Recent Thoughts

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Purrrr or Raff?

I am a first and foremost, a dog person. Ever since I was little, I have developed a certain sympathy for dogs. I would really cry whenever one of our dogs had to be killed. Quite ironic, if you consider that I felt grief but never cried when my gradpa (mother's side) and grandpa (father's side) died. And I would be all excited to go home from school whenever there's a new puppy around. I would be really upset (up to now that I am old) if I'd see a poorly taken cared of dogs on the streets. And I would really drool over cute puppies, even if they are just askals and are barking madly at me.

But lately, my affections (and all my nephews' as well) has been caught by this cute kitten. Apparently, Jasper (my nephw aged 8) saw her at the waiting shed at his school and decided to bring her home simply because syempre, nakakaawa siya, walang nag-aalaga sa kanya. Awww, is my nephew a social worker or PETA President in the making? Haha! Jasper baptized his cat "Chuckles". To be honest, I don't know where he got that posh name, haha! Well, they drink Chuckie at school, I am not sure if there's a connection.

And now, after 2 weeks of feeding and nurturing the kitten to a decent state of health, here she is! (Don't look at the bulge that my abs have made, haha!)

Chuckles is quite adorable and mabisyo. Imagine, she sleeps on pillows or our beds. She has her own cat food. So yes, she looks forward to a good domestic life, thanks to the innocent mercy of my nephew, hehe. She is so playful! She 'attacks' anything that moves or lies around -- the doormats, slippers, our feet as we walk around, paper lying around and being blown off by the electric fan, etc. Her tail is equally amusing. It sways like ballet dancer all the time. If you hold it down in the middle, the rest of the tail still sways. I think it has a life of its own! And I don't she already has a self-concept, because she would attack her own tail and her own image in a mirror.

During her first few days, she would shit at the back of our living room television. But eventually, she learned to shit in the backyard instead. And just like any other pusakal, she would dig a small hole first, shit into it, and covers it with soil she unearthed herself.

Before Chuckles, we have 2 dogs, the father & daughter tandem of Bruno & Ashley (off-white Labradors). I never developed a strong bond with Bruno because when we acquired him, he was already a grown-up and horny (his sperm is used quite often, hehe!). Well, he is nice. But his saliva stinks too much! Haha! Same goes with Ashley. And their shit is so smelly! I gag whenever I get near them to serve their food. While Bruno is sweetly affectionate, Ashley is unruly! She never cuddles, she just likes to jump all over me -- she and her big dirty shit-ladden paws, haha! Another irony, compared to the local askals, these two act like they don't have breeding. =p

I prefer the askals we acquired from barrio relatives that we had when I was younger, because they seem neater, more well behaved and more intelligent than Bruno and Ashley. They won't shit on their places whenever their tied on their leash. They would wait for us to free them before they would scamper to the backyard to relieve themselves.

So now, my dilemma is, I am starting to doubt the dog person in me. Oha, anlaki ng problema ko, haha!

Between Bruno-Ashley and Chuckles, I'd definitely choose Chuckles. But I kinda miss the licking and the cuddling with dogs. Plus, Chuckles won't respond to any of our calls. How are you supposed to call cats anyway? Do you say, coooo... coooo.. or tshk, tshk tshk? Or you hiss like swisiwswisiw? Haha!

Anyway, I still think I'm a dog person deep inside. I mean Chuckles is only the 2nd cat I have grown to love (the first one was an old cat of my uncle's, because he's a cat person. I would play with his cat whenever we'd visit), compared to Blackie, Brownie, Spot, Choco, Chop Chop, Clinton, Hammie, (another) Brownie, etc. Besides, I don't feel guey inside when I see stray cats on the alleys, haha!

For now, I think it's safe to say that I am an all-creatures-that-are-cute person. You see, there was a time when I wanted baby polar bears for a pet, haha!

Click here for a video of Chuckles, battling it out with a toy stuffed dog, haha! Man, she's fierce!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The butterflies on my coffee cup*

Of all the Starbucks shops I've been to, the one is SM Pampanga definitely has the worst crowd! Aaargh!

