Showing posts from November, 2006

Arcade computer games with Manong and Sean

Years ago, when computer games were more popularly played with joysticks and tokens bought for give pesos apiece, my brothers and I would find ourselves falling prostrate before our mother's knees, begging her for money so we could go to the mall and play Street Fighter. She'd give us a generous sum of money which we divided among ourselves equally. But it wasn't fair; I should've been given more. After all, my brothers Ralph and Sean were excellent video game players--they still are. I was the exact opposite. It was as if they had hands whose chief purpose was to turn the joystick in all directions, while mine could only press one button at a time. Their mind-eye-hand coordination was inexplicably amazing; on the other hand, it took me minutes to realize that I had to jump or move to the left or go forward or use this and that power combo. A sore loser I was. So picture this: I would wait for hours for them to finish playing because even before Manong and Sean actually

Give me fin!

Everything was unplanned. A spur of the moment--yes, you can call it that. After the YCF core meeting this morning, I told Es, "Let's watch a movie, Happy Feet. They say it's fun. And I happen to like penguins." She beamed at my suggestion. Though hesitant at first, she agreed to go with me. We invited some more friends, but they either had classes or other academic things to do. After lunch, we barged in to SM North Edsa, bought tickets, and decided to eat lunch after the movie. We had fun. On our jeepney ride to UP, I said, "Sana maulit pa 'to, no?" Praise God for the most wonderful time of relaxation. It was truly a break from the hustle and bustle of academic life. Gimme fin, Es!

The discipline of a shut mouth

The realization came to me as a shock. I was jolted when it finally hit me, and the feeling was too overwhelming that I had to go out to breathe a sigh of relief, to utter a word of silent prayer, and to remind myself that things happen because God allows them to. "The volition [to sin] comes from something more deep-seated than the volition itself," Kuya Butch said when he talked about sin. I've been talking too much and too loudly, to the point that the words that come out of my mouth no longer glorify my God. The realization? I should shut up.

Extended fellowship at Philcoa

It was supposed to be called "Wednesday Dinner Date With Kuya Derf," but he didn't come because he had a masters class at the Asian Theological Seminary. So it came to be known as the Extended Yakal Christian Fellowship at Philcoa. We all had a great time, laughing, eating, and sharing one another's burdens. But it was "laughing" mostly. From left, clockwise: Riza (in pink), Ate Lavs (Ate Lavs for those younger than her, Lavs for those who are older), Paul Velasco, Jaylord (the small Chinese guy with the glasses), Shean, and Paul Balite . Razel ; Kuya Butch , Jason, Paul Velasco; the citrus fruit sculpture that defied physical laws.

Epileptic fit

People who are close to me know that I have near-zero tolerance for romantic talk. I cringe at the mere notion of hearing people in close proximity to one another (so close, in fact, that they can smell each other's breath) mutter, "You are my life, and I am not the same without you." My system would, under ordinary circumstances, fail to tolerate the increased dose of corniness. (It's not that I hate it. On the contrary, I think it's all normal). When people begin talking about their romantic lives and pursuits, even heartbreaks, at my presence, I would try my best to pay close attention; and I somehow manage, because these people are my friends--and what do friends do to each other but to listen and care? And though I sometimes find it hard to relate to them, God would be so good as to enable me to give them sound advice: "beware of the deceitfulness of the heart, be mindful of God's will for you." But when people begin asking me things alluding to

MBB lab, the first time around

Click on the photos to view full size. I still don't have much to say about my first MBB laboratory class, except that it starts from 1 pm and ends at 7. That's six hours of labwork. The trio, breathing sighs of relief after hours of looking through the microscope. The Group of the Older Ones. Except for Dianne, they're all past their fifties. Taking a break from work. My group, exhausted after the exercise, but still as fresh as the green grass in the morning. A moment of light laughter with Wegs . Now who says we don't have social lives?


I hope I'm not giving anyone the impression that I am not patriotic, that I do not love this country, and that my heart beats hatred for Manny Pacquiao, especially now when he has just knocked out Morales in their recently concluded battle a couple of hours ago. Please. Don't think of me that way. I also hope that by writing the aforementioned paragaph I'm not giving the impression that I have become a Pacquiao convert. You still won't find my name in his Fans Club roster of members. You won't find me queueing to get his autograph. You won't probably even hear me call him "the new Filipino hero." But, even if I rooted for Morales (to the dismay of some of my friends who think it absolutely unthinkable for someone so brown-skinned and flat-nosed as I am to support someone from another country), I think Pacquiao did a great an awesome job.


