Thursday, February 28, 2013

License to Freedom

Six years overdue, I finally received the shiny card granting me the privilege to responsibly and safely operate an automobile. Several trips on days with much unwelcome rains and endless waiting in pointless, disorganized queues resulted in my name printed on a Restriction Two, Condition A non-professional driver's license.

It was a license to a new freedom.

As I was driving home with my mom, she told me how careful I was since now, I had a license to protect. Before, I was driving under a student license -- lawful consequences of my actions had little weight on my shoulders. But now, things are much, much different. Each and every missed red light is now against my name. Each yield sign driven without pause can put other motorists in danger because of me. Every lane change without a polite signal can cause much unneeded stress because of my lack of discipline.

She was right.

As I patiently waited for pedestrians to cross, I suddenly became fearful of driving. There are so many things to be aware of all at the same time. There are so many things that can happen that can cost lives. There are so many responsibilities tied to driving, and I am not so sure I like them all.

Gently stepping on the gas, I firmly held the steering wheel as the car moved forward. I have received not only a license to freedom, but a license to do things I have never done before. I am no longer just a passenger. I can now steer my own vehicle and bring it to places it has never been to.

Now, I can follow all those uncharted roads in my life because for once, I have proven that I can: the shiny license bearing my name has given me freedom to believe in myself.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Opportunity Found

A few days ago, a very unexpected mail from my practice manager found its way to my tediously organized inbox. I didn't quite understand the subject line and honestly thought I was wrongly included in the mail. Filled with curiosity, I clicked on the link and read the contents.

It was a mail stating I was chosen to be a lead of a new project and was slated to train in New Zealand for two to three months. The first thing that entered my mind was to which label should the mail fall under, because it was the first time I had received such.

It was an opportunity that so few people in the office receive. I wasn't happy; rather a complete feeling of being torn overwhelmed me. My heart began to race as the news started to sink in. My hands became clumsy as it shook uncontrollably. I managed to reply to her saying I want to talk to her about some concerns regarding the new project. After nervously sending the reply and swallowing the tension as hard as I could, I waited for her response, and soon enough, it came.

Hours after the email, I found myself sitting inside the workspace of my project manager. I told her that I was feeling anxious about the new assignment, that it wasn't what I wanted to be. After two years in my company, I have finally found what career I wanted to have. I told her that it would be such a loss if I turned down the golden opportunity to train in another country for a couple of months, but I then I doubted if I would excel and step up in the new project since it laid outside of my sphere of interests. She told me that I shouldn't be disheartened, because I have already set my goals, and the offer wasn't aligned to what I wanted to become: an expert in the business technology knowledge of the airline industry.

In her experience and in a true programmer's words, she shared to me that an opportunity not chosen is not a missed opportunity when that opportunity is not what one really wants. The feeling of resentment comes from the fact that it was a big offer for someone like me. But I realized a deeper sense of guilt will take root in me if ever I decide to leave behind what I love doing just for the sake of not missing an opportunity.

That mail I received was an opportunity for me to stand for what I wanted and desired to be.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


There is freedom in knowing the truth.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


After four years of being with me, my laptop, Midnight, is sadly showing signs that he's bound for a replacement sometime soon.

A few weeks before, I've noticed that his backlights were failing. A few days ago, it happened: the backlights died out, which made Midnight true to his name. After a night's stay in the shop and whipping out a relatively sizable amount of money, he's back with me to write this entry. Being the first time in Midnight's stay with me that I needed to ask for a technician to patch him up, it bothered me to the point that I was very happy and relieved that he's fine again. Even if the problem wasn't too critical, the thought of me losing Midnight made me furrow my forehead in deep worry.

If there was something that knows me the most after all these years, it would definitely be Midnight. We've been through thick and thin: he's seen my happiest moments, and he's also been a part of the gloomy events that I learned a lot from. Midnight is a one of the testaments of what I have become and what I have created, and losing him would mean losing yet again a big part of the things I hold dear.

But alas, it is sad to say that I confide in an inanimate being, never able to return the emotions I deeply need.

I've lost so much, but I decided to remain strong. But it would definitely break me if I would lose you, Midnight.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mixed Signals

Earlier in the tenth anniversary celebration of the company I'm working for, an acquaintance of mine casually walked up to me and shook my hand proceeded by the usual arm wrestling shake. He asked me how I was since apparently, he was concerned on how bad my cough seemed. Yesterday evening, we met inside the men's room while I hacked loudly in efforts to expel some stubborn phlegm that has been in my throat too long. Noticing it was him, I immediately entered a cubicle and sealed it shut while I continued to bark away.

"Ang lala na ng ubo mo ah, ayos ka lang ba?"

"Hindi naman. Oo, medyo puyat lang."

