Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happiness is..

1. Eating arroz caldo from KFC.
2. Boys night with the guys and getting drunk till 3am
3. Getting lost in the makati side streets and finding your way out soon after.
4. Doing a mini jumpsmash on court.
5. Seeing my friend smile for the first time in days.
6. A great bowl of ice cream at icebergs'
7. Looking at my new babies-- Sophie, Chabelito, Duke, and Sultan.
8. Finishing my grades! (yehey! vacation na!)
9. Finding a great book at national bookstore
10. Being with the people who makes me want to smile.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Reasons of the Heart

Sometimes I feel that I am being put on trial for being who I am. Maybe because I am too different at times. I do things that have been described as pathetically stupid by others perhaps because they do look stupid to most. Yet to me, its part of being true to myself. Call me a martyr or a wannabe saint but it's me. I can't help not to care. I can't help not be who I really am. Sometimes I wonder if the world has indeed gone jaded that no one can fathom how one can care without expecting anything in return. I asked Mimo last night if I was abnormal. Funny how he replied-- Ang mundo ang abnormal. Take that from a priest with a degree in psychology.hahaha.

The heart has its reasons and its reasons need no explanations. Yes, I often choose the road less travelled and yes, I do things most of the time in extraordinary ways. But I do them because in my heart that is the best way. I found it quite ironic that in a world where we try to teach the principles of loving with all our hearts, we often try to avoid feeling hurt. And I often ask, what is wrong with getting hurt?

"Nasasaktan ka ba?"

Of course I get hurt. Hindi po ako bato at hindi po ako manhid. No one is one hundred percent happy. I get hurt over the little things and over the big things. But it doesn't mean that I have to walk away. And most of all it doesn't discount the happiness that I experienced because of meeting that person. C.S. Lewis once said that Pain is part of the happiness then and will also be part of the happiness of tomorrow. Perhaps if we could just learn to see the beauty that remains despite pain, then we'd realize that pain is nothing to be scared of. Yes I cry and I get hurt and frustrated but I also feel happy. To get to experience perfect happiness is a gift I will treasure forever. And no amount of frustration can take away that gift.

"12 years?20 years? Is it the length of friendship? Or the amount of love you have invested on it? In which case, di yun sayang.. Twas worth each loving moment that you gave it." (Mimo's text, 2/13/06)

Life is a package deal. You can't just pack away the bad stuff away and leave all the happy stuff behind. So is love. If we turn to the greatest love of all--the example of Jesus and his sacrifice one can see how pain and happiness is part of the circle of life and love. I do not intend to judge people who walk away because they got hurt for we all have our choices. We make our own paths and we follow our own hearts. And I hope that I also not be judged for choosing to walk my own path in the way I know how. Life is too short to be spent on wallowing in self pity and regret.In the remaining years of my life, I'd like to live each day making each moment count and living with no regrets at all.

I am no expert in love and I am not the person to ask for love advice. But one thing I know is that I have loved and I have always loved in the way I know how. One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving (Fatima, The Alchemist). We cannot force people to love us back, all we could really do is love them with all our hearts and let them find their own bliss. Love them enough to want them to be happy.

I know to some I looked stupid, sitting on the cold pavement two nights ago. But in that cold place I found the warmth of a heart that feels alive. In that tiny space I mattered and I found my little piece of heaven. I was in a place where I was supposed to be in the time I was supposed to be in with the person I was supposed to be with. I was there because the whole universe conspired for me to be there. And there's nothing pathetic about that. Beyond anything else that is my friend out there and that person means the world to me.

Hanggang kelan?

Until I can still love. I don't think people will ever comprehend what I meant when I say "I hope but I do not expect." And I understand. I think I ought to stop trying to prove to the world why I am the way I am. As long as my heart remains beating, I will continue to be true to who I really am. I think I earned that right a long time ago.(someday mareng toni, when you find that great love of yours you will finally understand. I hope you find him and I pray that when it comes, you will find also find the right path for you.)

