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"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
busygirl
(This was posted on my brand-new Wordpress blog five days ago. I found the blogging site really attractive, and it feels good to have a prettier theme to complement my written ramblings. Plus, it's more fun to write on it, given its nice features and its sleek interface. But of course, I will keep LJ and cross-post some of my entries here for my few friends who may be reading this blog of mine. :D)


Plurk
is so addicting, I keep it open on my browser the whole day. I’m already amused just by reading the Plurks of my friends, mostly of fellow Celadoneans.

I love Ateneo-Celadon mainly because of the people, the Celadoneans themselves. They must be the coolest Atenean Chinoys I will ever meet, seriously. Everyone is nice, friendly, and gives out fun vibes all the time.I must be a fool to almost not join this org, since I will be missing out on a LOT. My Plurk page would definitely be lifeless, too.
Every Celadonean I have made friends with has a unique and striking personality; they stand out, and absolutely know how to have fun.

I wish I will discover who my real friends are in college, soon. People around me seem have formed tight and really close friendships already. They call each other to meet up for lunch, plan Rock Band sessions, block outings - there is no awkwardness anymore. It’s like they have formed high-school-quality friendships all over again.

How about my blockmates? Sure my beloved Block R friends are always so eager to welcome me every time we meet, and we have already spent a lot of “bonding moments” with each other. But still. At the end of the day I feel like I do not belong anywhere, except by myself, which explains the countless days I eat lunch by myself and the hours spent daydreaming, wandering, walking - alone. I am so different from most of them, values-wise and interests-wise. Thankfully, I have found my way into the hearts of a select few of my blockmates, and to discover that we share same values and interests (good books! good movies! good music! good grades! you get the picture.) I believe I need to exert more effort into getting closer to them, though. I am definitely willing to do anything to make real friendships happen. I may have gotten used to being alone, but having great relationships and friendships mean so much to me.

OK. Stop. If there is one thing I have learned from Celadon, is to think happy thoughts and write happy words. Have fun and be crazy. Be silly. Speak up and express youself in the best way you can.

Next semester, I will still spend time with myself, but I want to spend much quality time with people around me, too, and make a real attempt to make not only friends, but form real, genuine relationships that will make my college life a brighter and more wonderful one.

And I also hope before this school year ends, I will get closer to some of my orgmates, my Celafriends (it’s nice to call them that). And maybe soon, I can proudly call myself a true-blue Celadonean. ;)


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Oct. 12th, 2008

Childhood dream
Why is it hard for me to start writing, even though I have so much stuff on my mind that I want to put down on words, wishing that somehow, these words and sentences formed would reveal my thoughts to me in a clearer perspective, making me understand myself, my worries and frustrations better?

I guess it's my perfectionist self working up again. I don't want to try being unblemished and impeccable anymore. I just want to be me: the clumsy, dreamy, spontaneous girl I used to be, which has become overshadowed by vanity and perfection. I want to let go of my insecurities, take daring risks, to be free.

I want to be carefree, crazy, and creative, like people I admire a lot: artists, photographers, writers, painters, and all these artistic people who would do great lengths for the sake of fulfilling their craft. I am marveled by their passion to create art for the sake of art - not for money and fame.

I want to stop trying to be perfect and allow myself to make many mistakes. I need to say what I feel and write what I think, and never be sorry for showing my true self.

 
***

Having said that I admire artists, I recently realized I have this burning desire for the arts: writing, literature, photography, painting, graphic design, movies. I listen to all kinds of music: from classical to country to modern pop. Which makes me wonder sometimes: is it still sensible for me to be in a management course when I love the arts so much? Besides my dad nagging me to take up management, I think learning and doing business will be fun. I dream of making a difference someday, and some management and leadership skills may be of help. Besides, I am really looking forward to shopping for some corporate outfits needed for those sassy presentations, and having to make creative marketing proposal things sound exciting. I want to experience the sheer terror that everybody says Accounting is. And of course, Junior Term Abroad. The prospect of studying abroad in my junior year is a great incentive to get high grades.

I do think art and business can mix well together, somehow. Gotta start brainstorming on an artsy business plan. ;)



***

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.”
- Rene Magritte

I am randomly browsing Rosie and Aaron's photostreams on Flicker again. They post a new self-portrait every day for their 356 Days Project, and I look forward to what beautiful image they have managed to create.

