a reminder from the past

It’s a pity the Internet is so screwed up here in Bacolod that I can’t connect to it on my iPad. My iPad has the TimeHop app, which has been quite illuminating my state of affairs. I find Twitter and Instagram poems I’ve written two or three years ago, reminded of moments based on vague (sometimes funny) Facebook status updates, and other things that are quite… helpful.

While going through some folders searching for a photo of myself and a friend of mine to post on their FB wall (since today is her birthday), I found a TimeHop page that I’ve screen captured from last year. It went to the wrong folder but the moment I read it, I was brought back to that time.

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It was a party I was invited to, hosted by my friends who called themselves “Hipstars” as a sort of self-reflexive joke because they identified themselves as hipsters, but they were also quite well-known in social media. They put up a party with the title Hipstarships and invited a whole bunch of people and they charged an entrance fee but the money went to pay for the DJ and other incidentals and the rest went to charity.

And that might sound funny but they know how to throw a fantastic party and their friends (and the people they know) could afford it and, at the end of the day, the money went to charity and everyone had a rollicking good time.

I went and I felt out of place. Everyone was so much younger than I was and I had known everyone in a work situation. I was always the friend-of-a-friend but they were nice guys and I knew a lot of people there that I was friendly with, though not really close. But I had lots of fun.

I remember — the moment that I’m talking about in the tweet I wrote above — being in the dance floor, just dancing to what I remember (for some reason) a Robyn song, a cup of Captain Morgan and Coke, and a young man just approached me and said, “You’re Wanggo, right? The writer?”

I said, “yes, I am…” I was trying to see if I could recognise him (I’m really bad with names and faces) but I realised I didn’t know him at all. Then he told me something like, “I believe in what you do. Good job, man.” That’s what I remember. It was brief and it was a general statement so I wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about. He smiled and I thanked him and that was that. He went back to his friends and I was just so stunned that I just burst out into the biggest smile I could and danced more.

I don’t even remember what he looks like anymore. I do remember that he wore a cap. But that’s about it. Why I didn’t try to get to know him or ask what he meant, I don’t remember. Maybe it is because he went back with his friends and I didn’t want to seem like I was fishing for more compliments or bother him as he was clearly enjoying the party as well. Maybe it’s because I was so stunned that I had stopped for such a long time that making a follow up introduction would have felt wrong since the moment had long past. Maybe it’s because I was drunk and I just wanted to leave it as is because it was just such a wonderful feeling — to be told that someone believes in what I do.

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Photos from the Hipstars party, and that’s me with Toff De Venecia, and we weren’t close yet at this time — No Filter wasn’t even a tangible idea yet (Photo by Joseph Pascual)

Whatever it is that I was doing. I was writing a lot at the time, for magazines and newspapers, but nothing I did in the publishing world was any real good (in my opinion). I hadn’t written a film yet. Maybe it was for the HIV advocacy. I think that was the year I had just come out with my HIV status. I don’t know.

It just felt good.

Post-script

I remembered I had written about this party and decided to check out the blog post about it — They were meant to fly (link) — and it seems my memory of that evening was wrong. I did talk to him and he did tell me what he meant and I wasn’t dancing to Robyn at all but, apparently, hip-hop.

How strange how our memory can play tricks on us. I have to be more careful again, next time. But, yeah, check out the link I posted to an old blog post about that party and what the exchange was between the guy and myself.

And the real kicker? The ending of that blog post: I made a promise and I’m not doing so well in keeping that promise. I feel a stronger sense of resolve now to soldier through and be better.

If not for anything but for that young man who I will never know. Bless your soul.

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