Temporarily permanent: the term in review

In the forty-something messages in my mobile's inbox lies a message that Sara sent me almost three months ago.

"We never know how this friendship has started, and we'll never know how it would end, but whatever happens, when our friendship is gone, I'll never forget the billion times you made me smile..."

It was another roller-coaster ride, but this time it was way different. Within the last fourteen weeks many things have been tested, retested and replaced. All I was expecting was nothing more of the usual (well, except for the harder subjects and later dismissals), but instead all I got was bigger stuff going my way. New people ready to leave their mark (props to Nico, Cor and Jenn, and our classmates at CWTS class), new teachers ready to leave theirs as well (such as the Marasigan mantras) and new experiences ready to leave us partly shattered but all the more stronger. To squeeze it all in, it was the occasional hell but the unusual heaven; it was a great term, because for one, all the adjusting's been done, and all we have to do is undo the errors done last term. Right? It seems all I had to do was let go, let things flow, and let everything take its course.

I can't reiterate enough that we will be parting ways in the next term. It's no more of the people you're used to seeing every day; no more of the forty-three people you've seen and seen again every afternoon. Nothing more of the people you've panicked with, learned with, and (even) fell in love with (although I'm not sure if that is the case). Nothing more of the usual routines, the weekend trips, the many debuts, day-outs and shoots we've gone through (or were forced to go through), no more of the questions about whether things are to push through or not. But I've said enough - everyone is, in a way, feeling the pain. Although the groups will remain as the groups, and the drifters will remain as the drifters, things are really going to be different.

As one of those drifters, who's practically resorted to thinking the whole block is my barkada, it's pretty hard. Most especially, however, when you think that I'm still scared of change, and steadiness has been my favorite virtue over the years, it's become more of a psychological war with realities and ideas. As much as I wanted to keep part of my friends with me, as constant as we are right now, we just couldn't. But, even though we're (somehow) crushed, we've got to move on. And, thankfully, I've prepped myself for it.

This is going to be a really long post. Forty-something paragraphs of thoughts, thanks and tinkered words. Just to prep you up, you better scroll down to your relevant area and read your part of the post.

Ale, I know we haven't been cool and all that during the past two terms. Maybe I should've taken your advice you've just given me (one that practically everybody else gave before), but still, I've got to admit there's something with your presence that makes me go, well, hyperactive. But I'm not going to go and make excuses over my actions. Thank you for the time, and despite my being simply too annoying (yes, I know, too annoying at times), you were still there. I don't know, really - but still, thanks. It's just now when I've become comfortable at you, simple said - and at those times, our little conversations make it as such. Looking forward to more things, and - still - stay strong. Clueless, yes, but I do feel it somehow.

Ariane, admittedly I've been intimidated at you at times. No offense, but I do feel smaller beside you, despite the (should I say it?) physical differences. Pero, kahit na - you were one of those people that happily accepted my all-too-often touchiness, even though you always ask me to, well, stay off. In the conversations we had come nonsense and yet it provokes me so much into thinking about things. Salamat sa lahat ng mga klaripikasyon, leksyon at lahat-lahat. And, to end things weirdly, sana uwi ulit tayo ng sabay. Haha.

Baba, I know we weren't really that close, but I do recognize that you were there in my most difficult times. English 1 class, remember? You offered your hand and told me you were there when I needed you. And, even if I didn't really go to you, you were there to keep my hopes (and spirits up) and encourage me about stuff. And, yes, the jacket you always borrowed from me. Wala lang, natutuwa ako dun. Thank you for being there, despite the distance, so to speak.

Caresse, it's been six months since I thought of two things about you; first, you don't seem friendly and second, you are pretty (heck why?). And it was beyond the face, it was in the personality. Admittedly I didn't think we would be this close, with me being scared of all of those unreachable people. Sa dinami-dami mong text message sa akin, laging nagtatanong ng kung ano-ano, I have to admit I did get to know more about you. the fact that you entrusted me with some of your stuff, tangible or otherwise, is proof that we are closer than I thought we'd be. To think na kaya kitang bigyan ng compliment about your beauty. (Okay, enough of that.) To put it in uncommon terms, pulling off that party is my privilege. Oh, and thanks also for being there, for constantly tagging when I wanted someone to tag, and for being there when I just couldn't talk to anyone (or anybody to release my thoughts, for that matter).

