I’ve always been proud of my Jesuit Education and yes, it has been a great part of my life. AMDG, Magis and Cura Personalis! And when I’m feeling down and lost, I always tell myself I need to go on a retreat to find God.
I don’t smoke
But I’m addicted
To the taste of cigarettes
On your lips
By the stale smell of it
On your clothes
I don’t drink
But I get drunk
On your perfume
And intoxicated by
Your alcohol-laced kisses
I keep coming back
And I crave you
In the most ungodly hours
In the most sinful ways
My only vice
4th April 2014
To say that I was excited to turn eighteen would be a lie. I feel so old and I am now legally liable for anything that goes wrong or any crime I may commit. I am officially an adult. And while that should feel exciting, I feel nauseous just thinking about it.
First off, here’s a little background of what I do during my birthdays: I just hide in my room and sleep the entire day, pretending that this day doesn’t exist and just wait for it to pass by just like any other. I hate it when people greet me and I would really much rather prefer if they left me alone. I become the most anti-social person during this day every single year. Sure, I make a few exceptions, like when my friends greet me and we go out but most of all, I try to avoid this day as much as I can.
This year, though, is different. Firstly, my birthday usually falls during the summer holidays but since the school I go to follows a trimester curriculum, I don’t get the privilege or staying home anymore because I still have school (incredibly sad on my part) and the school year officially ends during the second week of April. And secondly, my best friends surprised me. Or attempted to at least.
Growing up, as a family, we would never really celebrate birthdays and it even came to a point wherein I refused to celebrate it at all. And in the years that followed, especially during my high school and now college years, I see people surprising their best friends and my friends surprising any birthday celebrant. Heck, I even became one of the executors and planners for said surprises. However, I always thought that no one would be sweet enough to surprise me or would even bother to make any effort to do that for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit stoic and refuse to acknowledge any form of feeling or attachment. Or maybe I’m just not the kind of person people truly value to even try and do something sweet for me every once in a while even though I hate cheesy and corny things. Or maybe people are scared of how I’d react. Maybe I’m just not meant to be surprised.
I had so many things in line for today: a reunion with my old classmates, another with my ASEC family or even just an opportunity to visit my late teacher, Mr. Ruel Soriano. I refused to participate in any of these things because, like I said, I become anti-social. I don’t want people to know that it’s my birthday. I don’t want to see people because I know they’d expect me to do something or have a party. But the main reason I told them that I couldn’t go was that I still had classes. Yet, I opted to spend this night with my best friends.
It started out innocent enough. It wasn’t even completely planned. I just asked Siobhan if I could go to her house and use their wifi for a bit since I don’t have any internet at home. I came in a bit late, around 5, because I was still at school and it was still so hot to go out. When I got there, she was going out and already in the car. I didn’t really want to stay at her house and use their wifi without her so I asked her where she was going, she just told me she was going out. I asked her if I could come but she told me no and said I should go inside and talk to her mum. It was a bit awkward actually but she assured me she’d only be gone for a short while. I shrugged it off because not 3 minutes later, I got a frantic phone call from a friend saying she needed someone to pick her up and so I pushed my best friend’s behaviour aside.
Later on, we decided to go to SM to do this Tin Can Challenge. I was going there anyway to get my photos taken for some requirements and meet my former classmates and my current classmate, John. When we got there, Siobhan asked me to call Daniella, my other best friend, and told me to just stay where I was while she went to talk to her. I already had a feeling they had plans for me but it didn’t seem that big to me so I shrugged that off as well.
When we got to the grocery store to buy everything we needed for a night of craziness, John and Siobhan told me to stay far away from them. I knew she was letting him in on the plan but I didn’t know what the plan was just yet. Later, when we got home, Daniella came and the fun began with the Tin Can Challenge. We weren’t even supposed to do it tonight but we just agreed in the end. I told them I had to be home by 10 because I still had an 8 am class the next day. I didn’t really expect to stay that long. I meant to go home at 11 or possibly 12 but I was having too much fun to just leave. It was fun and it was completely insane and a bit disgusting. So then, John pops up an idea that while we throw away the disgusting ones, we could just eat the good ones (i.e. strawberries, peaches, etc) with ice cream. So I stood up from my seat and went to the kitchen when Siobhan shouts I’m not allowed to look at the freezer. I was shocked, honestly because I usually just raid their kitchen. Haha!
