Category: Thoughts and Sentiments


…whether it be in Maguindanao or anywhere else.  It’s not a solution to the government’s incompetence and protectionism of cronies.  We are not dumb. You cannot convince us of this so-called “rebellion”.  Also, I just have to say this: I cannot believe the sheer arrogance of that Prospero Nograles!  No need to convene the Congress and Senate to tackle the issue of Martial Law if it’s going to be approved anyway?  What the heck!!!

Though I really do not want to think so, it does appear that history is repeating itself.  As I read in different sources all over the Internet, there are a lot of parallels to 1972.  A big flood, Martial Law, contrived acts of violence, real violence against journalists, those who vociferously object to the administration and even the innocents, and an Aquino aiming for the presidency.

If that is the case, then I hope we all have learned from history.  And for those who have not been around in the 70s and half of the 80s, please just think of everything that you enjoy now and imagine it being taken away from you.  Imagine a world in which the government would dictate on what you could see, hear and say.  Can you allow that to happen?  If we really must repeat history, then by all means let’s repeat only the good things – and make them better!

For GMA and her cohorts, remember that the history books are full of people like you – those who craved and took power by foul means and dreadfully abused it, but never attained the eternal glory they longed for and eventually met some of the worst downfalls.  You may not be able to redeem yourselves anymore, but please do not make your chapter even longer and more sordid than it already is.  You’ve done enough.

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…from my generation who watched our parents, older brothers and sisters, and cousins fight for freedom alongside your husband and his colleagues; who went to EDSA in 1986, and grew up with you as the one pure light in our murky political scene.

You were not a perfect President, but did the best you could given what you had to work with.  You never gave us cause to doubt your sincerity and integrity.  You only wanted the best for our country and never wavered in your faith in God and in the greatness of the Filipino.  That is your best gift to us and you are God’s best gift to Filipinos at this period in our history.

With you gone, we could look back at your life and how you served our country, and only be inspired by it.  Rest with Ninoy now.  The sky cleared for your motorcade.  Heaven is smiling at the arrival of another saint.

******

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View from my office window

View of the motorcade from my office window

Something bad and scary happened to my friend Anna more than a week ago.  Her memory of the incident is sketchy so my account of it will not be very clear either.  She left her shop at 11.30 in the evening and went to 7-11 across the street to buy dinner and pineapple juice.  The next thing she knew, she woke  up to find her head bleeding, a Barangay Tanod beside her, and her bag missing.  Based on the account of the driver of the jeepney she rode in, someone aboard a motorcyle grabbed her bag (probably right after she alighted the jeepney) and pushed her, knocking her down and causing her to hit her head on the pavement and lose consciousness for a few moments.

She’s fine now, thank goodness!  She lost her netbook, mobile phone, wallet and flash drive.  I texted her that week about our party at Rebs’ house.  She didn’t reply to my text messages, nor to my YM messages.  Friday came, and I was just about to call her shop, when my dad called me at work.  It turned out that Anna still has our home phone number memorized, even though she has rarely used it since the dawn of Internet and mobile phones.  She asked my dad for my mobile number and told him what happened to her.

Our barkada would never have known right away what happened to Anna if she didn’t have my phone number memorized.  I could have called her shop sooner, but I didn’t have the number memorized and I somehow wasn’t able to copy it from my old phone before I gave it to my dad.  Good thing it wasn’t erased.  I still know her home phone number, but it was good that Anna was able to get in touch with me sooner.  Moral of the story:  Do not forget to still memorize important phone numbers.  Do not rely solely on your mobile phone or on paper phone books.  Most of all, check on your friends through various means if you don’t hear from them for some time or if they don’t reply to your messages.  Don’t always assume that they’re just busy.

I remember writing early last year that I wanted a more “alive” 2008, as compared to my very sedate (ok, boring) 2007. Well, I certainly got it! Leap years have always proven to be very good for me, and 2008 was certainly no different. And as a way to cap 2008 and usher in 2009, allow me to make a thank-you list and a looking-forward-to list.

