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I am Renan, a psychology graduate from the Philippines and a current gap year student at UCL. While looking for sufficient funding for my program abroad, I’m working as an editor for a publishing company and a director of a newly established art research org.
Growing up in a household where my mother prays in Latin and my father remembers the meaning of a word by deconstructing it into latin/spanish words, I learned the advantages of traditions and rigid structure at an early age. My father has been secular about his way of living, a sweet antithesis of my mother's religious lifestyle. These two paradigms have fully found its union in my life. I'm a liberal thinker, but I hate saying that. Oh, crap, I think I don't have one. And, I don't want to label myself a postmodern thinker. Okay, maybe I just wanted to discover more about myself. Or, maybe I belong to the generation of 'nones'?
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
A friend who lives in Canada mentioned this site to me few years back. I never had a chance to check it until I realized the need to be more practical when traveling. I've been living with four guys who I met in the university. We've been living in an apartment for almost four years. It's not like Spanish Apartment, with its grit and drama, or White Heat, with its 'personal-is-political' underpinnings, but it's a fun household. It's a melting pot of different guys who celebrate Filipino humor and highly Westernized pop culture.
This community allows the potential of the Internet (if not the virtual community) to take a step closer to re-stitching social bonds in the contemporary world.
I'm a man stuck in the sewers of the third world, so my interests can burst into a multitude of different hues and shades. Psychology and art always tickle my imagination. Postmodern literature of Pynchon and David Foster Wallace are found lying next to my pillows, while the essays of Huxley and Camus remain to be sacred in my bookshelf. I like taking long walks in the city, and maybe punctuate it with a stop in a local coffee shop.
Music, Movies, and Books
Books: T. Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, Fournier, Borges, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Camus, Huxley
Films by: Almodovar, Bunuel, Antonioni, Bergman, Coen Brothers,
Music: Hot Chip, Dada Life, Swedish Hose Mafia, Jakob Dylan, Brandon Flowers, The Killers, Coldplay
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I have three:
I spent my Christmas in a cottage by the river in Mountain Province. Yes, alone and with some bottles of beer.
After college, I went on an internship with a renowned art conservator in the country. I had a rare opportunity to touch 19th century paintings of the luminaries of art and works of various national artists.
My friends and I visited Cambodia last year. We had a surreal experience while traveling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Traversing the road lined by rice paddies and only guided by the moon, we rode on a two-decker bus for an almost six-hour trip to Siem Reap. In the middle of the trip, a local sitting next to the driver started to look for a missing object on the floor. We thought it was just his purse or cellphone. Then, a towering white guy asked what he was looking for, and the Khmer guy, in his perfect and nasal English, said he was looking for his snake. Everyone freaked out, and raised their feet. Could this be the our version of the infamous B-movie Snakes on the Plane? Shining and sliding along the bags, he found his dear cobra reaching through any of our smell. He dunked it in a plastic bag like a piece of bread,a and left us with a huge grin. It was surreal, or maybe it was like reading a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel.
Teach, Learn, Share
I spent four years in a research-intensive psychology department, and a little more than a year of training in painting conservation. I have also done volunteer jobs for museums. I believe I'll be helpful in research, writing, and maybe a little cultural heritage management. (Oh, I just really sounded boring!)