My Three Best Eras in 20 Years

Episode 148 – Thursday, April 20th, 2017 (7415)

3 best eras in 20 years

In the past 20 years, there were many good things happened throughout my life. These made me and my life into happiness, having freedom, and love. There were several good and some memorable moments happened within the last 20 years from 1997 to 2016, but I analyzed the years that I had where there were many best and most memorable things happened during their stretch.

I really found out that there were only three periods or eras in three different decades which were the best and the most memorable in my entire life. In late 1990s, I had my dominance and having “superpower” mostly in my school life. In mid-2000s, my life was so wonderful because of staying abroad for a year. And in 2010s decade, I had a happy and colorful love life despite of having long distance. Well, these were considered as my best eras in the past 20 years. And in this episode and because it’s throwback Thursday, I will discuss these three most memorable eras/periods in my life.

1 - Happiness

Dominance and Happiness (1997-1998)

  • Referred as the happiness (Era of Good Feelings)
  • Duration: January 1997 to May 1998
  • School that I attended: Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City (from late second grade to throughout third grade elementary)
  • Happiness: 100%
  • Bonding with my childhood neighbors (playing outside): 90%
  • Things that existed during the era: playing 90s songs, 90s TV shows, childhood toys and outdoor activities, being simple life, low prices of consumer goods and services, lesser political situation
  • Events happened in my life: the establishment of Tent & Co., beautiful school life during third grade elementary, the beginning of my love life
  • Biggest news during the era: Philippine presidential election (1998)

When I was so young, my life was so simple. There were no problems or distractions around, and I didn’t have any enemies or adversaries in school and in the community. Yeah, of course, I know that I was a young kid back then. I was not matured yet, and I used to play some toys mostly during weekends and summer vacation. When I was in third grade, I usually played basketball on the garage every afternoon (my school schedule was in the morning).

But most of all, the most important highlight in my life was the creation of my own “world” where I established my organization, Tent & Co., which was composed by my close deaf classmates, Michael and Joseph, and I was the founding leader. Yet during our third grade in our deaf school, we stayed together as classmates to make our group as dominant and considered our times as the “superpower”. We knew that we were so young during that time, but we thought that our group would last up to 7 long years with some additions of our new classmates and schoolmates as well as some of our beloved teachers.

This period was widely considered as my version of “Era of Good Feelings” because of having happiness existed in my life in a young age (as I grew up to be adolescence). However, my happiness was halted in late 1998 when an unexpected “deaf invasion” came, not only into my life, but also in my community as well. On that time, I became unhappy at home, in my community, and also in school because of having “enemies” in my life. Even my school life was affected although my grades were remained high.

2 - My Adventures in U.S.

My Adventures in the United States (2004-2005)

  • Referred as my own freedom (from the problems at home)
  • Duration: August 9, 2004 to July 3, 2005
  • School that I attended: Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in Talladega (for my senior (fourth) year high school as a foreign exchange student)
  • Happiness: 90% (due of homesickness); Freedom: 100%
  • Things that existed during the era: learning American Sign Language, watching U.S. TV shows with closed captioning, eating American food, experiencing cold weather
  • Events happened in my life: bonding with exchange students, sightseeing trip with my host parents, school trips, joining ASD Academic Bowl Team, ASD Graduation, and numerous most memorable moments that I had during that era
  • Biggest news during the era: Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, the U.S. presidential election (2004, President George W. Bush won for his second term), Tsunami tragedy, the death of Pope John Paul II

Months after passing the examination and lots of interviews, I finally became a foreign exchange student together with 40 other Filipino students from different parts of our country to study high school and to stay at the United States for almost a year. I was so lucky to become a part of this once-a-lifetime experience. And on August 9, 2004, for the first time in my entire life, I went to the U.S. together with other exchange students, not just from the Philippines, but also from the different countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, and Turkey.

I can’t tell my long and whole story about my wonderful experiences in the U.S., but there were so many wonderful and most memorable things happened during my stay. I traveled with some exchange students in Tennessee, and Georgia. In my host school, ASD, I joined Academic Bowl Team where my team won Southeast Regional Champions held in South Carolina and bagged Sportsmanship Award in the National Tournament in Washington, D.C. And most of all, I had wonderful bonding with ASD students and my host family – the Woolmakers (Lyn, Danny, and Austin) where I stayed with them for almost one year.

