That Experience

The best part about this is knowing that there are people who love you enough to go that extra distance.

Knowing that you worked with some of the most brilliant minds.

And knowing that your group did the best thing they could pull out of their asses. And it was enough. :)

Busy busy

I can think of a million things going wrong in my life now. I go to my classes late at least 80% of the time, I turn over the most mediocre papers across hands down all subjects (and I mean all!), and I'm never gotten as close to hating writing.

I'm in the point where there's simply so much to be done, so I choose not to do anything.
I don't even know how to start ranting.

Nonetheless, I shall pick up the pieces, write all mandatory blog entries, pass my Chapter 1, write a fantastic reflection paper, finish all my work deliverables, and do everything a usually diligent boy does on time.

Hay. Life's cruel.

Lipat Bahay

Though I haven't entirely moved, I've been blogging more at

Drop by and let's exchange links! :)

I therefore conclude: I am lucky to be alive.

Let me start with the banner statement: a lot has been happening in my life lately.
I won't even try to sound dramatic--it's almost 2am, and I just feel the need to document stuff.

1. You know the people who would randomly approach you and tell you they have no jeepney fare, someone stole their wallets, or give whatever sorry excuse to get money from you? Well, I'm convinced they're crazy fucktards who should all go to jail. My brother just got victimized--he lost his phone and wallet because of this scam. It was shit scary--he was stupid, but then again, these people appeal to pity and there's always that chance somebody'd feel a tinge of mercy for them. My brother was one of them.

2. I have come to the conclusion that surrounding yourself with the most beautiful people is the only way to ward off stupidity and negativity. By beautiful, I mean people who'd immerse you in enthralling, and yeah sometimes emotive, conversations and just make you realize there's still good in this world. People who'd make you understand that passion is still there, however unfair the circumstances may be. People who make you realize that good is still feasible. I only have my groupmates and sister to thank for that.

Earlier today, I went home with a friend, who ranted and raved about, well, about a LOT of things. It made me realize that some people are just so insecure--yet there are those who still cling on and act with such dignity and self-respect.

I realized later after that, through another conversation, that life is just unfair. People get sick for just no apparent reason--other than that they've been given trials. It pains me to think that some people have to go through such painful and difficult trials that's just impossible to overcome. And how they fight tooth and nail to get through it. The implication is astounding: what I'm undergoing right now is nothing. The trials God is giving me are nothing compared to the big world out there.

3. In the end, I guess I have nothing to complain about. I have everything I can possibly wish for--I just have to be.. mobile. Sometimes, I forget to be grateful--so forgetful, in fact, that I just skipped Church today. I've been surrounded by so much love, so there basically is no excuse for me to be evil and not to help out as much as I can.

4. We've gone so far. I'm fascinated at how much immature I realized myself to be. But I'm holding up, holding on. And something tells me that I can do this--not without the help of very supportive allies--again, a show of just how lucky I really am to have such real friends and family. I'm even surprised that I'm getting advice for this.

I'm going to take a lot of work to hit the road to selflessness, I admit. I'm getting there, though. And in the unlikely event that I don't, I know I have beautiful people who'll help me deal.

Amusing and Disappointing

Realizing that you're sad because you're alone is both an amusing and disappointing feeling.

Amusing, because you realize that you are still capable of actually feeling sad because of solitude--just when you were about to pass yourself off as someone who just don't care anymore.

Disappointing, because you then decide that you want to be alone. You need to be resilient enough to embrace the fact that you're, well, alone.

So I'd rather feel disappointed. Because, really, in the end, I just want to know that I can do "this" all by myself.

How NOT to Win 2 Million Pesos in a Game Show

When I got the call for a screening in TV5's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I was a bit surprised. That single message I remember sending when I was about to exit the train actually got in.

But I was skeptical. My mom had a similar experience: she was texted for a screening in another game show and was asked to go to the studio and undergo the screening of the said contest. With much unnecessary excitement, she went there and went back home much less excited. I didn't want the same traumatic experience to happen to me.

Seriously though, I couldn't afford to lose time. My acads are slowly falling apart, and I needed great saving. The culprit behind it, my online writing gig, isn't getting any less demanding. The Tuesday was meant to make amends for my early sins of this semester.

But my mom, being my mom, practically forced me to go. So go there I did.

There was a screening, I got in, got interviewed, got in again for the final list of players. And the next day, a Wednesday, I was to reserve majority of the day from 12 nn onwards for the game show.I had two three-hour classes which I couldn't afford to miss. But my mom, being my mom, allowed me to miss them. Even implicitly encouraged me to! My mom, who's supposed to tell me that school comes first! Tsk.

So after at least 12 hours of endless waiting, for which time I used studying for an exam the following day (which is today!), I finally got to enter the first round, Fastest Fingers First. Honestly, I know nothing of this round, or of the whole game for that matter. Not only don't I watch TV, I don't watch game shows too! Frankly, I find them a bit boring. And I was never the trivia person :P

And yey! I was the first to be placed on the Hot Seat, which really just meant making your way to the elusive 2 million jackpot prize. I settled my mind for a 20k early on. In fact, I didn't think I'd even make it past the first round. Thank God for my alphabetical arrangement skills. Hoho.

In the end, I lost because of a single question that a debater like me should know: the current
name of a former state. I had a valid educated guess, but apparently, it was even absurd for me to think that. Sorry naman kung yun lang ang na-recognize ko as a Russian state. Serbia and Montenegro, which I honestly couldn't locate on the visual world map I made, sounded more like a Caribbean island than a state in Russia. Snap.

Okay, I at least owe myself (and the people whose jaws would drop in disbelief) an explanation. In a nutshell: I am not a geography person. I've written a couple of travel articles, and I surprisingly don't remember this state. In any case, I believe winning is some sort of a destiny. It's a know or not situation, and there really is no way for anyone to know the answers to all of the questions in the show... unless you're Jamal Malik, who I am apparently not.

But all's well. I got more than I bargained for, and actually enjoyed the game. Ha. I originally wanted to test just how well can I really stand pressure, and I did myself well, I believe.

On the way home, my mom couldn't get enough of it. She wants me to try again, after the moratorium on contestants placed on the hot seat. I can indulge her, but there's little chance of me doing so. My less than fifteen minutes of fame is over, and that's

And for those who want a slice of whatever pittance I got... the money's far from over before it even got to my hands. My mom, again. This is a frustration of hers, and if she can even so much as vicariously compete in a game shows through her son, I know she will be far happier.

Today and the Rest of First Semester

Today's a day of celebrations.

I greeted my father a half-hearted Happy father's day. We didn't give him his card...yet. We didn't give him his gift either. We couldn't do it unless ate's here. Not that we're mushy, the four of us--my sister just has the gifts in her possession.

Today is also my parents' 23rd anniversary. My mother tried to bully me into giving them a gift. I told her it was their thing, so don't she get us involved in their emotional matters.

One of the more important marks of today, though (and I don't mean to be self-important), is my acceptance that school has finally arrived.

Last week, I breezed through the first days of classes. I was only half listening--half the time I was thinking of ways to finish the bulk of work I left unfinished this vacation. And, a week after, I don't get to finish it. I'm about 40 articles behind, and the only academic thing I did was to read JK Rowling's speech in Harvard.

Then, I almost found myself on the brink of quitting. I had been doing this for about two years, and yet I'm still here. No more learned and no less naive. But just when I was about to, weird things began to happen. Now, my hands are more than full--and I'm leaving relationships up in the air where they shouldn't be.

So when I woke up, I tucked away one semester's worth of readings, projects, and useless doodles. For a while, I reminisced on how difficult last sem was. What made it even harder was that I everytime I worked, I did so not just for myself--but for a group as well. I guess it takes compassion, to care about other people--even in the form of their grades.

I'm a senior. Last year. The last shot to finally break in. Back in my freshman year, I remember my sister and mother telling me to expect nothing. I wouldn't get the same merits I got in high school. I wouldn't be as brilliant as I thought. Most of all, I shouldn't expect.

I appreciated that, grounding. It sort of broke my heart, but it was the telling I needed to know that everything can change dramatically, drastically.

And yet, weirdly enough, it did--with one glaring exception, though: I was able to do it. Every semester was a struggle I made sure not to expect to win. Until this. Until now. I reached the last two marks. It's still a long shot, but it's a shot worth taking.

Obviously, it goes without saying, I shall be ferocious.

