Sunday, December 30, 2012

Letting go, moving on. What made my 2012 AWESOME. \m/

I'm gonna be over you. 
Oh that was quite a worthwhile 366-day journey filled with such great personal realizations, memories, euphorias and nostalgias that will constitute a better living experience for the next year.

This year had been one of the greatest I've ever had apart from the year I was born to see the world. Indeed, I can say that THIS IS MY YEAR. Everything just got into its own place, maybe. Hahaha. Just sayin', humans may and will never have that fulfillment as young as 19 years old I may say since a long long way to life is just about to open for them. But for me, a simple hombre dreaming to be a vampire belonging to the Cullen Coven, I am fulfilled with who I am today, what I have today and where I am today. You may not believe me, but trust me, the only thing I am just waiting on the sideline is the moment I can affix that Eng'r. before my name. Apart from that, I'm already happy with all these overflowing abundance of opportunities I had before my eyes and hands. Come what may, I am happy. I think that's a perk of being a happy-go-lucky person wanting to be surprised by whatever life will hand him down. Going back, lemme share the highlights of my 2012 that made me go crazy crazy 'til I can see the sun. Ooopsie!

Lez start with January 2012. 
Animolympics 2012 (the Sporsfest of University of St. La Salle) was indeed a blast as champions were unleashed. Every year, I am looking forward for this time when colleges fight for their own color in sports and dance. Having participated in the Opening Cheerleading competition, this year was a paradigm shift for the College of Engineering Tigers who used to be just "participants" rather than "competitors". Dancing Narutos and Dragon Balls protectors came tumbling out unexpected and what used to be fun performance remained on stage. We may not be the winner but the cheers of the people inside the coliseum, no matter what color they bleed, perfected the moment of victory for us. And even in the over-all ranking, engineers played well with numbers and over-all sports achievements. That was a wrap I must say for the opening of the year. Nothing more, nothing less.

With love, February 2012.
Just in time for the Love Month, I have found love in a hopeless place and hope in a loveless place. Hahaha. Love was then faster than a bullet and shot the soul out of me. I've met someone I just used to pass by the corner, never even saying cliche "hi and hellos", just staring blankly at each other's eyes -- who I never thought would be my kryptonite, my heavy dose of inspiration. I enjoyed much being suspended in a galaxy of constellated love. But too bad, it lasted also as fast as that bullet shot through me. Never seen I was bleeding already. But hey! This is how things should be. Goodbye short-lived love. I never thought I would be singing "The One That Got Away" by Katy P after that. Nothing more, nothing less.

Marching on March 2012.
Most of my dear upperclassmen friends in college graduated already. Bidding goodbye's with the hope of seeing them again sometime in the future. My one and only cousin in my mother side had graduated too. A great reason for celebration which brought families closer together. She was more than a cousin but a sister to me, a bestfriend and a shock absorber most of the time. Hahaha. I was never more proud of her than seeing her lift her arm with the piece of paper she worked hard to finally grasp it in her palm. This also marks a prelude to the long-waited summer break for everyone. Yaaaaay! Water splash and tanned skin on beach side. Nothing more, nothing less.

Fools on April 2012.
I was never been blessed than to travel outside the Philippines again after 2010 when I went out for USA. Such a pretty amazing memory. I applied to this JENESYS Programme last 2010 and was supposed to fly to Japan already on the summer of 2011 but an unexpected tsunami and devastation stroke the totality of the Land of the Rising Sun. It was postponed to 2012, and finally it did came true. A dream while I was wide-awake. "Please wake me up!" I was already in Japan but my heart and mind would always say the latter. We were there for about 15 days as Goodwill Ambassadors of the Philippines to the tsunami-stricken areas. It was more than a trip but a life-changing experience to make people who experienced immeasurable degree of loneliness smile even just for a while, to make them whole again and make them feel that they are not alone. Even more, helping them was a gift for our soul. It was really really a different experience. Tears would just come out of your eyes but you need to keep it for yourself so that they will not burst out of the grief they've experienced that none can ever handle. Celebrating my 19th birthday with my Japanese  foster Okkasan (mother) and Ottosan (father) was heart whelming and genuine. I am blessed to have all these. Nothing more, nothing less.

