Saturday, December 29, 2007

Book for January: I Am Legend

Our book club is underway. We will be having our first book discussion next month. Our first book is I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.

It's not very challenging. I mean I was looking for something more deep, more intellectually stimulating, more poignant, something that will get you emotionally involved in and make you think deep thoughts even after reading it, a pleasure to read, etc. But we chose it in the hope that it will attract more potential members knowing that it's a 'popular' book.

I'm already half-way through the novel and all I can say is that the story is just so-so. I wonder how I'm going to facilitate our discussion next month, since our reading is not very interesting hehehe... (The way we structured it is that each month we will have a three-man committee, composed of the host, the facilitator and the secretary. The host takes care of the book discussion venue, the facilitator takes charge of the discussion itself -- he or she prepares the guide questions, maintains orders, etc., and the secretary is the contact person, records the book list and suggestions for the coming months, the minutes of the meeting and etc. This way the other members can just focus on the reading.)

Still this is all very exciting. I've always wanted to join or start a book club.

But, you may wonder, why join/ start a book club?

Well, a book club will help you grow as a person, too, you know, just like any other club. It provides a place where you can socialize with other people who have similar interests as you. And since this is a book club, it will help you grow intellectually and emotionally as well.

Mr. J asked me the other day, half in jest, why he should join the club (I encouraged him but he's hesitant). He doesn't see the point of reading fiction. What's the point of reading stories that are not real, events that never took place? I told him that fiction is important, too. The stories may just be the author's invention, but they can still be relevant to our personal lives. Our existence as individuals are very limited. We only get to live one single life, after all. Yet by reading, we get to live the lives of others; the scope of our existence is widened. We get to live the emotions and thoughts of countless authors in all their variety. We plunge into the richness of human experience, and in the process we gain wisdom and knowledge, and our lives improve for the better, in a way.

If you're interested in joining our club, let me know. Btw, our club's name is Book Fellas.


I've been planning to change the template of this blog, but I can't get it right. I keep getting an error message from Blogger. I'll put back my blogroll later.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Book club! Book club! Book club!

Nahuman na among Prelim exam ganiha sa Nursing Management so I can now rest a little... And it's the start of our Christmas break already... Merry Christmas to you, dear imaginary reader!

There might be some folks out there who might be interested about this. A week ago I posted a message at inviting people to start a book club. Naay uban ni-express og interest, and a few days later I met up with two ladies to discuss this proposed book club. They were very excited about it, as am I. I've wanted to start or join a book club for the longest time and at last that dream has now been realized.

Tulo pa mi kabuok but I bet managhan pa mi.

So this coming Saturday, December 22, we will be holding our second meeting, to discuss some titles which some people have suggested for our first gathering in January. Sabotan sa group kung unsa ang basahun og i-discuss next month and the coming months pa jud (yup, dapat optimistic jud ta!). Meeting place is at Bo's Cafe in Ayala, at 4pm.

So kinsa to'ng ganahan muapil, adto mo!

One more time:

Book club meeting
When: December 22, 2007, Saturday, at 4PM
Where: Bo's Cafe, Ayala

See you there!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Golden Compass

Amy Welborn on the Golden Compass:

Here are the basics:

1. Pullman’s triliogy, in his own words is about “killing God.” And yes, God (the Authority, who is really a weak, decrepit, drooling powerless old man) dies.

2. In Pullman’s vision, authority - specifically religious authority, although he is saying all over the place that there’s no reason to think that he’s only talking about religion - is inimical to human freedom. Stands opposed to it.

3. In Pullman’s vision, human beings only find their true selves freed from the enslavement of religious authority. A reverse Garden of Eden scenario - very gnostic - is at the core of this.

Jeffrey Overstreet has seen the film and is observing the embargo on releasing reviews until the release date. However, he has commented:

Today, I saw the movie. And I’m not going to change a word of what I’ve written as a result. If the filmmakers tried to “tone down” the anti-religious content, they pretty much failed. “The Magisterium” is not a term invented by Philip Pullman. It’s a reference to the Catholic church, or at least to the truth that shines through scripture and the history of the church. And it isn’t hard to see that in the film.

Again, I’m not going to repeat what’s being very well said elsewhere. Pullman wrote a set of books to convince young readers that Christianity (and, we can assume, theism, period) is inimical to their true selves, best interests and ultimate happiness.

What I have to say is about the responses to the Nitwits.

1) Of course, as was the case with DVC, sneering is widespread and appropriately accompanied by disdainful sniffing. Hysterical Catholic Apologists bumbling into the Culture Wars. How typically retrograde and frankly, embarrassing. It’s Art.

So what you’re saying…is that this Philip Pullman is the Magisterium? The Authority we Must Not Question?

Oh, I get it.

Well, actually, I don’t.

The irony of trying to shut down debate about a work that sees shutting down debate as a crime against humanity is almost too much.

News flash: Being critical and discerning about entertainment choices is not a sin. Last I heard, it was a positive quality.

If a person says, “Hmm. I read those books. They may have their good points, but they’re not high, irreplacable literature and they are built around a false, misleading, bigoted portrait of religion and God. Nah, don’t think I’ll take the kids to see the movie. Oh, and when people ask me questions about the content, I’ll answer them.”…..

that is not a hysterical, culturally myopic, intolerant response.

It is the product of discernment, like saying, “I want to make sure my daughter isn’t exposed to a steady diet of degrading, sexualized images of what girls and women are supposed to be about and value.” or “This movie is a cheap, really awful, lame entry in the “stupid Christmas season” film genre. We’ll pass.” or “That movie glorifies nihilistic, consequence-free violence. Pass.”

Or, maybe, “Hmm. This Passion of Christ movie..I don’t like the way Jews are portrayed. I don’t like the violence. Doesn’t strike me as true to the Gospels or what I understand the Passion was all about. Don’t think I’ll see it. Won’t take my kids.”

Yeah. Like that.

It is okay. Embrace the discernment. Philip Pullman and New Line Cinema are not The Authority. You don’t have to see their movie. You can even…criticize it.

2) The other response I’m seeing - especially from critics who claim a spiritual bent - is that GC is so, so valuable because it will give parents and young people a great opportunity to discuss the important issues raised by Pullman about religious authority, human freedom, and so on.

Of course, anything can be used as a starting point for discussions on spirituality - a point that Christians engaged with culture know full well. Sometimes rather violent disagreements break out on just that score. Witness the appalled “well, I never” reactions to, say, pondering the darkness, scrambling and conflicted yearning for redemption on The Sopranos.

And at times the desire to scour the culture for anything - anything - as a discussion-starter reaches points of absurdity, as in “Bible Studies” based on The Andy Griffith Show or The Beverly Hillibillies.

So it is not, on its face, absurd to say that yeah, sure, GC can be a starting point for discussion. Got it.

The problem is with this starting point and young people and Catholicism.

Look at this way. After we finish with The Golden Compass, shall we break out The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to open up discussion on Judaism?

Probably not. Why?

Because we recognize that the Protocols are lies. It doesn’t matter that some people ascribe to that world view or believe that Jews are as the Protocols describe them. They are still lies. They are not helpful as a “starting point” for a discussion about the nature of Judaism. The starting point for a good - really good, fruitful discussion - is not the bigoted, agenda-driven misrepresentation of others.

So it is with the Golden Compass. The Authority - the God that is killed - is not the Christian God. It is a caricature - the caricature of every village atheist mired in adolescence. The “reality” that the fantasy is trying to create is that religious authority stands in opposition to truth, and that - via the imagery - that Catholicism is the primary embodiment of this, and ergo, Catholicism stands in opposition to the truth that brings human beings happiness and an awareness of their true selves.

That, of course, is simply not true. Christianity has brought millions - billions - real peace and joy. Christianity has been the framework for intellectual and artistic flourishing. Christianity has provided some - quite a few - of the building blocks for our basic understanding of the dignity of all persons.

Not that there are not problems. Not that authority hasn’t been abused to the detriment of human freedom.

But a truly fruitful discussion of the relationship between human freedom and Christian religious authority has to begin with the truth about Christianity, not a vicious caricature. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for such a thing to happen. But in saying that this is a fantastic way to “introduce” kids to these issues is just wrong because the terms that are set by the novels are patently false. Some defenders are saying that this is precisely the point - that what the Golden Compass teaches us is that if this is God and religion then yes it should die. For of course, Jesus had some things to say about religious authorities who lord it over others without taking on burdens themselves. Jesus had some things to say about the relationship between human beings and the Law. Jesus had some things to say about who God is.

And so, say the defenders…the Golden Compass is really, really Christian.

Okay, but the problem is that it is clear that what Pullman is suggesting is that the whole thing - the whole impulse to find transcendent meaning and authority is false, period. The attempt to make his theme into a muted Christ-like critique of abusive religious authority gives Pullman too much credit.

One way, however, that it could be fruitful is this. What Pullman cleverly explicates is, of course, a set of opinions about religious authority that should be familiar to anyone who works with young people or, in fact anyone who remembers being an adolescent.

Of course, religious authority is the enemy. Because, as an adolescent, I believed that my own way of living out my own vision and yearnings - what lay in my own heart - were sufficient for my happiness, and that any authority that questioned my authority was the enemy of my happiness.

In this sense, Pullman plays on sentiments that almost all young people share, and very expertly. The knowing adult who discusses this with young people has a chance to expose the deceptiveness and falsity of this vision, and to point out the wishful, prolonged adolescence at the heart of Pullman’s work, and then to move forward, pointing out its falsity.

