Tag Archives: friends

MIA

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When I told you how I felt about you, this was the thing I feared the most–the awkwardness, that silence preceding how we would eventually drift apart. You see, that was one of the things I was thinking of, when I was having an internal debate on whether I should do it or not. In the end, I did. And now, we’re here.

In your letter, you told me how you would understand me if I would stay away from you for a while, for me to “let my feelings fade.” Then, when the feelings are gone, we can go back to being the kind of friends we were before. We’d go back to normal. I hope it was that easy, how taking some time off from each other would erase what happened (or didn’t happen) between us. But the thing is, it can’t.

There are times when I wish I didn’t tell you that I liked you. If I didn’t, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. Maybe we wouldn’t be walking on broken glass, careful to say words that might hurt the other (or at least hint at how hurt we–or, at least, I–are). This is what the time off from each other is for, for both of us to heal. Or, for the most part, for me to heal, to move on. You already told me you only see me as your best friend. Even though I would’ve prefered you tell me how much you like me too, that’s still better than nothing. I can live with that. At least I know I hold a special place in your heart.

Even though it’s only been a few days since we last talked, I realized how being MIA won’t help us that much. We’ve opened a Pandora’s Box of some sort. We can’t go back to how we were before; we can’t undo what was done nor pretend it didn’t happen because it did. By the time we see each other again for coffee after a period of being absent from each other’s lives, I bet the feelings would come rushing in. All those weeks spent in covering up the dust left by unrequited feelings and unreturned ones will probably go to waste. In that single moment, by the time I see you and your dazzling smile, I know how my heart will beat twice its regular rhythm, like it’s been conditioned to be that way whenever you’re there. Or maybe, it won’t beat that fast but I know there will be a whisper in my ear, saying, “That’s the guy you loved.”

So, I think it’s best if we let time take the reins. No complete detachment for both of us. We can still talk to each other, ask how we’re doing, have random conversations that made me fall for you in the first place. It will be awkward at the start, I know, but isn’t that how we started as friends? Maybe, in time, the feeling will fade, you might learn to like me, or we will still be hurting for both of our loves that were unreturned. But at least we didn’t drift apart. Did I tell you how I have the bad habit of just letting my friendships fade?

People ask me what makes you different from the others. I always tell them that what we had was based on a solid friendship, one we carefully built without the prying eyes of others. It is one which grew from a common love of Fall Out Boy and all the other bands and songs we spent listening to, each song bringing up different memories from both of us. It is a relationship which was a result of seeing each other’s vulnerabilities and secrets, and accepting them without hesitations.

And I guess that’s why I won’t let this friendship fade. I’ll hold on to you, to us. You can tell me to let go (for a while) but I won’t. I choose not to. For now, let me be a friend, if that’s all I can ever be.

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.

***

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). 😦

Life’s a whirlwind

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I haven’t written a new blog entry in months but all I can say is a lot of things happened in a span of one month (or maybe even less.)

Here’s a quick rundown:
> I liked a new guy and found out that my friend liked him, too.
> Witnessed a relationship turn into shambles.
> Witnessed, and probably helped, two people build one.
> Found out the person I liked liked my other friend.
> I just survived my 1st sem of being a Senior college student. And oh, I finally put out my mini-thesis for my minor, complete with some of my original works, hardbound. 😀

Sem break is about to end in a few days. Two weeks in Bohol did me well, I think. I was able to read at least some of my books and watch  movies that have been piling up in my hard drive. I was able to spend time with my family again, got to catch up with high school friends. Also, I guess it was a good breathing space. I needed this break, especially after everything that’s happened. I need it to think about things, recharge, and, maybe, heal.

I guess one of the things that I’m good at is running away, hiding. I think I have this automatic reaction to conflict wherein I withdraw. That explains why I’ve been avoiding hanging out at our org room that time when I learned they were going out. I’ve been using my school work as an excuse to avoid spending time there and being with myself, or with my other friends. I used it as an excuse to have That talk with her. Now, that school’s about to start, I’m not sure if I’m really done thinking things through. Or maybe, maybe I’m just tired of everything. Exhausted, that I don’t want to think about it anymore since I’ve been through this a lot of times already. I should’ve learned by then. 

I’m not sure if I’ve arrived at my conclusion.

Just there

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This was something I wrote for my Nonfiction Workshop class. It’s not perfect but I’m working on improving it. Thoughts? 🙂

As of this writing, it has been two years, three months, and more or less sixteen days since I started what I thought would be a very exciting yet daunting period in my life—college. Along with it was also the start of my dorm life. Here is a list of some of the things that I like about it (so far):

Top 5 Advantages of Being a Dormer

  1. Dorm = Philippines in a nutshell.

Although it should’ve been obvious from the beginning, I didn’t realize how the dorm seemed to be like a mini-Philippines until I actually got to meet the people who stayed there. Everyone came from different parts of the country – from as far as Baguio, to Cebu, all the way to Mindanao (like Zamboanga and General Santos).