Come what May 2012 to November 2012.
Starting May up to November, stress here and there and everywhere. Hahaha. A lot of balancing regarding my studies and me being a student leader is top of the line. Sometime I would just do face palm and shout inside me all my frustrations and hurts. I thank my USLS USG Executive Family, which brought out the best of me too in serving the students with a strong heart and mind. It was never that easy to be in these shoes but I know this where I want to be and I must take all what the world throws back at me. Lezgetiton ingeniero! As I have stepped into the third year of my Engineering Life, I have faced more adjustments and more "line of 7's" in my grade grid. If you know what I mean. HAHAHA. I could just laugh about it but I never forget to learn and earn from it. Yeah. Tougher than tough but that just calls me to be stronger than strong too. This tested my inner self. What I was before, was not enough. I need to grow up to combat these changes too. And that made me even stronger that what I thought. A more responsible engineer in the making. Reeeeaaaaally? I was able to let go of my weaknesses and be strong enough instead. It's me against the world, eh? Hahaha. I may have failed but that didn't made me less of a man but instead more of it. To summarize the months I have struggled to keep up my life as a student and as a student leader: I LEARNED AND EARNED. Nothing more, nothing less.

Dedicated December 2012.
Who would have thought that this hombre would leave the country twice this year, for free? HAHAHA. I am blessed to have myself as my ticket to the world. There's no such thing as a free lunch but there are still free trips abroad. Jakarta, Indonesia --  I fell in love with you as in like seriously. Haha. The first U.S. ASEAN Young Leaders Summit with more than 130 participants from the ASEAN countries converged in Jakarta for 5 days with smiles and grins even unfamiliar faces flooded their sights. Who would have thought that people from different walks of life, different cultures and different principles would call and treat each other as brothers and sisters? And from an unfamiliar face, "Hey bro, how are you?" would just come candid and would sound like music? Hahaha. Magic isn't it? Magic that everyone would as if knew every soul in the room and you would start treating them as your own big family. Truly ASEAN. It was more than meeting people from other countries, more than enjoying Royal Kuningan Hotel, more than just raiding Jakarta for stuffs and more than just saying "Hi and Hello's" -- it was more of an inexplicable short-lived life-changing 5 days but seems to last a lifetime. A beautiful part of each one of us that time can never erase. The connections and rainbows of friendships built over a short  period of time will over come the test of distance and time. Inseparable. Nothing compares. Nothing more, nothing less.

One more thing, I celebrated Christmas and will be welcoming the New Year with spots for luck. Hahaha. Guess what? Yeah. I did have chicken pox. Such a pretty cool part of my 2012. Hahaha. :)

What more can this hombre ask for ? Hmmmm. Come what may Good Lord. You have blessed me a lot. Oh, before I forget, I believe everyone who stayed with me through 2012 amidst the ups and downs, deserves a round of thundering applause. You were the best part of it. Without you, my 2012 would just be another "end of the world" without a thrill. Things may pass away but the people who shared their laughter, their tears and their lives with me are far better than all the riches in the world. Thanks and cheers for the company you gave me. It gives me chills. Whoa! Happy New Year to all the loves that bring us to life. :)

Don't forget to include yourself when you count the good things that ever existed!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Philippine ASEAN Commemorative Bank Note

I was browsing through my downloaded videos of the happenings of the U.S. ASEAN Young Leaders Summit this morning due to a rare hangover of the moments. My mom suddenly handed me a Fifty Peso bill (a Philippine currency bill) and asked what the symbol imprinted on the money means. From afar, I could tell that it is a commemorative bill from our Central Bank since rare finds like this are usually printed intentionally. As the ASEAN logo appears on a video I was watching, it was the exact snap of time I had looked into the peso bill and with amazement -- the same logo appears on the money. 

I was like "WOW! Really? Thanks Mom! If you only know what this means to me."

The Philippine Fifty Peso ASEAN commemorative bill.

My mom stood in front of me waiting for an explanation behind my amazement and exaggerated reaction. Hahaha. I told her that it was an ASEAN commemorative bill which can't just be found normally on daily circulation. You're lucky enough if you can find one. Well, this can be a great present for the holiday. A souvenir and a remembrance for the recently concluded program I will miss and treasure forever. Thanks for the TRULY ASEAN memories. :))

"One vision. One identity. One community."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


It was two days before Christmas when I woke up excitedly to start my day. Suddenly, I saw this cute little dot on my arm, so cute I wanna squeeze the blister. As I trace my arm length, I saw another one. And another one. And another one. One big family, eh? Hahaha. Without any knowledge, I came to my sister to ask about it and Kaaaboooom! It is Chicken Pox. Me izz sad. Me izz hopeless. :(( 

I go like, "FOR REAL?!"

