Saturday, November 29, 2008

Traffic Light: A Journal Written During a Travel

By John Carl Gozun

It’s one hot and sweating afternoon, and I don’t know if this bus I am riding will get to the bus station on time. Maybe it won’t. I’m seeing the traffic light shifting color from yellow to green in a short period of time…30 seconds? I don’t know exactly. With that time interval, my bus only moved two meters.

Wearing sunglasses and drinking a can of mouth-watering cold Royal soft drink,
I felt many emotions that may be considered cars almost bumping to each other just to head on to their destinations. This traffic may be caused by the malfunctioning semaphore. From yesterday until the negative infinity, I thought I was stronger than these emotions. I thought I was able to fix the traffic light so easily. However, with the many incidents that came up just last night, I now think otherwise.

I pity myself so much. I am a spoiled brat. I am a pain in the neck. I am the worst person to be anyone’s friend. I can’t even manage my emotions. These might have been caused by many people who criticize what I do, and those criticisms make my mind turn around. It doesn’t know what to do next.

In the morning, I thought of pampalubag loob. I was just joking myself that my heart just grew bigger, and that more room to grow up was created; my emo cells would say, “Go go go!”

Let’s make this text vaguer by adding “11 lines I’d like to tell 11 people.” This list is a mix of happy and sad lines.

1. I don’t know if I know you personally. I have been there to witness your every moment of joy. I have been at your side you break the silence and tease every friend we see. I quit you.
2. We’re better off this way. At least I don’t ask you many questions anymore. Join number 1.
3. Yup, it’s okay. You’ve been at my side for a long time, and I’m happy for that. Next time, I’ll give you something you can keep. PS: Don’t be on a diet, haha! Happy Birthday!
4. Sorry if I didn’t give you a chocolate last time in “Chocolate You.” Kahit Chocnut lang hehe. Seriously, I’m happy for our bond now – pointing at Bulaon Wheeler Team A and Team B. Remember, mas mahal sa Team B. Nyaha!
5. All I can tell you is himala. I dunno. You didn’t just searched for my mobile number, haha! Yung plate ko mamaya ha.

6. Please play “You belong to me” by Lifehouse. Please, please, please. I’m instituting a fan club here in your home country.
7. You’re an SA and a student. You should’ve known a student’s limitations when you shortened his time to do an ES1 plate. Ma’am was late, your lecture started at 9:30 am, the lab work started at 10:30 am, and you wanted us to submit the plate at 11:30? What the heck?! Nung dumating si ma’am, nag-agree naman siya sa’yo. Nakakagago, parang ang unannounced na ME 63 long exams.
8. I have a crush on you, pero iniiwasan mo’ko. Ayaw na kitang maging seatmate.
9. I like your blog entries. Can you give me some pieces of advice?
10. Ano va? ‘Di na kita nakikita? Ok ano? Hehehe! You always make me laugh ate.
11. You didn’t just block my video on YouTube! There is a lot of famous people who put licensed songs in their videos, but why me? Why me? I hate your management!

The next thing I know now is that I got home and ate sinigang. I’m quite smiling now, thank goodness. Writing might be my way of healing. I now believe in the power of the pen (I mean keyboard).

I don’t want revise this text. Neither do I want to erase what I have written above even if the feelings are starting to fade away. At least by the few next years, I will have seen my old self struggling until the end of the line, believing that there will always be a room to grow, knowing who the true and not-so-true friends are, and learning from his stupid mistakes.

It’s now 5 in the afternoon, and the dusk is coming. Tomorrow and forever, I will be a smarter, a more intelligent, and a rich guy; I will be able to fix the traffic light.

Monday, November 24, 2008


By Mike Gulapa

I was quite sure it was being instructed in English. I recognized the words and the sounds but I really didn't understand them once they are lumped together. I knew those were 'sentences' he was mouthing and those were 'numbers' he was writing. But everything didn't seem to make sense to me at all. By the way, it's the Physics lessons in my Nat Sci 1 class I'm talking about.

It all started a month ago when I decided to enlist in this Physics/Chemistry class. Of course, I knew what it was all about, or at least I thought I knew. Nevertheless, I was really sure that I would be taking this course no matter what.

