January 15, 2011, 1:50 PM
Today, one year ago, is the day I took the liberty to see the news for myself which I knew was true. It’s like a horror movie where you know there’s something creepy creeping from downstairs and you’re still dumb enough to check it out. Like a journalist who knows that one billion bullets are airborne everywhere and if he were on the grid, he’d be dead before he could make his next step and write his article. But you know people these days—nothing can stop you when your guts and will and stupidity have been ignited. Oh, well. To see is to ____________.
Today, in 2010, is the day when I cried in front of my mother’s PC, sobbing consciously, hoping that nobody could hear me. I would look up from her cubicle and scan her office and when I couldn’t see anyone within earshot, I would continue with my litany of hopes and dreams and curse words. I would click Refresh a thousand times hoping that, in those one thousand times, the page would refresh, too, and there’d be different results. They still look the same until now.
Today, twelve months ago, is the day when I took in the strongest, most brutal overdose of envy. When I felt that the world was suddenly not carrying me anymore and I was carrying it instead on my crouched shoulders. When all forms of eeeeeemooooooo was myself and I thought I looked like I had three inches of eyeliner, ultra-black nails, and black-and-silver bracelets wrapped around my arms. Ew.
Today, three hundred sixty-five days ago, I made one of those “four to five major decisions in your life” which psychologists and sociologists talk about, and I failed it. They are supposed to change your life, in a way, like take you where you’ve never been before or somewhere you’ve dreamed of going, like Disneyland or wherever.
Today, last year, I did not pass the Ateneo.
Today, January 15, I don’t care about last year, whatever happened back then. Because I am gutsy and daring and socially refuted due to my wildly disproportional ideas, I am on the world again. And although there’s that tinnie-winnie prick at the back of my throat, I know that there has got to be a reason for all this. There better be. Otherwise, I am so going to ride a zipline and slash the rope halfway.
Today, one year after, I (enviously) congratulate all who passed. Go follow your dreams, the way your mother has told you when you were too young to understand why. Who knows, she might be wrong.
Today, I will do something else. Like valuing the things I have (Oh, please. I do not mean that. That is just so eeeeemoooooo). Or maybe I should cook lunch now.
Today, I still have three to four more major decisions left in my life. I’ll see where those will take me.
LOVE = (+Boys)(-Girls)
I don’t know. It’s not supposed to mean anything.
The boys were playing soccer. The ball is kicked, the ground is shaken, and the grass, stepped on. The ball was kicked again and it blobbed around, playing with the players and the field. Then a goal.
This is not meant to be revolutionary. Reflective but not political. Still, I thought, this is how boys are moved by emotional fluctuation. Love, as it is, makes them do things more enthusiastically, like irrelevant soccer. They become smarter, more famous, better. The world’s shape becomes a more perfect circle. Yes, more perfect. Superlatives become comparatives because limits are pushed farther away. Or removed. They then suddenly understand Math and Chemistry is like their native tongue.
Those are the boys.
Girls are on a different planet, something smaller. Fluctuation is a little too literal, like electronic heartbeats, pulsing zigzag lines along the screen. They would smell like strong perfume and excessive Love, still as it is, makes them not do things. Math, then, is a foreign language, maybe even Martian. Small numbers become bigger numbers and big numbers become mental error.
Love takes lovers to highs and lows; the middle doesn’t really count. You’re not in love if you’re there.
But this’s all theoretical. I don’t know. They don’t really mean anything.
In memory of Micah. Oh, no, no, no. She’s not dead. What I mean is that this article was written for her. We were seated near the soccer field and she told me to come to Bio class with her, late. Well, now you know why.
This was written a few days after the OrSem (or the Orientation Seminar for first year college students). That was June-something.
The last time I ever wrote anything was two months ago. I was a high school senior. I held on for dear life with my grades and fought for a million causes and beliefs. I was an extremist and a mentally suicidal Editor in Chief of the school paper who released only half of the aimed number of issues and a history of a folio that we so wanted at first. Then grew tired of by the time we left high school. And I told myself that if there were anything I learned as EIC, it’s never to do it again.
Those were remnants of the days when daydreaming was a sin and happiness was one thing that had to come first if we wanted to remain sane when we graduate. College will be different, I was told. I already know that.
Every freshman was buzzing around the campus and it was difficult to see anyone you once knew because they were either with other people or buzzing around with the other idiots. I am a Development Communication newbie-not-so-newbie.
DevComm is sometimes about bohemian lifestyles and dreadlocks. Like Rustie, my classmate. He had a huge amount of stage presence that swooped down when he spoke too much nonsense. I would believe he is a die-hard fan of Bob Marley, Rastafarianism, and redgreenblackyellow. He advertises henna tattooing and said that he didn’t go through high school because he was in an alternative learning institution. Who knows what that is.
If there were anything that anyone was doing, it was feeding their eyes. With people. Blessy was squealing. Eiji’s eyes were bulging. Ina was screaming. Bridget was harassing and shaking me. Oh, yeah. Those were things that everyone obviously had to do. They were unblinkingly staring at Adlai and/or tell everyone else to do it with them. They were swooning and their hearts were on racetracks.
We have met a lot of random people. An orange-headed girl and an ugly, fat social climber, among others. Having been in Xavier for thirteen years makes the location dull. But never the environment. Or the people.
It doesn’t matter if we do something embarrassing. If we shriek in front of someone. If we meet lots of people, become friends with them, then forget their names. Hey, college has just started. And that was just the ORSEM. We’ll laugh about all of this someday.
An RS 15 Reflection Paper
When I was in high school, the Bible was a book I borrowed from other classes when my Christian Humanism teacher asked us to bring it. It was an inconvenience and it tortured burden in my time.
