Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

This past year was mostly filled with too much of my whining.  Maybe my expectations were so high (from the intense experiences of 2006) and I just wouldn't move to reach my goals, that I wound up feeling like a loser in 2007.  I have a lot of excuses, but I know I can't blame them for what actually happened in my life.  It was the collective effect of bad decisions, pessimism, and out-of-place-perfectionism.  I've kept moaning about all the regrets I had/have, but then I never mustered enough self-discipline to bring about the changes I wanted.

Of course, I had some ups as well.  I graduated college.  I was able to drive a bit more.  Friends lent their hearts, time, and muscle to get me through very rough times as I started med school.  I slowly got the hang of surviving the new school.  I made new friends and found new role models.  I believed in the power of crushes.  I read Book Seven of Harry Potter.  I found myself able to hold on to money.  I managed to adapt.  I opened my eyes.  I find myself becoming more mature.  I see the emergence of character and conviction.  Maybe I have tons to be thankful for, but I'm too stubborn to recognize them as little miracles or blessings-in-disguise.

So no matter what the stars say, I vow to be braver, more caring, more dedicated, more disciplined, more loving, happier, more grateful, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better member of the community, and a better child of God.  I know I can reach for even bigger things but I know I must work harder, play even harder, and enjoy and learn.

Happy New 2008.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Post Caffeine Hangover

Waking up with an enormous sleep debt and some caffeine running amok in your system isn't exactly the best feeling in the world. But anyway, I had to discipline myself to attend the morning classes.  Yeah, anatomy was a tough thing to study, but what the hell.

So blessed to be in the company of my beloved friends tonight.  I wonder, though, when we will see each other again.  We're all starting new chapters in our lives and slowly drifting apart (physically).  Maybe the best thing we all can do is cherish our moments together and keep talking to each other through all means possible.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Sort of Fulfillment

