Monthly Archives: November 2013

Are You Sure Where You’re Going?

As human beings, I believe we all have this inner voice within us who’s always asking whether or not we’re supposed to be where we are right now. You can call it conscience or spiritual-self, I just think there’s always something within us humans that make us wonder if what we’re doing is what we’re supposed to be doing. Most people are looking for a goal, a dream, or a purpose.

Finding your own purpose in this world is difficult enough, but even if you do find it, are you even sure that it’s really the one? Don’t you want that sense of assurance that what you’ve been looking and working for all your life actually makes sense? What if you thought you’re supposed to be a businessman but by the time you’re 40 you realize that you were actually supposed to go to med school and be a doctor?

Coming out of college, I always had these questions in mind. What helped me with these questions and even now as I am moving on with this new phase in my life, is a story.

This story is a classic Mother Teresa story. There’s not much to say about her, you all probably know who she was and what she stood for. The story goes that there was this American man who was sure that God was calling him to do something great. This was it: a calling, a purpose, and a goal. The only problem was that he didn’t know what that something was. Ironic isn’t it?

So she goes to Mother Teresa and asks for prayer.

He asks, “Mother Teresa, would you pray for me?”

And Mother Teresa replies, “Yeah sure. What would you like me to pray you for?”

“Mother Teresa, I want clarity. I want to know without a shadow of a doubt what my calling is from God.”

Mother Teresa then looks at him and she simply says, “No, I won’t pray that for you.”

The American man was confused and embarrassed then he blurts out, “But why? I only want to have what you have in your life. You always seemed sure of what God is calling you to do.”

She replies, “I sir, have never had clarity. What I have had was trust. So I pray that you may have trust as well.”

I don’t know what you learned from this story or how will it affect you in the future. I believe that this simple story has a powerful message designed specifically for each and every one of us. The story is pretty self-explanatory and can talk about itself without me dwelling into it.

Are you sure where you’re going in life? Well, me neither. But what I’ll pray for you is trust dear friend.

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What Can Ordinary People Do?

Their eyes seemed hollow and empty, resembling only a sense of their former selves that now lives in the darkness washed out by the storm. They did not say much and their movements were very little. This new world by which they only came to know just by a couple of minutes was something they could not fully grasp yet. These eyes that I saw belonged to the people from the different parts of the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

Last week, my college classmates Chi, Euge, and myself were invited by Yzel to volunteer at the Villamor Airbase to do counseling for the victims. I can speak for all of us when I say that we were all feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness before we did the volunteer work. For one, though this seemed a perfect opportunity to help the survivors, there was a hesitation among us with regards to counseling these people. The victims of the typhoon would fall under PTS or post-traumatic syndrome. Though we all had psychology background, this was not only a whole other level, but in all essence, this was the real thing. Among us, Chi, Yzel, and myself were the ones who took up actual counseling classes in college. However four years later, only Yzel is the one who is currently doing anything psychology related. She is undergoing her masteral studies on developmental psychology and for this particular volunteering, she also underwent training under the Psychology Association of the Philippines. You can see on one hand, we had the education or the background to help these people in a unique way, but on the other hand, we are more than anything, simply ordinary just like any other human being. Furthermore, I had my own questions that needed to be answered like who was I to counsel the lost their homes when I have my own home waiting for me? Can we really make a difference?

Laying all hesitations and hindrances aside, we signed up for the 2am-9am shift at Villamor Airbase. We were expecting to be only a number of volunteers since this is a graveyard shift. True enough, they were lacking volunteers in all different sections. The Airbase was filled with different tents all with various responsibilities. There were tents for food, clothing, medical care, and the like. Each volunteer had a responsibility whether being a marshal, counselor, food distributor, and more. Since the operations were generally lacking volunteers we had to put aside our counseling duties but instead became marshals. Basically, marshals made the whole thing go. They are the runners, helpers, greeters, and overall person who do everything.

One of the things that struck me the most while I was there was the fact that we were the ones that would first greet the survivors coming from their tragedy. The survivors came in via C130 airplanes carrying hundreds of people in each plane. A C130 airplane is a military plane probably designed to carry supplies and not people so you can imagine that the survivors were cramped up in this huge plane without any seats or anything. And after a couple of hours in flight, we were the first people to meet them here in Manila. There’s so much intensity in this very fact that because we, the volunteers, have to make them feel safe and welcome.

