#TWATKcox5th: The Fifth Anniversary Special Post

January 26, 2018… the day TWATKcox reached its fifth year in the cyberspace. It’s amazing how I managed to get this far, despite the struggles of having writer’s block and the tendency to procrastinate while I’m striving to finish what I’m writing. Oh boy, this is what I call an achievement!

All right, so let’s have a review of the first five years of TWATKcox, and how I managed to get this far. Also included in this special post are the snippets from some of my posts.

The Kin Keihan Times 2.0

Some of the posts are written in a similar fashion to my former blog The Kin Keihan Times. Back then, my posts always tell something about me and my miserable past. Though it is really a good thing at first to write something about myself and revisit your past, it just gets embarrassing to revisit years later. Anyway, I’m still drawn to writing about my [miserable] past from time to time, but I don’t just deal with my elementary and high school life, but also some parts of my personal life in general.

Of course, I also wrote some meaningful posts on the blog as well, such as No, Never, And I Don’t Like, My World Online, and the first 11 posts in the Timeline Series. These were eventually re-posted on TWATKcox.

The Lighter Side Of Life

Some of the lighter posts deal primarily with my interests and obsessions. I always love blogging about my interests, especially if it’s all about the things I love, such as food, music, fashion, and travel.

The Darker Side Of Life

Of course, there are times when I really need to express the emotional side of me. You know, stuff like missed chances, bad experiences, and depressing moments. Aside from that, I also tackled some sensitive topics such as depression, bullying, and suicide, which is more of raising awareness while sharing some of my experiences regarding the ones mentioned.

The Story Of My Life

The Timeline Series, which generally focuses on my high school and college life, makes up most of the posts that tell the story of my life. Other than that, there are some posts that focus on the dark side of my life, as well as the misery I experienced at school… and probably hatred towards a certain group of people.

A Series Of Posts

Aside from the Timeline Series, there’s the Obsessions (general interest), The Listening Room (music and radio), In 150 Words (short but somewhat informative posts), and the #Throwback Series (the story behind a particular remarkable memory). Some of the shorter series that end their run after a handful of posts belong to TWATKcox Specials. So far, it’s The Summer Series that had its posts included in the category.

On The Tumblr Side Of The Story

In addition to the main WordPress site, there’s the Tumblr site which serves as a mirror site for TWATKcox-WP, as well as a hub for extras, updates, opinions, and personal posts. It also serves as the home to The Keihancarl Diaries, which primarily features my city travels, notable experiences, and some sightings, and TWATKRant, which deals with my pessimistic, emotional, and not-so-friendly outbursts in writing.

Right now, I’m planning to expand the Tumblr site with a couple of segments, one of them is The Anime Diaries, which is set to premiere (tentatively) this May. Anyway, TWATK-Tumblr serves as the more explicit version of the main blog, at least due to the TWATKRant posts.

A Wide Range Of Topics… Except For A Few

This blog features a lot of informative posts, ranging from common interests, hobbies, online, travel, fashion, and a person’s well-being, among others. While I cover some sensitive topics like the ones mentioned on the Darker Side Of Life segment of this post, I don’t generally feature political, religious, and sexual related topics on this blog as I find them too taboo to write about. Well, that may change, as soon as I’m confident enough to deal with it.

The Literary Side Of The Story

Unlike its predecessor The Kin Keihan Times, TWATKcox rarely features any of my own literary works. The only ones featured as of this writing are the eight poems (the first one, (For Mom) is a repost from KKT, the second one (This Silent Darkness) is the only original standalone poem for TWATKcox, and the six others were compiled and featured in a special literary post Expressions, In Light And Dark), a limerick (which is actually a test post that I forgot to delete after publishing TWATKcox’s debut/3rd post) and a couple of stories (an excerpt from my first novella Season Of Darkness and a short story featured in my first Literary+Article post). I was more focused on writing about my personal experiences and informative posts rather than writing short stories and poems.

The Year-End And Anniversary Posts

Yup, I always make sure that I feature a special post for every kind of achievement. Like, when TWATKcox reached 25th post, first year anniversary, 50th post, third year anniversary, 100th post, fifth year anniversary, 250th post, and so on. Also, it’s a yearly tradition for this blog to feature a list of some of the notable articles published within a certain period for the year-end post, as a way of looking back at what I’ve posted during that time.

The Gallery Of Edited Pictures

I actually come up with a visual art gallery concept called The Quirk Concept back in 2014, though it initially featured some of my selfies and edited pics taken using a digital camera and a variety of mobile phones (from Nokia 2680-s to LG Optimus L3 II). Eventually, it includes some artistically edited photos (not the selfie ones) taken in various locations. Though it remained dormant for quite some time, it was then revived last October and is still featuring a mix of unedited and edited photos.


All right, so I’ve written nearly 200 posts and right now there are a lot more waiting to be written and published. Sounds like I’m gonna get busy this year, huh?

As mentioned earlier, my blog posts generally consist of informative posts as well as some of my past experiences. I may have lots of ideas in mind, but then there are some challenges that make me lose focus on my intended work. It certainly takes a great amount of time to finish a simple post, but there are times when I can actually finish a post within a few hours. In other words, I can only write when I feel like it.

Five years and I somehow managed to get this far despite the difficulties. I guess it’s my undying determination and perseverance that keeps this blog going. There are times when I feel like giving up writing a lot of posts for this blog, but that actually means abandoning it altogether. Yes, writing is my passion, and I’m polishing my craft by means of blogging in order to be a better writer someday.

Anyway, here are some meaningful snippets from some of my posts.

  • Sometimes, being yourself is just plain boring. At times you wanted to look like somebody else, only that would make you feel ambitious about yourself. [Your Virtual Alter Ego, March 2013]
  • Why would I consider going places like a maze? It is actually more of discovering places and paths, but there are times that in order to go there, you should walk along the streets, trying to guess which way is the right way. Lots of directions and more twists and turns… it’s getting confusing sometimes. [Like A Maze, (On Directions And Road Maps), May 2013]
  • A lot of memories created, a lot of fun posted… they may be here now but not tomorrow. [It’s Me Before Facebook: Great Sites Missed, August 2013]
  • Grown-ups constantly argue with their parents over the choice of clothes, whether it’s comfy or not, revealing, layered (meaning wearing one garment over the other), monotone (wearing everything of the same color)… it’s like violating their right to express themselves through fashion. [The Art Of Looking Good, KCOX Style, August 2013]
  • As the story progresses, so does the writer’s block. I could think of a better idea for the story, but then it would get off my mind and I’m back to thinking wonderful, forgotten ideas to incorporate into the story. It took me quite a long time… [The Downsides In Threes, August 2013]
  • Looking back, it was extremely painful to experience being excluded from the group. I only rely on myself, and I find happiness in what I have. [The Story Of My Life: How It Begin And How It Affects Me, September 2013]
  • Just as you strive for the best, being a perfectionist would mean that you are truly ambitious and would always make sure that you get to appreciate the finest of your creation. [Perfectionist Ideals, September 2013]
  • But then, am I really lost in this colorful world? Absolutely not 100%. I’m still trying to get over it, and I’m still working on it. [In Black And Gray… Uncertainties And Anxieties, December 2013]
  • So when does drinking tea becomes an obsession? Well, I’m no coffee drinker, and I don’t like the taste of coffee especially without cream or milk. Tea is milder in taste, and it was soothing so it’s a perfect alternative if I need caffeine. [Obsessions: Tea, May 2014]
  • There are lots of memories. But not all of them exists in mind anymore… [A Long Forgotten Nostalgia, June 2014]
  • I learned to appreciate darkness and escapism. It’s hard to snap out of it, by the way. [About My Life, How Do I Look At It?, June 2014]
  • I have lots of ideas in mind, yet I tend to forget some of it. [Ideas Coming From Me, Keihancarl, June 2014]
  • Now I’m beginning to understand why it’s hard to be self-reliant. I failed to see the better benefits of a friendship. [A Certified Commoner, July 2014]
  • Maybe they thought it’s uncommon for them to see someone wearing a khaki coat with matching red scarf, which by the way is one of my signature outfits, and they have certain misconceptions about that person whether he is really weird or he is from another country. For me, it’s called preference. [Obsessions: Weird Fashion, August 2014]
  • Just hearing the word suicide haunts me up to this day, coupled with palpitations. In fact, I tried to avoid using that word especially in the stories I’m writing (despite the fact that the stories I wrote are dark-themed and explicit). In the end, it’s important to at least remind the people how valuable life is. [Dying To End It All, August 2014]
  • All these bad memories of my past will soon be forgotten… but then, am I really forgetting anything? [Friendship And Memories: The Story Of A Transferee, October 2014]
  • Identity. It’s something that we all have, and we always have. Without it, we are nothing. [You, As Yourself (A Matter Of Identity), December 2014]
  • For me, drawing isn’t just a hobby or an activity, but it’s an expression of your own visual interpretation. [Obsessions: Drawing, January 2015]
  • Also, they would ask why I was quiet most of the time. It’s not like I’m avoiding conversations, but this is getting on my nerves just being asked that. [When Silence Isn’t Golden, March 2015]
  • Sometimes, the only way for people to take you seriously is to be above them at all times. You act as if you’re the boss, somewhat cranky and imposing. [What It Means To Be Superior?, March 2015]
  • Technically, we only have the rainy season and the dry season as I’m living in a tropical country. Summer, so they say, is only for countries with four seasons. But then, I’m using it just the same. [Once Upon A Dreamy Summer, April 2015]
  • The colors red and black suggests courage and formality, respectively. Other than these characteristics, I simply decided that these two colors always match one another, a very strong combination indeed. [Obsessions: Red And Black, April 2015]
  • Every person is creative. And when we say creative, we got more than just ideas and concepts… it’s something we actually do in the process. [When Creativity Strikes, April 2015]
  • You are what you listen to. For music lovers, their choice of music defines their lifestyle. [The Listening Room: Choice Of Music, April 2015]
  • I don’t limit myself to writing unusually dark and depressing stories. In fact, I can write stories involving comedy and romance. But then, I’m more into writing stories featuring serious and dramatic content, at times incorporating dark elements in these stories just because they seem more realistic. I mean, I’m not that cheesy enough to write romantic stories, and I can’t make people laugh hard enough to write funny stories. [The 100th Post: The Darker Side Of The Story–With A Depressing Plot, May 2015]
  • It may sound a bit too dark, but an all-black outfit can be really nice too. [The Ideal All-Black Fashion / What’s Inside The Bag?, June 2015]
  • Honestly, some people don’t care much about what I’m missing, for as long as they enjoy what they gained–friendships, relationships, a brief moment of popularity and all the fun they can have. [What I’m Missing Out…, June 2015]
  • Fast [and reliable] service? Sure, everybody would love that. But when fast isn’t really fast enough, you might say that they’re misleading a lot of people into expecting a better and faster service… [When Patience Is No Longer A Virtue, July 2015]
  • Ever wonder what makes cooking a messy business? It’s probably stress. Or maybe the lack of space on the kitchen countertop. Maybe the ingredients? [Cooking Is A Messy But Rewarding Business, October 2015]
  • Your mind is good at convincing you that every food served on the table is delicious, and this will prompt you to get more than what you can eat. [The Unhealthy Holiday Feast, January 2016]
  • You get pushed down for no reason. That’s not good. They had a handful of ugly names to call you. That’s not funny. And they plotted something against you… That’s not right. All of this came with a compromise… you can’t fight back. That’s not fair. [Of Force, Threat, And Coercion, January 2016]
  • Video games may be the best way to kill some time off, especially when you need to take a break from childhood stress. [Obsessions: Video Games (Except RPGs), February 2016]
  • Well, there are times you get carried away by stuffing your mouth… bite, after bite, after bite. [Everything On A Plate, But…, March 2016]
  • Something urged me to express myself through writing and I started blogging. [Remembering The Kin Keihan Times (The 125th Post), June 2016]
  • You don’t have to go full blast with the change, especially if you’re not fond of a major disruption in your daily routine/your weekly plans. [Adapting To Changes, September 2016]
  • Some people would tell me how unusual I was for not having a crush, but do I really care about that? [High School: A Memory Recall, September 2016]
  • My fascination with all-black really means something to me, and I know some of you are feeling the same way. [#Throwback: The Noir Project, October 2016]
  • A wardrobe defines a person’s personality. It depends on what clothes you have or what clothes you wear. [My Ideal Wardrobe, October 2016]
  • Happiness is like sunshine, it brightens up your day. Sadness is like rainfall, it makes your day gloomy. More of comparing life to a weather. It can be unpredictable, more of unavoidable. [The Extremely Pessimistic Self / The Sad State Of Life, October 2016]
  • I sure know how to deal with old, broken and unused stuff. For the past few years, these items took up a significant amount of space in my room. Well, having discarded such items, there’s a sense of relief that I can breathe comfortably. [What I Keep Is What I Cherish (Valuable Collections And Anything Worth Keeping), November 2016]
  • Yes, the world is full of harsh realities, and people are not the same as before. The word “sorry” is not in the vocabulary, and that’s an issue I’d like to address. [#Unapologetic, November 2016]
  • Memories are meant to be cherished, not forgotten. It’s a personal story, a part of your personal history that you can always look back to. [Memories… Moments, December 2016]
  • Okay, so I’m obsessed with the color black that I feel like wearing all-black at times. It just shows how dull can I be, but who cares if I look dull in that monotonous outfit? [Obsessions: Everything All-Black, December 2016]
  • Yes, my future is a real life struggle and I couldn’t do anything about it, blame it on my lack of motivation. [The Ongoing Internship And More… Timeline College Series #16, January 2017]
  • When you blog, you contribute a piece of your own history as well as your views about anything in general. [Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special, January 2017]
  • Sometimes, light does not provide the necessary comfort a person needs, and a person doesn’t need light in order to feel comfortable in whatever situation they’re in. [Fascination With Night And Darkness, February 2017]
  • Right now, I’m hiding in the shadows and live the unsocial life of an uncommunicative loner. I’m comfortable with it… but at times I feel a little awkward too… [Comfort Through Darkness (A Thought), March 2017]
  • We all have our expectations. There’s nothing wrong with it… unless we expect too much for an impossible thing to happen. [i150W: Expectations, March 2017]
  • I feel like I’m different from the rest of the bunch, not that I refuse to be one of them. It’s just that I want to follow my own trend. [My Quirky Ways, May 2017]
  • Fantasies, dreams, and anything make-believe… these are common to children with a high level of imagination. Of course, they tend to overdo it at times… [Fantasies, In Real Life, May 2017]
  • We all have our awkward experiences, and some of them are really embarrassing that we don’t want any part of it to be brought up. [Awkwardness Is…, June 2017]
  • Just imagine getting stuck in a so-called parking lot in the middle of the road, complete with the sight of red lights and the sound of vehicle horns… enough to keep you frustrated on the road. [i150W: Traffic, July 2017]
  • To be honest, school is actually a great place to learn and make friends. Yeah, why am I even thinking of ditching the thought of going to school when there is fun in learning? [School Days: My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education, July 2017]
  • Yes, I’m being nice. But I can be critical and straightforward. depending on the situation. [The Writer With An Attitude (The 175th Post Special), August 2017]
  • There are some things to be ungrateful about, and some things to despise about. It’s a cruel life, after all. [A Grudge Caused By A Miserable Past, August 2017]
  • That moment… it was kind of exciting and awkward at the same time. But then, I feel attached to the place where my high school is, so why should I feel awkward about it? [#Throwback: Lagro Revisited, August 2017]
  • All right, so I think there are some cases wherein I don’t feel good when I’m wearing an all-black outfit. [The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black, September 2017]
  • There are times when you’re too much focused on your work that you tend to forget your physical and emotional needs. [A Balanced Life, October 2017]
  • The struggle of having to work at night is real. It’s more than just trying to keep yourself awake and drinking coffee to combat sleepiness, as well as dealing with a lot of stress and some dangers. [Night Shift, October 2017]
  • Just thinking about my problems in life make me feel nervous and demotivated, at times depressed. It’s as if something’s torturing my mind with some kind of emotional stress that would make my life miserable. [The Dangers Of Anxiety, November 2017]
  • We tend to interpret a lot of things that come to our mind, and some of them proved to be crucial in producing ideas and making decisions. [The Thoughts Of A Person, November 2017]
  • Well, as you can see, I was trying to be a normal person, but I’m struggling to lure myself out of this situation. [Pretty Normal… Not!, December 2017]
  • There’s always a good reason to spend a lot of money on something you love or desire, but then you might go broke if you don’t know how to control your spending habits. [The Disadvantages Of Spending…, December 2017]
  • The real world is pretty boring in general. No strange looking scenery, no lush greenery, no dreamy feeling… and worst of all, absolutely no weird feelings about the places you’ve been. [The Alternate (Virtual/Imaginary) Universe, January 2018]

