Wednesday, January 29, 2014

need help ASAP


If only it was this easy in real life. CAN 911 HELP ME WITH DERIVATIVES, TOO? Math is killing me softly huhuhu okay back to work. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ARSAFest hangover

The official photos are out! Yes, I've waited so long for this one. Just needed to change my profile picture and voila! 

This photo commemorates the partying side of me. Just this once. Before my life goes to a wreck. Now, I officially say hiiiiiiii to my Filipino paper. Wooh. Best of luck. 

Last Friday night ;)

Monday, January 27, 2014

a dose of cuteness

Awwww. Isn't he the cutest?
Never mind he's crying. Never mind the tears upon his cheeks. Never mind that his wails echoed across our corridors. That he remained calm until we reached my room and he started squirming when he couldn't see his Mom anymore. That he was looking at me suspiciously throughout his visit. Never mind that he seemed to have forgotten about me.

He's still a cutie. :') Ate Ella loves you no matter what. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturdays: Immersion #2

Talk about priorities.

   There's that sudden feeling of guilt when you know you're supposed to be studying for the next week's long test in Chemistry and doing your research papers in English and Filipino but here you are, typing another blog post relating what happened during your weekend. Good job, Ella. That's a way to go.

   Well, I have my reasons. One, I can no longer write any decent thoughts. Two, I've been spending waaaaaay too much time with my English research paper that maybe I'll be blurting random facts about fairy tales any more soon. Three, Filipino is taking its toll on me. Seriously. 

   Anyway, I just needed some time off my papers. As my professor said, thinking about your paper too much would do you no good. Your mind needs some rest from the strenuous mental exercises it has to go through. 

   Okay. I've strayed far too much from this update's whole point. Before, my weekends are usually spent on sleep and more acads. Now, I've got org stuff to look forward to! As I have mentioned before, I applied in one of the organizations I fell in love with way back high school. Because of the application process, I've been going to UP for the different immersions. That is to expose the applicants to different committees and try to help them decide on which one's the best fit for each one's capabilities. ;)

   Last week, we had the immersion for the Internals Committee and that was in the afternoon. This time, we had one for the Externals and in order to give way for other who have afternoon classes, it was scheduled in the morning. Imagine the effort of waking up at 6:30 am after a late-night party. I thought I wasn't able to make it. Never heard my alarm and as a result, I ended up waking up 10 minutes past 7 which meant I had less than half an hour before our scheduled meet-up.

Every Saturday is spent at UP with this girl over here! ;)
   Well, being a dormer means you get to perfect the art of rushing in the morning. Left the dorm with ample time left for commuting. I am proud to say that I perfected travelling from my place to Mia's place! Yey! Few more trips and I'd somehow get the gist of our neighboring campus. ;)

   I donned some pair of jeans, a pullover plus my favorite pair of espadrilles. Unluckily for me, we were racing for that morning. Now, how was I about to run when I wasn't really dressed for such activity? Oh well. Goodbye, espadrilles! Haha but no joke, my espadrilles suffered from running around the campus. Yes,  on the upside, there were only six stations. On the other hand, those stations were really too far from each other. Add the fact that we have to run every single time. My body wasn't really prepped up for such activity. You know what happened next. 
   But hey, it was such a fun day out! :) Spent most of my energy meeting familiar faces plus some new ones. Caught up with Kuya Warren and Kuya Clyde, our facilitators during last year's Summit held in our school last year. Few of them know my brother, too. Hmmm. I wonder what impression Patrick has left them. :P Missed Kuya Raf  for this week. We might see them again soon. :) 

Kuya Clyde! :D
People have been teasing me with this guy over here. I can't help but laugh, really. 
With another Atenista! Haha hi Rogie :P
I feel the happy vibes this organization is giving me. Just hoping I'd pass the application process and I'm in! :))
PSYSC NECAT 13B-- just a small part of the batch, actually. Others were still
finishing the race while some weren't around just yet. We're a huge batch, aren't we? :P

photo credits to Kuya Clyde 

wet and wild

Now, I understand why dormers have the reputation of being a "wild child". 
  That's because they throw one of the most epic parties ever. :)))))) 

  I've been hearing a lot of stuff about ARSAfest since June. Everyone seems to know about it and once you dig further, they'll end up talking about their awesome experiences at the party. That's why somehow, I had high hopes for this event. Ever since the core team released the promos, the thought never left my mind. I immediately jotted it down in my planner to make sure I never miss it.
Say you are part of ARSA (Ateneo Resident Students Association) and people will immediately think you're a social butterfly. Well, everyone's entitled to their own thoughts. ;)
photo credits to Clara Cayosa

   ARSAFest is not just any party. It is a way of celebrating the diversity of the dorm community. It's considered as one of the best parties in the Ateneo. Every student has it on his and her bucketlist! :) It's also an avenue for budding student entrepreneurs to showcase their brainchild. Music, good food, drinks-- name it. ARSAfest has them all. Also, the Core Team gets all those big names for sponsors! This year, SM Youth's one of the major sponsors of the event. Isn't that amazing? Whoa. Just whoa.