Their rendition of
"The Lovers" still gives me tingles all over, even when I have seen it before. It's amazing how just staring at their works can evoke my emotions and feelings so strongly - love, frustration, sadness, happiness, incredulity, fascination, interestingness... I visit their photostreams every day, and I think I will never get over the fact that they are the most alive and artistic people I have ever met.

***

Sunday - Daddy's in a mad rush to get out of the house again. I managed to quickly slip on a silky yellow dress which I just snatched out from my closet, and hurried out of my room. Daddy is watching TV, seeming really impatient. Sigh. Getting ready to go out on Sundays may get really tense, especially when your father cannot wait for us girls prepping up no longer than five minutes.

We went grocery shopping in SM Hypermarket - Tiendesitas Branch, then hopped over to Shangri-La Plaza to watch DiCaprio's Body of Lies. After the movie, there was no lingering, hangover effect that it had on me, unlike what other great and wonderfully-made movies have achieved. I expected more, after reading about Leo's inspiring interview in the Sunday Inquirer that morning.

I blame myself for it, though. I am not really that fond of war films - watching it felt like an endless blur of violence, bloodshed, and torture - where it hurts knowing that all this is happening somewhere in the world. It was a movie full of intelligent lines which I only half understood. Leo's a really smart and passionate actor, and I admire him for that.


Nonetheless, this movie reminds me of how fortunate some people, including me, are. Those who could spend thousands of pesos on a single pair of jeans, spare another hundred for a frozen cup of coffee, gush about the long-awaited vampire flick - where all around us are others starving and struggling to find something to eat, where their lives are torn by war and violence. The mere fact that we are living so well-off while others are suffering still astounds me, and I can't help feeling so guilty..

Hmm.. Body of Lies made an impact on me, after all.

Then again, family says that we should have gone to watch Tropic Thunder - yet another great comedy flick! I'm glad I got to watch it with my blockmates.

***
The whole day we were out, my mind was someplace else, deep in thought. I'm afraid I'm always like that - thinking of stuff that only I care worrying about - my future, my present actions, the decisions I made in the past that made me who I am now. I think too much about so many things happening around me that I tend to go overboard and be smiling and blissful at one minute, and be so down and miserable the next.

My mom, unsurprisingly noticed why i seemed so "problematic". I smiled faintly and told her everything was OK.

Inside the dark theater, I took the chance to let my tears flow away.

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Imahen

busygirl
I got a hundred in my Filipino 11 homework, in which we were tasked to create picturesque, postcard images using words. Sir Derain, one of the greatest Filipino teachers ever, shared to us some of his short journal entries from his little, worn-out diaries. He describes what he sees during his travels, wherein he also invents his own imaginative story out of what he sees. And he asks us to do the same. While I cannot write half as well as him, I was thrilled to see that he was sort of impressed by what I wrote (His comment: "Mahusay lahat! Pwedeng i-publish!". Haha.), even though I still think my work is a bit mediocre.

He suggests that it would be nice to post our humble writings in our blogs, if we have one. And so I post. :)

Sa Tsina, isang atletang taga-Georgia at isang atletang taga-Russia ay nagyayakapan. Sila’y pawang nagkamit ng medalya sa Beijing Olympics sa isport na volleyball. Sa kabilang panig ng mundo, ang mga bansang Russia at Georgia ay kasalukuyang naglalaban.

Ang batang babae ay mahimbing na natutulog sa loob ng kanyang Starex van kapiling ang kanyang ina. Isang batang lalaking may hawak na sampagitang sariwa pa ay nakasilip sa labas ng bintana ng kotse.

Ang klerk sa photocopying machine ay huminto sa paglalagay ng papel sa makina. Naputol sa gitna ang pagbigkas ng matatamis na salita ng magsing-irog. Isa-isang tumayo ang mga estudyanteng nag-aaral sa loob ng study hall. Ang daan-daang taong naglalakad sa paligid ay tumigil sa pagitan ng kanilang mga yapak. Walang nagtangkang gumalaw. Walang nagtangkang umimik. Tila tumigil ang oras.
    “… ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo ...”
Tapos nang tumugtog ang pambansang awit.Tuloy ang takbo ng buhay sa Ateneo.