As people were coming out of the planes, we as volunteers waited for them at the base. There were probably only about 50 marshals trying to shepherd in hundreds and hundreds of people coming in. Except for the military and government personnel who were there, the volunteers were just normal people no different from you or me.  They were students, employees, teenagers, middle-aged men, transcending social status and gender differences. They were not coerced by anyone. They simply went out of their way and sacrificed their time more than anything else.

In the end, Chi, Yzel, and Chi’s mom were able to do counseling for the victims. Euge and I stuck to being marshals doing all kinds of errands. Euge put it perfectly when he said he just wanted to do mindless activities. I agreed with him simply because it was already almost 5:00am at that time and I was just too tired to put my counseling hat on. Counseling requires a lot physical, mental, and emotional strength to empathize and at that time in the morning after carrying shoes, blankets, and food, I was just not up for it.

All the people there are in every sense normal. They had jobs, school, parents, and families. Even the victims, though stripped off of their possessions, were people. They had their hurts, doubts, and regret. Through the face of the impending tragedy, we were all ordinary human beings bounded together by the circumstance our country was facing and with that I couldn’t help feel a sense of hope. Hope is what the survivors were looking for and it is what people like you and me try to offer. Each of us has his or her own battles that we face everyday and that makes us ordinary. But through the ordinary also lies our own unique gifts and it is when we share them with others that make us more than ordinary in the eyes of others.

Are We In The Real World?

Growing up, haven’t we been all told that we should prepare for the real world? I remember as a student there was always this sense of mystery and curiosity as to what does it truly mean to live in the real world. Aren’t we in the real world now? Surely enough, through age and maturity, we all slowly realized that there’s more to life than school, cartoons, grades, and even the realm of our parents. We also begin to realize the very reason why are elders tried to prepare, even warn us, of what life is like outside the four corners of our home.

We have experienced pain and loss in our own lives but moreover, we also see what that pain can bring to other people. Money, cars, work, career, schooling, and all that brings up to time with the harsh reality of the world isn’t as simple as it seems to be. There’s not enough money for others, people rarely find a career that they call their own, or even others have the difficulty in looking for a job, and so on. These harsh realities make like it seem we know the real world.

But is this really all there is to it?

From the novel The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami there is a scene when the main character’s wife, Kumiko offered a different view of looking at the world. They were on their very first date, Toru (the husband) and Kumiko, and they spent their afternoon in an aquarium. Kumiko was transfixed with the jellyfish that they saw. The conversation is as follows:

“Why do you like jellyfish so much?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I guess I think they’re sweet,” she said. “But one thing did occur to me when I was focusing on them. What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get into the habit of thinking, this is the world, but that’s not true at all. The real world is in a much deeper and darker place than this, and most of it is occupied by jellyfish and things. We just happen to forget all that. Don’t you agree? Two-thirds of the earth’s surface is ocean, and all we can see of it with the naked eye is the surface: the skin. We hardly know anything about what’s underneath the skin.”

Using this analogy to the real world, we don’t really know in detail what’s happening on the other side of the world. “The skin” that we see in front of us may be our immediate family, our jobs, our officemates, the mall that we usually go to, our favorite restaurants, bars, and whatnots. Maybe we fail to realize the other people with their own little worlds. The internet has helped us a lot in viewing other people’s lives abroad but somehow, it’s not enough.

Sometimes we can look at a certain group of people and think that, “hey, it’s weird that they live that way!” Well, not really. It’s weird we live this way. Have you ever stop and think how the world views us? More than half of the world lives on two dollars a day. Two measly dollars or more or less a hundred pesos. Now if we compute and think that a regular working person in our society makes 20-50k pesos a month, that’s a maximum of making nearly 500 times as much as the rest of the world. Sometimes we even have a dumb idea that we’re broke.

I remember when we had an event in Bohol about two years ago. My boss and officemates were working inside an open tent with our laptops, papers, notebooks, and other office materials. After a couple of minutes, we were surrounded by the locals there and they seemed oddly interested in what we were doing. Now where we were wasn’t the typical tourist spot at Bohol, we were a bit far off and it nearly takes 2-3 hours from the airport. The locals weren’t necessarily poor but they all had the look in their faces when they were watching us. I can imagine them seeing a laptop and think “wow, you’re one of the three people that have that here?” Well, at least that’s what they saw on their faces. It was a very interesting experience.