It's SM Youth Bus! Perfect for impromptu photo sessions with friends!
Missed the chance of having a photo taken here T.T

photo credits to the official ARSAfest Facebook page
    Time couldn't run anymore faster. My roommmates and I were so hyped with this event that we were talking about it since Monday. We have already planned on what to wear (just stuff we don't bother getting paint on it) and debated on whether we should use the shirt allotted for the event since it was really so pretty! But, how else do you get into the spirit of the party? Well, the shirt was designed for that reason so why not? I wanted to cut the shirt into something more stylish but I was too scared to ruin to take that jump. Decided to wear it the usual way then paired it with shorts and sneakers. Oh well. I wasn't that much of a fashion blogger type, anyway. Haha.

    Crowds of students flocked in the Cervini parking area for a night full of dancing and singing with the blaring mixes of such talented DJs across the metro. That was an understatement. It was really cramped with dormers plus the typical partygoers from different campuses. 

It was one hell of a night! Can you imagine? I was there!
 So much for the introverted side of me. :P 
photo credits to Rachel OƱate

ARSA really made efforts to bring Sinulog to the Ateneo. The party seemed like an echo of the usual festivals on the streets! People were literally making themselves colorful and wet, splatting paint and water upon each other. The dirtier your shirt is, the more fun the experience gets! Drinks were served, too. (Don't worry, Mom, if you are reading this. I never touched anything alcoholic. :D) That's why you could expect people to be pretty much strutting their wild side, hitting the floor like there's no more tomorrow. 

     The party lasted until 2 am but I left two hours earlier so that I could have enough rest for the next day's immersion. I was a mess, an artwork of friends even strangers randomly spattering paint on me. My shoes looked like they weathered another battle. My shirt was full of stains. My hair? Don't even start on it. I was dirty but that didn't matter. I took part in one of the best parties ever known to an Atenista and the mess was all worth the fun! :)

Hello, shoes. It has been an adventure journeying with you. 

Went back to the room earlier. Gawd this is what I looked like? Haha!
It used to be such a crisp, white shirt. 

    My only regret?

    Needing a shower after the party. Cold water on such a chilly evening? Tell me about it. 

PS: Waiting for the official photos! :) Left my iPad for safety and convenience purposes so I really don't have any photos during the party itself. ;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

sawi + happy vibes

Today went as usual as my daily routine goes. Thank God I woke up earlier than the alarm. Got the chance to have a real breakfast and spent a really good portion of my time in the hot shower on the second floor. (Yes, SECOND FLOOR. I still have to go downstairs for a bath since it seems our floor experiences a shortage on hot water supply every morning. Oh well. Sacrifice, it is!)

   Got into English class just as my professor also entered the room. You know what is really weird? I tend to be more sleepy in the daylight. Whoa. I AM NOT TURNING INTO A VAMPIRE. Yes, that I really know. Maybe it's because of the sweater-slash-cuddle-weather. My bed's hold on me is getting tighter the minute the sun shines into my corner. I HAVE TO FIX THIS BODY CLOCK! Noooo. I shouldn't give in to that urge to just sleep. Hey, girl! YOUR LIFE REVOLVES DURING THE DAY! 

    Okay. Back to the topic. My English prof returned our notecards and surprisingly, I got a C+. Yes, a C+ on the notes I made three weeks before submission. A C+ for my efforts of going to the library even on weekends and reading 10 books for those notes! Of course, I asked him about it and he said he'd check. Apparently, he graded the wrong paper which I submitted just for the sake of the advisory marks. Oh well. I'll check up on it again this Friday. You might think I am being paranoid but I just really need every good grade for this course. 

    On the bright side, my classes were only in the morning so I had time to drop by at the PSYSC Main Office! :) Oh, it's an organization that promotes the science clubbing movement in the Philippines! :) (Hit the link above to learn more. ;) ) I've been part of this org since I was in high school as a participant and the regional chairperson and I really planned on joining it by the time I enter college. Guess I needed to adjust to the new environment that's why I wasn't able to apply last semester. I had to apply this sem since our Kuya (our facilitator last camp) is already graduating and it would really be sad to miss him.
During the first immersion last Saturday at the UP! :) Oh, the things I had to go through for this org! This is only a small part of the big number of applicants this semester! :) Looking forward to being a NECAT! :)

   I had to tambay at the office as part of the application process. Thank God I had Rogie with me. (I can't find a picture of us sooo that means I still have to have one photo of us taken, too. :P ) He's a friend I knew from last year's camp and he's studying in the Ateneo, too! Because his siblings are active members of the organization, Rogie also knows a LOT so he's really, really a big help! :)

   This time, I had someone navigating the streets with me. Oh no, I won't even dare commuting alone. I would be like a small fish dropped into the ocean. Nope, I still haven't fully grasped city living. Don't worry. I'd get there in time. ;)

    The three jeepney rides to the office and getting lost in the process were worth it! Yes, we were lost for a while since Rogie made the wrong decision of crossing the overpass and thus, turning in the wrong direction. We found the place eventually and got the chance to help out in the certificate packing! :) Before, we were the only ones receiving these letters but there I was, behind the scenes, helping out pack and get those letters ready for shipping! :))))
     I met some of the NECATs, (This is what the members are called; also known as the National Executive Assistance Team) too and they were really awesome! Started ticking off some things off my sigsheet! (This one's like a huge and thick autograph or slumbook. I've got to fill it with information and signatures for this! :) ) I cannot wait for the day I'd be one proud NECAT, too. ;) Just hope I get the chance and time to be active in this organization I have always wanted to be part of. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

making a difference

It's another Tuesday but it's unlike every other Tuesday, too! 

