How Dull is a Life Without Music?

How dull is a life without music?

It’s like a quiet world of misery.

A full experience of the pain this planet brings;

A pathetic living with no harmony.


How dull is a life without music?

It’s like nature without colour:

Plain, black and white, boring.

What would we be living for?


How dull is a life without music?

It’s like rhythm would be lost.

Seasons would not change, water would cease to flow,

Everything, a lost cause.


How dull is a life without music?

It’s like a complete set of free fall.

Earth would stop spinning then,

I’d rather not live at all.



(featured image courtesy:


When I met you at the park, it was the colour of the sky. As we watched the lovely swans, it was the colour of the pond.


It was also the colour of the berries we liked to eat at picnics. We gazed from the beach at our dates and it was the colour of the sea.


It was the colour of the syrup we’d like to have on our pancakes during breakfast.


On the first time you asked me to dance with you, it was the colour of your shirt. It was the colour of my hair when you kissed me on my favourite band’s concert.


Mystery,” the representation of the colour of the rose you gave me.


We were as unpredictable as the colour of the gem embedded on the ring in my left hand. Yes, it was also the colour of my dress when you asked for my hand in marriage.


Truly, we were as enigmatic as the colour phase of the moon that rarely occurs but such a sight to see.
It was the colour that felt the most significant for me. It may be the colour of ambiguity but


I knew it was the colour of our love.


Little did I know, it would be the colour of the car that would smash into you before the day of our wedding.


How I wish I could still have one chance to stare at your eyes which also features that exact same colour. That was indeed the colour that symbolises us, because it still remains a mystery to me. We fought so hard to give the colour a different meaning, but depression and sadness and grief was always it would be.



(featured image courtesy of

Flood of Aide-Memoire

Note: This entry was originally posted on 13 November 2014.

“WHEN IT RAINS, it pours.”

This saying was proven true when the country was struck by one of the most destructive and catastrophic phenomena in the decade.

It was the 8th of November, a year ago. Our school declared suspension once the weather forecast announced the anticipation of the strongest typhoon to come.

I was awe-struck, to say the least. Glancing at the serene sky, not a raindrop poured on me but I could sense the different direction of the breeze. I was taken aback when I opened the television just to have witnessed my fellow countrymen from the Visayan part experiencing the great surge of Yolanda.

To say that the place was flooded was the understatement of the century. News reporters struggled to cover and shoot the location where establishments were destroyed, properties were wrecked, and the worst of all: lives were taken away.

I couldn’t imagine how I could manage to continue living a life if I was in their shoes. As a fellow Filipino citizen, what could I do than just sit here and offer sympathy to those who survived the storm?

It has been a year since the tragedy and although the obliteration can’t be fully refurbished (especially the loss of lives), it wouldn’t hurt to bring back what we could restore.

It was the 8th of November in the present year and I was sitting in front of the television once more taking in the flood of aide-memoire. The memories of how I somehow was able to contribute something for the survival of my fellow citizens in distress.

A penny is worth a shot for a thousand pennies can form a thousand bucks which, I believe, is a great contribution for them. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

The saying is brought up once again: “when it rains, it pours.”

I couldn’t help but smile as I view those generous people from all over the world lending a helping hand to our country. I couldn’t help but smile as I see my fellow countrymen awake with optimism and joy nonetheless of what has happened.

The pour of ruins isn’t a hindrance, indeed; because nothing can stop the flood of unity and will to offer one another hope and light.

Typhoon Yolanda might not be a great memory for all, but it sure is a challenge from above.

I am just glad we were able to prove our unity as a nation. After all, God will never give us problems we couldn’t solve.


(featured image courtesy of

Pitter-Patter of Memories

Note: This post was originally posted on 29 November 2013 and has been revised on 8 June 2014.

THE BEST AND worst thing that has ever happened to me is not a situation in my life, it didn’t happen in reality. It is created by my thoughts because of an ending in my life that I couldn’t let go; and a new beginning I couldn’t face.

