Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wham Wham!

Every person has his set of favorite words. Yes, everybody — for all we know, your simpleton of a neighbor adores the word obfuscate, while that refined, glib-tongued politician gets a kick out of croc. Of the dozens of words I revere, only several come to mind right now — corsair, amaranth, coruscant, quintessence, sex. (You read that right.)

Oh and yes, double whammy. Recently it's become a favorite not because of its elegance (sex is elegant — speak it out loud in a public place and you'll get awed reactions, trust me), but because it applies to my life right here, right now.

In less than a month, I've received a double whammy of sorts. Last April 23, I finished the first half of the Race — my life as a student. It was a glorious twenty years. True, there were countless heartbreaks, lachrymose moments, and bouts of depression, but the triumphs and lessons learned along the way more than offset the failures. After three years of infancy, two years at St. James Child Care Center, seven at Lourdes School of Quezon City, four at Philippine Science High School, and four at the University of the Philippines Diliman, I can say I'm happy — nay, exultant — over how things turned out. (There goes the depressed facade!)

Modesty aside, the roll of years has awarded me a few choice descriptions — achiever, visionary, performer — along with a handful of titles, such as actor, game reviewer, programmer, journalist, scholar, editor, and tenuously, a writer. (You can also add in crybaby, delinquent, sinner, young troubled man, and sana cum laude, but cut me some slack just for this day.) It was a hectic and exciting twenty years, no doubt, and I'm proud to have lived through it.

But suddenly, there's a void.

There lies the first whammy. I have left school, and I am in limbo*.

Unemployment? No, that's not the problem. There have been offers from big companies, all of which I rejected. I've a weak spot for small companies that I can 'guide' to prominence (parallel to my experience with school organizations). It's either them or I do freelance work. My real problem is Where do I go? What path do I take? Will I entirely discard my strong background in computer science and write my way to fame? Will I abandon all sense of family responsibility and pursue my dreams in archaeology and history, dreams that I found within grasp in the University?

To these questions, I can offer no answer. And for someone who's used to finding answers with mechanical, scientific methods, that is so frustrating.

The second whammy's quite terse. It doesn't need much explaining. It's May 10 today — my 21st birthday (now you know why I asked you to cut me some slack). Today I am officially, semantically, undoubtedly adult.

It's quite a shock to wake up one day and realize that you need to minimize stop the baby talk. Adios to the freewheeling days of perpetual computer gaming and Net surfing. No free lunches from your parents anymore, just free pieces of advice.

Oh, why do these whammies come in pairs? Happy birthday to me. I never thought hitting twenty-one was cause for much disorientation.


*Credit goes to Ia. We're stuck in the same situation, and she coined the term.
**What did I write when Corsarius hit XX last year? Read.

43 Comments:

Anonymous earl said...

"There have been offers from big companies, all of which I rejected. I've a weak spot for small companies that I can 'guide' to prominence" - wow, bilib ako!

Parang we have the same problem (@ first whammy).

5:08 AM  
Anonymous gari said...

phillip,

parang ano ah...
totoong UP...
hehehe...
if you would like
to try some NGO,
may alam ako na naghahanap
ng Policy Advocacy and
Media Officer and I think
you can pull it out kaya
lang interesado ka ba sa
agrarian reform?

gari

9:14 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

philip,
Ah, Youth is wasted on the young! But not on you it seems. Yet early laurels fade as quickly, look to huge challenge that is the next 20. Can you exceed your greatest glories thus far? the gimmicks of diliman won't bring you to kilimanjaro. what dragons will you slay. Or what woman will slay you, corsair?

