Stalky & Co.-Defying 'Three is a Crowd'

Thursday, January 19, 2012
1:33 PM
3 is not my favorite number. Whenever I am asked to give a number out of the recesses of my subconscious, I often say seven and not three. But quite inexplicably, the digit 3 has become a part of my life.

For one, three is the most abused number in English. Most people particularly those whose mother tongue is not English, this number is often times read, said, blurted out as 'tree.' As a language teacher, it has been my responsibility and, lately, my goal, to correct this mispronunciation.

Secondly, my closest friends usually come in threes or we make up a group of three. When I was in high school I used to write this story/drama/novel (depending on what I wanted to call it when I was young) about my circle of friends who I thought would be with me to the ends of the Earth. Both of them  were smart (forgive me for the use of the past tense since I could not speak for their current capabilities)--one was good in Math, the other in subjects related to memorizing things. I did not excel in neither, just the average but I can I say I started to show my aptitude in languages back then. Right now, I don't even know where they are and I don't seem to care much about their activities.

When I got to the University, my closest friends came from a different batch, different majorship that at first it was most unlikely that we would stick together for a very long time. I am glad to note that they remain my closest friends, Kath and Grace. We got closer because of our school organization, PNU-SG Commission on Elections. I can say that we were the pillars of that organization when we were still in school. We underwent series of trials, hardening questions, harboring grudges and all but we stood tall. Eventually we became friends.

When I started working, I hung out with Louie and Edison, technically my seniors in the University and in the workplace. One would think there would be a gap among us but I am glad to say there was none. They were the reasons why the workplace seemed less stressful for me.

Working for Korean companies, I met friends who shared the same behavior and ideas. If my  memory serves me right, I have written things about them in my blog before and our adventure still goes on. One of the groups I belonged to was EpFour, established to divert my friends and my attention from our depressing work area. Our life then seemed to be so routinary and boring that we looked forward to our after-work meetings. Aside from that, the four of us, Maria, Maiden, Jaina and I, had the same drama and anime addictions. We even had characters that fit our attitude well. The next group I belonged in the same workplace was the Hyotei group, consisted of fanfiction writers that have developed a similar liking for a club in Prince of Tennis, Hyotei. I do not consider it as my favorite team but one of my favorite characters comes from that group. I call Maria Atobe until now because of her similarity with the Hyotei King. Instead of calling Cheska Kabaji, I call her Chezuka because she also has an attachment to the Seigaku leader but in the Hyotei Gakuen, she prefers to be called Kaba-chan because she has a stronger preference for brawny characters than bespectacled ones. As for me, in Hyotei Gakuen, I am Oshitari, the sarcastic "soft-spoken" tensai who never fails to contradict Atobe. Outside of the group, I am either called FujiEiji or Niou.

Third point why I say three has become part of my life, I have this inexplicable attachment to novels with three main characters such as Three Musketeers and Harry Potter. When I was in high school I have a lot of websites about Three Musketeers, I frequented the library for information about Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Instead of reading pocketbooks like what my classmates used to read, I read, thought, and dreamed about my musketeers and how it would feel like living in France. In my addiction I even wrote an essay--not a good one, mind you--about Alexandre Dumas.

Though he doesn't exactly share his limelight, Harry Potter is often seen with his best friends Ron and Hermione. I have been addicted to them since high school. I have followed their adventure from Philosopher Stone to Deathly Hollows.

When I thought this subconscious addiction to three would stop there then comes the Trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. How crazy is that?

Just lately I buried my head in Rudyard Kipling's novel Stalky & Co. It took me a long while to finish that thin book. At first I could not get the hang of the dialogues in it but the setting of the story helped me a lot as it is a school. The story revolves around this three...I repeat...three boys who excel in different fields but do not run out of naughtiness. Stalky is the leader who can worm his way out of any trouble because of his expertise in spoken language. He is quite witty. M’Turk is a placid guy who storms up when triggered and he has a great aptitude in Latin. Beetle on the other hand is a poet who vents his emotions on paper or anything he can write his thoughts on.