And that's a wrap,

One by one, you pulled every strand of sanity I had.

Now, I'm picking each one up.

Almost there

I stop, think, and realize: I am in this state where this overwhelming happiness allows me to be infinitely more patient and extremely forgiving.

There's this sense of optimism I never knew I had--or was even capable of having. And when the bad gets worse, I know it still can't ever be that bad. Because anything bad, is not even close to offsetting this immense satisfaction. That knowledge that nothing can ever be that bad.

And I know this paradise is overwrought with pessimism in the sides, people who would constantly try to bring it down. But always--always, I find reasons to believe. To rationalize that it's just all part of the big plan.

It's a great feeling, knowing that finally, you're strong enough.

Unhappy, Unprepared

When they said enrollment in UP was tough, I never really understood what they meant until this coming semester 2009-2010. For two subjects, I believe I managed to burn more calories than I did exercising for the past week--which isn't much, now that I think about it. Ah basta, it's fucking crazy.

I waited in line for about two hours, just so I could know when I could fall in line... again. When I finally reached the all glorious OCS window, I was only told to look for an adviser to have her sign my form--for what reason the secretary's maiden slash custodian slash assistant made me go up at least three flight of stairs, I would never know.

And when I finally had her thankless task done, I was shooed off to come back the next day... and the next.

So now, I'm still left without a final schedule, without professors to call my own, and with money that I badly want to spend. Not to mention that I have x tasks to do for my internship, 72 articles to work on, and the last days of vacation to spend.

And I'm nowhere near happy.

The Story of How I Lost my Glasses

The last thing I remember was making my way to the shore, so I could place my eyeglasses in a secure spot. The waves were beating me hard, and everyone else told me my glasses were bound to be carried away, too. So reluctantly, I decided to part with it only for the short time that I'd be swimming. And just as I was making my way to the shore, my eyeglasses slipped from me. Just like that.

I even lingered quite a while around the area, thinking that it might suddenly pop out of the sea. Others comforted me that eyeglasses are lighter than rocks, so maybe it just might. I waited for the effect for a few minutes, but it never did. So I settled for the thought that maybe it would be drifted ashore the next day.

All else considered, though, it was a happy weekend. I got to know the Circle members much more, slept with four others on the same bed (literally), shared intimate secrets, sang nice songs, played silly games such as Patintero, and reminisced about debates in the past.

I also got to play Scrabble, too, and used the words Porn and Zit in the same game. So even though I never got my glasses back, I was at least partially able to understand why I was in that same Circle in the first place.

A Semi-Dramatic Ending

It's official: another short chapter in my life has ended. Whatever habits and quirks I've developed within my 200 hours' worth of stay in there will be radically changed tomorrow. Radical, because everything--from the mundane task of playing Lupang Hinirang every Monday morning to the relatively complex challenge of making a comm plan--will haved changed by tomorrow. I will never be in the same position again.

My co-intern and I once talked about the people who would inevitably go in and out of a person's life. The faces, sometimes even the memories, of these people would soon be forgotten. They'd surely leave a mark, but you knew they wouldn't stay long. They couldn't.

There's the guard who would sometimes greet a slightly cheery good morning; other days, he's just lost. The supervisor who's surprisingly very kind. The other intern who'd compare her love life to a Gossip Girl plot (and quite poorly, too). And then, everyone who's comfortable going beyond the boundaries of conventions of all kinds--gender, maturity, reason. The funny and often witty quips.

I was sure I would never be in the same situation again. So I whined as much as I could, wondered as often as possible, and asked as eagerly as ever.

In the end, the irony is that I'm sitting here, typing, with that ringing question she posed: Will I ever see you again?

And quite surely, I answered. Maybe.

Bygones and Goodbyes

I don't know why I've never had any luck with CRS. It just seems to hate me, denying my requests at least every semester. Now, I am left to do the inevitable: walk in possibly eternally long lines, beg professors to take me in, and just rely on my inherent pa-cute factor. Which, I am proud to say, works almost every time.

I am about to end my internship in Company 1 with a lot of realizations--and a lot of freebies to go home with. I'm not neither sad nor overly happy--the same way I know other people are. I met many interesting and quite amazing personalities, all of whom I will forget in God's time. I quote me and my co-intern's premature goodbye:

B: thanks, ojt partner.
B: ill try not to forget you for some time.

A: aww

A: and eventually

A: forget the face

A: the memories

A lot of opinions, secrets, and thoughts were shared. And I'm happy to have bared them all. She is one of the few persons who sees the world the way I do, and who comes to the same conclusions I usually end with. She is a whiff of fresh air, really.

I don't know where I'm going, really. The future is like, one big blur. But, unlike others, who have this strange notion of a quarter life crisis, I don't feel anything. It's insane, the way you think about all the evil occurrences in the future, and yet feel no sense of aversion toward it.
A: I'm thinking of not proceeding with it, if only to preserve my pride. B: Ano ka ba, you're not not going to pass.

So, yeah, maybe I should trust myself more. Believe in myself a bit more than I do. For now, though, I rest. I rest because I've been killing myself for having no rest at all, literally. I rest because tomorrow, I shall again undergo the same stressful circumstances I've been in for the past days. I rest because, really, I can't do anything but wait for the evil yet unsurprising future. Can I?

Coldplay gives out latest album for free!

The music of Coldplay, hands down, is sweet melody to my ears. In a very strange sense, it's just.. cathartic.

I can rant on about how I love Coldplay, but there are more important matters: a free download of their latest Leftrightleftrightleft album, a copy of their live concert from some place.

Download it here.

Internship Pt.2

I don't know what I was thinking.

The next thing I know, I as being scheduled for an interview as I was hands on with work. And then, as if matters couldn't get worse, I allowed myself another 150 hours of stress and possible back-related pains.

Or maybe it's destiny, the fact that the internship coordinator got to contact me, after having changed my number in a finger's snap. And that I got interviewed on a date that's well and good.

Maybe I do really want one that will let me assess the difference between the external function and the internal function of an organization.

Now, as the last few days of my current internship comes to end, I can't help but think: somehow, along the process of skepticism and refusal to take it all in, I've actually come to love it.

And God knows I love only a few things, most of which ties back to my self importance.

A Stream of Consciousness

My co-intern and I were counting our days left in the company. If all goes well and there be no bumps along the way, we'll finish by the 26th of May. While we were talking shamelessly about the end of our days, our supervisor--someone who used to work as someone in Chevron--asked us when our internship would end. I told him, a bit of the fourth week of May. A bit. That sounded so wrong and unnatural, now that I think of it.

It's kinda weird watching you from afar. Like I'm looking at someone who could've been me. Or someone that could be me right now. But I refuse to believe it. I might have been as unsound as you are right now, but I was never as hungry. And now, watching you from afar, I feel sad. You have, after all, become the stereotype.

I can say that after a pretty steady amount of months, I have successfully grown into a more emotionally mature Arvin. And now that I'm more emotionally mature, it's time to become the hardworking boy that I am: start working on my internship journal and stop being poor, is the new mantra.

Ahhh. So much of my life is compartmentalized that I can't even remember what I told to whom. I can, however, honestly say, that at least three people know me fully well at the moment. Or maybe one.

A lot of people from the *past* have been popping in and out of my life. Is this some sort of a test? If it is, well, it's a very easy test. My loyalty shall never waver.

I realize, I can actually be very happy. And I don't even have to think or contemplate why. Just like a given fact, it is.

Some Tangible Form of Escape

I was absent in work today.

I self-designated this day to be that day when I finally undo the sins of my past: give the letter to the chancellor, have myself enrolled, have my recommendation letters (one for an internship which I'm already halfway through) signed, and do everything a normal person does on summer vacation. Which, in my dictionary, means strolling pointlessly and aimlessly. Or being lazily happy, with or without the beach.

And I got what I wanted.

Now that the day's about to end, I can't help but think: I don't want to live the working life. The life, where I desperately, desperately try to keep myself awake and pretend to be religiously working when, in fact, I'm just good at feigning sleep. I don't want waking up at 6 AM, working at things that I will do on an everyday, maybe even eternal, basis.

I refuse to accept the reality that in x years, I will be boring and sad, because I am quite an exciting and happy personality as I currently am.

Gahh. I need more days like this. Days to rest, to forget tomorrows, to escape. To think about what to feed for my rabbits in the next few days, or where I'll be spending the days in love.