I guess my point is that there’s a whole other world for us to go to despite our own. Because of the ins and outs of life, we can get caught up and be selfish. Maybe sometimes we can be overly concerned on our standard of living and not actually living.

So what’s the real world? I’m not sure really. But I know there’s more to what I see everyday in my life. There are jellyfish, things, and most importantly people that we have to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s It Like Going To The Opera?

Earlier in the week, I was able to watch an opera for the first time in my life. The more appropriate word than watch is probably experience. I experienced an opera for the first time in my life. I got in touch with one of my good friends Teepee who’s actually a singer. We caught up a few weeks back and she said she was rehearsing for an opera show. I sort of knew Teepee sang opera but I’ve never watched her perform or have heard her sing opera. I only knew she was a fantastic singer with an exceptional voice but I’ve only heard her sing pop songs or Church songs. To make the long story short, she invited me to her show.

Coming into the show, I didn’t really know what to expect. Mostly I was just excited I’m able to watch something that I don’t see everyday. I mean I didn’t even know who did opera in the Philippines plus I really didn’t know what happens in an opera. What I knew about opera is probably clouded with hint of cartoons ala Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, and the scene in Batman Begins when the last thing that the Wayne family did was watch the opera. I’ve watched countless plays in my short lifetime; I even got to watch a Broadway play in New York and a Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas once. So I’ve had my fair share of watching different kinds of things.

The show was held in FEU auditorium and the journey going there was probably an adventure in itself. My Katipunan-bred self was a bit puzzled as to how a school can be situated in such a crowded place. But come to think of it, I guess the students in the University Belt have more grit and guts than anyone because of their location.

I watched with another friend of mine, Kyleen, which was really great because I thought I’d be watching it alone. It’s nice to experience something for the first time and you can have someone to talk to about it. Even though Kyleen and I go to the same Church together, I guess we haven’t really talked to each other a whole lot. I got to know her during those little minutes in the intermissions. So talking to her in between acts was pretty fun. (And I later realized that someone to talk to during intermission was necessary since this opera had more acts and intermission than your average play)

Now, the Opera.

The show was a presentation by LyrOpera (Lyric Opera of the Philippines) and they presented George Bizet’s Carmen. It was directed by Laurice Guillen with the UST Symphony Orchestra under the conduction of William Barkhymer. Carmen is a story mainly about love and how people can get caught up in its traps and ultimately choosing to love somebody. I can’t really put together the story in its entirety because apparently the original Carmen that is being shown in Europe lasts six hours long. You read that right, six long hours. The one that the LyrOpera showed was about half of it cutting some parts so that the show would last roughly around three hours.

The first thing I noticed while I was finding a seat was that an orchestra was right at the center of the stage. In fact, they occupied nearly half of it. I can’t recall if I’ve actually watched an orchestra play on stage or if I just heard them while they played below or at the side of the stage. In any case, it was pretty cool. Looking at the stage, you’d see the violins on the left while the cellos and bass at the right. It was a complete orchestra with various instruments to which most of them are foreign to me.

As the show started, the orchestra began to play this piece which was oddly familiar. Little did I know that the opera Carmen was very famous and I’m sure most of you will recognize a few of the songs when you hear them. The first piece was upbeat, catchy, and can get the attention of anybody. Slowly, the singers came out. They were these big and stocky men who were dressed up as soldiers with their blue uniforms and dummy rifles. After making a few deductions, I can say that the setting was in a Spanish time, I don’t know exactly what era but like Old Spanish complete with old Spanish guards, gypsies, matadors, and the like. So the chorus started to sing. And I have to tell you, the first few seconds of singing was a rush. Here they were, around 10 guys, probably around their late 20’s, and they sang with such unity and calmness that I’ve never heard before. I realized it’s one thing to go see a musical or a play and hear people sing as oppose to an opera. It’s extremely different and I’m amazed at that difference. There was a sense of calmness in their singing; it was like they weren’t making a lot of effort in producing sound out of their mouths and yet they were able to convey a lot of emotions. It was as if as though singing was the same thing as talking. Opera isn’t just about oversized powerhouse voices that we are so accustomed to but it can also be hushed and controlled voices but still with tremendous grace. This sense of amazement and awe carried through the rest of the opera.

