Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I’d Love to See in a Real December Wedding

You may think that it’s pretty foolish of me to dish out my wonderful ideas about a real-deal December wedding, but no I’m not of marrying age yet (25 is the new 16, or haven’t you heard?). And if I were, it wouldn’t be in the effin’ middle of December, the season for Christmas parties galore and videoke sessions with my favorite “hamon” as pulutan. I simply don’t want to spend those days dieting to fit into a size 2 wedding gown. I’m saying this because given my height and overall dislike for heels, I should ideally be a size 2 or I’d end up looking like a chicken lollipop. Now to end the introduction, here are some things I haven’t really seen on those very popular December weddings, and if you are going to tie the knot in the next few days, then feel free to use them!

A one-horse open sleigh

Yes, those cutesy prenup’s may feature things like a horse-drawn Kalesa or a century-old vintage car, but since it’s the Christmas season, why don’t you adhere to tradition instead? And by tradition I’m referring to American-inspired yet so-called traditional motifs that totally disregard the fact that we are in fact in a tropical country where you would be a fool to wear boots and a red lumpy snowsuit. But I would personally love to see a bride riding a one-horse open sleigh, with native spotted reindeers from the Visayas. Or should we start referring to it as a one-deer open sleight to avoid the confusion. Now wouldn’t that be such a sight? 
 One-Deer Open Sleighs should be the mode of transportation if you want to avoid wasting too much gas on your Dad's white bug.

Mistletoe Kissing Stations

If there’s one thing I hate the most about weddings, it would definitely be those traditional wedding rituals that tend to embarrass even the most extrovert member of the entourage. And to make matters worse, the entire wedding reception would be punctuated by the constant tinkling of spoons, forks and knives against anything that may make a sound. This would usually indicate that the bride and groom would have to kiss yet again. As if we want see more and more of that! If that’s the case, we might as well go with them to the honeymoon suite. So why don’t we put up random mistletoe kissing stations instead? It can be as discrete as a simple little mistletoe trinket among the branches of a tree (if it’s an outdoor reception) or as blatant as a ginormous mistletoe above the wedding cake. Whatever the case, I think it’s a better alternative compared to the constant tinkling that will probably cause a few broken wine glasses (which the bride and groom would have to pay, of course) before the night is through. 
 I could have searched for a better picture, but this will have to do.

Elven Ring-bearers and Flower Girls

Now your flower girls don’t necessarily have to be Liv Tyler-ish and your ring-bearers don’t have to look like Orlando Bloom in LOTR (which incidentally reminds me of the Malfoy clan in Harry Potter), but you can dress them up in fancy fairy wings and ear extensions. If I were still a small kid, I’m pretty sure I would want to go to a wedding that pretty much looks like a kiddie costume party. I wouldn’t want to be trapped under layers upon layers of chiffon and velvet the whole time you know. 

This is Steve Tyler's kid, can you believe they both have the same genetic composition?

If that Jacob guy only dyed his hair, he'd fit right in!

Snow-Machine instead of rice showers, bubbles, butterflies and flowers

If you haven’t noticed it yet, we are in the middle of a rice shortage. And unless you want to eat sweet potatoes and be a walking farting spree all day, then I suggest another alternative to your rice showers. Bubbles, butterflies and flowers have all been used up and can be mighty cheesy if you do ask me. Butterflies should also be protected by animal rights laws, even if you can’t make a fur coat out of them. They always happen to end their lives in a jar for a science project, in a mosaic for the sake of art or in your little kid’s butterfly net. Whatever happened to insect rights anyway? So why don’t you rent a snow-machine and have a White Christmas Wedding for a change? As long as the so-called snow doesn’t look like a soap sud shower, it will be a refreshing sight in the middle of December.
 He looks so much like that kid from Jerry Maguire.

