Nightmares and Dreams

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thought they aren't real; they show you what's real.

How's that for a paradox? As much as I enjoy dreaming and escaping the hardships from reality into a world beyond comprehension of the naked eye, it simply foreshadows and contradicts it's point when it ends... wait what? English please.

I've dreamed for hours and most of the time it's difficult to put the pieces together about what exactly had occurred during REM (rapid eye movement). Anyways, I'm sure that we can all relate on saying that most of the time it's a very pleasant and out of this world feeling that somehow made it down to earth. I mean, they're our dreams; we visualize grandeur illusions of the subconscious part of the mind of our inner most wants and desires and during those hours of dreaming and sleeping, it's an alter reality... an alter reality. The worst part of dreaming is waking up. "But I love dreaming!" I'm not saying that I hate dreaming; but I most definitely hate waking up. Dreams show me exactly what I want, exactly what I don't have. It proves to me, that I am not satisfied with myself nor my ability; that I still don't have what I want and that I'm still not accomplished.

How exactly do I feel after a dream? Dreams only show me that I am incomplete and that there are still many things missing from my life. My dreams prove to me, that I'm only living a nightmare.

Nightmares? Restless nights, uncontrollable heart beats, emotions, tears, and the whole shi-bang? it's not that bad. Amazing things about nightmares, as much as you'd like to say, "I hate nightmares." They show you your fears, your doubts, your disappointments, your hatred, anger, and overall negativity. Like dreams, during REM you're placed in a state of an alter reality that once again: isn't real.

Of course you're hurt when you wake up! Sometimes you see visions of death, that you're family hates you, that you have no friends, or that things aren't going so well for you in your life... on the real, that only happens in the beginning of your awaken state.

After a nightmare, I appreciate life. I appreciate the ones I love, the friends I have, the life I live, and the times I've cherished. I'm glad that I'm alive after a nightmare and that my reality is nothing like what I had just visioned. Out of the fear that a nightmare just might become a reality; I take that extra precaution and extra push for change and growth.

The only time you can say "I'm living the dream" and "my dream has become a reality" is after a nightmare; you realize, life isn't that bad.

Nightmares? Yes please.

Speaking from the true mind of an optimist, there's a positive side to everything; the only determining factor is where you look.

My Speech for Ace Banquet

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

When Sharon first asked me to be a student speaker, I was a little intrigued, surprised, nervous, and excited all at the same time. I quickly accepted from all the anxiety, and clearly, I had no idea what I was getting into. I sat down later that same day pen and paper in my hand ready to instill what I had thought could be awe inspiring and revolutionizing for the graduates... so I sat there thinking… inspiration… inspiration… something inspirational… Nothing came to mind. Well nothing yet at least.

I was baffled for several days and unsure of what to write down… then out of nowhere, like that tiny red thought bubble at the bottom right hand corner of a facebook notifying me that somebody tagged a horrible picture of me, it came to me. Inspiration is different for everybody; something that may seem inspirational to one person may not be to another. So I decided that rather than focusing on inspiration itself or even how I was inspired; I’ve found that the more important part is what you get out of inspiration.

With that being said, I was able to identify some of the aspects on campus that have actually inspired me; one of those institutions being but not limited to the Asian & Pacific Islander Student Center. I remember the first day I entered the APISC my freshman year during Bronco Fusion; the coordinator at the time was Dora Lee and I was greeted with a warm welcome and invited to eat; and right there lay before me probably the most amount of free food that I have ever seen. It was funny though, I knew that there was a catch. I felt that the more food that I put on my plate; somehow I managed to pick up 10 applications from CSA, VSA, KSA, JSA, PSA, APITG, and of course Barkada. I looked around and everywhere my head turned, I saw people interacting, relaxing, laughing, bonding, playing card games, listening to music,, strumming guitars, singing, dancing, drawing, and of course my favorite thing: studying; from that moment on, I knew that I’d come back to the APISC again and what would eventually become my “home away from home.”

I found my identity at the APISC over the past four years of my college career and I’m very proud to say that I am a product of the amazing opportunities and chances that the center has offered and made available for me. With that being said, I’ll return back to my main point that rather than focusing on inspiration itself, try to focus more on what you get out of it. As a student, a member, an activist, a teacher, a leader, a participant, a caretaker, and a listener of the APISC, these are a few things that I’ve come to learn:

I’ve learned that if you really want to see a difference, the quickest way is to make a difference. I’ve learned that counting time is not so important as making time count and that you’ll probably lose more time at trying to find more time. I’ve learned that your rights today may be considered wrongs tomorrow and that what people may perceive as social justice may actually be a moral injustice. I’ve learned that definitions change every day. I’ve learned that raising a fist no longer means breaking people apart but bringing people together. I’ve learned that just because you don’t know what you want in life doesn’t mean that you’re living it any less than somebody who does. I’ve learned that no matter how many times you run around the track you never reach the end, just a new beginning. I’ve learned that even though your life may be in your planner, the best things in life aren’t planned.

