Sunday, September 27, 2009

Define Disaster

Saturday morning was dark and rainy. I woke up after 3 solid hours of sleep and started preparing for the UP Manila Organizational Communication 25th anniversary conference.

And the next 24 hours turned out to be one of the weirdest days of my life.

I got to school early, as my dad took pity on me and gave me a ride. The conference was good, and it was nice to listen to the speakers. But even as the conference was ongoing, we were already receiving news from outside about the flood. By 11 a.m. the water level in Pedro Gil was waist-high. I had also received news from home that floodwater had entered the car and our house--a first since we moved here 11 years ago.

After the conference, all of us were stranded. There were 8 of us in the group--Dien, Jaypee, Chris, Eunice, Monica, Brian, Jhama, and I--all OrCom shiftees. We didn't have anything to eat in school, so we decided to brave the knee-deep waters of Padre Faura to get to Rob. When we arrived, half of the stores were either closed or closing. We hit the department store because my companions needed to buy slippers. Luckily, I had a pair in my bag. How I wished I'd packed extra clothes as well.

CAS Parking Lot and Oblation Garden

After a long debate on where to eat, we settled for Shakey's. We had lunch at 3:00 p.m. and killed time until 6 at the restaurant because we didn't know where else to go. By around 7 p.m. we all wanted to go home. Jhama hitched a ride with a friend (but they were stranded for hours on the road), and the rest of us wanted to get to UN to take the train or to Monica's dorm. The water was so deep by then and the handful of vehicles passing through generated monster waves so we stopped over at CAS where we learned that people were sleeping over, so the 6 of us decided to stay, while Monica braved the flood to get to her dorm.

The sleepover was generally fun. Jaypee and Brian went out to buy supplies (i.e., toothbrushes, soap, clothes, etc.). I opted to sleep in my slacks, turtleneck top, and blazer. Aside from RH looking more like a refugee camp than anything else, we were okay. We ate countless packs of pizza-flavored Baked Sticks (they were a sponsor for the OrCom conference). Baked Sticks while waiting for dinner, Baked Sticks as a midnight snack, Baked Sticks for breakfast. I swear, we had a lifetime supply. I don't think I even want to see a pack of those corn snacks within the next few months.

We stayed in a room with the 3rd year OrCom, which were a fun bunch. They watched a movie and played games. We talked and took pictures and tried to sleep as best as we could on wooden armchairs. Power went off at around 2 a.m. but was quickly restored. At around 3, my neck was burning from my awkward position, and the floor was too cold to lie on. I got some decent shuteye at the RH lobby, when Brian and I decided to sleep on the benches.

This morning, I woke up at 6 only to find out that RH was a dead spot for Sun, and I got news from home that the waist-high floodwater had receded at around 8. I decided that I couldn't wait any longer and made it to the LRT. Even in the morning, the knee-deep water along Taft is scary. One particular bus spectacularly splashed me with a flood-water wave and I was so disgusted that the corporate attire I had been wearing for more than 24 hours was now splattered with sickly-green floodwater. But I made it home, helped with the cleanup, collapsed into a 4-hour sleep, I think, and finally had my bath.

So thank you to the people who made this otherwise horrible experience fun for me. To my shiftee friends mentioned above, for the Ultimate Bonding Experience, as well as the OrCom people for the instant sleepover; to the CAS guards and the DAC faculty--Madame Mikee Inton, Ms. Anna Aclan, Mr. Jan Bernadas, Prof. Chadwick Sy Su, Ma'am Adeva, Ma'am Pulumbarit, Dr. Bautista, and the rest whom I might have forgotten--for checking in on us, and for the people who kept me company through text (aside from my parents who were concerned and nagging at the same time).

What a day. It was some adventure, but that was nothing compared to what other Filipinos are experiencing right now. A lot of areas are still submerged in flood, there have been landslides, and people are missing. Let's all reach out to help and pray for the victims of Ondoy.

And for my kapwa Pinoys, we really can't blame nature for this. A lot of this is our fault, so let's stop illegal logging, littering on the streets, and even spitting just about anywhere. This country is all we have, why can't we seem to take care of it?

For those who want to help,
a list of some organizations you may contact.
For my schoolmates, the CAS SC and other orgs are collecting donations.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Partly Cloudy

Two minutes before I'm set to leave and I decide that I want to blog.