A red wedding dress

Whoever said white is the color of virginity and purity has never probably laid eyes on an FHM cover with celebrities clad in stark WHITE skimpy under-things. According to what little research I did, Queen Victoria was the one who popularized the white wedding dress during her time. And if you are allergic to pollen and dislike the sight of flowers and bouquets, you should probably blame her too. It turns out that the traditional practice was for the bride to wear her best dress during her wedding, no matter what color it may be. So why don’t you walk down the red carpeted aisle with your dashing red wedding dress? Dashing through the snow white carpet can also be arranged if you really want to step it up a notch. What to do with the yards and yards of white carpet later on, well, I really don’t know. You can always just cut it up into rectangular pieces, sew on HOME SWEET HOME in the middle and give it to your friends as a wedding favor. They will remember you every time they have to get rid of dirt and dog poop before they step inside their homes. 

 White in all its different shapes and yes, forms.

So go ahead and take your pick!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Notes for the Average Ultimate Frisbee Player

1. There’s a reason why they are always looking you off. And though scrimmage is not at all encouraged by virtue of the spirit of the game, you can always call their attention when you’re free for a complete pass. Trust me. I have long realized that those long sprints have just got to hurt! If you’re a guy, try wearing a skirt. The sight of your manly appendage peeking out may be enough to draw attention (if the handler doesn’t see you, the crowd will).

These guys sure know the drill. If you can pull this off with a disc in your hands, nobody will ever question your manhood.

2. Someday soon, you will be doing your very first bid for a lay-out. And yes, nobody will ever catch it on film or on their trusty digi-things. So do it again and again until somebody finally notices. Ask Joel Silver.

This guy didn’t get too lucky. He got captured alright, just not his face.

For all that dirt, you two boys forgot all about the disc!

3. Half of your Ultimate Frisbee career may be spent explaining what the whole thing is actually about. A percentage of that may be allotted to meaningful arguments where you need to convince them that Spotty or Whitey is not your teammate.

4. It’s ok to be filed for DUI (Diving Under the Influence). Just as long as you catch that disc, nobody will be keeping tabs on you. That makes Lindsay Lohan a potential player, if she can only stick to organics! So if I were you, loosen up a bit, have a beer, have an entire case! The whole point of the game is to enjoy, hence the smaller score boards!

6-9, and you may be thinking of a different type of “score”.

5. There’s no such thing as a bad hair day in Ultimate. Deal with whatever God gave you. You can go easy on the side burns, or have a full Freddie Mercury effect. The more outrageous, the better! On some accounts, you can even go without any hair at all. When this happens (due to heredity or a stressful middle-class job), make sure you make up for it with attitude.

"Momma...just killed a man...."

After watching Mel Gibson’s Lenten season film, I wouldn’t want to contest this guy.

If you can’t beat them at a good Mohawk, curl it up you twisted freak!

Well, if you're undecided, you can always go for a Curlawk!

6. Make use of ultimate terms as potential pick-up lines. If you sucked on the playing field, your chances at a tourney romance may be slimmer. But you have socials night to make up for it. Just make sure you don’t use “grappling” and “strip” together in one sentence.

The guy with the pink shirt almost got away with the grappling, but she changed her mind. The short guy got lucky though. There must be something about underwear across your chest that simply spells “pick-up”!

Didn’t I tell you not to do it on the field? She needs to down at least 4 bottles for the pick-up trick to work.

Wanna play with these goofballs? Here's a link, you know what to do, now do it!

Ultimate Club of Iloilo
Mighty Cocks

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's celebrate the gift of time!

Sometimes we forget that time is a constant thing that flies swiftly, its a good thing to be reminded once in a while. Well, speaking of time, here's a video that I will never regret writing for. Yes, its the closest I've yet been to celebrity status. And I plan to enjoy it every single second. Let's toast to seconds and minutes and hours. Let's celebrate the gift of time!

