Choosing between dreams and practicality is never easy. My CETs season just ended with the release of the UPCAT results. Anxious as I logged on the website, I started to think about what would happen if I didn't pass UP. Ever since I was six years old, I fixated on the idea that I will become an iska, serving the country and studying at my dream school, which is UP. I strived and studied hard for the UPCAT, sacrificing a lot of things like hang-outs and gala weekends for reviews.
Throughout my CETs journey, I started seeing myself studying only in UP, and while there were no results yet, my friends and I already started planning our lives around the fact that we're gonna study in UP. It was a big deal for me, my friends and my family that I get the chance to study in UP since it's so far from my hometown which is Benguet, and better yet, it's a very well known university.
January 2020 came and universities started releasing CETs results. I was expecting my DCAT and ACET results that month. I passed DCAT but brushed it off because even though I liked the school, I never really saw myself studying there. Same thoughts with Ateneo, since it never really crossed my mind that I might study in ADMU. In fact, Ateneo was never really a choice for me, I only took it just to have another choice in case I failed the UPCAT. I also applied for financial aid not because I was really planning on studying there, but more of "para lang sure na may college ako". I know it's a bad thing but they were just my back-up schools because my main goal was really UP.
One Friday afternoon, ACET results came out. I passed, managed to get a scholarship, and in that moment, my plans just started to crumble.
Seeing that I got a 100% tuition and fees discount, free dorm fees, and an additional book allowance got me into considering studying to Ateneo. Suddenly, I got torn between UP, my dream school, and Ateneo, which offers so much more.
As the months passed, and after talking to my parents, my plans and decisions got more jumbled and messy. I still wanted to go to UP even if there were no results yet but Ateneo offering so much would mean a lesser burden to my parents in terms of finances.
Even though my parents told me that they'll support me no matter where I choose to go, the practicality that Ateneo offers in terms of finances was not an easy thing to waive. Sometimes I would laugh at the fact that I'd spend less on a private school than on a state university. Talking to my friends helped somehow, but they also have various opinions about the two universities. I managed to tell myself to hold off the problem until UPCAT results get released, and so I did.
UP released the UPCAT results and seeing that I passed made me scream and cry, literally. At that moment, all I was thinking was that I passed my dream school and I'm officially a QC college student.
My parents were so proud of me even though they got scared because I screamed, but ultimately, they were happy for me. The next day, I sat down, stared at my UPCAT and ACET results, and told myself that I needed to decide. This was the hardest part. I tried deciding using the pros and cons method but it didn't really work. Talking to my parents also didn't help because they'd support me either way, so their judgement was not a factor at all. I also had the same course in both schools so that wasn't a big help. I was 99% close to letting go of my dream university and decide to go to Ateneo.
I weighed options and Ateneo was the cheaper and more practical option. I also started to see myself studying as a blue eagle, roaming around the campus etc. And financially, I didn't need to worry much except for food. At that point, I started to really like the idea of going to Ateneo more than studying in UP. But then, as the weeks went by, the Ateneo Plan started to lose my interest.
I realized that studying in Ateneo would be a great opportunity, but not something that will really make me happy. The finances and all would be so much better but I wouldn't be happy and content, and I felt that Ateneo couldn't give me everything that I wanted and needed. Then a light bulb lit up.
As I was imagining myself at UP, I ultimately felt that happiness and content that I didn't feel with Ateneo. I realized that, if I didn't study in UP, I know later in my life, I would regret it. I would regret not choosing my dream university because I didn't choose what would make me happy.
In short, I chose my dream over practicality. I know that I would be successful in both tracks, but I simply chose my dream because it is where I'm happier and more content. Besides, we can make our dreams practical but not all the time can the practical choice equate to our dreams. So to those having a hard time choosing between dreams and practicality, weigh it out and always remember to put yourself and your happiness first. And of course, choose the choice that you know you'll not regret later on.
Confessions of a College Drama Queen: 8 Things I Hate About University
Since the suspension of classes started due to the pandemic, I did not open or read any of my notes, I didn’t do any requirements, and I didn’t bother browsing through my assigned readings. Well, I did try to get some requirements done. Call me lazy but hey, I bet that you’ve also done anything you can do this quarantine period except for your academics.
