Let’s Be Friends

A good friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about how Facebook drains the energy out of us and yet we can’t seem to stop scrolling down the feed for hours in hopes of getting news from anyone. Well most of the time, all I get to see are statuses of acquaintances — some I’ve only met once or twice in my life — about their problematic love life, how much they hate going to school, how stupid the government is, and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not here to tell people to stop posting for all the world to see whatever it is they feel like sharing. After all, we all have our own accounts to manage and, needless to say, this is a free country. That actually goes for Twitter and other social networking sites as well. However, based from what I’ve experienced yesterday, I don’t think these sites can really ever match up with the feeling of meeting your friend face-to-face or striking a conversation with them without the eyes of the world prying on your every reply.

Yesterday we had a despedida lunch date for one of my college friends who’s going to Germany for internship. We spent half of our afternoon talking and updating one another about the happenings in our lives and how we are all thrilled and anxious of what’s yet to come. It was just a simple date (in fact there were only three of us) but it was priceless. Of course, we learned the news of her internship through Facebook. But the lunch date filled the things in-between which FB failed to cover. There were lots of laughter, funny queer remarks, crazy stories, and even self-ridicule.

I think for the most part, we tend to be overly self-conscious when we’re interacting through social media. Knowing that the whole world is looking at us, we try to choose the right words to say to earn the most “likes” or “favorites” and to appear more self-righteous than we actually are. While it is a good way of trying to become more “responsible” especially when airing an opinion about a sensitive issue, I don’t think the same method would work well if you’re trying to make a relationship work.

At least for me, it doesn’t. From time to time I crave for some real conversation with friends and whenever I post something on FB or Twitter which garners a reply, I find myself struggling on my next sentence because I know I would literally be answering to the whole world. There were a lot of times that I felt like cursing or saying mean things but always find myself stopping midway because I know a lot of people won’t like it, particularly my relatives, professors, and possible future employers who have Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Though it’s a different thing to openly express hatred to someone or something and you know a lot of people will back you up, case in point example, the newly-elect senators of the country. But then again, it’s still a form of self-preservation on your part.)

And the question is, do I really have to be ‘that’ reserved when it comes to my friends? Doesn’t it make me someone less than who I really am?

See that’s the thing. These social networking sites put everyone in one place — friends, family, colleagues, enemies, strangers, so much so that it becomes a struggle to come up with a reply to a certain simple comment that would make you look good to all these different people. It’s as if all arrows are suddenly pointed at you and you now have to make yourself more interesting, more self-righteous, more…likable. If you’re operating in five different social sites, it gets REALLY tiring…toxic, even. Like a part of you dies everytime.

With that said, I’d like to stay away from FB as much as possible. It seriously consumes my time and energy so much looking at different posts when all I ever want to have is a real conversation with a friend. As for my Twitter, I would be more active in it compared to FB, but I would definitely tweet less. I won’t deactivate them because I might still want to talk to the world from time to time — of course, in a less affectionate and impersonal way.

As for my friends, well if you don’t mind, I’d like to be more old-fashioned. I miss being with you guys and I miss being myself when I’m with you. E-mail, phone call, SNAIL MAIL whatever as long as we don’t have to mind if someone’s looking. Text and chat are good too, but they almost always end in awkward silence — one end waiting for the other who clearly doesn’t know the best reply to ‘:)’. Hit me up for a cup of coffee or a movie or a simple walk in the park and I would gladly meet you even if you’re halfway around the world.

They don’t have to be as frequent as everyday. They can even go as few as once a month. The point here is, we’ll have our own private little world where we can talk and be ourselves as we watch the bigger one pass by without caring what it has to say. By all means, we could use that as our escape when things get rough. It would require more effort but the reward would surely be more fulfilling. You get the idea.

So say let’s forget the social media and bridge the gap ourselves, shall we?

Yours,

fielleignacio@gmail.com
09178930511

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Slow Me Down, Lord

Slow me down Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me amidst the confusion of my day
The calmness of the everlasting hills
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
With the soothing music of the singing streams
That live in my memory.

Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations
Of slowing down to look at a flower
To chat with a friend
To pat a dog
To read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day of the fable
Of the hare and the tortoise
That I may know that the race
Is not always to be swift
That there is more to life
Than measuring speed.

Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down Lord
And inspire me to send my roots
Deep into the soil
Of life’s enduring values
That I may grow towards the stars
Of my enduring destiny.

Wilfred Arlan Peterson

Blessed.

