A student once asked me why it's important to study history in school. I know the canned response -- to learn from our mistakes, to improve for the future, to pay homage to our ancestors and their struggles -- so I dished it. Apparently, he knew the drill, as well:

"If history repeats itself, why do we have to study it? It's going to happen again, anyway."

You pose quite an existential question, kid. Your question no longer becomes the whiny "why do we have to learn this?" but rather, "is time but a repeating circle? to what extent do we as mere mortals control our destinies, and is that a paradoxical question in it of itself?"

And my favorite,

"In Alaska, when the sun doesn't go down, how do they tell time?"

= = =

Alright, kid, my turn to speak: Clocks and history books are humanmade objects, does that make time and history humanmade concepts?

No, I argue that time, history, and our ability to keep track of both is what makes us human. We learn, we progress, we make connections, we remember. Our histories and our time are what make our lives so valuable to us. If loved ones, simple joys, and monumental successes define living, then it is our acknowledgment of our limited amount of time to spend with those people that allows us to separate the loved ones from the insignificant. It is in our hours of happiness bordered by mundane and melancholic moments in such a way that the former becomes defined by the two latter (and perhaps vice versa) that we reach peaks of self-actualization. It is in our moments of most refined glory that we realize the importance of patience and endurance throughout the inevitable passing of time.

It's my history with you that lets me know that you are important to me. It's my yesterday with you that intimates to my tomorrow with you. It's my history, my forefathers' and foremothers' histories, and your history that tells me that our lives is an unfolding journey, well worth the walk.

Hey, kid, let's work out a trade -- my time for your story and my story for your time. We can learn a lot from each other.


Love Stories

Want to be
Want to be


A Day in the Life

I woke up this morning intending to go grocery shopping
and perhaps do some laundry, but you know, it's summer,
and my hours of productivity range anywhere from
6 in the morning to 3 in the morning because
there's more sunlight and because
your friends are happier and available at more hours of the day and
that's just the way that it is sometimes,
so I didn't get up right away and
instead lay in bed for a while but
I had breakfast with Lenny, and
he helped me clean the apartment a bit and
Sometimes your best memories come out of those late mornings when
it's just you and your S.O. in an empty apartment
that's just the way that it is sometimes.

And then we left for work and school and
we thought we were going to be late and
I did not want to inconvenience a colleague eager to end their shift and
It was my first day working the front desk and
I was a little anxious but
I wasn't late, my colleague was not inconvenienced, and my anxieties were calmed
That's just the way it is sometimes.

My shift came to an end, and then my colleague was late but
I didn't mind and
I stuck around for a bit while he showed me his bead work and
Told me about his family and
His plans for the summer;
I was hungry and eager to get to the rest of my day but
I learned about him and
He asked me if I was busy later and
I think it was worth it to get to know him because
I made a new friend and he made a new friend and
I was too busy to hang out tonight but
We have all summer and
That's just the way it is sometimes.

So I started to walk home in my feaux hawk and work polo
I got a few stares but
Not too many
Funny how that works - I dress to stand out, in all the right ways, yet
In Berkeley it doesn't matter all that much because we all stand out in all different ways and
That's just the way it is sometimes.

I walked down Shattuck and saw a candy wrapper on the floor
Bright yellow paper, crumpled and torn and
Right away I thought of my childhood
In those days, I'd be torn myself between
A bright yellow wrapper holding a delicious Butterfinger and
A papery blue wrapper holding a less delicious Crunch bar which
I always thought was Shaq's favorite bar
After all, he was in those commercials and
I wanted to be just like Shaq - my man -
But the bright yellow was always so inviting and
After all, Shaq wore yellow and I'd even get the Butterfinger in King Size
Just like my man
Because when you're a kid, everything makes sense like that, even if it really doesn't and
That's just the way it is sometimes.

So I went to the store, now craving some candy and
They didn't have the regular sized bar that I was looking for but
I bought a King Size bar anyway and it didn't used to cost so much but
I guess that's just the way it is in these times
I told myself I'd only eat half the bar anyway and save the rest for later
I paid for my candy to the lady cashier
I said "salamat po" and she smiled in surprise
She reminded me of my Lola and maybe I remind her of someone too.

I left the store, and saw the 9 bus coming,
I ran to catch it and it stopped but
Just as I approached it, the bus driver drove away and
I'm not sure why but
I guess he didn't see me and
I guess no one on the bus said anything to him and
I started to curse the driver in my head and
Continued on home but
Then I remembered that candy in my pocket and
Then I was happy again.
Sometimes you think bad of people, even after meeting nice people and
You might forget the nice people that you just met and I guess that
That's just the way it is sometimes, but
It doesn't have to be.

