2.0

January 30, 2008 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies | 1 Comment

what’s that saying that goes you can never really get away from your past? i think mclachlan sang about it once, asking if you can “look out the window without your shadow getting in the way”?

i’ve come to accept that we should never judge people on the basis of where they are in life, or who they were before we knew them. (there was a time when i didn’t, especially when it came to me).

but now i get to thinking just how much of this is true, and where is it applicable. i find my past deeds catching up with me; though thankfully not in relation to people in my life.

i’ve been considering taking up graduate school and have looked forward to knowing more about a couple of programs in the old university. but something about their admission requirements unsettle me: the requisite GWA of a 2.0 or better for undergraduate studies. this wouldn’t actually be a problem but if my memory serves me right, there’s two 5.0 tucked away in some corner of my transcript that would be more than enough to pull down my GWA to something like 2.02 or something, effectively shutting me off from being entertained as a candidate in the PolSci department, for one, where applicants are advised not to bother if their GWA does not meet the required average.

and this is how my undergrad days catch up with me. i was an average student who, at one point in his academic life had to find a job just to stay in school. that may not be an excuse, but anyone would agree that having additional personal burdens can and do take a toll on your academic performance. maybe not much for others, but for some, it can.

i look back and realize that i could see my college years as a time when i still didn’t know where i wanted to be in life. i thought i did, but i was often displaced — by choice, and then by circumstance, at other times. i shifted courses, i got into activism, i almost went full time, i left, i lost friends, my stipend couldn’t keep up with the costs of my thesis, my siblings didn’t offer support, etc etc etc.

what i mean is, life wasn’t easy back then, and excelling in school eventually took a backseat to the primordial concern: just get a degree and get a job. i could say i crawled my way out of college, but if that inability to keep up with the rest of the pack is the bar against which my suitability for further studies will be measured, then what hope can we really offer people who have not had it easy in life?

i’ve met people who can’t even string together a decent sentence in english get accepted into masteral programs (yes, you, melody!) . i’ve even seen some people attach MAs to their names but can’t even spell BIMP-EAGA correctly, much less know what the hell it is. i know this is rather shallow, but my point is, i’ve learned a lot outside of school, and my critical senses have, i hope, remained intact all this time. and my writing — goddamnit, my writing is just fine.

but will i always have to bear the mark of an underachieving young (gay) man who didn’t know what he really wanted in life? i didn’t have parents who provided me with weekly stipends. i took public transportation every single day of my college life, in clothes i would rotate almost twice a week. i scraped my pockets to photocopy readings, i packed lunches because CASAA prices were starting to get a bit pricey. and when everybody else were getting in touch through pagers, i didn’t even know how to place a message to those damned things.

i wasn’t mainstream because at the time, i had a vague feeling i was in the margins, but didn’t have the consciousness to make sense of where i was. but my UP education presented me with an enormous amount of opportunity. all i had to say was i graduated from UP and the reputation preceded the reality. but what i chose to do with that education — using it to pursue a calling to tap into my basic sense of human decency; to build on that notion of selflessness that UP says it wants to do to every student; to make what i do know count for something more than just anything — that’s not something you can grade on a scale of uno to sinco.

additional requirements include referral letters from peers and professors, but i suspect with the forms that i’ve seen so far — these letters are not intended to gauge suitability as much as to ascertain if the candidate is career-oriented. these letters can only do so much because the graduate admissions will always go back to that 2.0.

and here i am after all these years, facing a hurdle with only a diploma and an intellectual potency so lacking in a lot of people who flaunt their 1.75s. and here is my old university telling me i’m not good enough because i don’t meet the cut-off grade. and here is my old university telling me they won’t listen to the other half of my story — where i’ve been and what i’ve done after graduating, and most importantly, what i’ve learned? it just doesn’t make sense.

despite these odds, i’m still going to try. that cut-off scares me, but i will try. i want to go back to school because i want the structure, the discipline, and the formality of a teacher-student interface to affirm and compliment the work i do outside. i wasn’t cum laude material back in my teenage years, and maybe i am not the smartest of the crop after all these years, but i am competent enough not to allow myself to get left behind and condemned to the inadequacies of my past.

everybody needs it, they say, especially on a blue sky.

