Monday, March 31, 2008

I Know I Can

Journal Entry No. 8

Media and Research Presently, I'm taking Communication Research at the most prestigious university in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines. 

This however is not my original major which I may have cited in my previous entries. 

I was interested at learning languages before so I chose European languages, studying French first and would have studied Italian, Spanish, German and Latin. 

But the desire to learn languages easily withers like trees in a barren land. I just cannot see myself in my major. I mean I cannot see what future I would have if I finish this major. 

The failure to see a clear future prompted me to become a mediocre. I didn't study well and was always the last in the class. My other classmates were fairly ahead of me and during class discussions, I was so ashamed and embarrassed because I cannot understamd my professor nor can I speak the proper pronunciation of French words. 

Je ne peux pas parler parce que j'ai peur... de mon professeur, mes amis dans la classe et especiallement de moi. 

Those were the days when I feel my feet turn heavy when I am on my way to my classroom. In my mind, another day to be humiliated. 

I wanted to break free and so I heed my calling and finally decided to do something about my miserable life. Now I can see a brighter future for myself. 

At least I know where I am going. I want to work in the media and become popular. 

Pessimists would tell me that it is not easy to achieve my goals. But ay! I say to them, there is nothing easy in life. We all have to face difficulties and that is the reason why we are living. 

Without obstacles then life has no meaning. Without obstacles life would be boring. And so, although I may not achieve my goals in life easily, I have hope that life would smile at me. 

And even if the universe would conspire to bring me down, I can look at it straight in the eyes and say that I shall never give up. I like the essence of this poem, entitled 'Be the best of whatever you can be'. 

It has become my motto since I read this poem. It is a very simple, the poem tells us that if you cannot be the sun, then be a star. But be the best star that would shine a million times than the sun. If you cannot be a mountain, be a hill. But be the best hill people would never fail to admire. 

In essence, we choose to become what will happen to us. I chose to become successful and there's no stopping to it. 

Achieving my goal to be a successful, popular and rich TV personality would be full of challenges. But I know I can do it, why? Because I believe.



Sunday, March 30, 2008

TRAVEL | First Time in Korea, Chapter 2


July, 08, 2007. Saturday

10:30am

New friends: Hoyang. Angie. Charlie. Danny. Jessie. Zena. Itgel



I tried to do some of my homework today but didn't finish them all. I had lunch with Angie. She is Unam's friend. She's an English teacher. I ate pork cutlet. Angie is an interesting person. She looks like a Filipina. Said she met her husband at Philippine airport. She has two children, Danny and Jessie. With was Unam. She is a quiet Chinese girl. Unam is nice though she looks serious. All the time we were talking she just listened. Angie paid for lunch which was good because I didn't have anymore.

Earlier I was supposed to withdraw some money with Hoyang but had to dash because Isa was looking for me. This was when she met Angie. I was looking at them from the window. Angie then decided to introduce us to her husband Charlie. So at 5:40 Angie picked us up from the dormitory and ate at this restaurant similar to the one we went to the other night.

Here's where we met Rick. Rick is an American pastor from Michigan. I don't like him. There's something about him that makes me feel uneasy. Maybe it's just that I don't like Americans to begin with. During dinner I had to contend with the fact that I do not know how to use chopsticks. I had to ask for spoon and fork. Charlie thought of hiking on Sept. 25. Isa and I have classes that day so I don't know how we'll squeeze that in.



TRAVEL | Memories in Korea










September 07, 2007. 
Friday

Just arrived here in Korea at exactly 5:15am. The experience was really terrible in the flight. I thought everything is going to turn out fine.


Why?


Let me enumerate.




1. My parents should have listened to me.


4:00pm
My luggage suddenly collapsed when it was being carried by my brother. I was so annoyed that I just wanted to buy a new one. My parents however thought otherwise. They opted to fix the the broken part. But when we got to the airport, poof and the luggage finally gave up. I ended up carrying a broken luggage all the way to Korea.


Lesson learned: Go with your gut feeling and never look back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

GUT FEELING

Journal No. 7 

You should always go with your gut regardless of what the facts indicate. The qualifier 'always' in this line is the only thing that I can't contend with. 

Surely, there are times when we cannot really explain something and you know for a fact that sometimes things don't go the way they are supposed to go. Then that's the only time you should rely on your gut feeling (instinct). 

For example, when I traveled to Seoul alone I got lost. I can read Korean language but I can't understand it. When I took the subway alone for the first time, I didn't really know where to go. In short, I was one clueless guy standing in the middle of busy passers-by watching them come and go. 

I tried to find the platform where I was supposed to go. Luckily I found it. But to my surprise, there were two tracks. One going South the other North. Both trains came already and I didn't have time to think. It's either I go in or wait. 