After cleaning up a bit, the three of them were talking and sharing stories while I was on my laptop on the dining table talking with people and watching videos while searching for things to help me with my tasks for school. They were a bit distracted so while I was scrounging the kitchen for food (Mind you, I even had to ask permission if I’m allowed to open the fridge to get some milk), I’ll admit, I took a little peek in the freezer. And while I already had a big feeling as to what was inside, I just had to see for myself just what was in there that I wasn’t allowed to see. Lo and behold, a cake! The cake Siobhan picked up when I arrived at her house.
It was getting so much closer to midnight and I was shocked that no one was even looking for me or even telling me to come home yet. I just let it go. I considered it a free pass anyway. LOL. Then I noticed that they got quiet and started speaking in hushed tones. They had that look on their faces that completely gave away everything. That “innocent” look they give you but you know they’re actually planning something. So when John went upstairs to get the guitar and then Daniella said something about the drinks not being that good without the ice, I knew they were starting to put their plans in action. It was a bit obvious, honestly, the way they just crowded in the kitchen saying they need ice and not knowing where the ice was. Daniella did try to distract me and she talked to me and I didn’t even pay them any mind or bothered to look at the kitchen because honestly, it’s not that hard to look for some ice! The freezer is full of ‘em! So while I was ranting to Daniella, she suddenly goes to the freezer and I told her to stay put and listen so she comes back. And then Siobhan goes “Where’s the ice? Kukay, can you help me with the ice?” Daniella goes over there and I already knew what they were planning since it was already midnight. And being the blunt person that I am, I tell them, “What ice? I already know that’s a cake.” And they just drop everything and curse me for not even being able to play along. And I just laughed at them and they were so embarrassed, especially Daniella.
They were so mad because I they couldn’t even go through with their surprise! But in the end they just laughed it off and lit up my birthday cake (it even had a sparkler!). I don’t even know what I wished for or if I even made one. They gave me my presents, except John because he didn’t know. Daniella gave me chocolate and a jar of Nutella (which I actually saw in the drawers while I was scrounging for food in the kitchen) and gave a speech that involves her being…well, Daniella.
“Life is like chocolates. And Aya is like chocolates. And Aya is my life.” (Dayot, 2014)
Siobhan put this big box in front of me, a box I thought was filled with a present she told me she intended to give to herself, a box which I actually peeked in weeks prior to tonight, just to find out that it actually meant for me (now that, I did not see coming). Then she told me that they actually intended to surprise me at home by midnight if I went home early but I just stayed at their house. And I honestly just laughed even though I wanted to cry. My eyes were tearing up and everything! But I was just trembling.
So yes, I understand that this tale makes me seem like a bitch or even a callous person who doesn’t really appreciate any efforts or sentimentality. And while I am possibly the worst person you could surprise because I just cannot be surprised, I really did appreciate the effort they put into this. I never truly expected that someone would actually bother to do this for me because I wasn’t even expecting presents or for anyone to even remember (except them of course). And I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to be attached to anyone but I am so glad I met these people. I am so glad that they became a part of my life and that we’ve been friends for 11 years and we’re still going strong. And I am so thankful and grateful that I have these people in my life and that they actually tried to do something to make my birthday special even if it went against my wishes of being low key on this day. And I’ll be so sad when they leave and maybe that’s why I’ve been extra mean lately because in truth, I don’t know how to deal with goodbyes. I don’t know how to let people go when I’ve formed an attachment with them. But I really hope that we don’t even grow apart as we grow older.
And now I am just getting sentimental and sappy. So to conclude this, I’d just like to say that even though I officially turn 18 in 6 hours, I can safely say that the last few hours of 17 were great and if I count it, the first 3 hours of 18 weren’t so bad after all.
