Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home For the Holidays

I am home again. Classmate said, "Welcome home for the nth time classmate!" signifying how this year was one travelling year for me. Now I know where all my money went. haha. Ella calls it the first year adjustment period. I think I prefer to call it "sanity trips."

My first day back was spent shopping in SM clark and a late night toma session with ella, classmate adrian, and earl. I miss the taste of ice cold san mig light. ahhhhh.. Total bliss. I forgot my pledge to diet during the holidays all together (what's a few more pounds?! hahaha).

For xmas eve and noche buena, mom and I went to Malolos to spend christmas with my uncles and aunts. It was a different noche buena for us as we've been so used to having just us for noche buena. Last night there were more people and I had all the noise I've been craving for all these months. My cousins and I spent the night teasing each other to death. It was just like the old times-- I could bully my cousins like crazy and get away with it (perks of being the ate!haha) only this time we're a bit older to do all the crazy stuff we used to do. Pigged out again with the traditional hamon, queso de bola, bbq, etc. There was even goto with isaw and a GSM blue spiked punch. Bobsi and I even got to watch Zaido and laugh our hearts out while watching the outrageous costumes. I credit the show for its creativity but di ko pa din carry ang costume designs! hahahaha.

My uncle asked me how come I never seem to run out of energy. I told him that when in manila, bawal ang matulog!bawal ang mag pahinga!bawal ang magkasakit! I will just sleep when I get back to KL. hehe.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Runaway Lecturer...

It was a scene out of possibly a telenovela or one of those soap operas where the heroine has to find a way to run away from a villain. A true battle of wits that in the end that one who emerged victorious was the one who managed to outsmart, outrun and outlast the other. Mala survivor ika nga or pwede ding Amazing Race (Broga version?)

I thought it would just be an ordinary day. I had nothing much to do but I chose to report to the office in order to hit the gym and do some admin work. I was perfectly relaxed and after 2 hours of excercise I was prepared to just bore the day away (perhaps even catch an episode of private practice in between). But no, life has a way of twisting your day up into a pandora's box of surprises. An hour into my "semi automatic boring day" my life's peace was disturbed.

Like the princess in the enchanted, I had to think fast (syempre feeling princess, sayang lang walang mcdreamy to come and rescue me!). Thank God I had a long history of skills in scriptwriting and managed to concoct an elaborate script to escape. And with the help of some equally talented confederates, we managed to pull off the great nottingham escape. haha. It could rival the intricate plans of michael and lincoln in prisonbreak, with a slight detour to a place we fondly call "yu'sless" for some nasi ayam and nasi goreng pataya plus a sidetrip to the putu bamboo place (of course importante ang may baon diba?!). After several tense minutes, I was able to board a taxi to freedom. I was armed with only the essentials-- my wallet, my keys, my two mobile phones and my baon na puto bamboo. I left the rest of my stuff in my room. I just couldn't risk going back. ..Medyo chaka nga lang kasi naman di ko nafactor in sa great escape ang getaway bag ko. For the lack of a better alternative I had to make do with a pink plastic bag like the one they use in the palengke. hahaha.. Oh God, nakaka wapoise.

In the end I managed to outrun the halimaw sa banga, at least for now. Last I heard, my informants told me he left the building. I guess napagod din siyang bantayan ang pinto ng kwarto ko. It was scary though. And for a few moments, I felt a sense of panic building up in me. But I realized I didn't have the time to be scared so I had to push it out of my head. I had to think fast. And I had to use my brains rather than wallow in my fears.

I'm celebrating my small victory by cooking and thanking the heavens for the gift of great friends.

Once upon a time, everytime I would get into some weird mess, my friend would always be there to rescue me from my bloopers. When he left I thought I'd never find that kind of friend again. I was wrong. I may not have found someone like him, but instead I found many others who could be there to help me when I fall. So maybe I'm better off now. Coz instead of one, I have plenty.

Sabi ni Rok, "Ang haba ng hair mo day!"

Magnet ng stalker. Yikes. Pwede bang iba na lang?

Friday, December 07, 2007

One more chance...

I thought about it maybe once or twice, generally in passing, but often I shoved it at the back of my head. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it was because I've seen so many stories like that and didn't want to be part of yet another casual statistic. Perhaps, it was because I knew it was something not possible. Or maybe perhaps at the back of my head I knew that if things were possible I knew it might work out, but somehow after all the times I've fallen flat on my face, I never want to risk rocking theboat again.

So now I'm left with a list of maybe's and what ifs. Although I don't have regrets, I find myself wondering still what if. I think this is due to Popoy and Bashia's melodramatic moments plus the enchanting romance of mcdreamy and giselle in enchanted. Haay namoody tuloy ako. hahaha. But generally I am okay. I'm kinda happy with all these things. I'm very happy for my friend. I think I'm just in that Julia Roberts' phase in My Best Friend's Wedding. It's just a phase. I want it to be just a phase.

Of all the what if's and maybe's, there's one that I find myself being lonely for at this moment-- the one I look forward to whenever i'm about to leave. I don't think it'll happen again. My friend Wilai is right, nakasanayan eh. Mahirap talaga pag nasanay. ..

Yun nga lang ang nakasanayan, pwedeng sanaying wala na din.

I had too many one more chances. Unfortunately this time, time ran out.

For now.

***
Kasalanan to ni classmate. :P

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some Random Thoughts, One December Night

Perhaps it's the uncanily cold weather that makes the wind smell like christmas or the brightly lit lights that traverse the streets or the mini christmas trees that fill the insides of the malls. Or maybe it's just the nostalgic feelings brought about by the wedding of a friend and the news of a newfound interest of another.

But whatever it is, I just feel profoundly sentimental tonight. I'm a hodgepodge of emotions from utter delight to happiness to twinges of loneliness and regret. I guess you could say, tonight is a "halo halo" of emotions. And as I ramble these lines in my blog I can't help but smile and wonder, is this what they call bliss?

Yes. Bliss. Despite the sadness accompanying the nostalgia, I am happy. Something about the air here makes it filled with bliss. There are some things I refuse to think of maybe because i just dont want to spoil this moment of rarity--when things, though not perfect, is simply all right.

I can't help but think though of someone who used to be part of the bliss. Is he happy too? Does he know about her? I just hope that wherever he is, he would also find his bliss.. just like i found mine tonight.

Tama si wilai.. minsan ayaw mo na tlagang umalis...pero ang bawat hello may goodbye.. ang bawat simula may dulo.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

525,800 minutes in Malaysia


five hundred twenty five
thousand six hundred minutes
five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you
measure? measure a year

in daylights,
in sunsets,
in midnights,
in cups of coffee,
in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

in five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you
measure a year in a life?


Right now it's almost 5pm in my watch. 525,800 minutes ago my plane was taxiing out of the NAIA runway and I was looking at my final glimpse to the place I called home for 30 year.

That's right. It's been a year since I moved to Malaysia. Who would have thought that I would survive? hahaha. I still remember the night before I left. I played badminton one last time at GBC and Luis and I had our last traditional "drive home." It was semi emotional in a way for me. And part of me didn't want to leave at all. I even held off packing my luggage until 4am of my departure date. Talk about delaying tactics. I cried when November 28 finally came. I remembered crying to mom and asking her that should I want to would it be okay for me to go back. I didnt want to disappoint her but at the same time moving away and leaving everything that mattered most to me was just too damn hard.

Ves took me took me to the airport with fr ben. We drove through jollibee to have my last meal on my beloved Kia sportage. Hurriedly I rushed to the insides of NAIA terminal 1 so that I wouldnt have to cry infront of my sister.

Now here I am a year later. When I left I made a bargain with myself and told myself just see it for a year and then decide afterwards. If I survive one year I will be okay.

I did. And I think I more than survived. And now looking back, I know I would have made the biggest mistake if I didnt at least try this adventure. Sure, there were downsides and times when I just want to completely pack my bags and go home for good. But there were lots of good times too. I may have gotten sick a lot but I also learned a lot. I learned more about myself than perhaps any other time in my life. And when I grow old I would always look at this life changing event as perhaps one of the best adventures of my life.

I left Manila to find myself again after everything I went through. Now 525,800 minutes later, I've befriended myself again and not only that I've learned to remember him in better times. I've learned to cherish the good and wash away the bad. And I've learned to forgive.

So what will happen now? I really don't know. I still have two more years in my contract. We'll see how that one goes.

For now, life goes on...


five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
five hundred twenty five thousand journeys to plan
five hundred twenty five thousand suix hundred minutes
how do you measure a life of a woman or a man

in truths that she learned
or in times that she cried
in bridges he burned
or the way that she died

its time now to sing out though
the story never ends
let's celebrate remember a year in a life of friends

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Singapore Finds



I have to admit I am addicted to shoes.

There is something about shopping for shoes that makes my heart flutter and my eyes twinkle. My mom tells me that I have so much shoes already but I feel that unless I end up having 3,000 pairs of shoes like Imelda does, I don't think I'll ever have enough. I always find myself browsing through shoe stores and trying on my next must haves or search for discounted pairs that would be too hard to resist. One of the joys of finally landing a good job is being able to shop without guilt for the shows I love.

While in Singapore last Saturday I gave in to my inner child by splurging on my favorite accessory. We checked out Charles and Keith at Vivo city mall on our way to Sentosa Island and saw that there was a sale. Charles and Keith was quite expensive back in Manila so seeing them priced so reasonably in Singapore was like manna from heaven! haha.

I instantly fell in love with a pair of bronze 3 .5 inch high heels with a velvet ribbon. It was quite high but man did it feel so nice (Forget varicose veins, I'm getting these darn shoes!) After about forty minutes of browsing (i'm a quick shopper) I came out 100SGD poorer but much much happier with my nice finds. I also bought a pair of black pumps (I call it the sensible classic pumps) for work and a pair of black leather flats that were to comfy to resist.There were other designs that I would love to buy but I stopped myself or else I might end up spending my entire salary on these lovely creations.

