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What is the probability of finding a book you long sought for to a guy who turned out to be your boyfriend now, and then you both watch the movie rendition of that book? One in a million I guess.
When I was 14 my family and I went to Davao. During the 1 hour airplane ride I read this book called Ender’s Game and it really thrilled me. Unfortunately I was only able to read a few pages because we were about to land so I put it back. Since then my quest to buy a copy of that book began.
I searched everywhere, NBS, Fullybooked, Booksale and even in Filbars. But my mission failed. For a time then, due to seemingly diminishing chances and due to my overwhelming fandom to Harry Potter, I abandoned the Ender’s Game ship.
Almost four years after high school, the ansible of Orson Scott Card once again communicated with me. It started with a Facebook post. My boyfriend posted “11.01.13 Ender’s Game O.O.” At first I wasn’t able to recognize what it is, I thought he lost to a game and the numbers were scores. But when he told me that Ender’s Game is a sci-fi novel set to be onscreen on the 1st of November, my formic senses are up! It was the same Ender’s Game I read before and I yearn to finish it before I watch the movie. Thank God, my guy is a reader and he has a short copy of Card’s first Ender’s Game. Though it was just 50 pages, it was still the same sense-thrilling story.
A few months after, we were both sitting in awe in a movie theater filled with people watching the movie we long yearn for.
Ender’s Game exceeded my expectations. Asa Butterfield’s exceptional acting made me closer to Ender even more. Hoping for the next movies to be just as good as the first. The way I see it, Potter seems to be in a rough place in my mind right now. Wiggin, you’re the man. :)
I honestly don’t get the popular trend. In our culture in the UST Journ society, I’ve never heard of any journ major who’s having orgys with his/her friends or sleeping with his/her professors. Neither have I heard of anybody who stole public funds. Drinking alcohol seems normal, but I haven’t heard of any drinking session where a kissing spree was held. And I really can’t imagine kissing a few friends just for entertainment and then acting like it never happened. Well, in cases of smoking pot and eating space cakes I might have heard a few but that’s just that. No embarrassing, lustful and stupid acts were done. Moreover, I haven’t heard of any girl who thinks of herself cool while she continues to flirt with a guy whom she knows is in a relationship with another girl. Neither have I heard of girl who degraded herself and unconsciously agreed to be a guy’s fallback. I’ve definitely seen some cocky guys in the journ program but not to the point that they made advances to almost every girl they can, especially if they have a girlfriend. I believe journ majors practice decency in courtship. A boy won’t court a friend’s ex and a girl won’t accomodate a friend’s ex-boyfriend or even someone who dated a friend before. We aren’t holy and immaculate, that’s why I phrased every sentence as a personal experience. I don’t gossip often, maybe I haven’t heard of some mishaps but one thing’s for sure, when a journ major commits something immoral, he/she is never proud of being a mistress, a philanderer, a liar or a fuck buddy. He/she will never take pride on the number of sexmates or suitors or girlfriends he or she had had. And he/she will never degrade his/her self value by engaging in orgys or sleeping with a professor.
Let’s not compare courses because they have different grounds. Rationally, let’s compare something that’s common to us. Since we’re all humans, a comparison of ethics would be a great idea. :)
The saddest thing in this life is hurting someone you cannot live without. Watching their world fall apart because of you, watching their wonder get gutted, watching them cope and breathe with it and all you can say is sorry and all that you feel is guilt and all you can do is wish it to be undone.
Malambot ang palupot ng kamay niya sa akin.
"Sorry na," sabi niya.
Sa gitna ng aking tulala, nakaramdam ako ng mainit na hangin na papalapit sa kaliwang parte ng ulo ko. Parang may kuryenteng kumikiliti sa kaliwa ko. Kaunting sandali pa, naramdaman ko na ang mala-rosas sa lambot niyang mga labi na bumaon sa aking noo. Naging kasing lambot din nito ang puso ko.
Pero hindi, hindi ako papatalo. Hindi pwedeng ganoon lang iyon. Hindi pwedeng tutulad ako sa ka-cornihan niya.
