Mistakes

April 26, 2012

Dear friend,

I bought a bunch of stuff for you and our other group mates when Gia and Timmy went pasalubong shopping this afternoon. I bought you the Rosquillos you wanted ever since the Holy Week vacation. It’s in a plastic bag on my bed, waiting to be arranged. It just struck me now that I had an important question to ask myself, a question I should have asked myself before paying the goods at the counter.

What was I thinking? 

Rather, what did I want you to think? Giving these pasalubong to you and the others isn’t exactly a peace offering, and I have no intention of it being so. I consider me buying you the Rosquillos equivalent to me paying back a debt or a request that was not attended to at the time it was supposed to have been answered. Even though I do not technically owe you any pack of Rosquillos, I bought you a pack just because I remembered you liked those sunflower shaped cookies with a hole in the middle. I don’t owe the others any form of food either, but I just hope they’d like it.

It’s not a peace offering. I really don’t know why I bought these gifts for you. Granted, it’s not much, but I still spent for these with my own money and I even put effort into thinking about you at the time despite the fact that right now, we are… at odds…? Could you call it that? It’s not a peace offering because I don’t really know if we’re even at war. I have a feeling that I rank pretty high/hold the top spot on the list of people you dislike, but that does not make me certain that you have refused to be civil with me on any level and that you have chosen to forget everything about the past term in which we worked together.

Should I still give these to you? What are you going to think once you’ve received them? Are you even going to receive them?

The last two questions are probably out of my league. After all, I can’t control what’s inside your head. That’s for you to decide.

Does it even pay to be nice to you? I honestly don’t want to keep tabs, but I can’t shake the feeling that you do want to keep tabs and that you are keeping tabs. If you weren’t, then you’d probably be more objective in dealing with things. Maybe you would have told me you were upset with me when Aldrin got all of you something from Thailand except for me (if that was indeed intentional) or perhaps when you just received my “fiercely condescending” text message or perhaps when you gave the org position you promised me last month to someone else without my knowledge (that really hurt by the way. I don’t really show it, but I definitely wanted that job. I had plans for it already, but if you trust another person more than me, that’s alright. I’ll let it go. I just wished you wouldn’t have made me get my hopes up).

By the way, I just want to say that I am writing this without any anger or sarcasm. I’m appealing to you. Maybe things could have turned out differently.

I’m trying to sift through all our memories this past term. I’m trying to think of moments or even a single time when you went out of your way to do something nice for me as a friend should. I bought you guys snacks during your EB meeting because I knew it wasn’t nice having a meeting after an OR test on an empty stomach. Eric always shared his sandwiches. Ian stayed up with me and so did Mar. I suppose the nicest thing you did was stick it out with me until the term ended, and out of  anything you could have done, that task probably had to be the hardest considering how you disliked me. So, thanks, I suppose, for not ditching me halfway through the term. Thanks for being patient with my meticulous and absurd mannerisms. Thanks for staying even though at times you probably wanted to strangle me.

I do hope that somewhere along the way, you thought we were genuine friends. That’s what I thought the whole time. I hope that I was the cause of at least one of the things that made you happy or laugh, because I sincerely wanted you to find whatever it was funny and just… laugh.

You have made it clear to me that I’m not exactly the easiest person to get along with. With friends, I could be a bit dodgy and with work, I’m just overtly and overly judgmental, critical and ill-tempered. Taking my reference from Shakespeare, perhaps my tongue is the shrew that needs to be tamed. I am conscious of it and try my very best to hold it back. I just want our work to be the best it can possibly be, and if I come across as harsh, then I am sorry. I am truly sorry. I do not mean to degrade you in any way. I’m just… strictly particular is how I’d like to put it, and if you can’t work with me, then I understand.

Maybe when school resumes next month, things would be different between us. I can’t say better. That all depends on how you’re going to treat me: are you going to ignore me or not? Just know that I won’t be the one to make the first move. I leave the decision up to you. You’re the one who’s upset so you call the shots here. I tried making the first move by talking to you, and you’ve been avoiding me.

If you choose to ignore me, then I understand. This will be like first year all over again. I just hope that this time, I’d know how to deal with it better. I guess I won’t be expecting any friendly favors from you next term, and I suppose I’ve lost my liberty to hand you those as well. Feel free to tell me anytime if these assumptions I’ve made were wrong.

