Thursday, April 27, 2006


"When you're scared and you still do it anyway, that's being brave" so said Coraline Jones. During my defense I told my panel that my prayer for the past year was that I find the courage to always be brave. They thought I was just talking about my academic and health struggles. But for me, it was really about LIFE itself. The end of my academic life meant that I was finally going to face the one thing I avoided through the years-- taking charge of my life.

Since my defense last march, I've never felt the urge to use my title of "Phd." When people call me doc hazel, I find it so funny and sometimes even weird. I guess I just felt something was missing. I didn't feel I earned it yet. Academically, I know I've done my part. I passed all the exams and did all the papers. I did the important stuff. But I know that in the defense of "life" I havent earned that right.

So many things have happened over the course of the last four months. People who know me well would know that. There comes a point in life I guess when no matter how great your achievements are, when the most important part is missing, nothing really matters. I know I should have been happy. I did the almost impossible-- finishing two graduate degrees in 6 years, writing a dissertation in 2 months, and breaking records in the process. I should be happy. But honestly? I was not. And it was not about being unsatisfied. And it was not being selfish either. It was about searching for the golden pot at the end of the rainbow but realizing in the end that the treasure you've been looking for was just beside you all along. And you pray that you get to it before it fully disappears.

In the past two weeks I've learned what it meant to be brave. I've learned what it meant to care. I've learned the real definition of what the promise "I'll stick by your side no matter what happens" really meant. But most of all I've learned what matters most in my life is worth fighting for with every living breathe in my soul.

Cha once told me that the reason why I couldn't speak up in January was because I was afraid. The fear of losing the most important person in my life was driving me to shut up. But she also said that one day, that very same fear will be the fuel that would finally drive me to do what has been long overdue. She was right.

I finally found my courage to be brave. And maybe I finally earned the right to be called Dr. Hazel last tuesday night. With God as a witness, I finally defended my the dissertation of life. I finally found the cause to willingly march into hell for. And yes, it was worth it. And though I know life will still surprise me with more trials, at least now I know that I can endure. And I start my new day with the hope that things will slowly become okay.

I still believe in the inate goodness of man. Despite everything. I've always marched to the beat of my own drum. I've always been different. But two opinions matter to me--and they come from my two best friends. And nearly losing the most important aspect of my life pushed me to fight the battle of my life.

When you find that treasure, you realize that it's worth every tear, every pain, and every strength of your soul. Not even the devil himself can stop me from fighting for my heart. I marched into hell and would willingly do so again for that one cause.

I am finally happy.

(And to the one who nearly destroyed it, thank you pa din. Kung sino ka man, I wish you well.I wish you a life that is less sad because I feel really sad for you. Sorry na lang di ka magtatagumpay..)

I did not know I could be brave. Thank you for giving me that gift.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tears anyone?

Raffy and were talking this morning and she told me how she has never seen me cry. She told me about my friend who seemed so scared of talking to me because he is unsure of what to do if I end up crying. She found it quite puzzling that I might actually cry because I've always appeared to be so strong.

I guess Raffy is partly right and partly wrong. Yup, I rarely cry for myself in public. In the face of the people I love, I always end up being the strong one. Even if I am in a great deal of pain, I rarely cry. I don't know why but I find it so easy to cry for someone else but not for me. I am a crybaby when it comes to other people's concerns. I am a crybaby when watching movies (hey! I even cried while watching Space Jam!) and tv (Yesterday I cried while watching an episode of Oprah!).But when it comes to personal concerns, I admit, I rarely cry. Parang nalagyan ng cork yung tearducks ko. But still, I hurt. Hindi po ako bato.

I do cry when I am alone. I been doing that a lot lately. I cry for everything that I miss-- the friend I feel I am losing slowly and the me that I feel is getting more and more lost. I cry for the heart that is slowly withering and I cry for the happy times that once made me smile. It's quite ironic really that my friend thinks I am so fragile. He's the only one who seem to see me that way. I don't know if he does not know me or he knows me too well. I am confused.But maybe he is right. I am not as strong as I say I am. But I sure do try. What he fails to see I guess is that even if I may end up broken, I'd rather be broken than left in a glass cage-- seemingly perfect but totally not okay.

And its okay to end up broken at times. Because its only then that you learn to pick yourself up. With each fall, you learn to stand up once more.

Last night I told my best friend Ella that I was so tired of crying. I realized now that it's not the tears that I was tired of but the dull pain that seems to be stuck by my side. It's a pain that reminds me that as each day pass, my limbo because more and more a limbo. And if I had a chance to right some things in my life, I know I'd like to start with that.