I call this time period getting all the sleep I can, slacking off as much as I can, and mentally preparing myself for the full-blown physical and mental fatigue I’ll surely get once classes resume again. Now that the continuation of the semester is uncertain, let me share with you 8 reasons why I hate going to University because I’m so not planning on going back anytime soon, and I’m pretty sure you are, too. Who knows, maybe we have the same reasons *wink*.
I hate the way that being in college is so stressful. There are quizzes and lab exercises every day. There are readings that must be read (but to be honest, I just print or download them, but I don’t even take the time to read them!) and papers that must be submitted.
For each subject, there are individual and group works to be completed. It’s just an ongoing cycle of this “4 more days ‘till Friday comes” mindset until you graduate. The everyday routine of getting up early, attending class and going back to the dormitory to study is tiring. Why is there no pause button for the workload?
I hate the way that being in college eats up all my time. Instead of going home during the weekends, I have to stay behind and work on my requirements. I only get to see and bond with my family once a month. University demands almost all of my time that I can’t even have my “me” time any more. Is Uni even my boyfriend for it to demand a lot of time from me? You sure are special, huh?
I hate the way that being in college makes you feel like you’re just an average student. Since grade school, I’ve always had straight A’s and I was always an honor student, but then college happened. It led me to believe that all of my so-called achievements are nothing. I eventually find someone who’s better than me, and then I realize that I’m just another mediocre individual who happens to attend the top university in the country, or that maybe my name was just a typographical error in the list of passers. My stomach always churns whenever our exams are coming up, and I get so anxious every time our scores will be announced. I always feel like I’m going to vomit on the test paper. Luckily, I haven’t yet. (Phew!)
I hate the way being in college means that you have to compete to survive. Don’t get me wrong, learning is absolutely fun, but the academic time frame and pressure makes it a vicious race. If you get a failing grade in your prerequisite subjects, you will get delayed your whole college life which will disrupt the academic and career plan that you laid out for yourself, and you’ll eventually get upset and disappointed. College is seriously the epitome of Charles Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest. Plus, it’s considered a heinous crime to get sick! A day’s worth of lecture is enough to make me fall behind, or worse, delayed. I literally can’t afford to get sick, but shamefully, my body is living off of coffee and instant noodles almost every single day. Also, there’s really never a time where I get a good 8-hour sleep without worrying about anything. It’s either I don’t get sleep or I oversleep, and both are absolutely terrifying.
I hate the way being in college makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I can’t believe I was given the opportunity to be able to laugh and shed my tears in the grounds of one of the most prestigious Universities in the country. I cry whenever I get a low score on an exam I studied all night for, but then I laugh because my friends also failed the exam. I cry because it’s only a Tuesday and I’ve literally spent all of my money on Monday, but then I laugh because my friends are all broke, too. There were times when my friends and I would get out of the examination hall and just laugh at the difficulty of the exam. Then, we’d go out to eat to cheer ourselves up and just have those deep talks about life until the wee hours of the morning.
I hate the way being in college means that I have to socialize every single day. It’s too much for my introvert self to handle. Sometimes, I just want to stay in and never talk to anyone for the time being. But I was fortunate enough to have met and encountered genuine people along the way. We were all struggling in our own degree programs, yet we always find time to support each other. We’d laugh at our professors together when classes get too boring, go out to eat during class hours, pull a prank on some of our classmates, do our assignments, study together, and have fun with each other’s company. College is unbearable, but it becomes slightly less unbearable journeying it with the best people.
I hate the way being in college means having to experience a lot of ‘firsts.” Being raised by strict parents and going to the same Catholic school for 14 years (yes, kindergarten to senior high school, and no, there was no loyalty award), I was kind of scared to go out of my comfort zone, but I was also excited at the same time because I’ll finally be released from my cage. I experienced getting a low score on an exam I stayed up all night to study, not being liked back by my crush, breaking laboratory equipment, having my first meal of the day at 6 pm, and partying with people I barely knew. There were many victorious firsts and there were also numerous sad firsts, but one thing is constant, I always have my friends to celebrate those “firsts” by my side.
Lastly, from the immortal words of Ms. Kat Stratford, I hate the way I don’t actually hate it, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.
