Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Memory Album

The first thing that my mother showed me when I got home for vacation was a photo album she had filled with stuff from my childhood: graduation pictures, grade school report cards, ribbons, high school art plates, even admission documents for high school and college. I was tired from travelling the entire day, though, so I just browsed the thing for a minute before I put it away and forgot about it. I only remembered to take a look at it on my last night at home. I saw it on the shelf and decided to take pictures of the pictures.

The first pages had pictures of my college graduation. That was a mere eight months ago but I noticed that I had already gained so much weight since then.  I wasn’t in any way fit back then either, which only makes it more depressing. I was already overweight, and my desk job made sure that I went further on a downward spiral, gravity pulling on every pound of excess fat. I really should have followed my gym program seriously.

Then I got to the pages at the middle, which had stuff from my high school days. There were pictures, mostly from our graduation. I laughed quietly as I looked at them; damn, I looked so different back then. My classmates, on the other hand, still looked more or less the same. I could tell well because we just recently had our reunion. Some lost or gained a little weight, some started or stopped wearing glasses, everyone dressed better, but they pretty much still had the same youthful faces mismatched with adult bodies. It’s like we did not grow much. We used to have a theory back in high school that our lessons consumed too much of our energy that there was not enough left for growth. This was based on our observation that the kids from other schools look a lot older than us: their boys were taller and their girls had more developed breasts. If our theory were correct, it would also explain why everyone looked like they were still in the end-stages of puberty.

Then I saw my pictures from grade school and kindergarten, which were at the last pages of the album. I looked like an angel, of course. I was a portrait of innocence itself. I looked smart too, with medals around my neck and ribbons pinned on my little white graduation gown. Yeah, I was epitome of a good boy. I was a good son, my mother was always so proud of me. I was a good student too. I was always at the top of my class. The photo album of memories also held my report cards as proof. I was never absent from my classes, even when I was deathly sick. Back in second grade, I actually went back to school only a few days after going through an appendectomy because I was worried that I’d fall behind in our lessons. I also always wanted to be the leader in group works because I wanted to make sure that I was in control of our score.

I felt ashamed after I looked at those pictures. I am no longer the good boy that I was. I skip work when I feel the slightest headache. I avoid the heavy tasks if I can help it. And over a year has passed since I started working and I still haven’t given back anything to my mom. If the boy in those pictures saw what I have made of him, he would be terribly disappointed. Sure, I’ve come a long way since then. I had gone farther than most of my classmates from back then. But I still haven’t gone far enough. Not enough to give justice to that boy’s potential.

So I am claiming this year to be the year that I become the man that the good boy should have grown up to be. I will no longer languish at the layers below my potential. I will do my best this year. There are still a few empty pages left in that album. By the end of this year, I will have filled them with testaments of how the good boy has grown up to be a great man.


  1. it took me many years to realize i was not the man the little boy me wanted to be when he'd grow up. and even up to now I am still a work in progress to reach that boy's standards. compared to you, you're already on your way in barely a year out of the university.

    a phoenix has risen from the ashes. m glad u have not stopped blogging jap. hopefully when you make your annual sojourn to the shores of Pujada Bay, we can formally meet on my side of the Davao Gulf.

  2. Time travelling through photographs... I also enjoy that.
    Good luck on your new blog!

  3. wow me outer glow effect pang nalalaman ang pic. bakit iba na naman blog mo?

  4. @dsm: oo nga. next time dapat kumaway ka na pag nadaanan moko sa pagdadrive-drive mo. lol.

    @xall: thanks. my mother really knows how to get me all retrospective.

    @kraehe: hindi ko alam kung ano yang outer glow. at basahin mo yung mahaba kong post sa lumang blog para malaman mo kung bakit. bleh.

  5. nice. :)

    ilang taon ka na ba ngaun exjason? hehe

  6. hey hey. 24. hehe. tsaka jason na lang. i already dropped the ex.

  7. ok Jason. :)

    pretty young. antanda ko na pala. (haha)

  8. haha. ayos lang yan. age is more a state of mind than a number.

  9. naks! ayos ang goal na yan jason! bongga!

    I looked like an angel, of course.

    nice one! ako rin makikisali sa comment na yan!

  10. Ex Jason has moved...
    moved blog, yes...
    moved on, sana...
    God Bless Jason.

  11. Still cute even as a kid. Haha.

    Goodluck on you new blog!

    Say hi to honey (or ate Anne, as I knew her) for me.

  12. New blog! Love et!


    Childhood memories are priceless, right?

  13. *round of applause

    this is soooo nice! =)

  14. @nimmy: tara sa langit at magpadulas sa mga bahaghari.

    @hayme: ECHOSERA

    @miguel: ah, i'll have to know who you are before i can actually do that. =P sino ka ba kasi? lol. thanks for reading.

    @ronnie: yeah. andami kong naisip. lol. uy, kumusta ka na ba?

    @paci: *bow* lol. papanindigan ko to!!!

  15. Okey naman ako, Jason Paul. Humihinga pa naman kahit nauubos na ang moolah. Hahaha

  16. And when one looks at photos of yore, one could not help but interrogate the person of now.

    There is, of course, still time...

    And opening a new blog is already a great sign.

  17. congratulations on your new blog jason paul... i love the domain name...nishiboy... I think you'll have to explain why you named your blog that way...

  18. i'd sometimes look at my old photos.
    the old me was way too ambitious.
    i'm happier now albeit some disappointments.

  19. @ronnie: haha. ayos yan. uy labas naman tayo minsan ni nimmy. di ko pa kayo namimeet.

    @guyrony: yep, i still have plenty of years ahead of me. hopefully. lol. it's never too late to start being great. wee, that rhymed.

    @vivi: haha. yeah, i'll explain it soon.

    @orally: i don't want to lose sight of my ambitions, though. i'm aiming high this year.

  20. Cute naman nung pic Nishiboy. :) anghel na anghel. hehehe. Try to check this out Nishiboy, ( ang galing! Ongoing project sya ng isang photographer from Buenos Aires, ang galing bagay sa post mo. :)