The second thing that caught me off guard were these projectors that were situated at both sides of the stage. Coming in, I didn’t really notice them and looking back, even if I did notice them, I could have cared less what were they for. Well, it hit me when the soldiers starting singing… in French. It didn’t occur to me that they wouldn’t be singing in English (which was dumb of me). At first my mind was trying to decipher what language they were singing but as I was wondering off, these projectors light up and they acted as subtitles to the show. It may seem simple, but I find it really interesting because let’s face it, have you ever watched anything on your life that had subtitles on the side while actors were performing on stage? Some people hate subtitles when they’re watching a movie but I actually like it that way. When I watch something, I don’t want to miss on the details, even the tiniest ones, because every detail counts in the story. So while you’re listening to these beautiful voices, you have to look at your side to know what they’re actually singing. That was actually quite fun.

My friend Teepee entered the stage in about the second scene. Now, I said earlier that I’ve watched and heard Teepee sing countless numbers of times in youth camps, Sunday mornings at Church, and even just random moments. We’d be talking about one thing and she can go, “Listen to this song I found, it’s nice” and she sings it. Now when I do that, I usually have an ipod or a youtube is probably on or something. But this girl can absolutely sing. However, little did I realize there was another level in her style of singing. She came on stage wearing this simple blue dress with her hair a little bit longer than usual. Then she started singing with this amazing angelic voice fit for an opera. I remember smiling the whole scene because it’s fun to know someone performing on stage. In the back of your head, there’s a voice saying, “I know her!!” It’s as if you want to just tell the random guy next to you. I found it also amusing to think that just a few days before this show we were talking about dogs and her showing a bunch of pictures she found on the internet, then here she is now singing at an opera. It’s amazing how talented people are.

The show had four acts (or was it five?) with intermissions in between. There was never really a boring moment (well because you had to look at the projectors every three seconds. Haha). But seriously, it was really entertaining. I was surprised at myself because of the songs were oddly familiar. I never knew that Carmen had so many classic pieces like the Habanera or the Toreador. I’m also thankful for Kyleen that I had someone to talk to in all the intermissions. It was such a fun night capped off with a lot of story telling and jokes when the three of us all had a late dinner.

So what was it like going to the opera? It was enchanting, interesting, amazing, entertaining, and simply a lot of fun.

 

Aren’t You Bothered That You’re Not Bothered Enough?

We’re living in a crazy world right now. It’s just crazy what’s been going on especially on our country. Amidst the corruption, scams, and crimes that politicians put on us, we are also struck with probably the strongest typhoon of the year.

I’ve seen pictures and images of the devastation of the typhoon and it just breaks my heart. At the same time, even though we can only see pictures of the destruction we can’t really know what it must have felt like for the victims. We can only empathize so much because we have not seen it first hand. Probably even a reporter who’s in there right now and sees all the chaos can’t really put his or her shoes to the victims. It takes a great deal of heart and empathy to actually feel what they felt. The loss, grief, and helplessness is just overwhelming.

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(Picture from GMA News Online – http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/334649/scitech/socialmedia/yolanda-in-pictures-super-typhoon-ravages-central-philippines)

With this mind, I’ve been thinking a lot with how these types of calamities affect us who are well, not affected directly. Moreover, how does the destruction in the Philippines those others in the world watching us.

What is the line drawn between apathy and actually caring for them? Is there a common space between selfishness and thinking of your daily life versus selflessness and actually going out of your way to help? How can you say that you’ve done enough for those people? How affected are you really? Aren’t you bothered that you’re not bothered enough?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here judging those who have the ability to help and not help. I’m not here convicting anyone that amidst the numerous tweets and posts about rescuing people there’s someone posting a complaint about his or her boss. I believe that this calamity has struck each of us individually and with a special purpose. Maybe some are supposed to continue their daily jobs and whatever it is their going through and maybe that is the best way that they can help.