Sitting beside the window pane in one of the corners of the testing room, I was in the midst of a feature writing contest (well, literally I was at the side). The view on my left wasn’t that interesting as all I could see were faces which resemble my baffled look. Meanwhile, on my right was a view from the window and there was noise from the construction men working here and there, hammering the walls of the multi-purpose hall. What a view!

No wonder why our faces bore a resemblance to each other as we ponder on how to write something about the topic: From where you are, look for a certain thing that makes you remember something. From their faces, I knew that all the contestants found it hard to stumble on a significant thing that made them reminisce a bit.

Suddenly, I heard a pour of droplets on the roof atop of me. Why settle for those objects inside? When you can glance at your surroundings around you? As the mist pattered above me, I felt a sense of wonderment and renewal. Mother Nature’s timing was at its best, indeed. Judging from the faces of these people around me, I beg to differ.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. I remembered when all of us played happily. Completely oblivious of what could happen, my cousins and I cheerfully ran around like excited house pets who just got out of their cage. My seven-year old self danced in the rain having a smile as wide as the place. My cousins and I actually ignored what our parents would say when we enjoyed ourselves out in the pouring rain.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. We’re only young once, we barely have get-together’s; therefore, it’s okay to enjoy and be mischievous sometimes. Am I right or I am right?

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. Well, this play thing ended up when our grandmother saw us and became completely mad at us. But when nothing bad happened, we just totally forgot the negative thoughts and remembered how happy we were having the time of our lives like nothing wrong will ever happen, like it’s okay to hope even once that life is perfect, like it’s okay to expect all dreams do come true.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. It’s never going to happen again. I sighed and shrugged nonchalantly but I know I’m missing those times still. I knew that the worst thing about growing up is completely realizing that life isn’t perfect at all, not that close. Life isn’t like fairy tales. When you grow up, you try to hope and wish that things would be like when you were young bust it just can’t happen.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. Like I have said numerous times, you know you’re only young once. If you’re young, it’s okay to believe in Santa Claus, wishing wells, and everything will be okay. But being older is just about having realizations that life has miseries and there are no meant-to-be’s.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. I hear the contest proctor say that time is up. I stood slowly from my seat and gave my paper silently just thinking about those times that I wish could go back. That for only one time, I wish I could forget the reality and only leave the good thoughts. But every time I look at the dark sky where water droplets pour, until it reached the ground, it all comes back to me. It may be hard to admit but forever, it will just be pitter-patter of memories.


The Return

Note: This post was originally posted on 30 October 2013 and has been revised on 8 June 2014.

“THE HARDEST THING to accept is how you can become alienated in your own homeland.”

As I was walking out of my car, people were looking at me. Some with awe and others with wonder. I was feeling awkward but I just ignored it. I slowly walked to our old house and my Aunt Lydia ran towards me with longing, “Oh, Mary! We’ve missed you so much. It’s been seven years.”

I shuddered at the fact. Seven years? Yeah I’ve been away for seven years already. Brushing the thought off, I hugged her and saw my niece and nephew shyly looking at me behind the half-open front door.

“Hey buddies! How are you?” I said as I approached them for a casual talk.

They replied “fine, thanks” in a whisper.

Well, these are the teens I’ve been supporting in their financial need for studies.

I head inside and settle down for a bit in the guest room. It was hotter here than usual. Or maybe I am just used at a cool climate in States. This place is tropical. Or I shall say—my country. What is happening to me? I’m starting to forget I live here, that was before. But still, I am born and raised here. To avoid my thinking, I walk to the kitchen and there I see Aunt Lydia preparing something for lunch, I suppose.

“You’ve grown a lot! You’re very different now.” She exclaimed.

“I did not. I wouldn’t grow much. I was already old when I left,” I replied nonchalantly whilst sitting on one of the dining chairs. I hated denying it because I realized it was true. However, the change wasn’t my growth. It was my appearance and my actuations.

If my parents are still here, I’m sure they will feel this way, too. I can notice the way Aunt looks at me from the bandanna on my head, my tank top, slim leggings, and high heels.

