High School High

My Tune: The Bitch of Living (from the musical Spring Awakening)
audio link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=reqSQy_69m0


Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that I’m drastically becoming one of those people who are desperately holding on to their youth. I know that the flower-crowned optimists of this world say that age is just a number and that one can stay forever young if he pleases to, and all those other metaphors and euphemisms they use these days to cover up ugly truths, but I feel like a realist today. And today, what’s real tells me that I am an unemployed twenty-year old artist with a lackluster social life somewhere in the jungle-like Western civilization. And I just can’t help but think to myself, “Dang, boi! Where did all the years go?”

Here’s the thing about me: I am lethargic. I am lazy. Bed-ridden. I mean generally speaking, I barely even walk for more than a total of 90 seconds per day, and I don’t really consider sweating a prerequisite to my well-being. The most active thing I do is take a shower twice a day, but that’s about it. I might as well dub myself “The World’s Youngest Retiree Ever”. But here’s the catch: I wasn’t like this before. Not at all. I was one of the most energetic, most party-fueled, adventure-filled, life-loving people I know. Now I’m sitting here just wondering what happened to the livelier version of myself; the one who always found excitement in the littlest things, the one who would not allow a day to pass without trying something new. You know, the one back in high school.

High school. Here we go again. I’ve written several things about this already, but if I actually wrote each time I start to miss high school, even if it’s just always momentary, then at least half of this blogsite would be about nothing else other than high school. But here I am right now. And besides the fact that I haven’t set foot on the grounds of my high school for three years now, what brought me here?

An hour ago, I was re-watching an episode of 90210, and it’s the one where the West Beverly Hills High produces a performance of one of the most notable plays in history, “Spring Awakening”. It is the work of German dramatist Frank Wedekind written sometime between autumn 1890 and spring 1891. And it is one of my favorite plays of all time. It definitely is the real High School Musical.

One of the songs in Spring Awakening has always stood out to me, and that is the song “The Bitch of Living”. If you also love this song, or if you are not familiar with the play and are curious, then go click the audio link I so kindly provided for you at the very top of this write-up. There’s just something about this song that makes me vividly remember how it felt like to be in high school. All of those events and stage plays held in our university gymnasium, amphitheater and football field always top my memory list. I mean, jesus, I’m having goosebumps just thinking about the moments I had there, with my friends, with their hearts, and with all our innocence.

When I think of the past, I think of high school. This is a choice I make because high school, despite the bumps and grinds, was the best time of my life so far. Hold on, I know what you could be thinking right now. “My gosh, what a shallow little stuck-up human being you are, Kenn! High school was the best time of your life? Ugh, that’s just sad and pathetic. You were probably popular, had lots of friends, had a cinematic lovelife and didn’t have social anxiety that’s why you love high school! Fuck y–” But I’m stopping you right there. “The best” is something relative. And right now, I am at that point in my life where I appreciate the past because it’s the only thing I am sure about. And I am so sure about high school…


I am sure that none of those sleepless nights trying to figure out Algebra was a waste, because we weren’t really dealing with those x’s and y’s and binomials anyway. We were up, yes, but we were dreaming. I’m sure we were. We were dreaming of ways to eat our lunch the next day and the ways to get our crush’s number without looking like a retard. And I’m sure that sometimes we all did look like retards, but none of that entirely mattered. Because we had so much energy in us that humiliation and consequences were but fractions of motivation that only kept us going.


I am sure that those hallways weren’t just hallways; they were our very own world stage. Those hallways had seen so much of us – from the casual chit chats and last-minute note-scanning to the cutest holding-hands sessions and the overwhelming battles of forbidden love. Secrets were blurted out, love was confessed, friendship was made, friendship was broken, all in those hallways.


I am sure our dusty classrooms during our last year in high school weren’t just classrooms, either. Underneath the drama and some inevitable social discord, those rooms had been an echo chamber of a complex yet blissful familial dysfunction. Those rooms were our homes away from home. And I’m sure we all learned at least a thing or two about teenage hormones in there.

I am sure that those first times were going to be worthwhile. That first drop of beer and vodka was merely the beginning of a journey. That night we decided we wanted to try smoking, that night we got drunk for the first time, that same night we saw ourselves not just as students but as people. All those mini fights, mini flirting, mini kisses, mini heartbreaks and mini nights-out made room for memories that were gonna be larger than life.


