25 Random Things
1. I can be obsessive compulsive about certain things such as finishing tasks on time, or producing outputs that are more than what is expected. Sometimes people kid me that I have the tendency to go overboard with certain things. For example, I think at least 10 people have tagged me for this 25 random things (in Facebook and in my blog) but I didn’t want to do it until I had the time to give it a real effort. Fortunately, midterms sa Benilde so I had time to do it while my students labored over their exams. Hehe.
2. I love pets and I don’t discriminate. I love dogs and cats (I have a black Labrador – Altus; and a white pusakal- Fluffy); I also have an aquarium with parrot fishes and an albino oscar fish, a pair of breeding African lovebirds (they produced a lone offspring which died of loneliness, I think). I used to have other animals – crayfish in a bowl, green turtles, hamsters, etc.
3. I am a sucker for lost causes. I seem to be a magnet for clingy, needy, dependent individuals who take up so much of my time.
4. I keep a crazy schedule. I have a fulltime job as senior executive of a major universal bank – a job which is stressful enough as it is. I teach evenings at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde (this term, I teach four times a week), write a column for the opinion page of the Manila Standard Today, does regular management consulting work for three companies, and is chairman of the board of trustees of the Remedios AIDS Foundation. In addition, I am active in various professional and civic organizations. I’ve been promising myself that I will slow down and give up some of these commitments…but it seems my system needs to be reacquainted with the mathematical concept called “deduction.”
5. I am single now. Been single for almost three years. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a love life or a sex life, though. Given my schedule and my commitments, I think it wouldn’t be fair to be in a romantic relationship with anyone.
6. I collect art. Yeah, I know it sounds expensive but I see it as investment. I have more than 50 pieces now – but mostly young artists and a few established names, none worth six digits yet, mind. Am trying to save up for them. I have a Baldemor, a Bencab, a Martinez, a Cacnio, two Baddons, two Yap-Baguios, a Gonzales, a Pingol, a couple of de la cruzes, etc. I am now saving up for my first Belleza. I have recently bought abstract pieces – an Enhambre and a Cristobal. These are in addition to a collection of Asian art pieces such as masks, sculptures, etc.
7. I am a packrat. I have boxes and boxes of stuff that really should have been thrown away a long time ago (yes, including love letters from significant others back when I was in College and test papers of students from another decade). I have tapes (yes, cassette tapes!) from my College years such as the soundtrack of Princess Bride and Hooked on Classics, Deodato, Tadao Hayashi, etc).
8. My major luxury (in addition to my art collection), are books and cufflinks. The last time I moved house, my books alone took up 80 boxes. I am not much of a jewelry person. Although I have about 8 watches, most of these were given to me as gifts. I only have a couple of gold chains (most of my necklaces are costume jewelry – leather straps with ethnic pendants such as semi-precious gems). But I like wearing cufflinks. 80% of my shirts have French cuffs that require cuff links. Did I say I love cufflinks already?
9. I like shirts that have white collars and cuffs. I don’t know why.
10. I go for scents that are “woodsy” and “earthy” – with a hint of oak, cinnamon, etc. My all-time favorite scent is Grey Flannel, which unfortunately is not anymore readily available in the market.
11. I have recently become a MacBook convert. I still lug around my trusty ASUS laptop as back up, but most of my work is now being done on my new MacBook. I hope to be able to shift 100% to Mac in a couple of weeks.
12. I grew up under the care of female figures who were diehard Noranians. Thus, I know practically every movie Nora Aunor has made in her whole lifetime. I grew up promding promdi and was into John and Marsha, Big Ike’s Happening, and Filipino movies. I think my mind got a bit warped from watching too many Joey Gosiengfiao and Cloyd Robinson movies as an adolescent (Temptation Island! Underage! Bomba Star!).
13. My favorite colors are blue and orange. Most of my shirts and ties are in these two colors. There was a time when I also collected blue bottles – but I stopped when I filled a whole cabinet of them. Now the bottles occupy the ledge at the staircase in my house. I would have to give these away eventually, the way I gave away a large part of my angel collection a couple of years back. Pack rat nga e.
14. I used to be able to sense supernatural presence, but I guess I closed my “third eye.” It’s a long story. Here’s the quick version: I was a blue baby and until the time I was 7, was visited everyday by the local albularyo who would perform rituals and recite incantations in Latin. When she died, I could recite all the prayers (one more thing about me: I used to have photographic memory).
15. I’ve had three major surgeries – all done within a span of three months in 2007. I had a mastoidectomy (they had to clean an infected mastoid bone – the one that connects the ear to the brain), a tymphanoplasty (they fixed my eardrums), and then I had surgery done on my lower back. Now I have fear of going under the knife again and I hope I won’t have to ever again.
16. I like teaching. I really do. I get a lot of fulfillment from watching the way students’ eyes would light up when they get it. I like the interaction inside a classroom although I will admit to having a short fuse when students don’t engage their minds before opening their mouths. I get irked when it becomes obvious that my students are not even thinking but simply talking mindlessly!
17. I like deep, profound, longgggggggg conversations. I used to do this a lot with my friends and with my students. Last time I did this with Sonny, CV, Raven, Chesca and Marvin, we ended up at 2am.
18. I am Kuya in the family and sometimes it seems to me that I play this role even to my parents. I tend to spoil my siblings – I rarely say no to them. But they also fear me a lot. I have a really wonderful relationship with them – except with one brother whom I have not spoken to for almost one year now.
19. I read a lot. I carry a book with me everywhere because I hate being stuck with nothing to read. Every time I come across a book that someone recommended or wrote a glowing review of, I get the compulsion to go and pick it up at the bookstore even if I have a reading backlog that extends from here to forever. I have hundreds of books that I haven’t read yet – I keep telling myself these are retirement books, stuff I am saving up to read at my old age.
20. I don’t like visual porn such as videos or pictures. I prefer stories.
21. If there is something that I wish I don’t have, it would be hyperacidity. I have a terrible case of acid reflux and some days the pain is terrible. I love coffee and it is sad that I can’t drink the stuff anymore. Sigh.
22. The person I would consider the love of my life passed away under very tragic circumstances 15 years ago – a victim of a mysterious crime that has not been solved to this day. To this day, the password I use in my computer and in all my email accounts is a greeting addressed to “my angel in heaven.” So in effect, every time I open my PC or my email accounts, I send a greeting.
23. I have difficulty sleeping. Turning off the computer in my mind is such a difficult thing to do I end up tossing and turning and doing all kinds of things just to be able to sleep. When all else fails, I take a pill. I also have a terrible case of claustrophobia. I can’t sleep without lights on. I can’t ride an elevator alone. The one time I got stuck in an elevator during a brownout, I almost died.
24. I come from a family of chefs and artists but I seldom cook or make art nowadays. But when seized by the right mood and inspiration, I can whip up a really mean pasta. I also have a special recipe for chicken pandan and fried spare ribs that my students seem to like. No, I don’t see myself being inspired to cook anytime soon so don’t bother.
25. Last, I guess I will admit to being incurably romantic. Yeah, go ahead and snicker. But I do like cuddling up to someone, or reading a book while curled up in someone’s lap, or going off on long walks with someone that makes the walk worthwhile, or having brunch that end up as afternoon merienda because you both woke up late and spent a good part of the meal reading the papers or just talking or teasing each other…or….