I might be writing to you a lot more on this coming few days. I have nothing more to do to spare time, now with the UP Alumni Center all gone. I can now only play on weekends on Star Billiards Center or on Pasay Rotonda.
The limitations on the places that I can play is the consequence of asserting myself on some pool halls that I went to, especially on my hometowns Dasmariñas City and Concepcion, Tarlac, no one wants to play with me anymore there. If they do, they’ll be asking for a hell of a disadvantageous handicap.
I can’t find myself playing on those pool tables without getting into trouble. They would have me play non-stop until I just want to rest which would end up on me throwing away matches.
I’ll be needing a financial manager and provider if I want to play to my heart’s content. Sadly, one of them is dead already. I mentioned about Kuya Jun on my last entry. He was like my second dad here in UP. He was also my number one fan. He kept encouraging me to practice, sometimes even treating me for the table rent. Sometimes, he let me have a huge financial account (debt) on the bowling and billiard hall. I owed most of my improvements on the sport on him.
I will always remember him watching me from afar when I practice. When I practice, I usually play alone. No one wants to play with me there. I have become a notorious figure on the establishment. Deep inside, I just really want to humble myself. I do believe on humility over notoriety. But it is the University of the Philippines Diliman! People are fiercely egocentric. I have to employ notoriety to put them down into submission.
What I hate most are the people who belittle the sport that some were putting their best effort even for a small improvement in return. How bloated the vanity of UP Students are! Some were acting like they were the best in the world even in reality a kid would easily outclass them. Those people are the one who suffer the worst under my hands. I humiliated them on the sport in order to convince them of the complexity of the sport.
But instead, they were discouraged. I have discouraged more people on pool than those encouraged. Those who were encouraged and opened a learning intent and attitude towards the sport would enjoy progressing on the sport under my tutelage. I am giving to those grateful. I turn myself as a sacrifice in order to nudge people out of their delusions.
The issue that elevated me into the top of the notoriety pyramid was of Zarah Nikka Dionisio’s. She was one of those who wanted to learn and the most notable one I discouraged from playing not because of my usual ways of discouraging but of a collective effort of those people with bitterness either towards me or her, but probably towards me. Those people implanted a destructive image on me.
They exploited the animosity of ask.fm to ruin my image to Nikka, who was at that time was intending to join my pool organization, UP Pool Club. Sophie has just graduated that time and I wanted someone to fill her place as the organization’s muse. With a muse like her, it will attract others into joining the organization and it will also encourage members to strive and excel on the sport we are advocating.
That time I just learned my lesson on breaking one of my upheld principles, which is to never integrate my pursuit of love to my goals. Things went bad with Choco Nery, a girl I once courted, who was also a member of my duckpin bowling org, UP Duckpin Bowlers Club – Youth at that time. Not only it went sour between us, but it also went sour inside the said organization. I knew that even I liked Nikka around that time, I was more determined to draw a line in this case, although it would cost my own happiness.
I was having my on-the-job-training on Rockwell when those questions from ask.fm began to pester on my wall. I just non-chalantly answered those questions in order to not beat the purpose on why I tried using ask.fm. The questions were beginning to point on Nikka. I wanted to protect her. I answered “Nothing” than answering nothing. There is a big difference between those two. I wanted to show those askers that I was unaffected by those questions.
Months ago, I received tons of hateful remarks guised as questions on the same website. I don’t know if you contributed on some of them. But I’m feeling that you participated. I understood your situation on feeling that way, because I posted the story between us in UP’s gossip page Narinig ko at UP. I prepared myself before posting it, considering the consequences for my post contains hints of my partiality and bias. That helped me on moving on from you, but still I regret deleting some of my entries here in “Dear Tel.” Some contained artistic content. Some were the only accounts on the things I don’t remember now.
Both the Overheard Post and the previous journal entries, along with some bashing from you, your boyfriend, your sorority and your friends, helped me expose my own vanity in order for me to little by little destroy it. But those series of questions about Nikka revived that vanity, as I was baffled by the askers’ determination to ruin me. Some may think I was already ruined. Even I thought so. I decided to dig into Nikka’s background. I found out that even she has some kind of a notoriety.
Notoriety can only be achieved through two things: intolerable attitude or a scandal. I have the former and she has the latter. If in case you are curious, ask her yourself. It was not the scandal that you think. It was that simple blunder that she committed out of craving on attention that left a permanent mark on her. That is why I hate how student organizations are doing right now. Most of its members are craving for attention, on which I think is best achieved through significantly contributing to the betterment of the organization one is affiliated to. But in this case, they are throwing away the shallowest of thoughts.
I was pretty sad on how student organizations evolved today. Even though UP advocates liberal ideas, the detrimental conservatism prevails over the student organizations and to its members. They are not feeling anymore the burning desire of their founders on achieving their organization’s vision. They are now merely existing for survival and preservation of status. They kept doing the same string of events over and over again in order to show that they are not doing NOTHING. They value quantity over quality. And now what do you see, those organizations accumulated more garbage that we have never seen before.