I whine. :(

19 Things About Arvin: Why 19 >>>>18 :D

Okay, I admit: this was sweet. Haha.

The random people (woman leaving Starbucks, McDo lady mopping, girl in CR pulling tissue paper from the dispenser) were weird and funny. And exactly the kind of thing I laugh at in photos, too! :D

I've said this before, but let me say it again: I'm amazed at how far friendship--real ones--can take, err, friends. Far enough to transcribe (and I absolutely HATE transcribing, you know that) a 9-minute fabulous video. Far enough to forage into video editing (wc is, again, something I absolutely HATE) for, I'm guessing, a reaaally long time. Far enough to gather all that information (wc, in research, is something I again HATE). Far enough to do all those things you know you hate.

But you do it anyway.

I feel as if I'm receiving so much love; I'm not even sure I deserve it. But then again, I remember a line from one of my favorite movies: there's no such thing as too much love.

I'd take that love any time. :) And oh, tag along my THANKS with it. I know that will only barely cover the hard work, effort, and every other variable that went along with it. But in time, in time... I'll prove you wrong and NOT be the miserly, kuripot person you exposed me to be. HAHA.

Note: For a much more visually appealing version of this video, go to:

One Question

What is your idea of law?

My eyes blur, my senses deactivate.

And everything thereafter becomes a puzzle.

Fortune and Misfortune

I'm 19. Actually, I didn't feel the difference; The day felt like any other day in my 18-year-old life, made significantly more special and memorable.

There's no use denying though; I'm 19--more reasons to act wisely and a lot less reasons to act rashly (translation: 'wag kang tanga!). Not even turning 19, though, could stop me from being tanga:

On my birthday, I received a good sum of heart-warming messages, along with a few from people whom Alvina and Ate Razeille texted. Yes, Alvina, thou shall not deny your innate sweetness beneath that hard shell. They were all memories of my 19th birthday.... now deleted from my inbox. I was stupid enough to click delete all messages just like that. And before I know it, the sweet messages I would have remembered or attempted to document were gone.

And did I mention that I'm not yet enrolled? I didn't pay my fees on the scheduled time for my internship (why do we even have to pay when we won't use the services of the university anyway?) this summer. So many things were happening back then that I chose to put it off: I had to have my internship briefing, had the Holy Week off, debated one week after, and.. things just sort of rolled from there. I still have the money, thank goodness. But when I was there, in line to pay my fees, the woman by the cashier just coldly dismissed me. She did order me to talk to the Vice Chancellor to get an approval, though. How kind of her.

On second thought, maybe the reason we have to pay a fee is that our professor will go over the requirements and grade us for the subject. Hmm. Speaking of which, I haven't made my journal for the entire internship. This just sucks.

In fairness, this birthday was quite memorable. I treated three of my closest friends in Orcom and talked about whatever things. I realized, we hadn't personally talked for so long that the stories just kept on coming. I can totally see us doing that in x years, when we're all rich and I won't have to treat them on my birthday. Hehe. Because I'm kuripot like that.

I spent the next day with three college friends and high school barkada, each of whom kept on throwing different sorts of curses for not showing up at all for the entire second semester. Because I'm busy like that. I sang myself to death; if you know me well enough, then you must know that I'm quite the belter. Hee. In the end, they stayed for the night.

Yesterday and today, I let myself just be in it even further. To put it in words will be a mere understatement, so I won't even try. Or maybe I can: I love dinosaurs!
And I got to watch 17 Again with a close friend, too. It wasn't fantastic, the kind of movie that doesn't really require a lot of mental processing. Warm, predictable. But sometimes, you just have to let it all go. And smile whenever something new but totally expected comes along.

I just let myself fall, and it gets me every time.

The Mark of Many Things

Someone told me I should be happy. Everything seems to be going well, and there are no significant problems to speak of. But I've always been a spoilsport, the kind who's almost sure something bad is going to happen after celebrating about a good thing. Just this once, though--just this once--let me say it once and for all. I am happy.

Because when I really stop and think about it, everything is going well.

I've surpassed one of the harder challenges I've ever encountered--that of academics. I'm nowhere near winning the war I waged upon myself, but I've won a few battles I've never given myself enough credit for.

And this particular battle, I would've been glad a few months ago just to get it done and over with. But to have what I have now, man, that's amazing. (Okay. I just said man in a totally ghetto way -________-)

This semester is hands down more trying than most. It could've been harder: a take-home third exam in Statistics turned into a sit-in exam, a long exam in Public Relations, or more quizzes to catch up on in Research class. I'm not complaining though.

To think that I've passed everything thinking all the while that time is but a passing concept is just so invigorating. To enjoy the journey--cringing in indescribable hunger while trying to finish a PR plan (yes, I enjoyed that), toiling over a video editing job (make that jobs) and fretting over the tiniest details, working on a presentation thirty minutes into the execution, going to some high school to promote something that was long ago an alien concept, sprinting all over P. Gil and P. Faura to pass a take home exam that was at least five minutes late--seemed impossible. But let me say it clear: I enjoyed the semester.

And to know, just know by impulse, that you made the right decision all along is even more gratifying. The decision to let only a few people in and see through yourself and know who you really are is perhaps one of the decisions I'll never regret. A decision that, would it have been made differently, could've drastically changed the course of my entire college life as I know it.

So to the person who has finally made the mark (and I've always known you will!) and is now only supposed to seal the deal, you don't need my congratulations. I've always known you'll catch on--and at a time, too, when no one else had been able to. Perhaps only a few people will understand why you do the things you do. And you don't even need to think twice about counting me in on the few people. Just, brilliant. Hay nako. Sige na nga. Congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you! :D

To the person who has allowed me to see through her vulnerabilities and capabilities, you always make me understand. Your tears with me are not in vain. If anything, it allowed me to see how complete of a person you are as I'll never be. And you know what's even more amazing? Knowing that in x years, you'll be there, with us, celebrating in our well-deserved efforts. You know we will.

The person who's really and truly been there, who really listened, and who celebrated and wept all throughout the semester, I never really told you how you always amaze me. And that you'll definitely pull through, like all else you've undergone.

And to the person I'm celebrating today and the rest of tomorrows with, I still don't get it. We are so, so different yet very much the same. And that's exactly what makes me believe we'll even go further than we already have. We're so differen and the same, and you are exactly what I need. You are exactly who an Arvin kind-of-person will love.

Without even having to say it, this is the mark of all things positive.

I'm in an alien world on my birthday

For the past weeks, I've either had superficial conversations with friends through new social media or been absent altogether. Not that it's anything new; zoning out from the world is easy enough for me. This summer, however, zoning out has been the easiest. After all, I'm in a world where there's no new social media--just my e-mail which I try very hard not to let out in the open. My e-mail inbox is most telling of my many engagements, yes. This is also a world where I am kept very busy and sleepy. Case in point: I said I am sleepyyy in a totally lazy tone at least ten times today. My co-intern can attest to that. You gotta hand it to me--I'm not used to 8-hour to 9-hour work shifts and keeping my eyes wide open all those hours. Torture.

Okay. I admit it. I can't think of anything to write. I have a few ideas here and there, but they're never interesting or compelling enough for my own taste. So instead of developing these few infant ideas, I resign myself to sleep. Sleep, which is so, so difficult to come by these days.

Well, maybe not. On the bus rides home I got to watch this television show, Hole on the Wall, with the only slightly funny hosts Ogie Alcasid and Michael V borrowing their respective roles in Bubble Gang.

I couldn't help but wonder: does anyone even actually deliberately watch this show? I mean, a show with people trying to fit in holes and being made to act insanely jumpy and stupid after they failed or succeededin doing so? For at least 30 minutes? With Ogie Diaz and Michael V attempting to pull off a joke in every attempt of these silver-suited, uhh, things? I rest my case.

And yes, yes. My birthday is officially four days away. And yes, yes. I am not excited. I would call this the Alvina syndrome, but Alvina herself was happy before her birthday. This is so not me. I'm Arvin, the one who gets all excited and happy when his birthday approaches.

Maybe I'm tired of disappointments. I remember last year, when I used to pseudobelong to this group of people. I was actually excited to celebrate my birthday with them, expecting them to pepper me with greetings and "stuff". My expectations were not met.

I guess that's what you call adaptation. When something doesn't work for you anymore and you only get emotional stretches in the end, you just deal with it.