And sometimes you'll find a remedy to your small problems and
Sometimes you provided that remedy to yourself and
Helped yourself before you even knew you'd need it but
That's just the way it is sometimes, like
When you wake up and decide to do something else good for yourself instead of a different thing good for yourself or
When you kick yourself for almost being late but know that there wasn't anything you could do about it and you
End up not being late but are understanding to the guy after you that was late or
When you stick around even when you have other things to do and
Listen to someone about their family and their life and
Realize you made a friend in the process, or
When you're drawn to the beautiful yellow even on the side of a dirty street gutter and
You're reminded of your childhood and
You spend a little extra on something you don't need and
You can't wait to tell a certain person what a wonderful average day you've just had
Even though you just saw them that morning and, well,
I guess that's just the way it is sometimes


Man, I'm having a weird past couple of days.
This short blog post is my promise to the bloggersphere to elaborate one of these days. Soon. Maybe later today.



"It is what it is."

I suppose that with such a big world,
so little time,
much to do,
and me being only 1/6billionth of the population,
the only thing there is to do is say to myself,
"you know what? ..it is what it is."



There are some days that I just don't want to be Filipina.

Not that there is any shame in being one.
But just me... just for me. Sometimes I feel that way because I know that I don't fit the assumptions that others have made for Filipinas.
Usually I feel that way because my Filipino friends are not as inclusive to my non-Filipino friends as they are to me.
I imagine that if I were not Filipina, then I could stop being not-Filipina-enough.
I could stop being too light-skinned and then too dark-skinned,
because I imagine that if I were not Filipina then my skin would just be
I wouldn't be told that my hair should be long because it's pretty like that,
that I should try more to be a Filipina beauty.
I wouldn't be told that I have "Filipino legs", and I wouldn't have to know that that is an insult... my legs would just be mine.

I could invite my friends to parties and not have to explain why they are the only non-Filipinos there.
I could bring a guy home without the first question out of my parents' mouth being "Is he Filipino?" Maybe they'd think to first ask "Is he a good boy, does he treat you well?"
And maybe a Filipino or Filipina employee that I meet at the store would be nice to me, but nice to my friend, too, and offer that extra cup of soup with their order of rice and chicken.

I know what you're thinking,
I need to stop with this self-pity,
but I know that in the end, I'll shoulder whatever sack of assumptions and expectations you have for Filipinas,
I'll be nice to you, hospitable to Filipinos,
Respect my lolos and my lolas, teach the Filipino children the values that my
Filipino parents taught their Filipina children

Yes, I'll do all this, but I'll do you one better,
I'll be nice to you, hospitable to my neighbors
Respect my elders, regardless their nation, their community,
I'll teach children the values that my
Parents taught their children

with my same smile, even, I'll do it in stride
After back and forth and back forth, I now wonder,
Am I as alone as I feel?
Am I beside myself
Talking to myself
Hearing only myself
Or are you out there, someone else, and will you share yourself with me?



It's a weird feeling knowing that I've been something for so long (at least 6 years of practice), yet suddenly realizing that maybe I'm not so good at being it. Her. Or at least, knowing that I could be better.

Lots better.


"They say that you cannot live by bread alone, but I can live on compliments."
-Mark Twain
This made me smile:

"April - You co-president you. You do have the executive air about you! Highly dynamic and impressive womyn...but on a lighter note, I think you always look so cute! With your outfits, style and hair, I always think whoa april is so cool! sometimes you remind me of a sprite. Tee! Anyway, I'm so glad you're around and can't wait for what's to come... luv elise!"

posted with permission



I think that I will just update here periodically instead of Twitter.. because I'm at my computer anyway, and because the urge to Tweet is followed by inevitable twit-scroll through everyone's lives.

12:26 p.m.:

Beautiful day out.

Church was lovely.

"God knows what is in your heart." my first thought: 'Len, God knows you're in there, say hi!' ...cheesy, I know, I know..

I didn't follow the grape vine analogy too well. but MAD PROPS to the male Catholic feminists out there. Is it inappropriate to throw up snaps in church?

Special K & Coffee for lunch. Hella thrown from my morning routine.

Watched YouTube videos on the phone with my mom and talked about Twitter. I think that she wants to get one.

9:45 p.m.:

I owned every hour of my day -- not a minute was wasted. OK, that's not to say that each minute was spent writing, but it's better than two hours passing and thinking, "did I just look at photos on facebook for two hours?!"

...and OK, i went on twitter quite a bit. I'll try to stop.

I am also confident that I will own each of the next 18 hours. If I want to have a productive 4:00a.m., I will! If I want to sleep for only 30min, then so be it!


11:13 p.m.:

I think my legs are undergoing muscle atrophy. and I'm bored-hungry again.

