Isn’t it Ironic?

“It’s meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife.”

I’ve always liked “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. It’s even one of my go-to karaoke songs. I like how the lyrics weaved a story per verse and ended in the singer’s most ironic and heartbreaking moment. We’ve all had ironies in our lives, some little, some really big ones like the one mentioned above. So far, I’ve only had little ironies but there is this one time that something kind of similar to this song’s “best” ironic moment happened to me.

It happened recently although the persons involved haven’t tied the knot yet. Still, they’re going there. I won’t exactly caption the other party as “the man of my dreams” because he is basically still just a stranger to me. I don’t know him that well but I really liked the way he talked and most of his ways when we got together recently. I felt we could get along well since we somehow have similar personalities. But before I even try to get involved I knew that I should check whether someone already has their eyes or seal of ownership on this person. I knew that there was a 90% chance that there already is someone. I was right. Almost all of the time I am never wrong when it comes to a person’s relationship status especially if I get to spend time with them outside of school or work. I guess I’m just a good judge of character. As someone who follows the Golden Rule (most of the time) I just decided to keep my distance and compel myself to not think of anything further than just being friends or probably just keep the admiration to myself.

It’s hard. -_- Especially when that person has now become a constant part of my day (somehow). These are the moments when I think it would be better for me to become like my close friend who is asexual — who does not feel any special attraction to anything. It also makes me want to become a monk who does not care for the base emotions that drive most people to fall in love once they find someone they are attracted to. But since I am neither, it’s quite a hard task to keep the emotions at bay. Of course I cannot act differently towards the person or questions will come up and that’s not good. I also cannot be too obvious or even harder questions and even assumptions will come up which is even worse. So I have to take extra care to keep myself in the middle. It is so hard. Usually most of my crushes start out single then they get a partner which helps the feeling to fade away. It’s a first that I find myself attracted to someone who is already in a relationship. It’s ironic in some ways and very much frustrating. I sometimes wish it never happened but there is nothing I could do about it now except embrace the situation and learn from the experience. I’ll just go back to my quest of self-improvement and deal with my own internal (self-esteem, etc.) problems first before I deal with external factors that affect my view of the world. It’ll be fine of course. I know.

Why I think Sheldon and Amy has the most stable relationship in #TBBT

If you’re like me who has seen and loves the American sit-com ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (TBBT for brevity) then there is no need for me to explain who Sheldon and Amy are or how the met and what they went through as a couple. If you are not then sorry, I will not be explaining those things in this post since it will take up most of the space and the time I need to compose this post. Just do yourself a favor and watch all ten seasons of the show. I promise you, you will love it!

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Moving on, I have recently read an article online where the writer went out of his way to ask his readers to give him advice on how to keep a marriage stable since he just recently got married himself. Upon receiving his readers’ responses he noticed a pattern and several repeated answers that he was inclined to share these to his other readers. He believed that the repetition he saw in the replies of those couples who have kept their marriages for more than 20 years now are indicative of the factors that determine whether or not a relationship would last that long. I noticed some glaring similarities with what the article mentioned to that of Sheldon and Amy’s fictional relationship as shown on TBBT. Some of which I will focus on in this post.

1. Boundaries and Consent

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As many of TBBT fans know, Sheldon and Amy’s relationship is unique as it is governed by a relationship agreement where many of the things they are willing and not willing to do for each other are stipulated in contract and binding to both parties. Sure, the agreement is unnecessarily skewed in favor of Sheldon but by allowing Amy the benefit of choosing to get into a relationship with him despite his many quirks (most of which are written in print), Sheldon in fact asks Amy’s consent from the start and lays out everything (almost everything) that she should expect from having a relationship with someone as tough to handle as him. By consenting to the agreement Amy already knows what she is getting into and that is why despite Sheldon’s many irrational manners she still just sighs and tries to understand him. There was one scene in the series where Amy mumbles, “His mother warned me. Everybody warned me. Actually, he warned me.” This meant that Amy knew what she was getting into but she still did anyway because she was willing to put up with him. They were both practical enough to set ground rules for their relationship which they both agreed upon. In other words, not one of them can make a fuss as long as the contract is followed since they already consented to it. However, this did not mean that Amy did not do anything to slightly skew things towards her own favor, she did but I will talk about that under another sub-heading.

Aside from the fact that the limits and boundaries of their relationship were set and kept both of them went into the relationship for the right reasons. When they first met both did not believe in romantic relationships which gradually changed when they both realized that they wanted to be more than friends. Although Amy was lonely since she did not have any friends she wasn’t particularly looking for a romantic partner to fill the void. She just wanted a friend and she found that in Penny through Sheldon. That is why you can see her clinging more to Penny than to Sheldon during the first parts of Season 4 and 5 (when she first entered the story). With that void filled she did not need a romantic partner to make herself happy but she got into one with Sheldon not because she was lonely and needed someone but because she found that she was happier and better whenever she was with him. This goes the same for Sheldon. He was completely content with the way he was living his life. Furthermore, he was a person who hated change the most but in the end he was the one who proposed that they get into a romantic relationship and embraced the change of having a girlfriend in his life since he saw that he didn’t prefer it otherwise. They were not pressured by any external factor to go into a relationship. They did not need each other to feel good about themselves. They just needed each other, period because they cannot see it otherwise. In short, it made more sense to both of them if they were in a romantic relationship just because they love spending time together.

Another thing to note is that they regularly talk about their relationship and the things that they find important. They have meetings on where to go on date night, what each other’s pet names are, what to do during their free time, what to purchase, etc. They talk about the littlest of things and make sure that they both are okay with their choices even if it sometimes leads to small arguments. Most couples think that it’s not important to dwell on the small stuff. Wrong! It is the little things that build up gradually until it becomes a big fight in the end. People may think that something as small as deciding on which restaurant to go to, what brand of soap to buy are things that they can easily brush off but it really is not. If something, even a little things, is bothering you it is healthier to talk it out with your partner so that he or she can understand your take on things. Communication is the key. Although later we will see that communication is not the most important thing to keep a relationship stable, we still need to take note that good communication plays a big role in a romantic relationship.

