A lot of things happened to me this year like graduating from college, and I know I owe you my readers some updates from this blog, and so this post will be the first of many posts that I will be doing (hopefully!).
I think it would be an understatement to say that Baguio is my happy place. Having gone there even just for 3 times only, I could somehow tell that it’s one of the places in the country that I will never ever get tired of going. I don’t know but Baguio has something in it that makes it more exciting each time I come back.
It’s finally May, and graduation is just around the corner. Few days from now, we’ll be bidding farewell to the walls of the laboratory, saying goodbye to our white unique uniforms/lab suits and to be honest, I never really imagined I would end up graduating as a medical technology student.
In fact, my 2009 self kept on dreaming that I’d be seen in television doing news reporting, or learning politics and basic laws of the land. Definitely, my 2009 self does not have an idea what kind of adventures and misadventures he is up to.
So here are 10 lessons the James (2014) would like to impart to James (2009) and those other similar people out there.
It’s okay to shift courses. I thought I had always planned my college life well, so well that my 2009 self had already set some deadlines for each phase of my life. College. Boards. Masters. Med School. It was smooth sailing, till I got bored, and eventually hated the fact that I chose my former degree over so many opportunities that were laid for me.Breaking the news to my parents was definitely not a piece of cake, it was not like a walk in the park either. I’ve kept on asking myself whether it is really what I wanted or if I’m ready to get pushed back for another year, but you have to have that courage in order to get what you really wanted.Yes, you may get pushed back for another year, but if it’s what you really wanted then it’s all going to be worth it thus the adage, “Nothing worth having comes easy”. Mind you, in college, it doesn’t matter that much how long you have obtained the degree, or how many years it took you to finish it, but what matters more is the quality and the quantity of the things you have learned and potentially apply in the future. Remember, you’re making your life in college.Nota bene: Even if you shift, you should have a game plan.
Make many acquaintances, but choose your friends. As what I’ve earlier said, it is life that you are making in college and whether you like it or not, your friends, the very people whom you are close to will surely influence the way your life will go. So choose your friends wisely because part of your success in the future, part of whoever you will become in the future, part of whatever you will achieve in the future, you owe it to them.
Remember to take a break (especially for Velezian Medtech students). Remember the famous saying, “All work and no play makes John a dull boy”. It’s true. Undeniably. You see, you are already worn out because of the many exams that your teachers give, and if you decide not to take a break, to have fun for a while, to loosen up, it will make things worse. So have a break once in a while.
There will be mistakes, setbacks, frustrations. The world ain’t perfect, always bear that in mind. You’ll make a lot of mistakes, but that’s okay. They’re not really mistakes if you learn from them. 🙂 Allow one experience to unfold into a another one. Learning is a continuous process, it doesn’t end.
Grab opportunities. Learning is not limited within the four walls of the classroom, it goes beyond it. Last year, I was one of the lucky few students that were sent to Japan for the JENESYS 2.0 Program of the Japanese Government. After how many rejected applications, I received the golden ticket exactly a year ago. It was a life changing moment because it made me learn about different culture, different traditions, different technologies, different people, things you can’t or won’t learn in the classroom.And believe it or not, learning beyond the four walls of the classroom makes learning itself a holistic one. It does not only purely focus on the academic side, but there are other aspects incorporated as well.
Fall in love (Shit! For real?) Scientifically speaking, according to Abraham Maslow, it’s one of those “needs”. I don’t really want to elaborate on this matter.
Stay in school. But don’t stay in school for too long. Remember the game plan that you have, whether you shifted or not.
It’s not the school that dictates brilliance, it’s YOU who dictate brilliance. At the end of the day, the school is there to teach, it’s still you who’s responsible how to process what has been taught, how to apply it, how to learn from it. Otherwise, it’s a wasted knowledge if you don’t learn from it, if you don’t apply it.
Affirm people, prove your detractors wrong. You should learn how to thank people, you should learn how to affirm them. Thank your teachers either by saying it verbally, or making a note for them, or go back to the old days by writing them a letter. Do it also to your classmates, intern friends, other school officers. These people are going to help you reach the summit of success. For your detractors, prove them wrong. But don’t gloat. Don’t boast of what you have achieved. Let your success be your noise.
Remain a student, never become an expert. I always tell this to people whenever they would ask me what advice I could impart to them. In this kind of world, where there is a stiff competition, where the only objective people could think of is how to become experts, only few of us realize that once you become an expert, you cease to learn. Contrary to that, when you remain a student, learning goes on, and on, and on. So be humble, and always remain as a student.
So go ahead James of 2009, make the most out of your college life, because it will only pass once in your life.
I feel proud each time I am asked about when my birthday is. And it’s not about my zodiac sign and definitely not about how I am supposed to be lucky because my birthdate both has numbers 2 and 8 on it, but perhaps it is most likely because every single time I am asked about my birthday, it also reminds me how much of a superhero you are to me.
20 years ago, your life nearly got endangered, and definitely you had a choice. There’s the easier and safer way, and there’s the harder way. But you chose the latter, you chose love, sacrifice and pain, just to deliver me in the caesarean section. You tried to be brave for me and chose to put your one foot ahead, while the putting the other six feet under.
