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OH MY GOD I WAS ABOUT TO POST SOMETHING THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IT SAID “RELOAD PAGE” THEN IT WAS ALL GONE

So before my life was ruined for the 462686482749017468469th time just some minutes ago, I was making a post about how my English project sucks. Btw this isn’t a blog-because-I-like-blogging type of blog, this is a project for English 3. I was saying, that it sucks that I wasn’t able to have my blog entries in print be checked last Friday, cos I was out of Baguio since Wednesday night for a competition. SUCKS. Because with no checked output, I couldn’t post my entries. So I waited, and waited. But Saturday and Sunday ain’t that long, so it was Monday again. But Monday was the day of our Initiation Program, and I figured not to bring my papers because it doesn’t look good with what I was wearing. I had a super ultra mega small bag- the only bag I could find for my outfit- and I couldn’t imagine how the papers would’ve fitted there. But there was Tuesday, so even if I was already dying, there was still hope. And then BOOM! Lights went off, Mac shut down. No electricity. No internet. WHYYYY. And it lasted for 3 daaaays! See my pain? No? THEN GO DIE.

Oh and now you know what sucks even more (not that much though, I just wanted to say that line)? Nothing. Cause ugh. Every time. EVERY SINGLE TIME that there’s a project, something bad happens. And it’s always with the computer or software or printer or internet or corrupted external memory or lost files or deleted shizz or websites hanging. So what is up with me and techie-stuff-not-working-when-it’s-project-time? I just wanna die. Like yknow I wouldn’t complain this much if I didn’t work hard for any of those projects, but each of them I did spent time on. SO WHY?

I guess all I could say at the end of the day is FUCK.

FUCK

250km

The second week of May 2012 started out as a normal summer week. I had no idea that what was about to happen could possibly change my life. 

It was a Wednesday, May 12th to be precise, when at about 10 in the morning, we received a phone call from a “Mr. Joseph”. He told my mother that I passed the 2009 NCE (National Competitive Examination) and that I was on the waiting list of Philippine Science High School- CAR Campus. Of course, we said yes right away. 

Super shocked as I was, I cried. As in, CRIED. Facebook was the nearest possible thing to go to, so I went online uh-mediately. I posted gazillion messages on my friends’ walls telling them what just happened. They were all so happy, and at the same time sad that I was going to leave Manila. I even remember my best friend saying, “Kung selfish lang ako hindi talaga pwede eh. Pero go, sige.. J” That just made me cry even more. At that moment I was in the super-mega-ultra-mixed-emotions-that-all-I-can-do-is-cry mode. And then things started to sink in a little deeper when my dad said that we were going to Baguio as soon as possible. 

Then after a while, I started remembering recent events. First, I enrolled in a Spanish Class at Instituto de Cervantes, but it was cancelled since the minimum number of enrollees wasn’t reached. Second, my Photography Class with Jim Paredes was also postponed. Third, my ESP (Extrasensory Perception) Classes with Jaime Licauco were also cancelled due to the same reason as my Spanish Class’. And lastly, my extra training for Badminton also didn’t work out because my coach was busy with his extra classes in UP. And so I thought the world (or.. maybe just summer classes) hated me. But knowing that I’ll be moving to Baguio to study? I couldn’t think of a million summer classes that could be better than that.   

Come May 18, the day of the enrollment, we left Manila at about 2AM and ate our breakfast in a restaurant somewhere near Burnham Park around 7:30. 

We arrived at my new school just in time. It was rather…… cute. Small. Tiny. Cute. Real cute.

So we went through the same process as everybody else did. We were given a number, waited for like, a couple of minutes, went to the Registrar’s Office, then yada-yada-yada..

Enrollment didn’t take that long, so we just went looking for a place to eat lunch at.                 

Sitting in a room filled with strange things and people speaking this language that though I have heard of a lot of times, still was peculiar to me, just made me think, “Is this it? Why? Am I seriously like, enrolled in high school? And it’s not Dominican (my old school)!” ‘Cos the thing is, I was all planned out with my high school life at Dominican College. I was super looking forward to becoming a part of the school network, DOMNET, because you get to be sent to different places in and out of the country to meet other students. And then in September 2011, I’d be flying to Madrid to join the World Youth Day Pilgrimage that will be starting from Barcelona. And I actually told myself that I would just HAVE FUN in high school, no matter what it takes. I would just do what I want. See how awesome I planned out my high school to be?

But the thought that really kept bugging me was not about this school being too small and not having a permanent site yet, neither our big move to Baguio- but me entering a CO-ED school.

That was the exact same thing my schoolmates kept telling me. In our group, I was the only one that enjoyed exclusive schools, because then, I’d probably be the pickiest with regards to standards. And they were very much aware of that. Friends were excited to see my reaction, but super close friends were actually worried..

