Reminiscing with PNE

PNE. Parokya ni Edgar.

Parokya+ni+Edgar+pnemtvartistprof

I’ve known their songs since elementary. I’ve known the band since high school. Although I was never really an avid fan, their songs, once heard, carries with it a certain charm that stirs up cherished memories in my mind.

I have long since known that a great antidote to pangs of loneliness and aggravation is a healthy dose of PNE songs mostly from their second album Buruguduystunstugudunstuy. From the introduction to the last song, the melodies and lyrics combined have never failed to bring forth the cheerfulness within as elicited by the cherished memories of the past.

Buruguduystunstuguduystuy
Buruguduystunstuguduystuy

PNE songs like Harana, Don’t Touch My Birdie and Okatokat were already familiar to me when I was in my last years in elementary. But I didn’t know the band yet that produced such great though controversial songs. When I entered high school, I was introduced to this boy who knew not only the songs, but the band who made them and even how to recreate them (he can play the songs in a guitar). We had some sort of history mostly punctuated by the songs. And everytime I hear that particular PNE album I am reminded of this boy and the fun times we’ve shared. More than that I also remember the fun events of high school. After all they say high school is the best years of our lives even though I spent mine in one of the most demanding and toxic high schools in the country.

PNE was my life boat in those times. In my mind their songs were what identified me with other kids my age who were enjoying a more relaxing high school in other schools. Not only that PNE to me was what identified me as a Filipino. I felt proud following a Pinoy band who can really stand up to the other popular foreign bands because of the quality of their music. Although I was too young to fully grasp the double intendre of their songs, if such existed really, I was old enough to appreciate their lyrics for what they are and the music as well.

parokya

More than what PNE was to me personally, they were also something great for the country. Though it is true that APO Hiking Society was the pioneer in the OPM industry and Eraserheads was the pioneer in Pinoy Band History, PNE is the most successful one in both categories combined. They are the longest living band in Pinoy Music History creating records that sells thousands whenever released. Their songs are the likes that are fun to hear and with lyrics unafraid to say exactly what they want. Most of their songs also carry out lessons in the simplest terms understandable to a lot of people. Take for example their song Tsokolate from the album Bigotilyo which is a fun look at what trust is. Although the song is fun and light, it carries with it a serious message about one of the most important values in life.

PNE. Parokya ni Edgar. The only Pinoy band I’ve ever really admired and followed for years. Although not the most avid fan, I am a fan none the less and their music is something I cherished especially now that I am older and experiences what their songs can do.

**PS.**

I have had the fortunate chance of meeting the band, even having my picture taken with Chito, during the UP Fair 2007. Unfortunately the camera was a friend’s who didn’t upload the picture in her Friendster account so I can grab it as she’d promised. Boo.

**
I have edited this post to reflect PNE instead of PNK. Before I wrote PNK and inspite of the number of comments, no one told me I had the wrong acronym!

Nostalgia

UPI guess every once in a while, specifically every 2-3 months, I must make it a point to return to my Alma Matter UP. I have never been more nostalgic of a school than UP. When I left CSI (now USI) or Pisay, I never had any nostalgia for it as severe as the nostalgia I now have for UPD. It seems that for the past days I keep on seeing in my mind the daily school scenes – the crowded AS lobby or FC walk which I regularly pass to go to my classes; the slippery AS walk during heavy rain seasons; the CS-Coop complex where the PMS tambayan is located as well as the small Coop store with Ate Elsie; the crowded CASAA whose menu seems unchanging but I am desperately missing now; the IB lobby and the IB classrooms including Pav4 which witnessed my calvary trying to pass my Bio subjects. I even miss the Math building which I swore I will never return to after my ideal last semester of Math subjects only to return to it for 2 more semesters because I can’t seem to pass my last Math subject.

 

acad ovalI never thought I will actually miss UP. After overstaying in its walls, not because I got admitted to another degree or a position in the University but because I had overextended my studies, I thought I will never pine for its charms once I get lucky enough to leave it. Now I have not yet officially left the University but I am already pining for it. I miss the fresh smell of the Sunken Garden during the early hours of the morning, when only a few students are milling by for the 7am classes. I miss the light breeze coming from the large Acacia and Narra trees lining the Acad Oval – the Acad Oval that has been redesigned into the Walk of Fame in celebration of the UP Centennial and to raise funds for UP.

