Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I got even, 2011.

The past year has been one of those momentous years of my life. So many things had happened that I never thought that they would all fit to happen in just a span of 365 days. But since they did, there is nothing I could do now but to take a glance back of all those. So here is to remembering my life in whole last year, and how I got even to two.zero.eleven.

Welcome back Mama! Welcome home, big C!

My 2011 started with a bang - my mother came home from Qatar because she felt sick and strange of her body. She was then diagnosed with having breast cancer, and good thing it was not severe yet. She had her operation last February at Quezon City General Hospital. It was excruciatingly painful, I know. At her age, I thought she will be having a hard time to accept everything. But she is a strong woman, like kanino pa ba ako magmamana? Her recovery was fast, she even managed to go back to Qatar last June.

Me and my mom some days before her operation.

And the Best Thesis goes to...

February came. I was quite being pressured to almost everything - my debate organization, my mom's operation, my lovelife during this month of hearts, and my group's thesis. Yeah, let's focus on my thesis first.

As the final defense drew near, the expectations had gone real high. This was my last shot. With my mom having been under an operation and have one of her breast removed, I can't prove her wrong. I cannot afford to be a big ass disappointment.

Seriously, our way towards the end line of our thesis was somehow troubled when we fucked up. We messed more things than expected. Luckily, we were still able to pull things off, just in time for our final defense. Our defense, on the other hand, was totally cool and things were put into their proper places. We were so ready and firm, thanks to our thesis adviser Prof. Jerry Apolonio and our thesis lecturer Prof. Ildefonso Fulgar III, that we even scored high in the defense. I ranked second on individual assessment of students, and we really felt that our group gained the highest scores with regards to thesis presentation and the thesis itself, although no announcement has been made. For all this, I would like to salute and render my eternal appreciation to my buddies and thesis mates - Leo, John and Ciny. By the way, we call our group BRAD, the four letters taken from our last names: Bumacod, Rabago, Agbisit and Dapasen.

TEAM BRAD (from L-R) John, Cindy, Me, Leo

Where do your priorities stand, Chard?

I was supposed to attend the 3rd National Conference of the Political Science Students' Association of the Philippines in Iligan last January, but because of my mom's operation, I was left with no choice but to back out. It was hard, really. Like, seriously it was very very very hard on my part to have that sacrifice done since I was the one who really processed everything - from proposals to booking proposals - just for FEU POLIS Society to send participants to there. It was painful on my part too, but I cannot leave my mom, just because I have to go there. I know. I shouldn't have made some decisions, that I have to risk having my mom's condition at high risk without me by her side giving her all the support she needs if I chose to go to Iligan.

On the other hand, it was three years since I celebrate the Valentine's Day in UP Manila. Yes, I debate during the day of hearts, of sweets, of stupid cupids, and of love. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the other side of my world. But this was remarkable. I was not able to attend the tournament, even if I was supposed to be there. I was supposed to be in the banner team of FEU, but due to my shortcomings, I failed them. I am an asshole that time then. Everything has taken its toll on me. My relationship to my fellow Tamaraw debaters fell to point that I can't even attend training and face them. But as we all know, every wrongdoing has to be penalized. I admitted that I was the bad guy, and I accepted the consequences of my action.

Back-to-back-to-back celebration! Congratulations Chard!

Four events I will never forget of April of 2011: my last legit college debate tournament, my graduation, my brother's wedding, and holy week in Zambales away from my family.

I had the chance to prove my worth again as a debater and a pride of FEU when I was granted the chance to participate in my last legitimate college debate tournament - the 2011 Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championships. I was teamed with Marco and Kevin, two of our organization's pride. (By the way, last Nationals in Cagayan de Oro, they were able to fight until the Grand Finals.) We were not able to make it into the main break, although we were really close, like two spots away from the Top 16. However, we made it to the cut of the Sinag Cup. The Sinag Cup is a mini-finals series in which the top four teams which have not made it to the main break will still have the chance to bag another trophy and recognition, by which the four teams are composed of teams coming from the three main divisions of the country, and the NCR. Saint Louis University represented Luzon, Far Eastern University (us) for NCR, Silliman University for Visayas and Ateneo de Davao for Mindanao. We fought against Silliman during the Semis, and advanced to the Sinag Finals facing ADDU, and finally emerged as the champions for the cup.

