Episode 27 – Monday, October 26th, 2015 (6873)
In the continuation of the Best and the Worst series in the past 10 years since my “world” has been changed from being “deaf” into a new one, I want to share you right now about the best (and colorful) happenings in the past 10 years (2005-2015) in my life since I came back home from my greatest and happiest experience in the United States (as a foreign exchange student) and right after transferring from a deaf school to a non-deaf school causing the beginning of the Post-Deaf World (School) Era in July 2005.
Last episode (see Episode 26), I was discussing the worst (and darkest) incidents, but right now I converted the series into the positive part – the Best:
- Getting crushes at the workplace (Feb. 2011-Feb. 2012)
While I was working for my first-ever job as a graphic artist in ASECAsia, Inc. in Alabang, Muntinlupa, I had attracted some of pretty ladies who were my officemates in most of the projects that I had worked. Most of them were proofreaders who checked the spelling and the specifications required from the graphic artists, including me, of course. However, because of their good character, charm and understanding when they checked our works, some of them became eventually my crushes aside of their beauty.
When I was in SuperMedia, I had a crush on one of my proofreaders who was so beautiful. But, I didn’t know that she’s the cousin of my former college classmate who was also my group mate in a project in 2009. I had some feelings on her, but I regretted because of her blood relationship to that “boyish” classmate in my college days. Meanwhile, I had also a crush on another proofreader, but we met only a short time after she already filed her resignation. I had some proofreaders whom I admired, but one newbie came in the workplace to become one of the proofreaders in SuperMedia. I just called her name, “L”. Although she was too slim and shy, she was just pretty as well that’s why I had a crush on her after I found out that she’s my “batch mate” because she also graduated (as an Entrepreneurial Management student) in 2010 at PUP – Santa Rosa where I graduated in the same year. Eventually, I followed her on Dex One after one of the projects in SuperMedia was disbanded although we rarely interacted each other because of our differ schedules. She became my crush in our workplace most of our times in Dex One until I decided to give up my feelings on her after I found out that she’s not the one searching for the next girlfriend.
Aside of having a crush on “L”, I had also crushes, mostly proofreaders, in Dex One. However, there was a sort of controversy that involved my love life because of “playing” me from my work colleagues where they forced me to have a crush on a matured woman working on our workplace (I eventually expressed my anger on Facebook after they did to me). But, nevertheless, I had my respect to the proofreader ladies including the one whom I talked her about the past issue to have my apology on my final working day (sadly, she was passed away in late 2013).
These memories were so sweet during my first working stint at ASECAsia where I attracted on some pretty proofreaders.
- PUP-Santa Rosa trip to Enchanted Kingdom (Dec. 14, 2007)
The year 2007 was so great and memorable during my college life where most of the wonderful memories happened with my classmates in I.T. course during our sophomore year (although there were some times in conflict such as “Cold War” to my “chubby” classmate). But, one of the most memorable moments that I had in college was the campus trip to Enchanted Kingdom, located in my hometown in Laguna.
On a bright day of December 14, 2007, most of the faculty teachers, staffs, and students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) – Santa Rosa Campus gathered to take the exciting rides at Enchanted Kingdom. This was the only time when the school had a wonderful campus trip (although we travelled only within the City of Santa Rosa), and I really appreciated it together with my close and funny classmates like Hector Leo Miscala, Benjamin Rivo, Jr., Bernard Bainto, Aldrin Alulod, and some others.
- Accompanied with my beautiful college classmate (Jul. 2008-Mar. 2009)
When I was in junior (third) year in college as an I.T. student, one of my beautiful college classmates wanted me to accompany especially going home after our class. I just called her name, “M”, whom I had not been close on her during our two years as classmates. I rarely accompanied her especially the times when we’re with some of our classmates commuting to go home from the campus. But not until our third year, I had no idea that she would be my most accompanied classmate.
During the time when we had to go home after attending our evening class, “M” wanted me to escort her going home (not directly straight thru her house because she’s further than mine from PUP-Sta. Rosa Campus) because she had no companion to accompany, but at first, I refused to escort her because I felt I preferred to accompany most male classmates (or most of the times, I just went home alone). However, as the world turns, on the next following day right after our afternoon class, I started to escort her going home from the campus. And the rest was history.
