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Had a Tinikling crash course last Sunday evening for our July 20 charity concert performance. As a consequence, I’ve been dragging around my sore feet for the past two days — yet another proof that nothing much has changed over the years. I remain accident-prone to this day…

Grabe. You won’t believe what happened this (morning/afternoon/evening)…

College friends were so familiar with this opening line that they used to immediately fill in the blanks even before I finish what I am about to say.

If I wake up one morning and decide to be a professional runner, they’ll most probably call for a psychiatrist and demand that I be locked up in an institution — all for my personal safety. My university years were spent literally falling all over the place and in front of too many witnesses that there’s no denying it.

Allow me to elaborate by telling you some of the numerous instances (all of which happened during my UP Diliman days) that would back their claim:

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● Case #1

Running late for my Calculus class. Just got off the jeepney and about to enter the building. Feet collided with a bump on ground and a split-second later, my world turned cement-gray.

Feverishly praying nobody witnessed that, I hastily hauled myself up and walked straight with as much dignity as I could muster. Behind me I heard a male voice say in a half-whisper, “Pare, nagulat ako dun ah…” (Man, that surprised me). I could almost hear his companions nodding in agreement.

Aaaarrrggghhh!!! Can’t he at least wait until I’m out of hearing range before he said that?

● Case #2

Heading for Psych 101 class. Bumped into a male friend in the jeepney. I thought it was my lucky day because he paid the fare and even promised to treat me to lunch the following week. Got off at my stop and about 10 paces later, the world turned brown.

I am not sure if the jeep was still there when it all happened. I don’t know if my friend saw it at all (he didn’t get off with me at that stop). All I know is that it rained the night before and the ground was still muddy.

As I entered the classroom, concerned classmates sent me questioning looks while eyeing my soiled jeans. Somebody hurriedly took out a wet tissue and started rubbing away at my mud-caked bruises. Creatures-out-of-hell, with malicious grins plastered on their oily faces, asked what was I doing rolling around in mud so early in the morning. Heartless jerks.

Plans for lunch with abovementioned friend pushed through the following week. He neither mentioned nor gave any indication that he saw what happened. To this day, I still don’t know if he did.

● Case #3

Rizal course during the last semester of college. As an ender, we were supposed to climb Mt. Banahaw to witness the Rizalista groups based there. How did it go? Let’s see…

Halfway towards our goal, alarmed by the obvious fact that I’m already having a rough time, the guide asked if I want to quit the climb. I stubbornly declined. Guess pride does really go before the fall — LITERALLY. The end product was a bloody mess — again, LITERALLY.

When the hike started, members of our group hardly knew each other because we all came from different classes. By the time we started descending, we were a team bound by one mission: Keep Setsu from capitulating to her death. Yes, everybody knew me by name. I turned famous (or rather, infamous) in just a few hours.

And the result?

A long scar running down my leg, numerous bruises and one black-eye. The scar and bruises were souvenirs from the trek. The black-eye I belatedly got when we were already safely ensconced inside the vehicle. Don’t ask me how it happened. Some things are just too embarrassing to discuss.

Dad saw me that weekend and was aghast at the sight. What have I been doing to myself, he asked. I shrugged nonchalantly and replied, “Oh, nothing unusual”.

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Needless to say, I am now scared s*** of anything that involves walking over a traitorous bump, a steep incline, loose soil and rocks. Even the very act of ascending a steeper-than-usual staircase is enough to throw my senses into alert mode.

So now you ask: Why even attempt Tinikling, you clumsy excuse of a human being?

Simple answer: It’s all for charity. Plus, I like testing the waters every now and then.

Curiosity almost killed this cat. Blame it on a furry guy with a cookie addiction.

Is there any other way to react when you read something like this: Cookie Monster Searches Deep Within Himself and Asks: Is Me Really Monster

First I turned into an over-inflated balloon, desperately fighting the urge to burst into laughter. A few alarming minutes later, I was coughing away for survival, trying to expel a candy that entered the wrong tube. Officemates looked over, probably trying to discern whether or not to call for an ambulance.

That’s what I get for web browsing in the office during lunch break.

Excuse me while I salvage what’s left of my dignity.