You see, I am an avid customer of Starbucks. Proof? Well, I gobbled down 21 frappes for two straight Christmases just to get their posh planners. And yes, I do fancy signature brews of coffee. But I am not the rich kid type who visits so often that he already has his own mug at his favorite shop and is on a first-name basis with the baristas and the guard. Let's just say that Starbucks for me and my friends is pretty much like a movie. You know, it costs so much, even if you can actually consume one at home at a cheaper price (pirated DVDs = instant coffee on sachets). But you do it anyway, because it's a chance to hang out with friends and besides, the high price is sort of worth it. Nothing beats the big screen and Dolby Surround speakers especially on effects-ladden movies, right?

Starbucks Katips is unofficially my favorite shop -- mostly because of geographical reasons. It's the one nearest to UP. I even review for exams there, when I have extra money to spare. It's a room full of chatting people but the ambiance is conducive enough for Ateneo and rich UP students. It figures, the branch is near two of the leading universities in the country.

In terms of visits, Starbucks SM Pampanga would come in second. But gawd, I hate the ambiance there. That's why I usually take out my frappe and go home. (Malapit na rin naman kasi yung jeepney terminal). Why? Well, it's really not Starbucks' fault, it's the crowd's. Especially on Saturdays, it's teeming of preppy teenage kids. They actually dress the part. The girls wear Havs for flip flops (which are probably fake). The boys wear shirts under their polos and even raise the collar. It's very trendy actually. (Think Avril Lavigne). One would think these kids are from the metro. But alas, if only their non-flawless and ordinary faces didn't betray them. And to top it all off -- they lie around the couches for hours, without even ordering a single shot of espresso. And that is what pisses me off! Especially when there are no other seats available. Just like last Saturday.

There was this group of girls seated on a table and there was this one boy seated on the other table next to them. He's probably courting one of the girls, haha, because instead of facing his own table, he sat facing the girls. And yes, he came in (and eventually walked out) and didn't order anything. There was even a Japanese guy who looked like a business man. How can a decent customer like him (and a foreigner at that) stand for minutes on end just because some kids wanted to show off and raise their socio-economic status by 'sitting' on a Starbucks shop? Where's the justice in that?! Haha! Okay, mababaw na ako kung mababaw. Nakakainis kasi. So sobrang inis, napa-code switch pa ako. Haha!

The teenage boy left and so I was able to occupy the table next to the group of preppy girls. Judging from their table which lacks from used tissue or coffee cups, not one of them ordered anything from the shop.
And I eavesdropped a little on the girly conversation. It turned out that they were waiting for someone else. (Read in conyo manner, please, haha!) Siguro they like thought it would be sosyal to wait and meet up at Starbucks instead of the food court noh. Because syempre, that place is full of jologs. Unlike here, the people who sit and eat here are so sosyal! Syempre, Starbucks!

Aaargh, trying hard preppy teenage kids annoy me immensely! And it's not because I am already old, haha! I hate the way they strut their butts off as if they know and have experienced everything life has to offer already. Ask them and the worst of their problems would probably be as superficial as to what they will wear for prom or whether or not they would date the equally retarded school jock. And they had to thrash Starbucks. That was the end of the line... haha! Joke. These kids should worry about their grades which will affect their performances in entrance exams which they must nail in order to get into decent colleges or universities with decent courses. Because if not, what does the future hold for them? For the country? The youth is the future of the nation, right? Haha! Yun yun eh, para may social relevance ang mababaw kong reklamo, haha!

Anyway, seriously, aside from showing basic resto courtesy, these social climbing kids should know their place in society. In Tagalog and in a teleserye contrabida tone, dapat marunong silang lumugar! (Evil laugh). Joke. What I meant is, these kids should not pretend to be someone they are not (socio-economically, in this case). If one cannot afford expensive things (food, in this case) like Starbucks or say Sbarro, why pretend that you can? Just because you can get away with it (I mean, as if the friendly Starbucks baristas are gonna shoo you away), it doesn't mean it's okay.

As for me, I know that Rockwell, no matter how glamorous the place is, is never gonna be my place (well, not until I get rich myself). For now, I am contended with SM or Robinsons. I guess Trinoma would be cool as well. Mabuti na lang at hindi ako mukhang dugyutin, haha! And I would never walk in a restaurant and not order from their menu. If the food is too expensive, I wouldn't eat there in the first place. Or instead of bottled mineral water or their special brew of iced tea, tap water na lang for drinks, haha!