In the first five years of TWATKcox, I already tackled a lot of topics and featured most of my life stories and experiences. It’s amazing how I managed to get this far, but I’m sure this is only just the beginning. The blogging journey continues with lots of informative posts and literary works waiting to be written and published on this site. Yup, it is a never-ending journey for me, Keihancarl, and I enjoy every bit of it, despite some difficulties.

To all the followers and visitors of this blog, thank you for the support! Thank you for taking time to read everything I’ve written on this blog and for showing appreciation to my not-so-perfect posts. I hope you’ll keep coming back to this blog more often!

Happy fifth anniversary, TWATKcox! May this be a remarkable year for me and my blog. And I’m about to celebrate my tenth year as a blogger in a few months. Please look forward to it!

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#2017: One Remarkable Year [E]

Well, a lot of remarkable things happened this year and for that, I’m extremely pleased. Except for a few stormy moments (mostly personal), everything went well.

Come to think of it, this year is remarkable in its own way. Just imagine how impressed I was with some of the good things that happened this year, especially from March and September.

January

The year begins with a post-New Year’s celebration. Of course, we managed to finish every leftover from the New Year’s Eve feast. I bought a couple of items, such as the digital alarm clock and the black knitted vest.

It was around this time when I finally get to witness the Dragon Dance at Ongpin Street in Binondo, but it was raining that time and I was exhausted from the crowd of people in the area. I decided to make a turn midway through the Dragon Dance, and head to the nearest mall. Before that, I also get to check the historic buildings at Escolta for the second time.

February

I just keep going back to the milk tea shop in Lagro, taking a moment to check the area and enjoy a nice sip of milk tea. Of course, I started wearing the black knitted vest and started experimenting with the string ribbon tie. Nothing special, it’s just that I might want to try it out.

March

I made three purchases this month. First, I bought the black cardigan. Next, I bought the black knitted blazer, but I didn’t wear it until my 27th birthday later that year. And of course, the black fleece coat that serves as a possible replacement for the black woolen coat that I bought a few years ago.

Around this time, I’ve been downloading some anime shows and a lot of music. I’m quite fascinated with a few anime characters, and I’m feeling kind of ecstatic about going out on a mall-hopping trip.

And then there’s a little mishap on the way home from a mall-hopping trip (where I bought another Tokyo Ghoul shirt from a stall in Binondo). First, there was a little accident where a jeepney hit the door of a UV Express I was riding. Apparently, a passenger was getting off that time, but it was a little off the sidewalk. And then a jeepney was passing through, but it just passed between the UV Express and the sidewalk while the door is still open. Result? A little accident. And while waiting for another UV Express, I can’t find my phone. After a few stressful minutes trying to find it, I actually misplaced it inside my bag. And that’s how that stressful moment ends.

And there goes the IV-Chromium gang again, trying to annoy me with some kind of messages through Facebook Messenger. They were planning a reunion that time, and some of them are talking about it. Apparently, they missed me a lot, but I hate them so much (even after ten years) that I was thinking twice about going out on the day of the reunion. Well, I did go out on that day, though I’m not actually planning to meet them anyway. Whatever.

April

April Fools’ Day. So here I was, minding my own business when two of my classmates from IV-Chromium approached me. They asked if I still remember them. Of course, I acted like I didn’t know them and walked away. I checked my Facebook Messenger, and they’re acting sad about it. As if they really cared about me anyway.

So I was really having a great time for the rest of the month. While on a mall-hopping trip to SM Masinag, I actually get to see the newly built piers of the LRT-2 East Extension. The rail tracks and power supply are yet to be installed, and the stations are yet to be built. Looks like we’ll have to wait a couple of years for the extension to be operational, eh?

May

I just happened to see a poster for an upcoming otaku event at the Fairview Terraces. I suddenly become interested in attending the event and even checked the venue for two weeks and checked the mall’s Facebook page. My excitement grew at the thought of it, as this will be the first time I’ll be attending an otaku event.

And there I was, admiring the cosplayers and their amazing costumes. I even had a few pictures with some of them. They’re really awesome. The two-day event is truly a memorable experience for me. I’m looking forward to a similar event, hopefully at the same venue. The event inspired me to start a new series on TWATK-Tumblr called The Keihancarl Diaries, which documents some remarkable things that happened during my trips.

The following week, I went on a mall-hopping trip to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and McKinley Hill, both in Taguig. But the recent news updates about a terrorist group invading Marawi City suddenly made me feel anxious and as a result, I didn’t get to enjoy the trip too much due to anxiety. Even with the tightened security in Manila and other cities, I still couldn’t help but worry about the possibility of some terrorist groups slipping past the security. We’re praying for our safety and for our beloved soldiers who are fighting to restore peace and order in the affected city.

June

We tried roasting a whole chicken on the turbo broiler… it was okay. Well, the problem is that there’s a problem with the timer dial so we had to closely guard the chicken, like, for more than an hour. It turned out dry in the end, but we managed to enjoy the meal.

I visited Manila again after a few months. While running to catch the LRT-1 to Baclaran, I had an allergy attack and I felt very uncomfortable throughout the train ride. Later that afternoon, I enjoyed walking along the streets of Ongpin, and just witnessed an incident near the LRT Carriedo Station. And since it was raining that afternoon, I skipped Baywalk and head straight to Robinsons Place Manila to have an early dinner before heading home. That time, my former blog The Kin Keihan Times had just celebrated its ninth year in the cyberspace, though the site itself is now an archive of posts from all of my old blog sites, including TWATKcox-Tumblr’s early posts.

July

I published the two-part School Days article, which tells much about my elementary and high school life, as well as the importance of education.

On my next mall-hopping trip to Ortigas Center-Kapitolyo area, I visited Estancia Mall and the newly-opened Ayala Malls The 30th for the first time. Heading to SM Megamall, I saw some cosplayers and otaku fans gather outside the mall’s Trade Hall. There was actually an otaku event, but I didn’t have time to check it out since I still need to visit a few more malls in the area, as well as Greenhills Shopping Center.

August

I visited the newly-opened Vertis North Mall, another addition to the two malls at North Avenue. Also, I checked out some interesting shops at Vertis North Mall and SM North EDSA.

The following week, I visited Eastwood and Tiendesitas for the first time in a few years, as well as SM City East Ortigas. I also bought my first pair of red socks at a Mumuso branch in Vertis North Mall before heading home.

I also published a throwback post about revisiting Lagro in 2014 for the first time in three years (seven years after the high school graduation in 2007). I celebrated that occasion at a milk tea shop near my high school and posted a note on the shop’s cork board. Later, I had a funny moment when I happened to see a scary looking doll inside a steel cabinet at HMR Fairview Terraces. All I did was picture the doll inside the steel cabinet, and even took a video of me opening the cabinet to reveal the scary looking doll inside, which I uploaded to my Instagram account.

September

I visited Rockwell Center and Century City for the first time in nearly three years, as well as Circuit Makati. Just the usual mall-hopping trip with lots of pictures and some selfies. Later that afternoon, I head to Binondo and saw a wonderful collection of anime figures at the Manga Mania Exhibit (Asian Festival) in Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Around this time, I suddenly become fascinated with Twitter and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Even though I already had a Twitter account since 2010, I never actually used it much except for promoting my blog posts (TWATK-WP and TWATK-Tumblr) and I rarely changed my profile and cover photos. All of a sudden, my Twitter account experienced a revival of all sorts as I started following certain accounts as well as tweeting (and retweeting) posts. This is where you’ll hear me rant about various things, as I don’t feel like doing it on Facebook anymore. Also, I feel more comfortable expressing myself in here than Facebook, to be honest.

