Hit and Miss

The past months have been crazy busy and just plain crazy-crazy with a bit of downtime in between all those crazies.  As usual, it took me a while before I could write (Hi blog, I'm still alive). 

I had a post-graduation slump where I promised myself that I would do absolutely nothing for a few weeks.  How liberating!  The lull was quite welcome specially considering the crazy-crazy that came before that (thesis, graduation, yearbook duties, etc.) and that would soon come (Board Exam and everything related to it).   In between, I was also able to travel a bit which was quite refreshing (I hope to post about this.. some time). 

Around July, I started going to review school for the board exam.  I was probably the most delinquent reviewee because I was absent 70%  (or 90%??) of the time.  To be honest, group review isn't my thing at all.  I prefer the silence and freedom of my own time, and I get really OC about reviewing for exams because it has to be in a certain way.  It became really stressful towards the end because how do you study Interior Design anyways?  It's endless.  There are no specific books or academic sources, everything is so subjective, it's constantly changing, it encompasses a lot of things.  That's where the bulk of the stress came from -- not having defined limits of what to review.  

Not to mention the exam itself.  It was a three-day stint in the middle of unfamiliar ground (Hello Manila!).  My friends and I decided to rent a room (a cupboard under the stairs that fit all 10 of us) near the venue of the exam.  It was definitely a good choice (despite it being cupboard-sized) since we had to bring a ton of stuff during the exam itself -- drafting board, drawing and rendering materials, food, water.  Some even brought tables and luggage. Our exam rooms were in the fourth floor.  It was as much a physical test as it was mental.  Crazy!  Don't even get me started on the exam itself.  Good grief.  I might be breaking some law or code somewhere but, they need a proofreader.  I can't count the times I wanted to bang my head on the table because some items were just plain... stupid.  (I tried to find a subtler word, but "stupid" encompasses it well.  Oh my, am I going to PRC jail for this??? Please don't revoke my license.)  I bet even Sherlock will short circuit.  Not even the power of deductive reasoning can save you in some instances.  Hit and miss.    In the end though,  I was really lucky to have blockmates who were so generous with information and support.  :)  We were all in it to win it.  ;)

Despite doing our best, we were all resigned to whatever God had in store for us (basically, we were all very pessimistic/realistic).  Really.   So, you can all imagine our relief when 22 days later the results finally came out.  And we all passed!!   UP 100%!

The Oathtaking for newly licensed Interior Designers was held last November 18 in Sofitel. It was a day to remember as I paid a lot of fees (LOL) before I was able to take my oath.  We were all on a high, and can't seem to stop smiling.  A lot of photos were taken that day.  I finally have an ID aside from my passport.  Hooray!

(To be honest, this was not during the oath-taking.)

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1 COMMENT(S) | Sunday, December 7, 2014

Race against the Sunflowers

Six years and I can finally say that, this year, the sunflowers are mine.  It's a shared experience by the graduating students of UP Diliman to race against them as they are grown. 

Some random day in March, we wake up to go to school and find that the avenue leading to the entrance of the University to be lined with tilled earth. The soil was prepped and the seeds were planted.  The race was on. The sight never failed to give me both a sense of elation and foreboding which I always physically felt at the pit of my gut. Elation, because these sunflowers are finally, finally mine and it means that graduation is just around the corner.  I've waited so long for them (the flowers).. for it (graduation).  Foreboding, because: (a) of the sheer volume of things to be done, (b) I had no idea how to analyze the data I'd collected for my thesis, (c) of how unprepared I was (emotionally) for when the day finally came, and (d) of the idea of leaving the University I've come to know as home.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I want to write about my UP Love Story. (Which never fully revolved around a special someone, only kind of fluttered and fizzled so that's that.  This is not that kind of story, after all.) 

I was young, wide-eyed and sweaty on my First Day, my Welcome to UP experience, as 2008-01933, BS Mathematics.  (I consider my first day to be when I had to submit my medical records and other requirements for enrolment.)  My Mom even accompanied me, complete with van and driver.  In my defense, I was young, wide-eyed, sweaty and absolutely knew nothing about commuting.  I remember being so lost, and so at awe.  Compared to my high school, UP was big.  I also remember texting Karla asking where the infirmary was.  She replied "near Dilimall," and right at that moment I was so amazed.  UP was awesome! It had it's own mall and it was punny.  (Only days later, when I actually got to experience it... Shopping Center lang pala.  To my disappointment, nobody ever called it Dilimall.)