It is always, always lovely to start each school day with a lecture given by a competent teacher. This particular Neuroanatomy lecturer fast became my favorite when he used ordinary terms for the excessively-hard-to-remember jargon of the subject. This morning was particularly very special, because he did the lecture with a swollen hard palate (he had a cyst taken out recently)-talk about dedication to the thankless job of teaching medical students. The added bonus was that I remembered everything in the lecture after the two hour session. It is also very lovely to end the day with a sense of accomplishment. I am actually exuding the lovely fumes of the Gross Anatomy lab as I type this entry in an Internet cafe near my dormitory, but I don't even care that I have that faint and unique smell of formaldehyde/cadaver/whatnot around me. That's saying something, considering I always hate the way the smell sticks to me after the sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed my Anatomy class this afternoon, because I finally had a good dissection session; I was able to get a perfect dissection grade and an added bonus for identifying all pertinent structures. What makes this very fulfilling is that I did the dissection perched on the cadaver's gurney (a very disgusting place to be on) without gloves. I worked for the grade, and the doctor was kind enough to affirm the effort. :) So, maybe I'll be off to reward myself with some sushi and a luxurious shower later on. The adrenalin's wearing off, yet I'm too happy to care about my sore muscles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I am alternately bored and procrastinating, while I bare my fangs out of the window to scare the evil spirits (who are no doubt hoping to have some good old fun) quivering and shitless. (Yeah, I have a bit of that in me. I believe in that delusion that I am too crabby for any spirit to try to haunt or terrify. They stand to gain nothing in trying or in doing, but they lose a lot of their credibility in trying or doing.) In the spirit of All Hallows Eve, I just wanted to share the seven majorly mortifying thoughts that have turned me into a right old mardy for the longest bleeding time. It might sound like a load of bollocks to anyone, but hey, I'm the jessie here. 1. I am mortified to have realized that I am no longer interested in trying to learn as much as I could. I am scared that somehow this will affect my future patients, in the sense that any other practitioner might be able to spot the problem in record time while I try to remember that tiny memory that contains a smidgen of recognition for whatever my patient complains of. I survived so much (until today) because I was such a nerd way back in high school. Maybe I have been too complacent, especially in college and more so in med school. Maybe I am bored, I find the pacing or the teaching style way out of sync, or I simply cannot accept the fact that passing most of the med school exams entails a lot of memorization without understanding. 2. I am mortified that I am no longer trying to keep myself in good health. It is a given that medical school students do not get enough sleep, yet I am not taking advantage of the sem break to catch up on some snooze time. I do not eat when I am hungry, yet I stuff myself full of empty calories or the wrong proportions of food groups simply because I am too tired or lazy to prepare a decent meal. The idea of going to the gym does not hold any appeal because I make a lot of excuses for not going. The prescription for my new eyeglasses had taken permanent residence inside my wallet since July, and has never seen daylight since. I do not even visit the dentist every three weeks like I did before, so now, the removal and transition to retainers has been delayed. Topping all these health sins off is my forgetting the proper schedule of immunizations. Demmit. 3. I am mortified to find that my recent entries here on LJ have been nothing more than terse phrases or rants. Nothing like the very first entries of the blog. Writing was one of my secret pleasures before, something that could give me immense happiness in a short span of time. My journal entries were highly treasured, for they held more than memories or emotions captured in words. These entries allowed me to see how I grew as a person, how my own views of the world had changed, how I was working towards my goal. As of late, my muse seems to have had the knickers in a knot, because I have leashed her to make way for things that now seem terribly unimportant. How did I let one part of my life enroach what I previously held so dear and high? 4. I am mortified to realize that I am crippled in the relationship department. Romantic interests are not quite my priority right now, because I am actively seeking for the tightest circle of friends I could have. I have lost touch with my bestest friend from elementary school. High school was pretty much spent in complete isolation. College was wonderful and colorful, however, no matter how much effort I put into keeping touch, I quite understand that my college friends are caught in the wonderfully woeful grind of academia too much to even reply at times. I really cannot trust my classmates here in med school; playing the part of a wallflower pretty much lets me see that they are not interested beyond the person who can do their presentations or tutor them in tough subjects. Even the guidance counselor in med admitted that most of the people here are cut-throat and ultimately user-friendly; in her own words, real and good friends are a rarity in the institution. Somehow being too independent or aloof has afforded me the seclusion I have loved so much, yet I feel I have traded in the joys of companionship for that. It does not quite help too that my parents are grappling with the idea of me already a young adult that they keep a too-tight leash on me (more like caging me in), which actually cannot allow me to go about building good relationships with ease. 5. I am mortified to find myself failing the very reasonable expectations I set for myself. Even if I can blame my horrible habit of procrastination stemming from my absurd perfectionist tendencies, the very reminders of my lack of responsibility in the achievement department irk me. Banging my head against any solid surface would not give me answers in any way, and most likely would leave me a mild concussion that may be enough to change my personality permanently. Maybe I failed to think of a back-up plan, too confident that things would fall exactly where I though they would. Staring back from the plate set before me is a jumble of broken dreams, nuggets of opportunity, slivers of reality that wound invisibly, morsels of hope, little heaps of regret, portions of truth and a smattering of memories. All that is left for me to do is to chew on the 'meal' and move according to what I can synthesize from them using what's left of my neurons that have seemed to be moving towards a gradual extinction as of late. 6. I am mortified to realize that I am second guessing every little thing I do. Admittedly, self-esteem was/is not one of my strongest points, as my life experiences so far can attest to, but I never found myself in a situation where self-doubt clouded every single decision I make. Making monumental mistakes or failing my expectations (see above) reduced me into a veritable coward. Never mind the thought that second-guessing is a protective mechanism being used by my over-deflated ego. There is such a thing called prudence that I have indeed learned to exercise (albeit a bit too liberally as of late) as I changed into a young adult, but second-guessing is entirely unhealthy and can never be described as a virtue. 7. I am mortified by the possibility that I am trying to live up to the expectations of the people around myself instead of dancing to my own tune. Anyone will surely hate being reduced to a puppet made to perform to please others. Anyone will truly hate trying to do what others would deem proper, when doing so actually grates against one's personal style. I am quite terrified that I am becoming a plaything. I am quite terrified of the possibility that I am being groomed to become part of a zombie-like herd (forgive me if this sounds way too paranoid) when I quite enjoy sticking out like an 'errant' (more like maverick) animal. Expectations from observers merely weaken or severely limit what anyone can accomplish through time, short term or long term if allowed to do so. (Don't get me wrong-I am in, and enjoying med school, but I feel hopelessly disappointed in the learning institution; I never realized until today that not sharing the views of the institution is so hard to live with.) So...there. Maybe working through these mortifying thoughts will help me overhaul my life right now, or even spark the change I think I desperately need. Happy Halloween, indeed.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Right. Brava, Ms. Rowling. I thought you'd never say that.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Whiff of Death