I was kinda worried going back as the malaysian customs might question my purchases. Fortunately I breezed through easily. Whew! When I got home I immediately tried them on and walked all around the house. haha. It reminded me of the things I did when I was a kid whenever mom would take ves and me shoe shopping. We'd always model our finds at home.

After modeling my new finds, I carefully wrapped them back in their original boxes and stored them in my cabinet. I wish I had one of those gigantic shoe cabinets o I can arrange them in a display fashion but I guess labelling the boxes will have to do for now.

If love makes the world go round, then shoes make the walking around the world lighter. :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Camping

I loved sleepovers growing up.

I remember looking forward to the times when my cousin Beryl would come over and sleepover my house when we were kids. Several times a year we would exchange sleepovers once in a while. Despite seeing each other almost weekly, we still looked forward to having those sleepover nights when we'd giggle our way to sleep.

Some of my fondest childhood memories were made during those camping nights. My cousin and I would play "beauty pageants" whenever it was pageant season or we'd play house in my natually messy room. In one of my barkada sleepovers, we spent the entire day preparing for the hs dance and chatted all night about our magical night.

But sometimes sleepovers would also mean goodbyes. After our HS graduation my entire barkada camped out at Ina's roofdeck for a night of nonestop laughter and girl bonding. Little did we know that that was one of the last times we'd see one of our friends for good.

In an impromptu camping, I recently relived aomw of those happy childhood memories. Totally unplanned, we decided to drink and go camping in my room. It was quite hilarious seeing adults at our age giggling and teasing each other to death about the most ridiculous things (think piritong kawali, kalabaw na nagmoomoo haha). One was locked out in the dark by the schoolboys (bad boys!).It was a true bonding moment filled with lots of laughter, giggles, kwentong barbero, kwentong "oc" and "pulis" and of course absolut mandarin (ay mandrin pala!) to keep us sane (hehehe)

The camping flooded on to the next day with a major foodtrip. Yummy lechong kawali, creamy molo soup (aka molo featuring the sotanghon), and tortang talong (aka giniling featuring the talong) all for a measly contribution of RM9 each (parang nag hapi cook ka lang). Of course nothing could beat the laughter that went along the coooking session especially when one would suddenly make "weird" remarks that appeared to have come from outer space! haha.

Who would have thought that an ordinary drinking session would turn out to be one of the best camping/sleepovers ever? Sometimes the best do come in the most ordinary packages, wrapped with a little adventure streak to spice things up. I learned not only to laugh more and smile more, but I've learned to value who are my true friends more. It made me miss home but it made me feel more at home here too.

I finally feel I belong.

I can't wait for the next camping.... Think Hat Yai eto.. yahoo!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A new discovery (a.k.a. adventures of the food fanatic)

Last friday I discovered my newest favorite dish in Malaysia--the asam laksa. It was initially introduced to me by Elaine and Alex when they took me out for lunch a couple of weeks ago but I never got to try it till last week. I decided to have a "food trip" to change my usual pasar malam habit of buying char kuey teow and satay. So I decided to try two new malaysian dishes I saw in the night market-- the pan mee and the asam laksa. Both were good but admitedly I liked the latter one better. It was really good. It tasted something in between sinigang and paksiw na isda with a tinge of minty taste to it. I couldn't stop thinking about the dish so exactly 7 days later I decided to have the dish again.

Right now I'm eating my bowl of asam laksa while waiting for my newly installed broadband connection to download the latest greys anatomy, heroes and prisonbreak episodes. It's quite spicy but I like it a lot. I asked the auntie not to put pineapples though. The auntie looked at me curiously thinking why on earth was I asking her to exclude that ingredient. Unfortunately I am terribly allergic to that fruit. Yes, there exist a person in this world that is allergic to pineapples.

One of the perks of living in a foreign country is discovering the country's food culture. And although I still cook a lot of pinoy food here in Malaysia I also enjoy trying new cuisines. I look forward to discovering more of malaysia's yummy dishes in the next few years.

ok back to eating... ciao!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pictures from Willeah and Mark's Wedding

pics from the wedding of willeah and mark...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Five birthdays and a Wedding...

I went home for a quickie vacation/celebration over the weekend to celebrate five birthdays and a wedding. Despite feeling ill days before I managed to muster enough strength to fly home and be with my family and friends for our september to remember event. I arrived home in time to celebrate five birthdays-- Ves and tita dada's (21/09),Fr. Bu's (22/09), and Luis and Anthony's (25/09) and one wedding-- Whily's and Mark's. The third week of September is always filled with birthdays to celebrate for me as most of my family and friends are somehow born on that day.

The best part about going home is being able to renew ties with old friends. My first stop was of course Jollibee where I had late lunch with classmate and ella. Ella treated me to chickenjoy and creamy macaroni soup. yummy. Ella took me home afterwards where Mom ordered pizza from greenwich for dinner. I didn't get to quiz classmate but promise next time babawi ako!hahaha. Ella and I met up again the next night for dinner at burgoo. Foodtrip galore again. Calories calories!

Saturday morning was Fr Bu's birthday and I had a lecture for the Bu Eagle Lecture series. I woke up early to finish my presentation (as usual!) and managed to deliver a decent speech without crying. I couldn't say the same thing for my mom though--she was crying just as I was finishing my second sentence. In the short reunion at Admu, I got to say hello to Weevens, Ces, Jopie, Oliver, Bel and Jib. Nikki was there too. It was good to see him especially since I saw him last over a year ago during his dad's wake. He looked happy and that made me smile. Weevens and I took no time to get back to our wicked ways and bashing our "favorite" sleeper in class (I swear Weevs, maniac yon!!!)

During willeah's wedding, I was able to have a reunion with the PPPeyups gang. Gilbert, Vivi, Merly, Tintin and Eunice were guests along with Peter (na nag birthday din nga pala) and Aldwin E.(isa pang sept celebrant) We marvelled at Willeah's new body courtesy of fruitas and thought about going on that diet as well. We raided the dessert buffet and loved the chocolate fountain and array of chocolate desserts. After the wedding, Gilbert, Merl, Tin and I went for coffee (sans the coffee) in Starbucks pearl drive and talked about PPP, showbiz, travel, and life in general. We've come a long way since college days when all we could afford was tapsilog at UP SC or the occassional Mcdo meal. I laughed my heart out at Gilbert's and Vivi's anti wedding comments (di cost effective yan!-gilbert; pwede ba pag nagpakasal kayo civil na lang para walang ek ek?-vivi) and cried with Merly's story of heartbreak (hay merl! he doesn't deserve you!).

After a short coffee talk, I left them to visit my beloved pamilya badminton-- tito noel, tita nel, and kei at gbc. lolo rb was not around as he was busy with his new career in Starbucks. It was good to see Kei again since I missed seeing her the last time. Sayang lang di kami nakalaro.

The P10 girls showed up on Sunday for our traditional get together. As usual it was just the three of us again--Jai, Ina, and me. Mariel was there for a short time but had to leave early. Of course we understood (All for one, one for all in the name of love mare!). Kim and Rency also came with baby Enzo whose past time of playing superman was so cute to watch. I never thought I had the skill to actually make a baby laugh but Enzo must have found me really funny. Or mukha kaya akong clown?

Of course there was still my bonding moments with Mommy. We went to MOA on Sunday to do some shopping and eating at Terryaki boy. We also went to Ever to buy groceries. I know my mom misses having me to drive her around. I miss having her around too.

I got to play Badminton only once since it was only a short vacation. But it was still worth it. I played four matches and did a series of drills with Luis. This is what I miss the most--playing with Luis and the rest of the GBC/pamilya badminton gang. So even if I was beet red after the games due to fatigue, I was in bliss. Luis treated me to a pre-birthday dinner that Monday night in Chowking where i finally got to satisfy my craving of halo halo and tokwa't baboy. Luis and I reminisced about our adventures in the past and even got to drop by Manang's for some post badminton chikka.

The last two days of vacation was spent mostly with idol Anthony and our breakfast dates. On Monday we went to chocolate kiss where we feasted on tocilog and cakes. The best. Sayang there was no dayap cake but the Kahlua butter cake was still divine. We swapped stories about life and love and teased each other to death about our bloopers. Of course nothing could beat Idol's date at the dome and the tea "gay ka ba?" question that came with it.

I took him to work after (sorry late ka idol!) with the promise of breakfast again the next day which was also his birthday (same day as Luis). I picked him up the next day and got the honor of driving his new car-- a honda civic. It was an honor because no one has driven the car yet (even he hasn't driven it!). We took his car to Sto Domingo Church where we had mass (weevens said buti di daw ako nasunog!hahaha). We went to the virgin mother and prayed in the blessed sacrament before heading off to breakfast at heaven and eggs in Tomas Morato.

Of course true to form, there were the jaime bloopers-- as i was kneeling in the blessed sacrament i knocked on the chair by accident causing a lot of noise in the very quiet chapel. hahaha.. and have i mentioned i didn't have a license? I kind of forgot it in Malaysia. :) I told Anthony that I couldn't leave manila without our traditional last gimik together. And even though I promised myself I would not get senti over this vacation he made it nearly impossible for me not to do so. (kakainis ka idol! but thanks for the toblerone!)

We finally said good bye in front of v. luna hospital with a the promise of seeing each other again in December (baguio here we come!) and I headed back to ADMU where I met up with Weevens for the last goodbye.

By 130pm I was off to the airport. It was time to go back. ganung kabilis ang limang araw. limang tulog. kakasimula pa lang..tapos na agad. I spent some time on the phone with ella while waiting for the check in counter to open. One of the things I miss most while here in Malaysia is our telebabad nights. I got another call from Idol and had a relaxing foot and back massage before I finally boarded my flight to KL.

