Placido Penitente

I am a weird organic life form. Not entirely perfect. I walk by the wall.

Interlude

Tv-with-static

I turned off the lights– granting darkness the permission to seize me in its arms, cradling me into a fortress of complete muteness. My soul rocked back and forth into the void, trying to pierce through the walls the universe bounded me as prisoner. My thoughts gathered round in a painful congestion of nothingness, only erupting in a multitude of colors to flash one word we all try to run away from:

Death.

The hour held on to me tightly, twisting me in bundle of nerves that spark endlessly towards that question—what happens to me when I die?

What is death?

Death as a final breath. Death as a limit. Death as a chatoyant of the stillness seeping into my veins, turning me into a solidified mass that makes up walls.

An eerie sound echoed in the hallows of my ears; as if a transmission of networks losing connection.

I tugged myself free from the chord and swam into a vacuum.

Death is static. A numbing sound of monotonous gray—continuously ringing to no end, for all eternity.

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My Practicum Experience

I think this reflection would be better supported if I anchored it from my dreams and goals. Now, I never really thought much about the dreams I have in terms of future careers; I consider myself a pretty chill person, only erupting when I reach the impasse of difficulties the last minute. But if we are to take this in a literal sense, I just woke up from a dream I had of me inside a classroom. I was going back and forth through different scenarios, making the images a little blurry inside my head.  I am no Sigmund Freud but I think it sends a message that being a teacher is something that I am still quite undecided of actually pursuing as a career. Quite ironic that I had already been sent off to be a practice teacher yet I cannot be fully assured if this is really what I want to become. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy teaching but I feel like there is still another calling for me that I have yet to respond to.

My taste varies a lot, encompassing such a wide range of subjects that making a decision of focusing on only one drives me into a craze. There are a lot of things I want to try out, possibilities I want to explore. For instance, after finishing this degree, I plan on pursuing an M.A. in Literature. Lately, I have been checking out available programs offered by the University of the Philippines and I found myself leaning towards Anglo-English Literature or Comparative Literature. Having heard discussions on topics concerning these two urge me to learn more about them, giving me the push to finally sail out into the sea of literature with them as the ship.

Admittedly, my experiences during my practicum made me realize that teaching in high school is not the life I’m cut out for. I do enjoy encouraging kids; it’s just not something I see myself doing for the rest of my life. Albeit that personal opinion, I still have learned a lot from my daily interactions with my students. I have came to realize that my students really did come from a wide array of backgrounds that it’s almost difficult to adjust myself to them—and that’s what I constantly work on doing everyday during my practicum: levelling. My students are my top priority so I must see fit that their needs as learners come first and I couldn’t do that when I perceive them as one and the same.

That said, I do confess that this was not the easiest thing to do because my students sometimes got on my nerves. There were times when my temper has gone so overboard that I viewed going to school as more of a jail sentence than a responsibility. It was incredibly difficult handling students who did not even want to be there. It was difficult convincing them to appreciate going to school; it was far more difficult convincing myself that I could direct them into that path. I have never been exposed to this sort of classroom setting prior to this experience so it was hard to test waters and such to arrive at the best way in approaching the whole classroom situation. I had been discouraged a lot of times.

But I realized that if I were to wear these lenses to look at the experience, I would have biased views. I should give it a chance because I wouldn’t really have a complete taste of it if I give up on it halfway. If I do not open myself up to the challenge, I wouldn’t develop from any of this. So, I stood straight even during desperate times—it took a lot of dedication and courage to survive that. Despite all of that, it was exceedingly rewarding.

Because of this experience, I do consider teaching in high school but probably only for a few years. Personally, I prefer a more substantial discourse when I teach, that is why I consider teaching in college. Of course, I am aware that it’s no walk in the park so I have prepared myself for wearing shoes that would endure even the fiery pits of hell. It’s just really something that I’ve fully decided over so I’m all up for the challenge.