 They, often reprimanded by the school masters and heads, are the pioneers of naughtiness and chaos in school. They don’t care much about rules and stuff. What they know is they have to go to school because their esteemed parents want them to in order for them to become good citizens of their country. As any other students, Stalky, M’Turk, and Beetle use the school as their playground instead.

The book reminded me of how I studied seriously in high school and not so seriously in college. How I made fun of the teachers I did not like particularly those who would just go to school, give us things to do without teaching us anything.

What is more is that the book finally solidified why three seems to be a good number for friends. I cannot imagine ‘Stalky and M’Turk’ tandem without missing Beetle, and it goes for any other tandem missing out a person. In the friendship of three, there may be a stronger bond between two friends, it won’t be the same as having all three together. What is more is there are times one finds himself extremely different from the other that there should be another person to smoothen the relationship. My friends and the books I have read prove this.

If Stalky, M’Turk and Beetle were alive, I would have thanked them. I haven’t examined my life from this angle until now. Who would have thought that the number three has been a very significant digit for me? Even though my favorite number will never be three, I will give more justice to it. Learning that I haven’t been a victim of “three is a crowd,” and I can’t remember a time when that number has done me wrong, I guess it is time for a different perspective. The proper way of putting it will be “the Power of Three.” 


All in a Day's Work

Last Friday, our HRM students went to an event in SM MOA Convention Center. Since I handle HRM students for their Effective Oral Communication Skills every Tuesday and Friday, that meant one "no-class" day for me.

checked and recorded
It was not like I did  not do anything at all. I checked tons of paper like I never did before. I surfed the net through my phone which was not at all unsatisfactory but it would have been better if I had brought with me my netbook. After that, I checked once more. I think I was able to finish everything I needed to check and I only left some for recording. Plus I had a rehearsal with some members of my Music Club. It was a very productive day.

I cannot say I immensely enjoyed not having a class. I had to bear boredom and wait for the time to tick. But from to time, I also need a day like that to finish checking things without sacrificing my class preparations or my days off. 


Chinese(Lunar) New Year with Tokpokki and Ramyun

I can only get to celebrate year of the Dragon every 12 years, year of the Earth Dragon every 60 years. Nothing compels me to celebrate both since I was born in Filipino Christian family but I have decided to celebrate 2012 Chinese New Year anyway.

My mom, tasting my dish

I prepared Tokpokki (that's korean sweet-spicy rice cakes for you), and Ramyun. My Mom dipped slices of Tikoy in beaten eggs and fried them.

My original plan included my boyfriend and friends celebrating it with me but due to an unavoidable circumstance, the party was cancelled. I was left to celebrate it with my mom. I guess it wasn't so bad. Pure Filipinos aren't compelled to celebrate Chinese New Year anyway. I only did it because I was used to preparing for it since I worked for a Chinese School and a Korean company.

Aside from that, I am looking forward for what is in store for me this year. I was born in the year of the Dragon and although I am not Chinese and I don't like being governed by what they say about my Zodiac, I think it won't hurt if I will start my year right in a different culture. What say you?


Mada Mada Dane

It has been awhile since I have blogged about Prince of Tennis. I cannot even remember the last time I have written a fanfiction about the anime. I also do not watch anymore but there is one thing that makes me want to relive my PoT addiction: Ryoma Echizen's cap.

I am not a Ryoma-fan not because he is a complete jerk, as some profess. I do like the fact that he is a renowned tennis player already before he comes to Seigaku. This makes the anime quite unique from those that usually start with the protagonist being weak and getting stronger as the stories progress. I am not his fan because...because there are more characters with extraordinary characteristics. They also deserve to be noticed. Among them are Fuji, Eiji, Niou, Shiraishi, and Oshitari.