After knowing such, I started to worry exaggeratedly.  I had so much "What if's" and "But's". I started to lose the excitement of having fun-filled holidays that are so so soon to come. I never wanted a Christmas being bed-ridden while everyone is joyfully singing Christmas carols, exchanging gifts and cards and to top everything, eating favorite food and treats. 

As I thought all these, I started to wear my self-pity like a favorite shirt. I started to feel sad whenever I look at myself in the mirror. I do look like a monster (Well, this sometimes make me smile. Hahaha). I needed to be isolated from others so I will not infect them. With this, I felt like I'm losing my daily dose of routinary activities. I'm losing a sense of me.

After my friends known this, lotsov calls and text messages saying "Get well soon." flooded my phone. Well, I'm thankful for this knowing they are still concerned with me (Getting sentimental, eh?). I started to get back soon with my active life, just less physical. Hahaha. I had a normal happy Christmas with all the people who cares for me. Just that I can't eat all my faves especially chicken and dairy treats that may excite varicella-zoster virus inside me.

 Looking forward for a New Year with lotsov polka dots for good luck. Hahaha. 

My actual face while writing this blog entry. HAHAHAHA. :))

Looking Back, Paying It Forward: The First U.S. ASEAN Young Leaders Summit

The  young ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN Secretariat.

December 5, 2012 -- A leadership summit attended by more than 130 young leaders from different ASEAN countries took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, gathering people from diverse cultures but united by one vision, one heart, one ASEAN. A phrase that could surely describe the proud moment as these leaders stood side-by-side with each other amidst their differences is "Truly ASEAN by heart".

SEAYLP Alumni getting together after some years

After having already six batches of Southeast Asian Youth Leadership Program, more and more members are welcomed to the growing family of SEAYLP Alumni and as well as to a much bigger family of State Alumni. This year, a summit was organized to evaluate and monitor each country group regarding their follow-on projects after having enough time to work with after their SEAYLP programs had concluded. Country groups from Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, MalaysiaPhilippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam were represented by SEAYLP Alumni to discuss country follow-on projects for the following year. Each country had already ran different projects since they went back from their own SEAYLP programs.

SEAYLP Spring 2010

The summit was more than just a reunion for all the past batches but the opportunity to meet other young leaders and recollect what we have been doing and where we are right now. It was a chance to create a greater network of friendships and relationships with other participants from ASEAN countries -- diverse but complementary. No matter the differences these young leaders had, just one "Hi" and "Hello", indescribable ASEAN connection really do exist.

The participants learning the Angklung (Indonesian instrument).

The summit was a five-day convention which includes talks and from US Department of State and Indonesian International Education Foundation and panels ran by the participants themselves. Also, they were able to learn Indonesian culture by having a session on playin the "Angklung", an Indonesian instrument from bamboo. No words were needed, just the sound of traditional music that the participants learned to play was more than enough to unite their hearts and enjoy the activity as a group of ASEAN leaders. 

Philippine delegates at the ASEAN Secretariat

The participants dancing over the music played by a live jazz band.

The participants were also able to visit the ASEAN Secretariat for some discussions and team workshops. It was indeed an overwhelming privilege to be with these selected young leaders with all those endless potentials to be future diplomats and ambassadors, who knows, right? The visit was concluded with a reception party at the residence of the US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel. It was a party for the alumni with jazz street band which played really nice song throughout the night. It was the same day for the commemoration of Human Rights Day where every alumni wrote their campaign supports for human rights. The participants enjoyed the rest of the night with dancing and singing on the dancefloor. Everyone was  uber enjoying the atmosphere of joy and music.

The participants during community outreach.

Simultaneous community outreaches were also part of the program where participants went to different communities of children, person with disabilities, old people and other indigents which they've spent a day with to help and give out Christmas presents. They got a chance to help other people in their daily activities such as cleaning and cooking. They shared their own culture to the community and interact with people belonging to each community.

Alexandra and I with an Indonesian kid from Wisma Cheshire.

