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At first, the thought of college graduation was too much of an idea to sink well in my head. Why, I’ve been studying for almost 16 years of my life! But anyway, it doesn’t matter. I plan (not just dream) of getting a Ph.D. So, I still have a very long way to go.

I was offered a “summer job” in a laboratory by helping out in a certain project. Had I wanted, I could have started the day right after my graduation. But I asked for one week of rest so that I can do a little bit of career planning and contemplation. And it was a good decision. I was able to confirm my resolve in doing graduate studies and research. My mind was always filled with college student’s worries back then that I wasn’t able to think a lot of my future career. So I used this one week in searching for information about scholarships abroad (hopefully).

So I am currently working on microorganisms, in short, microbes. I like the different colors of the media we use to culture them, prescribed according to their needs and how we can identify them. I also like working in the laboratory. The neatness, cleanliness and orderliness are very much accentuated.

By the way, the picture shown above is an XLD agar positive with Salmonella sp. Pretty, isn’t it? However, it’s pathogenic consequences isn’t as pretty as it looks.

This is a continuation of the previous Camaya post. As I said a while before, spent my time on the beach picking up shells underneath the pebbles, sand grains and waves. I am not too familiar with the seashell terms nor their taxonomy so after gathering, I just grouped them according to their general shape or appearance. They are so pretty to look at! Actually, very few of them still had hermit crabs inside. So the morning after that day, as I laid up the shells under the sun to dry them up and remove the fishy smell, I noticed some dried up hermit crabs upon collecting the shells at noon. Oh well.

Its been my childhood hobby to collect shells. I used to have lots of them before but now they’re all gone because I used them all up in my elementary and high school projects for decorative purposes.

Hooray for beach summer getaway! We went to Camaya beach resort in Mariveles, Bataan just yesterday. Although I am from Bataan, I’ve never been to Mariveles. So it was my first time to experience the steep zigzag roads along the mountains of Mariveles. But we were also welcomed by a beautiful view of rocky mountain formations and terrains. And I could tell that the mountains of Mariveles are teeming with rich flora and fauna. No wonder that researchers conduct regular biodiversity surveys in these areas. During the travel, I saw collared kingfishers, bee eater, some swallows, egret and soaring falcon-liked birds which looked like Brahminy kites.

And here comes the resort experience. Although the beach facilities were generally good, the food was disappointing. The entrance to the resort included an eat-all-you-can lunch buffet, and so since we’re in a beach, I was expecting seafood, dessert, and cold refreshments. However, each guest was only offered rice, pansit and two viands. I was expecting a more lavish menu. And I was not able to pick my own serving (since I eat less than average). The beach wasn’t so great as well. The water was not very crystal clear. There weren’t many intertidal and marine organisms, but of course it was expected since it is a beach resort. But I was still hoping I’d see some sea stars. There were a few jellyfishes though.

I spent all morning and early afternoon under the sun swimming and mostly by collecting sea shells. Collecting sea shells has always been my hobby, however, I’ve been in the beach only a few times. I will make a post soon about the shells I’ve collected.

It’s Thesis Proposal Season! It’s the common talk of  my batchmates right now, even on Facebook. We seem to be talking and worrying the same thing every day as enrollment is fast approaching.

Oh right, my final year here in college will officially begin soon. Just thinking about it makes me anxious on how things will go. The road seems very dark and unpredictable. I will be holding lots of responsibilities and tasks which I haven’t done in my life. And for that, I need to be more daring and fearless to disappointments and failures. Perhaps I expect too much of myself sometimes, which is one of my biggest pitfalls. But anyway, I should constantly remind myself that worrying will change nothing. I just have to be always steadfast and calm, and to always trust and have faith in God.

Honestly, I feel more anxious with my org duties than with my academics. I am now an executive officer of both of my orgs. I’m afraid that I will come into the point where I have to sacrifice my academics for my committee projects, especially when a few are only wiling to help. But I have made my firm decision that when that time comes, I will cancel the project without second thoughts. An org is not an org if it does not value the welfare of its members, especially on the academic aspects.

Anyway, I’m using this post as a vent to my worries and thoughts. Haha. Good riddance.

The Easter season had just ended yesterday with the Solemnity of Pentecost. Maybe I was too late to post these Easter egg photos in-season. But still, Easter eggs are nice symbolism of hope and new life. I pray that I will never give up on my struggles as I continue to renew myself everyday. Just recently I was inspired to say these three words to myself whenever things go wrong or I feel sad and disappointed: faith, patience and humility. They comfort me a lot.

I edited these photos just now as a way of relaxation (since I’m too full with all the workload). At least I did not waste my time with doing nothing. And I think it went pretty well considering the quality of the photos as they were just taken from a two-megapixel cellphone camera. I also added a subtle shade of pink to make it look more candy-like.

We left the boarding house at around 6:20 AM. And we arrived here in the province at 11:20 AM. Five hours of travel! But at least we arrived safely. The bus ride during NLEX was something I’ve never experienced before in my 8 years of bus travelling. We were very cramped at the middle of the bus alleyway. The way I was standing is not sturdy enough to balance myself against the opposing forces whenever the bus accelerates and suddenly stops. So I have to grab hold to the luggage compartment above. Not to mention how hungry I was since I was not able to take my breakfast. My legs were also shaking from fatigue. But I just diverted my mind in other thoughts so I could endure the travel (like happy thoughts and offering the hardships to God). The NLEX part probably took more than an hour because of the snail pace of the vehicles. It’s Maundy Thursday anyway so everyone is rushing desperately, wanting to go home. Like us.

And as we entered our house, I was told that Sandy (one of our dogs) died. So Chocnat is now the only left from the trio and she is the least of my favorite. On a brighter side, we have a new puppy yet unnamed. She is not as charming as our other dogs who died but maybe that’s just my first expression.

Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve eaten a steaming rice and soup-based viand. We had “ginisang sinigang sa isda” for lunch and “espasol” for merienda and dessert.

It’s good to be home.

Lush green foliage are now beginning to grow among the seemingly dull branches of the narra trees. Meanwhile, flowers are beginning to blossom, especially among the huge mango and kaimito trees. The afternoon weather has also become warmer lately. Summer vacation is truly nearing fast.

I went home this long weekend. The last time I was home was before the first class of January. I haven’t been able to do it due to my Monday class and my sister’s Saturday class. But I’m glad that Lord gave me this chance to be with my family. I cancelled my other appointments without a second thought. The bus ride was longer than usual due to road constructions in Pampanga (as usual) and in Roman superhighway. It was also raining that time which only added to the coldness of the bus air conditoner, but I had a bowl of hot rice porridge with egg to warm me. Good thing also that I had my arm warmers (which I usually use as sun and insect protection in field works).

And as I arrived I didn’t notice any strange thing at all. I only found out later that our oldest dog, Poddy, just died yesterday. She will be missed. She has been in our household since we started to live in our new house, and that was probably be 8-9 years ago.

Oh yeah, my new laptop is currently under repair. It is a Sony VAIO K series, with a nice pink touch. And it was only purchased last November. It’s still a mystery how it broke down, I’m pretty sure that I am more careful in handling it than any of my previous laptops. But anyway, I’m a bit sad and disappointed that I was not able to back up my precious pictures. I would have to download them all again, for those which I have luckily uploaded in various sites.

Right now, I’m very happy to hear my DEPAPEPE songs over a good speaker. All this time, I’ve been wanting to plug the speakers in a laptop. The beauty and richness of the instruments are greatly enhanced, it is very pleasing to my ears. I love it so much!

Alright, back to studies.