The Philippine Delegates
I had the chance to get in touch with them even before our first personal meeting at the National Youth Commission (NYC) Office in Quezon City. I was able to associate with them through text messaging and Skype. We were full of anticipation. Everyone was so excited, so into it. Something I couldn’t keep up at first.
I met Randell first at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 3 with his cool get up and violet trolley. I instantly felt some connection with him since we’re in the same field—mass communication. I’m always hyped up every time I meet someone who’s in the same domain as I am. I was also a witness to his first bloopers when he misidentified me with some other girl. That’s because the only distinct description I gave him was that I’m with my red baggage. I didn’t realize there was some other person seated beside her red bag in that place at that time! Laughs.
Then, I had the chance to bond with two of my girl colleagues—Nikki and Danica. Goodness, I couldn’t even get a grip of their super-fanatic-girl mode! Laughs. They were so into this K-pop thing I couldn’t really imagine it exists. I mean, the way they talk about these stuffs, it felt like I’m living in some other dimension. But they’re fun to be with in their own K-pop addict way. I even find it cute when I saw two life-sized stands of some Korean boy group in Nikki’s apartment somewhere in Manila. And I can’t forget the way they would shriek every time they talk about, uh, Super Junior and Big Bang and 2PM (I hope they’re the right groups, haha).
I find Beeboy and Arif’s tandem kind of fantastic. They’re one bunch of candid beings who would occasionally give out kind of beyond-accurate commentaries about the place, about the food, and about the people. Especially about the people. And to top that, they are great, as in grrrrrrreat clotheshorse. No wonder they brought with them huge luggages.
Then, there’s Tin and Crismer. I find Crismer’s career story so fascinating, especially how he landed in his current job. I’m even imagining myself heading into that kind of direction, you know, handling marketing, coming up with various copies, and seeing other people availing your ideas. It would be something fulfilling, not to mention, very stimulating. And Tin’s the erudite one, in a very insightful way. One thing that I will never forget about her is her addiction to Heartstrings (which, apparently, I became one too) and that night when we shared about our personal stories about life and love. Yeah. Specifically, about our own versions of romantic love. You know what I mean? Laughs.
And then there’s our National Leader, Erwin. I can always remember him, aside from being the very first person who walked out on me (laughs), as someone who’s trying to maintain that sunny smile on his face. He always has this unfathomable look in his eyes which was occasionally concealed with comical statements and tales.
Of course, one of the reasons who made my stay in Korea worthwhile is the Korean participant-in-charge for the Philippines, the one and only, Jae Yong Park. I’ll always remember his cute way of making other people beam. And how he shows his care and concern for the Philippine delegates, how he shows how much he enjoyed our company, how he shows his gorgeous smile and responsible personality.
It is in this youth camp that I was able to say to myself that “Who I am is who I want to be. It’s not going to be dictated by other people. It’s not going to be determined by my history. I just have to want it. I just have to desire it. And one way to do it is by getting to know more about who I am not.” And most of the time in this camp, I wasn’t myself. And I was able to shed myself some light by being with these people. I know they can sense it, they can spot it. That was why I certainly wish that we would be able to meet again in some other part of my lifetime. That time when I am not unwell anymore. That time when I could show them who I really am, who I’ve always wanted to be.