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

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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…

High2

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.

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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.

High1

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.

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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.

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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.

High4

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.

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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.

Obnoxious Options: Seek the Verdict

My Tune: Maybe Tonight by William Tell

Having had gone through countless pages of random magazines and fictional books, seeing way beyond the visuals of several soap operas and worldwide films, and being able to listen to the deep thoughts and ideas of deep people, I always tend to see, hear and even read this wonderful general truth:

Life is full of choices. Choose wisely.

October 10, 2009

  • Danver’s Birthday
  • Homonids Day
  • Final Research Paper Deadline (for some)
  • Invictus Guild’s First Death Anniversary

Today I dared to commit a very critical act which is to completely eliminate and ruthlessly discard every single thing which causes heartbreaks and indispensable pain. Today I gave myself enough time to realize that not everything in this world needs to be perfect… not everything in this world has to be flawless. Today, I am convinced that forever doesn’t exist.

You go to a mall and see several pairs of shoes which cost eight thousand pesos each. You only have a decade of thousand peso bills in your wallet. Naturally, you would have to choose one– just one, only one.

You have with you three girls who are in a love game, chasing you, wanting you, running for you. You seem to like them all but you are fully aware that choosing the three of them is completely impossible. Basically, the best thing is to choose– just one, only one.

Your mother lets you choose between an iPhone or a new set of wardrobe full of high end long sleeves and suits. As hard as it already is, you would obviously have to kiss goodbye to one of the given options in order for you to avail either material (although in my case I would eagerly choose the latter. Haha).

You graduate from high school. You would have to choose one from UP, Ateneo, UA&P, De La Salle, UST and so on and so far. When you finally came to a decision, you would have to choose what course to take. Will it be Chemical Engineering, or Fine Arts? Choose. Just one—only one.

You love one person who doesn’t love you back. It’s up to you whether or not you will let the person go, or stay in love and become a slave of a love injustice… a sanity suicide.

You have a myriad of haters who talks trashy things about you behind your back. The common reaction is to let yourself be fed up with all the crap but really, it’s all up to you if you will fight back or just choose not to win (because in my case, I always believe I never loose. No one does. It’s just that sometimes, I choose NOT to win).

I just think that the dizzying act of choosing is one of humanity’s deadliest processes. It can break friendship, families, love lives and personal strengths and self-respect. It can make you eat gallons of ice cream out of depression. It can harmfully invite you to sleep all day long without the effort nor the attempt of even just winking an eye. It can gradually turn you into a mind-freak, a soul searcher… a life taker. It can make the blue turn into red, red into yellow, white into black… life to death. Most fatally, it can single-handedly bestow on a person the wrath of life’s unpredicted schemes.

Right now, I just came to see how I have before me a sea of unfamiliar choices. It never even sank in to me that the day will come when I would have to choose a certain choice and let the rest be scattered into small pieces. Don’t believe me? I’ll tell you what. Honestly, I believe it is all up to me whether or not I will quit Starlight, Scribblers Society, school, IG, Math, Physics, Bookkeeping, hoping for nothing, loving and not being loved back, my annoying pet dog, etc. Sigh. All I know is that I never fail to see that I am blessed to seemingly be able to choose the right decisions most of the time. But I know, I know… this next choice I am about to make may turn out as a mistake. But trust me, do what you know will set you free. Do what you know will make you feel right even when everything else turns out wrong. Do what is needed, what is ought to be done.

Whatever we choose, we will always be responsible for the result.

But as of now, I choose to go with life’s flow. I always do.

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

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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

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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

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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.

Bullets of Bliss III: Triggered Presumption

My Tune: Cold Hands Warm Heart by Brendan Brenson

Counter-terrorists win. Yeah, right! And so did I!

To get things straight to the point, I’m not here once again to talk about Counterstrike or how I suck at it big time, nor am I here to narrate to you my adventures (and misadventures) with this epic game. Well I am here for one reason: to give you a recap of one thing that had never happened to me before.

So it was recess time last week. To be exact, it was last Thursday morning, if I’m not mistaken. Usually, every morning break, I would just stay inside the classroom and chat with a bunch of other people as they eat their packed snacks and drinks. My other peers namely Dane, Jerome, Herman, John Re and Keith also do the same thing as I do— to stay inside the room every recess time and fool around, laughing like hyenas! But that Thursday morning was different. That Thursday morning, we unexpectedly got what we thought we would never get, did we not do a legendary “performance”.

Allow me to be in a narrating mode, people. I rarely do this. I rarely write like I’m storytelling. So now, just let me actually write like I’m actually storytelling.

