Saturday, December 31, 2011

Of Breaking The Silence: Speak Up!

From time to time, I meet new people from my trips, events and even from my business meetings. I admit that there are times that I easily get intimidated by some mainly because of their credentials or their personalities. I'd always think that I had no right to oppose them and left me no choice but to just blindly follow and agree with all of their insights, plans and opinions.

Being silent does not necessarily equates to respect. Let me tell you a short story about my experience with regards to this particular social issue.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Planners Never Work For Me

Almost every person on this planet has gone gaga over the 2012 planners of Starbucks, Moonleaf and other famous coffee/milktea shops. Even the notoriously expensive Moleskin planners are selling like hotcakes in leading bookstores.

Moleskine Planner. Photo by Mike Rohde

Planners never worked for me. It always irks me whenever I receive a planner every Christmas. I was in high school back then when I started receiving it. Once, I was given a planner as a gift on my birthday (take note that I celebrate my birthday every AUGUST). Ugh, the horror!

But don't get me wrong. I am not a burara type of person. In fact, I organize my things, place them on the right spot. In short, I'm an OC-type of person. I really hate it whenever things don't go according to my plans. But it's just, there are times that I become spontaneous, therefore ruining the purpose of having a planner. Whenever a friend invites me to go shopping/traveling/food trippin', I'd reply YES, SURE in an instant, as long as the budget permits.

I have nothing against to people who write and update their planners. Others even put an extra effort by having some decent artwork on it. I actually admire them for being so creative and hardworking.

You see, I have blank planners way back in 2007... worse, it comes with different styles! Those were never touched. Still a virgin.

I still lack motivation and drive to do creative stuff on a planner. I admit that I'm still lazy on writing my future schedules and events on a planner. I just write it on a piece paper and post it on my wall. Simple as that.

It doesn't necessarily mean that I don't have concrete plans in my life. I actually have.

But it's just I'm too lazy to write something on a planner.

Yes, I'm THAT lazy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lights Will Guide You

Happy Holidays everyone!

Photos were taken at Mana Davao. Such a beautiful place to visit this Yuletide Season!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Special Christmas Recipes of Chef Niño Laus and Thermos

I envy people who cook well. That's why, I got inspired after watching Chef Niño's cooking demonstration last Tuesday at North Zen Basic spaces. True enough, cooking is indeed a talent. But if your cookwares are not in good quality, your talent in cooking would just be useless.

Cooking demonstration with Chef Niño

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Gatsby School Tour - Davao Edition

Gatsby, the cosmetic company behind the infamous hair wax had invaded eleven schools here in Davao! The Gatsby Tour Bus entered the gates of these schools in which two of them, the University of the Southeastern Philippines and University of Mindanao (Annex) were visited by Duane and yours truly!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Singapore's Child Wonder: Miguel Antonio

Singapore's child wonder, Miguel Antonio visited Davao City and had a mini-concert at Eagle's Bar, Marco Polo Hotel last November 11, 2011.

What a great way to celebrate 11.11.11!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking Back

I was about to finish fixing the layout of this blog a while ago when I accidentally clicked the linkwithin widget. And from that moment, I started to read some of my previous blog posts back in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. It made me realized that I was such a blabbermouth.

In 2006, I always ranted how low my grades (below 90, and yes, I used to be a perfectionist back in high school) were in Physics and Calculus. I was new in blogging back then. I still remember that Blogger and YouTube weren't part of Google yet. More so, this personal blog of mine used to be a very personal journal, to a point that I blogged how I felt really bad after losing a song composition contest. Apparently, one of my classmates discovered my rant post and it became an issue the day after.

That was so high school.

And oh, did I mention that I commit a LOT of grammatical errors back in 2006? Lol, like I've said, those mistakes did not matter to me at all. I just wanted to express myself through blogging. I didn't care if I get new visitors in my blog.

Posts regarding the first half of my college life was pretty much the same - rants how low my grades were, frustrations, and all the things that ran into my mind. It even came to a point that I wrote two hate entries about my Chemistry professor during my freshman year. It was pathetic... and funny. I would always blog about how my day went no matter how awesome or ordinary it was. I would even write a post about how sleep deprived I am or how stressed I am with school and the list goes on and on.

Everything had changed after I flunked Biochemistry. My insights about life had instantly broadened. I learned to appreciate little things around me. I learned how to become more patient. I learned how to control my emotions. While reading the rest of the entries, I realized that I was pretty much unsure with my course. In my previous posts, I would always ask myself if I made the right choice or if I took the right road.

One thing's for sure, though. I made the right choice and I had no regrets.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whirlwind Sale in Abreeza

Abreeza, Ayala's first ever mall here in Mindanao will be giving an early Christmas treat for everyone! Get amazing deals and discounts from Abreeza from their first Whirlwind Sale from November 14-20, 2011. The entire mall will be open 'til midnight this November 19. How cool is that?

Aside from that, Abreeza has prepared amazing events such as the "The Gift Giving" bazaar from Nov 14-20. Sam Milby and Yeng Constantino, Princess Velasco and PUPIL will serenade the shoppers this November 15, 18 and 20 respectively.

What are you waiting for? Come and visit Abreeza for great deals and exciting events!

Abreeza Ayala Mall is located along J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SuperUnli Fun at Globe's Early Christmas Party

Globe had celebrated an early Christmas Party treat together with Davao Bloggers, the noisiest and the hippest group to be with. For some reasons I really thought that this would just be an ordinary Christmas party, where people enjoy eating the sumptuous meals and listen to some talks about the telecommunication company.

