Monday, April 27, 2009

Pasherpa-ers: Shadowfox

Someone took a really, really looooong time to figure out the secret of these writings. It was extremely, agonizingly, ridiculously, and outrageously long, it made the person look like a stupid overrated baboon. Anyway, avoid, if you must, the Tolkien connotation.

He rode all night, swiftly, down the rugged valley of desolation, and into the forest – pitch-black, silent, and eerie.

With every step that his golden stallion took on the forest floor, the necklace that hung around his neck bounced in the air, as if to demand its freedom, but never reaching far enough with a strength strong enough to break free from its owner.

The darkness crept all around them, as all sorts of sounds and visions came to life.

But the rider knows, Gandalf needs the necklace.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pasherpa-ers: Mental Whetstone

Here is the second of my ‘twisty masterpieces’. I do not have a particular theme for these writings and soon-to-be-writings. I just find this enjoyable, plus, there’s always the numerical interaction.

At the back of my mind, I hastily sharpened my knives, making sure that every single one of my verbal blades would pierce through her skin as easily as rain hits the ground, slicing through every nook and cranny of her frail, horsy frame.

Nursing, she muttered sardonically under her breath, as if to let me know of her efforts to conceal the sarcasm noisily gushing through every word.

Too bad for her, I know fully well how she loathes the white-clad hospital denizens – how she hates us.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pasherpa-ers: The Seaside Attack

I’m trying something twisty here. Note the structure. This weird idea was inspired by a similar set of writings in the blog of one of the contacts of someone’s Multiply account. Happy figuring the trick out!

The tides rolled in, madly, like a troubled herd of wildebeests, stampeding towards the only stretch of grassland that is the beach, with tiny, occasional pebbles dotting its otherwise dove-gray cape of sand.

Yet the fortress stood strong, fiercely unwavering to the beholder, its turrets soaring to the flaming sky, surrounded by a mighty wall.

However, just like those boastful clowns from the circuses, the castle fell down, grain by grain, with every lash of saltwater. There was then stillness in the air.

All else, though, remained unchanged.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mamma Mia!

I was able to prove two things this afternoon: First, that you can prove things without using any of the cobwebbed statements in the Constitution or any math-related theorem or postulate; second, that I am always in need of intellectual stimulation.

My mind has wheels (pun intended ^^). Attached to the centerpiece of my neurological existence are silvery, shining, shimmering, splendid wheels. They are beautiful wheels. Pretty wheels. The best wheels in town.

Which is why boredom ranks as one of my top enemies. Along with nothing-you-may-do moments that take place during should-do-something moments. I hate being restrained in a tiny box and disallowed the freedom of industry. Even more, I hate being made not to do something during times when I feel the urge to really do something. Furthermore, I hate being made to do and expected to love doing something which I don't want to do in the first place. Productivity is a close friend of mine; indolence (during anti-indolence hours) is tantamount to Kyla (the dog).

Hurrah for my brainy wheels!


Something cynical also happened this afternoon.

As I was on my way to Bopsy’s place, I met a mother.

Not just any mother, but the mother of an applicant. Well, technically, a former applicant. I think perhaps you already know who this is. (applicant or mother, whichever)

Among many other irrelevant things, she gave a remark – and I quote: Grabe gid kamu ya magtraining… Nagbalos gid kamu ya nu?

Was I hit by one of the many saucepans lying along that sidewalk for sale? Was she actually trying to tell me in not exactly the nicest way that we were too hard on the starapples? Come on, woman, wake up!

First of all, ang training ng mga walang hiyang starapples na yun ay simply pagbabayad lang sa milyun-milyong atraso nila sa amin noong mga sinyor pa kami. Doesn't she know that because of the starapples at iba pang third year, na-super delay at naparusahan pa ang mga agila'?! Doesn’t she know na mga bastos at raskal ang mga kaklase ng anak niya (pwede ngang isali yung anak niya e) prior to the CAT summer engagement?

Secondly, the training was – I have to admit – hard because of the fact that talagang mga walang laman ang mga utak ng mga starapples na ito. Come on, as in paulit-ulit na kami, dalawang linggo na, hindi pa rin nila nagegets!

Third, our training was very different. It might not have focused on the physical aspect (pero hindi naman ang mga starapples nakatikim ng damog, naka-snake crawl, log roll, at quiapo march sa basang-basang field, nag-bullfight, at nag-pasa masid sa ilalim ng 11:00 sun, among others, diba?!) but it was more of the emotional and psychological aspect. We were promised two weeks of vacation after refresher, yet there we were, training. And to think na nagstart lang yung training ng mga starapples in march, kahit na two weeks pa ang COLT (deserving naman sila nito e).

