Thursday, April 8, 2010


A few Sundays ago I went to church. I'd been doing this with my friends as much as we could, but that Sunday I mentioned was special. It was the first time I went by myself. It's not really the church thing that's a big deal, it's more about what I'm able to do now.

Back at home, I could go places further than one would care to admit so it goes without saying that coming to a new country felt like erasing my personal map - or rather, hiding it and using a new piece of parchment for a new journey. When I first came to Malaysia, everything was so foreign to me. Everything was blurred, I could walk five steps forward and feel lost already. Crossing the road felt backwards - literally.The first few weeks were the hardest, of course. Walking around with no idea where you're headed nor coming from. I don't believe that it was luck that kept me alive, I think it was more on my paranoia. Being extra careful with every turn, looking over my shoulder for any unknown predators lurking, etc.

I felt proud that I made it to church in one piece, it's far from near my place of residence. It even involves a 10 minute bus ride. Being capable of going that far by myself gave me a sense that I was getting to know this place better - I felt more accustomed.

Everything went pretty smoothly, now that I think about it. I didn't encounter any obstacles, I didn't come across any potential hazards, but there was one pinch at the end. As I sat down after the tiring walk and getting on a bus of which it's destination I had no clue of, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was then that the sermon began - in Chinese.

So I sat there for about an hour or so, oblivious to any lesson the priest was trying to send to me. It was embarrassing, having to stay quiet through the songs. Mumbling gibberish to myself when the priest gave the cue for a response.

When all is said and done, I didn't hate that day. It turned out to be a huge learning experience for myself. Now I'm even more prepared for anything.

Sunday Usual

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Day

I wish mornings happened later in the day. I know, thats a stupid thought - I have my own reasons. Everybody has their own clock. Mine is a lot different than the standard clocks you see. My clock does not involve a morning, afternoon and evening. I'm awake when I wake, and I sleep when my mind and body call for it. My clock has no specific alloted time for meals, or for baths, not even for school sometimes. Though I follow my own time, there are parts of that day that I favor.

Mornings would have to be the winner. Theres something about mornings that I just love. I think it's everything. The way the perfect shade of light casts down on you, giving warmth - not heat. The way the birds chirp, seeming to want to tell the world of the new day. The way it triggers memories from my childhood, when breakfast was the number one priority. Especially, the way everything looks. Everything in the morning just glows, and its beautiful to me. Unfortunately, one of the things I really hate doing is waking up. When I connect the dots, Mornings mean waking up, and its just a conflict of emotion.

I wish mornings happened later in the day because usually I just sleep through it. My favorite time of the day spent in my bed in a dark cold room. I wake up at Noon - which is definitely my least favorite part of the day. I've got nothing against the sun or anything like that, but at this time of the day, its just too focused and seemingly angry. Directly overhead, gazing at you as it bombards you with beam after beam of blinding, burning sunlight. It's just not my thing.

Afternoons, I can deal with - I favor those windy kinds. I like afternoons because they also trigger memories for me. When I think of afternoons, I automatically remember home; watching TV, having an afternoon snack, taking naps. I just wish I appreciated it more back then. I guess its true that you don't know what you have until its gone. Sunsets are definitely the most emotional time of the day for me. Emotional because I find sunsets very majestic and meaningful. I love watching it but every time I see the sun go down, I feel like I've wasted another day. And it doesn't help that after the sunset, total darkness just comes along. I have nothing against the night, its just that I find it hard to find the right mood in dark lighting.

The night is the time when I am most active. It's been like that ever since the transition from my high school days to my bum days, which lasted a good seven months. If my personal clock would ever be displayed on a visual level, the night time would probably resemble the time alloted for brunch until dinner. It's very calming, the night. Cool breeze, dark surroundings - the absolute perfect environment for doing nothing. Needless to say, what I look forward to the most during night time is the moon. I mean, literally look forward to. I really believe that moonlight is magical in many ways. I know it's just a reflection of the suns rays, but somewhere along becoming a reflection, they become magical. It feels healing and soothing to stand under moonlight to me. On nights I go out, I always try to find the moon. I just can't help looking at that big rock floating in the sky. On nights I can't sleep, I just stare at the moon. I could stare at it all night and still not get tired of it. Looking at that glow, I can't help but to picture it as a silver coin, just waiting to be taken from midair.