On my way from KL to Manila I sat beside a pinay DH on her way back home for good. She was teary eyed when she shared how she was going home for good. I could sense her happiness and sadness at the same time. She was excited to be with her family at last after being away for 6 years but at the same time I sensed her apprehension about what lies ahead. She told me how she hopes to come back again in the future.

Part of me was glad that I had a job to get back to unlike her. But a bigger part of me was envious because she gets to go home for good while I only had five days. If only she knew how lucky she was and how much I'd give to exchange places with her at that moment.

But Ella is right. I need to be here in Malaysia for now. This is my path for now. To quote Gilbert, mahirap kumita ng PPP.

But one day I shall be back.. for good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Unexpected Trip

I'll be taking an unexpected trip tomorrow. It wasn't planned but at the last minute I decided what the heck, its only 8K right? The past 4 days I've been sick and knowing that in less than 24 hours I will be back to my comfort zone again is enough to keep from wallowing in self pity.

I'm going home tomorrow. I'm seeing my family again. I'm seeing ella again. Makakagimik ako with Luis and the GBC gang again.. Olie and I will get to play again.

Even for a short while. Even for just 5 days. I have one heck of a schedule but I am very excited once again. Celebrating 7 birthdays and 1 wedding in 5 days would be one good reason to go home.

Uwian na!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ateneo humor

Was reading through one of my former student's blog at multiply and read this funny story. It reminded me of the familiar faces left at home and somehow it helps heal that pervasive feeling of homesickness. So I'm reposting it here..

according to the blog of JB it was written by migoy lizada.

if you haven't read hp7, this might contain some spoilers, beware.

it's funny but it's long so hang on!

----------------------------------
(Background Music)
We stand on a hill
Between the earth and sky
- "Song For Mary," Fr. James Rueter SJ

Chapter One: Before The Storm

Fr. Bienvenido Nebres SJ was just finishing the day's work when Harry Potter, a senior of the Ateneo de Manila, burst into his office.

"Fr Nebres!" Harry shouted

"Harry!" a surprised Nebres said. "I thought you were out of school destroying the horcruxes to kill Lord Voldemort."

"That's what I wanted to tell you. I discovered that there are two horcruxes here in Ateneo itself. Voldemort has enlisted the help of the De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas. They are coming."

"Don't worry, Harry." Nebres said "You know for a fact that Ateneo-- its teachers and students -- are more than capable of defending our Loyola campus. We will hold them off while you search for the horcruxes and destroy them. You will need this." He waved of his wand and out of the air appeared a sword. "The sword of St. Ignatius." Nebres said. "Powerful enough to destroy the two horcruxes."

"Thank you, Father" Harry said. And with that, he sped off to find the last two things which protect Lord Voldemort.

Nebres then waved his wand once more and this time, four people appeared in his office. "Marlu, Rudy, Toby and Joey. The school is in danger"

Nebres then explained the situation to the four Deans of the Ateneo de Manila University.

"I want you to assemble all remaining students in the college covered courts. We must evacuate the freshmen through Marikina. The sophomore, junior and senior students may stay and fight if they want to. Next, I need you to assemble all the teachers, both part time and full time."

Without a word, the four deans Disapparated and went on with their tasks. Nebres too Disapparated back to the Jesuit Residence and briefed the Society about the impending attack.

Fr. Adolfo Dacanay was the assigned to lead the Jesuits to battle "My team is ready to fight anytime anywhere. We will crush them!"

"Excellent." Nebres said

After a few minutes, Nebres, the four Deans and some members of the faculty and administration gathered in Xavier Hall to discuss the battle plan.

"The School of Humanities can summon mythical creatures to help defend us." Marlu Vilches said "The English Department professors are summoning creatures from Dante's Inferno and Greek Mythology as we speak. The Filipino Department is summoning all the manananggals and white ladies from the haunted trees on campus"

"The Philosophy Department" interjected Fr. Ferriols "is summoning creatures from Meron pond right now. Those rascals will soon feel the wrath of Meron! Magiging WALA silang lahat! Konsepto lamang sila!"

"Now is the time to test the newest chemicals and inventions from our SEC laboratories." Toby Dayrit said, "The Department of Environmental Science professors are enchanting the trees to life right now. We will purge them with the help of Mother Nature."

"I have just received a call from MVP" Rudy Ang said "Reinforcements from Makati are coming soon."

"My apples and sunshine are ready to fight as well" Tim Gabuna said. "Go CERSA!"

"I have just finished briefing my school. The Department of History is ready to fight. The Western history professors led by Dave Lozada and JoEd Tirol are summoning the three hundred Spartans and soldiers from the World War II to fight. Fr Bulatao and the Department of Psychology are locked inside the SocSci Conference room right now. They will use their psychic powers to toy with our enemy's mind."

"I have roused the athletes also." Norman Black beside Ricky Palou said. "They are ready to put up One Big Fight with their super strength."

A voice interrupted them. "I KNOW YOU ARE PREPARING TO FIGHT! You are no match for us! I have allied myself with the La Salle brothers and the Dominicans of UST. You cannot win against me, Jesuits. Push the limit! Animo Spirit! Give us Harry Potter and the sword of St. Ignatius and we will let you live! We will even let you win some of the games."


Chapter Two: More Help

The Ateneans ignored the warning and instead began to prepare for the impending battle. A few minutes later, the voice shouted for a second time:

"I can see you are not listening! It is such a pity. What happened to your Prayer for Generosity? Give me Harry Potter and the Sword of St Ignatius. Give without counting the cost, you always say! You have until midnight. I also call on all students of La Salle Greenhills and La Salle Zobel. It is not too late. Come and join us. Convert! Repent!"

Fr. Dacanay, interrupting his briefing with his exorcists turned and said "The idiot is taking the prayer out of context. Besides, St Ignatius also said to fight without fear of being wounded. And we will do just that."

Three figures -- two women and a man -- suddenly appeared. "We are from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology" said the man.

"Ricky Abad!" Fr. Nebres exclaimed.

"I brought with me our Department Chair Bopeep Saloma-Akpedonu. And this is Czarina Medina, one of our newest lecturers. We apologize for being late. We were preparing our I-bombs."

"I-bombs? What are I-bombs?" Nebres asked.

"Ideology bombs. Once they detonate, they will spread false consciousness in the area -- the La Salle brothers and the Tomasians will think they are winning. It is all false really. We will use their pride against them."

"Excellent. Excellent." Nebres said. "And here comes Andrew Ty and Mark Escaler for the Department of Communication."

"Yes!" Escaler said "we will infiltrate their communication processes by adding "noise" and ambiguity between the message relay of the sender and the receiver so orders can be reversed and thwarted!"

"The creatures from my horror films are coming!" Andrew Ty said. "We will use them to our advantage!"

"Father President! Some people are coming!" somebody shouted.

Some five hundred people then Apparated out of nowhere. Wearing either red or white shirts, they marched towards Nebres. A young man then stepped forward.

"We are from the University of the Philippines." said the young man. "For years, our academic communities have built a strong relationship with each other. We have shared professors. We went to rallies together. We have had our differences. Yes. But in the end, our similarities and accomplishments outweigh our differences... We are here to help! We are honored to fight with Ateneo once more!"

Cheers and applause errupted from all sides.

"Let's make baka! Don't be takot! Let's make baka! Don't be takot! Let's make baka! Don't be takot! Let's make baba from the hill" the Ateneans cheered

Five minutes to midnight.

The School of Humanities stood with their mythical creatures summoned from the Classics, and the haunted trees and the gigantic swamp creatues from the Meron pond.

The John Gokongwei School of Management with their reinforcements from Makati, along with Venus Ibarra, Ricky Pilar and other professors.

The School of Science and Engineering with their mysterious inventions and weapons. The gigantic trees in the campus now walking sluggishly by their side.

The School of Social Sciences with their unique yet powerful defensive weapons; the Psychology Department ready for the psy-war.

The Ateneo Professional Schools ready to defend their Loyola-based counterparts; the two fraternities in the Law School forging a temporary alliance.

The Alumni, the D.A. (Dalandan's Army), led by Benjie Laza and Mon Cualoping.

The statues of Tomas More, Horacio dela Costa, the Blue Eagle come to life.

The students from U.P.

Two horcruxes left.

Now all is still, where Loyola's colors fly.


Chapter Three: One Big Fight

Midnight.

There was a burst of light emanating from the sky, brighter than the moon and the stars. What seemed like a horde of fireflies turned out to be arrows. Thousands of arrows. Tips on fire.

The arrows struck the Blue Eagle Gym. The oldest building in the University. The symbol of their athletic pride. Now aflame.

Toby Dayrit tossed a beaker of water to the burning building. He pointed his wand at the beaker now mid-air and shouted his spell "Magis." The water transformed into a surf huge enough to douse the fire. The Blue Eagle Gym was safe.

The archers outside roared their disappointment. But they shot again, this time targeting the Erenchun soccer field where some of the Ateneans were camped. Nebres pointed his wand at the arrows raining from the sky and shouted his incantation "Cura personalis" and the thousand arrows turned into bubbles.

The Ateneans cheered. The first two attacks of the LaSallians and the Tomasians have been thwarted.

"You have had your fun, Ateneans." a voice boomed. "Now it is time to get serious."

Darkness suddenly enveloped the University. The enemy had sabotaged their electricity. Immediately all the Ateneans took out and flickered their wands, "Lux in Domino" they chanted. Light emanated from all the wands.

