Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lending A Hand


When something bad happens, you put yourself out there and do what you can to help others. No ifs, no buts.

That’s how Filipinos do it. That’s how we do it.

Like acting on reflex, my college friends and I felt the urge to help, in any way we could, the instant we found out about the horrible conditions of our fellow Filipinos who were badly hit by Typhoon Maring and the monsoon.

Last Saturday, we met at LPL to gather and give the donations from our batch. There wasn’t much, but I guess there was enough to at least lessen the victims’ suffering for a moment.
It was good timing because our school had its relief operation in Calamba just this Wednesday.
Which I was unfortunately not able to participate in, by the way.
I believe that our help, no matter how little, will go a long way.

There was something that felt so good about what we did. It gave me a different kind of fulfillment – a sense of purpose, a much needed motivation given my life right now. J

I hope the victims would recuperate in the soonest possible time. I also hope more people would go out of their way to lend a hand, and I wish they wouldn’t get tired of it. Above all, I pray that nothing like this would ever happen again.

A little sidebar:

Since my best buds and I were already together last Sat., we decided to have a little bonding of our own on the side.
Kreng and Jusz!

We indulged ourselves with our "all time favorite, no fail" isaw, and it was perfect! Hahaha! Then, we killed time at Je's before heading home. :) 

*Thanks to Jerome for the photos.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quarterlife

Lately, I’ve been in the mood for reflection and writing. There are many things going on around me, and writing them down is the only way to keep track.

In this post, I rant and rave about my age. In long and winding paragraphs.

Turning 22 gave rise to a commotion in my head. I’m baffled at how when I turned 20 and 21 I didn’t quite feel any different, but now that I’m 22 I sense something’s changed. That change, whatever it is, hangs in the air like mad that it almost feels tangible.

Before midlife comes quarterlife crisis, and this is it, or something somewhat like it.

I already feel so old. People may say I’m still young, but no, I already feel like I’m running out of days to live, and that’s not even figurative. There is an unspoken and looming pressure reminding me that at this point in time I should be doing and doing if I ever dare wish to accomplish so much, not even asking if I am up for the challenge.

I have goals, yes. The thing is, I don’t act on them. Not yet. As of this moment, idleness has gained sovereignty over my mind and body. It’s like my career and ambition bound self took a detour for a hiatus. More than a year has passed, and there’s not one progress whatsoever in my life. But really, I just don’t know where to proceed with this clusterf*ck of a life. People think it’s simple, but it’s not. And because I have no idea what to do, I choose to detach myself from the issue at hand. To put it bluntly, I procrastinate; to cover it nicely, life stalls me.

This is that age where fantasies begin falling to pieces. This is where I start realizing that some dreams of mine are far-fetched. And this is not being hopeless or pessimistic, just realistic. I must begin to narrow down my long list of aspirations, so that later on it would be less heartbreaking. Hard truth and tough luck go hand in hand these days.

By now, I already know where and what I want to be. It’s just that I can’t figure out the how of it all. How do I become what I want to be and how do I get where I want to be? It’s always questions. More questions. And no answers.

Also, at this age, after everything that has come and gone, I’m still scared of walking this world. It’s too big for me.

That is the initial overreaction to the added year in my life – nothing but a bad omen to a future that would be even worse. But now, the more I reflect on it, the lesser it becomes depressing and the more it gets stimulating. Maybe it’s just PMS bribing the inner whiner in me the first time. There is actually a brightside. Some sort of a silver lining.

Hormones are acting up again, but this time I see all things in bright and upbeat colors. I start to rave.

I’m 22, and I’m free to do almost anything. I’m at that legal age where I CAN do a lot in life on my own freewill, trivial and life-changing matters included. And now that the parents have loosened up and are more often found in the sidelines, the final decisions are mine to make. If that’s not freedom, well, I don’t know what is.

I’m 22, and I live for the now. I feel so full of life. I’m not yet too old to easily get tired just thinking of going out for an adventure. On the contrary, the thought of it makes my adrenaline spike to an all time high. That thing the youth of today always say, YOLO? I totally dig that. I’m 22, and spurs of the moment are my thing. An equally energetic company is all it takes to sustain the full-blast fun.

