"I know that this kind of weather is always unsettling: there is warmth in not taking a bath, the new washed clothes your mother hung would not dry for quite a long time, there’s mud on the soles of your rubber slippers, droplets of water entering the window you can’t close, and eating ice cream would be kind of savage. But I’ve always enjoyed the company of rain, loved it even.
When I was young, I used to think that the rain would be a little taste of heaven — making all of us, no such thing as poor or rich, equal. You can’t blame the fuck out of me either, those tiny droplets came from the clouds. And the sky would often times be explained as heaven’s realm.
Then I grew up. I thought that even though the things have become broader, there would be less explanation required but I am still drowning, swimming into my own thoughts. That is why I am always thankful when the rain comes. I no longer have to spend more money for another bottle of sleeping pills when the demons inside my head start rallying at night. I have the rain pouring so loud I wouldn’t even have the slightest idea that there’s an earthquake happening inside me.
Sometimes, I’d get a little mad when people tend to use the gloomy weather as their reason for being sad. How come they can’t see that all this greying.. all of this turning into dark bluish kind of color, some days black as night, has taken a lot of colors combined to appear?
I wonder, do most of you know that the warmest stars are color blue?”
— and so the girl with a smile radiant as the sun is the storm the people have been praying not to come
“We expect too much of new buildings, and too little of ourselves.”- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.
— Frida Kahlo, The Diary Of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait
The first time I heard Up Dharma Down was around Ilumina days, they were famous for their official sound track - Tadhana. Tadhana was a fine work. Lyrics are good, tune and instrumental are both good, and even the construction I fancy.
But it was not that song that captured my heart totally and made me in rapture with this band. I was third year, heart bleeding, finally in my knowledge what is my role to a certain story when I heard Oo. Boy, was I dumbfounded. Album was published around 2006, how come now’s the only time I heard it?
I wasn’t going to spoil you the story yet, just a bit of introduction to that post. Closing of the academic year is approaching by the time my friends who applied for an entrance test to a certain university told me that in this certain event, Up Dharma Down would be their guest.
So without doubt, I gladly took the offer to come.
There’s this one problem though. The ticket is free only if you took the entrance exam, I did not. However, one of our classmate would not come and he gave it to a friend. My friend has doubts about coming and no, he did not gave it to me. I stole it from him. Hehe.
I’m a little devious mongrel. Of course you already forgave me for that, didn’t you? *shoutout to Jiggs*
It was a summer music fest, as seen from the ticket above, wherein it looked like Coachella but of course minus Vanessa Hudgens and a lot of pretty people in their wonderful gyspy outfits, or maybe Wanderland.
Not just too fancy, I guess.
A lot of bands played well that night but there’s one band that struck us, of course other than UDD and Maude, silly. I forgot the name of the band but their song Sigaw led us into deep thinking.
I was with the people whom I cherish very much, which — mind you — are quite few. These girls enjoy listening to UDD as much as I do.
During one of the “filler” stage of the event, the hosts came down and went near us, interrogated few of us that would become freshmen in June. Stayed away from them and took photos instead, guess I am not for exposure after all. Hehe.
Too bad, I only had one photo. But guys, this is MAUDE!!
Still not over with their joke:
"Again, kami po ang bandang Maude. Not The Maude." Only shreks would get this.
Maude has this awesome vocals, awesome set, and a quite good looking vocalist. Good thing that we had a picture with him though. (Ehe)
It was the first time to hear them, both live and in my life. (see what I did there)
The time they started this one particular song, I was instantly captivated. And I started to burst once I heard, "May sukli nga ba kung maghihintay? Mahiwaga ang dahilan kung bakit ‘di ka abot kamay."
And then I was totally blown away at the chorus,
"Ang pagmamahal nga ba’y naghihintay? Hindi ba’t tulad natin, tumatanda’t namamatay?"
And then I died by the time I heard this,
"Minsan lang, minsan pa, subukan ang tadhana. Kung h’wag na lang o tayo ba ang takda?"
