"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."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

a coconut story and some physics

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -- Aristotle

i hope reading this entry does not give you a headache. if it does, let me know.

jerk, a good friend and former college classmate, informed me about this: about two weeks ago, a coconut fruit (which i will simply refer to as coconut in the succeeding paragraphs) accidentally fell on the head of my bubbly friend, naomi.

i don't know how heavy the coconut was, but naomi gave jerk the estimated height from which it fell: 5 to 6 meters. so, we have an idea of some things...

assuming that the coconut fell straight down and that air resistance is negligible, and knowing naomi's height to be about 5 feet and 3 inches (about 1.6 meters), the speed with which the coconut hit her head was about 9 meters per second, which is about thrice as fast as a car traveling at 10 kph.

if we make an estimate of the coconut's mass, say 150 grams (too light!), we can also have an idea of the kinetic energy of the coconut just before it hit naomi's head: about 6 joules, which, by the way, would have also been the work done by the coconut on naomi's head. if the coconut were heavier, say 750 grams, the value would be about 30 joules. if the coconut had a mass of 1 kilogram, then the value would be about 40.5 joules.

just before impact, the coconut's momentum is about 1.35 kilograms-meter per second if its mass was 150 grams, 6.75 kilograms-meter per second if it's 750 grams, and 9 kilogram-meter per second if it's 1 kilogram. since the coconut fell from rest, the value of the momentum just before it hit naomi's head would have also been the impulse of the force that caused naomi's head to hurt.

problem is, i honestly don't have a reliable estimate of the coconut's mass... which is, for this case, just okay.

truth is, one need not worry too much about those quantities i mentioned above. naomi is okay. cool gal that she is, naomi, despite having an aching head for three straight days due to the coconut blow, took the accident lightly and even laughed about it. the last i heard, she didn't go to the doctor to have her head checked. tough girl!


you know what i realized? we often qualify rather than quantify... and that's just okay.

Friday, August 27, 2004

time travel

"Being patient doesn't mean settling for less than your goals. It helps you endure until you achieve them." -- Leslie Levine

10 years ago, i...

1. was 11 years old.
2. was a grade six student in good ol' iligan city east central school a.k.a ICECS (pronounced as i-sex).
3. was literally a computer illiterate. (hahaha!)

5 years ago, i...

1. was 16 years old.
2. was a college freshie and was finally free from wearing uniforms!
3. started wearing eyeglasses. (20-20 vision, where art thou?)

3 years ago, i...

1. was a college junior pursuing a bachelor's degree in physics.
2. grabbed an opportunity to travel to manila from mindanao (and vice versa) for free, for the first time, and alone.
3. succesfully went through my first big time panel interview (click here for the funny detail).

a year ago, i...

1. ventured away from home to learn how to live away from my parents and... found myself adrift.
2. got out of the feeling of being adrift after i spent a very rewarding and very memorable week with people i know i barely know yet i think i really know. err, did you get that?
3. started wearing contact lenses. (20-20 vision, come back to me, come back to me, come back to me...)

this year, i...

1. earned the weird and yucky nick, caterpillar. (by the way, the caterpillar story will be out... soooooooooooon. yaaaaaak!)
2. traveled to baguio alone! (hehehehehe!)
3. lost my walkman and my cellphone. the walkman was stolen when kuya's place was visited by a thief last january. my cellphone and i parted ways in baguio last may.

yesterday, i...

1. woke up very disturbed because i dreamt of my teeth coming off loose!
2. was thankful of the storm. classes were suspended! yipee!
3. watched the movie "the village" with my roommate at sm north. and i thought it was a scary movie! it was not.

today, i...

1. was thankful of the storm, again! classes got suspended, again! yipee!
2. toiled in the lab all day, and got starved in the process. c'est la vie!
3. got back to my room across the kitchen, and roommate greeted me with "your internet subscription is already activated!" yipee!

tomorrow i will...

1. wake up early. uhmmmm... uh... okay, let me rephrase that. i'll try to wake up early.
2. toil in the lab again.
3. have a loooooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg day.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

poetic license

"I think, therefore I am." -- Rene Descartes

-=- vkpm, 2004 -=-

i am water...
deep yet free flowing,
meandering, sometimes raging.

i am fire...
burning, blazing,
shining, igniting.

i am wind...
chilling, freezing,
tingling, biting.

i am earth...
brimming, evolving,
breathing, living.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

august and whatever

in filipino...

