keeping sanity


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The official end of year newsletter for Ruby PSHS Batch 2015.


Page 1: Keeping Sanity
Page 2: Keeping Sanity


beginning to doubt the possibility of finding anything of scientific or historical im-

portance in this site.

According to Dr. Astley, if we fail to produce anything of interest by next week, he

will shut our program down.

Day 67

What we unearthed today sparked everybody’s fascination and interest! No one would be-

lieve in its existence until they see it with their own eyes!

We found a large gem, the size of a watermelon, already perfectly cut and polished. And

buried in dirt at a depth of 48 feet! Absolutely astounding!

The gem itself was blood red and seemed to glow from the inside. As of right now, the

archaeology students are studying it in the

What was that noise? I must see what has happened.

I cannot believe this! Those inept fools! Those atrocious baboons! Have they got abyss-

es of nothingness in their skulls? I leave them alone for less than ten minutes and al-

ready they have caused all our hard work to become meaningless, fruitless!

It has been shattered! The gem, our only hope for keeping this program running, de-

stroyed! Utterly destroyed!

Oh, the student evaluations their professors will be getting from me! Ha! Wait till

their professors find out! They shall never graduate once I’m through with them! The

most interesting site they will ever excavate in will be in the sand box of a toddler.

I will

Agh, those nincompoops are calling for me. What more do they want?

Unbelievable! Among the rubble, the remains of the ruby, there were the tiniest crea-

tures I have ever beheld.

They appeared human, but no larger than any of my fingers. It seemed as if they were

quite relieved to be out of the bounds of such a crystalline prison.

The students did observe how they seemed rather loopy. They all looked rather frazzled

and disturbed.

One of the most interesting things about the matter is that we found miniscule scraps

of paper, all of them marked. Apparently, they had been writing!

By Jove, when Dr. Astley sees this, he will surely double budget of the program!

Ah, bless those young ones and their creativity! Such bright youths! Discovering that

ruby was all well and good, but these people and their writings are wholly amazing!

Day 68

Today, we did not bother digging. Instead, all of us were occupied with translating and

transcribing the writings on the paper.

We spoke to the leader of those little people, and surprisingly enough, she was able to

speak in English!

The rest of these papers, you will see, are the translated writings, obviously en-

larged. According to them, they were quite at the brink of insanity…

Page 3: Keeping Sanity



Terrifying Realizations and Reassuring Thoughts By Lia Tadiar

This year has been difficult. This year has been tiring. This year has changed lives. And this year is about

to end.

In about two months, a new school year will replace it, and it will be flinging more challenges at every

aspect of our lives.

It won’t be too bad, will it? We’re used to all the stress and the sleep deprivation and the failure and the

burdens. We have already faced those obstacles. In fact, we didn’t just face them; we beat them, we conquered

them. Won’t it be the same next year?

I think not. No, it won’t quite be the same. I realized something terrible. The prospect of going on to se-

cond year is horrifying! It could be exponentially harder. Yes, we’ve all been warned about the gargantuan work-

load next year. We know about the more difficult projects, and we are aware that we will be tackling three differ-

ent branches of science at the same time. But those things aren’t the things that make second year seem so in-


Actually, the terrifying realization I made was this: we won’t be classmates next year.

Just the thought of that actually made me dread the end of this school year.

The next year means that all my good Ruby friends and I will drift apart. Next year means having to repeat

that tedious process of socializing. Next year means having to be stuck in a room full of strangers. Next year

means that I’ll be that annoying girl everyone hates. Next year means that I’ll fail and get kicked out of school

and live the remainder of my sad life as a withdrawn hermit in the middle of a forest, living amongst the mush-

rooms rejected by society.

Wait, that last one is ridiculous.

No, actually, all of that is ridiculous. It’s a bunch of hogwash! (He he, I finally got to use that word.


Well, I am not going to cut that out of this editorial, as stupid as it is. And why not, you say? Because I

want to show you that I am as scared as you probably are.

To sum it up, I have all these irrational fears and apprehensions about the year to come.

Right now, it feels like someone finally smacked some sense into me. And I have the bump to prove it.

Why did I think that a change in classmates would alter the relationships I have? Why did I think that the

friends I have now will be lost because we don’t have the same time tables? Why do I keep repeating the same

sentence structures? (I should really stop that.)

I should know that the bonds I made this year are strong. What’s that clichéd line again? Was it, “Once in

Ruby, always in Ruby”? Because it’s true. Our friendship is solid. There is absolutely nothing to fear.

Despite how annoying some of us can get, and how often we say we hate someone, Ruby wouldn’t be

the same without this odd mash-up of the most dynamic personalities one will ever see.

Don’t forget to be awesome,


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About This Little Stack of Paper… By Ace Yorobe and Joan Chua

The class magazine, we believe, is a product of Ruby's

hard work. It is an amazing compilation of the creative

works of the students of this section. Surely, this experience

is one of the most unforgettable for me because our writers

absolutely blew our minds with their stunning pieces of lit-

erature and we are assuring you that they will fill you

with awe as you read the product of their broad imagination.

It is not always that an opportunity like this

comes. It is a rather uncommon chance for us to be able to

collaborate with our friends and classmates during the mak-

ing of this work. For me this would be a great moment to let

our writing capabilities shine. The result itself will be a

work of beauty, but it is what we learned that will make this

project valuable and make it a work of art.

Page 7: Keeping Sanity



The world is an interesting thing to observe, nature itself unfolding in the briskest yet most gradual manner possible. Every moment is one of movement, every second one of action. Yet in Life’s haste to replace old moments with the new, some of these seconds are blurred out, brushed aside, treated as though it had been just another second of a guy on an airplane. In Life’s haste, we forget the importance of a lot of what has come and gone. In Life’s haste, we forget moments, mo-ments that had been precious to us before, but are now hanging at the back of the wardrobe, collecting dust, unremembered. And to think these events meant – mean ­– a lot to us. Everything is fleeting – everything only needs to walk a few steps to fall off the cliff and be lost forever. All the mo-ments cherished can soon be pulled down into the depths of the ocean below, resting with the fishes when it truly deserves a better fate. So how does one make it last? Simple. One writes. All the efforts made, all the work done, all the greatness, made immortal by the flick of a pen on a sheet of paper. Eve-rything made stone, everything realized, remembered. The truth made known. We live in a world where our own actions may soon be forgotten, the ever-changing world brushing aside memories of what once was. Indeed, everything must be kept in our heads, not to disregard the past. Indeed, everything must be re-membered, cherished, for an event is a work of nature, a masterpiece, and one must not handle it lightly. Indeed, everything’s a story to be told.

Page 8: Keeping Sanity



Ruby’s Acquaintance Party By Onzo Hernandez

Students from the class of I-Ruby held their Acquaintance Party on the 22nd of June 2011 at the ASTB (Advanced Science and Technology Building) Hall.

During the Acquaintance Party, students from I-Ruby got to know more things about their newfound friends. They played games like Ninja. There were numbers performed by Jason Olaya, Julia Esma, and Jolo Fernando showcased their talent in singing. We also sent invitation letters to our subjects teachers to come and join in the party. Some of the teachers went to the party and had fun with the whole class.

The food that was provided by the parents of our classmates were of different kinds and there were some food that some of us didn’t even know about, like the Du-man from Tarlac which was brought by Jethro Racelis.

The activities given by the BBSC (Big Brother and Sister Circle) during the first day of school were not enough to make the students know each other so there is a need for an Acquaintance Party.

The Acquaintance Party let the students connect with each other and learn more about each other and to show your talent.

Page 9: Keeping Sanity



Harmless Cat Terrorizes Girl

Page 10: Keeping Sanity



By Carlos Eleazar

Last September 1, during Humanities week, the first years competed in Kilos Awit, a competition held in the 3rd Floor Auditorium of the SHB.

This event involved music, actions, first years and lots of hard work. This event was none other than Kilos Awit. This happens every year as a Filipino project for the first years. Each first year section went against each other as they showed their presentations. Their ob-jective was to use actions to go with the lyrics of their chosen Filipino song. The judges then had to choose the winners based on a certain criteria. The songs chosen and presented were Noypi by Sapphire, Liwanag sa Dilim by Topaz, Tagumpay ng Lahi by Ruby, Superhero by Garnet, Ang Lahi by Opal, Isang Lahi by Emerald, Diamond did Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo, and finally Dakilang Lahi by Jade. The winners of the competition were Sapphire for grand champion, Topaz for 2nd place and Jade in the 3rd place.

This was actually the first time Mrs. Mercy Sanchez’s sections lost the competition.

“In all my years of teaching in Pisay, at least one of my sections would win,” Ma’am Sanchez said. This year, none of the sections under her won. When asked about this, she calmly re-plied, “There’s a first time for everything.”

All in all, the Kilos Awit event was a huge success students learned to appreciate their own music and the value of team work.

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Pisay Celebrates Humanities Week By Onzo Hernandez


Science High School (Pisay) celebrated its Humanities Week last August 31-

September 2, 2011 to give recognition to the different areas of interest in humani-ties.

There were different activities for

each batch which were carefully planned

by the teachers to maximize the time.

Last August 31, the whole Pisay community engaged in activities like the Munting Salusalo and Laro ng Lahi. The

essay writing competition also took place that day. Later that day the English

teachers and other students showcased their talents either by dancing or singing.

Last September 1, the 1st year stu-dents had their Kilos Awit (see page xx for

more details). The 2nd years had their Ka-tutubong Sayaw. The 3rd years had their Di Kumbensiyonal na Musika, and the 4th

years had their Sayaw Interpretasyon. Af-ter lunch, the 2nd years had their film

viewing while the 1st years attended talks where they learned about indigenous mu-sic and how to write in Baybayin.

Last September 2, 1st and 2nd year

students planted trees near the Gym and in the mini-forest near the Boy’s and Girl’s residence halls.

While the 1st and 2nd year students

were planting the 3rd and 4th year stu-dents attended the launching of iLAB PI-


After getting their hands dirty the 1st and 2nd year students attended I AM S.T.R.O.N.G, a talk about character

building which was given by four college students.

After the talk, the whole Pisay

Community attended the Fashion Show

with the theme, Spring La Primavera. Some 1st and 3rd years students modeled

for the designers who were also students. After all the activities a lot of people

realized that despite our school’s empha-sis on Science and Math the Humanities

have not been totally neglected for it is essential for our well-rounded develop-ment.

“Humanities week is fun because

we get to take a break from schoolwork

and have fun instead,” said a student from Ruby who participated in several

events. “I try my best to make the most out of it because it is not always that we get to rest and have fun like now.”

