The prepubescent dream (mis)adventure of Brother Allen

When I was twelve, as a fan of cartoons especially anime, I said to myself that I want an “adventure” when I turn fifteen. And when I turned fifteen, I didn’t have the same passion that I had when I was twelve. My grades were flunking though I was an honor student. I was not even looking forward to my life in the future like I used to as a little boy. In a career counseling session, I cannot even write my preferred profession or degree in college. I was looking for a “unique” choice but I don’t know what was it. The fifteen year old me was not as bright as he can be. He has a small network of friends outside of his chess varsity team. Aside from woman celebrities in television and films, his only crushes are composed of young school teachers. The girls are on separate schools since he studies in an exclusive school for boys. And that was my puberty in a nutshell.

And before I turn sixteen, the “adventure” happened in a way I didn’t expected. It was January 2005 when I was asked to represent my school for the upcoming Marist Youth Congress (MYC). This travel will turn out to be a series of “first times” such as riding an airplane and being away from my family for more than a week. With another student and Brother Pepito as companions, before we went to Koronadal City for the MYC, we visited an undeveloped place in the fringes of Davao and Bukidnon called Buda. It became part of Davao, Marilog District as a result of a plebiscite where the people decided it’s best for them to be under the government of Davao City.

There, I learned that the chill of Baguio or Tagaytay of Luzon was present too in Mindanao; people spoke Cebuano; agriculture was the main source of income particularly rice farming; power generator was a luxury since there’s no electricity; signal coverage of televisions and cellphones were nonexistent; waterfall was the source of water (which they label as “spring”); and that the Marist Brothers were working with the parish priest and were living together with the common folk.

Eleven years later, I am now back to Buda. As I transitioned from puberty to adulthood, this place seems almost unchanged in a nice way. It’s still cool, farming is still booming, I can now understand their language somehow, there’s now electricity and phone signal, people still get water from the “spring”, and I am now a Marist Brother working with the parish priest and living with common folks where karaoke seems to be the main source of entertainment.

Sometimes, I wonder what will happen if termites suddenly decides to infest our wooden house. And when I told Brother Ed, he said he never thought of that in his more than twenty years of stay here in Buda.

And now as a man in his late twenties who still watches anime, I wonder what will happen to me twenty years from now. Am I still going to be a Marist Brother when I turn forty and onwards? I am still discerning.

Please do pray for me and my vocation.

8 thoughts on “The prepubescent dream (mis)adventure of Brother Allen

    • Parang ganito na talaga ako mag-isip simula nung 8 years old ako. Plan ahead ako mag-isip. Kaya siguro ako mahilig sa movies set in the future tulad ng Bourne Series saka sa mga strategy games tulad ng chess. Marami lang siguro akong time para mag-isip. Or siguro talagang masyado lang akong nag-iisip. Too much thinking about thinking. Hahaha

      • Ganyan din ako noon..iniisip ko lagi yung future kaso nakakadisappoint pag di naman natutupad ang mga gusto ko kaya wag na lang hahahaha……

        Aha kaya pala hindi ako marunong magchess dahil ayaw ko magplano lol

        • Sinusulat ko ngayon ang worries ko para kapag dumating na ang tomorrow, ma-realize ko kung gaano ako kababaw dati at tatawanan ko na lang ang sarili ko. Hiniram ko lang yang idea na yan sa isang Catholic memoirist pero hindi ko maalala yung pangalan niya. Basta babae siya. Hehe

          • Hahahahaha….alam mo ginagawa ko din yan…narinig mo na ba yung letter later?

            Ilang beses ko na sinulatan ang sarili ko ha tapos pwedeng i set yung date na matatanggap ko yung email a year after ko sinend yung sulat….nakakatawa talaga yung mga kababawan

            • Letter later? Hindi ko alam. Siguro matatawa lang ako sa sarili ko kung ginawa ko yun. Haha! Yung sa Facebook may “On this day”. Natatawa ako sa kakornihan at mga kalokohan ko 5 years ago.

              • oo ata yun…hahahaha….ang cool kapag nakatanggap ka ng letter from your youngerself ha ha ha ha and maalala mo yung mga pinagdaanan mo a year ago…so yearly ko yan ginagawa…nakakatawa na dumadating yung email kapag halos nakalimutan ko na at kapag least expected hahahahaha

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