FEU Team A: Marco, Kevin and Me with our Org Adviser and Coach, Prof. Joeven Castro.

Two days after the tournament was my graduation. I really can't believe that this time has finally come. Although I did not finish with a latin honor, I am still proud of myself. Proud that I was able to give back to my mom who unselflessly have given her everything for me and our family. Proud that among us three, I was the only one who has finished a four-year Bachelor's degree yet. Proud that my goals in life have just taken a step higher.

FEU AB Political Science Batch 2011

It was Holy Monday then, a week after my graduation, when my Kuya Ruben finally made his vows. He got married with Ate Jhazel, the person whom I will eternally be grateful. She was the one who helped us during my mom's operation. When I got the chance to speak in front of all their guests, to wish them best of luck in their married life, I was not able to help myself but be teary-eyed. I have lost a brother whom I can be with everyday, but I realized that it was a blessing in disguise. My brother's marriage has opened another door for me to having a new sister, someone who will understand and support me with all my plans and dreams. And she does, really. We are best buds.

Top (L-R) Marianne, Me and Ate Bon.
Bottom (L-R) The Newlyweds: Ate Jhazel and Kuya Ruben

While my brother and his wife were on their flight back from Boracay (where I should have supposed to come to, but I chose to be given money instead as my graduation gift) last Good Friday, I was on my way to Zambales. Note: it was my first holy week celebration to have happened out of town, and away from my family. It was really fun and good. We went around Zambales and Anawangin. I was with my friends from SAMASA, and met more people and friends from the group as well.

We called ourselves, the Anawangin Student Council.
(L-R) Lawrence, Kenn, Me, Mia, Kuya Chaks, Nicole, Aqeel, Tyron and Bryce

The dog days are over Chard...

May, June, July and August passed so easily. Nothing remarkable. Oh! My birthday!

I turned 23 this year.

Is this the real life? Or is it just fantasy?

September came and I got to have my communication lines with Stef, Rahne and Andrea back from, guess what? WORK. Yes! I just landed my first ever job after graduation. Although it was not totally related to my degree, I just dove in. (Sayang nga naman ang salary and opportunities.) My job, which I still have up to now, is a customer service home based online career. Want to know more? Learn more about TalkTo.

I also got the chance to go back with my third love, debate and adjudicating. I joined the 3rd Luzon Intervarsities as an adjudicator without really making up a good sound decision. I was just notified the night before that if I want to join, then I have to meet everyone 6am the following day at the bus terminal in Cubao. Wow. Anyways, this tournament will always hold a special place in my heart. I was recognized as one of the Shadow Adjudication Core Members and was awarded Tenth Best Adjudicator of Luzon at the end of the tournament.

ORADEC Adjudicators are Luzon's best.
(L-R) Noe, Dio and Me

A thousand mile journey starts with one step.

Still wanting to pursue my dream of becoming an Educator, I finally took up the strength to tell my mom that I wanted to enroll again. This time, I would be taking a degree in Professional Education.

I got officially enrolled for a Certificate in Professional Education at the Our Lady of Fatima University. It is basically a one year course for those non-Education degree holders who wish to pursue a career of becoming a Teacher, or an Educator. Right now, I am taking 3 subjects. Weird though is, all my classes happen every Sundays.

Keep holding on...

November came. November ended.
December came. Merry Christmas! December ended. Happy New Year!


So, that's generally all the momentous events that has happened to me this 2011. I wish I could tell you more, but if that is going to be the case, I should have just scanned my personal diary then and have all of you read every pages of it. (Note: I don't keep a diary. Hahaha!)

As the year of the dragon bounces back this year, I can now officially say that as a dragon, this is my year. This has got to be my year. And...

I am ready to take you down, 2012.

Chard Lora