I’ve come to learn many things in my college career from the various inspirational institutions that I’ve taken part in and I am full heartedly thankful for everything that they have provided me with. As students we are here to learn and what happens after you’ve learned something? You apply it to your life and your actions. As students of the APISC, we are prepared for more than simply expanding our knowledge of our heritage, additionally we are prepared to teach others as well. We’re the physical evidence that APISC has motivated students to become the changes that they wish to see in the world and because of this, I feel that we should stand and give the coordinators, volunteers, workers, and everyone involved in the APISC an applause.

I’d like to leave you guys with a quote from Maya Angelou that inspired me to remember all the experiences I’ve learned:

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

At the end of this, if you’ve forgotten what I’ve said and what I’ve did; it’s alright. However, I do hope that you remember how I made you feel and that you take that feeling and use it to do amazing things. Thank you.

Leaving the Bahay Kubo


My dear Barkada, there are no words or phrases that can completely sum up the love I have for you. They say once in a lifetime experiences are those that you will never forget; I can honestly say you are one of those experiences. I don’t have to reiterate what “Barkada” means to me because there is one unifying definition that seems to remain in all of us; and that is family. Barkada without a doubt is a family; a family that I have grown with and have identified with. All of us are connected with one another and have left a piece of our hearts in one shape, way, or form. Home is where the heart is, and in our case, it’s the Bahay Kubo. I’m leaving my heart in the Bahay Kubo as I take these last steps outside hoping that I have inspired, motivated, and driven you all to fight for what you believe in no matter who or what holds you back. It’s all about passion; find your passion and embrace it tightly. Do not let anyone take your passion away from you.

I must thank you Barkada. I never would have discovered my identity if not for you. I am a Filipino American completely knowledgeable of his culture, traditions, and heritage. I am truly blessed to have met some incredible individuals as well as help shape others into what they have always dreamt of; I sincerely hope that you all eventually do the same. Inspire others, help others, console others, hug, kiss, embrace, and accept others for being human whether or not you see them as perfection. Everyone enters the Bahay Kubo looking for shelter; I can guarantee you that nobody leaves the same as they once were. You’ll find yourself accepting things you never accepted before, you’ll find yourself living with individuals who you completely disagree with, you’ll find yourself giving your all as someone refuses to share the wealth; nonetheless, all of this helps create your identity. Remember what you have to give and bring to the Bahay Kubo even if it’s nothing and never forget what you leave with.

I’m leaving with pride and love for not only myself but the community. I’m leaving with my mind and heart filled with compassion and love from others. I’m leaving with absolutely nothing that I came with because I left my hardships and experiences in the house for others to learn from. I’m leaving with a vision of hope and a vision of peace. I’m leaving with tears falling from my eyes knowing my time is over but joyful that your time has just begun…

Unfortunately, I’m not leaving with you and I’m not leaving while holding your hands; you’re time isn’t over… despite this, I am leaving; I am leaving the Bahay Kubo. One day, I will return fascinated at the changes you all have made and full heartedly happy that the legacy lives on. I love you Barkada. Thank you for everything.

Secret Identity

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Everyone wants to be seen as a hero, as a saint, as an amazing individual with skills and trademarks that set them apart from the crowd.  To perform the impossible and to be rewarded for their humane and courageous acts making them seem anything but human.  To save lives, to inspire, to make their mark, to influence, to make a difference, and in general to be an genuine role model for followers to imitate.  The world is their pallet and they are the artist shaping it into what is said to be good and justice.  I am one of those individuals who wish to do that and I am one of those individuals who accomplish the aforementioned.  I speak, I write, I act, and I perform.  I am a legend...

... there's no wonder why heroes have a secret identity that remains to be untold.  It's the only true evidence that they are human and that they can make mistakes just as much as the next person.  They have troubles, they have hardships, they have problems, and they can't do the impossible as much as they'd like to believe they could.  They don't shine and the good majority of the time it's their "hero" identity that overshadows and overpowers the secret identity.  It's the hero that everyone is desperate to hear about and learn about; it's their famous accomplishments that anyone would want to be part of.  The hero has the perfect costume and outfit to hide the secret identity and as much as the hero is glorified and congratulated, the secret identity remains forgotten... people fall in love with the hero, not the identity.

Most people know me as the Academic Chair of Barkada, the President of Pilipino Graduation, the External Affairs from two years ago, the guy in charge of the Kuya/Ate program, and as one of the "Legends" who has done unbelievable things with many credentials.  But for those who have seen the secret side of me, the side that has cried, the side that has failed, the side that needs help, that side that needs that hand, and the side that makes me human... No number of fans and cheers can ever surpass the amount of love I have and felt for you.

... so for now on, I plan on finding the secret identity in heroes and congratulate them for being human; fall in love with the secret identity, not the hero.

Lunch Pails and Brown Paper Bags

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I still bring a lunch bag to school everyday.

