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 i try to take you all in at once
but you just go on and on and on
“Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.” —Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Loneliness is a kind of winter. And you drag me, kicking and screaming, into some kind of bright summer. -iwtfy

tell the world we finally got it all right/ i choose you

it’s been a year since i started my journey as a fellow. and with all my forms officially done and turned in, my first school year as a public school teacher is also officially over.

and i’ve been trying for hours (no, days) now to write about it - to make sense of a year’s worth of bullshit and more bullshit (and some good sprinkled in between!), but it’s been difficult. i guess that’s because the whole point of an end-of-the-year entry is to celebrate everything you’ve done and learned - and i have, previously. i’ve written a bunch before about my little victories in the classroom, all my realizations and reflections - but right now i am in no mood to celebrate.

the year is over and all there is, is discontent. fuck the data, fuck the test scores, fuck the cute little happy classroom stories. because despite all the traditional indicators - percentage masteries and passing rates, or encouraging facebook comments (lol), all the private messages about how inspiring i am or how noble my choices have been (those might just be the worst, tbh), and even the really thoughtful “thank you teacher” letters from my students and parents, the year is over and all there really is, is the cold hard realization that this was not enough. 

that i am not enough. 

i can spend all night painting pretty pictures of all my victories, punctuate them with anecdotes from the sweetest of students, even add in a tear-jerker quote or two, and it still wouldn’t be able to cover up everything i was unable to do. everything we were unable to do. everything i am and we are still completely clueless and powerless about. the cheating, the lying, the ridiculousness of a completely rotten system; and the reality of our own neglect, our slew of inadequacies, the recklessness of our illusions of heroism and revolution. our imagined self-importance and brilliance.

i won’t bother lying about the year that was: for all its intents and purposes, it was a failure. 

and i hope i remember this feeling. i kind of want to bottle it up so that i can go back to it every single lazy day of the next year or two or fifty of my life. girl, you spent an entire year pouring your heart and soul and sweat and tears and everything into a cause inside classroom and it was not enough. remember that. remember this: you are not enough. 

not yet, anyway. 

handa na akong sumabog at lumaban pero kailan? kailan na “pwede”? o buong buhay ba ako maghihintay?

how to love

keep coming back to your own rhythm.

keep coming back to your own rhythm.

As chancellor, I intend to show how indispensable “imagineers” are—social scientists and people in the arts and humanities, the creative professions, architecture being paramount—for improving the quality of people’s lives and creating spaces where people can thrive, and grow.

We’ve been doing that for years in UP with the most limited of resources, which we are able to stretch because we have so many bright faculty and students. Yet there are many times, too, seeing how our students live day to day, when I want to go up to them and say, “You deserve more, so much more.”

- Why We Stay, Chancellor Tan

how i feel seeing my kids everyday, at work. 

a year ago, i had the privilege (thanks to my course’s abundance of free electives!) to be under one of the most brilliant professors i’d ever met, Sir A. i learned many life lessons from him (and a lot about critical theory too, i guess. lol who am i kidding he’s the reason i have a copy of smith & parks - 2nd edition - in my bookshelf omg) - one of which stands out right now. he once told me, during a quick chat after class, how he doesn’t believe in awards. whenever he’s nominated for one- and there have been many!-, or even when he actually wins them, he would send a thank you note but throw the awards night invitation in the trash. 

he told me that he had never in his life worked in the hopes that his name would be recognized, or that his work would be lauded. he had just never cared for it. he just did what he was passionate about because he was passionate about it. he just did what he was good at, he was brilliant at it, and that was enough.

i’ve always remembered that, and i’ve always since tried to be the same. biting down my tongue whenever i felt the urge to brag, swallowing my words whenever i felt like defending myself. decorum and restraint, he would always say, quoting horace. decorum and restraint, i would always say, quoting him. 

to be that simple, that brilliant, that precise. that is what i want for myself. to ignore the excesses - to go for gold, and then scorn the trophy. it’s harder than it sounds. sometimes i find myself slipping, i find myself wanting to be part of the limelight, enjoying the praise and the pats on the back. sometimes it gets so bad that even crave for it. and sometimes, like today, i find myself annoyed at the absence of attention. and then i remember how pathetic that sounds… and i ask myself,

are you here to be known for doing good, or are you here to do good?

cause if it’s the latter, then note to self: get the fuck over yourself and get to work.

Pao and Tia : Best Day Ever

So my brother got married a little over a week ago! 9 years ago, he and Kris (tia) met at a soiree… and well. Now there are pictures and videos of their wedding! Crazy. The photos and videos are beautiful, but it was nothing compared to seeing it all unfold live. They have the sweetest love story :)

Video is here!

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