August 31, 2005

A love story, part 2

Dear friends,

Eight years seems too long a time especially for a relationship that was first measured in months, amid earlier doubts that it would not live past twelve.

But it did. We did. The months became years. And now at eight years, we started wondering how in the world did we ever get this far?

Let me just step back a bit. ^_^

Eight years ago, our partnership was forged under the June 28 rain. Prior to that is a tale that spanned four years of serendipitous circumstances, a year of silence, and another year of gray areas.


“were you dancing to the same tune?...”

She was seated a few rows behind me during the UPCAT examination in Iloilo. She was in the same plaza during the culminating night of the 1991 Kalibo Ati-atihan, shouting and dancing along hundred others as we celebrated the last moments of highschool life, even as the final fireworks failed to burn.


“the vision wafted through the newly-polished hall, rising above the din amid the sea of unfamiliar faces...”

The vision stayed. She became my classmate, my sparring partner, my thesis advisee, and my friend. Fate played a hilariously frustrating game of hide-and-seek, bringing us closer everyday but never giving us the chance to be unattached at the same time.


“destiny at the crossroads...”

We graduated. I worked, she went to law school. Our lives were pointing us to separate directions, but somehow in that quiet UP Campus street, near the place where we first met, magic brewed over again when I agreed to tune her friend's guitar.


“your kung-fu is better than mine... *smile*...”

Dream. Believe. Thrive. The time to know the real score has finally arrived. A time of charades, prose, rhetoric, and riddles that put sensibilities to the test. A time of debates that come with the decision to cross the line. The beginning of late long night walks and talks, and days that never end.

More importantly, a discovery of love, strength, and faith – the ones that we could share. The same ones that we share still, eight years later, the ones we’ll take further on.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn the eve of my 30th birthday, Joan has accepted my proposal and, in less than a year from now, we will take our vows to be united in marriage.

We give thanks, above all, to God for all the blessings and for orchestrating the whole thing.

To our friends who have played roles in bringing us together:

Vincent, for telling me her name on our first week in Kalayaan Residence Hall, 1991. ^_^

Euge, even before you were labeled “that quiet guy” by Joan way back during our Kalayaan orientation, you’ve been a buddy like no other. You were the first topic Joan and I talked about. You’ve become my confidante and the calm voice in my times of turmoil and euphoria. You and Cez were there all throughout as inspiration and source of wisdom, as you still are.

Cez, you kept me grounded when my heart overwhelms my head. Our every conversation was a learning experience. The snippets of advice here and there from you and Euge all counted. And, of course, we will never forget that Communication class that started it all (Mr. Grassroots aka Littlejohn).

Jen, it was you who spotted the signs, the twinkle in my eyes, and helped me make sense of it all.

Aids, you’ve been my ally in academics and in the lovefront. Your objectivity and sound judgment have been my stop signs at times when I’m rushing blindly head-on.

Our Tong Il Moo Do friends. You have ensured us healthy bodies and minds, hearts that feel, and memories to last a lifetime.

And to all others who know our story and saw us through it all.

Next year starts a new chapter, and you are all part of it.

Maraming salamat.

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Joan and Leo

August 12, 2005

Cold room

Our boss' room has always been freezing. For such a small space, it's cooled by the strongest and biggest aircon in the office. A fitting place for someone we at the office regard as the "Papa Bear".

Each visit to that room is a test of will and endurance. It no small feat to keep your teeth from chattering at the 20 degree air, blasted directly at you by the 2 horsepower aircon, while staying focused on what the ol' Bear is saying.

But today that room has gotten cold.

The irony is that today the Bear had gone red -- something I haven't seen for the longest time. He was angry and had once again bared his teeth and claws. I can only remember two persons who were the subject of his legendary wrath.

He later told us that there were five.

And the sixth person is not just our officemate, but a very good friend.

Used to be this process is decided on and carried out swift and simple. But perhaps because the person in question is no ordinary staff, the next highest officer felt the need to consult the operations committee.

The committee's consensus was to offer a second chance, but we all fell silent when facts were laid down, the policies and ethics reviewed, and where they were breached.

And there isn't much we can do about it...

I hate this.


We trip and fall along the way and that's life. Been down long enough, mourned my loss, had my rest, and kept my silence. I broke that silence, and now I have to make my moves.

I pray that I don't stumble over the same old rock.

August 10, 2005

In every end

It’s been two days since the organization I work with successfully celebrated its 20th anniversary. The event has left most of us physically and emotionally drained, having spent a week of sleepless nights in preparation – battling fatigue, sleepiness, and dwindling patience.

But it pushed through with much accolade to the staff. All in all, except for minor glitches like one of the speakers forgetting about the event (gasp!) and the typo errors in the souvenir program, which took me a month to conceptualize and just days to slap together, I say we’ve done one helluva good job.

The excitement has died down, and the dark rings in my eyes are beginning to fade. After one week, last night I felt how it’s like to have over four hours of sleep again.

The hard work preparing for the anniversary has served me a purpose: it numbed me momentarily from my emotions. A lot has happened this past week, and it’s only now that I’m beginning to feel them.



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It’s hard not to fall in love with pROSE online when you can see not just the blades of grass but also the soft face of the moon and the glorious cerulean skies, or when your character can jump from a cliff or a majestic falls, dress like a weak newbie (or "Visitor") while taking on a high-level monster, run around almost naked, use all types of weapons allowed by stats (and not by job type), and even cross-dress (male Muses only).

Most of all, you can into dive into a melee against a boss monster without fear because you know there will be good muses nearby to revive you when your character falls. And players still express gratitude every time you extend help.

Sigh. I'd hate to see this one end.