Clarence, still my girlfriend! It's weird to think what one photograph could do to our friendship. Kahit isa lang ako sa marami mong boyfriend sa block (and, if you're out of the block, please don't take this too seriously), natutuwa pa rin akong isipin na ito ang nakapag-lapit sa atin. Think about it - we've always got ourselves thinking with our thoughts, and oftentimes they've affected us in one way or another. Clarence, matagal na kitang binibigyan ng advice about that love life of yours. I do wish you keep what I've said in mind, even if they often don't make sense. And, yes, I'll still be there to dispense your dose of thoughts and (weirdly) hugs.

Cuyeg, we weren't that close as well, but I do appreciate the stuff we've done together, kahit maliit lang. Up to now I still look up to you, with me having an image of you being that cool guy and all that. Initially I tried my best to be at your level, but I just can't. I really can't, and still you accepted me. (Recalling what I said before, that I thought you would hate me... turns out it was just my head.) Thanks for everything, including that little encouragement you gave me early on in that testimonial. I know, it's been long appreciated.

Denise, despite the distance and the priorities, I appreciate the times you returned my greetings, and everything else. You've got a long way to go, I know, and you could do much more. Stay what you are, and you'll get there in time.

Derek, I know you didn't want to become class president, but you do a good job of shouting with respect. And that's just one thing. We've talked nonsense and sense in many times, and I do appreciate you telling me what you think about the things happening around you. I like the way you get really frank about things, even with the language and the intonation (in fact, I like you for that). We may be both pessimists, yes, but at least we've got each other to talk about those pessimisms and the anecdotes you keep on telling me. Thank you for the company, and I wish you also remain the same, cuddly old unhuggable you.

Dhi, you don't have to tell me that I suck - I know, I do. Well, even though you don't mean it (and I know you don't), your little quips and jokes never fail to lighten me up. You just go there and say that I suck, or (just today) that I am a crammer. You were one of my first college friends, and I still remember when we watched the Parokya ni Edgar concert together, when I took photos of Chito for you in that broken mobile of yours. And I still don't have the photos. Kidding - with that pepped-up personality of yours? Of course, I'll take it.

Huey, the blockmate I never expected to have - I thought I'd only see you as some freshman from SBCA, and yes, as Charlie. Mas malalim ka pala than I expected. I remember you offering your hand when I was undeniably entwined to Ale, and I remember still refusing to tell you about it. Admittedly, hindi agad ako naging comfortable sa'yo. First of all, I apologize for not initially trusting you - maybe it was just me not trusting everyone, but on that fateful night I singled you out. Despite that, however, you were still there - and you are still there. Thank you for the many thoughts we've shared, for the nonsense you took from me, and for the many lunches we've spent together. I do wish to see you again sometime. Kaya natin yan!

Ian, being a drifter isn't really all that bad. Alam kong marami kang pinagdaanan this school year. As they say, you lose some, and you get some. I know it hasn't been all that comfortable for you, having to endure a term and a half with all those uncertainties. But, Ian, recall that despite that, many people have been willing to listen to you talk about many things. Hindi ka nga ganoong okay minsan, but overall it works. Lahat hindi perfect. Keep that in mind. Thanks for the million things we've done together, and as we go back to the second term, I'm sure it's a lot of memories well-enjoyed.

Icka, one of my first college friends as well, I've truly enjoyed the many conversations we had, even if I was forced to use my small proficiency of the English language. You are an intelligent girl, and I can't help but bow down to you, somehow. Many times we've not made sense with each other (or it's simply my jokes), and many times I've probably annoyed you, but you were still the same old Icka that Isah introduced to me back in LPEP. I think you already know what I'm going to say, then. Thanks for everything, still - and, oh, stay pretty under the DLSU sun next term! Haha...

Ira, this term we rarely got to talk to each other, but I also appreciate the company (especially in English 1 class) and the occasional secret we shared. Even though you may still be all messed up by now, I know, you'll get through it. Still, I miss you and your presence, and I look forward for us to talk about things again.

