Thursday, May 26

Growing Up/Old

When you're heartbroken, you get more anxious of the future. On one hand, there's a part of you that wants time to just stop, life to just end. But then there's a part of you that wills to survive the heartache albeit a sense of dread, a deep sense of fear comes with it. I guess that's what bitterness is all about. The sunny view of life you once had suddenly turns downcast. And all that's left is a bitter, brutally truthful take on life. Come to think of it, maybe Hobbes was heartbroken when he said that "life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

I remember two or three years ago, I just broke up with my ex (which is really a blessing now, thank God!) and my father was about to go on forced retirement. Suddenly, there was a lot of uncertainty in my life. Transitions. I was new to heartache and there I was taking on the new role as breadwinner of the family. I distinctly remember asking my mom if I really need to step up, shape up. I felt a need to grow up and take things seriously since my family would be soon depending on me. She wasn't very straightforward with her answer but judging from her worried demeanor in the days after my father announced his plan to retire, I knew that I had to take up a lot of things on my shoulder.

Fast forward to two or three years. We're getting by and at the end of the day, the blessings still outweigh the hardships. But then, an unanswered questions still lingers in my mind: who will be with me when I grow old? As much as I want my parents to live on forever, that can never be. And my sister's got her own life to live. In fact, I'm looking forward to the day when she gets married and have kids of her own. She's got a bright future ahead of her and I would be the last person to hold her down by the thought of having to watch over me and see if I'm lonely or alone. And then there's my brother whom I know I need to take care of.

I know it's of no use to worry about an uncertain future. But then it's the age-old question that I've ranted about hundreds of times already: security. Or maybe it's just romanticism refusing to die in my heart. Damn you Adam Sandler for singing "Growing Old with You!" When these thoughts cross my mind, all the more do I want to be self-sufficient. When I grow old, it might be my fate to live with me, myself and I.

And then it strikes me, I need to brush aside that thought and put on a brave front... even if it's hard and the looming sadness of days ahead cause your hands to tremble. Hay, trembling hands. I wonder if there would be someone to hold them and keep them still when I'm old and wobbly. Will life be really solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short? I really hope not.

Tuesday, May 24


I was sifting through one of my memory boxes when I came across a card I received from my research assistant just before she moved out of here. After more than a year, it's still heartening to read the things she wrote even if more than half of it's just random rambling and silly laughs :)

Hi sir,

Ang girly ba ng card? Haha. I'm zorreh. Ang pangit pa ng sulat. Haha

Hi Sir. Honestly hindi ko alam kung anong magiging reaction mo sa card na to pero here goes! Ang dami pang sinasabi haha. But ito. Yung pag-alis ko sa *****, ikaw ang nagpahirap ng decision ko. Hehe. Kasi alam kong hindi ka na masaya at burned out ka na - I couldn't bear leaving you. Naks. Haha. Pero di nga. Kasi yon. Ang hirap naman magsabi sayo!

Basta. Ano bang sinasabi ko? Haha. Thank you lang, sir. Thank you sa 1 year na natiis mo ako haha. Sa patience mo at sa knowledge na na-impart mo. Tingin ko, sakto lang na umalis akong **** 'cause I can't do what you do haha. Anyway, thanks talaga sir, kasi kahit ako iyong me title na "assistant", minsan ikaw pang nag-aassist sakin!

Kaya pasensya na rin sir, siguro most of the time super "Bad trip naman o!" ka na. Hehe. Tsaka sa pangungulit ko - both work and non-work related. Mamimiss ko yung minsang random nonsense na naiisip natin haha.

Ay! Eto! Sir hehe mamimiss kita super. Yung tahimik ka lang sa cubicle mo, minsan kumakanta, mapang-asar, at deep mag-isip - lahat yan mamiss ko! Kahit ang hirap mo basahin, I like to think of you as my friend - sana ako rin ganun sayo. Hehe. Kung kelangan mo ng makakausap, andito lang ako! Pramis! Kung kelangan mo ng makukulit, I'm game! Basta sir (siguro ang reaction mo "EWWW!" Haha) labs na labs kita bilang my 1st
boss ever! Kaya I like to look after you in my own way - ewan ko lang kung nafifeel mo hehe.

Shet, mauubos na space. Oh no sir. Is this goodbye? NO. Haha. Basta dapat magkikita pa tayo soon, pag umuwi jowawitz ko, ipapakilala kita! Sir, keep in touch ha? Gusto kitang i-add sa FB kaya lang baka iignore mo lang. Haha. E-mail pa rin kita once in a while! At kukulitin kang lumabas, kasi alam kong mamimiss mo rin ako HEEHEE.

See you soon sir! God bless you always. Alagaan mo sarili mo parati!

Lurve, ***

Nakakainis naman ang liit ng space, pahabol lang!

Balitaan mo ako sa:

(a) job hunting
(b) Health issues
(c) **** people na parati nating pinag chichismisan; at!
(d) Lovelife.



Hihi, ***

Those thoughts bring sunshine to an erstwhile gloomy day!

I'd bake you a cake of laughter and nonsense, if I could...
Paint you a world of green sky and blue grass, I would...
I'd give you back all the dreams from when you were little, if I could...
If only it would show you how much I truly care, I would!

Thursday, May 19


The storm was pounding the little town outside and us, with nothing much left to do, decided to just talk. The power was out and save for a candle flickering in the far end of the room, it was pitch black. So much for a summer vacation, this was full on survivor.

"But life is short!" he told me.