The preserved cadaver lies prone or supine on the black body bag on the cold metal table, helpless against the assault of my group's steel tools. We pray for the soul of the cadaver, make the incisions, remove the fascia and the fat, isolate the neurovascular structures, cut across muscles, point out tendons, and then we leave after cleaning up, sometimes forgetting to pray. All the time I am exposed to the indescribable smell of necrosis and of the menthol-smelling lachrymator that is formalin; somehow, in an utterly inexplicable way, I think I know the smell of death. Many people won't know that I somehow sense/see future events; it may sound freakish that these thoughts come to fruition without my interference. Two boats that sank, an airplane that crashed, a pregnancy, two deaths, and just recently a foreboding that another death will come along. The very thought sent shivers down my spine and has taken over my mind. The foreboding came when I was with the person, and I invariably caught a whiff of death in this person. I've tried to banish this thought from my mind, but knowing the habits of this person, I'd say an early grave wouldn't be too far behind. But I never wish this death to happen because that person is quite dear to me, and I could never will anything terrible happening to that person. Or maybe I've been spending too much time with the cadaver that the embalming chemicals are giving me hallucinations now.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Two Weeks Gone

It's almost been a month now since I've gone to medical school, and I still can't find the proper groove. It's as though everyone around me is working on their foxtrot while I'm dancing to an improvised jig. As my friend has put it, I'm in a double whammy of adjusting to medical school AND adjusting to a new learning institution. I sorely miss my former school, and I'm only realizing now that I've took all those liberties I exercised there for granted. I'm not too keen on being instantly attached to my new uni or to my classmates who went there for undergrad; it's just that we are too different as of the moment, and I don't really want to press it. I think I have certain expectations of the new uni that have yet to be met. I think it's like coming to Beauxbatons, from Hogwarts. I'm also adjusting to the fact that my family thinks that weeekends are free; I know they miss me somewhat, but I'll never be successful or I won't even survive school if they keep eating up my time. I miss my home truly, but I'm more pressed to do well in school right now. Two weeks of pure academia have gone by in a blur. I'm still waiting for that bus that will take me for the best ride of my life.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tired but not Beaten

Another week is over and I'm thankful that all the stress is over for a bit. Thank God for my friends from UP who love me so much that they even dropped by the dorm to see how I was doing. Thank God for a mentor who always tries to boost my self-esteem. Thank God for friends who care enough to help me out when I need it most. Thank God for my home. Thank God for my relatives and upperclassmen friends who were kind enough to donate their medical books, seeing that I could not afford them. I'm still adjusting to a new campus and a new academic path, and it's taking quite a long time. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back to the Dorm

In a few minutes' time, I will be back at my dorm; it's about 20 kilometers away but it seems more like 20 million. (The rationale behind this being that I cannot take the 2-hour commute one way from the house to the campus, with four out of the five days of the school week starting at 7 AM.) It's going to be another week of no internet, 17-minute head-down reading sessions, dissections, butt-numbing lecture hours, and group discussions. I'm tired and harassed and irritated and feeling very irresponsible. I spent this weekend on a medical mission organized by the family from my father's side to commemorate the 10th death anniversary of my grandfather and the birth anniversary of my grandmother. I'll do a picture/narrative dump when I have time. Hope to hear from the people on my flist soon. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

