Monday, December 20, 2010

The Curious Case of an Eggplant

Heretics are those people who do not wholly conform to the medieval Church's doctrines. Usually the punishments of heresy are either excommunication or death. Take Galileo Galilei as an example. He was accused of heresy by the Catholic Church because of his scientific claims regarding heliocentrism; that the Sun is the center of the solar system, not Earth as what the Catholic Church once believed. Even after his death in 1642, the request of erecting a mausoleum in his honor was denied by Pope Urban VIII and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Barberini because he was condemned by the Catholic Church for "vehement suspicion of heresy".

Last December 17, 2010 a similar incident occurred. No, the Catholic Church was not involved on it but it was the local government, who acted like Pope Urban VIII.

The local government had ordered UPMin to uproot all of its Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt) eggplants from its testing site. This is also the same day when almost all UPMin students and administration officers went to People’s Park to celebrate their annual lantern parade. Should the uprooting activity was held before or after the lantern parade, the invasion of the uprooters would have been prevented. It was truly one of the darkest days of UP Mindanao.

News and opinions regarding this issue have circulated over the internet. One article had caught the attention of the students and some professors of the university. According to that article, the writer said that UPMin should stop this stupidity as the exercise is nothing but a gross insanity (1). With all due respect to the writer, the university had meticulously studied this technology and has been proven safe, based on the experiments conducted by both local and foreign scientists (2). This technology will reduce the use of pesticides to kill the eggplant fruit and shoot borers. The gene inserted to the eggplant effectively protects it from these pests. I just cannot fully understand as to why the locals opted to believe the claims of an Indian scientist instead of a Filipino scientist.

Branding UPMin as stupid and arrogant is really demoralizing. The funny thing was, those people responsible for that derogatory claim do not EVEN know the science behind it. UPMin is mandated to do research and development for the betterment of the nation, ergo we know what we are doing. We are exerting too much effort with regards to addressing the current issues of our country. The university itself is not that stupid to pour all of its resources if they found out that the research won’t have any benefits to the nation.

No matter how hard we try to tell the science about it, even if it’s already in layman’s term, they won’t listen. They just wanted to uproot all the Bt eggplants from the field. All the hard work and pains of the workers and researchers did not pay off. They didn’t give us a chance to explain our side.

I am still hoping that this scientific endeavor will continue in the near future.

I do hope that the modern Pope Urban VIII will realize the importance of this project.

PS: Please take time reading these two articles, one written by Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr. and the other one, an editorial piece of a local newspaper.

All photos taken by Mr. Rene Estremera

Sunday, December 19, 2010

High School Never Ends

I never really enjoyed high school that much.

I studied in a Catholic-Chinese school for almost 13 years (preschool to 4th yr High School) here in Davao. I have witnessed so many changes in my school - the administration staff, the developments and the students as well.

High school was really tough for me. It's not that I had difficulties catching up with the subjects, it's dealing with the people around me. I really had a hard time to adapt with their unpredictable attitude. Well, I should expect this due to the rage of hormones inside our system.

High school is known for its stereotypes. It's like India's Caste System. The Brahmas are the jocks and the pretty girls. The Kshatriyas are the student leaders. Fortunately I managed to be the part of the second to the lowest caste system - The Sudras (aka The Nerds). The commoners aka the-ones-who-is-easily-forgotten-by-students-and-teachers are the untouchables.

Back in high school, I always daydream to be one of those cool and famous kids. I just want to know the feeling of being famous. I wish to have the prettiest girlfriend so that all the people in the world will get envious to us. I wish to be one of the most influential students in our school. I wish to have more money so that I could afford all those 'cool' gadgets and with those 'cool' gadgets, people will brand me 'cool'.

I experienced being bullied too! As one of the nerds in our batch, some of my classmates will just get my assignment without asking permission, copy it and return it to me without saying 'thank you'. But wait, there's more! There was one time when my assignment in Physics got lost because of their negligence. Also, when I was in third year, my Chemistry teacher discovered my laboratory manual inside a trash bin. I got furious but didn't have guts to face those mindless bullies. I just kept it to myself and it hurt my ego.

But you know, I was really thankful that I had experienced those horrifying incidents. It made me a better and a stronger person. Just be yourself. Don't meddle with the lives of other people.

Four years later.

One time, I saw one of the jocks of my batch, carrying a baby girl. He's a single father and can't finish his tertiary education the soonest. I also heard the news of one of the nerds of my batch. He's currently studying in a prestigious university in USA.

Look, life is so unpredictable.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Frustrating Things in Amazing Race

Contrary to popular beliefs, teams joining this reality show do not have what it takes to win the million dollars (plus some great freebies if you arrive first at the pit stop). No matter how good you are on reading at maps/directions or how physically strong you are, it won't really matter if some unfortunate things happen unexpectedly. Here are some things that would actually change the drama of this show.

1) The first team leaves the pit stop at around dawn and arrives at the airport, only to find out that the next scheduled flight to their next destination will be at around noon or evening. The other teams behind them will surely catch up. Back to square one.

2) Teams arrive at the airport and dash outside the terminal building to search for vacant taxis. Then the teams made a mad dash on the highway to their next destination. Unfortunately, upon arrival at their destination, they found out that the place they're going to perform a certain task is closed. They have no choice but to wait 'til morning.

3) No matter how good you are in reading maps, it would be useless if you bought a map written in a foreign language. I can't imagine myself reading a Chinese map.

4) You use all your charm just to be on THAT certain flight.

5) Virtual Pit Stop. This would surely spoil the euphoric mood of the supposedly 'winning' team, after the host gives their prize: their next clue.

6) Taxi drivers usually know where they are going, given that they have been driving on that certain country for a decade (or forever). Although, some of them can't understand English, resulting to confusion and a waste of time and resources.

Team member: Excuse me, sir. Can we just stop for a while and ask a local because I think you don't know where you're going.

Driver: Yes, yes, I do! (Then, he continues to drive, leaving the team clueless).

7) Foot race. It's a bit frustrating when you're seconds away from winning a grand vacation package from Travelocity. Things get worse if you're racing to the finish line. I'm pretty sure that those teams who are only seconds behind the prize will regret about it.

8) Overcharged fees of the taxi or public utility vehicle drivers.

9) The taxi stops in a gasoline station to fill its tank. Time is precious.

10) You're team mate keeps on whining about your clumsiness on a certain task. Your team mate doesn't have the right to direct you. I'd rather quit the show if I have a team mate who keeps on yelling, "Stop being so stupid" or "Run faster, you idiot!" at me.

11) Language barrier. Always the problem (especially in China, Japan, and South Korea).

Well, teams must have witty strategies to overcome these predicaments. I'm pretty sure that team work will overcome these. If you audition and got lucky to become a part of the show, just enjoy the race.

It's a race of a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Experience CDO

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."

- Lin Yutang

Last August 1, 2010, the delegates of VYLH (Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health) Region 11 elected me as the Regional Representative. My task is to collate all the reports of Region 11 and present it to the regional meeting. So, in October 21, Kuya Anggo called me.