I get to visit another event, the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center. I actually had to fall in line for about thirty minutes before I finally got inside. There were a lot of people at the event, and there are some interesting booths… though I didn’t buy anything, except for a couple of Mogu Mogu bottles which I consumed outside the premises. I then passed by S’Maison, a two-level luxury mall just below Conrad Manila, as well as SM Mall Of Asia. I get to see the mall’s expansion, though they’re partly open at the moment. The expansion is still a work in progress. After that, I head to Landmark Trinoma to buy some ingredients for a cheesecake.

The next day, I made a no-bake cheesecake, though the result was far from what I expected. It was like an ice cream cake that needs to be refrigerated in order to set. My next attempt is just the same as the first one.

Then came the unexpected sad news. My sister-in-law’s father was killed in an unexpected accident in Sangandaan. He was riding his mountain bike on the way to his destination when a ten-wheeler truck struck him. Although he encountered an accident last year involving another mountain bike and both cyclists ended up getting injured, this one took his life. He was a dedicated cyclist and a loving father to my sister-in-law’s family, as well as to his son-in-law (my brother). I met him a few times and he’s really a nice person. I immediately offer a condolence to my sister-in-law before dinner for her loss. Right now, the case against the truck driver is still ongoing as of this writing. I immediately suffered a momentary depression that I don’t feel like writing and blogging for a while. I resumed blogging and writing a few days after his burial.

October

This month, we’re having a double celebration: my brother and sister-in-law’s first wedding anniversary, and my 27th birthday.

I was planning on celebrating my 27th birthday with a mall-hopping trip in the south (Alabang-Las Piñas area). But before that, I treat myself to a blueberry cheesecake and winter melon milk tea at a dessert place in Lagro. And since my birthday coincided with my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary, the sumptuous dinner serves as a celebration for two occasions. They bought a cake and a tub of ice cream for my birthday two days later. I managed to finish most of the food in the next few days, except for a few pieces of the sushi roll which was already spoiled just as I was close to finishing them all.

And there’s the second part of the birthday celebration, a mall-hopping trip in the south. That was the time I finally got to wear the black knitted blazer that I bought six months ago. Also, I bought a couple of zipper ties, but I don’t feel like wearing any of them for some reason. I ended up wearing just the olive-yellow collared shirt with the blazer. The trip went okay, but the sudden allergic reaction after running to catch the PNR train and the traffic in Alabang (and later, Commonwealth Avenue, Fairview area) and the rainfall nearly ruined it. Also, the planned concept didn’t go well. The only consolation for this trip is the red and gray socks I bought from a Mumuso branch in Ayala Malls South Park, and the light traffic along Alabang-Zapote Road (Las Piñas section) and CAVITEx.

The month ends in yet another problem. The desktop PC’s motherboard finally gave up after more than eight years. The PC is running slower than usual and it really needs an upgrade. For a while, I’m using my sister-in-law’s laptop, but I’m pretty anxious about retrieving the list of upcoming post titles, which is saved as a sticky note courtesy of a now-defunct freeware ATNotes. I know it is saved on a file, but there’s a possibility that I might no longer retrieve the sticky notes saved on my desktop.

November

It was raining these past few days and I’m starting to feel depressed. I’m already suffering from a case of anxiety due to a lot of reasons (mostly due to the PC’s dead motherboard and the inability to retrieve the upcoming post titles and their schedules), and the gloomy stormy weather makes it even worse. I don’t know what to do, I’m starting to lose focus on my upcoming blog posts. I took a day off from blogging to lure myself out of depression.

I head out on another mall-hopping trip, and I come up with a brilliant idea for my outfit. I finally get to incorporate the black zipper tie to my outfit, which consists of my old orange button shirt, black fleece coat, and a black sun visor. I actually looked good on it so I decided on that outfit. And it yielded a lot of good looking selfies. Anyway, I managed to squeeze a lot of malls within a 12-hour trip, and so far everything went well… until the MRT Ayala Station situation makes it difficult for me to head home. I was forced to take a detour, and it took me long enough just to get home.

The new PC arrived, and it’s running Windows 10. For a while, I’m pretty overwhelmed by its features, and it took me a few weeks in order to get used to it. The old hard drive containing the old OS (Windows 8) is connected to the new motherboard, and we tried to run the old OS. It booted successfully, albeit with a few problems, mostly with the PC’s drivers. And that’s how I eventually managed to retrieve the list of upcoming post titles, along with the rest of the sticky notes and some others. The partition containing the old OS is eventually formatted and is distributed to the remaining partitions on the old hard drive.

The only disappointment though is that the DVD-writer cannot be installed due to lack of SATA slots. So that means I’m going to use my sister-in-law’s laptop in order to retrieve some data from my backup DVDs, as well as burning some important and not-so-important junk into numerous DVDs for the time being in order to save space.

I was thinking of installing ATNotes on the new PC but decided not to and installed Keynote instead. Yup, that freeware I downloaded a long time ago finally got some use as a replacement for ATNotes, which I relied on for a few years. I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the list of upcoming post titles and their schedules again, at least I know where they are saved.

December

I’m off to another mall-hopping trip, focusing on the malls located along LRT-2, plus the mall along Katipunan Avenue. Due to the construction of the LRT-2 extension in the area (Pasig-Cainta-Masinag), I’m stuck in heavy traffic going to SM Masinag and I ended up getting stressed and anxious throughout the trip. I’m planning to skip SM Masinag on my next trip in the area until the LRT-2 extension is finished.

I was planning to relax at the milk tea and coffee place in Lagro, but I did some shopping as well. I actually chose the second Saturday of this month to go out because I was feeling kind of motivated that time, not to mention that My Awesome Classmate’s birthday celebration is taking place on that day. The chance of running into him is pretty low, but if that happens, I can always say “Hi” to him. Anyway, I had a vanilla frappe at the milk tea and coffee place, and I continued writing the story that I started months ago. I then head to the Fairview malls to continue my shopping.

And for the last mall-hopping trip for this year, I chose Manila as my itinerary with a little side trip to the newly-opened Cloverleaf Mall and, supposedly, a mall in Valenzuela. The latter was scrapped due to time constraints and the possible heavy traffic in the area. En route to my first destination, the heavy traffic in Novaliches area is stressing me out, and I spent a couple of hours getting stuck in traffic. Later on, I have to deal with a busy crowd in Divisoria and Binondo. Aside from the mall in Valenzuela, I also skipped a couple of places due to light rain. Reaching Robinsons Place Manila, I’m amazed at the Christmas display featuring a group of children singing Christmas carols. I really enjoyed taking a lot of selfies on the Christmas display, and that totally cheered me up.

For Christmas Eve, I made some cheesecake topped with cashews and crushed graham crackers and a cream cheese carbonara with ham and mushrooms. For New Year’s Eve, we only had spaghetti, French fries, and fried chicken, as well as a plain graham cheesecake. We did celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family and relatives with a simple feast.

Conclusion

The year 2017 is not much like I expected, but it’s pretty remarkable in its own way. I mean, I still had a lot of fun. I visited a couple of events, as well as a lot of malls. I bought a lot of new clothes and some accessories,  posted a lot of pictures on my Instagram account, published a lot of posts on my blog sites, and revived my Twitter account after a long inactivity and started following a lot of accounts (mainly otaku related accounts). And of course, some stormy moments too.

Well, I guess that’s the way it is, you really can’t replicate a previously good year with this one. On a brighter side, however, it was an interesting year for me and a prolific year for my blog sites. I’m looking forward to a better and a brighter 2018 ahead.

The Year 2017: TWATKcox’s Year-End Post Special

Time flies fast, and we’re close to switching to a new year. But before that, let’s have a recap of some of the posts for this year. I featured 30 articles for the year-end post special.

The Holiday Hangover

As the holiday season ends, there’s always a holiday hangover. This post tackles the struggle of switching back to normal after enjoying a lengthy holiday break, as well as some tips on how to overcome your holiday hangover.

The Year 2005: One Remarkable Year (The 150th Post Special)

A lengthy post about the remarkable things that happened in my life during that year. It includes my awesome summer vacation, my sudden interest in watching anime shows, discovering new interests, and my fascination with smooth jazz.

Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special

Blogging sure is a great way to express yourself. Anyway, this post tells much about my blogging experience, and why I started blogging. It also includes some snippets from my former blog, the Kin Keihan Times.

Alone For Comfort: A Recluse Inside The Room

I know how it feels like to be a recluse, so I wrote this. It includes my thoughts about being a recluse, as well as some reference from the anime series Welcome To The NHK since the show is basically about the main character Tatsuhiro Satou, who is a hikikomori (a Japanese term for recluse).

Fascination With Night And Darkness

I have this obsession with being surrounded by darkness. I actually discovered the term nyctophilia while I was browsing the internet and I just happened to appreciate the darkness of the night so that’s how I come up with this post.

Comfort Through Darkness (A Thought)

At the same time, I was seeking comfort through the darkness, as a result of being a loner for a very long time. This post explains the reason why I’m lured into the dark side of life.

The Dangers Of [High] Expectations [E]

Having high expectations can be pretty dangerous and disadvantageous to a person, whether in daily life, at school or at work.

The Missing Moments Of My Life

There are some things that I never get to do during high school and college. And so, I decided to recall some activities that I could have done back then, but didn’t.

Goodbye, Student Life (Timeline College Series #18)

The last post in the Timeline College Series focused solely on my college graduation. Coincidentally, it was published five years after my college graduation back in 2012.

My Quirky Ways

I know I’m different from the rest, and I can live with it. This post tells about my non-conformist lifestyle and my unusual creativity, as well as my weird rituals and habits.

Expressions, In Light And Dark: The Six Poems, Written By KCOX [L]

Initially, I was planning to write six stories for this special literary post, but I ended up writing six poems instead. It consists of three light-themed poems and three dark-themed poems.

Fantasies, In Real Life

I wrote this article as a homage to my imaginary fantasies. I admit that I’m still drawn to make-believe fantasies, even though I’m already in my mid-20’s. Well, this post covers everything about my childhood make-believe fantasies and my high level of imagination.

A Cynical Life [E]

Sometimes, I tend to have negative views on life. It’s hard to believe how I can be pessimist and cynical at times, especially when it comes to my future plans and my unfulfilled goals in life. But it isn’t at all bad.

Shyness Is A State Of Mind…

Being a shy person, it’s really difficult for me to accomplish certain tasks and activities such as applying for an OJT on my own, asking a salesman regarding the item on the shelf you’re about to buy or even going to a friend’s house without feeling anxiety. Dealing with shyness really takes a lot of courage and determination to overcome this.

Quirkiness Through Fashion

I usually find myself donning unusual outfits whenever I go out. This post is all about my obsession with unusual but cool looking outfits, as well as providing some ideas for a creative outfit that you can call your own.

Awkwardness Is…

I just couldn’t help feeling awkward in some situations, so I decided to write this post. Anyway, it’s all about socially awkward experiences and how to deal with it.

School Days: Achievements, Activities, Moments, And Experiences / My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education

This two-part special post tells about my elementary and high school life, as well as my thoughts and the importance of education. A very timely post for the start of a school year, which actually begins in June.

The Writer With An Attitude (175th Post Special) [E]

The 175th post special focused on my perfectionist attitude as a writer-blogger. Seriously, I always keep proclaiming myself as a perfectionist with an attitude, as if anyone cares. But that should explain who I really am, especially when I’m currently at work with a story or an article.

A Grudge Caused By A Miserable Past [E]

Inspired by a not-so-friendly encounter with my classmates in high school on April Fools’ Day (fourth-year high school classmates, to be more specific), it tells much about holding grudges against the people who made someone’s life miserable, as well as its consequences.

#Throwback: Lagro Revisited

A throwback post about revisiting the place (where my high school is) back in 2014. I was actually heading to a shawarma place but I also decided to pass by my high school, and possibly the street where My Awesome Classmate lives. To be honest, there’s nothing special about this revisit, but I did it anyway.

The Dangers Of Wearing All-Black

Since I started wearing all-black, I tend to become emo at times and I feel kind of strange too. Anyway, this should give you the idea why wearing all-black can be harmful to your emotional well-being.

Keihancarl’s Guide To Budget City Travel

I tend to go out and visit every mall in the metropolis, as well as some places of interest. So here’s a post that will help you manage your time and expenses on every trip, in and out of town.

A Prank Goes Overboard

Not all pranks are funny, that’s why I decided to write this post in order to spread awareness on the consequences of committing unnecessary pranks against an individual or a group of people. Sounds like a killjoy advice coming from a prank victim, but I don’t care.