Last Monday, two of my Criminology students, Joe Alison Allacon and Regor dela Cruz, gave me a cap as a belated New Year's gift. At first I could not recognize the cap, given the span of time since I have last seen Prince of Tennis. After few minutes, it finally sank in. It was Ryoma Echizen's cap, white one with the red R in the blue box. I wondered how come they knew I liked PoT and they said they saw my netbook's wallpaper last semester. Back then it was a photo of the chibi Seigaku characters. I just couldn't believe they could still remember it.

Having students who remember what a teacher does in class, what she likes, and what she hates and follow these things not because they are forced but they chose to remember is indeed heartwarming. Receiving the cap is not a big deal. It may be cliché but "it is the thought that counts." I can buy caps anytime I want but I won't receive such gifts from my students everyday.

I have this feeling that I need to rewatch Prince of Tennis once again. This time , with the cap on. I will probably like Ryoma more. Hehe.

"Mada mada..."

oh coffee

It’s the caffeine, I swear. I don’t normally sleep late now for two reasons: one, Russ hates it. He doesn’t like the idea of me sleeping after he does; second, since I am living so far away from my workplace and teaching in the school is not exactly what you can call easy, I am usually so tired when I get home that as soon as my back hits the bed, I sleep.
Now this afternoon, my mom gave me some medication in the form of a cup of black coffee, I wasn’t able to sleep at the right time. I could not. I saw and repeated several movies, fixed my things, wrote some blog entries. I could not sleep.
All I could think of was I would be having a class observation the next day… wasn’t it terrible?

Paws and Claws

I had my first professional manicure last Sunday. I used to do it on my own though, and it is relatively cheaper, I must say, but pretty time consuming, bothersome, boring. These were some of the reasons I barged in a salon. More than that is because my brother, who is about to get married and only comes home once in a blue moon, had pointed out several weeks ago that my hands did not look good anymore.

For a  person who had used to receive compliments for long slender fingers, receiving that remark was a blow and it was harsh for me. I must admit that I did not take good care of my hands. I only used lotion, hand moisturizer, body butter  whenever I feel like it. I polished my nails every time there was an opportunity–which means if there were new nail polishes on the shelf. Now, I am paying the price of my negligence. Literally.

But that is going to change. Last Sunday was the start of my pampering movement. It doesn’t mean that I have to go to the salon every week. It will be very expensive. They don’t do anything extraordinary anyway save the number of minutes one can spare. I guess I just have to persevere: buy myself decent polishes, and self-manicure stuffs, endeavor doing it at least twice a month. Once again, I am putting something on my planner which I am not sure I can fulfill. I hope I can though. Aja.


whatyacall epic

An epic is a narrative poetry which tells a story of a hero (heroine) and his (her) struggles.

Teaching high school or college students poetry is already a big trouble. Teaching them about narrative poetry is a more complicated thing. That is why I am quite surprised and thankful of one TV series. I am not a big fan of Amaya but I have to give it to them. It's the only drama that has given students an idea of what Epic is.

Imagine my shock upon hearing my students exemplify Amaya as an epic ("ang pagwawakas ng isang epiko"). When I asked them about what an epic is, they could answer based on the things they had seen from the TV series.

Just recently, Xyv asked me why Filipino television dramas are filled with the same theme: finding one's true family. I cannot remember my answer to this one . What I do remember is my follow up question: why can't we have more dramas that show our culture instead?

As far as I am concerned having extramarital affairs is not a Filipino culture. Having such theme prevalent in our drama is a poor excuse for prolonging air time and sugar coating scripwriters' unproductivity.