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PSHS Freshmen have Batch Recollection

By Juancho Raymundo

The first year students, also known as Class 2015 of the Philippine Science

High School (PSHS) Main Campus had their Batch Recollection last September

24, 2011, Saturday, at the Science and Humanities Building. The event, whose

aim was to assist the students in withdrawing their minds from external and

earthly affairs in order to attend to spiritual matters, was handled by PSHS Chap-

lain Fr. Jong Sabandal.

The morning began with an orientation at the third floor auditorium, where

each section was assigned a guide who would lead them through the day’s activ-

ities. Games served as icebreakers, after which their significance was explained

in terms of values and relevance to everyday life.

In the afternoon, after being given for self-assessment through pamphlets and

one-on-one talks given by the guides, the students had the opportunity to go to

confession. The third floor Audiovisual Room was set-up as a makeshift Prayer

Room, where students could pray and meditate. The students were also invited

to answer spiritual questions about their life and write down their answers on col-

ored pieces of paper. Inspirational talks were then given, after which the day cul-

minated with the celebration of the Holy Mass.

Although attendance was optional, more than half of the batch participated in

this annual extracurricular activity sponsored by the Parents Council for Optional

Religious Instruction (PCORI). PCORI is a support group which helps inculcate

ideals of spiritual and moral formation in PSHS students.

Page 13: Keeping Sanity



By Carlos Eleazar

Last November 18, 2011, the classes of Ruby and Opal

spent time with orphans from White Cross.

They had fun spending time with the children, playing

with them and reading to them. Both the children and the students from Pisay had a

great time learning and just having fun.

When the children went out to meet their kuyas and ates, the students quickly got

one or even two children and began reading to them.

Then when the children wanted to play, they went the play area and had fun playing with

balloons or any other games they had. After that, they ate their lunch with the students.

Then they got their loot bags from the students and had said their good byes with smiles

on their faces. The Pisay students also left on their bus knowing that they gave the chil-

dren a chance to have fun and just play and feel like they were a part of a family.

Page 14: Keeping Sanity



Last November 25, the Paskorus compe-

tition Level I eliminations were held in the

Fourth Floor Auditorium of the SHB building

of the PSHS Main Campus for the freshmen.

The sophomores had the event in the Third

Floor Auditorium of the same building.

Each section of PSHS Batch 2015 com-

peted against each other through performing

either a Christmas carol or an inspirational

song. After 2 months of practicing for the much

awaited Paskorus competition, each section of

PSHS Batch 2015 was able to show off their

performance level as a class during the said


The “Paskorus” is an annual Christmas

event celebrated by all PSHS students. This

year, each year level’s sections will compete

against each other as not to be eliminated.

Each section in the 1st year level has

practiced hard and sacrificed study time to be

able to make a good performance. They have

chosen various songs that fit the theme and are

easy to perform. They have also readied dance

steps to make the performance livelier.

Ruby batch 2015 students worked very

hard and practiced every free period they got.

The song they picked was “Kumukutikutitap”,

which is a very famous Christmas song. It is a

Christmas song that is faster than the others,

but it is easier to make steps for.

“ We’ve practiced hard for this. I hope it

pays off.”, said Jolo Fernando, leader of Ruby

batch 2015, right before their performance.

Other sections have been practicing hard

too, and everyone performed exceptionally. Di-

amond chose the song, “All I Want for Christ-

mas is You”; Emerald did “ Ngayong Pasko”;

Garnet performed “Last Christmas”; Jade

picked “Keep Holding On”; Opal did

“Antukin”; Sapphire’s song of choice was “Star

ng Pasko”; Topaz chose “Liwanag sa Dilim.”

After each performance, everyo ne ap-

plauded. Majority of Ruby noted that Sir Nat

Tacuboy, one of the judges, showed his enjoy-

ment by standing up.

“That was hard,” said Fernando after

the performances. “I’m proud of everyone. I

just hope we win.”

During the afternoon Break, the results

of the competition were announced. The speak-

er announced that Jade and Sapphire would be

continuing. Those from Jade and Sapphire

cheered. Even though they lost, all the other

sections were still proud for themselves, and be-

lieved they would have another chance next


Jade and Sapphire continued to the fi-

nals and competed with the contenders from

the second year, sections Adelfa and Jasmin.

After the tough competition, Jade emerged as

the year’s grand champion for Level I followed

by Adelfa in 2nd place. 3rd place goes Jasmin

and Sapphire bagged the 4th place.

Spreading Christmas Cheer with Paskorus by Gelo de Grano

Page 15: Keeping Sanity



15 By Juancho Raymundo

The Philippine Science High School Main Campus (PSHS

-MC) held its 15th Annual Youth, Math, Science and Technology

(YMSAT) Festival last January 24-27, 2012 at the Diliman Cam-

pus. This co-curricular activity featured outstanding student pro-

jects and showcased the students’ achievements in science,

math, computer and technology subjects. The YMSAT Festival,

which is considered a major event and is one of the busiest

weeks in PSHS, also provided an opportunity for the PSHS com-

munity to interact with students and teachers from other

schools in the country.

For this year’s festival, all Science, Math, Computer

Science and Technology Units agreed on having once science

project for all subjects. Students from all year levels were asked

to submit project proposals using any of four different formats:

Exhibits (stand-alone themed projects), Demonstrations (15-30

min live presentations), Workshops (hands-on activities for small

groups) and Film (10-15 minute films written, directed, shot, and

edited by students). Freshmen were to choose between the first

two formats only. Students who selected an exhibit format had

to work with any of five different themes: Filipinnovations (local

scientists and inventions), Games and Sports (scientific concepts

explained through games), Plus and Minus (two-part exhibit on

contrast and dichotomies, Consumerism (science and technolo-

gy using industrial or consumer products) and The Intangibles

(explaining imaginary, abstract, unknown, unreal concepts).

Accepted projects were displayed in the exhibit halls at

the Multipurpose Gymnasium and Advanced Science and Tech-

nology Building (ASTB) all throughout the week. The gym was

transformed into a showcase of science and technology, with

accompanying exhibits courtesy of the Science Centrum. The

front glass doors were turned into works of art in the form of

murals painted with the images of Filipino Scientists, while the

swimming pool tiles were transformed into a mosaic with a

statement on biodiversity. There were also concessionaires such

as Zagu, Rodic’s, and other food stalls, as well as interest booths

like Powerbooks and the Segway rides.

Aside from the Science Fair projects, there were also

many other activities, with the different year levels having simi-

lar but varying degrees of involvement. The freshmen had their

Math Intersection Finals on the morning of Tuesday,January 24,

at the fourth floor auditorium.

Each section fielded representatives for the individual

and team competitions. Gerald M. Pascua of Opal won first place

in the Individual competition, followed by Albert Jason Z. Olaya

of Ruby (second) and Juan Mario Luis T. Esplana of Garnet

(third). Ruby, represented by Albert Jason Z. Olaya, Juancho D.R.

Raymundo and Karl Angelo Gabriel R. Reyes, emerged as cham-

pion in the team division. The Science Spelling Bee competition

was won by Juancho D.R. Raymundo of Ruby, with the silver

medal going to fellow Ruby student Albert Jason Z. Olaya.

The entire Wednesday, January 25, was Kite-flying Day

for the freshmen. This Earth Science and Integrated Science ac-

tivity is considered one of the many traditions of the YMSAT

week. Tagisan ng mga Mathitinik, an interschool math competi-

tion sponsored by Pisay’s Math Unit, was held on the same day

in the fourth floor auditorium.

Thursday, January 26, was devoted to Talks and Work-

shops by guests, teachers and students in the morning, while the

Math Treasure Hunt was conducted in the flagpole area during

the afternoon.

A Career Fair was also held from January 26 to 27 to

inspire and motivate the students to pursue careers in math,

science and technology, as well as to develop their talents and

skills. The freshmen attended the talks on “Developing Desirable

Study Habits and Time Management Skills”, by PSHS Alumnus

Rob Brian D. Roque of Batch 2007, and “How to Survive PSHS” by

Arizza Ann S. Nocum of Batch 2011.

The highlight of the YMSAT Festival’s last day was Star-

gazing, an overnight activity for the freshmen conducted annual-

ly by the Physics Department at the soccer field. This involved

activities such telescope viewing and discussions on heavenly

bodies, as well as fun activities like Human Bingo and film show-


The YMSAT Festival brought together not only students

and teachers as individuals, but also as a community, as high-

lighted by the active involvement of the different clubs and in-

terest groups such as COMPUTRON, the Computer Society of

PSHS and the Math Club. The enthusiastic response of the PSHS

teachers, staff and students, as well as the invited guests en-

sured the success of this well-planned and long-awaited festival.

Page 16: Keeping Sanity


Features cxx

What do we make of the world around us? Shifting silhouettes in the shadows, nothing prominent in the prominence of Life itself. But it is perhaps the little things we watch come and go, the little things we take for granted, that make us truly appreciate where we stand. It’s all the movement around us that makes the world seem so unbearably large. And in the small space, the small slice of the world in which we reside, we make space for other little things, moments, people, and it’s those things and mo-ments and people that define us for who we are, what we stand for. It’s those things that play a celestial role in our lives. Those things that make us laugh and cry and do both simultaneously. Those things that you wish to face every day with a sort of longing in you, those things that get you to wake up and rise from your slumber, those things that put a miracle in your veins. Those things that make up who you are. But, as we change, as with all, they are fleeting things, hardly there when they are there. So how does one make it last? Simple. He writes. All those things that make these things worthwhile, every single aspect of the beauty, captured on paper like a piece of one’s self frozen in time. All the warmth and familiarity and togetherness immortalized, something as wonderful as a fleet-ing thought, deprived of its transience and made everlasting. We live in a world where our very selves cannot be trusted to last long. What pieces of our selves will stand the test of time? Perhaps everything we have said and done is a gem, is worth thinking of, is worth remembering. Perhaps everything we see around us is a bit of our soul staring back. Perhaps everything we hold dear is something we should cherish forever, and hold on to. Perhaps everything’s a story to be told.

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Fool’s Ruby

by Oji Gerardo

Gems. That’s how they see us. They look at us as precious gems: the cream of the cream of the crop.

That’s why our sections were named after gems. Among these stones, there exists the Ruby. Our section is

named after an expensive red gem.

But, we already know that. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Do you want to know more facts about the various “rubies” in the world? Then read on and find out.