"Hi Renz, this is your Kuya Anggo from VYLH. We are going to have our regional meeting at Cagayan de Oro. We will stay at Hotel Conchita. I'll send some important travel docs to you and to your Dean."

So the day after, I booked a flight to Cagayan de Oro. I have always wanted to try going to Cagayan de Oro by air. I've been to CDO many times by land and it was exciting at first because you get the chance to see the beautiful scenery of Bukidnon. But as time goes by it gets pretty boring once you get used with the route.

Fast forward to November 12. I arrived at Davao International Airport around 10 am and waited for my flight. My uncle, who happens to work at the airport as the Senior Air Traffic Controller accompanied me up to the predeparture area. It was my first time to board and ride an airplane ALONE.

At around 1140, AirPhil Express Flight 253 departed Davao. The flight was pretty smooth, though I wished had a violent turbulence. Just kidding. Here are some of the aerial shots of Davao City.

20 minutes after departing Davao, the seatbelt sign was on and the pilot announced that we are now on final approach at Cagayan de Oro City. I have the chance to see the aerial view of CDO. Siltation of Cagayan River can be seen very clearly in the air.

When the Q400 finally parked on Lumbia Airport's tarmac, I hailed a taxi and arrived at Hotel Conchita 30 minutes later. Traffic in Cagayan is very different compared to Davao. By three in the afternoon, my long-lost ninang fetched me and treated me in Starbucks and Missy Bonbon. Also, I've finally met Dan, my online bestfriend (LOL) together with his classmate and treated me a melon gelato at Missy Bonbon. Thanks Tita It and Dan for the warm accommodation. Too bad, I forgot to take pictures with Dan and friend at Missy Bonbon.

Meanwhile, back at Hotel Conchita, the other delegates from Bukidnon, Zamboanga, Davao and Butuan have arrived. We had a short briefing about tomorrow's meeting. Later, we went to Limketkai Mall. We took pictures with the mall's authentic conifer tree. Later, we got hungry and decided to eat at Yellow Cab.

The second day was pretty exhausting. We spent the entire day inside the hotel's conference room. We reported about the updates of our region. I was impressed with some of the regional reports, especially in Region 9 and 10. They have exerted extra effort to relay the important information about New Born Screening and Rare Infant Diseases. Fortunately, we finished all of our agenda in just 1 day. Since some of our delegates came from the host city, they toured us in Xavier University. I really liked the architecture of XU and it's relatively bigger compared to Ateneo de Davao University.

Since the famous night cafe aka CDO's Divisoria is just in front of Xavier University, we entered its chaotic streets and alleyways. I was extra careful with my personal things - digicam, cellphone and wallet - that my hands were always in my pocket. I only bought this hipster Ray Ban eyeglasses for only 60 pesos! Despite the mayhem, I was still amazed since we don't have this in Davao. I love Cagayan de Oro for its mayhem (well, in a good way). It's a brand new experience for me!

We went back to the hotel at around 10pm. Everyone was tired except for yours truly, Kat, Shane, Ryan, Leo, Charles and Joan. We tried to knock some of the delegates' room and ran as fast as we could to the adjacent hallway. We missed the feeling of being a kid, by the way. We also shared some ghost stories up to two in the morning.

Going home is the saddest part of the trip. You wish to stay longer when you are about to arrive at your home. We bid farewell to Joan, Ryan, and Norwin. They have to leave early so that they won't miss their respective flights. On the other hand, the Davao and Bukidnon delegates rode a hired van and traveled at least three hours before reaching Valencia City, Bukidnon to eat lunch at Jollibee.

It was a fun trip! I'm looking forward for the National Leadership Congress this coming May 25-27, 2011 to be held at either Corregidor or Batangas.

Youth volunteers, keep the fire burning! :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Losing Grip

When I entered UP three years ago, I told myself to get as much as unos and graduate with [Latin] honors. Three years had passed and my principle had changed, all because of those experiences I had in the university.

Tres is just a passing grade; barely passed a certain subject. But you know what? Having a grade of three is the best experience in my whole life. Cliffhanger. It's just a matter of life and death.

At the start of the semester, you start to set your goals. By the end of the semester, you should have a GWA of at least 1.45 and become a University Scholar. Then, you try your best by studying every night. You even choose to stay home during weekends to finish your thesis than strolling at the mall. Then, your circadian rhythm is destroyed.

I just learned that you can't please everybody, no matter how hard you try, like what happened last semester. Evolutionary Biology (BIO 140) is a very interesting subject. But despite my interest (it came to a point that it became an obsession) on this subject, I only got tres. 3.0. It was really painful when I only got 25/100 despite having a four day preparation prior the exam. Well, the problem was, I had a hard time catching up with my professor's rhythm.

When I went to school three weeks ago to get my class card, I was really nervous. I thought that I was going to flunk this subject. When I got my class card and saw the number 3 circled by a black ink, I almost cried. Tears of joy. It just shows that if you start losing your track, you just think of finishing it, no matter what the results are.

I did my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


"Kuy, gising na."

Dad woke me up. It was 8 in the morning. It was unusual of having a gray hue on my room instead of a bright orange-yellow. It took me ten minutes to stretch, yawn and stare at the ceiling.

It was raining.

It was one of the perfect mornings that I've ever had. I prefer having a cold and rainy morning instead of a bright and warm one. I love when the sky's gray. I love how the cold blankets my body while drinking mom's hot chocolate.

It was still raining when I arrived at the office at around 9:30. I was supposed to pass the requirements of my scholarship but the office was closed. I waited for a few minutes. It didn't open. The place was desserted.

I was alone. I was stupid.

So, I went to the mall to chill. Alone. I first went to National Bookstore. I went to the magazine stand and read the latest issue of National Geographic. I managed to finish reading it after 20 minutes. It cost 399 pesos but I didn't spend even a single penny. By 11:30, I got hungry ergo ate heavy lunch. Alone.

While walking alone in the mall, I saw my high school crush. She was still beautiful. Her chinky eyes. Her sweet smile. Her fair complexion. I thought she didn't recognize me. I haven't shaved for three days. I was wrong. She even smiled at me and said, "Hi kuya!".

Right. Kuya. Big brother. She still considers me as her big brother. She wished of having one, like what she told me a few years back. I wanted to be more than her kuya back then. Foolish thought.

Time flies so fast.

I went back to National Bookstore. I saw some books. I have this urge to buy these three books. I imagined having a thousand peso bill in my wallet. I held the books for a minute or two.

It was painful. Window shopping isn't really my thing.

With limited money, I decided to go home - an hour journey.

While walking at the sidewalk, I saw her. Again.

"Ikaw nanaman?"
"Yes, ako nanaman. (smiles)"
"Sige kuya, bye!"

Yesterday was an odd day.

Time to move on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Future Tense

While some of my batch mates (mostly from the Social Science and Humanities Department) are somewhat eager to land a decent job after graduation. I on the other hand will still study for another 5 years (specialization not included). Today. I feel like I'm taking a college entrance exam, again - filling up some forms, pasting some 2x2 ID pictures on it, photocopying some important documents and the list goes on and on.

