Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Riddance

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.
-Good Riddance, Green Day

Jax's last day at WELS Academy
Taken on the 24th of July, 2009
Rock on, Sir Jax.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I am Responsible for My Rose

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
-Antoine Saint Exupery
I have always had that mantra since I first read it in grade school. I marveled at the beauty of its words, the profoundness of its meaning and the thought that, as far as values are concerned, this never ceases to remind me of what is timelessly true: that we humans should see not just with our eyes, but also with our hearts.

We have what we call the transcendent values, those which do not become outdated. They live on for centuries and the absoluteness of these values defies the concept of change. If you look at the quote, ponder on it and think about its relevance to life, in the end we'd come realize, it is true. The values of the most important things in this world are constant through the years. The belief of a supreme being is transcendent, his existence is yet to be proven but he is worshipped and praised for his greatness. The value of life does not change regardless of the change in time and space. All humans deserve the glory of living. We do not see these things, we do not touch them but within us, we feel their worth.

When we possess immaterial things like love for and from our partners and sturdy affection from our families, we tend to overlook the price of these ties because we shift our focus to matters of consequence, those things that we think truly matter. We think about salary, promotion, incentives, expenses, debts and savings. By doing so, we look past through the thoughts of spending time with what matter above everything else–people who give meaning to almost every day of our lives.

They say that with forming values come intellect and will. True enough, nothing is willed unless it is first known. The passion and will are super ceded by realizing and knowing true worth. If everyone would only see what really is essential, if everyone could only try to look past what they can hold and see, maybe, just maybe, life will be a lot easier and gratitude will never be difficult to express.

The Teaching Profession

When I was in elementary, I was definitely not used to write on notebooks. My books were always highlighted and for me, taking down notes was the lousiest part of being a student. There was a time when my teacher instructed us to fall in line, in front, because she wanted to check our notes. She wrote two things on the board, two consequences which I had already known I would get before it was even my turn to have my notebooks checked:

1. A ruler slapped on my wrist and the left sideburn pulled up;
2. A letter to the parent.

The physical punishment was not the painful part of it; it was being told off by my parents without due justifications from my part. Until now, I can cite reasons for not taking down notes during that year. In sheer diffidence I just have to point this out: I was a consistent honor student in elementary, and I didn’t take down notes; I knew I didn’t have to. It frustrated me, that I was forced to do something which was not my style of learning. First, I highlighted important details in my textbooks, which according to my teachers that time was very “messy and disorganized.” Second, everything that was discussed was already on the books and the process of rewriting the textbook content on notebooks would be redundant and obviously unnecessary because no additional information was even discussed. Third, my notebooks only had assignments in it, because all the lessons that I needed were in the books. Fourth, I was never motivated to be THAT diligent in that class. It’s a shame that it was an English class, when I was in fifth grade.

Fast forward to the time that I was on my fourth year high school—I learned from the best teacher I had met back then. Every time I would see her, even until now, it’s like I’m barred from speaking the English language, not because she intimidates me, but because she effaces that idea that I know all that I need to know about English. She inevitably makes me feel modest, without even doing anything. Yes, she’s that good, and the best part about it is, she doesn’t brag—well, she doesn’t have to; it just shows. She became my English teacher during my fourth year. She taught us everything she knew about thesis writing, she educated us about grammar (what we know and should have known long before), she gave me a lot of opportunities to compete in and out of the campus, and the most wonderful thing about it was, she inspired me to be like her. Surprisingly, she graduated from the same university that I’m in right now. She was even a Cum Laude.

By and by I was pushed by my parents to take up nursing, but I ended up taking education because I have always wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to change things. It may sound radical these days for a teacher to say that she wants to change billions of lives but I know that it’s still possible. Dr. Hicarte was my high school teacher’s professor when she was still in PLM. My high school teacher said she was also inspired by Dr. Hicarte. With the way the influence was passed on, I can’t see the impossibility and the superficiality of changing youth’s lives.