I just want my friend back. That's all.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Everyday I think of something that would push me to get up and enjoy life. Sometimes it's kinda hard but most of the time I find something worth waking up for. I guess life is like that-- some days are good and some days are bad. When it's good, you feel like you're on top of the world. But when it's bad, it can be a real downer. This morning I was reading an email from my uncle and it read, "I wish you enough..." I thought it was really lovely especially the line, "I wish you enough 'Hellos' to get you through the final Good-bye." It hit me then, that in life goodbyes will be inevitable and when that day comes we all wish for the strength to get us through that final goodbye.

Sometimes its hard to be brave. Today was a particularly hard day for me. I guess it has just been tough recently. But I try. I sure do try. It's not all sadness naman. I still smile. Like Last night the gang and I got drunk while playing badminton and celebrating kei's birthday on court. We sure did have fun. Imagine playing when you hardly see the ball. Kei and I were running all over the court. The funniest thing happened when Kei asked who won the first set when we were still in the middle of it. We sure did have a great laugh. That was a good night. Karen told me I was so masipag. I wish I could be as persevering in other areas as well. Because sometimes it's hard.

Such a sad entry this is. I guess what I'm trying to say is, in life there are good moments and sad moments. Last night was a good moment. It wasn't the greatest moment but it was a good moment. Today was not so good. But I guess it's just part of the circle of life.. And tomorrow is another day.. Another chance to start anew...

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright."
"I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more."
"I wish you enough happiness to keep your spiritalive."
"I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger."
"I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting."
"I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess."
"I wish you enough 'Hellos' to get you through the final Good-bye.''

I wish you enough happiness to last your lifetime.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sana...Thoughts on A Monday

I think I'm turning into a Sharon fan.. =)

Sana'Y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan

Doon ka, dito ako
Hindi magkatagpo
Tawag ko’y di marinig bat kay layo mo
Lapitan man ay di mo matanaw
Bingi’t bulag sa akin ay walang pakiramdam
Sayang na pagmamahal
Paano ng pag-ibig kong walang hanggan

Sanay maghintay ang walang hanggan
Hanggang makilala mo ako ang iyong mahal
Baka ko matutuhan kita’y kalimutan
Baka pangako ko’y dumating sa kailanman
Sanay maghintay ang walang hanggan
Sana ang iyong paglingap ay muli kong matikman
Subalit kong paglimot ay di mapigilan
Alalahanin mong kay tagal kitang hinintay

Narito ang puso kong inilaan sayo
Pagod na nanginginig baka magtampo
Naghihintay ang labi kong uhaw
Handog nito’y ligayang di mapapantayan
Sayang na pagmamahal
Parang hangin lamang sa iyo’y nagdaan

Sanay maghintay ang walang hanggan
Hanggang makilala mo ako ang iyong mahal
Baka ko matutuhan kita’y kalimutan
Baka pangako ko’y dumating sa kailanman
Sanay maghintay ang walang hanggan
Sana ang iyong paglingap ay muli kong matikman
Subalit kong paglimot ay di mapigilan
Alalahanin mong kay tagal kitang hinintay

When I first heard this song, I thought it was nice. I found mysefl being drawn to it more and more. I think I know now why. It speaks of what I feel right now. It tells my story and the story of my heart. My MA thesis was all about the songs that we sing and what it says about us. This is the song of my heart right now.

On the way home last night from another day of tournament, I had a nice talk with Luis. What made it nice was the realization that finally I made sense to someone. That someone understood, that someone listened to me without judgment.

Yes its hard sometimes, to care for someone who is consciously pushing you away. Hindi ako bato. And yes sometimes I wonder how I can choose to still care. But that's just the way I am built. Maybe that is my gift (or my curse, for some).Luis said that maybe that is my purpose in life. Maybe so.

All I know is that I am happy when I see the people I love happy. And I hurt when I see the people I love hurt. Luis teased me for over empathizing with him andPeter during their match yesterday. I actually looked more tense that them. I even threw up my entire lunch in the middle of their second set out of tension. hehehe. But that is me. I guess I am weird talaga. When they lost, my heart broke. I am just happy that they fought a good fight.

Everyday I pray that amidst everything I could still care. That whatever happens, I can still choose to love with all my heart. And I pray that in the end I'd still have a heart that can love no matter what. Sometimes I find myself crying for me and for my friend. But Luis is right, its part of the path that I chose to take. And its part of the journey of our life.