      Filipino was a great deal to digest and work on nowadays. Sir Popa really expects a lot from us. I could just tell. We had our first group presentation and boy, I thought it was already good. However, in his eyes, there were more areas we should learn and improve on. More pressure on the next team which is unfortunately us. Just so I thought this week could be easier. Oh well. This is college.

       Surprisingly, I managed to keep my spirits up until now. A miracle since it's already late in the afternoon plus I pulled off  necessary all-nighter for today's long test in Calculus. I guess it paid off. Unlike the first one, this wasn't so much of a surprise. Maybe because we already had a gist of how Ms. Domingo hands out her items. As always, it was better to expect the worst. Managed to answered all in a matter of an hour and a quarter. Had ample time to go over the test, too. I was familiar with most of them because I made the decision to go over the exercises in the book. It was a good thing I felt like being productive last night. Just please oh please let not the spirit of carelessness be within me at that hour. I have always been a fool for such shameless mistakes. Let it not happen again. *sigh

      It was really one of those days where I had to rush to classes, rack my brains for some useful thoughts and end up draining my energy pushing my limits. However, our Innovation group had an appointment with Dr. Wong and it has been one of the few things I've been looking forward to by the start of the week. 

      Remember the time we joined a competition where in we had to look for ways to reduce and reuse food waste? Well, we almost made it. However, even though we didn't make the final cut, Dr. Wong was still impressed on how we came up with such a proposal, thinking we are still freshmen. (Naks naman, Doc. You flatter us too much. hahaha!) He asked us if we were still interested in doing the project but with a different approach. As expected, we said yes.

      That simple response proved to be much greater. He suggested that we could be middle men, connecting food companies which generate a lot of  still edible waste in a daily basis and the organizations which need resources for their feeding programs. At first, it seemed quite easy but thinking about it for a while makes you realize that it wouldn't be a breeze. Still, we chose to stand up for the challenge. Along with our mentor, our group discussed the possibilities of convincing some fast food chains to take part in this mission of promoting health. With their help, it is possible to win the fight against malnutrition in the chosen beneficiaries. See? It makes all the difference!

      Dr. Wong seemed to like this thought and he has given us a week to finish the proposal. Excited for this project! Seems like someone's testing the waters. Hmmm. :)

Monday, January 13, 2014


Found this picture on Facebook. Cat's too cute! :"> 

just because

It has been a week since the last time I carried a baby in my arms. Just missing Baby Max. :) He's the youngest in our brood. :) Can you imagine? He'd just be a senior in high school, anxiously anticipating his college entrance results by the time I turn 32! Weird. Just weird. 

Found this picture in my files while browsing for my Literature papers. Well, someone's growing up faster than expected. 

Those tiny feet! :))))
See you in the next long weekend then, Baby Max! :)))) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ateneo or UP?

ACET results are finally out! :) There was heavy traffic along Katipunan Avenue yesterday.Seniors flooded the Blue Eagle Gym where the results are posted. Those hopefuls were not alone, though. Parents, siblings or anyone for that matter were there to witness that drama.

      Me? I was sleeping in that beautiful and dramatic Saturday morning. I was supposed to be part of that crowd but the attraction between my bed and I was far more greater than the need to get up. Oh well. Let me be. IT'S THE WEEKEND, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE! My slumber was ultimately disturbed by a phone call. Groggily. I picked it up. It was Rogie, a friend who was at the gym as of that moment. He called to say,


      The sleepy me was like, "Oh really? Great." BUT it suddenly dawned on me. MY BROTHER PASSED THE ACET! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

     Little bro got in BS Environmental Sciences with full scholarship plus dormitory allowance. Great deal, huh? :))) No more worries! Just allowance and he's good to go!


      He also got in University of the Philippines which is like every senior's dream come true. He got in the 4-year program in Geology. Still, not bad, right? 

       He's at the crossroads like I was before! There are some pros and cons in every choice. I was thinking about it and here are my reasons.

