer to as blasts from the past: memories of tv, movie and drama-on-radio mania of the 80's and early 90's...

    he-man and the masters of the universe.



    care bears.

    rainbow brite.



    batibot. bulilit. chikiting patrol. ang tv. pandakekoks. dayuhan. regal shocker. lunch date. sama-sama together (s.s.t.), si goot da wanderpol (waaa...i don't know if i'm spelling it right!). boyoyoy, the wonder boy. milyonaryong mini. that's entertainment (and the sheryl-romnick, manilyn-janno, tina-chris tandems). young love, sweet love. adorra, diyosa sa makiling. niño, ang batang... (i forgot what's next. is it gamhanan?) kini ang akong suliran. handumanan sa usa ka awit.


    sarah, ang munting prinsesa. mara clara. villa quintana. ober da bakod. kate n boogie. lovingly yours. kung may katwiran, ipaglaban mo. shake, rattle, and roll.


    flying house (and the superkids craze).

    karate kid.


    teenage mutant ninja turtles.

    child's play(hi! i'm chucky, wanna play?..*grins wickedly*).

    fido dido.

    beetle juice.

    omaigulai! i'm so good at reminiscing, i'm humiliating myself! bwahahaha...

    wait. isang hirit pa...

    isang tulog na lang, jollibee na naman.
    ang araw lulubog, bukas mabubusog...
    sa chickenjoy manok at hamburger bilog.
    i love you sabado, kahit buong linggo.
    hintay ka lang, jollibee, and'yan na ako.
    panglasang pilipino, at home sa jollibee!

    nope, i'm not advertising. i'm simply reminiscing.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    before i go

    oh no. i'm not going to die. well, at least, not yet. i hope. i'm just going away for awhile, and that means i'm not gonna be able to blog...uh...well...for awhile, thus the title.

    so now, i'll just blab a little...


    i just need to get some things done and then i'll be spending quality time in tagaytay this friday, saturday and sunday. oh yeah baby!!!


    "Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he is Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red S is the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race." -- Kill Bill, Vol. 2

    photo from http://www.capedwonder.com

    the superman is dead. ain't that sad?

    aside from being the superman that he was both onscreen and offscreen, i'll remember christopher reeve as richard collier in that beautiful haunting love story, somewhere in time.


    the cold nights are finally here!!! yipeee!! i already smell december is fast approaching. it's really not too far!

    my labpartner and i walked our way back to our dorm just tonight, and having been used to warm air greeting us everytime we exit our well air-conditioned lab, we noticed how cold the night air is. the outdoor cold seeped to our bones and made us shiver, but in a good way... yipee!!! gone are the warm nights!

    and i now have a nice excuse to add more jackets to my collection.

    but really...wow, i already feel december. i'm getting excited, i feel like i'm so happy!

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    a note to self

    ~ Desiderata ~
    Max Ehrman (1927)

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
    even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
    Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter,
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans.
    Keep interested in your own career; however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.
    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
    it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
    Many fears are borne of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the Universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    the universe is unfolding as it should.
    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be
    and whatever your labors and aspirations.
    In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.

    Be careful. Strive to be happy.

    i unearthed that old poem and put it here in my blog because...

    today i finally stopped and made some serious thinking, err, reflections.

    i realized i've been going, going, and going on for sooooooooooo long and i've done so many detours: i think it's right to say that for years, i've been going in circles inside a maze of my own making. how stupid.


    i've sensed that for some time now. i mean, i've long realized i'm always on the go but never really getting anywhere...and today is when i finally willed myself to stop and said, "owkey. val, enough of that. you're wasting time by raking in so much from all over, and what for? you're inviting crap."

    so now, i'm going to try my best at a new slate. God bless me.

    Sunday, October 10, 2004

    quoting st. augustine

    and i mean literally. so here goes...

    "Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe."

    "Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature."

    "People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering."

    "If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing."

    "Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new. Too late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside myself, and there I sought you! In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The things you have made kept me from you - the things which would have no being unless they existed in you! You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness. You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness. You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace."

    "A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently."

    "Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation."

    "The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page."

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    paranoid indeed!


    to the poor souls who earn my ire...
    to those who unluckily have to endure lashings by my mental whip...
    to those who unfortunately receive cutting remarks from my acerbic tongue...

    i know you think i'm somewhat sick, and i think so, too.


    as a sign of goodwill, here is a gift:
    ¤ ¤ ¤ Personality Disorder Test Results ¤ ¤ ¤
    you should know,
    it's not easy to earn my trust.
    if you want to,
    you have to remove your mask.
    don't play me for a fool;
    i assure you, it's not cool.
    don't ever take me for a ride;
    lie! and i'll cut your hide.
    when i sense a fake
    and one which i can't take,
    i proceed with the test
    just like i do with the rest.
    those who don't survive
    belong to unworthy archive.
    treat me with honesty,
    if you wish to be worthy.

    with much concern,
    your sick, sarcastic paranoid friend.


    hehehe. sabog!