The student politics here in UP reflects the politics and society of the Philippines. We have to take note that UP Students are a bunch of intellectuals, yet they are exhibiting the same course as the Philippine Society is traversing. We, as intellectuals, should lead the movement towards the better tomorrow. Now, what do we see? Student activism now is done mainly for the reason of showboating. Running for the student council is done for the reason of getting diplomas to be added to the resumes.
I am not saying that these applies to all. But Tel, I am begging them to remove the calluses in their eyes to see what they are doing right now. They were merely keeping the tradition with no burning desire. Student activism should not be a reckless action. It should be a collective and planned series of actions. It should have its own machinations. But unfortunately, there is none. Student activism is no longer active. It is passive. It reacts only to stimuli. It does not anymore innovate. How can you call it Activism if it is passive?!
Student activism also spoils those indolent ones. The ones who were living in the slums and are contributing nothing on the national progress. Instead of finding jobs, they rely on government money. They asserted residency on the lands that are not theirs. Student activism is condoning indolence. Or maybe, it has a limited view that it does not see the better future of the sacrifices that they will be making. In my opinion, the best course the student activism has to take is to educate others, by going to schools as volunteers, helping the people to be educated, while at the same time enlightening them on their ideas.
We should be hungering ourselves not to be in front of the TV cameras wailing our demands. But we should be like a tooth fairy, improving the image of student activism behind the cameras by contributing. By contributing and proving to be helpful, they will eventually have open arms to their ideas to proliferate and be passed upon people. People should see an open and live debate, so we can produce a thesis and antithesis so we can make a synthesis for the situation, like Ninoy said.
I know we strive to achieve our happiness. But if we kept being selfish, then those different and conflicting paths of those pursuits will tear our society apart. We should be open to compromises, we should be open to sacrifices and we should submit ourselves to discipline. I honestly advocated Rousseau’s ideas the most. A disciplined and collective action should be done. Even if we have to employ an iron hand, I think we should. People should not fear that iron hand for they are the one who gave the mandate to it. We have to be careful on our choices and especially on the decision to whom we have to give that iron hand.
Stubbornness should be employed on progression and not on stagnation. We should be more determined. We should love our country more. I know you are working on a desk job right now, but that should not prevent you from expressing your love to the country, not by liking facebook posts that advocate it, but we should uphold its ideals. We should live in adherence to those ideals.
I ended like being as stubborn as Javert right? You can compare me to Javert from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I developed this determination to pursue my ends, at that time, hunt those people down, in order to protect Nikka by eradicating the evil that surrounds her. Like Javert, I upheld an absolute principle with no exceptions. I wouldn’t care if I wreaked havoc around as long as I upheld that principle. But like him in the end, I was stuck with a moral dilemma, because the purpose of that principle was to protect but that absolute principle was now the one persecuting her. Things went crumbling to the ground. My thoughts flew apart. I now live in a hell-like situation where I have a girl I like who is angry at me. I can’t find an opportunity to apologize. That bridge was already burned.
Nikka was the one Kuya Jun was rooting me for. Now he is dead, and I couldn’t tell of the sad outcome of that pursuit. And now, that damned org I was tournament director of began to spread a propaganda, that they were helping Kuya Jun on his hospitalization when he was ailing and now they were helping the loved one he left. I was fuming when I come to hear of that propaganda especially when I knew that they suspected him on using the Alumni Center’s earnings for his hospitalization. Kuya Jun literally got up from his hospital bed to go there to show where in the counter he was keeping the earnings of the bowling and billiard hall.
What wretched creatures are they! That motivated me to restart my machinations towards expelling those people from the establishment and from UP. Little by little, I was getting the employees’ consent on kicking those people out while explaining the consequences, on the last few months, while at the time I was wrapping up my thesis.
But sadly, even though I was finished with my thesis already, I couldn’t bring myself to finishing the formal complaint. I am currently taking 3 midyear classes. I knew I can still find time, but I knew katamaran got me again. And that katamaran caused me to stand idle, and maybe, figuratively waited for the establishment to fall in flames. It is with that katamaran that urged me to unveil one of the essays intended for my book entitled Eminencio Magnifico.
I know it is a corny title for a book, but I am trying my best to justify the reason on why the choosing of the title. It tackles two major things: First is the social, economic and political problems faced by the Philippines, and its solutions; Second is the conflict between three people comparable to our National Hero Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda.
We were wondering on the though of Dr. Rizal being alive today. But here in the book, I presented not only one but three people but with different outlooks in life: the President Aquilino Eminencio VI, who carries my jaded view of life, is a Machiavellian who represents the ruling class; the Senator Mario Tagatanggol who exhibits intellectual features and a sharp tongue like our very own Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, and carries my idealist view of life; and the Student Leader Joshua Alvarez, who is innovative and is somewhere in between of the other two’s ideologies.
