Tuesday, June 29, 2010



Manila Ocean Park is underrated. Very, very underrated.

It’s actually not as bad as what most people have told me. Perhaps you need to have that love for seeing live animals coursing through your deepest blood vessels to really feel the beauty of the place. People today – especially people my age – would rather go to the mall and proclaim later on how productive they had been throughout the day. I’m not surprised.

Or perhaps it’s exactly because people have warned me that the Park is a waste of time that I enjoyed the trip a lot.



My Form 5 says I have Physics 51.1 for this semester. But frankly my dear, I can’t remember a single one of those lab classes at all – as of now.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Movie Mania

Make me choose between watching a movie and eating out in some fancy restaurant, and I’d most probably choose the former. Okay, so most of the time, I’d choose the former. But hey, I’d rather have an escape, delve into some fantasy world, and emerge enlightened or enraged than stuff myself with all those unnecessary substances that only add up to your waist and bills. Face it, though: As beautiful as some films are (and they are rare), there also exists crap put into reel and marketed as ‘movie’.


For the most part, it’s on the side of the spectrum inhabited by Crying Ladies, Mano Po 2, and Kimmy Dora. But that’s not to say it’s catapulted itself to the top. The opening was rather boring, and too much, I have to say. The child was especially annoying and a dull sheep to watch. They definitely could have gone without the screaming brat. Exposition was generally a drag, mainly because the characters in their original, stereotypical selves are a huge bore.

But Angelica Panganiban as the gay beautician? It worked. Eugene Domingo as the idiotic bride-to-be? Fail. The three other spiritual transpositions pretty much worked themselves up the ladder, but the performances weren’t quite memorable. If you speak Hiligaynon, though, the nanny would certainly have clicked with you. In the first place, one had to transcend the boundary of reality and believe in the fantasy that the story was grounded upon. Fail to do so, and you end up hating the film.


I watched this only because it was cousin-cousin bonding day. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with this shitty piece of metal. Come on, Freddy, they remade your movie into some sort of millennium joke, and you choose to haunt the characters instead?


This one’s a tiny, little, miniscule bit overrated. Like, during the week following its premiere, everyone was going gaga over Persia and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film’s good – since I expected so much worse. Turns out, it ain't as bad as I thought – or maybe because I haven’t watch one of these epic-fantasy films in a long time already. The snake attack part totally won me over, though. I think, for that scene, it deserves to be nominated for a technical award or something. But not for Best Picture, of course. Certainly not for an acting award. I mean, “There must be a reason why you can’t take your eyes off me.” Can there be a more self-insulting line? And couldn’t that woman who played the stupid guardian of the stupid knife thing have said that line in a better way? Well there must be a reason why she made both of them lead actors look like fools in the film.


What a shame. But it somehow came a bit expected. After Shrek 2, we all knew it would take something absolutely brilliant to topple down Fairy Godmother and her cleavage exposure at the ball. Shrek 3 attempted to turn Disney’s princesses into a band where the X-Men meet Charlie’s Angels, but don’t even get me started on Arthur the lame idiot. This final chapter was a bit delightful but did no better.

The main problem with Shrek 4 was that it could not come up with a story that could carry the entire film on its shoulders as Shrek 2 did quite fashionably – the very same problem that I see with Shrek 3. Instead, it had to rely on dancing witches and dancing ogres to make up for a lack of slapstick fun. Also, the makers should have picked a more expansive storyline for an epic ending, if they indeed wanted to make the supposed end epic. But Rumplestiltskin as an evil magician? It just didn’t work for me. The problem here is that while Fairy Godmother and Rapunzel are famous people of the good side, Rumple is already a villain of sorts. So why, in Shrek fashion, should you make a villain a villain? I could go on with the many other things in my list that made Shrek 4 not so fun for me.

At the very least, the Wicked Witch of the West allusions were quite pleasing. Go Elphaba.


What a mess. I came out of the theater, thinking: What the heck was that?!