   
Isang tinedyer ay nakikinig sa kanyang iPod. Nakasaksak sa kanyang mga tainga ang kanyang earphones. Abot langit ang kanyang ngiti habang nakikipag-text sa kanyang crush. Sa harapan niya ay isang telebisyon nagpapakita ng isa nanamang kaso ng  pagpapakamatay ng isang drayber ng dyip dahil sa kahirapan ng buhay.


Sa paaralang internasyonal – tanghalian na. Nakadispley sa bawat mesa ng kantina ang sari-saring pagkain ng mga mag-aaral – carbonara, kimchi, paella, ebi tempura, chicken curry, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, at sinigang na bangus.

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busygirl
First semester has come to an end, and now I am happily making the most out of my sembreak by doing all the things I want (and can) do. I will make a to-do list for sembreak soon, and a book list, and a DVDs to watch list! 

I found this survey from my blockmate Iko's Multiply.

What's your ID number?

083708


Did you pass or get wait-listed?
I passed AB Literature, my second choice.


How did you know about the ACET results?

The ever-reliable college entrance exams review center ACTS head teachers personally went to Ateneo to check the results for us. Ahya Robert (Pangilinan, a Ma11 professor) and Achi Tina are the best.


Was Ateneo your first choice?
I was deciding between Ateneo and La Salle. I almost went to La Salle, since I liked my course there and it was closer to my home. But Ateneo's holistic education, humanities programs, the TREES, and prospect of Junior Term Abroad attract me more, and because of this, distance does not matter much now.


Do you know what your ACET score was?
Of course not. Who does?

What course was your first choice?
Management Engineering. But now I think I am grateful that I did not pass this course. I realize now that too much math is not my kind of thing.

Second choice?
AB English Literature. I have an overwhelming passion for books and reading. But I think that learning a thing or two about management will be pretty useful in the future. I want to gain leadership skills. I think management is better taught by real professionals, but learning about the world of literature will always be within my reach - in Fully Booked! and Powerbooks! :)

What is your course now?
BS Management, major Communications Technology Management. I admit that it gets tiring after a while having to explain to everyone what Comtech is. XD

Did you have any plans of shifting?
 I want to take up BS Psychology, too. Maybe I'll take it as a second degree. :D


Did you have fun in your OrSem?
It was one of the best days of my college life. Everything they said about OrSem was true. The TNT's reflect real Atenean spirit. They're amazing! It was then that I realized that I am very thankful that I chose to study in Ateneo.

Do you stay in a dorm?
No, since my parents will never allow me to stay in a dorm. EVER. I love and hate them for that. ;D

Ever had an F in your grade report?
Never had, so far. I hope I never will.

How about an A?
In a grade report, no. But in exams, yes. :)


Lowest grade?
D, I think. And that was in ES. Good thing an A made up for it.


Worst experience in AdMU?
Powermatch Round 2. My partner and I were tasked to defend this motion: That mothers should be allowed to be with their children in prison. I was stammering and stuttering half-formed sentences about mothers' and children's rights in front of one of the best debaters in ADS. In that shameful moment, the 7 minute time limit seemed like forever. What's incredible is, we still got one measly point! - meaning third place from four teams.

Did you always attend class?

I have never cut a class except P.E., which I cut four times due to the drastically early 6:30am calltime and me having to cram homework early in the morning.


What are your orgs?
Celadon, Ateneo Debate Society, ACTM, and Alay ni Ignacio. I love Celadon the most, still trying t get the hang of debating in ADS, while I am not really active in ACTM. I am so looking forward to helping out in ANI!

Fave subject/s?
First Sem: Math 11, English 11, Literature 13, and Filipino 11! (Yeah, I love studying.)

Worst subject/s?
None, so far. I am predicting I will be having trouble in biotechnology next semester. But I think it's worth the challenge.

Fave landmark sa ADMU?
The Church of Gesu. It's stunning! And the steps at Matteo Ricci Study Hall. And the trademark benches found almost everywhere on campus.

Fave kainan?
Caf Down. I always sleep on a table there when I arrive at school 6 in the morning.


Were you always at the Rizal Library?

Yes. The library is my second classroom.

Ever went to the infirmary when you were sick?
I have never been sick so far in my college life.


Did you have a crush in campus?
Yes.


May balak kang mag-MD, PhD?
To be a master or a doctor of a field I truly love - it is one of my lifelong dreams.

Do you know the "Song for Mary" by heart?
Not yet, I hope I will, before I graduate. 

Memorize mo ba ang Fabilioh, Halikinu at Blue Eagle Spelling?