Because it is false. At the heart of Christianity is this amazing paradox. The first shall be last. In death there is life. In being joined to Christ, I am free.

I often find it helpful to point out to young people who are struggling (justifiably) with the issue of personal freedom and what seems like absurd religious authority to consider the experiences of converts - from Paul to Augustine to Dorothy Day. We reflect on what they say about what has happened to them - and invariably, what jumps out is not the idea “Hooray, I’m now imprisoned in a dungeon of rules and obligations and my true self is obliterated Shut the door and throw away the key! “

Not quite. It’s the opposite, isn’t it. Peace. Joy. Love.


At last.


It is worth contemplating those experiences, long and hard. And honestly. For the truth is - and I know this from teaching - as much as you try to present the Good News as the Good News of real freedom rooted in the love of God for us - young people resist it. They still see it all as a Plot. Sometimes that is our fault - how many people have walked away from organized religion because it has, indeed, been presented as nothing more than obligations, mostly rooted in fear? But I think we also have to be honest about, well, Original Sin. There is a part of human nature that continues to resist Love no matter what, that persists in seeing it all as nothing more than a potential prison.

But you know what? These are issues that come up very naturally in the lives of adolescents. They are pretty much always present. You don’t need to give Philip Pullman and the makers of this film more money in order to make the discussion happen, just as you didn’t need to add to Dan Brown’s pile of money he’s sitting on up there in New Hampshire to have interesting discussions on Christian origins and Mary Magdalene.

Having good discussions about the nature of religious authority, particularly in the context of one’s own religious tradition is harder when you’ve got the bigotry and unthinking caricatures to slog through.

I have to say, I thought what Fr. Martin Fox had to say about this was very wise, and I’ll let him conclude:

Instead of the $20-50 you may spend at the theater, stay home with a good video and have pizza; you’ll have money left over, you can give to the hungry. That will be a golden lesson that will point your children in the right direction.

Hmmm... Will you watch the movie? You've probably seen it already. Ako wa pa, pero I might. Na-intriga lang ko. Controversial man gud hehehe.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Powerbooks is in Cebu!

Have you already been to Powerbooks in SM? Wow! I didn't even know they were opening a branch here in Cebu. Another wow! I was totally blown away.

I've been there this afternoon and, oh my... book lover's heaven... Well, um, I'm not even really a book lover, but I became very excited when I went inside the store. The whole place is filled with books! Books were just everywhere, and the whole place is actually huge! The ambiance is also very lovely, the area is very wide and there is much room for you to do your browsing.

They have plenty of titles not found in National Bookstore. Finally we have an alternative to National. The prices, though, are quite high.

I found a few volumes of Neil Gaiman's series of graphic novels Sandman. I found plenty of biographies. Plenty of contemporary fiction. But, sadly, only a negligible display of Filipiniana.

The new Northwing annex is really, really huge. I didn't expect it would look that way. I had imagined it differently. You'll feel like you're in a totally new mall, not in SM, or at least another SM branch somewhere outside Cebu (I haven't visited the other SM branches besides SM Davao). In fact, I felt like I was malling someplace else, not in Cebu.

Only a few shops are open so far. Aside from Powerbooks, there's Pizza Hut, a Thai restaurant (I think), a photoshop, a dental spa (Whoa! I haven't heard of this before!), a general clinic, a sewing service shop, and a few others.

But I felt more at home with the old part of SM. And I missed National Bookstore. For me, at least for now, I like to browse for books at National more than in Powerbooks. Mas at home ko sa National kay it's not that huge and, well, na-anad na ko didto. But the sheer number of titles in Powerbooks is dazzling!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Music, books, nursing


1. Bobbing head to The Roots' Game Theory. I love it! I didn't like it the first time, but it gets better with each listening... I also loved Things Falls Apart.

2. Reading F. Sionil Jose's Po-on, the first of the Rosales novels.

3. American Gods. My first Neil Gaiman.

4. Listening to Argumentation, a series of lectures by The Teaching Company. (Did you watch the battle between Ateneo de Manila and Ateneo de Zamboanga last Wednesday at Square Off? It was awesome!)

5. Recovering from a very, very busy week at the hospital. I finally got an OR case yesterday. I was in the OR the whole day and we got the last operation for the AM shift. Appendectomy. Three down, two to go...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This week we can be seen in the Commu Ward of Vicente Sotto. Pedia. My busiest week yet as a nursing student. We have six patients each. Two SOAPIEs. It's so draining. The environment is too hot, plus we have to wear a gown, bonnet and mask which makes things worse.

But today we all did okay, I think, unlike yesterday. We were kind of shocked because it was the first time in a long time we were assigned to the ward. Our duty in Barili a couple of weeks ago was easy-going, there was not much pressure. Our duty in the commu ward this week is the complete opposite.

Tonight I will be going again to the OR in Sotto for my completion duty. I was not able to get a case last week because there were five other schools besides us. I hope I can get one tonight.

I'm waking up early because I'm watching Square Off: The Philippine Debate Championship on ANC. I see the show whenever I can.

After my OR duty I go straight to my commu duty. What a life.

The Hospicio de San Jose de Barili

We are really thankful that we were able to go on duty at the Hospicio de San Jose. It was truly a learning experience for all of us. We learned a lot from our conversations with the beneficiaries – from talking to them and listening to their stories and from serving them. It's too bad we only stayed there for a week. We would have learned more if we stayed for two weeks. But then, our stay there was hard on the wallet. Also, we would've become more attached to our patients – saying goodbye would've become more difficult. More tears would've been shed, not just by the students but also by the beneficiaries.

Just like lola Margarita. She's not my patient, but I love sitting beside her and talking to her. I love to listen to her old Tagalog songs. I don't even know the title of those songs. When I asked her about them, she gave me the names of the artists who sang them. I did not recognize a single name. I suppose they were famous during Lola Margarita's time. She sings because she has no other use for her time. I mean, apart from eating, going to the bathroom, and sleeping, she has no other use for her time, so she sings, and if there's someone beside her willing to listen, she talks. She related to me her story, of how she had so many 'apos', her siblings' children, and how she loved them so much and took care of them. I asked her if she ever married and she said no, because she was too busy taking care of her 'apos'. I asked her where they are now, she told me they're somewhere in Baguio. Did they know that she's here in Barili? She looked at me with uncertainty in her eyes then said no.

When I bade farewell to lola Margarita on our last day, I couldn't forget her reaction. She broke down and cried like a child. She said that it's so difficult that we had to leave her again. By "we" she probably meant her student nurses. She expressed to me how hard it is to be there, how endless the days were for her, just sitting at her cot all day with nothing else to do and no one to talk to, no one to share her concerns with. She was also very much frustrated (to the point of becoming irate) with her neighbor, Lola Agatona, who was always angry at her and at everybody else, who always threw curses and threats. She says she couldn't sleep sometimes because of her. All she could do to get back at her enraged neighbor was to taunt her with her songs.

I was actually assigned to lolo Basilio, lola Arsenia, and lola Leona. Lolo Basilio was in the infirmary. He couldn’t talk very well and his body was so stooped that his back was “humplike”. He doesn’t talk unless you talk to him first, and his voice is barely audible. When you ask him a question he always answers with another question. He seems to get confused at times, like when you tell him that it’s time to take a bath or take a walk he always asks you, “Para asa man na?” or “Ngano man?” or “Dili na makadaut?” But he still remembers who he is, and where he came from. He’s from Negros and he was a farmer. He often forgets, though, that he’s in Barili, at the Hospicio. Lola Leona is from Cebu. Her children died some years ago. She admitted herself in the Hospicio because she couldn’t take care of herself very well where she lived, and neither can her relatives. Who can blame her? Life outside, if you are hard up financially, is hard, so you can’t really rely on relatives for your welfare. She said she only ate one meal a day where she lived. In the Hospicio, she said, things are better because at least you can eat three meals a day, plus snacks. You have a bed, a roof over your head, and you have people your age you can talk to. But, she admits, she still feels lonely sometimes. It’s different when you have your family with you, she told me. She also cried during our culminating activity. I gave her a flower and placed her hand to my forehead as a sign of respect, and kissed her cheek. She cried because she was reminded of her sons.

One remark she made during one of our conversations really struck me: “Bati kaayo ang kinabuhi.” Life for her was always hard since she was little, and now that she’s old, she still has no respite from life’s pains. Lola Arsenia’s story is more or less the same. She, too, doesn’t have any relatives anymore. They have all died; those that remained had probably forgotten her.

There were also other tragic stories like those of lola Dulce and lolo Elly. Lola Dulce was once very rich, but she lost it all, and now she’s alone in the Hospicio. Lolo Elly was an engineer in an international ship. He had three houses and five cars! His monthly earnings were that big. But one tragedy followed another. He had a stroke, lost his job, lost his wife, and then, too, his son. So he sold all his houses and all his cars. He has nothing left. His only treasures now are his books. He keeps them in his closet. He showed them to me once. Most of them are war novels. He loves war novels. And each book was given as a gift to him by his previous student nurses. He was so happy when he showed to me each of the notes that the students wrote for him in the books. They were very heart-warming. On our last day, I gave him a copy of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

I remember one lolo who was very talkative. I forgot his name, though. But he is a man overflowing with knowledge and ideas. In a span of a few minutes, he was able to talk to me about different kinds of musical instruments, chemical products, business ideas, riddles or “tigmo-tigmo” as a superior form of entertainment than singing, and Catholic apologetics. There’s nothing wrong with him at all, it’s just that he is so full of ideas and knowledge but he has no one to discuss these topics with. He is like a fragile dam ready to burst into a torrent of ideas at the slightest invitation. You can spend one whole day with him and he will probably not run out of things to say to you. What he needs is someone who is willing and has the patience and stamina to listen to him.