 

the new acad oval
the new acad oval

I miss the sight and smell of UP. The influx of joggers during Sundays; the multitude of soccer teams in the Sunken Garden; the UP Ikot and Toki with their color-coded roofs; the crowds frequenting the isaw stands in front of Kalai; the throng of people in the SC rushing from one photocopier store to the next. I miss even the festivities. The festive atmosphere of the Lantern Parade (which I think I will watch this December even if I have to specifically travel to UP for it); the competitive spirit of the UAAP season especially during the cheering competition – that ultra-jam packed UP side in the Araneta coliseum where sweaty bodies stand next to each other, hollering at the top of their lungs and nobody cares because you’re all joined in one spirit – the UP spirit. Heck, I even miss the frequent rallies – the red shirt days or black shirt days; the conglomeration of students to protest the latest absurd government or school policies; the activists who occasionally disturb classes with their message of reforms and change. How I miss the good old UP days.

rally days in UP
rally days in UP

 

Why am I being struck by this nostalgia now, I do not know. Is it perhaps because it’s been 12 weeks since my last visit to the school that has been my home for 5 years and which has shaped a lot of who I am now or is it perhaps because I am constantly dissatisfied in this world I am moving in right now, constantly feeling that my mind is severely rotting away.

 

 

colorful UP Lantern Parade
colorful UP Lantern Parade

For whatever reasons I may have, the nostalgia is deep within me – pure and raw. I just hope it doesn’t translate to another semester of residency else I will be on MRR (maximum residency rule).

 

 

oble

 

*Note: The pictures were taken by other people. I just made a Google Search for them. Perhaps when I re-visit UP this month I will take my own photos. 😀

too much charity is not healthy

I had always wanted to take a picnic in the UP sunken garden. The wide expanse of the grassy field and the majestic narra trees surrounding it, have their aesthetic appeal to my gustatory senses. This is a wish that thanks to my busy UP schedule, I wasn’t able to really fulfill. And so during my recent UP visit, wherein I had time in my hands, I opted to eat my lunch at one of the benches facing the sunken garden.

 

UP Sunken Garden (source: ChrisVillarin.com)
UP Sunken Garden (source: ChrisVillarin.com)

 

 

I was enjoying my bolognese pasta and chicken, the breeze softly blowing, when all of a sudden two pitiful impoverished kids went near me. They were insisting that I give them my food! Can’t they see that I am not yet finished? Sometimes, I swear that the beggars of the UP community have a certain attitude already – demanding that you hand over your unfinished food because they are hungry and poor to buy any for themselves. Not that I disagree with that but whatever happened to basic courtesy? And what irked me more was that their mother was just in the vicinity. I came to the rash conclusion that she instigated her kids to come near me, disturb my peaceful lunch, and beg their way to my pocket!

I scurried the kids away. I am not normally heartless to the less fortunate citizens of this country but at that point, I had no intentions of being compassionate. Having successfully ignored and driven the kids away, another kid, a much younger one and more pitiful looking came to me. He was the younger brother of the two and I think the mother, seeing that the two older kids didn’t succeed thought she can appeal to the compassionate nature of my heart by sending her youngest kid. And it was harder to get that kid off. So I simply ignored him. Since the youngest had no intentions of leaving me, the two older kids went back and resumed their begging. So now I had three kids, begging in front of me, while I was finishing my lunch. It was even worse than eating at the window table of a restaurant and having street kids stare at you from outside! To get rid of them, I hissed that I was almost mad and they wouldn’t like to see me get mad. That got them to stop and scurry away. No doubt, they, and the people who could witness us, thought of me as a very heartless bitch.

 

Source: Pinggoy Danguilan's Multiply Site
Source: Pinggoy Danguilan's Multiply Site

 

 

But what can I do? I was really mad that the mother won’t try to device of some other way to feed her kids than have them begging for food from hapless students like me. (I am an official student since I’ve just enrolled.) I am also angry that there are poor people in this country – though I do not really know who to blame for that. And I am equally angry that no one is now allowed to enjoy one’s lunch or eat in the public spaces of UP without being pestered by these beggars. Not that I am being coñotic and mata pobre but then doesn’t anyone have the right to at least eat in peace while enjoying some scenery?

