Tuesday, June 26, 2007

gravel by the bend

The littlest things imprinted in our minds serve as our sources of poignant nostalgia.

These memories may bring a twitch of smile or even guilt on my face. For example, I remember one sun-drenched day at the age of four when I built stunted castles out of a pile of multicolored Legos in our garden, and at the same age I was rummaging inside a drawer for some flavored drink. I also see myself on another memory, at the age of five, that I was all wet from tears, sweat, and melting chocolate ice cream in my cousin’s house. I think there was a time too wherein all of my brothers and sisters stared in awestruck wonder at me, backed with my father, after I threw a rock at the face of my beloved mother and cut open her upper left eyebrow, blood flowing towards her chin. The transition from an innocent four year old to a five year old monster is appalling. That event is indelible within me, but sources and some fragments of this memory are hazy to act as true. Yet, I still tremble at what I did.

But there is one particular scene, though undeniably childish to the very core, I think I can graphically recount very effectively.

The tarmac is buzzing with noise coming from this gargantuan metal-bird. It is the usual airplane. Philippine Airlines and Asia Pacific are the most frequent visitors in our city’s port. A city airport that is just a stone’s throw away from our school. The plane motors’ deafening noise in the airport become our early morning anthem after the nationalistic song of praise.

It is always like that. Every day we are silent whenever the plane finally takes off the runway. Well, so much for that. The point of the transportation’s mentioning is that it is a kind of alarm when we, Grade 1 students, go out of the classroom and run as fast as we can for the playground. When the plane goes away: it is Recess Time!

The monkey bars, swings, slide, and seesaws—these are our great objects of fascination. Freshly released from our kindergarten years, stuck inside a colorful cell of crayons, posters, cards, large block of chairs and sweet-sounding school teachers, the urgency of finally meeting the Outside Grounds in full 25-minutes without any nagging yaya spell freedom for us. We are ecstatic birds flying towards the greater heights of the skies. But the difference is that we keep on running, not flying (but if provided with wings, we may as well fly). And on that momentous day, meeting once again my kinder-friends along with some new children, we have decided playing the game Tag. It is every little boy’s game.

“One, two three… run!”

That is how we do it. The child who is unfortunately chosen, through a silly series of chanting, as the one and only “It,” will have to give us three seconds to run before he could chase us. But the unsuspecting me doesn’t notice my shoelaces untied! My, you could only imagine how I step on one of the two black strings—and in full rush of adrenaline to run—fall flat on all fours instead. I am caught.

I am now the It.

How I just hate it to become the It; you being the chaser and your sniggering classmates as the fast-running chasees! But hey, there is a bit of satisfaction when I become an It: I am a fast runner, too. And I can attest to this that when the original It tags me, the children involve get into a frenzy.

“Argh! Si Jordan!”
“Tago nalang tah—”

I am the proudest chaser. The proudest It. The accident caused by untied shoelaces doesn’t dampen my spirits and aim of catching one first grader. Call me a savage, but I am determined.

I should present a roar to add sheer effect of power, but what comes out is a sharp wail of a six year old Grace Christian School student. And there’s this one chubby little boy who I really love to catch and laugh at in a hysterical fashion. His name is Bruce. And being one of the amply-sized characters in the game, he becomes my first target.

Around the playground, inside the canteen, at the multi-purpose gymnasium, inside classrooms, and even on lawns where signs of “Keep off the Grass” on thin plywood are staked, the possibilities of where to run to are endless. All these places I am greatly at ease and familiar with. Chasing Bruce anywhere has never been this fun and exciting. Until—

Crash. The sudden contact of exposed skin and rough stones make white spots on my eyes, blinding and paralyzing me for a few seconds as pain continue to sting my whole body. I drop and roll like a ball.

It happens this way: I am in a gleeful state when I am about to catch Bruce who is inches away from me. Unexpectedly, he turns left from our school’s main office, like a professional, which then leaves me catching only air. Unable to stop, no matter how mightily I try steering to the left, my feet fail me when I step on this pile of gravel by the bend of the office.

And from that ferocious velocity I acquire from determined running, that accident is inevitable. A few days after that comical episode, I get reddish-purple spots strategically scattered on my body which I amusedly discover that they rhyme with the name of the child I was chasing. Bruise.

