Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I never really realized how easily it is for me to lose respect for someone. Parang "Appear, disappear." Just like the phrase I popularized with the kids during my immersion. Si Olga kasi, mangangalabit tapos magtatago. But I've always known that it's hard for me to learn to trust that person again. I remember the director of the play I was in (well, I've since forgotten his name but I remember what he said): trust cannot be demanded, it is earned.

Time to speak less of bad and more of good.

I know it can't last forever, but do you sometimes feel that the world is alright? Or that everything will be alright. I think this is what they call the idealism of youth. I can't help it. It's like there's this overall nice happy feeling that as long as I do my best, everything will be okay. I'll hold on to this feeling for as long as I can.

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

-The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Immersion was a very enlightening experience. Actually, we had it pretty easy... Sure I had a difficult time taking a shower (tabo), the wooden bed gave me a couple of bruises (I still slept like a log), and I had to contend with a big fat lizard (there was a mouse too but it was more cute than gross), but our house had electricity, a sink (with water), a toilet bowl, even a TV set that is bigger than the one in my room. We stayed with the Laxamana (don't you think the spelling is interesting) family - Nay Azon (short for Corazon), Joanna [14], Shamay (sha-mei) [11], Joy-joy [9] and Joella [5]. Their dad is in Tagaytay working as a bulldozer operator. The youngest has leukemia so she's undergoing chemotherapy. The thought is sadder because she's so lively and smart. They're all smart (and sweet) actually. I grew especially fond of Joy-joy who's very patient and thoughtful. I will miss those kids. It was a replay of childhood with games like touch ball, monkey in the middle, rock-paper-scissors, and even the one that goes "Sasara ang bulaklak/Bubuka ang bulaklak/Dadaan ang reyna/Ang saya-saya."

One observation is the preference for immediate gratification. Bahala na ang bukas in other words since the future is uncertain anyway. It was the answer to the question I sought to answer prior to going on immersion: Since x has a job, why does he seem to take it for granted (being absent or late often)? It may be that he's lazy but the observation gives an alternative reason.

Another observation is the "boredom." In the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life, here are people who seem to live in a special time continuum, one that moves a lot slower. Much time is spent watching the television or sleeping. Actually I had to fight off my drowsiness when I first arrived. I didn't like the thought of just napping the afternoon away... so I thought of something we could do. And that is why we straightened the picture frames, removed the thick dust from the furniture and even stacked the books in the shelf neatly so they would be easier to find. If only the same cleanliness bug would bite me while I'm in my room.

Plus, there are so many kids. So and so is a cousin, another is a niece while she is an aunt or a cousin twice removed. Maybe it's also a function of boredom but another possible explanation is the jackpot mentality. A lot of people text to join those TV promos just to win big and the same is true when it comes to having kids. If one child just so happens to be brilliant, he can save us from our situation. It's difficult to imagine this from succeeding because of the strong bonds among the extended family members. The whole clan seems to live in the area so it's easy to ask and expect financial assistance from each other. Only a wall divides one's living quarters from another's. Trivia: the wooden bed I mentioned earlier and the neighbor's pig pen are only separated by a wall.

Last night, the family watched the Sana Maulit Muli marathon. And that is why I am now hooked to the telenovela haha A new reason to watch TV!

That's it for now. It's going to be a hectic week.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

After spending days and nights doing the YES report... Ho hum. I'm too lazy to do anything productive. I'm so proud of that report and am especially proud of the EB, managers and members who made all that we've accomplished this year possible. I can't wait for the remaining projects!! Especially the dragon >>>>>>>}> imagine that's a dragon smiley :p

Even though things are piling up... I love the semester. My Shakespeare class is nice even though the teacher's too nice. I will play Lysander in MidSummer Night's Dream. But I'll have to start memorizing lines soon. This week, the FA students have their thesis presentations and I'm trying to find the time to watch. Hold that thought. Dr. Intal's class is okay but it really depends on one's openness to the teaching style. I'm very much inspired by the various case studies. PolSci is alright I guess, I wonder what kind of articles are part of the book. Theo and Philo are great! I'm actually having eureka moments. The last time that happened was... 3 semesters ago. Not that last sem's Philo was bad, it just wasn't as rich, I guess? (Theo is a whole different story). Summary: my profs this sem are spoiling me. And yeap, I'll say it again: I'm loving it hahaha

