NOTE: This Feb 29 entry was posted ahead of the Feb 14 entry because the author still has trepidation over the Feb 14 entry.
February 29, 2016
It has been a week since I took a weekend off a remote cove in Zambales. After that, there were a lot of things to finish. I had to finish encoding the data of Tacloban and Guiuan station from the Climate Records Section of PAGASA. The deadline for the study that included these data was today. I was running out of time. I had to extend my encoding hours – from 6 hours to 12 hours. The staff there were having a hard time just looking on what I’ve been doing. How much more the hardships that I myself was suffering?
By the 8th day of my encoding, I encoded thirty-eight years of data already and there were still twenty-six years to go. The head of the Records Section had enough. She told me to stop encoding. She then offered me the data that I was encoding – now for free! I have to accept the offer since I know that their data and services cost 360 pesos per year per parameter. There were 64 years of data at Tacloban and 47 years of data at Guiuan, and there were five parameter which I have to obtain to further my studies. The data would actually cost me 200,000 pesos if they would not be giving it to me for free.
I came back the next day to get the data as well as the barograph from Guiuan station during the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan – having heard from Chief Macasa that the barometric pressure might have plummeted below 910 mbar, the initial finding on the lowest adjusted station pressure ever recorded during the passage of Typhoon Haiyan. I was being assisted by their pretty assistant and encoder. She made an account for me in the database (Computed Automated Database) of PAGASA. She looked for “still-not-encoded” areas for me to work on as exchange for the data as agreed upon, but she couldn’t find any work to be given to me. She phoned her superiors, awaiting instructions. Her superiors were actually very generous to finally give the needed data to me without the initial conditions. They instead asked me for a copy of my final paper.
I was now processing and synthesizing the data from the said stations for my study. I find it weird to see my computed climatological (simply statistical) extremes from the station to not match the climatological extremes that they established and that was showed on the PAGASA domain. The highest gust experienced by Tacloban City was actually during the passage of Typhoon Agnes (PAGASA Name: Undang) in November 1984. The storm directly hit Tacloban City, and the gusts were reported to be 230 kph – at the time when Agnes was a 195 kph (10-minute sustained winds) typhoon. In Guiuan, it was actually during the passage of Typhoon Axel (PAGASA Name: Garding) in 1994 that Guiuan station recorded its highest gusts. A gust of 265 kph was recorded by the time that Typhoon Axel had already weakened into a Category no.1 Typhoon from a Category no.3 one. All what remained now is for me to plot the 50-year and the 100-year wind maps as well as to compute the recurrence period of Typhoon Haiyan and its winds to the affected areas.
I cannot help but smile as I recall the proximity that I’ve had with that PAGASA encoder. Some of my buddies were actually envious: I was having these kinds of moments even though I was not seeking for one. I confided to them about these instances during our excursion on Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. They wanted to strangle me because of the way that I’ve told them as well as the abundance of those stories. I actually could not believe it also. I cannot understand on how I was blessed with romantic opportunities when I don’t actually want them at those times in the first place. Well, crap, I don’t get one when I actually needed it, now with this girl with purple-rimmed glasses confusing me instead of getting to the point.
That afternoon of February 20, when we were taking a leisure time dipping in the shallow waters of Nagsasa Cove as we fixed our gazes to the sun that was setting in the horizon, we, the guys, were asked by the girls about our preferences on choosing who to date with. There were answers like looks, intellect and personality, which were typical. Mine was actually a peculiar one – small moments. I am the guy that treasures the small moments. If the moments with a girl were heartfelt, then it is for sure that I will fall for her. I fell in love to you just through a physical contact – when our hands touched each other. We then passed the buck to the girls with the same question. All of them have the same answer: they were sapiosexuals. They were attracted based on the guy’s intellect. It makes their heart flutter that they would be having a lot of things to learn from the guys that they admired. That pulled some strings in me, which left me in contemplation for the whole evening.
My childhood friend, who would later become a beauty queen in our hometown, made me her childhood idol. I was a child prodigy, reciting scientific facts and trivia, drawing maps, and reading tons of books, especially encyclopedias. That friend later confessed to me that she was dazzled by my intellect back then and now that we’ve met again. She actually made me her inspiration to excel in academics. At that time, she was the valedictorian in her alma mater as well as the Reyna Elena of my hometown. I later said that – based on her achievements – she could be my ideal girl. It was not a romantic gesture in my part, but she thought that it was. I honestly don’t give a damn on whether my actions would pull some heartstrings in them. I was fed up with love because of you. I have no romantic aspirations back then. I wanted to just retain the oppa-donsaeng relationship with her. She has once seduced me, making me infatuated to her as a result… which ended up in vain. For months, I acted like an older brother to her, comforting her during depressing times. I don’t want to step it up further for my attention was focused in managing UP Pool Club, the student organization that I just established back then. All of the sudden, that girl took the initiative. I’ve got nothing to lose and so I complied.