Alongside my teaching career, it’s been a dream of mine to publish a book. I don’t mean a textbook in that regard but instead something that would add up to long queue of works in literature. It seems a little too idealistic if you think about it but I have already started thinking of a plotline overview—all that is left is to do is to actually start writing the draft. The thing that I find to be my biggest obstacle is the first few chapters because the story is set in either versions of the afterlife and I do not really know how to start it. Despite doubts, the dream is still burning aflame.

Dreams transcend the dimensions of reality we are enclosed with. I just hope I cross that boundary soon and this experience was a turning point to lead to that direction. I would be forever engraved with the epiphanies I had from it.

Death March

The stomps of forbidden steps echoing dry.
Vibrating up until the cloud’s tearless cry.
The air seems void, breathless and deaf.
Silent eyes switching from the right to the left.
A banner of white now blooded with red.
This is how soldiers march to their death.

January 3, 2017

Classes of of V.Mapa High School resumed today. As expected, I had a hard time waking up because I really couldn’t fathom the idea that I was back to the reality I dreaded for a long time, avoiding it as much as I could during the two weeks I was free from it. Just to be clear, I have no problems with the teaching itself, I just did not think I was ready to deal with responsibilities yet. I wanted to hit the gym because I did not go yesterday (because who the heck do I think I’m kidding? Discipline? Goals? Like, um, hullo. I feasted on an entire jar of chocolate roll-ups and instantly wrapped myself in the blanket of regret afterwards).

So yes, it took a lot of determination on my part to drag myself out of bed. But once I finally did, I was on caffeine overdose and I pedaled my way  to sweating for 45 minutes. Then blah blah blah normal routine. I even prepared a little speech to deliver in class for the new year, just to encourage the kids a little bit. I might have gone a little overboard with it for it consumed one freaking hour.

My adviser told me some pretty alarming news about her pregnancy so I told her I would handle all the classes myself in case she needed time to rest. Sooo, that being said, I taught four sections today- 14, 15, 11, and 8. Needless to say, the number they have as a title is the equivalent sum total of the number of students who showed  up today; props to my babies (Section 8) for having the most attendees on the first day. I was pretty sure that the reason some of these students decided to make it to class was because they needed their allowance. In case you think I’m terrible, they said so themselves.

Section 14 was alright. They were my first class and they behaved well. I could see some of them are hungover (from vacation and alcohol, you could see it from their eyes) so that made their energy level dropped to a minimum. Section 15, despite only having 15 students present there, was still a complete monster.  Section 11 was tolerable, there were just some issues I needed to deal with but nothing major to stress over.

Okay, at this point, I was really really absorbing the kind of energy they were radiating. Dull and sleepy faces everywhere that I think I wore the same expression myself. I couldn’t even bring myself to deliver the speech I rambled inside my head because I was afraid they’d actually start snoring. So, I think that kinda bubbled up inside me and I started feeling a little disheartened, almost to the point I wasn’t in any mood to tell them that it’s the new year and such extravaganza blah blah.

Section 8 kinda made me snap.  The first time I saw my students, they were all mocking me that the seatwork we’d have today would be an activity on New Year’s Resolutions and they said they were tired of it and they did not want to do it anymore so if they could please just go home instead. I tried breathing and told them that I did not prepare this activity myself and if I were granted the permission, I would change it up. They snorted. I lost it and marched to my desk and just sat there, staring at them. The silence that followed was so shocking that I felt a little emotional inside. This was the first time I heard them really really quiet. Like the only sound you could hear were the scratching of pen on paper, the crumbling of paper into fists, the uncomfortable twists of chairs. It sounded peaceful. I felt a bit guilty because I saw how guilty their faces were.

Anyway, I began a game of trying my best not to lose it again. After fifteen minutes of complete silence, I called their attention. I admitted that I was disappointed but it didn’t really matter so much now because they were doing what they were asked to do. I also told them that I do not really believe in resolutions but I do believe in change because you could easily set goals for yourselves whenever you want, New Year just seems to be a more fitting time to do it because it’s symbolic. They started loosening up a little by then, some even asked me questions that I tried my best to answer, some even encouraged me to smile a little.

