Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The paradox of silence.

When a friend first asked me to join the Silent Retreat, I was quite uncertain about it. I’m a very talkative person; I crave for conversations. 3 days of not talking? You must be kidding me. It’s almost like being maimed.

Weeks after, I found myself walking along a very quiet hall, eerie to a point, I must say, and being led to a room which I’ll have all for myself. It was night time when I got there. And it was in Tagaytay. So you could just imagine how I must have felt at that time, also bearing in mind that I’m the type of person who get spooked easily: night time, cold winds, new place, isolation.

After the assistant campus minister briefed me on the house rules, the activities I missed and the spiritual exercises I’m supposed to do before sleeping, I was left all by myself. And then I realized I have to go down to the dining area to take my medicine. I tried to be brave. So I went out of my room, walked down the lonely hall again, and struggled down the stairs. The dining area was dark. And through two sides of the room, you could see and feel the darkness outside. Usually, such a situation gives me goosebumps and makes me turn my back. So my first victory that night was opening the lights and drinking my meds—in a room where no one else was present, with a view of the darkness and stillness of the night. Usually, also, going back, my tendency is to run away, heart beating fast, as if someone who I don’t want to catch up with me is after me. This time around though, since I couldn’t run given the condition of my legs, I had no choice but to calm myself down. So slowly, I walked… past the huge window by the stairway, past the quiet hall, and back to my own cold room.

In my room, I preoccupied myself with the exercises. I wrote a bit on my journal and then slept. That was pretty much my first night.

But I won’t go boring you further now with a detailed story of how my second and third days went :p

What I just want to note now is how everything that happened during those two days acquainted me to the paradox of silence. I wasn’t such a big fan of silence back then. Utter silence makes me feel alone and vulnerable. It makes me feel unconnected and missing out on a lot. It also scares me at times. It disturbs my peace, so I yearn for noise for the comfort of knowing that there are other people around me (except, of course, when silence is needed, like when studying). But during that retreat, it was in silence that I felt most not alone. Because then, I felt enveloped in God’s presence.

The following is an excerpt from one of the journal entries I wrote during the retreat. I wrote them as reminders for myself. I decided I want to share it :)

Appreciate silence. Appreciate the times when nothing seems to be “happening” in your life. You’ve hurt people just because you tried to make them fill the emptiness or boredom you are feeling. When nothing seems to be happening, use it as a time for prayer. A time to reflect. A time to bond with God. A time to realize how blessed you are. A time to ponder about life. A time to just be still.

Right now, my heart is at peace. The confusions and all the uncertainty, I just lifted them up to him. And it feels a lot lighter now. When I went there, I was initially expecting I’d get to talk to someone, share to that person how I am feeling, and maybe that person could give me an answer so that when I go back, I already know what to do. I never approached the Director to tell him about my story and what confuses my heart. I realized that I have to stop thinking too much, and also to stop looking for people to confirm my feelings and actions. I realized I don’t have to solve everything. Life is intricate. Human interactions are still a puzzle even to people who spent their whole lives studying such. Every person is different, and so each time the lives of people intertwine, you can never really be a hundred percent sure about what will happen. So I thought it’s best to just lift up to God all my worries. And so I did. I told Him that I know I may not have the answer yet when I come back, but that I am sure that if I just stop worrying and pray to Him to keep my heart safe and steady, things will fall into place.

So instead of entangling my thoughts with too much thinking and analyzing, I decided to just see and accept things as they are, be still, and listen. He talks. We just first have to be silent to hear all the great things we miss out on hearing when we’re too enamored with the hustle and bustle of everything.

And then you’ll realize how festive silence can be, if you haven’t discovered that yet, that is :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A kid's station

Post-consti exam w/ Doreen and Prinz:

Lulu Belle
Trying to make ourselves feel good and telling each other we'll really shape up and do better next semester. Given the chance. I must say, I haven't been giving my best. But it's only the beginning. Might not have been a good one, but well... Fight!

Kidz Station
Dorz also bought her own Kooky pen, Peace :) So Alex has Amadeo, I have April, Prinz has Vox and Mia has Sugar. D, Pao, Estelle, you ought to buy your own Kooky pens na rin :D Well, each pen costs P195. I know, a bit pricey but they're SUPER CUTE okay. And they're refillable. O-ha! I'll try to take a picture some other time. But really :) Mine never fails to cheer me up. As a kiddy pen, it sorta reminds me of how I wanted to be doing what I'm doing now since I was a small kid. It also reminds me to NEVER cease from being childlike, to never succumb to being jaded :)

Marta's Cupcakes
CHEAP cupcakes (Php40-55!!!) that you'll REALLY love. Move over Sonja :D

Fully Booked
Prinz and I bought 2010 planners <3 I'll post a snapshot of my CLASSIC ALICE IN WONDERLAND planner next time <3 You'll see why I love it. When I saw it, I couldn't let go of it na so I knew I had to buy it. P599 lang but it was on sale, plus Prinz lent me his discount card to I ended up shelling out only P529 bucks. Not bad at all for a planner that means a lot to me. I just saw online the 2010 BDJ. It's pretty and maybe, I'll miss the discount stuff. But just about every girl has a BDJ now, unlike two/three years ago. So I'm not really thrilled.