I overheard them saying, "I wanna be rich" or "I hope I'll have an extraordinary career growth" or "I hope I work in a stable company".

And when they asked me for my future plans, I just told them, in a straightforward manner, like a bullet darting its way to the victim, "I'm going to study medicine. Still a student for the next 5 years". They were a bit surprised.

"Aren't you tired of being a student? I mean, another four years of studying? Why don't you just work instead and build your career in the field of research?", they asked.

"You know what, my mind tells me that I can still endure such stressful activities. Stress is actually everywhere! Do you think working for your monthly earnings is not stressful? I guess not. I know my capabilities. I know the limitations of my body. I know it's hard but I believe it is my duty to serve our country once I'm through with med school. And with that, I know that through my diligence and hardwork, I can help those people who are in need. I believe it is my destiny to become a doctor. We might not know, in the near future, I'm going to prescribe you some medicines that would actually save your life."

"Each and everyone of us has its own decisions. We are smart enough to determine our capacity, be mental, emotional or physical. I love what I'm doing right now and I'll do whatever it takes to reach my goals in life."

They were stunned. So am I.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We remember 9/11

September 11, 2001.

9:00 pm, Philippine Time.

I was only 11 at that time. I was about to go to sleep when a disturbing looped video of a burning skyscraper caught my attention. I was really curious and decided to watch CNN instead. My parents were watching it too, so I asked, "Pa, ano yan? Trailer ng action movie? (Pa, what is that? Is that a trailer of an upcoming action movie?)"

"No, hindi yan trailer (No, it's not a trailer). It's really happening".

As of that moment, the 20 floors (85th to 110th floor) of the North Tower was a burning inferno. It was inaccessible. I could still remember people waving their clothes from the windows of their offices as black smoke continued to rise from the building. A gaping hole brought about by an impact of American Airlines Flight 11 made the news media across the globe to speculate that it was an accident. New York had already experienced this kind of accident back in 1945 when a B-25 Mitchell bomber plane crashed between the 79th and 80th floor of the Empire State Building. Then the speculation abruptly changed to an act of terrorism when at exactly 9:03 AM, a Boeing 767 United Airlines Flight 175 crashed at the South Tower.

Photographers also have grotesque images of people jumping off from the burning inferno of World Trade Center. Some claimed that they're cowards. Others label them as the unsung heroes of 9/11. For me, they were left with desperate choices. They chose to jump than to suffocate from the building's thick black smoke or be roasted by a 2,300 degree Fahrenheit fire. The news continued as Pentagon was hit by a Boeing 757 at 9:05 AM in Washington and a plane crashed somewhere in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Everyone panicked.

People from different countries have witnessed such event.

And thus, we remember the people who suffered the ordeal.

We remember the jumpers. Ordinary people will grumble how hard life is despite having all the needs and wants in their lives. Jumpers have to deal with such difficult decisions of whether to fight the fire or just to escape this nightmare.

We remember the firefighters who have bravely saved people from the burning towers and died.

We remember the people who died inside their respective offices in the World Trade Center and Pentagon. They weren't prepared. Some died instantly at their desks. Others had to suffer so much pain before the building collapsed.

We remember the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11 and American Airlines Flight 77. Even if they didn't arrive at their destination, they were at least prepared and aware of what was happening on their flight minutes before the crash.

We remember the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 who bravely fought their hijackers and instead of heading to the US Capitol, they crashed on a rural field somewhere in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

We remember the victims' family members. They will never forget the day when they had their last phone calls with their loved ones.

We remember the terrorists. They also have their own share of story; the reason why they did this inhumane act.

Lastly, we remember 9/11. It was a wake up call to all us. It made us realized that anything can happen in the world. Live life to the fullest. Cherish every moment of our life.

We will never forget 9/11.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Sentimental Piece

Being a Biology student isn't really that easy. You are required to understand, analyze and memorize wholeheartedly the biochemical processes of life such as Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle and the Electron Transport Chain. You are also required to pass laboratory reports on time (usually everyday). You can't really use your imagination once you deal with the technicalities. There's always a right and wrong answers. If you don't have references, you'll have a grade of zero plus you're going to be accused of plagiarism.

It is REALLY stressful, I tell you.

The good thing is, I am currently enrolled in a Literature class that enhances students' capabilities in terms of writing by expressing their own opinions and perspectives. Each one of us has the chance to write what we feel after reading certain selections and watching foreign movies about memories, friendship, war, beliefs and love.

Surprisingly, our professor was also a BS Biology graduate of UP Diliman (cum laude) but took another degree at Siliman University (BA English major in Creative Writing) after graduation.

I just realized that it is very hard to write a movie review/critique if you base from the technicalities of the movie. You have to be keen in observing and evaluating the actor's delivery of their skills. Also, you have to analyze the plot of the movie, whether if it's coherent with the theme or not. It's really hard, given the fact that I do not have any background in film studies. But when you make a personal reflection about a certain movie, ideas start to flow continuously until you create such magnificent piece.

Anyway, I got really surprised when I saw my reaction papers. I usually get a grade of 1.00. Moreover, our professor is fond of putting some 'love letters' on a vacant side of the paper. The latest was this:

"You are consistent with your works, keep it up! You have a big potential of being good writer."

This made my day, at least. It really compensated from yesterday's depressing event. I have never thought being a good writer. I sometimes commit grammatical errors. When constructing a piece, I tend to be incoherent. Sometimes, my thoughts are entropic; messy.

But then again, there's always a room for improvement.

The point of this post is, I miss writing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Optimism Prime

I personally do not like when I'm doing the same thing over and over again. This is primarily the reason why I don't want a job that requires you to sit in front of the computer, doing the same thing over and over again. I'd rather quit the job than to suffer the psychological ordeal.

Now this lead to answer the question as to why I prefer doing a LOT of things than focusing on just one work (given that those things that I really do are my interests).

People around me might notice that I play several important roles in every organizations I joined. First, there's the council, then my second family, BioS (Biological Society) and then, Himati. They think that I'm suffering from their specific demands. They think that I can't handle the three organizations simultaneously. They do not believe that I have this potential to straighten things up. You know guys, I still sleep, at least 6 hrs a day. My academic standing isn't compromised as of this moment. Sometimes I'm pressured to do all those things.

But do you want to know my secret?

Time Management.
It's not really a secret or talent. It takes time to learn this old magic trick. You see, three years studying in UP (or any institutions you're currently enrolled in) is already enough to muster self-discipline and time management. Frankly I have a hard time to manage all those stress when I was still a freshman. Little by little, I learned how to balance academics and extra-curricular activities.

It's just a matter of dealing such things that are important to you.

Know your priorities.
Set you goals.
Accept defeat.
Make your winning moments as one of your inspirations.
Let us temporarily forget those leisure activities such as watching movies at the cinema, shopping and et cetera. We can still visit them if time permits. The world won't end soon. Don't worry.

And always remember that a smile on your face, despite the stress will make your day complete. I guarantee that you will have a happy disposition in life.

