A Decade Ender

“So this is the New Year, and I have no Resolution…”
I’ve played it over and over as I wrote this on my notebook.

In a few days, the first decade of the Twenty First Century is coming to a close. We are very lucky to witness the turn of the Century as they always say. The Apocalyptic years as the skeptic predicted. “The world shall end by the year Two Thousand!” but here we are, the closing period of the First Decade. What shall we tell our kids about this first ten years? Did they found a cure for Cancer? Can people travel to the outer rim of the Galaxy? Those are just a few that a curious child might ask. But hey! There were a lot of things happened on this decade right? What have we learned and witnessed? We saw the Two Towers collapsed, the war in Afghanistan, in Israel, in Europe, and anywhere else. We saw the collapse of Dictators, their death broadcast on Television. We saw the first Filipinos and their group climbed the highest mountain on the planet, we saw the First African American President of the U.S. The Ousting of Leaders, a former action star turned President, the Impeachment, and those hours that when I came home from high school, all local channels have their cameras on the proceedings. The rallies, riots, demonstrations, the scandals on politics, mutinies, assassinations, political prisoners, missing activist, scams, overpriced contract deals, fuel prices soar sky high, basic commodities cannot be afford by most of us, unstable economies, very high jobless rate, rice hoardings and so many shits that I don’t want to waste a single page of paper for it, for we must always forget the wretched and remember the worthy.
We saw the death of the First Woman President of the Philippines, the death of an Action Star who ran for Presidency, the death of Icons, TV personalities, Famous Celebrities, overdoses, Big Brother, Reality Shows, B.B. Gandanghari and showbiz scandals which is actually a squander. We saw viruses of which I believed created by man to destroy man, the swine flu and SARS which created a chaotic civilization afraid of obscurity. Then, fueled by the media, it made us excavate a burrow for us to cache.
I’ve graduated from high school without honors, I’ve said goodbye to my crush and to all high school friends of whom I missed them today. I said farewell to my teachers of which I’ve been very rascal to them. I said farewell to the high school building of which they change a bit today. I’ve received my Yearbook and always stare at it. School mates, some overseas, some are more alive today, and some already passed away.
I’ve been gone to college where at the first University I’ve attended, they gave us a hard blow on the chest every Sunday morning during our ROTC, then I’ve transferred to PWU where I’ve learned how to mix colors, to sculpt using a terra cotta, to baked it, to make a rubber cut, to print a collagraph, the printing room, the painting room, to read Art in Everyday Life, to silently steal a book from the library, to eat at the corner of the canteen, to hang out at Rob, to eat lunch at clay pots, to being bullied by a Prof during a class of which he accidentally heard my classmate telling us not to listen to him, to sleep at the animation room, to write slogans on CR, to always hear “dun sa amin sa UST…” a phrase that a Prof from UST always articulate, and why do he always compare my university, to his University? To sat at the stairs in Paseo for hours, to use adobe Photoshop version seven, to use Flash, to use adobe Illustrator ten, to develop a negative in total darkness, to make a short film, to hurry finishing our plates since it’s the last day, and where are we when we have free time? To go to Recto to buy bootlegs and to swim after with Jazon at school to refresh, to sneak at the high school department to spot cute HS girls, to view the skyline of Makati and Ortigas at the top floor of the building, to mock the security guards at school, to change clothes after entering the University, to watch Bamboo live and those gigs by Fine Arts and other departments, oh my… I miss those days! To travel 45 kilometers everyday to school, to meet friends, to have new friends, to be the last to leave the Darkroom and eat first at Macbeth with Jazon and Joms before we finally go home.
Friends, I have many friends, for this decade, I’ve said goodbye to old friends and I’ve welcome new friends.
I have genuine friends, of which they know who they are, fake friends, real friends, bike friends, and designer friends, hiking friends, friends of whom they only befriend me when they only need my help, laughing friends, and drug addict friends. Friends of whom work many miles away, and a hundred miles away and thanks to the internet and cell phone, two friendships can never become distant. They shall be there for advice or for just chit chat even though they are busy staring at monitors for hours doing what the clients told them so. Friends whom I saw only once a week, once a month, and some, once a year. Friends whom I can only see on the internet as avatar, on instant messenger, and on social networking sites. Thanks for this decade, I’ve known them better and I pray that for the next decade, you’re still my friends.
