Gab at 20

When I thought of turning 20, the first thing that came into my mind is not about adding another year in my age and how it reminds me that a year has passed again since my last birthday.It's more of thinking that being 20 unfolds all the memories of childhood that I had and the beginning of another chapter of my life - which I think for sure will be quite mature this time.

This year's birthday is really amazing. My family prepared for it. Relatives and cousins joined the celebration. This is the first time after 5 years that I am celebrating my birthday at home. It's because I always celebrate my birthday somewhere else these recent years because of different programs and competitions. The most memorable ones are the birthdays in Enchanted Kingdom in 2007 and in Japan last year. This year is still the best so far. A lot of people made me feel special. First, of course, are my GAMARKA friends.

Karen and Ceas gave me the earliest greetings. By the way, Karen made that birthday graphic in the top and Ceas made that GAMARKA ♥ . A lot of special people called and texted me. Then so many random people from different acquaintances greeted me in Facebook. And to someone I love, I appreciate that midnight greeting. Surprises came in, most especially from my uncles and aunts. Best surprise is from my Tita Dina.

Then we had a post-birthday celebration at Forest Park with my family. Really a wonderful place. But quite expensive, and you need to have your own car when you get there.

I think this birthday is just the paramount event to all the happy things that happened to me this semester. Yes! I'm still a student and since I spend more time in school than at home in a year, most of the happy things to thank for are quite related to school.

The first thing is all about the cheque.Every time I get to recall this thing, it's the idea of carelessness that seeps into my mind. I know I'm careless.But this experience really thought me so much of lessons that I could apply in the future.I'm happy because this money contributed well to enable our attendance in the 23rd MPDC.

And since we're now talking about MPDC. The 23rd MPDC is a real blast. I didn't have much expectations for this competition. I've told Jay-r well before this tournament that I'm afraid we might not break, or no IIT team will break. This is because I've never broken in Asians Debate yet in the past. But then, all of a sudden, and with God's grace, we (the two teams) topped the eliminations and ranked as Top 1 and Top 2 in the breaks. After this, I've got so much motivation to win. I always tell myself that I should take every round one step at a time. Before the announcement was done on who will be the Grand Finalists, Calvin asked me on my goal for this tournament. He asked if I am already satisfied being in the Grand Finals or do we still have to win it all the way. Then I told him that we should win this tournament. And we did! We ended up as Champions. It's not the thought of gaining fame in the debate community, or having streamers in school or whatever, it's the thought that with prayers, effort and a clear goal, you will really achieve what you want in the end. I am very happy with the varsity. And how we've grown from just being the debate underdog of Mindanao. Now, we're recognized both in Mindanao and Visayas after winning 2 regional debate tournaments this year. To all the efforts of our coaches and advisers, Maam Mar, Maam Piyet, Maam Fat and to Sir Dar, it's a well paid-off investment. And I'm glad I'm part of this victory.

Another happy thing that happened to me this semester is when the US Embassy called me that I will be part of the 2011 Study of the United States' Summer Institute on New Media and Politics. I am just so happy when I got this letter of acceptance to the program and get informed that we will be staying in Muncie,Indiana for four weeks and a 1 week tour to different parts of United States on June 27-July 31st. I know that this is way shorter than the UGRAD program which I initially applied for. But I've realized how there are great plans along the way set for us. Maybe because when I leave for a year, I have to stop studying here and when I come back,I'm already a year behind to my block mates. Right now,I'm happy with what I have.

The final blast for the semester is when I successfully passed all my subjects this semester. Yeah, I know I've been quite crazy this semester. I don't study well, I spend a lot, I stopped working, and all those things. But all those things will never be thrown to regrets. Nothing to regret, really. Maybe, at this point, I just have to thank Rod for helping me with my academics. He makes 25 % of my grade. HAHAHA. But I promise to never be complacent anymore. I have to work on my own now and should not depend on someone else. Oh, I just hope it will be any real now.

And lastly, I want to thank the opportunities coming somewhere I don't know , it brought me someone so special in my life . She makes me happy extremely. I love her. That's cheesy and way corny, but that's true. ♥

This year, I just have to bring more of myself. Someone more mature and undisturbed with my busy schedules. I'll give time for my academics and spend more time with my friends. I'm also thinking of giving more time with MYCOP, if it's possible. I miss volunteering and going to far places in the rurals. I'll just take any opportunity that might cross my way. But as how I plan things out, I should iron out the hierarchy of my interests. More productive, more responsible and more strategic with my choices.

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