Lastly, one should exude optimism to attain success.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Evolutionary speaking,

You know class, ideally it doesn’t really matter if you have a car or other luxuries in life. Do you think a man will look better if he owns a brand new car? It doesn’t make any sense! Your physical attributes (personality included, for a good reason) are one of your best assets in which you can ever present to the multitude. Earth has already been here in our solar system for at least 4.6 billion years. The first microorganisms appeared 2 billion years later, and then the complex evolutionary process occurred gradually until such time that it molded several genera and families base on the capability of the organisms to adapt on certain climatic conditions.

Nature will naturally select those who have the greatest number of advantageous traits. Those who do not have advantageous traits will soon disappear since traits will not be passed on to the next generation. Moreover, it will create a stable gene pool given at the right environmental condition.

But then again, we humans are so intelligent that we actually seek for practicality. We do not think of the possible detrimental effects to the future generations base on the way we choose our own lifetime partners. It may sound superficial to you, but think of it this way: If we continue to choose luxuries of life over the person per se, time will come that the next generation will have less advantageous traits and might lead to an event that we do not wish to happen.


These are some of the things that I wish to discuss if ever I teach Evolutionary Biology in the near future.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's great to be a kid again.

We decided to watch Toy Story 3 in 3D. I was really excited because it was my first time to experience 3D cinema. Even if it's a bit expensive (Php 250, with free large popcorn or hotdog), it was still worth it. No, don't get me wrong, I won't spoil you about what really happened between Andy and his toys. I will just tell you something about what I felt after watching the third installment of Pixar's most successful animated movie.

The story was again simple, like the previous installments. Despite its simplicity, the movie never fails to convey its message to the audience. The three Toy Story films may share some similar plot lines in having the constant fear of being discarded and unwanted when one turns old, or to obsess with the thought of being forgotten and unappreciated, and almost always comes with a distance to conquer.

The movie involves several themes such as facing consequences of inevitable hopelessness, which will affect most of the audience since they already know how much they care for the characters, friendship and courage. It tackles certain things on how someone turned into a bitter soul due to rejection, tremendous loss and abandonment. Although the light hearted moments balance all of these dark elements in the movie.

While waiting in the line, I heard a lot of kids saying that it was the best movie ever. I was really touched. I was only five years old when the first installment came out. I remembered that I used to say that same statement. It made me feel young again.

Moving on is really hard, but we have to accept that not all things are permanent.

Friday, June 18, 2010


There is a thick barrier between the upperclassmen and the freshmen. As you might have noticed, freshies are like flocks of birds. They work as a group, they walk as a group, they eat as a group and they study as a group. Now, let’s take a closer look between these two groups.

On the younger side, freshies tend to ignore their own upperclassmen. One reason is that, the upperclassmen are intimidating. Another thing is, they have this superiority complex. On the older side, upperclassmen tend to ignore the freshies because they are too sosyal for their taste or too maarte.

Mutualism at its best, not.

Three years ago, when I was still a freshie, I would always smile to some upperclassmen or say “Hi Ate/Kuya” shyly. It’s a bit rewarding if they smile back to you. Now that I’m already a senior, I can really tell that the feeling is very rewarding when some freshies (especially in your own course) smile and/or greet you, say along the pathway or in the corridor. You can easily tell whether a freshie is polite of pa-FC (feeling close).

I was really disappointed when I called some of the Bio freshies and they ignored me.

Oh well, I guess they are all different compared to the lower batches I’ve met for the past two years.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Just so you know,

Sex education isn't about teaching the youngsters to have sex, but rather it's a way to properly orient them about it - its importance and its consequence. It is appropriate for a child to know that he came from his mother's uterus, a special place where the development of the fetus takes place. I find it disturbing when a child thought that he came from a special powder requested by his parents or worse, when he thought that he used to be a clay and his parents molded his body through divine intervention and cooked him in a giant oven. A puerile way of thinking.

The problem isn't about implementing sex education to the curriculum, it is the responsibility of how experts explain it to the young ones.

I just want to ask one question about the church's side: If you think that sex education is liberated, can you give us a few examples of 'conservative' sex?

Now tell me.

Please enlighten me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Built (not) To Last

...and the worse things have finally occurred. When I went to my sampling site a few hours ago to monitor my sea cucumbers, the pond water was really warm, so warm that it was already considered a hostile environment. I together with Ma'am Ruth's RA (Research Assistant) recorded a short underwater video because she wanted to see the current condition of the pond.

The underwater condition was really different compared to my previous visit. It was really murky, which made the monitoring more difficult. While searching for my pens, he told me that in the 27th of May, they recorded the highest water temperature ever... at 42 degrees Celsius! We directly went to my pens and sad to say, we didn't find even a single Holothuria scabra. We surmised that all of them have died due to the extreme pond conditions.

We already did everything the best we could just to maintain the right temperature of water. We have already increased the frequency of pumping fresh salt water from the sea which resulted to an increased electric bill by up to 300%.

All of our efforts didn't pay.

So now, I have to tell my adviser about this tomorrow. I still have the data since January. I have so many possible solutions running in my mind about this predicament of mine. My data have been in jeopardy for months because of El Niño. My babies can no longer tolerate the intense heat of the pond.

And I expect major revisions starting from the objectives of my study. Major overhaul.
Don't get me wrong, I am not panicking right now.

Monday, May 24, 2010


You seem very enthusiastic about your academics, and you always have some intellectual and witty stuff to say. I've been a constant reader of your blog, and your point of view impacts on me immensely. I'm about to take BS Bio this coming semester and I'm pretty psyched up and nervous. I would just like to inquire about your first year in UP. I want to be prepared for what's ahead of me, kasi. Do you have any recommendations for incoming freshies like me? How did you survive, and what do you recommend to keep up, or better yet, make good grades? - blaizewolfex
Hello there!

It was three years ago when I first entered UP. Oh god, I still can't believe it that it was already three years ago! Anyway, to be honest I got really scared and intimidated by those loquacious upperclass men of ours. It was really different, given by the fact that I studied in a private institution ran by nuns for almost thirteen years. For one week, everything was awkward. Contrary to popular beliefs (LOL), I am not used to seeing new people. I got even jealous with my high school classmates because almost all of them took either BS Nursing in San Pedro College or BS Accountancy in Ateneo de Davao University - same old faces with a bit of modifications in the environment. Out of 210 students in our batch in high school, only 5 of us took BS Biology in which three of them are currently studying in Ateneo, one in DLSU and one in UP (that's me).

I thought the freshmeat's, ehem, freshmen's life was hard but I quickly adapted to my new environment. Luckily, all of my classmates were brilliant. I gained new friends and even understood a bit of their own culture (most of them originated from different parts of the country). Also the upperclass men were accomodating. And then I just realized that my life here in UP is more awesome compared to my high school classmates despite the nearest mall is about an hour away. If they are getting used of seeing the same cars, buses and buildings in their school, I on the other hand is getting used of seeing cows and goats grazing on the grassland.