The illumination came just in time as suddenly a stampede crushed the fences between Gate 2 and Gate 2.5. The Ateneans have realized the magnitude of their danger: it was not just the LaSallians or even just the Tomasians they were confronting; the other schools were there as well. A thousand green archers were riding the backs of the giant tigers of UST. Charging with them were the giant tamaraws and a hundred warriors whose bodies were painted red war paint. Above, falcons were soaring in the sky.

"YOU FOUL THINGS, noh?" somebody from the Ateneo crowd shouted, charging at the stampede; it was Tessa Rosana "How dare you attack us, noh? You don't know who you are dealing with, noh? TAKE THIS, noh?" She hit her gong with all her might. A powerful sound wave spread throughout the area knocking a hundred archers and animals out.

"Haha anoh?" she triumphantly yelled.

And so the other Ateneans started counterattacking as well. David Lozada and his 300 Spartans. The ROTC cadets. The mythical creatures of the School of Humanities. Dalandan's Army.

Ricky Abad and the Department of Sociology soon deployed their Ideology Bombs prompting some of the LaSallians to cheer instead of fighting. They cheered, "strawberry shortcake nananananana." instead of "Recticano! Recticano". This allowed some of the Ateneans to easily knock the LaSallians out.

Somewhere near the Covered Courts, Norman Black was briefing his team, "Nonoy. I want you here. Chris, here. Jai, there. Alright? Any questions."

"Aaaaah! GOD DAMN IT!" a raspy voice screamed. It was Joe Lipa, former coach of the Blue Eagles, who arrived with the contingent from UP. "Just charge! Attack them! Now!" And so they did.

The LaSalle brothers and Francisco of UST were outside, watching the battle, waiting for their turn to strike.

A handful of LaSallians were found trotting back to their base.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?" Francisco yelled.

"You told us to retreat!" the archer said.

"You idiot! That's just Escaler and Bulatao toying with your minds! Go back! That's it! I am joining the battle!"

She then stepped forward lifted her two arms and shouted "Tiger Power! Raar! Tiger Power! Raar!" The LaSalle brothers thought she had lost her mind. But then she suddenly transformed into a giant tigress, twice larger and fiercer than the ordinary tigers. Seeing their comrade ready and willing to fight, the LaSallians cheered.

"HOY!" Goldie the Tiger roared "NO CHEERING DURING BATTLE! NO CHEERING!" Then she advanced.

Her first target was Fr. Dacanay who was busy exorcising some of the archers and paralyzing them.

"FATHER! Behind you!"

Quickly, Dacanay whirled and performed his own counterattack "Expellus Inferius" blasting her into the middle of the Erenchun field, knocking her out.

"NOOOOOOOOOO!" The La Salle brothers shouted upon seeing their comrade down. "It is time we even the score."

The earth began to quake. And out of the night came a gigantic robot. It was DLRT; the LaSallians had transformed and brought the LRT-1 which passed Taft Avenue into a robot.

DLRT was making quick work of the Ateneans and their creatures-- crushing the mythical creatures here and there, tossing the trees brought to life by the Department of Environmental Science.

"Let us not lose hope!" Nebres said. "We are after all committed to hope."

"Now is not the time to talk about GK, Father!" somebody said.

"I am not talking about GK. I am talking about SECtor."

He pointed his wand the Science Education Complex. The building shook and assembled itself into a robot. SEC A was the head and the torso. SEC B became the left arm and leg and SEC-C became the right.

"Mang Freddie!" Nebres called.

"I am ready, Father!" shouted Freddie the man in charge of Escaler Hall which has now become the control room SECtor.

"Attack, Freddie! One Big Fight."

DLRT was no match and quickly collapsed under the strength of SECtor.

"Fr Nebres!" Harry Potter appeared. "Two horcruxes have been destroyed!"

"Animo La Salle!" "Animo La Salle!" "Animo La Salle!"

There were screams of terror. The LaSalle brothers had entered the battle. They were using their most dangerous spell: The Animo LaSalle รข€" the Killing Curse!


Finale: The Animo Wand

Ateneans were dropping dead left and right. The Animo La Salle curse was unblockable. Some of the more veteran teachers provided extra defense and protection to the students but most of their efforts were futile.

Dacanay and his Jesuit team however managed to stun a few archers.

Victory however seemed far-fetched. Francisco had been revived from the Stunning Spell by Dacanay. Back in human form, she was battling Jai Reyes, Kirk Long and Chris Tiu at the same time. While the players were certainly skillful, Francisco was able to block all spells launched by the Blue Eagles.

Francisco pointed her wand at Chris Tiu and shouted "Animo La Salle!" But the curse missed him by an inch.

"Not Chris Tiu you BIATCH!" somebody shouted; it was Achoot Cuyegkeng. "Out of my way! Out of my way! FRANCISO'S MINE!"

Francisco laughed. " You are no match for me! I am the greatest servant of the Dominicans! What's gonna happen to your Loyola Schools after I kill you?! What's gonna happen to your Blue Eagles after I kill Chrissy?"

"You will never touch any of our students again!!" Cuyegkeng said.

Francisco laughed. And with her unerring skill as jack-of-all-trades professor Cuygekeng sent a Stunning Curse at her opponent. The curse hit her squarely on the chest, knocking her out once more.

"Enough!" Harry shouted. "Voldemort! Where are you? You have been using the LaSallians and the other schools to come after me. Where are you?"

"I am here, Potter." a voice hissed. The voice came from Bro. Armin.

"Brother Armin?"

"No! I am Voldemort! Armin is my past, present and future. See?" he wrote the word Armind then with a flicker of his wand the word became Voldemort.

"I don't get it." Harry said

"Ako rin!" an Atenean said.

"Ha? Can you make ulit?" another one shouted.

"How did Armin became Voldemort?"

"Bai, nalibog na ko!" A Cebuano Atenean shouted.

"Bah! Never mind! Anyone knows the LaSallians can't spell. So anyway, I stunned Armin a few days ago and using his name and face I used the school and all the other schools to come and find you!"

"But you are too late. I destroyed all the horcruxes"

"No, Potter. I win. You see, while I was Bro. Armind. I was able to find the long lost and most powerful wand in the entire world-- the Animo Wand! And you will be its first victim!"

"Are you kidding me, Tom?" Harry said "Don't you get it? The wand chooses the school. The Animo wand does not belong to La Salle! It belongs to the Ateneo."

"No! You are the fool! The LaSallians have been cheering Animo La Salle for such a long time. The LaSallians truly own the wand and since I am a LaSallian for now, I own it. Die Potter die!"

"But you see, Riddle, you did not review University histories. If you did, you would know that the Ateneans used Animo Ateneo first. And they still use it now. There is even a website right now named AnimoAteneo.com . The Ateneans have reclaimed Animo Ateneo!"

Silence.

"So. It comes down to this isn't it?" Harry whispered "Does your wand know that its original owner still values it? If it does, I AM THE TRUE MASTER OF THE ANIMO WAND!"

Voldemort points his wand at Harry who in turn has prepared for the final duel.

"ANIMO LA SALLE!" Voldemort shouted.

"OH! GET. THAT. WAND!" Harry shouted.

The curse rebounded and hit Voldemort instead of Harry who caught the Animo Wand with his other hand. Cheers from the Ateneans and even some La Sallians, who realized that they were duped were all around.

That morning both Ateneo and La Salle forged a cease fire, a temporary one because the next day was the Ateneo-La Salle basketball championship. Francisco who was revived after hours of being stunned by Dacanay and Cuyegkeng decided to lift the "No Cheering!" rule during time out. However, she still flinches whenever Dacanay (or any Jesuit for that matter) would approach her.

There were however, a group of La Sallians who disagreed with having a cease fire. They believed that the death and defeat of Voldemort was unfair so they decided to file a protest. This was later junked due to lack of merit.


Epilogue. Nineteen years later.

It was the day of the ACET.

Harry Potter was accompanying his son Ben.

"Dad! What if I fail the ACET and end up in DLSU?"

Harry looked at his son and said "Bienvenido Adolfo! You were named after two of the most powerful Jesuits in the country. One of them is a good friend of ours. In fact he was the one who officiated our marriage."

"But... but... so what if I DO fail the ACET and end up in DLSU?"

Eh di bobo ka talaga! Harry thought. But he didn't say that. "But we will still love you as our son!" Harry said. "Alright. Your test starts in a few minutes. Make us proud. One Big Fight."

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hypomanic Mode on a Lazy Friday

I think I'm subconsciously Bipolar. Hahaha. I'm on hypermode again today- walking and running around almost everywhere. It started with my Forrest gump run to the KTM train this morning and still frustratingly missing the UNMC bus by a mere 30 secs. I think that started my hypomanic episode today.

Once I arrived on campus I was like a well oiled machine answering emails, phone calls and walking from one building to another trying to get all my list of things to do done as soon as possible. If there was a video crew running after me, I'm sure they'd feel tired with my never ending energy. But I enjoy doing this. It keeps me from being bored which is the worst thing that could happen for me. I'd rather be bone tired than absolutely bored.

My mom used to say that I'm such a hypomanic person at times that she's the one who feels tired for me. Maybe I am. But somehow I find myself working like that-- when I feel really energetic I really push myself so that when I finally feel tired I get to rest all I want.

I miss having more hyper people around like weevens and oliver..Especially Weevens. Partner kami sa kahyperan dati eh. Luis was hyper din in someways especially sa court. I think being around hyper people made me hyper by affinity.

Now I'm sleepy naman...Too much tom yam fried rice for lunch.

So does this really make me slightly bipolar?! hmmm...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Meds and Life and the Wonders of Roti Canai

I have been taking Ladogal for almost two weeks now. The side effects are starting to come out and there are times when I am almost tempted to stop my meds. I'm back to my steroids days again (well almost). The side effects are almost the same except for the addition of the hot flushes. One thing I'm happy about is that apart from the hot flushes and the weight gain, I'm generally ok. It wasn't as bad as when I was on prednisone.

