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the kanye effect

"That which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

I was reading an old issue of Elle lying around in our house when I came across this article entitled, "Neurotica: I Will Survive..." by Rachael Combe. Basically the whole article is about our immune system and how our body adapts when certain diseases spread like wildfire. Our body has a natural tendency to fight off the germs that attack our body, in the form of antibodies or white blood cells. As our body resist these pathogens, it builds up strength and stamina to withstand future viruses of the same kind. Let's take chicken pox for example. Once you get it as a kid, you'll never get it again -- you're immune. This leads to another point brought up in the article: kids who have been exposed to more pathogens and infections at a young age are less likely to contract more serious maladies when they grow up. It doesn't mean that getting all those vaccinations and staying indoors during the rainy season when we were young doesn't pay off. But being perfectly hygienic and clean also has it downsides. Our body does not get the opportunity to get into "auto-attack" mode because we wipe the germs clean right away even before our immune system can fight against it. In Taekwondo for example, you won't earn the higher belts just by knowing all the moves, you must be able to DO it and perform it yourself for you to store up the vigor you need. Same goes for our system. And using antibiotics or medicines for illnesses that are very minor (like colds) can only make things worse for us because "the weaker bacteria succumb easily, but the stronger ones hang on. At the same time, healthy flora and fauna in our system are wiped out... leaving a wide-open space for the nastier bugs to happier multiply."

So what do we do then? Eat dirt and run around naked? Not necessarily. The article concludes by saying that sometimes our body has to overcome the pathogens on its own for it to survive. Of course we still need to practice the common healthy habits like washing our hands regularly and getting enough rest, but basically trying to protect ourselves one hundred percent is futile. Paranoia never does good to anyone so might as well relax for a little while and let our bodies deal with it the way it should.

This really got me thinking.. if our bodies are capable of managing and handling these germs and bacteria, why isn't it as efficient as it is when dealing with other headache-inducing factors like stress, heartbreak, or anxieties? I mean, why doesn't it switch into "auto-attack" mode when these strike? Come to think of it, these factors have the same effect as the scientific pathogens: you can't get our of bed, you can't think properly, you can't sleep at night, and you need some taking care of. So haven't you ever wondered why we weren't created to have anti-stress-bodies to fight them off just like the white blood cells were created to battle with the viruses?

I guess in the same way our immune systems builds its stamina as it deals with the pathogens that our minds and hearts gets to store up on toughness and strength when attacked with life issues, don't you think? Maybe that's just really how humans are. In some ironically funny way, when we are damaged, we survive.

All together now..

"N-n-now th-that don't kill me, can only make me stronger."


new beginnings.

It's that time of year, the time I've been fearing yet looking forward to all the same. It's when new paths unfurl, new chapters unfold, new episodes begin. It's the dawn of a different era -- also known as College.

Today was La Salle's first day of classes. I woke up early just to greet my Archer friends and wish them luck. I spent the last weekend making kulit to my close friend Nica, asking her how she feels about going to college. As usual, I was even more excited than she was. I was able to chat a little with Kaila, Mendo, LA, and Nica a little before their classes began. They told me about their blockmates, their subjects (Trigo as the first class of the first day of your first year as a college student!? UGH), their professors -- everything a mother usually asks after her child's first day at school. Haha. After a few moments, my phone went back to its usual idle mode and I figured they were probably having their classes already. A little smile plastered across my overly-giddy face -- college na sila! Whooo! Ako rin, malapit na! I was certain my heart skipped a beat or two.

But it wasn't just a big day for the La Sallians, it was for me as well. Today, I went to our dorm with my tita and our helper. We cleaned the bathroom, fixed the bed, added some things.. it was like being on those reality shows where you redecorate a totally boring room into something really trendy. I customized my side of the room only, because I'm certain Inna would want to do her own. Most of my things were pink.. pink hamper, pink trash can, pink trays, pink caddies.. haha. Can you say Barbie?! Also, we bought some racks for the bathroom since I am in charge of that (Inna is in charge of the kitchen stuff). We also bought a mattress and some blinds for the windows. In general, I liked how our room turned out. Okay.. so it wasn't as fabulous as you may think it is because it's still unfinished, but I'm glad to say it looks a little more "homey" now. I think we're going back again this week to put some clothes and other things I might need. I can't wait to actually live there already! Inna and I are going to be like.. hmm, Monica and Rachel? Or Brooke and Haley? We'll see.. we'll be moving next week, I think? Whooo! Exciting :)

I can't help but think though, as thrilling as everything seems to be, soon things will really change not just for me but for everyone else. The "idea" of going to college that we all imagined in high school will almost immediately be replaced with the "reality" of being in college. Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm 16 and going to my dream university. It still feels like I'm just imagining all this somehow -- just like last year. But now they really are here, and things are bound to change. And unlike all the other changes in my life that I absolutely disliked, this is one thing I'm welcoming with open arms.