After I told him I was fine and that I just had something in my throat that made me bark like a rabid dog the night before, he told me with a mix of enthusiasm and dismay that he was still on night shift. I asked him if he was taking the shuttle back to the office, and he replied that no, he would be just taking a cab since he can start work as late as ten in the evening. An abrupt and awkward silence followed afterward. Partly confused about his seemingly random talk with me made me silent, which in turn made him leave my seat earlier than I had wanted. He nodded at me, turned, and walked away, leaving me wishing that I had said something to make him stay longer.

I'd admit I liked him ever since I first saw him: he had the strong eyebrows that makes my insides quiver. I liked him all the more after he decided to shave his head as it made his prominent and tall nose even more attractive. I felt that chance was playing with me when I ended up attending a training on the same schedule he was in, with us being on the same group together. After that workshop, I liked him even more because I saw his enthusiastic personality and his mature and forward way of thinking.

I mustered the courage to add him on Facebook as a friend in the hopes of knowing him at least a little better. Not being a slave of the social networking phenomenon, he accepted my request weeks after I sent it. After today's incident, I'm shallowly wallowing in mixed signals: either he's just a concerned and caring friend, or he's running on the same lane in the road as I am. I'm hoping it's the former, because I will be shattered if he's being nice to make us get to know each other a little more than just friends.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

M. Pokora - A Nos Actes Manqués

A Nos Actes Manqués (To All The Things We Never Did)
M. Pokora

A tous mes loupés, mes ratés, mes vrais soleils
To all my failures, all the things I wasted, all my time under the sun
Tous les chemins qui me sont passés à côté
To all the paths that I just passed by
A tous mes bateaux manqués, mes mauvais sommeils
To all the boats I missed, all my bad dreams
A tous ceux que je n'ai pas été
To everything that I've never been

Aux malentendus, aux mensonges, à nos silences
To all misunderstandings and lies that came from our silences
A tous ces moments que j'avais cru partager
To all those moments that I thought we had shared
Aux phrases qu'on dit trop vite et sans qu'on les pense
To all the phrases we said too fast without meaning
A celles que je n'ai pas osées
To all those that I never dared to say
A nos actes manqués
To all the things we never did

Aux années perdues à tenter de ressembler
To all those years wasted trying to pretend
A tous les murs que je n'aurai pas su briser
To all those walls that I never knew how to break
A tout ce que j'ai pas vu, tout près, juste à côté
To all the things near me that I've failed to see
Tout ce que j'aurai mieux fait d'ignorer
To all the things that I should have ignored

Au monde, à ses douleurs qui ne me touchent plus
To all the pains and sufferings of the world that touch me no more
Aux notes, aux solos que je n'ai pas inventés
To all those notes and songs that I haven't invented
Tous ces mots que d'autres ont fait rimer qui me tuent
To all those rhyming words that kill me in regret
Comme autant d'enfants jamais portés
Like many innocent children never born
A nos actes manqués
To all the things we never did

Aux amours échouées de s'être trop aimé
To all the love stories that ended because we loved too much
Visages et dentelles croisés juste frôlés
To faces that we crossed and almost missed
Aux trahisons que je n'ai pas vraiment regrettées
To betrayals that I haven't carried in regret
Aux vivants qu'il aurait fallu tuer
To the people alive but are better off dead

A tout ce qui nous arrive enfin, mais trop tard
To all the things that happen to us are but too late
A tous les masques qu'il aura fallu porter
To all the masks that we should have worn
A nos faiblesses, à nos oublis, nos désespoirs
To all our weaknesses, our forgetfulness, our desperations
Aux peurs impossibles à échanger
To all our fears that are impossible to share
A nos actes manqués
To all the things we never did

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


When I was still little, my grandmother, whom we called Nanay, always gave me gentle and loving pats to the leg to lull me to sleep. I was a lola's boy because I didn't sleep beside my mom and dad, rather with Nanay. I remember every time she stopped, I would touch her hand so that she would continue giving me that sense of security so that I can finally chase my creative imagination in my dreams. By time I awaken, her side of the bed was already tidy and made up. Often times, I would open my still sleepy eyes with her already sitting in front of the little altar we had in our room, praying the rosary and saying thanks to the one who made all things possible.

Today marks the eighth year Nanay has ascended to a place of eternal happiness. Eight years ago from today, I lost one of the persons I hold dearest inside my heart.

With some weighty problems burdening my load, I remembered how I always liked Nanay's kind and endearing embrace because I felt safe whenever she was with me. As I stopped by to kindle a few candles in her memory, I wondered if she is proud in whatever I have become and achieved. As I once again took the long walk home for her cause, I felt safe because I knew that wherever I might be, a star beyond the endless sky is always shining its light on me. High in the heavens, Nanay is still patiently giving me her gentle and loving pats. She continues to ease away my pains and sorrows and give me courage in life with the memory of her love.

Miss na kita Nanay. Hindi ko man nasabi dati, pero alam kong alam niyo na mahal na mahal ko kayong dalawa ni Tatay. I love you Nanay, at sana masaya na kayo sa piling ni Tatay.