Again, I say I am the proudest chaser. The proudest It. Though untied shoelaces and gravel topple me when I am on the go, these don’t dampen my spirits and aim of catching one first grader. Call me a savage but I am only a child.

I get up brushing gray dust off my shirt and pants. And upon seeing Bruce with a hint of smile on his face, I laugh and he laughs. He runs and I follow. He runs fast and I continue to run much faster.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

in a poetry class

After my bout of Sillliman University’s goal of holistic learning to be instilled in all of its students, of which I took up classes in Physics, Biology and Chemistry though I’m majoring in English, at long last all of my subjects this semester deals with literature.

Literature is my darling but I must admit I lacked enough information of the classics. Though I may be caught off guard with that actuality, I must live to love it. Enthusiasm and appreciation for it is in a disturbing decline these days.

And one specific subject I enjoyed hours ago was Literature 41 – Tradition of Poetry. And who better to discuss and impart knowledge to us such sophisticated subject? But of course that will be Cesar Ruiz Aquino; the person who have been dedicated with countless written stories and poems by prominent young (and old) writers.

Despite stories surrounding upon this guy, from dropping grades and near-silly habits, I forgot the tales altogether since he is Cesar Ruiz Aquino facing before you. It is not everyday you get to see both a great writer and critic, unless of course, you are his shadow or conscience.

Well, I’ll end up to this point but I’ll leave you with some interesting tidbits I got from him:

1) In epic times, people are not afraid to boast. That’s why heroes in epic poetry tend to outdo and speak up confidently to their deserved adversary. Before the belief of God, life runs with faith only in Physical Strength and Courage.

2) In the real book written by Homer, Achilles lived till the end of the tale. He was not really killed with any arrow and the like, hitting in his heels or whatsoever. That heel-concept was actually taken from narrative myths that were way older than the author’s time.

3) Though not yet fully proven but most likely to be, the first roots of poetry is magic; magic to heal and to correct. Known as “Incantations,” one specific kind of poetry has an equivalent specific ailment that would serve as a remedy.

4) What makes a poem a poem is not because it is a product of intellect. According to the Greeks, the function of poetry is to teach, to enlighten, to elevate, at the same time to make you wiser, and it must be prized for it.

5) We have read some of Plato’s living written works and it do sound very arty and even poetic, but the irony is he banished poetry, in the republic, in his time. He even burned all of his poems when he decided to be a philosopher.

and much more...

Monday, June 11, 2007

in dependence, in tenable

This is the day of celebration of our nation’s sovereign from any foreign grasp, free of various oppressions. It is the day of Filipino independence.

But on this particular day, there’s a different issue on this notion of independence, something that disrupted the following hours this morning. It is the issue, instead, of being dependent and the practice of always being tenable.

Ever since I have always been depending on my inner positivistic ideas, though I could be very pessimistic in dark times, blind of what’s next to come and of dead-ends ahead. And this is one of the biggest weaknesses that flow in my veins. What I usually think is that when I get into this, I really do get that whatever happens—which unsurprisingly doesn’t happen and leave me wide-eyed of shock and wonder then later transforms into a gnawing depression.

And yes, that’s what in me currently. And the bad thing is I don’t know when this cold feeling would ebb away. Being very dependent on my perceptions and feeling that I should be maintained, defended, held, or even contained into a certain shell of fortification at all times by someone or something else aside from my efforts may sound like great strength and confidence heightened in unreachable degrees but, really, the consequences are awful.

It is like you keep on expecting, and at the same time keeping other people’s belief that you could really attain your objective, and in just a matter of seconds (a text message, perhaps) all possibilities trickle down from your grip like ice-cold water; stinging and flowing.

Sorry for putting up another schmaltzy post in this blog but I just couldn’t help it. I kept on asking this to myself after I learned a bad news last March, “Why disappointments are continuously pouring in?”

And at this point, I think I should revise that query: “When would these disappointments stop pouring in?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

frog meets frog part 2

1:25 in the morning (I have a flair for mentioning times) and I woke up to some undeniable movements near my feet. There was no mistaking too that the thing was cold.