Boredom = Deep Thinking

Today, I thought about how not having thumbs would make life so much more complicated. Then I realized how bored I was - when you're having fun, your mind doesn't really just bring up random thoughts like that. After realizing I was bored, I realized I was slacking. How can I find time to be bored when I have all this schoolwork to do? I only realized I only have 8 posts on this blog when I need 15 by next month (not that this is going to be a problem, its just minor speed bump.) but 'Bored' is a luxury I cannot afford right now.

I can't begin to comprehend how fast life seems to come at me sometimes. I guess thats the pace you have to keep up with in order to not get left behind in this world. If thats the case, I'm gonna have to get in shape because its too damn fast for me. Sure, occasionally I get a break but that break isn't all that relieving. It just gives me more time to stress about what I have to do once the said break is over with.

This afternoon, when I thought about all these things and how I was going to accomplish them, I felt a little twinge on my left temple. That ever so familiar little pop that I always fear of dealing with. It was a sign, my brain was warning me that I had an hour or so to get somewhere safe because that little twinge determined the onset of a killer headache. I could feel it taking over slowly, as I lay down on my bed. It crept up all over my head, feeling like it was blanketing my cranium. I hate headaches, its like life is attacking the one place where I can have peace and quiet, where my pool of imagination lies.

I woke up a few hours afterward. Thankfully, I had rested just in time to prevent the full effect of this mental fissure. I figured I had a lot on my mind, and I wasn't expressing it enough - that was the exact moment that I remembered about this blog. I remember the way it made me express myself through the pushing of several buttons in combinations and sequences to form words, sentences, and paragraphs on this virtual screen and share it with the world wide web. Is anybody reading? I don't care, its a creative outlet and I'm gonna use it. I like writing - its one of the things I can be confident about doing and there aren't a whole lot of things I'm confident at.

In the end, life is still going to keep moving forward, day by day. It won't care if I give up on myself, or if I get an achievement for being the best student ever. My life is what I make of it - that, I'm sure of. Life goes on, and so do I.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Kind of Food for Thought

I love music. I mean, who doesn't listen to music? If there were such people, they'd have to be pretty boring (aside from those who are deaf, of course.)

Songs are things that I can be sure of. After a day where nothing is predictable, it comforts me to put on a set of earphones and be sure that I'll be hearing the lyrics that I know. I just can't get enough of music, especially the kinds that take me to places. Some songs are not just simple melodies to me - they're a state of mind.

Amazingly, I listen to just about anything. I know some people like to stick to a genre but it's just not for me. Why just have the appetizer when you have a main course and a dessert? Thats how I look at it. Its understandable that one might choose to remain loyal to a certain type of music, I just like being loyal to music in general. Who likes labels, anyway? Ok, some people do, but not I.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stooges to Each Others Comedy

I'm very proud to say that I had a very productive day today - for my standards, at least. I woke up at 7:00 in the morning to go to church. Read the previous sentence very well. At the very start of the day, I did 2 things that I never EVER do willingly - I believe I've earned bragging rights for that.

No, I'm not lying. A few of my friends at the hostel where I live invited me to go to church, and so we did. It's amazing to see what you could accomplish when you've got a good plan and some willpower (2 things which I always seem to be running low on.)

Anyway, what I want to write about on this post is not about church, it's about something that I just realized about my hostel friends - three of them, to be more specific.

Lee, Lopez, and Robert.

First, Lee. In my perspective, he's the crazy one. He's easy to get along with and he's good company, especially if you're looking for laughs. The kind of laughs that take you over the edge of sanity. I'll tell you honestly, he can make a joke about anything and it'll be funny (anything).