For this decade, I’ve learned how to become a man, I’ am a grown up man, even though sometimes I’ am a bullheaded, I’ve become a vegetarian, a cyclist, adventurer, a mountaineer, an artist (that’s my opinion but I’m not shouting that in your ear.) I’ve became a photographer of which there are too many today, thanks to the digital media and the internet, photography became the most crowded occupation on the face of this planet. I’ve became a reader and I’m always in search for a reading material at home and at sales. I’ve became a listener and a thinker and most of all, for this decade I’ve became a lover. And it thought me that sometimes; love is somewhat a dreadful bond. Being attached to a single person is selfish. And I’ve became a contortionist for her entertainment and what did I got? A very shitty situation of which I’ve already forgotten about it, girls are evil, and I always utter, but of course, not all of them.
The year 2006 made me paint using stencils after Jazon, Chali and I, watched Fremantle did a multi layer portrait of a Moroccan woman using stencils. From that year till now I still paint by means of stencils and I won’t stop till I can’t anymore. I’ve met artist, street artist, writers, and graff fighters and so on. I came to know banksy, klingatron, Logan Hicks, Fremantle, and so many stencil artists for this decade. I’ve written on some one else’s wall but I’ve never been arrested, and I hope not in the future.
This decade also turned me into a mountaineer or a hiker or an adventurer or whatever you want to call it, after Rap invited me for a fun climb with Jazon, Joms, and Rosemae, and since then, it became a craze, and I’ve already clocked up 1,144 kilometers for all of it. It’s just an enthrallment to see nature, to see the real beauty of our planet, to meet new friends, to be self sustaining, and to believe in myself.
I’ve learned to travel by bike, to have one less pollution, and one less car, going to the city to meet up with friends, or just pedaling around. Last year was my first time to join a critical mass ride to show that we can go to school and work using a machine called bike, it was an awesome experience even though it was super hot and I’ve pedaled a 100+ kilometers on that day, from house to Ortigas to the whole stretch of EDSA back and forth and back to home again.
I’ve attended summer slam for the first time in 2004 and saw the presence of different creatures. I loved music more for this decade, listening to different genres on my cassette tape player then CD player and today on my MP3 player and I’ve fall in loved with the organ music and music that has those black and white keys or white and black keys. I became militant for the influences of bands like Earth Crisis, the Path of Resistance, and Trial, Gather, which left a mark on my hands. Rage against the Machine, Bob Marley and the sounds of Neil Young and Pink Floyd and Sparkle Horse.
On this decade we learned how to use the internet, to make the world smaller, to talk to our families and friends even though the sun is shining here and they have the moon there. We saw the rise of social networking sites, to see again our high school pals for the first time after five or six years. To illegally download music, to illegally download files and applications for us to exploit. To use instant messenger to make it look like you where working.
Gadgets are everywhere for the first ten years, those sci-fi films during the seventies and eighties has futuristic gadgets that become a reality today like the PDA’s the computer, the LCD, smaller phones and digital cameras which put a new word on the dictionary, the citizen journalist. From large stereo components to cassette tape players to compact disc to MP3’s to IPOD to IPHONE to BLURAY and so on. From our 14 inch TV, to a Japanese surplus TV, to now a big TV with cable channels, to thin TV, borderless TV, and LCD TV and so on, and so on. To Movies which are a lot better when it comes to special effects, from Star Wars to Harry Potter, to comic heroes who became more alive on the silver screen and the proliferation of 3D cinemas, Mac books, larger malls, call centers, high tech hospitals, taller buildings, powerful tanks, helicopters, ships and modern war machine and gadgets that man has ever created.
Disasters, natural and man made, terrorist, hurricanes, the 2004 Tsunami, typhoons, stronger typhoons every year, floods, earthquakes, Climate Change, icebergs melting, islands disappearing, landslides, eruptions, the struggle of man, to Al Gore, the eleventh hour, An Inconvenient Truth, save the whales, recycle, reuse, biodegradable, Ethanol, PET bottles, BPA free, carbon footprint, and so forth, of which we struggled for the past ten years, to think of a more greener lifestyle, yet they have introduced us things that makes landfills congested.
I’ am alive and I’ am not history! I hope that the next decade for me and for you would be more peaceful and full of challenges ahead. Let’s also try to overcome them, for what is life without demand and enemies? It’s good to have enemies! Just Pray and believe that there is God, and that God is always at our side ready to leap into action. Time passes rapidly, and so we aged swifly, make the most of your seconds, your minute, your hours and your days, weeks and years, for time cannot be recycled. What’s next? A hovering jeepney? A bullet train along EDSA? A movie about EDSA TEN? A Fil-Am U.S. President?

Be grateful for we shall see the changes in the future, for we became a part of yesterday, for we became a part of history, and for we shall become a part of the future. I’ am alive and I’ am not history.

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