The whole summit was indeed a great venue for us young leaders of ASEAN to meet and build eternal network of understanding with one another that will really affect the future of ASEAN countries as a whole letting it be that we, the youth is the "future of our Fatherland". More than all learning and laughter we have shared, is the timeless friendship we will forever treasure. We will always be one big family of young dreamers and young bearers of future. We are all blessed to have brothers and sisters across nations in Southeast Asia. Words aren't enough to thank the US Department of State and all other heads and hands behind these programs that ASEAN youth are privileged with. 

We truly are, one family, one ASEAN. 

Photo credits to USMission2ASEAN and delegates of the summit who I grabbed the photos from. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh Hello SEMBREAK :]

Sleepful nights, Exam-free days, Morning smiles, Best days  for TV, Restful afternoons, Endless hang outs, Always Online and Kahirapan :]

After the sleepless nights of homeworks, lazy afternoon quizzes, early morning routine of enter-the-class-not-late, crazy school requirements and mind-blogging examinations -- a motivation has been looked forward to ever since school days began -- SEMBREAK !

But what is there to love and to hate about everything that sembreak hands you down ? 

Sleepful nights :]

This is one of the best reward you can get after surviving all the hell weeks and the hot waves of school. During sembreak, you can sleep all day and sleep all you want without hearing familiar statements like "Hey. It's time to wake up sleepy head. You got a 7:30 am class. You forgot?" or "Do you want to be late again? You told me that you'll be dropped already if you get another Late" that would shatter in your ears and end your wonderful dream and sleep. Oh well, now that you have no worries at all whether to wake up early or late, you're so free to have that happy ending to your dreams and finally get the sleeping hours you wanted all along. But hey, this isn't good all the time. Sadly, too much of sleep will give you headaches that will bother you the whole day through. And of course you'll get saggy eyes and that eeew round dark circle just below your beautiful eyes. Hahaha. Would you like going out for the day with that? Oh oh oh. So better enjoy the opportunity to sleep just the right hours to avoid inconveniences. Hahaha. :]

Exam-free days :]

Yeah \m/ just in time that your brain cells are about to die because of the end term exams. You need this badly, right? And I would love to agree on that. Hahaha. It gives you all the opportunity to enjoy that feeling of relief that even though you may not performed excellent on the exams, what's important is that it's over at last. Hahaha. You never have to worry again what exams to take the following day or cram to whether what to study first. What's better to call it might be Stress-free days. Right ? But on the other hand, it gives you that strange excitement while you wait for your results and grades while enjoying the said exam-free days. It seems like you knew you did not-so-good but believes that "I nailed it dude". Whew. Worry starts to cling onto you. Don't deny it. :]]

Morning smiles :]

Was it because you are free to wake up late ? YES. I know that would be it. And I believe that as you get up from bed you would just like to whistle and sing The Lazy Song as if you're having your very own music video. You can just smile every morning as you wake up without worrying what time does your wall clock tell you. You would just walk out from bed, still with a big smile and end up enjoying brunch while everyone in the house starts to get busy for work and other matters. You can just laugh at yourself and sigh "Oh I'm so free. I love waking up late and enjoying the day not like these people around me." But right after you think you are just so free of everything, a close friend and sometimes a spectator you call Mom would think that you are just getting so lazy and timid and would actually start telling you to to this and do that. Hahaha. I know how it feels to do such errands. You would actually think "I just hope I'm in school again to run away from this." :]

Best days for TV :]

You're feeling like the boss of the house, sitting like a prince/princess, drinking hot coffee and holding the TV remote as if there's no tomorrow and smiling like heaven. Hahaha. And there goes all your favorite TV shows you missed and you love but got no time to watch it during class days. Yipeee. Yes you are enjoying it but here goes again Mom, telling you to stop and do chores. And you turn from a big wide smile to a heavy frown. She might have a point. Watching TV all day would just make you timid and weak and would cause too much stress to your eyes. And more, your electric bills would start to shoot up. Well, watch it accordingly and go get yourself a good day. :]

Restful afternoons :]

Oh who would just hate a good afternoon ? Well, you just got the freedom to enjoy siestas and afternoon snacks. Have some coffee while you watch a good movie on DVD. Who would not say it's a good afternoon? Hmmm. More, you can do your thing, read books, play video games, call a friend, and all other stuffs you missed doing so. A perfect get away from all the afternoon that your eyes would close during a class until you realize you just woke up when the class is dismissed and leaned NOTHING. Hahaha. Now, you can do so much every afternoon. You can eat all you want while you enjoy doing some stuffs. But hey, didn't you just forget about eating too much since you're enjoying it too much ? You'll be getting fat friend. Hahaha. You got lots of calories getting inside your body while here you are, just sitting down, doing nothing so active. Nah. You might as well get your butt off and do some active thing. Hahaha. Enjoy. but see to it you're healthy. :]