At least if we showcase our culture, teachers like me won't have troubles in educating the youth. And probably we won't be burdened promoting 'it's more fun in the Philippines.'


the killer heels

my new ones
my old ones

out with the old, in with the new

Confessions of a Heels-Freak

"Jahzeel Dionne Ybasco.
Occupation- English Professor in a private college.
Jacket- Beverly Hills & Co.
Outfit- any department store
Belt- YRYS
Bag- Grab
Shoes- Finikee"

If you're familiar with the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, you can accuse me of copying the catchphrase of the film (If you haven't seen the film, it is now the time to see it). I have seen it for the nth time and to this day, I am trying to imagine how I will look, wearing those fashionable clothes and shoes in the movie.

You can say that it has grown on me. To be more precise, I am addicted to movies featuring women wearing high heels. I have abused my VLC player playing Legally Blonde 1 and 2, 500 Days of Summer etc. I have looked into my music videos, checked the songstresses' shoes, boots, sandals, and wondered how they could dance and sing wearing those feet-suffocating things--didn't they have cramps?

Confessions of a Shopaholic is not different. It features a brunette who likes shopping for clothes, bags, and shoes. Probably she likes shopping for other things but I am not sure since I haven’t read the novels where the movie has come from. Before you have a false idea that this is a review, let me just burst your bubble-THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. Point is, she shops a great deal particularly shoes.

She has one shelf of sandals, clogs, open-toed, and closed shoes in various colors. Throughout the movie, she runs, walks, and dances with them. I can't help but admire her endurance to leg cramps. I even wonder what training she does in order for her to walk with them. There are times I think I cannot wear those heels.

But I am trying. Hard. Trying hard.

Last Christmas, Russell gave me a pair of high-heel black shoes from Finikee. To be more precise, he had asked me what I wanted and we went around looking for a good pair of shoes.

The heels are higher than my grey ones, to which I am quite shocked. Since I have had a hard time using the grey, what more can I experience with the new ones?

It has been three days now since I have started using the heels. I think I am getting used to it. I have noticed that descending the stairs is easier now. I even started running with them. My co-teachers have asked me already if I have experienced using it from home to school and back. I am afraid to try it. I still am not a Rebecca Bloomwood and I have no plans of being one (except the part where she is writer in a magazine) so I think there is no way I can use heels for that long. I can bear using it for professional reasons. Even more of a reason is I want to value the person who has given the shoes.

"Instead of having a relationship with  my credit card, I now have a relationship to someone who loves me back and never declines me."


Dear Simonskiey

To this dear person, who manages to smile despite struggles, kudos to you on your ____th birthday.

I hope you'll keep your resolutions. If you can't...then you can't hehe.

I know this is not your most admirable photo but this is a symbol of how a supermodel of pout and grace can come from an extraordinary person like you. Naks.

Happy birthday, te.


guess who

"I hate you, I am fine living without you."

I know I should not be affected of the crap that you did to me. What crap? A "deleting me from your Facebook account" kind of crap. I don't even know why I give a shit about it. All I know is I am affected and I don't know why.

Honestly, I am angrier to myself that I have let you affected me like this. Being deleted or blocked from Facebook accounts of other people doesn't concern me particularly if the feeling is mutual dislike. Only huge attachment can shake me. If I had just known you from some workplace, or met you in a seminar or any other interactive sites, it would not matter. But you? You were a school mate. It was a position not too remote nor familiar.

You, well, I did not resent you. Nor did I like you. It was more of respect that we both lived in different worlds, and somehow these worlds could only collide in the academe.

I felt tension in those days we were stuck in the class together. We had so many similarities and so many differences at the same time-- it sucked. Let us just say that I did not like being overshadowed by you that was why I did my best to prove that I was better.

Well, you could say I should be happy that we won't have any means of communication. I am not. Why?

What irks me is the feeling that without a sweat, you have won in the battle I have prepared for for so long and I haven't had a say in it. Why? Facebook doesn't have this application asking the other party if they want to be deleted.

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

You may not have been my friend. You have made yourself my enemy. It is just so unfortunate that you won’t have a taste of how bad I can actually be. I can say you're quite lucky, you have saved yourself just in time.