And then... there's thesis. Thank goodness the results are significant and they're significant enough to be exciting. You know, we've never had a real stay-the-night-to-work-on-thesis night. There was just this one night that accidentally turned into one cause we had to re-work the conceptual frame. Otherwise, Bj insists on going home... even at 2am. Well to each his own! I love my group cause we like doing different parts - Niel does the writing, Bj does design while I do the stat. Stat can be very tedious but there's nothing like the rush one gets when the results are significant (nerd alert...). And the features of SPSS are so cool!

Maybe I should start studying. What if I just bomb the quiz tomorrow. Gah okay grade consciousness lang pala kailangan to get me started. After years of studying, I am able to explain the inexplicable. This bit of self-discovery is made possibly by... school. And now, back to our show.

Monday, January 1, 2007

The pond was covered to prevent the gun powder from poisoning the poissons. And mom watered her grass so that it wouldn't die *too much*. The windows were closed so the smoke wouldn't go in. The cement blocks, garden hose and end of the bamboo stick were prepared. It was time for the fireworks!

Tonight reminded me of nights long ago when New Year's Eve really was a loud celebration. There used to be feathers and horns and lots of small fireworks (like watusi, my favorite firecracker). The neighbors prepared some of their own this year! It's such a blast cause we'd answer each other and try to out"shine" each display. Last year (and many years before that) we had to contend with a house pretty far away. Now there were more of us! It's a whole lot of fun, I wish the Florida and Singapore people were here.

*BOOM* (from neighbor's backyard)
shoti: Maganda?
dad: Naging bright lang yung sky... with green stuff.
It's okay to be competitive sometimes...

Already way past midnight and I can still hear fireworks exploding (dudes, wrong timezone). 2007 received a noisy welcome. Last year the fireworks only started at 11:30 and ended five minutes after 12. This year they started sounding off while we were still having dinner at San Juan - that was around 8pm. I wonder why, is it because people have more money to (literally) burn? My aunt had some cash converted and the exchange rate was at P48.80 : USD1. Remittances are keeping this country afloat.

I've been reading some discussions about Saddam's execution (shaky video without censorship c/o Popoy). Many say they condemn his actions but disapprove of the hanging. Others insist that he deserved the punishment that was carried out since he killed thousands of innocent people. I wonder about that argument. Is doing nothing to help those who are starving not equivalent to condoning their conditions?

I guess that's why I felt uncomfortable in my seat after watching the pre-movie call for donations by UNICEF the other night. It's not exactly about children starving but it was about Filipino kids having to walk 6km to school everyday. Actually, from the nine out of ten students who enroll in first grade, only four complete high school, and only one will finish college (Velasco, 2005). Does one peso matter? As idealistic as it sounds, I think so. It does matter. A single butterfly in China can change the way the wind blows in America.

The movie that showed after that trailer (if you can call it that) was Mano Po 5. I remember watching Mano Po 1 together with a whole bunch of aunts and cousins some years ago. Medyo gasgas na. Only mom and I watched this time around (dad doesn't like watching Filipino movies). As usual, the Chinese Filipino family was portrayed as living a luxurious lifestyle. The heroine was some sort of poor little rich girl. Poor little rich girl in love. In terms of relevance, the previous Mano Po films were better. In terms of humor, this one doesn't match up. I guess I can't say that the issue it addressed is unique to Chinoys - forbidden love is actually a classic. Anyway it made me cry.

Went to the ladies' room afterwards and saw Hannah (Of course Richard was waiting outside)! Then Jen (debate) walked in. So many people in Greenbelt. Bumped into Marts before entering Capricciosa and inside the restaurant were some Englicom people! I swear I know the son of the owner of the place. He even waved at me. Darn, someone help me identify him... white Chinese guy haha big help. The resto btw was good, I remember Eizelle mentioning it once. Italian. Two pastas and a pizza for P1800. I still prefer Cafe Puccinni.

And with this let me wish everyone a very happy 2007.

P.S. I was lucky at Black Jack a while ago... hm.