Spur of Songs, Stress and Sin

There is no concrete reason why there is a thing called ‘last song syndrome’ or LSS wherein you can’t help but sing the lines of the latest song you heard over and over again for the whole day and lasts even for an entire week. It’s sporadic. It’s even contagious. Beware.

But it’s just the price I pay, destiny is calling me,
open up my eager eyes, because I’m Mr. Brightside.
– Mr. Brightside by The Killers

Perhaps the most fascinating things I have ever done this week were: memorize how protozoans look like, learn how to make a Dichotomous key, and survive the heat of the Chemistry Lab. New professors, new ways of teaching, and new jobs to accomplish – these has taken over my life for this whole week. I always tell myself to get used to it (the stress). I must always look at the cooler part of hardwork and determination, and be Mr. Brightside.

We’re just ordinary people, we don’t know which way to go
because we’re ordinary people, maybe we should take it slow.
– Ordinary People by John Legend

Fast-paced college life has taken almost 24 hours of my every day breathing. Not to mention 7pm night meetings with my org (…enjoying it) and of course, the non-stop reproduction of assignments and research, all in full bloom! I understand that I should have gotten used to this stressful days, it’s just that I feel so bad about being tired and tortured (who wouldn’t be if you have to use the library staircase several times to go to the fifth level, then to the second, then down, up, down, wheeeew!) I’m human. I get tired. I’m just one of the ordinary people. That’s why I slowed down for a while.

Say the magic words and everything is fine again baby.
And you just touch me like I love and loving you feels new again…Oh yeah.
– Magic Words by Coco Lee

Is it “I love you?” Definitely not. For me, the magic words are “It’s time to take a break”… and have a KitKat (corny!) I was successful in looking for ‘fast breaks.’ After going through some reading assignments, I turned on the TV and watched the replay of the NBA Finals… congratualations SAN ANTONIO SPURS (81-74). After which I tuned in to my favorite soap, The O.C. And for the third time this month (it’s a good thing I’m not yet vomitting) nothing stopped me from watching my favorite French film ‘Merci Docteur Rey’ (oh, the laughs!)

É o fim do caminho
no rosto desgosto
– Aguas de Marco by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin reached the end of his road. I watched this special called “Original Sin – Pari, Propeta at Pilipino” and I was mesmerized by his life, his accomplishments and his great impact on the lives of the Filipinos. This man of God is a good source of inspiration for the people, specially those in the vocation of priesthood (I almost ended up there…)

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to ryhme
– Collide by Howie Day

Thanks to my classmate (Moony) for encouraging me to join our college’s official publication. I will give it a shot, forget about my ego and accept whatever happens after the screening. Also, I am happy for my Senior High School adviser (Mrs. Lei Ibay) – congrats for the baby boy. As for me? Well, I have to face another week full of surprises, mostly in school. How I wish my thick books will sympathize with me.

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Sunday in Uniform

Mr. and Mrs. SmithTwo people killing each other has never been so romantic – not until Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were paired to do it in the action/adventure/comedy/romance MR. AND MRS. SMITH.

Here’s a short reaction: I really loved watching that movie. Interestingly, we (me and my friends) were in uniform when we watched that movie, and take note that IT WAS A SUNDAY! Why didn’t we think of changing our clothes before invading the moviehouse? Anyway, who cares? (honestly, I do!) But it turned out to be okay, specially after watching a very entertaining film.

By the way, why are we in uniform? We just attended the NSTP orientation a few hours before we drove straight to the mall. Will it always be “Sundays with NSTP?” I still don’t know whether to be excited or not.

Meeting Mentors

MentorIs there anything more rewarding than imparting knowledge to other people? It may sound absurd but don’t be naive (… sing that line if you want Superman!) When I was young, I really wanted to be a teacher *take note: when I was young* and I even had my blackboard, my lesson plan, and my own bunch of younger kids whom I was able to deceive. Today, our class – 2Bio-4/2D – became acquainted with new professors who were *as usual* very much unique from one another.

One whole year in college has given me an idea (if not a full glimpse) of some types of professors and I am very happy to share my observations. Here are the TYPES OF PROFS (at least 5) with their positive (+) and negative (-) sides:

1. Newbie
+ These are the young, usually single, sexy/hunky teachers who are fresh from the Graduate School. In a university with high standards (such as, ehemm, UST?) these newbies already have an MA after their name. They are the ones who can ‘connect’ with students, make jokes (usually corny) and smile often.
– Some of them lacks the ability to control the class. They always ask a student (usually the class president) to do this and that. They have credibility but students can’t see that.