Fact #1: There is an elephant named Ruby that can paint. Her most expensive painting sold for $25,000. Fact #2: A self-reloading gun pistol, commonly called Ruby Pistol, is the most known French World War I

side arm. Fact #3: Ruby Falls is an underwater waterfall that is 145 feet high. It can be found at Lookout Mountain,

Tennessee. Fact #4: Jack Leon Ruby, A.K.A. Ruby, killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassinator of President John F. Ken-

nedy. There is also a film titled “Ruby” about him and how he killed Oswald. Fact #5: Ruby is a popular name given to girls in English-speaking countries. In fact, it was the 2nd most

popular name given to baby girls in England and Wales in 2009. Fact #6: Rubies (the gem) are said to change color depending on the wearer’s health. It is also believed that

they protect the wearer from impure thoughts. But these claims are superstitious beliefs and have not yet been proven by science.

Fact #7: There is a type of mango called “Ruby” in Florida known for its bright red color. Fact #8: Max and Ruby is a Canadian animated show aired in 2002 on Nick Jr. based on a children’s book by

Rosemary Wells. It features Max and Ruby, two rabbit siblings. Fact #9: There is another Canadian animated show called Ruby Gloom featuring a girl named Ruby Gloom

who can find happiness in anything. Fact #10: Joe Ruby and Ken Spears founded an animation studio named Ruby-Spears Productions. Some of

its more popular productions are The Scooby & Scrappy Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks (Season 1-5), Mister T, Superman, and Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos.

Fact #11: Last but definitely not the least; Ruby is also a Pokémon game that has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. This as I see it might be a play of fate, for many Ruby students love Pokémon.

There are numerous more “rubies” in the world. I have only shared eleven of them.

But one thing is for sure, nothing can take the place of the Ruby we all know in our hearts. Dispose all of the fool’s rubies and stay with the one that is true and genuine. Ruby 2015 will never be a fool’s ruby.

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Hard to Say Goodbye

By Nat Luzentales

We all know it’s hard to say goodbye, especially when this person is a friend of yours. It’s even harder when there is no

assurance that you will ever meet again. Students from I-Ruby know this.

We have this classmate who will be leaving us soon. She will migrate to a different country. Her name is Janezel Louise


Once I heard about this, I was quite shocked and, like all the students from I-Ruby, I did not want her to leave.

She has been a part of the Ruby family. We all shared great moments with her, especially her best friends. They had the

biggest loss.

She’s a great classmate. That’s one of the many reasons we didn’t want her to leave.

I believe that the most memorable moments were when she asked teachers to sign her clearance. This showed how much

she means to the class. We did everything so that the teachers wouldn’t sign it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do anything. They just

had to sign it. More of the memorable moments happened when she visited us right after the day she officially stopped attending

classes in Pisay. Some of us pulled her into the classroom. And when she tried to get out, we blocked the way. We even got her to

go to our English class.

So now, I guess we have to bid farewell. I know it’s hard, but we have to.

Goodbye, Janezel. You will always be a member of the Ruby family. We will miss you. In fact, we already do. Good luck in

whatever you plan to do in the near future.

The Art of Procrastination

By Nat Luzentales

“Manage your time wisely,” they keep reminding us Pisay scholars. But, do we listen? Well, some of us

do, but a lot of us end up cramming.

Cramming is very evident among Ruby students. Some of us just never learn. I’m one of those people who usually resort

to cramming. I usually get to finish the work, but sometimes I get into trouble.

In Pisay, you can see some crammers from Ruby in action. For example, in the front lobby, you see some of us doing Math

homework. I usually join them to do it or to check my work. Some of us do it during the morning and afternoon breaks. Sometimes

we do it during lunch break or UB. The hardest method of cramming is when we do it in class. You need skill and experience to be

able to execute this well. First of all, the teacher must not see you doing this. And of course, you need speed and accuracy. I usually

notice this mid-class cramming during one particular subject. I don’t want to mention this so that crammers can continue to do

what they do.

You can see lots of Ruby students doing homework and projects, studying for quizzes and exams and doing lots of other

school work that we should have done way before the deadline or exam day.

While some of us cram, others are just there, relaxing, eating, reading and just having fun. These are the people that man-

age their time wisely. I envy these people. But, I have the capability to change my study habits. I can have no more sleepless nights.

So do you.

This is a message to all Ruby students. Stop cramming! I’ll try my best to do this, too. This is all for our own good.

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Memes By Jolo Fernando

Since Ruby is still somehow related to memes, and since it is a very common trend in the batch, simple enough, I put it in this article. Now, if you think this is just another wow-memes-are-amazing-and-all-of-you-who-don’t-know-are-lame-and-you-should-go-to-9gag-now article, I have bad news for you.

Anyway, ADVENTURE! Memes have been with us for the longest time, despite the miscon-ception that memes were only created since the internet was created and 9gag and such happened. Memes are basically a trend, style, or culture that is passed on from person to person within a belief or religion. This just means that even simple ideas are memes already! Now, since you’d probably think I’ll go all Philosoraptor on you, but I guess going too far into origins wouldn’t be too entertain-ing for you, or for me. Let us proceed; to the INTERNETZ!

What’s the difference between the old meme, and the new kind of meme? The new meme, or the internet meme is currently more popular that its ancestor because we all know the new ones are more humorous, and we can relate more to them. Go ahead. Try to remember an experience which is significant to you. I bet you can name at least 5 that could fit into the situation.

Let’s get back on track. How is it significant to 1-Ruby, 2015, Main Campus? If you read the former paragraphs, then this question has already been answered. We can easily relate to every Me-gusta, Y U NO, and unhelpful teacher you see on meme sites. It’s as if we were once lonely creatures in our own personal worlds, and someone decided to make an art out of a slice of his life, and made it known to everyone. Everyone decided to follow suit and started making ragecomics, new memes, and pictures of what really happens to them. It was as if everyone who was in their own world start-ed and joined one where they could all relate.

I’m not saying that the internet memes are our new bible, or they are our savior and help us everywhere we go even though they came pretty handy at cramming projects and requiring themes for them. I must admit that the meme sources can be very intimidating and annoying when seen at the wrong times. When you’re doing homework or studying for long tests, or even perio’s, you see a window on your computer showing a very new post which seems really hilarious, and before you know it, you look at your notes and say, “Forget that”. Therefore, on results day, “A wild failing score appeared!” Not really very fun. (Or the Pokemon you’ve been looking for.)

Avoid that, please. Memes are made for your enjoyment, not for your destruction. I just feel really sorry for those guys who say they’ve lost their soul to a site. But you must admit, if you’re ma-ture enough, you’ll find the war between Tumblr and 4chan very entertaining.

Abrupt endings. Also a meme.

Page 20: Keeping Sanity



The clock continuously ticks which signals the closing of the school year. Finally, what we’ve all been

waiting for; SUMMER! However, this ticking sound also reminds us that it won’t be long till we will be

separated from each other. But wait; will we not be separated from our teachers too? Sadly, we will.

Because of this fact, now is the time to finally see what our dear teachers truly think about our class

and realize how much they have helped us throughout this school year.

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Page 22: Keeping Sanity



By Cliff Mancera

Philippine Science High School is the most prestigious high school in the Philippines. Stu-

dents here are called scholars of the nation because we are being paid monthly by the school

whose funds are from the taxes collected from ordinary Filipino citizens. Out of thousands who

tried to be a part of this school, only 240 students from different regions and schools were ac-

cepted, and one of them is me. I’m very happy to be a part of this school. Philippine Science

High School has many different buildings in it, like the SHB, the ASTB, the gym, the cafeteria, and

the dorms. This article will focus on the dorms specifically the Boys Residence Hall Annex.

Being a dormer is not a right it is a privilege given to you by the school, so “be coopera-

tive and follow the rules strictly,” the dorm manager said to us in the briefing. However, almost

all of us in the dorm break them because of rule number 1, which is “NO ROOM HOPPING AL-


We all know that a dormitory is a place where students temporarily live when they are

away from home. It is also the place where friendship starts on freshmen like us. It is sad to say

that I’m isolated from other Ruby dormers because I’m the only one in my room who is from Ru-

by. My room number is 222, and their room numbers are 220 and 221, but I’m considered as

their roommate because I’m a regular room hopper in their rooms.

Now let’s focus on Ruby dorm life; the Ruby boy dormers are Ian Ibanez, Cid Azcarraga,

Jason Olaya, Oji Gerardo, Jethro Racelis, Juancho Raymundo, Jude Garay, Alexis Tengco, and

me. Ian Ibanez, Cid Azcaraga, Jason Olaya, and Oji Gerardo are live in Room 220. Jethro Racelis,

Juancho Raymundo, Jude Garay, and Alexis Tengco live in Room 221, while I’m in room 222.

Room hopping for almost all of us is a daily part of our lives which is strictly prohibited. If you are

caught room hopping, the one who caught you may file an I.R. against you, and for the record I

think I have 2 I.R’s already.

If one of us room hops there should be a reason, like long talks, cramming projects, cram-

ming home works, and “trip-ko-lang-walang-basagan-ng-trip”. The usual reason why we gather

in one room, which is room 221, is because of reason number 1. We talk about a person, an

event, personal ideas and you-know-what. Our talks may last from an hour to 5:00am.

Being a dormer has positive and negative effects. I guess I can say at least 3 good and bad

effects if you’re a dormer. If you’re a dormer you can wake up 7:00 in the morning and still not

be late, you can make others help you with your projects or homework, and you will learn how to

live independently. If you’re a dormer your materials are limited, you can’t go out of the school

easily, and you can’t do everything you like to do here.

“No Room Hopping” has indeed made a mark in our lives as dormers. Believe it or not,

the effects listed above cause many of us to break this rule. And I still do not regret the times the

dormers and I had much fun together.

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Feeling the Love By Jude Garay

Ruby 2015 is a really awesome class because of many things: like when there are many things to do, instead of working on it, Ruby is either playing or laughing. And did you know that what the Ruby 2014 expe-rienced is sort of similar to what Ruby 2015 is experiencing? One of the similarities is the contest during the Humanities Week which was called Kilos Awit. This is a similarity because both batches lost in this contest.

Love teams is also a similarity for the two batches, both batches are fond of pairing their classmates up. One of the known love team in Ruby 2014 was Garlique, Gar means Gari and lique means Angelique. And this year there are a lot more love teams, and this is what I’m going to discuss.

Let’s start with one of the first love teams which is the Dunkin’ Jonat or Jonat Brothers or Noan or simply Joan and Nat. Joan Chua and Nat Luzentales are two of the closest friends in Ruby, which is why eve-ryone thought they were in a relationship. There is another love team called Cliffanatics. Joan and Cliff Mancera was the pair in this love team. One of the notable things about this love team is that they were part-ners in the 1st dance in P.E. which is the swing.

Like Joan, Lorena Miranda was also part of two love teams, one is the Carlos and Lorena tandem , and the other is Clorena, which Cliff was involved in again. The Carlos and Lorena love team started early. Clore-na, on the other hand, started in the middle of the school year. It started because of the recollection, when both Lorena and Cliff went to the stage and almost all of Ruby took a picture.

