Tailor-made: the chop

The last haircut in the salon I had was before the year changed to 2013. From that time until last week, I just go to the barbershop to have the sides shaved again. Of course, the top part will eventually grow out extremely long that my hair just begins to have a life of its own. I had no plans of having it cut today, but as I started feeling uncomfortable, I had to do something.

Getting this mop-of-a-hair chopped

My hair looked like a field of grass blown by the wind

I think that I’m also beginning to take a leaf from my mother’s book. When she goes out, she makes sure that she’ll do A LOT of tasks in a single day to make getting out more fruitful. That was also what I did today. After getting a haircut, I went to the Marikina City Public Market to buy some fabric. I’ve been wanting to have two more pants made from the same tailor who did the two black pants I use for work. I wanted a pair of darker khaki pants (from the one I already have) and another pair or navy blue ones. I think I can use my other pair of shoes, other than the black 8-hole Doc Martens and Red Wing boots if I have these two pair of pants with me. I have no idea of particular fabric names, so I just wore a pair of khaki shorts made from the fabric I hoped to find.

An afternoon in Marikina City Public Market

Khaki and blue cotton twill at Php 190 a yard

In the section selling dry goods, I went to the second floor and approached right away the first stall selling fabric. I asked if they have a fabric in khaki, similar to the shorts I was wearing but they told me that they did not have oxford. So it was news to me that I was looking for an oxford fabric. They only have cotton twill so I left looking for this oxford fabric in another stall. I think most stalls were having their siesta because there was a long row of stalls with no people looking after their merchandise. Then at the far end, I approached another stall and asked for oxford fabric. The old lady responded they have none, so I asked if they have a fabric similar to the one I have, holding out the hem of my shorts. To my surprise, she loudly exclaimed “Eh cotton twill naman ‘to eh!” , so I mentioned that the other stall said otherwise. She then retorted “Ang boba nila kamo!”, which left be gobsmacked. O_O Anyway, I ended up buying a yard and quarter for both khaki and navy blue fabric and immediately left for the tailor.

Where the magic happens --- my favorite tailor in Marikina

The tailor, Mang Joel, getting the measurement of my other pair of black pants

Arriving at the tailor’s shop, he immediately recognized me and asked if I have my fabric with me. I got them out of the paper bag and I told him that he can pattern it after another pair of pants he made for me a year ago, which I also brought with me. I was told that I will be getting the two pairs next Sunday. I paid half of the total price and hoping that he’d nail the pants again. I only trust Mang Joel when it comes to my tailoring needs. I seldom buy from the mall, unless the fabric is exceptional, but for everyday needs, I just have them tailor-made. My legs are quite big and I’m not exactly tall so mall-distributed pants eventually end up being altered. The best thing about this, I spend less having them made than buying them in the mall. For example, the fabric I bought earlier costs Php 190/yard and I always need a yard and quarter for a pair of pants. So for Php 237.50 (fabric) and Php 400 fee for the tailor, I just shelled out Php 637.50. I highly doubt I can find the same price on the mall, which usually needs alteration of the length and that costs me around Php 100.

On another note, I just found out that Mon’s father has permitted Lot to pursue her studies in UPLB! I’m so delighted and I can only imagine how happy Mon and Lot were upon getting this confirmation. There’s no more need to fight our way through for reconsideration! Congratulations, Lot, for being a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan! Welcome to the University of the Philippines and I hope you’ll have a great time being an Iska!

And before I forget, tomorrow will be the first day of comprehensive examinations for the second semester takers! It seems only yesterday when I was also faced with same daunting task to finish graduate school. I’m sincerely hopeful that my classmates and friends taking the first part (of three) will have a calm mind and not panic with the time and pressure of answering correctly (not to mention, ballpens breaking down or hands shaking from hours of writing). I will be going to UP tomorrow to wait for them to finish and give some moral support, and hopefully those who listened to me and actually sought my advice will help others as well in the happy event that they pass. Pay it forward, guys. =) In bocca al lupo!

