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Young Blood

Atoms & other dreams

/ 12:02 AM October 19, 2014

Basically, my story is like this: I woke up one morning and announced to the other people in the house that from that day forth, I won’t be living there anymore. They were bewildered.

In less than an hour, I packed my things and vacated the place. On that day, my life as a prodigal began.

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Certain posts I see in Newsfeed remind me of my dreams then: billions of pesos in cash, piles of material possessions, and a high corporate post, executive level. Yeah, I was an ambitious careerist once upon a time.

The turning point, I suppose, happened when I joined CEGP (College Editors Guild of the Philippines). Well, actually, I only did it out of sheer adventurism—something I had not yet done, rallying. But it modified the atoms in me that the former being became a fleeting haze hovering around the crevices of my memories.

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My life in CEGP was hard, I must admit. Some days would pass without food; I had three consecutive days full of fries as my only meal. To alter the taste, I mixed the stuff with Mang Tomas or Magic Sarap.

Hell, I even experienced asking the crew at various fast-food counters for sachets of ketchup to survive lunch. I swear it was maddening.

But in CEGP I learned that there’s more to life than ego, corporate position, material possessions, and insatiable financial greed. That it’s impossible to become a CEO if your father isn’t the owner of the firm. That serving the capitalists is not worth it. That everyone is important.

I was exposed to various social realities, most of them painful—so painful they will crush a human heart.

In Negros, I met women whose husbands were abducted by armed men in front of them. I met people who lost their homes in demolition and arson. I wrote statements for the journalists who were murdered. I witnessed instances of police brutality, I saw broken bones and jets of blood gushing out of someone’s head.

I marched in the streets with people whose humanity burns more than the scorching sun. I saw so much misery, but in every struggle and step, I found hope. In CEGP, I accumulated experiences and they made me older than I am.

Most people, I am aware, find it odd why material possessions do not draw me in. I say there’s more to life than iPhone 6. There is friendship. There are small victories. There are selfless days. There is genuine love.

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Jing Paz, 23, of the College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños, says she is “the gushing lady in Chekhov who is dying to be described.”

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TAGS: CEGP, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Jing Paz, opinion, Young Blood
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