Wide Awake

One morning, I woke up and decided I wanted to pursue women’s studies. On that same morning, I browsed through the university’s website and grabbed the phone for inquiry. I was not expecting the college would still welcome my application for graduate studies. It was already on the mid of April, the deadline for application and evaluation of most colleges. Coincidentally UP changed its academic calendar which led to postponing the department’s deadline.I took it as a sign from heaven that it was meant for me.

Yes, it was impulsive. It did not take me days to decide whether I should spend four years of my life in grad school. A conversation with my cousin last Christmas just popped on my head. He gave me the idea: “Why not study about women?”

I don’t know how it began. I grew up in a loving household. My childhood was not memorable but it wasn’t traumatic as well. I have had a pretty normal life but I have always been interested on women issues. I bleed everytime I hear stories of women who are undervalued and mistreated in their social context. I  get inspired when I hear powerful message for women.  Sometimes my blog talks lightly about women empowerment. I have written essays online about women. I am much pleased that I echo sentiments of other women.IMG_20131008_191427 Even before I knew the word feminism, I have always had feminist inclination. When I was a young girl, I asked men why they did not allow their wives to work or continue their studies . I felt uncomfortable when people around me discussed how a woman’s clothing could invite disrespect and rape. I had been gender-sensitive. I could not enjoy my lunch while having a conversation filled with sexist remarks and victim-blaming mentality. IMG_20140430_182418 When I started studying women and development, I was able to validate my feelings and convictions towards the stereotype given to women. Sadly, at this day of age, gender ideology to be exact, breeds oppression. My professor said: ” There’s nothing wrong with gender ideology. It is our reality. But if you are going to use it to alienate, to discriminate,to eliminate, it becomes a problem.” Gender inequality is not a small problem but it is a global problem. It affects labor force, economy, commerce, health, and personal relationships. It affects the entire human race. We are losing a lot of human potential by excluding women in the marketplace, in policymaking, and in services.

As I continue with the course, I have read a lot of negative impressions about feminism. It seems that the western world has painted an unfavorable image of feminism. But closely examining theoretical frameworks and development approaches, feminism works best not only for women but also for men; not only for individuals but for the society as whole. It posts questions that our government, our society should have answered ages ago. There is discomfort in finding answers to these questions. People who are pessimistic about feminism fail to see that those who need this movement most are the marginalized women from the lower class and from the third world countries. Watch Emma Watson’s speech

I am now on my second semester. I am not sure where my studies will take me but I must say, I am enjoying the process. I study primarily to feed my brain which my routinary lifestyle cannot provide. And I study to find a place where my ideals are met or challenged. I just want an egalitarian world where we can all use our talents and make choices for ourselves. Free~2

Unforgettable Quotes of my 2014

My 2014 is a roller-coaster of emotions, from sleeping to awakening, from enlightenment to confusion, from breaking to forming pieces, from giving up to giving in. But this is probably the time I seek advice from others. I do not rely on my own judgment as I used to. I seek, listen, contemplate, read, and study to find answers. I take note when people share some words of wisdom and I brag that I have people in my life who have wise words. Here are memorable quotes from my 2014 experience.

“Don’t wear the shoes that don’t fit you” –  Lina Bernardo

Photo Source: Disney

My aunt shared these words of comfort after I gave up on what I thought was perfect. I used to buy shoes that did not fit me. Even if I knew they were too small or too big, I bought them because they were pretty. My officemate, Karen, and I have a word for that. We called it ‘beauty endurance’. I could wear 4 inch stiletto maybe for 30 minutes but I could not wear them all night. For sure, high heels will make me look good on the camera but behind the lens, they hurt.

“There is no fear in love”-  Telly Belo

In a phone conversation, my mom said, “There is no fear in love.” She got it from 1 John 4: 18. From this principle, I come up my own statement of love: “If love is governed by terms and agreement, rules and regulations, it is not ‘love’. It is called business transaction. There is no politics in love, only liberty.”

“What’s the purpose of our being if we are not open for changes?” – Ronn Angeles

I was having dinner with my friend, Ronn. I told him there was something I was contemplating on. He replied, “What’s new? You are always contemplating.” I asked one of the most stupid questions, “”Are you open for change?” And he gave me this answer.

