Sunday, January 20, 2008
Post #2: Essays
Sa May Baguio, Sana...
- by Fatima Abduljalil
Last night, Jing and I sat in front of the window, with just the view of the fluorescent and incandescent lights emanating from invisible households, like huge sationary fireflies tangled on a bush. It was beautiful beyond telling, but a forlorn sight, one that yields depressing thoughts, nostalgic sighs, and it would have been more dramatic, like a scene from a novel, if the two of us were smoking, but instead in our hands, a hot cup of 3-in-1 coffee. We drank as we listened somewhat infinitely to cheesy love songs played on FM at the wee hours. I broke the silence and our occasional laughter on the most nonsensical things and said seriously, "Hey, we'll go to Baguio after graduation, like a huge grad bang."
And, predictably, Jing, the adventurous soul she is, said yes, and said it like we were to take the trip the next day, and in my mind I already conjured up the photos we were to take, the two of us in sweaters, doing the v-sign (peace sign), or the ultimate 80's picture amidst the pine trees. Our great escape. After graduation. Two long years from now. Let time blink it away.
I got myself to bed, the caffeine was still so strong on my veins, I was trembling, and I couldn't sleep. I tried a prayer. I dreamed that I was crossing the street, and a tricycle was heading uncontrollably towards me. for some inexplicable reason, I felt the proximity of Death. To decide or not to knock on my door, convincing him not to, not before the great escape.
I realized our trip will not start on the day we take the bus, or the plane, to Baguio, to wherever. It started last night. As we drank coffee, amidst a cloudy, starless, eternal sky.
- by Hevah Salic
Life is a circle. You always end up in the same situation. Sometimes even in the same place, with the same people and with the same feeling. Life is that simple. Life is very plain no matter what perspective you look at it. To make life more exciting and to fall out of its monotonous being, you have to put reason to life and put life to life-- it repeats itself. What do I mean? Very simple-- engage in things you want and put them into actuality. However, somehow I feel that besides my kins, my writing is my only reason for living. Without it put into reality--life is useless. Very useless. People seldom realize that there's more to life than what we can imagine. I failed to see it. I didn't want to see it. Then I woke up one day wanting to do things I dreamt of doing, only to find out that the bus of life left me behind, far, far behind and there are no next trips-- and even if there were, it would take a long time. I failed on this part. At some point, in this situation, history didn't repeat itself.
The circle of my life, without my knowledge, turned into a triangle that I wasn't aware that I had to go left when I thought I was in the right way. Life is either meaningless or meaningful, the choice is yours. It's a simple "deal or no deal"-- you deal, you stop and face stagnancy and go on telling yourself-- "I wish I had...” But, then you say, "No deal" and you confront reality, you play with it. You go on with the game, but you have to pick your numbers right. You have to be keen.
Sometimes in the game of dealing and not dealing, you want to quit the game. You just hope that somehow, you don''t have to choose, that if only people could choose for you-- but if life was like that then you lose the thrill of losing-- and winning. In your circle-turned-triangle, you have to learn the art of bargaining, the art of asking and the art of wanting. When you bargain with life, sometimes it might fall for your plea. When you ask life, sometimes it might give you a no, but that's the risk of it. And, when you practice the art of wanting, you become assertive-- which is one of the main reasons why people are actually successful in this world.
You're the player and you have to convince the "banker"-- but, in this case of life, our banker is a Good One, He never wants you to leave empty-handed, if possible He wants you to have it all.
Life is a series of winning and losing, of having and not having. Life is always and always will be a choice. Your choice, your game.
First Day High
- by Shangrela Genon-Sieras
I had my first job in one of the universities in our place. Since it is a private institution, normally, teachers are given a regular teaching load of 24 units. That time, I really didn’t mind the load of tasks to be done. Being a fresh graduate, I was so excited to meet my students on the first day of classes. My first class was Public Speaking in which the classroom was on the fourth floor of the tallest building in that university. Determined to make a good impression to my students on our first meeting, I told myself that I should look good and that I should not be panting when I arrive in the classroom. And so, I decided to start going up the building, where my classroom was, 15 minutes before the time. When I reached the fourth floor, I saw three students in their white uniform seated in the classroom where I was to have my class. I was just peeping through the door when my view landed on a familiar face– and just before I could confirm that I know the guy, he, Anthony, a classmate in high school, was already waving his hand at my direction. I was not supposed to enter the room yet because I was sweating that time, but the idea that Anthony could be one of my students in that class prompted me to get inside the room. With a wide smile on his face, Anthony called out my name and said:
“Oyy, naa lage ka?” He then pointed that we sit on the chairs in front.
“Ump, naa gani ka!” I countered as I sat with him.
“Bitaw ba, klase ka diri?”
And I answered him, “Yes.” Of course, it was an honest answer to his question but I didn’t tell him that I was already a teacher then. He was, by the way, on his fifth year in Mechanical Engineering. I finished a four-year course, that’s why I graduated a year ahead of him and, oh, might possibly be his teacher!