Because truly, what the heck was that?! What the heck happened to Carrie Bradshaw and her trio of incredible femme fatale friends? And why did they have to go all the way to Abu Dhabi just to show Americans that liberalism isn’t very much in vogue in the Middle East? And wow, the creators somehow managed to make Carrie look more of a horse than usual.

I could say SATC 2 was so gay, and it would not be negative at all. In fact, all this gayness should have helped propel the movie to the top. The wedding was already a nice start (though the “Like a Virgin” dialogue between Carrie and her best friend was quite awkward). Suddenly, you realize that there’s too much exposition. Off they fly to Abu Dhabi. Dot. Dot. Dot. The girls sing I am Woman – WHAT?! They could have easily erased the entire karaoke scene and the film would have survived unscathed. Dot. Dot. Dot. More details, more tears. Then, Samantha breaks down in the market and gets attacked in the most woman-hating scene I’ve ever laid my eyes onscreen. They are then helped by a group of Muslim women – who turn out to be secretly waiting for their turn for Milan and Paris, in the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi. Wow. More crap. Then the movie ends… wait, Samantha does not have an ending. Epic fail.

If you hated SATC 1, don’t watch this anymore, for your own sake. But I have to say, Samantha’s market breakdown was simply classic. She’s actually worth a nomination. In short, she’s part of the so little that makes this film worth it – at all.


I have only three things to say about this film.

First, it’s one of the most sincere, heartfelt films I’ve watched this year. The entire ensemble just bursts of real, quality emotion in every scene. Kudos most especially to Baron Geisler and Vice Ganda for their outstanding supporting performances.

Second, diabetes was the wrong choice of disease to give Coco Martin’s sister in the film. It would have been less of a where-the-heck-did-that-come-from moment if it were leptospirosis, since their house virtually floated on rat-infested water. One of the film’s lowest moments.

Third, it’s a pity Filipinos hardly appreciate these kinds of films. They’d rather line up to watch Prince of Persia and Shrek 4, while I didn’t have to fall in line at all to enter the cinema.


Meryl Streep proves here that she is the greatest film thespian alive today. And why this film was denied a Best Picture nomination in the 1982 Oscars is very, very, very embarrassing for the Academy.


Madonna sucks as Evita. Why did she even win the Globe? Antonio Banderas sucks too, but to a lesser extent. Pity, such a beautiful film lead by not-so-excellent actors.


For a Filipino musical film, it’s already pretty good. But still not as good as I expected. The songs, for one, were not catchy. The opening number was way too much, it seemed awkward already. In fact, this movie's weakest spot is the opening. Let me call it ‘song and dance without soul’. Then, there’s the storyline. So in the end, the war reaches the royal palace, the attackers destroy the palace, and the Sheik’s wife – of all people – gets killed like any normal person? And where the hell was that thing called defense?! Very impressive.

On the brighter side, the acting was quite good. Real good.


This film is now tied with Up for my most favorite Pixar film of all time. “You’re really good at this. Were you classically trained?”

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flies and Freedom

The following editorial on journalism and the rising number of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines was published in the second issue of The Chain 2007-2008, covering August - December 2007, released January 2008 with the theme ‘sensibility’. This piece, along with the editorial of the publication's preceding issue (also penned by the blog moderator), won for The Chain the ‘Best Editorial Page Award’ in the 3rd SanAg Campus Press Awards by the University of San Agustin Publications, February 2008.

Journalists and advocates of truth are dropping dead like flies in this country – and this is not just any country, but one that is globally renowned as Asia’s pioneer of democracy, where freedom of the press and human rights are supposedly given full respect. Since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her seat in Malacanang in 2001, a little over fifty journalists and media men here in the Republic of the Philippines have been violently killed and murdered, and often in broad daylight.

So grim is the case of journalism here in the nation that we have been labeled as the deadliest country for journalists to work in by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders. On the other hand, in the Fifth Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index which surveyed journalistic conditions in 168 countries, the Philippines appallingly only ranked at 142nd, due to the “continuing murders of journalists and increased legal harassment in the form of libel suits” such as those filed by our dear First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo.