Of course, I am just over reacting. I am not lying though when I told you that they’re damn good. This rant doesn’t even gives enough justice of how good are they.
The most awaited, UP DHARMA DOWN!!!
I remember when I told my friend one time, we were listening at Oo or I was singing it, and I told him that the moment I meet Up Dharma Down, I’d fucking ask them if I were with them the day they composed that song. You see, Oo basically sums up my love story.
Too bad I didn’t get the chance to ask them. Boy, was I too starstruck just by the mere sight of them setting up. Paul wasn’t there which is kind of sad.
Before they showed up, the hosts were asking a lot of fans different questions. I was answering the damn questions in my head, God knows how much I wanted to answer but I told Jiggs so he would answer in my stead. By the time though that he was about to say, “TURN IT WELL” he said instead which is a joke, “TWENTY TWELVE”.
Hence the title of this post.
When Ean started banging the drums for the intro of Sana which they first played, all hell broke loose. I was even singing that time I took their photo. Camera isn’t damn well cooperating so I’ve got no videos to take home.
I was also with Jiggs by that time. So when they played Oo, I sang it with all my heart. I repeat, I sang them with all my heart. ALL. MY. HEART. So he would know that I could relate and that it was fucking meant for him. No hard feelings though, I’m okay now.
Tadhana used to mean nothing to me. I mean yes, given that it’s a wonderful song and almost mainsteam but that night… I realized what people meant. So glad they even included, “Bakit hindi salubungin ang puso ko at kunin? Ang diwang malaya wag nawang mapayapa. Ikaw ang pagibig, pakinggan ang himig ko. Wag ka sanang lalayo, mundong ito’y lilito.”
They also played Indak, Taya, Parks, and Luna which is my current favorite. Quoting the song with my favorite lyrics: "Hindi na tatawag ng pansin, mawawala lang sa hangin."
The last one they played and was dabomb for an ending is Turn it Well. Armi was so kind because she motioned us to come near her (we weren’t allowed to come near the stage), we hesitated for a while but she mouthed something like: it’s okay.
And so with that, again for the nth time, all hell broke loose or rather the seven gates of it did.
Credits to Viana for this photo. Turn it well is such a reaaaalllly nice song. It was a mood setter whether you want to be bound sad or happy, it could lead you to the both. We started clapping and dancing to the tune of it. T’waz marvelaz.
With my girlies! We were euphoric, ecstatic, name all of the happy and uplifted spirits there are in an adjective, we were that.
With the vocalist of Maude!!!! That’s my trying to suppress kilig face there.
AND WITH SIR — HANDS DOWN — EAN MAYOR! Drumming with his soul. We didn’t have photos with the rest of the band especially Armi mi luv but it’s alright. Just seeing them and hearing them live are both heaven to me.
The night ended and we went to Jollibee to have a very late dinner. Have I told you that I was so happy that time? Aye. I did. So happy I was even singing Oo at Jepoy’s car while going home which I’ve never done in my entire life.
Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine Pangasinan, 2014
I am no foreign when it comes to Pangasinan because two of my aunts live there and almost annually, we celebrate Christmas holidays in Alaminos.
Since we’re going north, Mom decided to drop by Manaoag and if the time would allow — attend a mass there.
We’re from Laguna so it’s quite a long ride before reaching North and EDSA is still the same bitch the last time I checked it. We reached Manaoag past 6 am, meaning the mass has already started.
Daddy doesn’t like attending mass if it has already started so we just said our prayers instead and lighted up some candles.
It’s still magnificent as far as I can recall.
I’m interested about church architectures actually. After all, churches tend to survive the longest in history.
Do you also wonder what stories lie behind how they stand tall through the years?There’s one story about the church but now only a tower near at the Mayon Volcano, it was tragic even though it was just fiction — there’s some truth in it though.
Anyway, we stopped by the alley markets to buy various kinds of malagkit (mi paborito), and I bought a bracelet to replaced the one Jimmy gave me which I’ve handed to Louigie for some reasons.
And then off we go again. Where to? Vigan!