Endless hang outs :]

Now you've got the time to send a group message in Facebook or via text message to your circle of friends and tell them "Hey would you like to go out and have fun?" Perfect, isn't it ? You can bond with friends again, talk about a lot of things, brag about experiences and share miles and laughter once again. You can just hang around town, Starbucks, McDonald's, malls and the like. Name it and you can be as free as you can be, smiling without worries from homeworks and required papers from your terror professor. Some would be out for clubbing, enjoying friends' company and having some cold drinks with a lot of dancing here and partyin' there. Much fun I believe. But after which, you get to think of all the pennies that got out of your pocket. Hahaha. "Have I just spent my savings? Oh M." Well, well, well, you did. And you would go home and would not think that you're having lesser time with your family ? Aaaw. You better be good with balancing it -- balancing things right for good. :]

Always online :]

Who would not get online in the world of social networking sites when you've got all the time in the day to sit and share ? Hmmmm, I guess everyone's enjoying this for now. From online friends of 85, you go 200 and over. Yes, everyone's getting online everyday just to check the latest posts from friends. Hahaha. Everyone's going YEAH \m/ sitting in front of their computers, striking their keyboads with the speed of lightning and clicking SHARE and LIKE infinitely. Hahaha. I don't know why so many people don't get bored easily when they are just checking this and that and looking at their monitors like hell for the rest of the time? Pffff. Maybe that's just the way some are getting so used to the felling of  "I need this to get through my day". Well it's good also that you get to connect with a lot of friends who you can't see temporarily since school is out. But hey, TOO MUCH is NOT healthy. You may get red eyes, back pains and other related syndromes that you may get with sitting in front of your friend Mr. Computer and Mr. Facebook for excessive hours. Moderate use will always be good. Try to look at something green once every other time you feel you need to. It helps. :]

Kahirapan ! :] (Poverty)

Why Poverty? Yes, with a long free days of no class, it means that you are as well deprived from extra allowances or shall I say DAILY MOTIVATION called BAON. Yeah yeah yeah. Most students hate this one and I disagree to agree with that. You get to rely on your personal savings and do that puppy-dog-look in front of your mom just to ask for money to get you through your to-do list for the day like watching movies, hanging out, buying stuffs and more. You get to be wise enough to make your money work. Hahaha. Isn't that ironic? When you got the time to enjoy a lot of things, that's just the right time when you can't. Pfffff. But hey, you learn to be thrifty enough to achieve what you want. just look at it at the bright side and smile. :]

The last one for me would be this ...
Not seeing your best of friends. Pfff. It's kinda boring you know. You would really miss the times during class when everyone sleeps and nobody listens to the teacher, the times when you can just dare yourselves to cut classes and do lots of crazy stuffs. I missed them. Hahaha. I missed eating at the cafeteria. I missed strolling around malls whenever we got no class. I missed the sweet scent of happiness when I'm with them just by being candid and fun. So ironic. Just  when you are excited to start the sembreak, you would suddenly think about school again and how it is fun to be in it again. :]]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Smiles of yesterday :]

Was is just yesterday when some of the smiles began fading away together with the goodbyes of Masskara Festival 2011 ? Hmmmm. Undeniably a big fat YES !

I must admit that this year's Masskara Festival didn't give everyone a longer time to enjoy the street parties, the fancy lights and all the food all over the city since it was never that long enough to have everything and every experience in your hands. 

"Was it October 15 when the highlight was celebrated? Oh my. I missed it."
This is what I have heard rolling around the talks down town. And I might as well say that I said it a day after they had the highlights. Hahaha. I went to "Lacson Strip" on a Sunday eve hoping to enjoy the said Masskara ambiance only to find out that last night (October 15, Saturday) was its last wave. Pfffff. Oh well, I ended up dining out with my cousin and her friends just to lose the talk of regret and frustrations. Hahaha.

Well, it was a great experience though for some especially those who came from far places. They might have enjoyed enough to come back here again the next year. But for someone like me, yes, the smiles were just left hanging by on my YESTERDAY REGRETS. :]]