Friday, December 31, 2010


On this day exactly one year ago, our family just came home from a fun-filled vacation in Japan, and I was getting ready to resume my last semester in college.

Fast forward one year, now in a different country but together with the same awesome bunch, sitting here in this cozy hotel room in the heart of Suzhou typing this entry about my 2010.

Recounting the year's events with flowery words and abstract insights always has the danger of becoming superfluous, but I genuinely feel compelled to write a piece that can serve as a worthy capstone to a wonderful year. I am writing this piece for the same reasons that I blog in the first place.. to cement memories, to encapsulate emotions, to capture what blurry memories and old photographs could not, to elicit a few smiles, even if only from my future self, to bookmark the chronicles of my life.

2010 was undoubtedly the most important year of my life so far - over half a million minutes filled with milestones and achievements, endings and beginnings, colorful experiences, new friendships, and a plethora of firsts.

Half a million minutes. Fifty-two weeks. Take away 1/3 of that for sleep. Another 1/3 for meals, travel, traffic, and idle time. Which leaves a year with only sixteen weeks of actual productive time to flounder and flourish. It's amazing then such a brief span of time can bring about so much change in someone. I've never learned, laughed, loved, and lived as much as I did this year 2010. As the title says, this past year was packed with milestones.

The first few months of 2010 marked the culmination of college life. It was the best semester of my four years in Ateneo, maybe not in terms of grades, but certainly in terms of the learnings I gained, from the implementation of our business plan with LS, to the inspiration I got from some cool business electives, to the fulfillment of my Ateneo experience through the passionate lectures of Bobby Guev and the enlightening teachings of Ma'am Angeles. March 2010 marked the end of university life, the end of seventeen years of schooling, and most importantly, the beginning of real life.

2010 henceforth became a year of freedom and exploration. The ball was finally in my hands. I was living the existentialist ideal. After treading the rigid path of schooling for seventeen years, it felt liberating to finally have the full freedom to shape my life into anything I want it to be. After a flurry of job interviews, I signed my first job offer right on my birthday, and started work exactly a week after. My time with Thomson Reuters marked the second phase of my milestone year.

The company was kind to me right from the start. They allowed me to take a two-week leave three weeks into my employment, and off to England I went with my parents. Participating in the IPEX Print Show in Birmingham opened my eyes to the wide world of international business. As I was helping my dad set up our booth, I felt humbled by the sheer amount of effort and sacrifice my father went through to keep the company running. The exhibition left us with just three days to take a whirlwind tour of London, my dream city ever since reading my first Harry Potter book. After actually visiting the famous sites of the city, I can say that it's now among my favorite cities in the world.

My time at Thomson Reuters was a period of stepping up, becoming more organized, and having my first real taste of the corporate world. Getting my first salary was awesome, yet I never expected that my stay with the company would also turn out to be one of the fondest times of my life. Everyday I would go to work looking forward to the smiles and stories of my officemates. In my four months in the company, I was rotated around various tasks and scopes of responsibility. My time at Thomson Reuters proved that corporate life could be fun and even fulfilling. Moreover, I proved to myself that I can be productive in the corporate world. I was settled with the environment, happy with my officemates, and satisfied with the pay. It was the ideal life of comfort.

Newfound freedom, however, is not meant to settle. When there's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that comes your way, you know that you just have to take the leap. A chance to study in the best university in Shanghai, an entire year abroad all by myself, a blank slate, a perfect setting to wander and venture out. And so at the end of August, I left my job and embarked on the trip of a lifetime, the commencement of my first semester in Fudan University.

When you get to an unfamiliar environment, your awareness gets heightened, learning gets accelerated, and everyone you meet is a potential new friend. At first I thought that the absence of the familiar will be unsettling, but it only took a few weeks for Shanghai to feel like home. It was exciting to have a boisterous, caring bunch of friends as varied as the United Nations, all coming together to study Chinese. Through their stories and cultural comparisons, I was able to live vicariously in countries that were previously mere encyclopedia entries for me. As we shared friendships with people from every corner of the world, the world felt more connected and alive, less mysterious but more beautiful. Together we traversed through a series of firsts and unforgettable experiences, all adventurers in the most vibrant city of the most vibrant economy in the world. We spent nights getting drunk at the posh clubs of Shanghai, taking ten-hour train rides to the northern cities of Beijing and even Mongolia, visiting line-free pavilions in the World Expo, attending one house party after another, playing sports and LAN games, watching movies on the small screen of the dorm television... so busy living life that learning Chinese almost feels like a mere bonus.

The end of 2010 doesn't simply mark the end of a year, but also the end of a decade. This has been my formative decade, ten years that transformed an unassuming Grade 5 student into the person that is typing this entry on this cold New Year's Eve thousands of miles away from home. Everything contained from the years 2001 to 2010 will be the foundation of my life for decades to come. In a span of a decade, I've graduated grade school, high school, and college; and in between these milestones are all the memories, learnings, and friendships that I've ever had. In this lifetime, I will surely look back to this decade the most as it is where most of my childhood memories are contained. The backdrop of events on the world stage, the fall of America and the rise of Asia, the proliferation of mobile phones and the rise of the internet to ubiquity, the musical zeitgeist shriveling from boybands to Justin Bieber, are stories I can tell my grandchildren as the stories of my time.

Coming back to 2010... A year is simply an arbitrary boundary in the life of a person. An hour, a day, even a decade, these are just lines in a pad paper where the words and pictures often spill over. New Year's Day is just a man-made starting point to the perpetual cycle of sunrise and sunset. The chaotic subjectivity of time rarely obeys these man-made dividers, so to have so many wonderful things packed in the span of 365 days... well, is a really special, blessed occurrence. I will always remember 2010 as the year I graduated from college, went to Europe for the first time, represented our company to an international print exhibition, worked for a multinational company, bought three new gadgets, got a scholarship, spent a semester like no other in Shanghai, and ended the year sharing the holidays with the people who matter the most in my life.

Thank You for a wonderful year.

As I let go of 2010, I embrace the new year with a resounding yes to the exciting adventures ahead. Welcome to 2011, a new year, a new decade.