I used to think a lot about this when I was working for a watch company. I’d be on my desk trying to analyze the features of a certain watch while their was a storm and can’t help but think “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing right now?” People have lost their families and hopes and I’m stuck stressed with work. Now is this right? Maybe and maybe not. Was I selfish? Is thinking about the victims enough?

I don’t mean to sound like a prick and saying that I’m better than anyone else. I don’t want to be seemed as a self righteous person and judging others who are not. I’m just mulling over these questions as to how much do these calamities affect us and are our response to these questions enough. Again, aren’t we bothered that we’re not bothered enough? Is it enough to merely think about them and include them in your prayers? I’ll go a step further and ask, is it enough that a person volunteers and does outreach work?

I honestly don’t know the answer to these questions. Well, these are truly pending questions that only the soul can answer. Like I said earlier, there is a specific reason a person is where he or she when a tragedy strikes. Now it’s up to the person what that reason is. Maybe a certain person needs to pray or maybe someone else needs to actually go to Tacloban and help. It is important someone doesn’t judge anyone else. Some have been give more than others for a reason and there is also another reason why some are safer than others.  A silver lining to all this is the fact that you’re actually of doing something. I guess that’s the first step. The mere fact that you’re thinking of praying or donating your clothes and stuff like that shows how much affected you are.

I am bothered, extremely bothered… but I actually hope that I’m not bothered enough. I hope I’m bothered enough to do more.

What’s So Great About Thursdays?

In our modern day calendar, there are seven days a week. These are seven individual days with each one different from the other. A Monday is a Monday, a Tuesday is a Tuesday, and so on. Now when you talk to any sensible person, man or woman, child or adult, 90% would probably say that there three most favorite days are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In other words, the weekend. I included Friday because it’s essentially the same – you go out, get drunk, smoke pot, and do shit you’ll regret. Haha. It’s perfectly normal to love the weekends but I have an issue on people who live for the weekends. You know, the ones that drag their butts off for the entire week just to get a small glimpse of freedom on a weekend out. It’s like getting a smoke: you light one up to get away from your stress but when the light’s out, the problem stays. A weekend blows past you and it’s Monday all over again. Well, this issue is for another writing but I’m here to talk about the wonderful day that is a Thursday.

Ironically, I know one person who loves Thursdays. I mean she absolutely loves it. Not a Friday, not a Saturday, and not a Sunday. This is a real surprise to me because who in the right mind would love Thursdays? You can have just simply love Fridays since a Thursday is so close to a Friday anyway. Loving a Thursday is almost like saying I like Monday mornings. It’s a drag, a weight, a big lump that you have to carry to get yourself over the hump and into a Friday night of going out.

This friend of mine was Joey and so I go ask her, “Why do you like Thursdays? Dapat nag Friday ka na lang”

Then she replies, “Bukod sa malapit siya sa Friday, para siyang November ng taon. Climax ng libro.”

She gives a bunch of other examples like a couple of texts more but then it hit me. It hit me like a train. I just suddenly got it. Basically what she was trying to say is that she loves Thursdays so much because of all the excitement it could bring.

It’s that rush before that one thing you’re waiting for. It’s the one deep breath before a first kiss, it’s the mixture of excitement and YOLO moment right before you take a shot of alcohol, it’s the helplessness right before your mother scolds you, it’s the silence before the scream leaves your mouth when a rollercoaster goes for the dive, it’s the countdown before Christmas eve. And I can go on and on but by now you get the point right? It’s that one moment before you dive in and experience whatever it is you’re about to experience. But more than that, there’s also a feeling of uncertainty that you’re not quite sure with what you’re about to experience.

For instance, let’s say you’re in the moment of reading through a climax of the book. Now the only thing certain is that you’re going to finish the book. However, you won’t know how it’ll end. The lead character can die or he can save the girl or anything. You just won’t really now but the feeling of excitement that you’re about to read is the turning point of the book is right there. Take another example: the very essence of a Thursday is that it is just one day before a Friday. It’s merely 24 solid hours before that final day of work. Let’s say you’re supposed to go out on Friday night and you’ve planned this with you’re friends for a couple of weeks now. The feeling of excitement probably arrives around Thursday and you can’t wait to go out the next night to relieve your stress. However, there’s also the possibility of having a friend suddenly back out or your boyfriend suddenly has an unexpected event that he can’t cancel. Then again you might have the best weekend of your life after that unsure Thursday. It’s the perfect calm before the storm or the deafening silence before the fireworks light up the sky. In other words, the only thing certain is the uncertainty.