Each beneficiary have their own stories to tell, but all stories have something in common: they’re in the Hospicio because no one can or is willing to take care of them. Either their significant others have already gone over to the next life or they’re still alive but have already forgotten, or chose to forget, them. But is it so bad to be in the Hospicio? I mean, life is relatively good there. There’s food, shelter, and clothing, all for free. They can barely get three decent meals a day outside. They should feel very blessed! Indeed, they do feel blessed and fortunate that they have a place like the Hospicio to answer all their physiologic needs. Beyond the physiologic needs, though, lies the more complex and abstract needs of love and companionship, and they are not easily met. Sure, the lolos and lolas have each other, but it’s truly different when the people that you have around you, the people that you sleep with every night, the people that you see when you wake up in the morning and whom you take breakfast, lunch and dinner with, are your family members.

It’s good that each week or every two weeks the beneficiaries see new faces. The student nurses really help a lot. The Hospicio can become a very dreary and lonely place, especially for people who are at the latter phase of this cycle called life. The students bring vitality and variety to their day to day life. It’s also beneficial on the part of the students. In addition to contributing to their knowledge about and exposure to geriatrics, it also gives them a chance to glimpse the reality of life – that all of us must grow old one day. We need to be prepared for that day. In the meantime, we must live our lives as best as we can, loving as best as we can. We must apply our whole selves to what is good and beautiful while we still can.

The structures of the Hospicio are really admirable. Some people found it creepy because of its age, which dates back to the 1920s, but there’s something beautiful about structures with historic value, things that have graced the course of time. There’s plenty of archaic stuff in the Hospicio. The design of the buildings and structures themselves are archaic. The style is circa 19th century. The Capiz shells on the windows are very lovely. One can easily imagine a Maria Clara gazing outside the window listening to her suitor’s ‘harana’. Inside the houses and buildings, the space is wide and the ceiling is far above your head. Nineteenth-century houses are magnificent works of art! You should also see the old house in the Villa, a property which I guess the Cui family is also part-owner. That one is more beautiful.

Beside the kitchen, you will see a very ancient-looking weighing scale. We wonder if it is still being used today.

We hope that the Hospicio de San Jose will continue in its mission to serve the indigent, invalid and abandoned elders for many, many more decades to come. Don Pedro and Dona Benigna must really be proud of what they have started.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Preparing for the local board exam

We already started our refresher review for the local board exam last Friday and Saturday. The lecturer was Mrs. Pestano, a former dean of Southwestern University and an alumna of Cebu Doctors' University.

The lectures were not bad, I mean they were not totally boring. It would be terrible if the lectures were boring because the review lasted for a whole day. Mrs. Pestano has sense of humor, although I don't find some of her jokes funny.

One of her suggestions to us in preparation for the board is that we should start practice answering 100-item tests on a daily basis. Then, a few months before the exam, 200-item tests, then 300, etc., as the exam draws near.

Oh my goodness...

This afternoon I bought a copy of a local board reviewer by R. A. Gapuz. Mahal kaayo, pero it might help me... I'm also planning to buy a Saunders NCLEX reviewer. Grabe ka expensive ang nursing... I'm just thinking, grabe siguro ang profits sa nursing publishing business no?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fright night

Tonight I will be going to Vicente Sotto for my completion duty at the OR. I feel so tensed. Wala ko kaila sa akong mga kauban. I just bought the slot from a friend.

Another reason why I'm so anxious is that it's been awhile since I last went on duty at the OR. I've forgotten how to prepare the instruments before surgery and I've forgotten how to conduct myself during the operation. Yes, I've been exposed to the OR many times before, but this will only be the third time I will play the role of the scrub nurse.

Hopefully I'll be done before 7 in the morning so I can have my breakfast and attend my 8 o'clock class in Banilad.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Villa in Barili

Last week we had our clinical duty at the Hospicio de San Jose in Barili. We stayed in a place that is owned by a Yu family. I think the Cui family is also a co-owner of the property.

The place, Villa as it is simply called, is beautiful, but food was our main problem. We had to go to the market to buy our food and other necessities because the place did not have its own kitchen where someone cooked for us, unlike the boarding house we stayed in during our clinical duty in Toledo. So we, or rather some of our classmates, cooked and prepared the meals for all of us. We were lucky that a cook was in our midst. Occasionally, though, we ate outside.

The rooms where we actually slept were decent enough. I mean, they were clean and air-conditioned. But the space was a bit small for us. There were five rooms in all (if I remember correctly). The first room was shared by the guys, while the second and third were occupied by the females. Our clinical instructors got the fifth room. Below the bed rooms were the shower rooms and bathrooms.

The small building has a terrace, so when you step outside your room you will immediately see the view outside. You will see the lot, how wide it is. You will see coconut plants and many kinds of garden plants. Directly in front of the building you will see the huge swimming pool. To your right you will see a very old house. In fact, it's a 19th-century house. The style, of course, is Spanish. Panahon nilang Rizal. I really love looking at those big windows with all those Capiz shells. It's so beautiful because it looks so archaic and quaint. The house itself is made up largely of hardwood. The ceiling is supported by large hardwood trees. On the beams are carvings of fruits that looked like papayas and lanzoneses. The staircase is wide and the balustrades are so beautifully crafted. The house is really a work of art! That's the case with all 19th-century Spanish houses, I guess. They're built with aesthetics in mind; they're not just functional. Most modern houses, on the other hand, are just all about functionality.

Villa is quiet creepy, too. I mean, daghan ghost stories didto, encountered by previous groups. Maayo na lang wala mi ka-experience og mga multo didto hehe...

Our duty at the Hospicio was okay. Maybe I'll talk about it at another time.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back from Negros

We just got back from Negros. The trip didn't feel that long, or tiresome. Thanks to the wonderful technology of audiobooks. I just listened to Atonement by Ian McEwan. I'm not finished with it yet. It's such a long book (yet the hardcopy I saw at National's looked slim). I'm listening to it because a movie version of the novel is coming out soon. It is starred by Kiera Knightley. She also did Ms. Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I already heard his The Cement Garden and On Chesil Beach. I loved the latter book, although it was an abridged version by the BBC.

I didn't see ghostly apparitions this time, though. On the evening of All Saints Day I was outside the old house's gate again, raising my cellphone to find some signal. But no child appeared.

One aunt talked about aswangs the following night. People in the provinces talk about aswangs as if they're very real and commonplace. "So and so, daughter of so and so, is an aswang," she said. "They often wander about in the night." She wanted me to accompany her to another aunt's house, which was just next door. It was pitch black outside. When I had to take a leak, I leaked at the nearby garden, because the bathroom was a little too far away. I had to look out not only for ghosts but for winged monsters, too, who can snatch people away ala-Jeepers Creepers. "Dili siguro ko madagit og aswang tita kay bug-at man ko," I told her.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I can now put behind me the nightmare that my pangga and I experienced a couple of weeks ago. Yep, we're both back together again. Yipee! I flew to Davao last week and stayed with her and her family for a few days.

It wasn't totally a negative experience. Something positive also came out of it. For my part, I realized how weak I was. I realized that there are many things I have to improve about myself. We both agreed that it is also important for us to flourish as individuals so that our relationship can also flourish. When two people can get too close to each other, when they become too preoccupied with each other, or too wrapped up in their relationship, they can neglect their individual selves. We understood that we need a balance of things. We have other areas too in our lives which we need to cherish, in addition to our relationship.

But the reason why what happened two weeks ago happened to us was not that we became too caught up in our relationship. It was the other way around. I neglected her, took our relationship for granted. Maybe I became too confident that she would always be there, that she would not go away no matter what happened. Josh Groban's song struck me at the right moment, "Now I've learned that love's not possession, and I've learned that love won't wait. And I've learned that love needs expression, but I've learned too late." Corny, but it's true.

I'm really glad to see Davao again. I missed the place, especially where my pangga used to live, in V. Mapa, and the places we went to whenever I was there. Now they live in a quiet subdivision somewhere in the south, not too far from the NCCC mall. You can catch the aroma of durian in many places in the city. It's peak season for the king of all fruits (hehe); there's an oversupply of it. I used to contest the idea of it being the king of all fruits. My favorite used to be the jackfruit (nangka), but that changed when I became accustomed to the taste of durian. Other fruits are merely sweet, flat. The durian on the other hand has a three-dimensional taste. It expands in your tongue, opens up portals to many dimensions of sweetness.

Tomorrow my family and I are heading off to Negros for the Kalag-kalag. I'll be behind the wheel probably for most of the road trip. I miss going on a road trip. I miss going to far away places, driving along farm lands and seeing mountains and trees and the sea. Thank God I was able to get a duplicate driver's license this afternoon. I lost my original one last week along with my wallet, when it slipped off my pocket inside a jeepney on my way home. Now I can drive legally. Pwede na ko dakpon og CITOM, without getting jailed.

Tomorrow is All Souls Day, and it will be exactly one year since I last saw a ghost in Sanke, my mother's home town. It was late at night and I was on my way to my lola's house. I was taking a leak behind some bamboo fence when all of a sudden I noticed that there was someone outside the house's gate. It was a child, and he or she was just walking. He or she was wearing a white shirt and I couldn't see his/her face. I walked towards him/her because I got curious that a child was still taking a stroll at that very late hour. But I already suspected that something was wrong with the picture. I already felt that it was a ghost, but I went ahead and tried to follow him/her. Sure enough, when I got to the gate, the child was nowhere in sight. Before me lay a vast area of land; the child could not have disappeared that quickly. They said that the child was probably telling me something, that he/she needed to be prayed. From that night on I've always prayed for him/her.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How does one cope with loss?

