Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Lesson From Nature

It all seemed to be a typical Tuesday afternoon at first, but as soon as I realized that there isn’t any scheduled homework to do or lesson to understand, I realized that this is no typical Tuesday.

Tuesday, for Rhaingel the student, marks the official start of the week. During this day, I usually see myself getting ready for a busy week. Now is different. Since it is my vacation, I decided to do something different: to try to understand the pleasure my mom sees on gardening.

We don’t have a huge backyard to plant on. My mom keeps her plants in pots and puts them on our balcony for everyone to see. At first, I don’t know what drives her to water those plants regularly and even bought more for her to take care. I thought that the stress my sister and I are giving her is still tolerable for her so she resulted to buying potted plants and flowers. Eventually, those flowers bloomed and the plants got healthier… and my mom is happier more than ever.

I first volunteered to water her plants one afternoon, just last week. It was also the week when my mom is busy with her works and other stuff that concerns our family. So I thought that it was the perfect timing and somehow, it was. Days passed by and I became more idle and everyone just seemed to be busier. So chores are on me. I continued watering the plants but because the past days are very boring that they drive me really insane, I decided to do additional work and try to apply what I learned in my Home Economics classes. I tried to find the shovel and rake but the rake won’t show up. So I just used the shovel to “play” on the soil – to bury the withered leaves I just finished picking up and allow the plant to finally breathe on its roots. I got so many scratches, particularly on the thorny stems of the flowers, but I felt that I am part of the nature and the nature is a part of me, a very special one.

I found peace - or should I say, simplicity, the one which I always take for granted thinking that life in the city with the street lights and air pollution makes me grow. Then I saw the flowers budding, starting to bloom, and beginning to wave hello to the world which is often too complicated for such a delicate petal. After I saw how magically the elements of the earth nourishes something magnificent, I forgot all the scratches from those thorns, for they are nothing compared to the beauty of this planet. How I wish that my mom saw all her hard work for those plants. It will surely make her happy.

A part of me wishes that it’s vacation forever. I am thankful and privileged for the knowledge that I do receive everyday but at some point, it changes me into someone sophisticated, someone who is not originally me. I guess a vacation doesn’t just mean a rest from school works but can also mean a rest from that someone you are pushed to be and allows you to see the beauty of that someone you used to be, originally and without all the pressure and chaos that shapes a person, eventually.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Three days of my almost three-week vacation just slipped by so easily, so swiftly, like sand on a child’s little hands. It still feels like I will be having an examination soon and I am just playing around so as to avoid too much pressure. It doesn’t feel like a normal vacation yet but I am so glad that my body is getting familiar to the new tentative schedule I have for myself – sleeping, eating, playing badminton and reading pocketbooks I received during my birthday.

The first three days was spent under pillows, rendering me a longer time to get some sleep and vivid dreams. Oh, how buoyant it is to finally have the rest and refuge that was not given to me for so long! No words can describe how perfect it is to wake up late with the sun already silhouetting the tallest of houses on our place, while I silently smile with the thought of my last dream. During mornings, on the other hand, the most productive thing that I am able to do is to read some novels which magnificence was always deprived of me during school days. Indeed, I am so excited to jail myself in between those words I really found interesting and most of the time, inspiring. Sometimes, beautiful stories can wait but an examination tomorrow causes all the hurry. It’s inevitable to sacrifice some of passion for a better future. Now, I am putting all those passion on the top of my list to accomplish.

This semester break, so far, is the most exciting one in a sense that I feel bored but still able to do what pleases me and what pleases the others too (i.e., watering my mother’s plants or enhancing photographs of others who already lost their voices in begging me please). How I wish that this won’t end yet... for I am glad that I am pleasing as many people as I want. It is such an uplifting feeling to try to be a blessing to others and to help them as much as I can. Unlike the other semester breaks I had, this one is not depressing and not wasted. I see each day as a unique and special one that is vital to redirect me for the upcoming semester, which seems like a very challenging one.

Perhaps, you can also ask why I don’t have so many posts this October when all the while, I am on a leave or a vacation. The truth is, I stopped pressuring myself to make blog posts for the sake of a large collection of writings. Now, I write because I need to unleash those thoughts that continuously burn my soul and not because I need to meet my quota of twenty posts per month. Sometimes I lose quality for the sake of quantity, like the more I write, the less I am able to express, that’s why I decided to write whenever I feel like spontaneous but not force those words to come out. Writing has never been my world, but it has always been my other world, the world which saves me often from the brink of despair.

