Twenty-Four on 24: Part 3

17. Sibling rivalry VS sibling revelry.

Sinulog Eve, January 2014.
Sinulog Eve, January 2014.

Being the youngest, I’ve put in needless pressure on myself to achieve what my older siblings did. Two of them were valedictorians and the last one was salutatorian in my batch. Yes, you’ve read it right. We were batch mates since kindergarten. We were even classmates until 6th grade. And boy, he was an achiever that I unfortunately became his shadow. He excelled so well in academics that he was always one of our institution’s representatives in competitions. Admittedly, that became my greatest insecurity growing up. I envied every medal he got because that meant another (self-imposed) failure for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do love him. It’s just that I made him my competitor because I wanted to be in his place. But what I’ve realized when I got to experience college without him is that I’ve been wrong all those times. Sibling is made to make your life more exciting. Your forever friend, confidante and sometimes, enemy rolled into one. They are the ones who won’t judge even if you’ve decided to be an engineer who builds a gigantic impressive structure of, well, clutter; or a nomad who forgets what bathing and toothbrushing means; or a monster who eats every edibles within your reach; or even a leech who takes advantage of anything that has been tagged as free. They may not be enthralled with all your buffoonery but you know they still love you unconditionally anyway. Well, I have three and I think it’s a good thing because one, I presume, is not enough to handle the all of me. The craziness, tantrums, obnoxiousness, to name a few. So always remember that having siblings is one revelry that should be celebrated. It’s a privilege that not everyone gets. Enjoy the times that you can still fight over who needs to wash the dishes, savor the moments when you can all still fit in one bed though uncomfortably, and cherish the occasions when you are all still present to celebrate holidays. This reunion, unfortunately, gets harder when you get older.
18. Parents never know the definition of too much love.

Osmeña Peak, 2014.
Osmeña Peak, 2014.

No parent can totally forsake their progeny. Like us, they have shortcomings as well. But if it’s between your dreams and theirs, yours is always upheld. If it’s between your safety and theirs, yours is always chosen. If it’s between your happiness and theirs, yours is always prioritized. If it’s between your needs and theirs, yours is always favored. For always, no matter how monstrous our parents are at times, we can never deny their gigantic sacrifices from the moment we were born. Yeah, they have not possibly understood all our acts and decisions but I believe that their trust and respect is quite admirable. They may have not afforded to give us everything but I believe their unconditional love is more than enough. More than enough for us to keep dreaming, hoping, and believing.

19. Vanity is not a bad thing after all.

Dolce Cafe, one random Saturday night.
Dolce Cafe, one random Saturday night.

Either we confess it or not, I believe that we all have ‘vanity’ in each one of us. Forget the adjectives “excessive” or “extreme” usually affixed into it for the meantime. What I just want to point out is the vanity as the self-love. So yes, you are vain. I am vain. Everyone is vain. With just varying percentages only, I believe. So, say, you are 90 percent vain then that means you have high regard on your aesthetics Then you probably be taking at least 30 selfies per day. Annoying your social media followers or your real-life friends aside, I think this so called vanity or narcissism can be more beneficial to you in the long run. This helps you to be more resistant to people taking advantage of you. Since you value yourself, you probably won’t allow anyone to tarnish that. You expect people to treat you as their equal and eventually give a fit to anyone who does not. You don’t feel inferiority when compared to others because you just love yourself. With all the flaws, imperfections and weaknesses in it. An important disclaimer though, it’s only based on my observations which may have been erroneous after all. But I know it made some sense.
20. Little things are those that really matter.


Every single day, I get random instances that make me either smile, laugh, or touched. It varies from out-of-the-blue compliments from strangers or passersby to sweet surprises from comrades to occasional treats and messages from family. I know you know the feeling as well. Simply because we all receive blessings and blessings-in-disguise everyday. Sometimes for wanting a lot, expecting too much and living fast-paced, we forget to appreciate these little things. Perhaps on how your officemate have made you smile after long busy hours, or when you’ve received a simple smile from an acquaintance, or when someone have decided to walk you home after banter-filled night, or when you’ve received a favorite from a friend in an ordinary uneventful day. Simple pleasures, trivial happenings, and serendipitous encounters–these acts inevitably happen everyday. Whether we notice it or not, whether we admit it or not, whether we appreciate it or not; one act can subsequently paint smile on our faces, bring us joy, warm our hearts, and make our days seem brighter. And those feelings are what we need to overcome daily undertakings, surpass enormous adversities, and continue life.