People and things that I’m very thankful for:

  • My dad
  • Old and true friends who continue to bring me great joy, comfort…and good times!
  • New friends that allow me to constantly discover different sides of myself
  • Old friends, classmates, and relatives who popped back into my life, even if only through Facebook and Friendster, in some cases
  • A great year of traveling and other leisure activities: the Hot Air Balloon Fest; Holy Week in Capiz with my dad, Tintin, and relatives; the stormy beach trip to Langub Beach in Negros Occidental; Baguio with the high school barkada; Dumaguete with Trish and Jeff; and the countless movie, coffee, shopping, and food trips
  • Unpredictable career twists and turns that’s now leading to a good place
  • An evolved fashion sense! I actually bought only one pair of jeans for the year; the rest were skirts and dresses.
  • A more “interesting” (well, as compared to 2007’s absolute zero-ness) personal life
  • Better finances
  • People who have read and commented on this blog. Special mention to UP Manila Orcom grads and students. I never expected that my one post about Orcom would eventually have its own page and become a mini-community.

What I look forward to in the year ahead:

  • Continued good health for my dad, myself, and all my loved ones
  • More family get-togethers
  • Considering that my 2008 travel list consisted mostly of “re-visits”, I look forward to a travel itinerary consisting of places I’ve never visited (except for Corregidor; yes Trish, itutuloy na natin yun!)
  • Maybe even go back to Dumaguete again if the opportunity arises, with my dad this time around
  • Finally finding the perfect calf-high boots in my size!
  • Challenging and fulfilling activities, strategies, and decisions at work
  • An even more interesting, and maybe even finally a movement in my personal life 😉
  • Becoming more assertive in EVERYTHING 😉
  • More books!
  • Enough determination and courage to submit entries to writing contests
  • Greater will to fight occasional bouts of apathy
  • More readers and quality comments on this blog 😀
  • More early starts to the day
  • New friends, places, and experiences!

HAVE A GREAT YEAR, EVERYONE!

Merry Christmas!

Whatever kind of year you had, may you find light, joy, and hope today and on the days ahead.  🙂

I love Polaroid!  When I was an Editorial Assistant for Design and Architecture Magazine (my first job!), one of my favorite tasks was sifting through polaroids during a photo shoot.  This was pre-digital age, when images for magazine features were shot using 120mm transparency film.  To save money and effort, photographers would use polaroid for test shots.  Too bad I couldn’t keep those test shots.  They were all part of the magazine archive.

I never actually had a Polaroid camera, but I like the way the pictures look.  I’m going to miss it.  Photoshop effects just won’t do.

The End of an Era

It was an aunt’s funeral today. She was my mom’s 88-year-old second cousin, though the relationship between our families has always been close. She lived 2 houses away from us, at the corner of our block. My friend Minmin jokingly refers to that area as the “Bermuda Triangle” ever since I told her how the three houses on that intersection (the fourth structure is a chapel, so it doesn’t count) contains at least 2 spinsters.

Well, all four siblings in my aunt’s house were unmarried.  One was a long-time widow with no kids so she has always been informally counted as an “unmarried”. They were all considered as the “elders” of our neighborhood, the ones who were treated with utmost deference; those who don’t really know them were always intimidated.  Even I would sometimes be scared of them. They were the ones we always saw in the chapel during Simbang Gabi, the novena during the fiesta, and the regular Anticipated Masses, always seated in the same pew.  Whenever my cousins and I walked into the chapel or any gathering we would immediately looking for them for that “courtesy call”.  It was considered a slight if you failed to do so promptly.  Whenever they were around, I felt like I always had to be on my best behavior.  They had a way of making me feel like I’m still a small child even when I’m all grown up.

And now, with the passing of my aunt, they’re all gone.  It’s going to feel odd to walk into our chapel again (especially in the coming Simbang Gabi) and not see my aunt, the last one among her siblings to be a formidable fixture in our neighborhood.   There are still other “elders” around, but it would never be the same.

Congratulations to the Ateneo Blue Eagles and Blue Eaglets for winning both the Senior and Junior UAAP Men’s Basketball Championships.  I was able to watch the Seniors game live on TV even though it was a work day.  Hehe, I didn’t skip work for that; it was just a great coincidence.   True, there were some controversial calls, but it cannot be denied that Ateneo was truly the better team this year.  I also didn’t like La Salle’s no-show at the awarding ceremony.  And the reason according to coach Franz Pumaren?  Nobody told them to get the trophy!  Duh!