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Affirmation of Religion

It is always disheartening to hear news about the parish scandals and empty cathedrals, the growing impotence of the Church and the decline of religion as a whole. On a personal note, I was quite disturbed when I realized how most of the people I've met here in Shanghai, in this microcosm of the world, do not believe in any religion anymore. Experiencing more of the world has only two possible effects on faith: one, because one has seen and read so much, one realizes that religion is a puny, archaic prison holding one back from a freer pursuit of learning and fulfillment; two, seeing more makes one in awe of the world which in turn translates to an awe of the divine

As for me, I hold the latter position. I am of the opinion that the world is too beautiful and mysterious to not have any sort of higher power behind and within it. This greater power emerges in the world that is greater than the sum of its parts, in the unifying synergy flowing through all things living and non-living, earthly and celestial. This perspective owes little credit to myself though. Catholicism chose me first. I was born and raised in one of the most devoutly Catholic countries in the world. I went through seventeen years of Catholic education, go to mass, and celebrate Christian holidays. Surrounded by all this, I almost have a social obligation to believe. Yet I have a choice, so why do I choose to believe in this flawed two thousand year old framework amidst all the advances in philosophy and science ever since?

It may be true that religion is mostly a social construct. Recent research even suggested that there is a god gene implanted in every human being, granting us the biological propensity to seek for divine meaning. The earliest cave paintings to the development of mythology and monotheism all underscore the huge role religion has played in human society. Through these, we come to realize that the concept of God is not fixed. It differs across culture and evolves with history. It moves in accordance to human failure and folly.

People add and subtract to religion; they come up with their own views of what God should be for them. The Bible was not some divine text that fell from heaven, it was written by people for people. In the Old Testament resided the vengeful yet protective God that echoed the sentiments of the plagued Israelites at the time. In the New Testament there emerged the merciful, accepting God which reflected the ideals of the outcasts who wrote it. What about the time before the Bible and monotheism, does it mean that their pagan gods were necessarily false? I think not. Those gods were real to them, it was how they perceived the divine, and it gave them meaning. In my opinion, no religion is better or worse than the other; the Buddhist, Christians, and Muslims of the world are merely wearing differently colored shades all looking at the same truth.

It may also be true that some aspects of religion have been overridden by the logical consistency of science, that the study of electricity has replaced Zeus and his thunderbolt, that the Big Bang has outmoded the creation stories, and evolution has overthrown the story of the Garden of Eden. All these though do not make religion any less true. Many believe that as science continues to progress, religion will be made obsolete. But I think that's because they confuse science and religion as belonging to one sphere of reality. In this age where everything runs on logic, it is easy to demand for scientific proofs of a deity's existence. But religion does not run on cold logic alone, it beats to another tune, the tune of faith. The point of departure is completely different, but religion and science are essentially two sides of the same fundamental truth.

Even just moving within the logical realm though, it is impossible for a rational individual not to believe in some sort of a source, a primary cause, a first mover. In viewing this mysterious source, one needs to hold on to a framework. One can label it as the hands of randomness, an omnipresent living field, even a playful puppet master; or one can see it as a higher power - a God. I choose to believe in the Christian perspective of this God as Love, with the laws of the universe and all of creation stemming forth from this love. For me, it's just so much more meaningful than viewing the Source as impersonal randomness. Overbearing traditions and the institutional conflicts of the Church aside, I still feel the underlying message of love that this religion brings, I still appreciate the shimmering meaning it imbues to all reality, that's why I believe in it.

More than being about love, religion itself is also a lot like love: the freedom to choose is there, but once you have chosen, you have to stand by it through thick and thin. It can be rewarding with all its practical purposes - instilling order, fostering a sense of community and solidarity, bestowing meaning, promoting values and virtues. Religion, like love, can also be impractical and senseless but still real. When a person slaps you, will you turn the other cheek? Will you really give up your hard-earned material possessions to the poor? Sticking to seemingly pointless traditions and teachings can be part of the deal. Religion is not simply a world view, but a lifestyle requiring action and commitment. Religion, like love, is a tough choice, but it can be the most rewarding choice of all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reality but not Quite

Today was pretty epic. I climbed a mountain, went sightseeing at a famous lake, and watched the seventh Harry Potter movie. I never thought that I’d ever do all these on the same day, but that’s the way life’s been rolling for me recently - oftentimes random and always exciting. Afternoons of soccer or yoga, movie nights and slam poetry.. throwing parties for friends, searching for an elusive Brazilian bakery, having your friend cut your hair, riding a motorbike to claim insurance, this list could go on and on.

This weekend just adds to that growing list, another gem in the treasure trove of stories I’ve accumulated in my almost three months here in Shanghai. I was hesitant to go to this Suzhou trip to be honest, as I didn’t know any close friends who are going. The 100 RMB deal was too hard to pass up though, and I’ve been itching to go on a trip for weeks.

First stop was some Suzhou Garden.. now it might sound like it’s just some garden but this is Suzhou we’re talking about, a city renowned all around China for its garden scenery. It was the usual picture-perfect fare, with a huge lake surrounding it, but one or two hours is enough to stroll around the so-beautiful-it’s-boring lawns.

Next stop, Tai Hu. We had to ride a boat without anybody knowing what our actual destination was. It took forever to cross the lake that felt more like an ocean. Finally, land. An island, what now? Well, to my surprise, we were there to pick mandarin oranges. As many as we wanted! I got to meet some interesting guys taking graduate studies in Fudan. An interesting scene: Arguing about world economics with an Estonian master’s student in the middle of an orange orchard.

Tired legs + bags heavy with mandarin oranges = hotel time. Having only paid 100 RMB, I wasn’t expecting anything grand, in fact a shabby hostel in the middle of nowhere would’ve totally met my expectations. But how wrong I was. After a hotel-caliber dinner, I went up to what was probably the most spacious and luxurious room I’ve ever stayed in. It was awesome.

Mountain climbing the next day. It was a regular climb up a regular mountain, but still loads of fun. A chance to bond with fellow scholars. I realized that the Chinese government sponsors such a varied group of people to study here: a Fil-Am who’s lived in five different countries, a guy from Myanmar who got a level 11 HSK, some guys from Burundi, Nepal, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and even North Korea! As we were having a group picture at the mountain top, I realized that I was with a pretty exotic bunch.

Fast forward to night time. My first time to watch in a cinema here in China. As Polyjuiced Harry, Ron, and Hermione were infiltrating the Ministry, that familiar magical feeling of the books started seeping back into me. Harry Potter 7 was damn awesome. The best movie of the series hands-down. Most faithful adaptation of the book without a doubt. This is the first time in the series where the movie actually gives justice to the book.. It’s pure pleasure to watch the characters come alive on screen, to see in full-color action the sequences I so fondly pictured in my mind while reading the book more than three years ago. HP7-1 is a perfectly brewed mix of romance, action, drama, and dark sequences with a sprinkle of comedy set in the spellbinding world of Rowling’s imagination.. Having been to London just makes the setting more real yet more magical for me. After the movie, I felt like all inspiration was coming back to me.. my profound love for the series, for the characters, for stories in general..