2. Cool (with a question mark)
+ These are the teachers who are “young-at-heart.” Despite of their age, they are using laptops and state-of-the-art cellphones, watch Telenovelas, play soccer (does it ring a bell?), read magazines and can relate to the fads and crazes of today’s generation.
– They give in to what the class wants (I think that’s positive) and… it’s just weird to see them trying to be “cool.” Plus, they are just obsessed with using PowerPoint presentations ALL THE TIME.

3.Classic
+ These are the so-called ‘institutions’ of the College. They have the MD, PhD and EdD after their names. They look very knowledgable and they usually don’t need a book in teaching (duh! after more than a decade of teaching, who needs one?) They are reliable and you can throw almost any question (class, species, phylum, etc!)
– Just don’t ask ’em what’s the #1 song in the US Billboard charts today.

4. Terrorist
+/- The moment this prof enters, you just can’t help but feel very cold, your hands start to shake, and you typically become terrorized. These are popular teachers who have a different way of handling students. They just love scaring students, humiliating them or failing them! (Now for me, that’s negative) but then, they have the right (some of them) because they really have good teaching skills. They are just born that way I guess… You know what I’m talking about

5. All-in-one
+ They are the ones we consider as “OK profs.” Students learn from them a lot – both about the subject and its application. Sometimes, they share their experiences and insert them in lessons from time to time. They love students and students love them.
– They are rare!

UST Main BuildingI know that in the near future, I will encounter more types of Professors. Whatever their kind is, I salute all of them. It is a fact that UST College of Science has the finest professors among the undergraduate courses in the university (Alright, I’m biased… Honestly, the Varsitarian research shows that Sci is second to Nursing in terms of the number of teachers with PhD/MA/MD…) I cannot find a perfect professor that will fit all my needs. All I can do is be thankful for having the honor of being molded by these brilliant minds in the older-than-Harvard University of Santo Tomas.Go USTe!

PS: Thanks Aika Lenon for introducing me to Great Teacher Onizuka.

Bonjour Second Year

BookWhat a way to start a new schoolyear! It’s just a couple of days before official classes begin and I’m doing my best not to waste the remaining seconds before the academic timebomb stops ticking and blows up.

After the Hogwarts-like welcome courtesy of the grandiose University Opening Mass with matching opera choir background, I immediately ran *literally* on the way to the Main Building for a meeting with The Thomasian Freshmen Committee – I was then sprinkled with an ample amount of superiority because now, avec plasir, I will be one of those who shall give a tour for the freshmen.

At around 12:30pm, I rushed to meet my next door friends from Galleria across UST (Jocine and Kat) and take a cab to the *real* Rob Galle in Pasig. A series of unfortunate events (sounds like a movie title) came afterwards. We were rejected by the first cab (telling us that it wasn’t his route) then, the next one overheated. We were then dropped by the driver near FEU. Just as I thought how easy it would be to find another cab, a chewed bubblegum just kissed my blue suede shoes! Raindrops fell and we had a hard time looking for another cab. Je regrette for myself. At last, after about 15 minutes, we were on the go once again. We reached Rob Galle in time for several movies yet another surprising punch came – there was no electricity… brown-out! It sounds weird, but I don’t know why this mall doesn’t have a generator with a capacity to run in these times of emergency. Cinemas were closed (it’s only 3 in the afternoon!) and fast food chains were as hot as hell (even though I haven’t been in hell…) there’s just no point of comparison. Bien sûr, what more can I do? Cry?

My cellphone battery died. At 6pm I have to meet my high school buddies (Mei, Ray, Quitz, Ross, James and Vanie). How the heck am I going to contact them! That was solved (and I don’t have time explaining how). I thought I was finished facing the “series of unfortunate events,” but another one came – I was dropped off by the cab a little bit far from Food Choices in Glorietta (our meeting place). I took several turns, escalators and stairs just to find them. Le voyage dure combien de temps?

In Providence, just across La Salle, I released my stress and anger… through videoke! I don’t want to end the day dull so me and my pals sang our hearts out in the tune of Jennifer Paige’s Crush and topping the night with Janet Jackson’s Together Again (corny but lively!) At midnight, I faced my notepad and scribbled the events of this day.

