Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ad Hoc Field Trip

On Monday, we are about to have our home visit to Alicia just for fun but for the sake of our tropa’s hospitalization because of dengue, we took the u-turn from Sta. Lucia to Meycauayan, Bulacan.
Charles was confined in a clinic near their residency in Marilao and going their takes one LRT ride, a bus and a jeepney for about one and a half to two hours. It’s a field trip, indeed.
The travel took us hours but we never felt it because of the laughters and franks we have done inside those public transportation vehicles.
Arriving inside the clinic, the giggling toddlers play hide and seek before Charles came out of the restroom with his dextrose.
We must have felt pity on him but that pity was replaced by some sort of joyful spirit because of Charles’ high self-esteem that made us feel like he’s good even though he’s really sick and weak.
That room was filled with sense of comfort and delight knowing we made Charles happy in spite of being jailed inside the four walls of that white house.

We pray for his full recovery and we are still hoping for the comeback of the simple yet, comic basketball player we can’t help not to cheer in the near COC Intramurals.

The Astonishing Midterm

Always expect the unexpected.
That was an already- exhausting morning last Wednesday after the series of sleepless nights that had just blew us just to fulfill myriads of requirements to be pass on that quite demanding morning.
That was also the day of our session with Professor Filemon Viduya on Fundamentals of News Writing. I never thought that after the flood of home works that ravaged us is an astonishing midterm examination that no one could’ve prepared.
We are then chit-chattering, trying to relax our nerves from the tension of pulling its endings to its limits last night. We are then confident of having a stress-free morning after that nerve-racking week we have undergone.
Our professor entered the door with that teasing grin ripping his face. After some sort of few reminders, he instructed us to bring out a piece of yellow sheet for a 20-item midterm assessment.
With that simple yet, striking words of his, the whole class’ jaws dropped. I would never doubt if that moment made our world halted for a couple of seconds. The message slowly sank in to our brains as we reacted late on the pronouncement. I think that it caused me a minute or two flash of numbness before bringing out some yellow paper.
I am not prepared and well-equipped for that evaluation after all. I should’ve studied hard in advance if I am clued-up. I am not used on taking exams without rigorous, painstaking preparation.
But when he had started to dictate the questionnaires, my mind refocuses to take it all down with my stenographies.
A deep sigh of relief burst out of my mouth as I found the test questions that uncomplicated.
 I started to write down my best answers that made me garner a total of 93 points.
The test was facile but I’m frustrated seeing my seatmate peeking inside our textbook. It will be just fine for me but seeing my other seatmates taking the same stuff that serious and with amazement of him having the highest point of 96 is much more surprising.
 I’m contended with my grade and I hope he would get (the one who did the great mischief) to face his consequences.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sleep-over at its Best

Because of my desperate desire to escape from my dormitory, my peers pushed me to stay to Meynard’s house not just for only one, probably not two, but three consecutive days.
I am really double-minded about this stuff since I need to break a family and a house. I know they will get uneasy. I know it’s a mere fact that it’s not good to stay on another’s house for that long span of time, even how good these people are.
But however how hard I resist, I need to. I don’t know how my mother will react when I come home in the not-so-perfect time. So, I deal with it.
In Meynard’s house, I really feel the happy spirit surrounding their two-story row house, opposing the “depressed area” connoted by my blockmates in correspond to Meynard being a man harboring all types of depression.
The ambience is light that it made me feel comfortable enough. I feel relax as I stretched my joints on their soft sofa while letting my eyes exhausted watching over the cable-ready idiot box.
Her mother is so hospitable though I really felt ashamed on how she treats me. I see to her a picture of an adorable, ideal mom.
And oh, I also met his two elder brothers. However how conflicting their characters are and of how Meynard feel sorry for his siblings, I deeply appreciate how good his brothers acted.
 The eldest, I see myself in him, a conyo- speaking literate from the University of the Philippines, his attitudes is the same as mine, most on how we treat our younger brothers.
Next to him is like one of my brother that though may seem naughty, behaves well.
I prefer to shut my mouth than to show my true color because I really enjoy observing them all. I may laugh at times, but I can’t offer my outgoing persona. After all, I’m a shy-type kid.
The nights are actually well where I see myself in a deep slumber beside MeyMey on that foldable bed set-up’d in their living room. I don’t let myself feel conscious of how I look like while I am sleeping. I indeed easily feel at home.
Every morning is nice startled up by a big breakfast meal. After is a short but had seemed like a long queue toward the bathroom. I confess that however how hard we try to wake up early, we ended up cramming as we come to school. And we are always late.
I hereby understand Mey.
This sleep-over is quite an adventure, a moment to cherish at most. Mey and I’s friendship had been made firm more with this trip. I indeed enjoy it. I thank Meynard and his family for a well-spent three days. I really love the way you treat me. May God bless your home sweet home.

