University: Admission Tests and Anxiety

Over here, entrance exams to university practically make or break your future, and as cliché as a “make  or break” statement might sound, it’s reasonably true for my country. This may be generalizing the matter, but a high school diploma might only get you a job that skims the minimum wage here in the Philippines; but even if transportation is unbelievably cheap and there’s a carinderia at every corner, that minimum wage, will still be a few centavos short to get that graduate to live a simple yet comfortable life, missing only a few meals every now and then. Welcome to the Third World.

Tertiary education in the Philippines is relatively inexpensive (but still costly to a certain degree or for a certain student), and the state universities don’t exactly skimp on quality, but it’s usually the name of your university that sets the tone of your resume. Many firms wouldn’t mind that your tuition was sky-high or that your univ’s curriculum wasn’t really any different from others’, but when they see that you got into this particular school known for its excellence or whatever it’s advocating, then your chances pretty much multiply. University isn’t simply an experience to any student envisioning a proper future, but it’s the pride of any Filipino parent at that. So if your parents aren’t pestering you to get into college, then you’re probably doing it because you’re sick of being poor. I don’t want to generalize again, but Filipinos pretty much equate happiness with a higher salary, because then they can afford the simple commodities and even a bonus for themselves.

Given that kind of thinking, that is putting education atop everything else, people take the university entrance exams here seriously. I don’t have one classmate that isn’t fretting over what course they’re gonna take or if they can get into UP or Ateneo. It’s come to the point that enrolling in two review centers isn’t uncommon, but that may only be the case in my school because there are a lot of wealthy ones studying here.

Now, I’m not at all one of those wealthy ones, so I can’t attend a review center (life is hard for the parents working in government). Instead, I bought a couple of workbooks and collated my lecture handouts from my previous years. I’m also glad my sisters link me to a couple of online worksheets and refreshers that I can take. We only have about 2-3 months before we take the exams, and now I’m practically cramming my 6 years of secondary into every space available in my mind. I’ve forgotten so many key points that I feel like I never really learned anything in my high school. I can still remember myself forgetting the quarterly lessons after the periodicals just so I can relieve my nerve and I never regretted doing so until school break began.

I know some upperclassmen who used to say that taking the exams contribute a mere fraction of the anxiety that’s going to attack you during your university preparation. Most of it comes from waiting to see if you passed. I remember a roommate of mine before crying days on end until the results came out. She couldn’t find her name in the roster of passers the first time, so she sobbed until a friend of hers entered the room and looked for my roommate’s name. Even when they finally found it, she still couldn’t get a hold of her tears and even when we tried to laugh to kind of quiet her cries, she remained teary and uncertain whether she really did pass. She got into UP. She was ecstatic.

After I take the exams, I imagine I’ll be like her as well (minus the dramatic sobs, my tear glands are impaired, or maybe my emotions, not quite sure).

63967458_p0 Our school was in the middle of a field so if you could just imagine the skies we saw everyday, then they’re probably even prettier in real life. Solitude, my sweet escape. 少女は夜を綴らない by loundraw.

Now guys, I want to solicit some luck from each one of you so that I can get into UP. Okay, guys. I need you to chant such that the heavens can hear you say “Help the goldfish get into UP! Please!”.

I’m very specific about UP, because like I said I’m not one of the wealthy ones, so getting into other reputable universities, that are usually private, is way too expensive for our humble lifestyle. I’ve been looking at scholarships forever. That doesn’t mean I won’t take the exams for the others, I will of course, but I still really need to get into UP for reasons that are quite painful to admit, even to an anonymous bunch. Help me get into the univ, so that I can get out of being poor and, as tacky as this might sound, help get the country out of the Third World.

Thank you for reaching this part of the post! Please tell me where I can find refreshers and more online worksheets to help me in my entrance exams. Also I’d like some tips for taking the exams. :>

Music Bay 07/24/17

  • Goodbye by Handsome and Gretyl

  • Reno by Wild Child

  • Follow You Down by Ciaran Lavery



Seventeen Forever

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything on my blog and since then, a lot of things happened. I started this blog by introducing myself as a 16 year old study bug, but now I’m nearing adulthood. In a few months, I’ll be 18 and somehow I’m panicking.