I know I really came out as harsh, evil and whatever that day. I finished the last morsel of my lunch in peace – the beggars long gone after giving up all hope of touching my compassionate cord. I fumed for a while over the incredulity of the situation, then rationalized the matter over and tucked it away in my mind to be pondered on for another point in time.

I have been doing charity work for the longest time I can remember – maybe it is not much but it is what I can do. I wonder now how long will charity work be needed in the country? How many more Filipinos would need to rely on charity for their survival? Will there never come a time when charity will be a somehow obsolete thing because everyone has learned to survive on their own means and resources? And because the government has learned that instead of providing charity to alleviate the dire situation of most citizens of this country, they’ve provided rewarding jobs and opportunities that would really build a nation up?

 

Outreach in Pampanga (UPCYM Caravan 2008)
Outreach in Pampanga (UPCYM Caravan 2008)

 

 

Must the Philippines always rely on charity? What if charity grows tired and jaded? What would our country do?

UP cycle of life

During my recent trip to UP, I had the fortunate experience of observing the dawn of UP registration, that is, the start of the UP enrollment process. It amazed me to observe freshies with either one of their parents, on the prowl around UP grounds – either familiarizing themselves with the surroundings or to securing a slot in a required but hard to get subject. It further amazed me to see senior high school students, still in their high school uniforms, fawning over their freshly-obtained UPCAT forms and dreaming of the course they’d like to take in the country’s state university. Then of course there are the undergrads, who are in the middle of their college journey – braving yet another registration period which marks the opening of another grueling semester.

I look at them and think that here they are, beginning a chapter of their lives, that I’ve already closed and left behind. There are times when I could see myself in their shoes and remember all those long-ago moments when I was a new student in UP – everything totally new and foreign to me. Now, I can say that there is no nook and cranny in UP which I haven’t explored at one point or another. I can remember, when the sight of the Acad Oval or the AS steps incited the thrill of discovery in my heart. Now that thrill has been replaced by nostalgia and wishful thinking of the memories forged in such places. I can recall the day when I first travelled to UP, while aboard the UP Philcoa, the first glance of the UP landmark in the intersection of University Ave. and Commonwealth Ave., stucked my breath in my throat.  I was thinking, “Finally, the beginning of a new chapter in my life – a completely new life in a completely new place.” Now, when I pass by that landmark, my breath comes out as a sigh – sometimes it is a sigh of resignation that I still haven’t marched amongst the infamous sunflowers in April and sometimes it is a sigh of nostalgia of my UP years.

The most remarkable experience of my UP visit was when I paid my tuition. Having applied only for residency, and that is residency without library and medical benefits, I basically have no units enrolled (I’ve finished all my required units and I only have some other requirements to attend to). As such, my “tuition” is a meager 40php. While I was waiting for the RA to fix my Form5 (which is also my OR), I happened to glance at the other students paying their tuition. I was aghast to see one of the cashier’s counting a lot of 500php bills. I glanced at the computer monitor and saw that the student’s tuition was for 23Kphp! At first I thought she was paying for 3 students already but then I recalled that in UP, there is a sort of one student per transaction policy so it is impossible for her to be paying, all at once, for 3 students. Then it hit me! These undergrads are now under the revised tuition scheme wherein the average cost of a unit is 1Kphp. And I glanced at the other monitors and saw one paying 17Kphp! Gosh! What happened to UP education? Just because my batch was not covered by this revised tuition scheme, I cannot feel the increase at all but now seeing these students paying such hefty amounts, I can feel the reality of the tuition fee increase.

This was such a hot issue when I was somewhere in my senior years, and being a bit apathetic, I didn’t really give a damn back then. I even rationalized that this is for the good of the school so that our facilities will improve. Well, within my senior year, indeed a lot of buildings cropped up but thinking back – shouldn’t that had been sheltered by government funds and not students’ tuition? Then again, I am still dubious over the facilities that laboratories offer. In my senior year, I didn’t see any marked improvements in the facilities of my lab classes. But then again maybe because I was not paying the incredulous increased tuition and lab fees.

