Monday, January 31, 2011

Davao Revisited

That long line of lights right there is EDSA.

Here's a little collection of photos from my second visit to the 8th largest city in the world - Davao. If you are looking for a new place to explore or a quiet place to take some time for yourself, Davao is a great choice.

Parola Bar and the infinity pool.

You will never run out of great-tasting finds in Pearl Farm's eat-all-you-can buffet!

Serene chapel in the heart of Malipano island.

Adventure is out there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Time to celebrate life!

All ready for a party. :)

It is always exciting to wait for the arrival of a newborn... how much more if you are waiting for three? :)

Today we celebrated a baby shower for three of my co-teachers who are all expecting to have bootees and bottles within reach of a cute and cuddly baby soon! Congratulations!

"If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle."
- Vincent van Gogh

...and I say to myself, "What a wonderful world." :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A Chemistry laboratory class output during one of the experiments I had while I was an undergraduate student at UST College of Science.

There isn't a more painful and painstakingly long process in life than growing up.

Of all the things I can think of that could very well be compared to growing up, chromatography was the first to cross my mind today. Perhaps, I have been thinking too much about school lately besides other important things.

Chromatography (from Greek χρῶμα chroma "color" and γράφειν graphein "to write") is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures. It involves passing a mixture dissolved in a "mobile phase" through a stationary phase, which separates the analyte to be measured from other molecules in the mixture based on differential partitioning between the mobile and stationary phases. Subtle differences in a compound's partition coefficient result in differential retention on the stationary phase and thus changing the separation.
Chromatography may be preparative or analytical. The purpose of preparative chromatography is to separate the components of a mixture for further use (and is thus a form of purification). Analytical chromatography is done normally with smaller amounts of material and is for measuring the relative proportions of analytes in a mixture. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Column chromatography is a separation technique in which the stationary bed is within a tube. The particles of the solid stationary phase or the support coated with a liquid stationary phase may fill the whole inside volume of the tube (packed column) or be concentrated on or along the inside tube wall leaving an open, unrestricted path for the mobile phase in the middle part of the tube (open tubular column). Differences in rates of movement through the medium are calculated to different retention times of the sample.

I know it sounds nerdy but this complicated chemical process is, to me, similar to the complicated course of maturing. A mixture undergoes a series of laboratory techniques just like an individual endures many changes and transitions. It is in the grueling process where I feel the pain. Each year, I feel as if I am being stripped of a layer instead of being added one, which sounds a bit ironic considering that you are being added another 365 days of life, God-willing.

Anyway, I have this understanding that we already have what is essential within us even before we are born. Our encounter with everything in the environment only amplifies what is within us. We are all essentially pure.

However, we slowly become corrupted by the sin that has entered the world especially when we choose to fall victim to it. The mere thought of carrying a heavy burden makes us tired and rebellious. It seems as if every fiber of our body is furiously thrashing about in opposition. It is tormenting to do good things because they are often the most difficult things to do. On the contrary, it always feels so much lighter and easier to do what is wrong and to turn away from responsibility. In a world that values the flesh more than the spirit, the struggle to keep going down the narrow road is nerve-wrecking, heart-wrenching and energy-depleting.

Nevertheless, we need not fret for we have been loved with an everlasting love - and it is this very same love that will help us overcome the unbearable no matter how difficult and seemingly impossible. "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7. The processing we are going through is out of love and if that is so, then may the fruit of the transformation is love. This is the only way the charcoal becomes a glittering diamond.

Love is the answer.
Loving one's struggles and forgiving one's self.

To quote from The Wonder Years, and American television series: "Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what's to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves... for growing up."


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