Maybe we should take this as a lesson. The fact that we met is already a lesson. We’re on the brink of collapse all over again. Maybe some people just weren’t meant to be friends. Our personalities obviously clash, one way or another. Maybe it’s better if we stayed apart. I’d be alright with being civil, just as long as the badmouthing stops. I don’t want to do that to you, and I don’t want us to race each other, hoping to be the first one to tell our friends about our dilemma, hoping they’d be on one of our sides before the day is over. I don’t want all that unnecessary tension because it’s immature. We don’t need that.

For what it’s worth, being with you definitely had good times. I stand by what I put in my profile photo before – no one can make me laugh like you do. But I guess I’ve learned that what I feel isn’t necessarily the same as what you feel, and maybe the mutual fondness I imagined our friendship to have was in fact, one-sided all this time. Thanks for making it clear that I really am a difficult person to get along with (and how much more love). Again, for what it’s worth, thanks for the time.

So… I guess that was quite a lot of questions and sentiments. All that came from me contemplating on whether or not I should give you a pack of cookies. I don’t know. Ordinary things just get me thinking, that’s all.

I know you’re never going to read this so typing this all out is most likely useless. It’s just gross saying this out loud to anyone. I find it embarrassing that after everything, I let all of this get to me. I let you get to me, even though I tried my best to remain above it all. Whether you like it or not, I consider you a part of my life, and let it be known that that part isn’t just a piece, it’s a chunk.

I’m going to go now. Take from that what you will.

Always,

Ellie.

 

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NOTSOGood morning.

April 23, 2012

April 22nd. 23rd actually, considering that it’s already 3:50, make that 4 in the morning. Why I insist on staying up late, I don’t exactly know why. Half of my body wants to collapse on the bed, the other one wants to stay on the couch, letting my mind drift to useless places. I have to go soon though. My mother’s going to be up in half an hour.

I’ve got errands in the morning. A pile of cash is beside me to pay off some bills and some people. Makes me wonder how I’m supposed to be awake to actually be decent enough to meet those people at the door.

Only a few days have gone by from the summer holidays, but it feels like it’s been forever. I’m not saying that I’m excited to go back to school or anything, but I constantly get that feeling that time is slowly slipping by. I’ve been blessed enough to get through this term… I won’t say unscathed, so let me just say, I’ve been blessed enough to get through this term, period. I at least want to enjoy and drink in every bit of my short month of freedom.

I’ve got plans. People coming over, things to do. Driving school is one thing, ha ha. I got of list of books I ought to read piled here on my coffee table, but I haven’t turned a page. Still stuck on the laptop, watching old movies because I can. Cinema has always been something I could indulge in apart from food. Cinema – it’s probably the closest form of artistic realism we could ever achieve because the human is part of the picture. There will always be a special place in my heart for film.

Don’t mind me. I’m just unloading my brain of thoughts before I tuck in to bed.

Maybe this is what’s getting me down. Sleeping in late every night, waking up at noon, having more than half of the day gone to actually do something productive, so I end up feeling that time is slipping away steadily. The first thing I got from that was the alliteration, yeah? Forgive me. My sense of humour involves sound devices in literature. I need some work on that.

Just finished watching Scarface, and I could understand why this would be a very defining piece of work for Al Pacino. The other night I watched A Dangerous Method and several nights ago, I rewatched The Hangover (yes, the first one) and Date Night just because I love Tina Fey. I haven’t been watching my TV shows lately nor have I opened a TV ever since I got here. Old films are great, but maybe I should be a bit more current? I’m planning on watching Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane next though. How current is that? Heading back to the 1940’s. Yay.

Just straight off the top of my head, the most current points of discussion in my life: One Direction, the NoKor missile failure and NoKor’s next missile attempt, China trying to own two groups of islands in Philippine territory, and the Philippine media saying that China is bullying it into giving them the land. Hmmm…

Goodnight. Maybe I should do some movie reviews soon? My tweets to Jane about The Adventures of Tintin, A Clockwork Orange, A Dangerous Method, My Week with Marilyn and my tweets to Ricco about Scarface could hardly suffice as reviews.

