Stories

The Hell Within

Communication in English II | Final Reflection Paper
Ateneo De Manila University
2nd Semester, S.Y. 2010-2011
My deepest thanks to Mr. Ryan Recabar for giving us this assignment.

I know that my entry here in Ateneo is hard-earned not only by me but also, most especially, by my parents. So do my entry in the dorm. The tuition and dorm fees are expensive – very expensive – and my parents need to work very hard to pay for it. My dad is a government agent who earns just enough for us without any extra for luxury. My mom used to work at an insurance company but is now stocked at home. I know…I know that studying here very well live to their saying “igagapang lang namin ang pag-aaral mo.”

Ever since I arrived in Cervini (the name of my dorm here in Ateneo), I expected things won’t turn out good. I knew I won’t live normally as I used to do in the province or even just live “okay” like during out campus seminars and trainings in high school. I was right eventually. Or I was wrong. I expected less.

My life in Cervini is worse than I’ve prepared for. My life in Cervini is a burning furnace. Most people here, sadly, are insensitive and air-heads and very few are disciplined. I know for a fact that I’m surrounded by rich kids who each have five personal maids at home. I also know that they’re educated people. They can’t enter Ateneo if they were not academically excellent after all. But majority of these “educated” and rich people have never experienced the bitter side of life. They’ve never experienced to be poor. They’re self-centered and have everything they want, which is evident with their imported Lacostes, pricey iPhones and multiple Nikes. They all have somebody to clean their rooms, to wash their dishes, and even to fix their beds in the morning.

As a result, Cervini is as dirty as a dump site. Plastics here, Styrofoam there. McDonald’s on one bed, KFC on another.  Not only that. “Battle ships” are always floating in toilet bowls every now and then. Do these people use their yaya(s) even just to flush their wastes? A huge number of people here also don’t know when to zip their mouths and be quiet. One great example is my roommate (who goes by an annoying name that starts with E) who is terribly noisy all the time. He’s selfish, doing whatever he wants even if I, or my other roommates, am studying, sleeping or simply wants silence. He plays DotA (a popular computer game) nonstop with his speakers and mouth in full blast. He has a dirty mouth. Yes, dirty – bad words come and go every five seconds.

One day, I got really pissed with E and plotted a way of pissing and annoying him back. I started to get food from him sometime during the middle of first semester. It lasted for weeks until one of my roommates, who I once caught also getting food from E, reported me to him. I can’t blame myself. You might have done something graver.

That doesn‘t apply to E alone. Almost everyone in this God-forsaken dorm is like that. They just enter our room without knocking and bang the door in full force. They play the guitar at 2 am while I’m sleeping. They shout, they run, they do everything they want at any time without even thinking of others. That’s why I sometimes regret my decision in going to Ateneo even if this university is the dream school of my life. I sometimes tell myself “What if I entered UP instead? At least people there aren’t that ‘rich.’ At least people there are of the same status in life as me.

I miss my old school, my high school and grade school. People there aren’t rich but have concern for each other. People are noisy and fun, but they know when to make noise and not. Not everyone is smart, not everybody can pay tuition but everyone helps each other; is sensitive to the needs of others; is simple; and knows how to flush the toilet.

There are hardly any perceptive people in Cervini. Most of them I can count with one hand. I guess I’m still lucky to have one of them as my roommate despite the series of very unlucky and uncomfortable events that have haunted me for the nine months of stay in the dormitory. Marvin, though not as neat with his things as anyone would want him to be, is the quiet type and the most respectful I could think of in the dorm. I sometimes see myself in him when he just walks out of our room whenever dormers flock in and laugh and shout boisterously instead of arguing with and shouting at them back. He knows when to be funny and when to be serious unlike others who only know “fun.” He even offers me help in some subjects – which is way different from the inconsiderate vast majority of dormers.

Why am I saying all this?

Well, I needed to pay dorm reservation for next school year’s first semester last March 7 due to the scarcity of a place to stay in Katipunan. Yes, I’ll be staying here again for who-knows-how-long. I’ll be in hell again. I tried to plead to my mom and ask if we could look for places once more. But I have really nowhere else to stay. The condominium they’ve been paying for some years now isn’t done yet. What can I do? Nothing. It’s sad to think that my life next school year would be sad again. I could only pray and wish to God that a miracle would happen.

