10 Years of Post-Deaf World

Episode 5 – Friday, July 3rd, 2015 (6758)

Together with my fellow exchange students during our end of stay orientation in Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005, marking our final days in the United States before we're back home.

Together with my fellow colleagues as foreign exchange students during our end of stay orientation in Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005, marking our final days in the United States before we’re back home. (Photo courtesy from Tent Archives)

Time is so fast. It has been 10 years after I came back home from my wonderful experience in the United States as a part of foreign exchange program where I and other 40 high school students were luckily included to study and to stay with our own foster (host) families there for a year. I still remember when my foster family spent our final time (episode) to bond together before I left with much of sadness and memories with them. Before I and the other 40 fellow students left the United States, we had our end of stay orientation for three days. Then on July 1st 2005, our moment was come when we’re ready to go back home with much of excitement because we missed our own families so much at home even though we missed the celebration of the 4th of July (U.S. Independence Day). On July 3rd, we arrived at the airport from the warm weather in the U.S. to the very hot weather in the Philippines where we got full of sweat and tiredness from a long journey of flight.

10 years after coming back home, there were so many stories that I’ve encountered, involved, and experienced that changed my life unexpectedly. These are some notable events that I had, good or bad, in the past 10 years:

  • The shocking moment after arriving home was the transferring of my high school study from the deaf school (Philippine School for the Deaf, PSD) where I had studied for 10 long years to the non-deaf school (International Montessori School, IMS) located just near my house in walking distance. This led and changed my (school) life unexpectedly from being “deaf” (or belonged to so-called “Deaf World”) to the “normal” world, and it was the beginning of Post-Deaf School (World) Era (or Post-U.S. Era).
  • My transfer to a non-deaf school was caused controversy after violating the agreement that I must resume my high school studies as a fourth year (senior) high school student in my original school (PSD) where I had studied before applying and passing the exchange program. This argument was lasted for few days (even my former PSD teachers had been sulked me so much because they portrayed me as walang utang ng loob) before granting my move as a consideration due of my improving speech and outlook.
  • My study at IMS, however, was so dull because of the new environment that I had with my new classmates and friends who are not deaf compared my former deaf classmates that I had been with them for 10 long years. Not only that, some of my freak classmates bullied me so much (probably because of my being quiet) that caused me trouble and made anger to them. My stint at IMS during my fourth year (senior) high school was widely considered as the worst school, not only in terms of bullying from my playful and freak classmates, but also in the environment (the school had very small spaces with noisy condition), poor educational facilities (even it was a private school), and the system that were very far to compare my host school, Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD, during the exchange program) and even PSD.
  • My grades during my study at IMS were slightly declined due of my late enrolment (because I was still in the U.S. when the school opening was already started in June) but still remained to be included in the Top 5 of class. However, this led ending my “supremacy” in terms of academics that I was on the top of the whole class during my study at PSD for 10 consecutive years.
  • Problems in my family were still existed even after coming back home from my wonderful experience in the U.S. because of the pessimism of my father.
  • I started to study college at Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Santa Rosa Campus (Extension) as an Information Technology (I.T.) student. I met several new friends at PUP-Santa Rosa who made me wonderful and memorable during our four-year stint.
  • There was also the moment when I met some ladies who eventually became my crushes. Most of my former crushes in PUP-Santa Rosa became controversy because of their unlikely personalities that I seemed to hate, particularly two of my classmates named, “The” and “Chubby”. The former was living same village as where I lived, but I didn’t like her personality because of wearing her sexy clothes exposing her whitening body and almost seeing her… NEVERMIND and flirting to most boys around her trying to court. However, she had a good attitude especially to me such like teaching her homework and accompanied her going to school and vice versa. Our friendship was lasted until the controversy was occurred that almost destroyed my life because of very non-sense situation. She, together with her family as well, has been already excommunicated from my friendship and considered as my “mortal enemy”. The later was just quite cute, but her personality was so charm and talented (in drawing, as like the former). However, she was controversial because of her old man suitor which led me sulked, and my friendship with her was broken after I declared “Cold War” against her, not once, but twice even she had a boyfriend who later served in Music Ministry of Feast Biñan. That “chubby” girl is still visible because she sometimes attends the Feast together with her college classmates including… NEVERMIND.
  • In 2009, the year was the worst for me because of the controversies that I had encountered. First, my involvement to my former crush named “The”. Second, the sleepless overnight of making a database system for a major I.T. subject together with some of my classmates as a group who were not really closed to me causing some conflicts and non-sense issues that we involved. Third was my bad decision to get back my feelings to my former deaf sweetheart that we lasted only three days before I decided to break up because she’s already in the PAST! And fourth, my closeness and trust to my parents was again declined (because my parents are too old to understand what I’m doing) after involving the controversy to my former crush (this eventually led my most writings in 2009 to criticize my parents especially my pessimistic father). I felt they didn’t defend me instead they favored others rather than me as a true son of theirs that’s why even after college graduation (but before the introduction of the Feast) I was so bitter, not only to my parents, but to the family of my former crush, causing trauma (and since they have also lived in the same village where I and my family live, I really don’t want to see them around causing my very tight security every time when I go out). Eventually, my adversaries were increased during Post-Deaf School Era.
  • After graduating college in May 2010, I started my first job (unofficially) at a travel agency owned by a deaf entrepreneur in Mandaluyong. This led my life likely returned to so-called “Deaf World” because of involving some deaf friends (mostly from PSD) in the agency. However, after just only a month, I resigned from there because of some irregularities that were non-I.T. related works causing my sickness.
  • Months after being jobless, I applied my first official job at ASECAsia in Alabang, Muntinlupa as a graphic artist. During my stint in Alabang, there were full of some wonderful and some bad experiences such as unexpected overtimes, 12 hours of work in entire 7 days, some irregularities and conflicts, and of course, having beautiful crushes that most of them were proofreaders.
  • After almost two years at ASECAsia, in June 2012, I applied my second job at RR Donnelley in Mandaluyong as the same job position. However, it led my career life became miserable such as conflicts from other colleagues, unfriendly co-workers (sometimes they bullied me), boring companionship, changing of schedules, very strict quality and evaluation, and inconveniences travelling too far from my home in Laguna especially traffic jams in EDSA and standing passengers inside the bus while travel in a long journey. I stayed there for one year before I resigned for the second time around.
  • While I was jobless, I discovered the Feast (led by Bro. Bo Sanchez of Light of Jesus Family) after attending Kerygma Lenten Recollection in 2013. Right now, I’m regularly attending at the Feast (although my attendance has been hiatus for a while) and serving as a LCD operator in Media Ministry.
  • Almost 7 months of being jobless, I finally found my third job in San Pedro called World Gaming Magazine as a graphic designer creating and designing articles for a gaming (casino) magazine in Macau. This became the most convenient job for me because of less time pressure, no night shifts, barely having overtimes, and near from my home.
  • And finally, one of the biggest moment happened after my life in the U.S. was having my love life after 7 years (or 2,573 days) of absence (and breaking the curse from having deaf sweethearts in the past). My long-time textmate who accidentally contracted me a year earlier became my first (non-deaf) girlfriend in June 2012. We met only 15 times with romantic moments despite of being long distance and lasted three years (or 1,103 days) before we broke up recently last week.