This was the moment that sapiosexuality met rationality, reason and pride. She was having irrational fits over no legitimate reason at all. And I who follows a doctrine of rationality and reason, grew impatient about it. I was allergic and impatient towards bullshits, lamentably with the girls’. We broke up because of that. It remained an eerie reminder to the hometown folks that a relationship between two smart people will never last. She remained with her fantasies (fictional stories, creating writing) while I faced the reality (political sciences, social sciences, history, natural sciences, engineering and the like). She has been ever obsessed with grades while I find now grades irrelevant. It is quite funny that my grades in taking Civil Engineering was pitiful compared to that when I was a political science major. I had a chat with my parents during the graduation ceremonies of my batchmates in Pol Sci and they lamented over the possible Magna Cum Laude or even Summa Cum Laude honors that I might have if I were to pursue Political Science. My mother, who was a principal in a public high school, was having trouble with the protocols of DepEd, and she always kept telling me that if I were to pursue law, things would be a lot easier to her. It is quite ironic that despite of my mediocre grades in Civil Engineering, my highest grade was that of my undergraduate thesis. Yep, my thesis was the best thesis. But I find that recognition more of a curse than of a blessing initially. I still work for its extension topics as well as to present it to countless symposiums.
My buddies were having headaches just by hearing those stories of mine. It seemed like I was bragging, but I was not. Then, on our way home, another small heartfelt moment came. I had a beautiful lady sitting beside me, presumably came from a mountain hike based on her outfit. It was a very long trip (Iba, Zambales – Quezon City via SCTEX). I fell asleep. When I woke up, my head was resting against the girl’s head and her head was resting against my shoulder. One of my buddies wanted to take a photograph, but he found it too awkward. He was again envious of me as we disembark the bus. I just told him: “I told you so.”
I remembered that… that day… February 21… was that beauty queen’s birthday. I opened up my facebook account to extend my birthday greetings. She appreciated it. We talked for a while, reminiscing the past. We wished each other good luck. On her parting remarks, she said to me that I was born to be an achiever. I responded that I was not really happy about it, having paid dear prices in exchange – my happiness, my love and my tranquility.
After that exchange, I went to deactivate my facebook account in order for me to focus on my encoding. I never thought that my encoding agenda would be finished within days – thanks to the cooperation of their researcher and encoders, who were now anticipating the final paper of my research. As I do my research, I have been asking myself: “Why I have been doing this?” I have already graduated and I feel that I was no longer obliged to further my research. I should be reviewing for the board exams or I should be finishing my manuscript on Antonio Luna’s Impresiones. It was around this time of contemplation that I’ve met Chief Marianito Macasa of Guiuan Station again. He said that he was honored to have received a copy of the paper of my undergraduate thesis, and he hoped to see more from me in the future.. And that did the trick. I started the thesis not to seek personal glory but as a service to the Warays who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda. I recalled the glimmer of hopes in their eyes when I talked to them a year ago, promising that these would be all for their sake.
They are very different: the urban poor and the rural poor. The rural poor were the most well-mannered, hospitable and industrious people that I’ve ever known, but the urban poor were the most bad-mannered, ungrateful and indolent people that I’ve ever known and encountered. They were two different kinds of people. I want to associate myself more with the rural poor. The urban poor and my chagrin to them became the fuel to my fire into writing my Indolence of the Filipinos in the 21st Century on which its 3rd chapter would fully come out by June, five months after the 2nd chapter and eleven months after the first one.
I hope that my hardships and sacrifices will be appreciated by many, not by putting me into the limelight but by remembering me always. The clock is ticking and I have to make full of what is remaining. When that time comes, I want no funeral. I do not want my vessel to be put into public display. I wanted the remains to be obliterated out of existence. I wanted to live forever…in everybody’s hearts. By seeing the fruits and seeds that I’ve planted, I will live on. Since the day that you’ve left me, I’ve had recurring nightmares, sleep paralysis became a daily basis and I’ve been always gasping for air every time that I woke up. That fateful incident, those memories that we have shared, projected me into this arduous and solitary path. I’ve tried my best into cutting all the ties in order to lessen the weights of burden of my journey. There was still this one string that is pulling me back.