First Week in Med School

My first week of medical school was a complete emotional roller coaster. My feeling swung from excitement to apprehension to delight to sadness and every other emotion known to the human range or spectrum. I am still adjusting to living in a dorm again; I don't have the endurance for the two hour trips one way to or from school. I've taken my bedroom here at home for granted, that I missed the space and the privacy so much in the first two nights. I have a roommate who is four years younger, who is here in the metropolitan area for the first time, and is an undergraduate student. I don't have internet access there yet. I still haven't fixed up my closet, my kitchen cabinet, and my desk. I feel that my own space is so Spartan, and not as homey as I was used to. For the very first time in my life, I am so HOMESICK. I'm also adjusting to being a student in a Catholic school again. After eight years of 'hard core' secular education, I was shocked to see that we started and ended classes with a prayer. We also started the school year with a Mass. We would be celebrating days of obligation, feast days of saints, etcetera. It's not that I'm a nonpracticing Catholic; I do fulfill my obligations but it's just that I'm really not too keen on the Thomasian traditions of prayer as yet. The people I've met in my batch and in my section in medical school were surprisingly friendly and warm. I've already met some elementary school batchmates, Pisay dormmates, fellow UP Manila graduates, people new to Manila, Filipino-Americans, Americans, upperclassmen (like my surrogate brother who was the one to help me during the pinning ceremony), and professors who were my mom's high school batch mates. I'm quite happy that these people seem to be genuinely nice, but as always I do keep my guard up because I can never be too careful anyway and I still have to work as hard as the Hufflepuffs in medical school. The funniest thing happened during our 'freshmen' tour. The whole batch (530 of us all in all) were divided into teams of about twenty and we were guided around the building to get familiar with the rooms and offices. The teams were named after all the subjects in the Harry Potter canon, and I think that Professor Snape would be very proud to know that I belonged to Team Occlumency. Maybe it's a sign that I rid my mind of emotion, empty it...make it blank and calm, that I would be able to focus my energies on learning instead of agonizing over each and every single decision I've made. Right now, I'm failing at Occlumency. I still feel troubled that I chose to study in a Catholic university, that I am in a dorm, that I am in this place at this time. The prospect of behaving like this extremely prim and proper young woman twists my knickers so much; I find the all white uniform, particularly the pencil cut of the skirt, so difficult to deal with, after four years of civilian clothing in undergrad. I'm still learning how to walk in heels, when I'm the champion klutz; remember that I'm this person who usually makes a very close acquaintance with slippery stairs or sidewalks. I'm bothered by the thought of whether my academic training in this university will truly make me the best damn doctor that I can be. Oh yes, I have major self-esteem issues right now, and I can only blame myself right for choosing to wallow in misery for the moment. Despite the most worthy advice from the people who mattered most, and from the surprising words from an unexpected mentor, I am still coming to terms with my feelings of inadequacy or failure. Maybe I share Hermione Granger's boggart. Maybe I'm just adjusting or am feeling some culture shock that I never experienced before; I never felt this way in the transition from Catholic elementary school to a science high school or from a science high school to the state university. The only comfort I have is that I went to medical school because I wanted to, and not because I was pressured to do so. So, what am I doing on LJ on a Friday morning? My classes for today were cancelled and I went home last night for a family thing as well. I'm taking this sweet time to cherish the DSL connection, my familiar bed, the warm food, the laundry, and some rest. Come Monday morning, I'll have to take a deep breath and plunge head first into the start of formal classes for medicine. So for now...Occlumens!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Seven Days

A whole new chapter in my life begins in seven days.  It's a world of white, a world of dress codes, a world of intense study, a world of learning about the amazing machine that is the human body, a world of fulfillment.  I'm sure this new chapter will test my endurance, my faith, my willpower, and my intellect in so many ways; I'm sure that there will be times that I will want to chuck everything out of the window and that there will be times that I will feel invincible.

I am both excited and afraid; I feel so elated in making this huge step in making my dreams come true yet apprehensive of moving out of my comfort zone.  All I'm trying to think of at this moment is that this will be such a great adventure.  I am taking the first step of the infinite staircase that lies hidden still.  I am willing to be a beginner once more, to be able to learn new things and have a whole world open to me.  I am hoping this new chapter will enrich my life.

And in four years, I can officially add Doctor of Medicine to my name. =)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Can You Read It?

(image taken last 30 March 2007, during a lunch at a Chinese teahouse)

What do you see in my cup,
Professor Trelawney?

I have absolutely no idea about what the future has in store for me.

All I know is that I'm on my way to becoming the best dang doctor ever.
A year from now, I hopefully would have assimilated myself with my new school.

Five years from now, I want to pass the medical licensure exams with flying colors.

Ten years from now, I'd be specializing in whatever field I am drawn to.  Hopefully I'll be married and a mother by this time.

Twenty years from now, I'd be an established medical 'institution.'  I'd probably be volunteering for Medicins Sans Frontieres.

I want the future to be what I want it to be.  Of course, give and take some.  I just won't let other people or other things dictate what my life should be.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight ahead, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed. -Sir Isaac Newton

I am tempted to say that I am living out my last good vacation before I go to med school.  I haven't necessarily devolved into a bum...yet.  I still do some chores around the house because the help is on vacation.  Otherwise, it's a never-ending cycle of Internet, TV, sleep, eat, bath.  I try to rationalize my overuse of the Internet through two reasons even though I'm getting cluster migraines from staring at the screen too long: unlimited DSL and by the time I go to med school, I won't be as active online.

