If people were waves
That come and go,
Can there be a constant
That tie them to their roots?
If you were a constant
Amidst a sea of people
How much effort do you require
To keep you from drifting away?
Written on an early morning while walking the streets of Paranaque.
I remember in December 2013 I posted that I felt so “out of life” by the year-end. I concluded that I was not good at multitasking–juggling work and school. I am now wondering what I felt that way when my activities this year and last year were almost the same. It generally revolves around work and school. Then I realized the difference: I traveled more this year. On the contrary, I only traveled twice last year. That two travels were not enough to sustain my enthusiasm for the rest of the year. It’s now October and so far I’ve been on four trips since January. I still have two coming up. My savings are dwindling yet I haven’t felt this sustained kind of happiness and enthusiasm for a while. I guess this saying really applies to me:
“I travel not to escape life but for life not to escape me. “
Travel has been my means to keep in touch with my sanity and to remind myself that there’s more to life that just my cubicle at work or my virtual classroom for school. It’s my means of getting in touch with nature and of relearning the simplicity of life. It’s my way of rekindling with friends and rediscovering why we have been friends in the first place. It’s my way of discovering that despite every thing I learned, I still know too little about life, of what it means to live and breathe. I officially caught the bug and I don’t think I will be able to let go soon.
So, forgive me if I have been on hiatus. I have been here and there, trying to juggle three lives. However, I will surely but slowly share what I experienced in life lately.
In a recent to visit to Siquijor, Philippines. Now or never.
Yesterday, I heard someone (a lady) tell another person (a middle-aged man), “Why do you even bother paying for her matriculation fees? She is not even your child. You should stop doing that.”
There could be several explanations why the lady said those words to that man. The man could be paying the matriculation fees of an ungrateful child. He could be borrowing money in her behalf. Or…it could even be as simple as he wishes to a help a person who is not even his own child.
I don’t know the whole story so I am not in position to judge. However, if the lady’s statement is related to the third scenario I mentioned, it’s so sad that she harbors such kind of beliefs. Since when there was a rule that we should only send someone to school if she/he is our child? It violates every value I know about education, and what does this make me, my siblings and every person out there who was able to study through the graciousness of other people?
It is sad a time to be a government employee in the Philippines these days. It’s not that I am not proud of the work I do but because I am embarrassed by the non-stop controversies that the government is facing these days. It has come to a point that the whatever honest work some or most of the small workers have done and are still doing, it becomes easily forgotten because of the big mistakes committed by a certain few.
I shared before in my FB account a letter by a South Korean who claimed that one of the reasons that the Philippines is not progressing is Filipinos are too doubtful of their system and instead of trying to remain in the country to initiate changes, many choose to leave. I posted an insight to the article saying I shared the sentiments of that writer and how I have repeatedly wondered why I am always being told that my skills as a scientist would be wasted here and that I would be better off in another country. Also, I choose to believe that there is still a very big hope in the Philippines.
However, with the recent events unfolding in the Philippines—the Php 10 billion PDAF scam, the Mamplaya fund scam, and now the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) controversy—I cannot help but sigh. I guess it’s a no brainer now why many of the people here have lost hope. It’s so disheartening to watch the news these days knowing that the people involved in these controversies are the very same people who I am working with, albeit indirectly, in the system. Also, how can I believe what they are claiming now when they are the very same people who are pushing for fiscal transparency and tuwid na daan?
Back in my college days in UP, when a classmate or a friend labels you jokingly as a “school girl”, it means that you were too focused on your studies that you almost don’t have a social life anymore. I had been called as such several times primarily because even though I was active in dormitory activities, I didn’t have any organizations. During my free time I was either found in the library or the dormitory.
I felt sad when I was called as such back then because I thought being focused on my studies was actually never a negative thing. Also, I had my reasons for not joining any campus organizations. I was a working student and just balancing work and studies was already difficult.
Did you ever feel connected to someone you actually never met? I do. Every year since God knows when, I’ve placed flowers and candles on the grave of a person named Martina Dacara.
She’s not really a stranger. She was the youngest sister of my late maternal grandmother, Ala. However, she was long dead before I was even born. When I was just kid, I learned from Ala that Lola Tina was just a baby when their mother died and she could barely walk when their dad died as well. Lola Tina grew up under the care of her siblings. Sadly, she died without a family of her own.
Her story didn’t left my mind. Ever. So I made a promise to myself that as long as I live, I will visit Lola Tina’s grave every year. I don’t know what came upon me but it just saddens me that the existence of a person can be erased just because no one remembers. That, I think, is the saddest aspect of human existence. When the physical body is gone, people just exist through pictures and memories.
But what about those people who don’t have pictures and families who will tell their stories? Will they just become one of those buried by time and history? I know that such case is inevitable but while we still can, we should remember those who gone ahead of us. It’s not a case of not being able to move on but a case of having the ability to thank those who made our own existence possible and maybe more humane.
I didn’t know Lola Tina. I don’t even know her face. But because I remember, I bother, the world knows there was once a young girl that lived by the name of Martina.
1:57 PM. June 18, 2010. National Institutes of Health, UP Manila.
While waiting for our meeting to start, my boss suddenly asked me, “How will you find the gene that codes for aneurysm?”.
I was dumbfounded. How indeed am I supposed to look for that gene? My answer was, “It’s a matter of trial and error, sir.” Which is partially true. He asked me again, “How do you do a trial error?”.
Patterns. What are they? How do we deal with them? They come in aspects and shaped. They can be in the form of designs, models, forms, practices, etc.
Our very basic unit of heredity follows a double-helix pattern. Without that pattern, mutations that can lead to disastrous results can happen. The earth follows a pattern: its orbit. Imagine what will happen if the earth goes out of its orbit? The same kind of thinking can be applied to birds that follow flight patterns, to ants that follow the scent of the pheromones laid out by their queen, and to factories that must follow standard procedures to come up the products of the best quality.
Back then, I can see him in every angle I turn. I always hear his loud booming in my head. Every time my phone rings, I thought it was him calling. Every time a car honks, I thought it was him waiting for me. Every time i go home, I was expecting that he was there welcoming me. And every time I close my eyes, it was his face that flashed in my mind. It became too much that I’d wished everything that reminded me of him will just go away. That was before. Continue reading
Restlessness and depression are haunting me again, so I decided to take a walk. On my way to the shopping center, I decided I would buy ice cream. I suddenly changed my mind. I could buy a whole pack of Skyflakes with the money I’d be spending on a cone of ice cream. So that’s what I did. I didn’t have an ice cream, but at least I have Skyflakes that can last the whole week. There. I just gave you a glimpse of my practicality.
On my way back to my dorm, I noticed Venus and Mercury. There were both lying low in the sky but they were so bright I can’t help but notice them. I wonder if any of the people walking around me noticed them. Two passed by me and they were talking to themselves. One was so preoccuppied texting. Another was listening to his iPod. I wondered somehow if there was a ming sharing my thoughts.