Monday, July 30, 2007

For Sir David

After finishing my Bio11, which I took a year earlier than I was required to, I was so excited to be part of your class. But then I was told that Psych 160 (Biopsychology/Neuro) is only offered to seniors. I was somehow disappointed because I was hearing news about your retirement. That was last year. But then, people say that you keep saying you’d retire, but you were never really able to leave the department. Just yet.

Now I’m on my junior year--- just two semesters away from taking one of the classes I’m most interested to take; two semesters away from being a student of the Dr. F.G. David. I’ve heard so much about you: your impeccable way of handling a class, your quotable quotes, your expertise, your greatness. I always thought I would like to have that “groovy lolo” for a professor. We never had any real encounters, actually. Now I regret not having gone to your room when I was still a PsychSoc applicant to get your signature as an alumnus of the organization. But I do remember your tender smiles each time I see you along the halls of PHAn. I’ve always been excited to study the human brain and be trained by you. But now all I have are the fond memories of your smiles and the stories told by your former students.

Though envy is a sin, I somehow envy the lucky psych majors who can proudly say that they were once students of the great F.G. David. I’ll never be able to say that.

I have never been your student and yet thinking about your death saddens me and brings tears to my eyes. Though I didn’t have the chance to be mentored by you, you have already left a mark on my heart.

Goodbye and thank you, Sir.

Advance happy birthday (aug1) as well...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

still a long way to go

i always thought i was ready to commit.

things are really easier imagined than done.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

On Personal Growth

Tomorrow, or perhaps on Monday, my brother RJ and my cousin Jester will be moving in. My two-week solitary living in my condo unit (or rather, our condo unit) is about to end. Am I prepared to take on the challenge of looking after those two guys?

Two weeks ago, I felt like some sort of transformation took place. After having dinner at Yellow Cab, which is just at the lobby of this building, mom and dad accompanied me back to my room and left me alone to clean the still dirty unit. “Kaya mo na yan,” I remember them saying after bidding goodbye as they were walking to the elevator. The “na” in that statement is of utter significance. To me the underlying idea there is that now I have to grow up and start being responsible. It also speaks of me leaving my ever-dependent, childish self to be a more independent young lady. The “na” implies their acknowledgement of the fact that I’m not used to being left alone to take care of everything; nonetheless, it’s a way of saying, “It’s about time.”

Truly, it was about time. After all, I’m already a college junior; halfway through my undergrad, halfway to my elusive UP College of Law dream. Yet I still act like a child most of the time. (Let’s not talk about how I also still look like a kid. Haha).

So as I locked and double-locked the door, I stared in front of me: it was an extremely empty room. I had no company save for the two purple sofa-beds that perked me up a bit, the eyesore of a floor covered in dust, the fan (yes, dad denied me an aircon even if there’s an extra one at our house), the dish rack with the colorful plates, bowls, and tumblers, and a few other things. From that moment on I felt like a teenage drama queen again--- alone and left with so much to do. I kept wondering why it had to be the Sunday when Ate Neng takes her day off. It would’ve been way easier with our house helper to clean the place for me! Perhaps you’ve been a really naughty girl, Rhea, that’s why you’re punished like this, I thought. Actually, it was like one of the highlights of my life- no exaggeration. It was a perfect scene for a chic flick where the lead character is undergoing some inner transformation.

First thing I did was to mop the floor. I’ve never mopped a floor in my entire life! Ever. I was totally clueless. Dad told me to wet the mop, spill some amount of water, and sprinkle detergent all over. And I did just that- on barefoot! Can you imagine how sorry I felt for my precious feet? Ugh. I can’t help but imagine that that was really a scene on a movie where there's no dialogue but just scenes with matching girl power music. While mopping, I couldn’t help but utter, “I’m Rhealeth Ramos. I don’t mop floors.” I don’t know how many times I wished on the stars outside my window, facing Ateneo with their Church’s cross visible through my left window, that Ate Neng was there instead to do everything for poor little Rhea. But Rhea had to be strong. Rhea had to grow up. Rhea had to learn. Because she can’t be Daddy’s and Mommy’s little princess forever. So as I was mopping (and inwardly moping), I was listening to Jade, my dear laptop, as he (yes, Jade is a guy, ok?) played songs from my playlist. And then one song perfectly captured the moment and reminded me of high school graduation- Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. It was just so apposite for that scenario. And in a way, it being our high school graduation song, it somehow told me that I was, at that time, “graduating” from my helplessness to a new chapter of my life.

