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Lifetime’s Worth When Gone

One cannot question the existence of values as one can’t deny the presence of feelings. Values are something that was installed in me as I journey through life. Now, after nineteen years of existence, I must say that I really imbibed a lot from the people that surround me.

Now, why did I use the word “install”? For the simplest reason that I developed my values through others by imitating them and I somehow developed my own by not imitating them. All in all, I am satisfied with how I was brought up, having been raised in an environment wherein people differ in ways more than one.

Last night, it took me pensive hours as I reintroduce myself to "AJ". Here’s what I discovered about myself:

1) My love for my family is constantly evolving.
2) I give importance to people I consider as friends.
3) I take extra care of my Canon Eos 66 SLR camera.
4) I started giving a close watch to my health since I started losing weight.
5) Ambitions, for me, are what’s keeping directed to a particular path and positioned in a particular pillar.
6) I believe that time is the most essential contribution that a man can give others.
7) I treasure my reading materials.
8) Photographs are the most important material that I keep through the years.
9) I give special attention to my skills/talents.
10) I put my friendship with God in an incomparable level.

These are the ten things I value the most. These are the ten things in which my world revolves around to. These are the ten most important things that’s keeping me alive.

But what really is the essence of valuing? Is it based on how these people has helped me and proved to be beneficial to every aspect of my growth and expansion? Is it determined by how we make use of these people for our own advancement, and, by some great intervention of mischief, how they help us stand and go against the odds? Is valuing a person a reward to how long they’ve been in to our lives? Or how they went out for our defense when in a fight? Or by how much they spend for our own sake?

How about these things we value, is it because it was given by someone who causes us an undeniable happiness? Or is it by its money cost? Is it determined by how this item stands unique among others? Do we value things based on how much we use them?

It’s really difficult to make a list of ten. How much more if I narrow this to five. Influence has to be the greatest factor I considered when I made the list. Of course, I gave equal importance on the purposes that the things/people have for me.

Here are the ranked items, which I consider the most important:

As much as I want to manipulate them for some personal reas
ons, I never imagine living without them. True, my father was the first one to shed light on the word “hope”, and my mother was the very first one to make me feel proud of myself. My sister, on the other hand, stands to be my greatest motivator. I grew up in a home where there is full of contradictions. Yet these contradictions opened doors to countless choices. I can’t make it through life without them. For many reasons, I owe them a lot.
I consider my friends as the extension of God’s grace. Whenever I bear a heavy burden for my family, my friends are able to ease the pain and liberate me from nursing my
These are what I heartily offer to my friends and what provide me endless possibilities to fulfill my ambitions.
(read: not dreams) Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. My ambitions serve as simple transitions and choices that, in one way or another, I have to make. I realized that my ambitions aren’t made for myself alone. Some of my long-term goals shall serve as compensation and return gift for my family.
When everything else fails, there’s only one thing that gives me solace, and that’s my conversations with Jesus. I admit that I’m not religious, nor I am a godly manifestation who live by the examples of the saints. But I’m proud to say that I have a strong friendship with Jesus. This is quite a heavy claim, but I feel His presence wherever I am. Being friends with Jesus resulted to the eternal sunshine that I’m forever enjoying, that I will never succumb to any dark moments.

Now I read somewhere that in life, we have five balls to juggle: work, health, faith, family, and friends. Now we have to be extra careful not to drop the “health” ball because it is made of glass. While the rest is made of rubber and can always bounce back.
I want to share the things/people that my friends and relatives value the most. Let’s see if we have similarities in terms of what we’ve enlisted and why they included such. I developed some questions as we do the activity



Rey-An Cajigal is a friend who bears a strong and aggressive personality. He’s rather tactless and frank, which often leads him to trouble. He’s currently taking up Nursing at STI College.

1. Parents
2. Friends
3. Money
4. Boys
5. Sex

(empty slot)

Was it easy for you to make the list? Why and why not?
Sobrang hirap, but it was fun kasi nag-iisip talaga ako. Lahat kasi [ng nakalista] ay kailangan. Lahat ng ‘yan nagbibigay ng thrill sa buhay ko.

What’s the reason for putting your parents on top of the list?
I put them on top of the list kasi they made me. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.

Why is sex placed as the 5th?
Kasi pwede naman akong mag-self-effort. Haha! Seriously, this thing can wait.

What did you consider when you ranked what you’ve enlisted?
Based on their worth, syempre. I consider them as my needs. I get sick whenever they’re not within my reach and I feel well whenever they’re around.

What did you feel when I asked you to cut down your list in half?
Nanghihinayang at naiinis kasi I have to choose [only five] when I can have them all naman.