Not yet either. (Uno High School's cheers are still stuck in my head. ;D)


Who's your fave UAAP basketball player?
Chris Tiu and Rabeh Al-Hussaini. 'Nuff said. :)


Ever had a perfect score in an exam?
No, but I got a 95 in an English paper.

Ano ang ayaw mo sa Hell Week?
Getting only a few hours of sleep - although this is what Hell Week is all about, so no complaints there. Knowing that you did a job well done and getting a nice grade in the end is worth the sleepless nights. :)

Dito ka ba natuto uminom ng beer?
I have never tried drinking beer, and I think I never will in this lifetime.

 
What do you like most about the Ateneo?
A diverse student body, the amazing professors, cheap food, the TREES, a great humanities program, having a truly invincible school spirit, and teaching us to become Magis - to always strive to be the best that you can be and remembering to be men and women for others. GO Ateneo! :)


I wanted to make this entry private, but then again, this is a start for me to stop caring about what other people think, and just start being me.

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Making sense of myself in college

Books
Four months of college have come and gone, leaving me memorable moments, life lessons, and new friends that I would forever cherish. That sounded cheesy, but then again, one of the things I have learned so far is that you are free to say what you want to say, write what you want to write, wear what you want to wear,  do whatever you want to do, and you don't have to worry about what other people think. I am still getting used to this, though, because I admit, it's hard to trying to fit in yet trying to stand out at the same time. I am still getting the hang of the word freedom and  self-expression.

So, what have I learned so far during my first semester in college? A LOT. There have been so many new experiences, thought-provoking classes (especially in Filipino and Literature!), surprising and exciting events, frightening moments, innumerable hours of being alone, confusing times, and not to mention an infinite number of embarrassing ones.

Thinking that more college craziness and euphoria are ahead of us excites me so much. I cannot wait for a new semester to begin! Oh yeah, there's the one-month sembreak to look forward to first, giving me time to savor all the books sitting idly on my shelves, learn some photography and Photoshop skills, watch good quality movies, see my high school friends(miss them terribly), and catch up on everybody's craziness about Gossip Girl Season 2 (plus Pushing Daisies, Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, and everything else I have missed). Who says high school is better than college? :D

I can only imagine right now all the great stuff waiting for me: ballroom dancing, Introduction to Poetry, biotechnology (I really regret taking up Environmental Science) new professors, new schedules, new classmates, more organizations to join, more people to meet, not to mention a heavier load of schoolwork. XD

Looking back on those past four months, I was reminded by the fact that each decision you make will shape the kind of person that you would become. That whatever I choose to do or not to do will greatly affect me in the future. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the choices that face me every single day, and I was left with no one but myself to choose the right path.

Should I take up Environmental Science or Zoology? Do I want to spend my breaks to catch up on schoolwork or hang out with my blockmates? Should I strive harder to fit in or try looking for other people whom I can relate with more? Am I in the right course? Where will I eat lunch today? Am I doing things right?

A lot of questions prod me each day, and I occasionally ask myself whether I am living my college life the way I want it to be. Thinking about it, I realize I have the habit of thinking too much. I envy those who are so carefree and happy and are living life the way they want it to be, while I am trapped in my own world filled with hopeful dreams, clueless about which ones I would be able to fulfill.


As this is my last English blog report for the semester, I want to make the most out of this post by sharing some the innumerable things I have picked up so far in college. This may not apply to everybody, but still, I hope some would. :D

1. It's OK to be alone sometimes. In fact, spending some time at school by myself gave me a chance to look at people and things with a wider perspective, and this gave me time to do more and discover more of me.

2. Being active in three organizations at the same time and balancing school work, friends, and family is virtually impossible.
For me, at least. I am pretty terrible at time management. I realize that I am not Superwoman to do everything I want to do. So I guess the key is priorities. Focus on things that are more important to you, and letting go of some that are not. In my case, going to every single party is not really necessary.

3. No one really cares about anybody's outfits, unless you think they do.

4. A lot of professors lead really surreal, interesting, and sometimes crazy lives outside the classroom; you're lucky if they are generous enough to share their personal life experiences with you. :D

5. There will always be people better than you, and you will always be better than others. I admit I got this quote from a forwarded text message, but it was in college that I realized that being reminded of this keeps me grounded.

