My Diliman Story

Since typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, I’d like to believe I’ve grown up and matured at least somehow. Sad truth is, though, that I haven’t; I am still the same indecisive, easily-swayed, misinformed teenager I was before the storm. I thought that after over six months in Diliman of decisions, grinds and experiences away from my family, I would at least learn something—saving money, acting around people, when to study-when not to study—that my parents always reminded me about on a daily basis. But no, here I am, seven months later, rethinking my stay in Diliman and regretting why I didn’t make the best of it.
Why?

Before the typhoon I already had plans of transfering, simply because I felt that I didn’t deserve ‘just UP Tacloban’. I thought that, “Hey, the courses I applied for in Diliman were really cut-throat, I guess if I applied for the course I have in Tacloban now, I would have totally gotten in.” And so all of the first semester was an effort to get great grades.

But then the storm happened.

Funny thing is, I wasn’t even scared of the storm on November 7. I was on the internet laughing about farting goats and not even giving the slightest shit about Haiyan. But God, when the water was coming in, all I could think about was my education. The first thing I tried to save were my school records. After swimming to safety, my family was crying about the house, our relatives, our lives; I was crying about not going to be able to go to school on Monday, not going to be able to transfer to Diliman, not graduating, not getting a job. I was so scared, I just sat on the concrete and cried. I cried the kind of tears that just keep streaming down the sides of your face—no noise, just tears. The type of crying people do when everything just seems hopeless.

The next day, I went to Robinsons Tacloban alone; I took what food and necessities I could. Then again to Robinsons with my cousins to take more food, more necessities, some clothes, some luxuries. Another day passed, I slept with a knife in my hand, scared at any noise the fence would make.

A day passed, I brought home a sack of rice from a warehouse in San Jose. I cried when I got home; there were too many dead people.

A day passed, I couldn’t sleep, I was staring at the fence.

A day passed, I refused to eat so my parents could eat more.

A day passed, my cousins and I looted a pharmacy. We took a lot of antibiotics.

A day passed, I slipped and a piece of torn roof cut my skin.

A day passed, I coudn’t bear to look at my room.  Everything was covered in mud.

A day passed, I thought I heard something outside. My father brought out his gun. It was just a stray cat.

A day passed, I bought a loot phone from a stranger. God, there were so many messages from unknown numbers.

A day passed, my brother called, he said they were arriving in four hours. He told me to pack so we could leave for Manila.

Ten days after the storm, my brother called, he said they were arriving in four hours. He told me to pack so we could leave for Manila.

Twenty four hours later, I was in a van cutting across Bicol. The trip took two days. We didn’t stop the whole way except for gas thrice. I was in Manila by the 20th.

The internet told me that the entire university system was open for cross-registrants from UP Tacloban. That moment I thought, “Here was my chance. I’m going to Diliman!” I did everything I needed to do to get in with a smile. Even if I didn’t bring a lot of clothes, money, or valuables, I was happy because I was where I wanted to be.

AS was bigger than I thought it’d be, freshie walk was a pretty as the pictures, Melchor was as intimidating as I imagined. The amount of elation I was going through that first week was probably enough to power a Happy Factory for depressed people for the next year—I was over myself with ecstasy. This would have been a perfect story, but then there would be no point in writing this if that were the case.

 

I’ve made too many mistakes in Diliman.

I didn’t work hard enough for my grades, I was too caught up in useless thrills. I didn’t get to experience a university life because, when I wasn’t caught up in useless thrills, I was wasting away on the internet. I spent too much of the charity money on things that made it obvious that I didn’t deserve a charity. In three minutes, I made a decision that would demand my life’s time.

I fell in love with someone from Diliman. :)I hurt myself and this person. I fell out and in and out and in of love for this person. But it wouldn’t work.

Long story short, I wasn’t able to live out the Diliman life I truly wanted. I can’t transfer because of something I did and wasn’t able to do. Despite all that, I loved  every moment of the experience. And even if I’m probably never going to be able to repeat it I can’t bring myself to not be happy. It feels as though I’m leaving a huge part of my soul in Diliman and yet I’m smiling through the pain because at least a part of me can be here.

I’m leaving for home on June 25th. This is my message to everyone—whether we met or not, whether or not we’ve crossed glances in Casaa, whether or not our hands touched and we felt that spark that everyone looks for—whoever you are, I want to tell you that you were instrumental to the rollercoaster ride of emotions, to the experience that was my Diliman story.

Thank you.

Aside

Lessons on Conceit

Foreword: I know all my friends on Facebook personally.

So I want everybody that reads this blog that my birthday was on May 9.

As we all know, most people use Facebook as a half-assed way to remember birthdays. So what I did this year was to take down my birthday’s publicity a month before—no one would get a notification and they couldn’t see the information on my account either. This was just to see if there were people who remembered. I disabled friends from posting on my timeline, I didn’t accept tagged birthday greetings on my timeline—I did everything so I could figure out who remembered and so those people who didn’t remember remained that way.

So on May 9th, four people tagged me in their own statuses, greeting me for my birthday. FOUR people.

I finally let the tags on my timeline three days later, on May 12.
Of course, the rest of my friends greeted late and some said sorry for not remembering.

As much fun as I had that time, laughing about all the apologies and late greets, I realized I was being a little too conceited.
I couldn’t possibly expect everyone to remember my birthday just because we were friends.

And so with a happy heart, I would like to reach out to my friends and tell them, “You guys should slap me in the fucking face. I am such a bitch sometimes. Honestly.”

Well, that’s the end of my story, I’m going back under my rock.

Veils

From the moment we are borne into the light we develop a sense of our surroundings, and through this we form a personal knowledge. As a child, with an innocent but truthful eye, we thought nothing of worry, of insecurity, and of fear; there was only beauty and no reason to suspect.