The ups....
  • I'm here, obviously. :))))) We get to be in the same community, too! :)
  • SCHOLARSHIP!!! No more worrying for tuition expenses. Just work hard and it will do! 
  • OrSem is the BEST! Enough said.
  • BS ES is such a good course, too! The home org's located in the Manila Observatory, I believe. Now, how cool is that? :)
  • You won't get lost around the campus. The size is really manageable. :)
  • Security's really strict. You can count it as a con, too. :)
  • It's a good thing being called an Atenean. There's a ring of prestige to it!
The downs...
  • The cost of living is high. Scholarship will take you there but gosh, you have to manage resources wisely. Food here does not come cheap. (My brother eats a lot sooooo you understand why this is very much included in the down side.)
  • Well, you have to dress up for class. One, there's the implementation of a dress code. Two, the campus is like a walking runway. 
I can;t think of more reasons. wooh so...

The ups...
  • IT's UP! You must be really proud to be an Iskolar ng Bayan! Tuition is subsidized that's why sending your child here isn't as hard on the wallet as it is to other universities.
  • You can live with just P100 a day. :) That's according to some of my friends and I doubt it would be untrue. There's a lot of stalls around the campus. :)
  • You get to experience 3-day weekends every week! Monday is an official part of your weekend unless you professors ask you to come for an exam or stuff like that.
  • The grounds are beautiful and refreshing! It's also fun to know about trivial stuff about the buildings. :)
  • You won't worry much on how you look because in UP, you can be anyone and wear anything you like. There's this liberal sense of understanding in the university so don't fret too much!
  • PSYSC! Enough said. 
The downs...
  • It takes a while not to get lost. There's a reason why there are jeepneys around the campus, right? 
  • Well, since my brother's not on a scholarship program, our parents still have to pay for that, too. Wonder which bracket he belongs to? 
  • It isn't easy looking for a dorm to stay in the campus. This is where all diskarte comes in handy.
  • Compared to AdMU, UP is an ocean of strangers. Size is proportional to population, I believe. Wooh. It would be fun and taxing at the same time to meet lots of new people. :)
I ran out of reasons already but that's a good thing, though. I have to come back to my stack of books. It's midterm season once again and gosh, I need to pull my grades up. Not saying they're really bad. I just want to make it to the list this semester so #push! Haha oh well. It's still his decision. Either way, I'm good with him studying here in Manila. Looking forward to June, then! Wooohoooo!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Where I Come From

I've been working on this paper for about a week. Drank lots of frappe for this one. Cheers to my first paper in Filipino! Our professor told us this is the easiest one to work on so we might as well grab the chance to get an A. Talk about understatements. :/

      What he asked for was not easy to give. We had to dig deep! No adjectives for us, too. We had to make the readers feel what we really what to convey. Images have to be clear and sharp. Plus, it was not easy writing in Filipino. I got so used in writing stuff in English. Everything must be implied, never stated. We must also fill 4-5 pages. It must be completely filled with words with Courier New, Size 10 and 1.5 spacing. Who's to find that simple?! Oh well. Here's to another first! 

PS. This is a reflection paper about my hometown, Isabel, Leyte. Feel free to breeze through the essay! It's kinda long so please bear with me. :)

Ang Mundo sa Aking Likuran

“Sa anong probinsiya ka ba nanggaling?”

      Ito ang katanungang laging bumubungad sa akin tuwing nakikipagkilala. Kay simple naman, ‘di ba? Isang sagot lang naman ang hinihingi. Ewan ko ba’t nahihirapan akong ipaliwanag kung saan ba talaga ako nagmula.

      Tubong Legazpi ako. Gayundin ang buong angkan ko. Kinalakhan kong natatanaw mula sa malawak na asotea ni Lola ang Bulkang Mayon. Alalang-alala ko pa ang halimuyak ng mga bulaklak na itinanim ni Lola sa malalalim na paso’t kung paano ko diligan ang mga ito pagsapit ng dapit-hapon. Iyon nga ang inaatupag ko nang hinayo niya ako sa loob ng bahay, isang bungalow napapalibutan ng matataas na bakod at pader ng kapitbahay.

      Hindi ko mawari kung bakit biglang tumahimik ang kapaligiran. Tila lumakas bigla ang huni ng mga ibong nagpapalipas ng oras sa pasamano. Malayo ang tingin ni Lola. Tulala. Nakaupo siya sa paborito niyang silya. May mga luhang namumuo sa gilid ng kanyang mata ngunit wala ni isang gumihit sa kanyang pisngi. Si Lolo na ang nagsabing, “Kukunin ka ng mommy mo. Doon ka na raw sa Leyte mag-aaral ngayong pasukan.”

      Nangungupahan lang noon ang aming pamilya sa isang bahay na kahoy na madaraan ng halos lahat ng dyip. Maliit. Masikip. Hindi lang nga kami ang nakatira sa bahay na iyon. Palibhasa’y naitalaga ang aking ama sa Batangas, kaming mag-iina lamang ang naiiwan. Kwento ng nanay ko, kung minsan biglang na lamang hihina ang pinapatugtog na radyo.  May isang beses nga nabigla na lamang siya nang makita niya akong gumagapang na palabas ng pinto. Inilagay na niya kasi ako noon sa aking kunan, himbing na himbing na natutulog.