"So I loved you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you." (Santiago, The Alchemist)

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Things That Matter

Last year I told myself my graduate school life will end on March 25, 2006. I didn't think I 'd make it but I did. And even though I won't be joining my friends in the ceremonies tomorrow, I still consider myself like them--a graduate. I earned my right to be called one last week. A ceremony missed will never take that honor away.

Six years ago I remember talking to my college dean about titles and their meanings.I was supposed to graduate with honors but was stripped off the title because of a technicality. I was so depressed then because I deliberately stayed back 1 sem to make sure my gpa would be high enough. The medal would have meant that I was able to turn my life around after a really bad start in college. I worked hard for that medal and to be stripped of it 3 days before the ceremony was heartbreaking. But my dean was right, no one could take the honor away from me. She told me that in the end, it's just a medal but what I did and what I accomplished will never be taken away.

She was right. Life is like that. We do not often get what we want in the packaging we want but you earn your happiness not by the medals and trophies you bring home but by the hardwork you did in order to accomplish your goal.

Bawat karangalan ay pinaghihirapan. Bawat luha ay may kapalit na ligaya.

We always say that in the end it's not about winning or losing but fighting the good fight. This year I've learned that in so many ways not only in badminton, in school but also in life. I know I always end up choosing the road less travelled. May pagka masochista din ako eh. hahaha. Karen would often scold me for my unusual choices. But I always say, I'd rather lose with integrity than win without heart.

Life is short. I don't expect a long life and who knows if I am still here tomorrow. So maybe I am indeed a masochist, but I'd like to believe its just my way of trying to be brave.

If I could choose between having my friend again and all the titles in the world, I'd choose my friend any second of the day. It's just a title that became meaningful because of you.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Final Hours

11 hours to go before I will fight for my right to be called a doctor. Funny how a title can mean so much to so many people yet appear so ordinary for some. As much as I want to be the full pledged phd, I also know that there's something more.

What I have gained the past few days in terms of insights and learnings can surpass the learnings of three phds.

I've learned that in life people are bound to disappoint you but if you care to look around, there'll be angels who will surprise you. Minsan may dala pa silang Kape!

I've learned that even those whom you thought know you well can end up misjudging you. But you can choose to either be angry or just accept the hard truth that in the end you are your very own judge. No one can hurt you as much as you allow him to.

I've learned that titles are just that-- titles.

I've learned that it's hard to be intelligent at times.. Di mo magawang maging slow. =) Sabi nga ni cha, not that we're bragging pero di ba ang hirap di pansinin ang mga bagay na super obvious na?!

I've learned that if you love yourself enough you can take charge of your life and claim it as your own. Even if that life does not conform to what others may want. In the end it's your choice.

I've learned that it might be okay to be like wise guru antover or as deadma as partner. You don't get hurt much. Kaso I'm not built that way.

I've learned not to be angry but embrace hurt when I feel it and not be ashamed.

I learned to be brave.

At 2pm today if I am lucky i will end up with a new addition to my name-- hazel ramos, phd. If given the choice, i'd like to be hazel, the brave.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Had a nice talk (or should I say text brigade?) with Cha last night. We thought about how people sometimes exhibit perverted ways of showing you how much they care. And that sometimes even they want to help, they actually are not helping you at all. It's not deliberate but sometimes the people whom you thought know you don't really know you at all.

Shit happens in life. We all know that. We cope in different ways. I cope in my own way. It may sound stupid to some but its my way. I was telling Cha last night that the best judge about how we feel is really ourselves. And sadly I realized that in the end it is only I who can really understand what I am going through and what I went through. Reading my dissertation this morning I came upon the wise words of two researchers-- "a patient's experience is by nature their experience alone." And no matter how we try to tell them "I know what you are going through", we actually don't. And I realized that there's nothing bad about it.

I wrote in my journal once that I want to live a life that is mine. I think I now grasp what it means. It's not just about living a life-- it's about living a life that is your own. I live with a condition that is so uncertain--I don't know if I will be alive tomorrow or not. But each day I try to live my life the best way I know and if people don't understand that, I understand.