“Maybe you haven’t grown much in height and weight. But let’s say with the way you speak. Your accent is no longer different from the country you’ve been to,” She stated in as-a-matter-of-fact tone.

I shrugged but I knew what she was exactly implying.

Lunch came and I noticed no one ate with me. My oldest brother made sure that his kids (the niece and nephew I mentioned earlier) were filling everything I need. They handed me a small basin with water and soap so I wouldn’t go to the sink anymore to wash hands. I didn’t like being treated this way, but I was pleased by the hospitality.

To be honest, I want to adopt my nephew. He is smart and polite just like his younger sister, but he is the one graduating high school this year. Maybe I can bring him with me abroad and he can choose a good college or university there.

Unfortunately, my older brother wouldn’t want me to fix the papers of his son. Gosh, why wouldn’t want they want to get separated from each other? What life lies ahead of them here if they stay with each other? It isn’t like opportunity will knock at their door if they just continue to live in this town.

I’m glad that seven years ago, I had the guts to look for a brighter future despite moving away from my family. If not, for sure I will not be who and what I am today.

I was just done having lunch. I went to my room to fix myself. I was just putting the finishing touches of make-up on my face when I heard a car honking outside. I realized it was time. In fact, I was here for the award the Federation of Alumni wanted to give me, and at the same time was the Silver Anniversary of the high school I graduated from. I went out of the gate and saw my old colleague, Edward and he was with a driver.

We rode the car on the way to the old school. I suddenly wondered why Edward sat on the passenger seat, “Uhm, Edward, why didn’t you seat here at the back?”

“Mary, I, uhm, it will just be inappropriate, I think. You know.. uhm.. how.. uhm.. g-gossip spreads here.”

I looked at him with curiosity.

“Remember, Mila, one of our best friends in high school?” He asked and I nodded. I remember her. We were like the ‘trio’ in high school. I mentally chuckled at the thought. I had feelings for him during high school but others said he was gay because he only hangs out with us, but mostly with me. He was able to prove it wrong when he stated his feelings for me after graduation. It all came back to me. I rejected him, when totally we were each other’s first love.

“Well, a couple of days ago, she just gave birth to our second child,” His words broke me out of my thinking.

I gulped hard before I was able to say, “Congratulations.” Then, I faked a smile.

The ride became silent after that. I felt my heart being struck by a spear; it shattered into pieces this time. Edward was my best guy friend. He even was the only bloke I became close with. I reminisced the times when we were together. I guessed my feelings for him never changed. He was first and only love. Sadly, I needed to reject him that time because I wasn’t a believer of long-distance relationships. I knew from the start I will move away after high school. I thought it was best for the two of us. Maybe it was; however, I felt it wasn’t.

Right now, my first and only love was so close. But we were so far away.

He is now a teacher and the President of the Federation. He even has two kids already and is married to a close friend of mine.

We were both in our mid-20s and I could say I achieved better and greater than what he had. If I had say ‘yes’ to him years ago, will my life be the same? I think not. For sure, I wouldn’t have the chance to go back and forth to places such as New York, London, France, and Hollywood for being a Fashion Designer. I had achieved this dream, but is this really what I wanted?

The school was giving me an award, “First Top Fashion Designer” from my town. I had received great awards and compliments from different parts of the world. From fashion blogs to magazines, even the Oscars. I had what I was dreaming of, how could I feel I was the one who was left out? I felt like the one who, despite these things, lack real necessities in life. I was alone, I was with nobody. And I was lonely.

My reflexions turned back to reality when the car stopped and I knew this was it! This was the return! This was my return. Although, when I came down, I realized that I knew almost no one and I wasn’t recognized as the same old Mary Montes they knew. It hurts to say I wasn’t recognized by my hometown where I’ve just returned.


How Life Revolves in One Direction

Note: This is a feature story I dedicate to all the fangirls like me. If you don’t like the band, please just refrain from reading. But carry on if you like 🙂

2nd Note: This entry was originally posted on 23 July 2013 and has been reposted on 23 July 2015 for #5YearsOfOneDirection. I dare not remove Zayn because this is made two years ago. And he’ll always be a One Direction member for me.

