Monday, December 31, 2007

Grateful :)

2007 has been GREAT! :D

True to the song This Year, which i saw as the prophet to what lies ahead of me earlier this year, my 2007 has indeed been THE year.

As some of you might know, our family lost loved ones in the last two years. My lola on the eve of Christmas day two years ago, and then the year after, my mom's brother, papa, and two of mama's siblings. 2007 has been a great relief for the family, both on my dad's and my mom's side, that nobody died this year.

I have also truly enjoyed my 2007. From the gatherings, to the out of town trips, and even to the classes i attended :D On its last day, looking back, I feel like I owned it. To God, I'm truly thankful.

I'm not saying it didn't have any letdowns. But whoever went through a year without some frustrations here and some disappointments there? Nothing's perfect. But I for one am truly grateful for the generally happy feeling I felt in 2007. Perhaps at some points I stooped low because of some irrationalities. But hey, in that sense, I'm not the only one. And if it made me [rhea]lize one thing, I gained a better valuation for myself. It made me love myself more.

In my Michelle Simone Rolling of Days 2007 planner, I wrote: To a year of self-love.

Maybe I did some things that are contradictory to that overall goal, but now, on my year's last day, I feel like I have [rhea]lized that goal.

2007, thank you for making me love myself more.

And to let myself be loved by someone else in the romantic sense is another great thing, too :)

I guess I will always look at 2007 with fondness. I guess I will drop some of the not-so-good things and remember the fun, fun times I've had with people who matter. I will cherish the moments I've had with the first guy I let inside my life: a wide range of emotions, I tell you. I will bring with me the things I've learned and the things that made me a better person,

a better person, for an even better 2008 :)

and i just can't wait what my Belle de Jour 2008 Power Planner will contain in the year ahead ;) God willing they'll be great :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ate Neng

A few hours ago, as i was typing my movie review for my 108, i heard a knock on the door and the familiar voice that said,

"Rhea, alis na ko."

At first i did not move and just replied with a nonchalant "ok, sige." And then it dawned upon me that we're not sure if she'll come back again.

I'm talking about Ate Neng, our household helper. I can't remember how long she has been with us; i can't remember how long it has been since i last cried when a household helper was about to leave.

Something in me told me to get up and go after her. So i followed her to the stairs and asked if she's coming back. She told me she told mom that she will if she gets well.
If she gets well? Apparently, she has been undergoing tests but none was able to identify what was wrong with her. But she said she feels something. After a few more goodbyes and ingat ka's, she finally went out our door and i locked it. I couldn't help but follow her with my gaze through the window. And then i went back to my room to continue my essay. From my room i could still hear her bidding goodbye to some of our neighbors. That voice. I hope i'll get to hear it again.

I have not been always nice to her. For so many times i got irritated at her. I shouted at her. I was some sort of a demanding brat. Sometimes. There were also times when i was nice.

It really felt weird earlier for me to feel sad. But when i got back to my room tears rolled down and i was crying. I immediately suppressed it though to get my work done. For a moment i thought perhaps it's just the thought of not having someone here to do the things she did. She made life easier for me, for us. But then again, even if i know we'll find a replacement, i still feel sad about the whole thing.

Maybe it's because i've been accustomed to having her around. And maybe it's also because she has been really nice.
Okay i'm crying right now. Earlier i felt like hugging her and telling her i'm gonna miss her and that i hope she'll come back. But then i felt like i would want to save myself from the melodrama. Had it been a friend or a family member, probably i would not have hesitated. But she was just our househelper. And then it dawned on me. I guess it's because she's like family to me. I was wrong to think that she was just our househelper. She irons my clothes, wakes up early in the morning if i have to go, walks me to the tricycle station when my dad can't drive for me to school, goes out at night to buy what i need, brings juice and snacks at my desk when i'm too engrossed with the computer with just one shout of 'Ate neng, padala naman ng (insert whatever my whim was at the moment here),' looks for stuff that i can't find for myself, gives me compliments (awwwww)... and so many other things. And that's just for me. There's also my dad, my mom, and my two younger brothers.

Now i know how Chesca felt like when Ate Pam left.

Right now i regret not hugging her before she left or at least telling her that i miss her. And yeah i'm still crying right now and i can't stop it!

I just wish her good health. I hope she gets well soon so she could come back to us. Because it's not just the thought of losing someone who does for you almost everything that you can't do for yourself. I love my Ate Neng because she puts up with my brat fits. But more than that, she's part of my life, too. She's kind, you know.

And so i [rhea]lized that maids should not really be treated as maids or labeled as katulong. The term kasama sa bahay is more humane. Now i look up to her, really. Just a few seconds ago, my brother was looking for her. I heard him call, 'ate neng...' And then i told him she's gone. And then i realized that that phrase is said for like a hundred times a day. Ok, maybe not a hundred. But do you get the point? We always go calling for ate neng whenever we need something. And though my mom's a bit strict on day offs and is perenially frustrated by ate neng's 3-day day offs every other week, i guess that when i become a lawmaker, i would pursue something for the welfare of the kasama sa bahays. I do hope when i finally become one, i haven't forgotten the little life lesson i learned today.

