Goodbye 2018

Hello everyone, it’s Garrett. Today is January 2 for me, and I’ve decided to look back at what 2018 brought me. I’ve spent the first day of 2019 cleaning the house, which was very much needed after my relatives stayed for Christmas and New Year. I also spent the first day getting to know another Kpop band, Day6. Yes, you’ve heard it, I have gotten into Kpop. Before I explain how I got there, let’s see what 2018 has given me.

I started 2018 with a new phone. Well, technically, it’s a hand-me-down from my dad who upgraded to the iPhone 7. It’s a 64 GB iPhone 6 Plus that was already showing its age, but I was very grateful for it, because I used that phone throughout 2018 for education and entertainment. I still have it now, and I very much appreciate the presence of a headphone jack. (I’m still a student, and I’m not blowing weeks’ worth of my allowance over a wireless headset.)

I attended a friend’s birthday party in January near my house, which was something considering that most of my friends are far away from me. What stood out the most was that I was the only guy friend of hers that attended. Also, I was a few minutes late, and I was nervous that I missed out on a lot of things, but it turned out that the party hadn’t even started yet. Filipino time is real. If you don’t believe me, try being on time to any gathering. Everyone will think you’re early. The party was great, I had a fun time with her friends, and the food was delicious.

February was when I had my first prom experience. To be honest, I didn’t see how asking someone to go to prom with them become the norm. All of us batch mates dreaded going to prom, but the experience itself wasn’t that interesting. The batch above us attended too, because our prom was about them passing the responsibility of being the oldest batch in the junior system to us. The food was great, sure, and everyone looked amazing in their prom attire, but my batch didn’t care much for the entirety of it. The only reason why all of us went was because we had a dance number that was going to be graded as our final exam in PE. When it came to the dance floor being free for everyone, most of my batch mates stayed in their seats on their phones while the others were dancing crazily with the upper batch. I took my chance to dance, because I didn’t wear nice clothes to sit down and be boring. When it came to the slow dance, everyone danced with everyone. No one really cared who was dancing with who. The most memorable thing I can remember is seeing a good friend of mine dancing with his scientific calculator.

March was mostly spent by my section and I preparing our class play for our English project and exam. We started on the props, the script, and the auditions. I auditioned to be one of the main characters but I wasn’t picked, so I ended up becoming one of the props men. When the script was done, we started doing run-throughs. When the props were done, we started practicing with the props.  That’s when we realised that changing sets under 10 seconds was harder than we thought. Our play had to be within 1-hour, and we had to adjust many things to make our play fit.

March was also when I had an outreach with my club. We went to an elementary school in Zambales to teach them about math. The school was located somewhere near the mountains, and the buildings needed some work. The students were very attentive to us when we were teaching, but it was my first time encountering classes where exams had to be read out loud by someone. I asked why the teachers had to do that, and they said the students had a hard time comprehending stuff written on the paper. Before we went to the school, we met an important official who acknowledged our efforts at helping the students of the elementary school in their subjects. March was also the month that my section discovered my love for dancing. One of our classmates had to create the choreography for an 80s song to be used as the entrance, and he asked for volunteers. I was one of them, and as we practiced, I always gave my all, which impressed everyone. Practicing the choreography was fun, amidst all the changes that were made to make it more interesting. I was given the title “Most Energetic” because I had the most energetic performance.

April was when we had our class play. Our play was based on the book “Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe”. The other 2 sections based their plays on “They Both Die At The End” and a Nancy Drew book that I forgot the title of. To summarise the event, most of the plays featured LGBT themes. Our batch made history by being the first batch to introduce LGBT couples in our plays. The thing is, the lone play with a straight couple got the most awards. I don’t blame the section behind the Nancy drew play; it was definitely a delight to watch, but something felt off with how the judged awarded the sections. The most memorable experience for me was the opening choreography of our play. Our play started with a main character leading the dance with Footloose. At that moment, I didn’t care about the audience, I just focused on having fun. Mom was ecstatic and said that my dance reminded her of when I was a kid. Sure enough, I saw the video and realised that I danced like I was on a sugar rush. Everyone else was chill, but I was dancing like I was going to be graded individually on a group project.

What stands out the most to me during summer was the 3-week internship that I took as a requirement for graduation. I’ve talked about this before in another post, and basically,  it was the internship that made me start commuting via the trains. The place that I worked at was great, and so were the people that I worked with, but it was so repetitive, my ADHD self couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t imagine how other people with conventional jobs could stand doing this for the rest of their lives until they hit 65.