Jackie, we've only been close during the weeks to the confirmation, but I'm glad I got to know you. I've always admired you for something I still don't know what (but I didn't bother to know). Thanks for being there during those distressing times as well, and also for reminding me that I'm not supposed to invite the whole block on Caresse's birthday. (That, among other things.) And me as one of your special friends? Really appreciated. You're one of my special friends as well, kahit minsan lang tayo mag-usap.

Jaja, again, like I told you in the testimonial I just sent you, you didn't eat me alive. You're one of the first people I met in school (the round-robin introductions, remember?) and you're still one of those people that, despite the fact that we aren't that close, bothers to encourage me and keep me smiling. Kahit napagkakamalan pa akong may crush sa'yo, nothing big there - still, still. I've got a lot of things to thank you for. Maybe I just haven't got the time to do so.

Jana, it's been the same like most of us (not close, take note), and I know we've talked only a few times, when you really had to. Your frankness (or too much of it) is one thing I like about you, and I bet it'll help in some time. Some time it will. Sitting behind you is something, sometimes. Haha. Walang sense no? Pinapaikot ko pa, thank you lang naman sasabihin ko...

Jason, the day you took me in is the day I began to get comfortable with the block. Kung hindi siguro dahil sa'yo, wala siguro akong ka-close sa block ngayon. Although you can be too arrogant at times (but I guess it's what makes you Jason), the times you just push me to do my best (neo-classical, anyone?) is enough to make me, well, do well. Weird to think, but you bring out the best in me (in some aspects). Sa maraming pakikipagkaibigan at panlalait (weirdly), salamat.

Jessica, I know, even if you think you're dropping out, you're still hanging on, and I admire you for that. Keep hanging, Jess, and you'll get through. To be frank about it, all you need is a little more effort. Just ask me, and I'll try my best to answer, okay?

Jill, I'm still loving (and weeping) over your (now-gone) pink hair. (Note: If anyone cares to know, kay Jill lang ako umamin na may crush ako sa kanya. Now you know.) It's been only recently again, after the many partnerships in PE, where we almost stepped on each other's feet and made nonsense out of rumba, jive and swing. Beyond the anti-boy statements (which I'm not taking seriously), thank you for the company, for the dance steps, and for the hair. The hair still matters somehow.

Jino, isa ka pa! It's just now that we become bus buddies, but it's been long when I've become a victim of your good-intended punches and your little jokes. I know the first three weeks of the term has been particularly hard on you (you weren't there, simply said), but you got through that a stronger man, basically. Mahirap nga, pero maganda naman ang kinalalabasan. Enjoy where you are, Jino. I know you'll be happy with it for some time. Salamat sa maraming beses na binigyan mo ako ng payo at tulong, at pati na rin ang nga suntok at biro. (Straight Filipino? Wow!)

John, I've said initially that you've simply drifted beyond when everybody stops and gone. I'd just like to tell you that your many efforts have long been appreciated, not just by me, but by the entire block. Thank you for the reminders and the cmpany we've spent, although short, but still meaningful.

Jom, I'll say it now, you do annoy some of our blockmates. I'm happy, however, that you've taken the cue and began to tone down, at least on my opinion. You are okay, but you're not just that agreeable. You're almost there, Jom. Almost there.

Joy, I remember you crying in English 1 class after recounting your sad childhood story. Aside from that, however, you're still a happy person, with a ridiculously infectious laugh and a more infectious smile. I know, we've not been that close until recently, but I appreciate the times you've been there, when I drowned out silently at our conversations. Sabi nga ng name mo, Joy. Keep the joy in the people around you. Dramatic? Yes, dramatic.

Kaymee, the girl who I went home with only twice, before you decided to take a different route. Kahit minsan ang kulit-kulit mo (like earlier), I'm not taking it against you. That's what I like about you, seriously. You're freakishly charming, but with the simplicity I've learned to love. Obviously I'm running out of words to say (think about typing for hours straight), but still, thanks for letting me disturb your lunches and for the conversations.