Onzillian also was a popular love team during the middle of the school year, some say, “Talagang bagay lang sila,” and some say that they don’t know when it started. Onzo Hernandez and Gillian De Luna are the people involved in Onzillian. One of notable things in this love team is they were the partners during Pasko-rus.

There are also Ruby and other section love teams like Juancho and Paula. This love team of Paula Basi-nillo of Sapphire and Juancho Raymundo of Ruby started long ago in their old school and until now they are still paired. One notable thing about this love team is that Juancho can’t pronounce the letter “R” properly and Paula was the first one to notice. (This story is according to Juancho himself.)

One more Ruby and other section love team was Trinluan which was made and popularized by Charles Fernan. If I’m not mistaken it started during the YMSAT week. (Trin means Trina Marcelo and luan means Dave Vinluan)

And one of the most epic of all is the Ian and all love team. It started when we were waiting outside our classroom for Sir Mardan’s class to be finished. Then when the students of Sir Mardan went out, Ian Ibañez suddenly shouted, “Ate, crush kayo ni Mancera.” Then, as Cliff’s revenge, he told Sir Mardan that Ian has a crush on him. Then, Cliff told Ma’am Ghie. And then every time we see another person, and Ian is with us we shout, “Ate/Kuya crush ka ni Ibañez!”

And this ends the love team tour. If you want to know more, just ask Ruby people.

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A Gaze at Heavenly Bodies By Danica Endaya

The stars are within our reach. It is us now with the stars. Can you believe this?

The stars have come to our reach last January 27. We had the annual stargazing for freshmen.

It was another sleepless but starry night. We had a lot of activities, lectures and glimpses of heavenly bod-

ies through the telescopes.

This activity has started long ago by the Astronomical Society of the school, headed by Sir Bernard Lla-


It was sundown when Ruby started putting up the tents. We were even commended for our punctuality.

Everything starts at the glow of the glow sticks, Orion posing in the sky, a peek at the moon. Then the

night gradually rose with happiness as we ate our dinner at seven in the evening.

Continuous lectures flooded from eight to twelve. But as the hour of the next day came, we gathered to

see more of the planets. There was mighty Jupiter and Saturn with a lot of hula hoops around him. It was not lat-

er when Mars joined the party with its red appearance.

And finally as a closing event, we laid our backs against the grass, with the cool wind blowing gently, and

we looked up on space as Sir Llaguno constantly repeats “Feel your space among the stars. Know your place in

the universe.” Although a lot of our batchmates fell asleep, some stayed awake gazing at the perfect harmony of

the stars in the black blanket of the sky.

We couldn’t stay in that form of course, so we had to stand up. Some went to the tents to sleep, others sat

in front of the grandstand and watched Kung Fu Panda 2.

It was a night to remember, maybe just like our normal sleepless nights in Pisay, but this night, unique and most beautiful among all, as we, the inhabitants of Earth, unified with the vast universe.

Page 25: Keeping Sanity



Looking Back by Ian Ibañez

School year 2011-2012 is coming to an end. That means summer vacation is on its way! But it also

means that next school, year, chances are that the faces we see every day will not be the same ones next

year. Even dormers, they might not be roommates again, unless you requested to be roommates with

them again. Honestly, we will miss each other. We will miss the pranks of Jayvee, the jokes of Karl, the box

and many more. But before Ruby splits, let’s reminisce on our experience.

June 6, 2011, First Day of Classes All students had first impressions on their classmates like, “This guy

is gay,” and, “I think he’s an overachiever”. Be honest. I’m sure you had your first impressions on all of us.

Some are negative. Also, some are like, “I think I’m more intelligent than him.” Competition is very evident on

the first day. Some may also say, “She’s so beautiful,” and “He’s so handsome.” Crushes already were there

even on the first day. Many things already happened.

Kilos Awit. This was the first contest that Ruby participated in. While practicing, we suffered tough

problems and challenges. Heated arguments also occurred. Questions remained unanswered and social

stratification was brought by the lack of coordination in the practices. Even though we lost, we’re still happy

because we were able to perform to our heart’s content.

Pakorus. The second contest Ruby participated in. Here we already learned from our previous mis-

takes from the last contest. We sang the song “Kumukutikutitap”. It is a lively song. Our performance was

the liveliest, and we also received a standing ovation from Sir Nat Tacuboy

Valentinig. This is the concert that all the sections must perform. We are still practicing for it. We

chose “Ngiti” through voting. We are still making some changes so that the performance will run perfectly.

Okay. We’re done reminiscing. I didn’t say all our experiences because the dramatic part of our ex-

periences is very sensitive. Now my only wish is that we must continue cherishing these memories. The

memories that remind us of the bond that keeps us together even if we are away. These are the memories

that will give us inspiration in the following years to come.

Page 26: Keeping Sanity




Page 27: Keeping Sanity



Looking Back by Ian Ibañez

School year 2011-2012 is coming to an end. That means summer vacation is on its way! But it also

means that next school, year, chances are that the faces we see every day will not be the same ones next

year. Even dormers, they might not be roommates again, unless you requested to be roommates with

them again. Honestly, we will miss each other. We will miss the pranks of Jayvee, the jokes of Karl, the box

and many more. But before Ruby splits, let’s reminisce on our experience.

June 6, 2011, First Day of Classes All students had first impressions on their classmates like, “This guy

is gay,” and, “I think he’s an overachiever”. Be honest. I’m sure you had your first impressions on all of us.

Some are negative. Also, some are like, “I think I’m more intelligent than him.” Competition is very evident on

the first day. Some may also say, “She’s so beautiful,” and “He’s so handsome.” Crushes already were there

even on the first day. Many things already happened.

Kilos Awit. This was the first contest that Ruby participated in. While practicing, we suffered tough

problems and challenges. Heated arguments also occurred. Questions remained unanswered and social

stratification was brought by the lack of coordination in the practices. Even though we lost, we’re still happy

because we were able to perform to our heart’s content.

Pakorus. The second contest Ruby participated in. Here we already learned from our previous mis-

takes from the last contest. We sang the song “Kumukutikutitap”. It is a lively song. Our performance was

the liveliest, and we also received a standing ovation from Sir Nat Tacuboy

Valentinig. This is the concert that all the sections must perform. We are still practicing for it. We

chose “Ngiti” through voting. We are still making some changes so that the performance will run perfectly.

Okay. We’re done reminiscing. I didn’t say all our experiences because the dramatic part of our ex-

periences is very sensitive. Now my only wish is that we must continue cherishing these memories. The

memories that remind us of the bond that keeps us together even if we are away. These are the memories

that will give us inspiration in the following years to come.

Page 28: Keeping Sanity



The world is a curious thing, but perhaps the mind of any man is even curiouser. Nature itself is awe-inspiring

enough, a shifting, changing leviathan, but the mind is a goliath, a masterpiece of logic and the lack of it, the epitome of con-

trolled freedom. For the mind, unlike nature, is not all, but just one – one mind, one soul, one individual. A single individual

observing the movements around him with indifferent interest. With nature, when one shifts, everything shifts; with a man,

with a mind, there is a choice to stand one’s ground even with Change itself knocking on the front door.

Unlike nature, however, our thoughts are fleeting things, butterflies that come and go and leave us with a sense of something missed. No matter how many arms are outstretched, no matter how many words are let loose, an idea is but a ghost that slips through one’s fingers every time one tries to hold on to it. So how does one make it last? Simple. He writes. All those unborn thoughts and ideas and experiences dropped down in some unholy abortion of ink. Anything under the sun, drawn a word picture and flown as a banner, a testimony of your thoughts, for all to see. We live in a world of fleeting thoughts, words, things. Where thoughts can count, but are often left uncounted. Where words are spoken, but are often left to linger in the air, with only the wind and the sun to hear them. Where everything’s a thing to be witnessed, to be experienced, to be realized, to be made into something more. Where everything’s a story to be told.

BIRTHING Jon Bonifacio

Come forth and say your piece, my friend and foe

And let ideas intertwine, might they

But like a farmer reaps what he would sow

Be careful what you do and think and say.

Yet go and let that thought of yours be heard!

An unborn fetus wailing on your tongue

Forbid your mind from hiding from the world

For every man’s a song that’s to be sung.

Page 29: Keeping Sanity



Wake Up the Sun Crumbs of Life

Page 30: Keeping Sanity



GAMIZ YULOS, RUBIENA By Trina Marcelo Pieces of writings found in a Rubii’s journal. It has been translated from the Ruby language to English.


Just when we’re doing our normal routine, an abrupt quiver comes from all sides of Rubiena. My smile disappears immediately, as I hear the

booming voice of Dyome, a Rubii.

“Rubiena is shaking!”

Gasps are everywhere. We all look into the eyes of the rest, not knowing what will happen next. Silently, we form a circle, holding hands, closing

our eyes, praying.

A sudden quake, then I fall, fall into the depths of luminosity. Shall this be the end, as my ancestors say? Mayaranas is their name. I tighten my

hold to the hand of the Rubii nearest me. I wonder if we will survive.


A strange sound occurs, but the noise is not the focus of my thoughts. I hear the sky breaking into many pieces. It shatters, and a more bright light

appears. I feel nothing as I land on a cold surface, much colder than my world. I stay still.

Rubiena. My home. Gone.


I believe I have counted thirty long blinding lights of the day and twenty-nine less bright lights of the night as I lie and wait for my eyes to adjust.

This new world, what could it be?

At last, as the thirtieth intense light emerged, I am able to open my eyes. I look at myself. I am unscathed, except for a few scrapes and bruises.

Good. Then, I try to see what is left of Rubiena...

I am Tarena, a member of the Ruby. We live – lived rather – in Rubiena, where the sky is tokil, like a unicorn; the ground, amak,

like a tangerine; and the sea, a beautiful shade of inbod, rivers of blood. Our light source, Tegamye, does not flicker from bright to not

bright, but sways from the east to the west, so as to know the time. It is a beautiful place full of harmony and color.

Our race is called Ruby, and a member, Rubii. There are thirty of us. We are connected, and we stick together as one. When one of

us starts to weaken and at last, gives his final breath as a Rubii, we feel his pain and his suffering untangle from his soul . His spirit, then,

may go to where it is supposed to be: up there.

As our saying goes: Whether near or far, we are still a people because once a Rubii, always a Rubii.

Destroyed. Rubiena is no more. I am not surprised. I know my world shattered into pieces. Though I realize this, it is still a slap in the face. There

is too much loss for me to bear. I shudder as I try to get to my feet.