Still, I find myself a bit depressed at times especially when I feel the difference. I don't look like my old self again. I know I haven't been myself lately. Sometimes I'm too irritable or too impatient. I know that's not me but the drugs working. I just wish I could be back to my old self soon.

It's a classic reaction for someone whose been through chronic illness all her life. The element of control is gone again and I just wonder, when will it return once more?

For now I take my daily dose of joys in the little things like eating roti canai after a long journey through traffic. It sure does perk the day up especially when the short stopover turns into one breakfast gathering with some dear friends.

And I know people may think I'm slightly crazy for actually spending money for a plane trip just to celebrate a birthday. But through all these health issues and adventures, I realized that life is too short to not spend moments that matter with the people you love. Money can be earned. But missed opportunities cannot be brought back.

I'm not sure if I'm making much sense but what the heck this is my blog and I'll write whatever I want to. hahahaha...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dream a little Dream

I remember having a recurring dream all these years--about me being sent back to highschool and needing to finish some unfinished subject that I seem to have forgotten. I used to dream that dream every semester in college till I finished my MA. Then it would come once in a while again. Usually it would come when I am most stressed and I would be feeling blue about something that was about to happen in school.

Two nights ago I had the same dream again. But this time I was happy to be back in school. It was like the previous one I had (right after I moved to Malaysia). This time however, P was there. For some reason he was in that dream too this time. He was back to his old self-- the P that used to care for me- the one I called my second bestfriend. He was happy to see me again. He was saying something about things being all right for me and how he would be there. I dont know if the dream happened in the future or was it in the past (when we were still friends). But I do know that in that dream the sad events of 2006 did happen and it was like the first time we got back together since that event. Kinda weird I know.

But despite the weird scenario I remember waking up feeling extra happy. Not because I dreamt of him but because it made me remember the happy memories we once shared. Maybe it was due to the fact that I needed some happy thoughts that morning since I was starting my treatment for my cysts. Or maybe because I know his birthday is soon coming up. And if things didnt end up badly last year I'd probably be planning some surprise by this time.

Back to the dream-- it was just like that-- a happy memory. And though it may appear that I am still hung up on him, I know I'm not. I believe that the dream was telling me that he did fulfill his promise-- that we'd always be friends despite everything. Even if it was only a dream. At least I got to feel him to be there again.

It brought back memories of the time I took my comps exam and I was feeling so bad after the first day. I remember calling him on the phone and crying because I felt I was going to flunk. He told me to meet him and the chuts' gang for lunch and we ate at mushroom burger. Afterwards he took me to see troy in Robinson's Metroeast. He spent the entire afternoon cheering me up. Two months later when I got my results, he was the first one to come and greet me congratulations. I still remember that day. He was not in his best moment after suffering his own heartbreak but he still shared my special day with me. He skipped work and instead went off to fetch me for lunch. He surprised me that day by showing up in SB coz he was just telling me that he was off to work on the phone. Mas masaya daw mag celebrate

So many moments that I hardly remember now. And the dream brought them all back. It was fitting because that morning I knew my world will change anew. I won't be the same hazel again. I'll be back in my weird body again.

I know I can never hate him. And despite everything he will always be one of my dearest friends.

Knowing that even if only in my dreams he was there for me was enough to keep me smiling.

Who knows in the future right?

Maybe we could even laugh together again.

I can dream can't I?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pictures from videoke night

Some pics from our recent videoke night at endah villa.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Surprise Call

I got a surprise in the middle of my sleep last nignt-- Idol called. At first I thought it was an accidental call but when anthony called again, I thought hey there must be something up for idol to call in the middle of the night. True enough,there was something worth waking up for--it was called Thesis crisis.

I knew how it felt like to go through that crisis. I went through it twice. Believe me, when it comes you almost find the urge to just walk away from it all until a gentle dreamer inside you reminds you that walking away from your dream and hardwork is nothing but pure stupidity. So before you lose that grip on the dream, you need to find that someone to push you a bit more. I remember Idol's first few sentences last night-- I need something to motivate me to keep going.

I couldn't think of anything to say except I think I said something like "dapat tapusin mo na kasi gusto ko mag Bali!" (you should finish it coz I want to go to Bali) What a self centered motivation right? hahaha. We had this deal kasi that we will celebrate the end of his thesis in Bali. Oh diba? Sosyal.

His call actually reminded me of thesis and dissertation days-- when I too wanted to just throw it all away. After a while you just get completely sick of reading all those journals and going through all those stats. But it's all part of the journey.

Anthony made me miss home again. Aww.. After his call came luis' text announcing he has YM already. Last night was badminton night and had I been home we would probably just ending play around that time. Then we'd probably go to Eastwood to eat with Byo and go home a little after 1am. Traditions.

Of course for now I have to be contented with the calls and occasional hello's and text messages from everyone. Anthony might have called me because I was his only friend who knew what he was going through with thesis but in truth he also acts as my motivator. His call got me a little closer to home even for several minutes. And it made me find my bliss once more.

Kaya idol tapusin mo na! para di ka na delata.magiging isa ka ng ganap na master idol. hahaha

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Special Memories

Events may last a few short moments but memories last a lifetime.. who could ever forget these wonderful and greatly treasured memories...

... dinner with the p10 girls at shakeys where i met enzo for the first time. He's such a cute baby!
... tambay with coach len and our takas date sa metrowalk (calories!!!)
... hanging out with Luis and Byo in Eastwood. We even got to watch that diver flick in the laptop.
... badminton nights at GBC including tapsilog after play with Marlo, Toffee, Lou, Pau and Harry.
... Starbucks (Corinthian, Katipunan, Greenhills, and Blue Wave).. Loyalty eto!
... Reunion with Anthony who not only made me laugh but made me teary eyed as well with his thoughts.. sigh..
... Galeria hangout with Weevens. We spoke about going on a diet pero we still ordered huge portions in Burgoo! Oh well! its the thought that counts!
... Tropical Hut and Jollibee with Luis-- our old habit is back even for a while. Add that to our text tradition right after I get home. Something that I'll miss a lot.
... Reunion with tita nel, tito noel and lolo rb. Sayang I missed partner kei.
... Wencha Spa with tito morris, tita connie, lou and pau. Good Food, Great Massage. I loved the chocolate cake the most.
... Subic Escapade with Ella, Classmate and Lyzet. Anything for steak. haha. Even if we ended up getting caught for overspeeding while driving at 75kph. hahaha.
... Tagaytay lunchout with Mother. Major Foodtrip at RSM where we had the best Bangus belly salpicao.
... MOA, SM North, and EVER with Momsy. Shopping galore!!!
... Cravings Chocolate Cake. Enough said. Sarap.
... Pepperoni Crunch at Shakeys. Simply the best.
... Reunion with Tita Thel, Tito Ted, Randi, Kaye, Tito Joey and Tita Lucille.
... Meeting Ani and our new babies-- Small, medium and large.
... cuddling Olie once again.
... dinner at ella's and seeing the davao gang again. Tita's spareribs were wonderful!
... non stop foodtrip. What else can I say... Share the calories na lang!

Met lots of people and met up with old friends. Missed a couple like marekoy binky and marekoy jeanette plus the PPPeyups gang (never na natuloy ang reunion na yan!). Di bale may next time pa naman. It was great catching up with everyone.

There were lots of happy memories but there were also a couple of sad ones like realising that the friend you once had is really gone. And that despite promises of being friends forever, he has forgotten his promise for now.

I just don't dwell on it now. Maybe its the sign that finally I really have grown up. After all we did have lots of happy memories.And despite the sadness, once upon a time we were the happiest friends. I have enough hellos to last till our final goodbye.

So nothing but fond memories now.

Last night I was having dinner with Jesse and Obet and we spoke about how genuinely pinoy our dinner was-- chopseuy with jollibee chicken joy (seriously!) while watching Ai Ai's "Ang Cute ng Ina Mo" on DVD. Iisa lang ang kulang... Yung asa Pilipinas ka.

Till my next visit....can't wait. :)

Memories of Manila

Some special memories of my recent vacation in Manila.



Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going Home...

2 more days and I'm off to Manila. I can't wait. Who would have thought that there would be a time in my life when I would yearn to see the pollution and the traffic jams again. hahaha..

It's been a while (7 months!) since I was home. I look forward to meeting old friends and family. I am especially excited to see my baby--polie!!!--- my four legged baboy cat. I miss having him around. I look forward to driving Ed again. haha. My car is probably missing me too! :)

Today I'll be packing my bags na. Hope to finish all the pasalubong shopping today.

So what will be the first thing I shall do when I get to Manila?? Ano pa ba eh di kakain ako sa Jollibee ng chickenjoy! yipee!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Paalam Pochay

Several years ago I had the honor (and the surprise) of attending to my first cat birth courtesy of our weird pet Hospicia (hospy or poch for short). She was the lone daughter of our even weirder cat named Patricia. Together they formed the Mandirigma family. Why? Coz Patricia was far more scary than any guard dog imagined. She could take on the neighbors dogs and get them to scamper off our garage. We had a running joke in the family that we were Patricia's pets and not the other way around. She never let us touch her unless she was extremely ill. And she treated Poch the same way.

Anyway, after patricia died Hochay became the sole survivor of the mandirigma clan. She was always pregnant but rarely any of her babies live. She manages to turn psycho after a few weeks and abandons her kittens. Then she would suddenly become so sweet again. During her first ever pregnancy she decided that I was to be her nursemaid and on the moment she was about to give birth she literally jumped on my lap and started going into labor there! I was so shocked. But my mothering instinct pushed me not to throw her out right there and then. I even cut off the umbilical cord.