6. First impressions do not last. At least in college, I think it's true. Real, lasting friendships are a bit more difficult to find in college, but that's part of the package. There are many wonderful people around who can relate with your own quirks, beliefs, and favorite things, you just have to look harder, and listen harder, too.

7. Maintaining an open mind about everything keeps you sane.

8. We, the youth, are be the next leaders that will make or break the future. And this Young Blood article made me realize that more and more.

9. Even though I have learned the art of cramming in the Ateneo, I still believe that hard work and knowing one's responsibilities are still the most foolproof ways to do well in many things.

10. Don't be afraid to be yourself and show the real you amidst all these stereotyping and peer pressure that is part of a postmodern, iPod generation. Stand out and be different. Remember that we are all in this together. With an open mind, dreams to hope for, and the will to work hard, college life will be the some of the most exciting and memorable years in our lives. (At least, I believe it will.)

These barely scratch the surface of all the things I have learned, and there's simply not enough time to write them all! There is still so much to do, with finals coming up, and so I will end here, for now. :D

On a last note, a want to share a quote by a fellow Atenean:

“To lead the orchestra, one must turn his/her back to the crowd.” To lead then involves stepping up, standing out and making a difference. This will only be possible if a change of mind-set is taken, from one of resignation to that of idealism, the belief that one can actually make a difference. -
Tiffany “Tifa” Lim (II-BS Management)

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Lost in the World
Things to accomplish:
- English blog
- editorial letter for English
- final paper for English
- Environmental Science case study report
- 2 major papers for Filipino
- Read State of War for Lit 13
- Read the rest of the short stories for Filipino
- Lit homework
- Study for final exams!!!

... and of course, more grueling tasks are to come in the last few weeks of the first semester.

I definitely need to work more quickly now in order to finish them all on time. Although I am really terrible at proper time management mainly since I work ever so slowly. Merely writing a blog entry sometimes takes up hours of my time because I am a stickler for revising my work over and over again until I am satisfied with the words I type. I reread passages and difficult sentences, especially in readings from English and Filipino literature, again and again, until I can discover the meaning beyond the lines - although it rarely happens. I get frustrated when I leave a math problem that I cannot solve, unsolved. I don't mind spending hours over a single problem; my mind tells me I need to find the answer, no matter what.

That is how I study, and I think this is what works for me. The only problem is, it takes up too much time - will I ever survive college given my present study habits? There is a time management tip that tells us that there is such a thing as good enough. But I do not believe that. I believe that we must strive to be the best that we can be, no matter how much time it takes. Why settle for good enough, when you always still exert some effort in going the extra mile?

***

"It is easy to follow, but it is uninteresting to do easy things. We find out about ourselves only when we take risks, when we challenge and question." - Magdalena Abakanowicz

That quote is from Rosie Hardy, a British 17-year-old amateur photographer who became famous for her touching surreal yet true-to-life fairy tale with a charming photographer formed in
Flickr (see my previous entry, Love Beyond Borders). She is one of my role models; I will always look up to her as the girl who is never afraid of being herself, for standing up for what she believes in. She follows up that quote with her personal thoughts on her self-portrait she posted on the site:

"Today's 365 was inspired by my all-time favorite photograph. It's called "Learning to Fly", and right now i can relate to it more than ever. There are always going to be risks in life, but the greatest risk of all would be deciding not to take them, only to miss out on what could be the greatest thing in the world.

I am so close to my dream, nothing can stand in my way."


- Rosie Hardy

Rosie and Aaron have posted new fantastic photos! Every photo mesmerizes me that I am now digressing from my own blog entry. They are such a magical couple. They even have their own site and blog! They also are making a fruitful business out of their fantastic photography and post-production skills. I am deeply inspired by Rosie. She's seventeen and living her life in the way she wants it to be: working on beautiful photography, spending time with the love of her life (who's currently thousands of miles away), and inspiring people from all over the world.
***

Which leaves me thinking: How about me? What on earth am I here for? What is it that I want to do during the limited time I have in this life? Why is it that so many fortunate ones are already certain about what they want to do and have their lives all mapped out in this seemingly concrete image they have of their future selves, while some are left lost, constantly searching yet sometimes they do not know what they are looking for?

Maybe I lack confidence. Maybe my purpose in life is already staring at me right in the face and I am just too blind to see it. I understand that I need to have a passion, that I simply have to know what I love to do for the rest of my life, and maybe the missing pieces will eventually fall into place. This of course, applies to everyone. We have to keep looking for what will truly make us happy, and we must not stop until we find it.