Looking around the odd place, I notice that things are almost the same as that of before, except – if I am not mistaken – they look twice, no,

thrice their normal sizes. Also, they are arranged in such a bizarre manner. Slepkalors are piled up in three columns, hedkatyrs are spread out in an orderly

fashion, and a restikere is hanged on a wall, immobile.

Curiosity overwhelmed me. Why did they go together in this... place? World? Watchamacallit?

Then, I hear a rush of wind that sounds like a large intake of breath. I turn around and gasp as well.

I see a huge creature, features so similar to that of my people’s, stand before me. A Rubii, super-sized?

The creature shows its teeth. A big, scary, toothy grin.

“Amazing! Such small humans!” It exclaims, or what I think it is exclaiming, that is.

What is that tongue-clicking sound? Its language? Its voice?

It poked me with its super-sized index finger. I jump.

The creature speaks again, gargling its saliva-spitting language. “Can you speak?” It gazes at me intently, as if expecting something. I do not know

what to do, so I stare at it.

The silence becomes awkward, so I take a step back, my eyes still on the it. It gives a look of what seems like disappointment, but immediately

replaces it with its toothy smile.

Page 31: Keeping Sanity



“Professor, look here! Aliens! What shall we do with them?”

A second super-sized Rubii appears and widens its eyes. Is it a look of surprise? Anger?

It asks, “Do they understand Engelesh?”

The first creature exhales and answers, “I don’t think so. It didn’t respond when I asked it to say something.” It points at me. It is hard to listen to

and identify the sounds of gargling and tongue-clicking, so I turned to my thoughts.

What are they? Why are they so massive? Where am I? Where are we? Is everybody else alive?

“Tarena! Tarena! Tarena!” Voices call. I turn around.

“What are they?”

“Are they those aliens our ancestors foresaw?”

“Where are we?”

“Our world!”

“Tarena! Tarena!”

I must be the first Rubii to see what is going on. From what I observe, their eyes only adjusted to the brilliant glow now.

They look at me questioningly, and impatiently. Well, as if I can answer them! I am but a Rubii!

“I do not know!” I almost scream. “I. Do. Not. Know.”

I feel anger, impatience, sadness, and grief, but mostly, relief. Although the destruction came as a huge explosion, the greatest injury occurred was

a broken leg.

I hold hands with the two Rubii nearest me, and they with the rest of us. We form a circle, close our eyes, and pray.

Then, we start to adapt... and learn.

Ecktorye 2 0 1 1

Gamiz melos!

I apologize, my dear Journal, for not greeting you a ‘hello’ in my past entries. I had too much grief and sorrow from the loss of Rubiena, my be-

loved world.

‘Earth’. That is what they, the ‘Human’ creatures, call their land. My people learned about this during studies with the Humans. Meaning, they

teach us their ways, we tell them ours. ‘Mutualism’ is what they describe it, Journal, or in our language, it is yunikram.

Though Rubii are excellent in adapting to sudden changes in the environment, it is the most complicated thing to do right now. Yes, we adjusted

to the size of the Humans to become more accustomed to their routine, but it is the being accustomed part that makes it difficult. The sight of a gibereth sky,

a gibereth sea, and a sepapis ground at the start of the day still makes me wish for the warm colours of home. The ‘Engelesh’ – Journal, I apologize, for I

have not yet asked the Humans how the word is spelled – language is so hard to follow.

Oh, but their food! Though I am not fond of a few dishes, I will gladly eat chikins and kookys – again, I am not aware of the true spellings of the

words, Journal, so bear with me – and have frys and tapa fliks after three minutes.

The trickiest part of adaptation? “School,” they call it. When it was uttered for the first time, I knew it was going to be a challenge. We did not

hesitate to accept because we love to take on such things, especially if there is some kind of motivation. This challenge has an excellent incentive: my people

will get to learn more of the human ways, and we get to enjoy eating their food.

So far, everything seems serious, but a little hopeful as well. Serious, because with our world gone, we have nowhere left to go to but this strange

‘Planet’ – the term is a general name for Earth, Journal. This is the only place left that we can call home to. Nothing else from Rubiena is there but the thirty

of us.

I also feel hopeful because we will be able to live, maybe not in the same way as before, but enough to enjoy the second life given to us.

I must stop now, Journal. Do not fret; I shall write again. I am to do my ‘Homework’ – I believe it should be called ‘Alien-work’, under the current

circumstances – before tomorrow comes.

Oh, the irony of learning another “Country’s” history! Journal, in this world, it is possible to have more than one race! The place where each race

lives is called a country. That is how I understand the concept. I am still unsure.

Journal, no matter how hard this is, I will push through. Yes, we will all push through.

Gamiz yulos!

Page 32: Keeping Sanity



Bemerye 2 0 1 1

Gamiz melos!

It is nearly the end of the 2011th Earth year, and the Humans are preparing for the celebration of a new one. So, to help with our learning and to

enjoy the festivity, we will go out of the School, and discover more of this Planet that cannot be taught through their systematic education. We will be cele-

brating their ‘New Year’ with them, and we will also help with the planning.

We are carrying large numbers of slepkalors in our arms on our way to our next ‘Lesson’ the Humans call ‘Mathematics’. Journal, I do not know

how they cope with these heavy things! Slepkalors in Rubiena carry little weight, yet they bring wise and/or entertaining topics for us Rubii. My arms cannot

take it anymore!

English – Journal, I finally found out the spelling – is becoming easier to apply. I can now introduce myself using the said language. How great

is it that, after thinking how complicated acclimatizing and studying Earth-y things were before, we are – at last – getting them right?

I shall go now, my dear Journal. The ‘Professor’ has begun the Lesson, and we are going to answer a ‘Quiz’. It is a small test, to see how skilled we

are in the Lesson. ‘Algebra’, they call it. Sitsnan! There are countless pakorai and baltenige put together with those symbols they use to ‘Compute’. My head

is going to burst!

Let it be a challenge then! Ruby must never give up trying.

Gamiz yulos!

Pabonye 2012

Gamiz yulos!

Such great amount of change has been going on in School, and it is not good. Sitsnan! Grades are getting lower, Journal, and we have to stay up

until the moon and stars shine great under the velvet sky (or until the sun rises up again) just to work and study for quizzes – mostly for the Social Science


It is a little scary, Journal, because of our Grades, and also because people are starting to leave the School, away from us. That is why I greeted

you yulos. – you thought it was a mistake, did you, Journal?

I will not leave, it is just that I am afraid, and maybe even hiding, for fear that the Earth is tearing Ruby apart. I guess this is what the Humans

call ‘Keeping Sanity In Check’. Some of us went off to discover this new world closer than we can dream of getting. It must be the way of life.

Physically, we may be ‘Countries’ and ‘States’ and ‘Islands’ apart, but emotionally, we are all still connected to one another. Meaning to say, we

cannot be not united. That is what we call laven.

Journal, I wish for the best. There is no turning back...

Especially on my Homework. It is to be submitted tomorrow! Sitsnan!

Oh well! Until my next letter, Journal!

(I shall not greet you goodbye anymore, for I already did in the beginning of my letter.)

Marenye 2012

Gamiz melos!

I shall write a short one for today, Journal. We are all packing, getting ready for tomorrow, for the future. See, School has finally finished for the

year, which means I, Tarena, may now sleep at any time I please, and eat delicious Human food all day long!

I will miss it though. The School, the Classes, even the Homework! These things started the Ruby adventure on Earth. I have made new friends, and

maybe even a new life.

But what of Rubiena, you ask? Is it not dead?


Destroyed and shattered in little pieces, but still exists in each Rubii’s heart. Rubiena is forever there, being our old home.

We are meeting up with the ‘Professors’. I wave at the first two Humans we Rubii met here. I receive a hug. We tear up, we laugh, we shout. We

are going to miss this. No words can say what I am feeling right now. I am going to miss everything here.

So now, we move on. Still together as Ruby.

I apologize for such little details; I am still overwhelmed by leaving the School.

I do not know what is going to happen next. Do pray everything will go alright.

Gamiz yulos!

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By Jon Bonifacio

The rain was heavy. The child sat silently by the window, watching the little droplets strike the glass in all the futility and in-difference a rain cloud possesses. He knew it was cold outside, but he felt none of it. A fire crackling mer-rily beside him dispelled any shifting chill, any chill wanting to embrace the child in all its silence. He looked over his shoulder, at something. A plate was waiting, on the table at the far corner of the room, piled with something yellow and brown and green. He knew he wouldn’t like it, but nevertheless he dropped down from his chair and walked towards the food. The fire crackled merrily, and his shadow flickered with the movements of the flame. With a grimy finger, he scooped up a small piece of what seemed to be mashed potatoes and placed some on his tongue. It tasted terrible, like dirt, and he grimaced. Always his food was like this – luke-warm and stale and awful. Brushing his dirty hand against his sleeve, he made his way to the front door. For the longest time, he had done nothing out of the ordinary. Always he had been waiting in the warmth. Always he had been staring through the window, watching the rain pour and letting this reign of lukewarm meals become a part of his daily life. The house was silent, and so was the child as he wrapped his fingers around the doorknob. He blinked slowly. Never has he been outside in the rain before, let alone alone – always, he had to be with some overprotective maid or butler, grinding his way to get his way, and he did not want that any longer. He was tired. He was tired of being tired. He pulled open the door. In an instant, all the cold rushed in, all the cold wind entered the house and filled it with an alien chill. The child coughed, uneasy. The night was oddly bright, a full moon peering nonchalantly through the spitting clouds, every puddle a mirror, and every streak of water a beam of rushing light. He didn’t let himself stay put and just admire the newfound sights in newfound mock intimacy. He stepped forward, and immediately he felt the rain, the brisk brine, not at all harsh. Quick and cutting, a moving thing, alive. He closed the door behind him. Indeed, what was past the glass was nothing compared to what had been waiting behind it. The rain before the child was a monster, and every streak of water brushing the child felt like a stroke of raw nature. The ground was muddy under the child’s bare feet. In all its wetness it moved, a sly creature, betraying the man with its stillness but all along churning and churning beneath the brown and calm exterior. The child smiled, watching his own frame get splattered by the brown clay below. The rain wasn’t selec-tive, unlike the cheerful warmth of the crackling fire. The rain wasn’t selective of who or what it was let loose upon. The rain was the epitome of indifference, and for some strange reason, the child loved it.

