Thursday, July 19, 2007

post# 13 - let's talk about the freaks (incomplete)

this is an unedited and incomplete article im writing for a magazine that will be released this coming september:

the bearded-lady, the fatman and the obscene midget have been staple attractions in the carnivals of the past. they have been objects of fascination and awe. their unsual attributes have been reasons for gawking and pointing and general name-calling.

they are freaks, and as such, carry the burden of ridicule for going against the norms of society.
the woman with a hairlip, the obese man and the child afflicted with dwarfism carry the same cross. these individuals offend our aesthetics, and as such are victims of teasing and degradation.

we are all guilty of being carnival-goers (whether in part or by association). we look down and stare and comment on people who due to bad genetics or unhealthy living have gone against our norms of beauty. on the other hand, we might be the carnival attraction. at one point or another, we could have been on the receiving end of these vicious barbs and downright cruel commentary, simply because we didn't quite meet the standard.

who determines the aesthetics by which we judge or are judged? who taught us to live by this system of merit or demerit? these questions have answers as numerous and various as the spectrum colors one encounters at the carnival. mass media, family, friends have all contributed to how we view the freaks that surround us. our opinions are shaped by all these factors and we choose to live by them.

in naming the freak, we separate ourselves from them and affirm our normalcy. in calling them freaks, we designate our persons with the norm. it is simply letting them be the freak and not us. in recognizing their freakishness, we excuse ourselves from judgement. there is no justice in that and we know it. we propagate this line of thought so as to allow ourselves the comfort of being called normal.

we fear the ridicule, the judgement, the label.

well... that's it. as of the moment, i cant really think of how to continue it or end it.... hahahaha

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

post# 12 - let me love again

the table is full of half-empty plates and empty bottles of beer. the
conversation is getting louder and the speech more slurred. the
cigarette smoke drifts in the air, starting to look like clouds just
before a rainstorm.

he sits across from me, laughing along with the rest of us as jen
continues to tell her stupid joke about elephants and refrigerators. we
all know how it's going to end, but we laugh and play along anyway
because we're all getting tipsy; and everything seems so much funnier
when you're in that state of pseudo-drunkenness.

he looks good under the dim lighting of the bar. the shadows make his
cheekbones stand out even more than they usually do. everyone tells me
that we look good together, that we make such a cute couple. i have to
agree. my parents adore him. he treats me well. what more could a girl
ask for, right?

laughs a lot more nowadays. he smiles a lot more too. he's gotten that
excited look back in his eyes. just like when we first started dating.

i remember how much wider his smile got when i told him i'd
be his girlfriend. he would tell me the corniest jokes and he'd start
laughing before he even got to the punchline. those we're the some of
the best days we had.

the days before all the quarreling and jealousy issues. i still can't believe he thought that i felt something for jopet. i mean, jopet is jopet.
he's been my friend since forever and well, that's just how it will
always be. i had been so angry that time when i he accused me of
cheating on him withjopet. i felt like i had been slapped silly. he was such a over-zealous prick.

of course, we made up afterwards. that had been the best part. he is such a great kisser after all.

funny though how he's been happier recently. i mean, our fights are
just getting worse - they're getting louder and longer. i don't think
we'll be together for much longer... and yet, he's happier now.

maybe it's the alcohol or the great company? maybe that's why he's happy now.

but who am i kidding? he's smiling now. he's leaning forward, eager to hear what she has to say next. he's ignoring pete,
who's been trying to get his attention for a minutes now. he's just
sitting there, looking at her and waiting for what she'll say next.

my friend so they're friends too. and friends can get excited over what
the other has to say... but he's looking her with the smile he used to
have when he looked at me. he likes her. i know it.

but i feel nothing. i'm not jealous. i'm not angry. i don't really care.

[short story that just popped into my head... had to write it down... just couldn't help myself.]