What It Means To Be Cool (And Look Cool)

The definition of cool can be either good or bad. Being cool is something to be desired, but it can also be a life-changing experience, especially in your lifestyle.

Night Shift

This special post deals with the pros and cons of working the night shift (also known as the graveyard shift), as well as my brief experience as a call center agent in a BPO company in Makati.

The Dangers Of Anxiety [E]

Too much anxiety can be harmful to your well-being. So I wrote this to inform the people about the dangers of extreme anxiety and its negative effects on your physical and emotional well-being.

The Thoughts Of A Person

Sometimes, my thoughts are motivating me to do something. But then, there are times when I was thinking about weird and/or negative thoughts, and that’s something to write about.

Pretty Normal… Not!

I’m not a normal person, that’s for sure. It’s actually similar to My Quirky Ways, but I’m mostly focusing on my mannerisms and strange behavior, which are generally a cause of concern for some.

The Disadvantage Of Spending…

These days, I find myself spending a lot on my mall-hopping trips and some useful and not-so-useful stuff. Well, this post explains the downside of spending money on some expensive or useless stuff, as well as overspending.

A Feast For The Eyes

What good is a feast if the food presentation’s not pleasing enough to the hungry eye? Oh well, this should serve as a guide to those who are planning a sumptuous feast but worried about how it would look like on the table. Just the basics though, since I’m no expert at food preparation.

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It sure was a prolific year for TWATKcox-WP, having published 49 posts (50 including this one), and that’s what I called a great achievement. Anyway, may the next year be as prolific as this one.

From Keihancarl in Manila, we all wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hooray for 2018!

Night Shift

This post tells much about my brief stint as a call center agent (still in training) in Makati, but I also include some basic information about working the night shift and its pros and cons.


The struggle of having to work at night is real. It’s more than just trying to keep yourself awake and drinking coffee to combat sleepiness, as well as dealing with a lot of stress and some dangers. Welcome to the night shift, also known as the graveyard shift, the nightly equivalent of a typical day job.

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Shift work is an employment practice designed to make use of, or provide service across, all 24 hours of the clock each day of the week.^ So when there’s morning shift, there’s also night shift. In other words, some companies are taking advantage of dividing shifts in order to sustain its round-the-clock operations, particularly in hospitals, police stations, fire stations, broadcast stations, newsrooms, and some business establishments such as BPO companies and convenience stores.

The advantage of working on a night shift is that you don’t need to deal with traffic, as well as the busy crowd of people on the streets. Also, you’re entitled to a time differential pay (the percentage rate, however, depends on the country you’re working in). But it has a lot of disadvantages too, concerning mostly with safety, health, and relationships. For starters, night shift workers are the common target of the bad guys. And then there’s the health risk caused by stress, lack of exercise, unhealthy food and lifestyle (from fast food, caffeine, and smoking), and sleep deprivation (due to the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm). And at times, you’ll be working on weekends and holidays, meaning less bonding time with your family.

Night owls may have a hard time resetting their body clock, especially if they’re used to it in the long run. It’s like forcing yourself to use a new smartphone without familiarizing yourself with all of its features. Preparing your body for a change in circadian rhythm is necessary in order to avoid problems.

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It was October 2, 2013, when I started my training at a BPO company in Makati. Considering how far my workplace is to my residence in the north, I wouldn’t mind accepting the offer since I badly need a job (well, at least after I was drawn to the booth during a job fair). And since I’m on the graveyard shift, I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic and, at times, I don’t have to worry about missing the last train too (since MRT/LRT operations are until 10:00 PM that time). It only took me about an hour and a half to get there. And of course, since I’m applying as a customer service representative, I need to be prepared as well, both physically and emotionally.

At first, it’s kind of weird to go to work at night, since there are fewer people in the streets and most of the shops are closed… not to mention lack of transportation too. Upon reaching the building (where the training area is), I was a little tired so I took a seat. I almost fall asleep, considering that it’s already past 10:00 when I got there, but someone noticed me and asked if I’m all right. Of course, it feels kind of awkward since I’m not supposed to do that in the workplace, not even in the lobby.

All of the trainees, trainers, and even the security staff are speaking in English. I’m not surprised at all since they’re all supposed to speak in English as most BPOs strictly enforced EOP (English only policy) inside the premises, and this also extends anywhere inside the building, particularly in the elevator and restroom (this only applies to us call center employees).

During the orientation, there are a lot of rules and regulations we trainees are expected to follow. Of course, one of them is we have to speak English at all times, and we’re not allowed to fall asleep during the training and at work (but we’re allowed to stand up and do a few movements in order to combat sleepiness).

Everything went well in my first day of training, but not by the time I got home. I find it difficult to sleep during the day, and I tend to get up just as I was about to fall asleep. At this point, I feel frustrated since I really need to rest up for the following night.

Of course, I also need to comply with the requirements so we were given a day off just to prepare the following documents needed for employment. We also need to undergo the pre-employment medical exam, one of the requirements for employment. That was the time when I actually fainted during a blood test. They checked my blood pressure and it was below normal (below 90/60, I assume). I had to rest for a while until I can finally get up and walk.

A few weeks have passed and I’m starting to adjust to a graveyard shift lifestyle. I’m getting used to the strong smell of coffee and the not-so-bright lighting of the office building, as well as the extremely cold air conditioning and conversations in English. And of course, the sight of trainees watching TV (usually HBO or Star Movies) in the pantry or the lobby. While most of the shops are closed during the night, there are a few dining establishments (fast food chains and convenience stores) open 24/7. Of course, there’s the office pantry, but they’re usually closed on weekends and holidays, so you’ll be relying on fast food a lot (unfortunately). To be honest, I had an aversion for strong coffee as I tend to get jittery after drinking it (with a lot of sugar and some cream), but I really need caffeine to get through the night. So I stick to drinking tea and hot chocolate. Now come to think of it, I even tried having instant arroz caldo on my tumbler, since there’s hot water in the pantry too.

My communication skills are somewhat poor, but I managed to do well during the call simulation, applying what I learned during the training. Of course, there are times when I got nervous and did a lot of mistakes during the call simulation. Eventually, I passed the first part of training, which is the Global Communications Training. I was looking forward to the next part of the training, which is Product Specific Training.

Later on, I started having mixed emotions about continuing my call center training, but I went on anyway. From here on, it’s serious training and we’re supposed to do better at this one. I also get to sit in with some of the call center agents, and learned a few things when it comes to customer service.

And that’s where the stressful part begins, taking calls from customers. I don’t know, but I actually break down after a few calls and one of the coaches helped me calm down. Eventually, I’m getting used to handling irate customers and escalated calls, as well as being calm and cheerful despite having such rough moments. I can really do well in being friendly and respectful to the callers, but there are times when I feel like I’m going to scream and talk back at them for being rude. But of course, we’re not supposed to do that. It’s kind of difficult, to be honest.

Later on, the graveyard shift lifestyle and the stressful life of being a CSR is making me feel even more depressed. Sometimes, I couldn’t wait to finish my shift so I can feel the much-needed relief, yet I still find myself doing the same stressful job every night. Realizing that I wasn’t really happy with my job and I was close to being terminated (mostly due to my tardiness), I asked my coach for a little advice regarding the resignation, and she explained the process. Of course, there’s a possibility of rendering a few more days before I officially quit my job, so I decided to do just that. As soon as I handed my resignation letter, I knew I’m about to head back to being a freeter.

And that’s how my four-month stint at a BPO company ends. At least, I get to experience being a CSR on a graveyard shift. I don’t know if I’ll reconsider applying for the same job again, but then it’s decided that I’m officially done with it. Having experienced the struggles of being a call center agent, I truly had high respect for my friends (including my trainers, coaches, and team leaders) who are still in the industry.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever appreciate this kind of life… I mean, working at nighttime and sleeping at daytime. Sometimes, I enjoy it. Sometimes, I don’t.  Maybe it’s because I find it difficult to adopt a night shift lifestyle. Yes, I may be a night owl in some way, but I’m still a morning person who is struggling with insomnia and falling asleep at bedtime, as well as adjusting my body’s circadian rhythm. I really need to work on resetting my body clock once I finally have a day job.

Then again, maybe I’m still open to working the night shift, but I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy the daytime activities I loved the most. What a compromise. Well, this kind of lifestyle isn’t really suitable for me after all. Who knows, this kind of thinking might change… probably in a few years or so.

The Writer With An Attitude (175th Post Special) [E]

For TWATKcox’s 175th post, it’s all about the unusual attitude of a weirdo named Keihancarl Oikou Xiaucham as a writer-blogger. In case you didn’t know who Keihancarl is, then try to figure out yourself. Yes, that would be me, the one who’s solely responsible for writing articles and stories, as well as maintaining this blog you’re reading right now.


My name is Keihancarl Oikou Xiaucham, the writer with an attitude. A writer who hates to be interrupted while writing a series of posts. A perfectionist with a certain dislike for anything below my standards. A fashionable guy who loves red, black, and gray. Makes sense, right?

As a writer, I’m mostly drawn to dark themed stories, dealing with angst, violence, personal grudge, depression… anything that can evoke a reader’s mind. But of course, I don’t limit myself to writing such stories. I can write comedy if I have to. But I’m not the kind of person who loves cracking jokes, so don’t expect.

Anyway, I’ve been covering light and [slightly] emotional topics since I started blogging. In the last few years, I also published a few explicit posts, as well as identifying myself as the writer with an attitude. So it’s time to live up to that.

Yes, I’m being nice. But I can be critical and straightforward. depending on a situation. I can call you a bunch of names, I can even write all about the evil things I did to a person or a group of people… indirectly, of course, as I don’t want to get sued for defamation. Freedom of speech has its limitations, in case you didn’t know.

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In order to gather ideas, I need to get out of the house and endure a tiring afternoon of walking and visiting various places… mostly malls, famous landmarks, and small cafés near my high school. I can get lots of ideas from seeing people, checking some of the books at a second-hand bookstore, going to an event, and a few interesting sights around the city. Experience is the most important factor in writing a post… and I don’t mean writing experiences. Keep that in mind.

Of course, I have my smartphone with me, mainly for Facebook and Instagram, and some picture taking. At times, I write down my ideas and possible snippets for an article or story I was writing, but I didn’t utilize it’s potential… despite being a smartphone user for more than three years. Yes, I treat my smartphone as my portable PC, but I don’t do blog writing with it. You know how some telcos are making profits with their crappy service and slow internet connection, right?

At home, I translate these thoughts into writing. But most of the time, these thoughts came to nothing, and I end up with a lot of drafts and snippets which don’t end up as a complete article or a story. They’re stored on my PC for a long period of time and are rarely opened and read. That’s the beauty of a writer’s block, isn’t it?

Normally, I only do most of my writing work during afternoons and late nights (sometimes extending up to the wee hours of the morning). Dark-themed stories and articles are always done in the wee hours of the morning since that’s the only time I can concentrate without any interruptions, but I still can’t write anything since I’m currently working on a PC right behind the TV cabinet and across the dining area. Since it’s an open space, there’s no privacy so I can’t assume that there’ll be no interruption while I’m working.

I hate seeing people lurking behind my back and making unnecessary comments while I’m working. These people are the main reason why I tend to lose concentration in the article/story being written and end up procrastinating. Mark my words, if ever I become famous, I might throw the keyboard at them to shut them up and go away. Of course, writing stories and articles is like creating an artwork. I had to make sure that I’m in a cheerful mood when I’m writing something, especially dark-themed stories and articles. Otherwise, I’ll lose concentration and may lead to procrastination.

You certainly knew how long it takes for me to finish a single article? These take a minimum of 12 hours to a few days, sometimes weeks, or may take a few months. Maybe a year. As of this writing, I somehow manage to finish a lot of articles within a month or two. But sometimes, I resort to writing really short ones (up to a maximum of 150 words). These articles are categorized as the i150W series, short for In 150 Words, which I consider as a series of filler posts in case I don’t have a finished article ready to be published at a certain date. Yup, I schedule my posts so I don’t have to publish two articles within a 24-hour period.

I am a frustrated writer with a writer’s block. I can’t even concentrate on what I’m doing due to a variety unnecessary interruptions. Whatever. I’ll just keep up this attitude of mine until I accomplish a lot of things.