Right now she's on her way back to her hometown in Bicol. I wish her a safe trip.

And yes, good health. Lord, please.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So worth it.

i was right when i got all excited about this year. because truly, by far this has been one of the greatest years for me. and i intend to make 2008 even better. i remember being an emo girl around this time of the year last year. so the party was over. it's nearing christmas. and yet that area of my life is still as obscure as it can be.

2007 started like woah. loved it. and since then i anticipated a year full of new, exciting memories for me. and true enough, i have been blessed with so much.

i remember many months back when this certain person spiced up everything. and not long after, i dropped off all my doubts and hesitations and decided to become his girlfriend. and for quite a number of times we almost lost it. but he held me still. and right now i'm just so happy i could cry. everything was so worth it.

you are so worth it. thanks, baby :)

the best line that i came up this year would have to be this:

'let life keep on surprising you and keep on surprising life back.'

this year i got a lot of surprises. even i surprised myself by the things i did that i never thought i could do.
it's always easy to hate and complain, but it's always a better option to be proactive and actually do something about it. this year i realized that more than being a lawyer, i want to be a lawmaker. just read my post entitled 'on politics.' if you do some backreading, you'll also come across a post wherein i posted the lyrics of Chantal Kreviazuks' 'This Year.' How apt! now i know that seems incoherent with the opening line of this paragraph, but wait 'til i finish. my point is simple and it's actually a cliche. but i realized the power of dreaming and believing. as a kid i've always had it in me. and then i got jaded. but feeling helpless won't really do anything. now if we just believe that a good year's ahead of us, and then actually do something about it, great things do happen.
i've learned so much this year.
and everything has been

Sunday, December 16, 2007

gimme more!

i still have two books waiting to be read, the ones i got during the sem break. rachel cohn's shrimp (a chic lit) and michael, the tiny dot, which looks like a children's book but promising, nonetheless.

as it is, i've only started reading about 6 chapters of shrimp and i kept putting it down to do other things. but even if i still have other reads, i wanna have a cool copy of shakespeare's twelfth night! please, anyone? by a cool copy, i mean, something with a cool cover, not the boring ones. haha! books aren't to be judged by their cover, i know. but it's always more fun flipping the pages of a book with a cool cover. makes the reading experience more enticing.

also im gonna ask daddy to look for an original dvd of it like the one i posted here.

And does anyone know until when Doulos will be here?

Um okay.. haha i just checked.. their site tells me they'll be here until the 26th! oh my, 11 days left and i wanna buy, like, 20 books! I first saw it on tv, then i was reminded of it through tin's wishlist. but with all the things i'm asking for this season, i'm not so sure dad will buy me 20 books in a snap. haha! but im actually interested more on academic books, especially those about the social sciences.. so maybe... but then i also want to stack up on literature. i have to!

[rhea]lization: being a december baby has its down side, too. haha! since it's also christmas time, my spending habits are somehow more highlighted. like, i'm shopping for christmas, then i'm also shopping for clothes and stuff for my birthday. i'm asking stuff for christmas, then i'm also asking some for my birthday.

no wonder my parents always tell me i'm their most magastos child. :))

[rhea]lity: but that's the very reason december is my favorite month! because i got to shop (semi)nonstop. haha!

[rhea]l issue: this year though, i'd be turning 19. just a few years more and shame on me if i still am a dependent. (i'd be studying law and dad says that since he could provide anyway, he wants my full attention on my studies). anyway, as soon as i finally get the much coveted for letter's affixed on my name (a-t-t-y), all these would be o-v-e-r! :))

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Politics

As a by-product of the various things I learn in my classes right now, I suddenly want to become someone I have always told myself I WOULD NEVER EVER want to be—a politician.

Nowadays, when one mentions ‘politician,’ it’s (almost) always with ‘corrupt’ in mind. They’re now close to becoming synonyms. And it’s crazy for me to entertain the idea and even have the gall to blog about it. But I think we need “crazy” people who are not afraid to dream for their country and who would never be satisfied merely on dreaming, or bludgeoning the government about what’s going wrong.

But it’s also a fact that a lot of people have become jaded in our country. Tell them you want to serve because you want to change some things in the system and they’d tell you they’ve heard that thousands of times before. Tell them you want to serve because you really love the country and they would, at the very least, think at the back of their minds what’s in it for you. Pure intentions are deemed as utopia.

Come to think of it… are all politicians in the Philippines bad? I don’t think so. Take media favorites Ninoy Aquino and Ramon Magsaysay. (But actually even Ninoy wasn’t exactly your pure guy, if you know your kasaysayan.) Or recently, Pampanga’s governor, Ed Panlilio, whom I personally admire. I believe we need more public servants like him—public servant in the truest sense. And perhaps there are others out there who do stand up for morals and who are looking at the best interests of the people. Is it just because the good ones are underrated and underreported, while the bad ones are pitch perfect as scapegoats for the public’s growing problems?