Tumalikod ako paharap sa tren. Tinawanan ko sa isip ko iyong mga taong parang sardinas sa loob. Pero mali, dapat hindi ko ginawa iyon. T*ng*n*, madalas naming gawin iyon ng magkasama eh. Ano pa ba?
Hinga ng malalim, ilabas ang naipon na malamig na hangin. Ibulsa ang kamay, hawakan ang bag. Hawakan ng mabuti. Isiksik ng mabuti ang kamay sa bulsa. Lunok ng laway sabay hinga ulit. Kagatin ang dila at huwag huminga sandali. Ipunin lahat ng particles ng katawan at patigasin ito habang hindi humihinga. Exhale.
"Sorry talaga ha," sabay hawak na naman sa kamay ko.
Ay puto. Iwas ng tingin, hinga ng malalim. Tingin sa taas. Tingin sa kaliwa. Oops, wag sa kanan. Nguyain ang hangin sa bibig. Idiin ng mabuti ang paa sa sahig. Inhale, exhale.
"Sorry talaga sa lahat ng nagawa ko."
Shit. Talikod na. Tingin sa baba. Ipitin ang kili kili. Konti na lang, konting konti na lang.
"Love," sabay akap at bigay ng panyo.
Doon sa gilid ng tren, kasabay ng magulo na daloy ng paglakad ng mga tao, natalo ako sa labanan ng galit, lungkot, at pagibig.
So amid my daily skimming of news articles and random reads that suits my liking for the moment and amid my cramming sessions for the preliminary examinations of the first semester in my last year in college, I went to visit the old page of our publication and to my surprise, I found just what I need.
Confession series, 4.0 The Last Ride by Ms. Kristine Elizabeth Dihiansan of AB Journalism batch 2012. http://thejournalese1213.weebly.com/confession-40-the-last-ride.html
In the process of reading, I found myself smiling, laughing and crying toward the end. The essay did send chills into my spine, as I relate to the earlier paragraphs while the latter ones horrify me.
Needless to say, I can easily point out the who’s-who by the clear descriptions she makes, it is as if I can see clearly what she’s been through.
For my batch mates, I know you’ll have the same experience as mine when I read the article. For others whom we occasionally ditch because of our educational requirements and the lame excuse (yes we know it) that we have “COVER”, and for those who throw insignificant judgments and certain doubtful looks at us, this is what we are really going through.
Let me put them in lay-man’s terms.
”Arab spring, Osama Bin Laden’s death, Japan’s massive earthquake, Russian elections, and Royal matrimony – these were the realities of the world. We were unaffected (except for those who have relatives in afflicted countries) because we have our own reality to deal with, less intricate to comprehend than worldly problems but deadlier than deadlines.”
Apparently, this talks about our professors’ expectations that our heads be filled with knowledge of the world, no matter how vast it is. From time immemorial up to Justin Bieber, we must know them.
Every senior in any university knows what that word implies. No need to elaborate.
"Professors said that we should read, read and, read. A number of them made us write, write and, write articles. But to no avail. A professor laments that all we knew were Facebook, Twitter and everything else in between. We barely read (academic handouts) and studied hard enough, that’s because there’s nothing to be studied about."
The statement above is best summarized in this phrase—THURSDAYS WITH LITO ZULUETA. (google him) This renaissance man knows everything under the sun and is the embodiment of the Faculty of Arts and Letters. Ask him anything, from Church matters to Kpop, he knows it. More often than not, he would usually say that we havean “indulgence with idiocy” and that we fiddle in our social networking sites, instead of reading and writing and revising.
"We were too engrossed with catching deadlines, perhaps not so much, as our free-spirited manner made us post statuses in Facebook and Twitter about our progress in writing that six to eight-page critique paper in Literary Criticism, 1,000 word article in business journalism, and editing thesis drafts on the eve before the submission! Cramming is our best friend. Neophytes and other journalists should know this because we should, or should I say, we must learn to deal and live with it unlike other people."
A clear justification of what Sir Lito always says.
