0900 Hours. 05-17-14. NLEX
Currently on a bus bound to a yet unknown beach resort. ‘Twas our company outing. Early on, I’ve had second thoughts wether I’d enjoy the Amazing-Race themed adventure. I persisted anyway without giving in to my doubts. With 20,000 Php (± 450 US$) at stake divided by 40 equals Php 500 each, not bad!
It’s a good thing a nice young lady took over the reins of the yellow team. It so seemed that everyone has this genuine wanting to be good and nice to one another. Everybody just wants to have fun without being hostile and bossing anyone. I sensed myself giving a temporary sigh of relief from the aristocratic atmosphere. It’s nice to think also that we are being led by a teammate rather than a boss who views his teammates as competitors. I knew that we as a group have chosen well.
The road is good and straight, the air filled with dirt, and the day is getting hotter by the minute. Would have been very good if I can still listen to Jam88.3 WRXP but the signal is lost and the bus driver is competing with his stereo. Oh well…
We stopped by a church for a challenge which is to memorize a Bible verse of John 3:16 in Spanish. We won alright. Next challenge is to make ‘halo-halo’ and sell it to the local residents. We’re competing with other teams so it isn’t without pressure. We finished first again, thanks to my crush who prepared and mixed all the ingredients. I just wished we could have shared in a date what she has made.
It was scorching hot as we arrived at our destination. At least the food is good (almost any food is good when you’re starving!). What’s not so good is the queuing, an endless line in which there seems to be a funeral procession up ahead.
Familiar faces started to emerge. Damn I missed these babes! Tiny, WOW TINY! Uhmm, she seemed to have looked a lot older than she was before. She’s still an eyeful though. The girl in the orange skirt! Really glad that she’s able to attend the outing. The arms and shoulders were no longer macho except for the hips and legs. Stressed I presume. Mary, she still has that sweet face and petite body. She still looks fabulous and grand.
How I wish I could’ve taken them all to a ballroom for a romantic dance number.
The final challenge to determine who will emerge as victor of the ‘amazing race’ is finished. Know what? We won the grand price of Php 20,000! The planets mystically aligned that day, not to put an end to the planet’s history but to fulfill the destiny of the ‘yellow race’. As per the prophecy, the right persons were chosen for their respective roles. Who would have known that it would be us, with me, who didn’t even think of it possible? I didn’t mean to be cynical of our capabilities and chances but who would’ve known? Each of the teams competing is focused on the same goal. Thanks to our individual abilities, and to our leader who handled the team nice and easy and assumed the position with class and perfect strategy.
The day had been a long one. I still wasn’t touched by seawater, and I have no plans of swimming at all. I am a bit uneasy about my one pack, so I decided that I’d grow six of them first before I’d have the guts to take my shirt off and swim and fish for a chick. I just wanted to sing and get drunk. Drink and sing and stare at glorious chick behinds and twinkling hot legs that pass me by. But first I’m gonna have to chow. The venue is at seaside. With dim candle lights, the place is dark, romantic and hot – romantic it is and the darkness is perfect if you have a date; hot because it’s humid with little or no air at all. After downing the food with water and juice, all of us stared at nothingness, wishing for some hot babe to sit in our midst. Just wishing. Now what?
Thankfully, I need not employ my negotiation skills to an old chum and a couple of newbies to leave and head for the videoke. They may have been itching to sing and drink as well.
We felt a bit insecure at first when we heard somebody else singing, obviously the first to arrive and take a hold of the mic. We were still sober then. When the pangs of the liquor started to numb our senses, we knew it was time to enjoy – with whatever we got, either like professional singers or wannabees just like us. I know it’s kind of nerdy enjoying the night that way, but we didn’t care.
We managed to attract a number of audiences who were perhaps empowered and entertained by our carousing. Then the screen flashed and we saw “Mahal Kita” by Renz Verano. “Oh really?!” I told myself. This is going to be a jukebox tripping. True enough, he did more than justice to the song that we shouted for more, hoping that he’d sing “Remember Me” from the same artist. Beer tasted sweeter as soberness drifted farther and farther from us.
What caught our attention is a beautiful lady from the admin. She was wearing this flowery one piece summer dress. When she first sang Ironic, we were impressed, gladly giving her our applause and shouts of admiration for the beautiful lady. When she sang Just Like A Pill, we were completely blown away, 20% of which is because of intoxication and the remaining 80% was our elation that a charming lady came to grace our revelry with her voice and her presence.