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My life, as a writer and a blogger… Right now, I’m enjoying what I’m doing, provided that I don’t get interrupted in the middle of writing an article or a story. That I don’t get distracted by checking my Facebook or Instagram, or some websites about something that piqued my curiosity. And of course, I don’t need to be told about some random nonsense. In short, don’t disturb me while I’m writing.

I don’t know if there are writers who are annoyed by such disturbances while writing their literary masterpieces. But I’m pretty sure that they’re not the kind of people who would delay their work if they’re not in the mood since they’re likely to get pressured by their publishers. Oh well, if I become one, then I’ll need to practice restraint. Besides, being a writer requires a great deal of discipline, and that includes refinement of your behavior. Whatever. I’ll do what I can to finish a story I’m working on.

 

School Days: My Thoughts About School And The Importance Of Education

How I Feel About School

To be honest, I was lucky that I get to finish school and had a brief stint at a call center company in Makati, in addition to the on-the-job training in college at a government office and a state-owned TV station. But of course, I can always recall the ups and downs of my student life.

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Back when I was a kid, going to school every day sure is a struggle, especially when you have to wake up early to a cold, sunny morning. My breakfast is ready, my uniform is ready… but in my mind, I’m not ready for another boring school day. I am like that whenever I don’t feel like going to school. But of course, there are times when I feel like I’m gonna cry if I miss school. I even recall that moment back when I was in third grade when I was actually begging my mom to let me go to school even though there is a typhoon and classes are suspended. Sometimes, I just don’t understand myself.

To be honest, school is actually a great place to learn and make friends. Yeah, why am I even thinking of ditching the thought of going to school when there is fun in learning? Also, I get to have a lot of fun with my classmates too, at least for the first three years in elementary. And I can’t wait for my favorite part of a school day, recess. Well, there’s no playground in my school, that’s the sad part. But still, we get to have fun by chasing one another or draw a lot of things in sheets of paper.

Come fourth grade, and everything changed. I’m beginning to see the dark side of friendship and the thought of rejection is making me feel depressed. I was being left out, and it’s kind of sad. Even the brief fame I got for representing our class in Mr. and Mrs. [name of school] didn’t help. I can’t even focus on my studies. I know I wasn’t doing very well at school since I’m preoccupied with my depressing thoughts.

And then there’s bullying. At first, the kind of bullying I experienced back in sixth grade (at a private school) was just a bunch of insults. Reaching high school, upon transferring to a public school, the kind of bullying I experienced is more than just a bunch of insults, but that also includes [slight] physical abuse. I feel endangered at the thought of being surrounded by a bunch of bad guys, at times I got hit in the head by means of a bully’s fist. Bullying remains a big problem in most schools, private or public. I know it’s a guidance counselor’s job to reprimand a bully for their actions, but only if the victims or the witnesses are willing to report the incident. In my experience, however, I only got to do this once.

When the school year ends, it spells relief for us as we’re off to a lengthy school break that coincides with the warm and sunny weather. As we look forward to another school year, we get to enjoy ourselves with spending the summer vacation at the beach or at home. School graduation, however, is a ceremony filled with lots of memories and proud moments.

I always thought of elementary graduation as insignificant, as it is just a simple ceremony to signify the transition to high school. Yes, your classmates from elementary may still be your classmates in high school. But it’s not the same for high school graduation, as this is the last time that you and your classmates will be together. Afterwards, you guys will go on separate ways. To be honest, I don’t feel emotional in all these school graduations after all.

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So what did I learn in the first ten (pre-K-12) years of my student life?

  • Studying hard is okay, but you don’t always have to devote all your time to studying. It’s the same thing for your hobbies, make sure that these don’t interfere with your studies. Oh well, it’s a matter of a work-play balance, it’s just that I don’t always do this.
  • Responsibility is done through doing your homework, projects, and reports, as well as studying your lessons at home not just in preparation for your quizzes or tests. Yup, I failed in this one, so that explains why I become an underachiever.
  • Being lazy with your studies leads to failure in quizzes and exams. Since I tend to procrastinate at times, this is where I lead. But then, I did well in some subjects, such as English and TLE-Computer. As for the rest, I only managed to pass. But at least I didn’t fail in any of the subjects, so much for my procrastination.
  • Academics aside, maintaining good relationships with your classmates bring you closer to them. I think I made a lot of friends but in the end, only your closest friends matter. No matter how terrible they are, if they’re being nice to you in the end, then you shouldn’t strain ties with them by means of a retaliation. But in my case, this is something I don’t follow as I had just severed ties with my fourth-year high school classmates, despite the fact that some of them are actually being nice to me.
  • Never let anybody bring you down. Yes, bullying is pretty common in schools, but this shouldn’t be the sole reason for you to quit school. Remember to keep your head up and ignore those who taunt you. Yup, this is also a lesson for myself too…

The Importance Of Education

School is a great place for learning a lot of things and making friends. It can help shape the children’s minds and lead them to a brighter future. But there are some children who never had a chance to go to school and experience formal education, so be grateful to your parents for this wonderful opportunity.

We all go to school not just to learn how to read and write, but to have a better and brighter future. Although we learn from our textbooks, it is actually through paying attention to the teacher’s lectures and participating in class activities that we actually learn a lot of stuff. And it gives you the chance to ask questions.

While you enjoy the privilege of going to school by means of riding various kinds of transportation or a school service, others have to walk a great deal of distance to school, even if it takes them a few hours just to get there one way. In rural areas, the path going to school involves crossing a river, passing by an overgrown forest in the mountains, and at times passing through slippery, grassy slopes and/or rocks along the way. You had your allowance given by your parents, originally intended for snacks and other important expenses, some of which went to gaming expenses. Others go to school with little or no allowance at all, some of them had to endure a long school day without food, and some of them have to dig through the trash for some recyclables or experience a great deal of labor just for their school allowance. And while you look forward to a brand new set of school uniform, a new pair of shoes, a new bag, and a new set of school supplies, others had to make do with their old school uniform (usually hand me downs), an old pair of shoes, incomplete set of school supplies, and sometimes plastic bags for storing their things. But it’s not through material things or comfort that a student can succeed in their studies, it’s through hard work.

Sometimes, money played a huge role in the child’s schooling. Just imagine how much would a tuition fee in a prestigious [private] school cost… and yet the child would end up begging for material things instead of studying hard. Besides, what your child learns in a private school is virtually the same as in a public school. Perhaps, a plus factor for studying in a private school is that they were able to provide some necessary equipment needed (such as laboratory apparatus for science activities, or musical instruments for music lessons), something that some public schools may lack. Still, private schools give an impression that they cater to those who can afford.

Some of the students are forced to stop schooling due to a variety of reasons, mostly related to poverty. It’s understandable that they’re striving to help their families by means of labor, but if they didn’t finish their studies, then they’re going to have a hard time finding a decent job and support themselves.

But there are some students who managed to finish studies, despite the hardships they’re facing. Even though they wanted to stop schooling just to help their parents, they were urged by their families to finish studies as this is their key to success. There are notable success stories by people who managed to finish their studies despite the hardships caused by poverty, this should serve as an inspiration to many. Remember, poverty should not be a reason to skip or stop studying.

In the end, it doesn’t whether you came from a private or a public school, for as long as you passed with flying colors. What we learned in school can still be applied to certain things in our daily lives, such as a simple computation or a simple experiment. And yes, education is not limited to a certain age group, for as long as you have the will to study and fulfill your dreams of becoming a successful person and living a better life.

All right, so why is education important for everyone? The answer is simple, it is where we learn a lot of information, and it is essentially vital for better employment and a better future. We all have our dreams in life, and we can achieve it through studying. The knowledge we gained from our studies can aid us in achieving our goals in life, and not just our occupational field of interest. Again, there’s no age limit when it comes to education so everybody will be given a chance to fulfill their dreams and become a successful being.

Postscript

School memories… they keep coming back to me. Despite the fact that I’m an underachiever, there are great memories that are worth looking back.

Yes, we may never bring back the past, but we can always remember the good and bad things we experienced at school. The people you meet and befriended, the events and experiences that matter, all the hardships that every student endured… and the sweet moment of achievement. Isn’t it nice to remember these kinds of school memories?

Of course, I learn a lot of things, both academically and non-academically. Being a student is all about knowledge and experience, and garnering enough achievements to make it all meaningful. Well, you can say that my student life isn’t meaningful at all but that doesn’t mean that I’m not good at anything. At least I still passed all my subjects and I graduated, but that was that. Still, I enjoy the moment of being inside the campus listening to the teacher’s lectures, roaming the halls during breaks, and spending time with some of my friends… off-campus. And the moment of meeting your awesome classmates as well.

Now that it’s all over, I guess it’s time to move on. It was really fun, despite some unpleasant moments that happened to me during that period.

 

School Days: Achievements, Activities, Moments, And Experiences

Note: There are some additions to this post, all of which happened back in elementary. The newly-added parts are highlighted.


Twenty years ago, in 1997, I started elementary school. Around that time, I was kind of rowdy and mischievous, and I find that experience hilarious. It’s as if we’re still in a kindergarten class, but we’re on our way to serious learning. The next few years turn out to be a turning point as I was starting to behave properly, but it was during fourth grade when I start experiencing rejections from my peers.

So this two-part article covers my experiences in elementary and high school, as well as my thoughts about going to school, and the importance of education. I’m sure some of these experiences are covered in previous posts, but this is the compiled version of my student life.

Elementary

Elementary. That’s the time when the more difficult math problems (like the three/four digit problem solving and fractions) become my biggest headache. Math is one of my two weakest subjects in school, the other one being science. Meanwhile, I enjoy literary and language based subjects the best.

As a first grade student, I tend to get into trouble just like any other kid in class. I tend to get noisy during class and I rarely do my homework. I did get into trouble for crawling under my female classmates’ skirts, and it was kind of perverted. I had no idea what made me do it.

The most hilarious thing I did that time was mimicking a school teacher (with my classmates as students) on a toothpaste commercial that was airing on TV that time. Yes, it was a teacher asking kindergartners asking what is the color of the teacher’s sweater, and the color of her teeth (if I recall correctly). Of course, one of my teachers doesn’t seem to be amused by what I did and we rushed back to our seats as soon as she comes in. It was kind of funny.

I also remember that time when I actually begged my Filipino teacher to let me join my classmates for the Linggo Ng Wika presentation, partly because my best friend is among my classmates who are selected to represent our class. Of course, she let me join my classmates for the presentation. Later that year, I was Mr. Israel for the United Nation Day, although my costume looked like an Arab’s. Yup, it’s the same for the following year’s United Nation Day at our school.

In second grade, we had our field demonstration. It’s basically a bunch of dance steps with simple props (such as a ring and a stick) and a dance music track.

During third grade, we did another field demo for the UN Day at our school, and this time our class will represent Mexico, with the song “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. It was raining that time, but of course, the show must go on.

On the first half of elementary, I managed to take home some awards. These include the award for being “Most Friendly” (first grade), “Best in Reading” (second grade), and “3rd Honor[able Mention]” (third grade). By the way, there’s the Top 5 (or the cream of the crop) at the end of each school quarter to honor the students with excellent grades.

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Fourth grade comes, and we finally have our Home Economics and Livelihood Education classes. This is where we learn how to sew, cook, and work in the school garden. I had a hard time with the sewing activity, but I managed to do it. With some assistance, that is. Also, that’s the time where we get to have Computer class, focusing on BASIC programming. You know, the PRINT “Hi!” = Hi! thing.

For that year’s Linggo Ng Wika, we are grouped according to what region (in the country) where we came from. We represent our group by dressing up in our specific traditional (and religious) costumes, as well as to make an introduction in our dialect. For our group, two of us are in religious costumes, the two others are in traditional costumes.

During that time, there’s a lyre band lesson, with the help of a lyre band instructor (I think). Most of our classmates had bought their lyre bands, but I was unable to have one since my family couldn’t afford it. I was eventually assigned to playing the snare drum, with some my classmates playing other instruments as well. That continued until the following school year (with our music teacher in fifth grade as an instructor). There’s a speech lesson as well, courtesy of our friendly speech instructor. We had a lot of fun with our speech lessons, which is one of the few good moments during my fourth grade.

In November that year, I wrote an essay about computers for the Computer Month. I won third place for that.