In this age of inexorable hostility, perhaps it would be better if we remind ourselves what “journalism” and “freedom of the press” really are all about. As generally defined by dictionaries, journalism is the business of writing for, editing, or publishing periodicals; in a more figurative sense, it is the broadcasting of truth – whether or not one desires it, whether or not one is affected by it, or whether or not one is compelled to do it. And that is the very reason why we have the so-called freedom of the press – the government-given right for organizations and every citizen to write and publish those writings freely and publicly. It is, after all, the business of journalists to tell the truth and to do so unconditionally.

Sadly, exactly the opposite is transpiring within the very lands of this ‘cradle of democracy’. What is worse is the fact that almost all of these killings are left unsolved up to this day. Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has confirmed this truth, saying in a November statement that only one of these killings has seen the conviction of a murderer (a case dealt with in 2006 by a Cebu regional trial court). Even with the government’s Melo Commission and Task Force Usig, we are yet to hear of another person being arrested, convicted of one (or even a number) of these murders, and dumped in prison. And in a recent Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) report, it was revealed that nearly 90% of those killed in the line of duty since 2001 (or the start of the Arroyo administration) were actually exposing graft and corruption.

With a reeking pile of murdered journalists and a CMFR statement exposing what those who were killed were exposing, the rational Filipino already has enough reason to believe that the government has something to do with these unlawful deaths. After all, since when have Malacanang’s and those of its dear sovereign’s actions been productive, or at the very least, helpful enough when it comes to terrorism and extrajudicial killings?

In her speech before the United Nations General Assembly last September, during the height of the crackdown of peaceful protesters and the ruthless killings of monks by the Burmese military junta, President Arroyo called for Burma to return to the path of democracy. She then added that the Philippines is “the most democratic country in our region,” where there is “no tolerance for human rights violations at home and abroad.”

It appears that our President did not realize what she had said. And in that case, she cannot blame Burma for ignoring her appeal to end the violence. After all, whose regime is it that has the highest number of extrajudicial killings in the entire world, more than that of the Marcos dictatorship? In fact, recent surveys and analyses have even linked majority of these killings with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Evidently, the government is doing very little in solving these slayings. Unsurprising, considering that we have a President who seems incapable of doing her job, a First gentleman who continues to be a backstage wealth amasser, a corrupt military, and a crumbling justice system. If our present government and military continue to uphold prejudice and irresponsibility, the death of press freedom and headlines bearing more journalistic killings in this country are already incorporated in our dismal future.

Unless we take immediate action and unite against these evils, the future holds nothing more different compared to what is presently transpiring. Unless we work together in restoring morality in this predominantly Christian nation, we shall continue hearing of the deaths of the innocent and the virtuous. And unless we produce responsible leaders who have the ability to command the respect of the people, and politicians who have the integrity to stand up for what is right, then journalists and advocates of truth will continue dropping dead like flies in this “cradle of democracy.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Piece of Earth

The following article was published in the Features section of The Chain, official student publication of Iloilo Central Commercial High School, third issue for school year 2008-2009, covering November 2008 - March 2009 and released on March 2009, with the theme 'Carpe Diem'. The piece was written by the blog moderator, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Mother died during the war. But that was pretty crazy for the Japanese guy to stick a bayonet through her chest in front of me. I was fifteen then, lying on the grimy, muddy ground. He thought his blow had knocked me out; he didn’t see me coming. I took the gun and shot him at the face.”

If I tell you a little something about my life, you would think I’m exaggerating things. But if you know what life’s like – how cruel, how vindictive – and every crack and trench in between, I’m sure you’ll understand.

I’m the usual rags-to-riches guy, but my story has not been one with the fairytale happy ending – well, not yet. As far as I can say, these past eighty-two years have sure been a roller coaster vortex for me. Pretty, I know.

My father was the clear-cut, no-luxury-whatsoever farmer you’d usually see on television. He owned a piece of land in a relatively flat area somewhere in the quaint settlement of Leon. My grandparents had died due to some tropical disease a few months before my parents tied the knot, so Father was left with the lot. All day long, he would nurture the land, plant all sorts of crops and vegetables he could lay his marble hands on, and make the earth gulp down water as long as the heat wasn’t too strong yet to evaporate it all.

