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ahnnabanana goes annaoposa [ Sunday

July 4th, 2010
at 2:38pm
[ mood | happy ]

Ahnnabanana has been my online home for the last six years. But it's time to grow up and move on to a new site. I'm proud to announce that http://annaoposa.ph is now up and running. It's alive! To quote Gold, "I'll miss ahnnabanana, but I'm happy you're legit!"

Many thanks to Rich, who's been doing my layout for three years now; Angelo, my web developer; Donna, for making my dream come true; and my dad for funding the initial expenses of the site.

Hope to see you there!

4 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

you're my dove and only [ Thursday

June 24th, 2010
at 7:46am
[ mood | sleepy ]

Gold, Maisa, and I made it to the finals held last Tuesday, June 22 over at Strumm's. We couldn't perform "Alive" which can be viewed here (or in my previous post) so we put together a medley of "Get This Party Started," "Umbrella," and "Walkin' on Sunshine" for the finals.

We landed 1st runner up, but our judges compared us to the Supremes, the Dreamgirls, and described it as "madness." According to a judge, it was not a performance but a "production."


Our award-winning performance can be viewed here:

Mais and Golden, I dove you like no other. :)

be a star?

a letter and a video [ Thursday

June 17th, 2010
at 6:44pm
[ mood | giddy ]

My open letter to the future DOT Secretary has been published over at the POC:


My best friends Gold, Maisa, and I have decided to join the Dove Go Fresh Showeroke Competition. Please vote for our video by Like-ing it and viewing it through your YouTube or Gmail account. Video is here:

be a star?

She's got the world on her string: a feature article on Anna Oposa [ Tuesday

June 15th, 2010
at 9:10am
[ mood | sleepy ]

This is by far the funniest yet sweetest write-up ever written about me. I LOVE YOU WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS, Ria Fernandez. I will post a response to this soon.


Exactly a year ago today I was staring at the stars, freezing under a blanket, piss-ass drunk and declaring my love for Anna Oposa. A person who, to be honest, at that point, I barely knew at all. Fast forward to one year later where I find myself in a conference room filled with about 50 more people, assigned to write about the person to my left. I’m at a loss for words because honestly, I don’t think I can write anything that will ever do her justice.

To start things off, let's get into the nitty-gritty details. Anna Rosario Oposa—Anna to most, Raisa to family, Anns to her close friends, and Valentine to me (and only me)—is currently an English major in UP Diliman. Born and raised in the land of the brave and the bandits (Cavite), she is the second of four children, and is oftentimes labeled ‘the black sheep’ (when it isn’t Uli’s turn). Anna is a well-known environmental blogger, one of very few in the Philippines, and in my opinion, the best one yet[1]. Usually equipped with her fancy chopsticks[2], she walks around the streets of Manila preaching about the use of cones instead of cups[3], refraining from the use of straws, and handling your trash responsibly. I guess being the daughter of famous environmental lawyer, Antonio Oposa (also known as AAO), gives you natural Captain Planet tendencies for saving the world.

Anna loves to travel. She’s been to about 12 different countries in 4 continents, not to mention going on her very own Wow Philippines tour and traveling everywhere from Batanes to Cagayan de Oro. Ask her how she does it, “I have feet!” she exclaims (FAKE FACT! True story: sometimes her parents fund it, but if they can’t, then she saves up for it herself). She often blogs and writes about her traveling experience to a point that one girl actually emailed her, thanking Anna’s blog for inspiring her to spend her honeymoon in the Philippines instead of abroad. Yes, indeed, apart from her burgeoning number of employers, she also has a growing fan base.

A few years ago she joined SSEAYP (I would say what that stands for, but I don’t really know*), and was able to travel all over the world. She came back to us with a pocket full of stories, not to mention an award for Miss Nippon Maru. Not only does she have brains, she also has beauty. You can see for yourself:

JUST KIDDING BABYCAKES! Here is Ms. Nippon Maru:

With as much potential as she has to become the next DOT Secretary or First Lady of the Philippines, Anna’s dream is to become a college professor in UP. Never mind the wage differential. We often joke that we’ll both end up living together in a tiny apartment as artist friends, sleeping in pull out beds because that’s all we can afford, half the room filled with books and the other filled with clothes. We’ll be poor, that’s for sure! But according to her, passion can feed us. “Experience teaches you in years what passion teaches you in an hour,” she says, “and besides, Mariel can be my benefactor and Donna can be yours.” Who needs money? We will thrive on love.

I was never really into saving the environment, and often times still forget about how serious the repercussions are of global warming and other environmental issues. During a recent talk Anna had in UST about environmental blogging, I sat at the back in awe at how good she was at teaching. After her entire lecture she goes, “I encourage you to start writing about your passion!” I come up to her afterwards and express my new dream (probably just 30-minutes old?) of becoming a blogger. “That’s great! What are you going to write about?” she asks. “The environment!” After just an hour, she managed to convert me into becoming a full-fledged aspiring environmental blogger.

Anna also loves to perform. Having been a theater performer for so many years, she knows how to wow a crowd. She can shake her bonbons[4], sing on cue, and to add to her list of talents, she also hosts events (and prepares programs for weddings of people she doesn’t know). One of Lea Salonga’s biggest fans, she was recently able to sing with her on stage in front of hundreds of people. “Who wants to sing with me? Boys? Girls? Anyone?” Lea says. “Anyone? MEEEEE!” That’s Anna: full of confidence and without a care in the world!

If there’s anything Anna loves to do, it’s reading. Her library is filled to the brim with books like Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and David Sedaris’ ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’[5]. She recently joked about living in an apartment with walls covered in bookshelves and then she’ll never have to leave her room. While she said it jokingly, I’m half convinced she meant it (I’m sure she’s already planning on how to rearrange her book collection: alphabetically by author? Or stick with by genre?), and I am already preparing for the day she disappears into her abyss of literature and I’ll never see her again, except of course, for her occasional run to wine depot the grocery.

Loyal to her core, Anna is the best kind of friend you can ever have. “I don’t like people who fight with my friends and make them sad,” she says. The reason why I always run to her for anything: my problem suddenly becomes our problem. She is, I must admit, one of the sweetest people I know. A definite "I-love-you" whore, she says it all the time but with so much sincerity, often emphasized by her inclination to using the caps lock (“I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!”).[6]

One thing Anna does (with more poise than most people), is she definitely knows how to party.[7] You’ll always find her in the middle of a crowd, in the middle of a story, and in the middle of a drink. Known for her Remulla-Oposa tabletop dancing skills, Anna is always the life of the party. She drinks like a fish, and despite any amount, always has the capacity to drive her self home (now, what is independent?).

One of the funniest people I know, Anna knows exactly what to say and when to say it. Always equipped with handy quotes from Confucius to her maid Manang Pereg, she knows which ones will fit any situation. “Your heart has cracks so it can let light enter”, “love is life in all its aspects, and if you miss love, you miss life”, and our recent favorite “Tik-tok”. She recently taught me the true meaning of the word ‘segue’, because apparently, not only have I been using it in the wrong context, I’ve also been spelling it wrong! Definitely one of my ‘smart friends’, I learn a million things from her everyday.

Witty to her core, funny to her bones, and truly independent, Anna epitomizes a woman with character. Evidence that women don’t need men to survive. “Who needs boys, when I’ve got you?” she says. All we need is a little bit of passion, a little bit of love, and a whole lot of alcohol.

Love you valentine.

1 I don’t know who the others are, nor have I read any of their blogs. hahaha
2 So as not to waste the wooden chopsticks they hand out in Chinese and Japanese restaurants because these are a waste of trees. Also, the plastic used to wrap them individually is just added waste. For those who want to purchase they’re very own fancy chopsticks you can buy them at your local Japanese grocery store.
3 For ice cream, because you can eat cones while you just throw cups and that’s not good for the environment, and ultimately, not good for you.
4 For reference, please watch her get jiggy with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_owk1XuFY
5 FAKE FACT: watch the movie, I swear! And I will return your book soon! …. I just have to read it first!
6 Anna’s constant use of her caps lock is so infectious. WHO OF YOU READING THIS HAVEN’T CAUGHT IT YET???!
7 Like the rest of the atoms. Pun intended.

*Ship for the Southeast Asian Youth Program, Valentine!

2 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

Wow Philippines Bucket List [ Monday

June 7th, 2010
at 10:33pm
[ mood | sleepy ]

I first heard the term "bucket list"* from the movie with the same title. Basically it's a list of things to do before you die. I have several written in my head, but the very first one I made on paper was a Wow Philippines Bucket List. You see, while other Filipinos dream of vacationing in a winter wonderland, my daydreams are located in my country. So I spent one afternoon marking places I've been to and places I've yet to see. I'd like to share them with you in hopes that you can make your own. I've included links to online albums and entries when applicable.