Precious as They Are

Friends are treasure. It’s a mere fact that inside our treasure chest, there are those that are just pure crap but there will always be those who are genuinely precious.
In the middle of this depressing, melancholic blanket that covered me for a week, the precious gems I have sparkled the best, better than of how the tears spilling out of my eyes trickle.
This week is really weakening. The dilemma that struck me somewhat corroded some parts of the foundation I am dependent upon. I’m quite shaken, I was trembled, had stumbled.
And in this sudden fall, I admit that my thighs are not strong enough to recover and stand up again alone.
I’m blessed that out of the hundreds of friends I contacted to help me, my tropa’s brilliance astound the other gems.
It was real, true friends came out sincerely when you need them. Literally, they will always be by your side whenever you fell down. Genuine friends sparked their best in times of your weariness.
During these times, I could clearly see, without ambiguity, who’s real of my friends and I’m glad they are many.
Tropang Likod did a good job to halt my tears. They did comfort me good. I know it’s kind of hard for them to think of solutions for my problem, their efforts is more than enough for me.
I love these people. I can almost say I can’t smile without them. They are the reason why I am still standing and continuing. Their heart-warming advices imbibed deeply in my heart.
I don’t really expect that these people would be concern that much for me, that they will love me like their own family.
I know what had happened to me tighten the bond between each of us. TL is now stronger, fiercer, and bolder. We are now inseparable.
I am confident now that I’m sure that I have the immovable rocks where I can lean on. Thanks to the lives of Dianne, Maouie, Mico, Charles, Alex, Angge, Busog, Gelai, Cathrine, Luigie, Kiya and Meynard.
All of you are precious as they are. I love you all. 

Good that I Accidentally Eavesdropped

“I never thought angels, at times, could be demonic too… feeling depressed and still with this endeavor to get blessed… kaya pala bumigat pakiramdam ko kanina, just discovered something that made my heart cry… filling a pail of tears… literal… kakahagulgol lang sa dorm because of an infamous discovery… I hated that I accidentally eavesdropped… sana mabawasan ito bukas pag in-ope k… don’t be shock tomorrow if you can’t here my laughs”
This was the message I had exactly composed and sent to all of my trusted peers as a surprising revelation keep on playing in my ear.
It was an ordinary Monday but I never thought that one is another turning point for me.
I entered my dormitory’s bathroom and from nowhere, I heard voices talking and they are tackling all about me. It’s a resounding me.
I had never imagined that those angelic people will talk like they know me better than I do. They judged me according to what they perceive to be true. They judged me wrongly.
I can’t move in the place where I am. But a certain urge inside of me pushed the door that made them to see me just eavesdropping the things I must not hear.
They felt uncomfortable looking straight to my eyes, so do I. inside my room. I felt numb. My hand searched for a bible to seek God what to do next.
As I turn the pages, revelations coming out simultaneously, God pierced me hard with his heart-warming words. I cry a lot because of anger, wrath but above all, I sob because there is a God who had comforted me in the middle of my tribulation.
I sent the message above so as to release all my hatred and to ease the burden that was continuously pounding me. I want someone to talk to. I want someone to be with. I want to go out in that place.
Finding one, Alex, I paced out of the boarding house and proceeded to hers. I’m fortunate and blessed having someone to lean on in this weakening event.
It’s true, not all things that will happen in my life will be good, not all person I trust is that trustworthy, not at all times I will laugh, there will always be a time to cry and sob.