It was in the middle of that land where I grew up. We lived in a small hut made of bamboo and wood. It was in that hut that Mother spent most of her time caring for her children – my sisters and I, born one year after another. As far as I’m concerned, she cooked the best breakfasts ever, as well as the most grandiose lunches and dinners (read: tomatoes, dried fish, rice, potatoes, and many more). At night, her lullabies would have us asleep on the wooden bed a few moments after the melody struck the air.

Anyway, the peasants that we were, my parents still managed to send all their children to school. Everyday, we’d walk with our slippers (or barefoot, as we often felt like it) to the lone wooden building across the river and sit on shaky wooden chairs inside a room that had the sun for light. Stormy days usually meant parents-sisters-brother bonding time at the hut.

I can still vividly remember the day my father left us. It was fiesta season. My father and I had been up early before the sunrise to get some coconuts for cooking, and by dawn, some of the other men had joined us atop the coconut trees by the road. I don’t exactly know how it happened, as my father was a pretty good tree-climber himself. I just heard a low fleeting scream – the next thing I knew, Father was already sprawled on the ground, face down. Then, a coconut fell and landed on the back of his head with a thud. I was thirteen.

The year passed us by in a breeze. Before I knew it, the war had arrived. In our almost inexistent barrio, however, life went on. That’s until one day, a group of Japanese soldiers showed up at our village, banging on every household for food or whatever “mahn-neh” we supposedly had. Things didn’t go quite well with these guys, and soon, quite a number among the villagers had retreated to the mountains to plan an offensive.

One night, I woke up to piercing screaming and a faint orange glow that illuminated the window. The offensive had started without me, it seemed. Almost screaming at the three sleeping women, I half-ran towards the cabinet where, I secretly knew, Father kept his gun. The women were barely awake and I had just stuffed the gun in my trousers’ back pocket, when the door fell with a bang.

We soon found ourselves being dragged by the wrist towards the road by three soldiers, ignorant to my sisters’ screaming and my mother’s pleading. I just bore with them, but behind my frail facade, a plan was in the making. The soldier handling my sisters blatantly hurled them towards the edge of the muddy rice field, where they wept silently. My captor did the same with me. Then, my mother’s captor must have been possessed by the devil. He hit me on the left cheek with the butt of his bayonet. As I fell, he grabbed Mother by the wrist and started groping for…

Mother died during the war. But that was pretty crazy for the Japanese guy to stick a bayonet through her chest in front of me. I was fifteen then, lying on the grimy, muddy ground. He thought his blow had knocked me out; he didn’t see me coming. I took the gun and shot him at the face.

Well, essentially, that’s the story of my younger years. They say that when life hurls a stone at you, throw back a piece of paper. I lost both my parents even before I finished high school, but I did eventually finish high school. After the war, a neighbor who had survived took me and my sisters in. we attended the local high school (reconstructed after the war) and then, stopped.

We were raised with old-fashioned beliefs, but I never gave much space for them in my head. The neighbor, whom we eventually called Tiyang or Auntie, turned out to be a real old hag. She sent my elder sister to Brunei to work as a maid just a week after her graduation. My younger sister ended up as a waitress somewhere in Cebu (I think).

But me… I still think up to this day that Tiyang should thank me for boring holes through her eyes so that she could finally see. It was nightlong shouting. I rebelled, just as she was about to send me to work in the city pier (send my earnings back to her as ‘payment’). Well, I did end up at the pier, but the money that I earned ended up in my pockets.

So fine, rags-to-riches isn’t really the apt description for my life. It’s more of orphan-to-not-so-orphan. In the years that followed, I became a waiter in Cebu, came back to Iloilo and morphed into a small-time carinderia cook, got hired by an affluent family in the city’s Jaro district, found a goddess on a Christmas Eve, married, had a couple of kids, and returned to Leon to reopen and expand my carinderia business.