Tama si Cha, people do care and they want to care. But sometimes they just don't know how.

And there's nothing wrong with that. We are all human beings living in a world of challenges. We are simply being us.

I guess sometimes it's just hard to be Me in a world where everyone is trying to make you someone else.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mounting Pressures

Two days before my defense, I'm being pulled by pressure left and right. I wish I could just concentrate on my paper but No! It's the other stuff that is driving nuts this past two days. I'm nearly finished with my presentation and I can't wait to actually see it presented. How I wish the other stuff would go away too.

Minsan iniisip ko haay, sarap mag walkout na lang.. Kung pwede lang.. Sometimes I feel like crying out of frustration but I stop myself. I have to be strong. I have to keep my spirit up. I keep my promises. And I thread on no matter what.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bittersweet Victories

Our tropa was once again victorious over the weekend at the Mon Ilagan Cup held at the Featheralley Badminton Court. Everyone went home a winner except for our two kumare's who were robbed of victory because of some sore losers. I played in level C with a new partner. We lost the first runner up position by 1 point. It was a heartbreaking loss. We lost due to errors. But still I was happy knowing that it was the first time I went beyond the lowest level in ladies doubles. The court was also poorly maintained that you hardly see the shuttlecock until it was too late and that added to our burdens.

The victory would have been complete if not for the ugly scratch someone left in my car. Someone was mean enough to scratch my car's door while parked in the court's parking lot. It was so frustrating that it nearly ruined my day. Buti na lang Peter and Luis creamed their opponents kaya nabalik ang ngiti ko. Galing ng mga batang isip! hahaha!

After the games we went to visit Leslie's wake once more. There were so many people. We stayed with Marivic for a while before heading out to Len's place once more for our traditional Saturday night quorum. I realized that night how Saturday is not complete without that trip to Provident. No matter how late it was, we still trooped to our favorite hangout and sat on the coded chairs (pampayat at pang mataba!).

We went home tired and sleepy at 2 am. It was one heck of a day--filled with laughter, anxieties and tears. But most of all filled with great memories.

3 days before D-Day..

Friday, March 10, 2006

A life that matters


Life is to be lived. No excuses. No reservations. No holding back. An enchanting story about violinist Fritz Kreisler tells how he once came across a beautiful instrument he wanted to acquire. When he finally raised the money for the violin, he returned to buy it and learned that it had already been sold to a collector. He went to the new owner's home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. But the collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go.

The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked a favor. "May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?" Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he said after the musician finished. "The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it."

William Arthur Ward said, "If you believe in prayer, pray; if you believe in serving, serve; if you believe in giving, give." For you and I are exquisite violins -- our music is meant to be heard.

I want to live my life that way -- to take it into the world and live it fully. I'd rather burn out than rust out. I'd rather be used up than die not having done whatever I could...wherever I would. I'm not talking about wearing ourselves out on over-activity. Happiness is never found in excessive busyness. But it is found in investing our lives in others. Saying YES when asked for a hand. Volunteering some time for a worthwhile organization. Spending an hour with a lonely relative.

In the end, I know that my happiness will not have been about my ability or my inability. It will have been about my availability. My life is meant to be lived.


It's true how we often take our lives for granted and live it only when it's almost too late to do so. With Les' demise I realized how each moment is indeed meant to be lived to the fullest. We shouldn't take it for granted. We need to exhaust the breathe out of life and live a life that is meant to be lived. It's sad that it took the death of a friend to be reminded of that. I realized that in the end, our titles and riches do not really matter-- if you live a life well and you are loved, then you matter.

Reese Witherspoon said in her oscar acceptance speech that we all yearn to matter in this life. And I think she's right. When you matter, you are alive. Sometimes we may not matter to the person we want but I guess it's not always about getting what you want. Sometimes people just don't see you the way you see them. And though it may be sad, you learn to love them anyway.

I want to live my life knowing that I have loved. I want to live a life that matters. I want to live a life that means something.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ten to One

TEN men you find sexy (kalimot ko na yung list ng e of 100 sexiest celebs eh)
eric bana (I agree with kath)
mark ruffalo
george clooney
john lloyd
orlando bloom
**ang dami masyado ala na ko maisip...