Or maybe, I'm just getting old. Hay. 19. One year farther from youth, one year nearer to death.

Prudentialife and SEC and where I stand

I am deeply alarmed by the action of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), under the Chairman Fe Barin. What she did was this: she revoked the license of Prudentialife Plans Inc. after finding out that it has deficiencies of about 4.5 billion and 3.6 billion in its capital and trust fund respectively. She ordered the company to infuse about 100 million to its trust fund and at the same time terminate all unsold plans or operation directed toward selling preneed plans for that matter. At the same time, Prudentialife is supposed to service existing clients that already have deals with the company.

Prudentialife proposed to fund its deficiencies through their affiliations, but SEC denied this proposal, saying that after reviewing the proposal, Prudentialife “no longer possesses the qualification provided for under the existing SEC rules and regulations to be or remain a dealer of preneed plans.”

Never mind that Prudentialife reasoned out that its deficiencies were caused by market-to-market losses and, hello, the financial crisis where companies like Prudentialife (like AIG, Philamife, hello?) are deeply, deeply entangled. Or that Prudentialife is able to sustain their existing clients anyway.

What, exactly, does SEC want? For the company to service its existing clients through its existing funds. I understand that Prudentialife must have investments and assets, but how can Prudentialife service its clients without its fundamental profit-oriented mechanism (selling pre-need plans)—which is, like, the purpose of every company.

They are practically asking for Prudentialife to sink down. People like my mother, who both own and sell such plans, are deeply troubled. And looking at the actions being asked of Prudentialife, I believe it’s only a matter of time before they get totally wiped out.

Even more unnerving is how it ordered a complete stop to any allowance, fringe benefits, or increase in salaries. Don’t they recognize that these people working in the company partially compose the Philippine workforce? That these people are going to lose their jobs!

Or that companies like Prudentialife contribute largely to our economy. I only have but a vague idea of how the system works, admittedly, but I do understand that Prudentialife employees are foremost market buyers—people who gives lives to our markets. Their market-purchasing power has practically been crippled.

I hate it. People like her and Mar Roxas (whose contribution is to be the Chairman of the Committee inquiring Barin about the revocation of the license and who, I assume but have not fully found out, approved such action) shoot our own country—economy and all—at its very own feet.

A Feeling

I'm not sure I can do justice to the feeling. But to ignore it, as if it never existed and was never an important realization, is a crime I can never bring myself to commit.

Yet, I cannot describe it.

It's sadness. So much so that you begin to realize, question things: why do I like it in the first place?

And the answer, easily enough comes to you right after: I don't know, exactly, why I debate. It's like love, where you keep coming back despite the heartbreaks you get from losing. And when you win, you feel this immense fulfillment that, really, has no point but affirmation and emotional satisfaction.

That's the point. That's why it's inexplicably important to me.

So to you, who told me that "sometimes, we don't get things we deserve": I shall keep moving forward, even at times when I see no point. I was doing so good, true. But good just isn't enough anymore.

To you, who deserves to be there more than anyone else: I'm sorry. You are a brilliant team mate, but an even better debater.

To you, who provided both intellectual and emotional aid through and through: we have just proven how our friendship is strong enough to withstand and even strengthen everything. And how in many ways we think alike.

To you, who at the very least, heard me out when I was this whiny, needy boy: thank you.

To you, you're the proof I have that emotions such as love and comfort are possible by a person like me. You help me breathe--off-sounding as that may be.

And to you, you shall recover. Soon.

Matt Giraud gets the Save

American Idol's Season 8 was different for two reasons: first, there's Kara, the new judge whose inclusion compromised the quantity of delivery of comments by the judges; second, there's this save where the judges can choose to save any Idol who's about to be voted out. Though the supposedly eliminated contestant will be saved, two contestants will be eliminated the week after.

In my opinion, these are gimmicks meant by American Idol producers to lure in the American audience who's interest in the show has visibly waned. There are many other visible adjustments but really, were these gimmicks even incremental in "luring the audience in"? I don't think so.

This mere gimmick, though, took form tonight when the judges chose to save Matt Giraud--personally one of my favorites of the show. He has consistently showed great performances, but has never hooked the American public enough to garner a fan base as large as that of Gokey or Lambert.

His performance last night, though, was a clear fail in terms of desperately trying to be original but faltering halfway through the end. Matt Giraud tried to be different, but I had more pain watching his performance than I did from walking all over UP Diliman (read: PIDC). If you ask me then, if his being saved was justified, I give a clear no. He was never a crowd favorite to begin with and other contestants like Kris Allen and Adam Lambert can really put the save to better use, like actually clinching the winning spot in the end.

I frankly don't like how the competition is going. People like Li'l Rounds and Danny Gokey are getting by just because of their fan base, and not by their competencies. It has been like this for weeks now and I'm very close to thinking that Li'l Rounds may even get to the Top 5 despite having no brilliant performance this season.

There are many good contestants in American Idol this year, Matt Giraud included. But with contestants who keep pulling down the competition notches down, the mechanics of American Idol will be as flawed as ever.

PIDC and my Music

Day 0 of the Philippine Intercollegiate Debate Championship (PIDC) starts today. I'm supposed to be there by 1 PM to cheer my teammate, DS, who will be representing UP Manila for the demo debate. I demo debated back in NDC 10 in Davao, and it was sort of unnerving. Knowing that I'm around debaters, too, helped me conquer my nerves back then. I'm not worried or anything for DS though. He's very passionate about debating--passionate, in fact, doesn't even describe half of it. Hahaha.

This national tournament will be different from the others. For one, I've never been in an Asians format debate. I somehow always manage to disappear from the Circle, come Asians season. Hehe. I'm alive now, though, and will be competing this time. Second, I'm in UP Manila Team B, which ought to be pressuring.. but I don't really know. Oh, and the fact that I'm teammates with two other persons--in BP format, I only had one, DS. This PIDC, I'm with DS and Alvina, an ARG associate aka one of the best and closest in the Orcom batch. I remembered having a conversation with her before--that we shouldn't ever be teammates, as it might jeopardize our friendship. Well, look where we are now.

Lastly, I'm not sure I'm as passionate in debating. I met my target for 08-09 that I don't even know if I should go the extra mile. So I settled with Alvina, who's been trying to get me to step up: I'll have fun this tournament. That's a novelty. :P In any case, PIDC shall be fun.

Let's talk music! I've been meaning to since forever. Many people regard me for having this quirky preference in music that only a few people can relate to. They're the same kind of people who get all jumpy at the mention of Rihanna of Lady Gaga. *shudders*

Coldplay has been keeping me awake during work hours in my internship. Not that it's boring--I'm just not used to waking up so, so early in the morning and toiling 8-5. That's just too much for a boy who can't help but steal 5-minute naps during classes. :| Makes me sad that Coldplay's fully booked until the goddamn 23rd century--without any tours to speak of in the Philippines.

I've recently taken a liking in Kris Allen's Ain't No Sunshine. In fairness. I do think the contestants of American Idol 8 are pretty good. Adam Lambert's range and vocal quality is just fantastic; the fact that he's got racy photos and videos all over the Web makes him even more sought after. Racyy. Matt Giraud must also be in the Top 3! Danny Gokey seems to be striding to the top, though, much to my confusion.

So yeah, I'm pretty much Swallowed by the Sea. Go figure.

My Internship, Womanizing Cousin, Brilliant Loved Ones among Everything Else

Tomorrow, I start my internship. After everything that happened, I still ended up with the company I always said I 'd work for--even before the application processes began. Back then, when people would ask me where I'd have my internship, I'd give them the name of that company, just because. I never really made direct plans to work for the company; I sort of let everything fall into place.

In fact, I almost backed out; I got a call from another company, internship program interested me. Turned out, they were befuddled as to where they wanted to place me. And when they finally gave in to the slot I supposedly wanted, it was just too late. It was a decision to hard to make, and I only have my professor to thank for guiding me in the right direction.

So, I figured, maybe I was meant for this company after all. What's the point of fighting destiny if it has already been written?

But to tell you the truth, I'm just not ready yet. I refuse to ingest the fact that after a semester's worth of toiling and almost dying, I will launch myself on another battle. I am exhausted.

In between my whining and refusal to accept the fact that I will start working on the 13th, I forgot to listen to a lot of things. I did hear them, but I was riding a rollercoaster of events so fast I didn't have much time to react to the things in-between.