Excitement fills all the minutes of my everyday. I am thrilled to think what will happen tomorrow or even later! The vacation package seemed to contain so many surprises which I cannot get enough of. Of course, I do expect some low points too, but that will just balance everything. I realized that the real essence of vacation is not to provide rest but to break all those boring routines in one’s life. I more than blessed and glad to finally have one after some exhausting time which felt like forever.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, So Right

It was when I was heading home thru an hour drive that I realized that the semester is officially over. Final exams are finally done and I have nothing to pass and nothing to worry about. It was when it started raining hard and the lightning struck when I thought that as soon as I step my foot on our home, I’ll be minding nothing but eating, playing and reading novels each day. Oh, so right… the feeling of an accomplished semester, the feeling of finally unburdening my shoulders and breathing light.

Aside from the fact that I am now in my second year in college, this semester differs in a way that this provided me with a satisfied feeling after. I’m not anymore bitter and regretful after almost six months of learning. I am happy and crossing my fingers that I did not fail a subject or two, but if in case I did, I see no point in sour-graping over something I thought was best.

This semester, I learned to fight the monster inside of me. I learned to trust myself at times and believe in what I can possibly do. I somehow learn to prioritize and try not to do things which can cause my regrets later on. I learned that feeling too inferior will result to nothing but negative results. This semester, I learned to give my best shot even at helpless situations with the undying hope for miracles and acknowledgement of efforts, to drain myself with man-made mortality because I am still a student and a student is supposed to study and give everything in her academics. A student is not supposed to be comfortable all the time. If that is the case, the price of being educated is not worth it, after all.

However, though I learned a lot in the first semester experience, the pressure feels like it was doubled, or even worse. Drowning myself from all the major subjects I was taking, there were times when I forget why I was doing it. Like, nothing has its reason and everything is senseless. Maybe it was the exhaustion that paralyzes even my optimism but whatever it is, it surely made me tempted to rest and stop pushing, to forget everything and just focus in sleeping. Cramming during Monday nights also seemed to be unbearable now. There were times when the pressure overwhelms my ego that it simply surrenders. Being in second year college is like crossing one fourth of the desert when your camel died. It’s very wasting to go back where you came but really difficult to reach the end of the desert. But like a wasteland, amidst the hopelessness and fatigue, somewhere lays an oasis which can give you the re-direction or the lift that you have been waiting forever. Thank you for the person who never gets tired of my tiredness and complaints. How he encourages me can be compared to a cool water enlivening the dead cells of a thirst body, and even more than that. If I am considering this semester a satisfying one, it is because I found my own brand of oasis and I got up to my feet again, convinced that five semesters to go and I’ll be what I want myself to be.

I call this thing, semester break, and so does everyone. After weeks of completing my sleeps again and finding the joy of slaking around, I’ll get back for the second semester, but that is still too far from now to look ahead and anticipate. Now, I am doing things which I can’t manage to do because of exams and graded recitations. Back to the blog-o-sphere, I guess. More words, less numbers :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Forgetting to Forget

I already forgot the taste of nostalgia
and the satisfaction of being his Bella
I already forgot how the pain usually feels
When I remember all our vows, all our deals

I can’t hear now his sweet cold voice
And how it unbalances me and ruins my poise
I can’t see now his charming little eyes
And how instantly it became my vice

Not anymore do I respond to his name
Not anymore do I play my part on his game
I do know by now what’s over is over
I do know by now that we can’t be together

Farewell to a second chance, farewell to him
My hate and pain already reached my brim
Though I can’t stand his million dollar smile
Can’t swim with his other girls, on his river Nile

But though I know what’s right and wrong
And even convinced everyone that I’ve moved on
Still I die everyday to the gloom and unbelief
That after everything, man, I still love him so deep

I never loved him less but loved him even more
During the time that we closed each other’s door
“Stop hoping, stop waiting”, that’s what my ego said
But my heart answered, “You really want me dead?”

What You Missed II

Waking up with the headache last night was unbearable. It was October 3, Sunday, and I just rose from a real shattering migraine. I drink nothing but water and juice yet I managed to remain awake for the last 30 hours. So this must be it: sleepless days and nights.

I was about to explode literally when I remember where all these aches came from. Last night was the continuation of my party, opening gifts and trying to express my gratitude to all who greeted me and all who came, and the night before yesterday’s was my birthday, my 18th birthday.