Through the years we had a love hate relationship. I loved her a lot coz she was so malambing and she had this weird way of sliding her head back everytime i carry her. She drove me crazy though everytime she tries to slip into the house with her newborn kittens and hide them wherever she felt "safe." She also had this habit of harassing polie my "favorite" baby. So there were times when I'd really smack her. But she loved me and I loved her still. She was loyal to the max. She was also the only cat that I had who ate the whiskas I would buy for them. Somehow our other babies are "jologs" at heart and prefers the leftover food.

Poch died the other day. Mom found her sleeping under my car. She was about 10 years old (70 years old in cat years). She has been struggling with her breathing the past months and finally her body gave up.

I feel sad that poch is dead. It means that the last of the great mandirigma's is now gone. Unfortunately none of her babies lived long enough to replace her. So now our gray haired cat is forever gone.

But I am happy too that the mother of century awardee among cats is finally at peace. She had a rough life. She lived well.

sayang lang i didnt get to say goodbye anymore. now i only have polie left. mom adopted 4 more cats recently--ani and three kittens. But since I am now here in KL, I am not part of their growing up years.

So goodbye poch... thanks for the lovely memories...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Malaysian Haze

Everyone's been complaining about the haze this week. I didn't actually believe how bad it could be until today. I was thought I was walking through smoke while walking the streets of KL today. At first it appears that your eyesight looks a bit blurry but then you realize it's the environment. So this is what they complain about.. It was hard to breathe and walk. And by the time I got to my office I was dying for a shower. I haven't been feeling well since yesterday and the pollution and the haze is not making things any better at all.

But as they say, the show must go on.. life goes on... still have 3 days of class left along with an open night tomorrow night. so for now, bawal magkasakit.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Moody

Back in manila maan and I coined the term "na-moody" to refer to days when we are hit by the blues. We'd tell each other "namoomoody ako" whenever we feel our hormones acting up or we are stressed out. Most of the time it's related to the time of the month. haha..

Today is one of those days.. I know I am happy but I guess I'm just namoomoody. You know how it feels when everything just gets on your nerves and you feel as if you're just waiting for time to pass.

I hate these kinds of days.

I'm taking an extra dose of chocolate now to perk me up. KFC helped as well. Hmm.. maybe some serious shopping would help? (budget?).

I asked myself earlier today what makes me moody today. Maybe its hormones, maybe its stress, maybe its this painful shoulder/neck muscle that's keeping me from enjoying my passion. Or maybe it's just been way too long since I've been back to my comfort zone called home.

Been singing Chris Daughtry's hit song "home" a lot lately. It's really way overdue for a visit back to manila. just a visit. to see old familiar faces and places.

A friend asked me earlier if I wanted to go home for good already. No, I don't. My path is still here. But it doesn't mean I don't feel homesick.

miss ko lang talaga si polie.
saw a cat near KFC earlier sleeping in the polie position.

so till july 21, im just gonna sing

I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old
So I'm going home.
Well I'm going home.


(cant wait):)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Remembering Him

Today I celebrate the birthday of the most influential man in my life. He was part of it for 24 years until he decided to stop being one. He gave me half my DNAs as a baby, took my pictures when I was born, brought me to school on my first day, and gave me my first set of story books to read. He was my hero.

But like some heroes out there, he decided to stop being one.

I can spend hours here writing about the things he did to me that made life miserable. And I can spend years searching for answers to the never ending whys and what happened. But I choose not to.Instead I'd like to spend a few moments to remember him--the man he used to be-- before he left.

As a little girl I always yearned to be his little princess. But I turned out to be his little tomboy. When I asked for Barbie he gave me a set of priceless remote controlled cars. When I asked for stationeries and kikay stuff, he brought home toy guns instead. He taught me how to fix the car and be the house handyman (and im eternally grateful for that otherwise we'd be doomed in the house when he left). He took me hunting and taught me how to fire a gun (and be a responsible owner). He taught me to love school and gave me my first real job.

He could do no wrong in my eyes then. Despite knowing about his dark side he was still my hero.

The other day I thought about him and I asked myself how I'd like to remember him and found myself remembering the times..
...he took endless pictures of me as a baby.
...he read me my favorite stories.
...he hugged me the day I got run over by a tryke.
...we trained for archery and won two medals together.
...we had our last firing session and he was so proud about how I shot the clip of the coconut shell.
...we fixed our door and spent hours carving the hole to fit the new lock. My hands hurt like hell but we did it.
...he took me hunting with lolo and our target shooting in the backyard.
...he accompanied me to the hospital for my blood checkups.
...he searched for blood donors to save my life
...he taught me how to drive the car
...he brought home pasalubong from his trips
...he bought me tickets to Lea Salonga's Miss Saigon
...our last dinner together--Nov. 17, 2001

Those are the times I'd like to remember him by. Nothing more. Some people ask me how come I never hated him for what he did. And I have a simple answer to that.

I choose to think of him as if he passed away- And the man who remains is just someone who looked like him--or should I say was once him. I want to keep my happy memories intact and leave the sad ones behind.

So happy birthday to the memory of him. And happy birthday to the man he used to be-- The Man who I used to call my Dad.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Homesick

I haven't been able to update my blog in a while. Somehow I could not post successfully the past two weeks (all i get are blanks).. It has been busy too the past week with ella's visit to KL. My bestfriend came to visit last Sunday and stayed for a good four nights. I wish it could have been longer coz I miss having her around. Communicating through sms is not enough. I miss our telebabad nights and our foodtrips back in manila.

I guess I'm getting a bit homesick too. It's been almost six months since I've been home. I was talking to charles last night and I told him how living in a suitcase can be tiring at times. Going to the UK was a blast but it also made me realize how much of a wanderer I've become. Or should I say a traveller. And sometimes I just look forward to the days when I can sit back and relax in the comforts of the places I belong.

Being here in KL is good. I've met lots of new people and basically I got my big adventure in life. But I also miss home. I miss my cat, my car, my mom and my sis. I miss badminton nights and my night time kwentuhan with luis. I miss isaw and fishballs. Hard to admit, I even miss cafeteria food in ateneo. I miss my afternoon merienda with ces, weevens, oliver, cha and maan. I miss mimopie and mardet's wisdom. I miss hanging out at Maam Len's place and my inumans with witart. I miss that Burger Machine holed up near katipunan aurora that Luis and I would stop at on our way home from our late night badminton. Sige na nga I miss traffic na din--the manila style.

People may sometimes disappoint us but knowing that there will always be someone and someplace where you will belong is a reminder that hope will always be there.

Life is a choice they say. And despite missing all these people, I am happy here and I'm glad I made the leap of faith to come here. I've learned that in the end, only one person can make you really happy-- YOURSELF.

loving yourself and allowing yourself to be happy is truly the greatest love of all (no matter how cheesy the song goes).

Monday, May 14, 2007

elections

i feel awfully guilty.

i didn't even know who the candidates were for today's elections until today election day.

it wasn't because i didn't care. maybe it was partly because i didn't want to read about the sad truth about our politics-- that people do not necessarily get voted for the capacities to run the government but for reasons unbenknownst to many.

but who am to bitch right? i did not even get to vote today. like millions of other pinoys abroad, we failed to do our civic duty today.

but still i find myself thinking, what now for the future of the country? seeing the list of would be senators make me cringe to the thought that the country that i left would be in a no better position when i get back. how then can my dream of returning in the not so distant future and settling back in the land i called home become a reality?

i wonder.

so i send my prayers to the heavens--that's all i can do for now.i pray for a miracle that the heavens might intervene to save our country from doom.

i pray that the right people get elected. and even if they don't that the people who will eventually end up winning will realize that they were elected to serve the people and not themselves.

i pray that the people who had the chance to vote today did so with the right mind and the right heart.

and i pray that those who will eventually count the votes will count the right votes and not the paid ones.

i dream of one day going back home for good. but i hope that when that day comes, the philippines will once again shine it's brightest like the way my grandparents used to talk about.

i still dream. so maybe there is still hope.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Going Back...

16 days passed by so quickly. Now it's time to go back. I can't believe that this trip is indeed over. After months of preparations and seemingly never ending hitches, my two week stay in the UK will finally come to a close.

We had a bank holiday here over the weekend so I took some time to visit an old friend in Northampton--my original marekoy--Jeanette. It was great to catch up with her after not seeing her for two years. We got drunk while singing in her living room (magic sing eto!) and we pigged out in homemade japanese maki/sushi that we made that afternoon (dahil lang sa wasabe paste, napaluto kami ng sushi). We even found some time to play a bit of badminton (kahit singles) despite the freezing weather. It reminded me of the time we played at the pearl and in tagaytay. Only this time natural aircon na di pwedeng sabihan na "pakihinaan please!". We took tons of pictures and of course di kami naubusan ng chismiss about our lives.

It's funny coz Jeanette and I didnt have much time to become close when she was still in Manila. We were becoming friends pa lang when she was about to leave for the UK. Yet somehow we managed to keep in touch. Once upon a time I jokingly told her that one day I would visit her in the UK. Who would have tought that the joke would really come true?

Friday, May 04, 2007

freezing again

my hands are semi frozen again. It's 15 degrees here in nottingham right now and although locals claim that its perfect weather, for a tropical country die hard like me, its almost like winter.hahaha. I woke up this morning almost unwilling to get out of the warm covers of my bed. Then I remembered it was almost 8am so I had to rush down the breakfast hall for my traditional english breakfast of orange juice, tea, toast and sausages. I was craving for some tapsilog but of course there's nothing close to that here in England. Oh well, we can't have everything right?

