Category Archives: Life

Five is just a number

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First Year

Rec Week, Freshman year. For a freshie to see all these orgs can be quite overwhelming especially when there are a lot of interesting ones. I’ve already joined AMS, my home org, and I think I can still join a few more. Instead of signing up alone for this other org, I decide to join my block mate in SPEED because at least I know one person there. It seemed interesting, anyway.

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It was a Saturday and we were supposed to have our culminating activity in SOC to end the sem. Sadly, I woke up at around 10 and missed our 8am-call time. I tried calling our area head, Carlos, and said sorry a lot of times. I was really looking forward to it and would’ve wanted to spend time with the kids but I guess I could never win a fight against sleep.

I guess one of the reasons why I couldn’t wake up that time was the weather. Ever since I woke up, it was raining and it just got worse as the day went on. Eventually, all the Saturday classes got cancelled, warnings were given, and the waters kept rising. That was the day Typhoon Ondoy hit.

I later found out that they were in SOC for more than 5 hours; they got home at around 10pm because of the rain and therefore couldn’t really leave the area. They played cards and tried to assure each other and the kids that it will be alright. I’m not sure if missing the last area visit was a good thing or a bad thing.

Second Year

It goes without saying that Sophomore year was my lowest year; things just kept going from bad to worse. Yet, I’m glad how SPEED kept me afloat and gave me enough motivation to still swim. Instead of worrying about Accounting, I had long forms and program flows to settle as part of being SpFiesta’s co-project head, along with Steph. I know acads should’ve been the first priority but doing things for the org was what kept me going, enough to at least give me a reason to look forward to another day. At least I was waking up for something and for someone.

Finally, it was time for SpFiesta. All the kids and volunteers were all very happy from playing all the games we prepared, watching the performances, and just by spending time with each other. In the end, the project turned out to be a big success. I can’t say the same about my grades, though. Still.

Third Year

It’s already my third year in SPEED and I still haven’t been to one EvSem. I’ve been invited to attend one a lot of times but kept missing it since I always have a ticket home ready before I even know about the dates. This time though, I made sure to schedule it properly. EvSem was when I met a lot of new people. I initially thought Benjhoe was really quiet since he didn’t talk much on the way to the venue. I later found out I was wrong. Super.

Since I don’t usually hang out in the Sproom, it was a first for me to really get to talk to the other speple. For someone who doesn’t talk much, it was quite a challenge for me but it turned out really well. By the time we were back in Katip, I already knew how to play Werewolf, saved the phone numbers of male speple in my phone, and, most importantly, gained a lot of new friends.

That was also the year I finally decided to run for Spofficership. After long hours of discernment, I became the next VP for Advocacy.

Fourth Year

I thought I would be good at this since I’ve headed projects before but you’ll never know until you’re actually there, juggling different aspects of the project—and of the org—all at the same time so I was really glad that I could always count on Joni to help me, saving me from my tendencies to be disorganized or to panic easily. A student’s smile or hug, and even from the volunteers are enough reasons to remind me—us, the whole Advocacy Team—to keep doing what we do and how all the panic and stress is worth it.

Senior Year was also when I started going to the Sproom during my break, getting to know not only the welcoming atmosphere of the room (despite how it’s usually full of people and other things) but also the people inside it. I got to know their stories and I told them mine as well. I learned to go past my introversion and actually talked to everyone; I even joined Sproove. It was when I really found what it meant to be a Speple, to be in a SpFamily.

Like all families, disagreements are inevitable. It could have ended on a better note but there are things you can’t control. So we just move on and learn from them.

Fifth Year

I always have this feeling that my time as a Speple has just begun. There are always new people to get to know and talk to, official events and even random bonding moments to attend. I thought it would be a quieter year this year since most of the people I know have graduated but I was wrong (again). In fact, the list of Speple that I meet just keeps growing exponentially. There’s still a lot of things to talk about and bond over. More importantly, there’s still so much we can do for our students and for the advocacy. I haven’t even been to some of our areas but I intend to do that before this year ends.

I know the clock keeps ticking—there’s only two or so months left—but my five years in SPEED has taught me that you never really stop being a Speple. Although you may have graduated, the random kulitan and bonding moments will never stop. The advocacy will still be there and I hope that graduating and being in the real world will even drive us to do more for it.

