"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."

Friday, August 25, 2006

impulsive, too impulsive

"Let her cry, for she's a lady
Let her dream, for she's a child
Let the rain fall down upon her
She's a free and gentle flower, growing wild"

-- Wildflower, Color Me Badd

i went home. i could say that it was a spur of the moment thing. sure, i was hell bent on sticking to my schedule but something in me snapped.

to hell with schedule!

i woke up one day and felt too sad. in my attempt to uplift my spirits, i thought hard of what it was that i really wanted to do.

i thought of going home. i wanted to be in mindanao. i wanted to see my iligan. i missed my room. i missed being home.

my room, my stuff: these and some other things, i tend to miss

4th of january 2006. that's the last time i was in my hometown. 17th of august 2006, thursday. that's the day i woke up feeling too sad. the first thing i did when i got to the lab? i emailed my friend, yoni, and told her that i wanted to steal some time... to be on a vacation... to see something i've been deprived of for eight months already -- my real home.

i emailed her in the morning. by nightime, i already had a roundtrip reservation. the next day, i went out to claim my ticket before reporting for work. ohhhhhh... i realized i was being impulsive. to be honest, i trembled with the realization.

considering that i have a deadline on the 4th of september, i wasn't expected to be away. nevertheless, i got my ticket and quickly sealed my going-home plans without consulting my adviser first. i only had friday to let him know that i was going out of town...

18th of august 2006. friday. i went to the lab after my trip to the ticket outlet and multi-tasked by preparing for the experiments to be done that day and drafting necessary letters. i also edited technical documents to be sent out to our funding agency. i also used up the time to prepare for my then would be talk with my adviser regarding my unexpected trip. no, i had no plans of going AWOL. it was important for me that i had to let him know. around noon time, he came in and asked if i've already eaten. he decided that i should accompany him and his family to bicutan for an important business.

on our way to bicutan, sir's wife asked, "so val---, when are you going home?" i said, "sa october pa po ako pwedeng umuwi..." and then, like a very excited and very hopeful child, i quickly addressed sir and said "pero, sir, pwede po ba akong umuwi bukas?" mwe he he he.

our conversation went on like this...

adviser: uuwi ka na. uuwi ka na. ba't ka uuwi?
me: sir, sandali lang naman po. by wednesday morning, i'll be back here.
adviser: ah, sandali lang naman pala. matagal ka na palang hindi nakikita sa inyo. kelan ka ba last nakauwi?
me: january po ako last nakita sa amin, doc.
adviser: ah, so my ticket ka na. sige, balik ka kaagad.
me: yes, by wednesday, i'm back. pramis.

hewwww... cool. i was delighted and excited.

very early morning of 19th of august 2006. saturday. i didn't sleep anymore. i made quick preparations for my trip. at about 3am, i left diliman and headed for the airport on a taxi cab. but, first, i made a sidetrip to yoni's place in shaw boulevard to fetch her. (yes, i wasn't going home alone.) next, we made another sidetrip to makati to fetch yoni's friend, athan. then, off we went to the airport to catch the first flight out of manila, bound for cagayan de oro.

by 6:30am, our plane landed on mindanao soil. i blurted out "yes, i'm here... after eight months." yoni said, "after two, three months for me." then, i said, "after 24 years, for athan." ha ha ha... anyway, yoni and i laughed and laughed as we got off the plane. she received a text message from the taxi driver who was supposed to fetch her but didn't show up according to schedule. the message sent us laughing our hearts out. it said, "maam, sorry po. nakakain kasi ako ng pampatulog kagabi. 5am na ako nagising." bwahahaha... nakakain ng pampatulog. to us, that's very funny and interesting.

wow, it felt good to be walking on mindanao soil again. it felt good to hear bisaya being spoken all around me. it felt soooo good...

well, except that i took the first flight, got reunited with my friends, had a swell white water rafting adventure (this definitely deserves a separate blog entry), got a well-deserved sunburn (ha ha!), went home (yesssss!), surprised my friends and family (i didn't tell them i was going home, they weren't expecting me), spent three lazy days at home (hu-wow!), saw my room and my books and went around the city, i did nothing much. hahaha, as usual, i'm saying "nothing much".