Now, if the word 'badass' ever chose to live as a human being, I'm pretty sure it would take on a form in the image of Lopez. He's a real down to earth guy who knows who he is and shows confidence in himself. He's definitely the cool guy - and he's very blunt about it.

Last but not least; Robert. The wise one. He keeps a sense of maturity while still being able to be a versatile companion. He's got some Filipino blood and it's nice to feel a little bit of home when I'm spending time with him. He even speaks to me in Tagalog sometimes.

Believe me when I say that if you spend too much time with any one of these three, it won't be long until you get ticked off somehow - it takes a lot of patience to let them grow on you. But if you put them together, you'll feel your troubles wash away from your mind. It's like some sort of short term drug that keeps you from having a meltdown from stress. I swear, it's like a movie, where each person plays their own role to perfection. I'm really glad that I have these guys as my friends - and I fear the day that they no longer need to be college, which is the only reason I even met them.

Everything changes, everything moves on. I know that day will come, but for now, I don't care about it. It's too big of a problem to keep worrying about, so I just won't. Not now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

To Sleep, or Not to Sleep.

Today, I woke up twice. The first time was more of an involuntary reflex wherein my body told me to wake up for classes. Then I realized it was Saturday so without missing a beat, I sunk back to sleep. Now the good thing about the weekend is you can get all the sleep you want, and I love my sleep. The problem is that I hate waking up and realizing that half of my day was spent unconsciously in bed. Well, nobody can have everything :/

I have this ideal sleeping pattern that I just wish I could enter. It would be awesome if I could fall asleep the moment I chose, but thats not what I'm able to do. Sleeping time for me is when I've spent past 15 hours awake. I love my sleep, I just wish I knew how to control my sleeping habits. I lay down in bed and try to keep my eyes shut but then I keep thinking about all the stuff I could be doing. Owning a laptop is one of my biggest distractions - not to mention all the games I have in it.

Being a bit of an insomniac, I follow the 20 minute rule - which states that if I don't fall asleep within 20 minutes, I get up and do something else that might help me sleep like some light reading or anything of those likes. The problem is that I don't do light reading. I do really strenuous activities with hopes that I exhaust myself to sleep. I listen to music but then the lyrics just intrigue me which leads to some really groovy thoughts that keep me awake. Theres also the occasional cigarette, which really doesn't do me good in any way.

When all is said and done, I don't really know what I should do to fall asleep. I wish I did. I'll probably figure it out sometime in the future and think 'Wow, I should have thought of that years ago.'

Friday, January 22, 2010

Malaise with Malays

I'll admit it, I do have a self control problem. Most of the time, I'm avoiding things that I should do on purpose - even when I know what the consequences are.

Back in the Philippines, I was generally a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy who didn't care about priorities or financial budgeting. I did what I wanted, knowing that other people were doing that kind of stuff for me. Now that I'm in college (let alone, another country) I've come to realize that taking care of yourself means more than just eating right and getting proper exercise. Everything I need to do is now under my responsibility. I used to let my laundry pile up, now I take care of it after the first 3-4 items. I used to throw my stuff on the floor after use, now I just make sure to put everything where it should be before my bed turns into a jungle. Learning to live by myself is really enlightening. Not only am I studying at college, I'm also gaining experience that I can apply to my life right here and now.

Learning while learning to live. It's a pain, but I like it in many ways. I'm a bit of a glutton for troubles - I believe so because trouble seems to favor me. It's not the trouble that I find appealing, its the challenge of overcoming it. I do believe that a bit of suffering hardens you, keeps you strong, keeps you fighting - keeps you willing. Yes, it is tiring. Yes, it is brutal - but it is satisfying once accomplished. For me, happiness is overcoming your worries so I keep that in mind and use it as fuel to drive me.