But then again...I've become a classic couch potato.  I can't even force myself to get my grades and my diploma, because I hate going out of the house these days.  Inertia has taken hold of me and will be very hard to shake off.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UP 98th Commencement Exercises

I finally am an official graduate of the University of the Philippines Manila, with a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry.  Everything seemed so surreal, yet so beautiful.  The commencement exercises were a simple affair, just the way I liked it.

I left home by 6 AM, struggling with the choice of violating the dress code for black shoes.  I had on a very pretty dress that went well with my pewter pumps, but in the end, duty won out. I had thought that I was going to wear a black toga anyway, so everything would be fine.  I didn't go the full makeup and hair route; I let my hair dry in the car and pinned it with a simple clip later on, and I only dabbed a tiny smudge of lip gloss on my lips.  The only fancy things I had on were the heirloom pearl earrings and ring from my godmother, and the gold watch from my grandaunt.  I celebrated the occasion with jewelry, my friend would later say, instead of the usual pancake maquillage and ozone-destroying hairspray.  At least my pictures would be okay, I had hazarded, without having my face look kabuki-white or my head look like a poodle landed there.  I was thinking, maybe I would dress up when the time came that I would receive my degree as Doctor of Medicine; not that I wouldn't dress up because I didn't graduate with Latin honors or that I wasn't proud of my Biochemistry degree.  It just so happened that I found it quite an exaggeration had I gone the "traditional" (traditional meaning very common to Pinoy culture) route of heavy makeup, overdone hair, a dress looking like a wedding gown, droves of relatives present, and a photography overkill.  And hey, I graduated as a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology and as a best thesis awardee, anyway.

The ceremony was a very boring affair, with the processional and awarding of titles taking the most time.  Our college occupied half of the seats reserved for all the graduates, and I overheard a parent comment, "I fell asleep when they were conferring the degrees for the College of Arts and Sciences, and when I woke up later, they weren't finished!"  Most of us either snoozed, took pictures, or talked during the boring parts.  The only exciting part was being conferred with our degrees; at 0931H, the president of the UP System pronounced us as official graduates, and we joyfully transferred the tassels of our (falling) caps from the right to the left.

Photo "stolen" from the fabulous Carlo.  Notice his beautiful pout. 
That's Carlo, me and Hernie, with Mamu on the far left.

I immensely enjoyed the address of the speaker, Professor Ambeth Ocampo, who was able to make the speech fun and quite touching as well.  He talked about the human side of the national hero, who was a doctor; his medical mishaps, his humanitarian work, his death wish, and his personal escapades.  Who would have known that Rizal (as an opthalmologist) attended to his sister's childbirth, and would later write in his notes, "She lost so much blood, she would have died anyway?"  Who would have deduced that Rizal wrote much on the genito-urinary system of the human body, sketching more male parts than female parts?  Who would have known that Rizal experimented with surgeries that left patients, well, dead?  Who would have known that the "Rizal twist" was due to pure vanity, instead of medical reasons?  (Rizal was to be shot in the back, but chose to face the firing squad.  Many attribute it to valor, but it was really vanity on his part; he also specifically instructed the Spanish not to shoot his face.)  The medical graduates were not quite amused by the stories of Rizal's medical antics, but I think they missed the point that Rizal was, as the speaker emphasized, not afraid of failure.  The whole audience was rocking with laughter throughout the speech and this was so much better than the "speech" (more like political campaign) of the speaker in the college recognition program.

After going up the stage, I was surprised by being so warmly greeted by the multitude of professors, not only from my department.  My Chemistry professors, my History I professor, my Physics professors, my Comm II professor, my Biology professors, my Math professors, my Physical Education professor, professors who never became my instructors but became my friends, and even the staff of the college and the Learning Resource Center, were so generous with the handshakes and hugs...the gestures were so warm and loving.  I was very touched when they said, "You are one in a million, and we wish to have more students like you."  No academic honor would have surpassed those words, and for a moment, I thought tears would fall from my eyes.