Naming after myself, it is obvious to whom the story will focus on. But I set those three to be under a series of conflicts and compromises which in turn exposes the problems I have been talking the book will tackle about. It is set on a different universe where the U.S.S. Maine did not explode on Havana. Some of the people will act differently I supposed. So before writing the novel itself, I did an extensive research on the key figures in history, about their ideals, and then predicted a set of actions they would do if thing went that way or that way.
My katamaran hits home again on the setting of succession of Presidents, but I adapted some of Ninotchka Rosca’s timeline in Twice Blessed by replacing Diosdado Macapagal with Blackie Dominguez and the Marcos couples with the Basbas Twins. This era is where I became keen again on elaborating details of events that happened, because in the Marcos’ era, a lot of missing connections can be observed.
I tried to look for the explanations for those missing links on the events that happened during this era. My point of approach was asking on why these people would do those things. I have come up with something that is very plausible. It was apart from the conspiracy theories, on what has happened between 1969 and 1988. It may be discounted as skepticism but it was the only continuous line that I found on the chain of reasons on the events of that era.
My elaboration of the history took me 50 A4 Pages (1.15 Spacing) to complete. I assure you that those 50 pages for two chapters will be the longest ones in the novel. My main character on the other hand, Joshua Alvarez, published a series of essays, attacking all the detrimental aspects of life, which includes katamaran or indolence. My writing style, apart from the essays and speeches, employs description of events and elaboration of conversations.
I adapted Dr. Rizal’s faith on removing vanity and impartiality. It was bold but not as poetic as Dr. Rizal’s because here I employed simplicity in order to give an insipid taste to the readers on which will reflect into their lives being insipid.
I think it is time to prematurely publish the essay entitled Indolence of the Filipinos in the 21st century, ahead of my book. These series of class suspensions and the wave of anti-intellectualism urged me to do so. I will be reading it again not only to check for errors before publishing but also to encourage myself to resume writing.
I am weighing the consequences. If political and social persecution falls upon me, then it is no problem, but I also have to consider that I will be spearheading what the essay demands, together with the thoughts I shared to you about earlier which was part of another essay, and I have to be true and live to my words. I hope people will be educated. Please pray for me, Myrtle.
…It is raining a lot again. It reminded me of our last date on the 30th of June 2011. It was raining very hard, about 3 inches of rain were pouring. Around that time, I knew something was awry in the Physics 71 class I was attending, where I had my rival and your now-boyfriend as my classmates. I was fearing for the worst at that time.
I had no self-confidence nor self-esteem. I was losing hope. I was anxious all the time. I was so confused just like thinking how to unnecessarily litter jargon on my writing to be at the same level as your writing, which exemplified poetry with lesser jargon. I forced unto myself on making a choice. I just wanted to have a moment of truth, if I were the keeper of your heart or not.
Things went bad literally, with the winds swirling around in addition to a ridiculously hard rain. I had to accompany first my brother in submitting his UPCAT form and we agreed to go out by the afternoon. The following events that day described the summary of what happened between us. I kept texting you that I was already waiting at the front door of your dormitory, Kamia Residence Hall. But there was no reply, so I assumed you were taking a nap. Here I remember myself shivering everything the gusty wind pounded the building accompanied by water sprays caused by both rain and wind.
For four hours, I was like that. Every 15 minutes, I sent a text message. Every 20 minutes, I tried to make a call. Every unanswered text and unanswered call fed my desperation and hopelessness on my relationship with you. I was losing hope. By the third hour, I replaced the letter asking for your yes with a confusing goodbye letter that I made on the previous hours.
Around that time, the lady guard, who is now one of my close friends and is currently assigned to Vinzons Hall, emerged out of the front door and inquired for my reason of waiting. Upon telling her my reason, she began to discourage me, making me more pessimistic of the situation. Maybe, it was out of pity that she did that. Finally, around 4:30 pm, after three and a half hours of waiting, you made contact, much to my relief.
Unfortunately, I was final on the decision that I was pondering upon. You emerged out of the front door, wearing the same Jose Rizal Institute T-shirt and red shorts, the same that you wore during your excursion on Mt. Makiling. The sight of you that day brought me joy but accompanied with pain. It was like the happiness before the fall.
I remembered speaking unusually lesser that day. We went to Philcoa. You ordered the flavored french fries on Jollibee. You asked me what was going on…and…my tongue retreated, unable to render functionality as I can’t make myself ask for the moment of truth. My brain had crashed and when I rebooted, I lost the file named: How to ask a girl a yes or no question?
I was just savoring the moment that you were on front of me, smiling at times, but most of the times, pouting. I had a feeling that it might be the last. Just before you rode the jeep back to UP, I gave you that goodbye letter. If you were reading this, feel free to send a scanned file of that letter *coughs* letters if in case you were keeping them.
I now remember! The cue stick I once gave you is now in the hands of Sophie. That is the only cue stick I have now after that fire.