25 random things

my friend honesto franz maximillian nuqui who was the valedictorian of batch 1997 of UP diliman (he was one of 7 summa cum laudes from my batch) tagged me over on facebook in his 25 random things survey. the instructions are to write 25 random things about yourself, then tag 25 of your friends to do the same, including the person who tagged you. i have answered very few of these surveys in the past (i've only done the UP survey, to my recollection), just because i feel that my blog is transparent enough and if anyone wanted to know more about me, they should just visit my blog and read about me there. in fact, i've done something similar when i turned 30 in 2007, and my loyal readers would notice that my thoughts remain largely the same. i wouldn't want to think that ian tagged me because he only has 25 friends in facebook. i'd really like to think he does want to know more things about me (after all, our interaction was brief: we were classmates one summer for STS, and while writing our report, i impressed him with how quickly i learned MS word).

i don't want to break the chain or anything, but then again, i would be very disappointed if i tagged anyone and that person does not reply since i do sincerely want to learn more about that person and not because i have no one else to tag from my 300+ friends in facebook. in fact, i'd tag everyone, but i realize not everyone is given to writing lengthy prose as i do. so anyone who feels like submitting himself or herself to this exercise, do so, and tag me. and incidentally, i'm posting this on my livejournal primarily. facebook should import this within minutes.
  1. After living alone for about a year and a half, I’ve realized that probably one of the greatest reasons people seek companionship is that they fear dying in some freak accident while at home by themselves, like slipping on the toilet floor and hitting your head on the sink, or choking on food, or suffocating on a pillow, or getting weird nightmares at night that mess with your pancreas.

  2. My main reason for taking up driving lessons is that I am often with men who drink hard, but who can’t handle their alcohol too well, so I have a bigger chance of surviving if I drove ourselves home, than leaving the wheel in the hands of a drunk man.

  3. Further to number 2, apart from my passport which I do not carry around often, I do not have a valid ID that’s issued by the government, so it would be nice to have a Driver’s License, even though I do not have plans of buying a car within the near future. I’m irked by bank tellers, clerks, and receptionists who look at my IBP ID and ask “Do you have a PRC ID?” Lawyers aren’t regulated by the PRC.

  4. There are times when I think of myself as pure genius. But there are times as well that I think of myself as having the intelligence of a toadstool. And in between the two, I often think that I am coming ever closer to insanity. Lately, the silence of loneliness is beginning to sound like the murmur of a hundred voices, and I find myself responding, agreeing, disagreeing.

  5. In high school, I was made to think that I was average, that I was ordinary, and other than myself and a few teachers and friends, I was alone in my refusal to believe and accept that I was going to be anything less than special, that I was going to be just like everyone else. And all the doubts were silenced when I passed the UPCAT and topped the NCEE. Finally, anyone who ever entertained the thought that I would end up being average realized their folly when I graduated with honors from UP CAL, made it to UP Law and became a lawyer after my first try at the Bar Examinations. Now, the popular notion is that I’ve always been destined for things beyond the ordinary.

  6. I love to write. It is a passion that I may have realized much later than some people would expect. I began the habit in college, and found myself wanting to express myself through the written word. I have authored an insignificant amount of poetry, wrote a number of short stories, published quite a few articles on travel and mountaineering, and produced close to 600 entries on my blog. I find it spiritual and fascinating.

  7. People think of me as a grammar Nazi. But the truth is, I’ve never studied grammar at all. It sort of came naturally from listening well, reading a lot and writing more. And you might find this unbelievable but I would probably fail at some style and grammar tests, because I write without regard for form and structure, but pay more attention to sound and rhythm. So I write effortlessly long sentences, and fall into the trap of stringing run-on sentences, and all those other rules I don’t care to bother about. I think grammar should be a reflex, an instinct, rather than a bunch of rules cluttering your head. That’s why I expect everyone to speak as nearly flawless as me.

  8. I have not read as much as I should have. I do not care so much about the canon, and will look down on anyone who says that I should read this book or that book, especially if that person’s recommendation involves “Harry Potter” or “Twilight”. I read whatever pleases me, from “Asterix” to “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and I have an entire shelf filled to bursting to remind me of my backlog.

  9. I’ve always wanted to take up mountaineering since I found out that it was a sport, but was discouraged by the prohibitive cost of equipment and the amount of time it required. If I’m climbing with so much haste these days, it’s because I’m making up for lost time.

