Hi and welcome to my room–where hopes and dreams lived and died and one of my favorite places on Earth. Room is also the new Oscar-nominated movie which I already love without even watching it–it will be the film to destroy me this week.
So a little flashback: I got my room a little before high school, I’m not really sure when but it’s around that time when the transition from being a child to a teen was intense, with a huge cabinet that stores both my clothes and the bedsheets in the house, taking up half of the entire room and a huge bunk bed only for me. I only have this vague memory of me texting in j3j3m0hn on bed with a cellphone that has keypads.
In here, in this very room, I locked myself away from the world because I hate it. I frigging hate the entire universe and turned to books. I only hated it because I was too afraid to go out (social anxiety? etc) or my parents were (worrisome? etc.). I was stuck in a place and I had to make the most out of everything in a tiny space so I travelled instead through books. I think books help us travel without moving an inch. I started to read Twilight for a month–finishing one chapter after the next, thinking I was a voracious reader, taking myself to the rainy paradise Bella lived in Forks.
Additionally, this was my father and mother’s room before my aunt’s family moved and became bigger. Consequently, it became the room that housed me as an infant. There was this story in the family where my makeshift crib was a stereo because the bed was too small. Then, we moved to the master bedroom. At that time, it belonged to my mother’s bachelor brother Gerry and had those Basketball player posters posted on the wall which I vandalized generously. My sister and I vandalized a lot of walls when we were young–I think it’s only natural. It also became a toy room when we got older and when Gerry moved. It was filled with toys. I remember this distant childhood friend/ preschool classmate of mine when we were five who ran away from home to visit me in the toy room and his dad panicked the shit out of himself who found his son hours later after my father called him. He’s now broke and weird.
For me, at the time, that was paradise–I was blessed with hand-me-down toys from my cousins and newly-bought and delivered from my grandmother in the U.S. And shit, my sister and I have all the time in the world to spend with them. It was freedom–to have this precious privacy: a room of one’s own. I can do anything with it. As I got older, I appreciated the concept of privacy even more which remains a challenge to me because I want to move away but I also do not want to abandon my family at the same time and make them feel like I don’t want them. I hope I find a compromise someday.
This is a very personal piece for me and I hope you’ll appreciate it–it’s the place where lots of things changed and lots of things were learned. This was written not only for my friends but for me because as I am writing this, my entire family has moved to the U.S. and this room will never be mine and the same again. It will be lost. It will be unfamiliar. All the things that symbolized my being me will be lost. I can’t believe it but I’m writing this realizing what I had lost. These are the parts of the room and my own parts:
I actually have a lot of books since I am a Lit Major. I’ve hoarded them whenever there is a book sale. In total, I have about 90 unread books all in all. And my Kindle, home of downloaded e-books from the internet, is now deemed irrelevant.
A bunch of posters: a huge East Coast basketball players poster, a Lady Gaga poster, a remembrance that I took from my Creative Writing workshop in the university, a painting gifted by my friend Ynca who remains to be the best gifter of all time because she knows what I want, at the back of it is a Twilight Breaking Dawn poster…
I liked how she crossed out ‘never change’. She knows that I need to change and change is good if it’s for the better. One thing that made our friendship bloom was our mutual love for Lady Gaga when we were in our first year in college. Ah, memories.
My beautiful dirty desk contains a picture of me and my sister, on the wall is my drawing of Lady Gaga in 2012 wearing the outfit she wore in her Judas music video (probably the only decent thing I’ve drawn in my entire life) which is then vandalized by my little cousins (those fuckers!), next is my Gawad Ustetika award, a creative writing award which I’ve won for an essay about singing in the shower and how it became this liberating especially if the shower is filled with childhood memories and coming-of-age stories (and yes, I’m using it as a bookend) [For more of this story, click last year’s entry about it]. Next to it is the books I’ve been reading: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner and The Best American Travel Essays 2005. I haven’t been reading Philippine Literatures but it can’t fit to my brimming bookshelves so I just put it there. Lastly is a book stand, bought my lovely cousin Jill- it’s hella cute and it’s hella efficient when I want to read while eating (because eating alone is boring – I either watch a 20-minute show or read a book with a book stand)
I have to explain these notebooks and what they are for because for some reason I want to share it with you: the red in the middle has my daily schedule or homework notebook. I take notes on what to do for three days which is rarely ever followed but I like the concept of a schedule even if it’s an illusion for being organized. The eat-sleep-recycle notebook is for writing down the books I have read, complete with dates I’ve started and finished. I’m that O.C. and bored with my life. I’ve been using this notebook for three years I think. And it’s almost completely filled so I use the cattleya notebook above it sometimes for the same purpose. The other Cattleya notebook is for writing down progress on my project. I write down ideas on this character or wonderful plot ideas. These Cattleya notebooks are very new so there’s not much in it. The notebook on the bottom is my journal. I use it to copy down quotes from a book, draw or doodle (it has no lines in it) or write down vaguely what I’ve been up to. It’s very special because it’s given to me by my swimmer-athlete friend gorgeous as fuck Megan. I sometimes put pictures in it or boarding passes from airports. It’s going to be its one year anniversary on March and I have only taken like 15 pages of it. The blue notebook at the top on the other hand is my movie log notebook. I put movies I think I should watch sorted by its director or movie recs. I used to write movie reviews in them but I’m too lazy to write in them now. I just rate the movies I watched and list them. I also write down which movies are coming this week or month in this humble notebook. I left it at home because it’s almost full. I’ll just buy another one here.
The four albums I have: Owl City was a gift from a friend in high school. I was into Owl City when I was in high school. I loved the autotune shit and the simplicity behind it. Speaking of autotune, the Ke$ha album is also a gift from my cousin Ron who took me to a record store five Christmases ago and said “go pick up something” (which was one of the best Christmas gifts ever–to have freedom to pick anything) alongside with Mike Posner whom I loved for a brief amount of time. Mike Posner’s album is all about travelling and partying which is kind of cool now that I’ve realized it. The last one is Lady Gaga’s hit album from four years ago, bought it at the album launch and met professional impersonator Lady Gagita together with my now-lost friend Myrtle. I can’t find the pics but I’ll post them one day from my grave.
I do not buy any more physical album because who in their right minds from a middle-class in a third-world country would when you can download it illegally or get it from Spotify like what a classic milenial would? But now that I’m in the U.S. and later working, I’ll probably have to change.
A first-year-high-school project about your own evolution from baby to barely an adult is nailed to the wall on my bed’s feet.
I’m a natural achiever
A little explanation: this was at the top of my closet–a project in TLE from high school, unused comforters, a soccer ball pillow which was lost but when found it was hella dirty, a lamp from our high school production of Noli Me Tangere which I never returned and asked to be returned, a bottle of The Bar Vodka (I think) which I stole from my friend’s dorm and lastly a printer’s box containing some of my notebooks/journal in the last seven years.
Caps: a Lady Gaga cap, a found-in-the-closet M cap, and underneathe my Jeje cap from one of my iconic Facebook profile pictures in 2009. Underneath is a poster I got from Art Fair last year.
The chronology is random but I hoped you got a sense of me. We need to move on in the end and this is me moving on… farewell, my lovely room. One day, I’ll tour you guys to my New York apartment or something.