9:58 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

earl, i just don't feel like working like a drone, a statistic, which often happens in corporations. and once you get in, getting out is difficult. ;) oo nga e, we have similar problems -- nagets ko mula sa blog entries mo. good luck sa atin!

gari, that sounds like a wonderful job. i'm not well-versed in agrarian reform, but it sure looks like a worthy challenge, especially because it concerns the plight of our nation's farmers. however, i've also received offers from several small firms, and i'm leaning towards working part-time for them, while continuing with my writing (plus other stuff) with the remaining hours. the part-time job would be to develop my IT knowledge and to provide daily sustenance (hehe), while writing will allow me to begin doing my part for the nation. right now i can't commit to an NGO job (especially if it's fulltime), but because of what you've said, i'm becoming more and more interested in it. i'll be thinking it over, gari. thanks for the help, i really appreciate it.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rizalist, yes, you are right -- early laurels fade swiftly -- and i hope to do more things in the next 20, achievements that i'll be proud of, but more importantly, achievements which benefit the nation. UP grads need to act as UP grads, and i hope to fulfill that responsibility.

what dragons will i slay? hm...well, there are reptiles slithering in and out of the nation's nooks and crannies. but we all know it's a grand dream to metaphorically/literally slay them all. let's see.

what woman will slay me? now, that is an interesting thought ;)

8:38 PM  
Blogger yayam said...

happy birthday phillip!! wow legal na legal!! wahehe..now i know how hard it is after college..kala ko everything's settled immediately after college..hayy..

good luck in whatever path you take phillip!:)

9:12 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

thank you so much, yayam! yeah, it's that hard -- if you choose not to enter the corporate world. there are many big companies out there eager to make you Employee # 578210. hehe. ;)

thanks again!

9:36 PM  
Anonymous little light said...

quintessence is also one of my favorite words, along with serendipity. =)

natatakot din akong mag-21. parang ang scary. marami nang bawal. kung pwede lang pigilan ang age!

10:41 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

My real problem is Where do I go? What path do I take? Will I entirely discard my strong background in computer science and write my way to fame? Will I abandon all sense of family responsibility and pursue my dreams in archaeology and history, dreams that I found within grasp in the University?

personally, i think you should follow your heart's desire. it would probably be the only way for you to fill that void. true, it may hurt those who have their hopes up for you, but then again, you're making a decision that would have a greater effect on your future, not only for your sake, but also for theirs. and i think they will understand, if not sooner then later, that this is something that you really want, something that could make you happy and complete.

i think you'll do fine...

and that's an advise that came from someone you didn't even know. haha! seriously, happy birthday! err... belated. your last year's post was cool... did the same thing when i was young. i was considered one of the most "kind" students during catechism. now i'm just plain kind... or something like that. haha! nevermind that.

2:30 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

it's scary, light, i tell you. until you get to that day ;) sometimes i dream of writing a program that would loop my life forever between the ages 18 and 21. however, aside from being ridiculous, such a loop would just like be a state of unlife.

rooster, thank you very much for the advice. though i'm still in a confused state right now, i'm pretty sure your advice will go a long way in clearing things up for me. a year ago i said in one of my posts that people should follow their heart's desires -- funny how i struggle to apply the same to my own life right now ;)

thanks for the bday greeting, and the vote of confidence. haha, fellow catechism student, eh? i think i was a kind one, too -- but after the lesson we would always play Magic: The Gathering with the catechist (at that time the Church frowned upon such games). quite fun times :D

3:55 AM  
Blogger ia said...

the funny thing is, i've already said the things i needed to tell you, whether or not this post was around.

"SEXXXXX!" it's jeric who does that. hahaha.

It's either them or I do freelance work.: Hindi parallel! LOL!

ano, kelan ulit what-do-i-want-to-do-with-my-life este career debate natin? ^_^

sometimes thinking about things too much — or in this case spending too lengthy a time wrting about them — heightens the pressure and misery. it's all in the mind!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

ia, i'm always up for that career debate. i guess it's become the opium for our distraught minds, hehe.

yes, maybe you're right...thinking about these stuff too much puts a lot of stress on us. okay, off to play more PC games, then! ;) just kiddin.

3:23 PM  
Blogger claudzki said...

my current favorite word in the whole wide world right now is something i made up and i dont even know what it means :)

9:16 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

well, sometimes an advice don't usually apply to everything. it could work to some but it might not work with others.

i think it's the pressure of growing up and having that kind of responsibility that young people like us (haha, like "us", syempre young din ako. hehe) aren't used to. don't stress yourself too much. just because you've turned 21 and just graduated, doesn't mean all the freedom will be stripped off of you.

(i didn't know magic was already alive back then. hehe. unfortunately, i was just plain naive and didn't know much about the world.)

