The five people I met in my heaven on earth

They say that there are no accidents. Whether it happened for awhile, or when it isn’t even what you want to happen, it is still meant to be. Some people are meant to pass you by, to stay for awhile, to stay a little longer, and to stay for a lifetime. Of course at this moment and at a young age, no one’s ever sure who will stay or who will eventually go after some time, but for me, I am pretty sure who will stay, though not physically. It is not always about the physical attachment. Some stay through what they leave behind for you.

Eddie has his five people that he met in heaven, as written by Mitch Albom (one of my favorite authors), but since I’m still very much alive and I’ve met people who helped me create my own heaven, I will talk about them; the five people I met in my heaven on earth.

***

The subject “euthenics” was one of those subjects that required us to wake up early and keep ourselves awake and attentive for an hour. The subject was simple and it was just about passing or failing the subject so it wasn’t much of a hassle for us.. of course excluding waking up early for it. I admit it was a bit boring, though I enjoyed some topics we tackled in class, but if it weren’t for Miss Ces Dakis who’s our guidance counselor, I would’ve just slept every time. After Euthenics, we were required to have our routine interview with Ms.Dakis every semester. Of course at first it made us think “ano ba yan, meron pang ganyan” and the like but after having one routine interview with Ms.Dakis, it became something I’d like to have as a hobby or a new subject I’d be glad to take and go to everyday.

Ms.Dakis is not like any other guidance counselor. Inside her office was a home where she becomes our mother/sister. There’s just something about that four-cornered room, that look that she gives us and how that “Oh, ano na” always seems so comforting whenever we come by and ask for counseling.

She’s one of the 3 people who works in school who knows my secrets and someone who I am very much comfortable with because I know she won’t judge me and give me advice not just for the sake of giving me one, but because she knows it’s for the best. She taught me how to look at things deeper, to think of the what if’s and but’s and to weigh things between what’s important and what’s not necessary. She also has that aura where it automatically smashes your walls down and manages to let you tell her everything that you’ve been trying to hide, then would make you feel a lot better.

I never bluff whenever I tell her that I want to have another routine interview after another even when I always get that “wag ka na Itel” or “Ikaw na naman” response. It’s also very touching whenever she remembers or reminds me about something I’ve told her way back and would always fool around with me/us.

***

It is always a wonder when someone reminds you of someone who is very dear to you, be it through physical aspect or through the person’s attitude or behavior. It’s funny how they can be identical even when they’re not even related.

It was my second year in college when I met the “twin” of my Lolo, named Sir Lorenzo Gabutina a.k.a Lolo Gabs. By the way, he also reminds me of my favorite cartoon character Carl of UP and the character Morrie of the book Tuesdays with Morrie, so this just made him look more adorable for me. He looks a lot like my Lolo Chenggoy, though he was slimmer, and bubblier. He seemed a lot like my Lolo, Carl and Morrie when it comes to being funny, witty and nice. In our every Tuesday class, it felt like I was Mitch Albom and he was Morrie because the way Mitch described Morrie, is similar to how Lolo Gabs was and they both have that warm and up-lifting aura.

The first half of the semester, his class became one of those classes you can’t wait to get in to every week, but somehow that was just about it. It was great also for the fact that the subject is about advertising, but then again, it’s a class. It was just a class. Tuesdays with Lolo Gabs became totally different after the time he talked to me (just like with everyone else) one-on-one. First he talked about my grade, and then went straight through personal stuff. I was surprised to know that he actually saw right through me. He knew cos he felt and saw it in me. He told me how much my problems are affecting basically everything I do. “Ang bigat mo eh”, he said. I wanted to joke around and say “Sir, wag niyo na ipagdiinan sakin na mataba ako”, but then I started crying. “I can see you laughing and having fun with your friends, pero it still shows”, he also told me. I cried because I didn’t know that I suck at hiding what I feel and because I didn’t expect that a Prof would actually care enough to tell me about it, talk about it and would want to help me.