A year from now, I’ll start teaching. Hopefully, I’ll be given a jumpstart in a special public institution. When I heard that the first task in “Teaching Profession” was an essay on personal philosophies of teaching, I felt great, not because I knew what to write, but because I had to know what to write. I thought, for three consecutive years, I have always known what philosophy pragmatically means.

First, although there are other reasons for a student to flunk a subject, the teacher still has a major part in the blame. At the end of the day, a teacher can say “well, that student is not really good and I can’t do anything about it”, but to me, there will always be guilt—a feeling that I have not really achieved my goal. That’s why when I teach I always make sure that everyone understands the lesson. This leads to my second philosophy.

Patience is really a virtue. Sometimes no matter how repetitive the lessons have been taught, the students still can’t understand every word of it, and your part is to discover ways to teach and re-teach the lessons. Impatience breaks a lot of abilities in a teacher. It breaks creativity, interest in teaching and relationship with students. It’s sad that when a teacher snaps a nerve, she does the unthinkable like throwing books, giving unjust deductions and such, but sometimes, under reasonable circumstances I know that a teacher should always try to keep her composure.
Third, I firmly believe that the bigger part of learning in the class should be for the students. Everything should be geared towards their improvement. In my mock teaching during a class with Dr. Hicarte, I used to talk a lot then I realized that my students should do the major talking. Same goes when I already move out of PLM. I know that my class should be student-centered and I just have to motivate them to talk and freely express themselves.

Fourth, I believe in reinforcements, but not in verbal and physical retributions. Bruner is right when he said most of the time, something stimulates a person to act or react depending on the situation. In a class, a student would do better and would always strive to get better grades if he gets praised for having a good performance at school. Now if it goes the other way around, I believe in subtle reinforcements like pairing the student with the top of the class, or giving him second chances during recitations. Punishments would only cut the student’s remaining interest with the subject. Likewise, I have always believed that intimidation will never do a student any good.

Finally, the learning environment should stimulate the interest among the students. Imagine being inside the room with an air-conditioning unit turned OFF. Imagine having to fan yourself for the whole sixty minutes of the class. Think of a public high school scenario like this: 2 of the 4 fluorescent lights blinking, almost about go out, no curtains to block the raging heat of the sun and no decorations for students to look at. At first I kept on telling myself, being a class adviser will be the last thing that I’d want when I become a teacher, but every time I picture that same scene in my head, I’d always rebut myself.

Just this morning on my way to school I was a signage on another jeepney that says: “I never said it was easy. I said it was worth it.”

Indeed, teaching has always been a difficult profession through the years, but I know, hard work will always be paid off in more than a thousand ways. With these philosophies in mind, I know I can push through, and hard work will always be compensated through my students.

Monday Musing

One of these days, you'll ask yourself, "why am I here?" when you have all the reasons to leave but you still stay. When the day comes that you have to answer the question by applying an appropriate action, be ready and be careful what to choose; because your decisions can either temporarily make you, instantly break you or can even make no changes at all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

On Time and Space

I'm drunk. Seriously drunk, sober, whatchamacallit while writing this entry, and I am not really proud of it. 

Well maybe I am, if only for the confidence it gave me while I was doing this post.

Anyway, I got into a very brief conversation with a friend a few minutes before midnight. I asked and wondered how she's been. I could tell from her tone that she was not in the mood to talk to me. Little did I know, that she no longer wanted to.

"Are you mad?" I asked, as if I didn't really know.

"I don't know. Honestly Jing, I'm tired of running after you and begging for your time. I always ask you to spend time with me, and you always have reasons not to."

"You know what, fine."

After hanging up, I realized, our friendship was so short-lived, it didn't need words to die, it only needed absence of time. 

For what its worth, let me tell you this: when people demand for your time, which you could not give, every reason you can think of is not really a valid way out. It's even a hint, of how less important they are to you. When you intend to share time, no reason can stop you from doing so. Proximity is relatively not important. Time is. 

I've always believed that time is the greatest gift that you can ever give a person. I give time and spend time with people who I consider very important to me.