How does one cope with loss? How does one "move on"? "Moving on..." There's a phrase that's very painful. How does one does it, when the person that one is compelled to move away from is one's everything?

You told me yesterday ga, that I will always have a special place in your heart. So easy to say. I scrutinized the tone of your voice, and in my paranoia I thought, "You said it with so much ease!" I ask ga, how many square meters of space will I occupy in your heart? Will it be a wide lot, or just a small area? Will I just be a portion of your heart from now on? Just a fragment of your memories?

But I told you, ga, that you won't just be a portion or a fragment of my heart. You won't occupy just an area. For you are my heart's and my life's very foundation... When you spoke those words to me many days ago ga, my world crumbled underneath me, and I fell headlong to an abyss, and I am still falling, falling, falling.

You kept on explaining to me, you kept on comforting me, and told me that you still cared for me, because if it were not so, you would have simply disappeared without a trace, without explaining further why you had to leave. Yes, I understood you ga, but I keep on forgetting. What were your reasons again? I remember it was something so complex. Can you perhaps explain it in simpler terms? I've grown tired of thinking, of trying to understand why this is happening. I've become a philosopher because of you. I have partially plumb the depths of my self. (The days are long ahead, and I have plenty of time to go deeper and deeper into my mind and soul, to drown in sorrow, to grieve, to be tormented each moment our memories come creeping back in, to go mad. I'm looking forward to countless sleepless nights, and when I do sleep, countless nightmares.) I haven't yet become a poet, though.

Can't you explain it in simpler terms ga? Perhaps you can say, that it's simply because you don't love me anymore?

Where will I find refuge? In alcohol? In friends? In caffeine? In family? In God? In reading? In writing? In some movies? In some music? In a scene? In a thought? In some sound? In conversations? In silence? In medications? In distractions? In physical exercise? In vanity? In long aimless walks? In stories? In poetry? In essays? In articles? In my studies? In our talks? In devotion to some ideal? In some necessary labor? In television? In the sea? In some strange place? In a voyage? In a crowd of strangers? In humor/comedy? In laughter? In a river of tears? In prayers? Where, ga, where?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The unthinkable has happened

My pangga and I are in a crisis right now. I'm starting another blog because writing about it might help me cope with this extremely difficult time in our lives.

Days Without P

Saturday, September 15, 2007


During his first day at the Psychiatric Ward he felt anxious. Anxious, because, when he entered the male patients' room for the first time, he saw this man sitting on the ground, barefoot, his eyes closed, his body stooped, and his mouth drooling with saliva.

Upon entering the room you will immediately see to your right the bathing area. And this patient was sitting against the wall of this area.

My goodness, he thought, will I ever be able to handle this?

The next day, his anxiety rose a notch higher when his clinical instructor assigned him to Roger. Who was Roger?

He saw Roger's picture in the patient's chart.

My, oh, my, Roger is the person he saw sitting in the bathing area the day before. He dreaded him. He thought his case was the worse in the ward.

Every morning, he assisted Roger in taking a bath. Although Roger has cerebral palsy, he actually is responsive to instructions. When you instruct him to stand, he stands; when you tell him to take off his shirt, he does it.

Thus it was easy for him to assist Roger in his daily routine.

A few days later, he brought his iPod with him in the hospital.

After the bath, he sat Roger at the bed. "Roger," he said. "Would you like to listen to some music?"

He gave him one of the ear phones and switched on the player. The song Matud Nila played.

Matud nila, ako dili angay...

Outside the window, he saw the leaves of the trees moving with the wind.

Nga magmanggad sa imong gugma...

The noise outside the room was subdued.

Matud nila, ikaw dili malipay,
kay wa ako'y bahandi nga kanimo i-gasa.

Then he noticed Roger. Roger began to smile, and tried speak (sing?), though what came out of his mouth was something incomprehensible.

Gugmang putli, mao da'y pasalig;
Mao'y bahanding labaw sa bulawan.
Matud nila, ka-anugon lamang
sa imong gugma og parayig...

Dili malubad, kining pagbati,
bisan sa unsa nga katarungan,
kay unsa pa'y bili ni'ng kinabuhi,
kung sa gugma mo, hinikawan?

He shifted his gaze back outside the window, and observed again the movement of the leaves.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Research proposal

Later today we will be presenting our research topic to a panel of clinical instructors.

Kulbaan ko and at the same time... excited? Hehehe...

I don't know why. Mura man gud og muatubang ka sa korte, kay it's like you have to present and defend your case in front of people, and you have to do your darnest best to convince the judges that your study is significant and viable.


Bahala na...

Our study, by the way, is all about emotional intelligence. We had interesting variables along with emotional intelligence, but because of time constraints, we simply focused on a less difficult variable.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I attended last Thursday the Regional Research Convention organized by the Philippine Nurses' Association, Cebu chapter. I must say I found it very interesting. I was even fascinated by the presentations of the different researchers from the different nursing schools here in Cebu (I wonder why they called in "regional" when only nursing schools in Cebu were in attendance). Almost all of the researchers were already professional nurses. Only a couple research work, I think, were products of undergraduates.

But it was, on the whole, very interesting and very informative. I find that I actually like the idea of doing research work. I didn't enjoy doing my thesis during my first course. It's only now, now that I see the whole purpose of research (somehow I didn't see the whole point back then), nursing research in particular, which is "to develop knowledge about issues of importance to the nursing profession" (Polit and Beck), that I see how wonderful it is. The technical side of research is indeed daunting. It can discourage you or bore you. It is tempting to think of it merely as a requirement for the course, and indeed many look at it that way. But if you understand its main purpose, you will begin to really appreciate it. One of the things that I noticed during the presentations at the convention was that all of the presentors talked with such enthusiastic, some even with animated, facial expressions. That's because research work is really intellectually stimulating and fulfilling. Intellectually stimulating because it engages your whole mind, because you are researching on a particular topic, problem or question that interests or excites you (It is silly, of course, to do research on a topic that you really don't care about), and fulfilling because you know that you are contributing something significant to the profession, whether to nursing practice, education, or administration.

I hope I can carry this interest after I graduate. I hope I can do research works later when I become a professional, with God's grace, of course.

I have a royal blood

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Lord Dante the Indecisive of New Scagglethorpe
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Hmmm... peculiar indeed...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tough luck!

I left my BP apparatus in the ward! If I'll lose it it will be my second time around... Mahalun raba to... Naa pa jud to'y pangalan nako og cell number, kay akong gi-anticipate what if mawala nako to... og nawala jud... Maayo na lang unta kung gi-safe keep ra to sa staff nurses, or giuli sa student nurse nga nakakita...

So imbes mu-dive na unta ko sa akong katre kay wala pa ko'y tulog, kinahanglan na pud ko mag-ilis para balikun akong beloved BP app... sigh...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I just got back from my duty in Sotto. Kapuy jud magduty basta night shift. Especially kung priority patient imong patient kay every hour ang vital signs i-monitor.

Luoy kaayo siya. S/P debridement and evacuation of hematoma siya sa iyang right hip. Last week pa siya gi-operahan pero hangtud karon wala pa gihapon maayo iyang samad, kay hemophilic man pud siya. Occasionally mag-bleed iyang samad and sakit kaayo para niya. Wala gud siya'y tarong tulog ganiha tungod sa sakit. Musakit pa jud iyang kamot inig transfuse na sa cryoprecipitate. Dayon nag-chills pa jud siya human sa transfusion...

Taga-Manila siya unya gitransfer lang siya dire. Ang tanan expenses sa iyang tambal og hospitalization gitubag sa isa ka charitable organization sa America nga naga-tabang og mga hemophilic patients. In a way swerte siya, pero lisud pud kaayo ang iyang kahimtang. Maka-ingun jud ka nga swerte na kaayo ta nga wala ta'y sakit...

Monday, July 16, 2007


This week we will be on duty at Ward VIII of Sotto. We're on the night shift.

Honestly, I'm tired of going on duty. I feel a bit drained. I feel I lack motivation. Kanindut unta kung naa ra ko sa balay, magbasa, maminaw og audiobook, o matulog. O mag-emote ba ron sa bintana, o maglingkud lang nga wala'y buhaton, o maghuna-huna lang og nothing in particular...

This morning I stayed with my lola in SouthGen (South General Hospital). Dugay na siya na-admit for brain tumor. Pero stable na siya karon. A student nurse was assigned to her to monitor her vital sings and give her blenderized food. He's very affable. Naka-ingun ko sa akong kaugalingon nga ingun ato unta tanan student nurses. Maayo siyang modelo sa usa ka nurse. Na-motivate pud ko sa akong part as a nursing student.

Pero I'm still tired. It's not a physical kind of tiredness. I just feel weak.

I haven't finished my patient's data; I haven't made my NCPs... I just wanna drink some warm milk and sleep... and wake up at around 7.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

On being late

I really hate going to school late. Yet I've been late countless times, and countless times when I reached our classroom did I promise myself never to be late again...

But there's nothing worse than racing against time to reach your class while at the same time cramming for a quiz... It happened again this morning. I didn't study for our quiz last night. Instead I set the alarm clock at 3:30 in the morning and planned to study then, and slept. And I slept, and slept, and slept... Until 6:15! So in panic I ate breakfast, took a bath, and changed clothes in less than an hour. Then I asked my brother to drive the car for us... I took out my notes and read, desperately trying to absorb as much information as I can. At that hour the traffic was already bad, so my heart pumped like crazy while I read and checked the watch. It's one of the most unpleasant feelings you will ever experience as a nursing student.