the book collection i built on my own during my college days
and the mini library the whole family is still building up

by the way, my hair's considerably shorter now. my mama had my tresses cut the night before i went back to manila. just as well... i'm back to wearing ribbons on my hair. he he he.

hair talk!

as a result of my caprice, i'm again all of a sudden several thousands poorer. so what? keeping my sanity is far more important than my savings account. i went for what i wanted and came back happy.

owkey, gotta go now. 'til my next entry, peeps!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


"The miracle is not to fly in the air,
or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth."

--Chinese Proverb

after days and days of waiting, i finally saw march of the penguins, the 2006 oscar best documentary. thanks to a very good friend!

originally released as la marche de l'empereur (wow, french!), march of the penguins tells the life and love story of emperor penguins in the merciless environment of antarctica. the documentary outlines a seemingly hopeless journey those oh-so-cuddly-looking creatures (the penguins) down there (antarctica) have to take in order to propagate their species.

even without morgan freeman's narration, it's easy to appreciate the film and its story of life, love and survival. every year since only-God-knows-when, during the onset of winter in antarctica, thousands of penguins leave their very source of food and the comforts of the sea to make a journey on inhospitable ice that will test them to their deaths.

you should watch this film, if you haven't yet. i highly recommend this documentary. it's beautiful. considering the harsh antarctic conditions, the story is wonderful and it's very beautifully done. the penguin love scene is the best love scene i've ever seen!

now, now, how much does a trip to antarctica cost? i wanna see those emperor penguins up close. not only do they look cute and cuddly, they're very fascinating survivors.

p.s. march of the penguins will be shown in local theatres soon as penguin, penguin, paano ka ginawa?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

weirdness, queerness, whatever

"Consider yourself a caterpillar...
the one who loves you is the nourishing leaf,
the one who hurts you is the cocoon.
you won't be a butterfly without nourishment
and you won't develop wings without the cocoon.
there are no heroes nor villains in life,
just people with different roles
to teach us one great lesson
and that's to fly."

-- forwarded text message

i've been tagged by kuya sam so i have to do this meme:

The writer will create a blog entry with “6 weird things/habits about yourself.”

People who get tagged will have to post a blog of their own telling 6 weird things/habits about themselves.

At the end of your 6 weird/things/habits, you need to choose 6 people that you would like to be tagged and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “You are Tagged!” in their comments and tell them to read yours for instructions on how to proceed!

owkey, game! aside from my tendency to bite my drinking straw and my habit of eating those small brown watermelon seeds one by one, here are the other manifestations of my slight (hehehe) eccentricity:

(1) i like sleeping in "contortionist positions" -- sleeping positions which my first ever roommate in diliman likes to refer to as my "yoga sleeping positions". if you happen to look at me while i'm sleeping, you'd wonder how i get any sleep with the way i sleep. i'm most comfortable sleeping under the blanket with both of my legs tucked under my thighs while my back's fully touching the bed. go figure!

(2) i stopped biting my nails three years ago but, until now, i still bite the skin surrounding my fingernails. i do this especially when i'm jittery. as of the moment, there are wounds around two of my fingernails because of this habit.

(3) i usually make my friends write something on unused disposable table napkins of establishments like starbucks, jollibee, yellow cab pizza co., etcetera for souvenir/scrapbooking purposes.

(4) i do have a wallet but i don't put money in my wallet. my wallet's use is limited to securing in place my swiss card, my old ID cards, business cards of family, friends and acquaintances, old calendars, and gollum's picture. you may ask, "gollum who?". gollum of the lord of the rings. you may ask again, "why?". beats me.

(5) i tend to touch (pinch?) the edges of my earlobes when i'm very aware that dogs are just around me. i never really became aware of the habit until my younger sister started teasing me about it.