The combination of threatening tears and hunger (I wasn't able to eat breakfast because of the rush to get to the venue on time) drove me to the loo, where I slyly ate two chocolate covered biscuits and wiped my eyes dry.  I dared not to eat before going up the stage to get my dummy diploma, because I was so afraid that chocolate would cover my teeth in the photographs that were to be taken.  After that quick snack, I went back to my chair and waited for the speech of the class valedictorian, only to be greeted by the chaos of graduates milling around, while the students from other colleges were still going up the stage.  My mum said it was a fitting comeback (though I was still annoyed by the show of bad behavior) to those graduates from the other colleges who were misbehaving while we were going up the stage.

Gerard's valedictory speech was short and quite beautiful, well-written and delivered in Tagalog.  He confided to me later that he struggled with it, being the Cebuano that he was, saying "Alam mo naman, Bisaya dako."  (You know that I am Bisaya.)  The speech was to be delivered in Filipino/Tagalog, because we were from the state university, and to do it in English was deemed unpatriotic.  He reminded us that we were the children of our Motherland, and that whether we meet our success here or abroad, we must always remain rooted to our country.  He encouraged us to give back to the institution that generously educated us, emphasizing that as Iskolars ng Bayan, we were educated through the blood, toil, sweat, and tears of the taxpayers of the land.

After the pledges of loyalty I couldn't quite pronounce clearly (sending me into silent gales of laughter) and the school hymn, I was free to go.  I returned my toga immediately, and set up to eat a late lunch with my parents at Sakae Sushi in MOA.  The food wasn't quite as spectacular as the last time we went, and we only finished off 24 plates of sushi, compared to 27 plates the last time.

I went to the University of Sto. Tomas next, to get my Hepatitis B booster shot.  All the nurses and technicians in the Health Service clinic were so curious about my outfit (and were so bored, as "business" was slow) and thus our conversation was as follows:

Attending Nurse (while preparing shot): Why are you dressed in those nice clothes?
Me: It's my graduation, Ma'am.
Nurse: Graduation?
X-ray Technician: From what school are you? (while examining rubber shoes brought by another colleague, for sale)
Me: UP, sir.
Nurse: Ah, what was your course?
Me: Biochemistry, ma'am.
X-ray Technician: Course?
Me: Biochemistry, sir.
*Nurse injects vaccine*
X-ray Technician: Oh, so that's why you're dressed like that.  Why didn't you treat your friends out to a party first?
Nurse: You're so hardworking dear.  Prioritizing your shot before your graduation party.
Me: Thank you, ma'am.
Nurse: (rubs my arm, places bandage over shot area) Let me sign your card.
Me: Okay.  (Leaves) Thank you.

That was the strangest conversation I had yesterday.  The vaccine didn't hurt, unlike the tetanus shot I got last Thursday.  Good thing she didn't inject it at the same spot as the tetanus shot.  Thirsty because of the heat, I went to McDonalds to indulge in a bubblegum float.

And then, we drove home.  Graduation done. =)

P.S. Graduation photo dump later.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CAS Recognition Program 2007

So, yeah, it was technically my college graduation awhile ago.

Vanity pushed me to get a morning work-out in the gym, and much to my surprise I wrung out a bucket of sweat from my very flabby self. I tried to punish myself with abdominal exercises but didn't push myself too hard, lest I get all sorts of cramps later on.

But I totally destroyed my workout by glutting myself with a meal from Kenny Rogers for lunch. My mom was totally concerned that I'd faint by midday if I foolishly tried to nab a bite at McDonalds for lunch. I think I pretty much stuffed my face with carbs right there.

Before the program started, the harrassed marshals were trying to get some semblance of order in our seating arrangements for the venue. Fat chance. Everyone was either too busy adjusting their outfits, talking to other people, or fanning themselves in the intense heat. We were wondering why the Little Theater (airconditioned and all) was not made the venue; they cited reasons of size but then again, the Little Theater holds almost as much as the GAB Roofdeck.

The real reason, probably, was that they were trying to solicit funds from the guest speaker, a senator who happened to proclaim himself as the "Father of Education." Big frigging deal, I told myself. He was the same senator who used registered mail (of course, using tax money) to send out "vote for me!" notices to students like myself who would be voting in the coming local elections. Like hell. His graduation address became like a campaign speech, and I immensely enjoyed zoning out during the program, trying to gauge when my soul would leave my body in the intense heat or how many calories might have been burned in that huge sauna of a venue. The valedictory address by the summa cum laude (my former blockmate who shifted to Biology) was more interesting to listen to, actually. I distinctly remember that the graduating class was so disappointed in the guest's promises of helping better the facilities--what use would we have for that, as we were graduating already?

