Friday, October 26, 2007

Highlights of the Past 21st Year (Updated)

Culminating my 21st year last October 4th, I've been remembering what has been. A lot of my experiences, I would say, especially with my so-called "queerness", have lapsed quite astonishing; gleeful and fun-filled; at times quirky (a redundancy) and uneasy; passionate; bereft and anguished; but nonetheless rich with erudition and introspection. One reason I like about life is the endless opportunity to learn. Despite the inevitable reality of mistakes and failures, it's often worth recognizing that such vulnerability could actually be a chance to redeem one's self. To be more erudite. To be more resolved. To be more faithful perhaps....

Whoa! Slow down... That went not quite the way I wanted - too serious I guess. Err... it's just my internal chatter talking....

My intention here is a reckoning of my 21st-year events, a summation of milestones, both elating and excruciating. I would classify, or should I say rank, my 21st year as the most "uncomfortable" of all. Uncomfortable because during this year I surged the farthest away from my comfort zones. But then, it's also one of the most fun-filled, kid-at-heart satisfying years. Well, without any more fuss, here goes my list.

Underswitch DrillSwimming E-fish-ently - I got involved into this group of swimming professionals who's aim is to teach people how to swim the efficient way (i.e. the Total Immersion way). I had undergone training in improving my front crawl and subsequently was also taught how to handle students in adults and kids swim sessions. Unfortunately, due to some unexpected problems, I wasn't able to actually teach and put all my learnings to use. It's quite frustrating. Then again, the least I could do was to improve my swimming technique.
Postmortem: I still do swim regularly every week. And for the record, I could swim butterfly without struggling (yey!) though I still need improvement (as with the other strokes); Sometimes, I get it, sometimes, I don't. Practice makes perfect!
Current Stats (Average):
Front Crawl - 12 strokes per 25 m (4 breaths, with push-off)
Breaststroke - 8 strokes per 25 m (8 breaths, with push-off)
Butterfly - 10 strokes per 25 m (3 breaths, with push-off)
Backstroke - N/A (haven't tried swimming 25 m in a Total Immersion way; I often get misaligned from unconscious head tilting!)
*Mind you, I am not a competitive swimmer. Currently, I am more of being technique-oriented. I believe an efficient technique can yield faster, longer and enjoyable laps. Sometimes, I could even deem myself a mediocre in water despite the knowledge I hold.

Sailing"I love you high school best friend" - The culprit why Drake's Ragbag was conceived. The most excruciating experience of this year. The sleepless nights, the tormented mind, the unfocused employee in front of my PC, the almost-everyday absentmindedness... My first serious "cardiac" dilemma - I fell in love with Shane, my HS best friend. What I did? I told him. Yeah, I told him. It was my chance and I needed to grab it. Did it, yielded, and ended up just hurting more. Was it worth it? Yes. Despite the futility of that foray, I had the realization that I could really be in love with lack of reciprocity, and I could be stubborn at that. Then again, that same bullheadedness made me more resolute on the truth that in a situation, one is challenged to make up a decision, no matter how easy or difficult it is, in order to carry on. Yes, we are beings of whims, but we are also beings of will.
Postmortem: I followed through this gradually. One tearful night made it clear to me to accept that we're just friends. It wasn't easy, then again, I made it through somehow. With this experience, at least, I had a chance of averring to someone how much I've loved him. (Shane and I have reforged our friendship after my passionate torment.)

Paraw SailingBora... bora bora - Woohoo! My first airborne trip was last March's Boracay getaway with fellow officemates/friends. 'Twas a four-days-three-nights sojourn to this famous Visayan Island, with tons of epicurean anticipation. Much to the need of my "fresh" heartbreak then, I indulged to the natural wonders of the beach and the water (as with the bars, I just simply let go - I am not really fond of them.). I could not imagine how much solace Boracay smothered me then (despite the ubiquitous commercialism) - I guess I was a merman or a sea creature in my past life. It was then that I had my first open water swim (with no life support), snorkeling without a snorkel (haha! quite paradoxical) and Paraw sailing (Paraw is an outrigger boat). Also, due to some whimsical cause, I even had my hair done like a pineapple (ouch! that hurt my scalp) and by upper back painted with a henna tattoo.
Postmortem: The Philippines is one richly endowed archipelago of wondrous creations. God's really an artist. I badly wanted to go back to the beach the day we left. Thinking about the future possibilities, I might consider retiring near the beach. *wish*wish*wish* (^_^)