After all, it’s good that I had eavesdropped.

Sa Likod ng Bawat Kaalipinan ng isang Lider ( a review on a program aired on January 17,2014 by TED Radio)

Tunay na ang pamumuno ay isang pribilehiyo. Ito ay nagbibigay ng kapangyarihan at katungkulan na panghawakan ang mga bagay-bagay na iilan lamang ang pinagpalang nabibiyayaan. Ngunit sa likod ng tayog ng lipad ng bawat naatasan ay isang uri ng kaalipinang patuloy na pinagdudusahan.
Tinalakay sa programang TED Radio mula sa NPR sa pamamagitan ng tagapagdaloy na si Raz ang kaalipinan ng pamumuno: ang mga sagabal, mga pagkakamaling nagagawa at ang kanilang mga natututunan sa gawaing ito.
Ang  programa ay uminog sa uri ng pamumuno na ipinamalas at ang mga paghihirap na dinanas ni General Stanley McChrystal, isa sa pinakamataas na pinuno ng militar ng Estados Unidos na nakadestino sa Afghanistan bilang International Security Assistance para sa naturang bansa.
Ang nasabing heneral ay nasangkot sa isang kontrobersyang lumikha ng pambansang isyu nang mailimbag ang kanyang pangalan sa isang sikat na kolum na “Rolling Stones” sa panulat ng isang mamamahayag na si Michael Hastings.
Nakasama ng tropa ni McChrystal si Hastings habang ginagawa ng nasabing mamamahayag ang isang lathalain ukol sa kanya. Ngunit sa di inaasahang pagkakataon, sila ay nakulong sa Paris dulot ng pagputok ng Bulkang Eyjafjallajökull noong taong 2010.
Nakasama ng grupo ang manunulat nang sila’y makarating hanggang sa Berlin tungo sa Afghanistan.
Sa lathalaing inaakala niya’y magi-imprenta ng mga positibong komento, siya’y napatigagal nang ilabas ng mamamahayag ang isang biruan na hindi na dapat pang inilabas at palawigin upang maging isang nasyunal isyu.
Nairekord diumano ni Hasting ang biruang usapan ng tropang militar ni McChrystal ukol kay Bise-Presidente Biden. Tahasan ring sinabi sa kolum na ang kanyang pamumuno ay nagtutulak sa isang giyera na kaiba sa takbuhing ninanais ng pamahalaan.
Tinawag ng mamamahayag na “Runaway General” si Stan.
Matapos ang pagputok ng nasabing kontrobersya, naiwan kay McChrysler ang desisyon na ipaglaban o hindi ang katotohanan. Subalit ang lahat ay nauwi sa pagtanggap ni President Barack Obama sa pagbibitiw ng heneral.
Ang pagbibitiw sa pwesto ay maituturing bilang isa sa pinakamatinding dagok na maaaring kaharapin ng bawat pinuno. Oo, ito’y mahirap, ngunit sabi nga ng heneral, marahil ang pagbibitiw ang isa rin naman sa pinakamagandang desisyon na nararapat gawin.
Para sa heneral, ang pamumuno, higit sa posisyon, ay koneksyon. Inamin nito kung gaano siya naging totoo sa kanyang mga pinamumunuan at kung sa papaanong paraan ay naging totoo ang mga ito sa kanya.
Ang heneral ay napalaki sa paniniwalang ang isang pinuno ay malakas, matalino, matapang at may malakas na pananampalataya. Hindi siya naniniwala na magagawa ng isang tunay na pinuno na magsinungaling, manloko, magnakaw, o ang mang-iwan ng kasamahan.