Yet again, I have not posted anything on this blog and I find that it’s not because I don’t have the time; it’s mostly because I don’t really know what to write about! So I’m thinking of just posting the poems, short stories, and essays I’ve scribbled down when I get inspired in those ungodly hours.
The Airport: The Goodbye Scene is just a sneak peek of the things I’ve written during my free time and random surges of inspiration. So, hope this goes well. Give it a read if you have the time and let me know what you think!
It’s a funny thing that airports have seen more sincere kisses than wedding halls. That the last few minutes two people spend to say goodbye unravels more feelings than the entire duration of their relationship has. That one can find the courage to say something they’ve been hiding in the short amount of time left before it’s time to go. That one person does something they never thought they could do but the impulse was so strong, they just had to do it. Maybe it was the possibility that they’ll never see each other again in who knows how long that pushes them to act. Because only then can a person see someone’s true value.
All around were people saying goodbye. Others not as emotional as some. Others tried to hide it and act nonchalant. But it was there. The feeling. The emotion.
One couple in particular. This was their goodbye scene.
They sat close but there was decent amount of space between them. They were comfortable but not intimate. There was tension. There was hesitation. There was uncertainty.
“You didn’t have to come, you know,” she told him.
“I know. I wanted to,” he replied softly, staring right at her. She smiled and touched his hand. He caught his breath and swore his heart stopped beating for a second. “Thank you,” she said.
He wanted more than anything to hold her in his arms and kiss her, finally know what the taste of her lips were like. But he couldn’t.
A voice then echoed across the room and announced that her flight back home was finally boarding. “That’s me.” She stood up slowly and they both walked to the gate. He pulled her to a halt halfway towards their destination, looking her dead in the eye.
“I’m glad we met, you know.”
“I just wish-”
“Shh,” she put her finger to his lips and shook her head. “Don’t. We talked about this.”
“Right. Uh, sor-”
“No, shh, just please,” she laughed. “Really, I thought we had an agreement.” He had to grin at that. She was so adorable, so beautiful.
And yes, they did have an agreement. They said they wouldn’t talk about this. That they wouldn’t go further. That they couldn’t act on the feelings that were stirring within them. She wasn’t completely saying no to his advances. She’s saying ‘not now’. And he respected that and he understood. He wasn’t going to rush this because he believes in Elvis and he believes in timing. They weren’t fools. And for that, she is grateful and doesn’t meed him to apologise. They both knew and agreed that the time wasn’t now.
“So, this is it then?” he asked. She merely looked at him and gave him a tight smile. “I hope we meet again soon.” He touched her cheek and her eyes fluttered shut for a second. When she opened them again, he was walking away. She paused for a second before calling out his name and hurried towards him.
He was walking slowly, trying not to think about the way he just left her like that. When he heard his name being called out, he stopped and turned around. That’s when he saw her, already right in front of him. “Wait.”
She knew that she wasn’t going to regret this, what she’s about to do. He was the type of guy of always knew what to say or do. He took action. He didn’t need anyone to tell him what exactly they need. He just knew. And she loved that about him.
She took slow, calming breaths before she spoke. “I know we said we wouldn’t. And I know I was the one who asked. I know we said not now but,” she paused. She hesitated. She suddenly wasn’t sure and looked down at her feet. He took a step forward, tilted her head up by the chin with his fingers. “What, what is it?” He searched her eyes but they were hard to read. He knew she was scared. “Tell me,” he said.
“But can you give me something to hold on to until then?” she whispered.
He didn’t hold back.
He kissed her. He poured in every emotion he felt for her, every little thing he wanted to say but couldn’t, he made it known through that one physical connection. He gave it his all. He didn’t move too fast or too slow. He was patient and remained a gentleman. She in turn felt everything, everything he’d been holding back and she knew this wasn’t a mistake. The kiss would still linger on her lips even after she left and after they said goodbye. It had been sweet yet fiery, gently searing her to the core and giving her a warmth that tingled her every time she remembered it. It wasn’t malicious. It was unguarded. It was pure. It was profound. It was perfect.
And this was one of the most sincerest, most impeccable kisses an airport has seen.