Looking forward to more weekends like this. Back to school tomorrow. Back to reality, but not quite:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dry Ink

Did I just have a three-month long writer’s block? Great Firewall or no great firewall, I am stumped, my brain stale and my ink dry. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, but what do I have to prove it, even just to myself? Two blogs filled with cobwebs? Check. A blank notebook? Check. Hammering away at the Add New Tab button until my browser freezes whenever I come face to face with a blank page and a blinking cursor? Check! Whatever happened to the notion of the scratch paper?

I can accept being average in any other field, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing, and that’s why I have grown so afraid of it. Anything less than awe-inspiring I’d rather not write. Any piece that I don’t feel can be an organic whole I cannot accept. That’s what’s making writing too difficult and intimidating, and this mindset is holding me back too much. I wait for an awesome idea to pop into my head, wait for this outburst of emotion to put me into a writer’s trance before I even begin dare to write anything. Writing is supposed to be free-flowing, but it has become a passive pursuit for me. I don’t control the words anymore, I just wait for them to possess me.

Not that I did not write at all in the past few months. I’ve scribbled the usual things in my notebooks and in my cellphone Notes - To-do, short-term and long-term plans, sudden nuggets of insight, realizations about myself… Colorful fragments of nothing.. null wayward strands of wonder.. impossible to weave into any tapestry. They’re pretty much like the random web articles I love to read so much. It’s so easy to do, and they make you feel like you’re doing something productive, but it’s actually quite an aimless activity. I just realized the other day that reading those little articles is like trying to catch sand.. it feels nice in those fleeting seconds that the sand slides down your hands, but you don’t actually get anything substantial from them. True learning is more like prying a hard rough stone. It may not feel as good but it’s something you can actually keep. I surmise that true learning needs focus - it can only happen when knowledge has snowballed on to the right direction, and then it just keeps going.

Okay, enough with the vague analogies. This just shows how long I haven’t written. And how I miss having this feeling of being able to bang on the keyboard keys for more than half an hour without feeling the urge to read yet another useless article on yahoo or engadget. But all is well. I realized that the amount I write is inversely proportional to the extent that I’m living. I got into writing because I had to balance the ideal and the real, but I never had that problem the past few months, because things were more than ideal. Everything was surreal.

I’ll leave that for another blog post though. But if there’s one thing that scares me more than a blank page, it’s reducing the vivacity of memories to letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Besides, I can’t let loose too much, lest I run out of fuel for what I anticipate to be a regular string of posts from now on. Here's to hoping that the ink never runs dry again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Overflowing with Love

The past many days have been a flurry of reunions and farewell parties.. overflowing with love from and for my high school and college friends, officemates, my wonderful family, and Kim ;) To love and be loved in return is indeed the greatest joy of all.. I just feel so incredibly blessed to have all these people around me as a new chapter unfolds in the story of my life. Leaving home is bittersweet, but I have to bear in mind that every goodbye is simply a beckoning for bright new beginnings. I will carry the great memories wherever my journey takes me. To all that has been, Thank You, and to all that will be, Yes.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Study history to understand the past, science to understand the present, economics to understand the future, and philosophy to understand eternity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Good days are the fuel that power us to fight through the stress of bad days..

Bad days are the stinging slaps that wake us up from the complacency of good days.

Life is a balancing act.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Swirling Mass of Colors

Things have been a swirling mass of colors lately.

Yes, a swirling mass of colors in all the world, and in the worlds inside me.

These sentiments should command at least five entries; but I'm just too lazy and I want things integrated and all-in-one. Much of my excitement is of course, tied to the recent happenings on the world stage. Spain has won its first World Cup with that glorious Iniesta goal (I did not regret staying up til 5 am for this one though I had work the following day).. LeBron James just made the blockbuster decision of tarnishing his legend forever.. This summer of mildly interesting trades and free agent signings in the NBA has just made me love my all-time favorite team San Antonio Spurs all the more. On the local front, Ateneo looks to have a fun breakout season even with its loss to FEU. Totally unrelated to sports now and moving to movies (how random), I'm absolutely excited with Inception, Nolan's new mind-bending blockbuster on a literal dream heist. Meanwhile on the political front, I have to say that President Noynoy seems to be having a great first two weeks so far. The optimism is palpable, and everyone seems to have that collective feeling that change is imminent.

Change is imminent.. this seems to be a fitting segue to the happenings of my personal life right now. I am slowly but surely approaching a point of no return. It's the ultimate paradox of human nature that we feel like backing out right when we are actually face to face with that thing we've aspired for so long. Now, the letters have finally arrived from Fudan and Tsinghua, and I will have to make the Decision soon.

And what a time to make a major life decision. I've never enjoyed this much contentment in my life. A swirling mass of jolly colors indeed. I just happily graduated from college, almost immediately found a comfortable and rewarding job at a prestigious multinational company, and now gel with my officemates as though we're family. In such a short span of time, napamahal na ako sa kanila. Speaking of pagmamahal, I'm so happily in love with Kim, who's just the most wonderful girl I've ever met. We share our Saturdays together, along with the occasional surprise visits and the Max eat-all-you-cans. Everyday, I go home to a warm, cheerful, loving family, exchanging stories and advice with my parents and brothers. During my free time, I continue to dabble in the mind-enriching things I love to do so much. Recently I've been following some incredibly inspiring Ivy League lectures on, already completing courses in Philosophy and Psychology (Just goes to show how much I miss Ateneo haha) and now starting with Financial Markets. I've already compiled the books I plan to read on my bedside; and I've just recently resurrected this blog. To put it succinctly, I'm living the ideal life of comfort, and it's wonderful.

And I will have to leave all of these behind.

I've waited for so long to have a chance to chase my dreams. Comfort or fulfillment? The decision is difficult but obvious. I have to take the leap.

It's time to transform that swirling mass of colors into vivid reality.

Friday, June 25, 2010


The scholarship results are out. There is a very good chance that a few months from now, I will be studying in the hallowed halls of Fudan University in Shanghai under full scholarship. My heart is bursting with excitement and gratitude. This is a coming full circle of a dream that harks back to generations past, a fulfillment of destiny. This is, quite literally, a prequel to an awesome future.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Live each day as though it were your first.

Just a random reversal of the popular adage. Somehow it makes sense, doesn't it?