I've been so unpredictable lately, a lot like the freaking weather. It's scorching sunlight one minute and torrential downpours the next. It's been ruining my outfits, haha. I don't even know what to wear anymore, and my bag contains more of my wardrobe than my school stuff--shades, a pair of slippers in case it floods, and a jacket. Yes, unpredictable like the weather. So unpredictable that even I don't know what to expect from me anymore.

I'd rather not go into the details of my life right now, as I'm tired of my stories--and so are the people whom I've been dumping on for the last two weeks (thanks friends). If anything must be said about my life, it's pretty fine. Steady progress. I'm actually starting to feel the demands of schoolwork, the unique pressure that only the last weeks of a semester can impose on a student. Yeah, I'm looking forward to sem break and I want to get things over with.

Oh, and yeah, I've been tumbling too. Visit it if you want. I'm just reblogging stuff all the time anyway.

So there. Hello life. I'm generally at peace with it and with myself right now, save for the questions that I can't help but ask sometimes. Mostly they start with why. But hey, no use in beating myself over it. I still hate not understanding, but over the last couple of years I've learned to accept the fact that there are some questions you'll never get the answers to. And some questions you don't want to know the answers to, as well.

So I'm fine with lazy afternoons like this one--watching a blinding setting sun that reminds me of the Little Prince though my bedroom window, or some place where I'm hanging out. John Mayer, The Weepies, Dave Matthews Band, and the Goo Goo Dolls are singing to me, while my head feels heavy and drunken with thoughts I don't feel the need to think about. I just let them float around.

Me too. I'm still afloat, and I'm perfectly fine. And the world spins madly on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Under The Spotlight

Everything has to start from somewhere. So where do I start?

Well, I'm starting to go on TV series binges. Gossip Girl Season 3 is airing, both in the US and on cable TV here, but since my dad is monopolizing the boob-tube most of the time, I'm once again taking advantage of this little thing they call the "torrent". Haha. Oh, and yeah, I watch Gossip Girl. So gay, I know, especially for me. It was a former friend's fault. And apparently I found Gossip Girl so good I'm still watching it long after that person and I stopped talking. Talk about bitter endings. [Hey, if you happen to drop by, I kind of miss being friends with you. I'm serious.] But what the hell. Let sleeping dogs lie and eventually die.

I have also fallen in love with this amazing fabulous series called GLEE, courtesy of my girlfriend. Can't get enough of it. It's a musical. And apparently everyone in the series sings. It really is great--it's the kind that makes you want to sing and dance along. They make Kanye West (yeah, that jackass, as Obama said) sound good. Trust me. YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT.

Watch. Now.

I just finished watching the third episode a while ago. And it was all about confidence. It got to me, I guess. You see, I kind of have to do an intermission number for an org event in school. I'm still hoping they find someone else, because I have no idea why I said yes. I haven't seriously sung in public in years and I think I've developed a bad case of stage fright.

Or maybe it's just a lack of confidence. The thing is, singing is just one thing. I just have an issue of sorts--let's just say I'm not secure as I should be. There's always this feeling that I can't get past mediocrity. With everything. With music, with writing, with my relationships with people. Whatever I have, whatever I give--just not enough. Okay lang, puwede na. But never really that good.

I don't know why I got to feeling this way. Or maybe I do, but I'm not sure. Funny thing is, writing about it feels weird. It's not like those issues that people have that they repress, or that happens subconsciously and they never admit it. I know and I'm telling the whole world wide web. But why can't I seem to do anything about it?

All the world's a stage, as good old Shakespeare says. And apparently I've lost my stage presence. When I'm up there, or just here, I see people looking at me, waiting. They're waiting for me to do my thing, and they're expecting it to be good. I feel like I don't have the right to screw up. Which, in retrospect, is one of the things that make me screw up.

I have to find it. Just don't know where or how, but I know I don't want to stay scared. The world is a stage, and hell, I wanna be a rock star.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On Routines And More Routines

Yesterday was the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. I was supposed to be reviewing for this morning's exam, but well, it's always easier to choose watching a cheerdance competition over staring at piles of photocopied papers. Haha. It was a good competition, sayang lang nag-third ang UP Pep. FEU came in first with 86.1%, Ateneo was first runner up with 83.4%, and UP Pep ranked third with 83.1%. I later learned that 6 points were deducted from UP's score--5 points for an error in the pyramid and 1 point for the Ikot jeepney which was ever so slightly inside the border at one point. But well, they had a great routine, and a magical transforming jeepney. Haha. And the execution was almost perfect. I will forever be in awe of UP Pep.