2. Mutual Respect, Trust and Preservation of Individuality

We TBBT fans all know that among all the other characters Sheldon thinks that Amy is the one who is most intellectually compatible with him and this is coming from a person who thinks that everyone else is dumber or stupider than him. This means that Sheldon sees Amy with the highest regard and respects her as a person. This is shown by the fact that he sees Neurobiology as an inferior science to Physics but never did he once mentioned that Amy was not a brilliant scientist nor notable in her field. In fact he mentions that she is brilliant and notable many times during the series. The same goes for Amy and from this deep respect begets a deep trust which is more important. Like I previously said, communication may be important but it is not the most crucial element of a stable relationship. It is mutual trust and respect and this is the element that is most seen in the ShAmy couple. For the other couples in TBBT there is respect but the trust element is a bit lacking. Leonard is always insecure and thinks that Penny will eventually leave him for a better looking guy. Penny is insecure that she is not worthy of Leonard since she’s not smart. Howard is insecure that Bernadette would change her mind and leave him and Bernadette feels the same way sometimes plus she has doubts as to whether Howard was the right choice for a husband. These issues are not that prevalent in Sheldon and Amy. Sheldon trusts Amy to the point that he does not get jealous even when he sees another man with her. In fact, he thinks it is impossible because they have “an iron-clad rule [in the relationship agreement] that she cannot have any physical contact with other men except [Sheldon]”. Now we all know that even if it is stipulated in writing there is still a possibility that the person will not abide by it. Hello, lawbreakers? But in this case Sheldon completely trusts that Amy will honor that rule even when he is not looking or caring. His trust in Amy is, in his own words, iron-clad. Amy at the same time trusts Sheldon completely. In the last episode of Season 10 where another girl starts hitting on Sheldon it wasn’t Sheldon that Amy was worried about, it was the girl. She knew that Sheldon did not see it as anything more than a friendly gesture but she was worried that this girl, with an obvious admiration towards Sheldon, would try her best to convince him otherwise. That is why she did not get upset with him. She instead got upset with her friends who did not look out for him.

Due to this deep trust we can see how Sheldon and Amy, though gradually changing, have preserved the very things that make them unique as individuals. This is because both of them, albeit enjoying spending time together, also enjoy their alone times and their individual times with their friends. In other words, they allow each other space that both of them need away from each other to preserve their individuality. Most couples think that spending more time together would be best for a relationship and letting your partner go off on their own would open the relationship to a lot of temptations. In relation to the article I mentioned, most couples who have stayed together for longer than 20 years say that this is not the case. In fact, it is the exact opposite. “A healthy relationship means two healthy individuals”, according to the article. Sheldon and Amy may have a lot in common but they also acknowledge the fact that they have a lot of things that differentiate them from each other.

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Amy doesn’t like Star Wars or Star Trek. She doesn’t play video games and is indifferent towards trains. Sheldon on the other hand does not like Romantic love stories or any kind of romantic gesture, hates Valentine’s Day the most, dislikes gift-giving and celebrating holidays especially Christmas. But even if they are different they acknowledge this fact and make things work out. Amy sometimes takes Sheldon to train stations, gives him gifts he could enjoy like his Me-Maw’s (grandmother) Christmas cookies, allows him to spend time with his friends to enjoy games and watch his favorite movies. Sheldon also does the same with Amy and because they are happy as individuals and they still get to do the things they love despite being in a relationship with someone who has other likes make them happier as a couple because they do not see their relationship as a burden to their individuality but instead they see it as something that can foster their understanding of the other better and thereby becoming a more stable and loving partner to the other.

3. Romance is not a priority

Unlike Howard and Bernadette, Amy and Sheldon started off as very good friends first before they became a couple and even when they did become a couple romance was not the main point of their relationship. Leonard once noted that they once spent hours just ignoring each other despite being together but they just replied that they both enjoyed it. What they love is spending time together, not exactly spending it cuddling or spooning or even having sex. Although this changed when Amy started asking more attention from Sheldon and this became a problem which led to their break up in Season 8 and 9. Eventually when they got back together Amy realized that it wasn’t just Sheldon’s fault and that she shouldn’t have pressured him to do things he wasn’t comfortable with. Having learned her lesson she went back to putting their friendship as a priority first instead of romance. However this topic is best talked about under another subheading.

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4. Slow change

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There has been nothing slower in development than Sheldon and Amy’s relationship. It took them 2 years to hold hands, 3 years to finally kiss (not drunk), 5-6 years to have sex and 7 to move in together. Sheldon, with his discomfort with physical intimacy, is the one who was changed the most in this relationship. As previously mentioned, Amy made attempts to gradually skew things in her favor but she did it at a slow pace which made it possible for Sheldon to grow comfortable with the steps that she gradually introduced into their relationship. As someone who dislikes change so much Sheldon would have been hesitant to accept all the new physical intimacies that he would be forced to do with Amy as her boyfriend and Amy knew that. That is why she gradually eased in the changes so that Sheldon would not see them as changes that would frighten him and eventually make him run away but instead he would see it as an evolutionary cycle, something that naturally occurred as time passed by. This was successful due to the unique circumstances that their relationship were in and it was important that Amy recognized those circumstances and worked on them in a way that was fit for the situation. This is true especially since not two couples are exactly alike. One has to recognize that their partner has certain boundaries and ways by which they like to do things and the other should respect that. It all boils down to respect of the other person’s wants, desires and beliefs but this doesn’t mean that you will just be a martyr and put up with things no matter how irrational they seem. Amy saw some irrational things in that contract like the hand-holding clause which she successfully repealed and amended because she worked through it like a pro. She did not force him to change, she guided him to become a better person than he already was and that led to both of them becoming better people through their relationship.

