The Writer With An Attitude (175th Post Special) [E]

For TWATKcox’s 175th post, it’s all about the unusual attitude of a weirdo named Keihancarl Oikou Xiaucham as a writer-blogger. In case you didn’t know who Keihancarl is, then try to figure out yourself. Yes, that would be me, the one who’s solely responsible for writing articles and stories, as well as maintaining this blog you’re reading right now.

My name is Keihancarl Oikou Xiaucham, the writer with an attitude. A writer who hates to be interrupted while writing a series of posts. A perfectionist with a certain dislike for anything below my standards. A fashionable guy who loves red, black, and gray. Makes sense, right?

As a writer, I’m mostly drawn to dark themed stories, dealing with angst, violence, personal grudge, depression… anything that can evoke a reader’s mind. But of course, I don’t limit myself to writing such stories. I can write comedy if I have to. But I’m not the kind of person who loves cracking jokes, so don’t expect.

Anyway, I’ve been covering light and [slightly] emotional topics since I started blogging. In the last few years, I also published a few explicit posts, as well as identifying myself as the writer with an attitude. So it’s time to live up to that.

Yes, I’m being nice. But I can be critical and straightforward. depending on a situation. I can call you a bunch of names, I can even write all about the evil things I did to a person or a group of people… indirectly, of course, as I don’t want to get sued for defamation. Freedom of speech has its limitations, in case you didn’t know.


In order to gather ideas, I need to get out of the house and endure a tiring afternoon of walking and visiting various places… mostly malls, famous landmarks, and small cafés near my high school. I can get lots of ideas from seeing people, checking some of the books at a second-hand bookstore, going to an event, and a few interesting sights around the city. Experience is the most important factor in writing a post… and I don’t mean writing experiences. Keep that in mind.

Of course, I have my smartphone with me, mainly for Facebook and Instagram, and some picture taking. At times, I write down my ideas and possible snippets for an article or story I was writing, but I didn’t utilize it’s potential… despite being a smartphone user for more than three years. Yes, I treat my smartphone as my portable PC, but I don’t do blog writing with it. You know how some telcos are making profits with their crappy service and slow internet connection, right?

At home, I translate these thoughts into writing. But most of the time, these thoughts came to nothing, and I end up with a lot of drafts and snippets which don’t end up as a complete article or a story. They’re stored on my PC for a long period of time and are rarely opened and read. That’s the beauty of a writer’s block, isn’t it?

Normally, I only do most of my writing work during afternoons and late nights (sometimes extending up to the wee hours of the morning). Dark-themed stories and articles are always done in the wee hours of the morning since that’s the only time I can concentrate without any interruptions, but I still can’t write anything since I’m currently working on a PC right behind the TV cabinet and across the dining area. Since it’s an open space, there’s no privacy so I can’t assume that there’ll be no interruption while I’m working.

I hate seeing people lurking behind my back and making unnecessary comments while I’m working. These people are the main reason why I tend to lose concentration in the article/story being written and end up procrastinating. Mark my words, if ever I become famous, I might throw the keyboard at them to shut them up and go away. Of course, writing stories and articles is like creating an artwork. I had to make sure that I’m in a cheerful mood when I’m writing something, especially dark-themed stories and articles. Otherwise, I’ll lose concentration and may lead to procrastination.

You certainly knew how long it takes for me to finish a single article? These take a minimum of 12 hours to a few days, sometimes weeks, or may take a few months. Maybe a year. As of this writing, I somehow manage to finish a lot of articles within a month or two. But sometimes, I resort to writing really short ones (up to a maximum of 150 words). These articles are categorized as the i150W series, short for In 150 Words, which I consider as a series of filler posts in case I don’t have a finished article ready to be published at a certain date. Yup, I schedule my posts so I don’t have to publish two articles within a 24-hour period.

I am a frustrated writer with a writer’s block. I can’t even concentrate on what I’m doing due to a variety unnecessary interruptions. Whatever. I’ll just keep up this attitude of mine until I accomplish a lot of things.


My life, as a writer and a blogger… Right now, I’m enjoying what I’m doing, provided that I don’t get interrupted in the middle of writing an article or a story. That I don’t get distracted by checking my Facebook or Instagram, or some websites about something that piqued my curiosity. And of course, I don’t need to be told about some random nonsense. In short, don’t disturb me while I’m writing.

I don’t know if there are writers who are annoyed by such disturbances while writing their literary masterpieces. But I’m pretty sure that they’re not the kind of people who would delay their work if they’re not in the mood since they’re likely to get pressured by their publishers. Oh well, if I become one, then I’ll need to practice restraint. Besides, being a writer requires a great deal of discipline, and that includes refinement of your behavior. Whatever. I’ll do what I can to finish a story I’m working on.



School Days: My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education

How I Feel About School

To be honest, I was lucky that I get to finish school and had a brief stint at a call center company in Makati, in addition to the on-the-job training in college at a government office and a state-owned TV station. But of course, I can always recall the ups and downs of my student life.


Back when I was a kid, going to school every day sure is a struggle, especially when you have to wake up early to a cold, sunny morning. My breakfast is ready, my uniform is ready… but in my mind, I’m not ready for another boring school day. I am like that whenever I don’t feel like going to school. But of course, there are times when I feel like I’m gonna cry if I miss school. I even recall that moment back when I was in third grade when I was actually begging my mom to let me go to school even though there is a typhoon and classes are suspended. Sometimes, I just don’t understand myself.

To be honest, school is actually a great place to learn and make friends. Yeah, why am I even thinking of ditching the thought of going to school when there is fun in learning? Also, I get to have a lot of fun with my classmates too, at least for the first three years in elementary. And I can’t wait for my favorite part of a school day, recess. Well, there’s no playground in my school, that’s the sad part. But still, we get to have fun by chasing one another or draw a lot of things in sheets of paper.

Come fourth grade, and everything changed. I’m beginning to see the dark side of friendship and the thought of rejection is making me feel depressed. I was being left out, and it’s kind of sad. Even the brief fame I got for representing our class in Mr. and Mrs. [name of school] didn’t help. I can’t even focus on my studies. I know I wasn’t doing very well at school since I’m preoccupied with my depressing thoughts.