The last time I had a guy friend aside from my relatives was like, forever ago. So I thought…. Uh…..

 

After having lunch, we didn’t want to go back to QC yet. We went to Brent Road, Lexber Heights, Woods Gate, Woodsville, Petersville, Military Cut-off, and was that Green Water (excuse my spelling)? And I couldn’t remember the rest. They were too many to remember.

Then midnight on the same day, we got back to Manila. We were all so tired so we decided to just talk the next day.

After checking the pictures and the details of the houses we looked at, WE ALL agreed on the A-type house on Brent Road. It was so cool. But y’know the thing that didn’t approve to it? My parent’s wallets. If we rented that, we would have to pay Php 100,000 a month! Yes, one hundred fqing thousand pesos. It was hard for Kuya and I, but we had to move on. 

So the next choice was the one in Lexber Heights. The owner was willing to give us a discount, since we planned on staying there for a year or two till we get our own place.

We then scheduled on Sunday that we were gonna go back and look for more options.

On the afternoon of May 23rd, we checked in at Hotel Veniz. It wasn’t the most ‘accommodating’ hotel, but then, who cares? All I needed at that moment was a bed and something to keep me warm. But instead, after taking a nap, I grabbed a tall glass of watermelon shake. I regretted it. And it wasn’t even that good! So yeah, I super regretted it.

We looked at some condos, but we found nothing that pleased us. 

The next day, knowing my mom, a super food junkie, she went to the market early in the morning. Fortunately, I woke up so early ‘cos I couldn’t take the coldness, so I went with her. We were so surprised, like OMG. The prices of the goods were slashed 70-80% off compared to those in Manila! It was like an everyday-mega-sale in the market. UNBELIEVABLE.

I suppose we did have fun on that one-night stay, but we had to go back and do some cleaning-up before we actually move to Baguio.

My parents knew that I’d be missing Manila, so they gave me all the freedom to do whatever I want to do to maximize my time with my friends and relatives. I spent my remaining days out playing with my cousins, going to malls with my friends, and having sleepovers.

On June 1st, Dad and Kuya started moving our things. They went back to Manila two days later to fetch us. It was weird because I didn’t really feel anything, like sadness, excitement, or whatever. It just felt like an ordinary long drive.

We had no problems fitting in. Dad was an Ilocano, and Mom understands a bit of the language. In a span of just four days, I was already feeling at home in our new house. Until June 7 happened.

It was the first day of school. I got up so early and whew, boy the water’s ice-cold! But too much excitement made me forget about that.

I was informed that we wouldn’t be having uniforms yet. I have never been more ecstatic to go to school ever. Dominican was just so strict; this will probably be something good, y’know, a little freedom? I asked my dad to make me an excuse letter, for me to be allowed to bring a phone to school since we didn’t know what time our dismissal would be, since I thought I needed one just like in my old school- they never allowed gadgets there.

So there I was. Sitting inside the car for like, 30 minutes already. I couldn’t get out. I was too shy. But eventually I had to go approach the three sophomores and sign on this sheet of paper where my name was written before the assembly time, 7:30.

The program started. I sat on the second row, with this weird guy by my left, and a dude with eyes that look so angry behind me. Everything was just, whoa. One minute I was mall hopping with my girlfriends and then the next I was in the covered court of this elementary school listening to this Mr. Domogan guy speaking Ilocano so fast that I just wanted to ask my seatmate, “What on earth is he saying?” But then again I was too sheepish to talk.

So days passed, and all I could say is people were just so nice. I barely talked on the first day, but on June 10, I already knew everybody from class. Then on the second week, I became even closer to my classmates. And every time I would try to remember ‘me’ during the first week, I would burst out laughing. I mean, bringing a letter to show your adviser that you need to bring your phone to school? That’s just so grade school-ish.

I had a lot of adjusting to do, but they were actually kind of easy. I just needed to start addressing my teachers as Ma’am and Sir, instead of Miss and Brother. And now we have the Director as the head of the school, not a nun. And here, scrap paper was more popular than scratch paper. Even the bond paper, ‘cos here I was introduced to coupon bond.

Another new thing I discovered was the use of the terms “ngay”, “ngarud”, “ya”, “met”, and “kadi” which are used mostly by Northerners to probably give more emphasis to their statements, as how I have seen them use these.

Weeks and weeks passed, and being a student in a school with mixed boys and girls wasn’t my main problem anymore. (It’s just that everybody was really uber nice that it didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t in an exclusive school anymore.)

Because I had one more.

*dun dun dun dun*

SM was the only ‘bearable’ mall.

