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I have yet to unpack my clothes from last week's Iloilo trip and before this week ends I would need to have packed again for my Manila trip naman. Haaaay...But I'm really looking forward to this trip. Some of these people I haven't seen in two years! Yey!

Ok, packing mode muna.
[mood| Photobucket dorky]

Just today, a waitress in Chowking seemed lost, trying to look for the table to where she'd deliver the food on the tray to. Pardon our french here. When Chuckie and I are together, we just happen to "b*tch" a lot. Hehe

Chuckie: Are you lost b*tch?! Get a map (Audible only to me)
Kelly: Ugh! How third world could you get, Chux?! A map?! She should get GPRS.
Chuckie: (Looks at me with a straight face) Don't you mean GPS?

And we both break out into laughter. There goes another one of my blond episodes (which I had so much more of back in college). Wohoo!
[mood| Photobucket excited]

...since I rock and rolled! Actually, it's been a long since a lot of things. It's been a long time since I felt this excited.

So far, 2009 is looking good with two trips planned out. I'll finally be taking my first-ever vacation leave. (Oo, first-ever!) I'll be going to Manila for around five days. I can't believe it's been two years since the last time I was in Manila. I miss the life I had back there and all the friends I left. Manila became my playground for only five years, but in that short span of time life-long bonds were formed, and yeah, maybe distance has somehow strengthened the bond, but man, I miss them like crazy. I just felt more like myself with them.

The other trip, well it's with family. It'll be probably the last family trip abroad we take together. Awww, I'm so sentimental. I hate it. My brother's all grown up na. I hate the fact that he's forced to grow up, but yeah, it's the path he's carved for himself. He's big boy, he'll know how to handle it. I hope. Somehow, I blame myself. Maybe I should've talked to him more. Maybe I was too selfish living my own life and getting wrapped up in it. *Deep, heavy sigh*

Ok on to more trivial matters, like actually updating my blog. I was in Iloilo for the weekend. A client got me and Chuckie to host an event in line with the Dinagyang Festival. I was there on domestic capacity so I wasn't really able to enjoy. No, scratch that. I wasn't able to enjoy at all! It was one big misadventure from the start!

I was booked into a hotel but because I wanted to be with Carlo, I opted not to take the room and find some other cheap accomodation, which we will pay for ourselves. We were feeling adventurous and wanted to be like backpackers not knowing where to go and just letting our feet guide us. As expected, but we were hoping against it, all hotels/motels/lodges/pension houses were booked out. I had to be briefed by the organizer and then briefed again by the client so I was basically on call the moment I got to Iloilo on Saturday. In effect, Carlo had to look for a room by himself with all our baggage. (Ok, I exaggerate. Baggage was a backpack and a duffel bag.) Anyway, he was able to work something out by late evening and when I got to the place, I just wrapped myself around him and cried all the stress out. I couldn't help myself, I felt bad for what happened. I felt bad that that dingy place was sooooo overpriced. I felt bad that he had to travel on foot while looking for a place all over Iloilo because no jeeps and taxis were allowed in because of the fiesta. I felt bad that he tired himself out for hours! And all the while I was crying and feeling bad for him and for us, he had this big smile and would occasionally laugh. So much for the drama. But yeah, I'm glad we were in it together. Looking back, we did want an adventure to start with, we just got the 'mis-' prefix along the way.


Yey! An actual update. It's been a long time since I sat in front of the computer and updated. This makes me happy. I should do this more :)

[mood| lonely lonely]
[music| random stuff on the Killerbee playlist]

Do you know what it feels like to want to belong?
It's a heavy, pathetic feeling that likes to linger on and stays well past its welcome.

And once you start feeling a little positive about the situation, like you've started to "settle in", that you've started to move forward and you've started feeling like you belong, you are somehow cleverly reminded that you are still just the outsider looking into their world. It's the little everyday things that remind you that you are, indeed, still the outsider looking in. Crushing. 
The Value of the UP Experience
by Maya Baltazar Herrera
(First published 6 July 2008 in the Manila Standard Today)

There are no children here.

This week, I went to a meeting at the UP School of Economics and I came away with renewed belief in the value of the UP experience.

If you speak to anyone from UP – student, professor, alumnus - you will get no Latin slogans or apologies about how the school teaches values in spite of its outward materialism. This is not a student population that thinks about basketball games or memorizes school songs. This is not a school that chooses one statement to drill into the minds of its students.