Sometimes, I just wished I never got accepted in this dorm during my freshman application. Sometimes I wish they just kick me out. Sometimes I just want to go to a hotel and stay there. Most of the time, I want to go home.

Yet, Cervini may have been really meant for me. After all, it is just less than hundred steps before my first class. After all, it offers the luxury of waking up at 6:55 in the morning and still not be late for a 7:30 am Chemistry session. Maybe, I’m just too sensitive. Maybe, I’m just used to the tranquility of Bulacan. Or maybe not, too.

I never want to stay in this dorm again but if my parents think it would be for my own good and safety, even if it’s against my will, then I guess I just have to accept and live life. I don’t want to do my projects and assignments in this dorm again but if it is God’s will, even if it’s against my longing for home, then I guess I just have to follow.

Life isn’t easy after all.

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~ This article has been inspired by one of my posts in Daily Scribbles of the same title. You may have observed a switch in topics from the draft and the final paper.

~ On March 13, I and my parents found a place in Katipunan for me to stay at. Well, I won’t be staying in the dorm anymore. No more hell. God is really great.

Babae, Magkano ka? – Learnings from Victory

This is my first blog.. isang writer na napilitan lang para sa may-ari ng blog cite na toh.. Hope you’ll like this readers..

Well, gusto ko mag-usap tayo about sa value moh.. Tama.. Un ang question.. Magkano ka?..

Once I’ve heard a story.. Sabi dun sa chismiss.. There’s a guy who asked a girl to be with him for a night..

“miss.. Would you spent a night with me..? As a return.. I’ll give you a million peso..”

alam moh sinagot nung babae?..

“ssssssuuuuurrrreeee….” hindi pa tapos yan.. With smiley!..
“ssssssuuuuurrrreeee…. :D”

then, the man revised the question..

“would you spent a night with me?.. As a return.. I’ll give you one peso..”

then, nagalit yung babae.. Kinuha nya ung hawak nyang baso tapos itinapon ung laman sa lalake.. UnFortunately..
Nainom pla nya bago nya tinapon… But then, galit na galit ung babae.. Sabe nya sa lalake..

“ano akala moh skin?.. Cheap?..”

the man answered..

“i know that already.. We’re just talking about the price..”

after five days you’ll get that.. Joke.. 🙂

well ang gusto koh lang ipoint out.. Even if how much the man would offer the girl.. Kht billion peso pa or trillion.. Iisa lang ibig sbhn non.. She’s cheap.. So piso man oh isang million, there’s no difference.. Lalabas at lalabas paring cheap siya..

To all the guys out there.. Here is a friendly advice which i learned from the church..

Do not give price to our women.. For they are priceless.. Not even Bill Gates could afford them..

Do you know why?..

Eto may story ulit ako..

May dalawang lalake nag-uusap.. Pinepresyuhan nila bawat babaeng nagdadaan.. May dumaang maganda.. Ung katamtaman lang..
Sabe nung isa..

“pare.. 700.. 700 yan.. Lake eh!..”

tapos may nagdaan pa ulit..
Hindi ganun kagandahan.. Sabe nung isa..

“pare bente..”
sumagot ung isa..
“pare.. Bente?.. Mahal naman.. 25 cents..”

tapos nagdaan ung crush nilang dalawa.. Prinesyuhan ulit nila.. Sabe nung isa..

“pare.. 1 million pesos pre..”
“hindi pare.. Priceless yan..”

tapos suddenly, while they were pricing the girl, a loud screeching sound echoed in their place.. Nakita nila ung tig bebenchingko nilang girl na nakita muntik ng masagasaan.. Then maraming umiiyak at nagsisigwan..

“sayang.. Sayang.. Bat moh ginawa yun?..”

nakita nila..
Ung pinakagwapo nilang kabarkada..
Ung priceless sa grupo nila..
Nandoon..
Nakahiga sa kalsada..
Duguan..
Walang buhay..
At jhoven ang pangalan.. Hindi sila makapaniwala..
Na buhay ang iprinesyo ni jhoven para sa isang beinchingkong babae para sa kanila..