I hate the way I miss University life so bad. I hate the feeling that I took normal life for granted and wished that college would immediately be over. I miss studying, hanging out with my friends, procrastinating assignments, cramming for an exam, and attending my classes. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I do miss living the student life. As much as we get exhausted of experiencing hardships, there were also many lessons we picked up along the way which helped us grow. However, with online classes, it’s just a simple click of the send button to submit your requirement, then off to finish a new one again. It’s tiring. There’s no pat in the back from your friends and no more dinners with them once you’ve all finished a difficult task. If only I knew that on that bright and sunny day of March 1, everything would go spiralling into hell and that would be my last day in the University grounds, I would have cherished it and not take it for granted. Unfortunately, we don’t know when we’ll be going back to school or if we’re ever going back. Amidst all these uncertainties about life, there is only one thing that I’m certain of: I love University life so much, and I’d give anything to come back home once again.
What to expect during your first year in college
You suddenly don't feel smart as before. "Grabe miss ko na maging magaling sa ginagawa ko. Ngayon kahit anong aral, nakakabobo pa rin. Hanggang marunong lang ako hindi magaling."
I can still remember what my grade 6 teacher said to us, that we all have different timeline, our time to shine. Maybe in gradeschool you were outstanding but not in highschool, you're smart in highschool but not really in college and that's okay! It's normal. I used to be so sure to my ability since I graduated in highschool with flying colors. Not until college happened.
I got culture shocked and I was like woah! university students are surely on a different level. That's why I put a lot of effort in studying because if I don't do that, I'm afraid that I might not be able to catch up. It's okay to be competitive, but don't overdo it.
As we grow up, our social circle becomes bigger and bigger and because of that, we meet different kinds of people. Different kinds of people means different level of intelligence. But that doesn't mean that you are not smart too. You are smart and good enough in your own way. Its just that there will always be more intelligent and more talented than you. All you have to do is to accept it. If all of us have the same level of intelligence and talent, then the world will become boring. Why? Because there will be no element of surprise since all of us possessed the same intelligence and talent, there's nothing new to be anticipated.
You might not realize that at some point, you are smart to others too just like how you feel towards other people. See? All you have to do is to appreciate what you already have but that doesn't mean that you will settle to that. Enrich what you already have. Never stop learning. Have you ever wondered why there will always be better than us? maybe because they should serve as our inspiration to strive harder for our own good just like turning pain into power.
-Gwy June 13, 2020
The 'Human' in Humanities
I shifted. Yes, that is from BS Accountancy to BA Communication. Parkour, indeed. For months, I have never talked about the biggest decision that I made this year. Maybe, the thought did not sink in quite well until now, when I am walking on the borders of my sanity while countless other thoughts bombard my brain.
Submerged in the digital realm, I came across one of my Facebook friends’ posts that came with an attached file called “Not For Profit: Why Democracy needs the Humanities”. Curious, I searched for the file on Google, read it (orally, even) and voila, I have been enlightened. Martha Nussbaum, the author, briefly discussed how the current pedagogy and educational systems are stressing the need for financial literacy and the sciences while disregarding the equal importance of humanities subjects like literature and art.
“The student’s freedom of mind is dangerous if what is wanted is a group of technically trained obedient workers to carry out the plans of elites who are aiming at foreign investment and technological development,” Nussbaum argued. As capitalism takes over, a world and a generation of robots gradually unfolds, schools and the education sector slowly slash humanities subjects and tend to insert more math, computer and science subjects. While there is no question on the staggering contributions of science and technology to society, there is also no denying that writers, painters, and photographers are frowned upon and often seen in an unequal footing with other professionals.
I now understand why the BA Communication program in my university has two blocks (each) of freshmen and sophomores, while other programs flourish with hundreds and even thousands of students. I now understand why “I have an exhibit tomorrow” does not have the same impact as “I passed the board exams.” I now understand why I made such decision to shift from BS Accountancy. True, humans have individuality and freedom to choose whatever bachelor’s degree they want to pursue. The problem is not about freedom of choice.
In the same way, the problem is not about how we measure success. It boils down to how society accustomed the minds of the masses on how low-profiting and so-so humanities courses are. It boils down to how society perceives art ---something as perfect as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or as expressive as Vincent Van Gogh, not just some doodles and sketches that a hormone-driven teenager drew. It is about budding writers getting constant disapproval of their works from their own parents. It is about responses like “hindi ka kikita diyan” and “Libre mo na photographer’s fee mo, insan.” Sure, other professions also share the same sentiments. But there is this existing thought of humanities as nonsensical pursuits. In the strongest possible terms, I condemn it.
