Sixty-four and counting
AS I mark my 64th year of earthly existence today, allow me to take you to memory lane with some of the most unforgettable moments in my life.
The long and winding road traversed, no matter how difficult and rocky, is what has made me today – strong, determined, compassionate and at peace in the face of adversity or tragedy in life.
The destination is only the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Legendary athlete Michael Jordan once admitted in a commercial endorsement for a major U.S. footwear and apparel company that he had missed so many shots during his distinguished National Basketball Association (NBA) career.
The number of times he had failed made him stronger – what does not kill you makes you stronger, it’s said.
Eventually, Jordan’s storied roundball career was defined by the times he had risen following a fall and succeeded after each failure.
There’s also this inspiring line from one of the old “Spiderman” movies that I had watched over and over where Uncle Ben told his nephew, a young boy by the name of Peter Parker, the following: “Don’t just follow the path, make your own trail.”
The words of Jordan and Uncle Ben are what have shaped my life.
Instead of joining the family’s handicraft business after my school years, I got to craft my own career path and destiny. Officially, I became a professional sportswriter on June 5, 1981 when my first materials on basketball, particularly about the NBA, saw print in the weekly sports magazine Sports World.
Thirty-eight years later, here I am still churning out one column/article after another in the Inquirer Bandera tabloid.
While it’s true that the financial benefits gained by a sports journalist won’t make him a Bill Gates, the “mental nourishment” aspects of writing simply are immeasurable.
Believe it or not, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would go into professional writing someday.
But fate intervened and, by God’s grace, I have succeeded long enough to leave behind a legacy when I shall have crossed the Great
Through nearly the past four decades, I have metamorphosed into a tri-media man – once more never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become one – by also moonlighting into radio and television activities that have something to do with sports.
And to fulfill my childhood dreams, I even ventured into disc jockeying. For seven long years from 2006-13, I was a disc jockey (no joke!) for a weekly Sunday noon program titled “Buhay Pinoy Noon at Ngayon” in the government-owned radio station – DZSR Sports Radio (918 on the AM dial) which has since become Radyo Pilipinas 2 – under the moniker Hyper Henry.
I played good, old music from the fifties, sixties and seventies and shared stories about life as only a Baby Boomer like me had experienced at a young age. Songs by the Fabulous Four from Liverpool, England, the Beatles, were my all-time favorites. So were the music of famed American/British bands such as the Dave Clark Five, Monkees, Cascades, Beach Boys, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Spiral Starecase and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and the dynamic duos of Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, Everly Brothers and Simon Garfunkel.
I also caught up with America and the Bread in the early seventies just as I was entering college life at De La Salle (in 1972).
So thankful am I to God for giving me this life. Then again, I have come to terms with my mortality. I fully understand that life is so fleeting and can be taken away in a jiffy.
At 64, Father Time has caught up with me. Years ago, I have already started making some preparations just in case death comes knocking at my door.
Before that day comes, allow me this early to thank the thousands people – the old and the young – whom I have crossed paths with and have touched my heart through vibrant and turbulent times.
In my life, I have loved them all.
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