Davao Bloggers

But no, this Christmas Party was surely one of the best that I have ever experienced.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

We Remember

Now that they've gone to the light, let us reminisce those bittersweet memories when they were still here with us.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It All Starts Here

One thing for sure, if I received the payment of my project, I'd surely buy anything that I wanted (or otherwise, I'd save it). IDK but the fact that I'm already earning makes me feel proud. Now I can travel all I want, buy my own grocery items and a whole lot more. Can't hardly wait!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tres Is Equal to Uno

Since grade school until the very last day of my high school life, I've always been an achiever. Like any other 'traditional' achievers, we always believe that grades measure one's intelligence. I'd do almost everything that would just make my grades high. I have never experience failure, until I entered college.

Life in the university was really difficult. Meeting new friends wasn't really that hard but meeting the demands and high standards of my professors was really excruciatingly hard. If there's one particular moment of my life that I would change, I'd definitely go back to the time when I made a promise to myself that my lowest grade should be 2.00. I'd probably tell my old self to straighten up your thoughts and be more open-minded!

In the first three semesters of my university life, I would always set high goals in all of my subjects - to have a grade of 1.00. I always did my best, really. I even made a sacrifice of not downloading and watching the latest episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Supernatural or The Big Bang Theory. I even tried not to watch the local news because I would always think that it's just a waste of time. Wrong move, dude. Even at weekends, I'm always stuck with loads of readings to review, books to read, problem sets to solve and laboratory reports to submit. What a bitter life you have, dude. Eventually I grew exhausted and became lazy weeks before the most dreaded week of the university - the finals week aka hell week. Sometimes I do not exert extra effort prior the finals week most especially if I already knew that I passed a certain subject. Basta matapos na ang lahat, matikman ko na ang inaasam kong freedom, which is the semestral break. Soon after, regrets would start to fill my subconscious mind. A lot of "what if" thoughts would invade my mind. What if I scored higher in my finals? My grade should have been 1.25 instead of 1.75. What if I got 100 in my first long exam? My GWA should have been 1.39000 instead of 1.46000.

In the end, I became dissatisfied and frustrated.  Thus I changed my mentality... and I didn't regret it.

I just realized that what really matters the most is the experience and not just that mere numerical value. I just remembered when my BIO 140 (Evolutionary Biology) professor gave the results of our first long exam. Almost everyone in the class failed the exam, including me. I got a very low 25/100 for that particular exam. I just laughed about my result but deep inside, to tell you the truth, I was hurt. Imagine burning my eyebrows every night for two weeks for this exam and I only got that score. So for the subsequent exams, we exerted extra effort because at that point we already figured that our best was NOT good enough, well based from the standards of our professor. In the end, I got a grade 3.0. Pasang awa, yes, but I knew that I worked hard for it and I felt this genuine euphoria after I received my class card.

It doesn't mean that a student is already intelligent if he gets the highest grade or a student is dumb and indolent if he gets a grade of three, four or five. Every grade has different stories to tell. No, not excuses but real stories on how they suffered and made a lot of sacrifices.

Although I still try my best but I learned to become contented with all the results and outcome of my work. More so, I had a happier disposition in life. Although grades do play an important role in the life of students, they should realize that life shouldn't just revolve with these numerical values. Indeed, there's MORE TO LIFE than grades!

In the end, grades will never dictate of who you are. It should not steal your real identity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reunion of Saved Babies

Every first week of October, we celebrate the National Newborn Screening week (Presidential Proclamation 540, signed January 2004). And as a volunteer of VYLH (Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health), I did some volunteer works at the hospital, telling people (especially the pregnant moms) to screen their babies 24-72 hrs after birth in order to detect genetic disorders and treat them before it's too late. 

Several volunteers across the country have their own perks and activities during the National Newborn Screening Week. From the simplest act of distributing pink brochures and giving free lectures about the campaign to the grandiose Pink Day Campaign initiated by Joan Barredo of Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Some of my co-volunteers, like Chessa Chan and her friends even ventured to the far-flung barangays and health centers of Iligan City to relay the pertinent information about the importance of New Born Screening.

The Pink Campaign led by Joan Barredo of Ateneo de Zamboanga City

NBS Campaign at Iligan City led by Chessa Chan

It was such a fulfilling activity, knowing that we have actually saved lives.

I have been an active volunteer of VYLH for more than a year already and I can say that I have a learned A LOT from it.

In line with the NBS Week, the New Born Screening Center Mindanao together with the volunteers of Region 11 conducted its first Reunion of Saved Babies activity held at Abreeza Ayala Mall, Davao City.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I Couldn't Ask For More

Ever since, I lot of people have been asking (or shall I say bugging me) on why I am still not romantically link to someone even if I'm already on the right age.

Well, I ask the same question too. Why?

I don't know, but I feel that I am already blessed. I am lucky that I belong to a loving family who supports my endeavors. I am lucky that I have a great set of friends. I am lucky that I am skillful to a lot of things. I believe that everything has given to me and I couldn't ask for more.

Maybe that's the reason why I am still single. No big deal, doesn't really matter. I am not in a hurry to look for my compatible mate. I am just... I am just...

waiting for a beautiful girl, basta kamukha ni Anne Curtis or ni Kim-Tae Hee.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Princess Anya

Say hello to Anya, the latest addition of our family. No, she's not my daughter (LOL I'm too young to become a father). Anya is my first pamangkin and I'm so hyped with the idea that I'm already an uncle! My cousin gave birth to Anya last September 26 and thank God there were no complications or whatsoever.

I'm going to see my beautiful pamangkin this Sunday! I can't wait!

PS: I really love her name: Francesca Anne. So sophisticated and beautiful!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gonna spend my 22nd birthday...