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He never fails to surprise me.

I guess it now depends whether I get the scholarship or not. But even if I do not get it, I am still thankful for all the blessings I am currently receiving. Thank You — for always keeping doors open. I know I haven’t been the best daughter and my record is far from being clean, but You always remind me to keep my chin up, have faith, and take courage because You’ve got it all figured out. Thank You — for showering me with so much love and grace. Despite my shortcomings and my stubbornness, You always make me feel I am worthy of Your forgiveness and sacrifice. Thank You — for never giving up on me.

And even if I sing for eternity a song of thanks and praise, I know it would never be enough. But knowing You, I am sure that the effort would not go unnoticed. And so, allow me to say another thank You — for everything that has happened and for everything that has yet to come. 

I love You. <3

Q: How Are You?

A: Summer has been good (and hot), so far. I have been trying to keep my hands full for the next three weeks of April by enrolling myself in a driving school (which will commence next week), downloading tons of movies and series (which leaves me with only 5 gig of free space in my local disk), reading and buying books of different genres, and doing some artsy-fartsy stuff. We’ve been planning outings and get-togethers here and there as well; though it is highly probable that more than half of those plans would remain as…well, plans. But then, there is no harm in trying (or planning) anyway so might as well keep nagging until everyone agrees to a proposition. And besides, I like planning. It kind of makes me feel that I am in control of something — not to mention the joyful, guilty feeling of being able to easily assign responsibilities to anyone. But believe me, that is not always the case.

About the driving lessons, I figured it would give me higher chances of landing a job in the automotive industry if I will get a driver’s license as soon as possible. I have been wanting to get a license since third year high school but was never allowed to because 1. I almost crashed our van into a sturdy tree in Daang Hari during one of my test drives, 2. my mom does not believe that I have long ago given up on my car racing dreams, and 3. she thinks I would be off to different places everytime once she permits me to drive. She eventually got over them, thank goodness. And just last week, I finally convinced my dad to pay for my driving school lessons. They were against it initially, saying that it is a waste of money and that my tita can teach me for free. Problem is, they want me to train first in a manual car…BUT we do not have a manual car anymore; hence, the need to enroll in a driving school. Anyway, I really need to get my grubby hands on a driver’s license already. Honda has a job opening for fresh graduates and I cannot apply without it. I have clear intentions, you see. But then again, I think my mom has a good point in her third argument.

Downloading movies and series and reading books actually contradict each other. I have not finished de Botton’s book because I got distracted with Game of Thrones. Now I am downloading Suits and I am days behind of my reading schedule (and yes, I put deadlines into finishing books so I can make sure I will be done by the end of summer). Also, I have not cleared my laptop yet from my accumulated (and now useless) files from 1st year to 4th year college.Not that I am being sentimental about it — I can be quite merciless when it comes to deleting files, numbers, and people accounts whenever they take up too much space. It’s just that I’m feeling lazy to open and assess what should go to the recycle bin and what should stay for a few months more.

As for the artsy-fartsy stuff, my mom bought me my second set of mud clay (or paper clay, as what my friends call it) project. I did my first one back in elementary and my mom said she wants to have another “work of art” hung on our living room wall. I am not sure how she is planning to do it considering that our walls are already full of frames (and I still have a jigsaw puzzle of Greece which is a work in progress and will be framed, too). Outside, perhaps?

And I have been working out! Jogging every morning (well okay, not every morning) and crunches every day. Hope it pays off soon.

So yeah, I guess I am fine. I am busy. But whenever I let myself become idle even for just a minute, sad thoughts creep in. And so I try to be busy and keep my mind preoccupied and try to forget that I sorely miss you. There are times when I feel like striking a random conversation with you like how we used to, but I always stop typing midway; not because there really isn’t anything we can talk about (I actually have a lot of things to tell), but because I feel like you won’t be there to listen. It isn’t anyone’s fault, really. Like what you said, things change. And whether we admit it or not, we have already outgrown each other. I miss you badly, but I don’t want to force it this time. Truth be told, I have not figured things out yet. And unlike before where I can always retreat to being friends, I feel like I don’t have anything to cling on to anymore. I could go on telling you how much I miss you but there are just too many “buts” strung along with it.

I still hope that you’d randomly hit me up one of these days and tell me your current state of affairs. I hope that you’d find time to actually tell me what you really feel (or even the lack thereof) so I can finally smooth things out.

I wish I could say I’m down with the season but summer’s fine and it’s actually just waiting for me to sweat it all out and enjoy the sun.