*Thanks to Jigs for the title

Monday, June 25, 2007


If I were to put the old me back in high school and the current me (still) in college, I would think that they are two different people. When I look back at what happened all these years, I am overwhelmed by the realization that I've been through a lot. Well, don't we all say that, right? But no. This isn't one of those self-serving emo posts. Well, this may border on the emo side, but this is definitely not self-serving. Neither is this an attempt to hide the ugly consequences of my various missteps and glorify the lessons I supposedly learn. Wala lang, gusto ko lang talagang mag-comment sa sarili kong buhay, hehe.

You know the cliché
question on talk shows or even beauty pageants that inquires what part of your life you would want to change. And then the guests or the contestants would finish it off with the corresponding cliché answer. "I wouldn't change anything because all my experiences helped me to be the better person that I am now." Well, the cliché answer is a cliché for a reason. But what if, you're not necessarily a better person after all those mistakes and experiences?

I, for one, deeply regret a few things in my past (most of which are lumped the past 2 years). If I were asked the
cliché question, my answer would definitely be not the cliché answer. I guess I still haven't reached the point where I realize the purpose of those mistakes and experiences. Oh yes, I definitely learned a valuable lesson or two from them. And geez, I had to learn some of them over and over and over again. I already let go of whatever anger I suffered. But I haven't recovered either. For countless times, I can't help but question whether I deserved it or not. As expected, the answer remains elusive.

But life goes on. Another
cliché, eh? But it does. Even if we don't want it to, haha! The world will not cease to revolve and rotate just for my heartaches. (Wushu.. andrama!). The least I could do is try my best to keep up.

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in." ~Katherine Mansfield
Would I be forgiven if I can't help it? Besides, this regret that I have only serves to remind me of the things that could go soooo wrong when I don't get a hold of what true and what's important.

On the bright side, I survived, didn't I? I haven't recovered yet, but I am still 'alive and kicking' and I am getting there. I only have utmost gratitude for the things and people that helped (and are still doing so) me get there. Mahirap nang mawalan ng utang na loob. Baka pulutin ako sa kangkungan, haha!

PS. Sorry for a mushy post as a comeback from my hiatus. Yan ang naidudulot ng pag-uupdate ng alas-4 ng umaga! Haha!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ask The King! Yet Again

INSTRUCTIONS: Ask anything! And I will summon all the power that I have to answer your question. Anything goes. You can ask for my opinion on something. You can ask a hypothetical question. You can ask a beauty pagaent question! Or one of those controversial forbidden questions that Mo Twister asks, hehe! You can even ask for a completely objective advice, haha! =p Or maybe ask anything about me. I will edit this post to write my answers to the questions as I read them.

This is the third time I am gonna do this. For the first installment of answers, read here. For the second installment, read here.

Anyway, I would have to go on a short blog leave. Gawd, I used to find it corny when bloggers announce a 'blog leave' or a 'blog hiatus'. I used to think it's just a maneuver to attract attention, haha! And now I am doing it. Anyway, my real world is a whirlwind of stress and agony and I don't wanna bore you with it. So you just might as well throw in those interesting questions for me to answer! I'll update the answers here as you ask. I had 12 questions the first time, then 21 on the second. Come on, all you fans of mine, wherever you are! If you even exist. Let's break the record, hehe..

PS. Ask as many questions as you can. Thanks!

The answers!:
What do you think is the single most defining trait that distinguishes a Kampampangan from other ethno-centric groups here in the Philippines?
We Kapampangans are most famous for our great-tasting cuisine. But if you want to spot a Kapampangan in a crowd, choose the person with the loudest voice or the most talkative one. Most likely, that person is a Kapampangan. Unless of course, if he's gay -- for we all know that our gay friends ARE always loud and talkative, regardless of region of origin, hehe! Mas lalu na kung grupo pa yung maingay. Most likely, Kapampangan sila. I should know, me and my orgmates are always have something to talk about, lalu na kapag nasa jeep kami at papunta somewhere. It's like we have our own world at wala kaming pakialam kung sensitive man ang pinag-uusapan namin, kasi hindi naman naiintindihan ng ibang tao, hehe. (June 17)

Sino at ano si Rex?? Some things na di alam ng tao about you? ~Jochie
Hmm.. There's so much to tell then, hehe. Here's the link to my Johari window. (June 16)

24. Wala lang, na-curious lang ako. Mahilig ka bang mag-dasal? ~Someone
You probably read the Depression prayer I posted before this one and the St Jude Novena I have on my right sidebar. What defines a prayer anyway? Does it have to be the usual standard ones or a well versed ones? I consider talking to Him as a prayer, and since I often talk to myself and Him, then, I guess you can say, "mahilig ako mag-dasal". But I am not the preachy yell-if-you-love-Jesus type at all. (June 16)

23. Can you really say that you love a person if you don't have experiences of it before? Kasi, how will you say na love na pala yung nararamdaman mo kung 'di mo pa siya naeexperience dati? Parang wala kang pagbabasehan. ~Kebs
Apparently, love is one of those things that you'd just realize you're feeling already. Napatunayan ko na yung chismis na, "You'll just know". Hehe! Basta, you'll just know. I think the signs differ for different people.