In case you missed it, well, boo you. Just kidding. Watch it now.

Another sayang, in my opinion was the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe. The slip-ups were a little more noticeable, but they had a daring routine this year. I loved the Shiva-ish thing they did, the effect was really cool. I'd really rather that UP lost to them, because in my opinion the two teams were on a level of their own.

I was unimpressed with the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion's performance--okay fine, the moonwalk was fun--but I'd have to admit they were incredibly clean this year. But still, maybe next year they could step things up a bit.

Same goes for the champions, the FEU Tamaraws, now also known as the Chickens. Haha, don't hate me FEU students. It was a very colorful Sarimanok. But perhaps you could explain the relevance to me? Simple and clean did the job. Congratulations.

I guess that's what you get when gymnastics people invade the panel of judges. They'll go for the more predictable but clean moves, rather than innovation with a few errors.

Which brings me to another topic, i.e., my life and its utter dullness. You might want to skip this part. This is not a feel-good post.

All I really have to say is, I'm tired of my simple and clean routine of a life. And because words are failing me right now, let me illustrate with this flowchart.

Sounds like FUN?

Call 1800-super-proxy right now!

You can live my life using the
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(After that you have to buy a license.)

See posters and print ads for details. Per DTI permit number 11235813.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Because Lemony Snicket Is A Wise, Wise Man

Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps. -Lemony Snicket
I haven't actually read A Series of Unfortunate Events, except for half of The Reptile Room which I read in Powerbooks Rob during one particularly boring long break. But I have a friend who has a book with quotes in it, and he loves to send me some. And so I fell in love with the wisdom of Lemony Snicket.

Anyway, that quote above talks about what I've been thinking about lately--how some people just love to make others miserable. I can't say I'm not guilty of indulging in misery--as the person who knows me best says, I do have a habit of making myself out to be more miserable than anyone so I don't get blamed for something which is really partly--or maybe wholly--my fault. See, I'm a bad person sometimes.

Sure, I love to complain. It's always easier to write, or tell stories when you have something to complain about. But I know how misery feels, so on an average, give me a day or two--two weeks, tops--and I'll throw it away and we can live our lives normally again.

I did that once, just stacked 'em all little chunks of misery up. It ruined my relationship and made me a very, very insecure person. I had to reevaluate who I was trying to be, and who I really was. All because I couldn't let it go. So I've long since learned that it's an awful thing to pack your misery in a bag and drag it along for the rest of your life.

So let it go. Just toss it away. Give yourself and the people around you the break you all need.

Misery is like a dead rat--until you throw it away it will ruin the day for you and for everyone else within a 10 feet radius. They might end up moving away to avoid the awful odor, and who in the world wants to be left alone with a dead rat?

Nope, not me. That's for sure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Great Preemptor

I feel so sick. Not emo sick, it's just that my throat hurts and I think I'm coming down with the flu. Thus I am using it as an excuse to be lazy. Last night, after reading Rizal's On The Indolence Of The Filipinos, I decided not to do the paper. Indolence is necessary naman daw eh. [Original argument: it's a tropical country and it we can't work in the sun the whole day.] Now I realize that the sun was not yet out at the time that I was attempting to do the paper, but hey. Anything for an excuse to waste my time on Facebook instead of being productive.

Aside from being lazy, I think I also do these kinds of things because I am the master of the preemptive strike. This is mostly because I am extremely apprehensive. I always try to think ahead, to have a Plan A and B at the very least. Throw me into any situation and my brain will, by default, think fast. Or at least, as fast as it can, in order to come up with a plan, no matter how trivial.

With this comes certain insecurities or whatever they are--the point is that, sometimes, in the process of thinking ahead, I just get the feeling that I can't do something. Then I think it over, then--most of the time--I drop the effort.

