Blast

With high school classmates

Last Saturday Manong Ralph and I arrived in Koronadal.

The plane ride was eventful. There were so many familiar faces at the airport that I couldn't help but wonder how many of us from Marbel now study or work or live temporarily in the wide, colorful, and dangerous metropolis. There was Katrina, who sat between Manong and I, and who kept asking my brother about law school, the tuition fee increase in UP, the charter change, among others. We were a noisy lot. Kuya John, JP Asong, the Kuya Jasper and Norman Dagang, and the Suenos, were there, too.

We got back home just around dinner time, but we had to wait for Nanay to finish uprooting a patient's tooth before we ate an absolutely hearty meal. I told my family, "Grabe, pati tubig, na-miss ko." I also told them that I was now a voracious eater, and that the reason for my weight problem was my hyper-fast metabolism. I knew I didn't sound convincing because my father still insisted that I eat a mouthful of bananas and thereafter drink my vitamins. Plus, Manong kept on repeating that I was missing my breakfast. In my family, that's considered a cardinal sin.

After eating, my brother Sean toured me around Alunan Avenue which was lined with colorful Christmas lights that made me wonder: who will pay for the electric fees? "There's a contest, Manong," my kid brother told me. We took pictures, walked all the way to Notre Dame Girls, and hailed a tricycle to go home. All that time, he sounded disappointed: he still hasn't grown taller than me. So much for expectations, Sean.

Sunday. We went to Church together. My, how I missed Pastor Guilbert's in-depth exhortations. The Church is now having a pulpit series on 1 Peter.

I also met with my high school classmates (Michelle took great pictures with her phone). We played bowling, talked, reminisced the good ol' high school days in K-N, and we laughed like crazy. What surpised me was that either they were now involved in romantic relationships, or that they had just broken up. They told me how unimaginable it was to see me holding hands with somebody, and I said in return, "Not in my wildest dreams have I even thought of that."

God has been so gracious as to give me this most wonderful time with my family for Christmas. There are still many things to do. I will get a voter's registration card at COMELEC (yes, I'll be voting next elections!), have my ATM card changed, visit my grandparents, go to a high school reunion... and finish four lab reports due next year.

Isn't this bloody exciting, or what? Do tell me what you've been up to.

Great year

Shadow

(Some of my blockmates and I, resting atop the sewage line spanning the field beside University Avenue.)

After almost a year, I'm finally going home. I should really be packing now instead of composing this. But there's just too much to tell that I can't stop the urge. But then again, I realize that words fail me. Praise be to God for this great year!

You can also view my Last-Day-2006 Photo Collection here.

Thankful

Three down, one to go.

I’ve been taking exams for three days in a row—MBB 110 on Monday, Geol 11 on Tuesday, Chem 40 on Wednesday, and there’s Stat 101 coming up tomorrow. Please don’t imagine me writing the previous sentence with all smiles and no worries. On the contrary, those academic requirements have left me breathless. But lest I make the impression that I’m complaining—throwing emotional fits at others, ranting like the rest of the citizens of the blogsphere—I’m actually thankful.

For now, I’ll abruptly end this blog post and return to my notes. May God alone be glorified tomorrow!

TAGGED AS:

When we come to the end of our strength

Last Tuesday I woke up feeling weak. I could hardly stand up. With only two hours of decent sleep, I was exhausted. I had a sleepless night marked by frequent trips to the bathroom, cold chills, and nausea.

With only 30 minutes to take a quick bath, change clothes, pack my things, read my Bible, and pray, I figured I couldn't make it to my seven o'clock class. Either I'd risk my health coming to class (I had the fear of collapsing, however theatrical that may sound), or I'd spend a couple of hours more to rest and fill my empty stomach.

I then found myself in earnest prayer. I searched the Scriptures and was reminded of familiar passages. I knew it was God's way of reminding me to trust in Him.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6.

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2.


My point, friends, is this: whenever we come to the end of our strength, we must humble ourselves by trusting in God. By so doing, we become joyful because He will give us His peace that "surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7)."

The backseat

I tell my brother I'm going ahead. He nods his head, smiles, and says okay. The Church's family day isn't over yet, but I rush out of the building anyway, hail a taxi amid the dark skies and the pouring rain.

"Sa UP po," I tell the taxi driver, his hair stained with remnants of a brown-black dye he had probably applied months ago.

"Sa loob?" He asks. I say yes.

I settle at the backseat, close my eyes for while, and eventually find myself looking out of the window. Past the buildings, the cars, the pavement, and the horizon is my home, miles away.

Salvation is born

Listening to:
Salvation is Born
Gregory L. Tulenko © 2005 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)
featuring Shannon Harris

Join with the angels proclaiming to earth
Join with the shepherds in awe of His birth
Join all creation rejoicing this morn
The glory of God-become-man has been born

Come, let us adore Him
Jesus, the hope of the world
Come, worship before Him
Christ, the Messiah has come
Salvation is born

This song, playing in my room since I had downloaded it, reminds us that Christmas is all about Christ. Anything less renders our celebration pointless. You can listen to a free sample of the song here.

Blast from the past

My friend, Zcharmaine Yumang, whom I've met in Baguio five years ago during a convention, lent me her photo album just this morning. I saw two pictures of myself which she took of me during the awarding ceremonies. I was amazed at how small I was then, and how I've become so grown-up, so mature, and so bloody handsome. Do click on the two photos to see bigger portraits.

"Do I still look the same?" I asked a friend.

"I see pretty much the same smile."

Still small

In Baguio

I sound, but don't dance, like a professional cheerdancer

How they do it

This is how the professional cheerdancers do it:

1. First they arrange themselves according to their weight. The greater the weight, the lower the altitudinal position. It is observed therefore that the lightest (though not exactly the smallest) creatures are the ones being tossed and carried, while the bigger ones serve as support.

2. The second step involves careful planning of the formation. This entails formulating free body diagrams, where summation of force and torque must equal to zero such that equilibrium is obtained. With equilibrium comes poise, and with poise, the assurance that nobody will crash on the ground and break his/her bones. This still depends, however, on whether the fallen creature has excessive cushioning (can be read as: ...is fat) or the apparent lack thereof.

3. The final step is the most glorious one, as it involves not only all the strength one can muster, but also the ability to display excessively joyful emotions through the flashing of newly-brushed teeth, partly-raised eyebrows, and delightful sounds of laughter.

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Two thumbs up for NIMBB for winning the overall championship crown in the recently concluded College of Science Sportsfest. Please see this photoset to view pictures during the competition.