Monday, November 19, 2007

In Which I Recount the Various Ups and Downs of the Past Two Months

Finally. After a few months of cold slumber, the inspired writer inside me has awakened once more. Once in a blue moon, and once in a blue mood, words overflow out of me and I have to content myself with typing as fast as I can on the keyboard; fingers rushing to keep up with the outpouring of thoughts. Let me first recount as briefly as I can the events from when I last blogged up to this date. It was an intersting period, one that has more than its fair share of trials and tribulations, pains and joys, struggles and hope.

The month of October is dreaded for its exams,projects and hell weeks, but it is also the month students look forward to for the few weeks of respite it gives. October made my heart jump and ache. It was that stark contrast of emotions that made it such an interesting month for me.

By the end of September, I had already psyched myself that I would be having a hard time in October. However, the preparation proved to be raw as I came face to face with the most grueling and pressure-packed two weeks of my life. There were multiple long tests everyday, sometimes to the point of having three or four in one day. The deadlines were up for the major requirements and the huge projects. The time has come to endure tension-filled oral reports. I had to crawl my way through the hodgepodge of academic demands. Looming over everything was the mounting pressure of the semester being the lowest in my college stay. Time and everything else in the world was not by my side. We tried our hardest to finish the time-consuming projects. With sheer willpower driving me, I forced myself through the accounting exams. I then had a do-or-die moment with my Stat exams. After solving my last Chi-square and ANOVA, I was finally free!

That freedom turned out to be short-lived. We still had a Filipino paper and a megaproject for Statistics. Those requirements totally spoiled my first week of Sembreak. I spent excruciating hours and sleepless nights in front of the computer, absent-mindedly crunching statistical gibberish inside my head. I crunched away, and typed away, and when my eyelids finally turned into lead and my brain into neurochemical soup, I knew that my ordeal was over. I treaded like a zombie to SOM, submitted it, then shamelessly crumpled on the next soft thing I saw... too exhausted to realize that it was the beginning of a one-month long heaven.

When I woke up, oh I enjoyed the best feeling in the world. I was like a genie, free after a thousand-year slavery. I was like a damned soul pardoned and sent to heaven after an eternity in hell. It was as if the world sang melodiously to me. Everything I saw was rainbow. Everything I heard was music. Like they said, happiness is a whole lot sweeter when you've gone through pain. I was filled to the brim with life and hope and dreams. I spent drowsy days reading novels that whisked me to distant lands; I spent sleepless nights watching movies and TV series that portrayed amusing takes on reality. Those were carefree days to load up on things missed during the school year. Those were inspiring times to realize interrupted plans and ungranted wishes. Those were nostalgic moments to reconnect and rekindle the camaraderie between old friends through meals feasted, ballgames played, or simply laughters shared. Everything seemed to glow a little brighter as I enjoyed myself.

Then came the Cagayan trip - the highlight of the Sembreak. Initially I hesitated to go since I thought I had better plans in mind. But then, another voice inside me was incessantly whispering that it could be a memorable adventure. The winning voice turned out to be correct as I had the adventure of a lifetime in Cagayan with my blockmates. I arrived late so I didn't get to do much on the first day. I only got to eat out at a nice restaurant while listening to the tragicomic situation some of my blockmates fell victims to. After that, we as one boisterous circle played the morbidly fun game Werewolf.

The next day, we were off exploring nature in all its itchy and sweaty and unpredictable glory. We did a few legs of ziplining, rapelling, and some trampoline-jumping too. All the activities were scarily exhilarating; you had to keep faith and surrender yourself to whaetever is in store. After a sumptuous (and cheap) lunch/merienda at a five-star resort, everyone went back to the hotel rooms weary and exhausted. However, we had to prepare for Trish's debut. Oh how grand that evening was. Everyone was resplendent in formal attires. I remember awkwardly escorting people back and forth, then clumsily dancing with the debutante afterwards. We stayed there until past midnight to celebrate Trish's debut as everyone danced and chatted the night away.