It’s well-known that the age 18 signifies a special leap for a girl, or should I say a lady, or a woman. When I think about that age and I realize that I already am 18, I shiver inside. I am not YET used to it. It feels like the 10-year old me is still trapped on a body of a lady, obliged to act accordingly so as not to disappoint anybody. Whenever they talk about me and even add that I am a full-pledged 18-year old lady, I laugh silently because deep down inside me, I know and I feel that I am still around 15. To old for playful mistakes but too young not to repeat those mistakes again. Whenever they say that I am hardworking enough to study in a university like UP, I smile to the thought that I am more responsible to harvest my Farmville’s artichokes on time and not to let them wither. It’s not like I am 17 yesterday and when I woke up, everything’s changed. I realized that to be who I am today was indeed a long journey so the real comparison is today and ages ago. I lied when I invited everyone to join me as I kiss my childhood goodbye... because the truth is, I'll never say goodbye to my childhood.

Though I am shamelessly admitting that I am still irresponsible by heart and by nature, I am glad that through 18 years of painstakingly enduring everything I have to offer, my family is still there, willing to join me in the next 180 years of my life. I am thankful that they are still proud of me after 18 years of achievements and mess. Though people may really come and go, family is not one of those people. Once a family, always a family and I can attest to that fact that even though I really am a pain in the ass most of the times and I surely kill all the nerves on my mom’s head, after five minutes or so, we’re back to being the same happy family, like nothing happened but all lessons learned.

Anyway, the first week of my being 18 was spent in between Physics books and notes and calculators. Finally, it is not something I am irritated to do but something I’ll be proud of because even though I had a party to celebrate on, the first week of my new age was spent maturely, though uniquely. I am proud to say that after the first semester of my second year in college, I am finally enjoying learning, like it is not something I am obliged to do but something I am luckily offered. Pressure from all the professors and very intelligent classmates is still there. Cramming is also present but if I learned something very important, it is to fight inferiority and focus on self-satisfaction rather than social comparison. Right now, I am satisfied with the goals I have for myself and doing everything to be really committed to these goals. Finally, I am growing up with respect to this aspect, though I still get bored at special times (At least not very often now).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What You Missed I

After almost a month of my un-blogging, I don’t know where to start. I missed writing about the latest so that left me with topics highlighted on my history. First, the Ondoy-typhoon which left every Filipino scared and concerned about what's next. Second, my 18th birthday and lastly, the last week of my first semester in my second year in college.

So many things happened since then. There are so many changes which made me quite doubtful, so many surprises that caught me off my guard and so many projections that I cannot wait to experience.

Though the anticipation of the future happenings leaves me restless and nothing but excited, this space in the net should contain a chronicle about what happened while I chose to remain silent in the blog-o-sphere. Not that I have nothing sensible to say. It’s just that some things cannot be contained on a word or two and some feelings cannot be inscribed in black or blue. I tried to write a poem that somehow summarizes everything I missed but then, for the longest run, words failed to satisfy me.

It was Friday night, the 25th of September when I heard the weather forecaster informing us that we shall have a rainy weekend. It was okay for me then since I only have plans of staying at home the whole weekend and reviewing for an upcoming Physics exam. I woke up the next day, feeling like the night did not pass at all. It was dark and cold and dull outside. It was raining so hard that I can hardly hear my beating heart. There were flashes of lights that tear the calmness of the gray sky. It was frightening to wake up at 10 in the morning and witness everything while you were expecting a somewhat bright and shiny morning. I immediately turned on the television and saw how the typhoon washed Marikina City while I was sleeping and dreaming. Kind of unfair. Is that what the forecaster termed as "a rainy weekend"?

Unlike other typhoons, Ondoy lasted quite long. It was Monday and classes were suspended. I saw it as an additional time to review and rest and a longer time to hug my pillow tight. Meanwhile, the typhoon also implies that my party, scheduled that Friday, October 2, will be a swimming party. Argh. A flood-swimming party. Because of the typhoon, people will have some valid excuses why they would not attend my 18th birthday. Saddening, that is, but considering safety, a Friday night swimming party is not so appropriate amidst some storm if you don’t want to cough and sniff while swimming.

As a Filipino student who is fortunate enough not to lose anything while the storm is ongoing, I can only hope and pray that the victims will soon find refuge and move on with their life with a fresh start no matter how history felt to them. Oh, the horror, to see the people crying because of losing and to see them swimming, holding on for their dear lives. The typhoon is not only a signal of a class suspended. It also tells me that there are people grieving and losing everything they once had, that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. It’s scary how everything changed in an overnight, how perfectly fine you are in the morning reading some novels or singing in the shower and after a life-changing-minute, everything’s lost and nothing appears as how it first appeared.

Currently, Philippines is trying to recover from the wrath of nature. Everything happens for a reason, after all, so maybe, there is a hidden lesson behind all of these – lessons which are still vague but will reveal itself in the perfect time. For now, prayers for a better situation is the least that I can offer.