Let's Celebrate the Gift of Time : SWATCH from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paracetamol Overdose

An angel tonight... I dream of,
the moonshine on his wings.
I... a child in his arms
and him... my shield.
The sunset from his cerise mound, I taste...
and drink of love's saccharine...
Flesh to flesh we'll fly...
A little higher than those wishful stars.
A little deeper, and I drown...
In his gaze, I am an ember,
burning out...
or raging fire.
flickering amidst the ashes...
'neath the cobblestones of ice...
His touch tames me...
breathes me into life...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Purrs Monthsary...

I won't write of my paperback-hero come true.
I will write of truth...I will write of you.

I will write of your eyes, and your blind sense of sight,
when you tell me I'm lovely when my acne's a fright.

I will write of your smile and your forgiving laugh,
when I'm being a clown with a joke for the daft.

I will write of your touch and the comfort it brings,
when I'm driving your car,
when the typing just stings.

I will write of your honesty coated with grins,
when my dress is too short and my legs are untrimmed.

I will write of your patience and how it amazes,
the stubborn old me still covered with excuses.

I will write of your love and how its taken so long,
for that silly old Frisbee to help us along.

I will write of the tears, of the laughter, the fights,
that you choose to forfeit when I can't see the light.

I will write of our need to figure out a song,
'cuz Oasis ain't cheesy and Kreviazuk's long gone...

I will write of you, of us tonight...
of the many months,, and years and lifetime's in sight.

I will write of more, this won't be the last tonight...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coffee, Imelda, and bolero jackets…

The past is a haven for the dusty, jaundiced photographs of yesteryears. An era our great-oldies reminisce fondly with gap-toothed smiles and the slightest glimmer of tears in their eyes. It’s an old record they play while humming through conversations in their rocking chairs…over aged china and newly-brewed coffee. Recollections of what was and at times, what might have been.

Its funny how, amidst the modern and liberated present, we catch ourselves longing for the golden touch of the past, a time far beyond our grasp, but enchanting nonetheless.

Who could forget a time when the now battered and devalued peso lived neck to neck with the dollar? Doesn’t it leave you a bit green-eyed when they talk about 8-peso shoes? No wonder Imelda had so many. Now the only thing you can buy with 8 pesos is a bottle of Coke. Call yourself lucky if it’s actually cold and not febrile due to PECO’s power failure schemes. That is, by the way, an entirely different story.

The “golden years” formed a culture all in itself. A culture now thriving in attics, encased in a hardwood “baul”. The real adventure unfolds; bit by dusty bit, in yellowed handwritten letters tied in ribbon, a far cry from the emails and forwarded text messages of today. I don’t think I should be saving SIM cards and CD’s of love notes for my grandchildren to appreciate. Yes, there were years when men actually went to all that trouble. Today’s average guy can’t even conjure a passably believable excuse letter!

Speaking of granny, her tea dresses and bolero jackets are now sashaying through the runways, dishing out the mini’s and the Olsen twins’ what-the-heck-are-you-wearing couture. This is a true indication that some good things do last (and look better too). It’s either that or we’re running out of sane designers on Fashion TV.

As another indication that old things are better, I’m sure you will trade Madonna for those wimpy Disney-kid-turned-DUI-accidents any given time. There’s something about classic music that doesn’t seem to be transcending to the present generation. In other words, Justine Bieber (ahem) sucks. I can’t quite imagine anybody ever belting out a revival of “Baby, baby, baby” some 10 to 20 years from now.

There are many reasons why we’d rather be stuck in the otherwise primitive past than endure the complexities of the present. But let’s face it, we’d rather be anywhere but here, be it the past or the future, some light years away. We use it as an escape, a denial of the reality that surrounds and at the most, overwhelms us. To long for times gone by is one thing. To be stuck in the past- unaware of the present- is an entirely different matter.

Sure, it’s no bed of roses. But we can make do with Nelly instead of MC Hammer. We have the amenities of modern civilization in our hands, hot water showers, Facebook accounts, multimedia lectures, digital-do-it-all’s and automatic anything’s…not so bad huh? Imagine Marilyn Monroe in a Bluetooth scandal or Frank Sinatra singing next to Miley Cyrus…not quite my idea of converging the past into the modern jungle of the present. That’s why they’re better off without each other.