Except for a brief spell in high school when I rooted for the Green Archers (I probably hit my head on one of the calachuchi trees), I’ve always had a soft spot for Ateneo.  Read the recent posts below and you’ll see why.  You may also see that I’ve written a number of posts about UP, my college alma mater so you’re probably wondering why I root for Ateneo in the UAAP.  Hmmm….I’ll put it this way:  I always root for Ateneo UNLESS they’re up against UP, and if the two schools ever meet in the finals, I’ll definitely be on the maroon side – win or lose.  But right now, it’s all about the Blue Eagles, so kudos to them! 🙂

A Homecoming

(This post is dedicated to my high school friends and other fellow Knollers, on our school’s 80th year)

As scheduled, Tanya and I paid a visit to our alma mater this afternoon before proceeding to Ateneo.  We went to the College department first (to conduct the business portion of the visit) – the only part of the campus that I don’t know as well as the back of my hand.  I met Tanya’s old department head (Communication Arts).  When she told her that we decided to drop by since we were in the neighborhood, Ms. Garcia immediately replied, “But this is not just your neighborhood, this is your home!”  How very true.  And a lot of the people we met there used that term with us.  Indeed, it was like coming home to the place which was my second home for thirteen years.

So, let me share with you some of my favorite or memorable places in this second home:

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

I used to sit on those benches while waiting for my school bus.  When by myself, I usually read my chosen books for our book reports or just daydream.  I usually pretend that I’m the lady of the forest.  Those benches are the still the original ones that have been there since I first entered the school.

Bamboo Area

Bamboo Area

The default meeting place of practically any and every high school group.  I don’t know if those bamboo poles are magical, but in spite of the size of the student population in relation to the space, there’s ALWAYS a vacant spot (not always on those two stone tables, of course) for every group that decides to meet there at any given time.

Calachuchi Area

Calachuchi Area

Trina is the one who has the best shot of this spot, but this one will do for this blog.  There are 21 calachuchi trees on one side, 22 on the other.  This is a memorable spot for our barkada. 😉  I also once climbed one of those trees and placed Rebs’ bag atop a branch as a prank.

Other important spots:

Spiral Stairs

Spiral Stairs

Main building

Main building

The newly-restored Marian Auditorium

The newly-restored Marian Auditorium

I sneaked this shot.  We were just peering through the glass portion of the door, and we were surprised that it wasn’t locked when Tanya pulled the handle.  I’m pretty sure we’re allowed to go inside and look around, but it felt odd and eerie to do so with only two of us inside the huge auditorium.

It felt really good to go back to the place that helped shape who I am today, and gave me a lot of my best experiences and memories.  I was never the popular, the smartest or the most active student – in fact I was way below the radar – but it never mattered because I was really happy with the corner of the universe that belonged to me and my friends.  So, to my alma mater, thank you for “thy joy, thy wisdom, and love”.  All for Jesus through Mary.

Where were you and what were you doing on this date?  Were you already existent?  Did you know who Ninoy Aquino was?

I was seven years old, and my parents and I came home from a family day out to find my maternal grandmother in tears.  She was watching the television and pointed the news to us.  Senator Ninoy Aquino was shot as he alighted from a plane at the Manila International Airport tarmac.  My grandmother was vacationing from the States, and she was deeply saddened by what happened to Ninoy and what’s happening to the country in general.  Being a little kid, I didn’t know much about what was going on, but I did feel that it was something big.  And just like any kid, I was more fascinated with the Ninoy pins, shirts, stickers, etc.  I think I actually collected them for a brief period.  But my parents still made the effort to explain to me who Ninoy was, why he was very important to Filipinos, and why such a massive crowd marched at his burial.  It was very easy for me to understand since all my older male cousins were anti-Marcos activists, so I already had some vague concept of the importance of freedom and love of country.  The corruption part was the one I couldn’t grasp yet at that age.  What stuck to my mind was that “The Filipino is worth dying for”.

Which brings me to what’s happening in Mindanao right now.  There have already been so many senseless deaths over a matter that is being solved in a misguided way.  I am not from the region, so I do not have a full grasp of the situation and the roots of the conflict, but I am a Filipino, and it both saddens and angers me to see the fighting and what some MILF members to do their fellow Moros and Mindanaoans, their fellow Filipinos.  What’s even bad is that the proposed solutions are just making things worse.  Aaargghh!  That’s all I can say, and it’s frustrating!  It’s so easy to just wish that the spirit of Ninoy would just swoop down on the country and heal everything.  But of course that’s just escapism for a reality that’s made up of seemingly endless obstacles, dead ends and false trails.  But I know that every maze eventually has a clear exit, and I hope that it would be sooner rather than later that bloggers could write about a certain date when the right path was found.