Funny story, they started being so comfortable that Adrian raised his hand and told me that he was really happy because January is the birth month of his baby and he wanted to be really good to her. I was like, “Adrian, you’re too young to have a girlfriend.” He went all confused and said, “Girlfriend? Ma’am, I meant my kid.” I gave him a blank stare, waiting for the punchline until the actuality of it being a fact punched me instead. WHAT THE HELL. He’s freaking 14. He gave me a cheesy grin and went back to his work. That was a wut moment.

Anyways, I kinda lost it again before I dismissed them but that one student I kinda called on apologized. All is well.

I’m currently researching (plagiarizing) on Climate Change. It’s making my eyes drop.

See you.

A Eucharistic Sunday in the Life of a Non-Believer

 [DRAFT]

The sun blazed into my skin, leaving trails of burnt marks of reddening glow. I inched myself closer to the shade, only to be pushed forward again with the annoyance of how much time I was wasting. I should be at home instead; binge-watching shows yet this pathetic excuse of a morning plan that also goes in the name of waiting on my mom to finish with her Christian duties of going to the mass that made me yielded into staying outside. In my defense, I figured if I were to come inside the threshold of the God I long ago rejected, my skin would not only burn, it would also burst into a mountain of granite dust. We don’t want that in the middle of the opening of the church, especially with how much people were rushing inside to receive the blessings of their aforementioned God. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday.

I checked my watch, the small hand urgently pointed to the dot before 9, the bigger hand mockingly shaking towards 3. 9 freaking 15 in the morning and it felt like I was inside a sauna and a tanning cubicle combined. Hell in front of a holy place, unbelievable. What I did believe in was that I had forty-five minutes before I combust into rage so I was in a desperate need of a change of scenery. Abandoning my spot, I made steady yet slow strides out of the gates, directly meeting with a trail of vendors.

Ate, sampaguita?,” a child of around ten years urged a bundle of flowers into my face. I cringed at the smell of strong fragrance. It smelled like the flowers you offer to the dead.

I shook my head, turning left. To my surprise, I was face to face to a lady wearing black.

“Come, come. My cards will tell you what lies ahead,” she called to me, pushing the seat in front of her desk filled with taro cards.

I felt a shiver ran down my spine, remembering a horror movie with how those cards played a significant role on the characters’ deaths. I took a sharp turn, walking forward until I saw a cart filled with weird materials and apparatuses that I did not know existed here in the city.

“Have you got any enemies,” a voice cracked at me, the owner turning his accusing gaze into my eyes. “One whiff of these leaves and you’d rid of her forever.”  His eyebrows did a little dance.

Shuddering, I walked away.

The sweat on my forehead reached my eyes, stinging them and making my visions blurry. I walked aimlessly everywhere, seeing people go on with their business. Family walking to places in even movements, a complete phalanx formation. Storeowners not even popping their heads out to urge customers in. The streets silent with minimal screeches of wheels on roads.

I kept dragging my feet until I saw another shed. With my feet aching, I rested under the shade. Leaning back, I fanned myself, trying to breathe. The humidity and the heat almost filled my brain with suffocation that I was having a hard time inhaling.

“Is this seat taken,” a broken voice lifted me back to reality. A figure towered over me, showering me with a shadow. He took my silence as permission to sit next to me.

With the available light from the sun, I studied his face cautiously. His hair was damp, clinging close to his scalp that he ran a hand over, the sweat collecting on his palm. Eyebrows mashed together, heavy breathing from his nose and mouth in synch. I couldn’t get a whole view of his eyes for he was squinting as if flinching in pain.

“Jogging under this heat,” he hissed under his breath, “is the stupidest thing to ever do.”

I held back a snort, a little surprised that he’d start a conversation. “You think? Try ‘waiting for your mom while she’s at church.’”