Yes, we often don’t realize what we have unless we lose it, so the cliché goes. The life we live right now shouldn’t be spent wasted on trivial musings of what-has-been’s and what-might-not. Otherwise, it won’t be worth waking up to when we’d rather be dreaming all day.

The past is not something to be dwelled on, but an experience to be learned from. True, there is much to be reminisced about the past, but I think there’s no better time to live than the present…the here and now… for with it, we undo the wrongs of the past, with it, we foresee the future.

I think this is the ultimate challenge: to make the most of the present. That someday too, it will be a past worth remembering, a time fondly recalled, a memory unforgettably reminisced. Now excuse me, I think I’m late for afternoon coffee…

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Place among the Young

Where laughter sweeps like summer breeze through fields of sun

Where innocence speaks light of things our eyes have set upon

Where bliss is measured by the simple joys of play and fun

Lies unreserved…magnificent…

A place among the young.

Where reverence for nature’s gifts sheds wonder left untamed

Where beauty scores in knowing how to be free yet still sane

Where friendship springs in having someone different yet the same

Dwells joyfully remembered,

A place we once had claim.

If only laughter came, in pocketfuls reserved

For empty days that fill the gaps our adult lives have earned

If only we had time to spare to listen to the sound,

Of a young wish, a silent prayer,

The innocence around…

Then we would look to see the world,

Behind the children’s eyes,

A world of stark simplicity, of wondrous beauty in disguise

We’d then awake and realize that deep inside remains

That peaceful place among the young,

unblemished and unchanged…

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hello China!

This is the first advertising script I did for Mayad Studios...

Mandarin Oriental Sanya from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

I hope you liked it! :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When a girl turns 18...

There's a reason why, at some point in our lives, we begin acting as grown-ups. And this lady wanted to do it with style...

Here's another Mayad story...

gelli trailer from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

Voice-over script courtesy of yes, me... ;-)

A Macau-made Vid minus all those Casino scenes...

Jackson and Mae: HK & Macau from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

This is a pretty simple theme shot with a lot of creativity. I simply played with the words to come up with something sweet and insightful!

Why Mayad is well...mayad!

Coral and Andrew: Wedding Trailer from Mayad Studios on Vimeo.

This is a script I wrote for one of Mayad's many couples and newlyweds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raw Musings...

i know i should be stuck among the articles that now define me as an outsource orc...but i long to be free of word counts and restrictions and emails and deadlines and the occasional caucasian cuss-worthy threats...

i long for that byline once more...the glory of names on ink...the unmatched freedom of an empty page waiting for pen and hand to make love again...

the smell of printed pages that mock the world with untarnished truth and my own brand of sarcasm shining through...

i long to write...of life, of love and of truth...

to see each day with passion, to see when others simply fail to even "look".

i long to live forever in books bejeweled with age,

to survive the wrath of the seasons with each turn of the page,

i long to be alive with thoughts that strive,

with words that sing!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Superficialities of Urbania

This may be a bad start for an article, but yes, my grandmother makes exquisite fried rice. Of course there’s nothing really exquisite about fried rice, but this is my article.

I admit to being a more-than-willing benefactor of the modernities of Urbania: cell phones, instant cappuccino, smoke-belching transport systems that rob you of your sanity, remote-controlled-everythings. More than once I’ve contemplated the usual temptations of the middle class citizen, and I know there’s more to life than having load or weekend movies at the mall—but hey, I’m twenty-two. I’m supposed to be materialistic. After all, the world has enough beauty queens campaigning for world peace. Despite the expensive upkeep, these supposed-to-be luxuries have become prerequisites to survival. Or so we think.