      Nagbawas ng mga manggagawa ang kumpanyang pinapasukan ni Ama noon. Buti na nga lang at mabilis din siyang nakahanap ng kapalit. Iyon nga lang, sa isang bayan sa Leyte raw matatagpuan ang kumpanya. Walang sinayang na panahon ang aming mag-anak. Pagkalipas lang ng ilang araw, handa na silang iwan ang Legazping kuha ang kiliti nila para sa isang bayang pangalan lang ang alam nila. Oo, sila lang. Iniwan muna nila ako sa pangangala ng aking lola habang hindi pa nila nasisiguro ang kalidad ng pamumuhay doon.

      Wala sa mapa ang Isabel. Kapag may nakipagkikilala nga’t ibinanggit ko ito, ang karaniwang kasunod na tanong nila’y, “Ha? Saan ‘yun?”  Kung hindi ko man ito nasilayan, ganito rin yata ang magiging reaksiyon ko. Sa bayang ito, kaliwa’t kanan bundok ang makikita mo. Kung di man bundok, ang karagatan naman ang bubungad sa mga mata mo.  Sa mura kong isipan, hindi ko mawari kung bakit dito na kami ipinadpad ng kapalaran.

Grade Two ako nang tuluyan kong iwan ang buhay-lungsod. Halo-halo ang nararamdaman ko noon. May ngiting naiiwan sa aking mga labi sa tuwing naiisip kong pagkakataon na rin itong magkasama-sama kami ng aming pamilya. Tatlong taon din akong nasa pangangalaga ng aking lolo’t lola. Iba siguro ang pakiramdam nang nakikita ang aking mga magulang sa bawat paggising at hindi lamang naririnig nang ilang minuto sa telepono dahil mahal nga ang bayad sa long-distance calls. Sa kabilang banda, bumibigat ang pakiramdam ko’t natutulala. Iba na itong papasukan ko. Wala rito ang naglalakihang gusaling nakasanayan ko. Walang maiingay na pasaherong nagmamadali’t nakikipag-aagawan sa mga dyip at van papuntang trabaho’t eskuwela. Nasaan na ang mga ilaw-trapiko? Bakit wala pa tayong nadaraanang mall? Kay kitid ng mga lansangan! Pauntul-untol pa ang takbo ng sasakyang mukhang nasobrahan na sa air freshener.  

Halos abutin din ng isang araw ang biyahe mula Legazpi papuntang Isabel. Kailangang tumawid pa ng dagat at tumahak ng daang tila walang hanggan para makarating sa liblib na bayang iyon. Buti nga’t naipatayo ang paliparan sa Tacloban. Mulang Maynila, tatlumpung minuto hanggang isang oras na lang, nasa Visayas ka na. ‘Yun nga lang, apat na oras ka pang nakaupo sa loob ng masikip at, kung mamalasin pa, mainit na van. Kahit ganoon pa man, mas kanais-nais na rin ito kaysa sa pagtiis ng pagkahilo sa mga lansangang gumagapang pataas ng bundok.
Hindi pa pala ito ang Isabel na kagigisnan ko.

Natapos din ang prusisyon. Iminulat ko ang aking mga matang pilit kong ipinikit sa pag-aakalang panaginip lamang ang aking paglipat. Wala pa rin. Inihinto na ng drayber ang kotse. Laking gulat ko nang makita ko ang isang napakataas na bakod na bato at malapad na pintuang bakal. Sinalubong pa kami ng ilang guwardiyang suot ang kanilang unipormeng walang bahid ng mantsa. Tiningnan ko ang mundo sa likod ng sasakyan. Ganoon pa rin. Puno ng berdeng kapaligiran. Ito pala ang Isabel ko, isang bahaging naiiba mula sa Isabel na pinaniwalaa’t una kong nakilala.

Tila nasa gitna ng kawalan ang aking Isabel. Isang sibilisasyong biglang sumulpot upang punan ang espasyo sa isang liblib na pook. Ayon sa karamihan, ito ang distrito ng mapapalad. Pili lamang ang naninirahan dito. Ilang porsyento lamang ng mga manggagawa mula sa dalawang kumpanya, PASAR (Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation) at PHILPHOS (Philippine Phosphate Corporation), ang umuukopa ng distritong ito.

Sa Isabel ko, bantay-sarado ang mga residenteng halos hindi mo masisilayan sa ilaw ng umaga. Bawat oras, sa bawat sulok, mahahalintulad sa uwak ang mga guwardiyang nakaantabay sa kung anumang kaguluhang mapuna. Hindi rin basta-bastang nakapapasok sa Isabel ko ang hindi tagaroon. Malilinis at halos walang tao ang mga kalye tuwing umaga. Nababasag lamang ang nakabibinging katahimikan pagsapit ng hapon. Nagsisilabasan na ang mga batang naglalaro ng patintero’t habulan o kaya nama’y lunan ng sari-sariling bisikletang nililibot ang buong distrito. Sa oras na ring ito, rumarampa na rin ang mga aso kasama ang sari-sariling among halatang nagpapapayat. Pare-pareho ang disenyo ng mga bungalow nagkakaiba lamang sa laki ng bahay at kulay ng bubong. Mas malaki ang bahay, mas mataas ang posisyon sa kumpanyang pinapasukan ng ama o ina. Pula lamang o berde ang mga bubong na nagsisilbi na ring palatandaan kung saang kumpanya konektado ang mga naninirahan sa nagsabing bahay.