22. Kapag binasted ka ba ng isang babae, pwede pa bang magbago isip niya? ~Jay
Oo naman. You see it in the movies. I know some people. Case to case basis naman talaga. Sometimes, the attraction is there at first, may ibang mga dahilan lang bakit nabasted yung guy. Tapos eventually, mapapatunayan ng guy yung worth niya. Pero kapag walang attraction sa simula pa lang, nako, mas mahabahabang kayod iyun. Not impossible, but definitely not an easy mission. (June 16)

Masama ba talagang tingnan kung ang isang tao na ang tingin sa iyo ay kaibigan ay liligawan mo? ~Jay
Hindi naman. But it's stupid and useless, me thinks lang naman. Eh ayaw nga diba, bakit pa ipipilit. (June 16)

Puwede ba talagang "upgrade" ang "friendship" to "love"? ~Jay
Oo naman. Personally, lovers are friends, diba? When I am forced to define love, I would say, "Love is friendship with lust". Pero isang malaking BUT -- it's not always wise to upgrade friendship to love. Maraminh factors, timing, compatibility, among many others. (June 16)

19. Do good things really last? ~Jae
Just like everything else, no. Sayang no? Hehe. Based from experience and a testimony to Murphy's Law, what could go wrong, will go wrong. I just try to savor the good moments, while they last. Sometimes, I lump them together to increase their overall effect, hehe. Kunwari, mga sunud-sunod na gimik. Or when you're in a good mood, don't do anything that you know will ruin the moment as long as you can help it. On the bright side, bad things don't last either. Diba? (June 15)

18. H
ave you tried to build a wall around you just to know who among your friends will try to break it? ~edgar
I would have to say NO as well. But the thing is, I have this default network of walls, hehe. Only those who are able to break it can be my friends. The inner the wall you break, the closer we are. Oha. (June 14)

17. What's the thin line that separates flirting from courting? ~Maan
That's easy. Gusto mo example pa eh, haha! Definition by juxtaposition namu! Flirting is a word that starts with an 'a'. While courting is a word that starts with a 'j'. Hahaha! Joke.. Flirting and courting involves the same actions. It's the intentions that differ. (June 12)

Talaga bang halos lahat ng magaganda eh inipon sa Pampanga at Tarlac? ~Jay
Haha! Good observation. A proof of that is that we seem to have produced more beauty queens and artistas than any other region in the Philippines outside Metro Manila. Although Cebu might beat us when it comes to producing singers, hehe! Sa totoo lang, I have no idea why so. Maybe because of Clark Zone? Dahil maraming nabuntis na local women ang mga US soldiers? Hehe! (June 11)

Gaano katagal bago pwede ligawan ang isang babae na hiniwalayan ng matagal niyang kasintahan? ~Jay
I don't think there is an exact time limit. But personally, I think 1 month is too soon. Although case-to-case basis din yan. Courtship is not an exact science anyway. Some people think (myself included), they have a good grasp of the science, pero sometimes, things blow up in their faces, haha! If for sure, kung ayaw sa iyo, wala kang magagawa. (Based from what I observe from my friends' experiences) Being aggresive works for some but not for all. It's the same with being too eager. I personally think dating in our culture is harder. Unlike in the Western culture where hook-ups (serious and casual ones) can be easily started by buying a hot girl a drink. Pero sa atin, mas marami pa rin ang pa-Maria Clara (and more often than not, they're the ones who are the bigger catch) kaysa sa mga 'game'. Pero ganun siguro talaga. Us guys have to work harder to prove ourselves, kasi nga these girls are so worth it. (June 11)

Kung pwede pa isa, sino ang Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs para sayo? ~Coy
Oh, I've heard of this one. Pwede separate post na lang? Hehe. By the way, for my personal info, see my About Me on the left sidebar. Ayan, linipat ko na sa taas para sa iyo, hehe. Hindi nga naman kita sa ilalim. Anyway, YOU are on my Top 10, if ever. Why? Syempre, emerging trend eh. And I like your speaking voice, pang-DJ. Oha, hehe (June 10)!