One Day

I don’t want you thinking I’m bothered or anything about last night. I don’t want your phone number, or letters or postcards. I don’t want to get married to you. Definitely don’t want to have your babies. Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ve had today. And if we should bump into each other sometime in the future, well that’s fine too. We’ll be friends.

– Emma Morley to Dexter Mayhew

April 2, 2013

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She held his face in both hands, looked at it.
‘You’re getting married?-‘
‘Yes’
-‘And you’re going to be a father?’
‘I know! Fuck me a father!’
‘Is that allowed? I mean will they let you?’
‘Apparently’
‘I think it’s wonderful. Fucking hell, Dexter, I turn my back for one minute…!’
She hugged him once again her arms high round his neck. She felt drunk, full of affection and a certain sadness too, as if something was coming to an end. She wanted to say something along these lines, but thought it best to do this through a joke.
‘Of course you’ve destroyed any chance I had of future happiness, but I’m delighted for you, really.”

“Can I say something?’
‘Go on’
‘I’m a little drunk’
‘Me too. That’s okay.’
‘Just….I missed you, you know.’
‘I missed you too.’
‘But so, so much, Dexter. There were so many things I wanted to talk to you about, and you weren’t there-‘
‘same here.’
‘I tell you what it is. It’s…..When I didn’t see you, I thought about you every day, I mean EVERY DAY in some way or another-‘
‘same here.’
‘-Even if it was just “I wish Dexter could see this” or “Where’s Dexter now?” or “Christ that Dexter, what an idiot”, you know what I mean, and seeing you today, well, I thought I’d got you back – my BEST friend. And now all this, the wedding, the baby- I’m so happy for you, Dex, but it feels like I’ve lost you again.’-

-‘You know what happens you have a family, your responsibilities change, you lose touch with people’
‘It won’t be like that, I promise.’
‘Do you?’
‘Absolutely’
‘You swear? No more disappearing?’
‘I won’t if you won’t.’
Their lips touched now, mouths pursed tight, their eyes open, both of them stock still. The moment held, a kind of glorious confusion.”

– One Day, David Nicholls

The End

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2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

Four years. Four wonderful years inside the protective arms of the Ateneo.

Thank You, for filling my cup with so much love and blessings that I am greatly and deeply moved to empty it out to others. I entered Ateneo with big dreams, but You proved to me that You have plans far better than what I could ever imagine. The “last blow” was heartbreaking and humbling and the view downhill is still hazy and unclear, but I will let Your guiding hands lead me from here on.

Thank you, Ma and Pa, for standing by my decisions whole-heartedly and for believing in me. Thank you for supporting me when I decided to go on JTA student exchange program which proved to be one of the best experiences in my life. You have realized my potential even before I did and I thank you for always keeping your minds, hearts, and hands open. I do hope I really made you proud.

Thank you to my family, Enzo, Ate, Ninang, Yayay, and everyone else, for the encouraging words whenever I break down because of school works. You have showered me with so much love, patience, and understanding and I hope to give it all back to you. “Salamat sa pagsalo sa lahat ng kasungitan, sa paghahanda ng baon at grocery, sa paghahatid-sundo, sa pag-aalaga, at sa pagpaparamdam na kahit na isang buwan na akong hindi umuuwi ng bahay, palagi akong may uuwiang pamilya.”

Blockmates, friends, professors, Jesuits, and non-teaching staffs — thank you for being part of this journey. It was not a smooth-sailing-walk-in-the-park experience but knowing that we have each other gives me strength every single day.

And thank you, Ateneo, for the gift of Jesuit liberal education and for opening my eyes to a lot of realities. I can honestly say that I never regretted choosing you over the other universities. You have molded me into a person I never thought I could and will be. You genuinely taught us how to be of great service to others through your liberal arts, integrated programs, and Ignatian spirituality. More importantly, you instilled in us the mindset of doing everything for the greater glory of God. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
“Magis”, “Cura Personalis”, “Agere Contra”, “Man for Others” – you have equipped me well and I am now ready to go out and be an instrument of change.

Sabi nga ni Bobby Guev, kaakibat ng kasarapan ng pagiging Atenista ang masaktan dahil ikaw ay isang Atenista.