11:25 p.m.:

I'm averaging 2.2 new followers on Twitter per day... in reality though, I've received 6 in the past 24 hours. People -> Twitter : Moths -> flame : Me -> distractions

12:21 a.m.:

Paper frustrations have found their way to poor me. in the refined words of my man shaq: AAGGGHHH

Shower & grub to get refocused. Maybe coffee. Definitely not tea.

1:04 a.m.:

I thought I was going to get away this finals season without any of my dramatic changes (remodeling room, new piercing...) but, I lose. While taking my shower, I decided that I am getting a new hairstyle. Just like that. And so it will be. After this paper.

1:22 a.m.:

OK, this log is getting ridiculous. but "blog mobile" ?!?! Basically REAL twitter-blogging... even twitpic-blogging. forget you, facebook.
4:14 a.m.:

12 hours to go. Why do I insist on stretching this assignment? Also, I'm an idiot. We played "Lost Without You" for PCN last year.
8:30 a.m.:

9:09 a.m.:

I think I'm going to meet @gabebondoc one day. Like, I'm pretty sure I will. Also, finally ironing out the finer details of essay #3. A+, f'sho!

9:50 a.m.:

Forget you, Pandora. You were supposed to serenade me with at least one million songs of similar rhythm, style, or genre -- if I wanted to hear periodic intervals of the same songs on 3-peat, I would have listened to KyXy (aka KOIT, for you Bay Area speakers. pun intended.)
12:01 p.m. :

2:35 p.m.:

DONE. Save. Print.


#Numbers: Today, I...

...woke up at 8 a.m. to do work, accidentally turned off my alarm clock (a.k.a. cell phone), and fell back asleep for what felt like 5 min but what was actually 2 hours.

...contemplated skipping 1 or 2 engagements throughout the day (a.k.a. class), realized that my Ed140 section is hosting 15 Oasis High School students for a day trip, and got ready for school in a 20 min.

...spent 1 hour chaperoning 3 h.s. boys of grades 9, 10, and 11. We watched 1 silent interpretive dance on the steps of the Campanile, snuck into Wheeler auditorium and learned how to crip walk on a stage in front of 700 empty seats, and visited 5th floor Eshleman to tag "Go Bears" and "Cal" on the wall.

...attended my last 3 classes of the year, thanked and said goodbye to 6 amazing teachers, and sat down in Eshleman library to begin 5 papers.

= = =

1 awesome last day of year 3 as an undergraduate student.


God's Children

I feel shaken up. I only met him once, but Lenny spoke very highly of him.

I remember Lenny telling me about him "retiring" his music because he wanted to make right with everyone. When Lenny told me that he passed away, this was the first thing that came to my mind. Car accident? So sudden? I don't know if this is disrespectful for me to say, but it's as if he knew...

My heart breaks for Lenny. They were roommates their freshman year... they made music together... Lenny even has a framed picture of him in his room.

They hung out once, recently. I could tell that Lenny was really looking forward to it. I met him -- such a sweet, friendly guy. he invited me to come hang out with them, but I declined. He promised that we'd hang out sometime. When Lenny came back, he talked so much about what a great guy he is... I couldn't wait to meet him again, as promised.

Lenny invited him to his birthday dinner at the marina, but he couldn't make it. He passed away three days later on April 17th, 2009.

In a rush, I remembered Jorge and Daniel. We all graduated together. They passed away within a year of each other.

Sometimes, I believe that the people that leave this earth at a young age do so because God decided that they've fulfilled their destiny and that it's time to come home. It's the only way I can explain how tremendous people that impact the lives of so many can be taken away from us like that.

These thoughts are sporadic and underdeveloped. Maybe I'll come back to it someday. My heart hurts too much to write.



I need to center myself this weekend. Somehow. I'm getting to that point where people talk to me, but I'm not mentally present. I can't really say that it's because I'm tired, but I'm thinking about so many events, things to do, and people at once that it becomes difficult to put myself in the moment.

This is an unpublished post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
= = =

I didn’t get it at first, but now I do. It’s a combination of nervousness, stress, and fatigue. Anxiety, I guess you can call it.

“I feel normal,” I said naïvely.

A more accurate response would have been, “I feel this way all the time.”

I started blaming it on not getting enough sleep, but in all honesty, that’s not my biggest problem.

I’m a control freak. There, I said it. How is it that I’ve known this term for so long, have heard it tossed around from occasion to occasion, and yet never put two and two together?

I’m always organizing, calendaring, taking over meetings, discussing, “running late” (not necessarily being tardy, but rushing from one meeting/class to the next), and worst of all, getting frustrated at people when they mess up my efforts at all of this.

I need to take one big, fat, chill pill.

Better yet, I need to find something that works for me… something calming, relaxing, fun, and just good for me.

= = =

Any ideas?