When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)
When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)
And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)
And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)
My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.
Mar 29, 2008
Mar 26, 2008
Twenty years. Quite long. But it seems it was only yesterday when I last set foot on this same ground in my high school quadrangle.
Mixed emotions. I felt my tummy filled with butterflies. Bringing nausea to my senses. My heart is beating fast. So fast that it seems I will break into tears.
“Haaahh! Twenty years. Would my classmates still know me? Maybe. I have a couple of friends I still communicate with even right after graduation. But the rest, would they recognize me?”
“What changes have I been to? Just the humungous butt, more fats under my belly, in my arms and legs, and some unwanted wrinkles.”
I became more hesitant.
“Argh! I have grown fatter.”
I wasn’t sexy then. The more that I am not now. I wasn’t extra-ordinarily pretty then. The more that I am not now. I wasn’t that intelligent then. Just an average girl. What now?
I asked myself, “What are my achievements so far after twenty years?”
“Not much. I mean, none so far I can really be proud of.”
I started backing out. Not walking. I am more like running. Then I bumped into someone. I almost fell to the ground with my heavy torso.
“Maria! Maria, is that you?”
“Hhmmm… not bad. Somebody recognized me. But was that an interrogative statement I heard?”
“Myra. Yes, it’s me. How do you do?”
“I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m in the advertising. I usually come out in commercials for shampoos, bags and garments. Oh well, the undergarments. You?”
There was an emphasis. I looked at her towering beauty. I closed my eyes before I can say a word.
“I’m a preschool teacher.”
That’s it! I blew it off! I didn’t sound impressive. The more that I didn’t look impressive with my jeans and plain white shirt. No accessory. Just powder and lip gloss.
“Come on. Let’s get inside. The rest are there waiting for us. I heard there’s Bless from Canada, Delia from Dubai, Glenda from London, Roa from Denmark and Tina from California (blah-blah-blah!!!). And guess who I saw early this afternoon?”
I didn’t want to guess who she was referring to. In my heart, I knew who he is. And in my heart, though I prayed for this moment to come, I wish that I just burst like a bubble and be gone.
Myra noticed my silence. She didn’t pursue the topic. Instead she pulled me back to where the crowd was and like in the movies, in slow motion, I was there in the middle of all the classmates I journeyed with in my four years in high school.
“So this is the feeling of going back.” I thought to myself.
There were the people Myra mentioned. Some are still dark-skinned. Others fairer than before. One of them said she is a cosmetic endorser. The other giggled off, “I spend much time at the spa. Scrubbing off every dead skin cell in my body. Quite expensive though. But it’s fine with my British boyfriend.”
I laughed with them. But with jarred pent-up emotion I cannot name.
Some I noticed have yellow gold all over them. Not just one in both ears. They have several in the neck, in their wrists and in their ankles. For some, they look as plain as I am though more sophisticated.
“Nah!” shoved off by that little voice inside me. “They only look more confident. Try leveling your chin to your shoulders. Sit, not slouch. Smile more often. Look at them in the eye when you talk or when you listen to what they are saying.”
After some time, I became more comfortable. I stopped comparing myself to the rest of the group. My laugh grew more genuine now. I’m starting to enjoy myself.
Our conversations went on. Stories of men in engineering and architecture. Snippets of women’s struggles in a men-dominated area. Tessa was one of them. Very inspiring.
Then came cars they own. House and lots in various points in the archipelago and outside it. Investments here and there. Stock market. Economics. Politics. Commerce. Fashion. Toners. Eye-shadows. Bags. Perfumes. Movies. Local and Hollywood stars. Name it, we have discussed them all. An hour. Two. Three.
Dinner was about to be served.
Our tête-á-tête seem not to reach an end. And just when I thought I am almost gaining confidence, I saw those pair of deep-set eyes. Same pair that melted my heart. Same pair that broke my heart into bits and bits of pieces. I wanted to look away. But they have their own lure that made it difficult for me to do so. Those eyes still have the same effect as it was then.
He was looking, too. Staring intensely. Seem not aware that he was with someone. His wife.
I looked down my feet. I noticed my fingers fidgeting and felt my toes as cold as ice. I felt ashamed. So awkward.
“Hi!” was his short greeting. Same voice I fell in love with.
Then I was transported twenty-three years ago along that small street to Bless’s place.
“I will be coming tomorrow whether you invite me to your birthday or not. I don’t care. My brothers already left for Manila. I asked them that I stay because I want to be with you on your special day.”
I felt so happy. But I didn’t say a word.
“I’ll bring you home.”
Inside the tricycle we were so close I can feel his deep breathing and his heart beat… seems heaven to me. But I didn’t say a word.
“Hope you liked my gift. It’s not as expensive as the stuff toy you received from Eman but hope you appreciate it.”