Life beyond adolescence isn’t probably as dreamy as I imagined it a decade ago. As you approach adulthood, your atmosphere starts to get crowded with the scent of cigarettes and the sensation of alcohol. Even at my age, even before I created this blog, I was somehow amidst an ocean of pubescent girls and boys who drank and smoked to get away from their insecurities. It wasn’t just in my school (note that most students lived in either the school dormitories or in flats close to the school) that I knew people who drank far too excessively. I had friends at home who had friends to drink with. At school, I knew a few who vaped – which is rather petty if you ask me but that’s beside the point anyway – but the case of smoking was much worse when I met up with some of my friends at home. It was suffocating to go home.

Kind of reminds me of the bridge I pass to get to the city. The actual place is kind of unnerving for me though. This is an illustration of Enoshima.     NIKの江の島 

It’s rather frustrating when you see your peers resemble your parents after you’ve gone to bed. I’m here trying to hold onto my youth, maybe my innocence, but then I see everybody chasing after their problems and so I’m forced to grow up too. I’m forced to make problems of my own and face them head on. I’ll probably start smoking too, and then I’ll get addicted to the breather it offers. If I could be as blind as I was before, oblivious to how people destroyed themselves and wore their smiles just to fake the pain, I’d trap myself in that world forever.


These past eight months, too many things happened. I knew people who killed themselves, who sexually harassed others and who slept on a different couch each night. It’s a twisted world out there, and you realize it once you get a backstage pass to a concert we term life. I got one a long time ago, so even if I try to hold onto the child I was, she’s probably too immersed in the music to hear me out. She died a long time ago, and I just miss her right now.

Well, at least I got that out. There won’t be too many dark posts from here on out, I hope. I’m gonna buy a sports wristband.

I imagine I look like this each night at my room, minus the cat since I don’t have one. Please gimme a cat. Thanks. PiNe(パイネ) の 青い午後


Music Bay 7/10/2017 :

  • Heavy by Birdtalker

  • The Anthem of Mr. Dark by The Arcadian Wild

  • All You Are by John Mark Nelson

I’d like to feature or maybe introduce a few songs every now and then. These would be under the heading Music Bay, as shown above. They’re songs that had caught my ear (?), and I just had to share them because I’d be happy if you guys took your time to listen to them and  support the artists. I’m rather partial to folk music, by the way, so I might share a whole lot of songs of that genre.


Or should I just place youtube videos? :>

To Those Who Hate Parties

I don’t know if it’s the fault of my awkward self or maybe my strong sense of guilt, but either way, I feel way too uncomfortable attending birthday parties. Some might think that I’m contradicting one of my earlier posts about Regie’s birthday, but at least we have a close relationship, I have no qualms with getting fat with my friends.

It wasn’t actually a birthday party, it was more of a dinner instead (I am so grateful we didn’t have to stay for too long, though the food was great). Of course I was glad I attended, but my enjoyment didn’t really justify my uneasiness (it’s not replacement, but coexistence). It wasn’t the location or the celebrator herself, but when you aren’t really close with the host, somehow you get the feeling that you shouldn’t be present. It’s not because you don’t want to be there, it’s just that there are people who deserve the invitation much more than you do.

Automne | pon-marsh [pixiv]
Aya has more friends than the people I know (That sounded so self-deprecating 😭), I mean, she’s the kind of person who would abandon her savior so that you get saved instead, and people like her for that. They like her and they become friends with her, there is no such thing as an acquaintance in her world.

However, there’s me. I find her nice and I can’t bring myself to dislike her, but I’m not a friend. I don’t belong in her world, and I bet she understands that. Had I not been on the same trip home with her, she would never have invited me, and I would’ve been fine with that, but I was and a lot of her friends weren’t.

I really am

Aya was seated by the middle of the table along with her close friends. Being on one end of the table, I was surrounded by people I rarely spoke to, and these people felt guilty as well. We couldn’t stomach our food properly because we felt out of place (we really were out of place). When you know your place in someone’s eyes, sometimes you can’t help but feel different when you get a better seat. We knew we didn’t belong in her world, and so we tried eating as slow as possible to avoid conversation with one another and with the host.

The food was great. Too bad, I don’t have actual pictures.