He finally dropped a glance at me, giving me a set of wide brown eyes.  “That’s strange, not stupid. Why aren’t you with her?”

I shrugged, “I’m not a church person, I guess.”

“Too many people?”

“Not really. I just am not.”

A moment of silence took a leap, crashing in the space between us. Heavy and asking for attention. I swallowed the awkwardness away.

“A reading from the book of Matthew,” he said after five uncomfortable minutes. “My name is Matt.”

I nodded, scratching my forehead, not knowing what to say and coming up with: “Hi.”

His lips lifted into a smile, “Glory to you, oh Lord?”

“May you deliver us from evil and vanity.”

He shrugged, “I wouldn’t call you vain. You won’t even tell me your name.”

“Why should I tell you my name,” I snapped, shocking even myself with my sudden annoyance. I didn’t really appreciate small talk.

“Okay. Grumpy it is. Hi, Grumpy,” he took out a box of cigarettes from his pocket and popped one onto his mouth. His teeth chewing slightly at the end, he turned to the sky and said, “Thanks be to God.”

He snapped the lighter with his thumb, flicking a spark on the other end of the cigarette.

“You know,” I began, looking at how he whiffed at it, “smoking after a jog under this heat is the stupidest thing you can ever do.”

“Oh yeah?” he said, letting the thing dangle from his smirk. “Want one?”

I took a cigarette from the pack.

Inhaling it in, and exhaling with a cough.

“It’s mint,” he told me, leaning back on the chair more comfortably.

“Amen to that,” I replied, repeating the process.

He leaned back so comfortably that his foot slipped and he lost his balance. Staggering forward, he put all his weight to fall on his knees.

“Well, that’s very convenient,” I commented, giggles escaping. “You pray after a communion.”

His face burnt redder than the sun, “This is not even close to the body of Christ.”

“But you’re a disciple of it, considering how much you keep on your pocket.”

He shrugged, “True. It kills the body and poisons the blood.”

I lifted an eyebrow, “Well, if that’s the body of your Christ, what’s the blood that you worship?”

“Quite a holy one. San Miguel Pale Pilsen. It makes the blood pump,” he grinned, showing all his pearly white teeth.

 I laughed, “May yourself make peace with those chemicals.”

“Peace be upon you, too.” His expression changed into alarm that he checked his watch, the reflection from the sun shining on his face.

“What time is it,” I asked him.

“It’s almost ten.”

“Oh, it is?”

“Yeah. I need to be somewhere by ten,” he informed me, a bit of an apology in his voice and eyes.

“Well, the mass will be over soon. I should also be meeting with my mom by ten.”

“Oh, right.”

Another silence.

“Well,” he offered his hand, “It was nice to meet you.”

I grasped the hand in mine, feeling how tight my grip is closing in when I felt it cold. “Yes, nice to meet you, too.”

Pulling our hands away, he laughed. “I didn’t even get your name but okay.”

“Yeah, go on now. And prosper.”

“Live long and prosper, Grumpy,” he nodded back, lifting his body off the bench. “I’ll see you around.”

“Right,” I said under my breath, watching his back as he walked away.

The heat enveloped me again and I took a powerful puff at the end of my cigarette.

I need to do a lot of editing on this. This took a really terrible turn. But here’s the gist of what I wanted to do with the idea, at least. But ugh, it’s meh.

January 2, 2017

Hi.

It’s been a while since we last talked. Don’t you think it’s kinda funny how we often start with conversations with recalling how much time has elapsed between the then and the now? Anyway, nothing much has changed with me. I’m still going through the same old things everyday, maybe just with a different perspective. Like I was seeing all blue before; now I’m seeing red; sometimes violet because they mix? I also haven’t been doing that much writing lately (can’t you tell from how much my words seem to be all mechanical tap sounds from my keyboard and not my actual voice because for some reason, my hands leave imprints on the keys really awkwardly, as if I’m talking to somebody I used to be more comfortable with before but it ended up whooshing into the state of being strangers yet it seems so impolite to not post updates with how things are with myself because of the expectant raise of eyebrow for me to keep going and I cannot make myself stop as well anyway). Okay, breathe.

