What did UP do?

April 10, 2008. After more then three years of not seeing me, some of my high school friends were expectedly surprised with the sort of things I got myself into within that span of time, and the things that seem to have ‘changed’ since high school. Back in high school, see, being the youngest in class, I’ve always kept that sort of bunso role among all us boys in class. I find it funny myself.

Their first surprise was when I told them I was part of a fraternity. I hadn’t expected it myself. I was never the fratman material, back in high school, and up until now. That is if you follow the traditional stereotypes. The part of me being an activist and a student council member didn’t come off to them as much of a surprise. I was class vice-president for half our stay in high school, after all, and often ranted about our seeming apathy and indifference with what’s happening around us.

Anyway, since I came from a dinner myself after an afternoon at Star City, I just caught up with them finishing off their plates at a restaurant, then we all went to do a round at the bowling center then a few rounds of drinks. Speaking of which, that part sort of came to hem as a big surprise too, that I could gobble up glasses of beer faster than everyone else. What do you expect from a fratman, trained for booze? I think we still looked like high school kids pretending to be cool by drinking. Haha!


Close to a hundred thousand are left homeless in the landslides that struck Southern Leyte. Close to two hundred dead people have been recovered from the mud. Also, over seventy people are feared dead as a ferry disappeared in the seas of Palawan. Heavy rains continue to pour into central Philippines. Tragedies here and there! Today, FPJ formally accepts his nomination as the “united” opposition’s standard bearer. Another tragedy or indicative of something more tragic to come, I’d hate to presume. (It’s silly, I know, but who knows?)

TD Christmas

We held a Christmas party for our TD kids in Nangka this very sunny afternoon. I was having a headache so that put me into kind of a grumpy mood. But of course, I still managed to be cheerful and all smiling with my kids.

TD Christmas Party

TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party TD Christmas Party

TD Christmas Party

Two of the seven kids I tutor were absent for the Christmas party. I have a feeling they didn’t attend on purpose because… well, one of my kid’s family lives in a cardboard shack less than two square meters large. They are that poor. I guess she was too ashamed to show up without exchange gifts for her classmates? (It shouldn’t matter, right?) It makes me sad.

Ani mo, Day 3

Ani mo part three

See the lack of enthusiasm among my classmates during competitions? It disheartens me. Haha. Look at the crowd of other sections eagerly watching the contests.

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For the cooking contest that required all of us to use tinapa as an ingredient, we cooked tinapa in fried rice. I coined a perfect name for it — TINAPAKANin. Hahahaha. Just look at the aftermath. (It was tasty though).

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For the group singing contest, my classmates performed on an almost-empty crowd. Our other classmates even left before they got to perform (they were the last ones to perform). That’s what I keep talking about.

Ani mo part three Ani mo part three

Anyway, after all the presentations, we had our Hilites Magazine salo-salo during org period.

Ani mo part three

Class apathy (Part 2)

I am naturally competitive. I enjoy participating in competitions (may it be individual or team-ups). I have a passion for winning. I said I wanted to become a freeloader but I’m naturally not one. I can’t. Maybe that’s why I am seriously affected and depressed by my class’s lack of any desire to compete in most if not all of today’s competitions for Ani mo, ani ko.

I wasn’t even supposed to go to school today as a sign of disgust. But I couldn’t stop myself. I did go to school. We weren’t supposed to join any competitions today because we didn’t prepare anything. But, our class president forced us.

The first event was the dance competition. Oh God, I wish I didn’t remind myself. We didn’t choreograph anything. Our presentation was worse than a moshpit on stage. And I was at the centerstage of the performance. From then on, I’ve lost all my dignity for the day. I was even willing to join the karaoke contest and the stage skit presentations. I didn’t care anymore if I became one of the batch’s laughing stock!

What made it worse was that some of my classmates really didn’t seem to care at all. They didn’t even cheer my classmates who were presenting on stage. Some of them even left the venue long before my classmates got to present. See the lack of support?! (I want to applaud my classmates who braved stage fright and performed with barely any preparations).