Within 10 years since I came back home in July 3rd, 2005, I have experienced many stories, adventures, interaction to other people, and controversies that made my life better compared to my old life before I left for U.S. in August 2004. Although the status had been worsened in the past years, I’m really glad to make myself to be matured and self-confidence especially I’m now involved in the church and my better job. I wish, in the next 10 years, I will find to be independent from the problems and situations of the past that were already happened in the last 10 years.

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Golden State Warriors winning 2015 NBA Champions for the first time in 40 years. (Photo courtesy from abc7news.com and nba.com)

Golden State Warriors winning 2015 NBA Champions for the first time in 40 years. (Photo courtesy from abc7news.com and nba.com)

Recently last June, I watched NBA Finals between Cleveland Cavaliers (led by superstar LeBron James) and Golden State Warriors (led by league’s MVP Stephen Curry), but not on a delayed free-TV, even not on cable, but in live streaming that broadcast live directly from ABC TV network in the U.S. Even while I was working my graphic job in San Pedro (in most idle times), I started to watch the NBA games mostly thru live streaming (sometimes interrupted due of weak internet signal or whatever). I love to watch NBA especially in the Finals involving some of my favorite teams (except Heat and Spurs) playing for the championship game. I like to watch NBA Finals, where the Warriors won championship via 4-2 over the Cavs, from ABC (thru ESPN) live in the U.S. rather than broadcasting from the Philippines (even one network had used local commentary and full of annoying advertisements).

I know I really miss watching TV shows (and commercials, too) from the U.S. because I used to watch these since I was in U.S. back almost 11 years ago. I refer to watch these rather than TV shows broadcasting from my beloved country such as telenovelas (I’m so very tired to watch these), reality shows (I used to watch these before, but now I’ve never to do this anymore), and news where there are always full of negative issues especially the so dirty politics in the Philippines. And the “network war” is so existed here in terms of TV ratings and popularity of their programs and their talents, as well. Oh my gosh! I hate to watch these! With exception of watching PBA games and some very few programs, I don’t really watch TV at all even commercials where some Filipino politicians are used for them likely campaigning themselves in the next (presidential) elections in 2016. There’s nothing compare to what I’ve watched from the U.S. TV programs especially when I was in the U.S.

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