NINE people you would invite to a special party

EIGHT sure fire ways to get your attention (positive and negative)
a nice smile
good book
smelly stuff
nice music
a good joke
nice eyes
pag dumating si ____

SEVEN pet peeves
pasaway people
people who don't text back (haha!)
late people
controlling people
waking up too early

SIX women you look up to
Tita Nel
Anne Frank
Dana Reeve

FIVE random things about you
I cry easily about nice and sad things.
I'm so easy to please (super babaw ng kaligayahan)
I love cooking for my friends
I am mushy
There's only one person in this world whom I cannot say no to.

FOUR most romantic songs
Angels Brought Me Here
For the First Time
It Might Be You (for personal reasons)
How Did you Know

THREE places you want to take a vacation in

TWO turn ons
A good conversation
A sweet smile

ONE unforgettable moment
Sept 11, 2005 SB Parking Lot

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday we bid farewell to a good friend. Our badminton katropa Leslie died yesterday noontime. It came as a shock since it was barely a month ago when he started to get sick. When the news came to me I nearly froze in my seat while having lunch with my best friend Ella. I called the first person I thought of but unfortunately he was not answering his phone as usual(sana kasi ang cellphone sinasagot paminsan minsan partner, =)). Then I called Macre. The entire afternoon was spent texting all our friends and telling them the sad news. There were so many questions as to the why's and how's but clearly all that really mattered was our friend was gone. By night time I had a full grown migraine and had the worst hyperacidity in months. Stress does that to me. It was a really sad day for us.

I told Tita Nel how it seemed like it was only yesterday when pamilya badminton had its inagural tournament. That was when I first met Leslie and Marivic. They were the formidable pair to beat. Not only were they playing partners they were also partners at heart. Peter and I played against them in the semifinals. It was a good game. We got to play against them 2 weeks before in a practice game but we were not yet introduced. Through the months that followed, we bonded with them on and off court. Just a couple of weeks ago, Mavic and I were even joking about wedding makeup with ate grace.

How heartbreaking it is to lose someone you love so early. My heart goes out to my friend Mavic and her loss. With the pamilya anniversary coming up, I told tita how sad it was that we'd celebrate it minus one kapamilya.

I'd like to remember Leslie from the last time we played. Peter and I played against him and Mavic. I didn't know then that it would be our last matchup. Peter and I won but not without having lots of fun and banters on court. That's how our games have always been-- no one ends up losing because you all have fun. Then afterwards Les and I partnered up. We lost but we had lots of laughter on court too.

He was a true gentleman and real nice guy. He will be most missed.

Goodbye Leslie. Enjoy playing badminton in heaven. See you =)

Monday, March 06, 2006


I submitted my dissertation today to my panel. All 225 pages of it. I terribly lack sleep and my head is spinning. But I am just glad it's done. Now I get to rest for a while before the great defense. I hope I get a schedule soon. Honestly I just feel so tired right now that I feel like I just want to sleep the whole day away.

I never imagined that I 'd get to finish my work this sem. It just felt so impossible a few weeks ago.

Perseverance they say is keeping faith in the dream. I'm almost there..

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Good and The Bad Dreams

For the past two nights I've been having lots of dreams while asleep. One was good and the other was bad. The first one I dreamt I was with this friend whom I've been missing for some time now. It was a nice dream coz there we finally got to talk. The second dream still involved my friend but this time we were back to reality-- how we rarely spoke these days. I woke up crying.

The easiest therapy they say is to immerse yourself with work. Now I realized it's not as easy as it used to be. We change priorities, we change dreams. You grow up. And you realize that there are simply things more important than work.

I'm nearly done with my dissertation. My gratitude goes to my adviser whose patience and tiyaga is immeasurable. To work on something while your mind is somewhere else is the hardest task in the world. You push yourself beyond your limits not knowing what it is for.

Somewhere along the road I think I must have lost track of my heart. I've got to find that again.

I have to find me again