I am running late for my appointment that time so I didn't have the luxury of time. So I hopped in to one of the trains and crossed my fingers that my instinct was right. Lucky for me, the train went to the right direction. 

In this case, I used my gut feeling that the train was going my direction. How? I don't exactly know. 

There is just something in me that tells me to do it. It's also the same thing that happens to most of us in ordinary events. 

Say for example when you are buying an expensive clothe, or a house. Maybe it can also happen when you plan a trip to a distant land. You may feel when it is best to book a flight or drive a car for no apparent reason. 

There was this time that I had an appointment with a friend. We were supposed to meet at school but we didn't talk about where. That day, my phone battery suddenly died and there was no way of contacting my friend. I didn't know what to do but I know that she was also there waiting for me. 

I just walked and walked thinking what I should do then all of a sudden I found my friend sitting there on one of the benches right on my way. We just laughed when found how bizarre things could get but I just followed my instinct. 

This kind of gut feeling kept happening to me. Sometimes I would go some place for no clear reason and then something will happen. It's not like I'm expecting something to happen on the contrary I don't. 

There was also this time, that I was so disturbed I can't understand why. Three hours later, someone called me. It was my best friend's aunt, and she asked me if I know where my best friend was. 

Oh Then it hit me. Something wrong had happened. That night, the aunt found my best friend unconscious in a park. He was brought the hospital and could have died if he wasn't found earlier. 

Up to now my best friend is suffering from half-body paralysis. A nerve in his brain burst. This may sound freaky but this is not the point of it all. The point is, in life we can depend on gut feeling if we know we don't have to risk so much. For to do so, knowing how bad something may turn out if the action done out of gut feeling no matter the reward it may bring, is so reckless and may not be worth the try. 

As I put it, everything is not worth to be, but everything is worth trying.



I WANNA BE

Journal Entry No. 6 

Who I Want to Be When I was a kid, there were so many things that I wanted to be. Back then I was so naïve and don't really know much about the world. 

The world for me is nothing but the subdivision where I live in, the school where I go to, and the few places I visit around my small city. So, life is really simple for me. 

I wanted to be a fisherman. Every weekend when I was about seven or nine years old, my father would take me and my brother to the sea to swim. My father believes that sea air is very healthy and it would make our bodies strong. 

So, whenever we go there, I am always fascinated by the small fishes I sea on the shore. Then when the boats come and unload their catch I was always there to look at the different fishes, jerking for their lives. 

Sometimes I pity those fishes for I know how it must have felt to be suffocated. I have learned from my reading that fishes 'drown' when they go up the water. In humans, we drown when we are deprived of oxygen. In fishes, they drown when they breathe too much oxygen. 

I have experienced drowning too a couple of times and I can tell you that it's really not a good experience. Anyway, from these things I thought about of being a fisherman. 

I often wondered how it must feel to be there in the middle of the sea holding my fish rod and waiting for some fish to bite the hook. But now I've stopped wanting to be a fisherman. 

Life is just so complicated to depend on fishing. But I can always do recreational fishing but definitely not as a way of living. 

After fishing, I was hooked into planting. Every summer, fruits would abound and I would help myself with no one knows how much, then there would always be seeds left. 

I started planting these seeds- melon, watermelon, mango, etc. The first sprouts were so amazing and the feeling of seeing those small buds come to life simply gave me so much happiness. 

And so I kept on planting and from this I realized that I wanted to become, not a farmer but a biologist. I think I'm becoming more aware of the world this time. 

I have come to terms that I need to dream big because that's what other people want me to do. And there are just some jobs that are fit for different individuals. 

But I got fed up with planting after a while. The plants that I planted were trashed by my dog or stepped on by some people. 

It occurred to me that older people don't care about planting so why should I? I stopped believing but up to now, I am still planting. 

Back at home, I have ornamental plants and fruit bearing trees which I climb when its season comes. 

After a few years, I've learned that the world we're living in is a dog eat dog world. You cannot be too soft because the stronger ones would always take advantage. So I told myself that I want to become a lawyer and defend the rights of the innocent. 

When I tell people about this, they applaud me and say how wonderful it is. That I will be a great lawyer. But it wasn't long till I found out that lawyers' job can be dirty too. They twist facts and get justice on their side. 

To my innocent mind, lawyers are always good people because they know justice and justice should be served. But alas, it wasn't really justice after all. It was about money. Whoever has money will have justice. 

The unfortunate ones would always be unfortunate and justice would forever become blind to them. I stopped believing in lawyers and I stopped wanting to be a lawyer. I don't want to be a liar. 

After sometime, there were so many things that I wanted to be. I wanted to become an actor on TV and I can tell you how crazy my mother was about this acting idea. She really wanted me to be famous. 

Acting is a lucrative job plus the fame you get out of it. But I'm not so handsome nor have I so much talent. Sure I can do a few things but I never wanted to be in the limelight. To me, being an actor is not very challenging. You don't really use much thinking in this line of job. 