The term people don’t change, in my personal opinion, is wrong. People do change and in a relationship you and your partner will change mainly because of your interaction with each other and with other people and events around you. What matters most is that your relationship is changing you to become a better person and not making you more pathetic or insecure. In the series Sheldon, after their break up, acknowledges how much Amy has changed him into a better person: “I was living like half a man. Then I couldn’t love but now I can. More soul than I’ve ever had. I love the way you soften my life” (Darling by the Beach Boys) which makes him realize how much he loves Amy and wants her back.

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5. Rough break-up

Lastly, the ShAmy couple, unlike the other couples in TBBT, went though a really rough break up. Unlike Leonard and Penny who broke up because the other was unsure of her feelings for the other or Howard and Bernadette who broke up because of a “gross” misunderstanding 😀 (pun intended), Amy and Sheldon broke up because of larger matters. It wasn’t because the other was unsure of their feelings. In fact both of them were completely sure that they loved each other deeply. (It was in the same season when Sheldon finally said ‘I love you’ to Amy) It also wasn’t because the other did something horrible or that there was any misunderstanding of some kind. They broke up because there was a flaw in their relationship. As I mentioned before, Amy was asking for more attention, physical attention, from Sheldon but wasn’t getting any. Just when Sheldon finally decided that Amy deserved much more from him Amy breaks up with him because she needed time to assess whether or not she wanted to continue their relationship. This was because she put romance first instead of just preserving their friendship and she felt she wasn’t getting any of it so she left. It was a mistake on her part but it was something they needed to go through because without that break up Amy wouldn’t have realized that she had pushed buttons she shouldn’t have pushed and Sheldon also realized that he shouldn’t be too selfish. They came out of the break up stronger all because they allowed themselves time to think things through separately. My favorite line from Sheldon came because of this break up wherein he said: “I excel at many things but getting over you wasn’t one of them.” (referring to Amy breaking up with him)

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They were still in love, they both knew that but they needed the space to realize the mistakes they committed and eventually realize that they were happier together. After getting back together one could see that Amy was no longer pushing Sheldon to be intimate as much as she did in the previous seasons, instead it was Sheldon who decided that they were ready to be intimate and realized that Amy deserves more love from him.

As we can see Amy and Sheldon’s relationship that was built on mutual respect, trust, consent and gradual acceptance of positive changes make theirs the most stable of all the relationships shipped by the show and frankly I can say that theirs is the most stable relationship that I know of, including that of my parents which comes close as second. That is why I am such a fan of this #ship. Note that what I have written here are my own personal opinions and takes regarding their story and that the writers and creators may have a completely different take to what I just presented. So caveat emptor everyone!

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Also, please read the article by Mark Manson which inspired me to write this post:

Every Successful Relationship is Successful for the Exact Same Reasons

#TBBT 😀

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A Different Perspective on Things

While I was looking forward to the days to come in the next seven months of my life I realized that despite me still being a student in the same College for the last four years there is a major difference that may make these next seven months the most stress-free months of my life — the lack of pressure.

It’s not like there isn’t any motivation for me to provide for excellent academic work in the next months during my internship, there is and boy, everybody else in my batch even thinks it’s more burdensome than taking the regular academic units. However as I look upon this looming experience I see it in a different perspective compared to my peers in the College. Maybe it’s because I naturally excel better at work than in school since I dislike examinations and aptitude tests. Plus, I learn by making mistakes and when your curriculum does not afford a multitude of avenues to make mistakes to be corrected later on (like when only the midterms and/or the finals make up all of your course grade) then I find myself not learning enough. During an internship program there are more avenues (a lot of them) to make small mistakes and have the Director correct them (after getting an earful of scolding) and help you realize your mistakes which means if you do not allow that fear and that rampant scolding to dishearten you then you will eventually come out of the experience with more knowledge than ever, especially since you know better than to do the same thing and get scolded again.

Some think that the internship training we get from the College is burdensome, unnecessary and ultimately tedious. Isn’t life like that anyway? Most people would trade with our problems in a second with theirs. Maybe it’s because our generation has it easy, we literally have everything at the tip of our fingers. However going back to my first point where I said that these next months might be the most stress-free months I’ve had in the last four years I will not be too nonchalant so as to say it would be easy, it won’t but the difference is that in an internship program there is only a PASS or a FAIL. Unless you remain in the same clueless and unlearned spot in the end as you where when you first started in the program then I think you deserve a PASS in the course. In other words what is measured in internship programs is the improvement a student makes throughout the course, not exactly the amount of knowledge he/she has at a particular time which is what examinations do.

Although I place a premium on knowledge, it is not like all the information I need would be easily accessible by memory alone. Also even if I have a vague idea of things it’s always a comfort to verify the things you know to be actually true. (splitting infinitives is not a hard-fast rule!) So unlike the last four years of my life where the pressure of cramming all the knowledge of a hundred different books into the limited memory space of my brain was a daily endeavor this internship program provides me with no such pressure. I might get scolded, everyone in this program expects that and if you survive not having one scolding then you’re one of the rare ones but that’s fine, at least I will know I was wrong and never do it again. Just like how I learned the hard way to never volunteer to do anything unless I am more than confident that I can bring out my best for the task. I lost a whole recitation grade because of that and downgraded my final grade to a full 0.25 degree in order to learn that hard lesson. I will never forget that lesson for the rest of my life.

I think everyone else in the program is just looking at things from a different perspective probably because they also have other academic units to think about along with the internship program while I don’t. I thought I would regret getting delayed for a year in my law studies but I seriously am not. I am happier compared to my counterparts and less pressured ever since fourth year started. Also because this year’s Bar would probably be the hardest one yet with the fact that there is not cut off with the cases and the fact that the “possible” examiners are really cruel ones. I am predicting that the passing rate would decline by a big percentage when the results come out next year. I just hope and pray that everyone who deserves it passes (mostly my friends and bar buddies! haha 🙂 #biased

With the unusual experience I have for the last year of law school I am freer and definitely happier since I have the chance to look at things from another perspective than what majority of those in the College usually experience. I don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing but what is more important is that I feel happier now compared to when I was for the last four years and that’s all I want for now.