I don't know what will happen in the future. I don't know if I can still be the Hazel that dreams and hopes forever. What I know now though is that my heart will beat as long as it can and will love as long as it can love. The song is right, sana maghintay ang walang hanggan..

And I will try to be me as long as I can.
I just miss my friend. Sana talk to me naman. Kung galit ka, tell me and that is okay.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tagged by Kath

Put an "x" by all the things you've done and share it with your friends.

1. (x) Smoked a cigarette. Pag mega badtrip...Saka nung new year's ever, grade 5 with my cousin to light firecrackers
2. ( ) Crashed a friend's car.
3. ( ) Stolen a car.
4. (x) Been in love.
5. (x) Been dumped. (i guess)
6. ( ) Shoplifted.
7. ( ) Been fired/laid off.
8. ( ) Been in a fist fight.
9. ( ) Snuck out of your parent's house
10. (xxxxxx) Had feelings for someone that didn't have them back. --> MADAMI NA!!!
11. ( ) Been arrested.
12. ( x) Gone on a blind date- twice!
13. (x) Lied to a friend.
14. ( x) Skipped school. --> cha? naka ilan tayo?
15. ( x) Seen someone die--> an 23 week old preamie the size of a shoebox
16. ( ) Been to Canada.
17. ( ) Been to Mexico.
18. (x) Been on a plane.
19. ( ) Purposely set a part of yourself on fire.
20. (x) Eaten sushi.
21. ( ) Been skiing.
22. ( ) Met someone in person from the internet.
23. (x) Taken pain-killers. --> but technically bawal
24. (xxxxx) Love someone or miss someone right now.
25. (x) Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by.
26. ( ) Made a snow angel.
27. ( x) Had a tea party.
28. ( x) Flown a kite.
29. ( ) Built a sand castle. --> attempted maybe
30. (x ) Gone puddle jumping--> when i was a kid
31. (x) Played dress up.
32. (x) Cheated while playing a game.
33. (x) Been lonely.
34. (x ) Fallen asleep at work/school.
35. ( ) Used a fake I.D.
36. (x) Watched a sunset.
37. (x) Felt an earthquake.
38. (x) Touched a snake.
39. (xx ) Slept beneath the stars.
40. (x) Been tickled.
41. ( x) Been robbed.
42. (x) Been misunderstood.
43. ( ) Petted a reindeer/goat.
44. (x) Won a contest. -->badminton
45. ( xxxx) Ran a red light. --> madaming beses
46. ( ) Been suspended from school.
47. (x) Been in a car accident. --> blooper magnet
48. (x) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night.
49. (x) Had deja vu.
50. (x) Danced in the moonlight.
52. (x) Liked the way you looked.
53. ( x) Witnessed a crime. --> manuela. barilan
54. (x) Questioned your heart.
55. (x) Been obsessed with post it notes. --> there was a point i got fascinated with online ones
56. ( ) Squished barefoot through the mud.
57. (x) Been lost.
58. (x) Been to the opposite side of the country.
59. (x) Swam in the ocean.
60. (x) Felt like dying.
61. (x) Cried yourself to sleep.
62. (x) Played cops and robbers.
63. (x) Recently colored with crayons.
64. (x) Sung karaoke.
65. (x) Paid for a meal with only coins.
66. (x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't. > good thing hindi enumeration!
67. (x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out your nose.
68. (x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue.
69. ( x) Danced in the rain--> glided in the rain at 3am
70. ( x) Written a letter to Santa Claus.
71. ( x) Been kissed under the mistletoe. --> hmmm naalala ko to! hahahaha!
72. ( x) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about
73. (x) Blown bubbles.
74. (x ) Made a bonfire on the beach--> mam len!!
75. ( ) Crashed a party.
76. (x) Gone roller-skating.
77. (x) Had a wish come true.
78. (x) Worn pearls.
79. ( ) Jumped off a bridge.
80. ( ) Ate dog/cat food.
81. ( ) Told a complete stranger you loved them.
82. ( ) Kissed a mirror.
83. (x) Sang in the shower.
84. (x) Had a dream that you married someone.
85. (x) Glued your hand to something.
86. ( ) Got your tongue stuck to a flagpole.
87. ( ) Kissed a fish.
88. (x) Sat on a rooftop.
89. (x) Screamed at the top of your lungs.
90. ( ) Done a one-handed cartwheel.
91. (x) Talked on the phone for more than six hours on one occasion.
92. (x) Stayed up all night.
93. ( ) Didn't take a shower for a week
94. ( ) Picked and ate an apple right off the tree.
95. ( x) Climbed a tree that had a tree house.
96. ( x) Been told by a complete stranger that you're hot.
97. ( ) Ever had a one night stand.
98. ( XXXX) Ever missed someone so much it still hurts to think of them.
99. (x) Ever loved someone that you knew wouldn't love you back. --> lagi lagi
100 ( x) Ever been to a professional baseball, football, or hockey game in a stadium.
101.(x) Went hiking in the mountains. --> sort of hiking with a tourist trail, hehe
102. ( x) Smoked a cigar.
103. (x) Had a crush on someone you worked with but never told them. --> oh yeah, si reyrey
104. (x ) Wished you had the chance to change your profession.
105. ( ) Ever cremated and kept the ashes of a pet you cared a lot about.
106. (x) Wished you could live your life over again beginning at age 21.
107. (x) Been baptized.
108. ( x) Rode a horse.
109. ( ) Sent flowers to someone you never met.


