Talk: Novemberandom

Of late, I find myself unable to come up with anything beyond short bursts of thoughts. If my thought process is blogging, then I’m more in the microblogging (think: Twitter) genre right now. Short, random, unconnected, rambling at times.

I was able to come up with my Masters thesis proposal lately though, so maybe all the organizing and logical thinking was channeled there. Maybe. I’m not sure.

I want to fight for my brain again. I want to come up with non-academic ideas right now. I so desperately want to say something inspiring, or perhaps cheesy or perhaps witty? I’m trying right now. Trying very hard.

Anyway, I just want to share recent happenings, musings, experiences, or well, random thoughts. *Sigh*

Fine, let’s just stick with random thoughts for now. My brain will redeem itself, let’s give it time.

ONE. I cannot consider the feelings and emotions that I have whenever the semester is about to end within the category of ‘burn-out’ or ‘fatigue’, it’s more ‘hopeful-but-so-darn-tired’. I know that at every end of semester is the proverbial light at the end of the semester-tunnel or whatever long tube you are in. It’s a fact. The semester will end and then I can breathe again, sleep 8 hours, and enjoy eating chocolates not as stress food but as mere food for pleasure. I love the thought of the end of the semester, its the right before the end I dread. But that’s life. I’ve learned to roll with it, if roll’s really what I do. I more like, drag, crawl, bite my tongue and jump head on to ‘wait is that ice waterrrrrrrr’?!! The point is, there is that bright, shimmering, constant light at the end. And there is always the end.

TWO. I will never, as much as I can, mix relatives and money matters. End of story. Sticky, complicated, awkward and at worst, hurtful. Aaah, but life has many of these sticky situations. One must learn to fight through it, and oil yourself well so the sticky part won’t stick.

THREE. “Don’t we all” – this has been the phrase I’ve been mulling over the past weeks. Don’t we all… lie? cheat? love? get hurt? become rude? become too proud? need grace? need second chances? need love? Don’t we all.

FOUR. I have been in love with the guy since the latter part of 2011. In between then and now, I’ve loved more and have learned to trust more (though still a work in progress on this one). I’ve loved more and have realized how much vulnerable one becomes when one loves. I’ve loved more and have realized how little I know of love. I’ve loved more, cried more, laughed more, gave more, thought more, planned more, hoped more, and generally am able to live more. I still fear the future, I still doubt sometimes, I still resort to my selfish, manipulative mode when I feel threatened (usually, baseless feelings) but in general, I now believe that this kind of love can really exist. Love, I still can’t pinpoint (I guess I’ll never be able to and that’s okay), but am experiencing and living.

FIVE. The Lord misses me. I miss Him too. I’ve been complacent, too complacent for my own good. Chillin’ could be the contemporary term (haha, sorry, just wanted that to use that word). I’ve been on token devotion and prayer time for the past month and this has slowly crept into my system like a rust destroying the iron heart meant for battles. It takes a solid knock, more like someone kicking open to the rusty gates to get to the heart of the matter (pun intended). Pain, ah, it is a useful tool to kick that door open and let the restoration team in. I had my long quiet time this morning, I wrote a lengthy letter for Him, I prayed real hard, and felt light and expectant and hopeful. And the Lord never fails. He never fails. As if on cue, He answers my prayers one by one. I had to smile and laugh a bit. It’s like so scripted but so surreal and spiritual. It’s like when a father really goes out of his way to show his child how he does things –  clear, direct, and plainly laid out for the kid. I felt like a little girl in awe of her Dad who can do everything (kids don’t usually see the strings being pulled, just the end result – the toy or the doll). With the Lord, it’s as clear as day, His giant strings – hidden from my plain eyes – pulled out so that my prayers will be answered, one after the other.

SIX. I might have written too much for some ‘random musings’, nevertheless, I still want to come up with a complete post about just one thing. One complete thought. Next time. For now, this random postings will suffice.

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Ninja Tales* (Part 1)

“Oh you to me are everything
The sweetest song
That I could sing
Oh baby”

That 1976 song by The Real Thing seems to cover who you are to me – “you to me are everything”.

However, that everything can still be broken down into details and that’s what I’ll try to do here – capture those little moments, little quirks, short statements, etc that makes life with you so much meaningful.

We’ve been friends for nine years, together for about a year (complicated timeline, but this is pretty much it), and yet I’m discovering and rediscovering you.

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To me, you are…

Fresh eyes for when I’m all but optimistic. You are also my gentle admonisher. “You should be more appreciative you know”

A hand that pulls me when I’m walking too fast – trying to outrun this frantic world. “Slow down. Enjoy this time with me, “ you’d say.

Unabashed and self-effacing nature personified. You’ll dance and never care if you have no rhythm nor grace nor timing. “They were just about dying laughing at me. Am I that bad? Anyway, I’d still dance,” and you’ll laugh your loud, unapologetic laughter.