I can only imagine how it will be to see the students again in a few years’ time and realize how much they have improved yet they remain to be the sweetest and best people to give out hugs. Those who stayed would’ve taken care of the org well and then there’d be new faces who, like me, were drawn to the org in their own way. Then, it would feel like I never left.

I wrote this article for my org’s Tumblr site (Check it out here). My org, Ateneo Special Education Society, caters to persons with special needs and we do weekly visits as well as organize various advocacy and fundraising projects for our students from partner and non-partner institutions. Looking back, I don’t know how I different I would be if I didn’t join the org. I’m going to miss it once I graduate (which is, hopefully, in two months). 😦

Red

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1. I donated blood today. Fainted a few minutes right after. Good thing SpOpen Mic Night was just across the corner.
2. Ken slipped, then had part of his chin torn open when he got up. I panicked, he didn’t; I was 16, he was just 7.
3. I heard my parents have sex once. From then on, I told myself to sleep early whenever my dad’s around.
4. Your favorite color was red and after we broke up, I told myself I wouldn’t like red anymore. I still do.
5. My friends tell me they can’t imagine me being angry. I tell them, I become a sailor.
6. It was a good thing it was a Saturday when I first got my period. I woke up with my shorts soaked in blood. Then, after cleaning up, I jumped three flights of stairs. Good thing they didn’t wipe my face with the stuff.
7. I first had a crush on someone when I was in Grade 5. I’ve always imagined us kissing in some room while everyone was out. We never did.
8. Yet, I first truly fell in love when I was in 6th Grade. I fell in love with how he always told me interesting stories, how he played basketball really well, and how he smelled really nice everyday. Then, he started avoiding me. It was like a sad love song stretched out for more than 4 minutes.

Everybody’s son

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It was supposed to be a good day. The sun was shining, we were all laughing, then it happened. You ran, slipped, fell on the floor. When you got up, there was already a little bit of blood on your face. A certain portion of your chin was cut open. I immediately panicked while you just stood there, clueless or, maybe, in shock of what just happened. It’s funny how you were the one telling me to calm down and call Mommy Jenny. I think you were only 6 years old then; I was 16. I guess age doesn’t always tell who’s the grown up.

It’s hard for you, isn’t it? Moving schools, staying in different places, and having a lot of “moms.” You didn’t even get to meet your real dad. Everyone in the family calls you their son but your real mom wasn’t around until now. That’s why I try my best to understand you, even if you can be a little prick sometimes. I just hope you don’t let resentment or whatever negative feeling grow in your heart. It may not be the greatest but we’re trying our best to raise you to be the best person you can be. I hope you know that Ate day, Kuya Adrianne, Mommy Lalai, and Dada Laido are always, always here for you. Just don’t test our patience.

Happy birthday Ken! I miss you. You’re like a real brother to me. Good luck!

It’s inevitable anyway

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True story: After reading Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman last January (it was around New Year when I read it), I kind of began this paranoia that I would die soon (read: that night). I wasn’t able to sleep, or at least tried to postpone it, because I thought it would stop It from happening. At least, not until much later on in my life.

Crazy, right?

By Mikko Ona

By Mikko Ona

I just came from Mikko’s wake this afternoon together with the other Speple and I just can’t help but be overwhelmed by everything. I don’t really know her that much, aside from she worked on the Splayday poster which was awesome, but I could totally sense that she was a bright person, radiating her love and warmth to everyone around her. This was all based on the pictures and letters they put up.

Being the sometimes-emotionally attached person that I am, I managed to hold it in then I overheard this man talking to her dad:

Guy: What was her major?
Dad: ComTech.
Guy: So she wanted to be like you?

I dunno why, really, but I think that hit me. She could’ve gone on, have a career, and be like her dad. I wonder how he felt after hearing that. We only have 2 weeks until finals week and one more year until we graduate. Yet, she died. 😦 I’d like to believe that everyone gets to Go eventually–death is inevitable–but I guess her time was just too soon.

