I Wait for Nobody

A couple of days ago, my mother and I were visiting Churches as a part of Christian tradition. I’m a Buddhist so I didn’t really get into it. We finally took a break in a McDonald’s near one of the churches.

From out of nowhere, my mother told me, “If you go abroad, I might transfer to Cebu.”

I thought to myself, “Okay. I honestly could care less since you’re inheriting grandfather’s land and property anyways.”

But then she followed up with, “You shouldn’t go right away. Maybe it’s not God’s plan that you should go right away. We have to fix some things.”

That pissed me off so much. I wanted to tell her, “I will never wait for you.” But instead, I said, “No. I’m not waiting anymore. I’ve already sent 54 applications just for yesterday.”

***

These sort of things pisses me off so much. I will never wait for ANYONE. I will leave people behind for my chance to achieve my dream. No one will hold me back. When my mother told me to stay behind, I suddenly felt this anchor around my neck. What kind of mother stops their children from progressing in life?

This isn’t the first time she’s stopped me from going overseas. The first time was during my freshman year at DLSU. I was supposed to migrate to Australia with my mother’s friends. I would study medicine and be a nurse. That was the plan until my mother stopped me from going. The second time was when a friend of mine invited me to study Chinese with her in China for a year while we taught English. Again, my mother stopped me from going.

I had an inkling that I was alone in this venture to Japan, and my mother’s words just set that idea in stone. She has lifted that cloud of doubt. I am alone in this.

*Featured image from http://www.us-japan.org/resources/usjapanlinks/education/

Plans for April 2 – 6

It’s the season for college entrance exam review, and the company has given us schedules for conducting classes. I have to familiarise myself with the materials they’ve given me since the company does update them every year. But since I don’t start until next week, I’m going to focus on getting my final requirements for my job applications as an EFL Teacher overseas.

One thing I don’t have is a full body photo, so I’ll definitely drop by Kodak and have my picture taken: full suit and tie. When I get a copy of it, I can sign up for jobs through the company I where I trained for the TEFL.

Then, I have to get the Professional Civil Servant ID that I’ve been waiting for since 2015. After that, I’ll drop by Ateneo to get requirements for transferring there. Once I get the requirements, I’ll have to go to La Salle, get my alumni card (which I lost for the third time) and get other requirements for transferring universities.

I’ll also keep practising my Nihongo. By the end of the week, I should be able to read all the hiragana characters. I’m not gonna push myself too fast to learn this on my own, but I still need to be consistent.

Hopefully, I can fulfil all my goals for this week and not have to carry them over next week.

What are you looking forward to this week? Tell me in the comment section below!

The Almost Dropout

This essay is inspired by The Learning Network’s prompt Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? and the Opinion piece by Elisabeth Egan titled Stop Asking About My Kid’s College Plans.


I’m pretty sure I posted about my homeschool on my blog some years back, but just in case no one can find that post (I certainly can’t), I’ll talk about it again.

Egan talks about her and her daughter’s stress from graduating high school and going to college. One major difference between Egan’s experience and mine is that kids in America are pushed to leave home after high school. The major problem as Egan explains:

Both conversations — college and driving — are stand-ins for the real subject that’s keeping us up at night: Our kids are leaving home in a year. No more books all over the table, no more late-night cups of tea. I don’t want to spend our remaining time obsessing about where my daughter is going to college. Except for the tuition (deep breath), the destination is beyond my control.

Most Filipino families have their kids live with them probably until the kids get married or if they go work overseas (which is what I’m hoping for). There’s only one reason why Filipinos stay with their parents: salaries are too low. I don’t want to talk about low salaries since that would be another essay. I’m just explaining why kids don’t leave their parents after high school.

In my case, my high school experience was completely different. For one thing, I was in a homeschooling program. I still reported to a school. The only difference is that I was handed piles of modules and had to teach myself the lessons then take the tests in school. The other thing is that my family was in shambles (arguably it still is), so I didn’t care much about my studies. I didn’t have much support coming from my parents especially my father. No emotional support. My mother’s support is lacking as always. I mean, I’ve always wanted my family to be better, but I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t care about anything. I felt numb. Thinking about it now, I was depressed. My parents did this to me.

I was so close to dropping out and just calling it quits, permanently. There was nothing that could have inspired me to push forward. Then one day, it came. I was handed the large green envelope from De La Salle University-Manila. I got in a university. Seeing that envelope was like a spotlight washing out the darkness that shrouded over me.

I immediately made a tally of the subjects that I haven’t finished: 2 subjects from my junior year and all subjects in my senior year. I basically had to compress my entire senior year in four months. Yes, that includes P.E. and thesis. That was one of the most stressful times in my life.

I got into DLSU, and I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. O! How I was wrong! I was very wrong.

What Is It like to Grow up in the Philippines?

Before you get into this entry, let me eradicate your expectation. This isn’t some puff piece of how I felt growing up here in the Philippines (if you really want to read something like that, you can read one of my entries). This is about what it’s like growing up under President Duterte. When I came up with this idea, I didn’t want this to become a political piece. I also don’t want to use theories and ideas from Political Science since this is not what this site is for. Of course, I won’t spurt out baseless ideas without facts.

