July 29, 2006


Hey friends. I am so overwhelmed right now. Last week, i had dinner with some students from an international law school based in Korea and we met again earlier. It was just so encouraging to see a meeting of law students and lawyers from around the world -England, Indonesia, US, Korea, etc worshipping God and having fellowship with each other. I mean, it was amazing.

The law profession as you know is stereotyped mostly negatively but in that small room was a group of people who are focused on God and focused on making a difference in their field. I wanna be like that. I want to champion authentic justice and be a blessing to other people and to my country at that.

They introduced us to Advocates International (http://www.advocatesinternational.org), an organization of Christians in the legal profession supporting each other and doing Christian legal advocacy around the globe. I wanna be part of that.

In fact, there's a student chapter and the next conference will be in India, October this year. I wanna go.

Please pray for me. Pray for faith, that i will go there and be encouraged and be an encouragement as well. Please pray for finances. I don't have a job but i believe God provides and i pray that i'll be able to raise $700 by October for the conference.

Yes, i really wanna go. I am available for hire. I can do odd jobs here and there, like computer related tutorials, webstuff, editing stuff and what not. I really need help. If you feel extra generous, a little help from you will be deeply appreciated. Please pray for me. Contact me at 09175642647 please if you have ideas. :-)

July 26, 2006

Ang saklap

Minsan ba naiisip mo na andami mo nang ginawang mali tapos may mangyayaring masama at kutob mo parusa mo yon?

That's what i feel right now.

I woke up last Sunday realizing that i didn't have my retainers in my mouth. I probably left it on the sink a few hours ago but it wasn't there. I looked for it in the bag i used the night before. I looked for it among my books, readings, under my bed, inside trash cans. In short, i looked for it everywhere all morning but it was nowhere to be found. I looked again after lunch, it really wasn't there.

I was so regretful. Well, first, i paid for my braces with my own hard earned salary so it was a treat for myself (though it hurted much more than i expected). Furthermore, i bore the discomfort for how many months only to have my teeth bounce back to their original positions in a day?

So i sent text messages to a lot of people asking if i should get a new one. It was Sunday, i wasn't able to go to church primarily because i was so distressed. I vowed to scout for the cheapest place in Katipunan Avenue to get my retainers done but it was Sunday. I couldn't have done anything but sweep my room all day which i actually did. But NADA.

I so hated the feeling. That's my own money down the drain. I hated myself for staying up so late that night, having slept at 3am. I hated myself for enjoying so much with my high school friends at Eastwood knowing that i have lots of things to read and that i even had fever.

The next day i woke up so early. I really asked God in prayer for Him to give me back my retainers. I sent text to my friend to ask if i left it at the resto where we ate.

And really, God was just reminding me to believe it's just there and i'll find it. Besides, i distinctly remember brushing it that night before i went to sleep, wiping it dry and even smiling in front of the mirror after i put it on. But i woke up with naked teeth. I may have swallowed it. Either that or had it inadvertently flushed in the toilet.

I couldn't content myself so i looked inside the germ filled trash cans once again. I called and wasted a lot of my free minutes for this month asking if i really should get a new one. I got different answers. It all boiled down to my decision. I don't want my how my teeth looked like before i got my braces. So, while the typhoon was raging, i got my umbrella and windbreaker, got out of the dorm and walked the length of Katipunan Avenue.

Each dentist got the same lie.

"Hi. I just wanna ask how much an upper retainer will cost. I lost mine e and i have to ask my mom for money."

Okay so i had to lie because i didn't wanna tell them i was just scouting for the cheapest dentist. Nakakahiya naman no.

"Ok. I'll call muna and then i'll probably come back tomorrow if she agrees."

So, yeah right. Tuesday, i scouted Esteban Abada Street for a change.

The winner? The dentist holding office in the same building as my dorm. Oh well, at least i knew im getting retainers for the lowest price. So, Tuesday afternoon, i ordered, had my teeth's impression and all that. Okay, so i was about ready to accept that i lost the old one and i need to shell out money for a new one lest all that money i spent go down the drain. It wasn't a good night's sleep still.

Wednesday, we finally had to go to class after the long hiatus. Thanks to SONA and the typhoon. (But no, i hate the damage of course.) Surprise, the teacher wasn't there. So we had lunch and i went home.

Then there it was right at the floor - beside my bed, beside my stack of readings, neatly lying there. I saw my old retainers lying on a red carpet set on a plate of gold. It was right there. Right there.

I mean, hello? My new retainers are gonna be delivered at 4! I cleaned, i looked everywhere, i did!

Pero masaklap talaga e.

July 19, 2006

I suddenly miss working

I don't know. I was just browsing through Pablo Neruda poems a while ago then a cold mass hit me. I suddenly miss it. I am not sure if it is working per se or it is the work i had before getting into this peculiar environment people call as law school.