"Three sections in our batch would not forget that day during our Broadcast Journalism written exam, as each one painstakingly answered essays and wrote broadcast scripts for three hours straight that almost made us want to rip our hands apart. Everyone exiting the room was wringing their hands. The other section who had a different professor suffered a different fate as their grades were withheld during the semestral break since they were given broadcast reporting project to work on during the said period, on top of other requirements. A small price to pay for our inevitable flaws in the truest sense of the writing word, don’t you think?"
I haven’t experience this one yet, but I am about to. Well, you get the picture.
"And speaking of flaws, who would ever forget that a number of groups rushed back and forth from printing shops back to Sir Eros on the eve of submitting tabloids because of the tabloid sheets’ printing mishaps?"
I had my fair share of labor in this Tabloid journalism subject, and trust me the writing part would be fun because some are figments of our silly imagination and some are indeed serious articles. The editing is quite difficult, because sad to say (I encourage you to admit it also) most college students aren’t trained to write in Filipino. The layout part, is far too different from the simple and minimalist layout of broadsheets, believe me it’s a pain in the nape! Literally. Well, hopefully we won’t experience any printing mishap.
"On that final day of our thesis submission, few groups were still doing final consultation with their thesis advisers, while majority were still editing their manuscripts. Deadline was set at 8 p.m. The last group who rushed to Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC) that night submitted their manuscript at almost 10 p.m. “Better late than never,” that was the mantra in that prosperous night.
Accompanied with the research god himself, exiting the TARC building together with the rest of the groups who barely made it made us feel like we won that million-peso jackpot prize. Overflowing euphoric emotions was similar to that of a gushing fountain, even if thesis defense was still slated in a few weeks.”
The two paragraphs are vivid enough so an explanation is not really necessary. However, an AB journ jargon was used. The coined phrase ”research god”refers to Mr. Jeremaiah Opiniano. I prefer that you google his name to get a glimpse of the quality of research he seeks to imbibe in us.
So there folks, I believe these few words aren’t really enough for us to encapsulate the entire JOURNey. We will continue until March 27, 2014. Probably by then, we can have a little chitchat about our experiences.
Perhaps almost every human being’s ultimate goal is finding and following his bliss; that one thing that makes us feel good about ourselves, that one thing that keeps us going and that one thing that we would die for. Happiness is the goal but the way to attaining it is a hard road to travel or to choose for that matter.
Jeremy Bentham’s and John Stuart Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism basically imparts that pleasure is what everybody wants and that humans will do all ways necessary to avoid pain. Looking deeper into this idea of sheer happiness and the evasion of pain, I realized that Mill’s refinement of Bentham’s philosophy is what human beings are really after. It is not degrading ourselves to the level of animals and indulging into earthly pleasures it is going after that long-term happiness because we are rational beings who think of the consequences of our actions. The thinking of prolonging happiness is inherent in the human mind, so we do things that would help us find our cloud 9 and to stick with it as long as possible. In the pursuit of what we call “long-term” or genuine happiness, humans undergo a series of thinking processes. We weigh the consequences of our actions and forgive ourselves for any mishaps along our way, but we keep on going. Overall, this series of thinking and acting processes is what we call “living.”
Living to our full-potential as a rational being is the plenary of our being. Being human is acting with a full cognition of its consequence. Of course, we may be subject to mistakes from time to time but the fact that we are equipped with higher senses of thinking and will power is enough for us to learn from our errors, be better than our past selves and to live up to our full-capacities. To do so, it takes overcoming the odds, fear itself and our worst enemy—our egos. Morrie Schwartz, Mitch Albom’s professor, said “when you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Morrie’s maxim is the summary of my statements. Coming to life or being itself is a process of dying and overcoming death. We die when we experience the obstacles of life but we rise back to life when we overcome them and when we perceive a better sense of ourselves.