Every UP student has its own declension. You see, to acquire knowledge isn't just focused on getting constant high grades, it's the challenges that everyone has to undergo! Remember that mistakes are inevitable. What separates a person from others is the improvement made after a mistake is realized. When you fail in an exam, reevaluate yourself. Did I study well? Have I reviewed the subject thoroughly weeks before the exam? You had to have a personal assessment. It will help you a lot.

Also, you have to set your goals straight. If you want to achieve something, you have to persevere. Avoid distractions like the INTERNET, DVD and the likes. Don't worry, you'll gonna have some time for your leisure once you finish all those things related to acads. Also, do not CRAM. Cramming never helps, swear.

Lastly, when the going gets tough, get TOUGHER. Life in UP is really challenging, I tell you. At first it would be hard for you but after a month or two, you'll get used to it.

Hope this helps! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Future Tense[s]

After watching four episodes of Scrubs (First Season), I just realized that this is the job that I really wanted, to become a medical doctor. Despite its comical approach, I still appreciate it. Life after medicine is a million times harder than studying it for four years. You don’t have to deal with the cadaver anymore, it’s gonna be a real thing. You have to be alert when dealing with your patients. The scenario will be totally different once you set your feet inside the emergency room. Everything is chaotic. Everything is challenging. Every second wasted is also equal to a life wasted, a life that should have been saved.

Watching these medical drama series like House MD, Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs really inspires me to take medicine after graduating college.

But after that, I still want to take Doctorate studies in Molecular Medicine or Molecular Physics. You know, it feels so great when you have a nameplate something like this:
Dr. Renz Marione M. Bulseco, MD, PhD

Friday, May 14, 2010

Of Blogging

Blogger, Livejournal, Tumblr, Wordpress… it doesn’t really matter.

A blog is like a diary. You write all the things about your daily experiences -mundane or extraordinary, your goals, your wishes, book and movie reviews and everything under the sun. Only that in blogging, you are willing to share this to random people over the internet.

Your primary goal, whether you like it or not, is to create an audience that will read about a piece of your life. They can freely send comments, suggestions or even constructive criticisms. Now here’s the real thing: You can not control the number of people reading your site. It’s really fun, actually. You meet new people online and talk about your interests.

Blogging is also a perfect stress reliever. There are some instances wherein the only way to release your anger is to write and publish it. You have the freedom to choose whether to be sarcastic or to be straightforward. But, things get worse when a small group from your audience emerges. They judge you base from your posts. Bashing is rampant nowadays. Bullies have the power to become anonymous, much like wearing an invisibility cloak. We can’t undo this kind of notion, but I guess we always have to remember that the realm of internet is easily misinterpreted. You know, like emoticons. They do not really denote or dictate the real emotion. I may type this emoticon :) but the truth is I’m not really smiling. The realm of internet is always deceiving.

Always remember that a person’s posts do not really actuate his true personality.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Freshmen Orientation Blues

I went to school to facilitate the Freshmen Orientation here in UP Mindanao. So the program went well although there were some minor technical glitches during the presentation of different facilities of the school.

I together with my colleagues (in USC) were talking about something when suddenly a mother sat beside us and interrupted our conversation. Talking about being rude. So anyway, these were the exact words:

"Alam niyo ba, yung mga anak ko galing sa (insert name of local school here) at nakapagtataka talaga mga speakers niyo. Diba UP dapat super magagaling ang mga speakers! Dapat they should have an eye contact sa amin. Eh napapansin ko eh parang hindi masyado interested ang mga tao rito... Nakakahiya [sic] kasi sa mga students eh lahat ng mga students dito mga honor students!"

So we explained our side.

Even the BEST speakers in the world have their own flaws too. What you are trying to insinuate is impossible Ma'am. Also, in fairness to the facilitators they were not boring. As you can see this morning, a lot of parents and a few students raised their questions regarding the lifestyle in UP. It is clearly evident that majority of the audience were interested. Speaking of eye contact, I can really say that they are talking to the AUDIENCE and not in front of their PowerPoint Presentation. They are professionals and they're already used to this kind of things.

Apparently she got pwned by our answers. Still, she keeps on blabbing the same thing and we just stopped talking to her.

There were two questions in my mind at that time, but I opted not to ask her because I think it's very rude despite her approach to us.

Are you a UP graduate? (or worse, are you even a high school graduate?)
Do you have an expertise in the field of speech communication?

Even if she answered YES to both questions, she's still wrong. First, she was rude. She didn't even bother to say "excuse me" before she raised her 'concern'. Second she wasn't listening to us at all. So it was useless to defend our side, knowing that she won't listen. I know for a fact that the two aforementioned questions were rude but she was insulting us.

I do NOT have any problems when people want to raise their concerns, questions and suggestions to us. It's just the way she approached us was really wrong. If her approach was nice, then I won't be writing this for sure.

PS: Tangina lang, kaya naiinis talaga ako kasi nagugutooooom na ako tapos gagaguhin ka pa. JIRITS.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

An Old Brat

I have already enough of this old brat. It looks like the dirty, rich old man is mad about Jobert Sucaldito's comments about a certain segment of Willie of ForTune which includes contestants who already graduated in college having a general weighted average between 75-79%. Sucaldito claimed that this show is an insult to the contestant's dignity. Revillame on the other hand defended the show, claiming that everyone's free to join regardless of your race, gender preference and 'intelligence'.

Revillame eventually got mad and threw tantrums (well, not the typical tantrums of the child, but you'll eventually get my point) on one episode of the show. He even 'demanded' the management that if they do not remove Jobert Sucaldito, he will resign and leave Wowowee for good.

But the question is, will Revillame really leave the show because of some misunderstanding?

Well let's look to some of the points:

One, Willie is really a money maker. It's like he's one of the major stock holders of the broadcasting company even if technically, he's not really a stock holder.

Two, Willie is arrogant. He thinks he's a BIG loss if he opts to leave the noontime show.

Three, the ABS-CBN management will beg Willie to come back to the show and the drama unfolds. Come on, it feels so great when your boss kneels in front of you, pleading you to come back to the show, and without a doubt offer you a higher talent fee.

So you might ask why I made a 'rant' post about Willie, eh? I have one simple answer for that: I really abhor Willie. I do not like the way he treats his contestants, as if they're only just a bunch of brainless twerps.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Live Like We're Dying

It's already the fourth month since the introduction of my sea cucumbers to the pen. So as early as 0730, I swam into the 6,000 sq meter pond and I was shocked of what I saw: mass grave.
I was really, really surprised to see some dead sea cucumbers. It was really gruesome. In each pens, I saw four or five dead sea cucumbers and it looks like they were victims of a suicide bombing. Yeah, I think you have already surmised it right, their guts were open. Some of them were flat but all of their GI tract were missing. I first thought my sea cucumbers were attacked by those nasty crabs.

Since it was daytime, the recovery rate is lower since majority of them have already burrowed in the pond substrate. Just so you know, Holothuria scabra are nocturnal species. I still picked them even if they looked sick (or worse, dying).