REINVENTION: The Birth of Storyware

I've decided to reinvent this blog to serve as a compendium of everything and anything that captures my interest. In effect, it will become less personal and more commercial. Well, I realized that there is only so much to rant about. Far more interesting is the development of trends and new ideas. My lofty aim for this blog is to make new things familiar, and familiar things new. This I intend to do through the lens of stories, that most primordial yet most powerful medium that beautifully weaves our inner humanity. As The Story Unfolds will still be the blog title, but it will carry an expanded context. Story will not only pertain to my personal life (although it is still inevitably intertwined) but to the unfolding story of the world. I came up with the name storyware as a whole new category of digital paraphernalia (along the lines of software, spyware) that portrays the bigger picture and the grander story, the progression and the zeitgeist. Hence, each blog entry is a storyware, a snapshot of the changing world, and a prequel to an awesome future.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Gift of the Ateneo Education


It’s been more than a month since I departed the halls of my dear alma mater, and two months since my last academic activity. In the weeks that followed, I’ve engaged in futile attempts to encapsulate my entire college experience in words, to bottle that ‘magical graduation high’ lest I forget. However, I always remind myself that writing is a reflective activity: it requires distance and a certain detachment from the experience. Today, after all that’s been said and done- the MVP plagiarism scandal, the job hunting, the fun family trip and my birthday, there is already a sufficient distance between me and that magical March 26 afternoon.

I never expected graduation to be that emotional and bittersweet. I'm not particularly fond of graduations to begin with. In prep school, my graduation was fraught with nightmares and marred by a school tragedy. In grade school, it was tarnished by my conduct C and my absences in the graduation practices. In high school, the grand moment was held back by my barely passing grades and abrupt transitions. Following that trend, I did not allow myself to have high hopes about this one. In the weeks leading to the event, all I wanted was to get my diploma and get on with life.


Right on the month of graduation however, a chain of events came up which gradually paved the way for my change of perspective and change of heart. In the first week of March we had our Pabaon. It was a simple, poignant affair which made us reflect on the wondrous memories and learnings of the past four years together with our batchmates and dear mentors. In between the idealistic battle cries of the speakers, we were given opportunities to thank our teachers, friends, and the other characters that made the Viaje unforgettable. Pabaon inspired me to dream big and be a man for others. Indeed, it was a fitting conclusion to the most inspired four years of my life.

Two days before our graduation we had our Blue Roast. It was the final time that we would be together as a whole batch. Although the raucousness of the event made it a bit tiring, it was truly heartwarming to realize the connections made and friendships shared throughout our four years in college. It was a night of good fun and jovial vibes, a grand celebration of camaraderie, romance, batch spirit, and school pride.

All these however, did not prepare me for the sheer magnitude of emotions during graduation day itself. It was a long day, starting with a baccalaureate mass that was as solemn as it was poignant. The vast basketball grounds overflowed with some three thousand people, all partaking in God’s presence as students of the Ateneo for one final time. Only the magnified voices of the speakers punctured the silence of that breezy, breathtaking morning.


The graduation practice that followed was a pleasant departure from the formal atmosphere of the mass. Some were chatting about the achievements of certain batchmates, whie others were simply joking around. Everyone took to the stage with much joy and pride. After all, every one of the thousands of names in the graduation list succeeded in conquering the Ateneo. It was the culmination of four years' worth of blood, sweat, and tears. We made it! There was every reason to beam to the crowd and jump for joy.

After lunch and a few hours killing time with old friends, it was already time for the ceremony itself. We took some pictures with friends, then assembled at the quadrangle. It was such a surreal experience to bond with my batchmates, many for the final time. How peculiar it was to see batch mates wearing flowing togas that resembled wizard robes. That Hogwarts-like assembly definitely added to the magic of the moment. We marched to the graduation halls with hearty smiles and heads up high. It was the first of two significant glorious moments that day, the second of which was when I climbed the stage to get my diploma.

We were fortunate to be the first course to be called up among a kilometric list of graduates. The honor graduates were the first group to be called up the stage, and I like the rest of the crowd gaped with mixed awe and envy at the medals hanging on their necks. Our own moment of glory came shortly afterwards. As my name was called, time seemed to slow down to a crawl… the voices around the covered courts stretched to a prolonged groan, arms and feet floated instead of walked, and the smiles stayed in people’s faces longer than usual. After seventeen years of schooling, after four years of sleepless nights over deadlines, theology oral exams and accounting long tests, of triumphing over marketing panels and philo reflections, I am finally at the finish line. It has come full circle, the journey is complete, and what a journey it has been. I climbed up the stage with pure pride, and with every step my heart screamed with happiness, my entire being enveloped with transcendent glory. It was ten seconds of immortality, and how sweet it was. The ten short seconds on stage marked the culmination of my entire Ateneo experience- it made everything worth it.


The greatest part of the graduation ceremonies came at the end. Our graduation video came with an inspiring message for all of us graduates: “Because the world will die without it, go with love.” Moments after, we sang Song for Mary as one whole batch for the last time. It was probably the most bittersweet moment of my life, and the melodious chorus of over a thousand voices tugged at my heartstrings like a guitarist’s hands would with his instrument. The Song for Mary was both solemn and surreal, a sign that the journey was over and it was time to go down from the hill. Beyond that, the farewell song was an induction song as well- it bound us as one big community sharing a proud lineage of leaders and heroes. It was an affirmation of the batch valedictorian’s speech, that we are all connected. Indeed at that very moment I felt that the song connected me to all my friends and batch mates in that hallowed hall; it connected us to all the one hundred fifty batches that went down from the hill; and it connected us in love to every life that has been touched and will be touched by the gift of the Ateneo education.


As I went down from the hill that night and exchanged final congratulations with many batchmates whom I might never see again, my memories harked back to earlier times, a flashback of my Ateneo experience: that lazy afternoon when I first heard I got accepted into Ateneo, the day I first set foot on campus to confirm, ORSEM, block outings, English classes, enlistment, LRT and tricycle rides, NSTP, JEEP, Zhuhai summer exchange, playing cards at the caf, basketball at cov courts, hanging out at JSEC, meetings in Matteo, attempting-to-study-but-ending-up-dozing-off in the lib, watching live UAAP games in Araneta and screaming my lungs out every time the Blue Eagles scored, screaming even more whenever the Blue Eagles won, nearly going crazy when they won the championship, experiencing near-transcendence when they won again, Sesqui celebrations, marketing overnights, LS bazaars, immersion... it was a high-speed roll of film reeling with reminiscence.