Tila nababalot ng luntian ang buong distrito. May mga espasyong ginawang harding punung-puno ng iba’t-ibang uri ng bulaklak. Maliit at malalaking orkidyas na nakakabit sa punong iba’t-iba ang hugis at taas. Pula, dilaw, puting santang kadalasang nagsisilbi ring bakod na nakapalibot sa bawat tirahan kahit hindi naman mahilig sa pagtatanim ang mga namamalagi dito. Gumamelang maninipis at makakapal na malagong tumutubo kahit madalas mang makaligtaan. Nagmimistulang prutasan ang distrito dahil sa mga punong hitik na hitik na sa bunga. Matatakam ang sinumang makakita ng mga manggang kay laki’t dilaw na dilaw. Tuwing tag-araw, nagsusulputan ang mapupulang makopang nahuhulog na lamang dahil hindi lahat napipitas. Dito rin ako unang nakakita ng bayabas sinlalaki na ng mga pomelo! Minsan naman, sari-saring uri ng gulay ang makikita sa mga hardin. Hindi mawawala ang malunggay na tumutubo lang maski saan. Nariyan din ang papayang hindi nauubusan ng bunga kahit mumunti at hindi man gaanong kabigat ang bawat isa nito. Hindi biro ang maliliit at napakapulang siling halos matatagpuan sa bawat kanto.

Sinasabing mayaman ang distrito kong iyon. Paano ba naman, sadyang hindi makaliligtaan ang mga makikinang na kotseng makikitang nakagarehe. Nariyan din ang mga katulong na nagwawalis ng mga tuyong dahon sa bakuran, naglalaba gamit ang kamay o ang mamahaling washing machine pinagbiling pagkaingatan o naghahanda’t naghahatid ng baon para sa kanilang among nasa trabaho sa pamamagitan ng mga bus na kada oras na nililibot ang buong pook.

Hindi ko na Isabel ang mga kalsadang puno ng kabahayang iba-iba ang laki, lawak, hugis at kulay. Mula umaga hanggang gabi, nambubulahaw ang malakas na tunog na radyo ng kapitbahay o ang mga halakhak ng mga nanay na nagtsitsimisan. Sa Isabel na ito, bawat kanto, may tindahang hindi nauubusan ng magkakabarkadang nakatambay. Dito, mga traysikel ang nag-uunahan at sumasakop ng mga kalye’t eskinita. Kakaiba ang mga ito dahil pito, hindi pa kabilang ang namamasada, ang maaring magkasya rito. Hindi uso ang dyip sa bahaging ito ng Pilipinas. Sa Isabel na ito, mga bus at multicab na kasinkulay ng mga hari ng Maynila ang pangunahing paraan ng paglalakbay. Sa Isabel na ito, maraming munti ang makikitang palabuy-laboy sa kalye buong araw. Walang mga sapin sa paa. Gula-gulanit ang saplot. Sa halip na pumasok sa eskuwela, nariyan sila nakaantabay sa tabi-tabi. Maya-maya, mararamdaman mo na lang na may tatapik sa iyo, nanghihingi ng kung anumang puwedeng makain. Hindi ko na Isabel ang bahaging ito. Hindi ko na Isabel ang mundong nasa ibayo ng matatayog na pader na nakapalibot sa aming distrito.

Maliit lang ang Isabel ko. Pitong kalye lang ang matatagpuan rito. Hango sa mga puno’t halamang kadalasang nakikita rito ang bawat isa. Tulip. Balete. Acacia. Golden Shower. Gayunpaman, matatagalan ka ring ikutin ang distrito dahil sa bawat liko, sa bawat kanto, may makakasulubong kang pamilyar na mukha. Siyempre, hindi mawawala ang kamustahan. Kung minsan pa nga, yayain ka pang saluhan sila sa mainit-init pang pandesal at pansit.

Sa mga tubong-Isabel, likas na ang paggamit ng naglalakihang boses sa araw-araw na pakikipag-usap. Mabubulabog ang sinumang hindi sanay sa gawing ito ng mga tagaroon. Aakalain mong nagtatalo’t hindi nagkakaintindihan ang magkumareng nagtsitsismisan sa karatig-bahay. Madiin din kasi sila sa pagsasalita. Ilang saglit lang ang lilipas at maririnig mo rin ang kanilang hagikhik.  Iyon pala, nagkukumustahan lang ang mga babaeng matagal nang hindi nakapag-usap.