I’m 22, and sometimes it’s matter over mind. Whenever I feel like it, I decide without thinking. There are moments when it feels good to not think things through and just leave everything to chance, because being always sure about one’s self can bore the life out of a person. Sometimes I feel I’m making more sense when I just trust my instinct and play along life’s surprises. Sometimes it’s all about letting loose and being silly.

Putting the last statement in consideration, I’m 22, and I’m still allowed to be stupid. I’m at an age where foolishness is tolerated but not recommended. Sure, I’m already expected to act mature, but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if I’d go back to being that happy-go-lucky and innocent teenager every once in a while, or more often than that. It’s fun, you know. There is freedom in naïveté.

That being said, I also have to assert that curiosity is not yet overrated. There’s still so much room for knowledge. In fact, my hunger for learning is stronger now more than ever. I feel that my grasp for meanings and ideas is at its prime these days, and I want to use and abuse it while it lasts.

I’m 22, and there is pleasure in not doing anything. Bumming around all day seems like a good life mantra. Sometimes when problems come up, I just ignore them for a while there. I let them hang a bit and enjoy life as usual. I’m the only one who’d suffer the consequences later on, so I might as well delay them. It’s also noteworthy to know that there is a different kick I get in doing things that do not matter, and that I find even more enjoyable.

I’m 22, and my problems now are much simpler than the ones I’d be facing when I turn 30 and 40, so there’s no need to sweat the small stuff. The real problems are not about to come up anytime soon, so worrying this early won’t get me anywhere. Living life fully is the only logical action to follow now. Procrastination is an ever recurring disease.

I’m 22, and the love I’m getting from family and friends and God is unyielding. It’s surprising what a strong support system can do to someone. Yes, I crave affection. And yes, I bathe in it. I think that’s reason enough to not feel bad about anything at all. With this in mind, I also wish to meet more people and grow in understanding with them. Human connections will forever fascinate and intrigue me.

I’m 22, and dreams and goals keep me going. I have a vision.

All these are the clutter that has been bringing confusion in my head for a while now. When they just pop out of nowhere at random instances, it’s hard to know what to make of them, because they don’t look like they make sense even when they do. The flaws and upsides of being in the early 20s may jumble and contradict each other, but they just either complement or spice up one another. Now that I think about it, I see that it’s actually just a phase in this ever changing life, perhaps an interesting one.

Understand that a 22-year-old’s state of mind is like a kaleidoscope. All there is are patterns confusing and erratic, but people look nonetheless because they are colorful, interesting and delightful to the eyes.

To simply explain it, this is the writing of a 22-year-old girl.

I’m anything but consistent.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wed, Bless & Feast

Two weekends were merrily spent with college friends in celebration of three special occasions – a wedding, a christening and a fiesta. Interestingly, none of these events could’ve happened if not for one person, Joyann.J

Let’s talk about the Sancebuche - Canario Nuptial first.
She has that glow. :)
Tapang (as we used to call Joyann because of her naturally angry tone when speaking haha!) and MJ sealed their love as they exchanged vows in front of the altar last July 28. This was also special to us because she’s the first in our batch to get married. We were all happy to have witnessed this life-changing moment.J
Congratulations, Joyann and MJ! 
When we saw the romantic set-up of the church, that was when it hit us. It was really happening. And then when MJ and Tapang arrived separately, we couldn’t help the chills and tears anymore. It all suddenly felt real to everyone.
And because all of us are hopeless romantics inside, we couldn’t help wondering how our wedding in the future would look like.

The motif has been decided, the gown designed, the venue selected, and the entourage lined up. Everything’s set except for the groom. Oh well, we can worry about him later. Hahaha! Silliness!

That day left us dreaming and imagining our own ideal weddings.

But that Sunday did not end with the nuptial alone. It was immediately followed by the baptism of their baby, Ian.
Isn't he an angel?
Baby Ian is the fruit of the newlyweds’ love. He’s the new center of attention of the family. How could he not be? He has a very sweet and charming face like that of an angel. Everybody wants a piece of Baby Ian. What a beautiful blessing. May he grow a healthy, lovely and God-fearing kid.J
Wow, everybody is getting married and having kids already. I still can’t believe it. It’s all happening too soon. I can’t keep up, and I don’t think I’m ready for any of it yet. Haha!
And then, there was the fiesta last Aug. 11.