Out of the drunken nostalgia, I recalled that aimless young self of four years ago, that self who questioned the merits of the Ateneo education and resented the awkward transitions that college life had brought about. I contrasted that self to a new self on graduation day and marveled at how much my four years in Ateneo had transformed me. Through the org activities and leadership opportunities, I learned to be responsible to causes far greater than myself. Through the business courses, I learned how to earn a living while seizing on opportunities to create value and make the world a better place. Through the social science courses, I learned to view life through multiple perspectives, to traverse culture, economics, and history in order to arrive at the most informed decisions. Through the humanities courses, I learned how to be truly human, to understand our place in creation and realize our mission of love. The entire Ateneo experience has made me see the world in a new light and emerge a better man.

As I went down from the hill that night, the sky looked quaint, and the familiar school buildings looked a little fuzzy, as though objects in a dream. Ateneo will always be a home, a breeding ground of dreams, a refuge for the ideal. It was time to move on, and with the end of an era, a bright new beginning had come to take its place. I marched down from the hill unsure where life would lead me next, but one thing is certain, always will be: I am mighty proud to be an Atenean, and I vow to make the Ateneo as proud of me.

Thank YOU for the Gift of the Ateneo education.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


In a flash of reflection, I realized that my favorite number is actually 3. Prior to this, it’s 8, but that's only because of Chinese tradition and herd mentality. But now, it’s 3, yes, three. I figured that 3 is a balanced number, a number that can stand on itself, unlike 1 or 2, and it’s a simple number, not as frivolous as 4 or 5 or 8. They say that 2 is company and 3 is a crowd. In a group, I think the dynamics become a lot more loose and comfortable when there are 3 instead of 2 people. In social terms, 3 is the minimum number for fun. 3 also reflects my ideals very much - balance, independence, and simplicity. It’s also a symbol of stability, as 3 legs is the minimum number for any structure to stand, 3 is also the minimum for a stable vehicle, and 3 just fits right with the flow of things. 3 is also a divine number. If we base the luck of numbers with Chinese traditions, then they should share identical pronunciations with lucky things or concepts. 3 is with tree. With Chinese, 3 is san, which of course is the name of my mother. San also sounds closely like shan, which is the Chinese word for good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Twenty-one reasons to love life

With birthdays always come this sense of disbelief, an exclamatory awareness of existence that proclaims the joy of being here, in this world with others. This experience especially intensifies for someone who is about to shed the cocoon of childhood, and enter the unpredictable, exciting yet tumultuous real world. It especially intensifies for someone who philosophizes and theologizes most of the things he sees, and attempts to weave connections in the grand tapestry of life. It especially intensifies for someone who is grounded, thankful, and hopeful. I cannot believe that I am now twenty-one, a full-fledged adult and university graduate. My twenty-one years have been rich with experiences and reflections, with friendship and with love. For every one of my twenty-one years of existence, there are an equal number of reasons to celebrate and love life.

1. God - I have a very complicated relationship with God, stemming perhaps from my view of God as ‘the voice that called the universe to be, and the whisper in my heart that speaks to me.’ He is my creator and my source, yet he is also my friend and closest confidante. He is my life and my purpose, yet also the subject of my doubts and questions. I am thankful to God for bringing me to where I am today. I am incredibly blessed with everything I have, and everything I am. I also feel thankful that I got to know God much better this year, with the in-depth classes in Theo 141, 151, Philo 103 and 104. I am that much more appreciative of my God, and I hope to sustain and extend this faith to my other activities as well.

2. Family - Where will I be without my family? They are my constant source of strength, inspiration, and happiness. My wonderful parents and my dear brothers complete me. They’re the most fun-to-be-with people on Earth, and we can do anything from eating out at midnight to long drives to riding long train rides in Japan to simply hanging around at home, and it’s always a magical experience. My mind is clear and my heart filled whenever I’m with my family. With family like Dad, Mom, Shaun, Ade, and Avery, along with my relatives Aunt Stella, Aunt Beth, Karl, all the others, and our Yayas, life is always colorful and filled with love. Thank you so much.

3. Kim - Kim was an unexpected blessing, and I am most thankful that she came to my life. A lot of times I may have taken her for granted, but day by day I come to appreciate how much she means to me. She’s the person I feel most comfortable with. I just feel so light and happy around her. She may not be the dream girl I envisioned, but she’s so much more… she's the most charming and lovable person I’ve come across, and I am so blessed to share this special connection with her.

4. High School Friends - I am very lucky to have a wonderful high school experience, most especially with 4C. Up to now, I still maintain close connections with many of my high school friends. It’s great that time did not diminish the relationships we shared, and as my world expanded, there are still these friends that I can count on. It’s so heartwarming to realize that the bonds that we shared for seventeen years still hold, and that the future will be that much brighter with them by my side.

5. College Friends and other friends - It was in college where I discovered my core group of friends, along with my best friend. Aside from Saint Jude, I share friendships with Beijing friends, Grace Gospel friends, Zhuhai friends, OJT friends, blockmates, Ateneo classmates, orgmates, friends, and acquaintances. With these friendships, my world has expanded significantly. It feels wonderful to share at least a conversation, a smile, or a greeting with an acquaintance you meet in a hallway. It’s great to have a bunch of people to laugh with, walk with, and identify with. It’s awesome to have a set of friends that you can always count on no matter what. I am very much thankful for the gift of friendship.

6. Teachers - While I am also thankful to my approachable and influential teachers in high school, it was in college where I was truly molded and radically moved by my teachers and educators. In Ateneo, I met sublime teachers who through their lessons, inspired me to become better. I met great teachers who changed my perspective, grounded my purpose, and enlightened my mind. More than the lessons they taught, I was also deeply inspired by the persons that they are, giving their lives in the service of their students and the school. Through the social science subjects, I learned what to live. Through the business subjects, I learned how to live. Through the humanities subjects, especially philosophy and theology, I learned why to live. For these learnings I am deeply thankful to my teachers.

7. My Saint Jude education - More than any other influence in my life, my Saint Jude education shaped me to be who I am today, for better or for worse. My meekness, my threshold for difficulty, my cheery disposition, my comprehensive knowledge of school lessons, all these I developed through my Judenite education. All those nights and mornings memorizing the long literature notes and history lessons sort of paid off with my accredited Level 7 proficiency in Chinese. More than anything though, the memories I carry and the friends I met in Saint Jude are my most valuable takeaways from the school.