A 50 Philippine peso bill is now on the table. What’s next? Who’s next? Where’s next..?

So we were situated in a table positioned in the very middle of our school canteen. I was sitting right there with Dane, Jerome, Herman, John Re and Keith. We were at that moment calling it quits with regards to our “pot money”. At that time, Php70 was already on the table. We had no problem with the budget. The problem was who will volunteer to buy footlong hotdog sandwiches for everyone. Everyone who goes in my school knows how our canteen is such a crowded place especially every recess and lunchtime. This may just be the reason why no one would volunteer to buy those precious footlongs.

Out of the blue ( not just any other blue, but navy blue), John Re blurted “Okay, I’ll do it!”. Then we were like “Oh, come on John! Not you! Not you again!”. Then we started pointing at each other in an attempt to finally come to a verdict of who will be the “volunteer” in that crucial moment. John Re then took the mounted cash in the center of the table saying “I’ll do it”. Oh well. Can we blame someone for having such a warm heart? Of course not.

[X] Footlongs

[  ] Softdrinks

[  ] Economics Class

[  ] NO MAYONNAISE!

There goes our checklist. There may be some thing in that checklist that you might find weird. Don’t worry. I’ll explain that later.

So the next thing that we found ourselves arguing about was on who will be the volunteer to buy softdrinks. We didn’t have any much problem about that, though. Dane, being the only one among us who really is addicted to drinking carbonated beverages, took the task and did it “wholeheartedly” (Can I say that? Haha).

[X] Footlongs

[X] Softdrinks

[  ] Economics Class

[  ] NO MAYONNAISE!

We were down to two things. Our Economics class is right up next recess time. The bell just rang that time and the footlongs still weren’t ready to be served. Miss Aligonsa, our Economics professor who was at that time in the canteen as well, gestured that we must come inside the classroom before she does or we’re going to be marked absent in her class.

Abnormally, we felt no rush even upon seeing that gesture. We were like “That’s miss Aligonsa. Pfft. She can’t be mad and she won’t be!”. Technically, we were already seven minutes late when the footlongs we ordered were ready. Now, it’s time to dash our way up to class. The problem was, I found out that my footlong has mayonnaise in it (and Ketchup!)!

“What the F?! Didn’t I tell everyone that I freaking hate mayonnaise?!”. Yeah. To those of you who still don’t know my nature, well I have mayonnaise and ketchup on my hate list. I don’t know why, but everytime I taste mayonnaise or ketchup, it’s like doomsday is happening in my mouth. Yuck! I mean seriously, yuck!

Delayed by my desperate hoping for the mayonnaise in my footlong to miraculously disappear, we were by then already seventeen minutes late in class. Just as we opened the door of our classroom, we were told by miss Aligonsa to stay outside because we are LATE! Wow. It was that sudden. I didn’t see that coming either.

Sigh.

[X] Footlongs

[X] Softdrinks

[X] Economics Class

[  ] NO MAYONNAISE!

I was still holding my footlong smothered with mayonnaise that time. Everyone else had just finished his own footlong. I am really wondering until now how they managed to put all those white slimy stuff in their mouth and actually eat them… digest them…let them penetrate in their systems!

Everyone was already telling me to just swallow the thing so that we could do something else without me having to hold the footlong in my hand without even trying to smell or look at it.

That time, I braved myself and braced it with all courage. Haha. Over-acting? I don’t think so. Trust me, it took all the courage in the world for me to even think of eating something which has mayonnaise in it! Whew! So, I did eat the “thing”. Surprisingly, it wasn’t really that bad. I’m not saying it’s great, but it wasn’t that bad. It tasted like a tasteless sauce. Whatever. Still, that event made me catch my breath for a couple of minutes. They were actually looking at me, laughing maybe at the image of me being so scared of eating mayonnaise (laughs).

[X] Footlongs

[X] Softdrinks

[X] Economics Class

[X] NO MAYONNAISE!

^^

We did really crazy things that morning. We were given one hour to fool around and we wasted no time! We indeed fooled around.

There was the Chicky Chicky thing that had lasted in our minds for 24 hours! Everything that had happened that morning was never-before. Never-before, we had gotten ourselves kicked out of class just for being late for seventeen minutes. Never-before, we played Chicky Chicky. Never-before, we planned on taking our Counterstrike experience to the next level.

We planned on buying toy guns and doing Counterstrike in a live action-packed performance! We also planned on playing classic Pinoy games like Tumba Patis and Sipa-Takraw.

Oh well. Those were the moments.