And then there’s bullying. At first, the kind of bullying I experienced back in sixth grade (at a private school) was just a bunch of insults. Reaching high school, upon transferring to a public school, the kind of bullying I experienced is more than just a bunch of insults, but that also includes [slight] physical abuse. I feel endangered at the thought of being surrounded by a bunch of bad guys, at times I got hit in the head by means of a bully’s fist. Bullying remains a big problem in most schools, private or public. I know it’s a guidance counselor’s job to reprimand a bully for their actions, but only if the victims or the witnesses are willing to report the incident. In my experience, however, I only got to do this once.

When the school year ends, it spells relief for us as we’re off to a lengthy school break that coincides with the warm and sunny weather. As we look forward to another school year, we get to enjoy ourselves with spending the summer vacation at the beach or at home. School graduation, however, is a ceremony filled with lots of memories and proud moments.

I always thought of elementary graduation as insignificant, as it is just a simple ceremony to signify the transition to high school. Yes, your classmates from elementary may still be your classmates in high school. But it’s not the same for high school graduation, as this is the last time that you and your classmates will be together. Afterwards, you guys will go on separate ways. To be honest, I don’t feel emotional in all these school graduations after all.


So what did I learn in the first ten (pre-K-12) years of my student life?

  • Studying hard is okay, but you don’t always have to devote all your time to studying. It’s the same thing for your hobbies, make sure that these don’t interfere with your studies. Oh well, it’s a matter of a work-play balance, it’s just that I don’t always do this.
  • Responsibility is done through doing your homework, projects, and reports, as well as studying your lessons at home not just in preparation for your quizzes or tests. Yup, I failed in this one, so that explains why I become an underachiever.
  • Being lazy with your studies leads to failure in quizzes and exams. Since I tend to procrastinate at times, this is where I lead. But then, I did well in some subjects, such as English and TLE-Computer. As for the rest, I only managed to pass. But at least I didn’t fail in any of the subjects, so much for my procrastination.
  • Academics aside, maintaining good relationships with your classmates bring you closer to them. I think I made a lot of friends but in the end, only your closest friends matter. No matter how terrible they are, if they’re being nice to you in the end, then you shouldn’t strain ties with them by means of a retaliation. But in my case, this is something I don’t follow as I had just severed ties with my fourth-year high school classmates, despite the fact that some of them are actually being nice to me.
  • Never let anybody bring you down. Yes, bullying is pretty common in schools, but this shouldn’t be the sole reason for you to quit school. Remember to keep your head up and ignore those who taunt you. Yup, this is also a lesson for myself too…

The Importance Of Education

School is a great place for learning a lot of things and making friends. It can help shape the children’s minds and lead them to a brighter future. But there are some children who never had a chance to go to school and experience formal education, so be grateful to your parents for this wonderful opportunity.

We all go to school not just to learn how to read and write, but to have a better and brighter future. Although we learn from our textbooks, it is actually through paying attention to the teacher’s lectures and participating in class activities that we actually learn a lot of stuff. And it gives you the chance to ask questions.

While you enjoy the privilege of going to school by means of riding various kinds of transportation or a school service, others have to walk a great deal of distance to school, even if it takes them a few hours just to get there one way. In rural areas, the path going to school involves crossing a river, passing by an overgrown forest in the mountains, and at times passing through slippery, grassy slopes and/or rocks along the way. You had your allowance given by your parents, originally intended for snacks and other important expenses, some of which went to gaming expenses. Others go to school with little or no allowance at all, some of them had to endure a long school day without food, and some of them have to dig through the trash for some recyclables or experience a great deal of labor just for their school allowance. And while you look forward to a brand new set of school uniform, a new pair of shoes, a new bag, and a new set of school supplies, others had to make do with their old school uniform (usually hand me downs), an old pair of shoes, incomplete set of school supplies, and sometimes plastic bags for storing their things. But it’s not through material things or comfort that a student can succeed in their studies, it’s through hard work.

Sometimes, money played a huge role in the child’s schooling. Just imagine how much would a tuition fee in a prestigious [private] school cost… and yet the child would end up begging for material things instead of studying hard. Besides, what your child learns in a private school is virtually the same as in a public school. Perhaps, a plus factor for studying in a private school is that they were able to provide some necessary equipment needed (such as laboratory apparatus for science activities, or musical instruments for music lessons), something that some public schools may lack. Still, private schools give an impression that they cater to those who can afford.

Some of the students are forced to stop schooling due to a variety of reasons, mostly related to poverty. It’s understandable that they’re striving to help their families by means of labor, but if they didn’t finish their studies, then they’re going to have a hard time finding a decent job and support themselves.

But there are some students who managed to finish studies, despite the hardships they’re facing. Even though they wanted to stop schooling just to help their parents, they were urged by their families to finish studies as this is their key to success. There are notable success stories by people who managed to finish their studies despite the hardships caused by poverty, this should serve as an inspiration to many. Remember, poverty should not be a reason to skip or stop studying.

In the end, it doesn’t whether you came from a private or a public school, for as long as you passed with flying colors. What we learned in school can still be applied to certain things in our daily lives, such as a simple computation or a simple experiment. And yes, education is not limited to a certain age group, for as long as you have the will to study and fulfill your dreams of becoming a successful person and living a better life.

All right, so why is education important for everyone? The answer is simple, it is where we learn a lot of information, and it is essentially vital for better employment and a better future. We all have our dreams in life, and we can achieve it through studying. The knowledge we gained from our studies can aid us in achieving our goals in life, and not just our occupational field of interest. Again, there’s no age limit when it comes to education so everybody will be given a chance to fulfill their dreams and become a successful being.


School memories… they keep coming back to me. Despite the fact that I’m an underachiever, there are great memories that are worth looking back.

Yes, we may never bring back the past, but we can always remember the good and bad things we experienced at school. The people you meet and befriended, the events and experiences that matter, all the hardships that every student endured… and the sweet moment of achievement. Isn’t it nice to remember these kinds of school memories?

Of course, I learn a lot of things, both academically and non-academically. Being a student is all about knowledge and experience, and garnering enough achievements to make it all meaningful. Well, you can say that my student life isn’t meaningful at all but that doesn’t mean that I’m not good at anything. At least I still passed all my subjects and I graduated, but that was that. Still, I enjoy the moment of being inside the campus listening to the teacher’s lectures, roaming the halls during breaks, and spending time with some of my friends… off-campus. And the moment of meeting your awesome classmates as well.

