When Frustration Meets Incoherence

When someone says there’s always gonna be at least one person who’s got your back (read: care for you, support you, understand you, etc.), don’t make the mistake of believing that person. That person hasn’t got a fucking clue about life. Sooner or later, life’s gonna slap you with the truth that it’s you against the world. Or maybe not slap. Maybe it’s gonne be like a bad bug bite. At first it just itches. Five minutes later, it starts to feel like its burning. Give it a couple of hours and it’s gonna be red and swollen like Santa’s cheeks.

Forgive the jibber jabber. Point is: no one really has your back and this will drive you to the edge at times. But you don’t have to be a slave to this harsh reality because no one knows what you can do. So show the world who’s boss. Or get a pet.

Doubts from 368 Days Ago

An unfinished draft from exactly 368 days ago.

If anything, law school has taught me to doubt. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing but the irresolute chunk of me (and believe me when I say that this chunk makes up about 90% of who I am) wasn’t exactly looking forward to learning it at this point in my life. If you think about it, doubt is the last thing I, as a fresh college graduate and a struggling law student, would need. It’s tough enough being surrounded by people who already have clear-cut plans set out for them and by them, especially those already working their way to their freaking dreams. Inspiring, yes but it just makes me uneasy most of the time. To not have those things yourself, to be clueless about what you really want in life is an entirely different kind of tough. It’s the kind that catches up with you every chance it gets, and when it does, the feeling takes so long to shake off (but you try to shake it off anyway). At least that’s what I do. I procrastinate.

 

You doubt yourself.

 

You doubt if you want it bad enough, or even at all.

Holy Week for Me

I was browsing through one of my favorite sites, My Modern Met, when I saw this dazing photo by Adam Taylor. The photo is just too beautiful, I couldn’t help but save it on my laptop. But the reason I’m blogging about it now isn’t merely its loveliness. I wanted to share this photo because of the impact it had on me, and I’m hoping other people out there could experience it too.

When I look at the man in the photo, it seems like he’s asking me so many questions. Questions that I should be asking myself. Questions that I should be answering myself. Questions I just never bothered to ask myself. Questions I’ve been trying to dodge. I may not be spending ‘Holy Week’ the way most Christians and Catholics would spend it (since I’m not a Catholic anymore), praying and visiting different churches (okay, so I may be visiting churches with my family because they’re Catholics). But thanks to this photo, I am reminded there’s something else that I can do (perhaps something I should do) this Holy Week. I am reminded that I can use the time to, well, mull over things.

Praying and visiting churches may not be in the list of my agenda for Holy Week but reflecting on the past choices I’ve made and contemplating on my future definitely will be. Questions that I should be asking myself. Questions that I should be answering myself. Questions I just never bothered to ask myself. Questions I’ve been trying to dodge. You have them all too, I’m pretty sure of that. Perhaps you can do the same. Contemplate.

(Thesis) Acknowledgments

Ah, 12 more days of college!

“College? Been there. Done that,” a friend posted not so long ago in our batch’s Facebook group, OrCom 2011 rocks.

As I type this, I’m in disbelief. I am done. Done writing my thesis and done defending it in front of my adviser and panelists (I even cried in front of them). All of the sleepless nights have finally paid off and in just a couple of weeks I’ll be going up the stage to grab my hard-freakin-earned diploma.

These past few weeks in the university were anything but easy. A lot of times, it felt like everything was surreal. Not the wtf-I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-happening-to-me kind of surreal, but more like I-haven’t-gotten-any-sleep-poke-me-I-might-be-dreaming kind of surreal. Sleep became an option (an intolerable one at that!) but it didn’t matter because I knew I wasn’t alone. All I had to do was think of the people I have in my life and all the stress just goes away. Throat’s throbbing already, tears may come out anytime but I’ll try my best to control them because Angel, Ellis, KC, GJ, and Dion might think their friend has turned mad.

Mama and Papa, thank you for being my shock-absorbers during these stressful times (or for my almost 20 years of existence!), for being patient and loving parents to such a disobedient daughter. I love you two dearly.