✓ Batanes (Photos and entry.)
✓ Pagudpod
✓ Vigan
✓ Laoag
✓ Surf in La Union (twice!)
✓ trekking/spelunking in Sagada
✓ Banaue Rice Terraces
✓ longest Zipline in Asia and White Water Rafting in Cagayan de Oro (Photos and entry.)
Sinulog in Cebu
✓ Dinagyang in Iloilo (Photos and entry.)
✓ Boracay in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Don’t really wanna go back though.
Bacolod (But I want to go to back for the Masskara Festival.)
✓ Baguio (Sooooo many times, but the most recent one involved me, Juanch, and Gold taking turns driving there. Cue: "Magda-drive ako hanggang Baguio...")
✓ Subic
Hot Air Balloon Festival
dive in Puerto Galera
dive in Anilao (Several times. The last one with Juanch, Gia, my dad, and Kiano was by far the most memorable.)
✓ Punta Fuego, Nasugbu (Unfortunately I have very few memories of my most recent trip there.)
✓ Corregidor (which is in Cavite pala. Always thought it was in Bataan.)
✓ Sorsogon, Legazpi and swim with whale sharks in Donsol (Photos and entry.)
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
✓ Tacloban
✓ Ormoc
✓ Bohol (first with family then with Ding and Ma. Photos and entry.)
✓ Camiguin (Photos and entry.)
✓ Hundred Islands in Pangasinan
✓ climb Mt. Banahaw
✓ climb Mt. Makiling
camp in Antipolo
✓ Pagsanghan Falls
dive in Malapascua
✓ Bantayan (though I'm not sure if this counts 'cause I go there every year)
✓ The National Museum and the Museum of the Filipino People (Photos and entry.)

I've done 3 Carlos Celdran Tours too: CCP, Intramuros, and Binondo. Must-do as well. Doing another one soon! Yahoo. Carlos Celdran has one of my dream jobs.

Wow Philippines Bucketlist
✎ Dive in Ticao with the Manta Rays
✎ Dive in Apo Island
✎ Dive in Tubbataha
✎ CWC and Caramoan
✎ Bella Roca and Moriones Festival in Marinduque
✎ Surf in Baler
✎ Surf in Siargao
✎ Dumaguete and Siquijor
✎ Coron (Mia, please take me there!)
✎ climb Mt. Pinatubo
✎ Kadayawan Festival in Davao
✎ Vinta Festival in Zamboanga
✎ Dapitan (because I <3 Rizal)
✎ Sulu (just so I can say I’ve been to Basco and Sulu!)
✎ Ma. Christina Falls
✎ Ayala Museum

Please feel free to suggest and comment away!

*[The term "bucket list"] suggests... a poor soul standing on an upturned bucket with a noose around his neck, a foot then flying out to knock the bucket away, leaving the body swinging from the gibbet. It seems possible, but no written evidence attests to this.
--Kick the Bucket and Swing the Cat: English Words and Phrases, and their Curious Origins
6 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

life lessons from Roxanne R. Remulla [ Thursday

June 3rd, 2010
at 6:51pm
[ mood | tired ]

My 9-year-old cousin Roxy is my favorite little girl in the whole wide world. There may be a thirteen-year gap between us, but every time I talk to her, I learn something new. Here are the most valuable lessons she taught me:

1) Like the song from Into the Woods goes, "Careful the things you say, children will listen." Last week, I had dinner with her and told her about my trigger finger. "When I was about three years old, I needed an operation because my thumb was broken and it needed to be fixed," I said. She nodded, knowingly. "Ooooohhhh... LIKE YOUR NOSE!!!!!!!!!!!"

And that's what I get for talking about my nose job with her mom over dinner.

During our family Christmas dinner, Roxy told me that Santa Claus is decked in red and white because of Coke. And because I love fun facts, I did a bit of research and discovered she was right! So I gave her more info and it ended up on her Facebook status.

2) Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. When she was six, I asked Rox what she wanted to be. “I said in class that I wanted to be a car and everyone laughed at me. When I got home, I cried a little," she said. "But Raisa, it’s only because I want to see everything and go all over the world!”

3) All you need is common sense. I once asked her what she wanted from Santa.
“Nothing,” she said.
“How come?”
“Because we don't have a chimney!" she explained, rolling her eyes.

Oo nga naman.

During the election season, I told her to put "Please vote for Gilbert Remulla" as her status and she looked at me with a raised eyebrow. "Uh, Raisa... All my friends are KIDS."

There you go. Outsmarted once again.

4) It’s never too early to be politically aware. During the night of the elections, Roxy and I watched GMA 7 together for live updates. “I’m so sad, Raisa!”
“Why baby, what’s wrong?”
“Because it looks like Noynoy’s going to be our president!”

FYI, when I was her age, all I did was read Sweet Valley books. I didn't start caring about current events until I hit college. Regardless of your political preference, the fact that she's politically aware this early reassures me that our country has a brighter future ahead :)

5) Age matters. She always manages to bamboozle me into playing Tumblin' Monkeys with her. "You set it up," she demanded.
"Why do I have to set it up?!"
"Because you're old," she retorted.
"And I'm going first," said her 5-year-old sister Rocio.
"And why are you going first?"
"Because I'm the youngest," she answered.

So yes, age does matter. Especially in Tumblin' Monkeys. But of course, that last one is relative. Age may matter in Tumblin' Monkeys, but certainly not in learning :)

I love you Rox! You are the little sister I never had.

be a star?

Hong Kong: 50% lakad, 50% laughter [ Sunday

May 30th, 2010
at 6:52pm
[ mood | exhausted ]

When we found out that Mikki was going to work in Disneyland Hong Kong, my family ditched the plans of going to Turkey-Greece. Apparently, seeing Mikki perform was more important than Santorini and ancient civilization--Turkey and Greece will always be there, but Mikki ain't gonna be in Mickey Mouse World forever.

Instead of going to Macau for the day, we water lovers headed for Ocean Park. We did that every time we went to HK as little kids.

the pictures are about ten-fifteen years apart!

me: pa, can you take a picture of me and mama?
dad: isa pa, panget yung kuha.
uli: kung panget ang kinukuhanan, kahit anong mangyari, PANGET PARIN!

me: ma, did you bring concealer? can i borrow?
mom: i didn't bring. i don't have. i have nothing to conceal.


me: ganda ng eyeliner ko!
dad: mukha kang sinuntok.
uli: panget ng make-up mo, parang mukha mo.

I love that HK is going green. Straws are available upon request and people must buy plastic bags if they don't bring reusable ones. I discovered that [the plastic bags] are also very giving.

parang The Giving Tree lang ni Shel Silverstein

what corporation are we talkin' about here?!

They are also much stricter now.

PROSECUTED! scary naman.

It always amazes me how they were able to train these animals. There are these extremists who think this is a form of animal cruelty. I like to think of it as education. Like my sfm Chris said, "I wouldn't love animals this much if not for places like Ocean Park." Diba?

Spot the couple on the right. This was taken at Victoria's Peak.

me: wow ang hilig nila mag-lampungan in public!!!!
uli: kaya nga sila overpopulated eh.

I swear, spending too much time with Uli and Nano is really not good for one's mental health. I tried teaching them the gay expression, "Ang haba ng hair mo." 'Di talaga nila masakyan. They just kept using it to everything. Like if I say, "Omigod I'm so tired from walking." They'll go, "Ang haba ng hair mo." NOOOOO! One time Nano said, "Ang haba ng buhok mo, grabe!" and "IKAW NA ANG MAHABA ANG HAIR!" Upon hearing this, my dad reached for my ponytail and said, "Oo nga, pero maganda naman eh." The three of us couldn't stop laughing and we were like, "'Di mo gets!!!" And my dad was like, "Hah? Bakit? Mahaba ang buhok saan? Sa ilong?" NOOOOOO!!!! Even my mom joined the fun.

dad: if you make me ombudsman of the philippines, aayos ang bansa natin in six years. i promise you.
me: if you make me DOT secretary, aayos ang tourism natin in six years. i swear.
mom: WOW ang haba ng hair niyong dalawa!!!!!

Disneyland is timeless. We tried the Buzz game, which Ma and I did last time. Kuya finished with 80, 000 points. My mom was kulelat with 3, 000 points. She's convinced that there was something wrong with her gun.

As expected, I teared up when Mikki performed. He was excellent. Gumagaling na siyang sumayaw. So proud of you, my baby love! Lumelevel up ka na talaga!

We caught the parade which was wet and wild. LITERALLY. They doused the audience with (mineral) water!

We looked like a group of basang sisiws after.

Kuya, Nano, Mikki, my dad and I tried the Space Mountain. Kuya insisted on staying in front para maganda daw sa picture. Since we were an odd number, he was planning on being alone. Eh biglang may tumabi sa kanyang stranger na SUPER N.R. (Paki pansin ang picture!) And right before the flash went off, Mikki lifted my hand and said, "AYAN, PICTURE NA!"

So ayun, only part of my jaw is seen. Leche.

When we walked out of the ride, we saw my mom and Uli sitting on a table. Beside a man sleeping. He just sat down beside them and slept. WHUT!!!!

It was hard to enjoy The Lion King because we were seated behind a row of REALLY MABAHO PEOPLE. As in INTENSELY MABAHO, KAPIT-SA-BALAT MABAHO people. To make matters worse, one of them farted. Mikki, my mom, and I applied cologne to our faces and hands to keep us from gagging.

The fireworks were amazing. Definitely worth screaming, "I WANNA GET MARRIED!!!" for. Post-fireworks faces:

After we left the magic, Mikki and I spent quality time together.

mikki: i'll show where the best food in HK is.
mikki: in... Best Food!

We were so bored on the train from Tung Chung to the Hong Kong station (coast to coast eh) and fiddled with each other's wallets. I inserted a picture of myself so that when he opens it, he will remember me each time.

We partied hard in Lan Kwai Fong. Missing pages. The night before, Kuya partied with Rovilson. Syet. If I had known, I would've flown there. Rovilson is my future husband, you know. He just doesn't know it yet.

Thanks for the drinks and ride home, Mikki and Faust. Thanks for the crazy memories, Miguel and Anezka! Next trip natin, NEW YORK!

The Chinese are so caring ha. This was the sign on our bathtub:

And on Tita Myrna's water bottle:

"Have a good day and take a relax."

