"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."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

free-fall writing

"Love your calling with passion.
It is the meaning of your life."

-- Auguste Rodin

here i am thinking as if i really have so much time in my hands. i know i don't. i have many things to do. no, let me say that a little differently: i find that there are many things that i want to do.

take for instance, tonight. just awhile ago i was switching from one desktop window to another, checking out reference materials, further building up my thesis, and appreciating my own mental soup. before that, i was doing genuine attempts at perfecting the yoga positions i learned just today from a good friend. now, with my "thesis-related" windows still up in the background, i'm listening to music, blogging, thinking of eating isaw or balut, and trying to pin-point what i really want -- for tonight, for tomorrow, for next month, for next season, and for the rest of my life. bah.

let's see my dilemma for tonight: in front of me is a pile of books worthy of my time. in front of me, too, is a stack of movies i've already seen but still consider to be worth watching again and definitely worthy of their swept acclaim -- the silence of the lambs, crash, million dollar baby, amistad, gone with the wind, city of god, boys don't cry, casablanca, i am sam, schindler's list and a lot more. (ha ha, i'm my own video rental shop). directly in front of me is my beloved multitasking-adept computer. to my left is a plastic bag of oranges waiting to be peeled and eaten (i mean the oranges, not the plastic bag). to my right are printed thesis reference materials lying on the pillow-side of my bed waiting to be picked up again so that they can indulge me in another round of induced confusion and, hopefully, more understanding. hmmmm... let's get this straight. i want to read a book, i want to watch a movie, i want to play either klotski or jigsaw puzzle, i want to eat the oranges, and i want to be confused and enlightened by my papers all at the same time! ah, this is so typical of me, i shoulda be used to being like this by now. needless to say, i'm still not. pooh.

i have so little time and there are so many things that i want to do. what to do? what to do?! maybe i should go out for an hour and just try to count all the stars i could see in the night sky. then, i'll wish for whatever i want with every count -- wish for what i want for tomorrow, for next month, for next season, and for the rest of my life -- whatever comes to mind.

BUT... but... what do i really want? i've been trying to create a mental map of what i really want to be lately. i've been asking myself the questions i refused to face a year or two ago. hay. i'm in that stage of contemplating what to really do with my existence. hay jud. could this be the premature onset of old age due to looming death? syet. wag naman! tatawad na lang ako... uhm, how about quarter-life crisis? it sounds good to me now. hehe. see, it cannot be simply one high after the other without a good sense of direction for me anymore. i need to be able to pin-point that ultimate thing that i'm meant to do with the life i've been unselfishly gifted with. i have to go for that one thing i need to know, that one thing i need to find, that one thing that will really drive me home.

"What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
-- the late Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ

i know i should keep listening, i should keep feeling, i should keep waiting, i should keep praying, and i should keep believing that maybe what i've been told is true: the answer will just come to me when the universe knows i'm ready. when my right time comes, i'll fall freely into what i'm destined to be and i'll truly, madly, deeply be happy. then, when i die, i'll die fulfilled knowing that i did not live in vain.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

blame pablo

"Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings..."

-- Pablo Neruda

tonight is your last night for tomorrow i'll let go. it's weird that i don't seem to miss you anymore eventhough part of me still wants to. it's easier to let go now. i'm no longer afraid to lose what i never had. i don't have to cry, there will be no tears for me to shed. the world has shown me a million smiles -- maybe they're all yours, maybe they're all reflections of mine. who cares if they're yours? i don't... well, at least, not in that way that i used to. i guess it's the right time. i feel some sense of peace. every memory i was able to keep from what i can now call 'so long ago' shall stay with me. i don't have to throw them away nor leave them behind so i can forget. i know now that they won't hurt me like i once naively thought they would. you, you can't be with me. that's not anymore the saddest thing i've ever known. you made your choice. i am ready to forge mine. without bitterness. without pain. without sadness. with a hope. i hope this is right, i hope i'm not lying.

p.s. you're still my friend.

Monday, March 20, 2006

smile, heart, smile! ;-)

Words by Christopher Cross/John Bettis
Music by Christopher Cross/Steve Dorff

I never had anything happen so fast
Took one look and I shattered like glass
I guess I let it show 'cause your smile told me you knew
That you're everythin' I ever wanted at once
There's no holding this heart when it knows what it wants
And I never wanted anything more than to know you

I was swept away
No one in the world but you and I
Gotta find a way to make you feel the way that I do
I was swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away

And so it begins, this journey of love
The summer wind carries us to places all our own
The words of a look, the language of touch
The way that you want me means so much
And I never wanted anything more than to love you

I am swept away
No one in the world but you and I
Gotta find a way to make you feel the way that I do
I am swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away... away