My Womanizing Cousin

I have this cousin who's into womanizing so much that he even had the gall to go to our house, bring her wife, and tell everyone (including me) that he would not leave his woman. With this woman, he could drink all day, maybe take a few drugs in between, and ultimately get stoned. Fun fun. Not.

The point of them going to our house was to enlighten my good-for-nothing cousin that what he's doing was wrong. Instead, my parents went on an unbelievable tirade about how the wife ought to understand my cousin, being the God-forsaken person that he is.

It's wrong. Womanizing, or any form of adultery, can never be justified--regardless of the "nature" of that person. I don't care if he's been abandoned as a child, or if he hasn't had as much guidance as normal people had. I didn't realize I hated him, actually, until he called a few minutes ago to ask my mother for sound advice--I'm guessing. Or maybe for some extra cash. Jolly.

Brilliant Loved Ones

In an internship interview, I was asked if I was an introvert or an extrovert. I told the interviewee that extraversion was in fact my topic for a journal manuscript in Technical Writing. I would've went on about how ironic the situation now seemed if given some thought or about how it's not a black-and-white thing, but she persisted: which am I?

I lied. I told her I was an extrovert, which I regret. The more I thought about it--yes, even hours after the interview--the more I realized that I was a bit--if not moderately to highly--antisocial. I don't like making friends unless with people whom I really like or am magnetized to. I pretty much see error in everything in my environment that I choose not to embrace my environment altogether.

Given my profile, I'm amazed at how I am still able to be friends with brilliant people. Brilliant in their own magnificent ways. Let me just say it again, I am amazed.

The Semester

Normally, I would dedicate a whole blog entry about the semester that was. Sometimes, I would even dedicate successive entries just to express my relief and all that. I'm not saying though that this tiny section is all that I'm dedicating for the bloodiest, God-forbidden, dreadful but extremely enlightening and humbling semester in my now three years in UP. Which still isn't a lot, when I think about it.

I can't remember any other semester when I felt more sleep-deprived or socially incapacitated. From the AVComm requirements that required me to juice out every ounce of emo-ness I had in me to the Public Relations Plan which got me high solely on my dearth of ideas, it was war through and through.

Not to mention my occasional fits and refusal to take it all in. Ah, that I had an ample amount of this semester.

Though the grades may be God's grace manifested in the end, it still doesn't begin to summarize all the partiality, the insecurities, the strengthening of relationships that went along with it. The grade wouldn't tell you that in one of the nights prior to that exam, you stayed with your friends to comprehend what seemed to be beyond the Earth. It wouldn't tell you that before editing that documentary, you waited and enjoyed one of the most memorable nights of your life. Or that you and your friends made an informal pact to pull through no matter what. And that, in the end, you did.

The grades may be a partially objective assessment of your performance, but really, in the end, it's knowing that you've got the best people beside--never behind--you, standing stronger and stronger, no matter the tide.

The grades are great, but being with you is even greater.

New Media through my Looking Glass

Multiply. Friendster. Plurk. Facebook.

All this would not have been predicted five years ago. Back then, registering a mail account in yahoo would require knowing what the US zip code is (91072). Having an Encarta software installed in one's computer is an absolute must. The encyclopedia is not totally out of the loop. Hell, I don't even think there was a DSL to speak of.

Fast forward to a few years after--or months, even. It all just happened so fast. Back then, I understood that the computer was for research purposes and research purposes alone. The Internet is a great supplement, but really, when you have Britannica and Encarta, who needs it? Unless of course you want to chat every now and then. Which I did, with Microsoft Internet Relay Chat, MIRC. Hehe.

That's Social Networking Offline for Me

And then Friendster came. With Friendster, adding "friends"--who, back then, I didn't know what to call (friendsters? Friends? Friends in Friendster?)--was easy as a breeze. At first, I added friends whom I actually knew. Friends from school, certain relatives whom I hate but added anyway. It was done for the secretly evil proof that Arvin can use the Internet, and can even more certainly join the bandwagon.

So really, it's just social networking offline brought a notch further. The online world, that is.

I Do Not Know Thee

And then, almost instantly, people I didn't know began adding me. I accepted. Likewise, I began adding people I didn't directly know--friends of friends, classmates of former classmates, people I would only hear about from my acquiantances' stories. Now that is social networking online.

Slowly but surely, the tide began to turn. And by the time I reached my third year, it wasn't just about social networking; it was also about opening one's life for everyone in the world to see: blogging. With open arms, I jumped into the bandwagon.

Upward (or Downward) Slope

Before I knew it, I had accounts in any networking site one can speak of. Except, of course, the one not for kiddies like me. :P I have been staying in my Multiply now for more than three years, I have a Facebook account and my now dying Friendster account. You'd be amazed at how different all three look.

But what amazes me most is Plurk and how it is able to deliver personal information by the second. It works exactly like a journal, only with a limited number of characters and much, much faster publishing rate.

It's exactly like a slope sliding so rapidly you won't even dare to stop the speed. The only thing you can do is join with the flow, and be carried away with the rapid torrent that is technology. What is next? I honestly don't know. What I am doing right now, after all, could never have been predicted five years ago.

If you care about money as much as I do, you probably likewise think that enough is never enough. Exactly why I'm short of fed up of doing web content writing for another man's profit. I am fully aware that I get barely 20% of my work's worth--exactly why I planned on doing solo flight way, way back.

And the only given time I have is this holiday season, when I'm supposed to be relaxing after a blood semester.

Well, I can't. In such a short amount of time, I have to understand the dynamics of web content writing while directly interacting with clients--not to mention the how's and what's of affiliate marketing and paid blogging.

So, really, in the end I ask myself: when can I say that enough is enough?

Death in Desperate Housewives

If you know me well enough, you know that I'm probably one of the very few people in my culture (I finally get to use the word!) who's sorely smitten by Desperate Housewives. And a boy at that. I honestly love how gossip is the main theme of the show, yet it is not in any way treated in a tacky over-the-board manner. How people are actually and exactly like the characters--how I get to see real people being portrayed by no less than paid artists.

Lately my love for DH took a back seat as I whirled and drowned in a sea of school requirements. To cut the long story short, my sister (who is one of the few other persons with sordid dedication for the show) got to watch a lot more eps of the show than I could, even if I had 26 hours in a day.

In its fifth season, Mark Cherry decides to up the game by fast forwarding five years later from the fourth season's finale. Things take a drastic turn, and everybody's so, so different from who they were. Including Edie Britt, the town slut who's always reminded of Malena in a quirky sense.

Ultimately, she kept on drilling me about how exciting the tide has turned, that deaths linger in this season. I didn't see one death coming, but I'm pretty certain Edie is about to experience it.

The point?

I actually spend my time thinking about these things. :|

Cold Hands

I've kept writings about my personal life at bay for the longest time. Though a lot (of good things) have happened, I either had no time--or no interest--in writing them all. But why do I write? In an interview in BBDO, I said I wrote not for the purpose of documenting the events, both mundane and exciting, of my life. Not even for public consumption and pleasure.

I write, because when I look back at whatever I've written, I remember that distinct emotion I had as I wrote that exact piece. And as I remember those emotions, I strangely and actually feel them. The details flood back, no matter how vague what I wrote was. It all makes sense now, that I write to document the emotions, not the events.

The emotions I've felt for the past days and weeks can no longer be re-felt by my entries, but only by my memories. No matter, it's not too late at all.

The documentary was yet one of the hardest things I've ever encountered. I'm not artsy--or at most I used to be--and I am not especially skilled at making documentaries either. But these weren't the most difficult tasks, for how does one document a concept as abstract as culture? How does one make a documentary about the right of a child to live and know his/her culture?

Fortunately, I was with one of the best groups--if not the best--that I have ever been in Orcom. And I duly deserve this, for having had many group mates who were..hmmm..futile. Through all those times, I chose to keep quiet except to my friends.

But with Quintessence, it was different. Everyone contributed fairly. We understood each other.

So coming up with Atfaal ("Bata"), a documentary on Muslim kids orphaned by the Mindanao war, was not extremely difficult. If we encountered any difficulty, that would be the filming itself, when we saw how hard it was to blend with people of a different culture from ours. People who saw us as threats, and would go so far as tell us that we are from UP, therefore we might engage in irresponsible journalism. People who would accuse us of unbelievable things. Actually, it was just one person who, we believe, was enough to poison all else.

The findings were both expected and surprising.