Merci Docteur ReyOui, I have been using several French words in this entry because my interest was ignited by the movie “Merci Docteur Rey” – a French film that captured my heart. Cela m’est égal if I can’t understand some words and I was distracted by the inaccurate subtitles. Foreign films touch our deeper sense of understanding. And that explains the scattered French terms. Bonne journée!

Privacy Invaded

PGMASome people are so hard-headed! Attempts to overthrow the administration of the present Philippine government has risen to a level so high that even the Palace itself is bewildered on what to do in order to augment this worsening scenario. Is the COMELEC Commissioner’s phone wiretapped? Oh c’mon… it’s possible! But who are we to air any conversation for that matter? (Even if he is a public official) Anyway, Filipinos are so obsessed with crab mentality that is why they can’t help but use any means (even 1 year after the elections) to question the legitimacy of the present administration.

With the growing number of the versions on CD’s, I too have my own version, and here it goes:

PGMA: “Hello ‘no. Garci, natapos mo na ba ang mga labada?”
Garci: “Opo ma’m, ide-deliver ko na po mamaya.”
PGMA: “O cge ‘no. Pati yung mga damit ni Mikey at Iggy isama mo na rin”
Garci: “Walang problema ma’m. Kay Sandra ko po ipapadala, ang ating bagwoman”
PGMA: “That’s good. I need to go, kailangan ko pa matulog para tumangkad ‘no.”
Garci: “Bye ma’m.”
PGMA: “Zzzzzzzzzz”

It would’ve given me the laughs if I heard this conversation aired on national TV. But we are governed by laws and therefore, public officials also have their own rights. Privacy is being invaded when one listens to another conversation without either’s consent. I too have my personal talks with my closest friends, moreso with my family, and I definitely don’t want anybody listening.

Torpe

Am I overdosed with romantic comedies and reality dating shows, reading romance novels, and listening to my friends’ romantic stories? Well, I think time will come that I shall stare at the mirror, point at myself and shout: “What a (cute) hopeless romantic!”

A Lot Like LoveLast Tuesday, I was entertained by Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet’s movie “A Lot Like Love.” Ask my closest friends and they know how much I love romantic comedies. I still remember the time in senior high school – the Christmas Party exchange gift – wherein I announced what I wished for: two CD’s of romantic comedy movies. Am I insane? Okay, I was just so crazy over these kind of movies. “A Lot Like Love” is a sweet interpretation of two people meant for each other and no matter what hindrance come along, they would still end up together… get it? That’s because they’re meant for each other! Interestingly, producers won’t stop wasting rolls of films for making these sort of movies because people like me continously patronize their crap… (ooops!) I mean, craft. As a movie fan of countless movies in this category (such as On The Line, Head Over Heels, Life or Something Like It, Sweet Home Alabama, etc.), in a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give Ashton (don’t get me Punk’d) and Amanda a grade of 7.

I have come to another self-realization, or should I say, self-daydreaming: I see myself in those movies (alright, I may sound ‘feeling’) not in way that I look like Freddie, Ashton or Brad, but because I am currently alone, desperate to find the one for me, yet I feel like I’m not ready.

“Eh kasi, torpe ka!” Abbey would tell William on their TV series Bestfriends.

William ThioConsidering myself as ‘Torpe’ may sound very negative. I’m still in the verge of self-denial and I wouldn’t like to be called that way (well, who would? Unless you want to live like a rotten tomato forever!) In t he TV series I mentioned (Bestfriends), I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of William Thio. Like him (according to the script), I cannot find anyone who fits my desire (now that sounds erotic! *laughs*). Let’s put it this way, I cannot hold on to relationships that move so quickly. I want to start a platonic interaction, not the instant ‘love at first sight’ reaction.

There are several ways on how to find somebody for you. I have tried, and I failed, NOT IN LOVE, but in SEARCHING. I think I still have time to search and probably others can help me out. Anyone for a blind date? (I hope your plans will work classmates!!!) Nah, just kidding. One might end up simply saying,

“Eh kasi Earl, torpe ka!”

Am I?