While having one of those rare, rejuvenating opportunities at the province (where my grandmother makes exquisite fried rice), I had a chance to think things over. It’s nice to know you can think about other things aside from incident reports, exam results, vaccinations, and the world according to Grey’s Anatomy.

Halfway through my private musings, I had to start a fire to cook supper. My grandmother uses “kalan” (a form of pottery that uses coal to cook food); she lets the gas range rust to death for fear it might burn her house down. This suited me just fine; after all, it’s been quite a while. The sight of dark wood dancing with fiery sparks of red illuminated the dusky twilight. It reflected the glow from my grandmother’s tobacco, the strands of gray on her temple visible with each flicker. In the distance, the music of crickets cavorting filled the musty air.You must understand, this is a refreshing break from the afternoon traffic jam I contend with every day.

In the morning, it took me a while to realize that instead of the sound of my Nokia alarm, and the usual banging of kitchen pots, I was awakened by the cock-a-doodle-do and warm morning sunlight peeping through my window. Adding to that wonderful wake-up call was the realization that it was a Saturday and the hospital was nowhere in sight!

What an intermission from the superficialities of modernization, native chicken instead of microwave dinners, Cat Stevens instead of MTV incantations, fresh air instead of my roommate’s farting spree. I’d rather indulge in quiet walks through fields of green than count the cracks on sidewalks or Volkswagens in the highways of the metro. The only traffic that occurs is when black ants break the line of the red, and fistfights only come in handy between matchbox spiders.

Sometimes the simple rural life appears more charming and subtly uncomplicated than the amenities and sophistication of remote-controlled Urbania. But we, the predecessors of the new age often regard the old ways as backward, primitive or simply cheap.

Lying in my hammock and finishing my Formalin-free buko … I wonder, would I ever survive without cell phones, Friendster and Facebook accounts, or hot-water showers? Looking back on the last few days, I think I just did. Would you?

Now, how about some of that exquisite fried rice?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

of life and ultimate frisbee...

Life is like a game of ultimate frisbee. Discs are like moments…mmmbops that are unrepeatable. They either fly off or you get to catch them and hold them for as long as you can ( in a game, thats roughly ten agonizing seconds, in life, it can be much shorter… ). Then, there comes a time when you have to let go… and watch it soar towards somebody worthy and waiting. If it drops, its gone. You need to go back and start all over again. Life offers start-overs too. Luckily.

If you get tired…there’s always the end-zone. A thin line between victory and defeat. Its a nice zone to watch the game of life pass between players, lovers and cough syrup drinkers… its a nice place to wait…. for those moments to once again come by…

New-Age Definitions

What is Love? here's a pessimistic, moronic view of the freak accident we refer to as "love"

this is "love" re-defined....

boyfriend - a guy with an open heart and an empty wallet who consistently gets manipulated "into swiping his card" (note to the dirty-minded: words in " " are open to other forms of interpretation)

girlfriend- the soon-to-be EX of your current eye-candy

girlfriend- your current arm-candy who retains her position so long as nobody better comes along

date- wat you feel compelled to do when the rest of your friends are married

- an end you work for by dropping obvious hints and wrong-sent messages, and yes, very encouraging Facebook posts that ummmm don't really get noticed in the first place

cool-off - the subtle break-up

friend- what she/he would rather be in your life

confused- the phase he goes into before he renounces his masculinity and decides to wear Boa feathers and a tiara

insecure- the adjective you use to refer to a partner who is always jealous to save you from the guilt of knowing there's equal justification for his/her jealous state

"the talk"- an out-of-nowhere response that tells you its the end of your attached life and the beginning of singledom!

me- the reason they give to make you believe its not "you" ( though ofcourse it is you and your stinking breath, your unshaven legs, your manic-depressive episodes)

feel free to add!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Sairy Gamp's Metamorphosis: How I've Come to Love Nursing, Every Amber-Stained, Stinking Step of the Way...