***

My overactive mind then tried to work its magic…

What if it happened to us? What if I died? What would my parents feel? What if my brother would die ahead of me? Will I ever be able to handle it and still stay sane?

I know I’m overreacting to this but I can’t help it. We’ve had our fair share of relatives or just people we know die before. We’ve attended their wakes, their funerals, and we think they’re enough to prepare us for Death. Yet, when it happens, we find that we can never be ready. We’re wrong. It’s still the same hurt and grief and sadness and maybe even regret that grips us every time something like this happens.

Then again, I wish I could be prepared.

Throwback Thursday

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The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 2 years, 4 months and 17 days ago, on October 11, 2010. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org

Dear FutureMe,

Hi there! This is 17-turning-18-in-13-days-year-old Trishia. Isn’t this great, your past self sending you a letter to you? No, this ain’t sci-fi. It’s just good stuff found on the net (and shared by MicaSol), I guess.

How have you been these past few years? Are you doing well? I just came back from studying for the Ma21 finals at Starbucks. And me writing this means that I’m procrastinating studying for Accounting20. No, I didn’t say that to make you feel guilty. I just did so I can tell you how excited I am to meet you and go through the things that you did. (At this point, things about ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife come flashing in my mind).

I just had my Ma124 finals this afternoon. I didn’t do well. I did bad. Seeing my blockmates talk about their answers made me feel sad and sorry for myself cuz I had no idea what they were talking about. Derangements? Why didn’t I use that?

Anyway, things have been tough for me lately. I don’t feel like I’m not myself. I haven’t been myself these past few months. School’s been getting me down. Add in the “usual” emo-teenage-syndrome or whatever you call that. But, while you are reading this, I hope things have improved a lot for you. You’re about to graduate in a month, right? So, yay to you for making it this far. You’re graduating from the Ateneo, your dream university, right?

I hope that as the years passed, you were able to learn from your mistakes. You didn’t let them get you down, right? Even if there are nights, days, hours when they do get you. But you didn’t let them get you for that long, right? Just remember that… things will get better, as cynical as you may be. Things happen for a reason. Enjoy the moment. Don’t worry too much.

I guess that’s the problem with me. I worry too much that’s why things slip by without me even noticing them. And be patient, okay? Even if you failed at something, just keep on trying and trying and trying. Remember that time when you ran for school council 3-4 times and didn’t win? BUT when you ran again for the last time, you finally made it and was Secretary during your last year in high school. So there you go. Don’t give up.

Also, remember that you are beautiful. You are smart. You are talented. I guess, another problem with me is that I didn’t believe in myself that much. I had lots of insecurities. Gaah. Just remember that even with your imperfections, even if you’re not as pretty or as talented or as smart as the others, know that you are pretty and talented and smart in your own, little way. 😉

So there. I don’t think this made that much sense nor do I think that this is as meaningful or that great to receive a literary award but I hope that you realize that I wrote it because I’d like you to be a better me in the future. A lot of things can happen in three years so I hope, may they be good or bad, you’ll be happy and better and be more filled with “wisdom.”

And remember that this girl, who’s turning 18 in a few days but still haven’t finalized everything yet, was always anticipating to meet you. And that she will always have your back, no matter what happens. You’ve got your friends and blockmates and your family, too. It doesn’t hurt to show that you’re weak and sad, okay? It’s okay to lean on others, too. You don’t have to be Atlas and carry the whole world on your shoulders. Let me tell you, it’s a very tough job, carrying all that baggage while making it seem like your world’s all rainbows and butterflies. I should know.

So, there. Good luck! I hope by this time, you already have your passport. Haha. We shall set foot in London or Paris or Korea, m’kay? 😀

P.S. What course are you graduating from? Do you have “someone” already? 😉

It’s funny how time flies. I went through a lot–disappointments, successes, heartaches, and everything else in between. Yet, I’m VERY glad to say that I’m still here. Still surviving and trying to understand life. I gotta say, my PastMe almost got everything right. When I wrote this, I remember I was really sad and disappointed. Now, I feel like I’m more contented, stronger, happier. So yay to us! 🙂

P.S. No, PastMe, I still don’t have one. The fortune teller says I will in two years. Maybe I should write another letter?