Ang kanyang mga batang karanasan sa militar, kasama ang kanyang maituturing na personal na mentor na si Lieutenant Chrysler, ang mga nagturo sa kanya na makakaya nang isang pinuno na hayaan kang lumubog at madusta, ngunit di kailanman na hayaan kang maging isang kamalian o kalugmukan.
Ang mga karanasang kanyang pinagsaluhan kasama ang tinyente ang humubog sa kanyang pagkatao bilang isang lider at nanatiling modelo na kanyang tinitingala ang lieutenant bilang isang halimbawang karapat-dapat gayahin.
Ang pagpasok sa karera ng pamumuno ay may katumbas na araw-araw na pagkabigo, sabi nga ng heneral. Ngunit sa gitna ng mga kabiguang ito ay ang katotohanang ang pamumuno’y may mas nakahihigit na magagandang bunga na naitatamasa kaysa sa mga kahirapang maaaring maranasan.
Ito ay dahil sa ang tunay na pamumuno ay ang impluwensiya na iyong naaambag sa puso at isipan ng iyong mga miyembro. Kung kaya’t maging gaano man kahirap ang mga landasing tatahakin ay makakaya at mapagpupunyagian dahil sa bigkis na nagbuklod sa iyo at sa iyong miyembro tungo sa pagkakamit ng anumang mithiin.
At ang mithiin ay di lamang mithiin ng iisa, partikular na ng sa  pinuno, kung hindi ay isang pangkalahatang mithi at pangkabuuang pagpupunyagi. Patuloy siyang naniniwala na sa mas malawak na paikisangkot ng miyembro, mas lumalakas at dumadami ang mga kinatawan ng pagbabago.
Ang metodo ng pamumunong ginamit ni Stanley ay nakapokus sa kung gaano kahalaga ang ginagampanang papel ng mga miyembro sa isang organisasyon. Siya ay kritikal sa pagbuo ng maayos na relasyon sa kanyang pinamumunuan.
Naninwala siya na ang kagalingan ng pinuno ay di nakabase sa kanyang pagiging wasto at tama, kung hindi ay sa pagiging mapagpakumbaba upang makinig at matuto mula sa kanyang miyembro.
Sa pagkakaroon ng matibay na relasyon, ang isang lider ay makakagarantiya ng lakas ng loob na sa oras ng kanyang kahinaan ay may magtatayo sa kanya sa kung paanong paraan nakasisiguro ang kanyang pinamumunuan sa kanyang pag-agapay.
Sa kabila ng hirap na dinanas ng heneral sa kontrobersiyang hinarap, nagawa nitong makita ang mga magagandang implikasyon ng kabiguan- at ito ay ang pagpapatibay sa kanyang loob bilang isang lider at pagpapaunlad rin naman ng kanyang pagkatao.
Anu’t-ano pa man, ang pagkawala ng posisyon sa kanya ay di niya kailanman paghihinayangan sapagkat naniniwala siya na ang pamumuno ng kanyang pagkatao sa kanyang mga naging miyembro ay mananatili sa kung paanong paraan nananatili ang pamumuno sa kanyang buhay n glider na nagturo sa kanya ng lahat ng ito.
Ang kaalipinan ng isang lider ay tunay na nakapanlulumo ngunit ang mga bungang idinudulot nito ay sapat ng gantimpala sa may tunay na puso na nakatuon sa paglilingkod.

