dreaming the life | living the dream

The College Bucketlist

There are thousands of things I wish to do while I’m still converting oxygen into carbon dioxide and that is the sole reason why it is impossible for me to write my bucket list right now. However, I think mycollege bucket list is already brewed to perfection and here it is.

In a couple of years (hopefully!), I will be walking up the stage, wearing my toga and cap and all, to shake the hand of a professor and take my diploma with a smile. Of course, there would still be another four years—of Medicine School—after that but you get the point. Graduation. Before I even set foot on that platform, before I wear that cap on my head, I want to be able to experience several things that I believe would be crucial to my growth as a person.

1. Donate blood. This was supposed to happen a few months back but it didn’t so I’m still waiting for that chance. And of course, I would not do this only once because I want this to be a regular activity of mine.
2. Watch a basketball game at the front row. I have been watching our school’s games since I was a freshman but I always end up at the balcony. It’s not that far but seeing the game transpire just a couple of meters from you is a tad much better.
3. Be an Org committee head. Well, this is kind of a far-fetched dream now but I still have plans of pursuing this. I want to join Red Cross this year and I actually want to apply as a committee head, if that was even possible. If not, well I’ll apply as a member and then apply as a committee head. I really need and want this. Okay, if none of all the aforementioned statements are possible at all, well, I guess I’ll just be an active org member.
4. Be a classroom officer. Ha! This one I never intended to include but since I was voted as the new class president, I might as well include it. I think it would be a really fun experience since it would make me more confident and more active in the school.
5. Study a summer abroad. THIS IS ACTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Ha. But seriously, it is. Mainly because our schools don’t give credits for studying abroad and secondly, because I haven’t saved up enough money for it. I’m planning, though, to join this exchange program being held by AIESEC but I don’t seem to have enough time in my hands. Maybe someday. Hopefully.
6. Have a roadtrip. I have been itching to ride a car spacious enough for my friends and I and just go anywhere. It would be very fun.
7. Have that summer trip with my high school friends. Preferably somewhere far from our hometown. I just want us to experience something new altogether.
8. Get in the Dean’s List. Well, it’s mainly because I’m an overachiever.
9. Score a winning goal. As a member of our college football varsity, it would be quite rewarding, extremely awesome to score a winning goal.
10. Learn a different language. I’m starting Spanish this so I’m already on the track. I also intend to study Mandarin, as it is the most widely spoken language in the world (and also because I cannot understand Meteor Garden!).
11. Win the best thesis award with my thesis groupmates. It’s the dream.
12. Have a boyfriend. Because I don’t have one and I want to experience the thrill of falling in love. Don’t get me wrong, I have crushes and I’ve had previous romantic ‘relationships’ but I just currently don’t have one.
13. Go on a weekend trip.I don’t know where, maybe as far as CamSur or Ilocos or as near as Clark or Batangas. It doesn’t matter where just as long as I have that trip.
14. Experience a festival.This I would really love to try to experience with my friends because it’s going to be a really enjoyable experience. I still have to save money though.

15.  And finally, Graduate. Preferably with Latin Honors. I honestly think that this is quite impossible but I am still hoping to graduate with Latin Honors, even if it’s just Cum Laude. At least that helps for medicine school applications. And, I know that would make me feel good because as I have mentioned above, I am quite an overachiever.

I’m sure we all have different goals while we’re in college. What are yours? :)

To Whom It May Concern

As I have stated over and over again, I am a romantic—I believe in fairytales and happy endings—but more accurately, I am a hopeless romantic because, well, I always end up falling hopelessly in love with people who may never like me back. Nevertheless, I am still quite a romantic, which brings me back to the fact that I am waiting for my own Prince Charming. And while the idea of his arriving in a matter of weeks is silly, I even did something sillier—I made a poem aboutthe one .
It was actually our final examination for my English class, but I can assure you I felt a lot while writing it. The idea of writing that poem struck me while I was comfortably sitting in a Starbucks, drinking a grande Caramel Macchiato. Our exam was still months away but I felt some sort of inspiration so I opted to note the idea.
On the eve of our exams, prior to going to the airport to fetch my dad, I wrote the poem. It was like an open letter to all the guys that I’ve liked and all the others that might appear in my life. And I felt good about it. It felt like something I would normally write. I thought it was so good that I wanted to give it to my future husband.
But my best friend argued otherwise. As my critic, she suggested I give that to a future boyfriend instead, because it’s more fitting. And I agreed. So, I now decided to make a different poem for the future husband, telling him of my journey of finding him. Currently, my mind’s still blank about this but the ideas will flow once the inspiration kicks in. And I suppose it would be better if I wrote something much more detailed and specific to only him.
In the mean time, here is

