"Who Am I? I am Jean Valjean!!!" ---From the musical, Les Miserables Last week, a temptress named Nao listed me as one of the bl...

My Life In One Full Minute

"Who Am
I am Jean
---From the musical,
Les Miserables
Last week, a temptress named Nao listed me as one of the bloggers that she would be interested in knowing more of. In short, I was once more tagged for a question-and-answer portion, to which I am just glad to comply with.

Frankly, among all the “tags” in the world, I have never felt more anxious than this one---although in such a fine way---since the questions presented here demands more of honesty and deep, profound introspection. Who am I? Where I’ve been? Where am I going to? These are queries that I need to know myself now as much as you do.

TWENTY YEARS AGO. I was thirteen years old and in that fragment of my past, I am ardently reminded of one unique and an altogether hilarious experience. I was so giddy one morning about going to school since it was my first day in Ateneo de Zamboanga as a freshman highschool student. Perhaps maybe then, I was just feeling so happy that I have found myself within the grounds of a classy school despite that my father Hussin A. Masdal, was just then a lowly employee of the city post office. It was thru the benevolence of my grandfather Unih, that I was enrolled in Ateneo, the one person who once took me in when I was still a toddler, and coddled me like his own child for many, many years, until the moment that I had to return to the fold of my parents, just about the time when I was already finishing elementary school.

On that first day of school, I decided to wear orange pants that an aunt gave me as a gift upon graduation from elementary school. All students were lining up for our first ever flag ceremony when suddenly I heard some snickering from somewhere behind me. I heard a voice whispered loudly, “Gee, with those orange pants, he should have gone straight to the city jail.” It suddenly came to me that particular moment that “orange” was such an unusual color for baggy pants. I thought it was stylish then but I forgot that prisoners wear orange pants similarly, causing some others in the crowd to make fun of them. I sweated hard that morning all throughout the flag ceremony, becoming overly conscious with my baggy orange pants. Since that day, I never wore my baggy orange pants ever again.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. I was eighteen and finally knew that I have the right to vote, Suffrage is such a memento of adulthood, I think. A mark of age,

It was about the time that my grandfather, Unih, passed away, at the old and ripe age of 81. At that age, you could say he had lived fairly long enough but his departure from this mortal world had such a telling effect on me, that I felt like the entire sky fell upon my shoulders. I was so saddened with grief that for a long time, I had a somber mood and a stooping gait. He was almost the most singular person that I dearly loved the most, and the one central figure that I have the healthiest amount of trust. But suddenly, I found him gone like smokes melting into thin air. Like upon a poem, he had been my East, my West, my North and South; my Sun and Moon; my morning, noon and evening; my morning star and my northern star when darkness comes. He was a wall that I had grown accustomed to leaning upon, and which suddenly had just disappeared.

Years after his death, my grandpa appeared to me in a vivid dream, amidst a falling rain at nighttime. He slowly appeared out of the rain and with a smiling countenance he asked how I was. I said I was just alright. He then handed me a ten-peso bill which I refused and said in response, “Maybe you’d need it more. Father gives me enough money now.” In reply, my grandpa said, “In that case, you will be just fine.”

And then he disappeared into the heavy rain once more. When I woke up from that dream, I immediately felt the loneliest of emotions that I wept like a child. There was grief and longing for a most beloved figure in my life, but then I had consoled myself in the thought that, thru that dream, I now believe that my grandfather is just out there somewhere, guiding me still and seeing me through and that someday I’ll be meeting him once again.

TEN YEARS AGO. I was about 23 years old and at that time, I could not remember much anything except stacks and stacks of law books which I had to read as I was then going into the junior years of my law schooling. And oh…I was elected the President of the University Student Council of the Western Mindanao State University later that year.

FIVE YEARS AGO. My eldest child, Sef-Sef was born and that momentous event in my life showed me that indeed, genuine happiness is something that money could not buy.

THREE YEARS AGO. I just failed my first and only attempt at the bar examinations. The world was heavy and the days were dim. I felt so gloomy then but I promised to try again and do better.

LAST YEAR. I should have been taking the bar again but family and other concerns did not allow me the right circumstances. Also, I started blogging sometime in the month of September.

THIS YEAR. Busy with some personal concerns and family matters. I continue blogging like never before.

NEXT YEAR. If I had the right frame of mind and if the circumstances around me are favorable than ever, I might just find myself in Manila once again taking review classes for September’s bar examinations.

TEN YEARS FROM NOW. Maybe, I’d be a lawyer by that time. It’s hard to foresee so much into the future. Or perhaps, in addition I would already be heading an organization that I have in my mind for so long now, a kind of a movement that you know, might just well be able to change the world---for the better.

WHO I WISHED WOULD TAKE THESE QUESTIONS: In my mind are the usual suspects. I hope that they won’t be so busy to answer these queries. Here in no particular order: Teacher Sol, Bing aka Juilet, Angelo, Sam, JP, Bokbok, Anicee, Trickyboy, Punzi, Jove, Glen, Abaniko, Jeff, Buffwings and Shalimar.


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