Girls listen to this..

Two thousand years ago.. A man was able to show how he loves you.. He pay you more than everyone could give.. For he paid for your sins..

He died for you..
Offered his life for you..
Now listen..
Tell yourself..
“i am worth waiting for.. Cause christ valued me more than anyone could do..”

and always remember this..
Whenever a man tries to court you.. Always ask him this question..

“if you want to court me.. Are you ready to marry me?..”

for courtship.. Is a preparation for marriage..
If a man is not ready for marriage.. don’t waste time.. he’s not worth living with..

Next topic..

Sino ang Tunay na lalake? And nakakapagbuhat ng Barbel.. Oh ang nakakapagbuhat ng Biblia?..

See you next time guys.. thank you for reading.. :’)

Sulat Ni Nanay at Tatay

The story/letter I’m about to share with you has always touched my heart. It never failed to make me ponder on my actions toward my parents. I first heard this letter in a homily by Fr. Ariel Robles, former parish priest of St. Augustine Parish Church in Baliuag, Bulacan. I really wanted to cry that time. I was just pretending not to because I was just around 12 years old and I don’t want people to be looking at me.

From then on, I’ve always heard and read this letter in masses, seminars, books and even in class. The last time I heard this was during my fourth year Filipino class. Well, my teacher asked me to read it aloud in class. I must admit, I was just really controlling my tears to not fall.

Without further ado, here is the letter.


Sulat ni Nanay at Tatay

Sa aking pagtanda, unawain mo sana ako at pagpasensiyahan. Kapag dala ng kalabuan ng mata ay nakabasag ako ng pinggan o nakatapon ng sabaw sa hapag kainan, huwag mo sana akong kagagalitan. Maramdamin ang isang matanda. Nagse-self-pity ako sa tuwing sinisigawan mo ako.

Kapag mahina na ang tenga ko at hindi ko maintindihan ang sinasabi mo, huwag mo naman sana akong sabihan ng binge, paki-ulit nalang ang sinabi mo o pakisulat nalang. Pasensya ka na, anak. Matanda na talaga ako.

Kapag mahina na ang tuhod ko, pagtiyagaan mo sana akong tulungang tumayo, katulad ng pag-aalalay ko sa iyo  noong nag-aaral ka pa lamang lumakad.

Pagpasensyahan mo sana ako kung ako man ay nagiging makulit at paulit-ulit na parang sirang plaka. Basta pakinggan mo nalang ako. Huwag mo sana akong pagtatawanan o pagsasawaang pakinggan. Natatandaan mo anak noong bata ka pa? Kapag gusto mo ng lobo, paulit-ulit mo ‘yong sasabihin,  maghapon kang mangungulit hangga’t hindi mo nakukuha ang gusto mo. Pinagtyagaan ko ang kakulitan mo.

Pagpasensyahan mo na rin sana ang aking amoy. Amoy matanda, amoy lupa. Huwag mo sana akong piliting maligo. Mahina na ang katawan ko. Madaling magkasakit kapag nalamigan, huwag mo sana akong pandirihan. Natatandaan mo noong bata ka pa? Pinagtyagaan kitang habulin sa ilalim ng kama kapag ayaw mong maligo.

Pagpasensyahan mo sana kung madalas, ako’y masungit,  Dala na marahil ito ng katandaan. Pagtanda mo, maiintindihan mo rin ako.

Kapag may konti kang panahon, magkwentuhan naman tayo, kahit sandali lang. Inip na ako sa bahay, maghapong nag-iisa. Walang kausap. Alam kong busy ka sa trabaho, subalit nais kong malaman mo na sabik na sabik na akong makakwentuhan ka, kahit alam kong hindi ka interesado sa mga kwento ko. Natatandaan mo anak, noong bata ka pa? Pinagtyagaan kong pakinggan at intindihin ang pautal-utal mong kwento tungkol sa iyong teddy bear.

