Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Hop, Skip, and Tilt towards Nutsville

Once, I swore an oath to minimize whining, especially in forums where my sentiments would be made public, so as to appear “mature” and “grown up”. But I reasoned, however, that today would be an exception.

My dusty old Dell laptop has temporarily ceased functioning, so I found myself sitting in an internet cafĂ©, taking a break from my books, to catch up. My unread e-mail has reached hundreds- mostly from suspicious sounding names asking me if I wanted to increase the size of my “lovetool”. I mindlessly click the delete button with the enthusiasm of maniac high on crack. When was the last time I made a decent entry on my blog that wasn’t a repost? I cursed myself silently. The problem when one gets engrossed in thousands of pages of textbooks, reading and reviewing twenty plus chapters in a few days time- one’s creative juices diminish. Often I am left exhausted, with my mind blank. So much for attempts at creative or expository writing.

On the bright side, I did get passing marks (sometimes a little better) in my Unit Exams. Imagine, sometimes in four out of the six sections, no one would get a passing mark at all. The last OB exam we had, the word was that in Section A (where students with GWA of 1.8 or higher are in) only three out of eleven papers that were checked so far passed. I was one of the lucky ones, but a passing mark is never a reason for complacency so we continue to toil and burrow our faces in readings. Nowadays my friends and I keep a nightly vigil in some 24 hour fastfood place in downtown Tacloban to review for the Midterms.

Why is it always one or the other? Obviously the days of four blog entries in a single sitting were long gone, and it’s either a choice between reading and passing, or blogging and failing. I have about a third of the material for the second book I’ve been preparing, but to this day they’ve gone no further than a quick print for impromptu proofreading with friends.

Maybe I’m still paying my dues. Magkano pa kaya ang balance ko? Charing! Oh well, I better wrap up my internet break.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Lights, Camera, Capping!

the best part: flowers sent by my beau. ahh, romantic! = )

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pound for Pound

“Go figure.”

I grew up the 98 pound guy you’d see in front of the Flag Ceremony line, which makes me acutely aware of the gut-wrenching irony that I am now twenty five pounds heavier, about eight pounds above my ideal weight, and struggling very hard to lose the extra baggage on my belly. The dates of the Capping Ceremony and Acquaintance Party are fast approaching and I’m desperate for a quick fix- nothing drastic, but nevertheless effective.

Not that I believe people should show up at these occasions looking like they’ve just stepped out of the cover of Vogue. I hate to turn into one of those people whose primary obsession is to look like Angelina Jolie, when in truth, the only thing that remotely resembles the Hollywood actress in them are their appendices. But still, I’d want to be able to look at pictures years later and say, “I looked good.” A bit narcissistic, but who isn’t concerned about how they look anyway?

It all started when I began working out at the gym, with the intention of gaining muscle bulk. I started to fill in my clothes, thereby conquering that “totoy” look I’ve always had. That was fine until I lacked the time to go to the gym- the thrice a week schedule became twice a week, then twice a week to once a week, then never. The one thing my trainer neglected to tell me was that I was apt to gain weight dramatically (and this time with adipose tissue!!) once I stopped working out.

Biguerlai and other bigger lies

When people started remarking that I was becoming chubby, I paid no heed. That was until one day when teachers would comment on the extra bulk- that sent me reeling to the nearest ATM. Armed with a handful of bills, I enrolled at a nearby gym, bought some health foods, and bought enough slimming teas, diet pills and diet drinks that would put any model with an eating disorder to shame.

It lasted a week. Actually, four days after I enrolled I abandoned the gym; the vegetarian diet lasted only two days before I started stuffing myself with pork and junk food. The slimming teas tasted bitter and made me poop round the clock. I realized they were simply laxatives, so off they went to the trash.

My last resort was a frightfully expensive anti-obesity pill, which, taken once after every meal, prevented the fat in the diet to be absorbed. It was effective, no doubt, but it also caused a serious side effect: empty pockets.

“You are what you eat.”

Don’t waste the opportunity to lose weight by continuing to eat badly, said the flyer of the anti-obesity pill I tried. It made sense. All those days enduring flatulence and embarrassing loose stool situations- side effects of the weight loss pill- will be put to waste (excuse the pun) if one will continue to have high calorie surplus.

I started by not starving myself- a bad habit which usually urges me to binge later in the day. Eating small portions of satisfying, nutritious food keeps my energy up throughout the day. I also make it a point to get a little exercise by walking instead of riding a jeepney most of the time. I eat less meat now, and more vegetables, fruits, and grains.

The results may not be as dramatic as I’d hoped, but I’m likely to keep this new routine. During breakfast, I’d stare at the can of oatmeal and imagine Quaker’s face speaking and telling me: “Belly be gone!.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dean's List Mom

The first thing on my mind, when I wake up in the morning, is to go over the tasks to be done for the day. I gather dry wood for the makeshift stove and boil water in the kettle for my coffee.

It is still a few moments before dawn, and I continue with my household tasks. I pick up a measuring cup and fill it to the brim with rice grains from a container. Four cups. That’s enough for my husband, my two children, and me.

I iron my uniform and hang it at the back of the door as I prepare for my bath. By 6:00 am I’m ready to leave the house. I take a quick peek at my sleeping children before I quietly let myself out the front door.

On the hour-and-a-half jeepney ride to Tacloban, I try to read and review the concepts for the day’s discussion. I arrive in school with barely minutes to spare as my first class begins.

The hours pass quickly as the day, full of lectures, quizzes, researches, projects, and return demonstrations, turns to dusk. My spirits are already flagging, my body, exhausted. I take in new assignments and new requirements to be accomplished in a couple of day’s time.

As I make my way home, just before I reach the jeepney stop, I go over the things that still need to be done: cook supper, feed the children, clean the house, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and study.

It was already dark when I arrived in our town. The street lights cast a warm glow to our little home as I walk past the gate and opened the front door.


I was greeted by the biggest grins from two little boys. Relief washed over me- I was home, and I was reminded what I’m working so hard for. I put down my books and gave my sons a big hug.


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