I also want to rewatch Midnight in Paris… maybe just so that I could feel like I was in love again. It’s the city and the story that manage to do that for me. Not Owen Wilson per se, but more of the characters his character Gil interacts with – Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, etc etc. I should stop before I start crying.

Great, my dad just walked in on me. He’s up, obviously, and I told him I couldn’t sleep.

Hate this insomnia whatever this is. Fck it.

On the Letdown

April 12, 2012

Dear God,

I know recent events have not been so pleasant, and I suppose this is Your way of testing me. I know that this series of unfortunate events are supposed to make me better in the future, but right now I simply do not appreciate these circumstances coming into my life at the moment.

As imposing as it is to ask You to stop sending disappointment my way, still, I beg You, please stop. If You won’t, then at least please offset these bouts of misery with heaping amounts of patience to compensate for my frayed nerves.

I, as well as You, would very much like for me to leave facepalming behind, yes?

Love always,

Ellie

TAS stands for The Awkward Situationer which is another category I’ve added to my list of blog categories here. Just to make it clear:

TAS – The Awkward Situationer. Stories and thoughts from events I’ve attended or just me being a stiff, poker-faced, uptight, and uncomfortable girl at socials.

Meaningful everyday conversations – Letters for people I’ve shared a meaningful conversation with during the day. These letters express my reply to whatever it is they’ve shared. This could be told in story form, too.

Unnecessary Exploits – Fictional prose written by me just for fun.

Words of the Idler – My take on giving life advice.

All these categories have been brought about by the best catalyst for anything that is not essential in life – procrastination.

So, the Fourth Engineering Charity Ball. As a whole, I would deem the event a success. Congratulations to the project heads and the King and Queen of the Ball, Lloyd Chua and Jenica Almazora. To my org’s EB, congratulations as well for pulling this off. The attendance spiked at the last minute and I can only thank the Lord for that. As far as profit is concerned, I think we made enough not to lose money on this event and we even had enough to give to our charity, World Vision. We were able to send 22 kids to school by our ticket sales.

Now, speaking of World Vision… To make a long story short, this org mainly helps kids who are in need of the basics – food, shelter, clean water, and education. World vision ties up with these kids, their families, and their communities to give sustainable and long-term solutions to alleviate poverty. They have direct ways of helping, such as taking volunteers to the slums and hosting livelihood projects in the area, but for people who do not have the time to go to the poorest regions of the country and to do manual labor, there is another method of sending help indirectly, and this is through monetary donations.

World Vision gives people the option of sponsoring a child. You could donate 600 Pesos monthly, 1800 Pesos quarterly or 7,200 Pesos yearly to help send a child to school. You are also given the freedom which child you would like to sponsor since you can choose from the provided profile cards of each little boy and girl.

After the representative from World Vision gave her speech at the ball and showed the org’s video, almost half of the people in the room stood up and headed over to the World Vision booth at the entrance near the stairs. Everybody started getting pamphlets and filling up forms. There were couples who decided to share a child while others chose to sponsor individually or in groups. The whole area surrounding the World Vision booth was so cramped, and everybody were on their toes and they just couldn’t wait to sponsor their own kid.

It’s funny though. As much as I want to believe that every single person who signed up for World Vision tonight did so out of the honest goodness of his or her heart, I just couldn’t swallow it whole. This much people, suddenly getting up and hurrying to donate to a charity that they may have only heard of that night? This much people, willing to give away 600 Pesos every month to an unfamiliar org (at least maybe to them. World Vision is pretty famous.) with unfamiliar processes and subjects? Did these people even think this through? Did they even read the fine print, or were they just jumping at the chance to donate because everybody was doing it, and they just wanted everybody to know that “Hey, I want to be generous so I’m sponsoring this kid. You’re generous, too? Cool, I’m generous, too!” In other words, were they just jumping on the bandwagon?

Call me a skeptic, or a pessimist, or just another selfish bitch, but if another person asks me one more time, “Are you sponsoring a kid?” with that sugary sweet smile on his or her lips, then I’ll say it again, “No.” And I’ll tell you why.