On our second night, I stayed up 'til 2AM finishing an article. Nano accidentally fell asleep on my bed. I tried to wake him up to get him to move.

me: nano wake up.
nano: mmmmmmmm
me: are you ok? do you have enough space?
nano: uh huhmmmmmmm
me: aren't you gonna ask ME if i have enough space?
nano: wala akong pake.

That's sibling love right there! Uli was snoring so I didn't sleep very well. The next night, I came home at 4AM from Lan Kwai Fong and found Uli and Nano squeezed into one bed so I could have a bed all to myself. THAT's sibling love right there.

Summer trips are done. Next destination: University of the Philippines-Diliman for my last year as an undergraduate!

2 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

happy 6th anniversary to ahnnabanana! [ Monday

May 24th, 2010
at 11:05am
[ mood | excited ]

Tomorrow, I will have been blogging as Ahnnabanana for six years. SIX LONG YEARS! Ahnnabanana has become my alter ego in a way and we have gone through so much together. 2.5 relationships (AHAHA), half of high school, all of college, many many trips around the world and in the country and so on. My blog has given me opportunities I never even imagined six years ago, from winning awards to getting fan mail to writing for local publications. It's giving me another awesome opportunity on May 26, 10AM, in UST.

I'm delivering a lecture entitled Blogging with an Environmental Purpose in UST. I'm looking forward to discussing two of my passions: writing and local ecotourism.

I hope to get my own annaoposa.com.ph this year with the help of Donna and Rich. 'Til then I'll forever be in Livejournal, Facebook, and (sometimes) Multiply! Never gonna run out of stories to tell, places to go to, and passion to spread!
1 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

finding more than Nemo in Malapascua [ Tuesday

May 18th, 2010
at 9:45pm
[ mood | tired ]

I am proud to say that we are a family of licensed scuba divers. My dad, my three brothers, and I all learned under Dive Instructor Extraordinaire Ziggy Abella. My mom, however, would never ever dive, even you paid her. I think she was secretly trying to talk us out of it.

uli: i haven't dived since... dec 2007.
mom: baka hindi ka na marunong. DON'T DIVE.

me: arrggg i have my period!
mom: the sharks will smell the blood and eat you. DON'T DIVE.

here we are with our matching dresses

I spent a bit too much time with Uli and Nano, which is not good for one's sanity.

me: the word apoplexy means EXTREME ANGER.
nano: WHAT??? extreme ANGLER?
uli: ano yun, TAGAGAWA NG ANGLE?!?!?!?!

me: i like the word CONTRIVED. it sorta means pilit. like, "that scene in the movie was so contrived!" or like, "that ad of noynoy about the baluktot na daan was so contrived!"
me: :|

me (to uli): i wonder why i can understand bisaya and you can't... even if i was born in cebu, we both grew up in manila.
uli; oo nga noh?
nano: mahina kasi utak mo eh.
uli: GAGO!!!!!!!!!!

uli: before we dive, we have to eat bananas for potassium. potassium permanganate is represented as K and is #72 on the periodic table.
me: REALLY???
uli: FAKE FACT!!!!
me: HAHA GAGO!!! eh do you know why it's K and not P?
uli: why?
me: because it comes from the Latin root... KOTASSIUM.

mom: the term "fake fact" is incorrect. the more appropriate term would be "fallacy."
uli: PHALLUS-Y???
us: .......

At our resort, I found these.

gigil si ate sa past tense. or past tensed.
ruthie: okay yung room room policy nila, puro tungkol sa towel! parang naisingit lang yung no smoking. actually hindi pala sya singit kasi ang laki ng pagkasulat. nakakaconfuse!

jam: because, you know, towels walk around the resort to bring/take visitors out.
ayrie: "WE ACCEPT LAUNDRY" SERVICE. Parang afterthought lang yung service.

wan't is a contraction of...?
claire: Lady's napkins? And it's always dots.... space ! space ! space !

For our dive at Malapascua, we had to get up at 4AM to catch the thresher sharks since they don't like sunlight.

My dad, who is passion and nationalism personified, looked at me before jumping in the water with a big smile on his face, like a kid. "Imagine, there are people right now waking up for a 9-5 job in Makati and we are waking up to do this. When you find yourself, you must let everything else go." At 'yan ang exit line ni Atty. Oposa.

i love that he has the philippine flag sewed on his wetsuit.

But the Best Wetsuit Award goes to my little brother. We have baptized it as the Totally Spies Wetsuit. Purple is the new black, people.

We've been told that a dive in Malapascua is all-or-nothing. The universe was on our side because just as we were going down the line, we already spotted a thresher shark! Then we saw manta rays AND a school of devil rays! It was my ultimate "SEA, SWALLOW ME!" moment.

Visibility wasn't that good, so this is the most decent shot I took of the devil rays:

Thresher sharks look like this:


and manta rays look like this:


Contrary to popular belief, sharks are beautiful, graceful creatures. STOP WATCHING JAWS and please, PLEASE STOP EATING SHARK'S FIN SOUP!!! Sharks die without their fins and THE SOUP DOESN'T EVEN TASTE GOOD!

Complete pictures here. Next adventure: Hong Kong and Macau!

2 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

missing camiguin [ Sunday

May 16th, 2010
at 9:54pm
[ mood | nostalgic ]

Camiguin is the second smallest island in the Philippines, made up of only five districts (Cavite alone has seven) but seven (!!!) volcanoes--thus the nickname "the Island Born of Fire." On the way there, this is what we found in the newspaper:

MAY DISCLAIMER?!?! Baka may nademanda na sila noon.

Small as it is, Camiguin has been described as “geologically complete” and a “geological marvel.” We first visited the Falls. Only Juanch swam ‘cause the water was freeeeezingggg.

There used to be a cemetery here, but due to a volcanic eruption, it evolved into an underwater cemetery.

The Old Church. Ruins of a volcanic eruption as well.

a failed attempt at a jump shot (pero wagi si Juanch, ang taas tumalon!)

We had lunch at this super yummy restaurant (I forgot its name, leche!) and saw this at the banyo.

kamusta naman ang mga salawal na naka-frame?!

Next stop: Cold Springs. We were freeeeeezing. (Malamang, cold springs nga eh.) The bottom was sandy, which we didn't expect.

Then we relaxed at the Hot Springs. Sarap. I wish I had Hot Springs in my backyard or something.

We stayed at my friend's house, Bo. We had dinner at his BBQhan called Bahay Kubo. We are still salivating over the juiciest chicken barbecue ever. It is best eaten with puso, which is rice wrapped in pandan leaves. Stress is on the second syllable, ‘cause stress on first would mean “heart” in Tagalog. The many ways to pose with puso: as eyes, as boobs, and in a very Donna-like fashion, as puso (heart).

At around 10PM, the whole area was quiet except for Bahay Kubo. Eh the songs on the playlist were Justin Bieber, Usher, etc. so Donns and I ended up dancing like two crazy people. There was smoke coming from the grill so we pretended nalang that it was a fog machine.

Daghang salamat, kapatid! So happy to see you, even if it was just overnight.

The next day, we tried to wake up early to catch the sunrise at the White Island. Emphasis on "tried to" because when we got there, the sun was already peeking from the horizon.

We laid out our sarongs/towels, brought out my portable speakers and iPod, and visited heaven when we played "Kissing (Paraw Mix)," "Pure Shores," and "4 AM (Turtles Lounge Mix)."

That sandbar-beach has got to be one of my favorite places in the entire world. Seriously. I was so overjoyed that I needed my trademark cartwheel shot.

I told Juanch and Donns that whenever I go back to Manila from a Philippine province, I always get teary-eyed 'cause it's like "NOOOO I DON'T WANNA GO BACK TO THE CONCRETE JUNGLE OF... CONCRETE!!!" They felt the same way.

I can't stress how much I love Mindanao. It was my first time there and I just fell in love with my country all over again. There's so much to love in this archipelago of ours :) Next goals are Cam Sur, Dumaguete, Dapitan (because I love Rizal), Zamboanga (for the Vinta festival), Davao (hopefully in time for Kadayawan!) and Bacolod again (but for Masskara this time). But until then, I'll be dreaming of Camiguin.

be a star?

give your country the dirty finger! [ Monday

May 10th, 2010
at 11:44am
[ mood | accomplished ]

Headed to Imus, Cavite this morning where I am registered. My number was 143. Tamang "I love you" lang.

The lines were long. The heat was intense. But my heart swelled upon seeing people lining up to cast their one vote. "This is democracy," said Tito Choy.

For some reason, my precinct had absolutely no line! Tito Choy and I walked in, got our ballots, filled it up.

When I slipped my ballot inside the machine and saw this, I wanted to do a cartwheel.

"Lumelevel up na ang bansa natin," I said.

Team Purple with the former governor of Cavite, Gov. Johnny Remulla

Team Purple with my #1 senatorial candidate, Gilbert Remulla

Tomorrow morning, I am off to Cebu to scuba dive with thresher sharks and manta rays. But for now, we wait. I've given my country the dirty finger. I hope you do too.

be a star?

on summer flings [ Sunday

May 9th, 2010
at 10:33am
[ mood | bouncy ]

Come May 25, 2010 I will have been blogging as ahnnabanana for six years. SIX YEARS! I browsed some entries I wrote four years ago (FOUR YEARS!) and found this. It goes well with the PDI article I wrote on summer flings, wherein I said something like, "Yours truly had a summer fling that started in Boracay and ended three years later."