Now that it’s all over, I guess it’s time to move on. It was really fun, despite some unpleasant moments that happened to me during that period.


School Days: Achievements, Activities, Moments, And Experiences

Note: There are some additions to this post, all of which happened back in elementary. The newly-added parts are highlighted.

Twenty years ago, in 1997, I started elementary school. Around that time, I was kind of rowdy and mischievous, and I find that experience hilarious. It’s as if we’re still in a kindergarten class, but we’re on our way to serious learning. The next few years turn out to be a turning point as I was starting to behave properly, but it was during fourth grade when I start experiencing rejections from my peers.

So this two-part article covers my experiences in elementary and high school, as well as my thoughts about going to school, and the importance of education. I’m sure some of these experiences are covered in previous posts, but this is the compiled version of my student life.


Elementary. That’s the time when the more difficult math problems (like the three/four digit problem solving and fractions) become my biggest headache. Math is one of my two weakest subjects in school, the other one being science. Meanwhile, I enjoy literary and language based subjects the best.

As a first grade student, I tend to get into trouble just like any other kid in class. I tend to get noisy during class and I rarely do my homework. I did get into trouble for crawling under my female classmates’ skirts, and it was kind of perverted. I had no idea what made me do it.

The most hilarious thing I did that time was mimicking a school teacher (with my classmates as students) on a toothpaste commercial that was airing on TV that time. Yes, it was a teacher asking kindergartners asking what is the color of the teacher’s sweater, and the color of her teeth (if I recall correctly). Of course, one of my teachers doesn’t seem to be amused by what I did and we rushed back to our seats as soon as she comes in. It was kind of funny.

I also remember that time when I actually begged my Filipino teacher to let me join my classmates for the Linggo Ng Wika presentation, partly because my best friend is among my classmates who are selected to represent our class. Of course, she let me join my classmates for the presentation. Later that year, I was Mr. Israel for the United Nation Day, although my costume looked like an Arab’s. Yup, it’s the same for the following year’s United Nation Day at our school.

In second grade, we had our field demonstration. It’s basically a bunch of dance steps with simple props (such as a ring and a stick) and a dance music track.

During third grade, we did another field demo for the UN Day at our school, and this time our class will represent Mexico, with the song “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. It was raining that time, but of course, the show must go on.

On the first half of elementary, I managed to take home some awards. These include the award for being “Most Friendly” (first grade), “Best in Reading” (second grade), and “3rd Honor[able Mention]” (third grade). By the way, there’s the Top 5 (or the cream of the crop) at the end of each school quarter to honor the students with excellent grades.


Fourth grade comes, and we finally have our Home Economics and Livelihood Education classes. This is where we learn how to sew, cook, and work in the school garden. I had a hard time with the sewing activity, but I managed to do it. With some assistance, that is. Also, that’s the time where we get to have Computer class, focusing on BASIC programming. You know, the PRINT “Hi!” = Hi! thing.

For that year’s Linggo Ng Wika, we are grouped according to what region (in the country) where we came from. We represent our group by dressing up in our specific traditional (and religious) costumes, as well as to make an introduction in our dialect. For our group, two of us are in religious costumes, the two others are in traditional costumes.

During that time, there’s a lyre band lesson, with the help of a lyre band instructor (I think). Most of our classmates had bought their lyre bands, but I was unable to have one since my family couldn’t afford it. I was eventually assigned to playing the snare drum, with some my classmates playing other instruments as well. That continued until the following school year (with our music teacher in fifth grade as an instructor). There’s a speech lesson as well, courtesy of our friendly speech instructor. We had a lot of fun with our speech lessons, which is one of the few good moments during my fourth grade.

In November that year, I wrote an essay about computers for the Computer Month. I won third place for that.

And guess what, I was chosen as a candidate (along with the female transfer student, who became my best friend until the end of that school year) to represent our class for Mr. & Ms. [name of school], as part of the school’s Foundation Day. To be honest, I was quite uncomfortable being selected to represent our class, but I went on with it… only I didn’t tell my parents about it until the school trip. There’s the competition for formal wear, casual wear and sportswear, and of course the talent portion. On the presentation of the candidates, however, my female partner didn’t show up since she wasn’t feeling well. The winners are determined by the number of tickets sold, and I didn’t mind winning the title at all. Regardless, I become popular with my female classmates for a while, and that was that.

It was during that time when my classmates started ignoring me and they didn’t let me join in their games. So I’m stuck with two of my classmates, and I don’t know if they’re really fun to be with. But one thing is for sure, it was a depressing school year for me.

Fifth grade comes, and I feel weirder and weirder each day. I’m starting to become a misfit, but at least I made some new friends, the ones from the main campus. Yes, I’m from the satellite campus (along with some of my classmates), but the satellite campus can only accommodate classes up to fourth grade so we were transferred to the main campus the moment we finished fourth grade. Anyway, we are a large class comprising two sections, the main campus’ section A and satellite campus’ section B. Of course, not all of them are friendly to me in the end.

Our school is also competing in the Palarong Pinoy, held at the Nayong Pilipino in Pasay City. I’m competing in Sungka’s mixed junior division, but I never made it to the finals.

January the following year, our school had the annual Intramurals. The intermediate students and the high school students are the ones participating in the school’s yearly sports fest, and we are divided into four groups, namely the green team, red team, yellow team, and blue team. I belong to the green team, and I’m on the team’s cheering squad. I was immensely bored throughout the event, and I can’t recall if our team had [actually] won anything.

Sixth grade comes and it gets even more interesting. At least, since I met a cool guy wearing glasses and I started enjoying watching anime shows and playing games on the newly-bought surplus PC. About the guy, he was actually not in my class yet we somehow managed to hang out on occasion. He was a very nice person.

For that year’s Linggo Ng Wika, we are to re-enact the scenes from the 1986 People Power Revolution, as well as perform the patriotic theme song “Magkaisa”. I play the role of a cameraman, with a video camera made of styrofoam. We did well in our presentation, I think.

And there’s an entire class recital of Prince Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “To Be, Or Not To Be”. Yup, it is part of our speech class, with our friendly speech instructor from a few years back. Aside from that, some of us have to produce our own voice recording of the poem “Little Bo Beep”, with proper pronunciation. I didn’t get to do this anyway so I’m fine with listening to some of their voice recordings, some with a hilarious twist.

