Showing posts from October, 2009


If you've watched the dystopic I am Legend, you'll find Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake familiar, but not less entertaining. It's a story of a post-apocalytpic world where everything has crumbled. Weeds grow on asphalt roads; vines cover what used to be windows; and skulls of dead people lie scattered everywhere. All these because the entire human race has been wiped out by a deadly virus. In the midst of the chaos, one human has survived: Snowman. His recollections of the past form the backbone of the novel. Here, Margaret Atwood excels in weaving episodes that hop from different time periods, giving the reader bits and pieces of information that sow seeds of curiosity—this she does for the first 11 chapters. Right after that, she ties all the answers to those questions, and this is where the novel gets really gripping. Everything falls into place. The general theme is not unlike The Handmaid's Tale, the first Atwood novel I've read: the future looks h

Happy birthday, Tatay

Today my father celebrates his birthday. Honestly, I've lost count how old he is, but I just know he's getting older. Whenever I get back home on Christmas, I'd notice more wrinkles, graying hair, and gradually sagging skin when I'd clutch his arms. But he has always had that smile, and that voice, and that unmistakable laugh. I remember getting really furious at him one time; this was in first grade. He left me in the barber shop because he was doing groceries. I always hated it when he told me, "Just wait for me, Bon, I'll be back in a while," because he said that often. When he came back to fetch me, I was all teary-eyed because that barber ravaged my hair, cut it an inch shorter that what it was normally, leaving me looking like someone who'd just undergone chemo. And the worst feeling was that, I was all alone there, looking at that monstrosity happen, and I couldn't find the right words to speak because I was so young. So as we were wa

The weirdest names are in Class 2014

Just weird  Rich King. I voted him as class treasurer because his name seemed appropriate. I didn't know him personally then—but guess what, he's doing a swell job extorting collecting money from us. So my vote was justified, after all. Karl Babe Tagomata . I make sure I don't call him "Babe" in public because other people might misinterpret it. "Let's have lunch, Babe" just doesn't sound nice if taken out of context. Joan Joseph Castillo. He insists we call him Casti, but isn't it more exciting to call a tall, macho man Jo-an? People who haven't met him might suspect a real, living hermaphrodite actually exists. Jamaica Noblezada . I don't know if she was born there, but it sure is interesting to name someone after a country. To talk her, you should greet her thus, " Jamaica n me crazy!" For those who don't know, she was the official beauty title holder of Miss Caloocan some two years ago. No kidding.

Bad, bad child

Believe it or not, I was a bad child. Of evil proportions. In kindergarten, I stabbed a girl with a blunt pencil. Her arm bled, and she cried hysterically. Arianne Taborete was asking me for help because she didn't know how to draw a face. I said, "Let me finish mine first; I'll get back to you." But she was so insistent. She was tugging my right arm, effectively distorting the image I was sketching on paper. I got really mad I gripped the no. 2 Mongol pencil and embedded it straight to her brachioradialis.  She has never bothered me since. During summer vacations, my cousins and I would play at my Lola's house. The garden was wide, lavished with swings, see-saws, and the slide. Many times Kring and I would spend the afternoons there. One day, out of a childish whim, I decided to have the slide all to myself. Instead of climbing up through the ladder (which was how it should be done, really), I decided to climb through the slopey part of the slide itself—that

The last, long stretch, and then, the wonderful promise of a two-week sembreak

It feels only yesterday, and now, my first sem in this tough world call medschool is about to end in a few hours. Thank You, thank You, Lord, for sustaining me all throughout.

Note on the door

A fit of nostalgia came upon me as I downloaded the files I had originally uploaded in Geocities, the first online file hosting site I used when I started this blog on 2004. For some reason, Yahoo decided to close it. I got the email notification to retrieve my files while I still could. This was the note I posted at my door (Room B17) at Kalayaan Residence Hall. It's a quote from Galatians 2:20, handwritten by me. I took a photo of this using Myx's Nokia camera phone, the first few ones that had colored screens. I haven't seen my friends in a long while. I wonder where they are. I'm missing the good ol' days.

Getting all neurological

It's funny—no, amusing—how my things-to-do can accumulate so fast in so short a time. Ah, the unmistakable sign of a looming sembreak. I've just finished reviewing for two Wednesday exams, but I'm still up and about because I'm preparing for the neurological preceptorials later. From what I gather, the entire first year class will be meeting a neuro patient. And then, the assigned consultant (a very smart, usually old, experienced doctor) will each teach us how to do the proper techniques. We'll ask nice, little questions—like real doctors. Behind the cloak of forced confidence, we're crossing our fingers that we don't forget our mnemonics. Imagine what a turn-off that would be if, in the middle of asking for the patient's medical history, there's going to be a two-minute lag time because—wait, what does "S" stand for again? I don't know how things will turn out tomorrow. "Meeting patients actually scares me," said Jana a

Stuff Christians like

I have a new favorite blog. It's created by Jon Acuff. I like it for its clean humor and funny (but accurate) description of Christians. Check it out . Oh. My favorite posts include: The Campus Babysitter , Raising Dorks , The Church-flavored Q & A , and Slow Dancing with Temptation .

The after-exam meditation

After every exam, I look forward to going back to my apartment. I don't like staying out too much, especially after I've subjected my brain to what could only be described as a mental torture—or, almost always, an intricate guessing game. Peace and quiet and dreams make up my ideal detoxifying activity. Others prefer alcohol, some a thousand rounds of videoke, but nothing beats a good eight-hour sleep. Usually my roommate would be out with his own set of friends, so I'd have the entire room to myself. I've long since realized the importance of having some quiet time alone—I hear my thoughts more clearly and see things in different ways. Which is to say that I do a lot of thinking as I rock myself to sleep. So, yes, I've been thinking of many things lately. Foremost of which is—am I ever going to be a doctor, and will I be a good one? I ask myself this because at the rate of how I'm learning things, the future seems bleak. I hardly retain anything, and, as


Sister Aloysious Beauvier—some name, huh?—played by Meryl Streep is the principal of a church-run school. One of the teachers is Sister James (Amy Adams) who reports that a black student in her class came back with alcohol in his breath after a private meeting with Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), the parish priest. When Sister James confides this to Sister Aloysious, the principal is convinced that the priest abused the child—she just knew . Father Flynn is confronted, of course, so he demands for further proof. But there isn't any, except for the deep-seated conviction of Sister Aloysious, who is, at that point, determined to remove the priest from the school. When, in the middle of the movie, Father Flynn begins his sermon on gossip, mainly to refute the accusations against him, I knew I was going to enjoy Doubt . In the pulpit, he tells of a story of a woman who came to a priest to confess because she spread malicious gossip against her neighbor. The priest advised

The angriest photo I have so far

My brother took this while we were in McDonald's Kalayaan to sap some WiFi. From the looks of it, I'm about to stab someone to death when the truth is, I'm just reading my email. You go tell your friends to take a snapshot of you when you least expect it, and you'll be surprised at the facial expressions you could sport. Once, I told a friend he could swallow a planet (or something to that effect) when he yawned in class. I think he only half-believed me because I didn't have photographic evidence. I praise God for the swell time I've had this past week. Classes have been cancelled because of the typhoon. As a result, class schedules will be moved. That means sem break will no longer be two weeks but one. It's a bittersweet feeling.