Meeting with classmates

UP Ayala Technohub

Very sunny Saturday, in fact, more than the usual blaze of the sun but I had to go to UP Ayala Technohub to meet some of my classmates in graduate school. The three will be taking their comprehensive examinations this February and I volunteered to help them with their review. =D

After all these years, I haven’t set foot in the Technohub until a few hours back, to think that it was extremely accessible from school. Anyway, I was able to talk to them and share my experience in taking and preparing for the examination. They were wondering why I was taking the time to help them out, but I just said that I was just paying it forward. I also got help from other people in preparing for the exam, particularly on what to expect so I was not totally in the dark when I took them. I was quite delighted that they have already started studying for the exams this early, because it took me just about five weeks to review for them. =/

I promised myself not to be like one of those classmates of ours who were not to keen to be helpful with something grueling such as these exams. They won’t be stripped off of their degrees if they were to be more explicit and less vague with others on what to expect. The examinees will still be the one sitting for the tests. Also, I had a funny feeling that they secretly wish others to fail — typical crab-mentality. There could be other acceptable reasons but I just can’t handle people who are like that. And as they put it in vernacular, “Saksak nila ‘yan sa baga nila“. Just kidding. LOL

I just got a letter!

Well, the cat has been out of the bag last week, and all I had to do was just claim the letter that made the result official. I left the house at around 11:15 AM, and I knew that there was no way that I will reach the department before it closes for lunchbreak. When I was already by the Asian Center, it was only then that I had an idea to call and advise if I can claim the letter even if it was already lunch break. Things eventually went well and I was able to claim my letter:

Envelope from the Department of Political Science, UP Diliman

It's official as I now have my letterI can’t help but just be amazed over how fast time went by. It seems only yesterday when I was trying to complete the requirements to apply for graduate school. The program only has first semester admission, that I even enrolled 3 units of non-degree in the preceding second semester because I was really very impatient to go back to school. I even took a picture of the admission letter when I got it on May 11, 2009.

The letter I got way back from May 2009 when I was first admitted in the program

But a year after starting, I was already at the point of breaking down. The level of stress was something I did not anticipate, especially as I’m also working full-time. When I was still in undergrad, everything seemed to go on quite smoothly because I had a very strong support group. In graduate school, on the other hand, we were virtually left to fend for ourselves and bonds among classmates were admittedly not that strong.

I also had to literally brave the waters as I experienced two calamities within the same period that I started and ended my studies. Back in September 26, 2009, I had to leave the house even if it was already raining non-stop becayse I was the last person to report in our last day of my first semester in graduate school. I need not elaborate on how devastating that day was because it almost swept my whole family away. O_O Then in August 7, 2012, exactly a day after I took the first part of my comprehensive exams, the heavy rains of the southwest monsoon brought another bout of flood in our area.

That's my precious file in the Graduate OfficeAnyway, I recently found out about the poem ‘Ithaca‘ by Constantine V. Cavafy and it was an extremely inspiring piece. Here is a wonderful audio recording by Sean Connery (with music by Vangelis):

My favorite parts were the first and last ones :

As you set out for Ithaca
hope that your journey is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
And:
And if you find her poor, Ithaca won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithacas mean.
I think I could have been more inspired with the exams had I read about it early on. =D Anyway, it isn’t too late because I could start searching for my own Ithaca now. Fight!
P.S.
Happy 4y2M Mon! Love you! =D

IT’S OFFICIAL: I FINALLY HAVE MY MASTER’S DEGREE!

It was a very slow day when I suddenly received this email three hours ago:

Comprehensive Exam results!WHOA! I passed my comprehensive examinations and I am officially done with graduate school! I was shaking like crazy because I could not believe it. We were originally to personally claim the results but with several changes in the releasing date made everything so confusing. I was very eager to just know the results because I just wanted the worst part over. If I were to fail, I just wanted to mourn and get ready for the next schedule of exams. But, of course, I wanted to pass because it was really a difficult phase and I did not want to try it ever again.

I was more excited over the fact that I will finally be able to attend a graduation ceremony WITH my parents beside me. All my graduation rites (from grade school, high school and college), my parents were not able to attend any of them because they were working abroad. Honestly, part of the reason why I pursued graduate school was to finally have that chance to see them across the lawn/stage/venue, watching me turn the tassel from right to left. LOL

But it was not entirely a happy revelation. I similarly found out that my study partner did not pass the exams and I feel extremely bad about it. I know there’s nothing much we can do about the final results but we agreed to go over the topics together, in the event she starts reviewing again. =(

I'm ready to wear my Sablay again (pictured here next to a pile of school readings for compre exams last July) - UP Diliman

Anyway, I’m really thankful that I finally obtained my Master in International Studies! =D I promised to help other examiners if I were to pass on my first take, and I have already spoken to some of my classmates who are asking for help in reviewing for the next schedule of examinations. YEY!!!