This is not, of course, to say that UP does not care about values. It is that UP, in its own inimitable way, believes that values cannot be force-fed. The statue of the naked man that guards the entrance to the campus in Diliman best represents UP's approach to all education and the respect for students that is the center of its educational philosophy. All who come to
this university, regardless of origin, bring themselves naked, carrying nothing but their thirst; like the proverbial empty teacup, making an offering of self, waiting to be filled.


For many students from private schools, the first lesson that is learned here is that this is a school for adult education. There are no children here, and that is why no parents are allowed either at freshman orientation or during enlistment.

The spirit of the oblation lies not in a mother or a father offering up his child to the world, it is that of the newly adult, freely offering of his self.

I remember quite vividly that moment that drove home how different the UP education continues to be. It was my daughter's first semester in university and she had invited a group of her high school friends to our house. One of them asked a classmate whether she had gotten her parents permission form approved for that weekend's outreach activity. From the
UP population around the table came the mock horrified responses of: "Permission? " and "Outreach?"

I thought about it and realized that all of these students were, in fact, legally adults. I thought it interesting that only the UP students appeared to appreciate this fact.

Even more interesting was the "outreach" comment. I think back to my own university years and the last three years that my daughter has been in UP and am certain there is no lack of civic activity. There are medical missions, house building projects, tree planting, community work and barrio work and so on. I realize now that the reaction was not to the activity as
much as it was to the use of the word.

One of the most important differences of the UP campus from all the other campuses my children considered going to is that this campus has no walls. Many parents fear this. They are afraid their precious children will not be protected from the ills of society in a campus that is so open to the rest of the world.

But UP is open to the world in more ways than just not having the physical walls.


Being in UP means much more than being a student. This campus is enmeshed in a community. This community is made up not only of the transient population of students who go home each night. It includes the many, many students who lay their heads on dorm pillows each night, enduring time away from families in the firm belief that this campus will bring them closer to their dreams. This community includes the families of faculty and employees who live on campus. It also includes the many people who work not for the University, but nevertheless work on campus. This community includes the lady who remembers the brand of cigarette you smoke and automatically hands it to you in the morning. It includes the gentleman who remembers you like pepper on your egg sandwich or the one who knows you will dip your fish balls into two of his sauces, who patiently waits for you to eat your three
sticks before being paid. It includes the woman who saw all her children through college by selling peanuts every day on campus.

To a UP student, the daily heartbeat of the school is never far away from the realities of the country. The word outreach suggests that civic activity is something outside of the normal, something you do once in a while. It must be immensely difficult to think of community as a thing apart when your campus experience brings you face to face with all of the world's realities every day.


All of this probably explains that unmistakable sense of self that you will find from students who come from this campus.

Here is a campus where all have the same opportunities to learn. But also, here is a campus that will give all the same opportunities to fail. There are no guidance counselors who will chase after you because you have been skipping classes. The attitude this university takes is that you must take the initiative – for learning, for seeking help, for realizing you need help.

That is not to say that no help exists. But it is help that is not forced upon you.

This is a university rich in both introspection and conversation. On this campus, the student is constantly exposed to people – faculty, administrators, community members, other students – who care deeply and passionately about the world. The conversations are almost never purely cerebral. A single graph can provoke comments about government policy and its effects on people.

As a result, UP is home to a student population that looks at the world and cares. It is easy to see pictures of protesting students and dismiss it as radicalism. But there are few campuses in this country where students go beyond a passing curiosity about what is happening in the world beyond their own lives. There are even fewer universities where students not only care but also actually believe they have a responsibility to make a difference – not in some hazy future – today.

And that, I believe, is what truly forges character. Character is not molded by speeches or long classes in ethics or theology. Character grows from within. It begins by being handed the keys to your own self and being told you are in charge; you now have power over yourself and your own actions – and with that power, you take on responsibilities.

Each student in this university goes through his own unique voyage of discovery. On his voyage, as he decides what he cares about, what he will fight for and what he will sacrifice, he crafts his own personal values. That is what education is truly about.

The essay can also be found on the official website of Prof. Maya Baltazar Herrera, which you can read here.

[mood| Photobucket thankful]

Surprises marked the twenty third year of my life. Some great, some I wish never came, but well life happens and I feel oh-so-blessed and thankful. :)

I am thankful to and for family. Since both 'rents are out of the country my titas surprised me a day before my birthday. Actually they were supposed to come by on the day of my birthday but I told them that I would be hitting the beach and that I had made reservations already. I felt bad about it because stuff like this rarely happens. So Tita Jane, Tita Toots, Manang Annette, K, Margaux and the kiddies Yunis, Frank and Fancine all came the night before with pancit and a big yummy buko pandan cake. It was nothing big, just a little gathering. T'was fun playing with the kiddies and the kiddies loved running amok in the yard. Love. Too bad I didn't get any pictures, though.