Do you think that we can actually have them all?
Of course not, kasi, if we have them all na, we won’t be able to appreciate the things that are yet to come.

Why did you leave an empty slot on your list?
I believe there are still things na ‘di ko pa nami-meet. Kaya ‘pag dumating ‘yun, goodluck kung makakapasok ‘yun/s’ya sa list.

—– —–

Gio Emprese

Gio is a son of a politician. He loves fashion, gimmicks, and the night life. He finished a Pre-Dent course at Centro Escolar University and currently taking up Psychology at the same university.

1. Mom
2. Dad
3. Nini, aunt
4. Brothers
5. Best friends


clothes (I consider them as treasures)
“___” (crush) Sushup!
Family name

Was it easy for you to come up with the list?
Yes, because I really have to think which one is more important.

How do you define “important”?
Important is when I no longer have that thing or person, I would definitely change.

Why did you put Nini, your aunt, on the third spot?
I placed her third kasi she’s the one who raised me when I was young. She stands as my third parent.

Why do you value your family name?
It was something I have to protect. A lot of people, including me, are aware of the power that my family name possesses. I also want to influence people using that.

Why did you put your crush on the list? Do you consider him as a partner even though you’re aware for a fact that it’s highly unlikely?
Well, it’s really hhard to dismiss someone who’s providing me such inspiration. It’s not that I look at him as my partner; he’s simply a friend who has given me enough reasons to be happy. That made him so important.

—– —–

Larryl Lobo

Larryl is a distant friend who currently resides in Manila. He’s pragmatic and opportunist by nature. He finished a course in Software Engineering and is current working as a call center agent.

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Special someone
4. Money
5. Cellphone

hygiene paraphernalia
pillow (??)

Why did you put “special someone” on the third slot, though you aren’t committed to anyone right now?
It’s a reserved slot. Sooner or later, I would have a partner. S’ya ‘yung pupuno ng slot na ‘yun. And I’ll make sure na worthy s’ya sa third place na ‘yun.

—– —–

Kayelett Lubi

Kayelett and I are members of the same barkada, the INC. She is one of my quietest friends. But once she speaks, sensibility buoys. She was our valedictorian in Maryhill College. Currently, she is taking BS Commerce major in Management in Financial Instutuions at De La Salle University.

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Faith
4. Music
5. Books


What did you consider when you made the list?
Influences in my life.

Was it easy for you to make the list?
‘Yung first five, madali. Pero ‘yung next five, mahirap, kasi I have to put something para lang makabuo ng list – things or people na ka-level n’ung first five.

What is the reason why you put “family” on the top of the list” ?
Initially, my reason for putting my family first and friends second is because they are the people I can’t live without. Or, if gone, life wouldn’t be the same.

Why did you place “books” on the 5th place?
That’s my ultimate hobby, ang magbasa.

—– —–

Patricia Mantua

Patricia also belongs to INC. Unlike Kayelett, however, Patricia owns a mouth that seems to be in constant movement. Really. She’s one of the most outspoken person I know, and, though, we find contrasting views most of the time, I must say that she’s one of the friends I’m proudest of. She’s currently taking up Nursing at Southern Luzon State University.

1. Scapular
2. Ma
3. Pa
4. Thea, sister
5. AJ S., partner

AJ L., friend
Kayelett, friend
Te Portia, cousin

Why did you choose an item to top your list?
The scapular serves as my guidance, the very meaning of my faith and devotion to the Almighty. My mere representation of how He allows me to be me as He continuously blesses me each day. My faith is something I can never go wrong with. It molds me to be a person who is somehow good.

What’s the reason for putting AJ S. at the 5th place?
This person helped me to see “me” I’ve never thought existed, a “me” he loved even when my behavior is beyond worst. He showed me the very essence of renewed trust, strength, laughter and loving despite imperfections.

Was it easy for you to make the list? Why or why not?
It was easy choosing the top ten because I know which and what are truly important in my life.

How about your top 5?
I just based it on who helped me the most in becoming strong and tough enough for life.

What did you consider when you made your list?
I chose my top ten based on how much they contributed in my formation as the “Patricia” you know now and how much positive influence I gained from them.

Why do we value things/people?
We value such things because they’re simple presence in our lives that molds our uniqueness and individuality. These things contribute to our development, personal growth, happiness and satisfaction.

—– —–

Enzo Panganiban

Enzo is a friend from high school. We were at the same barkada once. He is one of the most gentleman I know. He’s juggles between studying Business Administration at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. And playing lead for his band, Project Rudy.

1. Mom
2. Dad
3. Girlfriend
4. Friends
5. Guitar

· Brother
· Sisters
· Guitar eFx
· Friends
· Wallet

How did you choose your list?
I just based them on who or what should come first.