On my Real First Day, I remember missing a few classes, being displaced out of a block.  Being alone.  That year, I was turned inside out. I fell into myself.  That year, I enjoyed the silence and the time.  I enjoyed my course (I am such a geek), but I eventually did not see my future in it.  And, in true UP fashion, I felt dumbest.  

I moved out, and into Seattle (Cubao) to live with my great grandmother.  The arrangement did not last, but I am really thankful it happened.  I found a friend in my great grandmother, a person who is 70 years my senior (She's 90++!).   I enjoyed her stories, and the people I've met through her.  During my early years as an undergrad, I flitted from home to home.   Hitched rides from different relatives and friends.  At one point, I lived with my cousin, Nikki, in a condo in the middle of the city. Anything to make UP feel closer. 

I was almost literally thrust into the world of commuting.  I remember sweaty palms and shaking hands, practicing saying "bayad po" and "para po" in my head before saying them.   That first time I rode a public bus was one of the scariest moments of my life.  That "scariest moment" soon became overshadowed by a series of even more horrible commuting incidents (i.e. manyaks, creepy manyaks that talk to you propositioning you to a motel at the next stop, every-other-modi operandi, crazy drivers, annoying conductors, all the MRT breakdowns, MRT sardines, etc. etc.).  The Toki and Ikot were my bestfriends on hot or stormy days and long routes. A Toki driver even became my friend (Sorry Kuya, I always forget to ask your name).  I usually spent a part of my break time in his jeepney, sometimes exchanging stories.  

I could tie the lowest part of my life to my second year.  It was a downwards spiral: a haze of secrets, my mom being stubborn, her Big C. I was the odd one out in everything. I was so lost. I felt betrayed. I was shifting.  I did not know what to shift to.  I felt stuck. I felt liquid. In retrospect, I think I was really depressed. I don't mean exaggeratedly sad, but clinically depressed.  My mind was locked in a dark basement, my body was deserted.  But I am thankful for the friends I had then.  They probably did not know that I was going through this then, but they kept me afloat.  So thank you, Friends (CrEngg, Tom Meets Boy). 

Eventually, I chose Interior Design (my choices included: Sociology, Applied Physics and Journalism).  Being related to the arts, it came with the stigma of being under-appreciated and stereotyped.  I felt brave for choosing the path less approved, the one that veered from the traditional notion of "successful". It was not love at first sight, but eventually a truth became known to me: Design is the one.  This is my future. I'm really thankful that I found my people in my blockmates. We are all the same brand of weird (although some worse than others lol).   And so we braved the four years of plates, pancit canton lunches, I-hate-CASAA days, trudging the path from Arki to CHE, IDS humidity, travels and countless food trips. 

I was able to settle in my own skin.  The basement where my mind hid unlocked.  The fog cleared.   And here I am.   I have become my own person again. 


Ideally, the growth of these flowers should be directly proportional to what you've accomplished for graduation (thesis, especially). The final days are spent going back and forth UP because of deadliest deadlines, nagging requirements and flighty professors.  Still, the earth taunts.  From the brown lines of earth, seedlings sprout.   Sooner than later, they're suddenly two feet tall and no matter how much you will them to please grow slower,  they don't.  So you either let yourself be overwhelmed, or race the sunflowers.   Guess which I chose.  


Nothing beats driving down University Avenue on the day of graduation, the sunflowers full, cheerful and blossoming like my personal pep squad to the finish line.  The campus engulfed me with its familiar acacia trees and kapok (summer snow!).  Next thing I know, my name is called, I'm all smiles, I shake the Dean's hand, I forget to bow.  I shift my Sablay from right to left.  Arms raised, I fist bumped the night as I stumbled through the words of "UP Naming Mahal."

I finished. 



Photos from my friends :)

2 COMMENT(S) | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I tried writing,
but it's not yet time.

I wish everybody knew
what was so great about 

0 COMMENT(S) | Saturday, February 22, 2014