Actually, I didn't intend to buy a planner at all when we went to Fully Booked. I only wanted to browse the books available and, if I find something REALLY nice, I'll treat myself with one. But then we both asked each other to prevent each other from buying ANY book since we still have 2 exams and a paper before the 1st sem's officially over. So we ended up buying planners instead. Haha, they're not books naman diba? Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. :))

Comfort food. Period.


My friend Third once sent me a quote: "The more you grow older, the more you have to keep in touch with the people you knew when you were younger."

By analogy, I must say it applies to things as well. Sometimes, the things we loved when we were younger (and when the world was a lot nicer) serve as heartwarming reminders. Sure, we all have to grow up. Face the realities. The world isn't made of sugar and spice and everything nice. But that doesn't mean we have to be jaded. That doesn't mean we have to let go of the very reasons that drove us to where we are now.

And you know what, just now, I rhealized that the older isn't always the one with a stronger character. I rhealized that sometimes, our present, older selves can draw a lot of strength from our younger selves. If we still remember them. I hope we always will :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here it goes

Jimmy Eat World has the best songs ever :)

In college, I used to listen to The Middle whenever I'm feeling down :) Haha, it's also where Charles got the "little girl" label haha. Or if not, bottom line is that the song was my comfort song back then.

:D I had Here it Goes for quite some time now, but I never really listened to it haha. I played it for the first time today and well, I guess it's sort of an epiphany song for me :)) Especially for someone who cares A LOT about what other people think :)

For my 21st birthday, I'll get myself as many JEW cd's as I could find/buy <3 Unless I get some :)) I love JEW too much now to be content with downloads. I want original JEW cd's <3 <3 <3

I swear, they have songs for all my feelings :))

As of this moment, Here it Goes is my power song.

I think "power songs" are vital to our existence :)) What's your power song?

Most JEW songs are kind of emo (in a very tasteful way, thankyouverymuch). But Here it Goes is something sort of an outlier in the Jimmy Eat World bellcurve of songs. It seems like a song a movie would use for a dance scene haha. Well in general, Jimmy Eat World lyrics say the best things <3>I'll post my favorites after the finals.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


In moments like this, Fr. Bernas' line is worth remembering:
"There is no rest for the sinful."

No decent sleep tonight. Venti overload. No matter how much it would make my heart beat (like 100x faster), I don't care. I've been unbelievably lazy for the past week that today, I had to post a big note in front of my desk of my ultimate goal in life. It read:

Contribute meaningfully and substantially to the Philippine society.

Be a lawyer
Pass lawschool

Pass my law subjects

Process well.
And, be passionate. Always.

As of this moment, I could say with all honesty that I am NOT prepared to take the Persons final exam tomorrow yet. I've been finding it hard to make myself work and focus lately.

Whenever I look at the note I have in front of my desk, it gives me the creeps. It reminds me of the other goals I'm already done with-- like surviving college. It makes me aware that this is the point in time when I'm actually being taught the things I ought to know to rhealize one of my ultimate goals in life.

(Oh, and have I shared? I think I want to specialize in Family Law later on. All the more reason for me to really focus on this. Pray for me :) )

I can hear Fr. B's voice now. "There's no rest for the sinful."
Okay, back to Persons mode. This is not the time to give up.

Friday, October 2, 2009

In silence.

This morning, my brother and i went to the COMELEC to register for the upcoming elections. He was supposed to drive me to the nearest Starbucks first (there are only two in BiƱan, I think) so I could review for the finals. However I changed my mind, remembering that there's an advisory that Pepeng might hit the country today. Plus the fact that I left my phone at home. Haha kung nagkataong mastranded ako, lagot na diba.

So anyway we just ate lunch together. We barely talked since I was reading the Sempio-Diy book for Persons while waiting for food to be served, and also after eating. But in silence, I felt the bond between us. You see when we were kids, we always fought. We outgrew the petty quarrels (one of the worst would be when we tried to threaten each other with knives HAHA our yayas were petrified when they saw us HAHA). We're still not that super tight but there are just moments, like the one we had earlier today, when, despite the absence of words, I felt... Hmm, I really can't describe the feeling much. But I knew there was brotherly love.

I have two brothers. One's 19, the other's 8. I'm a lot more touchy and verbal about my feelings to the younger one. But RJ and I-- we don't really tell each other we love each other. But in silence, I knew that the love is there. It seemed like a very mundane event--eating lunch together outside. (Haha and we were actually fighting pa earlier). But still.

I rhealized that there are people we love in silence, and yet it doesn't mean that our love for them is any less. Same thing with people who touch our lives in profound ways. There are some of them who we barely get to be with, yet we still know that the love is there. And though they barely get to tell you they love you, too, still you feel the love.

Pause and reflect in silence. Feel your heart beat. It's a wonderful, serene experience :)