I have made it a rule to stop writing about personal stuff and focus more on nation-building and humor writing. "You're growing up!" says The Dana Delgado. I got goosebumps when I reread this one kasi parang, YUCK ANG SENTI KO PALA NOON!!!! Now I have no romance left in me (UNLESS... ALAM NA). But I just had to repost this one, especially because Rizz and Juanch bullied me last Thursday. Published on ahnnabanana.livejournal.com back in May 2006. While you read this, paki play ang kantang, "I remember the boy, but I don't remember the feeling anymore." Charing.

Good times :)


he wrapped me into a hug in the middle of the deserted park past midnight. i inhaled deeply. he smelled of a forest and massage oils and a lazy, beautiful, sunny morning. i reached for his hands and touched his calluses.

i’m trying to memorize you.
memorize me?
yeah. ‘cause when you leave, everything’s gonna change.

we let my words hang above us as we walked and sat on the steps, where we were to be eaten alive by mosquitoes in the dark.

i looked at him quietly and squinted to see his face better against the glare of the lamppost behind him.

maybe this is just a summer fling, i said out loud. i felt a twinge of sadness. i wasn't expecting an answer.
he looked at me and smiled. maybe not, he said.
maybe not, i repeated with a tiny smile.

it's not a promise, but a possibility. while some people know they’re meant to be together, i know that for now, he and i are meant to enjoy our remaining nights with Red Horse bottles and pools of drool, sleep, drunk dials full of fits of giggles and fake-sounding laughs.

tomorrow will take care of itself.

11 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

[ Saturday

May 8th, 2010
at 6:02pm
[ mood | hopeful ]

On Monday, I am shading #49 for Gilbert Remulla.

When Remulla was the Representative of the 2nd district of Cavite, his driver beat the red light. Ok lang daw kasi congressman naman siya. Remulla corrected him by saying, "Tayo ang gumagawa ng batas. Dapat tayo ang unang sumunod sa batas." I never saw waiting sheds and overpasses bearing his name. That's the kind of public servant I want for my country.

my idol and inspiration

When Remulla suffered a political setback in 2007, he didn't mope around. He became the Managing Director of Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park in Kawit, Cavite and the spokesperson of the Nacionalista Party. As the MD of Island Cove, he turned the 36-hectare property to a near zero-waste facility in a matter of months. That's a MAJOR challenge. From spending 40k on getting rid of their trash, they now earn 15k A WEEK from efficient solid waste management. He also implemented a strict styro ban. He has been fearlessly defending Sen. Manny Villar, who is arguably the most controversial presidential candidate because of all the mudslinging c/o the yellow camp.

I am voting for Gilbert Remulla because he knows what he wants to do if he gets elected. All of his platforms and advocacies are supported by experience. As a runner who has finished a half marathon (21km), Remulla is an advocate of health and fitness and will fight for the efficient implementation of the Cheaper Medicines among other projects. As a former broadcast journalist, he has been very vocal about creating a Magna Carta for Journalists to protect them from unjust killings. Which is why that Ampatuan political alliance is nothing more than sensationalized black propaganda. I am voting for Gilbert Remulla because he stands for principled politics. During the Hello Garci investigation, he allegedly turned down as high as 9-figure bribes to keep quiet. I am voting for Gilbert Remulla because the Senate needs a young, fresh face in the Senate whose idealism and nationalism are still intact.

I am not going to ask you about your presidential preference, but I am going to ask you to (at the very least) consider Gilbert Remulla as senator for our lupang sinilangan. We deserve the best for our country.

Mabuhay po tayong lahat!


Do not hesitate to press the Share button beside the title of this entry, re-link, re-post, and quote this entry.

also supporting Sen. Pia Cayetano, environmentalist and Ironwoman

Bongbong Marcos also has my vote

the NP senatorial candidates

with Tita Georgia. One of my favorite couples :)

the purple team with the Comedy King: Gelo, Tito Peter, Tita Gabby, Gia, Tita Georgia, yours truly, Eena, Cyn, and Kuya

4 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

a topography of dreams and devastation [ Wednesday

May 5th, 2010
at 2:20pm
[ mood | pessimistic ]

When the campaign season started, I was excited and idealistic. Now I’m wondering if I was just being stupid.

I have been told that politics shouldn’t be taken personally. Wag daw mapipikon dahil walang personalan. I beg to disagree; I think everything about the elections should be taken personally. Deluded as this sounds, I still believe in the promise of politics. There are people like Sec. Ace Durano, Mayor Ed Hagedorn, and Gov. Grace Padaca who have done good things for this country. In fact, the only two jobs I aspire for are in the government: to be a full professor at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and to be the Secretary of the Department of Tourism. I am emotionally invested in this particular election because at 22 years old, I am aware that the future administration will have a lot to say about the economics, employment possibilities, environment, and the educational system of the Philippines for the next six years, which is when I’ll be establishing my career here. I have absolutely no plans of migrating because I have faith in the Philippines and its people. Whenever I say I love this country, I mean that to the core of my bones. And my Pinoy Pride goes way beyond Manny Pacquiao and Charice Pempengco. I know that we have the potential to become a great nation.

I talked to a taxi driver when I was in Cagayan de Oro. He said, “Ma’am, for as long as we have traditional politicians, we will have traditional voters.” I didn’t realize what he meant until recently. Candidates are spending billions and seeking endorsements of celebrities and stupid religious cults (not “groups,” CULTS!) to secure their position. Taglines promote progress, development, the continuity of a fight (what fight?), the end of poverty, transformation... And yet their posters are printed on plastic and tarps, which add to the wastes that clog our drains and accumulate in our landfills. They stop and cause traffic with their trucks that blare annoying jingles, causing a great inconvenience to us who drive or commute. The media is plagued with intense mudslinging and black propaganda. I’ve lost interest in defending my political preferences because I need to brace myself for eye-rolling and pointless arguments. I’ve stopped writing about it, with the exception of “When the yellow shines too brightly,” “It’s an ad, ad, ad, ad world,” and “Why we should vote,” only because I was asked to. But really, all this negativity isn’t healthy for my country. I’m holding on to the last of my optimism by praying that these candidates ask themselves what this circus they call campaigning is for. That somehow, their political ambition has some kind of vision behind it.

The voting populace isn’t providing hope either. Come on, our #1 senatorial candidate is a man who legally changed his LAST NAME to “BONG REVILLA” just so he could be in the first column of the ballot. We have allowed our former president who was CONVICTED OF PLUNDER to run again. HE STILL HAS SO MANY SUPPORTERS. In market tours and motorcades, hindi okay na 1:1 ang ratio ng baller ID, kailangan 5 sa isang tao. A flier needs to come with candies. A sticker needs to come with a shirt or cap or ballpen or whatever campaign paraphernalia the imagination can conjure. The most annoying question posed was, “Hah, wala bang kasamang pera?”

All this politicking is giving me what my friend Jam calls an “odd cocktail” of disappointment and disgust. It’s inching towards indifference. Right now, I am searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a part of me that hopes it won’t be yellow, but there’s a bigger part of me that hopes that there actually is a light.
be a star?

overheard at Bantayan Island [ Sunday

May 2nd, 2010
at 11:37am
[ mood | awake ]

During his welcoming remarks, my dad said, “According to C.S. Lewis, friendship is nothing more than shared passions.” At the 1st Bantayan Arts Festival, friends made more friends because we were bonded by not one but TWO passions: arts and the environment. The Most Awesome Tita Binggirl Clemente made magic happen by gathering several artists to teach different kinds of arts and environmental education to children from Bantayan Island.

Rizzy (“the sister I never had,” according to my drunken self last year) and I handled the Musical Theatre class. We had three days to put together a 10-minute production entitled Maria Cacao, which would be a nightmare if Rizzy and I weren’t the perfect pair. But we were: Rizzy took care of the direction while I taught singing and dancing. Our observers also said that I was Fear, she was Encouragement and I was the Bad Cop, she was the Good Cop. We loved our kids so much. We were bursting with pride when they performed. Several members of the audience even cried! Lawyers, artists, and teachers alike. Their school loved it so much that they’re re-staging it in September!

taking a break between rehearsals

writing our students personalized letters that we gave with their certificate of participation

miracle worker Tita Binggirl

post-show pride :)

Keeping with the "Overheard at..." online trend, here are some memorable quotable quotes (and pictures) from Bantayan Island.


spotted on the ship to the island. ano daw?

and so rizzy asked her ticket before paying.


Rizzy, pre-show: “We had the play translated in Bisaya because people here speak Tagalog with their minds but Bisaya with their hearts.”



over lunch:
me: ayaw ko na. i’m through with guys. girls nalang. rizz... what are you doing tonight?
rizzy: wag kang ganyan anns... baka paghiwalayin tayo ng kwarto.



two 12 year old girls, stargazing
girl 1: ang ganda ng mazda 6!
girl 2: lalo na pag automatic!
girl 1: bakit, NAKA DRIVE KA NA BA?!
girl 2: ......no.