I smiled. I told myself, “I will forever carry it with me.” But I didn’t say a word.
“Care for another room in your umbrella?” was the chant of almost wet youngsters in the school shed.
I looked up my room. I saw my class adviser by the porch from whom I have promised to strive harder in the academics.
“No boys!” she said early that morning.
“No boys!” I repeated.
Then I walked passed him. Not saying a word.
“I would rather hurt myself, than to ever make you cry. There’s nothing left to say, though it’s gonna hurt us both. There’s no other way, but to say goodbye.”… goes their song.
I head on without looking at his direction. Not saying a word.
“Do you love him?” was John’s question. “He’s waiting for you. He needs you. His mother is not well.”
I went on arranging the flowers for the recognition. I didn’t say a word.
“He’s with someone now.” John confirmed.
I just stared. Moved away with tears welling from my eyes. I didn’t say a word.
“Maria,” Bless’s calling my name brought me back to reality. “Miss Si wants to see you.”
I excused myself. Thankful a bit. At least I have time to think and decide whether I leave the place or stay and hurt myself even more.
After a light talk with my then adviser-mentor turned colleague, I opted to just go home and call it a night.
I passed through the darker alley at the back gate where I usually pass through every time I escape from scrutinizing gaze way back in high school. My mind went back to its natural flow of recollection.
This was the alley that witnessed my tears when I learned he was with someone. I sat near the plants. I even pulled some. All my frustration, my anger and my depression poured into the innocent plants.
Then I heard footsteps. I turned around. I saw his penetrating eyes overpowering me – the little confidence that I have.
Was that pain? I wasn’t sure.
Was that hatred? I’m not certain.
Was that love I see in his eyes?
“You have really mastered the art of escaping.”
I just stared back. I wanted to capture that love in his eyes. I wanted to say something. But at the last minute, I decided to keep my silence. Then I walked away.
If it was impossible then, the more that it is now.
Yesteryears, I should have said something, but I did not. That, I know is my greatest mistake.
But now, if I said what I should have said, I will not just destroy my life and his but cause so much pain to innocent people we both care about and love.
I smiled to myself. A bitter smile.
Then tears welled off my eyes.
Tears that ended a love story that never was.
Mar 24, 2008
We wish, not hope, that it'll be granted in a sec.
We blame Him and ask questions when our prayers are not granted or when problems come along our way.
We doubt His power.
But we fail to truly listen to what He is telling us through the bits of experiences day by day.
We only look at ourselves. We disregard His own feelings.
When in reality, He has received all the pain and suffering that was supposed to be ours. We failed to hear when He said:
"Are you alright? I might have missed a small piece."
Mar 18, 2008
And like the previous frustrating events, the only thing that can bring me back from my topsy-turvy disposition is to read a book. Lucky for me, I left my current Coelho read under my pillow, so I dashed through the school library and forced Amy (the school librarian and my bestfriend) to lend me a book even when there are strict orders that this week should be “RETURNING OF BORROWED BOOKS. NO BORROWING OF BOOKS FOR INVENTORY AND CLEARANCE.” both for students and school personnel. Anyway, I promised her to return the book this afternoon (even without her permission).
I browsed through the NEW ARRIVALS SECTION of the library and saw this intriguing title: SIX THINKING HATS by EDWARD DE BONO. It says in the subtitle: THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER that has changed the way the world’s most successful business leaders think.
My initial reaction was, “Well I’m not into business so why care to read this book.”
But after browsing through all the books, nothing caught my bookworm’s intuition of the best possible read for my present emotional condition. So I went back to the HATS stuff and picked it out of its shelf. Amy was shouting over my shoulders when she saw me leaving the Borrower’s Card on top of her desk despite her plea that I am not allowed to borrow a book.
“Oh well,” I told myself, “I’d rather run away with this book than spend the rest of my day grumbling over a messed-up schedule.”
Upon arrival in my office, the intercom was ringing like hell. Assumed that I might not answer the phone, Amy turned on the speaker phone and was yelling at me to return the book. I told her what I had in mind while running away with the book and as expected, my good friend lent me the HATS stuff but she asked me to swear to return the book before I go home this afternoon. And so I did with all my heart.
Flip-flapping through the book, just reading the summary for each color symbol, I finished the HATS stuff in 3o minutes. These are what I can share to you based from the book:
The Six Thinking Hats method capitalizes that THINKING is the ultimate human resource. But most of us, even the most successful people are left unsatisfied with their most important skill. No matter what we have achieved, it seems we can never get enough of the world. We want to be better.
And let me just quote:
Usually, the only people who are very satisfied with their thinking skill are those poor thinkers who believe that the purpose of thinking is to prove yourself right – to your own satisfaction.