Too bad, it's all in the trash. What it will only be is a memory of my college life.

So when we met them to sign the MOA, which will free us from constant prodding and attacking, I was hard hit. I tried my best, together with Ate Lou, not to answer back. To keep my mouth shut.

I could not, however, bear myself as I told them about how we didn't in any way open up any wounds, when the wounds were wide open in the first place. These kids wanted revenge, but they turned a blind eye against it. I am saddened. And that, despite the lack of any superlative difficulty or hardship, is why it's one of the hardest things I've ever encountered.

I could not bring myself to ask, what exactly did we do wrong?

The compliments both from Sir Chong and Atty. Marj were overwhelming. True, that culture can unite and divide society. But at the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think: this is another battle I've lost.

Idealism hurts.

A Short Thank You Note

I honestly felt a million times more nervous than nervous. I was kilometers away from Las Pinas, in a place I still can't remember until now.

I wasn't waiting, because I was more apprehensive about getting back in one piece.

When I finally found out that I got in, I was still in the process of figuring out how, exactly, I would find my way home. Home, where I haven't been in for at least two days.

But when at last, I finally did, I was greeted by the usual annoying doorbell, my panicking mother, my usual blue room. Cinnamon.

I am finally home.

And not long after did it dawn on me that it's just the start. I have you, though, to thank for where I am right now. Thank you, JMA member who voted for me. You know I know who you are.For those who didn't, let's work together. And for those in the Executive Board, congratulations.

A Rut

I seek no adoration, no praise.

So when I come off as ungrateful after some positive remark you throw at me, you oughta know that I'm actually just--I wouldn't call it grateful--relieved.

That's why I'm not as hard-hit by praises as I am by failures. Failures, wow. They can crush me in a split second--what it takes, really, is to point out the weak spots. As if I don't know them weak spots myself.

So when you gave me that long exam, for which I can't do anything but feel bereaved, I was sort of bemused. I knew I couldn't rant about it as others did: then, that would be termed 'fishing'.

I also couldn't express my genuine happiness for being reminded that I can still write--and that I am still in some way a writer. Because if I do, that would make me snooty.

And when I am hard on myself, for consistently being unable to deliver based on my benchmark, I know I have no one to relate it to; then, i would be insensitive.

Even blogging about you is a no-no. You make me happy and confused and unbearably light-headed. But people will ask, and I honestly and genuinely want to protect what innocence we have while I sill can. And when they ask, they will call me sensitive.

Hence, I am in a bit of a rut.

It gets crazy on a Tuesday

I am so tired, and I can only think of a few things that keep me from stopping altogether, the way I easily and conveniently used to.

Though few, they are more than enough to keep me from stopping--and going on and on and on.

1. I'm so miserable the mere thought of possibly eating cinnamon excites me. I would've bought one before I took my last ride home, but my feet just couldn't muster enough energy to enter Red Ribbon. If only it were a few meters nearer...

So, I instead settled on eating cinnamon tomorrow--which is just as exciting a prospect. Exciting enough to motivate me to attend the make-up class tomorrow, at least. Theoretically speaking. :|

2. When I see you, I get so giddy. I want get this || close to you then kiss your nose, your eyes, your lips, and other facial extremities. No kidding.

I know I sound crazy, but hey, it gets me moving.

3. The thought of going on a long and happy vacation after all this is over. In my mind, I want to go to India or Thailand. But really, the farthest I can go to immediately after the school year ends is where you are--and I'll take that any time over India or Thailand. Or even both.

4. Knowing. Feeling. In many, countless ways are the best emotions in the world.

Love and Hate

I can talk about all the anger pent up in my system. How I think what's happening just isn't right. How the spread of vicious lies is abominable and flat out wrong, and how the climb has never been this pointless.

So, yes. In the end, the costs don't even come close to outweighing the perceived benefits. Ma'am Vacquer will hate me for this but, sure: perceived benefits.

But I'm going to allot just that tiny portion of my blog entry to my anger:

Because when you look around, there are so many things worth smiling, laughing, and generally being happy about:

1. Today was by far the most stressful leg of our journey. Dealing with kids--and not just ordinary kids--is indescribably hard. How do I open up their wounds of the past? Like this?

A1: Paglaki ko gusto kong maging abogado, para ipagtanggal ang mga naaapi. O, kayo naman.
A2: Paglaki ko gusto kong maging sundalo, para maghihiganti ako.
A1: *Mental jaw dropping*

2. You make me happy more than any other person has ever even tried. I can go on, but I'd rather say it personally.

3. Ideal as it may sound, I dislike injustices. So when I see a remote example of one, I tend to be very vocal about it. Very.

Now, mix that with my very best set of friends, and I can only get more vocal--to the point of confrontational. What I have done may be regrettable, even stupid. I may have lost my own race the moment I did what I did.

But you know what? This gut feeling tells me, it's one of the best things I may have ever done.

I didn't think I could love and hate both at the same time, in reference to sooo many things.

So, I'm guessing, this is another milestone for the EQ-deficient boy that is, Arvin.

A Memory

She told you it was too fast. She made sense, but you knew love wasn't bound by time. When she recounted the ways how it could have happened, you couldn't figure how it did yourself. You were, after all, made to hate relationships to damnation. Even worse, you were made to hate that one single person.

You asked her if she thought you were in love. She ponders.

The way your eyes glisten, your body radiates. The way you endlessly gush about little details like a grade-schooler.

And all the stress, the deathly, suffocating work, the politics, the obligations--you tell her, matter-of-factly, that you're happy.

You are definitely in love, she says.

As I Say It

1. According to Ugly Betty, you know it's love when your palms sweat, your stomach churns, and your world simply stops. For a while. And for that short while, everything--everything is better. And when you snap back to reality, you find yourself waiting for that palm-sweating, stomach-churning, world-stopping moment again. And true enough, it does.

Speaking of Ugly Betty, I really should start watching the series again for detoxification purposes...

2. The Unionbank nightmare is almost over. I never got the chace to blog about it; I was too busy talking to customer service representatives over the phone, who knew little to nothing about their services--and who eventually blocked my ATM pin to perdition. And now, my debit card won't even work at ATM's.

So I had to have my card replaced, at the expense of 150 pesos and my sunken pride. See, I couldn't fight for my consumer rights, since I was going to deal with the same Unionbank representatives forever. So I had to keep my cool and sock the woman behind the counter only in my mind.

3. Almost everyone in the batch is preoccupied with applying for internship positions in different companies. When you decide not to apply for an "big" advertising company just because they require a cover letter from you, you know you don't feel the same. I know I don't.

4. I am both excited and terrified about things to come. Thinking about the documentary, the position paper, the long exams, the PR presentation, the research, the classes, the old professor, the dying dream, the elections....

But, as they say, all's well that ends well. And I just know, it will.

I should be dead by now

To batchmates who have been seeing a lot less of me lately, to friends who barely get to talk to me these days, to everyone who've been asking if I'll be dead to the world for long:

I could be dead by now.

But I am not. Every requirement, every twitching finger, every fast-beating heart will finds its meaning in the end. That's why I persist. That's why, despite all the odds and partiality, I shall pull through.

After all, I have you, you, and you.

That Which Defines Me

I kept on insisting that the economic recession had been hitting me in hard, abstract ways, but my friends would have none of it. So, for at least four hours, they persuaded me to watch You Changed My Life, a film starring Sarah Geronimo and John Lloydie. Of course, I was disgusted just by the thought of watching it; I did realize the movie was a sequel to AVery Special Love, with the same lead actors my friends have apparently come to love--much to my confusion.

In the end, my recession argument didn't hold water. The next thing I knew, I was off to the theater with my friends. There, I gladly found out, the movie had no more available seats. Really, I didn't know a lot of people were smitten by the sourly paired duo. Noemi insisted on sitting on the floor. On the floor!!! To be forced to spend a hundred and fifty bucks on a movie whose poster annoyed me to death was one thing, but to seat on the floor while growling in anger?!

By sheer luck--or maybe destiny--we instead watched Confessions of a Shopaholic, which can really be easily simplified in two sentences. Let me try: Rebecca was defined by two things--her addiction to shopping and her desire to work in Alette, a fashion magazine. In the end, she gets over her addiction and finds out that working for Alette isn't really what she wants--thanks to a brief stint in a finance magazine, where she meets the man of her life and discovers her niche in journalism.