I can't wait for this new chapter to begin :)

(And that new chapter includes new notebooks and G-techs, I hope! I have a good excuse to get myself new ones, I just hope I don't drop and/or lose them because God knows how much they cost! Grabe! Parang gasolina lang ah! I still like it though. Haha. Admit it, you do too! :P Okaaaay.. this parenthetical sentence has gotten way too long. It must end. Now.)

P.S. I apologize for the lack of updates this week. I've been attacked by Laziness with a capital L. I don't know why I just couldn't get myself to write anything serious. Oh well. I'm back for real this time :) BTW, I still have more BKK pics to upload on my Multiply so just check it out there, okay?


i'm baaaaackk! :)

I rode the elephant!! ♥

(More at Multiply)


i'm leaving on a jetplane.

May 2006

SAWASDEE, Thailand!
Welcome me back into your arms :)

I'll be back, guys. Don't miss me too much. :P


Dekada Nobenta.

Hindi ko alam kung bakit tila tinamaan yata ako ng isang "Filipino bug" at biglang ginusto ko ng magsulat sa wikang Filipino. Kahit sa aking Multiply ay tila ayaw ko na munang mag-Ingles. Inaamin ko na kumpara talaga sa Ingles, ay hirap na hirap akong magsulat sa Filipino. Bagaman sinasali ako ng mga guro ko sa mga patimpalak sa pagsulat noong hayskul (at nananalo naman minsan) at nakakakuha ako ng matataas na marka sa mga sanaysay na aking sinusulat para sa klase, pakiramdam ko ay hindi talaga natural sa akin ang magsulat sa wikang ito. Oo, inaamin ko yun, kahit na wala akong kahit ano mang halo ng dayuhang lahi. Hindi naman ako "English-speaking" pero pwede niyo na siguro akong tawagin na "English-writing." HAHA, ANO KAYA YUN :))

Pero dahil ako ay kukuha ng kursong tungkol sa pagsulat, ako'y naniniwala na isang mabuting katangian ng isang manunulat ay ang kanyang kakayahang magsulat sa Ingles, at siyempre sa kanyang sariling linggwahe. Kaya hayaan ninyo ako sa isang pagkakataon na ito na magsulat sa sarili nating wika.. at iyong pormal ha, hindi iyong pa-text.

Kagabi ay inatake ako ng nostalhiya. May nabasa kasi akong survey tungkol sa dekada nobenta (90's) na akin namang malugod na sinagutan. Mayroon itong animnapu't isang mga katanungan at mga pahayag na tungkol sa mga uso at sikat noong mga panahong iyon. Hindi maikakailang batang 90's ako, at sigurado akong karamihan din sa inyo, aking mga mambabasa, ay ganoon din. Tuwang-tuwa ako buong gabi kakabasa noong mga nakalagay doon, pakiramdam ko nga ay hindi pa rin ako bumabalik sa normal kong kalagayan mula sa biglang pananabik sa nakaraan. Tunay palang nakakagalak ang magbalik-tanaw sa nakaraan na tila kahapon lamang.

(Basahin ang survey na ito sa aking Multiply -- pero i-dagdag niyo muna ako sa inyong Contacts upang ito ay mabasa!)