To Whom It May Concern

Maybe you’re the epitome of gorgeous

—with those dreamy eyes and that tan skin and those sculpted arms and that chiseled torso.

Maybe you’re an amateur football striker with world-class skills and maybe you’re the top of your class.

Maybe you’re the type to open doors for someone else, the one who waits for all the ladies to exit before he leaves, the guy who drapes his jacket around someone’s shoulders when it gets cold

And maybe you loved riding bicycles and playing Scrabble and eating churros as much as I did.

But maybe you read all the books that I hated and loathed the songs that I adored.

Maybe you told jokes that never made sense, and maybe you snored loudly, ceaselessly every time you slept

Maybe you hate holding the umbrella for someone else when it rains.

Maybe you could hardly play the drums

or hum a single note

or dance a single step

or even hit a single ball.

Maybe you’re not as tall as I have thought

Maybe you’re not as hot either.

I know you’re somewhere out there

—it’s just that, you’re not who I think you are

—it’s just that you’re not exactly who I dreamed you to be.

But I know you’re there. I’m sure of it.

Maybe you strolled in the malls that I frequented

Maybe you jogged along the path I also jogged in every night

And maybe you’re also in the University I’m studying in, probably majoring in a program aside from Psychology

Or maybe you’re not near at all.

Maybe you’re having your adventure in the wild forests of South America,

Or backpacking through the narrow brick roads of various European cities.

Or maybe you’re just sitting on your couch at home, watching whatever’s on TV.

And maybe you’re living in an old “casa” in España 

or in a tiny loft in New York City.

I know you’re somewhere out there

—just probably not living in postcard towns or cities

—just probably not exploring the world’s nooks and crannies

But I know you’re there. I’m sure of it.

Maybe the first time our paths crossed was in that amusement park I went to when I was five

Or maybe you were watching the grade school Nativity play where I was the only brown angel

Maybe the first time our lives intersected was when your high school team defeated us in that inter-school debate competition.

Or maybe fate never allowed us to meet in the past

maybe I was looking at another guy when you happened to pass by

Maybe you were out on a date with your girlfriend when I walked in the street you lived in.

Or maybe you’re marveling at the starry night sky while here I am, cursing the blinding rays of the rising sun.

Maybe… I haven’t met you yet.

I know you’re somewhere out there

—it’s just that, now isn’t the time.

But I know you’re there. I’m sure of it.

I know you’re somewhere out there

—I just must be looking into the wrong faces

—just must be staring at the wrong eyes

—just must be smiling at the wrong people.

I know you’re somewhere out there

—I just must be searching in the wrong places

—just must be walking into the wrong streets or alleys

—just must be running in the opposite direction.

But I know you’re there. I’m sure of it.

Maybe you don’t look perfect, maybe you don’t like the perfect things

And maybe you’re not in the perfect place, maybe you don’t have the perfect timing

And maybe we are not a perfect fit.

but maybe you are the one.

And, as silly and as cliché as this may sound, 

I know that you’re Romeo and I’m Juliet,

I know that you’re Mr Darcy and I’m Elizabeth Bennett,

I know that you’re Aladdin and I’m Jasmine,

—just as I know that you’re there and I know that I’m right here

hoping

learning

praying

preparing

waiting.

Love, or Something Like It

//Before anything else, I would just like to say that I told this story to my entire class for our graded story telling. Anyway. Here it is.

I was supposed to tell you a story about football but then I realized that it was boring and that you might not understand some of the technical terms so I opted to tell this one instead. As most of you know, I’m very much into boys but I have had no such luck on this love thing. However, as inexperienced as I am, I still have certainly felt something like “love” before so here it goes.

