Suffice it to say that summer is already here—but it’s a different kind of summer. For a lot of people I know—it’s the last kind. Almost everyone’s graduating by the end of this term already—except me. And yeah well. A lot of those people are people I won’t forget—in one way or another, they’ve contributed to a lot of things I’ve learned about myself and about people in general—the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, since I haven’t exactly been blogging as much as I’d want to, I’ve decided to write something about these people (yes, you are special enough to me!).
Find your name on the list—if you do, then you’re definitely someone worth remembering to me. Happy graduation to the graduates! Happy Job hunting, too! I’m going to miss you all.
CARMINE- The first person I met in DLSU, my block mate. She’s always been my comic relief—the stress reliever and everything else in between. She always had so many stories to tell, and, kapag mang-okray yan, to the max! I always enjoyed hanging out with her, and I do have my regrets about why we haven’t gotten around hanging out more when I shifted. Thanks for listening—and for saying the right things whenever I had a story to share or when I needed to rant about—well, we both know what that was about already anyway, right? Thanks for making my college life a remarkable and unforgettable experience. Despite the stress, you’ve always managed to make me smile with your comments and punch lines (“Nobody will pawnshop you!”). I won’t ever forget how you eat Spaghetti (:P) and your infectious energy! Big thanks for being my accomplice, too. You’re a friend I will definitely not forget. Good luck with everything!
JANE- Jengjeng. I didn’t think we’d actually get to be so close, but she’s the best kind of friend—I never really heard her say anything bad about others. I won’t forget the FACLERN and MODIFIED PE experience. haha. I can’t believe how long (and how short) three years has been. And in the same way, I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would’ve liked after freshman year. Thanks for showing me how it is to be nice—too nice! Hehe. I appreciate all the help you’ve given me. Thanks for listening to my side of the story, too. I enjoyed all those late night YM marathons. Thanks for trusting me with your stories, too. haha. So sana matuloy na yung balak natin to celebraaaate! Keep in touch, always, okaaay?
MR- Well, congratulations aren’t really in order anymore since you’ve graduated a term earlier than everyone else! Thank you! Pareho kayo ni Carmine, you never fail to make me smile and laugh out loud. I may not be as good as you guys when it comes to pang-ookray, but I enjoy listening to you do it anyway! Haha. Hanging out with you in AKIC, and Greenhills was unforgettable. I hope I see more of you! Thank you also for being willing to listen and for the help you’ve given me. Most of all, thank you for the prayers! They were definitely one of the big things that helped me through.
VANE- I won’t forget how talented you were in photoshop and flash! Your patience is something I admire—wala ako nun, e. I hope I still get to see you. Sayang, we never really got to be classmates after CED. Hehe. Thanks for everything (for staying up late when we had group work, for that fun trip to the senate, and all the help you gave me)! I had fun with you and Carmine.
SHEENA- Thank you for the comfort you gave me that day when I cried. :And for the researching you helped me with. I appreciate it, and I can’t thank you enough.
ABBIE- Yey, see you next term! I know we don’t get to talk much, but thanks for everything. PLURK!
MS CANLAS- I haven’t exactly thanked you for keeping in touch, and for the advice you gave me last term. It was a difficult term, and I appreciate how you made time to read my letter. I enjoyed having you as a professor in CED, and I’m sorry that ended so soon. Thank you for the kindness and the friendship.
MS JEN- You were definitely one of my favorite profs in psych, and it sucked that I didn’t get you in my other psych classes, but I had fun in INPSYCO and BIOPSYC. Thank you for all the shifting advice and all those times you replied and answered my questions even if you didn’t really have to. :P
TRIXIE- AHA! Malamang andito ka—mentor ata kita e. THANKS for everything—grabe, I really don’t know how you do it—how do you? Ang tapang mo—I only wish I was as outspoken and as willing to speak my mind as you. Edi sana, hindi nako stressed. HAHA. Thank you for helping me out of those tight spots—sa advice, and for taking matters into your own hands. I swear, pwede ka nang maglawyer sa mga api. :P I enjoyed all the funfunfun stuff we did, and all the sneaky stuff we did, too. Haha. Thank you for all the help, and for sharing all those stories with me—I think we talked so much about random stuff in Tredfor (oops, di nakikinig). Sa uulitin! See you next term!
