Skip to main content

My decade in review

A friend passed along a good idea of outlining significant parts of one's life in the past ten years. In hindsight, I had a lot of firsts during the last decade.

2000. The year my family visited the Banaue rice terraces and Sagada. The year I returned to Ilocandia and Puerto Galera thanks to requirements in my humanities and physical education courses. Two years into college, I decided to major in Microbiology, one of the crossroads that eventually led me away from the plan. Music was an outlet of stress; I was playing various percussion instruments as part of the live accompaniment to the dance troupe in their concerts.

2001. An election year, I missed my first chance to vote. However, the day after the election, my dad gave me the keys to the first car I was assigned to use. That year, I was neck-deep in finishing my B. Sc. thesis while juggling a lot of subjects. I also finally decided to forge a new plan, to follow an unbeaten path.

2002. I graduated from UPLB that year, and attended the very first conference in which I had to give a talk based on my B. Sc. thesis. Job hunting brought me all the way to Pampanga, with dad, grandma, and siblings in tow. Then I got my first job as a researcher, in which my note-taking skills were put to the test.

2003. The first time I rode an airplane without my parents, and my mom was in panic mode! Stepped into the Visayas for the first time: went to Kalibo (and got lost in translation) and to Boracay (loved the talipapa, but didn't like the water). I entered the food manufacturing industry, becoming a student of the art of stress management in the process. 

2004. I left the manufacturing industry and became a researcher once again; new boss, new accent to adapt to. From biology, I moved on to chemistry. To top the year off, the parents and the brother embarked on a new adventure on the other side of the world.

2005. A seminar I participated in gave an opportunity for me to outline where I would want to be in five years. One of my goals became true sooner than I expected: I was admitted to the USyd graduate school, but not knowing if I've bitten more than I could chew. On the first of several trips as a graduate student, I was able to see a shooting star for the first time. 

2006. I went to the land down under twice; there I learned that being new is not an excuse to not venture out and getting lost led to great adventures. The year I got exposed to different cultures. True to grad student form, I lugged the laptop along on vacation, typing at night after touring markets and parks, just to finish a major school requirement on time. My communication skills were also put to the test. I got myself a new car; but was really sad to part from the old one.

2007. Sleep deprivation became a way of life, as experiments I needed to finish dragged on deep into the night. Needless to say, my social life shrunk to an all-time low, a bare minimum. I transferred my enrolment to UQ when my supervisor went there along with some of his other students, though my research was still based in the Philippines. I frequented the 24-hour congee shop at wee hours of the morning with other night owls. My college classmates became full-fledged medical doctors, and we all gathered to celebrate –– one of the rare times I went out of the lab while the sun was still in the sky.  

2008. The year I wrote and submitted my Ph.D. manuscript. The final stage of thesis-writing felt like I had a terminal illness, and I am very thankful for the support that I received during the ordeal. I traveled several times, but I failed to see snow in winter (being inside the airport during a snowstorm) and didn't see a volcanic eruption (because I was on the wrong island). Nevertheless, I got to spend time with cousins I haven't seen for almost ten years and with my parents and my brother. At the end of the year, it was their turn to visit us and the grandparents.

2009. The year I stayed low and recharged my batteries. Recovering from burn out, as it turns out, is a lengthy process. Graduation day finally arrived. I started getting my social life back on track, participating in sports and performances. Photography was a hobby again since I had gained some spare time; and my hands became bruised once more, thanks to a brief return to percussion.

In retrospect, a lot has happened during the last ten years. It makes me wonder what's next for me in the next decade. I shall wait and see. =)

Popular posts from this blog

my top 10 life lessons from Suits season 1

I enjoy watching this series on TV called "Suits". It follows a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht), one of the best lawyers in the city, gives valuable lessons to his associate, Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), the lawyer without the law degree. I find myself taking notes (and tweeting them) as I watch the different episodes.
While waiting for the July 1 premiere of the second season of Suits on Jack TV, I list down the top ten lessons that I gleaned from watching the first season of series. It's not surprising that many of them came from the great Harvey Specter. There are few things in there that came from Mike and Harvey's arch-nemesis, Louis Litt (played by Rick Hoffman), as well.
NOTE: if these sound like a lecture, it's because these are notes I write to myself for when I need them... and to whoever is reading this list.

Here we go:
1. "First impressions last. Start behind the eight ball and you'll ne…

Federico de Vera's brand of beauty at the Ayala Museum

On my latest visit to the Ayala Museum this year, I was able to catch the exhibit curated by Federico de Vera. I haven't heard of him, most likely because I'm not part of the art circles. I'm just an occasional museum hopper who likes to visit beautiful art pieces. This time, I was about to learn what beauty is, in the eyes of famous curator de Vera.
I was blown away by how he presented art pieces he picked up from other art collectors. Some of these pieces I've seen in other museums before. BUT, these are presented in a more striking manner... Instagrammable being the first word that comes to my mind. Spot lighting and subtle backgrounds really make the artworks pop. Walking through the different sections of the exhibit, I kept saying wow to myself. I liked the way that the curator presented every piece... he succeeded in putting the best face of each piece on display. There was a sense of meticulousness in the detail... not just dumping pieces together on a table or…

tinikling

Back in college, I used to play with the UPLB Ethnomusemblia, a group of students who liked to play traditional Filipino music as live accompaniment to the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe, those students who performed Filipino local dances. Tribal music was what I learned with the group: music filled with textures of the sounds from kulintang and agong; the resonating sounds of simultaneously beaten gangsa; and the deep tones from the dabakan. However, I never learned how to play stringed instruments that are part of the rondalla. I attempted the banduria but to no avail. That's why I never learned to play the music for the tinikling; instead, I contented myself with listening to the rondalla people play the lively song.

Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. In this lively dance, the man and the woman imitate the movements of a tikling, a bird found in the country, over two parallel bamboo poles set horizontally on the floor. The dance is made more challenging as the b…