"Yes, it's me!"
"Will you ever stop, Jay?"
"Yes! Yes of course! I will stop when there will be no contests!"
That has been the yearly script of fellow toastmasters when they see me as a fellow contestant. Not until this year, the script changed!
"Jay? You are joining the humorous speech contest, with a confused-oh-no-why-kill-me-now look!" That hurts! But despite that, here I am, I stand in front of you as a humorous contestant.
I have installed CCTV's in all corners of the room. Those who will laugh like crazy will have 3 gifts: a lifetime friendship, a case of San Mig Light, and a month-long supply of Starbucks coffee delivered at your doorstep!
My motto in life, even if you're not asking, is Live Your Passion. But after this, I fear, you will tell me, "Leave your Passion, Jay". Leave as in, "Close the door, when you leave."
I joined toastmasters because I heard from an unimpeachable source that toastmasters have singing contests. Growing up, I always sing alone, on my own, and never invited in singing contests. And so, this is the perfect opportunity. That's what you call, if opportunity does not knock at your door, I was the one who knocked and forced opportunity to enter the door. True enough, my first singing contest is, with toastmasters, and a national level at that. But of course, in times like that, I was just appointed. And I have a feeling, it was because Sai Culanag or Dexter Dano were not available that time. It was in Antipolo Midyear Convention. I placed seventh among seven contestants. But its okay. After all its my first time! My very good friend, Winston Churchill, said Never give up. Never, ever, give up! I was so elated when I got invited to sing in a church wedding, of a very good friend. Wait...I said invited?...Well, I offered myself to sing. I practiced daily. I tried to reach the high notes of Martin Nievera. I vocalized. But on the wedding day, The CD stopped when I was about to sing these lines. Now that I have you for my own. As God is our witness, never let go. Feel the love grow...I practiced that...over and over again. And the CD was stopped! That is why, I sing it here. Now my practice is put to use.
On the days, where I am not speaking or singing, you will find me, running. And I will never forget my first 21-kilometer Milo Marathon. I was running, gasping for air, sweating under the 8 morning sun, when I heard this: wang...wang...wang. It was a patrol siren following me. I wondered. For sure, I am not the first runner! What is this? And then I heard people, in a loud conversation, saying, "There, there is the first runner! The champion!" And they were clapping their hands. The patrol man, who was already beside me, with his radio in one hand said, "I am with the last runner of the race, Roger. I am with the last runner of the race, Roger." I wanted to disappear at that moment. I wish I can just press one button to open up the ground, eat me up, and disappear forever. Still not giving up, I said to the man, "Sir, can you just stay a little farther?" And he replied, "No Sir, my task is to accompany the last runner!" And then he radio'ed again, "We are still very far, Roger. We are still very far, Roger." And that drained all the hopes in me. My pride is gone. So I humbly made a request to the patrol man, "Sir, can you offer a ride for me going back to the hotel?" He answered, "I can bring you to the finish line Sir! We've got free ice-cold milo there." I answered, "I'm already tired, Sir. I wanted to rest." Polite way of saying, "No thank you. My pride is more precious than your ice-cold Milo!" I may have not finished the race, but I have saved seven pesos for my fare.
Life is one big, crazy adventure. We need to be crazy to live life.
The crazier you are, the happier you will be.
The louder you laugh, the more that we will be friends!