Too bad that she’s got to leave and so do we. (She won the contest for the best Hula-dressed lady which we have known only through photos the following Monday.)
I still feel nostalgic that I can’t help but sing the song “Mahal Kita” even 5 days after. And, I truly miss Miss Ironic, I hope I will hear her sing once again…
0000 Hours up to 1300 Hours of the following day
Comprised of sleeping, eating, and preparations to go home. I never wanted to take part anymore on the banana boat ride or the swimming or the games. I was just aching to go home, fast and soon. If you think it’s so boring how I spent the outing, I’m yawning at this very instance.
If you were able to reach this part, well thank you. The upper part is like shaking off of rust. And after a lengthy and worthless introduction, I’m now able to get down to business to convey what I really wanted to say (clue: none of the above).
“Vanity, vanity, everything is vanity…” What is there to gain after the ‘chasing of the wind’? Well I got to know a few new people. And I saw once again the importance of enjoying the moment even when you’re bored to death, just like when ‘Renz Verano’ came back to the limelight in our midst. He didn’t care at all, and he just sang and enjoyed himself and it was all that mattered to him. We sure do appreciated him for that. He did not apologize for who he was or for what he’ll sing, instead he just enjoyed it and in the process entertained us as well.
The most important thing perhaps is when our paths crossed again with that old chum, whom I was so angry at before because of his arrogance and bloated ego. He is one of the most intelligent people that I have met, coming from the country’s top school with the making of a future pillar of structural engineers with his wit and deep understanding of technical things. He labeled me ‘slow’ once just like what his boss did to me before. Oh how I hated him! I hoped never to see him again but just like ageing, I guess it’s inevitable. We have the same profession, and the probability of seeing each other’s faces somewhere sometime in the workplace are high.
Now I have come to realize that we have something parallel: his girlfriend and my wife’s strong personalities. I used to share to him how I met a woman who have a will and personality much stronger than iron. And that these women can control the most uncontrollable personalities in the world; men who wouldn’t conform to the world; people who defines the world in different terms, and men who would rather die than to be under rule (ok, I was just exaggerating all that much). He would have told it to his schoolmates, or his other friends whom he might not have trouble approaching. But he was telling us about his girlfriend, that kind of personal stuff to us, the underdogs, and not to others. And it is because, in his own words “…this is our common ground.”
Come to think of it. I hated him and I hated him all that much and yet we’re bounded by the reality that we share a common fate being with two somewhat dominating women who, almost at will can demand submission without feeling threatened with her actions.
“Everybody deserves a second chance, including yourself” my wife used to tell me and that’s just what I did unaware. It does feel good reconciling with someone and forgiving if not completely nullifying all the transgressions. He have matured a lot, and so do I. Maturity, then I figured, must be two-way for both parties, and not just for the one perceived to have the lack of it. He have matured enough to respect his fellow despite of the latter’s ‘slower’ abilities and cognition. I have matured enough as well to get the f*ck over it and move on to a new chapter of friendship, without the hassle and discomfort of bringing up everything from the past, over and over and over again. It’s always a nice feeling burying all the guilt, hatred and animosity in exchange of peace of mind and the chance to reboot one’s self to start anew.
He’s still smart as hell and I know that he’ll undoubtedly leave a mark in the professional field someday and I admit I may not be able to match his intelligence. And I thought that with just a few more years to complete the brewing of his maturity, he’ll be a complete package professionally.
I was just kind of depressed when I used the same meter stick I used to gage him. I don’t have his intelligence on technical matters. I learn things in a longer time span not after it is read just like him. It takes longer for me to digest. But I also wanted to leave a mark on our professional field. I also wanted to be labeled as intelligent just like him. I also wanted to be looked up upon by others.
I just comforted myself by the thought that I’d carve my own unique legacy in the technical field, the arts and my family that I alone will ever achieve.
But first, I’ve got to practice and practice and practice so that I’ll be able to gain mastery and acquire excellence:
“Mahal kita yan ay alam mo na,
Wag kang mag-iisip
Na ako ay nagbago na sa’yo
Di ko magagawa
Kung nagkulang man ako,
Ako’y patawarin mo,
Mahal ko…(repeat 2 times ‘till fade)”