Fourthly, I will speak no more because nag-uunahan na ang aking mga kamay sa pagta-type at ang aking utak sa pag-iisip (sabay panlalait at pag-aalipusta in a proper formal way). Kita mo, kahit languages ko nga e nagme-mechado na.

Bottomline: Applicants will always be applicants. Period!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Faded Glory? Of course not.

Eagles are now part of history. The last batch of a glorious history, I have to say.

The applicants had their graduation last Saturday. I won the “Most Evil Officer” award, which I knew I would win, which I predicted I would win, which I worked so hard to win, which Maico thought he had a chance to win, which I defeated Maico in winning, which I think is a totally cool prestige, which makes me the most unforgettable officer for the applicants.

Anyway, there are some choices which I did not really agree with.

I have to say by now, the corps commander was the only rational choice left at all. I pretty much like my successor. I don’t agree with the S5, since he’s waaay too movey and reklamador… That’s all I believe.

Wait, does the administrative officer without a deputy ranking even deserve to be an officer?

- Laugh now -

A word of caution: Applicants, you will always be applicants. (evil smirk follows)


We watched T2 last Sunday. When spiderman came out, it almost seemed obvious that the rest of the movie would turn out to be just as unoriginal, indulgent, and horrible.


10 days ‘til Palanca deadline… go go me!


I like this new divider. It’s stylish… yeah, whatever!


Last Saturday, from around 8 to around 9 in the morning, I made history. It was (drumroll) my first (and probably last) time to take a dip in the Ledesco pool. I can still do backstroke, yippee!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In Chinese


今天是我们中学毕业典礼,大家十分高兴。虽然今天是我们这十三年来最盼望的日子,但是... 我心里依依不舍离开母校华商。



今天,我们就要毕业了,就要离开多年来栽培我们的母校 – 华商, 所以我代表全体毕业生们, 对无私的导航灯 – 董事们,校长,老师们,家长们说声万里分的感谢。感谢,感谢,再感谢!

同学们,今天是我们的毕业典礼,明天就是我们的新开始,相信我们每一个人都有自己的目票,无论大家念什么科,都比念中学更难,更重。同学们,我们不要怕,因为我们母校的校训 – 勤,诚,忠,勇 – 是我们的指引,只要我们做好充分准备,认真学习,争取好成绩,相信大家就能创造一个美好的明天。



You understand this man?! Geeez!

The Valediction of an Overrated Baboon

Class Valedictorian – English, Class Valedictorian – Chinese, Alma Mater Award, Special Achievement Award, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Academic Excellence and Leadership Award, Plaque of Distinction, Outstanding Filipino-Chinese Student Award, Excellence in Mathematics Award, Excellence in Public Speaking Award, Excellence in Journalism Award, Outstanding Achievement in Journalism Award

Dr. Carmen P. Santos, our beloved school principal; Mr. Napoleon Sy, chairman of the ICCHS Board of Trustees; Mr. Mark Robert Uy, our commencement speaker; members of the Board of Trustees, school administrators, teachers, parents, fellow graduates, and friends, good afternoon.

I am never exactly a big fan of basketball. I grew up in a family that prefers “scribble” over “dribble”, and since I was doomed to sprout four eyes instead of two, bouncing balls have never been in my element. By ball, I mean those big enough to squash my eyeglasses flat – basketballs, for instance.

However, what I lack in interest in the most popular sport in the country, I believe I make up in being a huge fan of interschool basketball games. You see, it’s more than just the thrill of being part of history when victory is captured, or the bragging rights that come thereafter, or the unmistakable shouting and cheering that inevitably erupt whenever someone throws that fantastic three-point shot.

It is the heartwarming and nostalgic sight of the entire school rallying as one, and of being part of this gigantic unified group, that rightfully endears me to these games. While some students might see these games as just another opportunity for an excursion to the nearest computer café, I happily content myself with being part of the instant cheering squad – although honestly, my vocal cords don’t scream as well as my classmates’.

Call it… school spirit. If there’s one thing which I find as truly tatak Huasiong – that distinctive mark found across Huasiong students – it would have to be our seemingly unwavering, unbreakable loyalty to the school. Alumni, alumnae, fellow graduates, undergraduates – I’m sure you all agree with me.

