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Last Wednesday (barely two days ago), my laptop crashed. I thought I was done with blue screens of death (in this case, a gray screen of death with the Apple logo and a revolving worm) when I made the switch to Mac three years ago. Apparently, it only took two years longer.

Still, I’m grateful. Most of my files were backed up in an external hard drive (which is getting fuller and fuller), so I was able to save most. Problem was: we had a report on Thursday, I was editing the video, and latest edits and files weren’t backed up. Thank God my initial edits were in my EHD and my groupmates were very understanding.

Francis accompanied me to Greenbelt to have it checked. I think Kuya from the Apple Customer Service Center took pity on me. My head was laid down on the table as I silently coaxed my hard drive to work. Alas, it didn’t heed me. The whole time, I kept telling Francis, “I won’t cry, I don’t feel like crying.” But when Kuya finally sent me out to buy a new hard drive, I could feel the tears. I’m such a crybaby – so pathetic.

But you see, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say my whole life was stored in that hard drive, I’d say a pretty big part of me grew with it. It was a witness to my ever-changing tastes in music, and loyalty to shows. To my abuses in editing videos and photos. To my vanity, mess, and random obsessive-compulsiveness. It was a witness to who I am.

And it crashed and burned, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

Now, my Ethan 2.5 (Kuya kindly named the new drive Ethan again after he saw my old one) is so empty, it extends to me. I have to download stuff again, and re-fill my iTunes (which was so damn hard to do), and make folders, customize actions, change icons – just to make it me again and not just some random factory-produced chunk of artificial intelligence.

I know it sounds petty, but I think that in an increasingly mobile and technology-driven world, the demise of your hard drive is a painful thing to go through. And that scares me on so many different levels. I don’t want to be dependent on my computer, but I find that everyday I need it more and more. Then, I realize I’m okay with that. And then it scares me. Because what if I can be erased simply by dragging me to the trash box?

I guess what saddens me is the knowledge that someday, I might look for something, not find it, and just then realize what I lost through the great hard drive crash of 2011. I’m sappy and petty that way, sue me.

Ethan 2.0 has served me faithfully for over three years, and it’s never let me down. It always came through for me in the end. It feels like I’m parting with a good friend, and I feel like it deserves some recognition.

So, goodbye, Ethan 2.0. Hello, Ethan 2.5. You have a bigger memory, but you have wider shoes to fill.


Sometimes, I think people are inherently selfish. Let me specify: that each person has a mean streak waiting to be unleashed.

It was the long weekend and I was finally going home after a month of school and restlessness. If it’s not sembreak or summer break, I usually commute by taking the bus. Back in college, I took a tryke from inside Ateneo, walked to the front of the LRT station, and finally rode a jeepney to the Ali Mall bus station. It was tiring, especially during the afternoons and the travel to the bus station itself would discourage me from going home (especially if I had so much stuff to bring, like school books – which I never read anyway).

Now, I take a cab ride from in front of the village to the bus stop in Buendia. It’s a lot more convenient, but it’s also a lot more expensive. My mom has been telling me that there’s a jeepney route from Guadalupe to Buendia, but I’ve never bothered to try it because I’m afraid to get lost (which always happens). The problem with cab rides, however, is that if you don’t know the streets or exact route, the driver can take you for a spin first in order to increase the fare. I’m always wary of these drivers, and I always feel as if the driver is purposely taking wrong turns so that I’ll pay more because it’s patently obvious that I don’t know where I’m going.

Last Friday, I took a cab ride. It was late, a little after 6PM, and I was tired. Traffic was excruciatingly horrible and we passed by streets I swear I’ve never seen before. Then I noticed that we were passing familiar train tracks, which, according to my calculation, we should have passed way earlier. It was almost an hour before we reached the bus station, and the fare was Php 180. A trip that normally cost around Php 80 more than doubled! Needless to say, I was not in my best mood.

When I handed the driver Php200, he refused to give me change. “Wala na yun, lugi naman ako sa traffic eh.” Normally, I’d let these things go. Even if I felt annoyed, I’d just shut up and let them have the extra money. But that night, I couldn’t keep silent. I told him, in a snide snippy voice, “Okay lang yan kuya, malaki rin naman nakuha ‘nyo eh.”

I felt that he thought it was okay to get more money because I was a spoiled little girl who could just throw away money for cab fares. I always feel angry when cab drivers think like this – and you know when they think like you’re not entitled to your change because you have enough money and they need the extra cash. Sometimes I want to hurl at them, “Kuya, pare-pareho lang naman tayong naghihirap kumita ng pera eh.”

So I don’t earn the money. But my parents do. And I’m thankful that they give me enough to offer me a little luxury, like taking cab rides. And I hate it when the drivers think that I should just give them the money because I don’t need it as bad as they do.

After I told off that particular cab driver, I hurriedly got my stuff and walked away. I wasn’t fast enough, though, not to notice his silence after my little speech. And then I felt bad, because maybe I was wrong about him trying to squeeze extra money from me. And maybe he was right that the traffic was just that horrendous that we had to go through different routes. And I felt bad about lashing out at him – because he was just working and trying to earn a decent living.