We have our Christmas-themed presentation/competition, where we perform Christmas songs as a group. It’s a school inter-class competition, but I don’t really recall much of it. I don’t feel like joining the class in the performance since I’m not in the mood to do this. Well, at least I’m not the only one who’s not performing with the rest of the class anyway.

It’s the school’s Intramurals once again. Previously, all games are held inside the school’s parking (that doubles as the playground and basketball/volleyball court) and the school quadrangle. However, for this year’s Intramurals, some of the games had to transfer to the basketball court inside the private subdivision, a walking distance from the school’s satellite campus. Anyway, I’m now on the yellow team, and they’re asking me to compete in the sports event. I give in, and I’ll compete in Sungka for the second time. I won the competition, but then it will take a while before the sports event ends. I didn’t bother to go watch the other sports events, which took place on my favorite day, Saturday.

So here comes the graduation, but I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, it’s my female classmates who keep telling me that I will never graduate and that I don’t deserve the “Loyalty Award” for staying at school for six years. Of course, I got mad but I couldn’t control my emotions too.

Six years at [name of school]… it’s a mix of fun, remarkable, and lonely moments of being an elementary student. Without a proper farewell, I decided to move on and move to a public school the following school year. I doubt I’m gonna miss my soon-to-be former classmates (and I don’t think they’ll miss me anyway).

High School

High school life sure is fun, but I didn’t get to enjoy every part of it.

Well, I’ve had enough of my troubled past in my former school, maybe this will change by the time I transfer to another school, the one where my brother finished high school. Besides, I had a feeling that I’m gonna meet a lot of nice people in my new school, some of them become my closest friends.

So I’m a high school freshman who is still acting like an elementary student? It’s a challenging transition, but that’s something I can live with. To begin with, my new school is in Lagro, Quezon City, about more or less 8 kilometers (calculated using Google Maps) from my house. And since I’m no longer in private school, I think it’s a good idea for me to experience how to commute, having used to being taken to and from school on a tricycle as a school service (though I did it with my classmate a few times back in elementary). I still find it scary to cross the street (thanks to the overspeeding vehicles on the highway), but at least it’s safe to cross the street near my school.

And here comes algebra, biology, geometry, chemistry, trigonometry, physics, economics, Asian and world history, and technology and livelihood education (TLE). In addition, we also study four notable literary works from Filipino authors: Ibong Adarna, Francisco Baltazar’s Florante At Laura, and Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as watching their stage play adaptations at the UP Theater.

We were introduced to different school clubs, but I don’t know if any of us are really interested in joining one. There’s the math club, the English club, the science club… all of the school clubs are dedicated to a particular school subject.

The school cafeteria is impressive and had wider choices than my former school. At the time, the cafeteria implemented the chit system wherein I had to fall in line just to exchange my cash for the plastic stub of equivalent value so I can buy something in the cafeteria. It was eventually scrapped more than a year later, replaced by cash register specifically for cafeteria meals.  During the first few weeks, I bought some chocolates and candies at the cafeteria and ate it inside the classroom during breaks. Of course, some of my classmates ask for a portion of a chocolate bar when they saw me eating one. In addition to the cafeteria, there’s also the co-op store where we bought pieces of pad paper, ball pens, notebooks… even our PE uniform, workbooks, and other knick knacks.

And yeah, I started wearing my glasses a few weeks before I start high school, so they thought that I was a genius. One of my teachers refers to me affectionately as Boy Genius. But at least I’m not alone since one of my female classmates also wear glasses as well.

During this time, I was actively copying what is written on the board, but at times I had a hard time catching up since I tend to make some mistakes and my hands are tired from all the writing. Also, some of the activities, particularly the ones on the TLE class, proved to be challenging as I need to make a lampshade, a letter holder (something I managed to finish myself), a gel candle (probably the easiest one to make myself), and a few others.

During my first year in high school, we only have our classes three whole days a week, from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with flag ceremonies held on Mondays. That changed during my second year in high school and with a new school principal and some changes, classes are now divided into two shifts. So it’s five half-days a week instead of the three whole days a week classes, which is quite a relief for some of us. For the rest of my high school years, I’m always placed in the afternoon classes.

I also recall back in first-year when I had to buy a recorder flute for our music class. It was an ivory Hohner recorder flute, which I really liked, yet I’m not good at playing that kind of instrument. It was an effort trying to play a few notes, what more for an entire piece of music? At times, we’re practicing a few songs our MAPEH teacher taught us. In the end, the flute was stored in the study table for a long time and I rarely played that thing.

I used to bring packed lunch during my freshman year but since it’s gonna be a half-day the following school year, I decided to eat lunch at home and just ask for the same allowance as last year. At least, 20 percent of my allowance goes to transportation, the rest goes to various expenses from snacks to school supplies. Of course, my allowance is larger than some of my classmates, and I don’t spend it all on snacks alone. Sometimes, I need to save some for myself.

I didn’t get to attend the school’s founding anniversary during my freshman year. It was during my sophomore year that I get to attend and have fun in the annual event, and I always look forward to it until my senior year. Around this time, I also attended some notable events, such as the “Pasikat Ni Sir At Mam” and a couple of stage plays inside the covered court.


It’s sophomore year and I’m in the afternoon class. But since some of my friends are in the morning classes, I ended up going home by myself. Well, I’m getting used to it since I’m starting to feel like a loner again, aside from being excluded by my seatmates. In addition to that, I experienced bullying from my two classmates, and I was extorted money by another. My sophomore year is sort of okay, but not really that okay.

The following school year (junior year), I’m having a great time with some of my classmates. I was elected as the president of the Handicrafts class (one of TLE’s electives) and I’m doing well in Geometry. I started hanging out with some of my friends again, and I was bending the rules a bit by wearing rubber shoes instead of my black shoes.

And here comes senior year, where I’m about to experience a great deal of trouble. At first, my classmates are very nice but that changed in the next few months. They tend to annoy me a lot of times and did something terrible to me. That aside, I was often nominated as a class officer for each of the subjects, some of which I did become a class officer. I’m not comfortable with being nominated, but… there’s nothing I can do about it. They’re being nice to me that time so I can’t tell them that.