Last night's dinner/drinking session with angeli was nice. We caught an early dinner at the Rose and Crowne pub where I had a rump steak along with beer. I was so hungry since I didnt have anything for lunch save for a bar of caramel brownies and a cup of cappucinno. The dinner turned into an extended kwentuhans about life's little mysteries. It was really nice. There was no game last night so the pub was pretty quiet save for a few diners. When the pub started playing loud spice girls songs we knew it was time to go home. By then it was almost 10pm. I walked back to my flat at cripps hall and pondered on how easy it was for me to walk at such a late time alone in england but not in my own home country. It was a sad realization that my beloved home has a long way to go in ensuring public safety at night. I think I was more scared of seeing ghosts than bumping into criminals in nottingham. There was an eerie silence in campus and with my overly active imagination, syempre i kept thinking of all the moomoos that could pop out.

I still have a few days left here in England. I hope to maximize the time left to exploring this beautiful country some more. After all this may be a trip that could only happen once in a lifetime.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

conversations...

"Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can't have. Desire leaves us heartbroken, it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life. But as tough as wanting something can be. The people who suffer the most, are those who don't know what they want." -Meredith Grey

one of the things i find myself enjoying in this trip are the conversations i have with angeli. since were the only pinoys here in the university we're sort of bonded by our history together. in the past couple of days we've talked about almost every possible topic imaginable from the mundane to the serious stuffs of life. we have a lot in common pala and it's nice that i have a friend from home here in the strange country of united kingdom. and though we may have come from different backgrounds at home i realized that we do share passion for a lot of things.

we often talk about our desires and wants and dreams. we call them our hope lists and how we often adjust them to meet the needs of the present. i found it nice to finally find someone who could understand my current philosophies without thinking that i am such a weirdo for not wanting what every other girl wants. after all who wouldn't want the barbie fantasy right?--the perfect life with the perfect family and perfect job.

perhaps it's our psych background or our quirkiness that makes us like that. but it was quite funny that we both agree that what we have right now may be the best for now. and that despite not having that perfect life were supposed to have, hey we are happy. and maybe its not about finding that perfect life that fits the perfect mold but rather finding your bliss with the present.

im not sure if im just saying all these things because im getting my taste of independence right now but in a way i find value more now in the things that i do. like mariel, i may have decided to march down a different kind of path for now but i am happy. and i guess for the first time in a long time i actually have no care about what others may think about me. at last i finally found that confidence to strike it out on my own.

meredith grey is right, not knowing what you want is the worst desire of all. maybe this time by getting to know myself a little bit better i'll get to discover the real wants of my heart and not just the wants that the world set out for me.

who knows.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The UK Adventure so far...

If someone asked me a year ago where I would be today, never would it be in my wild imagination that I'd be halfway around the world at this time. Living from paycheck to paycheck, one cannot possibly fathom the possibility of even going anywhere. Yet now I am here in the UK for an adventure of a lifetime. Who would have known right?

Funny how fate can bring such unexpected blessings. I took a giant leap of faith in my desire to get something out of my boring life and I ended up with a grand adventure.

Been here in the UK for one week now and so far its been one adventure after the other. Nottingham is very very cold and windy (although sabi nila hot na now since its springtime). But the views are fantastic.It looks like a scene straight out of the victorian novels or jane austen's books. So far i've been around the city a bit and also went to newstead abbey--lord byron's home.

Last weekend I went around London with my friend Gilbert who hosted my london adventure. It was tiring but fun. Nakakaaliw to get lost all over london with a friend. We ended up riding the wrong bus so san san kami napunta. At least I was with someone when I got lost. It would have been a bummer kung magisa lang ako.

We visited the famous sites of course including the castles-- Buckingham and Kensington plus the tower of london and the walked around the Thames and the London Bridge. I saw the eye of London and saw Big Ben. The highlight of my trip included hearing a high mass inside Westminister Cathedral. There was an eerie feeling inside and hearing the mass in Latin made it so solemn. Wala akong masabi

I still have a week left here. I hope to see more sites and try more food. Although the food here can be bland most of the time experiencing them is still something nice to try. So far I loved the spanish resto we went to the most as well as the english pub Angeli and I ate at last night. It was a truly authentic British experience.

Still I miss home a lot.Especially when you realize how expensive living here is. But there's nothing like pinoy food to cure homesickness. It's funny though that I travelled 16 hours all the way to europe just to eat daing na bangus exported from the Phillippines. buti na lang Angeli has so much pinoy stuff in her flat that I got my fix of datu puti suka, silver swan soy sauce and even daing na bangus!Yan ang tunay na foodtrip!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ouch...it still hurts

I can't imagine how people who go for body piercings take it--the pain that is. My recent tongue operation has shed new light to the meaning of pain in my book. I tried to be brave about it and stopped taking pain meds. Unfortunately last night I surrendered after 12 hours of going med-free and took panadol.

It's not that the pain is totally unbearable but rather its feeling like you can't move your tongue at all because any sudden movement might cause pain or worse rip off the stitches! argghh..It's so hard to eat as well. Last night it took me more than an hour to finish half a cup of rice and several pieces of chicken. I got tired of eating that despite my hunger I couldnt bear to eat another bite.

Ok I know I am whining now. I guess I just miss my ability to eat anything. I want to eat rice and ulam the way they ought to be eaten and not like some weird fellow who eats by slurping down the food instead of chewing. The worse part of it is that you can only slurp on one side of your mouth.

ouch.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Another First...

Malaysia is proving to be the land of first times for me. In the four months that I have been here I've been through a lot of "firsts" but perhaps none like today's first-- my first operation.

Had a polyp in my tongue taken out. I'm still awaiting the results of the biopsy but my doctor is confident it's not cancer. This morning I trekked to Gleneagles for an early morning operation at 8am. I was so scared that I barely ate breakfast (which I now regret since that was the last real meal i had). The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes. I kept my eyes closed for fear of seeing the blood. Thank God that the doctor was telling the truth when he said I won't feel anything at all. I could only hear the squishing of the needle and the thread when he was doing the stitches but apart from that I didn't feel a thing.

I think it helped that he was a jolly doctor and that he called me "my dear" to keep me from panicking. He reminded me of lolo mayo. His wife was also pinoy from Bulacan and she talked to me as well. I guess hearing nonstrange voices made it all seem easier.

Spent the entire afternoon napping and resting. I'm still on pain meds so I'm in no pain yet. Hopefully it will be painfree till the end.

The only difficulty i have right now is eating. I can't eat anything bigger than a grain of rice and nothing hard or hot. That leaves me with eating jello and mashed potato plus instant lugaw. I wish mom was here to cook her comforting chicken arroz caldo. Whenever we'd get sick at home mommy will prepare that isang baldeng arroz caldo of hers. It will last forever but it will make you definitely feel much better.

Another first. Another adventure.. Hopefully I'll always be this brave.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

4 Medals

For someone non-sporty like me, winning 4 medals at the recently concluded Nottingham cup will always be something to remember. I volunteered to join the staff badminton team but ended up being volunteered in other games like peanut passing using chopsticks, 11 feet race, slipper on a stick race, and dry apple bobbing. Severely undermanned, the team comprised of members of academic and nonacademic staff of nottingham went up 5 other teams of students. ika nga the old vs. the young. Ella remarked that I must have turned over a new leaf here in Malaysia since I volunteered for all these events. Rarely do I join sport events back home except for badminton.

I know peanut passing is hardly a sport but when you count the amount of effort we pulled together to pass those tiny peanuts from one chopsticks to another, our bronze medal for that event was well earned. Add that to the yucky feeling of having to submerge my feet on muddy grass just to play the slipper on a stick race (we won the bronze too for that). I was trying my best not to scream "ewww" while traversing the darkened football field. One of my colleagues remarked that we should just think of the mud as an all natural foot spa. Yeah righ. All natural indeed--with matching germs and the like. The only time I screamed was when the team fell flat on our knees while practicing.
My third medal came from the 11 feet race.We won gold in this event. Ten members of the team were tied together and had to walk across the football field. That was fun. I think we shocked the students when we actually creamed them in that event. Most of us lost our voices after screaming "one-two-one-two" constantly.

The best medal of course came from badminton. It was after all my first tournament in 6 months. I haven't played competitively since leaving Manila. And after all the months of just playing for fun, it was quite difficult to get back to the competitive mode. I played in mixed doubles (my comfort event). I trained with my friends for two weeks prior to the event. It wasn't serious training though--mainly me practicing my ninja skills and net play against Bala, Charles, and Jesse who made me their human target.
We won 2 games and lost 2. It was not only nerve wracking but extremely tiring as well. Going up young and very agile players can be a challenge. Fortunately for me, I had the Gulang factor in me. haha. In the end my partner, Mazlan, (the one in yellow in the pic) and I helped the team win a silver medal. My partner and I were able to beat the champion pair but unfortunately it wasn't enough to power the team past the mighty orange orangutans (they were the overall champs). But it was the best feeling for me-- to finally get back on my feet again. And after everything I've been through in terms of illnesses and all, this was something good. Nakapiso pa ako ng kalaban sa noo! bingo! hehe

In the end the staff won the gold in 3 events (tug of war, table tennis, 11 feet race), silver in 3 events (badminton, volleyball, tennis) and bronze in 3 events (peanut passing, slipper on a stick race, gunny sack race). Sa apple bobbing lang kami namasaker. Imagine I had to eat an apple hanging on a string! Shet sobrang hirap pala nun. Mas nahirapan pa ko kaysa sa badminton. haha. Despite being severely undermanned, we actually did it. Syempre may konting reinforcements from the maintenance people for tug of war-- talagang dinaan sa gulang hehehe. The students were amazed by our ability to win actual games. haha. I guess no expected the Sassy Snakes to win anything at all. Someone even played a joke on our name in the bulletin board by changing Sassy to "Sissy." Sino ang sissy ngayon?! haha.