We have a bike that grinds residual wastes (styro, plastics and the like) while one pedals.

kester: imagine if one PE class had bikes like this. ang daming wastes na mare-recycle.
me: oh yeah isn't there a class in Fitness First na Cosmic Cycling? that would be super cool.
david: we can call it Cosmic Re-Cycling.



drunken media practitioners
guy: blah blah blah hahahahaha ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE blah blah HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

WOW drunken topic pala ng mga journalists ay PLATO at THE REPUBLIC!!!!


looking at our co-teachers making dream catchers at midnight
david: gumagawa kayo ng dream catchers, pero wala naman kayong dreams na ica-catch!!!!


me and rizz: okay, your costume for the show will be a PLAIN WHITE T-SHIRT and maong pants.
cheska, 10: SKINNY JEANS????



misheard lyrics series

real lyrics: let’s all have a good time!
misheard lyrics: let’s have all a good time!

real lyrics: take my by the hand
misheard lyrics: help me take a hand
version #2: let me buy a hand

real lyrics: matching rags for my clothes, plastic bags for the cold
misheard lyrics: matching rags huhuhummmm plastic bag for my colds

real lyrics: the smoke that screens the air
misheard lyrics: the smoke that screams the air


AAO: “There are two kinds of people in this world: those who want to be someone, and those who want to accomplish something.”


tiffany (american): i loved your play.
me: oh thanks! but you couldn’t understand it.
tiffany: i cried... you know, the arts and the environment transcend language...



bonar: can you come up with a title for the program? something about sailing, education, arts, ganon.

Rizzy, David, and I (the poser artists) brainstormed.

All ARTBoard!
Ahoy There, classMATE!
Destination: Education

Final title: Sailing School of the SEAs Inaugural Voyage



All the products of the Visual Arts class were put up in the Odette's Hall of the Arts, in honor of environmental warrior Odette Alcantara. ALL of the works up for auction were SOLD!

from the glass painting class. Smart (our co-presentor) loved them so much that they want to make glass paintings from Bantayan their corporate giveaways! :)


More pictures here. The School of the SEAs had such palpable, positive energy that week. The project was such a success that it looks like another one will push through next year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

be a star?

wow philippines: TSADA CAGAYAN DE ORO! [ Wednesday

April 28th, 2010
at 11:26pm
[ mood | sleepy ]

The first thing you’ll see at the Cagayan de Oro airport is a sign that says, “WELCOME TO THE CITY OF GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP!” According to my friend Mark, it’s because the gold is no longer in the mountains (c/o massive mining... boo), “it is now in our hearts.” Charing.

My CEC-CDO flight was super mega delayed, so I had to buy another ticket. The difference was big, but well worth it.

over text:
me: ang mahal ng difference pero okay lang.
man: ang mahal nga. pero mas mahal ang oras.

juancho’s comment: hindi mo malalagyan ng presyo ang oras...


over text:
me: ron! let’s have dinner at butcher’s nest at mga 6:30 PM.
ron: ann, baka butcher’s best? iba yung butcher’s nest, mga agogo dancers mga nandun.



Upon arrival, I already felt the golden friendshipness. It seemed like everyone was smiling at me. (Maaari ring nababaliw lang ako.) Juanch and Donna arrived earlier than I did, so Man took them to the famous Bigby’s to try the ribs, which changed their lives forever. They died at first taste and were brought back to life to eat some more. They loved it so much that they even talked to the manager about franchising. Natuwa naman si Mr. Manager at binigyan sila ng free cake.


CDO is also known as the White Water Rafting Capital of the Philippines. On the way to the rapids, na-flat yung jeep namin TWICE!

The sticker on the windshield reads: BASTA DRIVER, SWEET LOVER. BASTA FUNGI, PATAY!

our first jeep

second jeep to the rescue


We did our tour with the Detour Adventure Company. Please contact them if you're going to CDO. Awesome and professional service! Before we began, we were asked if we wanted the MILD or WILD course. The three of us responded in unison, “WIIIIIIIILDDD!!!” The Wild route had 21 rapids all in all, and the guides would flip the raft. The most number of flips in CDO history is 7 flips.

The start of the rapids was super calm and Juanch was like, “Ito lang ba? Flip! Flip! Fliiiiiiiiiippp!” Me: “Hay nako Juanch, be careful what you wish for!” True enough... Flip #1: Juanch hit his ass on a rock. Flip #2: Juanch hit the sole of his foot on a rock. Flip #3: Juanch’s paddle slid and his ring finger started bleeding.


juanch: wow ah, these plants are growing on rocks. how does that happen kaya?

after ten minutes
juanch: anns, i’ve figured it out. parang puso yan... kahit gaano katigas ang puso ng isang tao, may magmamahal din sa kanila... parang yung mga plants na tumutubo sa bato...


Our guides, siblings Bugoy and Boyet, were the best guides we could ever ask for. They were the epitome of funny and friendly.

bugoy: ang tawag sa rock na to ay lava rock.
us: bakit?
boyet: kasi pag summer, yung mga babae diyan NAGLALAVA!!!! ehehehehehe!!!!


me: kuya, i heard there were monkeys here. pero parang wala pa akong nakikita.
bugoy: day off nila today eh!!!!

boyet: okay guys put on some sunblock!
me: kuya, naglalagay pa ba kayo in sunblock?
bugoy: oo. kiwi.
me: kiwi?
boyet: kiwi shoe shine!!! MAITIM NA KAMI EH AHEHEHEHEHE!!!!
bugoy: di na kami umiitim, kumikintab nalang! AHEHEHEHEHE!!!!!!


juanch: kuya, ilang rapids pa?
bugoy: 3...
juanch: wow sandali nalang!
them: .....3 hours to go!


boyet: ok please lean back. lie down pag dumaan tayo sa rock.
donns: limboROCK?

bugoy: ang tawag dito ay eraser rock.
us: bakit?
bugoy: kasi pag hindi ka humiga, ma-eerase ang mukha niyo! HAHAHAHA!!!!

daghang salamat, kuya bugoy and boyet!

Afterwards we had a big, DELICIOUS all-you-can-eat lunch at the Detour office. I still have daydreams about their chicken bbq.


We ate dinner here before meeting up with my uncle, Tito Ricky.

tito ricky: if you have ten pesos and you spend 20, you are P-O-O-R!
donns: poverty???


On our third day, we headed to the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. This is a funny sign.



Juanch and Donns had the crazy idea of trying the Zorb Ball.

Tanong: Ano ang tawag sa nago-operate ng Zorb?

Please watch our video here. It was the worst part of my trip. I threw up after. (TMI, sorry. But ya'll must be warned!)

Post-Zorb faces

For some reason, Ron was still a happy camper.

The Zipline made up for it. We did all three: 150m, 350m, and the longest one in Asia at 840m. It was aweeeeesommmmmeee. A thrill like no other.


me and my MoSu

donns and juanch

Donns conquered her fear of heights by flying. She cried before and after, but what matters is that she DID IT! I'm so proud of you Bushkie!

We finally ate in Butcher's Best on our last night. If Manila has Kenny Rogers, CDO has...

When Juanch, Donns, and I were on the bus back to the city from Camiguin, the last song we heard on the radio was, "Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always count on meeee..." GRABE TALAGA!!!! WHAT IS GOLDEN FRIENDSHIP?!?!?!

Next entries: on the Bantayan Arts Festival and Island Born of Fire!

5 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

what a journey it has been. [ Monday

April 19th, 2010
at 1:56am
[ mood | sleepy ]

I just came from Kim and Gerald's wedding. It was an honor to sing in three very important parts: her bridal march (it was a challenge since EVERYONE WAS CRYING INCLUDING MYSELF), their first kiss (and I mean their firstest firstest kiss EVER. Oh diba, what is self-discipline?), and their first dance. Congratulations Kimerald! Your love story really was orchestrated by God from the start.

Alab-ers with our Lola Kim

In a couple of hours, I will be hopping on a plane headed for Cebu for the Bantayan Arts Festival. Last year my environmental baby was GLACC, which was more legal-based. This year I get to combine two of the things I love most, arts and environment.

the official logo

We're teaching kids different kinds of arts (from paper cutting to ethnic music using instruments made of recycled/sustainable materials) with an environmental theme. Rizzy and I are teaching a musical theatre class and staging a play based on the legend of Maria Cacao. The grand celebration/showcase will be on April 22, Earth Day!

the logo of our rash guard, made by paper cutting expert david gonzales

After that I fly to Mindanao FOR THE FIRST TIME. I get to explore Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, and Camiguin with Donna and Juancho, plus my SSEAYP buddies Bo, Mai, and Man.

Life's been good to me lately. I ended last semester with a miraculous average of 1.4, which I think comes from the fact that I have realized why I want good grades and what I'm working so hard for. I work in a place where I am surrounded by strong and beautiful women (Ms. Malu, Ms. Guen, Ms. Jona, Ms. Arlyn, and Ate Lea) and for a candidate I believe in not just because he's my tito. I'm writing for the Inquirer, Metro magazine, and Philippine Online Chronicles. Several projects and auditions are lined up as well. Next month, I'm scheduled to give a lecture entitled "Blogging with a Purpose" in UST, plus elections and a trip to HK to visit Mikki. In terms of my athlete-wannabe life, I finished my first 5k run last week in 31 mins! Best time yet.

A couple of days ago I was interviewed for a magazine (baliktad na ang mundo, ako na ang iniinterview!) that's featuring me as a proactive member of the youth or something like that. JM, my friend/classmate/interviewer/writer asked me questions like, "Don't you ever get tired? Don't you ever feel like you're spreading yourself too thin? Where do you get your energy?" Sometimes I ask myself the same things, especially when I'm drowning in deadlines and obligations and I just want to be like normal people who watch DVDs all day. But I am blessed to be doing so many things I love doing. Not everyone can say that for themselves, so I'm not going to sit and whine about how tired I am. I am motivated by a lot of love--love for the things I choose to dedicate my time to, love for the country I live and will die in, and love for the people around me. It sounds very gross and cheesy, except I actually mean it.