21. Do not be afraid to live solo.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”, a famous line from one of the few characters I love. But setting the record straight, I don’t want to get bitten by some spider and act weird all throughout. What great power I’m stressing is living solo. And like what Spidey said, this comes with great responsibility as well. If you’ve been living with your parents for a long time then suddenly try living solo, I bet you’d feel outright difference. You seem to be more available during parties especially those that require staying up late, frequent in hardwares, appliance centers and furniture shops buying what you think are necessary but eventually useless items, and overzealous in arranging clothes, moving things, and cleaning your place. But once you’ve finally settled in and excitement has worn off, it’s normal to feel regret especially when bills are due, laundry and clutter are piling up, food stocks are depleting, and chores are now surprisingly imperative. And no, you can’t just pack your things and go back. This is one responsibility you need to handle on your own. But nonetheless, living solo is something any single guy/lady in their 20s should experience. It is a mixture of exciting and dreadful, an intermittence from empowering to overwhelming, a balance between maturing and frolicking, and most importantly, the nonstop battle of laundry pile, chores and clutter. The last one is so true, well, at least for me. But imagine having that sanctuary that you do move at your own beat, don’t need to care on people’s whereabouts, and don’t need to explain where you’ve been and what you’ve done. It’s liberating. It’s learning. It’s eye-opening. That’s indepedence at its finest.

22. Judging someone based on looks is plainly atrocious.
I am not the kindest and nonjudgmental person you’d meet. Yes, I judged people based on their looks in the past. Not for a few times but almost all the time. But I sincerely regretted those times that I spoke of ill thoughts filled with scorn especially on physical appearance. I couldn’t remember a particular instance though, so to all that I’ve laid my baseless judgments and tactless unsolicited comments with, I am truly sorry. Meanwhile promising full repentance, I remembered an incident while having a pedicure in a nearby salon at my place. A gay person entered and asked the front desk personnel if someone could have a manicure service for him. This certain personnel promptly said that the salon had no available personnel to do it for him. She even emphasized that the gay person needed to wait for several minutes if he would really like to. Contempt was evident on her words. Then, the gay person decided not to wait, went out and perhaps, look for another salon. “Kabati ato niya ug nawng oi. (Translation: He’s very ugly.)” were the very first few words uttered by this personnel. Word for word, I couldn’t forget it. I was aghast on how this certain person could make such comment on someone she met for two minutes or less. I’ve realized that it’s really awful for someone to do such thing so now I’m considering this act as plain atrocity. I hope you think so, too.
23. Live your life the way you want it to be. #YOLO

Camotes Island, May 2014.
Camotes Island, May 2014.

Living the life you love is the most awesome decision that you can ever make. It seems to be real simple, right? But it’s easier said than done. As we age, it’s common for us to succumb on pressures prioritize on realities and outgrow on passions. What we have thought once mattered is nonsignificant anymore. Say, growing up, you were really into painting and planned to pursue it as career. But hard times occur that you eventually got stuck on a day job, not necessarily happy with it, that allows you to pay your bills, buy your needs and wants. So instead of living the life that can possibly make you feel the most accomplished, you end up with the life that make you feel most safe and secured. Either way, you’ve made such decision whether you forget the matter you once considered everything or whether you suffer hardships for that ‘everything’ be pursued. Whatever you think is better for you, go for it. As cliché goes, we only have one life to live and living it to the fullest makes this one lifetime enough.
24. Be in a relationship because you fervently want it.


Contrary to what people have been thinking and assuming (at some point), I am open to having butterflies in my stomach, getting head over heels to someone, committing to that one person and yes, deeply falling in love. But I have also believed in the saying that of all mediocre things in this world, love should not be one of them. It should be that one great feeling that is founded on trust and respect, that is enlivened with passion and individuality, that is nurtured by acceptance and compromise, and that is not furthered by aesthetic but personality. Pardon the ignorance but love is the only component that I acknowledge and know of why someone should be in a relationship, get married and have family. Moreover, I believe that being in a serious relationship should be a choice, your choice. A decision not because of convenience nor gain. A decision not rooted on fear of feeling unloved and unwanted. A decision not made on needing someone to complete you or wanting someone to appreciate your existence and worth. A decision not compelled upon you. A decision not out of curiosity, lust or challenge. But rather a decision made deliberately because of strong undeniable emotions. And unless I feel that, I think I’d rather be single.

So while I have finished my 24 realizations for the past 24 years of wondrous existence, my journey still continues. Yours as well. We still live on this so called life’s infinite paradox: filled of successes and failures, full of happiness and melancholy, bounties of problems and resolutions, and of love and aversion. But as long as you never get tired of facing life, life will never get tired of you. Cheers to this another year and thanks so much for perusing. Lovelots.❤️❤️

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