At kapag dumating ang sandali na ako’y magkakasakit at maratay sa banig ng karamdaman, huwag mo sana akong pagsawaang alagaan. Pagpasensyahan mo na sana kung ako man ay maihi o madumi sa higaan, pagtyagaan mo sana akong alagaan sa mga huling sandali ng aking buhay. Tutal hindi na naman ako magtatagal.

Kapag dumating ang sandali ng aking pagpanaw, hawakan mo sana ang aking kamay. At bigyan mo ako ng lakas ng loob na harapin ang kamatayan.

At huwag kang mag-alala, kapag kaharap ko na ang Diyos na lumikha,ibubulong ko sa kanya na pagpalain ka sana …dahil naging mapagmahal ka sa iyong ama’t ina…

Let us love our parents guys. They gave us our lives.

Me and Dad

A Shot to the Stars

Communication in English II | Required Blog Entry
Ateneo De Manila University
2nd Semester, S.Y. 2010-2011
My deepest thanks to Mr. Ryan Recabar for giving us this assignment.

I’ve always been fascinated by guns and the epic awesomeness boost it gives to a person. Look at those Hollywood stars, local actors and even comic book icons for example. How would Bruce Willis look like without a caliber-45 pistol in Die Hard? What would happen to the late Fernando Poe, Jr. in Iyo ang Tondo, Kanya ang Cavite without carrying a handgun? And how would the Punisher punish those unrighteous men without his famous rifles and machine guns?

This interest with guns led me to appreciate a lot of macho and cool  fictional characters. Yet, the one whom I admire most in terms of guns is a nonfiction character who isn’t any Sylvester Stallone or Tom Hanks but has always influenced me in this gun addiction – my dad.

My dad has almost all types, forms, variations (you name it) of guns. There are handguns, that I prefer to call mini-guns, rifles, machine guns, everything. I have no idea how on earth he had managed to collect those firearms all throughout these years. Maybe he working at the National Bureau of Investigation influenced him in his gun-mania. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just really him fulfilling his dreams of carrying the iconic weapon to serve the country and protect his family.

Everywhere, well at least the “everywhere” that I see, my dad goes, he carries a gun. When someone has a gun, no one messes with him. My dad has gun, no one dares to even say a joke.

It would certainly appeal to you by now that my dad is really scary (but he isn’t, he’s a funny man). I can’t blame you. I feel the same way sometimes too. One day, he was carrying a handgun on his left hand and what he calls baby armalite on the right while roaming around our house as if wanting to kill the Joker in his superhero life. I went out to the garage to see and ask him what’s going on. He sort of looked like Jason Statham in Transporter except for that bulging stomach. Suddenly, he raised the handgun and pointed it towards my left foot. I can’t help but close my eyes and have sweat pouring from head to toe. He fired.

I opened my eyes and I saw the puffy clouds and heavenly skies. Oh, am I dead? Wait! I’m still alive. I’m so sure that I’m still alive. I looked towards my left foot and saw a huge bloody rat lying beside the rear tire of our car. It was the rat that had been crawling at the ceiling and disturbing us every night for the past week. I looked at my dad and he just smiled at me, as if saying that I’m stupid. Great.

My dad was also responsible for me learning how to handle guns and use them. I remember that we used to practice shooting when I was in elementary and high school outside our house. He used to line-up cans from a distance and ask me to hit them. It makes him proud when I hit every target successfully and thus ask me to hit some more to improve and become better. However, he would tease me when I missed more than hit. There were times that I join him in firing events with his NBI colleagues to watch and even try shooting.

That was before.

Today, I only see him every weekend since I stay in Ateneo dormitories during weekdays. I barely have time to even chat and speak to him during those days because I use most of the time to study and do papers. How I wish I can do the funny shoot-the-rat moment to him and see what his reaction would be. How I wish I could challenge him to shoot 15 empty cans in 10 seconds at our backyard. How I wish.

It is sad that the distance between me and my father is expanding. I could only wish that one day we could do what we used to do again. And this time I’ll make sure to hit every target and make him prouder. When that time happens, I can even hit the moon and not miss. It would be a shot to the stars.