What I find comforting is the fact that everyone at the hostel where I live is going through the same discomforts as me. I guess I must be doing something right - I'm still alive, after all. Seeing that I'm doing just as badly as everyone else gives me a sense of security - it tells me that things CAN get better if choose to make it better. Living with people who know how to procrastinate as much as I do isn't really a productive environment but we all know that when you gotta do it, you gotta do it. I'm not saying they're bad influences, they're nice guys who are just trying to make it through college life - like everyone else. They're a lot of help too. I've learned so much from them and I'm thankful that I got to know them. I try to get all the help that I can - you don't need to make life hard because life is hard enough on it's own.

Life will kill you if you don't live.

It's a real treat when you find your capabilities and figure out how to stretch them to places much further. When I discovered my limits, it was very liberating - strange, huh?

What I enjoy the most is lying on my bed at the end of the day, thinking 'Wow, I didn't know I could do that much...'

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Equals Three

I'm a very big Youtube fanatic, and I try to find as much entertainment in it as I can. I browse mostly for funny stuff, but there are other videos too. I actually learned a lot of things from Youtube. Sure, they're not really useful things, and most of them probably won't apply to my life, but it's a bliss to experience a *Youtube Loop.

-note: a 'Youtube Loop' is when you plan to watch one video, then you realize you've spent 2 hours watching other videos.

I've watched many great people make history on Youtube, but I'd like to mention a specific one that really gives me a serious case of the *LULZ.

-note: LULZ is an internet slang term for laughs.

Ray William Johnson (a.k.a. RWJ) is a Youtube celebrity with roughly 650,000 subscribers. I like to say that his show, which goes by the name of Equals Three with the logo of =3, is a simple yet satisfying series of videos that are purely meant for having a good laugh. Basically, the show is about videos on the internet that go viral, meaning people who watch it pass it on to friends, and they pass it on to their friends, and they pass it on the their families, and accomplish nothing but a good 10 second laugh. RWJ's witty remarks and vulgar choice of vocabulary make it all the more funnier.

Each episode is linked together by a 'question of the day' submitted by a fan, for which RWJ chooses the top 5 best answers to and posts them on the next video. This makes his videos get 40-50k comments each, merely because the fans want their username posted on the next video.

Here is a sample video which is one of my personal favorites.

If that didn't make you laugh, even just a little bit, I guess you have no soul. Nah, I kid you,
everybody has different types of humor. But seriously.

You should go check out his Youtube channel, I'm sure you won't regret getting in a Youtube Loop
with his videos :)

It's Sad But It Doesn't Have To Be

I played my acoustic guitar in the total darkness. A beautiful rhythm of plucking and strumming put together in a manner that would put Jeff Buckley to shame. A single beam of light shines down on me, alone on the stage, and as the song comes to an end, I hear the crowd cheer. They cheer and cheer, and cheer even more. The applause, the voices and the whistles blended together into a sound that I recognized. A familiar noise that made my stomach drop and my eyes flutter open.

'I knew it.' I mumbled to myself. The noise was my phone emitting an annoying chirping sound - tricking me into thinking it was a crowd of pleased fans, as I dreamed a dream that was not even in my range of interest. I didn't know how to play guitar. I didn't want to be a musician in particular. Hell, I can't even do so much as walk by the stage without getting a case of sweaty pits and shivering knees.

'Get up,' I told myself. 'Get up! You're gonna miss classes.'

It was the first day of my second semester and I wasn't planning on letting my ever so dominant procrastination skills ruin everything at the very beginning. I made a great effort to rise from my bed (Probably more effort than I give in a week) and switched my phone alarm off. It was an annoying chirp, but it does the job.

'Sigh,' I looked at myself in the mirror 'forget proper sleeping time, let's put aside physical health and make my family proud.'

As best as I could, I shuffled my way to grooming my self while trying to keep up with the tick-tock of the clock.

'8:30,' said the clock. 'Crap.' I should have been in class already.

Anywho, I did much better compared to what it could have been. If I know myself well (which I do), this was actually within the category of "Good Job." Last minute touch ups, don't forget anything, remember everything, and keep it that way.