Then my father wanted me to go to the army and become a general. He was a policeman himself and I think my father wants to live his dream through me. It's just that I don't think I suit the job for I am an adventurous guy. I don't want to live in a box and be thrown in a death arena. So no. 

But there is always this job that never fails to catch my attention and that is news reporting. I have always been interested in gathering news and appearing in front of the camera. This way, I can use my brain and be famous at the same time. 

The pay is also important but I'm after the experience. Maybe after having enough experience I can find more high paying TV reporting jobs. 

In the Philippines, news personalities are very popular and people look up to them. Unlike the actors and actresses who are always taken as mere fantasies, news personalities always have the best reputation. 

Right now I am taking Communication Research. This major is about doing academic researches using scientific qualitative and quantitative methods. 

It is usually taken by people are interested in polls, marketing researches, academic researches and many more. When people ask me why I didn't take broadcasting if I wanted to work in that field, I simply answer them that I already know how to do it. 

What I lack right now is research knowledge. So, I'll just finish my major and cross the bridge when I get there.






Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Daydreaming

I never really noticed and never really cared if I do daydreaming but as I think about it now, I am quite surprised that I do daydream. Mostly when I am alone I find myself busy with thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts just run through my mind by themselves and this happens for a very short period of time, say 30 seconds to 1 minute. I just don't notice it because I usually feel empty and light. Like I am not existing. And it becomes a kind of escape especially when I have so many things to do which I am really worried about. I just look at one thing and voila there goes the daydreaming. Sometimes it is enough to see colors, smell or music to put me in a dreamlike state. I particularly notice colors like amber and orange to bring thoughts. One time I was with a friend. We seldom talk when we were together so when we stopped for a while we were just standing beside each other without any words. He suddenly snapped his fingers in front of me and said "wake up." I was both surprised and annoyed. Surprised because I didn't expect that I would be daydreaming in a very unexpected time. Annoyed because I was distracted from the momentary bliss that I felt. And from then on, my friend started snapping his fingers whenever I look blank. I also find myself daydreaming when talking with people. The catch is this, when someone is talking to me for a very long time, my mind starts to associate words with pictures and I see things, feel emotions and suddenly gets lost with what the person is talking about. It can be messy sometimes because the other person might think (and most of the time they do) that I am not paying attention which is partly true. It is however not exactly a deliberate action. Once I find my mind flying, I immediately talk so I can be alert.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Positive Thinking

Faced with a blank screen I come to think about how positive thinking influences human existence. When we think about something, there is always that possibility of achieving that "thing." Although the road to the attainment is not always about rainbows and butterflies. There are always obstacles and for sure failures. Despite all these, the ultimate goal is to get to our destination. So the determined ones get there and the not so determined satisfy themselves wondering how it must have felt to be there. In some cases, others would resort to sour graping. In simple terms, we brand these people optimists and pessimists.

Just a day before this writing, I watched a Japanese movie entitled Battle Royale and I am not sure whether the idiomatic expression came from this morbid themed film where teens kill each other until one is left. The point is this, from this film there was a mention about how there are only two types of people in the world- the losers and winners. There is no middle. It's always either. When you choose to be a winner then you survive, if you choose to be a loser then the soldiers just kill you. Simple. Isn't life like that. All the people who have the winner attitude survive and dominate and the losers get buried six feet under the ground.

Then comes the notion of survival of the fittest thanks to Herbert Spencer and not Charles Darwin. For the record Darwin coined Natural Selection from his book "On the Origins of Species from Natural Selection" published during the late nineteenth century. The idea is that as time goes on, the species with the best gene survive the rough competition while the weak perish. The human species evidently has reigned the competition but the war continues. Everyday the best competitors come out of a group and climb the ladders of success. But what exactly does these so called better individuals have to become different from the normal ones?

Then comes the realization, if people think that they are born winners won't they live their lives thinking that the world has conspired to make everything and everyday an opportunity to become successful? Consequently, this positive thinking would catapult these people in front of the line making them the leaders in their fields.

So, is it really just about the thinking? Is success a matter of whether you believe it or not?
 

There is a story about a frog that goes like one day there was a competition among frogs and the task was to climb a very high wall. Everybody started climbing but one by one they fell until one remained. Those who fell kept shouting at the sole frog that he can't do it. That he can't climb the wall. That all of them already failed. And that nobody can do it. Alas, the sole frog reached the top. The frogs below were surprised and to their amazement asked the frog how he reached the top. They kept on asking but the frog just stared at them. It was later they found that the frog was deaf.

