Tuesday, February 28, 2006

looking for intelligence

a little anecdote for your entertainment

on free days, i help coordinate weddings for coordinator-friends of mine. last sunday, i did such a thing.

one of the tasks assigned to me and another friend was to look for "intelligent men" to handle the confetti cannons (they came with detailed instructions) towards the end of the mass.

i spotted a couple just outside the church doors. i had seen them inside the church earlier. the man looked intelligent enough in his suit so i decided to go and ask if he could be one of my cannon bearers. my friend followed suit and approached another man outside, wearing a barong tagalog (i.e., traditional Philippine formal wear for men).

when asked if he could be of help to her, this was his apologetic reply: "ah, kasi, may hinihintay din ako eh. ako kasi yung sunod na kakasalin." (i'm just waiting for someone. you see, i'm the groom of the next wedding.)


Monday, February 27, 2006

yet again

when history repeats itself, it loses its novelty.

take people power, for example. the first one was thrilling; the second had steam, but no umph. the third time was not a charm, nor were the ones that followed. coup d'etats and their attempts are the same thing.

after a while, these things become bothersome, not to mention disruptive to the economy and personal schedules.

maybe they happen too much too often because we fail to learn the lesson or take the lessons seriously. and in the end, we, as country, are not taken seriously.

it's sad. it's pitiful. it's sickening.

Friday, February 24, 2006

lessons from UP

when i was (much, much) younger, i remember planning out my life. i'd go to UP for college, work in a bank, buy my own car before i turned 30... stuff like that.

i pretty much stuck to the plan. i DID work for a bank... for an entire month. i "bought" my own car... from my dad, for a hard-earned buck. the studying in UP part i skipped for my undergrad. back then, UP was too radical with their "makibaka, huwag matakot" posters in red; not conducive to studying at all (for the record, i passed the UPCAT and got into ECO, a quota course... ahem!)

so i earned my undergrad, without regrets, from the Ateneo. AAAH! the pampered life! i would learn to appreciate the pampering in years to come.

it took me around about 15 years to re-apply to UP, this time for my masteral. it seemed that "the plan" had a way of working itself out on its own.

what's the big deal about going to UP anyway? why do thousands of HS seniors kill to see their names in the acceptance lists each year? what's so great about getting your degree at the state university?

i will not argue about the great minds that were scholared there. my parents went there, met there, and married there. (dad would later go to harvard; mom won a fullbright scholarship.) so did marcos (and like him or not, he was brilliant!) and ninoy (there's another one for ya!) and many others who would become true leaders in their respective and respected fields.

i do not admit to being an expert in the school's system (or lack of it). i always considered myself "divorced" from the school, going there only if i had a class to attend. at most, i would stay after to grab a bite with my classmates - be it fishballs, monay, taho, or mang jim's.

my boss couldn't understand how it took me a week to enroll into 2 subjects (it would only take half a day in Ateneo); it would even take longer to file for an LOA. i couldn't comprehend why somebody couldn't just come up with a flowchart or a list for pre-enrollment processes. it would save a person a day's commute to find out beforehand that they needed clearance from health services first and to be told that they needed an x-ray to get that clearance. not when they're already there! i couldn't understand how an entire drawer in a library's card catalogue could go missing and the librarian just shrug her shoulders at my dilemma. i couldn't imagine how a girl can go to the college of EDUC's first floor comfort room and not fear for her life!*

after going through these (and much more), that was when i understood what made going to UP so great. it wasn't the school's utilities and facilities, and (sadly) neither was it because of its teachers (but when they were good, they were REALLY good!); it was the process of getting the education. it was learning to be creative and making things work when the system didn't (i did all my research at Ateneo's Rizal library. like i said, no regrets.) it was learning to be patient when you were in one of those long lines that was synonymous to the school's name. UP stood for University of Pila - "pila" means queue for non-tagalog readers. it's commuting back and forth to buildings to obtain a signature; stalking a professor's office for hours to get into what you know would be a good class. it's in exchanging and throwing ideas back and forth with peers to make sense of what a teacher was trying to explain inside the classroom. it's in meeting and dealing with people whose personalities are as varied as there are colors in a pantone guide. it's survival. in short, UP builds character.

now i understand why the school gets only the top students the country has to offer: you have to be good to begin with so you can come out better, if not GREAT. i have my parents as proof for the last note.

*i am happy to report that the bathroom has since been renovated.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

it's here!

it's download heaven
i can search like hell
we now have DSL!

thanks to my bro dennis for making the connection :)

utak sabaw

utak sabaw. brain soup.

that's how my brain feels like right now after 2 days of MA comprehensive exams. five years of UP night classes summarized in 2 days in 11 questions in 9 blue books in 16 hours.

at least it's all over. i hope i don't have to do that again.

my hand really hurts :(