The main difficulty of thinking is confusion .We try to do too much at once. Emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity all crowd in on us. It is like juggling with too many balls.
Argh! Got me on that!
Now what do the SIX HATS of different colors symbolize:
Think of paper. Think of a computer printout. The white hat is about information. When the white hat is in use, everyone focuses directly and exclusively on information. It stands for facts and figures. It is for truth and philosophers.
Think of fire. Think of warmth. Think of feelings. Using the red hat gives you an opportunity to express feelings, emotions and intuition without any need to explain or justify them.
This is the most used of all the hats. The black hat is perhaps the most important hat. The black hat is the hat of caution. It is for being careful. The black hat stops us doing things that are illegal, dangerous, unprofitable, polluting and so on. It focuses on content and process. It is the past and the future.
Think of sunshine. Think of optimism. Under the yellow hat a thinker deliberately sets out to find whatever benefit there may be in a suggestion. Under the yellow hat, the thinker tries to see how it may be possible to put the idea into practice. It also stands for speculative-positive thinking strategies. It encompasses the positive spectrum of circumstances and of ideas. The yellow hat is also supported by reason and logic. It is for constructive thinking. Thus, it is in relation to creativity.
The green hat is the energy hat. Think of vegetation. Think of growth. Think of new leaves and branches. The green hat is the ultimate creative hat. It is the lateral thinking of the brain. It focuses on movement instead of judgment. There is a need for provocation to encourage more alternatives. The green hat’s major emphasis is on personality and skill.
Think of the blue sky above. Think of “overview”. The blue hat is for thinking about thinking. (Whatever that means!) The blue hat is like the conductor of the orchestra. The conductor gets the best out of the orchestra by seeing that what should be done is done at the right time. The blue hat is like the ringmaster of a circus. The blue hat is for the management of thinking. The blue hat is for the organization of thinking. It is for process control. It gives us the focus. It provides the program design of our brain. It speaks about summaries and conclusions, control and monitoring.
After reading the summary pages, I said to myself (hope I really did), “This is a good read for my day’s drama.”
But I want to make an add to the colors of the thinking hats. May I say we also need an:
Think about crunchy autumn leaves (well, we don’t have autumn in the Philippines, but there are a good fields with dried leaves) under your bare soles while you are running out in the open with friends and other people. It replenishes the spirit. The orange hat emphasizes on play. It focuses on relaxation. When the mind is set out for thinking alone – an all work without play thing, sanity would not stand for long. The orange hat also symbolizes hope that after every fall, comes the spring.
So may I then suggest that after a long day of work, stop thinking for a while. Act on impulse. Do whatever you wish to do. Say what you have to say. Speak spontaneously. (As long as you would not be hurting yourself and others.) Like when I ran away with the book without thinking about the rules. If I didn’t do so, perhaps I would end this day without a blog entry.
What do you think?
Mar 15, 2008
Mar 13, 2008
Mar 11, 2008
1. Born for Love
3. Leo Buscaglia's Love Cookbook
4. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf
5. Seven Stories of Christmas Love (recommended for the summer!)
6. Bus 9 to Paradise
7. The Disabled and Their Parents
8. Papa, My Father
9. A Memory for Tino
11. The Way of the Bull
12. Because I am Human
Leo F. Buscaglia1924-1998
Mar 10, 2008
Mar 6, 2008
Mar 5, 2008
Funny! Yesterday, I just finished reading “Who moved my cheese?” and I find myself smiling. Then laughing out loud for the coincidence and yes, the irony of life. Ironic though, but wonderful.
My choice, I’m letting the tides of fate bring me to where I really should be. Idealistic? Yes. My place under the sun.
But whatever that is, I won’t stop writing, too.
I am in a crossroad.
My previous entries, I said I will resign from my present job as a Guidance Counselor and look for a teaching job as a Special Ed teacher. I resigned. I applied. But found out the schools don’t fit my personality… or moreso, my principles in life.
I handed my resignation but I took it back. Not because I feared I won’t be able to find another job (In fact, two schools – a university and a college, contacted me to be a college instructor, but I just declined. It’s not my cup of tea I must say.), but more of my principles once again.
Indeed, I am a bit idealistic. I find it hard to leave my present school because for one, the school’s vision-mission support what I too believe in. Secondly, my heart is with the kids I deal with everyday. And a whole lot other reasons I cannot verbally express.
I was just lucky I was totally honest (still am) to my principal. This I have really learned from this experience:
Honesty begets trust and respect.
For the next school year, I will still be a Guidance Counselor, handling the freshmen and kids with special cases – children with OFW parent/s, children of separated parents and single parents. In addition to that, I will also be the school’s allied Special Educator, designing programs for our mainstreamed kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD, with certain specific Learning Disabilities and of course, those with emotional disturbances (not to mention their specific cases).