Thursday, January 25

so you're from science high?

OKAY. You're from Science High.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Being a science high school student is not easy. And I’m not even talking about the academic overload, the expensive science experiments, or the colossal pile of paperwork and projects. They’re all breeze to me, looking back at my four-year tenure in Nosci. I’m talking about the sheer label - “Sci-High student”. Just by being a graduate of a science high school means a lot. Most of the time, that means Great Expectations. Does that sound familiar to you?

When I was asked by The Scholar to write about life after Nosci, I was extremely hesitant. I couldn’t do it. What would I write about? I’m not even much of an achiever or a star when I went to college. In fact, I think I’m even a slacker, or a failing mark. But hey, I thought, why should I be ashamed of that? I have a message to the young people that is about to take the path I chose, or the paths I did not. Life after Nosci was both good and bad. But mostly bad. I’ll tell you why.

Let me first get back to my primary thought. You now all know that, by being a Noscian, the moment you stepped in your first class as an Einstein or Edison student, your whole perspective in life changed. You started forgetting about childhood – instead you got excited learning who Archimedes was or how different speed is from velocity. You took note of formulas in Physics or Chemistry and always made sure your grades in Math can make it to the cut-off score. My point is, you matured early because of an advanced education. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. That’s a fact.

Now, by the time you get to senior year, it’s either that you are already exhausting your brains out, OR you are just beginning your Golden Era in Advanced Physics, Advanced Chem, Advanced Research, whatever. And then you plan your after-high-school-life. You take all the qualifying exams for top universities in the island, in the country or abroad. You straighten yourself out – this is it. You have gone through a tedious preparatory program that readied you to face the big C – “College” – where you are of course, expected to excel at. Magic word is – Expected.

This is one topic that my batch-mates and former schoolmates have oftentimes debated upon. What is expected of a science high school graduate? Is he or she required to finish a Bachelor of Science degree at the least possible time (which is usually 4-5 years)? Is he or she obliged to maintain a respectable status, or a reputation of excellence? Is he or she invincible to failures and shortcomings in the decisions he or she make? Is a Noscian supposed to be bound by an unwritten contact to be the best?

The truth as of the moment is, indeed, yes. If you’re from Science High, you should be intelligent. Make that really intelligent. You should be good in the Sciences. You should be good in Math. You should be good in this, in that. You should know the answer to this, the correct procedure for that. Get the drift? To illustrate, try to see what reactions you get when you meet new people who’d find out you’re from a science high school: “Really? Alam ka gali?”

This is what’s wrong with the society that we ourselves have created. We have allowed people to impose standards on us, on our performance, on the decisions we make every day. We have allowed people to tell us what to do with our lives. This is not to discredit the noble intentions of the founders of Nosci or to dismiss the great efforts to gather the intellectually-capable Negrense youth for a top-class secondary education program. But this is to remind us that we are 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds, 15-year-olds, 16-year-olds. We are ought to commit mistakes, to stumble, to fail, to make wrong decisions. This is the most effective way for all of us to learn.

My life after Nosci, as I wrote earlier, is mostly bad. I was overwhelmed by my ambitions and when I was unable to reach most of them, everything became a frustration. There was even a point when I gave up, and never thought of picking myself up from hurt and disappointment. But I figured – there was something else that Science High taught me, other than chemical symbols or endangered species. There was an even more important thing that I learned in Science High, which makes me ultimately proud and confident to stand up and face the world.

I learned how to be tough.

So this is the bottom-line of it all: You are from Science High. You are smart. You are strong. Even if your plans don’t work out fine, or you don’t get that scholarship for college or no matter how you fail the people that expects too highly of you – Go on. The tenacity of your Noscian spirit will make you go through all sorts of challenges. Be confident – You are capable of adapting to different kinds of people and environment. Don’t think about the path you have to choose – as long as you have the guts to carry on. Don’t be afraid to fail, for you will always make it in the end. It’s in your blood, in your head, and in your heart. You are a Noscian.

I just hope that the Noscian community, which is by the way happily growing, will cultivate among ourselves a culture of liberation from unhealthy expectations. It is not by scientific method we mold persons of great value – it is by giving ourselves all the chances in the world to learn both from our notes and from experience. It is not by advanced education that we can build humanity from; it will only produce either premature intellectuals, or intellectual monsters. It is by providing enough opportunity for the humans in ourselves to develop, to strengthen our character and to unravel the meaning and lay out the direction of our own lives, on our own.