Apathy is very contagious. Not all O-boys are talentless. In fact, it is not in anybody’s doubt that we are a class rich in various talents. But, most of them are deemed useless every time this prevalent disease strikes an epidemic every competition season. Talented people get very disheartened by the lack of support, even the lack of any little sign of sincere appreciation. That’s why we don’t perform our best. (Maybe that’s why none of us has ever gotten the first honor award even, those who can get it get ridiculed). I admit there are many, many times I entertained thoughts of wanting to be in some other section in our batch. It doesn’t make a difference anyway. I don’t really care, the brand semi-honors section just seems to be a fallacious generalization. There are some classes in our batch that I really, really envy. They seem to have ironed out their differences to work with each other with everybody’s cooperation and participate in all competitions and activities. My class rarely works as a team. Really. It would take more than a passionate speech from a popular figure in class to make me believe otherwise. Well, those are dramatic exaggerations. What I’m saying is, I can’t be my best when I’m with my class. Many people can’t develop their talents and be their best while they’re in 4-O. I guess we just all have to wait for the end of our high school life before that happens.

Do you realize how frustrating this is for me? It’s a sad experience for a competition-oriented, team-driven kid. It’s depressing. But then comes a thought, my friends are from 4-O. I’m not saying I wouldn’t make friends, better or worse, in other sections. But you know what, in as much the same way someone doesn’t get the chance to choose to which family he is born into, we don’t get the chance to choose to which class we get grouped with. And like a family, even though there are a lot of problems in it, years of staying with it attaches you to the members. They become your brothers, however much you don’t like how they act or think. That’s why I feel sad, it feels like years of wasted talents and opportunities.

Class apathy

This is so frustrating. Our class is not joining four of the five competitions tomorrow for Ani mo, Ani ko. All because the leaders (including me) gave up being very discouraged by the severe lack of support and apathy that is plaguing the class. It sucks. It sucks because there are a lot of talents in our class. What a waste. (I was supposed to head the group that was to compete in the dance competition tomorrow. I have even invited people to join the dance group weeks before the event, I’ve prepared the song and some of the steps already and what, all I got were a handful of hesitant volunteers).

It’s always been like this. Individual talents in class are rarely nourished and appreciated. If someone is good in Math, he’s ridiculed and envied. If someone is good at singing, he’s ridiculed and teased. If someone is good at cooking, he’s ridiculed. If someone is good at something, rarely does the majority in class appreciate it. The result? Absolute waste of talent! I think this is the reason why none of the O-boys has gotten the first-honor award in the eleven terms that has transpired since high school began. Agh!! I’ve resigned to the situation.

Okay, I feel better. It’s better that I release all my frustrations now than be grumpy the entire day tomorrow.

Manila and The Nutcracker

There’s something about Manila (the city itself) that makes me feel so foreign. It fascinates me. Maybe it’s the congestion of a multitude of people and a myriad of places to see in a small area? The architecture of the buildings? The narrow labyrinth of streets? The parks? I don’t know. It feels so different from any other place in Metro Manila.

Anyway, I just saw my first ballet last night with my mom at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (my first time in the CCP actually). We watched Ballet Philippines’ production of the classic Nutcracker. Because of ridiculously heavy traffic, it took us MORE THAN two hours to get from Quezon City to CCP in Manila. It felt like everybody was spending Saturday night in Manila (well, except for my classmates who were at Macky’s party, which I obviously had to miss). There was even a parade by different ati-atihan groups that occupied two lanes of Roxas Blvd.

Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker
The thing was obviously for kids. There were more children in Nicanor Abelardo theater than there were adults (and adolescents).

Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker

It was very nice. It kind of bored me because all they did was dance ballet to Tchaikovsky’s score. Well, it’s my first ballet, I barely knew what to expect. Anyway, the play ended at 10. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet so we stopped by The Aristocrat beside Rajah Solayman Park along Roxas Boulevard. Beautiful park with a nice fountain (although the water kind of smelled putrid, or maybe it was just the calesas’ horses?).

Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker Ballet Philippines' The Nutcracker

Ani mo, day 2

Next time, remind me to care and involve myself less in the affairs of class performance in anything. It would save me a lot of frustrations. I have the right to retire from being so involved. I highly doubt we’ll win more than five banners this year. (Though, I want to be surprised). (It really frustrates me. We are a talented class and we rarely use our talents to their full potential.)

ani mo ani ko day 2 The first event was Sama-samahan. We had to fit the most number of people in a square meter area of space. Our class had 18 people in our box. I was one of the ones on top of the bunch. Kenny took the pictures for me.

The next event was the Fun Run. Our orange class PE shirts make us look like prisoners on the run. It was hilarious.

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We all stunk after the run. My rough estimate for the length of he course is two kilometers. From Moro to Gate 3 and then back to the high school.

The next event was Nagkalechelog. It’s an obstacle course race of some sort.

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Next was Rara Karera. Another obstacle course type of race.

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Next event was Makapili, which our class neglected to join because of so and so… Ah, whatever.

ani mo ani ko day 2