They say there’s no such thing as endless love, they say it does not exist because people are not immortal. But I disagree, because what you have been doing for us, no matter how big or small it would be, is showing your version of love.
This love that you have showed to us transcends the romantic one, it’s the kind of love that’s more than enough, the kind of love that puts you in content, the kind of love that would not make you ask for more, it’s unconditional love.
I have failed you many times, hurt you many times, broken your heart many times, or even disappointed you, but you loved me despite those things. Love, which is supposed to be intangible, became tangible because of the things that you have done not only for me but for all of us in the family. Salamat kaayo Ma.
I always remember when you get mad at me, you sometimes say “dili pa na nimo mabaw-an kay di pa ka ginikanan” (you won’t understand it unless you become a parent yourself). What makes me happy is that although you get mad at me, you always me it a point to try and try and try to let me understand whatever point you would want to inculcate, you did not give up on me, and you still continue to do that up to now.
From what I see from you, and other parents out there, it’s really hard to be a parent, and it’s hard to raise a child, it’s sacrifice, and no sacrifice is easy. I may sometimes forget to thank you, I may not be showy in terms of being grateful, but I would like you to know that I am deeply thankful for all the things that you did and continue to do no matter how hard or how challenging it would be just to make us happy, just to see those little smile in us.
You’d always tell me I may not need much attention or guidance from you since you believe that I am independent enough to go about different things. However, when things start to go out of the way I wanted it to be, you are the first person who is there to talk to me and ask me about what happened. You don’t let it reach the point where things go out of hand.
Whenever I have a problem, big or small, you give your time just to listen. When in pain and suffering, you’re my comforter, the one I can call in the middle of the night just to seek words of wisdom, the one I call during dawn because I can’t make my lessons get inside of my head. You smile and share your happiness with my happiness. You become happy when I am and you try to make me happy when I’m not. In challenges, you’re the one who’s telling me to fight, who encourages me to fight and never back down, which is why I victor sometimes, you’re my number one critic of my works and give it a constructive criticism, you give me advices how to be better, and how not to go beyond the line. On the other hand, when I get defeated, and when I lose the game you’re still there telling me explicitly that it’s ok and there will always be next time, and telling me implicitly that I will always be the winner for you.
Mama Helen, I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH. I may not say this very often, but I mean it when wrote this. Happy Birthday and we are always here for you!
Save your tears, save it till May, till my Graduation day,
If you really wanted this thing so badly, then why in all of a sudden you are giving this up?
I admit, the question asked was hard. I was’t even able to answer the person who asked me the question. Yes, why am I letting go and giving up? I asked myself again.
I contemplated as soon as I got home, I looked back at those times when I was still starting this journey. The contemplation made me realize I have gone a long way already, I have invested so much and has given much of myself already.
The works I have done, efforts I have placed, and the change I tried to put into place are perhaps the reasons why some of my colleagues are so concerned, or at least that is what they told me.
I am writing this entry while I am inside the plane en route to the Philippines. I cannot seem to fathom how time has flown so fast in the past 7 days, making me wish to have stayed longer, bonded further, and tried to get you even more.
I never really thought we would make such good friends, because back during the first day of the activity, it was hard to imagine to be good friends given the different upbringing that we had, different customs and culture we grew up with.
The activity last night was really something that I could never forget simply because it made us know each one even more. It bonded us, and despite there are difficulties such as language barrier, we didn’t make it as a reason not to have fun, and enjoy the night.
It’s very sad, I know, to have to leave when we are still starting to really enjoy each other’s company. I would like to think that God had a purpose why it has to happen this way. Maybe because if he allowed us to stay longer, bond more, we might get tired of each other’s company, but this way, we shall always have the excitement within us, to contact each other, or to see each other wherever that would be.
All of you my brothers and sisters from Fukuoka J group had left a mark on me. You have influenced me, and I am going to be a better person when I get back to the Philippines bringing with me different learning about your country, the life’s lessons you have imparted on me, and the different fun and memorable experiences we had with each other.
I am very sorry that you might have seen me as someone who has a strong personality, that’s the usual first impression I get from people. But I know that as the days went by, your perception of me has changed. Hahahaha. Nevertheless, I still thank you because despite that, you still welcomed not only me but also the entire Philippine group in the Fukuoka J group.
I’m very sorry if I am too talkative, I just couldn’t help it. Perhaps it was because I have already felt comfortable with you guys.
To the Charice Pempengco team of the bus (the people who usually seat in the back portion), thank you for the laugh trips that we had. Although we were usually the nosiest people during trips, the noise was all worth it. I am now laughing while I am writing this part, remembering the small things we usually laugh about. How I wish we could see each other again soon.
To the rest of the Fukuoka J group, I surely enjoyed your company. We are living testaments that no language barrier or cultural differences can stand against friendship. To our coordinators, Yamaguchi-san, Miki-san and Yarimizu-san, I am always thankful that you have displayed tolerance to us. You have been our second mother here in Japan, and I know that although sometimes we are giving you headaches, you are still patient and understanding of us.
I will all miss you Fukuoka J group, I am now having a delayed onset of separation anxiety. 😦