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He moved forward slowly, letting the briskness of the water wash his face with wet enlightenment. Nothing inside is better than what was brewing outside. Suddenly the child stumbled upon a pit and he fell. It wasn’t such a terrible fall, the child knew. But what was waiting below – a bed of rocks beneath the betraying face of the dark mud – struck the child as he landed. Pain. Cold and cutting. A million pinpricks raced through the child’s shivering frame, the sting, the lingering pain. In a cocoon of mud, the child squirmed. All of a sudden the rain was harsh, too harsh, indifferent, apa-thetic. All of a sudden the mud was cold, too cold, dark, devious. He felt the little pinpricks of pain linger, the little demons take shelter from the rain in his skin, and he felt weak. The jagged bed of stones he laid upon cut through his skin like teeth, like teeth with all the bite, and rain mixed the blood red with the mud black with every drop of water – the child’s blood sunk beneath the black with every spiteful spit from the clouds. It stung, everything stung, and the little open wounds that crisscrossed his body were being seasoned with the coldness and the wetness and the apathy of the rain. He clenched his fists and tried to move, tried to scream for help, but everything he said and did was drowned in the systematic chaos the rain let fall. He felt water rushing around him – the hollow that caused his fall was filling up with dark brown water. He coughed, uneasy, and made to move, but the coldness was an arresting thing. It rose, rose slowly. He wanted none of the cold, of the pain. The coldness sloshed around him, loud, frightening. The child wanted to cry, but if he were to wail, the water would make its way into his open mouth. He shut his maw, his eyes, and as the dark chill bit him he could do nothing. The water rose, insidious. The child could still feel the pain, though. Every second in the grave he himself had made was a second of rushing water, painful stings, and muddy embrace. Every second in the grave was a wet second, a cold second, a painful second. The rain ran ever harder. The child grew ever colder. He scrunched his eyes ever tighter, wishing the cold away, wishing the water away, wishing himself away, far from all this. Far from all the cold and the rising water and the mud. Far from the pain. He thought of the fire back inside, warm as heaven, and even the stale potatoes earlier. He thought of the crackling of burning wood. He thought of the flickering lights that danced and of his shadow that danced with it. In the chill, he suddenly felt this warmth. In the darkness, he suddenly saw this light. The child knew it was cold where he was, but he felt none of it.

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SEARCH FOR THE OMBUDSMAN By Karl Reyes I was standing there in the middle of the road, eyeing a building on my left: "Office of the Ombudsman". Out of curiosity, I walked nearer to it, since I want to in-quire about what “Ombudsman” means. But out of nowhere, a Toyota Vios New Version Car, with a custom plate number, "DAGAME" ran over me. After that, I don't know what hap-pened.

When I woke up, I immediately found out that I was in the Philippine Children's Medical Center. I’m not even a child; I’m twenty-two! Back to the story. How did I know the place, you may ask. Well, as I am severely far-sighted, I can see the almost micro-scopic text, "PCMC", obviously written with the font Comic Sans, which everyone hates. Getting back, I saw the text in a paper on a corkboard, which is approximately seven point five meters away.

While I was lying down in bed, I just couldn't stop noticing the building, now on the right. Again, due to my curiosity, I got up, but there, I discovered I had a cast on my legs, arms, head, and torso; pretty much everything. The nurse insisted that I should stay in bed.

After about three minutes, she presented me with food. It was bad. It tasted like plastic. After I quickly ate my “delicious” food, I escaped the evil clutches of the nurse. I jumped out of the window, and there I realized I was immortal, but vulnerable.

Again, how, you may ask. Well, I realized that my room is on the seventh floor. After that fall, I went to cross the road again. Guess what? It took me seventy-three tries to reach the building. But the good news is I reached it.

After carefully placing my foot on the last step of the stairway, it then poofed into my mind in the speed of light: it was closed. Forever. I moved the chains to open the door. I then opened one of the computers, which was previously in sleep mode and screamed in terror.

Internet Explorer.

My scream signaled the burglar alarm and soon enough, there were police officers cuffing my hands. They took me to jail for trespassing. Once they discovered I was a poor injured man, I was sent to the United States since I was diagnosed with multiple bone fractures. And colds.

I was seated behind a woman holding a dictionary. I was about to ask her for the dictionary, but I had mouth fracture.

Once we landed in the country, my brother, who was singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, welcomed me. We went to McDonalds and, we ate there. Technically, he ate there. I couldn’t eat, and if I could, I still wouldn’t because of the plastic-tasting soup I had. It had scarred me for life. I “ate” using my portable dextrose.

After that, we went to his house and I asked him, “Do they have an Office of the Ombudsman here?”

He replied, “I don’t know. I don’t go out, except now. I play Skyrim by day, Fall-out by night.”

I then said, “According to my map, the nearest main Ombudsman, or Commissioner of Human Rights is at Russia, which is about three hundred forty four miles away.”

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After nine months of recovery, we went on the trip to Russia. On bikes. It took us five days. After we crossed the border, we were immediately arrested by Russian con-scripts for littering.

I asked, “What did we even do?”

The leader, Sgt. Ivan Dragunov replied, “Your brother threw a plastic bag at a lake.”

And we got sent back to the Philippines. On the plane, we had a touch-screen in which I watched Big Bang Theory and my brother played Tetris.

Once we got to the Philippines, we searched for the nearest National Book Store, Power Books or Fully Booked, to find a dictionary. We found none, but we discovered they collaborated into a bigger bookstore: Fully-Powered National Bookstore.

We searched for the cheapest dictionary. We found one, named “Dummies List of Words,” and bought it. I searched for the letter O and found oak, ocean, orange and oli-gochronometer, but no Ombudsman, so we bought another one: Werriam-Mebster’s Dictionary. With a hopeful sigh, I found “om.bud.sman (n)”.

I was overjoyed for five minutes then I felt something fall out of me, but I don’t know what. I did not mind it, and continued reading while walking back to our house.

“A government official who in…”

SPLAT! I got hit by a speeding car.

It now came into my mind that the nurse is my mother, the woman in front of me in the plane is the Ombudsman herself, and the thing that fell out of me while I was jump-ing is my Immortality Bracelet. No wonder.

At least I knew what life meant now: dying for the right thing to die for; in my case, the word “Ombudsman”.

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Something in the air told me to get up.

I opened my eyes. My room was still dark, save for that small spot on the floor where a sliver of moonlight crawled. I could make out a silhouette standing at the corner of my

room, standing out against the black, and judging by its shape, I guessed it was the lamp.

Or perhaps a really thin person.

I glanced at the digital clock on my bedside table, which was letting orange light

bleed into the gloom. I read three digits: two, one, five. The numbers made their way around my brain, searching for something to connect to. Then, 2:15AM. Why was I awake?

I couldn’t bring myself back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried, so in all my lethar-gy I got up from my bed and donned my slippers as I stood up. Everything was blurry

through my sleep goggles, so everything was composed of nothing more than smudges of steadily darkening shades of gray. I noticed that around me were a few boxes, scattered upon the floor, along with a

few bouquets of curious-looking flowers that had some artificial perfume lingering about them. Also littered around me were these large fuzzy toys, only a few days old, some of

them nearly as tall as I was. I had no idea what these were for, and why they were there. I glanced at the date on the clock, though, just to make sure. My birthday. It was my birthday. Funny. I didn’t feel too different.

The scent from the flowers was intoxicating to the point that the air I took in seemed starved of oxygen. I had trouble breathing. I looked down in disgust at the pretty flowers. Wanting to escape this fragrant hell, I dragged my body over the carpeted floor to-

wards the door, my hands somewhere in front of me to make sure I wasn’t going to bump into some angry ashen blur. My legs felt strangely weak, even for a sleepy person. I felt for

the doorknob, opened the door, and went into the hallway. There was a small light in the kitchen, brightness in the dark, but not enough to dispel the shadows entirely. More than a candle, but less than a reading light. I made my

way barefoot across the wooden floor, unsure of what to expect. No one would be awake this late, not in this place. Or awake this early.

There was someone sitting on one of the chairs when I entered, and I don’t think she noticed me. She looked like my mom, with her short hair and overall thin frame, but since she had her back towards me, I could only assume. She seemed to be reading some sort of

book on the table, in intense silence, under the light of a small flashlight. There were some hospital things before her as well, but being hospital things I didn’t really know what they were. It was surprising how silent she was, though. The last time I saw her, she seemed

quite flustered, fussing over every single movement I made, even if I hadn’t really been moving.

Now she was just silent, reading her book, and not minding me at all. I noticed something on the ground, a blotch of white, rustling in the small wind around me. I picked it up. It was a piece of paper, and upon it was the minute but neat

handwriting of my mother, with all the familiar loops and curls and oval dots above the letter I’s. I could barely read it in the dim light, but I could see from the first line that it was meant for me.

I strained my eyes to read.

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I frowned, and looked at my mom, who still hadn’t really noticed me. But I guess she didn’t want to be disturbed. I dropped the letter, and slunk slowly back to my room, my

arms and legs feeling strangely heavy. I was wondering why my mom wanted to leave, but the sleepiness seemed to blur my thoughts. I felt tired all of a sudden, so I slid past the open door of my room and collapsed

soundlessly on my bed. Every part of my body started to seem like dead weight, and they ached a bit at that. It felt terrible. I tried to stay as still as I could so that they wouldn’t

hurt anymore, but they still did. I squirmed in the sheets, trying not to make a sound. The perfume that dominated the stale air was something heavy in my lungs, and I coughed softly. I couldn’t really do

anything about all this, but everything seemed strangely familiar, the pain, the hurt, all of it. I just took it to bite back the screams for now because obviously Mommy didn’t like

them. I just wanted to see Mommy one more time. But something in the air told me to sleep.