KAREN- I don’t think we were ever really super-kaduper close, but thank you for the kindness. I saw—and I admired your perseverance and patience with the things you do. See you next term!
JOSH-I don’t even need to say anything! Haha. Tsk. Josh, sorry about all the regrets we had this term and last term. I really regret the fact that I wasn’t able to make better decisions, but all the same, I enjoyed your company a lot. Thank you for being one cool therapist—I consider myself lucky to have picked your slip of paper in CLINPSY. I will never forget your journal of quotable quotes (Co, 2008) and all those sleepless nights we spent over QUANRES. Having you around made it so much easier. Thanks for being a friend!
JOVI- You’re brighter than a sunny summer day. Thank you for the smiles, the stories, the pictures, the short-lived lunch dates, and hellos whenever we pass by each other in the hallways. I MISS YOU.
MS SANGIL- Thanks for helping me appreciate literature, and pop fiction, for that matter, even more. You motivated me to start writing again! I always felt a flush of pride whenever I did well in your class, and it made me want to work even harder. I felt that the Dan Brown class was too short for my liking… (ahem). So please, please, please let me sit in at your Potter class! I’m willing to sit on the floor, and I’ll be there every meeting, I promise!
SIR JAVIER- I will never forget those heart-stopping moments that happened all the time in your class. I can still remember DEVPSYC and EXPSYC in full detail—and how you practically made me jump out of my seat when you called on me to recite in EXPSYC (which was every meeting, I think). You terrified me to bits—but you made me more determined than ever to do well. Talk about fear as the ultimate motivator…but then again, I learned.
REGIFF- There’s but one word to describe you—LAUGHTRIP. But seriously, I had fun in PAPJA, in TREDFOR, and in all those other subjects we had together. I won’t forget THE WORM, and most of all, your happy-go-lucky existence. Hyper mode on ka ata palagi e. Haha.
JUSTIN- Sucgang. *Summa Cum Laude Alert* Happy graduation! Hindi kita makakalimutan—your dedication and hard work is something I truly admire. May mga tao pa palang kagaya mo na 4.0 CGPA. HAHA. Pero seryoso yan, ha. Good luck with law school. As always, I’m sure you’ll do better than excellent, if that were even possible—pero ikaw pa, you make the most seemingly impossible things possible. At yung libro!
ALLAN- How can I forget you, next-door neighbor? Haha. Finding out that you lived next door was a weird coincidence. I’ll drop by sometime—summer na eh, I’m definitely coming over!!!
MARKIEL- invited ako sa kasal, ha? Haha. Thanks sa pag-answer ng napaka-habang survey. HAHA. Salamat sa lahat ng laughtrip moments and yung puyatan sa INDPSYC! I’m going to miss you both! See you around!
SHANDIE- Wala lang! Thanks for everything. Thank you for sharing and sa pagkwento, and for listening as well.
RJ- BLACKMAIL, much? Haha. I know, I know. If it wasn’t for TREDFOR and those shootings we wouldn’t have talked much. Haha. And, I now know how to blackmail you. Haha. I shan’t forget! Thanks for sharing. Thanks for listening, and for keeping my secret(s), too! I appreciate it.
XXXXXXXXXX- For the record, I’m not a spy—nor am I a hacker. I don’t log into other people’s personal accounts unless they ask me to. Get your facts straight, please.
College has been one of the toughest parts of the roller coaster ride I’ve been on for the past 19 years. It hasn’t exactly been the best ride—I could say that I struggled a lot on some loops and double loops, and I’ve been wanting to jump off more than once, but I’m still here, and I’m still hanging on. I still feel the wind on my face. The ride hasn’t ended, and its yet to be over. I still have a few more topsy turvy twists and turns to go through before it finally comes to an end, and maybe more people who will come along for the ride (and more to add to this list, perhaps).
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Since I’m writing this out of the blue, I might have forgotten to include some people. If I have, I’m sorry, but I’m just writing out the names I keep remembering. Haha.
- Current Location:living room
- Current Mood: contemplative
I looked away and felt my face flush. I wasn’t used to this. My hands felt clammy and sweaty, and for about the hundredth time that day, I wondered how one person could make my heart beat so much faster with just the slightest touch, and how I felt the tingling jolts of electricity whenever my skin made contact with his. I kept stealing glances his way, and I always looked quickly away whenever I caught his eye.
I don’t know how long the stolen glances and the shyness went on. It felt odd and awkward.
