An explanation that's borderline crummy

By Joule Artemson D. Visabella
November 2, 2010, 4:00 pm

Sembreak. How have I spent thee? Let me recount the ways.

Despite the constant ranting on campus over piles of study load and coffee over how a nightmare college is, there’s still that hypocrisy that lies underneath every “I hope sembreak comes already!”

Fast forward to the break everyone’s been giddy about and the clubbing, boozing, beach outings, mall hopping, Mcdonald’s bingeing, camping and traveling abroad commence. YES! The proverbial finger raised on the hallowed halls of our esteemed academia and happiness draining teachers.

But wait. Do you hear a hum? Yes, a hum. There. Oh no. Reschedule all the plans ‘coz the unending school stuff gets aboard your temporary escape. Extra assignments, unfinished term papers, delayed exams and a whole lotta org duties. Oh, let’s not forget about my exit interview!

Fairytales are for kids and for college students who want to have a breather from the stress. It seems that some teachers don’t grasp this concept. They’re old and miserable and they want us to share that feeling with them so they give us more workload and a malicious smirk.


Joulo: I’m finally gonna realize what joie de vivre means after all! Thank GOD for the educational system whipping up sem breaks!

Professor Evil: That would be unethical to the point of education. No pain, no gain my mother used to say.

Joulo: Too bad we don’t share the same mother. I gotta go now.

Professor Evil: Before you leave, here’s a pile of work I want you to finish during your break. Deadline’s on enrollment day. Close the door when you leave.

Joulo: (Mouth agape)


Because like any other extra curricular activity, organizations or clubs want a share of our time too. Equal division of rights, they would defend.

One of the most feared instances in my life and what I would not like to think about on my vacation especially on its starting day is the exit interview. But we all have nightmares.

My first day of vacation was spent rehearsing my answers on probable questions. I did the interview with a torch on hand. The smell of the office was nauseating my scattered brain and the faces of interviewers made my palms sweat.

Alas, the rehearsal didn’t pay off. Practice makes perfect but that interview made me realize that this vacation would either be good, bad or a never ending uncertainty.

The latter proved true to form as it immortalized itself on bold letters saying: Extended Probation. But that was better than a Carrie Bradshaw wannabe’s: Terminated.

The goodwill of publishing saints continued on a seminar about magazine how-to's and how-don’t's and yours truly gave a tutorial on news writing without much fanfare saved for later’s shindig.


Joulo: But I really wan’t to stay! Please! Gimme a chance!

Zeus: We will discuss your future according to the past. Now pass the torch, minion.

(Thunder growls)


Poorly dressed and sweating like a bottle, I pose as I get my picture taken on a big poster for my courses’ awards show.

The awkwardness of my outfit over the A-for-effort attendees didn’t hinder me from socializing and talking to people whom I reconciled with (this sembreak promises a good one after all) and winning an unexpected award.

I climb up the stage to receive my awards and glance to my teacher who I thought hated me. I thought I deserved to win the best editorial article anyway, because I was dressed like a Wednesday in school and had to prove that some people just don’t give a damn. And I embodied that. Perfectly.

The awards proceeded to its usual dullness and rumors of boozing on a club was spreading like wildfire and I jump in on the bandwagon. If someone told me earlier that I would be having the time of my life later that night (ahem, and the morning after, ahem) I wouldn’t have believed them.

The party was all out crazy and we got free drinks because we knew the owner. The dancing, the sweating, the screaming and the cheering proved to be the exact opposite of how I thought I would’ve spent this vacation. The after party and the ‘cute’ people were crazy as well. I would describe the stripping part detail by detail too but my Editor will kill me, so…


Joulo: I have this award that’ll make my momma proud!

Paris Hilton: You’re head is bigger than what inflated it and it’s time to blow it up!

(Leaves room for interpretation)


As if the hangover didn’t confine me to a bedridden state already, I still got up, barely slept, to an appointment with a friend. This was what I would call a typical highschool-er’s day out with a friend. Mall hopping, bingeing and talking nonstop it almost cured me from last night’s rendezvous.

The next day I had a similar encounter with another set of friends whom I met up to have drinks with while pondering on the two choices I was so keen to choose from. You know when they say that sometimes the choices are harder than the question? Well, this would definitely be it.

I was torn between going to Camiguin or staying here in CdeO. I let my friends decide as I had a hard time deciding myself. In the end though, the decision was up to me and quite spontaneously, without even thinking about the pro's and con's of the trip and not asking my parents’ permission, I decided to go.


Larry King: You must have a hard time deciding to have a good time or a good time.

Joulo: I know. If only everything was easier. A good time or a good time?

Larry King: Either way it’s win-win. Now tell me about your eating disorder.


Going to Camiguin would be the same as surfing the internet for hours: it’s exhausting but at the same time you’re having fun because you have your friends with you.

They say it’s not about the destination, it’s about who you’re with. I absolutely concur. The traveling made me dizzy and my stomach ache but it was worth it because stepping on Camiguin soil was such a relief. The smell of the beach was invigorating you’d want to bottle it up, the sun was scorching but you’ll probably enjoy it and the wafting yema of Pastel seducing every nerve of your body.

I took a long nap on the cottage, dreaming of Boracay. This was better than it. When I woke up I enjoyed playing with friends on the sand, sharing stories on one bed and soaking my body on Camiguin’s famous hot spring. Aaah. The pleasures of nature and a "relatively" well-placed fat school budget. That was THE life.

But the Shangri-la of bliss had to end though as I made my way trip back home earlier than the others to finish a forgotten term paper and the realities of paying the bills before its due date.

Now you can stop being envious.


On the ferry en route CdeO:

Sam: What if Mt. Hibok-Hibok blew up while our friends are still there?

Joulo: Or what if the ship sank ‘coz we left earlier?

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