 

A Year for Me

Due to a dropped subject (which I discussed in a previous post), I have been held back from graduating for a year which made it possible for me to have one year where I will not be stressing about exams, recits, classes and others and be able to focus only on work (OLA is technically work). Also, if the free tuition in State Schools push through next year I will be able to take classes I wasn’t able to take before in Undergrad like foreign languages, psychology 101 or music. Looking into the future now I realize that I have a whole year where I can devote all my time to improving myself and just become a better me before I finally embark on the rough journey of a full time legal career. It makes me both excited and nervous at the same time.

Recently I have accepted a part time job to babysit kids in my area much like what they do in America. Since I have more free time and in just the few days I’ve been vacationing I am already so bored out of my mind I decided I needed to fill in the time gaps in my schedule so as not to bore myself to death. Additionally, I think it would be fun to step out of my comfort zone once in a while. I am scheduled for an interview this Monday and I hope I don’t blow it. I really want to give myself all the opportunities available in this short span of a year before I start focusing on a lifetime career. I am also thinking of taking up a small hobby, one I haven’t tried before, maybe a self-defense class of some sort or an exercise routine like jogging or swimming or yoga. I guess I have plenty of time to make a choice.

I also need to look for things that can improve my finances so that I can save up for the upcoming Bar season which will cost me at least P100,000. That’s a lot compared to what I currently have on hand right now but I know I’ll be able to manage it somewhat. I guess therefore this one whole year will be spent on my “adulting” process which has been on hold since I started to school again. I do hope this time I make the best out of it unlike before.

Here’s to a full year of fun and experiences ahead! 🙂

Why Did I Wait For So Long?

Before anything else let me first say that this post is not about relationships or any kind of emotional jabber of any sort. This will mostly be about my tendency to put off watching, using or even getting interested in things that are currently a fad. Just recently I watched the new Beauty and the Beast live action movie which probably everyone already watched except me at that time. It was worth the wait. That’s how much I dislike getting into a fad. Even though I know it’s good I still won’t watch until the “hype” for that particular thing has already died down. Up until now I haven’t watched Game of Thrones even if I know it’s so good just from the reviews. However, this post will not be about that movie but about the popular American comedy series, The Big Bang Theory.

This series started out way back in 2007, I was still in High School then or probably on the way getting ready for College. I knew the series was good. I saw clips of it on the internet, my friends talked about it and the reviews made it look so appealing. These reasons ultimately made me to not want to watch it. The only loophole to this tendency of mine is when I already started getting into the “fad” before everyone thought it was amazing and made it into one because I also have the tendency to not stop when I start but for this series, it was too late. So 10 years after its release, I started watching it. It wasn’t deliberate at first because I just started with clips from Youtube when I searched for funny clips and some popped out which were from the series. Then I came across the adorable couple ShAmy (Sheldon and Amy) which made me think, “Maybe I should watch this whole episode.” I started watching Episode 8 of Season 10 because it was the episode where that funny clip I found came from but that only made me fall in love with the couple even more that I wanted to watch how the relationship developed. That led me to watch the finale episode of Season 3 where they first met and now I finished the entire thing. I enjoyed watching the whole series so much that it made me think why did I ever not try to watch it before? Then I remembered why.

It is not like I regretted not following the series as it developed because it allowed me to enjoy 10 years of comedy in just a week without the anxiety of waiting for the next episode to be released for 10 freaking years. It’s more of like wishing I had watched this when I was struggling with insecurities before. The characters in this series really remind me of the way I was before and how much I felt insecure of myself because I wasn’t like everybody else. This series is all about that.

Also, the ShAmy couple just skyrocketed to the Top 1 of my list of Best TV couples. I love how unique their relationship is and how it defies social conventions but they simply just don’t care. I like how they took it slow and made sure of their feelings for each other before taking the big steps in their relationship. Lastly, I love how sweet they can be to each other but still not losing their sense of self and independence. The bittersweet admissions of the ever-honest and sarcastically frank Sheldon and the perseverance of the innocent yet loving and understanding Amy is a great mix of a very stable relationship, the most stable one I have seen in years. Although I am now so anxious to see Season 11 with the writers ending Season 10 with Sheldon’s proposal. That really made my day.

To the writers, creators, cast and crew of the series, you just gained a really enthusiastic fan who just can’t wait to see more from the genius that is your TV show. All the best to the team.

#TBBT

The Bar, Rallies, Ungratefulness and Nudity

As most people close to me (who really know me can attest), I am a war-freak and people who demean anything or anyone I care about are going to get their asses kicked, especially when they use baseless and unintelligent arguments to prove their point. Shameless.

Recently, last year’s Bar exam results came out and it sparked a lot of controversy here and there. The center of all these controversies was of course my beloved UP. I will no longer summarize what the controversy is all about here as most probably already know what it is. Now, I don’t really love Malcolm (a.k.a. the UP College of Law) that much but these people were attacking UP (which I love) as a whole not knowing that the two are in reality functioning as different entities. Trust me, most of the UP undergrads that went to the College of Law say exactly the same thing. Almost everything that applies to UP does not apply to Malcolm (for brevity). But anyway, that is a whole different story. Let us discuss here what most ‘ignorant’ people are commenting about the recent Bar results.

The most common ones are:

  1. The reason why there is no topnotcher is due to rallies and how students are too focused on rallying;
  2. UP is “malaswa” (for lack of a better term) because all we know is “mag-hubad”. I guess they would be referring to the Oblation Run;
  3. Sayang ang taxes nila because our education is funded by their taxes; and
  4. All we know is to protest against the government branding us ungrateful due to the fact that we are sponsored by them.

Fallacies. Why? Let me debunk those notions right now one by one.