Clue: It's not in the Philippines! Can't hardly wait for my first international trip!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Born in the 90s

I am fortunate that I spent my childhood during the 90s. It's just, I realized that kids nowadays rarely play outside their houses because it's either too hot or they're too preoccupied with their gadgets.

Ahhh, kids these days.

I can still remember when I was young, I play rough games like lupa't langit, tagaanay, tigso, PS-PS-I-Love-You and the famous tagu-anay (hide and seek). I always do that every 3:30 to 4:30 PM, usually after I get home from school, except during exam week or whenever I don't feel like socializing with other people and opt to stay at my home either to watch my favorite cartoon show or to read a book. Life back then was simple. Although I can say that my brother and I aren't deprived with toys; my parents ensure that we enjoy the things that are 'in' like the Family Computer and Brickgame. In fairness, we never asked for it, they just give us new toys whenever they have money.

Technology was a big issue when it comes to school works. Since we don't have an internet connection back then, I was forced to do research for my homework at our school library and write all of the important details (I was THAT kuripot back then that I opted to write all of the important information instead of photocopying some chapters of the book) of my research. Sometimes I'd use my grandmother's makinilya aka typewriter to type my book report. Those were the days when I have to think FIRST before typing anything it. As much as possible, I shouldn't commit typographical and grammatical errors with my reports or assignments; I simply can't afford it. So to avoid wasting so much ink and paper, I'd create a rough-draft first before finalizing it. But today, one can just type anything what he fancies, thanks to the backspace button.

Technology has brought people to a different level. Today, people would know what you're thinking or doing every minute or two, thanks to Twitter. And as the cliche goes, technology has brought people around the world closer making it smaller than everyone thought, thanks to Facebook.

Although seeing those kids playing Angry Birds on their iPad 2 saddens me. In my own opinion, playing with your friends under the heat of the sun is more interactive and more fun than just playing with your gadgets all day long.

But yeah, it's how technology works. It makes the lives of the people faster but has also changed their lifestyle and their way of life.

I'd still want to experience the life that I used to have when I was a child, only if I have a time machine. Teehee.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Realizations after watching Miss Universe 2011

1) The delayed ‘live’ telecast of ABS-CBN was done in purpose. ABS-CBN officials were hoping that the final standing would change up to the very last minute of the show.
2) I didn’t know that Angola is a Portuguese-speaking African country. Oh, yeah, I forgot. Her name already sounds like Portuguese. Leila Lopes.
3) Shamcey Supsup’s smile. Yes, her million-watt smile.
4) Being maputi is everything… NOT.
5) One doesn’t need a visa to visit Brazil. Now time to save at least Php 130,000 for round trip tickets! Hurray!
6) Hindi lahat ng mga taga-UP, atheist. Enough said.
7) Johanna Solano (Miss Costa Rica) is beautiful. I was surprised that Karin Ontiveros (Miss Mexico) didn’t make it to the semi-finals. Hmmmm.
8) Miss Japan and Miss Korea looked like Sooyoung and Yuri of SNSD respectively.
9) Filipinos are very skilled when it comes to multitasking. Watch-shout-tweet-watch-tweet-shout-tweet. Wow, just wow.
10) Intelligence is not based on how fluent you are in English. It really depends on how you deliver your answer. You better watch this video.
Congratulations to all the winners of Miss Universe 2011! And of course, congratulations to Shamcey Supsup! Once again, Philippines made it to the final 5! Way to go!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thank you, promo fares!

Just booked two round trip tickets to Cebu and Iloilo for only Php 2,800. That's right! You heard me, two fuckin' thousand and eight hundred pesos, all thanks to Cebu Pacific's promo fare.

So, I'll be at Cebu from Dec 12-15 (island hopping) and Iloilo (Dinagyang Festival) from Jan 19-23, 2012. This is going to be fun!

Brenna, Ivan and I are starting to plan for our Cebu trip. We plan to invade Moalboal, Bantayan and Malapascua Islands. So I should bring my  fedora hat for sun protection and also my Coppertone sunscreen.

Also, I am thinking of the possibility to cliffdive at Malapascua. I have already tried that at Tinago Falls last Feb 2010, of course with a life jacket. In Malapascua, you only wear your fancy swimwear (of course). The Tinago experience was a 15-20 ft dive. Malapascua's a 50 ft dive and that's totally insane. I am not afraid of heights and I do have the balls to cliffdive but... but... it's just I do not trust my swimming skillzzz and cliffdiving would surely hurt my balls. Hell I just know how to float and to swim like a dog. No, I won't take it; my life would be at risk ye know.

In other news, I'm hoping that I'll win AirPhil Express' contest. I wanna experience MassKara Festival this October!

And as for my September, well, I'm planning to spend it with my fellow Davao bloggers (so excited with our movie night at Kuya Drew's mansion), food trip with friends and concentrate with my blogging business.

I can now smell the spirit of Christmas. Wow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learning Experience

I started blogging last 2006. I discovered it through Coconuter. I was really inspired to document my life over the internet. During that time, blogging wasn't really a big hit and I do remember that I'll get ecstatic whenever I receive at least 10 page views per day. During that time, most blogs are just personal journals and niche blogs haven't sprouted yet.

Whenever I am bored, I read some of my previous blog posts. Reading those previous blog posts of mine brings back those bittersweet memories. Back then, most of my posts were full of complaints, rants and whatnots; a typical blog of a teenager (hehe). I'd always ranted how hectic my schedule was or how awful my professors were. And oh, my grammar was not that good, believe it or not.

