Recent Thoughts

Monday, February 25, 2008

5 instances that made me realize, I've become an adult*

*But it doesn't necessarily follow that I am a mature adult at that, haha! This is really supposed to be a Top 10 list, but as I haven't finished expounding on the other five, enjoy these first five entries and tell me if you agree or disagree.

1) I became more and more interested in cooking.
For someone who loves to eat and consider it as one of the better forms of therapy on any kind of problem, I sure prefer to eat something delicious or special all the time. I know I am a Kapampangan and I am supposed to be a good cook. So I hate to admit that I am no good cook – at least not yet. Of course I can cook hotdogs, boil noodles and cook rice without burning it 90% of the time, but when it comes to staple Filipino and Kapampangan dishes like adobo, nilaga or sinigang, I am an ignoramus.
I love experimenting with the simplest ingredients I could scavenge on our refrigerator and easily cook with the microwave or the stove. For as long as I have garlic powder, some eggs and butter – I can whip up an ordinary hotsilog into something extra special and something you wouldn’t find in any carinderia around. There was even a time when I experimented with canned tuna, eggs, cheese and potatoes which led my 3 nephew to boldly exclaim that between me, my sister and brother-in-law, I am the best cook of them all, haha!
And now that I am one of the oldest at our apartment in UP, I am always in-charge of the ‘cooking’ during those times of the week where we’ve almost maxed out our weekly allowances that we’d have to resort to ‘tipid’ meals at home. I wrote cooking in quotation marks for what I do is not really cooking – what we only have is a mini-oven-toaster. But thanks to my experimentation skills, I manage to put something extra to our de-lata meals. None of my younger housemates dare to take over the ‘cooking chores’ (they don’t know how to cook potatoes with our minimal facilities). They’d rather sit and wait for to serve the food at the dining table. Of course, they contribute afterwards by washing the dishes.

2) When my friends tell me I’d be a ninong to their kids! Phew, I thank God for my seriously attached friends that it hasn’t happen yet, haha! But it’s a constant inside joke among my friends.
Just this week, my sister tells me that a younger cousin of mine got pregnant and is going to get married soon. I wasn’t really shocked, given the previous transgression of that young cousin of mine. But it dawned on me – a cousin way younger is gonna get married! My gard! The same girl who used to cry a lot whenever we play when we were little just did the unprotected fandango with her older boyfriend and got herself knocked up! Yikes! I, on the other hand, am slowly but unintentionally following the footsteps of Evan Baxter, haha!
On a serious note, whenever I hear of relatives or friends my age (or even younger) who get married already, I can’t help but realize – although I am far from being ready, I am already on the marrying age! And I don’t even have a serious girlfriend.. (Weeeh, as if naman non-serious gf, meron.. haha!)

3) I have started imagining my own place already. Like I mentioned before, I am only the 2nd oldest housemates in my UP apartment, but I am the overall manager. I compute the bills, arrange the different household chores and remind each one of their chore designation for the week – all the time. I also make sure they pay up on time lest we be evicted from the apartment we’ve had for almost a decade already! (There were earlier batches of UP Aguman housemates before us, they were orgmates as well. When one housemates moves out, we recruit another orgmate to move in, and so the cycle goes).
Weirdly enough, caring about cleanliness is something I don’t practice at my Pampanga home (sorry Mom!). But when it comes to our apartment, it’s a different kind of story. I have no choice, if I don’t worry about our apartment’s state, no one among my younger housemates will. It’s a natural consequence of being old (relative to my peers) – I am forced to think about these adult responsibilities.
Since I am the pseudo leader of our apartment, I pretty much yield more power than the rest of them, haha! And sometimes, I find myself thinking about how I will be when I get my own solo apartment when I am working already. And how much fun it would be!
Being big brother to my housemates entails another necessary role – I lend them money when the ‘kids’ use up all their weekly allowance already. Well, I don’t really have a bigger allowance (it’s the opposite actually). Let’s just say I am better in managing my expenses. Plus, being the manager of the apartment, I built up a savings fund for all of us for emergency purposes. I did this by collecting P30 on top of our individual monthly bills. So I don’t really use my own money all the time.

4) I have toned down my shopping habits. My mom always told me, save up for the rainy day.. always! (ala KC Concepcion, haha!). I never really paid much attention to her reminder, for I’ve always thought my spending habit was quite normal. I mean, I don’t really spend more than what I can afford. But eventually, I have realized, I shouldn’t be spending on stuff that I don’t really need, even if I can afford them.
So now, gone are the days when Christmas shopping galore is a must. I only managed to wear something new last Christmas because the money I used to buy the new apparel was more like a pasalubong from my parents instead of a Christmas shopping fund.
I actually envy my younger orgmates, allowance-wise. I am obliged to live on a P1000 weekly budget, while most of them have P1500 to spend. Apparently, my parents have no concept of inflation rate – P1000 has always been my weekly allowance, since I was a freshman 7 years ago! Haha! That why I kind of cringe deep inside when I hear complaints of not being able to save. I’m like, “Grow up kid! You have a more flexible allowance than most students these days. Better start learning how to send your money wisely.”
I know someone who is able to save a considerate amount from his weekly allowance. Good for him, right? The catch though is that he spends all of his year-round savings in blitzkrieg fashion during Christmas – buying new clothes, pants, shoes and all other material things that he probably already have. Well, he is young after all. Just like me before, sooner or later, he will realize buying stuff to give others (or just saving it if you’re not that thoughtful, hehe!) is more fulfilling than buying stuff purely for oneself.

5) I've taken elections more seriously. Well, it’s not like there are elections every month, eh? Haha! Since I reached the voting-eligible age, I’ve experienced 3 national elections: the 2004 presidential and 2007 midterm and barangay polls. I took the 2007 elections more seriously than the other two. The barangay elections are a joke for me, I don’t even know the candidates. I only voted for 2 people because they were recommended by my brother-in-law. I didn’t completely fill up my ballot because I couldn’t bear to accidentally vote for the wrong people.
Meanwhile, back in 2004, I think I was too na├»ve to have voted wisely. Having said that, I still think that my choice for President then remains to be the best President we never had – Raul Roco.
As for the 2007 Midterm elections, I made sure I was as informed as possible on the platforms and personalities. Thanks to modern technology like blogging and podcasting, I was able to listen to the interviews of the candidates even if I was never around to attend any of their political rallies. Besides, I’d rather listen to these legitimate interviews than attend rallies that would feature more entertainment numbers (that aren’t really entertaining) than sensible discussions of platforms.
And now, in UP, the University Student Council elections is coming up. I now linger by the Campus Issues threads at www.peyups.com again to know who the student leaders I should be voting for - or shouldn't be voting for. Sadly enough, the political bickering on our campus elections is no different from the circus we witness come election time in our country.

TO BE CONTINUED

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