10:43 PM  
Anonymous kita said...

heya cos

firstly

a greeting: Happy Birthday (i'm a tick late)..

an aside: www.myfavouriteword.com

a gift:(i say this alot, so now i say this to you too) :P

the years past
countless whispers
the memories last
priceless shivers
this is the day
for you to be
whoever you choose
as ultimately
it's
all
you.

and finally, a comment: at the moment i think the word vivify is simply sublime

12:14 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

claudz, care to share it with us? is that one of those cute babytalk words? ;)

great point, rooster. that's precisely what i'm aiming to do in my first 'job' -- to still have a considerable degree of freedom to do my other passions in life. but of course there can be many interpretations of freedom for every person :)

kita, thank you very much -- for the greeting, for the link (great site, i'll try to submit my faves there hehe), and most especially for the gift. the gift of poetry to another poet is simply heartwarming.

and yeah, i must agree -- 'vivify' is an elegant word. it sounds seductive, even :P

1:29 AM  
Anonymous hera said...

Happy Birthday my dear Corsarius!! Sorry I wasn't able to greet you on time. Sana masaya ang debut mo. :D

Whatever you decide to do, however you want to take your first step, do it with all passion and without fear of failing. You might take wrong turns, at some point feel that you're lost. But whatever happens I hope you won't regret anything. You're young. No need to act like you have to do the right thing. Act as your heart dictates. :)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

a thousand thanks, dearest hera! nah, don't worry about the timeliness. it's the thought that counts.

oo nga no, debut pala ng lalaki ang 21. hehe!

thank you very much for the advice. needless to say, i'd always keep u updated on what turns i've taken and what paths i've trodden upon. good luck to both of us! ;)

11:56 PM  
Blogger jaki said...

corsarius,errr, phillip, what course did you take ba?

i like your thought. it's so like mine. and it's so unfortunate that i do not know the answer too because i am only about to step into college (im still an incoming fourth year!;p) and you're done with it.

id rather go to the pathway of the arts, leaving all the vivacious dreams of becoming ever rich and happy, of which my parents seem to be an issue for my family.

oh, and belated happy birthday! i hope you find what truly would make you happy.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

jaki, bs computer science...forced to take it because of my high school. :(

good luck in your remaining HS year -- it's going to be one of the most unforgettable ones. and good luck to your imminent college life! here's one hoping it gets to be a fruitful, gratifying, and enjoyable one for you.

thanks for the greeting and the well-wishes, jaki! :D

4:08 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

forced to take it because of my high school. :(

parang nakakarelate ako dun ah...

6:43 PM  
Anonymous bing said...

my, am i late! happy birthday, hijo!

i salute you for such nobility. for a parent like me, it is always a dream to have their kid/s get a promising job or land a lucrative career. not for my sake, but for my kid/s future. but always, it would be their happiness which is of primary importance.

i hope you understand why i was late for the greeting he he

good luck and God bless, corsi!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster, by any chance, did you come from a science high school? :)

thank you, tita bing! i'm not really sure if i'm being noble or something like that...i just want to do what i feel is right, is favorable for my own personal development, and somehow fits into my responsibility as a UP grad. ;) maraming salamat po uli!

12:31 AM  
Anonymous rooster said...

rooster, by any chance, did you come from a science high school? :)

yeah, i did. i wanted to take another course, something way far from being science-related. but my mom didn't want me to. i believe the exact words were "para san pa't pumasok ka sa science high school kung yan lang ang kukunin mo". she said i would be wasting my 4 years in a science high school if i took the course. it ended like i wasted my entire life not following my own desire.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous rooster said...

don't get me wrong. i like the course that i took, it's just that it's not what i really wanted.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster, i can really relate to that. i think that's what my dad said to me, too. and while i like computer science (wanted to make computer games hehe), i had at least 5 fields that i prefered over CS -- creative writing, comparative lit, archaeology, history, journ. (whoa, i've just realized, that's a lot.)

if i may ask, what course did you take up in college, and what were your desired ones? :)

3:31 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

if i may ask, what course did you take up in college, and what were your desired ones? :)

and while i like computer science

i believe i took the same course as yours because i wanted to design websites and become a webdeveloper. but i wanted to take hrm, or say culinary arts. it was my dream to be a professional chef. my mom said i could take a vocational course for that after i graduate on a science-related course and thought she was right so i continued taking cs anyway.