Seeing my tomorrows in your eyes
I was swept away

Ooh, I hope I wake up soon
Ooh, I'm a victim of that crazy moon

The very first time you said my name
I knew it would never sound the same
Somethin' about me was changed forever

I am swept away
No one in the world but you and I
Gotta find a way to make you feel the way that I do
I am swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away... away
Seeing my tomorrows in your eyes
Gotta find the way to make you feel the way that I do
I was swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away

We were swept away
Dreaming of you
Swept away

do you get the feeling?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

bloody brain

you read the title right and it's there for its literal meaning. if you are faint-hearted, skip reading this post. something ewwwww lies ahead...

late last night, i opened an e-mail from one of my high school classmates. it said 'Ayala Ave. accident pictures' on the subject line. i knew right away what accident was being referred to.

my own brother told me about it last thursday (march 16) morning as we both made our way to ayala avenue from prince plaza ii in makati's de la rosa street. he reminded me to be always careful when i cross the street because, just last monday (march 13), he saw a man who got sprawled on that road in front of 6750 along ayala avenue. he added that the man was badly hit by a bus and that many of the onlookers were busy taking pictures of the scene.

i asked if the man died and he said most likely because there was so much blood and 'dili na maitsura ang nawong sa tawo' (the person's face was so disfigured). oh well. what he told me was an understatement! he should have said that the guy's head got flattened and that most of the brain got squirted out of the skull! the brain was badly scattered on the road! when i saw the pictures i almost puked! if you haven't heard about this very unfortunate accident nor seen the photos i'm referring to, click here.

then, too, i felt a little spooked when i saw the pedestrian lane in the photos. the night before the bloody accident happened, my p6peeps friends and i crossed ayala avenue using that very lane!!! i remember that, despite the relative safety offered by the lane, it took us a long time before we finally got to the 6750 side from the peninsula manila side because the vehicular traffic in the area was just relatively fast. who would have thought that the next morning, some guy would actually get his skull broken (and most of his brain scattered) on a spot so close to that lane?

they said he got off from a moving jeepney, lost his balance, rolled on the road and got hit by a speeding bus. shyet. what a chain of events!

ewwww, too! road accidents like that are the very reasons why until now i am so afraid of finding myself in a busy street. in fact, i'm afraid of crossing even in areas with 10kph limits. i just don't wanna take chances lest i die with my brain (or parts of it) spilling out of my head. oh, not my brain... the mere thought makes me sick.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

don't tell me i didn't tell you

"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."
-- Oscar Wilde

don't tempt me. don't tempt me. don't tempt me.

those are the words i would often say everytime somebody tempts me to break away from the things i normally do to try a thing which i think i should not be after (or do or anymore do). there are things -- which may or may not be lumped with the likes of yellow cab, movies, and mind games -- that i find very tempting. i say 'don't tempt me' and throw in a series of 'no, no, no' repeatedly with so much heart to make myself be heard more by myself than by the receiver. it's a futile exercise because the inevitable happens: my self-control weakens, i fail to resist, i yield in. pfft! so much for resisting.

my latest temptation is gamehouse's super jigsaw medley. there was text twist. there was super bounce out. there was bookworm. now, there's super jigsaw medley for me! actually, there is still text twist (and super bounce out and bookworm, too) in my computer, but super jigsaw medley is now my new favorite.

how can it not be? i've always been a fan of puzzles. i even bought a box with a thousand puzzle pieces four years ago to feed my 'puzzle-fondness'. my youngest sister and i have long since put the pieces of the puzzle together (999 of them only because we lost one piece, how sad), proof of which is the big picture (with a tiny missing piece) mounted in the family area of our house.

super jigsaw medley does not allow me to hold puzzle pieces with my own hands. nevetheless, it allows me to manipulate the pieces using the mouse so i can put things together. it's a gamepack with a very user-friendly interface and there are many beautiful puzzles to put together in its gallery. it boasts of versatility and gives players the option to set their own desired level of difficulty. it's a nice way to while away the time!

the thing is: i'm only using the trial version, care to share the crack? hehehe.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

he's my photographer and more

sometime last may, i asked readers of this blog to suggest a topic for me to write about. as a response to my call, he gamely left this comment:

Hmmm.. topic?
Aha! How about make a story on what you think about me.
Wahahaha.. Shumatz! just kidding. =)

i haven't indulged him on this 'til now. kidding or not, here's my story of him...

to begin with, he is not the "nameless" him i assigned the name botchok to in one of my previous posts. he is not the him i refused to name. he is not the him who faded into the horizon. he is the him who took that photograph you see on this blog's "who's crawling?" box. he is the him who is my unofficial photographer. my miggs. actually, my kuya miggs.

