*NOTE: After two years, I wrote and posted this one. (The first one was posted previously)
It was almost 11pm last night. I just said my goodnight to my Multiply bud with whom I had a very interesting “chat” about WICKED and Idina Menzel. I said I had to go home early. Then, I remembered a text message from my friend/ex-boss BOSSING Tuesday: “____ will be going on his peace retreat from Friday to Sunday this week. He is supposed to receive a package of love letters from family and friends during the retreat. Please take time to write him a letter. You can e-mail it to me by Thursday evening. I am delivering the letters to the retreat on Friday morning…”
So I tried to write with much sense. I don’t really know if I did. I just didn’t want not to write the letter. First of all, I felt happy that she would think of asking me, not once, but twice! Some years ago, I wrote my first letter to her son. This time, this was what I wrote:
*NOTE: Sometimes, the best person to give you advice is yourself, if you’ll just listen to that little voice inside. I have been re-posting this piece not only to share my thoughts but just to keep reminding myself that I do know these and must apply what I know…If he happens to see this, the young man I gave this to will remember as well.
For many weeks now, I have been communicating with my new friends. I must admit, I didn’t expect such deep conversations at first that would force me to evaluate myself, as I’m evaluating myself now.
Where do I stand? What are my views? Am I different? Do I belong? Do I make sense? Do people make sense to me? Am I naive or stupid or innocent? Am I intelligent enough, positive enough, practical enough, secure enough?
Thinking about these today, I suddenly remembered an actual letter I wrote years ago for a 12-year-old boy who went to a retreat that year:
The young boy, in truth, is the son of my former Boss who had/has been a friend to me. I was chummy with this kid, whose not quite the kid now. He was going to a retreat with his whole batch in grade school and part of the requirements was for parents, relatives and/or friends to write letters addressed to them. These letters were supposed to be given to the teachers who would hand the letters to the students on the last day of the retreat. To my surprise, my Boss asked me to write one for him. I was surprised because she thought of me that much. And I was surprised because she trusted me enough to give her son some words of wisdom.
You’d think it would be easy. The words of wisdom were required to help the children. So I thought long and hard until finally, I came up with this. What surprised me more, it gave me the chance to do a lot of thinking.
So now, I am again doing a lot of thinking. But now, I realize, here they are, the stuff that I, myself, said a person actually needs…Fortunately, I still believe. I am still growing. And will still keep these words in mind. 🙂
Copyright © J.Gi Federizo
UPDATE: I wrote a second letter for him a few years after — Advice to a Young Lad [Part 2]
NOTE: As Multiply is ceasing to be a social media for bloggers, I’m one of those scrambling to move my stuff from there. This post that is a sort of trip back to college memory lane was posted in 2008 so this isn’t really that recent. Please allow me to self-indulge in this whim of going the nostalgic route. As for the title, don’t worry, no problem with the grammar. It was a bit of an inside joke…Still taking care of links and please bear with the layout.
“You won’t pass for a DJ.” That’s what someone told me in jest recently. I half-joked, “But I am!” Well, of course, I’m not. You don’t have to put two and two together to know that I’m not a DJ. Except that years ago, I actually was one.
When I heard that, I suddenly missed those good ol’ days again. I’ve been reminiscing for years, but lately, I’ve been missing it more. That’s ’cause I’ve also lately been communicating again with more co-DJs, people with weird and fun names like Master Raven, Jenny Glitch (or simply Glitch in later years), Shades and RainDanz. Add the fact that I’ve found the Multiply account of the new JoCKs. And the reason why I was looking for and playing certain songs in the first place was because I was missing what I loved playing on air.
Back then, we already prided ourselves as at par with the professional DJs in terms of skills. Truthfully, it’s not even hard work though effort was needed. Our only differences with the professionals were (1) we were students who didn’t get paid (but got free tickets, entrance, freebies), as it was voluntary work although we did go through auditions, (2) our station was, and still is, non-commercial with quite a smaller area covered, (3) our PSAs (Public Service Announcements) were local news and we featured local (UPLB) groups/bands, and (4) the JoCKs could choose anything they wanted to play no matter how old or new as long as they followed the themes of the programs they were handling and followed broadcasting ethics (which the “professional” stations are sadly lacking these days).