5:47 PM  
Blogger teripotz said...

Hey, i graduated two years from college now and I still ask myself questions like that =) Like you, i'm not too keen on the idea of working in a corporate world, but right now that's what i'm doing (unfortunately) cause well, i need some job to finance myself. Hehe

Happy Birthday!

7:29 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster -- professional chef? whoa. i've always been impressed by culinary masters; i guess it's one of my dozens of other dream jobs in life. or at least, i want to cook for the women (wink). i take it that presently, you're a web designer/developer? sample sites naman o, kung hindi confidential, hehe, so i can drop by from time to time.

hiya, teri! thank you very much. and good luck to your career! ;)

2:40 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

i take it that presently, you're a web designer/developer?

oh... did i say that? heheh. just kidding. actually, i'm still studying because i got to the point where my course became a struggle for me. that's the reason why it felt more like a regret not following my desire.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

oh... did i say that? heheh. just kidding. << nevermind that.

as for my site. yeah i have one. it's sorta like a blog thingy, pero i code everything on it except probably the tagboard and the music section. the link is on my name (i was having doubts of sharing the link... but whatever). enter at your own risk.

4:50 PM  
Blogger im_geo said...

Belated happy birthday bro!

Hehe.. if you feel like an adult, what more would I feel? I may be 19 years old but I'm now exposed to the world of the ADULTS. And yes you're right, NO MORE CRYBABIES. Hehe..

I chose to work and is forced to work because of family problems. Hehe goodluck and hope you find your career path. ^__^

10:06 AM  
Blogger olrayt said...

i like the word pakernini. and nakamphoota.

that "being old" feeling won't end. soon you'll wonder why super hot 22-year old babes call you kuya (am experiencing this right now. bad trip hirap umiskor pag ganun)

belated na rin!

11:39 PM  
Blogger J. Angelo Racoma said...

Might have something for you. ;) Drop me a line.

Angelo

http://racoma.com.ph

10:58 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster, thank you very much for the vote of trust. i appreciate it. now that i've seen your site, i only have one question -- did we ever become classmates? if we did, then i think i've figured out who you are (saw your name on the tagboard) :) great work on the blog, it must've been heavy work to code most of it!

that definitely made me laugh, olrayt! thanks for the greeting, tol!

7:12 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

thanks thanks thanks, geo! yeah, i was actually suprised to remember that you're much younger than your batchmates. it's an impressive feat, i tell you, to excel above others whilst you're still in your teens. (hala, para naman akong kuya magsalita! haha :P)

j angelo, sure thing, will do! and thanks for mentioning this entry in your site :)

7:25 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

now that i've seen your site, i only have one question -- did we ever become classmates? if we did, then i think i've figured out who you are (saw your name on the tagboard) :)

yeah, we did become classmates. i knew you'd figure that out that's why i had doubts of telling you the link. but then again...

great work on the blog, it must've been heavy work to code most of it!

thanks... i guess. there's some heavy work, but it's not finished yet. still have to work on the comments section. thanks again for dropping by.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster, no prob, it was my honor to read your weblog. would it be alright if i linked it up? (of course, under the name "rooster" or, hm, "mbacarra" :p)

2:19 AM  
Anonymous rooster said...

would it be alright if i linked it up? (of course, under the name "rooster" or, hm, "mbacarra" :p)

yeah sure. whichever you think would be appropriate.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

rooster, thanks. link's up!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous rooster said...

salamat, salamat nang marami.

12:29 AM  
Blogger CyberCelt said...

Do what you enjoy doing. If you may make a living at that-great! Otherwise it a business you start that you build until you can make a living doing so. Life is too short to do something you hate 8 hours a day.

People change careers 5-6 times in their lives. So, if you make a decision now, it does not mean it is written in stone.

Happy birthday.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

cybercelt, thank you very much for the insightful advice and the greeting. i particularly enjoyed this one: "Life is too short to do something you hate 8 hours a day." thanks again.

2:15 PM  

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