A. Rallies:

UP students have been in the forefront of rallies ever since the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. We have produced top-notchers and more than a decent passing rate ever since then. If rallying is the reason why none of the batch got into the Top 10 then why were we able to land top spots before even with all the rallies we have in the past? Certainly, there is a flaw to this logic. And let me point out that this year’s passing rate from UP is our highest ever since the time of the Martial Law. We must have done something good then to get that far.
For all those who mock UP students because we rally against the government only cast dishonor on the people who once suffered, were lost and killed during the darkest times of our nation. If it wasn’t for students who led the protests that time then we’d still be under the administration of a dictator with our basic human rights still abused by a ruthless leader. Again, in EDSA 2 which was also led by student leaders, it was made possible to oust a proven plunderer from the highest position in the land. That was because of the rallying you people loathe so much. Thank you and you’re welcome.

B. Nudity

Much to the misconception of people, the Oblation Run is not organized by UP or any UP based student organization. It is organized by the APO fraternity who has members not only from UP but also from other universities including this year’s top university, the University of San Carlos. It is participated by the male pledges of the said fraternity as part of their initiation into the fraternity and also as a tradition to commemorate the 1st Oblation Run where they protested against the old Martial Law regime by shocking the senses of many (i.e. running butt-naked on the streets, not just in UP but anywhere). Now they only do it in UP since this is the only place where they are allowed to do that at present. So it is not even a UP sanctioned event and not all that participate are UP students. It is equated to UP merely because it is held here not because it is actually a UP event. I personally know of one USC student who participated in the oblation run in UP Cebu when I was still in the undergrad. So what gives?
But shifting the blame to APO is not the point I want to make. The point is that people only see the ‘nudity’ and do not even look into the context or purpose of the event. It is a tradition, a commemoration, at the same time a protest. People say it’s “kalaswaan” well how dirty can your minds get? When it was held before, the first time, it wasn’t seen as “kalaswaan” but a form of effective protest at a time when the freedom of speech was all but nil. Those times even have more conservative notions than what we have right now so what changed? We certainly did not become more conservative than we were back then as evidenced by the current media proliferating right now but we became blind to the true meaning of the event. We forgot what it was really about. Ultimately, rallying and the Oblation Run were before exalted as true forms of freedom of speech but now it is demeaned and mocked by many who do not understand what it really is for. We forgot. That is what changed.

C. Taxes

If you think that UP students are totally getting the benefit of your taxes for our education then you are dead wrong. Many of the students in the University pays for more than 27,000 pesos per semester and that does not even include reading materials, other fees and expenses. Our parents or the students (if they are working) pay good money for the education of the current UP students. Those who have free education are either scholars of some organization, governmental institution or come from really low income brackets. These students are but a few in UP now thanks to the Socialized Tuition System that we have which makes us one of the most expensive State-sponsored University in the country. We are so expensive that families with a lower income choose to send their children to other state schools with lower tuition fees such as PUP or PLM. Sayang taxes niyo? Sayang nga kasi hindi naman talaga yan napupunta sa amin kundi sa bulsa ng mga kurakot na opisyal ng gobyerno.
And to top it all up, I previously mentioned that Malcolm is functioning as an entity different from UP itself. When it comes to tuition, most of the students in Malcolm pay full tuition. There are only a handful of those in Malcolm who actually enjoy free tuition. I once did during the time of Yolanda but not anymore. When I say a handful I mean literally. You can just count them in one hand. As to why, that is an entirely different story.

D. Ungratefulness

Coming from the discussion above I would like to say this: what on earth should we be grateful to the government for? We have the highest tuition among all SUCs that we even rival a private college in our tuition fees. Also, the government is not the one sponsoring us, it is the people, the citizens of this country. They are two different entities and we are “Iskolars ng Bayan” not “Iskolars ng Gobyerno”. Besides, it is a citizen’s duty to continue to check and recheck whether or not the current government is doing what it should to better the lives of the citizens, give them what they are due and respect their rights. It is a constitutional right of a citizen to protest things that he or she sees to be wrong. If using a basic human right is ungratefulness to you people then what the heck? Why am I not surprised that you don’t know a thing about rallies?

 

There are so many other things that I want to say about the recent influx of hate-comments towards UP just because the batch failed to get into the Top 10. Like that even matters to a law student. After wasting 4 and a half years suffering and agonizing every day a law student would only wish for things to be over sooner or later. A spot in the top 10 is a mere cherry on top or frosting on the cake as one may say. It is not essential. I guess none of those avid commentators would understand because they have not yet experienced the life of a law student.

The Meaning in Being Meaningless

via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

Most of the time I often wonder: “What is the meaning of my life?” or “What is my purpose?”. I know that I am not alone in asking the same kinds of questions. Humans, people in general, often feel empty inside and they try to supplement that feeling of emptiness by giving meaning to their existence. This my friends is what is called an existential crisis, when people try hard to find their live’s purpose and the meaning behind certain things. There is nothing wrong with it. It is wonderful that a person will try their best to give meaning to their life and when they eventually find it they become content and happy. However, this conclusion rarely happens for the many of us. Speaking personally from experience I have tried to ascertain the meaning of my life ever since I became aware of the possibilities of the future — when I was about 9 or 10 years old. Every time someone asks me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I stop and think what exactly it is that I want to be when I become an adult. I often blurt out the first profession that comes to mind. “Lawyer!”, I’d jubilantly say but somehow deep inside I begun to question why do I want to become a lawyer anyway?

It wasn’t until High School (13-17 years old) that I seriously begun questioning the meaning of my life and looking for the answer as to why I was even brought up in this world. What is it that I’m supposed to do or be in the future? That was what was in my mind all the time. At one point in my life I felt really depressed and empty because somehow I could not see the meaning of my life. At that time I thought that without a meaning, my life was just useless. I was afraid that when I die I’d just be another name in the records of birth and death which will eventually be forgotten in time. I wanted to be important to the world. I wanted my life to mean something and as I grew up that meaning became more blurred as the time passed by. I grew relentless and at one point I gave up. I saw myself as a floating dust, useless and eventually constantly fading. I reached the peak of “emo-ness” and became hateful towards the world all because I knew that my life was meaningless.