“Knowledge is not permanent” – Dean Inday

These were some of the last words my teacher said  during the last day of our MA classes. We can never be sure of what we know. Hence, we should never stop learning. Always be open-minded.

“Everything we do with the wrong intention is sinful” – Brod. Ed Larrobis

I spend a lot of time talking with our preacher. Even if I can think on my own and have some sense of what it is right and proper, I rethink of the choices and actions I make. I’d just like to stress that good deeds with the wrong motives are invalid

“Players gonna play. Haters gonna hate. Heart-breakers gonna break. Fakers gonna fake. I’m just gonna shake”– Taylor Swift

I’ve been addictive to Taylor’s Swift 1989 album, primarily because I find her songs relevant in the phases of my life. What Taylor’s Swift‘s song is saying: You can’t please everyone. I wrote this last year: “ Prioritize your happiness.”

“Candles have their own logic”  – 16 Wishes

I was watching a teen movie with my nieces, 16 Wishes. In the movie, the girl had a wish list for her birthday. It turned out that her wishes came true but not in the way she wanted. Morale of the story: “Be careful what you wish for”

“No amount of human reason can make you numb.” – Jacklyn

I will not end my blog post without my facebook-status quote. Here’s what I realize from my experiences, from others’ experiences, from reading problems of society, from understanding social justice: “No amount of human reason can make you numb” The Script wrote in their popular song Breakeven: “No wise words can stop the bleeding.” Maroon 5 wrote in Beautiful Goodbye: “Clever words can’t help me now” No one is exempted from suffering. We can blame structures, government, organizations, people for how we feel. We can over analyze life’s little injustices in scientific, logical, or biblical way but that does not stop you from feeling what you are supposed to feel. You cannot intellectualize pain nor can’t you intellectualize simple joy.

jacklyn pic

Happy New Year!
I want to make my new year’s resolutions simple. One of them is to update my blog as much as possible.

To my 14-year-old Self

muni muni

To my 14-year-old self:

One day you will realize the things you believe important and attractive are trivial and superficial. Hence, take it easy. Forgive yourself when you can’t rewind, replace, redo. We are all unfinished products.

Find your own happiness. Your happiness should be independent from what your parents, your friends, or others think. It should be free from what society expects. Our capitalist culture has a way of reshaping our beliefs on happiness. Listen to your inner voice. It may not give you the best answers but it will give you the honest answers.

Fulfilling a childhood dream or a bucket list is more of an ego fulfillment than a calling. Ego fulfillment is all about yourself. It is a personal sense of accomplishment or sense of worth. Calling is not all about yourself. Calling is not unrequited love. It shouldn’t be I-love-music-but-music-hates-me. It means you want something that wants you back.

You will like to hear a lot of inspiring quotes about life like these: “If you work hard, you will succeed. If you are persistent, you will get it. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. If you are very passionate, you will excel. If you are nice to people, they will not do harm to you.” Sorry to burst your bubble, life has no formula. We keep on finding ways to make it perfect but no one writes his own life like an equation. It is a result of many drafts. We can only plan life to a certain extent but there will always be a hand of God pointing you to where you should be.

Here are four top life events you have to go through.

From the lyrics of  Fix You– Coldplay

  1. When you try your best but don’t succeed
  2. When you get what you want but not what you need
  3. When you lose something you can’t replace
  4. When you love someone but goes to waste

Thus, when things don’t work out in favor of you, you learn to reinvent yourself.

If you make a mistake, do it with dignity. Be a professional actor. Don’t let other people know your weakness unless you can no longer keep it to yourself. Hide the things that haunt you. Be a swan, struggling underneath but graceful on the surface. It takes time to master this craft.

Savor every feeling whether it’s good or bad. If someone cuts you, let it bleed. Laugh if it tickles. Be amused even if you are the only one who can appreciate it. If someone tricks you, good for you. You just witness magic. If you hate something, punch the wind.

Fight for what you love, even if you are not sure it is worth fighting for. The only time you know it’s not worth fighting for when you lose the battle. Hence, you don’t know if you don’t try. We call this 1st level bravery. The second level of bravery is when you give up the things you used to dream and love after fighting a hard battle. Warriors do not mention the word “surrender”. But there is victory in surrender. It is something both heroes and losers shared.

Lastly, don’t be in a hurry to grow up.

Yours truly,

The Aging Self