Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Filling in the kid in me and sharing my idealism

It was a fruitful December. I had the chance to celebrate a Christmas Party with the children of Virlanie Foundation together with my batch mates from the Ayala Young Leader's Network.

I don't know with my friends but some of the pictures are prophetic I think... (hehehehe.. batchmates please judge!)

We had fun teaching the kids about hygiene and proper manners. We also had fun eating with the little ones who will hug you really tight like koala bears never wish to let go of a eucalyptus branch. The others were simply too curious to know what is inside the loot bags that we are giving away- only to find out that there aren't any chocolates inside! Thanks to Noe, we filled them with unilever products! hahahaha. Although, we also gave them what will truly make them smile- yes! Chocolates, candies, books and other Christmas surprises!

The party is not all about frolicking. It is very special to me as I saw once again the importance of being young and hanging on to idealism. As long as there are people out there who will not give up on their dreams for a better world, there will always be something that is worth hoping and fighting for.

Monday, February 16, 2009

swollen guilt

It will be redundant to forlorn and unnecessary at best to feel this way in this very important month of the year. It is February. The month of Love ( yucks) and of course it's the month of my birthday. To feel any emotion that will make me otherwise productive is not inborn though. It is a choice. A disposition.

I have always believed that I am capable. Praises exalted to my presence although unsolicited naturally became a self expectation( naks!) in every moment possible- and I have learned to love it. Not only are they affirmation of what I can do but it is likewise a message and a call for me to do what must be done acquiesce to what I know I am capable of doing.

But despite the will to rise I have always found myself wanting. An inch lacking in thought, perseverance and determination. Maybe perhaps it's because of my complacency- my comfortability. That is to lay confidence over every single plain compliment I receive. Although I deserve them as I am inherently born with so many things to share, I have always procrastinated in utilizing them completely. In being a professional, an aspiring writer, a leader, a student, a son, a debater and a lover I have been careless in knowing how much and how little I should give. These miscalculated acts that I did brought about no less than the consumption of myself. It is such a weakness to rant about erstwhile personal felonies but I should do more of it often and enjoy the guilt that I deserve.

Nonetheless tomorrow, I will wake up still blessed with all the hope and luck that the world can give. I pray that I be guided with wisdom and fortitude to endure. So that, any day will be made to more than just another yesterday that is lost and forgotten because it did not bore seeds that can create bloom for tomorrow-to survive for there will always be reason to live.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Malayong Anino

4 Enero 2009
Pinagod ko ang sarili ko sa pag-iisip
Sa paglunod ng mga hindi mawaring gunita
ng aking naaubuson ulirat.
Dinala ko ang bigat ng daigdig
Hanggang ako'y lumutang at makaidlip

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Heaven Sent

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

After a conversation with a friend that has been long overdue, I was reminded of several exchange of txt messages that I have had with some people last week. Among a few of the ones that I remembered went as follows:

Mr. C: " Bok, Ms. A has abandoned me...= /

Ms. A:" Hay naku Bok, this is something that I really don't want to talk about right now, but I appreciate your concern."

Ms. A: " Sad ako, tinxt ko siya pero parang casual lang and its like never the same again..."

Ms. L: " Look Bok, Alam mo na ang laki ng tampo ko. I thought we are those few people whose friendship will remain strong... Magmula ng magkaayos sila ni Mr. J, he has ignored me..."

( Not exactly the txt messages ayt. But its the best that I can remeber as I have to clear my phone with the millions of txt messages that I recieve everyday.)

What caught me was the common theme that all of these messages contain. They are all about friends and how things did not exactly went right in the proper course of their respective relationships. My melodramatic personality just can't simply resist the effect of these things to my vulnerable, fragile and emotional chemistry. Why not? These people are close and special to me. They told me these qualms in confidence and I cannot do anything less in emphatizing with them. I feel their sadness and frustrations. Even if some of their problems doesn't concern me, I feel how it is to be in their shoes as I have had my own share of misunderstandings with friends. Some of these friendships, well, I was able to salvage and are still alive even if it took us forever to reconcile, the others are jettisoned not because I chose it as an option but due to some other circumstances. They are now vivid parts of memory lane that I still hold as they were agents of my growth.