Aya was still entertaining her friends when dinner ended. I couldn’t bring out my phone to counter the uneasiness, ’cause that would be rude. I wouldn’t want the host to think that I found her stories boring (well, I couldn’t hear them from my side of the table anyway). I was just passing time by smiling at the people around me and staring at my plate. When Aya cracked a joke, I would chuckle a bit. I don’t know, I was trying to fit myself in her world, I suppose.

I thanked her family for the dinner and greeted her happy birthday, when she finally let us off. I enjoyed the food, but I was extremely awkward throughout dinner. I hope I can get this awkwardness out of my system.

I just want to sit out on parties. They’re not my thing.

No pics from the party ’cause I couldn’t bring my phone out. :>

The Charm of Folk Music

Picture yourself in a forest. In that forest all that surrounds you are patches of grass, critters and deer, birds softly chirping, and a river gushing south of wherever you are. A constant breeze blows through your hair and the weather has never felt any better in your life. While tranquility accompanies you, your problems seem to vanish into the wind. This is the epitome of bliss.

Why don’t I just give you the picture? Imagination requires energy 森の中で | ガガ [pixiv]
You stop at a rock to enjoy the view for a while, and just behind the rock is a finely tuned guitar, would you play a song? In all honesty, I’d probably just bring out an iPod and ignore the guitar, but I’d be disrespecting the scenery that way. Had I been good at playing instruments (and singing in this case), then perhaps I’d sing to myself a folk song.
I’ve always been a fan of folk music. I enjoy how folk music has evolved, and its sound has become much more intricate in the past decades. I might have never enjoyed the sound of an accordion, had it not been coupled with a well-written verse.

Do follow her on pixiv. I’m very fond of this user: きゃらきゃらマキアートMaki

I’m especially fond of the lyrics of folk music. I’m a sucker for well-written verses. For me, it’s very important for a song to relay its story, and given the simple riffs of folk music, words play a huge role in completing the song. The songs don’t have to be lengthy and smothered with words, it just has to be written heartily. (The very popular White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes repeats the same verse all throughout the song, apart from the repetitive first line).
To anyone who’s watched Inside Llewyn Davis, a stellar film, you’d know how difficult it is for a folk singer to make a name for himself in the music industry (not folk singers especially, however). Even if folk music has evolved to a singer-songwriter sound, it only clicks with a very selective group of people. Although it is the sort of music you might hear in a movie or in the cafe, it’s not the sort of music you’d look up on Spotify or buy an album of. A lot of folk singers independently produce their own songs, so their music isn’t as easy to buy or listen to as compared to other songs, but even those under a record label struggle to make a living.

Aren’t we all, Llewyn?

Folk music isn’t glamorous, but it’s composed wholeheartedly. Guys, I just wish a lot more people would recognize folk music, so that this field in the music industry won’t be forgotten. Though, I don’t believe it will ever vanish, I’m just worried that people will produce less folk songs, and I can’t let that happen. :):)
I’ve been so busy lately so I haven’t posted anything for a long time now. The first quarter exams have just ended and I haven’t passed any of the papers I’m supposed to finish. 😵😵😵Studies are wringing my neck over here.

Our teacher expected us to finish this in just an hour… Not that it’s super difficult, it’s just impossible to complete in an hour 😵

Hope I pass all exams :>

The Window Seat

メメント・モリ | loundraw [pixiv]
Since I’m in Senior High now, the privilege of choosing a seat in class is finally within my grasp. Before, our advisers would just strategically assign us seats wherein maximum order is attained, but those days are long gone, and I wish not to cross their paths once more.

Currently, we’re allowed to sit anywhere in class. This is such a big deal for a quiet person like myself since I hated being surrounded by people who were too loud. My eyesight denied me the solitude of a seat at the back, thus, the noise accompanied me day by day.

This year, I chose a window seat for my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Amir takes the same seat for the rest of the week, though I only have one class with her on those days), and I am in love with my seat.

High school feels like a routine. There’s nothing really exciting about my school: we leave for school, we have classes, we go back to the dorms. The most enthralling of the day happens in the dorm, and it often goes along the line of seeing my sims or destroying zombies on my phone. I enjoy the company of my friends at school, but even they can’t save me from the routine. So if I wanted to make the most out of my day, I might as well enjoy the view.