I have learned so many things about blogging and I didn't regret of signing up at Blogger five years ago. This personal blog of mine used to be (LOL IKR ang baduy ng URL) then after a year or two it became the-pseudoneuro (I used to dream to become a Neurosurgeon like Dr. Shepherd of Grey's Anatomy). My first purpose of making this blog is to document all of my childhood memories and publish it here. I told myself that blogging is an innovative tool since I don't need to waste another ink and papers (yes I do own and write on my diaries when I was younger). Eventually, it became a personal blog filled with, yeah, rants about my high school and college life.

At least whenever I am happy or sad, I have someone to share all of it; a channel of my emotions. At first I didn't care whether if I gain readers or not but I realize that the bigger the audience your blog has, the more it becomes interactive. It's one of the reasons why I have gained a LOT of online friends. I even met some of them and mind you, they're all awesome.

I may have transferred to Multiply last 2007 then to Tumblr last 2009, but I will never, ever leave my first cyber abode. This is where I seek refuge whenever I am emotionally unstable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I really can't believe that my blog post about my recent trip in Manila would have more than 800 page views 12 hrs after its inception. I am also constantly receiving positive feedback from that particular post, and I am thankful for that.

More so, Google AdSense has finally approved my blog after 10 attempts. Really. I almost gave up, but thank God I didn't.

Now time for serious blogging. Let's get it on. Gonna earn a lot from it. I can feel it.


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Youth Today

Hi. You said ask anything. So anyway, what is the reason behind the growing profligacy among today's youth? :) (thedorkasaur)

Technology has already made several changes to the society. It has made our lives easier and more accessible. Although it has made our lives prone to the dark forces - forces that made the lives of others in peril.

But how about the youth? It’s the other way, my friend. I’m pretty sure that each and every one of us will undergo this stage, the stage of being a youth. It is a preparatory stage before entering adulthood. In this stage, each one of us will start to experience different things which can help to mold our emotional character. We start to realize something and carry it to our own principles in life. If we compare the youth today and the youth yesterday, it doesn't really spell any differences. They may have different interests and views in music, arts, politics, history and other relevant things but the thing is, they have this same notion of acquiring all the things they wanted even if it is not really important to their life

Sometimes, we fail to discern good things from bad. There are still flaws. Our very own principles would soon be compromised.

At first, we start to experience different situations in life – either good or bad situations in life. We get happy whenever the situations are good; otherwise we try to look for good solutions. Likewise we start to work things out. Ideally, if we look for a good solution for that certain predicament then our principles start to get its own shape. In real life, it is sometimes the direct opposite. You see, we sometimes wanted to straighten things up, even if it doesn’t need to! Thus, we are wildly extravagant. We are spending too much effort and energy to insignificant things. We start to think that what we are doing is always right, even if it’s relatively wrong to the eyes of multitude. We start to become reckless to things around us.

Nevertheless, we are prone to vices and some dark forces. We often think that these are the best ticket to euphoria. We fail to realize that these things will destroy our precious lives little by little. Time is relative but it’s still the same story.

Despite these, I am still confident that the youth will outgrow its decadence, material or non-material things.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Tidbits and Updates of my Life after Graduation

Just four months ago, I marched and received my diploma from our dear Chancellor, smiled on millions of cameras and got teary-eyed while singing the UP Hymn wholeheartedly. On that moment, I really can't believe that I am about to embark on a new journey. Yeah, a new chapter of my so-called awesome life.

For four years, I struggled studying in UP. During my first year in college, I really got jealous to some of my classmates who were far more awesome and more intelligent than me. It's not that I'm complaining that I didn't come from a prestigious science high school, but I guess that's how life worked.

Little by little, I finally overcome this jealousy and learned to accept of my physical and mental capacities wholeheartedly. I know this sounds surprising knowing that I am a loquacious type of person - I underestimated my own capabilities and talents. There were days when I always think that I didn't deserveto become a UP student. But, I realized that having that kind of mentality would surely bring me down - both physically and mentally. That's why on my sophomore year, I switched to optimistic mode. Yes, it made me feel better. Whenever problems arose, I always think of this mantra, "In every problem comes with a big solution, no matter how bad it is."

Looking back, I once dreamed to become a Neurologist. It was just a spur-of-the-moment decision when I chose Biology as my first choice in UP. I was inspired by House MD and Grey's Anatomy. But, months before my graduation, I thought that pursuing a medical career won't bring me happiness. Mentally I can still endure another four to five years of studying medicine but physically? Nah. No matter how hard I try to convince myself to study medicine, I cringe.

No, don't get me wrong, I am not frustrated with my decision of not taking medicine. In fact, I am happy with the things I do right now. I just had my first job interview at a big pharmaceutical company three weeks ago but did not make it to the final cut. But that's okay. My family has been always supportive with my endeavors. Right now, I'm starting to take blogging into the next level. I got inspired with some of the prominent netizens from Davao Bloggers. They told me that I really have a big potential of earning a good amount of money through blogging. I was moved.

I am still considering of working as an Air Traffic Controller together with my uncle. The qualifying exam will be scheduled on the last quarter of 2011 or early 2012. Anyway, blogging and aviation has always been my passion as well as photography and traveling.

Lastly, I have gained 1.5 kgs. Kudos to me!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Freshmen-Torch Night 2011

Yesterday, I went to UP to meet up with my beloved batchmates and to attend the most awaited event of the academic year - Freshmen Night spearheaded by the University Student Council with the help of the different student organizations of the university. Every year, UPMin holds this spectacular event to welcome the freshmen students. With a theme, ‎"Iskolar ng Bayan, Paano Ka Naiiba?" student leaders hope that UP students would take part of our goal to serve the people.

The event started with the presentation of the bands. It was great to witness raw talents of some UPMin students! Too bad I didn't have the chance to buy their album.