I am sure that puberty, sexuality, poverty, love, rape, abortion, religion, gender, suicide and child abuse were all subjects very fresh to us. Most of us were just getting to know life through a peephole, and we were stoked! We were nervous, yes, but we were ready for anything life was gonna throw at us. We knew at the back of our minds that that was the time to learn, bit by bit, and then all at once.


I am sure that everybody had a blast during that on-campus camping when we were in junior year. I’m sure that the air that night was rather intimate, but not necessarily in a sexual way. It was intimate in that it brought people who were already close even closer, and that it smelled something like a quarterback’s sweaty bedroom. I’m sure that that bonfire lit up something inside each of us, even though we weren’t conscious of it right when it happened. But it was there, happening. I’m sure that every single one of us who looked straight into that tall fleeting fire felt this underlying gratitude for being alive. We were just so full of life and hope. I’m sure that the tents we slept in, the grass we walked on and the friends we laughed with were gonna be there for the long run. We knew nothing was permanent, but we also knew that that night was gonna last for a long time. In fact, so long of a time it still lives in us today.

I am sure that one afternoon in the gymnasium was a fateful one. I was rehearsing with my co-emcee for the Sportsfest Opening, and you were standing by the gate carrying your sports gear. And you weren’t exactly looking at me the whole time, but I would stare at you every chance I got, and I saw the 4-PM sun light the left part of your body and the wind blow your perfectly straight hair just enough so that a small portion of your right eye was covered, and then revealed, and then covered again, and then revealed again, and I thought you were just beautiful – just you standing there from a close distance, looking like someone I was going to spend the rest of my life with. And of course, neither of us intensely believed that. We both knew it was all on the surface, but we didn’t care. It just felt nice. And that’s all that we could hope for that day; to feel something nice.


In a world where everything seems so ephemeral, it is a gift to be able to keep great memories close to your heart. We are almost at that point already, my dear high school batchmates. We’re in this for the long haul. We were gossiping about crushes back then, but soon enough life slaps us in the face with jobs we don’t enjoy, bosses we hate, financial crisis we can’t escape, menacing strangers and some pretty devastating bad hair days. I mean, it is the bitch of living. We will eventually lose that youthful energy we always used to own, and we will someday feel like sleeping for a decade. But I think that if we just hold on to those moments from yesterday – those minutes and hours when all we cared about was feeling something simple and nice, those nights when we were living just for the hell of it, times when we were counting clouds and not assets, months when we didn’t have to worry about rent, or how much we had in our bank, days when it didn’t matter how badly we sucked at something because we would always just laugh at it – then we can absolutely feel nice forever.

I was losing all of my energy. But I just suddenly remembered, “I was a fucking teenager with all those fucking bad-ass moves and trips”. And I still am. I will forever be.


What Wolves Really Are

My Tune: Pink Panther

This is dedicated to the seniors of batch ’10 of UNO-R HS…

Are you afraid of the big bad wolf? If so, you are not alone. Many people think that wolves are mean, evil creatures. Some people think wolves like to eat humans, just like in the story “Little Red Riding Hood”. In real life, however, wolves are very different from the animals in the stories we’ve heard.

Wolves are not the creatures that are described in fairy tales. They are not mean, bloodthirsty killers and they do not eat people. Instead, wolves are intelligent and gentle animals. They are important and valuable members of the wilderness.

The members of the wolf family are very close friends. They play together and nuzzle each other. The older wolves help raise the young. They act as babysitters, teachers, and playmates.

Therefore, wolves rock.

Three Seasons of Twists and Turns

My Tune: Sparks by Coldplay

Tell me if what I am feeling and experiencing right now is one very good example of a seasonal affective disorder or simply, winter blues.

Just three days from now, I will already be celebrating the first anniversary of my Aftertaste of a Mental Foreplay. I am foreseeing this anniversary as something which can completely tell how I have changed mentally, emotionally, socially and even dramatically. So as a “treat” for myself and for my avid readers, I am here to share to you a very special chronicle— a chronicle which I have just compiled in my rollercoaster-riding mind just minutes ago.