Sunday, May 06, 2007

post # 11 - pagmumuni-muni paper in english (freshman, este, spohomore year syndrome)

The 38th Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar (AJSS) had started about two weeks ago. Having been an AJSSer two years ago, I felt nostalgic and decided to reach out, along with another AJSS friend of mine, to say hi to these high school kids. I wanted to make their experience less awkward. I wanted to break the ice and make them feel comfortable. We took them out to dinner, and gave them not so subtle hints to hang out with each other. All in the hopes that they would get comfortable with each other and have as much, if not more, fun as we did. I suppose we’ve succeeded in that – their batch is exponential closer than our own.

But spending time with these kids made me realize something. I am getting old. I know it’s a bit stupid; I have the rest of my life ahead of me, right? But being in their company was discomforting. Whenever they asked me a question, I felt so pressured to come up with something deep and meaningful. I wonder though if they realized that I know little more than they do. Sure, I’ve seen more than they have. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve realized anything new and earth-shattering about life. Regardless of this, I tried my best to answer them and meet these unsaid expectations. How could I have told them that I didn’t know the answers and that I was having as much of a hard time as they are? I guess I’m just really scared of seeing the look of disappointment on their faces.

This makes me wonder, how do the upperclassmen deal with this on a full time basis? I’ll be finding out pretty soon. In a matter of weeks, there’ll be freshmen wondering the halls of Eliazo and Cervini.

Among these AJSS kids there are two girls from my old high school. We’ve spent quite some time talking about the changes in my alma mater. They’ve told me about the change in administration. Apparently the new principal is exponentially more conservative than her predecessor, which is saying something. There are a ton of new teachers and a lot of the previously single ones are now married. So much stuff has happened in the year I’ve left. The rate of change is disturbing. The high school I had spent some of the best years in my life in is starting to disappear. It’s sad really. But the change that struck me the most was the resignation of our Home Economics (HE) teacher, Madam Zapi. She had taught HE in my school for nearly 20 years by the time I got there. She was an institution in my old school. No other teacher could possibly boast of being the terror HE teacher. With her gone, my school looses some of its flavor. Generations will not have to bear with the super stressful HE projects and cry in front of her because of a failed recipe. Generations will clearly have it easier. And here I was thinking that Madam Zapi would be there forever. She had been a constant in my school for about two decades. Who knew she wouldn’t be anymore so soon?

In the recent months, I’ve been caught off-guard far too many times for my own comfort. Things are moving way too fast and I’m not coping very well. I had thought I could roll with the punches.

When I was younger, I somehow believed that everything would turn out well in the end. Maybe it was reading too many fairy tales or watching too many Disney movies; but somehow, I had managed well enough during the rougher patches because of some hope. Some call this naivety others foolishness – whatever it may be, I want it back. I want the ability to not worry over things, to be secure that things no matter how bad they seem will turn out all well and happily… because right now, I don’t feel that way anymore.

My friend, Sep, and I met last year. He was a senior and on track for graduation. I had never imagined then that he and I would become close. The turning point was when we started talking about his other friend, Migs. At the time I was insanely infatuated with the guy. Eventually, Migs and I would get together, be a couple (a bad one, but a couple nonetheless) and break up. Throughout this unstable relationship, Sep was always there to talk to. Our Migs-centric conversations would develop into conversations about everything else. He and I talked a lot.

Well, he’s graduated now. I’m happy for him. He’s got a great job and a bright future ahead of him. But I worry a lot about him too. I find myself feeling left behind and soon-to-be-forgotten. It’s selfish, yes. But I don’t want to let go of our friendship yet. I’m not ready to be the one who sits in the Eliazo smocket remembering all the great conversation we’ve shared here. I’m not ready to be the one who sits in Seattle’s Best or Bo’s Coffee wishing he were sitting across the table from me studying. I’m not ready to be the one who thinks about him and knows that he isn’t doing the same.

Like I said, it’s selfish to expect something from him. When it is my incapability to move on and faith that everything to come will be for the better that makes me worry so much. It’s these moments that make we want to have that optimism and faith. I don’t want to have to feel so empty.