DolphinsPuerto Galera! - Almost a couple of months after my Boracay trip, I went to Puerto Galera. 'Twas my first time then in the island so I was very excited to see the place, especially the beautiful corals and fishes that most people would tell about Puerto Galera's water. Given the various resorts available, our HR department decided to make a reservation in this secluded family beach resort. The cove was pretty much admirable, with semi-white sand and a snorkeling site, if not for the abrupt sloping of the beach and the quite turbid water. Then again, it was still a beach and there was abundance of water for swimming - that alone was enough to energize the kid in me.
The vacation wasn't all swimming though. There were games that the organizers planned for all employees to join: Charades, Dress-up Relay, and Amazing Race. I played in each game with such promise I did not even expect from myself. Especially with the Amazing Race leg, where I needed to drink almost 2 liters of cola, I violated my no-sodas rule and gulped, gulped, and gulped all the way to winning the competition. Later that day, during the evening band session, I even won an overnight stay for two, with free accommodations, on the same resort, from a "Guess the Song" game.
Postmortem: After all the day's activities, I had a realization that I could really be very competitive, be oblivious of self-consciousness, and even be daring enough to go overboard if needed. Some people in the past have noted my dedication and promise in some of my endeavors, which I have deemed in doubt due to some trivial lack of self-confidence. Just until I quaffed that volume of cola did I change my perception about myself (Hehe). As for the return and overnight stay gift certificate, I guess that would just get forfeited.

PandaDisney, Ocean Park, Hong Kong! - A childhood dream came true when my three guy friends and I set foot on Cantonese soil - Hong Kong! It has been one of my frustrations since I started studying in school. More than seventeen years back, my Auntie-Ninang, a stewardess then, promised to bring me to Hong Kong if in any case I become valedictorian in my class. Apparently, I never grabbed that beguiling rank in all my six years in primary school. Despite my consistent listing on the honor roll, she never gave any consolation. Ergo, I ended up frustrated until I reached high school when I forwent the hope.
I would have not realized this aged aspiration if not for the persistent cajoling of one of my three friends. Considering that I had just flown to Boracay last March, another trip would be too luxurious for me and unfitting to my lifestyle - I'm just your average-earning yuppie you know. Then again, after a few internal debates in my mind, and some advice-seeking from loved-ones, I decided to book a flight.
Our three nights and three days in Hong Kong, I would say were overwhelming, both physically exhausting, from lack of sleep and too much walking, and pocket busting, from what else but shopping. From late night shopping to Disney, to shopping, to Ocean Park, to malling, to Harbour Lights & Sounds Show, to shopping, to The Peak, to shopping, to strolling, to MTR rides, to food-tripping, to Tram Rides, and to malling and shopping again, it seemed that the four of us hardly needed time to rest to cover as much of Hong Kong in our short stay there. Though it seemed I had a lot of shopping, the truth was I wasn't much of a spender then except for new food to taste - it's my guilty pleasure. My Chinese friend was the one who did much of the purchasing. And because of him, we went to this chichi mall near Victoria Harbour, where I encountered this unnerving Caucasian guy who stared at me for like 10 seconds while we were riding the escalator, fortunately, on opposite directions. If not, I would not have liked what could possibly have happened (e.g. he approaching directly onto me), given that I was with my three straight guy friends - I wasn't ready for an impromptu unlocking of my closet. Good riddance, my guy friends were oblivious of this white guy's riveting eyes.
Postmortem: It's never too late to fulfill an old dream. Especially now that I earn my own money, I can somehow direct my desires with less constraints and with a higher probability of achievement. Then again, despite the freedom to spend my earnings, never forget to do it wisely and still save some for future needs. Err... I think I violated that one.