Noong maliit pa ako, siguro mga apat hanggang anim na taong gulang ang pagsibol ng aking kabataan. Nagsimula na kasi akong mag-aral sa nursery, lumabas ng bahay, makipaglaro sa ibang mga bata.. namulat na ako sa mundo. May pakialam na ako sa mga pangyayari sa paligid ko, at gustong-gusto ko matuto. "Only child" lamang ako, kung kaya't wala akong mga kapatid na kalaro at natuto akong aliwin ang aking sarili sa panunuod ng TV, pag-gawa ng kwento sa aking mga manika, magkaroon ng mga kaibigang nasa isip ko lamang, at kung anu-ano pang mga gawaing malilibang ako. Pero kahit ganoon ay mayroon naman akong mga kuya, mga pinsan ko iyon, na lagi kong dinadayo sa kabilang bahay. (Magkatabi pa ang bahay namin noon, nung Grade 1 lumipat na kami ng bahay, pero sa kabilang kalye lang naman) Sila ang nag-mistulang mga idolo ko pagdating sa mga bagay na cool, in, at sikat. Lahat ng nilalaro nila, gusto ko ring laruin. Lahat ng pinapanood nila, gusto ko ring panoorin. Natuto akong mag-laro ng Street Fighter dahil sa kanila, at nakilala ko si Super Mario dahil buong araw silang nagbababad sa TV at computer. Natuto rin akong kumain ng Milo -- oo tama, KUMAIN ng Milo, iyong sasalok ka ng isang kutsarang Milo powder at papapakin mo ito -- na siyang nagsimula ng aking tonsilitis. Malaki rin ang ginampanan ng tonsilitis ko noon. Namamana naman talaga sa pamilya namin yan, kaya wala na talaga akong ligtas doon. Kaya, lumaki ako na walang hilig sa tsokolate, kendi, at kung anu-ano pang matamis. Pero, pa-minsan-minsan, tumatakas din ako at nakakatikim ng mga matatamis kapag kasama ko sina Kuya Vincent at Kuya Lorenz. Palakihan pa kami ng paglobo ng Bazooka bubble gum (syempre, talunan ako). Hinahangaan ko talaga ang mga kuya ko noon, kasi wala naman talaga ko ibang pwedeng tingalain kundi sila lang.

Naging mahalaga rin ang naging papel ng mga yaya ko noon. Dahil parehong nagtratrabaho ang aking mga magulang ay kailangan talaga ko ikuha ng yaya. Galit ako sa lahat ng yaya ko noon. Rebelde ako. Ayoko matulog pag hapon, nagkakalat ako, kinakagat ko sila (bully ako!), lahat ng ginagawa ng salbaheng bata, ginawa ko. Pero hindi naman talaga ako salbahe. Nagkataon lang na masama rin kasi yung mga naging yaya ko, kinukurot ako at sinasabunutan kapag wala ang Mommy ko. Pero may mga pagkakataon din namang nagkakasundo kami. At iyong mga panahong iyon ay ang namulat ako sa mga telenovela at kung anu-ano pang ka-dramahan sa telebisyon. Iniiyakan ko talaga si Mara noon kasi sobrang sama talaga ni Clara! Pati si Via, iyong sa Mula Sa Puso (si Claudine Baretto yun). At si Chabelita! Naalala niyo ba siya? Iyong batang nakatira dati sa bahay-ampunan, mala-Annie ang buhay niya. Tapos kilig na kilig ako kay Angelu de Leon at Bobby Andrews sa TGIS. Kung gaano ako ka-kilig kay Nathan at Haley, ganoon din! Siyempre kitang-kita naman na ang baduy naman nila kumpara sa OTH, pero ano ba namang alam ko noon? Haha. Tuwing umaga rin nanonood ako noong mga kartuns na Tinagalog. Paborito ko noon si Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa. Galit na galit ako kay Lavinia. Nanonood din ako ng Cedi, Heidi, Judy Abbott, Julio at Julia (ang kambal ng tadhana.. haha!) at yung isa pa.. si Romeo ang tagapaglinis ng tsimineya? May nakakaalala rin ba sa kanya? Haha. Pero nakatikim rin naman ako ng mga edukasyonal na programa tulad ng Sesame Street, Batibot, 5 and Up, ATBP., Hiraya Manawari at ang aking paborito, ang SineSkwela! Talagang marami akong natutunan doon. Doon ko naintindihan ang fractions, parts of the plant, at marami pang ibang mga paksa. Sa totoo lang, lalo pang lumakas ang pag-hanga ko sa palabas na ito dahil lagi sa aming pinapanood sa St. Paul, kahit ata noong hayskul na kami. Ganun ka-"educational" ang programang iyon. At siyempre, sino ba namang makakalimot sa kanta doon? Tayo na sa SineSkewla, tuklasin natin ang si-yen-sha! Buksan ang pag-iisip, tayo'y likas na sayantist.. Tayo na sa SineSkela, tuklasin nating ang si-yen-sha! Kinabukasan ng ating bayan, siguradong makakamtan.. kaya't habang maaga mag-aral ng si-yen-sha, sa teknolohiya, ang buhay ay gagandaaaaa! (Amf, memoryado pa talaga ehh!) At mayroon pa, si Little Lulu! Adik na adik ako sa kaniya, kulang na lang bumili ako ng pulang damit na sobrang ikli para kita yung panty ko. Tawang-tawa ako sa kanya, pati na rin kay Tubby Tomkins at sa best friend niyang si Annie. Laking pasalamat talaga ng yaya ko sa mga palabas na ito dahil sa sandaling oras ng aking panonood, ako ay tumitigil sa aking kakulitan at nananahimik.. nakatutok sa TV.