Fortress Two pillars that held my breaking walls
When I was in high school I knew for a fact that I was the trouble maker in our family. “Girls are supposed to be modest and calm” they said. I, the only daughter in a family of 6, intentionally broke that stereotype. I would go home late at night, lie to my parents and I would even put my friends first before attending family gatherings.
The reason behind those decisions were petty fights I found myself in between me and my parents. I remember seeing their way of teaching me morals and values as oppression and abuse when I was a kid. They managed to make all my brothers obey them, but no- they didn’t get their so-called-princess to comply. I somehow told myself that they were in the way of my character development so I was so eager to look for my identity outside my home. After high school, I moved to Baguio for college. The surrounding was new, the people were foreign and there was no one holding me back. It felt new to me, but in a good way. Little did I know that living alone was a nightmare. Dad wasn’t there to cook for me, Mom wasn’t there to clean the mess in my dorm and what I oddly missed most, is washing the dishes pre-cleaned by my mom.
Days when I got sick were worse, I cried myself to sleep one time not because of how high my fever was, but because whenever any of us got sick, my mom would lay next to us while we were sleeping and whisper a prayer asking God to heal us, but that time it was just me, my tear-soaked pillow, and to make myself more emotional, a picture of my parents in between my hands. I was homesick almost everyday. So I made it a part of my routine to call my parents every single day and I would make “tampo” whenever they hang up saying “may trabaho pa ako anak”.
Come to think of it, I hate myself for saying I love you to my parents more through texts and calls than in person. In the span of my first semester in college, I realized how dependent I was on my parents without knowing it. Whenever school works got rough, no one could comfort me better than my parents. The sound of their voice was enough for me to continue fighting. It was difficult for me to adjust to college, and I broke down easily. My emotions were as beaten up as a punching bag. I was mentally and emotionally tired. Every. Single. Day. What kept me together, were these two pillars. One I call mom and the other I call dad. I can’t say moving to Baguio for college was a mistake, in fact it was a life changing decision for me. It made me realize to value my parents while I still have them.
I realized that when I turned my back on my parents, I forgot the good things they did in my life. Because of them, I have brothers who I can wrestle can with as well as those who mess with me at the same time. They brought me closer to the cross and protected me. They sacrificed so much that it makes me want to live my life to the fullest, for them. Ma, Pa, in this world full of chaos, I cannot be more happy that I found my fortress in your love.
The time I shifted onto another course: A course shifter’s story
When I was in Senior high school, career talk is very common to prepare and help students on what course they might like. I decided to take up Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) because I wanted to take up Psychology. I always appreciated our lessons in Personal Development and I’ve always been fascinated by the different functions of the brain. But some part of me also wanted to study Communication because my English teacher once told me that I had great pronunciation but lack conviction.
I somehow wanted to study Communication to boost my confidence because living without confidence is not easy for me, seeing other people make other friends and have fun. But for me, I am already contented with my three friends but I also want to be able to socialize with people outside my circle of friends without feeling awkward. As I already applied for college my first choice was Psychology. I enjoyed the first year of studying Psychology because I think the human brain is fascinating and studying about it is really interesting. However, when second year came, I really struggled so as the second semester came, I decided to shift.
Of course, being an international student is hard at first because I was used to being in a block section and that is hard now having different schedules and different classmates. As the semester goes by, I already adjusted to my schedules and classmates. When you really like something, you should go for it because happiness is what makes a person bloom and be the best version of themselves.
From Isolation to Independence
All of us have our own stories to tell. We were once broken hearted, have broken families, have separation anxiety, trust issues, and the like. Any of these downfalls we have experienced transformed us to become a better person. These challenged us to make a better version of ourselves and to learn from our mistakes. Thus, we eventually right our wrongs, for a better tomorrow. This is how my story began.