Exhibit A : PI100 paper. I knew my brain was not in the proper state for analyzing those five chapters and coming up with something coherent. No, I wasn't going grade conscious over it, I'm just fussy. Especially with writing. It's kind of all I have, you know. It's basically the only thing I can humbly say I know how to do. So when I write, I try not to shit-talk my way out of it (except in desperate cases, such as mind-bending STS essay exams). I may not be brilliant, but I like to try harder every time. Hence, I opted to pass the paper late. Maybe next week, if I don't forget. Haha.

Exhibit B: Dropping galore. Last last sem, when I made the decision to shift courses, I dropped seven motherfreaking units. That was seven thousand pesos' (and more, for the lab fees) worth of Chemistry and Computer Science subjects. Obviously, my parents were not the happiest people on earth at that time. But my begging and OrCom sales talk worked, and so I went from 21 units to an all-time low of 14 units. I was afraid I'd either fail, or have a stress-induced breakdown in the process of trying to pass. Later on, they all told me that I would've passed anyway, and that it was sayang. A waste of money, and a waste of an otherwise unblemished transcript. But I don't really regret it. I still am convinced that it saved me from a nervous breakdown (my whole life was just a pile of you-know-what at the time), and that it also saved my GWA from another bunch of 3's.

I also quit on people. I give up on establishing relationships when I know that it will just ultimately be screwed up. I quit on people who refuse to even try. And I quit when I sense that I'm forcing myself on them.

So there, I'm a quitter. I know they say winners never quit, and quitters never win, but I don't know if the person who said that ever tried Chem14 or CS123. And even if they did, to hell with that. I'm a quitter. I'd love to try and make it, but I'd rather quit than not be able to deliver. It's not that I'm afraid of failure--I'm getting better at it, actually--just that I believe that not everything is worth the struggle. Some things; some people, maybe. But not all.

I realize that living life with a disclaimer on one hand and an eject button on the other isn't exactly the best way to go about it, but until I figure out a better way, I'm sticking to this plan.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Out Of The Hermitage

An update for the sake of updating. Let's begin the month with stories about how the last month ended. Mind you, I'm doing this because I can't sleep, and Facebook won't let me upload a new picture, and I'm too lazy too start my PI100 paper. And all that shit. Anyway, here goes.

Remember when I was ranting about not having friends? I bet you do, since it's only a couple of posts below this one, actually. Well, last week I decided to step out of the hermitage (otherwise known as my room) and start talking to real people. More or less turned out well.

  • Wednesday was spent with new company, and it was fun, as well as slightly embarrassing.
  • Thursday was the JMA acquaintance party, which was just great--I got to meet new people and hurt my backside being pushed into the pool all in one evening (I don't know why people just love to pitch me into pools. Maybe it's because they know I don't know how to swim and it's their way of getting rid of me.).
  • Friday was spent in the company of my shiftee "blockmates". I'm glad we're bonding now, and we're all for spending more time to get to know each other. To be honest, I was apprehensive about being a shiftee at the start. It's not exactly easy for me to start another whole getting-to-know-you process after two years in college. And no one can really ever replace one's blockmates, you know what I mean? But I'm glad to have my new friends. I think we're going to have a great two and a half years together.
  • Saturday was spent with Iehl, whom I never see enough of. We went window shopping around Rob--an art (I guess?) which I only got the hang of in college. Yeah, you get that when you have three almost-shopaholic friends. Or girl friends, for that matter. Oh boy, do I miss the way things were. There, I said it. Anyway.
  • Sunday was bonding time with my sister. My parents decided to tag us along on their night out at San Miguel by the Bay, where I learned never to order full meals at Razon's again (except possibly, for their dinuguan and sisig). Not wanting to be stuck with my parents' friends, we hit MOA and walked in and out of shops, until they started closing. I really have to take my sister out sometime. She's more of a hermit than I am.
Now if you're wondering why spending time out with people is such a big deal for me, let me explain that I'm not an alien, nor a total socially-inadequate nerd. It's just that I used to be so introverted, that I never thought I needed to go out that much. In fact, I tended to shy away from people I wasn't really familiar with. Ever since I started college--and even more now that I'm in OrCom--I've decided to start relating more to people. And I'm actually enjoying it.

Now all I want is a date. I hope Wednesday finally falls through. It's been weeks, so you can't blame me for missing you too much, can you?

There will always be the part of me that's perfectly fine being left alone, but I'm down for company now, too. So, sinong gustong tumambay?


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