Yet still, I am led to ponder, what would happen to those high school student who dream of a UP diploma and a UP education. What would happen to them when they learn that the cost of a UP education is almost the same as that of a private school in their respective provinces? Would they still risk the immersion in an alien environment, far from the comforts of home and family? My sister said that her tuition fee in Ateneo De Naga rivals the 23k tuition fee of one of the UP students I saw. However, in her case she has the option to pay that on a monthly installment. In UP, tuition fee payment is always one time big time. No wonder, most UP students now parallel Atenistas and La Sallites. No wonder, you will seldom see the typical UP student of the good old days – the simple probinsyano/probinsyana wearing simple clothes and having simple means of living. UP education has been indeed thrown farther out of reach from impoverished yet eager bright minds. It makes me sad that the Iskolar ng Bayan is no longer a scholar.

graduation blues

I guess it must be innate in me to organize stuffs and things that my system, after such a long time of not having to organize anything, longed for it. They say dreams are the reflections of our subconscious. Then in that case, does my subconscious long for me, not just to graduate, but to organize the entire event as well?

You see I just woke up from a dream that seemed so real as most dreams are. And in that dream I was organizing a college graduation. A graduation of which I am part. Real time check: my chances and hopes for a graduation have been snatched twice – first, I failed a couple of subjects thus mooting me out of the graduation list and second, I’ve failed to submit hard bound copies of my thesis thus subsequently canceling my spot in the graduating class.

At this point, I have long lost any strong emotions about my not graduating. It seems to me to be something that is there, up for grabs, but the timing is not yet right. I have long accepted whatever might happen to me when it comes to my graduation. I must have written how many withdrawal of graduation letters already!

Yet still I do not lose hope. I know it is within reach and it is possible. It’s just that the time is not right. As it is written: There is a time for everything.

what if..

now that graduation rites are just around the bend, and final thesis manuscript submissions as well as other clearance requirements are less than a month away, i am getting jitters and series of what if questions.

what if i don’t make it? what if my thesis, at the very last instant, didn’t pass the director’s standards? what if i simply forgo everything and no longer pursue that piece of paper which would prove my having finished a degree in a state university?

what if i was never really meant to finish this course? what if i was meant to pursue something else? my sister did told me quite recently that i could always take up another degree – one more inclined to my actual interest.

what if i i was never meant to graduate? horrific!

my mom said i should make the promise of a promotion my motivation. but looking around the company, a lot have been promoted irregardless of whether they finished a degree or not – it all boiled down to performance.

now my only motivation is that “nakakahinayang” because i went through all those years of hardships – and for what? well the learning is one thing. i did learned a lot.

i have learned quite recently not to be distraught at the thought that i might have wasted years upon years studying a course i would never use. i have learned to look beyond my education. to focus more on what the experience has brought me. and i learned to be grateful and thankful for them.

and now, i am learning not to be too stressed out over this graduation jitters.

i would make it. i honest to goodness hope so.

so now, i must do what i am suppose to do. and that is edit that *sigh* thesis.

So Close yet Still So Far

What am I doing? I am suppose to be editing my thesis manuscript yet here I am obsessing over my multiply page – writing blogs. I am this close to graduation. Just one manuscript to pass. One more requirement and I’ll finally have that diploma to hang on our walls. I will finally have that piece of paper to prove my having earned a degree from the nation’s state university. The piece of paper that would pacify my parents. That would reward my father’s hard work.

But how come it is so hard to obtain that piece of document? How come I seem to have lost all zeal to traverse that tiny mile? At times I find myself having the adrenaline rush to finish the race. At times, I find myself too lazy to even manage a step.

Yet the clock is ticking. I should hurry up lest the elusive piece of document finally eludes my hands forever.

But what does that document prove really? Will that be the measure of my learning?

I think not.

Pisay In Retrospect

There are times when I regretted entering a special science high school. These moments come when I think about the course that I took up in college – a course farthest from my mind, from my dreams when I was a kid. The regrets come when I am faced with the enormous pressure of finding a job somewhat related to my field and when I end up realizing that my dream job after all is not really in the field of science. And much to my dismay, after years of pursuing science, I still see my skill as more in the line of something else. Yes, regrets do come.

But when I look back at all the fun experiences – experiences I would never encounter if I studied in a normal high school, the regrets fade away into oblivion. When I think about the people I met – people who would no doubt be my friends for life even after years of zero communication (the bond was just that strong that we have learned to accept one another’s shortcomings), I regret even regretting.

I guess it’s really the friendships forged in Pisay that is worth all these madness of “unrequited” dreams – dreams of being a journalist, a corporate person, dreams that are still attainable albeit harder due to my off-tangent degree . I guess we were all just kids back then – kids pretending to be adults, independent enough, to carry on living on our own in a totally alien environment. We stuck with what we have, adapted to what was thrown to us and all the results were rock solid friendships – friendships no one would trade for anything – not even unrequited dreams.