It will probably take me days to get over this situation. I will definitely think about this from time to time. I will probably ask myself why.

I have to commend you though-- you have done me good. This has made me realize that my pride is more important than you. Damn right it is. I have concluded that losing you is less a harm compared to asking you to add me to your account again. Thank you for teaching me this.

If by chance, you will come upon this blog entry, remember that I have done this knowing that you won't probably read it. And if you have, well congratulations to me. If you have been affected, let's just call it quits.

2011 Top Ear Candies

It has been awhile since I have written something about the songs I listen to. It is just appropriate that before the year ends, I must share those which have made most of my days, and accompanied me through my ups and downs--my 2011 playlist.

10th Departure & Gather (PoT official soundtracks). In the first quarter of 2011, I was addicted to Prince of Tennis. Along with my friends I made up worlds filled with the characters that we liked best and publish them in Fanfiction.net. I used to write fanfics while listening to these songs along with the rest of the tracks from the voice actors of the anime.

9th I Hate You & Ugly (2ne1). In Kpop I am quite YG biased and it all started with Bigbang. I  may not call myself a real Blackjack but one thing I know is I like the songs coming from this group. They have enough spunk and girl power. Though I can only understand bits and pieces of these songs, I can pretty much just settle with the melody.

8th Hands Up (Bigbang). Speaking of YG-biased. I like both Korean and Japanese versions of this song. Every time I listen to this, I feel like having my own concert.

7th Good Day (IU). I find this girl cute. The music video is also cute. I have this funny feeling though that she can be a good substitute for a missing SNSD member any time. But that is just me. The song has a nice feel to it, even though the message is quite sad. It helps that it is not English and I just have to imagine it is a very happy song. I like the bridge part best.

6th Head Over Feet (Alanis Morisette). This song speaks so much about how I started falling in love with the man I see myself growing old with.  It took me years to appreciate this song in its entirety. Now I know that feeling as if the song was written for me or could have been composed by me. Hehe.

5th For Good- (Wicked). "Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun...Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood...who can say if I have been changed for the better but because I knew you...I have been changed for good."  I was in the church when I first heard this song performed then by a member of the music team. Then, Simon recommended the musical Wicked and I found out that this song was a part of it. As soon as I got a copy of the song, I kept on playing it. It's quite addictive particularly if I want to feel lonely (sometimes people like me 'want' to feel lonely, believe it or not). I feel like crying every time I wholeheartedly listen to it while thinking of my beau. Hehe.

4th You Can Count on Me (Default). Since I am using his phone, I get to listen to his playlist and one of the tracks is this. I like it, being alternative/grunge. The lyrics is quite mushy but the melody tones it down. It is one of the songs that I sing to him.

3rd I Believe (Fantasia). I haven't created a playlist for confidence-related songs  but once I do, I'll make sure this is a part of it. I know that I'm pretty arrogant and I don't seem to need this song but from time to time I need a boost for my ego. I may not be at the pinnacle of my career yet (not yet I hope because that would mean I could never go any higher), I know that I am already a step toward it. That is saying something.

2nd Defying Gravity (Wicked). I hate it when people tell me what I can't do. I laugh at those who tell me things that I do best. I think these are the things that I should declare.
"So for those who ground me, take a message back from me...Nobody, in all of Oz, nor wizard that there is or was, is ever gonna bring me down."

1st Something Right (Westlife). Although this is a love song and it's nowhere famous last year (I got the song two years ago), this speaks for what I am feeling today. There have been a lot of things I have done in 2011 that are remarkable. I have been to different places, and met different people. I have made so many decisions. I have been turning my life around.

I am still surrounded by tribulations but that doesn't mean I am just going to surrender.  I am still standing.There are things and people that remind me that I am indeed in the right place, in the right situation.

I must be doing something right.

That is about it for my 2011 playlist. I hope I can listen to some real good songs this year. I think I need to revamp my playlist, have enough room for new things. Right.