I’m in the Computer class as part of the elective, it’s all about the internet with some MS Office activities in between. We are to create our own website as a project, and we made a video slideshow using our baby pictures (transferred to the computer by means of a scanner). Well, in our class, we (IV-Chromium) were down to just four as some of our classmates had transferred to other electives due to the monthly fee. I made friends with some of the students from IV-Gold and the lone student from IV-Lead.

We had our National Achievement Test, as well as our National Career Assessment Examination during our senior year. I think I did well in these tests. Regarding the National Career Assessment Examination, I think that helped me figure out my occupational field of interest… that is, the artistic field (or simply the arts).

There are a few more events I never attended. First is the Christmas party, the other one is the senior prom. I don’t care if I didn’t attend the Christmas party and have fun with some of my annoying classmates, but I don’t know if I feel the same with not attending the Prom. Something tells me that I should have attended the latter, but I didn’t. Not only I didn’t get to see my friends and classmates in their formal attire, but I’m missing a part of my life as well. Oh, but that didn’t matter now.

And here comes the emotional high school graduation ceremony. As usual (and just like any other high school graduations), students use this as a chance to spend the last hours of their high school life with picture taking, sharing stories of their high school memories, and wishing each other luck in their chosen field of interest. While some of my classmates are teary eyed by this memorable high school graduation, I didn’t feel emotional about it. Why some of them are hugging me and wishing me luck, I don’t know. They are planning a post-graduation outing and they’re inviting me, but I declined.

For some reason, I never got my high school yearbook and I didn’t bother to get my class picture. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever ask for a soft copy of the class picture, as I already severed ties with most of them.


High school officially ends, and I decided to take a year off from studying before heading for college as an English major student. And after ten years of finishing primary and secondary education, I only had very little achievements and I managed to pass my grades. Of course, I feel disappointed and guilty with myself for failing to keep up with my studies and I never got to my dream university, but that doesn’t matter now. Anyway, there’s the second part of this article featuring my thoughts about school and the importance of education.

i150W: Traffic

How frustrating can it get, especially when you’re caught in a horrendous traffic? Just imagine getting stuck in a so-called parking lot in the middle of the road, complete with the sight of red lights and the sound of vehicle horns… enough to keep you frustrated on the road.

The recent developments and infrastructure projects in the city can contribute to the worsening traffic, as well as large-scale events and rallies. And of course, the motorists’ lack of discipline on the road. Even acts of nature such as floods and landslides (caused by a heavy rain) can add to this [worldly] problem.

Traffic can cause stress, tardiness, high blood pressure, uncontrolled rage, and other related problems. To avoid these problems, make sure to plan ahead, be updated on the latest traffic updates, leave home early, chill down and relax, listen to music, and find an alternate route to your destination.


Awkwardness Is…

Awkwardness can either spell coolness or disaster… depending on how awkward the situation is. Well, there’s a possibility of encountering (and experiencing) such awkward moments, and this happens due to a variety of reasons.


Awkwardness is… when my movements aren’t that perfect. Well, I am like that. I tend to look around while I’m walking as if I’m doing some sightseeing. Maybe I was admiring the storefronts and the surroundings, and sometimes the interiors. But I don’t think they’ll see this as normal. So I’m awkward then?

Awkwardness is… when I ask a wrong question. Like for example, when I ask a cool-looking cosplayer regarding what anime series does the character [he was cosplaying] appear, only to be told that it was something else (like a video game or an online game). I couldn’t hear what he was saying due to the crowd cheers at the otaku event, so I ended up nodding without understanding everything. I was a little embarrassed by my wrong question but I quickly recovered and went on to listen to the panel forum about fandom. Well, sometimes, asking a wrong question can be embarrassing to both the person who was asking and the person being asked.

Awkwardness is… when I said something irrelevant. Case in point, when everybody’s talking about an anime series and someone was blurting out some reference(s) unrelated to what they’re talking about. A simple mistake of saying irrelevant remarks and comments turn into an embarrassing mistake.

Awkwardness is… when there’s a misunderstanding. It would be embarrassing to think that you may have gotten the right message, only to be told that it’s something else.

Awkwardness is… when you’re clumsy enough to cause a mishap, like accidentally crashing into a buffet table or accidentally kiss someone (which is purely unintentional but made intentional by someone who witnessed the incident). Seriously, accidents do happen and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but then it might have an impact on their dignity if it involves touching someone in an inappropriate place.

Awkwardness is… when you fail to perform your duty or obligation. Well, there’s a way to redeem yourself, but the embarrassment you got from a bunch of failures may still cost you your dignity and/or your reputation.

Awkwardness is… when you’re caught in an embarrassing act. I need not elaborate on this one.


We all have our awkward experiences, and some of them are really embarrassing that we don’t want any part of it to be brought up. But, on the bright side, awkwardness can alert us of our social expectations and boundaries, and motivate us in order to avoid repeating the same mistake over and over again.^

Whatever we do, we tend to get the attention of the people. So for example, when your pants fall down to reveal a hideous pair of boxers, there’s a tendency that you’ll attract unwanted attention. It may be unintentional, but it can be embarrassingly awkward for the guy. Another example is when your clumsiness caused a series of untoward incidents. It’s not your fault that you’re clumsy, but people see it as a case of carelessness, so that’s considered a pretty awkward situation.

Of course, there are some awkward situations that don’t attract attention. Like when you approach someone you thought was familiar, only to end up feeling embarrassed because you actually approached a wrong person. Well, that happened to me a few times, and I never approach anyone again, except if I really know the person.

There are ways to redeem yourself during these awkward moments. Take a deep breath, relax, and act as if nothing happened. Apologize if you have to. And don’t let these awkward moments in life affect you personally and emotionally.


In the end, these awkward situations in life are not meant to make you feel embarrassed about your actions. These may actually serve as a guide in order for you to not repeat the same mistakes again.

To be honest, sometimes it’s cool to be awkward… as long as it’s socially and morally acceptable. After all, we all have our awkward moments too.

Quirkiness Through Fashion

Ever wonder why I always dress like that? It’s because I can express myself better through my unusual outfits.

It’s no secret that I’m heavily influenced by what I see on TV, magazines, manga books, anime shows, and the internet. The good looking guys get to enjoy what they wear, whether it’s a simple outfit or an unusually creative one. More than ten years ago, I was hoping to be creative when it comes to outfits, but my mom insists on making me wear simple outfits. But that changed during the first half of my first year in college.


