twenty years later, i still suck at wearing sunscreen.

my sister was a humongous fan of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, and loved it from the time it came out, but it was a couple of years later that i ran into “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – not aware that it had been in the soundtrack all along. i had been through what i felt was rock bottom not too long before i heard it, and when i did, i thought it had a pretty good bead on life till that point.

here i am, twenty years later, re-acquainting myself with the ‘speech‘, all because i spent a few minutes on the tube (YT) looking for that “Spectacular, Spectacular” scene in Moulin Rouge! to tape as part of my IG story, and later on that bit by Harold Zidler on investing.

reading that ‘speech’ made me sort of evaluate where i am now. it looks like i’ve lived the last twenty years mostly the way the writer advised in her essay, with a few exceptions. this is pretty much a point by point evaluation i’ve put into my own life, based on the advice she left on her speech.

  • there was no beauty in my youth. maybe when i was three, up until the age when i lost my two front teeth in an unfortunate bicycle spill. i never looked fabulous, and how i long for that age where eating did not seem to have any consequence.
  • i worry about the future only because i want to stay here. once that is settled, i probably would not worry about it as much, once all the pieces are set. which i worry about. who am i kidding? this won’t work. ok. i do worry about the future. but it doesn’t keep me awake at night.
  • it’s been a while since i did something that scares me. it’ll be harder now that i have a family to think of. maybe the small, low-risk things i’m scared of. but the ones where you put your life on the line. maybe when Hannah’s all grown up.
  • i sing like crazy. in the car, while in traffic, mostly. sometimes, when i feel like to. sometimes, to simply entertain Hannah, while she still can’t tell me that i’m out of tune.
  • i’ve tried to treat other people’s hearts as kindly as i can, at times, to the detriment of my own. i think my heart’s worst enemy is myself. when we are reckless with our own hearts, we can’t be trusted with anyone else’s.
  • while i’ve grown to appreciate what benefits flossing gives, i just can’t do it with floss. i like water flossing better. DenTek floss picks when i feel like it.
  • jealousy – been there, done that. the pain makes it easier to write stuff, or find a profoundness you never thought you have. it’s a dangerous place – envy, pain, jealousy. i understand now why being brilliant can leave one in such a vulnerable and fragile place.
  • i don’t remember everything, compliments or insults. i guess, sometimes that is the stuff consistency is made of. you remember enough compliments to keep doing the right things, and enough insults to drive you to become better.
  • love letters are mostly gone. some digital backups left over somewhere, i should probably re-read them, though i’ve lost a lot of cheesiness in me over the years to do that.
  • i still forget to stretch.
  • at 20, i had no idea what i really wanted, except to get my diploma. i never figured i’d be here where i am. at almost 40, i know i wanna do what i’m doing now, until it is relevant. when i retire, i just want to live in a van and discover the rest of the world that i can. with the wife, of course. Hannah can come, but that depends if she’s figured out what she wants to do in life.
  • i’m bad at drinking milk. except when they’re in lattes that i make at home. i think i’m gonna regret it down the road. i hope not.
  • i’m lucky that the half-chance choices i made got me out winning. but then again, i’ve lost a lot, maybe it was just the universe making things even. but yes, we’ve been blessed, and we are thankful for it and do not take it for granted.
  • i enjoyed my body when it was younger. or at least i tried. slowly, i think i lost my way taking care of it. i hope it doesn’t bite back when it really counts.
  • i still can’t dance. 20 years of trying isn’t going to probably make it better.
  • i read directions. i follow them. mostly. the ones i didn’t, well, i hope the stuff holds up.
  • never had to read beauty/men’s magazines. i’ve learned that sometimes if you can’t look good, being actually good can make a significant difference, as long as you don’t overdo it and end up in the friend zone, and quoting Guinan in Star Trek: Generations, “it is a place that i have tried very, very hard to forget.”
  • i’ve put a lot of friendships on pause. it’s still a wonder how human relationships can subsist on being on pause for a long time, and the author was spot on in saying that as we go through life, we need the people who knew us when we were young more.
  • it was a long shot dream of mine to be able to actually live in Northern California. some days, i still can’t believe it. it’s darn expensive, but i know i haven’t softened up yet because i can still rough it a bit when i went home to Manila early last year. i may never know about living in NYC, but who knows? now i’m living here, pretty much anything’s possible. it’s gonna be expensive as hell, but yeah, possible.
  • there are days where i wonder whether i’ll remember just how much i straddled the line between standing up for me and disrespecting my elders. i hope i do remember, because at some point, Hannah will come to that line and i hope i can recognize her actions with the line based on what i remember what i did with it.
  • i’ve always treated advice as things you put in your back pocket. i’ll always want to make my mistakes and learn from them. we’ll always want control. sometimes, the best way we’ll ever learn is to ask what not to do and do it anyway if your gut tells you. there’ll always be a time and place for remembering which ones we should’ve taken and which ones we shouldn’t have bothered with.
  • i can never consistently wear sunscreen. i thought it’d be much better here in America, but sunscreen feels like sunscreen, whether you’re in the third world or the first world.



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