Many times, it strikes me as uniquely ironic that such loyalty stems from little rivalries that push us to rise above others, to be more than ourselves. During High School and Elementary Week, we are a shameless bunch locked in fierce competition among classes, and undeniably, among campuses. With the Intramural Games, all hell breaks loose, where even some of the most demure people I know turn into savage beasts once the chase for the ball is on. And if you come from the Main Campus, then one of the biggest goals of your class has to be winning the Christmas Caroling Contest... right?

But wonder of wonders, it is amazing how, amid all the rivalries and differences, we eventually end up singing the same tune when it comes to standing up for our Alma Mater and supporting her for the best. When we reconcile our varied conflicts and unite as one giant, homogeneous family, it is only then that we become true children of Huasiong.

This school spirit entails more than just mere loyalty. It is the invisible thread that binds all of us – pure Chinese, half-Chinese, pure Filipino, half-Spanish, pure Korean, half-Japanese, part-British – taking root as one resilient tree, growing higher and growing wiser with the auspices of time. And this is precisely the greatest challenge we face as Batch 2009: to keep the thread flowing firm and the tree standing tall.

My classmates and I have always pointed out how change seems to parallel the way our batch makes its milestones. When we graduated from grade school, Elementary Week was started. When we entered high school, High School Week was born. We also happen to be the pioneer students of our new CAT commandant, the first graduating batch to have a JS Prom at Hotel Del Rio, and the first lucky users of monoblock chairs in the high school department, among others.

Yes, change is constant. As one of my best teachers in high school always says, everything changes except change. But no matter the distances that we reach or the heights that we soar to in the near future, there must never be a change in the way we regard our own “batch spirit” as much as we worship the school spirit. There must only be a change for the better, for a way that would forge deeper and more meaningful bonds between each one of us.

Personally, change, too, characterized the way I spent my thirteen years inside the four walls of this institution. Without Huasiong, I may never have trekked along the scenic mountainsides of Leon, walked along the placid seaside of Ajuy, led a handful of talented writers as editor-in-chief of The Chain, learned basic military knowledge as a CAT officer, improved my math skills as team captain, harnessed my public speaking abilities as a contestant in impromptu speaking contests, and very recently, entrusted with the humbling responsibility of leading 138 great souls as Alumni Association President.

Without Huasiong, I would never have marveled at the majestic Great Wall after winning a team competition in Chinese knowledge. I would never have gone to Naga City as an outstanding journalist awardee, or improved my Mandarin, Hokkien, and English language skills to immeasurable lengths. Most importantly, without Huasiong, I would never have met very wonderful teachers who hail from as far as China, very wonderful and gifted souls who comprise what is now 4th year Guava, very wonderful batch mates who helped create colorful episodes in my student life, and very wonderful experiences that spurred life-altering lessons.

They say that ‘thank you’ is one of the most overused words in this world. But this only goes to show that the best of men deserve no less than the sincerest of ‘thanks’. To our parents, who have been the unyielding wind beneath our wings, our biggest and staunchest supporters, our own personal cheering squads; to our teachers, who have seen us grow and transform from innocent, not-so-naughty youngsters to naughtier and not-so-innocent teenagers; to our school administrators, Board of Trustees, and to everybody else who have been with us these past fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen years; and to our Alma Mater, we say thank you, thank you, thank you!

To the Lord Almighty – the reason why we are all gathered here today – words are not enough to express our profound gratitude.

My dear batch mates, today we become official members of a time-tested family – a family defined by the indelible pillars of Diligence, Sincerity, Loyalty, and Courage. As we fittingly take on this noble responsibility, let our legacy leave a pure mark on the portals of our Alma Mater, our accomplishments and achievements reaching far and wide for her greater glory.

Like a basketball team, let us keep ourselves duly guided by that solid school spirit. Let us take it upon ourselves to be the Starting Five, or the Mythical Five, or better yet, the Dream Team.

Remember: If we can’t all be MVPs, we can always be the best instant cheering squad there is.

Long live Batch 2009!

Thank you, good day, and God bless us all!

OSCI: Of Someone's Cautious Intentions

Speech of Iloilo Central Commercial High School's first ever OSCI MOSSS (2009)…

Mr. Henry Caspe, chairman of the Outstanding Students’ Circle of Iloilo; Mr. Ruel Romarate, our inspirational speaker; members of the Outstanding Students’ Circle of Iloilo; friends from the Department of Education, school principals and administrators, teachers and advisers, parents, friends, Outstanding Elementary Pupils, and the nine noble men and women seated on the second row, who deserve this spot as much as I do – my fellow Outstanding Secondary Students, good afternoon!