From July 2008 until March 2009, I had escorted her going home after classes that we attended at every end of the day, and even I spotted her riding on a jeep from the waiting shed outside Golden City and rode with her going to the campus to attend our class. At the end of our third (junior) year, she had the most number of times that I accompanied with 66 (including 53 times that we accompanied going home). In the next school year (our senior/fourth/final year in college), however, we rarely accompanied riding or commuting in a public transportation due of our busy works in making software systems with our own groups, and even in second semester, we couldn’t make to accompany together because of some issues (most especially on mine). But yet, we had our good memories each other as being classmates and companion from our good memories during our college times.
- Searching Rizal Monuments and Statues (Dec. 16 and 21, 2009)
Because of our year-end assignment on our Rizal subject, I and my classmates in I.T. were required to take the pictures of the monuments and statues of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. On the morning of December 16, 2009, I joined with most of my close classmates to explore and to search Rizal monuments and statues around Laguna and in Carmona, Cavite (they first explored at Intramuros and Rizal Park in Manila where I didn’t join with them days earlier). We explored first at downtown San Pedro, Carmona, Biñan, Calamba, the birthplace of Rizal where there are plenty of Rizal statues around including his historical house, Cabuyao, and finally in downtown Santa Rosa where we arrived at the early evening after the whole day of explore.
Five days later, my most trusted and closed friend (and former I.T. classmate), Anna Soria, joined me to explore the same way as I did with my I.T. classmates (as she had also Rizal subject on her Entrepreneurial Management course). Unlike the previous time that I joined with many of my classmates, she was only my companion to commute (riding in a public jeep unlike my previous companion with most of my classmates renting a passenger jeep) and to explore most of the places where monuments and statues of Rizal are stood.
After exploring Rizal’s statues and monuments, we printed our pictures with Rizal (at Aldrin Alulod’s printing place) that we submitted to our own project to our professor on the next following year (2010).
- PUP-Santa Rosa Graduation Day (May 6, 2010)
After four years, the students of PUP – Santa Rosa Campus finally graduated from college. And I was the one to be achieved.
I and my classmates from I.T. course, as well as other students from other courses, finished our academic studies and our college lives from being studious hard, spending overnights with our group mates, and sleepless nights to analyze the programming. But the most memorable moment that I had during my life in college was the companionship with my classmates who have been my long-time friends since the very first day way back in June 2006. Some of us became close; some had past conflicts, and some had become lovers during the period of our college lives with some cherish, funny, and shocking moments that we had.
On the graduation day, I was accompanied with my mother and my elder brother who was fresh from his job stint in Saudi Arabia to watch my achievement to finish college (in which I was the last of my other elder siblings who had already finished their college). This was the most memorable in my life to achieve my goal to graduate college as the conclusion of my school life where I started as a “deaf” student way back in 1994.
- Working my first “real” job with some happiest moments (Oct. 2010-Feb. 2011)
Right after graduating from college, I had a hard time to seek the right job where I could apply my ability from what I had learned from college as an I.T. student (not mentioning my short-lived stint at a travel agency owned by a deaf entrepreneur where I worked for not I.T.-related jobs). Like most fresh graduates, I was jobless for three months and remained searching to apply the most companies that offered I.T.-related jobs – programmers, software developers, web, database, graphic designers, and more. Some of my former college classmates had already their first jobs, but while other classmates… well, they were still looking for their right opportunity. I tried to apply most I.T.-related companies in further places like Makati, Ortigas, Taguig (Bonifacio Global City), and even as far as Quezon City, but not until I found my right job opportunity in Alabang where some of my former college classmates and friends were also working.
In early October 2010, I applied at ASECAsia in Alabang, Muntinlupa as a graphic artist, and I was entertained as a walk-in applicant to take written and actual exam. Fortunately, I had some knowledge to draw on a Photoshop item (although I had no idea about Illustrator until I learned this from the trainers of the company), so that I passed on both exam, and I was ready to have my first-time job after college graduation.