“Walang nangyayari sa balat ng lupa ‘di man kagalingan Kanya’y ninanasa.” – Francisco Balagtas Baltazar

noong ako’y nasa mababang paaralan pa, ang turo sa amin ay buwan ng kapanganakan ng ama ng wikang pambansa ang agosto…na ang agosto ay buwan ng wika...

at agosto ngayon. ‘yan ang dahilan kung bakit ang bahaging ito ay isusulat ko muna gamit ang wikang filipino. di bale na kung kutyain ako ng iba diyan at di bale na kung hindi ako maintindihan ng iba diyan. pakialam ba nila? una sa lahat, sa akin ‘to! pangalawa, eh sa gusto ko munang isantabi ang ingles, kahit man lang sa iilang pangungusap (kaya walang dapat umangal). kahit papa’no, sa ganitong paraan, masabi ko lang sa sarili ko na binibigyan ko pa rin ng halaga ang wika ng aking bansa.

teka lang…todo na yata ‘to.

naalala ko tuloy na nagbabalagtasan pa kami noong araw, hehehe. “si inay ang ilaw ng tahanan…at si itay ang siyang haligi...la da la da la da...” siyempre, ang alam kong pakikipagbalagtasan ay hindi ‘yong bukal na naiisip ng utak at pinapalabas sa bibig, kun’ ‘di ‘yong sinasaulo lang na pagkarami-raming talata na pinapabigkas sa amin na tila bukal sa kalooban. nangingiti nga ako. kinaya ko pala ‘yon? kaya ko pa rin kaya? ewan...

basta trip kong magpakatotoo kaya ito ang talagang todo na:

in my own tongue...

magbinisdak na lang ko, mas sayon pa ang life. wala nalipong?! nganong lisod-lisoron man ang life nga naa may sayon nga paagi. puslan mang bisdak ko, then magpakabisdak! dili i-deny ang dili ma-deny. gikan b’ya ko sa northern part sa mindanao ay. infernes, hybrid kaayo akong sinultihan…saksak-sinagol nga bisaya, tagalog, english, whatever... murag girl, boy, bakla, tomboy nga gi-blender (unsay konek, aber? kamo nay bahala mosabot).

speaking of bahala... nakahinumdom na nuon ko dah nga college nako ayha pa nako natarong og litok ang bahala. dati kasi I used to say “balaha na” instead of bahala na. unsaon! naa jud tingali koy pagkabulol ay.

can relate kaayo mo no? noh? noh? hahaha!!! kung mao, then i’m sure bisdak pud mo. otherwise, dili namo mo-bother og basa ani kay “why pa?” kung dili mo ka-getch, di vah? ma-imagine ko lang ang confusion sa mga dili bisdak pag-abot nila ani nga part sa akong post. hehehe. nalingaw ko da. mura kog nabuang ba, pero wala biya. this is so liberating! i’m speaking in tongues, feel kaayo nako! hahaha... expression to the max.

...ug before ko makalimot, magswitch na ko sa laing topic, kay lisod na, basin makalimtan pa nuon nako ang supposedly pinaka-highlight ani nga post. shucks…na-divert og ayo akong utok da.

in english...

my roommate, who is currently a lecturer of sociology in UP manila, told me that she asked her class to search for the happiest and saddest OPM love songs. upon hearing this, i immediately tried to put myself in her students’ shoes and did my best to recall all the OPM love songs i’ve heard. i tried to gauge what feelings those songs evoke and after sometime, i came up with these two sad-sounding OPM love songs: ikaw lang ang mamahalin and kahit isang saglit.

ikaw lang ang mamahalin is that melancholic song which starts like this: “sa bawat pag-ikot ng ating buhay, may oras na tayo'y kailangang maghiwalay. puso'y lumaban man, walang magagawa. saan pa, kailan ka muling mahahagkan?..." whenever i hear people sing that song, i can’t help but think that maybe somebody ultra-special died. it’s a haunting song that, more often than not, sounds like a funeral song to me.

kahit isang saglit is that other melancholic song which goes: “saaaaaanaaa'y ika’y muling makita ko, damhin ang tibok ng puso mo...sanaaaaaaaa’y yakapin mo akong muli...kahit sandali, kahit ‘sang saglit, mayakap ka.” i say that song is for the wailing aching, if ever there is such a term. he he he.