I think that's one of the secrets of life. To surround yourself with people who are improvements of yourself. My parents are soooooo supportive, my brothers are such a joy to be around, and my friends (e.g. Abet, Ma, Ria, Juanch, Gold, Digoy, ZoeDing, Maix, Ben, Mon, Chris, Denz, Mofie, Jim, Angela) and classmates in UP (e.g. OJ, Dino, Jona, Tine, Dana, Casey, Jed, Gab, Alvee, Marc, Ara, Chelle, Aly, RV.. kahit hindi kita ever naging classmate HAHA) are far funnier and smarter than I ever will be.

Okay, it's almost 2AM. I have a press release and article to write, a song to choreograph, and a suitcase to finish packing. I'll be back in a little over a week. I will have lots of stories for you for sure. See you then :)

2 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

[ Tuesday

April 13th, 2010
at 12:49am
[ mood | sleepy ]

Six years ago, I took a pre-college Creative Writing program at the Pratt Institute in New York. I told my parents I wanted to study Musical Theatre, but my mom said, "Eh you spend every summer taking musical theatre! Take Creative Writing." I was like, "WHAT? OK KA LANG? I'm SO NOT a writer!" Both my parents were like, "You are. Go take Creative Writing." So off I went to New York, by myself at the age of sixteen not knowing much about Literature and Creative Writing.

I remember feeling so lost in the first day of class. Everyone was like, "I want to write a novel in the future," "I want to take Creative Writing in college," and I was all like, "Hi I'm Anna from the Philippines and I uh, like to write?" At that time, I was all set on becoming a doctor (a vocal pathologist to be exact) and poetry, fiction, and drama were the farthest things in my mind. I had never tried writing in any of those genres before, so ako na ang insecure at na culture shock. Our nights would be spent reading pages and pages of literature and writing, a far, FAR cry from my almost effortless English classes in La Salle. We'd be typing away at the computer lab 'til it closed. I was actually okay with getting my work workshopped (i.e. massacred). At one point, a piece I wrote was an example of how NOT to write. Keri.

at a workshop class

in between classes

Weekends would be spent touring the city, which I loved. I visited Columbia University twice during my stay there--my dream school then and now.

oh Columbia, you'll be mine someday.

One of my professors in Pratt, Kristin Prevallet said my strength was poetry. "I THINK I WANT TO BE A POET," I told my mom over the phone. She literally shrieked, "GUUTOOOMMM GUTTTOOMMMM!!!!" I have not written poetry since. I struggled most with fiction. Even when I was a freshman in UP, I sucked most at fiction. According to my CW teacher, I had "no sense of plot" and my fiction piece was "ew." Yes, she wrote "EW" in red ink. Well, in fairness, totoo naman, which is probably why I didn't shift to CW. The idea of writing fiction makes me want to throw up.

In hindsight, I think that program led me to become an English major. I realized how natural writing was to me, as opposed to spending hours studying Physics and Math and still getting 7/15 in quizzes. My mom still half-jokingly asks if I want to be a doctor. Ah eh, PhD, pwede pa. Or magpapakasal nalang ako ng doktor.

On the last day of the program, we had to read our favorite piece. Para bang recital or poetry reading. Oddly enough, I read my (flash) fiction piece. If you are Dana Delgado and you read this at a workshop, you would ask, "Where's the story?"

So here it is. Entitled "Two Words."


The girl beside me keeps staring at me. What the hell?
“Maria Santos,” she read from my resume. She tosses her blonde hair and scrutinizes me from head to toe. “Where is your name from?”
“The Philippines,” I reply.
I have a feeling I know how this conversation is going to go.
“But you look Asian!” she gasps.
Filipinos are European now? African?
“I am,” I tell her.
She pauses and then nods her head. “I thought it was its own continent.”
The girl to my left leans towards me. Great.
“You’re Filipino? Do you know a girl named Valerie?”
“Last name?”
She frowns. “I don’t know. She’s from New Jersey.”
“No. Sorry.” I sigh. I try to concentrate on the tick-tock if the clock.
“Your country is like an island, right?” Blonde Girl asks.
“Groups of,” I answer with a tight-lipped smile.
“So… Do you like, go to school in boats?” she continues to ask.
Good grief. Ohhh Mom… I’m going to school now… Where’d you park the boat?
“Um, no.” I stare at the office door. Hint hint.
“I think the girl from the Philippines chatted me once,” Other Girl began. “So do you guys like, have electricity there?”
Chatting = computers. Are there computers run by solar power?
“Actually, yes.”
(I don’t get discrimination, but I get this.)
“Maria Santos?” the secretary calls my name from the list. I stand up from my seat.

1 star has dancedstars have danced.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO be a star?

chasing pavements [ Wednesday

April 7th, 2010
at 1:54pm
[ mood | anxious ]

I am the last person you would find in an Aquathlon. Seriously. In DLSZ, my intrams skillz were limited to the modern dance competition, which was always the first event. I would spend the rest of the day watching other games and eating MANG TEO’S KUCHAY PIE. I eventually discovered the joys of yoga, Pilates, and belly dancing. My road to fitness came to a halt during my LOA. All that traveling meant an irregular schedule and cuisines to explore, which led to a disgusting weight gain of 20 pounds. When my clothes stopped fitting, I knew I had to do something. I spent summer ’09 in Yoga Manila, which helped me ease back into fitness. I love that place so much for its positive energy! For cardio, I started running and swimming because I couldn’t follow the strict schedule of dance workshops. I didn’t like running so much because it was too tiring (HAHA). Half of the 3k on the treadmill was spent walking while the other half was symbolic jogging, which was walking with a bounce. Swimming was more fun. Feel ko talaga I was a mermaid in my past life. Or shokoy, like Uli says.

I started running and swimming more in September. I was inspired by Tito Gilbert who does half marathons! Grabe, ang galing. I did my first 3k fun run in January and spent the next two months "training" (chos, self-imposed training lang naman) for the March Ateneo Aquathlon.

cj, sunil, gia, me
picture c/o jaime

me and geese
picture c/o jaime

Jan-March were HELL MONTHS. Mali yatang kumuha ng 4 Lit and 2 Language subjects sabay! Kaloka! For about 3 times a week, my day would start at 5:30AM so I could do at least 2 rounds around the UP Acad Oval, take a bath, and eat breakfast before hitting the books at the CAL Library at 8AM. Weekends were dedicated to swimming.

Before the Aquathlon, I received a barrage of messages from my friends:

Juanch: I hope you’re resting well for your aquathlon. Go for first anns, I have a good feeling about you. You ran like an animal the last time, treating uphills like m&m’s. Lemme know how it goes. I’m so proud of you, girl who said she can’t run. Mabuhay ka!

(May lahing hayop pala ako.)

Ria: Good luck today! Do us proud! I’m sure you can do it! I saw a quote that I think is appropriate for you. “It’s not me who’s reaching for the stars. It’s the stars that are reaching for me.” I love you! Good morning!


Gold: HOW WAS IT?? Please text me after. Love you my aquathlete!!!!

But the Best Message Award goes to Danni Diestro:

Danni: "Hey! Sleep na! You have a big day tom! Make sure all your stuff are prepared BEFORE you sleep. Your mind will be a blur tom. I had teammates who forgot shoes on race morning.

Bathing suit
Rubber shoes
Race shirt/belt
Swim and running cap

Get there early so maiksi ang pila sa body marking. GOOD LUCK!!!"


The Aquathlon was so much fun. The body marking kinda made me feel like a cow. I was with Gia, Jaime, Sunil and CJ. CJ won third place. COMPETITIVE! Jaime ate a banana DURING the run haha baliw! Next year ulit ha!

post-race face


I started 2009 doing 25 laps in a 25m pool, now I do a minimum of 40. My time at 4k was 45mins, now it’s about 30mins. First 5k fun run on Saturday! Again, baby steps. What’s awesome is that we now have a lap pool in our backyard, which makes “training” much easier.

My next goals are to do a 10k fun run and a mini-triathlon soon. I gotta get myself a bike!
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WANTED: youth leaders for SSEAYP and DYEA 2010! [ Wednesday

March 31st, 2010
at 11:43am
[ mood | creative ]

I had the privilege to be part of two ASEAN-Japan programs: the Ship for the Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 2008 which I wrote about here and here, and the Denso Youth for Earth Action (DYEA) in 2009. Both are now open for application.

In the Philippines, SSEAYP is sponsored by the National Youth Commission (NYC). They are looking for two youth leaders per region (one male, one female) to represent the country as Youth Ambassadors from October-December. The application requirements are many: application form, barangay clearance, NBI/police clearance, resume, etc. Then you go to a panel interview that will grill you about current events, international relations, Philippine history, etc. I ended up crying in mine because I was so emotional about patriotism. At the end, you might even be asked to sing/dance (I brought speakers and an iPod ‘cause I’m competitive like that!). The process sounds tedious, but only because the rewards are plenty. First you get to meet, train, and live with 27 other like-minded leaders from all over the country. They become your brothers and sisters. I’m singing in my batchmate’s wedding in a couple of weeks! And I’m also really close to Batch ’09 :) Then you get to ride a luxury ship for two months with 300+ other youth leaders from ALL Southeast Asian countries and Japan and cruise to six countries. ALL FOR FREE. In 2008, we went to Japan, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

with Mon in Tokyo

Pori-chan in Bangkok

saying NO TO PLASTIC in Brunei

speaking/singing in Indonesia where my most famous "Anak" moment happened

Each country’s itinerary includes an institutional visit to an important landmark and a homestay program with a local family. They will be part of your life forever. On the ship, you will never run out of things to do. You will be divided into Discussion Groups (topics include Food and Nutrition, Cross-Cultural Understanding, Traditional Culture... I was in Environment!) and Solidarity Groups. There’s always a new person to meet, a movie from another country to watch, a cultural show to attend, a meeting to go to, the buffet to attack... It’s priceless. The best part for me was having the opportunity to wear the Philippine flag pin on my lapel. Badge of honor ‘yun. You have the opportunity to show the rest of the world how great Filipinos are, that we are SO MUCH MORE than Manny Pacquiao, corruption, and OFWs . Download forms at http://www.youth.net.ph/resources/resources.php.

