Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Since a number of friends recently turned twenty-five (relax, girls - I won't name names), I decided to dig up this article from my archives as a belated birthday present. It's something I wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Youngblood when I hit that particular years ago.

It started again.

That clock which counts down to a day I dread almost as much as Valentine's or Christmas began ticking once more. Though, come to think of it, it never really stops, does it? The ordinarily unobtrusive ticks and tocks just get a little louder a month before the yearly observance of my birth.

February usually finds me slithering away from my birthday. Being reminded of the fact that I'm getting older no longer thrilled me since the time I could legally watch R -18 flicks.

But this year, the ticking sounds a little more foreboding than usual.

This is no ordinary birthday.

No. I'm not turning 18 again (how I wish!). I'll be hitting the big two-five. And somehow, being a quarter of a century old is enough to make me take a long, hard look at life. Ask questions that wouldn't even be crossing my thoughts any other time of the year. Or any other time of the decade for that matter.

Back in high school, usually during algebra class, I fantasized happy fantasies on what my life would be like by the time I'm twenty-five.

Great job.

Fat salary.

Gorgeous wife.

Lovely kids.

Nice car.

The works.

Now, a decade later (Man! Has it really been that long?), I got to compare fantasy versus fact while I stared out a bus window on the way to Makati.

Job's okay. I found employment in an industry I've always wanted to be a part of. Though when the pals get together for coffee and talk about salaries and savings, I simply blend into the furniture. Hey! Nice chair! A friend who works in advertising production for roughly a week in a month gets more than I do from thirty days hard, office labor. Ghastly. Most new grads earn twice as much - that's a message of hope for you youngsters out there - as me.

Every last one of the girls I went out with in high school is a mommy now. Yes. Every. Last. One. A number of classmates from college are married, or are getting there. One way or another. On the other hand, I'm about as married as a shriveled mountaintop hermit with a mean old vow of celibacy.

And speaking of celibacy, my sex life last saw the light of day around the time when Twelve Monkeys still played in movie theaters instead of on cable.

Don't bother asking about kids. There are none.

And the car?

Ah, yes. The car.

As I mentioned earlier, I was contemplating my turning twenty-five while on a bus. Don't even have enough dough to buy a bicycle, let alone a cool, jet-black Galant. Or that classic, red-hot Mustang I've always wanted to have. I do get to take a cab once every two months, though. The heights of luxury, indeed!

Before I go on, I ought to set something straight.

This is not the whining of an alleged young adult. Nor is it downright overcast-skies-end-of-the-world- I-want-to-fucking-die-now gen-x pessimism.

It's simply an honest look at life through the eyes of someone older, or younger depending on which side of twenty-five you are right now.

Or if you're also turning twenty-five, it's an invitation to consider this event in your life. After all, misery just loooves company!

As I reach (hit? crash into?) this milestone, I used it to gauge how far I've come. How much farther I'd have to go. Twenty-five became a measuring stick where I compared what contemporaries have done against my own efforts involving the myriad aspects of life. Rest assured my reflections went beyond the paycheck and the car.

So. What answers did I get?

Life is okay, for starters. Not amazing or fabulous.


And I'd definitely settle for okay than miserable or terrible.

Okay is not so bad. It leaves a lot of room for improvement.

As depressing as it turned out, this look at my life gave me the realization that I needed to push things further. It irritated me so much it shook me awake from complacency. Exorcised demons of mediocrity. Impelled me to strive for a better future.

Now, the clock whose alarm will be my birthday ticks.

Unfalteringly. Becoming louder as the days go by.

To tell you the truth, I am still apprehensive about turning twenty-five and not having much to show for it. But at least my goals are clearer now. I have realized that all is not lost. As long as all the junk food, alcohol, coffee and parties that lasted 'till sunrise don't take their toll, there is still enough time to make the old dreams come true.

Make something out of my life.

Be somebody.

When my birthday does come, and in the days, weeks, months and years that follow, I'll still be young enough to reach my goals. My whole life lies ahead of me. Well, most of it, at least. Incidentally, I've always suspected that for some folks, going for goals aren't really limited by physical age.

And, if I fail miserably this year?

You'll hear from me when I turn twenty-six.

Meanwhile, I'll be listening to the ticking of that clock.


gawa ka ng pang 31 naman... :-) hehe.

Hmmmm. If I did, there won't be much of a difference. Heh.
Pre, aminin na nating mas . . . um, nauna akong pinanganak sa yo. Pero kung gagawa ako ng ganyan at my ripe age of 105, eksaktong-eksakto. Well except for the part about the nice job . . . wala ako nun e. Hehe.

But, like you said, OK is more than anyone can ask for. At para que pa may hentai?

25's a great age to be! =)-- dulcinea
I felt that way years ago and now I still feel the same. Ick. Should I get depressed now?

Heh heh...
Hentai! Hentai! Hehehentai!!
beautiful entry..
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