Sadly, she spent time begging for a few hours that she could be with me, so that I would feel important, and by what I just said, I made her realize, I haven't been worth running after for all along. 

That, my friends, is sad.

Lesson: Learn how to value people who spend time for you.
There are a very few of them left. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?""It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." 

15 Books in 15 Minutes

I tried to recall some of the best books that I read in fifteen minutes.

1. Harry Potter 1 to 7
by JK Rowling

2. Lord of the Rings
by JRR Tolkien

3. The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint Exupery

4. A Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

5. The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey
by JD Salinger

7. Skin, BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl

8. Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls, I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, American Gods, Sandman
by Neil Gaiman

9. Eleven Minutes, Veronica Decides to Die, By the River of Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Pilgrimage
by Paulo Coelho

10. The Bluest Eye, The Beloved, The Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison

11. Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

12. Eating Fire and Drinking Water
by Arlene Chai

13. Like Water for Chocolate
by Laura Esquivel

14. Dance, Dance, Dance; Sputnik Sweetheart, Hard boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
by Haruki Murakami

15. The Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula LeGuin

The list goes on, but 15 isn't enough. Sigh.

Anyway, I got this from my student's blog:

Work like you don't need the money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
Dance like nobody's watching,
Sing like nobody's listening,
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.
Thanks Annie.

Monday, July 13, 2009

BSE Flashbacks

Dear BSE,
I have been keeping this blog for a couple of months now, yet I haven't written anything about you. What hurts even more is the fact that, I graduated without telling you how much I would miss our batch.

Everytime I look at this picture, it reminds me of how grouped, ungrouped, individually diverse, and unified our class had been for three years. I always look back at those silly arguments, petty fights, simple jokes and funny musings of each one of us and everytime I do, I sigh and secretly wish, I could go back to being a student, if only it means working and having fun with you guys again.

I may not be significantly adept at leading the class at all times, I may have had shortcomings that affected how the class performed in the different subjects that we took--but you understood. We may have had series of misunderstandings, episodes of disappointments, but you just said, let's move forward. Until now, I couldn't forget these things. Ergo, I couldn't really move on.  

I may have unresolved issues with some of you, and until now it bothers me that sadly, I work and earn money without anticipating any chances of spending it just to be with you, whom I really want to be with. For what its worth, let me say I wanted to go back to those times when everything was just simple--you may be talking about me, or about everyone else, but we didn't mind, and it never really mattered.

I want to study again and share grievances with you, whose complaints sounded more like funny remarks. We have become outlet of frustrations of one another. We used to work for more than 18 hours, but it didn't matter because we worked with and for one another. Stress didn't stop us from having fun. Unlike these days, when we feel stressed we just prefer to stay at home and sleep.

Namimiss ko na kayo. Sobra. Mag inuman naman tayo. Magusap, magkape, mag ingay.

PLM BSE-English
Batch '09

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yey. :|

Friday, July 10, 2009

On Knowing Oneself Better

I took a personality test and this is how it turned out:

Your view on yourself:
You are intelligent, honest and sweet. You are friendly to everybody and don't like conflict. Because you're so cheerful and fun people are naturally attracted to you and like to talk to you. 

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:
You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:
You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love:
Your have very sensible tactics when approaching the opposite sex. In many ways people find your straightforwardness attractive, so you will find yourself with plenty of dates.

Your views on education
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you:
You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success:
You are afraid of failure and scared to have a go at the career you would like to have in case you don't succeed. Don't give up when you haven't yet even started! Be courageous.

What are you most afraid of:
You are concerned about your image and the way others see you. This means that you try very hard to be accepted by other people. It's time for you to believe in who you are, not what you wear.

Who is your true self:
You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Children of Bangkal

I miss these children.
I want to go back to Bataan soon.
I want to play with them again.

Let the Picture Speak for Itself

I have no other words to explain this.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The simplest things that can make a woman truly happy are the things that a man cannot easily give. and vice versa.

Friday, July 3, 2009

They're Back

Yes. They're back.