Nanay, my beautiful and indulgent lola, you always know how to make me smile. You’ve been my inspiration in all these, and you always will be. After I graduate, tables will turn and I promise I’ll be the indulgent one this time around.I love you so much!

To Lola Salud and Lolo Dolfo, the power couple of the clan, thank you for the wonderful holidays, the wonderful food, and the wonderful love. You two are always in my heart.

Thank you my one and only Kuya for being forbearing during my pasaway times, I know I had a lot and I owe you one big hug. Your pretty sister loves you!

To Tita Neth, my lovely aunt, thank you for the delightful weekends, scrumptious meals, and juicy showbiz chikas.

To my wonderful little cousins who always make me look forward to weekends and holidays, thank you for always making me feel like  silly kid I really am.

To Andrea, the world’s tiniest (and sexiest!) wonder, you have no idea how happy I am that I have you as my bestfriend for almost half my life already. I love you so so very mucho.

Ellis, my beautiful make-believe girlfriend, my constant partner in crime, and the Chong to the Ke, you’ve made such a great impact (read: damage) in my life, and for that I love (read: despise) you. My college life never would’ve been this awesome without you.

Kimberly Lorenzo, my sexy make-believe ex-girlfriend and my Chow Queen, no one comforts me like you and your squishy arms do. My love for you is greater than my love for Ocho and Buwi combined.

Pamela Enriquez, my Mums and my Diva, thank you for always being the caring one. Your strength (and fierceness!) has been an inspiration to me. You have no idea how much I love you.

Diane Pili, my pseudo-adviser and kapanalig-in-the-balcony, my love for you is bigger than the future you hold (Imagine that!). Throughout all this, you’ve been the reassuring one, and I thank you for that.

Angel Lencio, my soul sister, and Rainier Aundreyzel, the Master to the D R E, (you guys are a package deal), the rockstar couple, you guys have no idea how happy I am when I’m with the two of you. Thank you for being such good influences to the Ke, and for the metaphysical, ontological, and epistemological discourses we’ve had over ‘crimson stallion’.

Patti Detera and Sandoy Cortez (package deal #2) thank you for being such talkative creatures and never running out of things to say to me. My love for you two is greater than my love for Chicken Sisig. HAH!

Anne Cortez, another tiny wonder and living proof to the saying great things come in small packages. I never thought that so much love and inspiration could be in such a lovely little girl. You’ve been a great blessing in my life for that I thank the Higher Power, not you. :)

Mina Loyola, I couldn’t be any more thankful for allowing me to be part of your Gleek experiences. But more than that, I want to thank you for being the sensible one, for listening to me when no one else would.  You may not realize it, but I’ve always looked at you as an ate.

GJ Villanueva, my dark and twisted Georgina, thank you for being the devil’s advocate. Your out of this world humor gives me stomach gas all the freaking time and I thank you for that.

KC Morono, the Kiccibear of my life, thank you for letting me play on your iTouch like a mad person. My dear Sarah Loyola, the girl who never runs out of skirts and dresses, thank you for your wide fore… smile.  Call me even after  we graduate from college, okay? Eya Sio, LRT rides will never be the same because of you. Sorry if I make fun of you, but believe me when I say I do it because I love you. It surprises me how much you three have grown on me. I love all of you!

Jerick Olpindo, a.k.a. Tito Jake, you deserve a special mention for being my pseudo-statistician. Thank you for always being so cool and willing to help.

Zid, Gem, Claire, Lem, Lara, Erose, Marie, Shun, Jen, Xy, Jody, Karen, Kim, Roanne, Sharyl, Aira, Yayie, Diane, Jeca, Allen, Rhea, Earl, Mavic, Larraine, Justine, Precky, GenePao, PatSy, Shecai, (Sexy Car)Mina , Dion, Eric, Joed, Nic, and Grace, all you guys are rad! You have no idea how happy I am for having such awesome awesome batchmates (AND I SAY THAT WITH CONVICTION). I’m sure all you guys are gonna go places!