What I’m just saying here is that we’ve all grown to easily put the blame on our officials and to the government as a whole. I would like to stress that they do add to the problem as well. But to say it as if they all do is an overgeneralization. In times like this, the public needs a stronghold. When people are losing hope in the country and envisaging green pastures in foreign lands, it’s high time to highlight our greatness as a nation. I’m not suggesting here that the media should stop reporting the evils that they see. I’m just saying that more balanced news be reported. Often reports are value-laden. It’s like feeding the public consciousness how it should view things. There are so many good things about this country.

The good things just lack publicity!

And I wish to emphasize, we are a great nation capable of rising up again! But most of us seem to be oblivious to that fact. It’s not a mere opinion voiced out by a maka-bayan. History, archaeology, and psychology are just some of the fields that can show you evidences to that claim. History, especially. We have focused too much on our colonial past for the most of our lives. Thanks to those textbooks saying nothing more than three or five pages about our pre-colonial past, most of us grew up thinking of the colonizers and our ilustrado heroes whenever kasaysayan is mentioned. Kasaysayan is not plain history, as books made by UP people would tell us. Embedded in it is the word saysay. And I for one refuse to think our saysay as a nation circumnavigates the categories pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial. Notice the omnipresence of the word ‘colonial’? It’s as if, as my great Kas1 professor Prof. Michael Chua brought to our attention, that our lives are defined by colonization. Some might say, 300 and so years with Spain, 40 and so years with the Americans, haven’t we spent most of our lives with them, really? No, my friend. We have not.

You see, again, the root here is that our lives prior to 1521 lack publicity, too!

It’s high time those textbooks are changed-- those who have no understanding of how rich our indigenous culture is and how we had organized systems in the country as opposed to the Hispanic claim that we’re barbarians, those who are obviously biased towards and uncritical of the Americans, those who teach young minds self-flagellation without knowing it. And if I be a lawmaker someday, that would be one of the things I would like to change. Oh, by the way, I’m not Anti-Americans, ok! I’m just saying that what they did to us was just overrated, unexamined critically by most people.

And if you ask why I suddenly thought of these things, it’s primarily because of my Sikolohiyang Pilipino class with Prof. Jay Yacat, especially the readings on Melba Maggay’s Pagbabalik Loob and on the observations of Mulder, a foreign sociologist. They’ve written those things long ago. And since I still have a long way to go—a year to finish college, four to finish law, and another one to become a lawyer (and that is, if all goes well)—I do hope that those who are older than me and are in the position to enact changes would do something about it so that the children in our society now would not have to grow up with the same mindset that we did towards history and our “inferiority.”

And if somebody would ask me that, if I am that much of a nationalist, why don’t I use our own language, I would like to employ the same reason Melba Maggay gave when she wrote in English. But so much of that, it’s better to read her article! Go read it yourself. Dali! Ngayon na!

Again, I think, articles like hers lack publicity, too.

You see my friends… The good—no make that great—things about us as a people are often put to the backburner. With all due respect to the media, I ask: please, do something about it. Like what I said, the times are calling for an orientation revolution.

It’s high time we get reoriented to our true selves as a people. It’s high time we be proud in our own history. It’s high time for us to have bilib in our resiliency and potency as Filipinos.

And so, about being a politician… I was having coffee yesterday with Ate Aiz (a graduating Pol Sci major and UP Gawad Kalinga’s president) at Cordillera Coffee in Vargas Museum. Sarap! Ang cozy pa sa place. UP people, i-try niyo! Anyway, we were having discussions ranging from various topics but mostly about our dreams and politics. I actually like her plan. She said that she wants to get rich by 25, retire by 35, and save the world after. Well, that’s not exactly what I want. But that’d be a good template to follow, except for the age. Haha! Seriously, I realized that there’s soooo much I want to learn and sooo much that I want to do for this country. This country first.

Conversations. I treasure those, especially the ones concerning the society, especially the ones among fellow UP people… I look up to my colleagues, actually. Because in most of them, I see passion, I see love for country, and I sense tenderness in their hearts and a sparkle of hope in their eyes.

Right now though, I still can’t see myself as a politician. But if I really want to pursue changes in the most concrete way, I might have to be one. Educate me, please. If that’s what I want, do I really have to be one? Because I think that as of the moment I lack the psychological strength to handle all the dirty stuff I’ve been hearing about. I fear conflict. And I value peace of mind.

I’m about to turn 19. Until when will I be at peace?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

alpha tendencies

You Have Many Alpha Tendencies

You're not a total alpha female, but you certainly know how to - and like to - get your way.
You're forceful without being intimidating. You're confident without being vain. A perfect mix.

whoah. so i haven't posted in a month. and no, i didn't wake up early today. i haven't slept yet.

118 is love, though! :) 118, for those who are not from the up diliman department of psychology, is a field methods class.

anyway, i'm so excited about our topic! it's about heterosexual relationships wherein the female is more dominant than the male. i wouldn't want to go and explain everything here until we pass it next year. but it's exciting. haha.. and you know where we got that idea? well, we're like that. hahaha! :D

so anyway, inasmuch as i frown at pop psych quizzes (doy, they don't really measure your personality accurately! talk about barnum!), i decided to take the quiz just for fun since it's sort of related to our topic.

and that's all for now.