When I was 5 years old, I bought a toy whistle from my grandmother’s sari-sari store. Because of that toy whistle, I wanted to be a police woman. My idea of a police woman that time, was a traffic enforcer. I still remember that little Regina hiding behind the bushes near our gate and whistling. I giggled softly when the cars stopped and the drivers looked from left to right wondering where that whistling came from. I was so naive.
When I entered grade school, I didn’t really give much thought to any ambition. I was clueless of what I wanted to be when I grow up. But when I saw teachers carrying huge plastic bags on Christmas parties, I wanted to be a teacher. I was juvenile.
But when I was in grade 6, my passion for writing started. My Mom wasn’t surprised at all because she was a writer when she was in high school. I qualified for the National Schools Press Conference in Surigao that year. And then I realized, my life will never be the same again.
As I entered high school, I brought that passion along with me. I didn’t only have that passion, with it was a dream. It was crystal clear back then, I wanted to be a journalist. I entered every contest in school I could possibly imagine, essay writing contests both in English and in Filipino, I did well on writing activities and I joined the school paper. I was so enthusiastic about everything. Sadly on my first year, I wasn’t the participant to the DSPC, but my moderator assured me I will be the year after that.
I was in my second year when all I could ever think about was writing. I wrote a lot. Poems, quotes, even a few songs. It was a part of me. An outlet. A comfort zone. My best friend. A day never really passed by without me imagining myself as a journalist. Perhaps, a broadcast journalist, or a writer in either Philippine Daily Inquirer, or Philippine Star. I was so overwhelmed by the feeling. But extra-judicial killings were very rampant that time. I told my Mom I wanted to be a journalist, but she said, it was already dangerous, don’t I have anything else in mind? My dreams were shattered.
By the time I was in 3rd year, my mind drifted away. And music was there to save me. And before I knew it, it became another dream. I drowned myself in music too much that year. I started playing the piano when I was in Grade 4 and the violin, when I was in 2nd year high school. But playing the music just felt so different this time. It became my soul. I was too engrossed with the piano and violin and finally decided I will take up a course in music. At first, my Mom was very supportive of me. She even told me to try to get a scholarship for any university in Manila. My Music Teacher back then was very supportive of me too. I got engulfed by the feeling to the point that I forgot my priorities. I spent time writing a lot of songs. I didn’t strive well in class because I thought, I don’t need Geometry and Chemistry once I take up a course in UP or UST, or even just in USI concerning Music. But I was wrong.
Fourth year was a very hard year for me. All my batchmates were so busy filling up forms for different universities in Manila while I sat there looking at them. All of them asked me:
Rej, bakit hindi ka nagtake sa UP/UST/AdMU/DLSU?
And I always answered the same thing.
Hindi naman kasi ako papayagan kahit makapasa ako.
My Mom thought it was a waste of money to take entrance exams knowing she will not permit me. So I didn’t. I took only two: Ateneo de Naga being free, and Bicol University, because it’s where they want me to study. Because we cannot afford a very expensive course, which is Conservatory in Music, my Mom told me that I take up another course, and just study after I graduate in college. She and my Piano Teacher insisted that I save up for Music. MY OWN MONEY.
That was the most difficult decision I made. I told myself I should choose a course that will not be a waste of time and money for me and my parents. I don’t want to take the first sem or first year and shift to another course later on. So I wanted to make sure.
I was thinking of putting AB Journalism as my first choice and AB Broadcast. But my Mom suggested I take up IT. Why?
And so I did put it as my first choice. And my second choice was AB Broadcast.
At first, I couldn’t imagine myself being an IT student.
But now, after two years, I’ve changed. I don’t know what happened but I really found myself enjoying this course. I am not the best programmer, nor the best web designer in our batch, but I do get through. Sometimes I lose the drive, or I lack motivation, but I’m still continuing. I still find myself wondering at times what my life could’ve been right now if I took Journ or Music.
Nobody knows really. Not even me.