Lubos Mo akong minahal at pinaglingkuran. Hayaan Mong ako naman ang maglingkod para sa Iyo at para sa kanila. :)

Effie Fielle Montes Ignacio
BS Management, major in Communications Technology Management
minor in German Studies

Honorable Mention

Keeping the Bonfire Tradition Burning

October 11, 2012

Right after the win, a thanksgiving mass was held at the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo. All the players in the seniors basketball team, their parents, families, students, faculty and non-faculty members of the Loyola schools attended the mass. Of course, it was presided by our president, Fr. Jett Villarin. And as always, the Fr. Jett’s homily was interesting and goes straight to the heart. There really is something about the way Jesuits preach that captures my attention and my interest. He talked about the usual — Ateneans being “people for others” and how the Jesuit community really looks up to “Our Lady”. You see, Ateneo’s color isn’t blue and white for no reason.

He also talked about the issues Ateneo are facing right now. RH bill, the “lemons” issue, racism, etc. MVP’s name was also mentioned a lot of times. Not to comment on the severed ties between him and the Ateneo community but to thank him for everything that he has done for the betterment of the Ateneo. I really don’t know the reason why MVP decided to withdraw his helping hand from the Ateneo and divert his attention to UP. It’s sad. And his absence in that special event resonates inside the Gesu.

After the mass, the graduating players were allowed to give their impromptu speeches. There were five of them – Chua, Salva, Gonzaga, Slaughter (still in his 3rd year but he has already exhausted his eligibility to play in college basketball), and Sumalinog – plus Coach Norman Black. It was their time to extend their warmest thanks to their families, friends, the Ateneo community, their girlfriends (yep, special mentions), and of course to MVP as well. I felt sad hearing their speeches because I know, in 5 months time, we’ll have to say our own goodbyes too. Guh. Too much attachment to this school. I don’t wanna leave yet!

Fr. Ben Nebres – the former president of the Ateneo and the cutest, most adorable Jesuit priest I’ve ever met!

Carissa with the 7-foot tall Greg Slaughter. Haha! This was a super sneaky picture of her with him. I can never forget the funny “what did you just do?” look he gave her when he realized what she was doing. Haha!

October 13, 2012: Bonfire!

The stage at the grade school area! I love how Nike re-designed the Blue Eagle. I think they’ve printed the design in shirts too. Mhmm. I shall be grabbing one of those!

As always, the event started with a mass. Then followed by the recognition of the winning teams. the Ateneo High School swimming team is now on its 8-peat title while the Ateneo senior swimming team and the Ateneo Badminton team also won their championships. And of course, the bida of the event – the Ateneo senior basketball team. A lot of videos were shown to show appreciation for Coach Norman Black’s excellence in spearheading the team. He surely left a legacy in the school. I think his successor would have to double his effort in order to meet the high standards Coach Black has set. I tried searching the videos in Youtube but I can’t find them. Sayang.  There was one where the players were dancing Men in Black and they were wearing shades. The other was about a documentary of the championships Ateneo has won in the UAAP basketball games. The other video was a karaoke-like performance of the players, singing their own rendition (and lyrics) of the Beatles’ song, “Hey Jude”.

Highlights of the bonfire:

Me and my bonfire mate, Mai. Hi girl! :)

The bonfire. It was lighted up by the team captains of the winning teams.

MY HAIR’S ON FIRE!

The crowd gathered in preparation for the “Song for Mary”. There was a fireworks display after but I didn’t bother taking pictures of it. I think no one can beat UST in that department. Haha!

Of course, pictures with the players :”> Okay, excuse my face. I was just really happy I saw them down the stage after the program. Trisha and I were originally planning to go to the autograph signing event held earlier that afternoon. But then stuff happened and I decided not to go anymore. But teehee. Thanks to Miguel Escueta – who was the performer during this time – I got the chance to go on a bathroom break and walk away from the stage for a while. Hahaha!

With my crush, Juami Tiongson #5 and Von Pessumal #19 . Ahhh. Juami <3 <3 <3

With Trisha’s crush, Tonino Gonzaga #7. Okay this does look like a couple shot. Yes? And okaaay just to make things clear, I got shocked when he did this pose. Hahahaha. Aaand haha to be honest, this picture gives an unsolicited kilig whenever I see it. Sorry, Trisha. =))

SO MUCH FOR THOSE FANGIRL PICTURES!

On to the next attraction: the performers/Ateneo alumni of the night!

Spongecola

Rico Blanco – the most awesome performer of the night!

Chicosci

Miguel Escueta and Itchyworms performed too! Well I don’t really care about the former but I kinda regret I didn’t watch Itchyworms perform. It was already 1:30am that time and they were the last to perform. We decided to just skip them because we were already tired and we still have to talk about our thesis.