CAPITAL F-A-N-G-I-R-L: MOST people tell that to me. Well I admit it’s true. This is the point in my life where I may be called a screaming obsessed teenager, with band posters covering my bedroom walls and ceiling as well, a vast collection of fan T-Shirts and CD albums only for display. I’ve been watching all of these lads’ video on the internet. I’ve been waking up before dawn if their livestream videos are shown at that time (let’s admit, timezones suck). I’ve been always caught up drowning in my own voice trying to copy each of their signature and trademark voices.

Needless to say, I’m a fangirl of a boyband. But the thing is: this boyband isn’t what most boybands executed. My boyband is composed of one Irish and four British lads. My boyband is pop too but they don’t execute perfect dance moves. My boyband isn’t consisting of dudes who are mates since high school. My boyband may be manufactured in a talent show, but my boyband is real.

Meet my inspiration for three and a half years: Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik; five lads who met each other as solo performers on the stage of Britain’s 7th X Factor. Deciding five perfectly hair styled heads are better than one, they joined forces and became ONE DIRECTION. Until now, I still thank Simon Cowell for that.

They may have lost the X Factor, but not long after that, they have won the world. People would think I became in love with five good looking lads, but truth is, I adore this five lads who proved to millions of people that dreams can actually do come true.

During my times of insecurity, their songs tell me I don’t need to change because I am perfect the way I am. During my times of feeling alone, their songs tell me that they are always with me. During my downtimes, they told me I am loved.

This band is more than just the looks. They sing what I feel. Their music is all about what I want to hear. Their success is my inspiration to strive hard in life.

Some people told me it’s just a phase. Yeah, I know that these lads who provide the music of our youth quickly become our idols. Music makers give hope that we can survive the puberty blues. Whether Beatles or the Backstreet Boys, I am sure, send all our hearts a flutter. But because of this phase, I became a more confident person. I became this girl, who believes in herself and her abilities.

So before you roll your eyes when you see a girl crying on the evening news because her favourite band was mentioned, think. This girl might have faced a hard time on her own life. And admiring these 20-21-22 year old lads might just be the way to lessen her nuisances.

We all have our insecurities and imperfections. We all have our own share of pains, hurt, and aches. We all have our own way of escaping the reality for some time. And this is mine: revolving my life in One Direction. These lads help me through thick and thin. And I am proud to say they’ve been and always will be a part of how I accept what I must accept in me and change what I need to change for the better. As they always say, “This is Us and Dare to Dream.”

In 20 years’ time, I am sure when ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ is playing in the radio (though I am not sure if radios will still exist); I will fondly remember these days and the musicians that made my puberty worthwhile.


Tinatapatan na ba ng Women’s Volleyball ang Men’s Basketball? {Filipino}

Note: This entry was originally posted on 1 October 2013.

MAGMULA PA NOONG 1960’s, basketball na ang kinikilalang laro ng Pinoy at paborito ng bayan katulad ng hindi matapos-tapos na away na animo’y aso’t pusa ng La Salle at Ateneo na nagsimula pa noong NCAA. Isa rin namang daan ang Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association (MICAA) upang mas mahalin ng mga Pinoy ang nasabing laro.

Nang nagbukas naman ang pintuan ng Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) noong 1975, mas lumevel-up pa ang laban sa MICAA, at dahil sa pagsikat ng play-for-pay sa Asya, dito na talagang umusbong ang pagningning ng Men’s Basketball. Taong 1984 nang nagbukas ang Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL) – at kinalauna’y tinawag na Philippine Basketball League (PBL) ay ipanamalas sa telebisyon mula sa simula ng pagsikat ng mga PBA Stars tulad nina Benjie Paras, Jojo Lastimosa, at Alvin Patrimonio.