With regard to the things that Morrie say we are afraid of, he is correct. Intangible things like love, death, silence, or whatever is unknown makes humans uncomfortable because it brings us closer to ourselves. We are more afraid OF and FOR ourselves. People fear that the unknown will lead us to a side OF ourselves that we loath or we may discover something in ourselves that is out of our control or our comfort zone which may eventually bring change. Change is difficult and we are afraid of the idea of having to adjust, which in a sense brings us to the fear of vague concepts because we are afraid FOR ourselves. Adjusting to something new is admittedly a tiresome endeavor; in that sense we are programmed to think of and for ourselves. This entire cycle of fear has selfishness in its roots and overcoming our fears and ourselves is also selfish in nature. Utilitarianism comes to the play now, in choosing which selfish side of ourselves we will abide to, which will give us happiness as an end; that which makes us curve to our weaknesses or that which yields to a new and improved version of ourselves. Of course, the underlying sense of selflessness is engrained in the process. It is always up to us to choose.
It’s a Friday and I don’t have classes but I know how perfectly asleep I would be if I stayed home so I went to school with a brilliant stress and money saving plan: I asked my dad if he could give me ride since he’s fetching my brothers and he said we’ll leave at 3:30 p.m.
I’m supposed to have my siesta from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. but since I am so in love with my bed I extended for another 15 mins. and got up at 3pm. I hurriedly went downstairs with my towel and drank a chocolate drink within that 2-minute distance between me and my shower time. As soon as I shut the bathroom doors and sat on the toilet I heard noise from the knob opening of the door of the master’s bedroom and heard my dad said “Hurry up, we’re about to go now.” And that was when I realized that if my dad is my editor in the newsroom I would probably write as fast as the way I took a shower and got ready for school today. Mind you, I did it for 20 mins, less than 1/4 of an average college girl’s getting-ready time.
We rode our L300 van and I sat inside the chaotic passenger seat which has a variety of swimming equipment and empty food packages inside. I sat near the door until after being tossed in the air multiple times whenever our car passed through road humps I finally slide my way near the driver seat. Thanks to the road humps it wasn’t easy, but it hurt.
We got to our destination and I fetch my brothers outside their building. I met one of my brother’s friends who turned out to be the son of a ”terror” political science professor.
He said “Ate, do you know my dad?”
"Yeah. He’s pretty famous."
"Some say he’s a terror. Is he?"
"A lot of polsci majors say so, I haven’t seen for myself. I don’t major in polsci eh."
My brother butt in and bid his friend goodbye. His friend waved goodbye and my brothers and I walk toward our car. After a few steps, my brother’s friend was right back at us.
"Ate, he’s on leave for two years. Better get ready next year when he gets back," he said.
"I’m already graduating this year," I said.
He smiled and walked away, that nice and charismatic little boy is much like his father. I bid my brothers goodbye and stole a kiss or two from both of them and then I headed to the library.
I scanned and digested the cases and other required readings in most of my subjects but I got preoccupied by the books in the Humanities section and by the people inside as well. They never really got it. They sat there and chatter and got bounded by the books required to them. It seems that the library is a place for study to them. They never really looked into it deeper. People spoon-fed by their field of studies, people who don’t have the initiative to dig deeper and learn more about their chosen field, people who only care about finishing school and getting a high paying job, people who rode the bandwagon of shallow dreaming.
My co-cokehead arrived at 8p.m. we were supposed to eat pasta and to satisfy my bacon cravings but since its already late we ended up eating at Greenwich. Then after a few brain squeezes about random stuff, we realized that the most enslaved people are the waiters and the janitors. People treat them like they are better than them and as if they are the only beings with higher tastes and senses. We often forget to say thank you and instead of trying our best not to make a mess, we squander with the excuse that these waiters and janitors will clean after and that it’s their job to do so. What an animalistic way of thinking.
After dinner we stopped by his apartment. We found his brother playing inside. Because of the heavy downpour and his tired feet he laid on his bed for a while and asked me to massage/wrestle/punch his back and so I did.
Then he said, “Ang dami kong blackheads sa likod noh?”
"Oo nga eh, do you know I read an article about removing them. I used to remove mine all by myself. Do you want me to remove them?" I said.
So with that order I wore his Iron Man-like flash light above my head and got cotton buds and alcohol beside me. I feel like a dermatologist. HAHAHAHA.
I squeeze through the blackheads and put alcohol in them. I know you’d be a bit off, but hello, everybody has had blackheads at least once in their lifetime and this is a very hygienic way to take them out. (WALANG BASAGAN NG TRIP)
You know, it’s nice to do a variety of ordinary things with someone who turns them into something extraordinary. Nothing could be so free and happy than doing weird/shameful things as if they aren’t weird at all with someone whom you cannot miss out for the world.