Siyempre, hindi ko malilimutan ang libro. Bata pa lang ako, uod na ako na nakatira sa libro, este, taong palabasa na ako ng libro. Sweet Valley, Baby-Sitters Club, Baby Sitters' Little Sister (si Karen Brewer), Archie comics, Arthur (at ang kapatid niyang si D.W.), Nancy Drew at ng iba pang mga nobela.. lahat nabasa ko yan! Obyus na bata palang, nerd na ako. Kaya tuwang-tuwa rin siyempre ang mga magulang ko. At dahil din dito kaya mas sanay akong magsulat sa Ingles, sapagkat wala naman masyadong librong Tagalog noon, maliban sa mga Adarna books na may pagsasaling-wika o "translation," pero iyong Ingles pa rin ang binabasa ko. :))

Lahat din ng laruan nalaro ko. Mula sa Fisher-Price ViewMaster (Power Rangers at Pocahontas ang mga bala ko), Barbie (I'm a Barbie girl!), Polly Pocket (kumpleto ko yan, mayroon ako nung maliit pa talaga at nasa compact case, hanggang sa lumaki na sila at pwede nang bihisan), Happy Meals ng McDo, Cabbage Patch dolls, Casper, Baby All Gone doll (yung kinakain niya yung cherries at milk!), at ang aking paborito, ang Power Rangers! Dahil kay Pink Ranger, naging paborito ko ang kulay na Pink. Pero sa kasamaang palad, ang laruang ni minsan ay hindi ako nagkaroon ay ang pinakasikat pa noon: Tamagotchi. Kung nakakamatay talaga ang inggit, siguradong deads na deads na ako dahil hindi ako binili ni Mommy. Doon ata ako unang nakaranas ng depresyon, kasi lahat nag-aalaga ng virtual pet. Pero naka-recover din ako nang ibili na ako ng bagong manika. Mababaw lang naman ako :) Naniniwala ako na pinaka-astig ang mga laruan noong 90's. Hindi man kasing "advanced" o "hi-tech" katulad ngayon, ay tunay na nakapag-papaligaya naman. Hinding-hindi ko ipagpapalit ang mga araw na naglaro ako gamit ang aking imahinasyon at nagpanggap na nakatira ako sa Sesame Street. Madali lang naman ako mapasaya, at noon tila mainam naman ang lahat sa mundo.

Siguro nga sa mga ganoong pagkakataon mo mapapagtanto na tumatanda ka na talaga. Kapag nakabasa ka ng isang artikulo o kaya lathalain na may kinalaman sa iyong kabataan, hindi mo maiiwasang mapangiti, matawa, at makaramdam ng halo-halong emosyon sa iyong pagsasariwa. Ngunit, matapos ng ilang sandali, ay mapapa-isip ka na rin kung gaano na kahaba ang lumipas mula noong mga panahong iyon. Ako nga, kagabi nasabi ko na lamang sa sarili ko, "Ha? Ganoon na pala katagal iyon!? Eh bakit parang ang bata pa rin ng 16?" Totoo palang malaki na ako, kahit hindi masyadong tumangkad, at lagpas isang dekada na ang dumaan magmula nang una kong mapanood ang Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Kay sarap talagang gunitain ang nakaraan. Iyong isa ko ngang kaibigan, kapag nagkaka-kwentuhan kami sa YM ay puro tungkol sa kabataan namin ang aming pinag-uusapan. Hindi kasi nakakasawang balik-balikan ang kahapong humubog sa pagkatao mo ngayon. Sino bang nakakaalam na ang simpleng pagbabasa ko ng Baby Sitters Club ang siyang pagmumulan ng aking hindi maikakailang pagkahilig sa aking larangang tatahakin: ang pagsusulat? Tunay ngang ang iyong kabataan ay isang mahalagang parte ng buhay, sa katunayan nga naniniwala ako na mas mahalaga pa ito kaysa sa pagdadalaga o pagbibinata, sapagkat hindi ka makakalagpas sa "teenage years" kung hindi ka pinatatag ng mga payak ngunit makubuluhan mong karanasan noong bata ka.