A Journalist’s New Year’s Lesson (A real-life story of our instructor in Journalism, Filemon Viduya)

I never thought that I would come up in this peripeteia of my short story that I need to set you free.
You could be old, timeworn, outdated, deteriorating and near on the brink of your ebb, but I still have this love on you. And in this turning point that awakened me, I confess, I can’t imagine I will come up bidding my earnest goodbye to you.
However how thin your soles are, however how slimy the rubber is whenever I paced through the frictionless floor, however how old my sandals are, I still exploited it until the day that these titanium plate braces were implanted to me after a fall that I consider as an awakening from a deep slumber that had stirred me under the false delight of the pretty nightmare that I am still with you.
It has been a long time that I had been fond of wearing worn-out sandals until the night it was halted as these pairs of rotting footwear brought me to an accident that had impaired my right wrist.
It may look like a petty part of my body but still, it is the wrist that I can’t live without, the wrist that had kept my living afloating, the wrist that had assisted my hand to write through the years, inspiring many people, instilling lessons to my students being a professor in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
January 6, 2013. It was still fresh in my reminiscence, it was just a customary night wearing my slippers, and I don’t think that this night is a life- changing peripeteia that will thrust me to decide a simple yet emblematic decision.
It was 7:30 in the evening when I come inside of our thrift store to have some cleaning job. Equipped with wipers in my hands and a mop to scrub the floor with my feet sheltered with my favorite, old pair of slippers, I carried out my evening habit.
Yes, a habit and I never anticipated a possibility of having an accident along the way. I never really thought… that tonight I will fall, I will stumble, and I will break my wrist.
I endeavored to protect my skull but unconsciously, my wrist, my profession, my life, was dislocated or fractured or just injured or whatever. After I fall, I do not know what to do.
One thing is unambiguous in my mind; I slipped because of the slick floor brought by the drenched mop lubricating the slippery slippers I wore.
I sprinted toward Milagros, my wife, to tell her the mishap. She then conveyed me to the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital for this is a foolproof bone injury.
I kept tranquil as we trekked from our home place in Antipolo toward Quezon City where the hospital is situated, until the very time I had confirmed by an x-ray examination that I need to undergo an implantation of titanium plate braces after eight hours.
I insisted to have the cement treatment but the orthopedic specialist said that it’s no longer apposite to my 65-year-old bones and joints.
The 20,000-peso surgery plus the 15-000 worth of the said metal will be entrenched to my wrist after an eight-hour of patience by an injured patient. He said that I need to empty my stomach first before the operation.
With the hope of abridging the discontinued portion of my life, I prepared myself, even though my expectation was twice deferred because of postponement. As soon as the anesthesia was introduced in my body, I feel numb yet confident.
Inside the operating room, I see the surgeon, whom I thought was also an academician like me, with his helpers that seemed like his students. I also see my hand, my whole arm that had ballooned.
I had prayed to have my hand back again; I want to write more articles, I want to continue my life as a journalist; as a writer and as a teacher.
The operation lasted after two hours; it was 7:30 pm. After the surgery, I was discharged of the operating room. I stare at my wrist already stabbed with that braces, the numbness was incessantly ceasing, it was excruciating.
The mob of men and women in white brought me to the ward where all other patients are suffering. I then realized of how minute my case was. My injury is just a soft nip weighed against to the hundreds of patients continuously arriving along the white walls of the medical center.
There is one patient, a score elder than mine, that was going to face a hundred thousand worth of spine surgery and another child that cost his family P50, 000 for his medical treatment.
Yes, it’s kind of expensive to undergo a treatment for bone injuries now that I discovered that the institution where I am confined offers ‘free’ services and only charges some fees for much more costly medicines and tools like braces used on operation.
I realized that I am still fortunate that I only sustained a minor injury (except that it almost impaired my living) and cost lesser. I feel really blessed.
But should I have forgotten the main reason for this unexpected hospitalization. I know that all eyes are prodding my petty slippers, but aside from my dying sandals is my obstinacy. My stubbornness that I continuously using those stuffs in spite of its filthy state. I must have not used it that night or I should’ve not used it anymore. I may be stubborn with such petty things and I am full of regrets.
But above all of those regrets that had sprouted out of me (sounds too late) because of obstinacy, I had learned my lesson. And this is to yield on things that are proper and this is to let go of things that were old and be open to welcome something new.
The experience could be a great New Year’s message for me as I start 2014. And this is to acquiesce and to halt harboring the aged ones that bring heaviness and weight in my heart and to be permeable enough to absorb new stuffs, new possibilities, and new opportunities that will inevitably come.
2014 may have set the rage of new surprises that will come. And this experience I had been into may have been instructing me of how I must be absorbent for new matter.
 I think it’s time to unload the old and employ the new. That’s why my wife and I decided to get rid of my old slippers, which once had threatened my life and lead me to a life-changing disposition as we distributed it to those who need it more.