However, now that I have significant life experience to be able to look back and draw on the things that I went through in the past I can see that I was wrong all along. This realization first hit me when I read about an article about purpose (no, this is not religious). There the author analyzed the existential crisis of people and how he deciphered that constantly trying to give your life meaning and purpose and constantly trying to find it in other places (like a group, a club, an organization, the church or sect, etc.) was detrimental to a person’s actual life. He meant to say that if you constantly search outside for a meaning to your life then you’ll probably never find it. What he suggests however is to implement your own meaning into your life. Meaning, you choose what your life means. This statement actually shocked me. For someone who has spent about two decades searching for my life’s purpose and now knowing that all those time spent was wasted on an inefficient search for purpose made me regret all the things I have done in the past. Now, if I could turn back time I would no longer search for the meaning of my life but try to give my life its own meaning.

This is another way of saying that destiny and fate are bullshit ideals. It is you who dictates your fate and destiny. In the past I tried so hard to conform to what I thought my destiny was and didn’t even give a second thought to what I really wanted. I never took control of the reigns of fate. I thought it was all predestined for me and the fact that somethings do not work out means that they weren’t meant to be. So there were times in my life that when I fail, I give up because I thought, “Well, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” I didn’t even try hard enough.

As of now, I do not care whether or not there is a meaning in my life or whatever the purpose of my life is, if ever there really is one. I no longer care if my life is meaningless as long as I know that I am doing my best to give it my own meaning. Right now, I mean to be a really successful woman (career-wise) and become an inspiration to many other women out there. I aim to be a truly strong and independent woman and wherever my choices may take me I will always make sure that no matter how many failures I will encounter I will always try and try again and again to achieve my goals. I am now imposing my meaning to my meaningless life and for that, I am genuinely happy and content with it.

The Couple Shrouded in Mystery

Who then is this couple that I am talking about? Well, the ever popular Sasuke x Sakura love team of course or more popularly known as SasuSaku for its very adoring fans.tumblr_nad57klf9s1qdpo2no4_500

This love team went through many ups and downs in the whole Naruto series and nobody had the slightest inkling that the two would eventually end up together as husband and wife. The manga author just slapped the fans in the face with an abrupt future ending where Sasuke and Sakura already got married and had a child.488ecc0789a53a87b6e2db5d80eaec8a

As one of their fans that ending never satisfied me at all (although I was more than happy that they finally ended up together) for the reason that there was nothing in the series which actually indicated that Sasuke even remotely cared romantically for Sakura. Sure, she was a dear friend to him but in the romance side of things, we only get hints, mere assumptions and speculations about how Sasuke feels about Sakura nothing more. So to abruptly give us the future married SasuSaku couple with no filler on the developments in their relationship at all is just too damn cruel, I should say. This is because SasuSaku fans will always have their doubts. As a fan, we’d want to see Sasuke really fall in love with Sakura. Marrying her and having a child with her doesn’t mean that he really falls deeply and madly in love with her. He must’ve just married her out of convenience or married her because she got pregnant by accident. And that Naruto Gaiden moment when Sarada asks for proof that Sasuke’s heart was actually connected to Sakura and he answers that, “Because we have you Sarada.” just spells doom, like a marriage by convenience. So as a fan I really would like a movie be made where the SasuSaku ship gets a spot in the limelight please! (Just like NaruHina in Naruto the Last Movie another love team fans were doubtful that they’ll ever end up together but they did and with the movie everything fell into place. So I hope SasuSaku does too.) So to quench my thirst for a SasuSaku movie I will attempt to analyze the last parts of the Naruto Shippudden Manga series with a side note to the latest Naruto Shippudden episode (as of this writing) just so we can decipher how the couple eventually ended up together. Here we go:

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  1. The smile. I’m talking about when Sakura finally unlocks her Sanin powers during the war when she fought alongside Naruto and Sasuke. She got so mad that the two of them ended up protecting her again when they finally reunited in the war so she eventually unlocked her Sanin powers leaving both Naruto and Sasuke speechless. Naruto was clearly afraid of her powers but Sasuke just looked at her in amazement and smiled. That smile could mean many things since it’s Sasuke, without a speech or thought bubble nobody who reads the manga will know what he’s really thinking except the author of course so we end up reading between the lines (if there are any at all). Here is what I gathered from that smile of his. One, he smiled because he was happy that Sakura finally unleashed her power and would be able to fight with them on equal terms and eventually support them with her healing powers. Yup, that’s so Sasuke because he’s selfish that way. Second, he smiled because he knew all along that Sakura was strong and he affirmed it that time. Meaning, he always believed in her in a way that he knows he could rely on Sakura to have his back. Now, that speaks volumes. Knowing a man’s psyche (especially a very confident man like Sasuke) they’d be attracted to a woman whom they respect and admire in terms of skill and ability because they see that woman as a potential mate in the future. Sasuke isn’t insecure so he wouldn’t mind if his future wife was strong. In Naruto Gaiden he even emphasizes that “HIS WIFE is not that weak”  and that she might have taken care of the problem before they even get there and rescue her. So he doesn’t mind at all, in fact he wants a partner that is strong and the one who has his utmost respect of all the girls in the series was Sakura.
  2. Every time he refers to cutting Sakura and Kakashi off he always has either a blank stare or a hidden expression. That’s right! Looking at both the Anime and Manga versions during the war Sasuke always hints to Naruto that it was only him and Naruto who was important in ending the war because they both had the Six Sage’s power. He often states that when it comes to it he would cut Kakashi and Sakura off if they get in their way and that he had no responsibility of saving them. Also when he protected them with Sussano he says that it just so happens that they were standing next to Naruto so they got included in the protection. This makes Sakura sad and she eventually cries at one point. Damn you Sasuke! -_- However, notice that every time he says this he has such a blank stare or a hidden expression (where you can only see his back) meaning you never really know if he means it or not. Also, why the hell does he have to mention it over and over again to Naruto? Isn’t once enough? I think the reason for this is because he does this as a reminder for Naruto to look out for them. He doesn’t want to admit it (like he did when they were young) and ask Naruto directly to save them (like he did when Sakura was captured by Gaara). He was in denial but he knew that if he emphasizes this point to Naruto, Naruto would only be reminded that he needs to protect Sakura and Kakashi because this in-denial boy (trust me, I know the feeling) wouldn’t since he was too proud to admit it. But deep inside he really wants to so the manipulative Sasuke just gets Naruto to do it himself. If he really doesn’t want Naruto distracted then he could’ve just shut up but no, he kept emphasizing this to him knowing all too well how Naruto would react. And notice every time Naruto ends up saving Kakashi and Sakura that Sasuke doesn’t really seem to mind. What does that tell you then?maxresdefault
  3. When he came back to Sakura. Fine, he came back to Sakura when he was trapped in another dimension because he needed to get out but notice how he caught Sakura when she fell and stared at her at that moment. (see above photo) It was a really long stare and can you see that look of concern in his eyes? He also held her up when he really didn’t need to. Sakura fell on him but he could have just let her be without holding her or pushed her up but no, he held her arm and let her rest on his shoulder for a while. He didn’t even attempt to push her up or shrug her off. Why? Because after all these years that was the first time he got to touch her again and he wanted to cherish that moment. Okay, speculation right there. I’m just going to stop. But before I go to the next entry did you notice how he exchanged Sakura’s vest so that he can go back to that dimension? He could have chosen to exchange himself with Sakura whom he can clearly see at that point but he chose the vest instead which was hidden at that time but he could see with his Sharigan. Even so, it would have been easier if he exchanged himself with Sakura don’t you think? Okay, so he could’ve used Obito too but didn’t because he knows that if he used Obito then he would have been stuck in that dimension with him. He knows that it was Obito’s power that made it possible for him to open a portal so without Obito he couldn’t go back anyway. He needed Obito but he didn’t really need Sakura that much so why didn’t he choose her? My guess, he cared too much for her to use her.maxresdefault1
  4. The genjustsu Sasuke placed on Sakura.  This happened when Sakura tried to stop him again by reminding him of her love for him. This was in an attempt to stop him from fighting and eventually killing Naruto. Sasuke only turns around calls her annoying with a smirk and puts her to sleep under a genjutsu. When asked by Kakashi why he did that, Sasuke says that Sakura would just get in their way. Why does he have to do that? If he really hated her and thought she could get in their way he could’ve killed her right then and there but he didn’t, he merely put her to sleep. Killing her would have been a more permanent way to prevent her from stopping them but he chose to put her to sleep knowing fully well that she might awaken later and try to stop them anyway. He chose to put her to sleep because he couldn’t kill her but he was willing to kill Naruto. If Sasuke really wanted to he could kill Sakura first, earn the anger of Naruto and kill him too. He wanted that when he decided to take on the burden of the world and become the Hokage but he just couldn’t bring himself to kill Sakura, he cared for her that much. Second, that statement that Sakura would only get in their way can be interpreted like this: he meant to say that the only one who could maybe stop him was Sakura. Now, we all know that despite her Sanin powers Sasuke was far stronger than her and in the end Sakura would really not get in their way, she couldn’t because she was much too weak and at that point even weaker because she had to give all her chakra to Obito and to heal Kakashi. Sasuke in a way admitted that if Sakura really did try to stop them, she would have succeeded. It wasn’t her power that he was talking about but the fact that he cared for her and that she could maybe affect his decision to kill Naruto. So nope, it wasn’t because Sakura was strong. It was because he knew he cared for her. Not to mention that smirk and “You’re still annoying.” statement makes it look like Sasuke was teasing Sakura and the fact that he still remembers how he responded when Sakura first confessed to him so many years ago just goes to show how important that moment was for him. Duh, deny pa more!
  5. Sasuke’s statement. When he said that “I have no reason to love her or be loved by her.” Does this mean that he doesn’t love her? No, this means that at this point he doesn’t have a reason yet to love her which means that he could love her if he eventually finds that reason. He was already thinking of Sakura as a potential love interest but at that point he had other priorities that if weren’t there he’d have chosen to stay with Sakura. Also to say that Sakura has no reason to love him means that he sees himself as unworthy of her love. For a confident man to admit that he was unworthy of the love of someone seems like he believed that Sakura deserved much better than him because he knew that he did bad things in the past. He acknowledges that fact that’s why he said those words. If he really was selfish he’d have accepted Sakura’s love and used her and her powers to make it easier for him to get to his desired goal (just like he did with Karin) but he didn’t. He cared for Sakura that much to not use her for his own sake. Now that’s probably the sweetest thing ever.f3510d97614085506bfa07fa24015bc4
  6. And lastly that forehead tap. Now, does anyone know of anyone else (aside from Itachi and eventually Sarada) that Sasuke does this to? No! It’s just Sakura! That forehead tap if you look at its history is a very important symbol of love and affection for Sasuke. It was his brother’s way of saying “I care” or “I love you” to him and he knew that. Even in Itachi’s last moment he tapped Sasuke’s forehead to assure him that he still loved him as his big brother. That was one special moment and that forehead tap is a special gesture for Sasuke. He wouldn’t do that to just anyone. He would only do that to someone he really cared and loved deeply in his heart and that was Sakura (eventually his daughter Sarada but that’s logical). He didn’t do that to Naruto whom he considered as a brother like Itachi but only to Sakura which goes to show how special she is to him. Even at that moment he was too proud to admit that he already loved her and just did that to assure Sakura that he really did and that she was important to him. He even told her that he’ll see her soon and maybe come with him next time which means he really wants to be with her in the future. In a way that forehead tap was Sasuke’s shy and secret version of a “kiss”. How sweet can you get?
  7. Side note: In the latest Naruto Shippudden episode (Episode 500) Sasuke’s messenger hawk who delivered his short Congratulatory message to Naruto went to Sakura. Now for those who don’t know, messenger hawks go only to people whom they know or are familiar with by default or someone their masters assigned them to go to. Now, since that message was for Naruto Sasuke could have easily instructed the hawk to go to Naruto or Hinata directly or to Kakashi as the Sixth Hokage to deliver the message as he would be officiating the ceremony but no, the hawk went directly straight to Sakura. See that time when the hawk caught a glimpse of Sakura and landed on her arm even before she could raise it to beckon the hawk down? It means that the message was really meant to go to Sakura in the first place. Sure, there was no one Sasuke trusted more than Sakura and Naruto but still, a direct message to Naruto would have been better but he needed Sakura to know that he was alright and that he still had news of them and was thinking about them quite often, most importantly that he was also thinking about her. Right at the moment when Sakura felt sadas she saw everyone else with their love interests when hers was away on some mission the hawk from Sasuke came flying by which assured her that someday they’ll meet and be together again. How can you then deny how Sasuke feels about Sakura with that?