And guess what, I was chosen as a candidate (along with the female transfer student, who became my best friend until the end of that school year) to represent our class for Mr. & Ms. [name of school], as part of the school’s Foundation Day. To be honest, I was quite uncomfortable being selected to represent our class, but I went on with it… only I didn’t tell my parents about it until the school trip. There’s the competition for formal wear, casual wear and sportswear, and of course the talent portion. On the presentation of the candidates, however, my female partner didn’t show up since she wasn’t feeling well. The winners are determined by the number of tickets sold, and I didn’t mind winning the title at all. Regardless, I become popular with my female classmates for a while, and that was that.

It was during that time when my classmates started ignoring me and they didn’t let me join in their games. So I’m stuck with two of my classmates, and I don’t know if they’re really fun to be with. But one thing is for sure, it was a depressing school year for me.

Fifth grade comes, and I feel weirder and weirder each day. I’m starting to become a misfit, but at least I made some new friends, the ones from the main campus. Yes, I’m from the satellite campus (along with some of my classmates), but the satellite campus can only accommodate classes up to fourth grade so we were transferred to the main campus the moment we finished fourth grade. Anyway, we are a large class comprising two sections, the main campus’ section A and satellite campus’ section B. Of course, not all of them are friendly to me in the end.

Our school is also competing in the Palarong Pinoy, held at the Nayong Pilipino in Pasay City. I’m competing in Sungka’s mixed junior division, but I never made it to the finals.

January the following year, our school had the annual Intramurals. The intermediate students and the high school students are the ones participating in the school’s yearly sports fest, and we are divided into four groups, namely the green team, red team, yellow team, and blue team. I belong to the green team, and I’m on the team’s cheering squad. I was immensely bored throughout the event, and I can’t recall if our team had [actually] won anything.

Sixth grade comes and it gets even more interesting. At least, since I met a cool guy wearing glasses and I started enjoying watching anime shows and playing games on the newly-bought surplus PC. About the guy, he was actually not in my class yet we somehow managed to hang out on occasion. He was a very nice person.

For that year’s Linggo Ng Wika, we are to re-enact the scenes from the 1986 People Power Revolution, as well as perform the patriotic theme song “Magkaisa”. I play the role of a cameraman, with a video camera made of styrofoam. We did well in our presentation, I think.

And there’s an entire class recital of Prince Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “To Be, Or Not To Be”. Yup, it is part of our speech class, with our friendly speech instructor from a few years back. Aside from that, some of us have to produce our own voice recording of the poem “Little Bo Beep”, with proper pronunciation. I didn’t get to do this anyway so I’m fine with listening to some of their voice recordings, some with a hilarious twist.

We have our Christmas-themed presentation/competition, where we perform Christmas songs as a group. It’s a school inter-class competition, but I don’t really recall much of it. I don’t feel like joining the class in the performance since I’m not in the mood to do this. Well, at least I’m not the only one who’s not performing with the rest of the class anyway.

It’s the school’s Intramurals once again. Previously, all games are held inside the school’s parking (that doubles as the playground and basketball/volleyball court) and the school quadrangle. However, for this year’s Intramurals, some of the games had to transfer to the basketball court inside the private subdivision, a walking distance from the school’s satellite campus. Anyway, I’m now on the yellow team, and they’re asking me to compete in the sports event. I give in, and I’ll compete in Sungka for the second time. I won the competition, but then it will take a while before the sports event ends. I didn’t bother to go watch the other sports events, which took place on my favorite day, Saturday.

So here comes the graduation, but I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, it’s my female classmates who keep telling me that I will never graduate and that I don’t deserve the “Loyalty Award” for staying at school for six years. Of course, I got mad but I couldn’t control my emotions too.

Six years at [name of school]… it’s a mix of fun, remarkable, and lonely moments of being an elementary student. Without a proper farewell, I decided to move on and move to a public school the following school year. I doubt I’m gonna miss my soon-to-be former classmates (and I don’t think they’ll miss me anyway).

High School

High school life sure is fun, but I didn’t get to enjoy every part of it.

Well, I’ve had enough of my troubled past in my former school, maybe this will change by the time I transfer to another school, the one where my brother finished high school. Besides, I had a feeling that I’m gonna meet a lot of nice people in my new school, some of them become my closest friends.

So I’m a high school freshman who is still acting like an elementary student? It’s a challenging transition, but that’s something I can live with. To begin with, my new school is in Lagro, Quezon City, about more or less 8 kilometers (calculated using Google Maps) from my house. And since I’m no longer in private school, I think it’s a good idea for me to experience how to commute, having used to being taken to and from school on a tricycle as a school service (though I did it with my classmate a few times back in elementary). I still find it scary to cross the street (thanks to the overspeeding vehicles on the highway), but at least it’s safe to cross the street near my school.

And here comes algebra, biology, geometry, chemistry, trigonometry, physics, economics, Asian and world history, and technology and livelihood education (TLE). In addition, we also study four notable literary works from Filipino authors: Ibong Adarna, Francisco Baltazar’s Florante At Laura, and Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, as well as watching their stage play adaptations at the UP Theater.

We were introduced to different school clubs, but I don’t know if any of us are really interested in joining one. There’s the math club, the English club, the science club… all of the school clubs are dedicated to a particular school subject.

The school cafeteria is impressive and had wider choices than my former school. At the time, the cafeteria implemented the chit system wherein I had to fall in line just to exchange my cash for the plastic stub of equivalent value so I can buy something in the cafeteria. It was eventually scrapped more than a year later, replaced by cash register specifically for cafeteria meals.  During the first few weeks, I bought some chocolates and candies at the cafeteria and ate it inside the classroom during breaks. Of course, some of my classmates ask for a portion of a chocolate bar when they saw me eating one. In addition to the cafeteria, there’s also the co-op store where we bought pieces of pad paper, ball pens, notebooks… even our PE uniform, workbooks, and other knick knacks.

And yeah, I started wearing my glasses a few weeks before I start high school, so they thought that I was a genius. One of my teachers refers to me affectionately as Boy Genius. But at least I’m not alone since one of my female classmates also wear glasses as well.

During this time, I was actively copying what is written on the board, but at times I had a hard time catching up since I tend to make some mistakes and my hands are tired from all the writing. Also, some of the activities, particularly the ones on the TLE class, proved to be challenging as I need to make a lampshade, a letter holder (something I managed to finish myself), a gel candle (probably the easiest one to make myself), and a few others.

During my first year in high school, we only have our classes three whole days a week, from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with flag ceremonies held on Mondays. That changed during my second year in high school and with a new school principal and some changes, classes are now divided into two shifts. So it’s five half-days a week instead of the three whole days a week classes, which is quite a relief for some of us. For the rest of my high school years, I’m always placed in the afternoon classes.

I also recall back in first-year when I had to buy a recorder flute for our music class. It was an ivory Hohner recorder flute, which I really liked, yet I’m not good at playing that kind of instrument. It was an effort trying to play a few notes, what more for an entire piece of music? At times, we’re practicing a few songs our MAPEH teacher taught us. In the end, the flute was stored in the study table for a long time and I rarely played that thing.

I used to bring packed lunch during my freshman year but since it’s gonna be a half-day the following school year, I decided to eat lunch at home and just ask for the same allowance as last year. At least, 20 percent of my allowance goes to transportation, the rest goes to various expenses from snacks to school supplies. Of course, my allowance is larger than some of my classmates, and I don’t spend it all on snacks alone. Sometimes, I need to save some for myself.

I didn’t get to attend the school’s founding anniversary during my freshman year. It was during my sophomore year that I get to attend and have fun in the annual event, and I always look forward to it until my senior year. Around this time, I also attended some notable events, such as the “Pasikat Ni Sir At Mam” and a couple of stage plays inside the covered court.

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It’s sophomore year and I’m in the afternoon class. But since some of my friends are in the morning classes, I ended up going home by myself. Well, I’m getting used to it since I’m starting to feel like a loner again, aside from being excluded by my seatmates. In addition to that, I experienced bullying from my two classmates, and I was extorted money by another. My sophomore year is sort of okay, but not really that okay.

The following school year (junior year), I’m having a great time with some of my classmates. I was elected as the president of the Handicrafts class (one of TLE’s electives) and I’m doing well in Geometry. I started hanging out with some of my friends again, and I was bending the rules a bit by wearing rubber shoes instead of my black shoes.

And here comes senior year, where I’m about to experience a great deal of trouble. At first, my classmates are very nice but that changed in the next few months. They tend to annoy me a lot of times and did something terrible to me. That aside, I was often nominated as a class officer for each of the subjects, some of which I did become a class officer. I’m not comfortable with being nominated, but… there’s nothing I can do about it. They’re being nice to me that time so I can’t tell them that.

I’m in the Computer class as part of the elective, it’s all about the internet with some MS Office activities in between. We are to create our own website as a project, and we made a video slideshow using our baby pictures (transferred to the computer by means of a scanner). Well, in our class, we (IV-Chromium) were down to just four as some of our classmates had transferred to other electives due to the monthly fee. I made friends with some of the students from IV-Gold and the lone student from IV-Lead.

We had our National Achievement Test, as well as our National Career Assessment Examination during our senior year. I think I did well in these tests. Regarding the National Career Assessment Examination, I think that helped me figure out my occupational field of interest… that is, the artistic field (or simply the arts).

There are a few more events I never attended. First is the Christmas party, the other one is the senior prom. I don’t care if I didn’t attend the Christmas party and have fun with some of my annoying classmates, but I don’t know if I feel the same with not attending the Prom. Something tells me that I should have attended the latter, but I didn’t. Not only I didn’t get to see my friends and classmates in their formal attire, but I’m missing a part of my life as well. Oh, but that didn’t matter now.

And here comes the emotional high school graduation ceremony. As usual (and just like any other high school graduations), students use this as a chance to spend the last hours of their high school life with picture taking, sharing stories of their high school memories, and wishing each other luck in their chosen field of interest. While some of my classmates are teary eyed by this memorable high school graduation, I didn’t feel emotional about it. Why some of them are hugging me and wishing me luck, I don’t know. They are planning a post-graduation outing and they’re inviting me, but I declined.

For some reason, I never got my high school yearbook and I didn’t bother to get my class picture. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever ask for a soft copy of the class picture, as I already severed ties with most of them.

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High school officially ends, and I decided to take a year off from studying before heading for college as an English major student. And after ten years of finishing primary and secondary education, I only had very little achievements and I managed to pass my grades. Of course, I feel disappointed and guilty with myself for failing to keep up with my studies and I never got to my dream university, but that doesn’t matter now. Anyway, there’s the second part of this article featuring my thoughts about school and the importance of education.

Expressions, In Light And Dark: The Six Poems, Written By KCOX [L]

For TWATKcox’s 166th post, I’ve written six poems dealing with a range of topics, from optimism to loneliness, from good times to painful memories. The six poems written for this post are divided into two groups: the light themed poems and the dark themed poems.


LOOKING FORWARD

I always anticipate the good things in life
That I manage to cheer up for a good reason
My expectations always keep me high
That I tend to foresee anything that’s good
And disregard anything that’s bad
So much for waiting too long for this to happen
Without even realizing if it’s worth the wait
But then, my sense of optimism prevails
And I believe that it will soon happen
Without having to think of a possible disappointment
I’m looking forward to the best things in life
Enough to manage a smile and enjoy the moment

INSPIRATIONS

A reason for being
A reason to keep going
A fond memory of a certain person
Or the ones you love the most
A certain kind of motivation
A big fan of your great achievements
A supportive loved one
Rooting for your success
They’re the driving force
They’re here for you to do well
Keeping you on the edge of hopelessness
And onward to success
They’re right behind you
Pushing you to keep going
They’re the ones you always look up to
When you’re on the path to achievement

HAPPINESS IS…

Happiness is…
Meeting an old friend
Thinking of someone
Visiting a place
Recounting the good times
And embarrassing experiences
Having fun
Doing the things you love
Listening to good music
Watching favorite shows
Reading a lot of books
Going somewhere
Expressing yourself
Being creative
Discovering great things
Going on a trip
Finding peace and quiet
Celebrating your existence
Enjoying a great moment
Living a good life…
And most of all
Making everyone happy

A DARK REMEMBRANCE

A painful memory
A miserable past
A horrible incident
A psychological trauma
We all remember our own bad experiences
And we wanted to forget them
But we can’t even get them off our minds
They remain inside us
For as long as we live
We can always recall everything that happened
Witnessing the horrors of violence
And the tragic incidents
The world goes dark
You feel the chills
And you can’t snap out of it
Haunted by your thoughts
The fear of madness is taking control of you
You’re breaking down
You’re losing your sanity
And you can’t control your emotions
It’s gonna be a long, difficult journey
To get back to your usual self…
You may have recovered from this distress
You may have endured the pain you’ve been through
But these experiences will remain
A reminder of your dark past

IN BLACK AND GRAY

The darkness of black
The neutrality of gray
Together, they both match
And they share the same traits
A combination of colors
That invokes negativity
Lost in the emptiness
Colorless and lifeless

Combining these colors
Makes an emotional person
Whose life is filled
With such intense gloom
Feeling lost and indecisive
Feeling aloof and pessimistic
Is this color combination
Too much to handle?