Hayy. Napahaba ata ang pagmumuni-muni ko. Napasarap ako. Kung nabasa ninyo lahat iyon, hiling ko naman ay natuwa rin kayo. Alam kong kahit na ikaila niyo pa, minsan din kayong naging baduy at madungis na batang takot madampot ng Bumbay.


(Malaking pasasalamat sa GabbyDictionary, na naging tagapag-ligtas ko sa mga salitang hindi ko talaga alam ang Ingles, sa KidsWereUs, isang napakagandang website tungkol sa 90's, at sa Yahoo! para sa ilang mga larawan.)

*OMG, nosebleeeeed! :))


just a day, just an ordinary day.

So I promised Nikki D. that I'll answer the tag but because today is a very special occasion, I decided I'll modify it just a little bit.


  1. She loves George Clooney. George is like my mom's Nathan Scott. Every time she sees her on E! News or Daily 10, or any other entertainment show I swear I see her eyes turn into hearts and she gets kilig like a teenage high school girl. :)

  2. Her favorite author is Danielle Steel. She has read every single one of her novels. I swear! When we pass by the Danielle Steel section in book stores, she always knows what's new, what's old, and what's just been reprinted. That's why it's kind of tricky to give her DS books because I don't know if she's read it or not. But luckily, the time I did buy her one, it was one of the new novels.

  3. She plays the piano. That's just one of the many things we have in common. I grew up in a family that plays the piano (my grandma does too) so it's just natural that it follows in the family. But admittedly my mom is the better player between the two of us. Among her sisters, she was the only one who really pursued this craft. She kept some of her pieces back when she was still studying so now, it's my turn to play them -- and fortunately I can still read them even if the paper is quite old and yellowish. Haha. Some of our favorites are Fur Elise and Minuet in G by Beethoven.

  4. She has more ear piercings than me. I only have two, one on each ear. But she has four! I can still remember the day she went home and suddenly she had two piercings on each ear! I was like, O_O! Haha. I think she also wants to get her belly button done.. and..

  5. She wants to have a tattoo. Not the real one, I hope. But she really wants to have one on her back, like Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember. Between the two of us, sometimes she's the one who acts like the teenager because I have to stop her from getting all these on her! Haha.

  6. She looooves Koreanovelas. Our house is overloaded with Korean DVDs. Secret Lovers, Lovers, Lovers in Paris, Coffee Prince, How to Marry A Millionaire.. name it and she's watched it, even before they showed in on Philippine TV! Not only is she in love with the lead actors, but she adores the Korean girls' style -- from hair to fashion. Sometimes I think she can understand Korean already. Haha.

  7. She loves watching Date My Mom with me. It's our favorite show. Haha. We laugh at the moms because they're more eccentric than their daughters! And sometimes we pity the guy who picks the perfect mom but has the ugly daughter. LOL :)) She keeps on telling me that we should join that show and in the end she'll get the guy to say, "Ana, I do not want to date your daughter. I want to date you." NYE. Haha :)) But if we do join, I'm pretty sure we'll win! :P

  8. She was a Paulinian from St. Paul Manila, so we kind of understand each other when it comes to high school related stuff. It's not difficult to talk to her because she isn't close-minded. And I know she went through all the same things when she was in high school. She was also very kikay then (she was a member of PRU -- the club for the pretty usherettes), and a heartthrob too! She always had dates from La Salle, San Beda, and the Ateneo. I have a very strong feeling that if we became classmates in high school, we'll either be the best of friends, or the worst of enemies since we're so alike yet so different! Haha :) And did I mention she looked real hot in her Paulinian uniform?! Compared to her, I look like a nerd! :P

  9. She brought me to the Vanessa Carlton concert last Friday at Trinoma. She knows how much I love Vanessa, so we went all the way to Quezon City (from her office at Makati), and bought Php 1500 worth of shoes just so we can get tickets! Vanessa was sooooo amazing! IDOL TALAGA! I swear it was one of the best nights of my life -- and one of the best bondings with my mom! :P (I posted the pictures and videos at my Multiply, you can check it out there)

  10. SHE READS THE TWILIGHT SERIES. Yes. She was so intrigued by the series that I've been going gaga over, that she desperately wanted to know if it was worth all the money and traveling we did (we went bookstore-hopping all over Metro Manila just to buy the sequels). And so I let her borrow the first one, and needless to say, she was hooked! She read it in less than a week. And now she's in the middle of Eclipse. I don't know if she can get any cooler than that -- now she feels like every other teenage girl in the world: in love with Edward, and wants more! (We even surfed the Twilight Movie website together and loooooved every bit of it!)