While Anthony seemed to enjoy recounting funny experiences we had in high school, he really acted like a usual teenager enjoying a chat with a friend. The idea that I could be his teacher mustn’t have appeared in his mind so he really made an assumption that we were classmates in that Public Speaking class and this led me to start feeling uneasy because I couldn't just tell him that I was going to be the teacher in that class. Maybe because I was afraid that he might laugh if I tell him. Besides, when I turned my head to the back trying to check if the seats were already filled so I could start my class, he confidently said:
“Dugay pa to atong instructor maabot, oy. Ingon ana jud diri especially pag first meeting. Gasalig man gud kay self-introduction ra sa names ang buhaton.”
He also added that most of the time, teachers there don’t meet them during first day of classes, especially that enrollment period usually gets extended for two weeks. His remarks to the kind of teachers they have there stunned me, not just because I was already a teacher, but also because I used to have the same opinion about teachers during first day of classes- only few teachers come to meet their students. Nevertheless, I collected myself and silently said, “At least, I can prove to him later on that I am not like those kind of teachers.”
And then, I said to him, “Don’t worry, I am certain that your teacher will be here today.”
And he simply frowned while saying, “Umasa ka pa!” as a reply.
Then, he remembered: “Di ba sa MSU man ka sa una? Nganong nag transfer man ka diri?”
“Nabagsak man gud ko ug Math.” I meant it as a joke and indeed he chuckled with some teasing.
“Grabe jud nang Math sa MSU ba? Mao man jud na common ground nga mag-transfer ug school”
He knew it, of course, because many of our batch mates who started in MSU had done the same. When I sensed that he was about to ask another question, I made him feel that I was up to something else by looking around the room. Then Anthony said,
“Kinsa gud imo gipangita, oy?”
Instead of answering his question, I told him, “Excuse sa ha, tindog sa ko didto,” and I smiled at him while going up the platform in the classroom. Then, he called out,
“Hawa diha oy! maabtan gani ka sa atong teacher diha, maulawan jud ka.”
As he said it, some students, with a confused looks on their faces, were looking at him- I just didn’t know if those students already knew that I was a newly hired teacher in the school. But, I continued and ignored them as I poised myself and greeted everyone in the classroom. And this made Anthony become more puzzled especially when I said:
“Before I’ll give you the course orientation, I’d like you to write your name and course in a one-eighth sheet of paper.”
Although I was serious when I uttered those lines, Anthony managed to say, “Atik jud kaayo ay! Bantay lang jud ka ug maabtan ka ni ---"
His remarks were cut short when a latecomer entered the room and said “Good afternoon, ma’am”.
Almost everybody turned their heads to the latecomer who happened to be the student-assistant of the College of Arts and Sciences– the college where I was holding office then. I nodded at the student as he took a seat while Anthony’s facial expression was very disturbed. He gave me an inquiring look on his face, as he whispered in his seat “Patay, teacher na ka?”
I simply smiled at him while I thanked God for that student assistant who came in late. A simple greeting from a latecomer had saved me from the difficulty of telling a former classmate in high school that I was his teacher.
Just when the students started to hand to me their papers, I proceeded to the orientation proper and since it was our first meeting, I made their self-introduction as their first speaking activity in that class. I know that all throughout the class, Anthony was feeling uneasy. When our class ended, he walked with me and he said that he felt sorry about what he had done. He even asked if it would be okay with me if he just transfered to another section. I knew he was embarrassed to his classmates, too. I really felt guilty that time as I assured him that it was okay and that he needed not transfer to another section. After all, it was partly my fault.
The Coelho Effect
- by Ailannie Macagaan
What could be nicer than a book that could influence students to actually engage and enjoy the reading process? Most novels of Paolo Coelho have that effect. “[His novel] makes books disappear from stores [and libraries.]” (New York Times) With such books like The Alchemist and The Zahir, average readers will find these items as soul-inspiring and easy reads. If one is fond of quotes, he will find these two works full of universal truths (and even the not so universally accepted spiels.)
With the The Alchemist, almost all ages from 12 years old and onwards can relate to this fable-like fiction. A reader will be glad to find out that he does not need to be intelligent to understand a novel. One does not need to feel bad and ashamed because he is a late-bloomer-reader and best of all, he is not alone in thinking that there is an author such as Coelho who can share his thoughts on the simplicity of living and learning to fulfill the meaning and worthiness of even the minute details of man’s journey in life no matter how simple or complex the struggle may be. This first international bestseller from his collection is a best therapy book if one just wants to relax or reflect on how things have been in reality. Just do not concentrate on it too much after the first reading. It is addictive. One might believe that an alchemist (like the one in the novel) really exists, that someone can turn metal into gold. The book though has turned a lot of brain-rusting and couch potatoes into Joseph Conrads, Einsteins and Dexters.