Then it happened. After the first batch processing of classes, I already got enlisted! However, neither was I happy nor sad. I guess I felt just a slight stream of anxiety. So to neutralize the angst, I thought of it as luck and considered it a rare opportunity to be in this supposedly hard-to-get-into class. It was comforting though until the day I knew that slots were like donuts in a donut store, still widely offered and available.

The door leading to Physics and Chemistry was then opened widely right before my eyes. (his paragraph was supposed to be about the days I secluded myself into thinking whether I would shut the door or step right into it. But I thought it's going to be useless since apparently I did step right into it. So, moving on...

So I took the challenge and plunged myself into something I was uncertain of. I verified. I enrolled. I braced myself for the arduous semester to come. The day came where I could taste the pudding of my decision. It was tasty at first: an air conditioned room, an LCD projector, a white board. It was a very conducive niche for learning. Also with me in the class were familiar faces from our department and an orgmate of mine actually, so I felt that I was not at all alone and the pudding was nothing more than sweet. But the bitter ingredient of it started to take over my tongue as the professor, who actually is a super physicist of the physics world, started to talk physics to a non-physics major. A philosophy major at that!

I was quite sure it was being instructed in English. I recognized the words and the sounds but I really didn't understand them once they are lumped together. I knew those were 'sentences' he was mouthing and those were 'numbers' he was writing. But everything didn't seem to make sense to me at all. Things seemed utterly pointless. After an hour of lecture, I ended up looking at him like a dead fish, blank and naive. I tried to dig deep inside my brain for the remnants of my high school physics but I didn't find even the smallest rudiments of it. "Ooh I'm doomed", I whispered to myself because the lessons were far from what I expected them to be -- just an introductory physics or some sort of physics appreciation for everyday living. Haha!

Nevertheless, I took pleasure in copying the Physics wingdings on the board and drawing the inclined planes with pulleys, strings and boxes. I've longed for these actually. It was the subject I was deprived of for 2 years and the subject I used to be good at. This was one reason why I enlisted for this class. I wanted a break from philosophy and the papers writing and reading life entailed with it. I wanted to solve numbers for a change, because I've been dealing with arguments for quite some time already. I wanted to apply logic in the quantitative realm. I wanted to write numbers, integers, square roots, signs and summations. But it came with a price though: long examinations!

The battle plan is, to enjoy writing the wingdings and savor the break from philosophy and let my engineering friends, housemates, and orgmates decipher it for me. Because there must be an underlying meaning and principle to those and I'm not just in the right place to decode it as of the moment. I even forgot what theta actually means for crying out loud!

Another reason why I partook in this class was because I've had my experiences of electives that were so easy and uno-able but I didn't learn anything from them at all. I actually had a grade of 2.25 on one of those, and it was depressing because not only did I not learn anything from it but also I was given a grade I didn't deserve. So I felt it is better to get something out of a course than to get nothing at all. Easy is not always excellent and education ought to be taken for its purpose. Grades should be of secondary concern. This was what I had in mind when I clicked the 'enlist' button. To be out of the parameters of what I already know and extend my intellectual horizon. Besides, this I think is the function of general electives, to produce students with holistic knowledge so they would not end up fragmented. And even if I don't understand it now, I know I soon will, and I'm glad I decided to want to. And it's just nice to challenge yourself with something once in a while, because as you deal with the tough everyday, you simply become tougher than yesterday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Announcement: Pinanari 2008A Final Rites

WHEN: Sunday, NOVEMBER 23, 2008
MEETING PLACE: McDonald's Dolores Intersection (Old)
DEPARTURE TIME: 8am. So be there before 8am.
WHERE: Bacolor, Pampanga

Dress appropriately, guys, hehe!
For more details or any questions, kindly text:
0917 403 4618

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ne, Wakaru Deshou?

By Neicy Nicdao
Kumo go kireta saki wo

Mitara kitto
Ne, wakaru deshou?

The point where the clouds break -
I’m sure you see it
And you understand, right?

-Michi to You All, aluto


The truth is, I don’t know what to say. Heck, I don’t even know why I’m writing this in the first place. Maybe it’s nostalgia kicking in. I did my virtual folder maintenance a few weeks ago, and I dug up some long-forgotten pictures from times past.