Those are just 10 of the thousands of great things about my mom. She's not just my mom, she's also my best friend. We dress alike, we talk alike, we think alike.. I tell her almost everything! We may have fights or arguments every now and then, but that's just because I know she loves me. I know that one of the most difficult relationships to handle in life is one's relationship with your mom, but I also think it's one of the best. I'm so lucky to have her because (as Regina George's mom put it) she's not just a regular mom, she's a cool mom!

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy! I love you! :)

And Happy Mother's Day to your moms too!


ciento FRESHIEnto :)

MAY 5th, Monday

I woke up earlier than usual. My dad's driver picked me and my mom up at six in the morning. I picked my best casual-yet-serious-looking shirt, donned my favorite jeans, used my new white bag, and wore my new YSL sandals (aka Yari sa Liliw, haha), checked my Blue Clearbook of Important Documents, and off I went. This is it, I told myself.

I was greeted by the huge banner, "Mabuhay mga bagong Iskolar ng KAL!" as I arrived at the College of Arts and Letters, or Kolehiyo ng Arte at Literatura (KAL). I munched on my McDonald's fries with anxiety as I step inside the halls of my soon-to-be building. We were led by the security guard to the second KAL building at the back. There we were greeted by another welcome banner, and several students with their moms. All were eagerly waiting for the start of the briefing which will be given to us at eight o'clock. There I sat down and tried my best straight-not-excited face just so I won't look to eager, but I'm not sure how well I did, I'm not a theater major anyway. A few moments a later, another mother and daughter pair arrived and sat next to us. Our moms started talking, and so we started talking. Thus, my first ever friend in UP, Haila. She's from Marikina Science High School and is going to take up BA English Studies. After a while, we were escorted up the building and were welcomed warmly by the secretary of the dean of CAL, Señor Maranan. He was an old, kind gentleman who emitted that grandfather vibe. He told us his role in our lives as CAL students, and advised us as we take on this new journey. He kept on telling us that we are UP students, therefore we must be proud of what we have achieved just by getting into the school. So, a huge responsibility is on us: to study well and do good. Our school may not be as class or as "sosi" as the others, but we must get by because this is life inside the UP, everyone is equal, everyone is up for the same challenges. He gave us his two basic rules: 1.) We are not allowed to joined fraternities and sororities, and 2.) We should truly prioritize our studies -- no more gala or tambay. This made our parents extremely happy, my mom especially. More reminders later, and we were escorted to the other building to meet with our respective advisers.

I claimed my Form 5A and Student Directory, then immediately went to the second floor, Room 2061. It was there I was supposed to meet my future adviser, Prof. Los Baños (immediately followed by a chuckle inside my head, "LB in Diliman! Hahaha, funny,") By the stairs, I saw three other students waiting. One of them asked me, "Creative Writing ka ba?" to which I replied, "Oo." So we sat there, waiting and chatting. Two more arrived, and thus the completion of the Creative Writing students block B-11: Karla, Andee, Rose, Jamie, and Catherine. Yes, there were only five of us. We fooled ourselves into thinking that more will be coming but alas, no one else did. So we just spent the time chatting and getting to know each other. To my surprise, there were three Paulinians in our block! Andee was from St. Paul Pasig, Rose was from St. Paul QC, and of course, yours truly from Parañaque. I saw it as a blessing in disguise because we all got along really well already. But of course, our other two blockmates were great as well. We joked and laughed about different things, talking like we've been friends for a long time. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, a tall, bald, macho man came and asked us, "Are you all CW?" Stunned, we nodded in unison with the realization finally dawning on us: It was Professor Los Baños.

I entered the room, with huge butterflies pterodactyls flying aroudn my stomach. I was dying to make a good impression. Thoughts circled and swirled inside my head as I walked to his desk. Should I smile? Do I introduce myself right away or wait for him to ask? Was I supposed to speak in English? What if I make a mistake? Should I tell him how eager I am with this course? What was I supposed to say and do? This was, after all, my future adviser, the person who will check me up with my grades, advise me on my subjects, and basically guide me through my whole CW experience. Nervous would probably be an understatement for that kind of feeling. "Good morning, sir," I finally said. He asked me to sat down and I handed him my Form 5A and directory. "Complete na pala ang mga subjects mo. Okay, fill this up," He handed me a form, wrote my name, and copied my subjects. He got one of the two directories, returned the other forms to me and mumbled, "Okay, submit this to the OUR. You may go." And that was it.