The seventh is true. It didn’t exactly matter what accomplishments I made for myself or how people always saw me as mature and the “older” one because I’ll probably always be babied by my family. lol
Can’t even begin to explain how relevant this is.
I know I haven’t exactly posted anything on here for what seems like ages and I swore I would come back to blogging and I especially swore that I would blog about the leadership summit I got sent to but with everything that’s been going on, requirements and busy schedules, I’m exhausted most of the time although I have trouble sleeping too. But recently, I find myself being nostalgic for that leadership summit last November 21-22 at the D’Leonor Inland Resort.
I don’t normally reminisce and I’m not even sentimental so this entire thing about missing the summit was quite surprising for me. (And I even found myself missing Ateneo but that’s a different story). It was an overnight activity so I was excused from my midterm exams. I was a bit apprehensive at first because of the exams but damn, I don’t regret a single moment of it. It was amazing because I met great people and took part in the awesome activities and listened to the most inspiring speakers.
The people I met were definitely my kind of people. They were friendly, accommodating and just great all in all! It’s nice to be surrounded by people who know how to take initiative and act boldly. I really feel like I belong to these kinds of seminars with people who are driven and motivated. I’m happy to be surrounded by people who are up for a challenge and the activities were indeed challenging and I’m so glad that my team chose not to give up and eventually, we overcame all the obstacles. And to think we’ve only just met each other and we were able to work together and unite ourselves to accomplish the tasks. I feel so proud to be given this opportunity. And not only did I meet new people from different schools, I also got to bond with people from my own school and they too were shocked to find out that I’m still 17 and still a freshman at college when most of them were older and graduating already. And the speakers, I must say, were truly inspiring in giving their talks and I love how their theme was mostly centered on environmental, social media and ethical awareness. It definitely helped me open my eyes and change my outlook on certain aspects. Hopefully, this would help me improve my skills as a leader.
I’m quite sad that it only lasted two days and I’m really hoping that I could meet these people again and keep in touch. I really want to see some of them, if not all of them, in the Lead Comm next year! Hope I can see some of them again sometime soon.
Over the recent months, I’ve come to realise quite a few things:
- I should really learn how to appreciate myself.
I’ve always had a low self-esteem for as long as I could remember. There are times wherein I am indeed confident but I consider it more of a direct and enthusiastic attitude. I seem to have things figured out but I honestly don’t. I seem to believe in myself and feel worthy but deep down, I’m still not. Sometimes, I may be contented but I’m still not entirely satisfied. Being in an environment that doesn’t allow me to reach my full potential has become a factor in my almost non-existent self-esteem. Although I am thankful and still somewhat content with what I have, there are times wherein I can’t help but feel completely useless compared to others. Having friends that are very good looking, smart and nearly perfect has let me down quite a number of times, I can’t count them. I love them to bits but I love attention as well. I guess you could consider it jealousy because the attention and appreciation are given to others. It’s actually quite a bit insulting to be left out because I’m apparently not good enough to be given at least a little amount of value. Looks-wise, it feels really bad to not be given notice because you’re not attractive. It hurts when nobody takes you seriously because they think you’re stupid. What’s worse is that everyone seems to be intimidated by intelligence.
I have this tendency to not accept compliments because truly, I don’t know how. Often when people give me a compliment, I tell them something like “But she’s prettier.” or “No, she’s way smarter.” or “No, she is so much better.” As a girl, insecurity is my biggest weakness. I often find myself asking why I’m not pretty or why I’m not good at this. I’ve become what I hate. I became a fisher. This annoyed me a lot because as much as I hated fishing for compliments, looking for that assurance that indeed, I am enough, I wanted to get rid of it. It annoyed me how needy I became. It annoyed me how every time someone compliments me, I just couldn’t accept it and be thankful. Nobody really cares how you feel about yourself. It’s something you should be able to fix. It’s something I need to improve on. People all around have high expectations of me because of the potential I possess yet this one thing – this insecurity – holds me back. Hence, I often let people down and not live up to what is expected. Another opportunity is wasted and I’ve disappointed the people who have put their faith in me.
- Being “conyo” isn’t exactly something to be proud of.