We got more training as well as we got to learn new skills and explore. We owe a lot to Prof. Hook, CJ Andrews and the other AM band hosts who were our instructors as well.We were made to handle the broadcast console ourselves and answer calls, unlike in some stations. Some like Pepper and I did the Mid-Hour News (that I mostly wrote and gathered during our time until a fresher batch arrived). In addition, there were those lucky, non-broadcasting students like myself who got to experience broadcasting stuff further. I wrote, arranged, mixed and produced plugs (or commercials, but ours were often announcements and spoofs, no popular ads). I got to be a voice talent as well. I remember Gina, a character I played (with Shades, Leuvert and Denise, if I’m not mistaken) for a series of audio recordings produced by the then Institute of Development Communication and the Letran Foundation. It was used, I think, to teach Biology or Science to high school students…I wasn’t that good at it then, both in voice and technique, not that a lot has changed. I got to produce shows like Shades’ program which I co-produced at the start with Raven and which title escapes me. I certainly can’t remember most of the steps on how to create those stuff, but I got a kick out of it. They probably use the same technologies still yet but really, they’re old-fashioned stuff. Great for basic training, though.
Quite something like that. Thanks to him some people thought I was tall and long-legged. Well, at least that’s what he said and I have the cassette tape of an “episode” of the talk show to prove it! (cassette tape? how…modern…he he he)
I miss jumping up and down in the booth because the air-conditioning seemed icy cold and the people having classes at the Drama Studio adjacent to the booth (with a large transparent window in-between) were gawking, wondering what the heck was up with me.
I miss hanging out at the DZLB Library not realizing that I was fast-turning into a walking music library because I knew where and what many songs were, from the old vinyl records–LPs and 45s–to the CDs that the record studios regularly donated in good faith. You can just ask the librarian, Tita Nitz, the truth in what I’m saying…Good thing we were not commercial; it gave us more freedom to choose what we wanted in our playlists and saved us from the dictates of the record outfits. We only had to make sure to censor the bad words in the songs, if any. I handled the program featuring OPMs (original Pilipino music songs), accepted requests and played what were popular even if they were not my cup of tea. But there were lines that were drawn. There had to be. For my own kahihiyan. There was an unwritten rule: “Avoid playing baduy stuff.” (Now for my own protection, just don’t ask what constitutes “baduy”.)
I miss staying in the broadcast booth and actually being the one to end the night’s broadcast by playing the last songs namely the College Radio Station ID extro and the national anthem ‘Lupang Hinirang’.
I miss doing the boardwork as Baby Boomers Sir (Sandy) Flor and Sir Bong (Faustino) discussed the “olden days and golden songs”.
I miss announcing the station’s telephone number which we said was my vital stats. Of course, it was a deliberate attempt to mislead listeners into thinking I actually had a 36-24-33 figure!
I miss the weird handshake started by Joey for fun. The group sealed their brotherhood and sisterhood by creating the UPLB JoCKs and, thankfully and finally after several semesters, having it formally recognized as the official organization of the student JoCKs.
Lastly, I miss the unseen ghosts while Mang Frank left the whole station–no, whole building!–to me so he could eat his dinner or whatever. Of course, I miss the JoCKs who became my friends, that’s already a given.
“Anti-Gay Law your face!
‘Nuff said. And you can quote me on that!”
Last November 2, a childhood friend (we were classmates/schoolmates from second grade to college) and I met up. It was unplanned since she just sent a text message in the morning. She was visiting her mother’s grave that’s in our city and would I care to get together after. I had to let her wait, though, because my plan for that day was to revisit my parents’ grave (there’s only one grave and that’s normal in the country) in the afternoon. Needless to say, we did meet up and went to a coffee shop to catch up.
We got to talk about the upcoming high school reunion and naturally, we got to talk about marriage and the lack of it. This reminded me of a piece I wrote years ago about single-hood and promised to share to her. Fast-forward to this day and surprisingly , she shared one of yesterday’s (November 7) articles at the BBC website, and it really is, as she said, in line with our discussion. In fact, I am so surprised it said a lot of stuff that I myself discussed! What a coincidence. The author did say the word “spinster” is kind of offensive, but I don’t find it like that, not really. It’s just another term for single people. I have belatedly realized I did not discuss about homo/bisexuality in my piece, but then I guess that’s a more specific topic that deserves more focus especially now that there are places that allow same-sex marriages (I wrote this 2005). That aside, I think gays can still relate to most of the stuff and may have even experienced worse, given the ongoing discrimination around.
Well, I have made up my mind to share again my piece. It is kind of long so if you’re not the type to endure long reads, I suggest you read by bits, just make sure you come back. Any violent reactions are welcome, as long as they are written in a civilized manner and it would help if you could justify why you don’t agree, or at least share your thoughts on the matter. I have simply attached the document so click on those big red letters below.
HERE IS MY PIECE CALLED
Meanwhile, this is the online article I am referring to: Why are couples so mean to single people?