Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last August 28, after 17 years, I was reunited with my high school classmates in a get-together that was made possible through Facebook's friend finder.

Our class muse and escort where both present and gamely answered questions about their failed romance.

Our president was too busy taking photos with her DSLR and let our resident jester to preside, surprisingly, not with the usual antics and jokes he was known for but with ala-Bro. Mike Velarde monologue.

After the expected “kumusta na? sa’n ka na?” greetings, we spend the whole evening talking about family matters, our kids and future plans. Our last conversation before this, happened in our campus when we are all 16 and was about our high school crushes, the latest Anime series, and who among us has the clearest VHS copy of Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct.

Truly, every one of us has changed in our looks, lifestyle and how we see the world. One of my classmates who was obviously drunk that night offered me a toast, “Para sa magagandang pagbabago.”

I don’t know what he meant with that but it did sound good so I also raised my bottle.

Then it hit me. I found myself talking to a bottle of beer. Well, actually it’s my reflection on the bottle who I’m talking to (silently, of course)

“What has become of me since high school,”
I asked myself.

I was an honor student--- 3rd honor in my freshman year and improved to 2nd honor as a sophomore. I was a happy and fun-loving kid until things got a little complicated when I reached third year high school. I lost my scholarship after a skid of my grades due to some big "changes" in my life. It all started when my father lost his high-paying job in the same year we found out that he has a mistress. It was the first major major (just to lighten up things) blow in my young adult life.

It took me a while to get used to the sudden changes in my life. In a blink of an eye, all the great things in life I enjoy were gone. I even considered it as a miracle how I was able to finished high school from a private school.

In college, I availed the working scholar program offered by the University of the East - Manila for four years and eventually graduated with a degree in Communication Arts. Luckily, I got a job a month after graduation and was never unemployed ever since. I would like to believe that that critical change in my life served as my motivation to be independent and to persevere in life.

Today, I manage a monthly business magazine and contribute to two of the top 3 local broadsheets while working for an NGO. Mine is not a perfect life since I just went through a series of unfortunate events in recent years.

But I have something now that was missing before when a big changed happened in my teenage life. Something that can make me smile even after a great storm. Life will forever be a road worth traveling as long as I have the love and warm hugs of my wife Leah and son Charles.

Changes will happen. And I will rise and shine along with it.

I’m sure my reflection on the bottle of beer agrees.

In every success or moment that changes our lives, there are things that have become a part of celebrations just like Goldilocks, a "friend" to many Filipino families in the past 44 years. From birthdays to graduation or even on ordinary days we feel like celebrating, getting a cake at Goldilocks is one of the first thing we would think of. Our favorite bakeshop may have undergone some"Pagbabago" recently with a fresh and modern look but it still retains the unique Pinoy flavor that we all grew to love.

And so I say, when you are faced with inevitable changes in life, just remember GOLDILOCKS

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