For a time, he was the official Philippine representative to an international letter-writing contest. He sat as the first-ever Student Consultant of the school organ, was a highly feared math wizard, got chosen as Boy City Mayor last 2002, and won his first Palanca Award at 16 years of age.

That’s my brother – and for as long as I can remember, I have always considered him my own personal portrait of excellence. In fact, had this Search started much earlier, I’m sure he would have ended up sitting somewhere along the second row as well.

When I was younger, I used to look at him with utmost reverence as someone who exemplified first and foremost the outstanding student. After all, as he went about reaping awards by the dozen, I, on the other hand… threw an eraser at a classmate’s head because I found her quite annoying, drew a humongous ‘X’ mark on another one’s paper because she colored a green apple yellow-green, sketched airplanes while the teacher talked about math, and swung my handkerchief round and round like a cowboy in the middle of a class discussion.

It almost seemed improbable that I would get to follow my brother’s footsteps, much less take the path of excellence. But let me tell you how I possibly landed myself the privilege to stand and speak on this podium. Let me share with you my three laws of excellence.

I grew up in a household where “excellence” is not exactly being forced upon. It’s more of an elective, a choice that one is encouraged to pursue. Unlike other parents who mercilessly transform their homes into miniscule time capsules of Martial Law era by enforcing strict study hours, mine simply did what I believe really inspired us siblings to focus on our studies: encouragement. My parents never forced us to be in the honor roll; we merely did what we thought was right, what we thought was essential for learning. They never forced us to join competitions or enter school organizations; they simply told us how wonderful and unforgettable it would be to do so.

I believe the cornerstone of excellence lies in Law # 1: Choosing the right choices. As the saying goes, “The choices that we make define who we really are.” Indeed, had I not chosen to join the school paper, I probably wouldn’t have made it this far. Had Isaac Newton not spent time under the apple tree, he probably wouldn’t have discovered gravity at all. Still, had President Arroyo chosen not to run for a second term, FPJ might still be alive; Erap, still in jail; and Noli de Castro, still broadcasting news on TV.

During my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to have been chosen as 5th City Councilor in the Rotary Club’s Boys’ and Girls’ Week Celebration. I was able to pass a resolution authorizing the installation of street lights along three major roads in the district of Molo. However, it wasn’t initially out of a sense of service or debt of honor that I chose to pass such a law; on the contrary, it’s because every time we go home in the evening, we invariably pass by those three roads – and the partial darkness usually makes me nauseous. It was only at a much later time, seeing the wonders of well-lit roads, that I realized the subtle greatness of what I had done.

Which leads me to Law #2: Doing what is right is an excellent choice. You can never go wrong by saying that excellence is not only about choosing the best choice, but also about making that choice work out for the better, for the good of everyone. Mind you, part of the reason I sleep soundly each night is the smug satisfaction of knowing that those street lights continue to illuminate a certain section of Ilonggo suburbia to this very day.

A year after my stint in the Council, I once again tried my luck in the Boys’ and Girls’ Week and was delegated to the position of City Environmental Officer. I found myself relatively isolated from the rest of my fellow student officials, my small office hidden deep in a cramped bus terminal. Just when the seemingly uneventful week was about to end, something unexpected took place. District VII (Arevalo) was going to have its Science and Scouting Encampment, and since my counterpart was in Bangkok at that time, I suddenly found myself filling his shoes as the Guest Speaker for the event.

It dawned on me that opportunity was personally knocking on my door – when all of my fellow officials had none. The challenge this time was to inspire a huge crowd of elementary pupils on the importance of technology, going green, and saving Mother Earth. And yes, the rest is history.

Here goes Law # 3: Making the best out of every choice. It is very, very important that we learn how to adapt to our environment, how to cope with different sorts of situations, how to ride with the varying waves of life itself. Think of it as a three-step battle plan: You begin with a choice. You do what is right. Finally, you make the best out of that choice.