I was in elementary, grade 6 to be exact. For sure these elementary days we were still having fun with our friends, playing silly games, and enjoying each other’s company. I had friends when I was in grade 6. One time, we were playing hide and seek and I was the “it”, the one supposed to catch the other players. By the time we were playing, I couldn’t find them at all. So I ran away because I felt so alone. I took my stuff and left the school since my friends wouldn’t appear even if I was already shouting and about to cry looking for them. Little did I know that they were hiding from me.
As I was about to leave, I saw them behind the church near our school searching if I was nowhere near them. I went back home with a heavy heart and a feeling of betrayal, thinking that they didn’t want me to be part of the circle anymore. The next day, they never approached me. I felt so lonely in class, and somehow I could barely to talk to someone. I let this moment slide off until I have finally found a new circle of friends. I was so glad because I met two of my classmates who eventually turned out to be my best friends. Then as we entered junior high school, our friendship got bigger in number we were six! This circle of friends are the best. We had our ups and downs but still, we managed to go through it all with positivity. We’ve had so much fun until we graduated junior high school together. However, just when I thought everything was fine and set perfectly, I needed to transfer school from Tagudin Ilocos Sur to Baguio City. Why? It’s because there was no HUMSS Strand in my former school. And so luckily, I was brought up to a school offering the said strand and which is located somewhere near our family house in Baguio.
The idea of transferring school was devastating for me. I needed to leave my hometown as well as my mom who’s been with me through the years, my aunties who helped me out in the house chores, our dogs, my beloved school which I attended since grade one, and of course my best friends. Thus, I left and learned how to be independent. Actually, it was my first time to travel or commute by my own from Ilocos to Baguio when I was in grade 10.
Entering senior high school in Baguio was one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever encountered. I needed to live away from my parents especially my mom, to do house chores on my own such as cooking, doing the laundry, ironing my uniforms, and the like. If nobody will teach me what I must do, then life will. I also needed to understand the cultures in the city and to befriend with somebody else amidst our differences.
Fortunately, I've met new friends again. It was hard for me to do so because my friends in the province thought I’ve replaced them, so they had to replace me as well. We lacked communication as days passed by. And that, I realized that there are things that do not last forever. I accepted the fact that my presence was not important to them anymore. Well, I moved on and considered these as my strengths. I may have mistaken and lost important people in my life, but the best is yet to come.
The meaning of what I’ve drawn is that, the idea of isolation has brought me to independence. My elementary friends left me all alone, until I met new ones who were my junior high school friends however, I lost them which led me to independence. My idea of independence is being able to do anything on my own. So in my drawing, a girl is inside of any idea that might trap and drown her, but rather, she’s going with the flow. Instead of struggling of being drowned, she’s floating and most likely to swim through it.
The Horror of the Unforeseen Ghost
from the future creeps into the shadows and remnants of the past torment the present.
Uncertainty is a horror that haunts my whole being. Queries of my future shake me up inside. Whenever a sudden questioning of what-to-do-after-college crosses my mind, my body freezes as voices in my head become louder. It’s quite deafening how my parents and relatives drop this subject matter in a conversation leaving me caught off guard, especially with gazes filled with disappointment knowing that I took a BA Communication course. Though I have plans and ambitions in life, the fear of being a failure and ordinary swipes it all away.
Flashback to when I thought dreams were as easy as getting an A at school or getting a degree at college and that’s it, you’ll have your dream job. Sure, it works for the lucky ones but those who never get the taste of it are doomed for life. A fast forward of remorse and bad decisions from the past strikes my memory once I began to realize how frightening the outside world could be. And to dwell on my thoughts as I think of destiny, patterns, and fortuity became a habit. Is there really a mystery behind the curtains of our fate? Or does mystery solely lie for the sake of present time itself? It occurred to me if everything I am doing in this exact moment will make sense of my future or if there really is such thing as wasting time, for we all undergo in the process of growth and enlightenment. Am I doing things the right way? Is there a right way? Am I doing enough? Or am I holding back so much that I fail to show my full potential?