On my list of
43things, one of my life goals is to find my passion. I have recently checked this goal and made a corresponding entry to it:

My first love (after books and him, of course)

I love writing. I feel happy when I write. Finishing a blog entry, writing a paper for English class, or simply typing in artistic, well-written prose gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. I have been writing since high school and loving it. I knew what my passion is all along, sometimes a lot of challenges along the way made me not notice it.

Problem is, I don’t know whether I really want to be in the future. Even though I can imagine myself writing my whole life, something is still missing. I want to do more, be more. That is my next goal. To seek another passion that will make me complete.

I may have found my passion, but I think having a passion is not complete without a purpose. I do not see the point in writing when I do not write for anyone. I dream of touching people's lives through the power of words, to be able to write in imaginative, creative prose, to be able to weave words together beautifully, for readers to understand what I am trying to express. Not only in writing, but maybe, just maybe, I can find more things that I can be good at.

I dream of making a difference.

I want to create change.

I yearn to help those less fortunate than me.

I long to give back what I have learned and share my wisdom to others.

I do not want to spend my life living only for myself.

This is what I am unable to do...yet. And I will never stop until I make it. That is my next goal: doing passion with a purpose.

***
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." - Albert Einstein


I want to share Rosie's stunning self-portrait here, but I do not want to copy-paste her work all the time. Here's the
picture. I envy her inimitable imagination.


 


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A Moment of Solitude

Sunflower hopes
    Ice-cold breeze cools my skin as I sit cross-legged on the cold white linoleum floor (or is it?) in the open-air lobby of Leong Hall. It's two o'clock in the afternoon and the driver is stuck on the congested Katipunan roads. I do not want to wait in the library today, though. I'd rather have the cool air, the sight of people passing by, and the sweet smell of rain keep me company. Being alone does not mind me much. In fact, I love the carefree feeling that comes with moments of solitude. Call me a loner for all I care.

    Today is the first time in the Ateneo that I have felt the excitement and euphoria every student feels the moment they hear the words: “classes are suspended!” Students suddenly stir up from their sluggish dispositions and look forward to an afternoon free from reports, dreaded pop quizzes, and professors’ soporific voices. Not that I do not like having classes, though (I look forward to math class every MWF afternoon! Thanks to our awesome math professor). I just love the liberating feeling of having an afternoon to myself in the middle of the week. Every other student feels the same way, no doubt.

    Unexpected class suspensions – priceless. :)   

    A little boy wearing an Ateneo Grade School uniform sitting beside me is immersed in his Filipino textbook, reading aloud with his cute, raspy voice. His school things are scattered around him on the floor, as if he were at home. I stopped reading and gazed at him with his dark brown skin and cleanly shaved hair. I stole a glance at his ID - Felix. What a funny name!

    I was flipping over to the next chapter of Einstein’s Dreams when the little boy suddenly interrupted me. "Excuse me," he said, seeming really serious and smart, “do you know what’s probisyon?” Given my ability to comprehend ever so slowly, I asked him back, “Um, what subject is that?”

    He answered, “Filipino.”

    “How was it used in the sentence?” I asked, feeling more and more stupid by the minute. He showed me his book. As I read it, I explained to him how I understood it the best as I could. ”Probisyon is like the supplies you need, like food.” I told him, unsure of what I just said. “Oh… like weapons? In the war?” he prompted me. “Yes, but not necessarily weapons. It could be anything,” I explained. “OK, thank you.” I smiled, glad that I helped him understand, however poorly.

    “What grade are you in?” I asked, before he went back to his reading.

    “Grade five.” (He was so small; I thought he was only in third grade.)

    “Ah OK!” I smiled at him, and started to read my book again. A few minutes passed before he called me again. “Yes?” I turned over to look at the boy. “Do you have a Filipino-English dictionary?” “Sorry, wala eh. But maybe I can help?” He showed me the word (which I sadly forgot… now that I am typing this a few weeks later). To my relief, I knew what that word meant and I happily explained him the word, feeling a sense of satisfaction that for once in my life, I have helped a fifth grader learn something from me.

    I took out my laptop and started idly checking my mail. The little boy shouted over to me, “does your laptop have WI-FI?”
   