The human mind indeed is a very mysterious one. It can do stuff beyond imagination. And if you have chosen to imagine yourself as a sore loser then congratulations you already are. But think about how blessed you are for having all the opportunities in life then no sooner will you find that there you were right.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

QUOTE


Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. -Will Durant

Remember when we were children. Everything in the world is simple. White is white and black is black. We often wonder why the sky is blue but back then it didn't matter whether it was caused by some divine creature or atmospheric light refraction. It's blue period. We wake up in the morning and expect that breakfast will
be served thanks to our mothers and we didn't asked why mothers do that. We go to school and learn about how Jack and Jill went up the hill but never really bothered why it had to be Jack and Jill and not Jack and Billy or Jill and Jenny. We just didn't care back then because we thought everything was simple. Life was a bliss back then. Just when we thought that we have enough knowledge about this world then we realize that as we grow older we don't know anything.

This is I think the very essence of my quotation, that education is a process of finding out how ignorant we are when we learn about new things. We have been amazed to know that white is the presence of all colors in the color spectrum and black is the absence of it; that the sky is blue because it is the visible layer from the spectrum of the sun's light; that society has imposed on mothers the expected role of nurturing their family; that Jack and Jill's childish story is a covert way of promoting gender hegemony. All these we discovered and realized that there are so many things beyond our knowledge and our lifespan is so short to fully achieve the mysteries of our existence.

SUBJECTS

This semester I have six subjects- English Conversation, Short Film Production, Chinese Language, Korean Cinema, Korean Language and Employment English. I really wanted to take some other Korean classes but up to now my facility of the language hasn't improved. I'm beginning to lose heart in mastering Korean. When I got here in Korea I told myself that my first semester would not end without me speaking fluently the language. Unfortunately I failed and because of that I am so disappointed. Yes failure teaches success. Yes everyone fails but just because we fail doesn't make us failures. On the contrary, we should be more challenged. I should be more challenged. Well it is not totally late for me to at least achieve a little of my goal. I have three more months and all that I need to do is give my best in my Korean class and I pray God may help me become a better speaker. I didn't really choose my subjects. I didn't know how to so I asked my friend to it for me. And all the subjects I have now are from my friend's judgment call. But they are really fine and interesting. Especially the languages. I don't know but I think I have a penchant at learning languages. My first language is Filipino, second is English, third is French, fourth is Korean and fifth is Chinese. Now when some friends ask "why" I am studying Chinese, I answer "why not?" In the Philippines, there are so many Chinese so I need to learn the language. Historically, the Filipinos have established quite a strong bond with the Chinese through commerce and this historical tie makes it even all the more reason to study Chinese. I think next languages that I'll be taking are Spanish and Japanese. For some obvious reasons. Perhaps the best class I have for this semester would be Korean Language. As of writing time, I haven't attended this class yet but this must be the best class this semester. It is my only chance to improve my skills. Last semester my Korean class was fun although was really tough from someone ignorant like me. My classmates then were like me beginner so there was really no problem in learning. She can't speak English but she tried to explain using body language.The least preferred class would be Korean Cinema. Well the subject isn't really that bad. It's just that the movies are far too boring. We watch 1940ish films and I feel I was watching old Filipino movies. Even the lecture makes me want to go out and grab a cup of coffee.But seriously I feel sad about this semester because there is always that thought at the back of my mind that three more months and I have to go back to my country. Three more months and Korea will just become a good memory to me. All the friends and places will become wonderful chapters in the book of my life. Three more months and I have to wake up, face reality and do what I am supposed to be doing. You see my stay here in Korea has been a very restful one. I have escaped the pressures of my university as well as the burden of my responsibility to my family and friends. But all that I must handover soon. I have no choice. I would surely miss Korea. It is not the I.Q. but the I WILL that is important in education.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Language Learning V.1

LANGUAGE LEARNING EXPERIENCE:
JOURNAL ENTRY 1 (3/6)

As I started my Chinese class yesterday (3/5/08) I felt so terrified and embarrassed. Terrified because everybody was Korean and I was the only foreigner, plus the fact that the professor only speaks Korean. As I stare at the professor, all sorts of things whirled around my mind and I am positive that I will fail the class. I am also anxious about learning, or if I will ever learn in a class where the mode of teaching is incmrehensible to me.

About my classmates, I have no idea but my guess is that it would take more than charm to get along with them since they can't speak English. There are a few but it is truly cumbersome to ask every so often what the teacher is talking about. Now I'm thinking whether this is worth the effort. The joke here is that, I finally found an advanced Korean class. So I advanced I just can't follow anymore.

The class on the other hand is rather tense. The teacher looks friendly but the teaching is certainly teacher centered so not much interacton in the class. I am also sure that this class will be tedious, very tedious. Why? Because I have to go the extra mile if I want to understand the lessons. Chinese is already difficult but Korean makes it even harder. It is not my attitude though to just give up without giving a good fight. I have nothing to lose here. If I fail then nothing will be affacted. The teacher knows very well that I am not good so there's no expectaton on my part. Whether it is the teacher or the makeup of the class, I don't really care. Both scare me to death. Maybe I am more scared of being tagged as a moron and stupid. You know when the professor asks me questions and I can't answer, I feel like I am not intelligent. But that is not true.