A subdued life imagined
Wearing these two colors
That gives the impression
Of giving bad vibes
But let me tell you this
It depends on how you see it
These colors are wonderful
If they’re not used too often

THE LIFE OF AN UNHAPPY LONER

Being a loner is tough
I have no friends
I have no companions
I have no acquaintances
I hang out with no one but myself
In this tough, cruel world
There’s no one to rely on
I’m on my own, without any help
I tried to make friends
But they all turn me down
Now I can’t join them
I spend most of the days alone
By the park or in the library
At times, I feel envious
Just seeing a bunch of people
Hanging out and having fun
I feel kind of hopeless
I wanted to make friends
But I don’t know if they’ll like me
I just sat down and wonder
What will happen to me
When I grow old and all alone
Just thinking about this
Makes me feel depressed
I’m still hoping, one of these days
Someone will come up
And try to make friends with me
I don’t know, but I won’t expect
That this will happen anytime soon
Because I’ve already accepted the fact
That I’ll always be an unhappy loner
And I’ll die an unhappy loner

Why I Blog: The TWATKcox’s 4th Year Special

1-anni-4th

Happy 4th anniversary, TWATKcox! So far, so good… we managed to post more than 150 posts in 4 years. And it doesn’t stop there.


It all started back in 2006 or 2007 when I try to create my own blog via Friendster Blogs, prior to establishing The Kin Keihan Times more than a year later. My posts that time were a bunch of plain nonsense, so much for a newbie in the blogging world. These posts were eventually deleted (save for the last post entitled Does Looking Back Hurts, which became the [unfinished] pre-KKT post) before starting the Kin Keihan Times.

And there I was, writing some of my personal experiences, stories and interesting short articles that were written out of emotion. I think some of the posts tell much about who I am. To be honest, I’m getting goosebumps reading some of them, but there are a few good articles worthy of being re-posted on this blog. One notable example is No, Never, And I Don’t Like.

For five years, I never thought that I’m posting some emotional nonsense and telling the entire world about how weird and emotional I was. Of course, I’m not getting enough readers (which didn’t matter to me anyway) so my former blog remains unnoticed. Even though the name of my former blog sounded catchy, I knew it’s time to get serious and start a new one. So it’s goodbye to the Kin Keihan Times and hello to The World According To KCOX.

Fast forward 2017. The way I’m blogging now is much more different than before. My blog posts had improved (and still improving), and I’m about to feature some serious issues that need to be addressed. For me, blogging is more of expressing your thoughts and insights about various topics, experiences and issues through written words, raising awareness and reaching out to your readers.

Nowadays, blogging is not just an online diary of specific knowledge. It is your very own personal website reaching to a wider audience by means of sharing various content–from stories and poems, personal or social commentaries… up to visual media such as photos and videos. There were fashion blogs, news and commentary blogs, food blogs, travel blogs… the possibilities are endless.

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And now back to the question: why I blog?

We all know that blogging is a form of expression, mostly through writing. When you blog, you contribute a piece of your own history as well as your views about anything in general. We express our thoughts, our emotions, our experiences… all of these are recorded in the online portal of information [known as the internet] through blogs.

When we publish something online, what does the content say about you? Whatever you post, it contains a personality that’s so uniquely you (even for informative posts that don’t include your own personal experiences or comments). So if you’re fond of injecting humor to your posts, then you’ll be tagged as the humorous blogger who tends to keep the readers amused by your funny antics. If you keep on posting your emotional outbursts and thoughts through your posts, then you’ll be tagged as an emo blogger… you just keep on blogging away all your misery and pain. Oh well, we’re not supposed to stereotype bloggers by how they write and how they feel about writing something. After all, WE all have the right to express what’s on our minds… with certain limitations, of course.

I always feel like blogging something that happened, or anything that brings back the good old memories. Or blogging out of inspiration. You can never tell when such ideas come to mind, and you can always say it’s worth writing about. Ideas may come and go but stays with you once it’s recorded.

In the end, what matters is that we all have a privilege to express ourselves through blogging. It isn’t just about sharing our thoughts and experiences, but it’s also about sharing some valuable information for the readers. We don’t just entertain them, but we also inform and educate them as well.

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And now, I’m quoting some parts of my previous posts that tells much about blogging and writing:

As a college student that time, I don’t have much experience in blogging and I only publish such random stuff. Of course, I also wrote about my elementary and high school experiences too, but it’s all about how I feel about my former classmates and how I ended up being a miserable loner. There are some commentary about what I’ve written as well, usually before, after, or in the middle of the article.

Remembering The Kin Keihan Times, (The 125th Post)

Through the years, there are some improvements on the articles being published, yet they appears to be amateurish in terms of quality. But then, I didn’t care much about what I’ve written on the blog. I enjoyed writing and posting a lot of random things, and I haven’t had a clear plan in mind regarding the blog’s future.

Remembering The Kin Keihan Times, (The 125th Post)

I know blogging can be a real challenge. Running out of creative ideas and writer’s block are my common problems, and sometimes I lack motivation to finish the article I’m currently working on, leading to a timely delay before it gets published.

Second Anniversary Post: How I Managed To Get This Far

Well, it all starts with a topic, an interest or a situation that can later transform as an inspiration. I often research a lot, out of curiosity and fascination. Pretty soon, it becomes an idea that is formed by a combination of inspiration and determination.

Ideas Coming From Me, Keihancarl

Of course, it’s not easy at the beginning, but I was able to polish my ability to write stories and articles.

Obsessions: Writing

Nowadays, I’ve been focusing more on writing articles (some of them in a series) and less on my own literary works. Also, I often rely on my own knowledge (with a little research) just to finish an article. Who knows, this might change. In fact, I had just incorporate citations/sources in my recent articles.

Third Anniversary Post: The Story Of TWATKcox… So Far


Four years and 150+ posts… just how far can we go? Well, there are a lot of ideas, topics, and opinions waiting to be expressed and written for this blog so it’s a never ending journey for a blogger like me.

TWATKcox reached its fourth year in the cyberspace. My, how time flies… so fast and so sudden. Next year, it will be this blog’s fifth year anniversary and my tenth year as a blogger. Another great reason for us to look forward to this remarkable event in TWATKcox’s history!

The Year 2005: One Remarkable Year (The 150th Post Special)

1-150

150th post, coming up! Along with the arrival of the year 2017, there comes my assumption that this year will be similar to the year 2005. Why is that? And what makes the year 2005 a special year… for me?

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January

Nothing special yet for this month, probably except for some post-holiday feels. I truly missed this kind of holiday, with all the holiday feast and everything. And yes, the TV ads made specifically for Christmas. Oh well, I’m expecting the worst thing in my student life… getting bullied. Something worth forgetting, I suppose.

February

Oh well, I feel like riding my bicycle and spending an entire afternoon with my feet on the pedals. That’s a perfect way to engage me in a workout, right? But it’s kind of unfortunate that I have to spend two weeks at home because of chicken pox. How awful.

Regarding the latter, well… I did spend an afternoon at school feeling sick, but I can still move around without trembling or wobbling my way back to my seat. Going home, I lose my balance and stumbled on the ground, but I managed to get up and made it back home safely… only to discover that I had that dreaded disease. That surely added to the worst chapter of my student life.

My high school teachers are having a presentation and some of us watched the show. I enjoyed the performance by the English teachers. The rest of the performances are equally good as well.

March

Hello, warm and sunny weather… Cheers to the most wonderful time ever! I was thinking of playing that RPG game, but I hold off the thought as I’m kind of stressed complying with the requirements for the clearance. Sometimes, my classmates wouldn’t cease to annoy me, and I did push one of my classmates to the asphalted ground. I thought he might retaliate (since he got a bleeding arm and he looked a little mad), but he just wiped his arm on my shirt and that was that. Lucky for me, I had a change of clothes. I did just that and moved on. And lucky for me (again) that he never did retaliate in spite of what happened yesterday.

Around this time, I started going to the nearby mall by myself, something I couldn’t do on my own without the feeling of intimidation and getting lost. It’s basically due to an errand, but at times I wanted to go there so I can spend some of my saved allowance on such novelty items, like notebooks, art materials, and other useless stuff. So much for shopping by myself at such a young age…

A prelude for the much-awaited summer break: my uncle and his family and relatives are having an outing. I was invited, and I gladly join them since I wanted to spend a hot day at the pool. And that’s what I exactly did, swimming under the scorching heat of the sun. My mom was surprised that I got a little darker, possibly due to sunburn.

April

Here it is, the summer vacation… the one I’ve been looking forward to! There goes the usual habit of watching anime and Asian dramas on TV, playing video games (especially RPGs) while listening to various audio CDs and riding my bike on the street. It’s an entire summer break filled with lots of fun and excitement but in a less extreme way. Still, I really enjoy my summer vacation a lot, thanks to the great sunny weather.

Our desktop PC (a.k.a. the Pentium 1 PC) had a problem, and we need to backup some of the files on the hard drive. My brother has to go to his classmate in college who’s exceptionally good at computers just to reinstall the operating system into the hard drive, as well as to back up the content. It was on the same day that there’s a prediction of a possible earthquake, which came from an SMS message. I was then planning to go to the mall just to buy some back issues of a PC magazine. I did just that, and right after I got home, my mom and I went somewhere. I don’t know if it’s a miracle or anything, but there was no [reported] earthquake that afternoon. A big sigh of relief for me, even though the prediction itself appears to be a hoax. Still, we must prepare for something unpredictable and unexpected, such as an earthquake.

I don’t know if this happened around April or May, but we visited the La Mesa Eco Park. I brought my bike with me, and I spent the afternoon pedaling on the oval track, which gives a great view of the Orchidarium. It was quite a picnic, we even had a whole chicken just for the three of us.

May

And my summer vacation continued with playing RPGs while listening to a mix of classic and recent songs on the PC’s CD player. And then there’s the fascination with an anime (Naruto) and an Asian drama (Meteor Garden)… a fairly good reason to watch TV, I suppose.

Near the end of the summer vacation, I did help my mom and my relatives clear the vacant lot and fence the area. At first, I thought I might be getting in the way since I’m not used to holding such dangerous objects such as the itak (bolo knife) or the rake. Months later, I’m pretty used to such intensive labor, but at times I opted to stay at home and play games on my PC. It was such a good experience, even though my hands felt sore from handling and using the tools for too long. On our way home, however, the AUV had a battery problem and that’s not a good thing. My brother and I were told to head home, leaving the rest behind. Upon reaching home, I asked a neighbor for help and went back, only to face another problem since it was raining hard that night and the owner type jeep stalled on a flooded road. I then decided to head home feeling wet and cold. They finally reached home as soon as I finished taking a shower.

My summer ended with a shocking and sad news. My brother’s classmate and best friend took his own life and we were saddened by his death. My brother was informed of the news through text, and later that night, my mom and my brother visited his funeral. A few weeks prior, he came for a visit, and my brother noticed that something’s not right. Even I kind of noticed it as well, but I was busy taking care of my three toddler cousins so I didn’t know exactly what they talked about and what happened after that. It is nearly twelve years since his death and until now, I still recall that shocking day. That made me rethink about threatening to kill myself whenever my classmates did something terrible to me. Whatever happens, I hope he’s doing fine up in the blue yonder.