DYEA is similar to SSEAYP because it’s also composed of Southeast Asian-Japan youth leaders and everything is for free, but 1) the group is so much smaller because we were less than 30, so the bonds were more intimate, and 2) the DYEA is geared towards environmentalism. It was an eclectic mix of people engaged in different fields. You don’t have to be a hardcore science person to be part of this. Yours truly is an English major after all. We come from varied backgrounds: business, English, Film, Entomology major in Butterflies, Environmental Engineering, etc. That makes the program much more interesting because you realize how relevant the environment is to all fields.

with Intan in Japan

The first leg took us to a pre-program orientation in Thailand in July, then the intensive two-week program all over Japan in October, and a few more days in Aichi, Japan for the forum in December. You get to learn so much from all your geeky but FUN activities, such as hiking up Mt. Fuji, examining silt and water samples from Lake Biwa, interacting with locals to find out more about sustainable practices, learning about corporate-social responsibilities from the DENSO factory, and so so much more. There’s also a homestay program in Japan.

Fuji-san :)

The rules aren’t strict in this program. No curfew and no dress code. The adult leaders make sure you have lots of time to explore your surroundings (a.k.a. SHOPPING and PICTURE TAKING!) and you get to drink to your heart’s desire! Then sing karaoke to your heart’s desire too, haha!

The Philippines will send 3-4 representatives this year. What I love most is that this program is action plan-driven. As your way of “giving back,” you have to implement an environmental project in your country. That’s how UP ICU was born. So come on planeteer-in-training, go to to http://www.denso-yea.com/en/index.html, fill up the forms, and go to a panel interview.

For those reading this on Facebook, there is a "Share" button by the title, so please click and well, SHARE! Spread the word because I want us to be represented by the BEST!

For any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at annaoposa@yahoo.com. I’d be more than happy to answer them. If you’re my friend, I’m willing to be a character reference and prep you for your application process. There have only been two participants who went on both programs, me and Nami-chan from Japan. Hope to see familiar faces later this year. Good luck!

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vlog! [ Monday

March 29th, 2010
at 4:25pm
[ mood | creative ]

Two days before my semester officially ends. Lahat tayo ay haggard is some way, so tawa nalang tayo ulit. Marami akong kwentong hindi pa nasusulat! I wanna tell you about my first Aquathlon, camping in Mt. Makiling, the JT/Jojo/Timbaland concert, etc. In the meantime, I've put together another vlog!

Older vlogs:
SSEAYP adventures and others here.
South African adventures here.
Genius editing by Mariel Alfonso! :)

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Vote for Earth on Earth Hour [ Thursday

March 18th, 2010
at 9:25pm
WWF’s Earth Hour is just around the corner. In 2009, over 80 countries participated by turning off their lights from 8:30-9:30PM to increase awareness about climate change and the negative effects of greenhouse gases. Even iconic landmarks all over the world from Athens to Australia’s Sydney Opera House joined the fun and bathed in moonlight instead of electricity. For proof, check out http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/earth_hour_2009.html for before-and-after pictures of The Eiffel Tower, the Sin City, and Los Angeles’s Nokia Plaza among others.

We Filipinos have a lot to be proud of: the Philippines placed first among all the countries in the world in terms of participation. Over ten million Filipinos in six hundred forty-seven cities, towns, and municipalities turned their lights off, saving about 611MWh of electricity. That’s like shutting down a dozen coal-fired powerplants for an hour! Some places even made a big celebration out of it. Palawan’s Puerto Princesa City coordinated with their local Electric Cooperative to shut the electricity of the entire city, paired with a celebration in their baywalk area. There was acoustic music, poi dancers, and a parade in the dark led by their “green” mayor, Hon. Ed Hagedorn. Their streets were lined with lamps made of recycled materials (see #1). In Cebu, over 1000 stakeholders gathered at the SM City Cebu to share their collective support for Earth Hour. This year, the Philippines wants to raise the numbers. We’re aiming for fifteen million Filipinos from one thousand towns, cities, and municipalities to turn their lights off.

So much of what we do seems to depend on technology and electricity, but there’s also a lot to do when the lights are off. Here are five things you and your friends can do during Earth Hour:

1. Make your own lamp from recycled materials. Look for a used bottle and fill it up with equal amounts of rock salt and cooking oil (preferably used, to keep in line with the recyclable materials). Roll a piece of cotton into a small ball, dip the other end of the cotton to the mixture, and light the tip. Voila! If you’d like to try making a funky homemade lava lamp, learn how at http://www.education.com/activity/article/Make_Homemade_Lava_Lamp/.

2. You’re never too old to play games. Revisit your childhood by playing patintero and/or taguan (hide-and-seek) under the sky. While you’re at it, why don’t you invent silly games? The sillier, the better. A crazy and fun suggestion is to pick a theme and draw in the dark. Use crayons, cray-pas, watercolor… Pick your medium. When the clock strikes 9:30PM, turn on the lights and see whose drawing is the “best.”

3. Take advantage of the dark and spook each other out. Exchange the worst (meaning the best) ghost stories you know. After all, the scariest creatures come out at night…

4. How long has it been since you used the landline instead of texting or calling using your cellphone? Dial a friend’s home number, go old school and “make telebabad.”

5. There’s such a thing as “light pollution” which comes from the excessive use of artificial light. This makes the stars invisible. According to the calendar, the full moon is a couple of days away from Earth Hour, meaning there will be plenty of moonlight on March 27. Roll out that banig, lay down beneath the sky, and gaze at the stars. There is always light in the midst of darkness.

Let’s all get together and Vote Earth on March 27, 2010 by turning off your lights from 8:30-930 PM.

1 star has dancedstars have danced.
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let's give 'em something to laugh about [ Thursday

March 11th, 2010
at 7:56pm
[ mood | restless ]

There are many depressing things going on in the world. So instead of dwelling on them, tawa nalang tayo.

from kuya je. there are at least five things wrong with this sentence.


juanch: wow anns... the love is undescribable. indescribable? omnidescribable?


over chat
me: i have to look for different usages of the term “labis na pagmamahal.” I found a song on Google hahahah tang ina guess by who!!!!!!! DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!!!
donns: halksdjflajhsdflkjashdfpuyasdncanskdfhaer
donns: ...my drumroll.


thanks for the area. pero... ano ang smooking?


gold’s knee was operated on last december so she couldn’t go out for awhile

ria: so how was the party last night? who went?
me: the usual. me, juanch, gold...
ria: gold??????????? WITH HER LEG??????????????????

aba oo alanganin namang naghandstand siya papunta don, ateng!!!!


I hate our neighbor’s dogs. they bark at 4AM everyday. as in on the dot. i’ve written to our neighbor twice about it and still, to no avail. one time i saw the caretaker feeding the dogs. she looks really fragile. must be about 80 years old. i spoke to her over the bakod.

me: ate, pwede pong ilipat niyo yung mga aso pag gabi? kasi lagi po kaming nagigising eh.
manang: oo, tumatahol kasi sila pag alas-kwatro ng umaga.
me: opo. kaya kung pwede po, paki lipat nalang po sila.
manang: (smiles) ok lang yun, gising naman ako ng alas-kwatro eh, ako nalang maglilipat ng alas kwatro.

ano ka, BAMPIRA???????????????????


at the village pool

me: so where do you go to school?
little girl: montessori but i'm moving to assumption soon.
me: wow that's kinda far from here!
little girl: yes that's why i'll have to wake up at 3AM.

once again, ANO KA, BAMPIRA???????????


on a bedsheet


over text
me: i have a crush and he's so intellectual omg i'm so kilig!!! pumapalakpak ang cerebellum ko!
danni: pag kinikilig ka, it's your amygdala, which is part of your limbic system, ang papalakpak. that's the part of your brain that is the center of emotions.



me: my goal is to run 10k by the end of this year.
crush: mine is to bike up baguio.
me: wow that's really hard because it's uphill, the altitude is much higher, and the air becomes thinner.
crush (smiles): ... wow. that's such a UP answer.
me: heh... (i love you...)


gold: i will never cut myself because my body is a temple. my body is a wonderland. my body is a disneyland.



pinggoy: tony, when you mopped the floor, you left it wet!!!!!
kuya: uh, that's what happens when you mop the floor.
pinggoy: oh. right.


over the phone
me: i'm having a weak day today :(
ria: huh?! bakit? did you work today?
me: HUH?!?!
ria: wait... WEAK DAY!!!! akala ko WEEK DAY!!!


napaka emo naman nitong iniwan na message sa blackboard!!!!


in the car
me: supposedly you're a good writer if you can create a story in six words. ernest hemingway wrote the first six-word story daw. "for sale: baby shoes, never worn." you know that the baby died so the parents are selling his or her shoes. anyway i have this book on six-word-stories.. my favorite is "i still make coffee for two." :(
juanch/donns/ma: AAAAAWWWWWW :(

the next day
gold: dude it's coffee for TWO pala hindi for YOU!



previous profile picture

ken: panalong panalo yang likod mo kapatid... sana naging likod ka na lang!!