So there’s this guy who lives across my cousin’s house in ***, who happens to be my cousin’s best friend and my former best friend’s brother. It was in preschool when we first met and it was during Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties that we would bond. Eventually, after all the time that we had spent together, I had developed a crush on him. And, yes, I was a toddler when I had my first crush.

Years later, in high school, an unknown number texted me one night. It was him. He told me that he got my number from my cousin. From that moment on, we texted each other day and night and night and day as if we didn’t feel sleepy at all. Months later, he asked me the “question”. Inititally, I was startled and delighted because finally, someone—my first crush at that—likes me back. But I was also confused because I really did not want to have a boyfriend then. So I ask my friends for guidance and they demanded that I say yes because I didn’t have a chance with Kevin Jonas anyway (I was very much obsessed with the Jonas Brothers then). So, I agreed to be his girlfriend, partly because I really liked him and partly because my friends insisted. A day later I broke up with him but we still kept texting each other because we still liked each other.

A week after that, my family and I went to *** and—surprise, surprise—he was also there. One midnight, I was talking to his sister, and just a few meters away, he was there conversing with my cousin. Apparently he was telling him that he still likes me and he thinks that I’ve thrown something great away. Coincidentally, I was telling his sister the same thing—that I still like him and that I feel that we had was “sayang” because we could’ve lasted longer. But that’s the thing with people. We only realize the value of something after we’ve lost it.

How I Learned to Ride a Bicycle

In a crowded street somewhere in the Philippines, you could always find the four-year-old me, with wild, unruly hair and dirty clothes, bustling around with my playmates. One day my playmates decided to visit the plaza that was a few blocks away from our street–which, in children’s language is like a planet away–riding their bicycles. I was invited to join their mini-roadtrip, of course, but I only had two means to get there. It was either I ride my tiny tricycle or walk for a kilometer. I didn’t pick any of these options but I still got to the plaza… by stealing my neighbor’s bicycle. Yep. I took her bicycle without her permission. But that’s not the worst part. I think. Well, let’s just say I was four years old and I had no idea how to balance myself on a rod on two thin wheels. It took me half of the trip to figure out how to ride this bicycle and enjoy the trip.

When I got back, my neighbor was pretty mad with me for what I did but she forgave me anyway, but my parents were obviously infuriated with me because I stole a bicycle. As usual, I listened to their never-ending lectures but I didn’t let their anger get into me because well, I just learned how to ride a bike by myself, with no father or mother pushing me, with no friends to teach me how to balance or how to start off, with no trainers to guide me. I had just experienced a milestone and I am not going to let anyone ruin that day for me.

I was recounting this story a few nights back when I realized that this life event has actually taught me some valuable life lessons that I’m sure we’ve all heard before.

1. Although I believe in “No man is an island”, I still firmly believe that at the end of the day, we are all alone. I learned to ride a bike by myself, without any kind of help and I think that life works the same way. You can ask others how they lived their lives but ultimately, we are going to navigate life by ourselves. We heal by ourselves. We learn by ourselves. We live by ourselves.

2. If you really want something, you should do whatever it takes to get that something. You should go out of your way just to get that something. I went out of my way to learn how to ride a bike, I had to steal a bike for crying out loud! In relation to do that, we are all responsible for our lives. If we want something to happen, we cannot just sit in one corner and wait for that moment as our entire lives pass by–we have to make things happen ourselves.

3. We have to enjoy life, whether it’s the simple things or the milestones we achieve. We have to have crazy days because those days are what we’ll remember most. Those days will lift us when our spirits are down. Those days were the moments we actually lived. When we have those days, we cannot let others make us feel as if the world is about to end. We have to live on the brighter side of life.

In relation to all of this, I’ve recently decided to start making things happen, to start living. I realized that I needed to see more of the world, to experience more, to taste more, to do more. I don’t want to grow old and think of regrets; I want to have a wealth of memories that I will treasure until the day I die, I want to grow up as an old woman, telling my grandchildren stories of how I lived. I’ve decided to have the adventure of my life, and it’s starting now.