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


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.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Visitors from Manila

Hosted my first set of visitors from Manila after moving to my new house. Bel, my former badminton tropa in Marikina came by with 8 friends. We went around KL and got to have our mini reunion in my new place as well. Bel, Grace, and Deys stayed with me for two nights while the rest of the gang stayed at the hotel in KL. We we're quite a showbiz bunch since they had an "artista" with them. I must say she looked intimidating and mataray at first but after meeting Atin, she was okay naman pala. She was quite friendly in fact. My guy friends were all egging me to introduce them to her (sana pala ginawa naming business!hahaha).

Anyway here are some of our pictures....

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