(6) i'm intimidated by math and numbers. given that i chose (and still choose) to be in a field that uses math as its language, i know that's hard to believe.

i want to tag trickmeister, kars, abaniko, gwapo_na_baktin, (tito) zimm, and sealdz.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

our time together

"When the going gets tough
the great ones party!"

-- Garfield in Garfield 2

i'm hopping from one circle to another. with duties to do and deadlines to beat, i'm glad that i still have the time... but, of course, i've always tried my best to honor weekends by spending them with people from outside the workplace.

the other weekend, i spent time with ids99, my friends from high school. last weekend, i was with the p6peeps, my friends from college.

yehey! we're still around for one another!

last friday night, despite my exhaustion, despite the rains and despite the fact that i still haven't bought an umbrella (yes, i know i already said more than a month ago that i would! i'm bull-headed, you don't have to tell me), i braved the pitter-patter and made my way to makati to be with the rest of the p6peeps who're also in metro manila. i did not want to miss the gathering since there're 9 of us here last week.

considering the distance between metro manila and our original base in iligan and the fact that there are only 13 of us p6peeps, 9 out of 13's a batch record worthy of a celebration. plus, when it comes to reunions, my friends count on me to be around. i had no wish to disappoint them by making the combo of my toxic day and the heavy downpour as my not-so-lame excuse.

so there was i, reunited with tiff, jerk, randz, edson, bensky, naoms and micmic in edson's apartelle in makati last friday night. miez, the fourth gal in our group who also happens to be currently staying here in metro manila, didn't show up due to a valid reason which i've already forgotten.

of the eight of us who did show up, only randz, bensky, naoms and i are primarily here in metro manila because of grad school. jerk's here for his work and tiff, who is now his wife, is staying with him. jerk and edson are working for the same company but edson is currently based in bacolod. he gets to be with us from time to time since his duties require him to travel (hu-wow!). he was around here last week due to an official business. his timing was perfect for all of us... with micmic being here, too, in preparation for his out of the country trip which will take him to his choice of grad school somewhere out there.

edson, having been the one who made the necessary arrangements for the get-together, acted as our generous host. he saw to it that we were all fed and comfortable during the whole time that the eight of us were together. he also put up with our demands and remained nice even when randz turned too bossy and kept ordering him around. when we asked him for drinks, he did buy us drinks. he pulled a trick on us though...

in addition to bottled water and softdrinks, edson ordered different brands of beer and bought this local brand of tequila which we have never tried before. we thought he was going to drink with us. man! the guy said he's on medication. as a result, the burden of doing the glug-glug fell entirely to the rest of us. in the end, it was only randz, micmic and i who drank the tequila as the rest couldn't stand even just the burning smell of the strong alcohol.

PSG (p6peeps security group, hehehe): micmic, randz and edson

ever since our first p6peeps inuman session back in college, it has always been randz, micmic and i who see each other 'til the last drop. last friday was proof that that has not quite changed... except that there was no last drop, because we decided to stop "killing" ourselves that night. at least, i did! why get wasted?

when randz started to get so hyper and began talking to us in straight english, i let out a laugh, gave up and prepared for bed and slept. the guys must have followed my cue and gave up drinking the "poison", too. when i woke up a few hours after, the bottle was as empty as i last saw it... about three-fourths empty.

speaking of bed, it amazed me that we all got a good rest despite the fact that we only had two single beds for the eight of us: 4 people on each single-sized bed. hahaha. talk about p6peeps' talent and the ability to adapt!

what we did during the weekend aside from trying to finish that...that... that tequila: picture-taking (of course!), playstation tournament using jerk's playstation, tv/movie marathon and giggling over old judy ann movies aired on cinema one, updating one another on our lives and others' lives (as if we don't rat on each other in our noisy e-group, haha!), debating over quantum physics (the guys did! i don't know what got into them, hehe), exploring the mall of asia in pasay, braving the rain and the traffic, RPG/DotA tournament, and eating!

all that and more... on a rainy weekend. so what if i still don't have an umbrella?
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