This was really considered as my best and most wonderful experience ever in my entire life. This made me to have my own “freedom” (referring my U.S. stay as an “exile”) and to easily forget my personal (and school) problems that I had at home. This was also the better way to not have any distractions or “enemies” around while I was in the U.S. Within 326 days, this was the longest stay that I ever had in abroad (away from home in the Philippines) due of exchange program, thanks to AFS Philippines.

However, when I came back home in July 2005, there were so many changes happened in my life. First, I had been a culture shock because of different environment, and second was my unexpected transfer from my old original deaf school, PSD, to a new school where I would have non-deaf classmates. Thus, my life and my “world” were completely changed from being a “deaf” student into an ordinary student with these non-deaf classmates and people surrounded me. Because of this shift, I became unhappy at all because of some bad situations happened to me in school such as bullying and poor school condition (despite of being a private school).

3 - LDR

Long Distance Relationship (2012-2015)

  • Referred as having a happy love life
  • Duration: June 17, 2012 (or earlier when we’re textmates) to June 25, 2015
  • Companies that I worked for: RR Donnelley (2012-2013) and World Gaming Magazine (2014-2017)
  • Happiness: 80%; Love: 95% (despite of having long distance)
  • Things that existed during the era: having my first ever (non-deaf) girlfriend, frequently texting (we exchanged text messages averaging 250 SMS/month), travel alone going to Nueva Ecija where she lived there, wonderful and romantic dates with her
  • Events happened in my life: having new jobs (twice – one in Mandaluyong, 2012, and another was in San Pedro, 2014), The Feast was introduced, meeting new friends, trip to Hong Kong, memorable Christmas parties (2012 and 2014)
  • Biggest news during the era: “End of the World” (Dec. 21, 2012), Philippine mid-term election (2013), The Feast was introduced (2013), Pope Francis visits in the Philippines (2015)

From textmates to lovers, having long distance relationship (LDR) with my first ever (non-deaf) girlfriend was the most colorful and wonderful moment that I ever had in my life. I couldn’t believe during the shiny Sunday afternoon of June 2012 when my long-time textmate answered my courtship to become my girlfriend. And this was the beginning of our LDR where we had our romantic dates, exchange gifts, celebrating our first Valentine’s, Christmas, and even monthsaries or anniversaries, and of course, we never forgot our way of communication: texting. Yeah, exchanging text messages was our only way to stay connected together because of long distance. Within three years of our LDR, we only met 15 times that I needed to travel alone going to her staying place in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, about 195 kilometers (or 120 miles) away from my hometown in Laguna thru passenger bus. And I really enjoyed my adventures for my sweet meeting with my girlfriend.

During the period, I had so many things happened that made me wonderful and happy. Aside of having colorful love life, I had received blessings when the Feast was introduced thru Kerygma Lenten Recollection. This was where I met several new friends, and eventually I became active attendee and servant (thru Media Ministry). At the time when I was jobless in late 2013, I spend my time thru the Feast, and in early 2014 I was so blessed when I again met Lyn and Austin Woolmaker, my host family who took care for me while I was in the U.S., after almost 10 years. One of the happiest moments happened in January 2014 when I found a new job in San Pedro where I worked with freedom and feeling at home. Despite of some minor distractions during the time, I remained positive and joyful because of having a wonderful and stress-free job and a long distant girlfriend who was always contacting me thru text messaging.

However, my happy love life was unexpectedly ended on June 25, 2015 when we decided to break up our long distance relationship after three long years due of complicated reasons. After the break-up, my life became dull and lonely, and the worst, there were lots of distractions and bad incidents came into my life such as the rise of AlDub (wrong timing), having love relationship to others (unfollowed from Facebook), love and financial disaster (because of evil chubby textmate), and becoming jobless (but later having a job despite of low salary).

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I really, really miss these best eras in the past 20 years which made me and my life memorable and colorful. Sadly, these are already in my “past” and only being remembered from my best memories (old photos, reading old diaries, old materials that I still keep, etc.). Hanggang throwback nalang ang mga best memories ko! (I’m crying, hahaha!) These no longer existed in my present life, thanks to the people and things that bothered my happiness, my freedom, and of course, my love life. But do you wonder why these happiness and memorable moments that I had ended with bad incidents in later time? Does my life come from the best turned into the worst?

Well, I will explain why the best things turned into the worst around my life, and why these bad things happened in unexpected time. I will discuss about this on my next episode. Have a good day!

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