But then again, I might have enjoyed myself so much. Point one, I was the only one wearing a very unique hablon sablay (sash) awhile ago. And it was a sablay for a Master's degree holder, and here I was, a Bachelor's degree holder. Teehee. Point two, I was the only one wearing a burgundy and black lace dress in a sea of frothy ecru and white; not my fault that it was the only semi-formal thing in my closet and that I wasn't able to attend the orientation for the ceremonies. They should probably thank their lucky stars I didn't go commando in the heat. Point three, I so many hugs and kisses and handshakes from faculty AND staff awhile ago. Who would have thought that former professors, maintenance staff, administration clerks, and friends from other courses would greet me familiarly? Point four, I got the "cute" award for my very concisely-titled-but-hard-to-pronouce-high-fallutin' thesis.

But I digress in enjoying myself too much.

Oh yeah, we were reminded that we should make our institution proud, and that we should remain patriotic, and that we should be loyal alumni. This actually translates to: work your asses off to prove you're a graduate from UP, please don't leave the country for greener pastures, and please donate to the school. Intelligent people truly create great euphemisms.

Last little tidbit: I found out I never memorized the UP Naming Mahal (the school hymn.) My bad.

P.S. Picture dump later.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jittery Much?

First, I'd like to congratulate my friends and high school batchmates who have already graduated from UP Diliman awhile ago.  Cheers to you, guys!

Next, I'd like to thank Ate Tala and Tita Rose for lending me their sablays.  Now I get to choose between the two.  Or maybe I can go naked save for the sablay, but then again people will be emotionally scarred for life if they see me in my birthday suit.  No, I can't rationalize that I'm trying to imitate the Oblation statue or the Lady Med statue.  Far out.  But I do hope my college realizes that it is impractical to find a formal dress that's not sleeveless or strapless AND a formal dress that won't have me fainting in the heat.  Hello, GAB roofdeck for the CAS Recognition Program?  One to five in the sweltering afternoon?  Good luck to us...

Then, I'm all jittery.  And weirded out.  Because our University graduation is at the PICC at seven in the morning.  Because there is a freaking dress code.  Because the toga and the mortarboard suck big time.  Because I want to celebrate my graduation and my birthday, but really can't.  Because I'm going back to my new school on Tuesday to get that Hepatitis B booster shot and to meet the family of my new roommate.  Because my family's taking very special care of me, lest I fall into some sort of misfortune that is attracted by my present status as a graduating student; it's a sort of a superstitious belief that when you're graduating/about to get married/starting something new, bad luck tends to follow you around.

Last, I'm starting to get nostalgic.  I'm leaving the state university for now.  I came in expecting a degree and somehow came out with a life. 

Monday, February 26, 2007


I think I'm beginning to understand what had me all worked up these past few years. I'm simply experiencing a burnout coupled with a great deal of disappointment in the learning institutions here.

Let them say that it's all in my head, but let them try walking in my shoes for just one second, and they would wish they could eat their words. Long term exhaustion? Check. Diminished interest? Check. Reduced sense of personal accomplishment? Check. Maybe, I have just had too much of this thing for so long and my mind was not mature enough to cope with all of it.

Goodness. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. Please God, just let me graduate already. I'm fed up, plain and simple.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I might not be able to comprehend the things that are happening in my life right now, but I welcome the changes that are happening even if they mean that I have to step out of my safe cocoon. And there is a high probability that I will never really understand all of these because I see the picture from the unique POV of my two-decade old self; maybe I lack the wisdom or insight borne out of spending a greater number of years on this earth.

I've realized that adulthood entails a lot of responsibility, patience, and grit. That is, compared to infants, children, and geriatric denizens.

I've realized that all adults make mistakes; they make decisions with dire consequences knowingly or blindly. I hazard that the consequences may make a dent in their lives, but the gravity of such consequence can never be seen as equal for all because all of us are blind to our own characters, whether we like it or not.

I've realized the power of paradigm and being able to see things from another perspective. And it's so amusing to see adults with some semblance of authority over myself become like amateur actors in a poorly-directed play with scripts in different vernaculars.

I've realized that we probably are self-centered in a way because of self-preservation.

Our sight is among the most amazing things in life. It is so complex and so important, yet is so easily colored or turned.