Nabibilang lang ang mga pamilyang napalad na mapiling maging bahagi ng komunidad na ito. Kaya naman malalapit ang magkakapitbahay maliban na lang kung may pinagdaanang alitan tungkol sa mga anak o sa lupa. Karaniwang kaklase ko ang anak ng katrabaho ng kapitbahay namin. Dala rin ng mga koneksyon, napakabilis kumalat ng balita, mabuti man ito o ang kabaliktaran. Nakakatawang isiping nauna pa ang katrabaho ng tatay kong makaalam na pumasa ako’t nakatanggap ng scholarship sa Ateneo kaysa sa akin. Kapag nga bago ang kotseng mo, asahan mong kalat na ito kinabukasan kahit hindi mo pa man ito naimamaneho.

Kung gaano kabilis makibalita, ganoon din namang kabilis mapag-usapa’t mahusgahan. Madaling maging isyu sa Isabel ko. Ikaw na ang paksa ng tsismisan kapag nakitang lumulobo na ang tiyan mo’t hindi ka pa kasal. Nakikita kang kasama ang isang binatang may itsura’t nagmumula sa isang sikat na pamilya? Asahan mong napansin ka na’t laman ng usap-usapan. Mas mahirap kapag bagong lipat ka. Ganoon nga ang pakiramdam ko noong una kong pasok sa eskuwela. Natapos pa lang ang unang kapat na markahan at ipinaskil na rin ng mga guro ang listahan ng honor students. Hindi ko namang inaasahang pangalan ko ang maging una sa talaan. Oo, ikinagulat ito ng lahat dahil natalo raw ng isang transferee ang batang tinaguriang walang kapantay at laging nangunguna sa klase.

Simula noon, ramdam ko ang masugid na pagmamasid ng lahat sa akin na tila ba hindi na ako puwedeng magkamali. Bumaba lang nga ang mga marka ko, may maririnig na akong haka-haka kung bakit ito nangyari. Nagdadalaga na raw kasi. Baka raw may kasintahan na’t naaabala na. Baka raw nagrerebelde na’t gusto nang magpalit ng katauhan. Baka raw nawala na ang interes at talino at nagsawa na rin sa pagiging ulirang mag-aaral.

Sa Isabel ko rin matatagpuan ang sinasabing isa sa pinakamagaling na paaralan sa lalawigan. Hindi puwede ang “Puwede na.” Dito, matirang matibay. Patunayan mong kaya mo dahil kung hindi, magsimula ka nang maghanap ng malilipatan mo.

Tulad ng Isabel ko, madaling maisaulo ang lahat ng pumapasok sa aming paaralan. Sa haba ng oras na magkakasama, lubusan kong nakilala ang mga taong kasabay ko na ring lumaki’t nangarap. Paano ba namang hindi mangyayari iyon? Simula kindergarten hanggang hayskul, sila ang mga mukhang sama-sama na.

Kung may maituturing katangi-tangi ang Isabel, kabilang nga siguro rito ang dalawang kumpanyang nagpapaunlad ng ekonomiya ng bayang ito. Lingid sa kaalaman ng iba, kabilang ang PASAR at PHILPHOS sa mga proyektong pinangasiwaan ng pamahalaang Marcos. Dalawa lamang ito sa mga proyektong isinulong tungo sa industriyalisasyon ng bansa. Umabot ang sandaling hindi na ito kayang panagutan ng pamahalaan kaya ipinagbili ang mga ito sa pribadong sektor. Copper cathodes ang pangunahing produkto ng PASAR habang pataba naman ang sa PHILPHOS.

Nasa dulo ng aking Isabel ang dalawang kumpanyang ito. Iisipin mong nasa Gitnang Silangan ka kapag nakapasok ka sa loob ng korporasyon. Naging gris na ang mga higanteng plantang kulay puti dahil sa alikabok. Hindi tulad ng bahaging residensyal, kongkreto’t halos walong damo ang nasa kaliwa’t kanan mo. Nangingilaw na ang mga punong nakatanim sa palibot ng mga ito. Masakit sa ilong ang binubugang usok. Maalinsangan kahit kapag umuulan sa pagawaan. Dahil din sa dalawang kumpanya, hindi uso ang maligo sa malakas na ulan. May malaking posibilidad kasing acid rain na ang bawat pag-ulan. Kapag nabasa nga ng ulan, iminumungkahing maligo ka’t magbanlaw nang lubusan kung ayaw mong mangati.

Ito nga ang naging mundo ko sa loob ng walong taon. Simple. Komplikado. May lugar nga ngunit mukha pa ring wala sa lugar. Bayan ko, ngunit hindi ko talagang masasabing akin.

Noong bata pa ako’t tanging kaligayan ko ang linggu-linggong pamamasyal sa mall,  nayayamot akong hintayin ang araw na lilisanin kong muli ang Isabel. Sabik akong makitang muli ang Legazping kinagisnan, marinig ang ingay mg mga sasakyang umaarangkada mula umaga hanggang gabi, makagisnan ang mga mall na naghahandog ng lahat ng layaw sa mundo.

Nasa kolehiyo na ako ngayon at nag-aaral sa isa sa nangungunang pamantasan ng bansa. Sa wakas, natunton muli ng dalawang paa ang lungsod. Walang mga bundok na natatanaw kasama ng mga alapaap. Nagsusulputan nga sa bawat kanto ang mga higanteng gusali. Kapalit ng mga bituing kumikislap ang karagatan ng gintong ilaw walang hanggan.