It started with a choice: to serve Humanity or to write broken sonnets for the rest of my life. Guess what? I found myself, all 4 feet and 11 inches, standing next to a measuring tape on a wall at Franklin Hall. With just this final requirement as entry to the College of Nursing, I found myself wishing I was 4 feet and 10 inches instead. Then, I would be free to enroll in AB English and write sonnets and be broke for the rest of my life (did I just jumble all those up?). But as fate would have it, I was 4 feet and 11 inches tall enough. And I had to end my love affair with sonnets and Liam.

After 4 years of cuban heels, it's great to wake up in the morning, feel my carotid pulse and realize that yes, I'm still alive. To say "it hasn't been easy", is an understatement I dare not make. I admit to days when I wish I stuck with sonnet-writing instead.

During brief lucid intervals, I can still recall wearing my school uniform with a full sense of paranoia. Back in 2002, pencil skirts were nowhere near fashionable and the main reasons why people stared would either be because of your printed polka dot panties or your need for a good shave. But now, like a trained poodle, I can walk (or run if the class starts at 7 sharp) with perfect balance and absolute precision over man-holes and wet-tiled floors without impairing my skin integrity. Although I admit, with or without the cuban heels, I still arrive late.

I remember my very first skin test, it was half-way between an IM and a subcu...but how was I to know? I  was simply thankful for the classmate who consented to be my brave guinea pig for that day. She forgave me, but she eventually got even during the TSB. Don't ask how. At times when I think I have already mastered the art of juggling Rizal and the medical sciences, I get a wake-up call from my test results in Pharmacology. And I'm back to wishing I were sonnet-writing again. Can't we all just take Paracetamol for every imaginable ailment on earth?

My first IV follow-up resulted to a magnificent display of bubbles. It was then that I learned the art of "pitik-pitik" (a term which unfortunately doesn't have an English equivalent). Its a very primitive yet effective tactic when you want to save yourself from the legal liabilities of yet another incident report.

After 3 years of Related Learning Experience (RLE), I still catch myself wondering what an osteorized tube feeding would taste like, whether breast milk would taste better if it came in different flavors and if it would be ethically acceptable to ask for that leftover cookie on my patient's tray. Of course I never voiced those thoughts out loud. Instead I continued to diligently count the borborygmic sounds of another frustrated stomach who has been sentenced to "second batch".

I must admit, after my first post-mortem care, 3rd enema, fifth catheter insertion and seventh recopy episode, I intermittently considered other career options like call center and Korean tutorial services. Only two things kept me from quitting: coffee and dreams of californication.

Yet, despite these mishaps, it's sometimes surprising to miss the smell of Lysol, the rythmic sounds of S1's and S2's, and the feel of life pulsating beneath my fingers. I found myself embracing nursing, with all its smells and sights. Yes, folks. What may seem quite exciting for the average guy may look utterly boring for those on DR duty. That's probably the main reason why some of my male classmates decided to "convert" right after college.

Horror of horrors and miracle of all miracles, I have come full circle! In a way I began to see Nursing in a different light. Looking beyond the profession as a one-way ticket to the stars, I began my own metamorphosis. From a caterpillar who abhored pencil skirts to a butterfly who still abhors pencil skirts but is somehow willing to go the distance despite the vasoconstricted waistline. Time is a wonderful thing. It teaches us to be patient, to endure...and ultimately, to love.

So, how do I love Nursing...? Let me count the ways...

I love it with every urobag I empty, with each diaper I change, with every single cord I clamp...

I love it with every breath I count, every pulse I feel, every heart I hear...

I love it to the depths of my incisions, with every possible complication and beyond all phantom pain...

And after 4 years of cuban heels, in pure Shakesperean fashion I say, "shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Nope, come to think of it. Nursing...? You are far beyond compare.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Tale of the Toothbrush

Jess was different. He wasn’t a favorite. In fact he was loathed by most of the tutors. So I prepared to walk into a nightmare when I was asked to be his grammar tutor for the remainder of his six weeks’ stay in the Philippines. Like most Korean kids, it was his first time in the Philippines, and English was an alien language. He was not like the other kids at all. He was a twelve-year-old rebel who didn’t do his homework and often got pulled out of class to get punished for some pranks he did the day before. Worse, he refused to take a bath, change his clothes or even brush his teeth. He stank to the heavens.