For me, giving away 600 Pesos monthly is actually a huge deal. I have a bank account that almost runs empty every month, so I really don’t have the capacity to give away 600 Pesos. I’m a student and money is scarce for me, since I don’t have a source of income just yet. Moreover, my parents are not exactly flexible when it comes to giving me cash or anything for that matter. I use my own money to buy stuff I want. I hate how the emcees and the World Vision rep (and most people in general) assume that all LaSallians are rich because, well, we study in La Salle, which is an expensive school. Yes, it is an expensive school, and so most of my family’s funds go to my education and that’s pretty much it basically. They’re like, “Oh, what’s 20 Pesos off your allowance? It’s not a big deal. You’re rich anyway.” Excuse me, it is a big deal. I don’t know how many other people in the room know the value of 20 Pesos or realize how Magnum ice cream is such a rip-off at 50 bucks, but I do. I know full-well the value of a single Peso, and I know the difference it can make in my life. Because I know this, I also know how much a single Peso can affect the lives of the kids from World Vision. I know that they need money to get a better future, because whether we like it or not, this whole world runs on money. To get anywhere, you need money, and that is why the rich survive and even thrive, while the poor suffer and are stagnant.  I know that they need money, and I do want to help them… just not like this. This will be explained by my next reason.

To be honest, after watching the videos, I wanted to help immediately. I wanted to send a kid to school, and I wanted to be part of ensuring that she lives comfortably, where all her basic needs are met. I wanted to make a child happy, even if she didn’t know me at first. Then, I saw the horde of people signing up at the booth, flaunting their forms and pamphlets. Goodness gracious. If I were to sign-up, I would do it quietly, without making a big fuss, hoping that no one would notice. I don’t want to just sponsor a kid for the sake of looking cool or “good” in other people’s eyes. Also, I do not want to be peer pressure-d into sponsoring a kid. Stop asking me if I’ve signed up/will sign up just because you already did and deep inside, you just want me to ask you in return and give you a pat on the back for being so noble. No, I haven’t signed up/won’t sign up, and I will not do so until all you people are gone from the vicinity and until I am sure about making a commitment and taking responsibility for a child in need.

I believe that true charity is done without boastfulness or false humility, and so I am going to stick by that. I’m not calling all the people who signed up with World Vision tonight hypocrites. I’m sure there are some who just truly felt the urge to reach out to a child, and this was their first and perhaps only opportunity to do so, or maybe this option seemed to be the best fit for their capacities, financially, physically, schedule-wise, etc. , and I thank those people. But for those people who jumped on the bandwagon tonight, come back to me after several years after  personally meeting your kid and showing me how involved you were in helping him or her finish until high school or college. Then, I’ll admit I was wrong about you and you can slap me in the face for being so judgmental. However, first let’s see if you can sustain your efforts, and we all know that the only way of doing so is having true passion and dedication for what you’re doing. If you can’t sustain your efforts after a couple of months or years because you just got bored or forgot about the whole sponsorship deal, then, well, I didn’t want to say it, but I told you so. Come to terms with the fact that you joined World Vision out of false causes.

I made a promise to myself tonight that when I start working and finally have enough income to set aside, one of the first things I would do is sponsor a child with World Vision. Aside from the fact that I’ve always wanted a daughter without having to go through the rigors of pregnancy, I really want to help a child realize her dreams and get the best this life has to offer. I want to help her overcome setbacks like poverty which might have thrown her off at the beginning. I don’t think people see how serious of a decision they are making by signing up for World Vision, and that’s a problem. By signing up, you’re giving a child hope, and you have to sustain that hope until it is fully realized. You can’t just stop half-way and take away that child’s hope all of a sudden. Even you wouldn’t want that to happen to you right? It is for that reason that I want to be fully aware of all the details of my agreement with World Vision in helping my kid. I want to know how my money is transferred and spent on things that could help her. I want to hear how she’s doing not just every year, but even every month. I want my decision to be conscious, sound, and voluntary. When I want to help someone, it’s because I genuinely want to do it, and not for any other reason but to make the lives of others better.

Gosh, I’ll probably get shot for this post, but I highly doubt that anyone would read it. Currently, it’s around 1,696 words long. Another TL;DR post (Too Long; Didn’t Read). Ha. Ha. Ha. At this point, I would like to say a bunch of nonsense to my non-existent readers.

First and foremost, thank you. Lastly, I like bunnies.