Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rain and Laughter

Rain poured greatly today. I was happy not to see children playing under the rain – it would’ve made me envious. I was in school as the drizzling leveled up to a downpour. At the time, we were having our room-to-room campaign. Such moist in the air brings the scent of nostalgia if not shoved down my throat.
My sweetest memory of a rainy day was at our old and original provincial house. Original because it went under construction to become the modern edifice it is now. More room to move, comfortable and perhaps considerably a mini-villa along the street towards the seductive nearby sea. And yet it was empty and soulless, at least for me.
Since it is newly built, I have no souvenir memory to revisit in that house. While the scent of wet air will always bring me back to our old house in Samar, I could never arrange a visit to our new house.
I remember waking to a rainy morning in Pambujan. I don’t know how old I was. It wasn’t dark nor was it a day for a Kapre and Tikbalang nuptial – as kids put it when it rained while the sun is high. The air was wet but wallowed with every taste of provincial life. The window was wide open, no metal bars or grills or mosquito nets barring it from the outside. The sand seemed the surface of a Sunkist orange as rain pummeled from our half-metal, half-nipa roofing. I sat right beside the wide open window as my Lola brought breakfast.
No high-end could compete with that meal. It was fried rice with egg bits, daing with vinegar and hot cocoa. The rain seems to contribute to its appeal and would’ve rendered me drooling uncontrollably. One of the best childhood memories I have. I ate with my bare hands, of course after washing them. I poured a few cocoa on the rice dipped Daing in the Vinegar. In between chews, I entertained myself with the ducks and its ducklings circling outside. 
After finishing the meal, there were kids around the same age I was who started going out of their house and dancing under the rain. I watched intently as they rolled across the ground chasing each other around. My cousin saw this and finished her meal as well. We ended up pleading to play outside in the rain to our parents – they allowed us but we should stay in front of our house and not on the paved road.
I went out, spread my arms, looked up and opened my mouth. I let rain water down my throat. Then I laughed as me and my cousin fooled around. A simple joy which is truly worth doing again and again. This made me love the rain more, it cleanses me, it hugs me wholly without regret, caresses my skin as it moves down the ground – it also makes me laugh.
But earlier, I held my umbrella against it - shielding myself from its hugs and kisses. Not for me, but at the thought of others seeing a tall guy acting like a child. Maybe what I miss most is laughing under the rain as I let it pour – free from gaining a bruised ego collected from looks and facial expressions of others. To be mature was to do what I did, but to be yourself, to be me, is to dance, play and sing under all the droplets of glory showered by the generous clouds.
What I want is to laugh in the rain.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


I just learned how to reformat my computer. Surprisingly, it's easy. I always thought it was this complicated procedure that is exclusively under the prowess of computer geeks. As my cousin elaborates during the installation, “The only hard thing about it(reformatting) are the files that you need and don’t want to delete, that’s why you back-up,” he said in the mix of English and Filipino.

Before taking the laptop to my cousin’s house, which is just a few doors down, I already backed-up my files. Reformatting today was honestly due to consistent procrastination since the sem break. My laptop would always flash, “Virtual Memory Too Low,” making it close all programs that I’m using - how sweet right.
There were a number of irritating instances. One is when I was editing a particular photo, our Features Editor I think, for Adobe wars – a sort of collection of disfigured, cursed and messed pictures of FEU Advocate members and posted as screen saver in the office. It was almost finished when suddenly the program closed. Good thing I saved halfway through, so I just re-edited the photo.

Whenever I use massive running memory programs like Photoshop, movie editor, RPG and the likes, I consistently save. I know that these programs live with the predilection to HA……………………………… HANG or as RO gamers put it, LAG. What really makes my teeth grind as thoughts of punching the screen, hammering the keyboard and throwing the whole thing out the window occurs when even a low running memory program such as MSWord HANGS without my file being saved or, even by an Angel's kiss, rescued. And these things remain thoughts because I don’t have money to replace the laptop. Heck I didn’t even have money to buy it – it was just from a demo promo.