Turns out they're going to Lakawon the very next day as well, although they didn't stay for the night :).

Was supposed to head off to the beach early, but we all know what early is like. Haha. Was there with Lalalove, of course, and two friends Diwa and Jarry. (Yeah, guess I must reconnect. It's hard being/feeling so alone.) Had a riot playing with "Pacquiao" cards. There were only four of us and there were four liters of Red Horse 'coz I was expecting a little more people to come along. Suffice it to say the four liters were gone by the end of the trip. Go figure. Got a much-needed tan.

On the drive home to Bacolod I wasn't feeling all too well. I was feeling a little feverish and I could feel myself getting hot all over. By the time I reached home at around 3pm, I headed straight to my room and under the covers. Yeah sure I was hot (literally), but I was feeling freakishly cold. And 3pm in the summer is not a good time to hide under the covers. I fell asleep because I was dead tired but woke up shortly after and this time I was feeling hot. I checked my temperature and it read 38. As hot as I was, I wasn't sweating. My grandma made me take medicine (and I hate taking medicine because I feel like it's not the "natural" way). After around an hour or so my temperature rose to 39 and it kept rising after that to 40. Now that got me scared. I was feeling a little too woozy by then and I was afraid another degree higher and I would loose all consciousness and my insides would boil up and get cooked. No exaggeration, but seriously, if you touched me I was super hot. I considered going to the hospital, but the thought scared me even more. Haha. My brother tried cooling me down and I wasn't allowed to move lest I "heat up" even more. Love rushed to the house and stayed in my room (cue to say "aaaawwww"). Surprisingly Lola allowed him to stay in my room. Anyway, as soon as I started sweating, my temperature ever-so-slowly got back down. So that's that. I recovered after two days :)

I got my hair curled in line with my own personal new year. Wheeness! Next on my list before this month is over: get that nose-piercing I've always talked about!

The day after I got my hair curled, someone broke into our house in the dead of the night. None of us noticed. I was fast asleep and although my lola and brother heard some noises they didn't really see anything, which is a blessing in disguise. Had they come face to face with the thief/ves who knows what might have happened next. Another Tandang Sora accident? Thank GOD, no!

Come to think of it, I've already lived through something similar back then. Only when I woke up back then, blood-smeared walls and a dead body were what I saw. Thank GOD, this wasn't the case this time.

They got away with my mom's cellphone (the one she leaves her when she flies to Jeddah), my videocam (it got me through college and thesis!) and my mom's jewellry (mamanahin ko pa naman din yung mga yun). And and and, the whole akyat-bahay thing upstaged my newly curled hair when I got to work. So instead of people talking about my hair, the focus was on the break-in. Hohum, that's just me looking at it differently :p

But seriously, in spite of all that shit, I don't feel the least bit down. Seriously. Surprisingly. Maybe it's because as close to death as I was again this time, all this just reconfirmed that 'nope, it ain't my time yet coz there's something left for me to do'. What that is, I don't know yet. But thank You, Lord, because you didn't let any of the people I fiercely love get harmed. I have so much to be thankful for. I love my life and everybody who is/has been part of it :)

Hmmm...I wonder what else life has in store. But I'll take it, whatever it is. I'll take it all! Hey, I'm 23. And I'm still kickin'.

The Window Shopper

Random Gentle Love Dreamer (RGLD)

The Window Shopper

Loving, hopeful, open. Likely to carry on an romance from afar. You are The Window Shopper.

You take love as opportunities come, which can lead to a high-anxiety, but high-flying romantic life. You're a genuinely sweet person, not saccharine at all, so it's likely that the relationships you have had and will have will be happy ones. You've had a fair amount of love experience for your age, and there'll be much more to come.

Part of why we know this is that, of all female types, you are the most prone to sudden, ferocious crushes. Your results indicate that you're especially capable of obsessing over a guy you just met. Obviously, passion like this makes for an intense existence. It can also make for soul-destroying letdowns.

Your ideal match is someone who'll love you back with equal fire, and someone you've grown to love slowly. A self-involved or pessimistic man is especially bad. Though you're drawn to them, avoid artists at all costs. (Haha! What's this supposed to mean?!) 

