The year 2014 has been challenging for me—not really in a harsh way, but in a sense that it helped me grow as an individual.
I know you don’t really care (hahaha), but here are eight of the most significant things, events and whatnots of the year that was.
~ Three new organizations
Some of my friends have told me that I am a bibbo kid, which I do not deny (although I believe the observation has something to do with the fact that I look like a teacher’s pet). This year, I have been inducted as member of three student organizations, leading up to four overall (the first one, I was inducted in 2013).
I have always been proud of my organizations because (1) I believe that being part of an org teaches you to handle responsibilities, and (2) it is an open secret that orgs in UP have difficult application process. So far, I have managed to balance academics and org life. And because friends are harder to find in a classroom setting, my orgmates have become my companions in UP.
~ DZUP Radio Circle
My first organization in UP always deserves a special mention, because among all families that I have in UP, DZUP Radio Circle (RC) is where I have spent the longest time. In 2014, RC trusted me enough to let me co-head the second and third installment of Elevate, the organization’s flagship campus journalism seminar. It was also in 2014 when I was promoted to junior executive producer of Samahang Bidang Bida, a student talk program that airs every Wednesday at DZUP 1602, an AM radio station in Mega Manila. I also had a brief hosting stint last summer, and currently, I’m still the program’s head writer. Together with my team, I’ve written 50 scripts for the last year, and that makes me proud of my consistency.
~ My 2.25 in Philo 1 and Geol 1
I got a grade of 2.25 in both Philo 1 and Geol 1 in 2014. Those are my lowest grades so far, and I think those grades are a major turn on how I view my academics. It’s not what you think; I did not suddenly turn into a studious child. Instead, it made me less grade-conscious and just made me enjoy the learning experience. I know it’s insane because a grade of dos is not that low, but it stopped me from aiming to get a very high grade that it undermined the true nature of education, which is beyond grades.
~ Being a student of Ma’am Joanne Manzano
I never thought that I would meet a professor that would legitimately inspire me and change my perspectives in life. Many of the professors I’ve had were “life-changing” in a way or another, but Ma’am Manzano is different. She’s the best storyteller I’ve ever met. I only expected a Fil 40 “Wika, Kultura and Lipunan” class in the most traditional and literal approach, but she taught us so much more. She told stories of the plights of the Filipino masses and made me understand their situation in a deeper level. And just that—the growing sense of awareness—is enough to make me realize that the purpose of education is to be part of the fight for social justice.
~ My first production class in Maskom
I have always been so sure that the media industry is where I wanted to be, no matter how people say that the industry doesn’t pay that much. So I truly enjoyed my first ever production class (in radio); I was able to experience a lot of things for the very first time.
For example, it was my first time to ride an MRT in a rush hour (because I lived in the province all my life and I now reside in a place where I do not need to take an MRT), and the reason was to interview Mr. Rey Langit at exactly 8 AM at the station of DWIZ in Pasig (which by the way is the first time I’ve been in Pasig ever). This and many other production experiences were exhausting, but I feel enthusiastic every time. It’s fulfilling to do something you have never done before, and accomplish it no matter how impossible it may seem. It makes me hopeful of all the things I am capable of, and just the idea alone makes me excited of what life has to offer.
Special mention to my BC 102 classmates, which is the best set of classmates I’ve ever had in UP. My BC 102 professor, Ma’am Mel, also made my first semester as a sophomore as thrilling as it could possibly be. She’s very strict and scary at times, but it is such a rewarding thought to know in yourself that when the semester ended, you really learned a lot. And she did a hell of a great job teaching us.
~ Close friends
I’ve attended three debut parties this year, which is already an achievement for me because social gatherings suffocate me. And these parties I’ve attended were with my close friends. Also, when I go home every day from school, I have someone to constantly accompany me. There were also days when my friends and I would just hang out in the bowling center, or in any fast food. Bottom line is I am just so happy that I’ve tightened my friendships with people who were just caricatures to me a year before. Hopefully, I’ll meet more interesting people and be close friends with them this 2015.
~ Coming out
I still feel a little hesitant when I post something about this online. It’s like I have given people a concrete evidence of a crime that I have committed. Except that it isn’t a crime, and so I don’t give a damn. The year 2014 is extraordinary for a million reasons, but the fact that I’ve been able to tell my mom that I’m gay and that she wholeheartedly accepted that meant the world to me. Of course, it still feels awkward at times—the false feeling that you always have to justify to people who see things as black and white what you want and if you really want it.
But I do. And there’s no turning back.
~ Eighteenth birthday
Most importantly, 2014 is the year when I became of legal age. I’m still dependent, I know, but being 18 rings a bell—that I have to grow up and be more responsible for the choices I am making.
The year 2014 was a game-changer, and now I am more pumped up for the things that are yet to come for 2015. Hopefully, it only gets better.