Behind every excellent individual is an equally excellent crowd, in my case, one which has been with me from start to end. First, to the Almighty Father, who establishes the purpose beneath every choice we make, the one reason every one of them is fruitful. To Iloilo Central Commercial High School – a frontier of people who are men of education and of Filipino and Chinese disciplines. To my school principal, Dr. Carmen P. Santos, for her unwavering support in my every endeavor; to my four mathematics mentors who have made numbers a meaningful part of my life: Ms. Janet Escubio, our head teacher, whose fervor and passion exerts a formidable influence; Ms. Sonia Corvera, whose selfless presence provides enough motivation during competitions; Mr. Manuel Kotah, for opening a whole new set of doors to me; and Mr. Roger Antonio Alavata, my wonderful class adviser, whose presence alone deserves loads of thanks. To my school paper advisers, Mr. Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio and Ms. Sybil Agreda, for making my literary journey a truly unforgettable voyage, and for being my constant cheering squad in journalism and public speaking competitions. Most importantly, to Mr. Jose Barcelona, the man who first saw and brought out the public speaker in me. To Ms. Marivic Parcon, Mr. Warren Uy, Mr. Kevin Tan, and all our volunteer teachers from China, for shaping up my command of the Chinese language; to Ms. Novee Yap, who shared with me my first interschool victory (in Spelling) and who has been with me ever since Grade Five; and to Ms. Colleen Bernabe-Cabayao, who has constantly told me to go the distance all throughout high school. To all my 4th Year subject teachers, and to all my teachers in high school and elementary, I wouldn’t be a Most Outstanding Student awardee right now without you. To The Chain, the CAT Unit, my beloved 4th Year Guava and the entire ICCHS Batch 2009, you deserve this award just as much. Lastly, to my family – my parents, who constantly remind me on making the right choice; my cousins, relatives, and grandparents, who were my number one fans in this Search; to my sister, who truly deserves a Most Outstanding Sister award; and to my brother, my own personal portrait of excellence – a million thanks to all of you.

On behalf of my fellow outstanding student awardees, I would like to thank everybody who made this event possible, and everyone who made our awards a reality.

So, can one throw an eraser at a classmate’s head and still end up being “excellent”? Believe me, it doesn’t take a split-second twinkle of an eye, and neither does it appear overnight. Rather, it entails making the right choices, doing what is right, and making the best out of every choice. Once I never seemed destined for such a path, but I chose – and now I know, I chose wisely. Likewise, I encourage you to choose wisely as well. Let the path of excellence be your choice.


For everyone’s information, the internet connection in the downstairs computer wasn’t working, so all my i-net workings were delayed – that’s to say, uploading of pictures and blog posting, among others. But that’s another story.

Anyway, today is April Fool’s Day.

And I’m not generally happy.

I still remember how Sipacio said that we shouldn’t go to Ajuy on April 1 because it’s April Fool’s, and that we might get fooled. Well, the ONLY consolation right now is that it IS good that we’re not in Ajuy, or I guess we’d be drifting somewhere along the vast ocean right now.

Anyhow, the foolishness of the day has so far still managed to make its presence more or less pronounced.

First of all, I woke up at 10:30 to find the DVD that I had sent over to Eli for him to burn Vicky Cristina Barcelona in already lying on the desk in the bedroom. That was kind of a miracle, considering the efficiency of Justin.

Then, when I dasooked the DVD in the player, the movie just happened to be BLURRY!!! Urgh, so I was left with utterly nothing else for the day. Did Eli even check the download?

After that, I took out the laptop, only to find its wiring, adaptor and stuff all turned into one horrid mess, with the wirings untied and the adaptor GONE. Whoever used – or opened – it last has to be one crazy imp – and there are only four possibilities. One of them follows this blog. ☺ And one of them no longer resides in the residence.

So then, I decided to just watch Sex and the City: The Movie… which wasn’t blurry, but armed with distorted audio-visual settings. Thankfully, the sushi part was perfectly fine. (evil snigger)

After watching Sex – … you know, and the City – I went to sleep. Good thing, no one fooled me in my dreams. Then…


Someone brrrrted the “timbre” – an indirect way of saying, “Yo stupid, wake up!!!” Also, the phone rang, and just when I was about to pick it up, it stopped ringing.

Have I mentioned that every single time Mother phoned the house (around twenty times during the day), the cow had the irresistible urge to pick the phone up, even when I’D picked it up?

Anyway, gosh, she picked it up again. Then, Marley entered the room and told me that Harvest was on Channel 17. Wow, something good at last, I thought. But noooooooooooo, there was no Harvest!!! Later on, Momma phoned over and told us that it would run again at 8PM. Apparently, I opened the TV just when it ended.

Finally, the cream of the crop: NO MORE AJUY. Amazing, isn’t it, how plans can just change in the twinkle of an eye. It seemed that, because Marielle ain’t going (though she initially said that she would, but in case something comes up then she wouldn’t, which I told her to ask permission so nothing would come up anymore), the entire Ledesco lot wasn’t going also. Amazing!

April fool’s, how can you do this to me!!! DO YOU REALLY THINK I DESERVE THIS!!!

- crickets -

- silence -

- crickets again –


Happy April Fool’s to you, fool!!!