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Showing posts from January, 2007

Two sides of the bottle

My friend Wegs ' sister, Ate Kate , tagged all the blogs listed in her sidebar because, as she put it, "it's cool like that." I've never met her personally, although I've commented in some of her entries, to which she answered back. I guess that makes us acquainted. I look forward to seeing her personally, though. I might just tell her how horribly talkative Wegs is during class. So here's the meme: Thanks to blogging I allow the other hemisphere of my brain to function , the part that's supposed to be artistic and linguistic and poetic. Most of the time the writing I do is for my scientific paperwork--in other words, my lab reports. I'm not allowed to be expressive, I'm demanded to be straight to the point. I'm not allowed to be verbose, I'm demanded to fit everything into a 200-word abstract. I'm not allowed to imagine, I'm demanded to recall all the experimental steps in sharp detail. I'm not allowed to be humorous, I

You'll probably see me in one of these.

Sketched: 9:07 am, January 27, 2006.

Signs of a hyper-active lab life

Sign 1: Tendency to move out of the lab, give someone a cake, and pose in the middle of the hallway, thereby blocking human traffic. Sign 2: Inability to suppress laughter while working. Sign 3: Detainment of a a lovely lady (who's busy culturing her bacteria) for a brief moment of a photo shoot. Sign 4: Indiscriminate posing. Sign 5: Forceful coercion, original choreography, and exquisite photography. Yes, I'm in that photo. ( More here .) TAGGED AS: mbb 110

Epitome of serious-ness

While he gobbles his last serving of ice cream, I ask Jaylord, "What's your favorite soap opera?" He swallows a spoonful of the dessert, then looks at me questioningly. I just asked a perfectly sensible question: why does he take too long to answer it? "Ano b'ang soap opera? Ah, Dragonball siguro."

The Durian Story

Four years ago, I dropped by in Manila to see Manong Ralph, who was in his freshman year in college then. Over the phone, he told my parents he wanted durian, that glorious-smelling, scrumtpuous, pulpy, milky fruit which happened to be his favorite. Until know, he still has the uncanny ability to finish off one fruit entirely on his own, without ever getting sick of its taste. So before I went to the airport, my parents stuffed more or less seven seeds into a plastic container, which I had to handcarry so I could give it to him the moment I'd see him at NAIA in Manila. It was as big as a normal lunchbox, sealed with layers of packing tape and cellophane wrappers. This was a necessary precaution so as to lock in the smell. People inhabiting Luzon, after all, find durian the most disgusting, awfully smelling, and ugliest fruit ever created. Their noses can detect even the slightest concentration in the air, and the smell would immediately repel them as if it were a biochemical wea

Drudgery

It took me three weeks before I had finally realized that my pleasurable Christmas break days are over. The transition was gradual: the first two weeks saw me lagging behind, perhaps sagging in idleness at times, my thoughts filled with the after-effects of too much rest I had acquired at home. Making my lab reports, among other academic matters that needed careful studying, somehow created that sense of being in UP, of being far away from home, but it never managed to erase the aftertaste of fun and the familiar scent of home that still clung on to me. You could say I was jolted out, with a shock comparable to the numbing feeling one gets after coming into contact with a live electric wire. Just today I had realized that I've awakened from that deep Christmas slumber--that I should be studying again, that I should be spending sleepless nights in front of the computer to beat deadlines, that I must always be standing on my own two feet, especially now that nobody prepares my break

Dinner

Glenda Garcia , that beautiful, savvy, carefree friend of ours, took us out to dinner. It was supposed to be her post-birthday celebration with us, her KalCF (Kalayaan Christian Fellowship) buddies. I asked her, "When was the last time we all ate together?" Seriously, it was too long ago: more than a year has passed when we had our Kalayaan Brigade planning at the UP Arcade. We weren't even complete then--Luther wasn't there, and so was Jef who had, during that time, recently relocated to Texas. So anyway, it felt pretty much like the good ol' days in Kalayaan, when we'd usually gather together and eat like a family. The evening was marked by frequent outbursts of laughter, quotable quotes (which I'll be publishing pretty soon), raining of food on the table (like manna from heaven)--thanks, Glenda--and some serious talk. While waiting for Paul Velasco, Paul Balite , and Jaylord who were all so dreadfully late we nearly collapsed waiting for them, God ga

Are your diamonds conflict-free?

Are your diamonds conflict-free? Right after the core meeting, I informed some friends of my decision to watch a movie, a reasonable treat for myself after having finished a 14-page lab report. Having had no idea what to watch, I asked around. I figured I didn't want to any of the MMFF entries anymore. I've seen Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo twice: the first was with my cousin, the second with Paul. In both instances, I felt like melted agar; it was too cheesy, but the script was humorous, I tell you. And I had fun. So anyway, we had a hearty dinner at KFC in the newly constructed annex of SM North EDSA called the Block. There were seven of us: Jaylord, Paul, Shean, Es, and Al. Of course, there was Kuya Dave. He had just arrived after ministering to PMA in Baguio, and he decided to spend the afternoon with us. We had a nice chat about what we did during the break, the things we have to finish for school, among others. Fifteen minutes before the start of the film, we bought our ticket

Christmas Break 2006

I had the most blessed time last Christmas. I spent it with my family mostly, but I also got to meet my friends back home. Though I was not in the least deserving of all these blessings, God chose to shower me with His goodness. And what a better time to have this realization than during Christmas, the season when we remember that He gave His us His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins. --- This was after the Sunday worship service. We immediately posed in the living room, grabbed the trusted digital camera--and, well, you decide for yourselves who among us look the best. --- And now:

Humility

Dear Bottle, You've been through much last year. You got scratched. Parts of you have been broken and cracked after you bumped into some cold, hard walls. It was all too painful. I remember that you groaned in pain. With tears overflowing, you asked to be delivered from where you were because you thought you no longer could endure. How much hurt does one bottle have to feel to learn and re-learn its lesson? It definitely took you more than once, Bottle. You were proud. You thought you were sparkling with glory. You thought you stood out from the crowd. You thought you were polished enough. You thought you were far better than others. Yes, you thought of a lot of these, but you didn't think enough. But you must be eternally grateful, for the Bottler has never once left you nor forsaken you. When you looked like a bottle fit to be thrown into the garbage bag, you still boasted. But instead of breaking you into pieces, he picked you up. He placed you in the blazing furnace, but

New Year 2007

(Didn't get to take any gloomy picture, but this will do.) Outside my window the sky looks gloomy. It has been raining since last night. So much for welcoming the new year. Everybody looks tired. And sleepy. The blood shot eyes, the croaky voices, the heavy eyelids. But I remember that while pretty much the whole world celebrated last night with a frenzy so characteristic of the New Year’s Eve, I stayed peacefully at home. We had a quiet dinner—my family and I. I remember how my mother prayed and thanked the Lord for the year that was to pass and the year that was to come. I could still recall how my father, in frequent intervals during the meal, told us that without God in our midst, we’d be nowhere. The realization that God has been faithful despite my sins, my imperfections, and my pride overwhelms me. Year 2006 has been a year of learning. I remember how I rushed out of my parents’ bed room where everyone was, went to the dining table, and there opened my Bible. Then, it a