Well, the feeling of emptiness, like most things in life, is very random and totally arbitrary. Any number of things could elicit the same response.

Take for example, my course block - G2, a group of twenty-eight boys and girls who all managed to pass the ACET and get into European Studies. Out of these twenty-eight people, I can say only thirteen are my friends. Out of these thirteen, only one of them is a good friend. I mean, we say hi to each other in the walkways, hang out occasionally in the caf, meet up once every sem for a block lunch and make idle chitchat while waiting for the next class. But I have never shared a significant moment with any of them, except for Mike. Makes you wonder how we all managed to pick the same course. We barely have anything in common with each other. It’s so hard to break the ice and just talk with any of them.

Now, a portion of the block had gone to Gateway for a ‘block lunch’. Mike and I left the group to their games in Timezone for some coffee at Starbucks. That was the first time we really spoke to each other. We had been talking about the merits and demerits of friendship. Mike told me that the mark of a good friendship is being able to break connections with each other for a period of time – no talking in the halls, no chatting over the net, no texting – and still be able to go back to talking like no parting had ever happened when the opportunity arises. Ironically enough, Mike and I haven’t had any contact since February. And well, we saw each other the other day and tried to talk. It was awkward. We weren’t the same as before and we both knew it. And we are OK with that.

Fate, God or whoever throws such random things at us in the course of our lives. A memorable teacher, a great friend, a group of strangers or whatever comes our way – these things happen because we have to learn something. There is a lesson in every little happenstance in our lives. Each up and down has the purpose to make us into the people we ought to be.

Existence is arbitrary. But in this seeming chaos, as human beings we search for meaning, for our purpose. These three snippets from my life all have one thing in common – change.

I don’t know yet whether these changes are good or bad. All I know is that they happen and I have to deal with them. I have to learn how to have faith in my happy ending again. I have to reconcile with myself that nothing is permanent and I have to cope. How I’ll deal with these things is a mystery to me.

I’m lost and I know it. But I have an entire year to figure things out.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

post# 10 - in pursuit of contemplation

i'm not emo, just contemplative ~dave

well, my heart is spinning wildly out of control. i don't know know what i'm supposed to be feeling nowadays.... maybe it hormones or some kind of psychological disorder; but for quite some time now, i've been swinging from one mood to the next.

i wish i could just decide to feel one particular emotion at a time... but im so torn between anger and disappointment now that i just can't be stable anymore. i can't even write coherently enough anymore.

my god! somebody kill me already. or i wish i just grow the balls to throw myself of a building.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

post# 9 - my thoughts on boredom, the workings of superheroes and bit about donald duck

when you're bored out of your mind, have you ever wondered how others dealt with their boredom?

this question popped up in a conversation i had with a good friend of mine (let's refer to him as keggy [:p]) a couple of nights ago. it's been stuck with me since then. i find it extremely hard to deal with boredom - i've done a lot of things to abate the emptiness of having absolute nothing to do. i've spent insane amounts of money. i've jogged and swam to pass the time. i've started THIS damn thing.

and well... what do you do? how on earth do you cope with it? regardless of whatever it is you do, i have this one suggestion (mostly inspired by keggy):
bored people should come up with a system that allows them to contact other bored individuals within the vacinity. with this in place, it should help everyone in the world abate the proliferation of boredom.

i know this is a medyo stupid (meaning retarded) suggestion. but how else would i pass the time??? and, do others think about this? i mean, if we're all bored and thinking about how bored we are and wondering how others are spending their time, shouldn't we just all hang out and stop being bored together???haha

another thing keggy brought up recently is how some superheroes could never work in manila or in the philippines in general.

for example, spiderman (the third installment apparently sucks though, according to my professor's friends) could never efficiently fight crime here in manila due to the lack of tall skyscrapers. he'd couldn't swing from building to building in order to kick butt anymore... he'd be limited to makati and ortigas... and wherever else there's a clump of tall enough edifices.