I’ll admit, I often speak in this manner, especially when I’m cranky. I was known for talking like Kris Aquino but then I realised, it’s not something to be proud of really. Conyo or coño in Spanish is actually a derogatory term for “vagina”. We always hear people say (pardon my vulgarity) cunt or pussy as an insult. Why should conyo be any different? It’s actually quite annoying. To me, it ruins the value of language. Why can’t people speak straight Filipino or straight English? I’ve been trying to change this and although there are times when I can’t help it, I limit it and make it minimal. Sure, it is a reflection of which class you belong in society but it’s not exactly classy or fancy. It’s irritating to hear, accompanied with that accent and tone. It makes people seem arrogant and in most cases, they are. In some cases, it’s even condescending. Colonial mentality has probably played a great factor in this, seeing as most of the people who speak this way are those who live comfortable lives.
- I’m not interested in teenage affairs, especially ones concerning flings and love.
Alas, I’m probably living the wrong decade or even century. I know, I know, I’m a teenager but honestly I could care less how many guys you’ve kissed or how many girls you’ve scored. We’re young and let’s face it, these relationships won’t exactly last. Although there are some exceptions, majority of them are forgotten. Some of them even regrets. We all rush into things and so we hurry and grow up. It’s not something that is easily attained; it takes time. In the process, we make mistakes because we wanted to try something new, we wanted to fit in and we didn’t want to be alone. Being a teenager, we feel lost and confused and crave for affection. We need attention. We need love. But is it really worth it to waste time and give yourself away to people who probably won’t even remember you in 10 years? You knew what you were getting yourself into, why do you still choose to dwell on the pain? Making mistakes is a part of life but please, keep your stories and details to yourself. Nobody’s really counting the notches on your bed posts or belts. There are boundaries to these stories. We’re still kids. There is no need to rush. Spare me the details.
- Drinking to get drunk isn’t impressive.
Parties are always happening whether over a small victory or a grand celebration. I don’t understand people who drink to get drunk on a regular basis. Tell me, what does it achieve other than liver cancer and disease? Your state of inebriation speaks a lot about you as a person. It’s actually quite a turn off to see people vomiting and acting completely unlike themselves and out of control. Learn your limits. Social drinking is all right but you don’t need to be intoxicated all the time. Stop causing damage to yourself. It isn’t good especially in the long run and you’ll only come to realise that when it’s far too late.
- I don’t understand why people still complain even though they’ve already reached their dreams and goals.
Honestly, why does nothing please you? Is it not enough how everything has been given to you on a silver platter or how life comes oh so easily to you? Learn to be thankful. A lot more people may be more deserving than you are but yet, your prayers have been answered. Make up your minds and count your blessings, not your deficiencies.
- It doesn’t really matter what school you go to or the degree you have, it’s the person you become.
In high school, colleges were a big thing. That’s probably the biggest decision you have to make at that age. I applied for 3 out of the 4 top universities in this country and got accepted in 2 out of those schools. Receiving the acceptance letter made me completely ecstatic and lifted my spirits up because I did it all by myself. I didn’t pay to have review classes. I studied and prepared on my own. My ultimate dream school for as long as I could remember is the Ateneo. I grew up in a Jesuit environment even before I was born. I wanted to study in Manila because Ateneo de Davao didn’t really seem like the place for me anymore because of all the hardships I underwent there. The next was the University of Santo Tomas. I dreamed of becoming a doctor and UST offers the best medical education in the country. It hurt a lot to be accepted into these schools and have to give up my slots due to various reasons. And so I came up with other plans, one being Meridian International and take up Music Business Management. I wanted to study in Manila because of all the opportunities it offers. But alas, it did not matter because I couldn’t leave.