That fact excited me since I’ve always wanted to have friends who came from somewhere other than my own province. Also, meeting them also meant that I get to learn their culture, what it’s like living in their own place, and especially their language. It was interesting for me hearing them talk in their native tongues and trying to understand them through context clues (and validating it after asking them, of course). “Diin ka na?” which is Hiligaynon for “Where are you?” and “Nagkaon na ako,” which is Bicolano for “I already ate” are some of the phrases I learned from them; we learned different dialects from each other. “Unya, dili ko ganahan ana.” (I don’t like that) It’s Bisaya but there’s no doubt that they understood that, what with us speaking in our dialect for quite a long time already.

It is also a relief to have someone to talk to in Bisaya after almost a whole day of striving hard to speak in Filipino, something I used to do only during our Filipino class back in high school. With them, I didn’t have to worry if I had an accent nor did I have to face the task of translating. Things were just more natural.

  1. Having my own room (also known as “My Me Corner”)

Since our house only has one room—enough for the four of us in the family—one of the things I looked forward to was having my own bed, my own desk, my own corner. Not that I didn’t like having to share a bed with my mom and my brother. It’s just that it felt nice having a bed to myself as well as getting to fill my corkboard with pictures, memos, and other things I wanted to decorate it with.

Having my own personal space just felt like an outlet for me to do what I’ve always wanted to do for myself and not having to worry about compromising for a change.

  1. Less Distance, Less Hassle

One of the most convenient things about living in the dorm is the fact that it’s just there. I didn’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or having to go home early from meetings or different org activities because “where I live” is just right across the street from the school campus.

Not being a morning person, and being the heavy sleeper, I had to face the challenge of waking up early for 7:30 AM class every day during the first semester. There were times when my trusty alarm clock would fail to wake me up on time—apparently, not being loud enough to do the trick—that, by some luck (or lack thereof), I would bolt upright and realize in horror that it was already ten minutes past my first class. After my initial state of panic, I’d remember that my classroom was just a few blocks away, leaving me enough time to do my morning rituals in a hurry and still be able to get to class within the acceptable grace period.

  1. The Smell of Freedom

With my parents not being here, I admit feeling relieved of not having to worry about parental guidance and their rules all the time. Although I still text them every so often about my whereabouts and ask them permission to go to my friend’s house and such, there are things that I am able to do without having their prying eyes on me, like being able to go to different events, watch late-night screenings of movies with my friends in the mall, or just being able to use public transportation on my own as often as I’d like.

Though it may seem rebellious or selfish to some, being able to do those things can be liberating. It allows me not only the chance to express myself more but also to experience the world on my own.

  1. …and Independence

Not having my parents around also means having to rely on myself to get things done. Here, I learned to be on my own and do things on my own, things like washing some of my clothes, getting up every morning, budgeting my allowance, making my own decisions, and the like. At first, it seemed hard and too big a responsibility but once I got used to it, I eased into doing those.

Although I must admit that there are times when I feel like it would be nice to have some help from my parents (or at least someone else), it just feels nice to have this sense of accomplishment after everything’s been done, especially when they turned out right. I may not be the best at doing those things but at least I know I’m on the right track. Also, I can’t help but feel grown up.

Living in the dorm has been a blast. Then again, like every other thing, there are times when it isn’t.

***

“Unya, mingawon ka sa imong mama ug manghod?”(So, are you going to miss your mom and your younger brother?), my high school teachers asked me during a break we had in-between our graduation practices. With a shrug, I answered, “Baw lang.” (I don’t know). I didn’t really know.

Ever since I was in grade school, I had attended the same school, Holy Spirit School, all the way to high school. Just a ten-minute drive from our house, it was easy to commute to school with my brother every morning, and just as easy for our mom to fetch us from there, after I was done with my piano lessons. I found it interesting that some of my classmates in high school had to stay in a dorm or a boarding house for the weekdays. They came from other towns and had to stay in the city during those days for school. Maybe, I should have seen it coming, that someday it would be my turn to live away from my own home.

Although most people don’t know it, there had been times when I got the chance to stay someplace else. Other than the occasional sleepovers at my cousin’s house when I was young, I’d sometimes luckily qualify for regional competitions that required me to stay in another place, usually Cebu, for the duration of the competition. Instead of going there with my family, I’d be living with my schoolmates and teachers.

During those times, I thought it was fun and interesting to live away from my family in a completely new environment, something different from what I was used to. I thought it was enough experience for me to use by the time I’d have to stay in the dorm for the whole school year come college, so it would be easier for me to adjust.

Then again, I also thought college Math was still within my range of comprehension.

***

It didn’t take that long for me to adjust to my new living arrangement. Although it took a few weeks for my roommates and me to go past the awkward stage, it was quite all right since I was with my friend from school. We eventually gained more friends (or pseudo-roommates, since they stayed in our room far too often) along the way.