A reminder that we are never to old to dream and follow them. I should never resign to ‘just be ok’. “I want to revamp the Philippine sports program,” never mind that our current professions are not directly related to that path to ‘revamping Philippine sports’, but we’ll get there.

Systems-manager. You have that calculating, gamer-mindset – brutally accurate and methodical. I definitely need you in my chaotic world.

You to me are these and more – the corny geek, handsome athlete, verbose planner, loud farter, and drool-y sleeper.  I love you.

*I call him ninja.

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Well hello 2014, bye 2014.

My first entry this year was last January. That pretty much sums my futile attempts at blogging for this year.

But I have been feeling the need to write again – I need the cathartic feeling of organizing all the scattered bits and pieces that is collectively identified as my “thoughts” into a coherent block of idea.

For the past nine months, I have done so many things. Needless to say, life has given my story so many plot twists. It feels unreal unless I record them – unless I have photos or Facebook statuses or tweets or journal entries to back-up my claims to adventures.

However, I have pressing things to do – yes, more pressing than my desire to write a blog to chronicle my life or share my thoughts or whatever. I have to finish the task that’s been dangling on my head for a year now, that note that’s been in my to-do list since forever. I have focus all my energies now to writing and finishing my graduate research. Whereas a year ago, I still had the luxury of a possible extension in my thesis writing days, now, the deadline is written in big, bold letters and is currently growing bigger each day. I need all the energy and focus and dedication that I have in me to be able to get through this, this grad school life.

So my leisure writing – my blogging saga will have to wait again for a month, 2 months, maybe 10 months. Just until I’ve finally done the most crucial writing I need do at this point in my working-grad school-late 20s life – my THESIS.

This little post is a bit of rebelling post but more like meta-post since I shouldn’t be blogging but I am and so… well, okay, enough.

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Talk: The details of my 2013, sort of

Places I’ve been to: Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Bacolod, Davao

New dog: Easter

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Books I’ve read in 2013 [those not required in Grad School or for work] = 23

Terry Pratchett: (9) Mort, Eric, Interesting Times, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, The Wee Free Men, The Colour of Magic, The Truth, Moving Pictures; Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: Good Omens; Neil Gaiman: (2) The Graveyard Book, American Gods; Dave Barry: (4) Dave Barry is Not Making This Up, Dave Barry Does Japan, Dave Barry’s Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need, Tricky Business; Markus Zusack : The Book Thief; Frank Herbert: Dune Messiah; Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game; Jeffrey Archer: A Quiver Full of Arrows; L.M. Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables; Georges St. Pierre: The Way of the Fight; Haruki Murakami: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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Moved to new house. New room.

My old laptop (BruceLee) gave up on me just as the first semester was about to start. So I bought BruceLeeto, my new overworked laptop.

And then, there’s the same old chubby/macho me.  Cheers to 2014!

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2013 by Monthly Themes

I recently bought a Slate 2014 planner where each month has its own color as its theme. For my 2013 review, I’ll have one theme for each month. This is going to be quite a reflection.

[January] Cliché

January is the most cliché month for me because of all the “new me” things I have planned every January of almost every year that I can remember. I did not plan for a ‘new me’ this month. I just woke up and it’s January and then it’s February. But I did buy a nice planner. Now that’s one cliché move from me I won’t discontinue.

[February] Laro

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There’s much to celebrate about February but as I had to choose only one, I’ll opt for this month’s Palarong UPLB. I got to become a ‘commentator’ where I just mostly babbled about and where my comments drew the ire of those who were sweating and grinding it out in the sack race. Haha. I love sports. I love sports fests but I don’t want to be in the coordinating committee again. I just want to play. With that said, I also hope UPLB strengthen it’s sports program. Like for reals.

[March] Cross-country smiles

I have already blogged about this. So there. Tipid space.

[April] Graduation

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My sister finally marched at the green, green grass of Freedom Park! As for me, it has been 5 years since I received the blank paper which was supposed to be a diploma. 5 years since I stood at the Freedom Park feeling free albeit feeling awkward and uncomfortable with my high-heeled shoes. Hopefully, one year from now, I’ll once again be bored to death by the super long valedictory speeches and commemoration speeches of guests as well as stand shoulder to shoulder with my kapwa Iskolar ng/para sa Bayan as we sing UP Naming Mahal. Hopefully.

[May] Kids

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For my 26th birthday, I started Project26.

This is my proposal to my friends (I PM’d them this exact thing. I just had to delete my bank details):

As I turn 26, I want to remember my day by celebrating with 30 kids from Sta. Rita, Batangas City. Kids whose families do not have much but who would always go to our church on Sundays (my Nanay gives them breakfast every time). Some of them do not go to school and a number are malnourished.