Oo, nakabalik na ako sa lungsod na aking kinagisnan ngunit bakit hindi ko mapilitang lumingon at tanawin ang mundong nasa aking likuran?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Still Up

Up and about again for three months in the academic battlefield! 

   I cannot deny the fact that I had enough of the break. It's only Day 3 but all I ever look forward to is that 4-day break by the end of the month. Talk about positive thoughts. 

    I feel really bad for taking some time off my Filipino paper which is due this Friday and I am still working on the second page out of five. Oh well. #YOLO haha kidding. This is what happens when I run out of relevant thoughts. If I continue to work on that paper, oh no. I would be rambling about the most random stuff and poof! There goes my chance of redeeming a good grade for this semester.

    You know what's weird? My Filipino paper's due this week but I found myself cramming to finish it. Meanwhile, there's my paper for Literature which is due God knows when (my professor never bothered telling us when she really wants it) but that's what I did over the break!

     Compared to Fil, it proved to be easier, I swear. Our Lit prof wanted us to analyze one song and one classic poem of our choice and contrast and compare the images used throughout the different compositions. 

      What made it easier for me is that I only needed sawi vibes to get it done! Why? That's because I spent a lot of time searching for that poem and guess what I ultimately had my hands on? A poem about LOVE! Easy-peasy. This emotion is totally relatable. Robert Browning really captured it perfectly. Here it goes:

The Lost Mistress

All's over, then: does truth sound bitter
As one at first believes?
Hark, 'tis the sparrows' good-night twitter
About your cottage eaves!

And the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly,
I noticed that, to-day;
One day more bursts them open fully
---You know the red turns grey.

To-morrow we meet the same then, dearest?
May I take your hand in mine?
Mere friends are we,---well, friends the merest
Keep much that I resign:

For each glance of the eye so bright and black,
Though I keep with heart's endeavour,---
Your voice, when you wish the snowdrops back,
Though it stay in my soul for ever!---

Yet I will but say what mere friends say,
Or only a thought stronger;
I will hold your hand but as long as all may,

Or so very little longer! 

I could not help but fangirl over this literary piece. Reading it the first time around didn't stir anything yet. However, reading it once more with fresh eyes completely opened me to all those feels. Yes, I emphasized some parts of the poem because it was too much to handle. <///3 Here we have a couple where the girl just finally called it quits. Then, we hear the guy's reaction to his sweetheart's decision. Rejection just slapped him hard on but he managed to keep his cool. See how he was stalling as if to deny that this was really happening? People who have experienced break-ups could totally relate to that. 

The poem mentions the sparrow’s good-night twitter. The use of this image is no coincidence. Sparrows usually stand for freedom and true love while the night symbolizes the end of a day. The sparrow’s good-night twitter may signify the end of the connection and love between them.

            He also notices that the leaf-buds on the vine are woolly. These buds are already ready to burst open.  This image also implies that this conversation happened in springtime by nightfall. Also, by saying “one day more bursts them open fully,” he might mean that their relationship could be something more. However, she chose to break it off and call it quits. The persona also acknowledges that “… red turns grey,” as if to imply that it is inevitable for their wistful feelings to end.

   It was brave of him to maintain a positive outlook and believes that they could still be mere friends. Despite that painful loss, he knows that there is a need for him to pull himself together. Unlike most people when the relationship ends, he still imagines life without her as his lover. He doesn’t harbour any ill feelings towards the girl and even asks her, “Tomorrow, we meet the same then, dearest?”

     Yet the poem doesn’t end there. The persona knows that it is difficult to remain friends after a break-up. Isn’t this the common notion for couples who part ways? The fourth stanza echoes the doubts of turning romance into friendship. Here, the persona conveys a sense of longing for their broken relationship (For each glance… I keep with heart’s endeavour). However, he knows that he must restrain himself for there are things that once lost which could never be found again as there are things broken which could never be fixed once more.

     He also tells her that her that her voice “when you wish the snowdrops back” will “stay in [his] soul forever (lines 15-16).”  Again, this echoes his difficulty to let go of his beloved. However, readers must know that snowdrops bloom very early in spring and wilt in the heat. (Steinbergs) Symbolically, the snowdrops may represent their relationship, something blossomed earlier but met an abrupt end as it reached its peak. Saying that his lover might wish the snowdrops back can mean that she might regret her decision after all. This image is ambiguous as it could also mean that like the snowdrops, their relationship was something that blossomed after all. However, time did not permit it to be perennially in bloom.

     In the last stanza, we see how the persona finally reacts to the break-up. Like everyone else who had been rejected, he could only accept his beloved’s decision. He will say what mere friends say. He would make sure their connection is intact although it is painful to be stuck in what we call in today’s terms as the “friend zone.” 

 SO. MUCH. FEELS. </////3

Okay. I spent 30 minutes blogging already. Time to go back to that Fil paper. Bring it on! Woohooooooo! 
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