He suddenly became my “illegitimate Lolo” after that. He never stopped asking me how I was and never grew tired of listening to me and trying to help me out. Even when I was already in my 3rd year, he would still check up on me if I was okay and I would still update him with stuff. He actually knows my secrets that I only tell my close friends and keeps them just like how a granddaughter and a grandfather would. Whenever I talk to him, he would always lift me up especially in times that I am losing hope. He never fails to encourage me and push me like what he always tell me, “magaling ka naman talaga eh”. He always seems to show me my worth and would always protect me from “bad things/people”.

Lolo Gabs also inspired me to just do what I love doing, say what I want to say, enjoy everything that makes me happy, and go beyond the limit I’ve built for myself. It always fascinates me seeing him all lively and young at heart. It always reminds me to just act naturally, notice all the good things and let the bad things just pass after you’ve learned from them. He taught me how to stay young.

***

Just this second semester, I officially became an advertising student after passing the minor track interview. We had our 2 advertising major subjects; copywriting and advertising management. Both were amazing subjects let alone having big time Professors, but I never thought that one of them would give my whole being a big impact. Sir Vincent Pozon runs his own advertising agency, and teaches us advertising management. There’s really something about him that I could not and would probably never decipher. 

The subject was heavy, that it honestly made our eyelids heavy as well, also while our stomach’s growl since our schedule was from 10:30-1:30pm. It was a battle between naps that 3rd yr students crave for especially on Saturdays, and big information and advice from a big man in the advertising industry. As the discussions go along, I gained more interest in my minor and in the subject itself, but of course it can’t make up for the past assignments I’ve not given much attention to when I was still a little off with the subject and having it on a Saturday, also as family stuff hinders me from attending a few sessions.

He talked to each and one of us about our performance in his class. As expected, I cried. First reason was because of the grade I got. I didn’t really fail, but it was low. Second was because of the frustration of being an advertising student that I wont be elaborating about (hehe). and third, was because of what he told me. He told me about how tough it is and will be in the advertising world. That if criticisms and rejection were bullets, he must have had numerous holes in his body and is still continuously getting more.

He told me once that it was obvious that I am an introvert, which is both a good and a bad thing. He admitted he is also an introvert but he learned how to be an extrovert when he needs to be or rather, ‘because he needs to be‘. He told me that I should learn how to not limit myself, and to say everything that I have to say. He said I was too shy of speaking out, which I am guilty of, and I need to get that out of my system because it wont do me any good anyway. He said that we may be sensitive right now with the things people say especially about our work, but it will be eventually the same in the future, if not worse. All we need to do is to take it as a challenge and that rejection only means that you’ve got a lot more to give and a lot is expected from you. He told me I’ve got so much more to show. He also told us that a job is not a job, it’s a joy.

After that, he usually gives me that pressuring look and continuous nods that automatically gets me to talking or saying what I had in mind. It’s always a relief especially when he compliments me (which for me seems like a very big deal since he is ‘the man’), but it was really pressuring. He then became my/our “Tatay”, my inspiration and a fellow-Beatle’s fan.

***

and then there’s that one person you’d meet in school who you never thought would even care to talk to you, but ends up as someone who’s nice enough to hear you out. In my own heaven on earth which is the mass comm life, I/we have Kuya Mark Espino, or simply known as Kuya Mark. At first he was the very silent and serious Kuya who is in-charge of the rooms/lounge in the H building, and the Kuya who helps Kuya Lito in guiding us in the radio room and the equipment. The first time I met him, he was laughing while he was asking me not to eat inside the lounge. I was glad he wasn’t mad, but got embarrassed. At the same time, that gave me the hint that he’s not all serious and unapproachable.

Since we get to be with him every rehearsals, we of course made friends with him. Then after a short time, he eventually showed his wacky and bubbly side. He then became a real “kuya” to all of us, just like with Kuya Lito but since he’s younger, he became more close to us.

There was a time that he even helped us with our statistics problem since he is a math major, then after that, the helping went on. I get the chance to talk to him at times be it about how the radio and TV prod thing goes and about a lot more. He was very much approachable and he is definitely a good adviser.