     “Yes,” I replied, getting more and more impressed by him as he approached me. “Go to YouTube, I want to show you something really funny,” he told me.
   
    He then showed me a series of videos made by Taiwanese teenagers who had nothing better to do but to flood the site with their insanely hilarious videos. “How to be Emo”, “How to be a Ninja”, “How to be a Nerd”, “The Human iPod” – got at least over a million hits! Omar, as he wanted to be called, memorized a lot of their silly lines and jokes.

    We spent the next fifteen minutes watching videos on YouTube while he was waiting for his mother, whom I saw carried a lot of books over to the Rizal Library. His father then arrived; whom he said works in a multinational company. I heard them talking about how he has half-finished with his homework, and that we were watching YouTube videos on my laptop.

    I am impressed at the little boy who showed a passionate desire to learn, to study, to have eyes that show overwhelming curiosity and wonder. He studies so furiously and intently. I will never forget how he reads with such concentration. He speaks straight English and is not afraid of talking to complete strangers. I saw him taking out the Time for Kids Almanac from his bag – the same book that I have resting on my bookshelf. I bet he’ll grow up to be someone worth looking up to.
   
    Omar’s mother finally came over and they soon went home, leaving me in a brighter mood after almost two hours of waiting.

    I went home with the image of the bright young boy etched in my mind. I will never forget that day – the day when a little boy who asked me a few baffling words taught me a lot. I understand now, how teachers say they learn from their students. Kids are wiser in a way that they know how to play, to have fun, to be curious, to imagine. They are never scared to tell the truth and are unafraid of failure.

    If only we look at things the way kids do, then maybe the world would be a brighter place.
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Crestfallen- Some musings for the day

Childhood dream
I will never settle for mediocrity.
That is why I strive to reach for the stars, no matter how hard it takes.
I value education more than anything else; while many people may think that grades don't matter, I definitely think otherwise.

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught."
- Oscar Wilde

Strangely, I contradict myself.

***
I did not get to watch Sagala ng mga Sikat, Ateneo's cool way of celebrating Buwan ng Wika. I was so looking forward to seeing it. I regret not seeing my English blockmate's Gabbie's sun and moon goddesses float, in which she worked hard on those pretty gold and silver lanterns that actually light up! Oh well, pictures will always be around - it will never match the real thing, though.

***
I think BS Psych majors have diverse and unique personalities - and make really great friends. If only Communications + IT + Management + JTA was not that appealing, I would definitely shift to BS Psychology.

***
Fiorgelato's low-fat strawberry ice cream tastes like frozen ice (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating, but still.) Back to yummy chocolate chocolate chip (with rainbow sprinkles) for me!

***
I admire real, passionate photographers who see the world in a different light, are never vain, and unknowingly inspires people through their beautifully taken photographs.


***
I just realized freewriting makes me feel dozens of times better. :)




I should do this more often.







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Of Singing Bees and Loving Robots

Lost in the World
The stillness of my room, the quiet hum of the electric fan, and the uneven tapping of my fingers on my keyboard are the only sounds I hear right now. It's a lazy Tuesday, and I'm home alone. Not that I'm not used to it. My parents are in the office, and my little sister is in school, while I'm stuck at home, celebrating Quezon City Day in Manila. How ironic. We have three precious school days left this week, and another three-day weekend to look forward to!

There is still so much left undone - schoolwork, I mean. Four whole days is not enough to finish everything. Weekends never last long, even though it's a four-day weekend. I spent my Saturday afternoon playing childish games with my block mates. Disappointing as it seems, InTACT's Community Building Activity was an utter flop. I expected us to interact with people outside my block and maybe make some new friends, although the so-called group dynamics only drew in a larger gap in between blocks that day. I appreciate InTACT's endeavors to make us freshies feel more welcome in college and develop new friendships, though. The only problem is, the organizers weren't really that good. If only they thought of better games, like a simulated game show or something to that extent. The Singing Bee is always fun! :)

My little sister and I then badgered my parents to watch WALL*E last Sunday. They never really liked the idea of animated robots who cannot speak English. But we argued that Disney/Pixar always makes the best animated films, they have never made anything crappy, and WALL*E is deemed to match Finding Nemo and Ratatouille's charm. I stressed that it is not just another kiddie movie, it serves as a warning to all of us, on what will happen if we do not take care of our planet.

They finally gave in, as they always do, even though they still aren't convinced.

