Hold the Fruit Salad

Pineapple. Bits of sweet corn. Slices of apple, condensed milk and Nestle’s all purpose cream. Mix them together and you get a creamy and delightful fruit salad.

I sit, staring at the bowl of fruit salad and silently deliberate whether I should take a spoonful or not. Yes… no… yes… no. I pause. I poke at the salad and find my spoon being filled by the mixture of fruit and dairy. I lift the spoon to my mouth and pause. I start to think it over once again in my mind.

For one thing, it’s only 9:00 am. Nutritionists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, one must eat a good and healthy breakfast to ensure that one has sufficient energy to get through the day. Still… A hearty bowl of fruit salad does not seem like a good choice for a healthy breakfast.

Oh sure. I could argue that it’s fruit. Fruit is healthy. Fruit is good for the body. There’s nothing wrong with eating fruit for breakfast.

But what about the dairy?

Oh sure again. I could argue that it’s dairy. Dairy is healthy. Dairy is good for the body. There’s nothing wrong with taking in dairy. After all, dairy contains calcium. Calcium is good.

But please. I’m just fooling myself. Fruit salad is a desert. And, even with its sweet and creamy goodness, a bowl of fruit salad would never substitute a good and hearty breakfast. Give me a bowl of rice. Give me a plateful of eggs and ham. No – hold the eggs and ham. Give me a plate of red eggs and tomatoes. Throw in a glass of milk with that.

I sigh. I’m still holding my spoonful but I return its contents to the bowl in front of me. Fruit salad is good. Fruit salad is healthy. And I should believe that that bowl of fruit salad is delicious in all its creamy goodness. But I choose to save it for later. Maybe I’ll have it after lunch instead.

So I stand up, head over to the fridge, and decide to cook for myself a decent meal.

Hold the fruit salad. I’ll have it later.

* * *

What’s with the fruit salad? Well, I’m speaking metamorphically here and I’m not talking about an actual bowl of fruit salad. Or maybe I am. Who knows?

But for those who have read A Page is Turned and got the message behind it – well, I believe that you had to do a lot of reading between the lines – because that blog was not all as it seemed to be. And the same is true for this blog. It may be about the fruit salad found in our freezer or it may not be about that fruit salad.

Well, just try to read between the lines. Because holding the fruit salad may not be all about food and good nutrition.

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Memorable Moments with My Batchmates (A.K.A. Granny Moments)

Okay. Here it is. Here is the post containing the memorable moments that I have had with my batchmates. I’m at the risk of sounding like an old grandmother with a bad case of nostalgia — but that’s just according to Adrian’s opinion. Whatever. XP Peace, bro. Hehe.

Anyway, I’ve tried to write everything down in a narrative format so that this entry would not read like an acknowledgement portion of a thesis manuscript. So, here goes.

One more disclaimer: This is a very long piece of writing. Do not attempt to read it unless you are willing to spend perhaps the next 30 minutes travelling back and forth from the past to the present and back to the past.

Okay. This is it.

Granny Moment #1

“Can You feel my passion? Can You see my hunger? Do You know how I long for You? No walls between us, take away this darkness, come break this heart of stone… hear my cry… Open up the sky!”

The stage is set. The place – the old Destiny Center just above the Aqua Altria refilling station. The dates – June 30 and 31, 2004. The lives of around 20 or so freshmen are about to be changed. Two of those lives include that of a quiet girl from Benguet and that of a petite girl from Kalinga. The two have been assigned to be Bosom Buddies and have spent their time at the Encounter God Retreat 1 praying for each other, confessing their sins to one another, and worshipping and crying together. Of course, I’m the quiet girl from Benguet. And the petite one …? My Bosom buddy, Binazir Edna Lumas-i. Granny Moment #1 is with Bina, who is now somewhere over the rainbow, out in the professional world, busy being a career woman. Miss you Bins…

Granny Moment #2

Still at the Aqua Altria Destiny Center. Now with a fellow computer science student, my blocmate, Cristina Joy Bolotaolo. It’s Saturday night and we’re both at the weekly Worship Team practice. Cristina Joy tells me that she’s there because the setting reminds her of her high school days when she would hang out with her band. Me? I have no idea why I’m there at the practice. I just tagged along behind some people, and viola! I’m there at the practice.