When I think about it I realize that my high school friends are people who don’t really know everything that are happening in my life right now. They are not people that I am close to in a daily basis sort of way. Yet I have this sense of security that once I see them in a mall or in some off chance place, the gap years since graduation would fade away and we would chat endlessly filling in the voids. There is just some sort of unexplainable connection. Of course it’s not the same for everyone, but it is true for the majority.

The vastness and intricacies of the Pisay friendship escapes me, really. It is something that is there, you know it, yet you cannot explain it.

Ah, what’s the use? I should be typing/writing something else at this time yet here I am reminiscing. It’s been five years since I left Pisay’s portals, yet the memories – good and bad – remain vivid in my mind, perhaps, forever or maybe another five years more.

an overwhelming UAAP experience

I was never really the student who would take much interest in the UAAP festivities – even the all too famous Cheerdance competition. I had only one UAAP experience – the cheerdance in 2005 where UP, unfortunately lost to UST yet again.

I never watched any basketball game or bothered to know if UP was winning or not. I did not like going to extreme lengths of buying UAAP Cheerdance tickets only to end up being squeezed with a multitude of people or paying erroneuous sums of money for a good seat.

In short, I am not a UAAP fan. I don’t even bother watching the cheerdance competitions in the tv.

But when GRF (Gerry Roxas Foundation) announced that it was giving away free tickets I jumped at the chance to get one. After all, I’m a sucker for anything free and I relish the chance of bonding with fellow awardees (for an all to honest ulterior motive which I shall reveal in the near future).

So there I was in Aranate Coliseum at a little past 10am, looking lost as I navigated in search of Club Serve through the throngs of people. You see, there was still the bonding activities and FREE lunch to attend to before the competition itself.

The games were fun and I met a lot of people – and must I add a lot of cute, young (way younger than me) guys. But what really caught me by surprise was when I won over a game of HepHep Hooray! (a Wowwowee game) an upgrade from Upper Box A to Patron!

Me, who is not a fan, got a Patron seat!

But I must say being there in Araneta, watching how beloved UP triumphed over its competitors, was really thrilling. It was blood curling as I watched and cheered and lost voice for my Alma Matter. And the best part was seeing how jampacked at all levels was the place assigned to UP.

It was so cool!

But IF I would watch next year’s competition again, I would gladly choose some higher venue – much higher than Patron, but not as high as GenAdd. It was hard being so small and being at the level of the dancers – apart from not being able to watch the formations, the media persons were all over the place obscurring my view. It was horrible in the sense I could not watch everything properly. But it felt wonderful – parang importanteng tao din ako kasama ng mga importanteng tao – mga kamag-anak ng Pep at media people.

Overall, this was fun. Plus panalo pa ang UP!

GO GO UP!

library e-resources – somethings more to this than meets the eye

its so silent. all you hear are the tak tak of computer keyboards. yet it is this place – ever since my discovery – that has been a sort of sanctuary for me. a place where i chose to do all my net researches tho the operating systems are not that familiar (mind you, i’m learning though) and it is only during times of net lag that i get to actually blog and take a few moments mind off from the hectic thesis work.

ah yes! the thesis i have so dreaded when i first entered this university.. the thesis i’m working so hard at to get published. to do this in a year and have it published will really be a major accomplishment for me. especially since i can say with much pride that the idea is mine (with the help of the Lord of course!). but then it isn’t something my adviser advised me to do.

i have drawbacks of course. i have to start from scratch. build this topic up. prove all sorts of things in connection with it. but then, that’s the exciting part. to know that i can actually concoct such a scheme of things. and i can actually contribute something to the scientific community. that my puny little brain is not at all puny and little.

i guess i’m redeeming my failed semester. i guess i’m proving myself worthy of the education i’ve got since time immemorial. perhaps i want to make my parents proud. my alma matter proud. or perhaps i’m just plain curious.

i dont know. but one thing is for sure. i want my thesis published and able to help a lot of people.

and so this quiet place that is not at all solitary for a lot of people are out there studying, cramming their own little requirements..will most probably be my companion..in the wee hours of the night..hours ive never thought i’d spend in such a place as this.

to God be the glory in all this.