And because I let my mean streak get ahead of me. And by doing so, I became the exact spoilt, entitled bitch he imagined me to be.

Beast’s Special is blasting through my earphones, drowning out the soft instrumentals that have been on repeat for the past three hours. For the first hour, I diligently read homework assigned two weeks ago, hoping to at least start on last week’s additional load. But then, the internet got fixed, and I’ve spent the last two downloading what I can (which is not much considering that the bulk of my regular view load don’t have new episodes yet), reading up on Kpop, trying to fix a reunion dinner for tomorrow, and looking for flights to Cebu and Korea.

I probably won’t be able to go to both destinations this summer but I really, really want to travel far from Manila or Batangas come April and May. I’ve always wanted to travel but it’s a luxury I can’t really afford. For the past five years, I’ve only traveled thrice, and two of those were work/academic-related. I’ve only traveled for pure vacation once – to Davao with my college friends, as a graduation trip from my parents. Disclaimer: When I say travel, I mean boarding-a-plane-to-a-far-destination travel, although I don’t really have out-of-town car trips as well.

This makes me very sad, and I always get a little jealous of friends who have been to other countries or provinces on study trips or family vacations. I read a lot of books and watch a lot of shows based in other countries, and I can’t help but want to be there instead of just imagining about them. I want to see beautiful architecture, experience late nights, and walk on streets other than where I always go. I want to eat Taiwanese street food, soak in a Japanese hot spring, stalk a Korean celebrity. I want to ride a gondola in Venice, take a train from Paris to Luxembourg, go to Baker Street in London. I want to pet a Tarsier in Bohol, experience the cold in Baguio, and ride the rapids in Cagayan de Oro.

In short, I want to go away – far, far from where I am.

Today, I decided to delete my two old blogs. One has been with me since high school, and the other since sophomore year in college. The former holds about a hundred posts while the latter barely reached 10. I’ve ignored them for a while now, but I finally decided to delete them once and for all. I admit, one of my main reasons is privacy. I can’t just have thoughts of my immature, impetuous high school self floating around the internet. I did download a back-up file though, so that one day, when I have nothing else to do and whimsically decide to read what and how I wrote when I was 14 years old, I can dig them up and cringe at myself.

I started blogging in high school. Together with a bunch of friends, my 15-year-old self started learning html codes, div tables, hexadecimal color charts, and web effects way before our teacher attempted to teach us during computer class. I say “attempted” because I feel that she ultimately failed–the website she created to show us an example of a “good” one had a neon green background with a guitar rolling across the screen. That quarter, my seatmate (who also happened to be one of the best blog designers I knew) and I never listened and just did our own thing. Half of the class wasn’t listening because half of the class already knew whatever she was trying to teach–we blogged.

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O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I fear the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all, because I have offended you, my God, who are so good an deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, do penance, and amend my life, Amen.

I don’t like formulated prayers because most of the time, people memorize more than they speak from the heart. That’s a shame, really, because some of these prayers are wonderful. The Prayer for Generosity is absolutely beautiful.

I’ve forgotten the name of the above prayer, but I do know that it’s what you recite before you receive confession – a sort of cleansing ritual before receiving the Body of Christ. I’ve never particularly liked it, especially since I am forever unable to do the last three things that prayer subscribes me to do. I feel like a liar everytime I say it in my head because I somehow know that I won’t be able to do those things. Sin, I can. Unsin, I cannot.

But, I guess, I do see the relative use of that prayer. How else do you explain to children why they must not sin? Because heaven is where you want to be and hell is a pit of fire, or layers of suffering and torture for your greatest pattern of sin, if you’re Dante.

The best heroes are the greatest sinners. Their paths to redemption, from sinners to saints, make for beautiful prose and even more compelling poetry. A squeaky clean person is boring on paper. There’s no denouement because there’s no climax. Tension is contrived instead of gripping. Readers are invested, and their emotions are twisted by great anti-heroes. Because when heroes sin, they show us that they’re also human, and that temptation gets to them as well.

To err is human. To sin is even more human. To attain redemption is the core of humanity. We know when we sin, and we want to erase every speckle of that dirty stain. Nobody wants to be in a state of sin. The goal is to break from the mold of sin – to scrub off every trace that we have sinned. But it’s in sin that we learn, and through sin that we grow. We become happy – gloriously so – when we sin, but the happiness is enveloped by a foreboding sadness and guilt. Like chocolate so rich and so dark it can’t be anything else but sinful. Sin makes you tough, but it makes your bone brittle and your body susceptible to breaking.

Why do we sin? Because we can’t help it. Our natural tendency is to sin and be sinful. And it’s only with great, almost an iron-clad willpower that we break away from sin. Because to sin is to offend love. On the other hand, love is always haunted by sinfulness. Every great love is, at one point, sinful. Because sin is akin to pain, which is not the opposite of love, but rather it’s mirror. It’s as if the good witch looking at a mirror and seeing the bad witch. Sin is always next to goodness because without sin, there is nothing good and clean because without sin, then nothing would be the stain to make you think of what it could be without that stain.

And now I am rambling, because in my world, to ramble is a sinful pleasure.

The Days Go By

June 2018
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