Ah, Graduation Day. I remember it clearly, perfectly etched into my mind like some carvings on a stone that didn’t fade through out the centuries. I’m not going to tell you though how the events unfolded chronologically because that would be kind of sloppy.
I am just going to tell you something about it. How it made me perfectly happy. How it made me sad just the same.
If you would ask each person in our school who would be their role model when it comes to a disheveled hairdo, by all means — I wouldn’t doubt a single moment that their answers would not be me. It is I who rules the kingdom of messy hairs and anti hairbrushes of some sort.
That is why on our graduation day, I just opted to straighten my hair with an iron — hair iron, of course — instead of having it set. I just want Ayel to be Ayel just as what she is known for, since this is the last.
Well, where should I start?
I’ve spent ten years of my life with my Alma Matter. I came from a rough school which provided me bad, bad, bad friends and the only thought that makes them befriend me is that I’ve got loads of stuff. Toys, clothes, etc. I was the only child back then.
I was so scared when my parents told me that we’d be moving, from Cavite to Laguna. I thought that I would find myself again into groups of the same people.
Boy, was I wrong. I found myself falling into the rabbit hole. I was taken into Wonderland, instead.
Saint Francis of Assisi College Calamba or simply known as SFACS was a huge part of who I am now and what I have still yet to become tomorrow.
Having it said, it was like I was an ugly duckling then and now turned into a.. well not exactly a swan but kind of. The thing is, I have really found my niche here. Might as well say that I’ve planted my roots here.
It’s really really hard to think that I am leaving. More so, to leave.
Here are some of my favorite people. My super friends whose growths I have seen and so they have with mine. Ah, this people — one of the main reasons I can’t fathom I am leaving. Here, we start parting ways. How do you part ways with people whom you have used to see almost every day of your life for a decade?
Ah, TOT. I reckon I haven’t mention yet that I prefer boys as friends rather than girls? I don’t know, more landi — maybe? But, kidding aside, I’d never thought that I’d have this two as, not even my friends but, sisters.
Fate might be real because one event — that single event brought us together. How do you part ways with your family?
Our guest speaker really inspired me that day.
Here’s a confession: I never really listened to guest speakers except they happened to catch my attention which does not have a very large span, and when they do, they’ve got to be awesomeballs.
He is an alumnus of our school and is now a very successful man. He graduated from my dream university with flying colors.
And so the same goes for me. (hehe)
People would often ask me why am I very diligent or seek for an advice how to study well, how to memorize well and I will always find myself either not answering them or answering them answers that do not make sense.
Truth is, I find studying stress freeing some time. It’s like my stress ball whenever I am sad, especially experiencing tedious heart breaks or such.
And also, lastly, sometimes I think that studying is the only thing I’m ever good at so what do we do with our talents? Enhance, enhance.
GOING TO DELETE THIS BECAUSE HE MIGHT SEE IT. LOL.
Ten years, right? Quite a long time. I am not a firm believer of relationships. I am even close to being a misanthropist myself. But you know fate have its funny way to blow the wind to another direction.
Ah, I have mentioned heart breaks right? I haven’t experienced heart break til my first year of high school. I’ve had a puppy love relationship when I was in fifth grade til sixth grade (malanding bata, I know) but it was never love. I know because it is my heart, silly.
I was not even hurt when we broke up. Then came Jiggs. Ah, Jiggs. My savior and my number one enemy as well. Even though he had brought me a lot of pain and though admittedly, most are my own doings, I have to tell that those all pumped me up. Made my high school life worth climbing for.
(Yes, raising my pinky is my fuck you sign because my parents are with me that time. A friend is making signs which obviously, he could see. Embarrassing.)
Before graduating elementary, I’ve always asked upperclassmen about how it feels like — to graduate from elementary. Before graduating high school though, I refrained from asking. I don’t find the need to know anymore because there’s a huge part of me — like 99% of me — who doesn’t want to know.
Being called as a candidate for graduation, pronounced as graduates, and turning the tail of your cap rightwards — it seriously feels strange. I felt like there’s a pang in my chest for a moment, then it’s gone.