Your exact female opposite:

The Stiletto

The Stiletto

Deliberate Brutal Sex Master

Always avoid: The Hornivore (RBSM)

Consider: The Gentleman (DGLM), The Loverboy (RGLM), The Boy Next Door (RGLD)

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test @ OkCupid - singles
[mood| Photobucket peaceful]
[music| Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on tv]

I don't even know where to start. Blogging doesn't seem as natural as it once had been. Anyways, I'll see what I can manage.

Holy week is, well, quiet. A quiet that I most welcome, of course. Working seven days a week, albeit if only for 3-4 hours per day, can get quite taxing. And then there's the trying to sound perky each and every time I go on air, but then again, there are days of genuine "perkiness". Hehe. So yeah, the three days off from work is a most welcome respite. And what have I done with my break? Nothing, really. Haha.

Wednesday was the last day before the three-day vacay, and I was unusually giddy on-air, only because I knew I would be getting a break. Although I had nothing planned, really, I just couldn't wait to not wake up pressured by time to hurry. After board work, I met up with family to hear mass for my cousin's 40th day since his burial. I still can't believe he's gone. It still doesn't seem right to see a strong, young person full of life go. He had a lovely black marble tombstone with his signature at the top and the line "See ya at tha crossroads" from a Bone Thugs N'Harmony song at the bottom, which happens to be one of his favorite songs. After the mass we went to his grave site for it to be blessed and as Tita Toots (his mother) was carrying his framed picture in one hand, I caught his son, Frank, staring at the picture and poking it, and occasionally kissing it. Heartbreaking...

Thursday was spent mostly at home and then met up with family at a resort, after which we had dinner at Tita Toots' place. Spent some time talking to Margaux (my cousin's wife) after dinner and over smokes. Although no tears were shed, anyone can sense that she's still in so much pain, and understandably so. I kept choking back tears as she was recalling that fateful day and the things the happened after. I asked her if Baby (how my brother and I used to call him) had made his presence felt to her at all. She told me about this one night when the pain felt so unbearable, she decided to go through his things. She found a book of his in which a pen was inserted. Naturally she opened it to the page where the pen was and a print-out of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise came out. The last verse of the song is chilling:

Death ain't nothing but a heart beat away
I'm livin life do-or-die ah, what can I say?
I'm twenty-three now will I live to see twenty-fo'?
The way things are goin I don't know

Baby died at 23.

Haaaaaay...Baby. Tani way ka na lang napatay.

I'm a firm believer in the saying that everything happens for a reason. It's just that whatever the reason for this is, I can't understand. I don't think the people affected understand the reason, if any, also. I spoke with Margaux about that and, like me, she's still trying to understand the reason. I guess we're all asking God to reveal to us NOW why this happened. It's just that I don't think we all will be at peace unless we can understand. Or maybe it's just me, I didn't mean to generalize. But somehow I know that deep inside, everyone is still asking "Why?!"

Friday was spent at home trying to be productive. Hey I picked up after the dog, I cooked dinner and washed the dishes! Hehe. I was also able to finish a book, so yey for me. I finished tripping out on Lewis Carrol so now I'm onto Murakami. (Yeah, it was one of those two books for the price of one at the National Bookstore sale.) Spent quality time with my dog as well which was just perfect and satisfying. Groomed Nica and now she's oh so pretty. Hehe. And I believe she's loving the quality time we spend as well. She's been following me wherever the past couple of days :)

Alright, that's about it. I'm off to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory now. I used to own a VCD of that, can't seem to find it now. The original Oompa Loompas were not as scary as the Johnny Depp ones and I loved the old songs :)

Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of
Pure imagination
Take a look
And you'll see
Into your imagination

nicked from almi.


1. answer the questions below.
2. take each answer and type it into google.
3. take a picture from the first page of results and post.
4. you can't copy the answers of the person who posted this before you.

the age you will be on your next birthday

a place you'd like to travel to

your favorite place

your favorite food

your favorite animal

your favorite color

the first name of your significant other

the town in which you live

your nickname/screen name

your first job

a bad habit you have

your worst fear


I know there should only be one picture per answer, but can i help it if i have 2 favorite animals or colors? Hehe (daya!). Funny answer to my SO's first name. Hey! That was the first image when I googled "Carlo". And the worst fear answer isn't that obvious neh? I googled empty elevators and that's what came up as first.

nuninuninuninu....ahm hangri na!

It still doesn't seem right. I don't think it ever will. Not at his age and not that way. He is loved and will always be remembered.

gone too soon...

A son, a father, a brother, a cousin and a friend...Francis Noel B. Labayen