I reached our school 30 minutes late! But God is so good (I prayed). I got there before our C.I. did. Lol.... And what's more, He guided me during the quiz. How else can I explain it? I was truly ill-prepared for the test, having read only 10% of my notes, and yet all the questions that came out were exactly the ones I focused on... Amazing! =)

And it has happened countless times... Countless times I thought I'm never going to make it on class on time; countless times I thought I'm going to fail in a test because I was too lazy to study the previous night or days, yet He has always guided me, saved me from my irresponsibility. He gave me countless chances to do better as a student. =)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Himantayon ba sab ka?

Aniay makalingaw nga blog nga bag-o ra nakong nadiskubre:

Himantayon: A True Story

It pokes fun at our tendency to commit grammatical errors when we speak our own dialect.

When you tune your ears to what people are talking about in public places, you will often hear very interesting and funny stuff. Sukad nga nakahibaw ko ani nga blog himantayon na kaayo ko. LOL...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Og nakabalik nako sa Cebu...

Whew... I'm back in Cebu finally...

I got a brief fright early this evening while on the plane. We experienced a strong turbulence as we hovered over Davao. The skies were thick and cloudy. We could actually see lighting flashes outside our window. People only remember to make the sign of the cross when in danger hehe.

I almost missed my flight, too. The check-in counter was already closed when I got there. "Tan-awn sa nako sir ha, if pwede pa," the lady on the desk said when I handed her my ticket. I was thinking, "Ha?!!? What do you mean tan-awn sa nimo!? Dili pwede, I have to be on this flight... I have to be enrolled tomorrow morning..." Fortunately they let me in. I was racing towards the gate. It doesn't help when you have to pass metal detector machines that require you to take off your shoes and belt. I had to support my pants from falling because they were too loose... LOL. Kaya nga you use belts eh, to prevent your pants from falling off...

I think contact lenses must be one of the most tortuous tools ever invented by man. I became more and more convinced of this idea when I practiced putting them on this afternoon. I actually spent two hours trying to stick them to my eye balls! Tito Fred (my labidab's father) gave it to me as a gift. He's an optometrist. I swear, it's one of the most terrifying experience I've ever had in my life! Some people may find that very easy to do. Not me!!! In fact, it boggles my mind why contact lenses doesn't frighten most people. Seriously, I think it's one of the scariest thing humankind has ever invented. Imagine, you're sticking a foreign object to your eyeballs! Dili ba sensitive man kaayo ni atong mga mata? (Alright, now you can laugh.)

(One more hirit... Contact lenses are actually neat; once you have them on, that is. It is the act of putting them on that I find too terrifying. I think eye glasses are far more convenient than contact lenses.)

I'm off to school tomorrow to get enrolled. I hope I can finish it all at the end of the day. We have plenty of requirements to comply... On Wednesday and Thursday we will go on duty at a birthing home in Labangon. It would be great if we can finish all our DR cases during those two days.

I miss my pangga very much...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

End of the summer term, start of vacation

Our COPAR culminated yesterday with a variety show. That's all our COPAR has been about, actually, entertainment. We did do health teaching last Thursday; but that was about it. Nothing more substantial happened.

I guess they can't blame our batch. We were only given a limited amount of time.

But the previous batch were able to come up with activities that were more beneficial to the community despite the limited time period. They did workshops on small entrepreneurship. What a novel idea for a COPAR; not the usual stuff -- health teachings, bingo bonanzas, variety shows, cleaning campaigns and the like.

Tonight I'll be packing my bags because I'll be leaving tomorrow for Davao. Woohoo! I'm going to see my princess once again. We've been apart for almost 7 months, can you believe?

Thursday, May 17, 2007


We will start our COPAR tomorrow at the Apas, Lahug area. We had our orientation this morning.

That leaves us with only a little more than a week for the community exposure, instead of the original two weeks (There were many interruptions this week; the elections, for one).

That's not enough time. I've heard our school's COPAR before lasted for about a month, and the students had to immerse themselves in the community; that means living with the people in the community for a particular period of time so that you actually get to feel what life is like in that community; you see and experience its problems. So you get a better idea what interventions you can use to address those problems.

We won't even be going on an immersion. How can you help the community that way?

Sige na lang...

So what we'll be doing on the first day is to assess the families in the area. Each of us have to interview two families. Then next week we'll be organizing different activities. For example, health teachings, feeding, some games (to simply entertain the people there hehe), etc. After that we'll prioritize all the problems of the families and choose one problem which is the most important and/or urgent. Then we will make a Family Nursing Care Plan, which we will submit as the final requirement of the course. After that? Wala na, murag dili ra ma-implement and FNCP... Ironic no?

Friday, May 11, 2007

End of psych lecture

Our Psychia lecture is finally over. We had our culminating activity this afternoon. We danced. It was so much fun. We prepared for it for four days, practicing every afternoon after class at the university's main gym, under hellish heat. We learned samba and swing. It was an opportunity that threw itself at my feet; it further fueled my desire to learn ballroom dancing... (Skwela nya ta ga =) )

They applied make up on our faces! Yes, including the guys! Plus some lip gloss! And some hair spray and a handful of glittering silver dust!

This summer is surely memorable for me. In a sense, Ate Janice and I were alone, because we came from a different section, joining a completely new section, which was a fusion of three sections, actually (only two of us represented section S). But we met a lot of nice people. The grand daughter of the school's owner is certainly an interesting person. People either hate her or like her. I admit she certainly can get on your nerves sometimes (and with many people, she often does), but at least her personality is one of a kind. She's outspoken; she can command people's attention, and even respect. When they give an oral report, she and her husband always give an excellent reporting. They make the rest of the class feel uncomfortable, because our presentations often end up looking mediocre. We did not have any problems with the dance, because she and her husband took care of everything! They organized the whole thing, all we had to do was just dance! I guess that's a good thing, right? She was very particular to details, always making sure that things will go as smoothly as possible.

So I guess what I really want to say is that talagsa ra ka maka-encounter og mga tawo nga ingun ana. People who always go out of their shells, who often ruffles many people's feathers, occasionally offending some people here and there, but doing a good job in the end.

What's good is that she and her husband are a perfect match. She's demanding, domineering, impatient, outspoken, most of the time dead serious, but her husband is tolerant, yielding, easy-going and patient, oftentimes quiet, and have a great sense of humor. They achieve balance. They create a tandem that is, for lack of a better word, amusing to look at. They usually argue in front of us, but while mangugat na siya og murag makuratan naka sa tono sa iyang tingog, her husband always manages to give witty and funny rebuttals, and she just keeps silent and lets the issue go...

I'm glad that I am able to fairly adjust with the different folks we met this summer. If you're somewhat anti-social (I was, and perhaps still am a bit), here are some advice for you: Always smile; keep a pleasant demeanor when you're around people, especially when they're new acquaintances. As the adage goes: First impressions last. And always, always seek first to understand before you try to be understood (Steven Covey's 7 habits are very helpful). Keep your word or the promises you've kept with people. But these are not guarantees for making new friends.

Now I see the point for the dancing and the dressing up as lunatics and parading around the entire campus (we did those, too). We are going to do a culminating activity next semester in the Psych ward. I think the point is that it will prepare us for our work in the Psych ward, and it will help us bond better with our clients.

We also underwent a kind of psychotherapy this morning, as a class. It was meant to familiarize us with the process of psychotherapy, because we will do that, too, in the Psych ward. The C.I.s tried their best to make us cry (hehe); unfortunately they didn't succeed. I think you have to be a trained psychiatrist, or a psychiatric nurse, to be able to do psychotherapy successfully. If a nurse is not experienced, or has not the training, it won't work out the way it's supposed to. But I felt terrible because I had a cold, and so my eyes were always teary (I had to constantly use my hanky); it looked like I was crying! No way! =)

Next week we proceed to COPAR. We will join a different group for that. Here we go again...

Friday, May 04, 2007


We had our midterm exam in Psychia this morning. It was very difficult, but on the whole it was okay, I think. (I hope I passed.)

A few interesting things about our class this summer:

1. Our instructor is like a talking textbook. Maka-amaze iyang memory. He has paragraph-long definitions for every term! He expounds concepts and theories at great length and using the most precise words. Grabe. Bilib kaayo ko. But he's not boring; in fact his discussions are sometimes entertaining, as he often relates the concepts with real life.

The only catch is that he can't pronounce his words very well. They often sound funny. It irritates some of my classmates, though, because it makes him unintelligible.

2. The granddaughter of the school's owner, and her husband, is our classmate. I don't know why she occasionally becomes the subject of people's conversations. Perhaps because of her influence over the change of the females' school uniform from the old "yaya" look to the present all-white. Lol. I've heard a certain C.I. walked out of their class last year because of conflict with her. Me, I have no complaints. From what some of my classmates have observed, her personality seemed a bit domineering. My attitude is just to live and let live. Ingun nila nagdako daw siya sa States mao na'ng lahi iyang style.