Then I realised that despite having these college degrees, we’re all going to end up underemployed or even unemployed. It’s hard to look for a job in this country. The years and money spent on education will be useless because a lot of people still don’t have jobs or have jobs that is supposed to be their profession. Engineers have become teachers when they could be searching for ways to improve our lives. Scientists aren’t given that much importance because apparently this country doesn’t value them as much as they should when they could be able to provide cures and contribute in research therefore making expenses in medicine and technology cheaper. Nurses become call agents. Even a person who graduated suma cum laude in the most prestigious school will not be given the recognition they deserve. In turn, people grow resentful and aren’t happy. I’ve lost hope in this country to be honest. Only those with connections and great influence are satisfied. It seems like working hard isn’t just enough. I find it ironic how everyone says that education should be put first but it seems as though it’s not as important as it should be.
I also don’t understand the point of school rivalry. Who cares what school they went to? Does their school make them less of a person or someone that should not be liked? You don’t need to point out which school they go to or which colours they represent.
Even more than that, professionals aren’t going to care really which school you went to. It doesn’t even matter what you did in high school or which college you went to. (My friends sister, a consistent honor student in high school and an Ateneo de Manila graduate, had to send out 25 CVs and only less than half of those companies she applied into responded.) Sure, it’s quite impressive to see that you went to an elite school but it’s the things you’ve experienced and how learned from them that would capture their attention. If you’ve got something to offer, show them. Don’t just tell them. If you have the skills and if you’re good at what you do, that’s what matters. Know how to accept your mistakes and flaws. It’s all about the attitude. Don’t be a dog that barks.
- People change.
Ah yes, the inevitable. I’ve always known that the only constant thing we have in life is change. Nothing ever stays the same no matter how hard you wish it would. You can’t expect your best friend to be the same person after going through a life-changing event. We all grow up and sadly, we also do grow apart. Although some of the lucky ones do stay, they’re not exactly the same person they used to be. We all go through a life-changing event that would make us different. Some changes are good but it’s the bad ones we have to learn to accept because that’s the hardest one to comprehend. We have to understand that not everything could stay the same and that no matter how hard we wish and try, things can never go back to the way it was once there is a change in the dynamic of a relationship.
- Letting go is a necessary sacrifice.
I don’t believe in getting attached. And I am not easily attached either. It quite annoys me when I’m being clingy and I panic as well when I start to feel some sort of attachment but I could easily cut off all connections with a person if deemed necessary. I guess some people would consider it harsh because they would feel like they’re not important or under appreciated or that I don’t really care so I won’t treat them well. It’s not that. I can show my appreciation sometimes but growing up with a family that is somewhat stoic, I find it hard to express my true feelings. But even more than that, I don’t dwell in the past. Sentimentality doesn’t actually quite suit me. I live in the present and I don’t spend my time reminiscing with people. Whenever I’m with my friends, I don’t talk about our past, I want to talk about what’s going on with them right now and what are their plans. And although it hurts to see people as someone you used to know so well – someone who used to be so close to you and trusted with your life – end up a stranger, c’est la vie! People come and go and we really should learn to let go. It’s a strong gut feeling I’m getting that I should not be too affected when the time comes when some friendships have decided to fade away. What with college and people moving away. And who knows if we’ll even see each other again when we become professionals. But I’ll be forever thankful for their part in my life, no matter how short and brief. And if we do end up meeting again and retain our old ways, I’ll definitely have no hesitation to welcome them with open arms.
To be honest, I knew these things were coming but right now, the urge became strong to just let this out. So in no way do I mean to offend anyone. This is just my opinion and my perception of things. These are all personal reflections of everything that’s been going on in my life. I also may seem kind of hypocritical at some point but then again my thoughts are not always equivalent with my actions. Thank you for reading this.
I’ve been pretty inactive in terms of writing these past few years. Frankly, I’m never even satisfied with what I’ve been writing. It’s a constant battle with myself. Sometimes, when I back read some of my works, I ask myself where I got the inspiration to write or how I even know these words and structures.
I’d like to bring that back.
So here I am. It was quite a shock when I logged into WordPress a few days back and I discovered that my account was suspended. Luckily, they emailed me back and it was suspended due to automated spamming flags.
Here is my attempt of getting back in touch with my writing skills.
I just hope I can keep this thing active.
So here’s an edited version of my photo/Gravatar. I’d like to keep this blog positive and completely open, something I don’t normally do these days. 🙂