Every year we look forward to this awesome day. Friends, videoke, cordon bleu – what’s not to love? For three straight years, we have been going to the Sancebuches’ home to join in the feast of Sta. Clara and indulge ourselves in the scrumptious buffet they have prepared.
This fiesta has become a tradition for us. While looking like a normal gathering for people on the outside, it is also one of the things we can look back at to trace the changes we’ve had over the years. Year after year we do this, and year after year there’s something different. The Sancebuche home have witnessed the changes, and Sta. Clara’s feast can attest to that.

Thank you to Joyann and the rest of the Sancebuche family for opening their home to us. xoxo



*Thanks to Monica and Jerome for the photos!

Monday, August 5, 2013

THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL: THE DEFINITIVE EDITION by ANNE FRANK (edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler)

Paper is more patient than people. – Anne Frank
                                                  
To give you a little idea of who Anne Frank is, here’s a brief description:

Anne Frank was a Jew. She was born in Germany, but her family later moved to Holland where she grew up. She was among the Jews who suffered during the Nazi occupation. She was the girl who lived to share the story of her life.

The Diary of a Young Girl was an account of everything that Anne Frank had been through in the two years her family and a few friends were in hiding from the Nazis until they were caught. Here she related her fears, concerns, doubts, and hopes which she couldn’t seem to disclose to anyone who was staying with her in the confines of the Secret Annex. This story, which was all taken from young Anne’s standpoint, was about how eight Jews, who were almost disconnected to the outside world, struggled to survive the danger and strangeness of everyday life under the Nazi colonization.

As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that you’re pure within and will find happiness once more. – Anne Frank

There’s no denying the greatness of The Diary of a Young Girl. At such age, Anne Frank used words and statements which were so thought-provoking and deep. Her diary was truly very well-written and relatable. There was a passage where Anne said her narrative wasn’t enough to describe the misery they were having, but I thought it was more than what was necessary to let the readers understand their situation. It captured the perfect picture that showed how it was like during those difficult times back then. The image was, as expected, a heartbreaking one. You could only imagine all the sounds of guns and bombs, the news of death and invasion every night and day.

At first glance, I thought this was just another story about surviving the war, but then I realized there was more. I came to understand that while they were fighting to outlive the war, they were also struggling in finding ways to survive the things in between. By this, I meant the things that were going on inside their hiding place. The squabbles over trivial matters, the boredom of doing the same things over and over again, the scarcity of supplies, the incompatibility of their personalities, and the longing for peace and safety all amount to the things in between.

An empty day, though clear and bright,
Is just as dark as any night. – Anne Frank

You know what was even more upsetting? The truth that it was all taken from an adolescent’s point of view. It must have been very hard for Anne to be in the middle of the chaos when she was already having her own share of the so-called transitional commotions inside herself brought about by puberty. Anne Frank was just brilliant and inspirational. How she managed to pull all of it together at such a young age was so admirable.

I liked the idea that it ended with more of Anne’s thoughts and not with just details of what happened in their Secret Annex. The story, or should I say diary, may not have ended with a solution, but at least it concluded with an explanation of what Anne thought was her problem. I think it was what wrapped up everything that she talked about in her journal. It was an understanding of why she wrote what she wrote and why she felt what she felt in those two years.
All’s fair in love and war. – Hello Silberberg

While and after reading, I couldn’t help but have some realizations. I came up with a list of things which may not only apply in times of war but also in everyday life. Here are a few:

First, we may become preoccupied by other things, by our busy life, but we should not forget to stop every once in a while to appreciate the simple things around us, or else life would just pass us by unconsciously.

Second, we often take things which are readily available to us for granted. We only realize what we’ve lost when it’s gone.

Third and last, it’s only during the times when we are left with nothing to do, whether by choice or by force, that we get the chance to really think things through and make real observations of ourselves and of our environment.

All in all, The Diary of a Young Girl is definitely an eye-opening read. This is one of those books you read if you want to learn a handful of life lessons with a little history on the side.

Are you done reading this book? Share your thoughts!


*Photo sources: http://kootation.com/
                        http://www.annefrank.org



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