Was it easy for you to make the list? Why or why not?
Mahirap, kasi marami rin akong pinahahalagahan. Mahirap din mag-rank.

Why did you put guitar on the top 5?
Kasi may significance sa pagkatao ko ang guitar. Tsaka bagong bili.Hehe

—– —–

Patrick Santos

Patrick is quarter-Japanese. Quarter-British, quarter-Chinese, and quarter-Filipino. Being multi-racial, however, he is proud for having been raised in grown in the Philippines. He left UP in pursuit of his greatest passion – cooking. He’s currently enrolled in a prestigious cooking school in Manila.

1. Mom
2. Maine, best friend
3. Rhea, cousin
4. Sister
5. Dad

· Len, close friend
· Jason, special friend
· Roy, friend
· Ever-supportive barkada, The Single and Bitter
· Chef James Antolin, mentor

Was it easy for you to make the list?
It was easy… (???) kinda.. hehe Ö

Why did you place your dad on the 5th slot?
We’re not that close.

What were you reasons for placing people in every slot?
They matters most than any material things.

What did you consider when you made the list?
Their influence in shaping me as a person, and I consider them as my priorities.

—– —–
Atheena Taccad

Atheena Taccad is currently enjoying her share of the limelight as she factotumize being a student and a part-time model. She’s very outspoken about herself and holds no boundaries. Brave and courageous are her best friends. She’s currently enrolled at Manila Doctors.

1. God
2. Life
3. Family
4. Tears and smiles
5. Memories


· Mother
· Blessings
· Friends
· Heartaches
· Victories

Was it difficult for you when I asked you to cut down your list to five?
Yes, because I already valued those ten and cutting it down to five means I have to choose which among them means more to me.

How did you choose the things/people on your list? What did you consider?
[I considered] the impact that those things/people brought me and how they molded me into who I am now.

Why did you include the tears smiles on your top five? How significant are tears and smiles for you?
The smiles made me want more tomorrows. And the tears made me stronger than I was yesterday. They are important for me because they somehow help me determine who I should be afterwards.

—– —–

Francis Ayapana

Francis is a cousin from the Portes clan, who is fond of bodybuilding and is so in love with his girlfriend. He’s currently taking up Commerce in Sacred Heart College.

1. God
2. Regine, girlfriend
3. Gym
4. Family
5. Relatives

· Money
· Future
· Clothes
· Life
· Hair wax

What’s your reason for putting God and relatives on the first and fifth slot respectively?
I put God on the first slot because He is our Creator. It’s my way of paying my respect to Him.
I put my relatives on the 5th place based on the experiences I’ve had with them. Those experiences, good or bad, has put me in a place where I could say I’m a has been already.

—– —–

Hedy Portes

Hedy, like Francis, is my cousin from the Portes clan. She’s energetic and lievely and spirited everyday. She’s really talkative and she’s easy to make happy. She’s currently on her senior year as a Nursing student at Calkayan Educational Foundation Incorporated,

1. Mommy
2. Daddy
3. Ferdi, boyfriend
4. JM, friend
5. Cellphone

· Leda, sister
· Mark, brother
· Cedie, youngest brother
· Susan, youngest sister
· Shayne, friend

Was it difficult for you when I asked you to pick out only five out of the ten items you’ve listed?
Yes. Kasi parang may discrimation.

What did you consider when I asked you to rank the remaining five items?
Heart and priorities. Haha

—– —–

Rissa Reyes

Rissa Reyes is also a cousin from my mother’s side. She’s mostly quiet and contained. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University and is currently working at Globe Networks.

1. Mommy
2. Daddy
3. Ate Ria, sister
4. Friends
5. Pictures


· Cellphone
· PC sa bahay
· PC sa office
· Food
· (empty slot)

How did you come up with your list?
Subjective lang. Hehe

Why did you leave an empty slot?
It was hard to fill that last slot. It has to be important.

—– —–

It appears that family is never absent in the lists that my friends and relatives made. Friends comes in to a close second place. Notably, some lists have mom as the more valued than the rest of the family. Also, some materials made it to some of the list. People, in general, tops each list. Why not, when it is Jesus who thought that we are so important that we’re worth dying for.

My friends and relatives and I have different reasons for valuing things/people. I value mine because they deserve to be. Call me selfish, but, realistically, I centered myself to everything I enlisted and tried to imagine how I would be able to function without them. In an interesting note, my name “Antonio” is the Latin for “invaluable/ beyond price.” In such a way, I value these things because they value me just the same or beyond any esoteric way I can only imagine.


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