It all starts with my [simple] color combination outfit of red shirt and black slacks. I had to admit, I was trying to make a good impression by means of dressing up nicely. And then it was followed by a series of double layered outfits, mostly button up shirts on top of my colored and graphic shirts. I only get to do this during enrollments and certain events such as my friends’ birthdays.

Back in college, I bought a couple of hoodie jackets (red and black) and a maroon fleece zipper vest. These are sometimes worn on top of my school uniform, for a cool student look. And it doesn’t stop there.

After graduating from college, my affinity for unusual outfits has developed. Since 2013, I bought a khaki blazer coat, a beige coat, a black wool coat, a black spandex blazer, a black knitted cardigan, a plain black baseball shirt, a black knitted vest, a black cotton cardigan, a black knitted blazer, and a black fleece knee-length coat. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have a hard time deciding on my next outfit the moment I plan my next trip.


Well, let me share some thoughts about donning quirky outfits.

Being a creative person, I generally don’t follow the latest fashion trends and I find simple outfits boring. Maybe I want to stand out from the rest, but it’s the joy of wearing an unusual outfit that counts.

I love mixing and matching, with the clothes I have in my closet. Since then, I’m used to wearing layered outfits, usually button shirts on top of the usual colored/graphic T-shirts. More recently, I started wearing jackets, blazers, knee-length coats and knitted vests over my black anime T-shirt. As for the pants, I always wear black slacks.

I always consider color combinations when it comes to outfits. My favorite color combinations are black and gray, black and red, black and orange, and black and brown. At times, when I feel like it, I wear all-black. But of course, I can always pair black with any color, even pink. You can never go wrong with black, right?

Sometimes, my narcissism is getting real apparent. I always believe that I look good in these unusual (but good looking) outfits. Of course, some people may find it strange that they thought I am completely out of this world… well, not exactly that. I owe this fashion creativity to the now defunct Yahoo Avatars, where I can dress up my avatar in a more fashionable way. Isn’t that amazing?


All right, here are some of my ideas for a creative OOTD (outfit of the day).

  • I love wearing layered outfits, so I’ll start with the inner clothing. It’s basically a t-shirt or a collared shirt, plain one or with print. I usually prefer black or any dark color for a t-shirt, or any color for a collared shirt.
  • Color combination matters. Most colors go well with black. Some color combinations, however, can be an eyesore for some, especially if they don’t match (like yellow-blue).
  • Hoodie jackets, zipper vests, baseball shirts and button shirts are perfect for t-shirts. Knitted vests and cardigans are perfect for collar shirts. Blazers and coats can be worn with either a t-shirt or a collared shirt, depending on your preference.
  • For pants, I always go for neutral colors such as black, gray and brown. Most of the time, it’s always black. I always wear slacks or chino trousers.
  • Some accessories (such as my sun visor hats, flat top caps, fingerless gloves and a canvas belt) are always in black, in order to match my mostly black outfit. Though all of my socks are in black, I also have a pair of red socks, which I wear on occasion.
  • A black handkerchief tied on your wrist or an improvised ribbon neck tie can add character to your OOTD. A tribal necklace, a leather bracelet or a nice pocket watch can enhance your [otherwise] simple outfit.

Shyness Is A State Of Mind…

Um… how to explain this, uh… I am, er, Keihancarl and I’m…

There are times when I can hardly express myself to a group of people, and I tend to stutter when I talk. Also, I find it difficult and awkward for me to maintain an eye contact with the person I was talking to. And I develop a fear of humiliation so I had a hard time asking someone for help or starting a conversation. I’m not good at such things.

Yes, I have to admit that I’m a shy person and I’m stuck with it since childhood. I don’t usually socialize with people, I don’t talk too much, I don’t mingle with anybody. I can’t make a move without feeling awkward. I can’t talk without stuttering. I don’t have the courage to approach someone I know, ask for directions, or inquire about the details.


Back when I was in elementary, I remember hiding in a hall near the bedroom when one of my classmates came over. Until now, I couldn’t come up with a good reason for hiding from him. In sixth grade, I experienced a great deal of rejection and as a result, I had a hard time making friends out of fear of getting rejected. In high school, I started developing a fear of embarrassment, and that’s how I often hesitated to do some errands like submitting papers to a teacher who is teaching another class. In college, I can hardly crack anyone up when I try to say something funny. That’s when I decided that I’m only good at serious stuff and I never crack another joke again so I won’t get ridiculed.

There are some things that I managed to do anyway. Like for example, I did apply as an intern for a TV station as part of my OJT and I never let my shyness hold me back, in the name of compliance.

Still, I tend to wait for someone to come out just to be let in, something that I usually do nowadays whenever I got invited. Oh well, when will I overcome this?


Shyness, which is also called diffidence, is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness especially when a person is around other people.^ People who are shy may have low self-esteem, which later evolves into social anxiety or social phobia if they can’t overcome their shyness.

Shy people tend to feel uncomfortable in certain social situations, such as a party or a social gathering. They have thoughts of what people might say about their behavior so they’re scared of doing and saying anything in order to save themselves from negative reactions, rejection, criticism, and humiliation. Also, social skills is not much of a priority in schools, and teachers tend to ask in a direct and intimidating manner so students may not have a chance to develop their social skills.^^

There are some reasons why you are held back by your shyness. It’s probably due to the fact that you are harshly humiliated and rejected by your peers, you are severely attacked and criticized by some people, you are being ridiculed for your actions and your bad experiences in life or you are afraid of speaking up. And then you suddenly developed a fear of rejection and humiliation, and these can affect your self-esteem. You’re no longer comfortable about seeing familiar people or walking up to the HR department and applying for a job on your own. Sometimes, you wished that you can overcome your shyness, but how?

Fortunately, there are some ways to overcome your shyness.