He basically knows all my secrets already and problems I have had because I would always run to him to talk to him about it and he would always hit me with advice along with some insults and little harsh words. At first it seemed offensive and all, but after awhile I realized that it’s just his way of keeping me sane since comforting words are overrated and like what he said, comforting doesn’t really help or solve the problem. It either worsens it or.. keeps you in the exact same situation you’re in to. I also realized that I am the kind of person who somehow needs comfort, but not thoroughly needs it and should get hit in the head hard just to get me into the right thinking.

He also showed us how men should really be.

He taught me how I should always think of all the pro’s and con’s, the right and wrong, and that not everything I think is right. Also, he taught me how to be considerate and to be much more sensitive about how people would feel. He taught me that I shouldn’t always be too giving and that I should also think if I deserve how I am being treated or with what is being given to me. He also taught me to stop ranting about things and instead be grateful, and to stop torturing myself by spending so much time emoting on a certain thing or problem, and instead look for a solution or take those as lessons. He taught me to take things lightly because making it look big, will eventually make it really big. 

***

In school, there’s got to be that one Professor who makes all the students shiver just because of his or her presence. For the MassComm students of St. Scho, we got Mrs. Flordeliz Abanto a.k.a Ms.A . Since first yr, we were told of how strict Ms.A is and since she was the dean of masscomm back then, we immediately got that ‘fear’ of even just seeing her. As I reached my third year and enrolled, I really was almost in tears when I saw that I will be in two classes wherein she will be the Prof. I was kind of excited, but the fear outweighed even my excitement with my other subjects.

So as the first semester went on, she never failed to amaze me on how great of a person she is. It always confuses me how she’s able to do so many things and finish them on time and how dedicated she is with all her work (being in the radio and being a Professor). She was simply different and outstanding and every class we have with her only makes me love her and gain so much respect for her.

After some time, the fear subsided. How? Because I witnessed that she wasn’t really a Prof to be feared of in a negative way and! she is really fun to be with. Well, for me she seemed to have loved tripping on me in our Radio Production class. It’s perfectly fine with me, though because at least we get to laugh with her and also have that ‘achievement and privilege’ to make her laugh. Same happened in our TV Production class, and with some given day.

I may have thanked her once about being an awesome Professor but people will never know how grateful I am for having her as a Prof, with 4 subjects and also like my second mom.

There was this time that we had to have our minor track interview and a month before that, she’s been ‘scaring’ me that she will be the one interviewing me and stuff. Of course I got scared and yes, she was there. But then, the interview somehow became a counseling session especially that she was with Sir/Lolo Gabs in interviewing me. I was really touched when she asked me about my problems because somehow it made me feel that she cares.

Ms.A had those little segue of advice she gives randomly in the class or directly to me, and I’ve been keeping them as reminders. She also told me once “Magpakatino ka na”, since I wasn’t able to meet her standards and had complications. I wasn’t one of the students who got good grades from her and I’ve been guilty of having lack of concentration and effort, but through all the hardship we had in her subjects, I never had that hint of annoyance or hate towards her. I am even shy that I wasn’t able to do well on her subjects.

She taught me so many things not just about studies, but also with being a good person. She taught me how my fears shouldn’t hinder me from anything but instead hinder my fears from getting the best of me. She taught me to take note, and always remember little details because nothing is ever less important. She taught me to know which is to be prioritized. She taught me how to stand. How to voice out what is needed to be heard, to look at all sides, and to never let go of my values and rights. She also taught me how to be strong, and how to not get too affected by what people say against something you know is right.

One funny thing I did was add her on facebook, because then I wont be posting nonsense stuff or so I will be more careful with what I say or do. I really treated her like my second mom (also because she is a lot like my real mama). (hehe)

***

I am honestly a person who holds things that are not visibly seen. Sometimes, those things are enough to prove to me of one’s love, concern, passion, and worth. I am fonder of people touching my heart rather than just showing that they are physically present, though of course I don’t ignore the effort of the person being there for me, but some just gets to touch my heart even without the intention of doing so.

Of course, it’s not only them who have touched me dearly, but of course you get the point that they did touch a bigger portion of my heart and my whole being and with that, I am beyond grateful of having the privilege of meeting and being with them.

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