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.

If I were not a law student, I would probably be one of the reporters on scene that day–when a man regained his life after 15 years while another had his heart torn apart and his wounds salted.

I don’t remember watching the movies, but I do remember the story. A mother and her two daughters brutally murdered, and one of them raped. The case got traction when I was about five or six–old enough to hear people talk about it but too young to understand just how sad this story was. I do remember castigating Hubert Webb. Back then, nobody else could be guilty but him. He was young, handsome, and rich. There was no way he didn’t do it. His family’s just covering up for him.

The years, however, have eroded such single-minded, media-fueled convictions. The media’s meddling hand has left a bitter aftertaste, which, though pathetically clinging to the case, has mostly been relegated to the sidelines by cool heads and stronger convictions.

The day the Supreme Court decision went out about the Vizconde massacre, it was all everybody talked about. People in school (me, included) read that case instead of our law books and assigned cases. Professors asked us to recite about the decision. Do you think the court was right?

It doesn’t really matter what I think about what really happened, or if Webb is really guilty or not. The only thing I could think about was how such injustice could have permeated the system and rooted itself in almost two decades. How could the lower courts have taken in Jessica Alfaro’s testimony hook, line, and sinker? Maybe we should credit it to Justice Abad for penning a well-written decision. It plainly shows that the prosecution bungled this case by relying heavily on Alfaro’s testimony (and a few others’, which were also easily disproven). How could this have happened?

I pity Webb for the 15 years he lost. He entered his prison at his prime, and he gradually lost it there. I credit his family for staying by his side throughout those 15 years. Only a true (and perhaps well-based) belief on his innocence could have spurred them to visit him every Sunday without fail. But, Webb is still young. He is still alive, and his family is still there. He can still make something out of his life, albeit 15 years late.

The man I pity the most is Lauro Vizconde. I tell you, it’s only a person without a heart who will not break for this man–who loved his family so, so much, lost them in a single wrenching blow, and continues to lose in the absence of justice and closure. My heart, it breaks for him. I can’t imagine the pain of losing my family in one day, more so am I unable to imagine the sting of not knowing who killed them all these years. This judgment was all he had going for him–his peace of mind hinges upon the thought that the killers who brutalized his family are suffering their penalties behind the bars of justice. To bank on that security blanket, and then to have it so startlingly yanked from under your feet (while the whole world is watching) is just so unjust.

I saw a clip online of Mang Lauro after he heard the decision. He was in hysterics, and the cameras and lights were all up in his face–lined up–despite his relatives’ pleas of, “Pwede po bang ‘hwag muna? Please. Family matter po muna.” Did they heed those cries? Of course not. The media bosses would have their hides if they shied away from such a ratings scoop. God, how I hate this ugly side of journalism. And of law.

I only have one wish: that this injustice of epic proportions be put to a stop.

I’ve always found Korean and Japanese movies and dramas to be incredibly pretty. I guess that’s partly the reason why I always watch them (aside from the bipolar story lines). I have a few dozen of these lying around, and it seems a shame to just let me feast my viewing pleasure on them. Here’s a few of my favorite images.

200 Pounds Beauty

 


Boss