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    somewhere i don't wanna be

    City of God. Cidade de Deus in Portuguese.

    I don't wanna be there.

    Wait. I'm not talking about religion nor a heavenly city of God. I'm talking about a ghetto in Brazil.

    The movie City of God is about that ghetto. The movie's title is the name of the ghetto itself, which is so ironic. Cidade de Deus, "a housing facility for the poor started in the 60's", is a very dangerous place. If you think Saray of Iligan is dangerous enough, think again! Cidade de Deus is by far more dangerous. People live there in a culture of too much violence and the trade they know of is that of guns and drugs, all illegal. It's normal to smoke joint. It's normal to see somebody being shot dead, every single day. Children there play with real guns with real bullets and with real people as targets. They dream of being fearsome gangsters and they start early. They prefer stealing and robbing than going to school. Even at a young age, they know how to kill people. They know how to kill people as if people are merely chickens. *Bang* *Bang* *Bang* Bullets would often fall all over the place like rain.

    so young and so happy.
    so young and so trigger-happy.

    City of God depicts "the humanity of a world apparently condemned to endless violence".

    You'd think it's just a movie, but no, THERE REALLY EXISTS A CITY OF GOD IN RIO DE JANIERO. I feel fortunate that I wasn't born in that part of the world and I feel sorry for the people especially the kids who are there. Watch City of God (if you haven't yet), so you'll understand me better.

    all the things they said

    here are a dozen and three things i got from my interactions with people:

    "I know you. You two are alike. You have many secrets, but I know."

    "Your hair smells good. It really smells good, but it does not look okay."

    "Slow down. Slow down. Whatever happens, you know I'm here."

    "Tumaba ka na ba?"

    "Oi! pumayat ka!"

    "Take my unsolicited advice: Allow the guys to court you, ok? Tsk. You're breaking too many hearts."

    "Para kang bata. Para ka lang bata."

    "Ang titigas ng ulo n'yo. Ang tigas ng ulo mo. Magpartners nga kayo."

    "Ang malas mo naman."

    "You're witty. They chose you because you're witty."

    "Napaka-high naman ng standards mo. Isn't (sic) it (sic) stressing you??"

    "Ngano man jud ka, 'teng?! Nganong contrabida man jud kaayo ka? Na na na."

    "Sorry. I will not entertain your childish acts."

    "Pahamak na babae at nakuha pang tumawa. Pahamak ka na babae. Hahaha."

    "Oh, you're having backpains. That means one thing: you need to get laid!"

    be careful, folks. you might be the ones i'll be quoting next time (*winks*).

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    highly recommended: my sassy girl

    It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together -- The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller

    my sassy girl. people who’ve watched it rave about it.

    i couldn’t relate. not when I haven’t seen it myself. that was then.

    last weekend, i spent some hours sitting on a comfy mat while watching the movie, and i finally understood why so many people like it. finally! a love story on film that one could watch over and over and over again without getting sick of too much boring mushiness.

    it’s soooooo funny. it’s sooooooo crazy. it melts your heart. it breaks your heart (and mends it right after *sighs*). most of all, it makes you really, really laugh with all your heart. it’s a great take about “meeting someone from the future” and “building a bridge of chance for your love.” my sassy girl definitely has more to offer than just a super pretty female lead.

    watch it. watch it. watch it. watch it over and over again.

    from the movie

    10 rules:
    1. Don't ask her to be feminine.
    2. Don't let her drink over three glasses. She'll beat someone.
    3. At a cafe, drink coffee instead of coke or juice.
    4. If she hits you, act like it hurts. If it hurts, act like it doesn't.
    5. On your 100th day together give her a rose during her class. She'll like it a lot.
    6. Make sure you learn fencing and squash.
    7. Also be prepared to go to prison sometimes.
    8. If she says she'll kill you, don't take it lightly. You'll feel better.
    9. If her feet hurts, exchange shoes with her.
    10. She likes to write, encourage her.

    I believe that although you are gone this cannot be the end, can it? I believe that your journey back to me is just delayed, isn't it? I remember so well that I hurt myself. As I cry, I hope you don't cry as I do. I hope you won't cry as you leave. I know you will return someday because I believe. I will wait for you, just you. I believe you should not cry when you think about my pain. I believe my tears will bring you back to me. My eyes cannot forget that it is you who make them cry. I hope you don't cry as I do. I hope you won't cry as you leave. I know you will return someday because I believe. I will wait for you, just you. My tears will bring you back to me. My eyes cannot forget that it is you who makes them cry. Before I met you, the world was not so beautiful. Beneath the same sky, all alone I cry but I will wait here, just for you. Even if waiting is hopeless, it's already enough to think of love. Time means nothing to me. I will wait for you, just you...just you.

    for those who are beginning to raise their eyebrows:
    go ahead, accuse me of being mushy. i am. so, what? you don’t understand.

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