13. Finally, what country would you most like to visit (other than Ireland )and why? ~Jigs
Expectedly, Scandinavian states, New Zealand, Switzerland for the magical landscapes. Singapore for the shopping. Maldives for its beach. South Africa for its animals. Japan for the bullet trains! Italy for its pizza and pasta! And the United States (Los Angeles and New York) and the United Kingdom for Hollywood and my favorite popstars, haha! (June 10)

What nationality would like to be other than Filipino? ~Jigs
Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Kiwi, Irish, Danish or Swiss. Why? Aside from the magnificent landscapes and sceneries in these countries, they're known to have a disciplined society. They're not that powerful like the US, France, Germany or Russia, but who cares? Most powerful countries are arrogant and half-abusive to Third World countries anyway. Plus, the I hear that the cheese in the Scandinavian countries are delicious, haha! Not to mention the chocolates in Switzerland, haha! (June 10)

If you were to name a country what would it be? ~Jigs
Oh I don't know. How about Beauford? Kaya lang, it sounds more like a city than a country noh? Kingsland? Nako, parang pangalan ng building. Haha!
Speaking of a name of a country, what if the Bangsamoro Republic would became a separate country from the Philippines?
Imagine if it joins an international beauty pageant. It might go like this, "The first runner-up is.. Venezuela... Bangsamoro! You are the new Miss Universe!!" And if we have the Binibining Pilipinas, would they call their local qualifying pageant as Binibining Bangsamoro? Not that I am demeaning our Muslim brothers in the south and their Muslim culture. It's just it sounds interesting, doesn't it? (June 10)

Being a geography buff and all, what country do you think has the most interesting name? ~Jigs
Honestly, speaking, I don't have much background info of the the etymologies of the names of countries. So I don't really know which ones are interesting, as most countries are named after its local people / tribes anyway. Pero kung sa pronunciation (that's why I always enjoy the introduction of countries during beauty pageants! Haha!), I always lurve saying the hard ones: Tanzania (tan-zeyn-ya, not tan-za-nia) or Liechtenstein. (June 10)

9. What is the E-word? ~Elma
Experience. Pero hindi yung tipo ng experience na tinutukoy ni Jay. Yung green experience. Haha! Pwede rin 'egg cell'. Kasi, kung may anak siya, mas malamang kaysa hinde, hindi siya baog.
(June 10)

8. Ano ang pinakaiinisan mong ginagawa ng mga bloggers? Hehe! ~Poli
When ask for link exchanges but they don't visit, comment or even tag sa blog mo. That really annoys me. Hindi ko nga pinapansin eh. Apparently, hindi nila nababasa eto sa sidebar ko: "For link exchanges, well, just come by here often, and I'd be glad to link you up. The Golden Rule applies in the bloggosphere too, you know. =)" And when they code switch so much when they narrate their activities for the day. Naiisip ko kasi kapag ganoon, "Oh so? Eh ano naman kung ginawa mo yan?" Pero kung may pag-mumuni-muni after or may kasaling lessons learned sa post, buti pa yun. Ayoko ko kasi nang wala akong value na nakukuha sa isang blog. Gusto ko, either matawa ako sa post or matutunan ako from that person's experience.
(June 10)

7. Makikipag-siping ka ba kay Madame Auring kapalit ng 500 milyong piso? ~Poli
Honestly? Hmmm.. P500-M.. Hmmm.. OO! Haha! Pero pwedeng makipag, you know, muna ako sa iba? Ayoko naman na ang pers taym ko ay kay Madam Auring, haha! Tapos, pwedeng naka-blind fold ako? Tapos hihiga lang ako, bahala sila kung anong gusto niyang gawin sa akin.
(June 10)

6. Kamusta ka na?! ~Rob
Everthing sucks but I am doing just fine, hehe! Nako, mali.. certain things suck lang pala (baka sabihin ni Lord, exag ako). Still alive! And blogging.. and stuck in college.. *sigh* As for you blog-related questions, I have no idea, haha! Nakakainggit nga ang mga iba nating kakilala sa bloggosphere na puro .com or .net na ang mga URLs! Haha! After a year, eto, .blogspot pa rin tayo, hehe..
(June 10)