I went back to land together with my research associate and did some measurements. I asked him whether my sea cucumbers were attacked by the predators and he said that the sea cucumbers in his pond, which is located a few meters from mine have also suffered the same predicament. They have this grayish discoloration on both of its ventral and dorsal side and secrete this slimy mucus from its anus and/or mouth.

According to the RA, this is probably caused by sudden changes in salinity and water temperature of the pond due to the abnormal weather. SEE? Because of El Niño, my thesis experiment has been compromised. I had the first sign of it last March 21, when one of the sea cucumbers eviscerated. You know, when sea cucumbers are subjected to stress, they vomit their own gut.

I will send this report to my thesis adviser later and wait for some possible actions to answer this serious quandary of mine. :(

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thesis it!

I was really, really happy upon learning that two of the sophomore Biology students (incoming Junior this first semester) had chosen Dr. Ruth U. Gamboa aka "Inang Dagat" as their thesis adviser. I'm so glad that they'll be joining our grandHolothuria project. So I sent one of Inang Dagat's thesis advisee a wall message on Facebook. It goes something like this:

Me: And so I've heard the news. Gamby na pala adviser mo? Welcome to the cluuuuuuub!
Jel: Wahahahah! Yes!! :)) Guess we'll see more of each other. Woohoo! Hindi na siya nagiisa uyyyy :))
Me: YEHEY MAY KASAMA NA AKO! Kayo ni Frece diba?
Jel: Yeah! Hahaha :)) Talking 'bout being in the oddest bunch.
Me: Yeaaaaah! So ano, may topic ka na?
Jel: Ohhh.. Determination of Genetic Variation of Holothuria scabra in Different Regions of Region XI.
Me: Ahhhh! Nice! Sinuggest ko iyan last year kay ma'am but apparently she didn't want me to do that study since the grow-out of sandfish in an earthpond has not yet been finished. Galing naman! Gagamit ka pa ng mga kagamitan sa Molecular Biology lab!
Jel: Yes! I'm sooo excited na talaga! :)) Sayang I was thinking about doing my own study: Regeneration gene into sea cucumber DNA! hahaha! That way, propagation wouldn't be a problem :))
Me: Nice! Pero naku, aabutan ka niyan ng more than two years sa thesis mo! :D

I'm so glad that they chose Inang Dagat as their thesis adviser. Inang Dagat hasn't handled a thesis adviser for more than five years until I came last year. Now that I'm halfway through with my experiment (statistical analysis isn't included in this part) I would always wonder why I'm actually enjoying my thesis despite hearing some terrifying stories from the upperclassmen regarding my thesis adviser. I thought Inang Dagat was a terror adviser, but I was wrong. She would always ask me whether if I've already monitored my sea cukes or not. She would constantly remind me about the things that I should accomplish within this month. Everything is already planned.

Well, I think great minds think alike. Haha! =)

Can't wait to be with my future Holothurian mates!

Go Holothuria!

Hurray for funded thesis!

The author would like to thank DOST, BFAR and ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) for sponsoring my thesis. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pilot Academy (PSP)

This flight simulator game was released for PlayStation Portable (PSP) in 2006. The game allows you to fly aircrafts from different eras, starting from World War I up to the present day. Before playing the missions, it is advisable to undergo some training. There are two types of training: civilian and military. In the civilian training, you will be taught mainly about the basics of flying (take-off, final approach and landing). In the military training, however, it focuses mainly on weapon control.

As the game progresses, it would be a little bit exciting for newbies but this game isn't guaranteed for gamers who are not fond of doing the same thing over and over again.

The graphics are tolerable enough. There are some 3D buildings present in the landscape and some insignificant 2D buildings. Topographic features like the mountains, hills, seas, and rivers are also present too. The movement of rudder, elevators and wings can also be seen except for the visible damage.

The game has the free flight mode which allows users to explore some islands and land their planes safely. However there are limitations on the game.

(a) No ILS (Instument Landing System) approach.
(b) No contact or exchange of valuable information from the control tower (although there are control towers present in the airport).
(c) Approach is only through visual, meaning, if you are not familiar with the place, the chance of crashing the plane is high while attempting for a final approach.
(d) All planes do not have voice warnings such as overspeed, low altitude, stall and etc.
(e) No autopilot. You have to control the plane manually from the time it takes off until it finally lands to the designated airport.
(f) The scenes are always in daylight - no night landing.

Despite the limitations of the game, I still enjoy playing this. I'm pretty sure aviation enthusiasts (like me) will enjoy this game.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Davao City is the Place to be

I was born and raised in this premier city of the south. Located at the southeastern part of Mindanao, Davao is the largest and the most progressive city of the country with a land area of 2,444 sq. km.. Here are some facts that you have to know about my beautiful hometown.

1) Davao is very accessible. Davao is an hour and forty minutes away from Manila and almost an hour from Cebu. You can opt to take the ferry or the PhilTranco bus.

2) Roman Catholic is the dominant religion of the city.

3) You can drink water directly from the tap. Don't worry, our water system is the third cleanest drinking water in the whole world.

4) The city's lifestyle is relatively cheap. Local vendors sell fruits at rock bottom prices. Average water bill for every household ranges from Php 150 to Php 400. Also, we don't have to worry about the expensive toll fee because we don't have it here.

5) Speaking of toll fee, traffic is not really a big problem. Usually we experience traffic every rush hour period, but generally, travel time will not be compromised due to traffic.

6) If an accident occurs, call 911.

7) Davaoeños sleep. As early as 11 pm, streets in the downtown area looks almost deserted, as if people have evacuated due to an incoming calamity. I've been to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City and even if it's 2am, the streets are still busy, partying as if there's no tomorrow.

8) It is safe to use your cellphones on public places. Crime rate is relatively low compared to other major cities of the country.

9) Davao Death Squad. Sad to say this exists. For more details, use Google.
10) Due to its location, it's rarely visited by typhoons. We really do not know what it feels like to be battered by a super typhoon. Though during wet season we always experience heavy rain.

11) The climate throughout the city isn't really consistent. Downtown Davao's altitude is approximately 10-20 feet above sea level. Other areas can be as high as 4,600 feet above sea level. In these places, temperature would range from 10-19 degrees Celsius. Also people and travelers always experience heavy fog during early morning, dusk and night time.

12) With regards to no. 11, we also grow and sell strawberries. Buda is the Baguio City of the south.

13) We do not need to spend thousands just to travel to Boracay. We have our very own Samal Island. It's just 5 minutes away from the city proper.

14) Generally, the city is not that polluted.

15) Davaoeños speak Tagalog and Bisaya fluently, which led to the development of the new dialect called "Davao Tagalog". For example, instead of saying "Hoy, ang tagal talaga ni Tricia. Nasaan na ba siya?" we say, "Ay uy! Katagal talaga ni Tricia! Nasaan naman iyan siya uy!". Sounds awkward or funny? Well it is clearly evident that Davao is a melting pot of all cultures. Moreover, this is a product of collaborative efforts coming from different dialects which eventually influence the people over time. Davao City is just... diverse.

16) Because the city is very big, establishments aren't clustered on a certain area. Establishments are strategically distributed to each major points of the city just to serve their clients. It's a pain in the pwet when one decides to go for bar hopping.

