Monday, April 10, 2006

In the Past ___ Year

Just going down memory lane:

In the past (fill in the blank) year(s):

1 year: I was vacationing in the Philippines and elsewhere, as captured in my April posts last year. Yes, I wish I were home now. And to answer that second question in your mind, yes, I wish I were with someone special right now, too.

2 years: I was a newbie in Saudi Arabia, and just getting used to the people and the place.

5 years: I was still about to break open another career path, or in other words I was broke, jobless, and desperate to find a job. I jettisoned a career in Global Sources a few months before, went on my own way to do freelance writing but I needed more regular work. At this time my friend referred me to Integrative Learning after I had gone through a bunch of interviews, rejections, and crappy job offers. I started with IL late April/early May. There was a standing invitation to re-join RFM's Office of the Chairman, which I eventually took a few months later when I ditched IL...

7 years: I was with RFM's OCoB at the time - back for my second tour of duty. Yes, the pay sucked. The work was okay and something to live for, but everything else...hmm, I love the staff (save for a few), I love the old man (but not the way he worked and still works), and the place was a dead-end, though at the time I didn't know yet.

10 years: I had just succeeded getting myself fired from Ayala Health Care. Now how does one go about that? Simple: don't show up, don't answer phone calls, don't even bother resigning. Object lesson: I tasted the bitter fruit of what I just did to other people by having someone do it to me. In my defense, I was younger and more headstrong, and if I failed, it was just all up to me.

13 years: We were conducting the live-in retreat for Batch 12 of SHARE. This capped a really long summer when we went to Lipa to conduct training for college students ("Heal the World" by Michael Jackson was still big in the provinces), spent some time in Marinduque, and conducted this training. And oh, there was the renewal also in Lipa. We snuck in Gary V's concert care of our host and had a great, great time. One great summer, and the last significant one with C.

15 years: Nothing significant to report. Well, yeah, some drinking and some volunteering and some studying were involved at the time. But nothing significant, really. It was one lazy summer, though I do remember we re-organized SHARE at the time following the renewal in Laguna (exact date of which I cannot supply).

20 years: It was just weeks after I had graduated from grade school, and I was embarking on the great adventure of high school. I wasn't much of a memory keeper then (I started only when I got into college). Did we go to Pangasinan or Baguio as was our wont? Most likely, since this was almost a yearly thing back then. I do remember '87 I was in Cebu with my father and later I went to band camp. In '88 my brother, my first brother-in-law (I'll have another one come this June) and I were in Batangas, followed by that wonderful stretch in ChemStart at the Ateneo. In '89 we were back in Baguio again without our parents, which was the last time all of us six siblings were together for one long trip.

(Hmmm..there were those two days before New Year 2004, but we were in just a hotel so it doesn't really count). Summer '89 was Peer Counselors's Training, and it was also the beginning of my brother's ordeal that changed our family forever...

Okay, the memory banks finally worked... yes, we did go to Baguio in 1986, though not exactly this date (but in the vicinity anyway).

25 years: Tough call. I just finished third grade then, and our official summer itinerary before I got into high school was:

a) Customary visit to Pangasinan with our cousins there. The formula then was to get to the beach, eat a lot of yummy stuff (and sneak in sips of beer which my father slipped on the side away from my mother's eagle eyes), and scare each other silly with ghost stories. Good times all around.
b) Annual vacation of our domestics, which meant that we had to do the housework. In any case, the mandate we received was to clean house. My assignment was waxing and scrubbing our bedroom floors, and occasional washing of the plates after meals.
c) Receive an annual visit from any number of our cousins, mostly from our mother's side of the family. We never had much by way of male cousins our age visiting. It was mostly the girls. Up to now it's still a mystery why.

30 years: Now that's really tough to call. Sorry, it would take more than 30 minutes' rumination to cough up this memory.

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