December 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Ennui, Musings and Epiphanies | 1 Comment

but an extended holiday? not my cup of tea.  i’ve never been a big fan of long holidays.  i can deal with them once in a while, and long weekends are okay.  but for prolonged periods of time?  no.

times like this i get to imagine myself  elsewhere, alone, working on christmas eve.  preferably somewhere snowing.   i don’t know why.  sometimes i just want to hide under a rock.  reunions, shopping sprees, gift-giving, carols, parties?  sometimes i like them, sometimes they make me sick.  if it is difficult for some people to imagine themselves alone on such an important day like christmas, the opposite is true for me.

it’s always been a fantasy of mine for as logn as i can remember:  me, writing, no distraction, somewhere far far away.  like some place where there is a castle overlooking a stormy sea.  or a hut where you can see the beach outside.  somewhere isolated, where the only rule is:  leave the protagonist alone.

it’s so weird because i know we’re a society that is steeped in associational values.  who we’re with and where we are at any given time is the basis of what people think of who we are.  if one stands alone, unavailable and beyond reach of human touch, is he stripped of his self, and what would one find in his core?  is he left a meaningless entity just because he doesn’t need to hold anybody’s hand to validate him?

for the longest time holidays pass me by with people all around me.  i watch them get lost in laughter and in their stories about their work, their lovers, their families, their desires.  but sometimes my mind wanders to that isolated place where i don’t have to exert effort to associate — to listen, to see, to feel. a place where i can just think.  and be.

while it is not an obssession, and i get to sweep the thought away and go on to keep functioning as a social being, holidays always bring this feeling up over and over again.  holidays are all about time with people we know and care about.  but i get to thinking — do we really need holidays to be with the people we love? that’s the part that strikes me as phony about holidays, specially christmas.

this consumerist world tells us to spend more on our loved ones because the occasion calls for it.  but shouldn’t we be showing them how much they matter that all year round?  why does our affection have to have price tags attached to them?

everytime i think of these things, i conjure that clean, well-lighted place in my head.  i will go there someday.  i’m stacking up on greeting cards.

she made my day

November 22, 2007 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies, Something about Nothing, Writings | Leave a comment

this is the actual transcript of an actual interview with a famous personality whose insipid drivel i am writing up for a glam coffee table book. if you can help me summarize whatever fucking point she’s making here i would give you half of whatever pay i get from this raket, i swear. haha!

“When i say think big, ok i want to relate with Europe, all right Europeans, you come here, we speak French, we speak English, and we speak Spanish. We have schools. Imagine Lee Kuan Yu would say ok Singapore, we’ll speak English, Mahathir would say, Malaysia… Why can’t we think big? Always yong maliliit na bagay. That Filipinos would be the bridge between the South Pacific and the South East Asia, why cant we talk like that? Or we can be the bridge between the west coast in America and Luzon, manila. Why don’t we talk like that? Countries are talking like that. We’re always.. We cannot even open NAIA 3 up to now. We have to think big. Ganun, oo, sige. And then we have to… I hope this 50 luminaries should not be luminaries for themselves. They should be luminaries for the country. And get together. And really not just talk, talk, talk, with there to many talk shows, there also so many seminars, conferences, that’s why I’m doing all of these, dairy. You know, there’s money in milk and really humbly looking at the carabaos, how they breed a superior variety, how to discipline that rice farmer to wash his hands so when he milks that cow at 5 o’clock in the morning it’s clean milk which our children can drink, which who will give its blessings to. That’s the way to do it. You’ll say of these you know, the trajectory of the Filipino, it’s following the American dream, that sort of thing. You have to think more of the collective. And not so much of the individual human rights. But the rights of the nation, so be sense of responsibility, the military, everybody is going his own merry way. Sabog eh.”

and for confidentiality reasons i won’t even post here stuff she said about Japayukis and the poor, maligned Chinese. Just take her words of wisdom: “You must always hope even when there is death around you, that’s the cycle of life.” What?!? After you die you come back to life again, ma’am, like, uh, a zombie or something? Ok, so maybe I should go easy on her.  Blame the transcriptionist, who actually spelled the acronym BIMP-EAGA as “Bimpiyaga”.  Lord.

 

haaaay! ang hirap kumita ng pera! *lols*

what makes it work?