i can’t decide which of those two sounds sadder though.

as for the happiest OPM love song, I really haven’t come up with any yet. i’m still thinking. so, if you have a happy-sounding OPM love song in mind, feel free to let me know through the comments page. i would also appreciate it if you could share with me your own choice for the saddest OPM love song.

yeah, baby, yeah. the search for the happiest and saddest OPM love songs is on!

the special section

a conversation between God and man:

gaya ng dati, a song by gary valenciano

dati rati laman ng puso mo ay ang pangalan ko,
lagi ako sa isip mo.
dati rati inaawitan pa, lagi ay may ngiti,
mga mata’y nagniningning.

ngunit ngayon nagbago ka.
nasa’n na ang init ng pagsinta?
pangako mo’y hindi magwawakas.

di ba’t noon samyo ng bulaklak
at ihip ng hangin ay kapansin-pansin?
di ba’t noon ang mga oras ay di mo napapansin,
lagi ang paglalambing?

ngunit ngayon naglaho na
sigla’t tamis ng iyong pagsinta,
pagmamahal ko ba’y kailangan pa?

ooooh... dati rati mga pangako ko’y kandungan mo’t lakas,
sa pagsubok ay kay tatag.
di ba’t noon sa kaibigan mo’y ako ang bukambibig?
bakit ngayo’y anong lamig?

di mo alam ako’y nasasaktan
sa di pagpansin sa aking pagmamahal.
lumapit ka’t ako’y naghihintay…

ooooh... ako’y nasasaktan
sa di pagpansin sa aking pagmamahal.
lumapit ka’t ako’y naghihintay.

di mo alam ako’y nasasaktan
sa di pagpansin sa aking pagmamahal.
lumapit ka’t ako’y naghihintay.

Panginoon, ako’y nabulag lang - mandarayang mundo -
ako ay patawarin mo.
mula ngayon ang buhay kong ito‘y iaalay sa ‘yo,
gamitin mo ako gaya ng dati...
gaya ng dati... gaya ng dati.


and here is my most recent realization:
letting go is more painful yet more rewarding than holding on.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

thought salad

"hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"

blind item?

how’s this for news? blind man stabs blind foe dead (PDI, august 12, 2004). sounds interesting, huh?

according to the report, the blind suspect (who lives in the facility for the blind where the crime happened) attacked the also blind victim when the latter came to the facility to visit relatives. the suspect was able to positively identify his victim (whom he accused of spreading negative things about him) by sound. a blind witness was able to positively identify the suspect, also, by sound.

doesn’t news like that make you go “tsk…tsk…tsk…” and shake your head? i’m amused despite the tragedy.

US$1.00 = PhP 55.68

the philippine government is spending about US$ 155, 000 everyday for the useless bataan nuclear power plant. whoa! such spending will go on until at least 2018. whoa times two! no wonder this country is so poor and will continue to be so unless...oh no, never mind.

go home and eat kamote.

that’s what i wanna do right now, and i don’t mean that as a joke. i miss eating boiled kamote and boiled saging with bagoong. yum, yum, yum.


as you well know (that is if you’ve been reading my blog), i’ve been through hell. i’ve been through too much last week that by sunday morning (the morning after my last post in this blog), i felt so heavy although i was sure that the wind could have easily blown me away. added to all the woes, i had to spend sunday night studying for an exam scheduled the next day. since i had to study six chapters of solid state physics despite my troubled mental and emotional states, i was not able to sleep until about 3am.

nightmare #x

and it happened again…

my roommate spends a lot of time in los baños rather than in diliman, so most of the time, i get to sleep alone in our room across the busy kitchen. despite those stories of our dorm being haunted and such stuff, i don’t have a problem with sleeping alone and i could sleep peacefully with the lights off. well, not always…

as i was saying, i spent sunday night studying for an exam and did not sleep until 3am. since i was already so tired when i turned off the lights, said my prayer and hit the bed, i reached dreamland oh so quickly.

i was pulled out of dreamland just as quickly.