Spotted in Batangas

That is the future of Batangas. Leaders named PRESENT and BOKAL! But that ain't the worst. There's a Ryanh. Yes, the H is at the end. Try saying it, nakakabobo. Ryanh. Ryanhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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wow philippines: down deep in Anilao [ Sunday

March 7th, 2010
at 12:32pm
[ mood | awake ]

My dad, my three brothers, and I are all scuba divers. We’ve dived (dove? doven? diven?) together in Batangas, Palawan, and Cebu. I’m jealous ‘cause my dad, Kuya, and Uli got to dive in Tubbataha (a UNESCO World Heritage Centre) before I became a diver :| That’s like the Mecca of all scuba divers both here and abroad. I don’t get to dive as often as I’d want to because it’s difficult to coordinate our schedules. I’ve been waiting for one of my good friends to get into it so I’d have a "permanent" dive buddy. When Juancho’s schedule freed up, I was able to convince him to take lessons with dive master extraordinaire Ziggy, the one and only dive instructor of all the Remulla clan. Aside from us five, he has taught Tito Sig and his three daughters, Tito Jonvic, Tita Aggie, and two of their daughters, and Tito Gilbert. I think he has one of the coolest jobs ever: to teach scuba diving and dive for a living. He gets to introduce people to the beauty that is the underwater world.

i took this picture of Gia in Anilao five years ago (wow Geese it's been that long since our last dive together!)

Juanch and I had been planning his checkout dive for awhile. That's like your graduation, where you take skills tests underwater to earn your scuba diving license. A required camping trip came up, so I told Juanch I wouldn’t be able to make it. His reaction? “WHAT???? BUT WHO WILL TAKE MY PICTURE UNDERWATER?” AYYYY MEHGANON?? Pang photographer lang pala ako??? But anyway, I was able to move my camping trip to the last weekend of February because of another school requirement.

The night before Juanch’s checkout dive, we were at a party and he was like, “Anns, will I die? Please promise me I won’t die tomorrow.” I was all, “RELAX! It’ll be fine!” I guess it’s normal to be scared of what lies beneath, but PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE ARE NO GREAT WHITE SHARKS IN THE PHILIPPINES. NONE. I don’t even remember any human-related shark attack in the Philippines ever. I hate movies like Jaws and those shark-related movies ‘cause they give sharks a bad reputation. There are other wonderful things to see.

 like marine turtles!

and corals and fish!

Come Saturday, I texted Ziggy to take extra care of Juanch ‘cause he’s panikero (sorry Bords, am I embarrassing you? I LOVE YOU!). After my Bords’s first dive, he called me and made kwento with this tone na parang batang pinakawalan sa toy store. “BORDS, IT’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD DOWN THERE DUDE!!!” The next day, I drove to Anilao at 6 in the morning to join the fun. Divers, environmentalists or whatever you call us come from the same phylum, so it’s easy to get along with each other. We made lots of new friends, like Juancho’s girlfriend Joyce (JOKE LANG BORDS I LOVE YOU AGAIN!).

taking some skills tests

i like juancho's description: "the next best thing to flying"



juancho "i can power the sea" borja

the other dive buddies

Hazel resurfacing

Most Filipinos don’t realize how lucky we are to live in the Philippines. No matter where you are, there’s a dive site that’s about 2-3 hours away. I haven’t dived (dove? doven? diven?) in another country yet, but those who have say the Philippines is still much better (non-Filipinos have said this as well). Gia, when are we diving again? Chris, my SFM, when we diving? Our first and last underwater adventure was a failure. Ding, Gold, Ria, Mariel, Donna, when are you learning how to dive?

So ano pang hinihintay niyo? Tara na, biyahe na tayo sa ilalim ng dagat :)

All pictures courtesy of Pixie, who will treat us to Tubbataha someday :)
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the Anatomy of Passion [ Saturday

March 6th, 2010
at 10:04am
[ mood | awake ]

For my English 118 class aka Semantics aka “the scientific study of meaning,” we had to choose one word we were going to work on for the entire semester. We had to look for quotes, actual utterances, its Filipino counterpart/s, compare them and create our own “explication” using the Natural Semantics Metalanguage chorva (yez, kahit kami na-nosebleed.) We had to be “married” to it. Jed chose guilt, Hazel-pangatawanan, Jona-loyalty, Gab-greatness, and Alvie-father. I went into a commitment with “passion.” People always comment that they see my “passion” and I’m lucky because I’ve “found my passion.” I kinda wonder if people just mistake my (many) interests for passion. Or maybe I’m just seem passionate about a lot of things because I’m naturally loud and energetic. “A hyperactive thyroid” is what Ma’am Ick calls her intensity.

The Filipino “translation” of “passion” is... Are you ready... “silakbo ng damdamin.” KAMUSTA NAMAN? Silakbo means “malakas na pagbuga ng apoy.” Echos. The other translations are “mainapoy na [damdamin],” “nagbabagang damdamin,” at “umaalab na puso.” Oddly enough, it would be awkward and even incorrect to say “nasusunog na damdamin.” In English, we have the expression “burning passion” but not “burnt passion.” So I thought about this whole fire-passion metaphor and built my paper around it. I had many many questions about the pursuit of passion, so I interviewed people who are like, passion personified: one of my favorite teachers of all time, goddess Dr. Judy Ick (henceforth known as Ma’am Ick), and my favorite father, Atty. Oposa (henceforth known as AAO). Some of the stuff they said were too good not to share. I hope you learn from them as much as I have.

1. the expression “find your passion,” as if it’s a “lost item” you can find in your pocket or your psyche
-I believe that it’s something that finds you. Something happens to you and you KNOW it’s for you. Dr. Ick wanted to teach after the Aquino assassination. She wanted to do something about the political instability. AAO witnessed acts of illegal fishing in Bantayan, Cebu when he was 20 years old. Two decades later, he closed his corporate law firm and devoted his life to being “God’s lawyer.” Chos.

2. “burning” passion and not “burnt” passion because passion lasts
-AAO: “I will never retire from the work of trying to do a little good and making people understand that we cannot go on wasting our life-sources away. Anything worth doing cannot be done in a lifetime.”
-Ma’am Ick loves teaching because she loves learning. She learns from her students all the time. And the woman who has an MA and PhD in Shakespeare English says, “I don’t understand why people call me the Shakespeare expert. I am a student of Shakespeare.” Lakaaaaaas.

3. fire represents an ordeal/challenge. passion ain’t passion unless it’s tried and tested
-AAO and his partner-in-crime Jojo dela Victoria received death threats for trying to stop commercial fishing in the Visayan Seas. Anyone who could assassinate them would get 1M pesos. They laughed about it lang, until a few days later, Jojo was shot outside his house. Buti nalang we were in Bantayan at that time for Holy Week, or my dad would’ve probably died too.
-The ordeals aren’t always life threatening naman. Ma’am Ick has her share of problems teaching at a public school that houses great minds but no money. I asked her if she considered the low paycheck a sacrifice, and she said she doesn’t see it as “giving up” something because she made a choice. She knew what she was getting into so she can’t and shouldn’t complain. Marami pa, but she ended that part of the interview with: “But you can’t let the details bog you down. You have to always keep that big picture in mind… I guess that’s what [people] mistake for passion. It’s maybe really just vision. I have an idea, whether it’s deluded or not, [that] what keeps me going is something larger than me. Ang baduy mo kung talo ka ng detalye. That’s for petty minds,” she said, laughing.

4. fire has the ability to illuminate a place, mind, heart, and spirit
-Ma’am Ick’s goal is to be a model of a mind in action. She doesn’t even want her students to think a certain way, she just wants them to think
-AAO's dream is for the Filipinos to “unleash their natural genius in our love for nature and show the world how to live sustainably.” He fantasizes about the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the Filipino as a people. “Organizations have received it, like the United Nations and the Red Cross. Why not a people, if they will lead and show the world in adapting to and facing the dangers of climate change?”

5. fire spreads, thus expressions like “spreads like wildfire” and “catch on fire”
I think Ma’am Ick and AAO are paid so little because society can’t afford them. Their success can be more or less gauged by the people they’ve inspired. We’ve formed a a fans club/stalking agency for our professors (Annel, ano ng pangalan natin?). “Eh ano ngayon, maganda ka nga, nakatira ka nga sa Magallanes pero ilang libo na ang mga utak na nagalaw ko!” Dr. Ick said with a laugh. “I can wake up every morning and I pray… that I have a job that I believe in and that I love. I know that’s rare. It’s very rare. I see it among my friends. They’re doing their jobs because they wanna get the money. I’m doing my job because I love [it].”
-My dad’s the same. He doesn’t understand the greed for money. Money “is only the oil that lubricates the machinery of human society. The fuel, the motive power, is called the human will. You have to find a cause greater than yourself because it will sustain you. If you just thought of getting rich, famous, and powerful, those will not only vanish quickly but after getting there, life becomes empty and meaningless.”

There’s so much more to say but so little attention span you might have. I ended my paper with this:

I have a year to go before I apply for my first full-time job. My mother, the more practical parent (one would have to be), is worried because none of my interests seem to be lucrative. I want to be the Department of Tourism Secretary because I want to develop ecotourism in the Philippines. I want to be an English teacher at the University of the Philippines, which is, in a professor’s words, “a vow of poverty.” I want to get a master’s degree in England and a PhD from an Ivy League in literature or creative writing. I want to publish a non-fiction book. I want to find a way to make Philippine Literature as popular and in-demand as the Twilight and Harry Potter series. I may never attain any of these, but just like Dr. Ick, I will certainly “kill myself for not trying.” I have faith that my passion(s) will pave the way and give me all the energy and imagination I will ever need. Passion will pave the way.

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