I breathed a sigh of impatience. He was ten minutes late for our class. When he did arrive, he brought a different book. That alone and no pencil. No notebook. No dictionary. For a low-beginner like him, a dictionary is a vital lifeline, how am I supposed to teach him without it? In my mind, I counted to ten and pretended not to care. At least, I was forewarned, and Jess did not let me down. My nightmare was confirmed.

In the days that followed, I slowly learned how to deal with Jess. I made up games in class to sustain his attention during the fifty-minute grammar lessons. We would make fun of his mispronounced words so that he wouldn’t feel so bad about not getting it right sometimes. Before class time, I would bribe him with his favorite treat. As a catch, he would have to go back to his room and brush his teeth. At times, I’d bring my toothbrush along and we’d have a contest as to who could brush faster.

I realized he was not really that different from all the other kids I taught. But while all the other kids liked showing off and preferred being tutor’s pets, Jess mostly kept to himself, partly because he was inherently shy and he still had trouble expressing his thoughts in English.

I don’t know why but Jess never troubled me with tantrums or absences, maybe because I wasn’t pushing him too hard. Somehow, maybe I understood. When you listen to our discussions in class, you wouldn’t hear a lot of talking from him, it was mostly brief phrases that were incomplete but made sense. He tried hard to express it in ways I could understand. He made the most endearingly awkward English sentences. It was enough for me that he tried.

My other students would bring me gifts. Cute little cut-outs with letters inside, a bracelet from Boracay, a pocket mirror from Korea, Pooh Bear stickers or my favorite coffee.

Jess wrote me a letter in a piece of paper he tore from his notebook, which he crumpled and hastily put inside my bag when I wasn’t looking. I discovered it several days after they went back to Korea. The handwriting was horrible and it contained four sentences telling me I was his favorite teacher, that he had fun in class, was going back to the Philippines someday and that he would miss me. It was written in his own, endearingly awkward English. I still have it to this day.

Jess taught me a lot about being a teacher. A profession I never dreamed of loving ‘til that day. I was fresh from nursing school and just needed a temporary job for the summer and being an English tutor was one of the convenient jobs at that time. It’s not about the meager pay and the hours spent late at night preparing for lessons. It’s not about handing out test papers and checking homework. It’s something much more. It’s love, and it doesn’t have to be expressed with grammatically precise sentences and conjunctions in all the proper places. After all, love is a language that’s understood whether you are Filipino or Korean.

Love is when they come to class on time, with their home work already done. Love is the look of appreciation in their eyes when they finally understand that one English word you’ve been explaining for the past thirty minutes. Love is when you realize they’ve improved from yes-no conversations to the eight parts of speech. Love is laughter. Love is a thank-you note with your name on it, albeit misspelled. Love is when they simply listen to what you say. Love is every endearingly awkward English sentence they make. Or in the case of Jess, love is when his classmates say he brushes his teeth for you, “only for you teacher, only for you”!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

all the SMOL things...

I'm not gonna lie. My blog is cleverly fashioned out of a Blink 182 song, and there's nothing really wrong with Blink 182, save for their misguided abuse of body art. Now before you start clicking on a Googled copy of the song, don't really bother. Although it is pretty catchy. It bears no profound, intellectual meaning or connection to my life or love life (which I'm proud to say, is doing great by the way. He has yet to see my criminal records and my Psychiatric evaluation, lol).

It's aptly called "All the SMOL things" because it describes anything from my quirky view of the world and my eccentric habits, to my own brand of medical humor and my love affair with Choco pie and coffee. It's a blog that celebrates individuality, and all the wee little details that are specifically SMOL. :-)