What a huge block of texts to start this talk with. Awesome.

Happy New Year, by the way. It’s 2017. I’m claiming it to be a good year because my favourite number is 17. There are a lot to expect—final demo teaching, graduation, job applications, LET review, the actual LET, work, more future plans. I have no idea how much time I’d have for myself to spend on just relaxing and stuff. It seems already jam-packed with things to do.

But since my current schedule isn’t as hectic as I expected, I just used my time to transport myself to different folds of reality in forms of fiction. Also, do you ever get the feeling that you have too much time in your hands yet you feel like you’re going to regret not using it to do more productive things (than being on bed and reading?) But yeah, since I’m me and I don’t really care much about how I make the most of my free time (sue me, it’s called “free” time for god’s sake, why do I need to worry about anything), I read “The Metamorphosis”, a book long ago recommended by my friend Vhea. She loved it so much that she kept rambling about it whenever the topic of books is opened up. It was very weird. Especially how Gregor sort of succumbed to accepting things as they already were, not even letting the “morphing into a fully different creature than he is” sink in, and just offering himself to the misfortune of the universe. He seemed to be totally oblivious to the fact that he just turned into a fucking vermin, and just went on with his thoughts as if he needed to do his work done, catch up with the morning train, he’s late oh so late and he cannot afford being fired. What the hell. And his family not even giving a second thought about how he is, just worrying about how they’d go on with their lives now that their only source of income is now hidden inside a room they do not even care to visit. It’s pathetic. I cried multiple times.

So yeah. Now, I’m going to read “How to Use your Enemies” a.k.a. How to Use People to Your Advantage.

Oh, and I’m going to the gym today. Time to make myself believe I’m disciplined enough to focus on goals.

See you.

Rundown

Hello, everyone! *waves from the other side of the screen*

I didn’t do anything but read Shakespeare today. You know how that goes, I spent at least a few minutes trying to decipher lines. Honestly, people. Some of the verses seemed like cryptic messages needed to be decoded. But the word play is still brilliant, I absolutely loved it. Only problem I’m having is trying to grasp the idea of how can someone fall in love with someone after a few minutes of being aware of each other’s existence. Get this: Romeo was madly in love with Rosaline just a few verses away from his meeting with Juliet and afterwards he was like, “Rosaline who?” But the writing— OH MY ACTUAL GOD, THE WRITING! It is beautiful so it makes up for every flawed plot holes. And I don’t think Shakespeare actually meant for this story to be viewed as a love story, IT IS A TRAGEDY. It’s supposed to be teaching us a lesson that *that* kind of love ends in death.

Okay, kidding aside. I haven’t been writing a lot here lately. Blame life. Blame sleep. Sleep is life. So, yep. I decided to do a list of all things that had happened.

  • October 7, 2016

I went to school to submit requirements. That was fun. Not. I spent some time computing my grades and I found out that my general average could actually be a candidate for Latin Honors. Which means my parents are going to be so proud of me that they’re going to pressure me more. Fun.

So to reward myself of my misery, I had a mini adventure. I went to a mall with Ate Jonah with the plan of looking for umbrellas because the current one that I’m using has little holes on them so that defeats the purpose of actually being an umbrella. We didn’t find any. She had to go home early that day so I was left on my own wandering around Manila.

I went to a new bookstore that I was planning on visiting since the first time I saw it (which was around five years ago lol). They have some really great collection. I might return there sometimes with mama. She said she needed to get some books, too sooo yay.

Anyway, that was a tiring day. Because I spent too much of my money on books (I didn’t bring enough with me to school because I thought I’d only be there for a few hours) that I felt guilty spending anymore. So, I walked home! That was an experience haha. I needed to walk as fast as I could because you never could really trust Manila.