Malawak ang kasaysayan ng Basketball sa buong kapuluan mula pa noong pinasisikat pa lamang ito at ipinakilala ang mga beteranong sina Lou Salvador, ang kinilala bilang “The Big Difference” na si Caloy Loyzaga at ang “Big J” na si Robert Jaworski. Hindi rin nagtagal nang magkaroon din ng mga Fil-Am na manlalaro tulad nina Asi Taulava, Kelly Williams, at Jimmy Alapag. Hindi naman diyan nagtapos ang mga sagupaan sa pagitan ng mga iba’t ibang malalaking unibersidad sa Maynila. Sa ginanap na Season 76 Men’s Basketball Championship Game ng UAAP, 25,000 ‘di magkamayaw na manonood ang dumagsa sa Mall Of Asia Arena kung saan nasilayan ang pagpapaluhod ng DLSU Green Archers sa UST Growling Tigers. Ito ang nagpapakita na ang basketball pa rin ang Numero Uno sa bansa.

Sa kabilang dako naman, ang Women’s Volleyball ay hindi naging kasing tanyag.

Ilang dekada nang pinaghaharian ng Pilipinas ang larong Volleyball sa rehiyong Asean  at ngayong mga nakaraang taon na lamang nang ang mga bansa tulad ng Thailand at Vietnam ay magkaroon ng pag-angat sa larong ito at maiwan sa huli ang Pilipinas – ngunit panandalian lamang.

Dahil sa pagkakaroon ng ilang alitan sa National Sports Agency (NSA) ng Volleyball, nawala sa loob ng walong taon ang Pilipinas sa mga ligang internasyonal ng larong ito. Bagamat may ganitong pangyayari, hindi naman tayo naalis sa larangan ng Beach Volleyball. Taong 2004 nang magkaroon ng Shakey’s V-League at maipalabas sa telebisyon ang mga nagaganap na labanan. Nagsimula na ring ipalabas ng ABS-CBN Sports ang mga laro ng UAAP Women’s Volleyball at ito ay naging isang magandang solusyon para sa mga tagasuporta ng basketball na naghahanap ng iba pang mapapanood.

Sa ilang mga kadahilanan (hindi pa rin maipaliwanag), naging biglaan ang pagtanyag ng Women’s Volleyball nitong huling taon at marami na ang nagsimulang tutukan at subaybayan ang mga pangyayari dito o magkaroon ng bagong paboritong sport.

Ang mga manonood ng mga laro ng UAAP Women’s Volleyball ay napapantayan na ang sa Men’s Basketball. Ang Championship game ng Season 75 nito ay ginanap sa MOA Arena at dinumog ng humigit kumulang sa 20,000 tao. Ang pagsisimula naman ng Philippine Super Liga (PSL) ay dinumog din ng libo libong tagasuporta—at mas tumaas pa noong Finals, nagkaroon ng muntikang pagso-sold-out ng tickets.

Ang pagbangong muli ng paghahari ng Women’s Volleyball ay nanatili pa ring palaisipan sa lahat. Marami pa rin naman ang mga susubaybayang liga sa basketball. Ilan na diyan ang PBA, UAAP/NCAA, NBA, PBA D-League, EuroLeague, ACB Liga Endesa, FIBA, at marami pang iba. Samantalang sa Volleyball naman, (kung wala kang subskripsyon sa internet upang maging updated sa mga tournament FIVB na nagaganap sa iba’t ibang panig ng mundo), ay mayroon lamang Shakey’s V-League, PSL, at UAAP/NCAA. Ang kagandahan lamang nito ay walang ligang magkakasabay ng buwan ng pagpapalabas kaya mas madali itong subaybayan.

Isa pa ring kagandahan nito ay ang pagkakaroon ng mga idolong kababaihan. Nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon ang mga tagasuporta na makakita ng mga maaksyong galaw mula sa mga kababaihan at siyang nagpapatunay na hindi lamang mga kalalakihan ang mayroon nito. Maraming nagsasabi na ang volleyball daw ay mas kapana-panabik dahil sa bilis ng oras ng laro.