Life isn’t fair. That’s what many of us have been told. But somehow, the unfairness does make sense. My sisters and I have retired in the province; my children are all in the city leading their own lives. In the most unrelated manner, at least to satisfy your thirst for what has happened, our house stands on the very same piece of land my childhood once lived on. Only this time, it’s no longer just a hut. And there are more people within.

I’ve told you a little something about my life, but I’m sure you do know what life’s like – how cruel, how vindictive – and every crack and trench in between. I’m sure you understand.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Children of Change

Had things gone well enough, this would have been my third and last entry to the Kabataan Essay (English) category of the Palanca Awards. But as fate would have it, this essay was never meant to see the light of the judges’ day. The theme was: What is it in the environment that you can save? Your thoughts would certainly be most welcome.

Not so long ago, I embarked on the most ambitious project I could ever think of as a preschooler: Collect a mountain of candy bar wrappers. But it was not for the sake of a space in one of those Guinness Book of World Records; I was doing it to save the world.

Less than a block from where I used to live, garbage trucks would converge in the late afternoon to pick up sack upon sack of trash accumulated by the neighborhood during the day. The smell alone prevented me from leaving the house, and the only reason people gave me as to why the trucks have to come every single day was that ‘it is a way of making the city cleaner’. Back then, the idea of a five-year-old pioneering a new wave of thinking towards saving the environment was very possible for me.

You see, what’s good about children is that at their age, they have yet to acquire a concrete grasp of impossibility. It’s more than just the mere suspension of disbelief that is put to use during story time; it’s about that staunch determination that they display when they ‘know’ that something can actually happen and be done. It’s that whole-hearted, untainted belief in the ‘everything’s possible’ catchphrase that we see them pour out when they’re up to a task.

It’s this very same conviction in the possibility of things that led me to help save the world, in the first place. At that time, I figured that if cleanliness is all the issue, then by all means should I help along. And save the world it was, wrapper by wrapper. Today, my collection is – as expected – no more. It only took some time before the entire household discovered a miniature candy-wrapper version of Payatas growing right under their noses, and for me to be told that I wasn’t making anything cleaner at all if our house became a dumpsite.

More than a decade since any hope of Payatas replicating in our house was dashed, idealists and go-green advocates the world over are pushing the question all day: In an era where environmental conservation is fast becoming both a cliché and the only hope for man’s survival, what is it exactly can you save in the environment? To this, I can now only give one sensible answer: the ideology of saving the environment itself. While others think that we should all be heading for the mountains to plant trees or the seaside to plant mangroves, this is what I propose instead: a revolution by word-of-mouth to change the general consciousness among the youngest members of society.

It’s not that I have abandoned all hope in building an empire of candy wrappers. But in as much as I’d like to play the role of the idealistic youth, present-day situations demand that I be realistic. Certainly, the power to influence government decisions is beyond me; gathering people to rise in unified action or head to the hinterlands to plant trees is the last thing I’m capable of organizing right now; and planting my very own tree here in the city would only be sending that tree to its death. What I do know, however, is this: Words never fail to work.

Three years ago, I represented my school and gave a talk on environmental consciousness to some five hundred students in a scouting camp. The instant I knew about the task at hand, I was quick to dismiss it as a piece of cake – or the icing, for that matter, since an opportunity of a lifetime had just landed on my feet. The only problem is, my audience was composed of pupils from grades one to three – in short, children. The icing just as quickly melted away.

For indeed, how do you explain to such young kids that every one of us has had a hand in exacerbating the already-devastating floods that swamp the entire city (and cause a suspension of classes) every time some typhoon comes knocking? What exactly is it can you tell someone barely into grade school to do if he wishes to see clearer skies and cleaner seas when he reaches fifty? Or, for that matter, how do you tell someone so young that the only way he is ever going to reach fifty in a healthy state from now on is if he rises in action towards saving nature? By then, the challenge for me had become to convincingly play Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth to people who barely have an inkling as to who he is.

In the thick of delivering my speech, however, I found myself on familiar ground. There once was a time when I used to believe that I’d one day magically sprout wings and be able to fly anywhere I want to. It was that very moment manifesting itself before me in the form of children eagerly listening to what I had to say.

