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.