At the start, I was sitting in that corner hoping that the nobody notices me least the teacher. Everyone seems busy. When the teacher came, everybody answers to the questions asked except me. The professor is not that terrifying. Actually he is quite genial and motivating. If I am not mistaken (I can never be sure coz this was only transalted to me) the professor explained that the class is really for beginners. Yeah right, Korean beginners. So this is so far as I can write. I am going to attend the class today and see if I can make a head or tail of it. Then I'll decide. Come what may.

TOOTHACHE and EFFORT

February 21, 2008
Thursday
Edward's house

6:03

Edward and his father were supposed to go to the fitness club today but because of my aching tooth and my need to see a dentist, they cancelled it. On the way to the Ä¡°ú dentist's office, thoughts run through my mind. I have expected of losing my molar, then the pain of it which could go on for a week, then the horror of ruining the alignment of my upper set of teeth. Just couldn't bear it but when the dentist treated me, he merely placed a fill in my decaying molar. All the while, I was holding on to my breath because he might touch the flesh and I know how painful it can get. It's just good that it didn't happen. I am quite okay now though the pain still remains.


After the meeting with the dentist, I went to the library to study. But it turned out I was so groggy I just can't stand studying. My eyes were drooping like I didn't sleep last night when in fact I was drugged to sleep by the mefenamic acid I took due to the seering pain I experienced last night.

I was on the 5th floor, half asleep when I heard somebody mentioned my name. When I stood to see who it was, I saw Isabel and Ginny with Angie. I went down to meet them. At this moment, I know something's happening to me. Like I was experiencing some kind of allergic reaction plus aching tooth plus aching body. Oh, it's really unbearable. I almost wished I was dead.

I just realized that you can never tell Isabel any secret because she has this habit of telling other people what she knows about you. To add insult to injury, she uses these secrets to damage a person's credibility like it is really nothing. She just doesn't have prudence that's all. So, I am careful enough not to do the same mistakes of telling her important things which she has no reason to know in the first place. But now she's telling me she hates me because I'm not telling her my secrets. She sounds like it's my responsibility to update her with my life. I didn't ask her to share her lifestory with me so just let me be. I'll never make the same mistake. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

6:41

I am trying to study Korean but I haven't gone very far from where I started. I am still struggling to learn a few words and hopefully string meanigful sentences. Take note, meaningful coz as of now, the only things I can do is mumble words and keep my fingers crossed that the person I'm talking to makes sense with what I'm trying to send across. Anyway, as Lao Tzu puts it, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Good luck to my steps. I hope I don't fall.

Bad day

What is it about dirty rooms and insensitive roommate that makes you wanna ignore people. Add to that the feeling of absolute disgust about your day. I am so hating this. But I think I'm just upset because I'm not satisfied about the art work that I was doing. It's just that something is really missing in that so called canvass and I don't know what to do. I tried letting the others have their way but I guess I have been so clear with my vision to make the work simply artistic that I made them think twice before they can give an idea. Then the homework that must be finished. Then the student that I should meet at 7pm when I haven't prepared anything.
I am hungry, sleepy, broke and hopeless. I don't want to go back to HID today but I have no choice. I left my Chinese book but I am not in the mood to get it. I have an appointment at 12nn and I only have 10 minutes. I am so tired. Really tired.

Monday, March 10, 2008

SUBJECTS

This semester I have six subjects- English Conversation, Short Film Production, Chinese Language, Korean Cinema, Korean Language and Employment English. I really wanted to take some other Korean classes but up to now my facility of the language hasn't improved. I'm beginning to lose heart in mastering Korean. When I got here in Korea I told myself that my first semester would not end without me speaking fluently the language. Unfortunately I failed and because of that I am so disappointed. Yes failure teaches success. Yes everyone fails but just because we fail doesn't make us failures. On the contrary, we should be more challenged. I should be more challenged. Well it is not totally late for me to at least achieve a little of my goal. I have three more months and all that I need to do is give my best in my Korean class and I pray God may help me become a better speaker.

I didn't really choose my subjects. I didn't know how to so I asked my friend to it for me. And all the subjects I have now are from my friend's judgment call. But they are really fine and interesting. Especially the languages. I don't know but I think I have a penchant at learning languages. My first language is Filipino, second is English, third is French, fourth is Korean and fifth is Chinese. Now when some friends ask "why" I am studying Chinese, I answer "why not?" In the Philippines, there are so many Chinese so I need to learn the language. Historically, the Filipinos have established quite a strong bond with the Chinese through commerce and this historical tie makes it even all the more reason to study Chinese. I think next languages that I'll be taking are Spanish and Japanese. For some obvious reasons.