True sportsmanship they say comes in one's ability to enjoy wins and enjoy losses-- to be able to gracefully accept defeat and humbly accept success. But most of all I think it lies in our ability to use sports to build more friendship instead of breaking them down.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Graduation Day via webcast

Thanks to the power of technology I still get to attend my graduation today-- via webcast that is. Right now I am listening to fr. joey reading out the names of graduates of 2007 for the school of social sciences. My name won't be called because I am not there to collect my pseudo diploma (the real one comes in a few months time) but at least I get to experience the culmination of a long and ardous journey.

25 years of education finally ended today. Imagine that-- I've been in school far longer than in any other place in my life.

There's something sentimental about graduation coz in a way it marks the end of a long journey. I wish I could be there to march as well but things don't always turn out the way we want them to. I can just imagine sitting beside weevens, fr. glenn, jennie, she-- all the psych people. We'll probably be dying of heat right now and we're probably complaining our assess off. And I can just imagine the weebird making his signature taray comments. hahaha..

But you know what, I'd give anything to be there right now. If only it was physically possible.

If only all wishes can come true

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Turat

I said my first goodbye here in KL today. One of our friends left Malaysia to go home for good. Last night we had a farewell get together with him at the Bakuteh before finally saying the final goodbye.

It's quite funny how our friendship started-- I walked in on him dead asleep, dead drunk after a mid afternoon drinking session. I didn't know who he was then but our introduction became the topic of laughter of the group for a while.

Even if I knew him for only a short while I will still miss Dioms. Last sat we had a despedida party for him. Jesse and I cooked the main dishes for the party (even waking up at 7am to go to the market). I made a short photoessay on ppt for him too. It was a nice farewell party. No tears. Just the entire group bonding together as a whole one last time.

I'm quite envious of Dioms today. At least he's going home na. And despite living a great life here in KL I still yearn for that good ol polution of metromanila. It's different here. I don't know how to put it but there's still something about home that makes it such a wonderful place. And though I know I am here to stay for now, I am still looking forward to the day when I get to do what Dioms did-- go home to stay.

For now I shall have to content myself with the purefoods tender juicy hotdog and sinigang mix that charlington brought for me from manila. It's as close to home that I'll get for now..

Till July that is...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Polie

I miss Polie. He's my 3 year old cat. Well he'll turn 4 this May 5 (we celebrate his birthday on the day he first arrived at our house). His real name is oliver. Today I just miss him so much it makes me dream of going home soon. Usually at this time Olie will be with me sleeping. He usually bugs me to feed him lunch or just sleep around the house in places where he will be "seen." He craves for attention all the time. Since it's usually exam time during this week in the Philippines, I'd be drowning in papers to check at this time. Olie would usually laze over the papers to catch my attention. He will refuse my attempts to shift pages by grabbing the papers and sometimes eating them. hahaha.

I guess Im just homesick this morning. I thought I was going to go home for March. But unfortunately I can't. I wanted to come home for graduation but because of schedules here in Malaysia I can't.

I don't regret coming here. But I still miss my old life a lot. I miss my mom and my sister. I miss my car. And I miss my baby, Polie. My sister told me he has found a friend now-- Ani, a kitten that found its way to our house recently. Wow! after almost four years of believing he was half human, my baby has a friend of his own now. Polie used to be so scared of other cats but not of humans so we joked that he doesn't know that he was actually a cat.


Isn't he just absolutely adorable?!! Kung may pusa lang sa showbiz pwedeng pwede lumaban sa contest tong si polie! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hit By Nostalgia

Yesterday's reunion chat with the p10 locals triggered a wave of nostalgia in me. It was the first time that the girls were "almost" complete. I could almost hear divina's laugh and mariel's bungisngis from my office here in Malaysia. It made me realize how much I miss my old friends and how I long to go home and visit.

Then tintin's email came and that got me more nostalgic. 13 years ago our friendship was cemented over an impromptu overnight stay at my house. And till now despite not seeing each other in a long time we still managed to remain great friends. Our families are even connected by a unique story. Pwedeng pang teleserye. One of my aunts adopted a girl whose twin sister was adopted by tin's relative.

The nostalgia has sort of rubbed on me all throughout the day that I even found the time (and the guts) to reread an old blog dedicated to a friend I once held so dear. It opened a barrage of memories and I felt kind of bittersweet. Tama si Jom, madrama nga!

One of the questions in yesterday's p10 chat was who was the person besides the one you're with right now that if given the chance, you'd like to go back to? It's like the what if you had a second chance with someone question. haha.. surprisingly my answer to that question wasn't the one I thought I'd answer. I would have thought that I'd give the name of the one I gave the blog to. But no. The first name that came to my mind was different.

Now I know that "my answer" would always be the one regret in life that I'll never really get totally over. He was the one that got away. I'd probably stick by my original decision and stand by what is right then but I know if things were different then, I wouldn't have let go.

na moo moody lang ata ako as maan would say.

One happy thought though--a friend of mine is getting married and I'm so happy for her. It's her story to tell so I'd leave the announcing to her. I realized now that things really do happen for a reason. And though the reasons may sound weird at first, eventually it will all clear itself out.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A slight detour...

I guess the saying is true that great dreams often entail great trials. I thought the road was over but unfortunately there was a slight detour. And as much as I want to get pissed and mad about it, there's nothing really I can do but follow the convuluted system. I guess it just sounded so mundane to be worrying about page numbers and italicized words when what is written can never change. Oh well. It's part of the idiosyncracies of life I guess--- now I wonder, is this part of the reason why a lot of psych people turn out to be neurotics?! haha.

But this slight delay did prove one thing-- that I am blessed with so many wonderful people in my life. My sister to this minute is slaving over the revisions of the revisions even if she has no idea what the hell APA is. My mom even drove her to school just to get things done. Maan graciously printed it all and will still help print it again. Ella has been keeping me sane. Without these people, I don't think I'll ever make.

Trials they say will point out to you who are really there to stick by your side. And in the end these people are the ones who are worth ending each day with a smile.

And they also make me miss home more.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The End of the long road travelled

It took me 355 days to be exact to finish revising my dissertation. I think my mom and my sister were so frustrated already at the snail paced way I did it that they stopped talking to me about it. Some would probably say I was crazy to let so much time go to waste. Maybe I was indeed a fool but it was a choice I made. I was not ready to finish it yet. No matter how I tried I just couldn't write anything until a few weeks ago.

Maybe it was burnout. After all I did the almost impossible feat of finishing my dissertation while doing my clinical internship and working at the same time. Add that to my ever active social life that included 4 nights of playing badminton and several nights of drinking sessions with friends.

Maybe it was the challenge. I've always been a crammer and I've yet to submit something that I have never crammed. I'm actually good at it. In fact I can probably right a book on "cramming for dummies" and it would probably be a bestseller.

Maybe because somewhere along the road I lost my heart for it. I don't know how to explain it but I guess I realized while doing my dissertation that life was more than research and school. It wasn't because I didn't love school but it was because I realized that there was more to life out there. I remember arguing with my mom about it one december night when I told her that I was just so tired. She told me to give up badminton so I could finish my work. But I told her it was my work that I need to put on hold first. I could understand her concern and I didn't want to disappoint her and all those rooting for me so I threaded on. But I guess after my defense my spirit wasn't there anymore.

So it took me 355 days. Was it worth it? Yes and no. No because I did waste a lot of time. And because of that I won't be able to march in graduation with my friends. As much as I would love to, I don't know how I could fly back and forth from Malaysia to manila in under 24 hours.

But it was worth it still because in 355 days I lived a good life. There were many losses all over and heartaches abound but there were the good days too. And they outweighed the bad. Who would have thought that in 355 days I would find my way here in Malaysia living a life that I've only imagined doing several years ago.

In the end, I did it. I fulfilled my promise. I took several detours along the way but I did it still.

In my dissertation there is a portion there called acknowledgements. I am reprinting the entire thing here in whole.

The famous endocrinologist, Hans Selye, once said, “To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence- a faith in the dream.” This is a fulfillment of not just a lifelong dream but a promise made thirteen years ago when I was seriously ill with ITP. Through the years of battling chronic illness, I strived hard to be brave. And I would not have made it if it were not for the love of all these people.

To Mommy, Vesper, and my best friend Ella for their never ending love and support through the years and for believing in me even if I sometimes disappoint them. To my four legged babies, especially Oliver and Datu, who taught me that love knows no bounds.

To all those who in one way or another shared in my journey through the highs and lows of life-- “p10,” Cha, Weevens, Maan, Ces, Cara, Denden, Oliver, Mimo, Mardet, Fr. Ben, Lyzet, Obeng, Chin, Bambi, Aldwin, Kim, Merly, Jeff, Tita Sansu, Elma, Tita Nitz, Phen, Beth, Doc Eva, Len and George, Luis and Byo, Camacho Family, Pamilya Badminton--Tito Noel, Tita Nel, Kei and Rb, Jesse, Charles, Ann and Classmate Adrian. Thank you for the love and support.

To my doctors, Dr. Cavilles+, Dr. Yuzon and Dr. Liza Naranjo for restoring my faith in the health system and for patiently taking care of me through the years.

To my adviser, Dr. Isabel Melgar and to my mentor Fr. Jaime Bulatao, for believing in my dreams and pushing me to strive beyond mediocrity and soar to greater heights.

To Daddy and Peter, who taught me that rainbows do come after the rain.

My Sincerest gratitude also goes to my panelists-Dr. Emy Liwag, Fr. Nilo Tanalega,SJ, Dr. Liane Alampay, and Dr. Lota Teh for their wisdom and kindness.

Most of all to Mary Grace and Adam, co-warriors and friends, who taught me the true meaning of courage by valiantly fighting aplastic anemia and leukemia respectively till the end.

Believe in your power to create miracles. Thank you for your gifts of love.