You were a few meters apart inside this cold unpainted walls you call a house. You toil a lot to make them proud and to satisfy yourself but it isn’t good enough. It’s never good enough. And once you realize that you are damned by the fact that you cannot voice it out. It is screaming like a bomb inside your heart but you have to take it in. It is only you who shall endure the shrapnel. It throbs inside your heart and then it spreads out to your veins. It flows all throughout until you succumb to it. Until you let it out as tears. Drench your pillows dear, it’s all there is.
Live like there’s a little bird on your shoulder and ask it everyday “little bird, is this the day I’m going to die, am I ready?” This is just one of Morrie’s life lessons he thought to Mitch Albom. I never got the chance to see him due to the boundaries of time and space but Morrie is immortalized in Albom’s book and its movie rendition. I have a little bird on my shoulder, although a lot of times I acted like there’s none. It is not a constant reminder of death, it is a constant reminder of living. Living like it is your last day on this earth. We all carry a lot of problems each and everyday of our lives and we hope for a brighter day tomorrow. But what if there’s no more tomorrow? How will your turn your world around in just a day? Will you let your problems kill you everyday or will you live through them? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should shrug them off and the feelings that come along with them. Like I said, live through them and feel everything. It’s one of those moments that initially breaks you but it’s actually just a guise of molding. After all the negative emotions you felt, it’s the deep reflection that matters because it brings out the good and the love out of everything. These things are necessary to make you a better person. Stand up from yourself everyday and do everything without fear. Grow up from your problems and see the bigger picture. It is glorious to know that you’re lived and died at the same day. Till then, keep well.
I perfectly know how cruel the world could be, in just less than a year it ripped my heart and soul out.
Tonight after months and months of careful observation, analysis and praying for an answer to my question “why does it always has to be me” I finally had the courage to find the answer and to share it to the world.
Nearly a year ago, I remember the small, quite skinny, and a seemingly sparkly young kid who I used to be. I was class president, an editor in a publication, an officer in a scholars’ organization in my university and just a plain friend for anybody. I was headstrong independent and it feels like I was having the time of my life.
Although I thought I was just two years away from graduation I never thought in a year or less, life will teach me a lesson in the hardest ways ever imagined.
I got to know a few people and came across some beasts and monsters who all took part in the many heart wrenching accidents I encountered.
Sometime last year, I found myself at the border of life and death. I was a split second away from damnation. I was there in the middle of the cold pavement, eyes closed, systems shut, trying very hard to swallow the apparent fact that I am being physically exploited and soon I will surrender. At one point right there I did. I gave up. I succumb to their hands and their evil laughter. But just when I thought I was dead, a car headlight saved me. The maniacs left, but I was there…alive.
I stood up and picked up my things, every scattered thing that belonged to me. My bag, my shoes, my books. Nothing was stolen, except my good outlook and my innocence. I walked toward home with a television set in my mind, switching channels, losing signal. I showered to take it all away but I know deep down I’ll carry it all forever. I know for a fact that I wasn’t the Jan De Luis I was before the gruesome physical assault happened. As I walked inside my room and looked myself in the mirror, I saw that night what I have become from then until now—a self-made horror.
I tried to sleep, tried to read and yes to write as well, but I can’t. I just can’t. I was left with nothing but anguish and remorse. I let it get through my head. Who wouldn’t anyway? You were there, searching for dignity and a chance to get everything back but you couldn’t. And the worst would be knowing that all your friends’ efforts to make you feel better only make feel pitied, because you’re so used to holding your own and you shut people out of your life when the down times come.
The next morning, I shrugged it all off. With my “hey-everybody’s-got-a-problem-don’t-make-a-big-deal-out-of-it” attitude. I couldn’t believed that I douched myself, which what I always do until I realized it now. So I went on with my “happy” and “smoothly sailed” life.
As of recent occurrences, the attacks were less physical but more ravishing. I came to a point of having anxiety attacks, I can’t eat properly, I can’t focus. And I hated myself a lot because my walls were breached, and I let it like that.