Fast forward 4 years later and I’m still with the worship team. Cristina Joy has found her place in the intercessory ministry but I’ll never forget Granny Moment #2 with her. Love you Cristina!

Granny Moment #3

Unit 5. Men’s Dormitory. College, Laguna. I burst into Room 5102 holding a violin case, anxious and harried. I pour out my anxieties to a fellow Ilokana, saying that I have just encountered a major problem and that I need her help. I have just broken the bow of my violin – which technically is not my violin, so technically it’s not my bow – and I don’t know how to fix it. We spend hours trying to fix the bow using a tube of mighty bond but, alas, the bow remains a broken bow. But that Granny Moment with Melody Joy Gamboa would always be worth treasuring.

Granny Moment #4

Unit 3. I’m at the Men’s dormitory, in a secluded place, speaking to my super classmate, Malyn Binamera. I’m sharing to her the story about the Samaritan woman at the well. I know that Malyn is searching, and a lot of people have already been inviting her to the upcoming Encounter God Retreat, and I decide to take this chance. This is Granny Moment #4.

Granny Moment #5

New York New York! Three girls examine a photograph with a New York background in their hands. They have just finished Granny Moment #5 — canvassing for fish crackers to be used for their batch’s fundraising project — and have decided to take a break and have their pictures taken at the photo studio in the Robinson’s Supermarket. The girls only see each other as mere acquaintances, but fast forward 4 years later and you’ll find the same girls engaged in intimate girl talks and giggling sessions. Who are those three? Well, it’s none other than me, Melody, and Frances Anne Tuanqui.

Granny Moment #6

It’s the finals week of the second semester of the school year 2004-2005. Some freshmen are gathered burning the midnight oil at the Pink Hall in the Men’s Dormitory. I do not know what I’m doing there. After all, I have just found out that I have been exempted from taking up the final exam in CMSC11. But I’m still there. So I simply amuse myself by playing bounce with someone’s cell phone. I finally find it boring and so I engage myself in Granny Moment #6, a gabfest with a new found friend, Jonalyn Nunez. I find Jona talkative and while the rest of the gang drain their minds reviewing for the Math 36 finals, Jona and I talk… and talk… and talk… and talk. Love you Jones!

Granny Moment #7

I’m with my friend Jonalyn Nunez. Ever since our gab fest, I have discovered that she was an amazingly good company. We find ourselves hanging out near the gate of the Men’s Dormitory, when another friend – Ma. Eleanor Gumtang – joins us. The night becomes Granny Moment #7 and we find ourselves talking about life, love lives, and at the end of the night, we find ourselves making a vow to cover one another from their current crushes. Haha. What a night.

Granny Moment #8

Freshman days are over. It’s time to turn a new page as the gang and I (may ganun? Hehe) start our year as sophomore students. Granny Moment #8 is actually during the second semester of that year when another batchmate – Jake Ernest Seroje – and I are invited by the head of the SOD’s intercessory ministry to lead in a particular day in the ministry’s the daily intercession. Kuya Ryan has just laid out the invitation to us and we decide to talk it over afterwards. That night Jake and I become engaged in a heated discussion, weighing the pros and cons, debating with one another, and I become frustrated with Jake who can’t seem to make up his mind. Oh well. Bahala siya. In the end, we decide to take up the challenge. But now I’m back with the worship team. Go figure.

Granny Moment #9

Palawan. Bataraza to be exact. A team from the UP SOD has been invited to conduct the EGR at the Alliance Youth Camp and most of the members of the team have been tasked to go as preachers. I am assigned to talk on “True and False Christianity” and my partner for that topic is Jayson Relevo. However, Jayson decides to give up that topic to me, meaning, I have to preach it on my own. In the end, Jayson also preaches, but he preaches on another topic — “Victorious Christian Living.” So all’s well that ends well for Granny Moment #9.