Perhaps the best class I have for this semester would be Korean Language. As of writing time, I haven't attended this class yet but this must be the best class this semester. It is my only chance to improve my skills. Last semester my Korean class was fun although was really tough from someone ignorant like me. My classmates then were like me beginner so there was really no problem in learning. She can't speak English but she tried to explain using body language.

The least preferred class would be Korean Cinema. Well the subject isn't really that bad. It's just that the movies are far too boring. We watch 1940ish films and I feel I was watching old Filipino movies. Even the lecture makes me want to go out and grab a cup of coffee.

But seriously I feel sad about this semester because there is always that thought at the back of my mind that three more months and I have to go back to my country. Three more months and Korea will just become a good memory to me. All the friends and places will become wonderful chapters in the book of my life. Three more months and I have to wake up, face reality and do what I am supposed to be doing. You see my stay here in Korea has been a very restful one. I have escaped the pressures of my university as well as the burden of my responsibility to my family and friends. But all that I must handover soon. I have no choice. I would surely miss Korea.


It is not the I.Q. but the I WILL that is important in education.

March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

HOBBIES

There is a saying that goes, "What we enjoy, not what we have, constitutes our abundance." True as it is, we can't have everything in life but there are simple joys that makes life worth living. Such are the hobbies that we do to amuse ourselves in order to achieve personal gratification. Well hobbies can be anything really so long as you enjoy it. If you can afford it then there is really nothing wrong with. An expensive hobby is not really that different from a cheap one it's just that we people have been so brainwashed into believing that others' hobbies are far better than us. As I have said, if you enjoy then there is no reason to envy anothers'.

In my case, I have a few usual hobbies. I enjoy watching movies and TV programs, listening to music and reading books. Depending on my mood, I prefer to watch funny movies when I'm down; romantic when love is in the air; action (especially martial arts) when I'm bored; mystery when I feel like thinking; sci-fi when I want some escape; fantasy when I feel childish; inspirational when the world looks like a terrible place to live in; and sometimes horror just for the thrill of seeing gross things on the screen. Just this week I watched one of my favorite movies, Notting Hill. It has been what, ten years since I last saw it but the feeling is still the same. I still get that breathtaking moment when Julia Roberts says, "I am also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her." Sex and the City, Will and Grace, Heroes, Charmed, Friends, Buffy, and Two and A Half Men are some of the American programs which occupied me for some time. Well most of these programs have finally closed curtains but still worth watching over and over again. In the Philippines, I enjoy watching Filipino dramas. I don't like variety shows though. All those singing and dancing make me want to go to bed. It's just not my cup of tea. I'm also an avid viewer of news programs, well mostly Philippine news but if I'm interested to know some things about other countries I tune in to BBC or CNN. It reminds me that when I was in elementary school, news programs were aired late at night so when I hear that familiar opening song from the used to be popular Filipino news program, I go to bed. Take note, late at night during those time meant 10 pm. But now, late at night is 1 am. So different from the time I was young. Anyway, with music, lately I have been into Jazz and Classical. I have enjoyed the music of Norah Jones, Michael Buble, and Josh Groban. The sonatas of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky to name a few gives my mind that much needed break. I am old soul really so I find pleasure from listening to folk and country music be it American or Filipino.

When it comes to books, I am not exactly a book worm but once I get hold of one title, I make sure I finish it to the end without skipping a page. It is just that I feel really awful when I start reading a book and not finish it. It's like I'm hanging there, thinking of what could have happened to the characters. For this reason, buying cheap novels has become a kind of a hobby too. One may call it impulsive, but when I go to a bookstore and see a cheap book but with good quality, I buy it even though at times I don't have much money. The satisfaction of purchasing a book is truly unexplainable.

I am also into collecting photos. Especially when there are special events like my visit here in Korea. I try as much as I can to document all the things I have done, to capture on camera the places I have been. I think Korea is a very beautiful country and what a waste it would be if I don't take photos of it and save it for memory's sake.

Blogging, that writing on the world wide web is another hobby that keeps me preoccupied. Not religiously taken though but when there are so much feeling that I just can't contain, blogging becomes an emotional release. Once I write down some of the things that keep whirling on my mind, there is that feeling of relief add to that the fact that I can always go back in time and read what are the things that kept me crazy.

Also, I find singing in the karaoke truly a pleasurable experience (pickled or not). We Filipinos love to sing. I think our life has been chronicled through songs back to the time before the Spaniards set foot on our land. We have songs for planting and harvesting, courting, wedding, funerals and so on. Today, Filipino songs have been dominated by Western culture. Names such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, etc, have been common household names. Anywhere you go in the Philippines, you will find someone who can sing "Like a Virgin" or dance Michael Jackson's "moonwalk." And the Karaoke phenomenon has been taken to the next level. It used to be in ordinary houses only but now there are karaokes in restaurants, prisons, cemeteries, etc. It's funny that in the Philippines, there is one deadly song (literally) which is "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. Many a men has died because of this song. Why? Because usually this song is sung in bars that a few have voices not exactly the kind you would want to hear if you're really pent up and all that's why some decides to kill the singer. So in the Philippines, we have a saying that never ever sing that song if you love your life.