Dr. Jose Rizal – he who exemplifies hope for the Filipinos, as many would like to believe – was all passion and love for country when he said that education is the key to a better nation. The problem is, the less fortunate kids – and there’s an army of them – simply don’t have the opportunity to go to school at all, thanks to the wayward workings of society. And with the more fortunate ones, let’s just say that not all kids of the 21st century were programmed to adore school to the highest degree.

This is the very reason why I believe that words are our best weapons in this battle for a better world. They hit the mark face on, and they transcend the barrier of age. In the ten minutes that I spoke, I realized that the very task itself was simply to talk to the children using the simplest words and most creative explanations. Tell them about global warming, the rapid decline of our environment, and that we need a new bunch of heroes to save the world – for sure, my message would have gotten through.

On a larger picture, words not only transcend age; they transcend boundaries. If every aspiring environmentalist in this country would talk about saving the earth on Facebook or Multiply, or write just one blog post about it, think how much attention it would all generate. Or if we even just bring up the subject of the environment in its barest bones during casual conversations – be it with the jeepney driver, the manicurist, the security guard, or the household helper – think how far the message would be able to travel. Think, then, how these people would talk to their children or grandchildren and forward the message. It’s all a simple matter of talking about environmental consciousness with all honesty to people – and to children.

More than just spreading the word, however, there is a simpler, though very, very trite reason as to why we should reach out to the younger generation: The youth is the future of this country. In about fifty years, this world would be run by an entirely new generation whose actions the present is totally incapable of predicting. This is precisely why passing on the ideology of going green is the most important thing we can do right now. It is about passing on a legacy, a way of thinking, just as every parent teaches his or her child a set of life lessons. More than just the influence, it is about making sure that our present efforts will not be in vain. Best of all, it would mean keeping that flame of hope burning – that someday, all our efforts in preserving the environment will be rewarded and continued.

Our elderly neighbor always complains that the youth nowadays are very, very different from the past. We spend most of our time playing, partying, and spending our allowances on the most mundane things – and I unquestionably agree with him on this point. However, what he fails to realize is that the present is always a product of the past. It is because parents tolerate internet and television addiction that children become hooked to computers and TV screens. It is because adults all around us are smoking, drinking, and doing who-knows-what-else that the youth are also smoking, drinking, and doing who-knows-what-else-could-be-worse. Most importantly, it is because the older generation fails to highlight the importance of environmental consciousness to the youth that only few young people nowadays could care more about it.

A century ago, Rizal and the propagandists used ideology as their sharpest sword for the Philippine Revolution. Today, we are also on the brink of revolution – an environmental one – and I propose ideology to be made our main weapon. We can only depend so much on other people – and even they themselves are not a guarantee for change. The ideology of saving Mother Earth is all around us; it is perhaps the only thing in the environment that ordinary citizens like me can actually save and pass on to the next generation.

After I gave my speech, the young scouts all headed to the nearby plaza for a tree-planting activity. Whether their trees are still in battle with the claws of pollution is something I cannot answer. What I do know is that something in each of them survived: the ideology I passed on – that they, the future generation, have a responsibility towards the environment.

When my ill-fated candy-wrapper collection finally succumbed to its fate, I was left with the notion that saving the earth is not everyone’s business. But if we start telling the younger ones that they need to do their part in saving the earth, maybe we’ll finally see a gradual change in consciousness among generations. Maybe, more and more kids, possibly even with their parents’ support, would start their own collections of candy bar wrappers in the hope of saving the world – or helping do so. Then, maybe people would finally wake up to the fact that saving the earth is everyone’s business – because it really is.

For now, it’s time to talk.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


On Something:

Where I left off, I was supposedly doing something big. That bigness was my failed entry to this year’s Palanca Awards. I will be posting it here (soon) in all its messy and unedited glory.

On Summer Classes:

Therefore, I conclude that P.I. 100 is the second LU I subject that requires no studying. Well, Caringal’s first exam needed a bit of reviewing since there were true or false and compare/contrast items. But overall, it’s probably the least stressful and one of the most enjoyable classes.