3. One of the requirements for our finals is a dance presentation! I don't know what the heck that has got to do with psychiatric nursing. But my back is against the wall. Basta ibutang lang ko nila sa likud sa formation and tagaan lang ko nila og mask.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another blog

My new (experimental) blog is at =)

I chose Wordpress because I had problems changing the template in Blogger. I'm still getting acquainted with Wordpress. They actually have a lot of nice features... But this is not an endorsement hehehe...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Going commercial

Notice the ad to your right? Yep, I'm going commercial. Is that necessarily bad? :P Well, this just came to my mind when I see the number of visitors I get to this blog each day... :D Yes, I'm very vain, I *do* track my visitors. The title of this blog is very catchy that it lures people to clicking the link in search engines when they search any topic related to nursing... My blog usually pops up among the top sites. I have a catchy name for a blog, but nothing much (or nothing at all) when it comes to contents. Lol.

But I want to improve this blog. I'll try to make it more relevant to nursing. So I'll use a separate blog for stuff not related to nursing.

If you're looking for a great site about nursing in the Philippines (news, articles, exam tips), visit PinoyBSN. They also have loads of NCLEX and other exam questions you can practice answering. Plus, they have Gabbly Chat where you can interact with other nursing students and professionals in the country and abroad.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dreading the dentist

I'll be going to the dentist tomorrow for tooth extraction. Why does it feel like going to your executioner?

Another semester is here

We had our Basic Life Support training this week. It was fun. Finally I know how to do CPR (I wonder why they didn't teach this to us sooner, it being a very important and basic skill).

This summer I'm taking Psychiatric Nursing and COPAR. We'll devote two weeks for each subject. I wonder how we'll do it, especially with Psychia. Two weeks seems like a very, very short time for such a huge subject as Psychia.

We had a lot of casualties last sem. There were many who didn't make it in Pharmacology. Most of them came from those sections who were under a C.I. whose method/style of teaching and giving exams was very, very challenging (or unescessarily difficult?). On the other hand our C.I. proved to us (I think) that Pharmacology need not be very, very difficult, or intimidating. If a C.I. is not intimidating, or if he or she is approachable and is able to clearly, simply but comprehensively discuss the lessons, the students will be able to grasp the subject better.

Our section last sem was dissolved. They distributed us to different sections, so starting this semester I'll have a new set of duty mates. Mag-establish rapport na pud ta; mag-adjust napud with new people, new personalities. But we're supposed to be socially well-rounded, right? I'll miss my old group. It saddens me nga nabungkag mi. I became really close to them. It is with them that I really felt at ease, more than with my previous group mates. I've been with them the longest time -- for almost a year!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI on faith and reason

A good read: Pope Benedict's General Audience today at the Vatican talks a bit about faith and reason.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on the Fathers and teachers of the early Church, we now turn to Saint Clement of Alexandria. As head of the catechetical school of Alexandria, Clement promoted a fruitful encounter between the Gospel and the Greek philosophical tradition. For Clement, faith in Christ grants the true knowledge which the ancient philosophers had sought through the use of reason. Faith and reason thus appear as two necessary and complementary “wings” by which the human spirit comes to the knowledge of Christ, the Word of God. Faith itself, as a divine gift, inspires a search for a deeper understanding of God’s revelation. As creatures made in God’s image, we are called to become ever more like him not only through the perfection of our intellect, but also through our growth in the virtues. Freed from our passions, we are drawn to contemplate in love the God who has revealed himself in Christ. By his life and teaching, Clement can serve as a model for all Christians who seek to give an account of their hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15), and especially for catechists and theologians as they strive to articulate the Christian faith in a disciplined dialogue with the great philosophical tradition.

Grumpy mode

I just saw a story of PBB in the news. I avoid it like the plague, but I was helpless tonight because the folks in our house were watching it.

Everytime I hear a news story about anything from the PBB show, the critic in me always surfaces. I always smirk.

I can only say two things: It's incredible, the things that network people do to lure people to watch their shows; all for the sake of ratings. Pointless and not worth any sensible person's time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bravo, Bayanihan Dance Company!

Here's something to fatten your Filipino heart. Something to be proud of more than Pacquiao's victory last Sunday.

No fanfare to triumphant Bayanihan dance troupe

MANILA, Philippines -- No lavish airport honors awaited the victorious Bayanihan Dance Company, which took plum honors from the World Folk Dance Festival in Spain, when the troupe arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Tuesday on the heels of triumphant boxing champions Manny Pacquiao and Bernabe Concepcion.

The 27-person delegation, including seven musicians and 16 dancers, casually walked with other passengers into the terminal where they were met with sampaguita garlands by Department of Tourism personnel.

The multi-awarded 50-year-old Bayanihan was declared “absolute winner,” or the grand champion of the World Folk Dance Festival’s 22nd competition last Saturday, besting delegations from 50 countries of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

The troupe’s entry was an eight-minute dance narrative called “The Voyage for Love and Peace,” which told the tale of star-crossed lovers through several famous Philippine folk dances in the Bayanihan repertoire, including the singkil and the kuntao. They won the nod of the judges from Spain, Australia, Argentina, the Netherlands and Wales.

“We depicted the voyage for love and peace. We weaved the dances together with the story,” said the company’s executive director Suzie Benitez.

“We said we wanted to tell the story of the Philippines, we wanted them to see our culture, but we also wanted to win. And so when they called us the grand champion, we were all feeling so high, and so proud, and the sprinkling of Filipinos who were there were all crying with us,” she said.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Here's a TV program you simply shouldn't miss if you call yourself a Bisaya:

Handurawan (Every Saturday, 9-10:30 PM @ Channel 56)

Haranistas play classic Cebuano music requested by the viewers.

One thing you will immediately notice: they're all old! Yes, and a very precious aspect of our culture will be lost forever with them unless a new breed of artists will take their place.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why do you believe in God?

I am always troubled when I encounter people (online) who are atheists. It troubles me especially if the person is smart, or very intelligent (and people who consider themselves atheists usually are). It troubles me because it poses to me a very great challenge (and one that is very burdensome, too) -- Please defend your religion!


If an atheist would ask me, "Why do you believe in God?" My first answer would probably be, "Because I *know* He exists." Not a very convincing answer for a rationalist, lol.

Then I'd probably say that I don't have all the answers yet (not even the basic answers), that I am just starting on my faith journey, studying my faith, reading up on apologetics and theology. I plan to study all these, little by little, as I go through life. Apologetics and theology are tremendously vast areas of study, and countless really smart and intelligent people are devoting their profession/lives to studying them, and it seems that they can never exhaust the subject; it seems that they can never plumb the depths of God's mystery (Of course, for how can finite beings with limited intellects understand the infinite, the absolute Being?).

What I believe is basically this: We can know God through faith and reason. Reason can point us to God's existence, but it has limits. It is faith which actually helps us to know Him deeply and personally.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bo Sanchez on homeschooling

Do you know that Bo Sanchez advocates homeschooling? Well, now you do. And that's one more thing that's great about him. He speaks what he believes to be true, even if it's highly unconventional, and even radical.

Here's a great article about homeschooling he wrote for the Catholic Filipino Academy: Why More And More Parents Are Sending Their Kids To The Best School In The World: Their Own Home. It's very long, but it's really worth your time.

If you're new to the idea of homeschooling, it will really strike you as very radical. But if you think about it carefully, doesn't it make a lot of sense?

Someday when I'll have kids of my own, I'll homeschool them, too. I've been passionate about the idea since way back in my first course in college. I even wrote an oration piece about it in English class. I didn't actually get to deliver it to the whole class. We were short of time then, so I had to deliver it privately to my teacher, just when the semester was about to end. I felt elated when my teacher said afterwards, "That's a good food for thought".

Compulsory schooling is harmful
and does not foster real education

I wish to propose for your consideration an idea which I’m sure will appear wildly subversive. The idea in question is this: that compulsory education or compulsory schooling does not foster real education, and that it in fact is harmful to our development as human beings.

First, why do I say compulsory schooling does not foster real education?

Several famous and noted men in history – writers, artists, poets, philosophers, even scientists – have in the past spoken against compulsory education. Albert Einstein, the most well-known among them perhaps, once said, "It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by coercion and a sense of duty." Einstein recognized that this "delicate little plant," this fundamental source of a child’s capacity for growing and learning, needed freedom from compulsion and control. He believed that true learning only happens when the child is free from manipulation and compulsion, when she is left to discover and follow her own inner drives. Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, two of the greatest writers in American literature, have also spoken against compulsory education in their time. They believed that mass schooling destroys a person’s individuality and his desire to learn. Mark Twain, also a great figure in American literature, once wrote, "I never let schooling interfere with my education." The great poet William Blake expressed his frustration about school in "Songs of Experience." In the poem "The Schoolboy," he wrote:

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, -
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning's bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

George Bernard Shaw, another great writer, said that education is not supposed to be the "filling of a pail," the mere transfer of information from the teacher to the student, but the "lighting of a fire," or the ignition of the child’s interest or curiosity. John Dewey and the psychologist Carl Rogers also each criticized compulsory education, they each envisioned alternatives to the modern methods of schooling. The philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell once wrote, albeit more bluntly, that "Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education." These are just some of the notable men in history who have spoken against compulsory education. There are yet many others, including more contemporary ones.

One such modern thinker, a well-respected author in the field of education, is John Holt. John Holt passed away in the late 80s, but his ideas about education are still very influential today. John Holt is one of the founders of what’s called in America as the "Homeschooling" or "Unschooling" movement. It’s a growing movement of about 2 million families who believe that real education only happens when the child is left to herself, free from compulsion and control, to discover her own true interests and desires. It’s based on the philosophy that true learning only happens when it is self-directed. So children and teenagers who unschool don’t go to school, they just stay at home. They don’t follow a fixed curriculum. They just follow their own interests and desires, do the things they love; they never stop learning. Learning for them becomes indistinguishable with living. John Holt believed that children have the innate desire to learn, that they are naturally curious, that they have a natural desire to know and learn things. If left to themselves, with the trust and support of parents and other adults, if given the time and the resources, children grow up to become better learners and beautiful human beings. However, after a few more years, each child has to go to school, and for the next 16 or 17 years or so, that is to say, for the rest of his or her childhood and teenage years, he/she has to spend a great deal of his/her time, a great many hours, confined inside classrooms, detached from the natural world and real world experience. The child inside the classroom is disciplined and controlled, and as a result, his/her natural drive for learning, his/her inner curiosity, is stifled, and his/her capacity for authentic creativity is curtailed.