17) Since 2001, we haven't experienced firecrackers exploding on the night sky. Every Christmas and New Year's Eve, the sky is illuminated by stars, not the flying 5-stars (if there is really a flying five-star firecracker). The local government had implemented the city ordinance which deals with the complete ban of firecrackers. Sparklers are also prohibited. It may be a sad thing for others but let's look on the brighter side! We breathe cold and fresh air during these festivities and we won't have to worry for stray bullets.

18) Smoking is prohibited in almost all areas. One stick of cigarette costs only Php 2.00. Once you violate the rule, you have to pay the fine starting at Php 1,500.

19) We are creative. There are lots of local artists here. Kublai Milan is one. Once you arrive at the airport, you'll be greeted by this giant Durian sculpture. You can also see his works at People's Park.

20) Marco Polo Hotel is the tallest structure in the city. Skyscrapers isn't necessary since the city has still LOTS of spaces available despite its 1.5 million inhabitants.

There are lots of things to say about Davao but it will take me more than a day to finish this article.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Take the road less traveled

(I always receive questions from my Formspring account regarding of why I opted to take Biology as my course in College. Hope this will answer the queries.)

I always regard myself as adventurous and a risk taker. I am not afraid of failure because through failure, it will mold and shape me to a better person.

When I was young, I am always fascinated to flying insects. Actually I find it cool whenever I see flying cockroaches! I will never forget the day when I caught two grasshoppers and placed them on a cage. But eventually, those poor critters died due to starvation. I am always curious about the things around me. You know, one time, I tried to feed my two pet goldfish but instead of fish flakes, I gave them loaf bread. They ate it but unfortunately, they died due to suffocation. Back then, I always watch Discovery Channel/National Geographic instead of cartoons.

I used to be a straight A student since 1st grade. Honestly, it was really boring. I always search for different kinds of challenges. High school came and I wasn't given a chance to speak my mind, to share my opinion and to voice out my concerns. I have a low self-esteem hence my classmates won't trust my leadership skills. I didn't experience any difficulties on high school Physics, high school Chemistry, History, Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus. At that moment, I thought I was going to the easiest route. I really tried to focus and divert to the route that I really wanted.

Good thing there was UPCAT.

My parents really wanted me to pursue my college life to this famous university. I only took UPCAT. No more, no less. The entrance exam was not a joke. I really find it difficult. But, I still loved it because I really now that I'm on the right track. Fortunately, I passed UPCAT.

I chose Biology because I really love science and I know it's not going to be easy.

Then three years ago, I entered college life.

It wasn't easy though. All of my classmates were more brilliant than me, but I take that as a challenge. My life in UP is full of ups and downs.

I was publicly humiliated by my professor because I slept during her class.
I arrived an hour late during my NatSci II long exam.
I cried when my Chem professor did not accept my assignment which I worked hard for it. Gah, long story but one thing for sure, I was right and he was wrong.
I scored more than a hundred in Chem. It was really amazing.
Organic Chem. Second long exam result: 19/60.
I was given the chance to speak in front of the people, to share my insights about the current administration.
I chose the most challenging thesis topic. My adviser didn't have an advisee for 5 years because her former advisees left her and find another topic. But yeah, miraculously, we speak the same language.
I got my first 5.00 - Biochemistry.
I may not be a consistent dean's lister, the way I used to be when I was still in grade school and high school. I may not graduate with honors but deep inside I have accomplished a lot of things. I know there are still lots of challenges ahead of me but I now I have self confidence. I believe that I could accomplish those things.

If I were you, take the road less traveled. It may not be an easy route but once you get through with it, you'll find it very rewarding.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dear Future Girlfriend,

I know we love each other but I just want to tell you a few things about me. Through this, you won’t complain about my treatment or worse, make fictitious stories about me.

  1. Do not expect me to buy material things for you, especially if it’s very expensive. I don’t see love when I give you a thousand pesos worth of teddy bear with an I ♥ YOU sign on its chest. I prefer giving you real mwahs and hugs.
  2. I don’t know how to cook. So please bear with me. Do not laugh at my burnt pancakes. I still find it sweet if we eat together, no matter if it’s only Lucky Me Pancit Canton and coke.
  3. On a dinner date, you can choose any fancy restaurants or fast food chains, whichever you like. However, do not pick a restaurant which only serves seafoods. You don’t want me to die early, do you?
  4. When you caught me watching porn, do not say “yuck” or “kadireeeeeee”. I will do the same thing if I caught you watching those SuJu (dvd) live concert. I’m just a man carrying an excess amount of testosterone. Don’t tell me you’re jealous?
  5. When I say I love you, I really mean it. Do not laugh as if it’s a joke.
  6. When I’m not in mood, please cuddle or at least talk to me. I may not in mood but I have two ears, ready to listen.
  7. I don’t like it when you spill our secrets to your echuserang friends.
  8. If you’re suspecting me that I have ‘another’ one, go ahead check my inbox. You’ll only find messages from you (of course), my thesis adviser, research assistants, mom and dad.
  9. Whenever I bully you, don’t cry or don’t get mad at me. It’s just, I find it cute.
  10. I’m not a big fan of window shopping.
  11. I love it when you pinch my cheeks… even if it hurts.
  12. I love traveling.
  13. Let’s settle this, once and for all - I hate terms of endearment. I am not a big fan of calling you honey, babe, sugar, sweetiepie, applepie, honeybunch… acckk… and vice-versa. First name basis is already fine.
  14. Whenever I cry in front of you, I am really, really hurt. I am not imitating John Lloyd Cruz for Christ’s sake.

Well, I think this is enough.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Climb Every Mountain

Grade school days.

I always dream to be the number one in our class. Apparently, it would be impossible since the brilliant ones (the class valedictorian, salutatorian, etc.) belong to the same class. If not, the difference of my average to the number one student would only be 0.1 or worse, lesser. So I ended up being the second, third, fourth but never the first. Good thing is, my parents did not pressure me to beat those nerdos. But being an adventurous lad, I still wanted to beat them.

I did not succeed with my evil plans. I wasn't that über studious when I was younger. As a child I had lots of distractions - novels, Lego, airplanes, cartoons, Discovery Channel, Captain Planet, National Geographic, and the list goes on and on. I remembered that I only study the day before an exam. It was really frustrating to my part because I can do better than that.

I was in fourth grade when I made a promise (to myself) that I'll graduate as the class Salutatorian. So by fifth grade, I tried to focus and to change my study habits. It didn't work... it JUST DID NOT WORK. Moreover, I wasn't the teacher's pet because I always come to school late and I was brutally honest which came to a point that my classmates and teachers are already hurt with my statements. I was tactless and careless. Extra-curricular activities weren't a problem though. When I graduated in elementary, I ranked 15th out of 210 students. Not enough. My conduct pulled me down. But at the end of the day, I told myself that I am not a failure.

In high school, it was still the same. Tactless, careless, and not focused. High school was just a roller coaster ride. I ranked 17th out of 203 students when I graduated last March 2007. Well, at least I got minor awards like Most Outstanding in Music (Performer) and Loyalty Award.