It really hurts me when things go wrong with friends. I consider these people as God's angels to witness my life while I spoil it on earth. They help you heal when you are hurt and they guide you to be safe. They do not leave you even if they are not physically felt. They are strongholds next to God against a bad love life, misunderstanding parents, failing grades and more. Your bonds with them keep you young. Friendship is about the meaningful moments shared worth keeping and coming back to and not the frequency of meeting. Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave and impossible to forget.

To Mr. C and Ms. A, I hope you salvage your friendship. You are obviously in a conundrum that I know will make you stronger persons as friends. Put the puzzle pieces together and I hope you see how special you are to each other- as if your messages to me is not enough apparent reality that proves it. Stop missing each other and enough with the deafening silence and enigmatic stares. It only makes me miss the two of you more.Hehehehe

To Ms. L, I am here and you know that. Friendships should makes us stronger individually as we cannot always be present for each other. Be courageous to face your problems and stop hiding behind your excuses. Abandoning you is the last thing that I will ever do to you. My silence is deep but there you will find me. I am your angel.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Aging Younger

I have always been considered mature than most of my age. I don't know if this is something that is inherent from my birth. One is quite certain. I am a product of my environment and whatever inherent capabilities that people find unique in me, these are by products of the world that I live in. A perfect symbiosis of variables to create the ideal person with whom people relate with as Voltaire.

My idealism is a result of a lot of things that I have endured and surpassed. As I grew older, I realize the potential that is given to me- to see things more than what they are. Henceforth, I am the Voltaire that my school, family and community have. This is premised with what Karl Marx said about history. Our history is a history of struggle. Our lives therefore is all about struggle and it is a cycle that is undeniable. Problems arise and as humans we live up to being cerebral managing to conquer odds that were once unconquerable. The geniusness that is humanity always persists both to its own advantage and disadvantage. I live in constant struggle and so does everyone else. What makes me unique is the resolve to challenge and simply not be victimized by the untowardness of this cycle. To remain moot.

But despite this personal resolve, I can't deny that reality is far too harsh than what my idealism can sustain. I feel alone and sad that more people like myself, young and august, are slowly being eaten up by this monstrosity. I surely cannot blame them. When the clarion's call for the game of survival begins, all wants to be in the safer side. This is not at all cowardice. While most of them stand to fight, some are just to tired to continue on.Is this the right instinct if we are already talking of one's survival?Can people not manage to become bigger than this odd?

After the dusk has settled I know that there is still hope and this is what I am holding on. I hope to be able to live my dream and I am going to take risks. This hope is always worth fighting for. This is the hope that more people like me still exists. This is the hope that younger people like myself will not give up in building a society where we can all live in harmony and prosperity. This is the hope that we will not stop in becoming vigilant and wise in our times. This is the hope that people will not loose that idealism which makes us all young. This is the hope that someday I will realize my dreams and emancipate myself with the person that I love.

Voltaire of France has done well in holding on to this hope- giving impetus to the French Revolution and liberated the estates from the monarchy. I am not in anyways comparable to him except for the name that we both have, an accident cause by my parents naming me after him. However existence is not an accident. I am blessed with so many things - this is not chance alone. Hope is what keeps me alive and so shall it remain until I breath no more.

A new Candide at hand.

To whom much is given, much is expected in return.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I am not perfect myself and when it comes to becoming a friend, I can suck at it big time. And for my shortcomings I am sorry.
You have considered me as a mentor and once called me kuya. I was proud to have a sister in your person. I always believed that there is a great force that makes things happen and meeting you is by no means an acident. It was already written before us- all that we need to do is to decide and choose. I relate to our kinships since we are so similar in so many ways. Most important of which is our lack of attention as we know that we deserve so much from the world that is both cruel and uncouth.
Sheer admiration turned into more than what was called for. Before we knew it we were caugth up in a chase like cat and mouse. You are simply a fighter and I admire you for being so empowered. However, not all things are meant to be more than what they already are. My heart can't simply be the one that will compliment the huge emptiness that you have. Nonetheless, we are glad to have met and we became friends and I am happy with that.
I apologize for not having the courage to say out what I truly felt. All that I know is that we needed each other as that is what friends are for. I understand and I exhausted all of myself to emphatize with you in your lowest. Despite all of my efforts, I guess everything is futile since most decisions should me made alone. I understood you very well and yet you doubted my friendship. This made my patience grow weak as I myself is in need of understanding- especially from you who almost thought knew me well. I was there tolerating you at your most untolerable and I will still be there- just don't know when again.
You are still my friend- but I guess we need more space to breathe and grow up alone. The force that made us meet will once again make our paths cross someday- this I believe. I have faith that I have mentored you enough and that ours is a strong bond that transcends time and distance.
I am sorry for sucking big time. I hope you can forgive me.