Kitty and Perry, I decided to thank you girls together because I just realized that saying Kitty Perry sounds like Katy Perry.

I love you OrCom 2011! From the bottom of my heart, I love you guys thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.

Dr. Henson, thank you. To my very brilliant college professors, Dr. Sarile, Ma’am Adeva, Ms. Aclan, Sir Burn, Sir Chong, Madame Mikee, Sir Timbungco, Sir Chadwick, Sir Barry, Ms. Martin, Sir Villar, Ms. Pagtalunan, Ms. Pam, Sir Arcilla, Ma’am Wacnang, Sir Ponsaran, and Sir Mesina, thank you very much for sharing your wisdom. My life is changed because of you. Seriously, I can’t thank all of you enough.

To my panelists, Ms. Aclan and Ma’am Rondaris, and my statistician, Sir FJ Singun, thank you very much!

To the very sweet Ate Novs, I am eternally grateful to you.

To the often cranky CAS guards, to the friendly cafeteria people, to Lola Yosi, thank you!

Always and every time, it takes my breath away how I’ve met a lot of great people throughout my college life. The encouragement and inspiration I’ve received from all of them overwhelms me to infinity I just want to burst into tears (the happy sort).

I want to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who was with me during my silliest moments, petiks episodes, and toughest times of my college life.Thank yous are just not going to suffice and I love yous aren’t going to do it either. As I end this, I am still in disbelief. In disbelief of how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

I’m the boss, and so are you.

Every academic year, the old slate of leaders is replaced with a new one. Today in school, several aspiring student leaders introduced themselves to me, shook my hand, and asked me to vote for them. While shaking their hands, I can’t help but imagine how these people, these very people shaking my hand are going to run (or stagnate) the system next academic year. And because the thought of that runs me the risk of sounding incredibly grouchy, I will veer away from that. On a more positive note though, today’s happenings reminded me of what I want in a student leader, of what I want in my student leader.

“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.”

My student leader must be first and foremost, a good student. He or she attends classes, fulfills requirements on time, and at least passes his/her subjects. The word student is placed before the word leader for a reason. I believe that for someone to be a good student leader, he/she must be someone the student body can look up to and see as a responsible student. Someone you’ll look at and say, “I want to be like him/her,” not “I didn’t see him/her in class today.”

“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs.” -Robert Townsend

Do you know what sets a politician from a public servant? It’s genuine concern. Genuine concern for the student body is what should drive someone to become a student leader. Not peer pressure. Not the selfish desire to perk up one’s résumé. Nor should it be for the pride of an organization.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” -John Maxwell

My student leader must have initiative and commitment. Genuinely good intentions are worthless if a leader doesn’t have the drive to actually make things happen.  Platforms and promises may be impressive but they are not enough for leadership is action, not just position.

“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” -John Maxwell

To me, a good student leader cares about the relationship with his/her team and the entire student body. And if one cares, one should listen. Listen and communicate not only when he/she decides to, but all the time.

My student leader isn’t just an impressive resume, just as how his/her platform is not just a fancy acronym or catchy tag line.

As an Organizational Communication student for almost four years, I have come across acronyms and tag lines. A lot of them cheesy, some were just plain tacky, but there were a few which were inspiring.   The thing about acronyms and tag lines is that they can indeed be inspiring, but they can also undependable. (The sadder thing about that is that we, voters, fall for them.) Nothing wrong with a memorable tagline, what’s important though is that a student leader lives up to the promises he/she made.

I hope that in this year’s election, the student body thinks long and hard of what they want in their student leaders. I hope that the student body doesn’t grow to fear abstaining, and instead, fear settling. I wish that they don’t vote for someone just because he/she is a relative, a friend, an orgmate, a brod, or a sis, but because he or she deserves the position.

As a senior student, this is (hopefully) my last semester in the University of the Philippines Manila. I may be leaving the university soon but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop caring for the student body. The students of UP Manila deserve only the best from its student government.