After accepting from the company, I was placed in the night shift together with other potential applicants who later became my new friends. I was trained to learn, not only Photoshop where I learned it from college, but also in Illustrator, InDesign, and using a Macintosh computer that I had never used in my whole life before. After two months of training, right before Christmas 2010, I was so happy when the company finally accepted me to become a regular employee (not full-time because I was placed into one-year probation based on my job performance). When I started to work at ASECAsia, I was belonged at SuperMedia led by my team leader, Sir Abet Sta. Maria (I really want to thank him for his best job), and I met my work colleagues (including some of my former classmates and friends from PUP-Sta. Rosa) who eventually became my close friends. We had our wonderful memories from bonding each other and working as one team.
As my first “real” job, I remained there for almost two years even though I was transferred from one project to another (Web.com was my project to work before I left) with some dissatisfied moments until such a time that I wanted to look for a better job (I resigned from Alabang to move at RR Donnelley in May 2012). But nevertheless, I want to thank ASECAsia (now AGR Operations Manila) to make me knowledgeable for creating graphic and artistic style that I later applied in other companies that I have worked.
- Serving at Kerygma Lenten Collection 2015 (Apr. 4, 2015)
For my third time since 2013, I attended Kerygma Lenten Collection last April 2-4, 2015. I completed the 3-day Holy Week series (entitled: “Lost”) starting from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday with many of the special guests featured to share and to inspire. On the final day of the Lenten Collection, I was in honor to service as a LCD operator in Media Ministry, and this was my second time to serve this big event after 2014. On that Black Saturday afternoon (the first time to be held in afternoon time), I was so lucky to be there, as a media servant, when Bro. Bo Sanchez was present to speak his words from God. This was my first time to serve where he was at the stage. Also, the Kerygma 5 – Alvin Barcelona, Arun Gogna, Jon Escoto, Obet Cabrillas and Adrian Panganiban and MICA – Mylene, Irene, Celina and Almira were also the special guests on the event. As we know, MICA, formerly known as Cerdado/Gollayan Sisters, had been performing during the Collection since I first attended in 2013 as their stunning voices were so amazing.
- Hong Kong trip (Oct. 11-14, 2014)
I joined with my friends from a financial school in Makati to go to Hong Kong to attend the worldwide convention. This was my first time to go out of country since my wonderful experience in the United States in 2004-2005 as an exchange student.
On Saturday afternoon of October 11, 2014, I and my friends from the financial institution had our flights from Manila airport to Hong Kong (take note: this was my second time to land at Hong Kong airport since 2004, the time when I left home country to go to U.S.). We arrived at the evening and rode on a double-deck bus going to our destination to stay there for three days and three nights. On the next day, we went to Hong Kong Disneyland where the convention was held (it was the first time for a Filipino company to be held at this place) to learn some financial aspects. After the whole-day convention, we rode a public mass transit (train) going back to our staying place.
On Monday, October 13th, we had our bonding time to explore around Hong Kong for the final day of our trip. We rode a subway train going to Lantau Island to visit Tian Tan Buddha (Giant Buddha) statue on the top of a hill. After that, we went to downtown Hong Kong to explore Avenue of Stars where the handprints of Chinese personalities and celebrities (such as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee) are located along the Victoria Harbour. By then, we watched a small stage performed by a group of local Chinese musicians. At night, we watched with crowded people and tourists at the skyscrapers (on Hong Kong Island) for the light and sound show called A Symphony of Lights. And finally, we couldn’t have missed without buying souvenir items and pasalubongs at the street markets of Mong Kok area like T-shirts printing “I Heart Hong Kong”, some garments, keychains, and magnets.
On the next morning, we left Hong Kong to go back home after three days of learning, bonding, and fun experience.
- Attending The Feast for the First Time (Mar. 29-31, 2013)
On Holy Week of 2013, I supposed to have a summer vacation with some of my former college classmates when they cancelled the trip because of work schedule conflicts (some of them had to report their working day on the three-day holiday). But one of my former college classmates called to invite me for something that would change the way of my life.