Being my nosy-journalist self, I traversed a lot of dimensions in social media and some tangible things I recalled through my phone and past experiences. Thanks to my eidetic memory and evil-mindedness, the puzzle pieces I’ve been trying to put together became a masterpiece in my head, some people say “It’s all in your head, you’re wrong.” However, attempts to erase polemic statements and obvious evidences from my head didn’t work out. I freaked out. I was lost and I didn’t let anyone find me, because despite the lies I made to people when I confide my stories to them I still stick to my walls no matter how broken they were. (Call me the closet-emo)
The discoveries I made, made a mess out of me in turn. At point I even thought I had Schizophrenia.
I was angry, sad, disappointed, annoyed, guilty, patient, caring and loving all at the same time. The negative emotions I mentioned were of course, initial and selfish reactions. The last three were corny but they are the genuine results of deep analysis and constant Jesus patterning.
Before we draw to my conclusions, let me take inside my head a few months ago until now.
Everybody hates being deceived and lied to, nobody wants to feel ignorant or be laughed at. I felt deceived and laughed at by people I don’t even know. I felt judged. Any thinking person would be angry of course. But since I am a self-confessed douche bag, I did it my style.
I was so thankful back then because I was at the center of things. It actually felt like being in a Hollywood carpet where everybody knows your name. (disclaimer: read the statement above in a sarcastic tone) It felt good, but then people only know your name but not your story. Then they start throwing tomatoes at you, (at a point you were pissed because nobody likes to be treated that way, but since I was a douche-bag I shrugged things off and thanked heavens that they throw tomatoes instead of their photos, that would be more horrifying. But if the case was I was one of the audience I’d rather prefer throwing the latter.)
Now, quit smirking and see what being done wrong did to me. The above statement was a funny take of how evil I now think. That was even a SLIGHT insult. I don’t hate being done wrong because that’s inevitable, I hate what it does to me. I became ugly inside, I was capable of hurting others through my words and actions and I have contributed to the evil cycle of throwing mud at each other.
I know I am douche and I got it from being douched. I always think about the worst things that could happen and could be done, because my mind functions that way. Like what I always say to my friends "Gago ako eh, alam ko din kung paano mang-gago."
I was apparently hurt, but I refuse to recognize it because I was so consumed at acting like I never cared.
Just when I thought the series of unfortunate events has come to an end, I woke up one night at 1 in the morning and saw a man at my bedside. We looked at each others eyes then I started to scream and he just jumped off my window. Then when I came to my senses, I discovered it was a theft and my phone was stolen.
Again, my evil mind functioned and whenever I tell my terrifying theft tale to people I always say "Dapat pala di ako natakot, dapat tinulak ko nung patalon na siya."
That was yet another manifestation of casual cruelty that I am now using to identify myself with.
The next things were petty issues, like childish mud throwing at the question-oriented social networking site, Ask.fm. At first it got into my head and I was going insane at trying to find out who they are. I “douchedly” answered a few questions then I realized what a pity these people are. They hide behind anonymous comments, they fear more than I do. Cowards at their finest form.
After all the storm, I felt ugly and empty. I was the greatest villain I ever met, and I loath to be reminded and provoked that I was, because of one thing—I love the good me, the sparkly, fearless kid that was buried by the evil in me.
Being bad myself, trampled upon the good Jan De Luis, and when I realized this. I changed course and took a sigh. I was relieved, that even at my worst moments I know that hope, kindness and love still exists because I negated and buried them with evil. I hate being evil because I believe I am capable of being kind, trusting and loving.
Indeed, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I know I am stronger, sharper and smarter today than yesterday. I trust more, love more and live more. I have experienced a lot and I was given a lot of chances to serve my purpose, and I am starting now.
So kids, at times of trouble, hold on and feel the pain and the anguish. It will help you get through it. There is no breakthough without breakdown. The word fearless and painless still has the word fear and pain in it. But choose to take the word as a whole. Live through everything with guts and hope. Enjoy the twists and turns. Till then, keep well.
*All quotations must be well attributed when used. Thank you.