So the next time you think about Thursday, I dare you to think again. The next time you try to live for the weekends, think about a Thursday. Maybe now you’ll have four favorite days of the week. Who knows maybe one day liking a Monday morning wouldn’t be so bad. I myself have come to like Mondays now. Well, anyway, that’s for another entry.

Let me end this entry by using one of her messages, “I love Thursdays eh… ang saya niya… parang patalon ka pa lang.” So it’s a Friday plus the weekend is just around the corner. Take a deep breath then jump!

What’s In A Dream?

Don’t you always wonder what your dreams meant? I’m not taking about I-want-to-be-a-basketball-player type dream but the kind of dreams that you see in your head when you sleep. Don’t you just say to yourself, “what was that?” after you’ve dreamed about something? Whether it’s a good dream or a bad dream, we are always left with a sense of amazement and mystery. Now, I’ve never been a big dream guy. I don’t dream a lot in my sleep but lately I’ve been having quite a lot. I find it both fun and interesting when I think about how diverse and random my dreams are.

Is there a way to interpret dreams? Well, yes and no. I remember back in college I had this one class that discussed the possibility of understanding dreams. I can’t really recall but I think it was my Counseling class. Anyway, I specifically remember the teacher giving us handouts that contained pointers how to break down a dream. Some of them included a few things like: were there people? Were the images blurry or did you see them as you would see them if you were awake? What other elements were there? Was it in first person or a third person point of view? Supposedly answers to these questions would mean a better understanding of a person’s dream.

Now of course they were just pointers how to possibly understand a dream, but you can’t really know all there is to know. Dreams can mean different things for different people. Some of the things to consider are – maybe you are going through some trial, maybe it’s a recurring thing that you’ve always put off but now comes in a form of a dream, maybe it’s a premonition of the future, but then again maybe it’s simply just a meaningless dream. As humans we can’t really know for sure. If there was one guy who knew exactly what his dreams were it’s probably Joseph from the Bible aka Joseph The Dreamer. That guy was spot on about his predictions of the future.

So below are three of my dreams from previous nights. I’ve tried to decipher them but more than anything I just find it really interesting and funny.

Dream #1

My first dream started out strangely good then it quickly became weird. I was in a hotel room and I sort of knew where I was exactly. I think I was in a Shangri-La hotel and in a room where my family used to stay in when we’d have a vacation. But in this dream, I was alone with a girl. She’s an American actress though she’s not that famous; not famous to the point I don’t even recall her name. She wore a loose white see-through shirt the kind you can see what color of bra the girl was wearing. She had sort of a punk/emo vibe with her complete with eyeliner and weird highlights in her blonde hair. We seemed to know each other pretty well because out of nowhere we started making out. In my mind while we were kissing was “Who are you?” I kept asking that question kiss after kiss. Then she started to bend down and she was about to open my fly when I realized what was happening or at least I knew what was about to happen next. It felt weird because I felt like I was cheating on my wife. The whole thing felt awkwardly wrong. It’s double weird because I don’t even have a wife. Anyway, before anything else can happen I decided to wake up. It was such a relief to wake up because I didn’t want to sleep with her. I remember a line from a Flight of the Conchords song – Just because you’ve been exploring my mouth doesn’t mean you get to take an expedition for the south! Hilarious song. Anyway, all I can think about was her face and who exactly was she. I mean, if it was a known celebrity and one my celebrity crushes things could have ended differently. But no, it was some random actress who’s not even famous yet. It could have been Emma Watson but no. Damn it.

Dream #2

The next night I had another dream. In this dream I was in a basketball court. The setting was in an American type gymnasium and the closest thing resembling to the place is probably a scene from High School Musical. Terrific. Even though I couldn’t see how much time left was on the clock I just knew time was running out and our team had to make the next bucket. Our coach was on the sidelines and he wasn’t on a typical bench, surprisingly he was on a chair and had a table in front of him. It was like he was at the scorer’s table with the statistician on his right and nobody else was with him, no bench players or whoever. I still remember his face. He’s the coach who won the NCAA championship in the States just this previous March. Of course in the dream I could care less as to how or why he was the coach all I knew is that I couldn’t let him down.