Familial Emancipation - Finally, my parents know that their eldest son is gay. It's all sheer happiness. (^_^)

A Game Contest Screening Experience - Err... until now, I haven't received any confirmation if ABS still plans to let me join their show. Also, it seems "1 vs 100" has changed its program into "1 vs 100 Kids", an apparent defensive/offensive scheme to contend GMA 7's Pinoy version of "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" (Kakasa ka ba sa Grade 5?). If that's the case, it would be totally impossible for me to join the mob (and my only chance is the "1" spot). Well, it's actually no big deal. Who's on the wait anyway? Hehe.

Blogger Friends - I never expected gaining friends through Drake's Ragbag. You see, I was never fond of connecting and discovering people through the Internet (Too much insincerity could get involved). Drake's Ragbag was just meant to be an outlet of my thoughts and blahs. To get involved with other people and even get the chance to meet them was something else more to my anticipation. For the record, I've already met three real people through Drake's Ragbag; had someone offering a kind gesture to send me a copy of RENT; and found a new blogger friend who even gave me a birthday present by surprise. Those were just simple events, but for me they meant something significant. I have always nurtured this attitude of appreciation for small things as equally important as the big ones. So to my dear blogger friends, most especially to those who have come "real" and in flesh, my sincere thank you to all of you. God bless! (^_^)


beejing said...

Wow! i never knew we had the same bday month.

Coldman said...

napaisip lang ako, birthday mo ba?

arjay said...

i had a great time visiting your blog. belated happy bday!

Mugen said...

I'm glad that you're back. :) Enjoy your long vacation

Yas Ligtas said...

i guess a lot of us got caught up with work...amping bai.

Kiks said...

i am 12 years older than you are?!

when you were in either grade 2 or 3, i had the same experience with my college best friend.

inilangoy ko na lang ang lahat.

good to know both of you went a step higher.

chase said...

wow.. swimming. yummy.. er.. amazing. with that stats.. wow.

shane? i love him too.. kaw ha mangagaw. hehe..

i've never been to boracay. my hubby promised me to bring me to that island. he's got connections there coz he's from iloilo.
im excited to see the sand and the boys. heehahah

Liza's Eyeview said...

belated happy 21st. Thanks for sharing your "refelctions" on the past...

Drake said...

@Beejing: Yeah, we have. =)

@Coldman: Tapos na. Hehe. =p

@Arjay: Thanks for the greeting.

Drake said...

@Mugen: Thanks! I am enjoying my week-long bum life, with most of my time eaten by siesta and capoeira practice. Err... Monday's fast approaching and I only have 3 days to set myself anew for next week. Better get starting... Thanks again. =)

@Yas: You bet. Gracias!

@Kiks: Surprised with my age? Hehe. Salamat Kiks!

Drake said...

@Chase: Thanks Chase... but the truth is, I'm not quite amazed with my stats - I still need more improvement.

As for Shane, hehe, malayo at itsura ni Shane ng Westlife sa HS best friend ko. I just related the former to the latter due to some HS corny reasons. Hehe.

Enjoy Boracay when you get there.

Drake said...

@Liza: Thanks! I just hope I did not miss anything from my list. God bless!

roxie said...

woah.. what a long post but enjoyed it still and all.

Haaaay Drake.. I so envy you. Parang ang dami mo ng na-accomplish at napatunayan sa sarili mo. Oh well... Basta I'm really happy for you, kase parang ngayon things are starting to fall into place na and I'm sure from this day onwards, everything will be okay na. May sad moments pa rin for sure, pero I know you're much stronger now kaya carry mo na yun!

Mish u mish u na! Ingat ka lagi! :)

Drake said...

Don't envy me Ef... Sabi mo nga "parang" ang dami lang. We all have our share of the good and the bad.

Thanks Ef! I'm quite happy with how I progress with my life right now, though sometimes, I get ambiguous and digressed. Sabi mo nga, carry lang. =D Life goes on.

Miss na rin kita! Ingat ka rin lagi! :)