Ang tanong na ito ay nanatiling bukas pa rin. Talaga bang tinatapatan na ng Women’s Volleyball ang Men’s Basketball sa padamihan ng Pinoy fans? Mayroong kasiguraduhan na sasabihin ng mga loyal na tagasuporta ng basketball na malayo ang agwat nito, ngunit ang mga tagasuporta ng volleyball ay sasalungat dito. Siguro kung pang-internasyunal na ang kasikatan ng volleyball ay maari na uli itong itanong. Ngunit sa ngayon ay alam ng lahat ang hindi kailanman matatapatan nito sa basketball—ang tagal ng panahon ng pagiging tanyag ng basketball.

Ngunit ang henerasyon ng paglawak ng internet, ang patuloy na pagiging trending ng volleyball sa Twitter, ang paglago ng likes sa Facebook, at pati na rin ang pagdami ng hearts sa Instagram ang maaring isang maging napakahalagang dahilan upang mas lalo pa nitong maabot ang kasikatan. Hindi naman talaga ito tungkol sa pag-uungkat ng nakaraan, ito ay tungkol sa ngayon at mga bukas pang darating.


(update: ang artikulong ito ay matatagpuan din sa Hunyo-Nobyembre 2014 isyu ng Ang Batis, ang opisyal na pahayagang Filipino ng Baco National High School)

(featured image courtesy of

Isang Sulyap sa Makabagong Mundo {Filipino}

Note: This entry was originally posted on 28 September 2015 and has been reposted on 20 July 2015.

SASAKYANG TUMUTUGON SA iyong utos, aparador na siyang maglilinis ng maruruming damit, video games na isip lamang ang gagamitin para makontrol ang laro, robot na nagsisilbing guro. Gulat ka, ‘no? Itigil na ang pagnganga dahil lahat ng yan ay narito na. Halina’t silipin ang mga bagong imbensyon ng mga siyentistang malikhain at may kaisipang puno ng imahinasyon.

Hindi na kaila sa atin na taun-taon ay parami nang parami ang mga kagulagulantang na may kinalaman sa mga drayber na nalilingat ang tingin sa daan. Huwag nang mabahala. Ilan sa mga sikat na mga car manufacturers ay nag-ungkat ng mga paraan upang lumikha ng musika, komunikasyon, at iba pang applikasyon ng kompyuter sa mga kotse na mas mabilis pang tumugon kaysa mga salitang binibigkas. Isang produkto na naimbento ng Ford Motor Company and Sync, samantala, lumikha naman ang General Motors ng MyLink, at ang iba namang sistema ay perpekto rin ang pagkakaimbento. Gamit ang mga bagong programa, kontrolado ng mga tagamaneho ng sasakyan ang mga pagpapa-init o pagpapalamig ng temperatura sa loob ng sasakyan, paggamit ng telepono, paglalathala ukol sa problemang pangtrapiko, paggamit ng GPS, at pagpapalit ng musika. Lahat ng yan ang magagawa ng hindi umaaalis ang tingin sa daan. Boses lamang ang iyong kailangan at tutugon na ang sasakyan.

Ayon naman sa kaalaman ng lahat, ang mga aparador ay ginagamit lamang umano para paglagyan at pagtaguan ng mga damit. Ngunit ngayon ay nakahanap na ang mga siyentista para mas madami ang maitutulong nito sa atin. Isang designer mula sa Sweden na si Michael Edenius ay nakapagbuo na ng aparador na nagsisilbi ring washing machine. Ito ay nakakapagpabawas sa pagkonsumong tubig. Ang kailangan lamang gawin ay isabit ang mga maruruming damit at ang mga sensor ang susuri ng mga mantsa ng iyong damit. Sa halip na ikaw ang maglilinis ng iyong mga damit, ang iyong damit ang gagawa ng paglilinis.