Classes went by as slowly as molasses, but at the end of the day it felt as though it happened in a flash. I got home from school and did everything as usual.

'Hey how was classes?'
'What did you do?'

I liked one word responses. Rude as they may be, they're simple, elegant, and they get the message across without sugar coating it in a pile of fake enthusiasm. I don't mean to be lazy, it's just that I have those moments that I don't realize that I'm being lazy. Perhaps I'm too lazy to even notice.

'Four more days, and I get the weekend off.' I told myself in the little space I have left in my generally confused mind.

'Tuesday,' Done.
'Wednesday,' Check
'Thursday,' Over with.
'Friday' Awful realization comes to mind.

I had assignments, papers due, group work - you name it, it's there. There was no weekend. I was either in this all the way or out of it. Turns out, it's all in or nothing - actually, it was all in. There was no other option, none without drastic consequences, at least.

After being acquainted with all my classes, I was quickly bombarded with all the school work that had to be done. On the first week. The FIRST. I could only imagine what the next few months (next few LONG months, mind you) would be like. I reassured myself that the first week was always the worst.

'You can do this,' my more determined side told me.
'It's all you,' it kept on going.
'You can beat this,' dude, I sure as hell will try.
'I believe in you!' well, that's nice to know.
'Then let's do it.'

'Then do it, we shall.' *High fives himself*

College is a hassle. Then again, life is a hassle. I'm already doing it so why not enjoy it as best as I can (and try to be happy about it).

"You must believe in yourself when no one else does."

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Live, You Learn.

It was late at night and the rain didn't seem like it was gonna stop anytime soon. Looking out the window, I let the sound of the hard droplets tapping against the roof lead my mind astray - and it wasn't long before I was staring into the darkness that seemed so peaceful.

I shook my head to snap out of that dull and numbing state of mind - it felt good to release your problems for even just a moment and at the same time it made you feel wrong for doing what seemed like a momentary surrender. Everything seemed to be engraved in stone, though. I knew that surrendering wouldn't change anything. There was no stopping my flight to Malaysia.

I knew that I would finish packing that night, so I invited a few of my friends over to keep me company. As soon as the packing was finished, there would have been nothing left to do. Nothing. I dreaded the thought of laying in my bed trying to sleep, like trying to put out a flame with lighter fluid. I knew sleeping was one step away from impossible in a situation of that sort.

We didn't sleep. We played computer games, we went on Facebook, and we browsed Youtube for hours. My friends lifted the heavy feeling that had been enveloping me. I was relieved, even for at least a little while, I felt comfortable. That 'little while' came to an abrupt end when the darkness outside became a very pale, grayish and silent shade of blue. The sun was rising, but the thick clouds still had not ceased to spray the land. We said our farewells, and I couldn't help but to keep smiling. I think I had triggered some sort of defense mechanism programmed in me to prevent me from breaking down. I'll never forget that night.

They left. I stayed. I hated that soon it would be the other way around. I don't remember much about the trip to the airport. I was either asleep or spacing out the entire trip. It turns out that when you're already sleep deprived, staying up for an entire night won't do you any good.

We arrived at the airport and I awoke to a terrible hangover. Me and my friends didn't drink that night, but it felt like a bottle of vodka and a flight of stairs. I was with my mother, my friend, his mother, and three other people that would soon be my schoolmates. Airports are places that you should avoid when you're experiencing post depression stress, just a note. The flight was one of the better things about the trip because it allowed me to sleep peacefully for a good hour and a half. Soon enough, we landed and started getting off board. I felt much better. I felt like I successfully released all the negativity in me. Hey, I was in a new country - why not make a fresh start? Ah, yes. A clean slate sounded very appealing.

This was it. It was an opportunity to re stabilize and keep it that way. I didn't know if I would succeed or how long I could hold up but there was one thing that I was sure of: I wasn't going to stay down anymore.