And at the same time, it felt good.
It felt good to feel the tingling sensation, the numbness. And most of all, it felt good to see that even though it seemed that our personalities were worlds apart and all that there was to this budding relationship-if you could call it that-were our obvious differences, his face would always light up with a smile whenever I came out of the room to meet him after class.
We were walking down the halls that were rapidly filling up with students who were just dismissed from their classes. I absentmindedly looked around, smiling tentatively at some people I knew, and some I thought I sort of knew. I quietly listened to him talk about his last class and the pranks that a friend had pulled on their teacher. I smiled and nodded at all the right places, just so he knew that I was listening, but my mind was drifting somewhere else. Not that his stories bored me. I liked listening to his voice. I liked how he said my name, the accent I couldn’t quite place, and everything else about it.
“…And then everyone started laughing!” He chuckled. “So what about you?” He asked as he gently took my books from my arms. “What happened in class today?” I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, smiled back and shrugged. I didn’t know what was wrong with my voice. It always felt that way whenever he directed a question my way. I felt my throat dry up and my mind draw a very distinct question mark. Sure, I had a million stories I could tell him. I could tell him about how hard that pop quiz in trig went, but how the resident brain, Jolie, took it all in a stride and finished the whole thing in a flash, and how everyone was teasing her about not having to get it checked since she would obviously get a high grade already anyway. I could probably tell him how the planning for the upcoming classroom competition was going along in Homeroom. But I couldn’t. I felt strangely disoriented and confused, and all I could do was smile dumbly back at him.
“It was okay. Nothing special.” I shrugged after a moment of silence, still tongue-tied.
“I’m going to Kaye’s place today to work on that Physics project, by the way.” I tried again.
“Really? I can walk you there.” We were approaching the school gates. I felt that jolt of electricity again. I looked away and felt my face flush even more. He had taken my hand in his. I was all too aware of everybody staring at us as we walked out the gate, and I was even more aware of how warm his hand was compared to my trembling, ice-cold one. For the nth time that day, I felt disoriented. I tried to concentrate on my feet instead. I listened to his calm breathing. I felt the blood rush to my head.
After we turned the corner to Kaye’s block, he started to whistle tunelessly. “What song is that?” I asked him while trying to keep from laughing.
I giggled nervously anyway.
“Beats me.” He replied, grinning widely, his face lighting up again.
We stopped in front of Kaye’s gate. She had apparently left it open so I could let myself in when I arrived. He gave me my books. I looked at him and he looked back at me as he shoved his hands in his pockets and I heard the merry jingling of the array of coins he was shaking around his pocket.
“No problem. Call me when you get home.”
“Sure. Bye!” I said as I turned to walk inside.
“What?” I looked at him expectantly.
He walked a few steps closer so we were standing face to face. He held out his hand toward me and I thought I had something on my face. I instinctively reached up to wipe whatever dirt was there, and I was only vaguely aware of how his face had suddenly leaned closer to mine. I felt his warm breath on my face as his lips brushed mine.
It was over in less than a second, but my lips were tingling long after it happened. It wasn’t a movie-worthy kiss, but it was my first one, and I felt my eyes widen in surprise.
He leaned back, smiled at me and waved goodbye as he walked away, whistling tunelessly again while I gaped after him. I stood frozen in place for what felt like hours before I could finally turn and go inside. I closed Kaye’s gate and walked up the steps to her house, my hand absently tracing my lips.
The scene kept playing itself over and over. I still couldn’t figure out how exactly it had happened. And I didn’t know if I liked it. All I could think about was how soft his lips were. I tossed and turned in bed. The last time I checked, it was 2 AM. I stared up in the darkness of my room, tracing the shadows on the walls with my eyes.
He was definitely a puzzle I couldn’t figure out. All I knew was I liked the way I felt when I was with him. And maybe, just maybe, no matter how wrong it was, I liked the way his lips felt, too. I didn’t just like him; it was definitely more than that. With a sigh, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.
- Current Mood: enthralled
“You are important—now, more than ever before.” This was the closing line—and by far the most significant—in the inspirational speech that was given by Cory Aquino to the youth on the 27th of November, 2008 at the Symposium on Heroism that was held in DLSU’s conservatory. Incidentally, aside from celebrating heroism, it was also a day of commemoration for Ninoy Aquino’s 76th birthday, but it was not only his birthday (nor the rumored presence of a celebrity figure) that was of particular significance to the crowd of students and guests that gathered at the said event.