What follows in the succeeding years in the child’s life as a student is mere indoctrination. Education is reduced to mere transfer of information from the teacher to the student. The child is treated as a mere receptacle to be filled by information that the school or the teacher deems as important. This concept of education was first introduced by the Brazilian philosopher and educator Paulo Friere. He called this the "Banking" concept of education, wherein students are mere receptacles to be filled by information while the teachers act as the "experts" who deposit information to the passive students. As a result the students learn how to be passive and compliant. Then after they graduate they go out to the larger society and adjust to the present order of things instead of questioning them. They adjust to the unjust conditions of society instead of challenging and working to change them.

So in short, school really teaches passivity, conformity, and mediocrity.

Now, why do I say compulsory education is harmful to our development as human beings?

Well, because it detaches us from the bigger picture of society. It detaches us from direct experience of the real world. It gives us a fragmented view of reality. It teaches us to become passive, compliant automatons in society instead of active participators in its transformation. It teaches us to accept the status quo.

To quote John Nash in the movie "A Beautiful Mind," "Classrooms dull your mind, destroys your potential for authentic creativity."

We should not wonder, then, why, as students, we are usually so mediocre, so dull, so incapable of independent thinking and coming up with original ideas.

Also, we can take a close look at the educational system, particularly the grading system. It compares and classifies people into hierarchies. It teaches conceptions of inferiority and superiority. It teaches the values of competition instead of cooperation.

So far I have only presented the "negative side" of compulsory education. What about the "positive side"? Of course, our schools do produce competent professionals – doctors, nurses, therapists, engineers, architects, and so on. However, according to the nationalist historian Renato Constantino, these professionals are inevitably "compartmentalized" in their view and involvement in society. A compartmentalized worldview and orientation is the product of a compartmentalized kind of education wherein the student is merely fed fragmented reality. Again, this goes back to Friere’s concept of "banking" education. You cannot expect to cultivate the student’s critical faculties by treating him/her merely as a container to be filled by information and "knowledge". These professionals are inevitably only concerned with matters within their particular fields of interests, and not much on the things beyond. For example, most doctors are concerned only with their careers, and most nurses are concerned only about their own private goals, like, as is commonly the case with us, going abroad. They’re not really curious or interested about the bigger picture of society, they don’t really have that sense of involvement in the bigger problems of their community. It’s no surprise that while our schools do produce competent and capable young professionals, there are only very few among them who truly and sincerely care about the country and are sensitive and responsive to its needs.

There’s still so much that I have left unsaid. It is of course entirely up to you to agree or disagree. But you can ask yourself whether, as a student, you really feel free and liberated. Because education is supposed to liberate you and stimulate your curiosity and desire to learn new things and to grow in every aspect as a human being.


Yup, I was pretty charged then. It's funny how I now find myself in the opposite side -- I'm studying nursing and planning to go abroad!

Finally, you must watch this video: Sir Ken Robinson on TED Talks. "In this talk, he makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I received this simple message in my inbox:

"You are a human being. Your chromosomes and DNA make you a unique
person. There's no need to copy someone else's personality. Just
discover yourself." (Anonymous)

I'm just struck by the profundity of that message. It's so simple, yet so profound.

This message resonated with me at least because I just realized that I actually spend most of my waking time trying to copy someone else's personality, or at least try to behave in a way that lives up to the expectations of those around me. When I'm around people, I find that I always, unconsciously, check myself and think about the people in my life who I highly respect and try to ask myself how would that person behave under the same circumstance that I am in. As a result, I try to act the way that person I imagine would act under similar circumstances. It's a very stifling habit. That insight is so liberating!


I'm in Makati right now. Wow! I never imagined Makati is this beautiful. The skyscrapers, the well-groomed and organized streets, the malls, and especially Greenbelt... I feel like I'm in another country. This is my only second time here, my first was more than a decade ago, and so much has changed.

We visited two hospitals this afternoon. An uncle of mine is being admitted in Makati Med because he met an accident while at home. An aunt is right now undergoing D&C in PolyMed because she has polyps in her uterus and ovary. Both hospitals look really decent.

Outside Makati, though, the traffic is awful. Buses are everywhere. The streets are teeming with people. All sorts of billboards compete for your attention. And I've never seen so many overpasses and skywalks!

I'm having a hard time communicating in Tagalog, so I'm just speaking less and listening most of the time.

Early tomorrow morning we leave for Baguio...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Off to Baguio

We'll be taking the first flight to Manila tomorrow. I'm already so tired, yet I'm still here in front of the PC, saving episodes of A Tale of Two Cities from the BBC radio (I just can't resist the BBC's radio dramas). Yesterday we started our completion duty in the DR at St. Anthony's in Basak. Our shift was 6-2, but we extended till 9PM because there were two patients who were already in active labor. And today, we again reported at 6 AM. We assisted two deliveries plus a caesarean section. (I'm really relieved that I'm almost complete with the required number of DR cases, and I'm hopeful that before our last two-day duty on the 13th and 14th we'll all be complete with the requirements; though I feel guilty that the other half of our group will be left behind [they weren't able to join us]).

I'm still not certain what audiobook I should bring for the trip. I have Religious/Catholic lectures (which I've downloaded from -- a mind-blowing site with the sheer quantity and quality of its audio resources), a good thing to listen to for the Holy week. But what else? I'm thinking, I may want to listen to Pride and Prejudice again. Or this fascinating lecture - A Way With Words: Writing, Rhetoric, and the Art of Persuasion (A TMS course, which you can also find in that, again, awesome, awesome site, Wordhaven).

I'll bring along my copy of Signet Classic's The Complete C. S. Lewis. I bought it last week. Medyo mahal, pero it's actually already a bargain since it contains seven of C. S. Lewis' classic books on apologetics (the most popular being Mere Christianity). I've listened to an audiobook of the latter, but I didn't understand it at all. I'm blaming the reader. Something about his reading style that gets me (too "snobbish" sounding, and with a repetitive and bland tone; sort of like a robot with a human touch). If you buy each book separately, and it's hard to find copies of them in our bookstores here in Cebu, it will cost you a fortune because each book is priced for around 500-600 pesos. I think Mere Christianity is better read than listened to.

I much prefer stories than lectures. I have a very short attention span for lectures. Stories are much more interesting. So I'll probably go for stories. Or, more stories than lectures. Tolstoy?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sonic boomed!

Urbandub's performance last Friday was awesome (as usual).

The venue was a bit small. Club Royale Concourse is actually a small bar. There was not too many people, probably because the event was not much advertised.

When my brother and I entered the place the first thing that I felt was awkwardness, because it seems like most people there knew everybody else, except us hehehe. The place had the feel of, um, intimacy, because we were too close to the artists. Too close that, at one moment, John Dinopol of Urbandub stood right behind me watching the show. And Lalay Lim sat right across us together with her group of friends. It was surreal.

The other bands were great, too. Of course, there were the Ambassadors, but there were others less well known and relatively new to the scene: Pelican Steet, Still, and The Line Divides. Faspitch was supposed to play, but their set was cancelled when one of the members (probably the drummer) met an accident that night.

Needless to say, we came out of the place needing "ear repair", and a little bit tipsy because of the free red horse.

Reveal the Remedy:

Quiet Poetic:

Safety in Numbers:


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Urbandub at Royale Concourse

Urbandub will be playing tomorrow at the Club Royale Concourse in Gorordo, along with Faspitch and the Ambassadors.

Ticket price is Php150. It will be available at the entrance. The show will start 7:30 PM.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Caffeine, jolt, jazz

A cup of coffee and the music of Paulo Santos: hopefully these will stimulate my mind and jolt me to start reading my Pharmacology notes. I've been very weak, mentally, these past few days. I don't know why. I just feel so numb and weak. Wala na ko'y gana magtuon. As a consequence my MS exam this afternoon was terrible. And days before that I tried to read my notes but I couldn't absorb the information. So I didn't study at all, I just flipped through the pages of my notebook, without understanding what I was reading.

Mura ko'g zombie. I need to feel alive, hence the music and the coffee. And I'll have more cups pa tonight. But the thing is the more coffee I drink the more nervous I become, the more worried I get about the exam, and the more I won't be able to concentrate...

I think ingun ani lang jud ni basta finals na. My brain is telling me, "I'm tired. I'll just go on ahead with my vacation. Bahala naka diha."

Another thing that I do when I study (or at least try to) is play some music in the background. I tune in to "mellow" radio stations. Love songs. Yikes! The trouble with it is that I often end up singing along with the song...

Maghimo ko'g playlist hehe... Nina Simone, Natalie Cole, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys... Jazz, baby.