Granny Moment #10

Still at Bataraza. Ate Mary Jane Ramos is at my left, giving me a side hug and tells her cellmate, Myla Christy Rellosa, how incredibly huggable I am. Myla takes her place beside me, hugs me and says — “Oo nga!” Fast forward 4 years later and, whenever she would need encouragement, Myla would always try to steal hugs from me. All because of Granny Moment #10.

Granny Moment #11

Encounter God Retreat 6. The encounter is over and everyone – campers and workers alike – are celebrating. I breathe out a breath of thanks to Him who has provided my spirit strength to pray for the event. As I stand in sweet melancholy, a brother approaches me and releases a silent prayer to my tired spirit. The brother is none other than Adrian Crisanto, a fellow warrior in the Lord who has faithfully battled it out with me and the rest of that team during that memorable camp. That’s Granny Moment #11 – a moment with the guy who speaks Nihongo in the secret place.

(Sidenote: O diba ang drama Adrian? Kaso lang, simula nang inunahan mo akong mag-uno sa uno… Feeling ko lagi mo na akong inaapi. Na-overwrite na tuloy ang moment #11. Joke lang kapatid. Peace tayo. Hehe. (^_^)V)

Granny Moment #12

Destiny School of Leaders 2. Kuya Les has just asked the each student what they thought their personal calling was. I boldly stand up and say that my calling involves going to the nations as an ambassador for Christ. A brother approaches me afterward saying that he was amazed because he has recently seen me in a dream standing over a specific nation. That brother was Wilbert Lirag and that was Granny Moment #12. Cool.

Granny Moment #13

McDonald’s Los Banos. 2nd floor. I’m is having a date with a fellow intercessor who has been assigned to be my prayer partner. We have just realized that we are not really that close and decide to make up for that by having a date. And that’s the reason why Rachel Ann Alba and Ifind ourselves gulping down Mc Floats, talking about everything from intercession to crushes and love lives. That’s Granny Moment #13 for you.

Granny Moment #14

It’s Thursday morning and it’s time for me to lead the daily intercession. I head towards the library, wondering who would be there. Afternoons are no problems for intercessors but a lot find it really hard getting up for the morning intercessions. I’m ready to intercede alone when I find two brothers waiting, preparing themselves, sitting at the back of the library. One of them is Henry Lacson and I am blessed because he has just made his “come back” to the ministry. I smile at him and the other brother present and, for Granny Moment #14, say “Let’s pray.”

Granny Moment #15

October 2006. Everyone is experiencing the aftershock of the Bagyong Milenyo and I am lost. I’m caught up in another storm because my housemates and I have just been evicted from the house that we were staying in. Sure, I’ve already made reservations to stay at the Vetmed Dorm for the next semester, but I still need to find a good evacuation site because the semester is not yet officially over! Good thing there’s a vacancy at my Men’s Dorm roomate’s house. Thus, the post-storm season a.k.a. Granny Moment #15 is spent in Vanessa Mae Lumen’s quaint apartment. Miss you, vanie…

Granny Moment #16

Yellow, white, yellow, white – our Vetmed room is definitely perking up. The old color used to be blue, but Granny Moment #16 dictates that we should paint it using swirls of pale yellow and white. Welcome to my – err our — new room. I’m sharing this room with none other than Ms. Cynde Valeza who becomes my room mate for the next two semesters, who will experience my share of tears, tantrums, and choleric moments. Haha. Miss you too, Cyndz.