I learned from the Confessions of a Shopaholic, though, that we are defined by things we want the most. Rebecca thought her father was defined by her new trailer truck, until her father proved otherwise. He was defined by his family.

Which struck a question in my mind: what defines me the most?

I have no idea.

Whining for the 98th Time

A hypothetical situation:

A friend surmised that maybe--just maybe--you will make me love you so, so deep. Then, once I am head over heels and smitten in love, you will drop me. Just like that.

So, everything--the sweet nothings, the warmth, the genuine feeling I get deep in my gut--all these should not be trusted. Because you'll leave me in a split second.

Hypothetically, then, I have no reason for rejoicing, because--like everything else--my life will end sooner than it even began.

A reality-based situation:

I am tired. I don't think I've ever been this tired for a long time. I know I whine all the time, and my whining rate as of the moment exceeds my work done exponentially, but in times of great distress, I just can't help but shout it out loud for the few people who'll be reading this blog to hear.

I am tired of life, of the failures that go with it, of the secrets needed to be kept, of the opportunities missed. And, most of all, the constant fear that a tiny detail, unintentionally left behind, will cause this great and eventual suffering.

I do hope I don't forget that tiny detail that can cause me my life, as I know it.

My very inability to watch American Idol just proves how tired I am of life. Or maybe, just the monotony of the show.

Slumdog Millionaire

I know, I'm barely living up to my promise of cultural refinement. In fact, I have kept this blog if only to rant about random and vague things both at the same time.

After watching Australia and not having gotten over it, I will force myself to look forward to other movies. I don't think I should critic the movie; it has a lot of flaws which will force me to give it a grade lower than I can bear. It wasn't a flawless movie; yet, it still managed to be a great one.

For that, let me at least express my excitement and curiosity to a movie I shall watch soon:

A lot of people I know liked it. The worst thing I heard about it is its being overrated, but good. To a certain extent, it is overrated, with the thousand accolades it has earned in such a short amount of time.

I want to watch how a feel-good flick can earn the praises of so many people, critics included. But, most importantly, I want to see India.

However, contrary to what my high school History teacher forced me to be, I am NOT Indian.
Who knows, maybe I'd want to be one after watching the film?

25 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Mita, a dear friend from Public Health, tagged me. Ate Soan, she-who-stole-my-book and she-who-giggles-and-talks-in-class, likewise did. Mita's a nice person who's consistently helped me in a lot of matters. I couldn't say no to the latter; she simply dropped a message in my "tagboard, telling me that I'd been tagged. Hmp. The rule is simple: share 25 facts about you.

I'm not quite sure I can tell that much about myself, or if I even have the luxury of time for that matter. But whatever.

1. I can often see through people's actions, the motives for which are often evil.
2. Talking can sometimes be such a tiring chore, that I refuse to talk despite people's efforts to engage me in conversation.
3. I dislike being around a lot of people.
4. I usually have a hard time sorting my opinion in ethical dilemmas.
5. I don't know exactly why I debate.
6. My family matters a lot to me.
7. I occasionally/usually see compliments--not just ones directed to me--as condescending remarks.
8. My study habits are retarded.
9. I choose to be close to a select number of people.
10. I don't trust a lot of people.
11. I am moody. Very.
12. I stare into space a lot.
13. In love, I can be a total idiot.
14. In love.
15. I am very secretive.
16. I can easily dismiss a person's feelings.
17. Numbers 1-16 (with an exception of a few) make me sound so evil.
18. I don't pretend to be Chinese. Maybe I am. Heh.
19. I can be a total brat.
20. I can sleep virtually anywhere.
21. I like the music of Coldplay, The Killers, U2, and Radiohead a lot.
22. Sustaining relationships is difficult by me.
23. I like watching movies, like reading books less.
24. I like animated shows my brothers watch, such as Fairly Odd Parents and Phineas and Ferb
25. I can get very affectionate, despite not wanting to be such.

Hay. Why does this entry have no emotional or intellectual intensity? Yey I finished all 25!

Whut? 25 other people? Okay. I hereby oblige the first twenty-five commentor/ers of this entry to be tagged.

Random Updates

Last week counts as one of the most draining weeks in my life. Though it's gone like the Southern winds, most of the stress was carried over to the present. And it's weird, since the reasons for THE stress are long over, but the scary feeling is still here. Well, this is novel. If it's any good, I actually partied--or something close to the idea of partying. It was nice, I had sensible conversations with great people. Hehe.

Hay. I don't understand why people keep on rapping on about having a leader like Obama. I don't know exactly what they mean. Do they want a literate leader? A passionate leader? An African-American leader? A presidentiable who has the same campaign motto as Obama? I sure as hell don't think they want a leader as proven as Obama, since he has barely begun proving himself. His experience, in fact, has been put to question by Hillary quite often during the campaign of Democrats. So really, what do they mean when they say they want a leader like Obama?

King George, stick thin though he may be, has the power to summon rains and throw stakes from a distance. No kidding.

I finally got to watch Australia, despite the schedule that literally begs me to sleep. It was nice, sort of unexpected--both on a positive and negative note. I expected the story to be predictable, sort of rich girl meets poor boy. End of the story. Well, it was a bit more complex than that. I like the fact that the love story wasn't overdone and was portrayed only a quarter into the movie. And and! I concede. It was a hot onscreen first kiss. Was my placement of adjectives, right? Anyway, I like the ending a lot, and although Nalluh (or Nellah? Nallah?) was a bit annoying, that Aboriginal brat, at first, I eventually loved his character. And Nicole Kidman didn't disappoint. And tears! Tears from Hugh Jackman. Okay, I'm a fan.

Times like these, I fear I've lost my writing touch. I can't pull of 5 500-word articles as fast I used to. My ideas are incoherent, my mind is fuzzy, and there's this nagging fear about what will happen in the future. Ack. It's all a bit depressing. Just a bit, because a little more depression and I'd be trainwrecked, and mentally dead.

Really, I just want everything over and done with. Last night, I told a friend over the phone about an evidence of the unbearable stress: I do everything exactly as I'm supposed to, without thought whatsoever about refinery and polished ideas. Case in point: I wrote a reaction paper laden with grammatical errors. I rarely meticulously proofread my papers, but I was so tired I just rested the matter entirely upon the gods' hands. Or God's. Whatever.

Ahh. Right now, I am some sort of emotional recluse. I committed not to reveal this particular figment of emotion, for fear that it will cost me more than I bargained for. I know the consequences, and I know this will end. But what the hell.

After all, Australia told me: A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.

I guess that means I was living in half existence. If that's even possible.

Breaking Point

At some point, I just snapped and broke and gave them what they deserved. I was accustomed to giving people high grades for the fun of it, despite knowing fully well that their contribution was, at best, negligible.

This time, though, my saturation point was reached and I actually did what my friends had been telling me to do: justice. Of course, I'm speaking not on behalf of everybody. I saw brilliance in parts, control in most, stupidity in one, arrogance in another.

And even if I heard what I needed to hear in the end, to know that the money I chipped in was worth it and my labor for so many days paid off, kind words were never really enough. To think that I did what they should've been doing, at the expense of other activities as significant as this. To think that I sacrificed my 6 hours sleep just so they could hear such kind words as well. To think that I only had one, two working and thinking minds.

Kind words just. won't. suffice.

10 points in, and you'd have failed. And, the sad thing is, I don't feel all that bad.

A Tokenistic Greeting from the Other World

Hello world!

I am writing in a temporarily strange language, a result of not writing for more than a thousand years. It's a draining feeling, not being able to express one's self through writing, because God knows writing is just about the only friend who will never tire of my whining and ramblings. Only, it's not a person. Hey, I just mentioned the word 'writing' four times in a paragraph. Okay, that's five.

In other words, I launched myself in a world where, for the past two weeks, I had to restrain myself from making unusually more spiteful remarks, for fear of repercussions in the future. I only had writing to hear me out, and without much prudence, I had the gall to abandon it altogether.

I guess that makes me a partially evil friend. I have this capacity to just stop communicating with my friends, however much I value them. My best friends are people I rarely get to talk to nowadays, and close friends within my proximity know so much more about me.

Which doesn't even amount to much. I realize, I have somehow built this invisible fortress no one but a few counted people can penetrate. I compartmentalize information. I omit facts. I don't believe everything you say. And sometimes, in the worst cases, I can just push you away. Yeah, just like that.

