...or like one bobbin of a small feat spinning threads of memories back to its center. There's a bunch of similes I can use to describe it, but this is what I know for sure: one of its many rewards is letting people from my past get through to my present and possibly my future.
I know I should have merged this entry with my post about the Philippine Star article, but it seems like even blogger have character limits. Without further ado, the "people from my past" that I'm talking about:
The Role Players
This is another evidence of my geekdom-filled mini-history. Not everyone knows this, but I have been a part of a roleplaying community back when the website Friendster is still at its prime. If you want to know what RP-ing is, think of Cosplaying, except that it's done in the internet. It's a bit easier (cheaper too, sans the costume) but you have to actually sound like the character you're playing—being OOC is a no-no. It's like writing a story in collaboration with other geeky players. Before you make posts, there is already is a plotline to be followed. It's easier than it sounds!
Anyway--sorry for digressing--Kuya Justin is playing lots of characters, but for me, he's most remarkable as the roleplayer for Quatre Winner from Gundam Wing. Boss Leonard plays Duo Maxwell. I was playing Catherine Bloom and Dorothy Catalonia then, but I was always too spontaneous and would always spoil or ruin somebody else's plot by jutting in. Haha. My greatest "misdeed" was actually going AWOL until Friendster was eradicated in the face of the internet. Ahem.
Nevertheless, they're very nice to me and they're always happy for everything that I'm doing I-R-L. They know I studied journalism and I do fanfiction, so they're aware of my hunger for writing. Even if they don't always show it, they're always supportive in all my writing endeavors. ;)
John Paul, our valedictorian, has always been a good friend of mine. From serious lesson sessions to just plain goofing around about anything we could lay our eyes on, he's always there, never making himself a wet blanket. He's responsible for giving me the most ridiculous of nicknames (i.e. "Maliz", combo of Amalia and Airiz, and "Malius," a Latinized version of Maliz according to him). He's good in English, Math, Science--you name it. He's practically the perfect genius kid.
But here's the thing about Paul: he's one of the earliest believers of my 'literary potential'. In our high school newspaper and journalism classes, even if I wanted to write, I've always been assigned the cartoonist position because I was the only one in our class who can draw something a tad more complicated than stick figures. It kind of sucked, not being able to write what you want on the organ. So to take the edge off, I kept a personal writer's notebook where I penned my stories and poems. Once, I wrote a fantasy novelette on a stapled-together yellow pad. It was inspired by the book Sabriel, and guess who's one of the first readers? Yes, it's him. I think that's one perk of having an intelligent and overly curious seatmate ever since the ancient freshie days: you have one sure customer...
...in this case, one that actually trusted that I can be a good writer. After all these years, he's always asking me if I already have a book or just prodding me to write one. I really appreciate it. He's never changed. :)
The Khunat Crackers
All IV-1, one for all! We christened ourselves "The Khunat Crackers" because no one in our class ever denied the fact that they're miserly. Our batch is that self-deprecating—even our adviser didn't make any disagreements! We're one big, happy family.
When they heard that my article got published, they immediately texted me, sent me messages on FB, and posted on my Wall to send their congratulations (screenshot above is the easiest I can get, I'm too sleepy to find the others as they're buried way below the layers of birthday greetings). Support poured in like rushing water from broken floodgates. Come to think of it, it's just a small win—everybody can join! But they told me how proud they were, and it's enough to make me blush. It almost felt like a reunion because to be honest, I haven't talked to some of them for quite a long time. After handing them my thank-yous, I made time to catch up and they gave me some condensed editions of their histories that I wasn't a part of.
Just for the curious, the screenshot above features Jasmine, the Ultimate Math Wizard; Geszille, Paul the Valedictorian's girlfriend; and Bernard, my cartoonist counterpart in Pamamahayag (Tagalog journalism is a separate subject).
Khunats engaging in convos give me extreme cases of nostalgia kicks-in-the-gut, but of the good kind. That said, you should be able to tell that high school days are one of the most precious gems in my memory treasure box. :)
The English Trainor (with a cameo by a stray Khunat)
Ma'am Rye was one of my high school trainors for English-related competitions (reading proficiency, spelling contest, essay contest, etc). I felt happier when she heard the news because in a way, I know I haven't failed her. She believed in me, too; she's also one of the reasons why I got this insatiable hunger for fiction and writing.
And then it struck me. I wrote something not-so-good in the essay about my high school math teachers! *gasp* Yes, dude. The "witches" part. Well in my defense, it's more than true, but I know hell hath no fury than a coven of math hags scorned! Haha, okay, that's too much. There's 99.99% Ma'am Rye would tell my math teachers that "witches" detail—the world of LDHS's faculties are smaller than you can imagine. Ah, well. Cheers for not being a Lakan Dulanian anymore! I guess I'll pay my alma mater a visit when the ripples of this LIBEL (they will call them that, I know them hahahaha) faded to nothing. Few years from now, perhaps.
The Grade School Classmates
One small fact about my FB account: there's only a handful of elementary classmates that are on my friend's list. My Friendster's full of them, but now that it's gone, I wasn't able to keep tabs on them anymore. But the world is small and everyone's interconnected. My elementary school classmates who happened to be college classmates with my high school classmates heard bat-squeak echoes of the news, and voila! We're connected again. :) Talking with them made me feel like a kid again. I miss those days.
My College Family
Okay. I've typed and retyped this part so that there's no hint of going cheeseballs here. These people have always been the eyes that witnessed how much I wanted to write, the eyes that saw how high the star of becoming a writer hung in my dream's sky. Four years—and counting. I love them. They know who they are.
My essay winning the contest was no big feat, but it's a stepping stone to reach my dreams. :) It's like looking into the future and into the past both at the same time. And for this—as well as for all the love of my family and all the blessings I'll receive—I thank God.