The following day heralded the most exciting part of our trip - whitewater rafting! My blockmates all felt anxious since we had to sign a contract which stated that we were solely responsible for our lives. We had a stop-over at the "Trying-hard cave", which turned out to be more challenging than what its name makes it out to be. It was pitch-black inside, as if every nook and cranny was soaked with ink. The tryst with the cave was just a harbinger of things to come. Once we reached the raging river, we all knew that it was going to be an unforgettable morning. The mighty currents undulated like a monster roller coaster.It was like the EK Ride Rio Grande but multiplied by ten million. While we moved on the calmer waters, we sang jolly children's songs as we rowed with all our might. Everyone also underwent the "Drop of Death", a crazy, wild act wherein we had to jump from a high high rock down to the raging waters. As we reached shore and rode the jeepney back to the hotel, our faces still reflected the thrill of that once-in-a-lifetime escape from the dull routines of daily life.

That afternoon we decided to do something different and played Counterstrike as one block. It was so much fun! That night, we went to Haze's house to indulge in good food(lechon!), intelligent conversations, and heart-to-heart sharings. We all wanted to make the most of our last night in Cagayan, so we went to a night market to eat balot. We rode back on a "tripney" (a cross between a tricycle and a jeepney, haha)and enjoyed the night atmosphere in Cagayan. After that, everyone went up to our isolated room at the third floor to engage in a slambook session, wherein we would ask each other semi-personal questions. By 3 am, the fourteen people squeezed into two beds: some were shaking in fear (from the horror stories), others were teasing and giggling, but most were snoring. Everyone then decided to call it a night.

The moment we woke up the following morning, we rushed to pack our bags. It was time to leave. Cagayan was one great city, and we left it colored with fond memories. The block Quest to Cagayan was one grand exciting adventure indeed!

When I got home, I subjected myself to even more fun and joy. I spent days strolling around Serendra, Greenhills and other nice malls. I played basketball in Binondo with old friends, then ate like pigs at the nearby restaurants when our legs were about to break. Our family went to Tagaytay for vacation. During my free time, I immersed myself in stories of all forms: from novels to movies to games. That magical week was just the way I wanted life to be.

We got our grades the week after. They were a little better than what I had expected, but would still barely pass off as decent. I decided to make the most of my final week of freedom. I went bowling for the first time in my life with my old blockmates, and though difficult at first, it was a fun and novel experience. A few days later, we went to Enchanted Kingdom with some blockmates. We rode all the scary rides over and over until I grew dizzy with all the heart-skipping heights and brain-numbing loops. We then headed to Tagaytay to chill, relax, and share.

Then came Sunday. I decided to end this fondest of vacations by squandering all my savings on my dream gadget, the PSP Slim. It was like icing on the cake for a great happy vacation.

The first week of school still felt like a hangover of the sembreak. I have my fair share of great teachers once again, and classes are generally (hopefully) easier than that of the past semester. My class days are short, and the workload so far is non-existent yet. I was back to my silent, pondering old self once more. There were lots of times when I walked alone under the scorching sun as noisy crowds passed by and I wistfully thought of sembreak again.

The past few days made me wish for sembreak even more. In a basketball game last Friday, I injured my knee when it collided with a defender while in mid-air. It turned out to be quite serious and now I find it really painful to walk. Worse still, the orthopedic told me that I might not be able to play basketball again. That came as a shock to me and depresses me still. Saturday classes were also disheartening, since I would have to part ways with the fun NSTP block I had last sem. Apparently, the series of unfortunate events would not end. A day after my parents came home from abroad, my dad saw me idle at home and thought that I was going to be late for school (when in fact there was still a good one hour allowance before class) so he did his sermon once again - that I always wasted my time, that I had to change for the better and that I would not be allowed this and that unless he sees that I improve my ways. I just could not take it anymore and I stood up and answered back. However good his intention, his impatience just chokes me so I feel really bad about it. All these occurences were a complete turnaround of what I experienced just one week ago. I wanted to ask why, but just had to console myself with the idea that maybe I already had too much fun and there ought to be some balance in life, or maybe I just accidentally ate beef. But then, I would just have to accept these circumstances and go on with life.

I have come to learn how delicate happy moments are. These treasured moments are as fragile as dreams... they go in full bloom one moment and pop like bubbles the next. However, though life inevitably has its ups and downs, I still try to be hopeful. It is what keeps me going. All the struggles and sorrows in life become worthwhile when we encounter that one single moment which would free us once more and infuse us with hope. That being said, I will try to live life as best as I can until the next moments of heaven come along.