Naisip mo ba kung gaano kaganda kung wala ka nang gagawin habang naglalaro ng video games? Astig ‘no? Wag mag-isip-isip pa dahil ang Mattel Inc. ay nakapagimbento na ng larong tinatawag na Mindflex. Sa halip na sa iyong mga kamay nakasalalay ang iyong pagkapanalo, ang konsentrasyon ng iyong utak ang dapat pag-igihan mo. Sa Mindflex, kagalingan sa konsentrasyon ng utak ang gamit ng mga manlalaro upang makontrol ang lumulutang na bola at mailampas ito sa iba’t ibang mga obstacles. Wag munang itapon ang mga joystick at game controllers ngunit maging alerto sa mga susunod pang pag-unlad ng mga “mind- controlled games”.

Sa South Korea naman, parami ng parami ang mga kakaibang guro na hindi lamang nagpapatuto sa mga estudyante kundi nagbibigay din ng aliw. Kung pareho tayo ng iniisip ay hindi ka nagkakamali, sila ay mga robot. Oo, robot, na nagtuturo ng Ingles. Mahigit 30,000 guro mula sa ibang bansa ang ine-employ ng South Korea upang magturo ng wikang ito. Ngunit sa halip na humarap sa mga mag-aaral oras-oras para talakayin ito, sila ay nakaupo na lamang at nagmamanipula ng robot na siyang magsisilbing guro sa mga estudyante. Ano sa iyong palagay, maaari na kayang palitan ng mga robot ang ating mga guro balang araw?

Yan ay ilan lamang sa mga inobasyon na dulot sa atin ng pag-unlad ng agham at teknolohiya. Sa paglipas ng mga panahon at sa bawat ikot ng mga kamay ng iyong orasan ay patuloy pang nadidiskubre ang mga bagay na dati’y tila imposible. Salamat sa pagsama sa amin na sulyapan ang ating makabagong mundo. (Co-written with a school paper colleague; facts from Time for Kids Almanac 2014)


(featured image content: this article makes it to the p.17 Hunyo-Nobyember 2013 issue of Ang Batis, Ang Opisyal na Pahayagan ng Baco National High School.)

Sa Isang Ekstraordinaryong Gusali {Filipino}

Meeting the famous ADMU Lady Eagle Volleybelle Gretchen Ho. (photo courtesy: me)

Meeting the famous ADMU Lady Eagle Volleybelle Gretchen Ho. (photo courtesy: me)

Note: This entry was originally posted on 22 August 2013.

“BILISAN MO NA. Kailangan na nating umalis at baka tayo mahuli,” nagmamadaling utos sa akin ng aking lola habang mabagal at mahinhin akong nagbibihis. Kamakalawa kasi ay niyaya kami ng aking Ninong na manood ng isang stage play sa isa sa mga sikat na pamasyalan sa Maynila. Dahil ako ay nagbabakasyon sa Cavite ng panandalian noong panahong iyon, ay hindi ko na pinalagpas ay isang napakagandang paanyaya sa amin. Kaya noong hapong iyon, ay dali-dali kaming nagbibihis.

Paglabas ng subdibisyon kung saan naroon ang bahay ng aking tiyahin na aking pansamantalang pinagbabakasyunan ay mapalad namang may dumaan agad na van patungo sa opisina ng aking tiyahin.

Sakay ng van na nagmimistulang hindi na uusad sa masikip na daloy ng mga sasakyan sa Maynila, ay naglaro ang inip sa aking isipan. Upang mapigilan ang aking pagsabog bunga ng kainipan ay nakinig na lamang ako sa musika ng aking mp4. Hindi ko napapansin ang tagal kapag nakikinig ako dito, kung kaya’t parang ilang saglit lamang ay napansin ko na ang CCP Complex at Star City. Malapit na kami sa opisina ng tiyahin ko.

Nag-aagaw ang liwanag at dilim sa kalangitan habang kami ay sakay ng taxi patungong Resorts World Manila. Doon kami manonood. Unti-unti namang napuno ng ilaw ang Kamaynilaan. Mula ang ilan sa mga sasakyang animo’y laruan lamang sa malawak na daan na nagsikip na, at ang iba naman ay sa mga ilaw sa tabing daan at sa mga matataas at tila abot langit na gusali’t impastraktura.

