was a year of making out—in a raucous party behind a dusty old sedan, in the cubicle of Mushroom Burger in Katipunan—and all the complications that came with it. Sometimes, it didn’t even come with anything at all, just the pure rapture at feeling someone else’s warmth, moist and excited and trembling like my own. It a the year of bus ride dates, with all the fumbling and sniggering right under the nose of the unsuspecting ticket inspector.
It was a year of taking chances—of responding to Craigslist ads, of auditioning to be a courtside reporter, of sending love letters in pdf to Poland.
It was senior year in college, which was, of course, replete with drama. There were rifts in school organizations, money (in the tens of thousands) unaccounted for, and lots of rumormongering and backstabbing. There was a night of drunken oblivion, when a stolen kiss almost destroyed a friendship.
But it was nonetheless a prolific year, too. There were lots of creative writing workshops, exhausting BJ (read: broadcast journalism) video productions, gruelling legwork for an investigative journalism class, and a fruitful summer internship at a leading news network. It was when I knew I could write my future.
It was a year of booze and bar-hopping. Of making new friends in games of beer pong, shouting each other’s life stories against the pounding club music. It was a year of pushing boundaries—of lifting weights four times a week, of learning the backstroke under the baking sun, of wading through flood to get to school, of eating worms in Puerto Princesa.
It was my first time to be away on my birthday, up in the cold mountain city of Baguio, with a grey jacket and even greyer thoughts. But there was a St. Bernard I could hug, and four of my dearest friends, and they were all that mattered in the end.
It was the year when the world didn’t really end, not even when my mom started snooping my inbox for gossip and sexts. She found out what everybody already knew, what I pretended I didn’t know.
It was when I wanted to set my world on fire, but found it was already combusting on its own.