I would like to give them a birthday party, to play along side them, to feed them, and to give them school materials (books, pens, pads, etc). But beyond the party and the material things, I just want to encourage these kids – through you – that they can hope for something bigger than their everyday existence. They can dream and they can hold on to the hope that God gives.

Honestly, I have longed wanted to do something like this but I’m always reluctant because of my own limited resources. Being a teacher in the Philippines doesn’t give much in terms of financial rewards but that’s just one side of the story. So to finally put this dream to fruition, I decided to tap my network (now, I’d like to believe I’m rich in this aspect).

And this is where I ask for their help in cash and in kind. So to my friends who helped me raise almost 20,000 for the event, thank you and thank God for you!

To cap my small project proposal to them, here’s what I told them [and I wholeheartedly believe every word in it]:

Final note: I’d like to believe that I have many friends who would also like to bless their immediate communities and I’d like to encourage you to start planning on it now and to tap your network of friends and get it done. We may not have the millions that the celebrities who do these kinds of things for the ‘least fortunate’ have but we do have millions of friends who would definitely want to bless others too, after all we are blessed to be a blessing.

[June] Relax. Chillax.

I went to Bacolod and La Carlota City, Negros Occidental [about 500kms from LB] for 3 days. I have been to Bacolod before but not on my own. I think the trip was more about the traveling alone part than the destination. Though I truly love Bacolod City and La Carlota City mainly because of the people and the quiet provincial spirit which is much like LB, the lesson was more on the going by myself. I’ve been traveling quite a lot since I could remember but always with a group. Being myself, hailing a cab at 4am and waiting alongside men in the airport at 4:30am made me feel a little grown up. I met with a friend over at Bacolod City and, honestly, I did not go sight seeing much. I mostly talked with them, sampled local food, slept, read a book, played along side the little girls there. It was right before the first semester of classes so it was a very welcome relaxing pre-classes travel. To the Alubog family, thank you ever so much.

[July] GSP

The month MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre officially took over the throne held by basketball player Mike Cortez… but then, not really. They have separate thrones. One for the local and one of the International dude. Hehe. After watching one of his fights, I have since been a fan of the French-Canadian welterweight champion [even as he announced his hiatus from MMA also this year – December].  My Instagram account can attest to this.

[August] Friends

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I went to Davao City [about 1200 kms from LB] for 4 days. This is the first time I visited Davao. It was mostly to visit another friend and to see Kadayawan in person. It was the middle of the semester and was another welcome mid-sem gala. I was extremely glad to see my co-Kawayan Camper (2006). The last time we saw each other was in 2011 when I went to the airport to see her as she was about to go back to Davao. Friendships are never deterred by distance.  To the Javier family, thank you so much!

[September] English in all its versions

I went to Bangkok, Thailand for four days to work. I was tasked to document an international conference on smart innovations in agriculture. Speakers were mostly Thai, Indians, Japanese, and a few westerners who are not native-English speakers. Hence, the theme ‘English’. My nose bled and bled as I tried to decipher the language they are actually using [they claim it’s English, I’m not so sure]. It’s a documenter’s funny nightmare, if there ever was one. Oh, but I enjoyed the food, the hotel, the nice people, and the food. Have I mentioned the buffet? Oh yeah, the food.

[Oct] Tears of frustration

I’m working on a department research with funding from the University and I have cried tears of frustration over it – not over how difficult the research is but how difficult the administrative stuff is. I can’t seem to get my head around these things – budgets, vouchers, etc. Plus the not so noob researcher-friendly system that the University has or maybe it’s just that there’s too much on my plate already that I have been viewing this research as a burden already. I just want this to end study to already. Oh wait, it still depends on me now. I have to write the report already.

[Nov] Parents to Palawan and Sister is 23

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I love the feeling of seeing my parents enjoy their much-needed vacation. My Tatay was also recognized for his more than 27 years of serving the ministry. My heart swelled with so much joy that even if all my family members have all gone to Puerto Princesa, Palawan except me, it’s all good.

November also is my sister’s birth month. I still don’t believe it. For me, Hannah is still 18. But she’s all so grown up now. Working in Makati, wearing corporate world fashion, and dealing with grown up problems [while reading her Mangas in her phone]. She’s still my big baby sister no matter what age. But, really? She’s 23? I feel old.

Here’s a video I made for her.

[Dec ] Letting go

We had a small party among friends with the theme Letting go. Oh how apt. As for me, here are the things/notions I’ve to let go:

  1. I’m good at multi-tasking or even of the idea of multi-tasking
  2. GSP fighting in the cage again competitively
  3. Money squandering ways
  4. Unhealthy habits (too much FB, sleeping late, eating junk, etc)

Of course, all through out the year, teaching and thesis-ing had been the macro-themes of work and love and contentment, the macro-themes of my heart. There’s oh so much more that happened, so much I have to write about but I might not be able to do so in the coming months as my theme for this year is: FOCUS. Primarily in the context of my thesis and work.

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

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