Sure--- I almost slipped a number of times, called my dad just to ask how to do it because simple as his instructions were, I couldn’t imagine how to do it right, and took more than three hours to finish cleaning the place including the disgustingly dirty toilet (another first! Sorry, segue again: you know, I even asked my dad if Ate Neng could come over at least twice a month to clean the bathroom for us. And all he said was, “madali namang maglinis ng banyo.”). But never in my life have I felt so proud of such good results from such hard work. I was teary-eyed upon seeing the white floor shining and shimmering in front of me. It was gray when they left! You know, I mopped the floor for about four or five times!

My routine has changed ever since I moved in here. 30 minutes or so has been dedicated to cleaning the place. I sweep once to twice a day, throw garbage regularly, fix my stuff so the room looks presentable… The people who know me would know that is really a big change for Rhealeth Ramos. I felt like how the room looks reflects how I am like as a person.

One night, my parents came over to check on me and stay for the night after Dad’s meeting in Zambales. Boy, was I so happy and proud and fulfilled to see the smiles on their faces and told me, “wow. pumasa ka!” I still feel like that each time I remember how I made my parents proud. See, it wasn’t too late for me to learn household chores, after all.

Admittedly, I despise doing chores. I wasn’t brought up to do those things. That Sunday when I found out I would be left alone to clean the place, I thought, “waaa! bakit nila ako papabayaan? waaah! poor me, kawawa naman ako.” I wasn’t accustomed to those things. But now I can see that they left me to learn those things for the better. Now I can earnestly say I’ve become a better individual. I was left alone with no one to call on to if I feel maimed and unable to finish the work. I had to persevere lest I could stomach sleeping in such a dusty place and take a bath in such an icky bathroom.

When RJ and Jester arrives here, it would be an altogether different scene. Now other than keeping the place clean and tidy, I have to look after them as well: I have to see to it that they go to class, that they look presentable before going to class, that they get to eat breakfast and dinner, that they study regularly, that I know where they are if they aren’t home by 8… Of course at least by then I would have two other people to share my load with. We’ve already discussed taking turns cleaning the unit.

On a lighter note, before I click the save button and go back to studying, let me just state this: I still think life would be easier if I’m alone here. Because when they get here, that also means I have to go home early or at least account for my late night arrivals. Hahaha!

Monday, July 9, 2007

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

-lifted from Semisonic's Closing Time :)

It has been a week and two days since I packed my bags and left Chesca’s apartment where I boarded for more than a year. Despite our lack of time for each other, Chesca remains as one of my true-blue friends. I swear, pwede nang pang Johnson & Johnson’s commercial yung moment nung paalis na ko sa 122B Matahimik!

About an hour before I left:

Chesca: Sandali lang ha. Maliligo lang ako. Sandali lang talaga. Wag ka muna mawawala.

Me: Sige lang.

As she went upstairs to take a quick bath, I remained standing amidst my stuff and held back tears as our memories together flashed… There weren’t too many. Nonetheless, those memories are dear to me. I told myself, “ireserve na lang yang iyakan mamaya, ha?”

The moment.

My parents finally arrived to fetch me. Sadly, I can’t vividly put the moment to words. But it was really a touching one: when I saw tears welling up Chesca’s eyes, when we hugged and said goodbye, when she helped me load my stuff, when we were both crying and crying, when I finally left…

Ain’t that sweet?

I remember how excited we both were when we transferred to the apartment. We made plans of going out, of camwhoring, of having regular sharing sessions… Actually, we never got to do those. Well, at least not regularly. We do go to PsychSoc night events together, we did have a camwhoring session one night, and we had spontaneous sharing sessions by the stairs..


I remember coming home one night and crying hard. You were there to listen and comfort me. I remember the times when I go home past 12 after studying at Katips without a key to the gate or without enough force to open the door. You came down to let me in. I remember the spontaneous rantings and the quintessential making-each-other-feel-good. I remember our stairs-moments.

I remember a year of staying under one roof with a dear friend.
Thank you, Chesca.

Of course, I’ll miss my three room mates as well. Ate Dyan, Ate Em, and Ate Faith, thank you for putting up with my over-perkiness, with my random 1-hour rants, with my helplessness, with my 20-30-minute baths, with my messy bed… Thank you for being the unwitting recipients of my life stories. Hehe.. Hmp, I know namimiss niyo na ko ngayon jan! Hahahaha! Thank you for always reminding me: “Rhea, hindi ka na bata!” I know somehow you’ll be proud of me when you see how I keep my new place. I’m growing up, yes. Thank you. Promise, I really learned A LOT from the three of you. And hey, we’re still going out, right? Di pa natutuloy eh…


I just feel so loved by the people around me. J Ain’t I one lucky girl? J


“I’m Rhealeth Ramos. I don’t mop floors.”

Boy, that was only the beginning. Curious? I’ll write more about it and my “transformation” since I moved in to my unit in Katipunan some other time.

The line I used as the title of this entry is just so apt, don’t you think?