some pampering

Finally, April has ended. It was one long month.

Now, one could feel the end of the semester. We’re done with most of the committee works and the events have long passed. The building’s a ghost town. Only the echoes of doors closing/opening can be heard from the halls that’s usually filled with the persistent footsteps and loud conversations of students. From inside the office, the steady hum of the air conditioning offers the peace we’ve been looking forward to. Well, there’s the occasional glitch with the air conditioning. It occasionally mimics the sound of an airplane taking off. But that’s a minor setback. I’m enjoying the peace we’re having today.

The semester is really over!

There’s that great relief and then it dawned on me. That’s another semester without any real progress on my thesis. Worry and dread replaced relief. “Well that was quite a short one,” I thought. Why did my thoughts have to go into the thesis matter? There I was enjoying the moment.

Instead on wallowing in dread, I thought I should get a massage – a reward for the semester that passed (as a teacher and adviser, at least. Forget about me being the graduate student). My shoulders and this back have been… it’s been killing me. That’s quite expected. After a whole afternoon’s consideration, I finally started for the salon. I could feel the start of te flu. I’m becoming more conscious of the muscle and joint pains. I’m blaming this weather. Extreme heat and heavy rains. Or perhaps it’s just aging.

It did feel better after the massage. Still, there’s that flu. Spicy beef noodles soup’s what I needed. Spent nearly an hour enjoying the soup. It’s best for the flu. I did feel better for some time.

During the walk home, I knew I wasn’t any better. I came home early and headed straight to bed. There came that burning from within the brain. I could really sleep because of such complicated story plots in half-dreams. By 9pm, I knew I was really sick. I was surprised to note that it’s been less than three hours. It felt like it was a new day already. I knew this fever from last summer’s chicken pox. “Not another strain please”, I prayed. I don’t know how I’ll survive another two weeks of solitary confinement.

This is such a great way to end April. Imagine if I were to have another strain of the pox. Some luck I’d have if that were the case. It was going to be a long night. I’d be lucky if I managed some sleep. I’m not counting on that though.

 

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nine years

The eldest niece just graduated from high school. How fast time passes. She’s nine years younger than me. God, I feel old. I don’t think of it as a bad thing though.

Moments like these just makes one realize how much time had passed – and how much things have changed. The first time I met the niece, I was nine years old and she was barely a month old. I wore this flower printed corduroy red and black dress to the eldest sister’s wedding. I didn’t really have a say in that. Now she’s my height (okay, maybe taller) and she’s starting college next semester.

I can see how proud the eldest sister and the brother-in-law are. They should be. It’s such an achievement. It’s the perfect gift for their 12th anniversary this May.

Lunch at Bonitos and dinner at Isdaan. I should say, the family’s leveling up in terms of celebrations. It’s about time ­čśÇ

Bonitos is a great place for family gatherings. Great food. Good range of items offered in the menu. Reasonable prices. Good service. Highly recommended.

Isdaan offers several opportunities for taking photos. Go there for the ambiance. The 6 pm show’s a plus.┬áOverpriced food (- and water). Not so great service (especially for the price). Do not wear heels. I’m not that enthusiastic to go back.

souvenir program: UPLB Graduation Ball 2012

About 90 pages resulted to some serious backache from nonstop layout for a quite some time. I browsed through Facebook to look for photos taken during the UPLB Graduation Ball 2012 and was relieved to see a copy on one table.

Seeing that it made the release date made all those sleepless nights worth it. Of course, there’s still a lot of things to improve, add, and correct.

 

a pleasant jeepney ride

It’s rare for one to share a jeepney ride with a ┬ábunch of good-natured individuals. It was a nice welcome to Los Ba├▒os after a sleepless night in Manila. The driver felt lucky that he managed to fill his jeepney after chancing upon three buses.

The passengers were mostly incoming freshmen students in the University accompanied by their parents and a few university employees that the driver knew. People smiled at the passengers across them and received nods and smiles in return. The jeep was full but not cramped. Polite words and words of thanks were exchanged as fares/change were passed to and from the diver and passengers.

In my five years of stay here in Los Ba├▒os, this morning’s jeepney ride has got to be the most pleasant jeepney ride I have taken. You arrive at your stop too soon. You leave with a smile. And for a few minutes, you forget that you haven’t slept in the past 24 hours – and that you’re suffering from a hangover.

I guess I should be taking earlier jeepney rides to work.

Day 2/2 PPI National Press Forum

Got my certificate for completing the two-day forum. The forum ended at lunch time. What remained was the awards night for civic journalism later that evening.

The department attended the awards night at 6 pm as the panel of judges  for the Mindanao Region.

I can’t really tell what happened since I was making my way to the other end of the nearest MRT (Taft) station.

The main reason why I haven’t really explored Manila is because I haven’t really braved the MRT alone. Tonight, I had to do just that. From end to end MRT trip to go from Traders Hotel to Trinoma. It wasn’t so bad ­čśÇ

Thing is, friends told me the MRTs so easy to understand. That gave little comfort for I know that if I fail to make sense out of something so “easy”, what does that make me?

 

Day 1/2 PPI National Press Forum

It was an early start to Traders Hotel, the venue of this year’s Philippine Press Institute (PPI) National Press Forum.

I guess the most interesting part of the day was observing the Presidential Security Group (PSG) make the preparations and secured the venue before the president was ushered in. A whole morning (perhaps more) of preparation for a few minutes speech. I guess that’s the job. Even during the president’s speech, I could not help but observe how the PSG positioned themselves in strategic areas and communicated with the rest of the group.

I did get to witness ┬áSecretary Coloma’s straightforward introduction of the President. That was the most concise introduction I’ve heard.

In his talk, President Aquino called on the Philippine media to “clarify before broadcast” and to ┬áprovide more balanced reports “para maiangat ang uri ng ating demokrasya” ┬á(to improve the quality of the country’s democracy). He asked the press to focus not only on the negative stories but also the positive ones.┬áThe President cited articles from Newsweek and Time, noting that the foreign ┬ápublications cover the Philippine progress more than ┬áthe local media.

He emphasized the importance of and asked the media to observe:

  1. katapatan sa katotohanan
  2. pantay na pagsusuri
  3. … makakabuti sa karamihan
In less than an hour, the President was escorted to his next appointment and the forum continued. This time, with less tension and blinding lights. 
Coffee was highly appreciated towards the end of the afternoon.

Destination: Day 3/3 Iloilo City

We just could not leave Iloilo with sampling the Batchoy.┬áThe restaurant at the airport was our last chance for the batchoy. For P120, it was a good serving. The place looked quite pricey from the decor and location (airport restaurants are not really known for reasonable prices). The prices were reasonable, we found. I’ll definitely go back if I’m in the area.

We spent the earlier half of the day at SM Iloilo searching for a The Original Biscocho Haus┬ástall. The woman at the information desk and the female security guard was very helpful to the clueless and direction challenged local tourists ­čśÇ Found the stall in front of Mc Donalds and National Bookstore. While waiting for the rest of the group, I’ve managed to get a new notebook from the National Bookstore. (Still justifying the price of the thing.)

It was nearly midnight when we arrived in Los Ba├▒os. It’s back to work on Monday.