I suddenly saw myself back in that desk with two computers in front of me, sitting the whole day making and deciphering code, editing manuals, planning tasks and tracking progress.

When i left, i knew I.T. was not for me. I didn't wanna grow old analyzing systems, making programs and managing fellow computer geeks.

One test of knowing if you like a certain job is if you will do it even if you don't get paid. I was sure i didn't want to. I was sure all i wanted was a happy family with gorgeous kids. Hehe. Asking myself that question about my previous work after almost two years, i suppose i want to work again even if i'm not paid -- but only for a certain period, a whole week at a time perhaps, twice or thrice a year. Okay, i'm not assuming that my old Boss will accept me but yeah a part of me wants to work again.

I believe my first major decision was to accept my previous job over other options in Metro Manila, and work in the province. Overall, i didn't do bad. I experienced a lot of new things like living alone away from home for a while, meeting friends of different races, eating and learning to prepare authentic foreign dishes, being a boss, attending a real Indian wedding ceremony and learning from my sucesses and getting over mistakes. (well, so much for work, these are all not work related)

I hated a lot of things as well. I mean stuff like discussing an exaggeratingly simple execution in a certain program then learning afterwards that the other person in the conversation thought we were in some sort of an argument. Duh to these instances. What else. Who wouldn't panic and freak out when the company car gets lost? Who wouldn't be stressed if a project is way over deadline?

Although yeah, it was a good four years. I met my boss who was generally an optimistic, cunning, smart and witty risk taker whom i'd look up to for the rest of my professional life i guess. I met co workers who were funny and entertaining. I met people with different backgrounds and more than anything else, i really really enjoyed observing different behaviors. I was busy making programs and all that but after a full day at work, i really savored the moments i analyzed why and how people reacted and all that. I so miss the conversations i had with a co worker i shared a house with during my training and we'd have long talks about these things, culture, college, work and all sorts of stuff.

But now i'm here. And i have many things to read tonight.

July 13, 2006

When walls are built

Ours is a very small family. My grandparents and my parents were happy with only two children each.

Growing up, i never noticed i had only one sister though. It's because what i remember is a big family living in three neighboring houses, which i felt like extensions of each other. They were the only houses i went to, consistent with the impression of one other neighbor that i was a snob, who never went out and mingled with the kids my own age. I was the youngest among us you see. I also never minded it, as i only thought about looking forward to each day as an adventure - going to the river, catching dragonflies or just sitting at the front yard, eating mangoes dipped in genuine sukang Iloko - with my big family.

It was a lot of fun, yes, they say kids have a nice life because they only think about food and leisure. Until now, a part of me wants to be that child forever, not thinking about relationships and the future and all sorts of what people call 'mature' stuff. I couldn't have fought against nature.

I left our house to spend college in Manila and momentarily forgot about the afternoon playtime and time spent telling stories all day long. I grew up and hated it. Suddenly, my eyes saw many things i never paid attention to as a little girl, whose only major concern was if she liked the food prepared on the table.

In college, i was taught that man loses his sense of wonder when he grows up; but actually, when one matures, that's when he thinks. The only difference is he chooses what to pay attention to and more often than not, his outward reaction is not manifest. He starts to build walls around his treasures, at times confined to what is inside, never looking out because what is confined inside takes too much of his time already.

The walls were built. The first time i took a break from school i couldn't freely go to the other house anymore. I had to knock and wait for someone to open. I hated change but that's the way it was. I learned to accept it.

Sadly, there were two walls built. One was made of hollow blocks placed on top of the other supported by steel and filled with cement. One was an invisible wall that confined us to our own lives and own dreams.

At a time when people have more ways to connect, my big family got razed to the ground. We were blown apart, disaster after disaster. I don't even want to remember how it happened but eventually, it became so real that the person who slept beside me and comforted me when i met the greatest loss of my life suddenly got married without me knowing it. They go and come back like ghosts. I couldn't keep track any longer.

We don't even live there anymore, having transferred to another house where we are not related to our neighbors. There are again three houses but this time, i don't see extensions. Perhaps, i don't want to relive the concept only to find it disintegrating in the end. I confine myself inside the house when i'm there not even bothering to go to the backyard. Not that i don't totally mind them, but i like it the way it is, little chitchats and genuine smiles here and there.

I may have built walls around myself this time mostly minding my own business.

Bitterness is a heavy load but i've been letting go of it. I think i've become quite successful. Do i miss them? Yes, but the walls are there. Maybe someday, the walls will be demolished but for now, as somebody once close to me put it, i don't want to rock the boat.

July 10, 2006

Inter A Party

with donna and gretch