Kevin, you philosopher you, the few times we've thought leaves me with a million thoughts to ponder. I didn't think there was more to you until this term, and I'm glad to say I've known you more this time. For the continuous rocking, thinking and talking (but not that much of it), thank you. Looking forward to see you again, and when we bump into each other... I don't know. Let things flow, it seems.

Kim, I remember that Tuesday when you and Tracy came to me and just sat there on the bench. Together we talked about coincidences and the impending PE experiences. We've worked on many things here and there, and then the drift began, which is sad considering I wanted to hang on to the friendships I have founded. Kim, kahit ano pa yang pinoproblema mo, someone's always there to keep you in good spirits all the time. Biruin mo, sa pagbabasa ko ng blog mo ganoon pala ang nangyayari sa'yo? Seriously, I'm grateful for that Tuesday afternoon, and yes, we'll still remain friends despite the drifts between then.

Kizia, I think I've said everything well before this one. Many stories have been told, many things have happened, and many things I have literally held back, and yet you still are there. To bring it all back again, thanks for the advice, for the chats, and for the inspiration. You still remain a good advice-giver (with your amazement). I miss the online chats and... there, I've said it all without going into further depths. I think it's obvious enough to get things through.

Lau, I said before that I should have been with you guys. Things are unpreventable, but still, you were flying around and making me laugh, even if it isn't aimed at me or anyone near me particularly. Pero kahit na. Alam mo na rin naman yun eh. Thank you for the times you obliged and just began joking. It never fails as well. Minsan kukunin ulit kita tapos hahatak-hatakin kita. But I won't dive upward this time.

Les, admittedly, I didn't expect the two of us to talk as often as we do now. Seriously, I've felt guilty for the many times I've made you feel bad and cry even. That image of you breaking down in Saliksik haunts me, and still serves as a reminder of the things I shouldn't have done. I thought we wouldn't be close friends after that. Despite that, you were still there, and before I knew it we were talking about stuffed toys, boys (certain boys, right?) and other stuff. You're a presence I cannot explain well; it's just that when you're there I know I've got someone to approach and just chat with, unless if you're busy, of course. Thank you for being there, for bringing that beach girl personality to the block, and for, again, being there. (Les, this isn't what you think. I know I told you earlier your paragraph is going to be incredibly long.) Ingat sa Boracay, and dont' get tanned too much!

Loui, for the jokes, the drop-offs and the times you let yourself get disturbed in the middle of reviewing for algebra (or in your sleep, even), salamat. Hanggang ngayon nakakatuwa ka pa ring kasama. Next time, it's probably a new boy band or something.

Lynne, you've acted as a big sister to everyone of us, quite literally, and although I have annoyed you many times with my constant noise you still are there. Salamat ng marami sa lahat.

Malia, I'd like to reiterate, hindi ka mataba! Another one of my first college friends, nung nagsiksikan tayo sa masikip na bench sa Gokongwei building habang kumakain ng medyo tuyong adobo. You remember that? Your little quips make me laugh a lot. Just thinking of the fact that you posted your photo that I took on your blog makes me laugh. It's nice being your seatmate, even if it was just for one class. Thank you for the laughs, and I'll miss your presence.

Marcia, I still remember when you got dizzy in the bus after I told you something. You may be a good shrink, I know, but as much as I deny it your methods to bring me back to reality ("hindi mo lang tanggap na hindi mo kaya," remember?) has helped me a lot in making me more aware of myself. Let's go home together again, shall we? That is, if we catch each other again...

Martin, it's sad to think we weren't as close as I expected it to be. I thought we would be, well, as close as I am with a few people. I guess it wouldn't really materialize, but thanks anyway for the chats we had.

Mary, hanggang ngayon natutuwa ako. Ewan ko kung bakit. Rather than drop a one-liner, I'll still give you my much-wanting-to-let-go thanks. The Chinese name you gave me is still with me, although I couldn't remember what that is. Basta!

Sara, beyond the opener (it's your text message I started this post with), thank you for being friends with me. With you being (probably) vain or poised, it's nothing I couldn't possibly hurdle. (Nonsense, I know.)