I came out of the room probably with a stunned-slash-relieved expression on my face, which I'm afraid, kind of scared Andee. But I managed to smile at her before she went in, and I was finally able to breathe. I immediately went to my mom, telling her the story as I gasped my breath. We walked to the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) to finally get enrolled. Upon arriving, I told my mom I'll go in already since parents weren't allowed inside. And thus my first taste of the University of Pila. Everywhere you go, there's a queue waiting for you. Some long, some short, some quickly moving, some not moving -- but a line all the same. Thankfully there were a lot of student assistants who were there to guide us and help make everything easier for us freshmen. And good thing too that we were seated so it wasn't really much of a struggle. It was in the line that I saw Inna, who came from the College of Engineering. We didn't get to talk much though because the line moved right away and we were separated. I went to window after window, floor after floor, form after form. I was looking at my neatly arranged Blue Clearbook of Important Documents (special thanks to my Mom, who graciously and voluntarily did that for me -- because that's what moms are for right, Mommy?) and ensuring that I was doing the right thing on the particular step. And then it hit me, I was doing everything on my own. No Inna, no Mommy, no one to complain to or to ask someone else to do the job. Just me and my Blue Clearbook of Important Documents. Hence, another realization: in college, kanya-kanya na talaga.

After a perpituity of windows and tables, I was finally assessed. I still can't help telling myself that "Ang mura talaga sa UP," in spite of its overtness. I paid cold hard blue-green cash at the cashier, took my receipt and finally, finally -- I'M ENROLLED. Yahoo! :)

MAY 6th, Tuesday

Once again, I woke up earlier than usual. Tuesday is the orientation of the May 5 enrollees. With me is Inna, who asked if she could go with me because her parents are out of the country. We were both so nervous and yet, very excited. We didn't know what's in store for us but we're pretty sure we're ready for it. With huge dirty ice cream cones in hand, we braced ourselves as we made our way to the Diosdado Macapagal Hall in the College of Economics, where the orientation will be held.

Outside, I immediately saw my blockmates Jamie, Andee, and Rose. The other one, Catherine, was missing. But nevertheless we stuck together already. I introduced them to Inna and told them that we should sit together inside. One man approached the two of us and gave us fliers. Apparently, it's a group against the tuition fee increase in UP. We looked at each other and couldn't help but laugh -- not at them of course, but the fact that it's just our first day, and already there were people inviting us. Haha. Anyway, we entered the big hall after registering and sat there, anxiously but eagerly. Several minutes later, after everyone has settled, the program started.

The theme was: "Ciento FRESHIEnto, Isko Ako! The Centennial Freshmen Orientation." Just the title itself was already exhilirating. Obviously, this year is very special for us since it is UP's 100th (Centennial) year, and we are the Centennial Freshmen. That in itself is already quite a recognition :)

The emcees were very engaging, telling us to shout "Cheeseburger!" if they ask us how we were. It was funny, actually, especially when they ask all the colleges one by one and get different responses from each. The College of Engineering reply with such low voices because most of them are boys (except for Inna! Haha). The College of Music meanwhile, had someone shouting in a very high voice. And the Department of Library and Information Science -- well let's just say, he had no one else to say Cheeseburger but him. Yep, all alone. May mas konti pa sa course namin, thank God! :) They were extremely hilarious, even spoofing the other colleges that weren't there (haha, sorry College of Science, Home Eco, Educ, and the others! Haha) and giving us trivia, tips, and other whatnots about our future school. They got us really excited about the UP Fair and other events too! Now I can't wait for everything!

The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Enriquez later gave her welcoming remarks. "Fresh na fresh pa talaga kayo, hindi pa nakakatikim ng kwatro (4) at singko (5)!" she said, to which an uproar of nervous laughter from the freshies followed. She told us how extremely lucky we were by giving us facts and numbers: we were one of the 12,000 who passed among the 66,000 who took the UPCAT, and 2,000 of the 40,000 who aspired to go to UP Diliman. Indeed we should be proud that we are Iskolars and are studying in the flagship campus of the state university. All throughout the program, the emcees kept on telling and reminding us how many great scientists, presidents, lawyers, national artists and other successful people graduated from UP. It was very overwhelming, definitely, but gratifying all the same.

