Regrets, too few to mention…

by Evans Yonson

(Note: Starting today, 1 December until the end of this month, I will be writing about topics suggested by my former students from the Philippines. The topics are arranged in a manner that they popped up in my screen when I started asking for their thoughts and opinions. To solicit their ideas, I had to entice that a FCBarcelona football team jersey awaits the winning blog-entry suggestion with the highest hits. Fair enough, I got numerous suggestions that could last me another month. Today’s entry was suggested by Chum Magdadaro.)

Barcelona – This is the second time that I have been asked if I had any regrets in life. I always say I don’t have. But come to think, I think I must have some hidden in the recesses of my soul and I am just disinclined to share it with the world. As the honest and open person that I am, here are some, if that is the most appropriate word for 20, of my biggest regrets, in no particular order.

1. Not being in Cagayan de Oro when my parents died. My father in 1990. And my mother in 2004. I was in Manila in both particular instances of our lives.

2. Not being able to study in Manila for my undergraduate education.  My parents couldn’t afford it then.

My parents couldn't afford to send me to Manila to study. And they were also afraid that I might be able to make it in the big city alone and away from family.

3. Burning all my honor cards after an argument with my mother.

4. Not finishing my Arabic classes when I was younger. The madrasah islamiah was turned into a mosque.

5. Not learning how to ride a bike. Aside from heavy, my parents didn’t permit me. So, I made up my mind and started to learn before I turned 40 but to no avail. I’m still heavy and I needed a heavy duty bike to carry me around.

6. Not learning how to swim. Same reason as above but I didn’t chicken out. I succeeded and learned it easily.

I was made to believe that I couldn't function with my physical disability.

7. Not saying yes to Francisco when he asked me to marry him in December 2005. In Spain, the same sex marriage law was approved five months before he popped the question.

8. Leaving MJ in Cagayan de Oro in September 2009. I had to continue my studies.

9. Leaving Niel at the Lumbia Airport in January 2011. Same reason as above.

10. Leaving Manila for New York in March 2002 without telling Julius where I was going. I was selfish about my big American dream.

11. Staying longer in government service when I could have left long time ago. I was fulfilling a promise I made to my mother.

12. Spending too much studying and reading in high school when I could have gone out and had fun. I was so studious that I forgot to have a life.

13. Not having been to all major cities in the Philippines. I still have time to do this.

14. Starting to smoke after university graduation. It’s a vice that I should have not started in the first place.

15. Learning to play the piano when I had the opportunity but chickened out when the teacher didn’t arrive.

16. I postponed finishing my Masters in UP Diliman until the last minute. I could have finished earlier but I procrastinated.

17. Being online most of the time now when I could be doing something else more important.

18. One thousand opportunities came along but I always chose the road less travelled. And the road seems endless.

19. I am still discovering which art I am good at. I am still a work in progress when it comes to photography. If singing in the rain is an art then I might as well be called an artist then.

20. Not getting out frequently in Barcelona to have fun. I’d rather stay now in my room than be somewhere else.

These are some of my regrets but I was and will never be overpowered by these. I refuse, time and again, to dwell so much over these disappointments as I don’t have the luxury of time to be drooling over mundane things.