The images’ details state that these were taken around August 2007, but I find that almost hard to believe. Was it really just last year? I feel like it’s been decades since the last time I saw you. Save for a few members, I suppose the Agu-family would agree with me. Let’s just say that for a long time now, you have been the embodiment of the word ‘apparisyon’.

No, not that I’m blaming you or anything. At some point in our lives the rest of us also laid low, including me. We all had our excuses – acads, personal stuff, other friends – and while I know that it’s not becoming of a member, I believe that as long as it’s sincere, it’s worthy of being forgiven. It’s just that… you’ve been gone for so long. As part of Baskal, I miss you and I wish you could give even just a few minutes to drop by and see us, like how Don and Jann do. Nonetheless, as part of Baskal I also try my damnedest to understand you. We’re a batch and we must stand up for each other.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve heard some mems express their disappointment about you not being here, especially because of the fact that you’re a freakin’ batch head. A few of those comments were even said in front of me. (Please note what I said, however. They expressed their disappointment, they didn’t condemn you.)

For a long time, I tried to defend you whenever I heard comments of those likes. I told them that maybe you needed more time for acads, or that you had other more pressing matters to attend to. And mind you, I didn’t do that out of obligation, just because you’re my batch mate. I did that because I wanted to, because I couldn’t stand it whenever it appeared that you’re nothing but a failure. You may have failed as a member, but I will never forget how you kept us together during the most crucial and difficult time of our Agu-life – the application.

I remember how we would ask you who the newly arrived member is, and how you would tell us things about him or her. How you taught us the Sige Ikembot dance back at Jill’s house. I remember how you sent us a message days before talents’ night that your Ate was dying, that you may not be able to attend practices, but you were determined to go through the Talents’ Night with us. And how you gathered us minutes before that grueling event and told us that we could do it and we would.

I remember how we gave you a cake for your birthday and how I ruined it before you arrived so I had to pretend that I tripped when I gave it to you. How we gave you the shirt that said B*TCH HEAD. How we went to the movies and ate KFC after. I remember how happy we were.

Do you remember how you would try to defend us during gen meets or how after that you would assure us that the mems knew what they were doing and we were going to be fine? How you sat with us at Kalai’s front stairs after we ate together at LB? Or how we fought tooth and nail during the Mem’s Quiz? (that I won, you bitter loser. :p)

I know you do, Jerome. I hope you do. Because no matter what others say, that’s the batch head I know. That’s the guy who didn’t forget my birthday despite a year of being inactive in the org. That’s the guy who kept Baskal together during most of the application period. That’s the guy I know as Jerome Ocampo.

However, I’m not you and I can only do so much. I can’t fight this battle for you. After all, no matter how willing I am to defend you, I still can’t deny that the other mems have a right to feel disappointed about you. It was you who caused the rift, and ultimately it will be up to you whether you want to build the bridges again or leave them like this. I’ll be happy to be there for you whatever your decision is, but again, it will be all up to you to do something if you want to patch things up. Aguman is a family and I’m sure that they’ll understand if you give them enough time. But just like the prodigal son, you have to come back, right?

And just to you know, whenever I hear the name ‘Jerome Ocampo’, it’s not the ‘apparisyon’ who I think of. The image that comes to mind is a happy batch head popping his thick lips. :P

That’s about it, Batch Head. I hope to see you soon. ^_^

Just a couple of pictures I found in my Mom’s laptop.

The first image is a picture of my mom taken when she was six, and the second a picture of me taken when I was the same age. Komusta naman, spot the difference.

Time to feed someone’s ego.

I’d like to thank John Carl Tan Gozun, in all his champion-lip-synching-and-porn-loving glory, for giving me a copy of Gabe Bondoc’s It’s Gonna be Me cover. Yes, my dear Orochimaru-sama, that and his Girl on TV cover have been the only songs in my playlist for the last twenty nights or so. I don’t usually like acoustic guitar artists because I prefer violinist and pianists, but there was something about this guy’s voice that made him the exception that makes the rule. Many thanks, Carlito.

Finally, is this really the first column I wrote that did not mention Kuya Rex?

