Episode 133 – Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 (7359)
Staying away from home overnight is one of the challenges that I have in my whole life. I don’t feel comfortable to sleep on other bed rather than sleeping on my own bed at home. And I eat dinner either taking out from a fastfood/restaurant or cooked by other family friend which seemed that I miss the dinner cooked by my mother at home. But I feel better when I stay away from home overnight especially when I’m alone in a room without any distractions or interruptions from my family.
Last January, I and my officemates traveled to Baguio for our adventure trip where we stayed there overnight which was my first time after almost two years and also my first time with them in my current job. And this coming weekend, I will join with other friends from Singles Ministry of Feast SM Santa Rosa for Love Life Retreat which will be an overnight event for two days. This will be my first time to stay overnight with them from Feast since 2014 and my first time involving a ministry (Singles). Thus, I’ll have a total of four overnights within 2017 (and Post-LDR) where I’m not staying at home for the whole night – two of those were at the office, one in Baguio with my officemates, and one will be at Tagaytay with Singles.
But before the exciting and socializing event this weekend, I just want to share my past experiences about overnight stay – sleeping in other places rather than home. (Note: my stay at the dorm of Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) during school days and staying with my foster family at their home during the course of being exchange student (2004-2005) are not counted and not technically considered as overnight stays. Also I didn’t include my working schedule during night shift/graveyard shifts when I had job in Alabang and Mandaluyong mostly from 2010 until 2013.)
My First Overnights (Deaf School Era)
My first ever overnight (staying away from home) was happened as early as 2001 when I was in first year high school at Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD). During that time, I joined Boy Scouts as one of the extra-curricular activities in school, and there was an overnight camping that happened inside the school. For the first time in my school life, on October 5-6, 2001, I stayed there with other Boy Scout members overnight for the camping. Since then, as a member of PSD Boy Scouts, I usually joined their camping activities, not only inside the school where I did for three years, but also in other places outside like our trip to Candelaria, Zambales in February 2002 where we stayed there for 3 days/2 nights, an elementary school in Pasay in September 2002, and Baden-Powell Boy Scouts Camping in La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City in February 2003 where we stayed there for 4 days/3 nights.
In 2004, after passing my application to become foreign exchange student, I was included with 40 other high school students from different schools in our country to attend our orientation. We stayed in a hostel inside University of the Philippines campus in Quezon City for 5 days in July and then at a rest house somewhere in the same city on August, days before taking our flight going to the United States. I had a companion who was a Muslim high school student from Mindanao, and we shared into one room during our orientation. This was my first time to have overnight stay with a companion who is non-deaf. When we’re there on August 9, 2004, we also had overnight stay at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where we attended the pre-arrival orientation for 5 days/4 nights before meeting with our respective foster families.
During the course of the exchange program, I had overnight stays with fellow exchange students from other countries when we traveled and stayed at Tennessee for 4 days/3 nights in October 2004. On February 2005, I and my ASD Academic Bowl Team stayed overnight with our coaches and supporters in a hotel in Spartanburg, South Carolina for competing the Regional Academic Bowl Tournament where we won the regional champions. And as our ticket going to Washington, D.C. to compete for the National Academic Bowl Tournament on April 2005, we also stayed there overnight for 5 days/4 nights during the course of the tournament at Gallaudet University.
When I was in the U.S., I also attended the mid-year orientation in Montgomery, Alabama with other exchange students who lived in that state. We stayed there overnight where I accompanied with some of them from other countries (my first time to stay with companions who had their different nationalities). And on June 2005, before departing to go back home, I and other exchange students had to attend our post-arrival orientation where we stayed in 4-H Conference Center in Washington, D.C. for 4 days/3 nights. When we arrived back home on July 3, 2005, we attended our final orientation in a rest house in Quezon City for 4 days/3 nights before we finally met our own families at home.
Post-Deaf School Era (2005-2010)
When my life was shifted from so-called “Deaf World” to “Non-Deaf (Normal) World”, I had never thought that staying overnight away from home would never be the same again from the past, but it’s still there in my “new” life.
In October 2006, when I was in first year college (freshmen), I joined with my college classmates to have overnight swimming at Pansol, Calamba. This was our award, using our budget from winning the first place in a speech choir at school two months earlier. That was the only time that I joined with them bonding in swimming pool during our college life (I didn’t join their overnight swimming from 2007 to 2009 for some reasons). Exactly four years later in 2010, months after our college graduation, I and my former classmates, whom some of them had already their stable jobs, had our reunion thru overnight swimming at a resort in Santa Rosa, Laguna. That was my most recent time to have bonding with my former college classmates in an overnight swimming (probably it might be my final time, I guess).