Basketball Awakenings

Coach CarterEnrolling once again – now as a sophomore in college – seemed to be quite normal, except for some of the thoughts I had lingering in my mind throughout the day. After paying the increased tuition fee in school, me and some of my former blockmates took a jeepney on the way to a mall near Manila City Hall only to find ourselves budgeting money for a whole bunch of Shakey’s meals. After that, we went straight to Cinema 7 to see Samuel L. Jackson playing ‘Coach Carter.’

If one would look back at how Basketball has affected my life, well, all you can strip off me is a couple of NBA cards when I was in gradeschool, getting into the MBA mania for Pampanga Dragons, and I really really love watching SLAM BALL! Now that I have grown from all of those… ehemmm, actually I haven’t! Did I say that I really really love SLAM BALL (again)? Okay, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a live game of passing, dribbling and shooting the ball with crowds going wild specially in college basketball *UAAP*.

In relation to the movie, I can describe it as a very talkish film. Luckily, I sat with somebody with a sense of humor identical to mine – that made me awake throughout the 2 1/2 hours of Coach Carter’s sermons. The movie wasn’t that bad. Beneath all the push-ups and Ashanti popping-up from nowhere, I definitely learned so much.

First of all, ‘education is very important,’ the movie emphasized. You cannot live with your ‘short shorts and matching tank tops’ forever playing ball. Another show recently had a debate topic regarding education: Y! Speak of ABS-CBN’s Studio 23. Do we really need a diploma? Well, you can’t eat the diploma, literally, but with the growing competition in our globalized world, how can you survive? A good education and mastery of skills are important not only for getting the job you want, but because you want a strong foundation that shall embody you throughout your lifetime. School is there for your development mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, etc… it’s just wholistic!

I can’t wait to grab that diploma. It’s amazing to realize that I already finished one step of my college academic world. Many more terminologies to memorize, numbers to solve and values to instill are about to attack like a tsunami waiting to drown me to death when schooldays arrive. I cannot think of any other way of owning one of those Bvlgari watches without finishing my studies.

From Love at 1st Sight to GTO

(We must) resist the “love at first sight” feeling for a while, by learning to have platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex.

The Celestine Prophecy Who would’ve thought of that? I just finished reading James Redfield’s book – The Celestine Prophecy – and I was in a state of euphoria. I almost can’t get my hands off the pages of this adventure/new age novel. The last time I got so excited with an adventure book was with Harry Potter (alright, I was just 13 that time, that’s why I got so turned on). After reading lots of novels, both fiction and non-fiction, I can say that this one is very unique. Nowadays, people are buying ‘hot-off-the-press’ and ‘bestsellers’ strategically placed in shelves where everyone can see. I have learned to treat books equally.

In the case of The Celestine Prophecy, it was considered as a No. 1 American Sensation. It may not be internationally-renowned, but I’m sure a bunch of people came accross the title or read it once in their life.

On page 225 of that same book, I found the line quoted above. Honestly, I am not committed to anybody at this moment. I have talked to people my age and they have different perceptions when it comes to being ‘single.’ Some say it’s a benefit, others say it’s boring. True! No one sends you SMS messages with a good night kiss; not even an hourly beep of “Have you eaten already?” but you are free enough to be with anyone you want without fighting jelousy.

“But remember the process” the paragraph continued, “you must have these relationships only with people who will reveal themselves totally, telling you how and why they are doing what they are doing…”

Now dumb-founded, I sat still, as if chewing those lines. I felt confident. I’m normal (and absolutely still young) to be committed and still trying my best to find someone that fits that description.

Now shifting the topic on love, we go to the other lessons I have learned. The book revolves in a fictional state of an adventure, probably with fictional names, but the contents and information is relevant and close to reality. It can be compared to the style Dan Brown did on ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ The Celestine prophecy showed the 9 Key Insights a person should learn regarding life. As a Biology student, I appreciate the fact that the book was nearly focused on the theory of evolution – that man will continue to evolve, specifically now that we are entering the Third Millennium. It also reveals the Ninth Insight wherein people can be invisible to the naked eye (this is too complicated to explain).

Great Teacher OnizukaAt this moment, I will try my best to absorb what I have learned from James Redfield. I dropped the book after finishing it, then I’m eager for the next one to read.

I’m done with the serious stuff, now I have to catch up with some comics. Here I come Great Teacher Onizuka / GTO (a Japanese Manga); maybe this will cool down my burning headache for a while!