The UP Concert Chorale and the UP Pep Squad were also there to welcome us! Grabe, I was amazed by the UPCC's performance. They just came from Switzerland and Italy by the way, bringing home the grand prize for excellence in various competitions there. They were definitely world-class. Then the UP Pep Squad came and taught us the school cheers! Inna and I were looking at each other, already concocting plans inside our heads for the UAAP games. We live for UAAP, and now we're actually going to cheer for a school -- OUR SCHOOL! I had goosebumps while shouting the ever famous "U! nibersidad! ng Pilipinas!" cheer, with matching drums and actions! And yes, it was defnitely better than cheering with the UP crowd on TV.. and that was just the orientation! What more for the real actual games? :) They also taught us the UP hymn, "UP Naming Mahal." It was of course going to take some getting used to since twelve years of "Hark, children of the great St. Paul!" and "My goal as a Paulinian is this.." will forever be etched in our memory. But Inna and I swore that we're going to practice all the cheers and songs, and really shout our hearts out in upcoming events! Haha. School spirit, anyone? :)

After all has been said and done, we came out of the hall feeling the exact same way we did when we entered; nervous and very, very excited. But I'm going to be the first to say that the orientation only sparked our excitement even more. Now we're starting to bleed Maroon, and we wouldn't have it any other way -- or color :)



heroes are not born, they're built.

When your dad leaves for a business trip, your maid goes on vacation, and you don't have any siblings, that usually means you're stuck with your mom. And for some it's a bad thing. But for me it isn't.

So today, out of boredom (and laziness to cook and clean up, haha) my mom and I went to SM to watch Iron Man. She didn't want to go initially, saying that it's usually my dad who is my movie buddy and that she does not fancy those action-packed movies -- even suggesting the Aga and Anne movie. HAHA. But I won her over, using the fact that she used to have a huge crush on Robert Downey Jr. when he was on Ally McBeal, and that Gwyneth Paltrow would be in it. So Iron Man it was!

I enjoyed the movie! Sobra. It wasn't your average superhero movie because it was certainly interesting. First, the actors. I initially thought Robert Downey was too old for the role, but he carried his role well. And besides, Tony Stark's character obviously had some age, class, and experience, he was perfect for it. It was also quite a surprise to see Gwyneth Paltrow there because usually the leading ladies aren't really big A-list stars. It was refreshing to see her in a less serious role for once. The special effects were terrific too, and I think, unlike most hero movies, it really had a touch of reality in it. I loved how his "machines" were all so human because they talk back! Haha. My mom kept teasing me na baka sa sobrang ka-geek-an ko, I'd program my gadgets like that too. LOL :)

As some of you may know, I'm in love with superheroes. Not the comic-book-guy kind of love, but just a regular teenager completely looking up to crushing on these fantastic (non)humans. I mean, who doesn't want to have superpowers and unwavering strength? I concoct thoughts of me wearing that red, gold, and blue costume and flying away as Wonder Woman. But what really captivates me more are those without the genetically altered DNAs though, the ones with only their willpower and resolve to change the world. Like Batman. And that's how Iron Man came to be. He was awaken to the truth that he was part of the problem, so he found a way to be the solution. It wasn't easy but his efforts did pay off. Well, I wouldn't really tell you all the ending of course, but do you honestly think there's a superhero out there who didn't deliver? :) He was still human though, no spider bites, no Krypton ancestry, no cosmic ray exposure -- just really mad Math skills.

It got me thinking though. His obvious passion for Math paved the way for his exceptional abilities. So did the creator and producers somehow want to send some kind of subliminal message that we should take Math and Science seriously because it IS useful in real life? Most of the superheroes are, undeniably, geeks and nerds who excelled in class right? Peter Parker and Mr. Fantastic, to name a few. Maybe in some weird way it will encourage all of us to do well in these normally hated subjects because it will be the key to "greatness." Haha.

Whatever, I'm going to be a writer anyway :P

And now the plates and silverware are summoning me. (Un)fortunately, I have to go and hone my superb dish washing skills. Since we have no maid, and because I am just the dutifully obedient daughter that I am (HAHA!), I have been volunteering my services and not complaining. You can call me Lababo Queen now. Haha.

Let me leave you with this.

Now this really, really, really got me thinking.