Some of my blockmates! From left to right: Gianna, Trisha, Mike, Mai, and Sarah! Thank you for cheering and singing and screaming with me during the bonfire! Here’s to our last bonfire as undergrads!  Cheers!

Ending my night with a smile…

…and a dash of spontaneity. <3 (c/o Marlo Francisco)

c/o Marlo Francisco

Ein Pechtag

Had my first structured recitation in Western Literature. I was asked to describe the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles last Tuesday and I exhausted all my resources in order to support my claim that the two shared a bond far exceeding the normal type of comradeship. I ended up downloading the movie, Alexander, because I got curious with the similarity of relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaistion. Come 7:30 today, I was asked to tell the class what my answer is only to be told that my claim isn’t correct and Achilles is in fact, incapable of sustaining an emotional bond with a human being because he is partly a god. I personally do not agree with my professor’s explanation because 1) Achilles is partly human too, 2) I don’t get the motive why he has to feign his emotions for Patroclus (especially his grievance during Patroclus’ funeral) and 3) I can’t think of any other reason why Patroclus would be so certain that Achilles would avenge his death and why would Achilles opt to rejoin the battle if he knows (and he really does!) that he’s going to die in the end. Simply put, the irrationality of Achilles’ decisions can possibly be attributed to a force stronger than his anger and pride. I believe it is love. I know this is a loose explanation of my point but I’m willing to explain it further if I have time. I refuse to accept my professor’s conclusion. Then she required us to read Odyssey for our upcoming book report and discussion on Tuesday (which I find boring compared to Iliad).

Podcast in CS on how to “build” a computer. The probability of me understanding computer terms and the probability of the Catholic Church approving the RH Bill are pretty much the same.

German class did not turn out well either. Plus that daunting major presentation (und natürlich, auf Deutsch!) on Thursday is spreading pterodactyls in my tummy.

Philosophy – one of the subjects that I really look forward to – surprisingly didn’t lift my mood up. I can feel my veins pulsating and my head buzzing as our professor was heartily discussing Tolstoy. Not that he’s boring, no (quite the contrary). It’s just that during that last class did I really feel the weight of what’s about to happen for the next few weeks. I felt my shoulders droop along with my eyes and actually got almost teary-eyed when he announced that we should finish reading Silence for next Tuesday’s discussion. One thing that brought me out of my reverie though is when he asked us what is that “something” which we think is lacking yet does not necessarily hinder us from studying (or doing our daily routine). Inspiration…in its widest sense, I thought. But of course, I did not dare say it out loud.

Went to the library to write only to be shooed away by the guards because it’s already 5pm.

Thought of texting the two people whom I feel like talking to in times like this but immediately remembered that she’s sick and he’s probably practicing with the glee club.

Saw a Korean couple on my way back to the condo doing a pinky finger promise and it made me realize that I haven’t bent mine since 2010.

Tried out Sebastian’s ridiculously expensive ice cream. It was good – the closest Italian gelato we can get around Katipunan. I hope they’ll have lemon flavor soon.

Finally got to stay in CBTL Katipunan after a long time and I was surprised that they’ve changed baristas. Also, the usual group of Ateneo Law School students weren’t there. Not seeing those familiar faces makes me feel like I’m not in my usual hangout place. One good thing about the change though – they spelled my name correctly.

Accidentally stepped on a puddle and got my feet wet on my way back to the condo. Biggest pet peeve right there.

I can go on telling how bad this day is but I don’t want to sound like a teenager throwing tantrums. What consoles me right now is the fact that out there, somewhere on the other side of the globe, someone is clipping her nails or drying her hair and he or she does not have the slightest idea (nor care) that I’m having a bad day. No matter how big and dreadful I think this hole in my heart is (that is, if it really exists), it still comes out trivial in the eyes of another. I can always blame it on the hormones anyway (oh the perks of being a woman!)

So might as well just type it all away and hope that tomorrow’s going to be better…feel better.

The Paradox of Our Times

Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers

Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints

We spend more, but we have less.

We have bigger houses, but smaller families

More conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees, but less sense

More knowledge, but less judgement

More experts, but more problems

More medicines, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often

We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life.

We have added years to life, but not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back

But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul.

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We’ve higher incomes, but lower morals.

We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character;

Steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare,

More leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces;

Of fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the show window, and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you,

And a time when you can choose,

Either to make a difference …. or just hit, delete.

– Dalai Lama