Oh, well, now it isn’t. ^_^ Long live the King!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prince Paolo and the Seven Haikus

By Prince Paolo


Your mouth is so big

Your body is much bigger
Oh, let’s burn your bangs

This is the latest
Among my other last sems
Should I graduate now?

Oh you like him, huh
So hunt him down in Econ
Oops! Your eyeglasses!

They'll give me a cake
But I heard it's a surprise
I'll act nonchalant

Let’s make love, all right?
I’ll crush your skull if we don’t
Buds, in your car. Now!


I’m obsessed with you
And your smile and Chinese eyes
But they say you’re gay

I have this desire
Everyone would be open
No pun intended?


By Alex

Red on white. Blood on inner thighs. Hands over crotch area.

“Don’t go. Stay in there.”
But it can’t.
Red on white. Hot on cold. Blood on tiles.
The girl was panting. The girl was screaming. The girl was crying.
Saliva bubbling, seeped out of her mouth. Tears smudged her eyeliners.
Cubicle so dark. Window so small.
Mirror was utterly clean. Sink was spotless.
Blood smeared on the gray, metallic cubicle wall. Blood stained her long, flowing skirt. Blood dripped on cold, white tiles. Blood dispersed in the blue water.
Blood flowing, debris floating.
It’s over.


“Don’t go”

His hands are like vise on her arms.
“Let me go!”
Blue car stifling her raised voice.
“Stay with me”
His voice dripping with sex. Cold air gave the chill over her spine.
“If you let go of me, then I’ll go…”
Her cheeks hot. His groin feverish.
“But I won’t let you go”
“Then I’ll stay”
His tongue jabbing her mouth.
The girl was panting. The girl was screaming. The girl was crying.
Saliva seeped out. Eyeliner smudged.
Car so dark. Windows too clear.
White on white.
Sin smeared on her inner thighs. Sin stained her long, flowing skirt. Sin dripped on cold, leather seat. His sin dispersed in her water of life.
Sin flowing, lust soaring.
The seed has been planted.
It’s over.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spotlight: Little Miss Surgeon


Nickname: Ala pu, makuyad ne ing lagyu ku
High School: Holy Family Academy
Hometown: Angeles City
Aguman Batch: Abe-Abe 1991A
B.S. Community Nutrition, Doctor of Medicine, Diplomate Philippine Board of Surgery
Present Location: Angeles City
Present Occupation: General Surgeon, Assistant Professor, Medical Volunteer, tindera ampong kahera paminsan, driver madalas
Favorite GE subject: Math 11, it was a breeze
Favorite non-Aguman tambayan: Ala kung a-isip, siguro nung ali ya Aguman, ali ke favorite.

I was convinced to join UP Aguman because: masaya; makatula la reng members; adyang alben ku la mu, ayli na kung ayli; mababo ku kasi.
My favorite Aguman memory is: Final Rites. Itang part na .... (Editor: Some words had to be edited out, hehe!) kaybat sabyan da kailangan lundag ka. Bumwelo na ka man ....
(Editor: Some words had to be edited again, hehe!) Bwahaha! Enjoy kulang alben deng applicants ketang part a ita.
My favorite UP memory is: joining UP Aguman
The best thing about being an AguPip is: that there’s never a dull moment in the tambayan, I liked the bantering between members (anggang ating mapikun karela)
Anyang resident ku pa, lagi dang bubusit kanaku ing: ali ku balu, hmmmm, masyado ku kasi tahimik kanita, atsu ku mu keng background. I was like a wallflower. I really can’t remember nanu ing bubusit da kanaku. Somebody has to help me refresh my memory here!
Back in college, the worst rule I had broken was: to not party the night before an exam (I got away with it, too)
The difference between college life and the real world is: in the latter, you get too tired to party.
The best thing about my work is: I get to cut people up. Seriously, the best thing is receiving surprising and sometimes funny gifts from charity patients. Meka-receive ku 1 liter of spicy aslam, manyaman neman talaga, da best for tuyo.

