Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not so Keen with 2013

Pesky Mayans. Why couldn’t have they been right? Why couldn’t it all end in 2012? It was such a great year that the following had so much to live up to. It didn’t. 2013 was the worst year I had ever lived through. No contest. Usually, I give out 10 best moments that I experienced throughout the year. Last year, I doubt I could even think of five.

Let’s see. You think you’d get a slow start since nothing really happens on January. But no. See, after my birthday, it was decided that I’m destined for greater things. Say, lead my team to glory. Or more realistically, my superior felt the need to take her talents to Miami, er, Ortigas. And being the heir apparent and all, I rose to the ranks and become the Nth Earl of Grantham, I mean, OIC. Great way to start the year, right? Wrong. With great power comes additional night differential. How I hated night shifts. Nothing good ever comes out of working nights. But in order to lead, one must embrace the darkness. And so I have been a creature of the night for almost a year now. I believe this is where it started to go downhill for me.

The succeeding months were a blur of misery. You’d think I’d be thankful for the opportunity, but I never make things easy. Somewhere in March, there was another change of leadership. But this time, it involved royalty. Our long-time manager, my then superior, did a Dwight Howard and transferred to another team for a chance of another ring. Or simply because we can’t afford him anymore. Either way, a new player was activated, a lady boss. Lady boss is cool. If she had come to us earlier, during our glory (bad pun) years, we could have made wonderful things happen. Alas, her arrival meant some changes, and those changes weren’t just simple tweaks.

By middle of the year, we bid farewell to that other team in our account. The Red Coats just suddenly surrendered as they weren’t making enough profits. Naturally, being the stable of the two, we can just absorb these people and carry on with our lives as if nothing happened. Yeah, we were all sipping tea and exchanging tales for at least a month before the powers that be decided to cut more losses. Good bye, mates. It was, well, interesting. Good thing these kinds of things will never ever happen to a sturdy and strong team like mine.

I’ve always loved September. September is where the magic always happen. Guess, last year’s wasn’t all that different. Except it wasn’t white magic, but horrible bad juju. Execute Order 66. Or in the words of the Great Emperor Palpatine, “Wipe them out. All of them.” Finally. We’re getting the boot. Well, some of us are. I just lost people that I’ve known for more than half a decade. Some I consider friends, some acquaintances, but both very heartbreaking. So out of that almost 300 people we started with, after the Battle of Thermopylae, only seven of us are left. And that’s how it had been since then. The icing on the cake is that this all happened under my watch. So much for a brave and fearless leader. Wait. I’m not actually The leader. Not officially anyway. But as Chandler Bing’s principle, if one accepts promotion, one is finally accepting that it is his/her official job. This is all temporary to me, all seven years of it.

So 2013, such a magical month. But I suppose I couldn’t say nothing good came out of the year. By June, my Western family came home yet again to celebrate Iya’s 80th. Such a huge event. The family also had the Anvaya Cove Experience. Beach and buffets, I think that qualifies as a win. September had its share of magic as my high school buddy Adrian tied the knot with his long-time beau, Franchelle. It was part surreal, part expected. I always knew the bastard’s going to be the first one to settle. Suffice to say, it was great seeing those guys again. Something I’m pretty sure won’t happen in the near future. What else? We celebrated Mom’s birthday at Tagaytay with a pretty awesome lunch. And October brought about the annual Bernabe Halloween Bash. Much better turn out this year, which raised the bar for next year’s. Lastly, my San Beda Red Lions got its fourth straight championship crown by November. They say it’s the sweetest, what with all the hardships the team had to endure throughout the season. I’m inclined to believe it is.

(Clockwise) Col. Sanders, Anvaya, 4-peat, IanCelle, Mom

What do you know? There are five memories that are to be cherished after all. Few more things, 2013 saw the emergence of my love for anything Oriental. Chinese, really. I don’t care much for Koreans. Anyway, anything oriental. Like while I’m writing this, there is erhu music playing in the background. And don’t get me started on Hong Kong Cinema. Look, I know I’ve been dragging this whole Hong Kong is the best place in the world for quite some time now, but it is. Deal with it. I started with a couple of martial arts films, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan flicks mostly, and now I can probably name a good number of Hong Kong celebrities and their movies. Probably better than my knowledge of local entertainment. Some say it gives one culture when one is diverse with his world cinema. I say, they’re right. It’s an addiction, as much as I love a plate of dim sum and chopsticks.

I’ve been reading again. Surprising as it may sound, I am. Though let’s not get carried away. It’s mostly Kafka’s works, that I stay away from. Seriously, anything beyond 300 pages -- not cool. But it’s a vast improvement from just bothering with books that have pictures on them. Hey, even if I’m reading fantasy literature, the point is I’m reading. And it made me remember how much I love mythology and, more importantly, history. Now there’s a career I want to get myself into.

But the real reason why I don’t have love for 2013? It changed me. For the worse. And that is another story for another time. Just know that that change took over me, the whole of me.


(--,) is currently obsessed on anything Cantonese, has been reading Riordan’s works and is very much addicted to Downton Abbey. You may notice tones in his writing concerning those three.