Thanks to my wife for helping me put out my slippers but I will be more thankful if you will buy me a new pair to put on.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

First Day High on 2014

Back to school again. Exciting.
I come back to my daily routines, early morning showers, early transportation from Valenzuela to Manila, jeepney riding, LRT adventure, walking on busy pavements, sitting back to my favorite chair in front of the old, corroding boards of our classrooms in PUP-COC.
Every first week is inspiring. I am excited to participate on classes, to recite actively, to read and write over my notes, take a break on our favorite hang-outs with my fellows.
Imagining that this week is just a start for many unexpectable things to come. From wild adventures, future escapades, hang-outs, trips, and cool gimmicks, my heart wants to jump because of exceeding joy.
 I believe God had set another wonderful year for me. He may have drafted already another fruitful yet challenging year. I could expect that God may surprise me again for the next twelve months of my life.
Along with that joys that may come with my schooling, I know it’s an inevitable fact that I will encounter hurdles along the way. I believe that I could surpass it all now that I have God.
I know He will guide me on this track toward my dreams.
Coming back to PUP is a refreshing thing. The school had just given me an excellent academic experience inside my first six months stay there. I hope a lot more for the year that had already come.

Cheer up comrades!

The Offer

Last Sunday, I had received an offer to come back to the Praise and Worship Team of my church.
It has been a year when I leave the music ministry.
As I come back last month, I really desire to recommit myself and for the supposed second chance given by that letter, it could be the opportunity I ever longed for.
I really miss to dance for His glory. I miss the days of rigorous practice, the comradeship between singers, musicians, technicals and with us, encouragers. I miss the exhortations made by our directress. I miss of how every Sunday was turned into a glorious worship because of the people He uses to be a channel of blessing.
 The letter, still not signed, I am still indecisive. I still have a week left before the deadline and the interview.
I’m still waiting for His divine instruction. I don’t want to be mislead by my desire to be with the people I had mingled before.
I want to receive an official permission from Him for this stuff.

This could be my second chance but I know God is testing me right now of how I will react to the offer. Let Your will be done.

First Time to Shoot a Ball

That early afternoon when my professor in Mathematics in
Business dismissed us early, I join my classmates to a near     billiard hall just to spend my free time and watch them play.
It was my first time to enter that type of hang-out place.
At first, I said that I just want to stare at them while they play. I never imagined that I will take that long stick, apply that powder on my clean hands, lean on that tinted table and shoot the ball with determination.
One of my friends decisively did a hard time to persuade me to try the ball game. But when their faces started to turn a little bit mad, I stand up to give it a try.
In that endeavor, I ask myself, why not? From my childhood days, I know that I am a real dumb in sport. I’m a pure “lampa”, in layman’s term. I just wish for my good luck this time.
With the caring hands of my peers, they guide me; teach me step by step all the basic things I need to learn.
Inside the one hour of renting that billiard table, I really had a great fun.
Striking the ball on the best angle with utmost focus gives an excitement and the shooting of the target to the hole added some striking pleasure, a sort of soothing sensation.
Indeed, a stress reliever.

The sport is not that addicting but I should’ve tried this one again and again. I love it.


I’m confident and covered by the power of the vaccine injected to me way back when I was a year old infant on my hometown in Valenzuela from catching measles that has been an outbreak in Manila, specifically at Sta. Mesa where I stay.
Last month, in my dormitory, the baby cared by the owner’s daughter had the same disease, hospitalizing him for two weeks. That one-year old infant looks delirious having those rashes spread throughout his fresh, white skin.
He had already recovered but just last week, a new baby on the same compound at Pureza was also infected by the communicable disease. And I know it was a calvary for the angelic toddler and of her family.
I don’t know how the spread of the disease reach that outbreak level, but having 1,724 cases (and still counting) recorded is frightening.
As a health-conscious man, I’m always alarmed and on the look-out whenever these type of epidemia are strolling down on the streets I’m pacing.
I know DOH was held accountable for everything and the outbreak will immediately be halted. Now that WHO had given a deadline to the agency to free the country from the disease on 2017. I know they will work harder now.

I am praying for the babes suffering right now. May God bless you all.