A window seat provides an astonishing view, especially with the situation of our buildings. You can see everyone in the building across and in the swings below. Since the school is in a rural community, the sky is always blue and the grass gives off a green which I thought existed only in 64 Crayola boxes. If you were lucky enough, you might even lock eyes with an eagle soaring above. If it was only possible to capture the scene with my eyes, then a thousand words wouldn’t cut it.

I might be exaggerating the view though, but in all honesty, it might take only one look at the sky to momentarily break free from all frustrations. Well, that coupled with a wind that never stays still. What I also like about a window seat is the constant supply of air that smells like nature. Not the kind of jungle-nature smell, but the grass-and-flowers-and-a-lake-nature kind of smell. I’ve lived in the city center for most of my life, and the air never felt fresh there. Sure, it moved to and fro, but it was half-caused by vehicles, and you could feel particles of whatever attacking your skin. By the window, I feel like Pocahontas, with my hair following the wind, and my self facing the horizon.

So Eca’s disappointed with her quiz so I said “Don’t be sad, look at the sky”… Don’t think that helped

Of course, I could never dislike the quiet provided by a window seat. Only 2 students  surround you, and the noise from the center of the room focuses its gravity there. The sounds radiate from the center but by the time it hits the wall, little can be heard. I know I shouldn’t accustom my self to silence, but it’s quite difficult when the calm is all you long for.

At the window seat, there is a sort of tranquility that revolves in its atmosphere. If you look away from the board and shift your view to what’s outside, you temporarily forget why you’re at school. Life seems like a riddle you’ve solved, and all of your time can be exchanged for the scenery. Enlightenment doesn’t really require years of searching for yourself, it requires finding the spot you’re most comfortable in, and you know you’ve found it if you are able to detach yourself from worldly concerns just by looking around you.

Anyway, here’s a picture of my friend, Eca, and my roommate, Andrea. They’re working out 😥😥😥, it must be nice to be physically active.


Another Candle Blown

Birthdays are best celebrated with a whole lot of people. Although there were only 6 present during my friend Regie’s birthday, that crowd is enough, considering my partial introversion. It’s also a big enough group for a clique that ceases to be present at social and school gatherings (Yet our attendance in report cards are bewilderingly unmarred… This rather makes me question my presence :(:( but I’m not complaining  :D).

Regie’s actual birthday is on Friday, but we decided to celebrate it yesterday, Tuesday, because we can’t keep the cake in the dorm fridges for too long because the texture and the taste go awry after too long on the shelf — it was brought to the dorm last Sunday — and other dormers might gulp it down before we could have a bite (this happens way too often at the dorms).

Unfortunately, students that were not born in summer have to celebrate their birthdays in school. Actually, I’m not certain if this is unfortunate, but we do miss out on a nice dinner, since the neighboring city is about 15 mins away and we’re usually allowed only an hour out on weekdays (Delivery is also hella expensive).

Anyway, I’ve been with my friends since 8th grade, and ever since 9th grade, we practice this tradition of having a feast for each one of our birthdays (9 birthdays in a year) and the celebrator doesn’t pay. Our very first food festival consisted of some 10 people, 10 enormous boxes of pizza, a whole lot of sides, and too much coke. At the time, we were only able to finish half of everything, so we had to give the food away. On my last birthday, which I shared with Amir (Those with adjacent birthdates share the same feast to save on cash), it was during the dorm Christmas party so we asked to go out for 2 hours to buy gifts, but instead we went to have a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant that might be a tad too pricey for students. After each birthday, we starve for maybe a week or two since we spend a bulk of our money on the feast (’tis retribution) 😄😄😄.

For the friends who weren’t present at the time

So, Regie’s turning 18, she’s the oldest of us 9. I follow, although I’m turning only 17 in November. We’ve only gotten her a cake from this shop that’s famous for its carrot cakes, and we’re still planning on what to eat on her birthday. She said she wants Chinese though, and maybe a  karaoke session after. We always have these karaoke and Just Dance sessions when we hit the arcade. I hope I don’t run out of cash too quickly, it looks I might. 😵😵😵

My railing has been reattached, by the way. :>