they came. they came to disturb my sleep…again. (music maestro! I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell…) an unknown force grabbed my feet and pulled me up from the bed. my recognition of fear was instant and i did not dare to take a peek in the darkness. instead, i struggled to keep my eyes more shut. i tried to resist the pull by holding on to my sheets while trying to call for help, but i was being pulled still. i then realized it just wasn’t my feet being pulled, but my head as well. what was worse, i was already shouting and yet no words were coming out of my mouth. already on the verge of panic, i asked Him to make it stop and He did. i woke up drenched with my own sweat and with the sensation that my right leg was feeling so numb. my left leg was feeling numb, too... but not quite as numb as my right. you could say that all that was just due to a bad sleeping position and i will not disagree (after all, that’s a way better explanation than unseen beings!). but…

things happening like that (i mean being disturbed while sleeping), even if only in dreams, don’t sit well with me. it’s not the first time i had an experience like that and i don’t believe that it’s the last. i’m quite prepared for the next, yet the mere thought, whenever it crosses my mind, scares me every time, knowing that in such situations i’m against monsters i don’t see. my remaining strength solely lies in the fact that even when i’m asleep, i still remember to call the One who could make it stop, no matter what.

P.S. (1) the nightmare didn’t, in any way, help improve the status of my well-being. (2) i felt better by monday night; the feeling of being sooooooo weighed down finally lifted off. yesssssssssss! (3) the exam last monday was not pushed through and was re-scheduled(?) to a more convenient date. ‘allelujah!

what truth?

my roommate says there are no truths, only bases. what's true for you may be different from what's true for me; but what you deem to be true has basis, and my "truth" has that, too.

ayrton senna

so what about him?

he made me like formula one (F1) races. he's one of the greatest F1 drivers. he's the reason why i could never be a fan of michael schumacher, and he died years before i learned about him. pagkabam!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

jumbled thoughts of the restless mind

pardon the pun, if there is indeed a pun.

before you get to the rest of this entry, here's a quote:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

hell week. i'm tired. i'm dead, but not quite dead. i'm busy and so is everyone. i know i shouldn't complain, eventhough i may have reasons to do so. maybe i'm just too tired, that's all. i feel like i'm a robot, and still i know i'm a human being and sane. i'm jumbled, but still sane. i need rest and recreation but, currently, time does not seem to permit me. i no longer even get to read the daily paper. i feel like i'm soooooo spent. i feel like i've hit rock bottom, and yet i'm aware i'm not there. maybe i'm just over reacting. yeah, allow me to convince myself: i'm just over reacting. i keep on repeating what i say, d'ya notice that? you do, don't you?

i've dreamt of colored baby snakes for two straight days (or nights), and i don't know what i should think about that.

the other night, i was without a roommate. when i was already in bed and about to sleep after a very long and tiring day, i felt my sock-covered right foot was being tickled. worse, when i jerked my foot, i felt as if i kicked on something (and i'm sure it wasn't the bed tray! hala ka dinha!) although i was afraid, i still had the courage to peer in the dark to check for "that something", and fortunately, i saw nothing beyond what i normally see in my room. still, i ended up really curling under my blanket (pagkabam! gitukaran).

so much is going on in my head. i think i can no longer handle all of them, and yet i'm still handling all of them. no wonder i'm jumbled, too jumbled. i'm currently so tired and i still keep going and going... (ako na jud!)

i don't think going to shrinks will help me, doing that might just complicate matters. besides, i don't have the money to pay them. do i really need a shrink when my friends (you know who you are...bantay lang mo!) are already doing a good job of keeping me afloat? when i die, i'll really pay them all a visit (*hehehe*).

i wanna go home...if only for a while...to rest, not to die. as the saying goes: God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind, I think I’ll never die. now who said that? come on, who said that? anonymous, that's what i know.

i'm penniless. almost. i wouldn't think so much about that though. there are better things to think about. one thing i am sure of is this: my sanity is far more important than my savings account.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

a flash of high school memory

in high school, we had a science elective. we had to choose among three science courses: the amazing world of STP (selected topics in physics), the boggling world of organic chemistry, and the "memorable" world of physiology. that was during our senior year, when we had to have 2 math subjects and 2 science subjects to go with our other subjects. back then, i had no inkling that i would be venturing into physics, so i didn't choose STP; i chose physiology, which is technically defined as the biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts. i was thinking that, of the three options, it was the one which would be most useful when i would finally venture into psychology, my would-have-been college major.