November 5, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies | 3 Comments

i’ve heard enough stories of doubt and fear and anger to finally be able to say that i am thankful that i am not answerable to anybody else but myself.  how many couples do i know are in a stable, loving relationship? one. one genuinely happy couple i have not heard any problems from in a while. everyone else i know have either been single a long time, just got out of a mess with some fuckhead or bitch, or are still in the market.

Continue Reading what makes it work?…

i think this blog is dying…

August 1, 2007 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Blogging, Bluehearts, Friends, Getting a Life, Gratitude, Musings and Epiphanies, Positivity, Raves, Travels, UP Mountaineers | 3 Comments

i just don’t have the time to write anything important anymore. i have about seven drafts in my inbox, and none has gone past the publish button. i always decide to save them up after getting into them for about three paragraphs or so. i wanted to write about relationships and how i feel i don’t need them, but what’s the use. so instead of ranting with words i’m bound to eat later anyway, let me just tell you what is in store for me in the next few weeks.

Continue Reading i think this blog is dying……

nobody can hurt you without your consent

June 29, 2007 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies | Leave a comment

as i always say, life has a way of falling into place if you do not force your luck. and i must learn how to truly go with the flow. then and only then can and will i truly know where i am supposed to be in life. and why.

the movie in my mind

May 22, 2007 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies | Leave a comment

i’ve been working on this script in my head for the longest time and i just haven’t gotten around to putting it down into paper, because my overriding ambition has always been to be a novelist.  my narrative and descriptive powers are however limited, and i don’t want to end up a dan — a “failed novelist” dwelling in obits to cover up for his doomed ambition. but maybe a hobby like scriptwriting would be a good starter.  i took a course back in college so i’m more or less familiar with the technical side.  i just don’t have the confidence to tell a story.  maybe i should pick up the yellow pages and go look for something to help me out in this direction.  it could be fun.

The Idea That I Could Be Wrong

April 26, 2007 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Affiliations, Akbayan, Musings and Epiphanies | Leave a comment

While my work is decidedly political, I am not known outside my Akbayan circle as someone who wears his politics on his sleeve. And I know that I am not exactly high on the totem pole of dedicated activists from our ranks who breathes and lives his politics on a daily basis. My talents have been put to good use here, but I think there might be some more potential lurking in me that has remained untapped to now.

I have a gnawing feeling it’s more a psychological thing more than anything. I can dig myself up to whatever issue may come my way if I really wanted to, but why do keep withholding? Why can’t I be more vocal about my convictions like my contemporaries some of whom I am even responsible for recruiting into Akbayan?

Continue Reading The Idea That I Could Be Wrong…

breakaway

January 12, 2007 at 7:44 am | Posted in Affiliations, Musings and Epiphanies, Regret, The Side of Me You Didn't Know | Leave a comment

a part of me couldn’t believe what i was saying last night. but i guess i needed to hear myself speak out on how i really felt. i told a couple of friends how i can put up with a lot of shit, but i felt my limits have been overextended.

i know how i’m doing, and i know there’s more i can do. but what for? when you’re around so many things you just can’t take,  it takes away the fun in what you’re doing.

how did it get to be this way, i don’t know for sure.  somewhere along the way i guess i just had so many letdowns that inevitably, the option of walking away just opened. and i hate to think i’m just seeing my own pain, so maybe i need to do some soul-searching about what i really want in life, and where i want to be years from now.  funny. back in 2000 i had an idea where i’d be today. and i got it. but now, i want to do some more serious thinking, and imagine where i’d be in 2010.

i’m caught between a familiar place and the great unknown. and a part of me is saying that’s what adventures are all about.  but real life demands more than following whims and impulses.  to take that leap requires a no small amount of courage. and i’m afraid that’s something i do not have in abundance.

i only have just about enough strength to say the one true thing for now: i am not happy here. what am i to do about it? i can put up with it again and again, or do something about it. after all i am essentially a people pleaser, and what pleasure it will be if i’m not around where i’m not needed anymore.

goodbye, aimee

August 11, 2006 at 8:44 am | Posted in Musings and Epiphanies, the L word | 1 Comment

“Are you confusing the idea of love with the concept of being rescued? If the answer’s yes, no wonder your last few forays into dating have been slightly bizarre. It’s time to get some clarity on what you want.”

Continue Reading goodbye, aimee…

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