Napansin ko naman agad ang mga taong pumapasok sa gusali. Hindi maikakaila ang ginhawa sa kani-kanilang buhay. Mula pa lamang sa mga damit nilang suot hanggang sa mamahaling bag at mga alahas, huwag na ring kalimutan ang mga gadyets na kanilang bitbit. Ang mga sasakyan naman sa parking lot ay katulad ng mga nakikita ko sa internet, sa mga patalastas sa telebisyon, at sa mga magazines na sinasabing higit dalwang milyong piso ang presyo.

Sinalubong kami ng aking Ninong at sabay-sabay kaming pumasok. Nabuo ang ngiti sa aming mga labi ng masilayan ko ang lawak ng pamasyalang iyon. Ito ay masasabing isang malaking hotel at mall lamang ngunit ang mga makikita ay hindi pangkaraniwan sa mga katulad naming simple lamang. Mula sa kainan na may French, Japanese, Italian, mayroon din namang Pinoy, at marami pang iba. Mayroon din namang Casino at mga sinehan. Namangha naman ako sa mga pamilihan ng bag at sapatos, sa brand pa lamang ay mapapansin ng nagkakahalaga ng libo.

Nakarating kami sa ikaapat na palapag ng gusali kung saan naroon ang teatro. Newport Performing Arts Theater, nakikita ko lamang ito sa telebisyon tuwing may ginaganap na patimpalak sa pagalingan sa pagkanta. Ngunit ngayon ay nakita ko na sa personal na talagang malawak ito at saka malamig. Sampung minuto na lamang ay magsisimula na ang ‘King and I’, ang stage play na aming panunuorin. Tumawag naman ang aking ama at sinabing hindi siya agad makakarating. Natapos ang panuorin na ako ay nanlalaki pa rin ang mga mata at nakanganga sa mangha sa galing sa pagkanta ng mga nagsipagganap at ang kanilang mga accent sa pagsasalita ng Ingles na tila mula Britanya.

Bandang ika-siyam ng gabi ng nakalabas kami sa teatro at nakipagkita sa aking ama na kagagaling lamang sa kanyang trabaho sa Quezon City. Kumain kami sa isang Filipino fine dining restaurant na tinatawag na Crisostomo’s. Napansin kong pinasosyal lamang naman dito ang mga lutong bahay sa amin kung kaya’t gusto kong makatikim naman ng iba tulad ng mga hain doon sa Mexican Restaurant sa kabilang tabi. Ngunit ako’y pumayag na rin nang dito ang kanilang napagpasyahan.

Katatapos pa lamang naming kumain nang may natanaw ako mula sa kabilang kainan. Dalawang pamilyar na mukha ang papalabas mula roon. Sila ay lagi kong nakikita sa aming telebisyon. Isang hindi inaasahang pagkikita! Ang isa sa mga sikat na manlalaro ng Women’s Volleyball at matagal ko ng idolo na si Gretchen Ho ay nasa aking harapan. At ang kanyang kasama ay ang sikat na host ng tagisan sa pagkanta na The Voice na si Robi Domingo. Tinanong ko kung maari akong magkaroon ng larawan kasama sila at malugod silang pumayag.

Natapos ang gabi na isa sa masayang gabi ng aking bakasyon. Kung saan nangyari ang lahat sa loob ng isang sikat, sosyal, at ekstraordinaryong gusaling ito na dinarayo ng mga dayuhan.

Halos hatinggabi na ng kami ay nakauwi pabalik sa Cavite at hindi ko pa rin makalimutan ang isang gabi kung saan naranasan ko ang parang maging sosyal na rin. Dahil sa ekstraordinaryong gusaling ito ay nadagdagan ang aking mithiin na mas lalo pa akong magsikap.



(featured image content: this article makes it to the p.13 Hunyo-Nobyembre 2013 issue of ‘Ang Batis, ang opisyal na pahayagan ng Baco National High School’)