Memories serve two purpose in life. They offer a sense of remembrance of the good times and they leave a sense of nostalgia over days gone by. I was texting Ella this evening that our Subic trip was a year ago yesterday. We both couldn't believe that it was only 366 days ago when we had our gluttony trip to Days Hotel in Subic with Peter. We were only three but it felt like we were one whole baranggay. We had so much fun then. I still remember the entire trip as if it was only yesterday.

How time indeed fly. Imagine that was one year ago. So many things has happened since then. We gained new friends and lost old friends. I earned a degree and got a new lease in life. Everything's different now.

On days like today when it's almost impossible to smile, I look back on days like our Subic trip to remind me that once upon a time I had the best smile. It gives me both hope and fear about the future. Hope that things will become better soon and fear that things will never be like they were before.

It's confusing to describe how I feel right now. I just know that things are quite hard today. Especially today.

So I hold on to my memories and hope and pray.. Tomorrow after all is another day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

GoodBye Forever

Peter once told me that I should be ready for days like this. My work at PCMC entails such readiness for death. As a volunteer for the hospice, I take care of kids with various life threatening illness. It's not an easy task but it's a task I've come to love. I wish I could just follow Peter's advice before. But how does one prepare for losing someone you've learned to love?Sine June I've been doing my internship at PCMC. There I started a tutorial program for a group of cancer patients who had to stop schooling because of their treatment. One of my kids there was Adam. He had Leukemia.

At 3pm today I got a call from Eileen- Adam died today at PCMC. He was only 12. His life cut short by a disease that he could even barely understand.

I cried after Eileen's call. I felt so sad. Adam was just a kid. And just last thursday he was okay. We worked on his science assignment and did some exercise on reasoning. He was a bit dizzy because of his chemo but he tried his best. It was always like that with Chemo. I was not worried because Adam was such a fighter. When he got tired he asked me if he could just continue his assignment at home. Tomorrow we were even supposed to do the muscular system together and afterwards the brain.

I used to fear teaching kids. But Adam and the rest of my pcmc family taught me to love it. I intentionally did not want to handle kids in school because I wasn't the entertainer type of teacher. But Adam and his classmates were patient with me. Funny how I was supposed to be the one teaching them yet I ended up learning from them.

I have fond memories of Adam but the fondest was when he shared his wish with me several months ago. He wanted to go home to Bicol. He wanted to go back to school and eat his favorite veggies. They were a poor family, at times they barely had anything to eat. But they were happy. He spoke of how his mom and grandmother would sell vegetables in the market so that they could have food to eat. He was an intelligent kid. Despite his condition, he wanted to learn. He used to be the top of his class and he looked forward to going back when he was better.

Adam will finally get his wish to go home. I wished it was under good circumstances. Not like this.

During days like these I find myself asking why God can be cruel at times. I know it is bad and he has his reasons. But Adam was just 12. He deserved a longer life. He deserved a life. I wish I could make sense of his wisdom. How does one explain to a mother that his beloved son is dead? And how do we explain to our other tutees tomorrow that their beloved kuya is gone?

Maybe I will never be really prepared for losing someone I love. I don't think I'll ever be what Peter told me once I should be when it comes to handling these sick kids. They are not only patients of mine because more than just being patients they are my friends. And saying goodbye to friends will never be easy.

How do you say goodbye to a friend... I don't know. All I know is that when you lose a friend, life will never be the same again.