And lastly, I enjoy playing some sports like badminton and table tennis. Not professionally but I just enjoy sweating myself until I can't play anymore. I am very persistent and competitive so I don't stop until I beat my opponent. Such is my character that sometimes my friends get pissed off at me. But I don't find anything wrong with giving my best. To people games are just games. To me, games are a matter of life and death. It's either win or win. I have erased the word losing from my vocabulary a long time ago.

In the future, I would still like to do some other things like acting on theater, learning how to play the piano and violin, cooking and baking, photography, and painting. There are just so many things that I still want to do but because I have limited sources (e.g. time and money) I just dream of these things and hope that maybe one day I could also do them and know how it might feel to stand there in front of all the audience awed by my thespian prowess, or serenade my significant other with the song dear to us played by myself on my piano or violin, or fatten my friends with my amazing cooking skills, or capture life's best moments on photos, or express my feelings through oil, easel and canvass. I know nothing is impossible. I know I can do all of them. I just need to take things one step at a time.


The greatest pleasure in life is doing what other people say can't be done.

March 10, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Holy Daddy


Watched a Korean movie tonight. The story is kindda usual but soft as I am, eventually I cried. The thing is, I cried while someone was sitting beside me. What can I do? I can't stop the tears from falling. I can't tell my eyes to refrain from crying. But the worse was that I wasn't just crying, I was sobbing. Too soft for a guy I think.

And so the question, why do us men keep our emotions to ourselves? Why do we keep people from seeing us cry? Is it because of the fear of being tagged as a sissy and weak or have men become so in love with the idea that, "boys don't cry?"

I don't like her

I just finished attending an orientation and let me tell you something, one person was talking to another and they seemed like they were having fun. But when the other came up to me, she said she doesn't like her because that other person has the same phone. "I don't like her."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Snoring

It's funny. I had a dream last night and in my dream, someone told me that my snoring was very irritating. When I woke up, I realized that my dream must have been real. That I snored. So I talked to my roommate and he told me that he was surprised about my snoring the other night. I apologized and said that I just snore when I am very tired.

Lately I have been feeling rather stressed out of all the things that I have to accomplish for this term. Add to that the fact that I need to think of my teaching and earning money. Whenever I think of them, my head whirls around and I feel dizzy. How I wish my life was so much better. But how can I complain when my life isn't that bad. Far from bad really. Now I'm tired and I think I'll just watch a movie.




My Autobiography...

I am Allan Yasser Z. Abdula. A Filipino. I come from the beautiful archipelago of the Philippines. My friends call me Allan and I prefer it this way. My parents say that they gave me this name because Yasser is a prophet's name in the Holy Qu'ran while Allan is a Catholic name. This is mainly the things that makes my life interesting. When people hear of my name, they pause and ask if I am a Muslim. I just smile back and say that my father is. My mother is Catholic and I have decided to be one myself. Although my father keeps telling me that I need to convert and believe in His religion. I respect my father so I just let him be. I however would not falter in my belief and I would die as a Catholic.

I have two siblings, one younger brother and younger sister. As the eldest, I have been given bigger responsibilities to my brother and sister but I think I failed on this. I don't get along with my brother. I am very lax with my sister that sometimes I think I am so apathetic. I'm just not the ideal older brother. It's just my personality to let people do what they want to do. I think people should be free and the very reason why we have this so called faculty of thinking is for us to use. When my sister always complain that it's so hard to walk, I tell her that she should consider herself lucky to have feet. And if she doesn't use them, better cut them. Brutal as it may sound, but I would rather call it logic.

I have always felt that it I should excel at everything. Maybe this concept gave me the idea that things should be perfect. If they are not perfect, then I get disappointed. I have so much ideals in life that at times are impossible to achieve. The perfectionist in me also give me a very difficult time because I have to contend with my pursuit of setting everything in their right places. The clothes go here, the shoes go there.I however dislike a predictable life. I am always on the prowl for new experiences be it food, travel, study, people, and just about anything. In my opinion life is better when you don't know what to expect. As Forrest Gump puts it, "life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you'll get." Isn't life interesting when you keep on finding out something new.

It makes me think of my Economics class. I already forgot about the names and lives of famous Economists and their contributions, but here is what I learned, "the law of marginal demand states that the desire for a product decreases as time increases." If you eat chicken in a day, it would taste delicious. But after a week, you'll get fed off from it. So life is just like that. If people keep on doing what they do everyday, then chances are they will become bored. And I am not one of those people. Life is so short to waste it on small things.