Anyway, any writer or blogger would hate it if their article or entry which is already in its half-length would instantly go poof. As if the situation isn’t at its worse, the file wasn’t even rescued. What’s worse, it’s a melodramatic piece – as always – and the mood was completely obliterated. Well, no use crying over spilled milk – except of course if that milk is used for Haagen Dazs ice cream then it’s out the window with this thing. Obviously it still is and will remain a thought, I couldn’t even afford Haagen Dazs.

Sorry for the detour, so I had it reformatted. When I was backing-up my files, I was scared lovely viruses, yes there are more than one, plus malwares would jump in wreak the same havoc as before. I really want to spare myself from World War II; the battle for Virtual Memory. Good thing McAfee suddenly updated with the ‘autorun’ virus. Then I was able to scan my external hard drive and now it’s clean!

So here's the life application piece. Yeah.

The files we keep in our computer are the same with the memories we treasure. Without them, it destroys who we are at the time. Imagine a person with amnesia, it’s almost the same. That’s why we back-up. But it could only be done with a computer not with our head. The memories we have are 'backed-up' by the people whom we shared it with but compared to a computer it’s not easily accepted as copy and paste. Though the mind of a person with amnesia is a clean slate, it can reject inputs if it chooses to.

Another perspective, the computer just deletes the old files. With us humans, it’s not as easy to forget –especially with strong emotions and feelings. Heck, even those with amnesia and comatose rise up to proclaim medical miracles after revisiting strong memories brought by familiar voices or situations. Perhaps my enthusiasm to have my computer reformatted despite being untimely is to take control of a part of my life that could easily remove old files.

If our actions and behaviors that we want to change are applications and programs – it would be easier to delete and let go. But it’s not. At the least I can reformat a more controllable part of me, since I’m losing grasp of other things.

Reformatting now is a reassurance that I can still control my life, well at least my computer.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zooming Out

November 3 marks the beginning of my last semester, hopefully, in FEU. I wouldn’t say college since I would still be pursuing an AB course. Me being in front of a number of people; my classmates, batchmates, teammates, teachers and parents during my graduation day as I deliver the redundant speech of loyalty is as fresh as the morning’s milkfish – but not as smelly.
Kuya Ian visited the office, was sidetracked more like, on his birthday, October 31. He was partly surprised why we were there. He admitted that he has this inkling that we, me, Dwight and other advo people, were in school and at the office. He suddenly tells us to enjoy and treasure the last semester we have in the Advocate.
I suddenly zoomed out for a wider perspective of the trying landscape. It’s like seeing a timeline of what was, what is and what could be or rather what I wanted and dreaded it to be. I was reminded of how near April is and how far my first June in FEU was. I suddenly was nostalgic of how I felt during the then 8-hour Advocate examinations and what I endured and enjoyed to get to where I am.
A part of me wants to extend my term, just until May, to do the things I want to leave for the Advocate. Perhaps if the Administration and the incoming Editorial Board will give me one more semester in FEU – then I would, but it would be against the Advocate’s new and improved charter – so that’s quite impossible.
Yet, there’s also a part of me who longs for the warm sun rays at the end of this short tunnel. To not worry, not be stressed, not care and to just relax – which I could do if I really wanted to – but I know I won’t and so did the people who entrusted me with such responsibility. It wouldn’t be a struggle if my drive is shared by those I work with. Well I believe they do, and that belief is gradually faltering by the moment. If such occasion materializes then my personal drive will have to be enough for everyone – and I will see that it really does.
It also made me return to my usual blog mood – poignant. My editorship is drawing to a pause. Yes a pause, I dare not say a close but it looks like it would really turn out that way. In any case, I surely will make the most out of this semester.
So I pray. I first thank God. Then I apologize. Then I ask for three things; strength, wisdom and courage. Strength to face any person, place or situation. Wisdom to make the right choice, proper judgment call and a well-balanced decision. Courage to do what is right and what’s not easy, to take the risk, to do what I ought to do and enough courage to draw strength I don't have and apply the wisdom I’ve not been given.


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