I was a manifestation of drowning in social flow because I only believed it on surface level. If its truth were buried beneath its pages, I only believed the cover. To put it plainly, if God had been calling me, I couldn’t hear Him. Or, I didn’t want to. Or, I was too busy. Whatever happened back then, I know it was a time of skepticism and fear of religion because what I hear from the pulpit isn’t exactly about the angels and saints, but about the world’s evils, how much wrong progress every day, and nothing much on solving any of it.
That was until a group of people told me about the truth beneath the pages, about salvation, about what happens after this life, depending on what occurred in it. I didn’t entirely learn these from RS 15, but it confirmed what these people taught me.
The Bible is about context, about searching deeper and understanding God’s Word not through what we find in its text, but what lies in between them. Every story is an event that happened not just because it did but also because it means something beyond its devastation or joy.
My mother is an advocate of social values and upholds appropriate public behavior. She believes in a million truths and would fight for an infinite number of noble causes. She always tells me that “just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t mean it is right.”
Just because everyone has stopped reading the Bible because they think it is an outdated, over-read, nonchalant, entirely ancient text written by dead people who survived thousands of years ago, it doesn’t mean it becomes a subject of history. Because, well, although its contents are considerably antique, the significance does not falter through time.
I think it is never effective to shove our beliefs down other people’s throats. Rather, we should make them understand why this fight for pious development is self-sacrificing and morally fitting for every generation. We can only make people read the Bible when we stop telling them to. We should be the Bible and start walking the non-stop talking. Knowledge is only power when applied, thus, we are only influential when we live by what we speak and what we tell other people to do.
I did not learn all these from the subject. Not really. I mean, what is the story of Tobit to me? How are the Psalms in any way supposed to make me a better person? Nothing.
But, you see, it is like any other minor subject. Life’s lessons are never taught in specifics, rather are bloated to you as a whole. Like Mathematics, you’re not supposed to become genuinely intelligent on solving the binomial expansions or arithmetic progressions. You’re supposed to become a more critical thinker and solve problems with more depth.
Religious Studies does not make me a theologist after I have learned the stories of the Old Testament. It does not make me a Bible scholar if I find that Psalms contains the longest and shortest verses in the book. But studying about the Bible makes me understand why any of these events have happened.
Grace and manna to tell us that God will always be there. When He takes them, to tell us that we should not abuse. Victory, to tell us that He sides with the righteous. Defeat, to tell us that we should try harder. Life, to tell us that He loves us and that He is love itself. Death, to make us understand that there is eternal life after mortality.
In entirety, the Bible tells us that God speaks to man. We just have to listen.
I was the second student to enter the Computer Lab on a frilly Friday afternoon. I was the first to know that the University—or the nerdy nerds of the Computer Studies College—had blocked Tumblr off the system connection. I was amazed by their efforts to keep us hooked on the whiteboard.
My classmates were caught by the fish hook these unsociable administrators have been trying to kill us with. And although they have been successful in keeping us off Facebook and in social networking, per se, they never thought that banning the fad is like keeping a man-sized rat in a one-by-one bird cage.
They can block Tumblr—they think they’ve blocked Tumblr—but they cannot, in all forms possible by the human mind, block professional-amateur cyber intelligence and teenage angst.
So I’m posting this in academic propaganda. Hey, sir! I can use Tumblr and you ain’t stopping us!
Although teachers are supposed to be smarter, in a way, they taught us something they never thought would bring out revolution against their scholastic prisons: Dare to discover.
So discover, I did. And I’m here because they forgot that discovery is curiosity at its finest. Smartest. Most wicked. That same curiosity that killed the cat once, twice, nine times. They can block all sites, and we’ll keep trying to enter them. Curiosity is one thing they can’t take away.
If he reads this, I bet they’ll ban using computers. Don’t worry. I hear Sun Cellular has free Facebook.
I don’t exactly find it amusing to type ipconfig stuff during Computer class. What is that to me? Some sporadic manifestation of geek-ness and the only form of idealism that feeds the wallet of my computer instructor.
He asks us to delve into IP Hosts, Node Types, Subnet Masks, Default Gateways, DHCP Servers, Aaaaaaaaaaah!
So I’m here. Typing this. Sorting out my outspoken ideas and making them matter—to myself. I still remember someone telling me that we have to keep writing even though nobody reads what we’ve written. Like soliloquy, a monologue of our self-centered-ness, our uncontrolled freedom. Somehow, between what that somebody told me and now, I am riveted by the world and the people in it. They don’t really listen when someone has got something to say. We are lost in the mad circus of their selfish thoughts; it’s always about them, them, them.
So here’s what I have to say—in a constant dispute with all other writers in the world: Don’t write about yourself. It will only matter to your mother who will tell you you are beautiful even if you’re a frog.
Write about them, them, them. Tell them they are ugly, that even if a million princesses from around the globe will kiss them, smooch them, fuck them, they will remain frogs throughout their lifetime.
Okay, my teacher’s looking around the room, checking if we have been cooperating. And I’m not because I’m busy arguing with myself. I will heed my own advice and tell him he’s a frog. He’ll stare me down and fail me.
It’s when you don’t have an umbrella when it rains. The thought is simple: always be on the lookout for the things that practically happen for no apparent reason.
It’s always amusing to see the non compos mentis argue with things they don’t even understand. It’s like running the mountain when your bones are dead-beatened and you need rapid gasps of air for survival. People are like that these days. They practically surrender their beliefs for something they don’t quite recognize. Like my fourth year high school classmate who I was debating with in my Economics class. It was a snot-spitting, highfalutin-word-using, angry debate. She is surprised when she is at her momentum and realize that she, in fact, didn’t really know what she was talking about. Like arguing about Philippine History in a Math class.
It then always feels good to win. And stick your tongue out to them like, See? Told you so.