There are just so much things to explore in the world to want to remain being idle.
I grew up with a lot of fear to explore new things, maybe opposite to what many people around saw. After pondering on that, I had a hint on the reasons behind. I was afraid I could not do good and I was conscious with what the people are going to say. It was a kind of thinking that I think I was able to develop because of being a bully victim when I was 5 years old.
My life has been so blessed since I was younger. There has been no standards set by my loving parents, but I performed well in my academics. It was one of my ways to make them happy and make them feel that their effort and sacrifices just to send me to a good school were not put to waste. I let myself be honed with Christian values by my teachers and the nuns in school. I was meek and obedient. I guess I was an introvert since then.
Later in life, I realized that I have capacity to do a variety of things. Everything will pass without me dying. All I have to do is to give my best and conquer my fears. Things, I observed, always turn out well. I would never have felt the excitement of waiting for election results and the sweetness of winning every time in Student Council if I did not conquer my fear to give a speech during a Grand Rally.
At an early age of 7, I started discovering and developing my leadership skills by being a classroom officer until I became a consistent Pupil Government and Student Council Officer 5 years later.
I learned to ride a bicycle when I was ten by borrowing the small bicycle of my cousin, Angeli. I spent overnight in their home one weekend, and I found my balance in riding a bike before I went home the next day. As far as I can remember, the first big thing that I asked my father to buy for me was a bike if ever I could make it to the honor roll at the end of the school year when I was in 4th grade. Then my wish was granted! I was so happy. Until now, I’m thankful for the skill to be able to ride a bicycle. (Photo below was taken at Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on April 25th 2010)
At age 10, while sauntering around Mary Mart Mall in Iloilo City, I asked my Mama if I could enroll to a Taekwondo class. She said no because that’s a thing for boys. Ten years later, my younger brother joined a Taekwondo Summer Class. Only then she did permit me to enroll as well. My belt was only yellow when I stopped. But the sport taught me a lot on discipline, perseverance and sportsmanship.
Volleyball was the first sport that I learned to love when I was 12. In Secondary School, I did not bother to join even in Intramurals because there were those who were known already to be better players. I was afraid I’ll be the reason when the team will loose a game. When I was a Freshman in College, there was a tryout for the volleyball team of our Academic group, the Elektrons. I was surprised by my confidence to try it out. I became the team’s setter and included in the first 6 until I graduated. In my last year as scientist in Universal Robina Corporation, there was finally a volleyball team formed in our department. I joined the team later among others, but I turned out to be the Team Captain at the start of the league.
I did not like jogging before I was 23. For me, it was the most boring exercise to do. But I was getting fat then as someone who works in a laboratory without any physical activity. I had no choice but to go with my brother every Saturday morning at Quezon City Circle to jog. Until such time that I learned to like it. (Photo below: Camp Run 2 on November 27th 2011 at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City)
I joined a lot of Fun Runs in 2011, met and got to know a lot of friends in the running community. Below is a track record of the fun runs I have joined.
One of the reasons why I did not take up Nursing was because swimming class is required as far as I knew. I was glad swimming was not a required Physical Education subject as well in BS Chemistry at the University of the Philippines – Visayas. I didn’t like to wear a swim suit. Since I run and can ride a bicycle, my friends had asked me when I am going to do triathlon? I told them never, because I can’t swim.
But in 2008 company outing, I learned how to swim overnight! I was addicted to swimming that I bought a pair of goggles right away and went swimming every Saturday at Ultra or Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. In November 20, 2011, I joined the Snails Aquathlon Pursiut (Run(3K)-Swim(450m)-Run(3K) format)) held at The Palms Country Club in Alabang. Not in my wildest dreams have I thought of doing that, but it happened. I finished 21st out of 36 mixed male and female participants.
One time, I was asked if I play badminton and if I could substitute somebody to play in a friendship tournament. My background in badminton was just backyard game with my cousins. But I said yes anyway. My partner and I were last place, but I became a regular player in tournaments. The veterans were really good. But in one tournament, I was able to get 3rd place.
Heights? I’m rather afraid of falling hard and die. In November 2009, I was courageous enough to try the most extreme activity in Danao, Bohol, Philippines: The Plunge (Canyon Swing) Can you see me in the picture below?
I tried wall climbing in Caliraya Resort in Laguna. It was my first time. It was easier than I expected, and fun as well. Towards the top, I was shaking. I didn’t really know if it was because of wrong technique so that was the reaction of my muscles, or because I was afraid to look down.
When I went to Cebu in April 2011 for the 26th Chemistry Congress, I did not fail to visit the Regency Hotel at Cebu city proper and try their Sky Adventure Expeirence. The zipline is the first urban zipine in the Philippines. It was my first time to do it with buildings, lights and cars were below me instead of trees or a body of water.
The Skywalk is walking in a 1 meter catwalk around the 40 “plusth” floor of the building. The guides were funny and entertaining. Maybe those are qualifications for their job to distract tourists from being afraid. The scariest part of this activity is walking through an about 3 meters of transparent floor.
The Edge is the first in the world. It is a coaster ride around the building. On the first turn, the coaster tilts downwards to its maximum. Through the rest of the ride, one can control the tilt angle he likes.
I have conquered mountains as well. I was able to meet different kinds of people and known most of the norms in mountain climbing. I know how to pack light and survived each climb.
My older brother had always invited me to go to a shooting range for bonding, but did not happen for a long time. Before I went home for Christmas vacation last year (2012), we had time to do it at a shooting range in Malabon, Metro Manila. My hands were shaking at the first time that I had to pull the trigger. My mentors were young boys who helped maintain the place. They said I was a promising shooter as a first timer. In due time and with constant practice, I can join shoot fests. That was a mind blowing and relieving experience, and a good bonding activity with my brother who is a jail officer.
The world is so blessed with God’s amazing creations and wonder, waiting for all to discover and enjoy.
Right now, I’m still having so much fun in life doing and discovering things that I thought I could not do before.