Hail Bloggers

The BloggerAn old box caught my attention while I was cleaning my bedroom. It was filled with keepsakes, letters, and trash from high school. I dug deeper, as if quarrying for something precious. My curious hands sank and reached for a black, leather-bound notebook. The cover had a gold imprint of the word ‘Diary’ elegantly positioned at the top-right corner of the journal, and that’s it. Time froze and I just stared at the diary. Think, think, think; I was not even sure if it was mine. Then my common sense shouted: “That diary is yours you fool! You’re not in a telenovela.”

So I opened the first page. It has my name on it and some details I never actually comprehended because I was so excited to read what’s inside. My untold secrets were there! It’s like going back in time. I feel like one of the professors in Discovery Channel interpreting the hieroglyphics in Egypt. Here I come! The first page:

December 26, 2001

Dear Diary…

Its contents were none of anyone’s business than mine. Anyway, I then turned to the next page: nothing. The next several pages were blank. I flipped through all the pages and I realized that I had written nothing except for that one and only entry. Did I run out of words?

Running out of words isn’t possible. Writing (or typing – in the case of bloggers) is like speaking, but once in a while, thoughts get mixed-up and joggling every bit of information you want to share doesn’t easily come. Okay, so I lost nothing when I started to build a web log through Friendster (wait… except for the internet cards I bought). I don’t know what keeps me going but this new way of sharing your thoughts on movies, television, personal feelings, and opinions definitely embraced the writing prowess in me (and in others as well).

EchoDittoPeople must take into consideration that an ‘open diary’ limits your writing compared to personal handwritten notes unavailable for public viewing (for obvious reasons) that is why I am somewhat proud that I have flexed my writing capabilities and have an ‘online segregation’ between the ‘to-write’ and ‘not-to-write’ ideas; taking into consideration that there is a BIG difference between blog writing and actual writing (hmmm, maybe I’l tackle that in another post).

Kudos to Garret Graff who was the first blogger to be issued a White House press pass! Now I know that bloggers are certainly remarkable.

Singapore… That’s All I Ask You

Phantom of the OperaAboard the plane I was watching Phantom of the Opera and before I knew it, the fasten seat-belt sign was on and we were about to land at Changi Airport. Alright, here I go again, enthusiastically picturing myself as an Amazing Race contestant. To sum up my 4-day stay in this sophisticated city, here’s the coolest way I can think of (Thanks Tim Tayag of LAC for the idea— I just found this on your On-Foot credits!):

For 4 days in Singapore, I had a TOTAL NUMBER OF:

Hours of sleep:
21
“San Cai” look-alike seen:
18
Cans of Pepsi drank:
7
People who recognized me as Filipino:
0
People who thought I was Singaporean:
5
(I felt sorry for the tourists who asked me directions)
MRT rides:
6
Times I thought about my crush/es:
8
Britney Spears songs I heard:
7
(Ooops! Britney is big here in S’pore!)
Things bought for myself:
5

View from Allson Hotel The bustling crowds and the cityscape are two of the most observable things you’ll see in S’pore. People are running like crazy! Compare it to Makati 10 times. 90% of MRT Stations are underground. Then there are tourists from all walks of life – blue-eyed, brown-eyed, black-eyed *is there such?* name it! Okay, *Earth to Filipinos* this country is 20 years away from Manila. There are no shanties, no street vendors, no jobless people, and no stinky smell. I’ll say that Wow! Singapore is more appropriate than Wow! Philippines isn’t it? But their country’s tagline – “Uniquely Singapore” – aptly describes their nation as a whole. They have this carpeted airport, then the Raffles City is comparable to Europe (in fact, it’s 2nd to Barcelona!), their MRT’s are so fast, and most of all, the people are cultured. These aren’t usual in Asia.

Every portion of S’pore is an art. Landscaped gardens, paintings, sculptures and restored Gothic churches are well-preserved and maintained. Hospitality is a priority: “Goo monin sir, me i halp yu?” was an SOP. I feel very safe and at ease.

EsplanadeS’pore’s splendid development is attainable. This is something we can do in Manila, I always said to myself. There was no place for adjustment because there is no time difference and their climate is the same as ours. Surely, I will come back for another ride at the Sentosa cable car, another taste of the Chicken Rice, another night at the Safari, and another pictorial at the Esplanade.

As the curtain of my S’pore journey closed , I wished that someday, instead of craving for a trip to another country, all I will ask for is a trip here in my own – Philippines… That’s all I ask of you.