On Good Friday, March 29, 2013, I and some of my former college classmates like “royalprince” went to Paseo de Santa Rosa to attend Kerygma Lenten Recollection at the 8th floor of Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center. This was my first time to attend the event to ease my boredom at home while it was Holy Week holiday. Although I missed the first day (which was Maundy Thursday), I enjoyed the event thru meeting new people who later became my friends. On the next day, I and some of my former college classmates attended the final day of Recollection, and after we met the people from the Feast who eventually became our new friends (particularly to Nikki, Yani, Earl, and others) when we had our “first” Connect (Care) Group at Paseo. On Easter Sunday, we went to SM Convention Center in Pasay City to attend the Grand Easter Feast for the first time (in my life) where Bro. Bo Sanchez was the main guest to speak out from the Lord.
I had a nice experience to get closer to the Lord again after the Recollection. But I had no idea about The Feast for months after the event until late July. Around July 2013, a month after I became jobless, I decided to attend a session of The Feast in Central Mall Biñan for the first time. And from now on, I have regularly attend The Feast (led by Bro. Dreus Cosio and Bro. Jon Escoto) on Saturdays (and later moved on Sunday mornings at SM City Santa Rosa), and not only that, I eventually became a servant of Media Ministry where I operate the LCD flashing the song lyrics and PowerPoint presentations. I’ve been so blessed to be the part of The Feast and meet new friends as well.
- My Long Distance Courtship to My Long-Time Textmate to Become My First-Ever Girlfriend (Jun. 17, 2012)
This was the most unexpected and unforgettable event in my life when I had a first ever girlfriend after 7 long years of love drought and ending the “curse” of deaf sweethearts. My first and long-time textmate from the North answered my “long distance” courtship on Sunday afternoon of June 17, 2012 signing the beginning of our long distance relationship. Although we had never met since the first day when we interacted thru text messages by the “accident” (as she sent a text message to a wrong receiver), we started our love, and within few days, I went to Nueva Ecija, where she studied college there, to finally meet her personally.
This made me so happy because it had been 7 long years before I got the first one – first as a non-deaf lady. It also broke the “curse” from the old deaf sweethearts that I had while I was in a deaf school (or “Deaf World”) for 11 long years (Philippine School for the Deaf, the deaf school where I started to study in 1994 and Alabama School for the Deaf, as my host school while I was a foreign exchange student in United States). And because of 7 years that I had failed to have a girlfriend for a long time since I was moved to “Post-Deaf School” Era, I succeeded my courtship to my long-time textmate rather than some girls (especially in my workplace) nearby.
My long distance relationship with my girlfriend lasted for three years with a lot of sweet, memorable and romantic memories despite of our meeting only 15 times until the time that we needed to let go ourselves last June 25, 2015.
Special Mention: The Reunion with My Host Family after Almost 10 Years (Jan. 9, 2014)
The Woolmakers were my host family when I was in the United States as a foreign exchange student way back in 2004-2005. My final meeting with them was on June 28, 2005 – my final day in Alabama before getting back home ending the exchange program. However, after almost 10 years, they’re back in my life, and this time they visited their home country – the Philippines.
Within the new start of the year 2014 (and while I had been still jobless), I was surprised when my host mother, Lyn Woolmaker, told me that she and her only (non-deaf) son, Austin, planned to visit the Philippines, the birth and home country of Lyn. My host father, Danny, couldn’t make to join with them due of his busy working schedule in his school at Georgia School for the Deaf (GSD), so that Lyn and Austin made their trip to visit my beloved country that Lyn missed so much. And on January 9th, 2014, the moment was come as I met them for the first time for almost 10 years (or 8 ½ years to be exact).
When I first met Lyn and Austin inside a mall in Alabang, we, together with Lyn’s deaf friends, shared a lot of stories especially in the past 8 years that I had experienced at home country after my companionship with them and Danny in the U.S. Of course, I really missed them bonding together as one “family”, and I really loved them so much because they were considered as my second “family” when I was in the U.S. back in 2004-2005. This moment was so blessed for me to meet them again after years that we missed.