5. Bakit kaya, nakakatuwa kang tao? ~Mats
Hahaha! Ikaw lang naman yata ang natatawa sa akin.. Wushu, pa-humble pa eh no. Seriously, err, ewan. Syempre, I try to joke around, tease people, throw punchlines here and there. Madalas, lalo na sa mga kakilala ko, 'headshot' daw. Sapul na sapul daw ang mga hirit ko. I like it when I am able to make people laugh. But I don't consider myself as a comedian or someone who constantly provides comic relief in a say a party or gathering. Pumapunchline at humihirit lang talaga ako every now and then.. (June 10)

4. Pinakamabigat na problemang pinagdaanan mo sa UP? ~Jochie

To be achieve the 'dismissed' status for many times. And the waiting for the results of the appeal is ALWAYS agonizing. Studying in UP is the best and worst thing that happened to my life. But someday, when I look back on all of this, I won't regret a single thing. Okay, maybe I will regret a few things, hehe. Like being a buddy, a friend and a brother to certain people. It's personal, don't ask. I know someone who knows someone who knows them and they read this blog. Hehe! And syempre, yung mga times na sana hindi ako nag-cram. (June 10)

3. Is the King inlab? ~
Haha! A very direct question. And the direct answer is NO. Walang panahon. Haha! Pero kung sa ganda lang, andaming maganda sa tabi-tabi. Basta, may panahon para sa lab lab na yan. May aayusin lang ako. =)
(June 9)

2. Kung ang comment mo sa isang blog ay no comment, comment pa ba tawag dun? ~Jay
Nako, Philo 11 question na naman, haha! Hmm. Using 'NO' is just a negation of something diba, but it doesn't mean that something does not exist. Putek, corny answer to a corny question, haha!
(June 9)

1. Ok lang ba na manligaw ng single mom? ~Jay
Frankly it's not an issue for me. Basta ba gusto mo yung girl at seryoso ka. Ngayon kung hot mama pa siya, edi mas astig! Haha! And since she's a mom already, it means she doesn't lack in, you know... the E-word. Haha! But yes, the extra child makes the situation more complicated. I guess para ka na rin nanliligaw ng dalawang tao, yung hot mama at yung anak. Teka?! In-lab ka na naman?! Grabe, wala akong masabi! Buwan-buwan na lang ay inlab ka, hehe.. (June 9)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

In times of depression

About 3 months ago, a very good friend of mine (good enough to be a sister, neh 'Te Maan?), gave me a prayer pamphlet. Here's the prayer, in might come in handy for you. Maybe not now, but someday, who knows.

I am terribly depressed, dear Lord, and I need your help. I come to you trusting in your great love for me and believing you will not forsake me now. Help me, Lord, I am hurting badly and struggling. I am very tired, afraid and discouraged. I feel so lost and empty with no sense of direction in whatever I am doing and where I am heading.
Everything around me seems to be dark and gloomy. My present situation and thoughts about the future all seems hopeless. Nothing seems to lift my spirits any longer. Even those things and activities that used to bring me joy all seem dull and meaningless these days.
I humbly beseech you now, Lord. Please let me feel your loving presence, your loving care and concern, all your tenderness melting my pain and all my feelings of worthlessness. Let your powerful presence touch all areas of woundedness in my heart and in my spirit. Deliver me from my fears, my anxieties and all my negative feelings. Hold my hand during these trying moments in my life, Lord. Lead me to the right path, the right places, and the right people who can be your instruments of healing and love.
Lord, I need your strength now to keep my sanity during moments when I feel like I'm losing my mind and just giving up. Help me to believe that this situation is only temporary and things will be better soon. Help me to be able to cope, especially during moments when I feel so desperate.
Take care of my loved ones during these times when I feel unable to care for them. Give me the grace to understand your purpose behind this suffering that you have allowed me to experience trusting that all things always work out for good for those who love you and those whom you call for your purposes.

Jesus, my Lord and my God, You are my refuge, my Hope, my Strength and my Divine Healer. Please heal me and have mercy on me. Deliver me from this depression and after I have been healed. Let me bring you glory and be a witness to your love and heling power for others. I pray all these in Jesus' name with Mary and all the angels and saints. Amen.
Posting this does not make me religious. It just goes to show that I believe in the power of prayer. Especially in situations when it's the only thing I can do.