When I entered UP, things have changed - new environment, diverse culture and new people to interact with. I tried to be consistent on the list, but once again, I failed due to lack of perseverance, focus and determination. Sometimes I get frustrated because my classmates would get high grades even if they studied hours before exam. I on the other hand would get a so-so result despite studying one week prior the exam.

But then again, I am not happy if I'm always in front of those wrist-thick books and lab reports. Sometimes, I need a break, like designing my own blog through CSS and Photoshop, interact to other people or take photographs. You can't acquire ALL things that you really want. Somehow there are things that are not meant for you.

To cut this long drama short, do not expect that all things will come to you in just a snap.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Jungle Crash

I had a dream. It was weird.

I was on a plane bound to Bangkok, Thailand when the plane suddenly went to a nose dive and crashed somewhere in the dense jungle of Borneo. It was a swampy area and somehow I managed to survive.

Then I ran.

Out of nowhere, I entered an abandoned laboratory. It was like a giant capsule with vines and branches starting to invade the outer facade of the laboratory. So I went inside the abandoned lab. Apparently, it was not abandoned.

Suddenly, the lights went on. Searing brightness. It came to a point that the brightness is already painful. Uggghhh my eyeeeees! But anyway, I didn’t feel any pain. I was just overreacting. So I ran, again. The corridors were long and not narrow. The sound coming from the metallic floor caused by my frantic foot steps reverberates inside the corridor. The air was cold and dry.

And then I discovered something.

There were people inside a room, probably subjected to an inhumane and morbid experiment. I opened the door and they ran towards me. Actually they weren’t after me, they just want to escape the building.

The next thing I knew, I ran again together with the people trapped inside the room. Then, the alarm sounded. The large gates are starting to close and I ran as fast as I could to get out of this building. Behind me were mechanical robots trying to catch the prisoners.

Luckily I was one of the few people who managed to escape the near-death experience. Those who were unfortunate were eaten by those mechanical robots. Others were subjected to torture. After that incident, I went to a mall and there, I was interviewed by National Geographic regarding the plane crash. I was about to tell the incident when suddenly, the mechanical robots started to invade the mall.

There was panic.

I ran again.

Ran as fast as I could.

Run, baby, run!

Run, Forrest, run!

And the next thing I knew, it was already 2:10 pm. Time to saddle up lazy John. It’s already late!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cost Cutting Measures

In aviation industry, airline companies need to have an optimum profit and one way to achieve this is through cost cutting. In simple economics, the profit makes the company running. There are several ways to cut off the expenses and raise revenue, like through the usage of air bridges, fuel-passenger ratio and the efficiency of the aircraft.

What's disturbing is that some airline companies include aircraft maintenance to their cost cutting measures. This shouldn't be done since maintenance, as the name implies maintains the aircraft to its top condition. If anything goes wrong with the aircraft, it should be treated through keen repair and inspection by the maintenance crew. A single mistake is already proven fatal, as what we have heard or read from the news since the dawn of the aviation industry. Thousands of lives have already been compromised due to the neglect of some aviation companies. Greed might have taken over by some officials. In return lives of the innocent travelers are at risk, at all times.

Sometimes in life, we need to consider a lot of things before implementing it. We have to think whether if it is for the betterment of the people and not just for our own benefit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Literary Evolution

Over time, people have changed the way they express their thoughts through writing.

Renaissance Period: Greetings my lord! It is my honor to report to you that this gentleman went to a series of public humiliation due to his negligence; he accidentally stepped on a banana peel, slid and fell along the pathway. I reckon he had lost his self-confidence on a certain period of time.

20th century: The man accidentally stepped on a banana peel, lost his balance and fell on the ground.

Internet Age (circa 2008 and above): LOL @MAN! EPIC FAIL!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inappropriate Protest

We students have the right to protest - be it from the sudden tuition fee increase, and other school matters.

Moreover, we can do this in an orderly manner.

We do not need to burn and destroy those armchairs, tables and chalkboards. We do not need to throw them from the third or fourth floor of the building. We are intelligent human beings. We live in a modern era and society. We are not like those Goths who invaded the Roman Empire thousands of years ago.

We keep on protesting about our country's quality of education, and yet as a form of protest, we destroy lots of school properties. I don't see the point, really. Is it brought about by a surge of mixed emotions? Oh dear, we should at least know how to control our temper.

Ahhhh, the beauty of democracy. Freedom at its best... and worst.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

One Thought Outwits the Other

In less than a year, I'll be graduating from college. I'll be leaving UP. All those wonderful experiences have molded me into a better person.

In the next four years, I'll be taking either medicine (75% chance) or a masters and doctorate degree in Molecular Genetics (25% chance). In that time, I'll enjoy the life of being single, mingle with my new set of friends, reunite to some of my old friends, meet my soon-to-be-colleagues and travel alone to various places inside and outside the country.

When I'm almost thirty, I'll find the perfect girl that will perfectly complete my almost perfect life.

Then utopia. Then children. Then a new set of adventure embarks. Then the middle age. Then the old life. Then retirement; enjoying the last days of my life.


Apparently, one have this kind of thinking when planning about their future. You know what, sometimes life is MORE exciting when things come unexpectedly.
You become a bit frustrated once you won't achieve what you really want to do with your life.

Always remember that in life, it's good to have plans but we should always be prepared to things that will come in a spur of the moment. It can be a good thing or otherwise. Either way, both will have valuable lessons that will shape us into a better person - way better than the thought of being already a better person before.
Just enjoy life.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Student Representation

"Hay naku, yang mga taga Student Council, mga rebelde... rally nalang ng rally..."

I got hurt when I heard this from a student of UP. Ironic, isn't it?

Let me clarify this.

The University Student Council of the University of the Philippines is the legitimate and autonomous institution inside the campus that protects and upholds the democratic rights and welfare of the students. We firmly believe that in order to further uphold our principles and campaigns; we must become a part of the alliance. Alliances are the foreground of collective actions because it strengthen and solidify the line of students.

Being the prime stakeholder of the university, we have the right to know what is really happening inside the administration. We have the right to know the different issues of the university. We have the right to share our opinions about those issues that circulate across the entire UP System. That is why, student representation is VERY important. It is our right it, not just merely a privilege. Where's the academic freedom by the way? I can't really take the idea of withdrawing the student representation.

We the officers of the student council are not rebels. It's just, we are not happy with the decisions of the administration. We DO NOT think that it is suitable, appropriate and right for the students. We thoroughly review those issues and when things get worse, we have no choice but to picket. We voice out our concerns about the institution just to be heard.

Before the elections, we already accepted the fact that it's going to be a big responsibility, sometimes compromising our academic standings and free time. But we don't think of that way. We just want to serve the university for a year or two and to address our concerns to the administration. Take note that not all of the students have enough guts to raise their concerns to the administration.

So, to that certain UP student, you must put this in your mind that UP upholds academic excellence and national consciousness.

Stop being apathetic. Wake up!