Granny Moment #17

What would these series of Granny Moments be without one with my best friend, Jane Marian Luis? This unforgettable memory takes place at the front of the main library, in the corner, almost at the right side of the main library. Our eyes are red and swollen because we have just experienced being walked out on. All because of our hard headedness. My face is stained with tears and I borrow a handkerchief from Marian. I’m in desperate need of encouragement and it’s a good thing that Marian is so game and agrees when I suggest that we drown our sorrows with sugar. We head towards Ahl’s Cakes and Kuya Val thinks that we have just fought with each other. He would never really know why our eyes were that swollen that night. Unforgettable. Haha.

Granny Moment #18

Febfair 2008. Prince Marcis Manuel gets a dose of my choleric side when I speak to him about the upcoming C.E.s. But then I switch to my softer side and impart to him my heart for the Kids Ministry. Good thing Prince is a phlegmatic, or else, he would never ever approach me again after Granny Moment #18.

Granny Moment #19

Another brother gets a dose of choleric Mari when I try to fix things up with his relationship with a sister whom he has just had a fight-slash-misunderstanding with. Let’s hide the brother by the name John Mark Illarde, and the sister by – nevermind. Anyway, after Granny Moment #19, although I know that my intentions were good, I’m still left wondering whether I did more harm than good. Oh well.

Granny Moment #20

Where would I be without my partner in crime, Jovelyn Saligumba? Who would almost always be game and ready for a fully loaded meal, a chowking lauriat, a burger king steakhouse meal – and any other big meal that you can think of? Anyway, Granny Moment #20 takes place at KFC where Jova and I make a pact to eat together, and stick together for the next few weeks… months… whatever… for a reason that would only be known by us. Hehe. Love you, Jovs.

Granny Moment #21

Crossroads. Ma. Shiela Data and I have been housemates in our sophomore year but it has only been recently that we’ve decided to draw closer to one another. And the common thing that we have for this season is this – Crossroads. This becomes our topic as we dine together at Selinas talking about our plans, our future, our call… and just have our Granny Moment #21 together.

Granny Moment #22

Ani Residence. Post-graduation madness. I’m with Cristina Joy and Glenn Mark Tolentino and we are at Bae, ready to take part in Darla and Carla’s Graduation celebration. The Anis are celebrating the graduation of the 2 who are incidentally both magna cum laudes. Cristina, Glenn and I join them and get our fill of good eats that night in Granny Moment #22.

Granny Moment #23 and #24

I have none to write yet for Granny Moment #23 and #24. This slot is reserved for two of my batch mates, Ruby Labinghisa and Jolly Anne Gibe. Contact me if you wish to avail of these slots. Hehe.

And so ends my walk down memory lane – for now. I guess it’s a rather long piece of writing, but anyway… I didn’t get to write a super long acknowledgement page for my manuscript so I’ll make up for it here. Drama. Hehe. Anyway, to all my batchmates – thank you for all those Granny Moments! Haha. You have found a place in my heart! Naks.

(Parang nagpapaalam lang no? Hehe)

Lessons Learned from the Past Week

Amazing. If I could use one word to summarize my experiences from last Wednesday until today I would use that word. AMAZING. Simply amazing. (smart ba to? hehe)

Melancholy mode again. I’m at the office and I’ve just finished a cup of ginger tea (sosyal — yon pala salabat lang ‘to) because my voice has been terribly abused, having experienced the usual mixture of fatigue, overly high-pitched songs, sigaw sessions, teaching sessions, and daldalan moments. Not to mention pasaway moments when I would not only abuse my voice with more daldalan moments but I would hinder the restoration process by taking in large doses of ice cream, cake, and softdrinks.

Pasaway talaga. Anyway, enough about my voice. Let me go to the lessons that I have learned from the past week.

Lesson 1: The Library Contains Many Hidden Treasures

Nineteen treasures to be exact. Enough treasures to keep a birthday celebrator running around looking for 19 blue things but coming up with only 18 because some kid found interest in some blue fuzzy wires. Love you jai. I hope you didn’t regret coming to our cell meeting despite the fact that you had an exam that day. Special thanks also to Lisa for preparing the surprise. And Lara – thank you – for simply being there. (^___^)

Lesson 2: When You Come to the Point Where You’ve Lost Sight of Things – Go Back to Your First Love
‘Nuff said.

