Thursday, December 15, 2011

Of Starting Things and Not Finishing Them

I've always been inquisitive. I always want to try thingsI easily get attracted to new things. So, I’ve been blabbering about my interests—personal interests—professional and leisurely. These interests had made me had me venture in things familiar and unfamiliar. I’ve done a lot of things, started a lot of things that some of them are unfinished or were neglected or were completely forgotten.

My father used to tell me or yell at me—reminds me of That ‘70s Show’s Red Forman— that I am only good at starting things and that I do not see things through the end. Well, I do not usually leave things unfinished. But, I won’t deny that I have some unfinished businesses of my own. The list includes: 

1. Stamp collecting

I used to collect stamps but I was not a philatelist. I didn't learn about the word philately until I was in high school. Stamp collectors and be philatelists but not all philatelists are stamp collectors. 

I started collecting stamps when I was around 4 or 5 years old.  I got started in to the hobby when I saw one of my cousin’s stockbooks. I started collecting out of envy. I thought stamp collecting was the in thing at that time. Some older kids at our neighborhood, at that time, used to have a large collection of stamps. Learning that people collect stamps, I started cutting them out of my folks’ mails. When people learned that I collect them, they’ve habitually given me stamps after they’ve read their mail.

After a year, I was able to completely fill up my 16-page stockbook—my first and only—it measured like a regular school notebook.

Around 1992, I stopped collecting stamps; no one in school had the same hobby as I had.  I still received stamps every now and then while in grade school—I kept them in a large Manila envelope—I never got to buy a new stockbook.  The hobby slowly died out of me before I finished elementary school.

2. Running

Some runner in the 
Pink October Run, October 2010
I was never the athletic type. Growing up I never had a sport. I first started running around July of 2010. 2010 was the year running boomed in Cebu. After seeing images of friends in fun runs posted in Facebook, I decided to start running. I also felt that I needed to work out—I was getting fatter. I was classified as Obese Class I during my last pre-employment medical exam, which was around a year and a half ago; before I started on my last regular job. I’m slimmer and healthier now—I still need a lot of work though—blame heredity.

The first run I joined was the Energizer Night Race—it was the first Energizer Night Race held in Mandaue and in the Philippines—a good way to start my running career. I joined the 3K race and finished in 55th place within 15 minutes. Not bad for a noob.

A month later, I ran 5K in the 1st Recoletos Run. I then ran 10K in the Cebu Eliminations of the 34th National MILO® Marathon in August.

The following months, I ran fun runs on weekends and practice runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I, originally, planned to run a half marathon in a year and a marathon in the following year. Guess I won’t be able run those distances very soon. 

The last run I joined was the 7+–kilometer cross country run, the Argao Mud Run, which was held on January of this year. I finished the run in 01:05:24—which was a low since I lacked practice. I went back to school in the second semester of the 2011–2012 academic year, that’s when I got busy with school and failed to run on weekends. When school ended, I was enjoying living a sedentary life—spending most of my time in front of the computer and staying up late—that I didn’t have the time to run. 

3. Geocaching

I first learned about geocaching in 2006 when I read it in a magazine. I am not sure if I read it on the Reader’s Digest or some other magazine.  At that time, geocaching was unheard of in the Philippines.

Geocaching is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called 'geocaches' or 'caches', anywhere in the world. Geocaches can also be found in space, in other planets or in a spacecraft.

The Groundspeak Geocaching Logo is a
registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. 
Used with permission.
Early this year, feeling bored, I decided to check the geocaching website if there were geocaches in the Philippines.  I found out that there were a number of caches hidden in the country and the closest one was a virtual cache in Mactan.

The next day, around 12 PM, with my phone and my father's GPS in hand, I took a jeepney going to Mactan. The coordinates pointed to the Mactan Shrine. But, I’ve already figured out the location of cache based on the title.

It was my second time, to visit the place and I was surprised by the changes in the area. The first time I visited the shrine was in the early ‘90s, during the time my aunt’s fiancé Aussie visited the country. I believe the area used to be muddy or sandy—I remember catching agukoy in the area. The place now is a full-blown park with benches, trees, shops, and paved paths.   

Around three in the afternoon, I went home after exploring the area, taking pictures, and having a much-needed ice cream under the shade of trees—it was a very hot day. When I got home, I logged my find and uploaded the images, and shared my experiences in the geocaching website.

I still have to log my future finds. I would have logged my second and third find, if only Donah Marie and Julie invited me, respectively, to Kawasan and Dumaguete

Luckily, the things I listed are resumable. I can still continue running, collecting stamps and geocaching. I can go back in to running—any time soon—if only I’d hit the sack early. As for my stamp collection, I can continue collecting stamps, trade stamps, and, maybe, join the Cebu Philatelic Society. I can also sell the stamps online but I’d have to learn the stamp selling ropes. Good thing about geocaches is that they are created and expected to stay for a long time. I can search for the caches if I have the money and the free time. I can search for them next year or in 5 years

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