I woke up with a very light feeling this morning. The week is over. Let me summarize what happened:
Wednesday morning: I proceeded with my Undergraduate Seminar despite the heavy rain. A couple of hours before my lecture, Dianne Deauna sent me an encouraging message, “Cheer up, Dear! Even thunder and lightning won't stop you.” Other people also wished me well by text and comments in my Multiply. My other friends who had classes or had exams told me they would pray for me. I thank the Lord because my talk went well. I was able to squeeze a mouthful of information in 25 minutes, and the questions were not as hard as I'd expected them to be.
Wednesay night: Hazel Baconga celebrated her 20th birthday at Dencio's in Trinoma. I was hesitant to come because I had an exam the day after, but she was insistent. So I thought, I'd drop by for an hour then fly away. The food was overflowing. I also got to meet many of her high school friends and a lot of MBB people. (It was also Jac Libatique's birthday, but I got the invitation from Paul Balite late. Anyway, happy birthday, Jacky-Wacky.)
Thursday: Long laboratory exam. I hadn't prepared well for it, but God's grace was overflowing. Arielle Sulit offered to email me the reviewer she made, and that helped me a great deal. It was also Juanchi Pablo's birthday, and there was supposed to be a surprise party concocted by his long-time friend Wegs Pedroso. After eating dinner, I rushed to church for the weekly Youth Workers' Cell. Kuya Lito expounded on Nehemiah 4. I was reminded that we must expect opposition when we do God's will. That night, Ate Rae Rivera and Kuya Moncie Casas, both very much in love, gave me a ride back home.
Friday: We in LMCB (Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology) went out to Timezone in Trinoma. We had dinner at Tokyo Tokyo where I consumed four—that's four—cups of rice. Ate Xy-za and Myka treated us to games and videoke. Kuya Francis beat me in a game of Air Hockey despite his having an arm fracture.
As I look back at the week, I remember what Dr. Laura David reminded us in class: each week we must do something different—like eat in another restaurant, or visit a different bookstore, or go to places we've never visited before—so that our lives will be dotted with unique, unforgettable happenings.
Linggo. Walang masyadong tao sa UP. Pakaliwa na ang Pantranco jeep sa harap ng Ilang nang pinara ng mga matatandang babae. Mga 12 sila. Puti ang buhok. Halos nakauniporme ang suot. Kung hindi nakapustiso ay kulang-kulang na ang ngipin. At ang iingay. Sa loob ng jeep, ako lang ang below 55 ang edad. Nanggaling ata sila sa isang pulong. Panay “Kay Gloria [Arroyo] kami” ang sigaw. Bukod dito, hindi talaga sila nagkasundo—lalo na nang singilin sila ng drayber ng pamasahe. Eh di bigla silang nagbilangan kung sino ang senior para makakuha ng diskawnt.
“Walo nga sabi eh. O, heto ang kard ko.”
Ganoon kainit ang diskusyon nila. Nakakatawa talagang pakinggan. Bago ako bumaba, sabi ng katabi ko, sabay tawa, “Pasensya ka na, anak, matanda na kasi kami.”
The Law auditorium is packed. Newsmen. Students. Professors. Foreign ministers. It’s a good thing I come in white long-sleeves. I squeeze through the jampacked crowd and find a decent space where I take a pretty good look at President Jose Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor and Nobel Peace Prize winner. His voice, mellow and deep, resonates throughout the hall, drowning the incessant chattering of some law students behind me. I am overwhelmed. His simplicity. His humility. His words. Here is a man who seems to know how to run his country and how run it well.
Dancing has never been my gift, but, as I look at the performers, I realize some people just do it well. Dressed in yellow shirts—an X-ray crystallographic image of the DNA in front and the words “Sexy, Brainy, Hottie” at the back—my friends dance to the music. Just about the time the performance reaches its climax, the CD player is unplugged, the dancers on-stage are caught unawares, and the MBB crowd—our teachers, lab mentors, classmates, friends—howls in dismay. “What happened?” Yet, the dancers remain uperturbed. The routine continues, just as what had been rehearsed a while back, and, in lieu of the music, the crowd sings the tunes instead. At the end of the day, MBB emerges as the champions. After all these years, finally—a gold.
(Photos by Kino)
I arrive 15 minutes late. On the stage, Dr. Butch Dalisay is talking about writing the Filipino novel. The voice I hear is deep, reverberating, accented with a pleasant Fil-Am twang. He makes a lot of sense. We're never going to be taken seriously unless we write novels.