Aside from these long litany, I must say that I dream big. So big I don't know how to achieve it. When people ask me what my dream is, I say "world peace" and I really mean it. The most important thing people need now is peace and unity then everything else will follow. But when the same people ask me how, I have a very vague answer to this.

As I have said, I am a very adventurous person and I like surprise. I will just cross the bridge when I get there. When it comes to hobbies and interests, I have the usual ones- movies, music, sports, etc. But what makes me different from other people is that I have a romance with the oldies. I like old songs and movies. Sometimes people brand me as an old soul because of this odd preference. But I really enjoy old stuff.

There are times late at night when I'm alone, I just sit by our family couch, drink coffee and listen to some old songs. Sometimes I look at old photographs while I do this, and I can't help but smile and say to myself how wonderful those past years were. It seemed like only yesterday. How time flies really fast.

I am the type of person who is very private about personal life and I choose my friends well. It's not easy for me to attach that's why it's difficult to get involved with people be it platonic or romantic. But once I learn to trust the person and consider him a friend, I open up and treasure these people. For this reason, I have very few close friends. I don't like fleeting relationships because I think people should love each other honestly and not just superficially. I think I have eaten so much of your time already so I have to stop now. I just hope that you have known me better through this.



Of Roommates, Friends and Sex

3 March 2008

Compromises

Living in a dormitory is both fun and taxing. You are lucky if the people with you are not selfish thinking that the only thing that matters is their own comfort. Whatever happened to sensitivity, I don't have a clue. 


What's more is that it makes me more annoyed to think that their can be some people who pretend that they are doing service to their kin when it is really the opposite. Whew, I can string out more words of vexation but I am just not that type of person. As far as I'm concerned, it is better to look at the bright side of life and stop sulking. Things cannot be that bad. I mean yeah, I had to contend with the fact that I am living with people who are not so much like me but this is a challenge. A very big challenge I must say. Just as I write this entry, I feel so displaced for my roommates are already asleep, at 10pm. That's exactly when I start to work on the things that I have to finish. I am a nocturnal creature so my mind doesn't just work well in the morning.

And then the question, why is it so difficult for us to tell those insensitives that they are already crossing the line?

Then they have the guts to ask, "are you ok?" Of course I'm not. That's one of the silliest questions I've ever heard in my life. Questions which you know very well the answer. I'm so pissed off.

Maybe I won't use this entry, maybe I will. I don't know. I'm really confused. I keep on avoiding trouble but somehow it finds me. I hate conflict that's why I'm compromising as far as I can. And this is just the first day. What more of the coming days? This maybe the result of first day anxiety, if there is such a thing. But in any case, I am fervently hoping that things would become better.


Making Friends

When a person finds himself in a strange place, the natural reaction is to find his place, observe the people, and approach the ones who look nice enough to start a friendship.

This is exactly what happened to me today. I was looking for my classroom and I found a lot of students in my way. When I finally got to my room, I sat and settled down. Then the usual hi's and hello's then that's it, you have friends. Although there's still that part of reluctance that keeps you from totally giving in with strangers.

And I guess it is easier for women to bond. It's women's nature after all to connect to each other talking about who knows what. However, women's style is totally different from men. With men, it's not just you approach them and say "let's be friends." I think men needs some kind of reason to start friendship. I don't know, maybe a guy needs some help or he wants to share something, could be anything. The point is, with men the relationship is not based from automatic response. It becomes more of a needed response.

If men doesn't need anything from other men, I doubt if there will be a connection. So the question, do men's relationship last longer than women's? If a man makes friends, will that be something deeper than women?

I think women love to connect because there is that natural instinct to know the playing field much like the lioness in a field. The lioness must know where the food is, place to take care of the cubs, etc. But the lion is just there, watching, minding his own life. In a way men are like lions.


Sex

Just before I started writing my journal, I watched this Korean movie about a girl and a guy. It's really nothing special. It just shows the different perceptions on love and sex.

Is virginity still important for both men and women?Do couples need to get married before having sex? Does it even work?Should there be love when doing sex?Is it okay to have casual sex?


These are some of the things shown in the movie. It's really interesting how views on sex have changed for the last ten years. But come to think of it, the guy in the movie has a point when he said this, "sex is a natural part of the human system. So why do we have to repress it?"

The question, if sex is so good then why are we even ashamed to talk about it? If it's normal, then why do we have to brand people with a higher sexual appetite as sex maniacs or perverts?


Sex is good. Not to mention its health benefits. But don't get me wrong, I am no sex guru. I am a virgin and honestly I feel uncomfortable talking about it. You may understand that I come from a conservative society, well not so conservative but still a society that doesn't celebrate free discussions on sex.




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