To end, I am still not satisfied with all the hints and assumptions because they remain just that: assumptions. The NaruHina even the SaiIno and ShikaTema fans already got their fill of real romantic moments of their favorite couples (mostly in the Last Movie and the latest Shippudden episodes. Maybe (it is!) it’s time to give the SasuSaku couple a movie or a series of episodes in the franchise as well. Pretty please please!

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Yours truly,

A SasuSaku Fan 😀

A New Page

Just recently I have begun to see what my future will look like. It might not be as glamorous as I would like to imagine but it definitely isn’t a life that I would regret. All I know is that I finally got my priorities settled and that includes the many decisions that I will be making in the future. Looking back at the dream lists or to-do-lists that I have written in the past they were all catered to one goal — to succeed, career-wise and have enough money in the future for me to splurge on the things I didn’t get to have or do before and with enough money left in the bank, investments and others in case of emergencies. Even before I have always known what I really wanted and what would really make me happy as a person. I just got disillusioned for a while but somehow I got right back on track. As they always say, what is meant to be will be.

It’s funny how much I have tried to incline myself to the wishes and desires of the majority when I have always tried to become a rare piece of gem — a singularity that can only appear once in a lifetime. And yet, there I was trying hard to get the one thing that I thought would make me feel special and content when all the while I was just following a bandwagon of beliefs that I myself do not even believe in. No wonder I was so unhappy. Now I am unafraid to be different, to be able to speak my mind although many would frown upon my thoughts all because they are not the will of the majority. I’ve always disliked democracy, it’s too inefficient all because most of the time what the majority believes in is most likely false. When majority of the people think it’s true doesn’t always mean that it really is. Just like History, stories written most of the time by the winning side only. How can we then discern the truth behind these stories when the other side gets shrouded in secrecy and mystery? I always knew that deep inside my happiness wasn’t like the happiness that others want or dream to have. It was a unique kind of happiness and many do not understand that. In an attempt to please people and be inducted into the crowd because I didn’t want to be lonely, I fooled myself in believing the same things as they did. I was completely mistaken. I never became happy, despite being one with the crowd I so wished to become a part of. I wasn’t one of them, that much is true. I know that now.

Therefore from this moment forward I culminate my day of rebirth, the start of the new page of my life as I embark on a never-ending mission to uphold the things I believe in, even if the world would turn its back on me. Even if many pressure me to do a thing I still do not want to do and be someone I still don’t think I could be, I will stand strong and become the lone tree that withstands the gush of the wind. Today, tonight, tomorrow, the day that I will always remember that for now, I am glad that I am who I am and glad that I am free.

At a Crossroad

Nearing 30’s, I’m old and yet I still haven’t figured out my life yet. Then I come by this quote: “Life isn’t about figuring out who you are, it’s about living to be who you want to be.” 
It was beautiful. It struck a chord inside me. Not to sound cheesy but it did resonate with the depths of my soul. All these years I’ve been wasting time trying to answer insignificant questions, questions that no one in this world has the exact answers like “What is my purpose in life?”, “Why am I here?”, “Who am I meant to be?”, “Am I doing the right thing and living my life right?”, etc. Many facets in our society offers different answers to these questions. Religion tells us we were created by God to be the sheperds of this world and we are meant ot be saved from sin in the end, go to heaven and such. Philosophy tells us that we are born with reason to be able to discover the truth behind everything in this world and to accumulate the knowledge we need to survive. Whatever you choose to believe somehow all those answers still seem lacking on their own. So, in the end you become lonely and unfulfilled because in the end, you never really know.

However, if we shift the paradigm a little and take even a 180 degree turn. Instead of asking what we are here for, why don’t we start asking ourselves what do want to do, what do we want to be, where do we want to go? I have read countless articles that feature success stories from the most successful people in the world. The common denominator in these stories was that all of them thought more about their goals, what they wanted to do and to be, instead of thinking of what they were meant to do in life. Most of them end up going where they really wanted to be because all their lives they have only thought about that, getting to that place someday and that one goal drove them to be where they are today. I was wrong all along.

It is hard to break a habit, and 26 years of cultivating the same mindset will be something that is really hard to change. I am now at a crossroad, thinking about how I should start changing the way I see my life and my goals. What is it that I really want to do? I haven’t thought about it for many years now that I somehow forgot. As a child, perhaps I did think aboutit, fantasize about it and dreamed about it but I forgot it all now. Sad. I cannot turn back time, I wish I could. I can only look to the future as I grapple at the present with all my might. At this point I might still struggle to change the way I have been thinking for my entire life but I definitely will try. I have been unfulfilled and unsatisfied most of the time, it’s time for me to feel content and happy because I deserve to and it all starts with a change of my current mindset. I wish that when I re-read this post in the future that I have accomplished that task and I feel more content than I am right now and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope, I wish, I will. Starting now. Starting with me.