then there's batman and his batmobile. what would be the point of having a 1000hp car that has flames spouting out from its behind in EDSA traffic??? he could make a batchopper or something.. but then where would he land it, right?

oh! and what about aquaman, would he survive the polluted waters of manila bay or the pasig river??? he'd die within minutes - poor fellow.

i suppose there's no real room for DC superheroes here in the philippines. i guess we'll just have to settle for captain barbel and darna. how sad...

and then one thing that's been bothering me for ages -

you know how donald duck goes out in public in that blue sailor-type shirt and nothing else? i mean he's basically exposing his nether regions to all the planet... and yet, when he steps out of the shower, he has a towel around his waist? now, why is that???

Saturday, April 28, 2007

post# 8 - 20 random things (in english!) PART I

i had to write twenty random thoughts for filipino class... and since it was filipino class, i had to wirte in tagalog. so here it is... twenty random things in english:

1. i find it stupid that the eliazo smocket has sign telling its users to deposit their cig butts and miscellaneous in the trash bins. but there are no trash bins... unless you count the bin severa lfeet away (meaning its pretty far). does the dorm management actually expect its smockers to get off their asses to throw whatever away, when they are in the bloody smocket to chill and talk on and on for hours???

2. why is it that everyone (or at least, the people i know) all cheer on for lucas and peyton to get together? what is so wrong with brooke??? i mean, she's nicer, clearly loves lucas more (at least during the first time around), does really nice things for lucas... and well she has way less baggage and is totally cooler and more well-rounded. why can't the nice, normal (albeit, a bit slutty) girl get the guy? why do the emo, issue-laden and unconventional girls always have to get the guy? it's these kind of stories that alienate a lot of girls. it makes them feel inadequate and stresses the point that they have to make themselves stand out by means of some overly dramatic characteristic. it just peeves me off...

3. the notion of being completed by your true love or finding the other half of your soul is completely nonsensical. it is all romantic-sounding... but entails so much. i mean, to go into a relationship expecting to be filled and made better is a burden on the part of your partner. it's unfair and totally selfish to expect your 'other half' to have to make you feel better and what not. love is something one has to go into complete and whole. we are in the relationship because we want further growth and not some emotional crutch. we are in it to help and support each other... to expect more than what you're willingly to give is well being a bitch.

4. why is it i always find myself falling for an asshole???? why can't i just like some nice boy who won't hurt me.

5. why is it i find my YM stat is usually dictated by either one of two persons - a cold-blooded fish or a genuinely mean person??? i'm so twisted for liking these two pricks.

well, these are the first five. i don't like posting super long entries. besides, i have better things (but not much) to do other tahn this...


Thursday, April 19, 2007

post# 7 - self-fashioned and projected

when are we ever who we really are???

i mean, i constantly find myself being very different persons depending on who i'm with. i'm pretty sure you've noticed it about yourself.

this observation has brought we to wonder who i am really... who is ME?

i have defined myself in the following ways:
1. i am a mother-figure.
2. i am a student.
3. i am a daughter.
4. i am an actress.
5. i am a sister.
6. i am an eliazoan.
7. i am everybody's friend.

but can any of these encompass my whole person - me?

it disturbs me to think that no one really knows me. i mean... people see only a portion of my self. but even i can't see me. i have defined myself in such terms but those things are the only parts i see of myself but are not me.

the task of truly knowing one's self is daunting. introspection is a scary thing. what if the self you have fashioned yourself to be and the self you have projected to those you love is nothing near of who you are. what if you are so different from what you've imagined yourself to be and what you've shown others.... that you start to hate yourself and others hate you as well...

i want to know who i am... but i am terrified of finding out the truth of my being...

gawd... i will just continue on living in my fashioned and projected self.

kevin i miss you now... you were the only one who saw me at my worst and best. you hadn't been afraid. you had said you loved me. how i wish things had never changed. but i hate you now.

cheers to self-fashioning and projecting!!!!