As for Math 101, let’s just say that everything is in the mow-dee-yul. As if what we really need in real life can be found in that mow-dee-yul.

On Fort Santiago:

It was my second time in the dead city. Still the same. Except for the millions of pictures. And Ilustrado’s indeed for ilustrados.

On Banahaw:

I’ve always liked the sight of mountains. But this statement is totally irrelevant. We left school at 7 (I was pretty surprised to discover that I was the earliest Imed to arrive). Traffic was simply beautiful, and a fire near the Alabang elites caused a wonderful delay. At 10AM, we were still along the borders of the Metro, stopping in one of those gas-and-food bases. At 12, we were off the SLEX. At 1, we had our lunch at the foot of Mt. Banahaw.

Off we went to the hills. But a trek along dirt road first. The hill-trekking was my third (after Leon’s mountain-walking and Ajuy’s hill-and-stream trekking). Arriving at the top, we were ordered to remove all shoes and socks if we wanted to go to the cave. Yes, the cave. Husgado cave. If we can even call it a cave (well, it caves into the hills, so I guess so). But it didn’t seem like a cave, more like a tortuous tunnel. And yes, no one got stuck.

Next, down a flight of 200 steps to bathe in the holy waters of Banahaw. Up 200 steps again, and dirt road. Lecture started at 5:30 with the Filipino Spiritual Catholic Church. Visited Ciudad Mystica de Dios afterwards, and a short lecture, plus the procession. Started the road trip back to Manila at around 7:30. Stopped for food at around 9. Landed at UPM, est. 11:40.

P.S. Aragon really rocks.

On turning 18:

It’s probably the grandest party Imed 2016’s ever had (no offense, Trish, yours was grand too, but in a different way). McDo Kiddie Party. The perfect way to end LU I life. The perfect way to turn 18 (it was my first time to celebrate in one of those fast-food chains). The best part was: Almost everyone did not know where the ‘party’ was to be! A grand surprise, in short.

On the vacation:

May 22: Went to the wedding, and we all know what happened afterwards. Watched Into the Woods (the 1991 telecast)

May 23: Watched Here Comes the Bride. It started off lousy (the child in particular was just annoying and over the top). It ended great, which makes it one of those atypical Pinoy movies that start bad and end good. Angelica Panganiban for the win.

May 24: Yangkee and Guama time. Glee.

May 25: The Yearbook day. Yes, our former adviser had abandoned us. Finally had a dummy. We’re pretty much behind schedule, but no one can say it’s entirely OUR fault. Plus donuts. Glee.

May 26: Cousin Day. HK Kitchen (I don’t know why my grandma loves the place). Nightmare on Elm Street – a stupid, stupid movie. Sundae. Glee. The grand Grand Pooba blow up.

May 27: Finished the entire season one part one of Glee. ‘Cause you keep me hangin’ on.

May 28: Guimaras Day. Raymen’s. Pawikan. Baras Cave. Snorkeling. SEAFDEC.

May 29: The mini-reunion. Uncle Tom’s. Prince of Persia. Smallville. “Dai, buligi man ko di bi, bug-at mo!” “Bea, ngaa wala ka ya naka-pink haw?” Shrek 4 in 3D.

May 30: Boring day. Little to no productivity. Finished season two of House.

May 31: Yearbook day, part deux. And haircut. Rediscovered my 4th year English class journal (posting some of the content soon). Watched The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson’s). Not as good as I expected.

On the FOP:

That Cebu Pacific check-in counter attendant whose father had just called gave me 27F instead of 19D. Thus ensued a riot. I have to say, the FOP was rather messy. But I now have a lower-year buddy. And as of now, I’m still not enrolled. Oh happy day.


Welcome me back.

So for the first time, I left a month barren. But May was so eventful that, I think, it did not even notice my absence. Probably, it was off frolicking with the flowers all day.

It’s June already (if it isn’t obvious enough). So no more questions, and time to shut the door.