Sars, ngayon lang tayo nag-bonding, nang pumunta tayo ng sabay sa Cybernook! I know sometimes I can be really annoying (I just come to you and do nothing, I know), but I guess that's how I deal with people. You're young, you're amazing, and you're true to yourself (unlike me, of course). When we were together at the intake interview I didn' expect you opening up to me a little bit, and as always, with that, I learned a little bit more about myself. Again, all my thanks. At muli, salamat. (I know. Translation.)

Steph, seriously, you were the best friend I didn't have. It's been many times since I entangled myself in a lot of trouble (or otherwise) and, kahit na hindi tayo close, you still come up to me and encourage me to do things better. I didn't expect you to tell me that in Saliksik, after all the drama I caused. Now I could finally just approach you and just say those nothing-much statements, that still subliminally mean a lot. Salamat sa mga bagay na ginawa mo para sa akin. It does mean a lot.

Sudoy, mukhang alam mo na ang sasabihin ko sa'yo. That's basically everything. From being huggable (which is equal to likeable, to no avail), to being always there, to being that indie rock guy to whom I still have to borrow that Foo Fighters CD from. Alam kong medyo minsan lang tayo mas-usap (aside from now) but still, everything that we've talked about has lingered. Thanks for the company and for the times you allowed me to throw my hyperactivity at you in my (admittedly weird) hugs.

Toni, we've barely talked, but still, when we talked (and even argued) about things, it has been a learning experience. Although up to now I remain intimidated to your many abilities (I know, I know), it's nice to hear that we're still friends all along.

Tracy, may time na nainis ka sa akin, but still we've talked about a lot of stuff (in fact I admitted a lot more to you than you did to me) and you've left me bewildered about what I just said. Haha. That Tuesday with Kim is well appreciated. Salamat, at salamat ulit, sa lahat!

Forty-one people, all in all. And I thought I missed someone.

On my way home from Icka's house, during our video shoot, Jino was telling me something. Although it's been a long time and I barely remember what that is, one thing incredibly stood out from it.

"Change is fun," he said.

"Don't be scared of it," I thought. He's been through much more in a term than I did in two. And he then made sense. Maybe it's time to break out of the glass box, out of the comfort zone, and into the far larger university setting. If my dad was to be followed that was college's entire motivation, aside from making it big academically: to know more people than you ever thought you did. I was damn limited in high school - much more in elementary - but here, with a lot of personalities than you could imagine, it has, and will remain to be, a learning experience.

As our Philosophy lessons have said, nothing is permanent but change. So, that means, permanence is merely temporary.

To end this post, I'd like to quote Kizia's entire text message, the one I quoted from at the start of the term:

"It's tough to make a stand in this world where everyone expects you to be cool and in. But being who you are will not make you uncool... rather, it's a chance to make yourself stand out!"

A million personalities, a million thought bubbles, a million interactions and a million stories to tell. That, for a block who claimed to be extra strong - and did just that.

To LR19, the block I was with for the past six months, thank you for giving me what I expected and what I didn't expect as well. It was a learning experience for all of us, I know. Now it's time to set that foot off the door and get walking, bringing the many bonds we've formed and nurtured.

As Ale told me (in a special mention I didn't expect) earlier, "You have thirty-nine friends" - actually, more than that, I just realized - "na siguradong tutulungan ka. That's us. Kaya cheer up, okay?"

If you've got anything to say, please place a comment, because I realized CBox is deleting my messages when it gets full, obviously.

Right now, I'm trying my best to hold back the tears.

And your responses...

hey niko..i never really thought i would read ur blog but then today i guess im just bored and decided to check out ur blog..since its always on my offline messages..niko thank you for everything.u know for a fact that uv done a lot of things for me.and that really means a lot to me.i hope u kno that.the attendance for one is already a big thing.i hope i pass engl2 tho..the replies to my kulit text messages is 2.thanks for all that.even thou sometimes i kno u find me kulit already so u dont reply nymore..haha its all good.thanks for everything niko..for that once in awhile chat in ym and once in awhile conversation in class..takecare aryt and see you around lasalle..i know ull do great and things will be better for u..good for you..thanks again niko and sorry. sorry for not being so open or friendly to you.but really thanks..i had fun in those times i went to class..haha enjoy!-jess

Anonymous Anonymous12/16/2005     

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