So it was no surprise that when I got home, I immediately slept. And I had the weirdest dream: It started with me in an art gallery (of all places), I was taking pictures of the art pieces that I liked until I started posing them on Instagram. Then the dream shifted to me being on the actual Instagram. The app! Another shift and then I was on my bed, with it shoved against the wall by the window. The view outside was rather the same view as the one I actually have but just… wider, really spacious– I could look as far as I could and I could see only the sky. No buildings or anything, just the endless distance of nothing but purple sky. Yes, the sky was purple. While looking out, I started singing “Part of Your World” from the Little Mermaid. PEOPLE, I don’t even know its lyrics yet I was inventing some of my own while singing.

And then I woke up. The first thing I did? Of course, you guessed it! I listened to that song. And browsed through more of Disney songs until I ended up watching the entire movie of Disney’s Hercules (fave Disney move). That was relaxing. I had lots of fun! I also spent the remaining hours of the day reading Sophie’s World that I immediately finished.

  • October 8, 2016

My mom woke me up, almost dragged me out of bed. She was asking me to accompany her to check out the new superstore (yes, super) nearby. Like, it’s really near, people. And super. It has almost everything (by everything, I meant food). So I had to get up and ate a little breakfast because she was yelling for me to hurry up.

Imagine my growling stomach when I got there. I almost could eat a truck. Also, the place was massive! I didn’t have enough energy to go roaming around, not to mention their pushcarts were huge enough for me to fit into. But that turned out to be quite all right because when we did get to the actual grocery store (passed through the torturous food stalls calling out my grumbling stomach to calm down), every aisle had a free sample. I might have tried out every free sample they had haha. HEY, I WAS HUNGRY. And there was this stall with banana chips. I got at least three of those samples (don’t judge me) but the lady didn’t mind so much because mama bought ELEVEN freaking jars of banana chips. Guys, ELEVEN. It looked like we were going to put up a  banana chips business or something. And one jar was the size of my head.

Anyways, yep. We didn’t end up buying a lot of things because we weren’t really there to shop but just to check out what they have and all that. Mama just got impulsive with those chips. I claimed territory on one of them when we got home and guys, don’t judge me again, but I might have eaten half of them already coz lalala.

So, that was all I did. Not that exciting to read at all. But I had fun, nonetheless. I think I’d end this now before I make you people fall asleep haha.

Toodles~

October 4, 2016

Hello, peeps!

I might have transformed myself into a variety of versions today. I guess that’s what college does? Force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Anywayssss.

I had an exam today. That I did not study for. Which proved to be the best choice because it was the weirdest possible wtf-is-this-even-are-you-serious-I-did-not-spend-one-entire-semester-for-this-bs exam. You see, we have this subject called Translation and Editing of Texts. Throughout the term, we discussed all about tips and whatnot regarding how one can become a translator; mostly even accompanied by activities we are asked to do translations (LIKE THAT CURSED NOVEL I TRANSLATED *triggered* Okay, Cy, take a chill pill *eats biscuits* There, better) and so it was almost an insult that we were given this for our finals.

Our professor for this class is Ma’am M. Good ol’ Ma’am M. Of course, our meetings with her wouldn’t be complete without a few rants- this time about our class. She complained about how we were taking her for granted blah blah blah. Bottom line, she didn’t want to handle us next semester. Great. Too great. That leaves us two choices: either we’re going to be handed to Dr. H (I do not want to be turned into a Christian, thanks but no thanks [she gives us Bible verses every meeting and consumes an hour of discussion of that verse]) or Dr. G (she’s old, really old). So, help me, God. Or Nature. Or me. Probably the only person who can help me is myself. So, Cyrene, help me.

Okay, back to that exam. Seriously, Ma’am M. How do you expect us to take you seriously if our finals for this course we had with you is this: 1) Write down 5 original jokes in English and translate it into Tagalog. Provide analysis; 2) Write down 5 original jokes in Tagalog and translate it into English. Provide analysis.

