Metamorphosis

Instead of burning some calories in Koret today, I opted to sit down near the fireplace at school today to fix everything I have virtually–and that includes this blog. That way, everything will finally be in its proper place. I’m downing a tall cup of Chai Latte and cookies from the baon Wawa gave and although I’m going to pay for this on the elliptical tomorrow, I feel like sitting down to regroup and process everything that’s happened so far is a much-needed thing for me to accomplish at the moment.

This photo was taken 2 days before I left. I was so tired--physically, emotionally and mentally--and even in crazy photos like this, it showed through my face.

I came to San Francisco with hopes of finding what it is that I’ve been missing from 2011. I began the year rough, went through a crazy mid-way mark, but finished off with an abundant blessing of loved ones, support, and a new-found inspiration to get me going farther. The first two months of living here and attending university was a tough thing, really. I was unsure of myself and I doubted my capacity to adapt. I was never the shy-type and I didn’t sacrifice my “recitation” during classes but every time I spoke, I felt like a part of my usual Ateneo-setting attitude lacked its presence. There was a ‘holding back’ and I didn’t know what to do about it.

However, as time is the cure for everything (and I mean everything, as you will notice as you read on), I have slowly emerged from being a fat caterpillar to creating my cocoon. The metaphor is lame, I know, but I like the thought of coming back to Manila as a butterfly. I may be a 155 pound butterfly, but I am one nonetheless. With this cocoon being my comfort zone, I believe that I have found myself here in the city. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I can do and acquired this sense of indestructibility that tells me that nothing can ever hurt me anymore. It’s amazing what this feeling does to me and I would have never thought I’d come this far.

A contrast between old and new--the skyline versus the famous Victorian houses in Alamo.
Walking down Pierce and Hayes. Oh look, a happy face! 😉

Living here also taught me my limitations. It’s a humbling experience to be taken out of your normal routine and grapple your way through each day without knowing what lies ahead. It’s liberating to establish a new life–even if I’m going to be living it for just half a year–to explore new places, to create new relationships and to discover things that I once didn’t believe in. I harnessed the power of self and for once in a very long time, I have felt the peace that I’ve been looking for.  Continue reading “Metamorphosis”

A letter that sums up my 2011, or something like that

How do you say good-bye to a friend: Sadness, joy, gratitude, and a whole bunch of other feelings.

June/July 2011, when we were just both "peripheral" friends to each other

The letter above was written by my good friend, Bernice, before I left Manila. It’s evident that we’ve found comfort in each other’s company this year — and this is probably one of the things that I’ll definitely miss now that I’m away from home.

A reminder for me to constantly keep moving forward this 2012. A few Taylor Swift songs, a trip to my university, and a certain movie called Nine Lives shook me this week. Add to that a ton of work to turn in back at home. Read: org and acad responsibilities.

I’m not complaining, though. This is good.

Soup, stories, and sobs in between

Ending the stressful week I’ve had could not have been any more perfect than spending time with my closest girlfriends. Albeit having one of our always-spontaneous-dates-turned-sleepover-sessions back home just a few weeks ago, we can never really have too much time spent together especially now that we come from different universities. We missed Cuna that night because, unlike the four of us, she’s still based in the South but nonetheless, last night was one of the nicest and most heart-warming memories I’ll ever have with the barkada.

In the middle of my Shrimp and Asparagus pasta, I broke into a 2-minute waterworks session. I wish I could blame Tomato Kick’s smoky air for irritating my tear ducts, but this just came from the inside. What caused this sudden shift in emotion was my earlier encounter with an email from the past at work yesterday, triggered by something brought up during our casual conversation over cheesy Onion Soup. Whether or not it was the food or the good timing and presence of my friends (or both), I am glad to have let out that ounce of pressure I was trying to suppress.

Things have been going easy for me in terms of my emotional state. I’ve learned to accept things the way they are and have (although not completely) found answers to the questions I’ve been dying to know. A few weeks ago, I received texts and a phone call that I didn’t actually welcome with open arms but learned to appreciate in the end. Even though the situations played themselves out in a way that I least expected them to, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Three things I learned 1) life can indeed be like the movies, 2) I’ve made all the right decisions in choosing myself, and 3) closure can happen even if words are not there. Forgive me for the cryptic paragraph (I also wish I could write more in this blog about things other than my feelings, to be honest), but that turning point in my attempts of finding the right way has been the best yet.

Maginhawa served as a place of comfort for me, literally. Last night’s endless conversations about life and love taught me that although we may think we’ve screwed up and wasted so much time on something we care so much about, the truth of the matter is that we’re young and entitled to make those little trips and falls. I used to think that I knew everything before, but quite frankly, one’s only as good as who s/he was the morning after. Everyday is an opportunity to love and be loved, to create something beautiful, and to experience life with nothing holding you back.

Continue reading “Soup, stories, and sobs in between”

Back on track

Although this week has been nothing but a whirlwind of ups and downs, I can definitely say that I am back on track. Coming home from a date with one of my greatest girlfriends, I realized that there are so much more things to look forward to rather than dwell on what has already been done. BBM also changed my life — connecting me with two of the invaluable lifelines I could ever have at the moment. Those, and of course the inevitable support system that is my faith and my family.

A few, quick updates, though, before beginning the week to come:

  1. I am finally watching my first UAAP game in the course of my three-year stay in the Ateneo! Catch the DLSU vs ADMU match tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum (3pm)
  2. I am back on Twitter after a week-long hiatus which taught me a whole lot about self-control, discipline, and a nifty sense of censorship and propriety.
  3. As much as “quitting” Twitter was a sacrifice, quitting meat a year and two months ago was a huge one, too. But as all things must come to an end, I decided to follow my doctor’s advice to begin caring about my health and to start getting an authentic protein fix. So, yes I am back to eating meat. And yes, I pray that my sickly self will get back in shape as soon as possible. With the academic load kicking in, the last thing I need is a frail and sickly old me.
That being said, anyone want to bon bon the Bon Chon with me? 

 

A conversation over dinner

In the middle of dinner, eating my friend’s own Tuna Flakes recipe (Thanks Mateo!) and my black homemade milk tea, Lexie and I suddenly broke out into talking about what has become of our lives after 19 years. With her brother, Jao, accomplishing his Ateneo application requirements and my brother, Franco being at an age where I actually started to like boys, it’s kind of scary to think about how we’re moving at such a fast rate.

In a few days, she’ll be leaving for Espana to attend the World Youth Day celebration and as for me, I have a little over half a year to make the most out of my stay in sunny Manila. To say that we’ve reached our dreams would be an understatement, probably because back when we were 8 year olds crushing on our tallest classmate, we never would’ve thought we’d grow up to be where we are now. Going through these things together, still, is of course an added bonus.

Thinking about what we’ve done in the past makes us want to laugh at our childish selves. When we look back at how we thought “love would conquer all”, it makes us wonder who were we kidding, really? The things we thought that mattered at an age of 14 seems pretty far-fetched and just silly after five years passed us by.

I actually don’t know where I’m going at this point. It’s probably the weather that’s dragging me to type away. Whatever it is, though, I feel like some epiphany is bound to hit me pretty soon.

I do hope it’s a good one.