He's a young lawyer and in the many narratives of love that night, his story told of being the confidante to a couple while harboring a secret love for the girl. It's the classic "Pare, gusto ko ang girlfriend mo," albeit he never had the guts to act on the matter. Always the logical one, he thought it was best not to "betray" the couple's trust even if there have been opportunities for him to just snatch the girl away. After all, in the lengthy conversations he had with the girl, he felt a sincere connection. After his first love, he thought he'd never find someone who could read him as if they were soulmates... then came this girl. "Minsan 'pag nagkekwento nga si Jen sa akin, naiisip ko, bakit kasi ganun si Drew? Kung ako iyon, mabibigay ko iyong kailangan ni Jen."

"Kung ako iyon...." Three words that at once spell out both hope and helplessness.

"But life is short! Why not look for someone with whom you could build a life with?"

It was only on that night that he learned about my situation. I felt he was sorry for me, as if telling me that I could do better.

"That's exactly it, life is short," I replied. "Minsan hindi mo rin sinasadyang ma-in love sa isang tao."

Perhaps a bit apprehensive at first, but then he said, "Totoo iyan."

We were both working on the same premise. Indeed life is short. Only that he opted to pass on the chance and wait for someone with whom he could build a life with... while I, I chose to just jump in.

Tuesday, May 17


My teaching career's on a halt.

I received a text message yesterday from a colleague asking if the University already called me for the first semester. I said no. She then told me to postpone replying if and when the Dean's office contacts me regarding class schedules and the like. Apparently, another colleague - the one who invited the two of us to teach - won't be getting renewed this coming academic year. I had a hunch it was the seething animosity between this colleague and other more entrenched faculty that was to blame. True enough, when I asked her if we're no longer returning next sem, she told me that "the system's working against us." I knew she won't go down without a fight. As of writing, she already filed a complaint with the Rector regarding this matter. But what put me off was that she filed another case, this time with the NLRC! That's when I really felt sad.

I was never comfortable with legal redress. To me, you go to courts if all avenues have been exhausted and you're left with no options. I mean even in our profession, mediation has been at the front and center of maintaining industrial peace. And we are in an academic setting for crying out loud! We're supposed to be working with enlightened individuals who operate in a spirit of mutual respect. Sometimes you just have to ask, are these the people we entrust to teach our kids?! Collegiality takes a twisted spin towards an us against them mentality.

Hay, so sad. I was already looking forward to teaching this particular subject next sem and if truth be told, I kinda needed the extra income too. But you know what's most disheartening? In this circus of proving who's got power over who, the students are the ones left to suffer most. I can already see it. They'd be reverting to how things were done before. Weeks into the semester and there will still be classes - major subjects! - without professors to handle them.

So much for a hundred or so years. I guess this is yet another time when time doesn't matter.

Thursday, May 5


Blessed are those who could cry on cue.
Sometimes you just want to cry, but the tears are as elusive as your feelings are heavy.

Wednesday, May 4

Lesson Learned

First of all, my world is getting smaller. Aside from the many actual and near brush ups with people I personally know offline, I've just recently discovered that my ex has a blogger account! Turns out he has been on blogspot for about three years at the very least! If and when he happens to visit this page, I'd probably need to kill (as Geek puts it) my blog a second time.

Anyway, scrolling through his blog, I read a particular revelation as to why he decided not to contact me for more or less a month after a "fight." He wanted to teach me a lesson, he says. Interestingly, the teacher that I am, I am quite averse to the idea of teaching someone a lesson especially when it comes to relationships. I'd probably understand parents trying to teach their kids lessons but there's something off about a partner purposely trying to mold his partner's character, way of life or outlook.

Or maybe I'm just justifying myself. I do not react very well to my partner "teaching" me a lesson (case in point, I "discarded" him from my life, something that Geek thinks was a good awakening on my part, thank you very much!). There's just something inherently mean about the whole idea when working on a relationship must spring from mutual respect and love. I don't know if it's misplaced idealism or just plain romanticism but "correcting" your partner's ways isn't something you do. Well if your partner changes for the better because of you then that's great! That's what you call inspiration. But for someone to impose a "lesson" on another? That just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

But then again, we grow and we mature. No one is beyond reproach and I've convinced myself to be more gracious and accepting of "lessons." Of course that comes at a price. You temporarily trade off your pride and self worth for an opportunity to better yourself... which is actually a gamble. After all, we're talking about just an "opportunity." Actualizing it is a totally different matter.

Anyway, I think I'm already rambling. Suffice to say that should you allow someone to "teach" you a lesson, just make sure that that someone's worth it... if not, you'll end up not just with a broken heart but also a shattered sense of self-worth.

Monday, May 2


"May age limit ba?"

If I had a peso for each time I heard that question yesterday, I'd be a millionaire by now. Seriously, it never struck me that age was the perennial issue in finding a job today. But come to think of it, we put such a huge premium on youth that it has always been a clincher in our many decisions, not least of which are those concerning work and livelihood. And so there they were, men and women well into retirement age hopping from one booth to another, hoping that there's a company out there who'd give them a second lease on life. Amidst the sweltering heat and the dusty ground that marked their footprints, to compete with recent graduates and those with relatively more nimble physiques did seem like a daunting challenge.

And that got me thinking. Given my age, am I in a good place career-wise? I remember reading Mak and how he sees being responsible as a constraint to jumping ship and starting anew. if truth be told, my lack of career direction is primarily due to a delusional belief that I'd be successful in anything that I want to do. Apparently, that's not the case. In the real world, without a great measure of luck, success often equates to seriously hard work. And that hard work necessitates investment in time and continuously shifting gears and testing the waters is a luxury that only a few could afford. Hence, the question, have I been so "bilib" in myself that I end up making nothing out of myself? And of course, with that realization comes a call to action: find a new job and stay there. After all, I am not getting any younger...

But then again, I saw a couple of my former students in the same job fair and one of them quipped, "Sir, bumabata kayo ha." And that, my friends, is a priceless consolation that shall tide me in my search for a job where I could stay.