Lesson 3: If You Want to Officially Propose to Someone – Do it in During the Sunday Service
Hehe. ‘Nuff said as well.

Lesson 4: The Lessons that Your Students Teach You are Some of the Most Valuable Lessons that You Can Learn

I am a teacher by heart and by profession and therefore that is what I do. I teach. But within a learning area, it is not only the students who should learn, it also helps a lot if the teacher is willing and open to learn new things.

I have learned a lot from a semester of teaching CMSC124 and CMSC21. And I am open to learning more.

And about SOC1… I think I’m really going to enjoy this class. I’m happy how God is moving in the hearts of these “kids” and I’m happy that they’re getting a lot of things from the Lord and even from me — because I’m getting a lot of things from them. Hehe. Drama.

Lesson 5: God Can Move Through Any Person Who is Simply Willing to be Used by Him

Even if that person finds difficulty in praying in Filipino. Last Sunday, SOD Los Banos conducted a Gift Giving Program in Bayog. More than 20 families were blessed by the goods given to them. But I believe they received something more than material goods that day. Because after the performances and the distribution of the gifts, the members of the SOD came up to each one of the people there and prayed for them, asking for their needs and just releasing blessings from above to each one of them. I prayed for two mothers. I just released what I felt God was telling me to release to them. It’s funny (but still amazing) because I was praying in broken Filipino (sorry naman, inglesera kasi ako) but despite the fact that my grammar was all wrong and I constantly shifted to praying in English – God still moved. One of the mothers was crying when I finished praying for her. The other one didn’t really cry but I know that God still moved in her heart and in her spirit.

Glory.

Lesson 6: Fatigue, Singing Rising, And Eating IceCream is Not Advisable for those People Who Wish to Preserve their Voice
Need I say more?

Lesson 7: God’s Children Are Indeed Called to Shine Like Stars in The Universe

Congratulations to Yuri Sta Maria for winning the 1st Place in the National Song and Song Writing Competition! All glory to Him, the God who Rocks!!! Congratulations to the Worship Team for just rocking it out for Him on stage. And of course, congratulations to Angel Dayao for winning the 2nd Place! Yeah! UPLB rocks…. Hoy Jova, bawal magtampo — congrats Jovelyn… God has given you an amazing voice. Aba. Diva??? Love you jovs. Congrats!

Lesson 8: Eating Cake, Ice Cream and Ice Cream Floats Won’t Help People Who Have Lost Their Voice
Pasaway talaga ako.

Lesson 9: I Still Have to Tame my Choleric Side
Sorry, Prince.

Lesson 10: Little Acts Mean A Lot to People
Love you Cristina Joy. (^___^)

Anyway, the bonding moment that we had with Cristina Joy during her birthday encouraged me a lot and made me appreciate my batchmates a whole lot more. Because of that, stay tuned for my next blog entry — “Moments with my Batchmates” where I’ll be writing down memorable moments that I had with each of my batchmates. Hehe. Drama lang.

Anyway, these are the lessons that I have learned from the past week. Great. Amen. I am excited for more. Amen Lord.

You are so amazing.

Old Fashioned

Everyone’s changing their friendster blog designs. Maybe I should too.

But I’m just too old fashioned.

Or maybe…

Maybe I’m just too vain. I need to see my primary pic in my blog or else it wouldnt seem like it’s MY blog. I don’t think the new friendster blog designs show the user’s primary picture.

Lol. Anyway, no “serious” post for now. Perhaps I’ll post one tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that. (Laughs).

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ve got to prepare for our cell meeting.

Au revoir!

——–0000—————–0000——————0000——

Oh no. I just realized why everyone is changing blog designs. Friendster is forcing us to change blog designs! Nooooooooooooooooooo

Oh well. Good bye old layout. Hello new one.

This is a big blow to my old fashioned personality. Grrr.