i've known him for almost seven years now. i first met him when i was a college freshman and he, a college junior who was enrolled in the same undergraduate program i was in. i don't remember how our first ever conversation went because we didn't really become close oh-so-quickly. i'm sure, he doesn't quite remember our first encounter either. we both had this immature and snobbish air (still have, actually) that i'm sure prevented us from getting close right there and then.

the first one-on-one conversation we had that i could remember happened when i was a college sophomore and he, a college senior who only had a semester left before getting his diploma. it was the end of the first semester and we were killing time inside the rather smelly and ill-painted cramped room which we called our org's office. we talked and talked and we were a-laughing and a-chuckling in between. the very funny thing is: i don't exactly remember what we talked about. ding di ding! the only reason why i remember that conversation is that my greatest crush of all time happened to walk into the room while we were talking... to borrow a calculator. (kuya miggs, if you can recall this scene, then by now you already know who he-whose-name-i-cannot-tell-you is. don't be silly, i'm not talking about voldemort.)

it was a good thing kuya miggs was clueless of the temporary tension i felt in that room when i saw my crush so up close. you know that kind of feeling you get when someone you really like happens to stand in front of you and you're caught so unprepared you find yourself not knowing what to do, you even skip breathing for a moment? that was what i felt. kuya miggs did not have a clue. how could he when i even gave the 'welcome' intruder a brush off? had he known how things really stood then, his migginess might have shoved me into the chap's direction and instead of thanking him, i'd be throwing dagger looks at him for the rest of his life and you wouldn't be reading this post at all. ha ha ha.

before that, i used to see him only as his best friends' best friend and just another upper classman, not as who he really is. after that conversation, i got to know kuya miggs more and saw how multi-talented he is. apart from his physics-related abilities which are, by the way, already given, he can play the guitar, he can sing, he can draw, he can tweak the computer, he can write his own codes and is pretty capable of designing webpages. he is artistically inclined, very creative, and can really do quite a lot of things well, which includes writing out-of-this-world but entertaining stories. what more can i say? i'm a fan of the artistic and creative being in him and i'm mighty glad he makes it a point to share his works with me!

this picture tells a lot about how crazy he can be
when he gets carried away by his creativity

the him i got to know is a guy who's got immaturity and maturity combined in his system. his sense of humor and his reactions betray this kind of quality he has. i guess this is why we get along well. he is immature enough to be on my own "immaturity level" and he is mature enough to be one of my protective big brothers.

over the years, he turned out to be the big brother i could count on to rescue me from my bouts of boredom (and, maybe, insanity?), even now that we're many islands apart. he refers to me as a loyal textmate and i can say the same thing about him. in fact, he's not just a loyal textmate, he's my Y!M ghost. hehehe. it's quite amazing how we never really quite get on each other's nerves eventhough we argue a lot, eventhough he makes my celfone his rant board and i do the same to his own celfone, eventhough our Y!M windows get filled with each other's petty and not-so-petty complaints about life and every little thing we could pick on. sure, there may be times when we go "absent" on each other, but it doesn't really take so many days for one of us to eventually buzz the other to say, "oist, asa na ka? buhi pa ka?", "wala pa ko nimo na-miss? ana na ka?", or simply "hoist bam!". then we're back to arguing, ranting, complaining and still getting along well.

one thing i find so amusing with our friendship is this: whenever he finds me around, he'd nag me to buy him food -- banana cue or burgers or fries with drinks. being the "no" kind of person that i am, i usually don't give in and make my bratty ways work for me instead. i do my best at getting back at him by talking him into buying me whatever it is that he wants me to buy for him. i do this until he gives up making me buy his food -- that -- or until he ends up shelling out his money for the two of us. then, the next thing we know, we're buying food, munching, and talking while he is keeping an eye on all the ladies in the vicinity -- ladies who happen to be his favorite subjects for what i call his own brand of 'discreet photography'.

there are still a lot of things i could write about my kuya miggs -- like how he gets his way with his 'ladies' (it's safe to say i don't belong to this category) as well as his dreams for the society -- but my thoughts have gone from not-so-disorganized to disorganized and i'm quite sleepy already. i'm pretty sure he'll understand if i'll end this post here.

a picnic with bulad

"Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass."