The event officially started at around 8 PM. It started with the passing down of the responsibilities by the sophomore students as "mga Iskolar ng Bayan" to the freshmen through the traditional and symbolic passing of the Torch.

Monday, August 01, 2011

You Win or You Die

Game of Thrones
Base from George R.R. Winston's A Song of Ice and Fire
Creators: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

Kings, queens, knights and renegades use schemes and swords to battle for the throne.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of movies or TV series that contains themes or elements from the medieval times, until I finished watching the tenth episode of Game of Thrones. The TV series is based from George R.R. Winston's A Song of Ice and Fire.

The cast members were perfectly selected. There's Eddard Stark (played by Sean Bean) who wanted to serve his kingdom the right way. Moving southeast, in the kingdom of Pentos, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) was forced to marry Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), the warrior-king of the nomadic Dothraki tribe, in order to please his greedy brother, Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd). And oh, let us not forget the treacherous and ambitious Lannisters (played by Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Jack Gleeson).

Despite the medieval theme present in the Game of Thrones, people would still love it and even crave for more since the elements were well represented in today's time. There are people who hunger for power and wealth. There are people who die because they were doing the right thing. More so, there are people who suffered from different kinds of injustice.

Expect violence, intense sex scenes (though unlike Spartacus, the sex scenes of Game of Thrones are just beautiful), blood and gore (beheading is their favorite sport, actually), frontal nudity and incest in this show. But despite these, the cinematography is superb, not to mention its opening theme, beautifully arranged by Ramin Djawadi. Very creative.

The show is wonderfully produced by HBO. The second season will be aired this spring 2012.

Off to read the first book of A Song Of Ice and Fire!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Strange Past

It will be always really awkward whenever you bumped to a person who used to be your lover. It's been five years. Both of you were young when you first met. It was high school. It all started with a simple tease by your classmates.

Then, the rest was history.

Ironically, you seemed to be uncomfortable with her despite the fact that you didn't have any forms of communications for the past five years. The approach was cold. Very cold. It is as if you don't know her. Apparently she doesn't know you either.

And the cycle of life goes on and on. Both of you started as strangers. Soon, you become friends. Then, the relationship blossomed and both you entered a romantic relationship. Everything went well until something messed up. Both of you fought constantly.

It was a bitter ending.

Five years had passed and once again both of act as if you don't know each other. It was pretty obvious. Both of you can't move on.

Can't move on.

Can't fucking move on.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Of First Days

Everyone seems excited about their first day at school tomorrow. You know, I always look forward for that specific day. It is the day when I can finally meet my friends and classmates. It is the day when I can meet new set of professors/instructors. And the most important thing is, it is the day when I can finally meet and stalk my crush… again.

Just kidding!

I remember when I was younger, my parents will buy me new school stuff - shoes, uniform, Cattleya notebooks (I despise Jolina-Marvin notebooks), socks and etc. Everything seems to be in order during the first day, but as the school year progresses, everything will be different. Pens get lost and uniforms lose their buttons.

But today, at the current state of my life, everything’s different. I won’t deny that I still can’t get over from the fact that I am already a college graduate. I won’t deny that I miss school, especially college. I may not have the opportunity to become a student again (aka med school), but hey, maybe I wasn’t meant for it. I always welcome every opportunities that may come in my life.

Well, I have already embarked into a brand new adventure. As the cliche goes, life goes on. We have to move on.

And always remember kids, value your education.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Summer Madness

So far, Summer 2011 has been the most exciting summer breaks that I've ever experienced. Usually, I spend my summer breaks at home, surfing the net all day, all night. It's an exasperating activity, I tell you. More so, I'm this type of person who really wants to explore different places and witness their different cultures and heritage.

I always crave for an adventure.

This summer, I had the chance to visit various places from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

1) Zamboanga City, Philippines

Located on a peninsula at the western part of Mindanao, Zamboanga City enjoys a calm climate since it is located outside the typhoon belt. Over the years, the city has become a melting pot of different cultures due to its geographical region. The city is relatively small compared to other major cities of the country but I guarantee that every traveler will enjoy his stay at the Asia's Latin City. Chavacano is widely spoken in this city followed by Visayan.

Places to visit: Visit Paseo del Mar. There's a LOT of food here, countless restobars and so much more. I recommend visiting this place during sunset. This is a perfect place for both young and old people. It has one of the best sunset views in the country. If you want to experience Zamboanga's Hispanic history, visit Fort Pilar, located just beside Paseo del Mar (Calle Valderoza). Pasonanca Park and Aviary is also a great place to hang-out with your friends and family!

2) Guimaras Island, Philippines

Located approximately 5 kilometers off Iloilo Port, Guimaras is an island filled with vast plantations of mango trees (their mangoes are very delicious) and pristine white sand beaches. We got the chance to visit the underwater caves and the pawikan sanctuary (I even had the chance to hold them... and they were heavy). The island hopping costs around 500-600 pesos per hour. It's quite expensive but the trips were all worth it. Don't forget to say, "Namit gid!" whenever you eat their mangoes!

3) Angeles City, Pampanga (Fontana Leisure Park)

This trip was sponsored by VYLH (Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health). I, together with my co-delegates from Luzon, NCR, Visayas and Mindanao clusters attended the first national leadership congress at Fontana Leisure Park, Angeles City, Pampanga. The place was really big and beautiful. We stayed in a one-story villa and I must say that the villa caters the needs of a traveler. It has one TV with cable connection, a centralized air-condition unit, and it comes with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (with hot and cold shower). Although most of us didn't like the food, except on the last day of the congress. More so, some of the waiters were a bit clumsy. But overall, the services were not that bad and the place is fabulous! 3.5/5 stars!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Harder than I thought

April 27 is fast approaching and I am so nervous about it. WVSU will release the list of qualified students for its medicine program on that date. According to the forum I’ve read from the university’s official website, only 70 will be admitted from the first batch out of 200. I believe I did well in the interview last April 13 and my GWA is higher than the required GWA as well as my NMAT grade. But who knows, right? Anything can happen. But I am still hoping that I’ll make it to the list.