  10. My mountaineering is but part of my advocacy for the environment. I am just beginning to develop ideas when it comes to dealing with the planet, and will soon publish them for everyone to consider. I’ve been doing many things to reduce my carbon footprint, and trying to become more conscious about my choices and purchasing and consuming patterns.

  11. I love gadgets. I think it’s because when I was a kid, I didn’t have many toys of my own. I had toys, but they were worn out, used, hand-me-downs from my two older brothers. So again, I’m making up for lost time.

  12. People who want to give me anything shouldn’t have such a hard time looking for the perfect gift as I am easy to please. He or she should just give me a gift certificate at National Bookstore, Fully Booked, A Different Bookstore, or Powerbooks. But if you want to get me something, just buy me some nice paper (i.e., Moleskine or some unruled, creamy notebook) and pens (like calligraphy pens or fountain pens). You’d definitely put a smile on my face.

  13. I have a talent for languages. I learn relatively quickly, and remember words and phrases long after I’ve heard them.

  14. In connection to number 13, I can do voices and accents. So when people ask me if I really do speak English this way, I always say: I’ve always spoken English this way. It’s not completely true, but I really can’t say that my accent’s put-on. It’s something that I’ve developed while growing up. And to speak in any other accent, in any other voice, would be too much of an effort for me.

  15. Somehow related to number 13, I’m a sponge. And a mimic as well. I absorb a lot of things from listening and observing. In law school, I managed to recite an entire case I have not read just by eavesdropping on a conversation of two of my classmates. I can repeat a sentence in a foreign language or a dialect without knowing what it means, with so much conviction that I have deceived people into thinking that I am either foreign or local.

  16. I run as a form of exercise. The longest road race I’ve joined is the first New Balance Power Race in Clark, where I folded after 14kms. The first one I joined was the GMA Kapuso Foundation Run in 2003 where my friend registered me for the 10km event, when I only agreed to run 5. I ran the 5 despite being registered for the 10, and didn’t get the souvenir shirt as a consequence.

  17. I learned to bike at the age of 4. My brothers put me on a bike with no training wheels and assisted me for balance. The next thing I knew, they’d stopped holding the bike and I was biking on my own. I immediately cried out but kept my balance until I hit a tree and I fell to the ground. Now, I bike around Makati City, and I’ve also done a few trails in Bataan and Laguna.

  18. I think my photography has plateaued ever since I turned digital. I am looking to getting a medium format analog camera just to protest the bandwagon. And I really honestly think that the digital age has somehow diluted the term photographer. These days, everyone with at least P30,000 can get themselves a digital SLR and claim to be a photographer and take pictures of “grim-faced children” and cups and road signs and post it on their online albums and pass it off as art. Ugh.

  19. I have this honest belief that I am the best travel writer of my generation, and the reason that I have not been writing any travel essays of late is because of my disgust at being on the same page as people who have no style and who pass off brochures for good writing. Good travel-writing should transport the reader, relate an experience, an emotion, and give all those who long for the vicarious, a sense of place, filled with depth and dimension. I am planning to compile my travel and adventure essays in a book and give them out to my literate friends.

  20. Being a man of many interests and I would like to believe, talents, until this day I do not know what to do for the rest of my life. There are still too many things I’d like to do, because I can do them. Right now, I fantasize about becoming a travel host, or a sought-after travel writer like Pico Iyer. Or some high-calibre executive of a not-for-profit organization, probably one dealing with the environment and development.

  21. I am paranoid. I think people are plotting against me. And the signs are everywhere.

  22. I’ve always wanted to travel, but could never afford it. Now, I travel alone as a matter of course. The first time I traveled by myself was when I went to Sagada in November 2003. Then I went to Batanes alone in May 2004. The first time I went out of the country was in 1997, when I studied in Singapore. That was also my first time to board a plane. Turbulence scared my shitless.

  23. I don’t have TV where I live. To entertain myself when I’m alone at home, I read, or write, or look at photos on my MacBook Pro while listening to music. I think the boob tube reduces a person’s intelligence. When I do see a TV set, I’m glued to it with unfailing attention. I might buy a Samsung LCD TV once I’ve saved enough for it.

  24. I have problems with commitment, although I easily fall.

  25. I’m pretty good at solving visual puzzles. I think I have superior spatial intelligence, that I probably will never get lost. I can imagine things in 3-dimension, and I love looking at maps.