Now for me, this is a MAJOR problem. I can say that I’m really a compulsive shopper, and one mall cannot satisfy my thirst for all my shopping thingamajigs. And to mention again, the mall is SM. SM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Who goes to SM in Manila? Ugh. Not I, at least

Speaking of Manila, I was so surprised to find out that there were four more freshies that came from the lowlands aside from me. Eir Diaz was from La Salle Zobel, Karina Gesmundo from St. Scholastica’s College, Kryzz de Leon from Taytay United Methodist Christian School, and Sean Calingasan from Our Lord’s Angels School. We were all from sectarian institutions, so that was a plus. 

It was really cool because when I tried talking to them, I found so much things that we have observed in common, and some differences too for that matter.

The weather of course was our main topic. We all found it better, and adjusting wasn’t that hard. Though Kryzz said that it was just like “naka-electric fan,” well at least for him, because I thought it was like staying inside a fridge. The five of us definitely have no problem with the people of Baguio. It’s no doubt that they’re very hospitable and welcoming, and Karina would be the perfect witness of that. She used to stay in the dorm, but just like the other interns staying there, they don’t feel so comfortable. So Karina moved in with a classmate, and she said, “…their place was heaven, compared to the dorm.” When Sean and I were talking, he also mentioned about Mayor Domogan, and we all just laughed because we found ourselves so out-of-placed when everybody just starts laughing when he tells a funny story in Ilocano. Then we started thinking of the Manileniyans and Cordillerans. Generally, we could say that those from Manila can be superficial most of the time, compared to those from Baguio who really don’t give much attention to whether you’re wearing Ecko or Zoo York.

Eir and I clicked so easily ‘cos we were both loud and crazy. But we feel so different when we talk about liberty. I have all the freedom here, but Eir feels kind of ‘suffocated’ because she says that when she’s with her parents, she could just get away with anything. But again, the dorm was way different.

Eir agrees with Karina when she said, “Manila is definitely hotter- in terms of weather and boys.” And I guess I could, too? 

I’m trying to think of which to put my finger on- is it Manila for being too far from Baguio, or Baguio for being so far-flung? Sigh. NVM.

But I guess what makes the whole shebang better is despite the fact that Baguio is two hundred fifty kilometers away from Manila, Manila people never forget to visit us here once in a while, and they NEVER forget to harass me and make me go there. 

*insert title for this article that makes me sound as if i really care* *wait, actually, i kind of do*

Rainy days are here again, and as school started, it has been a major problem for the students to get to school clean and dry! Why is it a requirement to wear a uniform to be able to get in school, anyway? Every year, since time immemorial, school year in the Philippines starts on the month of June, which coincides with the start of the rainy season. Why can’t we just do away with the uniform? Does having a complete set of uniform make the students smarter in Math? Does having wet socks and shoes make them brighter in Science? Honestly, all I could point to with regards to wearing uniform is a silly purpose of aesthetics. Sure, we wear uniforms for people to recognize what school we’re from, especially in cases where there are competitions, and schools would take all the opportunities for their students to brag about the name of the school. We also wear uniforms for identifications, so we don’t just get in another school and pretend to study there. I see the point, but it’s not for a practical intention. What wrong would it be if students don’t wear the same thing? Will they learn less? Will their good behavior be of lesser degree? Or, is it such an eyesore to the teachers? I claim not. To say, there are other countries that don’t oblige public school students to wear uniforms, and IT MAKES A LOT OF DIFFERENCE. And by a lot, I mean NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Though it is indeed true that in the remote provinces of the Philippines, public school students are not required to come to school following a dress code, because with them it is very glaring that they cannot afford such. But does that mean that the whole of the country must suffer as much as they do just for the poor in the urban areas to be noticed and given consideration? Pitiful.

I bet the wearing of the uniform is just a front. We are trying to show that though these children are public school students, they can afford to look decent and have matching outfits. Bullfeces. With this much attempt to cloak the ugly truth, we are actually making things worse.

It’s not what is worn in school that is important; it’s the presence of these children in class with good health and the will to study. How can they possibly be interested in their lessons when they’re bothered by the uneasiness of their dripping clothes and soaking wet socks?

And not only that, parents are also burdened as to where to get the money to buy the kids’ uniforms. There’s already the problem on how to feed their children three times a day, mortgages and rentals, school supplies, and not to mention fees that are charged in public schools that actually shouldn’t be there in the first place, if teachers and schools were just funded right. So I’d be surprised if you are wondering why crime rates shoot up when the school year’s just about to start.

The children are our future, according to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. I am very much ashamed to be saying this when the only thing that comes to my mind upon hearing it is, “WHAT CHILDREN?” The children that are all sick and dying of pneumonia, Weil’s disease, tuberculosis, etc? Sure.

It’s just so sad how everyone seems to be so blinded about this. Doesn’t anyone in power see the plight of these children drenched in rainwater, braving the flooded streets on their way to school?