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Colors and Butterflies By Julia Esma

It was a quiet October night. Nothing but the sound of my short, quiet giggles was heard from my humble little bedroom. Oh, and a few clicking noises from my laptop. My eyes glued to the screen, a painted smile on my face, and my fingers dancing on the keyboard. The click-click-clicking from the little gadget I got for Christmas had lasted for at least two hours already, non-stop. It seemed as though my little friends had minds of their own, typing away a very absurd and random conversation with my best friend. The canvas of the sky was painted with an unusual shade of pink, and the clouds were dirty-white and fluffy. The white twisted across the pink, and basically, the sky looked like marshmallows. It was strange. I noticed it all: the sky, as it transformed into a deep, dark shade of violet; the clouds, evolving into what seemed like a more solid version of grey smoke; and the stars, like fireflies, as they appeared one by one. My fingers typed happily and my giggles were as soft as the breeze. A pink butterfly with light green spots appeared. /// You wouldn't expect much from me. I was an average teenage girl, who always seems to bump into some kind of trouble. Ei-ther that, or trouble was just plainly hunting me down every chance that he got. For instance, I got hit by my school bus a few years back, in grade school. I was chasing this beautiful, dirty-white butterfly with wings that looked like someone had splattered paint on it, and as it flew across the road everything went black. I woke up with a broken leg, a broken arm, a slightly bruised face and some mild cuts. My dad scolded me like he always did, shouting about how stupid I was to not think about my safety. My mom just sighed in the corner, not saying anything, but I could see the disappointment in her eyes. I'm that daughter. The disappointment, the failure, the kid parents want to disown. I never really did well in school, or in any-thing I do. I was just... not something you'd be proud of. /// Everything is just more fun when I'm around him. I could never ask for a more perfect best friend: a proud geek, a varsity basketball member, very friendly, crazy, annoying, and sweet when he needed to be. He made everything we did, even the simplest of things, seem so stupid and weird, and that's what made him so much fun. We met right after I got out of the hospital. My leg was still painful and broken, so I walked with crutches, and everyone was making fun of me. Then, two fat guys from the eighth grade were about to push me down, and he took the fall for me. He end-ed up with a small bruise, but he treated me to lunch. He got me a tuna sandwich and we sat near the swings. A lavender but-terfly with light pink polka dots flew past us. We had been best friends ever since. /// Let me give you a glimpse of the future. 11:11pm, the so-called wish minute, he told me he loved me back. The stars shone like tiny diamonds, and sparkled like glitter on a black vampire. We held hands near the parking lot, and he offered to drive me home.

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Strangely, that same white butterfly with wings that seemingly splattered paint on its wings from eight years ago appeared to me once again, and I did the stupidest thing. I slowly let go of his hand, and chased the whiteness as it flew towards the road. "Wait, come back!" I heard a loud beep. I saw a bright light. I felt a push, and fell down. I tasted blood, and suddenly I was unconscious. /// Sometimes, I just didn't get my parents. I mean, I knew that I wasn’t the little-miss-perfect daughter that they surely dreamed of having, but was that enough for them to hate me? The minute mom would get home, she would bring out a plastic bag full of food. She would then tell me to heat it up for din-ner, and turn to my brother to kiss him warmly. Without another word, she would go off to her room, and we wouldn’t see her again for the rest of the night. I always assumed she's tired, there's no other valid reason for her behavior. I noticed something scary though. Her eyes, they lost the mix of caramel-y and chocolate-y shades of brown. Instead, her eyes got all smokey-grey with a tint of ruby-red and a vibe of extreme exhaustion. She often even smelled like smoke. Dad, on the other hand, was basically same as always - scolding me every chance he gets. His eyes got really red and his face got pale all over when he looked at me. Probably because anger was the only emotion he could associate with my face. The color came back to his face, however, whenever he saw my mom and my perfect brother. I realized, during those mo-ments, how handsome my dad really was. His eyes, as blue as the ocean, matches his sandy blonde hair. My brother looked very much like him, too. They both had this personality that resembles sunshine. They both reminded me of the beach. And at that point, a golden-yellow butterfly, with what seemed like swirls of glitter on its back, flew past. Maybe it was just my imagination. /// I guess I got a little too attached to him. I got used to spending most of my free time with him. Eating lunch in the cafeteria, playing video games in the arcade, and hav-ing study dates when there are tests, and chatted with him online whenever I could. Obviously, I loved talking to and being around him. Well, it's insanely predictable, but I fell in love with him at some point, and the way his light green eyes sparkled in the sunlight. And for some reason, two butterflies appeared once again. One with a light green shade, exactly like his eyes, and a baby pink colored one, with what seemed like glittery swirls upon its wings. ///

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Another glimpse of the future. I sat down on the chair next to the white bed where she was laying. She looked so pale, so lifeless. It was hard to imagine that she was once laughing around with me. Right now, it just seemed as though she was just another body. No spirit, no soul. I held on to the sound of short beeps, hoping that those beeps would stay like that. Short, but sure. I held her hand, and I felt how cold it was. The white butterfly with seemingly splattered paint on appeared again. This time, I did not let go of her hand. There was a long, continuous beep a few seconds after. No, this can't be. I tried to run out of the room, but it seemed like with every step I take I could've fallen. I tried to shout for the nurse, but I was so choked up in tears that nothing came out. She was gone. /// My mom had a secret. I knew it all along. I just told myself that I didn't. She had lung cancer, and I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure she was already at a critical stage, and she did not do anything about it. She still smoked, and she never went to check-ups. I don't even know why I couldn't find the courage in me to talk to her, or to talk to my dad about it. I just stayed silent as I watched her take out another cigar from her pocket. Her eyes, now smoky and ruby-red, looked sad and tired more often than usual. Her hair was always messed up now, with more and more strands of light, silvery grey. She still had beautiful, caramel strands of hair though. She looked more and more tired everyday that at some point, I started checking on her. After eating dinner, changing into my PJ's, and brushing my teeth, I silently tip-toed across the hallway and into her room. As I opened the door quietly, I saw her. She was sobbing quietly. I walked towards her, and reached the side of her bed. Her arms were hugging a pillow. I held onto her hand, and her sobbing slowly turned into deep, peaceful breathing. I went back to my room, and stared at the sky. I decided I would do that for my mom everyday from now on. A smoky-grey butterfly appeared. /// I failed my science long test today. And as usual, there was scolding. My dad, looking as red and pale as always, scolded me about numerous things. How I wasn't studying hard enough, how I was spending too much time with "that boy", how I wasn't thinking about my future, how I was spending too much time with "that boy", and how I was spending too much time with "that boy." Redundant, I know, but that's my dad. He repeats the stuff he stresses. As usual, I listened for a while, but after a moment, my head goes off into space. Maybe that's why I fail. I don't really listen in class. Whatever. I decided to move on with my life. I mean, it's just a test. It's not like life is going to throw written tests at me. It's not like my life depends on grades.

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/// He was there again, to cheer me up. We went to the movies at around 9pm. He worried about my curfew, but I told him my parents couldn't care less anyway. We had a good laugh, the movie was hilarious. It was 11pm already, and we decided to stay in the parking lot. "Thanks for cheering me up", I told him, and smiled. "You're my best friend," he said, "cheering up is something I have to do." And we start laughing. He stopped though, as if he was suddenly nervous. "Um, can I... tell you something?" he asked. "Uh, sure… To be honest, I have to tell you something too." I replied. "Oh, really?" he started to laugh. "Yeah, really," and I rolled my eyes. "Why are you laughing?" "Oh, just an idea… What if we just say whatever we have to say at the same time? So, it won't get too awkward," he shrugged. "Sure." I smiled. We both said 'I love you,' at the same time. And then I saw that white butterfly again. 11:11pm. I stupidly chased that butterfly, not knowing that a bus was coming for me. He pushed me, and took the hit for me. Just like he always did. I stayed next to him while he was unconscious in the hospital. His parents were arguing with my parents, but I couldn't make out what they were saying. I held his hand, and I started crying. Please don't leave me. There was a long, continuous beep. Cries of complete sadness came a few moments later. /// A week after his funeral, my parents decided that I had to go back to school again. Without him, I was a loner. Without him, no one stood up for me. Without him, everyone had the leeway to do whatever they wanted to me. I was constantly bullied. People spat in my food, pushed me up against the lockers, took my stuff and threw it in the garbage bin, and called me names whenever they could. I was much too depressed to care. I started failing every test and every quiz I took. And every day, I came home to a pale and red face shouting at me. This scolding went on for weeks. Same goes for me checking up on my mom. She was always there during the scolding. She kept silent though, but the look of disappointment lessened, and the look of exhaustion grew more and more intense. There was a point when dad looked so fed up with me failing all the time that we got into an extreme fight.

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I don't remember much of it. My tears made everything blurry, and all I could really hear was a lot of shouting and screaming. I think he was about to hit me when something happened– My mom collapsed. For a few moments, we were all dead silent. /// Silence. There was complete silence for the days that we stayed in the hospital. It has only been two months since my best friend died, surely mom wouldn't leave me? Well, I was wrong. My dad and my brother went out to buy us some food, and I stayed to keep her company like I always did. I held her hand, and I pretended that we were in her room, as if it was just another night where I was checking on her. The butterfly. The short beeps. You know what happened next. She was gone. I stood there dumb-struck at the door, too shocked to speak or move. My face was wet in tears. "Nurse!" I finally shouted. But it was too late. The nurse came in running, my dad and my brother came a few seconds after. My dad saw her and stopped in disbelief. He stared at her, and after processing what happened, he cried. I've never seen him this broken. He cried and held on to her, and the air was filled with pleas of "Don't leave me," and all our eyes were red and teary. My brother and I held on to each other as we watched our dad cry. /// I decided I had enough of all the tragedies happening to me. I was sick and tired of all the sadness, of all the failures, of all the hate, the constant bullying, everything. I walked to the kitchen in tears and took the sharpest knife I could find. Just as I was about to stab myself, the light green butterfly, the gold butterfly, and a blue butterfly with smoky -grey spots ap-peared. I stopped and stared at them. My dad came in and saw me. For some reason, he looked as though he was afraid and crying. Apparently, my brother caught me with the knife and told my dad. "Please don't kill yourself. I don't know what I'd do if I lose you." I could neither move nor speak. Tears started forming in my eyes as my dad came closer and closer. He hugged me tight and said, "I love you, and I'm sorry if I haven't been showing you this." It seemed like an eternity there in silence, as I hugged him and as he hugged me back, and as I slowly came to realize that he did love me, that my parents did love me, that my best friend loved me enough to tell me before he died, that my brother loved me enough to save me from death, and that I was loved when I thought I wasn't. /// As I stood there while my mom was being lowered down into the ground, I thought of everything that happened to me. I thought of the butterflies. Just then, a light green butterfly and a light blue butterfly with smokey-grey spots appeared. I knew that the green one was him. And the blue one was mom. I knew that they were watching me. And I knew that I was finally okay.

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Serpens Manducare Praedam By Lexi Tengco

On a rare sunny Wednesday, at the Litatio manor, there were echoes. Knocks from the front door.

Hurriedly, Liguritio welcomed his best friend, Anguis Delusor Ullestio. The detective blocked his eyes

from the beam of the sun as five medals pinned on his coat shone like stars in the darkest skies. The two

friends smiled at each other and went together on a walk. The two headed for a coffee shop as they talked

about recent news and personal problems. Though this time was different. The two barely looked back to the

past. The two didn’t have to. Liguritio knew Anguis as Anguis knew himself, and the other way around. Sur-

prisingly, the two started to chat about their childhood.

“Oh, Anguis! You were such a genius back then!” praised Liguritio. “You always found a way to prove

the teacher wrong!”

“Save your compliments, my friend,” denied Delusor humbly. “It was you who was the true genius!

You always beat me to everything.”

