Ice cream on a hot day. Going to the beach. Sleepless nights. Good hair days. Taking a leisure walk along the boulevard. ILC 2013 in Metro Manila. A Hong Kong Disneyland spree. Frolicking under the sun and simply living in that moment—just a few of the things I planned for my summer bucket list. My thoughts were more tangled than the students around me as we gather for our Commencement Exercises. My left eye got badly infected and turned crimson red, the main reason I never had the chance to present with my class.
I climbed up the stage, got my award as the standing 1st Honor and got teary-eyed (not because I was in a sentimental condition but because I can barely open my left eye). Having my eye infected made me dislike the start-off of my summer. Well, I won’t say I am lucky. But indeed, I was blessed that the infection nursed back to normal the next day. Now, I can clearly see God’s beautifully engineered creations. And finally! This is SUMMER. We had school finished early. My family spent the Holy Week at home. We had our Lenten Diet and we never planned to go out somewhere until the week’s done.
I’ve got nine weeks to enjoy summer and without a doubt, I’ve got all the time. I looked back on my summer bucket list, read it all throughout. Undeniably, my summer didn’t turned out to be the way I wanted it to be. The first of April, I got myself enrolled in a summer voice class in Silliman University College of Performing & Visual Arts—which is actually, not a part of my summer bucket list. Classes will be starting on the 10th but my schedule would be starting on the 16th. It’s still a little bit early. I was uncertain to do so since my sister isn’t with me anymore.
I started attending summer classes in SU since I was 9 years old. With my sister whose in college right now. I was sort of afraid going there alone. That is why I got doubts in doing so but since music is what my heart screams for, I went for it. My parents both worked in a state college and they will be having a seminar in Bacolod on the 10th. Two by two thoughts conquered my mind if one way or another, I should go or not. Well, Bacolod is still a strange and unfamiliar place for me since I haven’t been there plus it’s in Region VI.
Yet my determination to travel pushed me to explore more on some unknown shores and that while I’m still young and my knees are still strong, I have to GO. So that’s it, we traveled to Bacolod with the company of my parents’ officemates. 9th of April, we headed to Dumaguete City and traveled by land (Well, because air flights cause too much expense) My patience lengthened ‘cause I have to sit on a bus for freaking 7 hours which I’m not really used to. We stopped by several bus terminals and a huge one with a food chain to take lunch. Then, went on.
A feeling of astonishment showed in my face ‘because a huge mall was standing just in front of the hotel, Gaisano Bacolod Mall. I got myself indulged in a movie house, watched Star Cinema’s two of the recent successful movies—It Takes A Man & A Woman and Must Be Love, both actually deserved a standing ovation. I as well got the chance of going to SM Bacolod. It was there my Mama bought me a new-fangled LG phone and beyond doubt, I was happy. Witnessing the dancing lights, the busy crowd in the amazing Panaad Festival was one of a kind.
I got myself camera-captured in many of the native booths. I got myself pretty awed too, in Mambukal Resort. The beauty of the falls, the warm sound of the flowing river and the diverse kinds of butterflies in their sanctuary truly caught my eyes. Bacolod, the city of smiles (which is true), gave me a wondrous experience and I really wanted to live there but there are too many alien coasts I have to explore. I bid Adieu to Bacolod and continued my journey. The 16th of April came and my first class started. I went there alone, by the way and I was kind of proud of myself.
I still have 2 upcoming classes on the 23rd and on the 30th which means I still have to be more independent. Eating alone at Mc Donald’s, walking to school alone and riding a fast craft to and fro all alone proved it. Within the leisure days, I stayed at home and there were days I met with a couple of friends from my YFC community. I was undoubtedly fortunate that Palarong Pambansa 2013 was held in Dumaguete and the date falls exactly on the week I’m having my second classes. So, I had the chance of witnessing Philippines’ best athletes play around courts and fields.
Lucky, indeed. Then came May. The house was a bit of busy since fiesta’s fast approaching. I was actually overwhelmed when the day of the fiesta arrived, just the mere fact of families and friends coming over our house, the food and the moments. A day after the fiesta celebration, I went back to Dumaguete to have my progress recital. My Nanay accompanied me since my mother’s busy taking good care of my father, which is actually in bed for how many days. A feeling of anxiety conquered my whole body that day because I will be rendering a version of Les Miserables ‘On My Own’.
I ran into students just like me. They had their stories and I can see it by the way they look and among the many of them, I was caught by a good-looking lad who had a freaking amazing voice. Sincerely I was a little bit boosted and inspired that somehow somewhere there are still good-looking guys who are passionate in music. *wink* I would say I did a great job singing that moment cause I got a feeling of 100% satisfaction. I really had quite a successful day. The next day, my father got confined in Perpetual Succour Hospital for a week in Cebu.
I had to be there to accompany my mother. I traveled all alone—another proof of my independence. I was a little bit troubled that my mother won’t allow me to perform in our last summer recital since my family had expenses the past days. It has been my lifelong dream to perform in front a huge crowd and just give happiness and inspiration to young people like me. Yet after we went home, the heavens granted my prayers and my mother gave me the consent. It was May 14 when Papa got confined again in Holy Child Hospital in Dumaguete due to his dialysis sessions.
Actually, every time I look at my father’s face, I feel down and I just want to cry but I have to be strong. So, my family stayed in Dumaguete for a week after the elections. While they were busy taking care of my father, I was as well busy going to Silliman COPVA to have rehearsals for our final performance. I wasn’t aware of the costume we had to use for the act and I didn’t bring any back home. My mom was in a full support condition and gave me all the things I needed. We had a 2-day show. We performed a Glee-song medley. The first one was a success.
I got teary-eyed singing “Keep Holding On” since my family was absent on the performance. But the show must go on and by the way, I knew the name of the “good-looking lad with the freaking amazing voice” and I got the courage to talk to him. 5 points! We became friends and yes, I was happy. The last day, my mother was there and my fighting spirit got braver and I performed like it was the last performance of my life. Moreover, I fished some friends. I spent the following days on my cousin’s home and my grandpa’s since they’re having a fiesta celebration.
I’ve had memorable experiences with my family which I haven’t experience a year ago due to some busy days. On the 28th and 29th, the Almighty conquered our province when we had our CFC-YFC ProvCon themed “iFollow”. The experience was beyond priceless that whenever I raised my hand to sing and worship, I feel saved and redeemed and that’s how powerful God’s grace is. I’m not luck indeed but I’m blessed and highly-favored that the last few days of my summer was spent to exalt the Almighty’s name. So that’s it. I didn’t have chances to go to beaches but I had the chance to be in the city of smiles.