Image

[Sigh. If only the poor children of the Philippines were this much protected from the harsh rains]

Health IS wealth, but with our sick children and our ailing future with them, then I guess the Philippines will just have to remain poor forever.

So Much For Everyone Having Talents, Eh

When I was younger, I wanted to become a ballerina (I even had those pink fluffy tutus and those glistering ballerina flats). Then that idea flourished, and so suddenly I wanted to become a figure skater- it seemed a lot cooler to be on ice! (Get it, cool = ice) But I was too shy then to take up classes to actually study them, so I let it pass. Then there was a time that I dreamt of becoming a newscaster, for a reason that until now I couldn’t figure out. Of course, there was also a point that I wanted to become a superstar (you’re a weirdo if this wasn’t part of your fantasies), but it was just too big, and I got tired of the thought. And the next thing I knew, I wanted to be a part of an orchestra and play the harp, but considering that I’m the dumbest in music- or just anything related to having harmony- I put the idea aside. And then, a miracle happened! I had this thing in me that drove me to try to learn something, so I enrolled in a painting/sketching whatever class. Just as I thought I had a chance, it was another failed attempt for me. Why did I even bother trying to draw when the best thing I could do is a stick person? And so eventually, wanting to become someone in another something appeared normal to me, like, it was a yearly thing to shift from one dream to another. I guess it’s but natural for a kid to be searching for the right path to take, so he/she tries to discover the different avenues possible. But what I can’t accept is the fact that I can’t fit the bill to be anything that I could think of. I just can’t.

I’ve heard the phrase “When the heavens were giving humankind talents, you were probably in the back of the line,” a hundred times already. So it gave me the idea that maybe, I wasn’t just in the back of the line- I might have been at the back, then I tripped and got trampled on, and got left behind! Oh, what fate I have.

It’s not that I’m complaining- I’m just, well, COMPLAINING. I don’t have a natural gift (or maybe I haven’t discovered it yet [fingers crossed]). So I guess I could blame me for not exerting much effort on trying to acquire a talent of my own, given all the opportunities. Though getting used to being a part of the audience isn’t that bad, because what if being a spectator IS my talent after all, and nobody has just ever looked at it that way. 

Sleepless Sleepovers

I remember that my first sleepover was at my cousins’. I remember the mixed feelings- excitement, thrill, fear, and wobbly knees. That’s how it was to ask my dad to allow me to go to my first sleepover. 

Dad’s actually very mild and giving when my brother and I ask for something. He lets us go out with friends and cousins for movies, eating out, pool parties, ‘Timezone days’, and a lot more. And Kuya’s been sleeping at his friends’ and cousins’ houses since he was really small, but never was it I that asked. I was always the one who stayed home with Dad and Mom when Kuya was out for weeks sleeping over. Until the day that I was asked by my aunt to sleep at their place after my cousin’s pool party when I was in 2nd grade. I really didn’t know what to do. At first, Dad said no. He’s very protective of me, and I think he felt like I was too young to be sleeping far from home without them (though it was just one night). So I decided that I’d just ask next time, with a forced smile on my face while turning away from him. But right before we left, he told me to “take care.. and I’ll just fetch you and Kuya tomorrow.” Hold on, does this mean they’re leaving us here? That I’m actually gonna have my first sleepover already? Whoa. I didn’t know what kind of a talk my mom and dad and aunt had, but I was really surprised that Dad was convinced. It felt like another leap in my life. And this was my first sleepless sleepover. 

Tired from swimming the whole day, I changed into the jammies that my cousin lent me and brushed my teeth in preparation for the bouncy bouncy airbed set up for us. Usually, I’d already be watching cartoons then to make me fall asleep, but I wasn’t. I went downstairs to the dining area and saw them playing Clue. It seemed fun, so I sat down with them. And then an hour passed and I started playing, then another hour passed and we got hungry and grabbed whatever that was in the pantry, then another hour passed and we were just having fun. Another hour, and another hour. And maybe one more, or two- until the sun was already about to shine. Seeing Mr. Sun peeking out from the horizon, we suddenly had to urge to pack up and doze off. Though it wasn’t for long, for we have planned earlier to go to the mall and eat out in the day. Overall, it was super awesome. Though, the actual sleeping just happened as we got home to our own houses where we really just couldn’t keep our eyes open.

I don’t know if it’s just us or this is always the case with sleepovers, but never have I had a decent sleepover, or at least one where I actually slept. May it be with my mother’s side cousins or my father’s or just with my friends, it was always a night that won’t make you feel sleepy.

It’s so ironic, because no matter what we did that day or how tired we were and we plan to just crash at someone’s place that night cos we’re so dead, eventually, we just don’t get the rest we need. I guess it’s the hang of the high spirits we had from the preceding activities of the day that keeps us so up until the last drop of energy falls and the sleepy chemicals take over our whole bodies.

 

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