In 2008, these were the times where I and some of them had our overnights to work for our important school projects. My first ever overnight stay with my college classmates was happened on March 13-14, 2008 when we stayed overnight at the house of one of our classmates named Hector in Santa Rosa to finish our group project. When we’re in our third year, we didn’t make to go home from school after we failed to finish our website project, so we ended up to have unexpected overnight stay at Hector’s house (on the next morning, I went back home first before attending my class at school). During the course of first semester, we already had 5 overnights in three different houses of our group mates (not included their overnight stay at my home).
During most of 2009, I and my group mates had stayed overnights several times in our different homes to discuss, to create, and to finish our software development project where we worked for almost one year as for our major I.T. project in school. These were the times where I was so bored because of my group mates who discussed their different issues in life, so that I didn’t relate with them and was out of place (O.P.). These were also my worst moments in my college life because I was stuck with them in a bored and unhappy environment for almost one year. My boredom with them finally ended on October 10, 2009 after we passed the final defense for our major subject.
Before graduating college, I and my college classmates had overnight stays to make for our group projects. In mid-October 2009, we filmed our movie project where we portrayed our own story that we would submit to our teacher, so that we made this overnight to finish before the deadline. And on March 24-25, 2010, we had our retreat in San Gaspar Monastery, Carmona, Cavite where we stayed there overnight to do our fun activities in that area.
Post-College/Working Career Era (Since 2010)
After my college graduation, I had an option whether I worked far from home or just commuting for a long travel time after I had my first job where I worked with a deaf entrepreneur as my boss. She worked for a travel agency in Mandaluyong where she guided deaf visitors to explore around the Philippines. Because Mandaluyong is far from my home in Santa Rosa about 42 kilometers (26 miles), she recommended me to stay at her office overnight during my working days (staying there four nights right after my working hours) to avoid inconvenience from my travel time and cost for commuting from my home in Laguna going to work (and vice versa) every day. During most of June 2010, I started to have my overnight stay there and take to go home during weekends. Unfortunately, my (unofficial) job stint at deaf travel agency didn’t last long. I was not comfortable with working environment because of non-related tasks (things that I didn’t learn from my I.T. course e.g. computers), so I stayed there less than a month before becoming jobless for quite time. Her office was considered for a short time as my “exile country” during my working days. (Note: I didn’t include my overnight stays at her workplace in Mandaluyong on my count for 2010 (see below) due of consideration from my deaf boss to stay during working week rather than commuting in a far place from home every day.)
Right after an overnight swimming with my former college classmates and friends in October 2010, I had never had any overnight stays away from home (not counting that I worked night shifts at the office). But until May 2012, I had another overnight swimming this time with some of my colleagues from my work in Alabang. That occasion was my farewell party after submitting my resignation to leave my old work in Alabang and to move for my new job in Mandaluyong. This was my final time to have overnight swimming with friends.
A month later, when I got a new girlfriend from a long distance, I was planning to meet her in her place far from my hometown in Laguna. I took a risk to go there thru solo travel, and it was my first time to travel alone in a far place from Laguna. When I reached Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija on a night of June 22, 2012, luckily I found an affordable stay-in on the highway. And I stayed there overnight to have a sleep alone and away from my family at home for the first time. This was a night before my first ever meeting with my new girlfriend on that place. And the rest was history when I went there 15 times (18 overnight stays overall) for our romantic dates within three long years. The last time happened was June 13, 2015, few days before our unexpected break-up. I really, really miss these moments that I will never do the same again. That’s so sad.
In January 2014, I had an overnight stay with two of my friends from Feast Biñan and HOT Team of a travel business agency (one of them were my former college classmate). We stayed our friend’s house in Antipolo after attending our seminar in that place. Almost two months later, we also stayed in a hotel in Tagaytay together with our friends from the Feast and HOT Team. My former college classmate and friend used a discount as a member of our club to stay there with his family overnight in that place. When he moved to a financial school with me, on July 2014, we stayed overnight in a luxury hotel in Pasay City with our team to attend a gala night and a financial seminar on the next day. And three months later, we went to Hong Kong to attend financial seminar at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel with other teams from other countries. This was my first time to go abroad after my adventures in the U.S. back in 2004. We stayed there for three nights and three days to explore and to have sightseeing around the place.
— 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 —
Staying away from home overnight might or might not make me comfortable where I sleep different bed rather than my own bed at home. But I might feel and comfort my own personal “freedom” because there are no distractions and “noisy” environment which are present at home. For me, it’s better to be alone staying overnight rather than with companion to avoid some distractions whenever we sleep on one room or even within one bed. I had experienced this when I had stayed overnight in Nueva Ecija, and I really enjoyed it because I felt to be independent from home. I really miss that thing because it might never happen again (but probably in the future).
This coming weekend, I will join with other Singles (and pretend to be “single”) to have our retreat in Tagaytay. We’re praying for this event to be great and having fun bonding with them. I’ll discuss about my participation in Singles’ Love Life Retreat on the future episodes on my blog.