8. My Ateneo education - Where will I be without Ateneo? Amidst the regrets and the what-ifs, I am most thankful to Ateneo for one thing - it transformed me to be who I am today. From the aimless, faceless being that I was in high school, I transformed into an ambitious, confident, and idealistic young man for others. Ateneo granted me with an unquenchable thirst for learning, along with the drive to be the best and to make the most out of everything. Ateneo taught me practical business knowledge, interpersonal skills, as well as the meaning of my humanity. Beyond that, Ateneo taught me that the quest for excellence has to be oriented towards uplifting others and glorifying the Lord.

9. Stories - I always immerse myself in stories. I love them so much, stories of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. Whether they be movies, TV shows, games, articles, or books, good stories just fascinate me no end. It’s just amazing how stories can magically weave words, characters and events to elicit emotions, stimulate the imagination, and shed light on the human condition. Stories spice up the blandness of life; they allow one to escape, to dig deeper or to fly higher. I am thankful for the sense of magic and wonder that stories bring to me, and I hope to one day weave my own stories as well.

10. The Big Picture - The big picture is something I share a close affinity with. The greatest moments for me are those when I feel endowed with a million perspectives. It is I at its most noble yet most real. It is recognizing that there is always something higher and greater than the self, or even any or all the fragments of this world - the big picture. It is recognizing that the world is big and beautiful, and more so if it is enriched with an enlightened world view. I love any kind of knowledge and insight for this purpose, for the connections between things that yield a more insightful big picture. Nothing beats the eureka moments of creating connections or completing the jigsaw puzzles of life. The big picture is organic, it just gets bigger, and it offers a rich and unifying perspective of the world.

11. Nature and Traveling - City-dwellers like us often understate nature as nothing more than beautiful scenery, yet there's so much more to it that we take for granted. Indeed, nature reflects the majesty of divine handiwork. Nature can just take our breaths away and get us in touch with our core and the divine. How? It allows us to step out of our comfort zones, and partake in the sheer grandeur of our planet. In line with this, I am so blessed to have travel opportunities almost at least once a year. All in all, I’ve been to Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The experience of traveling is always enriching. Not only do you get to expand your horizons about a new country and culture, but you also get to be independent and appreciative of the grand tapestry that is the world.

12. Basketball - What will life be without basketball? For me, it’s so much more than a sport. It’s a therapeutic stress reliever, as well as a physical and social outlet. It’s a way of keeping my body fit, as well as maintaining good camaraderie with friends. It’s also the funnest sport to play and to watch, as there’s always something new and exciting about it. Basketball was my key out of my intellectual and scholastic prison, and I believe I have become a better and more well-rounded person because of this sport.

13. Innovation and the Future - The future fascinates me no end. I have spent countless sleepless nights reading up on new trends about how technology will change the world and make it a better place for man. It always has something new to offer, and it always gives me something to look forward to. Innovation fuels the fire in my belly, makes me giddy with inspiration and passion. With a vision of the future so bright, it is my great hope to have my place in it and ultimately leave my mark.

14. China - China has a special place in my heart. Aside from having Chinese blood in my veins, my weeks in China were also some of the best in my life. Beijing tour was an eye-opening and absurdly fun turning point of my teenage life. Zhuhai was the fulcrum of my college life, and undoubtedly the most wonderful time of my life so far. China is extremely impressive for its rapid development and sheer grandeur. I love it for a greater reason though - China is the breeding ground of my dreams.

15. Technology and Gadgets - I love my gadgets. In fact, I’m typing on one now. My set of gadgets are nothing short of life-changing. For me, each gadget I have brings with it a revolution, a paradigm shift on how I go about my life. They have made life so much more convenient yet complete. My cellphone, which has a high-end camera, nearly unlimited messaging, and other conveniences; my laptop, where I spend most of my waking hours; my Nintendo DS, my newest toy and source of ceaseless fun and pleasure… Even though they are merely gadgets meant to be used as means rather than ends, I am still very thankful for them. I am also equally or even more giddy with the prospect of owning and using new gadgets and the latest technology.

16. Writing - Writing is my life. It has provided me with a core to cling to, and something to be proud of. I write when I am happy, I write when I am sad, I write when I am excited, writing is just so intertwined with my life already. I am thankful for the gift of writing, for my love of writing, for what I bring to writing, and for what writing brings to me.

17. BS Management, Career, and Business - BS Management… another source of constant internal debate and daily dose of what-ifs… I feel blessed and thankful that even though it isn’t as prestigious or as rigorous as other courses, I ultimately made the right choice with it. Its entrepreneurial orientation is in line with my long-term plans. Its holistic training in various business disciplines fits my personality and interests and grants me much flexibility in terms of career options and paths to take. Based on the interviews I’ve gone through, the articles I read, and the prospects I consider, BS Management has sufficiently prepared me for the challenges of the real world.

18. Internet - The world in our fingertips, anytime, anywhere. A playground, office, bar, moviehouse, music player, notepad, the Internet can be anything you want it to be, and it is impossible to live without it. I am thankful to be born in the Internet generation, where information and media is instant and universal, and the whole world is just literally one click away.

19. Opportunities to Help - I am deeply influenced by my Ateneo education and its social orientation. In the past four years, I’ve been involved with ACIL, NSTP, JEEP, Task Force Ondoy, and Immersion, as well as other social ventures like CSR talks and discussions on social entrepreneurship. I hope to extend this to become one of my major career paths. The world is in need of change, and life is so much more meaningful when it is engaged in helping others and promoting change.

20. Hope - I am thankful for the challenges that life has brought, thankful for the way these challenges have reinforced my character and my spirit. As life goes on, I know that it won't be as smooth-sailing as the past twenty-one years; life just gets tougher and more challenging. I am blessed to have a new perspective on hope, Marcel's hope which I learned in Philo 103, that presents a more enlightened view of life's challenges and grants me strength to stand up and fight in the battlefield of life. I am generally a positive and optimistic person, but it is this genuine hope that allows me to transcend the trivialities and tribulations unto the mythic horizon of love.

21. Love - Love makes us human and connects us to humanity. Love is our purpose and our direction, our source and our end. Love is a way of life. Because the world will die without it, go with love. Love is the greatest reason to love life, and the greatest reason to go on living :)

To all that has been, Thank You. To all that will be, Yes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Learning and Living

I sit here, exasperated, confused, not knowing what to do with my life.

I have spent the better part of my life (seventeen years to be exact) in school. One school year will end, another will begin, and the cycle of homework, deadlines, and exams will start all over again. It was always straightforward, even taken for granted. There were moments of existential groping, but there was never a question of what I would do, it was always studies, school, education, but there was never an urgent “Okay, what now?”