I guess I will never be satisfied until I unleash the beast in me. But that’s the scary part, you give your best and there will always be a bit of flaw — an imperfection. I also start to wonder if is it really the future to which I am afraid of, or the inability to meet two of the most common societal standards of success — to be rich and known. Perhaps if I had a glimpse of what is coming ahead, all of my problems will be resolved. Or maybe not, maybe there is no other future rather than the real time. One of my coping mechanisms to escape from the negative possibilities of the future holds and the awfulness of reality brings is to create fantasies in my mind. For a short period of time, it does help but I try not to get addicted and consumed by it as it could turn me into an insensitive individual who feels completely detached from her actual surroundings. Despite of the anxiety and panic that the unknown has caused me, I always remind myself to never settle for less no matter what the situation is so I will not end up with regrets like I did before and if things did not work at the first attempt, I try to take advantage of the second chances. At times, these mantras exhaust me because I feel like I’m going nowhere but the burden of unfinished tasks will never leave me at peace.
My fear for a dreadful future has taught me to become more conscious with the decisions and actions I make to the point that I overthink everything, and as the after-college-life approaches, a sense of relief is certainly not existent at the moment. In any path we take, there are many choices but not much opportunities for everyone. There is either an opportunity or a great danger of what awaits us and to things we could not foresee. The vagueness of it may somehow frighten those dubious-type and thrill the ones looking for adventure. However, when we are left with no option, we contemplate and choose between what will we do to achieve our dreams or what will we do to survive. As for me, If I am not to be the person I very much aspire then I don’t know what else should I be.
“College in a nutshell” ?
In high school, we see college as a get away from the grasp of our parents and we tend to be excited in entering college and starting our own lives independently, manage our own expenses and decide for ourselves as some of us leave our hometowns to pursue our dreams in a university far from home. Different people coming from diverse culture and society, gather in one place to learn and study. It is the venue where you meet new people who interest or repel you, where coffee becomes a necessity in order to finish loads of paper works, where you become a singer, dancer, actress/actress depending on the performance task, welcome to college. ?
The first few weeks of being in college as a freshman would be comparable to the state of being a fish out of water, being away from home trying to adapt on a new environment and mingling with unfamiliar people. You gain and lose friends on the way, that’s one of the realities in life that you discover in college. Vices, depression and anxiety are also some of the hindrances that college students suffer from, but in order to overcome them you should train yourself to have a strong mind and determination to go on. You will also get to know that time runs in a different manner because unlike high school, you may have early and late classes with long or short intervals but as you get used to it, you will eventually move to the rhythmic ticking of the college clock. And if you ever heard the phrase, “you should think like college students and act like one”, that is an evidence of how college standards are set. In college it is believed that you should commit less mistakes because aside from the fact that you are already matured, you should have supposedly learned the basics from pre-school to elementary then high school and recently senior high school before reaching college. ?
Some say that college is the stage in life where best moments happen, and others may state otherwise. But everything depends on you, because you are the determining factor for the outcome of your college life. Studying is hard specially if you would include the pressure from parents, peers and even the society but remember that life was never meant to be easy, it was meant to be conquered. You cannot take a shortcut in achieving your dreams in life, so read your books and follow excellence then soon it will lead you to success. #
An Open Letter to all the Frontliners
By April Anne M. Nemenzo
I hope that we never meet each other for now…but if given a chance that I may see you all face to face after this, I will give you my warmest hug. Thank you for all the unending nights that you gave to all the patients, for staying outside to keep us away from danger instead of staying beside your family. For sacrificing your time and not giving up to all the people who are still surviving. For reminding us to stay at home and to feel great that we are alive.
You may be threatened, but you showed no fear. You are the hope of our nation today, forever we are grateful you are there. You guys are great, really great! To all the patients you saved, we owed you a lot. I may not be in your position but I know how much you are hurt seeing patients to die because of this enemy that we can’t see.
I may not be in your position but I know how much you are hurt wearing those tight, hot and annoying clothes and necessities everyday- but this are the only thing that can keep you far from being infected, and you all bear this much because you wanted to help not only the people but the entire world. To all our modern heroes who keep us safe and being part of this war that we can’t control, every one of you should take care.
I know it was hard, but your family is still waiting for you. I am just one of the children who are waiting for their mom and dad to come home safely. I will pray for your souls and family. After this you deserve a plate of honor, all of the frontliners out there. Hats off ma’am, sir.
The art of staying calm.