On fasting

"Our Lord knew that to draw strength and efficacy from fasting, something more than abstinence from prohibited food is necessary. Thus He instructed His disciples and, consequently, disposed them to gather the fruits proper to fasting. Among many others are these four: fasting fortifies the spirit, mortifying the flesh and its sensuality; it raises the spirit to God; it fights concupiscence and gives power to conquer and deaden its passions; in short, it disposes the heart to seek to please only God with great purity of heart." (St. Francis de Sales)


I'm watching the live coverage of the hostage-taking in Manila. It's crazy. Maybe Ducat's intention IS noble (the media tells us of his background; and he is even the owner of the day care center?), but putting those children's lives in danger so he can air his message??? It's unexcusable. Maybe he just mentally snapped, or something. Basin tinuod naa siya'y problema sa panghuna2x...

(And what the heck is Chavit Singson doing there???)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Usa Ka Dapit Sa Atong Kagahapon

There's a great program over at DYAB (1512 in your AM dial) that airs every Sunday (7:30-9:30AM):

Usa Ka Dapit Sa Atong Kagahapon

It plays Classic Cebuano songs from the best Cebuano composers from decades past. What's great about this program is that in addition to featuring rare Cebuano songs (songs most people, or at least folks from my generation, haven't heard of before), it also provides a bit of background information on these songs (when they were written, by whom, and some information on the other works of these composers, what happened to their careers, where they are now, etc).

Friday, March 23, 2007


I'll be going to Baguio with my family the week after the finals exam. I guess I ought to be excited, considering that it will be my first time ever to visit the place. I had a chance to visit it a long, long time ago (when I was still in Grade 4 hehe), but I traded my ticket for a betamax! (My father made my brother and I choose between a trip to Baguio or a betamax; of course, considering how things were then - movie rental shops have just sprouted all over the city, and we were hungry for movies - we chose the latter). But I really don't know what to expect. Everybody says Baguio is a beautiful place, but really I can't picture how it'll look like. I wonder if it's still cold there the way it was when my family went there.

Will be bringing of course the essentials for a long trip: digicam, a book, and some audiobooks for that long, long bus ride to Baguio from Manila.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You are my joy!

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How long has it been since
I last heard your voice?
How many weeks?

I take delight in our
You bring
forth from me
so much joy.

My heart, wearied
by the daily routines of life,
finds relief
in the soothing familiarity
of your voice and

I listen with an open
I trace the paths
to which your words
lead me,
and I'm amazed,
at your mind.
It is a world
made beautiful by the
color of your words
and intellect.
In this world,
I am close to you,
in this world
I'm at rest.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Man For All Seasons

I really love and enjoyed this book. I read it a long time ago, but I just listened to a BBC radio adaptation of it. Brilliant!

I think it's required reading for all the politicos out there who are running for office. Rare na lang kaayo these days ang mga taw nga nag-hold og some sort of political power nga unshakable ug integrity og faithful sa iyang conscience (and therefore to God's law). Thomas More is one man all politicians, statesmen, lawyers, civil servants, etc., can emulate. In fact, he is someone all of us should look up to as our role model. A man of great intellect, morality and character!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A "thank you" goes a long way

I really liked my patient this week. She's a very kind old lady. She had choledocholilithiasis and she had a surgery last Monday. I monitored her condition after she was transferred from the recovery room. At first I thought she's kind of emotionally distant, because she had this expressionless look on her face every time I talked to her. But later I realized she's actually very kind and warm. She thanked me tonight before I left the ward.

Well, she didn't exactly say "thank you". She said it differently. She asked if it was already the end of our shift, then she said she was glad for our help, and she nodded and smiled with the warmest kind of smile. It really touched me. I really felt happy. Suddenly this whole pursuit of wanting to become a nurse had meaning, had purpose. You know (for me at least, this is true), nursing can become quite empty and tedious. It can sometimes get depressing. But once in a while you encounter experiences like that, moments when you are able to connect with your patient in a deeper and meaningful way (times when you understand the patient's condition and you are able to communicate your concern for him or her, and that person responds to you), that the meaninglessness of the whole thing goes away. This is the spirit of nursing after all, service and love for our fellow human beings.

Maayo unta ingun ani pirme hehehe.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Death is the road to awe

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I went to see The Fountain this afternoon. (Yup, I usually see movies alone). The story was confusing at first (I got inside the theater halfway through the movie). I almost regretted not choosing Curse of the Golden Flower or Ghost Rider instead. But I risked it, thinking that I wanted something that is more than purely entertaining. And boy was I rewarded.

The movie is actually beautiful, with many layers of meanings, about love primarily, but also life and death. (Spoilers ahead).

There are three narratives in the story. The first takes the 21st century as its setting. Tommy (Hugh Jackman) is a doctor and scientist who is on a (desperate) quest to find the cure to brain tumor. His wife (Rachel Weisz) is dying of the disease. Throughout the movie one could see how much he loved his wife, to the point wherein he is almost obsessed with his research. The irony is that he ends up not being totally "present" at his wife's side (he is still distracted by his goal of saving her life). He still cannot accept the reality of his wife's impending death. But Izzi (Weisz) is already at peace with her fate. She helps Tommy accept this and realize that death is not the end of everything, but the beginning of something eternal.

Izzi is writing a fairy-tale book called "The Fountain", and this is the second narrative of the movie. Tommy is Izzi's hero, and here Jackman plays the part of Tomas, the conquistador, ever loyal to his queen, Elizabeth (Weisz), and on a mission to save her and Spain. He is on a quest to find the Tree of Life at the middle of the Mayan jungle. He seeks immortality, but most of all he wants to be united forever with his queen.

But Izzi leaves the final chapter/s of the book unfinished. She wanted her husband to finish it for her. She gave him the freedom to decide how the story was going to end. The story helps Izzi express to Tommy how she understands the sacrifices he's doing for her, but she is also leading him to realize an immortality beyond the physical kind.

In the third narrative, Jackman is a sort of Zen buddhist, travelling far into space towards a nebula, enveloped in a huge bubble with the Tree of Life. This is actually far, far into the future. Here he is still on a quest for immortality, with the memory of his wife still haunting him. The Tree of Life is actually part of Izzi, since it has grown beside her grave. So he considers it as she, loving it with the same love he has shown her. It, too, is dying, like Izzi, centuries ago, was dying. He wants to bring the bubble to the nebula because Izzi believed that rebirth lies at the death of a star. While on their journey Tommy finds sustainance at the life-giving properties of the tree's bark. "You give me life," he murmurs to his tree. "We're almost there," he assures her. Such is his love for Izzi. Here we see that Izzi is truly the fountain of his life! Isn't that such an amazing and beautiful way of looking at love? (In addition to the idea that a man can treat his spouse as a queen, to whom he has wholly submitted himself in loyalty and to whom he is ready to sacrifice his whole self, including his life, to be truly united with her forever!)

You have to see this movie to understand it. Or you may perhaps get different interpretations from mine.

I met up with my bro afterwards and saw another movie, An Inconvenient Truth. This is really one movie everyone should see.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Norweigan Wood

I just finished Norweigan Wood. I feel so depressed. It's such a sad novel. I also find disturbing the, um, sex scenes. How can I say it? Lahi ra kaayo'g morality si Murakami with regards to sex. There's plenty of those in this novel. Probably why I've felt and continue to feel so sad... because the characters are so lost in their own brand of morality... Oh, if they can only discover/ realize that there's such a thing as objective truth or natural law, and that the Truth is actually a person...

I can't really say I like Murakami. Maybe my opinion of him will change after I listen to his other novels. Or probably not.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

MV Doulos

I saw the MV Doulos just as it was leaving Pier 1 this afternoon. I saw it as I entered the SRP from the Plaza Independencia entrance. Seen from a distance, it's not a very big ship at all. Pare-pareho lang kadak-a siguro sa Superferry or Cebu Ferries. But it's amazing, to think that it's one of the oldest, if not the oldest, ship in the world, being younger than the Titanic by only two years. It is indeed a historic ship. Or put another way, it indeed belongs to the pages of history.

And I was very fortunate to visit it at the very last minute last night. I forced myself to go, despite the sheer fatigue that I felt from lack of sleep, because it was to be the ship's last day here in Cebu (At last I finally found the time to come!). I heard that the ship's present tour is actually its last. Its owners have determined that it has served enough (it has indeed lived up to its name, which means "servant"). Its time has come.

The ship was still packed with people last night. My eyes delighted at the sight of the books! My brother and friends warned me days ago that the books are not really that good, or interesting. Most of them are "religious" books, the rest are children's books. But I wasn't disappointed, really. I like to read "religious" books. I was hoping to find books by C. S. Lewis, his Christian apologetics. But I only found one of his Narnia series. There were also books by Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. But I ended up buying a compilation of all of Oscar Wilde's works. Lipay na kaayo ko ana. For Php 300, I think that's already a bargain! My brother bought a hardbound book on painting and a Special Air Service (SAS) pocket guidebook on surviving life-threatening situations or something. I didn't know what he wanted it for. I told him that such a guide will only be useful in doomsday scenarios, like if we were attacked by terrorists or if we were struck by some sort of catastrophe, but he went ahead and bought it anyway. He didn't find books on architecture. My mother bought a cookbook.

We shelled out about Php 1500 at the counter. It's nice because we've never spent that much money for books before. At least once in a while we spend money on things that matter.

Siguro nindut kaayo ang mga books the first few days the fair opened. Sayang kaayo last minute nami naka-adto.

What explains MV Doulos' popularity? Is it because it is such a historic ship? Or is it simply because we Filipinos are actually book lovers and it's just not that obvious? Hmmm... I think the latter is true... :)

On our way out the ship a black woman, one of the ship's crew, asked me if I was studying to be a doctor, because I was dressed in all white. I said I was studying to become a nurse, and she was surprised. "No kidding!" "But in Africa," she added, "we also have male nurses." I just smiled.
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