But you see, in all these cases, I had no intent whatsoever to hurt you. I love you, and I will continue doing so.

So writing, my close and dear friend, expect me to abandon you less, omit facts from you less, and communicate--however tokenistic my piece may be.

No Glimpse of the Future

Today, my sister's boyfriend visited the Razon family. He brought food, watched television with my sister, maybe ate a little, talked a lot, and did everything my parents, with their traditional and conservative Christian values, would've deemed unbecoming two years ago. But today, my parents smile at the thought of it, their daughter doing what they think is right: acquianting them with her suitors and doing everything in the old Filipino fashion.

I imagine the scenes in my head, based on the stories my brothers told me. In my imagination, they are scenes straight from some happy romantic flick. Because today, I was at school.

She seems so sure of the life she wants for herself. Of the future ahead of her.What she wants. Who she'll spend her life with. When she'll leave for abroad, how she'll live her life, where to start. She seems ready to start her living this next chapter, and today is for her, the best day to do so.

But she doesn't know that today, as her brother was walking along Padre Faura, he kept asking himself: What is lying ahead? He honestly couldn't imagine himself with a family, living perhaps in a delusional sense of happiness. Once, he used to see himself inside this mirror, looking toward the vast sea that is, disappointment. He used to imagine himself alone, occasionally happy, often a cavity. Today, all these images just vanished. To see the future as a solitary journey toward the end is lonely. But not to see the future at all, it's an empty feeling.

She doesn't know that her brother is scared of the future, where he couldn't even estimate with certainty how much his hourly rate would be. Where he doesn't even where to go, or if he'll have the strength to do so.

The weakness of it all--it's excruciating.

Wuthering Heights (1992)

My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff is the eternal rock beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff!

-Cathy Linton, Wuthering Heights

God knows I'm not a fan of films with ancient actors I couldn't recognize in it. Maybe I'm biased that way, or maybe them old films just aren't for me; I get this sleepy and sheepish feeling--not a good combination. But the movie Wuthering Heights had been desperately tapping my curiosity. This desperation, I believe, is caused by my frustration to read the novel, which I never got to do. So I grabbed the chance to watch the 1992 film, old as it is, when I got the chance. I must say, watching the movie was time well spent.

The Plot

The film starts with Lockwood, Heathcliff's tenant in Thrushcross Grange, ending up in Wuthering Heights because of the terrible weather. Here, he has his first encounter with Heathcliff, a sour grape who wouldn't give him so much as a roomt to stay in the rather empty and cold manor. Instead, Cathy Linton leads him to a room, apparently a haunted house of a woman who looks exactly like Cathy Linton: Catherine Earnshaw. There's a story behind this:

Cathy Earnshaw and Heathcliff used to be lovers since they were children; Heathcliff was an orphan boy adopted by Catherine's father. However, once Catherine's father dies, Heathcliff founds himself abused by Hindley, Catherine's real brother--and a real bastard at that. His room is taken away from him (a thought I'd easily die at) and he ends up in the stables.

One day, the pair decides to go to Thrushcross Grange to have a stalking spree. Here lives Edgar and Isabella Linton, two fabulous and snobbish children who wouldn't go out and play with other children: they were playing ball inside the house, which was pretty weird considering how fragile the mansion's interior seemed to be. So anyway, they were found and chased by dogs, one of which bites Catherine in the leg. So she was made to stay there for three months, until she was fully able to recuperate. Around this time, Hindley's wife becomes pregnant. Hindley's wife dies while giving birth to a baby boy named Hareton. Her death depressed Hindley like hell, and it somehow outpoured to more abusive stunts toward Heathcliff.

After Cathy's stay in the other estate, she comes back a slightly transformed lady. She now knows her manners and dances, to Heathcliff's disgust. He especially dislikes the fact that Catherine won't send her messages. She also becomes infatuated with Edgar Linton, whom she eventually marries. Heathcliff hears of this, especiall the juicy part where she says Heathcliff will just shame her. Heathcliff runs away and Cathy, upon knowing this, almost instantly falls apart.

After a few months, she was able to pick herself up and maay Edgar Linton. Heathcliff, though, return looking a reborn man. For one, he is infinitely richer. In fact, he was able to buy off Wuthering Heights, then owned by the drunk and still depressed Hindley. Heathcliff's acts become particularly evil, and he even runs off with Isabella--only to inherit the Grange and abuse her like hell. Further, his return depresses Catherine, eventually leading to her death. She, however, gives birth first to a child named...Catherine. For consistency, I'm guessing?

Her death likewise depresses Heathcliff, who curses Catherine's soul. To put a cherry on top, he also lures Cathy and plans to have her marry Linton, his son to the now deceased Isabella Linton. But Linton is a sickly boy, so he dies shortly after his wedding with Cathy. As a result, Heathcliff ends up owning both the Grange and Wuthering Heights.

Now, Cathy is forced to live with Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. They are joined with Hareton, the son of Hindley, whom Heathcliff also abuses for retribution's sake. The question then remains: when will Heathcliff stop?

A Passion? An Obsession?

Love, as it was portrayed in the film, was neither romantic nor selfless. Suffice to say love throughout the film was as it was in real life: selfish and self-possessed. Only upon watching this film was I truly able to believe the extent love could made a person go to--even carrying it to the next generation.

For once, I was saved the overbearing task of feeling all inspired about the perceived effects of love. For one, I was made to see the other side of the coin. Not too many love dramas are like this: they either end up happily ever after or tragically because of an accident of some sort. The film was depressing, yes. But it was refreshing--and necessary, given my circumstances.

A Little Too Dignified

The ending just drove home the point that life is unfair. The evil deeds of Heathcliff culminated in a relatively happy ending, as he got what he wanted. His evil deeds were not redeemed and no punishment was made: he got away with what he did, which is really how it goes in present times.

To see an evil person unpunished for a plethora of decidedly livid acts is just wrong, but not uninteresting to see.

The Score


The story was great, as is the acting. The delivery of lines, ancient and passionate, was not by any turn awkward. I loved the transition and narration consistent throughout the film. The allusion to the clouds being besieged by darkness, as Catherine and Heathcliff watches lacked the special effects characterized in modern films, but was effective nonetheless. One thing, though: there were many inconsistencies, which I couldn't help but notice. For one, how exactly did Isabella free herself from Heathcliff? How did she die, and how did her son end up back in Heathcliff's custody? Is the ghost real, or is Heathcliff just imagining it? If it is, then how come even Lockwood bore witness to it? The story simply was too complex, that certain parts of it had to be cut, at the expense of compromising the fluidity of the narrative.

Still, I'd take another round of Wuthering Heights over the Prince and Me 2 any time of the day.

Not Drowning in Love

An infinite number of things annoy me at the moment.

People publicly shaming themselves because of their broken hearts. The practice of politicking in the batch at its finest. Stupid doubts about the authenticity of our relationship.

I can just seriously chuck these people and let them bleed to death. Really.

Then again, I have better things to do.

Tonight I Write The Saddest Lines

The last person I'll love.

The Sinking, Drowning Feeling

I'm not unfamiliar with the feeling, as it's something I've dealt with far too often.

A floating and sinking feeling, ironically happening at the same time. Where there's a ledge I can't hold on to. There's no one to turn to: I've lifted everyone and let them fly elsewhere. I am alone.

It's not depression I'm dealing with, but a different kind of loneliness. A loneliness that I only get to see a glimpse of whenever I see through the future. But the future is here, and the loneliness is bidding, imminent. I start to get lonely.

Not even love can save me from this feeling. Love, for me, has always been an abstract concept I frankly cannot understand. Because what is love but that warm, fuzzy feeling too indiscriminate from all the other feelings characterized by the human frailty?

It is not normal. I do not want to get too close for comfort. I do not want intimacy, only to a few select people. Believe me or not, I do want to talk. I want to relish the feeling, tormenting myself and getting by and by.

While browsing through a reading assignment, I think to myself, "Shit. I am Reagan. I cannot deal with strong emotions. I do not want people really close. I do not want intimacy." A friend says I am a bad copy of a book, too vague to understand. I am.

How do I deal? I just get by. Do everything without passion. Finish with the end in sight. Mechanically. Suffer in silence. Heartlessly.

I will get over this sinking, drowning feeling. And I will come out of it, dignified, distant, and then back to normal--knowing full well that normalcy is not exactly the goal I have in mind.

I swear, it gets crazy over here.