***This was published in the Alumni page of The Scholar 2007, official student publication of Negros Occidental Science High School. Dave was the Editor-in-Chief of the said school paper from 2003-04.

Sunday, January 14

BOND 007

Bond. Dave's bond.
Nope, I didn't go to the movies for c-ASS-ino royale. I am refering to a "bond", which is according to the Reader's Digest - Oxford Complete Wordfinder (a childhood friend since the late 90's), a thing that "ties another down or together... a binding engagement; an agreement."

And BOND 007 is just my trite label for the brand new set of personal new year resolutions.

Since new year resolutions always end up eaten up by circumstance and therefore they never really got resolved at all, I will post my 2006 new year res's again.

1. Lose weight
2. Quit smoking
3. Stop biting my nails (it's so
redundant for a smoker)
4. Never commit
5. Maintain a blog
I had other res's on that 2006 list, but all the others I unbelievably managed to execute. Like, eating slower, talking slower, writing more than talking, loving life, moving on, and all those lame emotional promises I made to myself. Really. Got over my frustrations and I feel good I ended the year right. I ended 2006 the way I started it: with conviction to get rid of emotional and psychological baggage and just to sit back, relax and accept my life's pace and direction.

Congratulations, Dave. You made it.

This year I stand up and take back what I lost. Sure, I pacified myself in '06 and temporarily put my dreams at halt. It was like sailing in the Pacific Ocean without the storms. But for '07, I gotta move my ass. I got to chase my dreams and make things happen in my life. Enough of the meditations and silent pauses for Zen rituals.

I want to stop aspiring and dreaming. I want to start dreaming stronger and doing things like I should. The storms of the Pacific are gathering, and I should sail through them all. Typhoon after typhoon I shall withstand the rough and violent waves of this sea, for I know there is always a calm after the storm.

An elegant, beautiful, inspiring, rewarding calm after the storm.

In addition to those 5 res's I haven't managed to execute well in 2006, here are my Bond 007 resolutions:

1. Get a job
2. Win back some friends
3. Make decisions with conviction
4. Work out my aspirations
5. Move my ass to where I should belong
6. Prove my worth to myself
7. Stop bitching about how bad life is
8. Start rolling up my sleeves and do the dirty work
9. Keep a wallet for money and receipts and photos and condoms
10. Arrange my books in my study shelf
11. Win a Palanca award (haha, I think this one res would run up to 2020)

Now I feel like James Bond with a Great Mission for Her Majesty.
(insert Agent 007 theme song here.)

Tuesday, January 2

new year, new blog

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it hundreds of times.

That was what I always remember from Sam Clemens (Mark Twain)'s brilliant catch-phrases. And to para-phrase that:

Giving up blogging is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it approximately eleven times.

Started the whole blogging thing in the year 2003. My first blog was called "Disturbing Derelict", proof of my habit of alliteration with the letter D. My email back then was (I don't even know if Techemail still exists) and my forum/radio codename was DearDaniel (male partner of Hello Kitty). I know. That was four years ago. It's almost cyber-nostalgia.

So the Disturbing Derelict became just plain derelict. I lost all my posts there. Then I started posting at It's not really a blog, but a personals site where you can post your poetry, stories, writing contests, etc. I still have my profile HERE. The writeups there are totally disturbing,and immature. Read at your own risk. Just don't tell me I didn't warn you.

And then I started my first Friendster blog year 2004, along with my Downelink blog late that year. Both blogs in the said personals site are all gone since I canceled my accounts from both sites. Back in 2004 I had my Old Blogger account, too. But all my posts in the old Blogger are so three years ago. Then I have a few other, negligible blog attempts. I estimate I had eleven blogs for the last four years.

My problem with blogging is that I start pretty good, I maintain it for a week, and lose time and interest for it the next. I always forget I have a blog to maintain, concluding that I didn't have to keep a blog anyway because blogging are just for bored and boring people.

I am wrong, of course. Or right. I don't know. BLOG=BORE?

So what. Now it's 2007 and I want to re-live my blogging habit. My mind has been stagnant (but pacific, to be positive about it) for the past year. And this year, I want to get crazy with my thoughts again.

THUS, THE TRAUMESTURM. (German phrase for "dreamstorms").

Träumesturm is my sojourn through the violent storms of my imagination; it is sailing through the vast ocean stirred by supertyphoons of ideas, thoughts and sensations. My dreamstorms take me away from reality... But the calm after the storms always bring me back to life.

So there.

(I am simultaneously posting at my Friendster account)