Because if not (OMG), well I have no choice but to find a decent job. I only applied for UPCM and WVSU because aside from the quality education that I will get and its competitiveness, the tuition fee is cheaper compared to other medical schools. And since I didn’t make it to the initial cut-off NMAT grade at UPCM, WVSU became my one and only hope. My family simply can’t afford UST, AdMU, St. Lukes or even here at Davao Medical School Foundation, where tuition fee per semester ranges from Php 80-100,000.

I don’t have any fall back if ever I won’t make it to WVSU. I forgot to take the preliminary exam of CAAP, a requirement when applying for the position of Air Traffic Controller (yes, my uncle’s a senior ATC, naki-avail lang sa connection) here in Davao (or any major airports in the country). Training will be held at Pasay City (near NAIA) for 8 months. Moreover, I’m currently browsing JobStreet and it seems that all of my dream jobs require a certain amount of work experience. Cebu Pacific’s currently hiring flight attendants living in Southern Mindanao region. Unforunately, they are only looking for female flight crew members. Sad feys.

So yeah, if all else fails, I’ll try applying to other med schools here in Mindanao like in Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan or MSU. Come what may. One thing is sure: I am not ready to face the real world yet.

Hay naku, magaartista nalang ako. Medyo cute naman ako eh. Shetlang.

Think positive.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Finish Line

Four years ago, I was really happy when I learned that I passed UPCAT. I didn't expect it, knowing that I didn't finish the English and Math subtests. I didn't have any second thoughts of pursuing my UP dream. My parents were all supportive with my plans, well actually, they are the ones who convinced me to study at UP because it's one of the country's prestigious universities. Add the fact that the Mindanao campus is just 15 minutes away from my home, ergo making my UP dream possible since my parents can't afford my college education in Manila (specifically UP Diliman).

I was really surprised when I first entered UP Min. Aside from the fact that we were outnumbered by goats, wild chickens and carabaos, UPMin's a thousand miles away from downtown. Travel time to the nearest mall (SM City Davao) is around 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the traffic along McArthur Highway. Good thing was, my blocmates were friendly thus I didn't feel lonely during the first few weeks of being a freshman student.

The succeeding semesters weren't easy.

Oblation of UP Mindanao. Photo courtesy of Sam Sanchez.

I had the chance to travel to different places in Mindanao with my classmates. I got the opportunity to see the beauty of mother nature. I experienced flunking one subject (Biochemistry) and repeating it the following semester due to my indolence. I was also on the brink of not graduating on time due to conflicts with my thesis adviser. But all of these experiences made me a better and stronger person. Back in high school, I was always on the top. Everything had changed in college. I was no longer on top of the class, but I learned a LOT of things not just from the academic aspect.

UP made me realize that honor and excellence is not defined by just getting high scores in exams and eventually graduate as cum laude (or better yet, magna/summa cum laude). Honor and Excellence is rather defined as how you, as an Iskolar ng Bayan, will serve the country base from what you have learned from the university, be in the field of Mathematics, Biology, Communication Arts, Political Science and etc. UP had also taught me on how to become a selfless and a sensitive person. It is not a good idea to celebrate from passing a difficult subject or complain that you only got 1.25 instead of 1.00 whilst your classmates have a hard time of getting at least a passing grade of 3.00. The university had also taught me on how to serve the people. I may not be the type of person who joins some of the university's demonstrations or rallies but one thing is certain: I will serve my country, in any possible way and help those people who are in need.

Some people may criticize that I am ONLY from UP Mindanao. Well, I will tell some things about UP Min. We may not have a 'true' ikot jeeps but we do have habal-habal or princess rides. HH or princess rides are way cooler than ikot rides, I tell you. We may not have Mang Larry's isaw but we do have Ate Malou and Burger Machine's buy one take one burger. We may not have Zorro but we do have our very own Sandara aka Maria Cristina Bacareza. We may not have multiple dormitories inside the university but we do have Silva, Chong's and Rubia. And don't forget Ma'am Silva's famous line, "Ichacharge kita!". We may not have a jogging lane but we do have abortion roads... lots and lots of networks of abortion roads! Truly, every UP campus holds a unique culture. Inspite of the cultural differences, we uphold the same principles not just for ourselves but for our country as well.

I will definitely miss UPMin. I will miss those good old days with my classmates. I will surely miss those days when I was still writing my manuscript and had a 'walay klaro' arguments with my thesis adviser. I will definitely miss those epic fail moments with my classmates and professors. I will miss those days when we were still practicing for our cheerdance on wee hours of the morning and sleep inside the Wildlife Laboratory. I will miss those videoke-slash-drinking sessions with my friends. I will miss those days when we were cramming for our lab reports and pass it in the middle of night. I will miss those days when we got stranded inside the CSM because the creek had just overflowed (the road wasn't paved until the first quarter of 2010).

To my professors, mentors, TORMENTORS, friends and classmates, thank you. Studying at UP Mindanao was one of the best experiences of my life.

And now I'm going to open the new chapter of my life and embark on a new adventure.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Letter For You


It’s been a long time since the last time we’ve met. How are you? I hope you’re doing fine. I just moved from Singapore to Darwin, Australia a few months ago. People here are warmhearted, so I don’t feel home sick. How’s Davao? I’m pretty sure that it is still green, still the same since I left my beloved hometown several years back.