Summer was also when I got braces. I still have them now, and I’m used to them already. I usually stick to various shades of blue or green whenever I change rubbers, although I still look awkward while smiling in them. Back then, though, I was in pain all the time especially when they put on the rubbers for the first time. Eating anything was hard, which sucked because I had the rubbers put in my mouth right before we went to Singapore for my sister’s birthday.

My sister’s birthday trip to Singapore was very enjoyable. I revisited some places that I loved back then, and we visited new places and restaurants to eat in. My sister had fun too, although I think I enjoyed myself more than she did. We found out the hard way that she wasn’t a fan of Universal Studios Singapore. Both of us loved Science Centre, and the hotel that we stayed at was also amazing. Gardens By The Bay impressed all of us, but I wish I didn’t almost fight with my mom and my sister over my power bank. All of our battery lives were short at that time, and I was the only one who packed a charger. I was a fan of Singaporean cuisine, and their transportation, but I was shocked at the prices.

August was when I started Grade 10. This year, I was separated from most of my friends in school. I only had like 2 friends in my section at first, and I felt the walls around the other friend groups surrounding me. It wasn’t that they hated me, I think it was just a result of sticking with the same people for so long that everyone ended up creating their own world.

September was when my batch presented the laws that they made for various countries that would help fulfil Sustainable Development Goal #4 : Quality Education. It’s a tradition among Grade 10 batches, and it was our project for Social Science. My team was assigned Philippines, and our policy targeted educational facilities and learning environments.

October was when I became 16. I checked exams on my birthday and got some scores back (worst birthday gift ever), but during the weekend before that, my relatives came over to celebrate my birthday with me. After I went to my boarding house from school, I treated my roommates to chicken nuggets and fries from McDonald’s.

October was also when I got my first report card for the school year 2017-2018. My grades were good, but I flunked Physics. Again. I can’t exactly remember the grades, but I will always remember what my advisor said about me in the remarks: “He’s a kind and gentle student but he’s encouraged to be more open to socialization to gain more friends.”

November was when I was truly making an effort to gain more friends in my section. That meant that I immersed myself in almost everything related to Kpop. Why Kpop, you ask? I observed my classmates to see what would help me start a conversation with them, and the answer was Kpop. Most of my batch mates listened to Blackpink, Twice, NCT, Seventeen, BTS, and other 3rd generation bands that you can imagine. So, I did my research. I searched the songs that most people say every Kpop fan should know, and I listened to them. Once I found the songs that I liked, I downloaded them on my phone, and searched more songs sung by the band or singer. Interestingly, I realised that most of the songs that I enjoyed were sung by either 1st or 2nd-generation Kpop idols. Super Junior, 2NE1, Girl’s Generation, BoA, Wonder Girls, SHInee, Shinhwa, and more captured my attention. I asked a friend for help in identifying the members of Super Junior, and we became closer over the fact that both of us were fans of Super Junior.  I still couldn’t make friends over my taste in Kpop, though, until I started listening to more 3rd-generation bands, like NCT, Monsta X, EXO, Red Velvet, BTS, EXID,  and so on. One memory that stood out the most to me was when a BTS fan complimented my ability to dance to Red Velvet’s song Peek-a-boo in 2x speed. Another one was when I showed my section that I could dance to Boombayah by Blackpink, and the last one was when I showed some classmates how to dance to Gashina by Sunmi.

December was the saddest month for me. I lost my grandma, Lola Ana, on December 2. We went to her memorial service on December 21 and 22. It was the saddest funeral I’ve went to, because my grandmother was kind to so many people, and she cared deeply for everyone. Everyone cried for her, and I think the heavens did too, because it was raining on those 2 days. I cried really hard especially when it was time for her to be buried, because the gravity of the situation sunk in deep, that I was never going to see her smile again.  I think what helped me move on was the fact that she was in heaven being rewarded for all the good deeds she did to us, and that if we were good too, we could see her again in the afterlife.

Now, it’s January. It’s the first month of 2019, and I’ve discovered a K-rock band, Day6. Their songs are great to listen to while you do your daily tasks, and the members are very talented especially when they play their instruments. Their vocals are underrated, and I’ve decided to start 2019 right by becoming their fan.

One wish that I have for 2019 is that I get to hang out more with my relatives and friends.  It’s a bit hard because both my relatives and friends are kind of far from where I live, but nothing beats the feeling of having a good conversation with people you are close with. Also, this is probably because I’ve watched too many shows that depict teenagers always having fun with their friends in various places out of school. You can’t blame me for feeling a little bit jealous at that, can you?

Anyways, It’s the start of 2019. I have yet to see everything that it has to offer, but I’m pretty excited for what it can be.

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