The frog that attacked me last night was back again—with a vengeance. The thing just woke me up, which seemed like very irate at that time too, and I’m very sure it’s the same frog! Hiding desperately, I pulled the blanket away and there it came hopping for escape but, too bad, actually there’s no room for a break out.

Once again, I let him be. I went to my mum’s room and slept in there. And I cannot explain to you this phenomena of frogs getting in your bedrooms. It is just so engimatic. Ha ha!

Frogs are friends! Yeah!

a hundred

My oh my! It’s my 100th post!

Bullfrogs, I never expect this to happen… I just thought my writing-feeling will eventually fade away after a few weeks’ shots.

I started filling this blog, clash of the bull and the frog, last August 2006 with anything that would satisfy my fancy. Until this blog consists of my poems, my articles from the Weekly Sillimanian, works of arts, this slowly took shape into a very very personal kind of blog. Though personal as it may seem, there are some things I just can’t post here. You have to be responsible for your actions so discipline in blogging is very crucial.

Let’s say, blogging makes you practice on what’s supposed to be public or not.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

frog meets frog

I can’t forget last night’s incident.

At exactly 1:05 in the morning in my bedroom, when I was reading June issue of Reader’s Digest sitting on my bed and leaning against the wall, a very unusual close encounter took place.

A frog suddenly hopped by my side.

Close acquaintances by now may have known that I do have some penchant for frogs and anything frog-like; from branding my very own curse with “bullfrogs” to identifying people whom I want to mock as with the same word. One may think I could live in a pool swimming with hundreds of this amphibian. But, heck, no.

I was truly astonished that time: face to face, eye to eye, him small (I think it was a ‘him’) and me big, him shiny and me dull, him leafy green and me lightly browned, him by the side of my bed and me by edge of my bed. It was good that plans of kissing the thing didn’t occur in my head.

It was really both breath-taking and scary. You may never know it’s an alien disguised as a tree frog! And who could have ever thought of a frog on one’s bed at dawn?! It even hopped towards me, but I was able to move away before his clammy wet being touched me and thus, trespassing total private property. He took over my pillow!

‘Know what I did? My child instincts got a little younger; I went to my mother’s bedroom and slept there the whole night after taking these pictures with my phone.

My mother woke up by my fitted laughter and movements in her bed. She asked what I was doing there, I just told her this: “Ma, naay baki sa ako katre. He he he.” Well, I don’t want that frog to be thrown away, let him experience that once in a blue moon comfort of a bed rather than a bark.

Go ahead, laugh.

Friday, June 08, 2007

my sister is now a doctor!

When I had my own trouble with my set of teeth, dealing them with my dentist this summer, my sister on the other hand sweated through the month of May taking up the theory and practical board exams to become a dentist. And just this morning the results finally came, and voila!, my sister just became an official dentist.

Now she can already thoroughly deal my teeth. Yay!

Out of 802 who reviewed, only 264 of them passed! And to think of it my sister, Merry Sharon Carnice-Diabo, was just some little more points away to be listed on the Top Ten! Now that’s a feat.

Well, here’s the rest of the good news from Manila Bulletin Online.

* * *

264 pass licensure exam for dentists

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced yesterday that 264 out of 802 passed the dentist licensure examination given by the Board of Dentistry in Manila this month.

The successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest places are Maria Jacinta Rosario Hernandez Romero of the University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila who got a rating of 83.79 percent; Sharie Ivy Liao Tan of Centro Escolar University (CEU)-Manila, with 83.58 percent rating; Joanna Joy Ngo Chiu, UP-Manila, 83.45 percent; Jedrek Lenci Sy Ho, CEU-Manila, 83.01 percent; Liezl Diana Tam Guong,CEU-Manila, 82.85 percent; Sheila Anne Ducusin Leonor, UP-Manila, 82.84 percent; Ryan Salvacion Soriano, CEU-Manila, 82.84; Irene Maye Dumlao Rodriguez, UP-Manila, 82.42; Clarence Clair Christina Kalimpo Ngo, CEU-Manila, 81.99; Karla Patricia Buenaventura Camello, UP-Manila, 81.79; and John Michael Torres Ramirez, University of the East-Manila, 81.60.

On the Board of Dentistry are Dr. Maria Teresa De Jesus-Amador, chairman, and Dr. Rosita Canlas-Nisce and Dr. Norma Reyes-Ayap, members.