So there we were, seconds away from a win or an agonizing defeat. I clearly saw what type of jerseys my teammates and I were wearing. We were wearing white so obviously we were the home team with blue-patched numbers placed on our backs. They had no names, just the colors blue and white. The play was for me to take the last shot. The plan was to come off a series of screens for me to get the ball and then try to make a play out of it.

The referee blows the whistle and the play begins. We were five on the court as the ball was about to be inbounded and I was supposed to loose my defender by going through my teammates. I get an opening by curling through a screen and my teammate passed me the rock. Surprisingly, the ball moved in slow motion as though I could see the lines of the ball coming closer and closer into me. I get the ball and I started driving to the hoop. Then all of a sudden I realize there weren’t five defenders on the floor, but there was just two: a boy and a girl. I had the girl defending me and she had this short and extremely straight black hair and she was up on my grill harassing me to not get to the rim. I stopped my dribble and tried to pull up for a jump shot. Right then and there it dawned on me that something was terribly wrong. You see, the fundamentals of shooting a jump shot was you aim and shoot the ball with your dominant hand and used the other hand as support. I shot the ball with two hands. Great. I released the ball and saw my two arms stretch out and I knew immediately this shot had a .0001% of getting in. I just knew man. I shot it from the right baseline and my shot veered off way to the left. I missed the rim by a parking lot. Like I could have hit a cheerleader on the sideline with the way I shot the ball. The buzzer sounded and of course we lost the game. I remember going to my coach and he had his face flat on the table and when I came over he had this utmost disgust in his face. He had the “you let me down” look. Then I woke up. You know the first thing I thought after the feeling of losing? The play started out with 4 of my teammates and myself on the court plus another person inbounding the ball. So that’s 6 people in the play for my team against TWO people: a dimwit boy and a girl with a stupid hair and I lost the game. Nice.

Dream #3

Dream number three was short and somewhat a bit clearer than the previous two. In this dream, I was walking along Katipunan probably in front of Prince David or just in front of 7/11 something like that. I was walking towards the store (moving away from Ateneo just to be clear where I was headed) when I saw my highschool classmate AJ. I vaguely see him and he was wearing a white shirt wearing an ID with a red lanyard. Possibly a work uniform? I don’t know. Then just when I was about to say hi, I hear someone calling my name. As I turn, I see another classmate, Matt, which was odd since he now lived in Las Vegas. To make things even weirder, I see him wearing the same get up as AJ. And so we all meet up in the sidewalk and begin to talk about random stuff. All the while I had a feeling I was supposed to have a serious conversation with Matt. I don’t know what exactly what were going to talk about but I sort of knew we were bound to have a discussion on something. Weird. And then the dream ended just like that.

Again, I’m no big dream guy and I don’t know what these dreams meant. Maybe I’m going to hook up with a celebrity (Emma Watson please), miss a game winning shot (Please no), or meet with my classmates (which is more likely). In any case, I don’t want to put too much meaning on my dreams. Maybe they’re just there for amusement and well, something to write about.

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If You Could Only Pick Three TV Channels What Would They Be?

There are probably a hundred channels in each TV set of a middle class family today. There’s a channel for cooking, basketball, game shows, your favorite TV series, history, heck I think there’s even a channel devoted to horse racing. With the numerous channels you can choose from, what would be your three favorite?

Now, I don’t really watch TV nowadays but it’s a good question to ponder on. Imagine if you’re on a business trip and get stuck in a hotel for a couple of days with limited cable you’d wish it will have all your favorites. I know that’s what I used to do when I go on provincial trips. Turn on the TV and flick through the channels.

I got sick a couple of days ago and those were the rare moments I got to watch TV again. I realized that I only browse through a couple of channels and that made me wonder which were the ones I really like.

So here are my three channels:

1)   BTV

Basketball has always been a huge part of my life and having a channel that contains everything and anything about basketball is a must. Though it does not contain any Philippine league, the NBA would be more than enough. As I’ve said earlier, I don’t watch TV nowadays and that’s including basketball games. Maybe I’m looking for new sports or new hobbies or maybe I just realized that there’s more to life than putting a ball through a hoop. In fact, I didn’t even know what happened to the UAAP or PBA championship till they were both over.