  • Try to act confidently. If you’re used to wearing black socks, then try wearing red ones… or maybe mismatched socks. Or if you’re used to wearing simple outfits, why not try on something unusual, such as a knitted vest over your collar t-shirt or a black fleece coat over your red shirt. At first, you may feel conspicuous… but in the end, you’ll no longer worry about how people may think.^ It just shows that people don’t pay attention to your outfit. But more importantly, you learn something from this experience… and that is you get to express yourself without your shyness getting in the way.
  • Try to engage in small talk. If you can handle practicing your speech in front of a mirror, then you can handle a simple conversation with someone. Just a light topic will do.
  • Practice your movements. Say, if you tend to walk or act awkwardly during a social event, then you’re just showing these people how shy you are. It’s time to change that, make sure to act properly and act proud as if you’re the star of the night. Soon, you’ll forget about your shyness and, at the same time, you get to enjoy yourself.
  • Don’t forget to smile. This can help you relax and feel comfortable about yourself. It can also put the people around you at ease. This can also help you manage your anxiety, which is one of the root cause of your shyness.
  • Try to put yourself in a lot of social situations.^ Then imagine how fun it is to be a part of the event. This should wear out your shyness and put out your fears about certain situations that can affect your confidence.
  • Never let rejections and humiliations scare you, it’s part of life. Reassure yourself that everything will be fine. Just learn to accept and move on.
  • Seek help. If you keep your shyness to yourself, then who will help you overcome such an obstacle in your life?


Shyness is a state of mind. It is created by your way of thinking^, and it is what’s holding you back and getting in the way of achieving your goals in life. It’s an obstacle that’s difficult to get past if you’re not keen on working on this problem.

A Cynical Life [E]

NOTE: The following rant (in italics) is a product of my increased frustrations in life and are not meant to be taken seriously. This post should not raise concerns regarding my negative views about my life and my future, but rather to share what’s on my mind and perhaps give some advice on dealing with your pessimistic attitude towards life. Remember, there’s no telling when this pessimistic view of mine might change.

[@kcox105] [#twatkcox]

Sometimes, I feel like doubting my future.

I had to admit, I couldn’t grasp the fact that I’m growing old and I always believe that I’m a few years younger. Also, I believe that growing old is the worst thing that can happen to me. I hate the thought that I have to work five or six times a week and spend less time on the things that I love. Because of growing up, I lose a lot of friends due to work. A grown up life is a life full of problems and responsibilities, nothing special.

I’m already twenty-six years old (as of this writing), but I still act like an eighteen-year-old. Considering the fact that I still don’t accept the fact that I’m growing older, that should be the reason why I’m trying to look and act young, and dismissing the thought of acting like a grown-up. I don’t care if you call me immature, just let me be.

Of course, growing up means getting married and starting a family. But after witnessing the horrors of my parents’ marriage, I’m determined to close the doors on marriage for good. So don’t ask me when will I get married, because I’m not getting married. Also, I’m not interested in having a romantic relationship with anyone, so drop it.


To be honest, there are some things not worth looking forward to. Yes, I’m referring to the ones that I mentioned early on this post. The reason why I say such things is because I’m extremely frustrated about my life in general, and I feel like I’m denied the privilege to experience the best things in life when I was young.

It really sucks when you simply can’t accept the fact that everything happens for a good reason. Well sometimes, the “good reason” is actually the opposite, and you suffer from a great deal of misfortune that is associated with the so-called “good reason”. So at times, you’re dismissing the fact that there are brighter days ahead, just because you’re having a bad day or you’re having a bad experience about certain things in life.

I hate this. Just thinking about this harsh reality makes me feel depressed… so depressed that I tend to say anything negative. I’m putting myself down in the process.


Being cynical is being pessimistic about everything in life. You tend to see the negative side of things, even if these piqued your interest. You also tend to doubt and disregard the good intentions of others, thinking that they’re only thinking of themselves and no one else. You don’t trust them even if they do trust you a lot. You loathe anything nice and you always think of the worst possibilities in life. You’re (obviously) on the dark side.

It really pains me a lot to think that I’m a cynical being, though only on occasion. Perhaps I let my personal grudge and frustration take over my happy well-being. Like for example, on April Fool’s Day, two of my classmates from senior year in high school approached me. Apparently, these people are planning a reunion and are hoping to invite me in that so-called friendly gathering. Of course, I turned down their invitation in a straightforward manner and told them that I didn’t know who they are and I don’t trust them. Afterwards, I walked off and checked my Facebook Messenger for their reactions. To be honest, though, not all of them are bad. Well… some of them are, but I don’t trust them altogether since they’re in the same section. Who knows, I’m thinking of severing ties with them for good. Going back, regardless of how well they’ve changed over the years, they’re still the same people who made my life miserable. And now, my life is even more miserable than before.

Cynical people tend to have shorter life span^, probably due to their unhealthy behavior. Ditching optimism in favor of pessimism may have a great impact on your health, increasing the chance of getting dementia and/or heart disease.


If you really wish to lure yourself out of cynicism, here are some tips in order to overcome your negativity.

Luring yourself out of cynicism can be difficult if you don’t understand and address your own problems. So try to understand the reason why you’re being cynical. That means you need to figure out and address the cause of your pessimism that leads to your negative thinking. Also, be aware of your cynical thoughts and ask yourself if you’re fine with it. Try to be optimistic more often, it’s not a bad idea to stray away from your cynical thoughts every once in a while. Find inspiration from positive people and look into their good qualities.^

But then again, cynicism isn’t at all bad. Just make sure that your cynicism does you anything good, like saving yourself from trouble. Otherwise, you’re doing yourself more harm than good and you’ll live a miserable, lonely life for good.


Hard to believe, hard to accept… in the end, your cynical life is gonna hurt you more than a breakup, growing older or even death. Let’s face it, we all have our negative views in life, but that shouldn’t stop us from looking at life from a positive perspective.

Right now, I’m trying hard to lure myself out of this cynical life. I just hope that I can find someone to talk this with and train myself to be more positive.

Fantasies, In Real Life

When was the time when I feel like I was that character from an anime series, or making up my own? When was the time when I was drawing some made up characters in their unusual getup? Looks like I’ve already made up a lot of fantasies… but of course, it’s unlikely to happen, unless you go ahead and make some changes in your lifestyle, along with some makeover and all that.

Anything make believe is said to be frowned upon by some, but I don’t really care about it that much. I always thought that anything that’s on my mind is much more interesting than anything that’s part of reality. In other words, my life is much more interesting inside my head.


It all began in third grade (about 17 years ago) and a hit anime series, Pokémon, premiered on prime time. Before, such shows are aired in the afternoons, and at times extended into the prime time slot. Friday nights are generally reserved for anime shows due to the fact that it mainly targets the young audiences (mostly students). It just happened that I was hooked to that show, which was then aired during Friday nights, and I often dreamed of waking up in a different world, similar to the one I was watching.