Last March 2, I was thrown into the water unprepared. On my last day in school, the rush of ecstasy was quickly doused by the icy hands of reality. I was running this race all my life, and suddenly, I was at the end of the line. No more straightforward life for you. You’re on your own now. Sink or swim. The moment I went out of Mogwai’s in Cubao after delivering my last ever school presentation, I could swear that I heard a voice screaming, ‘And that was it!’ Until now, I still feel aftershocks of disbelief.

It’s true, man is condemned to be free. When freedom was as limited as it was back in high school, things were simpler and much easier. The freer a man goes, the more complicated life gets. Such is the irony of life. Freedom, I realize now, is like a bright, blinding light. The path is just so clear that you don’t know where to go anymore. There are countless paths to choose from, and you will never know which one is actually the best. In life, nothing is ever completely measurable. There is no direct cost-benefit analysis, no comprehensive SWOT analysis. Life’s just one big gamble.

We practically spent the last seventeen years to raise our odds in the great gamble of life. All those years spent studying not only gave us tools for the intellect; education was itself the tool that constantly chiseled us to perfection. All those late nights mastering algebraic expressions and memorizing chemical symbols, all those tears shed over failed exams and laughter shared over buzzer beater submissions, all these made us live to learn so that we can learn to live.


There are two types of people - those with mirrors, and those without. With mirror, a person is able to reflect more clearly, he is able to see himself from a third person point of view. If he likes what he sees, he keeps it up. If he doesn’t, he knows what to change. On the other hand, a person without a mirror is very complacent. He is carefree and not very conscious about what people think. A mirrorless man is content with who he is, and very rarely tries to dig deeper or hide. To me, mirrors are both blessing and curse. The mirrored man is self-conscious and self-effacing, often leading to paralysis by analysis, while the mirrorless man is straightforward and transparent. I am much more comfortable to be with mirrorless people… what you see is what you get with them. Meanwhile, mirrored people are like icebergs, with 90% of their identities and intentions hidden from view. In the end though, I believe that it is the mirrored man who can make the more principled and though-out decisions, as well as make the most of himself, while the mirrorless man is the happier and more contented of the two. I myself bear the constant burden of a built-in overarching mirror, always within my eyesight, reflecting my conscious glares. It’s plenty useful especially for a writer, but sometimes I prefer to get lost in the flow at least once. I want to experience what it is like to live in a world without mirrors.


I was supposed to end this reflection, but a curious insight came into play after the last line: Indeed, what is a world without mirrors? How will we deal with people when everyone can see us except ourselves? How will the world be when we can see everything except our own faces? I love to do out-of-body imagination experiments, and put myself in the shoes of a man in a mirrorless world. I imagine that it will be a more equal world, because much of what we make of ourselves come from our self-esteem. In a mirrorless world, the ugly man will be that much more confident, while the handsome man will not be as haughty and headstrong. In a mirrorless world, criticisms from other people will rise, but criticisms from the self will fall. We won’t have as clear-cut an idea about who we are, and that can be both good and bad.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Teolohiya ng Pagpapalaya - Isang Pagninilay

(Dahil Madami akong Hindi Nasabi sa aking Oral Exams...)

Isang Pagninilay sa Talinghaga ng Aligbughang Anak

Napakabigat ang tanong, “Bakit pa? Bakit pa ako magpapakabuti kung pareho lang naman? Nasaan ang katarungan doon?”

Hindi ko alam ang sagot dito bago ko napag-aralan at natagpuan ang teolohiya ng pagpapalaya. Bilang panganay na anak, madalas ko ring tanungin sa aking sarili kung bakit ganito, bakit ang daya ng mga mas nakababata kong kapatid? Bakit parang nasa akin ang lahat ng bigat at responsibilidad? At sa mas malalim at malawak na konteksto, bakit may mga masasamang tao na nabibiyayaan? Bakit ko kailangang maglingkod sa mahihirap kung sila din ang mga salarin sa sarili nilang kahirapan?Susubukan kong gamitin ang liwanag ng teolohiya ng pagpapalaya para sagutin ang napakabigat na tanong na ito.

Una tayong tumalikod sa Diyos noong panahon pa ni Adan, ngunit patuloy tayong hinahanap ng Diyos. Ipinadala niya pa ang anak na si Hesus para iligtas tayo mula sa pagtatalikod na nagdulot ng mga kasalanang personal at panlipunan. Dahil nakatalaga na ang mga makasalanang istraktura na ito sa kultura at lipunan, madaming hadlang para maging oo ang ating ugat-pasya para sa Diyos at sa ibang tao. Kailangan lang tayong maging bukas sa pag-ibig na ito, kailangan lang tayong lumundag at maniwala sa Salitang puno't dulo ng sanglikhaan, ng Diyos na namatay at muling nabuhay para sa atin. Dito natin nakikita na bukod sa pagiging imahe ng Diyos, katangi-tangi ang tao sa sanglikhaan dahil ang Diyos mismo ay naging tao para lang iligtas ang sangkatauhan.

Dito mababatid kung gaano kahalaga ang dignidad at diwa ng isang tao. Imahe tayo ng Diyos at kasapi sa kanyang pagmamahal at sanglikha. Ang problema dito, karamihan ng tao sa mundo hindi nakakapagtamasa ng ganitong dignidad. Nahihirapan na silang tugunan ang pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan. Napipilay at nabubulag sila sa mga istrakturang panlipunan na kanilang kinabibilangan. Dahil dito, nangangailangan sila ng tulong. Dito na papasok ang mapagtanging pagkiling sa mahihirap, upang mapatunayan na ang pagmamahal ng Diyos ay makatarungan at nakapagpupuna ng mga paghihirap ng mga dukha. Kailangan itong pagkiling na ito hindi dahil paborito ng Diyos ang mga mahihirap ngunit dahil ito lamang ang makapagsasakatupad ng katarungan at pagmamahal ng Diyos. Paano mo mararamdaman ang Diyos kung hindi mo man lang alam kung may makakain ka pa sa sunod mong hapunan? Sila'y mas nangangailangan nito. Tayong mga mas nakaaangat at mas nakakaalam ay dapat ding magkaroon ng mas malaking tungkulin, maging mas bukas sa kanilang mga suliranin at hinaing. Nabiyayaan tayo, kaya't may tungkulin tayong maglingkod at makinig sa kanila. Dito na pumapasok ang usapin ng integral evangelization – bago pa man tuunan ng pansin ang pagiging Kristiyano, kailangan muna mas bigyang diin ang pagiging tao ng mga di-tao.