With regards to the NBA, maybe I’ll pay more close attention. It’s not that I totally prefer international play than local, in fact I only watch a few minutes of the games despite the NBA having a brand new season, but with the BTV there’s an entire channel devoted in giving updates, highlights, and more.

Then again maybe it’s only because my favorite player hasn’t come back yet. Someone message me when Kobe plays again.

2)   HBO

More than not watching TV nowadays, I also don’t really watch movies anymore. Probably the last time I went to a movie theater was around three months ago and I don’t see myself watching anything soon. But, movies are still a good pastime of mine and I like to get a glimpse of a movie every now and then.

It was a toss up between HBO or Star Movies but I choose the former one because it also has the “HBO Original Series.” 

3)   HISTORY CHANNEL

When I spent nearly five days in the hospital a couple of months back, one of the channels I got stuck on was History Channel. I’ve always liked this channel but I got to know more of its shows (well probably because I was just lying in bed with a dextrose). And after I got out of the hospital, I kept on watching their shows. They are informational, funny, witty, and simply entertaining.

 

Though I don’t watch a lot of TV nowadays, these are probably the channels I’d choose.

Can Sun and Moon be One Transcending Star?

The Sun and The Moon

 

Once there was a Sun and there was a Moon

Both were revolving without each other knowing

Light in morning, night in the afternoon

They had no clue what the Heavens were brewing

 

The Sun was warmth, joy, but also has heat

The Moon was peace, stillness, but also has darkness

By fate, the Heavens decided they meet

The stars aligned, the Earth halted, which brought kindness

 

Their first meeting was not monumental

Not knowing how it was to be instrumental

How would the Sun with all its radiance

Coincide with the Moon with all its brilliance?

 

The bridge to be crossed seemed mountains apart

The Sun and its radiant shining beams

Could care less for the Moon and its blue cooling streams

But light and dark should play in a one part

 

By the Heavens’ mercies they trodden on

Sun feeling the coolness and stillness of the Moon

Moon feeling the warmth and joy of the Sun

Two stars colliding like singing a happy tune

 

On and on Sun happily greeted Moon

Every sunrise, every sunset

Every morning and until late afternoon

Not a time went by since the day they met

 

The light and the dark became united

Committed they were so not to be divided

Every morning they’d watch the children play

Every evening they’d guide them and led the way

 

Then the Moon said something quite so profound

The Sun could not even begin to believe

It is true cupid’s arrow has no bound

It pierces through the heart without reprieve

 

They loved each other the Moon and the Sun

The Shining Sun with its everlasting light

The Moon with the stillness of the night

Their union was filled with laughter and fun

 

The two shining stars uniting as one

This is what the Earth sees in every eclipse

The Sun and Moon locked in each other’s lips

Both giving everything, regrets they had none

 

Through time they did not leave each other’s side

Till one day the stars did not align anymore

The rules of loving no longer did they abide

Everything seemed wrong, there could be something more

 

How can the Sun with all its radiance

Now coincide with the Moon with a scarred hindrance?

How can an everlasting gleaming light

Be united with a shameful unending night?

 

Too soon they parted and the Heavens wept

Again and again they tried to rekindle the love

With a gushing wind their treasures were swept

Leaving nothing but only weeping stars above

 

How will the story of the two stars end?

Maybe through unceasing anguish and bitterness

One could guess if the other will bend

Or through kindness and understanding happiness

 

What was its purpose the stars and Earth asked

Can the fire and ice be ever united?

Can shining light and unending night be forged?

Was their love not meant to grow but just gorged?

 

Can Sun and Moon be one transcending star?

Is love so strong that it does not matter how far?

Can the Moon receive the Sun’s shining light?

Or can the Sun ever get the Moon’s cooling night?

 

But the Heavens did not give an answer

They remained still and quiet with the confusion

Now sadness creeps like a haunting cancer

Yesterday’s happiness now seem an illusion

 

Once there was a Sun and there was a Moon

Both are still revolving with each other knowing

Light in morning, night in the afternoon

They have no clue what the Heavens are brewing

 

Though time and memories pass in season

Still true love they knew, not needing any reason

Forever embedded in heart and mind

A treasured memory that is not hard to find