The Zahir is not fable-like, but rather realistic. It deals with intimacy, trust and relationship of a married couple and how obsession becomes an unhealthy barrier for the growth of unconditional love. This is a rather striking book, because it is frank. The protagonist, as the narrator, happens to be a writer of almost all sorts except for news, somehow mentions annoying but truthful comments on how other people can become so irritating sometimes, how fame is only for the chosen few, and how (again) people often forget that love is as essential as the feeling when someone leaves us. During the first reading, one will suspect that the author is telling his real life situation and is suggestively reprimanding less concerned critics of his novels to cut the crap and stop kissing his a**. Nevertheless, this novel reveals a protagonist who discovers that he has developed into intellectual, spiritual, marital and self maturity.
By now music lovers can formulate philosophical answers to the following questions: “What is the force that binds the stars? / (I wore this mask to hide my scars,) / What is the power that pulls the tide? (I never could find a place to hide,) / What moves the earth around the sun? / What can I do but run and run and run? / Afraid to fall afraid to fail, / A mast without a sail. /” (I Must Have Loved You, Sting)
1Patterned to the Single Effect Theory of Edgar Allan Poe but is an entirely different concept.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Post #1: Poems
Here's a taste of our words-- some poems written by some of our members. This is our first post and, soon, we will be posting other samples (pieces) of our writing. Enjoy!
A Stained Yellow Veil
Amidst the dark nights of endeavors,
Bit by bit the pain has trembled thy pores.
The extreme hatred of thy being--
A lot of which I've lost to where I cling.
And if despair be wins thy soul today;
Forever will I surrender to where I lay!
So many fortnights have caused a lot of weeping
And the only lament I keep that it was for nothing
Like a rose Cleopatra left withered in the dark
So wilted and very less filled with spark.
The bleeding has caused so much envy,
That I am cored with their pity.
The deepest shadows has never gone themselves
The rays have never cared to pass like elves
I fear and struggle in the passage of eternity
So long as I have come to live in complexity.
And if tomorrow is another rain I have to face
Be it in the sandless shore I have to race
To stop the pain from getting where I am to be,
For I know every misery is nothing but me!
-by Hevah Naga Salic
I was once a flower who stood all spring
O'er the highway watching everyone pass
Hearing people talk about the recent mass
Staring at the infinite sky, waiting
For someone to pluck me and make me sing
Who won't just put me in a piece of glass
Or throw me out the window like a dead grass
One who'll give joy and all this life may bring
Days tossed, my waiting didn't come to an end
Watched every flower wave goodbye
I'd do nothing but give them bitter smiles.
Would the world allow my time to extend?
Let me not wither sooner before my
Someone might be out there running through miles.
-by Hasnia Pangarungan Casan
Peace and Order
I see you in the premises
With Peace and Order in your hands.
Love and Reason fight within me.
I might end up in jail again
if I catch your eye behind your shades
because when you smile...
when you talk to me...
when you shake my hand...
you never restore Peace and Order in my heart.
-by Melissa C. de la Sena
A rotten wreck of a heart
In the sea of life.
Aimlessly, it Wanders.
Now a proud vessel,
It is buoyed and
Held in place by
by Jaharah A. Solaiman
Hopes, Dreams, and Some Other Things
Today I woke up in a dream
Feeling like I dreamt for a long, long time
I was just too scared to wake up
And now, thank God, I'm awake
Today I am going to search for peace
I have been fighting this war for so long
And though I am bruised, tired and dazed
I am happy becase I realized I have learned so much
Today I am seeing the world in a new light
Each smile that paints on my face
Each tear that spilled and will be spilled
It will never be a thing to regret for
Today I will not think of yesterday
I will lock it up somewhere here in my heart
For it to have the peace and forgiveness it deserves
Until the time comes that I will remember again.
-by Khadijah Usman Abduljalil
Life As It Is
Great as life may be so, ‘tis but true
As the beauteous sun shines a glittery gem,
Truly, strife abounds as with the sun’s beam
Also comes the burning heat of all Sahara.
No man, methinks, walks the road of life, oh,
Grand it is, indeed, with bluish grief, so
Aptly put, amiss or misery’s blow to men
Torn away by the magic and awe of life.
A great many men saw greatness, blindly.
Needing more towards happiness’ gift, but nil,
Lost were everything greatness to them gave.
Oh, what a pity to fall on one’s brown feet!
Love, sorrow, happiness, loss- in life- all a must.
"Alas," hopeful me says, "What a beautiful life!"
-by Diandra-Ditma Aguam Macarambon
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Ready, set... GO!
This is the official blog of the Dagingan Writing Club, a club based in the Mindanao State University, Marawi City. This will be our special niche in the cyber-world. This is where we will share our thoughts and stories. This is where we will try to discover everything about one another. This is where we will make history!
Do join us!