But then again, I can’t help but think about home sometimes.

I found myself missing little things, like watching TV to eating champorado every Saturday morning. I also feel guilty whenever I miss family occasions, like birthdays. Before, I thought that they weren’t that important, that they were just there. But now that they’re gone, I suddenly realize how I love doing them and how important they are to me.

I guess dormers would agree with me when I say that aside from acads, we also have homesickness to worry about. I thought that this wouldn’t be that much of a problem to me but there are times when I can’t help but miss my family. Especially on Sundays.

For me, Sunday was Family Day. We’d go to church together then head out somewhere to eat lunch and talk about any topic that would come up. But now, that would have to wait until sem break and all the other breaks that I have in-between semesters. I can’t help but feel sad whenever I see families in Gesu hearing mass together. Not that going to Church with my dorm friends is bad. It just feels different.

Then again, we make the most of what we have. Distance may have separated us physically but it doesn’t really stop us from being a family. It feels nice to know that they’re just a call away and I found that really important especially during that time when I was struggling with school. At the risk of sounding stupid and pathetic, I called them up to tell them about my problems with my subjects and they didn’t hesitate to listen and give me comforting words. Ironically, that’s when I felt most that we were a family.

With late-night conversations and gorging on food delivered to the dorm and everything else that I experienced because of living in the dorm, I soon came to realize that it felt like home, too. The bond that I share with my friends in the dorm, along with the experiences that we’ve gone through together, made it feel like I found another family. It might not be the same “family” that I have biologically, my real family, but they still are. “Home” now has a different meaning: it’s not just about being in the same house as my parents and my brother but it’s also being with people I’m comfortable with, that spending time with them is always a blast.

A line from a song goes: “Home is wherever I’m with you.” I remember this every time I pack my things for the break. I can’t help but feel tired because of the hassle but I almost immediately brush it off and continue until I’m finally done. I look at all the things I still have to pack and clean but I also can’t help but remember the joy of eating delivered food, late-night conversations that sometimes last until dawn, and the almost-regular all-nighters that almost didn’t happen if they didn’t wake me up.  As much as I’m excited to go back home, I smile as I realize that I’ve been home all along.

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Because for me, saying that you can’t trust me anymore is just as good as saying that you’re mad at me. Okay, maybe not that much but still. I guess trust is such an important part of a relationship–be it a friendship or whatever kind or form–and I hate it how I made you feel like I broke your trust in me. It makes me feel like a horrible person.

Or maybe, this is just me, overthinking and making a big deal out of things. Things don’t really translate well over SMS. I wish we could’ve talked. Then again, I wouldn’t know how I’d react.

In a way, it’s good that I’m not there. Maybe this is what we need, what I need, to sort things out and figure out what we really want and don’t want to happen. Maybe you’ll miss me. Maybe we’ll grow apart. Time can only tell, which is, around two weeks. I hope we use this time wisely.

+1

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Felt like doing a Oh-no-I’m-gonna-be-a-Senior-in-a-few-weeks Post after reading all the updates from my friends who just graduated.

The thought of entering my 4th year in college is still surreal to me. Who’d have thought that I would get this far? I entered Ateneo an AMF/Applied Math-Finance major and, hopefully, I will graduate it a MIS/Management in Information Systems major (and a Creative Writing minor).

I know shifting is probably one of the best decisions I made in college. I think I talked about it a few times here (and in my other accounts). Things are better now in a lot of ways. Before, I was very scared and hesitant to do it, thinking that it might just be a phase I was going through. In the end, I jumped ship. That was when I learned one thing: it’s okay to take risks. Look at what’s happening now.

With Senior year fast approaching, I can’t help but think that shit’s getting real. Friends would be applying for jobs, we’d all be signing up for yearbook photoshoots, and, hopefully, we’d all survive whatever hell academics would throw at us.

Then again, I’m extending another year. It’s just sad how I won’t be able to graduate with my friends. Instead of with them, I’ll probably be cheering for them at the side, like a proud mom (I sound pathetic and cheesy haha). I just wish we could all do it together.

Anyway, JUNIOR YEAR WAS VERY INTERESTING. Finally got to start on my (new) major subjects along with the ones for my minor. I love it. I got to have the best of both worlds–programming and writing. I still have a long way to go and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me. Cheers to Junior year!

</School Year 2011-2012>

We had it over maki

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Thank you for trusting me, for making me the fourth person to know your secret. I know it was hard on you, if you should tell me or not, but you eventually did (and after my incessant coaxing). Even if it’s been only weeks since we got to know each other, I think I already know more about you than your other friends. Thank you.

I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you everything. Maybe next time. I’m still trying to find a way to admit them to myself and not run away or deny it anymore.

I don’t know where this will lead, if it’s towards a great friendship or something more. I know you like someone. That’s cool. But I hope you know that I’m always here for you. I wanted to give you a hug but it would’ve been too awkward, so, nah.