Pre-Econ-Exam Blues

We have an Economics exam on Sunday, six days away, and this is the worst I’ve felt before any exam ever.

I’ve never felt so empty, so confused of all the lessons taken up. Especially that hellish topic involving the 45-degree line and the C, I, G, X, MPC, MPS, GDP, all those things. Problem set #4. Worst. Sight. Ever.

Yes, this is the worst I’ve felt heading into any exam in my life. I don’t want to see the F word at the end of the exam. Ever. And I want this to be the last time this shit happens. I don’t want to Fail.

The Day I Knew I Passed the UPCAT

Where were you when you found out you passed the entrance exam of your dream college?

Lunch time just ended. It was English time. My classmates and I started going back to Senior E’s classroom. As usual, everyone was talking to someone, laughing, chatting, whatever. It was a fun room, a fun class.

It was a rule to not go to the comfort room immediately after lunch. Mostly it was followed by students and teachers. But this time it was different. Our teacher was kind. This time he allowed me. This was about 25 minutes after the period began. I excused myself from class to go to the restroom.

I didn’t really do my business. I didn’t pee, didn’t defecate. I did those things during lunch break, just as I always do. And I don’t always excuse myself to go to the restroom right after lunch. That just doesn’t fit  my personality. I do things in their appropriate times.

But today was different. Today was a day out of the norm. I don’t know why but there was just something different about that day.

I entered the restroom and, just washed my hands and my face. Then I decided to check my cellphone, to see if anyone texted me.

1 message received displayed my phone. Cool, I thought to myself.

It was a text from my father. I wonder why he texted me. He doesn’t usually text me during class hours, especially at 1pm. This must be something important.

“Yahooooo! Pumasa ka sa UP! Congrats!”

And in my excitement, I shouted in the restroom! I pumped my fist once, and placed it in my mouth to contain my excitement!

And immediately, I ran back to the classroom. No kidding, I really ran.

I went in and I think it was obvious in my body language what just happened. I smacked my friend in the back. “My dad texted me! Pumasa ako sa UP!” struggling to contain myself. I had an involuntary smile on my face — no it wasn’t just a smile, a grin — which said it all.

And pretty soon the class was congratulating me. Except for one person. She passed the UPCAT too, but she wasn’t happy about it. Just because she didn’t get into her first choice. She wasn’t just plain unhappy, she was crying unhappy. And apparently, my celebration just made her even sadder. It didn’t help that I was sitting right behind her.

Other students knew they passed the UPCAT by checking the website. Others went to UP to check the hard copy of the results and look for their names. Or if not that, they asked their friends who were in UP to check for them.

Well, I was different. I found out I passed the UPCAT in the bathroom.

Told you this day was out of the norm.

Family Involvement? But Why? Hmm..

I was in the SM Mall of Asia. I knew I was. Strangely, the room I was in looked EXACTLY like my room here at home. Only it was probably twice as big, or more. Plus the bed was bigger, queen-sized. But everything else was the same. I just am clueless why my room was in MOA.

SHE was in the room with me. At first it was just the two of us. Then all of a sudden, our Finance committee VP appears, sitting on the left side of the bed, near the pillows. SHE and I were on the bed, just talking. After a while, I moved closer. I attempted to put my arm around her waist, sort of hug her. But she pulled away suddenly. That was her ticklish spot, I remembered. Because of this, she fell from the bed, a little in front of where our FinComm VP was seated.

And we were laughing about it. And I see her beautiful smile.

And on the side, the FinComm VP was just there, laughing demurely at what was going on.

I helped HER get up, but again, she avoided me, and rolled on the bed, over to the right foot side of the bed. She lay down with her hands resting at the back of her head, with both legs bent, as if preparing to kick me. She was wearing a teal-colored dress. She had that smile on her face, that evil playful smile. Yeah, we were fooling around.

I felt the urge to go to the washroom. I went out and, since we were in MOA, I asked the guard where the restroom was. “Sa labas!” he answered in a pissed off tone. So I went out. Couldn’t find it. Decided to go back to my room. Lingered. Then I went out again, looked, can’t find, went back and lingered. Repeat one more time.

When I went out again, I saw stairs, which were REALLY tight, it was hard to climb. It reminded me of the caves in Mt. Banahaw. When I finally got to climb, someone talked to me. “Mukhang pawis na pawis ka ah,” my cousin, Kuya Tom said. He and MJ were there. I went to the bathroom to pee.

I don’t remember what happened next. I think SHE went there as well and we just hung out there.

******

Yesterday, I had another dream. I was in Mama’s house in Project 8. SHE was there with me. So was the rest of my father side family. It wasn’t a formal event, but I was wearing a long-sleeve polo. And SHE was there with me, though I don’t remember what she wore.