I AM FINALLY A GRADUATE! BOW TO ME MUNDANES!
It was overwhelming because high school isn’t easy as what you thought. No matter how much safe you feel in your comfort zone, there’s always a time that you cringe for help because no man is an island in this world.
My favorite part of the program is singing our graduation song.
Believe it or not, I DID NOT CRY DURING GRADUATION. I did, however, after graduation. Don’t ask. I don’t know myself either. Tears must have suffered a very bad traffic along the way.
Our graduation song perfectly describes who we are, and our bond. It’s Happy, by Pharell Williams.
It’s Umagang Kay Ganda. Our teachers have a say on this but we’ve managed to push it through. It became my alarm a few days after.
It started as a joke — the choice of song but we immediately agreed on this.
But of course, we know that all things must come to an end. And so the day did, and so spring forth another beginning.
Singing the Alma Matter, marching no longer as students but graduates.. it’s both fulfilling and sad. I’m putting the good part first because I really find it sad.
I bet you’ve heard this one saying countless of times — that the reason why it is called ‘Commencement Exercises’ because it is not just about the ending.. it is also the beginning.
Because the beginning starts here in the end, where we begin to part ways.
(before I close this post, I just want to include this photo because Mrs. M is so fab here haha)
Photo heavy post. Hey! It’s our graduation day, we have the right to do so.
I guess that if I were given a chance to turn back time and to choose where would I be, I’d still choose the same place.
My high school journey? It may not be easy or not that fancy but what do you expect? That’s life which course never did run smooth. The only thing I could do is make the best out of it.
Sabi na lalaki talaga ako eh.
Great years with you guys, great years.
I was the last one to leave (how’s that for a high school drama). Hugged everyone, teachers, non-teaching staff, even the walls and the trees on the plant box.
araw ng pagasa’y na rito na.
Senior Evidences: Spontaneity at its finest
I can’t remember the exact date but I remember how it went exactly. It was wednesday, I think but of course as I have said before I know not the date.
We were feeling something from the pits of our stomachs which we cannot determine and by the end of classes, it was a secret note passed from the back row up to the front row, asking if any of us would like to go with our president and have this mini road trip.
Quite nervous because, 1) our teachers were keeping a keen eye on us that time telling us to go directly at home, 2) we are minors and so is our driver in spite of having a license, and lastly 3) we all know that it’ll be late by the time we head home.
The thing is, we’ve managed to face all three. We pretended like we’re not having an agenda after class. We kept our face straight and serious whilst traveling along the express way. Turning point is we planned that it is someone’s birthday (not mine though because it would be confusing that I would be celebrating another birthday when I’ve just turned sixteen last january). Viana and I had to share the same story because we live in the same village. We pretended it was Louigie’s birthday. Others told their mothers it was Shin’s, Viana’s, and the so on.
Went to Nuvali and strolled around. Walk, walk, walk, and feel the wind that seemed to be the harbinger of the nearing end of our high school journey. To be honest, I felt very ambivalent that time. I was happy because I was with them but I was sad at the same because times like this might not happen again. We stopped by at some place for some stories. High school years are coming back through us in a wave as we opened our mouths, there it came and I saw how words would not be enough to tell how.. how magical it was.
Afterwards, we felt the churn (again) in our stomachs, this time it’s the literal kind of thing. We had our merienda slash dinner at Paseo. Went home after a while.
On our way home, Jepoy was intentionally driving through the bumps — annoying us but eventually, we made fun of it. The whole trip was hilarious that along another bump, I’ve jumped a little from my seat causing to break the frame of Jerillyne’s cross stitch which made the whole trip more hilarious. We were trying to hide it since we’re at the back seat (Viana and I) but then she found out when she reached home. Have to admit it nevertheless. She pardoned me anyway.
Hay. Looking back really makes me nostalgic. It seems like it’s only yesterday since it happened. I’m about to splurge my feelings about graduation a day or a two from now. What am I supposed to say? What am I supposed to feel?