in my opinion, we students who belonged to that class never really took the subject that seriously. well, if we were serious, at least, we were not as serious as the geekheads who chose STP or organic chemistry were with their own electives (*makes the peace sign*). nevertheless, there were a lot of unforgettable learning experiences in physiology class. during our one-year stint in that science course, we studied and became adept at plant and animal structures, human muscles, bones, processes and their functions. aside from the usual lectures and copying of notes, we had projects like terrarium-making and illustrated dictionary of plants. i remember that during the lectures and note-taking, i was often listening to my seatmate's stories (which were told upon my prodding) and the volcano's rants rather than to our kind teacher. my notes were far from complete (although they looked complete) because i could barely read the writings on the board and i couldn't check with my seatmate's notebook as i had difficulty reading her handwriting (*chuckles*). terrarium-making was fun yet unsuccessful; we merely played with our creativity. rather than to ensure the survival of the plants and insects inside the soil-filled shoeboxes, we ended up more concerned with the appearance of our miniature "landscapes". aside from those, we also spent some time watching relevant videos, the most memorable of which is the main reason for this entry.

now, there were a lot of physiology-related films shown in class, but the one which tackled the processes from fertilization to chilbirth stood out...and the sequence on childbirth still stands out.

before the film was popped into the player, we were reminded by our teacher to be mature and react like the young adults that we were. no, the video didn't show sexual acts, there was nothing pornographic in it. it was basically an engaging documentary which started with clips showing sperm cells racing for the egg cell. it then went on to show what goes on during fertilization, the issues involved, what processes come after, how the fetus develops inside the uterus until the time comes for...childbirth, an actual footage of which was incorporated in the film.

about the footage...sorry if i'm going to be graphic about it. on the screen, you could see that the camera was focused on the mother's small vaginal opening. yeah, her legs were positioned apart, and her vagina was visible and all...but, remember, it was done with educational intentions! you could hear the mother shouting for dear life as she was instructed by the attendants to give the baby inside her a "push". after several struggles and "pushes", the vagina opened really really big (as in really really big) to let the baby out. i didn't see it rip, but seeing how the baby got out of the mother's womb...i'm sure it did!!! whew! it was really a very graphic detail of how painful (and should i add miraculous?) giving birth is!

here's the class story: when that scene was flashed on screen, the gals (and even the guys!!! -- hahaha, they can sue me, but i know i'm telling the truth *laughs out loud*) in class were unconsciously shouting out "aaahhhhh", as if it was the whole class that was in intense pain. when the mother let out a sigh of relief after the doctor announced the gender of her healthy baby, the class sighed in relief, too. talk about having a collective vicarious childbirth experience! unlike the mother in the footage though, the class didn't feel at peace after letting out the sigh. right after the collective sigh (which fortunately coincided with the end of the film), everyone in class let out giggles (perhaps to hide all the astonishment and to hold on to innocence *hahaha*). everyone started to point fingers as to who shouted, who put hands over their mouths, who shouted the loudest, who cried for their mothers, who grabbed a classmate...needless to say, the end of the period became a circus with all the childish teasing and bickering (*laughs out loud*).


"I believe that poetry is an action, ephemeral or solemn, in which there enter as equal partners solitude and solidarity, emotion and action, the nearness to oneself, the nearness to mankind and to the secret manifestations of nature." -- Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

july 12, 2004 was the centennial of the birth of my favorite poet, the 1971 nobel prize winner for literature and chilean statesman, pablo neruda. so, what made him great? to quote the boston globe, "Neruda was a literary champion of stuff. Nothing was off limits. He wrote odes to his socks, to a lemon, to a girl gardening, to ironing, to bees and bicycles, to a stamp album." i say, for celebrating even the very simple things in life through passionate words and lines, he's one incomparable being. how i wish i could write as well as he did (*sighs*). here is one of his poems:

Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring.

I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands; how did your lips feel on mine?

Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks, the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.

I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten your eyes.

Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will do me irreparable harm.

Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls. I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every window.

Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting stars, falling objects.

for more neruda poems, click here.

and here is an FYI (for your information):
if you've noticed, i stick to using the lowercase (unless when i'm quoting) in all my entries. i got that habit after rewriting the following poem by the american poet, e.e. cummings, in my notebook (*winks*):

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

click here to read more about e.e. cummings and his works.
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