“Except in Mathematics. Do you not recall how badly I answered word problems? Or how long it took

me to memorize my times table?”

“I do recall. I recall as well this pesky bugger who always answered the teacher’s question just when I

had the solution to it!”

Shock from his friend’s feelings, which he never knew until the day, Liguritio wondered who it could

have been.

“Do you speak of Lexil Conersov?” he asked. “That man was as much a genius as we were. Perhaps

smarter, if you ask me. He grew to be a scientist, didn’t he? An exceptional inventor!”

Anguis did not reply as they neared the coffee shop. He opened the door for Liguritio then they

walked in to the shop. Both ordered a coffee. Liguritio began drinking while Anguis had not even stirred his

cup of coffee.

“Anything the matter, Anguis?” asked Liguritio, breaking the silence.

“None at all, my friend,” replied Delusor, “Maybe just an idea I have been thinking about for the past


“And what would that be? Would you mind sharing it?” said Liguritio, intrigued.

“Alright. I’ve put much thought into what repeatedly happened too many times on different occasions,

with what happened to me before with that Lexil boy, for example. It can’t be just a coincidence. What could

it be? What if it was us who were causing it?”

Liguritio’s expression turned from interested, to baffled.

“I know it sounds bizarre but it soon made more sense to me. I thought that, considering everything

happening to us to be some scientific activity, that whenever we think, our minds send out waves of thought

and ideas of what we were thinking of. Think of this scenario, one of our teachers asked us a question.

None of us could answer the question. Then just right when you thought of the answer, I spewed out the

answer to the teacher. That couldn’t have been just a coincidence, right? Consider my theory, when you

thought of the answer, waves from your brain travelled across the classroom and I got it. I may not have

noticed it but my brain just decoded the code and I was able to think the same thought as well.”

Though he was convinced, Liguritio remained sceptical. He was impressed and he had a smirk on his


“Very plausible,” he commented, finishing up his coffee.

“Imagine the possibilities, Liguritio! One may read another’s mind or even send it messages! Or even

control objects! Or control people themselves!”

“Very plausible, indeed.” repeated Liguritio. Anguis was astonished to see that his friend had finished

drinking and he immediately emptied the cup on his hand. They both left the store. Anguis had invited Liguri-

tio over to his house, so the two walked to the mansion of the Ullestios.

After a long walk, the two arrived at the gate of Anguis’ house. He knocked at the door and entered

as Moroptious, Anguis’ household help, opened the door.

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“Welcome, Mr. Litatio. May I help you with anything?” asked the trembling young man.

“No thank you, Moroptious. I am fine,” said Ligurito.

“Master Delusor, I happened to p-pass through Mr. C-Conersov and he asks how Master Liguritio is.”

“And where would this be, Moroptious?” asked Anguis.

“Nearby on my way to the House of Deus,” answered Moroptious, nearly inaudibly.

“What a religious boy,” exclaimed Liguritio, “to visit the synagogue on a work day! How strange

though that he only asks of me and not the master of who he just passed.”

“Men of the same profession mostly keep contact,” explained Anguis, leaving Moroptious.

“Yet here you are, strolling with a detective. A profession you are in no interest of!”

“You know better, Liguritio.”

The two friends walked along into the house. “It feels good to be out of the sun, doesn’t it, Liguri-

tio?” asked Anguis.

“I couldn’t agree with that, Anguis,” rebuts Liguritio, “This kind of weather is rare to our part of the

world. We must appreciate it.”

Anguis just smiled, convinced by what his friend said. Liguritio scanned through dozens of paperwork

and sketches. One particular sketch seemed to have two copies – one slightly torn and the other crumpled.

They continued walking until Liguritio saw a small piece of paper which seemed to have been torn from a

bigger whole.

“What is this?” asked Liguritio, taking the piece of paper. It read “er”.

“I am not aware,” answered Delusor, wondering what it could have been.

“And the stain, it seems like blood!” noted Liguritio. “Perhaps it is wine.”

Delusor shrugged. “I do recall a time when that careless Moroptious dropped a newly bought bottle of

expensive Fermentum. The label could have torn off and got soaked by red wine.”

Liguritio nodded, convinced by what Anguis said. What was ordinary trash to Liguritio was a big pest

to Anguis.

“Moroptious!” cried Anguis over rage.

“Y-y-yes m-m-m-master?” Moroptious rushed in, trembling in fear. He noticed the piece of paper and

started to perspire. His feet started to shake in fear.

“What is the meaning of this?” asked Delusor while holding the piece of torn paper.

“I-I-I-I. I-I-It’s t-t-the-” the nervous servant struggled to answer.

“I am very aware of what this is!” yelled Anguis, “What I want to know is how in God’s name did this

get here?!”

“Calm down, Anguis!” interrupted Liguritio, “it is just a piece of paper.”

“Perhaps you are correct.” sighed Delusor, “Moroptious, I want you to leave for the week and think

about your errors as I will about mine.” Moroptious nodded and ran to his room to pack his things.

“It has been a long day,” said Anguis.

“Yes. Yes, it has.” answered Liguritio, “I shall return home. Perhaps we will meet again the following


“Maybe a day or two sooner. I am in a hectic schedule. People I need to meet.” replied Anguis as he

sat on a chair. Liguritio left.

After a few days later, on another sunny morning, a knock was once again heard in the Litatio man-

or. Liguritio welcomed a sad Anguis. They both sat on Liguritio’s living room with a cup of tea for each.

“What is the matter?” asked Liguritio to Anguis who was silent from the beginning of their meeting.

“Moroptious,” Anguis answered softly, “committed suicide while he was away.”

“What?” Liguritio asked, shocked by what he heard.

“He killed himself, Liguritio! He killed himself!”

“I am sorry, Anguis.”

Liguritio went closer to his friend to comfort him. “Remember Venus Perditus?” asked Liguritio.

“How could I forget your one and only love?” answered Anguis, feeling less grief.

“Oh, how I love her!” cried Liguritio, scanning through memories.

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“I felt your love, too. The two of you looked beautiful together, no other pair could have over-

whelmed!” exclaimed Delusor in a much happier tone. The two laughed.

“Sad that she died, though,” said Anguis, remembering Venus’ face.

“Yes,” said Liguritio with a smile blanketing his nostalgia. “At least I am thankful for those moments I

had with her. I vowed to love none other than her.”

Anguis grinned slightly.

“And of course, thankful for you introducing her to me,” added Liguritio. “Oh, how excruciating the

pain was for her to be lost!”

“Yet you strived to be the man you are today,” praised Anguis.

“All it takes is an idol, my friend,” said Liguritio.

“Oh, that great detective, whose name I cannot recall, who won four medals for his greatness!” Anguis

started to say in a poetic manner.

“Yes. That is him.” Liguritio laughed.

The two talked until the sun went down. It was as dark in the evening as it was bright in the morn-

ing. The two were so engrossed in talking that they didn’t notice the time.

“I ought to get us some wine,” suggested Delusor.

“I ought to. I have some behind the house,” answered Liguritio.

“No, let me.” Anguis suggested.

“You might get lost!” Liguritio argued.

“I have been here too much for me to not know my way around this house!” Anguis answered.

Liguritio could not beat Anguis and nodded. Anguis left for the back of the mansion. It wouldn’t take

him long to return to the living room from the cellar.

Minutes passed and yet Anguis has not returned. Liguritio walked to the kitchen to see what took An-

guis so long.

Unexpectedly, the front door opened.

Liguritio saw the last face he would have ever hoped for.

A buff, bald man who had a scar on his face and wore a black robe entered the house.

“Remember me, Detective Litatio?” asked the man.

“Mediocritas? Why are you not behind bars?!” asked Liguritio in astonishment. It was Mediocritas, one

of the most dangerous criminals who Liguritio alone caught.

“To get revenge!” Mediocritas yelled, charging at Liguritio. The two grappled in the living room, ex-

changing punches. Liguritio was physically weaker. He was brought to the ground and was pounded several


All in Liguritio’s mind was Anguis.

He saw the cup of tea on the table and slammed it on Mediocritas’ head. Mediocritas was staggered

long enough for Liguritio to get back up. He grabbed a chair and threw it on Mediocritas knocking him to

the ground.

Time bought, Liguritio ran to the kitchen to find an empty room with three pieces of paper on a ta-

ble. One was bloody red, one was red but smaller, and another was as big as the first, but only stained at

the left side. The papers seemed to match together like a jig-saw puzzle. Together, they read “Con-er-sov”.

Liguritio’s eyes opened wide as his head was pummelled to the table, knocking him out. Drenched

sheets of paper flew around the ground floor.

The stench of gasoline filled the air as the criminal equally divided the sheets of paper in pairs. As

the man reached for the door knob of the front door, his mind began to flash dark memories and the emp-

tiness in his life.

He bathed himself in gasoline and burned himself and the house with him.

The fire spread like flowing water, waking the neighborhood in the middle of the night. Screams were

heard all over, but the strongest was a man’s shouts blanketing the sound of a turning doorknob.

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"In my collection of classical music I have a range of pieces which last 6, 7, 8 and 9 minutes. The

piece by Bach lasts 8 minutes and the CD lasts longer than the piece by Holst. The piece on DAT

tape is longer than the piece by Beethoven. The single lasts for 7 minutes and the album does not

contain any Holst. The piece by Butler is on the DAT tape. Can you determine which piece of music

is on which format and how long each lasts?"

(no answer provided)

"A man drives his car into a river. The doors and windows are jammed and unbreakable, and he gets

trapped inside for four hours. When police found him, though, he was still alive. How did this hap-


Answer: He drove into the shallow part of the river.

"No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?"

Answer: Silence

"You're in a cement room with no windows or doors. The only thing you have is a mirror and a piece

of wood. How do you get out?"

Answer: You look in the mirror, you see what you "saw," you take the saw and saw the wood in half,

then you put the two halves together to make a "whole" and then you crawl out the "whole".

"A magician is standing on a concrete floor holding a raw egg with his hand outstretched. Without

the aid of any objects, he is able to drop the egg two feet without breaking its shell. How does he

do it?"

Answer: He holds the egg up higher than two feet. For the first two feet, it will fall without


"What force and strength

can not get through,

I with a gentle touch can do,

and many in the streets would stand,

were I not as a friend in hand."

Answer: a key.

"It lives without a body, hears without ears, speaks without a mouth, and is born in air. What is


Answer: an echo.

"What turns everything around, but does not move?"

Answer: a mirror.

And my favorite,

"While walking across a bridge I saw a boat full of people. Yet on the boat there wasn't a single

person. Why?"

Answer: Because all of the boat passengers were married.

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*sample found from microscopic remains of the broken gem

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