Walls of Memories and Meaning

"It’s an invariable reminder that there is life among the ancient memories of home and no matter how life and fate decides for us- ours is the freedom to find meaning and worth in places both old and new."

My earliest memories of Plaza Lawton are of endless lines of busses in an empty murky lot beside the long century old walls and the sight of ubiquitous commuters- waiting anxiously for their turn to hop in the bus that will take them to their home towns. My family and I were among those seas of people under the scorching heat of the April sun. On board the buses are endless exchanges of salutations and pleasantries among the town folks eager to find even the slimmest chance of being related with each other- an old maid aunt who owns a hectare of land where they all played or even the demonized principal of the Provincial National High School were they all attended. Amidst the loud rows of seated people are vendors making its way to the bus’s narrow aisle made even narrower with the sorties of bags and loots that line the pathway. Name it, the vendors have it- from DC apples from the States to the daily and the meager priced comics that is sold by the lot, to medicines, quail eggs, canned biscuits and medicines.

But my mind was fixated not on the journey that will take forever to complete or the chaotic scene. Outside the window, I am marveling at the sight of the wall that seems to keep us out from what is behind it. Its rough pavement and unequal fixings speaks of decades that it has endured. Even longer than the forever that my young mind had imagined our trip would take.

Intramuros. I would later find out about the majestic wall in my History subjects, fieldtrips and fun walks during my scouting days. More majestic are the structures and buildings of this city, concealed behind the ever imposing walls. They brought me back in time and I was ever vicarious in learning and understanding about my past and how my present is an amalgam of stories made real because of this city behind this fortifications. Occasional visits made me appreciate it more. Although I’ve grown to have this interest in all things that are old, I will not frequent the place since it’s quite far from where I live. Not until today.

Having relocated to a new residence in downtown Manila, I became more avid in appreciating Intramuros and its walls. And so did my friends who accompany me during the most flicking moments of living in the overwhelming reality that life has brought us. There is more to Intramuros than the strong walls that have survived centuries. Beneath it and in every corner of the walls breathes life and colorful idiosyncrasies that you’ll learn to appreciate and eventually love with every visit that you make.

We enjoy the abundance of street foods sold in kiosks that are everywhere like mushrooms sprouting amidst the Spanish inspired concrete homes. Foods that is good yet cheap- affordable to the whims of youngsters that frequent the place. We enjoy feasting over sorts of delicacies such as kikiam, fishballs, green mangoes with bagoong, fried siomai, the perennial taho and soft drinks. Unorthodox is our pairing of these foods over a serving of chilled latte sold at the more posh coffee shops in the area. What makes the dinning special is not the charm of it being pedestrian. On top of the wide ledges of the wall, we sit in circles and exchange pleasantries- enjoying the comfort that the bulwarks offer. We are not alone of course. There are the ever romantic lovers, the other group of students from the nearby schools and some soul searchers who simply stare at the vast trimmed carpet Bermuda where golfers tee. Along the dark corners are etched markings and writings of obscure characters and features. Some are poetry of lovers, immortalizing their hidden romance. Others are simply nuisances of people taking advantage of the wide wall as if it’s a gigantic life size canvass where they find attention while concealing their identities.

All of these and the rustic appeal of Intramuros have made us love the place. These are my new memories of the plaza. Not only does its fame makes it a place to visit. It’s an invariable reminder that there is life among the ancient memories of home and no matter how life and fate decide for us- ours is the freedom to find meaning and worth in places both old and new.