Every time my cellphone dings, I feel a sudden jolt in my heart that vibrates throughout my body like a shock. This feeling started when I went to college, an abrupt anxiety kicks in my mind whenever I receive a notification, my mind suddenly becomes flooded with thoughts of school requirements and quizzes sent by my group mates that are left undone. It haunts me like a little girl who’s afraid of a folklore ghost, then came running to her mom as a refuge to hide, except for me bed became my safety net. Sleeping turns into hibernation, pillow turns to mountains, and blanket turns to clouds until I’m on cloud nine.
My room became a fortress and it protected me from outside forces, but when the big bad wolf blew it, it fell so easily like it was built from a cotton, like my emotion so tender and so delicate. I realized that sleeping and locking myself into my room doesn’t prevent the reality to slap me in the face, when in fact doing that make things even worse. Whenever I lock myself, my mind automatically turns into a dark state wherein I can feel the void and emptiness of my life and when that sink in to my thoughts it will spread like a wild fire until it burns down my last barrier of protection.
My routine became my habit, because it’s handy I sleep then the next morning I forget. But it does not solve the problem, it’s a temporary band-aid that covers the surface but not the pain. When we have fresh wound, we tend to put band-aid right away without really cleaning it up because it’s less painful and much faster. As we forget about the wound, it becomes infected then it starts to rot affecting other parts of our body. That’s what happen to me when I wallowed in my room and dream-off my problem, my whole-body rots alongside with my emotions eating me slowly.
I tried different approaches as to how I would conquer this toxic solution I came up with. I admit it was not easy, sometimes when one experiment fails, I go back to sleeping until I come running back to that cycle again. Until one day I decided to wake up earlier than my usual time of getting up, I started my day with a music, it definitely soothes my thoughts then later I fixed my bed. I opened the curtains and let the sunlight to penetrate my room, then I prepared my breakfast and lastly took a shower. For the first time in forever I felt fine, no worries nor pain just fine. But reality isn’t magic, it took time to heal myself and for sure took time to be used to with that routine.
It took months of practicing and pep talks to continue what I developed, though it is worth the wait. Being calm and collected doesn’t come in one snap, it takes battles like constant fight with your fear of worry. Healthy environment coincides with healthy mind, we have to built a routine that will makes us feel good and friends that will be there for us. I hope whoever reading this will someday be okay, I know it’s not easy but you’ll get there I promise I m a living testament. Good luck!
College won't be as fun without my roommies. They became my study buddies, we've been together through all the all nighters and early morning cramming, all the stressful days due to never ending quizzes and even due to dorm problems. I miss our saturday night specials including our game night, I miss kicking your butts on UNO, I miss our art session, I miss our conversations about random things and our unending plans on moving out and finding a new dorm????. Keep safe mga mamshies, see you soon! Let's play UNO once we get back ????
If you're still single now, there are probably a a lot of questions running in your head. But being on your own for a long time helps you discover more about yourself. It's more than just freedom or independence. It's facing the world with so much courage. It's trying to make the most of your life without having to depend on someone. It's being happy on your own and loving yourself with all that you are.
We've been chasing love only to realize that it's not gonna work out that way. The right time will come that you will be blessed with the one you deserve. The one who also prayed to be with you. The one who will make you believe in love again. Let life surprise you. Hang in there.
The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.
Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.
Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.
For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?
Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.
Literally to begin with, I am writing with little shaky hands because this is the last time I went for a vacation like most of us must have and can’t plan any for now. The coronavirus outbreak has compelled us to stay at home for our safety and others in the vicinity.
I remember how I penned down my year 2020 to be the most remarkable year of my life in the hope of doing everything I desired for a long time and overcoming few obstacles. Whilst planning things ahead, I forgot to truly value all of things in the present.
I remember being chipper and grateful for my last summer vacation but now I feel I should’ve valued each and every moment. Considering the current gnarly situation, I want each one us to motivate ourselves to look for a positive side and to make the most of our time no matter the situation.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up in these circumstances and reckon that there are a lot of good things for us in the store. We’ll have the most amazing season of our life post pandemic. Let’s accept for the change and become the change. Propagate love and only love.
Danielle Flestado @artdkf.ph | June 19, 2020
"While I was reading my devotional book yesterday, this part hit me: rejoicing together is more difficult to do than grieving with each other. And so, I thought of reminding myself that I should be happy for the success of others. After all, we are part of one family and every one of us is striving to accomplish our own goals in this world. Let us be happy for each other."