Yet as we age, there emerges a reality we did not believe yet existed. So frightfully clear it startles us. All around you witness lies and hypocrisy, finding an inability to separate truth from illusion. Then doubt, suspicion, and trepidation arise. To grow is to lose the rose-tinted spectacles, the lace veil, the hand that guides us.

It is in this belief I have lived my teenage years; in this state of mind that I have carried myself and my obligations accordingly. For in our generation of pretense there is need not of innocence and sweetness, only of rigidity and the will to continue on in this never-ending race.

But what use was all this self-discipline to me when all I ever really sought was excellence. I had forgotten that to be truly excellent one must put honor first; was blinded by the pretense I had hid within and myself veiled from the true end of my goals — I had become a machine, a yes-woman, an object with a power-button that could be dispensed with at will. I had become the best play-actor on the stage that is cruel society.

I had my great days, days when never was I wrong and to all the audience I was the biggest star; I have had the lowest days — times when shadowed were my eyes and I so forcefully brought back down to reality to witness the wrong I have put in motion. These are my memories, and yet these are not the moments which define me, for that which defines us is the middle-line — the gray lining so to speak. For it is in this line where we spend most of our time, idly passing, hardly ever seeing.

So where am I?

I am at this middle. I have tasted enough of ecstasy that gray tastes of ground.

At this moment, I am mediocre.

Summer

Summer has begun.

I would have been home and finished with my finals—reading a good book or two softly reclining on an easy chair. Instead, I am alone in my dorm room as the the other residents are slowly leaving one by one. Yet, here I am and still unable to decide whether I’ll be going home or staying here. As much as I want to keep avoiding the question, necessity requires an answer. “What happens now?”

What exactly is going to happen now? After the storm, I and several students from UP Tacloban have gone to the university’s flagship campus in Diliman looking for refuge and hopefully find a would-be lost semester.

That semester is now over and the other students are on their individual ways back to their hometowns. I am still here though, what happens to me? I didn’t take any majors because there weren’t any to take. I wasted a semester.

What do you do when you waste something? You make up for it.

And so I will, this summer.

Which is why I ask, “What happens now?”

There is nowhere to go at the moment but another UP campus in Cebu—and so to Cebu I shall point my lens and efforts.

X-Reg

When I came to Manila I didn’t know I was going to continue the semester in the flagship campus of my University. After Haiyan, I thought I would have to wait in a safe place until news came out that we could go back to school, probably in January or later (which did in fact happen).
I never imagined I would have experienced what I went through this semester—a semester full of drama, laziness and secrets I will take to my grave (none of them bad though, I just wanna keep them secret)—anywhere else, especially back at home in Tacloban where I am watched over by the omnispective presence that is my mother( come on, that was funny).
I guess I came to WordPress today just to say Thank You! To all the people who filled my semester with hell, fun, what-I-think-is-awesomeness, crazy shit, bitchiness, MATH, speeches, dramas, late nights, late nights that became mornings, Red Bull, Sting, palpitations, paperwork, blue art paper, letters, sticky notes, handouts and all the other shit I can’t remember right now — or probably won’t mention anyway because this post isn’t about all that shit, it’s about me saying thank you to no one in particular — but I definitely will remember long after I have finished (that was long-winded, I dare you to say read that sentence in one breath).

Mornings

There are times when I find myself unable to sleep; last night was one of those times.

I went downstairs to lose time.

I have shared a moment or two alone with other souls and yet never have I lost track of the time as much as I did last night. Whether I regret this or live up to this, whatever my decision be, will be final.

Yakal

It’s been a couple of months since we moved into Yakal Residence Hall. Everything on my side of the room is now blue. I have so much to say about this dorm, the people, the happenings, but I won’t say them now. And I know it’s been a really long time since I last posted something, I’ve just been living without a computer for the past few months. Which is sad, really. I miss my old laptop. Hahahaha. Til next time guys!

The Palma View

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm I have Philosophy classes on the third floor of Palma Hall. And every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm and 2:30PM I am elated.

At 1pm I ascend the many steps to the third floor, and although feeling the expenditure of adenosinetriphosphate I am brought to ecstasy as I witness the tree-tops across the campus. And that is all, I am simply elated by tree-tops. Perhaps it is because I have forever been of short stature that tree-tops cause such an elation.

And at 2:30pm, this ecstasy repeats as I take the descent of the many steps of Palma Hall.

That is all.

Quote

Oh, Night Vale

The witnesses all agreed that Vithia was no longer real, and that we were no longer allowed to know anything about her.

“It was a lovely sight,” said one witness.

“I cannot even describe the beauty of her ascension,” said another.

“You kind of did, though,” said another witness, who was wearing a fedora. “By saying you cannot describe something, that is a sort of apophasis, a paralipsis, if you will, which gives the object an implied description through non-description,” he continued. “Plus, the word ‘indescribable’ carries with it a universal connotation and is, itself, a description. Here, let me explain…”

You just gotta love Night Vale.

In Company, but Alone

Forgive me if I am to be a little vague.

Today I feel trapped. Trapped inside a small dark room.

It is bright outside, and yet the gloom indoors sets about an ethereal feeling of disconnection from time—as though the darkness is in itself a bubble which seclude us from reality. The small rays drifting through the small, high, open window cut through the black of the room—the only evidence of day.

I awake with a sense of isolation. The body next to mine breathes slowly—my friend. In company, but alone. The quiet is eerie and the sound of the wind lashing through the window is so soft, it barely has the right to be called a sound at all. In this profound silence, ideas rush. And to hear yourself think without distraction is truly deafening. Empty thoughts ricochet against the walls of an empty head and it is painful to listen to.