*The prayer card says it by Maribi M. Garcia

Friday, June 01, 2007

Playing big brother

When I stepped into college and I was forced to live semi-independently, it wasn't much of a problem for me. For starters, I have been semi-independent since my mom joined my dad in Bahrain back in second year high school. Second, I have one of my high school barkada for a roommate in a boarding house. Therefore, the adjustment period and possible bouts of homesickness weren't a problem either. Lastly, even when I transferred to an apartment more than a year after, I still had my orgmates / housemates who served as my older brothers and sisters away from home. So yeah, living in the city has been pretty convenient for me.

Living in an apartment in college, for me, is better than living in a boarding house or a campus dorm. Of course the latter options do have perks.

For example, in a boarding house, you don't have to do the cleaning of the house or the room. If you're lucky, your landlady would even cook meals for her boarders. But alas, there's the curfew, haha! Not that I stay up late outside -- but on the few times I do get out to unwind, I don't want a curfew to impede from from maximizing the night's fun.

Campus dorms' location is one of their best advantages. The nearer you are to your classes, the better, right? But in many cases (like mine), the closer I am to the building, the greater chance for me to oversleep and be late, haha! Plus, there's the communal bathroom. I don't want to have to queue up to take a bath. But in the end, when the cost is 10x smaller than an apartment or a boarding house, yes, a dorm is the best option. Haha!

But having said all of these, apartment is still the best option for me. For a number of reasons. Let's start with the shallow and obvious ones.

*There is no curfew
*You can bring as many appliances as you want
*You can arrange or decorate your unit to your liking
*You can bring your girlfriends or boyfriends with you, inside the house
*You can do anything you want! (Well, of course, unless you live alone, you'd have to be considerate of your housemates' living quirks)

But for deeper and more personal reasons, apartment is the best option for me because simply, it's the closest thing I have for a home. There are many useful things you can learn when you live in an apartment. What are they you may ask.

First, you learn to be more responsible. Why? There are bills to pay. There are dishes to be washed. There's a bathroom to be cleaned. There's a room to be cleaned. There are clothes to be washed. See? Would you learn to do this these things if you lived somewhere else? Well, you probably have no ambitions to be a nanny, so yes, technically, you don't really have to learn these things, especially if you're a spoiled rich kid.

It gets more complicated though when you are the most senior of your housemates. By default, you are looking out for your kids.

When I first settled in my current apartment (which I will refer to as 34G, after its unit number), I was the youngest, the bunso of 34G. My older orgmates / housemates served as my kuyas and ates. I relied on them a lot but they happily looked out for me, teaching me to do a lot of things on my own in the process. I was happily secured with the setup. There was an unspoken 34G hierarchy, and the higher you are at the hierarchy, the more responsibilities you had as a housemate. There came a time when I found myself at the top that hierarchy, mainly due to the natural order of things. The older housemates, my kuyas and ates, had to move on with their lives and move out of 34G.

When the older housemates were still around, I was grateful to them but I never understood the gravity of their responsibilities. But I appreciate them more, now that they are gone. Yes, the different cleaning chores and household tasks are equally divided among us housemates, but being the 'big brother' entailed a lot more. Many times, you would have to be the 'landlord' as well, haha! I never realized that indeed, living in an apartment is pretty much like living on your own already. To stretch it even furthur, it's also like having a family of your own. You're not only in charge of the house but of the inhabitants as well. There's this unwritten task of teaching the younger ones to be more responsible as housemates and as individuals.

Many times, I felt like I am not up for the job. My former kuyas were so good, I feel like I can't live up to the high standards they've set. I feel like I can't take care of my own set of 'kids' now the way my former kuyas took care of us before. In fact, there are even times when I'm the one who 'needs to be taken care of', but alas, I only have me to look out for me.

But at the end of they, there are lessons to be learned, and I am relieved to have learned them well. Patience, indeed, is a virtue. Practicing a little more understanding can save you a lot of headaches. And that, 'kids' will be 'kids' after all. I should know better, I was a 'kid' myself before. A very needy spoiled 'kid' at that, haha!

Living in an apartment is virtually a training for the stage life wherein you're truly and fully independent. Yes, cleaning and tinkering with house stuff may seem minor problems. But in reality, they play a bigger part in making life easier and better -- in making your place a true home. You don't believe me? Ask your Moms.

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