As I have repeatedly told my fellow earthlings lately, I came to see that each and every thing around me is gradually and unstopabbly changing. It’s like I’m always finding myself singing Keane’s song which lyrics go like everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same, oh everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same. Well I mean of course, right? Change is the only thing which is definitely permanent in this place we address as “Earth”. But you see, sometimes, it seems like the changes that are happening are driving me crazy. It’s like the changes that I am glancing at lately are turning bad things into good ones, and vice versa. So different from last year, this University Week at my school actually taught me a lot of things. And by “a lot”, I really mean “a lot”. This week was not like any other weeks when I could just see past some laughter lines as I grab some cloudy cotton candies or some hot chocolate waffles in my hand. This week also hasn’t been one of those weeks when I was able to be with my beloved and treasured people all the time. This week, I was forcibly deemed to be numb to the “Holidays sensation”. This week, my life has been divided into three blissfully sad seasons.

The Lazy Limelight


In this season, I experienced an emotional pain. Socially, I was both at the center and along the corners of different places. I felt like I didn’t have any chance to mingle and bond with my best of buddies. I felt like I didn’t have any capacity to laugh at the same jokes they are cracking, be under the same ceiling with them, roam around with them in the same room or simply, I didn’t have the capacity to be with them. I insist that this is not just another shallow thing to take. In my case right now, losing time for friends is like losing buckets of gold and emeralds which I so badly treasure. In fact, there was a point in this season wherein I told one of my friends, John Re, that I am subconsciously telling myself that maybe, I will not fit well in UP because I think I am becoming very weak when it comes to saying my goodbyes. I hate goodbyes, for your information. Who doesn’t? It’s like you are obliged to keep your tears dripping down to your heart everytime some “farewell session” is being executed. That is why I hate goodbyes. They keep me melodramatic, which I’m normally not. I was like put under such ruthless social panic during this season. Sigh. I learned one thing, though:

It’s not everytime that we are with the people who make us smile, laugh and even dance like lunatics. Sometimes, there will always be a point in our existence wherein our bond ties with these beloved people of ours are being put into test, just to see if the friendship we keep with other people will stand the test of time. We have to be socially flexible beings, that is. We will need this especially when we go to the greater and more challenging heights of life’s demands.

T-shirts, Perfumes and Pairs of Slippers


You know what?.. so far, T-shirts, Perfumes and Pairs of Slippers is the most profound title (or subtitle, for that matter) I have ever even thought of in years of online writing and internalizing. It’s just that there are times when I feel like getting personal and more precisely, exclusive, especially when it comes to sharing true-to-life adventures and misadventures.

Well, during this season, I was relieved to know that what I believe in in The Lazy Limelight is actually true— that there will always be a time for separation and evaporation and a time for reconciliation and reunion. This season is exactly one of the highlights of this week. Never mind the songs, the dances, the whole world of circus and the whole bunch of jamming and disco… this season surely goes to the list of permanent memories of my life.

You might want to scratch your head and wonder what happened during this season. Well, you surely will scratch something if you are not in the above photograph ( John Re, Herman, Kenn and Jerome).

Those people who are in schoolboy outfits overhead are the only ones who can completely relate to what I am talking about right now.

Again, I choose to get exclusive right now.

As a bird’s-eye-view, there were glasses, water, water bottles, cheese curls, yummy peanuts, sticks, ice, chicharon, tables, chairs, a whole lot of mess, four haggard but happy creatures and of course, there surely were t-shirts, perfumes and pairs of slippers.

Quite too much for a bird’s-eye-view, ei? You bet.

Lack of Links: The Season of Goodbyes


You read it right, people. This surely is the season of goodbyes. Without further ado, Shayne Anne, I really believe you were right when you told me that life is like an instance wherein things and people come and go without extensive notice. You told me that there will be no time for tears. We all must be strong enough to endure life’s obnoxious obstacles.

I just once again realized that it’s also not all the time that things have to be complete. There will always be a time when we are deemed to lack certain objects in order for us to “metamorphose” into stronger and more enduring humans.

Sigh, sigh, sigh. I wish I always have the nerve to practice what I preach. Yes, people. I am still emotionally weak.

Changes. Goodbyes. Uncertainties. Twist and turns of circumstances.

Whew. This indeed is the week of the weeks. This indeed is the university circus which I am so familiar with… or not.