June

School starts, and I’m excited to meet my new classmates, as well as our class advisor. There’s also a reunion with a couple of my classmates from freshman year, and some of my teachers from my freshman and sophomore years become my teachers for this school year. It’s unfortunate that my classes are still in the afternoons, just like last year. So there goes the habit of watching afternoon anime shows…

There’s a big advantage for being in the afternoon class: my annoying classmate from my sophomore year is in the morning classes, as well as his so-called accomplice. But my awesome classmate from freshman and sophomore year is also in the morning classes as well, so that made me think of him even more. Don’t get me wrong on this one, it’s the friendship that counts… sort of.

Some of the BFFs had their classes in the afternoons as well, so they ask me to join them on the way home after every class. I’m really looking forward to going home with some of the BFFs, considering that it’s kind of boring going home by myself.

For our Technological and Livelihood Education, we have to choose an elective, namely Computer Education, Handicrafts, Dressmaking and Simple Accounting. I decided on Handicrafts as my chosen elective. I was even made the president of this school year’s officers for the said elective. An interesting note about this elective is that it is supposed to be an all-boys elective (as was Dressmaking for girls), yet there are a few girls who also signed up for the elective as well. They were eventually transferred to the other electives. There were also some boys (who originally chosen Computer Education as their elective) joining Handicrafts as well since they couldn’t afford the monthly computer fees.

July

Things are going pretty well until the surprise announcement about our new Math teacher. For the first few weeks of the school year, it was a middle-aged male teacher who’s in charge for this subject. He then made the announcement and upon mentioning that it’s a young female teacher in her mid-20’s (I assume) who’ll be taking over, our excitement grew. And she was a nice teacher as well. Too bad that I’m often late for the first period, which happens to be my least favorite subject (and my favorite for this school year), Math. This school year’s Math (Geometry) happens to be an exception, as I suddenly had an interest in Geometry and this is the only time I’m getting higher grades on this subject.

August

Things get pretty normal for this time of the year. I seem to have an interest in Chemistry as well, though not as much as Geometry. Still, I manage to keep up with my studies and I seem to be having fun.

Remember the machine that changed my life? Well, there’s another one coming and it’s slightly powerful than the one we’re currently using. A decade old PC, running Pentium Pro, serves as an alternative to the slower PC (Pentium 1) we bought a few years ago. Eventually, the Pentium 1 PC was sold and we keep on using the recently arrived PC that my uncle donated to us.

As the month comes to a close, we are looking forward to our annual school’s founding anniversary on the first day of September. Now, on to the next part…

September

Two events happened in a single day. Of course, there’s the school’s founding anniversary and my cousins’ birthdays.

That morning, we had our school’s founding anniversary with a parade, a program, and lots of booths from marriage booth to jail booth… in fact, my annoying classmate from sophomore even tried to have me arrested (yup, that makes the jail booth even more fun) but I outsmarted him. In the end, he failed. Also, I run into my awesome classmate and we had a small chat. And yes, I did hang out with the BFFs before heading home. That afternoon, we celebrated my cousins’ birthdays, and it was a lot of fun too.

The following day, I was listening to the compilation of tracks from my cousin’s CD while playing an RPG game on the desktop PC. A mix of love songs and current hits, the playlist is quite okay. As for the love songs, I have some favorites though some of them are hard rock.

Later that month, there’s another PC coming aside from the Pentium Pro PC. Yes, it’s a laptop computer that’s twice as fast as the aforementioned PC and it’s perfect for gaming… sort of. Anyways, I assumed ownership of the laptop, and I’m more excited to personalize everything on this laptop. I installed some programs and games, as well as setting up the laptop’s wallpaper and sounds. The Pentium Pro PC was ignored for the time being, but…

October

There are times that the laptop would simply not open, even without its battery (and plugged into the outlet, just like a desktop PC). I knew that there might be a problem with my laptop, but it’s still functioning. I did get that thing powered and running perfectly fine… for now.

We had our school tour early this month, and we visited a few places. Strange that it was held on a Sunday, so some places on the itinerary are closed. Well, starting the trip, there’s the Baywalk (where we had a nice view of the Manila Bay even though it’s morning), then the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (we only toured the area inside the bus), and Rizal’s house in Calamba, Laguna (which is closed on Sundays, unfortunately, but I’ve been there countless of times in my previous school tours). The last two itineraries are leisure oriented… there’s hiking at UP Los Baños Botanical Garden, and swimming at a resort somewhere in Laguna.

It was on the way home that I accidentally had my pocket radio tuned into a smooth jazz station, Joey 92.3 (it’s actually 923 Joey by the time I first tuned in that station) and listened to it during the entire trip along South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Afterwards, for the next few days, I keep tuning in that station until I got hooked on the smooth sound that I’ve become an avid listener for almost two years. Most of the songs played in that station become my favorites, and the favorite songs are eventually downloaded and are now stored and played on my PC and my music player.

And then the worst thing happened… the laptop finally gave up on me. Well, it happened due to an improper shutdown and the hard drive needs to be scanned. Unfortunately, the hard drive’s got lots of bad sectors in it, and right after the scan the laptop simply failed to boot. Is it the hard drive, or is it the laptop’s motherboard? Either way, that’s just too bad. So it’s back to the Pentium Pro PC, and it finally got some attention again after a few weeks of being unused.

October (Semestral Break)

The last week of October means a semestral break for us students. But without the laptop, how am I gonna enjoy the almost two-week long vacation? Also, it was raining hard that time so I can’t even ride my bike outside. I don’t have a choice but to stay home and either watch TV or play games on the Pentium Pro PC.

The scent of coconut incense makes this rainy October memorable. Now, I’m gonna content myself with watching Naruto, flicking through my PC magazines, and playing Super Mario Kart on the desktop PC while waiting for the classes to resume. Anyway, from a previous post, here’s a description of that [memorable] semestral break:

October 2005. Rainfall, coconut incense, Naruto, Super Mario Kart, and the coffee commercial featuring the song “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. I was feeling disappointed that time since I couldn’t use the laptop to play Golden Sun (through a GBA emulator) and do anything random, so I content myself with the slower desktop PC just to play games… it was kind of ridiculous and immature how I reacted to that possibility. And there are some cheap collectible cards, the ones featuring Gon and Killua (of Hunter x Hunter). Then there’s the sudden urge to watch anime on TV, Naruto in particular. And there’s an upcoming channel on test broadcast, plus some upcoming Korean drama series on prime time.

November

It’s back to reality, but there’s no stopping the excitement as there’s an upcoming new channel to watch out for. And some great Korean dramas and anime shows.

I know I can be restless sometimes, it just can’t be helped. I tend to roam around the school halls like it is a park or something. And since I was trying to look cool just like everybody, I tend to bend the rules a bit. Yup, wearing sneakers with my school uniform is not allowed, but a lot of students do this, so…

November is English month, and some of my classmates (as a group) are among the participants representing our class in the interpretative dance, as part of the program. The song “Reflections” by Christina Aguilera was the chosen song for this performance. I’m not one of the performers, but we’re proud of our representative’s achievements… I don’t know if our class won the competition. The thing is, our class advisor, who is our beloved English teacher, is the one hosting the said competition and there’s a little controversy involved. But we proved them how good my classmates performed by repeating the performance in front of our P.E. teacher, and she was impressed with the performance.

You know how I tend to be careless sometimes. Well, I accidentally dropped my glasses to the floor so one of the lenses is broken. And there comes an even bigger problem–both the lens of my glasses ARE broken. How am I suppose to get home without wearing my glasses? More importantly, will I be able to see clearly without it? Luckily, my parents had my old pair of glasses repaired so I no longer need to worry about it.

December

And then December comes in.

For the last few months, I simply opted to stay at home instead of helping out with such intensive labor since I had a hard time with digging the hard soil and cutting the grass. But some of my cousins are helping out, so I decided to join in. Well, it’s fun to be out of the house sometimes, on a weekend where the desktop PC is my companion.

I don’t recall when we first installed this game. But it was around this time when I’m starting to enjoy playing this card game on PC. Yup, it’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Power Of Chaos: Yugi The Destiny. I think it’s the coolest PC game I ever played. And then there’s Joey The Passion and Kaiba The Revenge. This completes the Power Of Chaos games series installed on the desktop PC, and I tend to spend more time on these games hoping to win some powerful monster cards, or useful trap and spell cards.

Another terrible thing happened… someone tried to steal something from my bag. Since I padlocked my backpack to deter those kleptomaniacs who would try to get their hands on my valuables, the unidentified suspect sure had another way to do it… by means of using a scissor. I didn’t immediately report this incident, but my mom found out anyway, so she’s off to the school to see my class advisor. To make the long story short, my classmate (who probably took the blame, since no one wanted to confess to the incident) apologized to me. He eventually revealed who did the scissor thing, and to be honest I don’t want to confront the actual person who’s behind this.

I was starting to have a little fun as the BFFs and I decided to go to the mall after class. I just happen to see something interesting in a bazaar just outside the mall, so I bought it immediately. There were other interesting items as well, but I’m not into shopping just yet. Besides, I don’t have much money.

It’s Christmas party, and I was wearing all red. Before that, I was thinking of a perfect Christmas gift to my female classmate… and all of a sudden, one of my classmates was giving me a wonderful item, more of an ornament. I decided to take the offer and bought the item and decided on a pretty paper bag as a gift wrap. Problem solved. Now, back to the Christmas party, my female classmate was delighted to receive such a nice gift. I did receive a teapot (the plastic one with a strainer, more like a coffee pot due to its appearance) as a Christmas gift by another classmate. Until now, the said teapot remains unused and the strainer shows signs of rust. It’s been sitting in the cupboard for many years before it was taken out.

After the Christmas party, I meet with the BFFs and we all head to the mall and have some fun. I decided to stay at the mall a little longer after some of my friends headed for home. Reaching the house past 8:00 PM, the wind was blowing hard but there’s no rain. I guess it’s pretty normal during the cold season.

It’s Christmas season and we celebrate it with a feast. My mom, my cousin and I head to the supermarket to buy food for our Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and Media Noche (New Year’s Eve), and then we celebrated the Christmas and New Year’s Eves at our cousin’s place, along with some of our relatives. What makes it even more special, is when we celebrate the holidays with a great amount of happiness.

Post-2005

It’s the year 2006, and it’s time to cherish every single good thing that happened. As I was staring at the cleared area (where the makeshift classrooms and the garden used to be), I was wondering… what happened in the past twelve months? Am I having a great time?

There are a lot of things happened past this point. Of course, there are only a few months left before another summer break. There’s discovering my artistic talent, and a few more anime shows to enjoy. Of course, there’s my pocket radio and the smooth jazz station I listen to on that school trip.

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Well, here’s the summary of my life twelve years ago:

  • For a fourteen-year-old student [going fifteen] like me, it’s just a typical life dominated by studies, video games, music, anime… and a little bonding/hanging out with friends.
  • Since I don’t have a cell phone that time (wishing I have one back then), there’s no texting… and mobile photography. Well, I’m not into text messaging anyway, so I’ll leave that one out.
  • I don’t even have a Friendster account as well, so there’s no online experience.
  • I may not have the fastest PC that time, but I had lots of fun with some of the RPG games and the PC game Yu-Gi-Oh! Power Of Chaos series.
  • I’m not into pop and rock music, and I’m lured into listening to smooth jazz and easy listening music with a touch of smooth foreign language (Brazilian and French) songs.
  • My growing interest in anime has become apparent since I’m fascinated with Sasuke of Naruto and Yugi of Yu-Gi-Oh!, as well as Keitaro Urashima of Love Hina and Rumina Asagi of Tokyo Underground. Oh, how I miss those days!
  • Math suddenly becomes an interesting subject for me, and Geometry is much easier than Algebra and Trigonometry. It is the only time I’m getting high grades with this subject.
  • There’s still bullying, but not as much as the rest of my high school years. There’s also a few unpleasant incidents (such as the scissor thing), but at least I didn’t see that annoying classmate from my sophomore year.
  • I get to meet some of the new BFFs, and we always wait around after school to have fun or to have a small chat before going home. We would take a short jeepney ride up to the mall, and then we head home on our own.

For me, I find the year 2005 to be the most remarkable year due to a lot of fun experiences. I happen to be in such a great mood for most of the year, and for a lot of reasons. So, will I be able to replicate it this year? Hopefully. I predicted that this year will be the same as the year 2005 so I’ve yet to see if I can make this year remarkable too.