Showing posts from August, 2007

A hero's death

I hardly know him. In fact, I don’t—except from the vague personal sketches I’ve heard from the ones who did. He went to the same high school as my brother but almost half a decade earlier. He lived from a nearby town, about an hour drive from Koronadal City. But I don’t remember ever seeing him, not even vaguely. His name, though, has a familiar ring into it. Weirdly, Michael tells me my father were friends with his. Is it just my memory, or we’ve never really been introduced? My friend Katrina tells me he was a math genius. Days before Kat would join math contests, she’d run to him for some tutoring, which he’d do gladly and for free. Michael tells me he was quiet. He’d probably only talk when it was called for, with every word from his mouth eliciting some sense. His dream was to become a soldier, so goes the Inquirer article . When he was young, he liked to play military drills. Funny, when I think of it, because I never had that phase in my life. To me, the most perplexing questio

Long walk home

During my first year in the University, my friends and I used to walk along this path daily, from our dorm to our classes. They hated the smell of the rotten fruit, while I loved it. To my disappointment, the janitors would always sweep this place clean before lunchtime. But the smell would always be there, lurking in some hidden place.

Room 125

June 2007, Start of First Sem (2007-2008) The room looked the same when I left it two months ago, except for the tiny shreds of paper a summer resident may have left on my desk. I switched the lights on and opened the windows to let some air in. It was so quiet I could hear my steady breathing. It was like this, too, when I first came to Yakal. My brother was with me, and we were both tired carrying our luggage. When he left me to get a drink nearby, I sat in a corner, thinking what would happen next. Would I call this place home? Would it be as fun as Kalayaan? Would I meet friends here? Silence has a way of keeping our mouths shut and our minds talking. 2005-2006 I was roommates with my brother for a whole year. It was a mistake, I thought at first, for we would only quarrel like immature brats in front of others. But we did get along, and the only disagreements we had was when he played music while I was solving math equations. He works better with the Media Player turned on; I get

When it rains, it pours

Rain's pouring hard outside as Typhoon Egay makes its way through the Philippines. This is rain water flowing on the glass panels of Yakal Residence Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman.


I thank the Lord, for never have I regretted my decision of shifting to MBB. It's my third year in the program, which means I'm nearing the finish line, but still not there yet. So far it's been a learning experience. When people ask me (and they normally do, usually with bewildered eyes and gaping mouths) why I shifted from English Studies to Molecular Biology, I'd normally tell them that I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, English being a recommended pre-law course, but that I wanted to save lives by being a doctor. It's true, of course, but not exactly complete. I shifted because I wanted to know God more through His creation. My utmost consideration for a course was this: where I was going, would I come to a deeper understanding of God? I thank the Lord because now my answer is a resounding yes. For the past years I've learned so much, my mind like a sponge being soaked in information. And each time, I'd be amazed at how things work in the molecular leve

Summers of childhood

An hour and a half of watching Gulong reminded me of the summers of my childhood: afternoons spent playing under the sun, hanging out in the quiet neighborhood, and going where our feet led us. Life, like everything else, was enjoyed in simplicity. Gulong , directed by Sockie Fernandez, is a finalist in the Cinemalaya Film Festival (Full Length Films Category) now showing at the UP Film Institute. The story is told by Apao, a kindhearted boy who wants to buy an old bicycle. With his cousin Momoy and friend Tom-tom, they work for weeks to purchase the bike--all these for the price of going to a fishpond where beautiful women are found bathing. But they learn that life isn't so easy after several instances that hinder them from finally buying it. And each time, Apao's kindness would prevail, like a waft of cold mist in the sweltering heat. The movie isn't pretentious.; it tells the story as it ought to be told. It's also distinctly Filipino, definitely one of the movies t


Basa ng pawis ang likuran ko nang ginising ako ng pagkahulog ko sa kama. Parating maalinsangan ang kuwarto tuwing alas tres ng hapon, puwera na lang kung umuulan. Ang sarap matulog, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Kelan nga ba ako huling natulog nang ganito kahimbing? Napanaginipan kong pumapanhik ako sa tabi ng dagat. Parang walang pinoproblema. Parang napakagaan ng pakiramdam. Kung ang buhay sana'y panaginip na lang. Nagpalit ako ng damit, naghilamos ng mukha, at sabay na itinapat ang bentilador sa harap ko. Parang ayoko pang gumalaw pero kailangan. Bigla kong naalala ang dami ng dapat kong tapusin. Mahirap ang buhay estudyante. Lumabas muna ako ng kuwarto, naghanap ng mga kaibigang makakausap. Wala pa akong ganang magbasa ng mga aklat, mag-intindi ng mga leksyon, at magsulat ng mga report. Pero napakatahimik ng dormitoryo. Halos walang tao--kung hindi man naglalaro ng basketball sa labas ay pumunta na sa SM para manood ng sine. Hay buhay. Bumalik ako sa kuwarto at napahiga sa kama. Naalal

The week in photos: last week of July 2007

West Wing 1 lost to West East Wing 2 in Monday's volleyball match as part of the dorm's on-going Sportsfest. The morning thereafter, I saw this note posted in the hallway mirror. Vengeance. Yakal lawn front view after a heavy downpour. Who made the angels cry? Myself and Clint, with Rey hiding between us. Roomhopping makes dorm life exciting. Number one roomhopper: JP Asong. Finally, he's been admitted to Yakal after years of torture in the Dorm on the Other Side of the Street. Feels like Kalayaan again. Stacks of books piled above my shelf. Which reminds me: I should start reading again. If you think student life's a breeze; no, it's a hurricane. And so, the month of July ends. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me this far.