Ever since I’ve graduated, I’ve been able to spend more time with my friends. A lot more time compared to the times we had tests, group projects, and thesis as our routines in life. It’s been great reconnecting and catching up with one another. It’s also amazing to observe how our discussions have grown from talking about orgs and classmates to co-workers, bossess, and earning money. The more important topic we always come across is where we’re all headed years from now. Ah, the crucial question for every fresh grad. Our first jobs are obviously not the last destination, but talking it out with another gives a lot of perspective about our futures as adults.

Today, I was asked by a friend I haven’t seen in 2 years “what’s your life plan?” To be honest, the surest goals I really have are: get married and have children. Not so feminist for some, but it’s the only accomplishment I’m sure I’ll get fulfillment. As for a career, I’m not quite sure. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, but it’s really mostly for the money and not quite the intellectual work. Opportunities in the media are almost none for me since my degree has nothing to do with the actual work involved. Freelancing is promising, but my parents are really intent on me getting to some where more stable. To top things off, I have a mini project that’s yet to find fruitition and my tutoring job. So far, the latter has really been the most satisfying. I really love somehow making a difference with these kids and giving them the confidence in their academic work. I guess I just really appreciate things more when you see the concrete results.

If I were to properly answer that question, I’d say it’s to learn from what I’m doing right now. I’m still growing as a person and I know I can improve so much about myself with these kids. I still have a problem with my self-confidence and I know I can build it better when I teach. How else can I be sure what I tell them is right if I don’t believe in it myself?

Having said all this, how do you explain that to adults? I know, I should be one to, but finding the meaning of that word according to the standards of older people is something that takes time. I know my dad is trying to suggest stuff to me out of care, but I’m just so put off when he has to add “so you can work for so-and-so company” after. I wish I could hear do this, because it’s the right thing to do and you can learn from it. Not, because you can make billions. I don’t want to drive myself into a corner and just keep money as my sole goal. Money’s great, but please. Mom always told me, do what you love and it will follow.

Spin that record babe

August 11, 2009 was a night to remember for the thousands in Araneta. I’ve never seen a crowd so alive and dynamic like the one last night. For every song, each person (minus the straight boyfriends forced out under-love lol) in the coliseum sang to Lady Gaga’s clever words and moved to her hypnotic beats and melodies. We would scream for every time she would call us lovingly with our city’s name and urged us to move all together. She would never stop telling us how great it was to be in our humble city and even told us some small stories before each song. Hearing her sincere gratitude made me feel as epic as her music, production, costumes, and make up. It wasn’t just our honor to have her. She never stopped telling us how it was an honor for her as well to perform for us. There was no bullshit in her words. Read her story and you’d see how hard it was to work to get where she is now. Every night is humbling for her, no matter how large the crowd.

She’s more than just another pop star. She’s revolutionized the typically cliche genre, managing to be artistically powerful but still keep people dancing and singing happily. Only 22 years old and she’s managed to draw from equally epic influences (Queen, David Bowie) and made a completely new name for herself. Before last night’s concert, my love for her was huge. But after seeing her live capabilities as an artist, performer, singer, and a WOMAN, my respect for her has grown more than I ever expected. She is a force to be reckoned with, a performer no one should underestimate (whether or not she’s you’re cup of tea).

Her career is not something typically seen from any singer out there. Watching her live and knowing her story has not only made me TRULY appreciate her hard work but also reconsider where I’m headed. Life doesn’t come easy, but you just have to fight till you get what you want. But you can’t lie and wait for things to fall into place either. Thank you Lady Gaga, for reminding me how life will and is always filled with endlessly awesome possibilities!

The Next Life

Death is a tricky matter that most humans don’t fully grasp till they’re near the end of it. If we did fully accept our mortality, we wouldn’t need all those movies reminding us that our time on earth is fleeting. Tuesdays with Morrie wouldn’t be such a bestseller either. But we need to be reminded what death can mean for us. The death of Former President Corazon Aquino is more than just the end of a symbol for this country’s democracy. Looking back at her life, we see what so many more Filipinos must do in order to prove the resilience, potential, and beauty of our country.

We cannot let Cory and Ninoy’s death remain meaningless. Considering the crazy politics, apathetic youth, and endless rallies in the past few years–many have questioned the saying “The Filipino is worth dying for.” I come from a university that only has a small percentage really caring about what happens in the country. I’ve been to several forums that attempt to raise awareness on important issues with only the actual organizers, student journalists, and students going there for extra points actually attending (and people wonder why so much is spent/done to actually RAISE awareness). The richest and/or the brightest dream of growing their bank accounts but not the country’s future. We only hear inspiring words of being “maka-bayan” from active student officers and volunteers. I hear my fellow students amazed at their command of speech, but never really sure if they can inspire themselves to do the actual message. Where then do we go from such a lack of inspiration?

A few days ago, I finally answered the question I’ve been asking since my fourth year of high school. What do I want to achieve in this short life? Was it coincidence I found the answer within the days of Cory’s death and the nation’s mourning? Then I realized, it wasn’t a matter of how I was going to do it. I already have choices for what I want to do. The question is: where will my actions lead? Like any typical idealistic youth, I’m leaning towards eliminating ignorance. Whether you’re rich, middle class, or poor, our youth find themselves in blissful ignorance–only to find themselves unsure and/or apathetic when it’s time to actually act at an older age. I want to help shape minds to be ready to face the issues which burden our country. I want them to realize the value of their national heritage and what so many heroes, journalists, and civilians have died for.

If it takes heavy traffic and millions mourning through user pictures, I am thankful for every Filipino inspired to prove our nation’s worth. Hopefully our action will go beyond these days of mourning and we take it upon ourselves to lead the nation to its rightful place.