This essay was inspired by The Learning Network’s prompt: Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? There is also an Opinion piece written by David Brooks titled A Generation Emerging From the Wreckage. You should give that a read as well since that helped me frame my mind for this entry. And if you don’t know about President Duterte, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published The Duterte Administration: Year in Review. It’s not a complete picture, but it’s a great place to start.


All things I say are purely my opinions and my observations, but I will never make assumptions based on nothing. So to answer the title, it’s very frustrating and extremely disappointing to be growing up in this regime. When people vote for a person, they place trust in that person and the institution to lift people’s standard of living (in my personal opinion, the standard of living is what all governments of the world should focus on improving). However, I don’t see that happening with Duterte’s administration. When he was still running for president, I was actually still hopeful of the change he promised. He’s definitely known for wielding an iron fist, but I thought that discipline could be a good wakeup call for all politicians. In fact, I even wrote a paper on it.

One of the earliest blunders of Duterte was the campaign of War On Drugs (read the latest article* from the Inquirer and Rappler). This campaign was supposed to “clean” the Philippines of drugs, but it has set a veil of fear over the population. No one knows who’s going to die next. It could be someone we know like a friend or a neighbour. Small-time drug dealers and unfortunate innocents get shot without prejudice, yet alleged big game drug lords are getting some form of special treatment (read the articles from Inquirer, CNN Philippines, and Rappler).

So there’s a state of fear, anger, uncertainty, mistrust, and disappointment. But I think what’s most frustrating is that people are now afraid to speak out since there’s a possibility of being shot. Last year, Ateneo de Manila University had a rally outside the campus calling to stop the extrajudicial killing, but they were met with a police car with no license plate (read the article on The Guidon and The Inquirer).

One paragraph of Brooks’ essay actually does ring true to the young generation of the Philippines:

The students spent a lot of time debating how you organize an effective movement. One pointed out that today’s successful movements, like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, don’t have famous figureheads or centralized structures. Some students embraced these dispersed, ground-up and spontaneous organizations. If they flame out after a few months, so what? They did their job. Others thought that, no, social movements have to grow institutional structures if they are going to last, and they have to get into politics if they are going to produce any serious change.

In my previous post, I talked about why I had low political participation, but I guess I forgot to mention the dangerous environment where free speech could be seen as a weapon against the government. But there are young individuals like Sarah Elago who has gotten into politics, and I can’t wait to see what kind of change she can bring. I guess I should add ‘being hopeful’ as one of the answers to my main question.

It’s Samme!

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Let's go fam!

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Around a year ago in a cafe near where I lived, there came a group of girls whom I never saw before. This was new to me since I pretty much knew everyone at the cafe. They were a lot of them at first, but as graduation came and went, they trickled down to just three: Samme (the one in stripes above), Lans (the one not in stripes above), and Drei (the one that’s not in the picture above). We four plus two other guys, Renz and Jules, got close at the cafe. We’d often share stories and dreams about the future.

But ever since the cafe went on hiatus, I don’t get to see them that often. So when Samme told us to go watch her perform with I-SA at their concert, I couldn’t say no.

Lans and I agreed to meet at SM Megamall at 5PM on the day of the concert. I, being the always-early-never-late-I-hate-Filipino-time kind of person that I am, got there at 3:30PM. I immediately regretted it because I forgot how much I hated SM malls. These malls are always crowded, and I hate to say it, but I also hate the crowd. So I found myself a nice little spot at Chelsea Kitchen that was away from the people and worked on finishing Hokkaido Part 3 through the WordPress app on my phone.

Lans soon arrived, and we probably talked a good 20 minutes about Korean boys! After a while, we got Samme a red velvet cupcake from Cupcakes by Sonja as a gift for doing a good job on the concert (she loved the cupcake) and left for UA&P. Lans talked about how she was so hot as Romeo at her play, and schoolgirls were taking photos of her. Then we bumped into Samme’s sister and mother along the way and almost got run over by some cars (in my defence, there wasn’t any indication whatsoever that the lights were about to change). When we got to the main gate, the guards told us that the concert was at the back of the campus, so we had to walk another 10 minutes. Samme greeted us at the lobby, and Lans got to work on her makeup while I munched down on some Korean chips and yoghurt ice cream.

Samme’s sister and mother soon arrived and we all entered the theatre. We watched a good 20 minutes of advertisements till will decided to buy some food at the Korean grocery. We came back, and the show was already starting.

It’s been a while since I watched a performance on stage, and I was really glad that I did come to see it. The former president of I-SA was an amazing dancer, especially during her solo performances. The entire production was pretty good: good use of lights, of video, of music etc. What I didn’t expect was that there would be a story to their entire production. If I remember correctly, it was about chasing something/someone you want and to not be afraid of doing it. There were different storylines with different conflicts and resolutions.

But what really caught my eye was the happiness I could feel on that stage. They loved dancing on stage, and it made me miss my musical theatre days. It reminded me of the lights shining on my face, the floorboards on my feet, the characters we took in, and strangely the smell of the air. That was a nice life that I had, but loving the one I have now is better than reminiscing my glory days. It great to see young souls shine so bright. I love it!

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