Sa mga mahihirap tunay na naipapahiwatig ang kalikasan ng pagmamahal ng Diyos. Dito na rin nagiging mas malinaw ang mabibigat na tanong para sa panganay na anak. Sa perspektibong panlipunan, masasabi na ang mga tulad ko na nag-aaral sa Ateneo ang panganay na anak – nabiyayaan, masunurin, ligtas sa panganib. Ang mga mahihirap at nawawalang mga kapatid naman ang mga bunsong anak, na kailangan ng paggabay at pagmamahal. Wala akong karapatang sukatin ang kapasidad at bigat ng pagmamahal, dahil maling motibasyon ito. Hindi maaaring tingnan ang pananampalataya at pagsilbi sa Diyos bilang isang pabigat na kailangang may gantimpala. Una tayong nilikha ng Diyos, wala tayong ginawa upang maging karapat-dapat sa pagmamahal na ito, ngunit nandito pa rin tayo, minamahal. Hindi tayo dapat umiiral, ngunit nandito tayo, dahil sa pagmamahal ng Diyos. Dahil batid ko ang katotohanang ito at nasa posisyon ako para tumulong, tungkulin ko na magbigay ng gabay at pagmamahal sa mga nawawala kong mga kapatid. Hindi ito tinitingnan sa lente ng daya, ngunit sa lente ng laya. Hindi ito paglilimita ngunit pagpapalawak at pagpapatupad ng aking pagkatao. Umiiral na dito ang pagiging propeta ng mga taong may pakialam, kung saan tumataliwas sila sa mga nakatalagang istraktura at nagpapairal ng alternatibong realidad na higit na nagpapahalaga sa dignidad at pagmamahal ng Diyos. Bilang isang tunay na Kristiyano at ganap na tao, kailangan kong sundan si Hesus at ipahiwatig ang aking pagmamahal sa kapwa sa pamamagitan ng kapatiran patungo sa ikabubuti ng lahat Sa gayon, tunay na maisabuhay ang magandang balita na may muling pagkabuhay sa kabila ng kasalanan at kamatayan, na ang Kaharian ng Diyos ay hindi sa isang malayong paraiso ngunit narito sa mundo, at pinakamahalaga sa lahat, na ang una at huling salita ng ating Kristiyanong pananampalataya ay pagmamahal..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's been a year...

Since I last posted here.

Time is indeed a thief

Who steals tomorrow

And only leaves you with yesterday

Time is a machine

With future as raw material

And past as the product

As I reread my previous posts

Of struggle and salvation

I can't help but smile

A knowing smile

Been there, done that

I can't believe I'm actually finished

I marvel at the speedy flight of time

Oh how much has changed

Yet nothing changed at all

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Saan ko isusugal itong kaisa-isang buhay na ito? Sa payak at madaling buhay ba? Sa mahirap ngunit makahulugang buhay? Sa kayamanan, karunungan? Sabi ni Aristotle sa kanyang Nicomachean Ethics, ligaya ang puno’t dulo ng buhay ng tao. Naniniwala naman ako dito. Ngunit anong daan ang aking tatahakin upang makamit ang tunay na ligaya? Ano ba ang ligaya para sa akin? At paano ko ibabahagi ang ligayang ito sa ibang tao at sa mundo? Sa puntong ito, ang tanong na “saan ko isusugal ang buhay ko’ ay nagkakaroon ng mas malalim na kahulugan at kahalagahan. Isang buwan na lang, magtatapos na ako sa aking pag-aaral at sasabak na sa mundo. Anuman ang aking pipiliin ay siguradong makakaimpluwensiya sa mga susunod na yugto ng aking buhay. Masasabi talagang pagsusugal ito dahil walang paraan upang malaman ang kahihinatnan ng desisyong ito. Anuman ang kalalabasan nito, ako lamang ang mananagutan.

Ano na nga ba ang gusto kong gawin sa buhay?

Malalim ang naging impluwensiya sa akin ng teolohiya at pilosopiya sa pagbabago ng aking pagtingin sa buhay. Bago ako pumasok sa Ateneo, limitado at masyadong optimistic ang tingin ko sa buhay. Sa kolehiyo nagising ako sa realidad. Hindi pala ganon kasimple at kadali maging isang bantog na manunulat. Oo nga naman, isa lang ang J.K. Rowling sa mundong ito. Namulat din ako sa aking hilig sa iba’t ibang bagay, mula sa teknolohiya at internet, hanggang sa mga tula at nobela, at pati na rin sa negosyo at ekonomiya.

Pangarap ko pa ding maging isang manunulat. Naniniwala ako na dito pa din nakatuon ang aking angking talento at hilig. Naniniwala pa din ako na kahit papano, makakapag-iwan ako ng ambag sa mundong ito sa kapangyarihan ng kwento’t salita. Ito pa din ang tumutulak sa akin na mag-aral at mabuhay, at ito pa rin ang aking pangarap at panaginip.

Subalit, kailangan nga namang ibalanse ang panaginip at realidad. Sa Marso, magatatapos na ako sa kursong BS Management. Sa apat na taon ko sa kolehiyo, inaral ko kung paano magpagalaw at magpalago ng pera. Unti-unti na rin namang nabuo ang aking hilig dito. Ngunit kapag isipin ay taliwas naman ang practical na pamumuhay na ito sa aking romantikong panaginip na maging isang manunulat.

Sa ngayon, bukas ako sa mga posibilidad. Puwede akong magtrabaho sa mga bangko at kumpanya bilang management trainee o tauhan sa marketing, sales, o business development. Puwede din naman akong mag-aral ng Master’s in Economics sa Ateneo habang part-time na nagtatrabaho. Puwede rin akong magturo ng wikang Tsino at tumulong sa Kaisa. Puwede din akong maging freelance na manunulat habang tumutulong sa aming negosyo. O puwede rin akong makipagsapalaran sa ibayong dagat - Canada, China, US, Singapore, Japan, UK - para muling mag-aral at magtaguyod ng bagong buhay doon.

Talaga namang napakaswerte ko na 20 taong gulang ako dito sa malawak na mundong buntis sa kahit anong posibilidad bunga ng pag-unlad ng internet at globalization. Gaya ng parating sinasabi ng aking guro sa pilosopiya, ‘Sa mga nangyari, Salamat, at sa mga mangyayari, Oo.”