The oath-taking ceremony of the successful examinees in the said examination as well as the previous ones who have not taken their Oath of Professional will be held before the Board on Monday, July 9, at 1 p.m. at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, CCP Complex, Pasay City.

Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

Registration for membership with the Philippine Dental Association will start on Monday, June 18.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

a personal art festival

It is a fact that I had complained a lot of things regarding my two-month break away from campus activities. If I could inscribe the trite elementary essay with the theme “How I spend my Summer Vacation,” it will generally contain grievances and non-wholesome vivid descriptions on how to combat the stress.

And to maneuver my mind away from doing any more foolishness, it was a good thing that the good sensible person of me got into something, let’s say, arty. Because of my recently concluded stagnation in my home, where the cycle of sleep-eat-television-internet-sleep was the fad, I filled up my time painting and sketching that at some point relieved my boredom a bit.

As of June 6, 2007, I have done 11 starving works in the world of visual arts. And here are some of the products of those long lazy days (hmm, I cut the images into pieces for this post; I don’t want anyone to copy the whole thing if someone would even dare).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

black prose

Writing at the back of your hands
or at the front of your wrists
stings the skin
that forever labors
love, faith and hope.

But your desires
written in sentences or in paragraphs
with thick ink that
swelters your wisdom connotes
lust, foolishness and hatred.

If you can then write it
on paper, floor, or anywhere you want
the skin that forever labors
love, faith and hope
will be void of the sting,
clear of a dark crusty veneer
of the darkest black.

* * *

The title of the poem haunted me for three straight nights and kept me awake even up to two o’clock at dawn. Starting from May 21, those two words (‘black’ and ‘prose’) rang in my mind like an unbearable sin trying to burst out of me. And finally at the dawn of May 31 I got up from bed, turned on the lights, and took my yellow booklet and pencil by my bedside and wrote this piece of work.

It was just mysterious that after I wrote this poem in a mildly dazed way, on the following nights, I slept well without the usual nocturnal disturbances.

Monday, June 04, 2007

enrolment deluxe

Just to get ahead of the rest you boost yourself up with a quick shower at 5 o’clock in the morning and dash off to the nearest 24-hour fastfood chain, and as you are nearing your destination, surprise! surprise!, the line of early birds on steel chairs at the Business and Finance building is truly an amazing display of determination.

Why, I woke up with colds at five and yet someone got the first cold seat of the area before lending his tuition fee to the university’s cold accountants! Looking at the bright side, which I think was the left side, I got a number tab purposely reminding me when to approach the Window: number 13—very lucky indeed.

The enrolment system of Silliman University is refreshingly new to most of the students in campus, including me, thus the sense of ignorance drifting on the balmy air this morning with the acacia shades helpless in shading the weary is truly unmistakable. Everyone seems to have furrowed eyebrows, questioning eyes, and annoying complaints.

As what
Jan Alistair Villegas puts it, the university’s latest offering is like a failed imitation of a systematic, organized, and computer-based enrolment process of the International Christian University (ICU) at Japan. If our enrolment lasts for a week, there a one-day dilemma of transactions is possible!

And the Computer Center’s (CC) electronic program on viewing and checking your account on a personal computer is a faulty. The relay of updates from the Business and Finance to CC is very slow, if not totally ineffective.

It was like the holy ground of Information Technology and Computer Sciences, the Uytengsu Building or CC, was transformed into a whole marketplace of confusion and stuttering statements from “supposedly” expert student volunteers.

Dissemination of information was not properly done. Even some teachers didn’t know what was the right thing to be done which made the students walk away and did what they think was right though what was in their heads were wrong. They were usually directed from one place to another until their soles cried defeat. Tip: wear comfortable footwear when enrolling at Silliman University.

With all these rants spilling from my mouth, to the keyboard, and to the World Wide Web, and to all who cared to read, guilt chill my insides. Well, not all things start out fine. Beginner’s luck is indeed inevitable.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

interactively dull

Online writing will be back soon, hopefully. There are just some moments wherein you are deprived of something and there’s nothing you can do. And look at this journal, gaps from one post to another are getting lengthier each day!

I am just up to this point, bye.