You know what? I really miss you so much. I keep on reminiscing those sweet memories we have back in college. I can still remember the time when we first met. I was in bad mood that time. You know what our university has to offer during enrollment period. Students have to wait for their turn forever. I was losing my patience that time until I saw you. Those eyes… those pretty and expressive eyes. But I did not pay attention that much. You smiled to me but I did not smile back.

It was during the school’s annual sports event when I first heard your sweet voice. You were asking if I were a player. I was caught off guard. Of all people in the field, you chose me to ask some questions. I wasn’t even the committee head of that sports event! I was really intrigued.

As days go by, we keep on seeing in other, well, unintentionally. I was eating my lunch alone, as usual, in the university cafeteria. You came and we ate lunch together. We talk a lot of things and crack some jokes. Ah, you really have the sweetest laughter. Do you still remember when we broke the university’s rule by going to the building’s roof deck? It was such an amazing (and funny) experience. We almost got caught and apprehended by the guards.

Months have passed and I realized that I wanted to see you more often. There are days that I don’t meet you due to our indefinite schedules, but hey, it may sound cheesy but… you make my day complete, all the time.

After all these days of being with you, I just thought that I’m falling for you, but the thing is, I don’t have the courage to profess my love. I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t ready for this or what, but I think I just wasted every opportunities that came. But then again, I just keep on telling myself that “this is not the right time, maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”

Months before my college graduation, our batch committee decided to throw a formal party. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity, but I did not muster enough courage to invite you as my date. So, I sent you a text message. You told me that you should invite me personally. So I did it. After the party, I made a confession. You gave me an answer, but not the much-anticipated one.

It was a no.

You told me that you were already taken months after your 18th birthday. That was a year and a half ago. I was not mad at you for not telling me a part of your life. I respect it, I mean, I don’t have the right to know all personal things about you. I am just a friend, not a police officer or a CIA Agent.

I admit that I got hurt but eventually I moved on. Certain thoughts circulated my mind after that moment:

What if I asked her earlier?
What if I was courageous enough back then?
Is there really a future between the two us?
Will it really work as time goes by?

But I believe all those things happened for the reason. And with that, I am still happy that we remained friends.

Even if you already have a family there, you will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget you. Ever. You were the first person to leave a mark in my heart. You were my first love… and I will forever cherish those happy moments that we have back in college.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Girl Power: Fight For Democracy

Last week, in our Asian History class, we watched a documentary film entitled “Inside Burma”. The documentary was produced by some independent journalists of Great Britain. It showed the real situation of Myanmar, an oppressive military-ruled country in Southeast Asia. Child labor and slavery is rampant to this country. During the filming of the documentary, the British journalists were highly guarded and even risked their lives.

This is Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced as Awn Sahn Sue Chee), daughter of the the Father of modern-day Burma. She went back home from England in 1988 to take care of her sick mother. Coincidentally, in the same year, the long-time military leader, General Ne Win stepped down. This led the Burmese people to revolt and fight for democracy which resulted to bloodbath last August 8, 1988 (8-8-88 Revolution). On 26 August 1988, she addressed half a million people at a mass rally in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the capital, calling for a democratic government. However in September, a new military junta took power. Later the same month, 24 September 1988, the National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed, with Suu Kyi as general secretary.


She was put under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from July 20, 1989 until her release on 13 November 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, “Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.”

“In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.”

Today, Burma (or Myanmar) is still an oppressive military-ruled country. Despite being rich in natural resources such as oil and the availability of foreign investors from United States and France, the country remained poor. The country’s economy is controlled by its military government. According to my professor, the UN can no longer appeal or penetrate to Myanmar’s predicament since it didn’t affect its neighboring countries. Needless to say, attempts of attaning freedom and democracy in this country is futile.

PS: Burma - connotes freedom/ Myanmar - military ruled country, oppression

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Of Activism and Leadership

I once asked a freshman student a few months ago about the role of the University Student Council in our university (UP Min). She frankly replied, "Kuya, medyo naiintimidate ako sa USC natin this year eh. Rally ng rally. Minsan, natatakot ako sa kanila."

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against with student activists who keep on rallying either inside the campus or in the busy streets of Downtown Davao about issues in privatization of the state universities, the never-ending budget cut dilemma and the 'ibagsak si (COPY-PASTE NAME OF AN OFFICIAL)' scheme. I respect their ideologies. I used to be a USC Officer (College Representative) last year and I just noticed that they only have one parallel goal, that is to fight for their rights as a student no matter what happens.

I admire their courage. It's not that easy to shout about the current (and dying) situations of our beloved university on the streets. It hurts when no one gives a fuck about what you're fighting (or shouting) for. I've been there. We cannot really invite all people to join the rallies. We cannot force people to join our pakikibaka para sa bayan, tungo sa kaunlaran. And most of all, we cannot really change people's perspectives and ideas about handling social issues.

The problem lies with the way they find solutions about these underlying issues of our country. They try to solve the national quandaries first before the issues inside the campus. I don't know, but there are more issues that need to be resolved inside the campus. Let's face it. No matter how hard we try to shout our concerns in the public, the officials would not really listen to it. Yes, hearing and listening are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. They hear our pleas, but do they give their time to listen, even for just a minute or two?

My point is, if we really want to help our nation, let us start addressing the smallest issues first. How about helping those flood victims in nearby towns? Or, how about proposing some ideas to the administration about promoting solid waste management and rain-water catchment system? Or how about conducting some outreach programs to nearby communities?

I believe that there are OTHER WAYS to SERVE our COUNTRY. It is not necessary to create placards and write national issues to it. It is not necessary to rally in the streets.