Packed inside is a sandwhich, juice, chips, and occasionally a nice sweet.  If not a sandwhich, leftovers from the day before with some rice, a spork, and napkins to clean up the mess.  I don't make it though, I'm lucky enough to have my parents find time to do such a simple task...  at least it seems simple.

I mean, how difficult can it be?  Get a brown paper bag or a lunch pail with some small plastic bags on the side, pack them with the goods, seal it up, and head on my way.  I can do it myself if I really wanted to in less than five minutes.  I mean how difficult can it be?

With 6 weeks left, I'm beginning to understand more why they take the time to put in a good quality lunch for me.  Something that I think would only take me five minutes to make actually wouldn't even come close to amount to the quality that parents could put in lunch pails and brown paper bags; it took them twenty one years to perfect the exact recipe to fill a bag of love.

Call it childish, but I don't ask them to make it; they just do.  With me soon to be graduating from college... I think they're trying to do whatever they can to remind themselves that I'm still their child; that despite me becoming a grown man with a head full of hair and a back carrying the world they can still help and that I could depend on them.  In essence, they want to feel that I still need them to live and go through life.  That something so simple as providing lunch pails and packing brown paper bags is a necessity in my life...

... I think the sad part of all of this is that I've realized that... it's not; it used to be, but not anymore.  I'm not saying that I don't appreciate it because I appreciate all that they've done beyond words and written material; far beyond story book rhymes and college textbooks.  Far beyond allowance and providing for the family.  Far beyond birthdays, dinners, get-togethers, and parties.  Far beyond; I appreciate it so far beyond it all.

... and I think the sadder part of all of this, is that they've realized it too.  I'm able, I'm independent, and I'm in my adulthood now.  They're no longer at the door holding my lunch pails and brown paper bags as I rush off to school and leave home for seven hours of school anxiously waiting to come back home with food ready on the stove.  Now it's a simple note on the table as I wake up at the crack of dawn to start my day: "Anak, don't forget your baon; love Mom & Dad."

... I'll never forget my baon, and I'll never forget what truly lies in my lunch pails and brown paper bags; I'll never make it as good as you have.

What Kind Of Asian Are You?!?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You have got to be kidding me.

I had no idea that I could be directly described to a misfit, uneducated,  delinquent with absolutely no respect.

Fuck the police?  Last time I checked Asians including Filipinos made up less than 5% of the incarceration rates.

Not the smartest?  Are you serious?  Is it because we're too busy vandalizing, dancing, and getting our "five finger discounts" wherever we can?  How can you be so closed minded?

If there is anything that 1st generation Filipino parents push for is the continued education of their sons and daughters for a promising and stable future.

Don't ever let a quiz define me as a character or allow an individual to judge me with pre-existing notions from an incriminating, stereotypical, falsely accused, irrational, and unrealistic propoganda.


Contributing to Your All Time Lows

Monday, April 13, 2009

My heart breaks for your loss. All I can do is remain mute while I watch your world crumble. Unfortunately, for myself and yours, my actions have only contributed to your downfall rather than your uprising.

Bon chance mon amis; je suis tres desole.

... then again it's always been the same problem between you and I; bad timing. Bad timing to hurt me, and most definitely bad timing to hurt you. My intentions were never to bring your world down but to turn things around; a task that takes time and rather than paving a path I've sent you off blind down a dangerous forked road.

May I simply be a small segment from your past nuances left behind with all your unnecessary memories and may you find the silver lining in your clouded days.

There is nothing I can do anymore; but watch you disappear down a trail that not even I can tell you where it ends.

I wish you the best.

FYI#40: You’ll have to understand that at some occasions, it’s best if you don’t get involved and remain a ghost in another person’s life.

The Art of Forgiveness

Friday, April 03, 2009

It's so much easier to forgive and to forget and to not worry about guilt and disappointment... or wait, disappointment? By forgiving, of course you don't have to worry about guilt, but disappointment?

How do you know that you won't be disappointed again? In context, what's the point in forgiveness if you have that gut feeling that you're going to be let down again for the same reasons? Forgiveness in a sense isn't something that you can just give; it has to be earned. It's a renewal of trust and and a promise that you won't be hurt again. As much as somebody can say I'm sorry, do you know exactly what you're sorry for? Are you completely knowledgeable for the things that you've done and incoherently sorry for that or are you just sorry for the fact that you may lose a friendship? If it's the latter, unfortunately, your sorry doesn't mean anything.

You have to understand the pain and suffering that somebody has gone through to truly be sorry for your actions. You can't apologize and run; how can you expect somebody to forgive you if you haven't heard their side of the story? Apologize, stand your ground, take a hit, and listen to the damage that you've caused in another person.

Forgiveness is an art, it's like taking a damanged piece of work, painting over the ugly parts, and making it into something new; because when you're finally entirely forgiven for your actions, you'll find that you've made a stronger relationship than what you've had before.

Like I said before, it's so much easier to forgive and to forget, but sometimes you have to turn the other cheek to get a hard lesson learned to be completely forgiven.