What the actual fudge.

You can imagine the horror that rippled through the class. Like, wut. JOKES? Is this an actual joke? But she looked serious about it, so we had no choice but to comply. I stared at the paper for at least five minutes before I came up with the idea to put a bracket on numbers 1 to 5 and write “Cyrene Garcia. Analysis: I’m a joke. This is a joke. Hahaha.”

But I cannot afford to fail, peeps. I cannot. Soooo. I tried thinking of jokes to translate. I failed myself, but not my class. I’ll share with you two of the jokes I wrote. Yes, they’re offensive to human kind:

  1. English → Tagalog

English

Emcee: Any Chinese people in the house tonight?

Audience: Wooooh!

Emcee: Wow. Look at them yell out their last name.

Tagalog

Emcee: May mga Instik po ba tayong bisita ngayon?

Manonood: Wooooh!

Emcee: Grabe! Ipinagmamalaki talaga nila apelyido nila

ANALYSIS:

Coz I’m cool like that.

2.  Tagalog→ English

I used a lot of the jokes my dad told us when we’re eating dinner so you could say this was inspired by my good old man.Also, I could make an entire book out of dad jokes.

Tagalog

Dad: Ano ulam naten ngayon?

Mama: Sopas.

Dad: Ah, so mabilis pala kainin.

Mama: Bakit naman?

Dad: Sopas.

English

(Sopas doesn’t have a direct translation in English so I had to change some words here to retain the context of the joke.)

Dad: What’s for dinner?

Mama: Peking Duck.

Dad: Ah, so I’d eat it quickly.

Mama: And why is that?

Dad: It went, “quick quick”.

ANALYSIS:

GOD, KILL ME.

So, yep. I didn’t even laugh writing those jokes. The fact that Kuya James wouldn’t fit in his chair and was begging to change seats with me made me laugh out loud more. Because our exam area was at a preschool classroom because our actual assigned room was too convenient for exam administrations. But downside of the preschool place, chairs there were of course, designed for kids the age of five. Kuya James is the size of two full-grown men. Also, I ate with friends after the exam. Ate more than I should but I needed to refuel, people!

Anyways. That was my day at school.

I also went pirate mode when I got home. That made me so seasick that I fell into a deep sleep.

Toodles~

 

October 3, 2016

Hi. Hello. Sup.

Just updating this thing before it sinks deep into the nothingness quicksand. I have nothing to talk to you about but I’m going to force myself, anyway. Because that’s what I do.

Okay. Let’s just make this short and pray it makes sense. Which I’m sensing it probably won’t and would rush towards lalaland.

Since I’ve mentioned about how quickly things are racing up, the semester is almost over! One week of it left. So to celebrate said occasion, I would like to make a toast on the things I have accomplished in so far as my senior year of college is concerned:

  1. I can’t think of anything.

So charming. So fulfilling.

Voice One: How impressive, Cyrene. That would surely help your future application forms. Fill them up with “Screw the system”. They’d definitely hire you.

Voice Two: At least they’d know she’s more than a mindless automaton.

Voice One: Yes. That proves her point. At least they’d also know she’s actually a mindless automaton sent to destroy the enter enterprise.

Voice Two: Shut up.

Voice One: We’re voices in her head, we can’t shut up. You can’t shut down thoughts.

Voice Two: But you can move them in another direction. Say, I’m really hungry.

Voice One: Ooooohhhh. I wonder what mama is making for dinner.

Voice Two: I hope it’s edible.

Voice One: I hope you’re inaudible.

Voice Two: Shut up.

I hope both of them shut up because I’m really trying my best to dig through the things worth telling you about.

Oh, oh, oh. Righhht.