When I reactivated my social media accounts, I was surprised to see Telle-chan post a picture of a drawing that exhibits the same features as me – unorganized hair, pair of glasses, a cat-fur moustache and tight lips. It initially added more motivation for me to carry on with my aspirations. The good vibes were picking up before this day. I went shopping with the everybody’s friend from UP – ICE. I was glad that my decision was right on keeping her as a friend and not pursuing her. She deserves someone better for sure. I knew that I had a lot of girl friends lately – and their boyfriends felt threatened by my proximity to them. I wish those friends of mine long, happy, and lasting relationships, The threat which makes them treasured by their significant others is a lasting gift of mine. I hope that they can appreciate those friends of mine as much as I appreciated them.
Jollibee has resumed serving tuna pie in the outlets nationwide again. That reminded me of Noreen Castillo, my crush in ICE whom I’ve referred to as the prettiest colleague of mine. I’ve felt honored to have been able to get close to her (somehow) as a review partner in our CE 155 class. I hope that she smiles more often so that we, who admires her, would be inspired. Trust me, whoever that girl’s significant other will be in the future would be the luckiest man in the world. I want to tell her to raise her chin up and face the troubles, that she may be undergoing through right now, with grade. I hope for her success as much as I do wish for other people. One of my buddies on Nagsasa Cove resembled her and I have to sneak glances to remove the illusion of the resemblance.
The good vibes have been picking up indeed for the last few days since the Valentine’s day. I felt very invigorated. Unfortunately, all the vibes disappeared on this fateful and tragic day when I accidentally found the CD containing all the memories that we’ve had as I look for the installer of SPSS, a statistics software, in my mom’s drawer. Tears fall out from my eyes. I knew it had some footage of one of the most heartfelt moments in my life. I digitally burned it into a CD as I wanted to bury my memories of you just weeks after backing out from courting you. All that I’ve remembered that day was you and Jaru happily chatting at the lobby as I left Kalai. Then, I wailed my frustrations out at the Track Oval, even though the rain was pouring hard and I was already drenched in rainwater. There! I finally said it! It was one of the most painful memories that you didn’t knew that I was carrying all this time. That guy wasn’t even into you and he even gave me the impression that my cause was lost. “May the best man win,” that was what he said that crushed my hopes as well as my heart. That was one of the reasons of my atras-abante behavior during the time that I was courting you.
I gathered my courage to open the CD’s content in my laptop. My memories flooded back like they were yesterday as if the memories were being retained by a dam for so long that soon it suffered catastrophic failure as it reached it’s threshold. I then remembered everything – your face, your laugh, you antics, your voice, the joy, the bliss, the sorrow, and the regrets. The good times and the bad times. After five years, I’ve heard you talk again with you deep but girly voice. Tears were brewed with joy and sorrow as I heard your highly-pitched cute laugh. Were we really that close? Or is it that you are really naturally that way?
The pieces finally fell together. The flaw was never in “We” but in “Me.” The story sums up: Letting go of the love that was destined to forever with that girl from six years ago. Courting the woman that I loved so much, then stopping the efforts midway, right when she developed her feelings already, out of baseless reasons. The voice that wasn’t heard. Forever lost in the daydream. Telling her that we should be just friends. Then weeks later, beginning to court her again as if nothing had happened. It is all my fault – this me who had little faith, who lost courage over a phantom that was not really there, this me who was still oblivious of the obvious, failing to see every sign along the way, and this me who even made her the antagonist to the story that I posted in Overheard at UP, hence the anger and the backlash.
The sorrow was not due to the regrets or to the longing for a lost love, but due to the fact that it was self-inflicted. Telle-chan told me that the drawing was of another person. The should-be disappointment was swallowed by the disappointment of just finding out. I am currently bedridden, maybe for the next two days. I lost all of the energy. I’m someone that nobody wants. It may be true. I feared that I might do it again with Telle-chan, I deserved all of these bad things that happened. I lost all the courage. The time that I will be confessing to Telle-chan might just be the time that I will bade my goodbye. Maybe I don’t deserve to love or to be loved. I am such a fool! Because of that, I’ve became a heart-wrecker over the past 5 years: one girl became alcoholic while some others have their despair still lingering on. Am I really deserving to be loved at all?