***
At the start of the film, Mommy loudly wondered why the scene showing the earth's landscape was all dull and brown, and doesn't look promising at all. My sister laughed, explaining that the landscape is meant to look gloomy, to show that there is no human life on earth anymore. I giggled with my sister, glancing back at the screen, overwhelmed by the sight of what seemed to be towering skyscrapers, but a second look tells us that they are towers of trash, our trash, smothering the earth with its enormity.

Award-winning director Andrew Stanton wonders: "What if all mankind left the earth and forgot to turn the last robot off?" And that is how WALL*E's story was born.

Twenty minutes into the movie, not a single word was spoken, except for the entrancing oldies' music playing in the background. WALL*E is a pretty charming robot, despite its clunky, rusty look, and inability to speak human language. The cockroach, his sole companion, proved that they are one of the most durable creatures alive. It is breathtaking to watch WALL*E clean up our trash, determined to clean up what we have left of earth, while saving some of man's fascinating and intriguing inventions - a Rubik's cube, a light bulb, Christmas lights, and such.

Like any other Disney movie,
WALL*E's story has melted our human hearts and made us feel like love is all that matters in this crazy world. WALL*E and EVE, despite them being machines, they have shown that even the world's most powerful programming can never beat love. All the amazing graphics, emotions, and warning signals all throughout the one-and-a-half hour show made me hang on to the edge of my seat, not wanting to miss every last stunning detail.

I think this is the first time that Disney/Pixar has incorporated the issue of environment and human health to its youth-centered heartwarming themes, and they have done a fantastic job of showing us, in the lightest and funniest way possible, how we are slowly ruining our earth, that 700 years later, we may have to resort to Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class
robots to collect our trash and turning our planet into an actual dump site. In a satirical way, the film shows us how we sit around doing nothing, while our planet is slowly dying.

WALL*E  tickles our funny bone, touches our hearts, and gives us that red warning signal at the same time. Love, global warming, and human health are the main themes of this movie while maintaining that magical spark that Disney never fails to give us.

So, what happened to mankind? I leave that for you to see for yourselves. ;)



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What am I waiting for?

lonely
I am a certified klutz - Everybody who knows me well enough are used to me absentmindedly leaving my things behind, forgetting to take the change, treating my cell phone to its occasional free falls, losing my (gold!) earrings, water bottles (just recently), jackets (while strolling in Hong Kong), and slipping over my own feet (onstage with everybody watching during our prom is no exception). In addition, I am lost within the labyrinthine streets of Manila. I still cannot find my way home. Not that I am proud of it.

Whilst I may seem careless, absentminded, and butterfingered, I am a stickler for impeccable writing - I take my time in revising stuff over and over again, just to make sure that I would send not just the right message, but the kind of message everybody would understand. Nonetheless, if I want to become a good writer, then I must write religiously - shrugging off lame excuses such as I do not want to write about stuff no one would care about (everybody does that, why can't I?), that I have schoolwork to do (which will never lose its top position in my list of priorities no matter what ), that I do not have time (most overrated excuse ever).

Bob Ong says, in Stainless Longganisa,

"Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, magsulat ka. Simple."
(If you want to become a writer, then start writing.)

I ought to start writing regularly, not because I have to, but because it's what I really wanted to do ever since. The long list of topics listed on virtual post-it notes displayed on my laptop's dashboard is waiting for me, while I am yet waiting for the perfect free moment I have to write about them. I admire those who, amid their busy schedules, take time to write and reflect over the things that happened during a day in their lives, and, at the same time, unknowingly sharing their musings to people who could relate and be touched by their words.

There are so many wonderful things to learn, loads of interesting stuff to write about, tons of great movies to watch, plenty of stories to tell, an infinite number of books to read, and heaps of problems in this world that need to be fixed. So much to do, so little time. I do not want to waste any moment not to share what I have learned and read, what I have experienced, and maybe help make a difference in this world. We all have the ability to create change and make things better. What we lack is the courage to act.

Annie Dillard says, as quoted in Stainless Longganisa, from her book The Writing Life:

"The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely or abundantly becomes lost to you."


I love quotes. They are little stars guiding us in life's forking paths. Quotes are made by wise people and then echoed by learners.

But then again, a famous poet named Ralph Waldo Emerson says:
"I hate quotes. Tell me what you know."

Ha ha. Life is full of contradictions.
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