And then it continued during fifth grade, and this time a detective anime series, Detective Conan (also known as Case Closed in the US), aired during weekday afternoons. But I wasn’t fantasizing about being the kid detective, but rather I was having weird thoughts about something else… something mysterious. It’s difficult to explain at this point, but it’s about someone with weird experience. Totally unrelated, but that show fueled that kind of strange thoughts.

And here comes sixth grade, the time when I started making up a few characters, notably the cool looking kid with glasses (later known as the spiky haired cool kid with glasses). At first, I find it quite awkward to portray that character, until I started wearing glasses the following year. Yup, inspired by that anime series I watched three years ago, but with a different plot and not-so-childish scenes that are deemed too serious for a kid to handle. I was portraying that role (usually in my head), at times complete with a few lines and actions, done discreetly out of others’ presence. Nowadays, I do this occasionally… but only in my head.

In college, I just happen to read a baseball novel, The Make-Believe Ball Player by Alfred Slote, which is all about a kid named Henry Smith who loves playing make-believe games until he got himself into a dangerous situation, where he impersonates his dad and his baseball coach to scare away the burglars. The story ends with Henry being hailed as a hero and playing for the Sampson Park Tigers. The book itself is an interesting read, and I thought… I can be like him. Someday, maybe.

Well, if these childhood fantasies may eventually evolve into a dream-come-true situation, mine needs a lot of effort… and a lot of work. Still, I’m living the dream of being a writer, as well as creating my own identity similar to the made-up character from sixth grade. Who knows, even at twenty-six, I can achieve that look and live with it.


Fantasies, dreams, and anything make-believe… these are common to children with a high level of imagination. Of course, they tend to overdo it at times, which can cause annoyance and/or worry from some parents, thinking that their children are talking to themselves and acting out some scenes by themselves.

So why are we fantasizing about something? What makes it quite interesting?

  • We all have our dreams and goals, but not all of them can be achieved… just yet. So in the meantime, they tend to fantasize about it.
  • We wanted to portray something, like being in that scene or acting like a popular or made-up character, usually in our minds. Something to entertain ourselves, perhaps.
  • We sometimes need to escape from reality, so we just imagine ourselves in a dreamy or pleasant situation.
  • Sometimes, we treat fantasies as a creative guide in order to achieve something, just like achieving that character’s good looks or outfit, or living that good life you’ve always dreamed of. In other words, fantasies sometimes pave way for creativity, and can help us plan for the future.^

Of course, too much of these fantasies can affect you mentally, especially when you’re mistaking fantasies for reality.^ There’s a possibility of a delusional disorder, schizophrenia or paraphilia if these fantasies go out of control.


Living our fantasies in restraint and in our heads is one thing, mistaking fantasies for reality is another. Sometimes, I often thought of forgetting such imitative fantasies and get in touch with reality. But then, I’m not too old for such fantasies, for as long as I don’t let it go out of control.

Expressions, In Light And Dark: The Six Poems, Written By KCOX [L]

For TWATKcox’s 166th post, I’ve written six poems dealing with a range of topics, from optimism to loneliness, from good times to painful memories. The six poems written for this post are divided into two groups: the light themed poems and the dark themed poems.


I always anticipate the good things in life
That I manage to cheer up for a good reason
My expectations always keep me high
That I tend to foresee anything that’s good
And disregard anything that’s bad
So much for waiting too long for this to happen
Without even realizing if it’s worth the wait
But then, my sense of optimism prevails
And I believe that it will soon happen
Without having to think of a possible disappointment
I’m looking forward to the best things in life
Enough to manage a smile and enjoy the moment


A reason for being
A reason to keep going
A fond memory of a certain person
Or the ones you love the most
A certain kind of motivation
A big fan of your great achievements
A supportive loved one
Rooting for your success
They’re the driving force
They’re here for you to do well
Keeping you on the edge of hopelessness
And onward to success
They’re right behind you
Pushing you to keep going
They’re the ones you always look up to
When you’re on the path to achievement


Happiness is…
Meeting an old friend
Thinking of someone
Visiting a place
Recounting the good times
And embarrassing experiences
Having fun
Doing the things you love
Listening to good music
Watching favorite shows
Reading a lot of books
Going somewhere
Expressing yourself
Being creative
Discovering great things
Going on a trip
Finding peace and quiet
Celebrating your existence
Enjoying a great moment
Living a good life…
And most of all
Making everyone happy


A painful memory
A miserable past
A horrible incident
A psychological trauma
We all remember our own bad experiences
And we wanted to forget them
But we can’t even get them off our minds
They remain inside us
For as long as we live
We can always recall everything that happened
Witnessing the horrors of violence
And the tragic incidents
The world goes dark
You feel the chills
And you can’t snap out of it
Haunted by your thoughts
The fear of madness is taking control of you
You’re breaking down
You’re losing your sanity
And you can’t control your emotions
It’s gonna be a long, difficult journey
To get back to your usual self…
You may have recovered from this distress
You may have endured the pain you’ve been through
But these experiences will remain
A reminder of your dark past


The darkness of black
The neutrality of gray
Together, they both match
And they share the same traits
A combination of colors
That invokes negativity
Lost in the emptiness
Colorless and lifeless

Combining these colors
Makes an emotional person
Whose life is filled
With such intense gloom
Feeling lost and indecisive
Feeling aloof and pessimistic
Is this color combination
Too much to handle?

A subdued life imagined
Wearing these two colors
That gives the impression
Of giving bad vibes
But let me tell you this
It depends on how you see it
These colors are wonderful
If they’re not used too often


Being a loner is tough
I have no friends
I have no companions
I have no acquaintances
I hang out with no one but myself
In this tough, cruel world
There’s no one to rely on
I’m on my own, without any help
I tried to make friends
But they all turn me down
Now I can’t join them
I spend most of the days alone
By the park or in the library
At times, I feel envious
Just seeing a bunch of people
Hanging out and having fun
I feel kind of hopeless
I wanted to make friends
But I don’t know if they’ll like me
I just sat down and wonder
What will happen to me
When I grow old and all alone
Just thinking about this
Makes me feel depressed
I’m still hoping, one of these days
Someone will come up
And try to make friends with me
I don’t know, but I won’t expect
That this will happen anytime soon
Because I’ve already accepted the fact
That I’ll always be an unhappy loner
And I’ll die an unhappy loner