More importantly, the presence of youth role models ranging from Atom Araullo, a youth activist and host, to a girl from Rags2Riches, a business that helps the women of Payatas turn their hand-woven rugs into fashionable bags, an engineering graduate of DLSU who despite his high status continues to conduct leadership seminars for the youth, and finally to Diether Ocampo, a celebrity and the man behind the Kids Foundation was an attempt to open the eyes of the youth to their endless capabilities. They all shared their experiences as part of the younger generation, and I realized that they, in their own ways, in the line of work they chose to do, and in the special projects they engaged in, are actually the modern-day heroes whose heroism we so often overlook.
Despite and in spite of the limitations that being part of the youth sector brings, the guests still believe that the youth—especially their combined determination and strength in various avenues such as those as simple as in exercising their right to vote—is the most powerful tool towards the nation’s advancement and mobilization. Furthermore, the inspirational speech given by former Pres. Cory Aquino also made me realize that we are indeed important. It is the youth who will take responsibility for the tomorrows that will come, it is US who will inherit our beloved country, and inevitably, it is us who must take the necessary steps for change (the change that we so greatly desire) to take place.
In particular, I was struck with the girl who related her experiences as part of Rags2Riches. While Rags2Riches on its own as a business that was aimed at helping the women of Payatas turn trash to treasure could already be seen as possessing heroic ideals (one that was aimed at helping the poor advance), the girl’s experience to me even before she joined the Rags2Riches group was by far the most interesting and of the greatest significance. First of all, she herself was a product of a very poor family, but she was able to put herself through school—a top-rating university (ADMU), no less—and yet, with all the opportunities that were suddenly made available to her, and the assurance of a brighter future for herself and her family because of the successes she had achieved while in college, she still chose to join an organization which, according to her, was not exactly high-paying. While many would probably wonder why she gave up the myriad of possibilities that were at her fingertips, I understood completely—it was the fulfillment that only the knowledge of having made a difference could bring—it was that, and not the high salary that was of the utmost important for someone as idealistic as the youth.
Each personality showed that being a hero is not merely confined to acts of national or international significance. Instead, as was emphasized all throughout the symposium, we are all capable of being heroes in our own ways and in our own chosen fields—for it is in the smallest of actions, the courageous baby steps we take, that we truly begin the path toward heroism. For heroism is not limited solely to the acts of grandeur that had been previously done by national heroes and historic figures of our colorful past (Ninoy Aquino included)—being a hero is in ALL OF US.
In relation to a previous lesson in Philope, I think that it is the idealism of the youth that makes them truly engage in an I-thou relationship (in Buber’s terms) with the other. For it is the concern and desire for change not only for the benefit of themselves, but for the other as well, that constitutes the youth’s idealistic beliefs and desires for fulfillment. It is through this idealism that we truly treat the other as a subject. We learn not to step on other people and not to be limited to an “every man for himself” way of life. Instead, we dream of change and we help the other achieve such changes (just as the girl gave her services to Rags2Riches and helped the Payatas women achieve a change in their lives), for it is through helping the other achieve such changes that we ourselves feel truly changed. More importantly, it is through the youth’s idealism that they learn to envision the possibilities and their capabilities for greatness. It is through idealism that they truly learn to be heroes in their own right.
- Current Location:dining table (again)
- Current Mood: ditzy
Admittedly, the film The Pianist really caught me by surprise. While I am currently enrolled in an Introduction to Global Society course and have previously studied the events of World War II in full detail, nothing could have prepared me for the brutal, cruel, bloody picture this film portrayed. In relation to this, I found a number of philosophers’ thoughts and ideas relevant to some of the scenes that still remain vividly in my mind.
First, Martin Buber’s philosophy of the self and the other is described in terms of the I-Thou relationship and the I-It relationship. Whereas the I-Thou relationship recognizes the other as a being in relation to the self, the I-It relationship is the opposite. The self views the other as a mere object, and not as a fellow subject, one that has the sole purpose of merely serving his interests.