But then again, what matters most is respect.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Young and Old

When I was young I always wish that I grow fast and become an adult. I really want to know what it feels like to wear corporate attires and talk to different kinds of people everyday. I also want to know what it feels like to drive a car, to pay bills and to receive my monthly salary from the bank.

As we grow older, we encounter different kinds of problems. The degree of difficulty cumulatively increases over a period of time. As these predicaments continue to pile up, we tend to forget some priorities in life. We tend to forget about our being. We tend to forget that there are some people who care for us.

When we were young, we always get mad when our parents turn off the TV and force us to sleep at around 8 or 9 in the evening. As we get older, we sometimes choose not to sleep in order to finish some tasks.

When we were young, we always complain about the food we eat. We always want mom to cook fried chicken daily. Now that we're old, we always think what to eat and serve for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When we were young, we let the water flow freely from the faucet while brushing our teeth and forget to turn off the TV while we are about to sleep. Today, we worry about the forever increasing charge rates of water and electricity.

Now that I am turning 21 this year, I just want to become a kid again, where all problems are easy to solve. I want to experience the innocence again. This is the stage where I don't have to worry about the bills to pay, thesis to finish, research papers to pass, budgeting my daily allowance (and also daily expenses) and so much more.

Ahh. Life as we know it.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

A Little Thing Called Love / First Love (สิ่งเล็กเล็ก ที่เรียกว่า..รัก)
Directed by: Puttipong Pormsaka Na-Sakonnakorn and Wasin PokpongRelease
Date: August 12, 2010 (Thailand)
Runtime: 118 min.
Cast: Mario Maurer / Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol / Sudarat Budtporm / Acharanat Ariyaritwikol

I first heard this movie from Juan and I got curious since he had written a good review about it. This Thai movie was released last August 2010 and I just watched it on YouTube.

The movie is all about puppy love. Nam (Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol), a young and ugly girl had a huge crush with Chon (Mario Maurer), the school’s heartthrob since her freshmen year. With the help of her supportive friends, she somehow got the chance to have some brief, close encounters with her knight in shining armor. It was not an easy road for Nam, though. Some girls were more beautiful and more talented than her. She thought that she will have no chance to be with Chon. Eventually, she grew up and became beautiful and discovered something more about Chon.

The plot of the movie is simple. It’s all about infatuation and the struggles of Nam. Despite its simplicity, viewers will get touched by it. Like Nam, we will do whatever we can just to get noticed by our crush. Nam had tried her best just to be on top of the class, or be the lead cast of a play or be the leader of the drum band. Innocence, as a theme, also played a vital role in this movie. By just merely seeing our crush walking along the hallway or hearing their voice over the telephone will definitely make our day complete.

The movie is a great combination of laughter and tears. I definitely had a good laugh on the first half of the movie but as the movie progressed, especially on the 7th part of the movie, I shed a tear because the scenes were really heartbreaking. I thought Windstruck, A Moment to Remember and Hachiko were the only three movies made me cry. I was wrong. Even if the plot formula is similar to some romantic movies, like the I-should-have-told-him/her-I-love-her style, it will definitely leave a mark to the audience, regardless of the age.

Indeed, as what the movie trailer claims, it’s everyone’s story.

High school may not be my favorite part of my life, but I will always treasure those days when I look forward to see my crush in school. By just seeing her will already make my day complete. Ay, kilig.

PS: Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol really looks like Kim Chiu! Swear!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Let Go

Dear mom,

Dad left us when I was still two years old. You told me that he had to go somewhere else. I can still remember his face, but not his voice. You told me that he’s a great singer.

You know mom, I didn’t care about dad’s disappearance. I thought it was just normal. I thought every dad in the world has to go somewhere else, leaving the mother to raise their child alone. But, I was just wondering mom. Why did you scold me after seeing dad’s picture? I just saw it lying on the floor. I do not understand why you told me not to ‘touch’ the things of other people. He is my father, mom. But, you just ignored me and left me confused.

Back in third grade, we had this mini-program in our classroom called Show and Tell. All of us were required to show something, be a thing, a person or an animal and tell the reasons what’s so special about it. Nathan, my best friend, happens to be the first one to present in our mini-program. The weird thing was he didn’t bring a thing or an animal. Instead, he brought a man. Nate introduced the man. He introduced his father to the class. A father. I got confused. What was his father doing inside the classroom? He should not be here! He should have left Nate when he was young too, leaving his mother to raise him, like me! He has to go somewhere else.

Remember when I got back home from school and ask where dad was? You gave me a cold reply, “He’s too busy. He will never come back.” He will never come back. HE WILL NEVER COME BACK.Those five words will be forever etched on my mind.

As I grew up, I had troubles of finding my true self. You don’t have to blame yourself mom if sometimes I get into trouble. Yes, you provided me the basic needs as well as lots of material things. But those things won’t compensate the loneliness I had experienced. I really got envious to my classmates who were constantly accompanied by their father. And then it hit me. He left us. Well, I do not really care the reason why he left. Perhaps he had another family. Or maybe I was born out of wedlock. As far as I know, he never came back to us. He will never come back. I feel so sorry mom for constantly nagging about dad’s whereabouts. Deep inside, you are hurt. So am I.

Now that I’m almost 30, maybe it’s now time to establish my own family. But ever since I’ve introduced a girl to you, you’re always grumpy. You told me that Lexie was not perfect for me. Mom, I know you are afraid. You are afraid because I might leave you. Mom, it’s been 28 years since dad left us. You don’t have to be afraid. You have to move on. We have to move on. It’s about time to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

I know you’re still mad at me, but I promise that I’ll never leave you. I am not like dad. I swear that I’ll be the world’s best dad.

I love you.