A health concept I can apply in everyday life is: Moderation is the key. Too much or too little of anything is bad (except potato chips).
My weirdest experience with a patient so far is: when a 76-year-old African man asked me when he could resume his sexual activities after I operated on him for a hernia.
A celebrity I would like to “check up” is: Madonna, I want to know bakit balamu ali ya tutuwa!
Mangapakayli ku keng isip ku patse: mag-wish ku na sana ali ku rin tutuwa.
An unhealthy food that I wish was healthy instead because it is so delicious is: Jack’n Jill Potato Chips, my favorite, I love Pinoy junk food
If I had more free time, I would: learn how to ride a bicycle (is this a reflection of my deprived childhood?), continue medical volunteering with Medecins sans Frontieres, travel to Peru to see Machu Picchu
I want to be as successful as: Leonardo Da Vinci, I also want to be a polymath. E naman bawal ing mangarap di ba?

Message to the residents:
Carpe diem. Basta, don’t let the moment pass you by. Ninanu mo nung megkamali ka or menasakit ka? You always bounce back and learn anyway. Life is really about jumping with a blindfold.
Message to fellow alumni: Hello kekayu ngan! Let’s catch up. Hope to see you again soon.

Ate Crisle's practice is in Angeles City. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anatomy at Angeles University Foundation - Medical School and is an occasional lecturer for the Department of Surgery. She is also a courtesy consultant on many hospitals in Angeles City. She is affiliated with Manila Doctors Hospital where she trained for General Surgery.
She once volunteered with "Medecins sans Frontieres" (Doctors Without Borders) and was sent to Europe and Africa. In the middle picture, Ate Crisle is with Philip (a Belgian logistician) and Rose (a Swedish nurse), who both wanted to see what Ate Crisle was doing in the operating theatre, which was actually a mere tent. She is pictured "in action" in the rightmost picture -- the internal stuff are obviously blurred, hehe.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Spotlight: Our FABulous Faculty Adviser


Nickname: Fabs
High School: Pampanga High School
Hometown: Macabebe
Aguman Batch: Manyaman 2003B
Degree: BS Mathematics
Present Location: Diliman, Quezon City
Present Occupation: Instructor
Favorite GE subject: Panpil 19, Freshie ku pa kanita.
Favorite non-Aguman tambayan: Math building, alang aliwa eh

I was convinced to join UP Aguman because:
I was bored and ali ku bisa ketang kabilang org.

My favorite Aguman memory is: Pusoy–Dos sa tambayan
My favorite UP memory is: UP fair. Atandanan ku, atin fair a every night ku present and inuman afterwards kaybat mag-klase ku kinabukasan. As expected, bangag. Keni mu ata UP legal ing miminum kasabayan mo reng students mu. The best talaga ang Sarah’s.
The best thing about being an AguPip is: anggang masakit keni UP, dakal ka karame.
Anyang resident ku pa, lagi dang bubusit kanaku ing: ala kung ayalala.. Basta ing balu ku, istung atyu ku, pantunan de kaku y Roma, gewa da kaming kambal.
Back in college, the worst rule I had broken was: ma-late ng isang oras sa exam.
The difference between college life and the real world is: ali ku masyado a feel ing difference kasi independent naku since undergrad days.
The best thing about my work is: Balamu estudyante ku pa din. Medakal mu bagya ing reponsibilidad.

A math concept I can apply in everyday life is: kasakit na naman nine! Probability siguru. Living is gambling, nothing is certain in this world.
My weirdest experience with a student so far is: during my first year of teaching, parati atin mamaus kaku “Sir” king class… I don’t know why.
If I were a weather forecast, I would be: a storm.
Mabubuwisit ku patse: atin tau magreklamu king bie da pero ala noman gagawan to change it.
Patse magmuni-muni kabang makasake bus, aiisip ku ing: nanu kaya ing bie ku 5 years from now.
My wildest fantasy is: to walk naked.
I want to be as rich as: Bill Gates maybe.

Message to the residents: Enjoy life, mabilis ang panahon… in no time, UP life is over.
Message to fellow alumni: Hope to meet more of you soon.

Ate Fab is currently the Faculty Adviser of the UP Aguman residents. It's her first year. Prior to that, she has often been a Pautakan judge since she graduated. In the picture to the left, Fabs poses with a couple of Kaputul 2004A apps (back then), Rej and Em during the Buddy Getup Party.

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