  1. Humanities class happened. It led me to a world of smiles, laughter, invisible tears, perspiration, bad music taste, too many art pieces to look at, not enough humanity, too much requirements, and a whole lot of fun.
  2. I read The Fountainhead. It doesn’t have a fountainhead nor a head. But it has Howard Roark and I think he’s more than enough to cover up for the weird title.
  3. Word Attack happened. After four years in college, this was the first “club” I joined. The idea is to attack people with words, but hopefully not to harm them. But psssshhhh. It’s 2016, we’ve evolved into a species with the special skill of being easily triggered and offended.
  4. I use Tagalog on a daily basis, it’s the language I’m most comfortable speaking. But I came to a realization that there is nothing more cringe-worthy (nothing at all) than reading an entire novel written purely with it as a medium. Oorrr I just really had a traumatic experience with translating it to English. Never again, Victor and Alma–I hereby declare your banishment to lalaland
  5. THESIS DEFENSE HAPPENED. Gladly enough, I didn’t speak in Newspeak. Oh yeah! *pumps fist in the air*

So, there you have it. Snippets from things I did this semester. I hope I live through the next one.

Peace out, peeps.

I almost puked out paintings

Okay. I just gotta say that I’m eternally grateful to my professor for assigning us to visit museums. I have lessened my peasant status and actually made myself a little literate and cultured. So, presented below are the artworks I labeled as my favorites (I hate ranking but meh, what could I do?) with short descriptions:

1. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES

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Artist’s Table, Jaime de Guzman

Walking through the long lines of paintings, this particular one caught my attention and made me stare more than I intended to—I didn’t know whether it was the style or the theme. Blotchy strokes made the images swim before my eyes, painting my own imagination with two words: carpe diem and memento mori. It is supposedly an artist’s table—probably owned by a creator seizing the opportunity to create worlds to conquer minds; but the skull centers everything else, signifying the idea that all creative things would eventually fade away—maybe that is why the images looks a little blurred.

2. UP VARGAS MUSEUM

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The Penitent, Felix Hidalgo

Hidden beneath the shadows, the man tries to call out to someone who may or may not listen. His eyes are blank, his mouth silent, his face suffering in silent agony. With an almost blank expression, he pleads. This painting reminded me so much of Placido Penitente from El Filibusterismo. When one has experienced the lowest of all lows, one grows numb. It’d probably take a thing too vulgar to even shake him. But until then, he succumbs to silence; he succumbs to suffering.                         

3. NCCA GALLERY

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Camo, Edgar Talusan Fernandez

On the 21st of September, the NCCA Gallery held an exhibit to commemorate the Proclamation of Martial Law. Featured in the exhibit are nightmarish visions of the past to haunt viewers of today’s era. This particular piece held my gaze amongst the other ones because I have recently been reading too much of George Orwell’s 1984. There are too many things going on in this picture—one is the TV screen with the artificial smile (forced control), second is the invisible rifle (hidden agenda), third is the Hawaiian shirt with the badges (peaceful camouflage), and fourth is the metal hand (power). One cannot automatically interpret this as a form of atrocity; but the mix of all those four elements begs to argue.

4. AYALA MUSEUM:

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Icaro, Fernando Zobel

Aside from trying too hard to feel like a Victoria Secret Model in this photo, the wings behind me reminded me of Icarus. They signify a high flight, only to result in a fatal fall. The strokes are all in black, with shadows to illuminate edges—making it look as if the wings are plummeting to the ground. Interestingly enough, they also seem to be melting with the way the light catches uneven spots. Also, forget Victoria Secret Model, I’d prefer to look like Batman here.

5. ATENEO ART GALLERY

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Myayy Gdodd Svavae ththhte Filliiie II, Gerecho Iniel Cruz

Ateneo Art Gallery showcased 14 sections of notes on Figuring Filipino Utopia. The last section, “Utopia After Utopia: Filipino Futures” completes the collection, presenting an almost radical view on the past paving ways to perpetuate new beginnings. This particular piece is re-creation of Hidalgo’s classic work Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho in a pixelated puzzle. I think it represents how technology renders the way we view utopia, offering ourselves to the populace.

Okay, to sum up the experience: I almost puked out paintings.

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