In relation to Buber’s philosophy, it is evident all throughout the film that the Germans had an I-It relationship with the Jews in Poland. The Germans, with their feelings of superiority over the other races saw people different from them, particularly the Jews, as belonging to a subhuman species. They segregated the Jews and put up walls barricading and separating the Jews from the non-Jews. Many of them were killed and were made to experience an extreme brand of brutality and cruelty. They were left to live a dehumanizing way of life, that of starvation, poverty and slavery. The Jews lived only for the purpose of serving the Nazi Germans’ interests. They were made to dance and make fools of themselves to entertain the Nazis, to offer their services as laborers against their will, and perhaps the cruelest act of all and one I consider most dehumanizing and has the least regard for life, the Jews were shot at random and tortured because the Nazis were “celebrating New Year,” or they just simply felt like doing so.
On the other hand, Buber’s I-thou relationship can be seen in the ‘friendship’ Wlady established with the German officer who helped him and gave him food when he was in hiding as a fugitive after a particularly massive breakout of war in the area. Instead of seeing Wlady as a subhuman Jew, the officer saw him as a subject as well and consequently treated him better than any other Nazi would have. The Nazi, upon hearing Wlady play the piano seemed to realize that there was something beyond his physical appearance (his being a Jew). The music Wlady played seemed to touch the officer and removed all traces of judgment and discrimination he may have had against him (demonstration the imagining the real). In the same manner, when the Russians arrived in Poland to drive out the Germans and the officer himself became a prisoner, Wlady felt that it was his turn to help the officer out. And although he was no longer able to find the officer, the fact that he was willing to return the favor showed the existence of a subject-to-subject relationship between Wlady and the Nazi officer.
Other aspects of Buber’s philosophy can also be seen in the film. For instance, the notion of Propaganda is evident as the Nazis who invaded Poland were so intent on imposing their views, ideologies and beliefs on the people. Their belief that the Jews were a subhuman race was an ideology that was relatively new to the people and in order to impose this as truth, the Nazis resorted to violence and force, showing the people through their cruel treatment of the Jews that indeed, they were an inferior race. Aside from harsh punishments, the Jews were also separated from the non-Jews by wearing armbands that served as a means of identifying them and labeling (a show of reductionist thinking) them as different from the other races.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Marcel’s primary reflection is evident while Wlady was merely a spectator of the revolution that was ongoing along the ghetto wall between the Jews and the Nazis. Everyday he watched from his apartment window with no emotion as numbers of Jews were killed while attempting to revolt against the Germans. He is detached from the experience because of his prior escape from life behind the ghetto wall.
The secondary reflection is evident when Wlady was nearly caught by the Nazis who were starting to knock on apartment doors in search of fugitives. Here he was no longer watching the prosecution of his fellow Jews—he himself was in danger of being prosecuted. This fear he felt is no longer vicarious—he himself is caught in the eye of the storm—the danger and fear he feels is no longer for other Jews as he watches them engage in war, but the feeling of fear for his life is in danger.
Finally, Emmanuel Levinas’ notion of surprise is evident while Wlady is yet again watching the Jewish-German wars happening outside his window. He soon realized, with pangs of guilt, that he should be a part of that war. He expressed his thoughts, saying that he should have been “in there, fighting with them,” as he had escaped from his Jewish life and was free and relatively safe watching from the window of his apartment while his people were caught in the middle of a revolt that could end in their deaths.
These three philosophers’ ideas were indeed relevant to The Pianist. They presented a clear picture of how the self in relation to others, whether seeing the other as a subject or an object, whether detached from the experience or completely engaged in it, and whether or not they realize whether the freedom they have gained have been used in shameful means, is evident all throughout the film.
- Current Location:dining table
- Current Mood: anxious
Last Friday [Oct 17, 2008], I attended a talk on transexualism in Yuchengco. The speaker was Ms. Brenda, who was a transexual working for HSBC as part of their human resource dept. as well as a practicing psychologist.
According to her, not a lot of companies would be willing to hire a transexual, and she was very lucky to be able to attain her position today. I don't know much about it, but the talk opened my eyes to what's going on in society. Although I have to admit that we are all starting to open our eyes to the reality that not everything is black and white, there's still a lot more we need to learn, a lot more we need to see. Perhaps in time, transexuals, and everybody else considered different from the norm will be accepted and given equal status in our society.
- Current Mood: hopeful
The world doesn't revolve around you.
It's not always all about you.
So stop acting like it is.
- Current Mood: annoyed
I never had it easy, but then again, who does?
- Current Location:my room
- Current Mood: thoughtful
- Current Mood:artistic