I don’t remember much that happened, but we were both shy. It was kinda awkward. I don’t know what the event was, but I’m guessing I introduced HER to my family for the first time.

*******

Well, this is different. That’s two consecutive days where I’ve dreamt of HER and my family is present (my cousin in the dream earlier, an entire side of family in the other). Does this mean something? Or is it just mere coincidence?

The Day St. Augustine was Discussed in Class

Soc Sci II class always gives me the nerves. And why not, when every meeting, there is a chance the index card with my name and photo will be drawn, and I stand and recite.

Last Friday (January 6), my two groupmates and I were “on deck”, meaning we were the ones who must recite for the day. As for the questions, all will come from St. Augustine’s work, City of God.

I had no problem with the work. I had a problem with the length. Oh it wasn’t too long. I mean, it was only 22 BOOKS LONG, with each book containing around 30 chapters. It was LONG. And by Thursday night, I still haven’t started. And I figured, even if I stayed up all night, I wouldn’t be able to read the entire thing.

I tried my best to read as many summaries as possible, but I wasn’t confident. The summaries online aren’t complete. I knew there would be parts which won’t appear in the summaries. It drove me insane that night, that I had to wake up really early Friday morning to continue reading.

I left our house with a nervous feeling. I wasn’t confident at all. I tried my best to think positively, that the little that I read will be the answers to the questions to be thrown at me.

During lunch time, right before class time, I re-read SparkNotes, or at least what it can provide me about City of God. Plus the 2 or 3 other tabs I opened about City of God. And so I went to class, along the way discussing the reading with my classmate and orgmate Mel. I silently said a prayer.

It was answered. I felt it.

When I was asked to recite, the questions were things I read about, multiple times, that I knew the answer to it. It was easier than expected. I was asked about the Creation story in the Bible, Adam and Eve’s story, things I read about. Though there were questions asked which I was clueless about, they were significantly less than the last time we were “on deck”. That was a train wreck.

I don’t think it was coincidence that relatively easy questions came to me. Had I arrived a few minutes earlier, I would have been asked the questions asked to my other groupmate, which I don’t think I’ll be able to answer. Had I not decided to read early that morning, I would have known less about the topics. There were just to0 many coincidences that it’s hard to owe it all to fate; maybe to faith.

And how timely is it that we had a saint as our topic. That whole day just fit together so well.

Baguio Better Be Better Next Time

Fifteen years after my first visit to the Summer Capital of the Philippines (I was 3 or 4), my family decided to go up, for the first time in 15 long years.

Based on my parents’ reactions on the sights and spots, it has gotten bad. I don’t remember anything from my first visit, but after going to Mines View Park (MVP), I get their point. It seemed less like Baguio and more like a tiangge in Quezon City. Everywhere, and I’m not exaggerating, there are stalls selling souvenirs. One or two stalls is fine, but there are probably a hundred of them. Selling the same stuff. Annoying.

Add to that the multitude of people walking around you from all directions. It’s chaotic. It’s hard to take a photo without strangers’ heads in the background. The number of people is a good sign that people are visiting the place, but the sheer number of souvenir stalls made the place more cramped than it should’ve been.

My dad said that after seeing MVP, he’d already made up his mind: we wouldn’t be going to the other popular spots in Baguio like Burnham Park. It was going to be as messed up, he said.

SM Baguio was the same thing. It didn’t look like a mall because of the amount of people shuffling in and out. What came to mind was an MTR station in Hong Kong during rush hour. And we all know how those go: stampede-like. I’ve never seen a mall with that many people (with the exception of Alabang Town Center when Jabbawockeez had a show there 2 or 3 years ago).

Camp John Hay still looks good. And I use the word “still” even though it’s really my first time, because my parents say that, yes, the place has been pretty much well-maintained through the years. The trees look good, looking like the ones from forest chase scenes from horror flicks. There weren’t that many people. And I don’t think I saw a single souvenir stall up there, the ones which littered MVP.

The best part about our Baguio trip was the weather. It’s the kind of weather I’d like to live in, where nights go down below 15-degrees Celsius. And the Monopoly Deal nights I had with my family. It was also the first time I ingested some alcohol into my system for 3 straight nights. And the first time I tasted the San Miguel Alcoholic Malt Beverage I always hear King DJ Logan and Marf and Cleo advertise on-air on the Disenchanted Kingdom.

Much like my conclusion when we went to Macau, I would like to say that Baguio is overrated now as far as tourist spots are concerned. Too little space for loads and loads of people. I wish their city government can transform Baguio to be one big Camp John Hay.