--Rupert Brooke

one of the things i find therapeutic is being out in the sun... to feel the wind against my hair and my skin, to breathe in the fresh scent of the living grass, to bask in simple joys under the great sky, to see that the world i live in is still beautiful, to believe that, despite looming roadblocks and inner turmoils, everything is still okay. what can i say? i'm a child of the living world and a fan of the great outdoors.

whenever i feel all my zest for life is in danger of being zapped out, whenever i feel i need recharging or even just a simple time-out, whenever i'm after a home-y environment, whenever i'm longing for light moments... in my mind, i know where to go. OUT!

and OUT was where i was last saturday afternoon. i took a break from swimming in the mental soup called 'my thesis' to spend time with the manila-based bisaya bloggers who gathered together (again!) for a picnic at the UP sunken garden.

happy picnic buddies at the sunken garden:
"tito" miki, kars, val, jors, sildz, and "tito" zimm

i could say that it was a picnic that didn't involve so much planning -- it was a product of spontaneity -- yet even before we could finish spreading out sildz' made-in-iligan straw mat, we found out that we brought so much food for the activity! we had lechon manok, liempo, pancit malabon, lumpia, rice, green mangoes with bagoong, boiled peanuts, liters and liters of softdrinks and mineral water, and a pack of jelly ace. we also had cooked bugas nga mais and bulad nga pinikas! (wow, kalami ba gayud! straight from jory's opol, misamis oriental yan!) it was a food-fest picnic! the abundance of our food was so overwhelming -- my bisaya friends and i were compelled to greet one another 'happy fiesta!' ha ha ha...

bulad and mais for a bisdak fiesta!

because we had so much food, we were not able to gobble up everything eventhough all six of us could boast of a very healthy appetite. we had a lot of left-overs. even so, we were so food-crazy that saturday afternoon -- when we saw a mamang sorbetero (male ice cream vendor), we did not pass up on the opportunity to buy cones and cones of yummy ice cream from him.

finding happiness with the tiling-tiling ice cream!

of course, we had our photosession with mamang sorbetero and his colorful ice cream cart.

we had so much fun that afternoon, we attracted attention from the other people who were there at the sunken garden. not only was our picnic mat a food showcase that even the flies couldn't resist from going near it, not only did we swarm around the ice cream cart as if it was the first time in our lives to see one, not only did we have a swell time "observing" the bodies of the frisbee players playing nearby, we were also making so much noise as we joked and talked to each other using our tatak-bisdak loud voices. as usual, jory, our official booking manager and gimmick planner, took the spotlight. a couple also on a picnic couldn't resist from letting out a chuckle when jory oh-so-unbridledly read-aloud for us the latest text message he received...

"if you think that the shortest way to a man's heart is thru his stomach, you're thinking ancient. That theory had long been gone when blow job was discovered."

ooops. you did not read that from this blog! anyway, lawgaw og lingaw gyud pag mga bisaya magkatapok-tapok! as i would always say, "kay bisdak lagi..."

Thursday, March 09, 2006

not yet

"No one understands that you have given everything.
You must give more."

--Antonio Porchia

after all the days and hours of devoting much of my waking time to it, after taking a self-imposed (though not necessary) leave from blogging, after giving in to a more erratic sleeping and waking schedule so i could pour my heart into it, with all the mental excitement and all the butterflies i felt (and still feel) fluttering in my stomach everytime i think about it...

i'm taking a break from my thesis and i'm taking this time to swing back to blogging. i deserve this breather.

my databank is complete, my draft is almost done and my mantra is still "thesis my quest... to follow that star" BUT i have decided that i won't be defending my thesis at the end of this month.


one of my labmates thought i was merely succumbing to laziness when i informed him about forgoing my thesis defense and, hence, my graduation from the master's program we're enrolled in. when he saw what i have written for the results and discussion part of my work, he took back his friendly-but-jabbing accusation. instead, he commented that i have written and presented enough and that i should turn my draft in.

naaaaaaah... a-yo-ko

the O.C. in me is not yet satisfied with what i have in my draft so far and my adviser knows and understands this. i did not wait for a year for my thesis to materialize only to submit a rushed manuscript that i'm not sure i could be proud of in the end. i'd rather wait awhile again and take the time to polish my work than turn in something i personally consider substandard, no matter how others will label it satisfactory. i'm living up to my own expectations. there is no way i'm going to disappoint myself by settling for less.

yes, i'd still be around here by summer and (since my adviser will be out during the entire month of may) perhaps 'til the next first semester. this is OK with me. i've been told that i still won't be burdening my parents with my would-be expenses because i won't be left to simply bum around.

"most likely, you'll defend in summer or, if not, then, in the first semester. don't worry. if you'll have to wait that long, you'll still be part of the project and be doing other things."

whatever happens to whatever remains of my timetable here, i'll make the most out of it. hey, i'm gunning for a defense in summer. wish me luck!

now, that i'm back, don't i deserve to be greeted 'welcome back to blogging'? *winks* or maybe i wasn't missed at all. oh, if that is so, please allow me my brat rights and say you miss me, puhleez.

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