An official member. That's what I am now after finishing my application for the UP Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Society, which, in this blog, shall hereunto be referred to as The Org. After the interview, the sig sheets (which I had to do all over again because of my irresponsibility), the tambak, the talents night, the fun day, and many other things in between, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, it's over. Special thanks goes to Ate Richelle, The Org's membership committee head; Jade, who spearheaded the talents night preparations; and to Coy and Arielle, for going the extra mile of sharing their stacks of newspaper during the times when I badly needed them. Just yesterday, I was wondering how I could possibly gather 7 kgs--seven!--before this Saturday morning. I thought of buying old newspapers from newsstands, even buying new ones, for the sake of meeting the quota required for application. My desperation, in fact, led me to ask for the phone number

The long jeepney ride

The jeepney was eerily quiet when I hailed it. It was about 7:30pm. Except for the para po's of the few passengers, everyone was silent. When we passed by Bio, the jeep halted. Then came two women whose faces I will forever associate with the cool, wood-paneled lecture hall and my experiences during the last two semesters in UP. I smiled at both of them upon greeting them good evening. "What are you doing here, Mister Catedral?" Dr. Jacinto asked. She was my Bio 11 zoology lecturer. I explained that I had been detained at Albert Hall for a choir practice. "Are you still very movable?" Dr. Amparado, my Bio 12 zoology lecturer, asked. I said, "Yes, Ma'am, I'm still as movable as before, but I'm eating a whole lot more now." She seemed pleased. We used to discuss the unequal distribution of energy throughout the earth's ecosystem when the topic of malnutrition came up. She was engrossed with talking about it when she singled me out from t

From Yakal and back again

Click on photos to enlarge. Yakal grounds. Everyone passes by the green lawn to get to Shopping Center, where readings are photocopied, snacks are bought, and meals are eaten. I know of some friends who'd rather take their food out and eat in their rooms instead of squeezing their way into the small "restaurants." These are the people who have the ATP and the zeal to wash their dishes after a fulfilling gastronomic pursuit. Still green on the opposite side of the road where the notorious dorm (do I hear Jac and Luther protesting?) called Molave is erected. The way. I'm not sure about this, but I guess a chivalrous group of artists, probably from Fine Arts, painted these nice graffiti on walls, electric posts, and public surfaces. (Well, yes, public surfaces isn't that bad a term, is it? You should read Kuya John's coinage of " elevating to a higher semantic pedestal ." I love your blog, Kuya!) Now back to my point: Chairman Fernando should contact

Expanding connections

A typical night in my room: I’d be in front of the computer. Splattered on the table would be scraps of paper inserted in the pages of thick books. Al would be at his desk, reading history books. Mark would be lying on his bed, tinkering with his laptop, waiting for me to finish so that the lights would be turned off, and he could go to sleep. And then, just when the clock ticks to 10:30, Art would come rushing in, tired after classes, org meetings, and church involvements, carrying his stacks of books, his backpack, and sometimes, food for all of us. He’d throw his things on his desk, wash his face—take a bath even—and then tell me, “Lance, anong oras ka matutulog?” “Mga 1:30 na siguro, Art,” I’d reply. “Pagising naman, o.” “Sige ba. Any exams tomorrow?” “Oo, may thesis pa akong tatapusin. Tapos, may take home pa,” he’d say, followed by his incessant reminder for me to get enough sleep because I shouldn’t tire myself, otherwise I’d get even thinner. I’d tell him, “Art, I’m okay, don’t

Si Baste

"Lance, ilagay mo naman ako sa blog mo," Baste tells me, wiping the sweat trickling down his face after a long basketball match in the dorm's court. "Bakit?" "Para naman sumikat ako." I laugh. I tell him that my Sitemeter doesn't give the actual number of unique visitors that have come across this blog--90% of it is because of me. "Pero sige, ilalagay kita." "'Yan ang gusto ko sa 'yo, Lance, eh." So there, Baste, aka Sebastian Julian, you're in my blog now. Hehe.

When class starts, I may just need a cup of coffee this big to keep me awake


The Catedrals. Bow.

I thought I shall never see Noses as flat as these three Noses that smell the cool, clean air As the breeze that enters the Catedral's lair The first is Ralph whose passion is law And whose face only Nanay can draw The second is handsome, whose name is Lance He talks aloud but can never dance The third is smaller and is called Sean Run fast and shoot the ball? Oh yes, he can! These three brothers, they live and play Under the hot, stifling summer day At the end of the day, what do they say? "Thank you, O Lord, this we pray."


Still about a week to go before enrollment. So far, I've spent most of my time in quiet retreat. I'm usually at home, reading stacks of good literature , editing and proofreading the August-October issue of the Torch (the church youth ministry's quarterly magazine), sleeping, eating, and watching cable TV. I've just read William Golding's masterpiece, The Lord of the Flies . It's a novel so gripping and moving it would lead you to ask fundamental questions on the evils of this world. Golding accurately gives an answer, albeit a subtle one: that the problems that plague society are caused not by the present system, but by the innate nature of the people who run the system. I'm now reading T he Foxe's Book of Martyrs , a Christian classic that tells of the sufferings of martyrs for the sake of Christ. God has used this book to show me how I ought to live: to live for Him alone. These martyrs have thought of Christ to be their sole treasure whose value is g

New template finally!

I had to change my template, not so much because Manong and Kent and Jef have changed theirs lately, but because there was a problem with the Blogger commenting service. The comments, for weeks, did not get published at all. I thought, perhaps, the problem was due to my switch to Blogger Beta [I made the bold move because this new interface (or program, whatever) allows me to organize my entries into categories]. I waited for the Blogger Team to do some tweaking; perhaps, commenting was the loophole of this innovation, but my waiting proved futile. I figured that the error must be inherent in my blog template. Thus, the radical change. Nevertheless, I hope you find this template--I'll call it Bottle of Olives --convenient. The links can be accessed by clicking the "Pull" icon in the upper right corner of the blog; a drop-down window will cascade before your very eyes, much like an avalanche or a stampede that will crush you at your wits' end (I'm being too metaph